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

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This insanity must come to an end

7/9/02 7:45:17 AM (GMT +2)

I OFTEN wonder what sort of madness it is that has got into our
country and her leaders. In Marondera, as in almost all towns and cities
around the country, there is no sugar to buy in the shops.

At first glance we think of only the couple of spoons of sugar we have
in our tea and coffee, but this is just the beginning. Sugar is in so many
of the things that make up our daily diet.

It is in jam and marmalade, soft and carbonated drinks, chocolates and
sweets. Sugar is needed for bread and buns, biscuits, cakes and doughnuts,
beer and spirits.

Sugar, like salt and maize-meal, is a large part of our nutrition and
yet the government last week stopped another 15 sugar farmers from
harvesting the cane on their properties.

The farmers were ordered to report to the Chiredzi Police Station and
sign warned and cautioned statements.

They are accused of breaking the law by continuing to provide sugar
for Zimbabwe. What sort of madness is this in a country whose shelves are
bare of sugar?

Dr Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement, boasts that 300 000 people have now benefited from the land
redistribution exercise, but the gain of those people is to the direct
detriment of 13 million other people in the country and yet we all sit back
and do nothing about it. We meekly accept our fate and endure the suffering.

This nonsensical situation is the same in all sectors of Zimbabwe's

There is no milk because our dairy farmers have been ordered to stop
milking their cows. There is no Roller Meal because our biggest maize
farmers have not been allowed to grow our staple grain.

There are bread shortages because more than half of our wheat farmers
were not allowed to plant a crop.

Eggs are becoming a luxury because the majority of poultry producers
have been ordered to stop working and there is no grain left with which to
feed the hens.

There is no salt because there is no foreign currency to pay for its
importation. The farmers who grow export crops that bring in foreign
currency have been stopped from working.

Every single shortage in Zimbabwe can be traced very simply and
speedily back to a land redistribution programme which was poorly thought
out, badly implemented and not backed up at all either with capital or

It took Zimbabwe 20 years from Independence to the year 2000 to
develop an incredible agricultural resource base which saw us meeting every
single one of the country's needs. It has taken less than two years for one
policy to completely destroy two decades of work and cause six million
people to need food hand-outs from the West.

Our leaders stagger from one crisis to another as it arises. There
seems to be a complete inability for our government to look further than

All the food that we are buying and eating now is literally coming
straight from the fields to our tables. Nothing is being put aside for next
year. Our grain silos are empty of wheat, maize, soya and barley. Our sugar
stocks are non-existent.

Our national numbers of sheep, cattle, pigs and chickens are at their
lowest ever levels. Our foreign currency reserves are down to a few days.

As each part of our daily diet disappears from the shelves, the
reasons will be exactly the same. The shortages we are encountering now will
be exacerbated 100-fold next year.

Surely the time has come for each and every single one of our leaders
to stop thinking about themselves and their own political survival and to
start thinking about the 13 million people they supposedly represent?

It is childish in the extreme to keep blaming someone else for the
shortages on our shelves.

For two years they blamed the white commercial farmers. When they
became extinct, the manufacturers and wholesalers became the scapegoats,
accused of hoarding and stockpiling.

The insanity has gone far enough and it is time for all Zimbabweans to
demand the right to be able to buy food.
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Daily News

Leader Page

AU must end the era of dictators, hunger

7/9/02 7:38:34 AM (GMT +2)

IT is almost impossible to be hopeful or happy about the creation of
the African Union (AU) this week without tempering that hope with extreme

For instance, if Bakili Muluzi had succeeded in ram-rodding through
the Parliament of Malawi a constitutional amendment to allow him to run for
a third term, he would still have been welcomed with open arms at the Durban

Sam Nujoma of Namibia did exactly that and remains a bona fide member
of that group of African leaders who routinely tout themselves as democrats,
but are manifestly less so in practice.

The AU has to do better than the Organisation of African Unity (OAU),
an audit of which would indicate its success in all its endeavours was
mediocre. Certainly, its one big success was the decolonisation of the
continent. Once that had been achieved, it became more or less irrelevant
and moribund.

In a morbid coincidence, the last OAU conference is being held as the
United Nations meets in Barcelona to discuss the scourge which may wipe out
a considerable part of the population of the continent, HIV/Aids.

The OAU, typically, is ending its life without having contributed
significantly to the fight against the pandemic which has seriously
reduced life expectancy in Sub-Sahara Africa - Botswana, for instance, from
72 to 28 years.

The pandemic is likely to have a deleterious effect on whatever
economic plans the AU may come up with to drag the continent out of its

The one virus which has plagued this continent as much as HIV/Aids has
been misgovernance. The AU will reportedly differ from the OAU for it will
censure and even ostracise from its ranks countries which refuse to conform
to normal tenets of good governance.

Considering its present membership, one is bound to wonder. For
instance, the OAU has not invited Madagascar's Marc Ravalomanana to the
summit in Durban. It is to be hoped this had nothing to do with the
recognition of his government by the United States and France, the former
colonial power. Evidently, the OAU leaders would have preferred a fellow
despot, the former soldier dictator, Didier Ratsiraka, to have won the
election last December.

Ravalomanana is now president of the whole island nation and the AU
will have to act quickly to recognise him - or risk the accusation of being
no different from the OAU, endorsing dictators and other leaders whose
democratic credentials are, at the very least, suspect.

President Mugabe falls into this category and although the AU
apparently has no intention of bringing up the subject of the imbroglio in
Zimbabwe on its agenda, the fact remains there is much, much unfinished
business in this country before it can be said to have achieved peace and
democracy under Mugabe since the presidential election last March.

Legislation is now in place which makes a mockery of the people's
right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. Both the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Public Order and Security
Act are iniquitous pieces of legislation the AU should strongly condemn - if
it didn't have such one-party luminaries among its leaders as Libya's
Muammar Gaddafi and Liberia's Charles Taylor.

The fight against poverty should preoccupy the new organisation. But
poverty cannot be fought when people are denied their basic human rights, as
many Africans are today. Poverty cannot be fought when there are civil wars
raging in many countries. Poverty cannot be fought
successfully if opposition parties are denied the right to function
freely, as in Zimbabwe today.

Meles Zenawi, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, who was in Zimbabwe over
the weekend on his way to Durban, said Africa could not ignore the world,
politically or economically.

The AU needs to accept this concept of globalisation totally. The days
of one-party tinpot dictators and military potentates are gone. Only the
true freedom of all the people can ensure an end to poverty and hunger in
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Daily News

Chiwenga accused of trying to take over farm by force

7/9/02 8:20:24 AM (GMT +2)

By Takaitei Bote Farming Editor

JOCELYN Chiwenga, the wife of Zimbabwe National Army Commander,
Lieutenant-General Constantine Chiwenga, is at the centre of a dispute for
allegedly trying to take over by force a property in the Enterprise area,
Hortico Farm.

She already owns a farm in Enterprise through the government's
controversial land reform programme.

Hortico is a horticultural concern which exports most of its produce
to the United Kingdom.

Contacted for comment last week, Chiwenga denied trying to take over
the farm. She said she and the owners of Hortico had only argued over the
payment for the vegetables she had supplied to them.

The Daily News understands that Chiwenga, who two months ago took over
Shepherd Hall Farm next to Hortico Farm, allegedly besieged Hortico for four
working days from Wednesday 26 June to 2 July, claiming she was the new

Jacob Staunton, the owner of Shepherd Hall Farm, is reported to have
been chased away by Chiwenga and has since fled to Australia.

A source associated with Hortico Farm said: "It all started with a
late invoice. Chiwenga came claiming she was the new owner of Shepherd Hall
Farm and that payment for the runner beans supplied to Hortico by Shepherd
Hall Farm two months ago be made to her.

"The Hortico Farm management declined, saying they would only pay the
previous farm owner, Staunton, as he had supplied the beans."

After the management refused to comply with her demand, Chiwenga
allegedly brought some office furniture and occupied one of the offices at
Hortico Farm.

The source said: "She brought a computer and office furniture and
occupied one office at the farm, saying she was the new owner of Hortico
with immediate effect, which was from Wednesday 26 June.

"She left on Tuesday 2 July when Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and
Rural Resettlement authorities ordered her to leave the farm."

The source said Chiwenga had enlisted the services of the ministry to
have Hortico Farm officially ceded to her after the owner had been issued
with a Section 8 order of eviction.

Hortico's managing director, Daniel Perlman, is said to be out of the
country. The mobile telephone number of Peter Christensen, the operations
director, was busy each time The Daily News phoned him. The number has been
out of reach since last Friday.

It is understood that Chiwenga threatened to "deal with anyone from
Hortico who dares speak to the Press".

Chiwenga has denied she wants to take over Hortico Farm. In a
telephone interview last Friday, she said: "If you are going to publish
anything about Hortico, it will be all lies. I am the new owner of Shepherd
Hall Farm from May and how can I try to take over Hortico Farm when I have
another one?"

Chiwenga said she had since been paid for the beans supplied to
Hortico by Shepherd Hall Farm.

Top government and Zanu PF officials have been accused of grabbing
prime land with unharvested crops and there are reports that some now own
more than one farm.

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association two weeks
ago demanded an audit of the land reform programme, saying there was growing
evidence that the majority of people including ex-combatants, detainees and
collaborators, had been marginalised because "political heavyweights have
hijacked the programme".
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Daily News

Police raid private radio station

7/9/02 8:38:21 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE police last week raided the offices of the Voice of The People
(VOP), a private radio station in Harare, and confiscated 133 tapes and

According to a spokesman for Media Institute of Southern Africa
(MISA)-Zimbabwe, the police, accompanied by officers from the Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe, (BAZ) and armed with a search warrant, raided the VOP
offices on Thursday around 4pm in search of a transmitter and any other
broadcasting equipment.

After failing to find any transmitters, the police "confiscated 133
tapes and files from the office".

Bruce Mujeyi, of Gollop and Blank, the radio station's lawyers, who
was present when the police searched the offices, said the police and the
BAZ officers wanted the transmitter the VOP was "using" to transmit its

Mujeyi said the VOP trust deed disappeared in the confusion during the
search and it is suspected the police or BAZ officers took it. Mujeyi said
in terms of the law, the police must return everything they seized.

"We are waiting for a decision on whether to apply to the court for a
speedy return of the confiscated equipment or appeal against the harassment
to which VOP staff were subjected," Mujeyi said.

MISA-Zimbabwe said it was reliably informed that VOP had no
transmitter in Zimbabwe or anywhere else, and was not violating any part of
Broadcasting Services Act 2001 because it is not broadcasting.

The Broadcasting Services Act 2001 bars anyone from broadcasting
without a valid licence.

No other broadcasters have been licenced since the law was passed in
2001. Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, controlled by the Department of
Information and Publicity in the President's Office, remains the only
broadcaster in the country.
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Daily News

Ziana workers up in arms over increments

7/9/02 8:23:46 AM (GMT +2)

By Rhodah Mashavave

ABOUT 80 Zimbabwe-Inter-Africa News Agency (Ziana) workers in Harare
besieged a meeting of their board of directors over the non-payment of a 55
percent salary increment awarded in January.

