COMMERCIAL FARMERS’ UNION
P.O. Box 667, Masvingo.
Tele/fax 039-65784/3. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
July 7, 2002
Provincial land Committee,
Dear Mr. Chikurira,
A WAY FORWARD ON LAND REFORM AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE “FAST-TRACK”
As Councillor for Ward 14 of the Mwenezi Rural District Council my heart
grieves for the people in my ward who are facing such hardships of famine and
homelessness which have been caused by what I perceive as an ill-considered
political policy of the “fast-track” political land programme in Zimbabwe. Many
communal people, farmers and farm workers have been forcibly and viscously been
displaced from their homes, mostly against their will.
I have been driven to write this letter by the plight of these desperate
and abused people of my district, and region, who are only a few of the many who
are in a similar position throughout Zimbabwe.
I make no apologies for the length of this comprehensive letter, which as
you are aware is just one of many, and hope that at least this one receives the
courtesy of being replied to as the others have not. The analysis below is based
on indisputable facts, and unfortunately sometimes the truth hurts, but so be
it. I believe that as Zimbabweans now is the time, as we enter a new
agricultural season, for us all to take stock of the critical situation and to
come together and sort out our perceived differences to produce food for our
I also make no apologies for my bumper sticker, which shows the Zimbabwean
flag to prove that we are proud of our nation, Zimbabwe. It says, “NO FARMER NO
FUTURE – THANK A FARMER FOR YOUR NEXT MEAL”.
For the sake of ease of reading and to emphasise certain points I wish to
discuss my points will come under the following headings: -
1. Status Quo
2. Political Aspect
3. The Legality of the Present Situation.
4. Position of the Settlers
5. Position of the Farmers
6. The Way Forward
1. Status Quo
v During this last two weeks the local and international press has
inundated me. Never before have I received so many calls in such a short space
of time. Their main interest was to question “how a country’s leader could be
seeking food aid from the World when he is criminalising the growing of food by
his farmers, through (what they say) a politically driven land campaign”.
v The other issues of their interest is our inclusion, or exclusion, from
Nepad and the newly formed African Union, and the ramifications of our political
land campaign and the form of present governance would have on the rest of
Africa. Zimbabwe is in the World spotlight whether we like it or nor, and I
believe it is high time we came to grips with the situation.
v This week some 15 of our Chiredzi cane farmers have been called to the
Police Station to sign warn and caution documents and instructed to submit
affidavits within a certain time. This is because they were producing food for
Zimbabwe by cutting their cane to send to the mills to attempt to overcome the
sugar shortage. In my previous correspondence to you I alluded to the fact that
all of my farmers had sought permission from the Minister to continue farming,
which is their right in terms of the new Amendment. They are also involved in
serious discussions with Government on developing a huge area, at their expense,
for the sustainable entrance into their lucrative market of new small to medium
scale farmers. They have, with respect, sincerely co-operated with Government in
an enterprising land reform programme, yet they are still being kicked in the
face by this latest move.
v Interesting to note that the government papers denied the above fact, for
v It is correct to note that we have had a drought last season, which
particularly affected the maize planting in this province. But I am sure Agritex
is fully aware that being situated in this low rainfall and marginal farming
area, this is definitely not a traditional maize growing area. Most of our maize
is normally imported from the traditional maize growing areas. The experts state
that in agricultural regions IV and V maize can only be successfully grown in
one year out of five.
v Several years ago, a letter inspired me which veteran politician and our
MP at the time Mr. Z. Matchaba-Hove showed me. This was written to the then
Minister of Agriculture, Mr. K. Kangai. I had been with them both at a field day
at the Musaverema Irrigation Scheme on the 17th December 1998 where I had
presented the farmers with paprika seedlings and fertiliser on behalf of the
CFU. I quote from the letter dated 16th February 1999, “Hon. Minister, the two
most important ingredients for an irrigation scheme are already there, viz:
water and land.” He was referring to a request for development of irrigation
schemes from Manyuche Dam in the communal areas. Also for the extension of
Musaverema irrigation scheme, none of which has been carried out.
v Being Chairman of Roads and Planning on the Mwenezi RDC and from previous
knowledge of the province I have been made very aware of the huge untapped
potential of the existing Communal and Resettlement land that exists, and have
subsequently done my best to encourage the development of these projects.
v I quote again from the above letter; “It cannot be overemphasised that
all commercial farms in Mwenezi, which government will acquire for resettlement,
are ranches which are not suitable for cropping. …settling of people on farms
acquired by government in Mwenezi will not, unfortunately, resolve our current
problems, in fact, it will turn to be a very costly exercise as government will
end up feeding those families resettled on these farms.”
v The present situation is that we have had thousands of misplaced persons
and their livestock aimlessly wandering over previously productive farms
destroying both fauna and flora, and inhibiting production.
2. Political Aspect
v This politically driven “fast-track” land programme can only, with
respect, be described as just that, because it was blatantly obvious right from
the beginning that this process was no form of sustainable land reform or land
use. Right from the beginning when Alan Stockil’s Marah and Yettom farms were
invaded, on the 17th February 2000, it was abundantly clear that this was driven
from the top and was not an action from a ground swell. On several occasions the
Governor made it absolutely clear to both my farmers and myself both before and
after the elections that unless we “co-operated” we would lose our farms. Many
of my farmers have also received threats against their lives because of their
perceived political affiliation, which is generally not the norm in any
v After the Presidential Election the Government youth militia and other
groups were used in a retribution campaign against their perceived political
opponents. Unfortunately we are white and we are (proud to be) farmers, and we
cannot camouflage ourselves. Our farmers have been subjected to continual
intimidation, harassment and mental torture to apparently subjugate them to take
any ridiculous offer made to them by the Compensation Committee. This method has
apparently been used for two reasons. Firstly to force farmers to relinquish
land “voluntarily” without the regulation way of confirmation through the
Administrative Court. Secondly to “ show the World” that the Government has not
“illegally taken” anybody’s land as it has all been offered and payment
accepted. This is not technically correct.
v The CFU has long realised the necessity of sustainable, transparent and
legitimate land reform in Zimbabwe, and as their Masvingo representative I have
come up with a considerable number of plans and offers which have been presented
to the Governor. However, only three of the “rolling” list of farms has ever
been bought, and all of the “community plans”, offers and development schemes
have been shelved. Is this because it does not fit into the political
v I believe that the present “fast-track” land programme is purely
political and has absolutely nothing to do with land reform. This has recently
been supported by the press as they continue to glean information from
government published names of land beneficiaries. They are suggesting that our
land is merely being given to those people for their political loyalty
v Another apparent political tactic appears to have been the destruction of
the trade unions, and our own CFU has felt the brunt of this, but which was
fortunately resolved during our Special Congress of March 2001.
v The interference of our labour union Gapwuz, and the ZCTU by the
politically driven and led union, the ZFTU, is just another example of a
political tool apparently being used to destroy commercial agriculture in
v The apparent perversion of the civil service has also made it extremely
difficult for us as a union to lobby and negotiate for our members. It was a sad
day when political affiliation was reported to have taken the place of
efficiency and productivity when it came to promotions in the Government
services. The other obvious tactic being used was the exclusion of the CFU from
any discussions with the Governor when farmers went there to plead for problems
on their farms to be resolved, or to offer land. This is viewed as part of the
subjugation process for political reasons.
v I personally have not recently been involved in any political parties,
particularly with the Governor, because I perceived this exercise as a political
one which was driven from the top through the various “task teams” and JOC. This
is sad because the Governor and I have walked a long road together, especially
on land reform and in particular the Donor Conference on Land Reform in 1998,
where I gained a lot of respect for him. We were also both members of the
Constitutional Commission where we had some interesting debates. I have chosen
instead to discuss matters with the professional employees of the Government,
who should be non-political. This is a great pity because with the exclusion of
the CFU from negotiations and discussions narrows down the area which could be
v In fact the chairmanship of the Provincial Land Committee is defined in
SI 346 of 2001 Section 2 (b). ““Provincial or District Land Identification
Committee” means the committee appointed by the acquiring authority for the
purpose of identifying agricultural land required for resettlement purposes and
chaired by the provincial or district administrator for the province concerned.”
