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

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Leader Page

      What we have learnt in 29 months of farm invasions and what we are
bound to lose

      7/23/02 7:34:51 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWEANS have learnt a lot in the 29 months of farm invasions in
the country.

      First we learnt a whole dictionary of new vocabulary.

      Arbitrary men who came and forcibly took over our property were first
called war veterans, then land invaders, then squatters, then settlers, and
now they are widely called new farmers.

      As to the actual takeover of the land, first it was called peaceful
demonstrations, then land invasions, then the Third Chimurenga, and now it
is known as The Agrarian Revolution.

      Even the commercial farmers themselves have had their names changed a
number of times by the State media and the government.

      First we were racist whites, then racist Rhodesians, then Selous

      Later we were called supporters of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), British mouthpieces, white puppet masters, and now
we are being called farmers of European origin.

      It all gets a bit confusing, doesn't it?

      The fact of the matter, though, is that the white-skinned commercial
farmers are what they've always been - the people who grow our food and
other crops which bring in foreign currency to keep Zimbabwe afloat.

      The people taking over the farms are also what they have always been -
thugs, bullies and ignorant pawns who have been used for political gain.

      So, aside from vocabulary, I wonder what else the majority of
Zimbabweans have learnt.

      Twenty-nine months of land invasions have given us no maize-meal,
cooking oil, sugar or salt.

      They have given us endlessly long queues for basic foodstuffs and
regular shortages of products we have always taken for granted, like milk,
eggs and peanut butter.

      They have given us no foreign currency, have spawned interest rates
below 10 percent, inflation rates of over 125 percent and unemployment of
well over 65 percent.

      They have given us massive company closures and a brain drain of
enormous proportions.

      They have given us the collapse of the health service and the
unavailability of the most basic health care in our hospitals and clinics.

      They have made tourists an endangered species and led to huge
retrenchments in the hospitality industry.

      They have given us broken homes, separated relatives, the destruction
of trust, morality and integrity.

      The price of Zanu PF's Agrarian Revolution has indeed been high and I
believe we have yet to see the real cost.

      "There is no going back on the land reform programme," is perhaps the
commonest statement our government makes these days.

      In just over a fortnight's time, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture
and Rural Resettlement, Dr Joseph Made, says this Agrarian Revolution will
be complete as he summarily evicts 3 000 commercial farmers of "European

      Zimbabweans may not know this, but the commercial farmers have not
been paid for what the government has taken from them. At this very moment
there are five men living in my family's farmhouse and another 500 squatting
in tin shacks outside the security fence on our Marondera farm.

      We have not been paid one single cent for our home, the borehole,
buildings or any of the infrastructure.

      The real price of our Agrarian Revolution is yet to be realised, but
in a fortnight's time every Zimbabwean will begin paying.

      How much does the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) stand to
lose when 3 000 farmers and at least a million farm workers stop making
monthly contributions?

      How much does the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) stand
to lose when boreholes are stopped, irrigation equipment turned off and cold
rooms closed down?

      How much will TelOne lose when at least 3 000 telephones are

      How much will the rural district councils lose when 95 percent of
their revenue is instantly gone?

      These are the first losers in our Agrarian Revolution, we are the next
because all our tariffs, taxes, rates, levies and services will have to be
dramatically increased to cover the huge shortfalls in a fortnight's time.

      Zimbabweans must not fool themselves into thinking that the new
settler farmers can keep NSSA, TelOne, Zesa and the rural councils afloat.

      Our new farmers are already asking the government for free ploughing,
free seed, free fertiliser and free electricity.

      Undoubtedly the government will find ways of giving our new farmers
everything they demand.

      But it will be you and me paying for it in a few weeks' time.
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Daily News

      Politician interferes with food aid programme

      7/23/02 8:23:26 AM (GMT +2)

      From Sandra Mujokoro in Bulawayo

      POLITICAL interference in the delivery of food aid in Matabeleland has
resurfaced with allegations that the Member of Parliament for Beitbridge,
Kembo Mohadi (Zanu PF), bullied and threatened Non-Governmental
Organisations (NGOs) involved in the distribution of food aid, at a meeting
in Gwanda.

      The meeting of the Gwanda drought relief and food distribution
committee took place on 12 July, and was attended by Mohadi, the Zanu PF and
war veteran chairman, representatives from the Grain Marketing Board, the
Gwanda Rural District Council, the Gwanda Municipality, and World Vision and
Organisation Help - the two NGOs involved in the relief programme.

      Gwanda is in the constituency, represented by MP Paul Themba Nyathi
(MDC), but neither he nor any other MDC representative were made aware of
the meeting.
      According to sources at the meeting, Mohadi told the NGOs that they
were distributing food in the area "at the government's invitation" and that
it was the government which was undertaking the programme.

      He told them they were only there because of an agreement between the
World Food Programme and the United Nations Development Programme and the
"lawfully elected government", and would therefore have to follow its
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ZIMBABWE: Mugabe warns against interference under pretext of aid
HARARE, 23 Jul 2002 (IRIN) - President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday warned
humanitarian groups working in Zimbabwe not to interfere in the country's
internal affairs.

Addressing the official opening of the country's third session of
parliament, which was boycotted by opposition legislators, Mugabe said aid
was welcome but his government was wary of some organisations which he
alleged were out to undermine his government.

More than six million people are in need of food aid. The United Nation's
has appealed for US $285 million to help Zimbabwe survive the worst food
shortage in 50 years.

