The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Mugabe Says White Farms Seizure Drive Irreversible


     HARARE--President Robert Mugabe vowed on Friday that his drive to seize white-owned farms for blacks was irreversible, and rejected criticism that he had pushed Zimbabwe into lawlessness by allowing his supporters to invade the land.
      In a fiery speech at the burial of controversial war veterans' leader Chenjerai Hunzvi, who led the invasion of hundreds of farms last year, Mugabe accused former colonial power Britain of ignoring the history of how blacks lost their land to whites.
      Mugabe said black Zimbabweans opposed to his land seizure program were either cowards or traitors because they had failed to understand it was part of the liberation struggle.
      "We are committed to this program. We will not retreat," he told about 20,000 mourners at Hunzvi's funeral.
      "There can be no greater tribute to him (Hunzvi) than that which ensures that the fast-track land resettlement program is intensified and the campaign is sustained to the finish."
      Mugabe, 77, and in power since the former Rhodesia won independence in 1980, said thousands of people, led by ruling party militants, who have occupied white farms had simply broken the law of trespass.
      "The British government today would want to tell the world that the rule of law doesn't exist merely because there is an occupation of the land," he said, repeating that he would never use the army or police to evict the squatters.
      "Perhaps (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair was too young, if ever he was born at all, to appreciate what his predecessors did (in dispossessing blacks).
      "He should learn a bit of our history at least now that the British people have returned him to power, he has ample time to study the history of colonialism," Mugabe said.
      Mugabe -- who attacks Britain in almost all his public speeches on the land issue or Zimbabwe's growing economic crisis -- said Friday his government ridiculed laws supporting the status quo.
      "Law-abiding Africans are those who will not challenge the immorality and illegality of their depreviation but will happily retreat to their arid patch of land," he said.
      Mugabe says 4,500 white farmers own 70 percent of the country's best farmland while majority blacks are crowded in unfertile districts.
      Hunzvi, who died Monday aged 51 and was declared a national hero by the ruling ZANU-PF party, was a key political ally of Mugabe seen playing a central role in his re-election campaign ahead of presidential elections due next year.
      Thousands of ex-combatants and self-styled veterans, some too young to have fought in the 1970s independence war, marched to ZANU-PF offices Thursday in tribute to Hunzvi.
      In 1997 Hunzvi led the war veterans in protests which forced Mugabe's government to pay them huge payouts for their role in the liberation war.
      Hunzvi, a flamboyant character who delighted in his former guerrilla name "Hitler," spearheaded a violent campaign against the opposition that helped ZANU-PF narrowly win parliamentary elections last year.
      At least 31 people, mostly MDC supporters, including five white farmers, died in months of political violence.
      The government says Hunzvi died of kidney failure linked to cerebral malaria and Mugabe has dismissed as malicious rumors suggesting the veterans leader had AIDS.
      Hunzvi was divorced from his Polish wife Wieslawa whom he met while studying medicine in Warsaw in the 1980s. Wieslawa returned to Poland with the couple's two children after the divorce.

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'Intensify land grabs'

Harare - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe called on Friday at the funeral here of Chenjerai "Hitler" Hunzvi for an intensification of the country's land reforms as a tribute to the controversial war veterans leader who led the bloody occupations of white-owned farms.

Mugabe said Hunzvi was a "pivotal player", "a very significant player" in the land reform programme, which started last year and has now has reached "an advanced and irreversible stage".

"There can be no greater tribute and honour paid him than that which ensures that the fast land resettlement programme is intensified, that the campaign is sustained to the finish," Mugabe told thousands of mourners gathered to bury Hunzvi.

The fiery war veterans leader, who according to authorities, died of malaria on Monday, was buried at a national shrine reserved for the country's nationalist leaders and liberation war heroes. He was 51.

Mugabe said the deaths of Hunzvi and those of two other top cabinet ministers in recent weeks should not discourage Zimbabweans, saying it is always darkest before dawn.

"Fate has been most unkind to us, hitting us where it hurts the most and at a time when our land-based third Chimurenga (revolution) is at its most crucial historical juncture," he said, lamenting the deaths of three key party officials.

Hunzvi's death came just a week after that of another Zanu-PF stalwart, defence minister Moven Mahachi, and a month after that of gender and employment minister Border Gezi, who both died in car crashes.

"This should never deter us but instead should propel us to fight even harder to intensify the campaign and ensure that the sacrifice of our fallen heroes is not in vain," Mugabe said.

He said Hunzvi had not taken his cue either from the government or the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party leadership, when he "courageously" led the violent land campaign last year.

The campaign, coming ahead of legislative polls, was highly politicised and claimed some 34 lives, among them opposition supporters and four white farmers.

Mugabe, as has become traditional at most gatherings, took a swipe at Britain, the former colonial master, for sponsoring what he claimed was a media and diplomatic campaign against Zimbabwe over the land issue.

"It is this land-based Chimurenga (revolution) that has become the target of a vicious British-sponsored local and international media and diplomatic campaign that seeks to preserve the immoral and inequitable land system in Zimbabwe where a mere one percent of the population owns over 70 percent of the best land in the country.

"Perhaps Tony Blair was too young, if ever he was born at all, to appreciate what his predecessors did.

"He should learn a bit of history. Now that the British people have retained him in power, he has much more time to study the history of colonialism," Mugabe said.

He said with the whites utilising only a paltry 30 percent of the land they own, war veterans who are seeking to reverse the colonial land imbalances are portrayed as "squatters", "landgrabbers", "marauding thugs" and "rapists".

He paid tribute to Hunzvi for his "unparalleled and principled heroism" in ensuring that government embarked on its fast track land resettlement programme, which has seen 105 000 families settled on some three million hectares of land since July.

Mugabe reiterated that he would never unleash the army and the police on the war veterans and landless on the farms, saying that, in like fashion, Britain had refused to send its troops to stop Ian Smith from unilaterally declaring the independence of Rhodesia in 1965.

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Mugabe opponents back Pretoria's quiet diplomacy
By James Lamont in Durban
Published: June 8 2001 16:39GMT | Last Updated: June 8 2001 17:02GMT

Zimbabwe's main opposition party has backed South Africa's policy of "quiet diplomacy" in its efforts to influence President Robert Mugabe amid the political violence and economic crisis rocking the country.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum's southern African summit in Durban this week, Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, urged the South African government to maintain economic lifelines to Zimbabwe, suggesting that if the country collapsed Pretoria would have to pick up the pieces.

Instability in Zimbabwe, brought on by efforts by Mr Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party to hold on to power, have damaged business confidence in southern Africa. Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's president, has been criticised for taking a conciliatory behind-closed-doors approach in efforts to resolve lawlessness and political intimidation in Zimbabwe over the past year.

Mr Mbeki's critics argue that South Africa has the power to exert greater influence over the affairs of Zimbabwe to promote democracy and good governance.

Zimbabwe depends on its neighbour for fuel, electricity, credit lines, transport links and 37 per cent of its imports. The country has become increasingly isolated from the international community and donors. Its economy is suffering from shortages of fuel, foreign currency and foreign investment. Food shortages are expected in the coming months.

Mr Tsvangirai, however, insisted that putting an economic squeeze on Zimbabwe was not the way for South Africa to bring about change in his country.

"Sanctions are not a solution. . . Support to the people of Zimbabwe is not necessarily support to President Mugabe," he said.

He appealed to the South African government to insist on the restoration of law and order in Zimbabwe and to press for free and fair presidential elections next year.

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Cosatu calls for Mugabe toquit before country collapses

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe should resign and call for early elections because the country is on the brink of collapse, says Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi.

"We are disgusted with the way Zanu (PF) has handled the situation," he said.

Vavi was commenting on "the attempt of the so-called war veterans to render unions ineffective" in Zimbabwe. The approach by Zanu (PF) and the war veterans "shows the extent of their desperation to make themselves relevant after dismally failing the poor and the working class".

"This is basically an attack on the trade union movement and human rights," said Vavi.

He said factory invasions and extortion could only lead to more potential investors staying away and "those with factories packing their bags and heading elsewhere, where there is stability".

Vavi said Cosatu would hold a meeting with Zimbabwean Labour Minister July Moyo to discuss the issue. "We are not sure how to handle the situation but we need to address it."

Cosatu would also meet representatives of the Movement for Democratic Change and Zanu (PF), he said.

