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Big wins for four whites in MDC
By David Blair in Harare
  THEY have been called racists, sell-outs, saboteurs and British agents, yet all four white candidates for the Movement for Democratic Change were elected with huge majorities.

Since independence, the country's 75,000 whites, who form less than one per cent of its 12 million population, have been expected to steer clear of politics in a tacit quid pro quo for being allowed to stay. But that appears to have changed.

President Robert Mugabe says the MDC is a front organisation for British settlers and the MDC's victorious whites have aroused his anger. Michael Auret, a veteran human rights activist who took Harare Central with 80 per cent of the vote, has been branded "a British agent intent on undermining the state".

The president also attacked David Coltart, who won Bulawayo South with 86 per cent support. Both men helped to document the atrocities committed by Mr Mugabe's notorious Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland during the Eighties when at least 5,000 people were killed.

Trudy Stevenson, a human rights activist, won Harare North with 79 per cent of the vote and Roy Bennett, a farmer whose property was invaded by squatters, took the rural seat of Chimanimani with 57 per cent. With the possible exception of Harare Central, all these constituencies have an overwhelmingly black electorate.

Mr Coltart said: "It's far better than I had expected. We seem to have swept the board in Bulawayo." The scale of his victory was similar to that of the city's seven black MDC candidates.

Race relations in Zimbabwe have always been more relaxed than in South Africa and this and the fact that whites provide the financial and logistical support for the MDC ensured that race did not mar the white candidates' campaigns. The black township of Nketa, one of Bulawayo's poorest areas, is part of Mr Coltart's constituency and unhesitatingly backed the white candidate.

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Tuesday, 27 June, 2000, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Mugabe calls for unity
Robert Mugabe: "The results bind us all"
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has called for national unity, after his governing Zanu-PF party suffered serious electoral reverses for the first time since the country's independence.

I look forward to working with the new parliament as together we grapple with the pressing challenges of improving the livelihood of our people and developing our nation

Robert Mugabe
After spending the pre-election period attacking white farmers, he struck a conciliatory note, saying in a televised address that he wanted unity across race, tribe and ethnicity.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) won 57 seats against Zanu-PF's 62 in the elections over the weekend.

The combined opposition has never held more than three seats before.

Racial divide

Mr Mugabe, 76, appoints a further 30 members to the 150-seat parliament, giving Zanu-PF a comfortable majority, but the MDC will provide his first credible opposition since independence 20 years ago.

The president has already told the MDC they will not be invited into the Cabinet, but he said: "The results... do bind us all, loser and winner alike."

He said Zimbabwe needed unity more than ever before "across race, tribe, ethnicity, across regions, across class."

During the election campaign, Mr Mugabe branded the opposition as puppets of the country's small, but economically powerful, white community and stooges of Britain, the former colonial power.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai: Call for constructive opposition
Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the MDC, has already said his party intends to be a constructive opposition.

UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has called on Mr Mugabe to make a fresh start, and work with the opposition.

Mr Cook said the strong result for the opposition showed a real wish for change.

Violent campaign

The voting on Saturday and Sunday came after months of violence that left more than 30 people dead, which European Union observers said was largely carried out by government supporters.

The MDC attracted voters with its call for change
The MDC has said it will seek a recount or take legal action in constituencies which it lost by less than 500 votes.

Mr Mugabe, referring to critics among the observer force, said: "Some... much in the mould of the Victorian civilising mission, thought they had come to pacify, give virtue, and thus redeem us, the natives.

Our next parliament is certainly destined to prove very lively, but hopefully lively in a positive way

Robert Mugabe
"Today the majority of them go away both humbled and educated, convinced and highly impressed how we do things here, how against the background ... of a divisive colonial legacy, we are all striving to overcome."

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Farmer's widow restarts life as asylum seeker
By Sean O'Neill


KATHY OLDS flew into Heathrow with her two children, her wheelchair, a suitcase, a clutch of family photographs and £60 in her pocket to start a new life.

The widow of the murdered Zimbabwean farmer Martin Olds is an asylum seeker. Three months ago her home was a beautiful cattle ranch in Matabeleland. Her husband was a pillar of the community, she had a job and her children lived free and adventurous lives.

Today she is in a foreign country, dependent on the generosity of friends and the charity of people she does not know. She faces months of uncertainty, during which she cannot work and must survive on food vouchers, as she waits to hear whether she will be granted political asylum.

In April her husband was shot dead as he defended their home against an assault by an organised group of 120 Zanu-PF activists. Mrs Olds, 43, believes his death was a "state-sponsored assassination". The day before the murder, Mr Olds had sent his wife, their son Angus, 13, and daughter Martine, 17, to stay with relatives in Bulawayo because he feared for their lives. Mrs Olds has not returned to the farm since.

