Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

What’s a Grand Strategy without Problems?
Article deleted 21 January 2014 [JB]
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Financial Times (UK), 22 January

Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia to discuss Congo

The presidents of Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia, all allies of assassinated Congolese president Laurent Kabila, were on Sunday preparing to meet to assess the situation. All three countries deployed troops to the DRC to support Mr Kabila's presidency after rebels tried to oust him in 1998. News of the meeting came as Mr Kabila's body lay in state in Lubumbashi, the capital in his home province. The body was due to be flown to Kinshasa for Tuesday's funeral. The body was returned to Lubumbashi from Harare where officials said the wounded president was taken for treatment shortly after being shot three times by one of his own long-serving bodyguards.

Details surrounding the assassination remained unclear but government officials said Mr Kabila was shot while he sat in his office on Tuesday while speaking with his private secretary. The assassin was shot dead by other soldiers after the president's secretary raised the alarm. Joseph Kabila, the dead president's son, was appointed president shortly after his father's death but opposition groups have said they do not acknowledge him as the nation's leader.

The Congolese government has indicated that it will return to the negotiating table soon after the funeral in a bid to end a two-year old civil war. On Thursday, the justice minister said the government would continue to seek the withdrawal of Rwandan and Ugandan forces which had supported rebels since 1998.

From The Star (SA), 21 January

We killed Kabila, says group of Congo rebels

Paris - A group of DRC soldiers close to one of Laurent Kabila's former allies, who disappeared in 1997, has claimed responsibility for the late president's slaying. The claim, received in Paris on Sunday, was signed by "the young militants of the National Council for Resistance and Democracy (NCRD)". It was dated January 18 - the day the government said Kabila died from wounds suffered in a shooting two days earlier - and was said to have been written in the capital, Kinshasa. Kabila was shot in the presidential palace in Kinshasa on Tuesday by a member of his presidential guard, then flown to Harare where the government said he died on Thursday, but Kinshasa officials have not identified his killer.

The statement said the NCRD had been formed under the orders of General Ngandu Kisase, who fought alongside Kabila in the war that ousted the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko from the then Zaire in 1997. Kisase disappeared later that year in circumstances that were never clarified. "We proclaim total backing for the heroic gesture of our brother in arms, Rachidi, who sacrificed himself to end the days of the bloody monster Kabila," it said. The NCRD statement did not identify "Rachidi".

From The Independent (UK), 22 January

How a hated dictator was betrayed by one of his most trusted guards

Kinshasa - The assassin who shot President Laurent-Desire Kabila at point blank range in his armchair last week raised no suspicions when he entered the White House sitting room of the Marble Palace in Kinshasa. He walked through the private entrance across the deep-pile red carpet towards the president, who was sitting in a white armchair by the long coffee table. "The man was a bodyguard. He knew the ways of the house. He would usually whisper the name of the next visitor in the president's ear," said Emile Mota in the first eyewitness account of the Congolese leader's murder last Tuesday.

The president, who had ruled the country for less than four years after overthrowing the despotic Mobutu Sese Seko, was fatally wounded by three bullets before loyal soldiers shot the bodyguard dead. In an interview with The Independent, Mr Mota, 44, the presidential economics adviser, who claims he was alone with Kabila, 62, when the shooting happened, describes in vivid detail how the leader of one of the world's largest and potentially wealthiest countries was shot at point blank range.

As the corpulent Kabila's white and gold coffin - too heavy for the guard of honour to carry - arrived in Kinshasa from Lubumbashi in the south and was put on display yesterday, Mr Mota said he hoped that speaking out would help dispel harmful rumours. Officials in the government now run by Joseph Kabila, 31, are desperately trying to maintain stability in the DRC) - a country of 50 million people, 10 times the area of the UK and already at the centre of the world's biggest war. Diplomatic sources did not dispute Mr Mota's account of the assassination and said the scenario of a gunman acting alone was gaining credence. But they questioned details of Mr Mota's rendition of events and stressed that other versions are circulating.

"It was 1.45pm and we were completing our morning's work," said the professor of mining economics from Lubumbashi, Kabila's home city, who has been a deputy director in the president's office since last August. "There were four of us appointed to the president's office and we worked on different days. My days were Tuesdays and Saturdays. My job was to take notes and instructions and to be with him in every meeting. That morning, at 9am, he received the Health Minister, Mashako Mamba, who came with a health project. At 10am, the North Korean charge d'affaires came to inform us that a ship was on its way with food to Kinshasa - a gift from his government. The Korean delegation left at around 12.30pm.

"From then on, we were on our own, myself and the head of state. We discussed the Franco-African summit in Yaounde [Cameroon] and we drew up a list of 27 people who were to travel there the next day, Wednesday." Mr Mota, sitting on a sofa in the hotel suite where he lives, then flung open his desk diary to reveal the list of names, written in red ink in the column for Tuesday 16 January. It included two generals, Mr Mota and one other close presidential aide, two ministers, plus Kabila's doctor, two servants, a cook, a protocol officer, six bodyguards and the 10 crew members of the private jet.

