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

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* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
International *

30 June 2002 IOR 51/006/2002

Rome Statute - An end to impunity for worst crimes

Amnesty International welcomes the historic occasion today of the entry into
force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute)
and calls on all governments to become parties to the Rome Statute and
actively support the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"From today, those who commit the worst crimes under international law can
be brought to justice by the Court," said Amnesty International.

The entry into force means that the ICC will be able to investigate and
prosecute people accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes
committed from this date onwards.
The ICC is expected to begin investigating its first cases in early 2003.

"Currently 73 countries have ratified the Rome Statute at a pace that has
surprised many and appears to be continuing,"
added Amnesty International.  "It is another step towards a strengthened
system of international justice, where the ICC will complement national
jurisdictions in the struggle against impunity."

"With the entry into force of the Rome Statute today, new standards for
international criminal law become operational.  As more states join the
Statute and the Court itself starts functioning, the chances increase of
bringing to justice perpetrators of the worst crimes under international


The Rome Statute was adopted by the international community on 17 July 1998
at a diplomatic conference in Rome.  The Rome Statute provides for the
establishment of a permanent ICC with jurisdiction over genocide, crimes
against humanity and war crimes.  The crime of "aggression" will also be
within the ICC jurisdiction, when a definition and a procedure for
consideration have been agreed.

The Statute provides that it will enter into force and the Court can be
established following the 60th ratification --
this took place on 11 April 2002 at a special ceremony at the UN
Headquarters.  As of today 73 states have ratified the Rome Statute and a
total of 139 states have signed the Statute.

The ICC will not take the place of national courts but will be complementary
to them only acting when national courts are unwilling or unable to do so.
The Court will have an independent prosecutor who can commence an
investigation and based on information from any source.  The UN Security
Council can defer a case for 12 months at a time; however, all permanent
members of the Council must agree to the deferral.

The ICC can only investigate and prosecute crimes committed after 1 July

The ability of the ICC to act is also limited to some degree by whether a
state has ratified the Statute -- this is the reason that Amnesty
International is calling on all states to ratify.  The Court will only be
able to carry out investigations and prosecutions if the crime was committed
on the territory of a state which has ratified; or, the state makes a
declaration that it accepts the Court's jurisdiction over the crime; or; the
accused person is the national of a state that has ratified.  In addition,
an important provision gives the Security Council the authority to refer any
situation to the ICC -- regardless of whether a state has ratified -- if it
considers it a threat to international peace and security.

The Rome Statute makes clear that state officials, no matter what their rank
or position, have no immunity for these crimes.

The crime of genocide is defined in the same terms as the Genocide
Convention of 1948, that is killings and other acts "committed with the
intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or
religious group."

According to the ICC Statute, the court will have jurisdiction over war
crimes "in particular when committed as part of a plan or policy or as part
of a large-scale commission of such crimes".  The list of war crimes in the
Statute considerably expands on the "grave breaches" of the 1949 Geneva
Conventions, and covers both international and non- international armed

Crimes against humanity consists of certain acts "when committed as part of
a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population",
in pursuit to a state or organizational policy to commit such attack.  The
acts in question include murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation
abroad and forcible transfers within a state, arbitrary detention, torture,
rape and other crimes of sexual violence, "disappearances", persecution, the
crime of apartheid and other inhumane acts.  Such crimes may be committed in
war or peacetime, by state agents or members of armed political groups.

From 1 to 12 July, the Preparatory Commission of the International Criminal
Court is meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York to complete its
preparation of supplementary documents to the Rome Statute, including the
draft First Year Budget of the Court and the procedure for electing the
Judges and the Prosecutor.

In September 2002, the Assembly of States Parties will meet to approve the
work of the Preparatory Commission.  In January 2003 it is expected that it
will meet again to elect the Judges and the Prosecutor.  An inauguration
event for the judges is planned to take place in The Hague.

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The Times

            July 01, 2002

            Mugabe to take over food firms
            From Jan Raath in Harare

            PRESIDENT MUGABE intends to nationalise multinational food
companies operating in Zimbabwe. Such a move would be likely to worsen a
famine that is widely acknowledged as the result of his disastrous policies.
            Companies would be offered a chance to go into partnership with
the Government or be taken over, the state-controlled Sunday Mail yesterday
quoted him as saying.

            He singled out National Foods, the country's biggest food
distributor, which is 34 per cent-owned by the South African Anglo American
Corporation, for allegedly creating a shortage of salt, the latest commodity
to vanish from supermarket shelves.

            "We will ask National Foods and Anglo American to tell the
nation why they have been hoarding salt and causing shortages of basic
commodities," Mr Mugabe said. "We will not allow Anglo American to become
the principal saboteurs of our economy."

