The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Massive Army Recruitment - A Hidden Agenda

01/12/2010 12:01:00

Bulawayo, December 01, 2010 - A human rights organisation has criticised the
massive recruitment of Matabeleland youth to the national army, saying this
is a plot by Zanu (PF) to win back the province through intimidation and

“Why target Matabeleland from all the regions in particular? We have seen
Matabeleland being used as a political laboratory for all sorts of
experiments and we feel this is one such project,” Bulawayo Agenda said in a
statement obtained by Radio VOP.

Bulawayo Agenda called on youth in Matabeleland to shun the army call up,
saying the youth needed jobs in industries and not the military.

“Matabeleland has more pressing priorities than employing its youth by the
military. People of Matabeleland need water not the Army. Employ all these
youth in the Matabeleland Zambezi Water project than make them soldiers.

“We believe that they will be used to perpetuate violence during elections
next year if they join the Army. We would like to urge the youth to make
responsible decisions concerning their future and that of the country,”
Bulawayo Agenda noted.

“We are not in a war situation. We do not see any significant security
threat to warrant fresh recruitment. This is a plot to weaken the
Matabeleland electorate through a postal vote mechanism.

Soldiers cast their vote through the postal voting system. But the mechanism
has been criticised as a vote rigging process as there have been reports of
soldiers being forced to cast their votes in front of their commanders.

“Voting of the military is highly vulnerable to manipulation and this would
have an adverse effect on the political voice of the people of
 Matabeleland,” it noted.

The country may head for polls next year to undo a unity government launched
in February, 2009 between President Robert Mugabe and the former opposition
MDC. Both Mugabe and MDC leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have
insisted on fresh elections as a way of solving the current political
impasse caused by the lack of implementation of the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) which brought about the formation of the fragile coalition

Zanu (PF) has already embarked on a campaign of intimidation and violence
against suspected MDC supporters with reports that soldiers had been
deployed to direct election campaigns for the party.

Tsvangirai has however said his MDC party will boycott polls if there is
violence and intimidation against its supporters.

In 2008 almost 200 MDC supporters were killed, while thousands others were
tortured, beaten, raped and displaced from their homes in the pre and post
election violence.

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Soldiers hold drills in villages

by James Mombe     Wednesday 01 December 2010

HARARE – Soldiers stationed in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland East province have
held training drills in villages as part of a drive to intimidate villagers
into backing President Robert Mugabe in elections expected next year, a
human rights group has reported.

Zimbabwe’s army is fiercely pro-Mugabe and together with youth militia from
the President’s ZANU PF party and war veterans has led violence against the
veteran leader’s political opponents during elections.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) said the army has stepped up its presence
in villages while ZANU PF militia have set up torture camps in some parts of
the country – in a chilling reminder to voters of the unprecedented violence
that swept across Zimbabwe two years ago.

“Military presence in communities has been a source of constant fear for
villagers, who anticipate a repeat of the 2008 electoral violence at the
hands of the ZANU PF militias and serving members of the army,” the ZPP said
in its latest report on politically motivated human rights violations in

“The military’s show of power has been strong in Mashonaland East, where
soldiers at Joko Army Barracks are taking their training drills to the
villages, instead of the secluded military base near Mutoko,” the group said
in the report on political violence and human rights abuses in the month of

In another incident, the ZPP said traditional chiefs from Manicaland
province were summoned to a “indoctrination workshop” where the
Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba told the chiefs to support ZANU PF or
they would be deposed from their positions.

Zimbabwe is next year looking to hold a referendum on a new constitution
followed by elections that many analysts have warned could see a return to
violence without political, security and electoral reforms.

The ZPP said political violence is resurgent across the country with the
group saying it recorded 896 cases of violence and human rights abuses
including assault, intimidation, rape and torture in October compared to 869
such incidents recorded in the previous month.

The ZPP said ZANU PF militia have set up torture camps in Mashonaland
Central province – a sure sign of worse things to come.

“Torture bases have also been established in Mashonaland Central in the
areas of Muzarabani and Bindura North constituencies leaving villagers
terrified,” said the ZPP.

Zimbabwe’s elections have been characterized by political violence and gross
human rights abuses with the last vote in 2008 ending inconclusively after
the military-led campaign of violence and murder that forced then opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai to withdraw from a second round presidential

A power-sharing government formed by Mugabe and Tsvangirai after the flopped
poll was tasked to stabilise the economy, easy political tensions and write
a new and democratic constitution that would ensure future elections are
free and fair.

The coalition government has scored well on the economy but has struggled on
the political front with constitutional reforms marred by reports of
violence and intimidation, while security forces have continued to threaten
the rule of law and human rights. -- ZimOnline

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Election Time Is War Time - Villagers Warned

01/12/2010 15:45:00

Hurungwe, December 01, 2010 - Villagers of ward 8 here have been warned that
election time will be a time for war and a lot of blood will be spilt.

Former Kariba MP Tongai Nyikadzino told villagers at a meeting attended by
Radio VOP: "Zanu (PF) will rule forever. Election is declaration of war
against the party. Blood must spill like in any war situation, we are geared
for that. We will establish bases a few days before elections to deal with
those against Zanu (PF) even if it means killing them."

Ward 8 was won by late MDC-T councillor Paddington Chavhuruma during the
March 2008 harmonised election.

Zanu (PF)'s Jahweti Kazangarare and Peter Madamombe led terror campaign in
the area in 2008 where women were raped and some men beaten and injured
ahead of the bloody presidential June run- off.

Nyikadzino is currently leading the party membership audit team ahead of the
annual party conference to be held in Mutare this month.

Fifty- five headmen covering Karuru and Chundu were forced to attend
meetings recently with their subjects as part of a roll call.

"We are attending these meetings out of fear because they are instilling
fear in us," said a villager.

Zimbabwe is likely to hold elections next year although MDC leader Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said he will not participate in violent
elections while the smaller faction of MDC has said it is against elections.

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Jabulani Sibanda terrorizing Lowveld, threatening death to MDC

By Tererai Karimakwenda
01 December, 2010

Jabulani Sibanda, the violent ZANU PF thug who is chairman of the National
War Vet Association, is reported to be in the Lowveld area, terrorizing
innocent villagers and threatening death to anyone who supports the MDC. Our
sources said Sibanda has ordered his team to send the names of all known MDC
supporters to the war vets office by December 4th, so that his team can
‘shed their blood’.

The atmosphere in the area is said to be very tense and people do not know
what to do because the police will not act against ZANU PF. SW Radio Africa
is reliably informed that Sibanda has been in the Lowveld for several weeks
and has been staying with one of the chiefs in the Jerera, Zaka area. The
violent thug is reported to be organizing meetings and forcing villagers to
attend so he can announce his ‘rules’ for the coming elections.

Our source said one of these so-called ‘re-education meetings’ took place
two weeks ago on a resettled ranch where Sibanda told the villagers to make
sure that they have ZANU PF in their heart. He said that goat milk must be
more precious than the blood of a MDC supporter and anyone pointed out by
the youth is going to be killed. Sibanda told the villagers that to be saved
from what is coming they need to make sure that they have ZANU PF cards.

Political analyst Bekithemba Mhlanga said the threats show the level of
desperation that ZANU PF has sunk to. But he warned that in the Zimbabwean
context any threats must be taken seriously.

Mhlanga explained that Jabulani Sibanda is the same character who failed to
deliver votes for Mugabe in Matabeleland back in 2008, when he used the same
violent strategy. “We have seen him move from area to area but remember that
he has left every area discredited,” said Mhlanga.

Using war vets, youth militia, intelligence officials, traditional leaders
and the military, ZANU PF hopes to get votes in the rural areas where
villagers are isolated. But some observers have said this could backfire and
turn people quietly against ZANU PF.
When it comes time to vote they said people will remember what was done to
them and will not reward violence.

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State ordered to probe abuse of power by police

By Staff Reporter
Wednesday, 01 December 2010 17:50

HARARE - A Harare court has ordered the state to investigate widespread
abuse of power by police in detaining people even without solid evidence of
having committed crimes.

