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

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Action plan from JAG

Dear Farmers,


1. Support and communicate with your staff who are also in their hour of
Provide JAG with a list of all your employees, their ID Numbers and details
of their dependents for possible supplementary feeding programme
2. Have your Title Deeds copied, certified and lodged in a safe place
preferably externally.
3. LEGAL ISSUES: Visit your lawyer and take all legal routes available to
you in terms of Section 8.
· Understand the legal position on Statutory Instrument 6 (SI6) regarding
retrenchment.  Be aware of the pre-emptive strategy and ensure your labour
are conversant with the law, the legal employment tie and strategy for next
year.  Know the PAYE Tax implications of retrenchment.
· Complete a copy of the JAG Loss Document.  In addition to photographs,
supporting evidence can be in the form of videos. We would be grateful for a
donation of $300.00 for a copy of this form OR request a form via email
Rev. Tim Neill  (For Mashonaland areas)
Cnr. 92 J. Chinamano Ave/2nd Street, HARARE
Mr. Andrew Lang  (For Matabeleland & Masvingo areas)
12 Silver Oakes Cnr. 14th Ave/J. Tongogara St BULAWAYO
Zimbabwe Community Development Trust  (For Manicaland areas)
Joe Correira Complex 22 Dawson Ave, Yeovil MUTARE
Or the JAG offices from 1st August: 17 Philips Avenue, Belgravia, HARARE

4. Keep a daily dairy of events and encourage your staff to do the same.
Complete and return to JAG the Land Survey Form.  We desperately need this
information for database purposes.  PLEASE RETURN THIS FORM by email
urgently to or fax it to Harare 851095.

5. Supply JAG Publicity Team with information for use to oppose propaganda
and fuel our publicity fires.  Call (091) 300 456 OR (011) 213 885 and speak
to Jenni and follow up with an email or fax report.  Email or fax to temporary number 04 851095. Would you like to
volunteer some time to helping build the data base??  Call Jenni

6. Please remember if you like what JAG represents we need your
contributions.  Donations can be handed to your local JAG representative or
deposited into our bank account name: Just 4 Agric - STANBIC, Westgate
Branch  A/C No. 0140098561901.  Should you choose to fax a deposit slip, Jag
will issue a receipt by return post.

7. Should you own a Lorry, please complete the 'Agricultural Truck Owners
Association' form and return it as instructed. This could be income
generating for you.

8. JAG will have its first office from 1st August:
17 Philips Avenue, Belgravia, Harare Telephone number to be advised.
We are setting up offices and are in urgent need of office furniture donated
or loaned: desks, chairs, curtains, conference /dinning room table and
chairs, some kitchen utensils and a small fridge, reception furniture,
casual chairs for reception, filing cabinets and bookcases. Please call Duke
on Mobile 011 807631 or Di on 011 424 712. We will collect!!


(One document per title/farm)

Owners name ................ and farming companies name ..............

Farm name .......................

Your contact details: land ........  Mobil .........   Email... ...........

Address  ...........................................

District and F/A ........................................

Your current status under Land Acquisition Act

Are you resident on the farm? YES/NO
Is this your only farm in your own name? (Single owned farm)  YES/NO
Have you taken legal action?  YES/NO   and with which law
firm ................
(If you are under a Section 8 and have taken no legal action you could loose
your farm by default)
Listed    YES/NO
Section 5   YES/NO and what was the date of notice ........  Gazette
no.. ....
Did you lodge an objection?   YES/NO date served.........  Gazette no.. ....
Section 8 YES/NO and date of service ..............
Section 7 YES/NO and date of issue of service .........
Have you been served with a Section 9 (Eviction Notice) YES/NO
Have you been pegged? YES/NO
Do you have settlers? YES/NO if they are VIP's please list them separately.
(Are you aware that you can request the names from you local DA?)
Are you farming?  YES/NO If so what crops/livestock? (List separately)
How many employees are currently resident on the farm under your
employ? ....
Please list their names, ID numbers for possible inclusion in feeding
Do you wish to be part of Zimbabwe's Agricultural Sector in the future?

**Please return this for to or fax to
04-851095 ASAP.
 Above information will be treated with total confidentiality

                               AGRICULTURAL TRUCK OWNERS ASSOCIATION
(pls print out or send this form as per instructions)

This association in formation, seeks to identify all farmers that are
prepared to have their
lorries hired to distribute relief food in and around their respective
areas. The aim is to be
build a data base so as to be in a position to offer our services, to the
numerous NGO's
presently gearing up, in a bid to avert the eminent famine facing our land.
Our expertise as primary food producers, who are well conversed and equipped
in the transport and handling
of agricultural produce to market, would simply need to reverse our roles.
It is realized that both big and small tonnage vehicles will be required for
this purpose. The
former to haul from external source to depot, the latter for onward
distribution to recipients. Interested persons are encouraged to forward the
duly filled questionnaire to  PO Box 133 Banket.  OR hand to your local  "JAG"

DATA COLLECTION SHEET:  (please complete one individual sheet per haulage

Registered owner ..............Contact person............


Phone No........cell no........Email.............

VEHICLE DETAILS: Fill either section (A) or  (B).   Fill both sections (C)
and  (D)

(A)  Rigids ;
Lorry ;
Make...........Model..............Reg No..........
Tonnage....,         Bulk sides    ( YES /  NO ),
Trailer ;
Make..........Model............Reg No..........
Tonnage.......,         Bulk sides   ( YES /  NO ),
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
--- --- --- --- --- -
 (B)  Articulated ;
Horse / Tractor ;
Make...........Model..............Reg No..........
Drive Axles (1  / 2), Cab type (day  / sleep)
Make..........Model............Reg No..........
Tonnage.......,         Bulk sides   (YES / NO),      Axles    (single /
--- --- ---  --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
 --- --- --- --- ---
(C) Driver;

With driver / Self driven (delete)  Valid Passport Holder  (YES  / NO)

My operating and hauling preference would be for;
Source to Depot / Depot to Recipient / Either and Both / Internally within
the...... .....province / Within a radius of ..kms from the ..........Post
--- --- ---  --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
 --- --- --- --- --
(D) When not working the unit usually overnights at................

.........................(Physical Address Please)
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Mugabe supporters 'starving enemies'
Zimbabweans queue for bread
Zimbabwe is facing the threat of mass starvation

As aid agencies warn of the growing threat of starvation to millions of people in Zimbabwe, the BBC has uncovered evidence of political interference in the distribution of food by President Robert Mugabe's supporters.

Boys picking wild fruit
Some families have resorted to eating wild leaves and fruit
Food aid has been blocked in some areas which voted against Mr Mugabe during elections in March.

Opposition supporters have also been prevented from buying commercial stocks of grain.

Last week, President Robert Mugabe said claims of political interference came from the opposition and were without substance.

The signs of food shortages and hunger are everywhere in Zimbabwe.

Groups of villagers wait for days at a time by the roadside for deliveries of scarce supplies of the staple food, maize.

In town and cities, long queues form outside supermarkets when stocks arrive.

The shelves are bare of basics such as sugar and salt.

Foraging for food

Many people in urban areas are reduced to eating a single meal a day, but the hardship is most severe in villages.

[The children] don't concentrate and they are weak and they are always complaining of hunger... you can't learn on an empty stomach


"From six o'clock in the morning, up to late, no food," 80-year-old Anderson Mudimba told me.

"We don't know... who will help us to have food, because we've waited and waited, and no assistance at all is coming."

I met families surviving on leaves and wild fruit.

They should be receiving food aid, but say it has been blocked by government supporters who accuse them of voting for the opposition.

Numerous interviewees said they had been refused permission to buy food from government grain depots unless they produced a ruling party membership card.

"There was a war veteran who said, 'You MDC, you are not going to buy this food, to buy maize, go back to the back of the line,'" Mr Mudimba said.

"So when you reach the number, they start taking you back again."

Children dying

Hospital officials in the north-western town of Binga, where the aid effort is being held up by Mr Mugabe's followers, say nearly 30 children have died in recent weeks from malnutrition-related illness.

We have people who are starving in the communities, but the war veterans are not allowing us to distribute the food

Local charity spokesman
Others have died after eating poisonous roots.

Many children no longer attend school as their days are spent searching for food, those that do make the journey to the schoolhouse are severely weakened by hunger.

"They don't concentrate and they are weak and they are always complaining of hunger," a schoolteacher told me.

"They also talk about ... [how] there's nothing at home to eat."

He said the children's hunger means it is impossible for them to concentrate on their work.

"[After school break] They don't faint as such, but they will be sleepy, which really shows signs of hunger," he said.

