MEDIA MONITORING PROJECT ZIMBABWE Weekly Update No. 9 Monday 26 February
to Friday 4 March 2001
1. EXECUTIVE- JUDICIARY RELATIONS
standoff between the executive and the judiciary continued to dominate
coverage. The state media dutifully toed the official line, which alleged
Justice Gubbay had reneged on an earlier agreement to retire, at the expense
of the constitutionality of the executive's attempt to fire the Chief
Justice. Despite giving detailed coverage of the issue, Zimpapers
extensively sourced comment from Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and
Information minister Jonathan Moyo justifying the government's actions.
Reference was made though to a letter written by Justice Gubbay denying that
he had offered to step down on March 1st and a statement from the Law
Society of Zimbabwe criticizing government's clampdown on the
judiciary. ZIMPAPERS dailies extensively reported the developments (27/02)
and referred to a letter written to Justice minister Chinamasa by
Justice Gubbay. The article gave the impression that Gubbay had reneged
on an earlier agreement with government to take four months' leave from
March 1, during which time he would not perform judicial functions pending
his retirement on June 30". Although quoting Justice Gubbay's letter which
stated that: The Chief Justice is to proceed on leave on 1 March pending his
retirement on 30 June 2001. Accordingly, in terms of section 85 (1) of
the Constitution, the office of the Chief Justice will neither be vacant nor
will the present incumbent be unable, for any reason, to perform the
functions of his office". Minister Chinamasa was quoted as saying that
"government" had to terminate Justice Gubbay's term as Chief Justice
tomorrow. ZBC news merely regurgitated statements from the executive
alleging that Justice Gubbay would stop work at midnight on the 28th of
February and that the government agreed that this position was "fair,
constitutional and in the national interest" and that the President would
proceed to fill the vacancy (ZBCTV, 27/2, 8pm). Other reports stated that
the Chief Justice would resign the following day and be paid his four months
salary. It was also reported that an acting chief justice would be appointed
under the Presidential powers (ZBC Radio 2/4, 27/02) and also that
"government" had told Justice Gubbay to stop work and cease to be chief
justice the same (ZBC Radio, 28/2), despite his refusal. This was also
reported in the Herald (28/02) under the headline, "I am not going', says
defiant Gubbay". The story quoted Information Minister Jonathan Moyo
insisting that the government's decision was "constitutional, civilized and
humane". The Herald (01/03) reported that Gubbay rescinded his decision to
take early retirement but that the government . maintained he no longer
held his post "from today". The state media's portrayal of the dismissal
failed to take into account the complex constitutional procedures required
to dismiss a judge. The private media's assessment of the standoff
favoured the judiciary. The Daily News (02/28) highlighted that Chief
Justice Anthony Gubbay was adamant on that he was not going to leave
office by bowing down to pressure from the executive. Speaking through
his lawyer Mordecai Mahlangu, Gubbay was said to be resolute about
"challenging his forced dismissal, remaining in office, and facing the
consequences." The Zimbabwe Independent (02/03) carried the most informative
and widely sourced report which exposed the unconstitutionality of the
executive's efforts to oust Gubbay, and pointed to the impending
constitutional crisis such a move would create. MDC MP and lawyer, Welshman
Ncube, echoed views of the legal fraternity when he said that "it was
unlawful to appoint an acting Chief Justice without following procedures.
The president can only make an appointment after consulting the Judicial
Service Commission (JSC). If the JSC disagrees with his appointment, he
will have cause, to have parliament informed." Furthermore, the paper
clarified that government could not oust Justice Gubbay without the
appointment of a tribunal. The Zimbabwe Independent's (02/03) said that the
executive's insistence that Justice Gubbay was no longer the Chief Justice
was mere "bluff" and "fiction". The news that the Chief Justice and the
Executive had reached a consensus received contrasting treatment in state
media and the Daily News. The state media portrayed the decision as a
gentleman's agreement and quoted Minister Moyo who said that government
had reached an amicable, civilized, constitutional and dignified agreement
where misunderstandings had been cleared (ZBC; 2/03). Part of The Herald
article read: "the Chief Justice said he would raise no objection to the
appointment of an acting Chief Justice during the period of his leave
which is contrary to his earlier position that he had not agreed to
this" The Daily News (03/03) article "Gubbay Triumphs" implied the
Executive had made an embarrassing about turn in attempting to illegally
oust Gubbay. The Standard (04/03), quoted War Veterans leader and Zanu PF MP
Chenjerai Hunzvi saying: We will continue fighting them. If they want us
to use violence, then we are going to do that. We have no
confidence in the judges and we still stand by that. We will not rest
until they leave the bench and go back to Britain.