The order was given by Harare magistrate Don Ndirowei when he granted bail
to the Standard editor, Nevanji Madanhire on Wednesday.

Madanhire was granted US$100 bail and  remanded to December 16 where the
defence, led by Harare lawyer Chris Mhike is expected to challenge his
placement on remand.

The court’s order to have the police investigated for gross abuse of power
came after Mhike complained that police had arrested and detained his client
even if it was clear that he had no case to answer.

Mhike said by detaining his client overnight, police had displayed their
heavy handedness and disregard of basic human rights.

“There has been a disturbing trend by police to arrest and detain people
even without any evidence. This is clear abuse of office by the police. My
client handed himself over to the police and is a respectable member of
society yet they forced him to sleep in the cells although the charges he is
facing did not warrant such treatment.

“This is gross abuse of his rights to freedom. Even denying a person freedom
for just an hour is wrong. It appears the days of human rights abuses are
back and I urge the court to make investigations,” said Mhike.

Madanhire’s charges stem from a story written by one of the Standard’s
Bulawayo correspondents Nqobani Ndlovu, claiming that police were recruiting
war veterans to take positions in the force ahead of elections next year.
Ndlovu was arrested and spent eight days in custody.

There has been an upsurge in the arrest of journalists in recent weeks and
political analysts have attributed this to the impending elections scheduled
for next year.

Alarmed by the sudden increase in arrests and harassment, journalists
gathered at the National Press Club in Harare on Tuesday where they formed a
committee to protect journalists.

One of their missions is to confront President Robert Mugabe and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to stop the arrest of journalists.

Many people have said the arrest of journalists is meant to instill fear in
them so that they do not publish the truth. In the story in question, Ndlovu
said the examinations were cancelled to pave way for the hiring by Chihuri
of retired police officers and former freedom fighters to fill vacant
positions within the police force.

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Police intensify media crackdown

by Tobias Manyuchi     Wednesday 01 December 2010

HARARE – Zimbabwean police have arrested the editor of the privately
owned,The Standard newspaper, Nevanji Madanhire, over a story published by
the paper alleging that police were hiring pro-President Robert Mugabe war
veterans and recalling retired officers ahead of elections next year.

Madanhire’s arrest comes days after the High Court ordered the release of
his reporter, Nqobanie Ndlovu, who authored the story that the police say
was false and amounted to criminal defamation of the law enforcement agency.

The editor was arrested Tuesday and has since been charged with publishing
false statements, according to his lawyer Chris Mhike.

The two journalists face up to two years in jail or a hefty fine if found
guilty, in a case that highlights how despite promises by Zimbabwe’s unity
government to ensure press freedom, journalism remains a risky occupation
with reporters liable to arrest and imprisonment for violating a raft of
state security, secrecy and criminal defamation laws.

The unity government of Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has
implemented some reforms to open up media space, including issuing licenses
to privately owned newspapers to publish and compete with the government’s
vastly dominant newspaper empire.

But hardliner elements in Mugabe’s ZANU PF party and the security forces
have moved in recent weeks to clamp down on the media and whittle down the
little democratic space that had opened during the nearly two years of unity

For example, two freelance journalists were arrested last month while
covering a public debate on the country’s proposed new constitution.

The police also issued an arrest warrant about three weeks ago of veteran
editor Wilf Mbanga, who is based in Britain from where he publishes The
Zimbabwean newspaper.

Police say they want to arrest Mbanga in connection with an article critical
of Mugabe that the authorities allege was published by the paper after the
2008 elections. Mbanga denies publishing the story.

Meanwhile some ZANU PF members of the coalition government are pushing for
the enactment of a controversial new media gagging law that would
criminalise the publication of judicial decisions and other official
documents without ministerial approval.

The new General Law Amendment Bill proposes to ban journalists and citizens
from publishing or distributing official information including court
judgments, new legislation and all public records with permission from a
government minister. -- ZimOnline

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Arrested Zim Editor Gets Bail

01/12/2010 16:27:00

HARARE, DECEMBER 1, 2010 - A Zimbabwean court has released a an editor of a
privately owned newspaper who was arrested on Tuesday over a story published
by the paper last month alleging irregularities in the recruitment of police

Harare magistrate Don Ndirowei remanded Nevanji Madanhire, the editor of The
Standard out of custody on US$100 bail.

This was after the state consented to an application by Madanhire’s lawyer
Chris Mhike for his client to be remanded out of custody.

The journalist will appear in court on December 16 and was ordered to report
at the Harare Central Police Station’s law and order section on Friday every

He was also ordered to remain at his given address and not interfere with

Ndirowei also ordered the state to investigate a complaint by Madanhire’s
lawyer that his client was detained for 24 hours despite the fact that he
handed himself over to the police.

Madanhire reported at the police station on Tuesday accompanied by his
lawyer after he was told that police had come to the newspaper’s offices
looking for him.

He was detained at Rhodesville police station before he was taken to court
on Wednesday afternoon.

Mhike said the police conduct reflected a worrying trend where they detained
suspects beyond the time permitted in the constitution.

Madanhire’s case is linked to the arrest of Nqobani Ndlovu, a reporter with
The Standard based in Bulawayo.

The High Court last week ordered Ndlovu’s release after he was arrested for
authoring the story that the police claim was false.

The journalists are charged under Section 31 (B) (II) (C) of Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act.

Part of the section criminalises the publication of statements that
undermine “public confidence in a law enforcement agency.”

If convicted, the journalists will be “liable to a fine of up to or
exceeding level fourteen or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 20 years
or both.”

Analysts have blamed the clampdown on journalists on Zanu PF hardliners who
want to control the flow of information ahead of next year’s elections.

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ZUJ President deplores crackdown on journalists

By Tichaona Sibanda
1 December 2010

The President of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ), Dumisani Sibanda,
on Wednesday said the country is ‘sliding back to the pre-GPA era where
journalists are being hunted down and terrorized by the state.’

Speaking on SW Radio Africa programme, The Hidden Story, Sibanda said it was
a shame Zimbabwe was a primitive nation in this 21st century because of its
retrogressive media laws.

‘How do you describe a situation where 30 years after independence we still
don’t have independent radio and television stations? And for the government
to say they don’t have capacity to free the airwaves is just ridiculous,’
the ZUJ President said.

ZUJ and other media organizations have started a campaign to try to pressure
the inclusive government to free-up the airwaves.

Reform of the broadcast media sector was one of many issues agreed to by the
coalition government and the regional SADC bloc has on several occasions
called on the government to ‘enhance the work on reform and democratization
of the media.’

When SADC met in Namibia in August for an extraordinary summit they gave the
fractured unity government 30 days to implement the agreed issues, which
included freeing up the airwaves. But the GNU did nothing in response to
this deadline and SADC did not hold them to it.

Media reforms are seen as vital to lead the nation down a path to free and
fair elections, due to be held next year. But Mugabe and his ZANU PF
loyalists have ignored or blocked all attempts to free the airwaves, in an
effort to cling on to power using the ZBC to churn out its propaganda.

Sibanda, a recent victim of the police crackdown, is of the view that these
latest arrests and harassment of journalists is just the beginning.

‘I’m quite disappointed by the crackdown on journalists. I thought the
signing of the Global Political Agreement would end such practices, as the
three leaders of political parties in Parliament committed themselves to
reform the media and reflect what we thought was an emerging democracy,’

‘We will see more of this (arrests and intimidation of journalists) as we
edge closer to an election. The whole idea is to suppress and intimidate
scribes so that they don’t report on events taking place in the country.

‘But I think it is foolhardy to adopt such a stance because in this age of
technology you can’t close out information. It’s virtually impossible.
During the last election, people had results and reports of violence in an
instant through the use of mobile phones,’ Sibanda said.

On the increasing crackdown on scribes, the ZUJ President said they were
totally against the incarceration of journalists as they were being treated
like criminals.

‘We are not advocating for lawlessness journalism, what we are saying is if
there are people who are aggrieved by articles written in newspapers, they
should seek redress through the civil courts process.

