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

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      War vets seize new farms

      Staff Reporter
      6/20/02 4:15:51 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - Fresh farm occupations have surfaced on commercial farms in
Nyamandlovu, with armies of suspected ruling ZANU PF supporters and their
war veterans disrupting game hunts by foreign hunters, farming officials
said yesterday.

      The farm occupiers have taken Porta Farm, Sailor Jack Farm and
Ladywell Farms - three prime properties with an assortment of game in
Nyamandlovu, 60 km north of here - disrupting tourism activities in safari
camps within the commercial farms.

      "Today a Mr Amos Mkhwananzi and his family came to claim part of my
farm together with another gentleman I presume to be from the Ministry of
Youth as he was driving a government vehicle plate number GYD 25," Porta
Farm owner Wally Herbst said yesterday.

      Herbst, who doubles-up as the Matabeleland chairman of the Wildlife
Society of Zimbabwe, said: "They (the invaders) have made themselves at home
in my safari camp against my wishes and alas I have some clients coming from
America for a hunt."

      He said police had been informed of the farm occupation.

      "We hope for some reaction from the police. If these people are not
moved out, Zimbabwe will lose millions in hard currency this year because
these people have vowed there will be no hunting on this farm and that the
Ministry of Environment and Tourism has no right to issue permits to persons
not Zimbabwean. My parents were both born here as was I," Herbst said.

      When this reporter phoned the farm in Nyamandlovu yesterday morning,
Mkhwananzi, the self-styled commander of farm occupations in the area, was
reportedly visiting farms in Tsholotsho district, about 60 kms away, and not

      Herbst said if he was prevented from hosting his clients booked at his
safari camp, he was likely to lose about US$100 000.

      "This will be a huge lose for just one farmer. Police should move them
out, they have forced their way into my safari camp."

      According to the commercial farmer, about 20 invaders have built a
cattle kraal about 10 metres from one of the chalets in the safari camp
within the property.

      "I am expecting four hunters on July 2, four hunters in August, one in
September and several tourists in October. I am fully booked for November
and December. All these activities could seriously be affected by this new
development," a worried Herbst said.

      Brian Queri of Sailor Jack Farm said: "On June 14 2002, American
clients were brought to the farm to hunt. After shooting one trophy, an
eland bull, the war veterans informed my foreman that no one had the right
to hunt and threatened to beat him and the game scouts if the hunting did
not stop."

      Meanwhile, Environment and Tourism permanent secretary Lucas Tavaya
this week told parliamentarians at a pre-budget meeting in Harare that
poaching on Matabeleland farms had reached alarming proportions.

      Tavaya, who has just concluded a tour of the province, said: "After
the farmers have been served with Section 8 orders, they move off the farm
and the new owners are taking over both the land and the animals.

      "I can tell you there is Christmas going on in these farms."

      Tavaya said the poaching was no longer confined to locals but people
from as far away as Bulawayo were driving to other areas in the province to
kill game for resale in the city which, like most areas of Zimbabwe, is
experiencing severe food shortages.

      Tavaya said at one police station he passed through during his tour,
he was shocked when officers there offered him roast game meat.

      More than 50 percent of Zimbabwe's wildlife has been decimated by
poaching since the start of the government-encouraged farm invasions in
February 2000. As a result, the country's wildlife and tourism industry has
lost more over $6 billion in revenue - or about two percent of Zimbabwe's
total domestic debt.

      The fresh farm seizures coincide with belated efforts by the
government to remove the invaders from land not targeted for acquisition by
the government, which the invaders are resisting.
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      Police ordered to remove settlers

      Staff Reporter
      6/20/02 4:16:49 AM (GMT +2)

      HIGH Court judge Rita Makarau has ordered the police to immediately
remove illegal settlers from permanent buildings on Rainham Estates in Mount
Hampden to allow owner John Dawson to return to the property.

      In a provisional ruling granted last Friday and seen yesterday, the
judge said Dawson must be allowed to resume farming on the property,
although the settlers will remain there. The farm has lost $400 million
worth of equipment to the ocuppiers.

      Justice Makarau said the police should ensure Dawson's personal safety
and the return of management and workers evicted by the settlers in March.

      "The applicants and all workers employed on Rainham Estate, together
with members of their families, (must) be entitled forthwith to return to
Rainham Estate and continue, without hindrance or obstruction, normal
farming operations," part of the provisional ruling reads.

      She said the respondents in the case should not take any action
against the farm because it has not been served with an eviction notice
under Section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act.

      The property is only subject to a Section 5 preliminary notification
that the government wishes to acquire it.

      The respondents in the case include Agriculture Minister Joseph Made,
Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, Security Minister Nicholas Goche and
Mashonaland West provincial governor Peter Chanetsa.

      In addition to the $400 million worth of equipment seized by the
invaders, Rainham Estate is said to have lost an export tomato crop valued
at over $4 million which was harvested by the settlers.

      A cottage industry manufacturing butter and cheese also had to be
closed down, leading to the loss of six jobs.

      In affidavits filed with the High Court, farm manager Robert Dawson
said a contractor hired on April15 2002 to harvest 130 hectares of soyabeans
valued at $18 million was also prevented by invaders from entering the farm.

      He said officials from the Agricultural and Rural Development
Authority (ARDA) illegally harvested the 130 hectares of soyabeans in May.

      During harvesting, 21 tonnes of soyabeans were bagged and stolen and
the farm's seven tonne truck, valued at $18 million, was used to transport
the crop and never returned.

      Dawson said he was told by ARDA that the soyabean crop would be sold
and harvesting costs would be deducted and the balance remitted to him.

      There was no comment this week from ARDA.
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      Defiant illegal settlers vow to stay put at farm

      Staff Reporters
      6/20/02 4:29:13 AM (GMT +2)

      ILLEGAL settlers camped outside Harare fortified their positions
yesterday and refused to budge from the farm they have occupied since 2000
in what is the first real test of President Robert Mugabe's self-inflicted

      The settlers, some of whom spent the entire day yesterday camped at
the ruling ZANU PF's national headquarters in Harare, vowed to stay put at
White Cliff farm, which was among the first white-owned commercial farms to
be occupied by Mugabe's supporters when the current land grab started in
February 2000.

      "No one told us to move here in the first place and no one should
(now) come and tell us to move from this farm," one of the squatters,
Cuthbert Muchaneta, declared yesterday.

      They accused government ministers of being used to peddling the
interests of whites and of acting without the approval of Mugabe.

      In a show of defiance, the sellers vowed they would only leave if told
to do by Mugabe and also on condition that they were moved to a better farm
close to Harare.

      "As war veterans, we are not happy about these willy-nilly evictions
at Snake Park," said one of them who spoke on condition of not being named.

      The settlers, some of whom have constructed houses on pieces of land
parcelled out by the war veterans, spoke as the leadership of the Zimbabwe
National Liberation War Veterans Association met Local Government Minister
Ignatius Chombo over the same issue yesterday.

      The meeting, which started in the afternoon, was still going on last

      "I will only be able to talk to you after the meeting," Chombo told
the Financial Gazette.

      Chombo had given the settlers up to Tuesday to move out of the farm as
part of the government's effort to move squatters to farms taken by the
government for the resettlement of the landless.

      Only those who occupied farms up to March 31 2001 or are on farms
already earmarked for seizure by the government are being spared.

      But the government, which encouraged the illegal occupations in the
run-up to parliamentary elections in 2000 and the presidential ballot in
March this year, has faced stiff opposition from the settlers.

      In southern Masvingo province where the evictions started a month ago,
most of the evicted settlers are reported to have either seized new farms or
returned to the land where they had been evicted from.

      The government, in a rare act of admission of failure, now says it
wants to resettle the occupiers in an orderly manner, admitting that its
land reforms had indeed been chaotic.

      At least nine white farmers have been murdered during the farm
seizures and hundreds of black workers assaulted or tortured by militant
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FinGaz - Comment

      Where to now?