"While Zimbabwe accepts drought-related assistance from the international
community, we remain quite wary of countries and organisations which seek to
take advantage of our hour of need to attenuate our sovereignty or even
reverse those vital policies we have adopted as a sovereign people," Mugabe
told parliament.

"Yes we need food assistance from organisations and nations of goodwill. But
we certainly abhor sinister interests which seek surreptitiously to advance
themselves under cover of humanitarian involvement," he warned.

But Mugabe addressed only members of the ruling party as the opposition's 55
MPs walked out of the chamber before his 40-minute address began. The
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has refused to recognise Mugabe's
legitimacy, accusing him of resorting to violence to win last March's hotly
disputed presidential election.

Outside Parliament, police maintained a heavy presence after a civic group,
the National Constitutional Assembly, had planned to stage a protest during
Mugabe's address. The demonstration, however, failed to materialise.

Mugabe said his government would do all it could to feed its people, who are
facing starvation as a result of a combination of drought and Zimbabwe's
chaotic land reform programme.

"No effort will be spared in ensuring that enough food is secured. We fight
the present drought with our eyes clearly set on the future of the
agricultural sector which is the mainstay of our economy. We dare not
endanger its future through misplaced decisions based on acts of either
desperation or expediency," Mugabe said.

Zimbabwe's food crisis has become highly politicised, with the government
claiming that the MDC had manufactured the shortages that have seen basic
commodities disappear off shop shelves.

Agriculture Minister Joseph Made this month accused millers of stock piling
flour for speculative purposes. His statement followed allegations by the
police that the opposition was engineering shortages to foment political
unrest. The MDC has dismissed the allegations as "nonsense".

Mugabe denied that his government had politicised food aid to strengthen its
political support in the rural areas. He also said he would not sacrifice
Zimbabwe's independence for humanitarian aid.

"We reject any attempts to use the present drought relief effort to smuggle
in failed and inappropriate IMF [International Monetary Fund] policies which
we know to have exacerbated our vulnerability to the vagaries of nature and
neo-colonial manipulation disguised as globalisation," he warned.

Mugabe said his government would continue with its land reform programme in
which 5,153 farms with a total area of 9.8 million hectares had been
gazetted for resettlement by people from the over-crowded communal areas. Of
these farms, 6.2 million hectares had been resettled by 210,520 households
under the fast-track programme.

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the United Nations or its agencies. If you re-print, copy, archive or
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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2001
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Sunday Times (SA)

Mugabe blames UK for food shortage

HARARE - A defiant President Robert Mugabe vowed to continue seizing
white-owned farms on Tuesday, blaming drought and Britain - Zimbabwe's
former colonial power - for food shortages that threaten half the
country with starvation.

Speaking at the opening of Parliament, Mugabe described his land
redistribution programme as "an unparalleled success", saying almost half of
the some 5,000 white-owned commercial farms have now been
transferred to blacks.

Mugabe has said the farm seizures were the only way to ensure landless
blacks had access to farming, but the program has brought commercial farming
to a grinding halt and left the country with a 2 million ton grain deficit
this year.

Many of the farms have not gone to landless blacks, but to Mugabe's

Aid agencies have launched urgent appeals for aid, but western donors have
been reluctant to pour money into Zimbabwe's mismanaged economy. The ruling
party has also been accused of using food as a political weapon, saying they
have refused aid distribution in some opposition strongholds.

Mugabe was unrepentant.

"While Zimbabwe accepts drought related assistance from the international
community, we remain quite wary of countries and organizations which seek to
take advantage of our hour of need," he said.

"We certainly abhor sinister interests, which seek surreptitiously to
advance themselves under cover of humanitarian assistance," Mugabe added.

The 78-year-old president said redistributing white-owned farms would boost
long term food security "while it also is a way of ensuring no one takes
advantage of our stomachs to get to the soul of our sovereignty".

Mugabe also announced that new laws would be introduced to enable the
government to take control appointments at private schools - a measure he
said was necessary to combat racism - and ruled out any possibility of
Zimbabwe's flagging currency being devalued.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change boycotted the parliamentary
sitting, the first since disputed March presidential elections, that
extended Mugabe's 22-year grip on power.

The party's 56 lawmakers refused to recognize the election's legitimacy,
saying it was won by intimidation and vote rigging.

Many international and domestic observers said the election was deeply

Heavily armed squads of paramilitary riot police prevented an
anti-government demonstration from being held on Tuesday.

Only ruling party supporters were allowed within a block of the ornate
colonial-style parliament building.

The main organizer of the protests, Lovemore Madhuku, was arrested on Monday
and held overnight by the police before being released.

Streets in downtown Harare were blocked off early Tuesday to all traffic and
police conducted searches of vehicles coming into the city in a bid to deter

Mugabe arrived at Parliament in a Rolls Royce limousine once used by British
colonial authorities, and inspected an honour guard before delivering his
45-minute long address.

Opposition officials said despite Tuesday's walkout, its lawmakers would
attend future parliamentary sessions in to protect voters' interests and
stave off what they termed anarchy.

Government officials said legislation that proposes giving Mugabe the power
to ban trades unions deemed hostile to the government would be debated in
the new session.

* In another development on Tuesday, one of Zimbabwe's most distinguished
novelists and poets, Chenjerai Hove, told the independent Daily News he had
fled to Paris after being harassed by the authorities.

