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Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

Government the villain of Zimbabwe's food crisis

ONE of the favourite words in the vocabulary of many of those that govern
Zimbabwe, and even moreso in the vocabularies of the editors and reporters
of the state-controlled media is "demonise". Demonise is defined by the
Concise Oxford Dictionary as being to "represent as (a) demon". That
dictionary also defines "demon" as being a "cruel, malignant, destructive
... person", and those in authority in Zimbabwe repeatedly accuse Britain in
general, and its premier in particular, as well as many others of the
international community, of demonising Zimbabwe, and of unjustly also
demonising President Mugabe.

These accusations are predominantly emanating from Zimbabwe's Minister of
Fiction, Fable and Myth, and from the national dailies that are accountable
to him. In doing so, they have unhesitatingly resorted to perceived
"tit-for-tat" strategies of reciprocal demonisation. Endlessly they pursue
the principle that attack is the best defence, and therefore strive
continually to depict Britain, its government, its High Commissioner to
Zimbabwe, most of the European Union, and many others, as diabolical demons.

However, they did not, and do not consider that that suffices. In a futile
attempt to deflect the allegations directed at them, they have enlarged
their perceptions of who constitute the world's demons to include whites
and, more vigorously and frequently, white farmers. Never ending,
nauseating, vitriol pours forth from the minister, many of his cabinet
colleagues and his media. Central to their diatribes against white
commercial farmers are unsubstantiated and undoubtedly unfounded accusations
that they "stole the land", "afflicted their workers", and more recently and
repeatedly that alongside the drought conditions that have impacted so
negatively upon Zimbabwe, the white farmers are the culprits who have
imposed - for political and racialistic reasons - the food crisis
confronting Zimbabwe. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It cannot be denied that drought has had a pronounced, negative effect upon
the growth of maize and many other foodstuffs. But those effects could have
been significantly minimised if white farmers in areas less affected by
drought conditions, and those with resources to produce irrigated crops had
not, so very extensively, been prevented from planting, tending or
harvesting their produce by war veterans and by thousands and thousands of
unauthorised settlers upon their farms, or discouraged from pursuing farming
operations by government's implementation of a harsh, unjust land programme
instead of one that was equitable and constructive and of real benefit to
Zimbabwe's landless.

The magnitude of the government's disregard for the genuine wish of the
white farmers to not only collaborate in bringing meaningful agricultural
empowerment to the previously deprived, but also to ensure a sufficiency of
viable farming operations as would assure Zimbabwe of its food needs, was
forcibly brought home at last week's annual congress of the Zimbabwe Grain
Producers' Association. A most damning recounting of the willful default of
government (and particularly of its Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement) was an eye-opener to those unaware of the depths of
government's complicity in bringing a food crisis into being. In Zimbabwe's
imminent, widespread starvation, government is incontestably the prime
villain. The substance of its role in causing the massive scarcity of food
confronting the nation include:
In February 2001, the Zimbabwe Grain Producers' Association wrote to the
Grain Marketing Board (GMB), enquiring as to the board's intentions to
recompense maize growers for their considerable losses when payments were
not forthcoming during the preceding season. There was no response, and an
inevitable consequence was a decline in producer confidence.

In April 2001, the association wrote to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture
and Rural Resettlement, recommending a producer price of $11 000 per tonne
for the 2001/02 marketing year, fully justifying the need for such price.
The response was announcement of a price of $7 500 per tonne, subsequently
increased to $8 500, and very belatedly, to a price of $15 000 per tonne.
Clearly, the state's pricing mechanism is devoid of logic.

As early as September 2001, the association urged government to prepare for
the importation of maize, and to commence doing so, having regard to the
then already apparent inadequacy of forthcoming national production. By such
early preparation and commencement, logistical constraints would be
minimised. But government saw fit to ignore the recommendations.
Concurrently, in the face of a then foreshadowed 200 000 tonnes deficit, the
association recommended that government and the GMB contract producers
directly for guaranteed early deliveries during March to may 2002. No
response was forthcoming.

A month later, the association wrote to the permanent secretary for
agriculture, making recommendations to increase maize production by all
sectors. Copies of the proposals were sent to the Ministry of Finance and
Economic Development, and to the GMB. No response was forthcoming from the
permanent secretary or from the GMB, whilst the Ministry of Finance referred
the association to the Ministry of Agriculture.

In October 2001, the GMB called, for the first time, for tenders for the
importation of 150 000 tonnes of maize. The unsustainable conditions imposed
caused the tender to fail.

In December 2001, the GMB reported maize stocks of 96 000 tonnes (as
compared to an estimated monthly requirement of approximately 150 000
tonnes!). GMB reissued its tender, which again failed in view of the grossly
unrealistic conditions prescribed. On December 28 last year, Statutory
Instrument 387 was published, compelling the delivery of all maize to the
GMB. This unavoidably led to a further decline in grower confidence.
Moreover, the Grain Producers' Association considered the provisions of the
Statutory Instrument to be in conflict with prevailing legislation. The GMB
did not concur, claiming absolute power and authority it considered to be
"conducive to the country". Thereafter, seizures of maize from commercial
farmers commenced. It was unsurprising, therefore, that such minimal
confidence that remained with commercial farmers was dissipated to an extent
that many felt that they would rather not produce maize than be subject to
such humiliating and unjust legislation.

At this time, GMB stocks were reported to be 30 000 tonnes (all of which
must have been sourced by the seizures from commercial growers), and no
importation's of maize had yet materialised.

Imports commenced in mid-February this year, and the Grain Producers'
Association met the GMB on March 14, the GMB reporting importations to date
of 50 000 tonnes.

Although it was then only a fortnight prior to commencement of the 2002/03
marketing year, government had not released an agricultural marketing
policy. Producers were forced to deliver maize to GMB at the prior year
price, notwithstanding immense escalation in production costs. Once again,
the pain and suffering had to be borne by the producer!

Nevertheless, the producers' association sought to alleviate the forthcoming
famine, highlighting the potential of a winter maize crop, with planting in
June and September. Facilitation by government and the GMB could, they
suggested, yield a crop of 80 000 to 120 000 tonnes to supplement the then
available crop. However, to succeed, a commitment from government assuring
safe harvesting and delivery was necessary, but not forthcoming.

On March 20, the GMB issued a further import tender, being for 200 000
tonnes, but specifying an unrealistic and unattainable five week delivery

In April, the GMB reported total landed imports of 92 000 tonnes only,
whilst by May government and the GMB had, in the aggregate, contracted for
400 000 tonnes, of which about 150 000 tonnes had been imported. The
importations are totally inadequate to meet the requirements of Zimbabwe's
people. To quote the chairman of the Zimbabwe Grain Producers' Association:
"Unless something is urgently done, this country faces serious starvation."

Blame and culpability lie fairly and squarely in the hands of government and
the GMB.

The onus is upon government to create an enabling environment to restore
confidence in Zimbabwe's maize producers, small and large-scale alike. The
Grain Producers' Association states that such an environment can be created
Restructuring of the land reform programme;
Timely agricultural policy statements;
Removal of restrictive pricing legislation, enabling a free, transparent
marketing system wherein market forces dictate prices;
Transparent and accountable management of the GMB;
Establishment and maintenance of a Strategic Grain Reserve;
Containment of maize theft;
Adequate financial and technical support to assist all farmers to achieve
levels of production necessary for good security.
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Zim Independent


Somebody pass the message to Zimbabwe House

WHAT ZBC telephone number did Jonathan Moyo use to interrupt Obriel Mpofu on
Monday last week as he was about to close his soporific Newshour programme?
Muckraker is very curious and would want to give our "views and opinions"
while Obriel is reading the news.

