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Crisis has highlighted South Africa's weakness - The Times 23 June 2000
Opposition Candidates Flee Violence In Zimbabwe Poll - PANA - June 23, 2000
Zimbabwe Opposition Says Election Monitors Abducted - Reuters - June 23 8:02 AM ET
Zimbabwe Prepares for Volatile Vote - AP - Friday June 23 12:25 PM ET
Leader faces greatest challenge in 20 years - June 23, 2000
Electoral observers must not be silent witnesses - Amnesty International June 23, 2000
Mugabe Castigates Opposition, Britain Ahead of Poll - Friday June 23 11:29 AM ET
Mugabe Traps Opponents With Land Election Agenda - PANA - June 23, 2000

Crisis has highlighted South Africa's weakness


ONE unwelcome revelation emerging from the troubles in Zimbabwe is how ineffectually South Africa functions in the role of regional power.

Spokesmen for the South African Government continue to insist that President Mbeki's tactful diplomacy represents the most useful contribution that outsiders can make towards alleviating the situation. However, the argument is looking increasingly threadbare in the last week of electioneering.

According to the South African case, its refusal to criticise explicitly the conduct of its neighbouring Government helps to make President Mugabe more amenable to negotiation behind the scenes. Officials claim that this approach is more likely to persuade the ruling party in Harare to contest the election fairly.

South Africa also points to the recent decline in the incidence of politically-motivated murders in Zimbabwe and the slowing pace of land occupations as evidence that the policy is working. True, the death rate has fallen, but violent forms of political intimidation continue. Still politicians advocate illegal land occupations and have sanctioned the division between squatters of the farms that they have invaded. Mr Mugabe has also said that the mining industry would be the next target of redistribution.

Whoever wins the election, South Africa will have been weakened. In the event of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) forming a government, the sentiment among its leadership will be that their victory had come despite South African influence and not because of it. On the other hand, if Zanu (PF) continues in power, its leaders are likely to be more contemptuous of an ostensibly powerful neighbour that appears to have so little appetite for confrontation. Most important of all, South Africa's inability to promote orderly politics in southern Africa will undermine any claims the region may make for special consideration from external governments, donor agencies or businessmen.

Opposition Candidates Flee Violence In Zimbabwe Poll

June 23, 2000

From Rangarirai Shoko PANA Correspondent

GOKWE, Zimbabwe (PANA) - Two parliamentary candidates of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party Thursday fled their constituencies in central Zimbabwe after receiving death threats.

The country holds parliamentary elections Saturday and Sunday in which the MDC is the main rival of President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party.

An MDC official said the party's candidates for two constituencies in Gokwe fled the area following death threats allegedly from ZANU-PF members.

"ZANU-PF supporters are beating up opposition supporters in Nyaje, Tachi, Kana and Manji areas usually at night," said the official.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai Thursday appealed to his supporters throughout the country to protect party candidates from the pre-election political violence that has gripped Zimbabwe.

More than 30 people, most of them opposition members, have died in inter-party clashes by rival supporters. The MDC accuses the ruling party of waging a campaign of terror against its members, a charge ZANU-PF denies.

"We do not want ZANU-PF supporters to kill our prospective MPs and proclaim that their candidates are running unopposed. We should put adequate measures to protect those who will represent us in the next government," said Tsvangirai.

The pre-election violence has calmed down in recent days after international observers deployed in most parts of the country to monitor the conduct of the polls.

Zimbabwe Opposition Says Election Monitors Abducted

Friday June 23 8:02 AM ET - By Barry Moody

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's opposition said on Friday 14 of its election monitors had been abducted in new violence on the eve the most crucial poll since independence 20 years ago.

As President Robert Mugabe prepared to make a final pitch for votes at rallies seen as a key indicator of his strength ahead of the poll, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) reported new incidents in the violence-scarred campaign.

A spokesman for the MDC, the main opposition party, told Reuters the 14 members assigned as monitors had been abducted on Thursday night from towns and villages around Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo. A polling station had also been burned down.

``We don't know where they have been taken. But we are now conducting searches for them,'' the spokesman said.

``They are targeting polling agents because it then makes it easier to rig the elections in the absence of our polling agents,'' MDC legal secretary David Coltart told Reuters.

The MDC said a polling station in the village of Mataga, southeast of Bulawayo, had been burned down by suspected members of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

Police were not available for comment.

Around 30 people, mostly MDC supporters, have died in political violence linked to the elections and the invasions of hundreds of white-owned farms by pro-government militants since February. The violence and intimidation have been strongly condemned by international election monitors.

Mugabe Rally Has Tepid Start

Mugabe's first rally, in his home town of Chinhoyi, had not started more than an hour after schedule, with only a few thousand people in place. Buses were still arriving with supporters.

Mugabe, who needs a strong turnout to boost ZANU-PF morale ahead of this weekend's election, had not arrived.

The tepid start to Mugabe's final rallies contrasted with an ecstatic welcome for MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai on a tour of Mbare township on the outskirts of Harare.

Thousands of cheering, dancing supporters mobbed Tsvangirai as he strolled through the sprawling shanty town.

``You can see from their faces and their reaction that the people want change,'' he told Reuters. ``I don't think Mugabe would get this kind of reception.''

After Tsvangirai left the area there were some minor skirmishes between ZANU-PF and Tsvangirai supporters, an MDC spokesman, said. But he denied reports that Tsvangirai's car was stoned.

The MDC has mounted the first real challenge to Mugabe's rule since independence in 1980.

Tsvangirai, a former trade union leader, said Thursday his party would win a majority of the 120 contested seats in the election, but accused Mugabe of trying to rig the poll.

``We believe that nearly 70 percent of Zimbabweans want change in this country....I know for certain that any result that does not give the MDC a majority will have been seriously rigged,'' he told a news conference.

Mugabe, whose government has brushed aside mounting foreign concern over whether the elections will be free and fair, was due to address a second rally in Chitungwiza township near Harare later Friday.

The gathering will be a key test for Mugabe who was humiliated last Saturday when only 5,000 people showed up to hear him speak in Harare.

``The rallies are important symbolically and politically. He has to show the party can mobilize its supporters for the elections,'' said political scientist Alfred Nehma.

He said Mugabe would have to draw at least 40,000 supporters for the Harare gathering to be judged a success.

The head of the European Union observer mission in Zimbabwe said Friday his monitoring teams were continuing to receive reports of violence and intimidation ahead of the polls.

``There is intimidation, vote-buying, violence. This has to be denounced of course,'' Pierre Schori told Reuters in an interview.

``We will do our best to see to it that we observe the process. That people will have access to the polling stations. That they get to those centers from the villages. That they are not harassed or stopped on their way to vote,'' he added.

Zimbabwe Prepares for Volatile Vote

Friday June 23 12:25 PM ET - By ANGUS SHAW, Associated Press Writer

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - On the final day of rallies in Zimbabwe's volatile election campaign, 14 opposition party election officials were abducted and held for several hours, the party said Friday.

David Coltart, candidate for the Movement for Democratic Change in the western city of Bulawayo, said 13 were released unharmed and the whereabouts of the remaining polling agent was unknown.

All 14 were held and questioned by suspected ruling party militants in western Zimbabwe, Coltart said. No further details were immediately available.

The abduction of the 14 was reported to European Union election observers earlier Friday, said Pierre Schori, who heads the EU observer team monitoring the polls.

Schori said his delegation was trying to get additional information on the 14, all of whom were accredited to visit voting stations in the hotly contested parliamentary elections on Saturday and Sunday.

The MDC, which is expected to make a strong showing in the polls, is posing the first serious challenge to President Robert Mugabe's ruling party in the 20 years since the country received independence from Britain.

Parliamentary candidates made their final campaign appearances Friday. A presidential helicopter swooped over Harare, carrying Mugabe to his last two campaign rallies.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai toured the capital to meet voters, starting with a visit to a hospitalized supporter who alleges he was assaulted by ruling party militants. Tsvangirai made little fanfare on advice of his security staff, jittery after a campaign marked by political violence, mainly against the opposition.

At least 32 people, most of them opposition supporters, have died in political violence since February. Tsvangirai's MDC on Thursday identified Zeke Chigagwa, a party campaigner in Gokwe district, 150 miles southwest of Harare, as the latest victim.

Chigagwa died Wednesday after being assaulted at his home by ruling party militants, the opposition said in a statement.

The political violence began when ruling party mobs moved onto 1,600 white-owned farms after the government lost a constitutional referendum that would have entrenched Mugabe's powers and empowered the government to nationalize white-owned land without paying compensation. The government has since passed a new land seizure law despite the defeat.

Mugabe insists the occupations are a justified protest against unfair land ownership by the descendants of British settlers, but opponents argue the siezures are a ploy to win votes from the rural poor.

The state elections directorate said 4,000 polling stations will open at 7 a.m. Saturday for two days of voting for 120 parliament seats. For the first time, the opposition MDC is contesting all 120 seats. Ten smaller parties are fielding a total 133 candidates, and 92 independent candidates are running.

The government on Friday yielded to pressure to allow four independent local monitors to be posted at each polling station, after initially ruling that only one monitor from church and civic groups would be permitted inside, said Sheila Jarvis, a lawyer for the Election Support Network.

The organization protested the earlier ruling, claiming it was an attempt to hinder local monitors from remaining with ballot boxes around the clock.

``We've resolved this matter and are satisfied monitoring will be satisfactory,'' she said.

The Roman Catholic Justice and Peace Commission said Friday its monitors have already reported the confiscation of identity documents and passports to prevent some voters - most of them suspected opposition supporters - from casting their ballots.

The commission called on police to act decisively.

``It is illegal to take by force and keep someone's identity card as a punishment for whatever reason,'' the church group said.

A poll published last week showed the MDC could win 70 of the 120 seats at stake in the election. That would be a radical change in a country where Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front held 147 of the 150 seats in the last parliament.


Zimbabwe elections: Leader faces greatest challenge in 20 years

Leader faces greatest challenge in 20 years


HARARE, Zimbabwe -- In parliamentary elections this weekend, a young opposition threatens to break the one-party stranglehold that President Robert Mugabe's government has held on Zimbabwe for 20 years.

A recent national poll by the Public Opinion Institute of Zimbabwe indicated Mugabe's party could lose its huge majority in the 150-seat House of Assembly to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Accuracy of political polling in Zimbabwe is questionable, but a national poll correctly predicted that Mugabe would lose a constitutional referendum in February. It was his first electoral defeat.

However, a three-month campaign of violence and terror carried out against the opposition by supporters of Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) could swing large numbers of votes to the ruling party or discourage MDC supporters from voting.

But even Mugabe, 76, has conceded he has problems. He warned a Harare township rally that ZANU-PF faces stiff opposition in urban areas.

Energetic supporters of the labor-based MDC are conducting vigorous campaigns across the country. In cities, the MDC has drawn crowds several times larger than those turning out for Mugabe's appearances on behalf of ZANU-PF candidates.

Some opposition party leaders, including MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai, 48, are preparing to celebrate victory. "We are the government in waiting," he said at a Harare rally last weekend.

During the campaign, Mugabe said MDC would "never, never, never" rule Zimbabwe during his life. He pledged to come back as a ghost after his death to prevent MDC from rising to power.

MDC's upbeat mood may turn out to be premature. ZANU-PF's waves of intimidation in Zimbabwe's populous rural areas could result in landslide voting for the ruling party by villagers, peasant farmers and commercial farmworkers, which could more than offset the MDC's urban support. More than half of Zimbabwe's 12.5 million people live in rural areas.

But if the opposition party, formed only nine months ago, wins even a substantial minority in parliament, it will be a major blow to Mugabe, who has exercised a virtually one-man rule since the country gained independence as Zimbabwe in 1980.

And given the opposition's rising expectations, if the election results show MDC winning only a few seats, the party's supporters likely will erupt in nationwide protests against rigged voting.

At stake in the elections to be held Saturday and Sunday are 120 seats in parliament. Mugabe is empowered to appoint another 30 members. ZANU-PF currently holds 147 of the 150 seats.

Mugabe has refused to allow observers from Britain and the United States to monitor the election campaign and voting. In a campaign speech, Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge accused the British and Americans of conspiring to destabilize Zimbabwe and other southern African countries in order to take control of the region.

Observers from the European Union and other organizations have expressed doubts that voting can be free and fair because of violence and election procedures. The government controls voter registration and election supervision, including handling of ballot boxes and vote counting.

The MDC's rise has been almost as rapid as the decline of Zimbabwe's economy, the opposition's main campaign issue. Inflation is 58 percent. Interest rates exceed 70 percent. More than half of the workforce is jobless.

Mugabe's main campaign thrust has been to promise to confiscate land from white farmers without payment and allocate plots to black Zimbabweans. Veterans of the guerrilla war that brought independence in 1980 and other ZANU-PF supporters invaded more than 1,500 farms and killed four white farmers suspected of supporting the MDC. At least 30 people have died in political violence.

ZANU-PF supporters also beat, tortured, raped and intimidated thousands of commercial farmworkers, warning them and their families that the war veterans would return to punish them if Mugabe's party lost the election.

Didymus Mutasa, the ruling party's national secretary for administration and a presidential confidant, said in a British Broadcasting Corporation interview that Zimbabwe is not ready for Western-style democracy. Referring to Mugabe, Mutasa said, "How can you change a king while he is still alive?"

In an interview, Mugabe said: "If Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, can win, then I know for sure that we have been visited upon by the devil."

Remer Tyson is a former Africa correspondent for the Free Press.

Electoral observers must not be silent witnesses

Amnesty International (London)
June 23, 2000

London - Human rights must be central to anyone intending to monitor the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe, Maina Kiai, Amnesty International's Africa Director, said in the light of the Zimbabwean government's refusal to accredit certain electoral observers.

A recent Amnesty International mission to Zimbabwe documented widespread human rights violations including arbitrary killings, torture and ill-treatment. These are believed to have caused a pervasive atmosphere of fear and intimidation which in turn is hampering the rights to freedom of assembly, association, movement and expression.