"You live for 24 hours in fear," said the award-winning author. "The threats
were becoming unbearable. People were phoning my house saying I would
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Mugabe vows to defend Zimbabwe from West ''bullies''

HARARE, July 23 - President Robert Mugabe vowed on Tuesday to defend his
government against Western ''bullies'' and said Zimbabwe's economic recovery
hinged on land redistribution.
       In a 40-minute speech to open the new parliamentary session, Mugabe
made no direct mention of tighter EU sanctions, his media crackdown or any
plans for his ZANU-PF party to resume talks with the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).
       Strongly defending his government's right to take possession of white
farmers' land, he ignored a boycott of his speech by MDC legislators, who
make up just over a third of the assembly.
       Outside the southern African state's parliament, there was no sign of
a planned protest march by pro-democracy activists after police warnings
that the demonstration would be crushed.
       Mugabe said Zimbabwe, in the grips of its worst economic and
political crisis since independence from Britain in 1980, was facing
''considerable challenges'' from what he called ''British machinations'' and
a regional drought.
       The economy is in its fourth year of recession with record high
inflation and unemployment and a severe food shortage.
       ''Our sovereignty is constantly under attack from the bullying
states...which seek to use their political and economic prowess to achieve
global hegemony,'' Mugabe said.
       At 78, Mugabe is a leftwinger who counts Cuba's Fidel Castro and
Libya's Muammar Gaddafi among his foreign allies.
       On Monday, the European Union extended a blacklist of Zimbabwean
officials subjected to a visa ban and asset freeze. The move is aimed at
piling more pressure on the country whose human rights record it says has
deteriorated since Mugabe's re-election in March.
       The EU imposed so-called ''smart sanctions'' against Mugabe's
government in February ahead of the poll he won amid widespread allegations
of election malpractice.
       Zimbabwe has been suspended from the Commonwealth group of mostly
former British colonies for its conduct of the poll.

       Mugabe's speech also attacked countries he said were trying to use
food aid to subjugate his government.
       Aid agencies say six million Zimbabweans, or nearly half the
population, need emergency food aid because of drought and a disruption of
farming operations caused by the government's drive to kick white farmers
off their land and give it to landless blacks.
       ''While Zimbabwe accepts drought-related assistance from the
international community, we remain quite wary of countries and organisations
which seek to take advantage of our hour of need to attenuate sovereignty,''
the president said.
       He rejected accusations that his party was denying opposition
supporters food aid and vowed to continue with his land reform programme,
calling it ''the best insurance against drought-related food pressures.''
       Contradicting his finance minister, Simba Makoni, Mugabe ruled out a
currency devaluation.
       The Zimbabwe dollar, which Makoni has said should be devalued, is
officially pegged at 55 to the U.S. dollar, but is trading at around 600 on
the black market.
       ''Devaluation is sinister and can only be advocated by our saboteurs
and enemies of this government. Devaluation is thus dead,'' Mugabe said to
applause from the government benches while Makoni sat stone-faced.
       The main roads around parliament were closed off and helicopters
circled above the city, preventing a planned march by the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA).
       The NCA is a collation of trade unions, professional bodies and
church groups. It is demanding a new constitution to replace the current one
which Mugabe has amended 16 times since 1980 in what are seen as attempts to
tighten his grip on power.
       In a statement, the opposition MDC said its MPs had boycotted
Mugabe's speech because it does not recognise him as a legitimate president
after his controversial re-election
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Zimbabwe government shrugs off extra EU sanctions
HARARE, July 23 (AFP) - The Zimbabwe government Tuesday shrugged off the
EU's decision to extend sanctions against senior officials and ruling party
members, including President Robert Mugabe's wife, a state-run paper said.
"The European Union has not extended anything. They have just repeated their
hostility towards the Zimbabwean government," a senior foreign affairs
official told the Herald newspaper.

On Monday an EU council of foreign ministers added the names of 52 Mugabe
associates, including that of Mugabe's wife Grace, to a blacklist of
officials facing "targetted sanctions".

The council cited the Zimbabwe government's alleged abuse of human rights,
democracy and the rule of law for the sanctions, which bar individuals from
obtaining visas to travel to EU member states and freeze any assets they may
have in the eurozone.

But an editorial in the Herald Tuesday dismissed the EU's move as a "vain
hope that this will create discontent within the Government."

Tendai Biti, shadow foreign affairs minister in the main opposition party,
the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said the government should accept
the EU's move as a challenge to restore "legitimacy" to the country.

"The gauntlet has been cast on the ground," said Biti. "They (the
government) must return this country to legitimacy" through a new
constitution and fresh presidential elections, he said.

The MDC has rejected the outcome of March presidential elections, which saw
Mugabe returned to power.
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ZIMBABWE: Cautioned urged over food politicisation claims

JOHANNESBURG, 23 July (IRIN) - Distribution of food aid in Zimbabwe, where six million people face hunger, has become a political hot-potato, much to the chagrin of humanitarian agencies implementing life-saving programmes.

Accusations that the distribution of food aid has been politicised - with claims that supporters of both the ruling ZANU-PF and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have been denied aid due to their political allegiance - have been fuelled by comments by politicians.

Zimbabwe's independent newspaper, The Standard, recently reported that Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Abednico Ncube told villagers in Matabeleland that maize "will be available only to those who dump the opposition and work with ZANU-PF". The party would "start feeding its children before turning to those of the MDC".

