Chinaka HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has
appeared to the country's high court in shackles, pleading for freedom after
five days in detention on treason charges.
Tsvangirai, who heads the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), appeared at the heavily-guarded Harare
court house in handcuffs, leg irons and a flimsy prison uniform as his
lawyers entered a formal bail request.
Tsvangirai was arrested on Friday
and accused of treason after the MDC organised five days of protests and work
boycotts last week that paralysed the country's battered economy.
government declared the protests an illegal attempt to topple
President Robert Mugabe. The MDC said hundreds were arrested in the
subsequent crackdown, which saw police disperse protesters with tear gas,
water cannon and rifle butts.
With Tsvangirai -- the most potent
political challenger Mugabe has faced in his 23 years in power -- in
shackles, lead defence lawyer George Bizos accused police of undermining his
client's dignity by dressing him as a prisoner.
"We submit that it is
contrary to practice in all advanced administrations of justice we know of
that persons who have not been convicted are brought to court in prison
garb," he said.
High Court Justice Susan Mavangira ruled Tsvangirai
should be allowed to change. He later appeared in the courtroom dressed in a
business suit, looking tired but nodding to MDC supporters who packed the
chamber for a hearing which could drag on through Thursday.
POLICE GUARD COURT HOUSE
Armed police patrolled around the High Court,
directly opposite Mugabe's presidential offices, and riot police in helmets
and shields and armoured police trucks were stationed behind the court
Tsvangirai already faces a possible death sentence in a
separate treason trial for an alleged plot to kill Mugabe in 2002. One
co-accused in that trial, MDC Secretary-General Welshman Ncube, was released
on Tuesday after prosecutors dropped fresh treason charges against
The state pressed its charges against Tsvangirai, however, and on
Tuesday he was ordered held for another month unless granted bail by the High
The MDC launched last week's protests as a "final push" against
Mugabe, whom they accuse of political repression, economic mismanagement and
rigging his re-election in polls last year that several Western governments
Zimbabwe, once a regional economic star, has tipped
into disaster with inflation riding above 260 percent, soaring unemployment
and critical shortages of food and fuel.
Mugabe blames the crisis on
former colonial power Britain and the United States, both of which have
condemned him for seizing white-owned farms for distribution to landless
In a sign the government intends to maintain its tough line,
officials have warned they may strip the licences of six companies that
followed last week's MDC boycott, turning them over to "patriotic" new owners
and expelling expatriate staff. They have not named the firms targeted.
ANALYSIS June 11, 2003 Posted to the web June 11,
Tandayi Motsi Harare
JOHN Mutizwi (45) of Harare has been
spending the past four days in a bank queue in order to withdraw about $80
000 to meet the monthly needs of his family.
This is because the
building society, which he banks with, is offering maximum withdrawal limits
of up to $20 000 per individual per day owing to the cash
Mr Mutizwi is not alone in facing such a predicament as
thousands of other Zimbabweans are daily enduring long hours of queuing to
access their money from the banks.
Thus, the shortage of bank notes
has resulted in some Zimbabweans who are bearing the brunt of the crisis in
lambasting those who are holding onto the money while urging the Government
to investigate the issue.
Many people are wondering what has really gone
wrong in the banking sector.
The crisis was first experienced in the
country last December when most banks ran out of 500-dollar bills. The
banking sector attributed this shortage to high demand and the shortage of
However, the shortage of bank notes re-surfaced in
April following the three-day mass stay-away organised by the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions in protest against the fuel price
To date the cash crisis has worsened inconveniencing thousands
of people who are spending productive time queuing in order to access banking
The situation has resulted in some banks limiting maximum
withdrawals to $20 000 while some have temporarily suspended Zimswitch ATM
services, which allow clients from a different bank to use an ATM from
On the other hand, some bank tellers are now cashing-in on
the shortage by demanding "commission" for processing withdrawals that are
above the stipulated $20 000 per individual per day.
there are allegations that if one wants to withdraw $1 million some bank
tellers are demanding about $100 000 as "commission" to process the
Due to the scarcity of the bank notes many people end up paying
the "commission" although being aware that this is tantamount to day
The shortage of notes is so critical that some banks
have resorted to buying them from foreign currency traders who normally have
large sums of money in local currency at hand.
have been advanced as to why there is a shortage of bank notes.
shortage has largely been attributed to the high rate of inflation now pegged
at 269,2 percent, as this requires people to move around with large amounts
of money to buy basic commodities.
It is also indeed true that due to the
fuel crisis thousands of motorists have now resorted to keeping large sums of
money with the view to buy fuel on the black market, thus compounding the
shortage of notes.
There have also been reports that some wholesalers,
chain supermarkets and other companies have not been banking their takings
but stashing the money elsewhere.
Last Saturday, the police in Harare
acting on a tip-off pounced on a company and recovered $40 million stashed in
The owner of the company said he was keeping the money on behalf
of a leading group of supermarkets.
On the same day the police also
recovered $50 million from motorists at a roadblock along the road to
Beitbridge as operations to crack down on people hoarding bank notes
Furthermore, some people have blamed the cash crisis on
illegal foreign currency dealers who are allegedly stashing large amounts of
cash at home instead of circulating it into the market.
by the police have revealed that large sums of money were being withdrawn
from banks for illegal purposes like buying foreign currency on the black
Illegal buying and selling of foreign currency was rampant in
border towns such as Beitbridge and Mutare.
The Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe estimates that nearly $200 billion in cash was not finding its way
back into the country's official banking system, with some people preferring
to keep cash stashed in their homes or offices.
There have been also
numerous reports that most of the bank notes were being held in neighbouring
countries such as Mozambique and Zambia where there were many
The Mozambican traders pay Zimbabweans who go to Manica and
Chimoio in Mozambique to sell their goods with new crisp Zimbabwean notes
since the Mozambican currency is not convertible here.
injecting the money into the main stream market the Zimbabwean traders in
turn change their money into United States dollars as a way of enhancing
their profits and the vicious circle continues.
As a way of dealing with
the cash crisis the central bank recently said it would inject $24 billion in
$500 notes into the market by mid this month.