"The president was very relaxed. He told me that [Libyan President] Muammar Gaddafi had phoned him for guidance on whether to go to Yaounde. He had advised him to do so because it would be an opportunity to meet his African brother-presidents, as well as [French President] Jacques Chirac and [UN secretary general] Kofi Annan. President Chirac wanted to thank Kabila for his steps to broker peace in Burundi, including organising a meeting between Pierre Buyoya [its President] and Jean Bosco Ndayikengurukiye [a leading Burundi rebel leader]. France was in the DRC's debt and I was going to discuss a project with the French to build a TGV [high-speed train] from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi by 2003," Mr Mota said.

"The president was dressed in a short-sleeved green safari suit, as usual. He was sitting in an armchair near the door and I was on the sofa in front of a very large low table. The bodyguard came in. I recognised him. Rather than whisper in Kabila's ear, he very quickly pulled his revolver out of his hip holster and shot him in the left side of the neck at very close range. The president slumped back. As the killer backed away towards the door, he fired two more shots, into Kabila's stomach. One of them went through him into the right-hand arm of the chair and the other, after passing through Kabila, went into the sofa where I was sitting. It could have hit me.

"The bodyguard started running and I followed him, shouting for help. He was soon shot in the leg or foot but gave off two more shots before he was shot down. I did not see that happening, I just heard the shots. By then, I had gone back into the sitting room to see the president, who was unconscious, and to call a doctor. I tried to help move him, to get him on to the helicopter that was taking him to Ngaliena Clinic. My hands were covered in blood," Mr Mota said.

He denied reports that the shooting was prompted by a row between generals, possibly over the poor performance of the DRC and its allies - Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola - in their 30-month war against rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda in the east of the country. "There were no generals on Tuesday." He also denied reports - supported by local residents - that gunfire was heard from the palace compound for half an hour at about 4pm that day. Mr Mota could not confirm the name of the assassin, but the Congolese press and the Communication Ministry have named him as Rashidi Kasereka and have made much of his birth in an eastern - now rebel-held - part of former Zaire.

"I understand that the man, who was in his twenties - probably 25 or 26 - had been with Kabila from the beginning," Mr Mota said. "He was recruited by Kabila in the bush in Bukavu, in 1996, and was part of the forces that marched into Kinshasa in May 1997. "I believe it was a premeditated attack that had been planned for a long time," he said, though he has no idea of the motive. All of Kabila's 20 bodyguards have been arrested as part of the murder inquiry.

Diplomats who have heard Mr Mota's story said they believed only about a dozen people knew the facts and that the economics adviser was probably one of them. But they stressed that other theories were circulating and that a wide range of motives exists. Foremost among them is, according to diplomats and a number of analysts, that the DRC's ally, Angola, had grown frustrated with Kabila's intransigence and unwillingness to negotiate peace. If Angola arranged the assassination, it might well have been supported by Zimbabwe, whose president, Robert Mugabe, wants to get out of the war. But Joseph Kabila, installed by the government and expected to be sworn in after his father's funeral in Kinshasa tomorrow, is not known to be a negotiator nor to be particularly close to the Angolan leader, Eduardo Dos Santos. The Angolan President, at a meeting yesterday in Luanda with Mr Mugabe and the Namibian leader, Sam Nujoma, expressed support for Mr Kabila.

Mr Mota does not buy this scenario. Kabila was "on a peace mission" to Yaounde where a deal was to have been signed with Burundi. Mr Mota said that, through recent contacts with France and Gabon, Kabila had provided considerable evidence that he wanted peace. A military source said that disgruntlement within the army - including the bodyguards - was at an all-time high due to unpaid salaries, poor living conditions and the recent execution by Kabila of a respected general from the Kadogo tribe that had helped him to take Kinshasa in 1997. Kabila is also believed to have briefly stripped all his bodyguards of their weapons recently. The military source said that on the eve of the assassination, or in the early hours of Tuesday, the Kokolo army camp in Kinshasa had been surrounded by military police who said they were looking for deserters.

Mr Mota does not wish to speculate on such matters, and argues that he just wants to end the rumour-mongering and to offer his services to Joseph Kabila "so that we can, together, perpetuate Kabila's vision for this country. Kabila was misunderstood."

From IRIN (UN), 21 January

Luanda's Kinshasa Policy

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

Angola, a key regional power, is likely to play an influential role with the new government in the neighbouring DRC following the death this week of president Laurent-Desire Kabila, analysts told IRIN. "The government in Congo is very weak without Kabila," analyst Claude Kabemba at South Africa's Institute of Policy Studies said. "There is no way that (Angolan President Jose Eduardo) dos Santos would allow somebody to take power in Kinshasa and he doesn't control that person." Kabila's son, Major-General Joseph Kabila has been appointed his successor, but it is not yet clear how much real power the 32-year-old wields.

