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

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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Friday 07 June 2002

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.


All is quiet, nothing to report, with one exception: on 05.06.02, a farmer was pulled off his motorbike and beaten up very badly by a settler

- Three intruders broke into the homestead on Madilow Farm The owner was beaten up and his wife was tied up. This was an attempted burglary and was reported to the Police who are reacting at this time.  The remainder of the area claim that as yet no change has taken place on the ground.

- On one farm an A2 settler sent in his children to build his house.  Ongoing poaching, stock theft and cutting of gum trees on various farms.  One work stoppage but this was resolved. 
Wedza - The owner on one farm who has had to vacate, phoned his homestead and the phone was answered by the new occupant of his house.  Another farmer had roofing stolen from his farm village houses as the settlers have been told to build houses.  Another farmer had a dairy cow slaughtered and the hind legs removed, the police have responded. 

No report received.

- Harassment continues.  On Tankatara Farm settlers are closing down the operation involving up to 150 hectares of Tobacco, and the owners forced to vacate one of the homesteads.  On Bryn Farm Governor Hungwe continues to demand the owner move out of his house so that he can move in.  The owner and his son have previously made their other two farms available to Government. 
Selous - On Umfuli Banks the A2 settler with Government inputs has planted 150 hectares of Wheat, but only has irrigation for less than 40 hectares (which he has "commandeered" from the owner).  The A2 settler is currently stealing the Chegutu town water supply.
Chegutu - On Katawa Farm (Resettlement), which Government took over more than a year ago the settlers want to set up a clinic in the house.  Previously, the settlers completely vandalised the house taking all the window frames etc. so it is now merely a shell.  They have now asked surrounding farmers for donations to buy new window frames etc. to rebuild what they have destroyed.  On Farnham another pig was stolen.
Chakari – The status quo remains that no one is allowed to plant wheat.  The only area planted under wheat is where C.I.O stopped the owner planting, commandeered all the owners’ equipment, and are trying to grow a crop part-time with no experience whatsoever. 
Kadoma - On Pamene Farm there are two cows slaughtered every week at this time.  The wildlife is being completely decimated. 
Battlefields - On Umsweswe River Block 8A DDF are busy ploughing and will presumably commandeer the owner’s equipment for a wheat crop, which at this late stage will undoubtedly be a disaster. 

Masvingo East and Central
- Previous reports within the media about Marah Ranch , which indicates settlers have been removed from the property, are contrary to the following: "war veteran" Kid Muzenda has now moved into the main homestead on Marah Farm. Other settlers are still on the remaining property and have not been moved off.  At Chidza Farm the Lands Committee, headed by the DA Masvingo, approached the owner on the afternoon of 03.06.02 to say they wanted a portion of the property.  If this was given the owner would then be left alone and not harassed again. The owner was not interested. On 04.06.02 the owner was told by a settler that after the DA and the Lands Committee left him, they then met with the settlers.  The owner was discussed and a decision made that the owner must “be sorted out”, as he was not co-operative. Despite the numerous visits to the PA Masvingo and the Governor requesting to be delisted and to have settlers removed as owner previously sold two properties to Government, the assurances from these two authorities have meant nothing.
Chiredzi - Poaching is ongoing in this area, fast becoming a lucrative business caused by hunger and the unavailability of mealie meal.  At Wasara Ranch two poachers were arrested.  On Dawlish Ranch, settler’s cattle from Buffalo Range keep coming on to the property and grazing issues are now raised. Police and Support Unit are within the area.  The Anti poaching Unit is said to be on Eureka Ranch Mwenezi - Mkumi Ranch reports 6 goats and 8 sheep were stolen in broad daylight. Reported to the Police with no follow up reaction from them.  A Battlefields Ranch security guard apprehended a settler with a donkey cart in possession of warthog meat. The guard confiscated the meat and impounded the donkey cart until ZRP’s arrival. The settler managed to recover the donkey cart and remove the meat from safekeeping and continued on his journey.
Save Conservancy - Poaching and snaring are ongoing. 
Gutu / Chatsworth - Ongoing harassment over grazing issues and theft/snaring/poaching within the area continues.  As previously reported, the DA Gutu had made arrangements with the CSC to slaughter the owner’s cattle at Irvine A Subsequent to this, the ZRP arrived on 01.06.02 to round up all the owner’s cattle, which could not be rounded up. The DA Gutu phoned the owner on behalf of Minister Samuel Mbengegwe, and told him the Minister has had enough of waiting for his farm and the owner should immediately react and remove all the cattle as they are now eating all the scarce grazing. He was also told to contact the Government Evaluator to speed up the process of evaluation and then eventually compensation.

No report received.

- A dairy Heifer was stolen on Mcobeni Farm, and reported to the Police, who reacted.  The Police Detail took down a statement from the owner and spoke to one of the workers.  He then said he had to hurry back to the main road as the Police vehicle was coming back to collect him, so no further investigations were made.  The OIC Nyamandlovu will not allow the National Parks Anti-Poaching Team to react to cases of poaching, stating the Police must react first.  In some instances it takes the Police over a week to react, if they react at all.  This extremely frustrating for the National Parks team.  Due to settlers not allowing farmers to graze their cattle in certain areas, farmers are forced to sell off cattle, which would normally be sold next year and are in very poor condition.  Veterinary authorities in the district have also stopped all farm-to-farm movements due to the recent Foot and Mouth outbreak.  Mr Mkwananzi continues to harass the owners of Porter Farm, demanding keys for their Safari Camp, which have been denied on numerous occasions.  He has now threatened to force entry into the Safari Camp.
Poaching and theft seems to be on the increase with minimal reaction or co-operation from the Police in general.
Mberengwa - Twelve pedigree Hereford Bulls were stolen from a property and are believed to have been trucked and moved to Gweru/Gokwe area.  All twelve were young bulls and selected out of a group of bulls.  Further losses to stock theft and snaring continues unabated on the property.
General – Poaching and snaring of animal continues on a daily basis with meat being removed by the scotch cartload and sold wet or dried in the communal lands, with significant amounts finding its way into urban butcheries.  The majority of producers predict a 50% reduction of animals and in some cases approaching total annihilation.  The safari industry will face collapse shortly if the situation continues.  Snaring is indiscriminate with many young and pregnant animals killed, along with rare and scarce species.                                 Visit the CFU Website

Unless specifically stated that this message is a Commercial Farmers' Union communiqué, or that it is being issued or forwarded to you by the sender in an official CFU capacity, the opinions contained therein are private. Private messages also include those sent on behalf of any organisation not directly affiliated to the Union. The CFU does not accept any legal responsibility for private messages and opinions held by the sender and transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network users and/or to external addressees.
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 The Theft of Private Assets

As NEPAD activity reaches new heights in global forums, the full implications of the economic delinquency of the Mugabe government and its effects on investors in the continent have still not been spelt out. Businessmen understand the implications and we act accordingly, but it seems as if African leaders, including Mbeki and Obasanjo, for all their sophistication, do not. Perhaps its time to spell out just what it means.

In the past two years, the Mugabe government, with the tacit support of the entire continent, has taken away from several thousand private investors in Zimbabwe, assets worth at least one trillion Zimbabwe dollars. For those who do not know what that sort of sum means, its

Z$1 000 000 000 000.00 or US$18 billion in private assets. In Zimbabwean terms that is three times the annual GDP and more than the entire continent received in foreign aid in the past year (US$14,6 billion).

These assets were largely created after independence in 1980, with 83 per cent of the owners acquiring them since 1980 – the majority with specific government approval, which stated in clear terms that the properties they were buying, were not required for land resettlement. What were those assets? The full list is too long to publish here but it includes 8,5 million hectares of land, 258 000 hectares of irrigated land, 48 000 hectares of planted timber. 1,5 million head of beef cattle, 60 000 head of dairy cattle, 12 000 hectares of citrus orchards, 2 700 hectares of deciduous fruit orchards, 12 000 homesteads, 350 000 workers houses. 2 800 dams of various sizes, 3 500 automatic tobacco curing facilities, 37 000 tobacco barns. 2,5 million square meters of storage space, 20 000 tractors of 75 horsepower and some 1 700 tractors of greater horsepower. Thousands of implements, ploughs, harrows, planters, fuel storage facilities, combine harvesters, hay balers and thousands of kilometers of fencing, water pipelines cattle handling facilities, spray races and dip tanks.

These investors spent up to Z$120 billion a year on inputs, were supported by 3 000 industrial and commercial firms, borrowed Z$30 billion last year to finance the crops grown during the summer of 2001/02. When they made money most of these investors simply spent it on their farms. Many were highly intensive and well developed properties that would be the pride of any country in the world. They funded research and training, marketing efforts that reached across the world, they made Zimbabwean tobacco, cotton, flowers and beef amongst the best known products of Africa.

They not only invested their own money, but borrowed money to invest. They also invested their time and knowledge and many were active in their communities helping the peasant communities in their districts to improve their output and quality. They took out Zimbabwe citizenship and paid taxes. They obeyed the law of the land in all respects.

Their reward for trusting Africa? Their government comes under threat from democratic forces in their own country and decides that the white farmer is an easy target and can be used, ruthlessly and without regard to the rule of law or any other standard of human behavior, that they should be sacrificed on the alter of political expediency. They have been killed (12 have died since the dispossession campaign started) beaten, imprisoned, harassed, expelled from their properties by unruly mobs with weapons while the police watched. They have been vilified and dammed by the state media, accused of every crime in the book and a lot that are not listed. Now they are watching helplessly as their hard won assets are stolen, vandalized or worse – simply given to people with no experience of farming who qualify simply because they are connected to the ruling party.

