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

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The Four Horsemen

Colonials, Consumers, Corrupters, Criminals.

(The Four horsemen of African history.)

Looking back on the past century in Zimbabwe, I can see four distinct
periods of historical experience. It may have been different in other
countries, but in the countries of my direct knowledge, all have gone
through these phases over the past century. It all starts with our common
colonial experience - different for the British, French and Portuguese
colonies. Samora Machel said to me once after he became President of
Mozambique "Mr Cross, would you have chosen to be colonised by the
Portuguese or the English?" He was implying that the former were not so hot
at the process from the perspective of one who had to take over and try and
lead his people to the promised land.

In the former British colonies the process of historical development was
different depending on what form the colonial period adopted. In our case,
the colonial period was very short - we became a self governing Dominion in
1923 and were governed, more or less, by a localised settler regime until
independence in 1980.

The degree of local development in the colonial period was critically
dependent on the influence of what I call the "creators" - people who came
to the colonies, put down their roots and started to make things or dig
things out of the ground or grow things. There were some remarkable
characters amongst this group - Alfred Beit, Cecil Rhodes, the Openheimers,
Tiny Rowland, Willie Margolis - the list could run to hundreds of names,
less known but all making a profound impact on the countries of their
adoption. Rhodesia and South Africa were very rich in people of this type
and some of them remain global figures of importance. For example,
Anglo-American, founded by the Rhodes dynasty, is one of the largest
business conglomerates in the world today.

After the inevitable transfer of power to the original local people who had
been subjugated for the whole period under colonial rule, a subtle shift
takes place. The new players, educated by experience, often in bush wars and
used to living in foreign capitals on donor funds, without experience or
knowledge of the things that create wealth, they become consumers. First of
the assets they inherit from the colonial era and then whatever assets they
can extract from the ever present "donors". If they are skillful they can
extract very considerable sums from donors - Tanzania and Uganda still have
more than half their annual income from donor countries. Even Sierra Leone
gets a billion US dollars a year in aid - vastly exceeding the combined
official output of the countries indigenous economy.

As consumers the new power brokers discover they can manipulate their
economies through their Reserve Banks - low official exchange rates and low
interest rates mean that the accumulated assets of the existing productive
sector can be taxed into penury. It also means unlimited foreign exchange
resources for the powerful giving rise to extravagant lifestyles and travel.
The construction of homes that rival the palaces of Europe.

As the productive sector shrinks under a consumer driven regime, so the
pressure is intensified on what is left, Reserve Banks print money, assets
are sold and the next phase starts - the corrupters period of post colonial
history. In this period the regime discovers that they control everything -
after all that is what "sovereignty" is all about? They start slowly at
first and then with increasing rapacity, they demand bribes for everything -
contracts, passports, birth certificates, visa's, company licenses. As the
level of corruption rises, so they discover that they have to share this
bounty around or face internal revolt. If they do not then the inevitable
coup occurs and the new players take over the system and make sure they do
not repeat the same mistake.

People do not appreciate the scale on which corruption is practiced in many
countries. The figures are simply staggering when calculated and clearly
demonstrate that these countries are not short of money, but of people who
will not plunder but create wealth. As conditions deteriorate these
productive people take their assets (what's left) plus their abilities and
move to countries where they will be appreciated and life is not a constant
uphill battle - for everything. As this process take the country down to new
levels of stagnation and poverty - the very fabric of society starts to
disintegrate and then the criminals take over. The criminalisation of states
throughout the world is not a new phenomenon, but it's very widespread in
Africa today. Can anyone argue against the statement that we in Zimbabwe
today, live under a government dominated by criminal elements? I do not
think so.

The cruel thing about this process in the kind of world in which we live, is
that as this process of decline takes root in an African country, emigration
robs these countries of their educated and skilled elite. The creators of
wealth and the talented move on to greener pastures and reinforce the
economic growth and stability of the developed world. The gap between those
who have and those who have not widens. Societies such as ours slide into
despair and abject poverty. Governed by a tiny elite that maintains its life
style at the expense of everyone.

Democracy, human and legal rights, taken for granted in the developed
countries, are gradually eroded until the remaining population, preoccupied
with survival under a rapacious regime, has little time for these esoteric
features of life in the west. The developed countries salve their
consciences with the odd bit of aid or famine relief and dismiss these
errant States as "simply beyond the pale".

That is why a third of Zimbabwe's population now lives outside the country.
Mugabe is delighted with this as it reduces the pressure on the reducing
capacity of a shrinking economy to provide for the needs of the country. He
is also delighted to see the potential support base of his opponents shrink
while he maintains or increases his own through a process of criminal
patronage or simply supplying minimal needs to starving people who have no
energy left for anything else but survival.

Too tough? Not at all - every word is true of Zimbabwe. Is there hope -
always. The MDC, to which I am proud to belong, represents a new generation
of African leadership. A bit puritanical, but deeply committed to the
fundamental values that are now accepted norms in the rest of the world. We
are fighting a battle against tyranny just as rapacious and ruthless as
Nazis Germany in the period up to 1944. In fact the parallels are quite
astonishing. We are fighting not with guns or violence, but with ideas and
principles. We are working inside a corrupt and distorted democratic system
that discriminates against us at every corner. Yet we have won half the
elected seats in the Parliament, now control 7 towns and cities and have
almost succeeded, against all the odds, in defeating this tyrant.

He will not survive against us - despite the use of violence and terror and
the attempt to suppress all our freedoms. When we do finally defeat this
evil system, we might well find ourselves, like the German people after
1944, sitting amongst the rubble of our land. But we will then have our own
Konrad Adenauer and an Erhard to lead us into a New World which will give
our people the freedoms, rights and opportunities they deserve. When we do,
I am sure the developed countries will give us that initial lift to get back
on our feet again. Mugabe and his like, will be just a bad memory.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 30th May 2002.
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Friday, 31 May, 2002, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
Zimbabwe treason case postponed
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai said the hearing was a 'circus'
test hello test
By Alastair Leithead
BBC correspondent in Johannesburg

The leader of the opposition in Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai, has appeared in court with two other high-ranking party officials charged with treason.

But the case has again been postponed, this time until August.

I don't know what's going on here

Morgan Tsvangirai, opposition leader
Mr Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, and colleagues Welshman Ncube and Renson Gasela have been accused of plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

Walking out of the courtroom, Mr Tsvangirai described the five minute hearing as "a circus".

"I don't know what's going on here," he said.

He and his co-accused deny charges of treason over allegations they plotted to assassinate President Mugabe.

'A set-up'

They argue they were set up by government agents trying to discredit Mr Tsvangirai in the lead-up to the March presidential election.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
President Mugabe won elections said to be flawed

President Mugabe won the election, but the result was described as severely flawed by the international community, and rejected by the opposition.

The case has been remanded until 2 August, after the judge accepted the prosecutor's request for another delay.

The state now has three months to decide whether to indict the men for trial in the High Court if convicted they face the death penalty.

The charges have been condemned by western countries as a form of political retribution, an accusation the government denies.

Mr Tsvangirai was released on bail after being formally charged with treason in March.

He was ordered to pay 1.5 million Zimbabwean dollars (around $27,000), and surrender deeds to property and his passport.

Commonwealth observers said the presidential election in March was marred by a climate of fear and violence against opposition supporters.

As a result Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for a year.

