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

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P.O. Box 667, Masvingo. Tele/fax 039-65784/3. Email
July 7, 2002
The Chairman,
Provincial land Committee,
P.O. Box 565,
Dear Mr. Chikurira,
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 starving nation.
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 whatever reason. 
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 democratic state.
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 objective?
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 etcetera.
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 Zimbabwe.
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 discussed.
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 otherwise.
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 day.
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
undertaking all farming operations:
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 2002.
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 effect.
There were two other invalidations of the Section 8 orders, which were the normal technicalities.
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 favour.
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 cattle.
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 as development.
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 of confidence.
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 infrastructure.”
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 themselves.
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 together.
Yours sincerely,
Regional Chairman
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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 Party.

They were seized under sanctions imposed by the European Union on Mr Mugabe
and senior allies after international outrage at rigged elections in March.

Junior foreign office minister Denis MacShane said that by freezing assets,
the financial markets of the EU and Switzerland had been put "off limits".

It had also helped signal the "increasing isolation" of the Zanu PF elite,
he told Tory Bill Wiggin (Leominster) in Commons written reply.

The EU imposed sanctions on the Mugabe regime in February, following the
expulsion from Zimbabwe of the head of its team of observers monitoring the
run-up to the following month's presidential elections.

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 years.

The March election saw 78-year-old Mugabe - president of Zimbabwe since
independence in 1981 - claim a further six-year term with 54% of the votes.

But the legitimacy of his victory over Morgan Tsvangarai of the Movement for
Democratic Change was widely questioned because of evidence of intimidation
and violence against opposition supporters.

Since the election, Mr Mugabe has pressed ahead with his policy of stripping
white farmers of their land for redistribution among poor blacks. White
farmers have been ordered to stop working the fields, resulting in a
collapse in the country's agricultural production.
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Mail and Guardian

Zimbabwe will be a litmus test for the AU


      10 July 2002 10:07

The African Union (AU) is now a reality, but the crisis in Zimbabwe casts a
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."

But the unresolved crisis in Zimbabwe will be a litmus test for the new AU.

The leader of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
Morgan Tsvangirai - unable to attend the launch - sent a videotaped message
saying the biggest challenge for the AU was the "illegitimate" government of
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 rights."

The new union, arguably the most ambitious post-colonial project to unite
Africa, came into effect on Tuesday replacing the 39-year-old Organisation
of African Unity (OAU). Forty heads-of-state and other African
representatives attended the first AU assembly.

The AU is expected to set in motion an era of accountability and improved
governance. Leaders on Tuesday adopted rules and procedures for the four key
organs of 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 foreign ministers.
The permanent representatives committee is responsible for preparing work
for the executive council.

Most of this committees members are drawn from the diplomatic corps of
member states.

Some believe the driving force of the AU will be the 10 member commission,
responsible for coordinating the activities of the AU.

Closed-door discussions between leaders have focused on strengthening
multi-lateralism, the empowerment of women and the New Partnership for
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.

Matongo said that it was an embarrassment that the current political crisis
was not 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
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Wednesday, 10 July, 2002, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
War veterans jailed in Zimbabwe
A group of war veterans
War veterans have spearheaded the land seizure
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 $14,000.

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.

President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe says he is correcting a colonial injustice by seizing land
Correspondents say the campaign has plunged the country into its worst economic and political crisis since independence 22 years ago.

But President Mugabe insist that it is an attempt to correct years of colonial misrule.

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.

Housing scheme

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.

Warning sign:
White farmers have been reading the writing on the wall and some have left

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 housing firm.

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 personal use.

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.

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Cheers as Gaddafi backs Mugabe's land grabs

      July 09 2002 at 09:29PM

      By Xolisa Vapi

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi dampened the lively spirit at the launch of
the African Union (AU) in Durban on Tuesday by publicly backing beleaguered
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, telling white farmers to leave the
former British colony if they did not want to be ruled by a black man.

African heads of state sat hand-in-chin as Gaddafi, speaking in English,
attacked white farmers in Zimbabwe, some of whom are defying a government
order to stop farming land targeted for seizure by the state.

Throwing his hands in the air and almost toppling the microphone, Gaddafi
stood up to make two points: that Africa was free of colonialists and
racists, and that Zimbabwe's white farmers should pack and go "if they don't
want to serve us".