Not a single farmers association in the rest of the world has come to their assistance. Not a single government in Africa has condemned this wholesale theft of private assets in Zimbabwe and no one has proposed any form of assistance for the people who are being dispossessed of everything they own in many cases. Many of these farmers are literally sitting in car parks with their personal effects wondering what to do next. They are being forced in some cases to take their children out of school because they cannot afford school fees and most are planning to move to another continent where this nightmare will not happen to them again.

Would you trust Africa with your money – if leaders who do this are allowed to get away with it and in fact are lauded by the ignorant and prejudiced in other countries, for taking action which will "correct the injustices of the past"? Start talking that language and where would any of us be? Land is at the core of the Zimbabwe crisis – I agree, but what crisis? The crisis of governance, human and legal rights, the security of investment in a foreign land?

If you add this litany of theft and abuse to the issues of sound fiscal and macro economic policy then you have an outlook for investment in Africa which only the completely blind and deaf could ignore. If you owned a pension in Zimbabwe and it was invested in the money market here, it would be shrinking at the rate of about half its value annually at present. If you retired on a pension after 35 years of faithful service to your company, your pension would not buy you groceries in three years.

If you invested in an export industry and intended to attack world markets with your finished product, when you were paid, the State would take 40 per cent of your gross receipts and convert it at 25 per cent or less, of its true value. If you invested in a gold mine, they would take 80 per cent of your gross receipts and pay you 40 per cent of its true value. Then if after all that you made any money, you would be subject to some of the highest tax levels in the world – Zimbabwe collects over 30 per cent of its GDP in taxes each year. If you were employed on a standard contract of employment you would start paying taxes on an income of US$85 per month and pay up to 80 per cent of what you earn to government in one form of tax or another. You would get nothing back – no free education, no free health, and no long-term security of any kind.

On top of that you might be told who to employ, denied residence permits for essential staff, obligated to take into your company, partners who would contribute nothing but demand to be treated as principals. Or you might be faced with price controls which prohibit you from making a profit, or be faced with demands for bribes in order to get your trading license or a health certificate or even an import permit. If you wanted a telephone line into your new factory you might have to wait 5 years or pay a bribe to have a line taken from another customer and given to you. You might be faced with a state-sponsored trade union that will make impossible demands on you for wage increases and other perks. Dismissing an employee who fails to turn up to work or simply is incompetent might prove to be impossible.

Investors in Zimbabwe today face every one of these problems every day – no matter how large or how powerful. Foreign ownership does not protect you from these pressures and in fact sometimes is a liability, because you have no local political sway.

Mbeki says that Africa is changing – I agree, but if they allow Mugabe to get away with this outrageous behavior in economic and political terms, then what guarantee can Mbeki give that it will not happen tomorrow in South Africa, or Zambia, or anywhere else on the continent. Globalisation means that people who want to invest can place their money anywhere in the world and they can choose to do so. Choice means that Africa has to attract investment and to do so it must protect and succor the investors who are already here. Not treat them as economic prisoners behind prison walls where they can do what they want to them and the rest of the world will not give a damn.

During the struggle for independence, dignity and freedom in Zimbabwe, the liberation movements claimed they were working for democracy (one-man one vote), freedoms of association and expression, human rights and dignity and equality before the law. One of the things that distresses me most in the present crisis in Zimbabwe is that so few African intellectuals and leaders are speaking into our situation in defence of those principles. They remain silent, and by implication, they silently give Mugabe legitimacy and acceptance of activities that are undermining everything they stood for during the years of struggle. If this does not change, NEPAD is dead in the water, before it begins.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, June 6, 2002.


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Daily News

      Mugabe capitalises on sanctions loophole again

      6/7/02 4:50:59 PM (GMT +2)

      By Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief Reporter

      PRESIDENT Mugabe has for the second time managed to evade "smart"
sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) and the United States of
America by taking advantage of the United Nations forums to gate-crash into
the Western world.

      It has emerged that he is expected to attend a Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) summit in Rome, Italy.

      Although the FAO World Food Summit runs from 10 to 13 June, it is
understood Mugabe and his delegation were expected to leave yesterday, four
days before the summit begins.

      He will, however, be subjected to limited movements during the summit
in line with the travel sanctions imposed on him and his retinue after the
flawed March presidential election which he won controversially.

      Mugabe and his delegation will be restricted to the geographical
confines of the FAO headquarters in Rome.

      The Italian Ambassador in Zimbabwe, Giuseppe Marchini Camia, on
Wednesday confirmed Mugabe would be issued with an entry visa to Italy.

      Camia said: "I can confirm that President Mugabe will receive an entry
visa to Italy to attend the FAO World Food Summit in Rome, in line with the
relevant European Union regulations."

      When Mugabe visited the UN in New York last month to attend the UN
General Assembly Special Session on Children, Dr Stan Mudenge, the Minister
of Foreign Affairs, boasted that the visit indicated that the "smart"
sanctions had no impact.

      Mudenge said Mugabe had "25 green lights ahead of him to travel
anywhere he wishes in the United States".

      Mugabe's delegation passed through Charles de Gaulle International
Airport in Paris France on its return from New York.

      Under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement, the United States
government is obliged to allow entry into the UN building to any head of
state who is not banned or suspended from the UN.

      Augustine Chihuri, the Police Commissioner, also travelled to France
last month.

      However, Didier Ferrand, the French Ambassador in Zimbabwe, last month
told The Financial Gazette that the EU had permitted Chihuri's visit for him
to attend a meeting of the International Police Organisation (Interpol)
which is based in the French city of Lyon.

The Times

            June 08, 2002

            Food crisis draws Mugabe to Europe

            From Michael Hartnack in Harare, James Bone in New York and
Richard Owen in Rome

            FOR the second time in two months, President Mugabe is preparing
to circumvent bans on his visiting the United States or Europe by travelling
on United Nations business.
            Last month Mr Mugabe attended the UN World Children's summit in
New York - a visit presented to Zimbabweans as a triumph over the sanctions
imposed for his alleged rigging of the presidential election in March.

            UN sources say that Mr Mugabe now plans to attend next week's
four-day World Food Summit in Rome on ways to combat global hunger. This is
despite claims that his country's desperate food shortages result at least
partly from his seizure of white farms.

            Welshman Ncube, the secretary-general of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change, said that Italy may be forced by UN protocols to
admit Mr Mugabe as head of a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation member
state, but that he should be shown "the world means business about his
crimes" by imposing tough limits on his movements.

            In making the statement, Professor Ncube risked a 20-year jail
term under new security legislation that makes it an offence to try to
pressure or "coerce" Mr Mugabe's Government.

            Simba Makoni, the Zimbabwean Finance Minister, admitted this
week that disruption of commercial agriculture had worsened food shortages,
which, he said, stemmed from adverse weather. In two years of farm seizures
by state- funded militants, 11 white farmers have been killed. Up to 100,000
farmworkers and their families have been displaced.

            The World Food Programme gave warning that large-scale
commercial farming in Zimbabwe is near collapse because of Mr Mugabe's land
reform programme, combined with the worst drought in 20 years. Up to six
million people will need food aid.

            Zimbabwe has already run out of maize, the staple diet of its 13
million people; production has fallen 67 per cent from last year. Wheat
supplies will be exhausted within weeks and the country has dwindling
foreign exchange reserves with which to import food. The Rome-based food
programme said yesterday that 5.2 million Zimbabweans needed food aid and
that the number would rise to six million by early next year.

            "The situation is desperate, even at this time shortly after the
harvest," the programme said. "It will turn into a grave crisis in the next
few months with tragic consequences unless a rapid,adequate response is

            The Danish Physicians for Human Rights group alleged in a report
last month that hunger had been "politically abused" in Zimbabwe since the
March presidential elections. The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace
is among agencies who say that they have been barred by militant pro-Mugabe
"war veterans" from distributing relief.

            The Government has not commented on the planned trip by Mr
Mugabe, who often disrupts airline schedules by commandeering flights.

            Italian authorities, fearing a repeat of the mayhem at the G8
summit in Genoa last year, have blocked off streets around the headquarters
of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, where the summit is
being held.

            They have also mobilised more than 5,000 police and troops both
for the summit and for an anti-globalisation march today through Rome, which
is expected to draw more than 50,000 protesters.

Zim Independent

Mugabe's trip to food summit slammed
Dumisani Muleya
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is next week expected to attend the World Food
Summit in Rome amid charges that food aid is finding its way only to his
supporters at home.

High-level sources said Mugabe has submitted his passport together with
Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge and Agriculture minister Joseph Made
to the Italian embassy in Harare for visas to attend the United Nations food
summit on Monday.

It was not clear at the time of going to press whether Mugabe and his
delegation had been granted visas. However, the Italians are obliged to give
Mugabe and his team permission to attend in compliance with UN conventions.

A spokesperson for the Italian embassy refused to comment yesterday.

Mugabe's anticipated visit to Italy comes amidst complaints of partisan food
aid distribution by government. A recent report by Danish group, Physicians
for Human Rights, said political manipulation of hunger was rife in rural
areas. It said starving people perceived as opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) supporters were denied food relief.

MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube yesterday condemned Mugabe's proposed
visit to Rome saying he was dismayed that the author of mass famine could be
given a platform to posture at the meeting.

"It's shocking that a leader who is denying people food on the basis of
their political affiliation and is determined to starve those who don't want
to support him - including children - could be allowed to attend such an
important summit," he said.

Spokesman for Crisis in Zimbabwe, a coalition of NGOs, Brian Kagoro, said
Mugabe's visit to Italy would be inappropriate.

"Our view is that we are dealing with an illegitimate regime and the
international community should not deal with it as though it's legitimate,"
he said. "It's worrying to have somebody who induced such a food crisis
through his totally ill-reasoned policies allowed to attend an international
summit to pontificate on the question of food."