            Police raided National Foods depots last week and uncovered 120
tonnes of salt that they claimed was being hoarded by the company. No
comment could be obtained from the company, but businessmen said that the
volume was perhaps two days' national supply. "It's just nonsense to call
that hoarding," one said.
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Sunday, 30 June, 2002, 05:54 GMT 06:54 UK
McKinnon pessimistic about Zimbabwe

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Don McKinnon, has expressed pessimism
over prospects for change in Zimbabwe.

Mr McKinnon said that nothing was improving in Zimbabwe, despite
international pressure, and there was no let-up in the policy of seizing
white-owned farms for black resettlement.

Some 3,000 commercial farmers were given until midnight last Monday to stop
working their farms and just over a month to leave.

The Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe for a year in March, in protest at
alleged flaws in the country's presidential election.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service
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Dear Family and Friends,
When I went grocery shopping this week in my little home town of Marondera there was no salt, sugar, cooking oil, mealie meal or milk. Standing in the supermarket with only the weekly newspapers in my basket there was a sudden shout from the back and I hurriedly got out of the way as a sea of people ran past me to a stock door and pushed and jostled to get to the man who had a trolley load of salt. In less than 5 minutes the crush was over, the salt was depleted and we went back to staring at the shelves full of things so few of us can afford.With no sugar or milk, condensed milk is the obvious alternative but the little tin which cost sixty dollars a few months ago is now $187. The question on everyone's lips is how can we go on like this? But our government and leaders seem completely oblivious to the suffering of their people. They remain absolutely resolute in their determination that the farmers who are still willing and able to grow food will not be allowed to do so. All week on ZBC television we have been bombarded with government statements about how there is no going back on the land redistribution, how white farmers must get off their land within 45 days and will not be allowed to grow any food.
Yesterday I went on a four hour journey through what used to be one of the most productive farming areas of the country and the view from the window was horrific. There are just miles and miles of nothing to see. Most of the time it was hard to know just exactly where I was as almost all the road signs have gone, the tin stolen to be made into pots and pans. In all the little towns on the road the sales yards are crammed full of second hand farm equipment waiting to be auctioned - but there are no buyers. The signs of neglect and squalor are visible in all the towns with pot holes, litter, shanty flea markets, beggars and street kids being an almost accepted part of the scenery. The fields which at this time of the year should be bursting with crops of irrigated wheat and winter vegetables are deserted, brown and weed filled. Fence lines along the road have completely disappeared for dozens of kilometres and everywhere trees have been chopped down by the new settlers for firewood. A large part of the journey was through smoke filled air and there were few stretches of the road where there was not a fire burning. It was cause for both exclamation and excitement to see a farm that was still working, to see a 20 hectare square of green wheat being irrigated. I looked with great interest at all the settlers, squatters and war veterans that are visible from the road but what I saw did not give any cause for hope whatsoever. As on our Marondera  property,  Zimbabwe's new farmers are concentrated in camps near the roadside and are living in appalling conditions. Their houses are tatty little shacks covered with thatching grass or old plastic, their complexes are surrounded by felled trees and the men sit around in groups near the edge of the road. There was no sign of any production at all and small herds of cattle look painfully thin. On a four hour journey through Zimbabwe's prime agricultural land, the only things on the side of the road available to buy were fishing worms and firewood. One man had half a dozen pockets of sweet potatoes to sell but at Z$100 a kg, he didn't have many takers. At the end of a long and tiring day I got home to the news that yet another friend had been forced off her farm. Given two hours notice to vacate her house, she lived through that day of hell which has now become commonplace in Zimbabwe. This morning she and her family are homeless and jobless and their life lies in boxes and cartons on a friends lawn. The home they built, the lands they tended, the workers they employed are now just memories and I could not find the words to tell yet another white farmer how dreadfully sorry I was for their loss and anguish. Within months they will leave the country of their birth because they are farmers and know no other way to earn their living. They will have to go somewhere where they are allowed to grow food. Until next week, with love, cathy.  
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Mugabe accuses Anglo-American of hoarding food and threatens to seize company's assets

Monday, July 1, 2002

By MICHAEL HARTNACK, Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe — President Robert Mugabe has accused mining giant Anglo-American Corp. of hoarding salt amid Zimbabwe's hunger crisis and threatened to seize the company's local assets, state media reported Sunday.

Mugabe said his government "will not tolerate companies bent on causing unnecessary suffering to the people by creating unnecessary shortages," state radio reported.