      6/20/02 2:59:33 AM (GMT +2)

      AN African visitor to Zimbabwe this week remarked how, shortly after
arriving at the eerily silent Harare Airport, he saw a middle-aged man
furiously cycling home, his 20-kilogramme bag of mealie-meal tucked at the
back of his bicycle.

      As the visitor entered the city centre proper, he was greeted by a
police road block where jittery officers, some armed, were quizzing

      Further down the road, the visitor's attention was caught by queues of
Zimbabweans laying siege to several supermarkets either selling mealie-meal,
cooking oil or sugar.

      The visitor, who last came to Harare more than a decade ago, was
overheard asking someone: "What's gone wrong in Zimbabwe?"

      The answer is: virtually anything which could go wrong has, and the
country is at breaking point.

      Annualised inflation is running at a record high of 122 percent and is
edging up further, which means that only a few people can afford most basic
goods and companies can hardly keep up with rising output costs.

      Joblessness is nearing 70 percent and still more productive firms are
shutting their doors, throwing more workers onto the streets in a classic
textbook example of stagflation.

      Absolute poverty is now affecting 80 percent of the population, which
can hardly have three meals a day, and more people look set to join these
ranks sooner rather than later.

      The food shortages, the foreign currency crisis and a heightened
crackdown on dissent complete a grim picture of a country that is
dangerously racing towards an implosion just when the rest of Africa is on
the threshold of a promising economic future.

      Harare Airport is a silent ghost of its former self because virtually
all international airlines have pulled out of Zimbabwe in the same manner
the rest of the world is shunning the country and its leadership.

      Instead of tackling these deep-seated and worsening problems and
grievances, the government has chosen the iron fist to subdue an angry and
hungry populace.

      The heightened state of alert of the security forces, the clamp on any
gatherings, the mass arrests of opposition followers and attempts to black
out news by licensing and harassing journalists mark new depths of
dictatorship in Zimbabwe.

      The government, using clearly unconstitutional laws bulldozed through
Parliament where it commands the majority seats, has virtually declared a
state of emergency in the hope that this will buy it more time.

      It is apparent that hardliners within the administration, fearful of
losing their jobs, have an upper hand now. They are pushing for even tougher
measures against opponents - real or imagined - and to damn the entire

      But things cannot go on as they are and they won't. Zimbabwe's whole
social, economic and political fabric is collapsing. Sadly so is governance.

      Brute force is not the answer to the problems, however overwhelming.
Nor is it sustainable. If anything, it will compound an already bad
situation and most likely trigger social and political upheaval.

      Zimbabwe needs a new beginning, a fresh start firmly anchored in
durable peace and internationally accepted standards and norms of good
political and economic governance, which the present leadership regards as

      Zimbabwe needs a new and fired-up leadership, which has workable ideas
that will pull the country out of its madness and growing social and
economic pain.

      Unfortunately the longer the authorities dither on taking the
necessary action, the greater will be the pain for all in the land and the
more limited the government's own options.

      Right now, many in the country are asking aloud whether there is
anyone in charge of the nation's affairs. The country is hurtling from one
crisis to another, literally living by the grace of God and living for the

      We do accept that at times brave men and women do take things to the
wire just to try their luck, but Zimbabwe's unfolding crisis is too close to

      Where do we go from here?
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      Mugabe faces moment of truth

      By Nqobile Nyathi Assistant Editor
      6/20/02 4:26:53 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S government faces tough decisions amid renewed international
pressure and as the introduction of flour rationing threatens to bring the
country's worst economic and humanitarian crisis to a head in the next few
      Analysts this week said the ZANU PF-led government and Zimbabwe as a
whole faced mounting pressures that could finally prove to be the last straw
for a country already battling economic collapse and serious food shortages
that threaten at least six million people, about half the population.

      "We are headed for disaster unless there is a rethink, a tough
rethink, immediately," political commentator Masipula Sithole told the
Financial Gazette.

      The analysts said there was a resurgence of international interest in
Zimbabwe, which has been slapped with a 12-month suspension from the

      International funders such as the International Monetary Fund and the
World Bank have cut off aid.

      Members of Zimbabwe's ruling elite have also been banned from
travelling to the European Union (EU), the United States of America, New
Zealand and Switzerland in protest against government policies and the March
presidential election which they say was not free and fair.

      "There's been no change in the situation since these measures were
implemented and the thinking seems to be that more should be done," a
Harare-based Western diplomat said.

      Already, the United States has indicated it is considering further
measures against President Robert Mugabe's government.

      Australian Prime Minister John Howard was last week said to be
considering discussions with South Africa and Nigeria, part of the troika
that recommended Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth, about taking
tougher action against Zimbabwe's leadership.

      The General Affairs Council of the EU, some of whose parliamentarians
are pressing for an extension of smart sanctions against Zimbabwean
officials, on Monday resolved to liaise with southern African and
international leaders to identify further action to resolve the Zimbabwean

      But the analysts said the greatest pressure on Mugabe's government was
likely to come from the home front, especially looming urban starvation.

      Zimbabwe's urban population is already facing unemployment of over 60
percent, inflation of 122.5 percent, soaring commodity and drug prices -
which rose 200 percent last week - and shortages of basic commodities, drugs
and foreign currency.

      The situation is bound to worsen following the decision by millers at
the end of last week to ration flour after the state-run Grain Marketing
Board, which has accused milling companies of hoarding wheat, slashed
supplies of the commodity by 50 percent.

      "Some of the millers have already advised bakeries in writing that
their supplies have been cut by 40, 50 or 60 percent, whatever the case may
be," said an official of the National Bakers' Association.

      Baking industry officials said the rationing of flour would force some
bakeries to cut back on production, triggering bread shortages and forcing
more people out of work.

      Bread shortages could be disastrous for urban families, many of which
have substituted the staple mealie meal for bread because of severe maize
shortages caused by drought and the seizures of farm land by ruling party

      The analysts warned that bread shortages could trigger the civil
unrest threatened by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) and which the government is desperately trying to stave off.

      Economic consultant John Robertson said: "I think that could tip the
scale and bring about the unrest that government is trying to prevent.

      "The population is running out of patience and we could get that
social uprising coming out of a feeling of resentment and not party

      "It won't be inspired by the MDC but simply by the fact that people
resent watching their children getting thinner and thinner."

      Sithole added: "Starving people are angry people and what adds insult
to injury is that all this is uncalled for.

      "A change of mind in the government is all that's required to reverse
the impending disaster."

      The analysts said the government might be forced to make tough
decisions about interest rates that are being maintained at sub-economic
levels and about devaluing the Zimbabwe dollar, pegged at $55 against the US
dollar for the past 20 months despite soaring inflation and severe hard
currency shortages.

      But experts pointed out that only a combination of economic and
political changes would trigger international aid and halt the country's
descent into chaos.

      Andrew Nongogo, a spokesman for civic society coalition Crisis in
Zimbabwe, said: "I think the government might be planning to make monumental
decisions in August, when the land reform programme ends.

      "There might be some painful decisions about the Zimbabwe dollar, the
composition of the government and whether to re-engage the MDC in talks.

      "The solution is not just an economic one but a political solution as

      Robertson added: "I imagine they must be trying to make decisions, but
I don't see what options they have left.

      "It seems to me they are running out of road and where can you turn
when everything is broken?"

      Political scientists said the best solution to Zimbabwe's problems
might be for ZANU PF to throw in the towel and call for a new presidential
election that would be run by the United Nations to ensure that its results
are accepted by the main political parties, the public and the international

      This would unlock international goodwill and foreign resources that
would assist the country to stave off mass starvation and avert social

      University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eliphas
Mukonoweshuro said: "Zimbabwe has been experiencing a crisis of governance,
a crisis of unparalleled proportions resulting from the general perception
that the ZANU PF government is not legitimate.

      "A responsible government would put in place measures to ensure that
the crisis is resolved quickly and to the good of the nation.

