The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
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Business Day

Zimbabwe back in Stone Age, says Leon


Parliamentary Editor

CAPE TOWN Zimbabwe has been taken back to the Stone Age by President Robert
Mugabe, said Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Tony Leon yesterday after the
first day of a visit to the country.

The DA's visit follows last week's ban on any agricultural production in the
country by Mugabe. In the same week Mugabe acknowledged massive amounts of
food aid would be needed if Zimbabweans were not to starve in large numbers.

Leon said the destruction of agriculture was almost complete. He said the
myth that the food shortage was due solely to a drought was demonstrated to
them by a visit to Bindura in the Mazoe district where citrus fruit was
rotting on the trees while the farmers attempted to get the courts to allow
them to harvest.

The delegation including agriculture specialist Andries Botha and land
affairs spokesman Dan Maluleke also visited the largest grain silo in the
country, which used to process 49000 tons of maize a year and this year has
processed nothing.

"Zimbabwe is about to become Eritrea or Somalia right on our doorstep," said
Leon. He said the SA embassy had told them that 1,4-million tons of grain
was needed if 5-million people were not to starve.

"We are here because there are a lot of South Africans who are legitimate
landowners in Zimbabwe and if we cannot do anything for the Zimbabweans then
at least we should be applying pressure in the interests of our own citizens
who have been disowned without compensation."

Leon said what he had seen on was the "living and breathing refutation" of
President Thabo Mbeki's New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad).

"Mugabe should be an outcast because the situation here is far, far worse
than anything you read in the papers. The consequences for the region are

He said that Zimbabwe should indeed be a test case for Nepad because "if you
cannot exert influence here then where can you do it. SA investment in
Zimbabwe is massive and we should be helping those investors quite apart
from the obvious humanitarian issues at stake".

The delegation will meet with a representative of the United Nations World
Food Programme today for a briefing on the extent of the crisis in Zimbabwe
and the obstacles facing it in helping.

DA spokesman Anthony Hazell said that, given the order for all farming
operations to cease while more than 5-million people faced starvation, one
of the most important appointments on the itinerary was with Transparency

"Leon will discuss the human rights situation and the plight of farm workers
in Zimbabwe." Transparency International is a corruption watchdog. With Sapa
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Tuesday, 2 July, 2002, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Mugabe loses US court case
President Robert Mugabe
Mr Mugabe is barred from entering the United Sates
A US magistrate has ruled that Zimbabwe's ruling party, Zanu-PF, should pay more than $73 million in damages for violence against political opponents in the run-up to the country's June 2000 parliamentary election.

When we have a judgment, we will proceed from there

Bill Bowman, plaintiffs' lawyer
The plaintiffs - all citizens of Zimbabwe - filed the suit in the southern district of New York under a federal law that allows foreign nationals to claim compensation in the United States for injuries suffered in violation of international law.

They claim that Zanu-PF organized a campaign of terror designed to intimidate its political opposition through harassment, physical attacks and the assassination of targeted individuals.

Robert Mugabe was controversially re-elected as president earlier this year.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change again accused Zanu-PF of using violence and the United States and the European Union imposed a travel ban on Mr Mugabe and his closest associates and froze any assets they held abroad.

Torture claims

The Zimbabwean Government has not reacted to the decision but has previously dismissed the legal action as a waste of time. According to US law, a federal trial judge must approve the final figure and the parties in the case have 10 days to file written objections to the magistrate's findings.

In his ruling, magistrate Judge James Francis said he was recommending that Zanu-PF pays $53 million in punitive damages and about $20 million in compensatory damages.

The suit also claimed Zanu-PF members unlawfully seized and destroyed property.

Bill Bowman, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers, would not comment on whether the damages could be collected.

Opposition supporters protesting in 2000
Opposition supporters accused the ruling party of harassment and intimidation

"When we have a judgment, we will proceed from there," Mr Bowman, a Washington DC lawyer with Hogan & Hartson, told Reuters news agency.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was served with court papers while he was attending a UN millennium summit in New York in September 2000.

But he and other Zanu-PF officials failed to appear in court to answer the allegations.

In April, the plaintiffs testified that their family members had been beaten, tortured and killed by Zanu-PF members.

They included Adella Chiminya, whose husband, an activist with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was doused with fuel and burned before the parliamentary election in June 2000.