He also pledged his support for Mugabe.

He said a new day for Africa had dawned with the launch of the AU, screaming
"no more racism and colonialism".

"The land of Africa is for Africans. South Africa is for Africans. You are
strong now.

"If they (Zimbabwe's white farmers) want to go, they must go," he shouted to
much applause by the teeming admirers crowding the Absa stadium.

Gaddafi has thrust himself into the public limelight since he landed in
Durban on Saturday, a few days after his security contingent, with a
60-strong motorcade arriving for the burial of the Organisation of African
Unity and 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.

Even at Tuesday's AU launch, his arrival at the stadium was almost
unnoticed, tailing behind the thunderous applause accorded former president
Nelson Mandela.
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Peer Review Underpins AU Plans

Business Day (Johannesburg)

July 10, 2002
Posted to the web July 10, 2002

Jonathan Katzenellenbogen, International Affairs Editor

Still many unanswered questions about how the mechanism will work

THE main reason why the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad)
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 gain credibility.

Ultimately this will largely depend on political will, something that has
been lacking when it comes to collective pressure on fellow leaders.

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).

While the leaders might collectively endorse the peer review mechanism, it
is not the case that all of them will agree to the application of the
measures on their countries. That is one reason there will be no signing
ceremony for 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 conducted.

Under the mechanism, countries will, on a purely voluntary basis, agree to
review of their political and economic governance.

As the review is purely voluntary, it is still not clear whether a country
can pull out later, should it want to. This mechanism cannot even come close
to dealing with Zimbabwe for the simple reason that Harare is unlikely to
sign 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.

There are still some unanswered questions about the mechanism. One is what
its relationship will be to the AU's organ on security, stability,
co-operation and development a structure for reporting on a wide array of
fields which 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 ethos.

"We believe in just, honest, transparent, accountable, participatory
government and probity in public life," the declaration states.

One of the practical steps countries are required to take is to establish
appropriate electoral administration and oversight bodies.

Significantly there is no mention of whether or not the mechanism will also
ensure the independence of the bodies.

In Zimbabwe a number of election observer groups charged that control of the
electoral commission by the government allowed President Robert Mugabe to
steal votes.

The plan for the peer review mechanism is for a base review to be carried
out on those countries that agree. This will be followed by others every two
to four years, but a member state can ask for a review at any time. Key to
establishing the credibility of the review mechanism is its demonstrable
independence of its reports from political interference.

Managing the report writing, of what is a self-monitoring procedure, will be
a panel of between five and seven eminent persons.

According to the review mechanism's founding document, members of the panel
"must be persons of high moral stature and (who have) demonstrated
commitment to the ideals of Pan Africanism".

The candidates will be nominated by participating countries and short listed
by a committee of ministers and approved by the heads of state. If a country
that by any standard is not democratic agrees to a peer review and sits on
the nominating committee, it might conceivably be able to appoint anyone it
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 panel.

Current plans are for the Economic Commission for Africa, a United Nations
(UN) research and advisory body, to help the AU commission, write the

The Ethiopian foreign minister, Syoum Mesfin, has said that the secretariat
of the now defunct Organisation of African Unity, was "sick".

He said he hoped that something could be done before it took over the
function of the AU's civil service on a temporary basis.

The possibility of AU commissioners following political instructions to hold
onto their jobs could easily compromise the independence of the reports.
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From COSATU, 9 July

How Zimbabwe is killing the region

By John Robertson

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

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Daily News

      War vet Ndlovu jailed for 3 years

      7/10/02 7:49:32 AM (GMT +2)

      By Lloyd Mudiwa

      War veteran 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 conviction and

      The judge agreed with Joseph Jagada of the Attorney-General's Office
that there were no prospects for the appeal to succeed.

      However, Ndlovu and Paradza will each serve an effective three years
in prison, after Adam suspended one year of the sentence for five years, on
condition that they do not commit any offence involving dishonesty or in
terms of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

      Ndlovu and 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

      War veterans and Zanu PF supporters virtually besieged the High Court
in May 2000 when their late leader, Chenjerai Hunzvi, appeared in court on
medical fraud charges.

