I ONCE drove
a car with a flat tyre for several kilometres. Admittedly the road was rough,
so I wouldn't have noticed a bit of extra bumping, but when I did stop, the
flat tyre had been destroyed.
Why didn't I notice I was
having a most unusually rough ride? Was I drunk? No. But I was angry and that
can be even worse.
I had good reason to be angry. A poor old woman
had asked me to drive her disabled and orphaned grandson, whom she could no
longer care for, to stay with her brother. He was the one member of the
family who had a well-paid job and a big house.
He refused to
take the boy in. If the boy had been strong enough to hit his uncle, I might
have cheered him on, but he couldn't even stand on his mis-shapen legs, let
alone hit anyone.
That was just as well; because we went away
quietly, and eventually another relative agreed to take the boy in. Some
readers will agree that I was right to be that angry after witnessing such
injustice and cruelty.
But I was not right to drive a car while
angry. Anger can make us worse drivers than drink ever does. We lose our
judgment. We lose our co-ordination.
Now I could write an appeal
for the police to find a way of testing drivers for adrenalin rather than
alcohol in their blood, but I won't.
Adrenalin is the stuff that
flows in our blood, to gear us up for action, when we are angry. The trouble
is that the action is often inappropriate, badly judged and badly
A good boxer knows that, however big and strong his opponent
is, if he can make the man angry he is well on the way to beating him up, as
long as he himself keeps a cool head.
We all might have heard
the story of the man who had a bad day at work, and came home angry and hit
the wrong target - his wife. She went out and also hit the wrong target -
their child. The child kicked the dog. The dog bit the cat and the cat jumped
up onto the table and knocked the man's dinner on to the floor.
Soon everyone was even angrier and aiming their anger at the wrong target. We
all need to remember that story because we are moving into a situation where
we are all likely to be angrier than we ever get in
People are hungry. More people will be hungry in
the near future. Experts say that half of us will be very
That is bad in itself, but what makes it worse is that a
hungry man or woman is an angry man or woman (and an angry woman can be
Then if someone starts telling us stories,
any kind of stories, about who is to blame when we can't get bread or upfu
(maize-meal), our anger could weaken our judgement.
times, we would ask whether the stories were likely to be true.
If we are hungry and, therefore, angry, we are more likely to accept these
stories. Our judgment is impaired by our anger and by all that adrenalin
rushing through our blood.
Someone tells us that Nhingi
(What's-his-name) is hoarding food, waiting for a chance to put the price
Because we are angry, we are looking for someone to hit, so we
will be much more ready to do something crazy like rushing out to burn down
Nhingi's store. That is not a very intelligent thing to do.
if he is hoarding maize in his store, burning down the store will only
destroy the maize, and that leaves us all worse off.
today, and especially if we heard the story about Nhingi hoarding our
precious food on the radio, that probably only means that someone wants us to
go and burn down his store. Maybe he doesn't carry the right party
That is bad enough. But if we get so angry that we also burn
down the store belonging to someone important in their party, then we will
find ourselves facing the wrath of the riot police.
remember the food riots a couple of years ago? Mobs from Mbare rushed into
town, burning and looting. They looted Indian-owned shops and no one stopped
them, but the police organised themselves in time to stop the mobs from doing
any damage in the central business district.
Next time, the mobs
(and they could include you and me) will be hungrier than they were then and
angrier than they were then.
They might not be deterred by orders
to disperse. Tear-gas might only make them angrier. Then we would really all
be in trouble.
I'm not talking now about one big angry man facing
another man who is able to hit him once hard where it hurts.
talking about crowds of people armed with sticks and stones facing the riot
police armed with tear-gas, water cannons and guns.
have to be crazy to fight against that, but hungry, angry people often are
I leave you to imagine what follows. Times are hard and will
get harder. That means we need to understand why they are hard and
act cautiously to put things right.
If we let ourselves get
carried away by anger and someone starts telling us who to hit, or provokes
us to attack someone cool-headed and better armed than us, then we might have
very little understanding or caution.
But we will need them more
than we ever needed them before. Let's not be misled.
The last three days have been very significant for Zimbabwe's
farmers and in fact for Zimbabweans as a whole.
Wednesday - Judge
Chinengo granted the declaring without force of the preliminary and
compulsory acquisition notices on Erewhon Farm owned by Jean Simon. The basis
for this ruling was that the notices were not served on all interested
parties. Secondly the legislation requires the serving of a Section 7 notice
within 30 days, this was not complied with. Jean and her 300 odd workers have
returned to full production!!!!!!!! Some of you will have participated in a
survey I conducted and will be happy to know that JUSTICE PREVAILED for Jean
and her staff.
12:30 Thursday - Judge Paradza granted 'interim relief' to
a Farmer allowing that he continue farming whilst the Government answer as to
the constutionality of the amendments to the Land Acquisition Act.
The Government have 10 days to respond. Pls request details if you have
not already received the legal papers. George Quinnell has returned to walk
his lands and tend his 130 hectares of wheat and 50 hectares of
Thursday to Friday - Whilst Jean and George were returning to
full production 15 other farmers were visited by a group of Government
Officials and Police and asked to report to Chiredzi Police to be charged for
As that unfolded in Chiredzi proceedings opened in a regional
court where a group of 10 Chinhoyi Farmers sat on the edges of their seats
awaiting the next move by Public Prosecutor, Mr C Chimbari. He had already
withdrawn charges on 14 others, and justice was served as he indicated to
Provincial Magistrate, Mr C Mushipe that he was withdrawing charges against
the remaining 10 accused. They are Tony Barkley, Jim Steele, Hamish
Barkley, Scott Marillier, Robbie Moyes, Gert "Oom Gert" Pretorius, Tony
Marillier, Gert "Boet" Pretorius, Cornelius "Niels" van Heerden and Andries
"Hennie" Nel. You will all recall the events in August 2001 that lead to
massive trashing and looting in the Lomagundi farming area resulting in
hundreds of families being evacuated out of the area and the loss of billions
of dollars worth of property.
Just wanted to share these events with
you and as always, I value your emails, calls and comments as only if we
communicate will be find solutions to make our nation of Zimbabwe whole
P.S. Please forward this
update to any an all Farmers that face the same predicament of being charged
for continuing to earn a living whilst FARMING to FEED the
News release (On behalf of the Commercial Farmers
Union) FIFTEEN Sugar Cane Farmers from the Chiredzi farming area of Zimbabwe
have been told to report to the Chiredzi Police to be charged under the
Land Acquisition Act Chapter 20:10 Section 8 Sub (7) Sub Section 1
for 'interfering with the Resettlement Programme by the Acquiring
Four of the fifteen have signed warned and cautioned
statements and the remainder are still to attend the Police Station to do so.
The first four are under arrest but were released on 'free bail'. The Farmers
are then expected to make statements as to their reasons for 'continuing to
farm' and will appear before a magistrate who it is believed will make a
ruling. The Farmers have been asked to provide proof that they had applied to
continue farming as part of their defense.