Cosatu's decision to get involved is also the result of discussions held at the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions conference held in Kenya two weeks ago.

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Scramble for Hunzvi’s post

Vincent Kahiya
A DOGFIGHT is looming among war veterans as jockeying for positions has started ahead of a congress to choose a successor to the late leader of the ex-combatants, Chenjerai Hunzvi, who died this week.

The funeral arrangements of the late Hunzvi this week saw the war veterans’ factions fashioning an artificial truce which is likely to be broken as soon as individuals declare their intention to run for office.

War veterans’ association secretary-general Endy Mhlanga yesterday said his executive would sit to decide on a date for the election. He said the tentative date was in August. He could not comment on candidates for the chairmanship.

War veterans who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent this week said it would be prudent for former St Mary’s MP and current vice-chairman, Patrick Nyaruwata, to take over the chairmanship but there were other forces ranged for the position.

Harare war veterans chairman Joseph Chinotimba, a disciple of Hunzvi, sources said, was keen to land the position together with the late leader’s right hand man, Andrew Ndlovu.

Since the beginning of the year feuding has been rife in the association with a group containing Mhlanga, Douglas Mahiya, Mike Moyo and Chris Pasipamire involved in skirmishes with Hunzvi’s followers.

The group maintains that Hunzvi was not a war veteran and should not have been retained as chairman. They accused Hunzvi of restructuring the association’s provincial executives to install pliable ex-combatants who would ensure that Hunzvi would be retained as chairman.

The war veterans said the chairmanship of the association was on a rotational basis between Zanla and Zipra and Hunzvi who had gone in on the Zipra ticket was not expected to run as it was now Zanla’s turn. Hunzvi was then accused of planting provincial executives that were willing to amend the war veterans’ constitution so that he could stand again.

This aspect should add to the tension at the congress as technically Ndlovu should not stand for the top post, which leaves Chinotimba and Nyaruwata in the race. The choice of the chairman, sources said, should be determined in the final analysis by the candidate’s suitability to Zanu PF.

President Mugabe told mourners this week that the war veterans should continue with the work of the late Hunzvi.

“Nekuti Hunzvi afa, mabhunu oramba akatandavara here? (Because Hunzvi is dead, should the whites be allowed to continue relaxing?) Mugabe asked.

Sources said the envisaged candidate to take over the association should be a scourge of the whites. Chinotimba would fit well with the current scheme of things and would be a willing tool of the ruling party in its quest to push for the fast-track resettlement exercise.

On the other hand, Nyaruwata is considered to be a unifying force among the war veterans but does not possess the warrior stature requisite to drive the Zanu PF agenda. He however has the support of the faction that was opposed to Hunzvi’s policies.

War veterans said both Chinotimba and Nyaruwata started campaigning at Hunzvi’s funeral with “Chinotimba posturing in front of the Zanu PF leadership while Nyaruwata took a commanding and instructive role as acting chairman”, a senior member of the association said.

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Farm Invasions and Security Report
 Thursday 7th June 2001
Every attempt is made to provide a comprehensive report of ongoing activities in relation to farm invasions, but many incidents are unreported due to communications constraints, fear of reprisals and a general weariness on the part of farmers.  Farmers names and in some cases, farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisal.
A Toyota bakkie, hi-jacked between Bindura and Harare, has been found.  The driver is apparently being held at ransom. 
2 farmers were assaulted in Ayshire after illegal occupiers demanded that farm labour be removed off the farm.
A CLAN truck was hi-jacked at the Suri-Suri turn off between Kadoma and Chegutu early this morning. The driver was blindfolded and beaten up, but is recovering.  
GMB depots nationwide were on strike on Thursday 7th June.
There were no reports received from Matabeleland Region.
Mashonaland Central
Mutepatepa - Although the DA has given permission for wheat planting to go ahead on Katanya, work has been prevented again by illegal occupiers.  War vet Chimbondi, and a group of illegal occupiers, attempted to gain access through the security fence at Dundry to take over occupancy of the farm cottage.  The situation remains unresolved, as the farm owner is away at the moment. 
Mashonaland West North 
General - There is massive pegging going on and farmers are being told to stop farming by illegal occupiers.  About 11 workers were badly beaten, 2 cannot walk.  Charges have been laid  although police were reluctant to react.  The farm drivers who collected the police were threatened by illegal occupiers.
Ayshire - Illegal occupiers informed the owners of farms in the district that they would be evicting farm labour from their homes.  2 farmers were assaulted and when they reported the incident to Mutorashanga police, they were told there was no transport for the police to react.  About 40 farmers reacted and the 15 assailants fled, 1 was arrested.
Karoi - Agritex are pegging on Lanlory Farm. 
Doma - Illegal occupiers continue to cause problems on Ponderosa and Cotswold.  A government official informed illegal occupiers on Mcherengi Farm that they were on the wrong farm.
Karoi - Illegal occupiers pegged on Dixe Farm. 
Chinhoyi - Work stoppages occurred on Portelet Estate, Portelet and Magog  farms.  Illegal occupiers are building on Liston Shiels and moving the owners cattle onto Magog Farm. 
Trelawney / Darwendale - DDF are pegging on Molby and Western Ridge Farm.  Illegal occupiers have settled on a plantation of Rhodes Grass on Wichens Estate.
Tengwe - Illegal occupiers are waiting to be allocated plots by the DA on Le Donne de Dieu, Sable Park, Kapena, Jaybury and Dendenyani.
Mashonaland West South
General - A CLAN truck was hi-jacked at the Suri-Suri turn off between Kadoma and Chegutu early this morning. The driver was blindfolded and beaten up, but is recovering.  Vehicle Description: Matador articulated Horse Registration 757-101K with 10t silver closed trailer Registration 321-618S.  The truck was carrying 9t of PVC compound and a reward is offered for the recovery of this vehicle.
Selous - War vet Makoni apologised for the death threats issued on Exwick Farm.
Chegutu - 2 cattle were killed on Lambourne Estate.  Concession Hill Farm and Farnham "A" have been pegged by Agritex officials.  Veld fires are on the increase in the area and farmers are advised to ensure that their fire breaks are intact.
Norton - Agritex is pegging on Serui Source.
Kadoma - Devon has been pegged by Agritex officials.
Suri Suri - On Sergoit Estates a contract carpenter has fraudulently signed a false contract stating that the owner owes him a large sum of money.  The owner was threatened that war vets would visit him if he did not pay.  
Mashonaland East  
Beatrice - Illegal occupiers on Friedenthal farm prevented dairy cattle from grazing.  A farmer who was filling his vehicle with fuel at a Service Station in Beatrice was prevented from leaving by an illegal occupier.  Police intervened and diffused the situation.  A dairy heifer was slaughtered by illegal occupiers about 400m away from the dairy. 
Bromley/Ruwa - Illegal occupiers have been plundering timber and sending it to Chitungwisa on a 7 tonne lorry.  The police took the Lands Committee and the DA to the farm and illegal occupiers were told that no more timber was to go off the farm and if it was removed it would be treated as a criminal offence.
Enterprise - The workforce on Strathlorne farm tried to start farming operations and commenced the cut flower export project and land preparation for Barley despite opposition from illegal occupiers.  More illegal occupiers arrived and a complete work stoppage occurred.
Harare South - Douglas Mahiya and others arrived on Gilston and questioned the manager on what farming operations were going on and if they intended to carry on farming.  Douglas Mahiya then visited Unadale farm and advised the owner’s son that more illegal occupiers would be arriving.  A group of illegal occupiers started fires on Edinburgh and tore down a boom at the entrance of a farm.  A DDF team pegged in the farm village of Kinfauns with about 5 illegal occupiers and informed the owner that he had 2 weeks to leave the farm with his labour.
Marondera - A farmers wife went to collect their manager's dog, as he had not been allowed on the farm since Sunday.  When she tried to leave, illegal occupiers would not allow her to.  8 farmers reacted and 2 went to negotiate with illeg al occupiers.  Support Unit released the farmers wife.  Negotiations  reached a deadlock.
Marondera North - Work stoppages on Ulva, Cambridge and Warwick continue.  Illegal occupiers arrived on Loquat Grove and threatened the owner's life if he did not vacate the farm. 
Macheke/Virginia - There was a work stoppage on Klipspringerkop.  Illegal occupiers forced the owner to sign half of the farm over to them and said the labour must move off the farm.  Paul Nhau said all the labour should leave Camdale once they had finished grading as there was no more work for them there.   The Alcatraz security guards on Athlone were told to leave.  Illegal occupiers arrived on Malda farm and advised that grading could continue but nothing else.  The owner himself is not allowed on the farm.
Wedza - 2 armed poachers were tracked to the illegal occupiers base camp on Collace from Farm Alpha.  There was a labour dispute on Dollanstown and a tractor driver was badly beaten.  Illegal occupier “Danger”  was arrested by the police as he has 4 charges against him.  The police diffused the situation.  A private guard on Journey’s End farm saw 2 poachers with 2 impala and a duiker.  A Wedsec reaction team was deployed and the poachers fired a warning shot at them but they kept  approaching.  The poachers fled into the bush.  A weaner was slashed by illegal occupiers on Poltimore and had to be destroyed.  Gates were left open and the cattle were let out.  A bus killed one and another was slashed.  4 gun shots were heard on Farm Charlie and 2 cattle were stolen and later recovered.
General - Chopping of trees, pegging and pressure on farm owners continues.
General - The DA of Mwenezi has been removed from office by dissatisfied, militant illegal occupiers.
Masvingo East and Central - Theft of wheels, bearings and tyres from a dam scoop has occurred on Dromore Farm. About 100 militant illegal occupiers prevented and threatened the owner of Lothian Farm from leaving his homestead when he went pay his farm workers and collect remaining furniture from the homestead. Police and members of the war veterans association reacted and released the owner from his homestead. The owner has been forced by illegal occupiers to pump water for them and to remain off the farm since February 2000. Police advised the owner that it is not safe to return to the farm without a police escort.  An illegal occupier moved 17 head of cattle onto Chidza Farm which have now mixed with the owners pedigree cattle.
Mwenezi - A dispute between the owner of Quagga Pan and illegal occupiers over compensation of an illegal occupiers dog which was shot by a farm security guard has still not been resolved. About 60 illegal occupiers intimidated farm labour in the farm village by kicking over cooking pots and breaking down farm labourers homes. Illegal occupiers instructed farm labour to leave the farm. Illegal occupiers then used forced entry into the security fence of the owners homestead and sang revolutionary songs and made threats to the owner. Illegal occupiers want the owner to leave his homestead so that they can occupy it.  A fire was started on Merrivale Ranch by illegal occupiers.  Agritex have pegged on Bonora Ranch and Dykers Rust Ranch. Fences were cut to gain entrance onto the properties. A lorry belonging to Rutenga Bakery continues on a daily basis to collect stolen firewood and sand from Rienette Ranch. Police refuse to react. The owner of Oerwoud Ranch received a letter from illegal occupiers demanding that all cattle be removed off the farm.
Gutu / Chatsworth - The owners of Bath and Wragley Farms received demands from illegal occupiers to remove all their cattle off the farm. A team of plain clothed people arrived on Southdale Farm with the notion to "plan 6 village settlements". Shadreck Gwari inquired where the most arable land was. The owner offered a key to the Shagashe side of the farm which Shadreck declined saying they would return for that at a later date. Illegal occupiers made an attempt to steal the cattle crush on Merlyn Farm. 400 head of cattle were herded into garden of the owners homestead on Rossal Farm  by illegal occupiers .
Chiredzi - There has been an influx of illegal occupiers on Ngwane Ranch. Police reacted and told illegal occupiers to move off the farm. The local base commander instructed illegal occupiers to remain where they were and as a result some have moved off and some remain on the property. A poacher was arrested and collected by police on Wasarasara Ranch. There is a lot of movement of illegal occupiers, cattle goats, donkeys and scotch carts in the area. Poaching and deforestation continue unabated.
Save Conservancy - Poaching and deforestation continue.
General - Poaching and theft is ongoing with varied responses from authorities.
Gweru East - A dairy farmer was prevented from milking his cows.  Police responded and the situation was resolved by the afternoon.
Lalapanzi South - The owner of Gando Farm, removed his cattle off the farm after illegal occupiers had told him to do so and instructed him that the farm no longer belonged to him.
Mvuma - Illegal occupiers are pegging and poaching continues .
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Controversy over Hunzvi’s hero status - "Turning Heroes Acre into Zanu PF graveyard"

