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News release
(On behalf of the Commercial Farmers' Union)

HALE on War Vets

A SIX million Zimbabwe dollar bribe was paid out to two leaders of the War
Veteran leadership who are beneficiaries of a farm close to Harare.

A spokesman for the farm owners said Zimbabwe Liberation War Veteran
Association (ZNLWVA) chairman and secretary, Patrick Nyaruwata and Endy
Mhlanga each received three million and continue to make extortionate
demands on three brothers who own Hale Farming.  Thereafter the war vets
continuing to threaten the brothers lives, intimidated their workforce and
perpetrating the theft of over ZD$ 15 million of farm equipment. In a
macabre intimidation tactic a grave was then also prepared for the manager
to be buried in.

The two ZNLWVA officials arrived on Nalire Farm on the 30th November 2001
with a note from Joseph Made, Lands Agriculture and Rural Resettlement
Minister stating that they were the new owners of the farm under a 99-year
lease. The Hale brothers were immediately intimidated and knew that their
future as farmers would be stormy. And although an initial understanding was
that they would enter a 50/50 profit sharing deal on one farm, they believed
that they would therefore be protected from invasion on another unlisted

The farm manager who preferred not to be named said, "What I am saying
sounds like fiction but it is actually fact and can be backed up with cheque
stubs and affidavits.

In the Sunday Mail advertisement on 3rd February, two beneficiaries each
were listed for Nalire and Nalire East. They were Andy Mhlanga, Patrick
Nyaruwata and Patson Munyengeterwa with Thomas Nyagura. The farm was listed
in the Mashonaland Central area.

Nalire comprises two farms, which are adjacent to the 6 million gallon Gwebi
Dam built by the family in 1977. Three brothers own the operating company -
Hale Farming P/L.  The farms are locally know as Bramfield  - owned by the
family since 1953, and St. Marnocks which was purchased in 1989 after the
Government submitted a certificate of no interest.

Both farms participate in production output of 500 hectares (ha) Winter
Wheat, 500 ha Soya Beans and grow approx 40 ha of Maize for on farm use. The
farm also runs 600 head of breeding cattle.

The farm also had an equestrian unit and ran a thoroughbred Racehorse Stud
with had 10 registered mares on the farm; this genetic pool was built up
over the last 30 years. The horses have all since been relocated for safety.
This effectively meant that there was no any management on the farm and this
has lead to the collapse of Lockeridge Stud, which has been recognised both
in Zimbabwe and South Africa.  The polo-breeding unit also had to relocate
and is not operating at present.

St Marnocks is on the Mashonaland West side of Nyabira district and has not
been listed for acquisition, although it has been invaded on several
occasions since June 2000. This farm falls within the Greater Harare Export
Processing Zone.

In the first week of June, when it became apparent that Nyaruwata and
Mhlanga were not honoring their side of the deal struck on Bramfield Farm in
that they would remove illegal settlers from St Marnocks, the owners refused
to plant any more crops or to pay any more bribes.

It is believed that Nyaruwata and Mhlanga failed to remove their colleagues
illegally settled on St Marnocks, Mike Moyo, Dr Marsh, Chris Pasipamire, one
Sekemari, a Pastor Chisinde and George Humela who had invaded St Marnocks.
They arrived declaring that they were now the owners, they did not bother to
obtain any legal documentation and the farm still remains unlisted for
acquisition. Governor Chanetsa has since visited the farm in an attempt to
remove the band of war veterans but his efforts yielded no result.

Illegal production is proceeding with four District Development Fund (DDF)
tractors and two private tractors ploughing an estimated 150 ha destroying
any chance of the real owners growing a wheat crop on their own farm.

The ZNLWVA officials have since illegally evicted one of the brothers from
the homestead and the once beautifully landscaped front lawn and flowerbeds
have been turned into a workshop for the DDF tractors.
As a result all production on the farm has ceased apart from the seed
cleaning plant, which is also under daily threat of being closed down.

Bramfield farm is under two title deeds Nalire and Nalire East.  Nalire has
two preliminary notices (Section 5) and Nalire East has been served with two
compulsory notice of acquisition (Section 8).

The background story on this farm is that Nyagura initially invaded it in
July 2000. His presence heralded a plethora of threats, bits of scrap paper
had to be signed to avert work stoppages. Among the threats was that if the
owners allocated half the farm to him, he would allow production to
continue.  As a prospective new farmer he was unsuccessful in that he only
managed to plant and cultivated 10 ha in November 2000. That year, Nyagura
through constant intimidation of the farmers, stopped any winter cropping

Come the next planting season May 2001, pressure mounted and the company
agreed to plant 24 ha of wheat for Nyagura's personal benefit. The cropping
programme continued comparatively peacefully under this arrangement with the
odd incident of harassment and work stoppages.

In November 2001, as the invasions stepped up around the country, Nyagura
insisted that services be extended to his Nyabira war veteran leader,
Musangunya. He further introduced five new partners and demanded that the
company should grow 100 ha of soya beans for them.  No agreement was

The 30th November, 2001 arrival of Acting national chairman of war veteran
Patrick Nyaruwata and Secretary General for war vets Endy Mhlanga was to
change the goal post further for the Hale farmers. Their arrival also
resulted in Nyagura and his 'partners' being moved to other plots on Nalire

At first the message was that production should continue on the farm,
Nyaruwata and Mhlanga asked for a proposal on the way forward.  Having been
through this process with Nyagura, the company was not surprised to be
informed that a profit sharing agreement was expected. Under duress, it was
accepted that a 50 % of profit deal for the soya bean crop on Bramfield
would be the way ahead.

As part of the agreement, the owners had pressed for a guarantee of no war
veteran involvement or participation on the soya crop on the unlisted St.
Marnocks and that all settlers and veterans on this farm would be moved off.

With constant infighting between the war veterans in the background,
Nyaruwata and Mhlanga took on a contingent of the youth brigade and
appointed one 'Paradzai' to manage and protect their 'LAND' and interests.
These youth, armed on occasions, carried out beatings and threats to the
labour as well as issuing numerous death threats to management.

In March 2002, Nyaruwata and Mhlanga demand two houses on the farm and
claimed that the army would be called in if there was any resistance.  These
threats were made in the presence of two foreign press members.

To press this point home, Paradzai and his youth contingent began the
process of illegally evicting management. So, on the 9th April, operating
under the instruction of Nyaruwata and Mhlanga, they surrounded one of the
homesteads on the farm.

They also surrounded the homestead of one of the neighbours who is also a
close family member.  They burned rubber tyres outside the houses for hours
on end.  They appropriated another neighbour's vehicle, filled it with wood
and straw and threatened to burn it outside the house. This staged
demonstration, just petered out when the owners maintained their cool and
did not react.

In April 2002, the farm manager was shocked to see a huge contingent from
the Nigerian Navy and Zimbabwean army arrive with Endy Mhlanga.  They were
resplendent in navy whites and camouflage and arrived in a luxury coach.
Mhlanga gave them a guided tour of 'his' farm.

The tour was arranged to give Mhlanga and Nyaruwata the opportunity to
showcase the crops they had supposedly planted! The legal farm owner was not
present during the tour but arrived to 'spoil' the false picture being
painted just as the tour came to an end. Loyal staff are reported to have
voiced their views openly during the bizarre tour that they had, along with
their employer the farmer, planted the crops and not the war veterans.

Come time to harvest the crop in May, neither Mhlanga nor Nyaruwata were
around to learn how this was done. They assigned their 'youth' to watch
every move, pretending to supervise the harvest closely. They rode in the
trucks, tractors, combines and were, in actual fact a severe hindrance to
the operation.

At this time there was also a disagreement between the previous dominant war
veteran, Nyagura and management, which led to the physical assault of both
Marcus and Simon Hale.  No report was made to the police as Nyaruwata and
Mhlanga stated that they would deal with Nyagura.

Despite the profit sharing and caretaker agreement with Mhlanga, some of his
relatives moved into one of the main homesteads on the farm while it was
still occupied by management. This was on the 4th May 2002, and they finally
evicted the manager on 6th May.

With the recent pressure on the farming world to plant wheat, a further
meeting was held to try to find a way forward on 18th May 2002.

The meeting resolved that the war veterans would provide all the inputs on
Bramfield and the profit would be shared 50/50. It was stressed by the
owners that the deal was made on the condition that illegal occupiers on St.
Marnocks would be moved as it was unlisted and was located in the EPZ area.

On the 19th May 2002, planting of the wheat crop started on Bramfield.
There was no sign of the invaders being moved off St. Marnocks. When this
condition still had not occurred up until 22nd May 2002, the Hale farmers,
who had been patient since December, stopped planting and told the war vets
that the deal was off.

A further bid to extort money from the Hales came on 25th May 2002 when
Pasipamire who is a close associate of Nyaruwata and Mhlanga phoned to say
that he would clear St. Marnocks if the farm grew 40 ha of wheat for him.
No arrangement was arrived at.

As a result of the impasse, more pressure was brought to bear and on the
26th May 2002 the threat to evict the rest of the management and take over
the farm and workforce was received.

This threat was further buttressed by the calling in of additional youth who
held 'pungwes' (all night rallies), to intimidate the farmer and the
workforce. The pressure was dual fold to intimidate the owners to leave, and
to force them to return a movable pump that had been removed for safety.

It is of note to mention here that there is no legitimate legislation in
place to bar the farm owner from securing or moving his movable assets but
the armed militia have persistently prevented the removal of most of the
irrigation and other equipment.

Nyaruwata, continued to attempt to extort equipment and two tractors valued
at ZD $ 7 500 000 were stolen by armed militia on the unlisted St Marnocks
farm and move onto Bramfield, occupied by Nyaruwata and Mhlanga. A climate
of fear was stoked by constant death threats and as a demonstration of
intent a grave, was dug outside the house and word was put out that they
expected to bury the manager in this grave.

The gang took matters further by obtaining information from staff under
duress as to the location of the farm equipment that had been moved to
prevent theft.

Last week, 3rd June, youth militia under the command of Paradzai invaded the
factory where the equipment had been stored and stole it, a theft valued at
ZD 21 million. Police were unable to stop this from occurring due to the
high profile of the thieves and to the fact that they were armed.

The extortionate demands have therefore been ZD $ 6 million in payments paid
under duress by the farmer for the right to harvest his crop. Further
attempts for additional service and expertise in planting a wheat crop on
Bramfield and then on the unlisted St Marnocks farm which is illegally
invaded. This was followed up by a more recent demand for the 'acquiring' of
220 head of cattle still on the farm for unspecified compensation, perhaps
as retribution because Hale Farming pulled out of the unfair deals. To top
it all there is movable equipment on the farm valued at over ZD $ 50 million
on Bramfield and ZD $60 million on St Marnocks that is currently being
appropriated by the war veterans.

The staff compliment of 67 is still paid by Hale Farming. It is of interest
to note that none of the staff were considered as beneficiaries for plots on
this farm and according to information to hand only 2 % of farm workers have
benefited from the land reform programme.

The Hale brothers should, under the Abuja Accord be allowed one farm each,
but instead, all their farms have been illegally taken by war veterans, who
themselves are not committed farmers, but are simply after acquiring
numerous farms. As well as having Nalire under (A2), Nyaruwata is rumored to
have an (A1) plot in Umvurwi, and others in Kwekwe and Mutare.

8th June 2002

For more info, please contact Jenni Williams
Mobile (+263) 91 300456 or 11213 885 or on email
Or Fax (+2639) 63978 or (+2634) 703829
Office email:
A member of the International Association of Business Communicators. Visit
the IABC website


      Top war vets paid $3m each

      By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
      6/6/02 5:43:09 AM (GMT +2)

      RULING ZANU PF officials and war veteran leaders have extorted
millions of dollars from white commercial farmers in a massive racket under
the government's controversial land reform programme, the Financial Gazette
established this week.

      Farmers said a number of them had paid millions of dollars to
politicians and war veterans after being threatened with eviction, sometimes
from properties not listed for acquisition by the government.

      The farmers said they had also paid money to have their farms removed
from the acquisition list, which contains more than 90 percent of
white-owned farms in Zimbabwe.

      They said the racket had gathered momentum in the past five months,
during which many commercial farmers had rushed to try and save properties
designated for the resettlement of landless blacks and those seized by
ruling party supporters, who began occupying farms in February 2000.