"You can't learn on an empty stomach, you can only concentrate if you have had enough."

Government control

Aid agencies complain that the government is trying to control the relief effort at every level.

One local charity official, who did not want to give me his name for fear of retribution, said that the situation was especially terrible as it need not occur.

"For us it is sad, especially when we have food around and we have people who are starving in the communities," he said.

"But the war veterans are not allowing us to distribute the food there."

Zimbabwe has suffered two poor rainy seasons in a row, but the crisis unfolding now is as much man-made as natural.

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Nine hurt as Zimbabwe police open fire on football fans

Nine people have been seriously hurt in Zimbabwe after police opened fire to disperse rowdy fans following a football match.

The trouble started after players from the losing side, the Highlanders, surrounded the referee and accused him of not allowing enough injury time.

Witnesses say police opened fire with live ammunition and tear gas at the Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo.

One fan was shot in the head and another hit in the groin during the unrest, police spokesman Smile Dube says.

A police station at Barbourfields was attacked, five vehicles were extensively damaged and seven policemen injured in clashes that lasted for several hours.

Civil rights group are accusing the police of being heavy handed.

"The riot was a reflection of the situation we are in," said Professor Lovemore Madhuku, who heads a coalition of churches, trades unions and human rights groups that is demanding sweeping constitutional reforms.

"It is a manifestation of the political tension - the police just chase ordinary people without any fear."

Monday, 29 July, 2002, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Criticism after Zimbabwe football deaths

A prominent advocate for constitutional reform in Zimbabwe, Lovemore
Madhuku, has criticised the police for firing on rioting football fans after
a match in the city of Bulawayo on Sunday.

Two football fans were shot during the incident - one is reported to be in a
critical condition.

Professor Madhuku said police responded to the situation with what he
described as impunity.

He said the heavy-handed response reflected the current political tensions
in Zimbabwe.

Seven police were also injured and five vehicles badly damaged.

The violence broke out when players of the local team disputed a refereeing

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service
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Mugabe tells judges they are not special

      July 28 2002 at 08:33PM

By Basildon Peta

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has said he would defy court judgments that
were not objective and impartial.

And the beleaguered leader said he wanted the world to take him seriously
when he said that gays and lesbians were "worse than pigs and dogs".

Mugabe made these remarks while addressing a party to mark the opening of
parliament at the weekend.

The party was boycotted by opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
legislators who do not recognise Mugabe's controversial re-election in

However, diplomats present at the State House party were shocked when Mugabe
said he would defy court judgments that were not objective. He said he would
respect court judgments which were "true judgments".

"If they are not objective, don't blame us when we defy them," said Mugabe.

Mugabe seemed to have been referring to a case involving his justice
minister Patrick Chinamasa who was recently slapped with a three month jail
term and Z$50 000 fine (about R4nbsp;000) for contempt of court.

Mugabe said judges were human beings and there was nothing special about
them. "There is no law which says the judge is superior to any individual.
We are all the same."

Mugabe also repeated his harsh criticism of gays and lesbians and urged
parliament to shun any issues relating to gay rights. He said gays and
lesbians had no rights whatsoever.

"When I said gays are worse than dogs and pigs, I really meant it because
pigs and dog's don't do unnatural things."

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's health system was paralysed after doctors went on
strike at the weekend for more pay. The poorly paid doctors have staged
numerous strikes but their conditions of service have not improved. -
Independent Foreign Service
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Independent (UK)

'When you hold a dying child in your arms, politics does not come into it'
Angela Rippon, the vice-president of the British Red Cross, has just
returned from Zimbabwe where, without outside help, the combined effects of
famine and Aids are likely to kill 5 million
28 July 2002

'When you hold a dying child in your arms, politics does not come into it'

In an isolated village, some 100km west of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe,
I pick up a small girl called Helger. Her eyes are huge and appealing, and
her small fist curls around my fingers with the strength of a clinging vine.
She is nearly three years old, but looks barely two, weighs little more than
a couple of bags of sugar, and when I put her down, I have to sit her
carefully on the floor because her frail little bent legs will not carry the
weight of her body.

Helger has Aids, as does her four-year-old brother, Lawrence, who sits mute
and listless among the scraggy chickens scratching hopefully in the sand
around him. His legs and arms are covered in open sores, and on the rare
occasions when he does stand to walk, he falters with each step, the pain
and effort etched on his innocent young face. Their mother died of Aids at
the end of last year. Their father is also dying of the disease, along with
his younger brother, his brother's wife, and their tiny 18-month-old baby
daughter, Bridget. Six members of one family, all condemned by the virus
that is sweeping across southern Africa, with only the 54-year-old
grandmother, Agnes, left to feed and care for her sons and malnourished

They have no income, and are just too weak, or too young, to work their own
land and grow even the most basic of foods for themselves. When I met them
at 4pm, they had not eaten since the previous evening, and then only because
neighbours had been shared some of their own meagre supplies to give them
the equivalent of a small handful of porridge each. The stark reality is
that if the virus does not kill them, starvation will. And soon.

But that is not the end of the story. In a country where it is thought that
up to 42 per cent of the adult working population is HIV positive, it is not
even particularly rare.

I have just returned from a three-day trip to Zimbabwe on a fact-finding
mission for the British Red Cross, and I have seen for myself a crisis on an
apocalyptic scale - famine, plague and death - in the eyes of sick and
starving children such as Helger, the withered bodies of old women, and the
living corpse of a soldier consumed by Aids, who is by now almost certainly

We have been hearing for months that the country, indeed the whole of
southern Africa, is on the verge of a famine. But second-hand stories from
6,000 miles away can't compare with first-hand experience. And that is
exactly what I was given, in situations that moved me to tears, and left me
at times feeling both angry and helpless when faced with a crisis that need
never have happened, but which now needs major humanitarian aid to save at
least some of the population.

What makes Helger's situation, and that of millions like her, so desperate,
is a vicious cocktail of climatic, economic and political factors that have
brought the country to the brink of a famine that threatens to be as
catastrophic as the one that hit Ethiopia in the mid-1980s.

In Harare, it is easy to look around at the prosperous architectural façades
of the banks and multinationals, dodge the shiny new Mercedes and BMWs, eat
in the fashionable, well-stocked restaurants and say: "What famine? What
disaster?" Like most large cities anywhere in the world, it is cosseted and
protected from the harsh realities that can devastate a rural community long
before they start nibbling away at the urban boundaries.

It is out in the country that people are already starving, where children
have dropped dead at their school desks, weak and malnourished. A Red Cross
volunteer tells me that three pupils have died recently from starvation in
her area.

The drought has lasted for the past three years; the soil is now so dry that
it is like sand, and the maize crop, the staple food for the population,
stands parched and withered in the fields.

Zimbabwe has less than a quarter of the food it needs to feed its population
of 13 million. The political upheavals of the past few years have left many
productive farms wasted or so badly run that virtually no cash crop of
tobacco or coffee has been harvested to provide the state with funds to buy
essential food from other countries.

As the shortages start to bite, the prices of basic foods, such as cooking
oil, cereal and vegetables, have risen by up to 400 per cent, to way beyond
anything that the poor could ever afford when their basic wage is barely 60p
per family, per day.

Aid agencies in the region, including the Zimbabwean Red Cross, are
preparing for a major disaster in which they estimate that more than 5
million people will starve. Those already weakened by disease will be the
first to succumb to the cold nights and gradual starvation. Not far behind
them, the elderly and the young will pass from vulnerable to hopeless as the
shortages become critical.

Coming face to face with death, as I did in a home close to Harare, is both
shocking and humbling. In a room smaller than the average British family
garage,, a man lay in a bed that took up almost two-thirds of the space. A
former soldier,, he was in the final stages of the disease, his body
shrunken with a thin covering of dehydrated skin over his skeleton. His eyes
were closed and I thought he was already dead.

His wife, herself HIV positive (contracted from unprotected sex with her
husband), has to nurse him 24 hours a day. They have no drugs or
pain-killers - the cost and lack of availability make access to medicine
impossible - just the daily visit from a Red Cross care worker who helps to
move him to contain the bed sores, change his catheter, and bathe him.

Godfrey and Sophia have five children and also look after two orphans, the
children of Godfrey's dead sister. At night, the children sleep on the
floor, covered with pitifully thin blankets. As the wife described their
situation to me, she gently moved her husband's exposed arm back beneath his
blanket. Pain shot through his body, and although he did not make any sound,
his lips bared, showing his teeth in a grimace of agony. And we could do
nothing for him.

