The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

"We are madly trying to get into the Christmas spirit, the tree was set up and we couldn't wait to decorate it, we forgot the war vets had taken the the chrissy decor.
Poor tree, we particularly missed Katies silver star which she made when she was five and it always took pride of place. I hope its shining in some war vet hut its light guiding a new era in. An appeal was sent out and my neighbours sent two boxes full of decorations so now we have a beautiful christmas tree. It seems whatever is taken away from you, comes back bigger and better than ever before.
Christmas this year for most Zimbabweans will be a struggle the cost of everything is enormous and most of us can barely put food on the table but what we lack financially we make up in courage and spirit and nobody can take that away. The people of Zimbabwe are the biggest Christmas present a country can have and we just have to keep on standing strong.
There is no doubt that there is probably worse to come and we hope we can see it through. I thank everyone who has helped P. and I get through this year and all the wonderful people who encourage us with their emails and letters. I truly hope that the new year brings the change we all truly long for.
And what are all my friends and family getting for Christmas? you guessed it handmade rose and lavendar soap with geranium oil.... Merry Christmas to you all and lets hope its a happy Christmas for us all. love m." (Zimbabwe farmer's wife)
Back to the Top
Back to Index

"..... disaster with the soap, seems I put too much something in and
its now nestling in an oily like black liquid - I think too much geranium oil.
its now gently soaking on a whole lot of newspapers; it has saturated Mugabe's
face so even the oil knows what to do. 
We are all actually terrified, thats
it, I said it. 
We seem to be building up for something horrific - you can
smell it in the air, the first murmurs are always in the compounds where the
african labour live. You can feel the change in the drumbeats and I am sure
the intimidation is really on. There was a rally not so far from home the
africans who attended where severely beaten up, even children on the women's
back were beaten with the butts of rifles by the very people who should be
protecting them. We know if the intimidation is really severe our most
devoted will turn - they have no options. We don't really know what will
happen one day to the next but I feel the fear and I see the downcast eyes; I
have seen it all before and it sends a chill down your spine. 
lots of love
Back to the Top
Back to Index

" i cry,you cry,forever.this is where zim is leading to.economic
destruction.all because of one man's ideologies which are paranoid and far
from the reality on the ground.this monster going by the name of old man
Mugabe who is Mozambican by descent should be stopped at all costs.we can
never allow zim to go to the hounds.let the rule of law return.let freedom
of expression return,stop the killings,stop the army from intimidating the
povo in Matabeleland.Lest we forget Gukurahundi reincarnated.Say no to
this.its my country, your country,you and me black and white.Peace and Love."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

War veterans terrorise MDC members in Mashonaland Central

12/19/01 11:33:33 PM (GMT +2)

By Pedzisai Ruhanya

SEVERAL MDC supporters in Madziwa and Bindura in Mashonaland Central
province were last week tortured, assaulted or had their houses razed to the
ground by suspected Zanu PF supporters and war veterans, while others have
fled their villages.

Fanuel Muronzi, 46, of Zuva village in Madziwa, said he was attacked by a
group of more than 60 Zanu PF supporters who burnt more than seven houses at
six homes in the village for allegedly supporting the MDC.

He said this happened last Thursday at night.

The violent incidents come less than a week after the Southern African
Development Community ministers met in Harare and said President Mugabe's
government was observing the rule of law and that farm invasions had

The ministers surprised Zimbabweans when they accused the media of blowing
the issue of violence out of proportion.

These attacks come at a time when the Commonwealth is this week expected to
discuss the Abuja Agreement under which the government agreed to respect the
rule of law and human rights.

Muronzi, who had stitches on his head, said he was struck twice on the head
with an axe wielded by an unidentified member of the group before they
torched his main house and kitchen.

"My assailants wore Zanu PF T-shirts. They accused me of being the MDC ward
chairman for the area. They left me for dead in a pool of blood."

Muronzi said the assailants also struck him with an axe on the right leg, on
which he received stitches from Madziwa Hospital.

He has fled to Bindura but on Sunday vowed he would return home to look
after his family and resume his farming activities.

"The group forced their way into my bedroom where they attacked me. I
reported the matter at Madziwa police station.

"The police asked me to come back today (Sunday) so they could recommend a
medical doctor in town to examine my condition," he said.

The police at the station refused to comment on the matter.

But a junior officer first agreed there were violent attacks against Zuva
villagers but another policeman intervened and said: "We are in control of
the situation. We did not have such incidents here."

Nicholas Goche, the Minister for State Security in the President's Office,
who is also the MP for Shamva which includes Madziwa, said on Sunday: "Do
not waste your time talking to me. You better go to the police and ask them
about that."

He then switched off his cellphone.

The windows of 73-year-old Elijah Mutanhaurwa's house in Zuva village were
smashed by the assailants.

"They struck me with chains for supporting the MDC. I will continue to
support it. That is my party," he said.

Mutanhaurwa sustained a swollen back from the attacks and has fled to
A four-roomed house and a kitchen belonging to Martha Muronzi, another
villager, were burnt down.

She was inside the house, but escaped injury.

Her husband, a driver with the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco),
was away in Victoria Falls, to where, ironically, he had ferried Zanu PF
delegates for their congress in the resort town.

Muronzi is the MDC district chairperson.

She said she reported the matter at Madziwa police station.

"In fact, the police came to my home and saw this destruction and the
attacks on me. They told me to go the station to get letters for treatment
in Bindura."

Clever Matanda, 61, had his kitchen burnt down and his house's windows
smashed because his son 20-year-old son, Elias, stays in Harare.