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Zimbabwean newspaper editor charged over photo

HARARE, May 31 - The editor of a Zimbabwean newspaper was charged under the
country's censorship law on Friday after publishing a photograph showing
semi-naked Amazonian tribesmen playing soccer.
       ''I can confirm that the editor of the Zimbabwe Independent was
invited and came to the police today and was questioned and charged over the
publication of one particular picture,'' a police spokesman said.
       He declined to give further details but the editor, Iden Wetherell,
said the charge related to a photograph of the tribesmen, distributed by
Reuters, which was published in the Independent on May 17.
       Zimbabwe's Censorship Act forbids the publication of what is deemed
to be obscene or pornographic material. Offenders are normally fined.
       It is the second time that Wetherell has been charged since President
Robert Mugabe's government began what critics say is a crackdown on the
independent media since the veteran Zimbabwean leader won a controversial
election in March.
       Wetherell, who was charged earlier this month with publishing a false
story under a tough new media law, accused the government of trying to
intimidate the independent media.
       ''The harassment has become so ridiculous... because I can't imagine
anybody who would seriously take offence with a picture distributed widely
by a reputable international news agency,'' he told Reuters.
       Eleven local and foreign journalists have been arrested since
Mugabe's re-election, but the government denies that it has launched a
campaign against its critics.
       On Thursday a Harare magistrate set trial dates next month for two
journalists charged with publishing a false story that Mugabe supporters had
beheaded a woman.
       Andrew Meldrum, a U.S. national and correspondent for Britain's
Guardian newspaper, and Lloyd Mudiwa, a Zimbabwean reporter for Zimbabwe's
independent Daily News, will stand trial on June 12 and June 20
       The Daily News published a story on April 23 quoting a man as saying
his wife had been beheaded by supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party while
his two children watched.
       Several international newspapers carried the story. But the Daily
News later said it had doubts about the alleged murder after failing to
locate the woman's grave. The paper apologised to ZANU-PF.

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Zim Independent - Business

Zimkwacha for real kwacha

Don't be surprised to see one of the new guys - Kingdom, NMB or Trust -
moving across the border.

There are very few opportunities locally with the expanding industry and
Zambia has just put up for sale a 51% stake in the Zambia National
Commercial Bank (Zanaco). According to documents from the Zambia
Privatisation Agency, the investor should have at least US$500 million in
assets and have a "regional or global network of branches, correspondents
and affiliates".

Zambia is in a bit if a hurry to sell the stake since it would then become
eligible for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries global
programme. Zanaco has about a quarter of the Zambian retail banking market,
but it made a loss of 65 billion kwacha in 2001 (about Z$650 million at the
parallel market rate) and has some bad debts. A 51% stake would allow hard
decisions to be taken without state interference, which will be needed to
get the bank back in the black.

What next for Delta?

Better-than-expected results from Delta did little to shift the share price
... perhaps because the market asks what are they are going to do with that
cash pile of $2,5 billion? As we know, money in the bank here is a pointless
investment and the group will be under pressure to do something with the
money rather than let inflation erode its value. Perhaps it will look at an
offer to Afdis minorities.

Delta, increasing focused on becoming a booze company following the
divestments of OK and J Pelham, lifted its stake in Afdis to 30% at a cost
of $124m. Afdis is capitalised at around $5,2 billion, valuing Delta's stake
at $1,6 billion, meaning that they would probably need around $4 billion
(with a 10% premium) to induce minorities into accepting an offer.
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Zim Independent - Letters

New peaceful and creative strategies are needed

IN Zimbabwe today there are many people who are in despair. They are partly
in despair about the material condition of their lives, but they are more in
despair because they no longer know what to do to change the situation for
the better and to restore hope to their lives.

Zimbabweans voted for change, but Zanu PF stole their vote, their voice and
their will for change. Zimbabwe is now searching for a way to deal with this
criminal element that has usurped power and rules over the nation without
compassion and without our consent. Since the possibility of using
democratic methods to effect change has been denied, what else can the
people do?

In a situation of conflict, each opposing side tends to use different
tactics. And those tactics define the nature of the opposing sides.

No conflict can ever be resolved by reference to history. History is too
long and too complex and it is never a one-sided story. Conflicts can only
be resolved by just and fair actions taken in the present time.

In the present conflict in Zimbabwe, Zanu PF uses violence, deceit and
patronage, while MDC has always used peaceful and honest tactics. As a
result, Zanu PF is condemned both inside and outside Zimbabwe, while the MDC
is supported by Zimbabweans and by the world. It is vital that the the MDC
remains fully committed to this peaceful path.

Zanu PF would dearly love the MDC to begin to use violent resistance tactics
which would provide a smokescreen behind which Zanu PF could hide their
criminal actions; just as the suicide bombers justify the Israeli military's
intervention on the West Bank. Zanu PF are so keen for the MDC to follow
them down the road of violence that they have even fabricated an MDC
assassination plot against Robert Mugabe and then ran it daily on ZTV and in
the Herald for weeks.

This leaves the initial question unanswered: what can Zimbabweans do to
throw off this yoke of oppression levied on us by those who claim to be our
liberators? New, peaceful and creative strategies are needed. Sit down and
think what you can do. For example, the MDC/ZCTU might expend energy on
creating a code of standards for governance with Cosatu, and with democratic
parties across the region, such as Anderson Mazoka's UPND in Zambia.

Another possible means of action is a protest by church groups. A wise man
once wrote that the events in the church are a forerunner of national
events. Bishop Kunonga stole the Anglican bishopric of Harare and was
legitimised by the regional ecclesiastical authorities. Was this not a
forerunner of the presidential election?

If the national Anglican congregation were to boycott the Anglican Church
until Bishop Kunonga steps down, as Rev Tim Neill has done, how long do you
think Bishop Kunonga would last with completely empty churches? And if he is
forced to step down by the will of committed Christians, how long would
Mugabe last before he was forced to step down by the will of a committed

There are many other forms of non-violent resistance, such as declining to
pay taxes. I am sure that the imagination of Zimbabweans can find these
forms of legitimate and holy resistance to the evil that has grasped our
leaders. But what is important to understand is that the value of each
individual's personal internal resistance of will is no greater than that of
any other individual.

Each one of us must hold an unchangeable resistance to oppression in our
hearts, if we are to succeed. We are a nation engaged upon a democratic
project. We are all equal; we cannot resist alone. But together, my brothers
and sisters, who can resist our will?

Richard Owen,

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Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

Jonathani aipa

ACCORDING to the latest tally - and it changes every week - 12 journalists
have so far been picked up by police and charged under the obnoxious Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). That is in the space
of two months.

Before the Bill was passed on January 31, Parliamentary Legal Committee
chair Eddison Zvobgo described it as "the most determined assault on our
liberties" since Independence. It was sloppily drafted - perhaps because the
Attorney-General's office doesn't appear to have been too closely involved -
and met determined resistance from members of the House portfolio committee
overseeing the legislation as well as the legal committee and ordinary MPs.

It was widely seen as a retributive tool of Information minister Jonathan
Moyo and MPs were warned of likely abuses. Moyo went on to confirm those
fears when he made abusive remarks about a number of journalists in his
Second Reading speech.

The speech was also in places disingenuous, suggesting other countries had
passed similar measures to empower their citizens by making public bodies

In fact, any examination of the countries named, Australia, Canada, New
Zealand, South Africa, Nigeria and the United Kingdom, would reveal public
bodies already accountable by virtue of a political culture which encourages
press scrutiny instead of one where public officials routinely ask, as they
do here, "Why do you want to know that?"

It may be true to say our legislation contains some of the worst facets of
similar laws passed elsewhere. But none of the countries referred to, as far
as I know, has criminalised reporting errors or empowered the police to
arrest journalists because a minister objects to what they say!