We left a basket of food, just basic provisions: 20 kilos of mealie meal,
some dried fish, peanut butter, beans and cooking oil. The whole hamper cost
£2.50 - but it was life and death to that family, as it was to each of the
families we visited.

Take Musiiwa, a little boy of 13 with Aids, who has his open wounds smeared
with Vaseline and chicken droppings (a remedy from the travelling herbal
medicine man) because no other drugs are available for him. Musiiwa has not
been to school for three months because he is too sick. His father died of
Aids before he was born and his mother died five years ago from the disease.

Then there's the 85-year-old grandmother who has been left with four small
grandchildren to raise after her son and daughter-in-law died.

And the 14-year-old boy who is now head of the family of four brothers and
sisters because no relatives were either available or fit enough to take
them on. The shed where they lived was small, dark and filthy, but the walls
reflected their youth and optimism. Magazine photographs of Diana, Princess
of Wales, and David Beckham were pinned above the pile of dirty rags that
served as bedding.

While the Red Cross volunteers do their best to make a difference, they
admit they are facing a tidal wave of apathy and ignorance. But what is key
to the operation is that the structure through which they work is respected,
sanctioned by the government, and effective. And that means it is Zimbabwe's
one hope for survival. Any food aid going into the country via the Red Cross
really will reach the most vulnerable. It will support their Zimbabwean
colleagues and channel food and aid through the existing Home Based Care
Programme with its trained and dedicated volunteers.

Now I know that in the light of political events over the past two years,
many will say: "No way. Why should we help that country?" But the Red Cross,
as a non-political aid agency, takes the humanitarian line which says:
"Millions of people are going to starve, and we just can't stand by and let
that happen."

Hold a sick and dying child in your arms, as I did, and you will know all
she wants is love, food, and a chance to live. Frankly, politics does not
come into it.

The British Red Cross is part of the Disasters Emergency Committee which
launched a Southern Africa Food Crisis Appeal last week. To help, please
call 0870 606 0900 or visit The fee for this article has been
donated to the appeal.
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Daily News


      How can just eight thugs terrorise a whole school?

      7/29/02 9:29:24 AM (GMT +2)

      IT was with consternation that I read of the closing of Mapanzure High
School after some of the teachers were beaten up by thugs. What really
disheartened me was that no one appeared to put up any defence.

      Only eight thugs assaulted the teachers. There were 50 teachers and
about 2 000 students. Being a high school, the students would have included
boys of up to 20 years of age, I presume. Could they not have banded
together to protect those being assaulted?

      The thugs could have been overpowered within minutes and held until
the police arrived.

      The teachers and students should undoubtedly be ashamed of themselves
for doing nothing about the assault.

      Headmasters have a duty to see to the safety of their teachers and
      If there is a disturbance someone in authority should be in a position
to blow a whistle to alert the school. In any case no one has the right to
trespass on school grounds. Citizens and residents of Zimbabwe pay taxes
which, we hope, go to the training of teachers who, in turn, educate the
children. It makes me very angry to hear of children being disrupted in
their schoolwork because of politics.

      Now, we, the suffering public, would like to see justice done to the
assailants; to the driver of the Nissan truck; to the person who authorised
the truck to be used for the nefarious purpose; and to the person in charge
of the militants.

      All these people responsible for causing grievous bodily harm must
suffer the consequences. Police are also to blame for neglecting their duty.

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For immediate release - 29th July 2002


"Murder. Systematic, cold-blooded mass murder" was the response of the "Save
Zimbabwe" campaign to today's BBC story that desperately needed food relief
is being denied to Opposition supporters in Zimbabwe by followers of the
ruling Zanu-PF.

The statement from "Save Zimbabwe" said :

"Of course we were already aware that this was taking place, but
verification by the BBC provides important independent evidence of the
horrors being inflicted on their own people by the Mugabe regime. Zanu-PF
have now effectively declared war on the people of Zimbabwe. All respected
independent assessments indicate that this regime is opposed by the majority
of  Zimbabweans and for these frightened rulers to retaliate with the weapon
of starvation is a grotesque act of revenge. It is, quite simply, murder.
Systematic, cold-blooded mass murder"."

"Save Zimbabwe" called on other African nations now to exert political,
moral and economic pressure on Zimbabwe to restore human rights and
democracy to the country. "If the African community of nations withdrew all
support from this rogue regime", a Campaign spokesman said " democracy could
be restored within six months. Continued toleration of  this evil eats away
at the credibility of the commitments to human rights and democracy inherent
in NEPAD.  The standing and reputation of all African nations is soiled by
this one man and his regime"

The "Save Zimbabwe" campaign is a non-partisan international initiative,
with broadbased support drawn from both political parties and community
groups. It was launched during the recent African Union meeting in Durban
and is designed to restore democracy, human rights and legitimate government
to Zimbabwe. The holding of  early, free and fair elections, under full and
proper international supervision, is a key objective of the campaign.


Issued by Chelgate Limited:
On behalf of the ""Save Zimbabwe" campaign
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From The Wall Street Journal, 25 July

Death of a nation

Creating famine is hard work, but Robert Mugabe is indefatigable

New York - Zimbabwe's mission to the United Nations occupies a low, gold-panelled building in midtown Manhattan. On a recent hot morning, I pressed the doorbell and was admitted to a cool, neat waiting room--in which no one else was waiting. Posters on the walls advertised Zimbabwe's natural wonders, including wild elephants and the splendid Victoria Falls, with the caption "Africa's Paradise." Yet in today's Zimbabwe what looms large is not paradise but famine. "The situation is deteriorating fairly rapidly," says Kevin Farrell, country director for the U.N.'s World Food Program, reached by phone in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare. He says that in any village right now, "you will see people clearly hungry." The U.N. is appealing for $611 million worth of emergency aid for sub-Saharan Africa. Almost half of that is for Zimbabwe, the workers now predict that without massive help, hundreds of thousands may soon starve to death. One seasoned relief expert who recently visited Zimbabwe, the Rev. Jack Finucane of American based Concern Worldwide, doubts that even drastic international action will be enough. "I don't think you can avoid large numbers of people dying of starvation this year in Zimbabwe, Father Finucane told me in a phone interview. "There's a problem about getting food into the country."

There is nothing natural about this. True, Zimbabwe has had a drought. But it's a nation that inherited from colonial days some of the best infrastructure in Africa. There's nothing wrong with the roads, on which Father Finucane travelled hundreds of miles to gather the evidence on which he based his grim findings. In our modern world, with its swift transport, global markets and cheap technology - supplemented in a crisis by a vast network of eager aid agencies - there is no way that famine can be chalked up simply to natural disaster. Given any reasonable degree of freedom, people faced with dwindling supplies of food will make mighty use of their basic human ingenuity to find ways to survive. It takes a lot of work, by determined tyrants, to starve human beings to death. Stalin engineered a terrible famine in the 1930s to subdue rebellious farmers in Ukraine. Mao in the 1950s and '60s starved some 30 million Chinese to death in the process of consolidating his grip on power. Ethiopians suffered famine in the 1980s under the Marxist rule of Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam, who was finally ousted in 1991 (and retired to luxury digs in Zimbabwe, where he still resides). North Korea's totalitarian Kim Jong Il has forced the starvation of more than one million North Koreans since the mid-1990s, rather than let them grow their own crops, trade in free markets and quite probably save their own lives.

At Zimbabwe's U.N. mission, above the reception desk, near the promos for paradise, hangs a portrait of the ruler who has chosen to enrol this once-fruitful country in the axis of famine: "His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe" - Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Mr. Mugabe peers out from behind big dark-rimmed spectacles, looking younger in this official portrait than his 78 years. He has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, tightening his grip over time. As some countries in Africa have begun to liberalize, Zimbabweans have been looking more urgently for change, turning to such opposition figures as Morgan Tsvangirai, a popular trade union leader. Mr. Mugabe has responded with increasingly destructive tactics for keeping power - imposing price controls, nationalizing enterprises and turning loose gangs known as "war veterans" to brutalize opponents. In March, Mr. Mugabe "won" re-election, defeating Mr. Tsvangirai in a rigged vote. The U.S. State Department described the election as "marred by disenfranchisement of urban voters, violent intimidation against opposition supporters, intimidation of the independent press and the judiciary and other irregularities." Despite all that, Mr. Tsvangirai still won about 40% of the vote.