ZANU-PF MP for Beitbridge, Kembo Mohadi, also reportedly "bullied and threatened" NGO's conducting distribution of food aid in Gwanda, Matabeleland. He allegedly warned them they were there at the invitation of the government, and would have to follow government directives.

World Vision, one of the NGO implementing aid deliveries for the World Food Programme in Gwanda, has called for calm.

"Politicians can make statements that are threatening but that does not necessarily change the way food is distributed," Rudo Kwaramba, Director of World Vision Zimbabwe, told IRIN on Tuesday.

"From what I gather he [Mohadi] made certain statements, but it does not change the register [of those who qualify for food aid] and how we are going to distribute food. It does not change how NGOs work on the ground, we will continue to distribute food to those people, irrespective of what political statements were made."

Allegations of politicisation of food have come from both sides of the political divide. "Where there's a shortage of food anyone can make a statement that they have been excluded from a register because of the political party they support," said Kwaramba.

Many of the allegations made were untested. "My concern is just the way in which those who raise complaints have done so. Very few have come to the particular implementing agency to verify information. That attracts negative feedback from donors and well wishers and those who would help, complicating the process of raising additional resources," she said.

"We feel we are doing [our] best to get the food to people who are needy. People need to know that in the registration process we work with local government, which consists of councillors who are drawn from wards, who work with headmen from villages etc." So communities were "very involved" in the identification of people in need of aid, Kwaramba added.

The accusations had created a situation where "we have to spend time answering questions to the international community" instead of working to feed the hungry. There was a need to educate NGOs as some were making allegations "when they do not know in reality whether there is politicisation or not", she added.

"Everything is being done to make sure people are not left out on the basis of political alliance. We have community based committees set up to receive complaints from people so we can investigate. It was understood from the beginning that we working in a politically charged environment," Kwaramba said.

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ZIMBABWE: Focus on farm workers call for inclusion in land reform

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 23 July (IRIN) - After a history of neglect, Zimbabwe's commercial farm labourers risk losing out yet again, this time in the form of the government's land redistribution programme.

The land reform process has so-far failed to effectively address the plight of the 350,000 farm workers and the estimated 200,000 to 300,000 casual labourers whose jobs are threatened by the "fast-track" programme, analysts warn. As next month's deadline approaches for 2,900 white farmers to vacate their estates, commercial farm workers have urged the government to include them in the land redistribution scheme.

"We would like to see farm workers also resettled," Gertrude Hambira, deputy secretary-general of the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers' Union of Zimbabwe, told IRIN. "Farm workers have been denied an income and also need to be included in [the government's drought-related] food distribution programme."

Land expert Sam Moyo, who helped draft the government's original framework for land reform, said that only two percent of farm workers had been allocated land under the fast-track scheme.

Government policy has called on the farm workers to remain on the estates. But Hambira said that had not been uniformally applied, with tension in some districts where the new settlers had forcibly evicted labourers.

Even where the workers have remained and been employed by the new resettled farmers, she said they could not afford to pay the monthly minimum wage of Zim $4,300 (US $78 at the official rate). Hambira alleged that in some cases children of farm workers were being exploited as labour.

"The policy is not very clear. What is needed is a public statement from the government to say what should be done," an analyst with the Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe (FCTZ), an NGO working with farm labourers, told IRIN. "We have been pushing for the inclusion of farm labourers in the land reform programme. At least they need security of tenure."

He added: "The assumption the new settlers will provide jobs is just an assumption. In reality it will take a long time ... Nothing has really changed [in terms of improving labourers' historically marginalised status] or benefited them in this process of land reform".

The situation is complicated by the limited links that many farm labourers have to the communal lands, the impoverished "reserves" that colonial legislation assigned the majority of black people to live in, and the government's reforms seek to address.

Historically, many farm labourers originated from neighbouring countries. But the failure of commercial farmers to register children born on their farms has denied them birth certificates and access to identity documents. "Only a small percentage of farm labourers can go to their communal homes," Hambira said.

According to Moyo, "many commercial farmers kept them as serf labour and didn't bother for 20 years to make sure that these people were registered. But by definition [as they were born in Zimbabwe], most of them are Zimbabweans."

A study in eastern and central Mashonaland found that 40 percent of farm labourers "maintained some links" with the communal areas, the FCTZ analyst said. "However, it's not saying they actually have communal homes," he added, and pointed out that women in particular do not traditionally have access to land.

If the purpose of land reform was to decongest the communal areas, then forcing farm labourers to return runs counter to that stated aim, the analyst said. "The reason people moved to the farms in the first place was because of the overcrowding," he commented. 

Meanwhile, media reports this week have focused on the closure of more than 500 schools on formerly white-owned farms that has robbed an estimated 250,000 children of an education.

The FCTZ official said this was one of the many "ironies" surrounding the land reform debate. Human rights groups have for years lobbied commercial farmers to set up proper registered schools on their estates, but in the majority of cases they had been rebuffed.

What was provided was sub-standard education, and in the cases where the children did not have birth certificates, they could not graduate to government-run secondary schools. Inadequate education led to early pregnancy among girls, and for boys "early labour", the analyst said.

But, he added, regardless of whether the schools provided by the commercial farmers were up to scratch, their closure has meant that "the children are going to be the losers".

