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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index


AI Index: AFR 46/023/2005 (Public)
News Service No: 186
8 July 2005

Zimbabwe: Government must not be allowed to silence African Union
Amnesty International today urged the African Union (AU) to challenge
attempts by the government of Zimbabwe to frustrate the AU's investigation
of the current human rights crisis in Zimbabwe.

The call came following yesterday's departure from Zimbabwe of Bahame Tom
Nyanduga, a member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
(ACHPR). Mr Nyanduga had been sent to Zimbabwe by the AU to undertake a
fact-finding mission, but left the country having been prevented by the
government from fulfilling this mission. The government of Zimbabwe has
reportedly claimed that there were "procedural irregularities" regarding his

"By trying to block the work of an African Union representative through the
use of blatantly obstructionist procedural excuses, the government of
Zimbabwe is showing its real fear - that African Union criticism will force
other African governments to finally tackle the human rights and
humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe publicly and effectively," said Kolawole
Olaniyan, Director of Amnesty International's Africa Programme.

"It is deplorable that the government of Zimbabwe has treated the African
Union and a respected member of its Commission in this way. We urge African
Union member states to uphold the African Union's credibility and integrity
and reaffirm their commitment to human rights and accountability by refusing
to allow governments to deflect attention from human rights violations by
resorting to the flimsy excuse of 'procedural irregularities'."

Amnesty International had welcomed the appointment of Bahame Tom Nyanduga as
a concrete response by the AU to widespread calls from African and
international human rights groups for the African Union to address the
situation in Zimbabwe.

"We were very disappointed by the failure of the AU to address the crisis in
Zimbabwe at the African Union Assembly in Libya earlier this week," said
Kolawole Olaniyan. "We had strong hopes that action would follow
Commissioner Nyanduga's fact-finding mission. His departure from Zimbabwe is
a double blow - and we hope and expect a strong African Union reaction."

On 23 June 2005, Amnesty International, along with a coalition of over 200
international and African human rights organizations, launched an urgent
"Joint Appeal" to the AU and UN urging them to publicly condemn the
violations taking place in the context of the campaign of forced evictions
and house demolitions and to take effective action to stop them.

For further details, please see

Public Document
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in
London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW. web:

For latest human rights news view
Back to the Top
Back to Index

UN News Centre

UN envoy on housing evictions appoints UN-HABITAT manager for Zimbabwe
8 July 2005 - As head of the United Nations urban development agency, the UN
Special Envoy investigating the humanitarian aspects of housing and market
evictions in Zimbabwe today said she would appoint a programme manager to
help the Government of the Southern African country with its urbanization

"As UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, the UN
agency responsible for housing and urban development, I recognize the need
to immediately support the UN country team by appointing a UN-HABITAT
programme manager, with immediate effect," Anna Tibaijuka said as she wound
up a nearly two-week-long fact-finding tour of Zimbabwe.

The programme managers of UN-HABITAT, officially known as the UN Human
Settlements Programme, are urban planning and management experts who work
with Governments at all levels on "providing adequate shelter for all and
developing sustainable settlements in a globalizing world," Ms. Tibaijuka

"The reason that UN-HABITAT had not stationed a programme manager in
Zimbabwe in the past is that statistics had suggested that urbanization was
not yet a critical issue in the country," she added.

Ms. Tibaijuka, who arrived on 26 June to assess the humanitarian aspects of
the evictions, also examined the adequacy of the Government's arrangements
for those displaced during the southern African winter, the official
capacity to provide for basic needs and the ability of the UN and
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to respond to humanitarian

After criss-crossing the country, she is scheduled to leave Zimbabwe's
capital, Harare, tomorrow for Nairobi, Kenya, where UN-HABITAT is
headquartered, and said she would report on her visit to UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

He would then decide how the international community could "further assist
the Government and people of Zimbabwe with the challenges I have seen on the
ground," she said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

UN envoy leaves Harare with sad memories
Sat 9 July 2005
  HARARE - United Nations special envoy Anna Tibaijuka yesterday said she
will leave Zimbabwe today carrying back with her memories of people
struggling for accommodation after their homes were demolished by the

      She was speaking after a one and a half hour-meeting with President
Robert Mugabe and senior Zimbabwe government officials at the ruling ZANU PF
party headquarters in Harare.

      Tibaijuka, who is also executive director of UN Habitat said she would
immediately send a programme manager from her organisation to work with the
government, non-governmental organisations and UN agencies in Harare to help
people left homeless by the government's urban clean-up operation.

      "Some of the challenges on the ground were (that) some of the people I
visited were not necessarily in proper shelters ... I will remember going
around seeing people struggling to put up accommodation for themselves," she
told journalists after the meeting.

      But Tibaijuka would not hint whether she will condemn or approve
Zimbabwe's controversial urban renewal campaign in her report to UN chief,
Koffi Annan. She however said she had not been impeded in her work during
her two-week stay in the country.

      "I have immediately decided to support the UN country team with a
programme manager to make sure that we sort out the challenges once and for
all in a sustainable manner," Tibaijuka said.

      The government has been condemned by rights groups, the Commonwealth,
the European Union, Britain and the United States for the mass demolitions,
which Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
says have left as many as 1.5 million people homeless.

      Harare, which this week said displaced urban families must go to rural
areas to farm, says the clean-up operation was necessary to smash crime and
to restore the beauty of Zimbabwe's cities and towns.

      The MDC, which is most supported in urban centres, says the clean-up
exercise is a ploy to punish its supporters for rejecting Mugabe and ZANU PF
in last March's disputed general election.

      Tibaijuka this week told government officials in the southern Bulawayo
city that urbanisation was inevitable and rapped them for saying people left
homeless by the operation would be forcibly moved to rural areas.

      Commenting on reports that there were five people killed during the
demolition of houses, Tibaijuka said she had not received a confirmation or
a denial from the Zimbabwe government.

      Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, heading the government
demolition team, told journalists Harare would submit a report to Tibaijuka,
but added investigations had shown police were not responsible for any

      Chombo said the government welcomed any assistance to help people
whose properties were demolished and was ready to discuss this with the
UN. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Mugabe fumes over fuel, Senate delays
Sat 9 July 2005

      HARARE - A furious President Robert Mugabe on Thursday demanded
explanation from his Cabinet why a Bill for a new Senate was not yet before
Parliament and why the little foreign currency trickling into Zimbabwe was
not reserved for urgent fuel imports, ZimOnline has learnt.

      Authoritative sources said the embattled Zimbabwean leader rattled
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa for delaying the senate Bill and ordered
Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa to join forces with Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono and ensure a "reasonable amount" of hard
cash was made available to import fuel.

      "Chinamasa was reprimanded for delaying the Constitutional Amendment
Bill and asked to work with the Attorney General and make sure the Bill is
before Parliament in the next two weeks at most," said a source, privy to
the discussions at the emergency Thursday Cabinet meeting called barely two
days after Mugabe arrived home from the African Union summit that was held
in Libya.

      "The President said the RBZ must divert whatever foreign currency it
had to pay for fuel," added the source.

      Zimbabwe's five-year old fuel shortage worsened in recent weeks with
only a handful of garages supplying the commodity across the country.

      Business leaders have warned the latest and severest yet bout of fuel
shortage could bring down companies already struggling under the weight of
high inflation, shortages of electricity, machine parts, imported raw
materials and hard cash.

      On the other hand, Mugabe wants the Senate, abolished about 15 years
ago, urgently brought back after promising lieutenants in his ruling ZANU PF
party disgruntled after they were blocked from representing the party in
last March's disputed parliamentary election that they would be catered for
through appointments to the upper chamber.

      In a brief memo notifying Cabinet Ministers of the Thursday meeting, a
copy of which was shown to ZimOnline, chief presidential and Cabinet
secretary Misheck Sibanda, wrote: "Please note that the President will have
an emergency cabinet meeting today (Thursday) at 1400 hours. The Agenda:
Fuel, Constitutional Amendment Bill, AOB."

      Mugabe's Cabinet which normally meets on Tuesdays every week had
already held its weekly meeting when Sibanda sent his memo. Chinamasa
yesterday confirmed the meeting took place but would not be drawn to
disclose what transpired saying he could only do so after 25 years.

      "It is improper to comment on the meeting that you are referring to.
If it took place, then you know that Cabinet meetings become public
knowledge after 25 years," he said.

      "In any case, I do not think we are behind schedule. When the Bill is
tabled it will not be a problem because we have the two-thirds majority in
parliament - even though some schools of thought think otherwise."

