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

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Independent (UK)

The despotic Mr Mugabe has presented the West with a devil's choice
25 June 2002
As of midnight last night, almost 3,000 white farmers in Zimbabwe faced the
starkest of choices: to cease farming forthwith and give up their land or to
place themselves on the wrong side of the law, risking eviction by force and
imprisonment. The deadline imposed by the government of Robert Mugabe
requires them to stop farming now, if need be with crops still unharvested,
and to vacate the land within 45 days.

The government's order is not without a certain rationale. The practical
purpose is to accelerate the redistribution of farmland to landless blacks
and give new impetus to the flagging programme of land reform. The political
purpose is to fulfil long-standing election promises and stem the rising
tide of black discontent.

In terms of feeding the country, however, this despotic government could
hardly have chosen a worse time to enact its order. At least two regions of
Zimbabwe are already suffering severe food shortages. As much as half the
population is likely to need food assistance of some kind before the end of
the year. The reason is only partly the drought that threatens the whole
region; botched land reform, farm-occupations and assaults on white farmers
have compounded the hardship. Which is why the government's decision to lay
down the law to white farmers at this juncture defies belief.

The order would deprive around 60 per cent of white commercial farmers of
their land. It is estimated that another 30 per cent have already abandoned
their farms, which would leave only around 5 per cent of the country's 4,000
white farmers still in business in six weeks' time. Already breaking under
the strain, the most efficient and productive sector of Zimbabwe's
agriculture would be effectively destroyed.

The first signs were that most were choosing to carry on in the hope,
perhaps, that the incompetence of the Mugabe government, so evident in other
areas, would manifest itself in its inability to enforce last night's
deadline. But while the farmers deserve the highest praise for their
courage, the risks they face are enormous.

However it is not only Zimbabwe's remaining farmers who confront an
unenviable dilemma as a result of the Mugabe government's order. Western
governments - above all the British Government - face a devil's choice of
their own. If food shortages in Zimbabwe develop into famine, should they
provide aid or not? If they supply aid, they could be accused of shoring up
a debilitated and corrupt regime and compensating for its failings. If they
refuse to do so, they could be complicit in mass starvation.

For Britain, the dilemma has an additional, and distasteful, element of
blackmail. President Mugabe holds Britain to blame for the whole food
crisis, claiming that it renegued on a promise to help underwrite land
reform. The British Government says its offer was contingent on the orderly
redistribution of land.

There can be no question of Western governments standing by as Zimbabwe
starves. They must do their utmost to feed the hungry, but
government-to-government assistance should be avoided, as should financial
donations. Aid should be channelled through voluntary organisations and
managed in such a way as to bypass the Zimbabwe government and the corrupt
local officials the regime has spawned. This would convey a double message
to the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe: that the Mugabe government is
powerless to help them, and that foreign countries are not the enemies they
have been painted to be.
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The Final Act

I well remember September the 23rd 1976. It was one of those occaisions, like the assassination of Kennedy, where you can clearly remember where you were and what was going through your mind at the time. For Americans, I am sure that September the 11th 2001 will oscillate in their minds for life and beyond in the same way.

On that fateful day (September 23rd, 1976) I was with a small group of friends in Mount Pleasant, Harare. The others were all academics of one kind or another at the University of Zimbabwe. We sat in the study and watched a small television set as Ian Douglas Smith, Prime Minister for 17 years, came onto the screen to address the nation. This was the man whom we had fought for at least 15 years over his policies of isolation and racial intolerance.

Three years before that evening, I had led a small group of 35 of the most outstanding young Rhodesians in an effort to persuade him that he was going to loose the war and would eventually have to give up power. We tried to persuade him to negotiate his way out of the laager and get a deal with his opponents that would allow a transfer of power under controlled and managed circumstances. At the end of a three hour discussion, he very pointedly, said to the group I had put together with a colleague, "I could never live in the kind of Rhodesia that Cross here wants, we are not losing the war, we are going to win and I cannot see any sense in changing our course".

All except 8 of those young leaders left the country within 6 months. They could see little sense in continuing to fight for a lost cause. We lost in that way some of the very finest young future leaders we have ever produced. My colleague, Tom, left the country and became head of the Boston Consulting Group in Europe, married a German girl and is now a global player in business circles.

The country that night in 1976, was on its last legs, exports were falling, emigration was draining away the talent we needed to go on, global opposition was intensifying and the bush war was clearly being lost at that stage. Military leaders said that what we were engaged in was a holding operation to give political leaders time to sort things out. Every white male that could walk was spending half his time in uniform in one capacity or the other. We were losing the sympathy and support of those essential to our survival.

Smith came on the television and with that poker face of his, that seldom showed what he was really thinking, he stated that he had just come back from a meeting in Pretoria where he had conceded a transfer of power to a new government elected under universal suffrage. The rest of what he said was somewhat lost on us as we erupted with joy and relief that our long night of working and waiting was now over, there was something to look forward to at last.

Today you have to pay tribute to that man for accepting the inevitable and then agreeing to oversee what for him was a complete anathema – a transfer of power to a majority elected government under international supervision. He went on to tell the nation what he had agreed to and then staying in his post until it was done and then he retired from the scene. Always a recalcitrant, but honest man who never abused his position and was always distressingly frank. Kissenger said that it was one of the saddest days of his life that he had to end Ian Smith’s dreams in this way, but there was no alternative.

In four years, Mugabe was in power – taking over in a manner that was not to his liking any more than it had been Smiths, all were forced to compromise by the events of September the 23rd, 1976.