Meanwhile African leaders promoting the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (Nepad) are expected to gather on the sidelines of the summit in
Rome to prepare for the forthcoming G8 meeting in Canada.

Diplomatic sources said the Nepad meeting would be convened by UN Food and
Agriculture Organisation director-general Jacques Diouf prior to the G8
summit in Kananaskis, Alberta, on June 26/28.

Sources said Mugabe would not be part of the Nepad deliberations because he
is not on the project's implementation committee. He is however due to meet
Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo for talks on Zimbabwe.
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The Times

            June 07, 2002

            US turns the screw on Zimbabwe
            From Michael Hartnack in Harare

            THE United States announced plans yesterday to tighten sanctions
against President Mugabe in response to the arrests of journalists and human
rights lawyers in Zimbabwe.
            Simultaneously, the International Bar Association protested at
the detention of Sternford Moyo, the president of the Law Society of
Zimbabwe, and Wilbert Mapombere, its secretary, after allegations that they
were plotting with the British High Commission to topple Mr Mugabe.

            Mr Moyo and Mr Mapombere were remanded yesterday by a magistrate
until August on £400 bail under draconian new security legislation.

            They were charged with attempting to "coerce" the Government
following the disputed presidential elections in March. They were alleged to
have written to British diplomats about imminent mass protests to force
fresh presidential elections. If tried and found guilty, they could face 20
years in prison.

            A State Department statement demanded an immediate end to
harassment of the press and lawyers."The US is reviewing additional measures
aimed at bringing pressure to bear on Zimbabwe's leadership while supporting
the people of Zimbabwe," it said, adding that the US was "consulting with
others in the international community who are similarly concerned about the

            A United Nations investigator also attacked Zimbabwe yesterday
for the arrests. In his latest statement voicing concern at the
deteriorating rule of law in Zimbabwe, Param Cumaraswamy, UN special
rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, urged Harare to
release the men and withdraw all charges.

            "This latest arrest and detention reflects the continuation of
the systematic attacks on the independence of judges and lawyers by the
Government and its agencies," he said.

            Supposed incriminating documents published have aroused ridicule
among the diplomatic community as crude forgeries, because of their comic
lapses in grammar. Mr Mapombere was alleged to have written to Brian
Donnelly, the British High Commissioner, saying that he was "living
(leaving) for UK soon".

            In an unprecedented show of anger at the detention of the two
men, 50 colleagues who crowded a courtroom on Wednesday did not stand up for
the president of the High Court, Judge Paddington Garwe, after he failed to
order their release.

            Judge Garwe, seen as an ally of the regime, stopped Judge Ahmed
Adam from hearing the case and declined to rule that prosecutors' claims of
a plot were spurious.

            Sophie Honey, the British High Commission spokeswoman said it
had no record of receiving any subversive letters and it was not involved in
a plot with the Law Society to topple the Government.

            "The British Government has no wish to foment violence in
Zimbabwe. It is absurd to suggest that the High Commissioner was posted here
for that purpose," she said.

            Diplomatic sources believe that Mr Mugabe may be planning to
force the closure of British and other Western missions, to isolate society
from western diplomatic support as the country plunges into the first famine
in a century.

            The Law Society has denounced continuing attacks on judges seen
as unsympathetic to Mr Mugabe's redistribution of 5,000 white-owned farms to
300,000 black Zimbabweans.

            However, Patrick Chinamasa, the Justice Minister, accused Judge
Wilson Sandura yesterday of setting himself up as a rival political
authority to the Government by maintaining links with the International Bar

            He banned Judge Sandura, last surviving Supreme Court colleague
of Anthony Gubbay, the former Chief Justice, from travelling to Malawi on
behalf of the association.
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Zim Independent

Looted equipment up for grabs
Dumisani Muleya/Augustine Mukaro
MORE details emerged this week of property seizures on commercial farms by
Zanu PF and government officials who are confiscating farmers' equipment for
private use and in some cases for sale.

Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) Mashonaland West/South regional executive,
Ben Freeth, said government officials and their associates were using
political muscle to seize the equipment.

"Farmers whose properties were occupied by the MPs and officials from the
President's Office in my region were not allowed to remove equipment from
their farms," Freeth said.

"As a result, equipment commandeering is now common on these farms which
were designated under the A2 model. In the Chakari and Chegutu areas where a
number of MPs have taken over farms, equipment has been seized."

Farmers said the items being taken and sold included irrigation pipes,
tractors and ploughs, water pumping machines, electrical motors, and

A CFU official yesterday said an equipment storage facility in Harare was
this week raided by war veterans leaders Patrick Nyaruwata and Andy Mhlanga
who have laid claim to Bramfield Place Farm.

"They seized tractors, three trailers, disc harrows, rollers and a lot of
other equipment used at the farm valued at $12 million," the CFU official

Nyaruwata and Mhlanga visited the farm on November 30 last year with a piece
of paper from Agriculture minister Joseph Made claiming to be the new owners
on a 99-year lease.

A report by brothers Warwick and Simon Hale on the illegal invasions of
their properties, Bramfield and St Marnocks, says on Monday suspected Zanu
PF militiamen stole equipment worth $15 million. This was not the first such
incident they said.

"On May 30 two tractors worth $7,5 million were stolen by armed militia from
St Marnocks Farm and taken to Bramfield," they said. Death threats were made
against them, the brothers said.

Sources said a man who describes himself as a consultant to State Security
minister Nicholas Goche at Ceres Farm in Shamva, Colin Banda, is one of
several dealers in farm equipment. Banda is based at Pelham House along Main
Street in Bindura.

A source said Banda claims to be a middleman between farmers disposing of
their equipment and buyers.

"Banda says he connects farmers to the newly-resettled people and other
buyers and gets a commission for it," the source said. "Last week he had
such equipment as Fiat 8066 and New Holland 70-66S tractors ranging in value
from $250 000 to $4,5 million. He also had 60- and 75-horsepower engines as
well as a wide range of irrigation pipes."

But Ben Kaschula, CFU Mashonaland Central regional executive, said he did
not know Banda.

"Farmers who are selling their items go through registered auctioneers and
companies which supplied them the equipment," he said.

CFU economist Kuda Ndoro said they had received many complaints of equipment

There have been earlier reports that retired army commander General Solomon
Mujuru and Marondera West MP retired Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri seized
equipment worth millions of dollars on the farms they occupied.

Mujuru was said to have grabbed former CFU Mashonaland East regional chair,
Guy Watson-Smith's Alamein Farm last year and prevented the removal of $120
million worth of equipment. He later auctioned assets worth $40 million
purporting to raise severance packages for workers.

Mutinhiri, who took over the unlisted Waltondale Farm in his constituency,
reportedly took equi-pment and farm produce worth hundreds of millions of

Farm owner Guy Cartwright confirmed last week to the Independent Mutinhiri
only allowed him to take household items.

"The equipment at the farm included tractors, irrigation equipment, 15-tonne
lorries and other agricultural equipment. It is worth about $400 million,"
he said.

Senior Zanu PF and government officials named in recent land seizures
include Vice-Presidents Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika, ministers, army,
police and intelligence officers, war veterans leaders, top civil servants,
ruling party hangers-on and state-media journalists.

Muzenda, who took over Chindito Farm in Chatsworth last month, only allowed
farm owner Chris Smit Nel to take household goods.

Muzenda is understood to have offered Smit Nel $15 million for equipment
worth $65 million.

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Zim Independent

Zimbabwe's GDP down by half

ZIMBABWE has been overtaken by several African states in terms of gross
domestic product (GDP) and its economy will soon be only half the size of
those of Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Kenya, the Economist Intelligence Unit

It says total GDP - predicted at US$5,4 billion in 2003 - is now smaller
than previously less prosperous economies such as Ghana (US$6,2 billion),
Tanzania (US$9,2 billion), and Uganda (US$6 billion).

Zimbabwe's GDP in 2001 was estimated at US$9,3 billion.

The EIU says its figures were arrived at by using the official conversion
rate. If the parallel market rate had been used for its 2003 forecast the
contraction would be even more dramatic.

"By 2003 we estimate that the Zimbabwean economy will have shrunk to only
US$5,4 billion, and would be far smaller if the parallel market rate was
used for the conversion," the EIU said.

"But even if converted at our current forecast exchange rate, the Zimbabwe
economy is now only half the size of Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon and Kenya.

"In fact, in GDP terms its economy will be similar to Botswana, which has a
population of less than two million people compared to Zimbabwe's 12,5

According to the EIU, in 1990 Zimbabwe was the third largest economy in the
Southern African Development Community region, with a total GDP of around
US$8,7 billion. Then it was only marginally smaller than Angola, although
still small compared to South Africa.

"(Zimbabwe) formed part of a group of four large economies on the continent.
These were Cote d'Ivoire (GDP of US$10,8 billion), Cameroon (US$11,3
billion) and Kenya (US$8,5 billion)," the EIU said.

"Although small compared to South Africa and Nigeria, these were still
important regional powerhouses, with the additional benefit of relatively
well-diversified economies with dynamic manufacturing and agricultural
sectors by African standards."

The EIU says the political crisis and ad hoc and confused economic policies
will continue to drive a rapid economic decline.

Finance minister Dr Simba Makoni has said that all major sectors of the
economy have experienced declines of more than 5% due to the high rate of
inflation which increased production costs, low commodity prices for
agricultural and mining exports and acute foreign currency shortages which
have made the import of raw materials and spare parts increasingly

In an apparent criticism of Makoni, the EIU said he was silent in his recent
statement to parliament on the causes of the political problems that had
affected the economy.

"Unsurprisingly, he concentrated on the economic factors causing the decline
with no mention of the contribution made by political disruption in the
country over the last two years," the EIU said.

