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

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 Zero hour for Zimbabwe's land snatchers

(Filed: 22/06/2002)

At midnight tomorrow, in the latest grim act in Zimbabwe's bleak drama of land seizures, the lights effectively go out for more than 2,000 white farmers as the final notices of acquisition which gave them 45 days to wind up their operations come into effect.

Some 60 per cent of Zimbabwe's remaining white farmers have to close down or be arrested and face up to two years in jail.

Even before this, half of Zimbabwe's white farmers have had their operations disrupted or closed down by President Robert Mugabe's shock troops, since the so-called veterans of the war of independence launched violent invasions of white-owned farms 28 months ago.

On top of that, over 400 more have been forced off the land since Mr Mugabe's disputed election victory in March, and regional representatives of the Commercial Farmers' Union report that hundreds more are packing up to leave.

And now, in the latest blow to the dwindling members of one of the most successful food-producing communities in Africa, the authorities are forcing through the consequences of the law, which was drummed through parliament 45 days ago.

Yesterday, the government rejected applications from farmers for an extension of the Monday deadline to allow them to finish grading their tobacco, which used to provide 30 per cent of Zimbabwe's foreign currency.

The passing of the deadline could not come at a worse time, as the agricultural economy has all but wound down, forcing hundreds and thousands of farm workers out of jobs, and fuelling closures of nearly 1,000 companies.

Nearly half the population is on the brink of starvation, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and most farmers are not allowed to grow food. Although Zimbabwe has no hard currency to import food, farmers are tomorrow forced to stop grading tobacco.

Marooned on her farm 45 miles south-east of Harare, the wife of one of Zimbabwe's leading grain producers, who cannot be identified because she is still negotiating to take equipment off the farm, was yesterday preparing for the worst.

"I seem to get on with the war vets better than my husband. Anyway, he has already left Zimbabwe and is very bitter. The war vets are nice to me today because the pump has broken down, and they haven't got any water.

"If I fix the pump, they say I can take our last tractor. I have nearly finished packing up the house.

"We haven't grown crops for two years and have run out of money. We managed to sell some of our irrigation equipment to neighbours at the beginning, and we lived off that. My husband is part of a syndicate of five farmers who built an enormous huge grain storage complex, and that is empty and the banks haven't been paid. But they are rescheduling the debt."

The five of them were among the first to be targeted because they openly supported the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Their eldest son was saved from being speared through his heart by farm workers.

"I don't want to leave Africa," she said. "We have no option but to try and start again somewhere else. The farm looks dreadful. The war vets grew almost no crops. I hope they water the garden."

At Raffingore, 80 miles north-west of Harare, Jean Simon, 42, a tobacco and poultry farmer, is still desperately hoping that she can cling on. She was kidnapped and forced to run through the bush for 10 miles by thugs loyal to Mr Mugabe in May 2000, beaten up two years later, imprisoned for a night two months ago. "I hope the hens remember to stop laying on Monday," she said. "I am supposed to shut down but I have only graded 20 per cent of my tobacco.

"My family has been in Africa for 200 years. I am a Zimbabwean. I don't want to be told to go to Britain.

"The first time I was taken by the war vets and forced to run it was black people who helped me. They ran next to me to protect me. They did it again the next time, and would protect me now. I feel safe here among people, even though every one of my human rights has been abused."

At Nyabira, 25 miles north of Harare, Marcus Hale, 23, a grain farmer and cattle producer whose grandparents started the family farm, was also close to despair.

"I will never build anything in Africa. When this madness ends we will carry on farming, but nothing will be the same. My folks were forced to leave a month ago.

"The war vets moved into my house. My parents' home is still intact, but they can't live there. My mother has sent the horses away. My father is really stressed.

"We have been through it for more than two years, the abuse, the destruction, the theft of what we have built up. We are so tired. We tried to do a deal with the war vets. We planted about 150 acres of wheat for them because they don't know how to farm. We were supposed to share the profits, but they forced us off. They are using our equipment, our dam, our irrigation system, our pumps and our workers - who we pay.

"We recently wrote out a huge cheque for two senior war vets now living in our houses. Each farmer does what he thinks will help him survive. They have been milking our dairy cows and now they are dry, and they still pull away at their udders.

"The farm is a wasteland."

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From The Spectator (UK), 21 June

Criminal justice

Geoffrey Robertson on Robert Mugabe’s clownish and sinister manipulation of the law

Harare Magistrates’ Court, a panopticon-style building on Rotten Row, is more surreal than Dickensian. Around its portals float young black women shimmering in white bridal regalia, there for civil-marriage ceremonies, mingling with the muggers, buggers and schoolboy shoplifters over whom it has criminal jurisdiction. It is not immediately clear whether the journalists and lawyers entering its doors are to take a place on the court benches, or in the dock. This week Andrew Meldrum of the Guardian and Lloyd Mudiwa of the independent local Daily News are on trial, accused in separate proceedings of the novel crime of ‘abuse of journalistic privilege’ by publishing a story which subsequently turned out (so the prosecution says) to be false. If convicted, they may not only be jailed for up to two years, but will also certainly be denied a licence to practise journalism under Zimbabwe’s new media law, which makes the right to write conditional on approval from the minister of information.

The journalists charged with abusing the ‘privilege’ of free speech (ten so far) have all published stories discomfiting to the Mugabe government. The rich irony is that the biggest lie ever told in the country has for the past fortnight featured on the front page of the government’s own newspaper, the Daily Herald. This falsehood concerns the existence of a plot by the British high commissioner and the president of the Zimbabwe Law Society to foment an insurrection, beginning with mass protests by opposition supporters as a cover for British armed forces (some already in the country under disguise) to invade, pursuant to a plan codenamed ‘Operation Milosevic’. The full absurdity of this journalism (usually based on ‘government sources’ but sometimes endorsed by named senior policemen) can only be appreciated by reading the Herald, as it unveils ‘evidence that the British high commissioner Brian Donnelly would be commanding the operation from high-tech mobile communication centres to be deployed throughout the country’ (12 June) and that ‘Mr Donnelly was sent to Zimbabwe to execute a Milosevic-type of operation to oust President Mugabe from power’ (‘Donnelly Under Surveillance’, front page, 15 June).

It is difficult for British diplomats to answer this racist rubbish: they have established a rapid rebuttal unit in the youthful shape of Ms Sophie Honey, whose name adorns the letters from the High Commission which the Herald sometimes condescends to publish. They are keeping a low profile, but at least the immunities of the Vienna Convention render them safe from arrest. Not so the courageous president of the Law Society, Sternford Moyo, and its secretary, Wilbert Mapombere, who have been made the local scapegoats for hatred of the British government, partners in their alleged crime of subversion. Both men were arrested by police on 3 June and held in jail for several days while their homes and the offices of the Law Society were ransacked for evidence of offences under the ‘Public Order and Security Act 2002’ — another draconian new law, section five of which punishes with up to 20 years’ imprisonment any threat to organise civil disobedience. No evidence was found, but the police have produced a short letter on Law Society notepaper, addressed simply to ‘The British High Commission, 6th floor, Corner House, Harare’, on which they have based the subversion charges. It reads, precisely, as follows:

"Further to our communications, we suggest that from now onwards our communications should be in writing and by hand post straight to the receiver.

We are grateful for the support you have given us in order to restore the rule of law in Zimbabwe. At the moment as a Law Society we are embarking on a vigorous campaign to conscientise the populace to rebel against the unlawful and illegitimate rule of Mugabe. We have consulted with the MDC and urged them to abort the useless talks so that a proper confrontation will be viable.

Our secretary will be living the UK soon please assist with his documents."