Justifying the Bill, Moyo claimed "public faith and belief in the integrity
of the media have virtually collapsed" with incidents of public anger
towards sections of the press.

It may be true that public confidence in the so-called public media has
collapsed, as sales indicate, because of the way newspapers and ZBC have
been abused to serve the ruling party's interests and disguise its trail of
misrule. As for public anger, the only incidents I know of are where war
veterans and mobs of Zanu PF supporters have attacked journalists or tried
to prevent the distribution of independent newspapers.

Moyo's gross generalisations about South African newspaper editors defending
British global interests were not only inaccurate in terms of fact but plain

From this profoundly flawed presentation, the Act, signed into law after the
election, has been wielded like a blunt instrument. It has, in one case,
been used to arrest and charge journalists who have admitted an error of
judgement and apologised for it. It has been used to prosecute journalists
who reported the sale of riot control equipment to the ZRP which the Israeli
manufacturer has since confirmed. It has been used to prosecute journalists
for carrying a story about policemen and prostitutes. And it was used again
last week because the same paper speculated about staff movements at
Zimpapers, a step described by the journalists' attorney as frivolous. It
was entirely legitimate for a newspaper to speculate about staff movements
at two public entities, she pointed out.

This week the same journalists were prosecuted for reporting on conditions
in the holding cells at Harare Central police station.

Meanwhile, the state-controlled media has got away with undisguised
falsehoods. The Commonwealth Secretariat complained recently of a falsehood
published in the Herald about General Abubakar and the Commonwealth Observer
Group. No correction followed. There have been fabricated stories in the
Chronicle about an alleged MDC bombing campaign. And last week the Herald
published a false story about a farmer deliberately poisoning his maize
stocks which it had a chance to verify but didn't.

What is obvious from this is that the government's sudden preoccupation with
the truth in journalism is entirely one-sided and self-serving. It is
clearly determined to silence any sort of reporting that causes it
embarrassment. This is no doubt designed to have a chilling effect on the
media in carrying out its role as a public watchdog.

What we are seeing is in fact something worse than symptoms of political
insecurity: individuals in government appear to be using the Act to settle
scores with journalists deemed hostile to their pretensions, a particular
irony when in defending the Bill before the House Moyo complained of the
media being used to settle "personal and political scores".

The repeated arrest and prosecution of Standard editor Bornwell Chakaodza is
a good example of bad laws being used by the authorities to punish editors
for perceived disloyalty as well as inconvenient disclosures. The Act is
unashamedly being manipulated to pursue a partisan - some would say
private - agenda and is almost certainly abridging
constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms. Even its most devoted adherents would
have difficulty arguing that the Act is upholding the public interest when
journalists are punished weekly for doing no more than offending official
susceptibilities. Is it seriously argued that the police cells are clean or

This week the Freedom of the Press Committee of the Overseas Press Club of
America made the following points in a letter to President Mugabe:

"Freedom of information is a core value in the UN Declaration on Human
Rights. It is a value Zimbabwe used to embrace. The Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act does exactly what its title implies, though in
an Orwellian sense, by restricting information and failing to protect
privacy. Similarly, the Public Order and Security Act promotes neither order
nor security. It merely suppresses criticism.

"Suppressing criticism redirects it into the unhealthy channels of rumour,
gossip and conspiracy. These are damaging not only to the practice of
journalism but to Zimbabwe as a nation.

"The Committee to Protect Journalists has named Zimbabwe one of the 10 worst
countries in the world in which to be a journalist, putting it in the same
company as Afghanistan, Colombia, Eritrea, Belarus, Burma, Iran, Kyrgyzstan,
and Cuba. Is this really company you wish to keep?"

I would be inclined to add a further point. The police have devoted
considerable time and energy to prosecuting journalists in recent weeks. Yet
they have not arrested a single person in connection with the bombing of the
Daily News' printing press last year. How do they explain that?
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Daily News - The Mole

      Chigwedere has opened Pandora's box

      5/31/02 4:41:07 PM (GMT +2)

      He may be a historian of sorts himself, but when all this Zanu PF
government madness, which is characterised by forcing people to see
everything through the party leadership's eyes, is finally brought to an
end, true historians are not likely to write about Aeneas Chigwedere's
tenure as Minister of Education and Culture in exactly glowing terms.

      All because of the Pandora's box he had opened recently and seemed
either unable or unwilling to slam shut - or both - until someone in the
upper echelons of authority nudged him awake from his power-drunken stupor
and forced him to reverse all his crazy decrees. In fact, even from our
graves, none of us alive today would be surprised to see some of the future
writers of our true history saying that he possessed one of the most
eccentric minds in Robert Mugabe's government. When last year, he came up
with that strange idea about the need to change school names considered to
have a colonial ring to them, everyone was taken aback.

      Most people found the idea puzzling. The one big question on everyone'
s lips was: "How could a man who claims to be a historian fail to see that
doing anything like that was a naked attempt at falsifying history?" Indeed,
how could he? To change a school's name because it is "English" is not only
to lie about the true identity of those who made it possible for it to come
into existence, but is also to deny that the school ever existed before the

      It is, in simple terms, misleading all future generations about the
various stages the country passed through up to where those reading its
history will be. I would have thought that anyone else but a historian would
spearhead such treachery. The fierceness of the public's opposition to that
move was unprecedented. There was not a single voice in support except, not
surprisingly, for one or two fictitious letters in the government-controlled
Press. In fact, until the people's anger against the names madness was
superseded by their fierce anger against the new identical uniforms madness,
we were still getting a steady flow of letters from readers condemning
Chigwedere for forcing on their schools names such as Hitler Hunzvi or
Border Gezi, for example.

      Names which struck terror and brought very sad memories of the
terrible things that the owners of those names did to them, their relatives
and to Zimbabwe as a whole. The most common refrain was: If the minister
feels so strongly about European names, he should start by changing his own
first name and those of nearly the entire Cabinet right from the President
down - including those of their spouses - to African ones. Only then would
he be taken seriously in his implied repugnance at the colonial nomenclature
and, thus, force the renaming of schools and other institutions, idiotic
though the move is, without appearing to be a hypocrite.

      Frankly, The Mole had expected Chigwedere to cave in and abandon the
whole idea as it was so highly unpopular. When he didn't, I was dismayed but
drew comfort from the hope that at least he must have learnt his lesson and
would steer clear of controversy and never do anything so controversial and
silly ever again.
      Not Chigwedere. I had, of course, forgotten the criteria used by
Mugabe to identify those to include in his Cabinet: people who are
infuriatingly opinionated, stubborn, arrogant, impervious to reason and,
above all, insensitive to people's feelings. But what Chigwedere, like most
Johnny-come-latelys on the Zanu PF bandwagon, didn't know was that populist
decrees are only for campaign purposes. Once that is over, the train must
roll backwards. He ought to have sought advice from Andrew Ndlovu, who is
now much the wiser for his experience following his post-elections
transgressions, including continued farm invasions, which he committed
thinking Big Brother would continue to condone them.

      Instead, in typical foolhardy fashion of the uninitiated, Chigwedere
steamed on full throttle. He then went on to indecorously abuse teachers'
hospitality at their congress by sticking on them all sorts of derogatory
labels such as that they were drunkards and rapists with ZTV servilely
recording and broadcasting each and every broadside he fired at the
defenceless teachers. Next he banned our children from writing Cambridge
examinations, causing a great uproar. This was followed by what has now
proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back: decreeing that all
schools in Zimbabwe would, Communist-style, have identical uniforms simply
because Emperor Chigwedere wishes it so.

