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

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Zim farmer arrested for 'inciting violence'

Harare - One of Zimbabwe's most prominent farmers was arrested and detained
in jail for allegedly inciting public violence against people illegally
occupying his land, his lawyer said on Friday. Jim Sinclair, 63, a former
president of the Commercial Farmers Union and the Cattle Producers
Association, denied the charge before a magistrate in the farming centre of
Norton, about 40km south-west of Harare, and was freed on bail. The charge,
carrying a possible penalty of imprisonment, is likely to escalate racial
tensions between the nation's 50 000 whites and supporters of the
government's land seizure programme.

Lawyer Richard Wood said in a statement the charge stemmed from a June 12
incident in which ruling party militants occupying Sinclair's property were
chased off, apparently by inhabitants of an adjoining peasant farming area
who torched 12 of the militant's makeshift huts. Sinclair, who also served
on the management boards of the state abattoir enterprise, the Cold Storage
Commission, the Forestry Commission and the government's railroad company,
"emphatically denied any involvement in the incident".

He was held in a bare police cell on Thursday night, in midwinter in
Zimbabwe, with 13 prisoners who were given seven blankets to share. State
prosecutors opposed bail on Friday, arguing Sinclair could interfere with
witnesses and had been a fugitive from justice. Amid death threats after the
June 12 violence, Sinclair evacuated his farm but was easy to contact in
Harare, where he is regarded as a high profile figure in agriculture and
business, the statement said. Sinclair was "such a prominent citizen with so
much to lose it would be highly unlikely that he would incite violence or
avoid his trial by absenting himself," it said.

Sinclair had told colleagues privately people from the neighbouring peasant
area of Mhondoro were angered militants occupying his land disrupted farm
production and assistance he gave nearby peasant farmers. His arrest came
nearly a week after a white farmer in eastern Zimbabwe was arrested for the
alleged murder of an illegal occupier on his land. Lawyers for Philip
Bezuidenhout, 51, lodged an application in the Harare High Court on Friday
for him to be freed on bail. A magistrate in the eastern city of Mutare
ordered Bezuidenhout held in custody until July 31 on allegations he
deliberately drove his truck at Phibian Mapenzautswa, who had claimed a plot
of land on his tobacco and cereals farm.

Lawyer Chris Ndlovu said no date had been set for the bail hearing.
Bezuidenhout was not charged with murder when he appeared before magistrate
Hosiah Mujaya on Wednesday. Bezuidenhout says he was driving home past a
group of ruling party militants and farm occupiers when Mapenzautswa stepped
into the road and he hit him. Faced by angry mobs, he drove to the police
station to report the accident, but he was arrested. Ndlovu, who is black,
has said militants chased him from the scene of Mapenzautswa's death,
berating him for "wanting to defend a farmer who had killed a black man".

If Bezuidenhout is charged with murder, he would be the first white farmer
accused of killing in retaliation against black settlers who have seized
land since March 2000. Ruling party militants have occupied 1 700 farms,
demanding they be nationalised and given to landless blacks. Eight white
farmers have been killed in the violent campaign. The government has
targeted about 4 500 farms - about 95 percent of farms owned by whites - for
confiscation without compensation. It has ignored six court rulings ordering
the removal of illegal occupiers.

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: Asking the judges for another 4 months!
Date: 21 July 2001 06:50