The workers downed tools from noon to about 3pm demanding that the
newly-appointed board address them. The board meeting held at the Ziana
offices in the city was attended by chairman Munacho Mutezo, Vimbai
Chivaura, the chief executive officer, and three board members Elizabeth
Karonga, Johannes Tomana and Ngugi wa Mirii.

According to inside sources, the board had difficulty convincing the
workers to return to work while they solved their problems.

Matthew Takaona, the president of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists,
in a letter to Chivaura, dated 4 July, said: "It has come to our attention
that workers at the agency who were supposed to get salary increments in
January as required by the law have not yet got anything.

"Apart from the legal obligation for the agency to pay increases
annually, the workers have written correspondence from the Department of
Information promising that the salary increases were to be effected once a
new board is in place.

"The new board came into office more than four months ago and promised
all the workers that the increments would come soon. This has not happened
and we are told that the new chairman has on more than one occasion
cancelled scheduled meetings with workers."

Takaona said Ziana had not been forwarding payments to a medical aid
account for the workers with Cimas, and contributions to the National Social
Security Authority although deductions would have been made from their

He said: "The situation has serious implications on the workers in an
environment where the prices of basic commodities have more than trebled in
the last year. We are also worried that they now have to pay cash upfront
for medical bills, adding a heavy burden on their small earnings."

In a related development, staff at the Gweru based The Times, a member
of the cash-strapped Community Newspapers Group, and printing company
Superprint on Wednesday last week served their management a two-weeks'
notice to strike over similar demands.
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Daily News


Anger everywhere as Zimbabwe cracks into two pieces

7/9/02 8:44:42 AM (GMT +2)

Zimbabwe's unending political crisis, worsened by widespread
starvation affecting half the population, has divided the country into two
different places: an official one and a real one.

Officially, Zimbabwe is fine. It enjoys the support of the entire
African continent, particularly for its pan-Africanist zeal to redistribute
land and complete the theoretical fight against colonialism. That process
would have long been speeded up were it not for the siege the country is
experiencing from an unpatriotic network of indigenous puppets of Britain
and the West.

The enemy's main motivation, as seen by President Mugabe and his
supporters, is to compromise the nation's sovereignty and create artificial
shortages of tourists, investors, foreign currency and basic commodities.

In the real Zimbabwe, survival has become not only a daily challenge,
but an embarrassing and frustrating game.

Zanu PF officials have bestowed upon themselves unchallenged
qualities and become national symbols which should never be

They claim a monopoly of knowledge.

In the official Zimbabwe, no one is starving. There is plenty of food.

The MDC and the private sector are hoarding large quantities to drive
the people against the government.

Officially, all non-governmental organisations are dangerous because
they support the opposition; they ask too many questions about human rights;
and they are led by MDC stooges.

The official world believes in the same old and tired ways of running
the country, using the same old economic policies, which have seen the
country's wealth vanish in two decades. That world is grateful to war
veterans and Border Gezi "graduates" for Mugabe's "re-election". It accepts
the argument that a battery of laws, fast-tracked before the election, were
designed to bring about more freedoms and do not hurt democracy.

But, the real Zimbabwe is now a very dangerous place, with anger

The latest figures show that 5,6 million people are hungry. A third of
our two million children under five need nutritional supplements.

Only two of the country's 57 districts are estimated to have less than
10 000 people requiring food aid. The rest have 50 000 people or more in
need of help, according to the United Nations.

Officially, there is no need for a clear plan to deal with the current
food shortfall, or developing safety nets for the poor. As long as the
people have land, donations or aid are unnecessary.

While the major donors seem reluctant to underwrite a government they
consider to be irresponsible and illegitimate, officially that presents no
problem to a sovereign Zimbabwean state.

The official view is that nothing much can be done about Western
donors who support the MDC's desire to cause alarm and despondency.

Officially tourism, once one of the country's major contributors to
gross domestic product, is picking up significantly following the imagined
success of international lobby groups to market Zimbabwe.

These groups, led by the likes of Ari Ben-Menashe, have now been
joined by former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda and Ernest Coovi Adjovi.

Adjovi would rather see tourists flock to Zimbabwe instead of his
native Benin through the hugely discredited Miss Malaika pageant.

The real Zimbabwe, however, knows that tourism has shrunk to 25
percent of the levels achieved in 1999 despite the existence of the computer
disk, a CD-ROM, designed to counter the negative publicity Zimbabwe receives

Officially, the business community deliberately sources foreign
currency on the black market to raise an argument about costs.

The ultimate aim of business, in government's thinking, is to flout
price controls.

The implications of the rough swings in the value of the Zimbabwean
dollar on the manufacturing sector and on pricing are rarely debated.

What officials would like people to see are television pictures of
basic commodities "hoarded" in some warehouse in the industrial sites.

When the companies attempt to explain the presence of the publicised
stocks through the State media, they are denied the opportunity.

The real Zimbabwe has been run by nationalists. These men and women
are mostly without professions. They sincerely believe that no one can run
this country better than themselves. Once they became MPs and ministers,
either at independence in 1980 or somewhere thereafter, they looked upon
their public offices as the sole source of power, career development and
income. To them, losing office would have a catastrophic effect.

The few who did or, for some reason, were forced out, have nothing to
show for it.

Senior officials are doing everything possible to cling on to their
posts, suppressing potential rivals.

Finance Minister Simba Makoni was unfortunate to have his name
discussed as a possible successor to Mugabe. That cost him the support of
the establishment which discourages any discussion on life after Mugabe.

Makoni and Leonard Tsumba, the governor of the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe, have tried, without success, to make the government address our
skewed macro-economic environment.

The fact that Makoni inherited an empty calabash is rarely

Late last year, Makoni stopped Agriculture Minister Joseph Made from
continuing to peddle lies that Zimbabwe had sufficient food stocks.

Under a system of political patronage, young politicians are supposed
to be consumed by the old blood and start to behave like their mentors.

The result, in Zimbabwe's case, has been the entrenchment of a
political system that is replete with lifeless ideas and deadwood.

Our two-faced nation looks set to force the people's will, like dammed
water, to find its true position on national affairs. That position will
seek an abatement and eventual eradication of deceit.

The official position of publicly denigrating everything from the West
has tended to become ludicrous in the eyes of some bemused Zimbabweans.

None of our political leaders
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Daily News

Residents in demo against water cuts

7/9/02 8:40:36 AM (GMT +2)

From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

RIOT police were called in yesterday when hundreds of residents in
Bulawayo's Sizinda suburb staged a peaceful demonstration against the city
council's decision to cut off water supplies to residents to recover $800
million in unpaid rates.

The more than 500 placard-waving demonstrators marched through the
streets and gathered at the council's housing office.

They confronted the ward councillor, Alderman Mika Parira Mpofu, and
demanded that he arrange for them to talk to the mayor, Japhet

Some of the placards read: Don't kill the milk cow, We say no to 115
percent poverty and Don't turn council chambers to toilet chambers.
Mpofu, who said he fully supported the demonstration, was asked by the
mayor to address the demonstrators and list their complaints.

Mpofu, of Zanu PF, said: "Some councillors have their own different
agenda but I am for the people and I represent them totally. The council
should have given enough warning to the people for them to make arrangements
to pay."

The controversial councillor clashed with the council a few years ago
when he encouraged residents not to pay their water bills.

According to council by-laws if water is disconnected at a household
for more than seven days the house is also closed because it would be deemed
a health hazard.

The residents expressed fear that their houses would be closed and
subsequently auctioned because they would not be able to pay the arrears
which had accumulated beyond their reach.

"I get $700 for my pension and I have a family to look after," asked
Nicholas Mathe, a pensioner. "Where does the council think I am going to get
the money from?"

Some of the residents owe the local authority up to $35 000 each in
arrears and this is likely to increase because of the 115 percent increase
in rates which began this month.

The last full council resolved recently that the local authority must
take stern measures to recover the $800 million.

The councillors admitted it was a harsh measure in view of the current
unfavourable economic conditions.

But they said council had no choice but to force the cash-strapped
residents to pay up for the council to launch its capital projects.
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Daily News

Ben-Menashe under probe

7/9/02 8:16:19 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

The Mail and Guardian newspaper of Canada reports that Britain's
Scotland Yard police are investigating Ari Ben-Menashe, the former Israeli
intelligence agent at the centre of treason accusations against the MDC
leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

He is under investigation for allegedly attempting to sell false
information about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, for £500 000 (Z$40
million at the official rate and Z$500 million at the parallel rate).

Ben-Menashe, whose hotly disputed "evidence" in the Zimbabwean case
could send Tsvangirai to the gallows, is accused of trying to convince
Mohammed al-Fayed, owner of London's high society shop, Harrods, into paying
for the information three years ago.

He is said to have approached al-Fayed in 1999 with claims that he had
evidence that the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, had plotted to kill
Diana. The princess died in a Paris car crash in August 1997, along with
al-Fayed's son, Dodi.

"Subsequent investigations established that the Mossad conspiracy
theory was nonsense and the matter was reported to the police," said
al-Fayed's spokesman, Chester Stern.

News of the alleged deception, which Scotland Yard has confirmed and
is still under investigation, casts fresh doubts over the reliability of
Ben-Menashe's evidence in the case against Tsvangirai. The case centres on a
grainy and suspiciously edited video purporting to show Tsvangirai
discussing with Ben-Menashe a plot to assassinate President Mugabe.

Tsvangirai, whose popularity had threatened to unseat Mugabe at the
presidential election in March, denies the accusations. He claims he was set
up by Ben-Menashe, who has admitted to being Mugabe's long-standing friend
and doing business with the ruling Zanu PF party prior to his approaching
the opposition MDC.

The MDC shadow justice minister, David Coltart, said yesterday: "We
are fast building a strong picture of Ben-Menashe as not exactly being a man
of good standing."

The Canadian government yesterday confirmed that an inquiry into
whether Tsvangirai might have a case to answer in Canada, for hatching the
alleged murder conspiracy with Ben-Menashe in Montreal last year, had come
to nothing.

"The investigation carried out by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
has been closed because I understand that all investigative avenues were
exhausted," said a Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, Marie-Christine Lilkoff.

Allegations have also been made that Ben-Menashe's Canadian-based
consultancy firm, Dickens & Madson, played a role in illegally trading
weapons for diamonds in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A former Mossad operative, Ben-Menashe was accused of lying under oath
during the Iran-Contra affair in the United States.

He was also labelled a "notorious and chronic liar" by The Jerusalem
Post after selling false stories about Israel's atomic weapons.

Independent (UK)

Mugabe 'paid Israeli spy to frame opposition leader'
By Basildon Peta, Zimbabwe Correspondent
10 July 2002
A former Israeli intelligence officer has earned more than US$450,000
(£290,000) from President Robert Mugabe, partly as a reward for framing the
Zimbabwean leader's main political opponent, officials in the government
revealed yesterday.

Mr Mugabe's chief political foe, Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), faces hanging or life in jail if
convicted of high treason over an alleged plot to kill President Mugabe. He
is to appear in court to answer the charges next month.

The Zimbabwe government is using grainy video footage of a meeting Ari
Ben-Menashe held with Mr Tsvangirai in Montreal as the basis of its evidence
against the opposition leader.

