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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Thursday 19th July 2001


Every attempt is made to provide a comprehensive report of ongoing
activities in relation to farm invasions, but many incidents are unreported
due to communications constraints, fear of reprisals and a general weariness
on the part of farmers.  Farmers names and in some cases, farm names, are
omitted to minimise the risk of reprisal.

  a.. Illegal demands that farmers, their workers and cattle vacate their
properties are being made in increasing numbers in all areas.
  b.. Work stoppages, barricading of owners into homesteads, assaults,
arson, theft and malicious damage to property are escalating, but the
response from police stations is negligible.

There were no reports received from Matabeleland and Manicaland Region.

Mashonaland Central
Centenary - Work stoppages are occurring on a number farms in the district.
Illegal occupiers are demanding that farm workers vacate their homes on 2
farms. Farm workers on 1 farm in the area have been forced out of their
homes. No legal eviction notices have been issued.
Mvurwi - An aggressive group of illegal occupiers caused a work stoppage on
Mandindindi. The situation has been temporarily resolved. Illegal occupiers
attempted to prevent the owner of Umsengesi from planting rhodes grass, but
the owner and farm workers managed to complete the land. Illegal occupiers
burnt a grass fence surrounding tobacco seedbeds on the farm in the area.
NRB Officials visited the owner of Hariana regarding tobacco regrowth, in an
attempt to force the owner to pay the fine. The owner declined, as the
matter had been resolved through negotiations between ZTA and NRB. Illegal
occupiers are preventing work in the citrus section on the same farm and are
building more huts.
Mutepatepa - A partial work stoppage occurred on Brockley Farm for 4 weeks
and has since become a complete work stoppage. Police have been informed but
no response has been made yet. Indiscriminate tree cutting is occurring and
the wood is being removed in trailer loads from the farm on a daily basis.
Problems with illegal occupiers on Solomio and Chumbere are ongoing.

Mashonaland West North
Karoi - Illegal occupiers broke down the cattle dip on Kapeta Farm to build
their huts.  A work stoppage occurred and the owner is not allowed outside
the security fence of the homestead.  Illegal occupiers on Dixie Farm chased
farm workers out of their homesteads and threw stones at the owner's
homestead. Police took one and a half hours to react. The owner of Peveril
Place was instructed by illegal occupiers to remove cattle and implements
and to stop farming.
Tengwe - Illegal occupiers forced farm workers on Romana Farm to remove
irrigation pipes out of the land.
Doma - About 5 farms have incurred work stoppages, with tractors not being
allowed to work and the owners having to remove cattle off the farms.
Illegal occupiers on Rivonia Farm are demanding that farm workers be removed
off the farm. Land preparation is being prevented by illegal occupiers on
Tchetchenini Farm. A 3 day work stoppage occurred on Whindale Farm.
Umboe - The owner of Chifundi Farm can only visit his farm under armed
police escort.
Chinhoyi - 4 hectares of beans were destroyed by illegal occupiers on The
Nyabira - A crop security guard shot an illegal occupier on Uitkyk Farm.
Illegal occupiers went to claim compensation from the owner for hospital
fees and set a hut a blaze in the farm village. Illegal occupiers accused
the owner of instructing the crop guard to shoot and proceeded to break open
the security gate and set fire to the farm homestead, causing extensive
damage to the property. Police have charged the crop guard and the owner is
in the process of evacuating the farm.

Mashonaland West South
Norton - The owner of Serui Source has not been allowed to return to the
farm for 6 weeks. Illegal occupiers are not allowing any produce or
livestock to come on or off the farm and are trying to extort ZW$900 000
from the owner.
Chegutu - Illegal occupiers set up 4 road blocks on Concession Hill Farm,
barricaded the owner's wife in the homestead, prevented the owner from
obtaining access onto the farm and caused a work stoppage. The DA and Lands
Committee resolved the situation and work has since commenced. Illegal
occupiers removed pigs from their pens and pushed them into the homestead
garden on Farnham Farm.  Chegutu Police have been unhelpful, and the matter
was eventually resolved through the assistance of DISPOL. Police issues on
farms are being referred to the DA who is currently away. Illegal occupiers
locked the owner of Mendick Farm into his security fence after they had
driven about 100 cattle into the homestead garden. Illegal occupiers set
fire to the crop residue's on which the D.A. and the Land Committee had
allowed the owner to graze cattle. Chegutu police refused to respond
immediately and only arrived late in the day after a large amount of damage
had already been incurred.
Suri Suri / Gadzema - Murra Purra farm was resettled about 15 years ago, and
illegal occupiers are now evicting occupiers and telling them to go to other
commercial farms for land. Illegal occupiers are refusing to allow the
occupants to take their implements with them as these have been
commandeered. 4 Agritex officials moved into the manager home on San
Fernando, issued threats, are eating the manager's food and have run up the
phone bill to $4000 so far. The Agritex officials have lifted fencing
standards to be used for pegs. Illegal occupiers are cutting wood for
resale. A hole was made in a reservoir on Makuti farm which illegal
occupiers intend making into a hut. The owner repaired the hole. With the
use of catapults, illegal occupiers have broken windows on the farm
homestead. Roofing has been stolen by illegal occupiers off various
buildings on Cornucopia Farm to use for building their huts.
Selous - Wing commander Mazamban of the Zimbabwe Air-Force has forced the
owner of Exwick Farm to remove all cattle off the farm. Illegal occupiers
are cutting and selling wood and river sand.

Mashonaland East
Beatrice - The owners of Nengwa and Goldilands were barricaded in their
homes by illegal occupiers for the whole day.
Featherstone - Illegal occupiers are chasing cattle out of paddocks on
Harare South - 2 illegal occupiers are planting fruit trees in a paddock
where cattle graze on Walmer. The DA Seke told the owner that his farm did
not belong to him. DDF are still pegging on Verdun. Farm workers, pegging
lands for irrigation purposes on Rusimbiro had their pegs removed by illegal
occupiers. Illegal occupiers chanted outside the manager's homestead that
evening. The following day, illegal occupiers informed the manager that they
were protesting against the land preparation taking place on the farm.
Illegal occupiers set fire to a gum plantation on Kinfauns, but the
situation was controlled.
Marondera - The owner of Monora farm was instructed by illegal occupier
Makorokoto and others to stop all work on the farm and tell the farm workers
to vacate their homes within 2 weeks, and the owner must vacate the farm
after tobacco grading was completed.

Masvingo East & Central - 5 lengths of irrigation pipes stolen on Fomax
Dairy.  Hammers were stolen from Bon Air Farm. There has been an increase of
illegal occupiers, who have informed the owner that cattle may not graze in
certain paddocks. There has been an increase of illegal occupiers on Dromore
Farm. Illegal occupiers cut a fence on Lothian Farm, gained access to the
owner's office and then proceeded to the homestead and stole a door off the
chicken run. Police were slow in reacting, although Fawcetts were quick to
respond. Illegal occupiers are demanding compensation for beans and maize
alleged to have been eaten by the owner's cattle on Southwill Estates. If
the illegal occupiers demands are not met, they have threatened to take over
an irrigated section of land outside the owner's homestead. The owner of
Midwaters Farm was attacked at his gate, by an assailant who had an axe
covered in thorns and made an attempt to hit the owner on his head, which he
managed to avoid and was hit on his shoulder. The owner managed to escape
whilst the assailant threw stones at him.
Gutu / Chatsworth   - Illegal occupiers have shot 2 kudu on Pastures Farm
and illegal hunting with rifles continue. The owner of Woodlands and
Smilingvale Farms was instructed by illegal occupiers to remove cattle out
of certain paddocks.
Chiredzi - University of Zimbabwe students are assisting with pegging out
stands on farms mainly being set aside for store sites, townships, clinics
and schools. Poaching, cutting of trees, ploughing of lands and fires
continue unabated.
Mwenezi - The owner of La Pache Ranch apprehended an illegal occupier who
was stealing firewood. The illegal occupier retaliated with a whip and
dented the top of the owners vehicle. Charges were laid against the illegal
occupier for theft of firewood and malicious injury to property. Illegal
occupiers are moving off Kleinbegin Ranch onto Swanscoe. Recent illegal
occupiers who moved onto Quagga Pan B Ranch have chased residing illegal
occupiers off the farm in an attempt to solve the poaching problems.

General - Stock theft, poaching, tree and fence cutting, and general
harassment continue unabated. Crime is generally on the increase. Numerous
veld fires started by illegal occupiers are prevalent throughout the Region,
with illegal occupiers refusing to assist putting them out when they become
out of control.
Gweru East / Lalapanzi - Illegal occupiers are hunting with weapons at
Kwe Kwe - Pegging continues on crop lands on Sherwood Block and East Clair
Block. A kudu was snared by illegal occupiers on a farm in the area. A
farmer, who drew a weapon against aggressive illegal occupiers to protect hi
mself in a threatening situation some time ago, has been taken to Court and
charged. He was acquitted by the local Magistrate.
Shurugwi - 5 farmers in the area have been forced to close down their
operations due to illegal occupiers activities. 4 farm owners had to move
off their farms.
Somabhula / Daisyfield - An illegal occupier is intimidating farm workers
and instigating work stoppages.


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Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Media Update # 2001/28
Monday 9th July to Sunday 15th July 2001

1.  Summary
2.  Media laws and trends
3.  Broadcasting licence fees
4.  NDA programme banned
5.  Political Violence
6.  Zimbabwe Democracy & Economic Recovery Bill
7.  Gadaffi's visit
8.  Newspapers wars


The banning of a live current affairs radio phone-in discussion forum
in the week served to underline government's apparent
determination to stifle all independent sources of information and
opinion in the media and reinforced fears that renewed threats to
curb "unprofessional practices and misconduct by the
oppositional Press" will see the introduction of further repressive
media legislation.
The arbitrary and autocratic threats from the Minister of Information,
Jonathan Moyo, specifically to gag the only independent sources of
information available to the Zimbabwean public represent an
intolerable erosion of citizens' fundamental rights to receive and
impart information freely.
Such threats to stifle free expression and to prevent the private
Press from continuing to report widespread corruption, and human
rights abuses aimed at frightening the population into abandoning
their democratic right to freedom of association (in this, case to a
political party of their choice), severely undermines any claim that
Zimbabwe is a democracy.
MMPZ condemns the present unrelenting levels of harassment and
intimidation by government agencies and their supporters of
individuals, journalists and privately owned media institutions
critical of government policies and activities.
More than adequate laws relating to ensuring good media practice
already exist in Zimbabwe's statute books. Those seeking redress
from media institutions have ample recourse to justice through
these regulations and government has no need to further proscribe
the rights of Zimbabweans to inform and to be informed.
Only undemocratic governments afraid of being voted out of power
seek to suppress the dissemination of information by the
introduction of repressive media legislation.