Over the past two years, Mr. Mugabe's bid to boost his waning support has included a "land reform" in which his government ordered white commercial farmers to quit farming and surrender their land to be parcelled out to blacks. This was done in the name of redressing racial injustice left over from colonial times. In an independence day speech on April 18, Mr. Mugabe announced triumphantly that the land "has finally come to its rightful owners." But these huge farms, run with large economies of scale, were the most productive source of the country's food. Their confiscation, carried out in many cases by violent mobs, has brought farming to a near halt. With famine imminent, Mr. Mugabe's regime has ordered almost 3,000 white farmers still on their land to halt all production and leave their property within the next three weeks. According to sources such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, the parcelling out to date has been neither equitable nor productive. London's Daily Telegraph reported in May that vast tracts of land had been "handed out to President Mugabe's closest allies, including 10 cabinet ministers, seven MP's [members of Parliament] and his brother-in-law." Concern Worldwide estimates that yields have plunged 90% from what was once normal. And though the drought ended months ago and many of the reservoirs are now full, Mr. Mugabe's ruinous land "reform" means there is now almost no effective irrigation or new planting.

Whatever hardship all this means for the white farmers, by far the worst hit by these ruinous tactics are millions of blacks. Nor can people simply buy supplies on the open market. The government runs a Grain Marketing Board that has monopoly rights to import and deal in commodities such as corn - the staple food in Zimbabwe. Roadblocks restrict unauthorized shipments into the country. Farmers are forced to sell exclusively to the state marketing board, at well below world price, which further reduces incentives for large-scale planting. The marketing board rations its stocks, funnelling food toward Mr. Mugabe's supporters and stinting the opposition, according to USAID head Andrew Natsios. Mr. Natsios describes Mr. Mugabe as "predatory and tyrannical" and says the Mugabe government "has politicized the distribution of food." Making matters worse, government policy has also brought soaring inflation, now in the triple digits, which has been fast eroding the buying power of ordinary Zimbabweans. The official exchange rate is now about 1/16th the black-market rate for hard currency, meaning that even if Zimbabweans resort to the black market, the price of imported food is increasingly out of reach. In a country that was once among the most prosperous and promising in Africa, Mr. Mugabe's government is "causing the mass destruction of the middle class," says USAID's Mr. Natsios.

This is causing deep alarm in neighboring South Africa. In a June 19 cover letter to an extensive report compiled by dissident civic groups in Zimbabwe, documenting abuses committed by the Mugabe government, South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote that "Zimbabweans are now suffering the brunt of policies that could soon spill over into the entire region." Describing the March presidential election as "not fair," Archbishop Tutu added: "It is now clear that the resolution to the Zimbabwe crisis can only be found in recapturing the legitimacy of government and returning the country to a fair and just rule of law." Aid donors are now trying to maneuver emergency rations through Mr. Mugabe's horrific political maze - which has included objections by Harare officials to the importation of genetically modified grain. This precludes some kinds of corn that Americans routinely eat. This week the U.N. issued a frantic call for swifter relief to avert catastrophic starvation. Assorted nongovernmental organizations have been urgently petitioning finicky officials in Harare for permission to ship in enough food to feed Zimbabweans deprived of the freedom to feed themselves. Mr. Mugabe, however, hasn't been bothering himself much with all the fuss about famine. He was off in Cuba last week, lauding what he calls his "fast track" land policy and hobnobbing with his old pal Fidel Castro - another septuagenarian believer in the power of rationing.

Back in New York, my visit to Zimbabwe's mission to the U.N. led to an interview the next day with the ambassador to the U.N., Tichaona Jokonya. An elderly, well-spoken man, Mr. Jokonya offered an intriguing window on the history of Zimbabwe, including an account of his own role in fighting colonial rule along with Mr. Mugabe some three decades back, a part for which Mr. Jokonya says he was trained in China during the late 1960s by the forces of Mao Tse-tung, one of his heroes. Mr. Jokonya agreed that not all is well is Zimbabwe today, saying that "half the population will be affected" by hunger, and noting that the grain marketing board has its shortcomings. He added that Zimbabwe is a "young" nation and needs time and understanding. But time is running out. And what most needs understanding is the kind of information I learned from a relief worker in Zimbabwe who has just put in a long stint going village to village. This relief worker described people in the countryside who still look healthy but are now running through their last resources - selling off the cow or the goats, boiling roots for food, and waiting in mile-long queues at local offices of the state's Grain Marketing Board - when anything is actually available there. The relief worker described an old Zimbabwean woman who came with hundreds of others to a foreign aid center set up near a village school. She said that almost everyone she knows is getting desperate: "We beg, we borrow, we look for food." In hunger, if nothing else, she added, "we are all equal now."

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      Aroma of an election rerun smelling in the air

      7/29/02 8:39:43 AM (GMT +2)

      THERE is reason to suspect that it is not over yet! There is ample
evidence that the people may experience some electioneering in the
not-so-distant future. I am not a clairvoyant or a soothsayer of any sort. I
tell it from the signs that I see everywhere.

      Wherever I go I see people campaigning for their political parties on
the one hand, and de-campaigning other political parties on the other. When
I go to this bar or that bottle store, the main topic of discussion points
to a pending election. The media is also full of campaign material. The bold
print shouts loudly as it emphasises the virtues of a certain party. The
obscure small print refuses to be left out in the cold. It also tries to
outshine the bold print in articulating the holiness of yet another party.

      The different masters of opinion seem to converge on one item: that an
election of some remarkable proportion is in the air. The other point where
there seems to be some agreement is the wisdom to seek indemnity. Somehow
those who print or broadcast on the likelihood of an election quickly
indemnify themselves by making it known that their suggestion of an election
is purely speculative.
      Perhaps like some cousins of mine who hail from somewhere on this
continent, the fear of some repressive legislature compels them to distance
themselves from the truth.

      Reality though refuses to be overtaken by fear of some law made
expeditiously by an earthling that is causing the rot of the party from
within. The truth is in the air. All the people with good intentions and
good desires can see the truth. The air is so full of bad-mouthing and
name-calling. The war for votes seems to be gaining momentum everywhere. The
problem is that I cannot tell what election is on the cards. I cannot say
the parliamentary election is due soon as the present parliament has just
been sworn in after the closest election in history. Besides by-elections
for seats that could have fallen vacant for various reasons, there is no
reason to think that the nation is facing a parliamentary election in the
near future.

      Then I can safely conclude that the ongoing campaigning is not for
parliamentary seats. Maybe the campaign is for something bigger and more
valuable than some miserly council seats. Could it be that the ultimate
prize is up for grabs? Is there a presidential election rerun on the
horizon? Is someone about to be dressed down by the courts for a fraudulent
election? Is the opposition marching victoriously to the perimeter fence of
State House via the High Court? I can see the signs! The opposition is
presently basking in the hope that the High Court will nullify the election

      The incumbent behaves as if he is afraid that he may be dethroned
after a few months at the helm. There is some apprehension that is denting
the character of the incumbent. Somehow he is losing confidence in himself.
He is not sure anymore if his convincing victory would convince the stern
judges of the High Court. He might know what those who have evidence of
election fraud would say. The incumbent's threats to prosecute those who are
willing to give evidence of election fraud are a sick manifestation of
desperation. It goes to show what some people would do to remain in power.

      Power does not only corrupt, it renders a man very insane. It
possesses the one in power like a demon. Power creates monsters out of
ordinary men. A man obsessed with too much thought of power is dangerous. He
would do anything to remain cocooned in his obsession. But then the aroma of
an election rerun is smelling tantalisingly in the air. This time the
election had better be free and very fair because there is no point in
having reruns every six months.
      Elections are costly and energy-sapping, yet real power is sweet. It
is difficult for an incumbent to accept to be demoted to a candidate just
like that, especially after tasting the trappings of power.

      One can only suspect that because of that feeling of deprivation, the
nights at State House are no longer cosy and comfortable. There is reason to
believe that someone's days at State House are as unsure as those of a
prisoner on death row. There is no bliss at the palace. The nights are cold
with uncertainty and the days are just as boring.

      Whilst the incumbent waits for the judge's verdict, the electioneering
goes on. It sounds funny that an incumbent finds himself engaging in a
campaign trail whilst he has just started a new term. This is politics.
There are no fixed and fast rules. The climate changes rapidly. When the
political climate changes, the need for the politicians to change is also
born. One good thing about a campaigning incumbent is that he or she will
always try to deliver the goods, albeit cheaply. The currency unit may be
artificially strengthened. The price of imported commodities may be arrested
at an uneconomic low.

      The quest for zero corruption may also be paramount. The rule of law .
. . suddenly it gains recognition. Important people are suddenly stripped of
their immunity so that they can stand trial as the incumbent works swiftly
to gain favours. The electorate may either applaud the return of the rule of
law or laugh it off as an election gimmick.

