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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Herewith an article written by Ben Freeth.

It has become abundantly clear to me in the last few weeks that we are now
in "The End Game" in Zimbabwe.  The recent Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU)
survey shows that nearly one third of all white owned title deeds are now
closed down completely, and that there is another quarter of all title deeds
partially closed down.  The number increases on a daily basis.  Our young
people are leaving and our old people, many of whom have not been allowed to
farm for a year or more, are using up their savings and their pension monies
and will soon be in a position where they cannot recover financially.  A
huge resource of expertise is rapidly flowing out from the country.  As time
goes by there are more farm closures, more illegal evictions, more cattle
and game being hamstrung or snared and slaughtered, more farmers heading to
other countries and other continents.  The wanton destruction and lootings
seems to not even get reported any longer, but it runs into around a
trillion dollars or US$18 billion according to Eddie Cross, a Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) economic advisor, when all things are considered
since the farm invasions began in February 2000. This is three times
Zimbabwe's annual G.D.P and US$3.4 billion more than the entire African
continent received in foreign aid last year.

The CFU, since the 21st March 2002, has been tirelessly pursuing dialogue.
The Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative was formed and agreed upon by all
parties concerned about a year ago.  Meanwhile, almost all the remaining
white owned farms have been listed for compulsory acquisition.  Our farms
have continued to be pegged, and settlers have continued to be allocated
lands that we were busy trying to farm.  The latest spate of the "landless"
onto our farms has included the ZANU (PF) faithful's that we are currently
in dialogue with.  In many cases they are commandeering our equipment,
moving us out of our homes, and denying us everything that has been built up
over many years.  Due to the part-time nature and the inexperience of these
"new farmers" they are doomed to fail. Thousands of hectares of irrigation
schemes currently lie idle.  Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost and
millions of people are now going to starve.

The latest stage in this "controlled revolution", passed while the dialogue
goes on, is the enacting of a new law.  This states that after receiving an
arbitrary bit of paper signed by the Minister of Agriculture, we have 45
days to completely wind down our operations and disperse all our livestock.
For 60% of white farmers and our workers it will become illegal for us to
even feed our animals or water our Wheat after the 24th June 2002.  From the
8th August 2002 it will become illegal for us and our workers to live in our
houses.  The punishment for these offences is Z$20 000.00 fine or two years
imprisonment or both.  Given the fact that more than 20% of the population
of Zimbabwe live on white owned farms and that 60% (and the number is
growing every day) of these have received these arbitrary bits of paper,
there are now in excess of 1 million people that stand to lose their homes
and their livelihoods at the stroke of a pen.  Parliament heard the
argument, but ZANU (PF) drove it through and the very people that we have
been in dialogue with knowingly voted to stop production, and to turf us out
of our homes.

On Sunday 2nd June 2002 Charles Anderson went back to his house with his
family after being away for an hour.  The Permanent Secretary in the
Ministry of Lands and Agriculture had managed to get this farm allocated to
himself, and Charles Anderson was busy having to pack up.  He found that his
house had been broken into, and when he went inside was shot in the head at
close range by two men waiting for him with a loaded AK47 (which I
understand has been traced back to the Minister of Home Affairs' body
guard).  He died on the spot.

I think everyone will agree that dialogue has been tried, and that dialogue
has completely failed in providing an enabling environment for Zimbabwe to
prosper.  The Commercial Farmers' Union has tried it, the Zimbabwe Tobacco
Association has tried it, The South Africans have tried it, and the other
SADC neighbouring states have also tried it.  The Commonwealth, the European
Union, and the United States have had a go, and various agreements have been
brokered like the one in Abuja which was disregarded in all it's aspects as
though it had never been written.  Our country now faces starvation and it
appears that the internationals are wanting to come in to bail us out.  This
is good and right, but some very firm conditions clearly need to be set with
some very tough implications if the "lawlessness" and "controlled
revolution" is allowed to continue.

The Russian communist Trotsky once wrote in a pamphlet entitled "The
Defensive of Terrorism" : "Intimidation is the most powerful instrument in
politics international and internal.  War, like revolution, is based on
intimidation".  In the 1920's in the first of Stalin's 5 year plans, Stalin
ordered the complete genocidal liquidation of the wealthier peasants after
they resisted collectivisation.  When starvation became a reality he began
to pour out statements of anguish for the people, blaming the starvation on
overzealous Government officials, many of whom were liquidated.  By 1933 his
regime was ready to collapse. (It was only due to the unlikely combination
of two events outside his borders that he managed to remain in power. First
the United States of America suddenly decided to recognize his regime as
legitimate because of some false promises that he made, and second Adolf
Hitler came into power and Stalin was able to rally the people against a
common enemy).  Our leaders spent years learning the ideology of communism,
and it is not surprising that the very same methods that were used to
completely control the population in Russia are currently being used today
in Zimbabwe.

The strategy is surely to remove, in as controlled a manner as possible,
every single white farmer from his land.  They wish to do this because we
are an instrumental part of the eyes and ears seeing and hearing and
reporting the horrors taking place on the ground. They wish to do it
quietly, but if it takes the odd murder to help it on it's way, murders
happen.  The plan is being executed with insidious cunning. In a similar way
to the torturer's relationship to their victim, so we are led by the nose.
One torturer beats us and then when we cannot take any more the other
torturer comes in and is sweet and nice, and so the victim is broken down.
In the very same way we have the one torturer taking our farms and stopping
our incomes, and driving us and our workers out of our homes and killing our
friends, and the other torturer talking sweetly to us and the international
community and making us think that we are heading for a breakthrough in our
dialogue.  We are confused and terrified and unable to move forward with the
resoluteness that is required to sort the situation out.

The strategy of the party is quite clearly to attain totalitarian control
through fear and confusion.  If the world stands by and rewards this "ethnic
cleansing" "final solution" strategy by giving Africa the US$64 billion in
development aid, they will be guilty of being party to the perpetuation of
what the International Institute for Strategic Studies has described as
"state terrorism".  In the Mail & Guardian S.A. of the 31st May 2002  Dr.
Greg Mills, who is the national director of a South African Institute of
International Affairs, wrote " There are a range of choices between invasion
and quiet diplomacy: strongly worded demarches; tough presidential
statements; a more open cultivation of ties with the MDC and its leadership;
working more closely with those international partners tougher on Zimbabwe
(such as the United States); motivating for Zimbabwe's suspension form the
Southern African Development Community; tighter border controls; initiating
public debate on sanctions; military manoeuvres near the border; targeted
sanctions on Zanu PF's elite, including a ban on air flights and a freeze of
personal assets; and finally oil and electricity sanctions.....(the
solution) entails the legitimate use of pressure on an increasingly
out-of-control government that is apparently immune to carrots and
sweet-talking".  I would add to this the possibility of a peace keeping
force being deployed in Zimbabwe, to ensure that the farmers and their work
force who are trying to do their duty in producing food for the starving are
able to do so.