      He must have thought he was now living in cloud cuckoo-land and
willy-nilly lording it over everyone else. Gratefully, though, someone has
brought him down to Mother Earth, albeit not so gently. But The Mole thinks
it's perfectly the right treatment for all those with a tendency of growing
too big-headed. And I am fervently hoping that two others of Chigwedere's
colleagues in Cabinet, one an utter fool and the other an insufferable bigot
and a pathological liar, will soon be brought crashing back to earth in
similar fashion. That's what people power can achieve.
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Daily News - Leader Page

      Is it about skin colour or the colour of the party card?

      5/31/02 4:34:22 PM (GMT +2)

      By Magari Mandebvu

      SOMETIME in the 1980s, I saw an interesting scene. A group of people
in overalls, mostly young women, were sitting in the Harare Gardens having
their lunch: bread rolls and bottled drinks. They spoke among themselves in
a language I did not understand. Naturally, a park keeper came along and
told them in Shona they were not allowed to eat there.

      Equally naturally, they just smiled at him, laughed at each other and
went on eating and drinking. The park keeper kept repeating his message in
Shona. They were more amused and he got more frustrated, until a white man,
sitting behind a bush with a roll in one hand and a bottle of beer in the
other, said to the park keeper in Shona: "Hamusi kuona here kuti havanzwi
chiShona? (Can't you see they don't understand Shona?)"

      The park keeper was even more surprised at this. The white man said a
few words to the group in their own language, but they didn't seem to get
the message. They just smiled and kept on eating. The white man then spoke
at greater length with an older man in the group in what sounded like
German. This man then explained to the group in their own language. They
laughed, started packing their lunches away and prepared to move.

      It turned out that they were refugees from Namibia on a course. They
were extremely amused at this display of colonial prejudices in "free"

      They did see demonstrated in this short incident a fine collection of
our colonial prejudices (prejudgments, things we assume on no evidence and
sometimes against the evidence of our own ears and eyes and our own common

      - All black people speak Shona;
      - We don't want white people to speak Shona. Shona is "inferior";
      - The English language is "the international language" by which we
judge and rule all other languages; and
      - Funny English rules about things like eating and drinking in public
are the only possible civilised rules.

      Far too many of us still hold these prejudices and many more like
them. Not only these Namibians, but others of our neighbours get a lot of
amusement, and sometimes puzzlement, out of the way we cling to our colonial
heritage. In Botswana everyone is expected to speak Setswana.

      I once heard the Boer manager of a Gaborone supermarket conducting
quite a complicated business conversation over the phone in Setswana. Most
surprising to me is that these prejudices are strongest among the defenders
of our independence: government officials and the police.

      Haven't you ever seen a policeman coming to your workplace to
investigate a crime? If he meets a white person there, he assumes that must
be the owner and is very confused if this person is working under a black
person. Of course, that is not very common, but is it a law of nature that
the white must be in charge?

      The officials who teach the Border Gezi youths seem to be digging up
our old prejudices, cleaning and polishing them and offering them as new to
their trainees. Recently I heard a conversation between a youngster who said
he was a "veteran of the Third Chimurenga" and a white man who said he had
been thrown out by Ian Smith.

      The youth said he didn't believe that happened, because "everyone
looks after their own race". The white guy replied by asking whether the
youth had ever seen Phillip Chiyangwa or Joseph Chinotimba weeping over the
plight of starving black children, or, even better still, doing something to
feed them.

      Aren't they more likely to start asking what party card the children's
parents carry, and if it is the wrong one, won't they say: "Then let them

      In short, it is not the colour of your skin that is important, but the
colour of your party card, or maybe even what some people think the colour
of your party card is, or where they think you put your cross on the ballot
paper during the March presidential election, or where they think your
parents, brother, uncle, or brother-in-law's neighbour put their crosses.

      It gets complicated, but it certainly isn't about skin colour. For
example, when the brave fighters of the Third Chimurenga took over a farm,
they didn't throw out the workers because they were the wrong colour.
Whatever their reason was, it may not have been clear (it doesn't make any
sense to me), but it certainly wasn't skin colour.

      Someone is trying to confuse us with all this talk about
decolonisation. Decolonising themselves is the last thing they want. For
example, if one of the political leaders is forced by "smart" sanctions to
bring a child or grandchild back from school in Britain, when he or she puts
the child into Murenga High School, won't they want the child to write the
same "A" levels he or she was preparing for in England?

      But our children must write Aeneas Chigwedere's examinations. And how
local is the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation's local content when we see
primary school children showing for hours how they can sing American songs
through their noses just like real Americans? And don't they realise that
all this nose brigade stuff came from a satire by Ngugi wa Thiongo on the
new neo-colonial elite? But that elite have so little sense of humour they
wouldn't recognise a satire if it hit them in the face.

      We certainly need to bury a lot of those exhumed prejudices, bury them
deep, but it doesn't look as if the leaders of the Third Chimurenga are
likely to help us if we get serious about it.
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Daily News - Leader Page

      Give ZBC freedom from this arrogant party

      5/31/02 4:18:44 PM (GMT +2)

      THE charade at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is bound to
continue as long the government believes the corporation's major function
ought to be to spruce up the image of a party that has almost destroyed this
country in 22 years of arrogant and corrupt bungling.

      Whether they choose to call it Vision 30 or Vision 3000, the future of
the ZBC will remain murky as long as there is this determination to keep out
the professionals in running the corporation. Instead, the government
prefers to leave the hands-on administration and the real legwork in the
studios to loyal party people with only half-baked ideas of how a genuine
public broadcasting corporation ought to be run.

      Since independence, there have been so many changes at the ZBC, today
not many people working there know who it stands for - Zanu PF, the
government or Joe Public - the viewers and listeners.

      Any corporation which decides, in one fell swoop, to retrench 60
percent of its workforce is so badly-run everybody responsible for the mess,
including the government department, ought to be sacked. This corporation
exists on public funds and there is a sense among taxpayers that their money
is being frittered away at ZBC, either in grandiose propaganda programmes
for a violent and corrupt party, or in obscenely high salaries for people
who may be favourites of Zanu PF, but have no business being anywhere near a
radio or television studio.

      Zimbabwe abounds with radio and television talent. There are young
people with the potential to become our own Walter Cronkites, David
Dimblebys, David Frosts, Barbara Walterses or Larry Kings. But as long as
the ZBC is tied hand and foot and trapped in a dark corner of Shake Shake
building (the headquarters of Zanu PF), such people will never have the
opportunity to show what stuff they are made of.

      All we will be able to hear and see are the same tired old party
hacks, spewing out party propaganda day in and day out, boring the life out
of viewers and listeners. As long as the government is too frightened of the
truth to allow the private sector to operate even one radio or television
station, they ought to, at the very least, provide radio and TV licence
holders with something more worthwhile than the propaganda rubbish being
served up by ZBC.

      One way in which this can be done, in terms of solid news, is to free
the corporation from the clutches of those tired Zanu PF mandarins who
believe that all life in Zimbabwe revolves around their party.

      The news churned out daily by both the radio and television is so
tainted with party propaganda the government department responsible for ZBC
ought to be
      abolished. Many people now believe that to call the ZBC the public
broadcaster is scandalous, for no public anywhere in the world would
tolerate some of the incredibly crass propaganda peddled as news by the
party hacks.