‘A good example is that of Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe who is
suing the Standard paper for defamation through the civil courts,’ he added.

The ZUJ President said media organizations in Zimbabwe are trying to
encourage the use of a voluntary media council to deal with issues raised by
people against journalists.

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CIO agent abducts six teachers in Rushinga

By Lance Guma
01 December 2010

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has expressed concern over
the whereabouts of six teachers, thought to have been abducted by a state
security agent in Rushinga on Wednesday. Only last Friday a labour court
ordered that Julius Mawarire, Tinashe Mavurayi, Talent Muchakazi, Angela
Zanza, Silibaziso Mawire and Maphios Chisora should be reinstated at
Gwangwava Primary School.

This followed attempts by ZANU PF supporters, the headmaster Luckson
Chidhidhi and the district education officer, Beauty Gasa, to get rid of
them from the school. The teachers are being victimised because they dared
to contribute during constitutional outreach meetings conducted in Rushinga,
despite instructions from ZANU PF youths that they should keep quiet during
the exercise.

PTUZ Secretary General Raymond Majongwe told SW Radio Africa that a state
security agent known as Nkomo went to the school on Wednesday afternoon,
driving an unmarked twin cab vehicle. He is said to have expressed an
intention to abduct the teachers. The union by late afternoon had still not
been able to locate the six teachers and said they were worried about their

Last month the Education Ministry intervened in the matter and transferred
the teachers, as a way of protecting them. This however was overturned by
the labour court who set aside the transfers and said they could only be
done with the consent and input of the teachers. The teachers went back on
Tuesday but by Wednesday the CIO had moved in to enforce the ZANU PF
directive for them to leave.

Meanwhile the PTUZ have petitioned South African President Jacob Zuma and
the United Nations to safeguard the lives of their members, who are being
targeted by ZANU PF militants ahead of a possible constitutional referendum
and elections next year. ‘We hold fears that the intelligence officers in
Rushinga are baying for the blood of the teachers,’ Majongwe said.

The PTUZ has also fingered a ZANU-PF headman known as Mupezani, who they
accuse of preaching ethnic hatred by declaring that he wants to get rid of
all Karanga teachers in the area.

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MDC-M fingered in the arrest of MDC-T officials

01 December, 2010 07:32:00    Radio VOP

Bulawayo, - An ousted member of parliament, expelled from the smaller
faction of the Movement for Democratic Change belonging to Arthur Mutambara
has accused his former party for causing the arrest of 17 officials from the
larger MDC faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
Former Nkayi North Member of Parliament, Abdenico Bhebhe told journalists at
a press briefing on Tuesday: “MDC Mutambara is shocked by massive defections
to MDC T by its senior members in Matabeleland North province especially in
Nkayi and this has seen it coming up with different tricks .We have no doubt
there are the ones who are behind the arrest of these 17 MDC T officials.”

The 17 MDC- T officials who include councillors and Matabeleland North
provincial chairperson, Sengezo Tshabangu were arrested at Nkayi Centre on
Thursday on charges of holding a meeting without police clearance. There
were granted US$30 bail each by a Nkayi Magistrate on Monday.

Tshabangu who also attended the press briefing said: “MDC Mutambara has lost
support in Nkayi and is trying by all means to fix those who have defected
to the mainstream MDC T.”

Tshabangu said he was surprised that police in riot gear were sent to arrest
him on Thursday while he was chairing a meeting to welcome nine councillors
who had rejoined the MDC T after defecting from Arthur Mutambara’s party at
Nkayi Centre.

Tshabangu said the arrests were nothing but intimidation and harassment.
However, seven of those officials who were given bail on Monday had to seek
urgent medical attention after falling ill while in police custody.

The magistrate postponed the case to 20 January 2011.

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Tsvangirai Senator Dies

01/12/2010 14:49:00

Harare, December 1, 2010 – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s faction of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Wednesday announced the death of its
Hwange constituency senate in Matebeleland North province, Jabulani Ndhlovu.

In a statement to the media, the MDC T information and publicity said
Senator Ndlovu died on Wednesday morning at Mater Dei hospital in Bulawayo
where he was admitted after being involved in a car accident along the
Hwange – Victoria Falls road last month.

He was born on 12 October 1959 in Gweru and was the MDC Matebeleland North
provincial secretary for legal affairs. He joined the MDC in 1999.

Senator Ndlovu has a Bachelor of Law Honours degree from the University of
Zimbabwe. Before attending university, he had worked for the Ministry of
Justice and Legal Affairs as a magistrate for 19 years. After graduating as
a lawyer in 2001, Senator Ndhlovu rejoined
the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs again as a provincial magistrate.

However, when the then resident Minister for Matebeleland North, Thokozile
Mathuthu discovered that he was a member of the MDC, he was harassed until
he decided to resign in 2002.

That year he opened a law firm in Victoria Falls and since then he has been
defending MDC human rights activists mainly from Matebeleland North region
in the courts.

In 2007, he was elected the MDC’s provincial secretary for legal affairs and
in the March 2008 general elections; he was elected Senator for Hwange. He
is survived by his wife and five children, Nancy, Violet, Amanda, Nkosilathi
and Njabulo.

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European Union Rebuffs EU-African Summit Pressure on Zimbabwe Sanctions

Presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia and
Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi, currently holding the African Union
chairmanship, spearheaded the latest bid to pressure the European Movement
to lift travel and financial sanctions

Blessing Zulu 30 November 2010

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and fellow Southern African leaders
attending an African Union-European Union summit in Libya urged the European
Union on Tuesday to end targeted sanctions imposed on Mr. Mugabe and his
inner circle.

Presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa,  Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia and
Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi, currently holding the African Union
chairmanship, spearheaded the latest bid to pressure the European Movement
to lift travel and financial sanctions.

Sources privy to developments the summit, which concluded Tuesday, saide EU
leaders repeated that Mr. Mugabe and his closest associates must take reform

The British-based All-Africa Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe meanwhile
lobbied EU leaders not to adopt what it termed a policy of "appeasement" in

The group issued a statement saying it was wrong for the European Union even
to invite President Mugabe to the summit, saying that “he and his ruthless
military will revel in this opportunity to strut the international stage
with EU leaders."

David Banks, coordinator of the British parliamentary group, told VOA Studio
7 reporter Blessing Zulu that European leaders must force reform in Harare.

Reuters reported that Mr. Mugabe called on the International Criminal Court
Tuesday to indict former US President George W. Bush and former British
Prime Minister Tony Blair for war crimes instead of prosecuting Sudanese
President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

Mr. Mugabe accused the ICC of double standards. "Why does this court not do
the same with Tony Blair and George W. Bush, both of whom occupied Iraq and
killed hundreds of thousands of Iraq people," Reuters quoted the Zimbabwean
president as saying.

Sudan boycotted the summit after the EU pressured Bashir not to attend.

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Mugabe blasts Europeans

01 December, 2010 03:57:00    APA

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said upon arrival in Harare on
Wednesday that European Union overtures of friendship and cooperation with
Africa should be treated with pessimism because of unfulfilled past promises
by EU leaders.

Speaking in Harare on arrival from the two-day Africa-EU summit that ended
in Tripoli, Libya, on Tuesday, Mugabe said the Europeans are dishonest and
should therefore never be taken seriously whenever they promise greater
cooperation between the two blocs.

The EU bloc pledged to assist Africa in defeating poverty and
underdevelopment at the conclusion of the summit which was overshadowed by a
boycott by Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

“We have to wait and see whether they are sincere this time. But as you
know, we have been down this road before,” Mugabe told reporters at Harare
International Airport.

Mugabe repeated his call for fairness in the international justice system,
citing the selective application of the law by the International Criminal
Court (ICC).

The ICC has indicted al-Bashir for crimes against humanity and genocide over
the conflict in Darfur but has refused to take similar action against former
US President George W. Bush and ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair who led
their troops into Iraq, resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent

Speaking at a joint summit of the European Union and African states, Mugabe
said the ICC was applying a double standard by indicting Sudanese President
Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and genocide.

