Last white farmers vow to hang on in
June 22 2002 at 06:56PM
By Basildon Peta
Virtually all the remaining white farmers in
Zimbabwe, who have been asked to surrender their land to President Robert
Mugabe's government on Monday, have vowed to defy orders to stop farming and
vacate their properties, saying they have nowhere else to go.
At least 2
900 white farmers have been ordered to close shop and surrender their farms in
line with recent changes to land acquisition laws which gave the Zimbabwe
government sweeping powers to seize land for black resettlement.
Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) spokeswoman Jenni Williams said the spirit of
resistance had never been stronger among the farmers who now feel they have no
option but to "hold firm" against the Zimbabwe government's last-ditch effort to
dispossess them of the entirety of their properties.
Williams said unless the Zimbabwe government made a sudden
U-turn, the orders would attempt to force farmers whose land had been designated
for seizure to shut down on Monday - giving them 45 days to cease operations.
The farmers had since sent over 230 000 farm workers on forced leave.
|The fastest shrinking economy in the
The changes to the Land Acquisition Act came into effect on May 10 and
required all farmers who had, prior to that date, been served with Section 8
orders for the acquisition of their properties, to cease operations within the
Williams said the government had since rejected a request by
farmers for the suspension of the orders to enable them to continue farming
until they had completed harvesting their land. Agriculture minister Joseph Made
could not be reached for comment.
Although the farmers can remain in
their farmhouses until August 10, they are required to refrain from any
Any farmer who defies the law and attends to
his crops or livestock will risk a two-year jail term or a Zim $20 000 (R3 300)
fine or both.
Zimbabwe's agro-based economy has been ranked as the fastest shrinking
economy in the world by international economic organisations. The Commercial
Farmers Union said the soya bean crop output had been reduced by 60 percent.
The CFU further estimated Zimbabwe's maize harvest shortfall to be at
least two million tons next year because of disruptions in commercial
Zimbabwe most dangerous place for papers -editor
England, June 22 - Award-winning editor Geoffrey Nyarota said
Robert Mugabe had made Zimbabwe the most dangerous place in the
publish a newspaper.
Nyarota, in a lecture late on Friday at
Oxford University's St
Anthony's College, said Mugabe intended to cripple the
with a new press law enacted soon after he won a March
election that was
condemned as fraudulent by the opposition and many Western
Nyarota, editor of the independent Daily News, said more
than a dozen
journalists, including two foreign correspondents, had been
arrested in the
southern African country since the Access to Information and
Privacy act became law.
This, and a public order act
making even mild criticism of Mugabe a
punishable offence meant that
''publishing a newspaper in Zimbabwe has
become the most dangerous
journalistic enterprise anywhere in the world, ''
who has himself been charged under the law and been detained
several times in
Harare, said most of the allegations against independent
journalists had been
spurious but they could be jailed for two years for
contravening parts of the
''What started as a war of attrition seeking to wear out and
journalists in order to render them totally incapable of discharging
professional obligations with the required vigour, has since
into a war of annihilation seeking to permanently cripple the
CHARGES OVER BEHEADING STORY
Nyarota's reporters, Lloyd Mudiwa, is awaiting trial under the
charged with publishing a false story alleging that Mugabe's
beheaded a woman in a rural district last year.
A Harare court on
Thursday agreed to a prosecutor's request to defer
the trial until July 22 so
that Mudiwa could be tried at the same time as
Nyarota, who faces the same
Andrew Meldrum, an American journalist working for Britain's
newspaper went on trial on June 12 on similar charges after he
the Daily News story. His trial was this week adjourned until July
The government says the beheading story was part of a
campaign to damage Mugabe's image. The Daily News has
acknowledged that the
story was false and has apologised.
said on Friday that whatever the result of the trials of
Mudiwa and himself
they would ''set a precedent with the potential to change
the manner in which
we write or speak out against anything in our
beleaguered country and
But he complained about the attitude of much of the Western
which seemed to be interested only in the arrests of foreign
and attacks on white farmers, ignoring the greater predicament
of black farm
workers and local journalists.