      It's even more infuriating when the government proclaims that what ZBC
is aiming for is to portray the real Zimbabwean character. Zimbabweans are
not dummies or zombies, willing to swallow every bit of intellectual garbage
dished out by the Zanu PF hacks.As for entertainment and information, the
ZBC has been infiltrated so deeply by the Zanu PF propagandists that most of
its fare is so sub-standard and amateurish it's pathetic.What ZBC needs is a
touch of professionalism, not only in its administration, but also in the
newsrooms and the studio floors.

      At independence, there were a number of Zimbabwean professionals
working for the ZBC. These men and women loved broadcasting and worked with
a love and zeal which brought a certain class to the corporation. Most of
them, because of an obsession with "political correctness", were eased out
of their jobs. Today, the ZBC is a virtual appendage of Zanu PF. Its
performance matches the miserable performance of that party exactly.
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Daily News - Letters

      Law of the jungle now rules

      5/31/02 3:44:01 PM (GMT +2)

      Zimbabwe is a classical case of the old adage: "From the sublime to
the ridiculous." Zimbabwe has been reduced to a jungle where cats, dogs and
baboons roam about. Evidence abounds to suggest that this sorry state of
affairs is real.

      Vice-President Muzenda declared that even if his party puts forward a
baboon as its candidate all party followers should vote for it without
question, implying that the entire membership of his party are all baboons,
the basic premise being that a candidate is voted for by his/her own species
to advance the cause of the group. For instance, people for people, snakes
for snakes and baboons for baboons.

      One disturbing habit about baboons, however, is that they are known to
reap where they did not sow - always.The First Lady referred to all
supporters of the opposition party as cats and dogs. These are sworn
enemies, but can co-exist with the human species.

      The law of the jungle is now the of order of the day in Zimbabwe. The
human species from the international community visit the jungle and muse at
the killings by marauding animals. From their comfort zones, they watch the
sport and declare it is natural for animals to prey on each other, watch
predators, the hunters and the hunted.The Zimbabwean jungle is now a "no-go

      It has been isolated from the rest of the civilised world, but efforts
are afoot to tame the jungle.These questions arise: who is going to tame the
jungle? What does it take to stop the wanton killings? Is it the inhabitants
of the jungle themselves or the international onlookers who should take the
initiative? My answer is: It is the onlooker who sees most of the game. But
remember, when money talks, everyone listens, so who is in charge here? In
the meantime, the King of the Jungle is going to sneak out to some unknown
destination and ultimately fade into oblivion when the forces he has
unleashed seek to devour him!

      We fought a liberation war to free ourselves from the white man, so we
are told. Later on we fought among ourselves so that the white man could
free us from ourselves. If I were God I would use a pitch fork and not a
broom to clean up Zimbabwe. Our grandchildren will never understand why we
fought the white man in the first place.

      Rambakupetwa Mwana Wevhu
      The Diaspora
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Daily News

      US travel agent praises Zimbabwean tourism

      5/31/02 3:29:38 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      JOHN Smith, the head of a group of American travel agents visiting
Zimbabwe on Wednesday skirted questions on political violence in the country
and, instead, praised Zimbabwe as "Africa's paradise".

      Smith, who led an 11-member delegation, told a media briefing at the
end of their 12-day tour that they were impressed by the reception they
received at all the places they visited in Zimbabwe. The tour was organised
by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Zimbabwe Tourism
Authority, who are desperately trying to revive the tourism industry, which
has taken a nose-dive as a result of the lawlessness prevalent countrywide.

      Tourist receipts have dwindled in the past two years following the
government-orchestrated violent takeover of commercial farms by so-called
war veterans, but the government has blamed adverse publicity overseas for
the industry's problems. Zimbabwe's attempts to promote domestic tourism
have achieved relative success although foreigners have been the backbone of
the industry because they bring in scarce foreign currency.

      The American Travel Bureau team pledged to market Zimbabwe as a safe
tourist destination.Asked whether his company would be able to successfully
promote a country still smarting from the violence which characterised the
run-up to the 9-11 March presidential election, Smith said: "We did not come
here to judge the politics." He later added: "When we read the newspapers we
thought we would see riots in the streets but we did not see any. I don't
know where the information in the media is coming from. I am happy to say
Zimbabwe has proven to be Africa's paradise."

      The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority boss, Amos Midzi who is Zanu PF
provincial chairman for Harare province, praised the Americans for pledging
to market Zimbabwe at their convention in the United States
      in September.
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Daily News

      Poachers kill 127 animals on West Nicholson ranch

      5/31/02 3:17:11 PM (GMT +2)

      By Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu

      A TOTAL of 127 animals were found slaughtered by poachers in Barberton
Ranch in the West Nicholson area of Matabeleland South between 1 May 2000
and 31 May, 2001.

      Investigations by The Daily News have established that the ranch lost
21 eland, four giraffe, 13 kudu, 26 zebra, 18 warthog, two waterbuck, six
wildebeest, five sable, seven impala, and one klipspringer.

      The current US dollar prices paid by tourist hunters for trophies of
the various species is $1 000 for an eland, $800 for a giraffe, $2 000 for a
sable, $800 for a waterbuck, $750 for a zebra, $750 for a kudu, $750 for a
wildebeest, $200 for a klipspringer, $150 for an impala and the same for a
warthog.The value of the poached animals was estimated at US$85 500 which,
at the current official exchange rate, is about Z$4 702 500, and Z$30
million on the black market. If this is the trend on other ranches
throughout the country, the amount of foreign currency lost to the nation
would run into billions of dollars.

      Zimbabwe's game is a source of much-needed foreign currency.
Conservancies are great tourist attractions. But from about February 2000,
some of them were invaded by Zanu PF supporters and war veterans as part of
the government's politically motivated land reform programme.

      Some 1 980 wire snares were collected during the period under review.
Each snare measured five metres on average. This means that 9,9km of wire
was used by poachers on Barberton Ranch alone in 13 months.

      Some of the wild animals are sometimes exported live. In such cases,
their prices are higher than those of trophies. For example, an eland would
cost an importer US $60 000 and an impala costs US$6 000.The spate of
lawlessness on some of the ranches became so serious that one safari
operator, Dave Joubert, of Bembesi Safaris in Matabeleland North, on 30
April, 2002, wrote a letter to the Minister of Tourism, Francis Nhema,
threatening to sue the government if it did not take steps to stop the
harassment of his employees and himself by persons he implied were

      Commenting on the letter, Joubert said: "It is important for the
government to maintain an acceptable state of security in the country to
enable tourists to come and go without fear. It is also important to bear in
mind that hunters pay safari operators in foreign currency, every cent of
which is banked in Zimbabwe.

      "I must emphasise that every cent is banked in foreign currency in
this country. So, harassment and violence against safari operators and
anti-poaching patrols is against the country's economic interests."

      Joubert's letter was copied to the Matabeleland North provincial
administrator, the Bubi district administrator, the Inyathi ZRP
officer-in-charge as well as to the offices of the SCI in Africa and in the
United States.The safari operator, however, has not carried out his threat
after he noticed what he termed a substantial improvement in the operations
and attitude of the police, as well as the government's recent order that
all the people who moved into farms and conservancies after 31 March, 2001
should vacate the places and be resettled elsewhere.
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Daily News

      Constabulary members cry foul over non-payment for election duties

      5/31/02 3:12:52 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      MORE THAN 30 members of the Special Constabulary, who were based at
Juru growth point in Murehwa, are accusing the Zimbabwe Republic Police of
failing to pay them more than $500 000 for work done during the March
presidential election.

      Claudius Mapeture, 42, who was based at Mwanza Primary School, in
Murehwa said: "We have exhausted all the channels to get our money for the
past two months. "It is really unfair because we performed our duties quite
well during the election and for the services we offered we get nothing."