Elias, a first-year Business Studies and Computer Science student at the
University of Zimbabwe (UZ), was assaulted with chains and had blisters and
cuts on his stomach and back.

"I did not commit any crime. My crime was that I am a UZ student and live in

"They said people from Harare spread wrong messages against Zanu PF," he
said, before he broke down in tears.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

December 19, 2001
Mugabe accuses US of meddling in Zimbabwe's internal affairs

from IPS

Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, Tuesday accused the United States of
meddling in his country's internal affairs.

Mugabe took great exception to actions by the U.S. House of Representatives
who three weeks ago proposed to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe's ruling elite
whom Washington accuses of sponsoring violence in the southern African

In a State of the Nation address to Members of Parliament Tuesday, Mugabe
said he felt deeply insulted by the actions of the U.S. lawmakers.

''Frankly the action by American legislators is a bold insult to the people
of Zimbabwe who had to take up arms and die in thousands not only to set
this country free (in 1980) but also to ensure the full repossession of
it,'' Mugabe said.

''More specifically it is an intolerable insult to the House (Parliament)
endowed as it is with the constitutional right to legislate for Zimbabwe,''
he added.

In his strongest reaction to the Zimbabwe Democracy Bill by the U.S. House
of Representatives, president Mugabe reminded the United States that even
with all its power and might, it had no right to dictate on his country.

''No nation, no matter how white and how powerful should turn itself into an
omnipotent juridical entity and from an imagined Mount Sinai start bellowing
orders or commandments on another. We are not at war with United States and
so the behaviours of its legislators is pregnant, provocative and indeed a
gross violation of international law,'' said Mugabe.

International donors have cut aid to Zimbabwe, citing a breakdown in the
rule of law and disappointment with a non-transparent land reform programme.

Mugabe told the legislators: ''I address you against definite threats to
that sovereignty, threats that the nation must take seriously and gear
itself to withstand and repulse in every possible way.''

The Zimbabwean leader claimed his government was being punished for
redressing past colonial injustices.

Mugabe hit out at threats of sanctions as his government continues with a
programme to resettle millions of landless blacks on white-owned commercial

Whites, constituting less than one percent of the country's population, own
more than 70 percent of all the fertile land, while millions of black
peasants eke out a precarious existence on arid, sandy and rocky soils some
of it not fit for good agricultural production.

The 77-year-old Zimbabwean leader is facing his strongest challenge to his
21 year-old reign from the labour-backed Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) formed two years ago.

Zimbabweans go to the polls in March to elect a new president, against a
backdrop of a deteriorating economy.

Zimbabwe's economy is currently going through a difficult path with an
estimate 7.3 percent decline this year. Now ranked amongst the fastest
shrinking economies, Zimbabwe is critically short of fuel and foreign

from Misanet/IPS

Back to the Top
Back to Index

International Herald Tribune

Mugabe to Press Land Seizures

   Reuters Reuters  Wednesday, December 19, 2001

HARARE, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe accused the United
States and Britain on Tuesday of setting up sanctions against his government
and vowed to press ahead with a land seizure program.
Mr. Mugabe said the U.S. Zimbabwe Economic and Democracy Bill, which is
intended to press Harare to ensure free elections and to protect land
ownership, was "a bold insult to the people of Zimbabwe."
"No nation, no matter how white and how powerful," Mr. Mugabe said in a
year-end speech to Parliament, should "start bellowing orders or
commandments on another."
The bill was endorsed earlier this month by the U.S. House of

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe faces renewed pressure

WITH the twin threat of sanctions from the US and the European Union (EU)
looming, Zimbabwe is likely to come under renewed pressure this week from
the Commonwealth and the African National Congress (ANC) to restore the rule
of law and improve the climate for a relatively free and fair presidential

In a move signalling growing concern about Zimbabwe worsening political and
economic crisis, Commonwealth secretarygeneral Don McKinnon is convening an
urgent meeting in London tomorrow of the group's troubleshooting body, the
Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group.

The group which is chaired by Botswana's foreign minister, Mompati Merafhe
and includes UK, Nigerian and Canadian ministers deals with "serious or
persistent violations of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms,
the rule of law and good governance".

Though the Commonwealth gave no reason for the meeting, diplomats said it
was likely to be dominated by Zimbabwe.

The fact that Zimbabwe has an elected government has helped it escape formal
censure from the Commonwealth, such as suspension from its councils and an
entry on the Commonwealth group's watch list of violators.

But the crisis has catapulted Harare onto the agenda of the group, placing
it alongside problematic Commonwealth members such as Pakistan, which is run
by a military junta.

The deepening crisis saw Zimbabwe stay on the group's agenda for the whole
of last year.

Tomorrow's meeting is seen as part of a last-ditch bid to put pressure on
Harare to ensure the political environment improves ahead of presidential
polls due in March. Resolving Harare's crisis could also prevent a stand-off
at the Commonwealth leaders' summit meeting in Australia.

Meanwhile, the ANC confirmed that its chairman, Mosiuoa Lekota, would lead a
party delegation for high-level talks with Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu (PF)
tomorrow. But the party sought to play down talk that this was an 11th hour
bid by Pretoria to ease the crisis.

Instead, spokeswoman Nomfanelo Kota said that the meeting, a continuation of
party-level dialogue, would discuss broader political developments in
Zimbabwe, including its land reform programme.

Defence and foreign affairs ministers of the Southern African Development
Community voiced fresh opposition to sanctions against Zimbabwe yesterday.
They insisted that violence had subsided and Harare was committed to free
and fair elections next year. With Reuters.