Dear family and friends,
Thanks as always for the messages of support and encouragement and the
renewed vigour in bringing our situation to the attention of the world. I
had barely finished writing last week when the horrors erupted and engulfed
the Odzi farming area (near Mutare). A farmer ran over and killed a "land
invader" on the road near his farm. Apparently both sides of the road were
crowded with squatters, there was an approaching petrol tanker and the man
ran out into the road in front of the farmers vehicle. The farmer, Philip
Bezuidenhout, said that because there were so many squatters around he felt
he should not stop so he went to the nearest police station, reported the
incident and was taken into police custody. That was just the beginning.
The 'war veterans' and squatters immediately said that it had been a
deliberate and cold blooded murder and they went on the rampage. They broke
into Mr Bezuidenhout's home, looted valuables and trashed the house.
Reinforcement "war veterans" arrived from Harare and they went to two
neighbouring farms, broke into those houses also and looted and smashed.
War veterans leaders said that all whites within a 20km radius should
vacate their properties within 24 hours or would have to bear the
consequences. Neither the police nor Mr Bezuidenhout's lawyer were allowed
to go in and collect statements or evidence; a police spokesman said they
had been warned to keep away by the war veterans. Police and army people
from as far away as Harare streamed through our little town towards Mutare
and it went on for three days. The leaders of the war veterans made more
and more inflammatory statements with each passing day, ordering all
farmers on designated properties all over the country to vacate,
threatening retribution against whites, farmers and anyone else they could
think of. Many farmers in the area evacuated for their own safety as there
were reports of gangs of men in trucks driving around the area and
threatening retribution. When Mr Bezuidenhout appeared in the Mutare
magistrates court, he was alone, his lawyer (a black Zimbabwean) had been
warned by police to stay away as the war veterans were incensened that a
black man was representing a white farmer. Police said they could not
guarantee the safety of the lawyer and so the farmer, in both handcuffs and
leg irons, appeared alone. The legal proceedings are continuing and some
sort of calm has returned to the area.
The incident has raised numerous questions and very frightening
observations. The first is in connection with the identity of the
"squatter" or, as the state run papers called him, the "settler farmer."
The man who was run over was looking at his newly acquired piece of land -
land he had been allocated by war veterans. The "settler farmer" was a 31
year old accountant, a Finance Manager with the Mutare Board and Paper
Company. The "settler farmer" was not a landless peasant and was too young
to have been a war veteran. The question is this, why on earth had he been
given a piece of land on someone's farm? The man was gainfully employed and
earning a better than average salary and living in a city, why on earth had
he been allocated a piece of land.  The other frightening observation is
the reaction by war vet leaders. For 17 months white farmers have been
under attack, they've been intimidated, harassed,beaten, tortured,
barricaded in and murdered. For 17 months though they have not retaliated
and their leaders, the cfu, have continued to call for calm. For the first
time it appears the shoe is on the other foot and the war vets scream for
blood, for vengeance, for retaliation. They urge their members to go on an
orgy of looting and destruction and seem determined to start a war. The
fact that police were powerless and unable to attend the scene for the
first twenty four hours reinforces the knowledge that war veterans are in
charge in Zimbabwe. The fact that police had to tell Mr Bezuidenhout's
lawyer they could not guarantee his safety in a court of law reiterates the
rule by war vets and their political masters. The fact that war vets from
Harare rushed down to Mutare and led their supporters on the rampage is the
most enlightening observation though. Mutare is a city with a large
suburban, poverty laden sprawl filled with hundreds of thousands of people.
If there was to be a people led outpouring, why did armed "war veterans"
from Harare have to go to Mutare and why weren't they joined by the masses
from Mutare? The reaction to the incident from beginning to end smacks of
politics - a frightening politics manned by a rabble who are inerested only
in looting and destruction and not producing food for 13 million people.
The reaction to the incident also demonstrates without a doubt that
"dialogue" between farmers and war veterans will never resolve land issues
in Zimbabwe - these are political wheels at work here. The same political
wheels that allowed  Iain Kay to be barricaded into his home a fortnight
ago also allowed Mutare to sit on the edge of a time bomb this week. This
insanity in Zimbabwe is not about land, is not powered by thousands of
"landless peasants" and is not benfitting them - the death of a 31 year old
accountant proves that beyond any doubt. Politicians started this 17 months
ago, politicians are the only ones who can stop it.
Before I finish, one last point that reinforces everything above and really
tells it like it is. Last year our Supreme Court made a ruling ordering the
government to stop acquiring land for resettlement by the 1st of July 2001.
The Supreme Court also ordered the government to come up with a workable
land reform plan and re-establish law and order on farms. This has not
happened. This week the government submitted papers to the Supreme Court
applying for an interdict to the ruling. The government has requested an
extension of the date to stop grabbing land from the 1st of July to to 30th
November. The government want to keep on grabbing land for another 4months,
want to maintain the fever pitch of intimidation and lawlessness on farms
for another 4 months. What utter insanity, why they bother even applying
for interdicts is a complete mystery as there has not been any rule of law
here for 17 months. Who do they think they are fooling?
Until next week, cathy

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Just been down south of the Limpopo for a few days, it was instructive.
While they look a lot better off than we are, they have a few problems of
their own and their national leadership is in some difficulty. Corruption
is rife and the state of the provincial administrations leaves a great
deal to be desired. While I was there, they had their version of the PAC
inspired "land grab" which was overcome by swift action by the government
but it was a stark reminder that homelessness is a problem everywhere in
Africa.  The image of the chief whip of the ANC defending a charge of
corruption by taking out R250 000 worth of adverts in the Sunday
newspapers was also instructive, if only to illustrate that he has learned
little about PR in the past 7 years.

As usual, Mandela was casting his spell - first hand in hand with Arnold
of film fame on behalf of the intellectually disadvantaged and then
opening a school in a remote area of South Africa. The business community
told me how he does that - he hears of a need, investigates and then finds
out who is the largest corporation operating there. The next thing that
happens is that the CEO's secretary gets a call - from someone calling
himself Nelson. After a brief moment of astonishment the CEO takes the
call and a few minutes later is committed to a R1,5 million dollar project
in a village he has never heard of. When complete, his only reward is to
get the old man himself come down and open the facility. In this case, a
school with 7 classrooms and a computer center with 40 computers in it and
newly trained teachers. Mandiba arrives with a personal gift for every
orphan in the school. It's the Mandela magic show, and every time he does
it, his personal stature grows. On the BBC I heard a story from ancient
mythology where the supreme spirit told the wind that he judges all men by
their shadows and their love - no doubt about this mans shadow or his love.