      Mapeture said each of them is supposed to get $16 920."The money has
lost value even if we get it now," he said in frustration.A letter dated 22
May 2002 written by the police officer-in-charge at Juru addressed to the
police provincial head in Mashonaland East has the list of all of the unpaid
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Daily News

      Zimta says hundreds of teachers removed from payroll after poll

      5/31/02 3:10:44 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE ZIMBABWE Teachers' Association (Zimta) says hundreds of teachers
in the country were removed from the payroll soon after the March
presidential election.

      In a letter dated 23 May to the permanent secretary of Education,
Sports and Culture, the secretary-general of the 55 000-member Zimta, Denis
Sinyolo, said cases of politically-related violence have made it impossible
for some teachers to return to their schools for the second term.

      Sinyolo said the situation in some schools made it impossible for
teachers to remain in their schools because they have been threatened,
beaten up, and given verbal and written termination of employment notices by
Zanu PF supporters and people claiming to be war veterans.

      "The situation is most disturbing to us. Some teachers have received
death threats and others severely beaten up by war veterans and Zanu PF
youths for supposedly being sympathetic to the opposition MDC," Sinyolo

      In Mashonaland Central province, Sinyolo said, all teachers at
Nyamatikiti Primary School received messages with death threats on arrival
from holiday.
      The headmaster - identified as Machache - fled for his life and the
district education officer for Rushinga and his clerk, a Mr Farawo, had so
far been dismissed by war veterans, Sinyolo said.

      Sinyolo reported an exodus of teachers from Rushinga seeking leave
pending transfers because of continued political violence.

      Meanwhile, the following named teachers with the respective employment
code (EC) numbers had their names removed from their schools pay sheet in
the same province: P Shoko EC number 0882346W and S Taruvinga EC number

      In Masvingo province, at least 16 teachers had their salaries
withdrawn by the Public Service Commission after the presidential election.
Farai Mlambo, EC number 0266793R, of Chatikobo School and Christine Rockson
of Murerekwa School had their salaries withdrawn in March .

      Some of the schools whose teachers had their salaries stopped are
Mushayavanhu, Mafuratidye, Chikwanda, Rumhizha, Machingambi and Svingarimwe.

      Most of the teachers had their salaries withdrawn in March and April,
leaving them with no option but to leave their schools for security
reasons.Manicaland had the highest number of teachers removed from the
payroll with at least 25 teachers.

      In Chimanimani district, seven teachers from Matandeudze School were
removed from the pay sheet in March for supporting the MDC.A district
education officer for Mutare District, only identified as Borerwe, was also

      Other districts affected in the province were Chipinge, Nedziwa, and
      An official in the public relations department at the Ministry of
Education, Sports and Culture who identified himself as Nyanhete said they
had not yet seen the Zimta letter.Sinyolo said the report was "only a tip of
the iceberg" as Zimta simply wanted to authenticate their claims that their
members were under siege from war veterans and Zanu PF supporters.
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Daily News

      Dhlakama narrowly escapes petrol bomb attack on his home

      5/31/02 3:08:12 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      SUSPECTED Zanu PF supporters attacked the home of the Chegutu
executive mayor, Francis Dhlakama, on Monday night, and destroyed a window
in the living room where the mayor was seated after the rest of his family
had gone to bed.

      A police officer in Chegutu said investigations were already underway
to bring the culprits to book. Dhlakama, 48, a member of the opposition MDC,
said on Wednesday he was lucky to have survived the attack, which he
described as potentially deadly.

      Narrating his ordeal, he said at around 11pm, his security guard saw
three men igniting a petrol bomb, which they then threw at the house,
shattering a window in the living room where he was seated.His family
escaped the attack after the petrol bomb failed to explode and only damaged
the window, while the mayor was splashed with the petrol which gushed out of
the explosive.

      Dhlakama attributed the attack to his enemies in the council, saying:
"I have recently ordered an investigation into the financial affairs of
Chegutu Municipality and I suspect this is a warning for me to stop that
      "I asked the internal auditor to do an audit and this is why I am
being attacked. We have evidence of massive corruption in the council and
certain top people will be implicated."

      The mayor said the bomb fell "right over my head" and could have
seriously injured or killed him if it had exploded. Early this year, Zanu PF
thugs besieged the Chegutu Town House, resisting the installation of
Dhlakama as mayor of the town.

      He was finally sworn in after the High Court issued a directive
ordering the
      police and the town clerk to ensure the swearing-in ceremony would not
be disrupted by the violent Zanu PF supporters, whose candidate, Stanley
Majiri, Dhlakama had beaten at the polls.
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Daily News

      Nigeria calls for return to Zanu PF-MDC talks

      5/31/02 2:57:56 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      SULE Lamido, the Nigerian Foreign Minister who arrived in Harare on
Tuesday for talks with President Mugabe, is said to have delivered a letter
from President Olusegun Obasanjo, urging Mugabe to return to the negotiating
table with the MDC.

      Zanu PF pulled out of the talks protesting at the MDC petition
challenging Mugabe's "victory".They said the talks would be put on hold
until the High Court case was finalised.

      Well-placed sources said yesterday the Zanu PF decision to suspend the
talks had displeased Obasanjo and South Africa's Thabo Mbeki, initiators of
the talks between the two parties.Obasanjo has reportedly threatened to
"wash his hands of Zimbabwe" if Mugabe insists he no longer wants to proceed
with the talks. Diplomatic sources
      say Mbeki took a similar stance against Mugabe when his envoy flew
back home following the termination of the talks.

      Obasanjo and Mbeki sent their envoys, Professor Adebayo Adedeji of
Nigeria and Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa, to facilitate the talks early
this month. The facilitators flew back home after Zanu PF called off the
talks, while the MDC said it was prepared to continue with the negotiations.
The MDC argues that the March presidential election was flawed, hence Mugabe
's victory is illegitimate.
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Daily News

      Fearful headmasters turn down donation from MDC

      5/31/02 3:03:00 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      TWO headmasters have returned money donated to their schools by Glen
Norah MP Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, saying they feared they would be
victimised for associating with the MDC.

      Six other headmasters accepted the cheques on behalf of disadvantaged
schoolchildren.But Misihairabwi-Mushonga said yesterday she was surprised
when the cheques sent to Infill and Kudakwashe Primary Schools were returned
to her.

      "It means Zanu PF has turned itself into a terror institution where
civil servants are now afraid to conduct their duties for fear of being
victimised," she said. "At a time when so many people are finding it
difficult to pay school fees, it is astounding that we have such an
environment where pupils are deprived of their right to education because of

      She said she had given out about $5 000 to the various schools so that
the school authorities and the relevant parents' associations could decide
which children should benefit from it.She said the two headmasters had
returned about $750 intended to help any bright child they identified who
could not afford school fees but had been left out under the Basic Education
Assistance Model.

      The government has provided funds to help underprivileged pupils, but
the money is not enough to cater for all disadvantaged children.

      Efforts to contact the headmasters were fruitless yesterday. Bessie
      the Harare regional director for education could not be reached for
comment either. But Misiharabwi-Mushonga said Nhandara had assured her that
it was not government policy to turn down donations.

      "I wanted to start a scholarship fund and call on all former students
to contribute towards that, but with this attitude, we don't know whether we
will be successful. It only shows that the Zanu PF system has failed to work
and it has caused more chaos," the MP said.
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Daily News

      MDC official says disgruntled Zanu PF youths defecting

      5/31/02 2:46:32 PM (GMT +2)

      From Sandra Mujokoro in Bulawayo

      ZANU PF youths who terrorised voters in the run-up to the 9-11 March
presidential election have turned their backs on their organisation because
the party has not paid them.