Background regarding the
Amendments to the Land Acquisition Act: The Order was radically changed by a
special session of parliament that was convened on 10th May at which
amendments to the Land Acquisition Act (LAA) were promulgated (Act 6 of
2002). The Orders, including all those served before 10 May, transfer
ownership of the land to the State immediately, and constitute a notice to
stop farming after 45 days, and to vacate the homestead within 90 days. To
exceed either of these time limits was made a criminal offence. Ends 4th
Update 5th July 2002 Eleven of the fifteen have made warned
and cautioned statements and it is understood that the dockets are being held
The statements read.. WARNED AND CAUTIONED STATEMENT:
- We,... (Farm name and registration number) having been informed
that inquiries are being made in connection with a case of contravening
Section 8 (7) A. R. . W. Subsection (1) of the amendment to the Land
Acquisition Act: Chapter 20:10 "interferes with the Exercise of the Acquiring
Authority" make this statement of our own free will. While we have been
informed that we are not obliged to say anything in answer to these
allegations, our failure at this stage to mention any facts relevant to our
defense to them may result in a court drawing interference against us.
Whatever we do say will be taken down in writing and may be given in evidence
in court. _______
While we understand the charge, we deny the charge
totally. The Section 8 order was wrongly issued, as the Section 7 proceedings
have not been concluded. A Section 8 order is subject to the provisions of
Section 7. Signed and dated and stamped by ZRP. Ends 5th July 2002
Information: Having heard the evidence of thirteen prosecution witnesses, the
trial has been remanded to 28 May 2002 when the prosecution intend to call
Background On Tuesday 23 April 2002, the trial
against the Chinhoyi Farmers & Ors on a charge of public violence opened
at the Magistrate's Court, Harare before the Provincial Magistrate, Mr C
At the commencement of the trial, the Public Prosecutor, Mr C
Chimbari, withdrew the charge before plea against six of the accused - Ben de
Jager, William Steele, Norman Dolphin, Louis Fick, Konrad van der Merwe and
Ivor Taute. The remaining 18 accused pleaded not guilty to the
The State alleges that "on the 6th day of August 2001, the
complainants who are settled at Accused No 1's farm (Anthony Barkley)
proceeded to the farmhouse of Listonshiels farm. They were about 30 in
number and they wanted to speak to Accused No 1 Anthony George Barkley in
regard to the problems they were facing on the farm.
On their arrival
at Accused 1's farm, they found him present and they wanted audience with
him. Instead of talking to the complainants Accused 1 instructed them to
wait outside the house while he went inside the house. He then promised them
that he was contacting the District Administrator for him to come and solve
the matter they had come for.
While the complainants were waiting outside
the farmhouse, they were unexpectedly confronted by the 23 accused persons
who were joined by Accused 1 who came out of his house immediately. All the
other accused persons started assaulting the settlers using sticks,
knobkerries, a piece of chain, rubber baton stick, fists, booted feet, open
hands and stones.
All the other accused persons were phoned by Accused No
1 to come to his house where the complainants were gathered.
assault resulted in the injuries of Onias Mukondorongwe, who broke his arm,
Ranina Phiri sustained bruises, Jona Jainda who was torn off his
ear, Darlington Chasara sustained bruises, Fainos Tumbugwe sustained a cut on
the head, Biggie Mateesanwa sustained bruises and Moses Mpofu sustained
A report was made at Chinhoyi Rural police and the police
attended to the scene. At the scene eighteen sticks, one rubber baton stick
were recovered. An iron chain and a stone were also recovered from one of the
vehicles Toyota Hilux number 681-994X and can be produced before the court
All the complainants who sustained injuries were sent to
Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital for examination and the medical reports can be
produced before the court as exhibits.
All the accused persons had no
right to act in the manner they did."
In the Defence Outline
submitted to the court by Mr J C Andersen SC, assisted by Mr E T Matinenga,
instructed by Stumbles & Rowe, it is submitted:
1. "The Accused
deny the charge against them arising from the incident at the farmhouse
located on a hill at Listonshiels Farm on 6th August, 2001.
brief, Accused 1 was confronted by settlers (and others all of whom are
referred to as settlers) with an assortment of weapons who demanded
his eviction and forced to take refuge in his house where he feared for
2.2 Radio and telephone calls were made for help from other
farmers and the police. The police were contacted but refused to provide
help until much later in consequence of which farmers and others proceeded to
the farm to assist Accused 1.
2.3 The settlers assaulted and refused
entry to those who first arrived who happened to be nearby and intended to
act as negotiators to defuse the situation.
2.4 When support arrived
they forced their way to the house against barricades raised by the settlers
and assaults and, in particular, a barrage of stones. The settlers withdrew
and Accused 1 was relieved whereafter further sporadic incidents of assault
and attack by stones took place which were repelled. The police eventually
2.5 The Accused involved did no more than was reasonably
required for the safety of Accused 1 and for their own self
2.6 During the course of the confrontation injuries were
suffered by both sides few of which were serious.
2.7 In short, it was
the settlers who acted unlawfully and were guilty of public violence and not
3.1 Accused 2 (Steele Snr) did not go to the scene at all.
He was at his farm Laighmains until about 10:30 a.m. when he left with his
wife in two vehicles to collect fuel in Chinhoyi. On the way to Chinhoyi he
gave a lift to a policeman known to him as Manyamba. He sought to purchase
fuel at D & R Motors in Chinhoyi without success but managed to obtain it
at the Mobil Depot at about 11:50 a.m. after which he proceeded to Taute
Engineering, the Post Office, Home Industries and Dr Stilgoe's rooms as by
then he had heard that farmers had been injured at Listonshiels Farm and
wished to check whether his son had been involved. He departed from Dr
Stilgoe's rooms at about 12:45 p.m. and returned to his farm.
Evidence in support of Accused 2's movements may be given by his wife and
various persons at the places he went to in Chinhoyi.
3.3 At about 6.00
p.m. Accused 2 was advised that his son had been
proceeded to the police station to take
blankets and warm clothes to him. He also collected clothes and medicine for
some of the other Accused.
3.4 At the police station he was falsely
accused of assaulting the settlers and arrested by the police who refused to
have regard to his protestations that he was not present.
3 (Barkley Jnr) was at Ardingly Farm, Karoi where he farmed on the day of the
4.2 Evidence to support Accused 3 may be given by his wife and
others at the farm.
4.3 The next day, 7th August, 2001 Accused 3 went
to Chinhoyi Police Station early in the morning to see his father, Accused
1. It became apparent that he would not be permitted to do so and he decided
to leave the police station to attend to business in Chinhoyi. He was stopped
by persons who alleged that he had been involved and should be locked up. He
was forced to reverse his vehicle into the police station. Despite protest
from him and others that he was not present the police would not have regard
to his protestations and he was arrested.
4.4 He witnessed three
persons, Peter and Robert Flanagan and Lindsay Moyes (wife of Accused 11)
being abused and assaulted by persons in the presence of the police who did
nothing, but simply watch.
5.1 Accused 11 (Duncan Moyes) also attended
the farmers meeting and remained at it until it was over. He went to
Listonshiels Farm with Jan Botes. When they arrived police were present.
They left the scene and proceeded to the police station at approximately 1600
hours at the request of the police to make statements. He was abused and
5.2 Evidence may be given in support of Accused 11 by
Jan Botes and others.
6.1 Accused 14 (Wallis) farms at Biri Farm and is
also the manager of Biri Combined Irrigation Scheme.