Now here we are, 26 years later. Somehow back to where we started. The economy in freefall, the government at war with the people, the country in a state of complete isolation and even those friends on whom our very survival depends are now at the stage of active opposition. At the helm, a man very similar in many ways to Ian Smith, very tough on his opponents, completely intolerant of any opposition in his own party, committed to a path that has run out of space on the edge of a precipice, with no where else to go. Those of us, who live under the regime, see no future for our children or ourselves if he does not go, but how, when?

We started the process of change three years ago when a "peoples convention" called for the establishment of a new political party that would fight Zanu PF and give the country a democratic alternative. The people who sponsored this initiative had tried everything else – to no avail. Mugabe would not listen, would not change course. His own Party totally under his control, too terrified of the consequences of doing anything other than standing behind the Master. Instead of leaving the country – voting with our feet, as it is called, we stayed and fought back, using democratic activities where we found space to maneuver. A great deal has been achieved in those three years. MDC now controls half the elected seats in Parliament, 6 out of 25 of the towns and cities, including the two major cities of Harare and Bulawayo. We are accepted throughout the world as a potential alternative government, capable of turning the country around when we finally take power.

This ground has not been won without struggle or pain – 150 of our members and leadership has been killed in politically motivated activity, thousands have been beaten and tortured, raped and burnt. The government has had to attack all the pillars of democracy – the media, the judiciary, and the independent businessperson, to try and halt our advance. Our acceptance as an alternative administration has also not come easily. We have been consistently bombarded with calls to join in a government of "national unity". We have been called all sorts of names – not only by the Zanu PF propaganda machine but also by countries in Africa who saw us as a challenge to the hegemony over power of the former liberation movements.

And now? I have that same feeling as we had in September 1976; change is in the air. Mugabe has run out of space. He is losing the war with his people, he has lost the support of those in Africa on whom his future depends and the global community has decided that he simply cannot be allowed to continue to stand in the way of positive change in southern Africa. The difference is that I do not see Mugabe accepting this in the same way as Smith did in 1976. I think he will resist and will therefore fail in a way that will be devoid of the dignity that Ian Smith has, even today, in this country that he so nearly completely destroyed.

There are two other elements in the situation today that also set the stage for a different outcome. Smith never starved his people. Mugabe has done so on a scale never before seen in Africa. In the Ethiopian famine in the 90’s, Ethiopia had 70 per cent of the food it needed to get by – distribution was the main problem. We have barely 25 per cent of the food we need to survive in the next 8 months. People are going to die here, and Mugabe is to blame.

The other situation that is different is that Mugabe has failed his people – Smith never did, to the end he fought to defend the interests of the white minority. Mugabe has not defended the interests of the majority who elected him into power. He has abused his position and impoverished his people while at the same time corruptly bankrupting the state for his own benefit and the benefit of his clique. Ian Smith never needed an armor plated Mercedes Benz, even at the height of the civil war. He drove an ordinary Peugeot sedan, with one security detail and a driver.

The end is near and Zanu PF knows this as does Mugabe – hence the panic and sudden flurry of military activity. It will not protect him now, just as it never protected Ian Douglas Smith in September 1976. Do not lose hope – we are waiting for the dawn of a new and better day.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 23rd June, 2002

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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 01:24 GMT 02:24 UK
Zimbabwe whites 'must stop farming'
Car at farm in Chinhoyi
Some farms have already been abandoned
By Barnaby Phillips
BBC southern Africa correspondent
The majority of white farmers who are still in Zimbabwe are legally obliged to stop working their land from Monday, according to their union.

The Commercial Farmers' Union says that 2,900 farmers must surrender farms in line with recent changes to the law, which give the Zimbabwean Government sweeping powers to take land.

Any farmer who carries on working their land 45 days after receiving an acquisition notice could face two years in prison.

The number of farmers affected represents about 60% of the total of white farmers who were in Zimbabwe at the time that land seizures began two years ago.


Last month the government passed the legislation, giving farmers 45 days to stop working land which has been listed for acquisition and redistribution.

Sign on farm
War veterans have spearheaded the government's land push
In theory the farmers now have another 45 days, at the end of which they must leave their properties for good.

The government was not available for comment, but a state controlled newspaper said the authorities had rejected requests from farmers that they be allowed to stay on.

Some white farmers appear to be in a defiant mood and say they will carry on farming.

One said, you can't just wind up 50 years of work in 45 days.

Donors say the food shortages now affecting millions of Zimbabweans are directly linked to the often chaotic redistribution of land.

But the government says that by taking land from white farmers and giving it to landless black peasants, it is ensuring greater self-sufficiency in the future.