Nevertheless, he said
the foreign press had an obligation to keep
covering Zimbabwe despite the
difficulties and dangers.
''They can't give up and pack their bags and
fly home. It is on the
basis of their coverage that the chances of Zimbabwe's
recovery are based.
If they all depart and watch from the sidelines, it is
just what Mr. Mugabe
Nyarota this year won the World Press
Freedom Prize of the U.N.
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
The Friday lecture was sponsored by the Reuters Foundation,
humanitarian and educational trust primarily funded by the global
Daily News Sit-in Enters Second Day
Herald (govt mouthpiece) (Harare)
June 22, 2002
to the web June 22, 2002
The Daily News sit-in entered its second day yesterday with
journalists adamant about a 150 percent cost of living adjustment and better
working conditions while the opposition paper's editor-in-chief flew out of the
The Daily News failed to come out yesterday morning and was
not available until late in the afternoon.
Sources at the paper said the management had decided to move
their offer of an increase up from 15 to 28 percent but the staff refused to
accept this saying it was "peanuts".
The sources said they would not accept anything less than 50
percent because management was leading a luxurious lifestyle, an indication that
the company was doing well.
Recently the company is understood to have acquired vehicles
worth millions of dollars and management has moved to Karigamombe Building where
they are renting two floors.
The workers committee refused to go into negotiations with
the manager, Mr Innocent Kurwa, yesterday.
"There is a worrying discrepancy between the management
lifestyle and those at the shop floor level.
"We feel this is unacceptable and the matter should be
addressed urgently," sources said.
As the cost of living continued to rise, the sources said a
paltry percentage increase would not to pull them through the year.
They said their salaries are pathetically low.
The editor-in-chief Mr Geoff Nyarota was said to have left
for the United Kingdom and it is not known when he would be returning. Senior
managers and desk editors face the same plight as their juniors. Desk editors
who pioneered the paper have no vehicles while newly-employed staff are moving
in sleek 4x4s and BMWs.
Sources said business editor Ngoni Chanakira tendered his
resignation on Thursday robbing the paper of a hard working and dedicated
journalist. Chanakira could not be contacted yesterday.
The deputy editor, Mr Davison Maruziva, is in the same
predicament as he has not been allocated a company car while Mr Nyarota who is
now referred to as the "flying editor" has changed four vehicles.
The ANZ board recently decided that Mr Nyarota should
concentrate on PR and marketing the paper, but he has not taken up the post.
This would deprive him of the awards he receives and the
United States dollars that go with them.
Mr Maruziva is understood to have been earmarked for the
managing editor's post as he effectively edits the paper as Mr Nyarota is rarely
in the country.
"Now Mr Nyarota is in charge of advertising and some of the
perks and commissions for sales representatives have been withdrawn. The Daily
News is no longer the once happy family that it used to be.
"The desk editors are scared to question Mr Nyarota's
management style since they have nowhere to go. It is a sorry state at the
paper," said a journalist who refused to be named.
Fears Of Acute Shortage Of Sugar Ease
Herald (govt mouthpiece) (Harare)
June 22, 2002
to the web June 22, 2002
ZIMBABWE Sugar Refineries and the National Railways of
Zimbabwe yesterday reached an agreement whereby the NRZ will deliver 30 wagons
of coal every fortnight to the sugar producer's Harare plant.
The agreement eases fears of an acute shortage of sugar that
was imminent as a result of inadequate coal supplies to ZSR's Harare refinery,
which had subsequently stopped production.
ZSR managing director Mr Patison Sithole said on Thursday
his company had been unable to supply the market with sugar because its Harare
refinery had been out of production due to shortage of coal.
He blamed the NRZ for failing to supply the coal needed to
keep the refinery operational.