"The current climate of terror in Zimbabwe is creating an atmosphere in which free and fair elections are not possible," Maina Kiai said.

"International monitors and observers of the Zimbabwean elections must not be silent witnesses," Amnesty International urged. "They must be prepared to raise issues of human rights violations or police inaction with the Zimbabwean authorities, as well as publicly condemning human rights violations during and after the elections."

"The Zimbabwean government should take urgent steps to ensure that everyone is able to exercise these rights over the election weekend without fear of becoming a victim of human rights violations."

Amnesty International is calling on all those observing the elections to pay particular attention to the following points:

Protection of local observers

National NGOs have run non-partisan voter education workshops and trained local observers to monitor the elections. Their work has been interpreted as indicating support for opposition parties and as a result many civic education workers have been harassed and assaulted. International observers should seek effective ways of protecting local observers from politically motivated assaults, for example by "twinning" with national observers to jointly monitor the same polling station or area.

Climate of the elections

Observers should have access to all Zimbabwe and all sectors of the population since violations often occur far away from polling stations. There should not only be monitoring of the actual voting procedure but of the environment and human rights conditions away from the polling stations as well, including the behaviour of the police and security forces and any speeches made by political party officials.


On the days of the voting, election observers should have unhindered access to all polling stations, to be able to observe any human rights abuses, such as violence against those presumed to be opposing party supporters and intimidation of voters including threats and assertions that their voting is not a secret.

Post-electoral monitoring

Observers should record human rights violations that occur both before and after the actual dates of polling but which have a direct bearing upon the ability of people to exercise their rights. A sizeable and effective international monitoring presence should remain in the country for as long as necessary after the elections to help ensure that the aftermath is free from human rights abuses and, if it is not, to continue publicly reporting and lobbying for problems to be addressed.

For further information, contact Amnesty International, 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 8DJ,+44-71-413-5500 ,+44-71-956-1157. Email: Web: You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.

Mugabe Castigates Opposition, Britain Ahead of Poll

Friday June 23 11:29 AM ET - By Barry Moody

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe gave a fighting speech Friday at a rally on the eve of Zimbabwe's election, lambasting the opposition as white stooges, but he drew a smaller crowd than his party had hoped for.

About 15,000 people, most of them schoolchildren, attended the rally in Chinhoyi, Mugabe's home town northwest of Harare. A local official of the ruling ZANU-PF party predicted Thursday that 60,000 supporters would attend.

The turnout did not dent Mugabe's combativeness, although he arrived two hours after the scheduled start of the meeting.

In a 50-minute speech Mugabe castigated the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) which has mounted the first real challenge to ZANU-PF in its 20 year rule.

``We are going to beat this stooge party because we represent the interests of our people. The MDC will never win elections in this country as long as they defend the interests of the minority. Not when they are a stooge of the white man,'' he said.

Earlier, the MDC reported new incidents in the violence-scarred campaign that has drawn international condemnation.

The opposition said 14 of its election monitors had been abducted Thursday from towns and villages around the southern city of Bulawayo and a polling station had been burned down.

``They are targeting polling agents because it then makes it easier to rig the elections in the absence of our polling agents,'' MDC legal secretary David Coltart told Reuters.

Around 30 people, mostly MDC supporters, have died in political violence linked to the elections and the invasions of hundreds of white-owned farms by pro-government militants since February.

Attack On Britain

In one of the attacks on former colonial power Britain that have been a keynote of his campaign, Mugabe told the rally in Chinhoyi he wanted to send a message to the MDC and London.

``No amount of castigation, no amount of criticism, no amount of gangsterism will stop us defending the sovereign interests of our nation ... Let the British government learn that lesson. We will teach them that lesson by defeating their stooge party.''

Before Mugabe arrived, a ZANU-PF official warned the crowd not to speak to observers or foreign media. ``That is the business of officials''

Mugabe needed a big turnout at the Chinhoyi rally and at another scheduled later Friday near Harare to boost the morale of his followers ahead of the two-day parliamentary vote.

``The rallies are important symbolically and politically. He has to show the party can mobilize its supporters for the elections,'' said political scientist Alfred Nehma.

He said Mugabe would have to draw at least 40,000 supporters for the Harare gathering to be judged a success.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai earlier got an ecstatic welcome when he toured Mbare township on the outskirts of Harare.

Thousands of cheering, dancing supporters mobbed him as he strolled through the sprawling shanty town.

``You can see from their faces and their reaction that the people want change,'' he told Reuters. ``I don't think Mugabe would get this kind of reception.''

After Tsvangirai left the area, there were some minor skirmishes between ZANU-PF and Tsvangirai supporters, an MDC spokesman, said. But he denied reports that Tsvangirai's car was stoned.

Observer Criticizes Violent Poll

The head of the European Union observer mission in Zimbabwe said Friday his monitoring teams were continuing to receive reports of violence and intimidation ahead of the polls.

``There is intimidation, vote-buying, violence. This has to be denounced of course,'' Pierre Schori told Reuters in an interview.

``We will do our best to see to it that we observe the process. That people will have access to the polling stations. That they get to those centers from the villages. That they are not harassed or stopped on their way to vote,'' he added.

At his Chinhoyi rally Mugabe addressed a dozen foreign observers attending the gathering. ``Fine, we have observers here, but the legitimacy will come from our people,'' he said.

``You have not come to give us legitimacy. That is the duty of our people...

``We are going to win because we have the support of our people and we are going to win in the way that we have always won. We are going to teach them about democracy, especially Britain,'' he declared.

Mugabe Traps Opponents With Land Election Agenda

June 23, 2000

Rangarirai Shoko
PANA Correspondent

HARARE, Zimbabwe (PANA) - Like a chameleon hunting for prey, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has meticulously led political rivals into a camouflaged land reform trap from which he has pounced on them mercilessly.

His opponents, buoyed by a rare electoral victory in February in a referendum on a new constitution, seized on Zimbabwe's economic crisis to give the former guerrilla leader a run fof his money in this weekend's parliamentary elections.

The economy of the southern African country has been in a free fall since 1999 when donors cut off crucial balance of payments support over economic reform policy disagreements with the government.

Opposition parties quickly capitalised on the resulting price hikes and shortages of commodities, such as fuel, and fanned public anger against Mugabe's poor management of the economy for electoral gain.

But the Zimbabwean leader, sensing the first real danger to his political life since assuming power 20 years ago, swiftly changed the agenda of the elections from the economy to land reform.

He picked up the emotive land issue from the country's political archives and tactfully dusted it up for the parliamentary polls.

Overnight, the veteran politician had spanned the electoral agenda and found himself and his ruling ZANU-PF party on secure political territory.

A handful of white farmers own more than 70 percent of Zimbabwe's arable land, a privilege derived from British colonial rule which ended in 1980.

Both Britain and the farmers have thwarted the government's efforts to reform the country's land ownership, in which the majority of Zimbabweans are landless.

But Mugabe, southern Africa's longest serving leader, has promised voters his government would now bulldoze land reform by forcibly confiscating white-owned farms for re-distribution to the landless.

He has faced down a storm of international protests, led by Britain, over his plans and gazetted the first 800 farms for forcible acquisition.

The national appeal of land reform, and the Zimbabwe leader's machismo over the issue, took the steam off the opposition and left them watching their economic electoral agenda irretrievably disappear.

"He (President Mugabe) cleverly crafted this (land reform) and successfully developed it into the main issue now in the elections," said Dr Afred Nhema, a University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer.

In nation-wide election campaign tours, the Zimbabwean leader has consistently stressed the need to anchor the country's economic development on land reform.

"Our struggle is now coming to an end. Let us finish the elections and then next week you will hear how we are going to start the land redistribution programme," he told 60,000 supporters in a rural district in the north of the country on Thursday.

"This time we do not want to waste time. The British will not score against us in this game of land reforms," Mugabe added.

The opposition has accused the Zimbabwean leader of using land reform as an electoral gimmick, but this has failed to torpedo the issue as the main agenda for the elections.

Frustrated at this, some of the opposition parties have joined the land reform bandwagon, albeit light-heartedly, for fear of antagonising their foreign financial backers opposed to the programme.

Mugabe increased the nationalist tempo against the opposition by accusing them of being puppets of foreign interests, eager to maintain the colonial economic status quo in the country.

The accusation resonated widely and deeply because of Britain's open support for some of the opposition parties, whose officials were regularly granted audience with Prime Minister Tony Blair's senior cabinet ministers.

After successfully imposing a land reform agenda on the elections, Mugabe has gone a step further and successfully sought regional support.

Southern Africa, sensing a long-term danger from the big interest generated by Zimbabwe's politics, has swung resolutely behind its elder statesman.

This has lifted the political appeal of the veteran leader among voters, as Zimbabweans increasingly wondered what was in land reform that could upset the big powers so much.

It's been a long, bruising, vicious and heinously devilish campaign, which has cost the farmers dearly and the country hugely - but it's over. All that is left is to go out there and make sure you and your workers cast your vote and have your say in how our country is to be governed in future, and let us hope and pray that it is never, never again governed in the way it has been over the last four months.
We have written to the Commissioner of Police, seeking assurance from him that he is fully prepared to handle any post-election violence and we hope to hear from him later today.
We cannot rule out the possibility of post election violence, but believe there is no call for it and, notwithstanding the very serious threats, believe that once the people have spoken, anyone who perpetuates violence because he does not agree with the outcome is courting disaster. However, take what precautions you can for the protection of yourselves, your families and your workers, and good luck!
Note: The Information Room in Harare will be open over the weekend from 11 am onwards, and the CFU will be working as usual on Monday.
Apart from the nervous anticipation of the elections, the Province has been very quiet up to midday today.  All areas have reviewed their security arrangements for the election and post-election period.
Victory Block - There was a pungwe on Brandon Farm last night.  Only 3 neighbouring farm workers  attended, despite demands from the war vets.  There have been two demands for transport.
Tsatsi - A small group of ZANU PF campaigners visited Holmeden and Chaddersly farms yesterday, with the normal rhetoric, but no incident.
Chiredzi - President Mugabe did not address a rally in Chiredzi as was intended. Vice President Msika came down and addressed the rally, which was not well attended. When he started to criticize the opposition, many people in the crowd dispersed.
The rest of the district is quiet.
Masvingo East and Central - President Mugabe addressed a crowd of approximately 20 000 people at Mucheke Stadium yesterday afternoon. He arrived very late in the afternoon. Of note in his address is that he mentioned a farmer's name and indicated how many properties he had.
War Vets are going around to farmers whose farms have not been designated to inform them that they will be arriving on 2 July 2000 to take over what is rightfully theirs. Farmers are instructed to choose a portion of the land they want to utilize, the rest will go to the war veterans.
Save Conservancy - Problems reported previously are ongoing.
All is quiet in the rest of the region.
Karoi - On Leconfield 2 youths and 2 women have taken over the staff house and told the war vet chairman they will not move out until the weekend.  One farmer received a serious threat, and the Protea farmer was demanded the use of his truck. On Zebra Downs war vets made an attempt to commandeer a tractor but were stopped by the farmer's wife.
Chinhoyi - Youths were dropped off at Greensleeves, Natalia, Glen Isla, Baguta, Gyppslander and Nyakaranga Farms, and were said to be Zanu PF election monitors and to now be in charge of the farms.  They made people sing until midnight and ensured people attended a star rally today. The youth "election monitor" has to ensure that all residents are "encouraged" to vote for the "correct" party.
Many workers are not at work due to intimidation.  On Ringara Farm, Mr Matembo telephoned to instruct the farmer to stop work and supply transport to the star rally, otherwise his farm would be taken over. Matembo telephoned Kaukua Farm asking transport for workers to attend the rally or else they would be beaten up.
Raffingora - ID cards are being taken away from the people so that they cannot vote.
Selous - There has been a new occupation on Carskey Farm where there is pegging going on.  Last night there was a Zanu PF meeting with all farm foremen.  One foreman was assaulted, reportedly by the Presidents Office.
Suri Suri - Unreported ten days ago - one farm had all it's houses searched and opposition T-Shirts were seized and burnt.  A number of people were assaulted with one requiring hospitalization .  This was done by Zanu PF leadership in the area.
Marondera South - The labour force on Monte Christo are being taken to the Chipesa Crown Security base and kept up all night being intimidated. They are then expected to go to work the next day. This will apparently go on until Tuesday night. The owner has been indirectly threatened. The youth from most neighbouring farms are also being pulled into the Chipesa base for re-education. Two goats were slaughtered on Chipesa to feed the re-education camp.
A grey opel arrived at Larkhill Farm and instructed the workers to meet at the prison. The workers were spoken to and told that they would be killed on Monday if they did not vote for Zanu PF.
Marondera North - On Oxford war vets told the house tenant to vacate the property. The 3 rallies  with Mr Sekeramayi went well with no violence.
Harare South/Beatrice - Three or four farm villages were visited at about 10 pm on Wednesday. The Zanu PF youths falsely accused the labour and farmers of distributing MDC pamphlets. On Wednesday a number of vehicles visited three farms, and war vet Tatsir advised the farmers that they would return to take the farms. On another farm a female war vet came to advise that she was taking over the farm, but when she noticed the white arid soil she left, not wanting the farm as it would have needed too much fertilizer.
Wedza - On Skoonveld 3 cows and a calf have been shot. The calf was shot in the stomach and died later, and one of the cows was shot in the foot and will have to be put down. The owner of Mt Arthur was held captive for about 3 hours in his office while an employee who had been dismissed years ago decided it was time to settle the score with the aid of the war vets. The farmer was released after signing a pledge to pay the ex-employee about $30 000. He originally wanted $100 000.
Odzi - The workforce of Green Valley Vineyards continue to strike and sit outside the front gate of the farm. The resident war vets are still stirring up the workforce, together with local Zanu PF youths, although with the farmer off the farm at present the situation is stable. The resident war vets have now also decided that Elgon Farm is an MDC stronghold. They have demanded names of people who have no zhitupa (ID) and those who want land. The workers yesterday asked that the local MDC candidate, Mr Giles Msekwa, not visit the farm, as this would mean retribution by the local war vets. Mr Msekwa was doing a very quick tour of the area. Two observers were present to witness this.
The farm workers on 5 farms in this area have been threatened if they do not attend an all night pungwe on Friday night. 5 Policeman stationed at the polling station have stated that this pungwe should not take place.