6.2 On the day of
the incident Accused 14 went to the farmers meeting and left at about 11:45
a.m. to go to Biri Dam where he had a meeting with Graham Mullett of Redfern
Mullett. After the meeting, he went home for lunch and then proceeded to
Chinhoyi to obtain information of the incident which he had heard of and
assist if required. He drove past the Chinhoyi Police Station and saw that
no farmers had arrived there. He then proceeded to Listonshiels Farm and
gave a policeman a lift from Alaska Smelter to the Y junction at Alaska
Mine. He does not know the name of the policeman except that he was medic.
He met up with Jan Botes and accused 11 and thereafter proceeded to the
Chinhoyi Police Station where he was wrongly arrested.
Mullett may give evidence together with other witnesses already referred to,
to support Accused 14's case.
7.1 Accused 1 (Barkley Snr) had
previously been subjected to unlawful conduct on the part of illegal settlers
and told he would be forced off his farm with threats against his
7.2 Prior to the day in question, Monday, 6th August 2001, Accused
1 had received information to the effect that his farm might be targeted
by settlers on that day.
7.3 In the morning when Accused 1 was working
in his workshop he was told that settlers wished to speak to him. He
proceeded to where they had congregated. There were about 25 settlers
carrying an assortment of weapons who had come from a number of farms,
including Listonshiels. They told him that he was to vacate the farm by 1500
hours failing which he would be forcibly removed.
7.4 Accused 1
advised that the matter was one to be dealt with by the DA and the police and
that he would contact other persons to contact them.
7.5 He went to the
farm house and put out a call asking for assistance and for the DA and the
police to be contacted. He returned and told the settlers that he had done
so. They became extremely aggressive and said that the matter had nothing to
do with the DA and the police and threatened his life if he did not vacate
the farm. They began to surround him and he retreated to the farm house
followed by them.
7.6 Fearing for his safety he made further calls on his
radio and cellphone and said that he now needed help urgently. Settlers who
had moved to the farm house in increasing numbers were threatening to gain
access and Accused 1 left the radio and cellphone to secure the verandah door
by holding it shut as it was not secure.
7.7 Accused 1 was further
threatened and sticks were poked through the wire netting on the door at
him. The roof was struck with sticks and a hammer and flower pots and a
dog's kennel were broken. There was a great deal of noise and waving of
weapons with threatening gestures and Chimurenga songs were sung. The number
of settlers had increased to approximately 60. Some of the settlers had
settled illegally on Accused 1's farm but most came
7.8 The police were contacted by Mark Shaw as set out
below, but refused to give assistance.
7.9 The noise of a vehicle
coming was heard and a number of the settlers proceeded to meet it. It was
apparent from the noise that the arrival was met with hostility and access
7.10 Thereafter the noise of further vehicles was heard and help
arrived at the house despite the actions of the settlers to prevent
7.11 The settlers fell back and Accused 1 was able to open his door
and leave the house. In the course of doing so a settler attempted to
assault him with a stick but Accused 1 hit him and he ran
7.12 Further incidents occurred and in due course
the police arrived.
8. Accused 22 (Whitaker) was the first person to
arrive at the farm. He found the road to the house barricaded and was
confronted and assaulted by hostile settlers who denied him access.
Accused 24 (Hennie Nel) arrived shortly thereafter and despite trying
to negotiate was also subjected to hostility and assault.
6 (Scott Marillier) then arrived but was warned to drive off before he too
was subjected to such treatment, which he did.
11. Accused 22 and 24 were
able to retreat after Accused 24 had agreed to participate in singing
12. Accused 6, 22 and 24 waited for help some distance
away on the road near a dip. They had radioed the need for urgent help
having regard to the treatment they had received and the fact that nothing
had been heard from Accused 1 for a long time for whom they feared the
worst. They also feared for his wife who unbeknown to them was not
13. After sufficient support arrived 12 to 15 persons proceeded on
foot towards the homestead followed shortly by some vehicles which arrived
after they had set off. They removed barricades which had been set up at
a culvert and a grid and proceeded to relieve Accused 1, and move the
settlers away from the house. Various incidents occurred when they did so
and settlers attacked them at close quarters during which some persons
were injured and, in particular, Badenhorst who is not one of the
Accused, Accused 22 and two settlers. Despite being moved away some
settlers returned to the surrounds and attacked the Accused mainly by
throwing and catapulting stones at them. A further barricade was erected by
the settlers which in due course the police told them to remove.
In so far as is relevant each Accused will describe in detail the extent of
his involvement, if any.
15. Some of the persons who came to Accused 1's
help had batons and sticks and one had a short length of chain (which was not
used). Others picked up sticks and fence posts. There were large quantities
of stones around which had been gathered by the settlers and used in
attacking the Accused.
16. The incident and concern of Accused 1 and the
Accused who came to his assistance arose from the background of similar
incidents in the area and other parts of the country and the violence and
intimidation resorted to, to drive farmers from their land rather than by
order of a competent Court. Evidence may be given of such incidents and the
contempt with which Court orders, some granted by consent, based on the
governments own laws, were treated. In the result, settlers obviously came
to believe that they were above the law and would be protected by the
selective application of it against farmers. Farmers came to believe that
generally they would not be protected by the police who had instructions not
to do so in such matters as they were of a 'political' nature.
Evidence will be given of the security arrangements made by farmers in the
area amongst themselves and the police for the assistance of any farmer who
required it. A strategy was adopted to the effect that when an
incident occurred others not involved would proceed to the area and seek to
defuse it on behalf of the farmer involved.
18.1 Mark Shaw who
operates a security business in Chinhoyi, was the security co-ordinator and
will say that he was at the farmers meeting when he was advised of the
distress call and left the meeting with others.
18.2 He immediately
telephoned the Officer-in-Charge of Chinhoyi Rural Police Station who dealt
with such matters, Inspector Mudziwapasi, and briefed him on the
18.3 He asked for police attendance as a matter of urgency but
the Inspector seemed disinterested and eventually said that he had no
18.4 Mr Shaw pointed out that transport could be obtained from
another police station or by the use of his, Mr Shaw's vehicles, but was
advised that a message would be sent to the Shackelton Police Post for a
policeman to proceed by bicycle to the scene. Mr Shaw pointed out that
Shackelton was 20 kms away, but the Inspector said that that was his decision
and rang off.
18.5 Further attempts were made to obtain police assistance
from more senior police persons who were not available. Superintendent
Chipato who was available was told of the Inspector's refusal to assist and
that neighbouring farmers were responding to assist Accused 1. She promised
to get the Support Unit to attend, which it should have been able to do
without delay. In the result it did not do so until the incident was
19. Despite the obvious knowledge of the police that he was not
involved, Mark Shaw was also arrested.
20.1 It is believed that the
attack against Accused 1 was preconceived by activists who took advantage of
a cultural ceremony over the weekend in the area to incite others to join
them to unlawfully and forcibly evict Accused 1 from his own home and
20.2 It is believed that the police must have been aware of what
was planned and must have been instructed not to intervene for the same
reasons that they have declined to do so in other cases which were deemed to
be of a 'political' nature. This would be consistent with he unbelievable
refusal of the Inspector to act and the late arrival of the Support Unit.
In addition, several members of the police force had claimed to be entitled
to stands on Accused 1's farm.
21. Farmers have repeatedly been warned
by their leaders against reaction to provocation from settlers and it is
grossly improbable that a group of farmers and others would have risked
acting without justification as alleged by the State.