Deadline set for Zimbabwe's farmers

Under law, 3,000 whites must stop working the land
by midnight
Zimbabwe policemen remove the body of murdered Zimbabwe farm manager Charles
Anderson earlier this month in Glendale, about 60 miles from Harare. White
farmers have become the target for militant groups encouraged by the

HARARE, Zimbabwe, June 24 -  Nearly 3,000 white Zimbabwean farmers faced a
midnight legal deadline on Monday to stop working their land, but many
farmers vowed to defy the order which could see tons of vital crops rot in
the fields.
       "THERE IS an air of disbelief and defiance. I think a lot of farmers
will carry on working as they have no other choice," Jenni Williams, a
spokeswoman for the Commercial Farmers' Union told Reuters by telephone.
       "We are also discussing the option of going to the courts to get them
to stop the order," she said. Other CFU sources said a behind-the-scenes
dialogue was taking place with the government.
       Agriculture ministry and other officials of the government of
President Robert Mugabe, controversially reelected in March, were not
immediately available for comment.
       The order to stop farming from midnight is the latest shot by the
government in its battle to seize white-owned farms for redistribution to
landless blacks - a move it asserts is needed to redress the imbalances of
the colonial era.
       Mugabe's government amended its land acquisition law on May 10,
ordering farmers with land targeted for seizure to stop their activities in
45 days. They must vacate their property by Aug. 10.
       Under the law, a farmer could face two years in prison and/or a fine
for doing farm-related work from Tuesday.
       "A farmer from Tuesday could be arrested for feeding the nation,"
Williams said.
       She said 2,900 of the CFU's 3,150 members were affected by the move,
threatening the crucial winter wheat crop in a country already facing
critical food shortages which many analysts blame on the "fast-track" land
       "We have 22,567 hectares of wheat in the ground which will only be
harvested in September/October. Who is going to look after the crop if the
farmers stop working?" Williams said.
       Pro-Mugabe supporters, led by veterans of the 1970s war of
independence against white minority rule, launched sometimes violent
invasions of white-owned farms over two years ago, plunging the southern
African country into chaos.
       Some white farmers say they have nowhere to go.
       "We're supposed to stop farming but we'll carry on anyway. We still
have a crop in the ground," one commercial farmer, who asked not to be
identified, told Reuters by telephone.
       "But we now also have 45 days to vacate the land and we don't know if
we can take our assets. You can't start elsewhere without money or
collateral," he said.
       The controversial land program is being carried out against the
backdrop of a collapsing economy, with unemployment and inflation racing
higher and the value of the Zimbabwean dollar crumbling.
       Mugabe, in power for 22 years, is accused by the West and the
domestic opposition of stealing the March presidential election
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The Times

            Zimbabwe whites told it is against law to farm land
            From Jan Raath in Harare

            FROM midnight tonight it will be a crime for 2,900 Zimbabwean
white farmers to produce food or exports to help to feed their country's
population, much of it now facing starvation.
            In what could be the most serious single blow to the country's
already shattered economy, the farmers will tomorrow face arrest if they set
foot on their lands. Twenty years ago the same farmers earned President
Mugabe's newly independent nation its reputation as the breadbasket of
Africa. Now the law allows them only to stay in their homesteads.

            Amendments last month to laws governing the confiscation of land
order the closure of 60 per cent of the country's productive farmland. In 45
days' time even their homesteads will be denied them, when the Land
Acquisition Act orders automatic eviction.

            Violation of either deadline carries maximum penalties of two
years in jail or a fine of Zim$20,000 (about £35).

            For most of the remaining 40 per cent of the farmers, a rash of
new 90-day expulsion orders is being issued, and 94 per cent of the 28
million acres of white farmland has been formally listed for Mr Mugabe's
land grab. A clause in the law allows farmers to apply for an exemption, and
a group of tobacco farmers put in their applications last week. However,
Jonathan Moyo, the Information Minister, was dismissive of the applications.

            "They are a waste of time because they are cynical and
 sinister," he said. "There will be no extra-judicial waiver. The land
reform programme is real and irreversible."

            Jenni Williams, a spokesman for the Commercial Farmers' Union,
said: "This is insanity. Ranchers have got to water their cattle. They can't
just leave them. There are people with millions of dollars of wheat in the

            "People cannot just get up and walk away from everything they
have built up in their lives. It's absolutely unconstitutional."

            The farmers were divided on how to deal with the new threat, she
said. "There will be those who will not abandon their homes and would rather
face the authorities."

            Ironically, the most effective resistance to Mr Mugabe's newest
recklessness would be for all farmers to close down immediately and leave
the regime with far worse food shortages, said Lindsay Campbell, 33, who
farms tobacco and cattle in the Marondera area about 50 miles east of

            "If we all just do what the minister says, they will realise
pretty soon it wasn't such a smart move," she said. "On Monday we are going
to move all our cattle off. We are going to stop everything on Tuesday. We
are not going to move outside our security fence."

            The Campbells' property has just been "resettled" for the second
time. About two years ago it was allocated to peasant farmers who practise
subsistence agriculture.

            Now they have learnt that it has just been allocated again, this
time to a senior government official. "The settlers are not going to like
this," she said.

            Farmers will lose not only their land and homes, but all
property that is "permanently" connected to the land, like pumps cemented
into the ground and powerful electricity generators.

            The new law says that farmers have the right to take their
moveable property with them. In practice, most owners have been illegally
forced, usually under police scrutiny, to leave with a couple of suitcases
of clothing.

            The tractors, earth-moving equipment, computers and sheds full
of crops left behind, have been claimed by the senior ruling party
functionaries, top military and police officers and their relatives -
Zimbabwe's new farming class - as their own.

            Hopes for compensation have almost entirely been abandoned,
especially now that the Government is in effect bankrupt and inflation is
running at 120 per cent. Economists estimate that £5.5 billion worth of
moveable assets have been illegally impounded or looted since February 2000,
when ruling party militants began invading white farms.

U N I T E D  N A T I O N S
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN)

ZIMBABWE: Almost 3,000 farmers to stop work

JOHANNESBURG, 24 June (IRIN) - From 25 June it will be a criminal offence for about about half of Zimbabwe's commercial farmers to continue farming.