This briefing paper gives some background to the Zimbabwean election that are scheduled for 24th -25th June 2000. We have overviewed the current political climate, the election process, parties running the elections, the conditions for free and fair elections and the activities of civil society organisations.


As is reflected in media reports locally and internationally, the political climate is turbulent and tense. There has been daily reporting of harrassment, intimidation and violence in general perpetrated against the political opposition and their supporters, although the rule party denies accusations that it is sponsoring violence. The violence escalated from the time that war veterans and ZANU PF supporters occupied hundreds of white- commercial farms. Blood has been shed and property destroyed not only on the commercial farms but throughout the whole country, with over 30 people reported dead as a direct result of the violence. More have been subjected to psychological violence and verbal threats have been used to silence and to terrify rural civilians.

Judging from previous post-election assessments by human rights organisations, it should be noted that violence and intimidation of the electorate has generally been a characteristic of elections. In this election however the levels of intimidation have far surpassed previous years. Over the past weeks the overall situation has calmed down somewhat as a result of election observers.

Some political commentators have noted that the violence has little to do with the land issue, legitimate though the land issue is. Rather it is seen as a strategy by the ruling party to hold onto its rural support base in the face of its first real challenge in twenty years. Violence has been mainly between the two major rival political parties, the labour - backed Movement for Democratic Change, (MDC) and Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front(ZANU PF). Members of other opposition parties have also reported cases of harassment but this has been to a much lesser extent.

The forms of violence, intimidation and harassment that have been reported have been of many forms - beatings, torture, abductions, death threats, damage to property, disruptions of public gatherings and so forth. It was recently recounted in a meeting that the number of people in Harare who have fled violence in their rural homes is around 10,000 people, who are receiving assistance from civic organisations such as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association and the churches.


15 political parties are to participate in the elections. Fierce competition is expected between MDC and ZANU PF which are the major political parties. For the first time, the opposition is fielding candidates in all 120 constituencies (according to the Constitution, another 30 seats are reserved for presidential appointees).

MDC is a labour-backed political party and is currently led by Morgan Tsvangirai who is the former Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). In addition to getting backing from the labour movement, there has also been support from civil society organisations and the private sector, which hitherto had preferred to go along with the status quo and avoid involvement in politics. MDC has won support, not only because of dissatisfaction with the decline in living standards and complaints of government corruption, but also through ZCTU's ability to mobilise mass actions over the past couple of years against unpopular government policies. MDC has also benefitted from the increased political activism of the general population who have overcome their fear in challenging the ruling party.

Other poll contenders also include the United Parties led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa. UP is an old political party whose origins go back to the liberation struggle. United Parties (UP) fielded more than 40 candidates. UP has participated in the previous parliamentary and presidential elections and had previously managed to get some seats in Parliament.

The Zimbabwe Union of Democrats is a new party on the scene (ZUD) is led by Margaret Dongo. She has participated in politics from her youth and is best known for having succeeded in beating the ruling party as an independent candidate in the last general election against all odds. Her courage and frankness in defending democratic principles have earned her a special place in the hearts of most Zimbabweans. ZUD have slightly less than 40 candidates who are to contest the elections.

Some political parties are very small and some have fielded less than 20 candidates. These parties comprise Democratic Party (DP) , Transparency Front, Forum Party, ZAPU 2000, ZANU Ndonga, Zimbabwe Unity Movement(ZUM), the Popular Movement for Democracy, Forum of Democrats in Zimbabwe (FODEZI), and the Liberty Party of Zimbabwe. There is an average of 5 candidates contesting in each constituency; in some the number is as high as 7 and in some as low as 2.

A larger number of the 15 political parties are to contest mainly in the urban constituencies. An interesting phenomenon is the large number of independents. There are 92 independents and this group comprises those who lost the ZANU PF primary elections and MDC candidates who were not happy with the selection process.


About 5,1 million are expected to participate in the forthcoming general elections. The number has increased following the publication of the supplementary registerthis week. It has been observed for the first time that the majority of those who registered are those between the ages of 18 and 25. Also just a week before the elections there is a stampede to beat the inspection deadline.


The total number of observers reported is 16,000, including the local and international observers, both from governmental and intergovernmental bodies as well as from civil society. The European Union (EU) , Southern African Development Community, SADC, the Commonwealth and the OAU are part of the international monitors. Many of the international groups include civil society participants, though these are also here in their own right - eg. The Churches and human rights organisations. Some individual countries like South Africa have sent observer teams. The observers are accredited with the electoral supervisory commission, and the process of accreditation has been controversial.

Restrictions have been placed on observers following amendments to the electoral act. War veterans were also reported to have barred the presence of observers on farms. It was also reported in the press that the President had barred observers from Britain from participating. During the week the media reported that NGO observers would not be given accreditation, and some have been waiting for the past week to get passes.


Although the voting process is likely to be peaceful, very few independent analysts would agree that the conditions for free and fair elections exist. In this sense there are a large number of problems which will affect the final result.

Civil society groups have long been pointing to the uneven political playing field. The areas that are of particular concern are the voters roll, the Political Parties Finance Act, the use of state resources by the ruling party, uneven airtime on the electronic media and print media, the climate of violence and intimidation and the delimitation exercise.

The independent media has reported that the voter‘s roll was not up to date and as a result a supplementary voter's had to be produced. In some cases people registered more than twice but on inspecting the voter's roll, they failed to locate their names or they found their names appearing in the wrong constituency.

The political parties finance act requires that a party must have a minimum of 15 seats to qualify for state funding. ZANU PF is the only party that meets this criterion.

The role of the media in any democratic elections is crucial. The Media Monitoring Project has recently circulated a document that the supreme court has ordered the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, and its staff to stop the corporation's biased political coverage of events in the country and to broadcast its radio and television services impartially without discrimination on the basis of political opinion. There is no equitable sharing of the airtime at the moment. The electronic media is completely controlled by government. The print media offers more alternatives. There is one national independent daily paper (the Daily News) other than the Herald which is government owned. The circulation of the Daily News has over the past months been constantly on the rise since it appears to be less biased in its reporting than is the case with the state controlled media. Other alternatives to information through the media have mainly been through a number of independent weeklies, but these are quite costly for the average person. People also have to rely a great deal on the international media for "objective" information.

Because of the violence, many voters may be reluctant to go to the polling stations on the election date. However, while the last elections were characterised by voter apathy, this can not be said to be the case this year. The huge increase in voter registration following the February referendum is a sign that people are prepared to risk the dangers to be able to vote, because they are now convinced that their votes can make a difference.


It can generally be said that civil society actors have contributed greatly to the political awakening that clearly exists in the country today. The MDC has emerged from civil society and a number of candidates are from various sectors of civil society. Amongst those who have played a role there have been the trade unions, human rights organisations, the chuches, women's organisations, student organisations, artists, the media and development NGOs. The ability of civil society to play the role it has played has been the result of progressive and increasing collaboration between different sectors to try to create a better governance system for the country.

It was civil society organisations, which, having started the pressure for a new Constitution that then campaigned successfully for Zimbabweans to reject the draft constitution presented by the government. The CSOs organised themselves to set up the National Constitutional Assembly, which was a broad based coalition group of civil society.

A large amount of time has gone towards civic organisations in conducting voter education campaigns and building confidence in the electoral process. Currently civil society groups like the NCA, Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, and the Zimbabwe womens coalition have had thorough voter awareness campaign. It has been particularly important to stress the importance of registering and to make people aware that their vote is their secret.

ZESN has indicated that 33 civic organisations will field over 8000 election officials to monitor the elections. The civic organisations are working to enhance free, fair, credible elections and to create a sound electoral environment. ZESN is basically targeting election monitoring, civic education the media, research and advocacy, lobbying and networking, making sure the voters' roll is available. It is through the work of ZESN that a supplementary voters roll has had to be produced. ZESN has trained 9000 to 10000 election monitors who will be distributed evenly throughout the country.

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) has embarked on a nationwide voter education programme aimed at encouraging people to take part in the forthcoming general election. Aiming to address the issue of voter apathy, the ZCC educated the people on the need to register for elections and use their divine right to vote. TheYoung Women Christian Association (YWCA), an affiliate to ZCC which is also involved in this programme is targeting women because there are more potential women voters in the country and if educated more will participate . The ZCC is not telling people whom to vote for but on why they should vote.

In addition, church leaders have played an important role to help people cope with the trauma of violent by organising prayer days as well as issuing statements calling for peace and the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

ZimRights has joined with other organisations such as ZCC, CCJP and Fellowship for Reconciliation and Women in Law and Development in Southern Africa (WILDAF) to monitor the parliamentary elections as part of the civil society contribution to the Electoral Supevisory Comission. ZimRights, a watchdog organisation that checks abuses of human rights has recently condemned the amendments to the Electoral Act that gave the Registrar General more powers and this has in fact reduced the role of the civil society. These amendments have also been criticised by the Law Society of Zimbabwe and the Political Science Students Association ( POSSA).

The NCA, a coalition of civil and opposition political parties will be monitoring the elections and has introduced a project aimed at monitoring and reducing politically motivated violence. Since its peace march was disrupted by war veterans a few months ago, the NCA has been holding weekly meetings as part of a "100 days of peace" campaign. The meetings have been well attended and have been addressing a wide range of issues relating to the political situation in the country.

The Women's Coalition was formed last year during the campaign for a new constitution, to ensure that the discussions on a new constitution would ensure that women would be able to participate in debates on the constitution and would be able to put forward their views on their constitutional rights. The Coalition groups around 18 organisations and is also part of the National Constitutional Assembly. Uppermost in the concerns of the Coalition during the election was to lobby political parties to field more women candidates, promote the participation of female candidates and lobby for a peaceful climate, as the violence and intimidation is particularly disempowering for women. Women have been victims of violence - including rapes and beatings. Their political participation, whether as voters or as candidates is obstructed when a climate of conflict reigns as they are easy targets.

In addition, the Women's Coalition realised that both in the old and new parties, while many women were prepared to stand as candidates, the lions share had gone to the men. In gender terms the electoral outcome may regress it appears that there may be fewer female MPs than in previous parliaments. and has been influential in making the electorate aware that women are as good as their male counterparts. The women coalition groups have printed posters and brochures to enlighten the electorate on the right to vote and have also used the electronic as well as the print media to articulate their position.

It needs to be said that the political scene from all sides is a male dominated one where women for various reasons, not least resistance to their participation have found it difficult to access. Women remain marginalised as spectators and cheerleaders to the process. Many women candidates have however reported that within constituencies there is rising support for more women appointees to political office.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union(ZCTU) which is also an affiliate to NCA has been very instrumental in conscientising the workers on voter's rights, voter education for workers. ZCTU has used a three pronged approach: voter education, labour forums where workers committees were taught how to register and check whether their names are in the voters' roll. Workshops were also held to conscientise the affiliates of ZCTU. 500 workers were trained as monitors.

Because of the close affiliation between the unions and the MDC, there has been a stream of reports of teachers (who belong to the Zimbabwe Teachers Association) having been targetted and victimised as MDC supporters. Some schools have virtually been at a standstill because the teachers have been in fear of their lives.

The Zimbabwean artists have embarked on the project civic education campaign 2000. They intend to educate the citizens on the right to vote in the forthcoming elections. Eight theatre groups from around the country are conducting 78 civic education perfomances in all the country's rural provinces. In addition to that, individual artists and musicians have also been using the arts and culture medium to campaign for peace and the right to choose and against bad governance.

Beyond the organised civil society activities, it must also be mentioned that this year there has been a huge increase in the levels of political awareness and interest in the population in general. The youth have played a very important role in terms of supporting the political processes. What is unfortunate is that the political climate has hampered people from enjoying their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association, but one hopes that people's determination to participate in politics in the way they choose will continue beyond the elections.


Newspapers and polls and analysts are now predicting a substantive victory for the opposition. The major problem is that since the next presidential election is 2002 the incumbent president will still be in office regardless of the outcome. It is advised that he should be prepared to form a government of national unity in which there is a cabinet made up of all opposition parties that have won seats in the election.

There is also speculation that an opposition government may be able to remove the president and call for a new presidential election.

There maybe civil unrest if the war -veterans are live up to their word that they would go back to the bush if ZANU PF loses the elections. A ZANU-PF victory, unlikely as that seems going by opinion polls, will however cause mass discontent and probably further political isolation of Zimbabwe from the international community.

Whatever the case, popular participation in political and economic affairs needs to become the cornerstone of governance in the country given the massive challenge of reversing the economic decline and avoiding abuse of the extensive powers that the executive currently enjoys. Many people have recognised that one of the factors that has caused a governance crisis in the country has been the lack of pressure from people to mobilise themselves to check the excesses of the current regime. The opposition has vowed that its first move, if in government, will be to revisit the constitutional issue and start a new process that will truly take account of people's views on hown they wish to be governed.

Compiled by Clemence Masimba

Programme Intern

MWENGO Secretariat

June 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: Rudo <
Sent: 23 June 2000 14:27
Subject: Appeal to Vote

Dear all,

Especially students who have just returned and everyone & that means
everyone in Zimbabwe, even if you think that you are not registered we urge
you to go and check and please, please try and vote.  If your name is not in
your constituency register - please check your neighbouring constituencies
it might be there.

Vote MDC!

Keep up the momentum!


MDC Support Centre
8th Floor, Gold Bridge

Guqula Izenzo/Maitiro Chinja

"Zimbabwe's strength lies in racial and ethnic diversity - we will overcome
attempts to divide us" (Morgan Tsvangirai)

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Well its almost over - Zimbabwe is going to the polls. We will have an exit poll available to us on Monday night and we expect results to start coming in about that time as well, final results by Wednesday unless these are held up for one reason or another. I remain convinced - as I have been from the start of this campaign, that MDC will win the poll - the only difference is that I now think that it might be a landslide.