Dec 19 2001 06:38:54:000AM John Dludlu and Pule Molebeledi Business Day 1st

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Irish Independent

Thugs back on rampage as Mugabe moves to ban free speech

Zimbabwean farm manager Duncan Cook is comforted by his girlfriend Ursula
Frost in a Harare hospital yesterday after he was struck on the side of his
head with a machete by a government official.

TOUGH legislation that has been likened to the worst excesses of the
apartheid era in South Africa will be pushed through parliament in Harare
this week, effectively outlawing President Robert Mugabe's political
opponents and stifling free speech.

The reforms allow Zimbabwe's police to ban political gatherings at will and
prosecute anyone who attends a meeting where the government is criticised.

They effectively ban opposition political parties and end freedoms of
association, speech and movement, and are expected to seriously impair
efforts to mount a credible campaign to challenge Mr Mugabe in the
presidential elections in April.

Details of the Public Order and Security Bill, which was tabled this week,
emerged yesterday as a farm manager, Duncan Cooke, became the latest victim
of Mr Mugabe's thugs.

Mr Cooke (25) was attacked on Butleigh Farm, 80 miles north of Harare, by
six government officials inspecting his employer's land for resettlement
after he asked them to move their car to make way for a tractor. He was
slashed with a panga and has serious head wounds.

Outside the private hospital in Harare where Mr Cooke underwent surgery
there was alarm on the streets about the new legislation, which will affect
the lives of every person in the country - including tourists, who will be
arrested if found not carrying passports.

Tawanda Hondora, chairman of Lawyers for Human Rights, said: "Criticising
the president will be a criminal offence, and any political party
campaigning in presidential elections will seek to do that, and the sentence
is 10 years' imprisonment, or a heavy fine, or both."

Mr Hondora said: "This bill is worse, by far, than any previous colonial
legislation in this country or in apartheid South Africa. It is
unprecedented and ends all freedoms of movement, speech and association
guaranteed under the constitution."

The Bill also introduces heavy sentences for petty acts, such as throwing a
stone at a government building, which can be construed as terrorism and
which could carry a sentence of 20 years or life imprisonment.

The government also hopes to push through legislation making it a criminal
offence for any journalist, foreign or domestic, to work if not licensed by
the government.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Mugabe to seek fuel aid from Libya -- television

HARARE, Dec. 18 — Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe left for Libya on Tuesday
for talks on possible further aid to help ease a fuel shortage, state
television reported.
       In its brief report, it did not elaborate on what form the aid would
take, or how long Mugabe's visit would last.

       Gaddafi has emerged as a key foreign ally of Mugabe, increasingly
isolated on the international scene over his controversial drive to seize
white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks. In August, Zimbabwe's state
media reported that the country had received 33 million litres (seven
million Imperial gallons) of fuel from Libya, the first consignment of a
one-year deal to improve fuel supplies, which have been erratic since 1999.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zimbabwe preps to limit media freedoms
December 19, 2001 Posted: 12:34 PM EST (1734 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- The Zimbabwean government again slammed South
Africa's media on Wednesday, accusing its neighbor's "apartheid press" of
demonizing President Robert Mugabe and his controversial land reform

Information and Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo said the ruling ZANU-PF
party was keen to pass a law this week critics say will curb media freedoms
ahead of presidential elections set for March.

"The apartheid press has raised the level of propaganda to what we now find
totally unacceptable," Moyo said of the South African media's reporting of a
deepening crisis in Zimbabwe.

"We will not have regional peace as long as the apartheid press is allowed
to continue as the leading mouthpiece...We are saying they must now be
brought to book, because what they are doing is criminal. They want a region
which is at war with itself," Moyo told reporters.

Last week, Zimbabwe's high commissioner to South Africa accused the
country's journalists of "nauseating" bias in their reporting on Zimbabwe.

Media bill
Mugabe's crackdown on the opposition ahead of elections, and his
controversial plans to seize white-owned farms for redistribution to
landless blacks, have come under heavy criticism from domestic and
international media.

News organizations have also criticized Zimbabwe's proposed new media bill,
which threatens jail terms for journalists who violate new regulations and
bars foreigners from working as correspondents in the country.

Moyo said the bill would become law this week.

"We expect our legislative agenda to (be) complete tomorrow that we
can go and deal with the business of campaigning," Moyo said.

Zimbabwe media unions have vowed to ignore the bill and said they would
challenge it in court.

"Terrorist" journalists
Moyo said the South African media's reporting on Zimbabwe would be discussed
during talks on Thursday with a visiting delegation from South Africa's
ruling African National Congress.

"If the apartheid press expects us to treat them with kid gloves and allow
them to roam around our country, then they don't understand where they are,"
Moyo said.

Last month, Zimbabwe's government threatened to treat six journalists
working for foreign media organizations as "terrorists" after accusing them
of filing false reports on political violence.

Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, faces
his strongest political challenge in the March poll from the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe accuses Zimbabwe's privately owned media of being used against him by
his local and international opponents, led by former colonial ruler Britain.

On Wednesday Moyo singled out British Prime Minister Tony Blair among
European leaders he accused of failing to understand the politics and
history of Africa.

"You have young people running some of the countries who are very
ignorant...and the chief ignoramus is Tony Blair," Moyo said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

LEADER PAGE  Wednesday   19  , December

DRC invasion: Chickens have come home to roost

12/19/01 10:28:54 PM (GMT +2)

BEFORE 1998, relations between what was then Zaire and Zimbabwe would not
have been characterised as "cosy".