For five weeks Mrs Olds and her children lived in fear. They were followed, their telephone was tapped and visitors had their car tyres slashed. Friends and family urged Mrs Olds, a third generation Zimbabwean, to leave the country. "When I saw the fear in my children, especially when we were being watched and followed, when they pleaded with me to go somewhere safe, I knew we had to leave."

On her last weekend in Zimbabwe Mrs Olds scattered her husband's ashes on the Zambezi, where he loved to fish. A few days later she fled. Arriving at Heathrow, she was subjected to brusque questioning by immigration officials. She was afraid to tell the truth about why she was leaving or to ask for asylum.

She said: "My biggest fear was that I would arrive, apply for asylum and they would send me off to one of these detention centres we had heard of. Or that they would wait until things in Zimbabwe appeared to have calmed down and then they would send us back. I dread being sent back."

Luckily for Mrs Olds, Tim and Sue Gibbs, who left Matabeleland 16 years ago, had been contacted by the Commercial Farmers' Union and were waiting for her. They agreed to sponsor Mrs Olds and she was allowed to pass through immigration. She and her children are now living in the Cotswolds.

Mrs Olds, who has submitted an application for asylum, does not want to disclose exactly where she is living. "Mugabe is still in power. I am still afraid. His Central Intelligence Organisation have been over and paid visits to Britain. I don't know if they would still be interested in me, but I wouldn't like to take that chance."

With that fear always in her mind, Mrs Olds, who has been disabled since contracting polio as a baby, is trying to build a new life for her family.

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Mugabe still plans to grab white farms
By Anton La Guardia and David Blair in Harare


Robert Mugabe called last night for political reconciliation and "unity across race, tribe and ethnicity" after his party narrowly won Zimbabwe's violence-ridden elections

But in spite of his party's loss of scores of parliamentary seats, ministers said that he would forge ahead quickly with his controversial plans to seize hundreds of white-owned farms without compensation.

Mr Mugabe hinted as much in his radio address to the nation, when he said the wholesale redistribution of land would be the major task facing the new parliament. He said: "There is a great expectation in our country around the land that is coming to the people in a big way."

The outgoing justice minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, said that resettlement of black peasant farmers would begin "immediately" after the expiry of next week's deadline for farmers to appeal against seizure of 804 mainly white commercial farms.

This could destroy tentative peace feelers put out by Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, who said: "Britain is ready to look for a fresh start and a new relationship with the government [of Zimbabwe] if it pursues policies of reform and national reconciliation." The ruling Zanu-PF party won 62 seats, compared with 57 for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and one for the small Zanu-Ndonga party.

But the ruling party retains control because of Mr Mugabe's power to appoint a further 30 MPs loyal to him. The casualties of the opposition's success, concentrated in large cities and Matabeleland, include three cabinet ministers: Dumiso Dabangwa, the home affairs minister, Mr Mnangagwa and Simon Moyo, the acting energy minister.

The MDC has secured a "blocking third" in parliament. It can prevent Mr Mugabe from passing constitutional changes and allows the opposition to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president. An uneasy calm has descended on much of Zimbabwe. But many white farmers, worried about possible retribution for backing the opposition, have either left their homes or sent their wives and children to safety.

Leaders of the war veterans' association, which has led the often violent invasion of more than 1,000 farms in the past four months, said they would not withdraw from occupied properties. Agripah Gava, the association's national director: "Occupations have nothing to do with elections. We need land. It's our land; it's not British land."

Mr Mnangagwa, one of Mr Mugabe's closest allies, said that the seizure of the designated farms was only the first step in a five-year programme designed to redistribute five million hectares. He said: "If we miss it now, we will never have the chance later."

Farmers hope that his comments are a hangover of election rhetoric. They said that even under the government's revised acquisition procedures, it could take months of legal procedures before the first farms are taken. Jerry Grant, a spokesman for the Commercial Farmers Union, said: "Now that we have the election out of the way, we can work with the government on this, as we have always done."

The government has issued contradictory signals about the squatters. Mr Mnangagwa said the government would not evict them and would not stop them from taking more land. But Jonathan Moyo, Zanu-PF's campaign manager, said: "The successful demonstrations should come to an end."

The elections, during which more than 30 people have been killed, were denounced by European observers as failing abysmally to meet proper free and fair standards.

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Tsvangirai sets sights on poll for presidency
By Anton La Guardia in Harare


ZIMBABWE'S opposition leader effectively launched his campaign for the 2002 presidential election yesterday with a statesmanlike appeal for national consensus, as his party dug in for a war of attrition with President Robert Mugabe.