"As a result of the declines of all sectors, Makoni estimated that real GDP
had fallen by 7,3% in 2001, compared to the fall of 4,2% in 2000." - Staff
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Zim Independent

Govt, media head for showdown
Dumisani Muleya
BATTLE lines are drawn between government and the independent press over the
licensing of media houses and journalists beginning next week.

In terms of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, media
companies and journalists have to be registered with effect from June 16 to
continue operations.

The Act says no one will be allowed to own or run a "mass media service"
such as a newspaper, news agency, radio or television station, film company,
advertising agency or a publishing concern unless it is registered with the
government-controlled Media and Information Commission which has been set up
to regulate the media.

Foreigners are not allowed to own or run a media organisation. Journalists
will have to be accredited by the commission.

The statutory body, headed by media lecturer and leading government
apologist Tafataona Mahoso, is packed with supporters of the incumbent
regime. Its members were hand-picked by Information minister Jonathan Moyo
who is the architect of the repressive legislation.

Independent press proprietors, media unions, and other interest groups are
mobilising to challenge the legislation designed to limit press freedom. The
Supreme Court recently refused to hear an urgent application by foreign
correspondents to declare some sections of the Act unconstitutional. But
their case is proceeding.

The parliamentary legal committee, chaired by veteran politician and lawyer
Eddison Zvobgo, in January said the requirement for media houses to be
registered was calculated to restrict the free flow of information.

"It should be obvious that the only possible reason for this provision is to
impose control by government over mass media owners and their products,"
said the committee, which included constitutional lawyer Welshman Ncube and
MP Kumbirai Kangai.

"They cannot operate without registration. To that extent, this provision
restricts the freedom of expression of mass media owners."

If a media house's registration certificate is cancelled by the commission,
it must cease to operate and may not reapply for registration for two years.

"This restriction is wholly arbitrary and, for that reason,
unconstitutional," the parliamentary committee said.

The committee also ruled as ultra vires attempts to license journalists.

"Such an attempt is unconstitutional," it said. Zvobgo described the law as
the "most calculated and determined assault on our liberties guaranteed by
the constitution".

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa)-Zimbabwe this week expressed
concern at the appointment of pro-government "political activists whose
hatred of sections of the Zimbabwe media is well-known".

"This raises questions as to whether the commission will be able to act
impartially when it is stuffed with political activists and those with
intolerant tendencies whose contempt of dissent is well-documented," it

Misa said the commission - which is directly accountable to Moyo - was
improperly constituted.

"Our understanding of the flawed Act is that it grants journalists' unions
and organisations the right to nominate three persons to sit as
commissioners," it said. "However, our consultations with the leadership and
membership of such organisations reveal that this was not done."

The Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe said the commission lacked

"The commission itself is not an independent body since it is appointed by a
government minister and is entirely accountable to him," it said. "While the
commission purports to encourage and enforce ethical and professional
journalistic practice, its functions serve to restrict the public's
constitutional rights to freedom of expression."

In addition to Mahoso, the commission currently includes former Sunday Mail
editor Pascal Mukondiwa, former Chronicle assistant editor Jonathan
Maphenduka, UZ Media Studies head Rino Zhuwarara, Mkoba Teachers College
principal Sephath Mlambo, and retired civil servant Alpinos Makoni.

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Zim Independent

Trade between China and Zimbabwe rises to US$52,8m
Stanley James
ZIMBABWE, currently facing economic isolation, has turned to the East for
major trading partners and is reinforcing ties with one of its oldest
allies, China.

Trade between the two countries rose from US$36 million in December 2000 to
US$52,75 million as of December 2001.

Latest figures on trade between the two nations released by the Chinese
embassy this week, show that the bulk of the trade favoured the economically
ailing Zimbabwe whose exports increased during the period by 70% because of
a diversified content including goods such as textiles, chemicals,
electronic products, and cotton.

The statistics indicate that trade between the two countries between 1980
and 2001 registered a growth of US$1,055 billion.

Commenting on the latest trade developments, Chinese embassy second
secretary, Qiang Rong, told the Zimbabwe Independent the Chinese were
prominent in the purchase of tobacco following the start of the crop's
marketing season in Harare last month.

Economic analyst Tony Hawkins said in spite of the growth in the volume of
trade with China, Zimbabwe still needed to restore mechanisms vital for
political and economic stability in order to win support of the West for the
economy to recover.

"The increase in trade with China cannot be the remedy to economic woes,"
said Hawkins.

"The country still needs to foster relationship with nations mainly in the
European Union for it to recover from the current economic demise," he said.

The nation's defiance of basic principles of the rule of law, non-respect of
democratic rights and the controversial land redistribution exercise have
damaged Zimbabwe's competitiveness in global trade and investment rankings.

Recently, Mozambique overtook Zimbabwe as South Africa largest trading
partner in the region.
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Daily News

      200 illegal settlers face eviction in Manicaland

      6/7/02 4:47:32 PM (GMT +2)

      From Kelvin Jakachira in Mutare

      THE government plans to evict about 200 families who settled
themselves illegally on commercial farms in Manicaland province.

      Killian Mupingo, the provincial administrator, said: "The 200 families
will either have to move to their original homes or they will be resettled
in other areas identified by the government."

      Mupingo said the illegal settlers were concentrated in Chipinge,
Mutare and Mutasa districts. "It's clear that we want production and proper
utilisation of the land," he said.

      "So, the people who occupied farms without the express authority of
the district administrators will have to be removed. But we do not want to
be inhumane in the process."

      Mupingo said people who built structures on the farms they occupied
illegally would have to bear the costs of dismantling them on their own.

      "Tough luck to those who have built structures," Mupingo said. He said
the district land committees were already planning how to remove the illegal

      In most instances, the original owners of the commercial farms would
take over the land after the eviction of the illegal settlers.

      About 11 000 families have been resettled under the A1 and A2 models.
Thousands of people invaded and occupied commercial farms during the run-up
to the 2000 parliamentary and 2002 presidential elections.

      They occupied the farms with the tacit approval of Zanu PF.
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Daily News

      UK denies plotting to oust government

      6/7/02 4:43:26 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      The British High Commission has refuted a story in the
State-controlled Herald newspaper on Wednesday that it was involved in a
plot with the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) to topple the Zimbabwean

      In a letter to The Herald editor, Pikirayi Deketeke, the commission's
official spokesperson, Sophie Honey, said the article had a number of

      "The British High Commission is not involved in a plot with the Law
Society of Zimbabwe to topple the government," Honey wrote.

      The story, headlined: "Britain meddling", claimed investigations into
the alleged plot by the LSZ president, Sternford Moyo, and the secretary,
Wilbert Mapombere, to oust the government pointed to "a heavy involvement of
the British High Commission".

      Honey said her office had no record of the letter printed by the
newspaper, which it claimed had been sent to the MDC office by the LSZ on 26

      "There was no 'flurry of activity at the British High Commission
yesterday with meetings between MDC lawyers and senior members and High
Commission officials' as published by The Herald. The British High
Commission was in fact closed yesterday (Tuesday) in honour of Her Majesty,
the Queen's Jubilee. Members of the High Commission held no meetings," she

      Honey said her government had no wish to foment violence in Zimbabwe.
"It is absurd to suggest that the British High Commissioner, Mr Brian
Donnelly, was posted here for that purpose.

      Nor do we wish to undermine Zimbabwe's sovereignty. "Rather, the
British government would like to see the peace, prosperity and democracy
that Zimbabweans deserve, flourishing here.

      We believe it is for Zimbabweans to decide who should lead them. Our
concern with regard to the recent presidential election is about whether
Zimbabweans were denied their right to do that, freely and fairly.

      "We remain committed to helping Zimbabweans face economic hardship and
food shortages.

      We expect to spend over $103,2 million this year on humanitarian
assistance and helping to tackle HIV/Aids," Honey said in the letter.

      Yesterday's issue of The Herald did not carry the letter and Deketeke
could not be reached for comment.
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Daily News

      Zanu PF deploys youths in Bulawayo

      6/7/02 4:41:54 PM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      HUNDREDS of Zanu PF youth brigade members were seen disembarking from
a train in Bulawayo on Tuesday, raising fears of fresh political terror in
the city ahead of the planned MDC mass action to force a rerun of the
presidential election.

      Yesterday the youths were spotted in small groups patrolling the city
centre, in their conspicuous green uniforms.

      Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, said yesterday from Harare his
party's intelligence wing was aware of the deployment of the youths in

      In a telephone interview, Tsvangirai said: "The whole purpose is to
intimidate the whole population in the face of the looming mass action. That
is what appears to be the purpose of the deployment."

      About 1 000 youths were deployed from Harare. Sources in Gweru said
several of them were seen being dropped off from the same train which
proceeded to Bulawayo on Tuesday.

      Their arrival coincided with Zanu PF's accusations that the MDC was
recruiting and paying youths to take part in the planned mass action whose
finer details are expected to be announced soon.

      The pro-Zanu PF youths immediately poured into the streets of Bulawayo
on Tuesday. They marched in single file to Mhlahlandhlela Building, the
government complex, more than a kilometre away from the railway station.

      They are understood to have been addressed by the Governor for
Matabeleland North, Obert Mpofu.

      It could not be immediately established yesterday where the youths had
set up camp.

      Mpofu, who will not talk to The Daily News, could not be reached for
comment yesterday.

      Bulawayo residents yesterday described the presence of the youths as

      The fearsome militia unleashed a reign of terror throughout the
country in the run-up to the 9-11 March presidential election this year.

      A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had observed
the youths moving in groups with some in uniform and others in civilian

      A Zanu PF official, who asked not to be named, said the arrival of the
youths drilled at the Border Gezi Training Centre in Mount Darwin, was not
linked to the planned mass action.