To ordinary Zimbabweans, Zaire conjured up images of a hedonistic lifestyle,
presided over by the ruthless and corrupt dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko, and
the coarse Kwasa Kwasa dance. But with the involvement of the Zimbabwe
National Army (ZNA) on behalf of the late Laurent Desire Kabila against the
rebel forces backed by Uganda and Rwanda, a whole new vista was opened up.

"Cosy" soon graduated into almost "intimate" as far as business relations
were concerned. Even as the Congolese people butchered each other,
Zimbabwean entrepreneurs were encouraged by their government to venture into
that country to do business. The misery of the Congolese people was
tailor-made for enterprising businesspeople, preferably devoid of any
conscience, to reap huge profits for their country.

At the centre of the government involvement was the present Speaker of
Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa. The list of joint ventures has included
Osleg (Pvt) Ltd, Comiex Cargo, Cosleg, Oryx-Zimcon (Pvt) Ltd, Oryx Natural
Resources Ltd, Segamines, Senga-Senga, and Petra Diamonds - to name a few.

The army was involved in almost all the ventures, as was Zanu PF, which runs
its businesses under the umbrella of its conglomerate, Zidco Holdings (Pvt)
Limited. Questions of morality were asked about the commercialisation of
Zimbabwe's intervention in what became the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC) after the senior Kabila's victory over the rebels.
The financial cost of the intervention for the Zimbabwean taxpayer was
enormous and to offset some of it, joint ventures were entered into between
the two governments, the profits of which would be used to pay Zimbabwe.

Reports of senior Zimbabwean army personnel raking in millions in profits
from their mining concessions in the DRC were given much currency when the
government seemed to declare that the troops would not be pulled out until
every "foreign" soldier had left. These soldiers included Congolese troops
fighting with the rebels, with whom they share an ethnic affinity.
Zimbabwean soldiers have no such links with the DRC. Then there were reports
of the ZNA assisting the Interahamwe, the Hutu militias said to have been
largely responsible for the massacre of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda
in 1994.
By the time the United Nations published its first report on the looting of
the DRC natural resources by the alien armies, Zimbabwe was deeply involved
in the mining and commercial sector of that country.

The first UN report in April was surprisingly silent on Zimbabwe's role in
the exploitation of the DRC resources. But the latest report, which has
raised hackles with the government in Harare, was - to many neutral
observers - more accurate.
It may indeed contain exaggerations here and there, but it captures fairly
accurately the illegitimate involvement of the government in the economy of
the DRC, when its original intention was the humanitarian one of helping the
Congolese people achieve peace and unity.

Rwanda and Uganda were accused in the first UN report of plundering the
DRC's natural resources and some of their senior soldiers were named as the
culprits. Their governments pledged to punish them.
But the Zimbabwean government's immediate reaction was to reject out of hand
all the accusations of wrongdoing. This is not right at all.

The government has gone far beyond the humanitarian goal of bringing peace
and unity to the DRC.
It is now launched on an income-generating venture in the DRC and ought to
be ashamed of itself.
The suspicion is that the government, perennially strapped for cash because
of economic mismanagement at home, wants to prolong the conflict in the DRC
for financial gain. The intervention was always going to be costly, one way
or the other.
Today, the political chickens of that blunder have come home to roost.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

LEADER PAGE  Wednesday   19  , December

World must not tolerate domestic terrorism in Zimbabwe

12/19/01 10:30:06 PM (GMT +2)

By Art Wright

Zimbabwe's tragedy is that its President, Robert Mugabe,confidently
believing that the rest of the world will not respond, is consciously
promoting State-sponsored terrorism.

After Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, Canada and other Western nations
rightly praised Mugabe for expanding health and education facilities.

But we stayed silent in the mid-1980s during the brutal repression of the
Ndebele people; this caused 20 000 civilian deaths, and was designed to
replace political opposition with a de facto one-party state.
Maintaining the threat of physical force while limiting its use, Mugabe
gained successive majorities in carefully managed periodic elections.

However, increasing corruption and bad management sharply eroded his
political support in the 1990s. He and the ruling Zanu PF began to be
increasingly challenged by concerned, informed and articulate Zimbabweans,
both black and white.
Their determination to protect and promote democratic rights and practices
has been met by
violent government retaliation - perpetrated by the Central Intelligence
Organisation, a State security body that acts as an agency of Zanu PF, the
ruling party.

Newspapers have seen their presses smashed. Media personnel have been
repeatedly harassed and arrested, as have political opponents. In early
2000, despite government attempts to rig the results, voters rejected a
referendum that would have virtually guaranteed Mugabe the Presidency for
life. The gloves came off. In the parliamentary election later that year,
many opposition candidates were prevented from campaigning by beatings and
threats against themselves and their families.
Despite such terror tactics, Zanu PF secured only a slim majority of elected
seats; many of the results were appealed to the courts.

The government then forced the resignation of a number of senior judges,
including the Chief Justice, and replaced them with more compliant judges.
Despite all this, the organised opposition - based among black and white
trade union members, large and small-scale commercial farmers,
professionals, academics and businessmen - has continued to grow.
Mugabe has sought to destroy the credibility of the opposition by portraying
its members as tools of Zimbabwean whites (now barely 0,5 percent of the
population) and outsiders.

Using the legitimate need for redistribution of land (acknowledged by
virtually all Zimbabweans), the government has armed and encouraged
so-called "liberation war veterans" to occupy large-scale commercial farms,
80 percent owned by white Zimbabweans (who employed thousands of labourers,
and provided primary schooling and health care). The police decline to
intervene, saying their hands are tied because the issues are political. Not
only have owners been driven from their farms, tens of thousands of farm
workers have been displaced.