Dumisani Muleya/Brian Hungwe
AS PRESIDENT Mugabe and Zanu PF functionaries continue to eulogise the late war veterans leader Chenjerai Hunzvi, senior ex-combatants are divided over his hero’s status.

Ex-combatants and commentators say Hunzvi — who died on Monday morning and is being buried today at Heroes Acre — does not deserve the honour because of his flawed record. They said the late war veterans leader was a “partisan warrior” who left a legacy of hatred and economic ruin.

Analysts said Hunzvi was distinguished for his trademarks of inflammatory and bellicose rhetoric, extortion and violence.

A senior war veterans’ leader said “genuine ex-combatants” did not believe Hunzvi was a hero but recommended that he be declared one to avoid contradicting their patron, President Mugabe.

The president declared Hunzvi a hero before meeting his politburo to decide the issue. Analysts said Mugabe’s behaviour betrayed his parochial political interests.

That Hunzvi was a fanatical supporter of Mugabe was clear. Last year he told international election observers during the general election he would fight — literally — to keep Mugabe in power.

“We will fight to make sure that Mugabe remains in power by any means necessary,” Hunzvi said.

Mugabe on Tuesday praised Hunzvi for his “extraordinary energy”. Du- ring last year’s election campaign Hunzvi openly threatened opponents with death, calling them “dogs”, “puppets”, and “traitors”.

Trained in Poland as a doctor, he used his Budiriro surgery for torture sessions. During the Bikita West by-election he threw petrol bombs into the homes of opposition supporters.

Hunzvi rose to prominence through what analysts describe as “extortion of the treasury” in 1997 when he forced Mugabe to award his supporters gratuities and monthly pensions.

It is well-known that Hunzvi maintained his grip on the war veterans’ association through manipulation and threats.

Ex-combatant leaders like Andy Mhlanga, Mike Moyo, Chris Pasipamire and Douglas Mahiya, among others, were vehemently opposed to his leadership.

Former nationalist leader James Chikerema said the Hunzvi saga showed that the process of according hero status was partisan and defective.

“I cannot even comment on the issue because the concept of conferring hero status is being used for political mileage by Zanu PF,” he said.

Political scientist Masipula Sithole said it was an insult to bury Hunzvi at the Heroes Acre because of his insignificant contribution during the li- beration war and in post-independent Zimbabwe.

“They are making the Heroes Acre a Zanu PF graveyard. It is no longer the Heroes Acre of Herbert Chitepo, Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo, Josiah Tongogara and other genuine heroes,” he said.

Sithole, describing Hunzvi as a “partisan hero”, said the late war veterans leader’s record of violence and extortion should have been good reason to disqualify him.

Zanu PF heavyweights Dumiso Dabengwa and John Nkomo, as well as other former PF Zapu luminaries, four years ago disputed Hunzvi’s claims to having made a major contribution to the liberation struggle.

One analyst pointed out that Mugabe and his politburo could not be expected to fairly assess Hunzvi’s record “because they are now simply beyond the reach of reasoned political argument”.

Zanu PF deputy information chief Jonathan Moyo was at pains to explain why Hunzvi was declared a hero.

“Hunzvi is a hero because he was a hero,” Moyo said as he tried to be consistent with Mugabe’s statement on Tuesday.

But Zimbabwe Liberators Platform Harare province chairman Richard Chiwara said Hunzvi’s background did not warrant hero status.

“Judging by his most recent history, going around beating up people in the name of Zanu PF, and criminal allegations, he is not a hero.”

Chiwara called for a national debate on who qualified as a hero. He said a national committee of distinguished people shou-ld do the selection, not Zanu PF’s politburo.

The issue of conferring hero status has been riddled with controversy since the 1980s.

It took the signing of the 1987 Unity Accord between PF Zapu and Zanu PF before Mugabe and his party would acknowledge that the former Zipra commander, General Lookout Masuku, deserved national hero status.

Although Masuku was declared a national hero amid immense political
pressure, he remains buried in Bulawayo at Lady Stanley Cemetery.