      "The effective international community is not likely to change its
conviction that the present government came to power through illegitimate
means. Parading countries like China and Libya as the international
community will not help us because they don't have the resources to assist

      "What is needed now are men and women of courage within ZANU PF who
can accept that this is a crisis of legitimacy and the only way to resolve
the crisis is to step down. This takes patriots who can put the country
before self interest."

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      Use of arms training: state drops charges against cop

      6/20/02 4:23:07 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - The state has withdrawn charges of training opposition MDC
youths in the use of arms of war levelled against the officer-in-charge of
West Nicholson police station for lack of evidence.

      Josphat Tshuma of law firm Web Low and Barrow said yesterday the state
had declined to prosecute his client, Chief Khumalo, and had thus withdrawn
the charges on Monday this week when Khumalo briefly appeared before
Bulawayo magistrate Elizabeth Rutsape.

      "The state declined to prosecute him because of lack of evidence
incriminating my client," Tshuma said.

      "He has been removed from remand after all the torture and humiliation
he suffered since his arrest and subsequent detention late last year. It
puts into question the whole concept of arresting before instituting
investigations," he added.

      Khumalo had been in remand since December last year after being
arrested for allegedly training MDC youths in the use of arms of war on
white-owned farms in West Nicholson between February 2000 and May 2001.

      The state alleged that Khumalo, the officer-in-charge of West
Nicholson at the time of his arrest, recruited an unspecified number of MDC
youths from the surrounding farms and assigned two of his subordinates to
train them in the use of military weapons to destabilise Zimbabwe.

      Khumalo had denied the charges.

      - Staff Reporter
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      Govt policies derail forestry project

      Staff Reporter
      6/20/02 2:33:32 AM (GMT +2)

      A REGIONAL forestry initiative supposed to benefit poor rural
communities in southern Africa is being hampered by government policies,
according to project representatives from Cameroon, Ghana, Malawi and

      The programme, which is run under the Centre for International
Forestry Research (CIFOR), develops management systems that enable rural
populations to utilise forest resources for income-generation and
subsistence, as long as they regenerate these resources.

      For example, populations using grass or trees would have to ensure
that they replanted these to ensure that resources are not depleted.

      But the team leader of the Zimbabwean side of the project, Frank
Matose, said forest resources had become areas of conflict between the
government and local communities, with the latter claiming the right to the
resources because of proximity or historical connections to the forests.

      In Zimbabwe, government policy on natural resource management has
focused mainly on privatisation or nationalisation of forests, ignoring the
communal management option.

      "Most of the policies related to forests are directed towards limiting
commercial exploitation of woodlands with little regard to sustainable
utilisation and management," Matose said.

      "This has resulted in some people being moved from state forests and
failing to access the forest resources which are either prohibited or
controlled through licences and permits."

      Cameroon, Ghana and Malawi have also faced similar problems, with some
of their forests being turned into grazing areas or agricultural land.

      Cameroon, where forestry last year accounted for about 3.5 percent of
gross domestic product and employed 104 000 people, has however introduced a
policy that allows local councils and communities to manage forest

      Cameroon team leader George Akwah said: "Although this policy is meant
to provide 100 percent forest logging revenues to local managing communities
to alleviate poverty, the legalisation is unafford-able to them."

      Although other governments are increasingly recognising that they have
insufficient funds to continue policing natural resource utilisation and
management, existing legislation does not provide for community
participation in the management of forests.

      In Zimbabwe, the CIFOR project is being implemented at Mapfungautsi in
Gokwe, where the communal people are managing, harvesting and selling broom

      The local representatives of the CIFOR programme hope to use the
project to show how rural populations can benefit from forestry management
projects, in the hope that the Zimbabwean government will be encouraged to
remove legislation standing in the way of similar schemes.
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      Blacklisting dims Zim's economic prospects

      Joseph Ngwawi
      6/20/02 2:42:14 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S tottering economy is expected to plunge deeper into chaos
in the next few months as the suspension of technical assistance by the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) takes a heavy toll on the country's
fragile industry and financial markets, analysts said this week.

      The IMF, which was owed about US$132 million ($7.3 billion) in arrears
as at June 12 2002 by the Zimbabwean authorities, last week adopted a
declaration of non-cooperation regarding Harare's overdue financial
obligations, a development which led to the suspension of technical
assistance to the southern African country.

      Zimbabwe has been in default on its commitments to the IMF since
February last year despite continuous pledges by Finance Minister Simba
Makoni to settle the arrears.

      The declaration of non-cooperation is one of the remedial measures
taken by the IMF to encourage members who fail to settle overdue financial
obligations to undertake economic policies that would enable them to
timeously meet their commitments.

      Analysts this week said Zimbabwe's blacklisting by the IMF would
worsen the country's foreign currency crisis and delay the lifting of a lid
on interest rates maintained by the government since January 2001.

      Consultant economist John Robertson said the move by the IMF further
dented Zimbabwe's already tattered image and would fuel a biting shortage of
hard cash which has gripped the country since 1999.

      "It effectively shows that we have fallen off the world map, which is
why we have to work even harder to restore our credibility as a country,"
Robertson said.

      University of Zimbabwe business lecturer Anthony Hawkins said:
"Image-wise, this will send the wrong message to banks or other people who
want to lend to Zimbabwe."

      Zimbabwe has been in the throes of a crushing foreign currency crisis
since October 1999 when the IMF pulled the plug on the country in protest
against the failure by President Robert Mugabe to implement agreed economic

      The suspension of IMF technical assistance is expected to further
alienate Zimbabwe, which has earned a pariah status since Mugabe sanctioned
the illegal occupation of white-owned commercial farms by his supporters in

      Other multilateral financial institutions such as the World Bank and
the African Development Bank, which were owed US$109.7 million and US$135
million in arrears at the end of April 2002, are expected to follow the IMF'
s cue and also harden their own stance on Zimbabwe.

      The analysts said the latest development was also likely to force
Makoni to retain the expansionary monetary policy he has pursued for the
past 17 months.

      Under the policy, criticised by some economists as feeding into
Zimbabwe's bloated money supply and inflation, Makoni has deliberately kept
interest rates low in an attempt to cushion the government from the high
cost of borrowing.

      "We now don't see the minister allowing rates to go up, particularly
as they are failing to meet the cost of food imports planned for this year,"
said an economist with a Harare commercial bank.

      Reports in the Zimbabwean media this week indicated that the
government had failed to raise from international donors more than US$200
million needed to import grain to feed millions of starving villagers.

      This means that the bulk of the funds for food imports will need to be
mobilised from the domestic banking sector, and allowing interest rates to
rise would significantly push up the government's expenditure for the
current fiscal year ending December 31 2002.

      The news of the IMF's suspension of technical assistance to Zimbabwe
came in the wake of a dramatic collapse of the Zimbabwe-United States dollar
exchange rate in the past few weeks on the parallel foreign exchange market.

      Currency dealers said the American greenback was now trading at
between 750 and 800 Zimbabwe dollars on the unofficial market compared to 55
Zimbabwe dollars on the official market.

      "This represents a premium of over 1 000 percent over the official
exchange rate," one dealer said.

      Meanwhile, the money market is expected to slide in shortages in the
next few weeks as companies move to meet the June 30 deadline for corporate
tax payments.

      "The corporate tax payments will wipe out liquidity from the market
right up to the end of the month but we don't expect much movement in
rates," a money market dealer at a Harare commercial bank told the Financial

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      Men and women who brought Africa to its knees

      Marko Phiri
      6/20/02 2:43:52 AM (GMT +2)

      AFRICAN politics since the coming of independence has been one huge
tale of travails as people wallow in poverty, human rights abuses and a
whole litany of woes.

      Public discourse on these has reached a crescendo as the war against a
free press hots up here in Zimbabwe and elsewhere on the continent.

      As all this happened, the media itself sought to freeze the moment for
history and record these for posterity thus the newsmen and women came to be
seen by the lords of the land as inimical to the Establishment.

