|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
|04 Jun 2002|
Concern: ‘Massive Intervention Needed to Prevent Catastrophe in Zimbabwe & Malawi’
Concern Worldwide - Ireland
Both countries face severe food shortages that affect almost 11 million people in Zimbabwe and over three million in Malawi.
Concern’s Jack Finucane - who headed a recent Assessment Mission to Zimbabwe -has concluded that: “Only massive intervention now, with large-scale delivery of food aid, will prevent catastrophe on the scale of the 1984 Ethiopian Famine, or Somalia 1991-92.”
In Malawi, Concern chief executive Tom Arnold recently warned that: “If decisive action is not taken my fear is that many thousands of people will die.”
Malawi and Zimbabwe have been worst affected by the severe food shortages being experienced across the Southern African region. The regional food shortfall - some four million tonnes - has been caused by drought, bad harvests, instability and economic crisis.
Recent World Food Programme figures confirm that the Zimbabwean harvest was
77 percent down on 2001, affecting up to 80 percent of the population.
In Malawi, some 3.2 million people will need food aid to survive until next year’s harvest. The country needs to import some 600,000 tonnes of food.
Concern Chief Executive, Tom Arnold - just returned from Malawi - has warned that “many thousands will die” unless there is immediate action.
It is believed there have already been substantial deaths from hunger, in Malawi. A recent Concern Nutrition Report showed a serious rise in malnutrition rates and contained evidence of widespread deaths from starvation.
Mr Arnold pointed out that although Malawi’s main harvest had occurred in April/May, many houselholds had already run out of food. He called for the immediate delivery of large quantities of maize to prevent “a catastrophic deterioration” in both Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Zimbabwe and Malawi have some of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in the world.
TOUGH, NEW SECURITY LAW
By Tuesday afternoon police were still holding Law Society of Zimbabwe President Stenford Moyo and the organisation's secretary Wilbert Mapombere for allegedly writing letters to the MDC and the British embassy urging violence against Mugabe.
Chief police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said Moyo and Mapombere were likely to be charged under a tough new security law widely seen as aimed at repressing opposition to Mugabe.
''There is no campaign of any sort against the opposition, journalists or lawyers. This is about law and order,'' Bvudzijena said on Tuesday of charges the police were targeting a hit list drawn up by the government.
He denied the government was abusing the new laws to harass the opposition and journalists.
''The police force is not going to be deterred from doing its work by these baseless accusations...The police will take all suspects to court and the courts will determine these cases.''
The government has nailed charges against about a dozen foreign and local journalists under a new media law, which penalises ''abuse of journalistic privilege'' such as publishing ''falsehoods'' with heavy fines or jail terms of up to two years.
Critics say the law, which Mugabe enacted days after his re-election, is being used against private media organisations backing the MDC's calls for a re-run of the election.
Mugabe, 78, and Zimbabwe's sole ruler since the former Rhodesia gained independence from Britain in 1980, says he will fight to defend his country's sovereignty.
The government thinks it has dealt with journalists - and it's now coming for the lawyers
They are due to appear in court later on Tuesday.
A police spokesman said the men are being questioned over two letters they are alleged to have written to the British High Commission and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Police say the letters called for the suspension of talks between the governing Zanu-PF and the MDC in order to encourage public protests.
Nigeria and South Africa are trying to mediate between the two sides but the talks collapsed after the MDC filed a legal challenge to President Robert Mugabe's controversial re-election in March.
The poll was condemned as fraudulent by many Western nations and the Commonwealth observer mission, although some African nations backed Mr Mugabe's victory.
"We are still interviewing them and they are likely to be later charged under POSA (Public Order and Security Act)," Assistant Police Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena told Reuters news agency.
Mr Moyo and Mr Mapombere were the first lawyers arrested in a continuing crackdown against dissent.
Mr Moyo has led protests against government attempts to intimidate judges who have ruled against the authorities.
"The government thinks it has dealt with journalists - and it's now coming for the lawyers," the legal source said.
Several opposition activists have been arrested for alleged subversion under the Public Order and Security Act since the election.
And 12 independent journalists have been arrested under harsh new media laws since the election.
Ten have been charged with allegedly publishing false information damaging to the state.
MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai and two of his associates have also been charged with treason. The new media and security laws have been widely condemned by human rights and pro-democracy activists as an effort by Mr Mugabe to crush dissent and curb constitutional rights of free expression.
Correspondents say subversion under strict new security laws carries a penalty of up to 20 years in jail.
This report does not purport to
cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas.
Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting
all that happens. Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to
minimise the risk of reprisals.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF
All seems to be quiet. DDF are still pegging in Middle Save. Some Section 7 Notices were handed out in Chipinge, and Section 8 Orders handed out in Nyanga.