Elliot Pfebve, who stood as an MDC candidate in the same election, testified that his brother was assassinated by Zanu-PF supporters in a case of mistaken identity.

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Coalition 'to charge Mugabe'

Pretoria - The Zimbabwe Victims Coalition (ZVC), a newly-formed
organisation, on Tuesday announced that it would take President Robert
Mugabe to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against

"We have already collected a substantial amount of information, which is
being collated to form a background dossier to be submitted to the ICC," ZVC
chairperson Phillip du Toit said in a statement.

"Later this week, a preliminary notice will be sent to the ICC, which came
into operation in The Hague on Monday, advising the tribunal that such a
dossier will be submitted soon."

Du Toit said the organisation, which comprises Zimbabwean citizens affected
by violence in their country, is based in South Africa with its headquarters
in Centurion.

Since 2000, Zimbabwe has been marred by violence, economic and political
instability after Mugabe announced that white-owned farms would be seized
and handed over to so-called war veterans.

The government had since confiscated thousands of mostly white-owned
properties, and a number of farmers, farm workers and members of the
opposition have been murdered and assaulted in the process.

Du Toit requested people affected by violence and property seizures in
Zimbabwe to submit their grievances to the organisation's offices.

"We can't allow the disregard of people's lives and rights continue in that

"It is unlikely that Mugabe will suddenly cease to condone and authorize the
murder, torture and starvation of his citizens," Du Toit said.

"We are hopeful the ICC will give our submission full consideration, given
the state of government-sponsored starvation, torture, murder and mayhem now
existing in Zimbabwe.

"We believe that Mugabe will be the first person to be indicted before under
the tribunal, and not a moment too soon," he said.
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The Politics of Food

At last we have a composite picture of the basic food needs of the country – after months of wrangling it is now agreed by all concerned – except Joseph Made who lives in a different world, that in the next 12 months (July 2002 to June 2003) we will need 1,5 million tonnes of maize, 280 000 tonnes of wheat and 60 000 tonnes of crude vegetable oils. The total cost – about US$500 million. It is expected that the government will bring in about a third, the donors a third and the private sector the rest. In the past six months we have had up to 500 000 tonnes of new crop maize, 250 000 tonnes of last years wheat harvest and 270 000 tonnes of imports of one kind or another. It is now assumed that on the 1st of July, that we will have zero stocks of maize, 50 000 tonnes of wheat and very little else. So from now on its imports that will feed the country.

Peak imports by the GMB and others has barely reached 60 000 tonnes a month in the first six month period of this food crisis – a mere third of what is needed to feed the country in the next 12 months. It is a real issue as to whether or not we have to capacity to move the food – especially given the very large quantities already moving over regional road and rail systems for Malawi and Zambia.

Slowly and reluctantly the government is waking up to the extent of the crisis. There are three possible explanations for this – they are reluctant to admit the extent of their failure in this critical area or they still believe their own propaganda about food supplies. The third possible reason is so Machiavellian that it’s difficult to believe but it may in fact be the real reason. This is that they want the country to be hungry – really hungry and totally dependent on supplies from state (read Zanu PF) sources. They also want to use food as a weapon to punish those who have voted against them in the past two years.

Lets look at the actual position from this perspective: -

  1. They have set up complete monopolies over wheat and maize supplies to the extent that people with surplus food cannot move it to their relatives without food in any part of the country without running the risk of having it confiscated. They intend to maintain this monopoly, hoping to persuade the international community that this is the only way forward. I understand that Made is totally adamant on this issue.
  2. They have sufficient foreign exchange available to them to handle the total import bill but are restricting imports to the minimum – 270 000 tonnes in the past six months and another 330 000 tonnes planned – 130 000 tonnes already purchased and 200 000 tonnes about to be contracted. This gives the GMB enough food to feed the Zanu PF faithful in rural areas and is being tightly controlled down to family level where it is being sold to the beneficiaries.
  3. They have set up a system controlled at the top by the head of the Central Intelligence Organisation (Goche) and with military and CIO operatives working at every level of the GMB national system. In South Africa the head of the Airforce (Shiri of the genocide in Matebeleland in the mid 80’s) is in charge of procurement and logistics.
  4. They are permitting the international community to feed those who cannot pay for food – children, the elderly and other target groups, but are tightly controlling all other distribution efforts – the refusal to allow the Catholics to operate in the Binga area because "their programme is the same as that of the State" is the prime example.
  5. The immediate objective of this food programme is to restrict the gains by the MDC in local government elections in all rural district councils due in August. They are doing this by using food as a weapon – if you are known Zanu PF you are given preferential access to food. Zanu PF officials are used in all cases at the local level and are allowed to claim full credit for what food is made available. MDC counselors and Members of Parliament are banned from all food distribution activities and in many rural areas are now effectively banned from even visiting their constituencies.
  6. Chiefs and Headmen – all of whom are on the government payroll and under close supervision, are required to facilitate this exercise and in many cases are even drawing up lists of families needing food aid for NGO’s and international food agencies – the lists being weighted in favor of Zanu PF members and sympathizers.