Sudan's government has said it was boycotting the EU-Africa summit in
protest at EU pressure for Bashir to stay away.

"Why does this court not do the same with Tony Blair and George W. Bush,
both of whom occupied Iraq and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi
people?" Mugabe said in a speech to the summit in Libya's capital.

As U.S. president, George W. Bush called Mugabe's rule "tyrannical," while
Blair, the former British prime minister, accused Mugabe of human rights
abuses and running down what was once one of Africa's most prosperous

Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, denies those accusations and
says the West, and especially Zimbabwe's former colonial ruler Britain, is
trying to sabotage his country.

"Bashir is not with us now. Why? Because some European countries said if he
comes, they will not attend the summit," Mugabe said in his speech.

"They are wrong because they shouldn't take this decision before we know if
he is guilty or innocent ... Only a court in his own country can decide if
he is guilty or not."

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Zimbabwe Threatens To Sue Kimberley Chairman Over Diamond Export Ban

Zimbabwe Mines Minister Obert Mpofu has countered that Chikane acted
correctly in certifying Marange diamonds for sale under an arrangement that
allowed rough stones to be auctioned in August and September

Sandra Nyaira | Washington 30 November 2010

Zimbabwe has threatened to sue Kimberley Process Chairman Boaz Hirsch,
accusing him of unilaterally barring Harare from exporting diamonds from the
Marange field in the east of the country where human rights and other abuses
have been alleged.

Hirsch recently issued a statement saying the Kimberley Process maintained a
de facto ban on the sale of Marange diamonds in response to news that the
Kimberly monitor for Zimbabwe, South African Abbey Chikane, had certified
diamonds for export sale though the industry watchdog had not concluded an
internal discussion on the matter.

Hirsch said Chikane’s visit to Zimbabwe was not sanctioned by the Kimberley

Zimbabwe Mines Minister Obert Mpofu has now countered that Chikane acted
correctly in certifying Marange diamonds for sale under an arrangement that
allowed rough stones to be auctioned in August and September, as Kimberly
Process members meeting recently in Israel failed to reach agreement on
future Marange diamond sales.

Mpofu said Zimbabwe will “continue to resist the politicization of the
[Kimberley Process] by participants and NGO’s which are continuing with
their unlawful machinations to irreparably prejudice the people of

But Zimbabwean attorney Tinoziva Bere dismissed Mpofu’s threat to bring suit
against Hirsch as reflecting his desperation to sell the controversial gems.

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State Entities Mishandling Millions in Retained Fees Charged for Public Services - Minister Biti

To increase accountability and ensure that public funds support budget
objectives, FM Biti said the government departments in question must submit
2009 financial statements by the end of February 2011

Gibbs Dube | Washington 30 November 2010

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti in his recent budget statement said
some 75 government departments are withholding millions of dollars in fees
from the Treasury and some have not filed financial statements to relevant
authorities for seven years.

Such departments, he said, include the Office of the Registrar General and
other state entities that collect fees for public services and retain them
under Section 18 of the Public Finance Management Act. Biti proposed in his
statement to oblige such departments to submit financial statements for
audit by February 2011.

Of the 75 entities allowed to retain funds, 66 retain 100 percent of
revenues collected while the other nine retain agreed levels ranging from
five percent to 40 percent.

Biti said proper accounting for such retained resources remains a challenge
as most of the departments are not submitting financial statements.

“Only 17 have so far submitted their 2009 financial statements for audit
with the rest having been last audited between 2003 and 2007," Biti said. He
said an analysis of the expenditure patterns of such funds indicates gross
abuse by most departments.

To increase accountability as to public resources and ensure that public
funds support budget objectives, he said the government departments in
question must prepare and submit 2009 financial statements by the end of
February for audit. Failure to do so, warned the finance minister, would
result in cancelation of retention rights.

Economist Eric Bloch said the departments are supposed to submit statements
to their internal auditors before they go to the national comptroller and
auditor general.

Bloch told reporter Gibbs Dube that the finance minister is likely to hire
private auditors to scrutinize departmental finances as state auditors are
in short supply.

Elsewhere, the 2011 budget Biti unveiled last week contains innovative
initiatives for funding small entrepreneurs, including ventures launched by

The minister proposes a US$15 million microfinance revolving fund to provide
funding to low-income groups unable to access capital through the banking

The Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe and the Arab Bank for Economic Development
in Africa will put in US$10 million while Harare will contribute US$5

Hyperinflation in the closing years of this decade forced the closure of
most Zimbabwean micro-finance institutions - their number fell from 1,800 to
just 27 in 2008.

Economic commentator Bekithemba Mhlanga said government should tightly
monitor disbursement of such micro-loans.

To give women a boost, Biti proposes to allocate US$2.5 million for
income-generating projects and gender awareness campaigns.

The fund, to be run by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, is for women-owned
projects including poultry raising, cross border trading and brick making.

Beauty Kerr, chairwoman of the Bulawayo branch of the Movement for
Democratic Change formation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara, said such funds should have close oversight so they are not
abused by politicians seeking votes.

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MDC calls for Chihuri’s removal after ‘puppets and dogs’ speech

Written by Gift Phiri
Wednesday, 01 December 2010 13:41

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party has called on
Augustine Chihuri (Pictured), the Police Commissioner General, to leave the
police force and take up a post in politics as a Zanu (PF) fanatic rather
than masquerade as a top public service officer.
Chihuri told police recruits who had just returned from Chimoio for
indoctrination last weekend, that MDC members were "puppets and running
dogs" of the West, in a speech far removed from the spirit of cooperation
encouraged by SADC facilitator Jacob Zuma on Friday. Chihuri's statement has
raised the political stakes against the MDC by effectively threatening a
coup if President Robert Mugabe lost the next election.
"Hamutongenyika nezvimbwasungata, kana kuti puppets, kana kuti running dogs
(You don’t allow puppets to run the country)," Chihuri said. "Vanhuwo, but
ndomazita avo pakuona wasangana naye so, but mentality yacho, thinking yacho
iri inside out kunge pocket rabudiswa riri empty harina chinhu. Hakuna nyika
inotongwa nerombe rakadaro. (Yes they are also people, but those are their
names. If you meet them and assess them, their mentality, their thinking is
inside out like a an empty pocket. No country is run by such irresponsible
ignoramuses like that.)"
Chihuri repeated threats to overthrow any government not led by Mugabe and
Zanu (PF) in thinly veiled remarks, telling recruits that they should vote
wisely and that the police has a sovereign duty to defend the country's
sovereignty, including using the barrel of the gun.
"Muchazosara motongwa isu taenda. (They can only rule Zimbabwe after we are
gone)," Chihuri said. "Ende hatitomboita zvinhu zvekutamba tichitarisa ku
side. Tisaisa X pasiripo. Handisi kukuvhundusirai. But tambai muchidaro;
kwakafiwa makazvionera handiti? (We wil not blink. Dont put your X on the
wrong box. We are not intimidating you. If you dont vote wisely you betray
the fallen heroes whose graves you toured)."
“This country came through blood and the barrel of the gun and it can never
be re-colonised through a simple pen, which costs as little as five cents,”
Chihuri told the junior officers, back from a trip he sponsored to the
national liberation shrines in Mozambique.
The MDC said in statement: "No police officer anywhere in the world would
survive a day longer in public office if they display an openly partisan,
discriminatory and biased view of the society s/he is employed to serve.
Chihuri must simply resign and leave Zimbabweans with a professional and
uncontaminated force that guarantees the people peace and security while
executing their Constitutional mandate."

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40pc water hike for Harare

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

By Fortious Nhambura

HARARE residents should brace for increases in water charges of up to 40
percent after council yesterday unveiled a US$260 million budget for next

Last year’s budget was US$230 million, which council admitted residents had
failed to fund.

The city is owed US$132 million for water and other services and has
resorted to borrowing to pay salaries.

Presenting the budget proposals yesterday, finance committee chairperson
Councillor Ruth Kuvhunika said they wanted to raise US$260,4 million against
expenditure of US$258,8 million, leaving a surplus of US$1,6 million.