      According to the sources, Mugabe was also unable to secure any fuel
deal from Muammar Gaddafi although he reportedly had brief talks with the
Libyan leader on the sidelines of the AU summit.

      An oil supply deal with Libya under which Tripoli supplied fuel in
return for mineral concessions, farm land and other cheap investment
opportunities in Zimbabwe collapsed about two years ago after the north
African country later demanded payment in hard cash. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

FEATURE: Mozambicans laugh loudest as the tables are turned
Fri 8 July 2005

      MUTARE - At the crack of dawn, Peter Hlahla and a determined group of
fellow Zimbabweans wake up and begin the "Great Trek" into Mozambique.

      The 20 kilometre gruelling trip from the eastern border town of Mutare
into Manica is by no means exploratory but is some kind of reflex action for
self-preservation in the face of mounting hunger back home.

      With the recently introduced stringent immigration controls by
Mozambican authorities, Hlahla and the others say they have no option but to
"jump the border."

      At the huge open market at Bazare de Manica, in this run down
Mozambican town, Hlahla scrounges for basic goods ranging from rice,
toothpaste, candles to soap for resale to their starving countrymen back

      Zimbabwe is going through a severe five year political and economic
crisis blamed on President Robert Mugabe's policies.

      Basic foodstuffs are in short supply after Mugabe destroyed the once
vibrant agriculture sector through his often violent land reform programme.

      Medicines and fuel are also in short supply because there is no hard
cash to import the commodities.

      The 81-year old Mugabe, at the helm since independence from Britain 25
years ago, denies wreaking the economy and blames the current crisis on his
Western enemies unhappy over his seizure of land from the small white
minority for redistribution to landless blacks.

      In spite of fears of landmines planted during Mozambique's 15-year
civil strife and harassment from the crude and brutal Mozambican police,
Zimbabweans are flocking to the sprawling market, referred to as the "Giver
of Life" here, in frantic search of basic goods.

      "There is nothing at home so we have to come here. The conditions are
bad but this is where we get everything. We used to despise Mozambique as a
poor country but it has become our source of salvation," said Hlahla.

      Now if the old adage that one who laughs last laughs the loudest was
to be applied, then Mozambicans should indeed be having a hearty laugh over
their Zimbabwean counterparts.

      Not so long ago, Mozambicans used to be the butt of crude jokes in
Zimbabwe where they were perjoratively referred to as "Moskens". Now the
tables are turned!

      "Zimbabweans used to treat us badly. The scorned at us saying our
country was poor. They used to deport us from their country in our thousands
on a daily basis in the 1980s and 1990s.

      "But look at the situation today. They have destroyed their own
country. Without Mozambique they will all die of hunger," a market trader
Everisto Amorim says proudly.

      A Mozambican immigration officer Djedje Brazao said his country's
authorities had tightened conditions for Zimbabweans to prevent the massive
hoarding of goods.

      "Zimbabweans buy anything they can lay their hands on, and they do so
in bulk. You are left wondering whether their country is a desert with
nothing to give its people.

      "We used to allow them to take as many things as they wanted but now
we limit the number of packs a Zimbabwean can take out. Otherwise our own
country will be dry as well," he said.

      Amandi Friday, a schoolteacher aptly summed it up: "How times have
changed for Zimbabwe; from deporting Mozambicans to importing Mozambican
stuff." - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Amnesty pushes AU to take Mugabe head on
Sat 9 July 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - Amnesty International has urged the African Union to
challenge attempts by the Zimbabwe government to frustrate the African
Union's investigation of the current human rights crisis in Zimbabwe.

      The call came following Thursday's departure from Zimbabwe of Bahame
Tom Nyanduga, a member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples'

      Nyanduga had been sent to Zimbabwe by the AU to undertake a
fact-finding mission, but left the country having been prevented by the
government from fulfilling his mission.

      The Zimbabwean government has reportedly claimed that there were
"procedural irregularities" regarding his visit.

      Amnesty International Africa Programme Director Kolawole Olaniyan
said: "By trying to block the work of an African Union representative
through the use of blatantly obstructionist procedural excuses, the
Zimbabwean government is showing its fear that AU criticism will force other
African governments to finally tackle Zimbabwe's human rights and
humanitarian crisis publicly and effectively.

      "It is deplorable that the Zimbabwean government has treated the AU
and a respected member of its Commission in this way." Amnesty International
had welcomed the appointment of Bahame Tom Nyanduga as a concrete response
by the AU to widespread calls from African and international human rights
groups for the African Union to address the situation in Zimbabwe.

      Olaniyan added: "We were very disappointed by the failure of the AU to
address the crisis in Zimbabwe at its assembly in Libya earlier this week.

      "We had strong hopes that action would follow Commissioner Nyanduga's
fact-finding mission. His departure from Zimbabwe is a double blow - and we
now hope and expect a strong African Union reaction."

      On 23 June, Amnesty International, along with a coalition of over 200
international and African human rights organisations, launched an urgent
"Joint Appeal" to the AU and the United Nations urging them to publicly
condemn the violations taking place in the context of the policy of forced
evictions and house demolitions and to take effective action to stop them. -

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Police raid garage, take over the show at fuel queue
Sat 9 July 2005

      MUTARE - There was a near riot in Mutare city on Thursday night after
the police raided a fuel station and barred motorists from refuelling their
vehicles until all police cars had filled up.

      Zimbabwe is in the grip of a severe five-year fuel crisis triggered by
a shortage of foreign currency to import the product. The fuel crisis, which
worsened in the last five weeks, is threatening to virtually ground the
country to a halt as motorists, industry and commerce battle to secure

      In one incident that vividly illustrates the desperation among
fuel-thirsty Zimbabweans, police bullied their way to the front of the queue
at the Mutare garage and ordered everyone else off the pumps until they had
filled up their cars.

      But the waiting motorists would have none of it as they pushed and
hustled the police with some even threatening to beat up the law enforcers.

      With the situation threatening to deteriorate into an open riot, the
police had to call up reinforcements including the police dog squad to help
beat back the rowdy crowd.

      Faced with police firepower and dogs, both motorists and garage
attendants were left with little choice but to watch from a distance as
police officers physically took over the show, refuelling their cars and
barring private transport operators whom the government says must get first
preference at garages.

      "Munoda kuti imi mugonwa dhiziri mapurisa asina. Hakuna ari kuzonwa.
Nhasi nderedu rose. (You will not get the diesel until all the police cars
have refuelled)," shouted a policemen to the motorists.

      The police, who normally receive their fuel allocation separately at
their depots, have not been spared from the current fuel crisis.

      "This is lawlessness at its worst. How can the police bar us from
fuelling at a private fuel station when they have their own depots? They
even bring guns and dogs as if it's a war situation," said a commuter
omnibus operator.

      Police spokesman for the city Joshua Tigere, could not be reached for
comment but Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, who is in charge of the
police, said it was illegal for the police to raid private fuel stations.

      "I have no such information (concerning the Mutare incident) but that
is not allowed," Mohadi said. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Hendon and Finchley Times

Radio Free Zimbabwe
By Steve Holland

With a staff of just nine, SW Radio Africa is not a large organisation, but
the station is delivering a big message to Zimbabwe - bringing hope to the
people and sending shock waves through the tyrannical government - and
President Robert Mugabe wants it shut down.

But the radio station's founder, Gerry Jackson, is not going to be
intimidated by threats.

She has spent 25 years at the cutting edge of journalism, since the days of
white minority rule and she has come up against Mugabe before.

The radio station she set up in 2000, Zimbabwe's first independent
broadcaster, was swiftly shut down before it had a chance to go to air.

"When it was shut down it was clear that it was not going to be possible to
follow that road.

"The country was falling apart and it was incredibly important to get this
information out."

Gerry, who was born in Kent and moved to Africa as a child, knew it would be
futile to continue her efforts in Zimbabwe so she began looking abroad.

"Because England is an ex-colonial power, a lot of Zimbabweans come through
here. There are indications that there are one million Zimbabweans here, of
which 400,000 are believed to be illegal.

"We also knew members of the opposition would be coming through England and
we would have an opportunity to interview them."

Although Gerry planned to set up a newsroom in England she initially
imagined a rural setting, somewhere inconspicuous, but circumstance saw the
station take off in Borehamwood.

"It was hard to find someone who could understand what we were trying to do
and was keen to host us. We ended up here by chance," she said.

