|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Previous postings on Van Hoogstraten :
Harare - The Zimbabwean government on Monday night forcibly evicted more than 1 000 illegal settlers occupying part of the Central Estates near Mvuma, 200km south of Harare, after they allegedly stole and slaughtered 90 head of cattle belonging to British business tycoon, Nick Van Hoogstraten. Hoogstraten, 54, is an influential millionaire supporter of President Robert Mugabe based in Uckfield in East Sussex, Britain. He is one of the few remaining, long-standing financial supporters of the ruling Zanu-PF party. He has nine farms of nearly one million acres. Hoogstraten has in the past described white Zimbabweans as "trash, keen to hang on to white privilege".........
"Another Mugabe associate, Nicholas van Hoogstraten, features at 159th with £200m. Notorious in Britain for describing ramblers – members of the public who enjoy walking in the countryside on weekends – as "perverts", van Hoogstraten has an estimated £32m of investments at risk in Zimbabwe. His public vocal and financial support for Mugabe and Zanu PF has proved no insurance, however – his four main properties have been invaded. One can just imagine how he describes the "war vets" in the small hours of the morning."
"Not even Mugabe's most sycophantic white supporter, the British property tycoon Nicholas van Hoogstraten, has escaped the anti-white fury. One of Zimbabwe's largest landowners, van Hoogstraten thought he would be feted as a guest of honour at the convention. Ever eager for publicity, he negotiated with the BBC to send a crew to film him arm-in-arm with Mugabe, waving to the cheering crowds. Instead he skulked away from Harare last week with his dreams of acclaim in tatters and his property empire overrun by thousands of Mugabe's violent war veterans. He was not even a delegate to the congress, let alone a guest of honour, according to party officials."
........."Comrade Mugabe has kept the country peaceful and
relatively wealthy for 20
years. I entirely agree with what Mr Mugabe has said and done," he had said.
He has been scathing about the behaviour of some of the white landowners and
said they should "stop sticking their noses into politics". He favours
dictatorship as the best form of government, though he believes that some of
Mr Mugabe's officials have let power go to their heads. But his links with
the country's most powerful man proved no protection when squatters began
taking over huge chunks of his farmland. He is one of the biggest landowners
in Zimbabwe and his four major properties, with 28,000 cattle, have been
invaded, according to farm union workers and neighbours. Three of them have
already been listed for compulsory acquisition by the Government...............
Ruling party militants in Zimbabwe
are demanding white farmers leave their land, following the killing of a
squatter by a white farmer Saturday.
A senior member of the militant National Liberation War Veterans Association,
Andrew Ndlovu, says the killing proves that white farmers cannot live peacefully
with black settlers. Mr. Ndlovu says that if white farmers don't leave land
listed for seizure by the government, militants will be forced to take action.
About 95 percent of Zimbabwe's some 4,500 white-owned farms have been
targeted by the government for seizure and redistribution to blacks.
A white farmer, Philip Bezuidenhout, has been arrested and faces murder
charges after striking and killing black squatter Phibian Mapenzauswa Saturday.
Mr. Bezuidenhout, through his lawyer, called the killing an accident, saying the
man stepped into the path of his truck as it passed along a road lined on both
sides by ruling party militants.
The killing prompted militants to loot and ransack several white-owned
farmhouses. Paramilitary police have been deployed to prevent further violence.
The man who was killed had reportedly received land on the farmer's property
under the controversial government resettlement plan.
Zimbabwe inflation hits record 64%
A senior member of the militant National Liberation War Veterans Association, Andrew Ndlovu, says the killing proves that white farmers cannot live peacefully with black settlers. Mr. Ndlovu says that if white farmers don't leave land listed for seizure by the government, militants will be forced to take action.
About 95 percent of Zimbabwe's some 4,500 white-owned farms have been targeted by the government for seizure and redistribution to blacks.
A white farmer, Philip Bezuidenhout, has been arrested and faces murder charges after striking and killing black squatter Phibian Mapenzauswa Saturday. Mr. Bezuidenhout, through his lawyer, called the killing an accident, saying the man stepped into the path of his truck as it passed along a road lined on both sides by ruling party militants.
The killing prompted militants to loot and ransack several white-owned farmhouses. Paramilitary police have been deployed to prevent further violence.
The man who was killed had reportedly received land on the farmer's property under the controversial government resettlement plan.
The latest bulletin from the government's Central Statistical Office (CSO) showed that the latest inflation rise represents a record high so far this year.
"The year-on-year inflation for the month of June 2001 as measured by all items consumer price index increased to 64.4%, gaining 8.9 percentage points on the May rate of 55.5%," the CSO said.