      "Money has been paid to ZANU PF chefs and war veterans to have their
farms delisted," a farmer who declined to be named said.

      Sources said at least three Cabinet ministers, two provincial
governors and a high-ranking ZANU PF Politburo member were involved in the

      Many ruling party politicians have received prime farms under the land
reform programme and in some cases have masterminded the removal of owners
from properties they want to take over.

      Three Mashonaland Central farmers, Warwick, Duncan and Simon Hale, who
have a farm in the province's Nyabira area, were at the end of April forced
to pay $6 million to Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association
leader Patrick Nyaruwata and his secretary-general Andy Mhlanga.

      The payment was supposed to ensure that one of their properties, St
Marnock's farm, was cleared of war veterans occupying it and was spared
further invasions because it was not listed for acquisition.

      The money was supposed to be a "protection" payment that would result
in war veterans being removed from St Marnock's and in the Hales being
allowed to harvest soyabeans at another of their properties, Bradfields

      The farmers would then have shared the proceeds from the sale of the
500-hectare soyabean crop with the war veterans, as long as work on the farm
was not disrupted.

      "I paid Patrick Nyaruwata $3 million and (another) $3 million to Andy
Mhlanga by cheque for the arrangement," a St Marnock's spokesman told the
Financial Gazette yesterday.

      He said under the agreement, the two war veterans were supposed to
receive a further $6 million from the sale of a wheat crop, which the Hales
and the war veterans would grow partly at St Marnock's and Bradfields, with
the war veterans providing their own inputs.

      But the deal fell through after the war veterans failed to ensure that
operations at St Marnock's were not disrupted as agreed under the deal.

      There was no immediate comment from Mhlanga, but Nyaruwata yesterday
denied extorting money from the farmers, saying the $6 million that was paid
to him and Mhlanga was from the proceeds of a soyabean crop that the war
veterans had planted together with the Hale brothers at Bradfields farm.

      He said the farmers still owed him and Mhlanga outstanding money from
the proceeds of the sale.

      "I'm surprised at these allegations," he said. "We're actually looking
for them because they have reneged on another arrangement that we had to
grow wheat together. Instead, they are actually sabotaging the farm."

      But the St Marnock's spokesman told the Financial Gazette: "We went
into this deal under duress because they told us we should either co-exist
with them or they would stop us from harvesting the crop (at Bradfield farm)
and call the army and police to evict us.

      "We agreed to give them $6 million on condition that we harvest our
crop and they ensure that our other farm, St Marnock's, is not invaded. All
this was under duress. We saw that they were not interested in land, they
were interested in money."

      Farmers said the extortion scam, which is prevalent in the commercial
farming sector countrywide, was similar to the protection rackets run by the

      Another version of the scam involves war veterans and farmers
resettled under the land redistribution programme demanding that owners of
designated properties should grow crops on a portion of the farms, at their
cost, and then hand over the proceeds.

      Farmers who have refused to agree to this arrangement have been
prevented from growing any crops on their properties.

      Sources said this form of extortion had been fuelled by the government
's failure to provide adequate farm inputs to the resettled farmers, many of
who cannot afford to buy the materials themselves.

      White commercial farmers have also been forced to include war veterans
as directors on their properties in a bid to spare their properties from
occupation, the sources said.

      War veterans were last year implicated in extorting millions of
dollars from Zimbabwean companies on the pretext of resolving labour

      Their seizure of farms and their brief invasion of companies have
worsened the country's already tarnished image and contributed towards its
alienation from the international community at a time Zimbabwe needs crucial
foreign support.

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Saturday, 8 June, 2002, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
Mugabe's food trip provokes scorn
Boy with maize crop
Maize crops have failed across Zimbabwe
Opposition politicians in Zimbabwe have expressed surprise that President Robert Mugabe plans to attend next week's summit on world hunger in Rome.

It is ironic and laughable that a person who has masterminded the impoverishment... will have the gall to go to a food conference

Zimbabwe's MDC opposition
Apart from having been accused of contributing to Zimbabwe's food shortages by seizing productive white farm land, Mr Mugabe is also subject to a European Union travel ban.

However, countries that host United Nations institutions are required to allow all leaders to attend UN meetings.

The heads of state and ministers attending the four-day meeting are expected to commit themselves to further efforts to substantially reduce the number of hungry people worldwide.

However the summit takes place against the background of a worsening food crisis in southern Africa, including Zimbabwe.

An estimated 12.8 million people in six countries are at risk of starvation because of drought, floods, government mismanagement and economic instability.

Colonial legacy

"It is ironic and laughable that a person who has masterminded the impoverishment of the country and the mass starvation of children ... will have the gall to go to a food conference", Welshman Ncube, Secretary-General of Zimbabwe¿s opposition Movement for Democratic Change told The Times of London.

President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe: Also travelled to New York despite a US ban

The Zimbabwean state-run Herald newspaper said Mr Mugabe had left on Friday for the summit.

According to some reports, he is expected to strongly attack the legacy of colonialism and meet UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan when he attends sessions on Monday and Tuesday.

There has been no official comment from the Italian Government on the anticipated arrival of Mr Mugabe and other Zimbabwean ministers.

Last month, Mr Mugabe attended the world children's summit in New York, despite a travel ban imposed by the United States as part of international sanctions against the Zimbabwean leader and senior officials.

In April, the head of Zimbabwe's police force was allowed to visit France despite a travel ban imposed as part of international sanctions against President Mugabe and his senior officials.

Emergency measures

According to a study by UN agencies last month, Zimbabwe's maize harvest this year is expected to be slightly more than 500,000 tonnes - just over a quarter of the average crop produced in the last decade.

The shortfall is already being felt in urban and remote rural areas.

The government has declared a state of disaster as worsening shortages threaten widespread famine.

It has blamed the crisis on a drought, but the World Food Programme says agricultural disruption caused by the confiscation of white-owned farms has also contributed to the problem

ABC news Australia

Sun, Jun 9 2002 9:26 AM AEST

Mugabe defies ban, protesters march at UN food summit

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has arrived in Rome to attend a United
Nations food summit, in defiance of a European travel ban.

The European Union imposed the restrictions on Mr Mugabe in protest at the
conduct of his country's recent elections, which observers declared were
neither free nor fair.

However the Zimbabwean leader was able to circumvent the ban under UN rules
that give heads of state access to all UN conferences.

Many people blame Mr Mugabe's land policies for creating food shortages in
Zimbabwe that affect almost eight million people.

Meanwhile thousands of protesters, including Indonesian, Mexican and African
farmers, have marched through Rome before the summit to demand world leaders
change their tactics in the war on hunger.

The protesters, calling for self-sufficiency in food production and a ban on
genetically modified (GM) crops, wanted their message to be heard at the
four-day food summit hosted by the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO).

Organisers said some 40,000 people from Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin
America marched across the city chanting and bearing banners with the slogan
"Hunger - a problem of rights, not means". Police put the number at 10,000.

The FAO meeting is aimed at reviving the global political will to achieve a
goal of halving world hunger by 2015. But protesters like rebel French
farmer Jose Bove accuse the UN and world leaders of putting trade above

"It is not a problem of quantity of food, it's an economic and political
problem," said Bove, sporting his trademark pipe and handlebar moustache.

Msnab Bozu, a 52-year-old farmer from Calcutta, agreed: "We are here to tell
the FAO to get the WTO (World Trade Organisation) out of agricultural

One protester wore a sandwich board showing a strawberry mutating into a
fish to express his distrust of GM crops, expected to be one of the most
controversial summit issues.

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      Nhema eyes entire RBZ stake in ZBS?

      Staff Reporter
      6/6/02 5:50:19 AM (GMT +2)

      CABINET minister Francis Nhema is among a group of local
businesspeople vying for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) stake in the
Zimbabwe Building Society (ZBS), the Financial Gazette learnt yesterday.

      Sources in the Ministry of Finance said Environment and Tourism
Minister Nhema, who was one of ZBS's founding members and its first managing
director, had already expressed interest to take over the RBZ shareholding
in the building society which nearly collapsed four years ago under the
weight of non-performing loans.

      It is understood Nhema and an unnamed local businessman approached the
central bank last month over the issue.

      "The consortium wants to take over the entire RBZ stake in the
building society," a senior Ministry of Finance official told the Financial
Gazette yesterday.

      No comment was available from Nhema who was said to be out of the

      The RBZ moved in to save the then troubled ZBS in December 1998 with
an injection of about $400 million fresh equity after the building society
showed signs of collapsing.

      The building society was exposed to fake Cold Storage Company bills
fraudulently issued by the collapsed United Merchant Bank (UMB).

      The collapse of the UMB in 1998 almost decimated Zimbabwe's financial
sector by leaving several institutions exposed to the merchant bank, which
was owned by the late black tycoon Roger Boka.

      The RBZ confirmed in a notice released this week it was pulling out of
the ZBS and that it was working with the Privatisation Agency of Zimbabwe
(PAZ) to identify new investors for the ZBS.

      "In cooperation with the PAZ, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has now put
in place a plan for an orderly withdrawal from the ZBS," the central bank

      "The bank is therefore pleased to advise that since the new board at
ZBS was appointed and supported by a strong management team, the turnaround
strategy initiated in 1998 has yielded positive results which now make the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's presence in the ZBS unnecessary as the original
objective has now been met."

      At the time of the ZBS rescue, the central bank had indicated that the
decision to inject fresh capital in the building society had been taken in
the best interest of depositors, the public and the entire financial system.

      ZANU PF starts witch-hunt in Bulawayo

      Staff Reporter
      6/6/02 5:56:23 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - The appointment of Peter Sibanda as the new chief engineer
for Bulawayo ahead of former incumbent George Mlilo has raised eyebrows here
and ZANU PF has vowed to witch-hunt councillors that aligned with the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the selection process,
the Financial Gazette established this week.

      About 28 councillors participated in the selection of the chief
engineer's post, left vacant last September by Mlilo when he opted to stand
in the mayoral polls on a ZANU PF ticket against Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube of the

      Mlilo was defeated and tried to get his seat back by lobbying the
governing party, which controls the council, to back him.

      Mike Parira-Mpofu, ZANU PF's self-styled chief whip in the Bulawayo
City Council where the ruling party has 17 councillors compared to the MDC's
nine and the two independents, said he was very unhappy with the selection
process and would investigate how it was conducted.

      Parira-Mpofu, an outspoken politician who once quit ZANU PF in 1998
before returning to the fold just before the parliamentary elections in June
2000, said it was obvious some of his colleagues in the governing party had
sold out.

      "I have called a caucus of my members for this Friday," said
Parira-Mpofu, adding: "I believe six or so councillors sold out and there
are people with their names. I will find them out and see what actually

      Sainet Dube, another ZANU PF councillor in Bulawayo who is also the
party's political commissar in the province, said he strongly believed Mlilo
was well qualified to retain the post of chief engineer.

      "It is not true that Peter (Sibanda) is better qualified. There is
nothing like that; the selection was political," said Dube.

      "He (Peter) is only specialised in certain areas but has no town
planning, no roads and environment management experience as George (Mlilo).
I can't go on and on as this issue is still confidential," he said.

      Charles Mpofu, the MDC councillor who is leader of the opposition in
council chambers, was however adamant that Sibanda was the better man for
the job.

      "There is nothing political about the selection of Peter Sibanda. His
qualifications speak for themselves," said Mpofu.

      "Sibanda's presentation during the interviews was better than that of
George. Irrespective of our political affiliations as councillors from ZANU
PF and MDC, we were looking for a highly professional person and progressive
ZANU PF councillors voted with us in choosing Peter Sibanda," said Mpofu.

      Other municipal officials that attended the selection process said
Mlilo's qualifications from the former Communist Eastern Europe could have
militated against him.

      The former city engineer trained in Hungary while Sibanda qualified in
India and at other Western universities.

      It is understood the government had promised Mlilo his job back in the
event he lost the executive mayoral post last September or to send him for a
diplomatic posting.