It also took years for Mugabe to award hero status to another former Zipra commander, Alfred Nikita Mangena, who was killed in Zambia during the war. Mangena, who was succeeded by Masuku in 1978, was reburied at the Heroes Acre in August 1998.

But Mugabe has always moved with speed to honour his own lieutenants. The Border Gezi, Moven Mahachi and now the Hunzvi cases suffice as examples.

There was also a great deal of controversy over the denial of hero status to the late Zanu Ndonga leader, Rev Ndabaningi Sithole, prominent nationalist Michael Mawema, the late Air Force of Zimbabwe flight lieutenant, Sheba Tavarwisa, one of the youngest founders of Zipra Malakaya Mademutsa, and celebrated ex-combatant and former secretary to Mugabe, Charles Tazvishaya.

Former nationalists have said Mugabe harboured profound dislike of Sithole, the founder-president of Zanu who was ousted from the party leadership in an internal coup.

Commentators said the unfairness of the whole system of the declaration of heroes was most evident in the Mawema case.

Even Vice-President Simon Muzenda acknowledged that it was “unfor- tunate” that Mawema was not declared a national hero.

Zanu PF heavyweight Eddison Zvobgo said at the time Mawema did not need anyone to declare him a national hero because “his deeds spoke for themselves”.

He said: “It was a decision based on votes by humans who were themselves not perfect.”

But it would appear the Hunzvi saga has finally evaporated whatever credibility still remained in the heroes selection criteria.

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Farming stops in Macheke

Dumisani Ndlela
FARMING industry sou-rces said last week the government had not made any effort to facilitate the re-opening of commercial farming operations in the Virginia area of Macheke, where wheat planting is already behind schedule and 30 tobacco farms are under threat.

Operations on a total of 27 farms had initially been brought to a halt by war veterans. Nine of the farms were involved in wheat production.

Wheat production lost due to non-planting as a result of the invasions in the Macheke area amounts to an equivalent of 2 655 000 loaves of bread. The average cost of a loaf of bread is $30 which brings the loss to $80 million.

Over $300 million worth of revenue is expected to be lost due to the non-production of both wheat and tobacco at the farms.

Threatened tobacco production amounts to about $200 million at $170 per kilogram, sources said.

Over 2 061 farming jobs will be lost due to the move, while 10 000 dependants will also be left homeless.

Industry players estimate the total wage bill for these employees at $42 million per month and this translates into direct losses to the National Social Security Authority of $2,5 million in monthly subscriptions.

Some of the farmers have now been served with Sections 5 or 8 Land Acquisition Orders by the government to compel them to stop working on their land.

Lands and Agriculture minister Joseph Made is understood to have endorsed the clampdown on the properties by the war veterans, and has ignored pleas to stop the invasions, expected to result in serious food shortages.

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MDC mailing list -

The Solar Eclipse

Support a worthwhile community development initiative

Take advantage of a unique opportunity to experience rural life and at the
same time, view the eclipse from one of the best vantage points in the
world. And while you're doing this you will be helping the local
community. The community in this area are very poor and hosting people for
the eclipse presents an opportunity to earn a little income and meet with
people from around Zimbabwe as well as the rest of the world.

Tony Lampard has formed a joint venture with the Dotito Campfire Community
who are upgrading roads to the edge of the Zambezi Escarpment in the
Mavuradonha Mountains. This spot has been recommended as one of the best
to view the eclipse.

Visitors will be hosted in a variety of accommodation including gazebos,
homes and camp sites. There will be food and drinks available for
purchase. The accommodation is reasonably priced.

Please support this project if you can and let your friends know of this
fantastic opportunity.

For further information, including costs and directions, please contact:

Tony Lampard 776399 or  091 338614.   8 Knightsbridge Crescent, Highlands,
Godfrey Machanzi  04 2525895, 304661, 091 392 695.  5 Devon Ave, Avondale
West, Harare. 
Briv Baxter 091 250780 020 62705 c/o Bratex 7 Hosgood Avenue, Mutare.
Web address:

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Zanu PF intensifies Bindura terror campaign

Augustine Mukaro
ZANU PF’s terror campaign in Bindura intensified this week despite police promises that it is increasing its presence in the constituency to quell the political violence which has rocked Mashonaland Central province since the death of Border Gezi.

Political tension gripped the constituency as both parties sought to consolidate their positions before a parliamentary by-election to be held in the province following the death of former MP, Gezi, who died in a car crash along the Harare-Masvingo road last month.

Although the dates for the by-election had not yet been announced, campaigning was already in full swing, with Zanu PF wanting to ensure that it retained the seat.

Elliot Manyika, the Mashonaland Central governor, has been chosen as the Zanu PF candidate for Bindura. He will be contesting against Elliot Pfebve, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) losing candidate in the June poll. Pfebve lost to the late Gezi by 1 071 votes polling 11 257 against the late minister’s 13 328.

Speaking to the Independent, Pfebve said Bindura was proving to be another Marondera or Bikita West with Zanu PF having deployed war veterans and youths in lorries to terrorise innocent villagers.

“Police seem not to be taking action against the perpetrators of violence because they should have at least arrested more than one suspect from the time when violence started until now,” Pfebve said.

He said when police returned to the MDC “safe house” last week they found Zanu PF supporters stoning the house and others within the same locality, but did not arrest them.

“Zanu PF supporters destroyed house numbers 1716, 1717, 1721 and 1722 in Chiwaridzo township on allegations that MDC members were housed there but police did not arrest anyone. They merely dispersed them,” Pfebve said.
He said police had not taken any action despite the fact that the culprits could now be identified.

“The people who directed the lorries have been identified and have admitted to the police that they knew where the attackers came from but police have not pressed any charges against them,” he said.

Pfebve said on Saturday the Bindura MDC district youth chairman Cephas Madzongere was attacked by six Zanu PF members driving a Defender.

“He was thoroughly assaulted and left unconscious and is recovering at the Avenues Clinic,” he said.

“Several similar incidents are happening every day and reports are being made to the police but no action is taken.”

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Who will be next?

By A Special Correspondent

Leader of Zimbabwe’s War Veterans’ Association, Chenjerai ‘Hitler’ Hunzvi, is destined for the country’s burial place for "heroes" as a way of recognising the terror that he unleashed on fellow Zimbabweans in order to win votes for the ruling party, Zanu PF. Addressing mourners at the funeral, President Robert Mugabe - now hell bent on unleashing a final torrent of terror on white commercial farmers, white owners of businesses and supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - said it would be a mere formality for the ruling party’s highest policy making organ, the politburo, to debate the need for declaring Hunzvi a hero.

Zimbabwean traditionalists, concerned about the growing number of deaths in Zanu PF, said: "Zanu PF has had so many deaths, its leadership should start worrying. In the past elders used to say that before a chief or an elder in the clan dies there would be several deaths of people close to him, all within a short space of each other. "This could be what is happening here right now. The other thing is that the accidents should not be written off. Remember when Josiah Tongogara, former leader of Zanla forces died, the governor of Manicaland, Oppah Muchinguri, was with him and she survived. When Mahachi died Muchinguri again was there," said some traditional elders. In the African culture the spirit of the avenging spirit (Ngozi) is associated with inexplicable deaths following hard on the heels of each other. Even some members of Zanu PF have started talking about the spirits of Herbert Chitepo, Tongogara, Olds, Stevens and Chiminya among others, could now be haunting the party leadership. "Zanu PF has spilt so much blood just to keep Mugabe in power and I believe many more are going to die," said another traditionalist.

Meanwhile Harare is abuzz with news that police commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, rumoured to have collapsed last week, is lying in some hospital in a coma. Zimbabweans, tired of being violated by the ruling party, have since Gezi’s death started playing the guessing game of who is going to die next. The talk around the country is that all this is divine intervention and talk on the streets is that God is summoning those responsible for spilling blood to explain themselves.

‘Hitler’ Hunzvi shot to prominence four years ago following his campaign for war veterans to be paid lump sums of $50 000 as well as monthly pensions. He endeared himself to the war veterans who, after squandering their 1980s demobilisation payoffs, had fallen on hard times. Although he looted the fund, he went on to spearhead the establishment of a company in which war veterans contributed money, through this company; he again looted most of the money from his colleagues. Before he died on Monday he had impounded vehicles belonging to the war veterans’ company. A man who had very hazy war credentials, Hunzvi somehow managed to convince everyone around him that he was a true war veteran and had, in Mugabe’s greatest hour of need, campaigned full steam for the ruling party, unleashing untold violence against anyone seen as a stumbling block.