The radio said ruling party officials last week found 2,000 metric tons (2,200 tons) of salt in warehouses belonging to National Foods, a company partially owned by Anglo Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of London-based Anglo American.

A National Foods executive said the salt had not been put on the market because it had been imported from neighboring Botswana at the parallel exchange rate of 300 Zimbabwean dollars to the U.S. dollar.

At that rate, nearly six times the government's fixed exchange rate, the company would take a huge loss if it sold the salt at the market price set by the government, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The company had been negotiating with government officials to find a compromise price for the salt.

In a speech to ruling party officials Friday, Mugabe attacked National Foods, which he described as "an Anglo American company of Nicky Oppenheimer," the chairman of the mining giant.

"They have been hoarding salt. ... They want people on the streets against our government. What kind of mischief is this?" he said, according to the state-owned Sunday Mail. "We will take over their enterprises."

Officials from Anglo Zimbabwe, which owns 34 percent of National Foods, could not immediately be reached for comment.

In the 1990s, Anglo Zimbabwe sold off most of its industrial and agricultural investments in Zimbabwe, but retained some mining interests.

More than 6 million Zimbabweans, about half the population, are in danger of starvation after a drought and government seizures of white-owned commercial farms nearly destroyed this year's grain harvest, according to the United Nations.

The country is running out of corn and wheat, and its supplies of cooking oil and salt are dwindling.

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Sent: Friday, June 28, 2002 9:19 PM
Subject: another chaser to our farmers

Dear Farmers
Yip its us bugging you yet again....We are in need of the following please:- (AGAIN AGAIN)
1/  updated poaching figures/reports
2/  more pictures (we will develop the film)
3/  any video footage that we could make a copy of.
4/  pictures on gold panning
We appreciate your support thus far, but still require a little more input.  We realise that last week and the forthcoming weeks are going to be very trying indeed, but try and get the info to our offices.  Please contact us for a drop off point.
Please forward this email onto farmers/neighbours who don't have this means of communication.
We have received a lot of response from "the outside world" and of course its of shock and horror as to the extent of the poaching etc that is happening here, but they are slowly becoming aware of our plight.  We will give you an updated report in the next newsletter.
all the best


"lending a Voice for the Voiceless"

thus giving our ecosystem a future in Zimbabwe

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Keep up your good work...I think we all have our up and down down days, but I genuinely believe that the outside world is ever so slowly beginning to finally listen.
I received a call from someone in the Victoria Falls area yesterday informing me that he had seen members of National Parks actually shooting animals in the Victoria Falls National Park...he confronted the Warden who initially denied haven given authority but then later changed his mind when he saw my friend attempting to make a civilians arrest upon the guilty party.   Unsubstantiated reports indicate that Government employees are being allowed to hunt and decimate game within the Parks...the meat is either being given to war vets or being sold commercially by wildlife officials.
My associate is attempting to obtain a full report about the poaching in the Victoria Falls game park.
Kind regards,
Isn't this soul destroying??.....shows how badly the wheels have come off ,"ZIMBABWE....a looter's paradise!!" This poaching in parks has been going on for the past couple of years....but now, as with everything's done almost openly!! These thugs are determined to make the destruction TOTAL!!! Without a return to law & order , and a legitimate govt, is there ANY hope??         C
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From The Independent on Sunday (UK), 30 June

'If we lose this case, it will be game over ...'

The coffee, paprika and tobacco need attention, but a legal battle to keep farming prevents Sharon Kockott and her husband from getting down to work on their land in Zimbabwe. A deadline for most white commercial farmers in Zimbabwe to stop work expired at the beginning of last week. In just over another month, they are supposed to leave their land altogether, but many are staying put. Andrew Kockott and his wife Sharon bought their farm in the Hurungwe district of northern Zimbabwe in 1995. They grow tobacco, coffee and paprika under irrigation, and run cattle and game. Although the authorities issued a "Certificate of No Interest" in the property seven years ago, and a government-backed bank supplied the finance, the Kockotts, in common with other white farmers, have received an expropriation order, which they are fighting in court. This is Sharon Kockott's diary of their week:

Monday - We have been very fortunate in that we have never had any settlers on the farm, unlike many in our district. We have not been prevented from farming, but since our case was due to begin in the High Court in Harare, we did not work on the farm. Instead we went to the capital to bring our daughter home from university for the holidays, and to ask our lawyer how things were going. He told us that the case began at 8.30am before Justice Hungwe, and seemed satisfied with the way things went. Our case is based on the fact that neither of the documents connected with the expropriation - known as a Section 5 and a Section 8 - were served on the bank which holds the mortgage over our farm. This is a technicality, but we hope it will give us some time, as the Section 8 would have to be set aside. There is another group of farmers challenging the government on constitutional grounds, but they have not yet had a date set in court. Part of our land, which just happens to include our homestead, has already been allocated to a Philip Muguti from Kariba, who first arrived last year in a brand new pickup truck with a Zanu PF logo on the side. He told us he had interests in off-licences and supermarkets in Kariba, and suggested that Andy should carry on with his tobacco seedbeds. Andy pointed out to him that we were contesting the compulsory acquisition in court, and were confident of winning, so Mr Muguti should not make any hasty investments.