      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 Fund.

      Adam had convicted Ndlovu of the more serious charge of theft by
conversion, but decided on the side of caution to drop that conviction.

      He ordered that two motor vehicles worth $594 000 they received as
proceeds of the crime be forfeited to the State.

      Ndlovu and Paradza, who had pleaded not guilty, were convicted of
corruptly receiving gifts from a Chinese national, now deceased, Zhao Fun
Yin, alias Zhao Williams, as an inducement or reward for facilitating
business between 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

      They had 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 Chogugudza.

      "In that case, which involved contravention of the Act by a public
prosecutor, the Supreme Court said imprisonment is called for unless there
are cogent reasons which indicate to the contrary."

      He rejected the reasons given by Selemani as not compelling enough for
him to consider a non-custodial sentence.
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Leader Page

      There's no future until Mugabe steps down

      7/10/02 8:20:28 AM (GMT +2)

      THERE doesn't 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.

      I cannot see a future until President Mugabe is removed; matters will
only get worse as he sinks further into senility and the situation around
him deteriorates. 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
and able to run rings around others - in part because he sees no connection
at all between what he says and what he does. This confuses the hell out of
normal people.

      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 truthful.

      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.

      Just as 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
two organisations are, penetrating every strata of society. Where you find
Zanu PF, there too you will unfailingly find dishonesty and corruption. That
is not to say that Zanu PF have a monopoly on greed and dishonesty; it's
found in all sections of the community, but with the others it's not a 100
percent 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.

      The people 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.

      There will, 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
many entrepreneurs around, most will have gapped it long before.

      So who will build industry and agriculture? That's a very valid
question, because 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
facilitating development and not controlling it.

      The urge to control is very strong in all governments, but
particularly so in Africa but must be strenuously resisted.

      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.

      Almost 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
opportunity and aid; an entrepreneur will always find a way even in the
harshest economic environment. Government's job is to make his or her life
easier. No government can successfully create gainful employment or wealth.
This can 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 practice.

      Creating true wealth is very difficult, and necessitates a multitude
of individuals working to better themselves financially, whether as
employers or employees. Because there will be a dire shortage of local
entrepreneurs, immigration should be encouraged. Look what it did for
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 "expatriates".

      The harm that Mugabe and Zanu PF have done to our country is
incalculable, and permeates every aspect of our lives.

      Seldom have so few wreaked so much evil on so many.

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Leader Page

      Tougher penalties needed for negligent employers

      7/10/02 8:17:58 AM (GMT +2)

      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 nuclear
disaster in Russia or the Bhopal chemical disaster in India.

      They can also be transport accidents such as the many plane crashes in
which hundreds of people are killed or bus accidents in which dozens or
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 well-loved.

      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 about
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 they were
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 chemicals.

      It would appear there was a serious disregard of general safety
regulations as it emerged that although Murungweni, a mere general worker,
was not qualified to operate the machine, someone had ordered him to operate
it regardless - and without supervision.

      To compound 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
the company, all this points to gross negligence and criminal disregard for
the 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 reprehensible.

      In 2000, Mutubuki lamented that the flouting of occupational safety
regulations was due largely to the fact that penalties for such offences
were "too soft".

      Why have they still not been toughened?
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Daily News


            If you thought you were so important, think again

            7/10/02 8:42:40 AM (GMT +2)

            IT'S important for all human beings to believe they are
important - the importance of being important, if you like.

            Not the self-importance that puffs up your chest in narcissistic
self-adulation, but the importance of knowing you matter in the general
scheme of life, especially your life.

            But it's 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 political war.

            After being used, you are discarded like so many smelly,
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.

            In the end, one of them "swallowed up" the other. Unfortunately
for present and future generations, the new party will not live happily ever

            The central committee belongs, mostly to Marxist-Leninist
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 diehard party
loyalists, rewarded with a girth as large as the baobab tree, a dacha or
mansion in a filthy rich suburb, a multitude of perks which could build two
or three fully-equipped secondary schools, if there was morality in

            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 union."

            An extract from the Zanu PF central committee meeting last
            "There is clearly a need to move away from the situation where
our interest in people is related to elections and instead make it our daily
routine to be interested in what affects them."

