Zimbabwe back in Stone Age, says
CAPE TOWN Zimbabwe has been taken back to the Stone Age by
Mugabe, said Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Tony Leon
yesterday after the
first day of a visit to the country.
visit follows last week's ban on any agricultural production in the
by Mugabe. In the same week Mugabe acknowledged massive amounts of
would be needed if Zimbabweans were not to starve in large numbers.
said the destruction of agriculture was almost complete. He said the
that the food shortage was due solely to a drought was demonstrated to
by a visit to Bindura in the Mazoe district where citrus fruit was
the trees while the farmers attempted to get the courts to allow
The delegation including agriculture specialist Andries Botha
affairs spokesman Dan Maluleke also visited the largest grain silo
country, which used to process 49000 tons of maize a year and this
"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
"We are here because there are a lot of South Africans who are
landowners in Zimbabwe and if we cannot do anything for the
at least we should be applying pressure in the interests of
our own citizens
who have been disowned without compensation."
said what he had seen on was the "living and breathing refutation"
President Thabo Mbeki's New Partnership for Africa's Development
"Mugabe should be an outcast because the situation here is far,
than anything you read in the papers. The consequences for the
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
The delegation will meet with a representative of the United
Food Programme today for a briefing on the extent of the crisis
and the obstacles facing it in helping.
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
"Leon will discuss the human rights
situation and the plight of farm workers
in Zimbabwe." Transparency
International is a corruption watchdog. With Sapa
Tuesday, 2 July, 2002, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Mugabe loses US court case
Mr Mugabe is barred from entering the United
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
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.
When we have a judgment, we will proceed from there
Bill Bowman, plaintiffs' lawyer
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.
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
The suit also claimed Zanu-PF members unlawfully seized and destroyed
Bill Bowman, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers, would not comment on whether the
damages could be collected.
Opposition supporters accused the ruling party of
"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
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
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
Since 2000, Zimbabwe has been marred by violence, economic and
instability after Mugabe announced that white-owned farms would be
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
"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.
believe that Mugabe will be the first person to be indicted before under
tribunal, and not a moment too soon," he said.
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
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
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
Lets look at the actual position from this perspective: -
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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".
Bulawayo, 1st July 2002.
Mail and Guardian
Mugabe forces students into militia
02 July 2002 11:05
President Robert Mugabe plans to make service in his youth
prerequisite for high school graduates entering college or the job
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
Teacher colleges last week reported receiving directives to
who had been in the youth militia over students who had not
served, even if
those applicants were more qualified.
said that those students who had recently completed degrees
would need to
show official certificates to prove they completed national
"(The decision) was meant not only to instill a spirit of
national consciousness, but also (to) arrest the current
Mumbengegwi told the newspaper, "We cannot continue to be a
for people who are not committed to the development of the
With the economy on the brink of collapse and a food crisis
Zimbabweans have left the country. Head of the opposition
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.
of the Zimbabwe Teachers' Union, Leonard Nkala, denounced the move
demanded clarification on how and to whom it would be applied. - Sapa-AP
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."
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
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".
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.
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
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
"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
Strife-torn Zimbabwe plagued by one of world's worst AIDS crises,
of adults infected
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
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.
its economy in disarray, HIV infections have exploded. And many
millions of people already infected are getting sicker and dying far
because of a severe shortage of food and basic medicines.
devastating,'' said Maria Massunda, chairwoman of the Zimbabwe
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
But his father, Nathaniel, a retired army medic, cannot
medicine, vitamins or nutritious food for his son. He struggles just
a little corn meal every day.
''There is nothing else,''
Nathaniel Ndlovu said as his son struggled
to take small sips from a cola
Though Botswana has the world's highest HIV rate with 39
adults infected, that relatively wealthy country has a stable
strong health care system and a deep political commitment to
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
running out of common pain relievers and antibiotics.
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
''If we had food, people could go a long way just on a
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,
Women are bartering sexual favors for food. Millions of
people, frustrated at their poverty, have turned to sex for an
Teen-agers unable to afford school fees have dropped out and prowl
''There is more promiscuity, there is disease, there
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
The government also implemented a 3 percent AIDS income tax on
businesses and individuals in 2000 to raise money to fight the
''There are quite significant efforts being made,'' said Dr.
Marowa, director of the National AIDS Council, a
organization that manages the money collected from the
Much of that money has gone to newly formed district councils
provide home-based care, give assistance to orphans and run
''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
But many more people will die and become infected before
anti-AIDS efforts bear fruit, he said.
''There are no
quick and easy fixes here,'' Marowa said.
Comment from ZWNEWS, 2
How the land
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?
Tuesday, Jul. 2, 2002.
Mugabe Finds New Targets as
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
destroyed commercial farming have pushed millions of Zimbabweans to
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
shortages,'' state radio reported.
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.
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
In a speech to ruling party officials Friday, Mugabe attacked
Foods, which he described as "an Anglo American company of
Oppenheimer,'' the chairman of the mining giant. "They have been
salt. ... They want people on the streets against our government.
of mischief is this?'' he said, according to the state-owned Sunday
"We will take over their enterprises.''
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.
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
"This is unprecedented," said Andrew Timpson of Save the
"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
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
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
The government is also accused of using hunger as a
state-subsidized grain only to strongholds of Mugabe's
Updated as at 17 April 2002 .......................
ZIMBABWE LAND DISTRIBUTION BY SECTOR AS AT SEPT 2001
1. Large Scale
Commercial Sector (6 000 farms) on 11 020 000 hectares which
2. Small Scale Commercial Sector 1 380 000 hectares, which is 3.15
3. The Communal Area is 16 350 000 hectares, which is 41.8
4. Resettlement Area is 3 540 000 hectares, representing 9.1
5. Parks/Forest Land is 6 339 000 hectares in extent, 16.2
6. ARDA (State Farming) comprised 250 000 hectares, which is 0.6
7. Urban Area is 200 000 hectares, which is 0.5 percent
represent a total of 39 079 000 hectares of land, bringing the
1. The Large Scale Commercial Sector, totalling 11 020 000 hectares
6000 farms) is divided up into hectares as follows :
Farmers' Union Members - 8 595 000 hectares.
1b Indigenous Commercial Farmers
Union - 700 000 hectares (approx).
1c Non Members (either Union)- 600 000
1d Development Trust of Zimbabwe (Govt of Zim GoZ) - 332
1e Indigenous/Tenant Schemes/Leases (GoZ) - 470 000
1f Cold Storage Company (GoZ)- 211 000 hectares.
Commission (GoZ)- 112 000 hectares.
It is of interest to note that
calculations to hand as at September 2001
indicate the following
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
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
Some farms were deemed unsuitable and were then delisted from
however in November 2001, the Government of Zimbabwe announced
to implement Maximum Farm Size regulations and this resulted in
relisting of farms. The results below indicate this shift in
Lising refers to the naming of the farm in Government Gazette
notices - it
is a preliminary notice, Section 5. The following are compulsory
statistics, they represent the changing picture of occupation of
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
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
Statistics on compulsory acquisition as at 17 April 2002 are:
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
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.
Commercial Farmers Union reserves the right to check copy for accuracy
you wish to use this information for publication
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
Mobile 263 - 91 300 456 or 263 - 11 213 885
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