Under the country's Land Acquisition Act, farmers who have received a "Section 8" - a final notice to cease farming - will have to prepare to leave their land, their crops and their cattle.

Their farms will become government property and they will have 45 days to wind up their affairs and leave.

In terms of President Robert Mugabe's land resettlement programme, the land will then be redistributed among the landless.

It is not immediately clear who will step in to continue farming. The government's move comes amid predictions that up to six million people in Zimbabwe will face food shortages by next year due to erratic weather and the land reform programme.

If the 2,900 commercial farmers served a Section 8 disobey orders to stop farming, they face a fine of Zim $20,000 (US $373)or two years in prison, or both.

Jenni Williams, spokeswoman for the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) said many farmers had applied to their district administrators for an extension to the deadline. Few had succeeded, and it appeared that some planned to defy orders and continue farming.

"They have cattle to look after and 22,000 hectares of wheat in the ground. They have a duty as Zimbabweans to feed their fellow Zimbabweans and they contribute to 15 percent of the GDP," she said.

Williams estimated that about 300,000 farmworkers would have to stop work and this would have a knock-on effect on about 1.5 million family members and dependents.

Lawyer Adrian de Bourbon explained that farmers with a Section 8 notice couldn't ask workers to continue farming on their behalf. "It would still be an offence," he said.

De Bourbon, who represents a number of commercial farmers, said very few had received compensation even though they are entitled to it.

They are also expected to pay retrenchment packages to farm workers in accordance with labour regulations. But, said De Bourbon, "if they can't sell their cattle or their crops, they can't pay."

The CFU said up to 27 percent of farm title deed owners were not producing anything due to enforced shut-downs and land invasions.

"Conversely, operations are either wholly or partially continuing on 73 percent of title deeds demonstrating the resilience of Zimbabwean commercial farmers. The highest shut down rate of 39 percent is in Mashonaland Central and the lowest
shut down rate of 12 percent is in Manicaland," the CFU said.

The CFU estimated that the entire commercial farming sector consists of 11.2 million hectares and about 93 percent had been identified for resettlement. About 50 to 60 percent of the commercial farmers in the CFU had received Section 8 orders.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that the European Union had allocated US $5.9 million to provide food aid for children and rural workers in Zimbabwe.

Link to the Land Acquisition Act:

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Legal Ramifications


Please circulate this to every farmer you know. The nation’s future is at stake. ACT NOW!

Please only forward this e-mail to open-minded Zimbabweans. Awareness,
followed by discussion, is needed. Please continue to share this
information with other farmers

It is of vital importance that all farmers understand the legal
ramifications of what is happening.

It is important to repeat here that ALL operations have to have stopped by
25 June 2002. This means that any activity on a farm must have ceased,
whether it is your general operation, or even removing your
assets illegally.

95% of commercial land has been set down for compulsory acquisition

1. Are you aware of the fact that when a section 8 notice is served
on you that the WHOLE farm is no longer yours and belongs to the Government.
You then hand over your title deeds - and your right to ownership and
possible compensation is GONE!

2. Should you decide to choose the “400 hectare option” available,
are you aware that you have to hand over your title deeds? It is important
to investigate the motive of the people who are trying
to persuade you to make this deal.

3. The more farmers who decide to hang on to their title deeds, the
stronger the bargaining power of your representatives. Once you hand over
the title deeds they are gone forever.

4. Know your rights! Funds have been set up to pay for legal advice.
You need to know all the legal implications and all your options. To take
advantage of this, telephone 04 250113.

5. There is interim support available for all farmers and their
workers who are serious about long term farming in Zimbabwe. You will not be

6. Another alternative is to go public and expose the legitimacy and
injustice of what has happened to you.

There is a propaganda campaign in place at the moment to tell farmers that
they can and should move back on to their farms and continue their farming
activities. Is this campaign by the police and local
authorities a vessel of empty promises? How confident are you that once
NEPAD is wrapped up, that you will be allowed to continue farming? . You
don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work this one

One hears the comment in Zimbabwe from many people that the leadership in
CFU is totally neutralised.
Make up your own mind on this. Should you agree, have you lobbied enough
for your best interests to be heard and acted upon?

Thoughts to share with those of your friends in town and who are in industry

FACT - Mugabe said in Rome that he will start on the mines and industry


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Philadelphia Enquirer

      Posted on Mon, Jun. 24, 2002

      Independent journalists feeling Zimbabwe government's wrath
      By Andrew Maykuth
      Inquirer Staff Writer

      HARARE, Zimbabwe - Bornwell Chakaodza thinks the government of
Zimbabwe has it out for him. He has been editor of the Zimbabwe Standard for
six weeks. The police have arrested him five times already.

      Chakaodza, 49, was first hauled in after his weekly wrote that the
government imported water cannons to control Zimbabwe's increasingly
restless townships. The story was true - the paper even had photos - but the
government denied it.

      Then he wrote about his night in Harare's putrid jail, with 24 people
packed in a cell designed for six. That merited another arrest, this time
for unlawfully disclosing police activities.

      Chakaodza is hardly alone. President Robert Mugabe's government has
arrested dozens of independent journalists, lawyers and opposition political
figures since it won a March election that was widely condemned by the West
as rigged.

      "The government is so arrogant it's unbelievable," said Chakaodza, who
believes he has been arrested more than other journalists because he once
was an ally - he used to edit the government daily, the Herald. "They see
themselves as the masters rather than the servants of the people."