In the long history of fabricated evidence for treason charges, this stands as one of the more inept examples, with its bad grammar and use of what a secret policeman might imagine to be legal jargon (‘conscientise the populace’; ‘confrontation will be viable’). It is perfunctorily addressed to the British High Commission, as if intended to lie in an in-tray until directed by a secretary to the diplomat in charge of the counter-revolution. Nevertheless, this is the evidence upon which the men will be put on trial and on which the Mugabe government, through its propagandists in the Daily Herald, accuse Mr Blair of attempting its overthrow.

The fate of the country’s leading lawyers and journalists rests in the fragile hands of its judiciary, who will be called upon in these and other cases over the next few months to strike down the laws under which they have been charged as being contrary to Zimbabwe’s constitutional guarantees for freedom of expression and assembly. Although some magistrates have shown notable independence by convicting war veterans at the risk of reprisals from their supporters, a shadow hangs over recent Zanu-PF appointees to the High and Supreme Courts. For example, the judge president of the High Court, Paddington Garwe, who denied habeas corpus to the Law Society officials (on the sole ground that the letter reproduced above provides reasonable suspicion of their guilt) was formerly permanent secretary of the ministry of justice. The lawyers who packed into his courtroom for the hearing spontaneously signalled their contempt for his decision by refusing to stand as he made his exit.

But, from an international perspective, judging judges is not an easy matter. Their backgrounds and the politics behind their appointment are not definitive: there are many examples of jurists whose independence has confounded the expectations of the government that put them in place. Corrupt judges often masquerade as civil libertarians, the better to give bail or dismiss charges relating to members of the drug cartel paying them. The judge who is a government lickspittle will, in Commonwealth countries, often dress up his decisions in pious quotes from Lord Denning’s later years, about civil liberties being subordinate to the demands of national security. Lawyers can usually find arguments that are respectable, if only in legal terms, for abuses of state power: they are doing so in Zimbabwe to justify the expropriation of white farms and the legitimacy of the recent elections.

But no judge, however predisposed to favour the Mugabe regime, could honestly find that the new laws under which the journalists are being prosecuted square with Zimbabwe’s constitutional guarantees, or could convict the Law Society officials on the strength of the letter they swear they did not write — even if they did. These cases will provide an acid test of judicial independence, because international courts have consistently condemned the licensing of journalists, and a few years ago the Privy Council, the Commonwealth’s highest court, struck down an identical law against ‘publishing falsehoods’ when the government of Antigua sought to deploy it.

Will the judges be capable of standing up to the state? They will need to resist the pressure and prejudice whipped up by the Herald and its mentor, the minister of information, ‘Professor’ Jonathan Moyo, who has become the Goebbels of the Mugabe government. It is being said that two Supreme Court judges have accepted confiscated farms, on leases which can be terminated at the government’s pleasure; if true, their bias would be flagrant. But establishing it in other cases will require careful analysis of court proceedings and the reasoning of judicial decisions, by an objective body like the International Bar Association or experts sent by the Commonwealth Secretariat. It is regrettable, therefore, that no international observers have thus far attended the Meldrum proceedings. Unless these trials and constitutional challenges are carefully monitored, President Mugabe’s judges will be let off the hook. The prospects of them doing justice may well depend on the extent to which they themselves are put on trial.

Geoffrey Robertson, QC, is the author of Crimes Against Humanity, published by Penguin

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Tourism dips in Zimbabwe

Inquirer Staff Writer

Tourists have abandoned Zimbabwe since the deterioration of the country's political climate, contributing to a severe economic decline that economists say shows little sign of recovery.

The disappearance of international travelers is painfully evident at this vacation center in western Zimbabwe, where the Zambezi River plunges 300 feet into a cloud of mist that has created a rain forest in the middle of the dry African savannah.

The downtown casino is quiet, except for a few lonely slot-machine players. Nightclubs echo with emptiness. There is no jostling for prime positions to view the thundering waterfall.

Every tourist is a rock star, surrounded by a swarm of desperate admirers selling carved curios, cold sodas, and ponchos to wear while viewing the cascade. Young men offer to exchange Zimbabwe's rapidly depreciating dollar at eight times the official rate.

There is no shortage of personal service. At the elegant Victoria Falls Hotel, where baboons and vervet monkeys patrol the grounds and elephants occasionally stray into the ornate English gardens, a galaxy of white-coated waiters surrounds a black hole of empty tables in the Livingstone Dining Room.

"This would have been the season when the Americans come here, but you can see there is nobody," said Pinias Sibanda, the director of Gallery Munhumutapa, which specializes in soapstone statuary.

Zimbabwe officials blame the decline on uncharitable media coverage of President Robert Mugabe's March reelection and the falloff of tourism after Sept. 11. The government has initiated a campaign to invite tour agencies and travel writers to improve the country's image.

The government's last attempt to induce positive coverage backfired when many travel writers wrote about the country's turmoil instead. "We have now decided to invite the international travel writers, but we are going to be selective on who we invite," Zimbabwe Tourism Council head Herbert Tsikire told the government newspaper, the Herald.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe last month said tourism earnings dropped from a peak of $239.2 million in 1996 to $81.4 million last year. But even those numbers don't reflect the severity of the decline, said John Robertson, an economist in the capital, Harare.

Many visitors are small traders from neighboring countries who come to buy goods with foreign currency, which has doubled in value since Mugabe's disputed election, Robertson said. They resell the goods in their home countries.

"People are coming here, but they're coming here to shop," he said. "If you stay longer than 24 hours, you're classified as a tourist." Hotel-occupancy rates are mired below 20 percent.

The decline of tourism is a metaphor for the ruination of Zimbabwe's economy in the two years since Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party pulled out all the stops to retain power. The government has taken over most of the nation's white-owned commercial farms, contributing to food shortages and an exodus of farmers from the country.

The country's top tourism talent - hotel managers, chefs, guides - is leaving, some going no farther than the new hotels that have sprouted like bamboo in Livingstone, on the Zambia side of Victoria Falls.

"All the good people have left," said Malcolm Ainscough, a Zimbabwean tour operator who moved his business to South Africa, where he said business is booming with American tour groups despite fears after Sept. 11.

For most tourists to Zimbabwe, the government campaign to suppress political opposition is invisible. Most clashes have occurred in rural areas, far from the game parks and attractions.

Most Zimbabweans are unfailingly polite to outsiders.

Nevertheless, Ainscough said, "even when I tell tourists it is safe to go to Zimbabwe, they're nervous... . A lot of them don't want to go on moral grounds because they object to what the government is doing."

Victoria Falls, named by 19th-century explorer David Livingstone to honor the British monarch, has had ups and downs in popularity in recent decades.

Tourists fled in the 1970s when Mugabe's Marxist rebels fought to topple the government of what then was Rhodesia, and they stayed away again after he was elected in 1980 and his North Korean-trained troops massacred thousands in southwestern Matabeleland.

But they returned in huge numbers in the last decade, when Zimbabwe basked in the regional glow of goodwill after neighboring South Africa emerged from apartheid.

Mugabe's increasingly radical politics, which blames the country's woes on "imperialist" whites with colonial ambitions, has driven many away, and gay tourists wrote off the country after the president attacked homosexuals.

"Now we're back to what it was like with Rhodesia in the 1970s," said Ainscough.

Most tour operators are pessimistic about a quick recovery. They say hotels will have to offer cut-rate packages to attract the mass market, and luxury travelers will take even longer to return.

"You could have a new president here tomorrow and tourists wouldn't come back immediately," Ainscough said.