The hike has been attributed to huge increases in the prices of food, transport, communications and rents, among other items.
Economists commented that the troubled southern African country's inflation rate could easily hit between 80% and 100% mark by the end of the year.
"Inflationary pressures in this country are so immense to the extent that inflation could hit 80% before the end of the year," Edmore Tobaiwa, an independent economist, told AFP.
HARARE The Zimbabwean government has been forced to abandon plans to resettle people at Gonarezhou National Park as this would have scuppered a regional conservation agreement with SA and Mozambique.
According to a report on the "Meeting of the Gaza-KrugerGonarezhou (GKG) Transfrontier Park Ministerial Committee", the government has since shelved all plans to resettle people in the game park on the common border with its southern neighbours.
The report, presented this week in Harare, said a spate of newspaper and radio reports which started in the middle of May had led to considerable concern among conservationists in the region.
"Initial reports suggested that plots had been allocated to hold 750 villagers within an area of 11000ha inside the national park in Zimbabwe, a core area of the proposed GKG Transfrontier Park," the report said.
Zimbabwean Environment and Tourism Minister Francis Nhema was quoted as being opposed to this movement of people into Gonarezhou.
"The affected villagers have been told alternative land will be made available to them outside of the National Park," the report said.
The demarcation of the park area for resettlement was going to derail the agreement of the transfrontier park.
Mozambique, SA and Zimbabwe signed the project agreement this year but Harare did not consult the other two signatories when it moved in to acquire part of the park for resettlement.
The aim of the project is to uplift the living standards of people in rural communities in southern Africa.
Once fully operational, the park will become the world's first conservation area involving three countries. The park is due to start functioning in April.
|Looting follows killing of squatter|
|FROM JAN RAATH IN HARARE|
|WHITE farmers throughout Zimbabwe fear that they could be
the targets of new violence after the killing of a squatter by a white farmer
triggered revenge attacks of looting and destruction by government party
The farmer, Phillip Bezuidenhout, 51, ran over and killed the squatter in his pick-up truck on Saturday, outside his farm in the Odzi district, 100 miles east of Harare. He is in jail and is expected to appear in court today on murder charges.
His wife and his brother’s family went into hiding after their homes were ransacked on Saturday. Members of President Mugabe’s militias were seen walking away from the house of his nephew, Charles, yesterday, carrying its looted contents.
Mr Bezuidenhout insisted that the death was an accident, his lawyer, Chris Ndlovu, said.
The farmer found squatters on the highway that passes through his farm, where they were allocating themselves plots, Mr Bezuidenhout’s brother, Fritz, said. One stepped into the road from behind a passing truck, in front of the farmer’s pick-up. “The mob was angry. He didn’t stop. He drove straight to report it to police,” he said.
Gavin Paterson, a neighbour, and his mother-in-law were given two minutes to get out of their houses and both homes were plundered, Judy Wilson of the Commercial Farmers’ Union, said.
It is the first time in nearly 18 months of violence against white-owned farms that a farmer has been charged with murdering a squatter. Since the campaign of violent invasions began in February last year, 28 farm workers and eight white farmers have been murdered. No one has been prosecuted for the killings.
|Five MDC youths still missing|
7/17/01 9:13:27 AM (GMT +2)
AS THE campaign for the
Bindura parliamentary by-election later this month hots up, five MDC youths in
the town were still missing yesterday after they were allegedly kidnapped and
dumped by suspected police officers 150km along Rushinga Road.
Bindura police arrested 20
MDC youths on Friday after they were found in possession of two catapults in one
of the three vehicles they were
The police impounded all three vehicles on suspicion that
they were carrying weapons of war.
The youths are part of an MDC team campaigning in the Bindura parliamentary by-election scheduled for 28 and 29 July.
Elliot Pfebve, the MDC’s candidate, yesterday confirmed the
incident, saying his party was still looking for the missing youths.
“We have sent people to look for them. Fifteen have returned,” he said.
“I managed to retrieve one vehicle from the police.”
Pfebve and Elliot Manyika of Zanu PF are contesting the Bindura
parliamentary seat which fell vacant following the death of Border Gezi, the former Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment
Creation, in April in a car crash.
Pfebve accused Manyika of inciting violence in Mashonaland Central, alleging the governor personally beat up three senior MDC officials in Bindura.
Efforts to contact Manyika failed yesterday.
Felix Kunaka, the MDC district chairman, whose rural home is in Musana, said that he was ssaulted by Manyika as he was travelling to the rural
areas to campaign.
“The commuter omnibus Kunaka was travelling on was ordered to stop at
gun-point and he was forced to get out before being beaten up,” Pfebve said.