In response to a number of recent stories in the private Press,
Information Minister Moyo pledged that government would intervene
and ".do the right thing in the public interest and.will,
without fear or favour, take the democratic and constitutional
route in terms of practices and our laws, and that route is via
Parliament" (ZBC TV 14/7, 8pm). The Herald (14/7) reported that
the government was drafting a new law that will "address
unprofessionalism that has become rampant among some
journalists in the country."
Moyo cited stories in The Zimbabwe Independent, The Financial
Gazette and The Daily News as examples of unprofessional
conduct that required government intervention.
"We are glad that we are seeing these developments before we
bring to Parliament the Public Access to Information Bill.We
will now take into account this conduct of deliberately
creating non-existent clashes (between members of the
Executive) using headlines to mislead the public, using
newspapers to violently intrude upon the privacy of people, be
they public officials or individuals.turning everything into a
cheap political competition." (ZBC TV 14/7, 8pm).
Neither The Herald nor ZTV made any effort to ask the minister
why he believed existing laws were insufficient to protect the
reputation of individuals and government. Nor did they provide the
newspapers with an opportunity to defend their stories. As has
become common in the state media, coverage of these ministerial
statements remained unquestioning reportage.
The outburst appears to have been especially provoked by a story,
accompanied by aerial photos, the previous week of the properties
belonging to the publisher of The Zimbabwe Mirror, Ibbo Mandaza,
which Moyo had described in an earlier attack as "manifestly
grotesque and patently malicious", according to The Daily News
report (13/7). The Herald (13/7), The Daily News and ZBCTV (12/7,
8pm) reported Moyo as saying The Daily News story was an
invasion of Mandaza's privacy and that his department had taken
the matter up "in the public interest" to ensure that the
"obnoxious conduct exemplified by The Daily News through
the article.does not recur ever again".
The Herald quoted Mandaza at length but did not question the
Editor of The Daily News, while The Daily News did quote its own
Editor, Geoff Nyarota, but did not again attempt to obtain a
comment from Mandaza following the publication of its original
As Nyarota pointed out, the story has nothing to do with the
government or Moyo, and if Mandaza had a grievance, he should
seek legal redress.


The Herald and Radio 1/3 (13/7) reported that the government had
announced licence fees for private broadcasting companies. There
was no analysis, or even a comment from the minister in any of the
state media. The only dissenting voices were aired during ZBC's
phone-in programme, Enkundleni, on Radio 2 (13/7, 8.30-9.30pm),
which discussed the Broadcasting Act, but with more emphasis on
the feasibility of the 75% programme content. Most people who
called and some panelists were against exorbitant broadcasting
fees, which they described as highly restrictive.


The Herald and The Daily News (14/7) reported that ZBC had
banned Radio 1's NDA sponsored live discussion programme,
Spotlight, usually held on Tuesdays between 6:30pm-7.30pm.
Both papers quoted a letter from the corporation's director of
marketing and programmes citing "the restructuring process
currently underway at ZBC" as the reason for dropping the
programme. But neither paper sought independent comment from
the broadcasting corporation. The move comes less than a month
after the banning of a similar live television phone-in programme,
Talk to the Nation. ZBC failed to notify its audiences of this latest
effort to silence the opinions of the people on public radio. The only
hint listeners had that something was amiss was that the
Spotlight slot was filled with a music programme.


The Herald (11/7) beat The Daily News (13/7) in the publication of
an extract from a paper delivered in Norway by the former Chief
Justice Anthony Gubbay, (and, according to The Herald, published
in The Sunday Times) about the need for human rights to be
respected by governments. The article provided some clarity to the
decisions of the courts under his jurisdiction and outlined some of
the abuses of power exercised by the government. However, The
Herald also carried a response from a government spokesman
attacking his "utterances" as an indication of  "his inherent
hatred for the government.and the ruling party."
The Daily News (13/7) carried a story about the Attorney-General
ordering the police to investigate the murder of two MDC activists
during last year's election. It was one of at least 12 stories the
daily carried during the week reflecting the ongoing political terror
campaign in the urban and rural areas. It also reported the arrest
and interrogation of the ZCTU's Wellington Chibhebhe (12/7), as did
The Herald (12/7) under the headline, Chibhebhe Nabbed, as if he
had committed a crime.
The Financial Gazette (12/7) reported that 27 MDC officials had
been arrested in Bindura and Kwekwe in what it described as "an
organized police crackdown on the opposition party.ahead
of three parliamentary by-elections."
However, The Herald (13/7) reported that MDC supporters from
Harare were responsible for the violence in Bindura, quoting police
and some of the victims of the violence who were ruling party
The Financial Gazette also carried a harrowing eye-witness
perspective of the terror campaign in the constituency that is due
to hold a by-election at the end of the month. It claimed that Zanu
PF youths had set up "torture centres" in the district and that its
news team was forced to flee when it attempted to verify the stories
it had heard from victims of violence.
The only story ZBC carried about political violence was a one-sided
report of a white commercial farmer in Odzi who had allegedly
deliberately run over and killed a settler (all stations 15/7, 8pm) in
cold blood.
But the circumstances surrounding the incident were not clear and
ZBC only gave the settlers' and war veterans' account of what

ZBC's only reference to the progress of the Zimbabwe Democracy
Bill through the American Senate was made in relation to the death
of the settler in Odzi. The state broadcaster only hinted at the Bill's
progress in a white copy story claiming that the farmer had killed
the settler to celebrate the passing of the Bill "in style" (ZTV 15/7,
Viewers who had not read the story in The Standard that day were
not told what Bill the presenter was referring to.
However, The Standard's story was also somewhat confusing. The
headline, US approves Zimbabwe Bill, suggested that it had been
passed into law, but then explained that the "proposed law"
would "sail unopposed through the House of Representatives."
The paper gave no reason for coming to this conclusion. Nor did it
tell us when the House was due to consider it, or indeed, when the
Bill was expected to become law. The paper also failed to access
comment from the Zimbabwe government.
The confusion introduced by the loose headline provided the
government and state media with the opportunity (the following
week) to deny that the Bill had become law.


Libyan leader, Muammar Gadaffi was showered with praise by the
state media following his flamboyant arrival in the country by road
from Zambia. The state media completely ignored the city-wide
rush-hour gridlock his 80-vehicle entourage caused, but The Daily
News (13/7), used it as its lead story, but confined itself to this and
Gadaffi's elaborate security precautions. ZBCTV (12/7, 8pm) strove
to give its viewers the impression that Gadaffi's arrival by road had
been a surprise even to Zimbabwean security agents, but carried
footage of his arrival at Chirundu and of his brief stop-overs in Karoi
and Chinhoyi where he was greeted by Zimbabweans wearing
Gadaffi T-shirts and waving Libyan flags. Could this have been a
surprise, or a conspiracy between the government and its media
organs to glamorize the "enigmatic" leader?
Zimpapers' daily titles (13/7) descended to straight hero-worship,
claiming that Gadaffi ".could only but earn hero status among
The papers reported that he set an "electrifying atmosphere" and
addressed "an appreciative crowd." The article also tried to show
Gadaffi's humility by reporting that "unlike most leaders, who
prefer the comfort of flying, Col Gadaffi opted to drive in his
customised bus." and also that he "presented a major
headache to his security personnel when he decided to mix
and mingle freely with people." 
ZIMPAPERS (14/7) also capitalized on the Libyan leader's racist
remarks on land to popularize and condone the current government
land invasions.
The Herald and The Chronicle carried separate stories announcing
the possibility of a fuel deal and quoted President Mugabe as
saying that Gadaffi came by road to assess for himself the fuel
situation in the country.
The Daily News (14/7) missed the inflammatory remarks made by
the Libyan leader, presumably because they had not been invited
to the dinner where they were made.


The childish war between The Herald and The Daily News
escalated in the week, with the papers glorifying themselves at the
expense of informing their readers. The Daily News (11/7) carried
an appalling "story" claiming that the new-look Herald was not
commanding supremacy on street sales as implied by a distinctly
unfunny cartoon in The Herald (9/7). And the privately owned daily
carried five photographs in an effort to prove this. In addition, The
Daily News (12/7) fine-tuned The Herald (9/7) cartoon with the
message that in spite of its new look, the paper had not improved
its content. The Herald (14/7) then carried a front-page story
claiming that the new-look titles had resulted in Zimpapers' shares
doubling, attributing this to "a rise in circulation and
advertising". This was used as a yardstick to measure its
The Minister of Information, Jonathan Moyo, and his department
have also fuelled the war, particularly his efforts to rescue Ibbo
Mandaza (The Herald (13/7) and The Sunday Mail 15/7) from the
media glare he received in The Daily News (6/7).
Separately, The Zimbabwe Mirror (13/7) used its column Behind
the Words to attack The Daily News, and its editor-in-chief in
particular, for publishing the story on its editor's properties.
In a separate development, The Daily News (10/7) reported that the
Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference had banned the latest
issue of the Catholic Church News, because the bishops
considered two of its stories to have been offensive. MMPZ
condemns this attempt by the Church to prevent its journal's
readers from knowing about pertinent events and activities affecting
the Catholic Church.

