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

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Mugabe's hungry and unpaid stormtroopers threaten revolt
By Jane Flanagan in Matebeland
(Filed: 16/06/2002)

The first signs of rebellion among President Robert Mugabe's supporters have
emerged with threats of an uprising by members of the youth militia he

Jabulani Sibanda, the chairman of Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party in Bulawayo, was
forced to lock himself in a lavatory at his office last week when he was
threatened by a knife-wielding gang from the Green Bombers, the official
name for the force.

One militia commander, who asked to be known only as David, said he had
orchestrated the attack "to show our bosses how angry and hungry we are, and
that they are no longer safe".

They are furious at being left with no pay and little food after waging the
brutal campaign that helped keep Mr Mugabe in power in Zimbabwe's March
presidential election.

David said he was discussing with senior colleagues from other battalions a
violent uprising that would topple Mr Mugabe. "There is no end to this while
he is in power," he said. "Even if we tried to leave the militia, our
colleagues would be ordered to find us and kill us."

In a frank interview with The Telegraph, David and two of his men admitted
their violent role in the election build-up. They spoke of trying to kill an
opposition MP, on the orders of government ministers, after the false
promise that they would receive cash and land seized from white farmers.
"We've turned ourselves into killers and thugs - and for what?" asked David,
35. "We have no money, no jobs and no future. All we have is hungry stomachs
and bad dreams about what we've done."

He described the missions of murder, abduction and arson on which he sent
young men and women earlier this year to help keep Mr Mugabe in power. "We
did everything they wanted," he said. "We won the election for them, but
they have treated us no better than donkeys. They have used us and thrown us

The 40,000-strong youth militia was formed as part of the re-introduction of
 compulsory national service in 2000 and reports directly to the government.

At camps across the country, thousands of young men and women have received
political indoctrination and training in weapons, torture and violence.

During the election campaign, they were ruthless. Unhampered by threat of
arrest, and often drunk or high on drugs, they unleashed terror and
intimidation on voters and political rivals.

Now they are resentful of their bosses' neglect. Sam, 19, was part of the
gang that attacked the Bulawayo party chief. He said: "Every month we are
told the same - that the money will come, but it never comes."

A comrade, Joshua, 21, added: "We are nothing to them." David and the other
two talked freely about their brutal campaigns. David had assigned Sam - "a
more naturally merciless man" - to the "killing gang", while Joshua had been
confined to "abduction and arson".

Joshua revealed that he had helped to raze St Peter's village, near
Bulawayo, after its inhabitants failed to turn up to a Zanu-PF election

Sam admitted trying to murder David Mpala, an MP for the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change, in March after being offered a cash reward.

"I stabbed the man and ran away, certain he was dead," Sam confessed,
unwilling to make eye contact. "But some people from a village found him and
took him to hospital. I never got paid after it was reported in the
newspaper that he had lived."

David said the three of them had witnessed the attack on Martin Olds - one
of the first white farmers killed - in April 2000. He died after holding off
70 raiders during a two-hour siege at his farm in Matabeleland.

"I was driving the Jeep to bring the militia in," said David. They had gone
there to help the self-styled "war veterans", who were on a mission to seize

"We had orders from the highest level that someone important wanted Mr
Olds's land," said David. "He was also a supporter of the MDC, we were
told." After the farmer was killed, the militia helped to loot the farm.

A year later, Mr Olds's mother Gloria, 68, was also shot dead by war

David said: "I think that woman had become an irritation to our bosses. She
was outspoken and a supporter of the MDC. That's why they wanted her out of
the way."

Sam said: "We didn't always agree when we were told that the white men were
our enemies and that they had stolen from us in the past and now we had to
steal from them. A lot of them did good things for the black people. They
gave them work and built schools and clinics."

David said he had been promised £30 a month to command a 500-strong group,
but had never received the full amount and had not been paid since February.
He said Sam and Joshua had received £5 on joining the militia, but nothing

Before the election in March, life had been easier. The militia, housed in
camps around the country, had been given three meals a day, beer and various

"We had to have full bellies and to be drunk or high on drugs to carry out
our jobs," said Sam. "We had everything we needed so we didn't notice the
money so much."

Now, the atmosphere at the camps has worsened. Food is scarce and the
dormitories are full of resentful, hungry young people, plagued by drug
withdrawal symptoms and restless nights spent reflecting on their crimes.

"I want to be paid so that I can go and see an inyanga [traditional healer]
and be cleansed," said Joshua. "I feel the spirits of the people I have
harmed visiting me all the time. I want to go back to being a nice man - the
man I was before."

Council elections will be held in August, however, and militia members are
again under pressure to intimidate voters and break up opposition rallies.
Zanu-PF chiefs have visited the camps for the first time for months, seeking
to whip up support and to crush any opposition.

"I don't want to do those things any more," said Sam. "My parents are so

David added: "We're in a jail of our own - never free to leave and always
being punished for what we do. We'll never have our lives back until Mugabe
is gone."
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Zim Standard

      How socialism truly works

      (overthetop By Brian Latham)

      THE leader of a troubled central African nation has said his
progressive policies will ensure that his people will never again face
hunger or be made slaves of colonial imperialist war mongers.

      Speaking in a foreign country famous for changing governments and
losing wars, the most equal of all comrades vowed that new policies in the
troubled central African country would ensure full bellies for all the
people of his village.

      Still, the visit from the most equal of all comrades was not entirely
welcome. While several continental compatriots shook his hand in the
mistaken belief that he was the man who'd slipped a pair of Guccis under
their pillows the previous night, representatives of the wealthier nations
said they were not happy to be seen in his company.

      Having spent almost 80 years battling to eradicate communism, leaders
from both sides of the Atlantic said it was a bit much to have to start all
over again.

      But the most equal of all comrades remained unrepentant, vowing to
continue with the collectivisation of all farms. This would allow the masses
to toil in honest Marxist labour to ensure overflowing plates for all people
in his village. "Hardship is intrinsic to the proletariat's struggle against
the democratic bourgeoisie," he said. "We will never surrender until we have
attained our highest goal, the goal aspired to by all true peasants, workers
and the secret police: the dictatorship of the proletariat."

      Asked who or what the proletariat was, the most equal of all comrades
said, "That's the easy bit. It's me."

      Still, a hungry resident in a remote northern district of the troubled
central African nation was emphatic in his whispered criticism of the most
equal of all comrades. "If that fool thinks his plan is going to work, he's
got another thing coming," said the man who refused to be named and refused
to speak above a whisper for fear of being murdered in his bed by the
vanguards of socialist reformation. "For three months I've been working on a
road gang under one of the most equal of all comrade's so-called 'food for
work programmes' without receiving so much as a maize pip in return and as
far as I'm concerned I'm not lifting another finger to help him."

      Meanwhile, a man standing nearby in dark glasses and a cheap nylon
suite took notes before wandering over and explaining that the food for work
programme was entirely legitimate. "You do the work and the food goes to the
most qual of all comrade's village. That's how socialism truly works," he
explained. "And if I hear any more of this subversive nonsense I shall
personally visit your village and remove your toenails one by one in an
effort to explain the advantages of progressive reform."

      With that, the unnamed whisperer jumped onto a passing bus and headed
for the troubled central African country's capital city where he had heard
people opposed to the most equal of all comrades outnumbered Zany party
supporters and the secret police by 10,000 to one. "Sod this for a lark," he
said, "From now on I'll make my living on the streets like everyone else.

      They say the streets of the capital are paved with unemployed beggars,
thieves and their glue sniffing offspring, but at least they've got all
their toenails."

      Still, when the unnamed whisperer arrived in the capital he was
pleasantly surprised to find that the streets of the capital, while indeed
paved with beggars, thieves and glue sniffers, were also paved with new
farmers who found life on the streets a better prospect than growing maize
in winter for the most equal of all comrades' eccentric agriculture

      "At least this way we get the occasional sandwich from passing
motorists," he said. "It's a lot more than we were going to get out there."
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Zim Standard

      Economic meltdown: Gvt locked in a confused mode

      LESS than a month ago, you could buy an American dollar for about
Z$350. That same dollar now costs about Z$730-and it's rising fast.

      Meanwhile the South African Rand, hardly the world's most sought after
currency, costs a staggering Z$75. We know of no country in the world which
has gone downhill so quickly and in so short a time.

      All this is happening on what the government calls the parallel

      The Standard won't use the same silly euphemism and will instead call
it what it is: the black market. It is a market the government, right up to
finance minister Simba Makoni, treats with cynical hypocrisy, attempting to
stamp it out on the one hand and denying its existence on the other.

      Everyone knows who is to blame for the meltdown of Zimbabwe's
economy-and most people know that this is just the beginning. It will get
worse and inflation, now at an official 122%, will before much longer run
away completely. People already facing hunger because of President Robert
Mugabe's brutal seizure of commercial farms will soon be unable to afford to
buy what little food trickles into this country.