Out-going RBZ governor Dr
Leonard Tsumba said that a subsidiary of the central bank, Fidelity Printers
had already taken delivery of 500 000 sheets of money paper that was being
used to print additional notes.
He said arrangements for the introduction
of the new $1 000 note at the end of November were now at an advanced
Dr Tsumba attributed the shortage of bank notes to several reasons
that included high demand, emergence of a shadow economy, speculation on
the parallel market and externalisation of local currency to
neighbouring countries as well as socio-political factors such as
The central bank, Dr Tsumba said, had the capacity to print
sufficient notes only that it was caught unaware by the huge demand for cash
that precipitated the crisis.
However, some economists have welcomed
the move by the RBZ to inject $24 billion into the market while others are
skeptical that the move would fuel the inflation rate.
economic consultant Dr Samuel Undenge applauded the move by the RBZ to print
more money, saying this would satisfy the demand for cash.
of $24 billion into the market will not fuel inflation but this will instead
satisfy the demand for cash in the market," he said.
the market with the cash the next move will be stimulating production as a
way of arresting the inflation."
The RBZ, Dr Undenge said should be
pro-active and not resort to crisis management.
He said the cash
crisis partly emanated from the high inflation rate compounded by the fact
that the central bank had not been printing more money to satisfy the rising
"Some people are now exploiting the situation by holding onto
large sums of money," he said.
However, another economist Mr Nyasha
Chasakara said although the injection of the $24 billion into the market
would go a long way in easing the cash crisis the move would not curb the
"The whole issue hinges on inflation management
and not injecting more cash into the circulation system," he said.
Chakasara said the other option was to introduce high denomination bills like
the $1 000 or $2 000 notes as this would make it easier for people dealing
with large sums of money.
He commended the move by Cargill, a cotton
company, that recently introduced $10 000 denomination bearer cheques to
alleviate the shortage of bank notes being experienced.
"We need such
kind of innovations in dealing with the cash crisis in these trying times,"
Under the Cargill new scheme, farmers who deliver their cotton
were being issued with this cash instrument which they could use to purchase
products from outlets owned by Cargill.
The bearer cheques were a
legal tender and were being accepted at many outlets that included Standard
Chartered Bank, Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe, Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, Farm
and City Centre, Red Star, Power Sales and many other discerning
The only risk about the Cargill scheme is that should the holder
loose the cheque, anyone can cash it.
There is no doubt that there is
an urgent need for all stakeholders to deal with the cash crisis since the
longer it takes to deal with the issue the more harm is done to the
as Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change called for protests
to bring down the government of Robert Mugabe, student activist Tinashe
Chimedza became convinced that the security services were looking for
him. Fearing he would be tortured if he was caught, he went into hiding
and has been moving from place to place.
After a week on the
run, he spoke to BBC News Online.
"I was responsible, with other
guys, for setting up MDC student action committees at universities. The
police and the [security services] knew me," he said.
addressed a rally at the University of Zimbabwe on 2 June, at the beginning
of a planned week of protests to demand Mr Mugabe's resignation.
"The police started picking people up and interrogating them. They had a
list, and my name was at the top of it," he said.
members of parliament and student activists were arrested by the army, Mr
"The military told them they were looking for me,"
Following a similar tip from the Zimbabwe Daily News, he
decided on 5 June to go into hiding.
"This was not the first
time the police have come looking for me. I was afraid that if I am arrested,
I will be tortured by the police," he said.
"I had no option but
to go underground."
On the move
He says he has been
staying with various friends, moving from place to place every night or
But, he says, he has managed to continue working while on the
"For the past two or three days the students' law council has
been compiling affidavits of people who have been beaten, and sending them
to human rights groups including Amnesty International," he told BBC
Mr Chimedza has been helping with the
dossiers, which, he says, include details of when and how students were
assaulted and photographs.
But such work is not what he specialises
in, which is trying to link activists with the MDC.
"I am not
able to work at the level I want to because I am so restricted. When I am in
hiding, I do more administrative work - more paperwork," he said with a
He said he was not disheartened by the failure of last
week's protests to bring down Mr Mugabe.
"It's a process," he
said, adding that the demonstrations were the first in Zimbabwean history
specifically to call for the resignation of the government.
course the government was able to put down some of the marches," he
"But now people know what type of machinery the government
has - tanks, water cannons. They won't be intimidated next time," he
"The MDC has broken the taboo that there is no party that
can challenge Zanu-PF," he said. "This is the beginning of the
'Zim must sort itself out' 11/06/2003 14:56 -
Geneva - President Thabo Mbeki on Wednesday said it was up to
Zimbabwe's leadership to tackle the country's internal political strife
No foreign countries would be able to solve
Zimbabwe's problems, he told reporters on the fringes of a meeting of the
International Labour Organisation (ILO) here.
"The solution of the
problems of Zimbabwe really lies in the hands of the Zimbabwe leadership," he
Mbeki and his Nigerian counterpart, Olusegun Obasanjo, had sought
to revive talks between President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African
National Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) and the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) last month.
The dialogue later appeared to
Mbeki did not mention MDC leader Morgan Tsangvirai, who
appeared in court in Harare on Wednesday on treason charges resulting from
anti-government protests last week, and said he had no idea what impact the
protests would have.
"I don't think that making particular statements
in public is going to find a solution to this problem," Mbeki
President Mugabe rules over a country of about 13 million
people plagued by political instability, a land crisis and a devastated
economy. The opposition blames him for the state's woes, while Mugabe blames
an international conspiracy led by former colonial power Britain.
JOHANNESBURG, 11 Jun 2003 (IRIN) - The outlook for children caught
up in Southern Africa's humanitarian crisis is especially bleak.
addition to continued worries about their food security, at least
four million children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS, with
child-headed households bearing the brunt of the crisis.
UNICEF report on the southern African crisis said that in the absence of
adult caregivers, these children are particularly vulnerable to exploitation,
abuse and HIV infection. The crisis was also reflected in the deterioration
of a previous improvement in child malnutrition rates.
registered the highest number of orphans in the world, while in Swaziland the
numbers of orphans are estimated to have doubled between 2000 and 2002. In
Zimbabwe, girls, especially those from child-headed households, have been
forced into commercial sex, early marriage or child labour, as a means of
survival, the report said.