a. SOUTH AFRICA'S STANCE ON ZIMBABWE South Africa's
stance on political developments in Zimbabwe came under the spotlight in the
week. Only the state-controlled media covered South Africa's Democratic
Alliance Tony Leon's visit to Zimbabwe in reports which were of little news
value other than providing the ruling party an opportunity to launch a
tirade against the opposition and racial attack on whites. On the 26th of
February ZBCTV (8pm) and Radio (27/2), Minister Moyo was quoted saying that
Leon's visit is a bad omen for the country and that it was Leon's visit to
Zimbabwe during the Constitutional Referendum that had led to violence on
the farms. Moyo added that Leon was trying to bring racism back into the
country. The report said that Tsvangirayi visited South Africa at the
invitation of the Democratic Alliance. ZIMPAPERS (27/02) reported that
South Africa's Democratic Alliance Tony Leon was in the country to meet
commercial farmers while some MDC leaders are in South Africa to drum up
support for a motion against Zimbabwe. The Democratic Alliance, a
predominantly white alliance, which has been slammed for attempting to
undermine the spirit of reconciliation in South Africa, is
sponsoring a motion on the situation in Zimbabwe. The article also reported
that Mr Tsvangirai met African National Congress officials, signalling a
change of heart by the South African Government. Only ZBC's radio 1& 3
reported the ANC- Morgan Tsvangirai meeting. ZBCTV (27/2, 8pm) reported
that the "pro-MDC" Democratic Alliance had called on South Africa to impose
sanctions for alleged human rights violations. All state-controlled
media emphasised that ANC was supportive of the Zimbabwean government, while
the private press emphasized the changing stance of the South African
government. The Daily News (27/02) reported that Thabo Mbeki had
arranged for a meeting with President Mugabe so that the two could discuss
issues of "serious concern." The report that was sourced from the
Business Day (26/02), quoted Mbeki as saying: "We continue to be
concerned about the situation in Zimbabwe. Some of the things that have been
happening recently are to all of us as South Africans matters of serious
concern-things that have been affecting the judges, the press.
same story also appeared in The Zimbabwe Mirror (02/03), with more analysis
and depth and stated that South Africa was now shifting from its "quiet
diplomacy" approach and was assuming an aggressive stance on Zimbabwe. In a
well sourced article the Financial Gazette (1/03) echoed the same view that
Mbeki had issued a veiled attack on the actions of the Zimbabwean
government such as the expulsion of two foreign journalists and the
persecution of judges. Only ZIMPAPERS dailies (28/02) gave a fair and
balanced report of the South African Parliament split over the motion on
2b. IMMUNITY All media added confusion to the exact details
of the immunity- from-prosecution given to President Mugabe by the Bush
Administration. The controversy was over whether immunity had been
automatically granted or whether the government had applied for it. ZBC
Radio 2&4 (1pm) and ZBC reported that the US government had taken steps
to protect the President from charges against him by MDC supporters for
promoting the harassment of the opposition during the June elections.
Subsequent reports quoted Minister Moyo who said that the Bush
administration's decision to protect Mugabe was welcomed by the Zimbabwe
government. Moyo added that reports in the private press were disturbing.
The Daily News (1/02) referred to the US Attorney representative as
having "stated that Mugabe and Zanu PF had officially requested that the US
State Department submit a letter to the court suggesting immunity on their
behalf." The Herald (28/02) gave a completely different and contradictory
view claiming, through a quote from Jonathan Moyo, that "claims that
Mugabe had applied for immunity were false as the president was entitled to
immunity as the head of state."
3. MEDIA The week witnessed continued
infringements on the public's right to access information when war veterans
in Shamva allegedly burnt copies of the Daily News and assaulted the paper's
vendors. This is a follow-up to previous attacks on the Daily News by Shamva
war veterans who have "banned" the Daily News from the area. Vendors
said they had been beaten and threatened with death if they continued
selling copies of the newspaper. Chirima Chirima and Moffat Kichini claimed
that they continue to be harassed by one of the war veterans even after
reporting the incident to the police. "Muduki has not been arrested yet.
After every five hours he leads a group of his followers to look for us at
our homes." Shamva police could not comment on the incident. MMPZ condemns
such infringements on fundamental rights of the public and the media to
receive and impart information. Ends
This report was produced and
distributed by the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, 221 Fife Avenue,
Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 734207, 733486, E-mail: email@example.com Please send
comments to the Project Coordinator. Please feel free to circulate this
Once more rumours
inflame the situation and, most recently, reports that Denis and Heath had been
abducted. Overseas calls have reached us asking if Denis had even been killed
newspapers made a real hash of things and used journalistic licence to
completely distort the truth of the story. Their geography was apalling not to
mention their spelling!
A group of people
(Anti MDC activists) did "slap around" the wife of Timothy Ndlovu (who lives on
the Streak's farm) whilst searching for him. They took away some of his MDC
information. They then called at the Streak's house, at Robin's Farm, and spoke
to Denis where a civilised discussion took place as to the whereabouts of Mr
Ndlovu. Heath then arrived and the group was overjoyed to see him, probably
because of his status as national cricket captain.
travelled with some of the group, in his own vehicle, to another farm where
further discussions took place.
This is the basis
of a brief description, from Denis himself.
Zimbabwe cricket captain Heath Streak has had his fame to thank for escaping
harm at the hands of a terror gang.
An armed group of 16 'war veterans'
burst through security gates at his family's farm near Bulawayo and threatened
to kill his father.
But when the cricketer arrived wearing his green
international top the atmosphere changed and the supporters of President Robert
Mugabe asked him for autographs.
Neighbours radioed police for help, but
the veterans turned on officers when they arrived - forcing an inspector to
remove his trousers and dance in his underpants at gunpoint.
father, Denis, was at home with his wife and 71-year-old mother.
are on edge following the murder this week of Gloria Olds, a friend of the
While Denis Streak, 51, went to speak to the veterans, his
son who played a season for Hampshire in 1995, was called to come from his
His grandmother, Winnona, said: "Heath came running through
the bush to join his father. He was wearing our green Zimbabwe cricket shirt and
when the veterans saw him their mood changed.
