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

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Joseph Made should resign in shame  
WE publish in our lead story today, proof of how Joseph Made, the minister of lands and agriculture, finally admits to a parliamentary portfolio committee on agriculture what many warned would happen: Hunger and starvation in the country as a result of the government's chaotic land reform programme.
This is a man who had stated at the outset of the fast track resettlement programme that it would be done in such a way that the nation's food production would not be affected. This is the man who had blamed everything, including the depletion of the national herd, on the droughts and floods. Now the chickens have come home to roost.
Hunger and starvation are taking their terrible toll. Zimbabwean agriculture has become a shadow of its former self and will never recover.
Made must view the situation with a sense of utter shame. How he sleeps at night, only God knows. The minister's long overdue admission has brought the shock of shame rather than the shock of surprise. It was only Made who seemed unaware of what was happening, living in a world of fantasy and fiction as he does. The majority of Zimbabweans already knew the true situation because they have for long been living and breathing the impact of shortages of various kinds: Maize meal, wheat, beef and dairy products.
The way Joseph Made fumbled for answers to questions from the parliamentary portfolio committee are an indictment of the judgement of those who appointed him in the first place. He staggered around like a man who suddenly realises that he has lost his script and is really reading some old sides from Kings of Kings-as if he had rehearsed too much. Clearly, the minister is an embarrassment and a disgrace to agriculture in Zimbabwe and the region as a whole.
Given what is happening on the food and fuel fronts, President Mugabe and the nation have passed the tragic point of no return. Nobody appears to be in the driving seat at the moment. How much practice does it take to plan a human sacrifice of your own people?
Any sane person in the position of the president and the minister of agriculture would have resigned long ago. When the fundamentals of life are either in limited supply or non-existent-food, fuel, money-what stops people from saying: "Out with the president and in with whoever can give us hope and life again." When you have lost the confidence of most of the country and with it, your ability to govern effectively, what makes you want to go on?
There was a time before and after independence when President Mugabe was viewed as 'good old Bob'-an icon, an admired and respected public figure. In many fora, where the President spun some of his finest oratory, food and drink went unsold because his listeners would refuse to leave their seats for fear of missing a spectacular Mugabe turn of phrase which they could tell their children and grandchildren about. Now, there is neither the food nor the drink-either they are not available or they are beyond the reach of many.
Even more bizarre is the recent law which forbids you to hail to the chief, to Bob and the Wailers, evoking that hot icon of reggae music Bob Marley. Amazing how things change!
The appalling tragedy that has now consumed Zimbabwe has changed all that. More than six million Zimbabweans are facing starvation. All the agricultural commodities are way down their 1999/2000 levels, costing the country billions of Zimkwachas.
The national breeding herd is below 50% of the level when Joseph Made assumed ministerial control over agriculture. The same applies to the maize crop, wheat and tobacco crops. What a pitiful return on the chaos that has been reigning for the past two and a half years!
Those who have mismanaged this process and issued false production predictions and poisonous ideas have clearly failed this country. And the situation must not stop at them merely eating their words. Not only will Made suffer the contempt of the members of the parliamentary portfolio committee on agriculture but will forever suffer the contempt of those who truly love Zimbabwe.
The government must be told in no uncertain terms that it is simply not true that "the land is the economy", but rather that it is the effective use of the land that is the economy. Anyone driving around Zimbabwe will bear witness to the fact that nothing is really happening on the former commercial farms.
If anything, the destruction and the desolation stares you in the face. To make matters worse, less than 50% of the so-called new farmers have taken up the pieces of land allocated to them.
This is Joseph Made's legacy: One gigantic mess. He must not, together with his colleagues and bosses, be allowed to get away with one of the greatest blunders in history: Sacrificing the people of Zimbabwe at the alter of power and greed.
At the beginning of the year, Made looked as if he had just flown in from the planet of the creeps with his incredibly stupid statement that there would be enough food in Zimbabwe. Now he is telling the parliamentary committee that he cannot make any predictions on the production levels of the so called new farmers.
Such a purveyor of evil has no business being at the helm of the ministry of agriculture. Do the honourable thing Joseph Made: RESIGN.
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Zim Std
Barbours not quite what it was
eatingout with Dusty Miller

THERE's a sad dearth of restaurants in downtown Ha-ha-ha-rare (fun capital of Central Africa). Probably due to a sad dearth of people who can afford to eat out in the CBD, or anywhere else.