Crossing back into Zimbabwe, one is immediately struck by the sense of
heightened crisis. The armed attack on Sekai Holland, the attempted murder
of Paul (gentle Paul) Nyathi, and the deaths of MDC activists in a dozen
other locations. Renewed attacks on farmers across the country and the
news that they have now moved to take over, without compensation and
outside the law, virtually every commercial farm that is white owned in
the country. They have also taken steps to take over hotels and tourist
resorts, forest plantations and some industrial properties.

Bi election campaigns are under way in two areas with violence and
intimidation the order of the day. The admonitions of the world community
are being brushed aside and at the OAU summit, only the last minute
intervention by a few Head of State prevented the summit from degenerating
into a total farce as Africa leaders endorsed the skewed and nihilistic
activities of Robert Mugabe. It was reminiscent of the days when the OAU
gave Amin a standing ovation at a summit meeting in the 70's. At the time
he was systematically killing thousands of his people, deporting and
taking over the assets of the Ugandan minorities of Asian descent and
plunging his country into a financial crisis that will take the country 50
years to recover from.

Looking back on that incident it is instructive to recall this description
of Amin at the time - "a dangerous buffoon, the victim of the final
terminal manic stages of syphilis, but still an inventive and cunning
foe." Here we had to endue the humiliation of a visit by Gaddafi with an
entourage of 100 motor vehicles, 800 staff accompanied by a helicopter and
two armored cars and outriders. He stopped at every town and village along
the way during a 500 kms journey to Harare (he hates flying) and took
every opportunity to encourage the self destructive strategies of Mugabe
and Zanu PF. Someone needs to remind Africa of the shameful way black
Africans are treated in Libya.

Those of us who know Mugabe appreciate the fact that he is a fine
intellectual, almost esthetic in his habits and energetic and inventive.
What a pity he has lost his early ideals and has now thrown all those
attributes into a self-destructive campaign to hold onto power and avoid
final humiliation at the hands of the people he helped liberate. It's a
tragedy of the first order. He certainly fits the description of Amin as a
cunning and inventive adversary. The past two weeks have seen them move to
take full control of the food supply to cut off efforts by the
international community to supply our basic necessities on a basis that
will be free of local political patronage. He knows full well that this
will automatically mean that the donors will not fund food supplies and
that by doing so he is committing millions of his own people to hardship
and starvation.

Then there was the fascinating story of a loan agreement with a Bank in
Spain for a sum of US$200 million, a US$20 million cut to be paid direct
to a Bank in London for distribution to you know who and the balance to
come to a State Corporation here with assets of about US$6 million and
debts of US$1 million. There was talk of a "commission" of 20 per cent for
the financial institution that arranged this deal. How was it done - as so
often in the past, by means of a soverign guarantee issued to the
institution by a Minister (not Makoni). When Simba found out he went
balistic - until he discovered who was behind the deal and then he
suddenly went quiet. Spain has been used on a number of occaisions for
this type of deal. We hope the Spanish government will compensate their
financial institutions when a new administration in Zimbabwe repudiates
these "loans".

Really Simba, its time you resigned to save what little is left of your

On the local scene the rate of inflation has risen sharply and consumers
are suffering from rising prices and stagnant incomes. Poverty is a
specter in many homes - even among the middle class while the state of the
pensioners who are on fixed incomes or living off interest on capital, is
now dire. What can we do in these circumstances?  Employers clearly will
have to adjust wages and salaries every 6 months or even more frequently
and Churches must make a concerted effort to shield the needy in their
spheres of influence. We struggle on and can see the finish line now, but
we need a bit of support from the sidelines to get over it before we
finally collapse in a heap.  One consolation is that we now know that the
world is watching.

One last thought - emigration. This now a flood as thousands seek
opportunities in other countries. One estimate puts the movement at up to
4 000 people a week. That's 200 000 a year. It's wiping out generations of
skilled and trained personnel in every field of endeavor. The benefit to
the countries that are taking these people must be huge; the cost to us
cannot be measured. At last there are some analysts who are looking at the
"brain drain" to the developed countries and its implications. This is an
area where we will also have to do some soul searching. When Morgan was in
London he met with a group of about 800 young (largely white) people who
asked to see him. He said to them - "we regard you all as Zimbabweans
living abroad, when you want to come home you will be welcome. We want you
to come home and we will ensure that your birth right as Zimbabweans is
never lost to you." Morgan was astonished at the emotional response he
received to those remarks. There were many in the audience who were in
tears to hear a black leader say they were recognised and wanted. Our
challenge is to make sure there is something to come back to.

