From The Spectator (UK), 26
Evil under the
It’s nearly too late to save
Zimbabwe, says Michael Ancram. The world must intervene to stop
Blantyre, Malawi - It is not often that you see a human face
devoid of hope. Last Wednesday morning in a dusty wood outside Harare in
Zimbabwe I looked into many such faces. These were the forgotten victims of
Robert Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe, just a few of the 85,000 ‘displaced’ black
workers thrown violently off their farms. Their few possessions have been taken
from them, and most will never find work again. Among them are frail and elderly
men and women, retired after a lifetime’s work, and children whose worlds have
been turned upside-down, hanging around in the sun with no prospect of an
education. I saw about 100 such people. A 45-year-old foreman had been forced to
leave behind the beef herd he had worked with for 15 years. He was a skilled
stockman of the sort highly valued in any agricultural economy. He is unlikely
ever to tend cattle again. A 54-year-old farmhand, whose father and grandfather
had worked on the farm before him, had lost the only home and working
environment he had ever known - and Zimbabwe had lost another skilled hand. An
80-year-old wizened and lame retired worker, expecting to live out his declining
years in relative tranquillity, was stumbling around the tents and the open
fires, lost. A mother pointed to her ten-year-old child and said, "No school
now. No more school ever."
From what I heard she is probably right. The numbers are
rocketing. If the land grabs continue and the 2,900 white farmers are required
to leave their farms on 9 August, the number of ‘displaced’ black farm workers
could rise to 300,000. Robert Mugabe couldn’t care less. His government
sneeringly describes the victims as Malawian or Mozambican, ignoring the reality
that they have been in Zimbabwe for generations. My colleague Richard Spring,
MP, and I arrived at an almost empty Harare airport at about 9 a.m. Because the
Zimbabwean authorities did not know we were there, we were able to see troubling
sights. A whistle-stop tour of the farmlands north-west of Harare showed us that
hectare after hectare of highly productive farmland is lying unprepared,
unplanted and vandalised. The sheer evil of this deliberate waste, at a time
when six million Zimbabweans are malnourished and the threat of famine is just
around the corner, was made starker by the evident success of the few farms
still in production.
We returned to Harare to meet politicians from the opposition
MDC party, including the leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. The meeting was held on
neutral ground to avoid inviting undue attention. Tsvangirai is a big man in
every sense. He has a large physique, a big presence and a broad smile. In
conversation he was frank and to the point. There was a sense of leadership in
the room, and his very able colleagues were evidently proud of him. In fact, all
these politicians are remarkable. Their refusal to be cowed by constant threats
and harassment, their determination to fight the corruption which is the Mugabe
regime, their faith that in the end the democratic system and the rule of law
will come good, deserve the fullest admiration. Amid the gloom of despair they
remain a guiding light.
So do the representatives of Civil Society whom we met next.
These are the uncoverers and publishers of the disgraceful human-rights abuses,
of political ‘cleansing’, of the rule of law ignored. We met them behind barred
and barbed protection. They, too, are brave - many of them are young black
Zimbabweans, desperate about their country, prepared to speak out. They believe
that Mugabe’s government is without legitimacy and they are setting out to prove
it. We were given chapter and verse on the violations, the violence, the
contempt for the law and the abuse of authority, including the chilling fact
that many of the political assaults are carried out by the police on people in
their custody. We visited the British High Commissioner, both to report and to
be briefed, and then returned to Harare airport and left. While the day had
passed without any specific cause for alarm, I have to admit that as the plane
took off the relief was palpable. It was, however, mixed with a great sadness at
what I had seen and heard, and a renewed determination to help.
A crisis is already engulfing Zimbabwe. I believe that it is
about to implode into full-blown disaster. In a world where there are too many
natural disasters it is almost a blasphemy to witness one that is deliberately
politically engineered. Each of the elements - the displaced, the crop failures,
the impending famine, the undermining of democracy and the rule of law - is the
direct product of Mugabe’s despotism. While I welcome the fact that, late in the
day, the British government and European colleagues have extended the travel ban
on the Mugabe regime, which I have long called for, the ban does not include
business associates and all spouses and families of those on the expanded list.
The targeted sanctions still do not go far enough if they are to be genuinely
effective. The lesson of the last six months is that it is not just the
announcement that matters but a rigorous implementation of the ban, with
loopholes closed, in order to show that Europe matches words with actions. This
is because we have now seen the official press release, which upon closer
scrutiny is quite weak. Only Grace Mugabe is included as the single spouse on
The tragedy of Zimbabwe is that disaster has been coming a long
time, yet so little has been done internationally to avert it at an early stage
when pressure could have had a much greater effect. Foot-dragging and ‘mental
imperialism’ prevented it. They must not be allowed to prevent it any more. The
international community must come together in an effective coalition and ensure
that whatever it takes to secure fresh elections in Zimbabwe is brought to bear
now. Soon it will be too late. Speeches about healing the scars of Africa are
not only worthless if they are not accompanied by action, but are also
positively damaging because they raise expectations only cruelly to dash them.
If Tony Blair meant it when he talked about a moral duty to act, he must show
that he meant it.
(Michael Ancram is the UK Conservative Party’s shadow foreign
Banned Zimbabwean stopped flying through
LONDON, July 26 - A Zimbabwean on a list of leaders banned
through the European Union was stopped in London while trying to
flight to New York on Friday, British authorities said.
The EU has barred travel by members of Zimbabwe's ruling elite as
sanctions against President Robert Mugabe's government for holding
election the EU considered illegitimate and seizing white-owned farms.
This week the EU added 52 more names to an original travel ban list
''A Zimbabwean national on the EU travel ban list has been
transit at Gatwick,'' a British Foreign Office spokeswoman
''That requires EU members to take necessary measures to prevent
entry into or transit through their territories of individuals listed on
travel ban,'' she said, adding she believed he was en route to New York
She gave no details of the Zimbabwean's identity or
of how the case
would be resolved. A Home Office spokeswoman said the case
considered, but declined to give further details.