Zim Standard

      Let's prioritise agriculture, mining, tourism-Part 1

      Cresta Calling by Shingi Munyeza

      A SOCIETY's level of economic development is a major determinant of
the level of demand for tourism because the economy influences so many
critical and interrelated factors.

      One approach is to consider a simple division of world economies into
the affluent 'north', where the countries are major generators and
recipients of both international and domestic tourism, and the poorer
'south'. In the poorer 'south' most countries have become generators of
international tourism but the tendency in the richer 'north' is for tourism
to be domestic, often supplemented by an inbound international flow of

      Traditional society is made up of acceptance of the authority of
long-established land-owning aristocracy and observance of traditional
customs. The majority of the people are employed in agriculture.
Unfortunately, this sector has very low output per capita, which results in
poor health levels and high poverty levels.

      However, the aim is not to bring everyone back to traditional society
but to bring them into the current society which is typified by high mass
consumption because a variety of consumer goods and services are being
produced. The balance of employment changes from work in the primary
sector-agriculture-to work in the secondary sectors such as manufacturing
and mining, and the tertiary sector, tourism. As this process unfolds, an
affluent society usually emerges and the percentage of the population who
are economically active increases from less than a third in the developing
world to half or more in the developed world. With this progression,
discretionary incomes increase and create demand for consumer goods and
leisure pursuits such as tourism. Other developments are closely linked to
the changing nature of employment. The population is healthier and has time
for recreation and tourism. Improving educational standards and media
channels boosts awareness of tourism opportunities, and transportation and
mobility rise in line with these changes. Institutions respond to this
increased demand by developing a range of leisure products and services.

      Clearly, tourism is a result of industrialisation and, quite simply,
the more highly developed an economy, the greater the levels of tourism. A
clear example that comes to mind is Singapore.

      As economies develop from the traditional agrarian society, the volume
of trade and foreign investment increase and business travel develops.
Business travel is sensitive to economic activity, and although it could be
argued that increasingly sophisticated communication systems and the advent
of the Internet might render business travel unnecessary, there is no
evidence to that effect as yet. Indeed the very development of global
markets and the constant need for face to face contact should ensure a
continuing demand for business travel.

      The above analogy helps to explain where we stand as far as the
tourism industry and our economy are concerned.

      There is therefore a lot of sense in sorting out the land issue so
that it can lead to manufacturing and mining industries which will in turn
drive tourism. President Robert Mugabe, alluded to this analogy in his
speech after the presidential elections and it is therefore important for
government to set the tone by providing necessary direction and policy to
achieve the process. Already the legislation on scrap metal will go a long
way towards stabilising the mining sector.

      But until there is meaningful economic activity we will not see a
growth in domestic tourism. At the moment people are only interested in
basic commodities and the middle class necessary in driving economic
activity in any economy has since disappeared. We need direction from
government so we can start the momentum of turning around the current
deplorable state of the economy in order to give tourism a chance.

      * Shingi Munyeza is the Group Commercial Director for Cresta
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At the time of writing farmers are anxiously waiting to see what their fate is with the expiry of the 45-day period to stop farming on farms issued with Section 8 notices. Like all other commercial farmers they want to continue farming, but have been seriously affected by the "fast-track" programme.

Our region is mainly cattle, wildlife, dairy, export horticulture and sugar cane farming which is extremely difficult to just instantly wind up just to suit the political demands of others.

The cattle industry has taken a severe knock with herds being drastically reduced due to the shortage of grazing. For many months now thousands of settlers’ livestock have been driven onto the farms totally destroying countless years of conservative grazing practices. Farmers have been forced out of grazing paddocks where there is some good grass left, often only to see it burned to clear areas for future crops. This is nothing more than a political tactic because in this dry province there is often little hope of producing any dryland crops at all.

The industry is in a hopeless situation where stockfeeds are almost unobtainable, and if they are the cost far exceeds the economic return. The grazing has either been hopelessly depleted, or burned. Although the ranchers want to hang on the reality is that they may outlive their livestock, which has already started to die.

This will be a bitter blow for those whose only interest is to do what they know best – to farm and feed the nation.


Name protected
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People's Daily

      Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Sunday, June 23, 2002
      Zimbabwe Dismisses Reports on Eviction of White Farmers
      The Zimbabwean government has dismissed reports suggesting that all
white commercial farmers on listed farms will cease operations and vacate
their farms on June 24, according to Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation on
      The Zimbabwean government has dismissed reports suggesting that all
white commercial farmers on listed farms will cease operations and vacate
their farms on June 24, according to Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation on

      Lands Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Joseph Made said
only the first batch of farms representing less than 10 percent of the 4,000
commercial farms will be affected on Monday next week by the Section 8
notices under the Land Acquisition Act.

      The Section 8 notices require recipients to stop farming activities to
their living quarters for another 45 days after which they must vacate the

      Any attempts to breach these conditions attract a jail term of up to
two years or a fine not exceeding 20,000 Zimbabwean dollars (about 364 U.S.
dollars) or both jail term and fine.

      Made said the law was clear and no extensions will be granted.

      Despite an outcry for more time on the part of the commercial farmers,
Made said there was no going back on the land redistribution exercise.

      This week, newspapers quoted commercial farmers on farms listedfor
acquisition for resettlement purposes complaining that operations would
cease and their workers would be made homeless.
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Dear Friends and Family
I wandered out of my house the other morning and saw the most wonderful far as the eye could see towards the Great Dyke the ground was covered with light winter mist...the trees and koppies sticking out like sentinels. It was so peaceful. All my land prep is up to date so it gives an impression of normality. As if we are here to stay for ever and as if we are part of the greater picture to bring our country back from the brink of disaster......
The look on my foremens' faces as I explained to them this week that Dr Made had given a directive that all white farmers had to be off the land by 10 August was dreadful. We once again have decided to do everything in our power to ensure that we, staff and myself, will continue to farm, stay in our homes, work and live ..despite the government's directive. I then went into Harare to discuss  our legal position with my lawyer and to make arrangements to defend our rights through the courts. We cannot just sit and let events overtake us.
But the helplessness... the knowledge that no matter what the law says, no matter that our government has signed the United Nations  Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we actually have no rights in the current daunting.
D joined our management team this morning and it has given me a new lift to get things back on track...but then I keep wondering...for how long.
 I attend a CFU meeting again in Harare tomorrow where we discus the way forward. I do hope we can come up with a viable strategy.
Until next week when I hope to be more cheerful, take care and keep trucking.
Love X (identity protected)
PS This Comment from the Zimbabwean Independent of 14 June does give me hope....
"This is not a programme of giving "Zimbabwean land to Zimbabweans" as the president fatuously pretends. The victims of these wholesale dispossessions are Zimbabweans - farm workers and their white Zimbabwean employers who Mugabe has chosen to demonise in his racist campaign to deprive them of their livelihoods for exercising their democratic right to support the opposition. Political intolerance, lawlessness and racism are the core policies driving Zanu PF's "third chimurenga". In what other country is it found acceptable for the government to wage a violent campaign against its own law-abiding citizens on the grounds of race or political affiliation? That the world has finally woken up to this reality as famine now stalks the Southern African region is welcome, however belated."
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Zim Std
 Pupils starve as chefs feast 
By Farai Mutsaka
SCHOOL children who attended the Day of the African Child commemoration officiated by President Mugabe spent a hungry afternoon while the presidential entourage enjoyed a lavish banquet in the VIP lounge of the Harare International Conference Centre.
Teachers who attended the event, told The Standard that they watched helplessly as children who from across the country scrambled for the scraps made available to them.