      Mugabe, ruler of this former British colony in southern Africa for 22
years since independence, is systematically consolidating power after his
disputed election victory. Although Mugabe and the ruling ZANU-PF party have
run a virtual one-party state since he was first elected in 1980, and
members still call each other "comrade," his regime long tolerated an
independent press and judiciary.

      But the government's actions and rhetoric have been radicalized by the
growth of a serious political opposition in the last two years. "Let's
embrace Communism," stated a headline in the Herald this month.

      Last year the printing plant of the Daily News, which supports the
opposition, was bombed. No one was arrested.

      The leaders of Zimbabwe's bar association, which has criticized Mugabe
for ignoring court rulings and intimidating judges into retirement, were
charged this month with plotting to overthrow the government. The charges
were based on two letters the lawyers say are crude fabrications.

      "As lawyers, there was no way we could keep quiet in the face of the
deterioration of the rule of law," said Sternford Moyo, president of the
Zimbabwe Law Society. He faces 20 years in prison under security laws.

      The government denies its aim is repression.

      "There is no campaign of any sort against the opposition, journalists
or lawyers," police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said recently. "This is about
law and order."

      Andrew Meldrum, an American correspondent based in Zimbabwe, last week
became the first journalist to go to trial under tough new media laws.

      Meldrum, 50, who has lived in Zimbabwe for two decades and writes for
the British Guardian, was charged with publishing "falsehoods" after filing
a story alleging Mugabe supporters had beheaded a woman. He faces two years
in jail.

      The story, inspired by an account in the independent Daily News, was
wrong - it was based upon the unverified claims of the woman's husband. The
Daily News, whose reporter was also charged, published a retraction.

      Mugabe accuses some foreign journalists and sections of the private
media of pursuing a hate campaign against his party on behalf of British or
"imperialist" interests.

      While the independent media often do appear to be eager to publish
disparaging accounts of the government, the same could be said about the
government news outlets, which frequently publish unverified attacks on the

      Chakaodza, a soft-spoken man, has not exactly pursued the career of a
crusading journalist. He has spent most of his professional life as a
government media researcher, and he was the government's director of
information for five years.

      In 1997, he became editor of the Herald. As the opposition gained
strength before parliamentary elections in 2000, Chakaodza said he was
instructed to make every effort to promote ZANU-PF and to smear the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

      "I was instructed that I had to rubbish the MDC all the way and only
say good things about ZANU-PF," he said.

      He was good at his job. Before the election, the Herald was a
one-sided propaganda organ, useful mostly as an outlet for official
government pronouncements. Chakaodza said he agonized about whether to stay
within the system or try to change it from the outside.

      "There was a belief that things would change after the parliamentary
elections. That's how I justified staying, even while doing things against
my tradition and ethics of my profession," he said.

      After the elections, the Herald did indeed change - its reporting
became more balanced and its stories at least mentioned alternative views.
Circulation improved. "I felt I had to produce a real newspaper," Chakaodza

      But his superiors did not appreciate his attempt at redemption. Less
than two months after the elections, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo
sacked him summarily.

      On May 1, Chakaodza was named editor of the Standard. He knew he would
be attacked by the Information Ministry, which has been Mugabe's most
strident supporter.

      "I think they are afraid of me. They know what I'm capable of doing,
and they know I know the things in the system that would embarrass them," he

      His resilience in the face of the government's attacks has surprised
some of his staff, but not Chakaodza.

      "I was under no illusions about what would happen to us after the
passing of the media act. It was clearly aimed at the independent media. But
this is the job we have to do, and if in the process you get arrested and
jailed, so be it."

      He thinks the government's campaign has strengthened the opposition.
"They expect the harassment to have a chilling effect, but it has had the
contrary effect. It has strengthened our resolve."
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Commission provides a further Euro 6 million for victims of food shortages in Zimbabwe
The European Commission has allocated €6 million in two separate decisions for victims of food shortages in Zimbabwe. The funds will mainly be used to distribute food to the poorest families in the most seriously affected districts of the country, to provide targeted nutritional support for children and to assist farm workers who have been affected by the land resettlement programme. Commenting on the latest funding, Poul Nielson, the Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, expressed grave concern "over the magnitude of the food crisis facing Zimbabwe and other countries in Southern Africa." He continued: "Humanitarian assistance and direct food aid are now clearly needed on top of our well established longer-term action to improve food security and prevent widespread starvation. The Commission remains ready to take further support measures in fighting this crisis."

Referring specifically to Zimbabwe's huge cereal deficit of some 1.8 million tonnes, Mr Nielson pointed out, however, that there were limits to what could be achieved with targeted humanitarian and food aid. "The private sector has a leading role to play in bringing food on to the market. The government must remove the constraints which are preventing this from happening."

The new assistance package has two components. €4 million, managed by the Food Security unit of the Commission's EuropeAid Co-operation Office, is being provided as an additional contribution to the emergency programme being implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP). This assistance will fund the purchase of more than 8,000 tonnes of maize and comes in addition to the 10,170 tonnes of food (worth €6.5 million) already attributed in April 2002 (see IP/02/689 of 8 May 2002). The food will be distributed to highly vulnerable households in 19 districts of Zimbabwe. The distribution will be carried out by WFP in collaboration with local authorities and NGOs, while monitoring of the operation will be ensured jointly by the WFP and the European Commission. WFP is organising the procurement, transport and delivery of the foodstuffs which are scheduled to reach the affected population within the next few weeks.