      Behind these avowed pan-Africanists, who like some of the world's
greatest inventors, also apparently patented their rule, gallantly and
loyally stood not just spouses whose consciences seem to have been numbed,
whether because smitten over their spouses, we don't know for sure, but
other men and women whose "dedication to the cause" seemed to eclipse that
of the spouses of the presidents.

      These are the people who massaged the egos of their presidents and
helped "immensely" in the suppression of their compatriots.

      As the tyrants went against every precept that guides human existence,
these men and women fuelled those regimes from offices which they occupied
simply by virtue of very volitionally aping the whims of the dictator, not
through being endorsed by the electorate, and for gains which were straight
from their wildest dreams.

      As we reflect on their contribution to the oppression of their own
countrymen, of the murder of opposition party officials, of the banning of
opposition politics, of the brutalising of journalists, these people become
worse than the despots.

      Why? Because they had it within them to help steer the tyrant from
that course by virtue of them having been confidants and confidantes.

      They shared almost each waking day with their president, obviously
lying to him that he was popular in the streets, when the truth could have
seen them saying their farewells to the good life that came courtesy of
their toadying to the caprices of their dear leader.

      And these men and women have "patriotically", the very word they used
to describe their contributions, devoted their existence to precitipating
the ruin of their countries.

      They have however a knack of mysteriously disappearing from the
memories of the people as they bay for the blood of the autocrat be it via
an election or the instance, Samue Doe in Liberia and others in this our
beloved continent.

      Malawi had its official hostess, which nobody seemed to ask what that
title entailed, Cecilia Kadzamira.

      Some have said Ms Kadzamira was more than Kamuzu Banda's "official
hostess" but that is neither here nor there in this reflection. What is
important though is her place in the tyrannical rule of her "boss" - if that
is all he ever was to her.

      Where was she when, as has been alleged, Banda fed his opponents to
his pet crocodiles?

      When history comes to judge Banda, surely will "he go down" alone? As
he stashed the little wealth Malawi had, obviously she also dipped her
fingers in the till. And this is shown in the dispute between her and the
family of the Ngwazi on his estate.

      She claimed part of it. As her confederate, John Tembo oversaw the
running of the affairs of Malawi as Banda's foremost confidant.

      And many good men lost their lives to the rule of Hastings Kamuzu
Banda, a man trained as a medical doctor, and we heard during the
presidential campaign here from some folks that the erudite make for
excellent leaders!

      These events history has recorded and they cannot claim to have had
their reputations lowered in this writing!

      So it has to be asked then: what is their place as we condemn
dictators and the nightmares they brought on their people?

      These were the people who ruled Malawi and were just feared as the
Ngwazi. They were like Elliot Ness's Untouchables during America's
Prohibition Era.

      But these American untouchables were on the side of the law, and on
the wrong side of it was Al Capone!

      Almost all of Africa's ailing presidents who either ruled till their
dying day or died shortly after the coming of democracy had these loyal men
and women by their side.

      Mobutu Sese Seko, that most profligate of tyrants, and who seemed to
be competing to the death with the cannibal Jean Bedel Bokassa in the
Central African Republic who crowned himself emperor back in the 70s, had
men of letters as loyal side-kicks.

      As the world laughed at the zany rule of Mobutu, which all the same
was no laughing matter for the ordinary Zairean, these loyal men in turn
laughed with Mobutu as he regaled them in his private city - Gbadolite.

      These are the men who called the shots, these are the men who
sanctioned who could talk to the president, which journalist could interview
him - on the rare occassion that this was granted - these are the men who
made his bed, these are the men who spelled out his very existence.

      One Professor Vundwawe Te Pemako, considered Mobutu's number one
advisor even as the rebels led by Laurent Kabila mounted pressure on him to
quit, is said to have told an American reporter who sought an interview with
Mobutu that he could answer any questions himself the journalist had for
Mobutu for expediency's sake!

      And like it or not Mobutu himself was a trained journalist!

      Then there was Idi Amin who later fled to the land of Osama, Saudi
Arabia after the fall of what to the West was his comical rule, but which
found no laughing audience among the Ugandans.

      Are there no close allies who could have told him he was giving
Africans a bad name by his many ridiculous shenanigans?

      But we are aware that for Africa's intricacies of politics and
governance, it is not necessarily the fear of becoming food for the sharks
that has bred the silence but the sharing in on the spoils that come with
being on the bosom of the dictator.

      Silence is for them literally very golden! When Jean Bedel Bokassa
allegedly "ate" his enemies, it is curious where his advisors were, what
they were doing, and it can as well be asked, "from the same vessel did not
they eat? Cannibals themselves were they not?" Or perhaps they in fact were
not ready to be part of the Emperor's supper.

      The tragedy for our politics is that one's loyalty to a leader is
supposed to last a life time.

      It is only permissible if one was previously a staunch critic but then
makes a mind-boggling volte face and crosses the floor.

      It therefore is plain frivolous that defections are unforgivable sins
and conversions to the system celebrated with all the pomp that could put
Mobutu's gaudy existence to shame.

      Thus the men and women who sat at the right hand of the dictator
president became monolithic and saw the critics of their president, not as
enemies of the rulers but the enemies of the people, enemies of the state!

      These are the people who massaged the egos of the dictator but who
when the tide rose against the tyrant, suddenly became invisible.

      If the Hague can call Milosevic to the stand, so must all his generals
who presided over the atrocities Milosevic is being charged with committing.

      So also must be the rulers of this continent.

      Their "advisors" must also take the stand, if not here, then certainly
in the hereafter.

      lMarko Phiri is a journalism student at the Christian College of
Southern Africa
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      It's time to free Africa from its manacles

      Canisio Mudzimu
      6/20/02 2:40:56 AM (GMT +2)

      THE cradle of mankind is deeply enmeshed in an embroidery of problems,
most of which are man-made.

      As Africa moves towards a new economic order through the establishment
of the New African Partneship for Economic Development (NEPAD), the battle
cry must be to extricate the continent from the tentacles of poverty; to
      save the continent from the menacing HIV/AIDS scourge which is
      millions of livesof lives; to resuscitate democracy and good
governance on the continent which seem to be precariously heading towards
the precipice of extinction and to revamp the ailing economies of most of
the countries in Africa.

      It is high time crises in countries like Somalia and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo were assuaged and a lasting solution found.

      The African continent is host to a vicious cycle of poverty and the
      of people live in absolute desperation. In Zimbabwe for instance,
about 70 percent of the population lives below the poverty datum line and it
is even worse
      in countries like Somalia which have been ravaged by the war to such
an extent that basic infrastructure has been demolished.

      What this means for
      the continent is that as Africa moves into a new economic era amidst
biting poverty for the majority, the preoccupation must be to provide a long
lasting panacea to poverty.

      The best way forward in this dilemma is to ensure proper appropriation
of resources and avoid the acquiring of guns and ammunition at the expense
of basic necessities. The word "priority" should be the starting point for
Africa if its endeavours to stamp out poverty will bear any fruits.

      Corruption and looting of state coffers are also at the forefront of
exacerbating poverty in most African countries as experience has shown
whereby former dictators like Malawi's Kamuzu Hastings Banda, Nigeria's Sani
Abacha and the former Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko, to mention but a few,
converted millions if not billions of dollars in state coffers to their own

      The irony of it is that this would occur while the general populace
was suffering and the economy nose-diving.

      It is my submission that the starting point in rooting out corruption
is to avoid the concentration of too much power in the hands of an
individual or a few individuals.

      Lord Acton elucidated that power tends to corrupt and absolute power
corrupts absolutely!

      Constitutions that allow the transformation of a country into a
      fiefdom must be replaced with new ones that are favourable to
transparency and democracy. Constitutions that are a launch pad for
authoritarian regimes must be disposed of and new ones put in place if
corruption and looting of
      state coffers is to be stamped out in Africa.

      There is a desperate need for constitutions to be real "promissory
notes", as Martin Luther King Junior put it across, promissory notes that
won't be dishonoured at the counter!