      Mlilo garnered about 12 000 votes against the 60 000 who voted for
Ndabeni-Ncube in the mayoral election.
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Shunned Mugabe in Rome for U.N. meeting -source

ROME, June 8 - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has been barred from
the European Union for his treatment of of political opponents, arrived in
Rome on Saturday, an Italian airport official told Reuters.
       Mugabe, who had been reported by Zimbabwean radio to have left the
country on Friday, was able to sidestep the EU's exclusion order because he
is to attend a summit organised by the United Nations that will discuss
world hunger from Monday.
       ''He arrived at 6:55 a.m. (0455 GMT) on a flight from London,'' said
the Rome airport official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
       Italian government officials and Zimbabwean diplomats declined
comment. U.N. officials said they expected Mugabe to meet Secretary-General
Kofi Annan in the city on Monday.
       ''We have set up an appointment for Mugabe to meet the
secretary-general in Rome therefore we do expect him to be in Rome,'' U.N.
spokesman Fred Eckhard told Reuters on Saturday.
       Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo said last week he would also
meet Mugabe in Rome to push for a revival of stalled talks between the
Zimbabwean government and the opposition.
       The 15-nation European Union, of which Italy is a member, imposed a
visa ban and froze the overseas assets of Mugabe and 19 of his close
associates in February after Zimbabwe had thrown out the head of an EU team
of election observers.
       The Union condemned Mugabe's re-election in March as deeply flawed,
both in terms of the way the ballot was conducted and the way his opponents
for the presidency were treated.
       The Rome trip was not the first time that Mugabe has circumvented
travel restrictions, however. He went to New York last month for a U.N.
summit on children's rights despite a ban and sanctions announced by
President George W. Bush in February.
       In Britain, the colonial power in Zimbabwe until 1980, the government
said Italy had no choice but to let Mugabe into the country as long as he
was attending the United Nations meeting.
       ''Italy has sought to ensure the stay is restricted solely to the
duration of the meeting,'' a British Foreign Office spokesman said. ''No one
has any doubt that the presence of someone against whom a travel ban has
imposed is distasteful. But we accept that the EU partners are bound by
international treaty obligations.''
       The four-day Rome summit organised by the U.N. Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) aims to deal with world hunger.
       Zimbabwe is normally self-sufficient in food but drought and seizures
of white-owned farms since 2000 by militants loyal to Mugabe have
contributed to a slump in maize output. The government estimates food
shortages affect 7.8 million people.
       (Rome newsroom, +39 06 854 0049, fax +39 06 854 0568,

The Times

            June 08, 2002

            Mugabe beats EU travel ban

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

            ROBERT MUGABE of Zimbabwe is to attend a summit on world hunger
in Rome in defiance of a European travel ban and charges that his farm
seizures are responsible for the country's desperate food shortage.
            He is able to circumvent the travel ban that the European Union
imposed on top members of his Government in February because next week's
World Food Summit is a United Nations event for which Italy must grant him a

            But opposition leaders in Zimbabwe expressed amazement that Mr
Mugabe should choose to attend the event.

            "It is ironic and laughable that a person who has masterminded
the impoverishment of the country and the mass starvation of children, on
the basis that their parents are supporters of the MDC, will have the gall
to go to a food conference," Welshman Ncube, secretary-general of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said.

            UN sources said that Mr Mugabe would attend the summit on Monday
and Tuesday and would meet Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, who has
been involved in seeking an internationally acceptable compromise with Mr
Mugabe on land reform.

            He is expected to deliver a withering attack on the colonial
legacy and on the new world economic order, and to laud his redistribution
of 5,000 white-owned farms to 300,000 black Zimbabweans.

            The Italian Government refused to comment on the expected
arrival of Mr Mugabe, Stan Mudenge, his Foreign Minister, and Joseph Made,
the Agriculture Minister. Their presence would embarrass Silvio Berlusconi,
the Italian Prime Minister, who chose not to attend a meeting of European
Union Foreign Ministers in Brussels on Monday so that he could welcome the
summit's delegates.

            It will be the second time in two months that Mr Mugabe has
circumvented bans on his visiting the United States or Europe by travelling
on United Nations business. Last month he 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

            Professor Ncube 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

            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 nearing 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.

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Swiss farmers face eviction in Zimbabwe
A Zimbabwean policeman orders squatters off a white-owned farm [Keystone Archive]

A Zimbabwean policeman orders squatters off a white-owned farm [Keystone Archive]
Swiss farmers in Zimbabwe are becoming increasingly uneasy as the government continues its policy of seizing land for redistribution to blacks.

Audio / Video / LinksAudio / Video / Links

In the latest development in the bitter land dispute, which began two years ago, the government in Harare seized the title deeds to 53 Swiss-owned properties. According to the Swiss foreign ministry, 28 of those 53 farms are now occupied by veterans of Zimbabwe’s war of independence.

"We have 13 Swiss nationals... affected by the land acquisition act," Swiss chargé d'affaires in Harare, Eduard Jaun, told swissinfo. "These properties are the so-called Section 8, which means that they have to vacate the farms within 90 days."

With tensions escalating and prospects bleak many Swiss landowners are now thinking of giving up their livelihoods and leaving the country.

The problems began when President Mugabe’s government initiated wide-reaching reforms in July 2000 aimed at redistributing the 70 per cent of land owned by the white minority to landless blacks.

Many white farmers have died in violence associated with the handover of more than seven million hectares of land.

Mounting anxiety
In the first phase of the reform 20 Swiss-owned farms were designated for redistribution. Thanks to the intervention of the foreign ministry in Bern 12 of these were later granted a reprieve.

But since the presidential election in March saw Mugabe confirmed in his post a new wave of land expropriations has taken place, accompanied by an upsurge in violence.

“In his speeches President Robert Mugabe now talks of repossessing all farms,” said Swiss foreign ministry spokeswoman Muriel Berset Kohen. The anxiety among the white population was now tangible, she added, and was spreading all the time.

After the Dutch and the Italians, the Swiss own the largest area of cultivated land in Zimbabwe. The foreign ministry said it was giving assistance to 20 Swiss farmers, including the 13 directly affected by the expropriation of the 53 properties.

Strained relations
The ministry spokeswoman said diplomatic efforts were continuing on behalf of the farmers, but she said relations between Switzerland and Zimbabwe had become strained after March 19 when Switzerland followed the lead of the European Union in imposing sanctions on the government in Harare.

“Despite everything we will continue efforts to settle matters with Harare,” Berset Kohen said.


07.06.2002 - 11:59

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UN Wire

ZIMBABWE: U.N. Rapporteur Calls For Release Of Law Society Detainees
U.N. special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Param
Cumaraswamy in a statement yesterday called for the unconditional release of
two law society officials arrested Monday in Zimbabwe, saying their arrest
reflects a systematic attack on the independence of judicial and legal
officials in the country by the government.

Calling for the release of Law Society President Sternford Moyo and
Executive Secretary Wilbert Mapombere, who were arrested for the possession
of "subversive" documents, Cumaraswamy said the two were detained "for
expressing their association's concerns over the deterioration of the rule
of law in Zimbabwe."

According to the U.N. rapporteur, their arrest "further reflects the
continuation of the systematic attacks on the independence of judges and
lawyers by the government and its agencies."  Urging the government to
release the two immediately and drop all charges against them, Cumaraswamy
also called on the government to respect its international obligations and
respect the role of lawyers in Zimbabwean society (U.N. release, June 6).

The International Bar Association and the United States have also condemned
the men's arrests.  Yesterday, they were released on bail and ordered to
surrender their passports.  Their arrests come in the wake of a government
crackdown on those seen as critics.  The two men have denied charges that
they urged the opposition to oust President Robert Mugabe.  Under Zimbabwe's
strict new security laws, subversion carries a sentence of up to 20 years'
imprisonment (Associated Press/New York Times, June 7).

Since Zimbabwe's controversial presidential election in March, in which
Mugabe was re-elected, several opposition activists and 12 independent
journalists have been arrested, 10 of whom were charged with publishing
false information damaging to the state.  Opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, who challenged Mugabe in the election, and two of his associates
were charged with treason (BBC Online, June 6).

The United States said yesterday it is reviewing plans to increase sanctions
on Zimbabwe in response to such arrests and "consulting with others in the
international community who are similarly concerned about the situation"
(Michael Hartnack, London Times, June 7).
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Comment from The National Post (Canada), 7 June

How Canada could help Africa

Taking a page from the playbook of Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot, Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, has begun using food as a weapon against his own people. At least half of Zimbabwe's 12 million residents are reportedly at risk of starvation because government marketing boards and food programs will release food only to supporters of Mr. Mugabe's Zanu PF party. Like all dictators, Mr. Mugabe, who had himself re-elected President in a rigged election last March, puts his own power lust first, the lives of his people second. In recent years, his security forces have taken to torturing and murdering political opponents, academics, journalists, lawyers and human rights activists. Armies of Zanu PF-approved thugs have raided white-owned farms and forcibly evicted the owners. More than 400 businesses were demolished and 10,000 jobs lost in this brutal process.

Given all this, why did the West stand by and do nothing, while Mr. Mugabe cruised into a rigged election everyone knew he would win? One reason is Jean Chretien, the Canadian Prime Minister. He intervened just before the March vote to prevent the Commonwealth from imposing sanctions. At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Brisbane in early March, Britain, Australia and others were set to expel Zimbabwe because of Mr. Mugabe's crimes. Mr. Chretien, however, insisted the Commonwealth strike a committee and study the situation rather than take immediate action. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell had warned at about the same time that Mr. Mugabe's tactics of "intimidation and violence," would produce an election result "that does not reflect the will of the people." Still, Mr. Chretien wanted to "let the people of Zimbabwe express their wishes."

Mr. Chretien's motivation for defending Mr. Mugabe seems clear: He has recently rebranded himself as an Africa champion, and was thus eager to ingratiate himself with Africa's leaders, most of whom are loath to see one of their own singled out for condemnation. The Prime Minister is intent on turning this month's G8 summit in Kananaskis, at which he will play host, into a summit on African economic development. He had a $500-million Africa Fund inserted into this year's federal budget, and has toured Africa to promote his vision, which he also hopes will form part of his historical legacy. How ironic that, for all his professed concern for the world's poorest continent, Mr. Chretien is as responsible as any other world leader for the fact that Mr. Mugabe is still in position to develop one of Africa's best known products – starving people. Let us hope Mr. Mugabe's latest outrage does not cost tens of thousands of Zimbabweans their lives. If Mr. Chretien is truly concerned about Africa, and not just about how history remembers him, he should recognize his folly in backing the tyrant, and renounce him now.

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The Funeral of Charles Thomas Tetley Anderson
24th July 1958 - 2nd June 2002

A Requiem mass was held today for the late Charles Thomas Tetley Anderson
(44).  Charles is survived by his wife, Cindy and sons Daniel aged 12 years
and Richard aged 9 years.  More than 250 fellow farmers, friends and family
attended the funeral, which was held at St. George's School Chapel. His
death brings to twelve the number of commercial farms killed in Zimbabwe
since the land invasions began two years ago.

Charles Anderson, a farm manager from Glendale, was shot in the head at
point blank range at noon on Sunday by unknown assailants, one of whom has
since been arrested.  The murder weapon used was an AK47 Assault Rifle.
Five spent cartridges and a live round were later recovered from the scene.

In his eulogy, Mr. Roy Guthrie, the farm owner described Charles Anderson as
a family man. "He had a zest for life which demonstrated itself in his love
of physical sports, outdoor life and hunting - making farming a way of life
for himself and his family." said Guthrie.

Charles Anderson was born in Harare.  He attended Falcon College
(Matabeleland) where he enjoyed all sports and developed an interest in bee
keeping. He enjoyed nothing more than giving friends jars of the honey which
he harvested and bottled.  Anderson was a very practical, hands-on man -
doing much of the repairs and maintenance on the farm himself.  He enjoyed
carpentry and loved to build model aircraft.  Richard, his 9-year-old son,
described him as cheerful and always wanting to change things for the

Charles Anderson was by all accounts a people's person - he was always eager
to respond to cries for help from neighbours.  He will be remembered for his
kindness, love and loyalty.

The circumstances behind the shooting were that the family had taken gone to
the neighbouring farm where Cindy's parents lived to collect their dogs.