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Zimbabwe's Crisis: Finding a Way Forward

Brussels/Harare, 13 July 2001: Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe continues
the repression and misgovernment that is destroying one of the most
prosperous and promising countries in Africa. But in a new report published
today, the International Crisis Group spells out a strategy that may have
some chance of success if it receives support from key international
actors - especially the U.S., EU, Commonwealth and UN.

In "Zimbabwe in Crisis: Finding a Way Forward", ICG argues that the 2002
Presidential election should become the focus for collective international
action. If Mugabe will not permit the election to be free and fair, he and
his family as well as senior ZANU-PF figures should face targeted personal
sanctions, including travel restrictions and a freeze on assets held
overseas. And the Commonwealth, due to meet in Australia in October, should
suspend Zimbabwe's membership.

Preconditions for the election must include the establishment of an
independent electoral commission; reorganisation of voter registration
rolls; international monitoring before, during, and after the elections; and
allowing the independent media to operate unhindered. They should also
include, to level the political playing field, the licensing of an
independent radio station, and permitting the opposition to receive, if it
wishes, assistance from the international community.

ICG President Gareth Evans said: "The need is essentially for a Yugoslavia
2000 strategy. It is up to the people of Zimbabwe to determine their
future - but at the moment they have no chance of being able to do that, and
the pro-reform movement needs all the international support it can get."

Mugabe continues to abuse the land issue to excite racial confrontation. ICG
argues that donor governments and the World Bank should negotiate with
Zimbabwe to try to resolve the issue before the election on the basis of
earlier agreed international plans and UNDP recommendations.

While international donors should continue their moratorium on balance of
payments support as well as any aid other than closely monitored
humanitarian assistance, they should establish a trust fund now that would
be used to help rebuild Zimbabwe's economy - if the election is free and

Also important will be the public and private messages conveyed to Harare by
regional governments, especially South Africa. Further declines in Zimbabwe'
s economy will have a major negative impact in the region and further
deterioration in the political and security situation is likely to generate
waves of refugees.

Home - About ICG
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U N I T E D  N A T I O N S
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN)

ZIMBABWE: Donors may help avert food crisis

JOHANNESBURG, 19 July (IRIN) - As the Zimbabwe government slowly begins to
face the reality that in six months time the country could run out of
food, UNDP told IRIN that donors might support a UN-administered food aid

“A food aid project in which UNDP is the sole distributor in Zimbabwe
could be the sort of solution that international donors would consider,”
Mkuleko Hikwa of UNDP in Harare said.

A recent WFP/FAO report on Zimbabwe estimated that the country would need
to import 579,000 mts of grain to avoid a major food crisis in coming
months.  The report highlighted the fact that due to the substantial
decline in gold production and the tobacco harvest, and the lack of
foreign currency earnings, the government’s ability to import maize is
extremely limited.

Experts said that shortages would begin to be felt in the first half of
2002. A government admission two weeks ago that it may have to ask for
food aid was rapidly followed by an announcement that an inter-ministerial
food security task force would be established to address the looming

But UNDP said that no special request for food aid had been recieved from
President Robert Mugabe’s government or from any other organisation. “We’
re still talking to the government and we’re facilitating negotiations
between them and donor countries and organisations,” Hikwa told IRIN.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) last week called for
food aid to be adminstered by NGOs and not by the government, who could
use it politically in the run-up to next year’s presidential elections.
“We know ZANU-PF has been using food relief for political purposes,” said
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai at a press conference. “If you want food
relief you buy a ZANU-PF card.”

But some analysts told IRIN that keeping the government out of
administering and distributing food aid nationwide would be impossible.
“There’s no reason to suppose the government will not play the food card
in next year’s election, but whether that would de decisive remains to be
seen,” one economist said.

The WFP/FAO report suggests that bilateral food aid may be the answer to
Zimbabwe’s woes - to help ensure an adequate grain supply at affordable
prices in deficit areas, both rural and urban. Denmark, one of many
countries that has reduced aid to the country in protest at government
policy may part-fund the programme to help to avert a crisis.

“We would be willing to look at a request for food aid,” Dan Frederiksen,
head of the Southern African section of the Danish foreign ministry told
IRIN. But diplomats contacted by IRIN said that although donors were keen
to help, there was a reluctance to come to the rescue. “If push comes to
shove we’ll fund aid, but most donors believe this situation could have
been avoided. Mugabe has vilified us, yet he wants us to avert a crisis of
his own making,” one diplomat said.


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Mugabe tightens grip on media

Broadcaster the latest to come under strict control ahead of presidential polls next year

HARARE President Robert Mugabe is tightening his grip on Zimbabwe's state media ahead of presidential polls next year in which he faces a stiff contest after more than two decades in power.

In the past month Mugabe has reshuffled editors at some stateowned newspapers, using corporate boards run by his associates. He has also named a member of his ruling Zanu (PF) party as Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) head.

This week another Mugabe loyalist was named as new head of the ZBC's news service. Munyaradzi Hwengwere, 32, principal media secretary in Mugabe's office, will take over the ZBC's Newsnet arm from August 1.

Hwengwere, who is currently working for the department of information and publicity in the president's office, was appointed to his new position yesterday.

Announcing the appointment, ZBC board chairman Gideon Gono said Hwengwere beat three other applicants to the job.

"There were only four applicants for the post," he said. "There was unanimity among the board members that Mr Munyaradzi Hwengwere was the best suited candidate for the post of head of Newsnet." Newsnet is the news division of the ZBC.

"The fact that he is currently working for the parent ministry did not have any bearing on the minds and independence of the board whatsoever," said Gono.

The Zimbabwe Independent newspaper reported on March 16, however, well before the post was advertised, that Hwengwere was being assigned to the ZBC post.

Official sources said Hwengwere, a former student of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo at the University of Zimbabwe, was earmarked for the post before the recent "stage-managed" interviews.

Political analysts say Mugabe through state media boards reporting to Moyo is deploying some trusted officials or amenable junior professionals to strategic positions ahead of the crucial presidential elections scheduled for next April.

"What is happening is obvious. The government is trying to tighten its control of the state media," said political analyst Masipula Sithole.

"The calculation is obviously that the media, especially radio and television, are going to play a big role in the election campaign. They want firmer control."

Mugabe's government nominally opened the broadcasting industry to private players after a court challenge last year, but tight investment and operational regulations have made it difficult for new radio and television stations to be set up.

The government has also increased pressure on Zimbabwe's small but vibrant privately owned media with a stream of statements accusing critical newspapers of being pawns of the country's white minority and Mugabe's political opponents.

Mugabe battling an economic and political crisis caused by a violent campaign by his supporters against the opposition faces a serious challenge from Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the main opposition MDC party.

Zimbabwe also says foreign media are being used by the west, notably former colonial power Britain, to discredit its drive to seize white-owned farms for landless blacks.

Last month the government refused to extend the work permit of a British journalist working for London's Daily Telegraph.

In February a BBC correspondent and a correspondent for SA's Mail & Guardian newspaper were expelled from Zimbabwe.

The government has rejected criticism that new rules requiring foreign journalists to apply a month in advance to visit the country are an attempt to stifle media freedom.

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20/07/2001 16:31  - (SA)
Zim urged to resolve politics to help economy

Stella Mapenzauswa

Harare - Zimbabwe cannot hope to attract vital foreign investment to help revive its ailing economy unless it resolves a political crisis that has isolated the country, a top investment banker said on Friday.

"The reality of our situation is that investment cannot come to Zimbabwe until we resolve our political differences," said Nigel Chanakira, CE of Kingdom Financial Holdings.

"If we are unable to resolve our political issues those far- fetched dreams that we might have for Zimbabwe might not be realised," Chanakira told an annual congress of the main Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI).

The one-day congress, called "Exports - A Tool for Sustainable Economic Recovery", is exploring ways to rescue Zimbabwe's shrinking export sector, which has led to a critical foreign currency shortage.

The foreign currency squeeze is one of the most visible manifestations of Zimbabwe's worst post-independence economic crisis and has led to erratic fuel supplies since December 1999, hampering industrial activity.

Unemployment has risen to almost 60% and inflation is expected to soar to 80% by year-end from the current 64%, mainly due to punishing fuel price increases.

Western donors flee

Analysts say Zimbabwe's crisis has been worsened by its isolation from key Western donors, mainly over President Robert Mugabe's controversial drive to seize white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks.

The government's endorsement of the illegal occupation of white-owned farms by war veterans since February 2000 and violence that has persisted since parliamentary elections last year have raised concerns about the rule of law.

"Without a stable socio-political environment no investment can clearly take place. We are calling for law and order to be prevalent ... We as industry ... have got to demand and insist that our politicians resolve the problems," Chanakira said.

The CZI, which says over 400 firms folded last year under the weight of the economic crisis, has warned of more closures this year if Zimbabwe's fuel shortage problem is not resolved.

Industry was brought to a standstill during a two-day strike early this month called by labour unions to protest against a 70% hike in fuel prices.

On Friday Chanakira said government's inconsistent economic policies were undermining business confidence.

"These stop-go policies have also been detrimental to economic growth and investment because this breeds low confidence and discourages long-term business planning," he said.

Mugabe charges that the southern African country's economy has been sabotaged by local whites and their Western allies, led by former colonial power Britain. He says they are seeking to topple his government in retaliation for its land grab programme.

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Border Leaks Like a Sieve

& Guardian (Johannesburg)

July 20, 2001
Posted to the web July 19, 2001

Barry Streek

The South Africa-Zimbabwe border is leaking like a sieve with more than 200 holes in the security fence around the Beitbridge border post, army patrols that only come on duty at 10pm and widespread fraud and corruption.

This has been reported by the National Assembly's portfolio committee on home affairs.

"We saw many holes in the fence at Beitbridge, and we were told that the holes have been there for a long time, despite many pleas to the Department of Public Works to fix them," the committee said in a report tabled in Parliament.

The Department of Home Affairs is meant to be doing everything possible to prevent illegal immigrants entering the country.

But the select committee concluded that "people jump the fence at border posts due to lack of control and personnel. Border posts are also ill-equipped".

