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Daily News

      Farmer shot dead

      6/3/02 10:09:51 PM (GMT +2)

      By Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief Reporter

      A COMMERCIAL farmer, Charles Anderson, was shot dead in cold blood by
one of two youths armed with an AK47 assault rifle who broke into his
farmhouse yesterday afternoon in the Mazowe/Glendale farming area.

      Robbery seemed to be the motive. Anderson, 40, is the 12th member of
the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) to be murdered since invasions of
commercial farms by pro-government militants began more than two years ago.
The farm, Dunmaglas of Norfolk Estate, is 378 hectares in extent and was
designated under the Model A2 scheme. Anderson had reached an agreement with
Ngoni Masoka, the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture
and Rural Resettlement, for a take-over of the farm.

      Workers at the farm said Masoka, the new owner, planted four fields of
wheat, while Anderson was still on the farm, pending the completion of the
grading of his tobacco crop. Anderson had also planted wheat on part of the
farm. He was a grain producer representative of CFU in Mashonaland Central.

      A government notice in the Press on 3 February proclaimed that
Dunmaglas Farm of Norfolk Estate was now owned by Masoka. Efforts to get
comment from Masoka last night were unsuccessful. Jenni Williams, the
spokesperson for the CFU, said the killing of Anderson, which took place
around lunchtime yesterday, did not appear to be politically-motivated. "The
initial indication is that it was a case of robbery as the intruders drove
off with his truck, but abandoned it along the Chiweshe road," Williams

      Anderson, his wife, Cindy, and two children had just returned from
visiting his mother-in-law at the next farm, when the killing took place.
One of his children received a minor injury caused by one of the two
assailants. Cindy could not talk to the Press last night because she was
still in a state of shock. Two of the farm workers, Admore Mapuranga, 21,
and Michael Tom, who witnessed the shooting incident, said that two armed
men in their early 20s arrived at the farm and forced them inside the

      Mapuranga said: "They told us they wanted money, but we said we did
not have any idea where Anderson kept his money. They searched all the rooms
and also forced us to pack some of Anderson's property into bags. "When
Anderson, who had gone away, came into the house to find out what was
happening, one of the armed youths shot him in the head. He fell down and I
could see that he was dead." There was a pool of blood at the scene of the
murder late yesterday.

      Anderson, a keen hunter, was armed with a licensed rifle. It is
believed that he fired a shot into the air to scare off the intruders as a
rifle round was found in the house. He was shot in the head at close range
in a narrow passage and was pronounced dead two hours later by a doctor who
was called to the farm, according to the eyewitness accounts. His wife heard
four shots and rushed to investigate. She was accosted by two men who
threatened to kill her. They ordered her to lie down and to co-operate with
them. When The Daily News reporters arrived at the farm, 15 heavily armed
policemen were guarding the premises.

      The policemen, who refused to comment on the matter, took Anderson's
body in an ambulance to Bindura Police Station. The two assailants, who had
taken Mapuranga and Tom hostage and tried to drive them away in a Nissan
pick-up truck belonging to the farmer, were involved in an accident six
kilometres away. The two workers then escaped. The farmer's truck and part
of the looted property were recovered by the police, but the gun was still
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Zimbabwe police arrest top lawyers over letters

HARARE, June 3 - Zimbabwe police arrested two prominent lawyers on Monday
over letters allegedly written to the opposition and the British High
Commission calling for political violence in the troubled country.
       Police said Law Society of Zimbabwe President Stenford Moyo and the
organisation's secretary Wilbert Mapombere were likely to be charged under a
tough new security law widely seen as aimed at repressing opposition to
President Robert Mugabe.
       ''It (the arrest) is in connection with two letters, one written to
the British High Commission and the other one to the secretary general of
the MDC (opposition Movement for Democratic Change) in which they were
agitating for the cessation of inter-party talks and also agitating for
political violence,'' police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne
Bvudzijena told Reuters.
       ''We are still interviewing them and they are likely to be later
charged under POSA (Public Order and Security Act),'' he added.
       The Law Society could not immediately be reached for comment.
       Mugabe won Zimbabwe's elections in March, but the polls were
condemned as fraudulent by many Western nations and the MDC which is now
challenging the result through the courts.
       Talks between Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party and the MDC to ease
tensions have been postponed pending a decision on the legal challenge.
       Last month state radio reported that Mugabe had warned the MDC he
would not tolerate any violence or protests against his victory, which
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai called ''daylight robbery.''
       Mugabe told a ZANU-PF youth conference two weeks ago his government
''was here to stay'' and wanted Western powers to leave Zimbabwe alone.
       Mugabe's comments came a day after Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo
said the state had evidence the MDC was planning a military revolt against
the government.
       Tsvangirai has said he has no plans to overturn the election result
through violence.
       Mugabe accuses the MDC of being a puppet of former colonial power
Britain, which he says has led an international campaign to isolate him in
retaliation for his seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to
landless blacks.
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Daily News