M Ngwenya
18th July 2001.

Please note that this note is personal and does not necessarily reflect
the views of the Movement for Democratic Change.

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Not 'landless' but 'homeless'
It's a question that has bothered many a political scientist and analyst: why can't the Pan Africanist Congress crack it as a mainstream political party? It is again an important question, because if we ever needed a political party like the PAC to be active, energetic and well-organised, it is now.

The ANC government has now, in my view, finally proven that it has gone the way of so many liberation-movements-turned-government before them.

They have settled into the comfort zone of being in power with all the trappings that go with it, and have largely forgotten about the ordinary people who got them into power.

Minister Thoko Didiza's comment, when asked where the people who settled in Bredell should go to after having been chased away while their homes were broken down - "these people should go back to where they came from" - rates right up there with Police Minister Jimmy Kruger's comment when he was asked to comment on the death of Steve Biko: "It leaves me cold".

Steve Tshwete could utter little else but gruff-voiced threats against the squatters and insults at the PAC. And the Boss himself gave no indication that he even noticed that we were having a crisis - he was too busy promoting the New African Initiative (NAI - did nobody notice that in one of Africa's dialects that means either an emphatic "no", as in "Ag nai, man", or something very vulgar?).

Of course I'm not without sympathy for the government's predicament. If they had allowed the squatters to remain after an illegal invasion, the Democratic Alliance and half the world would have screamed "Zimbabwe!"

They did the right thing once faced with the situation, but how come forty million South Africans cried for the people being evicted in the middle of winter, and their government did not lift a finger to find shelter for these people?

The simple truth is that the one thing we have enough of in this country is space. Any town planner will tell you there is a lot of vacant land in our cities where communities can be settled. Not land on the extreme peripheries of urban settlements so people have to spend a fortune to travel to work inside the borders of all our cities.

It is there, unused. So what is the problem? A government that doesn't care enough, and a grossly incompetent bureaucracy.

By the way, we should stop referring to the problem of people not having shelter or proper homes as a "land problem" or calling them "landless". This is a housing problem, not a land problem.

These people don't want to go farming, they want homes to live in, because they are urban people who want to work in the cities.

Large numbers of middle class people who rent or own flats or homes in the suburbs are also "landless", but they're quite happy. The official opposition in Parliament, the Democratic Alliance, is as guilty as the government for not noticing and prioritising the plight of the homeless.

It is a stark indictment of the DA that this housing problem has now exploded all over our national life without them raising a finger. As has become their style, they just criticise afterwards... which brings me back to the PAC.

They have demonstrated that they are at least sometimes in touch with the ordinary people and the poor, and that they identify with their plight. Black ownership of and access to land and homes is a central pillar of their political agenda. In Bredell, as in some other places that didn't make the headlines, they did something about it.

But the way they did it supplies at least a part of the answer to my question in the beginning why the PAC is still, after 41 years, a tiny, ineffectual party.

They grandstanded with their PAC T-shirts "selling" plots of land for R25, knowing well that there was a real risk that the poor, desperate people could get kicked off after a few days.

And after exactly that happened, the PAC fell back on their favourite activity: power struggles and internal strife.

If the PAC were an organised and well-led force, they would have done a proper survey of how many people needed homes and where they were, and then identified every possible piece of urban space they could be settled on. If they had done this and confronted the government with it a few months ago, they would have averted a lot of suffering and at the same time gained a lot of respect from the rest of us.

Don't go for the most radical option available, go for the one that delivers results. Think, plan, execute.

If the PAC doesn't soon transform itself into a disciplined, structured movement of action and vision, its fortunes will continue to decline.

There's got to be more to a national political party than just one worthwhile MP. Now, more than ever before, South Africa needs a party that will act as champions of the poor. The ANC is no longer that party.
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War looming, says Chinamasa

7/21/01 9:46:53 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporters

Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, says the government cannot give assurance that it will stop the violence in the country.