It found corruption: "Immigration officials are easily bribed as their salaries are low and the system followed at border posts is insufficient to stop organised crime. There is a lack of sufficient management in the immigration section at Beitbridge."

The committee also criticised the lack of human resources in the Department of Home Affairs, especially in the immigration services section, and its insufficient budget, which led to a lack of computers, furniture, office space, cars and cellphones.

The regional director of home affairs in the Northern Province, MV Mabunda, who met the committee at Beitbridge in April, said three people a month in the province were dismissed from the department because of fraud. He said poor management at the border post was a contributing factor to the fraud.

"Officials indicated that Chinese and Pakistani people are crossing the Limpopo river at night. They are ferried across by syndicates," the report read.

"When people enter South Africa without the proper documentation, it does not take them long to obtain documentation by fraudulent means."

The head of immigration at Beitbridge told the committee that the fraud and corruption at the border post could not be controlled.

He attributed this to various factors including the lack of security at the gate: "There are more than 200 holes in the security fence around the border post" and "The South African National Defence Force only comes on duty at 10pm every night."

Beitbridge is the largest port of entry into South Africa and 42 000 transit visas were issued for Zimbabwean citizens in 1999, and twice that number last year.

A shocking lack of facilities at five South African border posts with Botswana has been uncovered by the committee.

At the Bray border post used by 150 people every day, the committee found there were no toilets or running water and "there is also no shade for people to stand in, nor space inside the building for the public".

Home affairs staff at Bray handled identity applications and registration of births but they "have to use the South African Police Service's [SAPS] telephone and fax facilities, as they do not have their own".

At the Mokopong border post, home affairs personnel share a building with the police because of the lack of office space, and they rely on the police to do their banking because they have no transport.

At the Makgobistad border post, where the border runs through the Barolong tribe many people jump the fence, including children from Botswana who attend school in South Africa.

At the Ramathlabama border post, "the electricity regularly cuts out, and this causes computer data to be lost and damaged. There is no back-up system for the computers, and technicians have to come from head office to assist; the computers are also not linked to the mainframe."

At the Skilpadsnek border post, "the office is very small and ill-equipped. There are no telephones, and officials have to beg the SAPS when they need to phone. There are also no proper toilets," the committee said in its report, which has been tabled in Parliament.

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ZBC thrown out

7/20/01 9:54:12 AM (GMT +2)

Mduduzi Mathuthu, Victoria Falls

Professor Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity in the President’s Office, yesterday came under fire from Zimbabwe Council of Churches bishops attending a convention here over his attacks on the private media.

After Moyo presented a document in which he viciously attacked the private media, the British and American governments, participants at the convention said his rhetoric had become too much and they accused him of abusing State media on issues that do not benefit the State.
As a result, the church leaders barred a Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation news crew from covering the proceedings.
Moyo repeated his attack on The Daily News for its story on the properties owned by the publisher and editor-in-chief of the weekly paper, The Zimbabwe Mirror, Ibbo Mandaza. He alleged the paper had “invaded” Mandaza’s privacy and said this would “soon come to an end through legislation”.
“We didn’t want cameras because people already knew what you are going to say. You have become too predictable,” said Bishop Ismael Makuwadza. “Whenever you appear on television, it is either you are attacking the private Press or the MDC has done something which you perceive to be wrong. You seem to have found the British and the Americans as ready scapegoats for the country’s problems. People don’t need that, minister. That is the reason they shun State newspapers. You only have to lie once to be called a liar and to tell the truth all the time to wipe out that stigma. We certainly need a break and maybe hear more important issues from you like the looming maize shortage, Aids, unemployment or violence.”
In a communique yesterday, the bishops attacked the government’s fast-track resettlement programme which they said was chaotic.
“The presence of a group of politically motivated people who appear to be above the law causing havoc on the farms, schools, clinics, rural administration, industry - disturbing productivity in these sectors and causing disinvestment - is cause for great concern,” they said.
In a frank question-and-answer session with Moyo, the bishops said they were appalled by his sudden U-turn from being a government critic to a seemingly reformed government spokesman.
Reverend Chiropafadzo Moyo of the Lutheran Church asked Moyo to explain his sudden turn.
“That was then but as you might be aware, you can criticise someone today but reconcile tomorrow.” said Moyo. “I have left it to people like you to criticise and because I am now part of government, I will certainly respond.
But this does not, in anyway, mean that I am sorry about what I said during those days.”
Reverend Moyo reminded the minister of his speech at the Willie Musarurwa Memorial Trust in 1993 when he said: “The threat to Press freedom in this country is coming from all sorts of quarters in and outside the Zanu PF government.
“Ruling politicians, and I am sure those present here will attest to this fact, have become extremely nervous about their precarious hold on power.
Empirical evidence from throughout the world shows that when ruling politicians become nervous about the security of their political positions, they target the Press with reckless abandon.”
To the amazement of the audience, Moyo said he did not regret having said that.
The Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, and the Minister of Home Affairs, John Nkomo, attended the convention.
Reverend Moyo blasted the government’s land resettlement programme which she said was poorly planned. She said it was surprising that in the Minister of Agriculture, Land and Rural Resettlement, Joseph Made’s speech, read by Moyo to the conference, nothing was mentioned on the looming food crisis.
“The land resettlement programme has been characterised by death, rape and many other violent things. The government should start to look at the land issue as a national issue and consult all stakeholders and not rush things,” she said.

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Odzi farmer married to black woman from Highfield
Sheila Chimutasha of Western Triangle is the wife of Odzi farmer, Phillip Bezuidenhout, who is appearing in court in Mutare on allegations of murder.

7/20/01 10:06:30 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Philip Bezuidenhout, the Odzi farmer who faces a murder charge following the death on Saturday of Febian Mapenzauswa of Mutare, is the husband of a Highfield woman, Sheila Chimutasha of Western Triangle.

Bezuidenhout and Chimutasha, 23, have been married for four years. They have a three-year old son. A friend of the couple said they were formally married.
“Philip paid lobola to Sheila’s family in Western Triangle, Highfield,” she said.
The couple apparently rented lodgings in the New Stands section of Old Highfield in Harare before moving to Mutare.
Sections of the government media branded Bezuidenhout a racist and a murderer, even before he was charged in court.
Bezuidenhout, 51, hit Mapenzauswa, an accountant at Mutare Board and Paper Mills, at the 235km peg on the Mutare-Harare highway. The accountant had just been allocated a piece of land on the adjacent Tara Farm which belongs to the accused. He died on arrival at the hospital.
Bezuidenhout first appeared on Wednesday for initial remand before provincial magistrate, Hosea Majaya. Majaya said yesterday that he could not grant bail.
He advised the accused to apply for bail in the High Court.
Bezuidenhout was not represented by a lawyer when he first appeared on Wednesday morning.

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More turn up to inspect voters’ roll 
7/20/01 9:59:59 AM (GMT +2)
From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo
The re-inspection of the Bulawayo voters’ roll for the 8 and 9 September mayoral and municipal elections ended on Monday night with
a higher public turnout than during the previous exercise.

The MDC went on a vigorous campaign to encourage people to inspect the roll to invalidate what they said was the traditional Zanu PF ploy of justifying its defeat on voters’ rolls that had not been updated.
Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general, said the party had been
mobilising people to register since the roll was opened for public
inspection on 27 June.
“We all know that Zanu PF was unprepared for the elections since they had held no single public meeting and had no candidate on the day of the nomination, and that was why they sought a postponement. That the voters’ roll was not updated was a Zanu PF invention to buy time,” said Ncube, who is the Bulawayo South MP.
The elections for the mayorship and seven wards, which should have been held 23 and 24 on June, were postponed after the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, cited the voters’ roll that had not been updated.
The provincial registrar, Willard Sayenda, said the voter registration
exercise was ongoing, therefore, residents could still register at the
Registrar-General’s offices.
Bulawayo has more than 337 000 registered voters.
The new dates for the elections were arrived at after the MDC mayoral
candidate, Japhet Ndabeni Ncube, filed an urgent court application
challenging the minister’s indefinite postponement of the mayoral elections.
The matter was heard in chambers by Justice Kennedy Sibanda, who issued a provisional order against the minister’s instructions.
Ncube then filed another application in the High Court seeking the
nullification of the postponement, and Justice Sibanda granted
a final order in the case.
Chinamasa, in an Extraordinary Government Gazette of 22 June, gave 27 July as the nomination date and 8 and 9 September as poll dates.
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SA cancels credit ties with Zimbabwe

7/20/01 10:07:10 AM (GMT +2)

Ngoni Chanakira, Business Editor

South Africa has cancelled all credit insurance cover for Zimbabwean firms doing business with that country with immediate effect.

The unstable economic and political climate was officially cited as the cause.
South Africa is Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner with trade between the two surpassing the $15 billion mark annually.
Zimbabwe’s relations with its rich southern neighbour have recently been lukewarm because of a number of conflicts over trade quotas, especially within the cotton industry, and differences over how the ongoing land resettlement should be undertaken.
In an interview yesterday, Brian Hillen-Moore, the managing director of Credit Insurance Zimbabwe Limited (Credsure), said: “I can confirm that the South Africans have cut their insurance guarantee cover with us with effect from 1 July this year. The problem lies with both the government and their business community who feel that Zimbabwe is no longer safe to do business with at this time because of the political and economic situation.”
Hillen-Moore said the move would affect Zimbabwean traders who depend on the South Africans, especially for scarce foreign currency.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Simba Makoni, recently said Zimbabwe’s economic activity had remained weak and had declined by 4,2 percent in real terms last year and was forecast to contract by 2,8 percent this year.
Makoni said developments in the country amply demonstrated the need to “put in place measures to stimulate the supply of foreign exchange and economic growth”.
The country is facing a serious foreign currency crisis that has resulted in the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe forcing business organisations to surrender their foreign earnings to bail out the cash-strapped and scandal-ridden National Oil Company of Zimbabwe Limited and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority.
Ironically the two struggling parastatals owe South Africa billions of dollars for unpaid fuel and electricity supplies.
Well-placed sources say the South African Credit Guarantee Insurance Company’s Political Risk Cover Agreement with its Zimbabwean counterpart expired on 30 March this year.
The Zimbabwean government dragged its feet over the issue, resulting in the South Africans cancelling the deal at the beginning of the month.
The Zimbabwe parastatals, as well as the business community will be seriously affected by the government’s failure to have the deal renewed.
Lines of credit have now been withdrawn from the banks.