Glendale/Mazowe - As reported by Jenni Williams and The Herald newspaper, at noon on 02.06.02, farm manager, Charles Anderson, was murdered by intruders outside his home on Dunmaglas Farm. He is survived by his wife Cindy and two sons aged 10 and 13 years. For further details please contact Jenni Williams on the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The remainder of the areas report that nothing has changed on the ground and nothing has been resolved on the farms where problems were reported last week.
Macheke/Virginia - One farmer had barricades put across his access roads. Theft of wire reported on one farm. On another farm, settlers needed bricks to build classrooms so they knocked down the store and ablution blocks for bricks. Relatives of A2 settlers on one farm arrived to build their houses.
Marondera North - One farmer who was served a Section 8 Order 26.04.02 was told by a member of staff in the Lands office it was invalid as it had the wrong hectarage recorded. This farmer is also under pressure from A2 settlers to plough and was told his letter for application to continue farming was rejected.
Marondera South – there is massive pressure in this area with only 11 percent of farmers able to continue working without any trouble. Only 15 farms are currently occupied by their owners.
Wedza - On one farm the owner had his dog poisoned, which is now recovering. There was also an attempted theft of a vehicle and fuel but the thieves took off in a getaway vehicle when they were disturbed by the owner. The cottage also had windows removed. Police have reacted and are investigating.
No report received.
MASHONALAND WEST (SOUTH)
Norton - On Serui Source Farm after settlers broke the equipment on two of the boreholes, the owner, who has not been allowed to return to his farm for nearly a year, had the third borehole shut down. The settlers occupied his homestead in retribution and minor theft took place. Nobody was arrested but the situation appears to be resolved.
Selous - On Exwick Farm four men, one of whom went by the name of Ruinga and carrying an AK47, lit fires around the owner’s fence and told the family to leave the house otherwise they would be killed. Police eventually arrived, but then left again to "get reinforcements". This was at 2300 hrs on the night of 01.06.02. One workers child was hit over the head with a brick. The pungwe went on till 0500 hrs and the police never returned. No arrests were made.
Chakari - settlers chased Tractors out of the land on Milanwood Farm where the owner was trying to plant some Wheat. No Wheat has been allowed to be planted in the whole of this farmers' Association area.
General - It appears that every single white owned farm in the whole of the Kadoma District has been allocated and the District Administrator is not allowing any new production to continue on any farms. All farms that have not received Section 8's are now receiving them. Chief Inspector Makaza of Kadoma District, who was instrumental in stopping production on most farms, has now been promoted to a Superintendent and consequently is in charge of more police stations.
Masvingo East and Central - Nothing to report.
Chiredzi - poaching and snaring continue unabated. There is plenty of movement from new settlers who have invaded over the last two months. All are frantically cutting and clearing land.
Cane farmers are under continued pressure and threats from the settlers.
Mwenezi - Continued poaching and snaring.
Save Conservancy - Continued poaching and snaring.
Gutu / Chatsworth - The ZFTU have been in this area harassing employees over pensions and gratuities owed to farm labour.
No report received.
No report received.
|Law society chief arrested|
6/4/02 8:25:32 AM (GMT +2)
By Collin Chiwanza
STERNFORD Moyo, the president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ), and the society’s secretary, Wilbert Mapombere, were arrested yesterday afternoon over allegations that they had in their possession subversive documents relating to the planned MDC mass action to force President Mugabe to conduct a rerun of the presidential election which he won controversially.
Moyo’s wife, Sara,
confirmed yesterday that her husband had been picked up by the police and was
being held at an unknown place by late last night.
|Farmer’s murderer was involved in row|
6/4/02 8:29:39 AM (GMT +2)
ONE of the alleged murderers of Charles Anderson, the commercial farmer shot dead in cold blood with an AK47 assault rifle in Mazowe/Glendale on Sunday, had earlier had an argument with the farmer.
Workers at the farm and a
farmer in the area yesterday said the man visited Anderson last week, to tell
him to leave his irrigation pipes on the farm.
|People power can save us, if we unite|
6/4/02 9:09:46 AM (GMT +2)
LAST week Zimbabweans
witnessed, for the first time in a very long time, what can only be called
People Power. Black and white, rich and poor, rural and urban - we stood
together and literally bombarded the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture
The minister was going to
do away with Cambridge International Examinations, put all our children into the
same school uniforms and force teachers to stay at their posts from dawn to
dusk. For two weeks every column in every newspaper in the country was filled
with complaints about Minister Aeneas Chigwedere’s three proposals which were
going to directly affect our homes and lives.
|Government in a state of denial of reality|
6/4/02 9:08:38 AM (GMT +2)
attempts to pretend that the whole world still loves it in spite of its
violation of its citizens’ human rights are now bordering on the absurd.