      He said they were in the city to initiate income-generating projects.
But he could not explain the coincidence of their deployment with the
pending mass action.

      The youths' arrival occurs at a time when their colleagues, deployed
during the run-up to the March election, are still waiting to be paid.

      The "Green Bombers", so nicknamed because the colour of their
military-style fatigues, have given Zanu PF a two-week ultimatum to pay them
or face unspecified action.

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Daily News

            NATIONAL NEWS  Friday   7  , June

            International legal experts slam POSA

            6/7/02 5:55:51 PM (GMT +2)

            Staff Reporter

            Five international legal experts have concluded that the Public
Order and Security Act (POSA) was "not reasonably justifiable in a
democratic society", the International Bar Association (IBA) said yesterday.

            The research on POSA, passed by Parliament amid controversy
before last March's presidential election, was commissioned by IBA. The
association was responding to the arrest last Monday of the president of the
Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ), Sternford Moyo, and the society's secretary,
Wilfred Mapombere.

            They are being charged under POSA and on conviction could be
sentenced to 20 years in jail.

            "The Zimbabwean government is reminded that Section 21 of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe enshrines the freedoms of assembly and
 association," the administrator of IBA's Human Rights Institute, Esther
Major, said.

            Major said IBA had called on all its member bar associations and
law societies in the region to join in the call for all intimidation of
members of the LSZ's council and staff to stop.

            "The IBA further requests assurance from the government that no
further detentions of council members of the LSZ will take place and that
Moyo and Mapombere will not be detained again in future," she said.

            Major said LSZ had an excellent reputation in the region and
internationally for its independent and non-partisan standpoint.

            It was as a result of LSZ's good reputation that IBA has been
working with them in recent months to establish a continuing legal education
programme for the profession in Zimbabwe.

            The LSZ, under Moyo's leadership, has remained true to its
objectives and maintained its independence in a highly politicised
environment, Major said.

            The society had only issued statements where it felt the rule of
law or independence of the Judiciary were being threatened, as outlined in
Article 24 of the United Nations' basic principles on the role of lawyers.

            Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and
Publicity, allegedly defamed Sternford Moyo and other members of the legal
profession in The Herald on 18 April, after Moyo released the society's
annual report which expressed concern at the pressure on judges leading to
the resignation of many of the more independent-minded judges.

            Since the release of the report, there has been criticism of
Sternford Moyo in the government-controlled media.

            Moyo and Mapombere appeared before a Harare magistrate yesterday
on allegations of conspiring with the MDC to organise mass demonstrations to
force a rerun of the presidential election.

            Moyo, 46, and Mapombere, 48, were arrested in Harare on Monday.
They were released on Wednesday and ordered to appear in court to face a
charge of breaching Section 5 (2) of POSA.

            Harare magistrate Dominic Muzavazi granted them $20 000 bail
each, ordered that they surrender their passports to the clerk of court and
remanded them to 1 August.

            Their lawyers Joseph Mafusire and Godfrey Mamvura complained
that the police denied Moyo and Mapombere food during their 48-hour
detention and denied them access to their lawyers.

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Mail and Guardian

Media crackdown in Zimbabwe continues

      07 June 2002 12:30

Torture and other political violence in Zimbabwe fell by 50% during May
compared to the month before, rights groups said on Friday, while condemning
other abuses against the press and lawyers.

"The reduction in the scale of political violence does not overshadow the
fact that all forms of torture and deprivation of property rights constitute
gross human rights violations," the Human Rights NGO Forum said in a report.

"With available evidence indicating that the majority of perpetrators are
ruling party supporters, with tacit government support, assertions by the
government that they are adhering to principles of democracy and human
rights are thereby undermined,"
it said.

The coalition of rights groups said they had documented 13 cases of
politically motivated torture, one rape, two killings, two kidnappings and
three instances of theft or property damage -- far lower than the levels of
violence during the run-up to and
aftermath of the March 9-11 presidential elections, which saw President
Robert Mugabe re-elected.

But rights groups have also voiced growing concern over a legal crackdown on
journalists and lawyers.
Eleven journalists and at least two top lawyers have been arrested since
President Robert Mugabe's controversial re-election, which has been rejected
by the opposition, independent oberservers, western nations and other

"Zimrights is concerned that the government's best efforts seem to be
directed at suppressing expression, opinion, views and choices," Zimbabwe
Human Rights Association national chairman
Arnold Tsunga said.

"Yet such efforts must be directed towards rebuilding the economy and
investor confidence, restoring the rule of law, taking concrete steps to
alleviate poverty, hunger and general mass suffering, as well as taking
decisive steps to revive the collapsing health delivery system in the midst
of HIV and Aids," he said. - Sapa-AFP
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Zimbabwe govt rejects condemnation of arrests

HARARE, June 7 - Zimbabwe defiantly rejected on Friday international
condemnation of its arrests of journalists and lawyers under tough new laws
seen aimed at repressing dissent in the troubled southern African state.
       Information Minister Jonathan Moyo branded U.S. criticism of the laws
as ''arrogant,'' the official Herald newspaper reported.
       Harare's magistrates court on Thursday remanded to August 1 two top
lawyers arrested on Monday over allegations that they wrote to the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the British High
Commission urging violent rejection of President Robert Mugabe's
controversial March re-election.
       Law Society of Zimbabwe President Sternford Moyo and Secretary
Wilbert Mapombere were ordered to pay Z$20,000 ($360.7) bail each and
surrender all their travel documents.
       If tried and convicted, the two face up to 20 years in jail under a
tough new security law critics say is aimed against Mugabe's political
       The MDC this week dismissed the allegations as ''a desperate smear
campaign'' by Mugabe's governing ZANU-PF party. The British High Commission
said its government had no wish to ''foment violence in Zimbabwe.''
       Moyo's comments followed U.S. State Department criticism of what it
called Zimbabwe's ''continuing harassment of the free press and now lawyers
through repressive legislation.''
       ''Their arrogant statement exposes their double standards in the
noise they make about democracy and the rule of law,'' Moyo was quoted as
saying in the Herald.
       The State Department said the U.S. government, which has already
slapped travel restrictions on Mugabe and his close associates, was
reviewing ''additional measures aimed at bringing pressure to bear on
Zimbabwe's leadership while supporting the people of Zimbabwe.''
       United Nations investigator Param Cumaraswamy said on Thursday the
lawyers' arrest reflected continued ''systematic attacks'' on judges and
lawyers by Zimbabwe's government.
       Mugabe's government has in the past two months arrested 11 local and
foreign journalists under a media law enacted days after his disputed
victory in the March 9-11 polls.
       It imposes heavy fines and jail terms of up to two years for ''abuse
of journalistic privilege'' including publication of ''falsehoods,'' under
which most of the journalists have been charged.
       Zimbabwe is reeling from its worst economic and political crisis
since independence in 1980, which many blame on 22 years of misrule by
Mugabe. The veteran leader in turn blames the crisis on sabotage by his
opponents in retaliation for his seizure of white-owned farms for
redistribution to blacks
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Daily News

      Poll watchdog expresses concern over silence on council by-elections

      6/7/02 4:50:15 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has expressed concern at
"the deafening silence on the local authority by-elections".

      In a statement on Wednesday, the ZESN chairman, Reginald
Matchaba-Hove, said there had been very little information given out to the
public since the announcement of the dates for the inspection of the voters'

      "There have been no further announcements about when the elections
will actually take place," Matchaba-Hove said.

      "Voters must have access to all the information and details about when
and how the elections will be conducted. This is one of the key tenets of a
functioning democracy.

      Depriving the voters of key information compromises their ability to
interact with the electoral process."

      He urged the authorities to provide the correct information about
nomination dates, days, times and locations of polling stations to voters as
soon as possible in order to give them enough time to plan and participate
in the electoral process.
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Zim Independent

Is Zimbabwe ready for mass action?
Vincent Kahiya
SUCCESSFUL social change all over the world, including Africa, has come
through civic mobilisation. Countries like Czechoslovakia, Romania, Ivory
Coast, South Africa and, most recently, Madagascar, stand out as nations
whose histories have been shaped by mass action.

The post-election period in Zimbabwe has seen debate over how best the
democratic opposition can confront a government which stands accused of
stealing the March presidential poll and now rules with an iron fist in
defiance of constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms.

At a press conference in Harare on March 13, the day the results of the
presidential poll were announced, opposition Movement for Democratic Change
leader Morgan Tsvangirai did not disclose the course of action his party
would initiate in contesting the outcome. Asked about the possibility of
mass action, he said his party would leave the option open and it was up to
the people to decide on the best way forward. This brought to the fore the
important notion that civil disobedience is not necessarily spontaneous but
the product of meticulous planning, proper timing and effective

President Mugabe was accused of subverting the will of the people in the run
up to the poll through electoral laws that smoothed his path to re-election.
The government has used the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) to stifle
civic debate by banning public gatherings and demonstrations. Journalists
have been arrested and charged under Posa and its draconian sibling the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Hunger caused by a drought and chaotic agrarian reforms has seen more people
joining the ranks of the urban poor.

Political scientist Professor Masipula Sithole said the move not to call for
a stayaway soon after the poll - in contrast to what happened in
Madagascar - was deliberate as the timing had to be right.

"They made their calculations at the time the election results were
announced and they decided not to call for mass action," said Sithole.

"They are coherent politicians... they are not a bunch of foolish
strategists. They are waiting until the timing is right," he said.

But three months down the line, the fervent passion for political change has
been replaced by the politics of the stomach - how to survive in a famine
and under an increasingly oppressive system of governance.

As the revolutionary fires have cooled to smouldering embers, the opposition
and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions have started to reinvigorate the
subject - albeit under the hawkish eye of the government.