      For ordinary Zimbabweans, daily hardships are intense: no jobs, no
money for transport, prohibitive costs and scarcity of life-saving drugs,
unaffordable education costs, poor diets, rising prices, the killer disease
Aids-the litany of hardships is endless. What will it take next for this
government to wake up from its deep slumber and face the reality? This is an
unspeakable tragedy which will be remembered for a very long time to come.

      To say that what President Mugabe and his cronies have done to
Zimbabwe is sick is to underestimate the situation. In destroying
agriculture they have destroyed the economy. Zimbabwe's agriculture is now a
shadow of its former self. Investment is dead in the water because of the
chaos that has reigned for more than two years now.

      Despite all this, the state's lumbering propaganda machine continues
to pretend that all will be well, that far from destroying agriculture,
President Mugabe has saved Zimbabwe from colonial domination and that the
so-called new farmers will soon be providing more food than commercial
farmers were ever able to.

      Of course, that's a blatant lie. The new farmers, wherever they are,
will be seriously disadvantaged before they even begin. Their farms, even
under the A2 scheme, are small, they have little access to capital and they
lack machinery. On top of that, they're being asked to share resources.

      In short, both the A1 and A2 model are an ill-conceived, disorderly
and the damage to farming infrastructure, skills and innovation is starring
us in the face.

      It is almost a banality to talk about the necessity of an equitable
and just redistribution of land in Zimbabwe. All parties including
commercial farmers are agreed about this. But it need not have been done in
such a chaotic and destructive manner.

      Still, the death of agriculture so carefully engineered by the ruling
party was just the death knell of an economy already destined to collapse
through Zanu PF's greed. Involvement in the DRC war bringing wealth to an
already comfortably cosseted elite, brought only additional hardship to
ordinary Zimbabweans, while President Mugabe's pandering to the lunatic
fringe in the war veterans' association sparked the first economic veld fire
and signalled the president's complete contempt of economic responsibility.

      But this time it's far worse. This time recovery will require nothing
short of a miracle-or the collapse of the sinister regime, if no urgent
self-correcting process takes place. In that, there is enormous irony,
because only by removing the system can the country be saved. It is like a
virus that feeds off the people in order to grow fat and shiny, but the more
it destroys, the more brutal it must become in order to sustain itself.

      Still, Zanu PF's tenacity and guile should never be underestimated.
The manner in which it destroyed commercial agriculture showed that the
party is unafraid of murdering and unleashing violence in order to get its
way. But countering the bloodshed on the country's once thriving farms was a
master strategy that saw many of the farmers agreeing to extortions of
various kinds.

      By inserting 'agents of influence' into farmers' ranks, the ruling
party ensured that the Commercial Farmers' Union behaved in a manner that
would lead to its downfall. It takes two to create corruption.

      That all this economic mismanagement preceded a drought only
highlights Zanu PF's arrogance and contempt for the people. Food security
experts warn that Zimbabwe faces a crisis of 'Ethiopian proportions' and for
that there is no excuse. After all, this country should be able to feed
itself, even in a drought, and when it can't feed itself it should be able
to pay for food imports.

      Right now it is unable to do either and if there was even a hint of
honour among Zimbabwe's rulers, both agriculture minister Joseph Made and
finance minister Simba Makoni would resign. In fact, the game should have
been up for these two men a year or so ago.

      Joseph Made, along with other visitors in Zanu PF such as Jonathan
Moyo and Patrick Chinamasa, have contributed immensely to the swelling of
public discontent creating a huge reservoir of bitterness and resentment in
the process.

      Zimbabweans won't hold their collective breath because they know that
resigning a ministerial post means abandoning the gravy train. Instead the
problems will be blamed, implausibly, on the distant British, European and
American government, on commercial farmers and on the opposition-and all
this will continue until the people themselves force the gravy train to a

      If one conclusion stands out of the meltdown of Zimbabwe's economy, it
is that events have taken control. Government is no longer in the driving
seat. It is locked in a confused mode, unsure which way to turn, how to
respond to the crisis and what solution to try next.

      God Help Zimbabwe.
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Zim Standard

      Hero status for Sithole?

      (By John Makura)

      CHIPINGE-Zanu PF, which has since independence in 1980 failed to
penetrate Chipinge South, is now contemplating declaring the late Zanu
Ndonga leader, Rev Ndabaningi Sithole, a national hero in an effort to
placate angry Ndonga traditionalists.

      Last week, at the burial of David Zamchiya, a former Zanu Ndonga
activist and prominent Harare lawyer who died in a car crash, reliable
sources within Zanu PF told The Standard that the Zanu PF provincial
leadership would soon approach President Mugabe with a request to have
Sithole declared a national hero.

      "As long as Sithole is not declared a national hero, we will not win
the support of people in Chipinge," said a senior Zanu PF official.

      The ruling party's entourage to Chipinge comprised, amongst others,
justice legal and parliamentary affairs minister, Patrick Chinamasa,
Manicaland governor, Oppah Muchinguri and other senior party officials such
as Tinaye Chigudu, Christopher Mushowe and Shadreck Chipanga.

      But Chipinge villagers dismissed the rumours with regard to Sithole as
cheap politicking which would not serve to pacify them.

      They said they found it surprising that Zanu PF had declared Zamchiya
a liberation hero while failing to recognise the achievements of the late
Sithole. Zamchiya, they said, had been a mere legal advisor to Sithole who,
among other achievements, had been the founding leader of Zanu, later Zanu

      "How can they declare Zamchiya a hero when musharukwa Sithole is lying
here with no recognition whatsoever from the state?. This is sheer
hypocrisy," said a villager at Checheche growth point.

      "If they (Zanu PF) are trying to win support from Chipinge by
declaring Zamchiya a hero, they simply won't succeed," declared another
village elder who is a staunch Zanu Ndonga supporter.

      United Church of Christ leader in Zimbabwe, Rev Murombedzi Kuchera,
told mourners at the funeral that it was now proving almost impossible for
people in Chipinge to be declared national heroes, regardless of their
contribution to the liberation of the country.

      "People in Chipinge are not getting national hero status although they
deserve it. They will have to work extra hard to be recognised," he said in
an apparent reference to the late Sithole.

      Kuchera said Zamchiya, a former senator and permanent secretary in the
ministry of justice, legal and parliamentary affairs, deserved to be buried
at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

      Muchinguri tried to calm people's emotions by saying that although
Zamchiya had not been declared a national hero locally, he would be declared
a "national hero in heaven" because of his contribution to the development
of the country.

      He said as chairman of Barclays Bank, Zamchiya had facilitated the
contribution of over 30 000 tonnes of maize meal to Cyclone Eline victims in

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Why half the planet is hungry

The world's leading expert on the causes of famine, Nobel prize-winning
economist Amartya Sen, answers crucial questions on why people starve when
democracy falters

Observer Worldview

Sunday June 16, 2002
The Observer

Why, in the twenty-first century, are 800 million people living in the
shadow of hunger?
Widespread hunger in the world is primarily related to poverty. It is not
principally connected with food production at all. Indeed, over the course
of the last quarter of a century, the prices of the principal staple foods
(such as rice, wheat etc) have fallen by much more than half in 'real'
terms. If there is more demand for food, in the present state of world
technology and availability of resources, the production will
correspondingly increase.

The demand for food is restrained mainly by lack of income. And the same
factor explains the large number of people who are hungry across the world.
Given their income levels, they are not able to buy enough food, and as a
consequence these people (including their family members) live with hunger.

But it is not adequate to look only at incomes. There is need to look also
at the political circumstances that allow famine and hunger. If the survival
of a government is threatened by the prevalence of hunger, the government
has an incentive to deal with the situation. Incomes can be expanded both by
policies that raise overall income and also by redistributive policies which
provide employment, and thus tackle one of the principal reasons for hunger
(to wit, unemployment in a country without an adequate social security

In democratic countries, even very poor ones, the survival of the ruling
government would be threatened by famine, since elections are not easy to
win after famines; nor is it easy to withstand criticism of opposition
parties and newspapers. That is why famine does not occur in democratic
countries. Unfortunately, there are a great many countries in the world
which do not yet have democratic systems.

Indeed, as a country like Zimbabwe ceases to be a functioning democracy, its
earlier ability to avoid famines in very adverse food situations (for which
Zimbabwe had an excellent record in the 1970s and 1980s) becomes weakened. A
more authoritarian Zimbabwe is now facing considerable danger of famine.

Alas, hunger in the non-acute form of endemic under-nourishment often turns
out to be not particularly politically explosive. Even democratic
governments can survive with a good deal of regular under-nourishment. For
example, while famines have been eliminated in democratic India (they
disappeared immediately in 1947, with Independence and multi-party
elections), there is a remarkable continuation of endemic under-nourishment
in a non-acute form.

Deprivation of this kind can reduce life expectancy, increase the rate of
morbidity, and even lead to under-development of mental capacities of
children. If the political parties do not succeed in making endemic hunger
into a politically active issue, hunger in this non-acute form can go on
even in democratic countries.