Mr Tsvangirai was shown in the video saying what sounded like incriminating
statements about "eliminating" Mr Mugabe. The opposition leader denies the
charges, claiming that the video footage was carefully edited and
manipulated by Mr Ben-Menashe to frame him and two of his party officials
who attended the meeting.

The controversial Israeli operative is being investigated by Scotland Yard
for allegedly trying to sell false information on the death of Diana,
Princess of Wales, casting fresh doubt over the credibility of the
allegations against Mr Tsvangirai.

Canadian police have dropped their own investigation for lack of evidence
that Mr Tsvangirai plotted in Canada to eliminate Mr Mugabe.

According to well-placed Zimbabwean government officials, Mr Mugabe
authorised $450,000 as payment for Mr Ben-Menashe for his work in recording
the video and for agreeing to be the state's key witness in the case against
Mr Tsvangirai.

About $200,000 of the total was for Mr Ben-Menashe to market Zimbabwe abroad
through his Canadian-based consultancy firm, Dickens and Madson.

Mr Ben-Menashe was also to be paid an extra $400 000 for his marketing
contract by the end of this year, they said.

Mr Ben-Menashe, called a "delusional and chronic liar" by the Jerusalem
Post, has travelled to Zimbabwe twice this year and has met Mr Mugabe on
both occasions. His travel expenses were paid for by the Zimbabwe

The sources did not want to reveal details of how Mr Ben-Menashe was paid as
this would "expose" and "harm" certain people. It is, however, understood
that Mr Ben-Menashe's payments were all handled by Mr Mugabe's spy agency,
the Central Intelligence Organisation.

The officials interviewed yesterday accused Mr Ben- Menashe of "milking" the
Zimbabwe government yet "doing nothing" to market the country abroad as

"Apart from providing the video with Morgan [Tsvangirai] he has not
implemented any campaigns he promised to improve Zimbabwe's image abroad,"
said one source.

Another source said officials were concerned about Mr Ben-Menashe continuing
to earn more money for work he was not doing.

There are fears that Mr Mugabe's courts could convict Mr Tsvangirai on the
basis of the videotape, notwithstanding the questionable credibility of the
former Mossad spy. Mr Ben-Menashe cold not be reached for comment yesterday.

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Three million face starvation in Malawi

UK Independent
8 July 2002

Plumes of yellow flowers stand erect from the cassia trees that line the
avenues of Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. Vivid red-leaved poinsettias
20ft wide grow beside the road and banana, paw-paw and avocado trees are
laden with fruit. This is a land of abundant produce, so how is it starving?

The weather is cold and grey, much like England. Occasionally, the cloud
breaks and there is a shaft of hot, delicious sun – but where is the heat
and dust and drought that are the harbingers of famine?

These are the first of many puzzles about Malawi. Its climate is equable,
its vegetation exuberant, its people are at peace. Why should it suffer a
food shortage? And who exactly is short of food? Discovering the truth is
not easy.

I arrived in Lilongwe in early June, expecting to find a country mobilising
to deal with the imminent threat of starvation. Twenty million are said to
be at risk across southern Africa – 3 million of them in Malawi – from a
combination of drought, pestilence, war, corruption and famine. Instead, I
found a government locked in a constitutional row about the re-election of
the President for a third term and an aid community bemused by the
international focus on the country and unsure how to respond to it

Malawi is hungry and many of its people are desperately so but it is not
starving – not yet. Veterans of the "scorched earth" famines of Ethiopia in
1984 and the Sudan in 1990 insist nothing on that scale has been seen so far
in Malawi. Senior executives of the aid agencies in Britain, who have
launched disaster appeals to raise funds for southern Africa, are privately
worried that this scepticism from professionals on the ground will undermine
their efforts.

The chief executive of a British-based charity told me last week: "I am
confident we can persuade the public to give now to stave off the crisis
that will otherwise come in November but if the people out there start
questioning our efforts that could be very damaging."

I spent 10 days touring Malawi, visiting hospital malnutrition clinics and
villages in the bush where crops have failed and I saw many children with
the dry hair, puffy hands and feet and protruding bellies that are the signs
of malnutrition. I saw sick elderly grandparents who face a daily struggle
to find food for young children whose parents are dead, victims of Aids. I
met villagers whose crops had been stolen because the price of maize, the
staple food, is rising and the hungry are growing more desperate. I saw
homes preparing maize husks – the "hunger food" made from the chaff around
the grain normally fed to chickens but used in lean years to tide over
families to the next harvest.

But the hunger is not universal. Even in the same village, some have enough
and others do not. Moreover, hunger is an annual phenomenon. According to
the Demographic and Health Survey 2000, published by the Malawian National
Statistics Office, severe malnourishment affects 26 per cent of under-fives
in rural areas and 13 per cent in urban areas – the result of years of food

Hunger, disease and poverty exact an annual cull of the population in
Malawi. The difference this year is that the cull has started early, in May
and June, which should be a time of plenty. At Mulanje mission hospital in
the south, 900 children were seen in the malnutrition clinic in May, a
record for that month, when the numbers should be falling.

At Chitambi, a large village of 50 houses four miles from the
Mulanje-Blantyre road, people were forced to bring in their crops early this
year partly out of hunger and partly to protect them from thieves. Agnes
Renard was drying maize husks outside her home and several houses had mats
of millet drying, normally used for brewing beer but used as a substitute
food when maize is short.

The village chief, an elderly, frail man wearing a double- breasted blue
jacket and brown trousers rolled to the knee, had planted a small plot of
maize in front of his house, instead of in the fields, so he could guard it
from thieves. "I only depend on God. Whatever God prepares I accept. Only
God knows the future," he said.

To some, this fatalism can seem exasperating. If you are starving what
should you do? Sit and wait for death, at God's convenience, or go and
search for food elsewhere? Malawi has one of the largest freshwater lakes in
the world with water for crops and an abundance of fish. Why not move to the

But this is to misunderstand the predicament. Where life is hard,
communities learn to endure. Stoicism is their strength. They have no
resources, no savings, nothing with which to pay for a fishing net or seed
or fertiliser or transport to enable them to start again. Yet they remain
cheerful and dignified, not gloomy and downcast, laughing in the face of
hardship. That is the African miracle. Those that have little, share even
the little that they have. They move slowly and work little, conserving
energy. But they survive.

I asked Grace Malenga, head of the Moyoh House malnutrition clinic at Queen
Elizabeth hospital, Blantyre, to gauge the position. Behind her,
solemn-faced children lay inert in the ward where beds had been crammed
together in pairs to increase capacity.

Dr Malenga smiled patiently. She has answered this question many times. "I
can say that where today we have 20 patients, five years ago we may have had
10. But what does that tell you? Distinguishing the effects of a food crisis
from the effects of malaria, HIV and tuberculosis is very difficult. If a
child is weakened by lack of food then they will be more likely to succumb
to disease."

She paused, then added: "However, I am a Malawian villager and when I go to
my village I can see, yes, the situation is quite desperate. It is not so
desperate now but it will be in a few months. There is simply not enough

I told her I had seen maize husks being prepared in the village of Chitambi.
"If they are using maize husks now, that is very serious. This is the time
to throw them to the chickens. October, November, December – that is the
time to use maize husks – when there is no maize left to eat."

The food crisis is deepened by the Malawian passion for nsima, the staple
food, made from maize flour into patties that have the appearance and bland
taste of solid semolina. It is a comfort food, filling the belly and warming
the blood in a country stalked by hunger, where the nights can be cold.
Malawians say if a man hasn't eaten nsima, he hasn't eaten.

But maize is a fragile plant, susceptible to drought and flood, and constant
cultivation of the crop drains the soil of nutrients. Efforts to persuade
Malawians to diversify and grow other crops such as cassava have had limited
success up to this point.

The Malawian government has been blamed for selling off its entire food
reserves of 167,000 tons but it would have been insufficient to cover the
current shortfall estimated at 600,000 tons. Britain, too, must share the
blame. It provided "starter packs" to every farmer in 1998 and 1999
containing seeds and fertiliser but, after record harvests, the price of
maize plummeted. Farmers stopped growing the crop because there was no

In 2000, starter packs were given only to the neediest 1.5 million farmers,
which went down to 1 million in 2001. That decision proved disastrous. This
year's harvest, hindered by poor weather, came in at 1.4 million tons,
compared with the 2 million tons needed to feed the country.

Mike Wood, the head of the UK Department for International Development in
Malawi, said: "The Government complained that the decline [in farmers
targeted with starter packs] was too steep. Our view is that if we hadn't
done what we did there wouldn't be any farmers growing maize.

"Unfortunately for everyone, the decline coincided with poor weather and

The story illustrates the difficulty facing donors wanting to help without
undermining a country's capacity to help itself.

Last February, the food shortage was the gravest for a decade, and President
Bakili Muluzi declared a crisis. The price of maize doubled, millions went
hungry and an untold number died.

This year, the lean months of December, January and February that lie ahead
look certain to be worse – unless urgent action is taken now. Mike Wood
estimates about half of the 600,000 tons shortfall is covered by commitments
from donors. The rest, the Government is hoping, will be brought in by
commercial organisations to sell on the open market. But the economy is in
meltdown with inflation running at 20-plus per cent and interest rates as
high as 50 per cent, so there is little incentive for businessmen to take
the risk.

In that case, we may yet witness a famine to rival any seen in Africa in
many years.
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Leon slams government's welcoming of Aziz

Daily News

July 08 2002 at 11:14AM

By Sipho Khumalo

Combative Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon has lambasted South Africa for embracing Iraq by hosting its Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, saying his country, Iraq, was the "polecat of the world".

Aziz was received with fanfare at the weekend by the South African government and he was later wined and dined by deputy president Jacob Zuma at his Durban residence, King's House.

Leon, who briefed his party's MPPs and councillors in Durban ahead of the African Union launch, was scathing about the human rights record of some of the African countries which were set to play a key role in the AU.

'It is wrong in principle to be friends with regimes like Saddam Hussein's'
Commenting on last week's visit by Aziz, Leon said President Thabo Mbeki's government had poor judgement when it came to choosing South Africa's friends.

"Just this week, Tariq Aziz of Iraq, one of the most rights-delinquent countries on the face of the earth enjoyed a red-carpet welcome from President Mbeki," he said.

"I am deeply embarrassed and ashamed that my country regards Iraq as worthy of such treatment. But I am stupefied and amazed that the architect of Nepad believes that treating Mr Aziz as a local hero is going to generate the investment and support of the US and the West on which Nepad relies for its success," he said, urging South Africa to stop trying to walk on both sides of the street.

"It is wrong in principle to be friends with regimes like Saddam Hussein's and it is destructive to our efforts to win support for Africa's development from the West," he said.

Leon pledged his support for AU and Nepad but expressed serious concerns about the human rights record of some of the African countries that were about to take their seats at the launch of the body in Durban.

'Libyans continued to suffer from rampant corruption'
"Both the AU and Nepad are founded on sound liberal democratic principles: democratic government, the protection and promotion of human rights, the rule of law and market economics. These are the only principles on which successfully to advance individual freedom, economic growth and social development in Africa.

"They are therefore also the only basis on which to create an investor-friendly environment in our continent," he said.

However he added that these principles needed to be translated into reality if the two bodies were to be successful and attract investments into the continent.