It is for this reason that I address all correspondence to you personally.
v I perceive this committee as political because it has a politician as
chairman. How is it that the CFU has been excluded from these weekly meetings
when it is our input, which would be the most useful for sustainable land
reform? The one time I was invited by you to attend I was briskly ushered out on
orders from the Governor.
v Similarly our union has not been allowed access to either our President,
His Excellency Robert Mugabe, or Minister Made. In fact we are concerned about
the quip being made about Minister Made, that he is not Minister of Agriculture,
but Minister of Lands. This has apparently come about because we, and others,
have been unable to discuss agricultural matters with him and that he is
perceived only to be involved in distributing our farms, either legally or
3. Legality of the Present Situation
v Whilst the CFU has considered challenging the recent Amendment to the
Land Acquisition Act in court this was decided against this in favour of the
dialogue route. Although the Presidential Election was considered by many, to
have been controversial and therefore the legitimacy of the Government
questionable, our mandate only allows us to deal only with the Government of the
v However, some of our members have, as individuals decided to challenge
the constitutionality of the Amendment, and this week they have received an
Interim Relief Order HC5263/2002 with reference to the Section 8 orders issued
under the new Amendment to the Land Acquisition Act. I quote: -
“1. The Acquisition Order issued by the first respondent on 8th May 2002 in
respect of XXXXX Farm shall not preclude the applicant from occupying, holding
or using the land including all improvement thereon or from
The Terms of Order declare that the:
1. Land Acquisition Act, No 6 of 2002 was not lawfully enacted by
Parliament and is therefore invalid and of no force and effect.
It is declared that the amendments to sections 8, 9 and
10 of the Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:10) made in terms of the Land
Acquisition Act, 2002, are invalid and of no force and effect by reason of being
in conflict with Sections 11, 16, (1) (b), 16 (1) (c), 16 (1) (d), 18(5), 18
(9), 23 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
2. It is declared that Mr. Patrick Anthony Chinamasa MP ceased to be the
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs with effect from 1st April
3. It is declared that Dr. Joseph Mtakwase Made MP ceased to be the
Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement with effect from 1st April
2002 and that the Section 8 Acquisition Order signed by him on 29th April 2002
concerning Applicant's farm known, as XXXXX is invalid and of no force and
There were two other invalidations of the Section 8 orders, which were the
v Another tragedy of the Section 8 orders is that the acquisition still has
to be confirmed by the courts, which is becoming painfully slow. To date over
2500 cases are to be heard which could take up to 10 years at the present rate!
Who will then be responsible for the payment of damages to property and loss of
income should the Government lose its case?
v Even before this judgement I think we were all very aware that this
“fast-track” political land programme seriously offends our Constitution on many
grounds. I appeal therefore to our Government to “come clean” and to do this job
of land reform in a sustainable and democratic manner. I believe that the excuse
of the present land programme being “social justice” is just an unfortunate
political perversion, particularly when it was used in the overturning of the
Supreme Court ruling against the “fast-track” programme which had been in our
v Although the settlers have been placed on farms which have not yet been
legally acquired they appear to have been brainwashed to believe that the land
is really theirs. This is whether the acquisition has been confirmed through the
court or not. On this it should be noted that of the over 300 cases heard not a
single farmer has been dispossessed of his farm. There is much negotiating done
there and more often than not the Government withdraws their own cases because
of various technicalities or discrepancies.
v There has been much mention of the Farm Size legislation, especially
during discussions on the promised one-man-one-farm scenario. In many cases my
farmers are being intimidated to subdivide their farms to suit the sizes as
specified in the statutory instrument. The settlers are also being informed that
this is the law. However it should be noted that this is a loose document and
has no back-up legislation and can therefore not be either enacted or enforced.
In any event if it is enacted it would in my opinion just be a piece of racial
legislation as it would not, under the present situation, be applied to “black”
farmers because it would be politically unfavourable.
v We are all Zimbabweans who have our country at heart so let us stop
trying to fool each other around. In short, cut out the politics and let us get
on with our business – please.
4. Position of the Settlers
v “The land is free and the resources are yours to take”, etcetera,
etcetera. Of course there will be many willing recipients, like for anything
given free, but after a short time the recipients come to realise that farming
is not just a case of receiving and taking. A lot has to be sacrificed and given
before the land yields results, and an income.
v The words of a war veteran/settler at a recent conservancy meeting, “I
would rather have 1ha of irrigation land than the 20ha of dryland under the
fast-track scheme. I want to grow some mealies as I have not had a crop for two
years now.” This statement tells a huge story in itself. How can so many people
be lifted up from their rural homes that they love and be thrown onto farms in
regions IV and V and be expected to clear lands and grow crops?
v People have been told to move onto farms and then forcibly removed from
them, and of course they become angry. We have Government officials telling
people to get off certain farms only to be followed by the politicians to tell
them not to move. If we continue like this we are sitting on a time bomb. A
definite policy needs to be worked out so that everybody understands.
v We have “schools” being built on farms out of crucial natural resources
eventhough there are proper schools in the very close proximity. Sadly the
teachers being used are often unqualified and the subjects they teach are
questionable, judging from the change of attitude of these innocent children
towards commercial farmers.
v I (and they) are getting the distinct impression that they are expendable
and are merely being used (and abused) for political purpose.
v As pointed out in Matchaba-Hove’s letter, there is tremendous room for
development in the existing communal lands and resettlement areas. Perhaps we
just need to make a few changes in our policies that are adversely affecting our
foreign and particularly donor relations, we could develop these areas to the
full. There is a perception developing that Government does not want these areas
developed because they want to keep control of their important voting base.
Although I cannot comment on this there is certainly a lot of room for
sustainable development there to financially uplift the people.
v What concerns me is that many of the younger settlers (or hangers on)
truly believe that the land is theirs and they are completely oblivious to the
legal processes. One case in point was the serious assault recently carried out
on one of my farmers (who was very lucky to be alive) when he was trying to lift
unused borehole equipment to move to another site where he had moved his
5. Position of the Farmers
v The often-quoted political rhetoric that the farmers stole the land from
the Blacks is offensive, controversial and incorrect. The fact is that over 80%
of the present farm owners bought their farms on the encouragement of
reconciliation after Independence. They bought their land under Zimbabwean law
and the majority bought it with Certificate of No Present Interest, with
Zimbabwean money as Zimbabwean citizens.
v The wilful destruction of our farms, herds and resources for political
gain is totally unacceptable, and yet it appears to have been condoned by
Government and Police alike. The perception of a farmer being a member of a
rich, elitist and racist group is a complete misconception and talk like that is
in fact racist in itself.
v In defence I would like to say that when a farmer buys a farm he has a
lot to contend with. The possession of the title deeds gives him security to
borrow the huge amounts of necessary money from the banks, but if he were unable
to repay them or the interest he would soon lose his farm. Farming is not an
easy game and in fact if a person had a lot of money he would most certainly not
invest it in farming, as the returns are far too low and too risky. It is an
extremely hard job and the working hours are 24/7, and one has to contend with
the elements of weather, market forces, disease pestilence, labour and many
other adverse conditions. Rome was not built in a day, and nor is a farm. A
farmer develops a farm slowly by earning money and putting it back into the farm
v Unfortunately our taxation system does not allow us to carry over the
profit from a good year to assist in the bad. Therefore farmers often invest
their money in expensive equipment and vehicles, which are tax deductible. When
the bad year comes the “investment” is sold to carry the farm over.