About US$103 million, 40 percent of the total budget, will go to salaries
and allowances.

This means council will remain in breach of a Govern-ment directive pegging
remuneration at no more than 30 percent of revenue.

Eleven percent will go to repairs and maintenance.

While a huge chunk has gone to salaries and allowances, residents will have
to contend with increased water charges and rentals.

If the budget is adopted, the fixed water tariff for domestic use in
high-density suburbs will increase from US$5 to US$7.

In low-density areas, it will be US$13 up from US$10 while industrial water
will go up from US$50 to US$60.

The first 20 cubic metres of water will attract 50 US cents, up from 30 US
cents in high-density areas and 60 US cents from 40 US cents in low-density

Water consumption above 100 cubic metres will rise from 70 US cents to US$1
in high and low-density residential areas.

Water for industrial and commercial use will be charged at 90 US cents, up
from 60 US cents.

Any amount above 100 cubic metres will be charged at US$1,10.

The budget will be raised from property tax (US$74 million), refuse
collection (US$25 million), welfare (US$1 million), Zinara and billboards
(US$7 million), city architect (US$1 million), clamping and towing (US$6
million) and health fees (US$7 million).

Housing and rentals, leases and markets will contribute US$10 million, water
(US$123 million), farms (US$2 million) and US$4 million from other sources.

Water remains the city’s cash cow, accounting for nearly half the budget.

Clr Kuvhunika said efforts will be made to ensure council plugs water
leakages in distribution systems and all residents pay their bills on time.

"A huge number of residents are consuming water freely and the rate at which
water debtors are growing requires that the city seriously considers and
evaluate the option of installing prepaid meters.

"A sum of US$3 million has been set aside for the procurement of water
meters in the 2011 capital budget," she said.

Monthly rentals for semi-detached houses were increased from US$36 to US$41,
while a terraced unit will be moved from US$26 to US$30.

A four-roomed house will attract US$125 up from US$109.

Burial (US$175) and cremation (US$200) charges, as well as vehicle licence
fees (US$90 to US$225) are unchanged.

Maternity fees fall from US$50 to US$30, a move residents’ associations and
councillors welcomed.

There will be a 10 percent increase in taxes for commercial, industrial and
residential properties beginning January next year.

On salaries, Clr Kuvhunika said: "The expenditure I have alluded to above,
amounting to US$259 million, is made up of salaries and allowances at 40
percent; administration charges (4 percent); general expenditure (34
percent), repairs and maintenance (11 percent), capital charges (5 percent),
and final revenue contribution to capital outlay (4 percent)."

Harare Residents’ Association co-ordinator Mr Precious Shumba welcomed the
reduction in maternity fees, but slammed the water charges.

Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said budget consultations will continue and they
would continue lobbying for Harare Thermal Power Station to return to
council so that it can manage power supplies and curb illegal harvesting of
firewood and destruction of the environment.

The budget froze staff recruitment except for critical positions and
committed itself to implementing projects only when the funds are available.

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The Commercial Farmers’ Union of Zimbabwe (CFU) and its Politics after Jambanja

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Solidarity Peace Trust

The Commercial Farmers’ Union of Zimbabwe (CFU) and its Politics after Jambanja
1 December 2010

by Dr Rory Pilossof - Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Pretoria (January 2011)

We invite you to participate in discussion stimulated by this article by following this link and submitting comments on this or other essays included in the section on our website known as the Zimbabwe Review. You may also respond via email: please send your comments to Please note that some comments may be selected for publication on our website alongside the article to further stimulate debate.


As a result of the government’s fast-track land reform programme, spearheaded by veterans of the country’s Liberation War, the plight of the white farmers in Zimbabwe became international headline news. Images of white farmers who were beaten, killed, exiled and driven from their homes became stock material for any coverage on the land invasions and their dramatic consequences. Such events and acts of eviction became commonly referred to as jambanja as more and more farmers suffered violent confrontations on their farms. In turn, white farmers were portrayed in direct opposition to the government that they believed had sanctioned the invasions and evictions. However, this blanket portrayal of opposition is one that hides a number of more complicated dimensions to the way farmers, and in particular the Commercial Farmers’ Union of Zimbabwe (CFU), engaged with the government and tried to find solutions to the situation facing them. This paper looks at how the Union reacted to the land reforms after 2000 in order to question some of the more simplistic assumptions about white farmers’ political engagements after 2000 and how they responded to the traumas of jambanja.


While relations between white farmers and the government benefited from a partnership of convenience in the 1980s, it has been well documented elsewhere that during the 1990s such relations began to cool dramatically. This was partly due to the expiration of the Lancaster House constitution and ZANU-PF’s initiatives to effect compulsory acquisition of commercial farmland. In addition, after the first decade of independence white farmers felt much more confident of their position in Zimbabwe and were willing to challenge government in ways they had not during the 1980s. However, the increasing hostility of ZANU-PF in the late 1990s, which was exacerbated by the rising popularity of the MDC, both in urban areas as well with many rural black farm workers, meant that white farming communities entered the new millennium in a cautions manner. Unsure of how the land issue would play out, many farmers became active participants in the political upheavals around them. Central to this was their active lobbying for a No vote against ZANU-PF’s constitutional proposals in the constitutional referendum of 2000. The ruling party saw this defeat as a direct affront to their continued rule and feared the repercussions this would have for the general elections due to be held later that year. ZANU-PF and Mugabe were not prepared to chance another electoral setback so began a campaign of violence and terror to ensure victory.

Due to their effort in this regard, ZANU-PF focused much of their hostility on white farmers. Mugabe and other party leaders ‘blamed the defeat on the white minority and ... promised retaliation in volatile political language’. While in the urban areas there was a massive crackdown on the MDC and other opposition movements, in the countryside, widespread and coordinated land occupations began within a matter of weeks of the constitutional referendum. The sequence of events since the constitutional referendum, and the basic story of the land occupations will be familiar to most readers. I will not repeat those events in detail here. Rather I will supply a very cursory overview of the processes of jambanja, which will be followed by a brief discussion of the political engagement of white farmers since 2000.

In the last week of February 2000, the first occupations were reported in Masvingo. From there occupations spread to Mashonaland and Manicaland and ‘involved not just veterans but also people from communal areas, chiefs and urban residents. Mashonaland rapidly came to the fore … and thereafter the region dominated in terms of numbers of occupations and violence. Matabeleland only later entered the fray’. It must be remembered that approximately 60% of commercial farmers operated in Mashonaland. At the forefront of these land occupations were veterans of the Liberation War. However, as Nelson Marongwe pointed out, it was very rare for the occupiers to consist entirely of war veterans. By his estimates, war veterans were only 15-20% of land occupiers and they were supported by numerous other populations, such as those from communal lands, rural and urban landless, other ZANU-PF supporters and various opportunists. Nevertheless, war veterans became the figureheads of the movements onto white land. Many of the occupations were peaceful, but some were highly confrontational and violent.

The word, apparently popularised by a chart topping song ‘jambanja Pahotera’ about two couples caught in extra-martial affairs, became synonymous with the land invasions. With no precise definition, the word was, and still is, used to encompass a range of violent and angry confrontations on the land, which varied in degree, severity and manner. The journalist Tagwirei Bango summarised the zeitgeist of the word in the Daily News newspaper:

For new words to get accepted into a language, they must reflect the mood of the time, fill in a vacuum in the standard lexicon and be accepted as an appropriate form of expression. Thus, the word jambanja which became part of our vocabulary in the past two years, helped people to accept their confusion with an executive order directing the police to ignore crimes classified as political. jambanja means state-sponsored lawlessness. The police are not expected to intervene or arrest anyone in a jambanja scene because those taking part will have prior state blessing and approval. But, only one interest group, war veterans and ZANU(PF) supporters, is allowed to engage in a jambanja.