Is the G8 and the U.N and the British Government and the rest going to stand
by as they did in Zimbabwe in the 1980's when the Catholic Bishops exposed
"the maiming and death of hundreds and hundreds of innocent people", in
"wanton killings, wounding, beatings, burnings and raping" by the army?  In
this Gukurahundi, in a move that was bound to lead to widespread starvation,
the Government closed all stores; halted all food deliveries to the area
including drought relief; and enforced a blanket curfew, restricting all
movement in and out of curfew zones.  At that time Mugabe had this to say to
a Matabele audience: "Don't cry if your relatives get killed....we do not
differentiate who we fight".  Up to 20 000 men, women, children and babies
were murdered by 15 000 troops and police.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Chronicle story patently false
Press statement
(On behalf of the Commercial Farmers Union)

With reference to The Chronicle issue 15th June 2002 lead article which
states that farmers: Endersby Drammond and James Rawstone were arrested and
are to face charges under the recently enacted Land Acquisition Amendment

We wish to respond that the headline paints a patently false and alarming
view of the situation on the ground.


15th June 2002
For more information, please contact Jenni Williams
On Mobile (+263) 91 300456 or 11 213 885
Or on email /
A member of the International Association of Business Communicators. Visit
the IABC website
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sunday Times  (SA)

Zimbabwe condemned for arrests


The arrest and detention of two top lawyers in Zimbabwe has been slammed by
United Nations officials as well as the South African Bar.

Earlier this month the president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, Sternford
Moyo and the executive secretary of the society, Wilbert Mapombere, were
detained in Harare, allegedly for possession of "subversive" documents
relating to mass action planned by the opposition Movement for Democratic

UN special rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Dato' Param
Cumaraswamy , has released a statement expressing his "deep concern" over
the Harare government's action. Cumaraswamy says he has learnt that the
homes and offices of the two men were searched for the documents, but that
"no such alleged documents were found".

Moyo and Mapombere are both being held under the tough Public Order and
Security Act which provides for a maximum of 20 years' imprisonment.

Cumaraswamy said he had also been informed that Moyo had, on behalf of the
Law Society, published a report expressing the society's concerns about the
pressures on Zimbabwe's judges which have led to several resignations.

The UN official added that from the information he had received, he believed
that both lawyers had been detained and charged "for expressing their
association's concerns over the deterioration of the rule of law in

He said he shared their concern and had told the UN of his "very grave
concerns" over the deterioration of the rule of law and acceleration of
governmental lawlessness in Zimbabwe.

"This latest arrest and detention further reflects the continuation of the
systematic attacks on the independence of judges and lawyers by the
government and its agencies," he said.

Meanwhile, the acting chairman of the General Council of the Bar in South
Africa, Willem van der Linde SC, has also issued a statement on the
detentions, saying his organisation expressed its serious concern at the
steps taken against the two lawyers, including the internationally respected
president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mugabe Calls on Developed Nations to Offer Help in Good Faith


      Xinhuanet 2002-06-16 02:47:32

      HARARE, June 15 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
said on Saturday that developed countries should assist developing countries
in good faith and not with ulterior motives.

      "When they help us, they should help us as friends or as equals
and not to try to suppress us or make us stooges," said Mugabe when
addressing a child parliamentary forum to commemorate the Dayof the African
Child in Harare.

      The president accused the European Union (EU) countries of giving
aid to African countries with an intention to make them puppets and
criticized these countries for snubbing the World FoodSummit recently held
in Rome, Italy.

      "The heads of the 15 EU member countries did not attend the Summit
but instead sent their junior officers. We as Africans tookthe Summit
seriously," said Mugabe.

      The summit was meant to assess progress made by the United Nations
members to alleviate hunger since the last meeting was held in the year

      The child parliamentary forum was a government initiative meantto
bring public awareness and protect the interests and rights of children.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

WILDLIFE NOTICE BOARD – "Lending a voice for the voiceless"

First Issue – 12 June 2002

It is estimated that more than 50% of wildlife from both single game farms and game ranches have been slaughtered to date since land invasions started.

Endangered species

Black Rhino

It is estimated that Zimbabwe had a population of approximately 300 Black Rhino, to date, 48 black rhino have been poached. We have also received reports that recently there has been an influx into the orient of Rhino products.. The source appears to be the Zimbabwe area.

Gourlays Farm - National parks have been allowed to pump water again for the rhino. We have been unable to get any further reports.

Tashinga – two rhino have been poisoned, but survived and a third one was poached.

Anti poaching reports :-

Save Valley Conservancy

Police, army and National Parks have been patrolling in the area, which has resulted in a number of arrests.


Police and National Parks have been patrolling a number of properties in the area, which has also resulted in a number of arrests and a large number of snares uplifted.

Poaching Statistics received thus far :-

Banket/Raffingora area – On one property – 66 impala and 1 Tsessebee.

Victory Block (between Raffingora and Mvurwi) a pregnant sable cow was driven into a dam by a group of settlers and 17 dogs. The animal was eventually killed. A report was made to the police.

On another property in a five day period 38 bird snares were uplifted.Over the last two years approximately 60 large snares have been found.  30 Eland, approximately 60 kudu and about 30 impala have been poached.

Save Valley Conservancy

Figures from 01 August 2001 to 30 May 2002

Animals poached – 966 this includes 13 endangered animals (4) species.

Number of snares recovered – 12 915

Number of arrests – 356

It must be noted that there are five properties in this area that are "no go" area’s so we are unable to get any statistics.

Fountain Ranch

Figures from 24 July 2000 to 02 June 2002

Animals poached – 894

Snares found - 1907

There are no go areas on this property.

Moreson Farm

In the last week 3 animals poached and 20 snares recovered.

Bubani Ranch & Kayansee Ranch

Since invaded 750 animals poached, per ranch.

Malungudzi Ranch & Kayalami Ranch

500 animals poached since being invaded, per ranch.

Bea Ranch & Safari Ranch

500 animals poached since being invaded, per ranch.

Chipizi Ranch

Figures from January 2002 to April 2002

50%of the animals poached and 3447 snares found.

Barberton Ranch

Figures from May 2000 to April 2002

16 cows have been poached

237 animals poached

4 black rhinos poached

22 buildings torched

approximately 22 000 trees destroyed

2966 snares recovered

Mambo Ranch

26 May 2002

Vehicle number 686-753T was seen leaving the property with two Kudu, three impala and one duiker.