Morgan Tsvangirai: 'Anybody who believes the future of this country lies with Robert Mugabe must have his head examined'
"Zimbabwe will never be the same," Morgan Tsvangirai declared after his Movement for Democratic Change overcame daunting odds, triumphing over government harassment and violence to win an unprecedented 57 parliamentary seats out of a possible 120.

But he acknowledged the palpable disappointment of his supporters, who had been convinced by the party's prediction that it was on the road to winning a crushing election victory. The ruling Zanu-PF party was quick to mock Mr Tsvangirai for failing to win his constituency of Buhera North. "If you lose a village, how can you lead a country?" asked Jonathan Moyo, Zanu-PF's campaign manager.

A sober Mr Tsvangirai explained that the change he had promised - "Change" was his party's election slogan - would not happen immediately; it would be a slower process. He said: "Destiny sometimes requires that we follow a more circuitous road to achieve greater glory. Other leaders have said there is no easy road to freedom."

The way ahead for the MDC, despite its moral victory, is now uncertain. Mr Tsvangirai needs to maintain the enthusiasm and momentum of the disparate opposition coalition that was formed at short notice last September to fight the parliamentary elections.

The MDC needs to demonstrate that it can mount a credible and combative opposition in parliament to rein in Mr Mugabe's presidential powers. Mr Tsvangari said: "Anybody who believes that the future of this country lies with Robert Mugabe must have his head examined. Zanu-PF must realise that this is the end of Robert Mugabe and the sooner they start planning his retirement the better."

But the opposition leader all but admitted that Mr Mugabe would be around at least until his term expires in two years' time. Mr Tsvangirai said his main task was "to focus on the presidential elections". He said that had it not been for the violence and blatant unfairness of the electoral contest, the MDC could have won a majority large enough to overcome Mr Mugabe's power to appoint 30 additional MPs.

But he seemed determined to avoid energy-sapping recriminations. Selected results would be contested, said Mr Tsvangirai, but he accepted that "the people of Zimbabwe have spoken". He said the government that would be formed by Zanu-PF was legitimate.

Mr Tsvangirai cast himself as a national leader, giving a speech that might be expected of a magnanimous victor rather than the leader of a party that feels it has been robbed of victory. It was the opposition that was offering the olive branch, rather than the government.

Mr Tsvangirai expressed concern for the greater good of the country, speaking of co-operation with the government, constructive and "balanced" debate in parliament and a readiness to seek areas of consensus with Mr Mugabe. He said: "Our primary aim is to restore confidence in the country. This is a time for partnership. We have to seek to rebuild this nation and move forward."

In just two years Mr Tsvangirai, 48, a former factory worker and miner, has emerged from the obscure corridors of the trade union movement into the national limelight. He has visibly grown in confidence and stature. He has been carried so far by a wave of popular protest. Now he needs to show he has the political skills and staying power to face a long contest with one of Africa's most cunning leaders.


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Analysis: What next for Mugabe?
Mock funeral - but there is still life in Zanu-PF
By BBC News Online's Justin Pearce

Zimbabwe's election has returned a parliament in which President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF retains a majority - albeit a much reduced one.

It is now up to Mr Mugabe to decide whether to hold onto the still considerable amount of power which the election result bestows on him and his party - or to engender good will by making some concessions to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Significantly, the MDC has deprived Mr Mugabe of the two-thirds parliamentary majority which he needs to push constitutional change through parliament.

The president used this to empower himself to seize white-owned farms - and also to give himself the right to appoint 20 unelected members of parliament.

Powers curbed

Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe: Could make some tactical concessions
The MDC will now be able to block important parliamentary bills such as the budget.

Hence Mr Mugabe's party will not have a free rein in parliament - if Zanu-PF wants to introduce major legislative changes, it will have to strike a deal with the MDC first.

The alternative for the president would be to use temporary decrees to override the opposition - but this would do further damage to Zimbabwe's already shaky reputation abroad.

Cabinet may stay

However, on minor legislative matters which require only a simple majority in parliament, Mr Mugabe can still do more or less what he likes.

And Zanu-PF spokesman Jonathan Moyo has emphasised that the appointment of a government remains the president's prerogative, whatever the outcome of the parliamentary vote.

Mr Mugabe is under no obligation to change the composition of his existing cabinet.

Even those ministers who have lost their parliamentary seats can stay in office if President Mugabe includes them among the 20 MPs he is entitled to appoint.

Looking ahead

But far more profound change could follow the presidential election in 2002.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai: Intends to run for president in 2002
Mr Tsvangirai - who was not elected to parliament - has already announced his intention to stand for the presidency.