Barbour's was always reasonably good, with prices slightly top heavy, but at one stage I had morning coffee and/or afternoon tea there almost daily, with the odd breakfast, brunch or lunch as appetite, time of day and bank balance dictated.
Previous trip was Christmas when sundry refreshments for family home from overseas cost about $2 500 for five. Certainly much dearer than a previous meal when a good pal from The South-China Morning Post, Hong Kong said the only things to change at Barbour's tea-rooms in 30 years were prices and waiters no longer wearing fezzes. There are now a few more changes in the once almost Edwardian 'silver service' dining room.
Leather-bound menus have gone. They are now computer-printed 'landscape' on bond with daily 'specials' slips clumsily paper-clipped to it, the whole folded none too neatly. Mine lay coffee-stained and semi-crumpled on a table cloth which had seen better days. Menu states: Minimum charge between 12 - 2pm: $1 850. A fact blatantly ignored by staff and customers alike.
Appetisers included grapefruit cocktail or iced melon/paw paw in season: $220 each; egg mayonnaise salad $350; egg stuffed with fish and salad $380. Soup (cream of chicken) was very good: steaming hot, a full bowl, smooth, rich, herby, creamy, loads of huku. It came with an oddly coloured, over-yeasty roll in which too much baking powder was used and a minuscule pat of butter.
Soup ($400) was ordered "to be going on with". I'm not sure the first waiter understood the concept; a second cottoned-on, bringing the dish 10 minutes later. It's a long time since crisply starched well-laundered napkins graced Barbour's tables. They were replaced by flimsy tissues as standard, but now you must ask for them to be doled out as if waiters were parting with deeds to a farm: reluctantly.
A badly tuned TV played on the stage decorated to resemble a domestic scene. Assuming Alice Chavunduka's complexion doesn't periodically change from cerise to vermilion then turn an occasional puce, there's something definitely wrong with the 29" Philips set (available on the 2nd Floor at " a mere" quarter-of-a-million dollars.) When Paul McCartney's still boyish good looks flickered and his skin resembled that of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, I decided to keep the $249 999, 99 in my pocket. Might need it for a bacon sandwich after Christmas.
Salads: with quiche Lorraine, pizza, cold meats, chicken and ham or pickled fish were around $1 300, as was cheese lunch special. Grills and entrees all looked good, especially T-bone or grilled rump "with fried potatoes" (chips) at $1 900: same price as pork spare rib/BBQ sauce, beef Stroganoff or leg of pork with apple sauce (daily special). I raised eyebrows at "grilled pork sausage with creamed potatoes" (bangers and mash) $1 300; the one I saw served boasted one medium-sized link.
Breakfast all day is possibly the best value. Bacon, sausage, two eggs, mushrooms, tomato, toast and marmalade is $1 050. Also look out on Saturdays when they often have wonderfully cooked tender liver. Other breakfast/brunch specials range from $250 (poached/scambled eggs on toast) to $950 for what have always been good rich creamy omelettes and chips (mushroom version usually A1). Burgers are around $800, separate chips $480! (One medium-sized spud?).
A daily special, hake and chips, was faultlessly cooked, but I thought $2 100 steep for one fairly small fillet in batter. Not at all well filleted, it was full of tiny bones.
Fish and chips great but: oval plate stone-cold, tartare sauce bland to the point of tastelessness, sliced courgettes not quite raw, tepid, watery: flat-cold in seconds. I've moaned here maningi times: good cooks don't serve hot food on cold plates nor vice-versa!
Puddings range from $210 for plain ice-cream to $850 (knickerbocker glory or fruit salad and ice-cream); strawberries and cream, $420; waffle with cream or ice-cream $370. Daily special was a slightly over-sugared apple crumble and cream ($480).
Barbour's isn't licensed, so a bitterly cold article of a mildly intoxicating nature was out of the question. One (or even a brace!) would have been welcome on a day too hot to lunch alfresco but comfortable under the restaurant's plentiful ceiling fans.
Soup, fish, pudding, tea cost a fairly hefty $3 100. The place was about 50% full, but not everyone ate a 'proper' lunch. Many didn't spend the so-called minimum.
One-and-a-half stars November 2002.
Terrace Restaurant, Barbour's, open shopping hours Monday to Friday and Saturday AM.
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Zim Std  
MDC must come clean  
sundayopinion By Thandi Chiweshe
THE Movement for Democratic Change is a loose coalition of diverse civil society and interest groups within Zimbabwe.
It groups together: farmers, farm workers, industrialists, workers/trade unionists, students, intellectuals, the unemployed, women, rural and urban people. This unlikely mix of people has nevertheless arisen to become one of the strongest political forces in the country since independence.
The major (if not the single), uniting factor amongst the various groups that make up the party, is their commitment to ensuring a change of government. But is this an end in itself? Is this enough grounds on which to build a real 'Movement for Change'? Is a simple change of government enough of a vision around which to unite and mobilise people? In the last two years, the MDC has gained political space, particularly in urban local government arenas. Bulawayo, Chegutu, Chitungwiza, Masvingo, and Harare, are now led by MDC mayors. People are beginning to ask what this new leadership represents.
Zimbabwe is in a huge political and economic mess. Anyone who comes to power after the current regime needs to have clarity of vision as to how he/she will change the situation. What exactly is this change that the citizens of Zimbabwe and the world at large will see when the MDC comes to power?
The change required in Zimbabwe goes beyond the retarring of roads and provision of food for the people. There have to be fundamental changes in power relations across the board; between the rich and poor, those with property and those without any, women and men, black and white and so on.
The skewed allocation of power and resources based on race, class and sex is one of the key issues at the heart of our national crisis. The change people want therefore goes beyond merely tinkering with the status quo and replacing one elite group of mostly black males, with another.
If the MDC is to become the champion and harbinger of change, it needs to have a new and clearly defined vision, based on a positive value system, principles, and a participatory and people empowering political culture.
The MDC is made up of extremely divergent groups, both practically and ideologically. What is the ideological basis for 'coalescing?' Some of us on the sidelines can clearly see that the cracks are beginning to show in the coalition.
The recent expulsion of Munyaradzi Gwisai is an indicator of the cracks. Gwisai, for all his problems and inadequacies, has made his ideological position on many key issues very clear. Coming as he does from a socialist-leftist school of thought, Gwisai has stood firmly for the rights of workers, property ownership issues, and the land question. At the other extreme are the Eddie Crosses and the white industrialist/capitalists and their black colleagues. Needless to say, the gap between where Eddie Cross stands and where Gwisai stands is just too yawning. Without glorifying the man, Gwisai at least has some very clear principles and some vision of where he wants the poor and marginalised people of this country to go. The same cannot be said of many within the MDC leadership.
The fact that many of them come from a trade unionist background does not mean they have carried the same ideological bent they had when they formed the party. The MDC's economic policy and fumbling on issues of race are indicators of that fact. The Gwisai issue shows the lack of a uniting ideological framework around which the MDC is built. It points to the need for the MDC to define its ideology both internally and externally.
What does the MDC stand for as opposed to against? What is it that will continue to hold the MDC together the day after Mugabe is dead or out of power? So far, the tensions between the various forces making up the party have been managed because the common enemy is yet to be defeated.
But what is it that will make a farm worker speak the same language as the farm owner? Whose interests does the party hold dearer, that of the industrialist or the simple shop floor worker? What is the MDC's position on the rights of women?
To date, the party has shied away from ideological questions because they are potentially divisive. The need to present a united front against Zanu PF has been the overriding concern.
However, it is now time for such debates to take place. To postpone them is to postpone the inevitable. Postponing has also allowed the power elites within the party to dictate party positions and entrench their hold. This is true of those who currently have financial, property, racial and patriarchal power.
If the MDC is not to suffer the same fate as the MMD in Zambia, it has to define who and what it stands for sooner rather than later.
Defining a set of values allows the MDC to discriminate on whom it admits within its ranks. Again, an example is in order: Towards some of the last few elections we have seen several former Zanu PF people striving to join the MDC. Some have, in fact, been admitted. Yes, many of us have held Zanu PF cards at some point in our lives, but what is it about the MDC that makes it not simply a different version of Zanu PF?
To protect itself, the MDC needs to have a set of criteria for membership. It should, for example, not allow those with known records on genocide and corruption, to hold leadership positions. In this way the party will not be accused of detesting a particular individual just for the sake of it but will be recognising as having something they hold dear as a party..
Recent events in Kenya are illustrative of the kinds of problems that the MDC is facing. Several high ranking members of Moi's Kanu have defected to the so called opposition. Should this be a cause for celebration or alarm? Should Kenyans simply be happy that George Saitoti and Mwai Kibaki are now clothed in opposition garb? I think not. The only reason these men deserted Kanu was because their presidential ambitions were thwarted. It is not that they have any ideological or principled differences with Moi. All these men want is to be in power. They are not interested in bringing about real 'change' in ordinary Kenyans' lives.
What is it that a George Saitoti brings to the opposition? What did he fail to do during the many years that he was vice president that he is now going to do for the people of Kenya, now that he is leader of the opposition? He will not be prosecuting those who violated human rights that's for sure! This, for me, illustrates the kind of dangers the MDC faces. There will not be a shortage of Saitotis and other opportunists in Zimbabwe.
The MDC must protect itself from them. In the short term it may gain many new members, but in the long term, it will lose its credibility and the capacity to stop the culture of impunity, corruption and human rights violations that pervades our nation.
Talking about cha-nge is easy, living it is a huge task. We have already seen how true this is in the Mudzuri saga. In brief, Mayor Mudzuri of the City of Harare defied orders from the top echelons of the party not to occupy any part of the Mayoral Mansion, built by the former spendthrift Zanu PF mayor. The way this issue played itself out at the Council level is perhaps something that will never be documented.
Mudzuri could not understand why some objected so passionately to his moving into the house. I remember having a very heated discussion with one of his supporters who pleaded: "But he is the Mayor for heaven's sake! He should live in a house that befits his status! What is wrong with him driving a Merc? You want him to drive a Mazda 626?" I tried to argue that the MDC needs to create a new political culture. This would involve changing the way people see all politicians, (as self interested corrupt individuals), and build a new confidence that there will be some change.
I tried to show how this could be done through simple things such as; the kinds of cars that the party leadership will drive, the way the leadership relates to people, flying economy class, and staying in modest hotels.
Needless to say, the person was totally scandalised by my suggestions. When all was said and done, the MDC had nothing against which to hold Mudzuri accountable. There was no party policy, values or principles, which the man could have been said to have breached. The whole sorry saga was reduced to personal attacks, with some arguing that some within the MDC were jealous of what the man had achieved. When there are no principles, we resort to the personal.
When there is no commonly shared value system, we each resort to what we think is best, and if anyone challenges us, we simply say they don't like who we are.
Zimbabwe is in need not just of a new government, but a new (political), culture. Many of the little things many of us do, show just how much we have imbibed Zanu PF culture without question or hesitation. For the moment, what many citizens want are probably different faces in State House. But that is only in the short term. In the long term, people will want to see real practical change.
Another challenge the MDC would face would be how to deal with the global forces that surround it and Zimbabwe. It is a fact that within the African region, the MDC is trailing behind Zanu PF in the ideology and values stakes. Mugabe speaks to values that the old nationalists understand. When he puts himself up as the champion of the poor and the landless he is applauded by the poor, and the landless the world over. To whom does the MDC speak? The party has to work hard to gain the kind of foothold that ZANU PF has built over the years in the country and outside. Even with all its mammoth failures and problematic history of misrule, it is a fact that ZANU PF knows how to speak for itself. It doesn't matter that they are telling lies.
Internationally, the MDC faces the challenge of dealing with the Northern, (former colonial, neo-colonial, self interested, capitalist), interests which have supported its fight against Zanu PF. How it reconciles domestic expectations with regional and international forces will be the major test of the MDC's ideological strength. When the party eventually does come to power, it will have to side with either the capitalist North and its privileged cousins in the South, or with the poor and marginalised. What for example is the MDC's position on privatisation of services in the urban areas? On what conditions will the party accept a new Structural Adjustment programme?
All of these questions demand firmer ideological positioning. There is no half way position. The questions demand a more comprehensive discussion and clarification beyond a party manifesto. A manifesto is only a grand spelling of the (largely external) things that you will do.
Values and principles are about what is inside of us, what we really think and hold dear is what is important. It is not about what we do "for those people out there". Rather it is about who, we are and how we want to relate to those people out there, whoever they may be. It is our way of seeing and interpreting the world and what we want to do with that world and its peoples. It is on a set of core values and principles that the MDC can craft consistent policy alternatives and positions both nationally and globally. That way, its leadership and members can be held accountable for their actions at every level. Ideology is the glue that will hold the MDC together. Without it, the party is a loose grouping of self-interested individuals wanting to access power. Values and principles will signify the extent of transformation that the party is prepared to bring about. The Zimbabwean crisis demands a transformative vision. The "come yee all who have problems with Zanu PF" approach to building a party is no longer good enough. Our problems with Zanu PF are different depending on our race, class, sex and other factors. Therefore, the solutions we seek are quite different too. The 'together as one' image that the party wants to present is patently false. The ideological and other divides in our society are too deep to be smothered over by a slogan. It is time to spell out the Change.
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Zim Std
Let's agree to differ
By Chido Makunike

Pauline Henson's article 'Shocked by Makunike's hurtful analysis' (The Standard, 17 November 2002) wasn't too impressed by my thoughts on Learnmore Jongwe, which is alright.