A recent UNICEF nutrition review showed that
nutritional status was worse among children who are orphaned, and the current
HIV/AIDS pandemic would directly and indirectly increase child
In addition to concern about the impact of HIV/AIDS, UNICEF
was also working to prevent children from dropping out of school due to food
shortages. It was supporting school feeding programmes, providing school
materials and rehabilitating water and sanitation facilities throughout the
A survey conducted in Zambia in October last year found drop-out
rates as high as 40 percent in the drought-affected Southern province. To
counter this, UNICEF and its partners, including the World Food Programme and
the Ministry of Education, are starting a pilot project combining
school feeding, water and sanitation rehabilitation, HIV/AIDS education
and life-skills training.
In Mozambique, considered one of the
worst-off countries, educational kits have been provided for 240,000 children
and 6,200 teachers in drought-affected districts. Up to 60 water points will
be installed in Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia provinces in the centre of
These measures are in addition to supplementary and
therapeutic feeding programmes reaching 80,000 women and children under the
age of five, and a new partnership agreement which will expand the programme
to nursing mothers and almost 200,000 children aged under five, UNICEF
World Economic Forum On Africa Opens Delia Robertson 11 Jun
2003, 16:22 UTC
A study into economic competitiveness in Africa has
found that Botswana has the best prospects for economic growth on the
continent. The results of the study were released at the annual Africa
meeting of the World Economic Forum in South Africa's eastern port city,
The study found that Botswana was the least corrupt and the best
in abiding by contracts and the rule of law on the continent. Also rated
highly were Tunisia and Gambia.
Africa's richest country, South
Africa, slid into fourth place in this year's study, its rating brought down
by perceived costs of organized crime in the country.
The ratings are
based on a survey conducted among business leaders who respond to questions
about the quality of the environment in which they conduct their
Fiona Power, an economist with the World Economic Forum,
told South African national radio the business leaders are questioned on
their impressions of corruption, adherence to contractual obligations and the
rule of law.
She says, "We basically looked at two dimensions, contracts
and law and corruption. Under contracts and law we look at four variables:
the independence of the judiciary, the neutrality of the government when
making decision, the costs of organized crime, and financial property and
assets are clearly delineated and protected in law. Under the area of
corruption, we look at the pervasiveness of irregular payments in three
areas: one is export and import permits, and irregular payments in terms of
tax payments, and then irregular payments for connection to public
Zimbabwe was rated 16th out of 21 African countries surveyed,
with its judiciary seen as the least independent. Nigeria and Chad were at
the bottom of the list. The public institutions in both countries were rated
the worst in Africa
Judges to be used as witnesses in Judge Blackie
11/06/03 By Naomi Rovnick
Fergie Blackie, the retired judge arrested in Zimbabwe last year
for allegedly attempting to ‘defeat the course of justice’, is facing trial
at the end of this month.
Judge Blackie’s trial is set for 30
June in the Harare Magistrates’ Court.
The state is likely to
call three other judges as witnesses. The UN has already condemned the Mugabe
regime for stating that it would call judges as witnesses in the similar case
of Mr Justice Paradza, a Zimbabwean judge arrested for allegedly breaching
the Prevention of Corruption Act in January this year.
International Bar Association has expressed outrage at the Zimbabwean
practice of arresting disfavoured judges, which it sees as an attempt by
Mugabe to destroy the independence of the judiciary.
that there is very little substance to these charges and that the trial has
been brought as an attempt to embarrass Justice Blackie,” said Judge
Blackie’s advocate Firoz Girach.
Last June, the Mugabe regime
arrested Sternford Moyo and Wilbert Mapombere, respectively the president and
executive secretary of the Zimbabwe Law Society, for allegedly possessing
Zimbabweans flock to Moz for fuel Posted Wed, 11 Jun
Scores of Zimbabweans facing serious commodity shortages at home
have been streaming into neighbouring Mozambique to buy fuel and other
provisions, a provincial governor said on Wednesday.
landlocked southern African country, has been experiencing severe economic
hardships and political tensions. There are shortages of fuel and basic
commodities, as well as foreign currency.
"We have seen many Zimbabweans
coming to buy fuel and other supplies in our province in recent weeks given
the deteriorating situation in that neighbouring state," the governor of
Mozambique's Manica province, Soares Nhaca told AFP.
He said the extra
demand for fuel by Zimbabweans had caused a shortage locally in Manica
province, but the problem would be resolved.
Mozambique, which is a
coastal country, imports its fuel supplies from the Middle East. Unlike
Zimbabwe it has the hard cash to pay its bills.
Mozambique's state daily
Noticias last week quoted a local government official as saying Zimbabweans
were looting fuel in Manica province, but this was dismissed by
"The Zimbabweans have made normal purchases that any driver would
make and there has not been anything extraordinary," he said.
economic situation in Zimbabwe has worsened in recent months, with the annual
rate of inflation now officially reported to be at 269 percent.
to changes that have been forced upon farmers and their families, there has
been a shift in the role and responsibilities of the ladies "farmers wives".
In order to help identify and address these issues we invite you all to
attend the following meeting to be held at Art farm.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman June 5, 2003
BY PHILIP T. REEKER, DEPUTY SPOKESMAN
Zimbabwe: Crackdown on
The United States strongly condemns the Zimbabwean
government's suppression of its citizens' efforts to protest peacefully their
country's economic collapse and human rights abuses. As it did in March, the
Government of Zimbabwe has responded to peaceful attempts at public protest
this week with an ongoing wave of intolerance and brutality. While the
opposition's calls for a work stoppage succeeded in closing most shops and
businesses, its efforts to organize peaceful marches were broken up with tear
gas and beatings.
Throughout the week, once-apolitical police and army
services have arrested hundreds of opposition supporters, often detaining
them in squalid conditions without charge. Among those arrested have been
several members of parliament and the mayor of Zimbabwe's second-largest
city, Bulawayo. Many of those detained are being denied access to lawyers,
families, medical care, and even food. The leader of the opposition was also
briefly detained on June 2.