What should rich countries do, and is trade liberalisation the answer?

The rich countries can do a great deal to reduce hunger in the world. First,
the displacement of democracies in poor countries, particularly in Africa,
often occurred during the Cold War with the connivance of the great powers.
Whenever a military strongman displaced a democratic government, the new
military dictatorship tended to get support from the Soviet Union (if the
new military rulers were pro-Soviet) or from the United States and its
allies (if the new rulers were anti-Soviet and pro-West). So there is
culpability on the part of the dominant powers in the world, given past
history, and there is some responsibility now for rich countries to help
facilitate the expansion of democratic governance in the world.

Second, hunger is related to low income and often to unemployment. Poverty
could be very substantially reduced if the richer countries were more
welcoming to imports from poorer countries, rather than shutting them out by
tariff barriers and other exclusions. Fairer trade can reduce poverty in the
poor countries (as the recent Oxfam report Rigged Rules, Double Standards
discusses in detail).

Third, there is a need for a global alliance not just to combat terrorism in
the world, but also for positive goals, such as combating illiteracy and
reducing preventable illnesses that so disrupt economic and social lives in
the poorer countries.

Trade liberalisation on the part of the richer countries could certainly
make a difference to employment and income prospects of poorer countries.
The situation is a little more complex in the case of liberalisation of the
poorer countries. Even those countries which have greatly benefited from the
expansion of world trade (such as South Korea or China) often went through a
phase of protecting industries before vigorous expansion of exports and
trade. So, trade liberalisation is partly an answer, but the economic steps
involved have to be carefully assessed: the policies cannot be driven by
simple slogans.

What is the solution?

There is no 'magic bullet' to deal with the entrenched problem of hunger in
the world. It requires political leadership in encouraging democratic
governments in the world, including support for multi-party elections, open
public discussions, elimination of press censorship, and also economic
support for independent news media and rapid dissemination of information
and analysis. It also requires visionary economic policies which both
encourage trade (especially allowing exports from poorer countries into the
markets of the rich), but also reforms (involving patent laws, technology
transfer etc.) to dramatically reduce deprivation in the poorer countries.

The problem of hunger has to be seen as being embedded in larger issues of
global poverty and deprivation.

Countries of the South increasingly seek food self-sufficiency. Could this
solve the problem of hunger and starvation?

Food self-sufficiency is a peculiarly obtuse way of thinking about food
security. There is no particular problem, even without self-sufficiency, in
achieving nutritional security through the elimination of poverty (so that
people can buy food) and through the availability of food in the world
market (so that countries can import food if there is not an adequate stock
at home).

The two problems get confused, because many countries which are desperately
poor also happen to earn most of their income from food production. This is
the case, for example, for many countries in Africa. But if these countries
were able to produce a good deal of income (for example through
diversification of production, including industrialisation), they can become
free of hunger even without producing all the food that is needed for
domestic consumption. The focus has to be on income and entitlement, and the
ability to command food rather than on any fetishist concern about food

There are situations in which self-sufficiency is important, such as during
wars. At one stage in the Second World War, there was a real danger of
Britain not being able to get enough food into the country. But that is a
very peculiar situation, and we are not in one like that now, nor are we
likely to be in the near future. The real issue is whether a country can
provide enough food for its citizens - either from domestic production or
imports or both - and that is a very different issue from self-sufficiency.
We have to look at ways and means of eliminating poverty, and to undertake
the economic, social and political processes that can achieve that.

· Amartya Sen, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998, is Master of
Trinity College, Cambridge. This is a longer version of an article, expanded
by the author, that appeared last week in Le Monde.

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Zim Standard

      Dollar in tailspin

      (By Kumbirai Mafunda)

      THE Zimbabwe dollar continued its slide against major currencies
ending the week at Z$730 to the US dollar.

      Two weeks ago, the Zimbabwe dollar crashed by more than $500 against
one US unit, and $50 against the South African rand, despite the onset of
the tobacco marketing season which was expected to ease the situation.

      However, the trend continues unabated with the South African rand
soaring to a high of 75 against the dollar.

      Despite the dollar's free fall on the thriving black market,
government remains unmoved and the local unit is still firmly pegged at $55
against the greenback, $80 against the pound sterling and $5 against the

      The continued slide of the dollar on the black market, the only viable
source of forex at the moment since government coffers have run dry, is
bound to add to the woes of Zimbabwe's long suffering masses.

      Perhaps the most important sector to be severely tested will be that
of energy. With both the national oil procurement company, Noczim, and power
utility, Zesa, sourcing their forex on the black market, consumers should
expect an increase in products from that sector.

      An analyst with the National Discount House (NDH) said since Noczim
was obtaining foreign currency from the parallel market at such exorbitant
rates, a fuel price hike was imminent.

      "The price of fuel will go up since the cost of fuel will be high,"
said the analyst.

      Godfrey Kanyenze, an economist with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions, said: "The ordinary man is going to feel the effects of further
inflation because input prices are going to be high and this will erode the
consumer's spending power."

      Kanyenze said the solution to the distortion of currency rates lay in
the restoration of ties with the international community.

      "We still insist that the most immediate solution deals with
government restoring relations with the IMF and the World Bank so that we
get forex. There is need to address the issue of supply. Export earnings are
hardly sufficient and the little on the market will fetch a premium," said
Kanyenze .

      He said he was concerned about Zimbabwe's future as it continued to
alienate itself from other trading partners.

      "I don't know whether we will survive. We need the rest of the world.
China is coming into the World Trade Organisation and Russia is moving
towards the west and we are going the opposite direction."

      Cross border trading which of late reported brisk business is likely
to be undermined by the fall of the dollar, especially against the rand.
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Zim Standard

      Villagers shunned in land grab

      (By Walter Marwizi)

      ZAKA, Masvingo-As government winds up its accelerated land seizure
exercise, thousands of villagers and desperate farm workers have been left
in the cold while most of the prime farming land has gone to the
undeserving, The Standard has learnt.

      "The so-called fast-track land reform programme swept past us like a
whirlwind," Magombedze Magura, a kraal head in the dry Zaka communal area
said last week.

      Magura's homestead is perched on a small hilltop, close to the
Jerera-Chiredzi highway, and like many other drought-stricken villagers who
reside in this part of the country, he does his farming in the hills.

      Their area is only five kilometres away from a block of commercial
farms which were compulsorily seized for resettlement by the government.
None of Magura's people have benefited from the exercise except one war
veteran who allocated himself a plot on a farm close to his home.

      The war veteran, who is now a base commander on the farm, chased away
villagers who had earlier chosen that piece of land for themselves.

      "I think they (government) are not brave enough to come to us and tell
us that they have the land for themselves. We have waited for a long time to
get somewhere to plant our crops but to no avail," says Magura, wiping sweat
from his face.

      "We hear they have another programme for the better off urban dwellers
while the rural people for whom land is the primary source of income go
empty-handed," he adds, his wrinkled face betraying deep-rooted frustration.

      In many other rural districts of the country, it's the same story for
communal people with no political connections.

      "We have nothing to show for our stay on the farms as we have had no
water, clinics and schools for our children for over two years. We were just
used as pawns by Zanu PF in its desperation to ward off a stiff challenge
from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change," says Johaness Ndoro,
one of the villagers who was last week evicted from a farm near Chivhu.

      Last month, government instructed all peasants who had invaded farms
after March 2001 to return to where they had come from originally.

      "When Mugabe was campaigning, he actually praised us for expressing
our desire for land through our occupation of the farms. He never told us we
would be evicted two months after the election but I had all along heard
people saying muZanu tamba wakachenjera (you have to treat Zanu with
suspicion) without thinking seriously about it, but now I understand what it
means," Ndoro adds.

      Now the 57-year-old-man has to go back to his rural home to face the
scorn of fellow villagers who warned him against taking part in the farm
occupations. They had tried to stop him from leaving his rural home arguing
that Zanu PF would dump him once it won the election.

      "Because I genuinely needed land, I decided to go and stay in the
forest, safeguarding the piece of land I intended to farm on for the rest of
my life," he says.

      He leaves behind a deep well he had dug in his new yard, some cattle
and goat pens and 10 hectares of cleared farm land.

      Unbeknown to Ndoro, while he was clearing the land, a top government
official who went through all the "formalities of applying for land" through
the district administrator's office in Harare was being allocated his plot.

      "I feel as used as a condom. I did all the donkey's work with my hands
thinking that I had secured a good piece of land, only to be evicted by this
regime," he says.

      It's not just the peasants who have found no joy in the land reform

      Many farm workers, whose existence is closely tied to the farms, are
reduced to squatters every time a farm owner loses his land.

      While war veterans were given special preference in the distribution
exercise, farm workers, who were accused of ganging up with their white
employers in support of the MDC, were not accorded the same treatment.

      Despite government promises that they would get land, the majority are
now destitute.