"One minute they are
telling us they are going to take our farm and kill us and the next minute they
are wanting to shake Heath's hand.
"They knew who we were, and how we are
all big supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Party but I
think they were surprised to find Heath standing there."
Streak has told
the Zimbabwean Times he will not be forced to leave his country or his farm by
President Robert Mugabe's henchmen.
"I love it here and no one is going
to run me off. I am the fourth generation on this land and when I'm not playing
cricket this is where I want to be," he said.
Zimbabwe's farmers leaders have warned that ruling party militants has begun a
new phase of political violence against white landowners.
Farmers Union has urged its members to remain vigilant, especially in the
western Matabeleland province.
A 68-year-old woman farmer was killed in
the region and a prominent ranching family was threatened.
Gloria Olds is
to be buried on Friday after a memorial service in the western city of
The ranch of a longtime neighbour of Mrs Olds was invaded on
Tuesday by a group of about 40 ruling party militants searching for a black
manager they accused of supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic
Owner Denis Streak, father of Heath Streak, the captain of
Zimbabwe's international Test cricket team, was forced by armed militants to
lead them to the home of the manager, where they assaulted the manager's
Denis Streak, also a former international cricketer, was held
captive for several hours before being freed, the union said. Heath Streak, a
fluent speaker of the local Ndebele language who runs a nearby ranch, helped
secure his father's release.
The farmers' union said the militants were
"very active and aggressive" in that district.
Elsewhere across the
country there was a recent upsurge in threats and intimidation against farmers
and their workers, the union reported.
Seasonal land preparations for
next year's harvests were being disrupted, with owners being told: "Don't
bother, you won't be here by next year," a union statement said.
Slain widow was embroiled in
rental dispute - FinGaz
Streak confronts Zanu PF thugs -
Tatchell 'lucky not to be shot' -
Cash in advance for power
imports? - FinGaz
Committee throws out broadcasting
regulations - DNews
11 Lebanese executed in DRC -
Financial Gazette, 8 March
Slain widow had bitter row with war
Nyamandlovu - As farmers and relatives of slain widow Gloria
Olds prepared to bury her, details emerged this week that she had been embroiled
in a bitter tussle with the wife of a war veteran renting her general dealer
store. Farmers said Olds, who was living alone at her Silver Stream farm, 70 kms
northwest of Bulawayo, was having difficulties in collecting her monthly rentals
from the war veteran's wife renting Majidani store in this prime farming area.
"People renting her general dealer business were in arrears and were refusing to
pay and had gone as far as eliciting the support of the Affirmative Action Group
(AAG) to frustrate her from demanding her dues," one farmer told the Financial
The farmer, like most others here, spoke on condition they are
not named for fear of reprisals from the veterans who have resumed a campaign of
intimidation they used against villagers and farmers during the run-up to last
June's general election. The farmers named the husband of the woman renting the
general dealer store. He is a war veteran who served as a personal bodyguard of
the late vice president Joshua Nkomo at the height of the 1970s independence war
and soon after independence. The veteran, who is also a member of the AAG, and
his family could not be reached for comment this week.
Mac Crawford, leader of commercial farmers in Matabeleland,
also said it had been brought to the farmers' attention here that Olds, 72, had
clashed with the war veteran and his wife over the outstanding rentals.
Crawford, however, could not immediately disclose the amount of the outstanding
money but said police had been informed. "A wife of a war veteran has been
renting a store from her and the rent has not been paid for some months. There
was a dispute and Mrs Olds closed the shop due to non-payment of rent," he said
in an interview.
"At the time of her death, Gloria Olds was in the process of
obtaining an eviction order from the courts to remove the wife of the war
veteran from the shop. We have told the police about this." Police spokesman
Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed that the police had been made aware of this. "The
rent dispute is one of several theories that have been brought to our
attention," he said. "We are pursing that theory and others as we make concerted
efforts to establish the motive behind the killing of Mrs Olds. Investigations
The farmers here, shaken by Olds' cold-blooded murder only a
year after the killing in a similar fashion of her son Martin, who was also a
farmer here, recounted to this reporter events leading to the widow's death.
They said two weeks ago a group of war veterans and their allies in the ruling
ZANU PF party, plus members of the AAG, demonstrated outside the store,
protesting the closure of the shop. Crawford said: "We hope the issue of the
rent dispute and the recovery of the car might help in solving the mystery
surrounding the latest murder in Nyamandlovu."
Olds was shot at least 15 times by automatic fire from two
gunmen who raided her farm on Sunday morning. The gunmen fled in her white
Toyota Hilux truck which police later recovered abandoned on the outskirts of
Bulawayo. Farm workers interviewed at the farm said they never heard any
gunshots, raising speculation that the assailants could have fitted silencers on
their rifles. Spent bullet cartridges were strewn all over the homestead when
journalists visited the farm amid a heavy police presence. She was murdered a
few kilometres from Compensation Farm where her son Martin was gunned down by
suspected war veterans in April last year and will be buried tomorrow. Martin
Olds' widow and daughter have been granted political asylum in Britain. Gloria
Olds' murder follows an upsurge in violence here and in other parts of
Matabeleland North by the veterans in recent weeks. Farmers, their workers,
villagers and civil servants have been openly harassed and assaulted by the mobs
who accuse them of being opposition followers.