Early indications are that the MDC polled more votes than Zanu-PF, but these translated into a slightly smaller number of seats because of the greater weighting given to rural constituencies.

This suggests that Mr Tsvangirai would be in a strong position to take the presidency.

If he succeeds, and exercises the presidential prerogative to appoint 20 MPs, the MDC would then enjoy a parliamentary advantage.


Some commentators have suggested, though, that Mr Mugabe might have another plan in the making.

However heavy-handed his actions may appear to outsiders, the president remains an astute politician - and he knows that it would be better to be remembered as a statesman who forged reconciliation than as someone who staked his reputation on a party whose fortunes were already in decline.

The election result also confirms Mr Mugabe's extreme unpopularity in the cities.

The MDC's links with trade unions make it capable of mobilising large-scale protest on the doorstep of parliament in Harare - all the more reason why the president might consider it expedient to offer a hand of friendship to his opponents.

This could give Mr Mugabe a smoother ride during his last two years in office - and even improve the electoral chances of whomever he decides to name as his preferred heir.

But Mr Tsvangirai has already pre-empted any talk of a deal by saying he will not accept a position in a power-sharing government - apparently aware of the political dangers of collaborating with a president who will, in any event, have the final say over how the country is run in the next two years.

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Tuesday, 27 June, 2000, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
Zimbabwe: Winners and losers
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai is congratulated by supporters
Among the individual winners and losers, several stand out, especially Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, who failed to win a seat despite his party's strong showing.

However no fewer than seven ministers lost their seats, including the Justice Minister, Emmerson Munangagwa, considered a possible heir apparent to President Mugabe.

The controversial war veterans' leader, Chenjerai Hunzvi, was elected to parliament - and so was one of his critics, the white farmer Roy Bennett.

Margaret Dongo, one of only three opposition MPs in the outgoing parliament, lost her seat - but to another opposition candidate.

Ministers out, Hunzvi in

Mr Tsvangirai missed a seat by 2,534 votes. He was standing Buhera North, a rural constituency in the Zanu-PF heartland - a decision he says he does not regret.

The most prominent government casualty, Mr Munangagwa, was crushed by a margin of 2-1 in a rural district by an opponent who had gone into hiding after being attacked by ruling party militants.

The other contender to succeed Mr Mugabe, Sidney Sekeremayi, held his seat by just 63 votes.

Hunzvi, veterans' leader
Hunzvi , veterans' leader, won his first seat in parliament
The Home Affairs Minister, Dumiso Dabengwa, received less than 4,000 of the more than 24,000 votes cast in his district in the southwestern city of Bulawayo - where all seats went to the MDC.

Tourism Minister Simon Kaya-Moyo and Sikhanyiso Ndhlovu, the Deputy Minister for Higher Education, were also among the government casualties.

But government survivors include Kumbirai Kangai, who is currently suspended from his post, as lands and agriculture minister, on corruption charges.

Former opposition MP Margaret Dongo
Margaret Dongo, whose house was attacked, lost her seat
President Mugabe may choose to use the 30 parliamentary seats at his discretion to restore defeated ministers to parliament.

He can take comfort from the fact that Mr Hunzvi, leader of the war veterans who spearheaded the invasion of more than 1,500 white-owned commercial farms with government support, won a seat for the first time by a comfortable margin in a farming area.

Opposition record

But one of Mr Hunzvi's targets, Roy Bennett, a white farmer and opposition candidate temporarily forced off his property after it was overrun by ruling party militants, won a strong victory in his Chimanimani district near the Mozambican border.

Roy Bennett
Farmer Roy Bennett won a seat after being forced off his land
The prominent white human rights lawyer, David Coltart, was also elected to parliament for the opposition.

Margaret Dongo of the Zimbabwe Union of Democrats lost her seat in Harare to the MDC, securing only 951 votes to the MDC candidate's 12,430.

But another of the three opposition MPs in the outgoing parliament retained his seat, securing parliamentary representation for a third political party, Zanu-Ndonga, led by the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole.

Zanu-Ndgonga's vice-president, Wilson Khumbula, fought off a strong challenge from a young Zanu-PF businessman.

In Bulawayo, the MDC's secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, trounced his Zanu-PF opponent by 21,100 votes to 2,864.

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From The Times Wednesday 28th June 2000

Fledgling opposition strikes at heart of power

 Members of Movement for Democratic Change celebrate on the streets of Harare after their party won 57 seats in the general election


Within nine months of its formation, the trade union-sponsored Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)has revolutionised Zimbabwean politics, coming to the brink of victory in parliamentary elections despite what Amnesty International calls "a campaign of state terror" and suspected large-scale rigging.
Even on the contested official figures given by the registrar-general, Tobaiwa Mudede - a controversial figure  after past ballot-fixing evidence given to Zimbabwean courts - the MDC has won 57 of the 120 elected seats.