When the family reached their home on that fateful day, the door of the
house was open and voices could be heard.  Fearing for his family's safety,
Anderson approached the house carrying a licensed hunting rifle and fired a
warning shot in the hopes that this would scare the thieves away.  This is
evidenced by his rifle round found lodged in the wall.  Anderson was shot
inside the house in a narrow passage. Judging by the extent of his injury -
the shot was fired at close range.

On hearing five shots, Mrs Anderson told the children to lock themselves in
the vehicle while she bravely went into the house to investigate.  Two
people accosted her as she approached the homestead.  She was told to lie
down.  The children were forced out of the vehicle at gunpoint and also told
to lie down.

The assailants loaded the loot into the Anderson's the vehicle and drove
along the Chiweshe Communal Area road only to have an accident some 6
kilometres away. One of the assailant was then apprehended.

Anderson was employed by Guthrie for the last 19 years and had also been
developing his own small farm where his parents in laws lived.

As we bury Charles today, we remember the courage of Martin Olds who was
brutally murdered after an incident that began at 6:30 am on 18 April
(Independence day) 2000 in Matabeleland. Olds had already been threatened
with death and had sent his family to town for their safety.

A group arrived and called Olds to his security gate, he was then shot in
the leg. He managed to get back to his house to call for help. He bravely
tended his wound and defended his position under a barrage of fire from 13
different positions around the house, mostly by AK 47 rifles.

Eventually the aggressors tried to flush Olds out by setting fire to his
house. He ran a bath and submerged himself in the hopes that he would be
able to survive until help came. He then had to leave the bath as one of the
assailants managed to get to the bathroom window, wounding Olds a second
time. He eventually had to leave the house where he was set upon and
brutally beaten with metal rods until he died.

There has been no known arrests for this murder despite several persons, who
could have been involved in the incident being treated for minor injuries by
local medical staff. On 4 March 2001, his mother, Gloria Olds was shot and

We mourn this unnecessary loss of life and pay tribute to farmers still on
their farms despite the very real danger. Photo caption: The battered body
of Olds lies exposed as the CFU Regional Executive makes the necessary
arrangements with Police officials.

1. DUNN, Allan Stewart 7 May 2000 Seke, Mashonaland East
2. ELSWORTH, Henry Swan 7 May 2000 Kwekwe, Midlands
3. STEVENS, David 15 April 2000 Murehwa South, Mashonaland East
4. OLDS, Martin 18 April 2000 Bubi-Umguza, Matabeleland North
5. WEEKS, John 14 May 2000 Seke, Mashonaland East
6. OATES, Tony 31 May 2000 Zvimba North, Mashonaland West
7. BOTHA, William 23 July 2000 Seke/Marondera, Mashonaland East
8. OLDS, Gloria 4 March 2001 Bubi-Umguza, Matabeleland North
9. COBBET, Robert Fenwick 6 August 2001 Kwekwe, Midlands
10. FORD, Terrence Samson 18 March 2002 Norton, Mashonaland West
11. BAYLEY, Thomas 1 May 2002 Mount Hamden, Mashonaland Central
12. ANDERSON, Charles Thomas 2 June 2002 Matepatepa Glendale, Mashonaland
Central Murdered


6th June 2002
For more information, please contact Jenni Williams
Mobile +26391 300 456 or +263 11 213 885
Email: or
A member of the International Association of Business Communicators. Visit
the IABC website
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Zim Independent

Opinion and Analysis

SA should explore options on Zim crisis
By Greg Mills
MINISTER of Finance Trevor Manuel has said with regard to Zimbabwe: "They
say quiet diplomacy has failed. Should we act like Ariel Sharon? Should we?
Should we just go in there; kick butt; blow them up; drive over their cars;
should we send in our tanks? If there are alternative solutions, let's hear
what they are."

His statement comes at a critical moment, on the back of news that the
ruling Zanu PF is ratcheting up the pressure on Zimbabwe's independent
media, of critical food shortages and continuing land appropriations, and of
the recent breakdown in the talks between Zanu PF and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The South African government has, quite understandably, attempted to avoid
the portrayal of its actions over the Zimbabwe crisis as a test of the will
of African governments to self-sanction the behaviour of fellow leaders, the
core tenet of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad). But in
reality, it is.

A key question remains unanswered in this regard: why did President Thabo
Mbeki not seek a different course to quiet diplomacy over Zimbabwe when he
was aware - as admitted publicly - that it did not work in the face of
President Robert Mugabe's obduracy, and he was aware of the high potential
costs to Nepad? While some may ask a similar question over his HIV/Aids
policy, this comparison is not only a cheap shot, but does not offer any

Was it because Pretoria had no option but to engage Zimbabwe? Was President
Mbeki outwitted by Mr Mugabe? Or did he go along with what the Zimbabwean
leader was doing? Was quiet diplomacy adhered to precisely because the West
expected a different course? Was it because the MDC was seen early on to be
cosying up to South Africa's Democratic Alliance?

Or did President Mbeki fear the regional contagion of the effect of
sanctions, with large-scale refugee flows and evictions into South Africa,
Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana? Or was the explanation for Mbeki's
policy an awareness that African support for Nepad was contingent on not
taking a tougher line with Harare - because other African states would not
support the development initiative if what could be done to Harare today
might be done to them tomorrow?

Manuel's comment is as encouraging as it is disingenuous. For more than two
years alternatives to South Africa's policy of quiet diplomacy have been
offered, but never in the stark, radical terms that he asserts. Intervention
and engagement are not a case of black or white, of invasion, as he
suggests, or of hand-wringing, as we have now. But leaving that aside, in
responding to the minister's more positive invitation, what are the
alternatives and the possible outcomes? There are three core strategies to
try to solve the Zimbabwe crisis.

The first of these is to keep talking: to try to create a transitional unity
government incorporating the MDC and Zanu PF as a means to reduce the levels
of violence and normalise the political and economic environment.

The success of this attempt will, in the short-term, hinge on the
participation and commitment of both parties; in the longer term it is
dependent on the conditions attached to such an arrangement.

It is unlikely, in this regard, that the MDC will agree to a pact that will
see it swallowed by Mugabe's party. And Zanu PF is unlikely to enter an
arrangement that will lead to a free election that, if the results of the
last one were anything to go by, could see it out of office.

The second option is simply to allow the situation in Zimbabwe to run its
course, allowing the political situation to evolve "naturally", free from
outside intervention. The costs of this are great, however, not only in
terms of the number of lives lost or destroyed in Zimbabwe itself, but also
to the image of South Africa and its Nepad partners as responsible states
concerned with good governance, human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

Were South Africa to engage the principle of enlightened self-interest, it
would surely conclude that quiet diplomacy is no longer in this country's,
or indeed the region's, best interest. No reason other than the spectre of a
regional famine of catastrophic proportions should be required to force
Pretoria into a more engaged role in the Zimbabwean crisis.

The third option is thus to become more involved, rather than simply to
delegate the task to special envoys or other institutions, such as the
Commonwealth, where South Africa's influence is diluted even though its
political vulnerability is lessened. What form could this take?

There are a range of choices between invasion and quiet diplomacy: strongly
worded demarches; tough presidential statements; a more open cultivation of
ties with the MDC and its leadership; working more closely with those
international partners tougher on Zimbabwe (such as the United States);
motivating for Zimbabwe's suspension from the Southern African Development
Community; tighter border controls; initiating public debate on sanctions;
military manoeuvres near the border; targeted sanctions on Zanu PF's elite,
including a ban on airflights and a freeze of personal assets; and finally
oil and electricity sanctions.

This does not, as the finance minister dismissively suggested, have to
involve immediately the use of tanks or attacks on civilians. Rather, it
entails the legitimate use of pressure on an increasingly out-of-control
government that is apparently immune to carrots and sweet-talking.

But Manuel is right to look for alternatives. Zimbabwe is sliding fast down
the slope towards ungovernability and economic collapse, with what from the
vantage of most election observers is likely an illegal government at the

If South Africa does nothing now, it is more likely to have to send the
tanks in later. Moreover, South Africa's role in Zimbabwe has to do with the
"saleability" of Nepad as a concept of African self-governance and
regulation, whether Pretoria likes this or not. After all, if not Zimbabwe,
what other state, when and how?

Dr Greg Mills is the national director of the South African Institute of
International Affairs.


      Mbeki's charm offensive threatened by chaos

      6/6/02 5:53:24 AM (GMT +2)

      JOHANNESBURG - South African President Thabo Mbeki is on a charm
offensive to market Africa and drive recovery on the world's poorest
continent, but analysts warn Africa's internal chaos could undermine his

      The South African leader has spent months globe-trotting to win
support for rejuvenating economic growth in Africa through his New
Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU).

      But Mbeki's success will hinge on securing the backing of the Group of
Eight rich countries (G8) for the ambitious plan at a summit this month.

      NEPAD aims to boost foreign investment into Africa to propel economic
growth to seven percent annually, compared with 2.6 percent in the past

      In return, African leaders will have to promote democracy and good
governance to make their countries more attractive for investors. Although
it has one of the highest rates of return on capital in the world, Africa
receives less than three percent of the total direct investment flows to
developing countries.

      Yesterday Mbeki, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Senegal's
Abdoulaye Wade were meeting global business leaders at an African Economic
Summit in Durban for advice on how to push Africa's economic initiative

      But political strife in Madagascar, land chaos in Zimbabwe, ethnic
tensions in Nigeria, corruption and enduring wars compound an impression of
Africa in crisis.

      South African officials say Mbeki, Obasanjo and Wade will seek
tangible support for NEPAD when they meet the leaders of the G8 - Britain,
Canada, the United States, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Russia - later
this month at a G8 summit in Canada.

      G8 leaders are expected to unveil an Africa action plan in response to
NEPAD. A platform would include tackling debt and the spread of AIDS, which
has affected nearly 25 million Africans.

      Africa accounts for 19 of the 23 nations which have so far qualified
for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative the grouping
helped launch in 1996. HIPC has resulted in the cancellation of US$53
billion of debt.

      The G8 also promised last July US$1.2 billion for a global AIDS fund,
much of which will go to Africa.

      "The response from the G8 will determine whether Mbeki's efforts are
in vain or in the right place. The June summit will tell," Herman Hanekom,
senior analyst at the Pretoria-based Africa Institute, said.

      "Mbeki is certainly spending more time abroad, especially on NEPAD,
than he is at home," Hanekom said, adding the benefits for the continent
would be long term.

      "People should not expect a miracle. Mbeki's mission will take a long
time to materialise," Hanekom said, but he noted the South African leader
should tackle regional problems first.

      "There is a direct linkage. You can't get Africa going without dealing
first with the ills facing the region and the continent," he said.

      Mbeki's initiatives come as more mayhem hits Africa with the island of
Madagascar facing near collapse through months of violence, strikes and
demonstrations over a disputed presidency.

      "It is all very well going abroad promoting NEPAD but this flies in
the face of regional crises such as Madagascar, Zimbabwe and food security,"
said Richard Cornwell of the South African Institute for Security Studies.

      "What sort of messages are these issues sending out?"

      Analysts and African diplomats say regional crises are the biggest
stumbling bloc to Mbeki's mission to make the continent a better place for
its 800 million inhabitants to live.

      "We need to fix our home front before we can successfully market it
abroad and attract investments," an African diplomat said.

      Mbeki's efforts have been complicated by a deepening political and
economic crisis in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe was re-elected in
a March poll rejected as flawed by Western nations expected to underwrite

      "Zimbabwe remains NEPAD's biggest challenge," Hanekom said.

      Launched in October 2001, NEPAD is modelled on the US Marshall Plan,
which rebuilt Europe after World War Two. It targets billions of dollars in
annual investment to revive ailing economies and alleviate poverty blighting

      NEPAD says an annual seven percent growth rate is needed to reverse
economic decline in Africa. Statistics show that half of the continent's
population live on less than US$1 a day.
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Zim Independent

Opinion and Analysis

Political power and undemocratic laws
By Marko Phiri
POLITICS, to use one definition that tied it to power and the activities of
the state, and thus the ability of some men to induce others to act, is
perhaps the only pursuit in human existence that seeks to ignore all
concerns for commonsense, free thought, rationality and a whole gamut of
traits that would confirm us as being created by a benevolent God.