However, NRZ chairman Mr Chivarange Chimombe said an
agreement had been reached after intensive consultations with the ZSR
Under the agreement, ZSR undertook to resume operations last
night, he said.
"Following intensive consultations between the NRZ and
Zimbabwe Sugar Refineries following the closure of the Harare ZSR factory, an
agreement has been reached to supply and deliver to the ZSR one unit train of 30
wagons of coal every fortnight.
"This predictable continuity of supply will mitigate any
operational disruptions that have hitherto affected both ZSR and NRZ
operations," said Mr Chimombe.
He said the NRZ understood that ZSR required 100 tonnes of
coal daily and another 100 tonnes to start up after shutdown.
The sugar producer also needed four days cover of 100 tonnes
"Thus in view of the above, the ZSR have, after assurances
that another five wagons are en route to and expected in Harare within the next
24 hours, undertaken to resume operations tonight (Friday night).
Notwithstanding its own capacity limitations, the NRZ undertakes to expedite
delivery of available coal wagons to key national institutions, of which the ZSR
is one," he said.
Mr Chimombe, however, said the NRZ had supplied the ZSR with
coal over the past two weeks.
The railways had supplied the sugar producer with 240 tonnes
of coal on June 15, 160 tonnes each on June 16 and June 17, and 80 tonnes on
Meanwhile, the prices of sugar and cooking oil on the black
market is now beyond the reach of ordinary people as the shortage of the
The gazetted retail price of sugar is $76,47 for a two
kilogramme packet, but this is being sold for $250 on the black market.
A 750 millilitre bottle of cooking oil is now selling at
around $400 on the black market. Consumer Council of Zimbabwe senior manager Mr
Victor Chisi expressed concern at the prices being offered on the black market
and said the practice was illegal and unacceptable.
"The best way is to investigate the distribution process and
the companies should show a keen interest in the distribution process of their
products," Mr Chisi said.
At the Beit Bridge border post (Zimbabwean side)
travellers are forced to pay a toll fee for crossing the "new" bridge. The fee
is either charged in Rand or the Zimbabwe Dollar equivalent, converted at the
Many South African visitors do not have the exact
amount and are given change in Zimbabwe Dollars at the official exchange rate.
This angers many visitors as they know they should be either given change in
Rand, or ZW$ at a higher rate. The official rate is about 1 Rand to ZW$6, yet on
the parallel market the rate has recently gone as high as ZW$100. It is obvious
that the officials are just personally cashing in on the situation.
Many people object to this illegal practice and
recently a white South African man and a white South African woman have been
jailed over night, in two separate incidents, for tearing up Zimbabwean money,
as a means of protesting. They were released the next day after paying ZW$50
M. (Identity protected)
Zim's Electricity Supply Stabilises
Herald (govt mouthpiece) (Harare)
June 22, 2002
to the web June 22, 2002
Zimbabwe's electricity supply has stabilised after the
resumption of normal supplies from the Democratic Republic of Congo and the
Hwange Power Station, which had been hit by some technical problems.
"The situation is now back to normal," said Zesa's
transmission services manager, Mr Edward Rugoyi. "There won't be any load
shedding. Our machines are now operating at full swing."
Last month, the Minister of Mines and Energy, Cde Edward
Chindori-Chininga, said Zimbabwe would experience limited load shedding
following a generator breakdown at Hwange Power Station and technical problems
on the DRC transmission line.
"We are going to cope with the winter peak demand," Mr
Rugoyi said. "The DRC line is getting serviced and normal supplies have resumed.
We are managing without having to resort to load shedding."
The maximum winter peak demand is estimated to be about 2
100 mega-watts this year.