      An MDC shadow councillor in the Nganunu area of Lupane, Mtewela Dube,
claimed seven of the youths have defected to the MDC and asked him to
procure MDC membership cards for them.Dube showed the reporter the list of
names of the youths but asked that they not be disclosed in the Press for
fear they could be victimised.

      In a letter shown to The Daily News, and reportedly distributed in the
constituency in such areas as Sikhali, Jabiwa, Msewele, Sibombo, and
Siyazizwa, the youths said they regretted having been used by Zanu PF during
the elections. Part of the letter dated 18 May 2002 read: "Zanu PF has
failed to fulfil their promises and we are not happy. The youths are saying
as from today everyone who supports the MDC should go to meetings without
fear. Don't be afraid of the war veterans, we are there, we will protect

      Dube said copies of the letter are posted on trees near boreholes and
dip-tanks. "They have realised the futility of their violent activities on
behalf of Zanu PF, and that they were being used and are now turning away
from violence," said Dube.

      Lupane was one of the most volatile areas in Matabeleland North during
the election period. A Zanu PF youth provincial chairman, Limukani Luphahla,
was murdered just before the elections. Zanu PF youths in Bulawayo have
demanded the $18 000 each promised to them by the party if it won the

      More than half of the more than 5 000 youths who were in the militia
camps in Bulawayo left to rejoin their families after they had waited in
vain for payment. Some of those remaining are now based at a house in
Nkulumane suburb where living conditions are reportedly deplorable.
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Daily News

      Lawyer accuses AG's Office of delaying hearing of ZBC case

      5/31/02 2:40:21 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE government and Zanu PF have been accused of deliberately delaying
the hearing of the Supreme Court case filed by Capital Radio, challenging
the constitutionality of some sections of the Broadcasting Act passed into
law in controversial circumstances last year.

      Responding to an application by the State for a second postponement of
the matter, Senior Advocate Adrian de Bourbon, said the delays by government
departments, such as the Civil Division of the Attorney General's Office,
were perpetuating the monopoly of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation

      He said ZBC continued to be the sole broadcaster, despite the
enactment of laws meant to free the airwaves. De Bourbon said ever since the
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe was set up last year under the
Broadcasting Act, no privately-owned broadcasting station had been
established in Zimbabwe.
      Joy TV, the only other television station in the country, is
officially supposed to stop broadcasting today (31 May).

      "The people of this country have been deprived of their constitutional
right and the Civil Division wants to perpetuate that. The time has come to
cut the knot of this monopoly," said De Bourbon.

      For the State, Yvonne Dondo of the AG's Office, representing Jonathan
Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity, applied for a
two-week postponement to enable her to file heads of argument.

      Dondo said she had noted that her papers were not in order two days
ago and she needed time to file heads of argument on behalf of the
      She said the problem had been caused by the fact that the officer
dealing with the matter retired from government service last month and the
matter had not been timeously allocated to another law officer.

      Dondo blamed the serious staff shortage at the AG's Office for the
inconvenience that often leads to delays. But De Bourbon objected to her
application, saying the government was simply buying time. He said the
matter had been conveniently delayed until well after the March presidential
election, won controversially by President Mugabe.

      De Bourbon said there was a perception among the public that the
matter had been deliberately delayed to entrench the monopoly of the ZBC,
particularly during the run-up to the elections when an alternative
broadcasting station was needed for campaigns.

      "There is no doubt that the ZBC monopoly has been maintained
throughout the presidential elections. The perception is that this matter is
being deliberately delayed. The monopoly of the ZBC is unconstitutional."
But Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku granted the State a postponement to 19
June and ordered the AG's Office to file the outstanding papers by 7 June.
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--> The international press continues to misquote stats on Zim and always refers
to us by racial mix.

 This article states that 70 % of the country’s land belongs to “whites”.
This is a drastic error. Only around 28% of land belongs to COMMERCIAL
FARMERS of all races!!  This needs to be corrected at every opportunity as
it simply plays into the hands of the masters of thuggery.

Please see below.

Simon Spooner

LAND (The non issue)  March 2000

The so-called land issue really should not even be considered as an issue as
it is a by-product of the negative implications of non-existent economic
policy.  By going back to basics, we can see a clear vision of what our
Country’s problems really are.  Land has been made an emotional issue
through twenty years of brow beating to the extent that bonafide citizens of
this Country have been classified as criminals and are even beginning to
believe it.

The Helen Suzman Foundation clearly has shown, through its opinion polls,
that well over 80% of rural people do not consider land as a major issue.

Yet, how many of us are convinced otherwise including policy makers and
campaign strategists of the MDC.  We are falling into a trap that has been
set by Zanu!  We know that 90+% of rural high school leavers have no
intention of remaining with their parents but intend to seek employment in
the cities.  Their very education, and quality of it, adds to this
conviction.  As we know the youth are the future and are also most certainly
are the present, in that they are probably the single most important group
in terms of giving Zanu the boot in the forth-coming elections.

As an African and being from the plaas, l hope that l qualify in some way in
presenting this argument.  Points to consider:

1.  As l argued successfully with two UZ professors who produced a book
essentially claiming that this Country belongs exclusively to the Shona
speaking people, we are all guests in this Country.  The San people are the
only group who can claim originality in this part of Africa.  The Bantu
moved here from the Twelfth Century onwards and subsequently the Amandeble
just prior to the white man and the Cape coloureds.  If we really split
hairs, the Portuguese came here in 1580 and so it goes on.

2.  When sophisticated farming came to this country, it found the heavy
soils largely unattended, as they were hard to work.  They happened to be
the more fertile.  The vast mass of this country was unoccupied but, where
agriculture existed and developed in subsistence areas, they gravitated to
the light sandy soils, which were easy to cultivate. The wealthiest soils in
Zimbabwe are the poorest!! These are suitable for tobacco.

3.  Everywhere in the world it is an absolute minority of people that farm
the land on a professional sophisticated basis.  This is simply the case
because overseas, the owner does the farming plus handful of labourers if he
is lucky.  Only 14% of Australians “live on the land” -  owners, their
workers and families.  In Africa (Zimbabwe) this is vastly different.  The
owners are very small in number but they, their workers and families
constitute over 20% of the country’s population.

4.  As regards land area, the sophisticated farmer in this country owns only
20.6% of the total land area and, whilst the majority may be “white” there
are many coloureds, Asians and also blacks not to mention the seven thousand
Bantu people who farm commercially on a smaller scale basis. They are large
scale farmers and can only succeed economically by having large operations.

5.  The land mass of this country is never to increase and it is a finite
resource.  We cannot go on indefinitely reclaiming commercial land for
peasant agriculture based on the fallacy of believing that population
pressure will demand it.  Firstly we know that land is not the issue but the
economy and the jobs and wealth that it should provide.  Secondly Zimbabwe
probably has one and a half million people less than officially acknowledged
and next year we are believed to reach a negative population growth rate due
to the scourge of Aids.