      Says Gift Muti, the grassroots co-ordinator of the General Agriculture
and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPUWZ): "There was no special
provision for the workers as government had promised. The few farm workers
who managed to get land did so through their own initiative. The majority
are surviving from hand to mouth. Those who are lucky to be close to soils
with alluvial gold have turned to gold panning for survival."

      What makes the plight of farm workers even more pathetic is that as
migrant workers, they do not have identity documents.

      "They do not have land, citizenship status and in some cases hope of a
return to their past stable lives on the farms. It's a sad situation," he

      The new farm owners, mainly Zanu PF officials and war veterans, do not
want to employ farm workers whom they believe voted for MDC. Neither do they
have the capacity and wherewithal to pay and look after them like their
previous owners.

      While farm workers and peasants like Ndoro count their loses, many
Zanu PF officials, war veterans and businesspeople who benefited from the
programme, are now contemplating what to do with their vast tracks of land.

      Most of them either had farms before the fast track land reform
exercise. Topping the list of people who obtained land ahead of desperate
peasants and farm workers are vice presidents Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika
as well as several ministers and governors.

      Senior civil servants and army personnel and Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri are also proud owners of land, as are many other people
well-connected to government.

      "We hope one day, by the grace of the Lord, we will have a fair and
transparent land reform exercise which will cater for us all," said a
distraught farm worker.

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Stand up and celebrate asylum

European heads of government meet in Seville next week to raise the walls of
Fortress Europe ever higher. In this major essay to mark Refugee Week, the
head of the Refugee Council says that there can be an alternative to our
shameful treatment of those who seek refuge here

Asylum myths and reality: Observer special

Nick Hardwick
Sunday June 16, 2002

Asylum and immigration will be at the top of the agenda as Tony Blair meets
his fellow European heads of government in Seville on Thursday. The British
government is at the forefront of those wishing to raise the walls of
Fortress Europe higher and higher.
With bitter irony, the summit takes place during Refugee Week here in the
UK. Thousands of people, up and down the UK, will be taking part in hundreds
of events to celebrate the strength and resilience of refugees themselves
and pay tribute to those who ensure that refugees can find sanctuary and a
welcome here if they are forced to flee their homes.

The day before the summit is UN Refugee Day itself. It marks the fact that
since the Geneva Convention on Refugees was signed in 1951, literally
millions of people worldwide have been saved from persecution because they
have been able to obtain asylum in another country. It is the most effective
of all the human rights conventions.

These things are worth celebrating.

Too often we talk about refugees as victims and in terms of what they need.
But refugees are survivors, not victims; contributors, not takers. Refugees
have, by definition, survived persecution in their own countries. Their
survival is in itself a victory against the torturers, the dictators and the
fanatics. They have also survived epic journeys - men, women and children -
walking across deserts, crossing continents hidden in the backs of lorries
and hanging on to trains, braving the seas crammed into death-trap
rust-buckets. All of this at the mercy of the criminal gangs who organise
the human smuggling trade.

And, once in the UK, refugees do survive everything the system and the media
can throw at them.

This is not a new phenomenon. Just as EU leaders meet in Seville this week,
governments met at an international conference in Evian in 1938 to plan how
the flow of refugees could be stemmed. Frank Roberts, a senior official in
the Foreign Office stated in May 1944, the point at which Hungarian Jews
were being openly transported to Auschwitz and the gas chambers were working
at full capacity: 'The Allies rather resent the suggestion that Jews in
particular have been more heroic or long-suffering than other nationals of
occupied countries'.

In truth, every group of refugees who have arrived in Britain over the
centuries have had to overcome hostility and prejudice and every group of
refugees have gone on to make an enormous economic and cultural contribution
to the country that gave them sanctuary. There is no doubt that today's
refugees will do the same.

Refugee Week provides just a glimpse of the cultural richness, energy and
friendliness that underpins today's refugee communities. It does not just
celebrate refugees - it celebrates all those who make the concept of
sanctuary a reality. At a time when the extreme right is on the march across
Europe, it provides us all an opportunity to affirm a different set of
values. Across the UK, local communities, faith groups and many others
provide the practical help and friendship refugees need to help them find
their feet. Teachers welcome refugee children into their schools, treating
the diversity these children bring as an opportunity not a problem. And, of
course, there are hundreds of thousands of individuals who want to make
their voice heard against the daily flood of bogus abuse directed against
refugees and who do not share the thin-lipped meanness of spirit that says
Britain is full, that we cannot accept our international responsibilities
and that one of the richest countries in the word cannot organise a
credible, fair and humane asylum system.

Refugees and other migrants are accused of "swamping" European culture.
Perhaps Europe should show a little humility before it uses that term.The EU
meeting is in Seville, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. That
beauty is as much a product of hundreds of years of Islamic culture as it is
of anything that followed. When the rest of Europe was only slowly emerging
from barbarism, Seville and the other cities of Moorish Andalucia were
centres of learning and civilisation.

When Mahatma Ghandi was asked what he felt about European civilisation, he
said he thought it would be a "good idea". Within living memory, during the
savage civil war, refugees were fleeing from where Tony Blair will be in
Spain to other European countries. At the mid-point of the last century,
Europe created an industrialised genocide while war was waged on civilians
with unparalleled ferocity. More recently, thousands were massacred at
Sbrenica in the name of "Christian civilisation" while the international
community stood by.

In view of that darker European tradition, there is no reason for
complacency about the rise of the xenophobic right across Europe. However,
the idea that occupying their territory can avert the rise of the far right
is a terrible error. There is a real sense of panic in the response that
government's are making. But if governments uncritically legitimise the
genuine concerns that are there, talk tough but inevitably fail to deliver,
then that more than anything will open the door for the far right. Look
where this panic has already brought us.

Refugees are not just nameless statistics or a flood. They are individual
human beings with mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, husbands, wives
and lovers. Everyday, some of these individuals are washed ashore at the
walls of Fortress Europe, are crushed beneath trains or are found suffocated
in the backs of lorries. It happens so frequently now it is hardly ever
reported. Yet as experience has always shown, simply raising the walls
higher and higher has little effect on the number of people coming in - but
it does increase the charges and so the profits of the traffickers while
making the journey more dangerous still.

In Denmark, once one of the most tolerant countries in Europe, asylum
seekers are forbidden to get married. In the UK massive accommodation
centres are to be built, at vast expense in remote rural areas. Already the
whole project is well behind schedule and the economic and political costs
are spiraling. Contrary to everything else the government is trying to do,
refugee children will be segregated from their peers and educated in the
camps. Social exclusion has become official government policy.

The issue of Sangatte has degenerated into a matter of national pride and
will. Frankly, the spectacle of the worlds third and fourth largest
economies squabbling over the fate of a few thousand of the most powerless
people on earth should be a matter of national shame not pride. None of this
is to say that people are not right to be concerned about the shambles into
which the asylum system has degenerated or that radical, new approaches are
not needed. This needs fresh thinking from refugee supporters just as much
as it does from governments.

I start from a position that in an international system based on nation
states, those states do have a right to control their borders and that
people will want to breach these controls for a whole variety of reasons.
Within this we have an absolute set of obligations to refugees who have been
persecuted that do not apply to other groups of migrants.

In the short term, it is essential we resolve the Sangatte issue. The camp
itself is a symptom not the cause of the asylum shambles. It is simply
ludicrous to imagine that the closure of the camp will itself discourage
people who have already traveled half way round the globe from trying to get
to the UK. However, there is growing evidence that the camp has been taken
over by the trafficking gangs. It cannot be right that it is these gangs and
the ability to climb a fence and jump a train that determines whether you
obtain asylum in the UK. Furthermore, Sangatte has now become such a symbol
of the asylum shambles that the conditions do need to be created where it
can close.

In the short term, the solution probably lies in a one-off joint processing
mechanism between France and the UK with agreement that the responsibility
for those found to be in need of protection should be shared on a humane and
reasonable basis. In the longer term, no solution is possible without a
harmonised European asylum policy in which refugees can be assured that they
will be dealt with fairly, efficiently and humanely, wherever they are in
Europe. This was agreed at the EU Summit in Finland in 1999. Since then,
progress has been painfully slow and where agreement has been reached, it is
so compromised as to be almost meaningless.

The harmonisation process should take place on the basis of highest existing
standards, not the lowest common denominator and be decided by majority
voting without a veto. That's the only way progress will be made.

You cannot have a credible asylum system without a credible immigration
policy as a whole. The idea that we can have a closed-door policy has always
been a fantasy. Even now, far more people enter the country with work
permits than do as asylum seekers. But there is still too little
acknowledgement that Britain needs both skilled and unskilled economic
migrants - particularly as the ratio of the working to non-working
population declines.

At present, of course people enter the country illegally or use the asylum
system because they want to work here - and if they did not, as anyone who
lives or works in our major cities knows, the service and construction
industries would grind to a halt. Furthermore, the remittances people send
home far outstrips any aid budget - making a nonsense of the policy that
developing countries can be forced to co-operate with restrictive European
migration policies by threatening a reduction in their aid.