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Chefs in fuel import racket

Dumisani Muleya
CABINET ministers and Zanu PF-aligned businessmen holding direct fuel import licences issued by the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) are abusing the permits for self-enrichment, it was heard yesterday.

Official sources said government cronies were using the licences, issued to import fuel for personal or company use, to buy the product for resale. Sources said the racket was rife, particularly in Harare and Bulawayo, raking in millions for those involved.

The illicit trade in fuel came to light as National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) sources complained that Vice-president Simon Muzenda was making the most of the railway utility’s storage facilities for private profit.

Under the current climate of fuel shortages and soaring prices, Muzenda is making a killing importing fuel through Botswana, a source claimed.

Of course nothing seems wrong until one finds out that Muzenda does not have storage facilities, the source said.

His fuel is stored at NRZ facilities in Gweru and Chivhu. The VP pays nothing for it. He banks approximately $1,5 million every three days from the fuel, the source said. Muzenda owns a haulage company, Chekesai Transport.

Efforts to get comment from the Vice-president were fruitless yesterday. “He is out of office, his secretary said. If you can speak to his deputy secretary, Mr Ndanga. Ndanga was also not available at the time of going to press.

Contacted for comment, NRZ public relations manager, Gamaliel Rungani, said: I’m about to go out of town now. Fax your questions to my office. We will investigate the matter and respond.

Noczim sources said as of last month there were 246 high profile individuals who held direct fuel import licences. It was said the number of permits had since increased dramatically because of a huge black market.

Noczim officials refused to give the Zimbabwe Independent a list of government and Zanu PF cronies holding licences.

They claimed the records were confidential although most of the permit holders are public figures.

Direct fuel import licences differ from commercial permits held mostly by international fuel companies and a few local ones. There are at least 14 commercial licencees.

The liberalisation of the fuel market has seen a glut of players, especially individuals, in the market. Most of the licencees have permits to import fuel for family or company use.

For a company to get a licence it should be able to raise the requisite deposit payable to Nozcim. The deposit includes a road user’s levy, government taxes, a Fuelco levy and import duty.

After meeting these requirements, a company is issued with a licence to import a specific amount of fuel. The applicant’s credentials are scrutinised before the permit is issued.

The Ministry of Transport and Communcations last December cancelled a licence issued to Addy may Marketing, a company in which President Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwawo, was a principal shareholder, after the company failed to meet the requirements.

Fuel industry sources said at least $3 million was needed to get a fuel licence. However, there were individuals who held fraudulently-acquired licences bought from racketeers and others who got them through connections.

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‘Black market’ forex rates soar

Dumisani Ndlela
PARALLEL foreign currency rates continue to rise with the local currency losing over 50% against the greenback during the week. It traded at $255 to the US unit in the week as the government struggled to raise hard cash for wheat and maize imports.

Market analysts said foreign currency shortages that have dogged the economy for the past two years had intensified. They said government had failed to crush the parallel market after news that the Zimbabwe dollar could end the year at $500 to the US dollar.

The parallel market rate edged up to $170 for one US dollar from around $150 two weeks ago after the central bank announced export incentives viewed by the market as a disguised devaluation.

The central bank issued a circular this week demanding daily returns from authorised dealers as it sought to rein-in an errant market.

Sources said Finance minister Simba Makoni personally held meetings with airline representatives questioning their decision to quote their fares at the parallel rate. He met stiff resistance from the airliners who said the market was not illegal.

Makoni is said to have expressed his concerns that their action legitimised the parallel market and promoted the diversion of the scarce foreign currency from the official interbank market, which sources said was almost completely dry.

By pushing up the rates, the parallel market is increasing the government’s burden in Zimbabwe dollar terms as it will be forced to buy foreign currency at exorbitant rates rather than its $55 against the US dollar.

Sources said no deals were being made at the official rate even among authorised dealers except for the regulated 40% of all export proceeds to Noczim and Zesa for fuel and oil imports.

Zimbabwe is expected to face acute maize and wheat shortages this year and has declared the two products “controlled”.

The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) is now the sole buyer of all wheat and maize produced in the country. But the parastatal has to raise foreign currency for imports to make up for the expected shortfall.

Wheat and maize producers, who incurred high input costs during the season as a result of sourcing foreign currency for imports at parallel market rates, could create a parallel market for their produce because they are not willing to dispose of their crop at a controlled price.

“How can they say the crop in my field belongs to the GMB? GMB will not be harvesting my crop,” said a market source.

Already a parallel market exists for fuel, which is also in short supply.
“There will be a black market for all strategic products,” a grain dealer, who declined to be named, warned.

“It looks like the government wants to close down the entire industry.
Millions of dollars have been spent building infrastructure to deal with maize and wheat. The result from their latest move is that there will be no improvement in the supply situation. This will bring about more shortages.”
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Govt lists Feruka Oil Refinery property

Forward Maisokwadzo
GOVERNMENT has listed Feruka Oil Refinery grounds for compulsory acquisition under its controversial fast-track land reform programme, it has been learnt.

The property is among more than 2 000 gazetted last week for compulsory acquisition to resettle “landless” blacks.

Ministry of Lands and Agriculture officials yesterday said the designa- tion of the property was a mistake.

“It was an error which can easily be corrected,” said one official.

Webster Muriritirwa, Noczim chief executive, could not be reached for comment.

However, officials at Feruka Oil Refinery confirmed that part of their grounds had been targeted for confiscation as published in the Government Gazette last week.

“Our property was among the properties gazetted for acquisition but we still believe it was an error. We hope the issue will be rectified,” said a senior official at the refinery in a telephone interview yesterday.

Seven properties owned by South Africa’s Oppenheimer family have been removed from the list.

Instead of the five million hectares President Mugabe initially said he would take, nearly 8,5 million hectares are now under compulsory acquisition.

President Mugabe’s government, facing rising public discontent over policies that have fuelled a deep economic crisis, has gazetted for acquisition more than 4 000 commercial farms since last year measuring 6,5 million hectares of prime agricultural land.

Other properties listed for acquisition last week include schools, golf clubs, church missions and ranches.

Critics said the vandalism on privately-owned properties was an economic sabotage designed to cause bankruptcy and force farmers off land.

“A crippling shortage of hard currency has already caused a fuel crisis and driven the economy to the verge of collapse,” one economist said.

Analysts said the projected maize shortages were a direct result of the invasion of commercial farms by Zanu PF supporters and so-called war veterans.

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Pressure mounts on Mugabe to address Zim crisis

Dumisani Muleya
INTERNATIONAL pressure is mounting on President Mugabe to engage all stakeholders in Zimbabwe in finding a lasting solution to the country’s snowballing political and economic woes, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

The US has stepped up efforts to steer the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Bill through its legislative processes, while the international community is reportedly tightening screws on Harare to force Mugabe to speedily address the crisis.

Mugabe is accused of fanning violence in the country in a bid to secure his re-election next year, a claim denied by Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Washington, Simbi Mubako.

In a long article in the Herald this week, Mubako said there “has never been a crisis of democracy in Zimbabwe since the advent of majority rule in 1980”.

However, the country’s huge democratic deficit and flawed record speak otherwise.

The Democracy and Rule of Law Project of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in the US recently co-hosted a roundtable meeting on the Zimbabwe situation.

The meeting drew participants from the State Department, the United States Agency for International Development (USAid), non-governmen- tal organisations and human rights activists, among others. It debated prospects of promoting democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe currently in decline due to incremental authoritarianism.

The delegates said the international community had a major role to play in pulling Zimbabwe out the quagmire. They said Harare was unable to extricate itself from the current economic and political crisis without external assistance.

“The international community is anxious to see a peaceful but quick resolution of the Zimbabwe problem, fearing that a prolonged economic and political crisis will do permanent damage to state institutions and undermine Zimbabwe in ways difficult to remedy,” a synopsis of the meeting says.

“The problem the international community faces is that the moderate steps taken so far to facilitate the transition have not worked and more radical steps raise many questions.”

Participants suggested two ways of dealing with the Zimbabwe crisis — a moderate activist strategy and a heightened advocacy approach.

“The moderate strategy, already being attem- pted for the most part, is to support progressive actors within Zimbabwe,” the document says. “This involves providing technical assistance to the opposition, assisting civil society at large and aiding the independent press.”

The idea was to enhance prospects of the opposition to strengthen democracy and provide the tools for free and fair elections.

Western countries employed this approach against former Serbian dictator, Slobodan Milosevic, now facing trial at the UN War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague for crimes against humanity.

Delegates said there were obvious obstacles in providing assistance to the opposition.

“The Zimbabwe government recently passed a bill prohibiting foreign assistance to political parties, and a similar bill concerning civil society organisations is being readied,” the document says.

The party bill explicitly bans financial assistance, but there is some concern that the ban even extends to technical assistance,” it notes.

“Although this international assistance is nominally non-partisan — aimed at bolstering democratic conditions in general, but not the fortunes of the MDC (opposition Movement for Democratic Change) in particular — it may be partially or substantially blocked by these legal measures.”

Other participants wanted a hardline approach.

“A more radical activist strategy would entail both external and internal components,” the document says.

“Externally, the international community would exert various pressures,” it said. “Freeze the assets of key Zanu PF officials; impose travel restrictions on them; investigate capital flight from Zimbabwe and external holdings of top officials; further isolate Zimbabwe in the international fora; withhold balance-of-payments support; and restrict the sale of military and ‘dual use’ equipment.”

It was also agreed that the international community should put together a rescue package, which would be released if the country restores the rule of law, observes human rights and stops repression.

But the document also points out: “Nobody believes that this promise of increased aid would sway Mugabe, but it might convince moderates in Zanu PF to break with him.”