Speaking to church leaders in Victoria Falls on Thursday, Chinamasa said political violence would continue until the land issue has been resolved.
In fact, Chinamasa said the country would plunge into war over the land issue.
He said: “The nation is apparently on the verge of a war and, in a war situation, no one is really in control,” he said.
Commenting on why the government was not dealing with the widespread political violence and lawlessness that has gripped the country, Chinamasa insisted that violence was a necessary tool for a successful land reform programme.
“The land issue must be solved now once and for all,” he said.
John Nkomo, the Minister of Home Affairs, whose ministry administers the police force, refused to assure the church leaders there would be no violence during next year’s presidential election.
Nkomo is the national chairman of the ruling Zanu PF.
He said: “I cannot assure you that there won’t be violence next year. As a party, we are not the party which instigates violence.”
Chinamasa said Zanu PF was not a violent party.
“We just want to protect what we fought for,” he said.
The delegates registered their disapproval when the minister said if they were attacked violently, “definitely” they should be on the defensive side and act accordingly.
Chinamasa challenged churches to work hand in hand with the government in “nation building”.
He said in his view Zimbabweans were crying to go back to slavery.
“As Zimbabweans, we do not have confidence in ourselves, we are ashamed of being black, we have too many negative attitudes towards ourselves and this is absolutely not good for nation building,” he said.
The heads of denominations said it seemed the government did not want to commit itself to end violence.
Meanwhile, Kefas Madzongera, the MDC district youth chairman for Bindura, says he is suing Elliot Manyika, the provincial governor for Mashonaland Central, for serious injuries he allegedly sustained when he was beaten up in Bindura on 2 June.
His lawyer, Gabriel Shumba of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Legal Unit, confirmed yesterday Madzongera had hired him, but could not give further details.
Madzongera alleged that Manyika, accompanied by several Zanu PF supporters, among them one Mazuvarimwe, a war veteran, accosted him on the fateful day while he was in Manyopera Shop in Chipadze suburb in Bindura. He alleged that Manyika struck him four times with an iron bar on the head and broke his arm.
A Zanu PF supporter, Dickson Mafios, allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the back.
He received four stitches to the wound. The police declined to comment on Madzongera’s allegations.
Yesterday an MDC truck ferrying polling agents from a training session in Bindura to Musana communal lands was attacked by alleged Zanu PF supporters and war veterans.
The driver of the truck carrying part of the 30-member group, Silent Dube, said the Zanu PF supporters had blocked the road and started pelting the car with stones.
The other truck managed to pass through the war veterans' base at Chiveso without incident.
“Fortunately we managed to escape but they damaged the car,” said Dube.
“They failed to attack us when we first went to collect the polling agents because we had the police escorting us. Bindura police were very helpful,” he said.
A report was lodged with the police after the attack.

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MDC activist seeks asylum in Malawi

7/21/01 9:50:49 AM (GMT +2)

Luke Tamborinyoka

RAYMOND Chipangura, 36, a supporter of the MDC, harassed by war veterans in Uzumba in February, has fled to Malawi to seek political asylum.

Chipangura is now at Dzaleka refugee camp, run by the Jesuit priests of the Catholic Church, located outside Lilongwe, where Chipangura has joined political refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and the Sudan. There are 3 000 inmates at the camp, a former prison.
In a telephone interview from Malawi, Chipangura said he left Uzumba after war veterans accused him of inciting his relatives not to contribute a total of $550 towards celebrations for President Mugabe’s birthday and Independence Day.
He said he had walked all the way to Malawi through Mozambique.
“The conditions here are bad and one has to put up one’s shelter. Every month each one of us receives a ration of 12kg rice, 1kg sugar, 100 grammes of salt, three tablets of soap, and 1kg of beans. They don’t supply blankets and I would very much want to return home, but I understand the political situation is still very tense,” Chipangura said.
He said things turned bad for him when he told relatives in Rukariro village that they should not be forced to contribute the $400 for the Independence Day celebrations and $150 for the President’s birthday.
Chipangura alleged war veterans, led by a Comrade Tichatonga Mbizi, threatened to kill him and two other activists. The previous week, he said, Chenjerai Hunzvi, the late chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association, had addressed a rally at the nearby Gapara shopping centre and urged Zanu PF supporters to “discipline him”.
“It was so tense and we escaped via Mozambique. My colleagues became jittery at Nyamapanda border post and were detained,” he said.
“I made good my escape and was helped by an international truck driver who drove me into Malawi,” he said.
But he is concerned about the safety of his wife and two children he left in Zimbabwe.
The situation in Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe became more tense after Mugabe pardoned political prisoners charged with crimes other than murder.
“Every day that passes I think of home,” he said. “I desperately want to return home, but I fear for my life. I also fear that publication of your story will lead to harm for members of my family in Uzumba and that my hide-out will be discovered.”

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Chimanimani MP’s farm listed

7/21/01 9:48:26 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

ZANU PF which last year lost the Chimanimani parliamentary seat to Roy Bennet of the opposition MDC has now listed his farm and wants to see people settled there next week.