      MDC accused of Buhera attack on Zanu PF

      6/3/02 9:55:54 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      ABOUT 30 Zanu PF supporters in Marume area, Buhera North, were
rendered homeless and several others severely injured last week after a
group of about 20 suspected MDC supporters allegedly set fire to five
homesteads, Zanu PF officials in Mutare said yesterday.

      Property worth thousands of dollars, including maize meal and grain,
was destroyed during the attack. But MDC officials immediately dismissed the
allegations as frivolous and said it was an attempt by Zanu PF to turn the
tables on violence on the main opposition party. Eight people, who were
injured in the process, were treated and discharged at Murambinda Hospital,
while another two were transferred to an undisclosed hospital in Harare,
where they are said to be receiving treatment.

      Mike Madiro, Zanu PF's chairman in Manicaland said: "Last week, the
MDC dispatched its supporters from their headquarters at Harvest House in
Harare to butcher our supporters. They set on fire five homesteads belonging
to Zanu PF members using petrol bombs and paraffin. "Food meant to assist
those affected by the drought was destroyed. Our supporters are forced to
sleep in the open. Two men were attacked using axes and their condition is
bad. This is savagery."
      He said the methods used by MDC members were similar to those applied
by the Selous Scouts before and after independence.

      Madiro said at least 10 MDC supporters had been arrested in connection
with the case. Riot police were called in to restore order and have since
cordoned off Marume area. Efforts to get comment from the police proved
fruitless. Pishai Muchauraya,the MDC spokesman in Manicaland, said: "This
has absolutely nothing to do with the MDC. The truth of the matter is that
Zanu PF supporters are fighting their own people because their councillors
are hoarding food meant for relief in their houses. Our investigations show
that those hungry people are now targeting houses where the food is being

      Muchauraya said problems began when the government's food-for-work
programme was launched earlier this year. He said only Zanu PF supporters
were benefiting from it. "This time it must have backfired because they were
now uncertain who was and was not their supporter, so Zanu PF councillors
resolved to keep maize meal and other goods to themselves," Muchauraya said.
"This angered Zanu PF members and they retaliated, attacking their own
      Robert Gumbo, the war veterans chairman in Manicaland, said: "How does
the MDC know what is going on within Zanu PF? How can they say it is an
in-house matter?

      "We have the evidence and MDC supporters have been arrested. This
violence is consistent with the MDC's dirty tactics." Madiro warned the MDC
that it was spoiling for war if it continued to attack Zanu PF supporters.
But Muchauraya insisted the attacks were a Zanu PF ploy to try and frustrate
a bid by the MDC leadership to force a rerun of the 9-11 March presidential
election, controversially won by President Mugabe. Muchauraya said: "They
are wasting their time creating all these stories. The police deliberately
arrested MDC supporters in connection with Zanu PF in-house fighting, but
that is not new. Our people have been arrested before and later released
without charges. Mugabe must go and that is no secret."

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Daily News

      State still acquiring more farms

      6/3/02 9:45:55 PM (GMT +2)

      Chief Reporter

      THE government's controversial compulsory land acquisition programme
is still going on, despite claims by the government that the process has
been successfully completed.

      An Extraordinary Government Gazette published last Friday indicates
that 71more farms are to be compulsorily acquired by the government, under
an instruction signed by Dr Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture
and Rural Resettlement. Under General Notice 252A, 24 farms have been
gazetted for compulsory acquisition while 47 properties will be taken for
resettlement under General Notice 252B. These will be added to hundreds of
other farms already acquired under the controversial scheme.

      Last week, Professor Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for
Information and Publicity in the President's Office and Zanu PF's deputy
secretary for information and publicity, said that the government had
completed the controversial programme which has seen more than 10 commercial
farmers being killed.