Zimbabwean High Commission said it knew nothing of the incident.
There has been mounting world concern at the violent
suppression of Mugabe's opponents, but Mr Malinga denied this
Zimbabwean minister seized at Gatwick
23.26PM BST, 26 Jul 2002
A member of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe's regime is
facing deportation from Britain after being seized as he tried to board a flight
for New York at Gatwick.
Joseph Malinga, the ruling Zanu PF Party's deputy secretary for
disability, is one of 52 people subject to a European Union travel ban which was
passed on Tuesday.
Wheelchair-bound Mr Malinga and his disabled wife were taken to a
hotel for the night to await deportation after being stopped as they tried to
board the flight to New York where they were due to attend a disability
He insisted he believed the EU travel ban, imposed in protest at
Mugabe's policies which are driving a once-prosperous country towards famine,
applied only to senior party members.
"I did not think that would include me," he said.
"I am travelling to New York because I am a leader of Disabled
People's International. That is a worldwide movement of disabled people. I don't
know what that has to do with the Zimbabwean government."
There has been mounting world concern at the violent suppression
of Mugabe's opponents, but Mr Malinga denied this.
"I don't know that the party I belong to has that monopoly of
violence. I don't think so," he said.
The EU imposed "targeted sanctions" against Zimbabwe after Mugabe
refused to let European observers monitor the presidential elections in
Just 20 people were initially subject to a range of measures,
including the travel ban.
However, the 52 new names, including first lady Grace Mugabe,
were added at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels earlier this
Zimbabwe media overseer attacked in street
July 26 - The head of the commission upholding Zimbabwe's harsh new
laws was severely injured in a robbery on his way home from President
Mugabe's residence, state radio reported on Friday.
Broadcasting Corporation said Tafataona Mahoso was
attacked and robbed by
three unknown assailants on Thursday night as he
walked from a party hosted
by Mugabe at State House. He suffered three
fractures in one leg.
Mahoso, a journalism school head and a supporter of Mugabe's ruling
party, was appointed by the government in June as executive chairman
of a new
media and information commission.
The body is in charge of licensing
media houses and accrediting local
journalists, as well as upholding the
media laws, which punish ''abuse of
journalistic privilege'' such as
publishing falsehoods with fines and up to
two years in prison.
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said the profile of Mahoso's
that of professional hit-men.
''The savage attack on Dr Mahoso is a
desperate and barbaric
political act disguised as a robbery,'' Moyo said in a
statement relayed by
''Could this be the
beginning of the so-called mass action that some
people have been talking
about?'' he asked.
He was apparently referring to plans by the
opposition Movement for
Democratic Change to hold protests against Mugabe's
disputed victory in
presidential polls earlier this year.
media laws ban foreigners from working in the country as
Known as the Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act, the
measures face several legal challenges, including one from
Correspondents Association of Zimbabwe contesting the
parts of it.
A U.S. citizen and correspondent
for Britain's Guardian newspaper,
Andrew Meldrum, was acquitted this month of
charges he faced under the act
of reproducing a false story, although he is
challenging his subsequent
deportation from Zimbabwe.
journalists have also been charged under the act.
The media bill was
rushed through parliament ahead of a presidential
election in March that the
opposition says Mugabe won fraudulently.
Friday, 26 July, 2002, 13:01 GMT 14:01 UK
Zimbabwe luxury taxes soar
Farmer workers leave their farm in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's government has increased import taxes on luxury
goods by 500% as it tries to stem the collapse of the country's tattered
The state-controlled Herald newspaper on Friday reported that Finance
Minister Simba Makoni announced the increase as part of a supplementary budget,
aimed at raising Z$53bn (£610m).
The extra funds will be used to finance farming, food relief and wage
Items included on the list of luxury goods are motor vehicles, bicycles,
drinks and tobacco.
According to the Herald, Mr Makoni said the government had been forced to
change its budget plans because ongoing drought in the country caused severe
He was also quoted as saying new black farmers settling on land seized from
white commercial farmers needed support.
The Zimbabwe economy is in its fourth year of recession. Aid agencies have
said nearly half the population needs emergency food because of the drought and
disruption to farming.
The farm changes are part of Zimbabwe President Mugabe's controversial land
Commercial farmers - most of them white - have had their farms reclaimed and
handed to new settlers, usually with strong connections to the ruling Zanu-PF
The result has been the destitution of thousands of black former workers on
the farms, along with their families.
Out of pocket
Even those farms still operating are suffering not only fromt he disruption
but from a disastrously lopsided exchange rate.
The Zimbabwe dollar is officially valued at fifty-five to one US dollar.
On the "parallel market" as the black market is generally know, though, it
trades at more than six hundred to the greenback, making it almost impossible
for farmers legally to import fertilisers and other inputs from outside
President Mugabe told parliament on Tuesday that his government would not
devalue the Zimbabwe dollar, despite increased pressure - not least from Mr
Makoni - to do so.
Why do we adulate power? Or do
7/26/02 9:00:14 AM (GMT +2)
TWICE during a
recent stay of three days in Lusaka was I stopped by
the motorcade of the
Zimbabweans are familiar with that sort of
Whereas in Berlin or London I never saw all traffic stopped
because the chief executive of government was going to work, I never
this intimidating demonstration of power - or is it fear? Why do we
Africa adulate power?
Why do we adore the powerful and grovel
Or do we?
There are signs that the people are
beginning to assert themselves and
cut their super-heroes down to human
Zambian society firmly put its collective foot down and
Frederick Chiluba a third term. The Malawian parliament had more
its constitution than fear of the incumbent president and told
him where he
gets off: in 2004, after two terms - enough is
African traditional rulers do not resign from office when
old, frail and sick.
Hereditary rulers generally have no
fixed terms of office. This
expresses the complete identification of person
and office. What the
traditional ruler represents is more important than what
he does: his very
person stands for his people The constitutional monarch has
no time limit,
but little actual power, while his prime minister has power,
but enjoys it
only for a limited time.