Dozens of Zimbabweans have sought medical
treatment for injuries suffered from beatings by security agents, including
war veterans and youth brigades integrated into police and army forces. One
opposition supporter was seized from a private home along with an elected
Harare Councilor, and was beaten to death. Security forces raided a private
clinic where 30 to 40 opposition supporters were seeking treatment. Numerous
patients were interrogated in the clinic. Two people were abducted from near
the clinic, and their condition and whereabouts remain unknown.
United States calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to allow peaceful protest,
cease human rights abuses, reverse its disastrous economic policies, and
restore the rule of law.
We strongly urge political forces, including the
ruling ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, to
enter into unconditional dialogue on an urgent basis to address the political
and economic crisis afflicting the nation.
The international community
must continue to defend human rights and political reform in Zimbabwe.
Concerted and sustained action by African states, in particular, is vital to
achieving political change and economic recovery in Zimbabwe.
In response to your very pertinent questions, I have
the following to comment on.
1. It is clear that the current regime
are simply using the whole question about" land reform " as political gimmick
to retain political power at any cost and to confuse the overseas liberal
press. It does not suit them to engage in any form of meaningful dialogue,
they want chaos to continue to smoke screen their real intent, power at any
2. There is role for commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe
(economically it makes sense to have economy of scale in production) The
principle of reverting everything to small-scale farming is against the
entire world trend. There is no future for peoples whose aim is retrogressing
back to the principles of shifting cultivation. There is NOT enough land to
follow this practice, just look at the population pressures of 1910 and
3. The C.F.U are guilty of "short term" thinking (clouded brains)
in believing that they can negotiate with a nine headed snake, look at
their failed efforts with Made and company a short while ago.
ZTA are interested in trying to maintain some presence with the world's
international Tobacco buyers, thru small-scale production. But with small
time farmers under huge inflationary economic pressures and the financial
planning required, they really need large-scale
5. Farmers who remain in production right now
need to be carefully sorted out, between those who survive by "collaboration"
(who have been simply "allowed" to escape the net) Financially there are many
motivated by sheer greed, who have benefited enormously by feeding on those
poor unfortunate farmers who had no choice but abandon their
Many Nazi collaborators in France were simply executed by
the common folk, after Hitler's Third Reich collapsed.
6. Any future
Zimbabwe constitution must contain a multitude of safeguards to security of
Tenure. All land must be brought before an elected independent " Land
commission" to ensure that those who intend to farm it correctly, are given
the opportunity to hold title over that land. This must include ALL land
currently held under the auspices of "Tribal Trust land". The Chiefs/Headmen
have shown very little responsibility towards their subjects in recent times,
they have easily swayed by political bribery to follow this illegal regime
(to the ultimate detriment of their peoples/and the
Land must be taken care of and farmed for our
I sometimes think that the
CFU and especially the ZTA have lost their marbles. Who cares (not Africa or
the world?) if there are no farmers left. Its time they woke up to the fact
its history. Let's claim what we can. Did you watch S.A. Africa last
night?? True opinion "Zim is the only country who has had the guts to do
what Africans would like to do", (very rough quote interpretation!) Tobacco
industry buying tobacco from thieves who have not paid for their farms
equipment etc. Never a word from ZTA who have in their dubious hands all the
farmers money. Who will inherit this?? Few guesses??
Why is ZTA not
put into mothballs and the new farmers start their own association. New broom
sweeps clean but not with "our Money"!!!!
We might have left but the hurt
and anger and frustration never leaves as our hearts are still in our beloved
country and with the people who have some integrity trying to
A word of advice. If you want to keep me quiet, NEVER
send out a questionnaire. I always answer.
Dialogue with Government -
Dialogue with the Present Government - do they attend
meetings, and do they ever keep their word?
ZTA being for small scale
producers - will ZTA become a small-scale organisation run by
Small-scale tobacco production - no knowledge, no comment. But if
tobacco was the backbone of the export economy, I believe that the
small-scale sector cannot pull the economy out of the doldrums - especially
if they do not have a free source of seedlings next season.
still in production the only ones eligible for the rebuilding of Commercial
Agriculture - isn't that a bit of a tall order? I heard there are only 443
of us. Shucks are the "freeloaders" (not my term) going to carry on sitting
As a producing farmer with no connections, it is apparent that
we are totally incapable of:
a) supplying the country's needs b)
keeping the farm based retail sector alive (and I do not think the small
scale sector can either) c) maintaining the Union body, whichever, d) its
Role of commercial agriculture - its the only way to
rebuild a stable economy, with guaranteed food supplies, and maybe (just
maybe) the businesses will realise this time that we are quite useful (ugly,
but useful). Maybe we can clean up our image also.
A policy of
security through good political connections - don't have any, can't tell, but
if the AIDS statistics are true could be a bit dodgy, as your connections are
only as good as his health.
Should security of tenure be enshrined in the
constitution? Well do we want to stay out here with North Korea, Burma and
The Land programme was not an attack on property ownership. It was
a racist political attack on a perceived political power base of
JAG should have an AGM, in a low class venue, no cocktail
party to prove a point - and "freeloaders" welcome. They are the most
valuable and experienced members of our community.
(1) Dialogue....who do you talk to? It has
been proven that you can't talk to Made. The Governors all have different
ideas. The w/v's all do their own thing. Jonathan Moyo will never give you a
straight answer and the other Ministers haven't a clue anyway. The only
person who can resolve the problem is Mugabe himself. He started the ball
rolling and the rest are just kicking it about. There are no rules .....you
just make them up as you go along and change them when you need to score
again. That is what it's all about ....Mugabe was trying to "score" with the
electorate by playing his two age old trump cards: Race and Land.
didn't realise that twenty years down the line the people as a whole
no longer subscribed to liberationist politics. If, ever, you manage
to "dialogue" with Mugabe are you going to relinquish the moral
high-ground and make compromises? You cannot get him to the negotiating table
without concessions and that would be morally reprehensible. Nobody must be
allowed to profit by criminal actions. This would create a precedent and
justify the culture of criminal violence that is ZANU PF.
that we must brave this thing out. We don't have to be totally intransigent,
we can listen and we can talk but we must never compromise honesty and
integrity. Future generations of Zimbabweans depend on this. I don't believe
dialogue is the answer. We must use all our initiative and ingenuity to keep
going and sit this out. We can do it. The reality of the situation and the
pressures produced will sooner rather than later bring THEM to us.