A further €2 million is being provided by the Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO). The focus here is on providing nourishment for hungry children through supplementary feeding for under-fives and a school meals programme. Farm workers adversely affected by the land resettlement programme and prevailing food insecurity will also receive emergency food aid. The decision includes a component to boost monitoring and surveillance services. ECHO's proposed partners for these humanitarian operations are the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and two NGOs (Care International and Save the Children).

Zimbabwe's food shortages are due to a combination of economic crisis, mismanagement and the drought which has affected Southern Africa more widely. Between 4 million and 6 million Zimbabweans (around half the population) now need urgent food aid compared to the figure of less than 600,000 estimated in November 2001 when WFP launched its current emergency programme.
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Zimbabwean farmers defy government

HARARE - Owners of some 2,900 white-owned farms earmarked for compulsory acquisition as part of Zimbabwe's often violent land reforms were ordered to stop operating as a new law took effect, giving President Robert Mugabe's government sweeping powers to seize farmland.

But many of the affected farmers ignored the deadline and continued their business, Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) spokeswoman Jenni Williams said.

"Nobody knows what to do, where we're going," one farmer said on condition of anonymity, for fear of retribution.

"There's not a lot of farming going on at the moment anyway" because Zimbabwe is in the middle of winter, he said.

Mugabe's controversial land reforms turned violent two years ago, as government supporters calling themselves war veterans began occupying white farms and demanded that they be redistributed to landless blacks.

On May 10 the government amended the Land Acquisition Act to order farmers whose property has been earmarked for acquisition to stop farming 45 days after a notice of acquisition has been issued for their land and vacate their property within 90 days.

For farmers who had been issued with acquisition orders before the law was changed, the 45-day notice period to stop farming came into effect from the day the law was passed.

"A lot ... are just going to stay as they cannot stop farming in 45 days. We will have to stand our ground and see what happens," Williams said.

The affected farmers, according to CFU, represent about 60% of the white farmers who held some 4,800 title deeds before the land reforms were accelerated two years ago.

But Lands Minister Joseph Made was quoted on state radio at the weekend as saying the number of farmers affected was only about 10% of the total - far less than the CFU claimed.

Government officials were not available for comment on Monday.

Farmers who ignore the deadline could face up to two years in jail or a 20,000-Zimbabwe-dollar (364 US dollars) fine.

Williams expressed fears of violence on the farms as the deadline passed and farmers continued working, but by mid-day no violence had been reported on the farms.

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.

In addition to farmers who have to stop operations, Williams said an estimated 232,000 farm workers would also have to stop working on Monday in line with the amended law.


Zim farmers ignore Mugabe's orders

      June 24 2002 at 12:40PM

Harare - About 2 900 white-owned farms in Zimbabwe have been ordered to
cease operating on Monday after a controversial land reform law was amended
to give the government sweeping powers to seize farmland for redistribution,
according to a farmers' spokesperson.

But many of the affected farmers ignored the deadline and continued their
business, Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) spokesperson Jenni Williams said.

On May 10 the government amended the Land Acquisition Act to order farmers
whose property has been earmarked for acquisition to stop farming 45 days
after a notice of acquisition has been issued and vacate their property
within 90 days.

For farmers who had been issued with government notices to take over their
property before the law was changed, the 45-day notice period to stop
farming came into effect from the day the law was passed.

"A lot... are just going to stay as they cannot stop farming in 45 days. We
will have to stand our ground and see what happens," Williams said.

The affected farmers, according to the CFU, represent about 60 percent of
the white farmers who held about 4 800 title deeds before the controversial
land reforms turned violent two years ago, as government supporters calling
themselves war veterans began occupying white farms and demanded that they
be redistributed to landless blacks.

Lands Minister Joseph Made was quoted on state radio at the weekend as
saying the number of farmers affected was much less than the CFU claimed,
but would not specify the numbers.

Farmers who ignore the deadline will be liable to two years in jail or a
Z$20 000 (about R4 000) fine or both.

A CFU spokesperson expressed fears of violence on the farms as the deadline
passed and farmers vowed to continue working.

"There are fears of violence. We do anticipate there will be violence and we
hope it will be curtailed," said Williams.

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.

The CFU spokesperson 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 amended law. - Sapa-AFP

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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Zimbabwe upheaval
Zimbabwe's President Mugabe is continuing his policy of forcing white farmers to hand over their farms to landless blacks. In March he was re-elected as president after introducing draconian election laws making it illegal to criticise him. BBC News Online looks at events in Zimbabwe's recent history.

24 June 2002

"No go" sign on a farm settlement in Zimbabwe
Many white farmers continue working on their land, despite a new law obliging them to stop or face a possible two years in jail. The Commercial Farmers' Union says most of its members are ignoring the legislation.

 The BBC's Gillian Ni Cheallaigh reports

20 March 2002

Morgan Tsvanigirai
Morgan Tsvanigirai outside the court in Harare
The defeated candidate in the presidential election, Morgan Tsvanigirai, is accused of plotting to assassinate President Mugabe and charged with treason. The Zimbabwe opposition condemns the charges as "a very childish response" by President Mugabe to Commonwealth suspension.

 The BBC's Rageh Omaar reports

19 March 2002

John Howard
Australian PM John Howard announces the suspension

The Commonwealth takes an unexpectedly tough line over the violence and electoral fraud by suspending Zimbabwe from the organisation for at least a year. It is among the most serious measures the Commonwealth can take against one of its 54 member countries.