Mugabe recently came close to shutting down the station when he managed to
block its short wave frequency using sophisticated equipment bought from

The radio station initially overcame the problem by transmitting via
multiple frequencies, however the extra transmissions saw the radio
station's costs sky rocket and it looked as though it would be only a matter
of time before the station was forever silenced.

However, SW Radio Africa switched to a medium wave frequency, and after
Mugabe's latest attack, the team seems stronger than ever.

"We will just keep going as long as we're able. When we first set out we
thought it would be a short-lived project. We had no idea it would last this
long. The world does not seem to be getting better so we will continue,"
said Gerry.

"Zimbabweans really feel that the radio station provides some hope because
they feel they have not been forgotten. They feel someone remembers their
tragedy. When you live in the West there is so much news and information
available that you forget what it's like to have nothing.

"We've been going for three-and-a-half years and gained trust. The staff are
all Zimbabwean so there is a feeling that this is a community radio

Life as a reporter was always going to be difficult for SW Radio Africa
journalist Violet Gonda after working for a documentary company that spoke
out against Mugabe's regime. Like Gerry's independent radio station,
Violet's documentaries were banned by the Mugabe government and were never
broadcast on mainstream airwaves.

However Violet and her team were determined to get their message out. They
toured Zimbabwe, through villages and cities, screening their documentaries
on outdated equipment before mass crowds.

Violet knew her safety had been compromised and if she was to continue to
help her people and continue speaking out against Mugabe she would have to
leave Zimbabwe.

From her Hertsmere office Violet is certainly making a difference for the
people of Zimbabwe, but she must pay a heavy price.

"On one hand I feel that I'm better off reporting on the situation at home
from our 'safe haven' than my colleagues at home because my fellow
journalists at home cannot report freely without fearing for their lives,"
she said. "But I cannot go back to Zimbabwe. I miss my home, I miss my
parents, I haven't seen my father for five years, I miss Zimbabwean food and
I even miss Zimbabwean air."

With Africa at the forefront of the news this week, Violet believes the G8
should be doing more to help Zimbabwe.

"The international community should be putting more pressure on the Mugabe
regime," said Violet. "Half a million people have been affected by the
regime. At least 200,000 have been left homeless.

"There are food shortages, there are fuel shortages, there are countless
problems and we have a government that is still concentrating its efforts on
maintaining its grip on power.

"At any time journalists can be labelled as an enemy of the state. We are
just giving a voice to the voiceless."
Back to the Top
Back to Index


UN envoy meets Mugabe
          July 08 2005 at 06:09PM

      By Michael Hartnack

      Harare, Zimbabwe - A United Nations envoy met Friday with President
Robert Mugabe, promising to work with the government to help the tens of
thousands displaced in a so-called urban renewal campaign that has prompted
an international outcry.

      Anna Tibaijuka, the Tanzanian head of UN Habitat, wrapped up a nearly
two-week visit on Friday that was aimed at assessing the humanitarian impact
of the government's hated Operation Murambatsvina - Drive Out Trash.

      Tibaijuka's spokesperson, Sharad Shankardass, did not release her
findings, saying she would first report to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
But he said she would immediately dispatch an officer to help Zimbabwe meet
its housing needs.

       The delegation is scheduled to leave the country Saturday.

      Humanitarian workers and opposition leaders estimate up to 1,5 million
people have lost homes and livelihoods since police began torching and
bulldozing shantytowns, informal markets and other structures deemed illegal
on May 19.

      The government defends the operation as an urban cleanup drive.
Opposition leaders say it is aimed at breaking up their strongholds among
the urban poor and diverting attention from the economic crisis plaguing

      Tibaijuka and her delegation met with Mugabe after touring the
northwestern resort town of Victoria Falls, where about 6 000 huts and
stalls were burned down during running battles last month between police and
curio sellers.

      "She spoke about the situation in this country and the position of the
displaced and said she was going immediately to send an officer here to work
with the UN country team on housing needs," Shankardass said.

      "She announced that she was going to work with the government towards
increasing help to displaced people in the country."

      Mugabe's government has pledged 3-trillion Zimbabwean dollars (US$325
million; A272 million) to provide 1,2 million houses or building plots by
2008. Economists have voiced doubts that the government can afford the
massive reconstruction project at a time when inflation has soared to over
144 percent and an estimated four million people are in urgent need of food.

      Since her arrival June 26, Tibaijuka has met with government and
opposition officials, church leaders, civic groups and people displaced by
the demolitions. She has also toured demolition sites and places where the
government is proposing to build new homes for "deserving" people.

      In her meetings, Tibaijuka acknowledged the need to clean up slums,
but stressed this needs to be a negotiated process with residents whose
homes are being destroyed.

      "Cleaning of cities cannot be an event, it has to be a process," she
said in the Midlands city of Gweru on Wednesday.

      A human rights commissioner from the African Union was in the country
at the same time, but was refused cooperation from the government because he
did not obtain prior clearance for the visit, the ministry of foreign
Affairs said.

      The AU has so far refused to intercede in Zimbabwe, saying it cannot
interfere in the internal affairs of member states.

      Church leaders from South Africa also plan to fly to Zimbabwe on
Sunday to view first-hand the effects of the demolitions and evictions.

      Zimbabwe church leaders have denounced the campaign as "a crime
against the poor which cries out to God for vengeance". - Sapa-AP

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Govt says no need for aid despite food shortages

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

JOHANNESBURG, 8 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - Despite an estimated 4.5 million
Zimbabweans needing food aid this year, the government insists there is no
need to launch an official appeal for international assistance.

"No state of disaster will be declared, and there are no plans to appeal for
food aid," Leonard Turugari of the ministry of public service, labour and
social welfare, told delegates at a regional food security meeting in
Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday.

The two-day gathering of government representatives, UN agencies and NGOs
from the region aimed to tackle specific challenges arising from a decline
in agricultural production in recent years.

Several southern African countries are entering a fourth year of food
shortages and the UN World Food Programme says it needs US $266 million to
assist more than 10 million vulnerable people across the region.

Turugari said his government had the capacity to import 1.2 million mt of
maize, the staple grain, in the coming months, to make up for a shortfall in
national output. He attributed the downturn in production to lingering
drought conditions and economic difficulties.

Although there were no plans on the table to ask the international community
to step in and kick-start a general food distribution programme, Turugari
said the "door was not closed to donors". NGOs could continue giving
assistance to the vulnerable, provided they worked "within their mandates".

International NGOs operating in Zimbabwe have come under fire from the
government for allegedly using food aid to campaign for the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC); on the other hand, the MDC has claimed
that the government used food as a political weapon by withholding it from
perceived opponents.

When asked if there was a guarantee that the 1.2 million mt of imported
maize, which is to be distributed by the state-controlled Grain Marketing
Board, would be channelled to the most vulnerable, Turugari said there was
"no evidence to the contrary".

He also commented that, contrary to reports, the scarcity of basic
commodities was due to producers hoarding essential items.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

AU envoy leaves without completing mission

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

JOHANNESBURG, 8 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - The African Union (AU) envoy who arrived
in Zimbabwe last week to evaluate the impact of the controversial demolition
of informal settlements has left the country without completing his mission,
according to official media.

AU spokesman Adam Thiam confirmed that Bahame Tom Nyanduga, a member of the
African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Special Rapporteur
Responsible for Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Internally Displaced Persons in
Africa, left Zimbabwe on Thursday. He was unable to comment on the details
of his mission or departure.

However, the official Herald newspaper, quoting official sources, reported
on Friday that Nyanduga's mission was "unprocedural", as diplomatic protocol
had not been followed.

During the cleanup campaign, launched in May, thousands of informal
settlements have been demolished and at least 375,000 people left homeless;
the authorities have claimed it was part of an urban renewal strategy that
will eventually build 10,000 homes at a cost of US $300 million.

According to Zimbabwean television, the demolition drive has been endorsed
by Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr David Parirenyatwa, who described
the exercise as a "breath of fresh air".

The minister was quoted as saying that prior to the cleanup operation he had
been unable to implement the Public Health Act "because of the situation
that there was in Harare and other cities in this country: the overcrowding,
the degree of sewage, the danger to clean water supplies, the number of
rodents that have sprouted up, the number of street children ..."

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zimbabwe Crisis Obscured at Summit by London Bombings By Sandra Nyaira
      08 July 2005

Under the shadow of terrorism, Group of Eight leaders concluded their summit
in Scotland on Friday with a pledge to double development aid to Africa to
$50 billion by 2012. The G-8 also agreed to forgive $40 billion in
multilateral and bilateral debt owed by 18 countries, most of them in
Africa, though Zimbabwe is not among them.