From these early jambanjas and land occupations, there was substantial evidence that many were supported and coordinated by government and state officials. Jocelyn Alexander and JoAnn McGregor found that many of the war veterans occupying farms ‘consistently maintained that they had received direction from the national level of their association regarding which farms to occupy’. Government officials supplied lists of farms. In addition, army personnel, members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and police were directly involved in some occupations, while local politicians and their employees were often seen assisting “settlers” to remain on the land with food handouts and cash payments. “Settler” is a highly charged word in Zimbabwe because of its colonial legacies and was deliberately employed by ZANU-PF to describe those whose land was occupied as part of the fast-track land reforms. Its use by ZANU-PF and the war veterans undermined the white farmers claims to a settler heritage and past.

Since 2000 the countryside has remained a contested space. The vast majority of white farmers and landowners have been evicted from their homes and farms, yet while it is estimated that fewer than 300 white commercial farmers remain on their land (down from nearly 5,000 at the turn of the millennium), evictions and violent confrontations on such properties have been a constant reality over the last decade and continue to take place. The recent documentary films Mugabe and the White African and House of Justice show that even after a SADC Tribunal ruling in November 2008, ordering the government of Zimbabwe to protect the applicants (in total 78 commercial farmers) rights to occupy and use their farm, white farmers continue to face the threat of violence and eviction. At every election in Zimbabwe since independence, but particularly after 2000, land has been a key focal point for ZANU-PF. With the possibility of fresh elections to be held in 2011, it is likely that land, and its control and ownership, will once again be used as a powerful election tool by ZANU-PF.

Ramifications of jambanja

Despite the scale of destruction wrought on the white farming community, numerous institutional structures survive that claim to represent white farmers. The Commercial Farmers’ Union of Zimbabwe (CFU), which was founded in 1942, (originally the Rhodesian National Farmers’ Union) and overwhelmingly represented the interests of white commercial farmers, continues to exist, although in a much depleted capacity. The tribulations of the land occupations caused massive fissures in the farming community as a range of different responses to the fast-track land reforms and jambanja emerged. As a result, other bodies have materialised since 2000 that have sought to represent white farmers in ways that the CFU has not. These are the Southern African Commercial Farmers’ Association (SACFA, which was formed by white farmers in Matabeleland to represent their interests after the land occupations in 2000), Justice for Agriculture (JAG, which was established in 2002 to advocate and lobby for white farmers who had been adversely affected by the fast-track land reforms) and Agric Africa (which was established in 2004 to pursue the compensation claims of white farmers).

Numerous factors were responsible for this fragmentation of the white farming community. Firstly, the invasions had far exceeded what farmers had expected was likely to happen. By the end of June 2000, the CFU reported that 1525 farms (or 28% of farms owned by its members) had been occupied. Many in the farming community thought that these land occupations would be resolved once the parliamentary elections of 2000 were resolved. Richard Tate (the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association President) reportedly stated in 2000, ‘the sooner the elections are over and ZANU is back in power, the sooner we can get back to the business of farming’. However, the land occupations did not stop and continued to escalate. jambanja turned into a battle of attrition for many farmers as occupiers settled on farms and constantly sought to interfere with farming operations. Secondly, the ensuing invasions were highly uneven processes, differing in nature from district to district, province to province and dependent on the individuals involved. The murder of several farmers heightened the anxieties, and prompted a number of farmers to ask for more action and protection from the CFU for members affected by the land occupations.

Understandably, 2000 was a very chaotic time for the CFU to make sense of what was unfolding and in deciding what the best strategy for confronting the issues were. Initially the CFU was very active in documenting the land occupations and regularly published situation reports of happenings on farms. In addition it pursued several legal challenges against the fast-track land reforms. But it soon became clear that the CFU was intent on taking up a much more conciliatory approach to government and the war veterans. Essentially the CFU decided that it would be best for the farming community to revert back to its pre-referendum stance and stay out of politics. Legal challenges were aborted and alternative arrangements made. The Farmer magazine, which had been a part of the Union since 1943, was shut down in 2002 because it was felt that the reportage in The Farmer was too explicit and politically involved. The CFU feared that this would jeopardise any chance it had in negotiating with government. In 2001, the Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative (ZJRI), led by ex-CFU president Nick Swanepoel counselled that compromise was the only way to resolve the land issues and proposed to offer government a million hectares of land for resettlement. The proposal had some merit, but when it came to light that the controversial figure of John Bredenkamp was involved, many farmers refused to support the initiative. This proposal never really took of the ground, but the CFU maintained its placatory stance. In 2006 the CFU officially announced that it would reengage with ZANU-PF, ‘but warned that it would only represent members willing to recognise the government’.

Large numbers of farmers openly disagreed with the CFU’s decision to keep talking to government and the war veterans to find a solution, even when it seemed obvious that neither of those parties respected any promises or arrangements made. The government’s disregard of the Abuja Agreement and the recommendations of the ZJRI confirmed such suspicions. As a result organisations such as JAG and SACFA emerged to represent farmers who had been evicted and who wished to continue pursuing legal and other challenges. JAG in particular came to largely represent evicted farmers as it strove to expose the illegal and unconstitutional nature of the land occupations. However, these bodies have suffered their own internal divisions and organisational difficulties and the future of JAG is a matter of much debate at the moment as it seeks to resolve debilitating leadership issues. Individual farmers have also continued to pursue their own legal challenges. At the forefront of these was the appeal taken to the SADC Tribunal by Mike Campbell in 2008. The resultant victory there offered many farmers a glimmer of hope of resolution, but the subsequent disregard of this ruling by ZANU-PF, in spite of a contempt of court ruling by the SADC Tribunal in June 2009, once again squashed any remaining optimism.

Despite the fragmentation of the farming community and the multiple approaches taken to confront the crises in the countryside, there has been one consistency in their approach. This has been to remain apolitical. The backlash of the constitutional referendum and the obvious targeting of farmers supportive of the MDC saw many farmers retreat from the political arena. While certain individual farmers have remained politically active and advocate political solutions, such as Iain Kay, Roy Bennett and Ben Freeth, the institutional approaches of the CFU have been remarkably different. Even JAG’s constitution dictated that it remained apolitical, despite the nature of the work it claimed to undertake. For these institutions, and large numbers of farmers, the land was the single origin of the crises affecting Zimbabwe after 2000, and their failure to realize the multiple origins of the crisis further alienated them from much of society.

There were and are numerous civic and political organizations engaged with opposing Mugabe and ZANU-PF. These groups have often sought to forge alliances with institutions like the CFU and JAG, but all of these advances have been refused. In accordance with this approach, the CFU has recently started to publish a new farming magazine, titled AgriZim, dedicated to ‘farming matters’ only. The lack of critical reflection of the situation in Zimbabwe or any political commentary in this magazine has already attracted criticism from evicted farmers such as Ben Freeth. In a recent letter to the JAG Open Letter Forum, Freeth commented that, ‘Anyone reading the magazine who didn’t know, would be reassured that farming is all now fine in Zimbabwe now that we are under a GNU [Government of National Unity]. The ZANU PF … leadership must be rubbing their hands in glee at this “official publication of the Commercial Farmers Union”’.

This apparent apoliticism is not a new feature of white farming politics, but has been a part of the political identity of this group throughout independent Zimbabwe. This is illustrated by the wholesale withdrawal of farmers from active party politics during the first two decades of independence. This withdrawal was contradicted by the CFU’s blanket endorsement of ZANU after independence, regardless of the government’s abuses that made themselves increasingly obvious as the 1980s progressed. Aligning themselves with the government was not seen by the CFU as a political move and can be regarded as a survival tactic employed by an insecure and threatened white minority. Even though the CFU claimed to be apolitical, many of the decisions it took during the 1980s where politically calculated. For instance, the CFU actively defended the government’s actions in Matabeleland. During the years of Gukurahundi, the CFU praised government in its efforts to restore ‘order’ and ‘security’ in the region. The CFU, and white farmers in general, steadfastly refused to question or criticise government’s political motives for the crackdown in Matabeleland in order to preserve their own fragile partnership with ZANU and Mugabe. White farmers were willing to remain “apolitical” as long as their futures and livelihoods were not jeopardised. When Mugabe and ZANU-PF began to target white owned land in the 1990s, white farmers rediscovered their political voice. The problem with the CFU’s apoliticism was that it essentially boiled down to ‘support for the government in return for continuing privileges really amounted to political advocacy for the ruling party and was certainly a conscious strategy’.