 The BBC's Gavin Hewitt reports

17 March 2002

President Mugabe
Robert Mugabe at the swearing in ceremony

President Mugabe is sworn-in for another six-year term, promising to speed up a controversial, and sometimes violent, land reform programme. The ceremony was boycotted by European diplomats, and leaders of Nigeria and South Africa. The Commonwealth will decide next week whether to suspend Zimbabwe.

 The BBC's Rageh Omaar reports

13 March 2002

A triumphant Robert Mugabe
A triumphant Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe wins a fifth term in office amid accusations of ballot irregularities and ruling party violence. He defeated rival Morgan Tsvangirai by a substantial margin in a presidential election described by foreign and local observers as deeply flawed and unjust.

 The BBC's Andrew Harding reports

9 March 2002

Queues of people lined up to vote
Queues of people lined up to vote

As polling booths open long queues of voters form in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, and in the country's second city, Bulawayo, for the most fiercely contested presidential election since independence in 1980.

 The BBC's Hilary Andersson reports

11 January 2002

Head of Zimbabwe's defence forces General Vitalis Zvinavashe
Military chiefs including General Vitalis Zvinavashe are loyal to President Mugabe
President Mugabe calls elections in early March and introduces election laws designed to make sure he wins them. Criticism of his leadership is banned and the police are given new powers to suppress dissent. The army also comes out with a strong statement supporting the President.

 The BBC's Alastair Leithead reports

16th August 2001

UK national evacuating Zimbabwe in 1980
Many UK nationals fled Zimbabwe in 1980 in response to independence

The Zimbabwean government announces plans to use the army to identify farms for takeover, as plans are drawn up for the evacuation of up to 25,000 British nationals in Zimbabwe. The cabinet in Zimbabwe is reported to be considering a possible state of emergency.

 The BBC's Rageh Omaar reports.

13th August 2001

A looted farm, north of Harare
Farm workers clear up a looted farm north of Harare

As the United States strongly criticises Zimbabwe's Government for "serious human rights abuses", the BBC receives exclusive pictures which reveal the scale of looting and destruction of Zimbabwe's white-owned farms.

 The BBC's Rageh Omaar reports

9th August 2001

Police monitor crowds of Zanu PF youths
Police monitor crowds of Zanu PF youths

Twenty white farmers are charged with public violence and assault after tension and violence between the farmers and government supporters has been mounting in the town of Chinhoyi.

 The BBC's David Campanale reports

February 2001

Joseph Winter - safely in South Africa
Joseph Winter - safely in South Africa

BBC journalist Joseph Winter is expelled from Zimbabwe with his wife and family after a terrifying ordeal in which they are subjected to intimidation and personal threats.

 Click here to listen to Joseph's "From our own correspondent"

January 2001

Zimbabwe's 'Daily News' is critical of the government
Zimbabwe's 'Daily News' is critical of the government

A bomb explosion in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, has destroyed the printing press of the country's only privately-owned daily newspaper, the 'Daily News'. The attack follows a week of demonstrations against the paper by government supporters.

 The BBC's Grant Ferrett reports

June 2000

Robert Mugabe: Call for unity after election victory
Robert Mugabe: Call for unity after election victory

After June's election in which his ruling Zanu PF party were successful, albeit with a much smaller majority, Robert Mugabe promised to press ahead with the seizure of white-owned farms.

 The BBC's Jim Fish reports

April 2000

Government supporters gather outside a white-owned farm
Government supporters gather outside a white-owned farm

In February 2000 groups of government supporting 'war veterans' began to systematically target white owned farms, using intimidation and often violence. By April, the courts were powerless to stop the incursions.

 The BBC's Gavin Hewitt reports

Farmer Mike Mason: under siege and under pressure
Farmer Mike Mason: under siege and under pressure

In this extraordinary report, the BBC's Ben Brown found himself inside a farm compound as it came under siege. The farmer argues with the militant group over the future of his livelihood for three tense hours before the police arrived.

 The BBC's Ben Brown reports

Widow Maria Stevens
Widow Maria Stevens

Just days later a white Zimbabwean farmer was shot dead by war veterans. In this report his widow explains how she wants to stay in the country and see in a truly democratic government.

 The BBC's Duncan Kennedy reports

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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Zimbabwe's white farmers prepare for worst
White Zimbabwean family
Zimbabwe's white face a bleak outlook
test hello test
By Joseph Winter
BBC News Online

As ever, Zimbabwe's land reform programme is mired in confusion.

But it does seem likely that Monday's deadline is a major step towards President Robert Mugabe's goal of redistributing farmland from whites to blacks.

People are making the rules up as they go along

Jenni Williams, CFU
The white-dominated Commercial Farmers' Union says that 2,900 of its members are obliged by the law to stop farming immediately.

However, a CFU official who wished to remain anonymous told BBC News Online that the true figure was closer to 2,000 as the remaining 900 farmers have only received preliminary notices of the government's intention to acquire their farms.

And Agriculture Minister Joseph Made has been quoted as saying that only 10% of farmers are affected - around 300.

Lawyers are busy trying to interpret the legislation but they too all have their interpretations.

Thick skins

So far, many of the farmers are carrying on with their work as what passes for normal on Zimbabwe's farms.

They have developed thick skins in the past two years and many will probably wait until the police start taking action before they park their combine harvesters for good.

White farmers
2,900 must stop farming
500 have given up land
One court case won by the government
95% of white-owned farms listed for acquisition
CFU membership down by 30%
Source: CFU

But as before, President Robert Mugabe's militant supporters may not wait for the authorities before they take matters into their own hands.

"We're living in a climate where people are making the rules up as they go along," CFU spokeswoman Jenni Williams told BBC News Online.