"There is therefore nothing inevitable about the future of Africa. There is no script according to which Africa must remain poverty-stricken, disease-plagued, under-educated and economically marginalised. But equally, and crucially, there is no guarantee that Africa will undergo the much-vaunted renaissance we have heard so much about. Put simply, Africa's future is up for grabs," he said.

He warned, however, that fine sounding paper commitments were hardly new to Africa, adding that as long ago as 1979, the Organisation of African Unity had committed itself to basic human rights and democracy.

"And yet, throughout its history, the OAU ignored, explained away or, in some cases, supported the terrible violations of human rights and anti-democratic practices that have plagued Africa since the end of colonial rule. On the basis of non-interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign states, the OAU stood by while no less than 25 heads of state lost their lives in the course of revolutions and coups d'etat," he said.

Leon questioned the human rights of some countries already in Durban for the launch of AU, among others, singling out Zimbabwe for attack.

In praising the OAU's stance on excluding Madagascar from the launch as "instructive", he urged the AU to show the people of Africa, and the people of the world, that it did not accept anti-democratic practices, irrespective of the quarter from which they arose.

"For example, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya rules by decree. Libya has no constitution, political parties are illegal, Libyans continued to suffer from rampant corruption, mismanagement, and severe restrictions on their political and civic freedom. And yet this man is feted by South Africa's president," he said.

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Cheers to beer as Zim's maize runs out

Daily News

July 07 2002 at 09:29PM

By Basildon Peta

Beer will be the latest in a string of commodities to disappear from Zimbabwe's supermarket shelves.

This is because of a critical shortage of a necessary ingredient - maize.

Already, sugar, salt, cooking oil, soap, margarine and bread can no longer be easily obtained.

6 million Zimbabweans will need food aid
Beer drinkers in Zimbabwe would be shattered on learning that the commodity, which allows them to drown their sorrows in the midst of the worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1980, will no longer be obtainable.

Pearson Gowero, chief executive officer of Chibuku Breweries, the main beer brewer in Zimbabwe, said the shortage of beer in the coming weeks would be a result of the critical shortage of maize in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe needs to import at least 700 000 tons of maize to compensate for shortages caused by a combination of drought and seizures of white farms by President Robert Mugabe's supporters.

The Grain Marketing Board, which controls national grain reserves, has reduced maize supplies to Chibuku Breweries, in favour of using the little remaining grain reserves for food production.

Gowero said his firm was trying to import maize directly from South Africa but this was proving difficult because of the crippling foreign exchange crisis in Zimbabwe.

The World Food Programme estimates that 6 million Zimbabweans will need food aid due to the crisis in the country.

Commonwealth secretary-general Don McKinnon was expected to lobby Commonwealth leaders attending the launch of the African Union in Durban to persuade Mugabe to end the crisis in his country.

  • Meanwhile, the main mental hospital in Zimbabwe is giving its patients cigarettes as sedatives after it ran out of essential drugs, a state newspaper reported on Sunday. - Sapa-AFP

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    African leaders launch new continental union

    CNN - July 8, 2002 Posted: 6:14 PM EDT (2214 GMT)

    DURBAN, South Africa (AP) -- Donning silver robes and silk suits, African leaders gathered Monday to eulogize the Organization of African Unity as a crucial instrument in the continent's fight against colonialism.

    The organization will be disbanded Tuesday and replaced by the African Union, which will help promote democracy, human rights and development across Africa, its supporters say.

    As he bid the OAU farewell at its closing session, South African President Thabo Mbeki took issue with critics who said the group had been merely a collection of corrupt politicians who passed lofty resolutions but accomplished little.

    The OAU helped bring cohesion to a scarred continent and ensured its liberation from colonial rule and apartheid, Mbeki said.

    "The liquidation of the system of colonialism stands out as one of the historic achievements of the OAU, which guarantees the organization a permanent place of honor in the history of the formation of modern Africa," said Mbeki, who will be the African Union's first chairman.

    U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised the OAU for bringing Africans together, but he cautioned that the road to forging a true African Union would not be easy.

    "(It) will require great stamina and iron political will, combined with readiness to accept a seemingly endless series of negotiations and compromises," Annan told delegates in the coastal city of Durban.

    Mbeki has worked to rally his fellow leaders behind the union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development, which seeks international investment in Africa in return for good governance, fiscal responsibility and respect for human rights.

    Annan, who comes from the West African nation of Ghana, said that to get wealthy donors on board, Africa would have to prove itself.

    "They will respect us even more when they see us actually resolve the conflicts that disfigure our continent. And I do mean resolve them. Managing them is not enough," he said. "So let us apply ourselves, as Africans, to persuading the rest of the world to join us ... and start implementing the measures we all know are needed, if development is to be made truly sustainable."

    Not all African leaders seek the brand of democracy and good governance being pushed in the African Union agenda.

    Mbeki, the public face of the new push, has had to compete for influence against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who has hoped to use the new union as a lever to assume a strong leadership role on the world's poorest continent.

    In an effort to placate the Libyan leader, Gadhafi was to be made a member of the steering committee for NEPAD, a program he has only recently endorsed, media reports said Monday.

    Dressed in lavender robes and a matching cap, Gadhafi said he welcomed foreign investment in the continent, but warned that it should come on Africa's terms.

    "Those who want to assist us, we welcome. Those who want to impose conditions on us, we don't want them," he said. "We need economic development and health care more than philosophical thoughts and interpretations of democracy."

    Gadhafi said Africa has its own approach to development that is different from wealthier nations.

    The OAU was derided within Africa and abroad as little more than a bureaucratic talk shop for African leaders that did nothing to stop the oppression of Africans at the hands of their own leaders.

    The African Union is envisaged as a far stronger federation that will include a parliament, a security council and a standby peacekeeping force.

    However, many critics remain doubtful that African leaders will be willing to give up even a small piece of their power to the new body.

    Mbeki urged delegates to move beyond the past.

    "We have to overcome the debilitating effect of inertia, which makes us act in the old ways," he said. "The situation demands that we make a new beginning."

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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    “At the boiling point of the pain”.
    Report of a pilot study examining the efficacy of psychotherapy for torture survivors.
    31 May 2002
    Suite 31 Raleigh Street
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    P O Box 5465
    Tel: (263-04) 792 222, 737 509
    Fax: (263-04) 731 660
    email: amani@
    Professor Geoffrey Feltoe [Joint Chairperson]Dr Frances LovemoreDr Faith NdebeleDr Mary BassettDr William JohnsonFr Edward Rogers SJ Sr Janice McLaughlinMr David KitsonMrs Beatrice Mtetwa
    This report was produced by the Mopane Group for the AMANI Trust. The Mopane Group was established in 2001 and consists of mental health professionals (clinical psychologists and social workers) who provide consultations, clinical services and related research in the area of traumatic stress.
    This work was supported by the British High Commission, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Swedish Embassy, and USAID.

    Background to the Study
    For the purpose of this report we will not be reviewing the rapidly deteriorating political situation in Zimbabwe. However, it does form the back-drop for the following report. In the last two years Zimbabwe has seen as escalating number of victims of organised violence and torture (OVT) . Since the Constitutional Referendum in February 2000 many violent acts on human life have been committed in the run up to the Presidential elections of March 2002. Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes, hundreds have been physically and emotionally tortured and more than two hundred have died as a result. This is the context to the specific situation we now face. The effects of organised violence on the victims in the current crisis situation (pre-election period) are not the only concern for Amani and the Mopane Group. There is also a shared concern for the long-term effects of widespread social violence in a country that has experienced three serious outbreaks of similar violence in the past three decades. Therefore our investigations are motivated by:
    1. concern for crisis management of current victims;
    2. developing and implementing effective services for longer term care;
    3. participating with other organisations in identifying factors which contribute to repetitive outbreaks of violence of an extreme and repetitive nature.
    It was against this general background that Mopane undertook a pilot project for the Amani Trust. As a pilot, the aim of the study was not restricted to a specific research question. The study was designed as open ended and qualitative. However, within this general proviso, a number of research questions might be delineated. These included:
    · the appropriateness of a formal counselling service/model for the Amani client population,
    · the ways in which the counselling was affected by the surrounding climate of ongoing violence and political uncertainty,
    · given that each client was only to be offered a one-off session, what were the resources inherent in their narratives that might be mobilised to enhance a healing process,
    · and in what ways were these healing processes enhanced by the experience through counselling of active witnessing and validation.
    Brief summary of the literature
    This study has been influenced by our reading of similar literatures in relation to the psychological and social effects of the trauma resulting from organised violence and torture. While we will not be reviewing that literature in depth in this report, it does seem important to note that there is a large body of literature relating both to similar experiences elsewhere in the world and also within the specifically Zimbabwean context. The consensus from cumulative international work would seem to suggest that the psychosocial trauma caused by OVT is characterised by symptoms characteristic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which might include clusters of the following: depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, fatigue, intrusive thoughts and emotions, nightmares, irritability, withdrawal and startle reactions (Kinsie et al 1984), and may well have multigenerational effects within the families of victims, as well as within the societies in which these upheavals are experienced (Danieli 1986). This latter is an important point since it would add weight to the view that appropriate interventions now might well reduce the risk of severe multigenerational transmission. Danieli’s work should also alert us to another truism of the OVT literature; namely that survivors often censor themselves in retelling their experiences in order to avoid traumatising their listeners. However, Summerfield (2000), among others, warns against applying models of pathology to populations displaying normal distress reactions in the face of severe and violent social events. He stresses that healing lies primarily in the development of political cultures of human rights and social justice, and appeals for research into resilience factors.
    Zimbabwe has been the site for some important research on the epidemiology of common mental disorders(defined as non psychotic disorders involving elements of anxiety and depression) in community populations which has suggested that between 30 –40% of clinic attenders are suffering from some form of common mental disorder (Patel, Todd & Winston 1997/1998). Subsequent studies indicate that in around 10% of the population chronic common mental disorders may be attributable to experiences of organised violence and torture (Reeler, Mbape, Matshona, Mhetura & Hlatywayo 2001). It is important to note that these studies predate the outbreak of the current wave of organised violence prior to the Constitutional Referendum in 2000; Reeler et al were talking to their informants about the chronic physical and psychological suffering consequent upon their experiences of OVT in the Liberation War of the 1970s. Given the widespread nature of the violence since 2000 we must anticipate high levels of fresh trauma and retraumatisation in these communities. Elsewhere in Zimbabwe, in work with Matabeleland communities traumatised by the 1980s Gukurahundi experience (Eppel 1998), reports of work with traumatised communities suggest that they may have other cultural resources which could be mobilised to enable healing and reparation, in particular in relation to rituals of reburial and cleansing. The Matabeleland work also importantly highlights the importance of attention to damage to the social fabric of communities and also notes that post Independence state violence may be experienced as more traumatic (perhaps because the perpetrators were previously seen as liberators) than that which occurred during the Liberation struggle (when suffering was anticipated but much comfort was gained from the importance of the cause).
    We have been influenced by this work and by accounts of therapeutic work arising out of narrative theory that seemed appropriate in a context when the importance of witnessing is paramount. For example, we have been profoundly affected by Weingarten’s (2000/2002) work on witnessing and the possibility that compassionate witnessing positions may help to ameliorate the effects of trauma, and challenging the consequences of deliberate silencing on our lives and communities. In this regard we find ourselves in agreement with earlier Amani work:
    “…it is clear that storytelling is power. It has been salutary indeed to see the effects of the stories being witnessed. The value of ‘story telling’ and ‘witnessing’ cannot be emphasised enough in the therapeutic process.” Reeler 1998: 11.
    Two counsellors/research assistants were employed for this project. Both had previous training and experience in counselling although neither had worked with victims of organised political violence prior to this study. Counsellors were instructed that only one session was possible with each client and the emphasis in that session should be on facilitating free flow of the client’s story.
    During the 13 week pilot stage, 84 sessions were offered by the Mopane Group to Amani for clients to be referred for a one-off session. The methodology employed for the study was based on taping and transcribing clients sessions. Due to circumstances within the context outlined above, Amani was only able to utilise 31 of the total sessions offered. Of the 31 sessions only 23 were finally transcribed due to equipment failure. In addition a small amount of quantitative data was obtained from Amani for those clients whom they had referred. This quantitative data includes basic demographics and total scores on the Self-Report Questionnaire-8 (SRQ8) which provides a basic measure of trauma related symptomatology at the time at which the client was originally assessed by the Amani staff. This information was obtained towards the end of the pilot project and it may be important to note that the counsellors did not have access to this information at the time of their session with each client.
    The purpose of the pilot study was explained to all the clients and their consent was obtaine`d to tape the sessions. None declined. It was explained that the sessions would be entirely confidential and that the transcripts would be anonymous and would not include any names of people or places. Some clients requested a copy of the taped sessions whilst some other clients needed further reassurance regarding confidentiality.
    The majority of the clients chose to conduct the session in Shona and this required careful translation into English. Thus, a system of proof reading by counsellors to ensure an accurate translation of the interview was essential.
    Transcripts were then analysed using two modes of analysis. Firstly a series of themes was drawn out from the total group of transcripts by means of interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA). Secondly, a smaller group of transcripts was analysed as narratives using narrative analysis. We believe that this combination allowed both attention to common themes as well as closer inspection of individual modes of expression and experience.
    Seventy-four percent of the clients were men with the majority (82%) being under the age of 40 years. Only three women were referred. The mean age for the group was 32.7 years. Most were married with children (70%). Almost all the clients needed medical attention as a result of physical injury due to OVT and this was provided as a priority by Amani before being referred to the counselling session. Sixty percent of the group had been seen by Amani within four weeks of being referred for a counselling session. The remaininder had been seen by Amani several months previously. This may be due to the client experiencing multiple traumas and visiting Amani more than once. A majority of the clients was displaced and had lost their homes, so were being temporarily housed and in the care of Amani. Thus, most clients had no shelter, possessions, food or security when they initially approached Amani. Forty-eight percent of the group had been educated up to secondary level and 35% had only a primary level of education. Only one client had a tertiary education.