Hwange has an installed capacity to produce 920 megawatts
while Kariba is capable of supplying 666 mega-watts. Apart from getting supplies
from local stations and DRC's Snel, the country also imports electricity from
Eskom in South Africa, Hydro Cabora Bassa in Mozambique and Zescom of
Zimbabwe leads three nations into starvation
2002 at 07:11PM
By Brian Latham
agencies say southern Africa faces a massive food
deficit situation with
Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe needing emergency relief
to stave off imminent
According to the Southern African Development Community's
Warning Systems Network, Fewsnet, the three countries need
3,22-million and 3,6-million tons of maize this year. Zimbabwe,
the Red Cross, was the worst affected, despite its traditional
role as the
World Food Programme (WFP)
regional director Judith Lewis said: "The
situation is very bleak for people
throughout southern Africa.
"Natural disasters and high maize prices have
forced hundreds of thousands
of people in the region to rely on food aid for
survival, but donor response
to WFP appeals has been sluggish." She added
that it was "extremely clear
that there is a major crisis on the
The WFP has managed to raise only 30 percent of the
R600-million needed to
avert disaster in Zimbabwe alone. "Food aid in the
rural areas we're working
in will run out by next month," said
The WFP's complaint of slow donor response is mirrored by the
Committee of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. According to
information officer Solveig Olafsdottir, the organisation has raised
about R3-million of a required R42-million for feeding programmes
Reports from Fewsnet show that Malawi will need as
much as 600 000 tons of
maize to see it through the year, while Zambia needs
an estimated 750 000
Still, both countries pale next to
Zimbabwe's staggering shortage of at
least 1,5-million tons. By the beginning
of this month, Zimbabwean
authorities had imported a paltry 213 000 tons,
less than two months of
With Robert Mugabe's
beleaguered regime slated for its flawed presidential
election in March,
propagandists loyal to Mugabe blame the food crisis on
sabotage by white
farmers. The WFP and the UN Food and Agriculture
Organisation have warned
that as many as six-million Zimbabweans, almost
half the population, will be
on food aid by the end of the year, largely
because of Mugabe's seizure of
Earlier this month the Zimbabwean government turned
down an offer of 10 000
tons of maize from the US after the American
government could not guarantee
that the commodity was not genetically
Zimbabwean authorities argued that the importation of GM
maize into the
country would ruin the chances of resumed agricultural exports
European Union (EU).
The EU, which before Zimbabwe's farm
crisis imported substantial amounts of
Zimbabwean beef, has a universal ban
on all GM products and even GM-fed
meat. The Americans have said they will
re-route the maize elsewhere in the
minister Joseph Made has refused to allow anyone
other than the state-owned
Grain Marketing Board to import maize. Critics
argue that the ruling Zanu-PF
party is reluctant to allow anyone other than
government to get the credit
for feeding a starving population.
The opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) has accused Mugabe of
using food aid as a political tool,
ensuring that those areas which
supported the MDC during the violence-marred
March presidential poll are
"Human excrement encrusting their feet"
Dear Family and Friends,
It is with great sadness that I write this letter
to you today. On Monday morning 51% of Zimbabwe's commercial farmers will be
confined to their homesteads and forbidden to continue operating. If they
attempt to keep producing food these farmers face either 2 years in prison, a
fine of Z$20 000 or both. 2443 farmers have Section 8 letters of Compulsory
Acquisition and from Monday have 45 days in which to pay off their workers, pack
their belongings and get out of their houses. This is an obscene and sickening
irony in a country that has almost 7 million people facing starvation and
needing international food aid. Officials estimate that by the end of the year,
when the remainder of Zimbabwe's farmers with Acquisition Notices have been
evicted, 2 million people will be homeless and jobless. On Friday night ZBC
television interviewed a man described as a Zanu PF strategist and this
incredibly young Brigadier General gave his opinions on the coming eviction of
farmers and their workers. "We should not give these people even 2 days to get
out. We want our land" he said, "we should move in with our security forces and
just take it. What is the law for, we should just take it." Zimbabwe's farmers
are scared and confused and do not know what to do but, after listening to the
Brigadier General's intimidatory speech, I suspect many farmers and their
workers will throw in the towel. To exacerbate the looming horror, neither the
Director nor President of our Commercial Farmers Union have made any statements
this week and have given no directives to the members whom they supposedly
represent. For 27 months the CFU have continued to say they can do nothing; they
have dropped all litigation against the government and urged their members to
negotiate with the very people who have stripped us all of our human, legal and
constitutional rights. They have urged the farmers to engage in dialogue and
co exist with arbitrary men who have raped, murdered and beaten farmers and
their workers, burned and looted their homes and crops and stripped them of
every ounce of pride and dignity. It is a tragic situation for us all and the
paralyzed silence and inaction of the Commercial Farmers Union now leads the
entire nation to widespread starvation.