      Moyo made the remarks after a Zanu PF politburo meeting in Harare and
said the ruling party was proud it had successfully completed the
"historical land reform programme".
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Bread Shortage Looms

The Daily News (Harare)
June 3, 2002
Posted to the web June 3, 2002
Sandra Mujokoro

A SHORTAGE of bread is looming in the country as wheat stocks are expected
to run out in the next four weeks, officials in the wheat industry have
said. The shortage of bread is likely to worsen the woes of Zimbabweans
already facing a critical maize-meal shortage, with some using bread as a
Zimbabwe has since last December experienced serious maize-meal shortages
because of poor rainfall during the past two farming seasons, resulting in
reduced maize production. Large-scale commercial farmers, who have
irrigation facilities, also reduced maize-plantings in the past two years
because of uncertainties caused by farm invasions. According the Zimbabwe
Cereal Producers' Association (ZCPA), current wheat stocks are not enough to
see the country through to the next harvest. Last year farmers produced a
winter wheat crop of about 314 000 tonnes, which was less than the national
annual requirement of between 380 000 and 400 000 tonnes.
More wheat shortages are again expected next year, as farmers say they have
failed to plant this year due to disruption caused by the land reform
programme. The deadline for planting this year's winter wheat crop is fast
approaching, but farmers say they have only planted a third of what they did
the previous year. The normal planting period for wheat is from late April
to early June.
Commercial wheat farmers, who over the years produced the bulk of the wheat
crop, are blaming the government for their failure to plant wheat. Latest
government laws demand that farmers who receive Section 8 orders must cease
all farming activities and vacate their properties within 90 days.
That means two-thirds of Zimbabwe's approximately 3 000 commercial farmers
will have to leave their farms by 10 August, too early to have harvested any
wheat. "Preliminary indications suggest that the commercial crop may be
between 20 000 and 30 000 hectares as compared to 60 000 hectares grown last
Production from this will be about 110 000 to 165 000 tonnes if harvests are
not affected by interference," said the ZCPA official. The ZCPA said most of
the wheat which could have augmented stocks this year would not be
harvested, as the government had also failed to give the farmers written
guarantees that they would be allowed to harvest whatever wheat they had
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Tobacco Sales Still Low At Auction Floors

The Daily News (Harare)
June 3, 2002
Posted to the web June 3, 2002
Takaitei Bote, Farming Editor

TOBACCO sales volumes remain low on auction floors, two weeks after the
tobacco marketing season started. Auction floors opened on 14 May. Zimbabwe
Tobacco Auction Centre (Zitac) executive chairman, Wilson Nyabonda, last
Friday said sales were slow last week as farmers were still unhappy with the
Zimbabwe dollar prices offered on the auction floors.
Nyabonda said: "Deliveries are very, very slow. Most tobacco growers are
still waiting for a further increase of the growers' support price. "They
are saying viability has not yet been restored by the introduction of the 80
percent support price." On Friday Zitac laid about 558 bales compared to the
more 2 000 bales offered during a normal day. At the start of this year's
tobacco marketing season, the selling activity on auction floors was
disrupted following protests by growers regarding the low level of the
prices offered in Zimbabwe dollar terms.
Even though there was nothing abnormal about the United States dollar prices
offered, growers were concerned they would not be able to recover their
costs of production and be in a position to prepare and grow tobacco for the
next selling season. The government intervened and offered support at a
level of 80 percent for every Zimbabwe dollar paid by the merchant on the
auction floors, the cost of which is borne by the State. Deliveries have
slightly improved after the introduction of the price support, but are still
lower when compared to the same selling period last year.
While farmers are procuring inputs at exchange rates of more than $350 to
US$1, they say the 80 percent support scheme is equivalent to the
devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar "through the back door" to $100 against
US$1 for the tobacco farmers only. Tobacco Sales Floors (TSF) public
relations official, Denice Watt, said: "Sales volumes have improved as the
market has stabilised. We are, however, seeing a trend of prices dropping
because the tobacco quality is poor due to the drought in the past season."
TSF achieved an average price US180c/kg ($178,20/kg) last Friday. It offered
the same price the previous day.
Bruce Searls, the Burley Marketing Zimbabwe (BMZ) executive director, said
the floor laid 1 800 bales on Friday and 1 500 were sold. "This represents a
rejection rate of 16,6 percent and it shows farmers are not happy with the
prices," Searls said, adding that the normal rejection rate should be less
than 9 percent. BMZ realised an average price of US183c/kg ($181,17/kg) on
In its weekly report for last week, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board
said: "The market was more vibrant this week with significant increases in
both prices and volumes of tobacco sold. "Weekly throughput at 3,1 million
kg, is 94 percent higher while the average price is US13 cents ($12,87)
firmer than last week." Demand strengthened for the desirable styles and
good quality tobacco on offer. The rise in the volume of cutters from the
previous level also had a bearing on the rise in the weekly average price
that closed at US186 c/kg ($184,14/kg). The wastage rate was 11,2 percent,
down 16 percent from the pervious week.
Up to 29 May 2002, 4,71 million kg of tobacco had been sold at an average
price of US181c/kg ($179,19/kg). Earnings of US$85,3 million (Z$4,7 billion)
were recorded from auction sales. The seasonal rejection was 18,30 percent.
Over the same selling days last year, a total of 1,6 million kg of tobacco
offered at an average price of US170c/kg ($93,50/kg) was sold.
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From The Zimbabwe Standard, 2 June