The point of sharing ideas is not just to reflect each other's ways of thinking, but to broaden our perspectives and look at issues from fresh angles that might not immediately present themselves to us.
At the beginning, she congratulates me for being "often challenging and thought provoking, helping people to think for themselves Zimbabwe where we are force fed through the state media...with hate-filled propaganda".
Pauline Henson then takes me to task for emphasising a different aspect of the Jongwe story than she would have done, and of holding an opinion on it that did not quite coincide with hers she feels I should have been more understanding and forgiving about the fact that Jongwe stabbed his wife in the face repeatedly. After all, the law itself makes allowances for a crime of passion, she points out.
As I said at the beginning of my Jongwe article, I have been quite surprised by the number of people who have been willing to downplay the magnitude of Rutendo's murder by Learnmore for various reasons, whether to do with traditional gender roles, politics, or because "we are all fallible and subject to irrational behaviour under the influence of strong emotion", as Henson puts it.
Well yes, but most people have enough self control to avoid getting so irrational and emotional that they will kill someone, particularly their spouse.
Despite Jongwe's political brilliance, for which I gave him credit, after murdering his wife in a fit of rage, he could no longer fit my understanding of the concept of 'hero'.
If that "aligns me with the ruling party and its cheap sensationalising of issues they believe will bring shame on the opposition", then that is an unfortunate misreading of all that I have stood for and written about over the years. A calm rereading of my 3 November 2002 column will not show any "condemnation" of Jongwe.
Sure, I did speculate on what the killing and his subsequent behaviour said about his strength of character. I consider that to be fair political comment. This is, after all a man who seemed sure to occupy high political office in Zimbabwe. I am interested in trying to really understand him, the way we should have really tried to understand Robert Mugabe when a lot of us blindly adored him in the early days.
I do this to Zanu PF and government officials all the time, and although I have been insulted, snubbed and given dirty looks for it, my "right" to do it has never been questioned.
In the wake of the widespread disgust and despair at the levels to which Mugabe and Zanu PF have brought Zimbabwe, are we naively starry-eyed in the way we look at opposition politicians, what I call the 'messiah complex,' in which we regard them as infallible angels who any day now, will strike their magic wands and lead us into the promised land? This attitude has a lot to do with how we got stuck with a deeply unpopular clique of rulers we can't seem to get rid of.
Instead of respecting them while watching them like hawks, constantly keeping them on their toes in all their words and actions like is done for the rest of us, we lionised them, letting them live according to a different, less exacting standard because they were the 'liberators' and we were in awe of them. One of the underlying themes of my writings has been how dangerous this is, and how we need to adjust our attitudes away from this mind set.
Zanu PF is violent, incompetent, corrupt and entrenched not because its politicians are intrinsically different from those of the MDC,or from you and I, but because we allowed conditions to develop in which they saw they could get away with it. Now that we have belatedly seen the light, it is not so easy to kick them out of office.
Looking at all politicians-whether in the ruling party or in the opposition-with a sharply critical eye is part of any man's contribution to helping change things, even at the risk of raising the ire of some readers.
I am deeply political, but non-partisan, and I certainly have no desire to be blind in support of anything or anyone.
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Zim Standard
Review of 2003 budget Part 1  
By Rongai Chizema Intermarket Research
THE minister of finance and economic development, Dr Herbert Murerwa, presented the 2003 National Budget on 14 November, exactly five years since the Zimbabwe dollar tumbled against trading partners' currencies.
On that fateful day (14 November 1997), the local unit lost glamour and succumbed to market sentiment, losing 75% of its strength against the US$ to trade at 1US$:Z$45. To date the US$ remains fixed at Z$55, and on the parallel market it has depreciated to Z$1 800. Signs of abatement remain slim especially given a strained supply situation.
The economy has been deteriorating since 1997, at the same time becoming increasingly isolated as confirmed by the absence of the IMF and other multilateral and bilateral donors in our development equation. The country's recession has become more pronounced, with national output estimated to have declined by 19.3% over the last three years, all of which have recorded negative real growth rates.
The budget was therefore cast against a steep fall in GDP (11.9%), waning business confidence, weak export capacity (that has implied foreign currency bottlenecks), falling savings and investment capacity (estimated at less than 9.2% of GDP), hyperinflationary environment and mounting poverty (75% of populace live in abject poverty).
Given the foregoing, the minister's task was to come up with measures to turnaround the economy and at least put it back on a recovery mode. The following are some of the measures introduced by the minister to redress these problems;
2003 Budget Highlights
* Dual interest rate policy to assist productive sectors and penalise consumptive borrowing. Meant to contain money supply hence combat inflation that hit 144.2% in October.
* Broadening the scope of price controls to keep inflation at bay.
* Closure of Bureau de Changes and raising the foreign currency surrender system from 40% to 50%. The balance (50%) to be surrendered to the RBZ for centralised management.
* Tax relief for monthly incomes of $15000 or less.
* $31.9 billion to wrap up Agrarian Reform.
* $1billion for distressed companies and $1.5 billion for small businesses.
* Duty relief for buses, spare parts, and sales tax relief for passenger cars.
* Increase in the tradable duty free certificate levels from 5% of FOB value of exports to 10%.
The above measures are aimed at redressing the prevailing economic imbalances and hence revive the economy. The minister openly acknowledged that our economic situation is way off the African mark. At a time when most economies are expanding, ours has been consistently declining since the year 2000.
During the year 2001 the average growth rate for the continent was 4.3%, with only 16 countries recording GDP growth rates of less than 3%, down from 27 in the year 2000. African economies also recorded declining budget deficits and money supply growth rates, with average outcomes of 2.6 % and 12.3% respectively. At the same time the number of countries with growth rates exceeding 3% increased from 26 in 2000 to 37 in 2001.
It is quite apparent that over the last few years, African economies have increasingly become more stable, and economic management has been aimed at sustained growth. The Zimbabwean scenario is therefore way off the continental trajectory. It is quite clear that the economy has a challenging period ahead to at least replicate the African scenario. Even taking a regional view, the table on inflation figures confirms how far off we are from the regional standard as regards price stability.
We therefore attempt to evaluate the budget on the basis of a few deliverables, that is, restoring domestic and internal business confidence, slowing down economic decline and restoring incomes. Without necessarily following the aforementioned logic we will trace the bottom-line as putting the economy back on a recovery mode.
Business confidence
Domestic business confidence has tumbled over the years owing to deteriorating economic fundamentals and negative perceptions surrounding the land reform program embarked on by government since the year 2000. Business confidence had already started declining as early as 1997, when it became apparent that the domestic fundamentals had become lopsided, and the local unit crashed against trading partner currencies.
Overseas development assistance (ODA) has dried since then, with the IMF virtually taking a wait and see stance. It is against this background that the minister acknowledges in the 2003 budget that foreign capital inflows have fallen from US$502 million in 1995 to net outflows of US$347 million in 2002. At the same time, external arrears have accumulated to a total of US$1.3 billion this year, owing to our incapacity to generate sufficient foreign currency.
Economic reforms
Restoration of business confidence in this respect therefore warrants landscaping the factors that compounded its decline. Government embarked on the Economic Structural Adjustment Program during the period 1991-1995, which ushered in a liberalised business operating regime. The major challenge during the period was the issue of huge fiscal deficits that averaged 10% of GDP. Though inflation was an issue, it was still within manageable levels.
Beyond this phase the Zimbabwe Program for Social and Economic Transformation was implemented from 1996-2000, with focus on consolidating the gains of economic liberalisation. The only constraint ZIMPREST encountered was the fact that donors did not provide any funding. In 2000 the Millennium Economic Recovery Program was launched. This program never took off, due to a lack of coherence on whether the economy should continue on liberalism or perhaps pursue a compromise which places less emphasis on markets. The failure to implement the MERP program marks the turning point of steeper falls in business confidence. Since then economic events have not helped either to build or sustain business confidence.
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Zim Std
After Iraq, Saudis may be next  
americannotes By Ken Mufuka
THE Saudis are the largest producers of oil, and as such, they have fuelled US and Western industrial machines for the last 50 years.
Officially, and this has been confirmed by the US State Department, they consider themselves "US partners." The trouble is, as they should have known from an Arab idiom, 'If one shares his bed with a camel, what happens when the camel turns at night?'
It is my suggestion that the US is now reviewing that partnership.
The two straws that broke the camel's back are these: Of the 19 hijackers, 15 were Saudi nationals. This suggests that Saudi Arabia is a fertile breeding ground for anti-American religious extremism, called Islamism. This has been traced to the Wahabi sect of Islam, which considers itself the keeper of the sacred shrines of Saudi Arabia.
It seems that American contact with the Saudis, their military bases there and their overwhelming cultural influence in the Middle East, their influence on Arab women feminists and the aggressive nature of the Americans is considered unsettling by most Islamists.
The suggestion here is that the Saudi government should clamp down on Islamists - some kind of censorship. It is interesting that the Americans are suggesting measures that are unthinkable in the US itself.
Last Tuesday, evidence surfaced that Princess Haifa al Faisal, wife of the Saudi ambassador to the US was supporting, through her charity, two students who were sympathetic or close to two hijackers in California. This method of argument, in Saudi Arabia, is described as trying to feed two camels with one straw. It is far-fetched.
Naturally, Arab students are likely to know each other and in any event, nobody in his wildest imagination could have imagined the September 11 hijacking of a plane and its crashing into a building. Nevertheless, the Saudis are being demonised. Demonisation of a nation or its leader, as we now know, is a prelude to regime change.
American religious leaders have joined in the fray. The Reverend Billy Graham, (the son) has been quoted as saying that Islam is an evil religion. Reverend Jerry Falwell, an extremist evangelist, said that Islam is trying to take over the world. He also suggested that the prophet Muhammad was not above child marriages (called paedophilia here-a dirty word).
The juicy part in all this is the cultural bias of these famous Americans. The Christian religion has for the last two thousand years been trying to take over the world. That is, in the crusades, the Spanish conquistadors slaughtered millions of American Indians in the name of Christ and the great missionaries wanted Africa for Christ.
Intellectuals are baffled by Islam and have resorted to calling it anti-modernist, which is a taboo word here where innovation and progress are worshipped. Islamism does ask the question which these sinners refuse to address: What does it profit a man if he gains all the material world and loses his soul?
One great intellectual, Franics Fukiyama has asked: "Can any good come out of radical Islam?" The great debate is centred on Islam's alleged "intolerance, undemocratic tendencies and totalitarianism."
Stanley Kurtz, a Hoover Institute think-tank fellow finds Islam's "ethos of self sacrifice cultivated in complex networks of kinship honour", most disturbing. It is this self-sacrifice ethos that has been the bedrock of Muslim suicide bombers.
What all these intellectuals fail to see, which I can see very clearly as an African and an outsider, is the unsatisfactory nature of urban western civilisation.
After all my material accomplishments in the last 30 years, I am faced by the constant provocation of having to substantiate my identity on a daily basis, even my humanity. Without my friends Fabian Mabaya, James Nemerai in Masvingo and my nieces Mrs Minah Mandaba, I feel but a reed whistling in the creek. I feel as if I have no soul.
These sinners here are completely unable to understand what the Islamists are talking about because their very modernism has removed religious symbols from their language. Now you will say: "Ken you are going too far. What about the reverend Jerry Falwell? Surely he understands religious symbols?" My answer is this. He understands the inner soul only to an extent.
American religion has adopted secular and business symbols, charitable deeds are explained as an investment in earthly happiness-the very idea that Martin Luther tried to eradicate from the Roman church.
Mr Falwell is as much a millionaire businessman as he is a Christian in that order.
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The Woes of a Worker in Mugabe's Zimbabwe