v Farmers are proud and hardworking people and many of our members spend a
lot of their spare time assisting and teaching their neighbours in across the
fence help. One of our farmers in this province budgets $1,5 million every year
to assist his neighbours with dams, boreholes etc. This year he got one of the
local idle irrigation schemes going again and they have a crop of 300ha of
wheat, which we are so desperately short of.
v I believe that the present political pressure on my farmers was uncalled
for and most certainly not provoked. After all we do live in a democratic
country. What saddens me most is the unprecedented inhumane use of starvation of
our livestock as a political tool to subjugate us. The destruction of the
national commercial herd and agriculture is a destruction of our delicate
national economy itself.
v Farming has always been a survival game, and when one examines the
weather and environment of our province there are only certain areas, which can
be irrigated for crops, or even dryland production. By far the largest areas are
only suitable for either cattle or wildlife production. Again this does not come
overnight, but is a long-term investment. During my days in the Veterinary
Department Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) was endemic in most of the areas, which
have since, been turned into conservancies after the ranchers went bust. The
foreign currency payments were a boon to this previously poor area.
v Although there was some game there it is nothing like it had been built
up to before the present lawlessness. This was a slow process, which involved
the translocation of many (and endangered) species. Before the massive
destruction this was an exciting development, especially with the project of
bringing international parks together. The politicians came in and first
demanded a piece of the action. Unfortunately it takes many years to build up
client confidence in the close knit hunting community therefore foreign clients
do not suddenly appear overnight. Zimbabwe was a popular destination
particularly because of the wide unfenced open spaces (as opposed to the small
fenced hunting blocks in RSA). But with the present political uncertainty and
destruction it is going to take many years to rebuild game numbers and numbers
of trophy animals as well as client confidence.
v The other huge advantage of the conservancies was that it assisted our
lucrative beef export market because it allowed us to contain the wildlife
within maintained fenced areas. The Catchment Zone for the beef exports widened
to incorporate large areas of both commercial and communal areas therefore
increasing prices for all producers.
v However we have now lost all our beef exports to the EU, RSA, Mozambique,
Libya and Malaysia due to lack of FMD control. In a country, which is so
desperate of and reliant upon foreign exchange, was it the right thing to do to
sacrifice a huge foreign exchange earner and to destroy an established
commercial cattle industry just for political gain? Without becoming either
political or racial we have been told by Minister Made that the destruction of
the commercial herd is of no consequence. I therefore ask why commercially bred
cattle that make up well over 80% of the beef exported, yet the commercial
cattle only make up less than 20% of the national herd?
v In the process our Veterinary Department has sacrificed its credibility
by issuing permits, sometimes from FMD infected areas, illegally onto commercial
farms without the owner’s consent. Another extremely questionable practice has
been the FMD vaccination of communal cattle so that they can “legally” move
across established FMD control zones onto commercial farms. If that was not
enough, cattle on commercial farms have been vaccinated (for political reasons?)
against the farmers’ will. This is detrimental because once an animal is
vaccinated it can only be moved off to slaughter. In my opinion there were also
other devious motives as well.
v The farmers have been extremely frustrated by the Government in their
efforts to continue farming to produce vitally necessary food and foreign
currency for the nation. They have offered much land to Government on many
occasions, yet to the best of my knowledge, not one of the deals, which has been
offered and agreed upon has ever been honoured by the Government and certainly
no settlers moved off, except from Black owned farms.
6. The Way Forward
v As we enter the spring of a new agricultural season I feel that the tree
has been shaken enough now, and please be assured that those farmers that are
still here now are committed farmers and committed Zimbabweans. They are
determined to stay and farm and to assist in food production. It is our appeal
to you now to level the playing field and to let the farmers get on with what
they know best – farming.
v Whilst we all agree there is a necessity for sustainable land reform in
Zimbabwe it is absolutely essential that the politics be removed out of this
emotive subject once and for all. In saying this the land committees should only
be made up of non-partisan, genuine farming groups and technocrats from the
civil service. We desperately need to do away from meetings being supervised and
directed by Government security agents or other such groups who are in the pay
of the ruling party.
v Provincial land committees need urgently to be set up consisting of a
body of less than ten representatives and their decisions should be final. It is
reported that the present political land committee which consists of between 50
and 60 people is unwieldy and often finds it extremely difficult to reach a
consensus on any given subject. The CFU should have a representative on this
committee, as our input will be vital and useful.
v There has been much talk about criteria for compulsory acquisition, yet
none of the criteria have ever been stuck to. However, in the Administrative
Court recently cases heard where the owner owns only one farm are being thrown
out. As the new farming season is upon us is would it not be feasible for single
farm owners to have their Section 8s and settlers removed so that they may
continue to farm immediately? There are so few farmers left on the land now and
most of them that are left are single farm owners anyway. This would be a token
v There has previously been much talk about either joint ventures or
co-existence. It should be accepted that the latter is completely unacceptable
as it is viewed as an attempt to subjugate our members, who would forever be
under the control of the local committee of 7. Farming is a delicate balance
between nature, science and finance and it would be detrimental to interfere
with this. As far as the joint ventures is concerned this is something that can
only be encouraged and no attempt should be made to force unworthy people into
positions (just because of their skin colour?). Any prospective partner in a
business should come into the business as an asset and have some special skills
or knowledge, which would boost production. No company can afford a board member
who is merely there to collect a monthly cheque.
v I can only encourage you to carefully consider the proposals, which have
been brought to you by the Chiredzi cane farmers and the conservancy operators.
They both have a considerable amount of merit and by working closely and
honestly with them this can only be a win-win situation.
v Where communal people are to be returned to their communal homes they
desperately need assistance to ensure that they are able to produce a crop in
the coming season. Also if they are to be moved they should be moved quickly so
they may re-establish themselves and get their lives back together.
v Our communal lands in the lowveld have tremendous irrigation potential so
the old schemes that are no longer working should be recommissioned to give the
people the means to grow food. There are also many other viable schemes, which
have been planned but never established and these should be constructed as soon
as possible. The Nuanetsi Ranch sugar project should also be followed up, as
well as the other DTZ projects, which the late Joshua Nkomo had planned to carry
out. As our MP friend said, “We have the land and the water but we just lack the
v The CFU has been involved in a number of major national and international
meetings on sustainable land reform in Zimbabwe and it is notable that the joint
initiative through the ZJRI with the international involvement through the UNDP
is probably the most practical and acceptable way forward.
v It is absolutely essential that farmers who have previously offered their
farms to either the Government or the ZJRI, in good faith, desperately require
urgent full and fair compensation for both their land and improvements. This is
because a number of these people have decided to retire from farming and as
their farms were their “pensions” they desperately need cash to relocate
v With Zimbabwe hitting the World spotlight now it is felt that perhaps we
need to follow the Abuja accord, to the letter, and to therefore encourage donor
assistance in the programme. Donor assistance is vital because it is not
sustainable just to put a man on a piece of ground without and infrastructure,
finance or security. We need the donors’ assistance if we are going to assist
the new farmers (and many old farmers), but unfortunately there will have to be
a number of changes made (eventhough that may hurt a bit) in order to convince
them of our sincerity.
v It has come to my notice that in some areas the people have realised that
too many farmers have been forced off the ground and that there are “lists” of
proposed delisting of a number of properties. I therefore appeal to you to be
more open on this and to lay your cards on the table. We desperately need to
inform those farmers concerned and I appeal to you to assist them in every way
that they may begin to farm again as soon as possible.
v Although a huge amount of physical and financial damage has been done to
our farms and our livestock we are still willing to go forward on the road to
recovery. Poaching needs to cease forthwith and law and order should be
returned. Settlers’ livestock need to be urgently returned to their homes in
their communal lands or genuine resettlement areas to relieve grazing pressures
to feed the starving commercial herd.
v I was asked on a live programme on a large World-wide American and
British radio programme why I am holding onto my farm. My reply was, “We are
just farmers who love our country and love our land and the way of life. Farmers
always face many battles and challenges, especially with the elements and
marketing. We are not used to running away from our problems; we would rather
face them. We are not involved in politics and are just hopeful that this is
just a short-term in-conceived political policy. I am looking forward to the
time when we can all get together and talk this mess out and to hold hands and
grow food together and go forward together as one nation.”