      At the time that African governments are trying to ameliorate colonial
injustices, land imbalance being a case in point, it becomes necessary for
such governments to take into cognisance the fact that an orderly and
transparent land reform programme that does not result in further
impoverishment of the very people it purports to empower economically, is
the quintessence of economic empowerment.

      This is no more time to use land reform as a façade for political
survival. Note should be taken of what Keith Richburg in Out of America
pointed out that in Africa today blacks are still awaiting economic
empowerment three decades after the last Europeans packed their bags and

      Power only changed hands from a white dictatorship to an indigenous
black one, as there is more repression, more brutality!

      Financial mismanagement has taken centre stage in most African
countries that have been, to use the Biblical parlance, "cut off from the
rest of the world".

      It is high time African countries mend their images to avert the
inevitable consequence of being labelled pariahs in the eyes of the
international community.

      Off course I am not advocating a culture of begging as this threatens
"sovereignty", but I am cognisant of the fact that "as cold waters to a
thirsty soul so is good news from a far country", as Proverbs 25 verse 25
aptly puts it across.

      African countries must institute policies that are not quick-fix
panaceas, but policies that ensure the upholding of human rights and
prevalence of democracy in order to maintain good international relations
and avoid economic sanctions.

      NEPAD might be a step in the right direction for Africa provided that
what is on white paper is put into practice. I do not want to sound
pessimistic by saying that Africa has a bad record in that respect!

      HIV/AIDS is claiming many lives in Africa mainly due to poverty that
militates against the purchase of anti-retroviral drugs as well as
nutritional diet. However, I greatly feel that lack of conscientisation
about the disease is the major cause of concern on this continent.

      It is an axiom in psychology that forewarned is forearmed and it
suffices to mention that African governments have a moral obligation to
conscientise their citizens about HIV/AIDS in order not only to reduce the
incidence of the disease but also to reverse the stigma prevalent amongst
most African people.

      As the prophet Hosea points out, "my people suffer from lack of
knowledge" (Hosea 4 verse 6).

      Free and fair elections are the quintessence of democracy and Africa
is under pressure to ensure that elections do not conform to Said Adejumobi'
s view of "Elections in Africa: A Fading Shadow of Democracy"!

      Elections should mirror the will of the people and stolen elections
must end on this continent if Africa is to be the light of the world and if
its image is to change for the better.

      As Keith Richburg reiterated, "before elections are held,
constitutions need to be rewritten to reduce the role of imperial
presidencies and level the playing field for opposition parties. Without
those basic steps, any election becomes a sham, a charade for democracy"!

      As Africans move towards the new economic order promised by NEPAD,
there is a defeaning call to extricate the continent from the quagmire it
has fallen into. There is need for a new Africa free from the manacles of
poverty, human rights abuses and quarantines!

      Canisio Mudzimu is a freelance writer. He can be contacted on e-mail
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      Past haunts Zim as NEPAD beckons

      By Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
      6/20/02 4:27:33 AM (GMT +2)

      THE ghost of failed economic reforms and the government's ineptitude
have returned to haunt Zimbabweans as the country readies itself for next
month's official launch of the New Partnership for Africa's Development
(NEPAD), an ambitious plan to put the continent's economy on a path of
sustainable growth and development.
      The spectre of missed opportunities and the attendant deterioration in
general living standards after the 1990s' experimentation with
Western-backed economic reforms have left a sour taste in the mouth of most
ordinary Zimbabweans who now view with suspicion any "external" policies
that purport to get the tottering economy back on track.

      Representatives of non-governmental organi-sations, women's groups,
workers, business, students and the academia met in Harare at the weekend to
consider Zimbabwe's position on NEPAD.

      NEPAD is an economic recovery plan being spearheaded by South Africa's
President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo, whose main
objectives are to eradicate poverty in Africa by putting the continent's
economies on a path of sustainable growth and development.

      Brian Kagoro, co-ordinator of the Crisis in Zimbabwe coalition which
organised last weekend's meeting, said NEPAD ignores pertinent historical
factors in the design of Africa's economic recovery plan by prescribing a
"one-size-fits-all" solution to the continent's developmental needs.

      Crisis in Zimbabwe is a grouping of civil society groups whose main
objective is to promote human development, good governance and the
establishment of democratic institutions.

      "Like the structural adjustment programmes, NEPAD fails to prioritise
human development and instead places undue emphasis on performance
indicators that do not reflect the human element of development," Kagoro

      "In short, NEPAD is a market-based solution to the needs of a
continent with severe human development deficits," he said.

      John Manyanya, a researcher at the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt, said
the programme was bound to fail in Zimbabwe because its success was premised
on the same conditions as the failed Economic Structural Adjustment
Programme and its successor, Zimbabwe Programme for Economic and Social
Transformation in the 1990s.

      The NEPAD document targets average annual economic growth of seven
percent over 15 years and assumes savings growth of at least 25 percent of
annual gross domestic product (GDP) over the life of the programme.

      Zimbabwe's savings are, however, estimated to have declined from 20
percent of GDP in 1990 to 10 percent last year while the economy has been on
a freefall in the past three years due to unresolved governance issues.

      "The question therefore is whether to put so much faith in foreign
inflows when history tells us that this does not help and has, in fact, been
one of the main causes of the current crisis we find ourselves in," Manyanya

      Under the programme, the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised countries
has pledged to pour more than US$64 billion into the world's poorest
continent through more open trade, foreign direct investment, debt
forgiveness and aid.

      Manyanya said the G8 should instead consider cancelling Zimbabwe's
external debt, which is estimated at more than US$4.5 billion and is growing
daily due to erratic repayments by the government.

      A report circulated at the meeting revealed that the country's real
per capita income had declined to pre-1970 levels while employment was down
to where it was in 1990 largely due to the failed experimentation with
Western-backed economic reforms.

      It is also estimated that at least 75 percent of Zimbabwean households
are poorer than they were in 1991 when the country embarked on ESAP, which
was backed by the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral funding

      Political commentator Brian Raftopolous cautioned that pouring money
into Africa would worsen the continent's economic crisis.

      "Throwing money at Africa will not be the answer to the continent's
problems and NEPAD will not meet its objectives unless it finds some means
of dealing with rogue governments like Zimbabwe," said Raftopo-lous, who
also chairs the steering committee of the Crisis in Zimbabwe coalition.

      The organisations also argued that the proposed peer review system,
under which an African panel would assess the conduct of each government,
was not adequate to censure governments which violate international human

      They, however, noted that besides its inherent weaknesses, NEPAD
offered unique opportunities for Zimbabweans to engage the government on
issues of political and economic governance.

      The plan is set to become the official economic policy of the African
Union (AU), the successor to the Organisation of African Unity, when the AU
is launched in South Africa next month.
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      Red Cross joins food aid appeal

      6/20/02 4:23:31 AM (GMT +2)

      THE International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies (IFRC) has appealed for more than US$4.2 million from the
international community to buy food aid for Zimbabwe and other southern
African countries facing mass starvation.

      The appeal is for the starving in Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zambia
and Zimbabwe, which are experiencing severe food shortages.

      Stephen Homolo, an official with the IFRC, said this week: "We have
launched a global appeal for about US$4.2 million from the European
Community Humanitarian Organisation and I can say we are getting positive

      He said the federation, in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Red Cross
Society, had also submitted an appeal to the British Department for
International Development (DFID) for funding and food assistance.

      He would not disclose the amount of money the federation has asked for
from DFID.

      The IFRC's appeal for food aid comes as the United Nations' World Food
Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation have revealed that more
than 10 million southern Africans need emergency food aid.

      According to the agencies, the majority of these are in Zimbabwe,
where about six million people - nearly half the population - require food

      Zimbabwe's agricultural sector has been devastated by drought, the
seizure of farms by ruling ZANU PF supporters and the government's
controversial land reform programme.

      At least one person is reported to have died of starvation in Zimbabwe
in the last few months, but foreign donors have been slow in responding to
appeals for humanitarian aid to the country, shunned by the international
community because of bad governance.