      All the same, the rule of law conveniently returns and all citizen
temporarily become equal in front of the law.Enough of giving the cops a
pretext to pounce on me for breaching the Public Order and Security Act.
Welcome to the Kabulonga suburb in the Lusaka, the capital of Zambia.

      The presidential election won by Levy Mwanawasa is being hotly
contested in court. Anderson Mazoka, Chris Tembo and others from the
vote-splitting opposition may get a second bite of the large Zambian cherry.
As long as the court case is on, Mwanawasa might want to prove himself as
someone worthy of the good living post and its perks. He will sneak into the
hearts of the opposition MPs and endear himself to them as if he was the
best thing for Zambia. He is prepared to humiliate his predecessor. If the
High Court of Zambia rules that the election was not free and fair, a
precedent would have been set for the African continent, which has been
starved of democracy for too long. The people will queue again to vote.

      This time around it would be imperative that those bent on fomenting
electoral fraud and violence recall the human feelings in their hearts.

      In a typical indigenous manner, I pose the following statement: "The
Zambians did it, why can we not did it too?"

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      Tsvangirai dismisses MDC row story

      7/29/02 8:59:46 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      MORGAN Tsvangirai, the MDC president yesterday castigated people who
comment on his party's internal issues through the government propaganda
mouthpieces which he said are discredited sources of information.

      Tsvangirai made the comments following a story published in yesterday'
s issue of the Sunday Mail headlined "Discontent running deep in MDC camp",
which quoted unidentified MDC legislators accusing him of abandoning them.

      "What do you expect from propaganda machinery?" Tsvangirai asked.
"Anybody who believes stories attributed to no-one can believe anything.
Those people quoted should feel ashamed because they put their credibility
into question."
      He said the Sunday Mail had now run short of story ideas and was
imagining upheaval in the MDC.

      Tsvangirai said the MDC was focused on designing political strategies
that would see millions of disillusioned Zimbabweans reclaiming their stolen
      "Propaganda chokes," Tsvangirai said. "The paper is hoping for a
political crisis, but has found none. It is a figment of their imagination."

      He said political division was evident in Zanu PF which stole the
election from Zimbabweans in the March presidential election.The Sunday Mail
reported that Tsvangirai was now spending most of his time with European
diplomats and commercial farmers, abandoning the party's supporters.

      The MDC president said the party would continue to press for change
through public rallies, unless they were not cancelled by the partisan
police, as had happened in recent weeks.He said the police now behaved like
a referee who has thrown away his whistle to join the other team
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Leader Page

      Passing the buck won't make problems go away

      7/29/02 9:05:52 AM (GMT +2)

      On countless occasions, political commentators, including editorial
writers, have observed with dismay how it has become something of a
trademark for African leaders in general and our own President Mugabe in
particular, to blame everybody else except Africans themselves for their
litany of failures.

      Those countries that are clearly the paragons of good governance and
the leading proponents of democracy, Britain and the United States in
particular, have been favourite targets of African dictators' vitriolic
attacks for "meddling" in the internal affairs of their countries and
purportedly impoverishing them.

      Thankfully, though, like the targeted countries' governments, their
citizens have now awakened to the fact of those attacks being the red
herring they have always been.

      It, therefore, came as not only a breath of fresh air, but also as an
encouraging indicator that at last we might have begun a new era
characterised by the government saying mea culpa instead of passing the buck
each time it messes up things, when Mugabe told his audience in Masvingo on
Friday that the government shoulders a big chunk of the blame for the high
rate of fatal accidents on Zimbabwe's roads.

      Addressing people at the memorial service of the 37 victims of a
collision between a haulage truck and a bus carrying Masvingo Teachers'
College students returning from a sporting outing in Harare, Mugabe admitted
what every commentator had said since the accident two months ago - that it
was the narrowness of the highways which led to most of the fatal

      "We agreed long back to upgrade these roads and my government has
always said we have no money, we have no money, we have no money, (but) we
will have to do it this time," Mugabe said in a rare confession to only one
of his government's almost endless list of unfulfilled promises.

      Although the temptation would be to think only modern day versions of
Robin Hood would entertain his proposed method of financing the exercise -
that "even if it means breaking into some banks to get the money we just
have to rob the banks" - it must be noted here that his government is not at
all above that kind of action which must be discouraged in the strongest
possible terms.

      But that is not the main issue here. It was his uncharacteristic
admission of failure which was noteworthy. Disappointingly, though, those
hopes of entering a new era in which the government would henceforth take
full responsibility for its mistakes were dashed literally overnight by
Mugabe's incredible remarks at the Zimbabwe Nurses' Association's annual
general meeting in Chinhoyi on Saturday.

      Mugabe told the gathering: "Britain comes in the dead of night to
steal our people . . . pharmacists, doctors and nurses."

      It is so worrying to witness the President indulging in self-delusion
on such a grand scale. It is very dangerous for a man who is both head of
state and government to exhibit such
      serious symptoms of being out of touch with reality.

      With this kind of thinking prevailing in the highest office in the
land, only a miracle can save us from ourselves or what looks like our
unavoidable appointment with fate.

      In a very real way, it explains why the President still continues to
trust ministers such as Joseph Made in spite of the man having repeatedly
misled him and the people of this country over the country's
self-sufficiency in basic commodities such as maize and wheat which, as we
all now know, have virtually run out.

      Why should Britain be blamed for Zimbabwe's brain-drain when everyone
knows the blame lies squarely on shoulders of this government whose
obsession with staying in power at all costs - including scaring away all
potential investors - knows no limits?

      It is that scenario, and of course, the whittling away of basic human
rights - including political rights - and freedoms which have combined to
create our current massive unemployment of nearly 70 percent which, in turn,
has been directly responsible for forcing people with skills they cannot use
here at home to seek employment elsewhere.

      In any case, there are more Zimbabweans now working in Botswana and
South Africa as economic refugees than those working in Britain. Why blame
only Britain?

      It is high time Mugabe woke up to the reality that cheap scape-goating
and passing the buck won't wash anymore.
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      Claims on Mahoso's mugging dismissed

      7/29/02 8:46:04 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      PROFESSOR Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general yesterday said
claims by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo that Tafataona Mahoso, the head
of the journalism department at the Harare Polytechnic, was mugged by
suspected MDC youths should be dismissed with the contempt and derision they

      Mahoso was mugged and left for dead on Thursday night by three robbers
along Seventh Avenue when he was coming from a banquet for MPs hosted by
President Mugabe at State House.He was rushed to Parirenyatwa Hospital where
he is still recovering after he sustained a fractured left leg as the
thieves tried to grab his personal belongings. Mahoso subsequently lost his
shoes, watch, spectacles and a sum of money between $1 000 and $1 500. Ncube
said the attack on Mahoso was regrettable and the culprits should be brought
to book

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      Jongwe bail application set for today

      7/29/02 8:41:41 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      JONATHAN Samkange, the lawyer representing Kuwadzana MP Learnmore
Jongwe, will today lodge an appeal in the Supreme Court seeking a reversal
of the decision by Justice Anele Matika of the High Court, who refused to
grant the opposition legislator bail last week.

      Jongwe, who is being held at the Harare Remand Prison, faces
allegations of murder following the incident on 19 July in which he
allegedly stabbed his wife, Rutendo Jongwe, nee Muusha, eight times.

      Samkange noted before Justice Matika that he would appeal against his
decision as he believed that another court was likely to come up with a
different ruling.
      The lawyer is arguing that Jongwe's wife provoked him extremely after
he caught her being intimate with Donald Mashingaidze, a lawyer with Muskwe
and Associates legal practitioners.

      In his warned and cautioned statement, Jongwe wrote that on 19 July,
he went shopping with his wife. Rutendo later indicated to him that she
wanted to go and see a friend, Jacqueline Makoni, who also works for Muskwe
and Associates.
      "I left her at the firm and went to my office. Later on, after about
30 to 40 minutes, I went to Muskwe and Associates and asked Jacqueline where
my wife was. Jacqueline told me she was in consultation with Donald
Mashingaidze, a lawyer in the next office. I opened Mashingaidze's door and
saw the two making love on top of the table. I just could not believe it,''
Jongwe alleges.
      Jongwe also stated that at about 3:30pm, he then confronted his wife,
who was by then sitting in their Ridgeview house, eating oranges.

      He asked her what she had been doing with Mashingaidze in the office
and she replied: "What you saw is correct. In fact he is a better man. I
long told you that our marriage is not working.''