By the standards of local politics, the whole "preoccupation" with its
issues of governance (forget good) and tolerance for dissenting opinions
will forever remain mired in all traits odious. For example, when laws are
passed by parliament, what "ideally" guides members of that august house is
that they are intended to protect the country's citizens. And that is the
regimen claimed by any state that claims loyalty to the ideals of democracy
and constitutional liberties.

The laws are meant to present life as inviolate and also seek to illustrate
the sometimes not too obvious difference between man and other primates.

But such guarantees are never to be expected when politicians decide that
their rule is more important than the lives of the people so ruled. Thus to
the question "why do men make laws?" Plato replied: "Because making laws is
a way in which rationality is exercised, and rationality is one of the
essential properties of man."

Zimbabwe's Zanu PF-dominated parliament has passed laws which give rise to
questions about the rationality that the Greek thinker talked about, about
why laws are passed in the first place if they do not serve the governed.

Is man then wholly rational given the laws we have seen going through
Zimbabwe's parliament? Man is probably inherently rational, but something
seems to go terribly wrong when politics is thrown into the picture. And it
is not politics per se but political survival!

The Public Order and Security Act which has been roundly condemned as being
worse than its predecessor, is perhaps one classic example of politics and
rationality being distant cousins!

Planned demonstrations are approved by the police, obviously acting on what
the minister deems right or wrong. It is thus predictable that any
demonstration against the government will be deemed as something seeking to
disturb the peace or incite the public to rise against the government! This
flies in the face of logic itself because successful demonstrations are
usually spontaneous. Thus the very fact that citizens have to seek
permission presupposes that they have to plan and mobilise themselves.

Interestingly, a few years before Kenya's independence, that is what the
settler government demanded of Daniel arap Moi and others who wanted to
address the people. They were required to provide the agenda of the meeting
and also the contents of the speeches to be given! And that was coming from
a white government which was facing the wrath of Dedan Kimathi and other Mau
Mau militants.

Today it is these same African leaders who have reversed the wrath and
turned it against their own people despite the truth that the opposition are
no latter-day Mau Mau!

But we are aware that civil liberties are an ineluctable part of any
democracy. The obstacles being put in the path of citizens who seek to voice
their discontent on issues of national interest ought to tell us something
about those claims of us being a democracy. The most important civil
liberties ought to vest the citizens with powers that in fact would prohibit
any interference by government in our political or economic protest
activities as citizens of a "democracy." But these remain nothing but
reveries be-cause politics has made sure that it turns many who decide to be
daredevils into martyrs over what ideally should be there for all and

The morbid twist in that tale is that while the ruling parties enact laws to
suppress the opposition, they imagine their rule will last an eternity and
forget that one day they will be ousted and the laws they passed used
against them. Poetic justice does not get any better than that!

While government apologists have tried to justify Zimbabwe's controversial
POSA and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act in terms of
British and American press laws, what they fail to explain is that when we
pass "our" own laws, it is not about toeing the line as drawn by the West,
but they must fundamentally be relevant for us here.

If it is to be believed, that casuistry about the US and Britain having more
repressive press laws, thus the legitimacy of those enacted here, why are we
obsessive about obscenity laws which in those Western countries would be
deemed a violation of freedom of expression and part of "entertainment" to
be enjoyed by any citizen of a democracy?

Why are we so eager to draw similarities with Britain's press laws but are
not ready to take the British prescription on issues of good governance,
free expression and other basic human rights? Would a Zimbabwean protestor
live to tell the tale if he hit "his" president with an egg, or coated the
president's face with a cake?

Unfortunately for us, these terms are defined not by the people's concerns
but by politicians with a vested interest in the creation of such laws and
therefore define for the people what issues are in their interest.

In dismissing submissions from concerned media bodies on the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Bill, Minister Moyo said there was not
going to be any consultations. These could be done through constituency MPs
who would then present them in parliament. But this was frivolous in itself
as there had not been any submission for the enactment of those laws through
those same channels the minister was now invoking to frustrate interested

London has more "draconian" press laws than us; Washington has censored the
free flow of news on the war against terrorism, Washington opposed the Voice
of America interview with a terrorist, and so and so on. So much harm can
come from the direction of a politician seeking to immortalise his reign.
Because a free or private press' brief is to report the unreported, which is
always the stuff the powers-that-be would like the people never to consume,
it thus becomes the enemy of the state.

In our case the "battle" between politicians and the private press
culminated in the bombing of a newspaper because the reading public had
guaranteed the enemies of a free press were not going to win that war of
words, literally. These evils are perpetrated under "some law" to give the
whole travesty an aura of legality, but only dullards would reason that such
laws are enacted by parliament, enforced by law officers, therefore are in
the best interests of the people!

Phiri is a Harare-based freelance writer.
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Zim Independent


Inflation projected to peak at nearly 200%
Taking Stock with Barbican
MACRO-ECONOMIC fundamentals remain weak with chances of a short-term
turnaround still remote. Foreign currency shortages continue to exert
intense pressure on the local currency. The official exchange rate remains
fixed at $55 to the US dollar.

The opening of the tobacco auction floors in May, the traditional major
currency stabiliser in Zimbabwe, was expected to ease the foreign currency
crisis, especially with the new tobacco trading rules imposed by the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe. The exchange rate has a strong bearing on the cost
structure, inflation and credit rating of a country. Most companies, which
relied heavily on imported raw materials, are being negatively affected by
the volatile exchange rate. Investors' sentiment, especially the foreign
investors, is very low.

The delay in taking a correction on the overvalued currency has done more
harm than good. Contrary to this, the parallel foreign market continued to
gather momentum day by day, with the key US dollar trading at levels in
excess of Z$450, posing tremendous exchange rate pressure. Untamed
inflation, whi-ch is expected to peak at 200% and average over 120% this
year, is bad news as it is likely to cause extensive damage on tradable
securities. Cost of living adjustments and wage increases are likely to pose
a serious threat to the latest developments put in place to resuscitate the
economy. Price controls do not seem to work, especially with shortages at
hand. Black markets have already established themselves in the area of basic
foodstuffs such as mealie meal, sugar and cooking oil. Hyperinflation
continues to rule.

For any sound economic development to take place, macro-economic variables
have to tie up. In similar vein, unemployment averaged over 50%. It is
imperative that interest rates be kept as low as possible as we have seen
the government struggling to service its debt due to high interest rates.
Heavily indebted companies found the going tough due to high financing risk.

The equity markets

Investors, realising that the money market instruments are yielding negative
real returns, have shifted their focus to the equity market. The RBZ
continues to show long-term paper at interest rates not exceeding 60%,
showing commitment to a low interest rate policy. As a result, we have seen
"a flight to equity" sending shock waves as the equity market reached record
highs. The key industrial index is surpassing the 68 000 mark and the mining
index broke the 3 000 barrier. May proved to be more eventful than ever
before in the history of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE). Fund managers
were kept on their toes as industrial counters took turns to rally.

In line with fundamental belief, equity markets are very receptive to low
interest rates or cuts in interest rates, implications of which are far
reaching on asset allocation strategies. The bull phase, which was induced
by confirmation by the RBZ to keep interest rates low and speculation on the
December year-end results, made equity lovers smile at last. The "flight to
equity", saw most fund managers revising their portfolio composition in line
with the expected gains as most companies rerate in line with new earnings
growth patterns.

Industrial counters and the export-oriented stocks continue to lead the
pack. The investment sector (GDFI) finally came out of the woods and took
centre stage as the market goes on a record-breaking spill. Investors who
had locked in profits towards the end of the year are back in town after
failing to establish greener pastures elsewhere. The property market, which
took centre stage last year, seems to have peaked, hence investors do not
see light at the end of the tunnel.

The sustainability of the resilience inherited by the equity market this
year depends on the level of money market rates, which forced investors and
fund managers alike to revisit their asset allocation strategy with a view
to increasing their equity exposure in search of real returns. Earnings have
been confirmed to be good, especially with the industrial counters.

The financial sector, which was largely the nerve system of the local market
as it galloped throughout 2001, developed cold feet in the face of a
constantly deteriorating operating environment into 2002. For the interim
period to June this year, financials are likely to perform below
expectations, given that the same counters reported super profits last year.
Financial institutions made windfall last year in interest earnings on money
market instruments, a situation that has been reversed in 2002. In addition,
the introduction of supertax on bankers is likely to affect the bottomline
of most financial institutions.

Industrials and, moreso, export-oriented counters took centre stage instead,
given the recent speculation that the dollar may be allowed to slide in a
bid to improve the foreign currency situation. To this effect, we have seen
several exporting companies maintaining a high level of performance on the
local bourse. Interfresh, TZI, CFI, Cottco, Seedco, Tanganda and Ariston, to
mention just a few. In minings, Ashanti and Rio Tinto continue to show great
resilience in a difficult operating environment, largely because the
international gold price continues to firm, currently at US$329/ounce.

Going forward

Only a foolish investor would think the market will continue to gain and
does not take profits. A greedy fund manager usually loses. Most fund
managers are aware of the danger of being carried away by bull markets. That
is why we have observed breaks here and there as the market continues to
rally upwards, signaling that investors are taking profits at some points.
While the local market has continued to be resilient, substantial growth has
not been experienced. Progress has been very slow in economic recovery as
macro-economic variables continue to show marked imbalances. The future is
heavily dependent on growing willingness of all stakeholders to co-operate
and serve the nation for the good of the country.

Proper policy, economic strategy and discipline are key commitments to
success, otherwise economic misery still lies ahead.


      Zim loses third of jobs: Makoni

      6/6/02 5:52:23 AM (GMT +2)

      DURBAN - Zimbabwe's economy has lost a third of its jobs since the
country was plunged into crisis in 2000 and was set to contract by 10
percent this year, Finance Minister Simba Makoni said yesterday.

      Zimbabwe's economy is in its fourth straight year of recession with
record high inflation and unemployment, and is facing a severe food crisis.

      "Broadly it (job sector) has shrunk by one third in the last 18 months
to two years. It is an unacceptable level of unemployment which the economy
cannot afford," Makoni told reporters at an economic forum in Durban.

      He said that prolonged bad weather was the main culprit for worsening
food shortages in the country, but acknowledged the government's
controversial land reform programme had played a role.

      "There is no famine in Zimbabwe yet and we are striving to avert it -
but we have a serious food deficit," he said.

      He noted that about 7.8 million people - the bulk of the country's
population - would be short of food after three consecutive years of bad
weather for crops.

      "That is the major cause of food shortages in the country but I would
be one to admit to you that when you are undertaking land reform of the
magnitude we are ... it does have an impact on the levels of production."

      Analysts say millions of Zimbabweans are facing starvation due to
drought and reduced food production in the wake of President Robert Mugabe's
seizure of mainly white-owned commercial farms for redistribution to
landless blacks, which began early in 2000.

      Zimbabwe is mired in its worst economic crisis since independence from
Britain in 1980.

      Inflation has risen by an annual rate of more than 100 percent since
last November, unemployment is estimated at 60 percent and acute foreign
currency and fuel shortages have crippled business activity since 1999.

      Makoni said that forecasts for the economy which shrank by 7.3 percent
in 2001, had been revised lower.

      "The preliminary estimate which I presented to parliament was at minus
5.3 percent - it is now moving towards minus 10," he said in reply to a

      He added that he had not yet prepared estimates for 2003, although he
was planning for an improved outcome.

      He also said that he was still working to achieve a consensus in
government for devaluing the Zimbabwe dollar, which is officially set at
55/dollar, versus a parallel market rate of about 350/dollar.

      "I am looking for a rational, predictable, credible, exchange rate,"
he said.

      Makoni said that he had not yet come up with a way of financing an 80
percent subsidy for tobacco growers. The subsidy for the crop, a key foreign
exchange earner, is estimated to cost the fiscus an extra 16-17 billion
Zimbabwe dollars.

      "Our plan is to finance it outside of the market, but the mechanism is
not yet decided," he said.

      Makoni dismissed suggestions that Zimbabwe may be excluded from an
ambitious African recovery plan which aims to boost investment, trade, aid
and debt relief in exchange for commitments to democracy and good

      "Zimbabwe is an African country - we will be in it just like any other
African country," he said. The recovery plan is the focus of the three-day
annual African economic summit in Durban, which began yesterday.

      It has drawn 700 delegates including several African presidents and
more than 50 ministers and central bank governors.