Although you may consider some of what I have said may be slightly
offensive and controversial, I request you to consider them in the spirit in
which they were said. After all, I am sure you know that I only have the best
interests of our country and community at heart.
By stating the above facts I am in no way trying to dictate policy, but am
merely trying to create some discussion so we may learn by our mistakes and go
forward to conquer hunger and unemployment in Zimbabwe. Let us work
This is London
UK freezes Mugabe assets
The UK has frozen £76,000
in assets belonging to Zimbabwean president Robert
Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF
They were seized under sanctions imposed by the European Union on
and senior allies after international outrage at rigged elections
Junior foreign office minister Denis MacShane said that by
the financial markets of the EU and Switzerland had been put
It had also helped signal the "increasing isolation" of the
Zanu PF elite,
he told Tory Bill Wiggin (Leominster) in Commons written
The EU imposed sanctions on the Mugabe regime in February,
expulsion from Zimbabwe of the head of its team of observers
run-up to the following month's presidential
All 15 member states imposed a travel ban on Mr Mugabe and
about 20 of his
close political associates. It was also agreed that their
assets in EU
countries would be frozen.
Following the poll, EU leaders
agreed to pursue further "targeted" sanctions
aimed at the veteran leader and
his closest allies, while allowing the
continued flow of humanitarian aid
into Zimbabwe, which is suffering its
worst food shortages in many
The March election saw 78-year-old Mugabe - president of Zimbabwe
independence in 1981 - claim a further six-year term with 54% of the
But the legitimacy of his victory over Morgan Tsvangarai of the
Democratic Change was widely questioned because of evidence of
and violence against opposition supporters.
election, Mr Mugabe has pressed ahead with his policy of stripping
farmers of their land for redistribution among poor blacks. White
have been ordered to stop working the fields, resulting in a
collapse in the
country's agricultural production.
Mail and Guardian
Zimbabwe will be a litmus test for the
10 July 2002 10:07
African Union (AU) is now a reality, but the crisis in Zimbabwe casts
shadow over the festivities.
Speaking to close to 20 000 people at a
stadium during the launch, South
African President, Thabo Mbeki said: "This
is a moment of hope for the
continent and its peoples. Let us proclaim to the
world that this is a
continent of democracy and good governance."
the unresolved crisis in Zimbabwe will be a litmus test for the new
The leader of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change
Morgan Tsvangirai - unable to attend the launch - sent a videotaped
saying the biggest challenge for the AU was the "illegitimate"
President Robert Mugabe.
Tsvangirai said: "The meeting
of AU heads of state presents an opportunity
for Africa to make a fresh
start. Dictators must not be allowed to get away
with murder. The situation
in Zimbabwe will test the AU's commitment to
democracy and human
The new union, arguably the most ambitious post-colonial project
Africa, came into effect on Tuesday replacing the 39-year-old
of African Unity (OAU). Forty heads-of-state and other
representatives attended the first AU assembly.
The AU is
expected to set in motion an era of accountability and improved
Leaders on Tuesday adopted rules and procedures for the four key
the new organisation.
The assembly of the AU, the supreme decision-making
body, consists of the
heads-of-state. While the executive council consists of
The permanent representatives committee is responsible for
for the executive council.
Most of this committees
members are drawn from the diplomatic corps of
believe the driving force of the AU will be the 10 member
responsible for coordinating the activities of the
Closed-door discussions between leaders have focused on
multi-lateralism, the empowerment of women and the New
Africa's Development (Nepad). However, the crisis in Zimbabwe
has been left
off the summit's agenda.
"Zimbabwe was deliberately not
discussed at this session. It is not part of
African diplomacy to name and
shame African leaders at such events,"
regional legal affairs analyst
Professor Shadrack Gutto told Irin
MDC chairperson Isaac Matongo said
that the MDC was not calling for the
exclusion of Zimbabwe but had hoped that
the AU would target Zimbabwe when
enforcing the African peer review
mechanisms under Nepad.
Although it is not compulsory for countries to be
signatories to the
mechanism, Nepad requires countries to commit themselves
to good governance,
in return for better trade and aid deals.
said that it was an embarrassment that the current political crisis
tabled for discussion.
"However, we remain optimistic that the African
Union will assist us to
resolve this matter," said MDC secretary for
International Affairs, Sekai
Hollard added that the MDC had
not abandoned its intention to call on
Zimbabweans to take to the streets in
protest against the deteriorating
situation in the country, and continued to
lobby for support in Africa.
"Almost six million are facing starvation.
We cannot stop now. There has to
be a change soon," she said.- Irin
|Wednesday, 10 July, 2002, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
War veterans jailed in Zimbabwe
War veterans have spearheaded the land
One of the leaders of Zimbabwe's war veterans association
has been sentenced to three years in prison for fraud.
Andrew Ndlovu and another war veteran were found guilty of embezzling around
Mr Ndlovu has been an outspoken supporter of President Robert Mugabe's
programme to seize land belonging to white Zimbabwean farmers with the official
aim of handing it over to landless black citizens.
Correspondents say the campaign has plunged the country
into its worst economic and political crisis since independence 22 years ago.
Mugabe says he is correcting a colonial injustice by
But President Mugabe insist that it is an attempt to correct years of
Mr Ndlovu said the trial was an attempt by unnamed government officials to
"fix" him for criticising what he said was the slow pace of land resettlement.
Mr Ndlovu and his co-accused were whisked off to jail to start serving their
terms after Justice Mahomed Adam declined to grant them bail pending appeal.
Heavily-armed riot police guarded the High Court building to thwart
demonstrations by fellow war veterans, said The Daily News.
White farmers have been reading the writing on the
wall and some have
They were convicted of corruptly receiving gifts from a Chinese national, now
deceased, as an inducement or reward for facilitating business between him and a
The judge ordered that two motor vehicles worth 594,000 Zimbabwe dollars
($10,800) they received as proceeds of the crime be forfeited to the state.
The two were also charged with stealing Z$860,000 from a housing scheme
operated by war veterans, which they used to buy three motor vehicles for their
Chenjerai Hunzvi, who led the war veterans when the farm invasions began two
years ago, died last year.
At the time, he too was facing trial for fraud.
Cheers as Gaddafi backs Mugabe's land grabs
2002 at 09:29PM
By Xolisa Vapi
leader Muammar Gaddafi dampened the lively spirit at the launch of
African Union (AU) in Durban on Tuesday by publicly backing
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, telling white farmers to
former British colony if they did not want to be ruled by a black
African heads of state sat hand-in-chin as Gaddafi, speaking in
attacked white farmers in Zimbabwe, some of whom are defying a
order to stop farming land targeted for seizure by the
Throwing his hands in the air and almost toppling the microphone,
stood up to make two points: that Africa was free of colonialists
racists, and that Zimbabwe's white farmers should pack and go "if they
want to serve us".
He also pledged his support for
He said a new day for Africa had dawned with the launch of the
"no more racism and colonialism".
"The land of Africa is
for Africans. South Africa is for Africans. You are
they (Zimbabwe's white farmers) want to go, they must go," he shouted to
applause by the teeming admirers crowding the Absa stadium.
thrust himself into the public limelight since he landed in
Saturday, a few days after his security contingent, with a
motorcade arriving for the burial of the Organisation of African
birth of the AU.
Mugabe, meanwhile, has kept a low profile since his
arrival, with gay and
lesbian groups earlier reported to be planning a
protest against his tough
anti-homosexual stance back home.