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Embargo: immediate


The "Save Zimbabwe" campaign today welcomed the EU's expansion of  "smart
sanctions" against Zimbabwe's rulers, with its Europe-wide travel ban and
freeze on assets for 52 more members of Zanu-PF, but called on the EU to
back the gesture with more direct pressure.

"Smart sanctions will not bring down this illegitimate regime", a campaign
spokesman said, "but they do underline the EU's abhorrence of the human
rights violations and denial of democracy now being inflicted on Zimbabwe.
It's a worthwhile gesture".

However, the spokesman said the people of Zimbabwe looked to the EU for more
than symbolic gestures. "The European Union has great political and economic
influence in Africa. We ask them to use that influence to encourage other
African countries to press for democracy in Zimbabwe.  If the community of
nations in Africa withdrew all support from this rogue regime, democracy
could be restored within months.

"Save Zimbabwe"  is an international initiative to restore democracy, human
rights and legitimate government to Zimbabwe. Although endorsed by the
Opposition MDC , it is a non-partisan campaign drawing its support from a
broad range of individuals and organisations, all sharing these common


Issued by Chelgate Limited:
On behalf of the ""Save Zimbabwe" campaign.

For further information, please contact Terence Fane-Saunders on:
44 (0) 207 939 7939 or
44 (0) 7768 283 144

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Time for Action

The Movement for Democratic Change is launching today, an appeal to all Zimbabweans to help the Party fund its legal challenge to the fraudulent election of Robert Mugabe as President in the March 2002 elections. The appeal is aimed at raising funds for the court case which is expected to last for some time and for which a substantial and extreemly competent legal team has been assembled. We have no doubt that this legal challenge would be successful in any properly constituted court in the world and we trust the legal profession in Zimbabwe to give the people justice.

Donations can be made at any time from Monday the 15th of July until Friday the 20th of July, when in fact we have been instructed by the High Court to make a $2 000 000 security deposit with the High Court before they will initiate proceedings. The centres for donations are all MDC offices in the country.

At the same time we are asking all Zimbabweans who are making a donation, to sign a petition to the Chief Justice, appealing to him as the custodian of the legal system in Zimbabwe, to ensure that this case is heard fairly and objectively and within the law. We are also asking him to ensure that the rule of law is restored and that Zimbabweans are given justice by their legal system. We ask all Zimbabweans to sign this petition. The petition with a form for signatures is attached for your information and use.

At the end of the week, the President of the Movement for Democratic Change will present the results of the petition to the Chief Justice together with the payment of the $2 000 000 that has been demanded.

This is your first opportunity to make your voice heard in a real way since the election – go today to your nearest MDC office or donations point and make your donations and sign the petition. Or you can print off a copy of the attached petition – take it to your friends and staff and ask them to make a small donation and to sign the petition, then take the completed petitions plus the cash collected to your nearest MDC office. Drop your money into the collection bins provided and give your signed petition forms to the staff on duty. The results of the fund raising and the petition will be published in the independent press.

Together we can complete the change for a better Zimbabwe. This is your chance to show how strongly we feel about the situation in the country at present and about the fraudulent election of Robert Mugabe in March.

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Daily News


      Zimbabweans watch as poverty creates internal refugees

      7/23/02 8:09:37 AM (GMT +2)

      A NEW breed of street children is visible in most urban centres,
joining the generation which moved in around 1984. That generation comprises
young adults, all men. Girls rarely remain street urchins beyond the age of
10. Nobody seems to care about their whereabouts as soon as their breasts
begin to sprout.

      The new arrivals, aged between two and five, are accompanied by their
ashen and frazzled mothers. They jump at every car from traffic islands and
street boundary lines. Their requests are often simple: coins, empty bottles
and scraps of food.

      The street men, here for almost 20 years, have seen it all. They have
heard top officials, the late Sally Mugabe, former mayor Solomon Tawengwa
and others, promise them manna, housing, schools and a decent lifestyle.
Nothing happened but the numbers kept on swelling.

      As agile, streetwise and enterprising but forgotten men, the street
gangs have virtually occupied every parking lot, claiming to be in the
business of guarding cars for a small "service fee".

      Their deportment and language are vulgar and openly uncouth. They spew
all kinds of obscenities to innocent motorists, especially women, without
any moral fear of, or respect for, the society around them.

      Hunger has begun to displace ordinary Zimbabweans away from places
they used to call home to towns and cities. Theft, prostitution and child
labour are some of the coping mechanisms that people are resorting to for

      Children, supposed to be in schools, work either as prostitutes, petty
traders or as gold panners as part of the wild search for relief.

      Begging has long ceased to be a humiliating practice that the
majority, including workers, are now openly asking for help.

      Information on poverty-induced migration and other internal movements
will remain sketchy, given the transient style of the hungry, complicating
any effort to target them for organised relief.

      An assessment in May by the Internally Displaced Persons Unit of the
United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs called
for attention to an urgent need to fill "important information gaps". The
office seeks to locate and quantify the people who left their homes because
of political violence or economic hardships.

      The Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe surveyed 235 large-scale
commercial farms, 10 percent of all farms in the provinces of Mashonaland
West, Central and East and Manicaland. The Trust found that, as of 16 May,
about 52 000 had left. Political violence displaced around about 30 000,
according to human rights groups.

      The number of Aids orphans is estimated at between 900 000 and 1,2
million. Most are wandering around, which makes enumeration difficult.

      The Farm Orphan Support Trust says there are an average 12 orphans at
each commercial farm in the three Mashonaland provinces and Manicaland.