    Of the total group more than half (56%) had a total score on the SRQ-8 of four or more . 17% of this group scored higher than seven. Two clients had suicidal tendencies and were referred back to Amani who then referred them to a psychiatrist for medication.
    Seventy-eight percent of the group had been physically tortured and 65% had experienced emotional torture. The physical torture largely involved being beaten (kicked, punched, hit with a weapon, attempted suffocation, and rolling naked on hot sand) and the emotional torture mostly involved being threatened and/or humiliated. The threats included death threats and further beatings. Also, threats were made regarding physical torture for the client’s spouse (in most cases wives) including rape and sexual assault. In some cases it was announced publicly within the community that it was permissible for anyone to have sexual relations with the victim’s wife.
    Emotional torture accompanied the physical torture in most cases. Forty-seven percent of the group had experienced extreme humiliation that included being stripped naked in front of a large group, women in the group laughing at the person’s nakedness, and the person being made to act like an animal (barking like a dog and/or leaping like a frog were the most common). The following is an excerpt from one client’s story. His story was very similar to most of the client’s experiences.
    “… youths came to my home to destroy my property and took away property that was meant for a bridge. After a while they came and abducted me and took me to their base. I was severely beaten. I got many lashes. They used a bicycle chain. After that I was released. They came again after three weeks, they tortured me. (Again later)….they abducted me. They said they had failed to make us do what they wanted. They took us to the war vets at Base Twleve. There we were undressed. They tied our hands and legs and we were severely beaten. They threw me into a hole and was ordered to bark like a dog. When they took me out they applied an itchy plant all over my body. Our area is extremely hot so we were made to roll in very hot sand. We had to do army drills until our bodies had blisters all over because of the hot sand and the itchy plant. They beat us again and poured water on us because we were critical. They left us there and we struggled to walk home.”

    More than half the group (52%) said that their homes had been destroyed (usually by burning), although, this figure could be higher as it was difficult to obtain this data. The majority of the clients seen had been displaced either through the loss of their homes or because of the threat of death if they returned home.

    Qualitative data
    Many of the clients complained of symptoms which could be related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These included intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, restlessness, anxiety, nauseousness, stomach aches, headaches, chest aches, difficulty sleeping, being fearful and agitated. Some clients were so desperate and hopeless that they thought of suicide.
    One client stated “… I am worried sick because I do not know my child’s condition. That is why I look sad and withdrawn. Sometimes I feel like killing myself because I can’t look after my family”.
    All clients were extremely worried about what would happen to them and their families and how would they be able to look after their families in the current context. These symptoms are certainly consistent with a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) although we are aware that this is a controversial diagnosis in the literature.
    Most striking for us as researchers was that the trauma emerged from the transcripts as deeply social in nature. We believe this element requires highlighting since it represents a divergence from the literature and begs further study. In the context of the narratives, clients began with often detailed descriptions of the violence they had been subjected to but very quickly moved to descriptions of the social impact. There are detailed descriptions of the effects on family and neighbours when the victim first arrived home, as well as longer term musings on the effect of the victimisation and displacement on the client’s ability to continue providing for their families. However there was also considerable concern about the perpetrators, many of whom were known to the victims; thus there is a recurring refrain about the effect of these events on future social relations within the community. One man wonders what he will call his neighbours’ children (who were also his tormentors) when they next meet. These social elements highlight ways in which whole communities have been torn apart by the insidious nature of this violence and its consequences for future social relations in communities where there has been strong levels of social cohesion until now.
    Very clear themes were evident in all of the clients stories. Abduction, physical and emotional torture, destruction of homes and possessions causing displacement were recurring themes. Most clients were in physical pain due to the injuries as one client states:
    “ At times I have problems with chest pains. At times I feel like I have asthma. At times I cannot bend. This happened from the time when I was injured.”
    In some cases, clients had lost loved ones due to the OVT and were in a state of grief as with this following client:
    “There are so many painful experiences but killing my son, ah! That is very painful. There are times when I am sitting just resting and I expect my son to walk in the door….. it is painful. …. It is still so painful. I’ll never forget this pain, never.”
    Others had been separated from their loved ones and still did not know where they were and if they were safe.
    One client says, “Of all the things that happened to me, one thing that pains me most is the family I left behind. This worries me a lot. I left my wife and child. …. Right now I do not know how things are at home. Maybe they were beaten up, or maybe they were killed, I don’t know…. I left everything there.”
    The strong themes of emotions were loss, grief, isolation, anxiety, fear, anger, and suspicion. The theme of anxiety and fear was most often linked to how the clients were going to be able to look after family members and be able to ‘get their lives back to normal again’.
    One clients states, “I am deeply pained by the destruction of (my parent’s) home. Now both parents are old, and to imagine them starting afresh to build up when things are so expensive, for them to reach where they have been now, this pains me a lot”. Another client said “I’d say there are two things. Firstly, they introduced a fear in my life. I’m afraid all the time, afraid that they will come back for me at any time. Secondly is the uncertainty of how I will survive and fend for my children.”
    Many clients were in physical pain, hungry and exhausted and this has to be taken into account when considering the provision of longer term clinical services. The clinical services cannot be run in isolation and would need to link up with other organisations who would address the physical needs of the clients.
    The social impact of OVT is enormous within the Zimbabwean culture. Clients expressed feelings of both desperation and confusion as to how young people could beat up older people and in some cases people from their own village. One client did not know if he could return to his home as it had been his neighbour’s children who had been involved in his physical torture.
    Another client says, “When I am alone and sleep I think a lot about this fateful event, especially the fact that many women saw me naked. This pains me a lot and if I think about it I don’t feel alright. I reach a point whereby I think that before going through such an ordeal I should have killed myself”. The individual’s experience of torture is even greater when seen within the social context.
    When asked what was helping the clients cope many responded that prayer and a belief in God kept them going. Also, being with others who believed in the same political cause was very supportive. Many expressed a desire for revenge and believed that with revenge their own healing could take place.
    One client said, “ In my mind I feel hurt. If I were to be given a gun and go back to my rural home, I would have killed someone there. I would have shot someone. I suffered a lot. It was terrible. I experienced horror.”
    Another client also expressed how he felt revenge would help: “I feel anger, pain, bitter and so forth has been reduced by two percent because I still want revenge. If I could go back to revenge that will settle everything.”
    This is a concern as it contributes to the repetition of the violence.
    A significant belief system was evident in the transcripts. A majority of the men in the client group felt that men should be strong and should provide for and protect their families. This created extreme concern and guilt about being responsible for the desperate situation. They felt burdened and worried about their family’s future.
    One client comments: “What pains me the most is that my family have nothing to survive on. Of course all these other things are painful. The most painful that is that even if I am to go back to my place, I have nowhere to start from”.
    Many held onto a belief in God and prayer and this helped them to cope. Others believed that talking with others believing in the same cause helped a great deal. The three women believed their responsibility was to worry about the care of the children and to ‘run the household’ - cook the food, ensure cleanliness and to comfort the family.

    The pattern of violence was most often that large numbers of youth who would attack the victim at night when he was either alone or with his family. Often the victim was abducted and physically and emotionally tortured. In many cases the victim’s home was destroyed usually by burning and the client was forced to flee from his/her home and village.
    We have taken an excerpt from one transcript that describes a client’s experience of the OVT. We found that this description was a strong theme throughout the transcripts.

    An excerpt from one narrative:

    When I came to Harare I was deeply in severe pain.
    If it was boiling water, it was at the boiling point of the pain.
    I still feel this severe pain even though I haven’t been harassed or tortured again.

    I think of those at home. I think of my mother and the pain she is going through.
    I think of the pain felt by those at home.
    I think of the destruction of my home.
    I think of the separation with my relatives, those whom I am not in touch with, the fear of going back to my rural home, my home where for the rest of my life I have been free to go to. I have no means and the freedom of doing all these things.
    The pain constantly calls again. I always find myself pondering over the pain. I only relax for a short time.
    The pain keeps on coming.