Tuesday's AU launch, his arrival at the stadium was almost
behind the thunderous applause accorded former president
Peer Review Underpins AU Plans
July 10, 2002
Posted to the web July 10,
Jonathan Katzenellenbogen, International Affairs
Still many unanswered questions about how the
mechanism will work
THE main reason why the New Partnership for Africa's
holds out the chance that can help Africa break with its
autocratic past is
Nepad's peer review mechanism.
Whether or not the
mechanism has any teeth will depend on the implementation
of measures against
a delinquent country to bring it back in line.
When a country is placed
"on notice", action is threatened, and that marks
the end of "constructive
dialogue". Action will have to be carried out for
the review mechanism to
Ultimately this will largely depend on political will,
something that has
been lacking when it comes to collective pressure on
The review mechanism was publicly released yesterday
after its endorsement
by the heads of state in their declaration at the
conclusion of the
inaugural session of the African Union (AU).
the leaders might collectively endorse the peer review mechanism, it
the case that all of them will agree to the application of the
their countries. That is one reason there will be no signing
those countries that agree to peer reviews, as that would make
it all too
embarrassing for many other leaders.
Instead, signing up to the mechanism
will simply take the form of agreeing
that a peer review can be
Under the mechanism, countries will, on a purely voluntary
basis, agree to
review of their political and economic governance.
the review is purely voluntary, it is still not clear whether a country
pull out later, should it want to. This mechanism cannot even come close
dealing with Zimbabwe for the simple reason that Harare is unlikely to
up for a peer review.
The more countries that sign up and are named, the
more pressure would be
placed on those who do not. According to the Nepad
secretariat, the peer
reviews will be released to the public.
are still some unanswered questions about the mechanism. One is what
relationship will be to the AU's organ on security, stability,
and development a structure for reporting on a wide array of
will also have a monitoring mechanism.
Underlying the peer review
mechanism will be the declaration on democracy,
political, economic and
corporate governance. In essence, this commitment
includes upholding the rule
of law, equality for all before the law, human
rights and a democratic
"We believe in just, honest, transparent, accountable,
government and probity in public life," the declaration
One of the practical steps countries are required to take is to
appropriate electoral administration and oversight
Significantly there is no mention of whether or not the mechanism
ensure the independence of the bodies.
In Zimbabwe a number
of election observer groups charged that control of the
by the government allowed President Robert Mugabe to
plan for the peer review mechanism is for a base review to be carried
those countries that agree. This will be followed by others every two
years, but a member state can ask for a review at any time. Key
establishing the credibility of the review mechanism is its
independence of its reports from political
Managing the report writing, of what is a self-monitoring
procedure, will be
a panel of between five and seven eminent
According to the review mechanism's founding document, members
of the panel
"must be persons of high moral stature and (who have)
commitment to the ideals of Pan Africanism".
candidates will be nominated by participating countries and short listed
committee of ministers and approved by the heads of state. If a country
by any standard is not democratic agrees to a peer review and sits on
nominating committee, it might conceivably be able to appoint anyone
thinks as "eminent".
Then there is the issue of who will actually
write the report. If reports
are not written by a group that is demonstrably
independent, that would
result in an enormous burden on the
Current plans are for the Economic Commission for Africa, a United
(UN) research and advisory body, to help the AU commission, write
The Ethiopian foreign minister, Syoum Mesfin, has said
that the secretariat
of the now defunct Organisation of African Unity, was
He said he hoped that something could be done before it took over
function of the AU's civil service on a temporary basis.
possibility of AU commissioners following political instructions to hold
their jobs could easily compromise the independence of the reports.
From COSATU, 9
How Zimbabwe is killing the
Johannesburg - While the G8 commits US$6 billion to development
assistance in Africa, South Africa alone loses US$7,7 billion because of
Zimbabwe's economic breakdown. Food for thought. At 2001 Zimbabwe dollar prices,
Zimbabwe has seen export trade fall by Z$134 billion over just two years. This
sum converts to US$600 million at an exchange rate of Z$220 to one US dollar, or
to US$2.4 billion at the ridiculous official exchange rate of Z$55 to one US
dollar. The $600 million is equivalent to a whole year's earnings from our most
important export crop. Because it was lost, about 20,000 jobs have been lost in
industry. The US$600 million would also be enough to pay for all the food
imports needed now that we have failed to produce the needed crops. Instead, we
have to beg for loans or grants to pay for it.
Zimbabwe's conduct has led to withdrawals of development aid
from most regional countries. Zambia believes it would have had much more
success attracting direct investment as well as in restoring more of its own
manufacturing capacity. The amount lost cannot be estimated accurately, but it
probably exceeds US$500 million. In South Africa, the lack of will to express
disappointment or anxiety about Zimbabwe's conduct since 1997 has caused the
rand to fall from R6.5 to one US dollar to figures that recently reached R11 to
one. If the fall is measured only as the drop from R6.5 to R9.5 to one US
dollar, South Africa's import bill at US$27 billion a year caused an increase in
rand terms from R175 billion to R256 billion, an increase of R81 billion. This
expressed in US$ terms amounts to US$7,7 billion, so South Africa's direct loss
exceeds the full amount of support agreed to at the Nepad Conference in Canada
for all the beneficiary countries.
John Robertson is one of Zimbabwe's leading economists
War vet Ndlovu jailed for 3 years
7:49:32 AM (GMT +2)
By Lloyd Mudiwa
leaders Andrew Ndlovu and Anna Paradza were yesterday
slapped with a
four-year jail term each for contravening the Prevention of
Corruption Act in
1998, despite the intimidating presence of fellow
ex-freedom fighters outside
the High Court in Harare.
Ndlovu, 45, the secretary for projects
for the Zimbabwe National
Liberation War Veterans' Association, and Paradza
were whisked to jail to
start serving their terms after Justice Mahomed Adam
declined to grant them
bail pending appeal in the Supreme Court against both
The judge agreed with Joseph Jagada of
the Attorney-General's Office
that there were no prospects for the appeal to
However, Ndlovu and Paradza will each serve an effective
in prison, after Adam suspended one year of the sentence for five
condition that they do not commit any offence involving dishonesty
terms of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Paradza's counsel, Advocate Charles Selemani, said he would
appeal today in
the Supreme Court against the decision to deny them bail
pending the appeal.
Selemani was instructed by Aston Musunga.
Their clients looked
indifferent as Adam passed sentence in a
courtroom bristling with police
presence, while heavily-armed riot police
kept a sharp lookout outside and
others manned the gates to the High Court
building to thwart any possible
disruptive demonstrations by fellow war
and Zanu PF supporters virtually besieged the High Court
in May 2000 when
their late leader, Chenjerai Hunzvi, appeared in court on
That was the second time the ex-freedom fighters had
behaved in that
manner. They disrupted inquiry proceedings chaired by then
the then Judge
President Godfrey Chidyausiku, in 1998, when Hunzvi was
testifying on the
looting of funds from the War Victims' Compensation
Adam had convicted Ndlovu of the more serious charge of theft
conversion, but decided on the side of caution to drop that
He ordered that two motor vehicles worth $594 000 they
proceeds of the crime be forfeited to the State.
Ndlovu and Paradza, who had pleaded not guilty, were convicted of
receiving gifts from a Chinese national, now deceased, Zhao Fun
Zhao Williams, as an inducement or reward for facilitating
himself and Magamba eChimurenga Housing Trust.
The war veterans had
earlier bought tractors, lorries and farming
machinery from Williams who was
a director of a car dealership, Darrin Auto
been charged with theft by conversion for allegedly stealing
$860 000 from
the housing scheme operated by war veterans, which they used
to buy three
motor vehicles for their personal use.
Alternatively, they were
charged with contravening the Act.
Adam said: "After considering
submissions from both the counsel for
the State and for the defence, I am
satisfied that the proper approach for
this court to make in sentencing is
that as laid out by the Supreme Court in
a 1996 case between the State versus
"In that case, which involved contravention of the Act
by a public
prosecutor, the Supreme Court said imprisonment is called for
are cogent reasons which indicate to the contrary."