"It was a real bun fight as hungry pupils fought for bananas and buns outside the main auditorium of the Harare International Conference Centre while the chefs were busy helping themselves to a delicious buffet in the VIP lounge," said a Harare teacher.
The Day of the African Child is a day held in commemoration of the over 200 school children massacred during the Soweto Uprisings of 16 June 1976.
Mugabe, who had just returned from a food summit in Rome, Italy, was the guest of honour at the commemoration held last Saturday.
The teachers said pupils who had gathered at the venue as early as 7.30am were only freed for lunch after 3pm and only after Mugabe had delivered his hour-long speech which focused on the wellbeing of children and warned them against engaging in premarital sex.
"After waiting the whole day, we were made to scramble for buns and bananas. Some of us didn't think it was worth it so we went home hungry. I will not attend another event like this in future," said a pupil from a Harare school.
Said an irate teacher: "Perhaps this kind of behaviour by government officials explains why we are experiencing such a serious food crisis.There they were, busy feeding themselves while the children were literally fighting for the very little food they were offered.
"They even had the cheek to deny us entry into the room they were feasting in. For the first time during the whole proceedings we were told those intending to enjoy the banquet had to be accredited. The children and the teachers who made the day went hungry while some chefs who were just sitting there and dozing off during the proceedings got to fill their big stomachs," he said.
Mugabe's economic policies and controversial land grab exercise has seen the once prosperous Zimbabwe reduced to a basket case. While in Rome, the President tried to convince the world that his government was working towards the elimination of hunger in Zimbabwe. 
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Zim Std
Six million face starvation 
By our own Staff
THE World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) 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 President Robert Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms.
The warning comes ahead of desperate calls from food donors to allow Zimbabwe's floundering private sector to help with the importation of desperately needed maize to feed the starving millions.

Last year, Zimbabwe's agriculture minister, Joseph Made, gave the state-owned Grain Marketing Board sole trading rights on maize and wheat. The move followed accusations in the fawning state media that commercial farmers were "sabotaging" the economy by hoarding the now precious commodity.
Maize meal, the country's staple food has been in short supply for over two months, yet government's attempts to meet demand are frustrated by a chronic foreign currency shortage. At the beginning of June, government authorities had imported a paltry 213 000 tonnes of maize-less than two months of normal supply.
Still, even finding maize and wheat may prove difficult for the beleaguered regime of Zimbabwe's 78-year-old dictator. South African farming organisations warn that Zimbabwe's giant southern neighbour will itself be scratching for food imports as the country faces both maize and wheat deficits this season.
And while the situation is already severe in the arid southern and western provinces of Zimbabwe, rural villagers in Zimbabwe's north say they're also starving.
"My whole crop failed in the drought," said Moses Musambo, from the Mashonaland Central district of Rushinga. "I worked for three months on a government food for work programme building a road, but while we did the work, we got no food. Not even a pip."
Musambo said he fled the area, leaving his family behind, so that he could find work in the city. "At least then I might be able to send some food home to feed my children," he said.
Meanwhile the situation in the cities is not much better. Poor township residents say that many families live on one small meal a day and that children are forced to go to school each day on empty stomachs.
"There's no mealie- meal anyway," Evelyn Takawira said.
"We can queue for five hours, only to be told that it's finished. Meanwhile my children are always hungry."
Queues snaking their way through Harare's shopping centres are a common sight as increasingly angry consumers wait for maize meal, cooking oil, sugar or milk - all in desperately short supply for months.
Meanwhile farmers and producers warn that the situation is set to worsen considerably. According to Peter Wells, chief executive officer of Zimbabwe's soon to be defunct Cereal Producers' Association, stocks of wheat should run dry by August at the latest. Farmers say that's optimistic.
"Within weeks there'll be no bread," warned a farmer from Marondera, east of the capital.
While the Zimbabwean government, through the state-controlled press, blames the food deficit on white farmers who have sabotaged the economy and on the drought, farmers refute the accusation.
"The country finds itself in a serious food deficit situation," said outgoing chairman of the Zimbabwe Grain Producers' Association, Andrew Meikle, speaking at a recent congress. "Although our current crisis comes after an extremely difficult rainy season, it follows six good rainy seasons in a row which were favourable for maize production. However, due to a lack of leadership, policy and direction, the country has fallen on hard times with absolutely no reserves to call on."
So far Zimbabwe's agriculture minister, Joseph Made, has refused to allow anyone other than the state-owned Grain Marketing Board to import maize into the crisis gripped country. Critics argue that the ruling Zanu PF party is reluctant to allow food to be "de-politicised" or to allow anyone other than government to get the credit for feeding a starving population.
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Zim Std
Farm workers left destitute 
By Kumbirai Mafunda
WHILE President Mugabe's Zanu PF regime lauds itself for liberating thousands of Zimbabweans from poverty by providing them with land under the controversial fast-track land reform programme, it has emerged that a greater number of the displaced farm workers are now wallowing in poverty.
The sole representative body of the country's agricultural workers, the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (Gapwuz) said affected workers could be divided into two categories: Those stuck at invaded commercial farmers, and those who had ventured into informal activities, such as gold panning in Mashonaland West and Central.

Gapwuz grassroots coordinator, Gift Muti, told Standard Business: "Other farm workers joined those at Porta Farm as squatters, but this is not a straight-forward way of living. Although others have engaged in the buying and selling of goods, others are engaging in theft, poaching and illegal fishing which is outside the law."
To alleviate the misery and the reported cases of malnutrition, he said the worker's body had embarked on a food relief programme to rescue farm workers and their families.
"We are giving out mealie meal, matemba and cooking oil. We have also managed to pay school fees for children at Wadzanai Primary School in Shamva and we are assisting aged workers who were our members for a long time by giving them money to travel to their homes."
Although government gazetted a law which enables it to set up an Agricultural Employees Compensation Committee to determine benefits and entitlements for farm workers affected by its resettlement programme, Muti said no workers had been paid out as commercial farmers are yet to be compensated by government.
He lashed out at the government for failing to come up with a comprehensive land reform programme. "Government's response is not clear on the future of farm workers. They are saying workers are going to be employed by new farm owners, but the reality is that displaced farm workers are in a dilemma," said Muti.
Godfrey Magaramombe, the director of Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe (FCTZ) agreed with Muti. "It is still on the drawing board. Nothing has taken place. It is taking too long and workers are stranded. If people are displaced it will be hard to track them," said Magaramombe.
Muti said newly resettled farmers were unable to employ those previously catered for by commercial farmers. "They are underpaying them, while others are even failing to pay them," he said.
A research carried out by Gapwuz indicates that farm workers are not benefiting from the land grab exercise. An average of five former farm workers, are said to have benefited from every 10 designated commercial farms.
Gapwuz and the Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe deplored health standards at informal settlements which have mushroomed in the peri-urban areas. "Farmers used to employ farm health workers who used to provide health services and assist children at creches, but the health workers have been made redundant. Our survey on farms around towns found that the displacements have increased prostitution and hence the cases of HIV and Aids," said Muti.
FCTZ which is currently feeding about 15 000 children affected by the displacements and providing shelter to farm workers, concurred with Muti on the matter of increased prostitution. "Obviously others are engaging in commercial sex activities and we have received reports of high infant mortality rates and cases of tuberculosis," Magaramombe said.
As the reality of the government's warped land policy strikes the core of society, another social ill has manifested itself in the form of child labour. In Bindura children are reportedly said to be hunting mice and working on settlers' land for a pittance.
Ian Kay, a commercial farmer who was chased away from his Chipesa farm in Marondera together with his 120 workers, said although some of his workers had managed to get shelter from friends and relatives, the prevailing economic difficulties were straining their upkeep. "Because of prevailing hardships, they can't stay long with extended families. They can only stay for a short period and then wander around from place to place," said Kay.
He said Zimbabwean farmers were keen to carry on with farming in spite of the situation. "Right now there is tobacco waiting to be graded at my farm, but settlers on the ground are refusing to let us do our job." 
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Zim Std
Moyo: You have destroyed the public media 
JONATHAN Moyo has been minister of information for just two years. The department he heads controls Zimpapers, ZBC, Ziana etc. In that short time, the turnover of editors at The Herald, Sunday Mail, Chronicle, Ziana and CNG has been nothing short of amazing.
At the ZBC, Moyo is working with his third director general in two years. But the saddest part of this is that when Moyo arrived, he found a half decent broadcaster employing about 600 permanent staff, airing programmes that we could listen to and watch, and flighting plenty of adverts especially during prime time. ZBC was alive and kicking.