      Holomo said the IFRC, which provides technical assistance and channels
funds to national Red Cross societies, was also lobbying donor countries not
to withhold aid if their relations with a particular country were strained.

      "We recognise that because of political ill will donors may suspend
aid, but we are lobbying against this practice because the person who
ultimately suffers is the person to whom the aid is intended, and not
politicians," he said.

      - Staff Reporter

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      Scribe goes to higher court

      Staff Reporter
      6/20/02 4:18:35 AM (GMT +2)

      ANDREW Meldrum, the Harare-based reporter for Britain's Guardian
newspaper who is being charged under Zimbabwe's draconian media laws for
writing a false story, has challenged the constitutionality of the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and yesterday sought High
Court permission to have his case referred to the constitutional court.

      Meldrum, an American and the first journalist to be tried under AIPPA,
wants his case moved from the magistrates' court to the Supreme Court where
it will be heard as a constitutional matter.

      He also sought an order from High Court judge Justice Lavender Makoni
to set aside the decision by Harare magistrate Lillian Kudya to remand him
out of custody and not proceed with the trial.

      The journalist is being charged with publishing falsehoods after he
reproduced an article carried by the Daily News in April in which the
newspaper wrote that a woman had been beheaded by ruling ZANU PF supporters
for supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

      Makoni, who yesterday reserved judgment on the matter, said she needed
time to go through the documents filed by Meldrum before making a ruling.

      More than 10 Zimbabwean journalists, all from the private media, have
been arrested in the past few months since the introduction of AIPPA and the
equally repressive Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

      Meanwhile, journalists from Zimbabwe's private media this week vowed
they would defy a requirement that they register under a
government-appointed media commission.

      The scribes, who met in Harare under the banner of the Independent
Journalists Association of Zimbabwe (IJAZ), resolved not to accede to
accredit with a Media and Information Commission headed by ZANU PF supporter
Tafataona Mahoso.

      Zimbabwe's journalists and media houses were given until June 16 to
accredit or register with the Mahoso commission or risk being prosecuted for
violating AIPPA provisions.

      AIPPA gives Information Minister Jonathan Moyo sweeping powers to
regulate the media and analysts say the media law and POSA are some of the
means through which President Robert Mugabe is muzzling democratic criticism
and protest.
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      Swoop on banks, lawyers

      By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
      6/20/02 4:36:56 AM (GMT +2)

      PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has sanctioned full-scale investigation into
the operations of the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) in a fresh assault on
pro-democracy groups in the country, it was established this week.
      The probe, spearheaded by the police and the dreaded spy Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO), follows the arrest two weeks ago of the law
society's leaders, who were hauled before the courts and accused of seeking
to overthrow the government.

      LSZ president Stern-ford Moyo and secretary Wilbert Mapombere, who
both deny the charge, are out on bail.

      They say letters they are said to have written to the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Britain's High Commisioner in
Harare Brian Donnelly allegedly plotting Mugabe's overthrow are fake.

      According to official sources this week, the CIO is playing a leading
role in probing the activities of the law society and legal practitioners
and firms which have been handling business for the MDC.

      Mugabe has sanctioned the probe, which the counter-intelligence unit
of the CIO is masterminding.

      Police last Thursday filed an application in the High Court seeking an
order against 11 financial institutions trading in Zimbabwe to produce all
records and documents pertaining to their deposits, release and investment
of various sums of money in respect of the LSZ.

      The police especially want deposit slips, withdrawal slips, cheque
leaves, bank and cash transfer slips and full monthly statements for the
period January 1 2002 to June 17 2002.

      The institutions involved are Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Limited,
Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic, the Discount Company of Zimbabwe Limited,
African Banking Corporation, Fincor Finance, Kingdom Merchant Bank, Scotfin
Limited, udc Limited, Trust Bank Limited and the Zimbabwe Development Bank.

      Two weeks ago, the police also seized all administrative records and
books of accounts of the LSZ, an independent association of lawyers who
promote self-regulation in the legal profession.

      Besides the probe, the government wants to amend the Legal
Practitioners Act and make it operate under a council reporting to the
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

      The action would force the LSZ to be run along the same lines as the
Media Commission, which was set up three weeks ago under the harsh Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act to oversee and regulate the
operations of journalists in Zimbabwe.

      The crackdown on the lawyers follows a similar clamp on journalists,
MDC activists and anyone perceived to be anti-government as long-simmering
tensions, fuelled by an economic and political crisis, rise in Zimbabwe.

      The government has been particularly jittery after the MDC announced
its intention to stage mass action to force a rerun of the March
presidential election, won controversially by Mugabe but condemned by much
of the world.

      The police and the army have been placed on high alert as emotions
threaten to boil. A taxi driver who failed to stop at a road block in Harare
more than a week ago was shot dead by police.

      LSZ's Moyo, in an affidavit filed in the High Court in connection with
the alleged plot to oust Mugabe, said the government crackdown on the
association was aimed at destroying the independence of Zimbabwe's legal
profession and kill human rights.

      "On several occasions, ministers and ruling party legislators have
threatened to end our collective freedom of expression as a profession," he

      "I see the frivolous, wicked and vexatious proceedings against me as a
prelude to the denial of the legal profession of the legal profession's
collective freedom of expression. It is most unfortunate that the legal
process and the police are being abused in this manner," Moyo said.

      Mapombere, also in an affidavit, stated: "I also wish to state from
the outset that it is my conviction that the basis of the alleged charges
against us is undoubtedly the work of a psychopath who is using state
machinery to destroy the LSZ and ourselves personally.

      "The crude letters that form the basis of the charges are patently and
demonstrably fake."

      The government accuses the MDC and Britain of funding the law society
to overthrow Mugabe, a charge rejected by both.

      The law society has had frequent verbal battles with the government,
with Moyo earlier this year harshly attacking what he said was Mugabe's
attempt to stuff the country's judiciary with pro-ruling ZANU PF nominees.

      Land reforms to displace two million

      Staff Reporter

      ABOUT two million Zimbabweans living on commercial farms will be
displaced countrywide at the expiry of eviction orders being served on white
farmers by the government this year, according to a survey by the Zimbabwe
Community Development Trust (ZCDT).

      More than 4 000 of Zimbabwe's white farmers have been issued with
eviction notices under Section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act, requiring them
to cease farming and vacate their properties within three months.

      The commercial farming industry employs about 350 000 workers, each of
whom on average has a family of five. Most of these workers will be
displaced, although the government says it will resettle them.

      Most of the eviction notices expire at the end of August, which is
also supposed to be the end of the government's often violent land reforms
under which more than 90 percent of white-owned farms have been targeted for
seizure to resettle landless black peasants.

      Bigson Gumbeze, the ZCDT project manager, said his organisation's
survey was conducted in Zimbabwe's 10 provinces and found that about two
million people would be displaced after the expiry of the Section 8 notices.

      "Most of the workers will be stranded as they have no communal homes
and some of them are of foreign origin. Most of their children have been
going for months without going to school," he told the Financial Gazette.

      "Out of a total of two million people who are going to be affected by
the displacement, our organisation can only afford to provide mental and
physical help for 90 000 people and the other people have to get help from
somewhere else."

      The farm workers and their families will join more than 50 000 other
Zimbabweans who have been displaced by political violence and the seizure of
farms by ruling ZANU PF supporters since February 2000.

      Most of the internal refugees have fled to cities, especially Harare,
where non-governmental organisations are battling to assist them by
providing food and shelter.

      However, their plight is expected to worsen in the next few months as
food shortages bite in Zimbabwe, where at least six million people need
emergency food aid because of drought and the havoc on agriculture caused by
the farm occupations.

      The ZCDT said in its survey report: "Since farm worker displacement
has affected all provinces, there is urgent need of food assistance to curb
poverty. Not only should this assistance be of food but also of shelter,
especially for those farm workers who have been physically displaced and
have nowhere to go because of their ethnic background.

      "However, in offering any form of humanitarian assistance, there
should be a break point and a movement towards a developmental approach.