He rejected the reasons given by Selemani as not compelling enough for
consider a non-custodial sentence.
There's no future until Mugabe steps
7/10/02 8:20:28 AM (GMT +2)
seem to be any hope of a turnaround in the fortunes of
Zimbabwe in the
foreseeable future. The situation has developed pretty much
as I thought it
would, though I hoped it would not.
Countries or generations, it
seems, never learn. That's why there is
usually a 20 to 30-year break between
wars. Those who have been involved say
"Never again!" but those who have not
are all gung-ho and full of blood-lust
and self-righteous anger. It's also a
truism that those who start or
advocate wars are very seldom directly
involved in the muck, the dirt, the
fighting and death.
see a future until President Mugabe is removed; matters will
only get worse
as he sinks further into senility and the situation around
His psychological make-up doesn't seem able to
accept fallibility, so
everything that goes amiss cannot be the
result of his bad judgment; it
must be the work of some evil plotter
thwarting his divine will.
Though in my opinion he is almost barking mad, he is extremely cunning
able to run rings around others - in part because he sees no connection
all between what he says and what he does. This confuses the hell out
He is prepared to destroy anyone and anything
in order to keep himself
in the saddle, just as he had no qualms about
knocking off 20 000 or so
citizens in the mid-1980s. As our maid said to me
many times: "He is a very
cruel man." Also, of course, his is a violent party
steeped in a violent
tradition and "direct action" is a real possibility,
which is no doubt why
Nkosana Moyo gapped it before resigning. Also why many
of us are here in the
United Kingdom and not there, to be
But I do believe that his demise will see his party's
demise too, just
as the demise of Idi Amin, Kamuzu Banda, Adolf Hitler and a
host of other
tyrants saw the end of their regimes.
after the Second World War Germany had to be "de-Natzified",
so too will
Zimbabwe have to be "de-ZanuPFed". It's amazing how similar the
organisations are, penetrating every strata of society. Where you find
PF, there too you will unfailingly find dishonesty and corruption. That
not to say that Zanu PF have a monopoly on greed and dishonesty; it's
in all sections of the community, but with the others it's not a 100
certainty as it is with anything to do with Zanu PF.
There can be
no amnesty for these criminals; they must face the wrath
of real laws and
receive real punishment. Their crimes and arrogance are so
great and so
numerous that the nation cannot accept less.
The time will come,
that is certain. What's worrying though is that
these African dictators seem
to last forever. As far as I know Amin is still
alive, so is Haile Mariam
Mengistu (with us!), and Banda lived to be 102.
There's not much
that can be done now, other than civil war, which
would be tragic. Those who
deserve to die aren't going to be those who are
involved. I don't see South
Africa having the guts to seriously put the
squeeze on Mugabe, and it would
probably make no difference anyway.
When they squeezed Rhodesia the
government was at least mostly
comprised of rational people, there was no mad
dictator in overall charge.
There will always be pariah states like Libya who
will support Mugabe, for
their own ends, of course.
of Zimbabwe have to accept their collective guilt in the
same way the Germans
had to accept collective guilt for the Nazi atrocities.
Nations never learn
other than from their own, personal experience.
naturally, be no food, no industry, no law, no health
services and very
little in the way of education. I fear the worse is yet to
come, because when
Mugabe goes the whole pack of cards will collapse. The
nation will have
successfully been "reset to zero". There are unlikely to be
entrepreneurs around, most will have gapped it long before.
will build industry and agriculture? That's a very valid
only one in a thousand has the ability to make a success.
The State cannot do
it, that's been tried and is always a failure. The only
way to a thriving
economy is an open market and free trade, with government
development and not controlling it.
The urge to control is very
strong in all governments, but
particularly so in Africa but must be
Small businesses are the heart of any
economy. They grow large, and
also provide a training ground for those who
will later find themselves
employed in large businesses.
everyone may want to be their own boss, but very, very few will
ever make it,
for a great number of reasons. It is not only a matter of
aid; an entrepreneur will always find a way even in the
environment. Government's job is to make his or her life
government can successfully create gainful employment or wealth.
only be done by individuals or companies.
Government's role should
only be as a facilitator, and to keep an eye
on fair and ethical business
Creating true wealth is very difficult, and necessitates
of individuals working to better themselves financially, whether
employers or employees. Because there will be a dire shortage of
entrepreneurs, immigration should be encouraged. Look what it did
Australia, America and Hong Kong.
The short-sighted "they
will take our jobs" cry is just plain stupid.
Who on earth would leave a
civilised country to come to Zimbabwe and do a
job that there are already
people doing? What sane business person would pay
more for someone to do the
same job? This fear, this xenophobia, has had a
hugely negative effect on the
development of all African economies.
On immigration, I recall Sir
Roy Welensky saying: "We want people who
go home every night, not every three
years." African countries seem to have
an irrational love of
The harm that Mugabe and Zanu PF have done to our
incalculable, and permeates every aspect of our
Seldom have so few wreaked so much evil on so many.
Tougher penalties needed for
7/10/02 8:17:58 AM (GMT
Accidents in which several lives are lost invariably
give rise to much
indignation and grief on a national or even wider scale.
They can be
large-scale industrial ones as was the case with the Chernobyl
disaster in Russia or the Bhopal chemical disaster in
They can also be transport accidents such as the many plane
which hundreds of people are killed or bus accidents in which
scores of people perish.
The effect of the loss of so
many lives in an unnatural way on people
throughout the world is the same: it
causes outrage and a spontaneous
outpouring of emotion even if we did not
personally know anyone among the
dead. Sadly, however, the loss of one life
in similar accidents does not
seem to cause equal grief, unless the person
happens to have been
exceptionally important or powerful and was also
In Zimbabwe, for example, the loss of more than 400
lives, most of
them family men, in a mining accident at the Wankie Colliery
in Hwange in
1972, probably our biggest industrial accident to date, brought
unprecedented national grief.
It plunged the country into
national mourning never seen before and
witnessed only once since - when
Joshua Nkomo died in 1999.
Something approaching national grief was
experienced when 15
construction workers lost their lives when, in what was
described as the
worst industrial accident in recent years, a hoist in which
riding, during the construction of Century Towers, plunged 15
floors to the
ground in December 1999.
There was outrage almost
nationally, with the entire construction
industry being thrown in mourning.
The police quickly opened a culpable
homicide docket against John Sisk and
Son, the company that was undertaking
the project, while the Factories
Inspectorate immediately swung into action,
instituting an investigation to
establish what had caused the accident.
But when only one or two
workers have been killed in industrial
accidents, no matter how gruesomely,
there has been little evidence of shock
or outrage even from the relevant
authorities - as if to say the loss of one
or two lives does not warrant the
show of sorrow from anyone.
A case in point is that of 28-year-old
Amos Murungweni who, nearly a
year ago, was minced to death at Reckitt and
Colman by a machine on a trial
run which he was operating to mix
It would appear there was a serious disregard of general
regulations as it emerged that although Murungweni, a mere general
was not qualified to operate the machine, someone had ordered him to
it regardless - and without supervision.
matters, according to Newton Mutubuki, the Chief Inspector
of Factories, the
machine had not been fully assembled as it did not have
some of the devices
designed to protect the operator from injury.
Not only that, the chief
inspector also established that modifications
made to the machine were not
consistent with occupational health and safety
Although, amazingly, it is doubtful that any action was taken against
company, all this points to gross negligence and criminal disregard for
safety of its workers on the part of the company.
The same ought to
be said about the Grain Marketing Board (GMB)'s
Aspindale depot where, as we
report elsewhere in this issue, a young man
needlessly lost his life last
week because, as with many others, the company
does not seem to attach
sufficient value to human life.
Nineteen-year-old Freddie Luciano,
a casual worker, was sucked in and
killed by a wagon valve. Ironically, only
minutes earlier he had saved a
co-worker's life from the same hazard - Admire
Chakanza, 18, who luckily
escaped with injuries. And it was all due to
negligence because, according
to the other workers, the valves were being
opened without warning.