Officially, 21 black and nine white Zimbabweans have been killed, but human
rights groups cite much higher numbers. Many previously successful farms are
now lying fallow; few of those who occupied them are engaged even in
subsistence agriculture.
The reign of terror, the declining production of cash crops, the collapse of
tourism and disinvestments in mineral production, combined with the cost of
keeping 11 000 Zimbabwean troops in the Congo, has bankrupted Zimbabwe. It
cannot pay for fuel and electricity imports. Massive food imports are needed
in a normally food-exporting country.
Current financial support from Libya cannot compensate for Zimbabwe's lost

Mugabe's actions have isolated him from Southern African Development
Community (Sadc) partners. Though he told a visiting Sadc team last week
that the presidential election would be held in March, they remain
(diplomatically) critical of Zimbabwe's mismanagement and concerned about
the destabilising effects on their own countries.
As the presidential election approaches, Mugabe, 77, is determined to hold
on to power against a much younger challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of
the broadly based Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). He knows that in a
free election, this will not be possible.

In defiance of recent agreements to reinstate democratic practices, he has
escalated his rhetoric, demonising the opposition and media as "agents of
terrorism supported by outsiders". Articles in the government Press now
publicly attack prominent opposition figures; MDC offices in Bulawayo,
Zimbabwe's second-largest city, have been torched. Urban lodgers who are
reeling under the declining economy, largely MDC supporters, face
disenfranchisement in a government move to reduce the number of urban

Canada and others countries have failed to respond adequately to the warning
signals emanating from Zimbabwe. Suspension of aid reflects disengagement,
rather than commitment to find solutions. Quiet diplomacy, through
neighbouring countries and the Commonwealth, has failed to bring back the
rule of law. But if international terrorism - or domestic terrorism in the
former Yugoslavia - is unacceptable to us, why do we tolerate it in

We must implement measures that would have a direct impact on Mugabe and his
government; we should employ targeted sanctions - such as travel
restrictions and the freezing of personal foreign accounts - against
Zimbabwe's leaders.
The European Union is currently considering such measures. The United States
Congress has approved a similar Bill. Zimbabwe has long ceased to respect
the rule of law or the rights of its citizens to basic security. It should
not escape international censure for its reign of terror against its own

Africans and Europeans are finally speaking out. If we remain silent in the
face of overwhelming evidence of the misuse of power, then we are complicit
in its continued abuse. We reduce our own credibility as proponents of basic
human rights and democratic freedoms. The Commonwealth ministers' meeting on
Zimbabwe, to be held in London this week, provides us with an opportunity to
join African and European countries, and the US in condemning such abuses.

We must reduce the ability of Mugabe and his ministers to oppress the
Zimbabwean people.
* Art Wright, a consultant and lecturer on sustainable development issues,
was Canada's High Commissioner to Zimbabwe from 1993 to 1996.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

Farmers seek to leave Zimbabwe

12/19/01 11:36:10 PM (GMT +2)

From Our Correspondent

ZIMBABWEAN commercial farmers, apprehensive about the country's political
future, are seeking farmland in Malawi, Uganda and Zambia, apart from

Although Commercial Farmers' Union officials said last Thursday they did not
document cases of members who left the country, dozens of farmers are
believed to have settled in Zambia over the past year while others were
considering investing in Malawi and Uganda.

But officials at the Malawi and Zambia high commissions in Harare denied any
farmers from Zimbabwe had moved to their countries.

They said they had only received enquiries from local farmers about
investment opportunities in their countries. Uganda has also received such

Some local farmers said scores of their colleagues were already farming in

At least a dozen Zimbabwean farmers have already relocated to Mozambique
where they have been allocated 4 000 hectares each.

No drama on Zimbabwe LUANDA - Angola, hosting a meeting of southern African
defence and foreign ministers, urged its regional partners to declare Unita
rebels fighting a 26-year civil war a "terrorist" group.

Ministers from the 14-member Southern African Development Community (Sadc)
are meeting in Luanda to discuss conflicts in Angola, the Democratic
Republic of Congo and to activate a regional defence body.

The ministers will also receive an informal briefing on the deepening
political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe.

Angola, invoking the United States-led war against international terrorism,
is pressing to have the rebels led by veteran guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi
declared a "terrorist" group.

"This is contentious issue. It is a hot potato," a delegate said on the
sidelines of the two-day talks.

Officials said some states were resisting being drawn into Angola's agenda,
which if agreed upon, could derail prospects for a peaceful resolution to
Africa's longest running conflict.

They said Angola's strategy was inspired partly by the United States'
inclusion of three east African rebel groups in a new "terrorist exclusion

The US list, which named 39 groups, did not include Unita, which enjoyed US
support during the Cold War against the then Russian and Cuban-backed Luanda

In October, the new US ambassador to Angola said Washington wanted to help
the country return to peace.

Angolans have known little but war since the country gained independence
from Portugal in 1975, sparking a conflict interrupted only briefly by shaky
peace agreements.

The last deal, known as the Lusaka Protocol, was signed in 1994 and
collapsed four years later when the government attacked Unita, accusing
Savimbi of breaking the United Nations-brokered accord.

Government forces have stripped Unita of its capacity to wage conventional
war, but diplomats say Luanda is locked into a guerrilla war it cannot
totally win.

The ministers will be briefed on developments in Zimbabwe, the region's
biggest crisis, but a senior Zambian official said: "Don't expect any drama
on the Zimbabwe issue. It will just be a briefing and an assessment of the
situation there."