Just as Mpofu was arranging his papers to leave the studio there were
crackling noises like from the walls. "Ya . eh. Obriel . on your lead
story." We all waited to see who was invading the studio during news. While
Obriel fidgeted visibly after recognising the voice on the phone, in budged
the indomitable professor, explaining that government was not going to kick
out the war veterans from White Cliff Farm at dawn the following day. No,
instead "we are going to meet with the war veterans tomorrow morning to
decide the way forward according to government policy", said Jonathan Moyo.

This was really interesting if unfortunate. In an earlier telephone
interview with Obriel Mpofu, the Minister of Local Government Ignatius
Chombo had presumed to state "government policy" when he said the war
veterans would have to move out of White Cliff Farm in line with his order.
He said people could not settle themselves anywhere they wanted just because
they wanted houses. There were procedures to be followed, he said. The war
veterans, on the other hand, maintained they would stay put.

If anything, they said, it was Chombo who would have to leave. Leave
government that is. Moyo must have been watching all this disconcerting
drama. He must have quickly phoned The Best Comrade for a less embarrassing
way out of the stand-off. So Chombo was quickly disposed of and the war
veterans appeased. The war veterans' position immediately became government
policy as it were, and Chombo was left full of egg in the face. Could this
be a case of the proverbial right hand not knowing what the left hand is
doing? Or was it a crude warning to Chombo himself?

Chombo was naïve in not weighing the political costs of evicting war
veterans from White Cliff Farm. And that is a serious flaw. Moyo, ever
astute when his sinecure is threatened, calculated the ramifications of such
a decision in a nation so fouled up politically and went for the area of
least resistance. This was not the time to alienate the war veterans
constituency. Poor Chombo must have learnt of the correct government policy
on the phone like the rest of us lesser mortals!

Minister of Agriculture Joseph Made last Friday made some comical remarks on
our lead story: "D-Day for farmers." He said white commercial farmers wanted
to sabotage the government's "very successful" land reform programme. They
would not succeed, warned Made, because the process was irreversible. We
enjoyed the "very successful" bit in Made's comments. The evidence is there
for all to see in the long queues for maize meal and the escalating prices
of everything from potatoes to cooking oil. That is if one can find them,
even on the so-called black market.

On Saturday the Herald carried a little solidarity story about Zanu PF
backing Armando Guebuza as Frelimo's presidential candidate in Mozambique's
election next year. Why Guebuza needed Zanu PF's endorsement was not clear.
But there were fatuous claims that he "was a known liberation war veteran
and a revolutionary" and also a friend of Zimbabwe. What was not reported
was that President Joachim Chissano was voluntarily stepping down after only
two terms while our own President Mugabe wants to die in office.

It would also have been embarrassing to carry remarks by Tanzania's Benjamin
Mkapa at the same congress who lambasted dictators who want to make
themselves life presidents. "Good leaders are those who serve for a moment
and then pass on power to others," Mkapa told 1 000 delegates at the
meeting. This was good for democracy, he said. How refreshing. Can somebody
please convey this to Zimbabwe House!

The Sunday Mail carried a report this week on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
calling on European countries to invest in Africa to staunch the flood of
illegal immigrants from the continent. The immigrants' countries of origin
could not be blamed "because they are not controlling this phenomenon and do
not have the means to do it", said Gaddafi.

"Investment, creating projects and stimulating the employment market in
Africa, and particularly in North Africa, are the best ways of halting the
march (of immigrants) towards Europe," said the Libyan leader. We found this
extraordinarily self-contradictory to say the least.

Only a week before, the Herald carried another Gaddafi communiqué condemning
the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) as a "project of former
colonisers and racists". Nepad seeks to mobilise US$64 billion annually from
the West for investment in Africa. It has been agreed that this African
Marshall Plan was first broached by South African president Thabo Mbeki and
Nigerian leader, Olusegun Obasanjo and the West has accepted it in principle
on the understanding that African leaders take the responsibility to monitor
and censure their peers on issues of human rights and good governance.

How does Gaddafi reconcile his plea for European investment and his attack
on Nepad which, on face value, seeks to achieve the same end? Surely he does
not expect Western leaders to use their taxpayers' money without
accountability. That is a speciality of African leaders and we don't think
they need competitors!

Could Gaddafi's confusion be explained by rumours that he wants to sabotage
Mbeki's brainchild because he was not consulted when it was first mooted?

Otherwise it is difficult to put side by side his acknowledgement of the
need for investment in Africa and his hostility to the theoretical
conception of Nepad. Nepad is expected to be adopted at the launch of the
African Union next month as the continent's new economic policy. Is Gaddafi
going to be for or against?

If Gaddafi needed any convincing, there was a little feature in Saturday's
Herald about Ivorians fleeing their country for France. Asked why most of
the youths were escaping to Europe, an official at the French consulate in
Abidjan said: "Unemployment, the cost of living, lack of hope in the future
are driving youngsters to leave." The same can be said of the rest of
Africa, not just North Africa as Gaddafi disingenuously claims.

It was interesting to read a story in the Herald about one Dr David
Nyekorach Matsanga of something called African Strategy public relations who
has engaged himself to "demystify propaganda" on Zimbabwe from the Western

Matsanga plans a meeting in London in August to show how Zimbabwe is getting
"a raw deal" from the West over its land reform. "The purpose of the
conference," says Matsanga, "is to take the message to the heart of Europe
and show the British government how their double standards have ruined a
good country."

Needless to say that we were not told what "double standards" refers to. All
we were told was that he is a Ugandan economic refugee in Britain who fled
the poverty in his country 15 years ago. Of course, unlike his poor
countrymen and the lot of the poor here in Zimbabwe, he can easily raise
expensive British pounds to fly around the world to discredit his hosts
while he sanctimoniously defends a rogue regime that has become an
international pariah.

We are also not surprised that one of the most eminent speakers at
Matsanga's London conference is Professor Mwesiga Baregu of Sapes fame who
has since returned to Tanzania because there were no more Western donors to
fill his feeding trough in Zimbabwe.

Matsanga also says he plans to "conduct a peaceful march through the streets
of London" in support of Zimbabwe. Luck for him. Is he aware that back here
in Zimbabwe he would be arrested if he did such a thing? And why is his
Africa Strategy appealing for humanitarian aid "from the international
community" and not from his Pan-Africanists friends who cherish African
values and traditions? Surely nothing good can come out of imperialists!
It's all neo-colonialism!

Tim Chigodo of the Herald was this Tuesday telling us the European Union,
America and the British wanted to use food shortage to "cause mayhem" by
turning people against the government. The truth, if Chigodo still doesn't
know, is that this is all scapegoating. People know they didn't need to
import food in the first place.

Very soon they will separate the fiction about Britain, the MDC, the EU and
America from the reality of their hunger. That reality will cause the
"mayhem" that Chigodo is predicting. While government has been manipulating
food distribution by giving it to Zanu PF functionaries, people in various
communities have been sharing it among themselves, and that has kept both
Zanu PF and MDC supporters united in their anger. The cause of their plight
is not lost on them. And they know it is not Tony Blair. Soon there will be
nowhere to run.

ZBC TV should stop its silly motto: "When it happens we will be there."
Where were they recently when the police riot squad brutalised MDC
supporters gathered to commemorate Soweto Day at Harare Gardens? Where was
big mouth Reuben Barwe? Young Tazzen Mandizvidza tried to make up for this
yawning deficit in his Media Watch programme when he condemned the assault
by the police of journalists doing their duty. But this was too little, too
late and without pictures of the would-be murderers. But when it came to the
police looting the MDC food, ZBC TV was immediately called in to gloat over
the booty, much as if it were the most natural thing to do. Did the ZBC
reporters share part of the loot and what happened to the rest? Forfeited to
the state, of course, but what department?
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Daily News

      Farming move will worsen food shortage

      6/28/02 8:22:51 PM (GMT +2)

      By Andrew Meldrum

      THE Zimbabwe government ordered 2 900 commercial farmers to stop work
this week, as Zimbabwe faces its worst food shortage for 60 years.