It must be suggested strongly here that
this latest accident would
probably not have occurred had the GMB been
penalised severely enough for a
similar accident more than a year ago in
which at least two workers were
reportedly killed. It being a parastatal
makes the GMB's negligence over
safety matters a lot more
In 2000, Mutubuki lamented that the flouting of
regulations was due largely to the fact that penalties
for such offences
were "too soft".
Why have they still not been
If you thought you were
so important, think again
7/10/02 8:42:40 AM (GMT
IT'S important for all human beings to believe
important - the importance of being important, if you
Not the self-importance that puffs up your chest in
self-adulation, but the importance of knowing you matter in the
scheme of life, especially your life.
different with politics.
As a voter, you may consider
yourself important to your party,
but you may discover, to your horror, that
they use you as cannon fodder -
people considered expendable in a war, a
After being used, you are discarded like so
tattered pairs of socks.
In Zimbabwe, there
has been a pervasive sense of being "used"
among many people, largely because
what this one particular political party
has been promising them before each
election since 1980 has not been
There are two
extracts of speeches from the central committees
of two political parties
which illustrate to some extent what the problem
with people's importance has
been since independence.
Zanu PF and PF Zapu enjoyed a rather
torrid relationship before
and after independence.
end, one of them "swallowed up" the other. Unfortunately
for present and
future generations, the new party will not live happily
The central committee belongs, mostly to
parties, which both were, before world events overwhelmed
them. They ended
up not quite the glorious workers' and peasants' parties
they hoped to be.
The central committees members are mostly
loyalists, rewarded with a girth as large as the baobab tree, a
mansion in a filthy rich suburb, a multitude of perks which could
or three fully-equipped secondary schools, if there was morality
Here is an extract from the PF Zapu central
committee report in
"In the period leading up to the
first national organisation of
resistance to colonial rule, the workers of
Zimbabwe led the way to unity in
their struggle to form the first trade
An extract from the Zanu PF central committee meeting
"There is clearly a need to move away from the
our interest in people is related to elections and instead
make it our daily
routine to be interested in what affects
Bear with me as I quote again from the PF Zapu central
"This development in Zimbabwe of a working
class was an
important foundation for the resurgence of the people's
that time our workers have continued to provide the people
outstanding leaders and fighters. The workers have fought many
battles and taught the people many useful lessons. One of these
the value of unity."
Back to Zanu PF: "Our
concern today should be moving towards
fulfilling the pledges we made to the
people during the election campaign."
I realise this can be
very confusing, especially if you are on
your way to join a bus queue, or one
for maize-meal, fuel, salt, cooking
oil, sugar - or what the Italians call La
Dolce Vita, the sweet life, which
has become distinctly scarce in this
But I know you will persevere. Look, you've
come so far with
this thing called Zanu PF. How could you give up
The first quotation is from President Mugabe's speech to
Zanu PF central committee as reported in The Herald on 29 June 2002. If
find it remarkably mundane, don't worry. But I would say it's a
of Zanu PF's arrogance.
Mugabe is reminding the
delegates to think of the people who
voted for the party in the 2000
parliamentary election and for him in 2002.
them were not thinking such unZanu PF thoughts, or
he would not have felt
constrained to remind them. That's how important the
people are to this
party. All of them ought to think again: does this party
put their interests
in its forefront, or is it more concerned with what
Charles Mabika keeps
calling chibhanzi? (a reference to how great you feel
after eating a real,
genuine . . . bun.)
Mugabe is not the student of Demosthenes
that he sounded like
Now people can hardly keep
their eyes open as he speaks. The old
man is not as sharp as he was before
The 7 hit him.
But even more unfortunate for him is that most
of what he says
these days is about blood and thunder, which sends many
people, with happy
smiles on their faces, into the arms of
The PF Zapu report of the central committee was to
the sixth PF
Zapu congress in 1984.
This was before the
1987 unity accord and at the height of the
schism between the erstwhile PF
Joshua Nkomo, the PF Zapu leader, had left the
country by then.
"Just before dawn on 8 March 1983, I crossed the dry
Botswana, driven into exile from Zimbabwe by the armed killers
Minister Robert Mugabe." This is the first sentence in his book, The
of My Life.
Most Zanu PF leaders had no trade union
pedigree to speak of,
except perhaps Maurice Nyagumbo.
party has always had this antithesis towards workers, as if
they were, in
reality, cannon fodder.
But two of Nkomo's closest
lieutenants, James Dambaza Chikerema
and George Bodzo Nyandoro, cut their
political teeth with Charles Mzingeli,
the bespectacled founder of the
Reformed Industrial and Commercial Union
Chikerema, Nyandoro and others later formed the Youth League.
merged with the ANC in Bulawayo to form the Southern Rhodesia
National Congress in 1957, they launched the first united front
The PF Zapu sixth congress was explosive,
especially the report
of the central committee which was so scathing of
Mugabe and his party you
wonder how Joshua Nkomo justified the subsequent
signing of the unity accord
with Zanu PF three years
Another extract from that report: " . . . we should
like to deny
most emphatically the current claim that the armed struggle
began in 1966 at
the 'Battle of Chinhoyi' . . . the sabotage campaign of
1960-61 marks the
true beginning of the armed struggle . . . Many of us still
names of General Chedu and General Hokoyo which marked the early
against the colonial regime. We sent the first comrades out of the
for training in 1961. The first groups, including Sikwili Moyo,
Sihwa, Mark Nziramasanga, Philemon Makonese and Velaphi Mpongo,
embark on operations in 1962."
with whom I travelled to India in 1978 for a
conference on Kim Il Sung's
Juche idea, died a few years ago and is buried
at the Heroes'
I knew Mark Nziramasanga as a trade unionist. He is not
at Heroes' Acre.
How did the workers lose
The government which came to power in 1980 had no
workers, unless they bowed to Zanu PF
Today, the most important people to Zanu PF are not
but the so-called war veterans, who are themselves developing
Farmer in court for allegedly attacking land
7/10/02 7:58:48 AM (GMT +2)
The trial of a commercial farmer and two workers facing
public violence in a clash with settlers on a Norton farm on 12
year started before Harare regional magistrate Leonard Chitunhu
John Sinclair, the owner of Serui Source Farm, Zenedias
security guard, and Masimba Gwanzura, a farm worker, are alleged
attacked 37 settlers on the farm and looted and destroyed property
estimated $1 967 000.
They pleaded not
Phildah Muzofa and Vivian Mandizvidza, for the State,
three attacked the settlers, with nine others still at large,
axes, spears, iron bars and sticks.
looted the settlers' property and torched their
Through his counsel, Advocate Deepak Mehta, Sinclair denied he was
any stage during the violence.
He said the violence was mainly
between villagers from the
neighbouring Mhondoro communal lands and the
invaders. Mehta said Sinclair
had cautioned the villagers against any
violence when four of them had asked
to see him earlier in the morning. He
said they had first asked for firewood
from the farm and Sinclair had
Mehta said: "They then stated that they intended to do
respect of the occupiers without specifying what it was, but did
it would involve violence.
"When he cautioned them
against violence they did not respond to the
effect that violence was to
occur. The violence which did occur may not have
been envisaged at the time
but erupted later."
He said Sinclair was told by his gardener at
about 2:15pm that there
was violence on the farm.
He saw smoke
and immediately went to a neighbouring farm from where he
Norton police officer-in-charge. He was told the police did
The trial continues today.
* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of
9 July 2002 AFR 01/008/2002
Development Community: Policing to protect human rights
Every day in
countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC),
are under attack from the police. Excessive or unjustified
lethal force is
used to suppress peaceful protest and government opponents
In a report - - Policing to protect human rights - -released
International describes how police inflict torture and
suspects and political activists in the majority of the
"States which tolerate such acts are not helping to
reduce crime or to find
fair solutions to political problems," the
organization said. "Instead, they
gravely undermine the professionalism of
the police and fail in their duty
to protect victims of crime and prevent
human rights violations."