Despite such historic moves for development, the summit came to an end under
the somber news of the rising death toll in the terrorist bombings of London
Underground trains and a bus Thursday. More than 50 people died and 700 were

 Ndimyke Mwakalyele of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe asked London
correspondent Sandra Nyaira if any of the estimated 1 million Zimbabweans
living in the United Kingdom had been caught up in the bombing spree
attributed to Al-Quaeda.

Though United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and President Vladmir
Putin of Russia spoke out on Zimbabwe at the summit, the G-8 final
communiqué failed to give the crisis any specific mention. Some observers
suggested Prime Minister Tony Blair's plans to use the summit to put
President Mugabe in an uncomfortable spotlight were scuttled by the
terrorist attacks on the eve of the G-8 Africa agenda items.

Thomas Deve is Africa representative of the Global Call to Action Against
Poverty, a global organization which pressures leaders to press ahead on
poverty reduction.

Mr. Deve told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
the references to Zimbabawe by leaders during the summit were encouraging
even if the summit ultimately was distracted from Zimbabwe by the London

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Excerpt from:

      G8 Summit Statements: Chairman's Summary

            July 8 2005

      Africa and Development

      We were joined for our discussion on Africa and development by the
leaders of Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and
Tanzania and by the heads of the African Union Commission, International
Monetary Fund, United Nations and the World Bank.

      We discussed how to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Goals,
especially in Africa which has the furthest to go to achieve these goals by

      We welcomed the substantial progress Africa has made in recent years.
More countries have held democratic elections. Economic growth is
accelerating. Long running conflicts are being brought to an end.

      We agreed that we and our African partners had a common interest in
building on that progress to create a strong, peaceful and prosperous
Africa; we share a strong moral conviction that this should be done, and
have agreed the actions that we will take.

      The African leaders set out their personal commitment, reaffirmed
strongly at this week's African Union summit, to drive forward plans to
reduce poverty and promote economic growth; deepen transparency and good
governance; strengthen democratic institutions and processes; show zero
tolerance for corruption; remove all obstacles to intra-African trade; and
bring about lasting peace and security across the continent.

      The G8 in return agreed a comprehensive plan to support Africa's
progress. This is set out in our separate statement today.

      We agreed:

      to provide extra resources for Africa's peacekeeping forces so that
they can better deter, prevent and resolve conflicts in Africa

      to give enhanced support for greater democracy, effective governance
and transparency, and to help fight corruption and return stolen assets

      to boost investment in health and education, and to take action to
combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB and other killer diseases

      to stimulate growth, to improve the investment climate and to make
trade work for Africa, including by helping to build Africa's capacity to
trade and working to mobilise the extra investment in infrastructure which
is needed for business

      The G8 leaders agreed to back this plan with substantial extra
resources for countries which have strong national development plans and are
committed to good governance, democracy and transparency. We agreed that
poor countries must decide and lead their own development strategies and
economic policies.

      We have agreed to double aid for Africa by 2010. Aid for all
developing countries will increase, according to the OECD, by around $50bn
per year by 2010, of which at least $25bn extra per year for Africa. A group
of G8 and other countries will also take forward innovative financing
mechanisms including the IFF for immunisation, an air-ticket solidarity levy
and the IFF to deliver and bring forward the financing, and a working group
will consider the implementation of these mechanisms. We agreed that the
World Bank should have a leading role in supporting the partnership between
the G8, other donors and Africa, helping to ensure that additional
assistance is effectively co-ordinated.

      The G8 has also agreed that all of the debts owed by eligible heavily
indebted poor countries to IDA, the International Monetary Fund and the
African Development Fund should be cancelled, as set out in our Finance
Ministers agreement on 11 June. We also welcomed the Paris Club decision to
write off around $17 billion of Nigeria's debt.

      The G8 and African leaders agreed that if implemented these measures
and the others set out in our comprehensive plan could:

      double the size of Africa's economy and trade by 2015

      deliver increased domestic and foreign investment

      lift tens of millions of people out of poverty every year

      save millions of lives a year

      get all children into primary school

      deliver free basic health care and primary education for all

      provide as close as possible to universal access to treatment for AIDS
by 2010

      generate employment and other opportunities for young people

      bring about an end to conflict in Africa.

      In order to ensure delivery, we agreed to strengthen the African
Partners Forum and that it should establish a Joint Action Plan.

      But we know this is only the beginning. We must build on the progress
we have made today. We must take this spirit forward to the UN Millennium
Review Summit in New York in September, and ensure a successful conclusion
to the Doha Development Agenda.

Regional Issues

Zimbabwe, where we deplored recent events. The forced demolition of
buildings there has left hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans without
housing or livelihoods, and caused great human suffering. We call on the
Zimbabwean authorities to end this campaign now, address immediately the
situation they have created, and respect human rights and the rule of law

We welcome the visit of the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy. We look
forward to her report on the situation. We will continue to support the UN
and other international organisations in their efforts to provide food and
humanitarian assistance to all those in need in Zimbabwe
Back to the Top
Back to Index

President Mugabe’s Slum Clean-Up Campaign Causes Humanitarian Crisis in Zimbabwe 

08 July 2005

cs zimbabwe map 150 eng 23sep04.jpg

The issue of  African poverty relief, a central goal of the G8 Summit this week in Gleneagles, Scotland, shared the limelight with another African issue, the growing humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.

 Zimbabwe, president Mugabe
Several analysts say President Mugabe has ruined any chances of ending his international isolation with his urban clean-up operation that has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless, without food and some dead
Under the direction of President Robert Mugabe, hundreds of thousands of  people have been made homeless during the winter season by his government’s slum clean-up campaign, a police action condemned by human rights organizations and Western governments.  President Mugabe says the campaign  is necessary to stamp out urban squalor and illegal activity including hoarding, black marketeering and illicit foreign currency dealings.

Children at Caledonia Farm, a transit camp for thousands of people displaced by the clean-up campaign in Zimbabwe
Children at Caledonia Farm, a transit camp for thousands of people displaced by the clean-up campaign in Zimbabwe
According to Tererai Karimakwenda, a news producer in London for SW Radio Africa, the only independent news source operating in Zimbabwe, the destruction of homes and businesses is indiscriminate, and people are being forced at gunpoint to destroy their own homes. The justification for the mass police action is completely false, Mr. Karimakwenda said.  Speaking with host Judith Latham of VOA News Now’s International Press Club, he said some of the “illegal” structures bulldozed were built with funds from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Mr. Karimakwenda asserted that, by spreading the population of urban poor into the rural areas, President Mugabe is using the crackdown to consolidate his stranglehold over the country by diffusing an anticipated mass uprising. 

Freelance Zimbabwean journalist Tendai Maphosa said the crackdown would only worsen an already dismal economic situation. Zimbabwe has 80-percent unemployment and over 100-percent inflation. With the eradication of the businesses of the so-called “black market” economy in the shadows of the urban slums, poverty will only increase, and the very uprising the crackdown was supposed to prevent may be ignited, Mr. Maphosa said.    

While the U.S. and British governments have condemned the uprooting as a violation of human rights, not a single African nation has broken its silence about the crisis, including South African President Thabo Mbeki, according to Delia Robertson, a VOA reporter in Johannesburg. Ms. Robertson said the government’s silence is part of South Africa’s official policy of “quiet diplomacy.”

Leaders from the powerful Group of Eight (G8) rich nations have fiercely denounced President Robert Mugabe over the political repression that has reduced Zimbabwe to an international outcast
The silence presents as big a problem as the crisis itself for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in his campaign for African recovery, according to Richard Cockett, Africa editor of the Economist magazine. He said that, by turning a blind eye to the situation in Zimbabwe, African leaders are undermining all their proclaimed commitments to democratic principles. Tererai Karimkwenda of SW Radio Africa believes that behind the silence lies a gentlemen’s agreement among the African heads of state, which he calls a “brotherhood of thugs.”

But Richard Cockett said there are two reasons why African leaders, especially Mr. Mbeke, support Mr. Mugabe. By pitching the West’s criticism of his actions as a part of an ongoing colonial struggle against the British imperialists, Mr. Mugabi turns it into a racial issue and reinforces his popular image as a hero of the black liberation struggle, Mr. Cockett said. It would be political suicide to break from the anti-colonial rhetoric for Mr. Mbeke, who is also keen to keep Zimbabwe’s unrest from spilling over into South Africa, according to Mr. Cockett.