Angola will be "part of the consideration and part of the discussions" over the complexion and direction of the new government in Kinshasa, Ben Jackson, director of the London-based Angola Peace Monitor told IRIN. "I don't think Angola would like to see a military government - propping up a military government would be difficult to sell internationally," he added.

Angola's demonstrated willingness to deploy its battle-hardened troops abroad has turned the oil-rich country into a regional power. Angola was part of the anti-Mobutu Sese Seko alliance which brought Kabila to power in 1997. Across the river in war-wracked Congo-Brazzaville, Luanda also assisted Denis Sassou-Nguesso regain the presidential palace. A year later it was well-equipped Angolan troops that halted the Rwandan and Ugandan-backed rebel advance on Kinshasa, saving Kabila's government. "Angola's influence is based on its military capabilities," Kabemba said.

With moral among Zimbabwe troops reportedly low, and Namibian soldiers numbering no more than 2,000, Angola is the key player in the pro-Kinshasa alliance, analysts said. It has elite forces around Kinshasa, which sources told IRIN were beefed up this week. Angolan troops are also in Mbuji-Mayi, in Kasai Oriental, and the southern Katanga province. The clear aim of Luanda's intervention in the DRC was to close the long-standing supply routes used by the Angolan rebel movement UNITA. Frustration reportedly mounted over Kabila's failure to keep up his end of the bargain, as UNITA re-established its diamond trading operations. "Kabila was not interested in controlling UNITA's movement. He was close to forgetting why dos Santos was in the DRC," Kabemba noted. "Perhaps it was Kabila's arrogance that led to his death."

Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia were also reportedly increasingly concerned over Kabila's obstruction of the 1999 Lusaka peace agreement, condemning their forces to remain in the DRC. "It is reasonably widely-known that Angola started to get a bit frustrated with Kabila's lack of progress with Lusaka," Jackson said. "They would like to see a leadership more favourable to Lusaka that would allow them to extricate themselves from the DRC." The new Kinshasa government would also have to show far more commitment to clamping down on UNITA activity along the long border it shares with Angola. "It's quite a critical period at the moment. It's quite clear that UNITA is trying to re-establish supply routes after its military reversals inside Angola. And if it found a foothold in the chaos in the DRC, that would alarm Angola," Jackson said.

Opinion from The Wall Street Journal (US), 19 January

Avoid Clinton's African Pitfalls

US President-elect George Bush remarked during his electoral campaign that Africa was of little strategic importance to the U.S. Now, almost on cue, the assassination of Laurent Kabila, the strongman of Congo, presents Mr. Bush at his inaugural tomorrow with his first foreign crisis, threatening as it does to plunge all of central Africa into a vortex of chaos. In devising a US position on Congo, and a new Africa policy in general, Mr. Bush would benefit from studying the lessons offered by the outgoing administration's African blunders.

To be sure, the past year has seen successful democratic transitions in Senegal and Ghana. But over all, President Bill Clinton's Africa policy has been a disaster. The turmoil in Congo, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe continue unabated. And in Kabila's Congo, six African countries are involved in what is called Africa's "First World War."

It all started so hopefully. President Clinton paid more attention to Africa than his predecessors, placing the continent on the front burner and adopting a pro-active engagement. But it was destined for disappointment because Mr. Clinton adopted this approach primarily as a sop to his African-American constituency. Many of the failures with which his policies met stemmed from this reality. In the past eight years, we've seen high-profile tours to Africa by US government officials; First Lady Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea visited February 1997; and in March 1998 President Clinton himself visited the continent.

During his trip, Mr. Clinton painted a rosy portrait of Africa, saying it was making "giant steps toward democracy and economic prosperity." He hailed Presidents Kabila, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and Isaiah Afwerki of Eritrea as the "new leaders of Africa." The president also spoke fondly of the "new African renaissance sweeping the continent." He apparently liked it so much that he returned in August. A series of new initiatives were launched during the Clinton years, including the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), meant to expand U.S.-Africa trade and investment, increase technical assistance and other good things.

Unfortunately, these policies did not work, and the continent's woes worsened. Gross domestic product seesawed during the decade, for example growing at a respectable 5% rate in 1996, actually dropping 3.4% in 1997 and rising again 4.7% in 1998. But even the years of growth were not sufficient, given a population growth rate of 3%. Out of the list of African "economic success stories" touted by the Clinton administration in 1994 (Gambia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe) only two (Ghana and Burkina Faso) were growing economically by the end of the 1990s.