Organised hunting is taking place on a weekly basis, with an average of 6 animals being taken per weekend. 37 animals were shot over 6 days.

Inyathi Area

Figures for the last 6 months.

Guinea Fowl – 1200

Animals poached – 991

Bar G Farm

250 Animals have been poached since the farm was invaded.

Bothasrus Farm

150 animals have been poached.

Swanscoe Farm

200 animals have been poached.

Lesanth and Kleinbegin Farms

2000 animals per farm have been poached.

South Matopos

146 animals poached.

Chiredzi River Conservancy

July 2000 to December 2000 - 413 Snares , 38 animals poached.

January 2001 to December 2001 – 1115 snares, 231 animals poached.

This only represents about 65.88% of the conservancy.

Quiet Waters

May 2002 - 20 snares found and 7 animals poached and numerous birds.

December 2001 – 2 animals from cyanide poison.

Edenvale Ranch

800 cattle poached and all his game.

Marakanga Ranch

3 Workers killed.

884 animals poached.

Report from Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force

Midlands Conservancy – A Mr Trevor Nickel is doing hunts for War Vets and settlers in the area. Be aware.

Midlands - Four of the game ranchers in the area have lost 80% of their wildlife. The others that have the original owners, that have maintained some sort of control have lost between 40 to 50% of the wildlife. They are uplifting an average of 223 snares on one ranch per fortnight. It is believed to be on the increase and the actual land that is fast tracked there is zero game left. They understand that the police from Mvuma and the senior War Vets are behind the poaching. We have evidence were one of the ladies in the area was approached to skin and cut up the game that was shot.. She enquired where the meat was coming from and was told to keep quiet.. She turned the offer down. The meat from this area in being sold in Bulawayo. This game is being shot not snared.. well organised poaching.

In the Kariba area alone, since the elections 33 Elephants have been poached (shot).

65 anti personal mines have also been uplifted that were placed on game paths.

We forwarded documents to the Canadian Prime Minister and here is a copy of his reply:-

Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2002 8:16 PM
Subject: Conservation on Wildlife in Zimbabwe

Dear Mr. Rodrigues:

On behalf of the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, I would like to thank you
for your e-mail, in which you raised an issue which falls within the
portfolio of the Honourable Bill Graham, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The
Prime Minister always appreciates receiving mail on subjects of importance
to Canadians.

Please be assured that the statements you made have been carefully reviewed.
I have taken the liberty of forwarding your e-mail to Minister Graham so
that he too may be made aware of your comments. I am certain that the
Minister will give your views every consideration.

T. Robbins
Executive Correspondence Officer

Letter from the WPA (Wildlife Producers Association)

The WPA continues to liase with all and sundry to high light the poaching and loss of wildlife and habitat. We are in constant touch with Zimbabwe Conservation Trust and other bodies in this regard. To this effect we have had a delegation of National Parks in all provinces to asses the damage done to the Wildlife population. I believe they are taking the situation seriously, and we can only hope that they will increase the patrols through out the country.

Safaris have started but operators have found it extremely difficult to book plains game hunts on ranches. It seems as though we are in for a lean year. Very few translocation permits have been issued and no exports will be allowed this year. IMire Game Park is due to have an auction later this year and we wait to see what reaction there will be to this.

Our AGM id due to be held on 13th June, 2002 and a resolution calling for the closure of the association is being tabled. It has become necessary because of the down turn in tourism and hunting and thus the lack of finance to run the association.

Wally Herbst



- The conservancies are now threatened with a massive deforestation of prime habitats and an intensive poaching programme as invaders illegally occupy the land. Snaring and hunting with dogs is constantly on the increase and arrested poachers have revealed that meat is moved out to external markets. The anti-poaching personnel are continuously intimidated and their effectiveness is negligible. Properties have been burnt out, trees cut down, tourists forced out of safari camps by irate war veterans, ranch scouts disarmed, intimidated, severely assaulted and even killed as they have attempted to perform their duties.

  • The 840,000 acre Save Valley Conservancy is one of Africa's largest conservancies. Since the invasions, about 25% of the conservancy has been almost fully occupied by settlers or is inaccessible to the land owners and their staff due to threats and intimidation from the occupiers. Over a period of just two months alone, 214 incidents were reported on the areas of Save which were still accessible to anti-poaching patrols. 5677 wire snares were recovered, 22 dogs shot and 94 poachers arrested. Deaf animals found totalled 450 comprising 208 impala, 112 kudu, 31 warthog, 3 water buck, 1 bush pig, 1 nyala, 6 bushbuck, 19 zebra, 9 wildebeest, 27 eland, 2 buffalo, 4 elephant, 1 duiker, 1 cheetah, 1 leopard, 1 giraffe, 20 small animals, 1 ostrich, 1 rhino calf, and 1 python.

  • Save supports about 1,200 elephant and has experienced an unprecedented growth rate of about 10% per annum of the black rhino, making it the most successful rhino breeding programme in Africa. There are now 200 black rhinos in these Lowveld conservancies and 50 white. Private farms and conservancies protect 70% of the national total of Rhinos. All rhino in Zimbabwe are state owned and the conservancies were amongst those specially chosen to be the government's guardians for these endangered creatures.

- On Bubiana, 200 animals have been recovered from the snares out of an estimated 30,000 killed in the past 18 months. Most of the animals found have died from starvation, thirst, infected wounds, or strangulation. Many have had only their limbs cut off for the poacher's pot leaving the rest of the carcass to wastefully rot. Zimbabwe has 410 species of birds and 386 have been sighted in Bubiana.


Today there are only three viable breeding populations left of the African Wild Dog – lycaon pictus. Altogether there are thought to be less than 5,000 individuals living mainly in South Africa's Kruger Park, Tanzania's Selous Game Reserve, and in Northern Botswana.

Zimbabwe had been slowly building up their populations in the conservancies and are thought to have about 250 individuals (accounting for 7% of the world total), but now, indiscriminate poaching is threatening their future in Zimbabwe.



  • According to the owner of Chipizi Ranch, Mr. Ken Goosen, scouts on the ranch, which has a large variety of game built and nurtured over the years, have over the past three years collected more than 3 447 snares. In addition mass destruction of boundary game fences and damage to watering points has occurred, while environmental damage is also rampant.

  • Neighbouring ranches have also not been spared, neither has the Umzingwane River which is overrun by gold panners. Panning along the river has resulted in deep pits being dug in the riverbed and on the banks, and large trees have been felled by having soil dug out beneath their roots. Pollution, including plastic waste and human excretion has been left everywhere.