Hunzvi’s death follows the recent deaths of Gender Minister, Border Gezi, also given to terrorising Zimbabweans, first the people of Mashonaland Central and later whichever province that needed to be taught a lesson for not supporting Mugabe. Only a week ago the minister responsible for the Democratic Republic of the Congo war strategy, Moven Mahachi, also died in a violent car accident.

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Interview With Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai


Durban - Zimbabwe opposition boss Morgan Tsvangirai was in South Africa this week to attend the regional conference of the World Economic Forum in Durban. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader spoke to IRIN about Zimbabwe's economic and political crisis, and next year's make-or-break presidential election.

Q: Has the political landscape changed in Zimbabwe as a result of the recent death of three (ruling party) ZANU-PF stalwarts?

A: My own assessment is that is it a serious setback, these were close allies of (President Robert) Mugabe, close functionaries, I'm sure they'll have to go back to the drawing board to re-strategise again. These were blind followers of Mugabe's violent campaign and I think there's a significant impact on his election strategy.

Q: Are the three replaceable?

A: I think they've gone through shock therapy, it depends how they recover from it, I think the writing's on the wall and there will be few takers for the positions.

Q: Mugabe has made the land question central to his campaign to retain power, how can the MDC successfully campaign around the land issue?

A: Mugabe has no long-term strategy on the land, neither does he have a plan. What he has done is he has put forward a tactical position. You cannot have a government which deliberately says this law shall apply, this law shall not apply. You cannot have a government that is dismissive of the law for political purposes. The government land programme cannot be successful unless it empowers people economically and leads to sustainable economic development. On the contrary, the opposite has happened. So while he is articulating the need for land reform, that everybody agrees on, I think the methodology that he has applied to achieve that objective has been a disaster.

Q: How then, will the MDC regain the initiative, so to speak over the land issue in the forthcoming presidential election campaign?

A: Some people wonder why it is now an issue after twenty years, its because the MDC has said ZANU-PF has failed to implement a sustainable land reform programme, we will implement a sustainable programme. That's when Mugabe turned round and said land reform is a ZANU-PF issue. As far as the MDC is concerned it's a clear case, the method of implementation must be sustainable, equitable, lawful and transparent.

Q: Are you confident that if the MDC comes to power you can successfully resolve the land issue?

A: I see no problem because we do have a plan with clear objectives, and we realise it's a long-term issue that requires significant resources from the international community which I know would be forthcoming if things are done legally and in an orderly manner. But what Mugabe has done is to have sacrificed the financial resources that were available for land reform, that's tragic.

Q: The MDC has proven support in urban parts of Zimbabwe, but what are you doing to bolster support in rural areas and other ZANU-PF strongholds?

A: It's true our support is primarily urban, that's because the MDC emerged from the workers' movement and the urban base is very strong for us. But that does not mean we have not made breakthroughs in the rural areas. We have been doing well in Mashonaland and also the Matabeleland region is fully behind the MDC. We think that ZANU-PF can now really only rely on one or two provinces. I think people have learnt to cope with the violent strategy of ZANU-PF. And recent results show this, despite all the ZANU tactics, including closing down the town of Masvingo, it was still a victory for the MDC mayoral candidate there.

Q: When and if an MDC government comes to power, how would you deal with the war veterans and a clearly partisan army and police force?

A: The veterans are just a small rogue element, no more than 2,000 people who have been causing a lot of havoc and intimidation, they can be contained very easily. The majority of the veterans are law abiding and democratic, I think an MDC government would enjoy their support, provided of course, we don't reverse their pension benefits, that's their biggest worry. Dealing with a partisan civil service will be difficult, but we're committed to ensuring the professionalism of these institutions is enhanced. Anyone who is obstructive will be removed. But of course we do need continuity, but there's a great need to depoliticise and transform the army and the police force and end the system of patronage that has been with us since independence.

Q: Would an MDC government be in favour of trying those responsible for political crimes?

A: There's absolutely no excuse for the lawlessness that now characterises our country. So yes, those individuals would have to face prosecution for those crimes.

Q: What about senior government politicians accused of orchestrating the widespread killings in Matabeleland in the eighties?

A: There's a definite need to get some clarity on this and also call those responsible to account, it's a complex issue, but we're certainly behind finding out the truth about that period.

Q: What kind of presidential election are you calling for?

A: There are a number of conditions that we would like to see, we need an independent electoral commission, we're the only country in the region without one. Secondly we want the re-organisation of the voters roll, at the moment it is shambolic. We want to see peace restored to allow free campaigning, as well as free voting. For that to happen you need the presence of the international community, you need international observers. This is something Mugabe must agree to, in order to give the poll credibility. But we need international observers in the country prior to the election, to observe campaigning as well. It's not just the poll, its what happens leading up to it that needs to be clean and fair. There also needs to be a strong regional call for a free election as a condition of legitimising the outcome. President Mbeki needs to be forthright on that. We also need international logistical support, Mugabe always uses lack of resources as an excuse for vote rigging.

Q: But what if President Mugabe says no to all those things you're calling for, will the MDC still contest the election?

A: It's up to the people, they're waiting to cast their votes, and I think it will be a defining moment. And we're not going to deny Zimbabweans their opportunity to vote for change, in spite of the obstacles the government is busy putting in the way. Again, the Masvingo result proves violence and intimidation of voters only goes so far, and that win has given us a tremendous psychological boost.

Q: ZANU-PF has said that a violent election is inevitable, how is the MDC going to respond?

A: Yes we know that Mugabe is building structures of violence. We're responding by building our grassroots support and educating people to cope with the violence and getting them to understand that the only way to stop the violence is to get rid of the ZANU-PF government.

Q: Are you concerned that Zimbabweans may well be voting MDC in protest?

A: Whatever it is its still an MDC vote, that's fine as long as it delivers an MDC victory, that's positive for the country.

Q: What sort of role are you looking for from South Africa in terms of heading off the current crisis in Zimbabwe?

A: I think South Africa is playing a positive role currently in a number of ways. I think South Africa's engagement of both sides of the political divide at high level is the right way to go. Secondly, I believe the lifeline that the South African government is providing in terms of fuel and power is very important, to head off total collapse. To have a successful election we need a functioning country.

Q: SADC (Southern African Development Community) has refused to condemn Mugabe, unlike (US Secretary of State) Colin Powell, how do you interpret the deafening silence in the region towards your country?

A: There has certainly been silence from most of the SADC leaders, but we're happy with the South African government's current stand, its positive.

Q: How do you think the court case against you is going to develop (Tsvangirai is charged with inciting violence in a case that has gone to the Supreme Court)?

A: Even the government is aware that the constitutional challenge is going to make the whole case null and void and I'm sure there's no way they're going to get a conviction out of it. Mugabe, despite his efforts to fashion a compliant judiciary has failed in that regard.

Q: The MDC is often accused of being just a front for Zimbabwe's white minority, who does the party really represent?

A: People are just misrepresenting the MDC, its just political opportunism. The MDC's roots are within the labour movement, we're a social democratic party. We represent workers and peasants and have very wide support amongst the civic movements in Zimbabwe. Of course some business people support us, look what Mugabe has done to the economy, but we cannot at all be considered a champion of white interests exclusively.

Q: What's your economic vision for Zimbabwe and does it contain the kind of painful structural adjustment policies that have failed to bear fruit in the rest of the region?

A: Certainly structural adjustment has not given us any benefits, Mugabe violated every single macro-economic rule, he went into the Congo war, paid the war veterans unbudgeted amounts, caused the Zim dollar to collapse through his lawlessness, etc. In the past there was no political will to implement real economic reform. We used to have a sound economy in Zimbabwe, and we can get that back. Sure change is needed but the people will not be asked to tighten their belts while the top leadership are loosening theirs. Economic reform is necessary and its going to be painful and we need the political will to go through those years together.