Politically, Africa can count only 14 countries that can be called democracies out of 54 countries. The Clinton years saw the implosion of Somalia in 1993 ,Rwanda in 1994, Burundi in 1996, Zaire in 1996, Congo-Brazzaville in 1997, and Sierra Leone in 1997. Worst off politically for Mr. Clinton, the policy failed to impress those it was meant to please, Black Americans. Randall Robinson, executive director of TransAfrica, one of the groups that spearheaded the campaign against apartheid, has dismissed Mr. Clinton's policies in Africa as a "disaster." Black American Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Democrat from Georgia, has described Mr. Clinton's Africa policy as "an abysmal failure." She asked in an interview this month with the East African newspaper, "How can someone so friendly end up with such an outrageous, atrocious, horrible policy that assists perpetrators of crimes against humanity, inflicting damages on innocent African people?"

In order to craft a new approach to Africa that will have any chance of success, the Bush administration must thus avoid three fundamental errors committed by Mr. Clinton.

First, the Clinton administration relied almost exclusively on black Americans for counsel in the formulation of his Africa policy. While African-American legislators do mean well, and want to do the right thing by the land of their ancestors, they lack an operational understanding of Africa's current woes. President Clinton's appointment of Jesse Jackson as Special Envoy to Africa was, for example, a huge blunder. That Mr. Jackson's actions severely compromised the US in Africa can be seen from just a short list of events.

In June 1994, when Mr. Clinton sent the Rev. Jackson to help defuse Nigeria's political crisis, pro-democracy forces refused to meet with him due to of his support of the former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida. Some Nigerians even threatened to stone Mr. Jackson if stepped foot in Nigeria. Sierra Leonians, for their part, still have not forgiven Mr. Jackson for brokering the 1999 Lome accords that awarded a ministerial position to Foday Sankoh, the barbarous warlord whose band of savages, called the Revolutionary United Front, chop off the limbs of their victims, including women and children. Mr. Jackson then compounded his error by comparing the psychopathic Sankoh to Nelson Mandela. The US has no shortage of native-born African exiles whose understanding of the situation on the ground in Africa is deep, not gleaned through the prism of US identity politics. Mr. Bush would benefit from occasionally at least consulting these African expatriates.

Second, the Clinton administration's Africa policy was "leader-centered." It sought out "saviors" with whom to develop close relationships - always euphemistically called "partnerships" - and to help them "transform society." The administration assumed rather naively that helping these leaders and their governments would help the people. But most of these African saviors turned out to be acrobats with dubious democratic credentials. Mr. Bush would do better to develop contacts with African civil society.

Third, while the Clinton administration pursued the right outcomes, it ignored the processes or institutions required to achieve them. Thus while it said it wanted a democratic Africa based on the free-market system, it did very little to lay its foundations. A market economy cannot be established without secure property rights, the free flow of information, the rule of law and mechanisms for contract enforcement. These processes or foundations are missing in most African countries, which is why the free markets and democracy the Clinton administration hoped to establish proved elusive. By helping to develop these mechanisms, the new Bush administration can ensure that the desired results will come in the mid-term future.

The new Bush administration, in sum, must fundamentally depoliticize and deracialize its approach to Africa. Policy for a whole continent cannot be based on the desire to placate an important American group. The problems Africa faces today have little to do with the slave trade, colonialism or racism, and a lot to do with bad leadership and governance. They in turn have at their origin the establishment of defective economic and political systems. The new approach must also place less emphasis on the rhetoric of African leaders and more emphasis on institution building. Leaders come and go, but institutions endure. Four institutions are critical: An independent central bank, an independent judiciary, an independent and free media, and neutral and professional armed forces.

These institutions are vital for the establishment of the environment Africans need to craft solutions to their own problems. And these institutions are established by civil society, not leaders. The Clinton administration was misguided in its belief that it could micromanage African affairs from Washington. The US can help, but it cannot supplant the initiative and efforts Africans themselves must make to solve their own problems.

By George B.N. Ayittey. Mr. Ayittey, a native of Ghana, is an associate professor of economics at American University and president of the Free Africa Foundation, both in Washington, D.C. His new book, "Why Africa Remains Poor," will be published by St. Martin's Press this summer.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Farm Invasions and Security Report
Monday 22nd January 2001
Please note that distribution of the CFU farm invasions and security report will be reduced from three times a week to twice a week, with immediate effect.  Reports will be collated and distributed on Mondays and Thursdays.  Special reports will be issued if there are major incidents in between the routine distribution days. 
Every attempt is made to provide a comprehensive report of ongoing activities in relation to farm invasions, but many incidents are unreported due to communications constraints, fear of reprisals and a general weariness on the part of farmers.
* Mashonaland Central  - In a follow up investigation of stolen irrigation equipment at Kingstone Devril, Centenary, police discovered equipment and criminals on the farm.  The police were apprehended by the criminals and held hostage until Support Unit responded on Saturday and defused the situation, by which time the stolen equipment had disappeared.
Mutepatepa an invader was seen carrying a 303 rifle on Friday on Amanda farm.
* Mashonaland East -Marondera - on 17th January 2001 a police vehicle arrived on Mari Farm at about 11.30pm and dropped off an invader.  There were two uniformed police and one in civilian clothing, who refused to provide ID numbers.
* Mashonaland West (North) - Karoi at Maghuje ZANU-PF Youth, waving placards have blocked the Hurungwe Rural District Councillors in their offices.  It is not know why they are protesting. 
* Mashonaland West (South) - Chegutu ZESA cable continues to be stolen in 20 tonne plus loads where fast tracking has taken place.
* Manicaland  - Old Mutare - war vets set up road block on Mountain Home Farm), over the weekend.  Police were called and when the manager went to speak to the police, he was attacked by war vets.  His own farm workers rescued the manager.  On Sunday, another roadblock was erected and a trained ox was stolen.  A meeting is to be held with the DA, local Chief and war vets this afternoon.
* Masvingo - Levanga Ranch, a large group of war vets accosted some game scouts and removed their weapons, radios and uniforms. The group then met with the local CIO and War Vet Leader of the area and the situation was neutralized. The CIO removed the leader from the group and all weapons radios and uniforms returned to the game scouts.   Recently "conceded" farms in the Conservancy inundated. Large number of cattle being mutilated with pangas and axes, approximately 15 reported dead.