      The order is the final step before the government seizes the farms,
including the crops in the fields, for redistribution to its black

      "From today (24 June) a farmer could be arrested for trying to feed
the nation," the Commercial Farmers Union spokeswoman Jenni Williams said.

      "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?" She said the union was considering asking the courts
to stop the order.

      Other union sources said discussions with the government were still
taking place.

      Many farmers vowed to ignore the order. One, asking not to be named
for fear of retribution, said: "It is madness, our farms are producing wheat
and other food crops while so many in this country are going hungry. Now we
are being ordered to stop all farming work. It is crazy.

      I will not give in to this. I have crops in the ground and animals to
feed and I am determined to keep going. What will my workers do if I shut

      Human rights groups said that the ruling could make more than 100 000
farm workers homeless overnight.

      "It is a human rights catastrophe," John Makumbe, chairman of the
Zimbabwe Crisis Committee, said. "These farm workers are real people and
they are vulnerable. The government is taking away their livelihoods and
their homes, but it is not doing anything to give them an alternative."

      The often violent land seizures are blamed, even by some of Mugabe's
ministers, for the food shortages. The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates
that nearly half the country's 12,5 million people will need food assistance
this year.

      The food crisis is due to a combination of dry weather during the
growing season and the disruptions on the commercial farms, which are about
five times more productive than small farms, the WFP said.

      The new order shows that Mugabe is determined to dismantle the white
farming community whatever the social cost. Any of the farmers involved who
continue working after Monday's deadline may be jailed for up to two years.

      Since June 2000 the government has named 5 872 mostly white-owned
properties for confiscation. On many already vacated livestock and
irrigation and other equipment have been seized without compensation.

      State radio reported on Tuesday that security checkpoints would be set
up in farming districts to prevent "sabotage" of the land reform programme:
an apparent effort to stop farmers removing goods and equipment from their

      The State media have accused some white farmers of adopting a
"scorched earth" policy after confiscation. The farmers' union denies the
accusation. The EU allocated 6m euros (Z$318m) famine aid to Zimbabwe on
Tuesday and again accused President Mugabe's policies of aggravating the
food crisis.

      "The private sector has a leading role to play in bringing in food on
the market. The government must remove the constraints which are preventing
this from happening," the EU aid commissioner, Poul Nielson, said. The order
will make it difficult for the South African president, Thabo Mbeki, to
convince western leaders that he has persuaded Mr Mugabe to moderate his
more extreme policies.

      That may prompt the G8 summit in Canada this week to decline funds for
Mbeki's New Economic Partnership for African Development. Although told to
stop work, the farmers are allowed to stay on their land for 45 days. - The
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Daily News

           Friday   28  , June

            Heat turned up a notch on Zimbabwe

            6/28/02 8:17:39 PM (GMT +2)

            Johannesburg - The heat was turned up a notch on Zimbabwe on
Tuesday as Amnesty International, which once campaigned for the release from
prison of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, presented a report documenting
what it called "structural impunity" in the country.

            Added to a looming food crisis expected to affect six million
people and the introduction of a law banning 2 900 mainly white commercial
farmers from working on their land, the government now also had to fend off
fresh accusations that it allowed human rights violations to go unpunished.

            Amnesty International spokesman Samkelo Mokhine said at the
launch of the report in Johannesburg that there had been a pattern of human
rights violations in Zimbabwe since the 1970s and 1980s.

            But Zimbabweans had never seen the issue of impunity addressed,
they had only seen pardons, amnesties and clemencies.

            "The ordinary Zimbabwean hasn't had any sense of justice - not
just from the 70s, (under the previous Rhodesian government) but up to
 2002," he said. "With this report we are hoping to jog the international
community and the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) into action.
If we don't do anything, what hope are we giving to the ordinary Zimbabwean?
They are facing a food crisis, unattended human rights violations and the
undermining of their judiciary. People are assaulted and killed with
impunity - what message are we sending to them?"

            The report, Zimbabwe: The Toll of Impunity, examined
politically-motivated violations before, during, and after the March 2002
presidential election which returned Mugabe to power.

            It alleged that violations were primarily committed by members
of State-sponsored militia who operated with the consent of the State, and
also by State security forces.

            It said the authorities in Zimbabwe had systematically failed to
bring those responsible for serious violations to justice.

            "To do this the government used presidential amnesties,
clemencies and indemnities, prevented investigations into human rights
violations, and curbed the freedom of the media. It also allegedly
manipulated the police and eroded the independence of the judiciary."

            An example of the use of amnesties was a clemency order
proclaimed by Mugabe on 6 October 2000 after the June 2000 parliamentary
            This gave indemnity to anyone who committed a politically
motivated crime from 1 January to 31 July of that election year.

            The indemnity excluded rape, murder and fraud but included
grievous bodily harm - the category of crime that torture falls under.

            To facilitate impunity, the State denied involvement with the
militia, even though the militia had often been transported and supported by
the police, the report charged.

            "The 2002 Public Order and Security Act criminalised a wide
range of activities associated with freedom of expression, association and
assembly, and violated Zimbabwe's obligations under international human
rights law," Amnesty said.

            The new Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
empowered the Information Minister to launch investigations into the
operations of media houses without the involvement of either the police or
the judiciary.

            The Judiciary itself was being undermined with the government
openly defying Supreme Court rulings that contradict its policy and
harassing judges perceived to be critical. Since 2000, two Supreme Court
judges, including the former Chief Justice, Antony Gubbay and four High
Court judges have resigned. Impunity was allegedly reinforced by undermining
the police.

            Mokhine said that this also affected policemen who were trying
to carry out their duties properly. "If a policeman investigated allegations
of rape against certain militia he would find himself transferred to a rural
area or relegated to the "Commissioners pool" where he will have no desk and
no duties. NGOs have stopped trying to report rapes because the policemen
don't want to investigate," he said.

            Mokhine said Zimbabwe was in clear violation of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which says states have
a duty to bring to justice those within their jurisdiction who are
responsible for human rights violations.

            Amnesty recommended that Zimbabwe ratify the United Nations
Convention Against Torture, allow a thorough impartial investigation into
allegations of human rights violations, make sure the police abide by
international human rights standards, and that an independent police
monitoring mechanism be created.

            Laws not conforming to international human rights standards
should be repealed or amended, and further international pressure should be
applied on the Zimbabwean authorities to allow the United Nations Special
Rapporteurs on torture and on the independence of judges and lawyers to take

            It also encouraged more visits by bodies like the Commonwealth
and the Southern African Development Community.

            The African Commission on Human and People's Rights was
currently in Zimbabwe on a fact finding mission.

            The delegation included Jainaba Johm of Gambia, Fiona Adolu of
Uganda and Barney Pityana of South Africa. Mokhine also urged Sadc to become
more involved. "The rights of ordinary Zimbabweans should take precedence
over politics," he said referring to regional "quiet diplomacy" policies.

            The report had been presented to the Zimbabwe government.

            However, Mugabe remains adamant that there are no human rights
violations in Zimbabwe. He told the African Commission on Human and People's
Rights that the human rights that Zimbabweans were enjoying today were as a
result of the liberation war and not the work of Western-funded
non-governmental-organisations, which now flaunt about rights issues.