      At that stage, Jongwe alleges that he felt extremely provoked and took
the knife Rutendo was using to peel the oranges and stabbed her. Samkange
said it would be unfair to pre-judge his client and that he should be
afforded the same opportunities that are extended to any other accused
persons to prove their defence.
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      Zanu PF women MPs barred from Sweden

      7/29/02 9:01:48 AM (GMT +2)

      By Sandra Nyaira Political Editor

      IN a clear signal that the European Union (EU) is getting tough in the
implementation of personal sanctions and travel bans against high-ranking
Zanu PF members, Sweden has denied permission for four top women officials
of the ruling party to visit that country.

      Edna Madzongwe, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament; Olivia Muchena, the
Minister of State in Vice-President Joseph Msika's Office; Shuvai Mahofa,
the Deputy Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation;
and Flora Bhuka, the Minister of State in Vice-President Simon Muzenda's
Office, will not be able to attend a women's conference in Sweden after they
were denied visas.

      The four were part of a group of women parliamentarians from Zanu PF
and the opposition MDC that was supposed to visit Sweden to acquaint
themselves about that country's legislative system, the women's
parliamentary caucus and related aspects.

      The visit was organised by the Women in Parliament Support Unit
(WiPSU), a local non-governmental organisation, together with a Swedish one,
the Olof Palme Centre, named after the slain Swedish prime minister.

      Muchena, Mahofa and Bhuka are all elected Members of Parliament, while
Madzongwe was among the 30 Zanu PF MPs hand-picked by President Mugabe for
inclusion in the Parliament.

      They were set to travel this week together with MDC female MPs such as
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Thokozani Khupe and Evelyn Masaiti.

      An official from the Swedish Embassy in Harare, Irina Schoulvin,
yesterday confirmed that her country had refused to grant the Zanu PF
officials permission to visit Sweden.

      "The issue is quite straightforward. They do not qualify to visit any
EU country under the extended list of people barred from travelling to
European countries," Schoulvin said.
      She said almost all women parliamentarians from Zimbabwe were set to
go on the trip since they were a small group of only 15.

      "The whole idea is just to send a message that the politics currently
prevailing in Zimbabwe is bad and that if you are part of the politics you
are set to be affected," she said.

      WiPSU's main aim is to increase women's qualitative participation and
influence in policy and decision-making, with a clear understanding and
commitment to focus on women's issues.

      Efforts to get a comment from Zanu PF were fruitless, but Information
and Publicity Minister in the President's Office, Jonathan Moyo, hinted on
Saturday that the government could be working on its own list to bar
specific EU officials from visiting Zimbabwe.

      The junior minister was reacting to the detention of Joshua Malinga at

      International Airport in London. Malinga is a senior Zanu PF official.
Britain sent home the wheelchair-bound politician while on his way to New
York .

      Malinga, the deputy secretary for the disabled and disadvantaged in
Zanu PF, took an evening flight back to Harare, British officials said.

      "He was removed from the UK on the first available flight to
 Zimbabwe," a Home Office spokeswoman told Reuters, saying the measure was
not termed a deportation.

      The EU imposed targeted sanctions on 20 senior Zanu PF and government
officials just before the March presidential poll which was disputedly won
by Mugabe.

      The EU has refused to acknowledge Mugabe as the legitimate leader of
Zimbabwe and last week it extended the list of those affected by the
sanctions to cover 52 more Zanu PF and government officials.

      The sanctions include freezing of assets, travel bans and an arms
embargo to deny the government weapons which might be used for political
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      MDC supporters in Muzarabani accuse Zanu PF of excluding them in food

      7/29/02 8:54:23 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      MDC supporters in Kapembere ward in Muzarabani have accused Zanu PF
leaders in the area of sidelining them in the food distribution programme
for allegedly "belonging to the opposition which denigrates the government".

      Takawira Mubayiwa, the security chief for the MDC in the ward, said
Zanu PF had hijacked the feeding programme initiated by Christian Care, a
non-governmental organisation.

      He said the charitable organisation distributed food to all deserving
cases without discrimination until the ruling party hijacked the programme.
      "Robert Mugabe claims all people, including MDC members, are receiving
food without being discriminated against," Mubayiwa said, "but in our area,
several MDC supporters have been left out and their names deleted from lists
of food aid recipients."

      Mubayiwa said Zanu PF supporters in the constituency had listed names
of known and suspected MDC supporters. The lists were now being used in the
food aid exercise to starve hundreds of villagers.He accused Jefta Musariri,
a war veteran leader in the area, of leading the crackdown on all suspected
MDC supporters.

      The security chief said Christian Care head office was aware of the
situation but they could not do anything about it.An official at Christian
Care in Harare denied the allegations by the MDC supporters, saying their
programme was transparent and non-political.The official, who refused to be
identified, said they had a beneficiary selection criteria where church
representatives in the area, the traditional leadership, the district
administrator and councillors were involved in identifying the needy.

      He said: "We give out food, starting with the most vulnerable people.
Officials from our donors, the World Food Programme, come and verify all
lists of beneficiaries."In Muzarabani, the official said, about 3 500 people
received 13,8kg of maize-meal per household every month.

      The feeding programme in Muzarabani started in April but the
identification of needy villagers began in March. The Christian Care
official said the villagers, in the presence of representatives of all major
stakeholders, identified people who desperately needed food assistance and
without any source of income.
      MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai has repeatedly accused the government
and Zanu PF of politicising the food aid programme, starving thousands of
his party's supporters.

      Nathan Shamuyarira, the Zanu PF secretary for information and
publicity, yesterday denied the allegations by the MDC. Shamuyarira said:
"There is no truth in those allegations. There are no villagers or villages
that are being sidelined in food distribution. "You know very well that we
are distributing food to all Zimbabweans, irrespective of their political
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Zanu-PF targets UK for visa ban

Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor
Sunday July 28, 2002
The Observer

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party warned yesterday that it was considering a
tit-for-tat ban on senior British Ministers and officials visiting the
African country after a disabled Zimbabwean politician was refused entry at
Gatwick airport.
Joshua Malinga, Deputy-Secretary for the Disabled and Disadvantaged in the
party, was stopped at Gatwick on Friday under a European Union travel ban
preventing members of Zimbabwe's ruling elite from entering member

Malinga left Britain last night on an Air Zimbabwe flight from Gatwick to
Harare. British officials said that he was not formally deported but was

'This is the clearest example that the Brits have gone bananas and are
harassing disabled people who should be assisted,' Zimbabwe's Information
Minister, Jonathan Moyo, said in the Herald newspaper in the Zimbabwean

'Perhaps the time has come for our own list of Britons who are not welcome
to Zimbabwe,' he said.

The Foreign Office said Malinga was stopped because he is on a list of
represent- atives of Robert Mugabe's government barred from entering the EU.
Last week, the EU extended sanctions on the Zimbabwean leadership to include
an extra 52 people, among them the First Lady, Grace Mugabe.

Malinga, who uses a wheelchair, was stopped while attempting to clear
immigration at Gatwick as he made his way to Heathrow for a flight to New

Malinga said he had not realised he was included in the ban. He said his
role was within Zanu PF's policy-making politburo and was not a government
position. 'I'm travelling to New York because I am a leader of disabled
peoples. I don't see what that has to do with the Zimbabwe government.'
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Monday, 29 July, 2002, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Clickable guide to food crisis in Zimbabwe


978,000 people are affected by the food crisis in this region, according to the World Food Programme.

This is the region worst affected by the drought.

Zimbabwe food crisis
Matabeleland: 978,000 affected
Mashonaland: 1 million
Masvingo: 972,000
Midlands: 620,000
Urban areas: 850,000
Farm-workers: 825,000
Source: WFP
It is also the only rural area which voted for the opposition MDC.

The BBC's Thabo Kunene in Bulawayo says that maize meal is now readily available in the city - but only on the black market.

The government has attempted to reduce inflation by controlling the prices of basic goods.

But this has had the effect of creating shortages in the shops, where 10kg bag of maize meal costs Z$380.

Meanwhile, in markets and in the houses of black market traders, it is easily available for Z$1,000 a bag.

Our correspondent says that some millers are encouraging the black market trade in order to increase their revenue.

Following protests by the United States, the distribution of food aid in rural areas was briefly opened up to opposition supporters.

But Thabo Kunene says that with local elections coming up in September, it is feared that food aid will again be used as a campaign tool.


972,000 people are affected.

I cannot go and buy maize

Energy Bara Independent journalist
Local journalist Energy Bara told BBC News Online that people are abandoning their homes and moving to larger villages in search of food.

One such rural centre, Rutenga, "looks like a squatter camp" he said.

People wait for days until a truck arrives with food but even then, only maybe one person in five gets the food.