Financial Gazette (Harare)

November 28, 2002
Posted to the web December 2, 2002

Reginald T Gola

For a long time workers have been a source of both urban and village
civilisation and an inspiration for the youth, students and children.

Every worker enjoyed some celebrity status in the family and the community.
The worker posed a challenge to the unemployed and fired them up with the
desire to get a job.

Workers have been role models in the neighbourhood and beyond. They have
been fashion-guides and property owners. They, in the past, played a very
critical role. But gone are the days.

The family and community heroes have died a painful death. Gone are the days
of meaningful working life in terms of rewards. Gone are the days of heavy
shopping for the immediate family and for the extended. Going to the village
was no big deal and it was celebrated at all times as those goodies from
town marked a favourable change of diet.

The illegitimate ZANU PF regime has destroyed our true Zimbabwean tradition
of caring. It has wrecked our culture irreparably.

Zimbabweans have learnt to curse visitors and the extended family due to the
erratic food supplies and the money that no longer buys much beyond a box of

It has planted hatred between parents and children. There is no more loving
and cuddling. The rural folks are cursing the dried up wells of goodies from
town. They do not expect the well of goodies to dry-up when their children
still go to work.

The children are now scared of the country bus terminus, the way to the
rural home. Going to the rural home is about going to deliver either some
agricultural implements or food for the rural parents but now that money
does not buy any more goodies, going to the rural home has become an
expensive luxury.

Inevitably, hatred arises and the friendly spirits rise in favour of the
grieving, hungry and angry parents in the rural areas.

Working in Zimbabwe has become the most unprofitable exercise. Loyal workers
have assumed a new identity. Misery, thinness, anger and hunger in Mugabe's

The lucky ones who could afford the restrictive air fares have escaped this
misery to Tony Blair's England. Zimbabwean workers are no different from
slaves as their earnings can only buy a little better than a box of matches
as of now.

But, surprisingly, they have remained quiet. Yes, Mugabe's tools of
oppression and repression may be fully lubricated, but a point of life or
death has emerged.

They are caught between a rock and hard surface in the scorching sun. But
Mugabe's big-belly thugs are still walking around masquerading as democrats,
looting more and rigging elections as evidenced in Insiza recently.

Health centres have become holocausts. Workers are dying in their numbers
from poor health.

Mugabe's "Lord's Resistance Movement" has ruined hospitals and industry. The
workers have been exposed to abject poverty. Medical attention has, of late,
escalated by 700 percent despite the fact that the hospitals now provide
bedding only, just as lodges do, as dispensaries have remained empty.

The Zimbabwean "Lord's Resistance Movement" had shamelessly continued to
siphon the equivalent of United States one million dollars monthly over a
period of three years, as part of Mugabe and his cronies personalised
investment in the Congo war of fortune in support of an illegitimate regime
at the expense of the citizenry till a few weeks ago.

Several thousand United States dollars are currently being invested in the
hire of the Black American Wailers Crusade (BAWC) as part of the Zimbabwean
"Lord's Resistance Movement" public relations international atrocities
cover-up strategy.

Transport costs have become prohibitive such that the rural areas excursions
with food supplies have inevitably become imaginary.

The Public Service Medical Aid Society has cried foul. It has expressed
concern to the "Lord's Resistance Movement" that its constituents would not
be able to cope with the ever increasing subscriptions and suggested that
the government introduces price controls on medicines.

This is a role that, under normal circumstances, the trade union movement
should be articulating.

Mugabe's Lord's Resistance Movement" chief of propaganda, Jonathan Moyo has
shamelessly lied that the high exodus of Zimbabwean economic refugees was
plotted by the British and the Movement for Democratic Change.

This is a blatant lie as supporters of Mugabe's "Lord's Resistance Movement"
have always been in the stampede. Hence the existence of the various dubious
societies which are part of the regime's atrocities cover-up international
public relations strategies.

The Zimbabwean situation has gone too desperate that the "Lord's Resistance
Movement" can no longer afford the cost of continuously bribing its own
people as is custom.

Hunger, slavery, poverty, disease and misery have no boundaries. Zimbabwean
workers of all persuasions have abandoned what used to be top profile and
well paying jobs to join the economic survival stampede which is said to be
bringing the "Lord's Resistence Movement" an estimated 15 million pounds per
month from Tony Blair's England.

In this way they have managed to keep families alive in Mugabe's Zimbabwe as
well as supplying the now almost official black market foreign currency
which is heavily patronised by Mugabe's "Lord's Resistance Movement" for the
Libyan SADC and Eastern bloc honey-moon trips since the inception of the
Western travel ban.

Jonathan Moyo is a shameless ZANU PF apologist committed to undue
"West-bashing" to give Mugabe some borrowed comfort and time.

He has claimed that Zimbabweans are subjected to slavery conditions in the
West yet the quality of life in Mugabe's Zimbabwe is currently second to
none, in terms of deplorability.

Maybe to support Moyo, I should call it "Zimbabweans in voluntary slavery".

It is a voluntary and most profitable slavery as compared to risking being
choked to death through hunger, poverty, bad governance, torture, forced
loyalty and high disregard for human rights.

The worst slaves are the slaves at home, here in Mugabe's Zimbabwe, who do
not have the ruling "Lord's Resistance Movement" membership cards.

The worst news that these innocent workers and victims of bad governance
would want to hear is "return to Zimbabwe" for as long as the Zimbabwe
"Lord's Resistance Movement" continues to rig the elections in favour of the
age-scorched Robert Mugabe.

If Tony Blair's England, "Jonathan Moyo's Australian "Kangaroos", Canada and
Mbeki's South Africa had not involuntarily provided alternatives for
starving Zimbabweans, the Mugabe regime would have, by now, experienced
genuine stomach and head aches.

It is Mugabe's cheap pride that makes him fail to applaud his "Messiah" Tony
Blair and others. It is the West's advocacy for good governance that has
caused this rift.

Reginald T Gola is an Organisation Development Consultant, Legislative
Consultant and Political Commentator. E-mail:
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Food Aid Deal Collapses

Financial Gazette (Harare)

November 28, 2002
Posted to the web December 2, 2002

Abel Mutsakani Deputy Editor-in-Chief

A deal for the government to swap organic maize for genetically modified
(GM) grain to feed close to seven million Zimbabweans facing starvation has
virtually collapsed because Harare has insufficient maize stocks,
jeopardising future food aid, the Financial Gazette established this week.

The agreement, signed two months ago between the government and the United
States of America, was supposed to result in Zimbabwe swapping naturally
grown maize for genetically altered grain from the United States.

An initial shipment of more than 17 000 tonnes of genetically modified maize
donated by the US, enough to feed about 1.6 million hungry people for a
month, was supposed to be exchanged for a similar quantity of organic maize.

But the maize remains stockpiled at warehouses in neighbouring South
Africa's port city of Durban, two months after the government agreed it
should be brought into the country.

A spokesman for the World Food Programme (WFP) in Harare, Luis Clemens,
confirmed that the maize, initially provided under the auspices of the USA's
Agency for International Development (USAID) but later handed over to WFP,
was still outside Zimbabwe.

"An agreement was signed for 17 500 tonnes of USA-donated maize, which was
to be swapped for non-GM maize but that has not taken place yet," Clemens
said yesterday.

There was no comment from Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare Minister
July Moyo, who is in charge of food relief in Zimbabwe.

But under the swap deal sealed in September, the WFP agreed to hand over the
USA-donated maize to the government, which would mill it and distribute it
to the public as mealie-meal.

Harare would, in exchange, give the WFP 17 500 tonnes of naturally produced
maize which the international food agency could distribute under its food
relief programmes.