Continued dialogue.....? This sounds as though there is already dialogue. As
I have said, pressures and reason will eventually prevail, and farmers will
be asked to farm again. Any meaningful dialogue will probably not be with
Mugabe or his cronies. In which case Govt. would be prepared to write
guarantees into the Constitution. Don't look to Mugabe or ZANU PF
for solutions. The only way they can play a part is by liquidating their
vast assets to compensate Zimbabweans for their losses.
(3) I am not a
tobacco producer but I would have thought that in a free enterprise situation
market forces would determine the optimum production system.
to the above.
Haven't we just seen what damage can be done to a
country/industry if you try to control things instead of letting economic
factors/market forces determine what is best.
(5) This is RUBBISH.
Everyone who can play a part must play a part. Why deprive yourself of
(6) Future role of Commercial Agriculture...? If we are
to feed ourselves and if the country is to develop as a whole Commercial
Agriculture is a must. Remember "No Farmers No Future". Everything depends on
a viable agricultural industry. We were once the envy of the rest of Africa
and we can do it again.
(7) Political connections.....? NO ! This is
patronage and part of the Communist/ZANU PF culture. It makes for corruption
and instability and suppresses progress.
(8)Land tenure must be
provided for/enshrined in the constitution. We have witnessed what can happen
if it is not.
(9) Statement ref. "land problem"......The "exercise" was
carried out to win votes/elections. Mugabe was resorting to the tactics that
won him the "war" and brought him to power.......he hoped to gain mileage by
being seen to be whipping the white man. Willing buyer-willing seller deals
are too civilized. To impress the povo you have to make a show of power.
Every time there was a Party Congress or election threats were made about
land and the whites were accused of spurning reconciliation and being
confrontational. The old land Act was fine for over 10 years, but in 1992
amid much fanfare it was replaced by new legislation. In 1998 the Govt. made
a big thing of the "Donors' Conference". When things got tough again Mugabe
made land a major issue in the new constitution. There was no real reason to
change except to stir up the old animosity. Unfortunately this time by
involving the w/v's Mugabe opened Pandora's Box. In the past he could control
things but this time he hasn't been able to get the lid back on.( I guess you
know that in mythology when Pandora's Box was opened all the ills of
mankind were released with only Hope remaining.) Two years ago at a
Shangani Farmers' Association meeting I stated that even if we asked the
Govt. to give us the ten, twenty or even hundred points that we had to meet
to make the problem go away and we actually managed to comply nothing would
change. The only event that would have defused the situation was for the
people to support Mugabe. Then he would have closed the lid on the box and
put it away for another time. The problem would in effect still be hanging
over us. In a sense we are better off today in that the problem has run
its course and when we emerge at the end the nation will be stronger for it.
In the evolution of the country we have to shed that culture of
patronage, violence and corruption nurtured by Mugabe and ZANU
(10) AGM....to facilitate information.....? We would be very
ill-informed if information and ideas had to wait for an AGM to make
themselves public. This is not to say that an AGM would be a waste of time.
It is good to get together from time to time even if it's only to meet the
people at the end of these e-mails.
In closing....I enjoy your
communications and I enjoy the stand you are making. Keep up the spirit - it
keeps our spirits
Here with the prompt reply from the C.F.U regarding my
queries about the Farming Oscar, Will this reply satisfy the concern of those
who have been writing to the open letter forum? If not, let nobody be shy
about telling the world why not. Perhaps we should nominate one of our fellow
farmer heroes who died trying to remain on his own property to continue
farming and producing food for the benefit of ALL Zimbabweans, and my
nomination goes to my old friend Martin Olds.
----- Original Message ----- From: CFU VP & DD To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent:
Tuesday, June 10, 2003 8:20 AM Subject: RE: Farming Oscar
In response to your query about the Farming Oscar, please note
that anyone is eligible - the Oscar is recognition of an individual's service
to agriculture in the country and that is the main criterion for
I have forwarded your email to Paul
Barnes Vice Presidents' PA Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe P O
Box WGT 390 Westgate Harare Tel: 04-309800 Fax:
Unlike Jean Simon I am in complete agreement with Sally
with regards to the Farming Oscars. When will Zimbabwean Farmers stop acting
like Ostriches and burying their heads in the ground?
You guys are an
endangered species and are under attack. Stop pretending or hoping its not
going to happen, just because it has not stopped you yet. To hold the Oscars
under prevailing conditions is perverse and totally insensitive to those
farmers driven from their land. It also gives Mugabe and his bunch of
dribbling sycophants much pleasure to see up to what point Farmers can be
toyed with. Enough is Enough! If you can farm, and are prepared to gamble
with loosing all your inputs and labour, well and good. Do it, but do it for
yourselves and not for any nobler cause. You are under attack and survival
instincts must prevail.
Zimbabwean Farmers have borne the brunt of
ZANU-PF's Mad correction of past injustice whilst Commerce and Industry kept
a low profile hoping it would pass by. Only recently has this section of the
community and Zimbabweans in general shown resistance to Mugabe's insanity.
Could it be because they are now feeling the direct effects of incompetent
policies? If you wish to celebrate your tenacity please do so. But do it in a
way that does not pretend nothing has happened. A person who is raped can and
must put it behind them, and continue with their life, but don't let anyone
trivialise the invasion of ones body. In the same way I believe holding the
Oscars under prevailing conditions makes triviality of those who have lost
STOP THE OSCAR'S and any other celebration which would take
place under normal circumstances, like Agricultural shows and open days. When
things return to normal there will be plenty of time to have them. In the
meantime concentrate on survival, and take enjoyment from the important
pleasures of life like family and
Congratulations, JAG, on your First Birthday! Many
happy returns of your day - for all of us - who are indebted to your courage,
pro-active strategy and rapid, vigorous tactics especially with regard to
finding an avenue to compensation.