    The minuscule Zanu (Ndonga) party of the Rev Ndabaningi Sithole, 79, the veteran African nationalist, won one seat in his home area, Chipinge, on the Mozambique border, while Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF) claimed all 62 remaining   constituencies.

 However, the MDC president,Morgan Tsvangirai, said today   the MDC intended to demand recounts or institute legal action over results in at least 20 constituencies countrywide.

  This could result in the MDC passing the magic figure of 76,   which would give it a majority over both the elected Zanu (PF) MPs and the 30 MPs nominated by President Robert Mugabe.

 To evict Mr Mugabe from the presidency before the expiry of   his current six-year term in 2002, the MDC needed 101 seats, sufficient to pass an impeachment motion in the current 150-seat single-chamber parliament.

  Lawyers for the MDC said a legal challenge was also being  considered to Mr Mugabe's constitutional right to nominate   the 30, since this would "effectively overturn the expressed will of the people".

 Full figures for the vote, including spoiled ballot papers, have   yet to be announced, but initial statistics showed the MDC   gaining some 54 per cent of the total ballots cast nationwide.

Mr Mugabe has strongly resisted pressure for proportional representation, voiced during a constitutional canvassing exercise last year. Contempt of popular pressure for reform in a report published by Mr Mugabe's constitutional   commission was a key factor in his defeat in a referendum in February.

  Zimbabwe's state-controlled media on Tuesday sought   maximum capital for the major electoral reverse suffered by the MDC - the relatively narrow defeat of Mr Tsvangirai in   his home rural area, Buhera North, 120 miles southeast of   Harare, where he was defeated by his cousin, the Zanu (PF) candidate Kenneth Manyonda, by 12,850 votes to 10,316.

  MDC spokesmen reported heavy intimidation in the area,   including the murder of a driver and assistant to Mr   Tsvangirai.

In all, 31 registered MDC members died among at least 38 who lost their lives in more than four months of violence   following the referendum, after which President Mugabe   gave Z$20 million (£350,000) to Dr Chenjerai Hitler Hunzvi,   the chairman of the "Liberation War Veterans Association",   to ensure Zanu (PF) victory at the parliamentary polls. Dr   Hunzvi vowed to "go back to the bush" should Zanu (PF)   lose.

  Mr Tsvangirai ignored advice not to stand in Buhera, saying   he did not want to contest an urban seat and contribute to   an urban-rural divide in Zimbabwean politics.

  He acknowledged that failure to capture the constituency   was a blow to his credibility but vowed to continue, and to   challenge Mr Mugabe in the presidential elections in two   years' time.

  Two rural areas in which the MDC did well were   Matabeleland, in the south and west of the country, and   Manicaland, on the eastern border.

  It captured the majority of Matabeleland seats where   memories are fresh of the 1980-87 genocide perpetrated by   Mr Mugabe's North Korean-trained Zimbabwe National Army   Fifth Brigade.
  A notable factor is Matabeleland voters' overwhelming   support for a national party, led by a Shona, Mr Tsvangirai,   while the newly-launched Zapu party, aiming to revive the   glories of the Matabele tribal-based party of the same name   led by Joshua Nkomo, the late Vice-President, scraped only a few thousand votes.

    Analysts suggested this means "tribal politics is dead" - at least for the time being. While playing up Mr Tsvangirai's defeat on his first foray into elections, the official media have been forced to acknowledge the fall of at least ten "heavies" from the ruling party. They held seats that were considered safe since Mr Mugabe's rise to power at 1980 independence.

    Foremost among the casualties is the Home Affairs Minister, Dumiso Dabengwa, who became increasingly vexed as Dr Hunzvi's "war veterans" invaded 1,600 white-owned farms and terrorised rural voters while police remained apparently helpless. In his Bulawayo suburban constituency, he was trounced by 20,380 votes to 3,644 by a previously unknown MDC candidate.

    During the 1972-80 Rhodesian bush war, Mr Dabengwa was chief of guerrilla intelligence to the Zanu founder, Joshua Nkomo. He was detained by Mr Mugabe from 1982 to 1986 on suspicion of plotting a military coup with elements of Mr Nkomo's former Zipra forces, and was previously believed to have a substantial personal following in Matabeleland. He was one of the principal beneficiaries by Mr Mugabe's December 1987 unity pact with Mr Nkomo.