In some remote parts of Masvingo province, such as Chiredzi, the roads have not been repaired since the devastating floods of 2000 and even government trucks cannot get through.

He says that some aid agencies are distributing food but they are only allowed to travel to rural areas if they are accompanied by representatives of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

And this is also the case in Masvingo town.

Energy Bara works for the Daily News, which the government sees as pro-opposition, and he says that Zanu-PF officials turn him away from shops which have food.

"I cannot go and buy maize," he said.

Friends and relatives must go on his behalf.


One million people need food aid.

Jacob Muzimba, a pupil at a school in rural Chikono, eats wild fruit
Even wild fruits may become a luxury in rural areas

Mashonaland generally receives more rain than other parts of the country.

But this year, some parts of the region have also been badly hit.


620,000 people affected.

Food delivery
Harare residents queue for hours to get basic food

The distribution of food aid is being done along party political lines.

Local journalist Zerubabel Mudzingwa told BBC News Online that he recently saw opposition supporters being kicked out of a queue for food aid in Mberengwa.

He says that the government is tying to control the distribution of food and has prevented most aid agencies from working independently.

Most food is being distributed in rural areas but people in the big towns such as Gweru are also hungry.

A food for work programme has been introduced, where people get food in exchange for doing casual work, such as filling in pot-holes for the city council.

The next harvest is next April and there are fears that the need for food will only increase before then.


Most of the 850,000 urban people affected by the food crisis are in the capital.

Most shops have run out of the staple food, maize-meal, as well as other basic commodities such as cooking oil and salt.

Robert Mugabe
A membership card for Robert Mugabe's party may get you some food

The BBC's Lewis Machipisa says that if people hear that deliveries are expected, they queue up from early in the morning.

Alternatively, foodstuffs are available on the black market - from stalls on the streets.

Unless, of course, the police get to the black marketeers first.

Our correspondent says that food aid is not being distributed in Harare and no food for work programmes have been set up.


843,000 people are affected by the food crisis.

Northern parts of Manicaland have the highest rainfall in Zimbabwe but southern areas are more drought-prone.

ZIMBABWE: Feeding scheme resumed
      IRINnews Africa, Mon 29 Jul 2002

      JOHANNESBURG, - A feeding scheme run by the the Catholic Commission
for Justice and Peace (CCJP) in Zimbabwe's Binga district has resumed after
war veterans forced its closure last month.

      However, the local government ordered that the scheme would no longer
be run by the CCJP, but directly by three Catholic churches in the region,
in the far west of the country.

      Last month, the offices of the programme, which fed 40,000 children in
the Binga district, was surrounded by people calling themselves war veterans
and closed by police.

      The project, funded by Britain's Catholic Fund for Overseas
Development (CAFOD), was accused of supporting the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC). This was a twist on current concerns that the
ruling ZANU-PF was diverting government-purchased food to its supporters.

      Father Tom McQuillen told IRIN that feeding had resumed last Monday
but the local governor had ordered that food be taken away from CCJP and
distributed directly by the three Catholic churches in Binga, Kamatiwi and

      The people employed to oversee the CCJP feeding programme could no
longer work on the scheme as they were seen as opposition supporters, he
said. The CCJP was also ordered to suspend its other activities. These
included drilling boreholes, rights education and campaigns on women's
rights, inheritance laws and ensuring certain languages are included in the
school curriculum.

      "I see no merit in the accusations," he said. "The only contact our
workers had with beneficiaries was with deliveries. The headmasters received
the food and it was given to the school development committee. Besides, it's
pointless to go around campaigning to five-year-olds."

      The resumption will see food going to children in 34 primary schools
and 183 pre-schools.

      Save the Children Fund (SCF), which also operates in Binga, said it
had not experienced any problems in the area.

      SCF deputy director Patricia Mbetu, which distributes food funded by
the British Department for International Development (DFID) said: "Where we
are working we have our own targeting [of those in need] and it's quite

      "We haven't had any tampering with our registers at all ... We are
able to negotiate with the local authorities and we're distributing without
political interference."

      The World Food Programme (WFP), which launched a massive appeal for
the country, has already said it would not tolerate the politicisation of
food aid it was bringing into the country.

      WFP has warned that up to six million Zimbabweans face food shortages
due to a drought and a drop in production brought on by the government's
fast-track land reform.

      The material contained in this article is from IRIN, a UN humanitarian
information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United
Nations or its agencies. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post any item
on this site, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or
extracts should include attribution to the original sources. All graphics
and Images on this site may not be re-produced without the express
permission of the original owner.
      All materials copyright © UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs 2002
Business Day

Zimbabwe urged to change food policy


International Affairs Editor

A SENIOR US official says "every single decision that the Zimbabwean
government has made in the past six months", is turning a food shortage into
a famine.

The head of the US Agency for International Development, Andrew Natsios,
yesterday urged Harare to reverse policies which were creating "one disaster
after another", and allow the commercial farmers to "at least" plant crops
later this year.

Through a video link from Washington, Natsios also said there was clear
evidence from sources on the ground that food aid was being denied to those
opposed to the ruling Zanu (PF) party in Matabeleland.

He also said controls on food prices were worsening shortages in Lesotho,
Malawi, and Zimbabwe, as there was no incentive for the private sector to

The remarks follow a recent statement by European Union foreign ministers
who also criticised governments in the region over the food crisis.

Now that the crisis in Zimbabwe is so severe, these statements point to a
strong likelihood that there will be growing diplomatic pressure by donors
to persuade governments in the region to drop their "quiet diplomacy" toward

However, even though Harare is being accused of using food as a political
weapon because distribution by foreign agencies is being conducted by
nongovernmental agencies this assistance will not be cut.

Natsios vowed that his country would continue to provide food to the needy
despite sharp differences with Harare and other governments.

The US had donated more than three quarters of the $128m the World Food
Programme had raised for its southern African crisis response. It is
urgently trying to raise a further $380m to avert famine next year.

Natsios said had the white commercial farm sector been operating normally in
Zimbabwe, there would have been no food shortages, because it relied largely
on irrigation.

In response to concerns about the use of genetically modified organisms in
maize being sent to the region, Natsios said the US would not donate food
that Americans would not consume.

Jul 29 2002 12:00:00:000AM Jonathan Katzenellenbogen Business Day 1st
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      Zimbabwe to prosecute over Mrs Mugabe and bin Laden link

The Zimbabwe government plans to prosecute a local newspaper for a report
linking the names of President Robert Mugabe's wife and Osama bin Laden.

Mugabe's office issued a statement accusing the independently-owned Sunday
Standard of trying to "smear the first family".

The report said both Grace Mugabe and the al-Qaida leader were on a Bank of
England list of those banned from operating accounts in the EU.

"Government legal recourse will bring this unprofessional conduct of
journalists and the newspaper to a lawful end," said the statement.

It described the report as "criminal" and alleged it was masterminded from

Sunday Standard deputy editor Brian Latham said police had not yet attempted
to arrest staff, already threatened with prosecution over other editions,
for alleged "breach of journalistic privilege by publishing false reports."

The offence, under the newly-passed Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act, carries a maximum two year prison term.

However, Latham said the report over Grace Mugabe's assets came from a Bank
of England news release, accessible on the bank's Web site, so was not open
to dispute.

He also denied it could be held to "demean or undermine the president" - an
offence under draconian new security legislation carrying a possible 20 year

"I cannot see how anyone is being demeaned by the story," said Latham.

Story filed: 19:27 Monday 29th July 2002
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Makoni Devalues Dollar to Promote Tobacco Sales

The Daily News (Harare)

July 29, 2002
Posted to the web July 29, 2002

Farming Editor

TOBACCO farmers will with immediate effect use an exchange rate of Z$317 for
every United States dollar they earn on auction floors, Minister of Finance
and Economic Development, Dr Simba Makoni, has said.

This is a devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar "through the back door" in
favour of tobacco farmers who were using an exchange rate of Z$99 against
US$1, instead of the official one of Z$55.

Both commercial and small-scale farmers have welcomed the incentive
introduced by the government.

Presenting the 2002 Supplementary Budget last Thursday, Makoni said the
government had set a viability price for tobacco at Z$317 a kg.

Makoni also announced the government would value luxury goods at an exchange
rate of Z$300 to US$1.

Other goods affected by this measure include oil fats, beverages, vehicles
and manufactured goods.

In May Makoni gave in to pressure exerted on government by farmers
protesting against poor flue-cured tobacco prices when he awarded them a
support price incentive aimed at improving grower viability.

Under this support incentive, a farmer was being paid an additional 80
percent from every Zimbabwe dollar earned after selling tobacco. This
translated to a devaluation of the dollar to Z$99 against US$1.