Thus far the African Union has rejected Western calls to put pressure on Zimbabwe to stop the demolition campaign. International journalists say leading industrial powers will probably need support from African leaders if the situation in Zimbabwe is to improve. And British Prime Minister Tony Blair has warned that the Africa-wide silence on the Zimbabwean crisis may make the case for increasing African aid harder to sell to the G8 nations. 

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zealand Herald

      Zimbabwe bowler to add voice to boycott


      By Helen Tunnah

      Zimbabwe's first black test cricketer, Henry Olonga, is to lend his
weight to calls for a sporting boycott of Robert Mugabe's troubled country
when he meets New Zealand Cricket here next week.

      The visit of the banished cricketer will increase pressure on the
Black Caps not to tour Zimbabwe next month and on the Government to consider
legal options to prevent national teams going there.

      Olonga was forced to flee Zimbabwe after protesting human rights
abuses by the Mugabe regime.

      He will meet NZ Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden, who has said
the tour by the Black Caps must go ahead because the cricketers are bound by
International Cricket Council playing contracts.

      If they pull out of the tour for other than security reasons, they
face crippling fines and compensation claims, and may be suspended from the

      The Green Party, which has led the campaign against the tour, is
paying for Olonga's visit out of money originally set aside for the election

      Co-leader Rod Donald said the money was better spent on bringing
Olonga here, as the best person to try to persuade the Black Caps not to go.

      "This issue is more important than party politics, stopping the
genocide is more important. Henry is a symbol of cricketers' opposition to
the Mugabe regime."

      Mr Mugabe is patron of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

      Although his regime has been condemned for years for its brutality,
human rights abuses have escalated in the past month with the bulldozing of
hundreds of thousands of people's homes in the urban strongholds of Mr
Mugabe's political rivals.

      Children have been killed in the rubble, while other people left
without shelter or food have died in the cold.

      Olonga and fellow Zimbabwe player Andy Flower both now live in England
and were forced from their southern African home for security reasons after
their public protests during the 2003 Cricket World Cup there.

      They wore black armbands to mourn the death of democracy and issued a
lengthy statement condemning Mr Mugabe's regime.

      It said they could not take the field "in good conscience" knowing
millions of their compatriots were starving and oppressed, with hundreds of
thousands likely to die of Aids, starvation and poverty.

      "We are aware that people have been murdered, raped, beaten and had
their homes destroyed because of their beliefs," the statement said.

      Olonga has spent some of this summer playing cricket with Black Caps
Hamish Marshall and Chris Cairns in England.

      He said cricket was a huge industry for troubled Zimbabwe, but people
had to weigh up the most important things.

      "To me, it's the suffering of the masses in Zimbabwe.

      "If it means boycotting one or two tours, then I'm for it."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Crisis Coalition meeting in chaos over Jonathan Moyo's presence

      By Tererai Karimakwenda and Violet Gonda
      08 July 2005

      A heated public meeting organised by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
almost turned violent on Thursday in Harare. Speakers included Coalition
chairman Wellington Chibebe, MDC MP Tendai Biti, Independent MP Jonathan
Moyo and political Commentator Dr John Makumbe.

      Dr. John Makumbe dismissed fellow panellist Jonathan Moyo as part of
the government process that brought us POSA, AIPPA and the bombing of the
Daily News printing press. Makumbe said Moyo was now speaking against
Operation Murambatsvina when he himself was the architect of the evil
legislation that affects everyone.

      The former un-elected minister of information Moyo, who is now an
independent MP, had brought his own rent-a-crowd of youths from the
University of Zimbabwe who cheered when he spoke. But the rest of the crowd
almost caused a riot, wanting instant justice, when Dr. Makumbe explained
what Moyo was responsible for. The crowd eventually quietened down and the
meeting continued.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Lawyers for Human Rights confirm Porta deaths despite police denials

      By Violet Gonda
      08 July 2005

      Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights have confirmed that at least three
people died at Porta Farm while the whereabouts of another woman who was
heavily pregnant are unknown.

      This is despite police denials reported in the government owned Herald
newspaper saying there were no deaths at Porta Farm. Assistant Police
Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena reportedly said only 5 people have died so far
round the country during Operation Murambatsvina, and these deaths were the
result of accidents, not because of police actions.

      Human Rights lawyer Otto Saki insists that there were deaths at Porta
farm and they were as a result of the government's aggressive act of
destroying homes. He said last week the human rights group processed the
burial orders for a boy aged 4 who was hit by a truck while running away
from a bulldozer that was bringing down houses at Porta farm. And for a 34
year old woman who died after she was exposed to the elements of the cold
when she was evicted. The lawyer said the third death was of an 18 month old
baby. Lawyers for Human Rights could not get the mother of the baby to write
an affidavit because she was forcibly transferred to Caledonian Farm and
lawyers can't get access to her.

      According to the rights group, the fourth person was a heavily
pregnant woman who was pushed into a truck and collapsed. Police allegedly
took her to the hospital. Saki said her family reports that a police officer
returned to the settlement and informed them that the woman had died. There
were confusing reports from the police who later said the woman had been
resuscitated, but no one has been able to locate her. Saki said, "No-one can
confirm if she is alive or dead because she cannot be found, not even at the
hospital where the police say they took her."

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Zimbabwe Under Pressure
      By Jeffrey Young
      Washington, DC
      08 July 2005

Robert Mugabe became Zimbabwe's president in 1987 after first serving as
prime minister, and since then has kept a strong grip on power with the
support of his political party, ZANU-PF, the Zimbabwean African National
Union - Patriotic Front.

Though Zimbabwe has abundant mineral and agricultural resources, its economy
has not performed adequately in recent years. A number of international
bodies blame President Mugabe's policies, especially his controversial land
reform efforts that began in 2000, for the economic crisis. The object of
the reform effort was to put Zimbabwe's land in the hands of its black
majority instead of control largely by landowners dating from colonial
times. But the net effect of the land reform effort has for now turned
Zimbabwe, traditionally a food exporter, into a land of increasing food

Most recently, the Mugabe government has engaged in a controversial urban
clearance project it calls "Operation Murambatsvina" which translates
roughly to "Drive Out Trash." The Mugabe government said the clearance was
being done to prevent crime, improve sanitation, and maintain order.
Opposition groups in Zimbabwe assert that the operation is directed at areas
where these groups have had their greatest political support. The United
Nations estimates that at least 200,000 people have been made homeless,
while private groups put the number of affected people much higher.

Though Operation Murambatsvina has triggered expressions of concern by the
United Nations, the United States and the European Union, the African Union
announced on June 24 that it views the clearance project as an internal
matter and would not get publicly involved. And that has triggered
criticisms of the African Union. William Fletcher, president of Trans-Africa
Forum in Washington, DC, explains why the A.U. would take such a position.

"Zimbabwe's leadership," he says "knows on a personal level many of the
leaders of other southern African countries. In fact, many of them were
involved in similar movements against either western colonialism or
white-minority rule. So, that makes it difficult for one to move against the

Many have looked to South African president Thabo Mbeki to exert pressure
upon Zimbabwe's government to change its policies. But analyst Roberta Cohen
at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC explains why President Mbeki
will not take a public stand against Robert Mugabe. "This [Mugabe] was the
big supporter of the anti-apartheid struggle led by the ANC [African
National Congress] and no one has ever forgotten that. Publicly, it's almost
impossible for the South African leadership to give any public criticism."

While regional leaders choose not to take public stands against Robert
Mugabe and his actions, the West, including the United States, has been
outspoken against him.  But former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for
African Affairs Susan Rice, who served in the Clinton Administration, admits
that options are limited. "Absent a policy of regime change," she says,
"which I don't see as likely, there is a limit to what the United States and
others can effectively do at this point."

Moreover, as analyst Jennifer Cooke at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies in Washington, DC points out, President Mugabe has
skillfully used Western pressure to bolster his internal support. "In many
ways, Mugabe has very successfully turned criticism of him by the U.K. and
the United States as him and his country being under siege by people who
have essentially racist and colonialist interests at heart," she says.

Despite Robert Mugabe's tight grip on power, there is a visible opposition
movement in Zimbabwe. These groups and others assert that Zimbabwe's last
major elections in 2002 that kept Robert Mugabe in power were not free or

Trans Africa Forum President William Fletcher describes how the Zimbabwean
leader has been able to lessen the credibility, at least internally, of one
of his major foes.  "The main opposition group, the MDC - Movement for
Democratic Change - made a series of mistakes in terms of the way they
constructed their movement and built international support," he says, adding
"The MDC tended to support the so-called 'Western consensus' in terms of
economics and neo-liberalism. So President Mugabe and his supporters say
these are allies of our enemies."