Juvenile killed over maize meal

Masvingo - A juvenile was fatally assaulted by an enraged man who had lost half a bucketful of mealie-meal in the drought-ravaged district of Chivi, Masvingo province, police confirmed to The Standard on Wednesday. According to a police report, Hamilton Ruzvidzo, 12, was allegedly flogged with a stick by Vengai Magove, 25, who accused him of stealing his treasured maize meal. On the fateful day, Magove had collected some leftovers from a grinding mill at Berejena High School. He managed to get half a bucketful, which he intended to use to feed his family. He then left the mealie-meal unattended to attend to other business and when he came back he found the scarce commodity missing. The police report says Magove then called some boys who were playing nearby, and threatened to beat them if they did not tell him who had taken his mealie-meal. The boys ran away, but Ruzvidzo was caught and thoroughly beaten. Magove is then said to have taken Ruzvidzo to his 65-year-old father, where he continued to assault the juvenile. Following the consistent beating, Ruzvidzo fell unconscious and was later taken to Berejena Mission clinic where he died upon admission.

Police provincial spokesperson, Inspector Learn Ncube, confirmed the incident to The Standard and said they had arrested Magove in connection with the case. "We have since arrested the accused person. We are currently making final touches in our investigations to ascertain as to what exactly transpired. Cases of murder in the drought stricken areas are on the increase, but we urge members of the public to desist from violence because they risk being taken to court to face the wrath of law," said Ncube. He said police had established community liaison offices so that they could counsel those that engaged in disputes, to discourage them from taking the law into their own hands. The endemic starvation has hit Masvingo hard, with government officials estimating that 400 000 people are in urgent need of relief supplies.

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From The Daily News, 31 May

Lawyer accuses AG's office of delaying hearing of ZBC case

The government and Zanu PF have been accused of deliberately delaying the hearing of the Supreme Court case filed by Capital Radio, challenging the constitutionality of some sections of the Broadcasting Act passed into law in controversial circumstances last year. Responding to an application by the State for a second postponement of the matter, Senior Advocate Adrian de Bourbon, said the delays by government departments, such as the Civil Division of the Attorney General's Office, were perpetuating the monopoly of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). He said ZBC continued to be the sole broadcaster, despite the enactment of laws meant to free the airwaves. De Bourbon said ever since the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe was set up last year under the Broadcasting Act, no privately-owned broadcasting station had been established in Zimbabwe. Joy TV, the only other television station in the country, is officially supposed to stop broadcasting today (31 May).

"The people of this country have been deprived of their constitutional right and the Civil Division wants to perpetuate that. The time has come to cut the knot of this monopoly," said De Bourbon. For the State, Yvonne Dondo of the AG's Office, representing Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity, applied for a two-week postponement to enable her to file heads of argument. Dondo said she had noted that her papers were not in order two days ago and she needed time to file heads of argument on behalf of the respondents. She said the problem had been caused by the fact that the officer dealing with the matter retired from government service last month and the matter had not been timeously allocated to another law officer. Dondo blamed the serious staff shortage at the AG's Office for the inconvenience that often leads to delays.

But De Bourbon objected to her application, saying the government was simply buying time. He said the matter had been conveniently delayed until well after the March presidential election, won controversially by President Mugabe. De Bourbon said there was a perception among the public that the matter had been deliberately delayed to entrench the monopoly of the ZBC, particularly during the run-up to the elections when an alternative broadcasting station was needed for campaigns. "There is no doubt that the ZBC monopoly has been maintained throughout the presidential elections. The perception is that this matter is being deliberately delayed. The monopoly of the ZBC is unconstitutional." But Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku granted the State a postponement to 19 June and ordered the AG's Office to file the outstanding papers by 7 June.

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