A snap membership survey by the Wildlife Producers Association showed the following trends: -

1) Poaching - severe 43%; moderate 49%; none 8%

2) Ability to manage Wildlife - not at all 49%; partially 33%; yes 18%

3) Environment damage - severe 30%; moderate 52%; none 18%

4) 2002 Hunting Foreign Client - yes 19%; partially 20%; no 61%


- Wildlife, especially in Matabeleland and Masvingo Provinces, has been under threat. Reports of an increase in poaching activities in these areas has been received with wildlife worth nearly $100 million having been lost from June to December 2001. The country's second largest conservancy, Bubiana, has experienced rampant poaching by settlers. Bubiana, which covers 15 farms in Masvingo and Matabeleland South, is home to the largest concentration of black rhino in Zimbabwe. By October last year, three rhino had been lost to poachers and at least half a dozen had been injured by wire snares. The conservancy was losing at least 100 animals per month.

OPINIONS & views

  • Quotation from a letter written by a Zimbabwean rancher and conservationist. He is frustrated by the apparent lack of public information, statistics, and photographs which these Agencies could be using to tell the world and people of Zimbabwe exactly what is happening to their heritage. The statistics and photographs are available, facts are available, but concern was raised whether any of it ever gets published.




Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sunday Times  (SA)

Mugabe's 'green bombers' disgruntled

SILAS DUBE: Bulawayo

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is going ahead with his youth militia
training programme, despite a growing threat of civil unrest from opposition
parties following the disputed March presidential election.

The Movement for Democratic Change has threatened to organise street marches
to protest the election, the results of which have been heavily disputed by
the international community.

Meanwhile, a vocational training centre at Guyu in Matabeleland South
province has been turned into a militia training camp.

Here, about 100 students who were studying subjects like secretarial
studies, business management and carpentry have been forcibly conscripted
into the notorious youth brigade - nicknamed "green bombers" because of
their green uniforms.

The students have also been forced to share their dormitories with another 1
500 recruits.

Some of the youths this week said they were promised jobs, only to find
themselves undergoing rigorous military drills.

"We are no longer allowed to write letters to our families or receive
telephone calls," said one of the youths, who asked not to be named for fear
of victimisation.

He said those who tried to leave were assaulted by trainers or punished by
being forced to jog distances of up to 50km.

One former student, who managed to escape by scaling a fence, said when the
college term began on May 2, all the students were told they were now part
of the youth brigade and ordered to shave off their hair.

He said they were bombarded each day with the ruling party's propaganda,
which included hatred for whites.

Mugabe used youth militia to wage a campaign of terror in the run-up to the
March election.

But thousands of them are now disgruntled because the jobs - and Z18 000
(about R1 800) each was promised - are yet to materialise.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

British diplomat accused of plot against Mugabe

Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Sunday June 16, 2002
The Observer

Relations between London and Harare reached a new low yesterday when
Zimbabwe placed the British High Commissioner, Brian Donnelly, under
surveillance over accusations that he is co-ordinating efforts to overthrow
President Robert Mugabe. The allegations were flatly rejected by Britain.
Officials, including the chief police spokesman, confirmed an article which
appeared in yesterday's edition of the government-controlled Herald

A Foreign Office spokeswoman in London said: 'The High Commissioner is not
and has never been involved in these kind of activities. The allegations in
the Zimbabwean press are baseless.'

The Herald cited allegations that Donnelly was plotting to overthrow the
government through mass demonstrations and that he would be 'commanding the
operations from hi-tech mobile communications centres to be deployed
throughout the country'.

It was also alleged that Donnelly, who was the British ambassador to
Yugoslavia until a year ago, was masterminding plans to oust Mugabe in a '
Milosevic-type of operation'.

Zimbabwe government officials said Donnelly would not be arrested because he
has diplomatic immunity.

'But because he cannot be arrested, it doesn't mean that his activities will
be tolerated,' said one official, who declined to be named.

Recent warnings from Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition party
Movement for Democratic Change, that there would be mass protests against
Mugabe's continued rule may have rattled the government.

'These so-called plots and conspiracies are the creation of an increasingly
paranoid regime,' said Iden Wetherell, editor of the Zimbabwe Independent .
'The only plot in Harare is the overwhelming desire of the majority of
people to be rid of an unpopular dictator.'

· Andrew Meldrum, The Observer and Guardian correspondent in Harare, is
being tried under Zimbabwe's internationally criticised Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act. He could face up to two years in

Meldrum, 50, is accused of abusing journalistic privilege and publishing
falsehoods. He was arrested last month after reporting claims in the
independent Daily News that a woman had been decapitated in front of her
children by supporters of the ruling Zanu-PF party. The trial continues
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Think-tank calls for more pressure on Zimbabwe

HARARE, June 15 - The international community must tighten sanctions against
the Zimbabwean government to force President Robert Mugabe to accept an
election re-run, a political think-tank has said.

       In a report released on Friday, the Brussels-based International
Crisis Group (ICG) said Zimbabwe's political, social and economic crisis was
worsening while international policymakers and media looked elsewhere.
       But it added: ''Zimbabwe is not a lost cause.''
       ''Conflict prevention based on democracy, rule of law, and a
functioning economy can succeed, but only if the key international actors,
led by the Africans themselves, throw their full weight behind a genuine
negotiating process before the grievances are taken into the streets,'' the
group said in its report, which was published on the Internet.
       The think-tank, which is funded by governments, charities and
business, charged that Mugabe's supporters were using violence and
intimidation against the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) and civil society to force them to accept Mugabe's victory in March
presidential elections.
       The group said the prospects of serious internal conflict were
''becoming imminent'' as the MDC considered mass protests to try to force
Mugabe to accept a rerun of the vote which many Western powers condemned as
seriously flawed.
       Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai called Mugabe's March victory
''daylight robbery'' and has gone to court to challenge the result.
       The ICG, chaired by former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, said
the European Union, the United States and key African countries could help
end the crisis by putting more pressure on Mugabe and his ruling elite, who
have already been placed under travel and economic sanctions by the West.
       Nigeria and South Africa should force Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party
to go back to talks with the Movement for Democratic Change aimed at easing
political tensions, it said.
       ZANU-PF -- which says Mugabe won the March elections fairly -- has
refused to resume talks with the opposition initiated by South Africa and
Nigeria until the opposition's court challenge has been dealt with.
       The ICG said the international community should ''focus efforts over
the next several weeks on getting negotiate in good faith a
solution that will lead in a fixed and reasonable period to further
presidential elections within a reformed political system and under
appropriate supervision.''
       The United States and the European Union must tighten travel and
asset-freeze sanctions against Mugabe's top brass, while using aid to
strengthen the opposition and Zimbabwe's civil society, it added.
       It also urged the G-8 group of industrialised countries to link
development aid to Africa to efforts by African governments to resolve the
Zimbabwe crisis.
       African leaders will present a recovery plan pledging good governance
in exchange for more investment to a G-8 summit in Canada later this month.
       Zimbabwe's economy was deteriorating, and aid agencies had warned of
possible famine due to drought and food shortages blamed on Mugabe's
seizures of white-owned commercial farms, the ICG said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Saturday, 15 June, 2002, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
Zimbabwe 'tracking' British diplomat
President Robert Mugabe
Mr Donnelly is accused of plotting against Mugabe
The British high commissioner to Zimbabwe has been placed under 24-hour surveillance for allegedly plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe's government, a state-run newspaper has claimed.