Somehow this dangerous
animal "power" has to be tamed.
We must limit the leader's power if we
value our freedom.
We respect him all the more for accepting the
limit we set to his rule
and give him a role as an elder
For a sarcastic denunciation of tyranny you may turn to
the Bible: the
Book of Judges 9: 7-15 tells us a story: "One day the trees
went out to
anoint a king to rule them . . ."
"The olive tree,
the fig tree, the vine all declined; only the thorn
bush, which is barren and
does not bear any fruit, accepted."
This fable was told as a severe
warning against the danger of being
oppressed by a king.
bush is barren and useless, and so is the harsh rule of an
Samuel similarly warned the Israelites against wanting to
have a king.
"He will tithe your flocks and you yourselves will become his
Samuel 8: 10 -19)
The responsibility for leading the
people should be shared. It is too
much for one man alone.
was warned by his father-in-law: "You will only tire yourself
out, and the
people with you too, for the work is too heavy for you."
Trustworthy men were to be chosen to assist Moses. "They will refer
important matters to you, but all minor matters they will decide
so making things easier for you by sharing the burden with you."
13 - 27)
In other words, we are advised: do not give central
power than necessary; give as much responsibility as possible
to the people
themselves. The Church's social teaching calls this the
Jesus has no illusions about the
human obsession with power and
wealth. He calls King Herod "that fox" (Luke
13: 32), denounces tyrants and
"kings who lord it over them" and warns His
friends "this must not happen
among you". (Luke 22: 26-26).
rejects the temptation of power (Luke 4: 5-8) and the violence of
(Matthew 26: 52), and is found among the powerless. He promises
that in the
Kingdom of God the powerless will see justice done them.
anyone give excessive power to the ruler? The answer is
simple: those who
turn their leader into a demi-god hope to become his
privileged friends and
share in his wealth.
The more wealth he accumulates the more free
gifts his clients expect
to receive for their support and
Clients want to see their patron as powerful and as
profitable to them
as possible and have no interest in setting a limit to his
In Africa and elsewhere, clientelism almost at once led to a
for the spoils of political power, for it meant, that politicians
regional and national level gained and reproduced the support of
leaders by allocating to them state resources over which these
had influence or control.
Each attempted to maximise
this support and his access to resources in
competition with rival
politicians. This kind of race for the spoils of
power or of political office
(usually the same thing) became the motive
force of these supposedly
parliamentary systems (Basil Davidson, The Black
Man's Burden, Africa and the
Curse of the Nation-State, Oxford Harare
Nairobi 1992, p 207). The patronage
system is incompatible with
genuine democracy. It is also economically
Beneficiaries of the system, like drones, do not produce
but merely share in existing wealth produced by others. "The
(is) not to do a job, but to occupy a salaried post." (B
Davidson, p 270)
If people are to be creative and productive they
must be free.
Therefore, the principle must be upheld that the freedom of man
as far as possible, and curtailed only when and in so far as
(Vatican Council II, Declaration on Religious Freedom, n.7)
legislation, like the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
and the Public Order and Security Act, clearly violates this
For state power not to become oppressive it needs to be
parts and be given into different hands (separation of powers).
preferable that each power (legislative, executive and judicial) be
by other powers and by other spheres of responsibility which keep it
This is the principle of the rule of law,
in which the law is
sovereign, and not the arbitrary will of
"This concept has been opposed by totalitarianism,
which, in its
Marxist-Leninist form, maintains that some people, by virtue of
knowledge of the laws of development of society, or through
membership of a
particular class or through contact with the deeper sources
collective consciousness, are exempt from error and can, therefore,
to themselves the exercise of absolute power," writes Pope John Paul
(Centesimus Annus, 1991, n. 44).
But the God-given dignity of
the human person rules out the exercise
of absolute power. Africa has begun
to realise this.
Denying truth, that's PR the Zanu PF
7/26/02 10:25:54 AM (GMT +2)
The first one
was Chen Chimutengwende. Now it is Jonathan Moyo. As
information, on almost full-time basis, they, one after the
other, have been
heading a ministry which, in all fairness ought to be
renamed the Ministry of
Government and Zanu PF Propaganda.
In that portfolio, these two
gentlemen have perfected the art of
turning lies into truth and vice versa
whenever the circumstances suited the
ruling party and its government. Which
is what prompted this paper to remark
some time ago that they each in turn
had become Minister of Denials. I think
one of our cartoonists summed it up
neatly when he said through one of the
characters in his cartoon strip: "A
key feature of denial journalism is that
the denials are up to 10 times
longer than the stories denied."
Just as George Orwell foresaw with
such unsettling, if not foreboding,
accuracy in his novel 1984, the Ministry
of Information would be the
equivalent of Big Brother's Ministry of Truth.
And that ministry, according
to Orwell, "concerned itself with falsifying
records" to make it appear as
if the party was perfect. In the process it
seemed to specialise in making
nonsense of truth. In fact, the ministry's
main raison d'etre seemed to
constitute standing logic on its head. Nothing
could have brought out this
fact better than "the three slogans of The Party"
which were: "War is Peace;
Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength."
However, while Chimutengwende
used to deny stories with some modicum of
dignity and in language carefully
chosen to avoid offending those whose
truths he was employed to deny, Moyo
does it so crudely that he would need to
employ the services of a magician
to get himself a public relations job when
his current temporary one is
over - which may not be too far from
It may well be a classical case of birds of a feather
together, but The Mole seriously thinks it was a blunder of
proportions for President Mugabe to get himself Moyo as his
public relations officer. They both have the same contemptuous
unnecessarily belligerent attitude towards the people when they are
to be the people's servants. Mugabe, combative as he is, needed
a conciliatory character like Simba Makoni, for example, not
provokes people as a matter of routine.
of that diabolic piece of legislation called the Access to
Protection of Privacy Act was the height of tomfoolery. In
place of the word
"Access" substitute "Denial". That satanic law is the
ultimate in denial of
the truth. For some time, ever since they crossed into
Mozambique together as
a matter of fact, it had been my belief that Edgar
Tekere was the best
scholar of what we may call Robert Mugabelogy. But The
Mole is no longer so
sure about that now. And that uncertainty is not a
recent development. Mugabe
is notorious for not wanting to take advice from
anyone. And yet Tekere, of
all people, was the most prominent political
figure to hazard the suggestion
that Mugabe's bad governance was the result
of bad advice.