      This means there is a significant increase in child-headed homes. In
the villages, most grandmothers are desperately trying to raise thousands of
children without food, income, medical drugs or answers.

      A third category, the survey suggests, includes those encouraged to
invade farms in the early stages of the chaotic land reform programme but
are now being evicted as new owners move in.

      The true story of the impact of hunger, HIV/Aids and social
instability remains untold. Families and individuals have all been thrown
into a jitterbug of misery, into a climate of fear, silence and bewilderment
      because the drought and the unending political crisis.

      A serious paucity of vision, covered by an obsession to destroy reason
and force loyalty to Zanu PF, has clouded debate on Zimbabwe's fate. No one
cares anymore about the toddlers in the street.

      The sheer weight of the public responsibilities facing the government
is so much that President Mugabe and his government alone no longer have the
energy to lift a finger.

      The social welfare system has collapsed and no one is talking about
it. Those who must show leadership and rekindle discussion watch helplessly
as the government equates open debates to treason and regards critics as

      The national agenda is lost in a jungle search for food that has
forced all to defend themselves and allow for a simplified version of the
complex issues affecting this nation.

      This is a strange country with a strange people. We are burying
thousands weekly, families are breaking up, there are no jobs, people are
bullied and assaulted daily and the economic crisis is deepening.

      An entire generation of parents faces the risk of being wiped out by
Aids and, despite Mugabe's election promise, there are no retroviral drugs
in public hospitals.

      The signs of starvation are all over the show: join a food queue and
look into people's sinking eyes, feel their lifeless hands, or check their
swollen bellies and you know a serious phase is on its way. Food prices,
despite the so-called price controls, continue to rise.

      But there are no public forums at which these matters are debated and
unpacked; there are no open expressions of anger; there is no visible
movement against the severity of the blows on our very existence. There is
fear even to whisper a dissenting tune.

      The government is getting away with a notion and definition of the
opposition as a foreign-inspired concept which deserves nothing but hate,
not as a partner.

      Foreigners, especially the British, are seen as the main enemy using a
willing coterie of traitors and avaricious puppets, not the glaring reality
of bad governance and shoddy economic experiments.

      With close to six million completely famished, the nation continues to
let the binge carry on. We need to stop the orgy by shouting back, demanding
accountability, respect and a fair deal from a speeding driver whose eyes
are firmly stuck on the rear view mirror.

      In life and in politics, success and power comes from a vision, not
the past. The past, for the experience it offers, can only be relevant if it
tenders wisdom and guidance to a sitting generation.

      Family stability and the rescue of street children is only possible
through economic prosperity. That prosperity is a by-product of democracy.
And, democracy comes from tolerance, which is an expression of love and
morality. Sadly, that is missing in Zimbabwe.

      Voters must realise that they can never be safe as long as their
opponents are persecuted and denied breathing space by a government which
they either elected or not.

      Zanu PF supporters will fail to show off with their supposed victory
until the MDC gives them the blessing to do so.

      In the meantime, more people - including the newly resettled farmers -
will abandon their homes for cover.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Finger-pointing will not end forex crisis

      7/23/02 7:32:31 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Zimbabwe corporate world could not have missed the stories of
malfeasance in the world of high finance in the United States of America
splashed across the front pages of newspapers around the world.

      The names of such companies as the energy giant Enron and only last
week WorldCom Inc have featured in scandals of such magnitude Zimbabwe's own
pint-size wrongdoings in the corporate world pale into child's play.

      In just 15 years, Enron grew from nowhere to be America's seventh
largest company, employing 21 000 staff in more than 40 countries.

      But the firm's success turned out to have involved an elaborate scam.

      It had lied about profits and was accused of a range of shady
dealings, including concealing debts so they didn't show up in the company's

      The US government threw the book at them and thousands lost their jobs
and livelihoods as the law took its course.

      WorldCom Inc filed the largest US bankruptcy, after it buckled under a
US$3,85 billion (Z$211,75 billion) accounting scandal and a US$41 billion
(Z$2,255 billion) mountain of junk-rated debt. In plain language, a bunch of
crooks at these companies "cooked the books".

      President George W Bush, a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist, warned the
corporate world in the US to behave itself or face the wrath of the American
people, through tougher new laws.

      If there are any such financial shenanigans in the corporate world in
Zimbabwe, the law should take its course as well. The innuendos and the
finger-pointing, in the government media especially, is profitless.

      If there are crooks, the law should go after them, hammer and tongs.

      The difference between the two situations is that, in general terms,
the US economy can survive such hiccups. It's far more buoyant that Zimbabwe
's which is virtually under siege, its President having to fly off every
once in a while with begging bowl in hand.

      The targets of the virulent attacks over the foreign currency crisis
include the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, that ultimate
square peg in the round hole of the government's weird economic management
style, Simba Makoni.

      The other king-size brickbat is being aimed at Leonard Tsumba, the
governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Both men earned the wrath of the
Zanu PF mandarins with their support for the devaluation of the dollar,
quickly shot down by the politically beleaguered President Mugabe.

      Many analysts, both domestic and foreign, predict that without
devaluation the currency situation can only deteriorate further.

      The government media have now created the impression that the two men,
far from safeguarding the fiscal interests of the government, have been
actively colluding with all the alleged villains in sabotaging the economy.
Both men have shown they are made of sterner stuff than their enemies
believe - neither has resigned so far.