An article in The Herald says Brian Donnelly is suspected of meddling in political affairs and is being watched by security agents in the capital, Harare.

The allegations in the Zimbabwe press are baseless

British Foreign Office

The UK Foreign Office has denied the allegations, insisting that Mr Donnelly has not taken part in any such activities.

Relations between Britain and Zimbabwe have never been worse, with President Mugabe frequently accusing its former colonial ruler of interfering in domestic matters.

Civil rights

In its report The Herald said: "Authoritative government sources said (to) the Herald that Mr Donnelly was under open surveillance in the wake of revelations that he was meddling in Zimbabwean politics.

"The high commissioner, said the sources, is also involved in activities to undermine the legitimate government of President Mugabe."

The newspaper claims the decision to place Mr Donnelly under surveillance was made after two lawyers were arrested on 3 June and accused of trying to "subvert a constitutional government".

It said the men, Sternford Moyo and Wilbert Mapombere, contacted Mr Donnelly to thank him for his support for their campaign to restore civil rights to Zimbabwe.

The Herald says that Mr Donnelly is widely believed to be an intelligence officer and was posted to Zimbabwe at the height of a British campaign to remove President Mugabe.


Denying the allegations made against Mr Donnelly, who is currently on holiday in Britain, the British Foreign Office said: "The British High Commissioner is not involved, and has never been, in this kind of activity.

"The allegations in the Zimbabwe press are baseless."

Relations between the two countries have been strained by Zimbabwe's claims that Britain has supported white farmers, whom Mr Mugabe believes are determined to remove him from power.

Britain accuses Mr Mugabe of using violence, intimidation and vote-rigging to secure his re-election as president.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

IMF suspends technical assistance to Zimbabwe

June 15 2002 at 12:02PM

Washington - The International Monetary Fund on Friday said that it had decided to suspend technical assistance to Zimbabwe because of the African nation's failure to reimburse its debts to the Washington-based lender.

The IMF said that Zimbabwe first fell behind in its loan repayments in February of last year, which led the fund to freeze its Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility resources in September.

Zimbabwe's obligations to the IMF totalled $132-million (about R1,32-billion), the fund said.

Technical assistance programs consist of the IMF providing expert support to local governments in areas of policy and economics.

'Set policies that would ensure the resumption of economic and financial stability'
"(The IMF board) finds that Zimbabwe is not co-operating with the Fund toward the discharge of its financial obligations to the Fund," reads the IMF's declaration.

"(The fund) urges Zimbabwe to discharge its financial obligations to the Fund promptly and co-operate with the Fund."

The lender encouraged the African nation to set policies that would ensure the resumption of economic and financial stability, and said that it would be ready to help the government in setting such policies.

Were the country to be unco-operative in the next three months, its voting and other rights as a member of the IMF could be suspended.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Goose Liver Pate
Dear Family and Friends,
The past week has been filled with so much contrast and irony that it feels a bit like living in cloud cuckoo land.Throughout the week the news has been of death and funerals.  First a bus crash tragically claimed the lives of 37 student teachers and then a minibus accident took another 11 lives, this time of cross border traders returning from South Africa. As if this was not enough misery for the country, the police then shot and killed a taxi driver in the heavily congested industrial area of Harare. A police spokesman appeared on ZBC television and said Lloyd Midzi had been shot for not stopping at a road block but did not explain why the taxi's tyres hadn't been shot out, why spikes had not been put on the road or why a chase had not been effected. He simply said that four shots had been fired, the driver had been killed but the passengers had escaped unhurt. I cannot describe my feeling of utter horror when thinking of our police shooting at a taxi carrying passengers and worse, that it was in a congested area. Thank God no one else was killed. So 49 Zimbabweans died this week, 48 in tragic accidents and the 49th at the hands of our police who have mounted road blocks all over the country saying they are determined to stop any mass action in the country before it happens.
I am not surprised our police force are getting nervous because things seem to be rapidly approaching crisis point in a fed up and hungry Zimbabwe. A couple of months before the Presidential elections the government introduced a daily commuter train service which runs from the high density suburbs into the capital city every morning. The government named this "The Freedom Train" and crowed for weeks about how delighted they were to be helping commuters. The Independent newspaper has revealed that the railways are losing half a million dollars a day by running The Freedom Train and that they are funding it by using the workers' pension contributions. A Railways spokesman told the Independent that they now owe the pension fund more than a billion dollars in unpaid contributions and have not remitted any money to the scheme for over a year. Meanwhile the Railways have had to borrow wagons and locomotives from Botswana and Zambia to try and cope with the massive burden of carrying food into the country. The Railways report that many of our own wagons continue to lie in idle heaps as there is no foreign currency to bring in spare parts for their repair. There are growing fears that even with the extra wagons and locomotives the food just cannot get to us fast enough anymore. Maize meal continues to be non existent in our Marondera shops, as does sugar and cooking oil and other basics shoot up in price every week as inflation is now at a shocking 122%. Both of our weekly papers report that bread shortages are imminent and millers have confirmed that wheat deliveries are now being rationed from the Grain Marketing Board. Our wheat stocks have dwindled to record lows and are expected to run out completely before the end of July. For millions of people who have been   substituting bread for maize, this situation will be dire. Every day now the talk is about what to eat and if there were any tourists in Zimbabwe I am sure they would wonder what sort of strange disease most grocery shoppers in our country have. We walk around our supermakets with empty baskets and trolleys; pick things up, look at the prices, turn them over and then put them back on the shelves. We spend entire mornings standing shivering in lines waiting patiently for our turn to buy 1 small bag of sugar and then when we have the little plastic packet in our hands we glow with delight and scurry home to show our families how lucky we've been. And while we do this President Mugabe and his entourage have been staying in a luxury hotel in Italy where one room costs the equivalent of Z$480 000 per night - or 8 000 loaves of bread. Attending the UN Summit on reducing world hunger, journalists report that lunch on one day was goose liver pate, followed by lobster, Italian ices for desert and all washed down with the finest Italian wines. The gaps between our leaders habits and those of her people have become too great. Until next week, with love, cathy.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

In this issue.