Dr Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Public Works and National Housing, accompanied by Oppah Muchinguri, the Governor for Manicaland, Air-Vice
Marshal Henry Muchena, and armed war veterans and policemen yesterday visited Bennet’s farm and said the farm must be completely pegged for resettlement by next week.
The farm, Charleswood, has an Export Processing Zones coffee project and two Zimbabwe Investment Centre tourism and timber-related projects.
According to Rocky Stone, the farm manager, Chombo said Munacho Mutezo, the Zanu PF Manicaland province secretary for administration and the party’s losing candidate in the 2000 parliamentary election, who was part of the delegation would live in the main house.
Stone said: “Dr Chombo did most of the talking and they said he had come to assess progress on the land reform programme. He said that Agritex should complete all the pegging of all the coffee lands by next week. He pulled Mutezo to the front and said that he would be allocated a piece of land as well. He said Mutezo would live in the main house.”
Bennet said the action was a sign of desperation by Zanu PF since it had lost support in the area.
He vowed not to leave the farm.
He said: “Zanu PF has lost support in my area. So it is now trying to alienate me from the people. This is harassment. I sit in the same august house with Chombo and Muchinguri. They must not do that to me. If they are not respectful, at least they should pretend to be. How can ministers be involved in the pegging of a farm?
“Anyway I will not leave. Maybe they have to send the army to evacuate me.
But still no reasonable army officers would do that. So they will have to send Zanu PF militia.”
Under the “fast-track” resettlement programme, the government said it would list farms which are being under-utilised or where the farmers has two or more farms.
Bennet said: “My farm does not qualify for resettlement. I have one farm and I am utilising the arable land on the farm, and I am supplying people in my area who do not have enough food with maize from my farm. So how does it qualify? It is no longer the land issue but of fixing me.”

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ZCTU warns government

7/21/01 9:44:14 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Collin Gwiyo, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) deputy secretary-general, on Thursday warned the government that it was digging its own grave by harassing workers.

Speaking at a report-back meeting in Harare on the stayaway of 3 and 4 July, Gwiyo said the government was looking forward for violence to occur during the stayaway but workers had remained peaceful. Harare’s high-density residents were beaten up in bars and in their homes by armed police and soldiers.
Gwiyo said: “To stay away is not a crime. The government must know that the more you harass people the more you dig your own grave.” He said the government was not responding to calls for the reversal of fuel prices increases because politically-connected people importing fuel were making fortunes.
Gwiyo said: “I want to promise you that if the price of fuel is not reduced . . we shall take the issue further.” Shylet Gutu, the chairperson of the ZCTU north-eastern region, told the meeting that some workers were not united because of ignorance of labour issues and fear.

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Moyo records album

7/21/01 9:28:28 AM (GMT +2)

Maxwell Sibanda, Entertainment Editor

JONATHAN MOYO, the energetic Minister of State for Information and Publicity in the President’s Office, has broken new ground in the field of propaganda.

Moyo recently teamed up with musicians in the clandestine recording of an 18-track album designed to drum up support for Zanu PF ahead of next year’s presidential election.
The appropriately named Third Chimurenga album was recorded in March, and initially intended for release shortly before this year’s Independence celebrations.
The album is set to be released any time now. The theme of the album centres on the land issue and the liberation struggle.
Musicians and former war veterans Chinx Chingaira and Marko Sibanda composed the lyrics and were vocalists on all tracks, with the Police Band providing the backing.
Apart from three new songs, the rest are said to be old liberation war classics, revamped and spiced with new and more appropriate lyrics.
Chingaira gave lucky Zimbabweans a sneak preview of the album during the Independence and Joshua Nkomo galas. He was backed by the Police Band, a State-supported outfit which performs at most government and some public functions. The songs include Maruza Imi and Mukoma Charlie, both of which Chingaira released immediately after Independence.
Shed Studios, who recorded the album, referred The Daily News to the Department of Information and Publicity for details on the album.
An employee at Shed Studios who declined to be named said: “The recording was a private job. The best thing is for you to get in touch with the Ministry of Information because it was their project. It was a government job.”
The recordings had all along been kept a closely guarded secret. Most of the recordings, which lasted more than a month, were done at night.
Moyo is said to have closely monitored the project and was present during recordings.
Efforts to get comment from Moyo were fruitless.
Contacted for comment, Mavis Gumbo, from the Department of Information and Publicity, referred questions to Munyaradzi Hwengwere.
Hwengwere, a former Principal Press Secretary during the time of the recordings, was this week appointed head of Newsnet, the news-producing arm of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).
Hwengwere could neither deny nor confirm the recording. He said: “I am not a musician or producer. Phone Cde Chinx and Marko Sibanda and ask them when they will release their album or find their producer.”
Efforts to get in touch with Chingaira, a ZBC employee, were unsuccessful.
His colleague at ZBC said: “Cde Chinx is on national duty. He has been away for quite some time. You can try the Ministry of Information.”
Sibanda was said to be asleep but his manager, Judge Muringai, confirmed that Sibanda and Chingaira had recorded an album as a duet.
Muringai said: “You are talking about Third Chimurenga. It was recorded in March and was supposed to be released immediately before the Independence celebrations. Joseph Goebbels, the information chief in Adolf Hitler’s Nazi government in war-time Germany, used music, film and art to advance propaganda and prop up the regime.
As chairman of the media committee of the ill-fated government appointed Constitutional Commission in 1999, Moyo co-ordinated efforts in which several musicians produced songs supporting the idea of a new constitution.
Zimbabweans later rejected the draft constitution, which would have entrenched the government’s stranglehold on power. The efforts were futile.
The Department of Information and Publicity, through the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, has also been accused of funding special propaganda productions so as to control and govern artistic productions for political ends.
The album, Third Chimurenga, is the second secret funding of a music production after Andy Brown’s expensive home studio in Harare.