The radicals advocate an internal plan to strengthen the opposition to resist Zanu PF’s despotic rule.

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Gaddafi just another African despot


MUAMMAR Gaddafi has come and gone. Zimbabweans are back to their daily drudgery. The state-owned media went over the top to lionise and hero-worship Gaddafi no end. We were told Gaddafi was a true pan-Africanist who had single-handedly fought back the predatory machinations of the Western world on behalf of poor Africans.

Unfortunately nobody wanted to remind the nation during Gaddafi’s visit that last time he was here he attacked the Non-Aligned Movement, of which President Mugabe was once chair, as a useless organisation frittering away resources at its hot air summits. Mugabe himself as host had to intervene, forcing Gaddafi to leave prematurely.

We have also not forgotten how Gaddafi threw out of Libya hundreds of black Africans from Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana with nothing but the clothes on their backs, calling them illegal immigrants. A few of them had their heads smashed in the process, drawing a lot of protest from their respective countries.

It would also have been unAfrican to remind paranoid Gaddafi that the Arabs played a crucial role in the enslavement of blacks in East Africa. Instead, Gaddafi was treated as if he were our saviour, castigating the West for enslaving Africans. (The Sunday Mail went so far as to blasphemously describe his entry into Zimbabwe as a “Triumphal Entry”).

Logic would dictate that if the West must compensate Africans for slavery, the Arabs must pay more, and that includes Gaddafi.

The idea of Africa for Africans and Europe for Europeans sounds anachronistic in a world that is fast becoming a global village. And isn’t it a contradiction that Gaddafi wants Africa to be left alone and yet he predicts that a united Africa would have veto power at the United Nations, a very European concept to the core?

Rather than a statesman, Gaddafi is no more than another eccentric African despot who won’t give up power. His sense of megalomania simply knows no limits. That is why he brought with him a panoply of all manner of security paraphernalia for his two-day visit to Zimbabwe; to give himself a sense of grandeur. Otherwise what was the purpose of bringing in 11 aeroplanes, limousines, a bus, armoured vehicles and helicopters and motorcycles, all part of a monstrous convoy of over 80 vehicles accompanying one man? That included scores

of Amazons patrolling every nook and cranny wherever he went!
That certainly does not make for a “triumphal entry” into a country one claims to be “our land”.

Here you have a clear psychiatric case. He must have made our own leader feel pretty envious. Unfortunately he cannot enjoy that luxury anymore after what he has done to the economy.

Information minister Jonathan Moyo last week lambasted the Daily News for allegedly publishing “a manifestly grotesque and patently malicious” article on Ibbo Mandaza’s collection of private properties. Moyo claimed his department had received “numerous calls” from concerned members of the public who expressed “outrage and disgust” at the story.

He said his department had been asked to intervene in the public interest to “enforce professional and ethical conduct in the media”. Muckraker fails to understand why members of the public would call for Moyo’s intervention. We would understand if Moyo said Mandaza had not been given the opportunity to respond. Instead Mandaza allegedly told the reporter who sought his side of the story “to go and hang”.

Mandaza is the editor-in-chief of The Mirror and knows fully well what happens when you refuse to answer questions. He is also a pro- minent business personality on the Zimbabwean scene, which places him in the public interest. People would certainly have some healthy curiosity about his life and possessions so long as they don’t peer into his bedroom.

In any case, those “concerned indigenous business people” could easily have talked to Mandaza himself. Who are they and what have they to hide, unless they see themselves as the next in line? Mandaza has the medium of his paper to make an appropriate response to The Daily News’ claims, not Moyo.

What appropriate “remedy” is Moyo contemplating against the Daily News? We doubt that his mandate as Information minister also makes him a lawyer of sorts or a court of law to sit in judgement over issues of public interest.

On Monday this week Moyo declared to the Herald he had taken an oath to speak on behalf of the entire government. Yet we didn’t know Mandaza was a government minister!

Moyo is said to have criticised those who said he “spoke too much” and yet previously the same people had complained about lack of accountability in government. He said these people were not happy that information was now always readily available. No, Mr Moyo. The problem is not about useless information. It has everything to do with the credibility of government spokespersons like you. Where was Moyo and his information when Joseph Made insisted that we had enough grain to last us until the next harvest? Why has Made now made a volte-face and admitted that we need to import both maize and wheat? We have a deluge of information but what we need is the truth. That is what accountability is about, not obfuscation of reality.

President Mugabe must feel justifiably arrogant about his achievements as an African leader. His deputy, Simon Muzenda, was this week extolling Mugabe’s virtues as the unconquerable and the only one able to resist the might of the combined imperialist forces of the US and Britain. He told a rally of peasant farmers in Masvingo: “I would not last three months against them if I took over from Mugabe.”

This must explain why he cannot be anything other than Mugabe’s sidekick, and the subject for many uncouth jokes in public alleys. True to his level of intellect, he said it would be impossible for Morgan Tsvangirai to rule this country because he had never shown leadership qualities. “We gave him the chance to lead the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and he failed. How can he rule the country?” claimed Muzenda angrily.

It’s the first time we have been told Tsvangirai had been appointed, not only to lead the ZCTU, but also to prove himself as a capable leader. And presumably sending thugs to beat him up at his offices was part of the same test! But we are yet to be shown wherein he failed and in what areas Mugabe has excelled. At least we still have the ZCTU, but no economy worth talking about. If Tsvangirai has failed as a leader, why is Zanu PF running scared of him? Why have they resorted to terror campaigns through unruly mobs among the war veterans if not for their dire fear of losing to the MDC?
Our Harare-based Tanzanian import, Mwesiga Baregu, was at it again this week. He said people’s reaction to the farm invasions in Zimbabwe had been hy-sterical. Otherwise everything was on course for a successful land redistribution programme. In fact, Comrade Baregu said countries in the region, especially South Africa and Namibia, should follow the Zimbabwean example. He was disappointed, he said, that South Africa had forcibly removed squatters who had camped themselves on a piece of land outside Johannesburg.

No doubt Baregu would want the South Africans to follow Zimbabwe’s dangerous precedent where no one can be guaranteed security of private property any more and where Mugabe would like to declare null and void the law of trespass. That is the problem with people who speak from the security of discredited regimes and have never come face-to-face with rogue elements let loose on the innocent. For people like Cde Baregu there is no breakdown of law and order because he has never been beaten up himself. Otherwise he would understand the price of lawlessness.

Muckraker reckons there is no problem in this whole world which can never be resolved within the sanction of legal norms. In the case of Zimbabwe, we are simply talking about a rogue regime that has opted for the rule of the jungle because it faces defeat if next year’s election is held under conditions of peace. Just like they tried to do before independence, Zanu PF wants to use the barrel of the gun to win votes. That’s what the people of Zimbabwe are against. Baregu should take his gospel of violence back to Tanzania. Tanzanian authorities would surely give him a Gaddafisque welcome?

The Daily News on Wednesday this week carried a chilling story of two government ministers threatening students from Masvingo teacher’s colleges with death if they supported the MDC. Foreign Affairs minister, Stan Mudenge, said: “You can even be killed for supporting the opposition and no one would guarantee your safety.”

Minister of Education Samuel Mumbengegwi chimed in blissfully: “We cannot con- tinue to pay our enemies. People have to know which side their bread is buttered.”

This is beautiful stuff for the international community to know. Government must also assess for itself who the enemies of Zimbabwe are when ministers go out of their way to threaten people with death in broad day- light. Can anybody be in doubt as to who is fanning violence after this? Are these ministers agents of imperialist forces conspiring against Zimbabwe? We await Jonathan Moyo’s comments.

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Mugabe slowly limiting venom when it comes to Mbeki

7/20/01 9:48:17 AM (GMT +2)

Nyasha Nyakunu, Deputy News Editor

President Mugabe is perhaps one person who believes in the Sicilian saying that the best words are those that remain unspoken.