Crisis in Zimbabwe, a civic umbrella body, met with other groups including
churches in Harare on Wednesday to chart a way forward. They discussed the
exclusion of civil society from the bi-party talks, food security, violence,
human rights, labour issues and the media.

The debate around the staging of mass action in Zimbabwe as a means of
effecting political change raises a number of questions as to the
feasibility of such an option in the face of a government that is prepared
to use the army against its unarmed citizens.

Unlike the political culture in South Africa where urban mass action was the
midwife of political change, the Zimbabwean scenario has always been
different in that political change at Independence in 1980 came about
through protracted armed conflict, not civic mobilisation. Critics say
victors of the armed conflict - the current Zanu PF ruling elite - have
become custodians and owners of all freedoms, which they give to their
subjects in prescribed doses. The general acquiescence of Zimbabweans has
played into the hands of the Zanu PF government which sees the subjugation
of civil society as a means of guaranteeing its hegemony under the guise of
maintaining law and order.

Instead of the confrontational approach against a regime that has
increasingly used undemocratic means to deal with dissent, civic society and
the opposition have opted for litigation. The MDC has filed papers
challenging the result of the presidential poll and journalists have gone to
court to challenge the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Civic activists are also challenging Posa and the National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA) is still pushing for a new constitution.

Zimbabwe has not had many incidents of successful civil disobedience since
Independence in 1980. On December 9 1997 a general strike called by the ZCTU
paralysed the country and was perhaps the most successful civic action. The
workers were protesting against a 5% drought levy on wages and against
massive rises in fuel prices and sales tax. The government was forced to
scrap the levy.

In August of the same year war veterans camped outside President Mugabe's
official residence, heckled him at a Heroes Day commemoration, and stormed
the Zanu PF headquarters to demand gratuities and pensions. The government
was forced to award the former combatants $50 000 each and a monthly

Observers say the success of these demonstrations hinged on shrewd
leadership. Stakeholders had everything to gain by going onto the streets.
The major handicap in the current attempt at mass action to shake the
establishment is the fragmentation of civil society in how to move forward.

Attempts by the NCA to stage mass action to press for a new constitution
have been futile as a handful of activists took to the streets and were
easily dispersed by riot police. The failure of the NCA not only
demonstrated the intolerance of government to dissent but it also raised the
question of primacy of the constitution in Zimbabwe's socio-political order.

Political scientist John Makumbe though believes that Zimbabweans will rise
to the challenge of staging mass action and the trigger could be the
declining economy.

"The trigger will be the economy," said Makumbe. "The economy is going down,
unemployment is going up and the people will wake up one day to say enough
is enough and let us march to State House.

"It is necessary to sustain mass action until Mugabe runs out of State
House. My feeling is that they are ready to run out because the economy is
not like an electorate which they can harass and beat up. This is actually
their Achilles heel," he said.

There appears to be a lot of ground to be covered as the success of any mass
action will depend on all key stakeholders appreciating the need for civil
disobedience and owning the process so that they derive direct benefit.

Co-ordinator of Crisis in Zimbabwe, a loose amalgam of civic groups, Brian
Kagoro, said those advocating mass action had to gauge the attitude of
people towards such action.

"Our view is that there is need to appreciate the people's condition," said

"They should be able to identify what is topmost on the people's agenda and
be able to articulate that agenda. They should (then) let the people drive
the agenda," he said.

He said organisers of mass action should also gauge whether stakeholders
would be able to sustain the action by ensuring that there are enough
resources and that the people would be prepared to withstand the
counterstrike of force from the state apparatus such as the police and army.

"All those talking of mass action have to consult broadly to gauge opinion
and appreciate mass action. The people might say they are ready but they
must also be ready to stay active," said Kagoro.

It is critical, however, that these actors understand where and how such
strategies play into the ruling party's information machine which is quick
to demonise as foreign and imperialist any grouping which is construed to be

Crisis in Zimbabwe has anticipated this and proposes to engage Zanu PF
ideologically on issues of imperialism, race and land. It also wants to
raise the issue of increasing the cost of maintaining an authoritarian
regime through programmes of civil defiance.

"Civil society organisations should articulate a message that encompasses
all the aspirations of Zimbabweans," it says. "The value-laden strategy
should revolve around issues of food, human rights, freedom and security."
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News 24

Political violence eases, other abuses persist

Harare - Torture and other political violence in Zimbabwe fell by 50 percent
during May compared to the month before, rights groups said on Friday, while
condemning other abuses against the press and lawyers.

"The reduction in the scale of political violence does not overshadow the
fact that all forms of torture and deprivation of property rights constitute
gross human rights violations," the Human Rights NGO Forum said in a report.

"With available evidence indicating that the majority of perpetrators are
ruling party supporters, with tacit government support, assertions by the
government that they are adhering to principles of democracy and human
rights are thereby undermined," it said.

The coalition of rights groups said they had documented 13 cases of
politically motivated torture, one rape, two killings, two kidnappings and
three instances of theft or property damage ? far lower than the levels of
violence during the run-up to and aftermath of the March 9-11 presidential
elections, which saw President Robert Mugabe re-elected.

But rights groups have also voiced growing concern over a legal crackdown on
journalists and lawyers.

Eleven journalists and at least two top lawyers have been arrested since
President Robert Mugabe's controversial re-election, which has been rejected
by the opposition, independent observers, western nations and other

"Zimrights is concerned that the government's best efforts seem to be
directed at suppressing expression, opinion, views and choices," Zimbabwe
Human Rights Association national chairman Arnold Tsunga said.

"Yet such efforts must be directed towards rebuilding the economy and
investor confidence, restoring the rule of law, taking concrete steps to
alleviate poverty, hunger and general mass suffering, as well as taking
decisive steps to revive the collapsing health delivery system in the midst
of HIV and Aids," he said. - Sapa-AFP
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U N I T E D  N A T I O N S
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN)

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Interview with WFP regional food vulnerability expert

JOHANNESBURG, 7 June (IRIN) - Close to 13 million people in six countries in Southern Africa are in need of food aid from now through to March next year, the worst humanitarian crisis the region has faced since the 1992 drought.

Nicholas Haan, Regional Programme Advisor of the World Food Programme's (WFP) Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping unit, was WFP's technical coordinator in the inter-agency food assessment missions that detailed the extent of the emergency. He spoke to IRIN on the factors that have tipped the six countries - Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique - into crisis.

QUESTION: There is a quantitative difference between the last great Southern African drought in 1992 that affected some 18 million people and the current food situation. But the current crisis has been described as a "complex emergency". What is the qualitative difference between the two emergencies?

ANSWER: It is quantitatively different because the number of people who need food this year is not as great as those in 1992. But qualitatively [this year] is very different. 1992 was almost exclusively a drought-related emergency and a very long-term drought at that. This year it's complex. There are political factors - Zimbabwe stands out. The land reform programme has had a very strong effect on production levels. In Malawi, the sale of the strategic grain reserve definitely affected prices last year which affected farmers' ability to purchase food and therefore effects household food security.

So there are these qualitative dimensions, and not to even mention HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS is very different this year. There were very low values in 1992, now we are having prevalence rates in adult populations of around 25 percent, in some places even higher. So this has a direct effect on production and direct effects on accessibility.

Many households by December normally depend on purchasing their food. That number is around 80 percent of poor households who depend on purchasing their food from December through March. Without income coming into their households [because of illness due to HIV/AIDS] - that might come from remittances from South Africa, from income from working on a neighbour's farm, from working on estates - without that income, the household cannot afford maize, it cannot afford food. So HIV/AIDS has direct effects. Plus the increased demands on caregivers' time is very critical. And it's particularly women and the elderly caregivers in the household. Because now they have to spend their time not only taking care of other household members, but also the production activities that they normally do.

Q: Perhaps related to HIV/AIDS is also the problem of deep poverty - households in Malawi even in a good year cannot even cover all their needs. What has happened?

A: In terms of production, poor households are not producing the food that they need for the whole year. That's why I mentioned that normal food stocks will take households up until around December and then they start purchasing. The question is whether or not they can afford it at that point. Yes, the macro-economic situation in all six of these countries [identified as facing crisis] is on a downward slide, and that has direct effects on not only the macro economy but trickle down effects on households.

We see it in Malawi very, very clearly, with the average daily labour rate called "ganyu"  - it refers to casual labour, a widespread and common means of getting income. That daily wage rate has not changed in five years, it's about 20 kwacha [US 27 cents] per day. But the inflation rate in Malawi has been outstanding [May 2001 it was 30 percent]. So you have this inflation rate, to which all the other prices get adjusted accordingly - fuel transport, maize prices, they're all directly linked. But the casual labour rate hasn't budged - its a precarious situation.

Q: In terms of the interviews you made during the recent crop assessment missions, how did people perceive their situation?

A: It depends on where the household gets their income. Farmers who depend on cash crops for export face very volatile global markets. Tobacco for example. This year the tobacco prices are down significantly, they are at 70 kwacha per kg - its about half of what it was last year. So that puts them in a very vulnerable position with regards to global market prices.

The household income of 50 percent of Malawians is 15-20 kwacha per day, spread out across the year. And yet maize prices last year were reaching 30 kwacha per kg. A household of five people needs at least two kg, so that's 60 kwacha and you are making around 20 kwacha. But even that's a little misleading because 15-20 kwacha per day, the average daily household income, is spread out across the whole year. When households get cash crops they sell them and spend the money. Come December, come the hungry months - December, January, March - they don't have that money available. Again, what they're depending on at that time is ganyu - casual labour. If the agricultural season is poor, if the planting season is poor, it has direct effects on the current situation because if the planting season is poor, it means the labour opportunities which people are so reliant on are not there.

Q: What about issues of affordability of food. Presumably if poverty is so entrenched, once this current emergency is over, the whole issue of subsidies needs to be looked at. Presumably, some kind of a safety net will be needed, and for how long?