Talking to various people this past week - journalists and ambassadors, I have been astonished by their reaction when I make this assertion. They have not thought this as being a possibility - at most the foreign community thought we would win only a substantial minority of seats and that they would have to continue dealing with Zanu PF after the poll. The recent opinion polls have helped, as has the failure by Mugabe to attract decent crowds at his rallies in recent days. MDC crowds have been much larger despite the intimidation and violence. The international community is now scrambling to catch up and think through other possible outcomes and what it means for the country and for their home offices.

For every ones sake it has to be a substantial majority as this is the only outcome that will force Mugabe and his henchmen to accept defeat and for the armed forces to support the following transition of power. In fact I think that any result over 76 seats will enable us to achieve what seemed only a dream a few months ago - a peaceful transition from the old leadership of the country to the new. We deserve that after all we have been through.

Last Sunday my wife and I sat in the Rufaro Stadium and participated in a MDC rally attended by 35 000 to 40 000 people - mainly young men. It was clear that there was much determination and cheerful optimism - "We" are going to win was a common sentiment. As I watched that crowd, drawn from the poorest urban community in the country, I thought of the great responsibility that will rest on the shoulders of the new team to deliver what is needed. The terrible conditions that exist and the huge hurdles to overcome including the inertia of the local and international system. Included in this was the sentiment expressed to me by a senior international civil servant that it would take the international community a year or more to respond to our needs.

We are not short of ideas or talent - we have that in abundance and I hope we have the programs and plans, which will trigger a national response which will carry us across the line. But in the final analysis it is only sustained effort over a number of years that will impact on our problems and make a difference to ordinary peoples daily lives. And that is all that counts, as a Kuwait official said to me once - if we give aid, how much will hit the road?

The machinery of Zanu PF kept up the effort to frustrate the people right up to the line - on Monday they refused to accredit some 200 foreign observers from international NGO's who arrived to watch the elections. On Tuesday they gave us a revised list of polling stations - with many new mobile stations that will be difficult to monitor. Then they insisted that we appoint only one person per polling station to cover the poll - an impossible task for one person as they have to watch the poll for a period from Friday evening through to the close of counting - possibly 5 days later. Then they said that we had to put all our election agents through an examination - personally. As we have about 9 000 people in this exercise, this is also an impossible requirement.

On Monday our team looking after the postal vote (we are entitled to scrutinize all applications) found a pile (10 000) of applications for one constituency - Harare Central. The candidate was called and he came down with one of our volunteer lawyers. They looked at the applications and decided that they were not completed properly and should be rejected. They waited for 4 hours to see the Registrar General and then went home at 20,00 hrs. After waiting a further 2 hours on Tuesday morning they decided that an urgent application to the High Court was the only route open to them. This is now in train and we await the outcome. These ballot applications were all from the army and were clearly destined to try and prevent our candidate (a world renowned human rights activist) from winning.

And so it goes on - every trick plus a few we have never seen. The observer missions are astounded at what they are witnessing - their view of the process is that this could never be judged a free and fair election. So only an outcome that favors the opposition will attract recognition - certainly on the international front. Less than that would, I am afraid, be recognised by our regional partners who are less concerned with the niceties. On Monday evening I tackled the ANC leader of the SA observer mission and he assured me that SA would do the "right thing". I am not so sure.

In the mean time the economy continues to melt down - certain commentators are now saying that we were right to predict a 10 per cent decline in GDP this year. Our forecast of over 80 per cent inflation also looks about right for the year-end, as does our estimate of government expenditure and debt. Company closures are continuing and coupled with the down turn of the tourist sector and the farming industry, have resulted in over 200 000 job losses. This is 15 per cent of the total number of jobs in the economy and has removed the breadwinner from a million people who now face destitution. What a price to pay for one mans ego.

But people must not forget, this is not Mozambique or Zambia or Angola - we can recover very fast if we put the right policies in place. We are a hard working and energetic bunch and have overcome many hurdles in the past. We have never had a government, which actually allowed us to exploit our potential and resources. This time, we hope, will be different and I am optimistic about this.

I will put out a note during the weekend to update you and then will let you have the first indication from the exit polls as soon as we have something - so stand by your computers. To all of you who contributed to our urgent appeal for funds to help with the final hurdle - thank you, I think we got enough in to meet our needs and that was a miracle in itself. It was quite amusing to see it coming in - in shoeboxes and envelopes, cheques and bank drafts, many of them for small amounts. So encouraging seeing factory workers put their money into a pool and then management matching this and bringing it to the office. MDC is not a movement of the rich but of the poor in Zimbabwe - we have very few wealthy in our ranks and the great majority of our funding has come from small people. That's the way it should be, that's where our heart is and hopefully will stay.

Eddie Cross

21st June 2000

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Well now we are on the home run and I want to thank you for all your
wonderful support.  We are expecting zanu'a dirty tricks dept to be fully
operational during the weekend but we are doing our best to make it
difficult for them.

Andrew is going to Mutoko and will be running the candidate around.  Please
pray for his protection.  Pete and I are in a team taking care of polling
agents in our constituency.  Up at 4.30 and home by 9 pm.  Give us strength!
Monday will be a holiday

Love to you all

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The following is a report resulting from information received from sources
within ZANU PF. We have no way of checking the accuracy of this
information, which outlines the election strategy of ZANU PF. However, we
feel it should be made public as the elections are next week and perhaps
forewarning may result in a fairer election or at least in an election
which can be shown to be illegitimate.

This story should be seen in the light of the article in the Daily News of
16 June (Survey predicts massive MDC victory in election).

Editor's Background Comments:

The loss of the Referendum vote shocked Mugabe and ZANU PF more than is
generally known. The realisation that there could be a change of Government
with the consequent accountability for past excesses and abuses galvanised
Mugabe into action. Mugabe has made it quite clear that his strategy is to
win the June election at all costs.

Plan A

According to our ZANU PF sources, Plan A was:

1. To unleash elements of the Fifth Brigade who then with ZANU PF Youth
were to mobilize the unemployed in various areas for intimidation purposes
(for a history of the Fifth Brigade's role in Mugabe's previous
intimidation's, see MATABELELAND REPORT).

2. To organise the invasion of targeted farms with the purpose of provoking
a reaction.

3. To identify leaders of the opposition or people of influence who support
opposition parties in order to harass, or, in some cases, to murder them.
In particular, whites are to be targeted in order to deter funding and
discourage support for the opposition in the commercial farming areas.

4. To exploit the genuine land hunger of the people.

5. To step up intimidation of any group who could possibly support
opposition parties. This would include farmers, farm workers, teachers,
doctors etc. and extended into the tribal areas.

6. To coerce the Police to comply with the Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) / Fifth Brigade.

7. To avoid using the army overtly.

In general, we believe that all the present campaigning and electioneering
has been geared to the same end - the intimidation of the voters (black) to
vote for ZANU PF.

Use of racial rhetoric and hate speech is merely a smoke screen to obscure
the central aim. In fact there cannot be more than 20,000 white votes,
perhaps less now, after the voters-roll rigging. This is hardly enough to
influence a country of 12 million.

Recently however, it is becoming apparent that terror campaigns were having
the reverse effect on potential voters. There is a deepening and growing
ground swell of resentment growing against Government perpetrators of the
violence. People seem to have had enough. They want change.

With the emergence of the fact that there will be an opposition regardless
of what intimidation takes place, the ZANU PF strategy has changed
slightly. Hence Plan B:

Plan B

Our sources indicate that ZANU PF will tolerate a limited opposition for
the following reasons:

a) The opposition could be allowed a token role in the Government but would
be controlled via 'extra legal' means if necessary. A new government, which
included Tsvangirai, would have obvious benefits.

b) Tsvangirai would be 'controlled' and the structures of the opposition
would be slowly neutralized.

c) The 'Democratic' process would be seen to have taken place.

d) ZANU PF would gain credibility by tolerating an opposition party, and
since Mugabe made their inclusion possible, there would no longer be any
reason for investment and/or aid to be withheld.

e) Plans to nationalise more farms, mines, businesses and buildings would
be put on hold temporarily, only to be brought out in the future as a
threat when required. All affected persons would accept the delay in these
plans with relief and Mugabe would get the credit for being so reasonable
and moderate.

The change from Plan A to Plan B would entail the electoral fixing of a
smaller number of constituencies, thereby making it harder to prove any
wrongdoing. Our sources have told us that there is a small cell of 12
people preparing duplicate ballot boxes at this point in time. To
understand the implication of this, we must look at some numbers.

The newly elected Parliament of Zimbabwe will consist of 150 seats. Of the
150 seats 30 or 20% of the seats are not contested but appointed by the
President after the election. Ten of these seats are for Chiefs.

Just take a moment to reflect on this - 20% of the constitutional vote is
pre-ordained by an obscure legal process sanctioned by an earlier
parliament. The result of apathy and no opposition is certainly coming home
to roost.

The courage of the Zimbabwe people should be viewed in this light - that
despite the loaded dice, they still want to go ahead and vote.

Of the remaining 120 seats, we are told that between 70 - 80 are safe
opposition seats, 20 - 30 are safe ZANU PF seats and the remainder are
somewhere in between, with most tending towards the opposition. This means
that ZANU PF have to influence the outcome in no more than 20 - 30 seats.

ZANU PF only needs to win 45 seats to prevent an opposition majority.

ZANU PF estimate that this target is attainable with the able assistance of
their Fifth Brigade.

The task of the Fifth Brigade - armed with 20,000 AK 47's from Angola -
will be to blitz and terrorise certain targeted areas in the 7 days before
the election. Their strategy is to use fear to dissuade people from voting
at all. New ballot boxes, pre-filled by the team of 12, will be swapped.

How and where and when is this to be done? We don't know yet, and hope to
bring to you this information - but if we do not - stay alert to the
possibilities of ZANU PF's election strategy.

This begs the obvious question: Which constituencies will be targeted? Our
informants have listed the following constituencies as those under
consideration as targets suitable for the above plan of last minute
intimidation and ballot box substitution or introduction. While not
conclusive, this list is a good guide:

1. Chegutu
2. Kadoma West
3. Makonde
4. Marondera East
5. Marondera West
6. Mudzi
7. Murewa South & North
8. Mtoko South & North
9. Wedza
10. Goromonzi
11. Chikomba
12. Bindura
13. Mazoe West & East
14. Shamva
15. Gweru Rural
16. Silobela
17. Gwanda North & South
18. Insiza
19. Beit Bridge
20. Umzingwane
21. Buhera South

A total of 25 areas - we will try and update as the more likely ones as
more information comes to light.

Where does this leave us? Tempers are rising and Zimbabwe is very close to
total chaos. If the election process is not seen to be fair and Mugabe wins
by default and fraud, what ways remain to remove this tyrant? What is the
next step?

All Zimbabweans must persevere and vote: an overwhelming desire for change
will stop this tyranny.

To the International Observers who carry a heavy responsibility - be
vigilant and do not legitimize a morally bankrupt leadership by accepting a
flawed electoral process. Taking the easy route now will only lead to
greater strife for the people of Zimbabwe in the days ahead.

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Namibia Council of Churches Prays for Peace in Zimbabwe - Windhoek, Namibia (PANA) June 22, 2000
New Death in Zimbabwe Campaign -HARARE (Reuters) June 22, 2000
Matabeleland Decisive Factor in Zimbabwe Polls - BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, June 23 (Reuters)

Namibia Council of Churches Prays for Peace in Zimbabwe

Windhoek, Namibia (PANA) (Panafrican News Agency, June 22, 2000) - The Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) on Wednesday called on all Christians in the country to pray for peaceful and fair elections in Zimbabwe and for a renewed sense of what it means to be a nation of unity and diversity.

A statement issued by the council said CCN has been watching with great concern the struggle of the church in Zimbabwe and, more specifically, of that nation in the last few months.

"CCN has been overwhelmed with sadness by the violence and divisions within that country," it said.

For a time after independence, Zimbabwe was a force for good within the southern African region and yet that has been overshadowed by the violence, intimidation and disrespect for law in recent events.

The CCN called on Christians in Namibia to pray for the Zimbabwe Christian Council as it works at the difficult task of establishing peace and reconciliation.

Namibians should also pray for Zimbabwean Christians not to weaken in prayer to overcome all obstacles to God's peace, the statement added.

New Death in Zimbabwe Campaign

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's opposition said Thursday another of its members had been beaten to death by government supporters but officials rejected mounting foreign criticism ahead of the weekend parliamentary election.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said Zeke Chigagwa from Gokwe, west of Harare, had been killed at his home Wednesday by a group of people from the ruling ZANU-PF party who accused him of campaigning for the opposition.

Around 30 people, most of them opposition supporters, have died in violence linked to the elections or the invasion of hundreds of white-owned farms by pro-government militants since February.

Riot police Thursday used tear gas to drive away around 50 ZANU-PF supporters carrying clubs who were trying to break up an MDC election rally in Nyamandhlovu, north of Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo. It was a rare case of police using force against government supporters.

Around 3,500 MDC members then went ahead with their rally in a sports stadium. A riot police officer denied any change of policy. "The policy is we shall always intervene to restore order whenever we have resources," he said.


ZANU-PF officials Thursday aggressively rejected foreign criticism of the conduct of the election and told the United States and Britain to stay out of Zimbabwe's affairs.

Chenjerai Hunzvi, leader of the violent campaign to occupy white-owned farms, said in a Reuters interview: "My basic message to the Americans and British is that they should keep out of Zimbabwe's problems."

"We do not have anything to hide but the U.S. has taken a position against Zimbabwe. It is not for Americans to direct our affairs. They should learn that Zimbabwe is an independent nation and as a sovereign state we should decide our own fate," added Hunzvi, who heads an association of independence war veterans.

Hunzvi, campaigning for a parliamentary seat in Chivu, south of Harare, was reacting to new U.S. criticism of the election and of official refusal to allow 200 foreign observers to monitor the poll.

State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said Wednesday: "We strongly disagree with such actions to limit observation efforts, and we really ... deplore the government of Zimbabwe's failure to create a climate conducive to credible elections."