Key constituencies such as the farm workers and their families – 1,5 million people, who are now totally destitute and are not in any system such as those which operate in the Communal areas, are deliberately refused any assistance. Only the farmers themselves are helping this group plus one or two agencies, such as the Farm Family Trust, which is farmer funded, are targeting this huge population.

It must be remembered that Zanu PF used food as one of its weapons against Zapu in the 80’s. There were several periods in the 80’s when Zanu was trying to force Zapu into an alliance, where food was denied to Ndebele population groups for months on end. This coupled to state violence and genocidal attacks on Ndebele leadership at local level (20 000 people are thought to have died in this period) were ultimately successful when Joshua Nkomo signed the "unity accord" in 1988. This ended their years in opposition and opened the way to a one party state – long a Mugabe objective.

Despite all the pressure from the international community – including the UN, the Commonwealth, the major western nations plus South Africa and Nigeria, Zanu PF has not modified its behavior towards the commercial farm sector in any sense. It remains racist (only white farms are targeted), unconstitutional (private property rights are entrenched) and destructive in every sense. Why? Because their political future depends on it. It is the same for food – why starve your own people – because it makes sense politically from their point of view. Will they be deflected from this goal by words, of course not? They only understand power. Will the west use its power – no, because if they did they would be accused of being neo-colonialist? Will South Africa use its power – not if its behavior over the past three years is anything to go by? Where does that leave us? It leaves us alone in the kraal with this suicidal maniac regime. It leaves us to fight a monster, which is fully armed, with nothing but our heads, hearts and hands.

Mugabe is gambling that the west will buckle and allow food to come into Zimbabwe on humanitarian grounds that will be available for him to use in his campaign for survival. If donors withhold food in response to the conditions that the State here demands, then they will face the wrath of their own people who will see the pictures of starving children and ask why? In the end, Mugabe is only afraid of two things – that the Courts, faced with the overwhelming evidence of his electoral fraud will nullify his election and call for a re-run; and, he is afraid of his own people. Mass action will be the inevitable response of the people of this country if the international community does not use its power to force change in Zimbabwe. We are ready for this and are waiting to see if the AU and the leadership of Nepad will offer us a viable alternative path to the path of non-violent mass action. I am not optimistic. As for Mugabe and his cronies, they are right to be terrified. We will not let them get away with genocide this time and we will not facilitate their rape of the land by joining any government of "national unity".

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 1st July 2002.

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Mail and Guardian

Mugabe forces students into militia service


      02 July 2002 11:05

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe plans to make service in his youth
militia a prerequisite for high school graduates entering college or the job
market, reports said on Tuesday.

The youth militias, aligned with Mugabe's ruling party, were involved in
brutal attacks on the opposition during presidential elections in March,
human rights groups said.

The move is viewed by observers in Zimbabwe as part of Mugabe's efforts to
encourage its minority white and Indian populations to leave the country.

Mugabe's critics say he has been exacerbating racial tensions in the country
in order to deflect attention from the nation's crumbling economy.

"It is envisaged that youths with the prerequisite qualifications ... will
not be admitted into institutes of higher learning unless they undergo
national service," Higher Education Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi told the
state-run Herald newspaper.

Teacher colleges last week reported receiving directives to accept students
who had been in the youth militia over students who had not served, even if
those applicants were more qualified.

Mumbengegwi also said that those students who had recently completed degrees
would need to show official certificates to prove they completed national
service before being employed.