Even with a more sensible immigration policy, pressure on the asylum system
will remain.

A big part of the problem is that as global migration increases, so
governments increase measures to control those movements leading to the
situation where there is now almost no way a refugee can legally get to the
UK. You need a visa to get to the UK from every country that produces
refugees. You can not get a visa for being a refugee and if an airline or
any other carrier takes you without the right paperwork, they will be
heavily fined. So people turn to the traffickers who grow fat on the

We need a much more pro-active approach to protecting refugees. It should be
possible for some to apply for asylum at UK embassies abroad. This would not
work for everyone, but it would work for some. We also need a much more
generous approach right across Europe to the UN's resettlement programme
where countries agree to take a significant quota of refugees from some of
the world's most intractable refugee situations. This needs to be combined
with a global approach to tackle the root causes of forced migration -
tackling the inequalities of wealth between North and South, taking early
conflict prevention measures and assisting those developing countries that
already shoulder by far and away the greatest responsibility for supporting
the world's refugees.

But this must not be at the expense of individual asylum seekers who will
continue to arrive spontaneously. In the 1930's, Jewish refugees who arrived
in the UK as part of organised programmes or who had guarantees of work here
were allowed to stay. Those who made their own way here and entered
illegally were sent back to the continent where many later perished. It was
out of this experience that the individual right of asylum, with each case
considered on its merits, was enshrined in the Geneva Convention.

So what ever happens, we will still need a system for determining individual
asylum claims. The truth is that the current system is now completely
discredited. Almost nobody has confidence in the decision making process.
Refugees wait months or years for a decision which when it comes often seems
ludicrously perverse and unfair.

The public see a system that is manifestly failing to distinguish between
those that need protection and those that do not - and fails to ensure
refugees are helped to rebuild their lives here or return those who do not
have a good claim to remain.

There is little chance of this being rectified as long as the day to day
management of the system is in the hands of politicians who are inevitably
focussed on the next day's headlines. The time has come to depoliticise the
issue. The Refugee Council supports the establishment of an independent
Refugee Board, as they have in Canada, to take charge of the asylum system.
The Board should have publicly appointed commissioners, accountable to
Parliament, responsible for delivering quick, good quality, legally
defensible asylum decisions.

There needs to be a fundamental change in the decision making culture away
from an adversarial system in which both sides try to destroy the other case
regardless of the facts to an inquisitorial system whose purpose is to
establish the truth.

A first step would be to have an independent country assessment procedure so
that we could avoid the sort of bizarre situation that occurred earlier in
the year when the Foreign Office was demanding sanctions on Zimbabwe because
of the human rights abuses while the Home Office was claiming there was no
reason for people to want to leave.

It is important that all the facts of a case are brought out an early stage
and asylum seekers should have proper representation to do this. However, if
necessary there should be even stronger regulation of legal advisers to
achieve this. There is still too much unethical, obstructive and down right
incompetent advice being given that damages the credibility of the whole

We also need to manage the reception of asylum seekers much better. It is
perfectly reasonable to expect people to co-operate with the system while
they wait for a decision. It is also reasonable to say that if asylum
seekers needs accommodation while they wait that it should be provided in
areas where there is a housing surplus rather than a shortage - provided
this is done is an efficient and reasonable way.

It is ironic that just as the current dispersal system is slowly beginning
to improve, the government is planning to introduce large reception centres
in rural areas to replace it.

The truth is that the government's proposals for large centres are wrong in
principle and unworkable in practice. All the experience of these sort of
centres in other parts of Europe is that asylum seekers end up staying in
them for years and become heavily institutionalised. They will take years to
develop, cost hundreds of millions of pounds and distract attention from
improving the current dispersal system which what ever happens, will remain
in place for years to come.

The Refugee Council advocates networks of much smaller centres, in urban
areas that already have a diverse population. These could deliver a much
better managed process, provide support to local services used by asylum
seekers and be quicker and cheaper to develop.

Contrary to the myths about asylum, about 50% of all those who reach the end
of the decision making process are allowed to stay - about 25 - 35% of first
decisions result in refugee status or exceptional leave to remain on
humanitarian grounds; most of those who are refused go on to appeal and
about 20% of appeals are successful; furthermore, the Home Office back down
on a lot of rejected cases before they even get to appeal.

Yet despite the governments rhetoric about citizenship, English language and
social exclusion only a tiny effort is directed to the integration effort.
There are six civil servants working on integration compared with tens of
thousands working on control. The asylum system costs hundreds of millions
of pounds each year. But these costs are not the costs of asylum seekers -
they are the costs of trying to keep them out. Let people work legally and
pay there way when they first arrive - as all the polls suggest the public
would support, and help refugees rebuild and use their skills to contribute
to a society that recognises their worth - and any assistance people need
when they first arrive will be repaid many times over.

Above all what we need on this issue is real leadership. In the past, the
international community has been prepared to adopt comprehensive and global
solutions to refugee crises - in Europe after the Second World War and
towards the Vietnamese Boat people.

Such an approach is viable now. It needs to be combined with a determined
effort to lead public opinion, to tackle racism and xenophobia head on and
challenge the myths and prejudice that surround refugees.

Always, in even Europe's darkest moments, there has been another tradition
of individuals and organisations who have been prepared to raise an
alternative voice and with the courage to speak out against prevailing
opinion. Refugee Week is a fantastic - and enjoyable - opportunity to assert
those different values and to remind the politicians that there are many
people who are proud we give sanctuary to refugees and are confident and
generous enough to welcome them.It is a chance to show that there are many
people in the UK today who are part of that alternative tradition and who
will be able to hold their heads up when in years to come this period of
panic and intolerance is looked back on in shame.

Nick Hardwick is Chief Executive of The Refugee Council. Full details of all
the Refugee Week events can be found online at
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Zim Standard

      Masvingo accidents blamed on Zanu PF

      (By Parker Graham)

      MASVINGO-Traditional leaders say the road accidents which claimed 48
lives in two days in Masvingo last week are the manifestation of the anger
of the spirits over the organisation of a Zanu PF unity gala at the Great
Zimbabwe monument late last year, a gala which had resulted in the shrine
being desecrated and defiled.

      In separate interviews with The Standard, the traditional leaders,
shaken by the worst road carnage to hit Masvingo in recent years, said the
province was paying the price for the Zanu PF misdemeanours.

      On the eve of Unity Day, thousands of people thronged the Great
Zimbabwe monument to participate in a Zanu PF organised gala hosted by the
likes of Joshua Sacco, a white Chimanimani-based musician.

      During the gala, Sacco parodied a Zimbabwean son-in-law welcoming
visitors to the sacred shrine held in high esteem in the whole of Southern
Africa. Sacco and other musicians also took it in turns to swipe at whites
and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) at the function which was
broadcast live on television.

      There was no prior consultation with the traditional leadership,
including Chief Mugabe under whose area the monument falls. Instead, Zanu PF
went ahead with it in its eagerness to obtain political mileage ahead of the
March 2002 presidential election.

      The following day, when the traditionalists visited the shrine they
were shocked to see used condoms, empty beer bottles and human waste strewn
all over the revered place. They took this as evidence of the many
abominable acts which had been committed at the shrine during the gala, acts
which could arouse the anger of the spirits, they said.

      Nobody in Masvingo had anticipated that these kind of things could
happen at Great Zimbabwe, they said.

      A concerned Chief Murinye, who has in the past criticised Zanu PF for
overriding the views of the traditional leaders even on traditional matters,
said: "We knew this debacle would come one day. How could the government
allow a gala to be held at the Great Zimbabwe monument? You can't organise a
function at a sacred place and have drunken youths and promiscuous elders
coming to engage in sexual activities and to defecate the shrine.

      Has anything like that happened in our history?" he said adding, "They
even allowed musicians to come and play their guitars. These instruments
have not been played at the shrine since the monuments were constructed. I
don't want to frighten people, but mark my words, a lot of disasters will
occur in the province unless Zanu PF swallows its pride and rectifies its
stupid mistake."

      A well-respected spirit medium, Dickson Levy Marufu, said Zanu PF's
holding of celebrations at Great Zimbabwe had angered the ancestral spirits.

      Marufu predicted that aeroplanes would crash and hundreds of people
would die if no action was taken to cleanse the shrine.

      "While I feel sorry for Masvingo in these, the darkest moments of its
history, I am confident that the situation will worsen if the political
leadership refuses to sort out its mess. Ministers are taking this lightly,
but once they start perishing themselves I tell you, they will react fast,"
said Marufu.

      Chief Mugabe has in the past voiced concern over how he was
disregarded over the organisation of the gala.

      Interviewed by the ZBC last month, Chief Mugabe did not mince his
words when slamming the government for making arbitrary decisions on
traditional matters.

      "I am aware that some people have gained mileage out of it, but this
is unacceptable. You can not come and hold celebrations at this sacred place
without consulting with the traditional leadership," he said.