From The Times (UK), 8
Cricket star defies Mugabe's
Harare - Heath Streak, Zimbabwe's popular cricket captain,
confronted a gang of so-called war veterans who invaded his farm at Turk Mine,
40 miles north of Bulawayo, the country's second city. The farm has been in the
family's hands for more than a century. A gang of 16 veterans, some armed with
guns, burst through the security gates in their lorry on Tuesday and demanded to
see Mr Streak's father. Denis Streak was at home with his wife and 71-year-old
mother after neighbours alerted them that the gang was heading their way.
Everyone north of Bulawayo is on edge after the murder of Gloria Olds earlier
this week. She was a friend of the Streak family. Many predicted that the
veterans would strike at another target in the same area to intensify their
While Denis Streak, 51, went to speak to the veterans, Heath,
who played a season for Hampshire in 1995, was called to come from his nearby
home where he runs the family's safari camp and game conservancy. His
grandmother, Winnona, said yesterday: "Heath came running through the bush to
join his father. He was wearing our green Zimbabwe cricket shirt and when the
veterans saw him their mood changed. One minute they are telling us they are
going to take our farm and kill us and the next minute they are wanting to shake
Heath's hand. They knew who we were, and how we are all big supporters of the
opposition MDC party but I think they were surprised to find Heath standing
Neighbours had by now radioed the police for help, but on their
arrival the veterans turned on the police, and at gunpoint made an inspector
remove his trousers and dance in his underpants. Heath Streak, 26, described how
he and his father dealt with the invaders, who were all about his own age. "At
first I was worried about our safety after what happened to Gloria Olds. We just
can't take any chances right now and everyone is very jumpy." He said that when
his father realised the veterans were intending to invade the property of an old
man nearby, Denis Streak agreed to go with them to try to pacify them. He also
wanted to find out what had happened to his farm foreman who was attacked in his
home and his wife beaten. She was last night in hiding in Bulawayo.
Word of the invasion at Robins Farm in Turk Mine spread swiftly
through neighbouring farms, already paralysed by fear, and when reports reached
the local MP for the opposition MDC, David Coltart, in parliament that Denis
Streak may have been abducted he confronted Zanu (PF) leaders. One minister,
Joyce Mujuru, rushed off to make telephone calls and soon after the veterans
left the Streaks' property. David Coltart - who was warned he is on a hit list
to be assassinated by the end of this month - berated ministers about how
Zimbabwe treats its heroes and told Zanu (PF) leaders that the country's image
abroad will be further tarnished after this episode.
Last night Heath Streak insisted he will not be leaving
Zimbabwe, nor the farm where he was born and raised. "I love it here and no one
is going to run me off. I am the fourth generation on this land and when I'm not
playing cricket this is where I want to be." He said the experience had not put
him off leading his country on to the cricket field in their forthcoming Test
series against Bangladesh. "It's a great honour for me to lead my country. We've
just won our first Test abroad and this is a terrific team so I'm passionate
about being part of it, for as long as they let me." The fast bowler is feted in
Zimbabwe as the man who has done more than anyone else to integrate black
cricketers into what was regarded as a white man's game. His partner opening the
bowling is Henry Olonga, a dreadlocked figure who gave up a career as an opera
In the past fortnight the war veterans have been rampaging
across this part of Matabeleland after scores of them were taken by bus into the
area from Harare by Border Gezi, the Employment Minister. Since then they have
stepped up their land seizures and taken over local government offices,
expelling hundreds of workers for being MDC supporters. Two men shot dead Gloria
Olds, 72. She will be buried tomorrow next to her son, Martin Olds, murdered a
year ago. Police say they have drawn a blank in tracing her killers. Farmers
point out that nobody was questioned over Martin Olds's murder when 70 men
invaded his farm.
Gloria Olds is understood to have left her farm to her
grandchildren from both sons. It means that Martin's widow, Cathy Olds, who
sought political asylum in Britain, will face the agonising decision of whether
to risk returning to Zimbabwe. The Rev Paul Andrianatos will preside at the
funeral just as he did at Martin Olds' burial where his attack on Zanu (PF)
thuggery meant his work permit was revoked. Gloria Olds's funeral will be his
last function before he moves to a parish in Essex.
From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 8
Activist 'lucky not to be shot like
Zimbabwe's official daily newspaper says British gay activist
Peter Tatchell, who was beaten by security guards while trying to "arrest"
President Robert Mugabe in Belgium, was lucky not to have been "shot like a
dog". The Herald said Tatchell, of the British gay rights group Outrage, who was
knocked to the ground by the president's bodyguards in Belgium on Monday as he
tried to make a citizen's arrest over Mugabe's human rights record, was a "gay
gangster" whose behaviour represented the Western world's extreme contempt for
Tatchell, who previously tried to "arrest" Mugabe in October
1999 during a private visit to London, yelled "Arrest Mugabe, arrest the
torturer" as the veteran African leader left the Hilton Hotel in Brussels. The
77-year-old Mugabe, in power since the former Rhodesia gained independence from
Britain in 1980, has denounced homosexuals as "worse than dogs and pigs". The
Herald applauded Mugabe's bodyguards for assaulting Tatchell, but said his
Belgian hosts should have ensured that no one threatening the president was
allowed near him. "Tatchell was so naive that he did not think that such action
could cost him his life and should be thankful that the president's security men
did not shoot him down like a dog," it said in commentary. "The severe beating
meted out on Tatchell is a good signal that restores national pride and sends a
clear message to the world that never again shall we stand by while our
president is treated like dirt and reviled like a criminal or military leader,"
the newspaper said.