Mugabe, 77, exhibited his skills at playing his cards close to the chest after the rejection of the draft constitution during the February 2000 referendum.
His ruling Zanu PF had vociferously campaigned for an endorsement of the draft constitution widely criticised as seeking to further entrench his powers.
The National Constitutional Assembly, a grouping of opposition parties, labour unions, churches and students, successfully campaigned for a rejection of the Zanu PF-crafted document.
The draft contained, among other contentious issues, a clause that would have empowered the government to compulsorily acquire commercial farmland without compensation.
The rejection of the draft constitution amounted to depriving Zanu PF of its major campaign tool - the land issue, ahead of the June 2000 parliamentary election.
A contrite, if not humbled Mugabe, went on television and announced that the will of the people would be respected as they had exercised their democratic right by rejecting the draft constitution.
The venerable politician who led the guerrilla warfare as Zanu’s leader prior to independence, however, took the nation by surprise when he sanctioned the expropriation of white-owned farmland by landless peasants led by ex-freedom fighters. Thereafter, he denounced the country’s white population as “enemies of the State”.
The international community protested and applied pressure on him, but
Mugabe remained unmoved as the invasions of the commercial farms intensified. Five white commercial farmers were killed in the ensuing violent farm occupations.
No one has been arrested in connection with the killings as Zimbabwe degenerated into unparalleled lawlessness which turned the country into a pariah state as international bilateral and multilateral donors withdrew financial aid to Zimbabwe.
Britain and the United States, came under heavy attack from Mugabe through his relentless presidential venom against the two countries warning them not to interfere in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs.
Mugabe remained obdurately defiant in the face of the unfolding crisis characterised by intermittent fuel shortages exacerbated by acute foreign currency shortages.
Even South African President Thabo Mbeki had a taste of Mugabe’s scheming mind. In a classic display of subterfuge, Mugabe assured Mbeki he would do everything in his power to halt the invasions of commercial farms.
Mbeki had flown into Harare for a meeting with the Zimbabwean leader over the escalating lawlessness as State-sanctioned violence intensified in the countryside and urban areas.
Hardly a day after Mbeki’s departure, Mugabe told party supporters in Bindura, the seizure of commercial farms would continue.
A Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) was barred from visiting Zimbabwe to assess the extent of the breakdown of law and order and the attacks on the Judiciary and Press.
While Mugabe remained steadfastly aloof, Mbeki was caught in the crossfire.
He was criticised for his kid glove approach when it came to dealing with Mugabe. The South African leader said he preferred quiet diplomacy against publicly rebuking his Zimbabwean counterpart.
Mbeki’s softly, softly approach, however, appears to be bearing fruit in the wake of an uncharacteristic shift in Harare’s otherwise hardened stance against its perceived foreign enemies.
Mugabe has since agreed to a visit by Commonwealth foreign ministers from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Australia, Britain and Jamaica ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in Brisbane, Australia, in October.
He also softened his hardline stance against London and Washington ahead of Mbeki’s visit to the British and American capitals in June this year.
Could this be the result of Mbeki’s mute diplomacy? Is the wily and highly secretive Zimbabwean leader beginning to fill the heat of international pressure or does he have a hidden agenda?
Or, is he trying to dribble his way to the Brisbane meeting with a semblance of respectability, thereby toning down cries for the international community to firmly deal with the ruling Zanu PF leader?
These are some of the questions being asked about the man who has led Zimbabwe for 21 uninterrupted years since independence in 1980.
Independent observers interviewed by The Daily News were at a quandary when it came to reading Mugabe’s mind given his closed-circuit style of leadership.
University of Zimbabwe political scientist, Dr John Makumbe, was non-committal when it came to second-guessing Mugabe.
“He could have finally realised the enormity of the problems that Zimbabwe is facing and is now determined to project to the international community that he is co-operative.
“On the other hand, he could just be campaigning to gain mileage ahead of the Commonwealth meeting because he is scared of being suspended from the grouping. Suspension will damage his personal ego because he wants to project an image that everything is normal in Zimbabwe,” says Makumbe.
The European Union has since given Zimbabwe a 60-day ultimatum for the cessation of political violence in the country and a halt in the illegal occupation of farms.
Makumbe says attention should be paid to the fact that the planned visit by the Commonwealth foreign ministers is more of an ad hoc diplomatic arrangement as opposed to the official CMAG delegation which was barred by Mugabe.
“My reading of the apparent capitulation is that he is seemingly capitulating to a group which he knows is not an official structure of the Commonwealth. If Mugabe really wanted to be honest about the prevailing situation in Zimbabwe he would have allowed the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to come to Zimbabwe.”
However, Makumbe says if Mugabe is indeed conforming, Mbeki would have pulled a diplomatic coup.
“That would mean that Mbeki’s approach is beginning to bear fruit and proves that if South Africa applies a certain pressure on Zimbabwe, it works because the country will not have anyone to turn to because South Africa is Zimbabwe’s largest and most important economic partner.
“Because of that, Mugabe cannot afford to totally ignore Thabo Mbeki’s pressure.”
For now, the question still remains: Is Mugabe indeed coming around or is he deluding the world in his typical wizardry as the master of political gamesmanship?
One thing is certain though, there is no telling when it comes to Mugabe.

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US media must educate Americans on Africa — publisher

THE US media should “wake up and smell the coffee” to get rid of the ignorance of the African continent by the average American, says Trevor Ncube, publisher of the Zimbabwe Independent and the Standard.

In an interview in Washington, where he was part of the State Department’s International Vi- sitors Programme, Ncu-be said getting American media to focus more on Africa was the first step in resurrecting Zimbabwe and the African continent.

He said the media should begin to pay attention to the continent and show people that “there are a lot of things to celebrate in Africa”. American corporations and businesses would likewise take notice and act on the opportunities that Africa presented.

“Africans need toothpaste, soap, washing powder,” he said. “They need clothes and computers. Africa is a profit centre that American companies have not yet exploited.”

The same reasons Europe viewed Africa as a dark continent were being advanced by American companies — the savage wars, endless cycles of famine and an unlimited supply of dictators. There is also the repression against the press by President Ro-bert Mugabe since 1980.

“Zimbabwe was a very promising experiment in multiparty democracy until Mugabe started behaving badly,” said Ncube.

“Zimbabwe has been a regional leader. It’s been an example in how to build a multiracial society. It has a role to play in the region in terms of political stability, political security and democracy.”

But President Mugabe had marred all these positive prospects in his quest to remain in power, said Ncube.

“He’s a man capable of using violence. He’s a man who is capable of stealing an election,” he said.

“We have regimes in Africa who see their role as that of stopping information from getting to the people,” said Ncube.

“They say, ‘Keep the people in the dark to regulate them’. Most Africans are subject to pro- paganda from their governments. Governments use state funds and state machinery to keep people uninformed so that they can continue to use them for their own ends.”

The government has complete control over the four radio stations and the two television channels in the country. The Posts and Telecommunications Bill, passed in March 2000, effectively gives the government power to refuse a prospective telecommunications investor a licence if such a licence is not deemed to be in the public interest.

Journalists in Africa faced a lot of day-to-day problems, among them lack of infrastructure, technological know-how, and the questionable skills of some individuals dedicated to presenting information to the public. Lack of money was another major handicap, Ncube said.

But these concerns aside, Ncube had a laundry list of journalistic objectives in a place like Zimbabwe. These were to be the voice of the voiceless, to monitor the government, to help build a national consensus, to help stimulate debate, to cultivate a culture of democracy, accountability and stability; to create a vision for the future and get the country out of the “current quagmire”.

“As a continent, we have a significant percentage of our population that is uneducated and uninformed, so it’s part of (a journalist’s) role to find solutions to our problems, together with our societies and our leaders,” he said.

The US had put forth an initiative to help sol-ve some of Zimbabwe’s problems. The Zimbabwe Democracy and Recovery Bill of 2001, which recently passed through the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, set conditions regarding the rule of law and free elections that the Zimbabwean government must adhere to before the US provided any sort of non-humanitarian aid or counselling.

“As the big power that it is, America has a role to play to ensure that internationally-acceptable standards of governance are attained in Zimbabwe,” Ncube said.

“Once the American government comes in to make sure an enabling environment exists, one of democracy, accountability, peace, and stability, American business can come in and create jobs and invest in Africa.

“What Zimbabweans expect from America is a mutually beneficial relationship,” he said.

“America should open its markets to Zimbabwean goods and servi- ces, and Zimbabweans should offer Americans a market for their products.
“I want to impress upon Americans that we deserve to be given a chance as a people,” he said.

This is an edited version of a story from the Washington File.

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From The Financial Gazette, 19 July

Moyo off to SA to undo Moyo’s gaffe

The government has quickly dispatched Labour Minister July Moyo to Pretoria to mend fences with the powerful Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and retract a scathing attack on the union made by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo. Jonathan Moyo, in a typical outburst, blasted COSATU earlier this month for supporting the two-day stayaway organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). Jonathan Moyo said by supporting the ZCTU strike, COSATU demonstrated beyond doubt "that its rhetoric about the need to respect and uphold the rule of law was hollow, opportunistic and anti-African".

Senior government sources said July Moyo had been sent to apologise to COSATU, retract Jonathan Moyo’s statement and to explain the labour problems in Zimbabwe. It is understood that Jonathan Moyo’s attack on COSATU has caused discomfort between the ruling Zanu PF party and South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC). COSATU is a crucial member of the ANC’s tripartite arrangement that includes the labour movement, the Communist Party of South Africa and the ANC. July Moyo, who left for South Africa on Tuesday, was also expected to meet the South African government to articulate the labour problems in Zimbabwe.

COSATU’s communications officer Moloto Mothapo confirmed yesterday that his union was due to meet July Moyo. "At this time we cannot divulge the whole agenda but we will raise the concerns on the labour unrest in Zimbabwe among other important issues," Mothapo told the Financial Gazette from Johannesburg by telephone. According to sources, Vice President Simon Muzenda is not happy with Jonathan Moyo’s attack on COSATU which he believes could lead to political fallout with South African President Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki is currently one of President Robert Mugabe’s staunchest supporters and is leading efforts to improve Zimbabwe’s frosty relations with Britain. COSATU fully backed the ZCTU stayaway and said Mugabe "is terrorising the economy and the ordinary Zimbabwean citizens". Meanwhile the government has agreed to meet the ZCTU to discuss the 70 percent fuel price hike imposed by the government last month. ZCTU secretary-general Wellington Chibhebhe said this week the two sides would meet tomorrow but the union is not backing down on its demand to have the price increase reversed.

From News24 (SA), 19 July

Govt hopes to avert strike

Pretoria - Zimbabwean Labour Minister July Moyo on Thursday said he hoped that the next round of negotiations between the government, labour and business would avert another national strike in the country. The talks would probably start sometime next week, he told reporters here during a visit to South Africa. The issue of fuel price increases would be on the agenda, Moyo confirmed. He was confident that the government would be able to give a satisfactory explanation about this to the tri-partite negotiating forum.

Zimbabwe's fuel purchases were clearly defined, he said. "It is easy to explain." In the social contract concluded in the forum the ground rules had already been laid regarding "inescapable" price increases like that of fuel, Moyo said. "We all agreed that even if we end up restraining prices and cause a deficit, that would come back and hurt the economy. That is a no-winner for anybody - neither the workers nor business or government. "We have agreed in the tri-partite negotiating forum that where there were inescapable price increases these should be explained."

Following a two-day national stayaway earlier this month, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has threatened indefinite strike action in a bid to force the government to rescind the 70 percent fuel price increase. However, the union federation insisted that the talks lead to a reversal in the fuel price increases effected last month, Agence France Presse reported. Moyo said he welcomed the ZCTU's decision to opt for dialogue, rather than threats of another stayaway. "We hope the discussions will avert any attempt to go for another national strike because nobody wins... Workers end up losing pay, the economy suffers even more."