The deal, which sources in the donor community say was intended to be a
model for future food imports, was a compromise solution after Harare had
objected to GM maize being brought into Zimbabwe.

Harare, like other southern African governments facing hunger, says it does
not want GM maize to be distributed in Zimbabwe. It fears farmers could
plant it and endanger future agricultural exports, especially to the
European Union, which has strict laws against the import of GM products.

The sources said the compromise deal was as good as dead because the
government did not have the non-GM maize to exchange with donors.

Drought and a controversial government programme to take over white-owned
commercial farms has slashed maize production by at least 60 percent in the
past year, making it difficult for the state to procure naturally grown

Zimbabwe also has no maize reserves stored for emergency situations such as
the one it is facing.

Sources said the government's lack of maize stocks could derail future food
donations especially since the USA is the largest single food donor.

The USA contributes about half of all international emergency food aid
requirements, but refuses to separate GM and non-GM food arguing it is
harmless because Americans eat it.

The USA announced this week that it had set aside US$104 million for food
purchase for Zimbabwe but did not indicate whether the food would be bought
from American producers or not.

"This thing will not work anymore, not because the government does not want
it to work, but because it does not have enough non-GMO maize to exchange
and it is important to note that that also puts a big question on what will
happen to future donations if they are GMO," a senior official with an
international aid organisation said.

Clemens however declined to comment on future GM food donations.

But aid agency officials say the collapse of the swap deal could hamper
efforts to feed about 6.7 million Zimbabweans in need of emergency food aid,
whose numbers could swell next year if the El Nino weather phenomenon hits
southern Africa.

The El Nino is associated with droughts in the region.

"Past data had shown that this (El Nino conditions) could be accompanied by
a drop in rainfall in the south of the country and a reduction in crop
yields by between 20 to 40 percent," USAID's Famine Early Warning Systems
Network said in its latest report on Zimbabwe.

The organisation has called on the government and aid agencies to step up
efforts to avert starvation as Zimbabwe's food security situation worsens.
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Daily News

      Bank loses millions in forex scam

      12/2/2002 (GMT +2)

      By Pedzisai Ruhanya

      IN what could be one of the biggest financial frauds in Zimbabwe, a
Harare man has been charged and granted $800 000 bail by the Harare
Magistrates' Court for allegedly defrauding a bank in a foreign currency
scam involving nearly $400 million.

      Craig Fadzai Manzinde, 39, of Sunningdale suburb, was also ordered to
surrender his passport, report twice a day to the Criminal Investigations
Department and was forbidden from travelling 40 kilometres outside Harare.

      He appeared before the court last Friday. Manzinde, who is
self-employed and sells cars on commission, was represented by Edmond
Chivhinge. The court remanded him to 19 December. According to the State,
the crime occurred between 15 and 31 October 2002. It is alleged that
Manzinde went to the National Merchant Bank (NMB)'s Unity Court Branch along
Kwame Nkrumah Avenue while in possession of a cheque of US$250 000, which
was made payable to the bank by American Express Bank in the United States
of America.

      According to the State, he withdrew a total of $362 500 million. The
cheque was later discovered to have been altered by Manzinde from US$533,92
to read US$250 000. As a result, the State alleged that he defrauded the
bank of $362 500 million. The State told the court it had so far recovered
$49 855 261,49. This also means that Manzinde changed his foreign currency
with the bank using the parallel market rate of US$1: Z$1 450, instead of
the official rate of US$1: Z$55. If Manzinde had used the official rate he
could have been given $13 750 000 by the bank.

      The State said that after 13 days, Manzinde asked the Bank to disburse
the money in the form of four bank cheques in the amounts of $263 750 000,
$61 250 000, $20 000 000 and $10 000 000. It is alleged that the NMB sent
the cheque to the US for clearance and on 14 November 2002 the NMB received
confirmation from the American Express Bank that the cheque had been
altered. The matter was reported to the police on 20 November 2002, leading
to the arrest of Manzinde on 23 November 2002.
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Belgian Credit Agency Issues Default Notice Against Zimbabwe

Financial Gazette (Harare)

November 28, 2002
Posted to the web December 2, 2002

Macdonald Dzirutwe Business News Editor

A Belgian export credit agency, Office National du Ducroire (OND), has
issued a default notice against Zimbabwe to international financial
institutions and credit agencies after the government failed to pay more
than US$376 million owed to the organisation, it was learnt this week.

OND, which issued the alert last Friday, is an autonomous agency that has a
financial guarantee from the Belgian government. It provided medium term
credit to Zimbabwe two years ago.

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The organisation is part of the Berne Union, which represents 51 members
worldwide and whose purpose is to provide credit and insurance cover against
non-payment of international trade debts.

Sources told the Financial Gazette that the OND notice had also been issued
to all Berne Union members, which include Zimbabwe's Credsure.

They said the Zimbabwean government had secured funds from OND on behalf of
a parastatal which wanted to procure equipment from a Belgian supplier two
years ago.

Although the sources said the parastatal was likely to be the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority, the Financial Gazette had not been able to
confirm this by Tuesday.

The default notice, seen by this newspaper early this week, however shows
that the Zimbabwean government, through the Ministry of Finance, issued a
guarantee to OND that the amount of US$376 881.41 million provided to the
parastatal would be paid.

"The parastatal procured equipment from a Belgian supplier and financed the
procurement by borrowing from OND, the Belgian export credit agency," a
source close to the matter said.

"OND had required some security (from the parastatal) and so the Zimbabwe
government provided the guarantee to OND."

Sources said OND's default notice would worsen Zimbabwe's international
credit worthiness, already tarnished by the country's failure to meet its
foreign obligations because of severe hard currency shortages.

Information obtained this week from OND, which has suspended credit and
insurance cover to Zimbabwe, shows that the agency has given the country the
worst credit rating that it can award to a client.

Zimbabwe is rated seven, which indicates that the country is considered to
be "very high risk".

"Cover (insurance and credit) is, in particular, suspended on Burundi, Cape
Verde, Nicaragua, Zambia and Zimbabwe," OND said in a statement.

The agency has however awarded Zimbabwe's nearest neighbours, Botswana and
South Africa, ratings showing they are considered "relatively low risk" and
"low risk" countries.

Local economic commentators said the Zimbabwean government had set a bad
precedence that would make it impossible for the country's private sector
and parastatals to secure credit from Berne Union members, which include the
Export-Import Bank of the United States.

"We are destroying the creditworthiness that we have built since 1980 and it
will take many more years to re-establish that even if the present
government goes today," consultant economist John Robertson said.

Zimbabwe's inability to meet its foreign obligations and its reputation as a
bad credit risk has contributed to the suspension of balance-of-payments
support from international institutions, worsening serious hard currency

Zimbabwe's arrears on foreign debt now stand at US$1.3 billion, and until
cleared will make it difficult for the country to secure further foreign
assistance at a time it is desperate for foreign currency.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Leonard Tsumba last week said Zimbabwe's
hard cash crisis was so severe that the country had less than two weeks
import cover.

"We can cover up to two weeks of imports but ideally, we have to cover three
months. We need at least US$202 million a month as an economy in the
developing world," Tsumba said when he announced new monetary policy
measures last Wednesday.

Analysts said Zimbabwe had to mend fences with international institutions
such as the Berne Union, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
by restoring confidence in the country's economy.

This would enable the country to attract foreign support, easing the forex

An economist with Intermarket Holdings said: "Everything seems to be going
down and we cannot continue with this go-it-alone attitude and continue to
default because the time will come when we will be called to account for
everything we owe.

"The world will not want to see us sink beyond where we are and so we have
to start mending fences with the rest of the world. We have very limited

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Potential for Conflict Over Land

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

December 2, 2002
Posted to the web December 2, 2002

This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations

The pending settlement of a land dispute case in northern KwaZulu-Natal
(KZN) could become an example for the rest of South Africa, which, like its
neighbour Zimbabwe, is faced with a need to conduct land reform.

Unlike its northern neighbour, South Africa's land reform programme has not
been marked by violence and disrespect for the rule of law. However, a
number of land invasions have occurred over the past few years outside of
the government's programme.

In the tiny rural area of Nonoti, about 100-km north of the coastal city of
Durban, a land dispute case is being finalised that could have implications
for land reform in South Africa.

In the late 1980's Nonoti consisted mainly of a number of small-scale
sugarcane farmers, many of whose families had been living on and working
their land since the 19th century.

However, since 1989 many of them have fled their homes and abandoned their
farm land due to land invasions. But the seemingly intractable dispute over
land rights may yet be solved through negotiations between land owners,
illegal occupiers and the government.

With KZN being a former hotbed of political violence - mostly before, during
and the years immediately after South Africa's first democratic election in
1994 - the potential for further violence over land was worrying, said Mary
de Haas of the Natal Violence Monitor.

A Monitor report on patterns of violence in KZN, covering the period May to
September 2002, noted that: "Orchestrated land invasions have been occurring
in a number of areas of this province for several years. The threat of
further invasions loomed large in Kranskop [a rural area of the province]
following the killing of an alleged poacher in August ...

"Following this incident, members of the amaNgcolosi Tribal Authority, which
borders on commercial farming land and a conservancy area in which the
shooting occurred, alleged various abuses by farmers (including the
confiscation of livestock), called for the removal of whites and 'whoever
came with sugarcane' (an apparent allusion to Indian farmers in the area)."