With Robert Mugabe so far unwilling to bend to his internal opposition and
to outside pressures, some say there has to be a different approach to
influence him. Peter Kagwanja, with the private International Crisis Group
in Pretoria, South Africa, outlines what he believes may be the only way to
effect change with President Mugabe, and possibly to get him to leave
office. "The most possible way," he says, "of getting to Mugabe is go to
[South West Africa People's Organization leader] Sam Nujoma of Namibia,
[former president Joaquim] Chissano of Mozambique, [former president] Daniel
Moi of Kenya and President Jose Dos Santos of Angola. And, send them to
Zimbabwe. Why? Because these are the people Mugabe listens to."

Jennifer Cooke at CSIS believes South African President Thabo Mbeki may be
the best one to offer Robert Mugabe a so-called parachute out of his present
situation. "A face-saving device for Mugabe would be for South Africa to
engineer a comfortable

retirement [for him]. That would save Mugabe from having to admit defeat and
save Mbeki from continued criticism that he's not doing anything on this
issue," she says.

Todd Moss, at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC, describes
what he believes may eventually drive Robert Mugabe out of power. "I think
that the more likely outcome is that the economic conditions in Zimbabwe
will continue to deteriorate," he says, "and that increased external
pressure combined with deteriorating local conditions could force a split
within ZANU-PF that could force him out."

Some analysts strongly suggest that the continent may be counting on time
and natural events to resolve the situation in Zimbabwe. After all, they
say, President Mugabe is now over 80 years old and cannot stay in power

This report was originally broadcast on the VOA News Now "Focus" program.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

----- Original Message -----
From: Help-SWRA
Sent: Saturday, July 09, 2005 6:35 AM
Subject: Help SW Radio Africa



Please excuse this unsolicited email but SW Radio Africa needs your help. In short, they are after funds to help them keep providing a vital service to the people of Zimbabwe. A website has been set up to promote their appeal for donations - . Please visit or for more information. There is a small selection of button images for you to use on your site, should you wish to help on, . The available resources for web staff to use on their sites will grow as time allows and feedback comes in.


Hopefully, using the internet, we can promote this cause and bring the donations in the keep SWRA alive.


I thank you for your time and welcome any comments that may help us promote this cause.


Please feel free to pass this message on to anyone whom you think may be able to help.


Yours sincerely,

Back to the Top
Back to Index

SW Radio Africa soliciting donations to ensure survival

SW Radio Africa, which broadcasts to Zimbabwe from studios in the UK, has launched an appeal for donations. On its website, the station says its funding remains uncertain:

"Mugabe's jamming of the airwaves has forced the station to suspend its transmission on shortwave and drained its funds because of the high cost of using extra shortwave frequencies to counteract the jamming. The station can now only broadcast on medium wave.If there is no new funding, this may also be silenced. If there was additional funding it could go back onto multiple shortwave frequencies.

"If we could get 4,000 people to give £10 a month, we could ensure that SWRA has a long term future! Donations from individuals might seem like a long shot, but if you do it, get your friends to do the same, use the 'Send to a friend' option to forward on the ad you've just seen, use your powers of persuasion and we might just keep the station alive. We might be able to help continuing giving a voice to Zimbabweans and continue to help promote democracy."

Donations can be made using PayPal or via the bank. You can make a one off donation or set up a direct debit into this account:

SW Radio Africa - Donations
Lloyds TSB
Sort Code: 30 - 98 - 07
Account No: 04117360

The station also says "Our podcasting test has come to an end and we'd like to thank Tony for his time, expertise and money. There were hundreds of downloads, so many thanks to all of you who participated and we hope you now have greater awareness of the Zimbabwe situation."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

JAG PR Communique July 8, 2005


The local office of New York based World Bank gave JAG a copy of
OPTIONS (World Bank Report No 3199 ZW).

The World Bank requested that we study this document and return to them our
verbal and written response.  Our response is attached to this covering

As a membership driven organization, The Justice for Agriculture Trust
(JAG) and Justice for Agriculture members association (JAGMA) Committees
were unanimous that members, supporters and other stakeholders have a right
to know how we responded to this document, on their behalf. Indeed, we
contend that the issues raised and dealt with in this document are of
National importance, requiring open and transparent National debate.

The JAG Trust acknowledges that the Report Number 3199-ZW is the property
of World Bank and therefore we cannot quote directly from the report or
release it.

Overall The JAG Trust was extremely alarmed and disappointed by the
unconstructive negativity communicated throughout this document. This
document is in our view, a thoughtfully disguised and refined, tacit
acceptance of the results emanating from the Fast Track Land Reform Policy.

As far as we are aware, there was no local stakeholder consultation prior
to the compilation of this report, only subsequently.

The Document has been prepared and presented in a highly professional
manner by highly professional people, but very obviously the wrong people.
This report purports to be an agricultural document, but it is not.  It is,
in the main, a summary of the dire conditions in which the rural
agricultural population now find themselves in as a result of the
Government's politically inspired destruction of Commercial Agriculture
through misguided policies.

The main thrust of this report is to continue with and refine the "Fast
Track Land Reform Programme" in the hope that at end of the day a stable
productive agriculture sector will emerge.  This is highly idealistic, with
no chance of being successful on the ground, in the real world and in the
obvious absence of security of tenure. Commercial Farmer and Farm Workers
skills have been specifically excluded in the report.

This report has all the hallmarks of the social scientists and technocrats
approach to the land problem.  To have relevance and credibility this
report should have included the opinions and conclusions of economists,
ecologists, agronomists, management and marketing experts, and not least,
commercial farmers and farm worker organizations.

We respectfully contend that there was nothing wrong with the structure or
performance of Large Scale Commercial Agriculture, as it was under the
existent, tried and tested tenure system of Free Hold Title, other than the
obvious and unjust racial imbalance.

We further suggest that the quickest way to alleviate the tragic plight of
the displaced farmers and farm workers, would be to create conditions where
commercial agriculture is reinstated, through the return to the rule of law
and respect for property rights, wherein the farm workers can exchange a
fair day's work for a fair day's pay, thereby benefiting from the social
wage element that goes with employment in a commercial agricultural

It is JAG's sincere hope that World Bank Report Number 3199 ZW will be
withdrawn and a fresh report compiled with meaningful stakeholder
participation at all levels and at the outset.

Yours Sincerely,

Eric Harrison                                       Ronnie Saul
Chairman                                             Chairman
The Justice for                                    The Justice for
Agriculture Trust(jag)                          Agriculture Association


Agricultural Growth and Land Reform in Zimbabwe
The JAG Trust Comment on World Bank Report No. 3199 ZW

The World Bank appears to have made a concerted attempt to legitimise
Zimbabwe's ruling party's decision to force the closure of thousands of
successful businesses and to empower its political supporters to confiscate
the physical assets and personal property of a racial minority.

While the report is highly critical of the results achieved so far by the
beneficiaries of the ruling party-sponsored looting of the country's
principal economic sector, it makes no mention of the massive injustices
inflicted on commercial farmers and their families, or on the farmers'
employees and their families. Where mentioned, the damage done to the
economy is treated as merely incidental to a greater, praiseworthy wealth
redistribution objective.

At no point in the report do its authors recognise that the considerable
technical and financial skills of the commercial farmers, acquired over
many years, accounted for their success. Neither do they acknowledge that
this success was regularly achieved despite highly uncertain weather and
despite the many severe difficulties imposed by constraints on the economy.

These skills constitute the real wealth of the farmers and farm workers
this wealth could not be made subject to the redistribution process.
Frequent references are made to drought and other weather-related reasons
for the inadequate performance and disappointing harvests since the land
reform programme was launched. In fact, the weather patterns in these years
have been unexceptional. Most commercial farmers would have taken the
temporary setbacks in their stride, had they been left to continue farming.

The World Bank appears to feel justified in remaining silent on the social
dimensions of the destruction of Zimbabwe's largest industrial sector,
largest employer, largest export-revenue earner, largest source of
manufacturing sector inputs and largest customer for industrial and
commercial supplies. Because of the Zimbabwe government's disregard for
these complex inter-linkages, every sector of the economy has suffered a
severe decline, gross domestic product per capita has fallen below one US
dollar per day, foreign investment inflows have stopped, domestic
investment has been almost arrested by the confiscation of domestic savings
by government and a high proportion of the country's skilled workers have
had to leave the country to find work.