Last month, President
Mugabe led a high-powered delegation to New York to attend a United Nations
conference on children. Under the UN headquarters agreement the US is obliged to
let any head of state into the UN building unless they are banned or suspended
from the UN.
|Supreme Court overturns ruling on Harare elections|
6/4/02 8:27:32 AM (GMT +2)
By Lloyd Mudiwa
THE Supreme Court last Thursday overturned last year’s ruling in the High Court by Justice Ben Hlatshwayo that Trudy Stevenson, the MP for Harare North, had no locus standi to challenge the legitimacy of the commission that ran Harare before last March’s municipal elections.
Stevenson had appealed to
the Supreme Court after Hlatshwayo dismissed her application for the holding of
the municipal elections, saying she was wearing too many hats and it was not
clear in what capacity she made the application.
United Nations, London - Protests
(Zimbabwe Human Rights Protests)
Saturday, 22nd June 2002
12pm to 2pm
Outside the United Nations Offices,
64 -78 Kingsway, London WC2,
(Holborn Train Station take the main exit into Kingsway, turn left down
Kingsway and Africa House is on your left on the next block Temple and
Russell Square tubes are about 10 minutes walk away)
UN World Food Programme and the F.A. O. said that 6 million Zimbabweans in
both urban and rural areas need emergency food aid.
They said that even after pledged aid had been given and government food
imports had been made, the country would still have a shortfall of 1.5
million tonnes of cereals.
The statement acknowledged that 2 years of farm invasions had compounded
this massive food shortage and said that unless international food
assistance was given urgently: "there will be a serious famine and loss of
life in the coming months.
The UN also spoke of the effects of drought saying Zimbabwe had just
experienced the longest dry spell in 20 years. What they did not say however
was that most of Zimbabwe's dams are full.
In fact, for anyone that has lived in Zimbabwe, the dam percentages are
completely beyond belief. (Masvingo 91%, Matabeleland 79%, Mashonaland 89%,
Midlands 88% and Manicaland 100% full)
The UN says this is our longest dry spell in 20 years and yet all our dams
are almost 80% full . Zimbabwe dams are so full because the water has not
been used to irrigate crops.
There are no crops in the ground because government supporters stopped
farmers from growing food because they wanted the land for their masters and
now 6 million people face starvation.
The sickening irony this week Agriculture Minister Dr Joseph Made said that
any white farmer who did not put a crop of wheat into the ground would have
his farm listed for seizure. I'm not sure where the Minister has been these
last two years because he has already listed 95% of Zimbabwe's farms for
government take over. There are now only 308 farms in the entire country not
listed for state seizure. Neither Dr Made nor any of his officials are
prepared to offer any written guarantees to a farmer that he will be able to
grow, reap and sell his wheat before the government moves in and takes the
farm over. 6 million starving Zimbabweans have Dr Made and his government to
thank for their plight. We have become like Somalia and Ethiopia and are
holding out our begging bowls to the world. A world who would rather feed us
than help us to get a democratic government who care for their people.
Washington 07967 182 532 (UK)
Durani 07939 165044 (UK)
Hilton 07747 614232 (UK)
Albert 01765 607900 (UK)
Retrenched civil servants cry foul over packages
6/4/02 8:31:39 AM (GMT +2)
Former civil servants whose posts in the two education ministries were
abolished in January 1999 and August 2000, following the government's
decision to sub-contract several services, claim they were short-changed on
Most were employed as general hands in the ministries of Higher
Education and Technology, and of Education, Sports and Culture.
When their posts were abolished, they were paid amounts ranging from
$10 000 to $30 000, while their colleagues, who left in January 2001, were
paid substantially higher amounts and given life pensions.
However, the Public Service Commission (PSC), has said the workers
were paid their terminal benefits in terms of Section 10 of the Public
Service (Pensions) Regulation of 1992, while their colleagues were paid in
accordance with the Public Service (Pensions) (Amendment) Regulations 2001.
According to Section 10, which was in force at the time the workers'
posts were abolished, employees who had contributed to their pensions for
less than 20 years were entitled to double the amount of their contribution
plus four percent interest for each completed year, and cash in lieu of any
leave they were entitled to.
In a letter dated 19 December 2001 to the National Education Union of
Zimbabwe, which is representing the former workers, the PSC said the new
regulations, which came into effect on 1 January 2001, had repealed Section
10 of the 1992 regulations.
The PSC said: "In terms of the new regulations, any member who has
contributed pension for a period of five years or more is entitled to a
"It is therefore not proper to compare the packages you received and
those received by your colleagues who retired two years later as your
benefits were paid in terms of different regulations."
The PSC turned down an appeal by the former workers to consider
increasing their packages on compassionate grounds.