The report said other farmers targeted for attack during the period included
farmers of Indian heritage in the Verulam/Hazelmere area, "where attacks
have reportedly increased dramatically this year ... a number have fled
their farms in fear of their lives".


A representative of the small-scale farmers affected by land invasions,
Naren Harikrishna, vice chair of the Darnall Farmers Association, outlined
the background to the dispute.

Although Harikrishna was not affected by land invasions, his association
decided to assist the Nonoti farmers when it became clear a solution needed
to be negotiated.

"It [land invasions] began in about 1989. There was a black [African] family
living on their own property and one of them decided he was going to sell
plots to outsiders for a few Rands, that is how it started," Harikrishna

As more and more people came to the area to settle, there was greater demand
for land.

"Sugarcane is easily destroyed by fire and they started burning the cane off
the land and started building houses on farmers' land. It spread, from one
farm to the other. These were poor, small farmers. Not guys who could afford
security and legal costs to get squatters evicted. The affected farmers
eventually, in about 1990, got together and formed a committee and they got
a court order to evict the illegal occupants on their land.

"But the order was not carried out [by authorities]. In one section the army
did evict illegal occupants but two weeks later they [squatters] were back
and were setting up shacks again," Harikrishna added.

There were at least two incidents in which farmers homes were razed by
arsonists. Violence and threats forced many to flee and give up their homes
and land. About 20 small-scale farmers were left with nothing.


De Haas said land invasions had "been going on for over 10 years, they have
been targeting small-scale sugar farmers ... hoping nobody would notice".

She said political violence was a major factor driving invasions. "It's
linked to violence in other areas, [violence] has forced people to flee,"
she said.

In Nonoti the displaced have become the displacers.

Harikrishna told IRIN that many of the people who had illegally occupied
farmers' land were themselves forced to flee their home areas.

"People have come from everywhere, from the Transkei, Zululand, Durban, all
over the place. A lot of people were displaced because of political violence
in KwaZulu-Natal. Violence in their home areas forced them to move, they
were looking for a safe haven. Also, many have never owned land in all their
lives, so they see there's an opportunity to own land and they move in," he

Their occupation of land has in turn forced others to flee.

"The affected farmers have moved into cities and into other spheres of
industry as their land cannot sustain them any longer. Many depend on
relatives and friends. They were small farmers, each had between 10 and 20
hectares of land. Homes have been burnt down, crops were destroyed during
the illegal occupations. The farmers had to abandon their land," Harikrishna


The people illegally occupying farm land have virtually no facilities. But
the local municipality cannot provide infrastructure services without the
permission of the land-owners, which was not forthcoming. "The council can
only put in infrastructure with the land-owners permission, but how can the
land-owners give consent for illegal occupation of their land?" said

"The squatters on the land have no infrastructure, no water provision, no
electricity, no roads, no plumbing, no refuse removal - no facilities at

"In all, about 600 hectares of crop land has been occupied illegally and
there are about three treadle pumps to serve about 1,000 households
averaging five people per home, that's about 5,000 people. In the mornings
you see a long line of people queuing for water," he added.


About six months ago the affected farmers began negotiating with the
department of land affairs.

"We have now got to the point where the affected farmers have decided to
sell the land to the department, so they will get compensation, and the land
will be given to the municipality so that they can go and put in

"All the necessary documentation, title deeds etc., have been given to the
department of land affairs. The department will appoint an evaluator to
value the properties and we are hoping that by the end of March [2003] this
whole [thing] will be sorted out. Payments would be made and the land would
be given to the municipality," Harikrishna said.

Khathe Nzimande, chief planner for the regional programme in the provincial
department of land affairs, told IRIN that it seemed a resolution was near.

"Previously we had a problem in that owners did not want to sign agreements
and a lot of occupiers coming onto the land. Up until the intervention of
the Darnall Farmers Association that is, now there seems to be a resolution.
Most of the land owners have submitted their land availability agreements
... evaluation money has been approved and we'll be meeting with the
community [occupying the land] very soon to discuss the transfer of the land
to the municipality," he said.

It appeared that there were reservations within the community occupying the
land over the transfer of the land to the municipality and not to them.

"In most cases we only transfer land to the municipality once the
municipality has indicated there will be housing development [on the
property], but in this case they have not [indicated such]. But they have
assured us that once there's a final settlement they will plan for
development. At this meeting we will talk to the people [about the
municipalities' plans]," Nzimande explained.

There has also been an official land claim lodged, but the regional land
claims commission has given the department the go-ahead to proceed with its

Should the official land claim succeed, there may have to be a
renegotiation, Nzimande said. Either way, the department hoped the issue
would be sorted out before the end of the financial year.


"We hope that this will be a success story, where the problems are solved,
to a large extent, by the communities themselves. What we did was we formed
two committees. A committee of affected landowners and a committee headed by
a local councillor with representatives of the people living on the land.

"We sat down and talked, and now there's a solution in sight," said
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What sort of farmers need to be urged to till the land?

Be Fully Geared for Farming, President Tells Farmers

The Herald (govt paper) (Harare)

November 29, 2002
Posted to the web December 2, 2002


President Mugabe has urged newly-resettled farmers to use their ploughs to
till the land in preparation for the coming agricultural season, instead of
waiting for tractors from the Government.

He said it was imperative for people to be fully geared for the season since
time was running out.

"It is encouraging to note that in some areas, crops have already started to

"There are some areas which have not been ploughed, particularly in
resettlement areas.

"In the rural areas, some have already started to plough. Do not wait for
tractors. Those with cattle must start to plough maybe one or two hectares
in the areas, in which they have been resettled."

The President said this when he officially opened a science and
administration block at Chikaka Secondary School in Zvimba.

He urged those with tractors to assist those who were struggling to till the
land owing to lack of equipment.

He said Zimbabweans should remain united to overcome challenges facing the

"Let us remain united in good or bad times. When we are going through hard
times, we should try to find solutions. This will enable us to develop as a
nation," he said.

The President also urged pupils at the school to work hard and pass their

Cde Mugabe said he was satisfied with the development that had taken place
at Chikaka Secondary School where he initially donated $1million for the
construction of the administration and science blocks.

The Government would always support initiatives meant to ensure that the
youths received quality education, he said.

It was for that reason that when parents in Zvimba requested him to assist
in the construction of the administration and science blocks, he obliged.

Chikaka Secondary School is now being supplied with fresh water from the
nearby Nyamavanga Dam.

Yesterday, the President donated an additional $5million to the school.

Prominent bankers Mr Enock Kamushinda and Dr Gideon Gono and Zimbabwe
Football Association chairman Mr Leo Mugabe, donated $500 000 each to the

President Mugabe said he would also support a proposal by traditional
leaders to construct a new clinic in the area.

The President was accompanied by the Minister of Local Government, Public
Works and National Housing, Cde Ignatius Chombo, Zanu-PF Secretary for
Information and Publicity, Cde Nathan Shamuyarira, Mashonaland West
Provincial Governor Cde Peter Chanetsa and senior Government and Zanu-PF
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Daily News  - Feature

      Famine looms as commercial farms reduced to zero activity

      12/2/2002 10:54:41 AM (GMT +2)

      By Geoffrey Nyarota

      As Flight SA020 descended in preparation for touchdown at Harare
International Airport last Monday the intercom crackled into life overhead
and an authoritative voice made an unusual announcement.

      "This is your captain speaking," the voice said. "Passengers occupying
a window seat on either side may wish to look below to see how commercial
farming is fast disappearing from Zimbabwe."

      Passengers, including those like me who were not occupying a window
seat, responded and were reeled in shock.

      Their aerial inspection of the fast changing landscape below presented
them with a forlorn picture of what the commercial farming sector has
degenerated to in the 34 months since the first farm was invaded by a group
of war veterans in the Masvingo area to signal the advent of government's
agrarian reform programme, an exercise which has been marred by lawlessness
and violence.

      What the passengers on Flight SA020 saw along their flight path was a
scene of zero farming activity on commercial farms in the Beatrice and
Harare South commercial farming area.

      While listeners and viewers of radio and television have been
bombarded with the outrageous propaganda spewed out day and night by the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation to extol the virtues of their country's
new agrarian revolution spearheaded by the new farmers what the passengers
on this flight and, no doubt, passengers on other flights, local and
international see as they fly in and out of Harare is a totally different
story. It is a story of desolation and total waste.

      Quite evidently there is little farming activity, let alone an
agricultural revolution taking place on the commercial farms that once
elevated Zimbabwe to the status of bread basket of the region along with
South Africa.

      The new farmers in the Beatrice and Harare South areas are quite
obviously not part of the new revolution that became the centrepiece of the
optimistic propaganda that the draughts-men at the Ministry of Information
started to churn out before the first crop of the much anticipated rainy
season had even taken root.

      The resettlement programme has been bedevilled by a serious shortage
of tractors, seed and fertilisers. There is a serious shortage of fertiliser
in the country. A bank official who spoke on condition he was not identified
said last week his bank's agri-business department was processing and
approving, hundreds of applications from new farmers for loans.

      "Normally this process is over by August," he said. "But we are still
processing hundreds of applications from people who say they want to buy
tractors and other implements and inputs for this season. It's chaotic, but
we are giving them the money, sometimes without full assessment of viability
and without security."