"(The decision) was meant not only to instill a spirit of nationalism and
national consciousness, but also (to) arrest the current brain drain,"
Mumbengegwi told the newspaper, "We cannot continue to be a training ground
for people who are not committed to the development of the nation."

With the economy on the brink of collapse and a food crisis looming, many
Zimbabweans have left the country. Head of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, has demanded the disbanding of the
youth militia, now several thousand strong, as a condition for resumption of
reconciliation talks with Mugabe's party.

President of the Zimbabwe Teachers' Union, Leonard Nkala, denounced the move
and demanded clarification on how and to whom it would be applied. - Sapa-AP
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SOUTHERN AFRICA: Focus on GM food aid

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

JOHANNESBURG, 2 July (IRIN) - Zambia has joined Zimbabwe in expressing concern over accepting genetically modified (GM) food aid, while the country struggles to overcome food shortages threatening over two million people.

Agriculture Minister Mundia Sikatana told IRIN on Monday that Zambia would not import GM maize until the government was able to make a policy decision on the issue. The cabinet was not expected to discuss the matter until mid August.

"I alongside the minister of science have come up with a caution unless and until cabinet is consulted," Sikatana said. "Some European countries do not allow GM organisms. That adds to our fears. Such anxieties should not be taken lightly."

Zimbabwe, citing health concerns and the impact on its cattle exports to Europe, has a longstanding ban on GM imports. Last month it refused a 10,000 mt aid consignment of US-supplied GM maize. It has, however, agreed to accept maize meal made from GM grain, although the US government - the main supplier - does not provide for milling costs.

US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Joseph Sullivan, told IRIN: "We Americans eat genetically modified corn with no problems. We see no reason why it should present a problem to any other country. So for us to be able to be as helpful as we wish to be, it would be important for the government of Zimbabwe to waive this restriction and to allow us to supply the food that we do have available."

The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched an urgent appeal to donors to provide food assistance to some 13 million people in Southern Africa threatened with starvation until next year's harvest.

WFP Regional Representative Judith Lewis said that the agency's position on GM food was that "it is an issue between the recipient government and the donor - the country providing the assistance. The World Food Programme accepts only food that has been cleared as fit for human consumption and we move that food".

She told IRIN that "technically Zimbabwe didn't say no" to GM maize. "They said they would prefer it to arrive milled or in a sealed container ... It's a tough one and we're morally challenged by decisions like these, but governments are sovereign entities".

GM technology involves taking genes from one organism and inserting them into another to improve yields by endowing them with specific characteristics, such as resistance to pests and herbicides. It is widely in use in the United States, Canada, and increasingly Argentina and China. But critics point to concerns over its safety, and the potential impact on the environment.

Food security NGOs in Zimbabwe have backed the government's position. Development Innovations and Networks (French acronym IRED), an agricultural think-tank, said that policies were not yet in place to govern the use of GM material and to protect farmers in the developing world. IRED director John Mwaniki told IRIN that GM crops can contaminate surrounding traditional varieties and could affect wildlife.

In response to those fears, implanted "terminator" technology was designed to prevent reproduction of GM seeds after the first harvest. However, that forces farmers to buy new seeds each year from the corporations that own the bio-technology, which has economic implications for the food security of poor farmers.

The United States is one of WFP's largest food donors. The GM maize on offer, which has been accepted by other Southern African countries facing food shortages, is for consumption rather than planting. But it is not accurately known what proportion of GM maize offered in the aid consignments could be propagated. Activists are concerned that farmers, who traditionally store seeds, could try and grow a portion of their relief supplies.

"The problem is precisely that not enough is known about what the implications would be and how it would affect traditional maize varieties and other hybrids," said Mutizwa Mukute, secretary-general of PELUM, a Harare-based regional ecological association. He alleged that the US government was taking advantage of the current food crisis to "dump" GM maize, unwanted by the US market.

Pattrice Le-Muire Jones, the coordinator of the US-based Global Hunger Alliance told IRIN: "In truth, the
real winners are the seed/agrochemical companies like Monsanto and the animal agriculture corporations like Tyson.

"While we are all working on long-term solutions to hunger and malnutrition, people are hungry right now ... In those instances, some form of food aid is needed. The question is: which form? In situations where there is an absolute lack of food in a region, I would prefer for donors such as the USA to use relief funds to purchase healthy foods from low-income farmers in the region," he said. 


Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11 447-5472
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Strife-torn Zimbabwe plagued by one of world's worst AIDS crises, one-third
of adults infected


BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, July 2 - Thabani Ndlovu, 24, lies emaciated and barely
moving on a ratty mattress in a patch of winter sunlight in his father's
backyard, dying of a disease that is ravaging his country.
       According to statistics released Tuesday by UNAIDS, Zimbabwe has the
second-highest HIV rate in the world, with 33 percent of adults infected
with the virus.

       With its economy in disarray, HIV infections have exploded. And many
of the millions of people already infected are getting sicker and dying far
faster because of a severe shortage of food and basic medicines.
       ''It's devastating,'' said Maria Massunda, chairwoman of the Zimbabwe
AIDS Network, an umbrella group for AIDS service organizations.
       Between 2,000 and 5,000 Zimbabweans are dying of the disease every
week, health workers estimate. As many as 900,000 children have been
orphaned in the southern African country of 12.5 million.
       In Ndlovu's poor neighborhood in the city of Bulawayo, community
health workers know of at least 10 people who died of AIDS in May and 44
others who were horribly sick. But they suspect many more are ailing in
       Ndlovu became sick while living in South Africa last year and
returned home so his family could care for him.
       But his father, Nathaniel, a retired army medic, cannot afford
medicine, vitamins or nutritious food for his son. He struggles just to buy
a little corn meal every day.
       ''There is nothing else,'' Nathaniel Ndlovu said as his son struggled
to take small sips from a cola bottle.
       Though Botswana has the world's highest HIV rate with 39 percent of
adults infected, that relatively wealthy country has a stable government, a
strong health care system and a deep political commitment to tackle the
       With political violence roiling Zimbabwe over the past two years, its
economy has collapsed.
       The health care system here, once the envy of other African nations,
is in tatters with doctors and nurses joining the country's brain drain and
public hospitals running out of common pain relievers and antibiotics.
       Meanwhile, food is short as the country suffers a crisis caused by
drought and government seizures of white-owned commercial farmland. With
little to eat, many infected Zimbabweans are becoming dangerously ill far
earlier than they would have otherwise.
       ''If we had food, people could go a long way just on a good
nourishing diet,'' Massunda said.
       The hunger crisis has also weakened people not yet infected, making
it easier for the virus to take root in their bodies after exposure.
       And many are being exposed in the cauldron of risky behavior that
followed the country's economic collapse, Massunda said.
       Women are bartering sexual favors for food. Millions of unemployed
people, frustrated at their poverty, have turned to sex for an escape.
Teen-agers unable to afford school fees have dropped out and prowl the
       ''There is more promiscuity, there is disease, there is everything,''
Massunda said.
       Many AIDS professionals, too frightened to let their names be used,
accused President Robert Mugabe's government of being too distracted by its
farm seizures and its political battles to deal with the crisis.
       Zimbabwe did declare a state of emergency for AIDS in May, allowing
it to import or manufacture generic versions of essential medicines.
However, with the country suffering a hard currency shortage, few AIDS
experts believe it could buy even generic drugs.
       The government also implemented a 3 percent AIDS income tax on all
businesses and individuals in 2000 to raise money to fight the disease.
       ''There are quite significant efforts being made,'' said Dr. Evaristo
Marowa, director of the National AIDS Council, a quasi-governmental
organization that manages the money collected from the tax.
       Much of that money has gone to newly formed district councils that
provide home-based care, give assistance to orphans and run prevention
       ''We are looking at how we can empower the communities themselves to
take actions against HIV/AIDS, whether it be care or prevention,'' said
Marowa, who argues the UNAIDS statistics are exaggerated.
       But many more people will die and become infected before the nation's
anti-AIDS efforts bear fruit, he said.
       ''There are no quick and easy fixes here,'' Marowa said.
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Comment from ZWNEWS, 2 July

How the land lies

Mugabe’s ramshackle cavalry rides on many lies. One in particular seems to serve them well. It is the claim that every white farmer has been allowed to keep one farm and has been encouraged to carry on farming it. This claim is utterly untrue: hundreds of farmers have lost all that they have ever owned already, illegally evicted by Zanu PF supporters. Mugabe’s chaotic fast track resettlement process makes no distinction between one of the thousands of farms it would destroy, and another. Mugabe’s henchmen and supporters are equally unfettered when they set off into what was once commercial farmland in search of plunder. Yet Mugabe and his mouthpieces continue to spout the lie. And some African leaders choose to believe it.