Earlier Thursday, Jonathan Moyo, campaign manager for the ZANU-PF, said only Zimbabweans would determine whether their elections were free and fair.

"There is no requirement that international observers must ensure anything of this sort. It's the voters that decide," Moyo told the British Broadcasting Corporation.

He added that some foreign observers had shown bias by criticizing election conditions in Zimbabwe before the vote.

"In the face of such kind of conduct you would expect us to accredit organizations with such bias?"

Zimbabwe election organizers said Wednesday over 200 monitors from foreign non-governmental organizations would not receive accreditation to enter polling stations or interview election officials.

Zimbabwe has authorized 300 monitors from the Commonwealth, European Union, Organization for African Unity and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).


Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai accused Mugabe Thursday of trying to rig the election, and said his party would challenge the result in court, whatever the outcome.

Tsvangirai, MDC president, said he expected to win a majority of the 120 seats up for grabs unless Mugabe's 20-year-old government cheated.

"We believe that nearly 70 percent of Zimbabweans want change in this country, but how do you translate that into seats?" he said at a news conference.

"But I know for certain that any result that does not give the MDC a majority will have been seriously rigged," he added.

Tsvangirai said the MDC had information that the ZANU-PF party was trying to cheat and his party was already compiling a list of violations.

"Any incident of violation of electoral rules will be challenged in court, and we will challenge constituency by constituency where we feel the people's will has been severely subverted," he said.

Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri told a separate news conference Thursday that police would be out in force over the weekend and would be able to deal with any trouble.

He said at least one police officer would be present at every polling station, but more would be on duty at potential trouble-spots.

"The police are going to be very firm and action will be taken without any hesitation or delay to any behavior that warrants curtailing," he said.

Matabeleland Decisive Factor in Zimbabwe Polls

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, June 23 (Reuters) - As Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF fights for survival in landmark parliamentary elections this weekend, the warrior Ndebele people could help make or break President Robert Mugabe's party.

Mugabe brutally crushed the people of Matebeleland, who make up 15 percent of the country's population, into submission in the 1980s culminating in the formation of Zimbabwe as a one-party state in the 1987.

This time round Matebeleland will play a decisive role in weakening or strengthening Mugabe, who has ruled unchallenged since independence in 1980.

The June 24-25 elections pit ZANU-PF against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which poses the most serious threat to Mugabe and ZANU-PF's rule.

MDC leaders are telling supporters that ZANU-PF has presided over corruption, wrecked the economy and caused widespread poverty in 20 years of rule.

"The people of this region must never forget the pain of the 1980s and the pain of today inflicted on the population by one man and his monstrous regime," David Coltart the MDC's legal secretary and parliamentary candidate in Bulawayo told a Tuesday night rally attended by 3,000 people.

"Go the polling stations on Saturday and Sunday and make a break with this government," he thundered.

Coltart's sentiments are echoed by many people in Matebeleland who believe the region of proud warriors has benefited nothing from independence. They have seen their region fall behind other parts of the country dominated by the majority Shona-speaking people.


In what has emerged as a battle of wits, both ZANU-PF and the opposition are citing the memory of the revered Ndebele leader Joshua Nkomo in a fight for votes and a bid to win Ndebele loyalty.

Analysts say Matebeleland, of which Bulawayo is the capital and was the 1890s seat of government of Matebele warrior King Lobengula, will play a vital role in either weakening Mugabe's grip on power or consolidating his rule.

The first railway line, from Cape Town in South Africa to Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia under British colonial rule, ran into Bulawayo and its national headquarters was set there.

As the country diversified from an agricultural base to include manufacturing and mining, Bulawayo and surrounding towns and villages looked poised to become its industrial base. Today that early promise of glory seems to have all but fizzled out.

Bulawayo and much of Matebeleland has gone into steady decline over the years and the Ndebeles are angry.

For many Ndebeles this is epitomised by tall, ultra-modern buildings that have sprung up in Harare while hardly anything worthy of attention has gone up in Bulawayo.

"People in this region are angry and want change. They want change yesterday," said Queen Sheeba, a regional official with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZIMRIGHTS).

Mugabe says economic decay is a result of British sabotage against his government. He accuses London of fighting him because of his declared intention to seize white-owned land for redistribution to landless blacks.

Self-styled liberation war veterans have already seized hundreds of white-owned farms, saying they were reclaiming land seized illegally by white colonists over 200 years ago. Mugabe has backed the invasions, promised more and has urged blacks to sup port him in his programme of "Africanisation."

But many critics, especially in Matebeleland, believe Mugabe has used the land more as a means to get re-elected than redress colonial injustices.

They accuse him of enlisting the veterans in a political terror campaign against rural voters suspected of backing the opposition MDC ahead of the polls.

"In the 1980s we were targeted as a people. But now everyone across the country is feeling the pain of having an arrogant government in power," a Ndebele elder in Bulawayo told Reuters.


The elder, who is campaigning for the MDC in Matebeleland, was referring to a government crackdown in Matebeleland which resulted in Nkomo fleeing the country into exile in Britain for four months.

With Nkomo gone -- he died last July at age of 83 -- Mugabe may find it difficult to keep Ndebele support behind him and ZANU-PF.

Political analysts say the absence of Nkomo, who died as Mugabe's vice-president, had left a political vacuum in Matebeleland and fears of renewed tension between the Ndebeles and the Shona-dominated ZANU-PF.

Nkomo, who towered over Zimbabwe's black politics for over half a century, earning himself the name Umdala Wethu (Our Old Man), had a soothing influence over the Ndebeles' bitterness towards the government.

Nkomo spearheaded the struggle for black majority rule but came second to Mugabe in polls when the former Rhodesia gained independence from Britain in 1980.

Nkomo and Mugabe fell out in 1982 when Mugabe accused the veteran nationalist leader of planning a military coup. Nkomo denied the accusations and his former guerrillas rebelled. In the ensuing government crackdown, human rights groups said thousands of civilians were killed in central and southwestern Zimbabwe.

Much of the violence was alleged to have been committed by government troops, particularly the notorious North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade.

A unity accord between ZANU-PF and Nkomo's PF-ZAPU in 1987 ended the civil war, and Mugabe made Nkomo a vice-president and gave dozens of his top officials senior government posts.

But calls by the victims for an official apology and compensation have hounded Mugabe.

At Tuesday's night rally MDC senior official and prominent human rights lawyer Welshman Ncube urged the people to Matebeleland to reject "Mugabe's corrupt government.

"We must say no to these people. We must remove them from power," he said to load applause.

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Dear all,

Especially students who have just returned and everyone & that means
everyone in Zimbabwe, even if you think that you are not registered we urge
you to go and check and please, please try and vote.  If your name is not in
your constituency register - please check your neighbouring constituencies
it might be there.

Vote MDC!

Keep up the momentum!


MDC Support Centre
8th Floor, Gold Bridge

Guqula Izenzo/Maitiro Chinja

"Zimbabwe's strength lies in racial and ethnic diversity - we will overcome
attempts to divide us" (Morgan Tsvangirai)

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[Department Seal: </www/images/dosthumb.gif] Congressman Donald M. Payne, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Africa Committee, U.S House of Representatives

Opening Statement for Hearing Entitled "Zimbabwe: Democracy on the Line"
Washington, DC, June 13, 2000
Thank you very much for calling this hearing on the crisis facing Zimbabwe. I know that President Mugabe's troops are still in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo). I am concerned about the recent outbreak of fighting around Kisangani between Rwanda and Uganda, two former allies. Yet if relations can break down between Eritrea and Ethiopia, I guess hostilities between Rwanda and Uganda should not come as a big surprise.
My most recent visit to Harare was in December of last year. I traveled with Rep. Amo Houghton (NY) and the Minority Speaker of the House, Rep. Gephardt (MO). At that time they were preparing to vote in January on the referendum on land reform.
At a time when independence movements were sweeping across most of the continent, Zimbabwe was still deeply ruled by its British colonial masters. When independence finally reached Zimbabwe two decades later, the land issue still had not been resolved. In contrast to this, northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, was able to successfully redistribute land previously owned by white farmers. Land issues exist all over the world. For example, I found during my visit to Papua New Guinea that they too have land disputes. However, they have managed to resolved these issues in a peaceful manner. Perhaps Zimbabwe could use these two countries as models for themselves.
Finally, let me say that while the land issue is a point of contention, it should be treated as a separate matter from the elections. President Mugabe should not use the land issue, fear and intimidation before the elections as a way to consolidate his power base. Furthermore, I cannot condone the killings of innocent people.
Once again, thank you for calling this hearing on Zimbabwe.
[end of document]

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[Department Seal: </www/images/dosthumb.gif] Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman
Subcommittee on Africa, U.S. House of Representatives

Opening Statement for Hearing Entitled "Zimbabwe: Democracy on the Line"
Washington, DC, June 13, 2000
As Prepared for Delivery
Today the Subcommittee will look at the political chaos in Zimbabwe, where legislative elections are scheduled for June 24-25. Our witnesses today will tell how President Robert Mugabe is sparing no means to maintain power for his ZANU-PF.
Of late, we have seen the spectacle of ZANU-PF supporters attacking schools, having taken their cue from the Justice Minister, who accused teachers of "polluting the minds" of young people. The Zimbabwe Teachers Association says at least 200 schools have been disrupted by intimidation and attack. Teachers have been dragged from their classrooms. Teachers have been stripped naked in front of their students and forced to chant pro-government slogans. Teachers have been beaten unconscious. This is instigated by a government which professes a concern for education. It is no coincidence that teachers have served as poll workers in previous elections. There can be no mistake that a message is being sent.
It has not escaped the attention of the world that the government police have resorted to colonial-era special powers to restrict political activity. ZimRights, the country's main human rights organization, has repeatedly denounced shortcomings in the electoral process and abuses by state officials. It is clear that the Mugabe government does not desire free and fair elections.
The political intimidation has been deadly. At least 31 persons, mostly black Movement for Democratic Change supporters, have been killed and hundreds others have been beaten, raped, or forced to flee their homes. Ominously, so-called "war veterans," doing the government's bidding, have been deployed to Matabeleland, where they wear red berets. This is a not-so-veiled threat to renew the slaughter that the Mugabe government orchestrated there in the 1980s, which resulted in thousands of deaths, should it lose this election. I should point out that there are veterans of the war who are increasingly speaking out against the terror of these government-directed groups.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe economy is collapsing. The illegal land seizures, designed to intimidate the political opposition, are accelerating the demise of an already troubled and corrupted economy. Food shortages are sure to come. The country's health services also are in crisis.
The State Department recently said that the U.S. is "deeply troubled that Zimbabwe's previous reputation as a law-abiding, democratic society is in jeopardy. Violence and intimidation are undermining the rule of law and the very foundation of democracy in Zimbabwe." This isn't quite right. Sadly, the rule of law and democracy have long been compromised in post-independence Zimbabwe. It has been a de facto one-party state, where political opponents have been intimidated and physically abused. The U.S. and the international community have sowed the seeds for today's crisis, sweeping these troubling realities under the rug for years, and indulging the Mugabe government with aid. U.S. bilateral aid alone has totaled $750 million, while the Mugabe government has bought luxury properties abroad. Land reform has not been a government priority.
The results are in. After President Mugabe has played the donors like a fiddle for 20 years, Zimbabwe is staring into the abyss.
Today we will hear about the role that international observers will play in Zimbabwe's upcoming legislative elections. The Mugabe government is putting up roadblocks to observers; the opposition wants observers. Observers should be sent. But international election observers must be prepared to make hard-nosed judgments, calling attention to election shortcomings. The political opposition in Zimbabwe has shown tremendous courage in the face or terrifying and cowardly government attacks, while practicing non-violence. International observers have a moral obligation to honor democracy by doing their job with the highest level of integrity.
What Zimbabwe desperately needs is a government that can promote a respect for the rule of law. Unless the political landscape is dramatically transformed, I don't see this coming about any time soon. That will be a tragedy for the vast number of Zimbabweans who are committed to peace."
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[Department Seal: </www/images/dosthumb.gif] Chester A. Crocker, Former Assistant Secretary
Bureau of African Affairs

Testimony Before the House International Relations Committee
Subcommittee on Africa
Washington, DC, June 13, 2000