However, the report also notes, that the
Southern African Regional Police
Chiefs Co-operation Organization (SARPCCO),
is taking the lead in promoting
professional and effective policing through
training in ethical and human
In countries such as
Botswana, Malawi and South Africa, non-governmental and
organizations have cooperated with police to improve
services to victims of
crime, particularly women and children, and to
develop effective partnerships
with the police to implement crime reduction
plans based on careful
intelligence and lawful methods.
"Enhancing the security for all living
in the SADC region must be built upon
good governance, the promotion and
protection of human rights for all
without distinction and respect for the
rule of law," Amnesty International
In order to break the cycle
of impunity and to encourage best practice,
there must be effective
mechanisms for the independent investigation of
police abuses. "Few countries
of the region have set up effective mechanisms
to detect and remedy abuses
and Amnesty International is calling on the
majority of remaining states to
do so urgently," the organization
In addition, most of the
countries still need to:
repeal or amend laws which facilitate human
rights abuses, particularly
those which permit excessive use of force or
integrate human rights training with training in
operational skills; and
improve the accessibility and accountability of
police services to all
communities without distinction.
these goals however, has been severely undermined in a number of
which have flagrantly violated the internationally recognized
police to conduct their duties in an impartial manner. Biased
relation to minority and vulnerable communities and the
has been a problem in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia,
In Zimbabwe the undermining of professional and impartial
policing has taken
an extreme form in the past two years. Police have been
directly involved in
the torture, ill-treatment, and arbitrary arrest of
members of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). They have
complicit in nationally widespread acts of violence, arson and
committed by state- sponsored militia against supporters of the
Redressing this situation remains a serious challenge to the
integrity of SARPCCO and the institutions of SADC
Elsewhere in the region growing public concern over violent crime
governments and police authorities to respond "by all means
combat crime, particularly where police officers themselves
victims of armed criminals. In several SADC countries, including
Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia this has led to suspected
being arbitrarily arrested, tortured or killed. The violent
some anti-crime vigilante groups in countries such as Malawi,
Zambia and South Africa have added to a climate of
In South Africa this pressure to respond ruthlessly emerged at a
the transition from the practices of the apartheid past seemed
completed. However, in a significant ruling on the use of force on 21
2002, the Constitutional Court, while affirming police officers' right
self-defence, made it clear that the state should never allow
force and should uphold human rights for everyone, including
"This call could apply to other countries in the
region. All governments in
the region need to display greater political will
in seeking solutions to
the rise in violent criminality in a manner
consistent with the protection
of human rights," the organization stressed.
They should encourage the
public to accept that real solutions lie in
improving the ability of the
police to investigate crime lawfully and
effectively and in co- operation
with the affected
Amnesty International members and other civil society
organizations in SADC
countries are contacting their governments to call for
action to ensure that
respect for human rights is the guiding principle for
and that measures to improve the efficiency of the
police are also measures
which promote respect for human rights.
link to the report --
Policing to protect human rights --
may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is
altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International
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School closed as Zanu PF militants beat up
7/10/02 7:50:59 AM (GMT +2)
Correspondent in Masvingo
Mapanzure High School near Masvingo town
was on Monday shut down
indefinitely after some of the 50 teachers at the
school were beaten up by
suspected supporters of the ruling Zanu PF
The closure left more than 2 000 students stranded after the
fled as a new wave of political violence swept across Masvingo
Mapanzure is 40km south of Masvingo town.
teachers were accused of supporting the opposition MDC.
seriously hurt and their whereabouts were still unclear by
Heavily armed police were immediately deployed to the
school and the
nearby township, but some teachers said the police presence
Gorden Mugadza, one of the few
teachers still at the school when
reporters arrived there, said: "In the
past, people have been assaulted in
front of police officers. The police
won't restrain or arrest these
marauding Zanu PF supporters."
The students were very bitter at the closure, as they were not sure
school would reopen.
According to the students, a mob of about
eight Zanu PF supporters in
a white Nissan truck raided the school on Monday
They dragged teachers out of their classrooms and beat
them up in full
view of the students.
One student who refused to
be named said: "The Nissan truck belonged
to Zanu PF. The assailants did not
talk, but just assaulted the teachers.
They were armed with sticks and
"We watched helplessly as some of our teachers were
battered. We are
not happy with the development because we do not know when
Some of the teachers beaten up included
Joel Hita, Tsana Guwa and the
deputy headmistress identified only as Ngwarai.
The headmaster of the
school, Barnabas Matenga, was spared as he is
reportedly a strong supporter
of Zanu PF.
Obert Mujuru, the
Masvingo regional director for education, could not
be reached for comment as
he was out of his office. But a Ministry official
said they were aware of the
problems at the school
Soldiers jailed for assaulting civilians
7/10/02 8:31:52 AM (GMT +2)
From Our Correspondent in
Three soldiers based at 4.1 Infantry Battalion in Masvingo,
amok beating up civilians at Nemamwa growth point in March, have
sentenced to a total of 32 months in prison for assault with intent to
grievous bodily harm.
The soldiers attacked the
civilians as the results of the 9-11 March
presidential election were being
announced. Ishmael Mazanhi, a lieutenant,
was jailed for 12 months, while
Justice Musiri, a corporal, and Petros
Mujuru were each sentenced to 10
Mazanhi, will however, serve six months after Masvingo
Matipira suspended four months of his sentence. He suspended
from Musiri and Mujuru's terms. Clever Sigauke, a private in the
was jointly charged with the three was acquitted.
three soldiers are still to appear in court on murder charges
assaulted to death Tabudamo Mukakurireyi at the growth point on
day in question. The court heard that on 13 March this year the four were
duty patrolling the growth point.
On the same day, they wert
to Maphios Mutongi's house and entered his
bedroom, where started assaulting
him with logs and booted feet. They then
searched his house accusing him of
supporting the opposition MDC. They then
dragged him out of the house and
force-marched him to the growth point where
they later released
The soldiers later went to Gift Mutongi and Benson Mutongi's
and took turns to assault them. They accused them of supporting the
soldiers were not represented. Titus Taruvinga prosecuted.
Licensing of journalists illegal - expert
7/10/02 8:10:47 AM (GMT +2)
From Chris Gande in
The compulsory registration of journalists under the
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) is
a legal expert in Bulawayo at the
Tawanda Hondora told Bulawayo-based journalists at a
organised by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) at the
that before 15 March 2002, the mass media service industry was
specifically regulated through legal enactments.
journalists who were not registered with the Ministry of
Information are now
operating illegally because under the highly
controversial Act they should
have done so before the end of last month.
Those who were
accredited by the ministry will be required to register
with the Media
Commission when their Press cards expire at the end of
"It is easier to justify filing an urgent
on behalf of those journalists that are obliged to
register as of the end of
June 2002 as opposed to those that are deemed
registered for another six
months," he said.
which is the accrediting body, was hand-picked by
Professor Jonathan Moyo in
his capacity as the Minister of State for
Individual journalists are required to pay $5 000 for
while free-lance journalists pay half the amount.
Section 20 (1) of the Constitution states: "No person shall be
the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, that is to say,
freedom to hold
opinions, and to receive and impart ideas and information
interference and freedom with his correspondence."
Section 79 of AIPPA constitutes a hindrance on freedom of
it prohibits journalists from practising unless
accreditation from the commission.
The requirement, he said, is
therefore invalid, illegitimate and
Molokela, a member of Transparency International, said the
taken advantage of the lack of a media self-regulatory body
to introduce the
"The journalists have been punished for not forming
structures that self-regulate them. For example lawyers have the
of Zimbabwe," he said. Misa elected a 10-member committee that is
to steer the organisation's initiatives in Bulawayo.