Gaborone, November 2000: wounded by the (then) Zimbabwean Supreme Court’s contemptuous rejection of Mugabe’s fast track land resettlement policy, his security chief, Nicholas Goche, tells the SADC conference that Mugabe’s clear intention was to abide by the findings of the 1998 donor’s conference and acquire only those farms which meet certain criteria: an absent owner or one who owns other farms, under-development, proximity to a communal area. The same line has been trotted out at every SADC or AU conference since. Every visiting delegation, every interested head of state, the UN, the EU, all have been subjected to the same plausible, reasonable, argument. Mugabe was at it again last week, telling the visiting Human Rights forum that every farmer would be encouraged to farm one farm. Often delivered more in sorrow than in anger, these lines suggest a benign administration, resolved to repair a crippling colonial legacy but stymied by the reactionary resistance of a rump of feudal white land owners. African leaders, increasingly concerned as Mugabe slams down the cards of death, famine and war, are reassured by his trump card, ‘land’ - faded and unconvincing though it may be - and, yet again, sink back into inaction and ineffectiveness.

Some argue that Mugabe speaks from the heart, that he really believes that out there on the farms brave, resettled, indigenous farmers are defending rich fields of maize and sprouting wheat against the prowling Selous Scouts and Rhodesian Light Infantry. His henchmen, particularly the spectacularly incompetent Minister of Agriculture, Joseph Made, and the rest of the boys, keep the truth from him. He knows nothing of the wasteland that Zimbabwe has become, of the tens of thousands of farm workers now homeless and unemployed and the millions waiting to join them, of the most competent farmers in the world swept out of their homes by a tide of racism and violence. It is certainly true that Mugabe and his inner circle now inhabit a neo-Maoist cell, luxuriously appointed and utterly remote from the hungry Zimbabwean family on the Masvingo road. But can it really be true that Mugabe has no idea how his policies are being implemented? Let us hear from the man himself:

"Whatever the courts might say, the land is ours and we’ll take it." (November 2000); "The courts have no role to play in the resettlement process." (January 2001); "This is the land-based 3rd Chimurenga (liberation war)." (April 2001); "To those of you who support whites, we say ‘down with you’." (September 2001); "This is war, this is not a game. This is the 3rd Chimurenga. We must do without the white man in this country"; (December 2001); "To those farmers we allowed to continue farming…we have reconsidered. We have no mercy left. We are going to take all the farms. All of them." (February 2002). "White settlers have not repented…the British should keep their pink noses out of our business."(March 2002); "Land redistribution is under attack from radical and reactionary (sic)…racist commercial farmers" (June 2002). This is pretty conclusive. Neither Mugabe, nor his threadbare apologists, can claim that he does not know what is happening on the farms when his public utterances so enthusiastically direct his followers to throw the white farmers off their farms, and throw Zimbabwe into poverty as they do so. He wishes to see all the white farmers gone from Zimbabwe: that is his policy and it is implicit in every howling drunk outside a remote farmhouse, every confused and mis-directed despatch from the Ministry of Lands, every battered family leaving its farm village and shuffling off to poverty and hunger.

To Mugabe, truth is whatever he says it is, whatever is of use to him. In conversation with the leaders of Africa he is a nationalist freedom fighter who, nevertheless, is prepared to include the agricultural expertise of the whites in his land plan. In Zimbabwe he is a war leader who will destroy his country rather than yield power, brandishing the banners of race and land until he drops. It is bizarre that anyone should still believe a word that Mugabe says. His land reform programme is illegal, unconstitutional and incompetent. The parliamentary majority that passed the laws that license it, and the self-styled president who signed those laws, owe their position to stolen elections. Mugabe’s Supreme Court judges, who seconded those laws, have personally benefited from the programme. Constitutional practice, legality, due process, all lie shattered in its path. Human rights and natural justice have been ripped up in the interests of Zanu PF and plunder. The incoherence and the randomness of the land programme beggar belief. Already Zimbabwe is hungry. Soon it will starve. Mugabe’s land policy may be a lifeline for him, but for Zimbabwe it is a suicide note. When will the likes of Mbeki, Chissano, Obasanjo, and Kofi Annan look at the facts and, by so doing, see Resident Mugabe’s lies for what they are? For how much longer can he make fools of them?