Sadc has been sharply criticised for failing to take tough action against
Zimbabwe, where President Mugabe has approved the sometimes violent seizure
of land from white farmers and ignored the intimidation of political foes by
his ruling Zanu PF party.

A Sadc delegation to Zimbabwe last week rejected any form of sanctions
against Mugabe's government, saying it would hurt not only the former
British colony but its neighbours in the region.

Zimbabwe faces severe food shortages, rising unemployment, inflation near
100 percent and a lack of foreign exchange, symptoms of its worst economic
and political crisis in decades.

Mugabe blames Western governments which oppose his land redistribution plan
for the country's misfortunes.

His opponents say the crisis is due to years of government mismanagement and
a violent campaign by the ruling Zanu PF to cling to power.

Another issue at the talks is the fragile peace process in Congo, where more
than two million people have died since the start of a war that has been
called Africa's First World War.

"The peace process in the Congo will be looked at critically to see how we
can advance it further," South African Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota said.

Congo's devastating civil war began in 1998 when rebels backed by Uganda and
Rwanda sought to overthrow the late President Laurent Kabila.

Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia sent troops to support him.

Kabila was assassinated in January and succeeded by his son Joseph, who has
helped to rejuvenate peace efforts. - Reuter

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Australia says Commonwealth must tackle Zimbabwe

 LONDON, Dec. 19 — Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said on
Wednesday the Commonwealth's democracy watchdog should put Zimbabwe formally
on its agenda -- the first step to possible suspension from the organisation

Downer said ministers from the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group,
meeting in London on Thursday, should review whether the reported violence
and intimidation in Zimbabwe meant it had violated the Commonwealth's code
of good governance.
       Ministers ''ought to consider...inscribing Zimbabwe onto the agenda
of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) and therefore giving
consideration to whether Harare is in breach of the Commonwealth basic
declaration,'' Downer told BBC radio.
       ''You can suspend countries from the Commonwealth if they are in
breach of the...declaration,'' said Downer, whose country will host a
Commonwealth summit next March.
       CMAG ministers from Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Botswana,
Britain, Canada, Malaysia and Nigeria will meet in London on Thursday for
talks on Zimbabwe.
       In recent meetings they have suspended both Fiji and Pakistan
following military coups, but their talks on the violent campaign of farm
occupations in Zimbabwe have been restricted to informal discussions because
President Robert Mugabe's government holds power through recognised
       ''Australia thinks (the Commonwealth declaration) means that a
country has to be governed according to the rule of law, and human rights
have to be observed,'' Downer said.
       ''It's not just a question of whether the government itself was
elected in a democratic way.''
       Downer said the Commonwealth ministers should also maintain pressure
on Mugabe to allow international observers to oversee presidential elections
in March.
       ''In the leadup to these elections there has been a lot of
substantial evidence of political harrassment. You could only expect that to
continue unless there is some greater scrutiny of what is going on on the
ground in Zimbabwe,'' he said.
       Downer said ''absolutely nothing'' had improved in Zimbabwe since
Mugabe's government pledged in September to end the violent occupation by
its supporters of white-owned farms.
       ''There has just been a continuation of political violence and
political harrassment over the last couple of months,'' he said. ''That's
why the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group will have to talk about the
issue yet again.''

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

Mugabe evades key issues

12/19/01 10:59:43 PM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday evaded key national issues in his State of the
Nation address in Parliament.

These include hyper-inflation, high interest rates, a 60 percent
unemployment rate, poverty and the political violence since last year's
parliamentary election.

Instead, Mugabe said to foster national pride and commitment as well as
inculcating the country's national heritage in the youths, "the government
is introducing a foundation course on National Strategic Studies, which will
be compulsory for all students in our tertiary institutions".

He said in the same context, the pilot national youth service scheme was
launched at the Border Gezi Training Camp in Mount Darwin last month where 1
000 youths constituted the initial intake.

Mugabe said: "I wish to urge all Zimbabweans to maintain peace and calm as a
norm of our society and proceed to vote in that selfsame atmosphere during
the forthcoming presidential election."

He attacked the United States House of Representatives for passing the
Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, as an insult to the liberation
struggle and Zimbabwe's sovereignty.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


SOUTH AFRICA: Policy divisions on Zimbabwe
According to IRIN reports that the soft approach that South Africa has used
with regards to Zimbabwe is indicative of the fact that there is no real
policy consensus with regards to the issue. A high-level ANC delegation is
set to arrive in the country in order to discuss the issue of political
violence with President Mugabe. The reason for these party-to-party talks is
unclear to some although there are suggestions that this is just another
method that the government has sought to try. But this argument is weak in
the face of the fact that the government has chosen to work through SADC and
in so doing refrain from taking a tough individual stance against Mugabe.


S.Africa on last ditch mission to Zimbabwe

PRETORIA, Dec. 19 — South Africa's ruling African National Congress is
sending a high-level delegation to Zimbabwe on Thursday in a last-ditch bid
to save its northern neighbour from chaos, a senior official said.
''This is a (ruling) party to party visit. We need to exchange views on how
to best address the situation in Zimbabwe,'' ANC national chairman Mosiuoa
Lekota told Reuters.
       Lekota, also South Africa's defence minister and a senior member of
the ANC's policy-making National Executive Committee, said the visit was
initiated by the ANC.
       ''We think discussions can help to advance us (Zimbabwe and South
Africa) to an amicable solution to the Zimbabwe problem. There is still
hope, we are hopeful,'' he said in an interview.
       Lekota said the talks would centre on Zimbabwe's land reform
programme and next year's presidential elections. It was unclear whether the
ANC delegation, to include Deputy President Jacob Zuma, would meet President
Robert Mugabe.
       The visit comes two days after ministers from the 14-nation Southern
African Development Community (SADC) voiced fresh opposition to sanctions
against Zimbabwe, insisting violence had subsided and Mugabe was committed
to free and fair elections.
       SADC, which includes South Africa, has been criticised for failing to
respond strongly to Mugabe's approval of the often violent seizure of
white-owned farms and the intimidation of political foes by his ZANU-PF