From The Cape Argus (SA), 19 July

Zim strikes fuel-exchange deal with Libya

Harare - Zimbabwe's government has struck a $360-million deal under which it will source fuel from Libya in exchange for exporting products to the North African country, the private-run Financial Gazette newspaper reported on Thursday. The paper quoted unnamed senior government sources as saying the deal was brokered between President Robert Mugabe and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi who left the country on Saturday after a two-day visit. "The deal will guarantee fuel supplies to Zimbabwe for at least a year, and is renewable, which means this could be the end of the country's fuel problems," one official said.

State media reported last week that Gaddafi discussed with Mugabe the possibility of Libya providing petroleum products to ease a crippling fuel shortage Zimbabwe has suffered for the past 19 months. Last year Libya gave Zimbabwe a $100-million financial package. "Once we conclude these talks we will know what to expect from Libya," the official Herald newspaper quoted Mugabe as saying. Details of the talks have not been released.

Fuel supplies have been erratic since December 1999 after state-owned procurement firm National Oil Company of Zimbabwe had its credit lines cut over a Z$9-billion debt which has since more than doubled. On Thursday the Financial Gazette said the latest funding would be released in quarterly tranches of $90-million and that Harare will in turn export local products to Libya to finance the fuel purchases. The Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, in which the government retains a 20 percent stake, would act as the financial adviser in the deal, but the Finance Gazette said the bank's manager Gideon Gono had declined to comment on the deal. Government officials were not available for comment on Thursday.

Earlier this month, industry was crippled by a two-day national strike called by labour unions to protest a 70 percent fuel price hike the oil body said was necessary to offset increased procurement costs. The main Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has threatened an indefinite strike if the government refuses to reverse the steep increases, which have sent public transport costs soaring. Zimbabweans are already struggling with rising cost of living as the economy undergoes a recession now in its third year, and which many blame on government mismanagement. The country's problems have been worsened by the suspension of aid by donors mainly over Mugabe's controversial drive to seize farms for redistribution to blacks without paying compensation.

From The Financial Gazette, 19 July

Last ditch effort to solve Zim’s land standoff

The United Nations, the European Commission and the World Bank are planning a combined mission to Zimbabwe next month in one very last bid by the international community to try to talk Harare off its controversial land reforms and stave off punitive economic sanctions, it was learnt this week. Diplomatic sources told the Financial Gazette that the mission would once more seek to convince President Robert Mugabe and his government to go back to a land reform and resettlement plan agreed with the international donors in September 1998. Harare has since discarded that plan in favour of its own fast-track land reforms, which have been judged illegal by Zimbabwe’s highest court and are blamed for disrupting agriculture and contributing to food shortages expected later this year.

"We are very anxious to find the right and amicable way to help the government return to land resettlement and reforms based on the principles agreed to between itself and donors in 1998," one Western diplomat said. The international delegation would also seek to establish facts and figures regarding the implementation of the government’s fast-track land reform plan under which the government claims to have resettled 104 000 families on 3.5 million hectares of land. The actual dates when the mission will jet into Harare next month are still to be agreed between the international bodies and Zimbabwean authorities, according to the sources.

The combined mission comes to Zimbabwe just as the United States government is expediting legislation to impose sanctions on the government over its land seizures while a 60-day deadline imposed by the European Union on Harare to halt its land reforms or face tougher measures is fast approaching. Under its plan, the government is seizing nearly 50 percent of Zimbabwe’s prime land comprising 12 million hectares without paying any compensation for the land but improvements made on it. The international community wants full compensation paid to farm owners, many of whom bought the land after Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.

Mugabe says former Zimbabwe’s colonial power Britain and not his government should pay the white farmers for the land which he argues was originally confiscated by British colonial authorities from blacks. Britain funded land reforms in Zimbabwe but withdrew its support when it said the plan was being abused by government cronies and not aiding Zimbabwe’s poor. Mugabe and his government have further offended the international community by backing an illegal and violent seizure of white farms by government supporters and self-styled veterans of Zimbabwe’s 1970s war of independence.

The Commonwealth is also working on a separate mission to Zimbabwe designed by Nigeria and Kenya and also aimed at breaking the deadlock between Zimbabwe and Britain over the funding of the land plan. The diplomats said if Harare did not make good this last olive branch from the international community, the government should be under no illusions that tough sanctions will be imposed on it before the end of the year. The diplomats stress that the sanctions will only target government officials, many of whom are publicly backing violence against political opponents, and not Zimbabweans. For example if the US sanctions are finally approved, they will specifically bar Mugabe, his Cabinet members and security and defence chiefs from travelling to the US. Washington wants Europe to take similar measures against the government.

From IRIN (UN), 19 July

Sanctions fears

Zimbabwe's embattled government is talking tough in the face of rising international pressure, but political analysts allege its senior members are growing concerned over the threat of sanctions, Reuters reported. "There is a sense of panic when you talk to some of these people," Reuters quoted Emmanuel Magade, a political commentator and law lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe as saying. "It's dawning on some of them that the world mood has changed and things could get pretty tough." The US Senate Sub-committee on African Affairs last week approved the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Act proposing sanctions against Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe, his political associates and their families, and passed it to the House of Representatives. The International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think-tank, at the weekend called on the international community to consider a Yugoslavia-style strategy against Zimbabwe should next year's presidential elections prove stolen. Solomon Nkiwane, a political science professor at the University of Zimbabwe, said many Zimbabwean officials were worried about targeted sanctions because their wealth is abroad, where their families also live. "For all their rhetoric, some of these people will be so vulnerable," he told Reuters. "The best way for some of them is to negotiate, but some are also worried that abandoning their current strategy could lead to loss of power."

From News24 (SA), 19 July

Stranglehold on media tightens

Harare - President Robert Mugabe is tightening his grip on Zimbabwe's state media ahead of presidential polls next year in which he faces a stiff contest after more than two decades in power. In the past month Mugabe has reshuffled editors at some state-owned newspapers, using corporate boards run by his associates. He has also named a member of his ruling Zanu-PF party as head of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). This week another Mugabe loyalist was named as new head of the ZBC's news service. Munyaradzi Hwengwere, 32, principal press secretary in Mugabe's office, will take over as head of the ZBC's Newsnet department from August 1.

Political analysts say Mugabe - through state media boards reporting to Information Minister Jonathan Moyo - is deploying some trusted officials or amenable junior professionals to strategic positions ahead of crucial presidential elections. "What is happening is very obvious. The government is trying to tighten its control of the state media," said political analyst Masipula Sithole. "The calculation is obviously that the media, especially radio and television, are going to play a big role in the election campaign. They want a firmer control," he said.

Mugabe's government had nominally opened the broadcasting industry to private players after a court challenge last year, but tight investment and operational regulations have made it difficult for new radio and television stations to be set up. The government has also increased pressure on Zimbabwe's small but vibrant privately-owned media with a stream of statements accusing critical newspapers of being pawns of the country's white minority and its political opponents.

Mugabe - battling an economic crisis and political crisis over a violent campaign by his supporters against the opposition - faces a serious challenge from Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the main opposition MDC party in polls due by next April. The MDC grabbed nearly half of 120 contested seats in last June's parliamentary elections and claims it would have beaten Mugabe's Zanu PF if it had not been for violent campaign that left at least 31 mainly opposition supporters dead. Zimbabwe also says foreign media are being used by the West, notably former colonial power Britain, to discredit its drive to seize white-owned farms for landless blacks.

Last month the government refused to extend the work permit of a British journalist working for London's Daily Telegraph. In February, a BBC correspondent and a correspondent for South Africa's Mail and Guardian newspaper were expelled from Zimbabwe. The government has rejected criticism that new rules requiring foreign journalists to apply a month in advance to visit the country are an attempt to stifle media freedom.

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World Bank takes back seat on land programme

7/20/01 9:42:49 AM (GMT +2)

Farming Reporter

THE World Bank, a key supporter of Zimbabwe’s economic reform programme, says it has taken a back seat on the land reform programme in order to follow the leadership of the United Nations, which is more skilled in negotiating in politically difficult situations.

Rogier van den Brink, the acting Resident Representative of the World Bank in Zimbabwe, said in an interview that since the suspension of aid to Harare, the bank’s position and that of the government over land reform remained far apart.
He said: “From the bank’s side, our position on land reform has not narrowed. But the situation has completely changed and has become very, very politicised. And this is not a situation in which a non-political development organisation like ours feels very comfortable. This is why we follow the leadership of the United Nations on this issue, who are much more skilled in negotiating in politically difficult situations and fulfiling the honest broker role.”
Explaining the World Bank’s engagement of the government on land reform over the last three years, Van den Brink said: “At the Donors’ Conference in 1998, we were asked by the government to describe in more detail what we meant by “market-assisted,” and “community-driven” land reform. We produced a paper, got a positive response from the government, and fielded a mission which prepared a US$5 million (about Z$275 million) land reform programme.
“In the meantime, the government, with support from the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF), refined its policy framework and welcomed the type of land reform models we wanted to support, and called on all other stakeholders to follow suit and implement their own models.”
According to the World Bank, the government’s idea was that they would all learn by doing and find a better and faster way of implementing land reform than through the slow and tedious process of compulsory acquisition and the very bureaucratic, static and top-down resettlement approaches which were on the books at the time.
And to support the new models, there would be a land tax and relaxation of sub-division rules to put pressure on the release of unused land.
Van den Brink said: “The whole approach looked very good and promising on paper. Unfortunately, although our project was negotiated and signed, it never disbursed a penny. When the government bureaucracy was, finally, ready to disburse our project and after Parliament had approved the loan in the last session before the general election last year, the government broke the 60-day deadline on the repayment of past loans. That stopped everything, including our land reform project.”
But in the end, he said, the combination of political rhetoric, growing mistrust between the main stakeholders and the sometimes stifling and always slow interaction between the government and donor bureaucracies simply did not produce the real results on the ground, which the politicians had hoped for.
The government then decided to solve the whole issue politically.
“The lesson that I take away from all of this is that we - the government, farmers and donors - really need to try to solve the land question before the politicians get hold of it. Because once that train leaves the station, we seem only to be able to wave it goodbye. Which is not to say that I don’t still see possibilities for resolving the whole issue in an amicable way.
And we would definitely want to be part of that solution,” Van den Brink said.