Tuesday - The lawyer was called into chambers for clarification of certain points. Again, we did not work, although the coffee and paprika should be reaped. The coffee needs water - it is already drying out. We have till the end of the week to get the paprika off, because the law says the crop residue has to be destroyed by 1 July As for the tobacco, we have 80,000kg in the shed which we have not started grading, because we have been too busy with the coffee and paprika.

Wednesday - Again we are not working. Our case was mentioned in the government-owned Herald, and an agricultural official arrived, no doubt as a result, to tell us that a reallocation had been made which would leave us with none of our land. Our lawyer filed his heads of argument by noon - the respondents have until 4pm. We are still waiting: the story of our life in Zimbabwe. Farmers have been to Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda to look into possible relocation. They come back saying that they were made very welcome and that these countries are eager for investment, but that the infrastructure in these countries leaves a lot to be desired unless you are close to a major town. I find myself at the age where my pioneering spirit is rather low.

Thursday - We had a power cut for most of the day, which I spent catching up on filing and restoring order to my office. Andy was bored to distraction - he is not good at being inactive. He went to Tengwe, the nearest town, later for our weekly sitrep by the Farmers' Association chairman, which keeps everyone posted on what's happening around the country. We have to notify the police four days in advance if a meeting is being held. When we phoned the lawyer, he said the respondents had filed their paperwork on time. The judge had indicated that he would try to have a ruling by the weekend.

Friday - We went back to Harare to see the lawyer again, but by the end of the day we still did not know our fate. It remains to be seen whether Justice Hungwe will rule for us or against. If we lose this case, it will be game over for us on the farm. We cannot defy a High Court order. If we win, it will have huge implications for all people in our position, because the courts will be flooded with applications on the same precedent. Given the political and currency difficulties, not to mention the drought, there are very few cash farmers left in Zimbabwe. Commercial agriculture is on its knees in more ways than one.

From IRIN (UN), 29 June

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Land reform could exacerbate Zimbabwean poverty

President Robert Mugabe’s latest land reform venture may cripple the economy even further and mire Zimbabwe in deepening poverty for the foreseeable future. After failing to enact land reform for the first 20 years of his rule, Mugabe resorted to more expedient measures, the latest, the Land Acquisition Act passed May 10. Starting on June 25, farmers receiving a "Section 8" - a notice to cease farming - must suspend all farming operations and leave their land. The farms become government property. According to United Nations sources, because of the current drought and farm closures, 6 million Zimbabweans will require food aid by the harvest in March of 2003. Since large-scale commercial farms produce nearly all of the wheat, there is already a fear of a bread shortage. The Commercial Farmers Union has estimated that about 300,000 farm workers will lose their jobs as a result of the land reform, which will affect up to 1.5 million family members and dependents.

Land reform has been a top priority since independence in 1980 in a country where 4,000 white farmers own one-third of the best farmland. But opposition politicians say the government has bungled reform. The government purchased about 8.65 million acres of farmland from white farmers, but 740,000 acres of that land has yet to be distributed and 1.2 million more acres went to government cronies and Mugabe’s political allies. Mugabe’s critics also say that the fast-track program is not working because the new small-scale black farmers lack the experience and capital to maintain previous standards of production. The government disagrees, "There is ample capacity to continue farming in all commodities except where there is a need for high capital, like greenhouses. We acknowledge we will have problems in say flower production, but not in general commodities like tobacco, paprika, maize, groundnuts, sunflower, fish, livestock and dairy," said Lovegot Tendengu, executive director of the Farmers Development Trust which trains new small-scale farmers. Tendengu said the government has trebled their training and only needs support from the banks.

In the meantime, important cash crops may be in jeopardy. Eight percent of tobacco farmers face eviction orders according to the association of tobacco farmers. "The danger is that if we have a sudden transition, it may all go wrong. I don’t see these resettled farmers producing the flavored tobacco in a year. It takes time. A long time," said Kobus Joubert, president of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association. Joubert said purchases of chemicals and seeds are down by two-thirds this year indicating that production will be down. Tobacco produces over 30 percent of Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product and this year brought in about 54 percent of foreign currency earnings.

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