The editorial stance was quickly changed, advertisers were treated like trash, dozens of experienced employees were fired and hundreds of novices hired. After paying millions of dollars in exit packages, ZBC increases its staff compliment to about 950 and costly offices were opened in places such as Gweru and Bulawayo.
It did not require a chartered accountant to add up the equation: No advertising revenue + hundreds of inexperienced workers obtaining huge salaries + no listeners + an ill-timed decentralisation project = Bankrupt ZBC.
Two things have left me flabbergasted. First, where is Gideon Gono in all this? Or is he just the man with the cheque book? Second, how can the state charge The Standard over 'false' information when the reported shake-up has in fact begun?
Hwengwere and Chivaura have new job titles, Matongo has left ZBC, Muchechetere has bounced back, and many people-about half the work force-have been retrenched. That seems to mean a lot of heads are to roll at the public media as The Standard reported!
Meanwhile, in the newspaper division, any vendor will tell you that to sell even 20 Herald copies is some achievement and I am talking here about the Harare city centre. Zimpapers' day of reckoning is not far off. The Chronicle publishes for a certain political audience. I'm not convinced that it sells even 10 000 copies daily!


Mugabe wants to cripple media - editor

June 22 2002 at 07:40PM

Oxford, England: Award-winning Zimbabwean editor Geoffrey Nyarota said
President Robert Mugabe had made Zimbabwe the most dangerous place in the
world to publish a newspaper.

Nyarota, editor of the independent Daily News, in a lecture on Friday at
Oxford University said Mugabe intended to cripple the independent media with
the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

More than 12 journalists had been arrested in Zimbabwe since the act became
law, Nyarota said.

Nyarota and one of his reporters, Lloyd Mudiwa, are awaiting trial under the
press law, charged with publishing a false story alleging that Mugabe's
supporters beheaded a woman in a rural district last year. Andrew Meldrum,
an American journalist working for Britain's Guardian newspaper went on
trial on June 12 on similar charges. - Foreign Service
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Zim Std
Nepad good for rule of law-Salim 
By John Makura
MUTARE-The former secretary-general of the Organisation of African Unity, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, has said the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) which has not been well received by the Zimbabwe government, will ensure that there is peace, stability, observance of the rule of law and economic development on the continent.
Addressing delegates to a conference of the Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance held at Africa University on Friday he said that in accordance with Nepad, a brainchild of south African President Thabo Mbeki, citizens of African countries had the right to criticise wayward leaders and governments.

"If a leader has gone wrong, he has to be told that he has gone wrong otherwise the situation could deteriorate into conflict. There is a tendency for some African leaders to refuse constructive criticism and this must stop if we are to progress," he said.
Delegates who attended the meeting said Salim's statement was a strong message to President Robert Mugabe who has refused to accept criticism for his unpopular policies such as the enactment of draconian laws to harass journalists and lawyers, as well as the manner in which he is handling the land issue in Zimbabwe.
Salim said the fact that most conflicts on the continent in the past two decades had been between citizens of the same country, indicated that their causes were internal.
"Invariably these causes are associated with questions of leadership and governance and the abuse of power and authority, or grievances that emerge due to denial of participation, violations of human rights, disregard of the rule of law and practices of intolerance," said Salim. 
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Zim Std
Hunger will drive Mugabe out 
I have always thought the NCA's determination to try to introduce a new constitution on our existing 'president' a waste of time and resources. Much better to do it when Mugabe has been booted out and a democratic government is in place.
Now, I would honestly counsel against mass action in favour of a presidential election unless the MDC can guarantee a minimum of two million people, preferably five million, taking part and being prepared to die for it.

I believe that within the next few months, when starvation really starts to bite and the people have had enough, they will rise unilaterally everywhere and nothing will stop them-and the armed forces will take one look and won't even try; they'd be torn limb from limb.
Interestingly, after I had written the above, I saw in The Daily News of 15 June, the following comment by Italy's prime minister at the just-ended UN food summit: "One must remember that a starving man is a desperate man, perhaps even a dangerous man." Robert Mugabe, I believe, has every right to be afraid.
PNR Silversides
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Zim Std
Kunonga insults Ndebeles 
By Grey Moyo
BULAWAYO-Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, the Anglican bishop of the Harare diocese, is again at the centre of controversy, this time for insulting Ndebele speakers by declaring that only Shona be used at the annual Bernard Mzeki pilgrimage in Marondera, The Standard has established.
The pilgrimage, in honour of the late Mozambican martyr who died at the hands of Chief Mangwende's men in 1896, sees thousands of Anglicans from across the country converging on the shrine in honour of the missionary's work.

Insiders who spoke to The Standard said Kunonga, a staunch Zanu PF activist who has tried to drag party politics into church affairs, infuriated the three delegations from Bulawayo who were part of 5 000 pilgrims present when he declared that there would be no Ndebele interpretation of the proceedings which were being conducted in Shona.
Kunonga who was the host Bishop, allegedly told church members as they were drawing up the Order of Service (guidelines on how the festival would be run), that he would not attempt to speak in a language he did not understand.
It is church policy that festivals which draw people from across the country are conducted in the three main languages-English, Ndebele and Shona.
Several attempts to obtain comment from Kunonga were not successful as a woman who answered the phone at the Harare diocese put the receiver down each time she heard that The Standard wanted to speak to the bishop.
However, insiders said Kunonga's action, which disregarded the basic standing rules of the church, exposed his contempt for respected Bishop Wilson Sitshebo of the Bulawayo Diocese and Ndebele speaking people in general.
While leading the service, Kunonga spoke in Shona without interpreters, despite being well aware that some pilgrims, especially those from Matabeleland, did not understand the language, The Standard was informed.
Ironically, Bishop Sitshebo who also addressed the pilgrims tried to ensure that everyone understood his sermon by speaking in all three languages to the varied audience which included hundreds of people from Mozambique.
Contacted for a comment, Bishop Sitshebo said the exclusion of other languages could not have gone down well with the delegates.
"I know that was a sensitive matter for some delegates but I am not aware why it happened. Possibly the decision was made at the stage of putting in the Order of Service. I was not there. As for myself, I addressed the congregation in Shona, Ndebele and English, so that everyone could understand my sermon," he said.
However, some disappointed delegates from Matabeleland were not as cautious in their interpretation of events.
They said such actions only bring to the fore serious political and tribal divisions that have been simmering in the church for some time.
"This is not the first time Kunonga has shown his contempt for Ndebele speakers. It is precisely for this reason that we have not attended previous Bernard Mizeki commemoration festivals," said a church member from Bulawayo.
"There is too much tribal friction in the Anglican Church but since Kunonga wants to be seen to be the leader in violation of a standing code of practice, we feel we can't worship with someone who hates us for the language we speak. We worship God, not Kunonga," said a church member.
Divisions in the church have grown since Kunonga went to the pulpit to declare that the Anglican Church supported President Mugabe's chaotic fast track land grab exercise. Kunonga stunned Christians when he declared that Mugabe was more Christian than himself.
"People from the southern regions feel they are being told that they are different. If Kunonga and his supporters in Harare think they are special, they should let the rest of the branches go their own way," said a disappointed church elder. It has also emerged that the alienation of specific branches has grown due to Kunonga's links with Zanu PF.
The branches also accuse Kunonga, whose name is on the list of top Zanu PF undesirables in America and the European Union, of victimising them for refusing to support his Zanu PF cause. 
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Zim Std
Government is the real national disaster 
ONCE again, our caring, concerned government has declared as "national disasters" the latest road tragedies in which nearly 50 people died.
It was this same caring, concerned government which recently declared the chronic food shortage in Zimbabwe a "national disaster".