      Zim under spotlight at economic summit

      By Francis Mdlongwa Editor-in-Chief
      6/6/02 5:55:30 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE, suspicious of the West which is critical of its human rights
record, this week joined other African nations which are mapping out an
economic rescue blueprint for the continent that is backed by the West and
is anchored on good governance.

      But as the Africa Economic Summit kicked off in South Africa's port
city of Durban yesterday, analysts warned Zimbabwe's government it either
had to wholeheartedly embrace the key tenets of the new economic revival
plan or face heightened international censure, even from its African allies.

      The analysts said the June 5-7 summit, sponsored by the World Economic
Forum, stood ready to approve plans which outlaw bad governance in Africa in
return for massive Western aid of US$64 billion annually to pull the world's
poorest continent out of its grinding under-development and poverty.

      Dubbed the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the
rescue plan is being championed by several African leaders, including South
Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo and Senegal's
Abdoulaye Wade.

      Masipula Sithole, a political science teacher at the University of
Zimbabwe, said of the Durban indaba, which was to be attended by Zimbabwe
Finance Minister Simba Makoni:

      "Zimbabwe's governance is the test case for NEPAD. It is a big blow
and challenge to NEPAD and its leaders who must demonstrate whether they
mean what they say.

      "I don't think South Africa and Nigeria are prepared to sacrifice the
plan to save Zimbabwe. We have reached a stage where Zimbabwe either has to
own up over its human rights record or faces increased sanctions and
condemnation even from South Africa and Nigeria."

      Until this week's NEPAD summit, Zimbabwe's attendance at these
meetings has been low key, involving mostly junior government officials.

      Mugabe has not publicly commented on NEPAD, but state-run radio and
television last week said it would be unacceptable for the plan to
"sacrifice" Zimbabwe at the altar of Western aid.

      Without saying so in many words, it suggested that such financial
support should be rejected because it would be aimed at dictating policies
to a sovereign state.

      Mugabe and his inner circle are under sanctions which include a travel
ban from the United States, the 15-nation European Community, Switzerland
and New Zealand over charges that they are responsible for promoting
lawlessness in Zimbabwe.

      Mugabe is also accused of stealing a landmark election in March, which
was marred by violence and charges of vote-stuffing. He denies the charge
and accuses the West of "demonising" him because he is seizing farms owned
by whites to give to blacks.

      "Mugabe has no choice but to accept the dictates of NEPAD, otherwise
he will be left alone in the cold and he cannot possibly survive," Sithole
said, pointing to Zimbabwe's deteriorating economic crisis that is
threatening the entire industry with total collapse.

      He added: "His friends Mbeki and Obasanjo would be forced to
de-campaign him in southern Africa, the rest of Africa and in the
international community were he to refuse to accept the governance tenets of
this crucial Marshall-style plan."

      But Mbeki's spokesman Bheki Khumalo refused to be drawn to comment
explicitly on Zimbabwe's crisis, which is increasingly sucking in South
Africa to act in one way or the other because of the large influx of
refugees who could move there if it worsened.

      "Zimbabwe's problems are for Zimbabweans to resolve," he told the
Financial Gazette by telephone from Cape Town.

      "We as neighbours and the international community can only lend
support to efforts that the Zimbabweans themselves will be making to resolve
their problems. We refuse to accept the notion that, because of problems in
one country, the whole of Africa should be painted with the same brush and
that NEPAD should suffer," Khumalo said.

      But analysts pointed out that for all of South Africa's diplomatic
words on Zimbabwe, it was clear Mbeki was feeling increasingly frustrated by
any lack of progress by Harare in stamping down on violence which has
accompanied its land seizures and its failure to make peace with the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

      Mbeki has reportedly expressed disquiet over these two issues,
especially after Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF last month abruptly postponed talks
on the disputed March vote with the MDC, which is now agitating for mass
action to back demands for the poll's re-run.

      It is known that Mbeki would want a government of national unity in
Zimbabwe, but his overtures and efforts on this front have made little
headway so far because both ZANU PF and the MDC reject such a coalition.

      The Durban summit, attended by big Western businesses and officials of
governments backing NEPAD, hopes to draw up concrete economic plans in
sectors such as energy, education and health, especially in the fight
against AIDS, which can be bankrolled by the West by the end of the year.

      The NEPAD projects will be sold to Western nations at the summit of
the Group of Eight industrialised nations in Canada in two weeks' time.

      Khumalo again: "We are not going to Canada with a begging bowl, let
this be clear. We see NEPAD as a solid partnership between Africa and the
international community which is beneficial to both sides.

      "We have identified good political and economic governance and peer
review as some of the conditions for the partnership and our hope is that
these (Western) countries will support us to have implementable projects by
the end of the year."

      But analysts warn that whatever financial backing NEPAD might get may
not go far in addressing Africa's deep-seated and myriad problems if there
is no political will to end bad governance, which is blamed for crises such
as those in Zimbabwe, as well as a resolve to tackle resurgent wars and
conflicts which still blight much of the continent.

      "It is all right for Africa to seek aid but this latest aid, just as
the previous assistance given by the developed world, will go down the drain
if corruption by governments is left to flourish," a veteran Harare-based
Western diplomat noted.

      "Africa simply needs to put its house in order. No amount of aid will,
for example, rid the continent of poverty unless determined steps are taken
to attack it by political leaders. So far there has been no resolve to do
this except to engage in public relations shows."

      Will the Durban summit be any different?
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Zim Independent


Whenever the media is the target the public is the victim

IF freedom of expression is the cornerstone of any democracy, as is often
said, then Zimbabwe fails the test.

The appointment last weekend of individuals known to be sympathetic to the
ruling party to a media commission that is the instrument of Information
minister Jonathan Moyo represents a further attempt to stifle the flow of
information and the free expression of views that are fundamental to the
survival of democratic rule.

By no stretch of the imagination can the composition of the commission
announced so far be said to represent a cross-section of our society. Its
chair, Tafataona Mahoso, a media lecturer at the Harare Polytechnic, has
never attempted to conceal his hostility towards the independent media. He
writes a regular column in the Sunday Mail, a Zanu PF mouthpiece. Other
members include former Sunday Mail editor Pascal Mukondiwa, former Chronicle
assistant editor Jonathan Maphenduka, and UZ media studies head Rino

Zhuwarara sat on the so-called Media Ethics Committee, appointed by Moyo
last year and headed by Mahoso, which was tasked to look into the level of
professionalism in the local media. Instead of tackling the chronic lack of
professionalism in the government media where it is difficult to disguise a
lack of basic training or crude partisan viewpoints in news stories, the
committee dutifully persuaded itself that there were problems of racism and
foreign intrusion in other sectors of the media.

It accused the independent media of being Eurocentric and anti-African and
called on government to craft a policy framework that enhanced ethical
values, culture and dignity. It argued that public figures should enjoy the
same protection extended to other individuals and referred to the high
number of cases involving defamation as evidence of the need for this.

It is extraordinary that the number of civil suits against newspapers - many
of them unsuccessful - are adduced as evidence of the need to protect public
figures from an intrusive media when some of those public figures have
become rich as a result of their association with an unaccountable regime.
The plundering of the War Victims Compensation Fund and a housing scheme
designed for middle-income civil servants by well-placed people in the Zanu
PF and government hierarchy provides evidence of the predatory instincts of
the country's elite when left to their own devices.

Here in a nutshell we have the central problem. The purpose of the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the media commission set up
under it is to restrict access to information and protect Zimbabwe's
liberation aristocracy from legitimate investigation by the media.

Reference to the supposed anti-African and Eurocentric agenda of the private
media, it can be safely assumed, is a smokescreen for the prevention of
exposure of corruption and misrule. That section of the media that is
prepared to do its job as a public watchdog will be targeted under this
spurious nationalist agency leaving the government media to pursue its
appointed task of licking ministerial boots and sweeping inconvenient
matters under the copious carpet afforded by the Act.

The public need to be assured that the only polarisation in the media is
between real journalists who are not in awe of discredited government
ministers on the one hand and state publicists calling themselves
journalists on the other. Zimbabwe is today a basket case with shrinking GDP
and mass starvation in part because the pronouncements of ruling party
officials were entertained without question by the government media in the
past. Moyo is on record as complaining about press criticism of Joseph
Made's misleading assurances on maize stocks.

The launch of the media commission comes exactly as the state seeks to curb
civic freedoms by arresting members of the opposition, NGOs, the independent
press, and the Law Society to ensure that the only voice heard across the
land is President Mugabe's. That is why the broadcast sector has not been
opened up despite a court ruling for the government to do so. This has got
nothing to do with media accuracy and everything to do with totalitarian

An unrepresentative body appointed by an unelected minister with an axe to
grind against those he perceives to be an obstacle to Mugabe's
political-survival project and armed with the power to impose swingeing
penalties on non-conforming media is a manifest danger to democracy. Eddison
Zvobgo alluded to this when the parliamentary legal committee reported
adversely on the original Bill.

From June 16 no one will be allowed to practise as a journalist unless
accredited by the commission, enabling it to pick and choose on the basis of
its own advertised prejudices or, more to the point, what the minister
thinks about a particular journalist on the day in question. It will prepare
a code of conduct which it can impose on the profession. And it can remove
anybody deemed to be infringing that code.

Freedom of expression and the free flow of information in the public
interest, given the role they play in democratic accountability, should be
subject to minimal and specific restrictions. This Act does precisely the

But Zimbabweans will not be silenced. Having lost popularity because of his
disastrous policies, intolerance and obduracy, President Mugabe wants to
prevent the bad news about him from getting out. The commission can't do
that. Nor can anybody else. He is the bad news and so long as that remains
the case it will find its way out.

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      Examining the rule of law

      Chido Makunike
      6/6/02 1:39:50 AM (GMT +2)

      OVER the last few years we have heard a lot about "the breakdown of
the rule of law" and how reversing this situation is key to getting Zimbabwe
back on track.

      We have heard repeatedly how a certain predictability in how the law
is applied is necessary in order to attract foreign investors, for instance.
They will naturally feel more secure about their investments in an
environment in which there is legal recourse in the event of their
investments being threatened in a dispute with powerful local political
forces, for instance.

      For Zimbabweans, a meaningful way to give substance to "the rule of
law" is the simple assurance that one can go about his/her daily business
without fear of being prevented from doing so by any other party.

      In the event that some such outside party attempts or succeeds in
preventing one from enjoying such rights as citizens of any free society
take for granted, one would still have the ultimate comfort of knowing that
there are predictable official channels through which one can appeal.

      Looked at this way, very few of us would have any argument with the
concept of "the rule of law". Yet there is a danger of looking at this
concept in an abstract way that ignores the fact that something can be
legal, but still be unfair and unjust.

      An uncritical acceptance of the concept assumes it is one that is
necessarily correct, and is the best protection against the abuse of a
citizen's rights and liberties.

      But is it really? Should we not instead be concerned more about the
admittedly idealistic situation in which we seek to live under the "rule of
justice", rather than merely the "rule of law"?

      If something is just by the mores of our society, but a clever lawyer
can can get around it for his client through some loophole in the written
law, it certainly falls under the technicalities of the "rule of law" - but
we as a society may still not be satisfied that justice has been done, even
if the law has been adhered to.

      Even within the sometimes nebulous concept of the rule of law, there
are countless ways that a government, minister, judge or policeman can act
according to the letter of the law while abusing it's spirit for one reason
or ther other.

      For example, a policeman manning a roadblock has the discretion to
issue a motorist a ticket for failure to display a licence disk, even if
that disk can be produced from the motorist's glovebox, or to simply caution
the motorist, and send him on his way. The policeman is quite right to say
the disk should be in clear view, preferably glued to the windsreen.

      If he issues one motorist with a ticket for this infraction, as he is
entitled to do, but declines to do so for the following motorist, with the
same infraction, and in similar circumstances to that of the first motorist
(ie,being able to produce the valid disk from his glovebox), we are
beginning to see a different application of the law.

      Still, we do not yet have enough evidence to accuse the cop of
applying the law selectively and unfairly.

      For instance, the ticket issued to the first motorist may have just
happened to be the last page in the officer's ticket book. In that case,
there is nothing malicious about the fact of motorist number two escaping
without a ticket.