6.  One hectare of roses employs thirty people and Zimbabwe now has more
green housing than Holland.  Does a one-hectare or twenty hectares “rose
factory” constitute a farm?  Where is the dividing line between factory
production and farming production?  What about dairies as milk factories?
When does a peri-urban plot become a farm and vulnerable to acquisition? Do
these very points not illustrate the fallacy yet again of this land issue

7.  It should be noted at this point that the average farm worker earns
three times the income of a communal farmer.

8.  For some peculiar reason, foreign landholders almost head the queue when
it comes to seeking areas for resettlement!  Is the MDC aware that the Dutch
have invested millions in our horticultural industry and have lent us
technology that has employed tens of thousands of Zimbabweans and which
earns us huge amounts of forex (10 - 16 billion a year).  In addition, we
have those that have invested in hunting and safari operations, which very
easily merge into the hospitality industry (lodges).  Where is the dividing
line to give justification to those who wish to take land?  Will we not be
taking from those who are employed in these labour intensive industries and
giving to those who really constitute people of middle age who actually have
traditional land in communal areas.  Zanu’s existing policy actually
encourages economic migrants and investors in our agriculture.  These people
strongly support democracy and are some of the most generous donors towards
bringing the reality to fruition.

9.  Foreign investment is encouraged in all industries but is it to be
outlawed or be discouraged in industries that happen to bear the unfortunate
label of “farming”.  Is this not hypocrisy?

10.    Are we not witnessing the targeting of a group of productive
professional people who, in actual fact, are the front line in defending a
viable economy and a prosperous people, as well as a front line in
confronting the onslaught of an evil and greedy regime?

11.    More than 70% of all commercial farms have changed hands since 1980
and not only that, but under the hostile and racist gaze of a Government.
This is surely, under these extraordinary circumstances, one of the most
profound gestures of commitment to and patriotism for our Country.  These
new owners are often university educated and have made a new start in what
they thought was a new country excepting that their investment and
dedication would be within the constraints of a nationalist mentality

12.    When l worked for the Department of Lands and Natural Resources, our
members were devoted, along with ADF, Conex and others, to promoting wise
land use with the peasants.  This country proudly was heralded as the best
conserved in the world and any flight over the  former TTLs would vindicate
this by the mass of contoured lands.  Master Farmers abounded and
productivity rose.  Irrigation schemes were set up in each tribal area with
a view to feeding the whole population in the event of drought.  Farmers and
ADF arranged the use of pedigree bulls and technical extension was on the
increase from groundnuts to beef and maize.  The point here is that land
mass is not an issue either, but productivity.

13.    If you were to read the notes of the NC's (Native Commissioners),
land that was allocated to protect tribal people from the incessant advance
of development by miners and farmers. They (NC’s) would often ride for hours
on horseback to move from one group of huts to the next, running the
gauntlet of elephant, buffalo and lion.  The vast percentage of land was not

14.    I participated as one of two surveyors in the very first land
settlement scheme (Soti Source, just North of Gutu) and l was witness to the
hypocrisy of Zanu right at the very beginning.  We surveyed electricity,
water, school sites, arable land etc. and the PC’s and Mujiba, along with
Gutu Zanu business people, ended up with the land and turned it into a
desert in a very short time.  At most, Badza and a small packet of seed was

15a.   9 million hectares of land has been acquired (legally) since 1980.
Only 20% has been settled - most in a haphazard way.

15b.   900 commercial farms have been “acquired” and sold or
leased under dubious terms to Zanu officials and their friends.  Most farms
are now derelict and less than 10% are believed to be even productive.

15c.   There are other large areas of State land particularly in the
             West of the country, which are under utilised.

15d.   We have available the vast areas owned by the Cold Storage (CSC) and
also ARDA.

15e.   Van Hoogenstraten (Zanu supporter) owns nearly one percent of
Zimbabwe’s land.

Why do we need land for the “landless”(jobless)?

16.    Between 45 and 50% of all forex is earned by 20% of our    landmass -
large-scale commercial farming.  This same business is the largest single
employer in the country.

17.    We ask why all of the above and really it boils down to the fact that
if you are a “white” African and are not associated with the ruling regime,
you have no legitimacy!  It is largely racial and a question of the greedy
endeavouring to get their hands on one of the most efficient and productive
agricultural economies in the world.

They are simply either using the wealth that they hope to grab as their
reason or politically promote the issue as the “haves” and “haves not” in an
attempt to lure votes from the povo.

To answer on the land policy:

1.  Every country in the world has a land utilisation policy to enable it to
build roads, cities etc.

2.  The MDC will acquire land for various uses such as irrigation schemes,
eco tourism development (cross border wildlife area/RSA, Zim and Moz) as
well as specific agricultural developmental areas.  They will develop
commercial agriculture out of peasant subsistence and additional land may be
required for that.  This should be together with education and extension to
ensure that productivity does not suffer.  All sectors of society,
irrespective of race, must b encouraged to take up farming as a business.

3.  The MDC will adopt land title as a corner stone of its policy which will
at the same time depoliticise land altogether.  Title will ensure that
intensive development will take place in the over 23 million hectares of
communal and resettlement land.  Ncube or Chifamba will be able to borrow
three hundred thousand dollars, put down a borehole and install a small
irrigation scheme and employ labour as a result.  In the local business
centre he will require the services of a light engineering works,
electricians, plumbers, suppliers of seed and fertiliser and so on.  This
will create wealth on a wide scale and ensure that this vast swathe of land
becomes productive to the point where it no longer subsists, but a cash
economy flourishes that earns forex and employs others in the area.  These
two gentlemen can then purchase other title deeds and expand.  They in turn
will attract investment from established commercial farmers and outside
interests and so on.

The original commercial farming sector will be encouraged to expand their
contact with previously communal farmers, extend the field days and
extension work and, as a result, community relations will improve not to
mention race/tribal relations - Wealth creation not land occupation

In other words, it is not about land mass and land area, but about
productivity and wealth creation.  The present population density of the
communal areas is only 30 souls per square kilometre vs. 20 per square
kilometre in commercial farms!

Can you imagine highly organised structures (kibbutz like) where neat and
tidy community centres are built with infrastructure alongside irrigation
schemes, designated arable lands and fenced grazing areas.

Will there be a need for more land?  NO.  We have the means and the capacity
to create wealth amongst those that remain rural probably largely as
traditional homes and then industrialise for the educated majority.

4.  With industrialisation for which this country has enormous potential
when we look at the incredible mineral, agricultural and human resources the
urban drift will be accommodated.  Just look at agriculture and you have
tanneries, meat works, jam factories, textile mills, shoe manufactures,
cigarette manufactures and tobacco processing and so on and so on.  This is
before we even begin to consider the enormity of the potential in other
industrial areas.  The excess “labour pool” emanating from rural schools and
institutions will be accommodated.  This is a fantastic resource being
wasted.  Go back to the Rhodesian days when there was no “land pressure” as
at Christmas time the Foreman would ask his workers to please bring their
brothers and cousins as we are short of workers.  We had to cross our
borders and ended up with hundreds of thousands of Malawians and
Mozambiqueans most of whom have been treated as second-class citizens in the
country they call their home.

5.  If we set guidelines and tax on the basis of productivity (very
positive) will not the new commercial farmer fall victim to this policy as
he may not have the productive capacity to exonerate himself from this
additional tax.

In essence a business is being mad a scapegoat and used as a political
football.  We must not fall into the trap of putting these frontline troops
in the trenches only to subject them to a firing squad when the battle is
won.  These people are a community themselves, they earn 35% of all the
country’s foreign currency and 40% of GDP and are some of the world’s most
sophisticated and productive farmers producing the world’s finest cotton,
tobacco, beef, flowers and vegetables.

They provide employment for around five hundred thousand people; have
instituted health education programmes, Aids awareness, technical extension,
education, and are a huge buying power for the rest of the economy from coal
to machinery and packaging.

No matter what their colour, their farm is their home (they know no other),
their profession and their livelihood.

Simon Spooner

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