      Many of their sympathisers have counselled them against remaining
aboard the sinking Zanu PF ship, buffeted on all sides by political and
economic sanctions, isolation by former friends and allies and actively
disliked by a majority of the people of Zimbabwe for turning them into

      Moreover, such witch-hunting and finger-pointing has become the
stock-in-trade of a government bereft of any new ideas on how to drag itself
back into that part of the international community which respects the rule
of law and does not "cook the books" during or after an election.

      Only a return to constitutional respectability can end Zimbabwe's
financial woes.

      Its continued estrangement from both the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund, while it may salve the macho pangs of the Zanu
PF leadership, is doing enormous and some might even say irreparable damage
to the economy.

      The foreign currency crisis was inevitable as long as the exports
started drying up in the wake of the 2000 invasions on the commercial farms.

      Mugabe must start repairing his own international reputation before
blaming anybody else for the foreign currency crisis.

      In fact, nobody else is to blame for all the crises - except Mugabe
and his colleagues.
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Daily News

      Made swallows his pride

      7/23/02 8:19:27 AM (GMT +2)

      By Takaitei Bote Farming Editor

      LANDS, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister, Dr Joseph Made
seems to
      have swallowed his pride by authorising the importation of 50 000
tonnes of wheat as soon as possible.

      Made accused millers of hoarding four weeks ago, saying it was causing
bread shortages. He had categorically stated that there would be no need to
import the commodity as there was plenty of flour. Made, just like in 2000
when he claimed there would be no food shortages, was at it again, the only
person in the industry claiming there is no need to import wheat.

      The United Nations last week warned the government not to politicise
the food issue, confirming that six million people are facing starvation.
Even under normal circumstances when there are enough wheat stocks, millers
still need to import about 20 percent of the wheat they use to make flour
for gristing purposes.

      The Zimbabwe Bakers' Association urged the government to import import
50 000 tonnes of wheat to augment existing stocks while the Famine Early
Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet) said last week that the government should
import 100 000 tonnes of wheat. Sources close to the Grain Marketing Board
(GMB) alleged this week that Made had authorised the GMB to import about 50
000 tonnes.

      An official close to the GMB who declined to be named for fear of
victimisation alleged: "The GMB has been authorised to import 50 000 tonnes
of wheat and they are likely to float a tender for importation of the
commodity as they have no money." Made was not available for comment the
whole of last week.

      His cellphone was constantly out of reach. GMB acting chief executive
officer Joan Mtukwa was also not available. Contacted on his cellphone last
Friday, operations manager for GMB, Justin Mutasa said: "Nonsense," and he
hung up.
      According to Fewsnet wheat stocks are estimated to have gone down from
165 000 tonnes at the start of the marketing year on 1 April 2002 to 85 000
tonnes by mid-June 2002.

      At the current consumption rate of 32 000 tonnes per month, the
Fewsnet said, the remaining stocks would be depleted by the end of next
month. Meanwhile it is alleged that the GMB, which floated a tender to
purchase 200 000 tonnes of maize one and a half months ago, has not awarded
the tender because of lack of interest from the market.

      A cereal deficit of 2,28 million tonnes is assessed for the 2002/2003
marketing year due to drought as well as ongoing land reforms, which
resulted in a 60 percent decline in cereal production in the past farming
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Daily News

      Tobacco output to fall as seed sales plummet

      7/23/02 8:17:09 AM (GMT +2)

      Farming Editor

      THE Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) says there will be a further
drop in tobacco output next year as seed sales to date are less than those
made by the same time last year, further threatening the country's foreign
currency earnings.

      Zimbabwe, already facing foreign currency shortages, is expected to
sink deep into further turmoil next year because there will be a smaller
commercial tobacco crop. Large-scale commercial farmers produce the bulk of
the flue-cured tobacco crop. Tobacco contributes about 30 percent to the
country's foreign currency earnings. Zimbabwe has of late experienced a
reduction in export performance due to poor monetary policies which have
squeezed exports.

      According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe exports fell from US$2,496
billion (Z$137,28 billion) in 1996 to US$1,574 billion (Z$86,57 billion) in
2001. Exports are expected to sink further next year if the government does
not change its fixed exchange rate policy. ZTA president Duncan Millar said
that tobacco seed sales made from May to to date were only enough to plant
29 057 hectares assuming that seed bought would be planted compared with 49
587 ha at the same time last year.
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Business Day

Mugabe told about future drought


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has conveniently attributed the collapse of food
resources in Zimbabwe to the recent drought. In fact, nearly 4000 skilled
Zimbabwean farmers had their farms seized illegally by the thugs of his
regime over the past two years.

His government was warned by the Commercial Farmer's Union prior to the
drought that maize supplies would end in August 2001. They did.

Under normal circumstances, sufficient maize would have been stored in
anticipation. Moreover, a former secretary for agriculture in Zimbabwe now
reports that there is enough water in the numerous dams to irrigate
sufficient food crops. But, what cannot be seized by Mugabe's thugs is
ability and knowledge of how to farm commercially.

These facts do not faze Mugabe, for his goal is totalitarian power. One of
the ways he captured support for his continued presidency was to dispense
patronage. His party needed land to give away, and needed to make people
dependent upon his patronage. Capturing land from the private sector met the
first criterion. The second was met by destroying other sources of income
belonging to the more progressive sector of his countrymen because they
wanted to vote for the opposition. In case that was insufficient, the recent
"ballot" was falsified in his favour.