      However, Masvingo governor, Josaya Hungwe, dismissed the chief's
criticism saying the government did not need anyone's permission to hold
national celebrations.
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Zim Standard

      Njube militia flee residents

      (By Grey Moyo)

      BULAWAYO-About 50 Zanu PF youth militias who have been terrorising
residents of Njube and Entumbane suburbs in Bulawayo have fled the area amid
fears of an imminent clash with residents.

      The youths are reported to have left in haste last week following
strong rumours that local youths were planning a second attack in two months
on the Zanu PF base at E Square.

      Njube residents rose against an estimated 200 Zanu PF thugs following
post election attacks in March, forcing the withdrawal of a majority of the
militia. Only 50 hardcore militia who played a leading role in the
disruption of MDC pre-election rallies at White City Stadium remained.

      Residents who spoke to The Standard said the departure of the terror
gang had restored a sense of security after three months of terror by
marauding Zanu PF youths.

      "We are very relieved that this force of terror has left. We can now
send our children to the shops without fear," said a resident.

      Last month, there were reports that the youths were waylaying children
and the elderly on their way from shopping centres and grabbing foodstuffs
and cash.

      The youths claimed that they had resorted to daylight robbery because
Zanu PF had abandoned them.

      'They were a nuisance around here. They said the party had not only
failed to pay them the promised lump sum of $18 000, but abandoned them as
well," said a resident.

      Police at Njube however denied ever receiving any reports of attacks
on residents by Zanu PF youths.

      Meanwhile, another Zanu PF militia base in Pumula South has been
relocated to an unknown destination.
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Zim Standard

      Chronicle, Sunday News stop Botswana sales

      (By Grey Moyo)

      BULAWAYO-The beleaguered Zimpapers has stopped exporting its two
Bulawayo papers, The Chronicle and The Sunday News, to Botswana after
realising that no-one there is interested in their products.

      Sources in the circulation department told The Standard last week that
the two papers, going for P2.50, were no longer circulating in Zimbabwe's
neighbouring country.

      "They realised that this was a wild goose chase-it was a case of just
wasting money by sending papers where they were not wanted. The Tswanas are
not interested in propaganda packaged as news," said a source.

      When contacted for comment, Zimpapers chief executive officer Bramwell
Kamudyariwa, through his secretary, said he could not respond to questions
from The Standard as he was in a meeting.

      Zimpapers started sending its publications to other countries,
including Britain, last year in a move that was widely regarded as a
desperate attempt to disseminate the embattled Zanu PF government's
propaganda to the outside world.

      "Even Francistown advertisers who used to place full page adverts in
The Chronicle before it went on sale in Botswana had withdrawn their
support, citing the ever dropping circulation of the two papers in this
country," said the source.

      At its peak, The Chronicle used to print 40 000 copies, but its print
run has gone down to about 9 000 copies.
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Zim Standard

      Matabeleland dismisses compensation projects

      (By Grey Moyo)

      BULAWAYO-Former Zipra combatants in Bulawayo and villagers in some
parts of Tsholotsho district have dismissed home affairs minister, John
Nkomo's proclamation that government will start development projects as
compensation for relatives of victims of the Gukurahundi massacres by the
government's Fifth Brigade.

      Max Mnkandla , the spokesman for the group, said they found Nkomo's
announcement strange and hollow as it did not address most problems which
were caused by Gukurahundi.

      Mnkandla added that the priority should be to bring to justice those
who were responsible for the campaign which saw an estimated 20 000
civilians perish at the hands of the North Korean-trained brigade, which has
since been disbanded.

      Mnkandla said pushing for compensation without justice demonstrated
Zanu PF's reluctance to put the matter to rest by bringing the perpetrators
to book. He said Nkomo's announcement missed the point and completely
ignored the major problems facing thousands of Gukurahundi victims across

      "Large numbers of orphans were left without care, wives without
husbands while others disappeared without trace. It is still impossible for
most of these people to obtain identity cards. The fact that Nkomo, as the
responsible registration minister, has not done anything to address this
problem after so many years indicates deliberate action on the part of Zanu
PF and the government," said Mnkandla.

      Gukurahundi victims have often failed to secure identity cards as the
registry department which falls under Nkomo's ministry requires them to
bring parents or witnesses to confirm that they are making correct entries.
However, some people lost all relatives in the genocide which often saw the
Fifth Brigade round up, shoot, bayonet, burn or bury entire families and

      Villagers in Gulalikabili, west of Tsholotsho, where two people were
allegedly buried alive on 2 February 1983 have also dismissed the
government's intended compensation manoeuvre as a painful insult.

      "It doesn't make sense for anyone to give us projects in place of the
loved ones we lost. What we want is justice. Simple justice is what we want
," said Elmon Nleya, a village elder who said he witnessed a number of
murders and knows of mass graves in his and adjoining villages.

      "Implementing projects is an obligation for the government. Are we to
believe that our areas were not going to have projects if our loved ones had
not been killed? The government should give us money to rebury the dead who
still lie in mass graves and mine shafts all over the region," said a San
elder whose family was herded into a hut and burnt to death. Most villagers
say government should stop making irresponsible political statements as if
it suddenly cared about the victims of its own terror.

      Former Zipra combatants have also renewed calls for the return of
farms and associated properties which were confiscated by Zanu PF at the
height of Gukurahundi. President Robert Mugabe declared soon after the death
of former Vice President Joshua Nkomo that the crimes committed during
Gukurahundi should be forgotten as it was "a moment of madness" which should
not be repeated.

      But Zipra combatants insist that the statement is not justice and have
called for the trial of the "madmen" who are still holding high profile jobs
in the government and army. Prominent figures associated with the
Gukurahundi atrocities include Mugabe himself and Air Force of Zimbabwe
commander, Perence Shiri, who headed the infamous Fifth Brigade. Shiri was
known as 'Black Jesus' among his victims in Matabeleland.

      Mugabe is recorded by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace
(CCJP) report on Gukurahundi as defending the action of the troops in the
villages of Matabeleland. "...we eradicate them. We don't differentiate when
we fight because we can't tell who is a dissident and who is not," the CCJP
report quotes him as saying in April 1983.

      Mugabe is also accused of making statements which incited his
supporters to embark on the 1985 post-election persecution of Zapu
supporters which left one dead and several homeless.

      The president is reported to have told his supporters to "go and
uproot the weeds from your garden".

      Emmerson Mnangagwa, then minister of state security is also quoted by
the CCJP as telling a 1983 Victoria Falls rally that government would "burn
down all villages infested with dissidents", adding that "the campaign
against dissidents could only succeed if the infrastructure that nurtures
them is destroyed".

      The report also quotes Sidney Sekeramayi as accusing the foreign press
of spreading malicious lies when it reported on the killings.

      Meanwhile Nkomo announced that provincial governors and traditional
leaders would identify project needs and priorities while government would
provide funding.
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New call to put more pressure on Mugabe


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.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai called Mugabe's March victory "daylight robbery" and has gone to court to challenge the result.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has placed British Ambassador Brian Donnelly, under surveillance, over accusations that he is co-ordinating efforts to overthrow Mugabe, government officials said yesterday.

The officials, including the chief police spokesman, confirmed an article printed in the government-controlled Herald newspaper reporting that Donnelly had been placed on 24-hour surveillance by security agents.

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Zimbabwe imposes $12,000 fee for media license
Harare, June 16

Foreign media organisations must pay a fee of 12,000 US dollars to operate in Zimbabwe under new press regulations, the state newspaper The Sunday Mail reported.

The rules also call for a 1,050 dollar fee for any Zimbabwean journalist working for a foreign media organization, and a foreign journalist seeking temporary accreditation must pay 600 dollars.

Local media organizations must pay 520,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($9,454 at the official rate) to operate, while individual Zimbabwean journalists working for news organizations each must pay 6,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($109) and freelancers will be charged 3,000 dollars.

The fees were set under a tough new media law promulgated in March under which the governement may prohibit a press organization from operating in Zimbabwe, or refuse accreditation to individual journalists.

The press law, enacted just days after President Robert Mugabe's controversial re-election in March, imposes stiff limits on independent and foreign press organizations in Zimbabwe.

Since it took effect, 11 journalists have been arrested -- some more than once -- and nine face prosecution on one or more charges.

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How Zimbabwean farmers unwillingly subsidise their government


Fragrant weed, stinking business

DESPITE the violent invasion of their fields by machete-wielding supporters
of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's tobacco farmers raised a bigger-than-expected
crop this year. Plump bundles of the weed sell at auction in Harare for the
healthy price of $1.65 a kilo. The farmers, who are the country's largest
exporters, should be content. They are not, because the government is
grabbing most of their takings through a rigged exchange rate.

The local currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, has been pegged at 55 to the
American dollar for nearly two years, despite inflation of over 100%. If the
black market is anything to go by, the Zimbabwe dollar is overvalued by a
factor of ten. Yet tobacco farmers have to surrender all hard-currency
receipts to the government, which pays them at the official rate in nice,
freshly printed Zim dollars. To avoid hard feelings, the government gives
them a subsidy that boosts their takings by four-fifths, but this does not
nearly cover their costs.