No report was received from Matabeleland and Midlands.
Mashonaland Central
- In a follow up investigation of stolen irrigation equipment at Kingstone Devri on Friday, police discovered the equipment and the criminals on the farm.  The police were apprehended by the criminals and held hostage until Support Unit responded on Saturday and defused the situation, by which time the stolen equipment had disappeared.
Mvurwi - A confrontation took place after invaders were apprehended for poaching at Hariana during which the owner was instructed to move cattle away from invaders' crops, and that invaders would take over the property as soon as this season's crops had been reaped.   Invaders at Pembi Falls claimed that 2 head of cattle from Forrester, which had been penned because of sickness, had destroyed their maize crop.  The situation became confrontational and invaders demanded $75 000, fertilizer and land prep as compensation for the damage.  An admission of guilt was eventually paid by the owner of Forrester and invaders have continued to make threats and demands.
Glendale - The following correction was made on the last report: Chirobi was visited by the Parliamentary Lands Committee on a fact-finding tour to establish the impact of farm invasions on the economy. Invaders vandalised 14 vacant houses at Chirobi on Friday and to date there has been no response by police to the report made.
Mutepatepa - An invader was seen carrying a 303 rifle at Amanda on Friday. Numbers increased on the farm on Sunday with ploughing ongoing.  170 head of cattle were driven onto Minto on Saturday.
Mazowe / Concession - Invaders have been demanding accommodation at Maryvale and police have failed to respond to the situation.
Mashonaland East
- Invaders returned to Endslensdeale) with a tractor and the police were going to investigate.
Bromley / Ruwa / Enterprise - Nothing to report.
Harare South - Farm labour on Mitsike Farm reported a ZANU PF twin cab driving around the farm but they came and went with no interference.
Marondera - On 17th January 2001 a police vehicle arrived (ZRP 814D) on Mari Farm at about 11:30 p.m. and dropped off an invader.  There were two uniformed police and one in civilian clothing who refused to provide ID or numbers.   Another threatening letter arrived from the invaders for the foreman of Wenimbe Farm vowing that he and his "bosses" would definitely be in trouble " if they forced an ex - employees wife to vacate her home.  (The note was delivered two weeks after being written by which time the ex - employee and his wife had already vacated the farm a month earlier). Invaders ploughed up the front lawn of a house on Elmswood that is presently being rented.   4 oxen arrived to plough on a section of Uitkyk but left
soon after arriving.   Invaders returned to Ponderosa on Friday.
Marondera North - Please correct last Sitrep as follows: On Saturday (13th January) a blue CIO vehicle arrived on Rapids with Police Com Mbanga driving, with DA in front, and a war vet in the back, they wanted to know why cattle had eaten the squatters maize. They were informed that the squatters took their tractors in to plough, and left the gate open and the
cattle went in and ate the maize.  It was clear that no compensation would be paid.  The war vet leader Chop Chop, was very threatening and told the farmer, in front of the police that he would come and kill him.  On 18th January three DDF Tractors arrived and started ploughing, and the drivers were attempting to move into one of the workers houses.  Four farm invaders
arrived on Cambridge, with the DA and started causing trouble.  The assistant DA and police went to the farm on Saturday with unsatisfactory results.   A group of individuals from the Municipality of Marondera arrived on Dorset Farm, led by Ms Mawema wanting to look over the farm and said that they would come back later.   About 1 kilometre of fencing wire was stolen on Chipunga   There is increased invaders activity on Nyagambe. 
Macheke / Virginia - A worker was assaulted on Bimi Farm.   The DA arrived on Royal Visit, and instructed that all invaders move off the farm.  When they protested that they had planted monkey nuts the DA advised that a youth plus Nyamwiri could stay until the monkey nuts were reaped but then they too must leave the farm.   The owner of Nyagadzi Farm took down the fence around his seedbed site, as the invaders had planted maize.  The invaders were upset because the cattle were now going to come in and eat the maize.  The police attended and resolved the problem.   Six more cattle have been moved onto Nyadema.  The huts had dried fishing nets outside them so the police were called in and one of the invaders admitted that he had been poaching in the dam.   There was a report of wire theft from Koodoo Range.  The farmer paints his wire, and some burnt wire was found in the communal area, but there was enough paint to identify it.  The police have been informed.