Below is Mr Leon's statement today. He continuously raises the
Zimbabwean crisis in Parliament and is currently working on a roadmap through
which the current stalemate can be resolved. SA TODAY
Prompted by the
surging violence and state repression in Zimbabwe this week, I sought and
held a meeting with the Acting President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, earlier
this week to discuss the collapsing situation in our northern neighbour.
While the ANC and the Democratic Alliance believe that there should be a
democratic dialogue in Zimbabwe, we differ fundamentally on the means to
achieve that result. However, part of the problem with South Africa's
involvement, or lack of effectiveness in Zimbabwe is the continuing
mischaracterisation of the situation there by our President.President Thabo
Mbeki came forward last week with a strident defense of Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe in an article in The Guardian (UK) entitled "Don't blame Mugabe
for everything" (29 May 2003). His words were reprinted around the world.
This brazen apology for tyranny tears to shreds any illusions the world may
have had about the effectiveness of President Mbeki's policy of "quiet
diplomacy." In reality, quiet diplomacy has meant silent-and now
open-approval.President Mbeki's analysis of the crisis in Zimbabwe is full of
evasions and half-truths. Nowhere in his article does he ever mention abuses
of human rights or the destruction of democracy. He ignores President
Mugabe's virulent racism and blames London for any "racist notions" that
might exist in Zimbabwe.He is at great pains to convince the world that
Zimbabwe's crisis is economic, not political. But Zimbabwe's economic
problems are the result of its political malaise, not the other way around.
In his article, President Mbeki cites economic data from the first decade of
Zimbabwe's freedom. But he says nothing about the precipitous economic
collapse in the three years since President Mugabe began his violent land
seizures and brutal oppression of the political opposition and the media.
President Mbeki's prescription is that President Mugabe and his political
opponents should "sit down together to agree on a common response to the
challenges their country faces." But President Mugabe has set an unacceptable
condition for dialogue-namely, that the Movement for Democratic Change
recognise him as the victor of the rigged elections of 2002. The irony here
is that President Mbeki's own party, the African National Congress, refused
to accept the apartheid government's offers of "power sharing" arrangements
because these were-rightly-perceived as attempts to perpetuate minority rule.
There is a further irony in President Mbeki writing in a London newspaper
that the solution to Zimbabwe's problems must come "from the people of
Zimbabwe themselves." The anti-apartheid movement, as President Mbeki is well
aware, was vigorously active outside South Africa's borders and received
critical support from overseas. Back then, the ANC rejected the notion that
South Africa should solve its problems in isolation. Yet it rushes to embrace
that false premise today with regard to Zimbabwe. In one respect, President
Mbeki is right. We should not blame President Mugabe for everything. We
should also blame his cronies and his sympathisers abroad. President Mbeki
falls decisively among the latter. He walked hand-in-hand with President
Mugabe after last year's faulty elections, which a Commonwealth report said
were not free and fair but which the South African government
declared "legitimate." Last December, he embraced Emmerson Mnangagwa,
President Mugabe's heir apparent, who headed the Central Intelligence
Organisation during the 1982-87 Matabeleland massacres and was recently named
in a United Nations report as the "architect" of the Zimbabwean army's
campaign of plunder in the Democratic Republic of Congo. More than anyone
else, President Mbeki has had the political leverage to push for
democratic change in Zimbabwe. And he, as much as anyone else, must bear the
blame for the mess that has resulted from his inaction.In my meeting with
Acting President Zuma, I expressed the DA's concerns about the overwhelming
force which the Zimbabwe government has used to meet the current protest
and stay-away action by the opposition in Zimbabwe.I requested that
the observance of basic human rights and democratic norms by the
Zimbabwe government, in accord with its obligations under NEPAD and the
Constitutive Act of the African Union, be observed and communicated.And I
also presented the Deputy President with a report prepared by the Zimbabwe
Research Initiative which estimates conservatively that the crisis in
Zimbabwe has cost the South African economy R15-billion over the last three
years, equivalent to 1,3% of our Gross Domestic Product. The report adds that
the crisis has also caused job losses in the range of 20 000 to 30 000,
and that 1 500 Zimbabwean refugees are crossing into South Africa every
day, adding to the economic burden. The Democratic Alliance firmly believes
that considerable pressure needs to be placed on President Mugabe in order
to achieve the South African government's objective of the restoration
of democracy, the rule of law and economic normalcy.I have suggested to
the Deputy President that a 'road map' approach be considered in respect
of Zimbabwe, whereby both the government and the opposition in that
country would commit themselves to a series of clear, parallel goals. These
would include the formation of an interim government, the approval of a
new constitution and the holding of new democratic elections within
a reasonably short time frame.In the coming days, the Democratic
Alliance will develop this proposal further. We are convinced that the
ANC government's vacuous calls for "dialogue" are not enough. South Africa
must put forth a concrete plan for restoring democracy in Zimbabwe and
must pursue it firmly. The DA's "road map to democracy in Zimbabwe" may be
On June 4th Zimbabwe was brought to a standstill
as the Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) called for a stay away: a mass
general strike. On that day the MDC's president Tsvangarai was arrested, one
person was killed and many were beaten by pro-Mugabe forces. Below is a
report from Zimbabwean writer and activist Hopewell Gumbo.
a report of June 4th's activities read Zimbabwe brought to a standstill by
Basildon Peta, and for a good introduction to the issue read Zimbabwe Lurches
Towards A Paupers Burial By Patrick Bond
The MDC called
stay away and marches is almost over and many questions are being asked on
what to do next after the short intercourse with the wrath of the state. Stay
aways have been there before and this one, the “final push” as it was dubbed
by the MDC leadership, was called for, at least to the general public, a week
or few days before the action.