The truth is that the real national disaster is the government itself, a government that has created a society in which disregard for the law has been positively encouraged or simply allowed to go unpunished. It is this same government, by its inability or unwillingness to enforce traffic laws, which is largely responsible for the dangerous conditions prevailing on our roads.
Crying crocodile tears whenever a major tragedy occurs on the roads is just not acceptable, but it is all we can expect from a government whose only concern is for its own political survival.
In a classic example of the crisis management that our government mistakes for policy initiatives, it has now announced that it will introduce stiffer penalties for traffic offenders and some new regulations.
Before they proceed perhaps they will first answer the question of who is responsible for enforcing our existing traffic laws. When existing traffic laws are flouted with impunity what possible purpose will be served by new laws, other than as window dressing to pretend that something is being done?
Other relevant questions, which will, of course, go unanswered by our unaccountable government include the following:
* Will anyone accept responsibility for these road tragedies and resign?
* Will anyone insist that something is done to enforce the laws that are daily broken?
* Will the police do anything effective to deal with the very real dangers created by speeding buses and trucks, by lethal unroadworthy vehicles, by reckless minibus drivers, by vehicles with defective lights (including many police and government vehicles), by drivers who openly drink beer whilst driving, by drivers who go through red lights long after they have changed, by ET's that are now openly back on the roads despite being banned?
* Will the 'responsible' minister and the police commissioner do anything to ensure that the police actually do their job of enforcing existing laws? If they are unaware of where traffic violations routinely occur then they need only ask any of us who daily risk our lives driving on Zimbabwe's roads.
Don't hold your breath in anticipation of answers to any of these questions-and don't expect anything more to be said until the next 'accident'. And certainly don't expect anything to be done beyond the mouthing of a few pious platitudes-or the passing of laws which will be immediately ignored.
As usual it is the innocent who are the victims of our caring, concerned government.
RES Cook
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Zim Std
Police 'barred' from Whitecliff 
By Chengetai Zvauya
WAR veterans at Whitecliff farm have declared the 'settlement' a no-go area and have created a militia force to fight off 'intruders', including the police, The Standard has heard.
The militia, made up of youths resident on the farm, patrols the area around the clock in an effort to stop unwanted visitors.

Last week, Ignatius Chombo, the local government minister, provoked the wrath of the war veterans when he ordered the invaders to vacate Whitecliff farm, located on the outskirts of Harare.
Chombo was forced to back down after the war vets branded him a "counter revolutionary" and called for his resignation.
The war vets' secretary for security, Mike Moyo, who is leading the militia, on Wednesday encouraged the farm's militia to be alert and vigilant.
Announcing the formation of the 'defence team' to hundreds of settlers at Whitecliff farm, Moyo said its purpose was to fight the police and others who threatened to destroy their homes.
''We have formed a youth team to look out for people who want to destroy our homes. The youths will be patrolling the area and they are not going to sleep. Any strangers, especially the police sent by minister Chombo to destroy our homes, are not welcome.
''If they come here looking for war we are ready for them. Do not be afraid of them. Anyone who resides here and does not participate in this war will be chased away because he is as good as the people we are fighting,'' said Moyo.
When The Standard visited the farm on Wednesday, scores of youths could be seen manning the various entrance points to the farm.
The situation was tense with the militia closely vetting all visitors to the farm.
The 10 000 settlers on the farm and their war veteran leaders, are refusing to vacate the farm despite being labelled illegal tenants by government. 

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Zim Std
It takes men of spine... 
I WOULD like to commend you Mr Editor for a job well done in disseminating information regarding what is happening around us.
It takes men of 'spine' to stand up and face the breeze that is common these days. You stand up for reality, like the prophets Amos, Elijah and Stephen. Purity of conscience is expressed solely through fearless courage.

To be a philosopher and a judge, one has to be prepared to get his fingers burnt. Love of wisdom, which is the definition of philosophy, manifests itself in fearlessness in times of retribution.
John the Baptist, 'lost his head' after facing the wrath of the king once he had exposed him.
Peter Moyo should also be praised for his What's On Air column. He knows his subject well. It is such people that should be the CEO's of the now defunct, ZBC.
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Zim Std
No to lily-livered ZTA, CFU 
TOBACCO, Zimbabwe's main foreign currency earner, has been killed by cowardice in the face of Zanu PF's brutal seizure of productive farmland.
There is no point in pandering to political correctness. Down that road lies the deceitful belief that commercial farmers are second class citizens. Down that road we expose the dangerous delusion that we will maintain Zimbabwe's envied position in world tobacco trade in the face of this self-inflicted crisis.