The cereal deficit is now estimated at 1,8-million tons. Only a part can be
gained with grant aid. Starvation is being worsened by his government's
refusal to allow non-government organisations to distribute the food. Mugabe
is taking advantage of the plight of his country to starve out the
opposition first, especially in Matabeleland. How much longer is the
Commonwealth going to tolerate totalitarianism? Is this not the greatest
threat to a democratic and prosperous Africa?

David Tyndale-BiscoeSomerset West

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Daily News

      Union threatens to urge

      7/23/02 8:25:29 AM (GMT +2)

      From Energy Bara in Masvingo

      THE Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) on Sunday said it
would encourage all teachers countrywide to leave their schools if the
Ministry of Education Sport and Culture, together with the Public Service
Commission, failed to take concrete and visible steps to protect their lives
and properties.

      The union's remarks follow a wave of politically motivated violence
which has seen scores of teachers in Masvingo region being displaced,
intimidated and tortured by suspected Zanu PF supporters for being suspected
MDC supporters.
      Raymond Majongwe, the PTUZ secretary-general, said most teachers in
the Masvingo region were living in constant fear because of political

      Majongwe said: "Four months after the presidential election, it is
perplexing as to what perpetrators of this violence intend to achieve. "The
PTUZ is therefore urging the Public Service Commission and the Ministry of
Education to take concrete, visible steps in protecting teachers' lives and
property." He continued: "If this violence continues unabated, the PTUZ will
be left with no choice but to encourage not only teachers in the affected
areas to leave their stations but all teachers in the country to do the same
in solidarity."

      Majongwe said some schools resembled concentration camps as teachers
were afraid of venturing outside their schools because suspected Zanu PF
youths would pounce on them. He said following reports of terror in rural
schools in Masvingo, his union had visited some of the affected schools and
discovered that teachers were being harassed and that some had been
displaced. Majongwe urged the police and communities to protect teachers
since it was their children who would lose valuable learning time.

      He said it was depressing to note that no arrests had been made yet
when most of the perpetrators of the violence were known. Two weeks ago,
Mapanzure secondary school, 40km south of Masvingo city was temporarily
closed after Zanu PF youths ran amok, beating up teachers and accusing them
of supporting the MDC.
      Obert Mujuru, the Masvingo regional director of education has
expressed concern over harassment of teachers by political activists in the

      In Zaka district alone, more than 100 teachers have fled their rural
schools to seek refuge in urban areas after suspected Zanu PF youths
harassed them for allegedly supporting the MDC.

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Daily News

      No bookings from cattle breeders at this year's Gweru Agriculture Show

      7/23/02 8:27:26 AM (GMT +2)

      From Zerubabel Mudzingwa in Gweru

      THE absence of livestock exhibits at this year's Midlands Agricultural
Show largely due to the government's controversial land seizures, stockfeed
shortages and the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, is likely to put a
damper on the event.

      The three-day show which runs from 26 to 28 July, will for the first
time this year run without a cattle exhibition. Trevor Shaw, the chairman of
the Midlands Show Society, said no cattle exhibitors had booked this year.
"Unfortunately there will be no cattle on the show due to the government ban
on the movement of cattle due to foot-and-mouth and the prevailing
stockfeeds shortages," he said.

      Commercial cattle exhibits are usually the main highlights of the
      However, members of the commercial Cattle Producers' Association
attributed their non-participation at this year's show to the government's
chaotic land reform programme, which has led to more than 2 900 commercial
farmers receiving Section 8 orders to vacate their properties by 10 August

      Shaw said the Zimbabwe Farmers' Union's produce section would fill up
the gap with displays of varieties of maize, sorghum, groundnuts, mhunga,
rapoko, cowpeas and horticultural products. The crop section itself has been
badly affected by this year's record drought, which has left nearly six
      Zimbabweans in dire need of food aid.

      Shaw said a number of new exhibitors had defied the harsh economic
times and taken up stands at the show. "This is a good time to prove to the
critics that when times are tough business must remain steadfast in the
market," he said.
      "Visitors to the show can expect interesting displays from both old
and new exhibitors," he said.

      All major car dealers and educational institutions, including Midlands
State University and the Zimbabwe Open University, have booked stands at the
      Shaw said 10 primary and secondary schools were expected to
participate at this year's show.
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23 July, 2002

MDC Womens' Assembly makes statement on the tragic death of Mrs Jongwe

The MDC women's Assembly has learnt with profound shock and sadness the
tragic death of Mrs. Rutendo Jongwe. We know it is painful to have to
contend with the stalking reality of having to part with such a dear loved
one, but we appeal to the affected families to put faith in the almighty
and pray for the soul of Rutendo to rest in peace.

On behalf of the women in general and those in the MDC party in particular,
we unreservedly condemn violence in any form, be it domestic or otherwise.
We are saddened by this episode particularly as it comes from a senior
member of the party who should be setting the standards for a new Zimbabwe,
that is not only politically tolerant but is also gender sensitive. We
encourage couples to resolve their problems amicably and to desist from
resorting to violence.

We support the MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai's stance on domestic
violence and the need to ensure that justice is done expeditiously in this

May the Muusha and Jongwe families know that we are morning with them during
these sad and painful moments.

Mrs. Lucia Matibenga
National Chairperson
Women Assembly
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