    No action was taken against these people. I know that it is legal that if someone does you wrong, you go and report to the police and the person is arrested if he deserves prosecution, but you find out that people keep on committing such acts, one doesn’t know that he is doing wrong and does not repent, this is what pains me most.
    If the country is in this state, what difference is there between a dog and a human being.
    If I don’t enjoy the freedom to go to my home place, the place where I was born, this pains me.
    Since birth, I have never experienced such pain.
    Also I have a lot of problems which need my attention in the same year at the same time.
    I never expect the future solutions to my problems to come to an end. I wish an end of era to such problems, except that I was lucky to get an organization which is helping me.
    For someone of my age, when I just sit and eat, I’m like vegetables in the garden which are just watered without making any production. I look forward to plan my life, to a bright future. I look forward that what I had accumulated will help me in my life. If this is destroyed by someone who made no contribution towards it, and has no right to do so, it’s painful.
    What happens when you are in pain and you long for a long life, it’s a problem because deep thoughts can bring in illness.

    It is a striking and repetitive aspect, particularly of the men’s stories, that impoverishment, loss of economic self-reliance and attendant social status are all negatively impacted by the experience of victimisation and displacement. We are aware that long term healing also requires a broader programme of economic assistance that is beyond the scope of our work.
    Certain voices and experiences are significant by their absence from these narratives. For example, women are grossly under-represented here although the men who speak also point out that their wives, mothers, daughters and other female kin have also been direct victims. In the three transcripts that represent women’s experience directly it is striking that their healing must co-exist with their ongoing attention to the needs of their male relatives. We have many questions about how the gendered role of caregiver can proceed with the demands of personal healing. Even more absent are the voices of children: although all these accounts show some evidence of the plight of children either as direct victims or as witnesses. There is clearly a very pressing need to find out how these children are coping and what help they may need to make sense of their very violent worlds. We are also struck by the muted way in which sexual victimisation, in particular, is given voice. We are aware that women, girls and in some cases men may well have been raped and sexually assaulted and humiliated as an aspect of their overall abuse through OVT. With the men we are aware that, since both our counsellors were female, that there were major cultural and gender obstacles in the path of fully giving voice to these traumatic experiences.
    The transcripts make clear that many of the direct perpetrators of violence were themselves young, impoverished community members whose incorporation into the ranks of the militias is highly likely to have included themselves experiencing or being threatened with torture and abuse. There is clearly a need to fully investigate this group in order to establish the most appropriate mode of therapeutic intervention.
    Recurrent in these very painful stories is the theme of revenge and the dominant idea that only revenge will give peace to these victims. We are motivated to find alternative, non-violent modes of release and restitution that might bring peace to both victims and perpetrators and the deeply wounded communities from which they both come.
    What was also striking is how strongly the clients were negatively affected by the break up of family and community ties. How these people are re-integrated back into their communities will be an important issue to address in the future.
    Conclusion & Recommendations
    It should be re-iterated that this was a pilot study based only on the 13 weeks prior to the Presidential elections. This data represents a very small sample from the larger group and the total figures of people in need are overwhelming. Further investigation to obtain true prevalence rates will be essential in order to establish the extent of the need. However, we believe that the study provides support for the establishment of a formal counselling service for both primary and secondary victims of OVT. It will be important that such a service provides a clinical service that is sensitive to cultural variations. For example, the pilot provided a one-off session for the individual. We anticipate that a more appropriate service would be able to be flexible with regard to the number of sessions as well as the configurations of clients that might attend such sessions.
    Based on both the information collected from the stories told by the clients and the very significant silence on certain information (e.g. rape and sexual assault) there is an enormous need for further support for the people who have experienced trauma and the communities in which they are apart. An established counselling service will need balanced gender representation amongst its staff in order to begin to address these issues.
    The psychosocial damage that is evident due to the current and longer-term political violence makes it essential to address the clients at an individual level. However, although the individual service is effective for those who would benefit from individual sessions, it would also be important to address the victims of the political violence on a group and/or community level. At a group level, gender issues should be considered, i.e. perhaps groups of women within their communities could be given support separate from the men. Focussing on the families within the communities would also be important. Another extension of the core principle of cultural appropriateness would be attention to the social nature of the trauma. Thus we anticipate the need for an established and well funded community outreach programme that would provide a community based clinical service in the context of ongoing research into the social nature of the trauma and its effects on family/community/neighbourhood. One important aspect of this community programme would be liaison with community traditional leaders, both civic and spiritual, in order to help identify those resources within community domains that might be mobilised in the aid of healing. We also anticipate very close working relationships with those organisations whose aims are more focused on sustainable livelihoods and economic empowerment.

    Danieli Y. 1998. Conclusions and future directions. In Danieli Y (Ed): International Handbook of Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma. Plenum Press, New York.
    Eppel S. 2001. Healing the dead to transform the living: exhumation and reburial in Zimbabwe. Unpublished manuscript, Amani Trust, Matabeleland.
    Kinzie J et al. 1984. Post traumatic stress disorder among survivors of Cambodian concentration camps. American Journal of Psychiatry 141: 645-650.
    Patel V et al. 1997. Common mental disorders in primary care in Harare: associations and risk factors. British Journal of Psychiatry 171: 60-64.
    Patel V et al. 1998. Outcome of common mental disorders in Harare. British Journal of Psychiatry 172: 53-57.
    Reeler A, Mbape P et al. 2001. The prevalence of disorders due to organised violence and torture in Mashonaland Central Province, Zimbabwe. Torture, 11, 4-9.
    Reeler AP. 1998. Epidemic violence and the community: a Zimbabwean case study. Journal of Social Development in Africa 13: 41-51.
    Summerfield D. 2000. War and mental health: a brief overview. British Medical Journal 321: 232-5.
    Weingarten K. 2000. Witnessing, wonder and hope. Family Process 39: 389-402.
    Weingarten K. 2001. The Witnessing Project. Unpublished manuscript, Family Institute of Cambridge.
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    Preliminary Report of a Survey on Internally Displaced Persons from Commercial Farms in Zimbabwe.
    A report prepared by the
    Mashonaland Programme of the AMANI Trust.
    31 MAY 2002
    Suite 31 Raleigh Street
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    P O Box 5465
    Tel: (263-04) 792 222, 737 509
    Fax: (263-04) 731 660
    email: amani@
    Professor Geoffrey Feltoe [Joint Chairperson]Dr Frances LovemoreDr Faith NdebeleDr Mary BassettDr William JohnsonFr Edward Rogers SJ Sr Janice McLaughlinMrs Beatrice MtetwaMr David Kitson

    This work was supported by the British High Commission, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Swedish Embassy, and USAID.
    Zimbabwe is experiencing a massive humanitarian crisis. The past two years have seen a record of deteriorating human rights, and the consequent social turmoil has led to an increasing number of internally displaced people in the country. Violence against the major opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has been well documented both locally and internationally . In the pre-election period, there was widespread intimidation, assault, and politically motivated killings, carried out mainly by “war veteran” militia, youth militia, and supporters of the ruling party, Zanu(PF) . While some of the “war veterans” are indeed genuine members of the liberation struggle of the 1970’s in Zimbabwe, there are also a larger group of unemployed youths who have become involved in the organised violence and torture (OVT). Although much of the OVT has centred around issues related to the many elections held over the past two years, there have been equally as much OVT during the land disturbances. A large number of allegations have been made about OVT targeted at both the farm owners and the farm workers . As indicated above, there are a plethora of reports on the OVT, but little of this deals with the direct evidence from the commercial farms. In particular, there are few scientific reports on the experiences of OVT and the effects upon commercial farm workers.
    The months following the Presidential Elections of 9 – 11 March 2001 have been marked by widespread recriminations against the opposition party members, and intensified action against the farm owners and farm workers. The continuing violence has meant that farm workers and MDC supporters have been forced to flee their homes to escape harassment, assault, and, in the worst cases, death. Farm workers often have no other home except on the farm, having either being born there, or being of foreign descent, mainly Malawian or Zambian. The farms, as well as providing accommodation and employment for these people, also allowed the farm workers access to medical care and schooling for their children.
    On the farms listed for acquisition and settled by the “war veterans”, the farm workers have been subjected to continual intimidation, theft of personal belongings, vandalism, and destruction of their homes. Before the elections, they were forced to attend all night rallies for ‘voter education’ by Zanu(PF) supporters, and after the elections they were punished with violence for continuing to live and work on the farms, which was seen as supporting the MDC and the white farmers. The farm workers either then leave rather than live side by side with their new neighbours, or are forced to leave by violence, in some instances with only the clothes on their backs. The police and the army, far from trying to protect the rights of the farm workers are often part of the problem, standing to the side when violence erupts on the farm, and continuing to harass the displaced farm workers, once they have left for the urban centres and refuge. There are even instances of senior police officers and army generals acquiring farms themselves and depriving the farm workers of their homes and employment.
    As mentioned above, there has been a relative dearth of hard information on the effects of the farm invasions on commercial farm workers. The AMANI Trust has seen relatively few commercial farm workers amongst the victims of organised violence and torture seen in the past two years, but the numbers have been increasing over the past six months. As the pace of land acquisitions has accelerated, so have the numbers of farm workers displaced, but it is clear that there is no hard information on the actual numbers.
    The Amani Trust carried out a survey in early May 2002 of a group of one hundred and thirty nine commercial farm workers displaced from Marondera (Mashonaland East region). These workers had been forcibly removed from their homes on the farms and prevented from working by ‘war veterans’ and Zanu(PF) supporters. In the process, they had faced harassment and physical violence, as well as losing all their belongings. They were all given temporary refuge by the Amani Trust, and are now being assisted by other non-governmental organisations in Harare.
    This preliminary report was predicated by the need to provide some hard information on the issues faced by displaced commercial farm workers. It was not the intention that this survey provide any estimate of the numbers, but rather to provide some qualitative data on the population in question. A detailed interview form was used, covering a variety of areas, and this took about one hour to complete. Experienced nurses were used as the interviewers, and they were all given basic orientation and training prior to being deployed.
    A more detailed report will be available in due course, but this preliminary report is being released in view of the urgency to provide hard information for current planning on internally-displaced persons (IDPs).
    The displaced persons came from 5 commercial farms, but the majority came from two farms, as follows:
    · Chipesa Farm 87
    · Chakadenga Farm 38
    · Hind Farm 1
    · Kesela Farm 3
    · Melara Farm 9
    2.1 Chipesa Farm, Marondera
    There have been war veterans living on this farm since 2000. In that time, as well as the farm owners being harassed and assaulted, the farm workers have had their houses burnt and rebuilt several times, and have had to live and work in conditions of fear and assault. On the 15th of March, war veterans and ZANU(PF) supporters, some driving Zanu(PF) District Development Fund vehicles, went to the compound and fields, where the paprika crop was being harvested and rounded up the workers. A tractor driver was assaulted along with other farm workers who were beaten for resisting. They were accused of supporting the MDC and were told that the owner of the arm was going to be killed. The farm workers led to nearby hills where they hid for several days before seeking food and shelter at a nearby farm. They were then ferried into Harare where they were given food and shelter.
    2.2 Chakadenga Farm, Marondera
    On the 10th of April resident war veterans and Zanu(PF) youths were went to the farm compound, and fields and told the workers that they were now the owners of the farm. They accused the workers of supporting the MDC and told them that they had 20 minutes to pack their belongings and vacate the farm. In the ensuing pandemonium, several workers were assaulted. Not all of them had time to take possessions so many had to leave with the clothes they were wearing. They were taken by tractor to bus stops and told to wait for buses there. It was raining, and they slept in the open for several days before local farmers made arrangements for their food and shelter, eventually taking them to Harare to the Amani Trust offices.
    Members of the Amani Trust clinical team interviewed 139 internally displaced people. These refugees were being housed in two tented camps at Cleveland Dam and Coronation Park. Questions in the survey covered demographics, a medical assessment of their past and current condition, the farm workers experience of violence, a narrative of their story in their own words and finally a list of their material losses and resources available to them.
    The interview form drew strongly on a protocol originally developed by the AMANI Trust in its work with survivors of organised violence and torture from the Liberation War of the 1970s . It was slightly adapted for the present survey, but generally covers the issues regarding torture that are recommended in the Istanbul Protocol recently adopted by the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights of the United Nations.
    4. RESULTS
    Results of the questionnaire are displayed with both the actual figures and as a rounded up percentage of the total number of cases.