Three individuals were arrested on Chikumbakwe for fish poaching. 
Wedza - A fence was cut and cattle let onto the main road on Wednesday from Bristol farm.  A delegation comprising of the Assistant DA, with armed police, plus five vehicles and farm invaders arrived on Dudley Estate.  The invaders informed the owner that they had come to resettle 19 families on his farm and he was to start planting for them the next day.  The 19
families are yet to arrive.   Stock theft and a cow slaughtered on Lynton Farm Squatters on Fels threatened the guard at the irrigation motor.  A few extra guards were placed there but the squatters never returned.  On Chakadenga there are 8 new houses being constructed. 
Mashonaland West (North)
- war vet Kangachepe is at Marasha Farm trying to take over the labour officers portfolio - under control.
Karoi - at Magunje ZANU PF Youth, waving placards, have blocked the Hurungwe Rural District Councillors into their offices. It is not known why they are demonstrating and the offices cannot be reached by telephone.
General - All other areas quiet.    
Mashonaland West (South)
- Two lorries and twelve other vehicles went from next to Dorton farm, and the occupants proceeded to peg etcetera on Emojeni and Shingwiri
Chakari - On Newbiggin Farm occupiers have stolen feeding tyres and set up a sandal making enterprise. 
Chegutu - ZESA cable continues to be stolen in 20 tonne plus loads where fast tracking has taken place.
Old Mutare
- war vets set up roadblock on Mountain Home Farm over the weekend.  Police were called and when the manager went to speak to the police, he was attacked by war vets.  His own farm workers rescued the manager.  On Sunday, another roadblock was erected and a trained ox was stolen.  They are having a meeting with the DA, local Chief and war vets
this afternoon.
Chipinge - Dunraven Farm had a cow poisoned over the weekend.
General - rest of area - ongoing, cattle rustling, stealing a lot of fencing and harassment.
Masvingo East and Central
- Lothian Farm  - war vet Captain Zimuto is back on this property and is re arranging all the farm fences. He has told owner that he has had his three months notice period to remove all his belongings and questioned why he was still on the property.
Mwenezi - Sossonye Ranch- 2 donkeys belonging to squatters died on the above property. Veterinary Department had no transport to check for Anthrax.
Huge increase in number of illegal squatters.
Save Conservancy - Deforestation continues in the Conservancy.  
General influx of illegal squatters on the western side of the Conservancy.  Between the 15th and the 18th January someone has been poaching with a weapon on the South West of the Turgwe River. Levanga Ranch , a large group of war vets accosted some game scouts and removed their weapons, radios and uniforms. The group then met with the local CIO and War Vet Leader of the area and the situation was neutralized. The CIO removed the leader from the group and all weapons radios and uniforms returned to the game scouts.   Recently "conceded" farms in the Conservancy inundated.
Gutu / Chatsworth - Continued deforestation in this area.   Land Committee continues to peg out plots.   Report of squatter who illegally moved 12 head of cattle, 5 subsequently died from Theirleriosis. 
Chiredzi - Wasarasara Ranch, faction fighting broke out at farm store after two different vehicles arrived one after the other issuing different instructions. One person was believed to be knocked unconscious.   2 cows, a calf and a bull hamstrung and on neighbours property (Oscro Ranch) another 3 cows hamstrung. Owner has had to shoot three of the cattle.   Alstar Haven,
new influx of illegal squatters on this property.   Samba Ranch, new influx of illegal squatters who harassed game guards on the property. Lots of illegal fishing taking place.   Bangala Ranch, 22 fish poachers caught on this property. 12 of them taken to Police and the other 10 were released by an individual threatening everyone with a pipe. Although fish poachers have been arrested, the poachers continue to fish in the dam. Huge increase in number of illegal squatters.   Eureka Ranch), new influx of squatters.