Mugabe's opponents and critics have condemned France and
Belgium for hosting the Zimbabwean president this week, saying they were
undermining international attempts led by Britain to isolate the veteran leader.
They said the world must take a tough line with Mugabe over escalating
repression of Zimbabwe's press and judiciary.
From The Financial Gazette, 8
ZESA to pay upfront for future
Johannesburg - South African power utility Eskom said yesterday
the cash-strapped Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) was close to
clearing its debt and that future power purchases would be paid upfront. Eskom
spokesman Clarence Kwinana told reporters that ZESA had already settled its
December 2000 bill. He declined to give fresh figures. "The bill which was
payable by February 15 2001 was already fully paid by January 26 2001. As a
result, the debt has been drastically reduced and is well on its way to being
cleared," said Kwinana. "However, all future purchases in excess of 150
megawatts will be subject to upfront payment."
ZESA, which imports 13 percent of Zimbabwe's power needs from
Eskom - the world's fifth largest power utility in terms of capacity - slipped
into arrears during 1999, running into an outstanding balance of 163 million
rand (US$20,74 million) by June 2000. Zimbabwe is experiencing an acute foreign
currency crisis following the government-backed invasion of white-owned farms
which has knocked investor confidence and prompted donors to withhold crucial
aid. Harare's forex shortage has also been blamed on the country's costly
involvement in the war in the DRC.
Eskom has been supplying electricity to ZESA on a 45-day
supplier credit basis. "The arrears were first converted into a debt repayment
agreement that was in place during November 1999," said Kwinana. Zimbabwe
however defaulted, resulting in South Africa cutting its imports to 150
megawatts from 450 megawatts. Kwinana said because of the stipulation of the
regional Southern African Power Pool contracts, and the fact that Eskom was also
importing power from Zambia and the DRC through Zimbabwe, power supplies to
Harare could not be terminated. A fresh repayment agreement was signed last
October, which enabled ZESA to make payments into an Eskom bank account based in
Zimbabwe. In terms of this agreement, ZESA had to pay 35,7 million rand into
Eskom's Harare account before November 8 2000, with the balance to be settled
before December 29 2000. South Africa has in the past indicated that it might
take up a stake in ZESA to recover the money owed to
From The Daily News, 7
Committee throws out broadcasting
The broadcasting regulations gazetted last year using
Presidential Powers have been thrown out as illegal and as violating the
Constitution of Zimbabwe. Kenneth Manyonda, the acting Speaker elected by the
150-member House yesterday, announced he had received an adverse report from the
three-member parliamentary legal committee, but he was not specific on the
sections the committee found unconstitutional. Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of
State responsible for Information and Publicity, quickly responded and attacked
the decision of the committee which comprised two Zanu PF MPs - Eddison Zvobgo
and Kumbirai Kangai - and Professor Welshman Ncube of the opposition MDC.
Patrick Chinamasa, the Leader of the House, last year asked the
Speaker of Parliament to rule whether or not he should hold a local weekly, The
Financial Gazette, in contempt of Parliament for publishing a story saying the
regulations were illegal. The paper, quoting sources in the committee, said the
regulations violated the Constitution and Chinamasa said that the article was
"patently and blatantly false and holds Parliament in contempt". Speaker
Emmerson Mnangagwa had ruled the article contemptuous of Parliament. The report
is expected to be debated in the House today.
Moyo, reacting to the announcement, said: "It smacks of an
ambush because I was not consulted. No one said anything to me. I only heard the
thing being read in Parliament, but we need to discuss the regulations and vote
on them in the democratic style that Parliament enjoys. Parliament is not three
people. This is intended to add some spice and I hope it will provide that
spice, but the regulations are imposed. They are the law of the land and the
Bill is coming to bring finality to this issue." He said the Broadcasting
Services Bill would be brought to Parliament with the Statutory Instrument "not
going to live for one month". Moyo said some people were "naively" complaining
about the issue of 75 percent local content required for all broadcasting
stations under the regulations. He said the regulations would affect even the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation because the government is determined to
"revolutionise the broadcasting industry".
Kangai said the regulations would be taken back to the drafters
so that they can be in tandem with the Constitution. That the government had to
issue broadcasting licences was not an issue, but that some of the regulations
violated the Constitution.
From The Star (SA), 8
Eleven Lebanese executed in
Kinshasa - Congolese government ministers confirmed on
Wednesday that 11 Lebanese nationals were executed in the DRC after the
assassination of President Laurent Kabila, a Lebanese community source said. The
source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters that Justice
Minister Mwenze Kongolo and Foreign Minister Leonard She Okitundu had informed
Lebanon's ambassador in Kinshasa, Chehade el-Moulan, of the executions. "The
ministers of justice and the minister of foreign affairs told the Lebanese
ambassador today that the 11 had been executed but that they did not know the
precise details of the execution or who ordered it," the source reported. The
source said the ministers indicated that an inquiry would be held into the
circumstances of their deaths.