They have so far written twice to President Mugabe, seeking a meeting
with him in order to air their grievances.
In their first letter to Mugabe dated 14 January 2002, they said they
had been intentionally discriminated against.
The government, they said, had not considered their long service and
"instead we were sent out empty-handed". Moreover, the said Statutory
Instrument of 1992 was never mentioned in the workshops conducted
countrywide to discuss their retrenchments.
"It only appeared in the documents on the very days of the actual
abolition of our offices, taking advantage of the illiteracy of most general
hands, who comprise the majority of this disadvantaged group."
Lawrence Kamwi, the principal private secretary to the President,
referred them to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
UZ students run riot
6/4/02 8:28:06 AM (GMT +2)
ANGRY University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students fought running battles with
the riot police and college security guards yesterday as they demonstrated
against the late disbursement of their loans by the Commercial Bank of
The students were supposed to get their payouts on Saturday 1 June.
A letter written to the students by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor
Graham Hill, on 29 May, says: "Further to my memo of 27 May 2002, I would
like to inform you that the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe has indicated that
the student payouts will be released into your bank accounts by Saturday,
First of June 2002."
Emmanuel Nyambuya, the president of the Students' Executive Council at
the UZ, yesterday said: "The disturbances have been caused by the late
disbursement of the payouts as most students are hungry. They do not have
money to sustain themselves."
Late in the afternoon yesterday, a number of cars on the UZ campus,
including that of Hill, were stoned by incensed students. Hill's car had
shattered windscreens, according to one witness.
"Students have run out of their patience and I hope the CBZ will treat
our plight as a matter of urgency," Nyambuya said.
It could not be established whether any of the students were injured.
Neither Hill nor the university spokesperson, Elizabeth Karonga, could
be reached for comment late last night
Court hears of alleged Moyo-Mpofu gay affair
6/4/02 9:18:35 AM (GMT +2)
By Fanuel Jongwe Court Reporter
JOB Sikhala, the MP for St Mary's, yesterday stunned a Harare
magistrates' court when he alleged that Information and Publicity Minister
Jonathan Moyo threatened to "fix" him for asking him about a rumour of an
alleged homosexual relationship between the minister and the former Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation chief executive officer, Alum Mpofu.
Mpofu resigned abruptly on 3 April after being caught in a
compromising position with another man at a Harare nightclub on 27 March. He
has since been confirmed to be homosexual by the Gays and Lesbians'
Association of Zimbabwe.
Testifying in his trial on allegations of breaching the Posts and
Telecommunications Act, the opposition MDC MP said Moyo made the threat at
Parliament on 29 January after the Parliamentary legal committee produced an
adverse report on the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill.
"He was looking worried and agitated and I asked him why," Sikhala told
magistrate Wilbert Mandinde. "His answer was: 'I want to bring journalistic
morality in this country because the majority of journalists are wayward,
mad pawns of Western imperialism.'
"I asked him whether he was aware that people in town were saying he
was not qualified to talk about morality and whether he was aware there was
a rumour in town that he had an intimate relationship with Alum Mpofu, when
he was at Wits University and Mpofu at the South African Broadcasting
"Jonathan Moyo became vicious, saying: 'You MDC people are the ones
moving around spreading these lies. I am going to fix you, young man.' I
have patiently waited for Jonathan Moyo's fixing. I have seen it today in
this court." Sikhala, 29, and Tafadzwa Musekiwa, 26, a fellow MDC MP, were
arrested on 14 September last year and detained by the police over alleged
abusive calls to Moyo.
Sikhala said: "After my release I never heard anything about this
matter until Dhowa and Sikhova (detectives from the Law and Order Section at
Harare Central Police Station) came to my house with summons to appear in
court." Prosecutor Lifa Dube said on 10 September last year, Sikhala
borrowed Paul Mutuzu's cellphone from which he called Moyo. He allegedly
told Moyo: "You will go, Jonathan. You will go. Why are you hanging up on
me? What are you trying to do to my people?" Sikhala admitted during
cross-examination he phoned the minister to enquire about the results of the
Bulawayo mayoral election, but denied being abusive.
Musekiwa, a defence witness, said he made the first call to Moyo on 10
September to ask about the Bulawayo results and Moyo told him he was in a
"Later on Sikhala phoned to enquire about the Bulawayo election
results," Musekiwa said. "Because of a network problem the phone went off.
After some time, the minister returned the call and the accused moved away.
The accused returned saying he had been verbally abused by the complainant."
The verdict is expected on 21 June.
Excerpt from Jenny Sharman's comprehensive report on the devastation wrought on our environment i.e. the land, the flora & the fauna.(CLICK HERE FOR FULL REPORT - email readers can email me if they want the full report by email)