General - There is no reaction from the Police concerning the above reports.
Lots of illegal movement of cattle continues. Continued deforestation.
Influx of new squatters on most properties. Large number of cattle being mutilated with pangas and axes, approximately 15 reported dead. Many other cases not being reported as it is "out of the ordinary". Police only responding to stock theft and maiming in various degrees.  Reports of Cane theft increasing.   Report of a letter from Ministry of Lands telling people
to get off farms. Confirmed by the DAs and PA. MPs forcing people to invade in large numbers. 
Malcolm Vowles, Deputy Director (Admin & Projects) 04 309800-18

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Chief justice publicly warns Chidyausiku

Financial Gazette: Staff Reporter
1/17/01 8:03:14 PM (GMT +2)

CHIEF Justice Anthony Gubbay this week publicly reprimanded Judge President Godfrey Chidyausiku over his "political attack" on the head of Zimbabwe’s judiciary and said the judge’s comments overstepped his authority and undermined the rule of law.

Describing Justice Chidyausiku’s criticism as astonishing, unwarranted and essentially a political attack, Justice Gubbay said he had not invoked Section 87 (3) of the constitution under which he would have advised President Robert Mugabe to institute an inquiry into the removal of Justice Chidyausiku from the bench.

But Justice Gubbay, who is the head of the country’s judiciary, strongly warned Justice Chidyausiku to desist from making any similar attacks in the future.

The chief justice was responding to comments by Justice Chidyausiku earlier this month criticising Justice Gubbay and the Supreme Court over one of their rulings on the government’s land reform programme.

"In the tense situation prevailing in Zimbabwe at present, the judge president should avoid making inflammatory statements. This is not the first occasion on which he has done so. He is required to refrain in future from such conduct," said Justice Gubbay, noting that the full bench of the Supreme Court backed his decision to reprimand the High Court judge.

Opening the High Court in Bulawayo, Justice Chidyausiku hit out at his boss, accusing him of having sparked the controversy between the judiciary and the executive over the land reform plan in a speech made by Justice Gubbay in 1991.

In that speech, Justice Gubbay criticised a proposal by the government to amend Section 16 of the constitution by denying access to the courts of commercial farmers wishing to challenge the amount of compensation paid by the government for land it is seizing.

Justice Chidyausiku char-ged that Justice Gubbay’s speech not only openly invited farmers to sue the government but that the speech assured the farmers of victory in the courts.

As a result of Justice Gubbay’s speech, the government had now chosen to follow the political route and to ignore court rulings on the land issue, Justice Chidyausiku said.

In the same speech, the judge president also criticised the Supreme Court for having nullified a ruling made by himself last year in which he had sought to suspend an earlier Supreme Court order requiring the government to remove independence war veterans from farms that they are occupying illegally.

In his statement yesterday, Justice Gubbay dismissed Justice Chidyausiku’s charge that he had invited farmers to the courts as "frankly ridiculous". He pointed out that the government had, in fact, accepted the consent judgments on the removal of the veterans from the farms because "the state representatives and their legal advisers appreciated that their position was legally indefensible".

Justice Gubbay said contrary to Justice Chidyausiku’s claims, the only court case in which the issue of compensation for farms seized by the state had been dealt with by the courts was, in fact, won by the state.

The other two orders granted on the issue of land, one by the High Court and the other by the Supreme Court, were in fact consent orders that state lawyers had agreed to.

Besides, the two orders did not deal with the issue of compensation but with the occupation of farms which had been done in contravention of the Land Acquisition Act passed by the government itself, Justice Gubbay noted.

"To claim judgments are now being awarded as promised is simply untrue and offensive," the chief justice said.

Dismissing Chidyausiku’s complaint on the Supreme Court’s nullification of his order staying the execution of an earlier ruling by the higher court, Justice Gubbay said: "The judge president, in his erroneous judgment, overstepped his authority in purporting to suspend the order of a court superior to his own.

"The hierarchy of the courts is understood by the simplest layman and thus the Supreme Court has the power and authority to overturn a decision by a judge of the High Court.

"The ethics and traditions of the legal profession demand that a judicial officer whose judgment is overturned by a higher court should not appeal to the public to support his view.

"The reason is obvious. He is seeking to undermine the very legal system of which he is part. If he has any complaint, it should be conveyed in private to the members of the court which overruled his decision."

He said of Justice Chidyausiku’s conduct: "After anxious consideration, I am of the view that the judge president’s conduct does not yet warrant recourse to Section 87 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe - that is advice to His Excellency the President that his removal from office ought to be investigated.

"Nonetheless, it is deserving of a severe reprimand. I have accordingly issued such a reprimand and hereby make it public. My colleagues on the Supreme Court bench support me fully in this statement."


Letters to the editor:

A deadly tourism plan

Tongai Kwirihiwiri, Harare.
1/17/01 7:38:14 PM (GMT +2)

EDITOR — Probably the strangest thing within ZANU PF today is the party’s apparent idea that all whites are brain-dead or somehow senseless.

I am saying this in reference to the recently launched tourism recovery plan — launched by the same person who destroyed tourism in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe.

Recently at the ZANU PF congress, Mugabe was heard to give orders to his supporters that they should strike terror in the hearts of whites.

The President’s message is very clear and we don’t need a commentary from a newspaper to realise that under Mugabe’s tourism recovery plan, all whites are marked for death.