       South African President Thabo Mbeki said last month the situation in
Zimbabwe was getting worse and may deteriorate further if presidential
elections were not free and fair.
       Mbeki also said South Africa opposed a ''confrontational'' approach
to Zimbabwe's most divisive problem -- redistributing to landless blacks
farmland owned by whites.
       The South African rand has sunk to record lows partly due to events
in Zimbabwe.
       Lekota said the mission's hope was to influence leaders of Mugabe's
ruling ZANU-PF party, an ANC comrade-in-arms during the struggle against
apartheid and white rule in former Rhodesia, to in turn positively influence
Mugabe's government.
       ''If we were able to persuade the political leadership, in this case
ZANU-PF, to impact positively on the government, then we would have achieved
something,'' Lekota said.
       ''We are taking this action with a hope that we might be able to
produce a different result, a positive result. This is our hope,'' Lekota,
also a confidante of Mbeki, said.
       Other senior South African government officials doubted the mission
would achieve any of the desired results.
       ''Its really hard to see what we could achieve from this visit. The
South African government has tried hard, really hard, to help Zimbabwe. But
all we have received from the Zimbabweans are slaps in our faces,'' a senior
official said.
       Mugabe, who hopes to extend his 21 years in power at presidential
elections in March, has compared his party's political campaign to a
military operation.
       ''I think its too ambitious to think Mugabe would eat humble pie and
retract his inflammatory messages. It is also naive to think Zimbabwe's
problem was about land. It's political, its about Mugabe's personal
survival,'' the official added.
       The Movement for Democratic Change, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, poses
the strongest challenge to Mugabe since he led the country to independence
from Britain in 1980.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

From ZAWYA, Tunisia

 Libya hosts energy talks with Zimbabwe ministers

TUNIS, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Libyan officials held talks on energy cooperation
on Wednesday with ministers from Zimbabwe, suffering from a fuel shortage,
state media said.

Herbert Murerwa and Edward Chindori-Chininga, respectively Zimbabwe industry
and international trade and Mines and Energy ministers met Libyan Economy
and Foreign Trade Minister Abdessalam Ejuweir and officials from Libyan
state-owned Oil Investment Corporation, Libyan news agency Jana said.

"The two delegations discussed the cooperation between the two countries in
trade, economy and energy," Jana, monitored in Tunis, added.

Murerwa and Chindori-Chininga are accompanying President Robert Mugage who,
according to Libyan media, arrived in Tripoli early on Wednesday for an
official visit.

Zimbabwean state television has said Mugabe left Harare for Libya on Tuesday
for talks on possible further aid to ease the country's fuel shortage.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is a key ally of Mugabe, increasingly isolated
on the international scene over his controversial drive to seize white-owned
farms for redistribution to blacks.

In August, Zimbabwe's state media had said the country received 33 million
litres (seven million imperial gallons) of fuel from Libya, the first
consignment of one-year deal to improve fuel supplies, which have been
erratic since 1999.

In September, Gaddafi urged the General People Congress, Libya's top
legislative and executive body, to provide more aid to Zimbabwe, including
direct investment in agriculture and leisure.

Mugabe seeks more oil from Libya

The president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, is in Libya for talks with Colonel
Gadaffi on possible further aid to help ease Zimbabwe's crippling fuel

The Zimbabwean Energy and Transport Minister, Edward Chindori-Chininga, who
is accompanying Mr Mugabe, said that under a deal agreed earlier this year,
Libya was supplying 70% of Zimbabwe's fuel requirements.

Traditional suppliers such as Kuwait have cut off oil because of Zimbabwe's
acute shortage of the hard currency needed to pay for it.

Correspondents say the Libyan leader has emerged as a key ally of President
Mugabe as he faces growing criticism from Western countries over his support
for the forced seizure of white-owned land.

Colonel Gadaffi has approved the land reform programme and described Mr
Mugabe as a hero.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe to pass law that would ban opposition

Legislation effectively will end freedoms of association, speech

Peta Thornycroft
The Daily Telegraph
HARARE - Tough legislation that has been likened to the worst excesses of
the apartheid era in South Africa will be pushed through parliament in
Harare this week, effectively outlawing President Robert Mugabe's political
opponents and stifling free speech.

The reforms allow Zimbabwe's police to ban political gatherings at will and
prosecute anyone who attends a meeting where the government is criticized.

They effectively ban opposition political parties and end freedoms of
association, speech and movement.

The new law is expected to impair efforts of opposition activists to mount a
credible campaign to challenge Mr. Mugabe in the presidential elections in

Details of the Public Order and Security Bill, which was tabled this week,
emerged yesterday as a farm manager, Duncan Cooke, became the latest victim
of Mr. Mugabe's thugs.

Mr. Cooke, 25, was attacked on Butleigh Farm, 130 kilometres north of
Harare, by six government officials inspecting his employer's land for
resettlement after he asked them to move their car to make way for a
tractor. He was slashed with a panga, a large knife similar to a machete,
and has serious head wounds.