1. MDC Commemorate Day of the African Child
2. Mugabe's hypocrisy at World Food Summit
3. MDC mourns victims of Masvingo bus disaster
4. Shooting of taxi driver sheer brutality
6. MDC congratulates Mozambican President Joachim Chissano on standing by
his decision
7. Mugabe panicking in face of people power
8. MDC has never communicated with Law Society of Zimbabwe
9. MDC Condemns Interference in Local Governance
10. Muringani's exit package illegal

13 June, 2002

1. MDC Youth vow to proceed with Day of the African Child Commemoration
despite police ban

13 June, 2002

The MDC Youth has vowed to go ahead with their planned commemoration of the
Sharppeville  uprisings despite the Zimbabwe Republic Police disapproval.

The MDC youth has organised speeches by prominent youthful leaders to
commemorate the massacre of children by the apartheid regime on 16 June
1976, as well as the 37 Masvingo Teachers College students who perished in a
road accident earlier this week. The commemoration takes place in the Harare
Gardens on Sunday 16 June 2002, starting 10.00am.

We will not allow the repressive illegitimate regime to stop us from
expressing solidarity with the victims of the apartheid system, and the 37
students who perished in a bus accident as a result of Mugabe's illegitimate
government's failure to maintain the road network.

For further details, contact the undersigned on 091 241 742.

Nelson Chamisa
National Youth Chairman

2. Mugabe's hypocrisy reaches new levels at World Food Summit
11 June, 2002

The illegitimate government of Robert Mugabe is deliberately misleading the
world by claiming that Zimbabwe has no food because of drought. The current
food shortage is a direct result of Government action.

The chaotic land reform and government failure to take urgent measures to
avert the crisis is to blame. We warned the government while there was still
enough time to import enough food resources but they ignored that call and
instead poured critical state resources on training bandits to beat up and
kill their parents.

Today those Zimbabweans who support the MDC are being denied food as
Zimbabwe fails to cope with the demand for food imports.

The estimated monthly demand for maize and maize products for human
consumption purposes in the country is 100 000 tonnes. The demand for maize
for other uses including stock feed would add another 30 000 tonnes per
month. The total demand per month is around 130 000 tonnes.  At the current
rate of grain consumption the national food grain reserve stocks will run
out at the end of July 2002.

Since the beginning of the import program in January 2002, a paltry 230 000
tonnes (as of 10/6/02) have been imported. Contrary to what the Mugabe
regime may want to make the world believe, at current consumption rates
wheat grain reserves are running out at the end of July 2002. The winter
wheat harvest is expected in late November 2002. The November harvest is
expected to yield less than 40% of last years' output of 350 000 tonnes.
There is therefore an urgent need to bring food into the country, especially
so maize grain, to supplement the dwindling stocks.

We recall that during the 1992 drought within the first four months,
(March-June) of months, over 900 000 tonnes were brought into the country
compared to the current figure of 230 000 tonnes, (February-June). Given the
current grain stocks situation in the country import requirements of maize
and wheat is about 150 000 tonnes a month. This import requirement is
expected to cost about US$30 million a month and given the short period of
time during which this grain must be brought into the country if starvation
is to be averted. The task is probably beyond the capacity of regional ports
and railways who also have to cater for the food needs of other countries in
the region.

This is a worrying development to us as starvation in the country is
becoming a certainty and the Mugabe regime, it appears, has no sincerity,
moral will nor the capacity to move on the issue with a view to genuinely
resolving it. In fact we believe that Mugabe is deliberately holding back
the replenishment of national grain stocks. Instead Mugabe wants to use the
food shortage as a tool for personal political expediency as he is using the
shortage of food for retributive purposes denying access to food for any
members and suspected supporters of the opposition.

In April 2001 after the MDC forecast a decrease in grain yield due to the
haphazard resettlement program and the subsequent impact on the country's
grain reserves to the tune of 400 000 tonnes Mugabe and his regime
deliberately denied the fact. This year it became clear way back in January
that the combined effects of the haphazard resettlement programme, this
season's drought and the depleted grain reserves would lead almost certainly
to a massive food shortage. Today maize is already short and yet the Mugabe
regime remains in some form of denial stage.

In the rural areas the GMB sells both maize and maize-meal straight to the
end users. Even this maize and maize meal that is being accessed through the
Grain Marketing Board at the several rural distribution points on cash basis
is also being distributed on the same partisan basis to the detriment of non
ZANU(PF) supporters. The political structures of ZANU(PF) have been vested
with the responsibility of ensuring that people without ZANU(PF) membership
cards are prevented from buying maize and maize meal from these distribution
points. Among the victims are opposition political party members, some
church followers and indeed any persons who are or desire to be apolitical.

NGOs have assumed the responsibility of distributing food packs. The total
identified vulnerable people needing food aid is over 6 million people
largely in the rural areas. Unfortunately the Mugabe regime has vested the
responsibility of the initial selection of who should be in the lists for
food aid deliberately in the ZANU(PF) party political structures who are
under instruction to deny our membership and supporters inclusion on the
lists. As a result many rural people without ZANU(PF) membership cards are
in danger of starving to death. We estimate that over 3 million people are
being denied food in this manner.

The response of the international community is very slow with a maximum of
13 000 tonnes of food packs of the total committed so far finding its way
into the country. The slow response of the international community could be
understandable given the frustrations placed in their path by the Mugabe
regime. Again of course Mugabe and his regime are responsible for running
down the country, failing to replenish grain reserves but it is the
potential starvation of the people of Zimbabwe rather than that of the
regime of Mugabe that the international community must at this point in time

The MDC would never wish to see a single Zimbabwean starving or let alone
die of starvation. Under the circumstances we would want to urge the
international community to render humanitarian assistance in food. All the
donor assistance will be appreciated and the contributing organizations
respected. Our only concern is that no one should be denied food assistance
or even access to purchase grain or indeed be subjected to any form of
political retribution for the purpose of accessing food.

We propose, as a way of effectively de-politicizing the food distribution, a
tripartite distribution arrangement involving the administration,
(specifically the Grain Marketing Board), local churches and participating
NGOs. This mechanism will be complemented by a bi-partite arrangement on an
equal representative basis involving the two major political parties, the
MDC and ZANU(PF). It is only such a distribution mechanism that can ensure
that the distribution of grain in the country is fair.
We thus find it bizarre that Mugabe is attending a food summit when he is
starving his own people to death.