To really appreciate the enormity of the tragedy in
Zimbabwe, this week I paid a visit to our farm just outside of Marondera. I had
been told that upwards of 500 people had been dumped there and that 2 people had
died on the farm in the last week. What I saw was beyond all comprehension and I
am still struggling to come to terms with the reality of it. Our farm was
completely taken over by war veterans less than 6 weeks ago and is being used by
the government as a dumping ground for squatters who have been evicted from
other farms which have now been claimed by senior government officials. There
are indeed at least 500 people on the farm now but they are not squatting all
over the 1000 acre property, they are camped out in less than 5 acres on the
driveway, in the house, tobacco barns, workshops, bulk feed rooms and in the
milking parlour. The homestead area is littered with plastic and tin shacks and
children (estimated to number 200) barefoot and in raggedy clothes play amongst
goats, chickens and ducks. There are only 3 pit latrines in the homestead area
of our farm and the local people say that the smell of human feaces is permanent
and nauseating. They say you cannot walk in amongst the squatters because the
ground is a sea of human and animal excrement. The war veterans who took over
the farm 6 weeks ago burnt out the borehole so there is no water either and
there are already fears of cholera. The squatters say they were dumped on our
farm by Marondera government officials. They have been told that they will be
moved to other farms at a later date after they have completed the necessary
government application processes. These 500 people have been used for political
purposes for 27months and have now been discarded like trash. There is a
humanitarian disaster of massive proportions unfolding on our Marondera farm and
absolutely no one to turn to for help. In my book African Tears I spoke of
foreseeing the day when there would be blood on our fields, never did I think
that it would be urine or that children would run through our timber plantations
with human excrement encrusting their feet. Until next week, with love and
tears, cathy. http://africantears.netfirms.com
Safari Operators Lose 90% of Their Game
June 21, 2002
Posted to the web June 21, 2002
producers have since the beginning of the fast-track land reform
lost up to 90% of their safari-hunting game and there has been a
reduction in capture and translocation of wildlife, it has been
Conservative estimates show that the country has lost about 50% of
wildlife and 65% of its tourism as lawlessness prevails on farms
Addressing participants at the Wildlife Producers
Association AGM last week,
chairman Wally Herbst said the country had so far
failed to capture animals
"There has been no export for some
years, although accusations of illegal
exports from settlers and national
parks abound," said Herbst.
"This is all as a result of the so-called
Since the beginning of farm invasions in 2000, the
country has experienced a
rapid decline in hunting business by commercial
Herbst said there was no let-up in the slaughter of
wildlife throughout the
country as thousands of snares were still being
recovered, some with dead
animals still in them.
drive onto commercial farms with letters from the DA,
Councils, and provincial wardens and the occupants shoot
animals at will,
first for Independence celebrations, then to feed the
militia and then just
to commercialise and capitalise on the lack of the
rule of law in the
country," he said.
"We report vehicle poaching to the police complete with
registration numbers and they say, 'it's political, there is
nothing we can
do about it'."