People who try to give Mugabe good advice which goes contrary to his
survival plans almost always get sidelined and branded "enemies of the
as the bosses at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
you. I am sure Tekere, hopefully much to his regret, now realises
thoroughly badly advised himself for coming to that conclusion. Look
Mugabe did to Nkosana Moyo after he had given him good advice about
needed to be done to breathe live into the economy. And look what he is
doing to Simba Makoni and Leonard Tsumba for telling him that the dollar
grossly overvalued. But those who tell him falsehoods which
nevertheless, sweet music to his ears, are always assured of his
support and approval, no matter how daft everyone else may think
Among Mugabe's much vaunted "technocrats", all of whom
because they were unlikely to win if they had been fielded in
parliamentary election, it is only those who tell him what he wants
and not what he needs to know who have enjoyed Mugabe's highest
ratings. The most prominent are, no doubt, the Minister of Denials
Jonathan Moyo and the man whom The Mole has decided to re-designate
Minister of Famine (in place of what he should be, Minister of
Joseph Made. These two and, to a lesser extent, Patrick Chinamasa,
fuelling Mugabe's ego trip with falsehoods ad nauseam and he seems
them all the more for it. The unkind would say "Let sleeping dogs
while the more charitable might be persuaded to say: "Let the good
roll." The big question is: For how long can the good times, an
any case, be expected to continue rolling in such an unreal
These friends of ours may not be exactly living in "a
as the saying goes, but then again, as they say, "a foolish
the hobgoblin of little minds". I will leave you with two
thoughts to ponder
over. The common expression is: Time will tell. But a less
probably even more telling one is: Time is a great equaliser. The
thinks Nero is playing the fiddle while Rome is burning and, tragically,
court jesters are feeding the fire with much fuel.
NAGG-DF says President Mugabe's parliament address
7/26/02 9:42:09 AM (GMT +2)
THE National Alliance for Good Governance-Democratic Front
has criticised President Mugabe's parliamentary address on Tuesday
rhetoric which does not address pressing socio-economic problems
the ordinary person.
Moses Mutyasira, the Secretary
for Information and Publicity for
NAGG-DF, said it was disturbing that
Mugabe's address lacked direction,
given the economic hardships prevailing in
"His repeated emphasis on the land issue leaves out more
issues which deserve immediate mitigatory options," Mutyasira
"They should deal with the shortages of foreign currency and
escalation of prices of basic commodities. Mugabe's land reform
benefited top Zanu PF cronies, war veterans and their
Mutyasira said the drought relief efforts,
particularly in the rural
areas, have so far been characterised by corruption
The post-election period saw political violence
supporters of opposition parties being assaulted by pro-Zanu
Mutyasira said Mugabe's speech left out concrete
peace and tolerance of divergent views.
appeal to all Zimbabweans to come together and explore mitigatory
survival methods in the wake of misguided and irresponsible leadership,"
NGOs grappling with rising number of displaced
7/26/02 9:41:40 AM (GMT +2)
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) - a human rights
has called on the Zimbabwe government and non-governmental
(NGOs) to step up assistance to the growing number of
persons (IDPs) in the country.
people in Zimbabwe were displaced before the March
presidential election when
marauding Zanu PF supporters went on the rampage.
More than 100
people were killed in the run-up to the election which
won by President Mugabe.
The Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) and
the Ministry of Public Service
say there were about 322 000 farm workers on
large-scale commercial farms in
1999, before the government's fast track land
The CFU estimated that at the end of 2001 as many as
70 000 farm
workers had been affected by land occupations.
said that although information was lacking on exactly how many
people were on
the move, aid to IDPs should not be delayed.
The council suggested
that IDPs should immediately be targeted with
food aid with particular
attention paid to displaced orphans and
United Nation's World Food Programme and Food and Agricultural
estimate that about six million Zimbabweans require food aid as
of drought and the government's controversial land
George Olesh, the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) said
there is currently an ongoing independent assessment of
the number and
situation of food security-related displaced persons in the
"The current lack of accurate figures on the number of
IDPs in need of
aid has definitely complicated a co-ordinated humanitarian
An assessment in May by the IDP Unit of the
UN Office for the
Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs called attention to
the urgent need to
fill "important information gaps".
is the most recent attempt to locate and quantify the
number of people who
have been displaced because of political violence or
While the May assessment identified only two categories
persons - farm workers and victims of violence, - UNDP now says
needs to include miners and skilled labourers who have had to move
the country in search of employment.
A third category,
the survey suggested, were those who were encouraged
to invade farms in the
early stages of the land reform programme but who are
now being evicted from
these farms as the newly designated owners take
Olesh said: "We still need to define what exactly constitutes an IDP
Zimbabwean context given the complex nature of the
However, there is no comprehensive or
corroborated data on exact
numbers of those forcibly displaced, nor any
precise information on where
the displaced have gone.
IDP situation in Zimbabwe differs in that while most farm
workers have been
able to remain on the farms, an increasing proportion have
lost their ability
to sustain themselves, the report noted.
"In addition, the looming
food crisis will impact enormously on farm
workers as some 85 percent of
their food consumption came from cash
"Hence, even if
they are able to remain on farms, their inability to
feed themselves because
farm operations are severely curtailed, will induce
many to move in search of
other employment or support," the report said.
The most reliable
data on displacement has been provided by a sample
survey undertaken by the
Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe (FCTZ).
FCTZ undertook a sample
survey of 235 large-scale commercial farms,
representing 10 percent of all
farms in the provinces of Mashonaland West,
Central and East as well as
It was established that 26,693 permanent and
seasonal farm workers
still reside on the farms as of 16 May.
the other hand, the report said, some 52,000 people had left.