Situation in Zimbabwe

It is a pleasure to appear before this committee to discuss the dramatic and tragic situation in Zimbabwe. I have a few opening comments and then will be happy to respond to questions. I first visited Zimbabwe some 33 years ago, at about the time when the national liberation war against minority rule was getting started. I've been there many times since then. Zimbabwe has often seemed a troubled land. The battle over majority rule was bitter and bloody. Shortly after independence in 1980 there were other bloody episodes as the governing ZANU-PF party consolidated its rule, using foreign troops to smash the power base of another, rival political party. While the country's political life has featured the trappings of democratic practice, the reality of its elections has frequently included the arbitrary use of official power, an uneven playing field for opposition candidates, and the occasional resort to tactics of intimidation.
But until the late 1990s, these practices remained within certain limits. Gradually, it seemed that a semblance of tranquility and decency came to Zimbabwe. This may have been due, in part, to the fact that until recently Zimbabweans have not been in a position to mount a serious challenge to the de facto one-party rule they have lived under for the past 20 years (a situation reflected in the parliament where ZANU-PF controls all but 3 seats out of 150).
The situation today is quite different. I said earlier that it is dramatic: we are some 10 days away from one of the most important elections in modern African history. Opposition candidates will run in all 120 open constituencies. Hundreds if not thousands of local and foreign observers will be watching, including representatives from Zimbabwe's important civil society and from such organizations as the EU, SADC, the Commonwealth, the OAU and a range of external civil society bodies--some of which will testify this morning. There is excitement in the air because a government-sponsored constitutional referendum failed a few months ago, suggesting the possibility of a real challenge to ZANU-PF domination.
The upcoming election will take place against a backdrop of government-sanctioned and sponsored violence directed against farm workers (that is rural African voters), farm owners, and opposition leaders in which there have been some 28 deaths and a widespread pattern of brutal intimidation by so-called "veterans" of the struggle for majority rule. The situation is so severe that one stands in awe of the sheer courage and conviction of unarmed oppositionists who have the guts to stand up to a regime which increasingly lives by the gun.
These impressive leaders have come together from a wide range of backgrounds--the free trade union movement, the law, journalism, grass roots human rights advocacy, women's groups--united in the belief that it is possible for Zimbabwe to have peaceful, democratic political change. Yet, as Amnesty International has reminded us in recent days, there is "a pervasive atmosphere of fear and intimidation which in turn is hampering the rights to freedom of assembly, association, movement and expression"; the National Democratic Institute has declared that conditions for a credible democratic election do not now exist.
Mr. Chairman, I said earlier that this is a tragic as well as a dramatic situation. This need not have happened. Zimbabwe is a beautiful land with rich resources, most especially its people, who are skilled and accomplished in many fields. Zimbabwe's industrial and commercial farming sectors have, until recently, been a source of regional dynamism, making the country a significant commodity and food exporter and a key economic partner for all its neighbors, including South Africa. Zimbabwe's political leadership which has been in power since 1980 also had a record of some accomplishment, at least until recently.
While economic growth has been uneven during these 20 years and the government has never been what we would call "market friendly," there was a pragmatic streak to government policies in the political and economic arena. We are talking, after all, about the second most important economy in the subregion, a pivot for regional integration and development, and a nation whose institutions have at times played an important and constructive regional role. Sadly, those legacies have gone out the window. Zimbabwe's policies of pragmatism, reconciliation and regional cooperation have been replaced by the politics of greedy adventurism in the region--most notably, of course, in the Congo--and the politics of envy and racial scapegoating at home.
But let us be very clear about the real problem. No matter what President Mugabe and his lieutenants may declare publicly, Zimbabwe's troubles are of their own making. The problem is not land ownership or colonial legacies or the continuing place of whites in the agricultural economy. The problem is that Mugabe and his key associates fear losing power in a democratic election in which their adversaries are fellow black Zimbabweans. Everything else is a pure and simple cover story, the playing of race cards by an embattled regime. This is not the way Robert Mugabe began his career as Zimbabwe's first elected leader in 1980 when he sent signals of reconciliation to all his fellow citizens. I have known Robert Mugabe and have met with him on and off over these 20 years. I respect him. He has made substantial contributions to his nation's liberation, its development, and that of the Southern African region. We have often differed on some major issues. But this is a man of substance, intelligence, and deep conviction. It is tragic that his fear of losing power is crowding out those other qualities.
Mr. Chairman, events in Zimbabwe need to be understood in their full regional significance. This drama has the potential to shape the evolution of an entire subcontinent, just like the earlier events which we so badly mishandled in Rwanda and then those in Congo, which flowed from Rwanda and which--not coincidentally--started us down the slippery slope with Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's intervention there appears based on a mixture of classic state motivations in a power vacuum situation and the motives of an adventurous, greedy and somewhat isolated regime.
Today, Zimbabwe's possible implosion into autocratic disorder affects Africa's fragile state system and the highly vulnerable economies across the Sub-Saharan region. Already, events in Zimbabwe are having dire regional consequences as its capacity to export commodities and minerals declines and its capacity to import vitally needed oil, spare parts, electric power collapses. Tourism, a major regional driver, is drying up. The awful reverberations of Zimbabwe's official race-baiting and threats to property have literally driven down South Africa's rand by 10% to 15%. The climate for business is heading south through Sub-Saharan Africa, and fast.
Well, if the stakes are large, what are we doing about it? My impression is that we are wringing our hands, hoping the South Africans will somehow rescue the situation, talking the talk about democratic norms and principles, and avoiding doing anything much to shape events either alone or with our partners in Africa and Europe. One senses a palpable preoccupation with not giving offense to anyone who might be offended by plain speaking. I would suggest to you that things have deteriorated to a point where there are no easy and attractive options left. There are two avenues we could follow:

  • One, we could do our best to press for an open and fair election process but resign ourselves in practice to the likelihood of a stolen or substantially bent outcome. Of course, we might get lucky and witness an electoral upset in which the ZANU-PF-dominated parliament is replaced by a genuine multiparty result and the regime respects that outcome and shares power. I would not bet on this scenario, Mr. Chairman.

Assuming that violent intimidation and police state tactics work, we could accept that reality and decide to work with it. This would mean actively engaging Mugabe and his team with a conditional strategy, using both stick and carrot to move them back from the edge of their self-destructive orgy. This will not be easy to do and it may not be pretty to watch. The goal, of course, would be to salvage a regionally dangerous situation and move the country's leadership back within the pale of minimally acceptable conduct. However unappealing such a strategy in terms of our political values, this course is strongly to be preferred to one of self-isolating, petulant ostracism which only marginalizes our own voice and influence.

  • the other choice is to work through all appropriate channels for a change in power in Zimbabwe after a flawed election, resigning ourselves to the likelihood that Zimbabwe is slated to become Africa's Romania and Mugabe its Ceausescu. That regime, it will be recalled, was ended by the actions of the people of Romania, and the same may ultimately happen in Zimbabwe if the recent patterns of official conduct continue. Hence, our role under this approach ought to be maximally discreet and low-key in order to avoid giving the Mugabe regime the sort of external adversary which dying, authoritarian regimes crave in order to stave off their inevitable demise. Under this approach, we would treat Zimbabwe like the pariah it appears almost to want to be, disengage from official relationships and government-to-government programming of any sort, and wait for the pressures to mount ... helping where we can without distorting the political equation.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I have outlined the setting and a couple of ways of thinking about it. My own instincts are toward engagement because there is a lot at stake and I have limited confidence that letting nature take its course will produce early, positive change. But, whichever course we adopt, it must be only after the most careful, practical and detailed consultation with our British allies, whose knowledge and influence probably exceed our own, as well as with the South Africans, Zambians, Mozambicans, and others in the region. This is a case where the current American penchant for sloppy unilateralism and photo-op foreign policy making needs to be brought under some semblance of control so that we can work effectively with others.
[end of document]

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[Department Seal: </www/images/dosthumb.gif] Nancy J. Powell, Acting Assistant Secretary
Bureau of African Affairs

Testimony Before the House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Africa
Washington, DC, June 13, 2000
As Prepared for Delivery

Zimbabwe: U.S. Policy and Bilateral Relations

Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to testify on Zimbabwe. As a country that struggled successfully against white minority rule, Zimbabwe was a beacon of hope for the region and the world. The United States made a pledge to help the new state of Zimbabwe and has invested over $750 million since Zimbabwe's 1980 independence to improve the lives of all Zimbabweans. Ethnic violence erupted in the mid-1980's as the government brutally crushed a perceived threat from the Ndebele people in the south. However, for most Zimbabweans, life got better after independence. Services and access to education expanded rapidly, and it appeared that the scars of Zimbabwe's liberation war were healing. As a friend of Zimbabwe, we deeply regret that Zimbabwe's promising future has not yet been realized.
Zimbabwe's commitment to democracy is now being severely tested, as the ruling party faces formidable competition for the first time since independence. As Zimbabwe moves into the final phase of the political campaign for the June 24-25 parliamentary elections, the country's previous reputation as a law-abiding society is in jeopardy. The political campaign has been brutal. Supporters of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) have staged occupations of privately owned farms, and the Government of Zimbabwe has refused to implement court orders calling on the police to evict the occupiers. Farm workers have been forced to participate in "reeducation" camps and announce their loyalty to ZANU-PF under threat of death. The ruling party has expanded its violent campaign beyond the farms to include the beating and rape of teachers, city workers, election monitors, and other professionals suspected of supporting the strongest opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change.
While violence has come from all quarters, ZANU-PF's campaign of intimidation and violence is especially worrisome because it appears to have been conceived at the highest levels of the Government of Zimbabwe. Government resources were used to transport war veterans to commercial farms that were carefully targeted for occupation. Respect for property rights, a critical component for any nation's development, has been undermined as criminals take advantage of police inaction to pillage and destroy crops and farm property. Some senior members of the government have encouraged the violence and destruction by ignoring court orders and taking few steps to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of violence. The government has, in effect, abdicated its responsibility to respect and uphold the human and political rights of all Zimbabweans. Instead, it has approached the elections as if all political opponents were traitors who do not deserve the basic protections so critical to the success of democracy. We were appalled when President Mugabe characterized all white farmers as "enemies of the state." The actions of ZANU-PF, endorsed by the government, have polarized society and undermined the rule of law in Zimbabwe.
We have approached the Government of Zimbabwe at all levels to express our deep concerns over the violence and erosion of the rule of law. The U.S. Ambassador in Harare has met with several senior ministers to underscore U.S. concerns. We have issued public statements in Washington and Harare calling on the government to respect court orders, end illegal farm invasions, and prosecute the perpetrators of violence. We have also expressed our concerns directly through the Zimbabwean Ambassador to the United States. The United States has suspended support for Technical Support Unit of the government's Land Reform and Redistribution Program pending a return to the principles agreed upon between donors and the Government of Zimbabwe at the 1998 donors' conference on Land Reform. We have made diplomatic approaches to other donor countries and to Zimbabwe's neighbors in the Southern African Development Community to try to bring an end to the occupations and violence, stressing that events in Zimbabwe have an effect on the entire region.
The Government of Zimbabwe has repeatedly stated that it will impose its own solution to the land reform issue, and it has amended the constitution and supporting legislation to allow it to seize 804 commercial farms without payment of full compensation. It claims that it will not pay for land that was taken from indigenous people during the colonial period, but will pay, over a period of 5 years, for improvements to the seized land. The government has begun to issue notices to the identified farm owners stating that they have until July 2 to appeal the terms of the property seizures, but not the seizure itself. Zimbabwe's approach is dangerous and will discourage investment and reforms critical to the country's long-term future. It is worth noting, however, that to date the Government of Zimbabwe has not confiscated any land without payment of adequate compensation.
The Government of Zimbabwe does not appear to be thinking about the long-term impact that its actions will have on the country's reputation as a beacon of hope for the region and the world. It has used a legitimate issue, the need for more equitable distribution of land as a political tool to occupy farms, incite racial tensions, intimidate rural voters, and brutalize real and perceived opponents of ZANU-PF. The United States has made clear to the Government of Zimbabwe that we recognize the historical inequities in land distribution and the need for meaningful land reform. We want to resume our technical assistance program that we suspended in late March. The 1998 agreement still offers the best prospect for a fair and equitable land redistribution. The government's apparent rejection of this agreement, which it signed after lengthy consultations with all stakeholders, suggests that it may not really seek a workable long-term solution. Instead, it may be creating a crisis designed to benefit ZANU-PF in the June 24-25 elections.
Zimbabweans are paying a terrible price. The economy has suffered. Agricultural production and tourism are way down, inflation is over 70%, investment has decreased markedly, and unemployment is up. Foreign exchange reserves are down to one-day's cover, and fuel and other imported commodities are in short supply.
Mr. Chairman, the headlines from Zimbabwe are not good these days, but it is important to keep in mind that there has been a deepening of democracy, as ironic as that may seem, even though the government is trying to manipulate the political process for its own benefit. Democratic forces have matured in Zimbabwe. Millions of Zimbabweans demand change and the vast majority are using peaceful, democratic means to pursue it. In February of this year, a majority of voters peacefully rejected a government-sponsored constitution that would have increased presidential powers and allowed the government to seize farmland without full compensation. Zimbabwe is rich in natural resources and human capital. Zimbabweans are among the most educated and politically active people on the continent of Africa. A vibrant civil society has emerged that can serve as a long-term foundation for democratic development. A new political party has been formed that has significant support and is comprised of all racial and ethnic groups. The United States has a longstanding friendship for the people of Zimbabwe, and we intend to do everything we can to preserve and advance democratic gains, protect civil society, and help Zimbabweans to uphold the rule of law.
To this end, we believe the June 24-25 parliamentary elections are a turning point in the democratic history of Zimbabwe. The government is facing real competition. Political apathy, which had increased in recent elections, has been reversed as Zimbabweans see a chance to change or influence the government using democratic tools. The citizens were heartened that their views were heard during the constitutional referendum in February. U.S. Government programs in Zimbabwe have played an important role in teaching Zimbabweans how to engage and influence their government, and expand the space for democratic growth.
Conditions for free and fair elections do not yet exist in Zimbabwe. Given our concern for a credible process, even though we know the electoral foundation is flawed, we will continue our efforts to make the elections as free and fair as possible. Democracy and governance are the top priorities as jointly conceived by the U.S. Embassy in Harare and USAID for USAID's $12 million a year program in Zimbabwe. For these critical elections, the U.S. Government is funding the training of over 10,000 domestic election monitors. We are also funding training for polling officials of all political parties who will also monitor the June 24-25 elections. We are funding voter education and helping with efforts to audit the voters' rolls. We are helping the semi-independent Electoral Supervisory Commission to cope with the administrative demands of election logistics. The U.S. Embassy in Harare has hosted distinguished international authorities on elections to meet with government and opposition officials to share their experiences on ways to promote credible elections. We are pursuing the assistance of the Network of Independent monitors, a KwaZulu Natal organization that will do "peace monitoring" aimed at mitigating violent confrontations in the "no-go" constituencies. We are funding human rights organizations that are documenting and protesting abuses in the current campaign. We are supporting the participation of observers from the SADC parliamentary forum. The U.S. Government has awarded grants to the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute to monitor the pre-election and election process, and U.S. Embassy officials will also monitor the elections.
We have told the Government of Zimbabwe that the United States wants to help with land reform, but that our ability to assist will depend in large part upon the holding of credible elections and a return to the principles agreed upon at the 1998 donors' conference. U.S. support for Zimbabwe in the International Financial Institutions depends on Zimbabwe's demonstrated commitment to credible economic reform. Our commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law will not waver.
Our long-term goal in Zimbabwe is to help build a sustainable democracy based on respect for the rule of law and protection of human rights. We seek also a market-oriented economy that attracts investment and addresses inequities, and independent institutions accountable to its citizenry. We want to see a robust civil society that can engage and influence the Government of Zimbabwe, stronger leadership in combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and more social services to meet the needs of the poorest Zimbabweans. Almost all U.S. Government assistance to Zimbabwe, with the exception of funds to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic, is channeled through nongovernmental organizations. We also seek Zimbabwe's help in implementing the Lusaka Agreement to bring peace to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Zimbabwe has deployed some 12,000 troops. With stable democratic institutions at home, Zimbabwe can once again play a role in enhancing regional stability. We look forward to working with Congress to seek a better future for all Zimbabweans.
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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement

[flag  bar: </www/images/bluebar.gif]
Press Statement by Philip T. Reeker, Acting Spokesman
June 8, 2000

Zimbabwe: U.S. Calls for End to Political Intimidation
Given the long-standing U.S. friendship for the people of Zimbabwe, we are deeply troubled that Zimbabwe's previous reputation as a law-abiding, democratic society is in jeopardy. Violence and intimidation are undermining the rule of law and the very foundation of democracy in Zimbabwe. The United States calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to make the right choices to lead Zimbabwe to genuine democracy and prosperity. We condemn the ongoing campaign of violence and intimidation being waged by the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).
We are dismayed that the ruling party has expanded its violent campaign beyond the occupation of farms to include the beating and rape of teachers, city workers, election monitors, and other professionals. We deplore the forced relocation of farm workers to "re-education" camps and the murder of opposition political candidates. We call on the Government of Zimbabwe to immediately take the necessary steps so that all Zimbabweans can vote freely and without fear in this month's parliamentary election. The legitimacy of the elections will be in serious doubt unless the Government of Zimbabwe acts now to restrain the forces of violence it has unleashed and reassure voters of the secrecy of the ballot.
The United States Government supports the development of a vibrant democracy in Zimbabwe. Democracy cannot flourish, and indeed will be hindered for years to come, unless the Government of Zimbabwe ends the occupation of farms, allows the police to investigate political crimes, and recalls the supporters it has directed to intimidate the population at large.
[end of document]
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Zimbabwe opposition predicts victory - BBC: Thursday, 22 June, 2000, 18:21 GMT 19:21 UK  
Zimbabwe Police Tear Gas Mugabe Supporters - Thursday June 22 3:29 PM ET NYAMANDLOVU, (Reuters)
Zimbabwe Voting Focuses on Mugabe: Thursday June 22 4:32 PM ET - HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP)
Months of strain take toll on white farmers - The Telegraph 22 June 2000 (from the Sydney Morning Herald)
White minister defends Mugabe - LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH - June 22, 2000 (from the Washington Times)
Zimbabwe opposition predicts victory
BBC: Thursday, 22 June, 2000, 18:21 GMT 19:21 UK
Word on the street: Newspapers step up coverage
Zimbabwe's main opposition party says it will win parliamentary elections this weekend if they are not rigged.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said his party should gain a majority in a parliament dominated by the governing Zanu-PF party for 20 years.

But President Robert Mugabe has hit back at Mr Tsvangirai, calling him "a stooge of outside powers" and saying he would be defeated.

Mr Tsvangirai was speaking after another of his supporters was beaten to death, allegedly by members of Zanu-PF.

At least 30 people, mainly opposition supporters, have died in violence linked to the elections and invasions of white-owned farms by ruling party supporters.

Mr Tsvangirai told journalists in Harare that nearly 70% of Zimbabweans want change in this country, but queried how that would be translated into seats.

"I know for certain that any result that does not give the MDC a majority will have been seriously rigged," he said

Mugabe campaigns

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has continued his campaigning with a rally in the southern town of Masvingo.

He addressed supporters gathered in a local football stadium,

On the issue of land, he said that if Britain wanted to give compensation to white farmers, then Zimbabwe would accept it.

If not, Britain could keep the money and Zimbabweans would take the land.

And he said he would never send the army or the police in against war veterans who had invaded commercial farms.

On the subject of Mr Tsvangirai, the president said he might win an election overseas, but would be defeated at home.

Hundreds beaten

The MDC said Zeke Chigagwa was killed on Wednesday morning in Makanganwa about 300km west of Harare.
Hundreds of others have been beaten and intimidated in what human rights organisations have condemned as a state-sponsored terror campaign designed to crush the opposition.

The MDC says no arrests have been made over the murder of any of its activists.

Earlier, the government dismissed international criticism of its decision to prevent about 200 foreign monitors observing the election.

A US State Department spokesman called the ban on monitors from non-governmental organisations an outrageous step that would diminish the credibility of the elections and tarnish the reputation of Zimbabwe.

But a Zanu-PF official, Professor Jonathan Moyo, said there was no law obliging the country to use international observers for the elections.

He said he was confident that the monitors selected by the ruling party would do a fair and accurate job.

Monitors sent by international organisations such as the European Union and the Commonwealth are not affected by the ban.

About 300 foreign observers from the EU, the Commonwealth, the Organisation of African Unity, South Africa, Japan, Australia and Canada have been approved by Harare.


Zimbabwe Police Tear Gas Mugabe Supporters

Thursday June 22 3:29 PM ET - By Buchizya Mseteka

NYAMANDLOVU, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - Zimbabwe police, in a rare move against supporters of President Robert Mugabe, on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse ZANU-PF party militants trying to disrupt an opposition rally.

The extremely unusual police action drew wild cheers from some 3,500 supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) who had gathered for a rally in Nyamandlovu, south of Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo.

About 50 ZANU-PF youths armed with sticks, rocks and machetes had occupied the Nyamandlovu sports field where MDC vice-president Gibson Sibanda was to give a speech.

Police at first refused to intervene, saying they were outnumbered by the ZANU-PF supporters, who sang and chanted in praise of Mugabe.

The police commander radioed to Bulawayo for reinforcements while MDC supporters waited on the sidelines and chanted:

``We are tired of Mugabe, we are tired of ZANU-PF. We want change.''

An hour later, a truckload of riot police armed with rifles arrived at the sports field and when the youths refused to disperse, their commanding officer ordered a volley of tear gas canisters to be fired into the crowd.

The youths then fled as the police advanced.

A police officer told journalists that it was government policy to maintain law and order and to allow political parties to campaign without hindrance.

In the past Zimbabwean police have regularly stood by without taking action while veterans of the 1970s independence war attacked white farms or MDC supporters.

The MDC rally went ahead after the incident. People in

Nyamandlovu, where a white farmer was killed over a month ago by self-styled liberation war veterans, were pleasantly surprised by the police action.

``This has never happened before, never,'' a white farmer who only gave his name as John told Reuters.

At least 30 people, mostly opposition supporters, have died in violence linked to the election or to the invasion of hundreds of white-owned farms by pro-government militants since February.

Mugabe has backed the farm invasions, saying black Zimbabweans should reclaim land stolen during the British colonial era. But Mugabe has denied responsibility for the violence and blamed it on the opposition.

MDC officials have complained of being unable to campaign in certain rural areas, like Nyamandlovu, sealed off by the war veterans and ZANU-PF supporters.

Zimbabwe Voting Focuses on Mugabe

Thursday June 22 4:32 PM ET - By ANGUS SHAW, Associated Press Writer

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - This weekend's parliamentary elections throw the spotlight on one man who's not even on the ballot - Zimbabwe's longtime leader Robert Mugabe.

To most voters, the polls are about whether Mugabe, the autocratic president who has ruled this country since independence, remains unchallenged or is forced to loosen his 20-year grip on power.

Mugabe already has suffered one stunning defeat at the polls this year, when voters in February rejected proposed constitutional revisions that would have further entrenched his powers.

Since then, Mugabe, 76, has worked desperately to save his ruling party from electoral defeat - no matter what the cost to his country, said John Makumbe, a political science professor at the University of Zimbabwe.

``He is driven by desperation,'' Makumbe said.

Soon after the referendum defeat, armed ruling party militants began occupying the first of an eventual 1,600 white-owned commercial farms, disrupting planting and harvesting in this agriculturally dependent country. Mugabe has encouraged the occupations, promising to redistribute white-owned farms to hundreds of thousands of landless blacks - after the election.

Mugabe also has made vague promises to give at least some control of white-owned businesses to blacks.

``He is a consummate politician who has seized on populist issues without any regard for how he will deliver on his promises,'' said Alfred Nhema, head of the political studies department at the University of Zimbabwe.

These promises, together with widespread violence against opposition supporters and Mugabe's virulent criticism of the former colonial ruler, Britain, have scared financial markets and shut off loans and investment.

Hard currency reserves - heavily dependent on withering tobacco sales and tourism dollars - have dried up, causing acute shortages of gasoline and kerosene.

``Mugabe calculates this will be a short, turbulent period that will pass once the election is won,'' Nhema said.

In the meantime, the economic turbulence has given rise to the rapid growth of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, the first serious threat to Mugabe's rule.

A poll published last week showed the opposition party could win 70 of the 120 seats at stake in the parliamentary election. That would be a near-revolution in a country where Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front held 147 of the 150 seats in the last parliament.

But with Mugabe appointing 30 parliament members, the opposition needs at least 76 seats to have a majority and press ahead with its goal of forcing Mugabe to retire before his term ends in 2002.

Mugabe's party has expressed confidence that it will maintain a large majority.

Mugabe, who was jailed for a decade by the former white-minority government of Rhodesia, was hailed as a freedom fighter and symbol of African liberation for leading the country, renamed Zimbabwe, to independence in 1980.

Once in power, though, Mugabe failed to clamp down on government corruption and thrived as the head of a ruling elite, few of whom dared challenge him, Makumbe said.

Now, he has sacrificed whatever remains of his heroic reputation because of his fear of losing power, Makumbe said.

``He would never have behaved like this two or three years ago,'' Makumbe said.

John Nkomo, chairman of the ruling party, acknowledged that Mugabe, an ascetic former school teacher, has few friends, has groomed no heir apparent in the party and maintains a haughty, distant manner with his subordinates.

But he is a strong man, who rules his country with ``principled leadership,'' Nkomo said.

That leadership has not inspired loyalty in Mugabe's party, Nhema said. If it fares poorly in the elections, some government ministers and party officials may be prepared to dump their leader, Nhema said.

Months of strain take toll on white farmers

The Telegraph 22 June 2000 - By DAVID BLAIR in Harare

Heads bowed, many close to breaking down, scores of white farmers and their wives and children trooped into a stress management seminar on Wednesday in a graphic sign of the disintegration of their morale.

White Zimbabwean farmers have always prided themselves on their pioneer spirit. The very idea of counselling would have inspired their contempt. But four months of land invasions and intimidation have taken their toll.

With 20 squatters permanently camped at her gate, Mrs Blair Henderson feels intimidated every time she takes her two daughters beyond the front door.

"It's like a dripping tap," Mrs Henderson said. "It just goes on and on. We feel so dismal all of the time. If we have to leave the farm then let's just get it over and done with."

Mrs Henderson described how the squatters on her family's land track their every movement. When relatives gathered for her mother-in-law's birthday, the invaders demanded an explanation.

"They asked why cars were moving in and out of the farm after dark. Then they accused us of secretly moving arms. We can't even have a birthday party. We have to explain everything we do."

No farmer has been prepared for the pressures of the four months leading up to this weekend's general election. Squatters have invaded 1,631 properties and been responsible for a wave of violence.

More than 2,400 assaults have been reported to the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) and five farmers have been murdered. For every violent incident, there are countless cases of petty harassment that continue day after day, and have taken an immense toll on farming families.

The CFU has responded by organising stress management seminars that have been packed to capacity. More than 150 people attended the fourth session on Wednesday.

Mr Kevin O'Connor said axe-wielding squatters had been camping on his farm since February and were constantly threatening to set fire to the farmhouse unless he supplied food, shelter, firewood and water.

"I'm getting to the stage where I want to resist their demands. When they say, 'Give us food or we will burn your house down', I want to say, 'Do it. Come and burn my house down because I've had enough. I'm leaving'. I'll get my wife and family out and just leave them to burn my farm."

During the seminar, farmers shared experiences and learnt how to control their anger.

Mr David Harrison, an industrial psychologist who runs the events, said the endless threats were taking an immense toll.

"Farmers are in a uniquely stressful situation because this has continued for so long.

"A stiff-upper-lip soldier may have to control himself only for a few days. These people have had to do so for months, and there is no end in sight. The natural human reaction is to fight or run. They can do neither."

The Telegraph, London


White minister defends Mugabe
By David Blair

      HARARE, Zimbabwe — When Zimbabweans go to the polls this weekend, at least one white farmer will be enthusiastically supporting President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwean African National Union-Patriotic Front party.
     Timothy Stamps, the health minister, is the only white member of a government whose leader seizes every opportunity to denounce "British settlers" before crowds waving placards reading "Zimbabwe for the blacks."
     Yet Mr. Stamps is the inheritor of a 20-year tradition. In the first flush of enthusiasm for independent Zimbabwe, ZANU-PF drew considerable support from a white community eager to make amends for having supported the regime of Ian Smith.
     Mr. Smith, 80, was the last prime minister of white-ruled Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979. He led a breakaway administration that resisted British attempts to lead the colony toward majority rule, and once vowed that whites would rule for 1,000 years.
     Throughout his rule, Mr. Mugabe has kept at least one white in the Cabinet and five have served in total.
     Others have been elected to parliament on the ZANU-PF ticket —the last, Jacobus de Wet, another white farmer, is not seeking re-election.
     [Mr. Mugabe, meanwhile, continued to advocate violence yesterday by urging his supporters to strike "with an ax" if they were attacked, Reuters reported.
     ["We want this election to be peaceful [but] I am not saying that if the opposition provokes you, you must fold your arms. If they attack you, you hit them back with an ax," Mr. Mugabe told an enthusiastic rally of 40,000 supporters in a stronghold of his ruling ZANU-PF party.
     [At least 29 persons, mostly supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change, have died in violence linked to the election or the occupation of hundreds of white-owned farms by pro-government militants since February.]
     Mr. Stamps, who has a dairy farm near Mazoe, 30 miles north of Harare, is fiercely loyal to the man whom he calls "my president," and deeply resents his portrayal in the British press.
     "You are burning our president at the stake. If journalists had written the same about [British Prime Minister Winston] Churchill in 1940, they would have been interned," he said.
     "Constantly reporting our failures and frustrations is something that depresses us. There is almost an atavistic attitude that you must fail because you are Africans. That is the cause of President Mugabe's anger."
     In a government where ministers call each other "comrade," Mr. Stamps lapses easily into rhetoric heard in communist Cuba or North Korea. Zimbabwe is a victim of "violent and rapacious capitalism" and ZANU-PF's role is to safeguard the poorest against the harsh winds of "a benighted world."
     He reeled off a list of successes, achieved in the teeth of the onslaught from the "immoral" West.
     "We have the safest blood supply in Africa, thanks to our AIDS screening program, we responded far better to Cyclone Eline than some of our neighbors — with much less help — and there has been a massive expansion in the provision of education."
     In 1979, the last year of the Ian Smith regime, 73,540 children went to secondary school. By 1998, this had risen more than tenfold to to 847,296.
     Few whites have a good word for Mr. Stamps, who usually is branded an apologist for a repressive regime that has ruined the economy, broken its own laws and blamed "settlers" for every new disaster.
     He responded to this criticism with a weary shrug. "I am always asked, 'How can you work for these evil people?' My answer is that I don't see them as evil. I see them as people who have been wronged."
     Redressing the wrongs of the colonial era is, he said, Mr. Mugabe's life mission, and he argued that his fellow white farmers have a special duty to join ZANU-PF's crusade.
     "They must open their eyes and look to the long term. The recalcitrance of some farmers, not all, has been our main problem in solving the land issue," he said.