23. After their
arrest the accused were treated in a disgraceful and humiliating manner in
contravention of their legal rights. Political activists unlawfully took
over control from the police and politicised the issue with blatantly false
reports of the incident which led to wanton assaults on whites and
destruction and looting of property". Having heard the evidence of thirteen
prosecution witnesses, the trial has been remanded to 28 May 2002 when the
prosecution intend to call further witnesses.
A High Court judge has granted
white farmers in Zimbabwe an interim interdict barring President Robert
Mugabe from seizing their land.
Judge Benjamin Paradza made his ruling on
Thursday night after the government charged four white farmers who defied a
ban to stop working their land under a new law smoothing the way for Mugabe's
controversial white land seizures.
Although the court ruling was made
in favour of one farmer, George Quinnel, who filed the court application, it
will affect at least 2 900 white farmers who had been ordered to stop working
and surrender their farms to Mugabe's government.
Judge Paradza said
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who
had been spearheading the campaign to evict farmers, had ceased to be
government ministers after the controversial March election.
did not appoint a new cabinet under Zimbabwe's laws and all his ministers
should have re-taken the oath of office.
Judge Paradza also said
amendments to land acquisitions laws empowering the government to seize farms
had been passed illegally. - Independent Foreign Service
Hijack Trust is being inundated with calls from irate motorists who have
their car windows smashed and personal items stolen.
crime appears to be happening anywhere in the city centre and in the
Industrial sites. The most common places being at Stop signs, intersections
controlled by traffic lights, with the worse place being the Cripps
Road/Remembrance Drive junction.
We have also had reports of
appalling driving practices in the city centre. It appears that anything goes
now: going through red lights, lane hopping, parking wherever the fancy takes
you, and pedestrians who are obviously suffering from a death
The police have responded to our reports and have promised to
step up their patrols in the city.
We urge motorists once again
to put all personal items like handbags and briefcases in the boot or
somewhere out of sight, and not to fall for any con tricks.
would not be exaggerating to say that town has become a war zone for
motorists and pedestrians alike. So beware and be safe.
Sudden rise in flour sales as bread shortage
7/5/02 10:38:03 AM (GMT +2)
SUPERMARKET flour shelves began to clear in Harare yesterday
as people purchased the nearest alternative to bread, which has virtually
disappeared from food shops all over the capital.
currently facing a shortage of most basic commodities such as maize, sugar,
salt and cooking oil, plunged into deeper crisis as bread ran out in
Urban dwellers have in the past seven months been using
bread as an alternative to maize-meal, which has been in short
With bread becoming another scarce commodity, hunger is
expected to reach unprecedented levels in Zimbabwe.
supermarkets in Harare, had no bread at all early yesterday morning. A queue
formed inside one supermarket as people waited for bread which was still in
An official at another well known supermarket in
downtown Harare said that they were still expecting deliveries.
One fast food outlet in the city centre had bread on its shelves
while another in the same street had none.
attributed the bread shortage to the unavailability of flour, salt and sugar,
the major ingredients in bread making.
Most shops in Harare ran out
of salt two weeks ago. While the government has accused salt importers of
hoarding the commodity, National Foods (Natfoods), one of the biggest
importers of salt has accused the government of dragging its feet over a
promised increase in the controlled price of salt.
managing director, Ian Kind, was yesterday, not available for comment on the
flour crisis in the country.
Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement, Dr Joseph Made, this week accused Natfoods of hoarding
Natfoods produces about 50 percent of the country's flour.
Food experts warned early this year that flour stocks would run out at
the beginning of this month and that there was need to import more wheat
Made claimed this week the country had enough flour
stocks and there was no need to import.
Food experts have
accused Made of creating the food crisis following his adamant denials that
there would be no maize shortages.
An official in the milling
industry who declined to be named for fear of victimisation said: "I do not
understand what Made means when he says milling companies are
He has inspectors deployed at every milling company. They
see the wheat and maize deliveries coming in and out and how do we
"Salt and sugar shortages compounded by a week-long strike
at Natfoods two weeks ago might have resulted in the shortage of flour."
security firm workers who took their employer, Campdell Collin Macmillan,
hostage last week have released him.
Macmillan, the owner
of Alcatraz Security Pvt Limited in Marondera, was held at his company
premises last Saturday by workers demanding a $16 million retrenchment
package. They released him late on Tuesday, his lawyer Lawrence Chibwe said
On Monday, the Wedsec Farmers' Security Association
was granted a court order for Macmillan's immediate release by Justice
Lavender Makoni in an urgent chamber application.
They cited the
Commissioner of Police, the officer-in-charge of Marondera Urban, and a
Chaparadza and 84 other workers as the first, second and third respondents
The police had not acted on the court order by
Tuesday evening, saying they did not have the manpower, according to
Dzimbabwe Chimbga, Chibwe's colleague.
Chibwe said on Wednesday:
"I understand the workers released our client of their own accord. We shall
be holding a meeting with the workers and the police in Marondera tomorrow
The workers, whose employment was terminated at the
end of May because the business was closing down, are demanding retrenchment
packages totalling $16 million.
In the provisional court order,
which will be confirmed as final if the three respondents do not oppose it
within 10 days from Monday, Justice Makoni ordered the workers to release
Macmillan and empower the deputy sheriff to enlist the assistance of the
police if the workers resisted. They resisted the order on Monday and most of
Makoni said: "The third respondent and others should
forthwith release Collin Macmillan from the unlawful detention and further
desist from harassing his person and maintain the peace until an agreement is
reached on the retrenchment through the Ministry of Labour."
Makoni ordered a stop to interference with the business operations of the
Wedsec Farmers' Security Association and its employees.
empowered the deputy sheriff to recover three Mazda B2200 and two Mazda B1800
vehicles belonging to the association.She ordered the Marondera police to
return any Wedsec Farmers' Security Association motor vehicles in their
Bread shortage to worsen as wheat supplies
7/5/02 10:08:57 AM (GMT +2)
THE shortage of bread, now covering most parts of the
country, is expected to get worse because of a wheat shortage, Armitage
Chikwavira, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Bakers' Association, said on
Chikwavira said the situation was unlikely to
improve soon because the Grain Marketing Board had reduced its weekly wheat
supplies to millers. He said the GMB was now supplying 4 500 tonnes to
millers instead of 7 500 tonnes, which meets the demand.
appealing to the GMB to increase its supply of wheat to at least 6 000 tonnes
so that the millers are able to supply us with enough flour," said
Chikwavira, "The country also needs to import 50 000 tonnes
Long queues were seen at most bread outlets in Harare
on Wednesday. Angry shoppers queuing at Lobels Bakery along Simon Mazorodze
Road accused the government of causing the shortage of all the basic
commodities, including maize-meal, sugar, cooking oil and salt.
Owen Ndenga of Mbare, a tuckshop owner, said the government's initiated land
redistribution programme was to blame for the shortage of wheat.
"I think there is too much politics interfering with farming in the country,"
"Most of the new farmers who were allocated land are
not doing any meaningful farming. These people are ruining the country. We
can't have a country without basic foodstuffs."
FOLLOWING its crushing defeat in the February 2000 referendum in which it had
hoped to get the people to rubber-stamp a draft constitution from which most
of the people's input had been arrogantly expunged by its spin doctors, the
government realised with surprising panic that it could no longer rely on
what it had erroneously believed to be popular support to get its way in
whatever it wanted.