Victims of violence were even more difficult to define and enumerate
Amani Trust, a human rights NGO in Zimbabwe, is
quoted in the report
as saying: "Because the displaced fear repression and
further violence, they
seek to remain 'underground', which makes their
enumeration and location
numbers are variously estimated among the NGO and
human rights community at
anywhere from 20 000 to 50 000.
The report also highlighted the
plight of the substantial orphan
population that has been generated by the
The Farm Orphan Support Trust has estimated that
there were on average
12 orphans per commercial farm in the three Mashonaland
Consequently there has been a
significant increase in child-headed
households living in acute poverty. Also
many of the elderly are now
required to support their
One of the factors hampering assistance to those in
need is that a
large number of IDPs are in areas of the country where the UN
has never had
any need for a presence, namely in the large-scale commercial
The report suggested that the UN broaden its
of food aid to ensure that all needy people have
improved access to basic
War veterans assault civil servants over
7/26/02 9:41:11 AM (GMT +2)
Correspondent in Bulawayo
WAR veterans led by former dissident
Gayigusu have gone on the rampage
in Matabeleland, attacking civil servants
whom they accuse of stalling the
controversial fast-track land resettlement
The campaign follows remarks by Ignatius Chombo, the
Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing, to land
Chombo - the national land task
force chairman - reportedly said civil
servants were delaying the land
But sources within the committees said
yesterday the real reason was
that there was not enough land in the
They said as of now, they had distributed all the
On Monday a group of about 20 war veterans and Zanu
manhandled the Esigodini District Administrator (DA), Hebron
forced him out of his office.
Reporters who visited the
area recently, saw a number of suspected
Zanu PF supporters milling around
the DA's office. Sibanda was not in his
veterans, led by Gayigusu, who spread terror in Matabeleland
dissident insurgency in the early 1980s, grabbed Sibanda by his
and pushed him out of his office.
The DA sprained a thumb during
the scuffle. A report was made to the
police who were still to question
At Kezi, another group invaded government offices and
pushed out the DA, named only as Nkiwane. The group declared the
redistribution committee disbanded.
developments come just before the 31 August deadline for
the completion of
the land reform programme.
Last week Chombo attacked the land
committees in Matabeleland north
for not sending confirmation letters on
200 farm workers stranded as Mugabe's brother-in-law
7/26/02 9:40:44 AM (GMT
NEARLY 200 workers at
Leopardvlei Farm near Glendale were left
stranded yesterday after Reward
Simbarashe Marufu, President Mugabe's
brother-in-law, allegedly burnt down
over 80 of their huts and belongings
before evicting them.
Marufu, a former Zimbabwean envoy to Canada, grabbed the farm,
farm equipment worth over $200 million before the March
election, from Bob Duncan who has left the farm.
displaced farm workers stood by the roadside near the
farm, with their meagre
belongings around them, contemplating their future.
Some of the
huts were still smouldering.
Marufu was seen turning into a field
on the farm, driving from Bindura
in a white Mazda B1600.
Salimu, 65, one of the evicted farm workers, said Marufu should
them to remain on the farm even if he declined their services
because he was
a leader who should be sympathetic to destitute people.
been hell since Marufu came," Salimu said.
"We have lived under
constant harassment, abuse and threats."
Caleb Chikwamba, 36, who
has worked on the farm for six years, said
around 4pm on Tuesday, Marufu came
to their compound and ordered them out
immediately because he had no work for
"Marufu first told us that everyone was fired," Chikwamba
thought it was a joke. He came back later with several of his
known Zanu PF youths and set ablaze our huts."
Chikwamba said Marufu made it clear he was the new farm owner and no
needed their services.
He said property worth thousands of dollars
was destroyed during the
inferno that engulfed the compound, razing most of
the huts to the ground.
Chikwamba said elderly women and children
assaulted and tortured.
He said after
their huts were burnt down, the youths and guards
ordered everyone on the
farm to immediately seek alternative accommodation
or risk intensive beatings
"Most of us, including our wives and children, slept
in the bushes
nearby for two days, afraid we would be attacked as
The workers alleged that Marufu was
armed and had on several occasions
threatened them with his gun if they
remained on his farm.
In 1998, Marufu was hauled before the Godfrey
to answer charges he had defrauded the War Victims'
Compensation Fund of
over $800 000, the largest individual
A police inspector, who identified himself only as Sande,
the incident but would not comment, citing orders.
Lawyer sues Jonathan Moyo
AM (GMT +2)
By Collin Chiwanza
Jonathan Samkange, is suing Jonathan Moyo, the Minister
of State for
Information and Publicity in the Office of the President and
Through his lawyer, Chris Venturas of Byron Venturas
Samkange is also suing The Herald for publishing the alleged
article without making any efforts to establish the correct
In an article which appeared in the government-owned paper
Wednesday, Moyo accused Samkange of hiding Learnmore Jongwe, the MP
Kuwadzana who is facing charges of murdering his wife, Rutendo, on
Dismissing Moyo's utterances, Samkange said
the remarks attributed to
the junior minister could only have been made by a
person who was totally
ignorant of the functions of a lawyer.
Samkange, 49, said: "Moyo's claims are false, baseless and designed to
me. Accordingly, I have instructed my lawyer to institute legal
for defamation of character. My duty as a lawyer is to represent
irrespective of their political association or affiliation and to do
conscientiously, to the best of my ability.''
said a follow-up article published by The Herald
yesterday, in which some
unnamed senior lawyers were quoted, could not have
been written without
approaching Samkange to find out what actually
Venturas said: "If The Herald had cared to establish the facts they
have known that Samkange acted in an ethical, reasonable and
Ziana staff give Chivaura 24-hour ultimatum to
effect salary increase
VIMBAI Chivaura, the
chairman of the Zimbabwe-Inter-Africa News
Agency, was yesterday given 24
hours by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists
(ZUJ) to put in place the 55
percent increment the Ziana workers are
month the workers besieged a meeting being held by their
board directors over
the non-payment of the 55 percent salary increase
Matthew Takaona, the ZUJ president, in a letter to
Chivaura, dated 24
July, said: "I refer you to my letter of July 4 and your
responses of July 5 in which you only indicated that you passed
to the Department of Information. It is now three weeks since I
matter and we are now in a quandary as to your position on the
"As a union, we are increasingly getting incensed over Ziana
directors' insensitivity about the plight of workers and obviously
families and children who have not been afforded an increment in 18
The Department of Information falls under Jonathan
Moyo, the Minister
of Information and Publicity in the Office of the
President and Cabinet.