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Since we set up on 22.5.00 support has
grown steadily and we now have daily reports from a wide cross section of
the community in all parts of the country. The evidence of electoral
malpractice on a monstrous scale is overwhelming, and we are punctilious in
passing every properly documented report to the main international
monitoring teams, the press, and to the Zimbabwe Democracy Trust, without
revealing the name or address of the sender.

Please continue to assist our work by in this last vital week AND after by
reporting every incident as soon as it occurs. Reports should be brief, to
the point, and authentic. Due to the current security situation, reports
need not be attributed to individuals. They should be true, accurate,and
state the time and general location of the incidents (districts or
constituencies if known), together with the identity of the victims and of
those responsible for the action, and should state political affiliations
where known. Details of the response of the police and other authorities
should be provided whenever possible.

The reports distributed by us will not include details of the original
sender, nor of the sender's e-mail address. If you want to send reports via
a third party, as some do, that is accepted and reports will be processed
in the normal way. Reports are normally acknowledged: if you do not want
acknowledgement, please make that clear, and we will follow your instructions.

We are very grateful for the widespread support we have received so far
from individuals throughout Zimbabwe. Some have gone to a great deal of
trouble and put themselves in some danger, for which we give particular
thanks. We are particularly grateful for those who have sent reports from
the townships and from rural areas. Please continue to send us the news and
to encourage others to do the same.


ZIMBABWE TRY 7.215 SHORTWAVE at 7 PM or 915 PM. Reports please. ####


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Vote Intimidation Cited in Zimbabwe - BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AP)
Observer missions must be recognised by UN Charter: Zimbabwe - HARARE, June 20 (AFP)
Humiliated Mugabe rallies support - Sydney Morning Herald - 21 june 2000
Weak Gold Prices Threaten Zimbabwe's No.2 Export Industry - New York Times - 20 June 2000
Wednesday, June 21 3:29 AM SGT

Vote Intimidation Cited in Zimbabwe

By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AP) - With ruling party militants threatening to firebomb his house, opposition candidate David Coltart has been traveling with bodyguards these days.

President Robert Mugabe's party faces its first real electoral threat this weekend since it led Zimbabwe to independence in 1980, and ruling party militants have been rampaging through the countryside. Other candidates of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change have been threatened, had their houses attacked, and in at least one case, been forced to flee the very districts in which they are supposed to be campaigning.

Human rights activists say the climate of intimidation will make it impossible for the parliamentary vote Saturday and Sunday to be fair.

``It's just a very sad reflection of where our country is at, that people like myself and Gibson Sibanda, for simply promoting democracy, are threatened,'' Coltart said of the Movement's vice president.

In the last several months, more than 30 people have been killed in political violence, most of them opposition supporters, and more than 2,000 injured, according to the Amani Trust, an independent group that monitors political violence.

The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front party and the police are responsible for more than 90 percent of the violence, according to Amani figures.

Ruling party adviser Jonathan Moyo dismissed the claims of violence and intimidation as the opposition's ``sickening excuse'' for the ruling party's strength.

``There's no violence here. There's no intimidation here,'' Moyo said. ``The time has come to say enough is enough. People have been visiting this country, and they have not found the violence.''

The human rights group Amnesty International issued a report June 8 accusing the government of planning a deliberate campaign of violence as part of its election strategy.

In recent days, ruling party militants have begun seizing identity cards and voting papers from suspected opposition supporters, making it impossible for them to vote, human rights groups said.

Violence has forced many other voters to flee their districts, where they would have to cast their ballots, according to human rights workers.

Many observers and human rights workers say the constant violence and threats have made a fair election nearly impossible.

``It's not going to be free and fair. The atmosphere, with people dying and the intimidation that's going on, no way,'' said Jim Mackinnon, Oxfam Canada's representative in Zimbabwe, who is helping coordinate some foreign election observers.

Some candidates themselves have been threatened or attacked.

For 30 minutes Sunday, Margaret Dongo, leader of the small Zimbabwe Union of Democrats party, was forced to hide under a table as about 70 people wearing ruling party T-shirts pelted her house with stones and bricks, she said. Five of her supporters were injured.

Blesse Chapundo, an opposition candidate in the central town of Kwekwe, has not visited his district in over a month for fear of attacks by militants.

``The opposition cannot go on to campaign in the area,'' he said.

The violence began in February after the ruling party was stunned when a new constitution that would have further strengthened Mugabe's power was soundly defeated in a referendum, signaling Zimbabweans' disaffection with his party.

Shortly afterward, mobs of Mugabe supporters began occupying white-owned farms, whose owners and laborers alike were seen as key supporters of the opposition.

The invaders said they were protesting inequality in land distribution in a country where 4,000 whites own one-third of the productive farmland.

The 1,600 occupied farms quickly became ruling party power bases from which bands of armed men would roam the area attacking people suspected of supporting the opposition.

Though the intimidation will affect the election, it is unclear whether it will drive many voters away from the opposition, Mackinnon said.

``People are mad right now. They are afraid, and they are mad,'' he said.

Observer missions must be recognised by UN Charter: Zimbabwe

HARARE, June 20 (AFP) - Wednesday, June 21 5:10 AM SGT

Only organisations recognised by the UN Charter will be permitted full "privileges" to observe Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections this weekend, the director of the Election Directorate said Tuesday.

The directorate, made up of civil servants, has taken over most of the functions of the Electoral Supervisory Commission, which saw its petition for a return of its constitutionally enshrined powers turned down by the High Court Tuesday without explanation.

The directorate has withheld accreditation from about 200 of the some 500 international observers here, but Elaine Raftopoulos, a member of the commission, told AFP it would have accredited them if it had been in charge, adding that the effect of the judgment on the electoral process would be "in one word, disaster."

Mariyawanda Nzuwah, the Public Service Commission chief who heads the directorate, told state television that the observers who have been denied accreditation were members of foreign governments, autonomous international organisations and non-governmental organisations.

"Unfortunately (in the case of) a few of the international organisations, we noted that members included in their delegations were not citizens of that regional organisation, or of that particular country," Nzuwah said.

"We also decided that individuals representing non-governmental organisations will not be accredited as observers in terms of the law," he said.

The government recently published a statutory instrument giving the directorate and the foreign ministry the power to accredit international observers "from a foreign country or representing an international organisation" only.

The director said that those denied accreditation could travel freely around the country, and would only be restricted access to polling stations.

"They can move around the country freely, and the security forces will ensure that no harm comes to them," he said.

Nzuwah said his directorate had "no problems" accrediting members of organisations such as the 14-nation Southern African Development Community, the Organisation of African Unity, the Commonwealth and the European Union, along with delegations representing individual countries.

The directorate has also refused accreditation to 17 Kenyan and Nigerian observers who were to have been attached to the EU team, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported Monday.

It accused them of working secretly for Britain, the former colonial power which President Robert Mugabe has classed as Zimbabwe's arch-enemy.

On Tuesday, the Herald described the Kenyans and Nigerians in an editorial as "disgraceful Africans willing to be used as tools by the British in return for a few pieces of silver."

Humiliated Mugabe rallies support

Sydney Morning Herald - 21 june 2000

Harare: Zimbabwe's beleaguered ruling party, ZANU, is planning a monster election rally for Harare tomorrow to wipe out its humiliating failure to bring out supporters at the weekend.

President Robert Mugabe was visibly angry at the weekend when only 5,000 supporters turned up at the city's Zimbabwe Grounds stadium for what was to have been the triumphal last act in his party's parliamentary campaign.

On Sunday his main rival, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) drew 20,000 to his election curtain-raiser in Harare.

ZANU officials said yesterday that they plan to hold a second rally today or tomorrow to "correct" the impression of weakness left by the weekend debacle. Party spokesman Mr Jonathan Moyo has claimed that the media deliberately distorted the attendance figures in favour of the MDC.

Political analysts say, however, that the poor turnout at the president's Harare rally could show that he is more vulnerable to public discontent that was thought.

Despite widespread anger at his increasingly corrupt and incompetent rule, many local and foreign observers believe that ZANU still has enough support in rural tribal areas to win this weekend's parliamentary poll. (Mugabe's own presidential mandate extends to 2002).

Last week an opinion poll suggested that the opposition could win as many as 70 of the 120 seats on offer. Thirty more are thought to be effectively in the gift of the president.

Even if it does not win sufficient votes fairly, there are widespread allegations that ZANU may be planning to use its dominance of the state apparatus to tip the poll in its favour.

The opposition claims that the Government has already sought to rig the poll through intimidation, and that at least 30 of its supporters have been murdered by Government supporters in the past four months.

At the weekend three suspected Mugabe supporters were attacked and beaten at the MDC's Harare rally, while a bus load of ZANU members attacked the Harare home of Mrs Margaret Dongo, one of only three opposition MPs in the 150-seat parliament.

Weak Gold Prices Threaten Zimbabwe's No.2 Export Industry

New York Times - 20 June 2000 : By HENRI E. CAUVIN

JOHANNESBURG, June 19 -- Battered by the low gold prices of the last year and squeezed by a currency crisis at home, Zimbabwe's gold mines are struggling to function.

Gold, the country's biggest export after tobacco, is a crucial source of foreign currency, and the collapse of the industry would be a severe blow to an economy that is already in deep trouble.

Many mines in Zimbabwe are running perilously low on imported supplies like cyanide, which is used to dissolve gold from crushed rock. Some mines say that they could be forced to shut down in a matter of weeks or months.

"If the situation continues, we will become totally uneconomical, and we will have to close," said Frank Purcell, managing director of Delta Gold Zimbabwe, one of the country's largest gold producers. "It's not going to take long."

Another of the big producers, Rio Tinto Zimbabwe, acknowledged the troubles of the last several months but said none of its mines were yet on the brink. "Given the price of gold, and the current exchange rate, we are finding it difficult, but we have no planned closures," said Frank Webster, the company's director of personnel and public relations.

Hoping to exert some pressure on the government of President Robert Mugabe, the Chamber of Mines in Zimbabwe issued a stark warning this month about the state of the industry and urged action to avert the closing of the country's mines.

But with parliamentary elections just days away, and the president's party facing a credible challenge for the first time in the country's history, the ruling party, which dominates government, is focusing attention on its own survival.

Exactly what the Ministry of Mines and the Reserve Bank could do to avert a shutdown in the industry is not clear.

For months, the government has been short of money. Inflation has been as high as 70 percent, foreign currency reserves have plunged and the Zimbabwe dollar has remained artificially tied to the United States dollar, far above its true value.

The gold mines must sell their production to the Reserve Bank at prices calculated according to the official exchange rate of about $38 Zimbabwe dollars to $1. The cap on the currency has driven up the cost of materials, which must be bought at far higher rates that reflect a more realistic value for the Zimbabwe dollar.

Talk of freeing the Zimbabwe dollar to let market forces determine its value has been going on for weeks, and such a move would almost certainly lead to a sharp devaluation. So far nothing has happened.

A devaluation would help cut the cost of Zimbabwe's exports and could help stimulate the economy. But Hester Le Roux, who is a director of Gold Fields Minerals Services, a precious metals research firm in London, says that even if there is a devaluation, it will "merely be a first step, and that other steps will need to be taken."

Mr. Purcell of Delta Gold said he did not believe a devaluation was necessarily the answer.

If the president is to be believed, however, far more sweeping changes could be in store for the mining industry in Zimbabwe. In an interview published last week, Mr. Mugabe told a British newspaper that his government would soon turn its attention to the mines as part of its campaign to redistribute the country's resources to the black majority.

Considering how the country's efforts at agricultural land reform floundered before erupting in pre-election political violence this year, his words were of little comfort to the mining industry.

For now, the mining houses are just watching the situation, hoping the election on Saturday and Sunday, whatever the outcome, opens the door to a turnaround.

Already, however, the gold miners, like the tobacco farmers, say that damage has been done and that undoing it will take months if not years. In particular, most mining houses have over the last couple of months scaled back or even halted their exploration and development efforts, averting layoffs but imperiling the mines' future production.

Zimbabwe produced almost 30 million ounces of gold last year, just over 1 percent of the world total and a fraction of the nearly 450 million ounces produced by neighboring South Africa, the world's biggest producer of gold. Indeed the loss of the Zimbabwe production, ranked 16th worldwide, would hardly register on international gold markets.

But for a poor country like Zimbabwe, which relies heavily on agriculture and mining, the effects would reverberate among the 12 million people, many of them unemployed.


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