      If, however, the policeman treats our two motorists differently
because in the course of dealing with them, he found out that motorist
number one belonged to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party and number two belonged to the ruling ZANU PF party, then we we have
something quite different.

      If party affiliation of the two motorists is the basis of their
different treatment by the policeman, he was still acting according to "the
rule of law" in giving the MDC motorist the ticket, and within his powers of
discretion to let the ZANU PF motorist off with a mere warning.

      But most of us would agree that his conduct was unjust. Borderline,
but within the rule of law, but clearly outside the rule of justice.

      This is what the authorities have been accused of blatantly doing in
Zimbabwe in the last few years.

      When they are accused of acting outside the law, they do not respond
by scaling back to then act within it - they simply stretch the law to
encompass what they previously did outside it. As a result, what they did
outside the law that was to the detriment of the citizens yesterday is today
within the confines of the stretched law, and therefore "legal" but with
exactly the same detrimental effects to the citizens as yesterday!

      The law may be an ass, most of us will agree, but this is to so twist
it that it becomes garbage and meaningless.

      Hence Jonathan Moyo or Patrick Chinamasa can smuggly talk about
"according to our laws", while sending chills down the spines of many
citizens whose inocuous words and actions have just been made criminal by
one or another new law.

      What they are cynically taking advantage of is the fact that
criminalising a particular action, an action that does not in any way
interfere with the larger society's well-being or freedom, silences the
voices of the many of us who dare not find ourselves on the "wrong side" of
even unjust, absurd laws.

      The rightness of Moyo or Chinamasa's "rule of law" may therefore be
quite different from yours or mine. In short, theirs necessarily carries the
upper hand until challenged and overturned, because it can be used to put
you in jail, or otherwise deprive you of your rights and freedoms. It can
all simply, neatly be explained as being perfectly legal, which it is, but
it can also be quite unjust, even immoral.

      This discrepancy between what is legal and what is just, if it becomes
wide enough, is what sends people like Martin Luther King, Indra Gandhi,
Nelson Mandela, or even our own once widely respected Robert Mugabe, to risk
all to face the wrath of the authorities hiding behind a corrupt, unjust
rule of law to fight for justice.

      No matter how many legalities were thrown at them by the powerful
authorities they courageously rose up to fight, and eventually defeated
them, because they had the majority behind them in overturning that corrupt
rule of law in search of their societies being ruled by the infinitely
higher rule of justice.

      When cynical, corrupt and oppressive politicians, judges and lawyers
threaten and frighten us with a rule of law that is patently against the
common good, let us keep centred and motivated by the elusive but noble
search to be governed by the rule of justice.

      Chido Makunike is a political commentator
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      The 'Third Chimurenga' is officially over: what next?

      Masipula Sithole
      6/6/02 1:23:54 AM (GMT +2)

      WAGED ceaselessly for the past two-and-a-half years, the "Third
Chimurenga" or "hondo yeminda", as it is popularly known in local parlance,
was last week declared over and typically pronounced a "resounding" success.
Well done.

      I am not going to pontificate on the many achievements of the
two-and-a-half-year war - that is for its beneficiaries to do.

      Although I still don't have any land myself, I celebrate in those who
now have it. I did not apply. I was too busy analysing while others were

      The land issue must now be behind us. Land is now in our hands. The
ruling party told us: "Land is the economy and the economy is land." We now
own our land; therefore, we own the Zimbabwean economy.

      Must this be the logic, really? To be fair, it is too early to say.

      But it is not too early to ask in whose hands the land has been
redistributed? Is it, as is commonly thought, in ZANU PF hands? How many of
these ZANU PF hands? How many hands were left out, even ZANU PF hands?

      What do those who were left out (deliberately or not) feel and think
of the two-and-a-half-year war and its results? Was it worth it? Couldn't
more have been achieved with less cruelty had it been done differently? I
repeat: was it worth it, really?

      Frankly, I deliberately did not apply. I might apply in the next round
for land under the "A3" scheme when we have come to our senses about this
finite and precious commodity we call land. Then I will go to Agribank and
apply for a loan to purchase land not, to have it given to me, if I want

      I am suspicious of free gifts from anybody, particularly from a
political party. I suspect that some day those who were given land will pay
for it.

      But later for those who were left out. After all, all revolutions tend
to leave some people out. Only "hondo yeminda" may have left a lot of people
displaced, both physically and mentally because the injuries were inflicted
by who we thought were our liberators.

      Now, what is the "Fourth Chimure-nga" going to be about? Inenge iri
hondo yei, now that hondo yeminda yapera?

      Look at me. Already I have been brainwashed. This is how effective our
minister of this-and-that has been. He has us all thinking in war terms!

      Any way, I was thinking that the "Fourth Chimurenga" be dubbed "Hondo
ye Democracy" or "Hondo ye Good Governance", kutonga kwakanaka, umbuso

      I must admit though that the slogan "Hondo ye Democracy" or "Hondo ye
Good Governance" lacks punch like "Hondo yeminda"! But that is the point.
Nobody should "punch" anyone in a democracy!

      As a nation and as people, we haven't as yet addressed democracy qua
democracy, really. What has happened is that we have conceptualised our
problems as "they" (the whites or colonialists) versus "us" (the blacks or

      This is true of the "First Chimurenga" during Mbuya Nehanda's time in
the 1890s; of the "Second Chimurenga" during the liberation war of the
1970s; and recently of the two-and-a-half-year war during the so-called
"Third Chimurenga" or "Hondo yeminda" fought from 2000 to last week by
dubious characters.

      It has always been "they" versus "us". Look what "they" have done to
"us". "They" took "our" land; "they" oppressed "us"; "they" want to
re-colonise and oppress "us" again. On and on and on, ad nauseam.

      Not that "they" didn't. Don't get me wrong. Of course "they" did. But,
ma comrades, when are we going to stop blaming the white man for the
problems and injuries we inflict on each other as black people?

      I suggest we start blaming each other for bad governance and
oppression we have seen across Africa since colonialism ended, in our
country Zimbabwe in particular. We can't go on like this as a people. Our
enemy may be us.

      Not too long ago, President Robert Mugabe was praying that the good
Lord sustain him until the land issue dear to his heart was resolved. Now it
has been resolved. Retire then.

      Or, does the President still have strength for the "Fourth
Chimure-nga"? If he does, is he a democrat? Does he have the temperament?
Who in ZANU PF does have the temperament of a democrat? Or ZANU PF's mission
has run its course? If only we can realise this, there would not be this
intolerance and hostility to each other.

      After all, vakuru vanoti: "Kutonga madzoro." The elders say: "Good
governance is taking turns."

      Next week, we consider the struggle for democracy and good governance.

      Professor Masipula Sithole is a lecturer of political science at the
University of Zimbabwe and director of the Harare-based Mass Public Opinion
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      You each deserve three farms, Cdes

      6/6/02 1:21:14 AM (GMT +2)

      DEAR Cabinet and Politburo Members

      I am shocked at the extent of the Western-aligned media's hate
campaign against our transparent land reforms which incidentally have been
applauded by our African brothers.

      I must admit I fail to understand why journalists in Zimbabwe's
so-called independent media, who I honestly believe are just spies for Tony
Blair, cannot appreciate the crucial role you and I played to liberate this

      I must however say your wise First Lady, in one of her enlightening
daily briefs to her staff that I was fortunate to attend, hit the nail on
the head.

      She questioned how our unpatriotic journalists continued to write
about the three or more farms each of you have acquired while they never
raised even a murmur against the numerous properties that belonged to single
white families.

      Can our land reforms be deemed a failure just because we have
parcelled out a few hundred farms among ourselves while millions of hectares
are still out there for everyone?

      I am glad that our patriotic supporters have not been hoodwinked by
this Blair-financed crusade to paint you as greedy land grabbers because
they know you rightly deserve more than one farm each after your selfless
contribution to their freedom.

      In fact, I was perplexed but quickly recovered when one ambassador
from some Western country that I shall not name came for tea at State House
and, after much meandering, implied that I knew of a land grab supposedly
being masterminded by some of you.

      In my most measured tones, I quickly put him back in his place.

      I said: "Your excellency, how many official homes does your president
have? How come his father has a farm, he has a farm, his brother has a farm
and even his cousin has one. Are there no landless people in your country?"

      I am afraid he was not as well groomed on tea manners as our friends
from Whitehall and almost choked on his tea.

      To save him from further embarrassment, I answered my own question and
said: "Your Excellency, the senior comrades of our glorious party actually
deserve three farms each."

      His mouth was agape as I intoned in the English I normally reserve for
international conferences and the general assembly of our glorious party.

      "Mr Ambassador, the first farm is the comrade's village where the
first family stays. The second, in our custom, is the small house for his
mistress and the other children."

      His Excellency had recovered a bit after one of my sharp boys had
poured him a bit of Irish whiskey. He spluttered: "What about the third

      Comrades, I must tell you I was waiting for that question and I took
it as leisurely as a stroll in the State House grounds. I paused and then
delivered the coup de grace.

      "Your Excellency," I said, "where do you think a senior member of my
party should host private hunting trips and braais for eminent weekend
visitors like yourself?"

      Need I say more?

      That Western spy got the message and has not returned to State House.



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      Informal sector now Zim's biggest employer

      By Doris Kumbawa
      6/6/02 5:59:41 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S fast growing informal sector is now the country's largest
employer as the economy worsens but lack of coordination and assistance from
the government and other stakeholders is hindering small entrepreneurs from
attaining full potential, it was learnt this week.

      Described as the "dark side" of the economy, there are no definitive
statistics on the informal sector, which markets everything from toiletries,
motor vehicle spares to basic commodities that are scarce or too expensive
on the local market.

      However, a study by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries found
that in November 2000, at least 1.7 million people were making their living
in the informal sector.

      In that same year, 9 684 workers were retrenched while in the last 18
months a further 90 000 people are estimated to have been forced out of
formal employment and would naturally have been forced to become small

      In addition, thousands of job seekers are being spewed out of Zimbabwe
's school system every year with little chance of finding work in an economy
that saw 400 companies shut down in 2000 and a further 700 closing in the
past 18 months.

      Against this background, analysts believe employment in the informal
sector has far surpassed that in the formal economy, where only about 40
percent or 2.7 million of the 6.7 million working adults in Zimbabwe are
still employed.

      "The informal sector sometimes acts as a buffer for cyclical trends in
the formal sector by providing a 'dumping ground' for retrenched labour and
a waiting station for job seekers," Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
economist Godfrey Kanyenze told the Financial Gazette.

      But while the government and other stakeholders in the economy have
begun to realise the sector's importance, there is still very little
assistance for many small entrepreneurs and some are operating at below
capacity because of lack of funds.

      According to Constance Sekete, managing director of Kingdom Financial
Holdings' subsidiary MicroKing Finance, more than 90 percent of
entrepreneurs in the informal sector have no access to banking facilities at

      In cases where the operators have access to financial institutions,
most have no collateral and therefore are unable to secure loans from banks.

      Washington Dzuda, who left his job last year to start an enterprise
manufacturing and selling toiletries, said he started the business after
realising that he could earn more by developing a new line of toiletries to
sell to local hotels.

      "Most banks require collateral in the form of property for them to
give you a loan," Dzuda told the Financial Gazette.

      "Even the business proposal they require is prohibitive as the
slightest mistake may prevent you from getting the loan. The high interest
rates also make it difficult to commit yourself. Because of this I am having
problems in financing my project," he added.

      Because he does not have sufficient capital, Dzuda could only afford
to hire three workers and install two machines, thereby slowing down his

      To create employment through the informal sector, the government has
initiated projects such as the Masvingo-based Informal Sector Training and
Resource Network, run by the Ministry of Higher Education and Technology in
conjunction with German Technical Cooperation (Zimbabwe).

      In operation since 1995, the network encourages entrepreneurs to come
up with income-generating projects and then provides funding and training
for implementation.

      But Kanyenze and other informal sector entrepreneurs said many small
business operators were unaware of the organisation's existence.

      Analysts said there was little coordination between the ministries of
Youth, Gender and Employment Creation and Industry and International Trade,
both involved with the informal sector.

      "All these initiatives lack coordination and the ministry responsible
for the informal sector is particularly useless as it has no staff to man
any proposed projects," Kanyenze said.