By defining themselves as apolitical, white farmers assumed a position and a citizenship (right to be Zimbabwean) that they felt was uncontested and accepted by all, particularly the ruling government. However, when this was questioned and directly attacked by government in the 1990s, as Raftopoulos has shown, white farmers had to become “political” again to proclaim their right of position. This is most clearly illustrated with their initial support of the MDC. However, this invited such a harsh backlash from government that farmers retreated yet again and sought solace in being uninvolved in party politics. For Engin Fahri Isin:

becoming political should be seen neither as wide as encompassing all way of being (conflating being political with being social), nor as narrow as restricting it to being a citizen (conflating polity and politics). The moment the dominated, stigmatized, oppressed, marginalized, and disfranchised agents expose the arbitrary, they realize themselves as groups and constitute themselves as political.

Claiming citizenship cannot be done without being political, yet doing so created severe problems for the farming community and their Union. In all white farmers have failed to find a way to resolve the conflict between their claimed citizenship and the belonging denied them by Mugabe and ZANU-PF. Instead, white farmers have found themselves trapped in a position where they are trying to claim the rights of citizenship and place in Zimbabwe, whilst at the same trying to remain apolitical in a political crisis, a major part of which has seen the ruling party mobilise significant resources to bring about the obliteration of the white farming community.


Having given up on political involvement and having shunned any official support for the MDC, the CFU turned against dissenting voices within its own establishment in a bid to further safeguard itself. The decision to shut down The Farmer and stifle voices of dissent was a continuation of CFU policy towards dissenting voices rather than a fundamental shift. As a result of the CFU’s handling of the land invasions, it lost the support of many farmers. The CFU only concerned itself with those farmers still on the land, because to pursue justice for those already evicted would mean confrontation with the government. Its bias towards only those farmers still on the land meant it alienated those farmers who had already been evicted. With that number growing all the time, sympathy for them and fear among the remaining farmers created anger against the CFU and its policy of “quiet diplomacy” in dealing with government. Yet the CFU remained committed to such a policy and distanced itself from all political opposition to protect whatever relationship it still believed it had with the government. As a result CFU has survived, despite the destruction of the white/commercial farming community, but this has caused a number of massive fissures in the community that are unlikely to be easily resolved.

What this short paper has illustrated is that white farmers, and in particular the CFU, have not fundamentally opposed government at every turn during the last decade. Rather, they have often tried to placate ZANU-PF, as they have felt this was the best way to try and secure some future, regardless of how detrimental that has been for relations between those farmers who have been evicted and those who have remained on the land. White farmers and their representatives have followed similar tactics at other times in Zimbabwe’s history, most notably during the violence of Gukurahundi in the 1980s, a point that has been lost on most commentators on the fortunes of white farmers in Zimbabwe since 2000.


i. This paper is a condensed summary of some of the findings of my recently completed PhD thesis, 'The Unbearable Whiteness of Being: White Farming Voices in Zimbabwe and Their Narration of the Recent Past, c. 1970-2004' (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Sheffield, 2010). The thesis is due to be published as a book in 2011.

ii. For scholarly simplifications of white farmers and white farming interests see Colin Stoneman and Lionel Cliffe, Zimbabwe: Politics, Economics and Society (London, 1989); Sam Moyo, The Land Question in Zimbabwe (Harare, 1995); Sam Moyo, Land Reform Under Structural Adjustment in Zimbabwe (Uppsala, 2000). For journalistic accounts that have also presented simplified representations of white farmers see David Caute, Under the Skin: The Death of White Rhodesia (Harmondsworth, 1983); Geoff Hill, Battle for Zimbabwe: The Final Countdown (Cape Town, 2003); Martin Meredith, Our Votes, Our Guns: Robert Mugabe and the Tragedy of Zimbabwe (New York, 2003); Martin Meredith, Mugabe: Power, Plunder and the Struggle for Zimbabwe (London, 2007); Andrew Norman, Robert Mugabe and the Betrayal of Zimbabwe (Jefferson, 2004); Andrew Meldrum, Where We Have Hope: A Memoir of Zimbabwe (New York, 2005); Christina Lamb, House of Stone: The True Story of a Family Divided in War-torn Zimbabwe (London, 2006).

iii. Angus Selby, 'Commercial Farmers and the State: Interest Group Politics and Land Reform in Zimbabwe', (D.Phil. Thesis, University of Oxford, 2006), chapters 4 and 5.

iv. Brian Raftopolous, 'The Crisis in Zimbabwe', in Brian Raftopoulos and Alois Mlambo (eds.), Becoming Zimbabwe (Harare, 2009), p. 210.

v. See The Justice for Agriculture (JAG) Trust and the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), Destruction of Zimbabwe's Backbone Industry in Pursuit of Political Power: A Qualitative Report on Events in Zimbabwe's Commercial Farming Sector Since the Year 2000 (Harare, 2008); General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), If Something is Wrong: The Invisible Suffering of Farmworkers due to "Land Reform" (Harare, 2010).

vi. Brian Raftopoulos, 'Current Politics in Zimbabwe: Confronting the Crisis', in David Harold-Barry (ed.), The Past is the Future. (Harare, 2004), p. 13.

vii. Jocelyn Alexander, The Unsettled Land (Harare, 2006), p. 186.

viii. Nelson Marongwe, 'Farm Occupations and Occupiers in the New Politics of Land in Zimbabwe', in Amanda Hammar, Brian Raftopoulos and Stig Jensen (eds.), Zimbabwe's Unfinished Business: Rethinking Land, State and Nation in the Context of Crisis (Harare, 2003), p. 179-182.

ix. Joseph Chaumba, Ian Scoones and William Wolmer, 'From Jambanja to Planning: The Reassertion for Technocracy in Land Reform in South-eastern Zimbabwe', Journal of Modern African Studies, 41, 4 (2003), p. 540.

x. From the Daily News newspaper, 27 November, 2001, quoted in Chaumba, Scoones and Wolmer, 'From Jambanja to Planning', p. 540.

xi. Jocelyn Alexander and JoAnn McGregor, 'Elections, Land and the Politics of Opposition in Matabeleland', Journal of Agrarian Change, 1, 4 (2001), p. 511 and footnote 2.

xii. Jocelyn Alexander, '"Squatters", Veterans and the State in Zimbabwe', in Brian Raftopoulos, Amanda Hammar and Stig Jensen (eds.), Zimbabwe's Unfinished Business: Rethinking Land, State and Nation in the Context of Crisis (Harare, 2003), p. 100. Marongwe also talks about war veterans paying people to occupy land, but not where that money came from. Marongwe 'Farm Occupations and Occupiers', p. 169.

xiii. Simon de Swardt (dir.), House of Justice (Harare, 2009); Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey (dirs.), Mugabe and the White African (Stoud, 2009).

xiv. Anon., 'Chronology', in David Harold-Barry, (ed.), The Past is the Future (Harare, 2004), p. 269.

xv. Selby, 'Commercial Farmers and the State', p. 312.

xvi. Catherine Buckle, African Tears: The Zimbabwe Land Invasions (Johannesburg, 2001); Catherine Buckle, Beyond Tears: Zimbabwe's Tragedy (Johannesburg, 2002), Lloyd Sachikonye, 'The Promised Land: From Expropriation to Reconciliation and Jambanja', in Brian Raftopoulos and Tyrone Savage (eds.), Zimbabwe: Injustice and Political Reconciliation (Harare, 2005), pp. 1-18; Selby, 'Commercial Farmers and the State', chapter 6.

xvii. All CFU situation reports used to be online on the CFU's website. However, that website has been terminated and the information no longer shared publically. The CFU has a new website (, but this no longer carries the situation reports. Many of the situation reports were reproduced on the online news service,

xviii. Selby, 'Commercial Farmers and the State', p. 313.