Zimbabwe's currency rules serve two purposes. One is nationalistic: some
ministers argue that devaluation would be a surrender to western
imperialism. The second is practical. Mr Mugabe's cronies use their
connections to obtain hard currency at the official rate and then sell it on
the black market for a tenfold mark-up. The finance minister, an amiable
technocrat named Simba Makoni, admits that the peg has had "serious
repercussions on export competitiveness", and has called for a managed
float. But the rest of the cabinet has, for some reason, ignored him.

Ordinary Zimbabweans do their best to dodge the rules. Households and
companies have been shifting money out of the country, by understating
export receipts or simply flying to London with cash sewn into their coats.
At last year's tobacco auctions, foreign buyers found that nothing prevented
them from paying in local currency, so they changed their American dollars
on the black market and snapped up some phenomenal bargains.

This year, all payments must be made in hard currency, direct to the
government. Tough border controls and frequent roadblocks stop farmers
smuggling their bulky product out of the country. Indeed, a lot of innocent
commerce has been criminalised. A senior opposition politician was arrested
last month for trying to take a truckload of maize to his farm, to feed his
hungry workers. Basic foods are subject to price controls and a state
monopsony-the police said he should have sold his maize to the government,
for distribution to the poor (ie, ruling-party supporters).

Before March's presidential election, the Zimbabwe dollar was buoyed by the
repatriation of some of the funds that politicians had squirrelled away in
foreign bank accounts-they feared that these might be frozen by sanctions
against the regime. Since Mr Mugabe managed to steal the election without
attracting more than mild sanctions, the elite feels more secure. The
country's productive citizens, meanwhile, faced with the prospect that their
rulers will never surrender power, are in despair. Hence the Zimbabwe
dollar's freefall over the past couple of weeks, from 300 to the American
dollar on the black market to 500. The black market is no longer fuelled by
firms that need to import spare parts. One businessman says that "it is
simply people getting whatever they can out of here".

Mr Makoni says he fears the economy will contract by 10% this year. To put
this into perspective, GDP in Congo, where Mr Mugabe's army, along with
various others, is fighting a calamitous war, shrank only half as fast last

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Zimbabwe Cracks Down On Opposition

Sunday June 16, 2002 5:30 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Zimbabwean police invoked sweeping new security laws
Sunday, firing tear gas to disperse several hundred opposition supporters
gathering to commeorate the 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa.

In another sign the government's campaign against dissent was heating up, a
state run newspaper reported big new fees would be imposed on journalists
reporting from Zimbabwe.

After firing tear gas, police charged the crowd with clubs at the gathering
Sunday held at a public garden in Harare to commemorate the role youth have
played in the fight for democracy in southern Africa.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change lawmaker, Tendai Biti, vowed to
keep up the struggle for democracy in this troubled southern African

Last week state run media reported that President Robert Mugabe put security
forces on high alert to crush any mass demonstrations that might call for a
re-run of presidential elections held in March, in which Mugabe was declared
the winner despite the condemnation of observer groups who said the vote was
marred by rigging and intimidation.

Foreign governments and human rights groups have voiced concern over a
sustained crackdown on dissent which has targeted lawyers, journalists and
human rights groups.

Severe new security and media laws were passed shortly before Mugabe's
re-election in what human rights groups say is a bid to silence opposition
to his rule.

The government run Sunday Mail reported that as part of the new media law,
journalists have to pay large fees to be allowed to keep working. Zimbabwean
newspapers will have to pay $12,700 for their licenses. Local journalists
working for foreign media organizations will have to pay $1,050, foreign
news agencies will have to pay $1,200. Those working for foreign media
organizations will have to pay in foreign currency.

As the Zimbabwean dollar continues to tumble in value, the move appeared to
be a quick way for the government to make money.

Zimbabwe's independent media editors and correspondents for foreign news
organizations have vowed to fight the media law regulations in the courts.

Twelve independent journalists have been arrested for violating the media
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ABC Australia

Zimbabwean Govt demands massive fees under new media laws
The Zimbabwean Government is demanding unprecedented fees to register and
accredit media organisations and journalists under a tough new media law,
which critics say is designed to curtail press freedom.

The regulations, published in the official Sunday Mail newspaper, require
foreign media to spend large sums on operating licences and accrediting
their journalists.

The rules demand a domestic mass media organisation pay Z$20,000 to apply
and Z$500,000 to register its operations, while a foreign media
representative office needs $US2,000 for its application and $US10,000 for

In addition, Zimbabwean correspondents for foreign media are required to pay
a $US50 application fee and $US1,000 for accreditation.

The Zimbabwe dollar has been officially pegged at 55 to the US unit since
November 2000, but is trading at more than 600 to the dollar in the local
parallel market.

Until now, the Government has only charged nominal fees to accredit
journalists for special events.

The notices were published in a government gazette on Saturday, but it was
not widely available this week.

The Sunday Mail reports media companies that are already registered under
the companies act and journalists with existing press cards would be allowed
to operate until their applications have been processed.

In other regulations, the newly appointed Government Media and
Information Commission has the power to refuse to register a media firm or
accredit a journalist but is obliged to give reasons.

In addition, the new media law requires companies to disclose their
financial status and operating projections, and pay an annual levy of 0.5
per cent of their audited annual gross turnover into a media fund.

Foreigners are barred from working in Zimbabwe as correspondents for their
companies, but those allowed in "for specified periods" will do so for

Journalists working for foreign companies in Zimbabwe have gone to the
country's highest court to challenge the new media law, under which
President Robert Mugabe's Government has charged 11 journalists in the last
three months.

The Foreign Correspondents Association of Zimbabwe is also contesting the
constitutionality of some sections of the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act.
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Teargas fired at Zimbabwe rally
June 16, 2002 Posted: 10:49 AM EDT (1449 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Riot police used teargas and fired shots in the air on
Sunday to halt a Zimbabwe opposition rally held to mark South Africa's youth
day, arresting more than 30 activists and a freelance television journalist.

A freelance journalist at the scene said police armed with batons, guns and
teargas attacked the rally of the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) 20 minutes after it had begun.

MDC youth chairman Nelson Chamisa told Reuters police fired shots in the air
and arrested more than 30 party activists, including MDC parliamentarian
Munyaradzi Gwisai.

Freelance television cameraman Newton Spicer was among those arrested, his
wife, British-born journalist Edwina Spicer said.

The rally was commemorating anti-apartheid protests in South Africa in 1976
when police killed hundreds of students.

Police Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said the police had stopped
the rally because some MDC activists had gone around the city beating people
up and trying to provoke trouble.

"We had told the organisers they could not hold their rally at the Harare
Gardens because that venue and the city atmosphere is not conducive for
political gatherings," he told Reuters.

"We based our decision on the Public Order and Security Order (POSA) but we
had agreed that they could hold their rally at their offices. We intervened
when their people went around trying to provoke a situation," he added.

Bvudzijena said police had arrested 15 people.

Edwina Spicer said her husband had been asked to report to the police after
filming at the MDC rally.

"When he presented himself to the police, he was arrested and locked up but
has not been told under what charge they are holding him," Spicer said. The
Spicers' son is an MDC youth leader.

Chamisa denied the MDC was out to cause trouble and accused the police of
being heavy-handed. "The bottom line is that they are out to attack us
whenever we try to carry out normal political activities," he said.

The MDC says Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party has been trying to destroy its
structures and has disrupted many of its public meetings since President
Robert Mugabe won a controversial presidential election in March.

The election was condemned as seriously flawed by Western powers and MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai is demanding a re-run.

Mugabe, Zimbabwe's ruler since independence from Britain in 1980, says he
won fairly and accuses the West of trying to impose Tsvangirai as leader of
the southern African state.
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Dear All,

Herewith the speech by Wildlife Chair Wally Herbst presented last week. It
is of interest as is the first edition of the Wildlife Notice Board 11 June
2002 by the "Voice for the Voiceless" Lobby Group which is on Word

The updated figure of Wildlife/ Tourism losses in the agricultural sector as
a direct result of land invasions runs to over Z$ 6.3 billion.  Taking into
account the low rate of return from Matabeleland, these figures are

AGM 13TH JUNE 2002

It is with a certain degree of sadness that we hold this 16th Annual General
In 1985, a group of people met under a tree in the Lowveld and discussed the
merits of a producer association for wildlife and from there the Association
was born. They had this vision of a producer association that was all
encompassing of the environment and where there was money to be made from
safaris, lodges and wildlife translocations. There was even talk about large
buses and aircraft that would ferry hundreds of tourists around commercial
farms in air conditioned comfort all being controlled by radio. High ideals
and expectations indeed! People went ahead and built luxury safari camps,
dotted around the country and now they are mostly in mothballs. Professional
Hunter's Licenses were sought, tour operator's licenses obtained and
everyone with a 4x4 vehicle, a fox terrier and a rifle was hunting. Wildlife
and tourism on commercial farms was on the move.  National Parks had created
an enabling environment for the production of wildlife, allowing captures
and translocation and even exports. To get permits was a pleasure compared
to today.
o Between 1991 and 2001 - 39661 wild animals were caught and sold.  Total
value Z$ 280 million dollars.
o Since the mid 70's to date over 150,000 have been captured and
translocated so providing founder populations and the foundation for the
Association 's existence.
o In 1995 alone a survey of 351 Members resulted in 250,600 animals being
o Wildlife as a land use had been established.
o The Association then produced a farm stay brochure listing 36 tourist game
ranch and game farm destinations.
o Committees were established to cover disease free Buffalo, Lichtenstein's
Hartebeest, Bow hunting, Venison, Rhino, Domesticated Elephant and export.
o This sector provided the bulk of Zimbabwe's Plains's game hunting.
o Conservation practices had to follow and did.
o Imports and Exports flowed.