A: In 2000, there was no need for large scale food aid. So in a scenario where agricultural production is decent, it's not like the situation will always require assistance. We do have a situation where production is down, the issue is that national governments should have policies to accommodate, plan for, this kind of scenario. A food security policy in any country should be able to capture the needs of people in hard times. So the question is, are food crops promoted adequately in a country versus export crops? Are subsidies and distribution schemes in place that require a short amount of time to activate rather than a delayed response, which is what happened last year in Malawi. Those are elements of a food security strategy.

Q: Malawi had a starter pack scheme [distributing small amounts of seeds and fertiliser to farmers], that has been replaced by targeted assistance. Are there any other countries in the region that have that kind of initiative?

A: Not as robust as Malawi

Q: The alarm has been raised now over the regional food crisis, is the humanitarian community in time to turn it around very quickly?

A: Yes

Q: You were saying that things could still go wrong this year which could increase numbers in need, could you elaborate on that?

A: Absolutely. All of these countries have experienced stress years last year, Malawi was more pronounced - but all of them. Zambia did, Zimbabwe has quite a continual crisis, farmers in Swaziland were also harvesting green maize, and all of these situations received a tremendous amount of attention in March/April. But that's too late at that point, because the harvest was happening in April. So the crisis that many people [humanitarian workers] came out to see, if they got there in May, had largely been alleviated by the natural process of having a harvest. The situation we're in right now is a post harvest situation. By far, the majority of people do have some harvest - there were some who were actually devastated to the point they have nothing left - but the majority do have some harvest. The question is how long will those food stocks last? Most of those food stocks will take people through to at least September/October. Therefore, currently we came out of a bad situation, we have a current alleviation of that problem, but we foresee a very severe problem coming up in the future, especially starting around September and even more so in December.

So to the question are we in time, the answer is yes. The humanitarian community already had programmes in place to assist people in the February/March/April period, we now have bridging EMOPs [Emergency Operations]. Prior to the results of the food assessments, we knew there was going to be a need, so we extended the assistance for this current period, so people are getting food in June. The question is, this is the question, the even more large scale response will have to start in September. We, WFP, do not have those resources right now because September needs will be high, and as I noted, many people's food stocks will have run out at that time. So to avert a crisis, resources need to be mobilised now. We're still in time, but any delay, or any changes to the assumptions we have made regarding winter harvesting, regarding government policies or several other factors, then the crisis will be much larger.


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Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

Refreshing and rebranding

OUR regular business readers will be pleased to see the Zimbabwe Independent
has revamped its Company Digest section to sharpen its focus on Zimbabwean
and relevant African business news.

We have introduced a Week in Review page that includes a diary looking at
the next seven days, a summary of corporate results and the main business
stories covered in other newspapers and periodicals. We are also taking a
more proactive approach to covering company results and share price
movements. The share price table has been reworked to make it more
reader-friendly - now showing the change on the week in price and
percentage, and the gain or loss on the year. It also records the largest
risers and fallers and biggest trades in terms of volume and value. Lastly,
the Sandawana Column has been introduced for a behind-the-scenes, albeit
lighter look at the world of Zimbabwean finance and economics.

This is all part of a policy of adding value to the newspaper at regular
intervals. I am determined that if we cannot hold down the rate of
inflation, and with it the soaring cost of newsprint which impacts on our
cover price, the least we can do is ensure the content is sufficiently
stimulating to justify the money you have to part with. I am confident that
the improvement we have made to the Company Digest pages will make it
required reading in the business sector. Tell me what you think.

While newspapers break news and endlessly analyse it, I am not sure editors
should themselves be making the news - at least not every week. As you will
be aware, I was invited to Harare Central police station last Friday to face
charges under the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act. This followed
publication in our Independent Xtra section on May 17 of a Reuters
photograph of Amazonian Indians playing football. They were dressed in
traditional attire - which was of course very little.

The picture was World Cup-related and was entirely inoffensive. It was
published elsewhere without anybody batting an eyelid. Asked about the
photographer, I explained he was still probably somewhere in the Amazon
jungle and that, in any case, he didn't work for us!

The over-zealous reaction of our police force provided further evidence of
skewed priorities and a clear agenda of press harassment. But it is no more
than other pro-democracy advocates are having to endure. This week the
police dragnet extended to two executives of the Law Society.

The society's president Sternford Moyo and its secretary Wilbert Mapombere
are widely respected in the legal fraternity. Moyo has recently warned of
public perceptions that the Supreme Court is being packed with government
supporters. Their arrest marks a further diminution of our freedoms.

I am wondering how much more repression is needed before the South Africans
and Nigerians decide that President Mugabe's misrule is no longer defensible
on the international stage. At this newspaper we have consistently argued
that their indulgence has only encouraged political obduracy and economic
decline. That must be evident to all now. On Page 13 Greg Mills of the South
African Institute of International Affairs argues it is time for fresh
thinking in Pretoria. We agree.

There are still some in the business community who are delusional about the
state of the nation. They have produced a CD-Rom extolling the country's
attractions for investors and tourists.

The concept of rebranding is a sensible one. Other countries have done it
with considerable success. Canada was the first in 1970, followed by New
York ("the Big Apple") 10 years later.

More recently Scotland has rebranded itself as a land of both tradition,
scenery and cutting-edge technology. This year Ghana, which now has a
democratic government and felt the need to pitch itself to visitors and
investors as a stable, user-friendly place, announced a public relations

Hong Kong has adopted a feisty little dragon, a traditional Chinese metaphor
for energy. It describes itself as "Asia's world city". Malaysia says it is
"truly Asia". Egypt's PR consultants have produced a stunning video clip
which plays on CNN. So has Singapore.

But while rebranding can successfully reposition a country in terms of
public perceptions, there has to be a match between projection and reality.
Clearly the makers of Zimbabwe's CD-Rom disk didn't think about that. The
image of a brutal bullying regime which locks up journalists and lawyers
because it doesn't like what they say - what they have every right to say -
is not one calculated to endear itself to people from more democratic
societies, our tourist catchment area, where freedom of speech is taken for
granted. Then there are the images of wildlife snared, poached and butchered
by land invaders who have been encouraged by politicians to occupy
conservancies and game parks. It will be very interesting indeed to see how
this latest attempt at airbrushing the indefensible fares!
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Zim Independent


Muluzi picks up a few tips on dictatorship

MALAWI'S President Bakili Muluzi seems to have learnt a thing or two from
President Mugabe whose tainted election "victory" his party recently

The current Sadc chairman described himself as a dictator this week, saying
it did not worry him that most of his critics were accusing him of making
dictatorial directives.

"Indeed I am a dictator...the advantage with me is that I am a good dictator
who wants to maintain peace and stability in my country," Muluzi told a
rally on the outskirts of the capital Lilongwe. He said that he has banned
demonstrations to protest or support his third term bid in order to avoid
chaos in Malawi. Muluzi warned that he would use the army and the police to
quash any demonstrations.

His remarks came hours after Catholic church leaders throughout Malawi urged
their followers during services of worship on Sunday to oppose the
president's bid to stand for a third term in office in 2004. They condemned
the ruling party for tampering with the constitution. Currently the
country's constitution binds President Muluzi to two five-year terms of
office. In his speech, Muluzi was full of praise for Malawi's first
president, the late Kamuzu Hastings Banda, who he described as "a civilised

"Malawi is a blessed nation. Kamuzu Banda was a political gentleman, a
civilised politician. I am also a civilised politician," he said."Kamuzu
Banda and myself were very good friends. That is why he appointed me as one
of his senior cabinet ministers. I also served as a secretary-general of the
Malawi Congress Party," he said.

A case of "Give a man enoughrope."?

Following the setting up of a Media Commission under the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act it may be illuminating for readers
to know just how sincere the government is in enabling the public to secure
information about the Act itself.

The Legal Resources Foundation recently flighted a series of advertisements
in local newspapers setting out people's rights under the Act. The LRF felt
it important that the public should know how this recently promulgated
legislation would affect them as well as journalists. Both the Sunday Mail
and Standard flighted the first two advertisements headed "Your Right to
Access Information" on May 19 and "What is your Right to Privacy?" on May

The third advertisement, "How the Act affects freedom of expression" was
flighted by the Standard on June 2 but the Sunday Mail refused to accept it
unless the LRF removed the last two sentences. These were: "Collectively,
these provisions represent a very serious inroad on freedom of the press in
Zimbabwe" and "Remember: journalists' freedom of expression is your freedom

The provisions referred to concerned conditions for registration and
accreditation with the Media Commission, the imposition of a code of conduct
by the commission and penalties for disobedience, compulsory reporting of
decisions of the commission, and rules governing the right of reply.

The LRF refused to remove the two sentences.

Let it be recorded that a government-owned newspaper blocked publication of
an advertisement by a legal rights organisation because it pointed out that
certain provisions of the Act represented serious inroads into freedom of
the press. The implications of that should be obvious to all.

The Israeli embassy in Harare cannot be accused of being slow to respond.
Last week, a correspondent to this paper, Paul Taylor, who had criticised
the supply of anti-riot equipment to the ZRP, found a response landing in
his in-box within a few hours of his letter appearing in the Internet
edition of our paper. His letter was ripe with finely-tuned sarcasm which
referred to Israel's evident concern with saving civilian lives and sparing
the Zimbabwean government the necessity of buying more lethal equipment
elsewhere. Never again, Taylor said, would he question Israel's standing as
the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

The Israelis deftly chose to ignore the tenor of the letter and instead
seized on what they saw as a PR opportunity.

"Dear Mr Taylor," they wrote. "Thank you for your positive comments printed
in this week's Independent newspaper.