The Congolese government has refused comment on the matter,
saying it fell within the remit of a continuing investigation into the
assassination. Military sources had said earlier that some of a group of 11
Lebanese who were arrested shortly after the January 16 assassination had been
executed. The military sources said the 11 had been arrested by General Nawj
Yav, commander of the Kinshasa military region, the day after the assassination.
The name of one of those arrested, Youseef Bakri, was found in the address book
of the alleged assassins, one of Kabila's bodyguards, they added. Joseph Kabila,
who succeeded his father as president, set up a commission of inquiry into the
assassination. The inquiry was due to conclude on Wednesday, although it is
unclear whether its findings will be published. A number of military and
civilian officials are reported to have been arrested since the inquiry began,
including Laurent Kabila's close aide, Edy Kapend, who military sources say is
being held at a military camp in Kinshasa
Violence continues to be a daily feature of life on white-owned commercial
farms on which seven farmers have died from clashes with veterans of Zimbabwe's
1970s liberation war.
Armed gunmen on Sunday shot and killed
the mother of a white farmer who was himself murdered in a politically motivated
attack last April.
Gloria Olds was the seventh farmer killed in clashes with so-called war
veterans since February last year, when they started invading commercial farms.
In all the murders, no one has yet been arrested and it is still not clear
who killed Mrs Olds.
Nothing was stolen at the farm, fuelling speculation that it was not a case
of pure robbery.
''Given the facts on the ground that nothing was stolen save for a truck
which was used as a getaway truck, there is an opinion that there is a political
element to her death,'' says Malcom Vowles, Commercial Farmers Union (CFU)
deputy director of projects.
''Intimidation and violence continues on farms countrywide. The intimidation
is, however, no longer on a blanket scale but on individual farmers who are
either perceived to be politically active or those who are rightly or wrongly
accused of having a 'bad attitude','' says Mr Vowles.
Mrs Olds's slain son, Martin, was an
active member of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which
represents the most serious political challenge the government has faced since
independence in 1980.
To date, 1,600 farms have been invaded by government followers.
Of these 900 are currently illegally occupied by some 25,000 squatters, some
of whom have engaged in haphazard ploughing and planting.
However, given the generally low use of costly fertilisers, widespread use of
uncertified maize seed and generally poor weed control, it is unlikely that the
yield from these farms will have a significant impact on food security.
The government has legally purchased about 50 farms on which it has resettled
landless peasants, and has compulsorily acquired 535 farms - most of the
acquisition orders still being contested in the courts.
Given the disruption to farming and the lack of resources of the small-scale
farmers under the government's fast-track resettlement scheme, CFU projections
are that the maize harvest for the coming season could be down by more than 30%.
Large-scale commercial farmers, currently numbering around 4,500, contribute
some 30% of maize production.
This season, the large scale commercial maize growers sector suffered a 50%
reduction in hectarage due to the land crisis and the failure by banks to lend
money to farms listed for acquisition.
While the impact of the disturbances on the food supply situation may be
significant this year, it may be felt more severely next year.
''Most of these occupiers have no resources or capacity to carry on farming.
In general resources are not there,'' says Mr Vowles.
''We may be in for a serious wake up call when harvest time comes. There is
sufficient maize to limp along to May.''
You may recall that about a year ago a young
Zimbabwe farmer, Martin Olds was murdered in Zimbabwe by the so call war
veterans during the pre election campaign and the take over of white farms. (It
was world news on CNN and Sky). Martin was my late cousins boy. Last week end
Martin's mother was murdered when she arrived home at the farm. She was shot to
death with an AK47, her hand bag and vehicle stolen. Although the farm house was
open nothing else was taken.
This is not an isolated family loss and tragedy. In
the past two and a half years my immediate family both paternal and maternal
have experienced the following criminal violence.
Murder of young farmers. Two
Car Hijacking which led to death Two
House break-in and robbery with extreme violence
using firearms and knives Three
My elderly sister and her husband both in
My cousin in his 80's
Pat's cousin and her husband in her
Car Highjacking with life threatening situations.
House break-ins Three
Attempted car thefts which resulted in severe damage
to the alarm protected cars. Two
I am not seeking sympathy but feel that people outside SA and Zimbabwe
should know what is going on here.. I am angry and upset.
EXTRACT FROM A PREVIOUS LETTER FROM K. 21/4/00
We are going thru a bit of a bad time here. Pat's cousin was murdered on his farm a few weeks back (here in
SA) and my cousin, Martin Olds, was murdered on his farm in Zim this week. You
may have seen the news on the TV as it was given wide coverage on the
International media. My son Martin's wife's uncle, a prominent lawyer and
President of the Natal Legal fraternity was hijacked and then murdered late last
year. My cousin, an 82 year old, was beaten on the head with a tyre lever and
tied up with wire coat hangers at his home in Pretoria last year by three
blacks. While they were breaking open the cupboard, where he told them there was
some money, he managed to reach his gun under his pillow and then shot and
killed two and severely wounded the third. My niece's new BMW was hi jacked at
gunpoint a few months back and Martins home has been burgled three times in the
last year. An attempt was made to steal Pat's BMW in the centre of town last
year and was only frustrated by the immobilizer, ( over a 1000 Rand damage).