    4.1 Demographics
    As can be seen from the table below, there were more men than women in the sample, but this survey did manage to include a reasonable percentage of women. This is important because political violence against women is widely reported anecdotally, and there is generally little concrete information on women from the current violence.
    Sex Number Percentage
    Male 80 58%
    Female 59 42%
    The data regarding marital status are unremarkable in most ways, with most being married as might have been expected in a group from a “settled” population. Most commercial farm workers have been resident on farms for many years, and even grow up in families that were resident on commercial farms.
    Marital Status Number Percentage
    Married 87 63%
    Single 34 24%
    Divorced 15 11%
    Widowed 3 2%
    Out of the people who had or were still married, 90 cases were traditional marriages, 1 was polygamous, and 2 were church/civil marriages.

    Type of employment Number Type of employment Number
    Farm labourers 91 (65%) Gardener/tailor 1
    Farm guards 4 Grader 1
    Cattle herders 5 Horticultural worker 1
    Foremen 6 Flower cutter 1
    Supervisors 2 Irrigation foreman 1
    Tractor drivers 2 Irrigator 1
    Carpenter 1 Gardener 1
    Clerks 2 Mechanic 1
    Sprayer 2 Orchard supervisor 1
    Unknown 15
    As can be seen from the table above, the sample reported a wide variety of occupations within the commercial farms, but labourers were in the vast majority.
    4.2 Experience of violence
    A very high percentage (71%) reported an experience of torture or repressive violence, whilst 90 cases, or 65%, had had some experience of torture or repressive violence prior to the present episode. As was seen from the history reported above, the most recent episode was associated with their displacement. The sample also reported that many adults in their family had witnessed their torture. Here, 82 cases, or 59%, had had other adults witness their torture, and this was usually a spouse. Other family members were also reported as having experienced violence: 76 cases, or 55%, had a similar experience to the interviewee.
    More disturbingly, children were not exempt. The interviewees reported that children in their families had witnessing the violence in 77 cases, or 55%. The sample reported having a total of 865 children between them, with 527 children still resident on the farms.
    4.2.1 Physical Assaults
    As can be seen from the table below, physical assaults were common, with beatings of one kind or other the most common. This table does not give the frequencies with which the sample experienced assaults, and this will be given in the fuller report. The frequencies are important however as these persons reported more than one encounter with organised violence and torture.
    Type of assault Number Percentage
    Slapping or kicking or punching 46 33%
    Blows with rifle butts, sticks, whips or irons 58 42%
    Exposure to extreme cold or heat 39 28%
    Hanging or suspension 10 7%
    Prolonged standing or crouching 28 20%
    Submarine, immersion, asphyxiation, strangling 6 4%
    Burning 5 4%
    Electrical shocks 1 1%
    Rape 4 3%
    4.2.2 Deprivation
    The forms of deprivation seen in the table below relate partly to the effects of the displacement itself, when people were forcibly moved off the farms from which they came. However, some of the forms of deprivation were experienced at the same time as people were assaulted or at during the forced attendance at “pungwes” (see Section 6 below).
    Type of deprivation Number Percentage
    Deprived of food, comfort or communication 72 52%
    Incommunication, minimal food and comfort, overcrowding 53 38%
    Lack of water (more than 48 hours) 36 26%
    Immobilization, restraint, total darkness (more than 48 hours) 34 24%
    Lack of sleep (less than 4 hours per night) or 5 days or longer 52 37%
    Lack of needed medication or medical care or more than 48 hours 27 19%

    4.2.3 Sensory over-stimulation
    Sensory overstimulation seems to be more frequently reported than in previous studies. It is clear that the high report relates to organised violence at “pungwes” or other forced meetings, or is seen as the concomitant of the displacement process which was clearly traumatic as seen from the history above (also see Section 6 below).
    Type of sensory over-stimulation Number Percentage
    Constant noises 61 44%
    Screams and voices 76 55%
    Powerful lights 5 4%
    Constant lighting 3 2%
    Special devices 4 3%
    Drugs 0 0%
    4.2.4 Psychological torture and ill-treatment
    Psychological torture is frequently underestimated, both in the frequency of its occurrence and in its effects. Here it needs to strongly stressed that the most serious long-term consequence of OVT is psychological disorder. Many studies, including those from Zimbabwe, have established very high rates of psychological disorder following torture. Most commonly reported are high rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but other forms of disorder, such as depression, are also commonly seen. In terms of the frequency of psychological torture, it is important to recognise that this can be both a form of torture on its own, which is highly damaging, but also a nearly always present during physical torture. It is also important to note that the witnessing of torture, especially when the victim is forced to be present when a loved one or familiar is tortured, is equally damaging. Here the findings under the introduction to Section 4 should be noted.
    Type of psychological torture and ill-treatment Number Percentage
    Verbal abuse 118 85%
    Threats against person 114 82%
    False accusations 115 83%
    Abuse with excrement 38 27%
    Sexual abuse (without violence) 20 14%
    Menaces against own life and family 70 50%
    Simulated execution 24 17%
    As is seen from the table above, very high rates of psychological torture are reported by the sample, with high percentages for nearly all categories of psychological torture.
    4.3 Witnessing violence, ill-treatment or torture
    As mentioned in Section (4.2.4), witnessing of OVT should note be underestimated, either for its occurrence or its effects.

    4.3.1 Cases where the person has witnessed assaults: 109 (78%)
    As can be seen from the table below, the pattern of witnessing assaults bears a strong correspondence to the pattern reported for assaults themselves. The witnessing of Beatings are most commonly reported, but, interestingly, the witnessing of rape is 5 times more common than the experience. Rape is generally under-reported, and follow-up on the cases reported above will allow us to understand whether this high percentage of witnessing of rape represents an under-reporting of rape or is due to the rapes occurring publicly. Public rape has been reported in other Zimbabwean cases as a form of torture.
    Type of assault witnessed Number Percentage
    Slapping, kicking or punching 68 49%
    Blows with rifle butt, sticks, whips or irons 90 65%
    Hanging or suspension 15 11%
    Prolonged standing or crouching 32 23%
    Submarine, immersion, asphyxiation, strangling 14 10%
    Burning 9 6%
    Electrical shocks 1 1%
    Rape/sexual abuse 19 14%
    4.3.2 Cases where the person has witnessed executions: 46 (33%)
    Two deaths were reported by this sample, and, as can be seen from the table below, a significant percentage reported witnessing the beating to death of a farm worker by a soldier, whilst a smaller percentage reported seeing the shooting of a policeman. This latter incident was widely reported in 2000. It is unclear whether the other categories relate to these incidents, or other unreported deaths.
    Type of executions Number Percentage
    Beating 36 26%
    Shooting 13 9%
    Stabbing/cutting 3 2%
    Hanging, strangling 8 6%
    Burning 4 3%
    This section deals with the affiliations of the sample. Clearly any political affiliation has been highly problematic in the past two years, and there have numerous public accusations that commercial farmers and commercial farm workers. Thus, it was important to examine to what extent this accusation is accurate, although it is clear that political affiliation to any political party in a constitutional right and certainly no justification for persecution or torture.