The report is devoid of any reference to the desirability of economies of
scale, which were made possible by large-scale operations that, in turn,
made farming a profitable pursuit. Instead the World Bank refers to
subsidies, grants, donor funding and other support mechanisms for
sustaining what would have to be hundreds of thousands of unprofitable
small-scale farms. The fact that Zimbabwe, as a developing country, cannot
afford to fund subsidies and grants and would be forced to remain
perpetually dependent on aid appears not to be considered a serious issue
by the World Bank.

Unfortunately, the authors of the report have accepted without question the
Zimbabwe government's claim that severe overcrowding in the communal areas
fully justified the dispossession of commercial farmers and the
reallocation of their land to small-scale and peasant farmers. The fact is
that communal areas were short of capital and management skills, not space.
The dual land tenure system in Zimbabwe had its origins in the early
colonisers' belief that the indigenous population's agricultural methods
and traditions should be respected and that extensive areas under their
tutelage should be protected from the buying power of others as colonial
development continued.

The intention was praiseworthy. It was to protect the communities from the
dispossession that had overwhelmed the American Indians, the Aborigines,
the Maoris and many others and had led to the marginalisation of the
peoples in restrictive, confining reservations. Unfortunately, the result
was to isolate the communities from the development they could have enjoyed
if they had been persuaded to permit their traditions to adapt and respond
to changing technologies. Equally important, faster development would have
allowed them to keep pace with the population explosion that came with the
near-eradication of the causes of very high infant mortality and the
generally short life expectancy.

By surveying, registering, and ascribing transferable title and a market
value to the land they occupied, settler communities had access to bank
finance as they learned how to survive and then to prosper on the land.
Without question, the commercial farming sector has evolved and developed
under the many advantages inherent in free hold titled tenure. Continual
application, over the years, of good husbandry and farming practices, with
rotations and break crops and other essential procedures, the farmers'
efforts are assured and underwritten by the existence of transferable and
bankable free hold title and the unfettered application of free market
forces. This gave rise to outstanding progress and development in this
sector as well as viable and sustainable production levels, way above the
levels achieved in the communal area model even when this is assessed on a
return per overall hectare basis. But before long, the contrast between
their performance and that of the traditional farmers became obvious and it
then became a problem. Unfortunately, the colonial administration chose to
ignore it. The contrast between the commercial and communal farming areas
later became as obvious in the condition of the soils as it was in the
vastly different yields. Motivations are an important consideration in
explaining the differences. Commercial farmers, with their determination to
succeed heightened by their obligations to the banks, explored every
possible means of preserving their soil's fertility and enhancing their
productivity, but communal farmers faced no risk of foreclosure.

As a result, the communal farmers were not under pressure to perform. They
achieved very little and very slow growth and very poor production levels
as a result, but by keeping to their traditional farming methods, they
caused rampant environmental degradation, especially with regard to soil
fertility. They lacked the means to invest in the preservation of their
soils, but also felt little need to do so as their hope was that, as in the
past, they would be allocated another area to farm when they began to
suffer unacceptable yields. With the population growth that took place over
succeeding decades, their prospects of moving to unoccupied areas
diminished and then disappeared. The shortcomings of their self-limiting
tenure system should then have become the focal point, but instead, they
chose to concentrate their attention on the, by then, much better-looking
lands being cultivated by commercial farmers.

Capitalising on the glaringly obvious differences, politicians were able to
fan the disparities into claims that settlers had taken all the best land,
that traditional farmers had been left with unproductive soils and that the
only solution would be to dispossess the commercial farmers and allocate
their land to peasants. The policy-makers of more than 50 years ago were
too short-sighted to anticipate inevitable land pressures and those of 40
years ago were able to justify a move to the hard-right by events elsewhere
in Africa - Kenya and the then Belgian Congo in particular. Proposals that
individual ownership rights and access to bank finance should be extended
to communal farmers drew the response from Ian Smith's Rhodesia Front party
that: "*we don't want to empower the indigenous population that much".

At independence in 1980, efforts to encourage the first Zimbabwean
government to accept the need for individual ownership rights and title
deeds in the communal areas received widespread support from the public,
but were repeatedly countered by the politicians. Eventually, after about
seven years of recurring debates, ruling party politicians were heard to
admit: "We don't want to empower the people that much." This is perhaps the
best insight needed to recognise the recent events for what they are: a
political programme of control of the citizenry through the destruction of
the ownership rights of commercial farmers and the destruction of the
independent power base that previously existed within the commercial
agricultural sector.

By choice, the ruling party has sponsored poverty creation and food
insecurity mechanisms to render the people of Zimbabwe vulnerable and
politically malleable. They are now dependent on the party's patronage and
on the state for food and security. As a result, totalitarian control has
been achieved. By definition, therefore, the way forward for Zimbabwean
agriculture is through the total rejection and abandonment of the present
so-called `land reform programme'.

As an international organisation, the World Bank has ready access to
comparative data on other countries that should have permitted the authors
of this report to assess the basic claim that "severe overcrowding" in the
communal areas gave the ruling party every right to acquire the commercial
farmland for redistribution. Zimbabwe's average population density is 30
people per square kilometre, which by chance is exactly the same as the
population density of the United States. The area of Zimbabwe is almost the
same as that of Germany, which has seven times Zimbabwe's population, but
Germany does not complain of having overcrowded farming areas. Other
comparisons show that Zimbabwe's communal areas total the same number of
square kilometres as the area of England. If a comparison with a relatively
more arid country is needed, Israel's population density is 280 people per
square kilometre, almost ten times that of Zimbabwe. The population density
of Zimbabwe's communal areas appeared to be too high only because the
farming methods and the land tenure system were, and still are, damaging to
the soil fertility. These have always imposed limits on the range of
options and the funding available to farmers. It should not have been
difficult for the World Bank to point out in the report that a better
option would have been for the communal areas to adopt the successful
commercial farming methods and land tenure systems instead of to inflict
the inefficient and consumptive communal area systems onto the commercial

>From these points, the claim can be made that Zimbabwe's ruling party has
made totally dishonest accusations about an economically successful
business sector in order to empower themselves to dispossess the targeted
individuals of their political leverage and, in the process, their assets
and their livelihood.

>From the general thrust of the report, the claim can be made that the
World Bank has accepted these dishonest allegations without question and is
now content to offer advice on how the country might do something a little
more useful with the inefficient system it has chosen to extend across the
country. While the report does make frequent references to land tenure
issues, it does not mention the immense advantages of placing land onto the
market, of permitting land to have a market-related price, of permitting
individuals to have legally-defensible ownership and transferability rights
and of thus permitting the land to have collateral value. Title deeds,
where they exist in an open market, form a bridge between the farming
sector and the banking sector. Where they do not exist, the farmers
isolation from the banks makes them dependent on hand-outs and patronage.

It also undermines their need to do well to remain in business. By itself,
the absence of a need to perform well is enough to explain a large part of
the differences in the results achieved. The institutionally-supported
mediocrity that results from this paternalistic system should not be the
World Bank's prescription for Zimbabwe's future.

In other respects, the World Bank report is a fund of valuable and very
detailed information and the authors display a wide-ranging appreciation of
the support mechanisms needed to integrate the numerous facets of centrally
planned and state-controlled resources. Unfortunately, the sheer weight of
this material disguises the absence of any justification for choosing or
supporting command economy or central planning options instead of open
market options.

The report also makes no reference to the highly specialised seed
production capacity that had been created over many decades and effectively
underpinned the success of the country's farmers by catering to widely
differing growing conditions. Experienced seed producers could ensure
consistent quality and high germination percentages by ensuring that seed
crops were isolated from cross-fertilisation possibilities and were
properly protected from contamination.

The land reform programme displaced almost all these specialist farmers.
The seed companies have since found it impossible to meet the required
quality standards and to supply the volumes needed. Imported seed is mostly
found to have been produced for climatic conditions and altitudes different
from those found in Zimbabwe and this partly explains the disappointing

Zimbabwe needs an unequivocal return to the rule of law and respect for
subsisting property rights of the individual citizen as enshrined in the
constitution and laws of Zimbabwe.  The "land hunger" alluded to by the
ruling party is and was non-existent and this is born out by higher
priority given to job opportunities rather than land in recent surveys. It
also explains the poor uptake of the land acquired.  If there was ever any
shortage of land, that shortage pertained and is confined to titled land
because of its inherent ability to raise the necessary capital for
production and development.