            He said: We are the custodians of these rights we brought at a
cost". Zimbabweans had fought against racial injustice and many other forms
of discrimination which often led to persecutions and deaths of the freedom
fighters. - Reuter
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Zim Independent

Rights probe deepens
Dumisani Muleya
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's human rights record came under scrutiny this week
as the African Human Rights Commission deepened its probe into rights abuses
in Zimbabwe.

Yesterday the investigating team met a group of civil society organisations
and heard reports of flagrant human rights violations by government. The
groups which met the commission include the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum, the
National Constitutional Assembly, Zimbabwe Election Support Network,
ZimRights and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

NCA chair Lovemore Madhuku said his organisation raised fundamental human
rights abuses. "We raised serious human rights abuses in Zimbabwe," he said.
"One of the issues we pointed out was government's refusal to engage in
constitutional reform which we think is a violation of the African Charter."

Madhuku, who has been in and out of detention for civil protests, said the
NCA reported persistent harassment of its members by the police.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights spokesman Tawanda Hondora said his group
brought up the issue of violence, which has so far claimed over 100 lives
since 2000.

"We raised the issue of violence and the fact that it looks
government-instigated because it arose out of electoral manipulation by the
ruling party," he said. "The issue of militias and war veterans activities
also came up."

Zimbabwe Election Support Network director Reginald Mat-chaba-Hove said his
organisation raised the issue of electoral fraud.

"We gave them our report which said the election was not free and fair," he
said. "We also raised other issues concerning the need for a new electoral
law and a presidential election re-run."

The African Human Rights Commission team came to Zimbabwe as Amnesty
International released its report detailing systematic rights

"Impunity has become the central problem in Zimbabwe, where state security
forces - police officers, army officers or agents of the Central
Intelligence Organisation - commit widespread human rights violations
without being brought to justice," the report said.

"The Zimbabwean government has also organised, coordinated or otherwise
encouraged 'militias' to carry out threats, assaults, abductions, torture
and killings against its perceived political enemies."

MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said his party provided evidence of
impunity for perpetrators of violence. "We covered the catalogue of human
rights abuses and restriction of civil and political liberties," he said.
"We then gave them seven videotapes and presented five victims of terror to
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Zim Independent

Journalists fight information Act
Dumisani Muleya
THE independent media is stepping up efforts to challenge the repressive
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act being used by government
to restrict freedom of the press and the free flow of information.

Organisations working together to fight the draconian Act include the
Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe (Ijaz), Foreign
Correspondents Association (FCA), the newly-formed Zimbabwe National
Editors' Forum and the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa)-Zimbabwe.

Ijaz president Abel Mutsakani this week said his organisation had already
secured resources and its lawyers were expected to mount a legal challenge
next week.

"What's left is to finalise arrangements with lawyers," Mutsakani said. "We
expect the lawyers to be in the courts next week. We would like to make it
an urgent application so that issues that directly threaten our livelihood
are dealt with quickly."

The FCA recently filed an urgent application in the Supreme Court seeking a
repeal of Section 80 of the Act under which 12 journalists have so far been
charged since the Act was enacted in March. The Supreme Court ruled that the
application was not urgent.

But journalists argue the application is urgent because the section
concerned constitutes a direct threat to their security and profession.

"We will challenge the provision which demands that journalists be licensed
to practise because it violates our constitutional rights," said Mutsakani.

The registration of journalists was in February ruled unconstitutional by
the parliamentary legal committee composed of veteran lawyers Eddison Zvobgo
and Welshman Ncube as well as Zanu PF MP Kumbirai Kangai.

The committee said Section 81 of the Act, which at the time was still a
Bill, "purports to confer rights on journalists" and declared that "such an
attempt is unconstitutional. Their existence does not require legislation as
freedom of expression enshrined in section 20 (1) and (2) of the
Constitution is sufficient".

The committee also dismissed attempts to force journalists to register with
Moyo's commission as unlawful.

"Section 82 compels every journalist to be accredited by the commission
before he can work in Zimbabwe and furthermore, attempts to restrict the
profession of journalism to Zimbabwean citizens or those who are permanent
residents," the committee said. "We have already demonstrated that all such
attempts are unconstitutional since they violate Section 20 of the
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Daily News

      MDC accuses government of misleading rights team

      6/28/02 8:29:34 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE MDC on Wednesday accused the government of misleading the African
Human Rights Commission on the party's gross abuse of human rights and civil
liberties in Zimbabwe.

      In a statement, Learnmore Jongwe, the MDC secretary for information
and publicity, said Zanu PF was responsible for organising political
violence in several parts of the country with impunity.

      A delegation of the human rights commission is in the country on a
fact-finding mission on the human rights situation nationwide.

      Jongwe said: "Evidence at hand demonstrates beyond doubt the
culpability of Zanu PF in widespread and systematic incidences of murder,
torture, rape and abductions that have taken place with impunity over the
past 27 months.

      "The partisan public media has not exposed or condemned Zanu PF
violence, but defended it."

      He accused the police of applying the laws of the country selectively.

      "The police force, on the other hand, has mastered the art of
selective harassment, arrest and prosecution of the opposition when ruling
party criminals who are guilty of heinous crimes are walking scot-free," he

      Jongwe said the crisis in the country had been worsened by the fact
Zanu PF had sought to legalise the harassment of political opponents through
the enactment of laws such as the Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act, crafted by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.

      "What is blatantly disturbing and unacceptable about the behaviour of
the Zanu PF regime is that at a time when the nation has an avalanche of a
political and economic crises on its hands, for which the illegal regime is
responsible, its ministers like John Nkomo, Joseph Made and Jonathan Moyo
are busy trying to outdo each other in their daily television appearance
competition," he said.

      He said Mugabe's ministers had become so obsessed with trivia at a
time when they should be addressing issues pertaining to the current
economic meltdown.

      "The people's patience is not endless. Someday, in-the-not-so-distant
future, the arrogance to which the nation is being treated on a daily basis
will become a thing of the past," said Jongwe
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Daily News

      Defiant jailers in court

      6/28/02 8:15:40 PM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      TWO Khami Prison senior officials yesterday admitted they defied court
orders for them to release two MDC activists accused of murdering Cain
Nkala, a war veteran leader, because they were awaiting instructions from
their superiors.

      Joyce Mabida, in charge of prisons in Matabeleland, and Michael
Nyamukondiwa, the officer-in-charge at Khami Prison, were charged with
contempt of court after they continuously defied High Court and Supreme
Court orders for them to release the two.

      The prison officials have been refusing to release on bail Khetani
Sibanda and Sazini Mpofu, two of the nine MDC activists who are accused of
kidnapping and murdering Nkala and Limukani Luphahla, a Zanu PF activist.

      They appeared before High Court judge, Justice George Chiweshe,
yesterday to explain why they were not complying with his orders and another
one issued by the Supreme Court.

      As proceedings began, a Daily News reporter was for reasons that are
still to be explained, ejected from the court by a prison official.

      A reporter from the government-controlled Chronicle was, however,
allowed to cover the case.

      "Mr Gande, I have been ordered to ask you to leave this court," said
the official, without disclosing the source of the instruction.

      Nyamukondiwa and Mabida both said they had not complied with the order
because they were waiting for instructions from their superiors and the
Attorney General's Office.

      "As far as I'm concerned, even if my superiors were going to take 20
years to make the decision to release the suspects, I was going to keep them
for that period regardless of the court orders," said a defiant

      The two officials confirmed they had received the court orders and
warrants of liberation.

      The proceedings will continue today in Bulawayo when the assistant
officer-in-charge at Khami Prison, J J Ndlovu, is expected to give evidence
as to why they have been disregarding the court orders.