    There were 66 cases, or 47%, where the person was a supporter, or member of an organisation that became persecuted. 57 cases, or 41%, described themselves as active supporters or members of a political organisation. A further 9 cases, or 6%, described themselves as members of a religious group.
    Of the 57 people who supported a political organisation, 41 (72%) did not state their political affiliation, 11 (19%) were Zanu(PF) and 5 (9%) were MDC. Clearly the sample were fearful of describing their political affiliation.
    This section is based upon the narrative histories or organised violence and torture given by the interviewees during the general interview.
    The farm workers in the pre-election period were forced to attend all night rallies held by the ‘war veterans’ and Zanu(PF) supporters. At these rallies, the people were forced to stand for long periods of time, in cold temperatures and rain, and were forced to chant Zanu(PF) slogans and dance. Those who did not comply were beaten or forced to behave in a degrading and humiliating manner, an example of this being men forced into sexual acts with each other or forced to imitate sexual acts with the ground, whilst their wives were forced to watch. The farm workers were prevented from sleeping, deprived of food and water for long periods of time, and faced a barrage of accusations concerning their supposed support for the MDC.
    Specific forms of assault mentioned by the farm workers included being pricked with forks, having crushing pressure applied to their genitals, and being forced to stand upside down whilst being beaten. They were also beaten with sjamboks, sticks, chains, and were beaten under the soles of their feet (falanga). One farm worker tells of being forced to drink water that had been mixed with diesel petrol. Farm workers were singled out and underwent simulated executions, where they were hung from trees or had guns pressed to their forehead. The night before voting opened in the 2002 Presidential elections, the workers were forced to attend one of these all night rallies – pungwes – and were “taught” how they should cast their vote. Of the 139 people interviewed, 65% said that they had a previous experience of OVT. The perpetrators of the OVT in every case were listed as either “war veterans” or Zanu(PF) supporters.
    For the past two years, as well facing extreme levels of OVT, individuals on farms also witnessed many incidents of harassment, torture, and even executions. They reported seeing a policeman executed by ‘war veterans’ in June 2000 on Chipesa Farm and being forced to bury the body on the farm. In some instances, police complicity in the violence was mentioned, in that they did not protect the farm workers and even went as far to have a role to play in the violence. A farm worker tells of watching a soldier beat a man around the head with gun until he died. In one case, a man said he saw a school-boy executed by the ‘war veterans’ for questioning their activities. A farm worker reports that he saw somebody asphyxiated after the victim had plastic bags wrapped around his head by the “war veterans”.
    Over 80% of the people interviewed said that they had suffered verbal abuse, threats against their person, and false accusations. These accusations and verbal abuse pertained in the main to support for the MDC. The workers were told that the farm owners were MDC supporters, and by continuing to live and work on the farms, they were also involved.
    The farm workers had in total 865 children in the families. Of this number, there were 527 children listed as living on the farms. The survey revealed that 55% of the adults questioned said that incidents of violence had been witnessed by the children. The psychological damage, already experienced by this vulnerable group, has only been exacerbated by losing their homes, possessions and chance of an education. In many cases they have been also separated from their families.
    The actual point at which the farm workers were forced off the farms were characterised by physical assaults, such as the case of the tractor driver who was stoned or the farm worker who was beaten attempting to resist the actions of the ‘war veterans’ and the Zanu(PF) youths, as well as psychological trauma. The intimidation felt by the workers, as they were given 20 minutes to pack up their lives or face more violence and death, was the end of a cycle lasting for months, and the beginning of one of insecurity as an internally displaced person.
    The medical data reported below is based on self-report, but will be corroborated in due course by medical examination. The medical evidence is in the process of being compiled, and will be included the more detailed report.
    6.1 Mental health
    As indicated above, psychological disorder is the most common short-term and long-term effect of torture, whether the torture is physical or merely psychological. 81% reported scores in excess of 4, which is considerably higher than any comparable primary care population , including populations containing survivors of torture . It is even in excess of the prevalence obtained in a Zimbabwean refugee setting or the prevalence found in a war veteran group . In fact, it is comparable with multiply traumatised populations, such as those found in Matabeleland, where the population had suffered from organised violence and torture in two successive decades.
    Percentage prevalence of psychological disorders in various populations in Zimbabwe.
    (data taken from various Zimbabwe studies)
    As can be seen from the table above, the rates obtained from the IDP group are markedly greater than virtually all previous studies from a wide variety of different populations. The rate reported here is nearly 20% higher than the rate obtained from a displaced persons population – Mozambican refugees – and is nearly 40% higher than the rate obtained from Zimbabwean primary care and community samples. It is higher than the rates found in Mount Darwin and Muzarabani, in which there was specific screening for victims of organised violence and torture, and in which they were previously very high rates of human rights violations reported. The rate is even higher than that found amongst Zimbabwean war veterans, which was previously the highest reported rate from any population here in Zimbabwe.
    The implications from these comparisons are very worrying indeed, and require some brief comment. Firstly, this is a group that is still in the displacement process, with no secure home at all for the present – they have at least once been moved forcibly back to the farms from which they came and where they no longer have any security. Thus, the trauma process is still continuing and feelings of anxiety and depression will be prominent.
    Secondly, they are a group that has had multiple experiences of OVT and has lived in a state of high stress for a considerable time. This is analogous to what trauma experts term living in a zone of “high war stress”: a situation in which the likelihood of witnessing death, serious injury, and violence is highly probable. Persons living in such situations are highly likely to develop trauma disorders, as was the case with the Mozambican refugees, war veterans, or ordinary citizens during times of epidemic violence, such as the Liberation War, or during the Gukurahundi period in the 1980s.
    This finding is bolstered by the findings on the general health problems reported by this sample.
    6.2 Present state of physical health
    As regards their self-perceived health status, the sample reports high frequencies of symptoms associated with psychological disorder: headaches, dizziness, impaired concentration and memory, chest pains, palpitations, abdominal pains, and sleep disorder. Moreover, there are also a high number of symptoms that are associated with injury due to physical torture.
    Together, the findings indicate a group for which medical and psychological care must be a very high priority.
    Condition Number % Condition Number %
    Headache 77 55% Vomiting 17 12%
    Dizziness 48 35% Diarrhoea 16 12%
    Impaired concentration 47 34% Constipation 15 11%
    Impairment of memory 49 35% Pain on urination 17 12%
    Impairment of hearing 19 14% Male pain in the genital, female pelvic pain 28 20%
    Numbness or pins and needles in arms/legs 47 34% Lacking control on urination, defecation 7 5%
    Reduced strength in arms or legs 32 23% Convulsions or loss of consciousness in the last month 1 1%
    Pains in shoulders or arms 27 19% Male impotence 7 5%
    Pains in legs, including feet 45 32% Menstrual disturbances 16 12%
    Backache 54 39% Sleeping disturbances 67 48%
    Chest pain 45 32% Difficulty in falling asleep 41 29%
    Palpitations 62 45% Early awakening 22 16%
    Abdominal pains 58 42% Disturbed sleep 22 16%
    Nausea 26 19% Nightmares 26 19%

    There are several thousand farms in Zimbabwe that have been listed for acquisition and have “war veterans” and others settled on them. If one takes the experiences of the farm workers from the farms surveyed and multiplies the situation to cover all the invaded farms where workers have faced a barrage of intimidation, assault, and eventual forced displacement, the magnitude of the crisis is apparent. With Zimbabwe facing a severe food shortage as a result of a drought and dramatically lowered food production on the commercial farms, the problem of internally displaced persons becomes even more critical. These internal refugees, and the many more that the coming months will see, all require food, shelter and medical assistance, that will not be forthcoming from a government which is broke and facing international censure.
    The overall picture is one that must raise the deepest concerns for all humanitarian agencies and the government. The incidence of reported OVT, and especially torture, is extremely high, but perhaps expected from the plethora of reports of high rates of gross human rights violations that have taken place on the commercial farms. Although it is difficult to generalise from a clinical study such as this, it does seem fair to postulate a model that will be able to generate an estimate of the likely frequency of both OVT and its effects. Here it should be pointed out that there already exists a considerable body of epidemiological research on common mental disorders and disorders due to torture, from which it is possible to make educated guesses. We can certainly make comparisons with other Zimbabwean reports on the prevalence and nature of disorders due to OVT (see footnotes 5,6, & 7 above).
    Extrapolation from the results of this survey may allow the calculation of crude estimates of the frequency of torture and accompanying trauma amongst commercial farm workers. Assuming that an overall indicator can be generated, and it does not seem very difficult to do this, then it becomes possible to estimate the likely number of people affected. This can be calculated from the actual numbers of farm workers and their families employed on those farms. Using the data derived from the present study, a very crude estimate would then be derived in the following way from the above findings:
    · Take all high risk farms, those with multiple reports of gross human rights violations;
    · Calculate the rates of gross human rights violations at 71% of all adults;
    · Calculate the rates of gross human rights violations at 55% of all children;
    · Calculate the rate of psychological disorder at 81% of all adults.
    Now this may seem to lead to impossibly high rates, but, in the absence of proper epidemiological investigations, it is vital to have some estimate of social and medical requirements. It is clearly better in the current humanitarian crisis to err on the side of generosity than design helping systems that miss problems. In refugee or IDP populations that disorders due to trauma are frequently not identified in the setting up of initial help systems, and it is now well recognised that such populations require a holistic perspective with active rehabilitation.
    However, whatever rates of gross human rights violations are finally obtained, and whatever rates of disorder are finally established, this preliminary report suggests extreme cause for concern. There are many reports over past two years indicating high rates of organised violence and torture in both commercial farm workers and residents of the adjacent communal lands. It is evident that the overall number of persons affected by the events of the past two years will be exceedingly high indeed, and there is a pressing need both for epidemiological investigations into the prevalence of trauma disorders, as well as an urgent need to design adequate helping systems that do not marginalize any sector of the community.
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    Tuesday, 9 July, 2002, 22:35 GMT 23:35 UK
    Eyewitness: Zimbabwe in turmoil
    Zimbabwe War Veterans
    Mugabe's supporters have created a climate of fear
    Despite a government ban on foreign correspondents, the BBC's Fergal Keane visited Zimbabwe, where he witnessed a country fast descending towards disaster.

    After years of political chaos and violence, millions of people in Zimbabwe are now facing starvation.

    The government of Robert Mugabe blames the situation on drought, but the opposition and human rights groups say the country is in the throes of a man-made disaster.

    There is always a stage where people will say enough is enough

    Morgan Tsvangirai, opposition leader
    They accuse President Mugabe of a politically motivated policy of violence and intimidation to drive away white farmers, so their land can be given to poor black people.

    By 10 August, all white farmers must have vacated their land, and food production in the country has all but stopped.

    Barren lands

    We drove for several hundred miles through Zimbabwe and spent time in the capital Harare.

    Cows in a white-owned farmed
    White farmers are being forced to sell up and move out

    In rural areas, we saw once-thriving fields where the weeds had taken over.

    Many others were emptied of the herds of cattle which are being sold off by white farmers who believe they have got no future in the country.

    They have been given a month to get off the land.

    This destruction of the agricultural economy is happening in a country where millions face starvation.

    Protests urged

    In Harare, we met some of the scores of torture victims now in hiding from Robert Mugabe's supporters - men who described savage beatings at the hands of policemen and war veterans acting together.

    Robert Mugabe
    Mugabe blames drought, not policies, for food shortages

    Against this background, the leader of the opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, has called for public demonstrations.

    But I asked him if this didn't mean confrontation on the streets was inevitable.

    "It's unavoidable, because it doesn't even have to be organised by anyone. The situation itself is fast deteriorating to levels of public response. There is always a stage where people will say enough is enough," he said.

    Perhaps the most haunting testimony of repression came from a young mother I met at a refugee camp in the bush.

    She told me she had been gang raped by seven members of the ruling party militia.

    With escalating repression, and looming starvation, there is a powerful sense of a country sliding inexorably towards disaster.

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    'Zim to tighten forex controls'
    News24: 09/07/2002 16:56 - (SA)

    Harare - Zimbabwe's government is expected to tighten foreign exchange
    controls in the next two weeks as the country battles with a growing
    shortage of hard currency, private banking officials said on Tuesday.

    The officials, who all refused to be named, said they expected the new
    policy to order the liquidation of all private foreign currency accounts
    (FCAs), held by corporates and individuals.

    They also expected the government to scrap a facility where some exporters
    can retain 30% of their foreign exchange earnings to finance vital imports,
    and to centralise the management of foreign currency at the Reserve Bank of

    The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was looking at allocating any available foreign
    currency in the following order - 40% for fuel and electricity imports; 20%
    for essential imports such as maize and drugs; 20% for an export-revolving
    fund and the remaining 20% for general allocation, they said.

    The banking industry also expects President Robert Mugabe to approve a
    crackdown on a black market that has mushroomed over the last two years,
    after the exchange rate was fixed.

    In June, the Zimbabwe dollar plunged by nearly 50% on the unofficial
    parallel market to between 600 and 800 to the US dollar. This compares with
    an official exchange rate of 55 against the dollar, which has been in place
    for two years.

    Bankers said the sector was rife with rumours of tighter controls after
    criticism in the state media that the finance ministry and central bank had
    failed to curb the black currency market.

    "The market deduction of this criticism is that we should expect a new
    policy, but unfortunately I don't think that policy will address the
    fundamental problems that we are facing (or) increase exports and earnings
    and set a realistic exchange rate," one senior banker said.

    "Instead of measures to reverse the current decline and incentives to grow
    the economy, I think we are going to get more controls on the little money
    we are still getting," he said.

    Neither the government nor the central bank have commented on the rumours.
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    Zimbabwe war veteran jailed for fraud

    HARARE, July 9 - A senior war veteran who played a key role in President
    Robert Mugabe's controversial land seizure campaign was sentenced to three
    years in prison for fraud, state television reported on Tuesday.

    Andrew Ndlovu, Project Secretary for the Zimbabwe National Liberation
    War Veteran's Association, was found guilty of embezzling over 800,000
    Zimbabwe dollars ($14,430), said the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
    Ndlovu has been a leading supporter of Mugabe's land seizure
    programme, started in early 2000, of white-owned farms for redistribution to
    poor landless blacks.
    Mugabe says the campaign, which plunged the country into its worst
    economic and political crisis since independence 22 years ago and has drawn
    widespread international condemnation, is an attempt to correct years of
    colonial misrule.
    The broadcaster said Ndlovu pleaded not guilty and accused some
    government officials of trying to ''fix'' him for criticising what he said
    was the slow pace of land resettlement
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