    Despite the fiercely anti-white and anti-British racial rhetoric used incessantly by Mr Mugabe's Zanu (PF) throughout the campaign, black voters turned out in force for white MDC candidates.

    The human rights lawyer David Coltart garnered 20,781 votes on an MDC ticket in Bulawayo South to 3,192 for Callistus Ndlovu, once a lieutenant of Mr Nkomo but standing for Zanu (PF). In Harare, Shona voters were likewise ready to vote for white candidates regardless of ethnic affilitations.

    The American-born Trudy Stevenson won 18,976 votes for the MDC in Harare North compared to 4,852 for Nyasha Chikwinya, the ruling Zanu (PF) party's sitting woman MP. Michael Auret, the veteran civil liberties campaigner who was once a Rhodesian Army officer, notched a similar score for the MDC against a black Zanu (PF) sitting MP, in neighbouring Harare Central.

    But the greatest triumph for those seeking evidence of a colour-blind electorate was in the remote Chimanimani constituency, in the extreme southeast. There, a coffee farmer, Roy Bennett, won 11,410 votes for the MDC compared to 8,072 for a Zanu (PF) candidate imposed by Harare party machinery.

    Mr Bennett, 42, originally chosen by local voters to run for Zanu (PF), then"de-selected" on party headquarters' orders. He was forced to flee his farm when it was invaded by the so-called war veterans who turned it into a "no go" area for police. Scores of small-scale peasant farmers and farm workers were beaten and abducted but Mr Bennett continued an underground campaign among local people whom he had helped introduce to lucrative small-scale coffee farming, offering an escape from grinding poverty.

    An equally brutal campaign of intimidation was conducted in the Marondera-Macheke area east of Harare, but it did not save the former head of the feared Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), Emmerson Mnangagwa, from defeat in Marondera by the MDC.

    Mr Mnangagwa's successor as Security Minister and CIO political chief, Sydney Sekeremayi, was declared the winner in a neighbouring constituency by a 69-vote majority and a re-count has been demanded.

    As Minister of Justice since 1990, Mr Mnangagwa has been architect of many of the constitutitional amendments which created Mr Mugabe's"imperial presidency" out of the prime ministerial two-chamber system of Cabinet government bequeathed by Britain in the 1980 Lancaster House constitution.
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Wednesday, 28 June, 2000, 05:13 GMT 06:13 UK -BBC

Renewed threat to Zimbabwe farms

Senior officials of Zimbabwe's governing Zanu-PF party have indicated in the wake of its narrow election victory that the government will press ahead with the seizure of white-owned farms.

The government promised before the election that it would seize at least 800 white farms for landless blacks.

John Nkomo, chairman of Zanu-PF and Jonathan Moyo, Zanu-PF campaign manager, said the government would push forward with its plans.

Mr Moyo said: "The majority of people who voted for Zanu-PF ... voted for land, and they will get that."

President Robert Mugabe, in a speech to the nation after the election in which he called for national reconciliation, also made it clear he had not forgotten the party's pledge.

"There are great expectations around land which will soon come to the people in a big way," he said.

Since February, armed ruling party supporters, with Mr Mugabe's support, have occupied more than 1,600 white-owned farms and demanded they be distributed to landless blacks.

The violent seizure of some farms - along with the beating up and killing of opposition supporters - drew international condemnation in the run-up to the election.

And UK Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain, said Britain's offer of £36m to promote land reform only stood if there was an end to threats against white farmers and illegal farm occupations.

He said: "The British taxpayers would expect us to support programmes which genuinely redistribute land to the poverty-stricken poor in the rural areas, rather than invite Mr Mugabe to spend it how he chooses."

Although Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party won 62 seats, only five more than the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), an extra 30 seats the president allocates himself will give his supporters a comfortable majority in parliament.

Yet this is the first time that Zanu-PF has faced a credible opposition since independence 20 years ago.

Opposition 'stooges'

The combined opposition has never held more than three seats before.

During the election campaign, Mr Mugabe branded the opposition as puppets of the country's small, but economically powerful, white community and stooges of Britain, the former colonial power.

But in his first speech since the election, on national TV, he said Zimbabwe needed unity more than ever before "across race, tribe, ethnicity, across regions, across class".

Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the MDC, has already said his party intends to be a constructive opposition.

UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has called on Mr Mugabe to make a fresh start, and work with the opposition.

Mr Cook said the strong result for the opposition showed a real wish for change.
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Mugabe's real enemies are within Zanu PF

The Daily News - 6/26/00 10:26:36 AM (GMT +2)

Barring a few incidents of disorder, Zimbabwe's fourth parliamentary election appears to have been conducted in an atmosphere of peace and order.