      He said A2 Scheme farmers were receiving loans of up to $10 million.

      "Some government ministers are receiving up to $70 million. They say
they want to buy combine harvesters. Some have old loans that they have not
repaid or been servicing."

      In order to avoid jumping to a negative conclusion over government's
much publicised agrarian reform on the basis of observations made from the
air in only a part of the country, The Daily News, last week chartered a
light aircraft to fly extensively over other commercial farming areas.

      This was to establish whether the pattern was the same there and to
ascertain the extent or lack thereof of farming activity by the new
settlers, many of them members of the war veteran community but others who
are civilians resettled in orderly fashion as part of the A2 Scheme on
productive land from which the previous white owners were forcibly, and in
some cases, violently evicted over the past 34 months, as part of government
's land resettlement programme.

      The chartered plane flew a Daily News photographer over the rich
commercial farming area of Mazowe Valley to cover the Bindura and Concession
areas, before veering off south east-wards to fly over the equally rich
Marondera and Hwedza areas.

      A common observation in all areas was the almost total absence of land
preparation for the new season in the commercial farming areas. It was also
quite apparent that no winter crops were harvested. It was also evident that
the occasional farming activity, which the traveller sometimes observes in
the commercial farming districts is limited to the roadside, the favourite
haunt of farm invaders.

      The pictures published on this page are an example of what one sees
from the air as one flies from Harare to Bindura via Concession and
Glendale, where there is unequivocal evidence of almost zero farming
activity. Similarly non-existent farming activity was observed in the
Marondera/Hwedza area, despite the abundance of water, including irrigation

      The fact simply has to be accepted by the most ardent supporters of
the current agrarian programme it has been the cause of the total or near
collapse of serious commercial farming activity in those areas covered by
The Daily News flight.

      It becomes a logical assumption that it could be this serious decline
in productive agriculture, rather than last season's drought situation that
was the major cause of the current dire shortage of food, with little
prospect that the haphazard planting of a few resource-strapped new farmers
will make up for the national loss.

      Since the wave of government-sponsored farm invasions started in
earnest in 2000 some 3 000 white commercial farmers have been evicted, some
violently, from their farms. More than 10 members of the commercial farming
community lost their lives in the period. Only 600 farmers remain on their
farms, being engaged in full-scale or limited farming activity. There are
unofficial reports that government is currently encouraging selected farmers
either to return to their farms or to increase production.

      An estimated 900 000 farm workers have been displaced over the same
period. The Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe, which is assisting displaced
farm workers, reports that more than 150 000 farm workers and their families
were displaced in August alone, when their employers were evicted by
government's agrarian reform programme.

      Meanwhile, United Nations agencies estimate that 6,9 million
Zimbabweans currently face starvation. The shortage of basic food stuffs has
become acute in both rural and urban areas.

      There may be a deluge of rain this season. In the commercial farming
sector the rains will fall, in most cases, on untilled land with little
prospect of contributing towards the alleviation of the current spectre of
starvation on a massive scale.
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Daily News  - Letter

      Census report due out in December 2004

      12/2/2002 (GMT +2)

      In response to the letter which was published in your issue of Friday
8 November 2002, the Central Census Office (CCO) would like to inform the
public that a population census exercise involves several processes that
ensure that figures that will be finally published are accurate and give the
true demographic picture of the nation. It, thus, takes a while before even
publishing the preliminary results.

      The writer of the letter pointed out that the CCO might forget about
the census results altogether, but CCO would like to inform the public that
this is not possible because conducting and publishing census results is the
major business of this office. The CCO is working towards the publishing of
the 2002 population census results. Because of the complex nature of the
census process as has been described above, the publication of the results
will be done in phases based on the detail to be published.

      Preliminary results based on manual editing and summing-up will be
published in December 2002. Electronic data processing will begin in January
2003 and the first provincial profile will be published in the second
quarter of 2003 and the national report in December 2004.

      CCO Information



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Daily News - Leader Page

      Not disclosing losses in DRC smacks of cover-up

      12/2/2002 (GMT +2)

      THE questions Zimbabweans have been asking about the human, financial
and equipment cost of the country's four-year adventure in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) remain unanswered.

      In September, the Minister of Defence promised that the casualties of
the campaign would be disclosed during the DRC Withdrawal Grand Parade. That
was held on Saturday in Harare, but Zimbabweans are none the wiser after the
event. Addressing 1 200 of the estimated 11 000 soldiers who participated in
the DRC campaign, President Mugabe, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the
Zimbabwe Defence Forces, said contrary to the general belief that Zimbabwe
had suffered heavy human and equipment losses, the country had suffered
minimal losses during the four-year campaign.

      He may have been correct. A hundred or 500 soldiers compared to 11 000
can be considered minimal. But for the families of the dead soldiers, one
death is one loss too many. By not disclosing the losses Zimbabwe suffered,
the matter is left to conjecture, speculation, but not to those for whom the
losses meant a lot. The only inference that can be drawn from the reluctance
to quantify statistically Zimbabwe's losses in the DRC, is that they must be
so high they would shock many into questioning the returns on such an
investment. It is possible that in its attempt to underplay the casualty
rate, the government feared putting a specific number because many of those
who were there know the truth and would, therefore, dispute it, with proof.
Many at Manyame Air Base, who witnessed the incoming flights carrying the
bodies of their fallen relatives, colleagues and friends, know the extent of
the losses suffered by Zimbabwe in the DRC. It will not be long, however,
before the truth is known.

      But it is also possible that Zimbabwe really does not know the full
extent of its losses, otherwise why should the toll remain secretive? Mugabe
instead went on the offensive, criticising those who have questioned the
involvement of Zimbabwe in the DRC. While it is accepted that Zimbabwe went
into the DRC initially with the specific brief of supporting the Kinshasa
administration against rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda, the United
Nations report on the plunder of the DRC's natural resources shows clearly
that somewhere along the way, the mission departed from being solely one of
defending the territorial integrity of the central African nation.

      Mugabe said that the government was clean and had not been involved in
questionable activities in the DRC. That is probably true. Those named in
the UN report did not carry out the activities they are alleged to have
conducted on behalf of the government, even though they are very senior
government officials. But while Zimbabwe has rushed to criticise and dismiss
the UN report, President Joseph Kabila has used it as a basis for taking
action against his own officials named in the report. That there was
something untoward is not in dispute. It is just that some people believe
that if the truth is denied and dismissed repeatedly, it will eventually

      It would be helpful if an inter-parliamentary committee is established
to follow up on the UN report and ascertain the veracity of the charges made
in that report. Only then, can the government go ahead and dismiss the UN
report. To refuse to do so would suggest the government knows something and
is trying to keep it from the rest of the nation. The truth might be
suppressed for now, but it cannot be kept a secret for ever. For example, a
change over in Kinshasa might see someone determined to get to the bottom of
the extent of the plunder. That would create problems for the government.

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The Australian

Stephen Romei: Add another name to the axis of evil: Mugabe

December 03, 2002
WHEN it comes to being the world's most despicable despot, Robert Mugabe is
giving Saddam Hussein a run for his money. If the US-UK-Australia
anti-terrorism alliance is serious about its work, Zimbabwe should join the
list of regimes in need of change.

Mugabe is practising systematic and widespread terrorism against his people
by withholding desperately needed food aid to regions that voted for the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the March presidential

It is difficult to know the extent of the problem due to the curbs on
foreign media enacted in the lead-up to the poll. However, it seems the US
and Australia recognise that Mugabe has turned charity into a political
weapon - potentially of mass destruction.

In October, Mugabe accused Oxfam and Save the Children of backing the MDC
and banned them from distributing aid. Hundreds of tonnes of food sit
untouched on the South African border.

In a videotape smuggled out of Zimbabwe and aired on the ABC last week,
locals - including a shopkeeper - said only card-carrying members of
Mugabe's Zanu-Patriotic Front party were receiving the maize meal shipped in
by foreign donors, including Australia.

The party's senior bureaucrat Didymus Mutasa has reportedly said Zimbabwe
would be better off if half its 12 million people starved to death. It's not
an idle figure; it is the number who do face starvation, according to the UN
World Food Program.

"We would be better off with only 6 million, with our own people who support
the liberation struggle," Mutasa reportedly said. "We don't want all these
extra people."

In that callous calculus, Regina Mwindle, a 39-year-old mother of seven,
would be one of the extra people. Like most in her township, she supported
the MDC in the polls. As reported in The Australian last week, she and her
family, denied food aid, survive on leaves, roots and seeds. It's a
desperation diet common in North Korea, another nation that starves its
people and a deserving member of George W. Bush's axis of evil.

Mwindle's youngest child is seven months old. He will not benefit from the
sanctions Australia placed on Zimbabwe in response to Mugabe's dispossession
of white farmers. Even Alexander Downer admits the measures - restricting
Mugabe and his ministers from travelling to Australia or operating in our
financial system - are largely symbolic.

It may be time to get tougher, as Mark Bellamy, the US Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State for Africa, has suggested. Comparing Mugabe with Hussein,
Bellamy said: "We may be prepared to take some very intrusive,
interventionist measures to ensure aid delivery to Zimbabwe."

It will be interesting to see if that view wins support in the US
administration and with allies such as Australia. The anti-terrorism
alliance wants to neck Hussein because of the uncertain threat he poses to
us, not his documented domestic terrorism. Mugabe does not imperil us but
he's a terrorist all the same.