This was done mainly through the
opposition newspapers, the Independent papers, and through the MDC middle
structures. On the first day, the 2nd of June, masses were supposed to march
from designated areas in major towns and in the capital; and end at the state
house. The MDC leader had been on a nationwide tour of the country in the
last few weeks garnering support for the action, but had not been open enough
to try and empower the general citizenry in the process through the civic
groups and residents associations as done in other successful mass struggles
before. Civic society came only in the form of press statements. Students
were involved but in a terribly unorganized form. Virtually no campus except
some incidences at the University of Zimbabwe, joined on the first
In the mean time the state machinery was being mobilized to
get ready for the march, which was viewed as one to topple a
“legitimate” government. The ruling party activists with the war veterans and
the trained youth from a national service program being the chief party
defenders assembled from all over the country. The police force was put on
high alert and the army put on standby with a few soldiers manning the high
population locations and town sections. Battle lines had been drawn for the
“final push” coming a few weeks after two “successful” stay aways organized
by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the MDC and the bosses
section of the MDC.
There were high expectations from all
sections of the pro MDC society with the president of the party having called
for mass action, an option that the middle class and bourgeoisie section of
the party had for a long time refused to take. The president of the party was
under attack at the first anniversary of the party when he said that “ the
president must go peacefully. If he does not want we will remove him
But, much to the disillusionment of many, the
president of the party was arrested early morning on the day of the intended
march. He was released later, but the signs of the crashed action were
visible for everybody to see. Soldiers and police in uniform and plain
clothes were all over the cities and residential suburbs. There was
considerable action recorded from Harare with the MDC claiming one death at
the hands of the police and the army. More reports are coming in from other
parts of the country where there is not much to write home about where a
combination of a large police presence and poor strategizing on the part of
the organizers has lead to low activity. In Bulawayo the second largest city,
most shops in the CBD were open. The army has also threatened to punish those
who closed shops. The minister of Industry and International Trade has also
threatened the same. One hopes this is not the beginning of the killing of
the uprising. The MDC issued a demoralizing statement immediately after his
release when asked by the Dailynews “Q: If the State is saying it is not
going to stop at anything to crush popular discontent, so what next? How are
you going to be able to force Mugabe either to retire or to agree to
A: Let me tell you one thing, I think people are
being over-simplistic. People are looking at just one action and they expect
it to produce change immediately. In other words, people are looking at
events that are taking place as part of the whole struggle as events that
should, on their own, deliver change. But I want to caution people with such
a simplistic view of the situation in this country that what we are engaged
in is a long struggle.
It is going to be protracted. What is
happening now are just events aimed at building the necessary confidence.
There are so many events that are going to take place in building a
successful struggle. Any struggle or process of democratic resistance is a
very protracted process and along the way there are going to be
This was contrary to the call for the final push
that the masses were calling for and the party had taken as the way forward
as well. Earlier the president, Tsvangirai had said the mass action would be
to make Mugabe see sense in the negotiations. Zimbabweans who stayed away
from work this week to demonstrate their anger at the government’s
mismanagement of the country, will wake up the next Monday to face exactly
the same problems, which have killed their nation.
crash of the mass action has disoriented the MDC and given it a rude
awakening. There is need for it to go into the drawing room to reorganize.
There is therefore a need for the civic society to be involved. The ball is
in the MDC’s court now to immediately call in the civic society and work
together in strategizing. Previously Tsvangirai had snubbed them accusing
some sections of being power hungry and seeking to pip him as the legitimate
leader of the dawning Zimbabwe. Only a united front can take the MDC from
this current dilemma and organize massive civic unrest that involves the
whole nation of progressive society.
Banking on the international
community may not deliver much for now and the collapse of this action call
may signal grave consequences for the future of the MDC and the Zimbabwean
Masses. The army who may have started to feel the changing tide will regain
confidence and the task will be harder. ZANU-PF and the state may find
themselves gaining confidence and embark on a massive reprisal as they have
already started with youth and other organizers either in hiding or in police
cells. Only the high leadership may be spared of detentions for now. It may
just signal a move by the MDC towards the talks. It will place the opposition
in a dreadful bargaining position. What Zimbabwe needs now is not a
bargaining process with the regime, but a total attack and removal of the
current government. If the MDC does not rise now in rebuilding the united
front option, it will open chances for a third force, which will be based on
bread and butter issues as the economic crisis deepens. The government has
opened up the price controls with fuel having gone up further in less than
two months. Mass struggles are therefore going to be inevitable in that
situation. The labour movement will have to remain relevant by fighting for
wages while ordinary citizens demand cheaper transport and services. Students
are yet to reorganize and put their issues back on the agenda. For how long
can the masses bear the brunt of retribution without a clear way forward? As
the opposition Dailynews said in its 5 June editorial “In deed, many
MDC supporters in vulnerable rural areas and high-density suburbs in cities
can testify that they have only reaped bitter retribution from
government supporters after each stay away called by the MDC or its Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions ally.”
The bosses will be in a
difficult position, much as the exhausted Venezuela way. We wait for the next
move for the MDC, as the left ponder on the implications of a protracted
struggle against the regime. Is it the time for revisiting the debate on the
abandoned people’s struggles into neoliberalism by the MDC? The foremost
proponent of the opposition propaganda, the Dailynews wrote in its editorial
of the 5th of June: “…. the opposition must rapidly get its act together and
focused plan that can save Zimbabwe now and not to prolong the
crisis….clearly Tsvangirai and his advisers in the MDC must know that time is
not on their side.”
The detention of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on
fresh charges of treason on Friday was an act of sheer cock-a-hoop bravado by
Robert Mugabe's regime. By arresting Tsvangirai - for inciting peaceful
protest marches which were, in any case, violently dispersed before groups of
more than a few hundred could gather - Mugabe has dared the international
community, particularly the West, to show what it can do to stop him doing
whatever he likes. Not much, he no doubt believes, while he has the sympathy
and support of South Africa.