The 80 percent incentive now falls off and farmers who have sold would be
reimbursed using the new exchange rate of Z$317 for the tobacco industry.

Makoni said: "Assuming average yields of 2 000kg per hectare, an average
auction floor price of US$2/kg, overhead costs at 25 percent of variable
costs, and 20 percent return on investment, we have set a viability price of
$317 per kg. This level of support to our farmers, at the exchange rate of
$55: US$1, needs $35 billion.

"This support will be extended to all tobacco farmers, who have delivered up
to now and those who will deliver from now."

He said the government would finance the scheme through a Z$11,5 billion
fiscal subvention, and the balance through a Gold and Foreign Currency
Exchange Adjustment Account of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Many farmers, frustrated by the poor Zimbabwe dollar prices offered on the
floors, had warned they would not produce the golden leaf in the next season
because they were making losses.

Commenting on the new tobacco exchange rate incentive, Zimbabwe Farmers'
Development Trust director, Lovegot Tendengu, said: "Smallholder tobacco
farmers salute the government for making this bold decision to bring
viability to the tobacco industry. This is the best thing that has ever
happened to the industry.

"Farmers are now able to go back to their land and there is going to be a
scramble for tobacco seedlings."

Poor Zimbabwe dollar prices affected the smallholder farmers more than
large-scale commercial farmers because their yields are lower and it meant
lower earnings.

The burley tobacco industry, which at some stage produced about 18 million
kg of tobacco in one season, has over the years dwindled to an extent of
only producing 4,5 million kg this year.

This sector's viability crisis has mainly been caused by poor prices. The
bulk of the tobacco crop is produced by small-scale farmers.

Zimbabwe Tobacco Association president Duncan Millar said: "I have not read
the minister's statement. From what I gather the government has increased
the tobacco premium. I sincerely welcome anything that improves grower

Tobacco volumes have been low since the beginning of the selling season as
farmers were unhappy with the Zimbabwe dollar prices offered on the floors.
According to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board a total of 48,56
million kg of flue-cured tobacco have been sold to date compared to sales of
59,3 million achieved the same time last year. Total flue-cured production
this year is expected to be 170 million kg.

"I now urge all those who were holding back to bring tobacco forward
quickly, to release currency for food imports," Makoni said.

Makoni Earmarks $900m of Aids Funds for Food Purchase

The Daily News (Harare)

July 29, 2002
Posted to the web July 29, 2002

Farming Editor

FINANCE and Economic Development Minister, Dr Simba Makoni, faced by a need
to raise funds to feed millions of starving people, says the government will
redirect $900 million collected from the Aids Levy fund for its food aid

Presenting the 2002 Supplementary Budget last Thursday, Makoni said: "We
will work together with the ministries for health and social welfare, the
National Aids Council, and other key stakeholders in recognised HIV/Aids
programmes, to redirect one third of the amount collected so far from the
Aids Levy, to food assistance targeted at those affected by HIV/Aids.

"The amount is estimated at about $900 million, after taking into account
commitments to date." The government has been forced to prepare the 2002
Supplementary Budget because of the need to import food, agricultural
inputs, support for tobacco growers, depleting health services and a cost of
living adjustment for public employees.

Makoni said: "About 7,8 million people are in need of food assistance until
the next grain harvest. "Of this number, about 5,9 million people are in
rural areas, while about 1,9 million are in urban areas."

He said about $19,5 billion was required up to December 2002, for both
assistance and child supplementary feeding programme. Funds are however not

Makoni said: "Given the low grain production in the last two agricultural
seasons, our major challenge is the importation of sufficient grain for
domestic consumption. It is a particularly daunting challenge because grain
is in short supply in our region, and other neighbours are also facing food
shortages and scarcity of foreign currency, needed for food importation."

He introduced new tobacco marketing incentives by devaluing the dollar to
$317 against US$1 for the tobacco industry to improve foreign currency

Makoni also suspended duty on maize and wheat imports to reduce prices and
facilitate smooth and rapid food imports.

Food imported by the government and international donors is not sufficient
to feed the millions of people requiring assistance.

Zimbabwe is facing food shortages this year because of two successive poor
rainy seasons and a reduction in plantings in the commercial farming sector
caused by the land reform programme.

President Mugabe's chaotic land reform programme has been blamed for causing
food shortages.

For example, some large-scale commercial farmers, who have irrigation
facilities, failed to plant in the past two farming seasons because of
disturbances caused by farm invasions and the fast-track resettlement

Makoni said a vigorous winter crop programme had been launched supported by
the $6,6 billion in government funds for the past farming season.

He said the government had allocated an additional $8,5 billion for this
summer cropping programme to cater for tillage, seeds, fertiliser,
chemicals, stockfeeds and veterinary products.

He said such resources constituted revolving working capital and more funds
which would be raised by the private sector to assist the government.
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Sweden denies visas to three Zimbabwean MPs

STOCKHOLM, July 29 - Sweden said on Monday it had denied visas to three
legislators from Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party under EU
       A foreign ministry spokesman said four ZANU-PF members wanted to come
to a Swedish-Zimbabwean women's conference alongside counterparts from the
       ''Three applied for visas but their applications were rejected
because all of them are on the EU sanctions list,'' he said.
       Zimbabwe's private Daily News said Sweden had refused visas to deputy
parliamentary speaker Edna Madzongwe and junior ministers Olivia Muchena,
Shuvai Mahofa and Flora Bhuka.
       At the weekend, Britain barred ZANU-PF official Joshua Malinga from
entering London, provoking threats of retaliation from Harare.
       The EU imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe's ruling elite in March,
after presidential elections which both the opposition and the West accused
Mugabe of winning fraudulently, and over the forcible seizure of white-owned
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Government Dismisses EU Sanctions' Impact

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

July 29, 2002
Posted to the web July 29, 2002

Zimbabwe's Minister of Home Affairs John Nkomo has dismissed the impact of
expanded European Union (EU) sanctions on the country's ruling elite,
despite five government official being denied entry to Europe at the

Nkomo told IRIN on Monday that a decision by Sweden not to grant visas to
four ZANU-PF officials to attend a women's conference "only strengthened the
government's resolve in following through with the land redistribution

"The EU is only a part of a broader world. There are still many countries
who have no problem in dealing with us. By broadening their list means that
what we are doing is effective or else they wouldn't have bothered," he

The four women, Edna Madzongwe, the deputy speaker of parliament, Olivia
Muchena, the minister of state in Vice-President Joseph Msiki's office,
Shuvai Mahofa, the deputy minister of youth development and Flora Bhuka, the
minister of state in Vice-President Simon Muzenda's office, were supposed to
visit the Scandinavian country to attend a women's conference.

An official from the Swedish embassy in Harare confirmed that the country
had refused to grant the three permission to visit Sweden.

"The decision is as a result of the extended EU list. We have gone ahead and
implemented what was decided in Brussels," charge d'affairs, Abdi Foum, told

In a separate incident, the deputy secretary for the disabled and
disadvantaged, Joshua Malinga, was detained at Gatwick International Airport
in London. Malinga was sent back to Zimbabwe on the first available flight.

Amid concerns over human rights, foreign ministers of the 15-nation EU last
week voted to add 52 new names to a list of 20 leading ZANU-PF and
government officials slapped with sanctions just before the controversial
March presidential election.

Under the amended list, the 72 officials were banned from travelling in the
EU, and assets held in Europe were frozen.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legal affairs secretary, David Coltart,
welcomed the use of "smart sanctions".

"The MDC is wholly supportive of these travel bans as it is a crucial way of
asserting leverage over the regime without hurting innocent people. All of
those targeted have willingly supported the regime and violence. None of
them have spoken out. Malinga, although disabled himself, has not spoken out
about how through political violence hundreds of people have been maimed,"
he said.

Meanwhile, ZANU-PF and the MDC clashed over the weekend in the town of
Kadoma, west of Harare, in the first mayoral election since President Robert
Mugabe's controversial re-election. The MDC alleged that ZANU-PF militants
had attacked their supporters in the lead-up to the local poll.

"ZANU-PF acts as if the MDC is an illegal organisation in the country.
During the campaign a number of MDC district officials were harassed by the
police for reasons unknown," MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube told IRIN.

"Young men and women wearing MDC t-shirts have been beaten up on the streets
and in beer halls. It has become impossible to express ones political
affiliation. We are constantly under fire from ZANU-PF militia and even from
the very police that is supposed to protect its citizens," he said.

A low voter turn-out was reported in the Kadoma poll.

For the full list of those "blacklisted" by the EU see:
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