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Moscow Times

Tuesday, Jul. 2, 2002.

Mugabe Finds New Targets as Disaster Looms

By Ravi Nessman
The Associated Press HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Long lines of people waiting for
corn meal snake through the streets of a nation that was once the
breadbasket of southern Africa. Some wait for days, sleeping in lines so
they won't lose their place. Girls 13 and under are being married off for
the bride price to buy expensive black-market food. Many people are getting
one meal a day. And Zimbabwe's hunger crisis is sure to get worse.

      Drought, a crashing economy and a land reform program that has
destroyed commercial farming have pushed millions of Zimbabweans to the
brink of starvation.

      In the midst of it all, Zimbawean President Robert Mugabe has lashed
out, accusing mining giant Anglo-American Corp. of hoarding salt and
threatened to seize the company's local assets, state media reported Sunday.

      Mugabe said his government "will not tolerate companies bent on
causing unnecessary suffering to the people by creating unnecessary
shortages,'' state radio reported.

      The radio said ruling party officials last week found 2,000 metric
tons of salt in warehouses belonging to National Foods, a company partially
owned by Anglo Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of London-based Anglo American.

      A National Foods executive said the salt had not been put on the
market because it had been imported from neighboring Botswana at the
parallel exchange rate of 300 Zimbabwean dollars to the U.S. dollar.

      At that rate, nearly six times the government's fixed exchange rate,
the company would take a huge loss if it sold the salt at the market price
set by the government, the official said, speaking on condition of
anonymity. The company had been negotiating with government officials to
find a compromise price for the salt.

      In a speech to ruling party officials Friday, Mugabe attacked National
Foods, which he described as "an Anglo American company of Nicky
Oppenheimer,'' the chairman of the mining giant. "They have been hoarding
salt. ... They want people on the streets against our government. What kind
of mischief is this?'' he said, according to the state-owned Sunday Mail.
"We will take over their enterprises.''

      Officials from Anglo Zimbabwe, which owns 34 percent of National
Foods, could not immediately be reached for comment.

      In the 1990s, Anglo Zimbabwe sold off most of its industrial and
agricultural investments in Zimbabwe, but retained some mining interests.

      More than 6 million Zimbabweans, about half the population, are in
danger of starvation after a drought and government seizures of white-owned
commercial farms nearly destroyed this year's grain harvest, according to
the United Nations.

      The country is running out of corn and wheat, and its supplies of
cooking oil and salt are dwindling.

      Five other southern African countries are also facing severe hunger
this year, but Zimbabwe is by far the worst off. The UN World Food Program
says nearly half of its 13 million people will need food aid. A country that
used to export food to hungry neighbors will need to import a staggering 1.8
million tons of grain just to get through the year.

      "This is unprecedented," said Andrew Timpson of Save the Children UK.
"We're very worried indeed."

      The harvest has just ended, and already the country is running out of
corn, the staple food. It is about to use the last of its wheat, and
supplies of cooking oil and animal feed are dwindling.

      With no hard currency reserves and an economy shredded by political
unrest, the government will almost certainly be unable to import enough
grain to feed its people, even with hundreds of thousands of tons of donated
food, economists and aid workers said. Meanwhile, much of Zimbabwe's most
productive farmland lies fallow as the government continues its efforts to
seize nearly all the land owned by the nation's white commercial farmers, by
far Zimbabwe's most productive food producers, and redistribute it to
landless blacks.

      The government says it is rectifying a hated legacy of British
colonial rule. But human rights activists accuse it of using the seizures to
reward its supporters with land while punishing white farmers and their
hundreds of thousands of farmworkers, who are seen as opposition stalwarts.

      Key donor countries are incensed at government-inspired political
violence, Mugabe's land policies and his re-election in March in a ballot
that many international and domestic observers judged flawed. The government
has also created a grain monopoly. If it doesn't let private companies
import grain, "the situation could go from bad to catastrophic," said Judith
Lewis, regional director of the World Food Program.