On top of the breakdown of law and order in Zimbabwe's farming districts, the confusion stems from the numerous changes made to the Land Acquisition Act and the complex procedures set out before the government can acquire a farm.

Complex procedures

But whatever the precise number of farms affected, this is a major intensification of the land reform programme.

Since 2000, the government has taken over around 500 farms - and these were given up to the government by their owners, a farmers' representative told BBC News Online.

President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe based his election campaign on land reform

Monday's deadline comes from the latest change to the law, made last month, which attempted to simplify matters and bypass legal procedures.

Most farmers who have received official notices that the government intends to acquire their land have appealed to the courts.

A CFU official said that the government had only won one case - largely because the civil servants were not meeting the series of legal deadlines set out in law.

And even that case has gone to appeal.

No haggling

But while the majority of Zimbabwe's white farmers are still able to work, many have already started packing their bags.

Membership of the CFU has already slumped by 30% - to 3,200 from 4,500 just two years ago.

Our members may not be happy with what they've got but they have got something

CFU official

"We're anticipating another big drop this year," said the CFU official.

But amidst the confusion, many people will be surprised to hear that some of those who have given up their land have been paid for it.

The farmers have said from the beginning that they would be willing to let go of their land if they receive adequate compensation.

President Robert Mugabe has repeatedly promised to pay for improvements such as buildings and irrigation systems - but not for the soil itself.

And this money has been forthcoming, according to the CFU.

"Our members may not be happy with what they've got but they have got something," the official said.

He said that many did not try to haggle with the government because the value of the Zimbabwe dollar is falling so sharply that they would just lose out even more through any further delay.

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Zim land policy can sink Nepad

Jun 24 2002 12:53:42:337PM
The announcement by the Zimbabwean government that white-owned farms should
cease operating on Monday is the last nail in the coffin of the country's
economy and could have fatal consequences for the New Economic Partnership
for Africa's Development, or Nepad, says the New National Party.

Johannesburg - The announcement by the Zimbabwean government that
white-owned farms should cease operating on Monday was the last nail in the
coffin of the country's economy and could have fatal consequences for the
New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad), the New National
Party said.

The reaction came after it was announced that about 2 900 white-owned farms
in Zimbabwe were ordered to cease operating on Monday after a controversial
land reform law was amended to give the government sweeping powers to seize
farmland for redistribution, according to Commercial Farmers Union (CFU)
spokesperson Jenni Williams.

She said many of the affected farmers ignored the deadline and continued
their business.

NNP spokesperson on Land Affairs issues Willem Odendaal said: "If the
African Union, that will be formed next month, does not put an end to the
tyrannical transgressions of the president of Zimbabwe, then Nepad will be
doomed and lack credibility.

Road to deterioration

"This will result in the failure of this socio-economic plan making it just
another landmark on Africa's road of deterioration."

Odendaal said president Robert Mugabe's continued draconian land reform
plans would lead to the demolition of property rights in Zimbabwe.

"It will not only cause famine and poverty, but will also impact negatively
on South Africa and other neighbouring countries."

He said South Africans should expect new pressure on the country's currency.

"Zimbabwe's current misery will increase and lead to more unwelcome refugees
entering South Africa.

"This will place more pressure on the availability of scarce infrastructures
 like housing and jobs. The burden on South African taxpayers will also
increase, as the government's responsibility to provide aid to Zimbabwe
increases," he said.

The Democratic Alliance said on Monday marked Zimbabwe's day of shame and
white farmers should stop their farming operations.

"Nothing can conceal the crude racism and tyranny that characterises
Mugabe's actions. He is putting himself on a par with Idi Amin."

'Party thugs'

DA spokesperson Colin Eglin said Mugabe, often with the assistance of "party
thugs", was seizing the property and destroying the livelihood of citizens
belonging to Zimbabwe's white minority.

"This is what Idi Amin did to Uganda's Indian minority some 30 years ago.

"These people whose rights Mugabe is trampling on are in the main citizens
of Zimbabwe. These people have had legal title to their farms," he said.

He said as Africa entered a new era marked by the inauguration next month of
the African Union and the launching of Nepad there was a lesson for all to
learn from the collapse of the Zimbabwe economy.

"There will be no development; indeed there will be economic retrogression
and collapse unless there is good governance based on democracy, respect for
human rights and the rule of law and sound economic policies."

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RE: ZTA sends blunt message to farmers (June 20)
O Joubert, Joubert, art thou a citizen?

C is for countrymen, country women and comrades is that it? Have you heard of four legs good and two legs better?
I is for injustice. If a bread manufacturer refused to bake bread at controlled prices and was shot for it, i suppose your advice would be all bakers must stay out of politics.
T is for totalitarian rule. Oh no! Not just the bakers but the millers as well. How dare they refuse to supply the baker who refuses to buy their flower? Why, they must force him to take and bake!
I is for intimidation. And if the millers and the bakers refuse to collaborate, you will confiscate all bakeries  and grinding mills in the country and hand them over to the starving chefs to sell bread to the overfed masses at new and improved prices.
Z is pretty obvious. Are you or are you not? Because if you were, you would not have made that speech that exhorts a certain section of the community to give up their nationality  and inalienable rights as citizens just because they belong to a particular sector of the economy. But then, you always ahve the baker's option.
E is for exuses, excuses. When are you going to wake up, straighten your spine and stand up like a man?
N is for never, because the love for money is the root of all evil. Ask Judas.

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