Outside the private hospital in Harare where Mr. Cooke underwent surgery,
there was alarm on the streets about the new legislation, which will affect
everyone in the country, including tourists. They will be arrested if found
not carrying passports.

"Criticizing the President will be a criminal offence, and any political
party campaigning in presidential elections will seek to do that, and the
sentence is 10 years' imprisonment, or a heavy fine, or both,'' said Tawanda
Hondora, chairman of Lawyers for Human Rights.

He said the effect of the new law will be to ban any political party --
including the key opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, led
by Morgan Tsvangirai -- that challenges the ruling Zimbabwean African
National Unity-Patriotic Front party.

Anyone who publishes any information likely to "excite people or express
dissatisfaction with the president, the government or the police'' will have
committed an offence.

"This bill is worse, by far, than any previous colonial legislation in this
country or in apartheid South Africa," Mr. Hondora said.

"It is unprecedented and ends all freedoms of movement, speech and
association guaranteed under the constitution.''

It also introduces heavy sentences for petty acts, such as throwing a stone
at a government building, which can be construed as terrorism and which
could carry a sentence of 20 years or life in prison. Anyone dissatisfied
with the way a policeman discharges his duties and complains could go to
prison for 10 years.

Under the new legislation, police can detain suspects for seven days before
bringing them to court and bail would automatically be denied for those
accused of terrorism, murder and rape.

The government also hopes to push through other repressive legislation that
will make it a criminal offence for any journalist, foreign or domestic, to
continue working if not licensed by the government. Another piece of pending
labour legislation will outlaw all strikes.

The government said Zimbabwe's embattled economy had broken through the 100%
inflation barrier for the first time in the nation's history, despite price
controls enforced since October.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

CIO accused of unleashing terror in Marondera

12/19/01 11:12:57 PM (GMT +2)

By Zhean Gwaze

THE police and CIO officers in Marondera are alleged to have laid false
charges against seven MDC members, locking them up in custody and later
beating them severely with batons and clenched fists.

Edmore Muleya, 26, Ibraham Chalamanda, 24, Herbert Chapendama, Paul Jera,
Munyaradzi Mupazviripo, Penifara Diamond and Tichaona Chihota
(ages unknown) were arrested on Friday last week after being charged with
attempted murder.

Muleya alleges that three detectives came to his home in Dombotombo township
and ordered him to accompany them to the police station.

"They said they wanted to question me on a case they were investigating,"
said Muleya.

"They took a banner from my home which was inscribed Vote Morgan Tsvangirai
and said the banner would be very useful in their investigations."

Muleya alleges the officers took him to the police station where a charge of
attempted murder was laid against him but a docket was not opened.

He said: "Later on I was taken to the CID offices for questioning.

Two of the officers identified as Gidza and Muuya started asking about my
political affiliation and what the campaign strategy for the MDC was.

I was struck with whips and forced to drink a 10 litre bucket full of water
and when I could not finish, my head was dipped into the bucket."

Chalamanda said when the other five members and himself heard that Muleya
had been arrested, they went to the police to check.

On the way they met a uniformed policemen and two detectives driving a blue
Mazda B1600.

The officers told Chalamanda they were looking for him to identify people
who had burnt his house a week earlier.

Chalamanda said when they arrived at the police station they were met by two
armed policemen, one of whom identified as Arthur Nyamudyiwa.

He alleges they were accused of petrol bombing the house of Douglas
Chitekuteku, a war veteran, two weeks ago.

"We were accused of celebrating in favour of the United States' Zimbabwe
Democracy and Economic Recovery Bill and Thabo Mbeki's attacks on President
Mugabe's policies.

A portrait of Mugabe was placed in front of us and we were asked for our
opinions about him," said Chalamanda.

They were severely assaulted and taken to Macheke charge office where they
were held in police custody until Monday.

Said Chalamanda: "On Monday the head of the CID, called Jambawa, said we
were free to go but should not reveal our ordeal for we were not going to
appear in court because investigations were still underway."

Dainiano Muchetuse, the MDC district chairman confirmed that the incident
occurred. The officer-in-charge for Marondera police station, Inspector
William William could not comment on the matter over the phone.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

High Canadian visa fees rile applicants

12/19/01 11:31:32 PM (GMT +2)

By Zhean Gwaze

ZIMBABWEANS applying for visas to Canada allege the Canadian High Commission
is charging too much for the facility.

It costs $13 490 to process one visa.
The money is not refundable.

One applicant said she had put her two-year-old-son and herself on the same
form but was asked to pay for two people.
"I am bitter because after paying $ 26 990 as the
processing fee my application was turned down," she said.

Many other visa applicants complained that the interview was like an

"I indicated that I wanted to go for a holiday to Canada but the interviewer
at the commission asked me why I had chosen Canada instead of other
countries," said another applicant.

"I had US$2 000 (about $112 000) as proof of funding but I was told it was
not enough to fend for me and my son for the two weeks we would be in
Canada," said one applicant.

Steve Hawley, the first secretary at the Canadian High Commission, said the
processing fees were stipulated for visitors to Canada from other countries.

He said the Canadian visitor visa requirements stipulated that any
processing fee is not refundable in case the applicant withdraws.

Hawley said: "We are not in a position to release information concerning the
number of applications and visas issued since the visa requirement was
imposed on 5 December 2001."

The Canadian embassy said the requirement for a visa was in response to the
increasing number of people claiming refugee status from Zimbabwe.

In addition, it was intended to address the concerns of improperly
documented travellers to Canada.

Over the past year Zimbabwe has become the fourth largest source of refugee
claimants to Canada.

Back to the Top
Back to Index