Another cousin of Pat's, together with her husband were robbed at knife point in
their home at 6pm and then locked in the toilet for hours. Not a good trend in
race relationships and harmony for the future.
Every attempt is made to provide a comprehensive report of ongoing
activities in relation to farm invasions, but many incidents are unreported due
to communications constraints, fear of reprisals and a general weariness on the
part of farmers. Farmers names and in some cases, farm names, are omitted to
minimise the risk of reprisal.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF: The owner
of Harmony Farm (Glendale) has still not been allowed back into his house
despite the intervention of the police. Farm labourers have been evicted
from their homes on Nyamwanga (Shamva). As a result of police intervention some
have been allowed to return, but not those who are witness in a offending court
case against the invaders. Police have overlooked this deliberate harassment of
witness by associates of the accused. In the Beatrice area, the DA and
Member in Charge of the police have indicated they will resolve the squatter
problem on several farms which have been invaded despite not being listed.
In the Macheke / Virginia area, more disruptions to land preparation and
tobacco curing have occurred; more pegging and the serving of Section 8 Orders
continuing. In the Nyamandhlovu area, a poacher, in a dispute over a warthog
carcass he had hidden, was mauled by a leopard which had claimed the trophy.
In Inyati area, war vets are issuing orders to farmers to vacate their land
or face the consequences - "heads in a box to be sent to England" etc. The
reported abduction of Dennis Streak is totally misleading. He intervened to
diffuse an assault on his foreman's wife and only went with the war vets to find
the foreman by mutual consent. A new phase of intense harassment and total
disregard for the law and civil administration has commenced throughout
Matabeleland. Police commanders and local government authorities have been
publicly humiliated in a highly arrogant and defiant manner. REGIONAL
Mashonaland Central Glendale - Work continues to be
prevented at Harmony and the owner has still not been allowed to enter his
house. Police have responded to the situation to no avail. Invaders requested
a slasher to cut regrowth maize on Thrums so that they can plant sugar beans,
but were refused. The owner of Thrums reports that tree cutting is on the
increase and that the invaders' haphazardly planted crops are not in good
condition (excluding the 15 ha of cotton planted by himself). Shamva -
Invaders evicted farm labourers from their homes at Nyamwanga Farm last week.
When the police eventually responded, they were allowed to return to their homes
with the exception of those who are witnesses in a case against the
Mashonaland West North General - All other areas
quiet. Banket - Yesterday afternoon ZANU PF officials and war vets arrived on
Mimosa Farm. They spoke to resident settlers and told the farmer not to
aggravate them and when land becomes available they will be moved. On
Riversdale Farm, Lomagundi area, 10 people headed by a Mr Raphael Nyathi from
the War Vets Association, Mr Asher Moyo from the President's Office and a Mr
Makumbe representing the member of Parliment as well as the local war vet leader
namely Josiah Kore arrived in a green Toyoto pickup (registration 640-518P)
advising the owner of their intention to settle 25 people for resettlement and
the local D.A. was coming to demarkate plots for the above. They were also
going to make provision for the owners labour residing on the farm. 6 people
are residing on the farm who have commandered +/- 40 hectares of arable land
and have crops planted which are at a mature stage. The adjoining property,
The Glen, has had a Section 8 Notice and a subsequent intention to occupy. 3
of the occupants live on The Glen, but they all crop land occupying Riversdale.
Riversdale has had a Section 5 but nothing more.
South General - The region remains reasonably calm due to the fact that a lot
of it has been inaccessible due to the heavy rain.
Beatrice - The Land Committee under DA Seke and the MIC from Beatrice are
supposed to be visiting Elladale, Colandra, Nebo and Endslensdeale to resolve
the problem of squatters on these farms as they are not listed. Bromley/Ruwa
- It is believed that there was a dispute between war vets and owners of
tractors carting sand to sell in Harare from Epworth. One of the war vets pulled
out a weapon and shot one of the drivers in the leg. Macheke/Virginia -
About 30 warvets threatened a farmers and his tractor driver with their lives if
they continued to plough in a field in preparation for a tobacco crop next
season. The police and war vet Matsasti were called in to resolve the
problem. Labour on Bimi Farm were threatened by invaders who made them return
wood cut for tobacco curing to the lands. The invaders then stole a wheel off a
trailer that was in the yard. The police and war vet Matsasti resolved the
problem. DDF vehicles sent from Marondera by the DA Murehwa were pegging
Koodoo, Exeter and Bogota for fast track resettlement. Another five vehicles
were back the following day. Section 8 notices were served on Athlone,
Whispering Hope, Richmond, Lamjung / Kournine and Highover farms yesterday.
Masvingo - Nothing to Report.