      "Therefore there is need to assist these farm workers on short-term
basis with a long-term plan. Somewhere along the line, there is need to
create a means for these people to use their skills or least equip them with
new skills of self-reliance and self-sustenance."
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Erwin lashes out at Zim

Cape Town - South Africa warned neighbouring Zimbabwe on Wednesday that its
controversial political and economic policies would ruin the country.

"We have said it to them time and again: You must come to your senses,"
Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin said during parliamentary question

"As Zimbabwe, you'd better correct your policies because the punishment that
is being exerted on your economy is getting more and more serious as time
goes on."

Erwin's comments are amongst the sharpest criticisms yet by South Africa of
Zimbabwe, where the seizure of white-owned commercial farms and the collapse
of law and order are cited as key factors behind a looming famine.

In response to a question, Erwin said the political and economic crisis in
Zimbabwe would not affect South Africa's trade relationship with the United
States or the success of the New Partnership for Africa's Development

Aid flows to Zimbabwe have been squeezed in protest against President Robert
Mugabe's farm seizures and the use of intimidation and violence in the run
up to March presidential elections which the opposition said the veteran
leader stole.

Zimbabwe is suffering from a deepening recession, with inflation soaring to
122% in the year to May and unemployment rocketing.

President Thabo Mbeki has been criticised at home, in Zimbabwe and abroad
for failing to publicly condemn Mugabe, but he has insisted that
constructive engagement is the best way to influence the Harare government.

Erwin said South Africa had repeatedly warned Mugabe and the country's
business leaders of the cost of policies being implemented or tolerated by
the government.

"We have pointed out to Zimbabwe government and to business leaders time and
time again: 'You are making fundamental errors and the cost of your errors
is going to be extreme'," he said.

In an apparent reference to Zimbabwe, Erwin said African countries would
have a choice whether to sign onto the peer review process proposed in
Nepad, the programme for African economic recovery.

The programme initiated by Mbeki and fleshed out with support from Senegal,
Nigeria and Algeria, includes provision for an African-administered ratings

Erwin said South Africa was optimistic that the peer review system would be
adopted at the inaugural meeting of the African Union, a successor to the
Organisation of African Unity, in Durban in July.

"We believe that many countries will make use of the peer review mechanism
during the course of this year.

"We have chosen in Nepad to say... we will take responsibility for our own
actions," he said.

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      Police disrupt meeting, arrest 8 MDC officials

      6/20/02 4:22:44 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - Eight officials of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) were arrested in Bulawayo at the weekend during clashes between
armed riot police and army troops who broke up an MDC meeting commemorating
the 1976 uprising against apartheid education by South African children.

      The skirmishes started when police and army units turned back MDC
youths and party supporters intending to venture into Stanley Square, the
venue of the commemoration. The police said the meeting was an illegal
political gathering.

      The MDC's supporters, backed by members of the public in and around
the dirt-poor Makokoba high-density suburb hosting Stanley Square, objected
to the police action, resulting in running battles between the police and
the army and the gathering crowd.

      This reporter counted six army vehicles, two Puma trucks and four
police trucks, all full of armed riot police and army troops, who patrolled
Makokoba after crushing the commemoration.

      An MDC official said yesterday: "Eight of our officials were arrested
on Sunday and about three are still being held by the police.

      "Several others were arrested the previous day on Saturday at the
Amphitheatre but were later released without any charges being laid against
them. This is sheer intimidation."

      During the clashes, the armed police and soldiers moved into the
bustling Renkini Country Bus Terminus in pursuit of fleeing residents and
MDC youths. About five live shots were fired into the air to disperse the
youths, who kept taunting the security forces.

      Among those arrested was Thoko Khupe, the opposition's legislator for
Makokoba, and Gertrude Mthombeni, an executive member of the MDC.

      Abednico Bhebhe, the MDC legislator for Nkayi in Matabeleland North,
was also arrested later on Sunday when he went to visit Khupe at Bulawayo
Central Police Station.

      Bhebhe was detained overnight and released on Monday morning. He was
not charged.

      "The police don't know why they arrested me. Initially they said I
attended an illegal political meeting but I was never at such a meeting,"
Bhebhe said yesterday.

      "I tried to reason with the police but because they are partisan they
would not listen to me. They are just arresting anyone on political grounds
to fix people or settle scores."

      Four of the eight officials were on Tuesday charged with organising an
illegal gathering and asked to pay $1 000 bail each. The remaining four are
expected in court later this week.

      It is understood the police are hunting MDC youth executives in
connection with organising Sunday's commemoration. Several of these youth
leaders have apparently gone underground.

      The Bulawayo arrests follow similar action by the police at the
weekend in Harare in which at least 80 MDC activists were arrested for
attending a rally to mark International Youth Day.
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      EU pushes for tougher action on Mugabe

      Staff Reporter
      6/20/02 4:21:03 AM (GMT +2)

      THE 15-nation European Union (EU) will pursue dialogue with the
Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to identify further action to
resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe, it was learnt this week.

      The resolution was made on Monday at a meeting of the EU's General
Affairs Council, which expressed concern at the increasing political and
social polarisation in Zimbabwe.

      It follows a visit by an EU delegation to Malawi, Mozambique and South
Africa last month to persuade SADC leaders to act on lawlessness in

      The EU has already imposed a travel ban and other smart sanctions
against President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle in a bid to press them
to end political violence, implement transparent and sustainable land
reforms and cease attacks on Press freedom.

      "The European Union believes that the Southern Africa Development
Community has an important role to play and wishes to seek common ground
based on shared values in order to identify further action that could be
taken to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe," according to the minutes of the

      "To this end, the EU will seek to build an enhanced dialogue with the
SADC and other international relevant actors."

      EU representative in Zimbabwe Francesca Mosca yesterday said no
meetings had so far been suggested between the EU and regional and
international stakeholders over Zimbabwe.

      She said the EU bloc, which on Monday resolved to continue to monitor
the situation in Zimbabwe and take action accordingly, still had to hold
internal discussions about the report tabled on Monday by the delegation
that visited southern Africa in May.

      Western diplomats said although the importance of SADC in resolving
the crisis in Zimbabwe had been acknowledged, the past behaviour of regional
leaders did not augur well for their effectiveness in future efforts.

      Neither Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa, which could be hard hit
by Zimbabwe's descent into chaos, have taken a tough stance against Mugabe,
even though he is widely believed to pose a threat to the success of the New
Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

      NEPAD, an initiative driven by Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa,
seeks to mobilise international trade, foreign direct investment, debt
relief and aid to boost economic growth in the world's poorest continent.

      EU Member of Parliament John Corrie told the Financial Gazette:
"Neighbouring countries are extremely worried about the situation and the
knock-on effects and a lot of people feel there should be tougher action
against Zimbabwe.

      "We have spoken to them but there is still a very close liaison
between these countries because of history. During apartheid, Zimbabwe was
very helpful to South Africa and there are close ties that seem to overcome
any economic reasoning."

      A Zimbabwean analyst said: "SADC countries like South Africa, Botswana
and Mozambique, which have fairly good economies, are vulnerable because
they don't want to lose their foreign investment. That could be used to get
them to come on board."

      Meanwhile the General Affairs Council also resolved to respond
generously to United Nations' agency appeals for food aid for Zimbabwe,
which is facing mass starvation because of drought and the destabilisation
of its agricultural sector by ruling ZANU PF supporters who have occupied
hundreds of farms.

      The European Commission this week said it had allocated six million
euros for food distribution to the poorest families in districts most
affected by food shortages, to provide targeted nutritional support for
children and assist farm workers affected by the government's land
resettlement programme.

      Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Paul Nielson said:
"Humanitarian assistance and direct food aid are now clearly needed on top
of our well established long-term action to improve food security and
prevent widespread starvation.

      "The (Zimbabwean) private sector has a leading role to play in
bringing food on to the market. The government must remove the constraints
which are preventing this from happening."