Takaona urged Chivaura to take the letter
seriously and note that the
union would from now onwards seek not to
co-operate with New Ziana on any
matters of mutual concern.
Meanwhile, staff at the Gweru-based Times newspaper, part of
cash-strapped Community Newspaper Group, and printing company
went on a strike on Wednesday afternoon demanding a 55 percent
A letter written to board of directors by the
staff reads in part:
"You are officially informed that the production of all
office work has been stopped in accordance with our statutory
the matter is financially resolved.''
US tells Mugabe to let food aid through
Fabricius in Johannesburg
27 July 2002
The head of America's international
development agency has warned that his
country would stop delivering
emergency assistance to Zimbabwe if President
Robert Mugabe's government
continues to deny food aid to opponents.
USAID's administrator, Andrew
Natsios, said that much of the 100,000 tons of
food the US had already
provided for southern Africa through the World Food
Programme (WFP) - and
much of the further 200,000 tons it would be providing
over the next few
months - was destined for Zimbabwe.
But Mr Natsios supported the recent
warning of the WFP that there would be
no point in supplying the food to
Zimbabwe if it was only going to
said that USAID had insisted on its food being distributed
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Zimbabwe to avoid
political grounds. But it was concerned by reports that in
opposition stronghold, so-called war veterans controlled by
government were still withholding distribution to punish those
who had voted
against the government in presidential elections in March.
said this violated the US policy that food aid should not be used
political weapon. But the US was continuing to distribute food to
even though it disagreed with Mr Mugabe's land policies and his
of the democratic opposition".
Britain's aid organisations this week
asked the public for £40m to help the
starving in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi,
Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho and
Mr Natsios said Zimbabwe
had made a number of decisions over the past six
months which exacerbated the
food disaster. Mr Natsios said: "We urge [Mr
Mugabe] to reverse these
policies before it is too late."
The USAID-chartered ship Liberty Star is
due to arrive in Durban in the next
few days with the next consignment of
36,450 tons of emergency food.
* A total £3m was donated in a single day
of an appeal to help starving
people in southern Africa, the Disasters
Emergency Committee said yesterday.
Volunteers handled 30,000 calls on
Thursday night as the Southern Africa
Crisis Appeal made broadcasts on all
the main television channels.
Mudede refuses to release passport to heart
7/26/02 9:39:33 AM (GMT +2)
TOBAIWA Mudede, the Registrar-General (RG), has denied
Babbage, 43, a heart patient, and her husband, Leonard, 45,
travel to South Africa for her operation in defiance of the
the Citizenship Act.
Mudede, despite a plethora of
High Court rulings to the contrary, is
refusing to release their passports,
saying they are not Zimbabwean
citizens, despite having been born
This was because Babbage's father was born in Greece while
mother was born in South Africa, and they both failed to renounce
citizenship of the respective countries by 6 January 2002.
Mudede has continued to administer the Citizenship Act in total
warnings by the High Court that he should steer clear of the
According to court documents, Babbage was supposed to have
to Johannesburg in March when she was booked for appointments
cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgeons at Milpark
Her medical aid society, Premier Service Medical Aid
already offered to contribute $696 105, 76 (then about R98 043)
costs of the surgery.
Her doctor, Kiran Bhagat of
the Medical Centre, even wrote a letter to
Mudede detailing reasons behind
the need for the couple to travel urgently.
The RG's office,
however, only offered to give the couple emergency
at an urgent hearing at the High Court on Monday, but still insists
not get their passports.
The couple has pursued the matter, saying
Mudede is mistaken both in
law and in fact to declare that anyone born in
Zimbabwe of a foreigner is
automatically a citizen of that foreign
They are seeking a High Court order directing Mudede to
passports within 24 hours of the order being
They want him to personally pay for the legal costs of
State makes partial U-turn on devaluation
7/26/02 9:38:36 AM (GMT +2)
By Columbus Mavhunga
THE government, apparently making concessions to the loud calls to
the Zimbabwe dollar, yesterday announced it would value luxury
as vehicles at an exchange rate of $300 to one US dollar.
announcement by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development,
Makoni, comes barely two days after President Mugabe said "devaluation
Makoni said the other goods affected by the new measure are
beverages, tobacco and manufactured goods.
presenting a $52,9 billion supplementary budget in Parliament
which he said
had been "imposed on us by the need to provide for drought
agricultural inputs and support for the tobacco growers",
Commenting on Makoni's announcement, economist John
"Technically we cannot really say it's a devaluation but a
dualisation of the exchange rate. This is meant to drive
away the parallel
market and the importation of luxury goods."
Makoni said the currency had been devalued to $300 from $55 where it
stuck since 1999, only in terms of the luxury goods but the
use the $55 in connection with all imports that feed into
"We estimate this measure would raise $11,50
billion," he said.
Makoni said the devaluation would apply to the
importation of "luxury
commodities" such as goods for consumption, tobacco
products, beverages and
Parliament later approved the
supplementary budget which Makoni said
would be financed through the Aids
levy, 2002 budget re-allocation, donor
support and enhanced customs
MMPZ blasts unethical journalism at Herald
7/26/02 9:39:06 AM (GMT +2)
Media Monitoring Project in Zimbabwe (MMPZ), yesterday said The
through its editorial comment on Tuesday 23 July convicted
spokesman and MP Learnmore Jongwe of murdering his wife
before his trial by
"The killing of Rutendo Muusha-Jongwe was a terrible act
violence that cannot be condoned," said MMPZ. "But in The
Herald's effort to
link this tragic incident to political violence and the
silence of Western
nations, the newspaper demonstrated its contempt for the
administration of justice by usurping the work of the court in
that Rutendo had been murdered."