As a result, from then on it has found
it increasingly necessary to resort to the use of decrees and other
dictatorial measures to get people to do its bidding whenever it realises
that if it consults them they are likely to reject its plans.
should, of course, be acknowledged that the tragedy was set in motion early
into independence when, because of the relative prosperity of the economy at
that time, everybody felt well-off.
This was particularly true of
the working class in urban centres who thought they had successfully
discharged their national duty of removing white minority rule and replaced
it with a black government led by a charismatic revolutionary who seemed
consumed by only one passion: to safeguard the welfare of all
The thought that it was just possible he might one day
become more dreaded than anything ever seen during the colonial era never
crossed people 's minds.
It was out of that euphoria and false
sense of eternal well-being and security that the urban voter apathy was
born, especially among the working class males, leading to Zanu PF scoring
victories at every election.
It can, of course, be argued, and
quite correctly too, that those wins were by default because before the
referendum, hardly a third of the registered voters bothered to cast their
ballot at any of the subsequent elections following the historic 1980
And the people who returned Zanu PF to power
in all those polls were largely unsophisticated urban women and rural
That damning fact was either simply ignored or blissfully
lost on Zanu PF, most of whose leaders have never been notable for their
Those easy wins were seen as indicative
of popular national support and, by extension of that self-deceptive logic,
that it could virtually do as it pleased.
It was tragic because
when the actual truth - that the ruling party was not as popular as it
thought - finally dawned on the party, courtesy of the 2000 referendum
results, the government panicked. It quickly embarked on a path of
ruling through a series of decrees and the use of brute force to subdue a
population which had clearly awakened to Zanu PF's wickedness in its bid to
cling to power for as long as possible.
The unleashing of the
so-called war veterans greatly beefed up by paid thugs and never-do-wells on
an unsuspecting populace to plunder, maim, torture, rape and kill with
impunity marked the beginning of the use of decrees and brute force by the
ruling party to maintain itself in power at any cost.
Presidential decrees and the anti-democracy pieces of legislation railroaded
through Parliament, such as the repugnant Public Order and Security Act and
that bane of all professional journalists, the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act, are all part of that evil agenda to sidestep the
It is common knowledge that most of the
provisions in those decrees and Acts are patently ultra vires certain key
sections of the Constitution, but that precisely is why they could not be
subjected to a popular vote. Even the recent obsession with trivia such us
changing school names is all part of the plan.
government clearly went too far this week when it decreed that its so-called
national youth service will be made compulsory from next year.
Zimbabweans know what that means from what we have seen the Border Gezi
"graduates" doing. And what they do is nothing but evil. No sane parents can
allow their children to be party to that. That programme is simply
Out of the 2 220 cholera cases reported in Manicaland
between January and June this year, 169 died of the
Robert Mudyiradima, the provincial medical officer
for health, said Mutare district was the worst affected, recording 80 deaths
followed by Buhera with 33 and Chipinge with 27.
said the outbreak was now under control and attributed the success to an
intensified outreach programme by his department.
"The last case we
heard of was early last month," he said. "The community responded well to our
cholera awareness programmes and the police played a pivotal role in ensuring
vendors were stopped from preparing food to sell on the
He said in Mutare district, 80 people died and of those
71 died at home, and the remainder at various clinics.
Mudyiradima attributed the high number of deaths in Mutare to contaminated
water supplies and food such as fish imported from
In Buhera, he said, 33 people died of
cholera and of those 29 at home the others while under
In Chipinge, where the first cholera cases were
reported, 27 people died, 19 at home and eight at medical
Meanwhile, the immunisation programme got off to a
slow start in Mutare on Monday as most children were not in school because of
the chilly weather.
"It's too early to talk about that now,"
Mudyiradima said: "I don't have the statistics at hand, but I understand we
started off a bit slow due to the cold weather."
He said his
department was vaccinating children between six months and six years against
measles and giving them Vitamin A.
IT HAS been business as usual for Patrick Chinamasa, the
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, who has remained a free
man since his return to the country on Monday night, although the High Court
last month issued a warrant for his arrest.
Fergus Blackie issued a warrant for Chinamasa's arrest on 24 June for his
failure to appear in court to answer a charge of contempt of court stemming
from his criticism of a six-month jail term imposed by his colleague, Justice
Mahomed Adam, on three Americans convicted for illegal arms possession in
Chinamasa was out of the country attending an Africa
Carribean Pacific-European Union meeting in Angola.
was then the Attorney-General (AG) in 1999. Chinamasa, who was in a jovial
mood, said: "I have not been arrested. I am not in jail. Do you think I would
be talking to you on my cellphone if I was in jail? Do they allow cellphones
He was due to comment on the decision to issue a warrant
for his arrest on yesterday.
A day after Blackie issued the
warrant, Andrew Chigovera, the AG, said Blackie had erred.
should have issued a default judgment against the minister instead of a
warrant for his arrest, Chigovera said.
Chigovera said the contempt
of court proceedings against Chinamasa were of a civil rather than criminal
In an article published in the government mouthpiece, The
Herald, of 15 September 1999, Chinamasa was quoted as having said the
sentence passed on the Americans "induced a sense of shock and outrage in the
minds of all right-thinking people".
He said the AG's Office had
been bemused by the meaninglessness of the sentence. "The nation
should know and be told that the leniency of the sentences constitutes a
betrayal of all civilised and acceptable notions of justice and Zimbabwe's
sovereign interests," Chinamasa was quoted as saying.
1999, the matter was referred to the Supreme Court after Chinamasa's lawyer,
Sternford Moyo, raised some constitutional issues, which among others,
included the minister's right to protection by the law.
Court, however, ruled against the minister and ordered the lower court to
proceed hearing the case The Supreme Court had ruled that Chinamasa's
statements were intended or likely to bring Adam into disrepute, "as
reflecting upon his capacity as a judge and to shake public confidence in the
manner in which justice had been administered by the High Court".
The court, however, said Chinamasa should be given protection afforded by the
provisions of Section 20 of the Constitution to a person facing a charge of
contempt of court, regarded as a criminal offence.
the Permanent Secretary in the Department of Information and Publicity, is to
stand trial in the High Court before judge Ben Hlatshwayo on 15 July for a
similar offence after his criticism of a ruling by Justice Moses Chinhengo
ordering police to stop interfering in the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union's
PATRICK Chinamasa, the
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, has no jurisdiction to
order an investigation into the conduct of High Court judge, Justice Fergus
Blackie, following the warrant of arrest the judge issued against the
minister, legal experts said yesterday.
The lawyers said
Andrew Chigovera, the Attorney General (AG), had erred by publicly
criticising Blackie's decision to issue the warrant and might have also been
in contempt of the court.
Lovemore Madhuku, a constitutional law
expert, said in terms of Section 87 of the Constitution, the power to probe
the conduct of a judicial officer lay with the Chief Justice and not the
government or a minister.
"Only the Chief Justice can initiate an
investigation," he said. "Chinamasa does not even have powers to suggest, let
alone to initiate or recommend, one."
He was reacting to
Chinamasa's attack on Blackie on Wednesday. The government-controlled Herald
newspaper yesterday quoted Chinamasa as attacking Blackie for issuing the
warrant for his arrest.