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From The Financial Gazette, 7 June

No takers for Zanu PF's Byo mayoral ticket

Bulawayo - Several prominent people here, among them the former Bulawayo City Council's long-serving town clerk Mike Ndubiwa, have declined to represent the ruling Zanu PF party in the forthcoming mayoral polls, it was learnt this week. The Financial Gazette has it on good authority that Cyril Ndebele, the former speaker of Parliament, and local businessman Themba Sibanda have also turned down passionate pleas from the ruling party to stand against Japhet Ndabeni Ncube of the opposition MDC. Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, a former deputy minister who was widely tipped to take up the offer, had also declined on the grounds that he already occupied a very senior position in the Politburo, Zanu PF's supreme decision-making organ.

Governing party sources yesterday said Ndubiwa, who served Zimbabwe's second largest city for nearly 30 years as town clerk, turned down the ZANU PF offer because, he said, he had "given the city of Bulawayo enough of his time". Ndubiwa, who is understood to be doing some private consultancy work, could not be contacted yesterday. "We approached him (Ndubiwa) but (he) politely declined. In fact we sent three delegations but the man said he has given all he could to the city," said a ruling party source who spoke on condition of anonymity. The government has set June 23 and 24 as the tentative dates for the mayoral election in this city of more than one million people whose eight constituencies are all already in the hands of the MDC. "We tried others but all those we approached offered various reasons for not taking up the offer to stand for the mayoral elections on our ticket," added the ruling party source.

Sibanda, a ruling party sympathiser who worked closely with the late Border Gezi through his Children Of Africa Development Initiative (COADI), confirmed to this newspaper that he was approached but could not take up the offer. "It was an honour to be approached but I have too much in my hands as a businessman. I have business ventures around the world," said Sibanda. "I could have taken it up were it not for my business commitments in Namibia and Iran, just to name a few. I told them that I am too busy trying to bring investment to Matabeleland through my own initiatives," he added. Ndlovu, the former deputy minister of higher education and technology, confirmed that most people in the party thought he was the man for the job. "But I could not take it as I already hold a senior position in the party. I know that there are other people that have left senior posts for junior ones but I feel with the post I am holding in the ruling party, I can use it to further the interests of Bulawayo," Ndlovu told the Financial Gazette.

Ruling party sources said the race for the Zanu PF mayoral ticket was now between former ceremonial mayor Joshua Malinga and George Mlilo, the city engineer. Malinga said yesterday he would stand if selected by Zanu PF while Mlilo could not be reached for an immediate comment. Meanwhile, the MDC candidate Ndabeni Ncube has resigned from his post as Bulawayo's assistant director of housing to concentrate on his campaign.

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From IRIN (UN), 5 June

Top veterinary team to investigate Gonarezhou park

Johannesburg - A team of agriculturalists undertook a fact-finding mission on Monday to determine the extent of illegal land occupation in Gonarezhou, one of Zimbabwe's foremost national parks. Gonarezhou, a tourist haven in the country's southeastern Lowveld, was recently demarcated for resettlement under the government's controversial fast-track programme. Although Masvingo governor Josiah Hungwe had been quoted as saying that only land adjacent to the park would be settled, the weekly 'Zimbabwe Independent', citing a senior National Parks provincial officer, recently reported that the land being acquired was within the national park.

Agricultural sources told IRIN that the team, including officials from the Department of Veterinary Science (DVS), had embarked on the mission in response to unconfirmed reports that thousands of head of cattle are grazing within the park, home to endangered species and rare eco-systems. "The big fear is foot-and-mouth (disease), cattle can contract it from the wildlife and vice-versa," a source within the Zimbabwe Cattle Producer's Association (ZCPA) told IRIN.

The demarcation of part of the world-renowned park came barely two months after the signing of a transfrontier agreement between Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa which encompasses Gonarezhou as a regional conservation area. The sudden change of land use at Gonarezhou, without consulting the other signatories to the agreement, could scuttle the creation of a vast game reserve which includes Gazaland in Mozambique and the Kruger National Park in South Africa. Conservationists are concerned that the removal of fences around the park and human settlement would have a catastrophic affect on the wildlife. That, they said, would likely put Zimbabwe's ailing tourism industry in further jeopardy.

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Dear Colleagues
We wish to advise that this office has been re-located, and is now only reachable by phone, fax or e-mail. Fax details will be supplied when required.
Please note that the e-mail address, although still active, should not be used. We will NOT be monitoring it. We will be using as our main e-mail address at present. Please amend your address books if necessary.
Telephone numbers are: 091-244699 and 091-322439 respectively. In preference, please use 091-244699.
We will continue with the same activities as before, but in the future some of these may have to be discontinued
owing to the non-availability of funds. However, that being said, we will try to source sponsors if specific requests are made. This would also be an opportune time to say that if you are in a position to assist us with sponsorship, please contact us!
Our aim in maintaining our activities is to ensure that the communications network that we have built up over the past year does not fall apart. When the Presidential Elections are announced, we will - with your support - be able to quickly gear up to ensure an effective and successful campaign.
MDC Support (Southern Region), Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
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Injured councillor blames police for arrest delays

Busani Bafana
A COUNCILLOR from the Umguza District Council who was attacked and injured by a gang of about 40 war veterans while on his Trenance plot, has accused local government authorities and the police of dragging their feet in arresting his attackers whom he expo- sed for illegally demarcating and selling land within the boundaries of the City of Bulawayo.

The councillor, Moses Moyo, recently clashed with a band of war veterans and sustained a sprained wrist and a deep cut on his left hand. The ringleader of the war veterans was also injured in the fight after Moyo’s workers came to their boss’s rescue.

Moyo, a local businessman, told the Independent that he was attacked by a group of war veterans accusing him of hoarding land and of supporting the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

He was a member of the Umguza council executive removed from office by war veterans in February on allegations of being sympathetic to the MDC. He said he suspected the attack on him was linked to his exit from the rural district council.

Umguza Rural District Council is estimated to have lost more than $2 million since it was taken over by war veterans. The removed council was accused of frustrating the government’s fast-track resettlement programme and of serving the interests of the MDC. The local authority continued to lose revenue as rates and levies are not being collected since the council administration was booted out.

The issue of people selling land illegally has been going on for some time and I alerted the authorities about it, but they do not want to prosecute,” Moyo said.

“I even understand that some policemen have got stands in the area. Now I have been attacked and this is being blamed on bogus war veterans.”

Moyo said when the problem of war veterans invading land in the urban area first surfaced last year, he brought this to the attention of the local land taskforce under the Ministry of Local Government and the Bulawayo acting mayor David Ndlovu but nothing was done.

“I approached the authorities to take action against these people but I did not see this happen,” Moyo claimed. “I approached the mayor and the district administrator but these people hesitated to act.”

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Donors optimistic on CFU land proposal

Forward Maisokwadzo
THE donor community has given a measured welcome to the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU)’s Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative which seeks to co-operate with the government in a sustainable agrarian reform programme underpinned by continuity of national production.

On May 29 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) orga- nised a meeting between the Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative (ZJ- RI) and diplomats from donor countries, Southern African Development Co- mmunity members, and the G-77 to discuss the new land proposals.

“The initiative was recognised as another window of opportunity for the dialogue process that needs to be explored further in the context of principles agreed in the 1998 International Conference on land reform,” said a UNDP spokesman.

“UNDP will continue to explore possibilities of assisting key stake-holders (to) agree on a technically sound and sustainable land reform programme that meets the expectations of all stakeholders,” the spokesman said.

The briefing centred on the resettlement proposal to government by the ZJRI.

“The initiative was generally considered as a step in the right direction,” said the spokesman.

Victor Angelo, UNDP resident representative, on Wednesday met with chairman of the Land Acquisition Committee, Vice President Joseph Msika, to brief him on the outcome of the meeting between the UNDP and the farmers.

Sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that Msika seemed to have been supportive of the farmers’ initiative despite Lands Minister Joseph Made’s position that there was no longer anything to negotiate with the CFU.

Contrary to Made’s views that the land acquisition was finished and that the government had closed talks with CFU, Msika appointed a team to study the resettlement support package proposed by the commercial farmers.

The latest announcement by the donor community is seen as a step in trying to solve the impasse between the government and commercial farmers.

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Donors worried over Sapes accounts

Dumisani Muleya
INTERNATIONAL donor agencies funding Ibbo Mandaza’s Southern African Research Institute for Policy Studies (Sarips) and the Southern Africa Political and Economic Series (Sapes) Trust have raised eyebrows over the organisations’ accounts.