MMPZ said everyone is
entitled to a fair trial, whatever one's
paper wrote that "His (Jongwe's) butchering of a defenceless woman
telling of the MDC's disposition towards human rights . . .
violence begets violence and the chilling murder of Rutendo
has shown how
this violence is now being directed against its own
MMPZ said the emotional nature of The Herald's
editorial and its
repeated use of the word murder amounts to an unacceptable
conviction by the
"This is unethical journalism at its
worst and MMPZ expects justice to
be dispensed accordingly," said MMPZ.
Tsvangirai faces new treason charge
8:20:21 AM (GMT +2)
Tsvangirai, the opposition MDC party's president, yesterday
allegations of attempting to overthrow the government, over a
allegedly made at a rally in Gwanda in May.
Two days after MDC MPs
boycotted President Mugabe's official opening
of the third session of the
Fifth Parliament, police in Harare yesterday
recorded a warned and cautioned
statement from Tsvangirai concerning the
The MDC president was summoned to the law and order
Harare Central Police Station.
He was charged
under Section 5 of the notorious Public Order and
Tsvangirai's lawyer, Innocent Chagonda of Atherstone and Cook,
the police claimed Tsvangirai, while addressing the Gwanda rally,
threatened to subvert constitutional government.
Chagonda said the police alleged Tsvangirai told his supporters in
"Mugabe tichamurongera chete, asi zvatinoda kuita hatingazvituari
chidembo hachivhiyirwi pane vanhu." (We are certainly going to deal
Mugabe, but we cannot reveal our plans because nobody skins the
civet cat in public.)
Section 5 of POSA deals with the subversion
of a constitutional
government. Section 2 (a) says: "Any person who, whether
inside or outside
Zimbabwe, organises or sets up or advocates, urges or
organisation or setting-up of any group or body with a view to
that group or
body overthrowing or attempting to overthrow the government
unconstitutional means or taking over or attempting to take over
government by unconstitutional means or usurping the functions of
government shall be guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for
period not exceeding 20 years without the option of a fine."
Chagonda said Tsvangirai denied the allegations and indicated to the
that he never made such a statement.
"Tsvangirai totally denies
saying those words. I also believe that my
client is being charged wrongly,"
The lawyer said the police would indicate to him
when they would
proceed with the matter.
Ncube, the MDC secretary-general and Bulawayo
North-East MP, and Renson
Gasela, the party's shadow minister of agriculture
and MP for Gweru Rural,
are already facing treason counts for allegedly
plotting to assassinate
Mugabe, charges they have denied. The Attorney
General's Office has indicated
their trial may begin in the High Court next
the Supreme Court, then led by the now retired Chief Justice
declared as unconstitutional some parts of the since
repealed Law and Order
(Maintenance) Act after the State had charged
Tsvangirai with treason for
allegedly threatening to remove Mugabe from
office violently when he
addressed a rally at Rufaro Stadium in September
between the Mugabe government and the MDC have deteriorated
formation of the opposition party in September 1999 and its
performance in the June 2000 parliamentary election, where it
robbed Zanu PF
of 57 seats.
The MDC has refused to recognise Mugabe as the
legitimate president of
the country after accusing him of rigging the March
condemned by most of the international community as
Tsvangirai's challenge to Mugabe's victory is still
to be heard in the
Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube, the MDC
secretary-general and Renson
Gasela, the party's shadow minister of
agriculture and MP for Gweru Rural,
are already facing treason charges for
allegedly plotting to assasinate
Mugabe, charges they have
The Attorney General's Office has indicated their trial may
the High Court next month.
Last year the Supreme Court,
then led by the retired Chief Justice
Anthony Gubbay, declared as
unconstitutional some parts of the now repealed
Law and Order Maintenance Act
after the State had charged Tsvangirai with
treason for allegedly trying to
remove Mugabe from office violently when he
addressed a rally at Rufaro
Stadium in September 2000.
Relations between Mugabe's regime and
the MDC are bitter following the
formation of the opposition party in
September 1999 and its stunning
performance in the June 2000 parliamentary
election where it robbed Zanu PF
of 57 seats.
The MDC has
refused to recognise Mugabe as the legitimate president of
the country after
accusing him of rigging the March presidential election,
condemned by most of
the international community as highly flawed.
challenge to Mugabe's victory is still to be heard in the
ZIMBABWE: Bad week for MDC
JOHANNESBURG, 26 July (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) came under fire again this week
when its leader Morgan Tsvangirai was once more taken in for
With less than a week to go before his return to court on
treason charges, Tsvangirai was "invited" to go to the Harare central police
station on Thursday in connection with a statement he made at a political
MDC legal affairs spokesman David Coltart said Tsvangirai was
accused of saying there was a plan to remove President Robert Mugabe from power,
in violation of Section 5 of the controversial Public Order and Security
Section 5 prohibits overthrowing the president through
unconstitutional means and carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, he
"This is clearly another case of harassment. We are planning
to get rid of Mugabe's government, but in an entirely constitutional manner. As
legal secretary for the party I have been filing petitions under the Electoral
Act and the MDC has always been committed to working within the laws of the
country, and to non-violence," Coltart said.
"Virtually every single one
of us [MDC leaders] is faced with a charge," he added. "I was charged with
firing a weapon and I don't even own one."
Tsvangirai was questioned for
an hour, cautioned, and released but on Thursday night, MDC MP for Kadoma
Central, Austin Mupandawana, was arrested.
The state-controlled Herald
reported that this followed allegations that four people were injured by shots
fired from his convoy. The allegations come ahead of a mayoral election in the
city, west of Harare.