There was widespread fear that, as a result of the brutal political violence in the run-up, the two-day election would be marred by violence.
But, by and large, the election appears to have been characterised by an atmosphere of tranquillity throughout Zimbabwe. For this we congratulate the citizens of our peaceful nation.
One incident struck a discordant note in this regard and it involved none other than President Mugabe. He launched an attack on the privately owned Press on Saturday, accusing them of an assortment of alleged misdeeds apparently unacceptable to him.
Notwithstanding his utterances, it is heartening to know that, while the President claims that his party and his government are not in any way influenced by what is published in The Daily News, it appears that, of his own admission, at least, he reads it and other privately owned newspapers.
There has always been an assumption on the part of publishers of the privately owned newspapers that the President does not read their publications.
There is an abundance of evidence that the government positively responds positively to stories published in the private Press. On 25 April, for instance, The Daily News published a story in which Professor Gordon Chavunduka, the chairman of the National Aids Council, protested that the council had not received any of the money which government had collected from workers since January 2000. He said there had been no explanation from either the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Health as to the whereabouts of the funds.
A day after the story was published Treasury immediately paid $117 981 894,79 of Aids levy collected for the months of February and March into the National Aids Council Trust Fund account.
But the Aids levy is besides the point.
Addressing journalists in Highfield where he cast his vote on Saturday, Mugabe launched a scathing attack on the privately owned newspapers, in general and The Daily News, in particular.
"You get lies every day which are gazetted and then standardised,- he said in a broadside aimed at The Daily News, The Financial Gazette and The Standard. The President's statements were dutifully published with usual obsequiousness, in The Sunday Mail yesterday. "We want to cultivate a culture of truth, the culture of objectivity, so that people know the truth.
The more they read about lies and rumours the more they take to lying and rumour-mongering themselves.-
Mugabe must have had the government media in mind.
He complained about negative stories in the private Press. "They go all out against government on a daily basis,- he said. "We want to correct that in a big way.-
We need not speculate as to how Mugabe proposes to deal with the private Press. Last Mashonaland Central Governor, Border Gezi, left very little to the imagination in this regard.
But, obviously petrified by the prospect of losing the election, Zanu PF chairman John Nkomo was somewhat conciliatory yesterday.
"We are not going to restrain them,- Nkomo said of the private Press. "They have got a brief and there is something called the editorial policy. I guess one has to accept that in a democracy.-
Far from attacking private newspapers at this hour, Mugabe should be seeking, whether Zanu PF wins or loses, to make amends or apologise for Zanu PF's litany of misdeeds: the acts of corruption, mismanagement of the economy, undemocratic practices, violation of citizens' rights, including brutal attacks on innocent people.
If he loses the election the President should blame, not the private Press, but two major culprits war veteran leader Chenjerai Hitler Hunzvi and instant party consultant and spokesman Professor Jonathan Moyo.
Also to blame are task-man, Border Gezi, Zanu PF's Harare Provincial chairman, Tony Gara, Information Minister, Chenhamo Chimutengwende. Of course, Mugabe himself is also to blame for his dogged determination in spurning the advice of all, including the private Press, the international community, his Cabinet and the Zanu PF politburo and central committee.
Mugabe says he wants to cultivate a culture of truth among journalists.
Among the independent journalists he has so far cultivated a certain culture - that of fear.

Zimbabwe Lawmakers Map out Challenge

The Associated Press - Jun 28 2000 2:07AM ET

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Leaders of the main opposition party planned Wednesday to map out how to challenge President Robert Mugabe's slender victory in parliamentary elections marked by a bitter campaign of violence and intimidation.

Opposition candidates, promising reform of the country's disastrous economic performance, made sweeping gains in poll results announced Tuesday, increasing their seats from three to 58 in the 150-seat Parliament.

But they fell short of the majority needed to force the autocratic president and his party to adopt economic reforms.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, said his party will gather its leaders Wednesday in Harare ``to plan the way forward.''

After posing the biggest challenge to the ruling party's two decades of virtually unrivaled rule, the MDC's newly elected lawmakers will lead a campaign for change and accountability in a government still to be headed by Mugabe, Tsvangirai said.

One opposition seat went to a small opposition group in its tiny stronghold of Chiredzi in southeastern Zimbabwe.

``We have the mandate for democratic change,'' said Tsvangirai, who lost his race for a parliamentary seat in his home district of Buhera in rural southern Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai said he will lead the opposition from outside Parliament and will prepare to challenge Mugabe in presidential elections in 2002.

Mugabe, vowing Tuesday to honor what he described as the binding results of the elections held Saturday and Sunday, said the new Parliament to be sworn in next month ``is certainly destined to be very lively.''