Between 1991 and 2001, 39 661 wild animals
were caught and sold and the
country earned $280 million dollars.
described the problems on the farms as a "war zone" adding the
losers were the wild animals and ordinary citizens.
He said if the rule of
law was not restored and poaching stopped, the
country would have to pour
money into a natural history museum to show its
children what wonderful
wildlife it used to have.
"I also hear that the poaching in the national
parks is getting out of
control with pressure back on the elephant," he
"We hear in the media of up to 30 rhino lost since land invasions
But no one is saying how many. Why?
"How are we as custodians
supposed to support our Cites stance when we daily
watch the poaching tally
mount?" he asked.
"How many pieces of paper with poaching stats must be
produced before our
ministry acts? Stats are but history."
why government and in particular the Department of National
Parks and the
Ministry of Environment and Tourism had not stopped or
practices in writing so that all law enforcement agencies
"The current Parks initiative to validate losses is commendable
but too late
to save the hundreds of thousands of dead animals," he
He mentioned Barberton Ranch where 127 animals have been killed and 1
snares collected over a 12-month period.
Of the 33 ranches surveyed, 1
900 animals were reported killed and 13 400
snares retrieved over 17 months,
New Measures Introduced At Harare Passport Office
June 21, 2002
Posted to the web June 21, 2002
Registrar-General's Office has introduced new measures aimed at
queuing at the Harare passport office.
The new system will ensure that those
applicants not able to submit their
forms on any day of the week are
guaranteed service on a Wednesday each
week. Although no comment could be
obtained from the Registrar-General, Mr
Tobaiwa Mudede, who was said to be
away, officials at the passport office
said the new move was introduced a few
Wednesdays have been set aside to accommodate all applicants while
passport processing will go on as usual on other days of the
"Passport applicants are not turned away on Wednesdays any more, even
number of people to be served on a particular day is
"Instead, all passport applications are now being given numbers and
who can not be served on any particular day are automatically booked to
on another day which could be the following day or in the next three
depending on the backlog," said the official.
Passport applicants who
were at the offices yesterday said they were happy
with the new
"The new system appears to be transparent and very convenient.
It is no
longer necessary for one to sleep at the passport office as has been
norm in the past," said Mr James Shumba of Mabvuku.
Normally, it is
supposed to take between four and six months for one to be
issued with a new
passport but the backlog at the offices has seen the
processing of passports
taking up to seven months.
A notice at the offices states that only those who
applications before November 21 last year could now collect
The processing of emergency passports is supposed to take
between one and
three weeks. The delay in the processing of passports has
mainly to the large volume of new applications.
Mail & Guardian - SA
Deadline looms for 2900 Zim farmers to leave
22 June 2002 11:50 About 2 900 white-owned farms in Zimbabwe
must stop operating on Monday under a new law to pave the way for the
government's land redistribution exercise, a farmers' representative said on
The farmers represent about 60% of the Commercial Farmers Union
(CFU) members who held about 4 813 title deeds before the land reforms began in
They would have to stop running their farms by Monday under a new
law, representative Jenni Williams said.
On May 10 the government passed
new legislation under which a farmer whose property has been earmarked for
acquisition stops farming 45 days after the notice of acquisition has been
issued and vacates the property within 90 days.
According to the CFU, the
2 900 farmers had been notified by the government before May 10 of the intention
to acquire their property. Therefore the 45-day notice period to stop farming
came into effect from the day the law was passed.
Farmers who ignore the
time limit commit an offence liable to two years in jail or a 20 000 Zimbabwe
dollar ($364) fine or both.
Some tobacco farmers who had made a special
application to the government to continue farming until the end of next season
early next year, had their request turned down, according to the state-run
Herald newspaper Friday.
The government rejected the request
saying it would not act outside the law, and accused white farmers of trying to
derail the land reform programme.
The CFU representative said on Friday
that, in addition to farmers who have to stop operations, an estimated 232 000
farm workers would also have to stop working on Monday in line with the new law.