Meanwhile, the MDC staged a symblic walk-out at
the opening of Parliament this week but returned after Mugabe had made his
The MDC suffered an unexpected blow to its image this
week when one of its spokesmen, Learnmore Jongwe, allegedly confessed to
stabbing his wife to death.
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Opposition leader to be charged with undermining Zimbabwe's president
HARARE, Zimbabwe, July 26 — Zimbabwe's main
opposition leader is to be charged with undermining the country's president
under newly passed security laws, police said Friday.
leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, faces the charges for allegedly
telling a party rally in May that President Robert Mugabe would have to quit
office, police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena told state radio.
security laws make it an offense to undermine the office of the president, and
offenders face a maximum 20 year sentence.
Tsvangirai for several hours Thursday, but he refused to admit making remarks
that could be construed as criminal, his lawyer Innocent Chagonda said.
Tsvangirai had not been notified of any charges or a court date,
Chagonda said. Police did not say when the charges would be filed.
The opposition disputes Mugabe's right to the presidency, accusing him of
rigging the March presidential election. Most observers agreed the election was
Bvudzijena also announced Friday that an opposition
lawmaker had been arrested in Kadoma, about 75 miles west of Harare, following
violence there Thursday linked to pending municipal elections.
state-owned Herald newspaper said the lawmaker was part of a convoy that opened
fire on ruling party supporters, injuring several of them. The opposition said
the ruling party members instigated the attack.
Zimbabwe has been
wracked by more than two years of political and economic chaos.
Mugabe's increasingly authoritarian government has cracked down on the
opposition, the independent press and the judiciary. The government repeatedly
has ignored court orders, instructing police not to enforce them, and last year
expanded the Supreme Court bench in an apparent bid to pack it with sympathetic
Mugabe's men make early move on white
July 25 2002 at 09:02PM
By Basildon Peta
At least 650 white farmers have already been forcibly
evicted from their properties by top government officials before the August 10
deadline set by President Robert Mugabe's government for them to completely
vacate their properties or be jailed.
Commercial Farmers Union president
Collin Cloete said the beleaguered white farmers have since made an impassioned
plea to meet Mugabe, but he has flatly refused, telling them to meet with his
Cloete, who has been pursuing a soft line on Mugabe in the hope
that the Zimbabwe leader would eventually show some sympathy for the white
farmers, seems to have eventually thrown in the towel himself.
He told journalists Mugabe's land reform looked like it was
intended to purge all white farmers.
|'It looks like the intention is to get all the land and
get rid of white
"The future of farming is bleak. It
looks like the intention is to get all the land and get rid of white farmers,"
the union leader said. Cloete has been at loggerheads with some farmers who
wanted him to adopt a more robust approach against Mugabe.
But the union
leader dropped all court actions against Mugabe and vowed not to take legal
action against the Zimbabwean leader. This infuriated some white farmers who
have since formed their own group called "Justice in Agriculture" which has
since taken Mugabe to court.
Cloete said 70 percent of Zimbabwe's 4 500
white farmers had been issued with orders to vacate their properties by August
10. The remaining 30 percent were being issued with similar orders, an
indication that no white farmers would be left in Zimbabwe after the set
Mugabe's violent and chaotic land seizures of white farms for
redistribution, mostly to his friends, relatives and cronies, have been blamed
for the food shortages in Zimbabwe. - Independent Foreign Service
The Independent UK
Jailed tycoon faces seizure of farms in Zimbabwe
By Basildon Peta
27 July 2002
The government in Zimbabwe is thought to be ready to seize farms and 28,000
cattle owned by Nicholas van Hoogstraten, the jailed British property
Van Hoogstraten, who was found guilty at the Old Bailey this week of hiring
two men to kill a business rival, has been a close friend of President Robert
Mugabe and has financed his governing Zanu-PF party.
Among his extensive property interests in Britain and abroad, Van Hoogstraten
has boasted of having investments in Zimbabwe totalling £30m. He owned nine
farms in the former British colony, totalling more than 400,000 acres, and also
enjoyed a lucrative contract from the government to supply beef from his cattle
ranches to the 10,000 Zimbabwean troops fighting in the Democratic Republic of
Two years ago, two of Van Hoogstraten's farms – Eastdale Estate in Masvingo
Province and Essexvale Ranch in Matabeleland North Province – were designated
for compulsory acquisition under the government's policy of confiscating white
farms for redistribution to blacks.
However, Van Hoogstraten negotiated a deal in which he surrendered 4,800
acres of land at his Hayhill Farm in Matabeleland in exchange for keeping the
rest of his land.
The deal angered many junior government officials, who felt that Van
Hoogstraten's donation was too small in comparison to his holdings. Other white
property owners, such as Anglo-American's Nicky Oppenheimer, were offering to
give up much more – 60,000 acres. Van Hoogstraten was the only white farmer to
reverse the squatting of his land with the support of the government.
Before the court case, Van Hoogstraten was able to rely on his high political
connections to retain much of his holdings and his lucrative beef contracts,
which included a deal with the government-owned Cold Storage Commission.
However, following the conviction on Monday, farming industry sources said
Van Hoogstraten faced the prospect of losing all his land holdings in Zimbabwe.
"He travelled here often to keep the politicians on his side ... but some chiefs
are already making inquiries about his properties because they have heard he
will spend a long period in jail," said an official in the ministry responsible
for Mr Mugabe's resettle- ment policies.
The Independent was given the names of senior ruling party officials
seeking Van Hoogstraten's properties. "He had certainly managed to make deals
with politicians, but you can never make permanent deals with Mugabe," said a
farmer close to Van Hoogstraten's dealings.
The farmer said one official had toured a Van Hoogstraten farm at the
weekend. Reports say Mr Mugabe's relatives, senior officials and cronies have
taken large prime farms seized from whites, ostensibly for black
Van Hoogstraten outraged many by strongly supporting Mr Mugabe and repeatedly
branding his fellow white farmers "white trash". He has said he considers Mr
Mugabe to be an "honourable leader" and that he supports him "100 per cent".