He claimed Tom Walter, the district secretary, and Peter Mabika, deputy
district chairman, are in safe houses after they were allegedly physically assaulted by Manyika.
“Application of the law by the police is selective because MDC and Zanu PF members are treated differently,” said Pfebve.
Bindura police refused to comment.
|Truck driven by Mlilo’s wife crushes student to death|
7/17/01 9:18:47 AM (GMT +2)
From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo
Jesta Mlilo, the wife of
Zanu PF’s Bulawayo mayoral candidate, George Mlilo, was on Friday morning
involved in an accident which resulted in the death of a student.
The student, Sindiso Nyoni,
aged 14, was in Form Two at a school in Suburbs.
The Nyoni family said the accident happened soon after they had just dropped off their son at the school, only to be informed later in the day that Sindiso had been hit by a vehicle and had died.
Yesterday they referred questions to Mlilo’s wife, saying they were still in a state of shock.
The accident occurred at about 7.45am.
According to the police, a Mazda 626 collided with the Nissan pick-up truck, driven by Mlilo, at an uncontrolled road intersection near the school gates.
The truck rolled twice and crushed Sindiso to death.
Sindiso will be buried in Bulawayo today.
Mlilo and the driver of the Mazda were taken to Mater Dei Hospital where they were treated and discharged.
|Urgent for culture of violence to be curbed|
7/17/01 11:15:44 AM (GMT +2)
PEOPLE who believe that
because the white settlers “stole”
their land violently they must also be violently removed from the same land are stoking the fires of a racial maelstrom.
It’s thoroughly simplistic
to justify the violence on the commercial farms on the grounds that the
indigenous people did not voluntarily give up their land when the settlers
invaded this country in the
This is why many foreigners, including governments, were astounded when President Mugabe, the holder of many degrees from Western universities, turned his face against the rule of law when the first invasions occurred in February last year.
Previously, he and his government had seemed to cherish a method of land reform which could result from civilised dialogue between the major stakeholders.
But after their defeat in the constitutional referendum, they chose to
invoke history, albeit selectively. There was violence on the farms on a large scale and we will probably never know how many people were killed, how many women were raped and how many families destroyed by so-called war veterans, acting with the endorsement of their patron, President Mugabe.
In case in the welter of the daily propaganda from the government people have forgotten it, it was this decision by the government in February last year to condone the lawlessness on the farms which has brought this country to its political knees.
It is that same decision, made by a political party desperate to
regain its popularity among people disillusioned with its savagery against them, which has lost us so many economic and political friends.
It is that same decision which has brought the legislators of the most
powerful nation in the world, the United States, to the brink of declaring an economic war against Zimbabwe.
If the United States, the European Union and the rest of the economically advanced nations of the world combine their resources to punish Zimbabwe, the reason will be that endorsement of violence in February last year. The government may try to shrug it off as so much hot air, but we don’t believe these countries are bluffing. To quote someone else’s favourite expression of cockiness: “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Already, the country is facing a foreign currency shortage of
unprecedented proportions, the cost of living has shot up to astronomical levels and the squalid, filthy look of the city of Harare
itself is testimony of a country on the slide.
To stop the slide, President Mugabe, the government and the
war veterans must be reminded that whatever it is they want to achieve with the destruction of the economy, they must be prepared to pay the price for it.
No people can stand idly by while a few politicians deliberately set a
course for their country which can only end in its destruction on the rocks of bankruptcy. The politicians must remember that they are not bigger than the country of which they are leaders.
The violence which the government and the ruling party appear to rely on as a method of cowing the people into submission has been tried in other countries, with disastrous consequences for the politicians.
Far from giving up all hope completely, the people have risen to challenge the brutality against them and have triumphed. In the process, many lives have been lost and much property has been destroyed, setting the countries’ economic progress back for decades.
To avoid this looming confrontation between the people and the the
politicians, the government must remember the good lessons of history.
Dictatorships throughout the centuries have eventually collapsed because the people could no longer endure the humiliation of the majority by a minority.
The majority are today unable to have three square meals a
day, assuming they are gainfully employed and are not part of the sullen army of jobless people roaming the country, searching in vain for a job. The sick are dying mostly uncared for because their relatives can no longer afford the high hospital and clinic fees which a government bankrupted by corruption and mismanagement decided to charge them.
The danger looms large that the government may soon not have enough money to pay its doctors and nurses raising the spectre of hospitals and clinics, not only without drugs, but without doctors and nurses either.
All this can be traced back to that fateful day in February last year when President Mugabe decided to turn his back on the rule of law, allowing the law of the jungle to take over on the commercial farms. He must know his own political future will depend on how soon he can curb this violence.