      Zimbabwe's private sector is no longer allowed to import grain, which
is now the sole responsibility of the cash-strapped state-run Grain
Marketing Board.

      Funds provided by the European Commission will buy more than 8 000
tonnes of maize, in addition to the 10 170 tonnes the commission funded in
April. The grain will be distributed by the UN's World Food Programme.
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      10 MDC supporters re-arrested

      6/20/02 4:19:10 AM (GMT +2)

      THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) yesterday said 10
of its Manicaland supporters released on bail late last week were
re-arrested by police on Tuesday on suspicion that they were plotting to
topple President Robert Mugabe's government.

      Those re-arrested were among a group of about 170 MDC supporters who
were initially arrested at a meeting in Birchenough Bridge last Thursday,
which police said was illegal and was being used to plot the downfall of
Mugabe's government.

      Police spokesman Andrew Phiri yesterday said he could not immediately
confirm the re-arrest of the 10. He was still checking the MDC's claims at
the time of going to print.

      But MDC spokesman Learnmore Jongwe said systematic harassment of MDC
supporters was on the increase in Manicaland.

      "Violence is on the increase in Manicaland, where the army, the police
and armed militia are assaulting MDC supporters, even old women. The militia
is restricting those seriously injured in the attacks to their homes so that
they cannot receive medial treatment," he charged.

      In the past week, heavily armed state security agents have been
deployed throughout the country in anticipation of mass action planned by
Zimbabwe's main opposition party.

      About 80 MDC supporters, including journalists and MDC legislators,
were arrested in Harare and Bulawayo on Sunday when they gathered to
commemorate the Day of the African Child. - Staff Reporter
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Zimbabwe journalism 
6/20/02 11:06:44 AM (GMT +2)
Today, our reporter Lloyd Mudiwa appears in court, charged under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. It is The Daily News on trial – the first of a long list of similar cases we expect to be brought up under a section dealing with journalistic work.
The result, either way, will set a precedent with a potential to change the manner in which we speak or speak out against anything in our beleaguered country.
The core of the charge sheet states that a journalist shall be deemed to have abused his journalistic privilege and committed an offence if he falsifies or fabricates information; publishes falsehoods; and except where he is a freelance journalist, collects and disseminates information on behalf of a person other than the mass media service that employs him without permission of his employer.
He faces a fine of $100 000 or up to two years in jail. The heart of the matter is the definition of a falsehood. Two senior ministers of government, Ignatius Chombo and John Nkomo, on Tuesday were quoted live on television, declaring categorically that squatters at Whitecliff farm near Snake Park in Harare would be forcibly removed by the morning of 19 June. Chombo is the minister responsible for local government.
Nkomo supervises the police. If what the two say does not happen because Information Minister Jonathan Moyo stops it, could the ZBC be charged with publishing a falsehood?
Could the ZBC be accused of having failed to check the “truthfulness” of the stance taken by Chombo and Nkomo, key officials who handle squatters whenever they pitch up their makeshift structures?
Somebody recently told The Herald there had been a flurry of activity at the British High Commission involving officials from the Law Society, the opposition MDC and Western diplomats plotting to overthrow the government. On that day, the High Commission was closed for the Queen’s jubilee.
In this case, who shoulders the blame for publishing a falsehood? The source or the newspaper? If it is the newspaper, then why did the government not take action?
If a Minister tells a Press conference that a new railway line, linking Harare and Chitungwiza, will be built in the next two months and that does not happen, could a newspaper which reports that be prosecuted for reporting a falsehood?
This story was published just before the 2000 parliamentary election. In fact, a company won the tender and a ground-breaking ceremony was held. There is still no railway line there two years later.
The key to the definition of the word false, in the case of information gathered from sources, lies in the determination of whether the journalist wilfully and intentionally published a story knowing the information to be false. In any case, it is abhorrent to criminalise journalism.
Truth-telling in journalism, and in society generally, is an ideal which we all strive for. The truth, says the adage, has many facets. A major ethical challenge to journalism is to investigate any material that we process in order to get the total truth and nothing else.
Mistakes do occur in the process as some sources refuse to divulge information. In the case of The Daily News, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, has publicly vowed to deny us vital details on anything, for his own personal reasons, despite the fact that, as a public official, he is compelled to do so.
As we have stated before, the Act is being applied selectively to destroy the privately-owned Press. The state media’s open lies have gone unquestioned and are sometimes peddled with government blessing.
Today, media houses, all registered companies, are being asked to re-register with a government-appointed Media Commission. The Act defines a journalist as anybody who earns a living directly from a media service.
That includes editors, reporters, sub-editors, editorial secretaries and messengers, photographers and darkroom assistants, origination clerks, production assistants, cartoonists, librarians and vendors.
For them to work, they must have licences. Failure by any one of them to obtain a licence results in the suspension of the company’s operations.
This is a tall order which must never be accepted in a democratic society. The consequences of Mudiwa’s case, preceded by that of Andrew Meldrum, the correspondent of the British Guardian newspaper, are set to resonate beyond our borders. They threaten to change the face of our journalism.
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Extortionist Masara 
6/20/02 10:19:37 AM (GMT +2)
Lloyd Mudiwa
Bernard Masara, 36, who in February last year extorted $15 000 from the former chief executive of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), Muchadeyi Masunda, on Tuesday had his appeal against conviction and sentence dismissed in the High Court in Harare.
ANZ are the publishers of The Daily News. High Court judge, Justice Susan Mavangira, said: “Both appeals against conviction and sentence are dismissed.”
Masara was convicted by Harare magistrate Remigious Jemwa in April last year and sentenced to three years in jail.
Jemwa, however, suspended part of the sentence leaving an effective 20 months in jail.
Masara, who was allegedly hired by the Central Intelligence Organisation to assassinate Daily News Editor-in-Chief, Geoffrey Nyarota, last year revealed details of the plot.
The Daily News published the story after agreeing to find a safe sanctuary for Masara outside the country.
After the story was published, Masara left Zimbabwe for a refugee camp in Botswana, where he was to stay.
However, he returned to Zimbabwe and ANZ informed him their arrangement was no longer in force because he had failed to adhere to the terms agreed.
Masara then demanded that the company continue to look after him. He wrote a letter to Nyarota on 29 January 2001 warning the editor he would face death if he did not bow to the demands.
On 5 February, Masara went to Nyarota to demand $15 000 to pay debts he said he had incurred while in Botswana. He refused to leave the office until he was paid $14 000.
Nyarota contacted the police when Masara returned to his office nine days later demanding more money.
Masara, in his appeal, wanted the conviction set aside. If the court declined to overturn the guilty verdict, he wanted it to impose a non-custodial sentence.
Arguing against his conviction, Masara said he had not meant to harm Nyarota and Masunda.
He said: “They were just empty threats. I just wanted to frighten them into paying for my subsistence. Since the threats were empty, I should not have been convicted.”
Masara, who represented himself, said since he should not have been convicted in the first place, Jemwa should not have sentenced him.
He said in the event Mavangira upheld the conviction, then she should impose a non-custodial sentence since he did not actually harm anyone.
While supporting the conviction and a custodial sentence, Nickiel Mushangwe of the Attorney-General’s Office said the sentence might have been severe.
Mushangwe said Masara had committed extortion by employing threats with the objective of obtaining money.
"A custodial penalty is indeed warranted," he said. "Masara in the instant case conducted himself in a most shameful manner.
Purely out of the benevolence and goodwill of the complainant, he was paid considerable sums of money, on several occasions, over a long period of time.
"His actions are tantamount to one biting the hand that feeds oneself. According to Masunda and Nyarota, Masara had literally become a thorn in the flesh, making outrageous demands."
Mushangwe said extortion was a serious offence, and case precedent clearly established that even in the case of a first offender the appropriate sentence was frequently a prison term without the option of a fine.
But Masara was a repeat offender who was last in prison in 1992. Mushangwe, however, urged Mavangira to reduce the effective jail term to 14 months, saying Masara had since led an unblemished life since 1992 and apologised for the offence.
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