Growing tobacco is not that easy, no matter what the likes of Joseph Made and Jonathan Moyo might claim. Apart from immense skill and wealth of experience, it takes literally millions of dollars in investment for even modest production.
And, for those who believe they are far removed from tobacco, it is important to restate that it is the single, most important product in this country-and it makes Zimbabwe what it is. In tobacco there is wealth, not just for tobacco farmers, nor just for buyers and the trade, but for all Zimbabweans. Without the crop, Zimbabwe would be as underdeveloped as Zambia, Mozambique, or Tanzania.
That makes it all the sadder that organisations like the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) have participated so willingly in their own demise. Even more than the now enfeebled Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), the ZTA has allowed, since the onset of the Zimbabwe Crisis, Zanu PF's agents of influence to guide its policy.
People in Mabvuku and Mabelreign, Bulawayo and Beitbridge, Nkayi and Guruve might say the problems besetting tobacco farmers are so far removed from them that they're irrelevant, but they couldn't be more wrong. Tobacco is to Zimbabwe what gold is to South Africa-and without it we all perish.
No one, from the townships to the comfortable suburbs, should forget that the Zimbabwe Crisis, now entering its third year, began on the farms. And history will not forget that organisations like the ZTA did their utmost to ensure that Zanu PF hegemony was total-to the ultimate detriment of all Zimbabweans. Indeed the ZTA and CFU equally stand accused for their part in fomenting the current land-related crisis.
For too long farmers ignored the fact that millions of black Zimbabweans scratched a living from farming in marginal communal areas. Instead of being proactive, the CFU foolishly hoped the simmering crisis would never come to pass. But it did and no doubt they have learnt a painful lesson from all this.
Be that as it may, the point still stands that farmers have been given minimal support in the face of the endless programme of harassment. We therefore applaud the extreme resilience of some of the commercial farmers who have risked everything to put in a crop season in and season out.
This is in sharp contrast to farming organisations who have knuckled their foreheads rather than stand up to the threat they faced. They've toadied shamelessly to the regime, rather than face the fact that their lack of courage has had a catastrophic and death dealing blow to all Zimbabweans.
That's why last week's fawning speech by ZTA outgoing president Kobus Joubert should be so upsetting for the rest of the country. Joubert, to the disgust of many of his members, told tobacco growers that they should "work with the government of the day" before cautioning them to be "apolitical"-surely a contradiction in terms, because the implication is that farmers should cooperate only with the ruling party.
He also had words to say about the arrogance and attitude of farmers, a gross intrusion into people's lives and one that upset many. As did his advice that farmers co-exist with the newly "settled" people on their farms, the very same people who, in most cases, have been terrorising farmers and their workers for the last two years. His shameless servility, hopefully, won't be replicated on the ground where farmers and about 300 000 farm workers stand to lose everything by taking his advice.
We have to understand that the problems on the farms are problems for all Zimbabweans. We have also to accept that while commercial farmers, in the main, have done nothing to win friends over the last 22 years, the problems Zimbabwe faces are so great that we need to overlook niceties for the time being. Whether they're good guys or a bunch of die hard reactionaries is irrelevant under the current circumstances. Right now concerted efforts need to be made, by all Zimbabweans, to restore commercial farming to its former productive self.
SoŠ it doesn't really help when their own leaders, be they in the ZTA or the CFU, actually work against Zimbabwe's interests-as happened so openly last week, but in reality has been happening for over two years.
And this is something farming leaders need to understand, and understand clearly. We are in a crisis, just as they are, but it is a crisis they have made worse than it need have been. They also need to understand that working in the country's interest at this moment in time means working against the disastrous policies of the ruling party. Witness the way in which the government has been delisting, relisting, delisting and relisting the farms. It really boggles the mind and shows, once again, a government which is locked in a confused mode.
Zanu PF has embarked on a course that will bankrupt Zimbabwe in economic and moral terms-and it has done so by design because only by subjecting the population to penury and political subjugation can it ensure its own survival.
In effect, the ZTA is saying that it is safer to go along with this in the hope that some day it will all end.
That's nonsense. The only way it will end is if we make it end. If Kobus Joubert believes that appeasing and negotiating with the bullies in Zanu PF will work, that's for him to believe-but we are certain it won't work. It has not worked in the past.
It takes two to negotiate in good faith. And as things stand, the ruling party is not interested in dialogue and contact as a constructive basis for its relations not only with commercial farmers but other civil society organisations as well.
We believe the day will come when eventually we will look back on this period and there will be a word of gratitude to those who stood up to this evil-and not the current ZTAs of this world. 
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Zim Std
Difficult times ahead 
By Paul Nyakazeya
AS the country enters the second half of the year, Zimbabweans who have for the past five months been struggling to make ends meet, are bound to be depressed by economic indicators of more difficult times ahead.
With inflation pegged at an unprecedented 122,5%, life in Zimbabwe has become a daily nightmare for the ordinary people, many of whom are left with little option but to become economic refugees in the United Kingdom.

The chaotic land reform programme and the violence that engulfed the country in the run up to the June 2000 general elections and March 2002 presidential elections, among other factors, contributed to the economic malaise which hit the country, once the breadbasket of southern Africa.
This malaise was mainly manifested by acute foreign currency shortages and the free fall of the once-stable Zimbabwe dollar which plunged to an all-time low against major currencies. Only last week there were fears that the exchange rate of the Zim dollar would crash to a record $900 against the American greenback.
Analysts say the beleaguered Zim dollar, now purchases what six cents used to buy in 1995, thus worsening the plight of Zimbabweans, many of whom are unemployed.
Figures from the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) show that the monthly budget for a family of six has risen from about $2 777 in 1995 to around $27 000 in April 2002.
Despite this, the majority of working people in this country earn an average of $10 000 per month.
Many companies have been forced to close operations due to the hostile economic environment prevailing in the country.
Harare-based economic consultant Andrew Shoriwa told Standard Business that the rise in inflation would worsen the situation as many company's operations were driven out of business.
"With such a percentage, workers will demand higher wages as they will be doing more for the dollar than the dollar is doing for them. Companies have not been performing well enough to meet salary demands. Very soon there will be no point in saving money in banks because of the negative interest rates," said Shoriwa.
Many businesses have ceased operations over the past three years forcing many people out of employment and reducing the economy's output. Zimbabwe's inflation rate is the second highest in Africa after that of its ally, the war torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Owen Harris of Marlborough, who is a father of three, told Standard Business: "There was a time when $1 000 was the down-payment for a car but now that amount is less than bus fare to Bulawayo."
Martha Siziba of Riverside, Bulawayo, suggested that it was time for the present government to start establishing good relations with the international community for the good of ordinary citizens.
Said Siziba: "When you make your budget there is nothing left to to save. Today's budget reminds people of their poverty." 
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Zim Std
  Disastrous cabinet 
On Sunday with Chido Makunike
HOW is the revolution under President Mugabe and his senior aides going? Is there any hope of the nation soon reaching the promised land of enough food, a stable currency and a booming economy?
The signs are not encouraging. Shortages of essential commodities are worsening, our currency has experienced its steepest decline in the last month;company closures and joblessness are the order of the day.