xix. Amanda Hammar and Brian Raftopoulos, 'Zimbabwe's Unfinished Business: Rethinking Land, State and Nation', in Amanda Hammar, Brian Raftopoulos and Stig Jensen (eds.), Zimbabwe's Unfinished Business: Rethinking Land, State and Nation in the Context of Crisis (Harare, 2003), pp. 4-9.

xx. Deon Theron, President of the CFU stated in the forward of the magazine, 'The newspapers, internet, news bulletins etc are full of stories of conflict, corruption, despair and death. Anything controversial that will sell. This magazine should be for farmers, and concentrate on farming issues. Sure - I see members discussing land reform and compensation as it affects us all, but the focus - as a farming magazine - should be on farming issues and the way forward'. Deon Theron, 'Message From the President', AgriZim, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2010, p. 3.

xxi. Ben Freeth, 'The New CFU Magazine ', in JAG Open Letter Forum, No. 724, 5 November 2010.

xxii. There are numerous examples of this support for the government in The Farmer magazine. For example see, Anon., 'Our Farmers Aid Farmers in Times of Trial', The Farmer, 25 April, 1983, p. 5; Anon., 'Farmers Must be Vigilant', The Farmer, 3 September, 1987, p. 7; Myfanwy van Hoffen, 'Welcome End of a Ruthless Menace', The Farmer, November 26, 1987, p. 1.

xxiii. Selby, 'Commercial Farmers and the State', p. 177.

xxiv. Brian Raftopoulos, 'The State in Crisis: Authoritarian Nationalism, Selective Citizenship and Distortions of Democracy in Zimbabwe', in Amanda Hammar, Brian Raftopoulos and Stig Jensen, (eds.), Zimbabwe's Unfinished Business: Rethinking Land, State and Nation (Harare, 2003), pp. 226-36.

xxv. Engin Fahri Isin, Being Political: Genealogies of Citizenship (Minneapolis, 2002), p. 276.

For further information, please contact Selvan Chetty - Deputy Director, Solidarity Peace Trust


Tel: +27 (39) 682 5869
Fax: +27 (39) 682 5869


Suite 4
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Port Shepstone 4240
Kwazulu-Natal South Coast



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Discussion - Should Zimbabwe have a peace and reconcialiation commission-SA Style?

I have strong views about the issue of peace and reconciliation in Zimbawe. PEACE, yes,  we really need it in Zimbabwe and it's well overdue. RECONCILIATION? I am not so sure. The question for me is who is to reconcile with whom in the Zimbabwean scenario? I am inclined to think that the answer to this question marks the difference between the South African situation and that of Zimbabwe.
In SA the killings and attrocities  took place during the struggle for independence. The opposing forces were determined to win the violent struggle by whatever means necessary you might say. In this context one might understand but not condon the excesses.  In Zimbabwe, the killings and attrocies were and still are being committed by a government of an independent sovereign state. The perpetrators are very much known as a public record. The fact that these perpetrators continue to kill innocent civilians means that they are incapable of repenting and they are therefore beyond redemption. In my humblest of opinions I think what is required in Zimbabwe is FAIRNESS and JUSTICE pure and simple. We should all be subjected to the laws of the country should we be in breach. Personally, I believe we will be setting a dangerous and irresponsible precedence if we allow any legitimate government to have a luxurious  option of merely appearing before a truth and reconciliation commission and then laugh it off.
For me, the follow up questions to this topic have become redundant. What is required first is to have a popularly mandated responsible government in place. It is hoped that such a government would give justice some space from which to operate and give citizens their just dessert. Once that happens we can then embark of addressing the excesses and impact of the liberation war itself. So many innocent people were killed. The soil (VaDzimu) is drenched with innocent blood and it will never heal unless the situation is addressed. This is where I would support the idea of truth and reconciliation in Zimbabwe. I honestly believe some of the perpetrators of these crimes in Zimbabwe are victims of the post traumatic sydrom stress. They were never rehabilitated after the second chimurenga hence some of them believe they have the right to kill and to rule forever. Sadly we Zimbabweans have unashameadily failed to address this cancer. Web are now tenants and slaves in our own independent beautifu country.

John Huruva


The fight for freedom and justice in Zimbabwe is not going to end with Mugabe's departure.

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Christmas can start in Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe, there is no country like you, spanning 5 agricultural regions of
the World. Green yet barren, mountainous yet graced with spectacular green
valleys that meets the skies. The Eastern Highlands green forests resembling
the Equatorial forests making even the Amazon jungle appear oasis. Zimbabwe
that is what makes you unique!

Zimbabwe even the Almighty saw its gracious people and smiled, blessed us
with the Victoria Falls, a God given heritage of infinite economic resource.
Resources that can drive the entire tourist industry thus we got it for
free, that every Zimbabwean shall testify that God is great, that God is
merciful, that God wants us to live in peace, side by side as the waters of
the Zambezi River, as it falls without earthly command. Imagine if this was
created by our politicians? Zimbabwe that is what makes you unique!

The marauding flora and fauna of Matabeleland, spanning the Hwange National
Park to the West, the Nyanga National Park to the East, Gonarezhou National
Park  to the South and Mana Pools to the North. The visitor is mesmerised
with the gift of God that Zimbabwe got for free that we take for granted
that others marvel. Yet lions don’t kill lions, cheetahs don’t kill cheetahs
and even snakes live happily together, in political harmony. We have the
biggest herd of elephants on earth, giant mammals of highest order all we
got them for free, so that we can testify that God is great, that we are the
chosen ones, that no man shall claim superiority over another because all is
in the God’s name. Imagine if this was created by our politicians. Zimbabwe,
that’s what makes you unique!


The volumes of minerals which lay beneath the surface of your land nobody
knows except God the Almighty. Fred Rebecca Gold mine of Bindura, Trojan
Nickel mine, Hwange Coal mines, the Marange Diamonds depositories , the
Kamativi tin mines, the Mashava Asbestos mines just mentioning a few. These
stand a scratch on the surface to what Zimbabwe inherited for us all, yet we
got all these for free, so that we can live in peace, abundance, prosperous
and in harmony as a testimony that no body can claim to have created the
minerals. So we shall have no political gods or goddess but thee and only
the almighty. Imagine if this was created by our politicians. Zimbabwe that’s
what makes you unique!

People and innovation

God gave Zimbabweans, their unique image, humble, innovative, peaceful and
hardworking. I say innovative because when the rest of the world was living
in caves, Zimbabweans built great cities, Great Zimbabwe and Khami. Built of
well crafted pillars of stones, a testimony that God chose Zimbabweans to
inspire other nations. Peaceful, because Zimbabweans’ historical economy is
that of agrarian, so that they can live harmoniously together with their
neighbours, crops and animals alike. Hard working because we have for many
generations been a bread basket of Africa but today we make baskets without

Zimbabwe you are home to the region’s well known kings, queens and mediums.
All who inspired us to think great so that you and I can rise to the
challenge of the new political order, that we must respect one another and
aspire to build a country which is equal before God. But that is not enough,
but that we don’t live in history but built upon history to embrace
competitive edge. Zimbabwe that’s what makes you unique!

God bring joy to Zimbabwe this Christmas 2010.

As we celebrate this year’s 2010 Christmas, we are mindful of the fact that
this year will never repeat, although they say history repeats itself. What
is sure as the sun will rise tomorrow in Zimbabwe is that some where some
how a Zimbabwean is mobilising his fellow country men to kill his opponents
in the name of consolidating power and not in the name of God. I can hear
children screaming and a woman wailing for help yet somebody is smiling. As
the world celebrate Christmas Zimbabweans world over peer in the sky in
despair, another rigged election for 2011, another death, another rape
victim, property destruction another violation of everything Godliness. Yet
this is a God given country, beautiful as ever but with rogue leadership who
do not fear God!!.

Yes we can make this Christmas the last in hiding; yes we can make this
Christmas the last in agony; yes we can stop the watch of torment so that we
can celebrate once more our heritage in harmony and peace and NEVER again
fear our leaders above God.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year Zimbabweans, DON’T give up God is on your

Elliot Pfebve

Author: Zimbabwe my home my frustration (book at

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