Manicaland - Nothing to
Midlands Gweru East/Lalapanzi - Workers on a farm in the
area tracked thieves of green maize to occupiers’ premises on a neighbouring
farm. They did not find any maize but were threatened by the occupiers who said
they would be coming in large numbers, by daylight to take as many green maize
as they liked. The moving force behind this seems to be a war vet from the
Shurugwi area and the incident seems to point to an escalation of provocation in
Matabeleland Nyamandhlovu - On Silver Streams, on Sunday, 4
March 2001, Mrs Gloria Olds, at approximately 6.30 am, went to unlock the
security gates tot he farm homestead. She had putt he kettle on the gas stove
to boil whilst she went to open the gate. She was unarmed and accompanied by
her dogs and was alone on the farm as her son David was in Bulawayo with his
family. As she got to the gate two men came out of hiding and shot her at close
range before she unlocked the gate. Evidence at the gate shows she fled some
thirty meters towards a farm vehicle in the direction of the homestead, where
she tried to take cover before collapsing. It appears that the three dogs were
trying to protect her and were shot next and were found lying around the gate
near Mrs Olds. The lock was shot off the gate with the gunmen entering the
premises, where they proceeded to fire several more shots into her. The only
items missing appear to be some clothing and a handbag with personal items,
credit cards etc. Cash was left on the office desk and the safe was not
disturbed. The farm vehicle, a Toyota twin cab, was then taken for the get away
and was recovered from a bushy area in Pumula South high density suburb of
Bulawayo on Monday. Impanya, poachers last week killed a warthog and hid it in
a tree. On returning late afternoon to collect their bait they found a leopard
feasting on it. In the ensuing altercation over ownership, one poacher was
badly bitten before the leopard was killed. Had the leopard not had an injured
from claw, the odds may have been a bit more even. The poacher refused medical
treatment as he was unable to legally explain his injuries thus testing the
local Nyanga's prowess to the limit. The local war vets then arrived on the
scene and confiscated the leopard skin to hand over the the police as evidence,
to prevent them from being blamed for the demise of the leopard. Police from
Nyamandhlovu have still not collected the evidence as they have crashed the land
rover and have no transport. Mimosa Park, on Tuesday, 27th February, the
Manager and his assistant were given death threats by resident war vet
Nthangondhela Sibanda. The threat was reported to the local police and war vets
leadership who reacted. Sibanda repeated the threats in the presence of the
police and their leadership. He was cautioned by the police and left. Later in
the week he was caught having stolen a battery out of a vehicle belonging to
their leadership, resulting in him being severely beaten by war vets. He was
collected by the police and is believed to have died in police custody shortly
afterwards. Inyati - On Braemar, war vets have ordered the owner to vacate
the farm giving him twenty-four hours to comply. On Gaulays, a contingent of
three war vets have been stirring up the occupants on a section of the ranch
where the Governor, Provincial Administrator and war vet leadership have agreed
with the owner that they could remain until the land issue is resolved.
Yesterday evening, two vehicles chased the farm owner who was returning from
town, into his yard and proceeded to drag him out of his car. When he
retaliated, they backed off but five of them followed him into the homestead.
Seven remained outside. A protracted argument ended peacefully. There were no
weapons evident. Vets want the owner charged for poaching on their land.
Robins Farm war vets arrived in the farm village and assaulted the foreman's
wife. The farm owner intervened and the situation was diffused. The owner was
never abducted or put under threat of his life as widely reported. Crescens
Bubi, the farm village has been invaded with ten houses occupied, with farm
workers forcibly evicted. They are demanding an audience with the owner to
serve him with a twenty-four hour vacation notice. The effect of this would be
to the distress of the local and neighbouring communal people who depend on his
facilities. West Nicholson - Atherstone, the owner has, in the past three
days been subjected to extreme harassment and continual badgering and threats of
death and demands to vacate the property. Police at West Nicholson have reacted
well and have been very supportive. This approach of war vets typifies a new
phase being entered into where all politicians, civil administration and law are
being spurned with arrogance and defiance.
Police yesterday interviewed Wolfenden Stans, a war veteran and
member of the black empowerment body, the Affirmative Action Group, who was
locked in a dispute with the slain Nyamandlovu farmer, Gloria Olds. Stans
rented a butchery owned by Olds at Nyamandlovu business centre. According
to Indonsakusa/Ilanga, a publication covering Matabeleland, Stans had not
paid rent to Olds for 10 months and efforts to recover the money were spurned
by some war veterans in the area.
On two occasions, the veterans
forced their way into the butchery after Olds locked up the place. Olds, who
was killed by unknown gunmen on Sunday, will be buried in Bulawayo tomorrow.
Police said they were happy with the progress of their investigations into
the murder, which has shocked the small farming community of Nyamandlovu.
Gloria's son, Martin, was murdered on 18 April last year. No one has been
arrested in connection with his murder. Olds, 72, was shot 15 times, before
the murders turned their guns on her three dogs.
Commissioner Langton Tagwira said: "We are happy with our investigations so
far. We have got some interesting leads, but we cannot divulge them now. It
will be like putting the cart before the horse." Police said they found some
identification particulars in the Toyota Hilux vehicle, belonging to Olds,
which was used by the killers as a getaway car. The car's discovery in Pumula
South, with its radio and other removable gadgets intact, put paid to
suggestions that the killers were ordinary car-jackers. Tagwira said: "We are
pursuing a number of angles and some of the details you are mentioning have
been followed and we are happy with our progress."
Mac Crawford, the
chairman of the Matabeleland branch of the Commercial Farmers' Union, said
there would be a church service for the late Olds at the Hillside
Presbyterian Church tomorrow morning. He said this would be followed by a
private burial at the request of the family.