Tell me this isn’t true

Chemedza, Harare.
1/17/01 7:39:16 PM (GMT +2)

EDITOR — This letter is addressed to Finance Minister Simba Makoni.

Minister, please tell me the new tax regime is not correct.

Please tell me that I, who earns very little, will not be taxed 40 percent.

Please tell me that it is not true that I shall be taking less money home from this month on.

Please clarify the new tax system. How can you tax me the same as someone who is earning $75 000 per month? It is not fair.

I will be taking home about $3 000 less. How am I to survive?

You guys have no heart — there is a big hole where your hearts are supposed to be.

I already earn very little and now you want to take it all.

I hope you are satisfied, having reduced me to a beggar.

If suggestions that the new taxes are going to lower some people’s salaries are true, brace yourself, Makoni, for a major outcry or mass action when people get their pay-slips this coming month-end.

How can you do this to us? I am sorely disappointed in you.

Forget ZANU PF

Stephen Mambowa, Gweru.
1/17/01 7:34:21 PM (GMT +2)

EDITOR — I am surprised and frustrated by the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)’s repeated calls for a new constitution again from the present government.

Some people never learn. The ZANU PF government has been very stubborn and arrogant on this issue until April 1999 when its leader Robert Mugabe hijacked the idea of constitutional reform from the NCA and formed the so-called Constitutional Commission.

The commission unsuccessfully went on to peddle a ZANU PF draft constitution after it had thrown away the needs of the people of this country.

Millions of taxpayers’ money went into the pockets of ZANU PF cronies in this fiasco.

Now we have the NCA calling the same ZANU PF government to institute constitutional reform. Please give us a break!

What the NCA should do now, as we face a crucial presidential election next year, is to move into farming and rural communities to do some voter education and teach them about electoral rights.

The NCA and other civic groups should start to work with the Movement for Democratic Change and forget about the ZANU PF government.

A truly people-driven constitutional reform exercise will only happen without Mugabe.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe Launches Farm Settlement Scheme
2001.01.22 01:36:28

   HARARE, January 21 (Xinhuanet) -- The Zimbabwean government is launching a commercial farm settlement scheme which is aimed at promoting the entry of indigenous people into commercial farming. 
   The government is inviting interested persons willing to take up the small, medium and large scale commercial farms under the scheme, said Zimbabwean Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement in a statement on Sunday. 
   According to the ministry, applicants to the scheme must be 21 years old and above and must demonstrate ability to command funds in the form of cash or fixed assets to carry out the intended agricultural activities. 
   The scheme, which is being implemented parallel to the fast track land resettlement program, is different from the latter which seeks to resettle landless peasants and de-congest communal areas. 
   Under the fast track program, the government is allocating communal farmers land whereas under the commercial farm settlement scheme, the intention is for the beneficiaries to enter commercial farming and own the farms.  
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe veterans threaten to seize companies

January 20, 2001
Web posted at: 9:01 AM EST (1401 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- Zimbabwe independence war veterans, who have invaded hundreds of white-owned farms in the past year, will take over companies that shut down during any opposition-organized protest, their leader said on Saturday.

"That is our position and it's not just a threat," Chenjerai Hunzvi, leader of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans, told Reuters when asked to confirm a newspaper report.

"We will do it. Just wait and see, and you will see this is not a joke," Hunzvi added.

Zimbabwe's private Daily News quoted Hunzvi as saying on Friday that veterans would break into and take charge of any company that closed during protests called by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The MDC has promised to organize mass action -- including strikes and street marches -- against President Robert Mugabe's government and violence by his ruling ZANU-PF party supporters.

"We are already setting up committees to move around the industrial areas. If we find any companies locked, we will break in and take them over," Hunzvi was quoted as saying.

"We will take them just as we have done with the commercial farms," he added.

ZANU-PF, which has dominated Zimbabwe's politics since independence from Britain in 1980, narrowly beat off a stiff challenge in June parliamentary elections from the MDC, which won an unprecedented 57 out of 120 elected seats.

The June poll followed five months of political violence in which at least 31 people -- mainly MDC supporters -- were killed. These included five farmers killed in violence linked to the invasion of white-owned farms since February by war veterans backing Mugabe's plans to seize the farms for blacks.

The MDC lost one of its seats this month in a violence- ridden by-election in Zimbabwe's southern Bikita district.

The ruling party has said in the past that white-owned businesses have helped protests and strikes organized by the MDC or its union allies by locking out workers.


MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai denounced Hunzvi's threats as highly irresponsible, and another blow against the rule of law.

"Peaceful protests are protected by law and we are not going to abandon them because of these threats," he said, declining to say when the MDC will call its mass action.

An official with the country's main business body, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, called Hunzvi's comments disturbing.

"I don't think company owners or managers have ever closed their enterprises willingly, because they want to make money," he said.

"They have closed them when the circumstances are beyond their control. These threats are disturbing because they don't seem to recognize this basic fact," he added.

Copyright 2001 Reuters.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index