During last week’s 5-day stayaway
called by Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, the state and the
ruling Zanu PF party spared no effort to intimidate and repress. Self styled
"war veterans" and youth militia, grouped on every street corner and in every
shopping centre, summoned truckloads of uniformed reinforcements whenever
they saw three or four people together. One man was beaten up on the steps of
Meikles Hotel in Harare where the militants arrived declaring: " We've come
to get the British." Security guards managed to slam the doors in their
faces. Passers-by in Harare city centre were made to lie on the pavement and
then whipped, as were University of Zimbabwe students on campus. Scores
were seriously injured, and it is amazing that only two people were
confirmed killed. More than 800 people were abducted or detained. In
Bulawayo, women taking food to those in cells were themselves seized and held
incommunicado. "If you are supporting these people then you must go inside
with them," a drunken CIO agent shouted at lawyers seeking access. "Don't you
know I have power to make you disappear?" The Association of Doctors for
Human Rights expressed outrage when riot police invaded a private clinic and
took away several of the 70 injured people receiving
Speaking at a state funeral on Saturday, Mugabe threatened
to expel British and American diplomats. Having spurned innumerable court
orders in the past 23 years, particularly those relating to vote rigging,
state sponsored terror, release of abductees, and most recently the expulsion
of American journalist Andrew Meldrum, Mugabe went into a fit of
self-righteous rage over the "illegality" of the June 2 - 6 campaign for his
resignation. Illegal, he maintains, because a recently appointed judge and
recipient of a seized white-owned farm had granted an injunction against the
MDC. "This week we have witnessed the MDC pandering to foreign interests,
repeatedly trying to create scenes here in the interests of the West through
so called 'Mass Action'," Mugabe said at Heroes' Acre. "… I hope the British
and United States embassies realise that, as they sponsor the MDC to
instigate it, they are doing it in order to achieve an illegal objective,
they are acting illegally on our soil. And I warn (that) their instigation
cannot be tolerated forever by my government." Britain and America, he did
not mention, are by far the largest source of famine relief funds. There
was also, of course, no mention of the up to eight million people
Most observers believe the five-day protest was
a victory "on points" for the MDC although in the face of armed troops,
tanks, helicopter gunships, and thugs who are simply above the law, the party
was never able to get mass street protests. However, the accompanying work
stayaway succeeded in bringing what is left of the economy to a standstill.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, parliamentary speaker, administrative head of Zanu PF,
and would-be heir to Mugabe, cancelled a briefing session with European Union
ambassadors last week in an apparent fit of political nerves. The regime was
clearly scared, said one EU ambassador, although the MDC has failed to muster
the necessary 10 000 - 15 000 "critical mass" in marches that might have
intimidated the security forces into standing aside. Economist Anthony
Hawkins said that while there was no sign of any solution "the government is
worse off, the momentum is with the opposition." Mugabe’s lieutenants "must
be beginning to ask 'where is this guy leading us?’ … From an economic
viewpoint one cannot see it lasting more than six months, maximum a year," he
Shortly before his arrest, Tsvangirai told a press conference
the stayaway had "sapped the morale and confidence of the Mugabe
dictatorship.’’ The mass action had succeeded in showing that Mugabe was "not
in charge of the country but marshalling the forces of repression. His power
now lies completely with a coterie of his bootlickers," said the veteran
trade unionist. During the strike more stories appeared in South African
newspaper on the lines of those planted over the past three years by
Mnangagwa's business associate Matumwa Mawere. The reports said the
"incorrigible" and "politically immature" Tsvangirai had blundered by
refusing to join a coalition with Zanu PF as the junior partner, or to
identify himself with Zanu PF "on the land issue which runs so deep among
Zimbabweans". Tsvangirai is aware this is all double speak for accepting and
endorsing the criminally corrupt pattern of patronage built up over the 23
years since independence, and condoning the long legacy human rights abuses
as the price for co-option into Mugabe's privileged elite. He knows power
gained through that route would be valueless, since it can never lead to
political or economic reform. South African newspapers suggest that President
Thabo Mbeki fears the MDC because of the precedent it would set if a
union-based opposition ousted a "liberation movement". But Zimbabweans,
Western embassies and, supremely, South Africa's rulers, need to reflect that
Zimbabwe is approaching a point when people will despair of peaceful change.
The five-day protest may have been a milestone on the journey to a civil war
that will pit bootlicker against bootlicker as civil society collapses and,
its leaders flee abroad, and only Mugabe's warlords remain to dispute the
A group of
exiled Zimbabweans, including women and children, have gone on a hunger
strike near President Thabo Mbeki's offices at the Union Buildings
in Pretoria. They have sworn to remain there until he uses his leverage
on President Robert Mugabe to have opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
released from jail. Tsvangirai is in custody on treason charges. A bail
application was due to be heard in the High Court on Wednesday. The
demonstrators, who have delivered a petition to Mbeki's office, said they
feared for Tsvangirai's life. "Several opponents of the Zimbabwean government
were killed in jail and others died shortly after leaving prison," said
Zanele Bhebhe. A spokesperson for the protesters said an official from
Mbeki's office had asked them to discontinue the strike. "We will not leave
until Mbeki helps to secure Tsvangirai's release," he vowed.
Every year, the Sunday
Times publishes a list of the wealthiest people living in Britain. Each year,
we have watched the steady climb up the ranks of John Bredenkamp, the
controversial Zimbabwean businessman. In 2001, he was 48th. The following
year, 33rd. This year, we went straight to the Sunday Times colour supplement
and worked our way down from the top - guessing that that would be quickest.
1000 names later, his name still escaped us. So we went to the Sunday Times
website, but the search facility yielded the result "Nothing Found". What
could have happened? Had he moved to healthier climes? Had he lost his
fortune? Had his lawyers been at work to keep him out of the
Mr Bredenkamp has generously sent us an
"I notice that in your website comment dated 27th April
2003 you speculate on the reasons for my disappearance from the list of
Britain's wealthiest people. You should be aware that the reason for my not
appearing on that list is somewhat self evident i.e. my present residence is
no longer in the UK and I am not a UK citizen. The focus of my business
activities at the present time is primarily Southern Africa. The fact that I
travel to the UK from time to time does not qualify me as a British citizen,
nor does it render me British-based, and accordingly I do not qualify for
inclusion in the British Rich List. I trust this explanation will