Sources said the donors were worried about how their funds were being used following speculation that money was being diverted to subsidise the Zimbabwe Mirror, Mandaza’s weekly newspaper.

“They think he is using some of their money to fund the Mirror,” a source told the Zimbabwe Independent.

“The situation has been made worse by the fact that Mandaza is currently in the process of establishing a daily newspaper. Don- ors fear — rightly or wrongly — that some of their funds may be used for that project,” the source said.

Mandaza said the Daily Mirror was “definitely” going ahead this month. Sources close to the former government bureaucrat said donors from India were currently in the country for talks over the supply of a printing press to the Mirror. They said four new vehicles had so far been supplied for the newspaper project.

However, in the meantime the stand-off over the inspection of Sarips’ and Sapes’ books was continuing. Mandaza has met the Norwegian ambassador, Arild Eik, to discuss the issue. A source explained how the problem started:

“An evaluation team from Norad (the Norwegian aid agency), on its way to audit Sapes’ books, was stopped in its tracks and had to cancel the trip just as its members were packing their bags to come to Zimbabwe, after an intercession by Mandaza.

“Mandaza refused to allow the evaluation, stating that Sapes and Sarips were in chaos and therefore in no condition to be evaluated at the moment,” the source said.

Norwegian embassy minister-counsellor Kare Stormark said the evaluation team was thwarted at Mandaza’s request.

“It was stopped on the request of Sapes Trust. They said the timing wasn’t right,” he said.

Asked what that was supposed to mean, Stormark said: “I don’t really know. It’s very difficult for me to explain. But I think they want to do their own evaluation first and then allow ours later.

“The evaluation has not yet been done and that naturally will affect the flow of funds,” said Stormark.

Currently Sarips has a four-year agreement with the Norwegians involving about US$800 000 ($44 million). The contract entered into in 1999 expires next year and it’s not clear whether or not it will be renewed.

Stormark said a decision had not yet been made on the issue.

He confirmed, however, that funding to the Southern Africa Political and Economic Monthly (Sapem) magazine, which now incorporated its sister publication, Southern African Economist, would not be renewed.

Sapem is published by Sapes’ printing and publishing arm — Southern Africa Printing and Publishing House (Sappho) — which also publishes academic books, a regional companies report and the Mirror.

It is understood that Swedish donor organisations, Sida and Sarec, have cancelled plans to disburse more money to Sapes and Sarips over the issue of evaluations.

Efforts to get comment from the Swedish embassy yesterday were not successful. A Sida spokesman said he would return the Independent’s call after consulting his bosses in Stockholm.

But Mandaza, who is Sapes’ executive chair, said the two donor groups were still funding his organisations.

“They are still funding us,” he said.

Mandaza explained that external evaluations of Sapes and Sarips — which is led by Professor Sam Moyo — were supposed to have been carried out on May 24 but he asked for the postponement of the exercise.

“There are supposed to be three evaluations. One done by ourselves, the other by Norad and an international one done by various organisations,” said Mandaza.

“I explained to the ambassador (Eik) that the evaluation will be done later in the year and he agreed. There is no problem at all,” he said.

Sources said Mandaza was also in trouble with the Dutch over the issue of accountability for donor funds. Hivos, a Dutch donor agency whose regional office is based in Harare, is said to be unhappy over lack of audited accounts.

Hivos is understood to have written an ultimatum this week threatening to cut grants if Mandaza did not allow the evaluation to take place by the first week of September.

Sources said the letter was written following Hivos’ unsuccessful meetings with Mandaza and Moyo over the issue. The donor organisation is understood to be growing increasingly impatient with the two.

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RESPECT for the dead is a common custom of many societies. It honours those who have passed on while demonstrating sensitivity to grieving relatives and friends.

But it must not be used as a veil behind which misdeeds are concealed. And, above all, those claiming to be mourners should not use the tactful silence of others to distort the record of the deceased. Where the deceased are public figures, their record is a matter of public concern.

This week Information minister Jonathan Moyo has been lecturing the press on what it can or cannot say about the dead. He brandished culture as a blunt instrument in warning newspapers not to “defile” Zimbabwe’s traditions.

The minister is not a disinterested party. The government of which he is part has sponsored violence against innocent and law-abiding Zimbabweans to punish them for supporting the opposition. It has unleashed a group of war veterans to abduct, assault and in some instances, kill people suspected of being members of the Movement for Democratic Change.

Equally seriously, it has manipulated the law to prosecute members of the MDC under draconian colonial legislation such as the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act while sparing members of the ruling party who have engaged in abduction, murder, theft and arson.

It is an abuse of power as serious as it gets. Yet the press is instructed to ignore these blatant crimes in the name of “our moral and ethical values as Africans”.

Border Gezi, Moven Mahachi, and most egregiously, Chenjerai Hunzvi, have all been implicated in Zanu PF’s campaign of violence against the opposition. Gezi led a particularly brutal campaign in the Bikita West by-election which witnessed many vicious assaults.

Mahachi was cited in a court hearing as having threatened opposition supporters in his constituency with death.

Leading last year’s farm invasions in which hundreds of farm workers and their employers were threatened, assaulted, abducted and in some cases brutally murdered, was Hunzvi.

In interviews this year and last he boasted of his record and promised more of the same. He rapidly became President Mugabe’s chief agent of lawlessness and violence. His Budiriro surgery was used as a torture centre. The politburo, with Mugabe’s endorsement, has declared him a hero.

Not only does this demean the status of existing heroes, it proclaims Mugabe’s and his government’s commitment to policies that involve unlawful and coercive acts which deprive Zimbabweans of their rights to life and property. They are also of course intended to deprive them of their right to vote for a political party of their choice.

Hunzvi showed no respect whatsoever for the lives of his victims or their rights under the law. His campaign was the most virulent, bloody and destructive in Zimbabwe’s history since Gukurahundi. And at the end of the day his “contribution to solving the land problem” has been to jeopardise self-sufficiency in food production and discredit Zimbabwe abroad.

But while the country heaved a palpable sigh of relief at the passing of this patently evil man, it must not be forgotten that Hunzvi only behaved as he did because Mugabe empowered him to do so.

Hunzvi thrived in the toxic climate of racism, violence and lawlessness that Mugabe cultivated. And the war veterans were directed, paid and equipped by the most senior officers of Mugabe’s security apparatus.

His death in a sense represents a watershed. By paying tribute to the forces of destruction and division that have been unleashed upon society, Mugabe has declared his own place in history as a leader who betrayed his people because he could not face a democratic verdict.

Never has he been so isolated as now. And rarely has there been such national concurrence that he deserves the opprobrium heaped upon him.

Respect for the dead will remain a tradition central to our culture. But the recent tradition of exploiting bereavement to justify murder and mayhem will not continue after the events of this week. Zimbabweans have had enough.

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NOTHING could be more illustrative of the deep contempt in which President Mugabe holds ordinary Zimbabweans than his statement this week that voters were sponsored by the British to reject the draft constitution in February last year.

Speaking in praise of Chenjerai Hunzvi, Mugabe said the “turning point” in Hunzvi’s career came in February 2000 “after the British-sponsored rejection of the democratic draft constitution which sought to restore our stolen land back to the black majority”.

In other words, where Zanu PF loses a democratic poll, it can turn round to the voters and say: “We don’t care how you voted. The British were behind this outcome and we therefore don’t have to respect it.”

That is what happened last year when voters made it abundantly clear in a democratic test that they did not want a constitution that entrenched a corrupt and malevolent dictatorship or promoted a land reform programme that would bring chaos and poverty. They wanted democratic reform and a national land programme with justice for all, especially those most in need.

Zanu PF rejected that verdict and proceeded to impose its own bloodthirsty blueprint that has indeed impoverished the country and caused untold hardship.

The official party view, that it is entitled to reject democratic outcomes where it chooses, was reflected in an article by Alexander Kanengoni carried in the Sunday Mail last weekend. He said “those among us who wondered why the people could reject such a comprehensive and excellent document were told that the people rejected it because Mugabe had manipulated the process and given himself too much power”.

Which was of course exactly the case. But Kanengoni then advances the argument for ignoring what the people said.