      The Khami Prison officials have for the past two weeks defied a High
Court order to release the two. Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku last
Friday upheld the High Court order, only to be defied by the prison

      The other seven suspects are out on bail granted by the Supreme Court
after the State had appealed against the release of the suspects on bail.

      The Supreme Court has refused to keep Sibanda and Mpofu in custody
saying their case should not be treated differently from that of the other
co-accused who are out on bail.

      Ironically, as the saga involving the release of the two accused
continues, the Attorney General's office yesterday applied to the
magistrates courts in Bulawayo for the indictment of the two accused to
remain in prison until 11 November.

      The application was granted by magistrate Elizabeth Rudzate parallel
to the appearance of the prison officials on charges of contempt of court.

      Normally, the indictment process is done just before a trial begins
against accused persons who will be out of custody.

      This means that the two will now be kept in custody until their
defence counsel makes a fresh bail application.

      Mpofu was on Thursday taken by police from Khami prison to Nkulumane
police station.

      He was yesterday sent back to Khami following the application for
indictment while Sibanda remained at Khami Prison.

      Sources yesterday said the State was now preparing to indict all the
nine suspects and keep them behind bars until November when the trial is
expected to begin.

      Justice Chiweshe is expected to pass judgment on the contempt charges

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Daily News - Leader Page

      A world in need of trade more than aid

      6/28/02 8:38:58 PM (GMT +2)

      UNITED States Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill, on a fact-finding tour
of Africa, found himself under attack by travelling companion Bono for
daring to question the need for large increases in foreign aid to poor

      "You need big money for development," declared the Irish rock star.

      "If the secretary can't see that, we are going to have to get him a
new pair of glasses and a new set of ears.

      "There is a critical flaw in Mr O'Neill's corrective: They aren't

      Western nations, it's true, deserve some of the blame for the Third
World's economic troubles.

      But the problem is not so much what the advanced democracies refuse to
do for Africa and other poor areas. It's more what we prevent them from
doing for themselves."

      O'Neill has not ruled out additional Western funding, but he thinks
the burden should be on recipient countries to prove a given expenditure
will actually do any good.

      His scepticism is based on the long record of development assistance,
which can be summarised by a look around Africa.

      If foreign aid were the solution, Africa would have few problems. The
continent that Bono thinks is crying out for new help is in that position
only because most of its governments have failed to make good use of past

      Bono talks of all the valuable and inspiring efforts being made in

      Maybe if he were personally supervising each disbursement, Western
taxpayers could count on getting positive results for their money.

      In the real world, however, dollars shipped overseas to finance good
works often end up being wasted or stolen.

      The World Bank, which administers billions of dollars in such
assistance, acknowledges that particularly in Africa, such efforts have
often been "an unmitigated failure", facilitating "incompetence, corruption
and misguided policies".

      Ian Vasquez, a scholar at the Cato Institute, looked at 73 nations
that got development assistance between 1971 and 1995, and found that
neither aid per capita nor aid as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product was
positively correlated with economic growth.

      "How much aid a country got had absolutely nothing to do with its
overall prosperity.

      "Aid can help countries that do the right things. Elsewhere, it's
about as helpful as an umbrella in a hurricane.

      "If countries want to escape poverty, they need to protect property
rights, establish the rule of law and promote free markets, as well as
deliver public services in an honest, efficient manner.

      Unfortunately for the developing countries, they may find their way
blocked by the same countries that have furnished so much development

      International trade has the potential to do wonders in Africa and
other stagnant areas of the globe.

      The international humanitarian group, Oxfam, says that if the
developing countries increased their share of world exports by 5 percent,
this would generate US$350 billion (Z$19 250 billion) - seven times as much
as they receive in aid.

      If sub-Saharan Africa had done nothing more than maintain the share of
world exports it possessed in 1980, the average African's income would be
double what it is today.

      Americans want Third World countries to do all they can to lift
themselves up.

      But when they try, they find Westerners scrambling to push them

      Affluent nations often make it impossible for Third World exporters to
participate in the world economy.

      Third World producers trying to export to rich countries face tariffs
averaging nearly 13 percent, nearly fourfold the duties encountered by
producers from rich countries.

      Poor countries that might sell agricultural commodities in the West
also face another hurdle - government subsidies to farmers in rich
countries, which amount to US$1 billion a day and serve to discourage

      Textiles and apparel, where poor countries often excel, are still
tightly restricted in the United States and other advanced economies.

      We want developing nations to compete in the world economy but without
inconveniencing our own producers. All these barriers cost poor countries
about US$100 billion a year, which is twice as much as they get in

      "The biggest request we are making of Western countries is to open
their markets," Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said recently.

      "Debt relief has saved us some money, but the real money will come
from trade. Give us the opportunities, and we will compete."

      Isn't that the kind of talk we've been yearning to hear from Africa?

      If we opened our markets, a lot of poor nations would be able to build
vibrant economies and stand on their own two feet.

      We can then celebrate the obsolescence of foreign aid.
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Mugabe's Cronies Cash in

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)
June 28, 2002
Posted to the web June 27, 2002
Louis Babineaux in Harare

The Zimbabwean president's inner circle tops the list of people benefiting
from the land grab policy
Senior Zimbabwean officials, including the two vice-presidents and relatives
of President Robert Mugabe, have taken farms under the government's land
reforms, according to the country's Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU).
The reforms were initially promoted as a scheme to benefit landless farmers
in overcrowded communal areas.
The list of 181 government officials, top Zanu-PF members, war veterans,
intelligence officers, journalists for state media and others was extracted
from the government's own lists of beneficiaries and combined with
information gleaned from farmers on the ground.

Vice-President Joseph Msika has taken land near Nyamandhlovu belonging to
the parastatal Cold Storage Company, which he is allegedly leasing for
grazing. Vice-President Simon Muzenda has taken two farms in Gutu, according
to the CFU. Muzenda is apparently involved in cordial negotiations with the
farmers, who could receive about $272 000 for improvements to the farms.