How are some of the other members of Mr Mugabe's team faring?
Finance minister Simba Makoni is in the interesting position of, on the one hand, being accused of having failed to influence even a single one of Mugabe's politics and economics, but on the other of being defended even by critics of Mr Mugabe. He is not the hate-spewing, rabble-rouser in the mould of his boss and some other ministers, that's why many commentators go out of their way to excuse his ineffectualness.
Makoni may be a nice enough chap, but given the mess we are in now, is 'nice' in a cabinet minister good enough?
One day he makes a statement calling for sanity on the part of his colleagues but the next day distances himself from that very statement for fear of trouble with Mugabe. We need Zimbabweans who can make a fearless stand.
Does Makoni stand for anything? I hope he is not simply a window dresser, there to enjoy the privileges of being a minister but without the power and latitude to do anything useful.
I would like to nominate my favourite minister, none other than Mugabe's propaganda chief, Jonathan Moyo, for what has been proposed in the past-the position of prime minister. He already makes statements on matters concerning other ministers' jurisdictions, so we might as well formally recognise his resourcefulness and initiative.
But he must be warned in the strongest terms that as PM, he will not be able to just fire all the other ministers and run the government single-handedly.
For your next birthday, my main man Moyo, I have bought you a copy of the international best-seller by Norman Vincent Peale, How to Win Friends and Influence People. After reading it, pass it on to Mugabe and police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena, who might become a little more effective at their jobs if they take its wisdom to heart.
Finally, whatever it is that makes Moyo appear to be perpetually angry, I urge him to please try to relax. Exercise and meditation are two ideas to try. They cost nothing and they work. It's not worth it to be Mugabe's most enthusiastic flunky at the cost of having neither friends nor respect.
I used to think of agriculture minister Joseph Made as a mild-mannered, laid back type, but soon after his appointment, he took on the intimidatory, belligerent style of Mugabe and Moyo. You see the negative kind of pressure that can influence you when you hang out with the wrong crowd?
Or is it defensiveness about possibly going down in posterity as the clever fellow who went all the way to America to attain prestigious degrees in agriculture, only to come back to destroy commercial agriculture in the name of land reform, instead of using one's learning to rise to the challenge of meeting the need for both?
For the sake of Made's legacy, I hope the Mugabe type of land reform, derided far and wide, and seen as the immediate cause of the current famine, will be vindicated in Made's lifetime. For now, it has brought hunger, suffering and international humiliation for his fellow Zimbabweans.
In a new cabinet, I would propose Mrs Grace Mugabe as head of a new ministry of finance, spending and trade. I have no doubt that our trade with countries like Italy, Germany, the US, Britain and Singapore would improve dramatically. These countries make a lot of the fine, expensive material things that make life so meaningful, and Mrs Mugabe has enjoyed visiting them all.
This appointment would be conditional on Comrade Grace agreeing to have her foreign trips and expense accounts closely monitored, since foreign currency has become such a scarce, precious commodity.
Almost weekly, we are told how our depressed tourism industry is just about to experience a fantastic boom that will end all our problems. Tourism minister Francis Nhema has recently been looking very glum, perhaps he has the thankless job of trying to attract tourists to Zimbabwe, when some would argue that the president and some of his other ministers are working even harder to keep them away.
I felt so sorry for Nhema when he was reduced to commandeering a group of Americans around the countryside to a big dinner, and trying to make it look like the tourism event of the year.
Alas, there is as yet no sign of the promised tourist deluge. Some wags have unkindly suggested that Mr Mugabe, with his penchant for flying to what parts of the world he still can, and for putting up in ritzy hotels, sort of acts like a tourist to Zimbabwe, and that he might want to take over the portfolio, and have a go at attracting other tourists. Surely this is the kind of rude talk that can only emanate from enemies of the revolution, renegades and foreign stooges.
Putting the rather hot-headed Patrick Chinamasa in charge of a ministry with the word 'justice' in it was surely a non-starter. I suggest putting his talents to better use in a proposed ministry of aggression, responsible for ruthlessly dealing with demonstrations by members of the opposition and similar dangerous, subversive activities.
I am not at all impressed with the diplomatic skills of minister of foreign affairs, Stan Mudenge. The name of his ministry turned out to have been prophetic, as it has emerged that his daughter was conducting a hot affair with a foreigner, leading to their wedding in Germany this month.
Mudenge ranted something to the effect that even if he was denied a visa for the wedding because of sanctions, this country would still "never go back to the whites"-the hook that the Mugabe regime uses whenever it is censured or embarrassed.
I thought this rather ugly talk from a supposedly seasoned diplomat, and a gentleman welcoming a white son in law into the family. This harsh racial talk is sure to cause alarm and despondency to the German in-laws, who may be wondering just what they have got themselves in to.
I am not aware of anything Elliot Manyika has accomplished as minister of employment creation, but non-achievement does not necessarily disqualify him from being a minister, as the prolonged tenure of many other ministers has shown.
No, what worries me most about Manyika being so close to the seat of power is the rumour that he is studying for an advanced degree with a British university. If true, is this not a terrible threat to our national sovereignty, at a time when Mugabe is tirelessly alerting us to the diabolical and neo-colonialist designs of the British?
Under the guise of educating Manyika, the crafty British could very well lure him from the straight and narrow path, causing him to waver in his revolutionary fervour. I am aware that the serious charge that he is working in cahoots with the British could destroy his career in the Mugabe regime, but my patriotic and evolutionary spirit does not allow me to keep quiet about this possible act of betrayal. CIO, where are you when you can actually do the country some good?
At the risk of being accused of being counter-revolutionary, I must confess the revolutionary cabinet does not inspire much confidence in me at the moment. 
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Insight Into Mugabe's Mind

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

June 23, 2002
Posted to the web June 23, 2002

Walter Marwizi

THE department of information and publicity in the President's Office has
published Inside The Third Chimurenga, a compilation of selected speeches by
President Robert Mugabe that seeks to justify his controversial land reform

The book which was published in December 2001, ahead of the Zanu PF
conference held in Victoria Falls, has only been circulated within ruling
party circles.

The department, headed by junior minister for state, information and
publicity, Jonathan Moyo, did not make any efforts to publicise the book.

The 201 page publication provides an insight into the mind of the embattled
president who is under fire at home and abroad for his election 'victory'
which has been widely described as 'stolen'.

In the book, Mugabe makes it clear that "the land is the economy and the
economy is the land" in Zimbabwe.

The speeches, some of which date back to 1997, show that Mugabe remains
unrepentant in his hatred for whites.

He bashes them left, right and centre, but reserves his harshest criticism
for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), a party that almost
relegated him to the dustbin of Zimbabwean political history.

In several speeches, Mugabe viciously criticises the MDC, describing it as
"treacherous", "quisling", and "a counter revolutionary Trojan horse
contrived and nurtured by the very inimical forces that enslaved and
oppressed our people yesterday".

Turning to its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe asks rhetorically in one of
his long speeches:

"For how else does one reconcile the fact of a political leader of peasant
born, bred in overcrowded, dusty and land hungry district like Buhera of
Insiza (sic) taking a rigid stance against land reform meant to benefit his
own parents and himself?

Why would such a person expect Zanu PF to teach about the need for land
reform when the best, most compelling teacher is the life and fate of his
own peasant father, mother, uncle and neighbour?"


Zimbabwe crisis deepens as Mugabe sticks to his guns

HARARE, June 23 - Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis is deepening as
President Robert Mugabe cranks up pressure against the opposition, and
continues his controversial land-seizure drive, political analysts say.
       They argue that Mugabe has compounded Zimbabwe's gloomy outlook with
a swoop of arrests and warnings to his opponents that he will not tolerate
any protests against his rule, and another vow that his land reforms are
       ''If you look at all the things that are happening...if you add it up
in any manner you want, what you will find is a situation that is getting
worse and worse,'' said Masipula Sithole, professor of political science at
the University of Zimbabwe.
       ''There is more repression, a more repressive atmosphere and there
are no new ideas coming from the government. It is behaving as if everything
is normal and that is what is making the situation really bad.''
       The government arrested and took to court nearly 100 members of the
main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) this week for illegal
       The ruling ZANU-PF party says the rallies are being called to plot a
national revolt to overturn Mugabe's re-election earlier this year in a
disputed poll.
       MDC leader Tsvangirai accused the police of brutality in dispersing
the rallies, but said he would not give up his efforts to organise
anti-government protests.
       While Mugabe's government kept its eyes and guns on its opponents,
the crisis in Zimbabwe's economy, in its fourth year of recession, appeared
to be worsening.

       Food shortages -- blamed on drought and Mugabe's seizures of
white-owned commercial farms -- are spreading, the Zimbabwean dollar
continues to crumble in value and the price of critical health drugs has
risen by over 200 percent since December.
       ''The economy has become a hostage of our politics and there is
nothing in our politics to liberate the economy,'' said private economic
consultant John Robertson.
       Increasing numbers of farmers whose land has been designated for
seizure by Mugabe's government for redistribution to landless blacks are
leaving their land following government orders, raising the spectre of an
even wider food crisis.
       Many of the farms' new occupants have little or no farming experience
and Zimbabwean farmers are emigrating in droves, with some neighbours like
Mozambique snapping up their expertise.
       The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), which represents about 4,500
white farmers, says up to 90 percent of its members are likely to lose their
land under the government's ''fast-track'' land-reform programme.
       Agricultural authorities in Mozambique said on Sunday some of the 150
Zimbabwean commercial farmers who had applied for land in the central
province of Manica would soon be operating there, having paid their taxes
and consulted local communities.
       Besides the staple maize meal, Zimbabwean media said this week sugar
was in short supply because millers had had no coal deliveries from a state
railway service, commandeered by the government to move food aid around the
southern Africa country where a quarter of its 14 million people are facing
       International aid agencies -- including the World Food Programme
(WFP) -- say about half the population might be in need of food assistance
by the end of the year and that Zimbabwe's current food crisis is mainly
       The country's key farming sector used to be breadbasket of the
       But Mugabe, whose March presidential election was condemned as
fraudulent by many Western powers, blames this year's food shortage on
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