Government's purchases of land over the past 25 years and its removal from
the market have been part of its attempts to systematically destroy title
and ownership rights, and this has only exacerbated the shortage situation
and added to poverty creation.  The sidelining and marginalisation of
commercial farmer and farm worker skills in the so called "fast track land
reform program" bears witness to and stands as testimony to this being
entirely a political program of destruction and control and also a
programme embarked upon by design and not by default.

While the study recognises that so far the newly imposed arrangements in
the farming sector have not worked, it chooses to adopt a wholly
unacceptable objective of showing how they might be made to work a little
better. It seems that, to the World Bank, an acceptable target is to
achieve second-rate results for people who have no right to higher
expectations. Instead of attempting to identify ways that Zimbabwe could
make slow and limited progress despite having made disastrous choices, the
World Bank should, instead, have shown that the reforms were politically
motivated and the chosen options had nothing whatever to recommend them.
They could have pointed out that whatever means had been chosen to carry
them through, they could never have delivered anything even approaching the
true potential of the country. And they should have observed that criminal
injustices were inflicted on communities that were guilty of nothing other
than achieving genuine success as farmers, and that no formal assistance
should be forthcoming from any international body before full restitution
or compensation had been made to all those affected.

In references to the issue of compensation in the report, the focus has
been confined to the necessity to compensate for the land and improvements,
but only in order to prevent continuing litigation from undermining the
security of any subsequent tenure system, such as the proposed 99 year
leases that might replace the existing tenure system. As a basis for this
dismissive treatment, the report contends that only 20% of the land
acquisition orders are being legally contested. In fact, the acquisition of
80% of the land is still being legally contested in the courts.
Furthermore, less than 200 of the thousands of farmers targeted have been
compensated and none were compensated adequately or timeously.

For the vast majority, even though the acquisitions remain contested, the
owners were illegally and forcibly evicted and had standing crops,
livestock and farm equipment confiscated. These actions have given rise to
substantial damage and other loss claims arising from the loss of business
as well as the loss of property. In most cases, five years down the line,
these claims vastly exceed the value of the land and improvements at the
outset. With the additional claims for lost incomes and property suffered
by about 300 000 workers and their families, the totals come to very
considerable amounts, but the authors of the World Bank report appear not
to have considered the subject worthy of mention, let alone analysis.

The brief references to the preservation of wildlife show no recognition of
the contributions made by commercial farmers to conservation and
bio-diversity over the years. Neither does the report acknowledge the fact
that private conservancies in Zimbabwe had led the way in Africa in
achieving the sustainable utilisation of wildlife through consumptive and
non-consumptive eco-tourism. Zimbabwe has been, and is still today
earmarked as a World Tourism Centre. The country was able to boast of an
incomparable situation of more wildlife in existence on privately owned
land than in National Parks and State Wildlife Areas, but in the past five
years, since the introduction of "fast track land reform", most of the
wildlife on private land has been systematically destroyed. The assault now
has moved to the National Parks and State Wildlife Areas themselves.

Estimates place the losses at between 60% and 80% of the animals having
been slaughtered in the fast track exercise.  Partly because of this, the
tourism industry has virtually collapsed and eco-tourism has become a thing
of the past.  Indigenous forests on formerly productive estates have
suffered a similar fate as resettled peasant farmers in search of cash
incomes cut down slow-growing hardwood trees for sale as firewood. If the
destruction is not stopped, recovery itself will become an unrealistic

The ruling party's attack on commercial agriculture has several social
dimensions that received no coverage in the World Bank report. Before the
land reform programme started, commercial farmers provided a standard of
health, education and housing that was far superior to that provided in the
neighbouring communal areas and the contrast between the quality of
services often caused embarrassment to the authorities when highlighted as
evidence of the State's lack of commitment to communal area development.

Almost every commercial farm provided or co-operated with neighbours to
provide on-farm health schemes for farm-workers, support for local clinics,
on-farm pre-school crèches with playgrounds, on-farm schools or support for
local area schools, on-farm adult education, instruction on prevention of
HIV-AIDS and support for AIDS orphans. Close to one million children
attended the farm schools and this number reached almost 40% of the total
junior school enrolment of the country.

As a measure of the devastation caused by the land reform programme, very
nearly all of this social infrastructure has now collapsed. Many of the
displaced families have been forced to relocate to communal areas where the
already inadequate health and education facilities cannot be further
stretched to absorb the additional people. Unacceptable hardships forced
many of the families to then relocate to squatter settlements near the
towns and cities where they tried to subsist on informal activities.
However, their swelling numbers prompted the authorities to launch the now
infamous cleansing exercise that entailed the destruction of all squatter
camps and unlicensed business premises. Estimates place the numbers of
people displaced in May and June 2005 at well above a million, most of whom
have been sent back to the impoverished communal areas.

At another level, the World Bank Report seems content to base its arguments
on legal cornerstones that are fundamentally flawed because the very
legitimacy of the government is itself questionable. The World Bank accepts
almost without question the proposal that non-tradable non-bankable 99 year
leases should be substituted for the current free-hold title deeds. The
fact that this form of land tenure would be hopelessly ineffective in
encouraging the necessary investment is not mentioned, but on legal
considerations the more glaring omission is that the Land Acquisition Act
is contrary to the protection of private property provisions in the
Constitution. This renders fraudulent the ruling party's claim that the
government has been empowered to carry out the land acquisition programme.

As the ruling party dismissed or forced the early retirement of judges who
did not issue judgements in their favour, it can also be argued that the
integrity of the entire judiciary and legal structure in Zimbabwe has been
compromised. As an international body that has every reason to want to be
deserving of respect, the World Bank should not risk discrediting itself by
legitimising the actions of a widely discredited government.

The World Bank cannot have any doubt that the legality of the ruling
party's claim to have won the electorate's mandate is itself questionable.
Sanctions have been applied against the ruling party's senior politicians
by many western governments and Zimbabwe has been expelled from the
Commonwealth because of evidence of electoral fraud and because the party
has prevented charges on the issues from reaching the courts. On the
reasonable assumption that they were fearful of loosing the cases, even
after subverting the Bench, the ruling party should have been regarded by
the World Bank as illegal and unworthy of assistance.

While the status of the ruling party is held in question, all Acts of
Parliament, Statutory Instruments and the Land Acquisition Orders
themselves should be considered illegal, as should any proposed new lease
agreements. No country can build an agricultural or any other industry on
leases of disputed legitimacy.


The Justice for Agriculture Trust strongly advocates that free hold title
to land, all land, once established through existing laws, with boundaries
surveyed, legally documented and protected by the constitution, should be
treated as sacrosanct.  The preservation of that title as existing security
of tenure especially with regard to individual ownership of agricultural
land by Zimbabwean citizens is in the national Interest and should be
fought for by every Zimbabwean citizen, regardless of colour, race, creed
or political affiliation.

We strongly believe, not only in the preservation and restoration of
existing freehold title to agricultural land but also the expansion of
freehold title and other just tenure systems into the communal areas of
Zimbabwe as a move to redress the historical injustices inherent in the
Inherited dual system of land ownership in Zimbabwe.

The Justice for Agriculture Trust adheres strongly to the belief and
continues to advocate that true freedom and empowerment of the citizens of
Zimbabwe will only come through individual ownership of property and land
in Zimbabwe and as we have an agriculturally based economy, particularly
the individual ownership of agricultural land.

Zimbabwe's ruling party has indisputably espoused and promulgated a
so-called "land reform programme" that is the antithesis of this and that
the world Bank appears to be prepared to condone and support.  We believe
that the World Bank is not only in danger of aligning itself with a
programme fraught with illegality and injustices, but in doing so it would
also become complicit to gross human rights abuses, if not crimes against

The Justice for Agriculture
June 20 2005



Email: ;

JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
    (011) 205 374
       (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
       (091) 317 264
    (011) 207 860 we're here to help!
(011) 431 068
Back to the Top
Back to Index

JAG Legal Communique July 8, 2005

Today's Herald of 8 July 2005 contains two new listings of Section 5
Notices as follows:

Lot 173 Section 5 Notices (Urban Expansion) 11 properties.
Lot 175 Section 5 Notices (Resettlement) 6 properties.

These listings will be sent out on Monday 11 July 2005




JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
    (011) 205 374
       (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
       (091) 317 264
    (011) 207 860 we're here to help!
(011) 431 068

Back to the Top
Back to Index