Other beneficiaries include Mugabe's sister Sabina, his brother-in-law
Reward Marufu, army commander Constantine Chiwenga, Security Minister Sydney
Sekeremayi and MP Elliot Manyika. Rights groups have blamed Manyika for
training the youth militias implicated in much of the pre-election violence
earlier this year.
The linking of farm seizures to Mugabe's inner circle -- many of whom were
responsible for organising the scheme -- came as a new law effectively
ordered about 2 900 commercial farmers to lay down their tools by the end of
The farmers are allowed to stay on their land for 45 days.
The move was a bad start to a week when the G8 met in Canada and where
leaders of the world's richest nations were due to consider funding
President Thabo Mbeki's New Partnership for Africa's Development.
The order will make it difficult for Mbeki to convince Western leaders that
he has persuaded Mugabe to moderate his more extreme policies.
Most Zimbabwean farmers have ignored the order. On Wednesday two farmers
launched a new legal battle against the land reforms -- not opposing land
resettlement but the arbitrary manner in which it has been carried out. One,
Andy Kockett who farms in Tengwe, asked a high court judge to invalidate the
government's orders, arguing that Mugabe's regime bypassed its own laws in
earmarking farms for resettlement.
"What we were seeking was an order saying that because the process is null
and void, he can continue farming," his lawyer Raymond Barretto said.
The court is still considering the case.
The price for defiance could be high. The law -- which was forced through
Parliament last month in a special session -- says farmers can be imprisoned
for up to two years if they do not stop working.
The war veteran-led militias that began invading farms two years ago are
still spread out around the country, prompting fears that the situation
could explode at any time.
Not much farming is happening in Zimbabwe -- partly because it's winter,
partly because the instability and the ever-worsening economy make it
difficult to get any work done .
The CFU estimates that about 27% of farms have already stopped working
entirely. If enforced, the new order will shut down 60% of the farms that
had been opeating when the land invasions began two years ago.
About 24 000ha of wheat is still in fields -- a crop Zimbabwe desperately
harvested to alleviate the devastating food shortages.
"A lot of people are carrying on with seedbeds to prepare that first step
for the next crop," said one farmer in Karoi.
"Our big concern is that a lot of people are finishing up their tobacco and
then leaving the country. Economics is causing as much of [the exodus] as
The exchange rate on the parallel market has tanked during the past month,
falling from about Z$300 to US$1 in May, to more than Z$700 to US$1, making
imported supplies, such as fertilizers and machinery, enormously expensive.
If Mugabe's order is enforced on all the farms, as many as 232 000 farm
workers -- working on the assumption that an average farm employs about 80
people -- could lose their jobs. If their families are taken into account,
more than 1,1-million people would lose their livelihoods just as the food
shortage is beginning to pinch.
Even in urban shops basic items -- such as salt, sugar, cooking oil and
mealie meal -- are hard to come by. In rural areas the problem is worse.
Zimbabwe needs about 1,3-million tonnes of maize to feed the nation until
the 2003 harvest.
The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that six million Zimbabweans --
almost half the population -- will need emergency aid.
The food crisis is owing to a combination of dry weather during the growing
season and the disruptions on the commercial farms, which are about five
times more productive than small farms, the WFP said.
According to the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers' Union, about 70
000 farm workers have already lost their jobs because of the land reforms.
Including their families this means about 350 000 people have lost their
Only about 10% of workers have been assigned land on farms earmarked for
resettlement, leaving the majority with no income or health care and no way
to buy or grow food.
Workers' advocates say no one is sure where they have all gone. A lucky few
found NGOs that have either set up camps or lined up other temporary housing
and provided food.
"The degredation these people have suffered is horrific. But now their
problem is going to be starvation," said Reverend Tim Neil, who works with a
group that cares for displaced workers.
"Kids [are] not going to school. [They are] too hungry to attend [and]
there's no school fees," he said. "There's going to be a whole section of
our community that are not going to be literate."
At a camp outside Harare, the 37 people forced off a Marondera farm --
including two orphans cared for by the worker community -- saw little hope
of ever returning to their homes and jobs.
"The farm owner is not there and our houses are now occupied," one said.
The new order shows Mugabe is determined to dismantle the white farming
community whatever the social cost and has opened his government to a fresh
barrage of criticism.
"We think the government of Zimbabwe's land policy, including the chaotic
and the often violent seizure of privately owned farms has greatly
compounded the country's worsening social, economic and political crisis,"
United States State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher said on Monday
in Washington.
"It has also greatly exacerbated the food crisis in Zimbabwe, and Southern
Africa more broadly."
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw gave his Parliament a similar
assessment on Tuesday, saying the food shortages were caused by "deliberate
decisions of the Mugabe regime" and that forcing workers off farms was a
"man-made tragedy" when the country is facing starvation.
On Wednesday Amnesty International issued a new report on rights abuses in
Zimbabwe, blasting Mugabe's policy of impunity "where state and non-state
actors commit widespread human rights violations without being brought to

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Africa bids for $64bn aid package
March 26, 2002 Posted: 0845 GMT

ABUJA, Nigeria -- African leaders have gathered in Nigeria to discuss the
future of aid and development to the continent.

The 20 heads of state and observers meeting in Abuja make up the
implementation committee of the New Partnership for Africa's Development

It estimates that Africa needs $64 billion of investment annually to ensure
sustainable growth.

The initiative has been compared to the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild
Europe after World War Two.

Wiseman Nkuhlu, chairman of Nepad's steering committee and special economic
adviser to South African President Thabo Mbeki, told Reuters: "It is
important that African leaders restore people's confidence in Africa's

"It is also important to win the confidence of the international community."

He rejected a warning by the United States that overwhelming African
endorsement of Zimbabwe's controversial presidential election could hurt
Western support for Nepad.

"We take exception to the kind of position that countries like the United
States are taking," Nkuhlu said.

"African countries are doing this because they think it's the right thing to
do. For Africans to be dictated to like this is simply irritating."

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is not expected to attend the summit.

Nkuhlu said the lack of Western-style democracy in some Asian countries did
not stop U.S. investors.

Nepad is expected to make a declaration of intent to encourage Western aid.

A draft document, seen by Reuters, commits African governments to

a.. adhere to the principles of democracy.

a.. the rule of law.

a.. the strict separation of powers.

a.. ensure a society that can hold government accountable to the people.

It also commits African leaders to ensure a free press, an independent
judiciary and a dedicated and efficient civil service, to eradicate
corruption and respect human rights.

A spokesman for South African President Thabo Mbeki said: "The meeting will
discuss a variety of things, but the main one is to find a concrete way
forward for Nepad."

He said the meeting would also prepare Nepad's presentation to the next
summit of the G8 industrialised nations in Canada in June.

During a tour of African states last month, British Prime Minister Tony
Blair pledged Britain and its G8 partners would help develop Africa.

Blair, who championed a "Plan For Africa" at the G8 summit in Genoa last
summer, said: "When an African child dies every three seconds, the developed
world has a clear duty to act -- no responsible leader can turn their back
on Africa."

He said: "Developed countries retain significant barriers to trade,
particularly in agriculture.

"When we get to the next round of world trade talks we have got to make sure
countries...get access to markets."

Countries taking part in the Nepad summit are Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, South
Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Cameroon, Congo Republic, Gabon, Ethiopia,
Mauritius, Rwanda, Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Zambia.

Tanzania, Uganda, Sao Tome and Principe and Ghana are attending as

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Zimbabwe Opposition Supporters Remain Imprisoned Despite Supreme Court Order
Peta Thornycroft
Harare, Zimbabwe
27 Jun 2002 16:52 UTC

Two supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change, MDC,
who were arrested last November, are still in prison despite a Supreme Court
order for their release one week ago. The two young men are charged with
kidnapping and murdering a veteran of Zimbabwe's independence war.

When the body of war veteran Cain Nkala was shown on state television last
year, the two suspects, Khatani Sibanda and Sazani Mpofu, told viewers they
played a part in his death. A few days later, the two men told their lawyer,
in papers now filed with the high court, that they had been tortured into
making the confession.

Their lawyers have worked since November to secure the release of the two on
bail. There have already been four court orders for their release, the
latest by Zimbabwe's chief justice, Godfrey Chidyausuku.

But the prisons department ignored the court orders, and has now been
charged with contempt of court for failing to release the two men. The two
suspects were brought to court again Thursday. A state-controlled newspaper
reported new arrest warrants have been issued against them in anticipation
of their release on bail.

Legal sources say the new warrants are contrary to normal legal practice in
Zimbabwe. They say that normally, a suspect released on bail remains free
throughout the trial. Lawyers acting for the two men say that, if they are
arrested again, they will have to begin the process all over again to
petition courts for bail.

The lawyers also say the government's case against Mr. Sibanda, Mr. Mpofu,
and at least 10 other MDC members in the murder of Cain Nkala apparently
rests entirely on the confessions that the two men now say were made under
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Daily News

      Judgment reserved in Woods' case

      6/28/02 8:33:05 PM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      THE Supreme Court yesterday reserved judgment in the application by
Kevin Woods, 48, a jailed South African saboteur, to be released from prison
because he has heart problems.

      Woods, a former CIO officer, Michael Smith and Philip Conjwayo, have
been in jail for 13 years, serving life terms for sabotage and the murder of
a Zambian taxi-driver in the 1980s.

      Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, Justices Wilson Sandura, Vernanda
Ziyambi, Misheck Cheda and Luke Malaba, sitting as a constitutional court,
made the decision after hearing Woods' lawyer, Julia Wood.

      Ambrose Dhururu of the Attorney-General's Office represented the
State. Wood said Woods required treatment in South Africa.

      She said the State could not let him die in prison because it could
not afford his treatment.

      She said he could be transferred to serve his sentence in South Africa
or any Commonwealth country.

      The constitution of Zimbabwe protects people from cruel, inhuman and
degrading punishment.

      She said people serving life sentences should be given the prospect of
release from custody should their circumstances change.

      She said Woods had no one else to turn to as Patrick Chinamasa, the
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, who should consider
his application, had said he would never release him.

      She said: "Lack of public funds cannot justify the denial of basic
human rights. He is entitled to minimum adequate treatment."

      She denied he was a security risk to Zimbabwe, saying there were cases
where people serving life sentences ceased to be a threat.

      "People change," she said in response to Chidyausiku who asked why
Woods should no longer be regarded as a security risk when he killed for
political reasons and could do so again if the need arose.

      The intended targets were ANC members based in Zimbabwe during
apartheid, Wood said.

      She said there was no substance in the State's opposition to Woods'

      She said allowing him to seek treatment in South Africa would not open
the floodgates for similar applications. Dhururu said Woods was still a
security risk.
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Daily News

      Police blast Chronicle for lying

      6/28/02 8:36:32 PM (GMT +2)

      From our correspondent in Zvishavane

      Zvishavane police yesterday accused the Chronicle of falsifying a
recent accident report in which three Highlanders fans died and 11 others
injured when a hired commuter bus they were travelling in burst a tyre and
overturned along the Mbalabala-Zvishavane road.

      John Muzenda, the officer-in-charge of Zvishavane police station, said
contrary to a report carried by The Chronicle on 24 June, the bus driver,
Mathumaeli Ncube, survived the accident and was still at Zvishavane District
hospital where he was admitted.

      The newspaper report alleged Ncube was among the dead.

      The police said as a result of the publication of the false report on
Monday, the driver's panic-stricken relatives travelled to Zvishavane in
order to collect his body for burial.

      Ncube, 34, sustained head injuries and deep cuts on his legs and
hands. Hospital officials yesterday described Ncube's condition as stable.

      According to the police, the commuter omnibus was carrying Highlanders
supporters travelling to Zvishavane for the BP League match against Shabanie
football club on Sunday.

      The bus allegedly burst a front a tyre and rolled three times, killing
three people on the spot.
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Daily News

      Harare launches campaign to clean up city tomorrow

      6/28/02 8:06:00 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE Harare City Council will launch the Clean-Up Harare Campaign
tomorrow whose aim is to restore the capital back to its Sunshine City

      The Executive Mayor, Elias Mudzuri, said on Wednesday the campaign was
a holistic approach of cleaning and beautifying Harare involving the removal
of garbage, planting of trees and flowers, cleaning of sanitary lanes,
painting of buildings, educating all age groups to change their attitude and
behaviour, the removal of posters and addressing the question of vendors and
street children.

      Mudzuri appealed to all Harare residents to participate in the event.

      Mudzuri said: "All residents are invited to the launch at Town House
and they can bring with them brooms, trucks and shovels to the Clean-Up
Campaign Launch.

      "It is important for every Harare resident to take up ownership of the
capital and help clean up our environment by placing litter only where it
belongs - the litter bin. People should police themselves and educate each
other that the haphazard disposal of litter is not good for the aesthetic
beauty and health of our city and our future."

      Mudzuri said Harare residents had organised the Clean-Up programme to
restore Harare to its former reputation as one of the "Cleanest Cities in
Africa" when it was affectionately referred to as the Sunshine City.
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Daily News

      Private media barred from meeting human rights group

      6/28/02 8:31:57 PM (GMT +2)

      By Sandra Nyaira Political Editor

      THE government, in a bid to whitewash its appalling human rights
record, did not invite the independent media to speak to the African
Commission and People's Rights delegation, in the country this week to probe
allegations of human rights abuses.

      On Wednesday, government apologists William Chikoto of The Sunday
Mail, Pikirayi Deketeke of The Herald and Tafataona Mahoso from the Harare
Polytechnic's mass communications school, lined up to praise the government
before the commission at the Harare International Conference Centre.

      No one from the independent media was invited by the government
secretariat, resulting in Andy Moyse of the Media Monitoring Project in
Zimbabwe (MMPZ) having to run around to ensure the Media Institute of
Southern Africa (MISA) and the MMPZ were given a hearing.

      This effort was to ensure they gave documentary evidence of government
human rights abuses, media persecution and intimidation through repressive
laws such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy and the
Public Order and Security Acts.

      By last night it was not immediately clear whether the MMPZ or MISA
had met the commission.

      The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists' president, Matthew Takaona, who
works for The Sunday Mail, was by late Wednesday afternoon scheduled to
appear before the commission as well.

      The Independent Journalists' Association was not invited. George
Charamba, the Permanent Secretary in the Department of Information and
Publicity in the President's Office, said on Wednesday night his office was
not responsible for the invitations, which were being handled by the
Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

      "This was David Mangota's baby, not ours, so he should be able to tell
you who was invited and who was not," said Charamba.

      Mangota, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, was not
available for comment on Wednesday night.

      The commission was by Wednesday night expected to produce a damning
report on the government's human rights record after the production of
massive documented evidence of abuses.

      The commission raised its concern with the government over violence
during the land invasions, vicious attacks against judges and lawyers,
lawlessness, electoral fraud and the harassment of journalists.

      President Mugabe tried to air-brush the issues when he met the
commission by dwelling on colonial iniquities, the liberation struggle and
land expropriation.

      The commission's visit follows two years of political turmoil in the
country as Zanu PF sought to consolidate its stranglehold on power.

      The commission, led by Jainaba Johm of Gambia, includes prominent
South African human rights official Barney Pityana.
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Daily News

      UN team arrives to discuss humanitarian situation

      6/28/02 8:32:21 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      The United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs
and Emergency Relief Co-ordinator, Kenzo Oshima, is in Harare to discuss
with the government the humanitarian situation in the country.

      Zimbabwe faces an acute shortage of food because of the drought and
the controversial farm invasions.

      Victor Angelo, the United Nations resident coordinator in Zimbabwe,
said Oshima, accompanied by other stakeholders involved in the distribution
of food, would meet diplomats and the civic society.

      "The objective of the mission is to discuss with national authorities,
stakeholders and partners, the possible humanitarian responses relevant to
each of the three countries - Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi," said Angelo.

      Other members in Oshima's delegation are Julia Taft, director of
United Nations Development Programme's Bureau for Crisis Prevention and
Recovery, Judith Lewis, regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa
for the World Food Programme, Hansjoerg Strohmeyer, chef de cabinet to
Oshima, and Stephen O'Malley, humanitarian affairs officer.

      The mission's aim is to assist in contingency planning and support for
the co-ordination of humanitarian assistance

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Zim Independent

        Friday, 28 June 2002

      Forex rates skyrocket
      Barnabas Thondhlana/Godfrey Marawanyika

      THE Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Zanu PF
officials were this week said to be locked in meetings on how to bring
sanity to the foreign currency market which has seen rates go as high as
$800 to the US unit, driven allegedly in part by politicians said to be
holding onto millions in forex.

      The Zanu PF politburo met on Wednesday and had on its agenda the issue
of run-away parallel market rates.

      "We made recommendations to the politburo which we hope will be
implemented," said one politburo source.

      "We suggested that bureaux de change be forced to operate in line with
laid down procedures, with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe playing its
supervisory role. The central bank has no teeth at the moment and has
allowed the situation to get out of hand.