In 1999 the Association's outlook could not have been brighter or for that
matter of fact Zimbabwe's commercial wildlife sector.

However, the euphoria was short lived. We lost the services of Dr. Nduku and
George Pangetti and got the infamous SI 26 of 1998 and immediately permits
became a nightmare.  Export of wildlife was suspended and the decline in the
fortunes of the producer and consequently the WPA started. We sort of limped
along for about four years until the farm invasions started and we watched
the rapid decline of the fortunes of commercial wildlife operators and the
flora and fauna they championed.

It is estimated conservatively that we have lost about 50% of our wildlife,
65% of our
tourism in the country and up to 90% safari hunting on commercial farms, and
a huge reduction in capture and translocations of wildlife. As for exports,
there has been no export for some seven years, although accusations of
illegal exports from Settlers and National Parks abound. This is all as a
direct result of the so-called fast track resettlement. This is despite the
hard efforts of people like Mr. Gatora to try to persuade people to stop
poaching and destroying the environment.  Well, Sir, I want to tell you now
that in spite of your appeals and pleas, there is no let up on the slaughter
of our wildlife.  Thousands of snares are still being recovered, complete
with dead animals still in them. Vehicles continually drive on to commercial
farms, with letters from the D A, Rural District Councils, Provincial
Wardens and the occupants shoot at will, first for independence
celebrations, then to feed the militia and then just to commercialise and
capitalise on the lack of the rule of law in the country.  We report
vehicles poaching to the police complete with Govt registration numbers and
they say, "it is political, there is nothing we can do about it".  It is a
war zone out there and the losers are the wildlife and ultimately we as
Zimbabweans.  If the rule of law is not restored and poaching stopped NOW we
will have to pour money into the Natural History Museum to show our children
what wonderful wildlife we used to have.  I also hear that the poaching in
the National Parks is getting out of control with pressure back on the
elephant.  We hear in the media of up to thirty Rhinos lost since land
invasions started.  But no one is saying how many - why?  How are we as
custodians supposed to support our CITES stance when we daily watch the
poaching tally mount.  How many pieces of paper with poaching stats must be
produced before our Ministry acts.  Stats are but history.

Just to highlight the slaughter of our animals we have so diligently
managed, let me quote from but two areas and ask the question "What if".
Matabeleland South (Game Ranching)

a)  Barberton Ranch - 127 dead animals and 1980 snares collected over 12
"What if" 30 similar properties suffered similar losses?
b) 33 Ranches surveyed, reported 1900 animals and 13400 snares retrieved
over 17 months.
"What if" 10 similar ranch blocks suffered similar losses?

Certainly continued poaching reports indicate ongoing and mounting

Mashonaland West (Game Farming)

a) Maunga Game Farm - Gone
b) Helwyn Game Farm - Gone
c) Momba Game Farm - Going
d) Yawanda Game Farm - Going
"What if" 150 similar game farms are so affected?
What are Zimbabwe's game losses - 10,000 - 100,000 - a million animals?
"What if".

Why has Government and in particular our Ministry and National Parks not
stopped or condemned such practices in writing that all law enforcement
agencies could have the ability to react positively?

The current Parks initiative to validate losses is commendable but too late
to save the hundreds of thousands of dead animals or is it a ploy to regain
some credibility or perhaps our statistics sent to Parks are not trusted?

Whatever, our Flora and Fauna continues to suffer whilst the authorities

To day, we have to debate an extremely emotional resolution, the possible
closure of this association. Let me try to analyse why this might have to

The resolution in front of us to day is very real and potentially the death
throws of the industry, as we know it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, when you debate this resolution, do not just say the
association must continue but tell your Executive how you, the members,
propose to fund the association. It is very easy to tell us not to close,
but if there are no funds we will have to close.  A number of suggestions
have already been made, such as amalgamation, downsizing and subscription
increase.  These all need debate.

It remains for me to thank the staff and particularly John White, for work
done under extremely difficult circumstances. How you have managed to
continue working for the members under these conditions is an inspiration to
all.  To my Executives, who work for no reward from WPA, thanks as well.  In
particular those like Gordon Taylor who have been in from the start.  In
fact a team, and it does take a team, of dedicated individuals who chartered
the way forward for Zimbabwe.

I wish you a fruitful debate.


Resolution tabled: "The adverse conditions constraining wildlife
production - conservation and sustainable utilization within the Large Scale
Commercial Farming Sector due to land resettlement have over the last two
years affected the Association's financial base, to the point that it is no
longer able to adequately fund itself.
Accordingly it is proposed that the association be closed and dissolved in
accordance with the Constitution of the wildlife Producers association".
After debate on this resolution it was decided to raise membership fees and
invoke a levy designed to tide the Association through these troubled times
as there was a dire need for a lobby group such as the WPA to carry farmers
through the hard times.  The motion was therefore rejected by a majority of
members and the executive tasked with finding a survival strategy for

Leadership of the Association was retained as it stood with Wally Herbst
remaining as chairman and Wynand Hart as vice chairman.

For more information, please contact
Jenni Williams on Mobile (+263) 91 300456 or 11213 885 Or on email
or Fax (+2639) 63978 or (+2634) 703829 or email :
A member of the International Association of Business Communicators. Visit
the IABC website
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From The Sunday Times (UK), 16 June

Mugabe orders 24-hour watch on British "spy" envoy

Officials in Zimbabwe claimed yesterday that the British high commissioner, Brian Donnelly, had been placed under 24-hour police surveillance following allegations that he is co-ordinating efforts to overthrow Robert Mugabe. The Foreign Office has rejected the accusations against Donnelly. "The British high commissioner is not and has never been involved in this kind of activity," it said in a statement. The high commission in Harare said the 57-year-old diplomat was on leave at an unspecified location and there were "no concerns about his wellbeing". Zimbabwean police confirmed a report in yesterday’s edition of The Herald, the government-controlled newspaper, which said Donnelly was being watched by security agents because of "activities to undermine the legitimate government of President Mugabe". It followed a story in the paper last week - dismissed by the Foreign Office as rubbish – that claimed Donnelly had established a "sophisticated communications network" to co-ordinate an opposition rebellion.

The reports are seen as a sign that Mugabe, 78, could be planning a new purge as the opposition Movement for Democratic Change prepares to stage mass demonstrations in the next few weeks. Assistant commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, the chief police spokesman, said surveillance of Donnelly would "allow the security organs to establish his activities". Anything incompatible with his diplomatic status would be reported to Zimbabwe’s foreign affairs department. A Zimbabwe government official said Donnelly’s diplomatic immunity meant he would not be arrested. "But it doesn’t mean that his activities will be tolerated," he said. The Herald claimed Donnelly, who arrived in Zimbabwe a year ago from Belgrade, was widely thought to be a high-profile intelligence officer. "It is believed that Mr Donnelly was sent to Zimbabwe to execute a Milosevic type of operation to oust President Mugabe from power," it said. Donnelly was Britain’s ambassador to the former Yugoslavia when President Slobodan Milosevic was driven from power two years ago.

The newspaper claimed Donnelly had been named in a plot by two officials of the Law Society of Zimbabwe who face subversion charges. Sternford Moyo and Wilbert Mapombere were said to have written letters to the high commission expressing gratitude for support given by Britain to help "restore the rule of law". Lawyers, journalists, farmers and business people who "frequented or were frequented by Donnelly and his British intelligence operatives" are also under surveillance, The Herald said. Donnelly has also served in Greece and at Nato in Brussels since he joined the diplomatic service in 1973. He has rejected frequent claims in the state-controlled media that he is a political saboteur. Zimbabwe’s relations with Britain have been increasingly strained since February 2000 when gangs of so-called war veterans began violent invasions of white-owned farms as part of Mugabe’s land reform programme. A report by the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, has given a warning that Zimbabwe is sliding towards civil war and accuses Britain and other European Union countries of doing little to stop it.

From The Observer (UK), 16 June

British diplomat accused of plot against Mugabe

Harare - 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 newspaper. 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.'

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