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Daily News

      Farming disaster

      12/2/2002 (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporters

      THE government's land resettlement programme has been dealt a severe
blow by the severe shortage of tillage units and a 100 percent rise in
tilling costs.

      As a result, thousands of newly resettled farmers, particularly in the
Midlands and Matabeleland provinces, have not yet prepared their land for
planting. This comes at a time when there is generally low activity on most
of the farms occupied by the country's "new farmers", following the ejection
of white commercial farmers under the government's fast-track resettlement

      Most of the resettled farmers do not have the farming implements,
maize seed and inputs, which are either in short supply or are too expensive
to buy. On Thursday, President Mugabe urged those with tractors to assist
those who were struggling to till their land owing to lack of equipment. He
was speaking when he officially opened a science and administration block at
Chikaka Secondary School in Zvimba, his rural home. A senior official with
the government's Agricultural Research and Extension Services (Arex) in
Gweru, said at the weekend the shortage of government tillage units had
severely crippled the land redistribution exercise.

      The problem has been compounded by a 100 percent rise in tilling costs
and the continued shortage of maize-seed and drought haunting Zimbabwe's
agricultural sector. The District Development Fund (DDF), which falls under
the Ministry of Rural Resources and Water Development, on Friday confirmed
the increase in tilling costs. A DDF official in Bulawayo, who declined to
be named, said the the DDF now charges $9 950 to till a hectare of land.
Previously they charged $5 000. The increase was effected to cushion the DDF
from the current harsh economic conditions, he said. A number of DDF
tractors were also grounded because of a shortage of spare parts, the Arex
official said. "The DDF is now inviting individuals and organisations with
tillage equipment to assist in the provision of tillage services on acquired
farms," he said.

      "There is not much activity on the farms at the moment because of the
shortage of draught power and the erratic rains that we have received so
far," said DDF officials at the provincial offices in Gweru. They declined
to give further details. A notice at the DDF offices reads: "For those
willing to offer their services under this programme to be accepted, their
tractors and ancillary equipment must first be pronounced suitable by a
District Development Fund workshop nearest to them. "Interested individuals
and organisations shall provide their own tractors and operators,
implements, fuels, oils, repairs etc. Details on how the scheme will operate
are available at all District Development Fund district and provincial

      A number of large-scale commercial farmers, however, said they were
not willing to assist the government as they might not get paid for the
service. Silas Hungwe, the president of the Zimbabwe Farmers' Union (ZFU),
could not be reached to comment on the new charges. Most farmers, especially
in Matabeleland, do not have draught power as their cattle have succumbed to
the effects of the prevailing drought. Meanwhile, the ZFU has said the
early-planted maize crop in Zhombe and Silobela districts in the Midlands
could be a write-off if it does not rain within the next two weeks. Drake
Tobaiwa, the acting ZFU regional manager for Midlands, said most crops in
the area had wilted due to moisture stress. "If we do not receive meaningful
rains within the next two weeks the crops in those areas could be a
write-off," he said.
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Daily News

      ZCTU denies political links

      12/2/2002 11:25:54 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      Lovemore Matombo, the president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU), on Thursday said the labour body was not under any political
influence, contrary to accusations by its detractors.

      He was speaking at the official launch of the ZCTU's Labour and
Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) in Harare.

      Matombo said: "There is no influence from anywhere. We have the
capacity to think for ourselves, to organise and do anything that any
organisation anywhere can do. We are just as good as any institution

      The government and the Zanu PF-supported Zimbabwe Federation of Trade
Unions regard the ZCTU as an extension of the MDC.

      The LEDRIZ was first placed on the ZCTU's agenda seven years ago.
Among its aims is to carry out policy research on national, regional and
international developments that impact on labour and society.

      Matombo said the establishment of the LEDRIZ had come from a
realisation that developing countries were coming under a lot of pressure as
the world economy integrated.

      He said: "This pressure is easily transmitted to the labour market
where jobs and incomes are increasingly insecure. Because of the huge
influence developments elsewhere are having on our economies, this
introduces new challenges to the workers and the labour movement. Under such
conditions, foresight becomes a critical faculty.

      "In this regard, we are establishing a research institute to provide
the requisite foresight so that we are pro-active rather than reactive."
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Daily News

      Government still mum on DRC casualties

      12/2/2002 (GMT +2)

      By Sam Munyavi

      President Mugabe and Sydney Sekeramayi, the Minister of Defence, have
remained mum about the casualties and financial costs of the war in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), despite Sekeramayi's promise in
September that the figures would be revealed at Saturday's DRC withdrawal
military parade in Harare.

      The parade was held at the National Sports Stadium to mark the
withdrawal of Zimbabwe's troops from the DRC, where the government committed
11 000 soldiers in August 1998 to prop up the late Laurent Kabila's
government which was under attack by rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda.
Addressing the parade and a very low turn-out of members of the public,
Mugabe only said: "Contrary to the general belief that we suffered heavy
human and equipment losses, I would like to assure the nation that, where
losses occurred, they were very minimal.

      "We would not be having all this equipment and personnel on parade
today had we suffered heavy losses as claimed by the prophets of doom."
Asked why the number of casualties and the costs to Zimbabwe had not been
revealed as he had promised in Parliament in September, Sekeramayi said:
"Nobody ever said that. I didn't say that." Sekeramayi assured Parliament
that the full cost of the government's military adventure in the DRC would
be disclosed at the parade to mark the complete withdrawal of the troops
from that country. He was responding to a question by Giles Mutsekwa, the
MDC's shadow minister of defence.

      Sekeramayi said: "It is only at that parade where the human and
financial costs will be made public. That information will only be given
after our total withdrawal. We will not give the information in tranches."
Yesterday Mutsekwa said he would raise the question again with Sekeramayi in
Parliament. He said: "There has been a lot of speculation about the losses
in the DRC and Mugabe is actually fuelling that speculation. If he was
scared to tell the nation, then we must have lost a lot." Dr Lovemore
Madhuku, the chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, said Mugabe's
failure to release the information "must be condemned entirely".

      He said: "It is not surprising. They behave as if they will always be
the government of this country, an autocracy of sorts. That shows they have
no respect for Zimbabweans. "There is no accountability. Zimbabweans need to
know how many lives were lost in that war, how much it cost, and what
benefits we got from it. The nation needs this information for future
formulation of policy." On Saturday, Mugabe denied assertions by the United
Nations and others that Zimbabwe was involved in the plunder of the DRC's
resources. Mutsekwa said: "He was quick to say the DRC campaign was very
clean despite the UN report. He did not substantiate his statement. What it
means is that what happened in the DRC had the blessing of the
commander-in-chief. That is setting a bad precedent."

      Mutsekwa dismissed Saturday's parade as a Zanu PF rally. "We do not
regard it as a grand military parade. It was actually a Zanu PF campaign
rally." He said the display of military vehicles and equipment was "clearly
to scare people. Mugabe knows there is a lot of unrest now and there is
going to be an explosion in the near future".

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Daily News

      Police still holding NCA employees without charge

      12/2/2002 11:30:48 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporters

      The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) yesterday said 29 of its
members and workers who were arrested on Friday and Saturday were still in
police custody.

      Two are members of the NCA secretariat who were among the six arrested
while at work at the NCA head office in Harare on Friday. Four were released
without charge on Saturday morning.

      Douglas Mwonzora, the NCA spokesman, said: "They have not been
charged. These arrests have no basis whatsoever and constitute a serious
abuse of State power. It is not a crime to be employed by the NCA and it is
against the Constitution to punish persons who participate in peaceful

      The NCA staged demonstrations in 10 places around the country in its
continuing fight for a new democratic constitution.

      Mwonzora said the demonstrations would continue in two weeks' time
with 22 communities participating.

      He said: "Thereafter, but before Christmas, major demonstrations will
be staged in city centres to push for our demand for a new constitution."

      He described Saturday's demonstrations as "a huge success".

      He said: "These demonstrations were conducted under the new style in
which peaceful marches take place in local communities rather than in city

      "The main justification for these community-based demonstrations is to
build a gradual momentum for mass demonstrations throughout the country for
a new home-grown constitution as an answer to the Zimbabwean crisis.
Community-based demonstrations are also a form of public education."

      He said the NCA hoped the demonstration would produce "a core of brave
and seasoned activists ready to confront the Mugabe regime over its refusal
to embrace an open democracy".

      Mwonzora said Saturday's demonstrations were scheduled to take place
in 14 urban-based communities but succeeded in 10 places in Harare,
Chitungwiza, Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru after the police intimidated the
leadership in the other four centres.

      Mwonzora said the NCA would not respect the oppressive provisions of
the Public Order and Security Act.

      He said: "Only the government's readiness to engage in a genuine
constitutional reform process will lead to an end to these demonstrations."

      In Bulawayo, Felix Mafa, the NCA's vice-chairman, said the NCA
demonstrators had managed to circumvent the police by adopting a strategy
the police did not understand.

      He said: "Our strategies were far above the police intelligence. Many
people took part and our demonstration started in the suburbs, while the
police were patrolling in the city centre.

      "That action was only the beginning. People are disgruntled and fed up
and they are prepared to take up any action possible to challenge the
oppressive Mugabe government."
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