This came after the minister failed to
appear in court to answer a contempt of court charge stemming from his
criticism of a six-month jail term imposed on three Americans convicted of
illegal arms possession in 1999.
The minister said the judge's
conduct constituted "gross abuse of judicial office" and that he would advise
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku to set up a tribunal to investigate
Blackie's conduct in the matter.
Chinamasa said according to
Section 76 of the Constitution the powers of prosecution were vested in the
Chigovera earlier criticised Blackie's decision, saying he
should have issued a default judgment against Chinamasa instead of a warrant
for his arrest, because the contempt of court proceedings were of a civil,
and not a criminal, nature.
Madhuku said: "It is
unconstitutional for even Chinamasa to raise the issue with Chidyausiku,
because the idea is to maintain an independent judiciary. It is a very
serious infringement of the Constitution."
He said if Chinamasa was
correct in so doing, then judges would be investigated every day, because
politicians always conclude that judicial officers are wrong when they give
Section 87 (2) of the Constitution reads:
"If, in the case of a judge of the Supreme or High Court other than the Chief
Justice, the Chief Justice advises the President that the question of removal
from office of the judge concerned ought to be investigated, the President
shall appoint a tribunal to inquire into the matter."
the chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, said Chinamasa and
Chigovera might have been in contempt for saying they believed Blackie was
wrong in issuing the warrant of arrest against the minister.
"Chinamasa is the accused person and cannot be judge as well," Madhuku said.
"Whether issuing a warrant of arrest is correct or not could have been argued
in court, but for Chinamasa and Chigovera to say with certainty that Blackie
was wrong is contempt.
"Chigovera, as a lawyer, should have raised
his objections in court rather than to lecture the nation on the
Yvonne Mahlunge, a former chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women
Lawyers' Association, said Chinamasa was obviously an interested party and
should have delegated the matter to his deputy.
Chinamasa's assertion that the powers of prosecution were vested in Chigovera
was wrong because there was also room for individuals to institute private
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said the court
had powers to summon a person considered to be in contempt. When someone is
personally served with a subpoena to appear in court and he defaults, then
the judge can issue him with a warrant of arrest, the lawyers
They said a court can institute prosecution if it believes
someone is in contempt. A judge can summon the person to explain, they
Madhuku said the Supreme Court dismissed the argument that
powers of prosecution were vested with the AG in Chinamasa's own contempt
The minister's case was referred to the Supreme Court in
October 1999 after his lawyer Sternford Moyo, raised constitutional issues,
which among others, included the right of protection by the law. Chinamasa
was then AG.
The Supreme Court, however, ruled against him,
ordering the High Court to proceed with the case.
"I can only conclude Chinamasa is being dishonest and wants to mislead the
nation because he knows ordinary people do not read court judgments and
understand the law."
Chidyausiku should make his position clear
because Chinamasa's comments raised suspicions that he meets regularly with
ministers, particularly after the judge publicly said he supports Zanu PF, he
Learnmore Jongwe, the MDC's spokesman who is also a lawyer,
said it was inappropriate for an interested party to seek to institute
proceedings in terms of the constitution for a tribunal to be set
Jongwe said if Chinamasa was aggrieved by the judge's actions,
he should have engaged somebody else in the government to take up the
"It is inappropriate at this juncture for someone to go
public on an issue concerning a judge," he said. "That is the only reason why
these contempt proceedings are being done in the first place."
Jongwe said this was another classic example of the disdain being shown by
the government for the judiciary.
THE High Court
yesterday granted an interim relief order to the owner of Nyalugwe Farm in
Lomagundi district to continue working on his property until a final ruling
has been made on his application which sought to nullify government's
Justice Benjamin Paradza suspended the acquisition order
served on Nyalugwe Farm's owner by government on May 8.
acquisition order issued by the first respondent (Agriculture minister Joseph
Made) on May 8 2002 in respect of Nyalugwe Farm shall not preclude the
applicant (farmer) from occupying, holding or using the land including all
improvements thereon or from undertaking all farming operations," Justice
Paradza ruled. "The reprieve will remain in force until the
final determination of the case."
The eviction order was made in
terms of Section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act. It demanded the farmer should
stop operations after 45 days from the date it was served and vacate the
property within 90 days of service.
However, on May 10 the farmer
responded asking Made for permission to continue working. The minister did
not reply forcing the farmer to apply for a court reprieve.
June 20, when the ultimatum was supposed to expire, no Section 7 application
for confir-mation of the acquisition of Nya-lugwe Farm had been served
uponthe farmer as required by law.
The farmer subsequently sought in
his application that the Section 8 order served on him should be declared
invalid because government had failed to confirm the acquisition notice with
the Administrative Court. Government last month served eviction orders on
about 3 000 farmers and effectively banned production on their properties
last week when the removal notices expired.
Lawyers yesterday said
the interim relief granted to the Nyalugwe farmer is for all intents and
purposes a test case which sets a precedent for other farmers to challenge
their eviction. In a similar case, the High Court earlier this week also
temporarily suspended a government acquisition order for Erewhon Farm in
Lomagundi. Justice Moses Chinhengo set aside by consent the acquisition order
Meanwhile, the Commercial Farmers Union has reported
that 15 farmers in the Chiredzi area have been charged with violating Section
8 of the Land Acquisition Act by continuing with farming activities. - Staff
War veterans refuse to act Blessing Zulu/Augustine
Mukaro A RIFT has developed between government and war veterans over what
action to take against farmers challenging Section 8 eviction orders in
The farmers are continuing with their normal activities amid
declarations by war veterans that they will not be used to evict the
War veterans have washed their hands of the dispute between
the government and the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU).
militant war veterans secretary for projects, Andrew Ndlovu, said the
government had opted "for the rule of law" and should brace itself for the
"When we invaded the farms they sent the police to arrest
me and my hands are tied at the moment," said Ndlovu.
the government for ruthlessly brutalising fellow blacks when they evicted
them from the farms. "They went about beating up black farm workers and
destroying their property and now we want to see whether they are going to
violently drive off the whites."
Ndlovu was sceptical about the success
of the land reform programme without the involvement of the war
"These white farmers were former Rhodesian forces and as
war veterans we know how to deal with them," he said. "The government will
not succeed without our assistance and that is when they will realise the
importance of us in this struggle. I assure you they will not succeed and
that is when we will move in."
War Veterans Association
secretary-general Endy Mhlanga said his members would not be directly
involved in the eviction of farmers. "Those farmers refusing to go having
been served with Section 8 should thank the president for being lenient,"
"If war veterans had their way they would clear all of
them within two hours. At the moment we can only assist the police by
identifying the culprits since we are on the ground."
Nicolle of the Nicolle family, one of the major producers of wheat, said it
was business as usual though there had been problems with one of the settlers
on their farm.
"We are carrying on with our farming activities as we
cannot allow the nation to starve," said Nicolle.
"We have only
had problems with Flight-Lieutenant Jumbi, one of the settlers who has been
raiding us for our irrigation water," he said.
Resettlement Initiative chief sponsor, John Bredenkamp's Thetford Farm in the
Mazoe Valley, also on Section 8 notice, has not stopped its farming
Workers at the farm confirmed activities had not changed
but said there was no new investment taking place.