            Bear with me as I quote again from the PF Zapu central committee
            "This development in Zimbabwe of a working class was an
important foundation for the resurgence of the people's resistance. Since
that time our workers have continued to provide the people with many
outstanding leaders and fighters. The workers have fought many courageous
battles and taught the people many useful lessons. One of these lessons was
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 country today.

            But I know you will persevere. Look, you've come so far with
this thing called Zanu PF. How could you give up now?

            The first quotation is from President Mugabe's speech to the
Zanu PF central committee as reported in The Herald on 29 June 2002. If you
find it remarkably mundane, don't worry. But I would say it's a reflection
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.

            Clearly, most 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
years ago.

            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 Morpheus.

            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 partners.

            Joshua Nkomo, the PF Zapu leader, had left the country by then.
"Just before dawn on 8 March 1983, I crossed the dry river-bed into
Botswana, driven into exile from Zimbabwe by the armed killers of Prime
Minister Robert Mugabe." This is the first sentence in his book, The Story
of My Life.

            Most Zanu PF leaders had no trade union pedigree to speak of,
except perhaps Maurice Nyagumbo.

            The 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.
When they merged with the ANC in Bulawayo to form the Southern Rhodesia
African National Congress in 1957, they launched the first united front
against colonialism.

            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 later.

            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 remember the
names of General Chedu and General Hokoyo which marked the early attacks
against the colonial regime. We sent the first comrades out of the country
for training in 1961. The first groups, including Sikwili Moyo, Zephania
Sihwa, Mark Nziramasanga, Philemon Makonese and Velaphi Mpongo, returned to
embark on operations in 1962."

            Sikwili Moyo, 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' Acre.

            I knew Mark Nziramasanga as a trade unionist. He is not buried
at Heroes' Acre.

            How did the workers lose out?

            The government which came to power in 1980 had no respect for
workers, unless they bowed to Zanu PF dictates.

            Today, the most important people to Zanu PF are not the workers,
but the so-called war veterans, who are themselves developing their own
baobab-size girths.

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      Farmer in court for allegedly attacking land invaders

      7/10/02 7:58:48 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      The trial of a commercial farmer and two workers facing charges of
public violence in a clash with settlers on a Norton farm on 12 June last
year started before Harare regional magistrate Leonard Chitunhu yesterday.

      John Sinclair, the owner of Serui Source Farm, Zenedias Kasekera, a
security guard, and Masimba Gwanzura, a farm worker, are alleged to have
attacked 37 settlers on the farm and looted and destroyed property worth an
estimated $1 967 000.

      They pleaded not guilty.

      Phildah Muzofa and Vivian Mandizvidza, for the State, alleged the
three attacked the settlers, with nine others still at large, with clubs,
axes, spears, iron bars and sticks.

      They allegedly looted the settlers' property and torched their

      Through his counsel, Advocate Deepak Mehta, Sinclair denied he was
present at 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 agreed.

      Mehta said: "They then stated that they intended to do something in
respect of the occupiers without specifying what it was, but did not imply
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
telephoned the Norton police officer-in-charge. He was told the police did
not have transport.

      The trial continues today.
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* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
International *

9 July 2002 AFR 01/008/2002
Southern Africa Development Community: Policing to protect human rights

Every day in countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC),
human rights are under attack from the police. Excessive or unjustified
lethal force is used to suppress peaceful protest and government opponents
are arbitrarily detained.

In a report - - Policing to protect human rights - -released today, Amnesty
International describes how police inflict torture and ill-treat criminal
suspects and political activists in the majority of the countries surveyed.

"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
rights standards.

In countries such as Botswana, Malawi and South Africa, non-governmental and
community-based 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 incommunicado detention;

integrate human rights training with training in operational skills; and

improve the accessibility and accountability of police services to all
communities without distinction.

Achieving these goals however, has been severely undermined in a number of
countries which have flagrantly violated the internationally recognized
requirement of police to conduct their duties in an impartial manner. Biased
policing in relation to minority and vulnerable communities and the
political opposition has been a problem in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia,
Swaziland, and Tanzania.

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 also been
complicit in nationally widespread acts of violence, arson and rape
committed by state- sponsored militia against supporters of the MDC.