"We have received many calls from a number of people who do not have a full
understanding of the nature of the equipment that was bought by the
government (of Zimbabwe). Due to the sale being conducted in the private
business sector we do not have any say whatsoever and can only reiterate
your comment that Israel is the only true liberal democracy (in the Middle
East) and we are proud of that fact.

"Thank you once again for your support.

"Embassy of Israel."

On the subject of well-judged diplomacy, Muckraker was interested to note
British High Commissioner Brian Donnelly's toast at the Queen's Jubilee
Garden Party last Friday. The approximately 700 guests drank to the health
of "Her Majesty the Queen" and to "the People of Zimbabwe". President Mugabe
apparently no longer features in toasts at pro-democracy diplomatic missions
in Harare. The custom of leaving Mugabe out was, we gather, started by the
Dutch last year and followed by the Norwegians. Some say the Norwegians were

Zimbabweans attending these functions should judge governments on who they
toast: the tyrant or his long-suffering people. Those favouring the tyrant
should go when he does.

Following our warning last month that Stan Mudenge's boasts about
sanctions-busting would have a cost, we were not surprised by Germany's
reported response to Mudenge's visa application. We gather from German media
sources that his statement to the Sunday Mail that he had every right to
give away his daughter and that nothing the German authorities could do
would stop the wedding was on the fax line to Berlin within hours of its

The Germans of course have no intention of stopping the wedding although
they may understandably be curious as to why Mudenge is not hosting his
daughter's wedding at home, as is both the custom in Africa and Europe.

Zimbabwe's embassy in Germany, in response to Joschka Fischer's remarks that
there was a "systematic policy of instigation to murder and unlawful
expropriation" of land in Zimbabwe, put out a statement saying the
government was only acting as a mediator between the impatient black
majority who have occupied farms and the white commercial farmers "who owned
most of the fertile land".

By so-doing the government had protected the interests of both the farmers
and the occupiers, the embassy said, "always keeping an eye on the long-term
interest of economic growth and social and political stability of the

In the same edition of the Sunday Mail there was a statement by Joseph Made
saying those who had been allocated land "should not waste time talking to
the former owners who were still in their homesteads or working on the
farms". They should take occupation, he said, claiming some farmers were
tearing up their Section 8 Notices and then saying they had not received
them. He deplored any arrangements for agricultural production that the new
occupiers may have entered into with the former owners who he said "had
developed a habit of lying".

Let's hope his remarks and the consequences for social stability and food
production are noted by all those governments who are regularly subjected to
the importunities of the UNDP.

What, by the way, did the UNDP think it was doing assisting Zimbabwean
propagandists in the production of a CD-Rom "challenging the misconceptions
and misinformation about Zimbabwe".

The news was carried on the front page of the Herald on Friday after
President Mugabe launched the disk amidst much fanfare. Even allowing for
the Herald's customary distortions, the UNDP has no place collaborating in
the airbrushing of a rogue regime. The disk, produced by the National
Economic Consultative Forum and "one David Savy", portrays Zimbabwe as "a
diversified economy with quality transport and communications networks and a
vibrant and dynamic multi-ethnic culture and artistic expression".

Quality transport and communications networks? Have the authors ever been on
a train or a commuter omnibus? Have they ever tried to access the Internet
via a PTC line? Thanks to Mugabe, Zimbabwe is now a basket case with an
economy that only a blind man or a paid publicist would describe in such
glowing terms. How can it boast of a "dynamic multi-ethnic culture" when the
ruling party is busy dispossessing people on grounds of race? "Artistic
expression" is a dead letter when Book Café has to obtain permission for a
political discussion.

The CD-Rom depicts Zimbabwe as "a vibrant, modern and attractive country",
we are told. What planet have the authors come down from?

However, all became clear when we learnt that the "brains" behind the disk
belonged to the NECF's media taskforce chair, Nhlanhla Masuku.

Last week Ibbo Mandaza's Sunday Mirror devoted acres of space in its "Behind
the Words" column to indignant vitriol against the Zimbabwe Independent for
publishing a story last Friday about events at the struggling publication.

As usual the Ibboring Mirror - which appears to be even more soporific than
its predecessor - tried to camouflage its editorial incompetence through
clumsy pot shots and spurious accusations. "Saboteurs" were imagined
everywhere to explain shortcomings.

The paper claimed that Frans Pale, whom we referred to in our story as a
production manager, "is responsible for the production of the Sapes books"
and not the Mirror, but in one of its stories on Page 5 Pale is referred to
as "the Sunday Mirror production manager".

There was also an attempt to deny that former news editor Wallace Chuma quit
the Mirror even though we quoted him as confirming that he left after a
quarrel with Mandaza. His exact status appeared to elude the paper.

On top of that there was an effort to obfuscate the fact that Fernando
Goncalves was pushed out. He was only temporary, they disingenuously

As if these clangers were not enough, the Mirror - which is located next to
Jongwe Printers in Workington - tried to rubbish ZBC for "misinforming the
public at will" on soccer.

"For sure, how could a serious reporter be innocent of the fact that
Cameroon, not Nigeria, are the current Olympic soccer champions?" the Mirror
asked. But apparently the Mirror is equally ignorant on the subject. One
only needs to read the paper's editorial Comment last week to appreciate the
depth of the problem.

"So, when Cameroon defeated Argentina in 1990, and when they won the soccer
gold medal in the 1990 Olympics in Sydney, Australia (which fellow Africans
Nigeria had won fours years earlier), it was because the Cameroon team was
good," the Mirror claimed. "Cameroon also reached the quarter-finals of the
World Cup in the year 2000."

For the record, Cameroon are the current holders of the Olympic soccer gold
medal which they won in Sydney in 2000. Nigeria won the same trophy in 1996
in Atlanta, and not in 1986 as the Mirror seems to think. And again Cameroon
reached the World Cup quarter-finals in 1990 in Italy, not in 2000 because
there were no World Cup finals that year.

This is what happens when you have squadron leaders flying into World Cup

We would like to congratulate Harare Mayor Elias Mudzuri for his sterling
efforts in ensuring that our Dear Leader travels comfortably around the city
of Harare. Harare residents overwhelmingly rejected the president and his
party in the March poll but this does not mean that the road to State House
should resemble that of Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe where he controversially
polled the highest number of votes. After all, the mayor did say he was
non-partisan and what better way to demonstrate it!

Readers need not be reminded that our leader recently bought - or rather we
did - a new state-of-the-art armoured-plated limousine to protect him from a
less-than-adoring populace. According to reports last week, Mugabe's
Mercedes Benz S600 LV 140AMG (Pullman) was "the most expensive car to run
not only in Zimbabwe, but in the world". It guzzles so much petrol that it
cannot travel beyond Kwekwe without refuelling!

As part of his contribution to cushioning the president in a hostile
environment, the mayor has embarked upon retarring Chancellor Avenue outside
State House so that it meets world-class standards. Mudzuri is also
refurbishing 7th Street and we hope he will then turn his attention to
Churchill Ave which is rapidly resembling a dirt track in a Zanu PF

In return for the city's work on Chancellor Ave we want His Worship to
persuade the president to reopen the road from 6pm to 6am as going round his
house via a road littered with potholes is not a pleasant exercise. Everyone
from the university using Churchill now has a PhD - a degree in
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From ZWNEWS, 7 June

Illegitimate cabinet

Nearly three months on from Zimbabwe’s disputed March 9-11 presidential elections, the country is still without a new Cabinet, and without a legitimately gazetted government, say many constitutional lawyers. When Parliament briefly reconvened in May, David Coltart, justice spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, attempted to call a point of order when Finance Minister Simba Makoni began delivering a report on the economy. Coltart said neither Makoni nor any member of the Cabinet was lawfully in office, since Robert Mugabe, who claimed victory in the elections, was required by the constitution to announce new appointments immediately following his own swearing-in on March 17. Coltart was promptly ruled out of order by Parliamentary Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa, who then allowed Makoni to continue making his report on the parlous condition of Zimbabwe's economy.

Diplomatic sources here say Mugabe told the South African and Nigerian governments he was delaying the announcement of a new Cabinet to leave the way clear for the "government of national unity" whose formation they have urged. Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo urged reconciliation to pull Zimbabwe out of two years of politically-inspired mayhem and unprecedented economic collapse, leading to famine. However, say the sources, Mugabe has been keen to seize the pretext to keep his vice presidents and ministers feeling insecure about their tenure - and their lavish tax free perks as members of the Zimbabwe "nomenklatura." The talks sponsored by the South Africans and Nigerians broke down last month when Mugabe’s officials demanded the MDC concede the legitimacy of his re-election, dropping a constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court.

In what was seen at the time as a clear reference to Makoni and other would-be reformers in the ruling Zanu PF, Mugabe last year said publicly there were "some ministers I cannot trust." He told the ruling party central committee that the distrusted ministers were prone to Western pressure to abandon his plans for "fast track" redistribution of 5 000 farms to 300 000 black Zimbabweans and "indigenise" the entire economy. At the crucial phase of Zimbabwe's economic structural adjustment programme in the 1990s, Mugabe left the finance ministry vacant and leaderless for years. It was a bid to lure, with promises of patronage, prominent figures in the business community away from the late Enoch Dumbutshena's opposition Forum party. When the programme failed, Mugabe blamed the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which had provided US $300 million financial support.

Makoni last year was the first to break ranks with Cabinet colleagues, contradicting their claims there was no looming food shortage. This week he acknowledged disruption of commercial agriculture had exacerbated shortages, which Mugabe blames solely on poor rains. Parliament is not due to reconvene until August but may be recalled sooner if required, says Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa. Zimbabwe's current cabinet includes two vice presidents, 22 ministers, eight provincial governors (who have ministerial status) and nine deputy ministers.

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