"We are still
producing market gardening products like onions, tomatoes, cabbages and other
fresh produce," a manager said. "The farm is currently listed and that has
deterred Bredenkamp from pouring more money into the farm until the land
reform programme has been completed," he said.
CFU spokeswoman Jennie
Williams said farmers had not stopped operations and nothing was likely to
change. "Nothing has changed because farmers have an obligation to feed the
nation," Williams said.
"There is no enforcement at the moment and
farmers have to continue farming as usual."
Ministers told to quit Stanley James GOVERNMENT
officials and ministers whose economic proposals continue to be ignored
because of President Robert Mugabe's populist strategies should quit rather
than tarnish their image for the sake of a regime that has destroyed a
once-vibrant economy, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary-general
Wellington Chibhebhe has said.
Chibhebhe said the ZCTU was sympathetic to
government officials currently being lambasted because their economic
recommendations did not tie-in with the ruling party's. Zanu PF has shunned
market-oriented proposals aimed at reviving the economy and spurned advice
from international agencies such as the World Bank and the International
The ZCTU's stance comes as criticism by Zanu PF hawks
intensifies against Finance and Economic Planning minister Simba Makoni, his
counterpart at Industry and International Trade Herbert Murerwa, and Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe governor Leonard Tsumba for their alleged failure to
halt Zimbabwe's decline.
"The criticised government ministers and
officials have their visionary policies on how to rescue the economy, but
their initiatives are being undermined by Zanu PF's intervention leading to
the current economic crisis," said Chibhebhe.
crisis is a result of Mugabe's skewed macro-economic policies that have
created food shortages at retail outlets."
He said government had
failed to stem the shrinkage in the productive sectors but had the gall to
introduce programmes such as the National Youth Service which generated no
revenue to the exchequer but instead drained it.
Chibhebhe said Zanu
PF's continued interference in economic policies would result in the
country's economic competitiveness declining to unacceptable levels.
Judge raps govt over forex Vincent Kahiya HIGH
Court judge Justice George Smith has taken a swipe at the government for
failing to implement measures that might bring sanity to the foreign exchange
crisis in the country.
In a judgement delivered last month in a business
dispute between plaintiff Echodelta Ltd and defendant Kerr & Downey
Safaris (Pvt) Ltd, Justice Smith said the official rate of exchange currently
pegged at $55:US$1 was "removed from reality".
"It is not disputed
that the official rates of exchange for foreign currencies are far removed
from reality," said Justice Smith. "Insistence on complying with the
artificial rates of exchange has resulted in the growth of the parallel
"The Reserve Bank has introduced special measures to deal
with the situation in the gold mining sector. Had it not done that all the
gold mines in the country would have closed down."
He said the
central bank was again forced to introduce special measures to deal with the
situation in the tobacco growing industry.
"One wonders how many
other sectors will have to face collapse, or actually collapse before
measures are taken to restore sanity in the forex market," the judge
In the case, Virgin Islands-registered Echodelta filed a suit
against Kerr & Downey Safaris demanding a sum of US$90 385, an amount the
defendant was not disputing. The sum was for services Kerr & Downey
provided Echodelta in respect of the tourist complex on the island of
Margaruque off the coast of Mozambique, which it held the concession to
Kerr & Downey paid the sum in Zimbabwe dollars at the
official exchange rate, prompting Echodelta to file papers demanding to be
paid at the parallel rate. Echodelta, represented by senior advocate Adrian
de Bourbon, had argued that if it were to accept the payment in local
currency at the official exchange rate it would not be able to buy any
foreign currency through a reputable bank because of the shortages of the
De Bourbon said at the (then) parallel rate of $300 to
US$1, Echodelta would only be able to acquire a mere US$18 300 instead of the
US$90 385 it was owed. However, Justice Smith ruled that the defendant should
pay the outstanding monies converted at the official exchange rate in
accordance with the Exchange Control Regulations.
Zimbabwe charges 12th journalist in media
HARARE, July 5 - Another Zimbabwean journalist has been
charged with publishing a false story, the 12th journalist to be charged
since President Robert Mugabe introduced tough new media laws in
March. Chris Gande, a reporter with the privately-owned Daily News,
was charged on Thursday over a story alleging that the family of the
late vice-president Joshua Nkomo had not been invited to a memorial gala
last weekend, police said on Friday. Nkomo's widow Johanna has said
she was invited and attended the music and cultural gala which was staged in
Zimbabwe's eastern border city of Mutare last Saturday. But the
Daily News insists that she was only invited, and rushed there by helicopter,
in response to its story on June 28. An international media rights
group this week joined others in urging Mugabe's government to stop harassing
the private media, saying it was threatening the future of independent
journalism in the southern African country. In a statement, Article
19 said on Monday the government must drop charges against journalists
arrested in the last four months for reporting ''falsehoods'' or for
defamation. The London-based organisation also called on the
government to repeal new laws requiring media houses and journalists to
register with a state-appointed media commission, stipulating heavy fines and
two-year jail terms for ''unethical journalism.'' Zimbabwe's
government argues that its new laws are not designed to suppress press
freedom but to instil ''ethical behaviour'' in a sector it says is being used
by its Western enemies to wage a hate and propaganda campaign against
Mugabe. Twelve journalists have been arrested on charges of
''publishing falsehoods'' since March 15 when Mugabe brought the
controversial Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act came into
force. They include Andrew Meldrum, the Zimbabwe correspondent for
Britain's Guardian newspaper, who went on trial last month, accused of
publishing a false story alleging that Mugabe's supporters beheaded a woman
while her two children watched. The government says that story was
part of a Western-backed campaign to damage Mugabe's image since his
re-election in March and to advance the interests of the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has
said he was robbed of victory by Mugabe, 78, in the March 9-11 presidential
elections that were condemned as seriously flawed by many Western nations,
including former colonial power Britain. Mugabe, in power since the
former Rhodesia gained independence from Britain, charges that Western powers
want to oust him over his seizures of white-owned farms
Made under fire for misleading nation Dumisani
Muleya OPPOSITION Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary for
Agriculture Renson Gasela has slammed Agriculture minister Joseph Made for
continuing to mislead the country about the current maize and wheat
Gasela, who is a former Grain Marketing Board general manager,
yesterday said the minister's misrepresentations had reached alarming levels.
"The problem is that if you start off with a lie and you want to
maintain respectability, you must protect that lie perpetually," Gasela said.
"His short history (in government) shows us we can't trust him or his
Despite serious bread shortages, Made this week
claimed Zimbabwe has adequate wheat stocks to last up to the next harvest.
But Gasela said this was not true. "As of today, the stocks of wheat in the
country must be less than 50 000 tonnes, just over a month's supply," he
said. "Honourable Made has the audacity to say there is enough wheat to last
until harvest in August. This is simply not true."
Gasela said a
harvest of 150 000 tonnes of winter wheat would only last until December. He
said the winter maize harvest would be negligible. Made earlier this year
insisted Zimbabwe had enough maize to last until next year. In January he
actually predicted a bumper harvest despite a looming drought. Gasela said
the minister has always been in denial.
"It is common cause that Made
denied there was going to be a maize shortage," he said. "Fortunately, only
those in Zanu PF believe him."