Redressing this situation remains a serious challenge to the authority and
integrity of SARPCCO and the institutions of SADC itself.

Elsewhere in the region growing public concern over violent crime has pushed
governments and police authorities to respond "by all means necessary" to
combat crime, particularly where police officers themselves have become
victims of armed criminals. In several  SADC countries, including Angola,
Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia this has led to suspected criminals
being arbitrarily arrested, tortured or killed. The violent activities of
some anti-crime vigilante groups in countries such as Malawi, Tanzania,
Zambia and South Africa have added to a climate of crisis.

In South Africa this pressure to respond ruthlessly emerged at a time when
the transition from the practices of the apartheid past seemed barely
completed. However, in a significant ruling  on the use of force on 21 May
2002, the Constitutional Court, while affirming police officers' right to
self-defence, made it clear that the state should never allow excessive
force and should uphold human rights for everyone, including suspected

"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 communities.

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 accountable policing,
and that measures to improve the efficiency of the police are also measures
which promote respect for human rights.

To link to the report --
Policing to protect human rights --

You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not
altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and
this footer remain intact. Only the list subscription message may be
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Daily News

      School closed as Zanu PF militants beat up teachers

      7/10/02 7:50:59 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our 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 party.

      The closure left more than 2 000 students stranded after the teachers
fled as a new wave of political violence swept across Masvingo South.
      Mapanzure is 40km south of Masvingo town.

      The teachers were accused of supporting the opposition MDC.

      Four were seriously hurt and their whereabouts were still unclear by
yesterday afternoon.

      Heavily armed police were immediately deployed to the school and the
nearby township, but some teachers said the police presence had no
significant effect.

      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
when the 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 morning.

      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 sjamboks.

      "We watched helplessly as some of our teachers were battered. We are
not happy with the development because we do not know when lessons will

      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

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Daily News

      Soldiers jailed for assaulting civilians

      7/10/02 8:31:52 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Gweru

      Three soldiers based at 4.1 Infantry Battalion in Masvingo, who ran
amok beating up civilians at Nemamwa growth point in March, have been
sentenced to a total of 32 months in prison for assault with intent to cause
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 months.

      Mazanhi, will however, serve six months after Masvingo magistrate Itai
Matipira suspended four months of his sentence. He suspended five months
from Musiri and Mujuru's terms. Clever Sigauke, a private in the army, who
was jointly charged with the three was acquitted.

      The three soldiers are still to appear in court on murder charges
after they
      assaulted to death Tabudamo Mukakurireyi at the growth point on the
day in question. The court heard that on 13 March this year the four were on
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 him.

      The soldiers later went to Gift Mutongi and Benson Mutongi's houses
and took turns to assault them. They accused them of supporting the MDC. The
soldiers were not represented. Titus Taruvinga prosecuted.
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Daily News

      Licensing of journalists illegal - expert

      7/10/02 8:10:47 AM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      The compulsory registration of journalists under the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) is unconstitutional, said
a legal expert in Bulawayo at the weekend.

      Tawanda Hondora told Bulawayo-based journalists at a workshop
organised by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) at the weekend
that before 15 March 2002, the mass media service industry was not
specifically regulated through legal enactments.

      Several 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 this

      "It is easier to justify filing an urgent constitutional application
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.

      The commission, which is the accrediting body, was hand-picked by
Professor Jonathan Moyo in his capacity as the Minister of State for
Information and Publicity.

      Individual journalists are required to pay $5 000 for registration
while free-lance journalists pay half the amount.

      Section 20 (1) of the Constitution states: "No person shall be
hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, that is to say,
freedom to hold opinions, and to receive and impart ideas and information
without interference and freedom with his correspondence."

      Hondora said Section 79 of AIPPA constitutes a hindrance on freedom of
expression, since it prohibits journalists from practising unless
      they obtain accreditation from the commission.

      The requirement, he said, is therefore invalid, illegitimate and

      Daniel Molokela, a member of Transparency International, said the
government had taken advantage of the lack of a media self-regulatory body
to introduce the commission.

      "The journalists have been punished for not forming their own
structures that self-regulate them. For example lawyers have the Law Society
of Zimbabwe," he said. Misa elected a 10-member committee that is expected
to steer the organisation's initiatives in Bulawayo.
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