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Attn List Members in Harare Central:

The Harare Central Constituency now has an email address, and is looking
to expand communication within the constituency-both between members and
with the MP, Mike Auret. 

For your records, the address is:

Also, if you have any interest in receiving more Harare Central specific
information, please send an email to that address.

Thank you.

Together we can complete the change for a better life for all Zimbabweans.
The power is in your hands!
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Govt Seeks Legal Channel to Extend Land Seizures

Financial Gazette - (Harare)

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

Staff Reporter

The government, bogged down by legal and financial problems in implementing its fast-track land reforms, is now seeking a Supreme Court order to extend the seizure of white-owned commercial farms until the end of the year, it was established this week.

The commercial farms, hundreds of which are being seized every fortnight, are meant to resettle millions of landless blacks under the reforms, already declared illegal by Zimbabwe's highest court, that are spearheaded by the ruling ZANU PF party.

Party supporters and veterans from its 1970s war of independence have settled on many of the illegally acquired commercial farms to press for speedier resettlement. The internationally condemned exercise has triggered countrywide lawlessness as police continue to turn a blind eye to crimes committed by ZANU PF supporters on the farms during the occupations.

In court papers submitted this week, the government wants a Supreme Court interdict issued last December proclaiming July 1 this year as the deadline for acquiring more land for resettlement to be extended to the beginning of November.

The Supreme Court ruling had ordered the government to stop acquiring more land for resettlement by the beginning of this month and that by that date, the state should have produced a workable land reform plan and re-established law and order on farms.

Lands Minister Joseph Made, Local Government's Ignatius Chombo and Rural Resources Minister Joyce Mujuru are the applicants on behalf of the government of the urgent chamber application filed on Monday seeking to extend the deadline. The government argues that if the matter is not heard as a matter of urgency, the land acquisition exercise and the whole land reform and resettlement programme might be adversely affected.

The farmers' organisation, the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) which has been cited as the respondent, still has to react to the application that is set to be heard next week.

CFU lawyers Coghlan, Welsh & Guest confirmed in a letter to the Registrar of the Supreme Court that the government's application had been referred to their clients and counsel.

"You will appreciate that the record is substantial and that the matters involved in this application are of enormous consequence to Zimbabwe as a whole and to many farm owners and hundreds of thousands more people who work on the farms," the lawyers' letter reads.

The CFU has been under pressure from the government to drop all litigation on the land issue as a pre-condition for opening dialogue on land reform.

Last year's Supreme Court interdict prohibited government ministers responsible for the resettlement programme from taking any further steps in the acquisition of land after July 1 this year. In its ruling then, the Supreme Court said there was no land reform programme in Zimbabwe as envisaged in the Constitution.

The government now says it has already seized more than 2 500 farms measuring more than 3.5 million hectares on which 104 000 families had been resettled. It has also listed another 2 500 commercial farms which it intends to acquire for further resettlement under the fast-track programme.

In its new application, the government argues that it has since fulfilled conditions set by the Supreme Court prior to the July 1 deadline and that the land reform programme is now in place and the rule of law restored on commercial farms.

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Last Ditch Effort to Solve Land Standoff

Financial Gazette (Harare)

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

Staff Reporter

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.

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Thank you for all the news posting on the Zimbabwe News webpage.  I've been reading it every day keeping up with everything going on there.  I am a college student from the United States and have been planning all summer for my trip to Zimbabwe.  I was planning on studying abroad at the University of Harare for four months from January to May.  Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for my safety, the US institution that runs the program has suspended it for the Spring 2002 due to the economic and political instability.
While I am disappointed that I will not be travelling to Zimbabwe, I am also relieved.  I've done a lot of studying on Zimbabwe to help me prepare for my trip and I've learned the beauty of the country.  Unfortunately, Mugabe's regime masks all that beauty and even destroys it. 
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of Zimbabwe, but mostly for the innocent that must go through Mugabe's ignorance and suffer.  I hope that someday, Zimbabwe, the real Zimbabwe, that is, will be restored.  And I hope that one day, I and the rest of the world will be able to see it and enjoy it.
A college student
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From The Cape Times (SA), 20 July

Mbeki admits that Zim unrest is a headache

Rome - President Thabo Mbeki said on Thursday that he agreed with concerns that unrest in Zimbabwe had the potential to provoke trouble elsewhere in southern Africa if it were not brought under control. Speaking during a two-day visit to Rome, where he met foreign ministers from the Group of Eight most powerful nations, Mbeki said he agreed with the fears those ministers had expressed.