Morgan Tsvangirai,
MDC President.

3. MDC mourns victims of Masvingo bus disaster.
11 June, 2002

We have learnt with deep sadness and sorrow, of the cruel way that the
precious lives of 37 young Zimbabwean professionals were lost in Masvingo on
Monday morning.

We join their families, friends, the education fraternity and the nation in
mourning this devastating loss.

This is a time for the nation to unite in assisting the families materially
and emotionally.

The time has come for someone to take seriously calls to improve the safety
of Zimbabweans in our roads. The volume of traffic in the Masvingo/Harare
road is far too big for the narrow road and Zimbabweans have long called for
the widening of this and other roads. This has fallen on deaf ears.

We must move away from a culture of reacting when disasters have occurred,
shout loud and wide and then do nothing when the emotions die down.

Mugabe's illegitimate government has always promised to improve the safety
of our roads every time a disaster such as this one happens, soon afterwards
that they go back to sleep.

Morgan Tsvangirai
MDC President.

4. Shooting of taxi driver sheer brutality
11 June, 2002

The MDC wishes to express its condolences to the Midzi family for the tragic
loss of their son at a police roadblock.

Justice must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done, and it can
only be done when action is taken on the trigger happy policeman.

We find it chilling that law abiding citizens can now be shot in cold blood
by overzealous state security personnel.

Police spokesman, Wayne Bvudzijena, was quoted on ZBC saying the roadblocks
were linked to rumours of a pending mass stayaway. Since when have stayaways
been carried out in taxis?

This case must not be swept under the carpet. The law must take its course.

Welshman Ncube
Secretary General

06 June, 2002

The acquittal  of war veterans implicated in the murder  of Patrick
Nabanyama the MDC election agent who disappeared during the June 2000
parliamentary  election  has resulted in a travesty of justice.

We stress that our criticism is not directed at the presiding judge or at
his decision to acquit. The travesty of justice has been caused by the
Attorney General 's failure to charge these men with kidnapping and the
police 's failure to investigate the matter properly.

In this regard, we note with concern the difference in the police's
investigation in this case compared to the Cain Nkala case. We note that the
judge dismissed the accused s' assertion that Mr. Nabanyama was alive.
Patrick Nabanyama remains missing to this day and we grieve with his family
who have been put through a shocking ordeal even during the trial.

Justice has been denied to them. When the MDC  comes to power, we shall
ensure that justice is done

David  Coltart
Secretary,Legal Affairs

6. MDC congratulates Mozambican President Joachim Chissano on standing by
his decision.

5 June, 2002

MDC congratulates President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique on his decision
to stick to the undertaking that he made earlier that he would not stand for
re-election at the end of his Presidential term in 2004.

This is a refreshing political phenomenon and a new dawn for Africa. In
stepping down, Chissano no doubt joins the ranks of a new crop of principled
leaders of Africa like Sir Ketumile Masire of Botswana, Nelson Mandela of
South Africa and puts to shame old dictators like Robert Mugabe who are
determined to cling to power against the will of the people that they
purport to govern.

Africa is littered with graves of sons and daughters of the continent who
have been killed by their own leaders because they have dared speak that
their leaders have overstayed their welcome. More often than not, we also
see leaders temper with their countries' constitutions with impunity in
order to justify their unwelcome stay in power.

 It is encouraging to note that Pan Africanist leaders such as the former
President of South Africa Nelson Mandela and Chissano are setting the
democratic pace for other African leaders to follow. While it is taboo in
Zimbabwe to talk about the succession plan, other progressive African
leaders are making their plans known in advance to enable their people plan
for the future.

MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity.

7. Mugabe panicking in face of people power

5 June 2002

Faced with the certainty that sooner than later the peopole of Zimbabwe will
soon express their sovereignty, the illegitimate Zanu PF regime is
panicking. This panic is expressing itself through its sudden outbursts of
nervous anger that is evident in the wanton harassment of MDC leadership and
fabrication of lies its toilet paper The Herald.

The paper claims that the MDC is hiring thus to ensure that the mass action
succeeds. Robert Mugabe knows that the people will reassert their
sovereignty and obtain a re-run of the election whether he likes it or not,
and is thus preparing some measure of demage control. He knows that the
people's expression will succeed because he is starving the people of
Zimbabwe. In Binga, like in many other parts of Zimbabwe, people are being
denied food aid because they are supporters of the MDC.

Mugabe recently attended the United Nations Children's Summit in New York,
where he attempted to portray himself as a champion of children's cause, and
yet the evil callousness of his government is demonstrated by his continued
denial of donated food to children as young as five years and their mothers
on the basis that they are members of the MDC.

A purported leadership, which is prepared to starve its own people to death,
does not deserve to be in government.

More than six million Zimbabweans, almost half the country's population, are
in dire need of emergency food aid, hence the need for support from the
donor community to avert disaster. The illegitimate Mugabe is unmoved by the
crisis at hand.

The people's action will succeed because the people have realised that
Mugabe is a desperate hypocrite who promised land to the people and is now
taking it away from them and giving it to his cronies that have always
enjoyed the fruits of Zimbabwe's independence with him.

8. MDC has never communicated with Law Society of Zimbabwe

The MDC dismisses as a desperate smear campaign reports in the Herald that
it has received correspondence from the Law Society of Zimbabwe. The MDC has
never communicated with the Law Society of Zimbabwe as an organisation or
Sternford Moyo and Wilbert Mapombere in their personal capacities with
regard to any matter including the alleged mass action. Such rubbish can
only come from the CIO and their masters.

We believe that Mapombere and Moyo are being arrested on trumped  up charges
in order to intimidate them against their principled stance in calling for a
return to the rule of law. We believe that their harassment also has to do
with settling of personal scores by a certain unelected junior minister
against whom  the Law Society has had acrimonious relations with.

Welshman Ncube
MDC Secretary General

9. MDC Condemns Interference in Local Governance

12 June, 2002

The MDC condemns the manipulation of the Urban Councils Act by the Mr
Ignatius Chombo, from the Ministry of Local Government, for clearly partisan

Chombo has consistently abused his office to impose his partisan agenda onto
the five MDC mayors, by manipulating or ignoring the Urban Councils Act.  He
changed the provisions of the Act a few months ago, specifically on issues
of finances and personnel, to require all matters to be referred to himself.

The Urban Councils Act is clear on the issue of terms and requirements of
expectations.  It states that no councillor may record more than two
unexcused absences from the regular council meetings without risking
suspension.  It is shocking to note that some councillors even missed 23
sittings, clearly indicating that they were not serving the interests of the
public during the said period.  Therefore, the decision to suspend the
thirteen councillors was within the provisions of the Act, and is within the
authority of the mayor and his council.  Yet, Chombo has given a directive
that these councillors be reinstated.