      The government is also accused of using hunger as a weapon, shipping
state-subsidized grain only to strongholds of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.
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Updated as at 17 April 2002 .......................
1. Large Scale Commercial Sector (6 000 farms) on 11 020 000 hectares which
is 28.2 percent
2. Small Scale Commercial Sector 1 380 000 hectares, which is 3.15 percent
3. The Communal Area is 16 350 000 hectares, which is 41.8 percent
4. Resettlement Area is 3 540 000 hectares, representing 9.1 percent
5. Parks/Forest Land is 6 339 000 hectares in extent, 16.2 percent
6. ARDA (State Farming) comprised 250 000 hectares, which is 0.6 percent
7. Urban Area is 200 000 hectares, which is 0.5 percent
This represent a total of 39 079 000 hectares of land, bringing the
percentage to 100%.

1. The Large Scale Commercial Sector, totalling 11 020 000 hectares (approx
6000 farms) is divided up into hectares as follows :
1a Commercial Farmers' Union Members - 8 595 000 hectares.
1b Indigenous Commercial Farmers Union - 700 000 hectares (approx).
1c Non Members (either Union)- 600 000 hectares (approx).
1d Development Trust of Zimbabwe (Govt of Zim GoZ) - 332 000 hectares.
1e Indigenous/Tenant Schemes/Leases (GoZ) - 470 000 hectares.
1f Cold Storage Company (GoZ)- 211 000 hectares.
1g Forestry Commission (GoZ)- 112 000 hectares.

It is of interest to note that calculations to hand as at September 2001
indicate the following breakdown:
STATE LAND is 27 604 000 hectares, 70.6 percent; PRIVATE LAND is 11 275 000
hectares, 28.9 percent and URBAN LAND is 200 000 hectares, 0.5 percent. A
total of 39 079 000 hectares.

The Government of Zimbabwe Land Reform programme has resulted in changes to
the above picture. Land has been acquired through notices of acquisition and
in some instances, invaders have first arrived on farms, under the 'Fast
track' programme and then steps have been taken to acquire the farms through
legal means available.

Some farms were deemed unsuitable and were then delisted from acquisition,
however in November 2001, the Government of Zimbabwe announced its intention
to implement Maximum Farm Size regulations and this resulted in the
relisting of farms. The results below indicate this shift in policy.

Lising refers to the naming of the farm in Government Gazette notices - it
is a preliminary notice, Section 5. The following are compulsory acquisition
statistics, they represent the changing picture of occupation of land in

As at 01 March 2002, there were 5 648 farms measuring 10 231 950 hectares of
land listed for acquisition. On this date there were 706 farms measuring 1
475 378 hectares delisted from acquisition. There were 51 farms, 90 698
hectares that had previously been delisted, relisted for acquisition. This
brought the nett figure to 4 526 farms on 8 847 270 hectares of land.

The statistics on compulsory acquisition as at 5 April 2002 are:
5 835 farms listed for acquisition, measuring 10 442 612 hectares. There
were 706 farms on
1 475 378 hectares delisted. There were 51 farms, 90 698 hectares that had
previously been delisted, relisted for acquisition, bringing the nett listed
to 5 180 farms on 9 057 932 hectares.

Statistics on compulsory acquisition as at 17 April 2002 are: Gross listed:
5 849 farms on       10 452 519 hectares. Delisted dropped to 449 farms on
853 900 hectares and the number relisted rocketed up to 343 farms comprising
773 028 hectares. This brings the nett listed to 5 743 farms on 10 371 647

Of the 6 000 large scale commercial farms comprising 11 020 000 hectares
(28.2% of Zimbabwean land) under threat of acquisition, there remains 151
farms on 567 481 hectares of land not affected by legal notice. To this we
could add the delisted land of 449 farms on 853 900 hectares, which still
remains in the hands of the original large scale commercial farmer. This
brings the percentage of commercial land taken as at 17th April 2002 to 87,1

We are yet to input figures from Government Gazette weekly issues 26 April
to 31st May 2002.

The Commercial Farmers Union reserves the right to check copy for accuracy
should you wish to use this information for publication purposes.


31st May 2002

Further updates will be made available as they are completed. This overview
is available as a Microsoft Power point presentation.

For more information, please contact Jenni Williams
Mobile 263 - 91 300 456 or 263 - 11 213 885
Or email me at  or
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