In a statement, the foreign ministers said they were concerned generally about conflict in Africa and added: "We consider that a sustainable solution to Zimbabwe's problems is essential to stability in the southern Africa region." "Yes, indeed. Yes," said Mbeki, when asked if he agreed. "In fact, we are in the process at the moment of establishing a Commonwealth committee of foreign ministers to deal with these issues, and Zimbabwe has agreed to that." He said the committee would also look into issues such as whether Zimbabwe would be capable of holding free and fair elections next year, when President Robert Mugabe will run for another six-year term.

Asked if he thought the elections, scheduled for early next year, would be free and fair, Mbeki was non-committal. "What is needed is to assist the Zimbabweans to make sure that those elections are indeed free and fair. I don't think it's a question of demanding it of them, but of assisting them if we can to make them that way," he said. Mbeki played down suggestions that problems in Zimbabwe, together with a smaller-scale land dispute in South Africa in recent days, were undermining confidence in southern Africa and South Africa's economy particularly.

The rand has fallen to successive record lows in recent weeks, but Mbeki said that was more to do with problems in other emerging markets. "The problem in Argentina, the problem in Turkey, the problems in emerging markets in general - that is the problem for the rand," he said. "The big bankers understand that and know that what is happening in the region is not the reason (for the rand's weakness). "Those in the know don't look at the neighbour, they look at the facts. We've just got to make sure that we keep our own house in order." Mbeki said he expected to get firm support for the New Africa Initiative when he presents it to a G8 summit, but financial as well as political backing was needed.

From The Zimbabwe Independent, 20 July

Gaddafi pledges $50m to Zanu PF

President Robert Mugabe last week managed to extract US$900 000 ($50 million) for his re-election campaign next year from Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, it emerged yesterday. Gaddafi was in Zimbabwe on a two-day state visit. Zanu PF sources said Gaddafi, who came to Zimbabwe by road from the Organisation of African Unity summit in Lusaka, Zambia, made the financial advance to the ruling party after a request by Mugabe. "Gaddafi gave an assurance to President Mugabe that he would inject about US$900 000 to the party for the presidential campaigns," a senior party source said. "He wants our party to win the election. We are expecting the money anytime now."

Gaddafi recently donated 29 Cherokee Jeeps to Zanu PF for the presidential election. It is understood the cars, initially thought to have been sourced from Egypt, have already been distributed to key Zanu PF campaigners, including self-styled war veterans leader, Joseph Chinotimba. Insiders said the financial deal would not be made public as it was most certainly illegal in terms of the amended Political Parties (Finance) Act, which prohibits foreign funding of political parties.

Although Zanu PF engineered the law, its functionaries are traversing the world scrounging for funds for the crucial poll. The party’s secretary for external affairs, Didymus Mutasa, and Information chief, Nathan Shamuyarira, are understood to be leading the foreign fundraising campaign. The two have either already been to or are travelling to China to look for funds. Mutasa yesterday said he had not travelled to China. He said he was not going there because the new legislation forbade foreign funding of parties. "It’s not true that we are looking for money from outside," he said. China has in the past been one of Zanu PF’s major financiers alongside a host of other foreign donors. Shamuyarira, who sources said might have already been to China, was not available for comment.

Sources said Gaddafi agreed to bail out Zanu PF, which is reeling from a serious financial crisis, when he offered Zimbabwe a US$360 million fuel lifeline to ease a crisis which has gripped the country since December 1999. Gaddafi last year gave Zimbabwe a US$100 million line of credit for fuel imports. Zanu PF, which, alongside the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) recently got about $51 million from Treasury, needs huge sums of money to oil its massive election machinery. The war veterans, who are now effectively led by the militant Chinotimba after the death of Chenjerai Hunzvi, need a slush fund. The Zanu PF-sponsored Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions, student unions, civic groups, and other party front organisations, are also lining up for campaign funds.

Gaddafi’s rescue package came as The People’s Daily of China, on July 13 2001, reported that Beijing had provided Zimbabwe with a US$3,6 million loan for development projects. "The Chinese government on Thursday provided an interest-free loan of 30 million yuan (about 3,6 million US dollars) to the Zimbabwean government," the paper said. "According to an agreement signed here between the two governments, the loan will be utilised within a period of five years starting from September 1, 2001 to August 31, 2006." The loan should be used to implement economic and technical co-operation projects in Zimbabwe. The money would be repaid by the Zimbabwean government in tranches after a period of 10 years starting from September 1, 2011 to August 31, 2021. Chris Kuruneri, the deputy Finance minister, represented Zimbabwe at the signing ceremony.

From IRIN (UN), 20 July

Donors may help avert food crisis

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 initiative. "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 crisis. But UNDP said that no special request for food aid had been received 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 administered 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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