      "We recommended that the monitoring be extended to banks as well, as
some are dealing in foreign currency and have virtually become bureaux de
change," the source said.

      It is understood that cabinet on Tuesday also discussed the
deteriorating foreign currency situation and how it could be addressed.

      Banking sources said it was absurd for government to accuse banks of
pushing up the parallel market rate without looking inward to see where
problems emanated.

      "Politicians are in the majority of people who run bureaux de change
in the country, and any increase in rates is in their favour," said one

      "In fact, we have noticed an increase in the amount of foreign
currency in the hands of politicians whose origin is not known. As banks, we
cannot push up the rate. The rate is pushed by the seller."

      He said a possible solution that could come out of the meetings was
the pooling of foreign currency in one account at the RBZ, which he however
said would only give a reprieve.

      "This was proposed last year but was turned down by politicians," the
analyst said.

      The rate to the US unit retreated on the parallel market yesterday as
panicky FCA holders made withdrawals or liquidated their foreign currencies.
There was speculation on the market that the government wanted to raid all
foreign currency accounts and bureaux de change and deposit the money with
the central bank.

      Both the government and the central bank seem unable to control the
spiralling rates on the parallel market.

      Market watchers warned that if government raided FCAs this could have
adverse effects on exporting companies and some listed counters on the

      Stockbrokers said they anticipated a policy change on the operations
of all FCAs.

      "There is bound to be some change on how FCAs operate. The problem is
that we are not sure what the changes will be or when they will be
effected," said one broker.

      The emergence of a black market, as opposed to the parallel market,
has seen foreign currency rates shoot through the roof. A source said the
South African rand changed for $65 while the British pound could be as high
as $1 050 depending on demand.

      The parallel market rate is one acknowledged by government, as is the
case with the gold mining sector, tobacco farmers and Noczim. The black
market, however, is illegal and difficult to control.

      "The black market can only be eliminated by improving the supply side,
and that means us talking to international donor organisations," said one
economist with a discount house.

      Market analysts said there was little the Ministry of Finance or the
RBZ could do to personal foreign currency accounts. It is the right of every
Zimbabwean (especially those working and living abroad) to operate a foreign
currency account if one is able. If government were to ban these, it would
result in forex remittances reducing to a trickle.

      "Zimbabweans abroad operate a number of foreign currency accounts and
this has kept some banks going. If government were to clamp down and close
all FCAs this would result in money being banked outside with no foreign
currency coming in," said one economist.

      "In any case, if government tried to dissolve corporate foreign
currency accounts, they would come out with very little. There is not much
money in corporate accounts, maybe as little as US$20 million as very little
trade is taking place," he said.
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ABC News

Searching for Anthrax Clues

FBI Searches the Home of a Former Fort Detrick Researcher  (former Zimbabe

June 25 - The FBI today searched the home of a researcher who may have had
access to anthrax while working at the Fort Detrick Army base in Maryland.
Sources told ABCNEWS that Steven Hatfill is one of several people FBI
officials have been investigating for months in the probe of anthrax letter
attacks that left five dead and at least 13 others ill last fall. Today's
search, sources said, was the first thorough search of the researcher's
The researcher has been considered to be "a person of interest" in the
investigation, but not a suspect, sources said. Hatfill denied to ABCNEWS
that he had anything at all to do with the anthrax attacks and consented to
the search in an effort to clear his name. He said he understood his
background and comments made him a logical subject of the investigation.
Agents said they found nothing immediately incriminating in the search.
Hatfill has worked closely with the military and CIA anthrax experts and has
frequently shocked his colleagues with his statements and demonstrations of
how easily terrorists could make biological weapons.
ABCNEWS Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross also reported that
investigators are intrigued by the the fact that Hatfill lived for years
near a Greendale Elementary School while attending medical school in
Zimbabwe. Greendale School was the phony return address used in the anthrax
FBI officials have interviewed him a total of four times.
Warming Up a Cold Trail?
Since the wave of attacks, the FBI has been unable to find out who was
behind the anthrax-laced letters. There have been few leads and
investigators admitted that the trail seemed to have grown cold.
Fort Detrick, which also is home to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute
of Infectious Diseases, has anthrax samples, and the FBI is conducting
voluntary lie detector tests at the base. Lie detector tests and interviews
are also being conducted at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, where researchers
have been developing a powdered form of anthrax for testing biological
defense systems.
Small quantities of anthrax have routinely been produced at Dugway, and then
shipped to the Army's biodefense center at Fort Detrick, Army officials have

ABCNEWS' Brian Ross and Beverley Lumpkin contributed to this report.

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      Wednesday June 26, 10:00 PM

      Zimbabwe warns it will act against defiant farmers
      By Cris Chinaka

            Click to enlarge photo

      HARARE (Reuters) - The Zimbabwean government has warned it will act
against white farmers who try to retain their land against a state seizure
drive, saying nobody has the power to defy the law.

      Information Minister Jonathan Moyo told Zimbabwe television that
President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party had been angered by reports
that hundreds of white farmers were ignoring a government order to stop
farming operations on Monday, and had vowed to resist a black resettlement
programme on their land.

      Moyo did not say exactly what form the government action would take,
but said: "We are aware of some of these reports that claim that some
thousands of white farmers are defying the government, but we want to make
it categorically clear that no-one has the capacity to defy the government."

      "The long arm of the law is going to descend on anybody who defies the
government," he said, accusing the farmers' union of trying to stage a
publicity stunt to generate Western sympathy at a G8 summit in Canada this

      Moyo also said the government would crack down on farmers allegedly
vandalising water and irrigation equipment and burning farm houses on their
way out.

      About 3,000 farmers were given until midnight on Monday to stop
working their farms and just over a month to leave, after Zimbabwe amended
its land acquisition law in May.

      A 45-day countdown for the farmers to leave their farms began on
Tuesday, but many vowed to stay put rather than watch vital crops rot in a
nation short of food.


      Moyo said ZANU-PF had discussed the farmers' stance at a meeting of
its top body on Wednesday, and had agreed to act against those breaking its

      "It has urged the relevant government arms to take immediate and swift
action...This talk of defying the government we will not tolerate," he said.

      Earlier on Wednesday Mugabe vowed to press ahead with the seizures of
white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks, saying there would
still be enough land left for whites.

      "No farmer need go without land. The government is opposed to a
'one-farmer, 20-farms scenario'," Zimbabwe's official Herald newspaper
quoted Mugabe as telling a visiting rights group.

      Mugabe said he was opposed to white farmers owning more than one farm
and emphasised that indigenous blacks were prepared to die for their native

      "The land is ours. We went to war for it. We are prepared to die for
it," he was reported as saying.

      Mugabe told the rights group whites were misrepresenting facts to the
world by claiming land reforms would leave them without land because many
had more than one farm each.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena told the Herald the police had no
capacity to monitor whether all farmers who had been ordered to stop
operations had done so.

      Those who break the law face a fine or a two-year jail term.

      But Bvudzijena said the police would be ready by the August deadline
to evict those who had not moved off their land.

      Two white farmers filed a suit on Tuesday seeking to stop a government
order to abandon their farms in a test case closely watched by thousands of
others also facing eviction.

      In an editorial, Zimbabwe's private Daily News said the land seizures
would be disastrous because the white farmers were crucial to the economy,
now in deep recession.

      "The political leadership of this country appears determined to drag
Zimbabwe down that dark path," the newspaper said.

      Zimbabwe is one of six southern African countries facing a food
crisis. Analysts blame this partly on disruptions caused by the land

      An estimated 250,000 farm workers stand to lose their jobs if farming
operations are shut down.

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