“But those of us with the capacity to grasp issues could see that it was those with the land who had taken advantage of people’s anger caused by the prevailing economic hardships and misled them to reject the document because they disagreed with the section that sought to take away their land.”

In other words, a handful of white farmers mobilised a majority of Zimbabwean voters and told them what to say! “The people were misled”, therefore their ballots must be ignored. “Those of us with the capacity to grasp issues” will determine whether democratic outcomes can be accepted or not.

This is Mugabe’s thinking and that of those around him. It completely violates the elementary democratic norm that you respect a democratic verdict whether you agree with it or not. And it means Mugabe’s television appearance in which he said he accepted the referendum outcome was entirely insincere — as we suspected at the time.

Let’s record these views so everybody understands Zanu PF’s approach to elections. They were complaining bitterly last week when Colin Powell described Mugabe as clinging to power.

We are delighted to see that the Herald is splashing Amnesty International reports across its front page. On Monday it gave prominence to an AI report criticising the United States’ opposition to the establishment of an International Criminal Court.

We are confident the Herald will now release details of AI’s latest report on Zimbabwe which has the following to say: “Political killings, beatings, acts of intimidation and other assaults amounting to torture and ill-treatment have been inflicted on the population of Zimbabwe by members of the army, as well as war veterans, particularly in some of the areas that supported the opposition in the last election.

“Zimbabwe is a party to the OAU’s African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (which) prohibit torture. (Under these treaties) Zimbabwe is obliged to respect its population’s rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. Zimbabwe is violating these rights on a daily basis.”

We know the Herald wouldn’t want to be accused of double standards by highlighting American opposition to one treaty it hasn’t signed when Zimbabwe is in violation of several it has! So we look forward to seeing Amnesty’s report given the coverage it deserves.

What does President Mugabe think he is doing calling for the reform of the IMF when he refuses to carry out any reforms himself?

He refuses to reform the constitution because “it is not a priority” (actually, to punish voters for defying him). He refuses to reform his cabinet which is full of dead wood. He refuses to reform the electoral system because it gives his party a built-in advantage. And he refuses to reform Zanu PF because the present system for selecting politburo members, provincial executives and MPs entrenches his own grip on the party.

The only thing he knows about reform is that he doesn’t like it!
Then he tells G-15 leaders about the iniquities of the digital divide. Did he tell them about the lengths his government went to in order to prevent an indigenous entrepreneur from establishing a cellular phone network? Or about the draconian restrictions on broadcasting? Did he tell them what penalties an independent service provider faces for revealing that it has been instructed by the government to secretly disclose details of messages carried on its system?

Mugabe’s stranglehold on the flow of information has ensured Zimbabwe’s backwardness in this sector. That he could stand up in front of the G-15 and get away with such hypocrisy tells us all we need to know about this moribund and useless organisation.

It was entirely appropriate that Mugabe’s posturing took second billing to the real story going on in Jakarta: President Wahid’s losing battle against impeachment. Wahid has been threatening to unleash his violent militias against the opposition unless they tone down their demands.

We were intrigued that the gathered leaders expressed their gratitude for Wahid’s “able and effective” leadership of the G-15 over the past year. “Able and effective” are not two words normally associated with the inept Wahid who has difficulty staying awake during official receptions.

By way of contrast, our own dear leader demonstrated his agility when he grabbed the microphone after Wahid’s deputy and rival, Sukarno Megaputri, had waved her hand to indicate she wouldn’t be taking up Wahid’s offer to address the meeting.

Mugabe apparently wasted no time in stepping into the breach. But his speech revealed just how deep he is immersed in the old world of revolutionary posturing — the world that is all hugging abroad and decline at home.

One product of that spurious revolutionary tradition is Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, a notorious ex-military demagogue who is busy wreaking havoc on his country’s economy. He has been chosen the next G-15 chair which means the organisation’s credibility problems will persist.

Perhaps they should hire Andy Young who was in Harare touting for business for his PR company this week. Mugabe needs a miracle-worker right now. Will Goodworks International succeed where Cohen & Woods have failed?

RW Johnson reports in the Sunday Times that President Mugabe is facing a new crisis — “a growing belief among his followers that he and his government have become the victims of black magic and that bad luck follows them at every turn”.

Johnson was referring of course to the deaths of Border Gezi and Moven Mahachi and the resignation of Nkosana Moyo. Chenjerai Hunzvi’s demise was yet to come when the story was published last weekend.

“We don’t know what is hitting us,” Emmerson Mnangagwa is quoted as lamenting last week. “It’s not natural. Something else must be happening.” A regional leader of the ruling Zanu PF party went further, saying: “We fear the hand of Lucifer is at work.”

Things are going badly for Zanu PF, Johnson noted. In addition to the loss of key individuals involved in Mugabe’s coercive electoral strategy, the invasions of urban businesses have rebounded so badly that they were now being attributed to “rogue elements”.

“Among Zanu PF’s often superstitious supporters the greatest impact has come from the deaths of Gezi and Mahachi and the news that Hitler Hunzvi had collapsed...On the streets of Harare the word is that all this is the work of a powerful sangoma the MDC is said to have brought from South Africa — a rumour the opposition ridicules.”

But, says Johnson, such superstition has permeated even the educated elite. When Mugabe recently approached several leading businessmen to take over the trade ministry, he was turned down. “To get involved with Mugabe is to invite bad luck into your life,” said one.

Cde Jinx you might say rather than the Archangel Gabriel!

One reader called in to say it might be more convenient if the Zanu PF leadership camped out at Heroes Acre waiting their turn. That would make travelling to and fro less time-consuming!

One of the consequences of preventing a flow of accurate information, of course, is the spread of rumours. It took ZBC four hours to release news of Hunzvi’s death. Only when Ziana put out a statement did ZBC feel confident enough to run it — as a newsflash after the one o’clock news on Monday. But newsrooms had been inundated with calls since mid-morning on Monday as news of Hunzvi’s death spread through the capital.

It appeared at first that the government was attempting to do “a Baregu” — to pretend that somebody is still alive long after their passing. But by 1.15pm, it had become clear to even ZBC that the news could not be held back any longer. So they did what they are supposed to do: informed the public. But we still weren’t told the time of death.

This is all an appropriate commentary on the digital divide: the withholding and management of news as distinct from telling it like it is. What do the Zimbabwean public want? And what do you think they will get under the Broadcasting Services Act?

One example comes to hand. Last week ZBC’s Morning Mirror programme on Radio 1 was cut short during a report on a medical conference in Israel. The reason? It described the first-class facilities available to everybody — Jews and Arabs — in the country’s hospitals.

This apparently did not fit ZBC’s ideological frame and was pulled half way through. Calls to the head of Radio 1 elicted the view that the report had been “unbalanced” and therefore had to be withdrawn. She seemed irritated that people had complained.

Expect more of this treatment. Even Mawere can’t be trusted!
Somebody else showing signs of irritation is Jonathan Moyo’s secretary. Just as Moyo emulates his employer by indulging in hostile outbursts when dealing with the media, his secretary is now doing the same thing.

Asked last Wednesday, the day of Moven Mahachi’s funeral, by persistent foreign correspondents when they could expect Moyo to be available for comment on the previous day’s coup story, she replied testily: “We are burying a cabinet minister. What do you expect him to do, fly here?”

She stayed with the flying story in subsequent excuses. Asked again whether he was back yet from Heroes Acre she said he was at the airport catching a plane. But another correspondent revealed he had just spoken to the minister and he was nowhere near the airport.
A further call located him at his office where it appears he was in no mood to be helpful.

“I’m not going to dignify such rubbish with a response,” he told the hapless reporter. “You people just write these stories and then want us to comment on them.”

For once, Muckraker’s sympathies are with the minister. The story was clearly wide of the mark. Zimbabwe’s generals are all firmly glued to Zanu PF’s sinister power-and-patronage matrix. They are not about to abandon the gravy train.

But the story’s author, Hugo Young of the Guardian, is a seasoned journalist. He reported what he was told at top-level briefings in Pretoria. His sources, as they say, were impeccable. The question that remains is: why did his sources want him to believe that a coup in Harare was on the cards?

Finally, we were rather surprised by the report last Friday that “Sekeramayi wins again” in the Marondera East vote recount. If you had “won again” by a tiny and perilously decreasing margin — in this case 35 votes — would you want everybody to know about it?

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