Gasela said if government had taken
his advice seriously, massive starvation could have been averted. "Last year
in April, we warned that there was going to be a shortage of maize in the
country," he said. "We also warned that the disastrous fast-track programme
would prevent farmers from planting wheat. But the Mugabe regime refused to
Gasela said government only started importing maize in
January after starvation had set in. Even then the imports were inadequate
because maize was coming in at the rate of 6 000 tonnes a week when national
demand was 5 000 tonnes a day which created a huge deficit, he
To make up for the shortfall, Gasela said, government started
selling wheat as a maize substitute.
"More than 100 000 tonnes of
wheat were sold in this manner," he said.
Gasela said the MDC also
warned it was cheaper to import maize and preserve wheat stocks for flour
because the country faced wheat shortages.
Made insists bread
shortages were caused by hoarding of flour.
"This is the usual thing
of undermining government and trying to create a situation of despondency
among our people," Made said. "We know the main players."
Gasela said wheat shortages were to blame.
"While this may be obvious
to most of us with average intelligence, it is not obvious to the regime. Why
is Made allocating or rationing wheat if it is enough? An allocation is an
admission of shortage," Gasela said. Police have accused the MDC of causing
massive food shortages saying it was "economic sabotage" designed to stir
anarchy. Gasela, however, dismissed the accusation as
"What the police are saying is a lie," he said. "The police
are now Zanu PF functionaries and are just echoing their master's voice," he
said. "There is no MDC involvement in food shortages". MDC spokesman
Learnmore Jongwe said the police's "grotesque" claims "bordered on sheer
IT is always
instructive to see how other media operate, especially in countries where
freedom of the press is well-established.
The Konrad Adenauer Foundation
last week took members of the newly-formed Zimbabwe National Editors Forum on
a tour of Hamburg and Berlin to see how the German media functions and to
exchange views with leading German editors and policy-makers. Most were
surprisingly well-informed about developments in Zimbabwe and expressed their
disbelief that a once-successful economy could be sabotaged by its own rulers
at such enormous cost to the people they rule and the region as a
The European Union, of which Germany is a leading member, has
been in dialogue with both Sadc and the ACP countries over the Zimbabwe
crisis. The politicians we spoke to admitted the slow pace of these
negotiations but pointed out that the ball was firmly in the Sadc court and,
strengthened by Nepad commitments, the EU would be pressing African partners
for results in terms of the region's own engagement with the rogue regime in
Significantly, one of President Mugabe's longstanding
supporters in the ruling SPD, Hans Buttner, expressed the same revulsion over
human rights and electoral abuses as his CDU counterpart, Andreas
Schockenhoff, at our meeting in the Reichstag.
Schockenhoff is the
CDU's deputy spokesman on foreign affairs.
chair-man of the CDU/CSU parliamentary working group on economic cooperation
and development and a former secretary of state in the Helmut Kohl
administration, made it clear that Germany would not be offering any new
money for development aid until the rule of law was restored in Zimbabwe. The
message from Anton Pfeiffer, also a key CDU policymaker, was much the
Highlights of the visit, apart of course from traditional
German hospitality, were a visit to Bild-Zeitung, Europe's biggest newspaper
in terms of circulation, where we witnessed a press conference with
Defence minister Rudolph Scharping and the editor selecting pictures for the
next day's edition.
Bild, as its name suggests, is a pictorial
paper which appeals to the definitely unserious end of the market, so there
are literally hundreds of colour pix illustrating racy stories about
personalities in the news.
Scharping was given a gentle ride as the
guest of Bild, which is rather indulgent of them seeing he was last year
accused of using Luftwaffe aircraft to ferry him from a Spanish resort to
cabinet meetings. To compound matters he and his then-mistress cavorted for a
leading magazine during their holiday. The Luftwaffe at the time needed its
transport planes in Bosnia. The story evaporated with the events of September
11 in the US and Scharping's career survived.
In Berlin we heard a
keynote address by Edmund Stoiber, the CDU's candidate in the autumn
parliamentary election. Speaking in the city's historic French cathedral, he
attacked falling educational standards in German states other than his own -
he is premier of Bavaria - and told his audience of Germany's need to promote
elites in science and other pursuits, a call that was unsurprisingly
well-received by his well-heeled admirers.
Germany is undergoing
considerable angst at the moment over matters other than the World Cup loss.
It feels it has failed to tackle distortions in the welfare state or manage
immigration properly. Seven million Turks live and work in Germany, having
made their contribution to the Wirtshaftswunder (economic miracle) of the
1960s and 70s. But the country now urgently needs IT specialists and is
importing them from India and the Far East, much to the consternation of the
We toured the notorious Sachsenhausen Nazi concentration camp
north of Berlin and saw the East German secret police - or Stasi -
headquarters where our guide was held in solitary confinement for 10 months
in 1953 before being sentenced to seven years imprisonment as an "enemy of
The German Democratic Republic with a population of 13
million had 90 000 Stasi operatives, compared to 20 000 Gestapo personnel in
Hitler's 80-million-strong Reich. We also saw the vast stacks of Stasi files
on German citizens and others. Members of the public can access their files.
We gather a former Zimbabwean cabinet minister was among those
taking application forms last year. In the 1980s Zanu PF regarded the GDR as
a sister state and many Zimbabweans were trained there in a variety of
Something that particularlyimpressed us was the
Bundespressekonferenz Centre (see pic below) which is run by the German media
and provides a platform to German politicians and others who are only too
happy to appear on a regular basis to be interrogated by
We found a current running through the media and society
in Germany: that Nazi and Communist dictatorships in the 20th century had
proved the need to underpin democratic institutions with civic awareness.
People will only defend their constitutional rights when they know what they
are. That is a lesson for us all.
Sack Chigwedere - union Blessing Zulu THE
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has called for the immediate
dismissal of Aeneas Chigwedere, the controversial Minister of Education,
Sport and Culture for what they allege to be gross incompetence.
last month wrote a letter to President Robert Mugabe expressing
their dissatisfaction with the minister.
"The tenure of office of
the current Minister of Education, Sport and Culture, Mr Aeneas Chigwedere
has been characterised by nothing else but blunders, chaos and confusion
which if left unchecked has the effect of destroying the Zimbabwean education
system," said the letter signed by PTUZ secretary-general, Raymond
The teachers' body called on the president to minimise
changes in the ministry to avoid confusion.
"We are asking you Mr
President, after firing Mr Chigwedere, to minimise changes of ministers in
the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture for this is causing chaos in the
Majongwe said since Independence the ministry had had many
changes of ministers and each minister tried to bring his/her own changes. He
gave as examples the ministries of Health and Defence which he said were
"stable" because of the continuity of sitting ministers.
letter also cited as blunders Chigwedere's many half-thought-out measures,
among them a single national uniform for schools, an eight-hour working day
and the attempt to ban dreadlocks in schools. They said the backtracking by
the minister demonstrated that he had not consulted widely before making the
Majongwe said teachers were considering embarking on a
strike if the government failed to review their wages. "As far as PTUZ is
concerned, if the government does not address the issue of an adequate
cost-of-living adjustment, the stage is set for a mother of all industrial
actions in Zimbabwe," said Majongwe at a press conference earlier this
"Teachers are aware of this and they are just waiting for a
signal from their leadership."
The call for an adjustment in
teachers' salaries follows hikes for the health and uniformed forces which in
January received 155% and 165% adjustments respectively, while teachers were
awarded only 55%.