      Other experts said the politicisation of funds handed out for informal
sector projects in the run up to Zimbabwe's two highly contested elections
had also discouraged many entrepreneurs from seeking the funding.

      Money was disbursed primarily to ruling ZANU PF supporters by the
Ministry of Youth, Gender and Employment Creation before the watershed
general election in 2000 and the presidential election in March.

      Many entrepreneurs with project ideas had not taken advantage of this
opportunity and were still reluctant to approach the government for funds
because they feared being asked to produce ZANU PF membership cards.

      But the Minister of State responsible for the informal sector in the
President's office, Sthembiso Nyoni, shrugged off much of this criticism,
saying her ministry was coordinating the efforts of various government arms.

      She said her ministry was inundated with pleas for assistance from
entrepreneurs involved in vegetable selling, panel beating, upholstery,
coffin selling and fruit drying.

      "My ministry is working so that people in the informal sector can
organise themselves into activity groups such as manufacturing, batik
making, or distribution so that the officers can register them and these are
not party structures," said Nyoni.

      She said she had already drawn up the budget for her ministry's share
of the $2 billion allocated in the 2002 budget to the Ministries of Youth,
Gender and Employment Creation and the Ministry of Industry and
International Trade.

      The informal sector is also expected to benefit from assistance from
MicroKing, which since its inception in October 2000 has helped 842 clients
access the $99 million invested by Kingdom Bank.

      Sekete said: "MicroKing, being one of the most recent additions to the
Kingdom group, came about as a result of the realisation that in its quest
to service the mass market, the informal sector still remained grossly
under-banked and largely shunned by the commercial banking community."

      She said the initiative sought to restore dignity to the informal
sector by giving entrepreneurs easier access to financial services.

      MicroKing does not demand collateral but lends to clients who have
been running businesses for at least a year.

      Moyo said: "Although there is lack of credit facilities in banks,
which ask for collateral, if we reorganise money and we re-invest it with
the informal sector in mind, we may turn this country around.

      "Poverty reduction cannot be done by the trickle-down method but by
mobilising the poor to reject poverty. We can assist them by training not by
creating wealth and dishing it out, but by creating a facility to assist
those interested in creating wealth for themselves."
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      Govt abandons compulsory youth service

      By Cyril Zenda
      6/6/02 5:49:19 AM (GMT +2)

      THE government has abandoned its controversial compulsory national
youth service despite public statements by senior ZANU PF officials that the
programme was continuing, it was learnt this week.

      Sources this week said the Ministry of Youth Development, Gender and
Employment Creation under whose control the national youth service falls,
had only wanted to give credence to its training of ZANU PF militias for
President Robert Mugabe's re-election by declaring that the programme was
compulsory for all Zimbabwean youths.

      "Elliot Manyika (Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment
Creation and ZANU PF secretary for the commissariat) just wanted to mobilise
youths to campaign for his party under the guise of national service and now
that the elections are over, the idea of a compulsory national service has
been abandoned," an official source said this week.

      Under the programme, a certificate of attendance from the proposed
national youth training centres was to be the prerequisite for school
leavers wishing to enrol for tertiary or university education.

      Manyika said all school leavers intending to proceed to tertiary level
would be required to undergo a compulsory three-month national youth service
training before acceptance by colleges and universities as from February
this year.

      David Munyoro, the director of national youth training in the Ministry
of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation, this week could
neither confirm nor deny that the ambitious compulsory national service
programme had been dumped.

      He however admitted that no school leavers had been enrolled for the
compulsory programme since the March presidential election and after Manyika
's February deadline.

      "We have not done anything about that," Munyoro told the Financial
Gazette. "It was an intention and we have not done anything about it. It is
still an intention."

      The late Border Gezi, Manyika's predecessor at both party and national
levels after whom the main youth training centre in Bindura is named, last
year announced that his ministry was going to introduce a compulsory
national service training programme.

      Under the programme, the youths were to be trained in various
disciplines such as self-defence, patriotism and entrepreneurship
development, among others.

      However, village youths who were mostly trained last year and
terrorised government opponents in the run-up to the March election, have
since admitted that they were only offered military training.

      The government has since 1989 been toying with plans to introduce a
compulsory national youth service but the first plan was abandoned in 1993
after being on the cards for nearly five years.

      The idea was revived again by the late Gezi, then Minister of Youth
Development, Gender and Employment Creation and ZANU PF's chief strategist
at the beginning of last year in a move analysts rightly suspected would be
a precursor to a violent presidential campaign.

      Mugabe won the highly disputed ballot but his main opponent, Morgan
Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has since petitioned
Zimbabwean courts to denounce the poll result because he claims excessive
state-sponsored violence was used against MDC supporters.
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      Mass starvation imminent in Zim

      Staff Reporter
      6/6/02 5:46:16 AM (GMT +2)

      INTERNATIONAL humanitarian organisation Concern this week warned of a
catastrophe similar to the 1984 Ethiopian famine if donor agencies do not
respond immediately to the humanitarian crises brewing in Malawi and

      The organisation said the two countries faced their worst famines in
living memory unless there was immediate international action to prevent

      According to the United Nations' World Food Programme and the Food and
Agriculture Organisation, more than three million Malawians and six million
Zimbabweans, about half Zimbabwe's population, need emergency food aid.

      The UN agencies last week said if international food assistance was
not provided immediately and adequately, there would be serious famine and
loss of life in the coming months in Zimbabwe.

      Concern's Jack Finucane, who headed a recent assessment mission to
Zimbabwe, said: "Only massive intervention now, with large-scale delivery of
food aid, will prevent catastrophe on the scale of the 1984 Ethiopian
Famine, or Somalia 1991-92."

      The Ethiopian famine of 1984 claimed about 800 000 lives while more
than 250 000 lives were lost during the 1991-1992 Somali famine.

      Zimbabwe, where agricultural output has fallen because of drought and
seizures of commercially productive farmland by ruling ZANU PF supporters,
faces a grain deficit of at least 1.5 million tonnes even taking into
account commercial imports and pledged food aid.

      The country does not have the foreign currency to import food and
donors have been slow in responding to pleas for food aid because of
Zimbabwe's alienation from the international community, caused by skewed
government policies.

      In Malawi, Concern chief executive Tom Arnold said many households had
already run out of food even though the country's main harvest was in
April/May. He called for the immediate delivery of large quantities of maize
to prevent a "catastrophic deterioration" in Malawi and Zimbabwe.
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Farmers Welcomed

The Monitor (Kampala)

June 5, 2002
Posted to the web June 5, 2002

Disgruntled white farmers in Zimbabwe are free to move their investments to
Uganda because of its abundant land, good climate and attractive policies
the Uganda Investment

Authority has said.

This was in reaction to a recent report carried by the Washington Times that
said white Zimbabwe farmers protesting land reforms in their country are
considering relocating to Uganda.

An article titled "Investment in Africa's Future," was carried in the paper
last Friday and quoted Toby Madison, a rose flower farmer as saying that a
group of white Zimbabwe farmers were expecting to visit the country late May
searching for opportunities.

Uganda Investment Authority's Executive Director, Dr Maggie Kigozi, said
that the country's policies on investment were clear and was firm that
Uganda was not about to recede into chaos.

"We now have the ballot to change leadership [so] any possibility of
returning to armed conflicts is not there," Dr Kigozi said.

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Tekere Discharged From Hospital

The Herald (Harare)

June 5, 2002
Posted to the web June 5, 2002

VETERAN politician Mr Edgar Tekere was discharged from the Mutare's Seventh
Avenue Surgical Unit where he was being detained after collapsing from his
home last Tuesday.

The politician, popularly known as "Two-boy" was spotted driving his
twin-cab truck in the city centre yesterday morning.

His doctor, John Pfumojena, confirmed that Mr Tekere had been discharged but
would continue to be monitored while further medical tests were being done.

Mr Tekere collapsed at his Morningside low-density residence after having
lunch and was rushed to hospital, amid fears the nationalist, one of the
founding members of the ruling Zanu-PF had suffered a mild stroke.

Although he has largely been inactive in politics, the former Zanu-PF
secretary-general has, however, remained a self-proclaimed political analyst
of events in the country.
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Dear Family and Friends,
I have sat staring at the screen of my computer this morning without a single idea of what to write about. I can hardly believe that I have been writing this letter every single week for over 2 years and looking back on my words it is such an outrageous catalogue of abuse and horror that I wonder how any of us have survived mentally. I'm not sure how we've coped with the incredible stress that comes with despair, uncertainty and horror. Some people have turned to the bottle and night life, others to religion and the church but I think my survival has been largely thanks to humour. Often when I meet with farming friends these days, the hell they are living through is so unbelievable that they can't bear to talk about it too much so instead we swop stories and jokes. The one doing the rounds this week is about the war veterans and the snooker table. I have no idea if there's any truth to it but many days now I know that if I don't laugh, I'll cry and if I start crying I'll never stop. So apparently war veterans were evicting a farmer from his house a few weeks ago and stood guard in the farmyard as the man and his family loaded their life onto trucks. When the truck was full the farmer looked at what was left on the lawn and he unscrewed the eight sturdy legs from his full size billiard table. Carefully the top of the table was loaded into the truck and the legs were put aside with a few other things to go on the next load. When the farmer came back, the armed war veteran had taken a fancy to the legs of the billiard table and had removed them from the pile and put them to one side. There followed a lengthy discussion between the farmer and the war veteran about the value of the table legs. The farmer really wanted them because there's not much point in having a billiard table without it's legs. The war veteran also really wanted them because they would do very nicely on his fire for the next few evenings. Finally the farmer asked the war veteran if they could do a swop and asked the war veteran if there was anything else he fancied. The war vet thought about it for a while, looked around the yard and pointed to the tractor. 'You can have the firewood (legs of the billiard table) if I can have the tractor' he announced. 'Agreed' said the farmer who knew he'd never be able to take tractor anyway because the minister of agriculture has banned the removal of any agricultural equipment from farms.
I heard this morning that Harare war veteran Joseph Chinotimba is entitled to attend the ILO conference that is soon to be held in Switzerland. Joseph Chinotimba has invaded dozens of farms wearing a hard hat covered with grass and personally been responsible for untold horrors and anguish. CNN, BBC and SABC all carried the film clip of Chinotimba standing shouting at a shaking and frightened elderly farmer through a window: "This is my farm" Chinotimba bellowed, "it has been taken for resettlement."  Later he also headed the invasions of hundreds of Harare companies last year and soon rose from being a war vet in a grass hat to driving a luxury Cherokee jeep, wearing designer clothes and living in a plush house in an upmarket Harare suburb. Chinotimba declared himself the head of the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions last year and it is in this capacity that he is entitled to attend the International Labour Organization conference. My imagination ran wild this morning as I thought of Joseph Chinotimba arriving in Switzerland and going for a stroll into the grassy meadows below the alpine mountains. Wearing his grass hat and a pair of tight little laden hosen with pretty red and green spotted braces, he would surely look enviously at the fat little dairy cows with the pretty bells hanging  around their necks. As his looks at his new Swiss watch with the cuckoo chimer and nibbles on his delightful swiss chocolate surely he would soon throw his head back and embark on a gentle yodel. I wonder if it's possible to yodel "This is my farm" to the tune of our latest government hit song "Hondo Yeminda".
Apologies for what probably seems like a silly letter this week. I just couldn't find words to tell you that a 44 year old farmer was shot and killed in the passageway of his own home this week. Or that our finance minister is in South Africa trying to persuade world economic leaders that everything is rosy in Zimbabwe. "We haven't got starvation yet" Makoni said after announcing that he hadn't yet come up with a way of financing the 80% subsidy government is paying to tobacco growers who were threatening to boycott the sales floors completely. When asked if he thought Zimbabwe would be left out of the billion dollar Nepad scheme which is dependent on good governance, Makoni said: "Zimbabwe is an African country - we will be in just like any other African country." Nor did I find words to tell you that President Mugabe, his wife, foreign minister Mudenge, agriculture minister Made and other senior government officials left for Italy last night. They have gone to attend the UN FAO summit  which is examining what gains have been made towards ending hunger and ensuring food security. It is a mad and crazy Zimbabwe that we are living in ... and if you can't laugh you'll just never stop crying. Until next week, with love, cathy.
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