Given that Robert Mugabe has yet to announce his Cabinet after he stole the
Presidential Election in March, Chombo is an unconstitutional minister of an
illegitimate regime.  He has no standing to impose his partisan agenda onto
democratically elected, legitimate office holders who are acting in the
peoples' interest.

An MDC government will empower local government authorities, and will
respect the ability of each local government body to oversee his/her own
jurisdiction.  It is only through the empowerment of municipal leadership
that confidence can be built in the higher levels of government.

P T Nyathi
Shadow Minister for Local Government

10. Muringani's exit package illegal

31 May 2002

Moves by the illegitimate Zanu PF government to give former Chegutu mayor
Willie Muringani the mayoral mansion as part of his exit package are as
shocking as they are ridiculous.

In February this year, the secretary for Local government, Funny Munyira in
circular minute no. 5 of 2002 gave guidelines on the exit packages for

According to section 5 (iv), "Mayoral mansions shall not be sold or offered
to the outgoing mayors as part of their exit packages."

We are therefore shocked that the illegitimate Zanu PF government has
Nicodemously decided to give Muringani the Chegutu mayoral mansion.

That this lavish package comes at a time when the Chegutu rate payers are
struggling to survive shows the utter contempt with which Zanu PF regards

The MDC regards Muringani's exit package as illegal and as a party we will
pursue all avenues, including taking legal action, to ensure that the
interests of the residents of Chegutu are protected.

Paul Themba Nyathi,
Shadow Minister Local Government.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Hindustan Times

British ambassador to Harare placed under surveillance
Harare, June 15


The British ambassador to Harare, Brian Donnelly, has been placed under
permanent surveillance for "political activities deemed incompatible with
his diplomatic duties", Saturday's edition of The Herald newspaper reported
government sources as saying.
"Security agents have placed the British High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, Mr
Brian Donnelly, under 24-hour surveillance following his alleged involvment
in political activities deemed incompatible with his diplomatic duties," the
paper said.

"Authoritative government sources said (to) the Herald that Mr Donnelly was
under open surveillance in the wake of revelations that he was meddling in
Zimbabwean politics.

"The high commissioner, said the sources, is also involved in activities to
undermine the legitimate governement of President (Robert) Mugabe," The
Herald continued.

Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial ruler, is regularly accused by Mugabe's
government of interfering in the internal affairs of the southern African
country and supporting the oppositoin Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Aid Agencies Accuse African Governments for Food Crisis in Their Countries
Dan Robinson

Capitol Hill
14 Jun 2002 03:54 UTC

AP Photo
Children collect water from main in Harare, Zimbabwe
The heads of U.S. and international aid agencies say Zimbabwe's government must ensure food aid to the country is not politicized. The warnings came in testimony Thursday before a congressional committee examining the drought and food crisis affecting southern Africa, where an estimated 13 million people are facing shortages and possible famine.

Six countries are most severely affected. Of the 13 million people worst off, almost half are in Zimbabwe, a quarter in Malawi, with the rest in Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zambia.

Even as the international community responds, critics are drawing attention to what they call disastrous government policies making the situation worse. The focus Thursday was squarely on Zimbabwe.

AP Photo
USAID Administrator, Andrew Natsios
Andrew Natsios, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, was blunt. "We have two reports in Zimbabwe, of politicized feeding, that people have been chosen for feeding based on political loyalties," he said. "In one line we had eyewitness accounts of children being taken out of feeding lines in a school, for supplemental feeding, whose parents were supporters of the democratic opposition in the last presidential election of President Mugabe. That is unacceptable."

Those two confirmed reports came from a private voluntary organization, Danish Physicians for Human Rights, and from the United Nations World Food Program, WFP.

In two recent meetings with President Mugabe, WFP Executive Director James Morris says he repeated that warning. "I made it very clear to him that we needed his cooperation to make it easy for us to do business in the country, both for the WFP and our NGO partners," he said. "I made it very clear to him that we would tolerate no political interference as to where we would do our work, that we would have access to the entire country. Third, I made it very clear to him that in our judgment there is no chance to solve the problem unless he is willing to let free market grain traders come in and provide part of the resources needed."

Mr. Morris believes he got his message across to the Zimbabwean leader. Earlier this week, the WFP chief said Mr. Mugabe had given assurances there would be no political favoritism.

USAID director Natsios says so far, none of the food mis-used for political purposes involved the 236,000 metric tons of U.S. grain that will have been shipped by July.

Mr. Natsios says there have been no similar problems in the other countries concerned. But he says if the problem in Zimbabwe continues, he intends to raise the stakes by drawing more public attention to the problem.

At Thursday's hearing, U.S. lawmakers expressed exasperation with the situation in southern Africa, which is made worse by HIV-AIDS. Here is the chairman of the House Africa subcommittee, Congressman Ed Royce:

AP Photo
Congressman Ed Royce
"We need to be clear. This is not primarily a problem of drought, as the Mugabe regime would have the world believe," Congressman Royce said. "Not unlike in North Korea, we are confronting in Zimbabwe a regime that is willingly starving its political opposition."

Several African-American lawmakers cautioned against what they said was an effort to shift the focus of the hearing from economic causes of drought to political issues. Here is California Democrat Congresswoman Maxine Waters. "I am hopeful that we will not allow babies and children to die because we are concerned, or disagree with, and opposed to the policies of Mugabe in Zimbabwe," she said.

In response, Republican Congressman Chris Smith heatedly denied that any food aid would be held up because of the policies of President Mugabe. "Everyone is working to ensure that the suffering people have their needs met, notwithstanding what is one of the primary reasons for their suffering, and that is Mr. Mugabe in Zimbabwe," he said.

AP Photo
Hungry child in Malawi
Witnesses said Zimbabwe and Malawi are the closest to outright famine. Bruce Wilkinson of the private aid group, World Vision, says things will be worse by September unless 1.2 million metric tons of food are sent immediately. He says the situation is compounded by the AIDS crisis in the region. "Not only are the people of southern Africa facing a devastating famine, but incredibly high rates of HIV-AIDS, ranging from 15 to 25 percent infection rates," he said. "This will result in a greater loss of life and more orphaned children."

Lawmakers also expressed concern Thursday about Angola, which was the subject of a separate hearing on Capitol Hill.

The French aid group Doctors Without Borders said this week nearly half-a-million Angolans are threatened by starvation. The group accused the Angolan government and the United Nations of moving too slowly. A U.N. coordinator in Luanda called that inaccurate and misleading.

Back to the Top
Back to Index