``I look forward to working with the new Parliament as together we grapple with the pressing challenges of improving the livelihoods of our people,'' he said.

Voting came after months of political violence and intimidation that left more than 30 people dead. European Union monitors said the violence, which they called state-sponsored terror, meant the elections were flawed and the campaign was not free and fair.

Voters still turned out in large numbers - more than double the turnout of the last parliamentary elections.

The results were a massive blow to Mugabe's party, which was impervious to criticism for most of its rule.

The opposition for the first time won enough seats to prevent the ruling party achieving a two-thirds majority necessary to change the constitution and entrench Mugabe's powers.

Its lawmakers are also able to force the ruling party to fully disclose policies that until now were not questioned or publicly aired.

Tsvangirai said among these were the costly deployment of 11,000 Zimbabwe troops to back President Laurent Kabilia in the distant Congo civil war. For nearly two years, costs and casualties have been shrouded in secrecy.

``We will be pushing for an urgent withdrawal'' from the Congo, he said.

Zimbabwe had one of Africa's strongest economies at independence in 1980. Today, it is wracked with high unemployment and soaring inflation, crippling fuel and hard currency shortages.

Commercial farming, the most important sector of the economy, has been badly hurt by the illegal takeover of hundreds of white-owned farms by armed black squatters.

Zimbabwe Opposition Ponders Mugabe Peace Offer

Reuters - Jun 27 2000 9:15PM ET

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's opposition, fresh from its stunning electoral debut, planned a major strategy meeting on Wednesday on how to deal with President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party which it has vowed to crush.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which came from nowhere to win almost half the vote in last weekend's parliamentary elections, was due to debate its new role in the country's political future.

Top of the agenda for the MDC executive and its 57 new MPs when they meet in the capital Harare will be an olive branch offered by Mugabe, who said in a broadcast on Tuesday night that he welcomed the opposition's arrival.

``I look forward to working with the new parliament as together we grapple with the pressing challenges of improving the livelihood of our people and developing our nation,'' Mugabe said on state radio.

There was no immediate indication how the MDC would react to Mugabe's offer, but its leader Morgan Tsvangirai appeared in no mood to cooperate, saying he would challenge Mugabe for the presidency in 2002.

``Anyone who believes that the future destiny of this country lies with Robert Mugabe must have his head examined,'' Tsvangirai said.

Mugabe had vilified the opposition in the election campaign, calling them stooges of Britain and Zimbabwe's white minority population against whom he led a guerilla war that culminated in independence in 1980.

But ZANU-PF suffered a severe reverse in the elections that saw the MDC win 57 seats against the ruling party's 62. The opposition has never before held more than three parliamentary seats since independence.

ZANU-PF will gain a much bigger majority in the new parliament once Mugabe hand picks 30 more members of the 150-seat house as permitted under the constitution.

But the MDC's strong showing denies ZANU-PF the two-thirds majority in parliament which in the past has allowed Mugabe to amend the constitution, as he did weeks before the election to allow the compulsory seizure of over 800 white-owned farms.


The MDC's showing was an extraordinary performance for an opposition party in a country that ZANU-PF had ruled virtually unchallenged for 20 years.

``Without the subversion we would have easily won this election,'' Tsvangirai said in a reference to the pre-election violence. ``There is no doubt in my mind.''

International monitors said four months of political violence and the forcible occupation of white-owned farms before the vote prevented the poll from being free and fair.

The result was a slap in the face for Mugabe, but he seemed composed during his radio address.

The 76-year-old former guerrilla leader's power had never previously been challenged since he became prime minister at independence in 1980 after a bloody bush war against Rhodesia's white minority leaders.

``There is a great expectation in our country...around our continual search for greater unity and stability within our nation, unity across race, tribe and ethnicity, across regions, across class, the unity of our people which more than ever before has become so valuable,'' Mugabe told the nation.

Chenjerai Hunzvi, a supporter of Mugabe and leader of the invasions of white-owned farms, won a seat in parliament but called for an overhaul of ZANU-PF.

``Clearly there is a revolution taking place. The party has to rejuvenate,'' he said, sounding a new note of reconciliation and calling for an end to violence.

Even Jonathan Moyo, the ZANU-PF campaign manager, appeared chastened by the result.

``I think what we've seen is a protest vote. We need to do some deep soul-searching and understand the motivation and fires behind,'' he said.

Before the poll he predicted that the MDC would not get more than 10 seats.

Tsvangirai ironically failed to win a tough contest for a seat in southern Zimbabwe. But no less than seven government ministers lost their seats, including Emmerson Munangagwa, considered one of two heirs apparent to Mugabe.

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