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

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Zim Independent - letter to the editor

Compelled to vote for Mugabe

I AM a serving member of the police force who is currently stationed at
Harare Central Police Station under Assistant Inspector Ndou. I would like
to express my outrage and utter disgust at the way we were, on March 4 2002,
compelled to vote for Zanu PF.

We were made to fill in application for postal vote forms, stating that
during March 9/10, we would be out of our constituencies.

Superintendent Mafolo (officer commanding operations Harare Central) then
told us that there was no choice but for us to vote for Zanu PF, as the
commissioner had regularly stated. Now, given that I - and most officers
within the force - dislike the ruling party for the misery it has brought to
Zimbabweans, this was humiliation of the worst order.

Zimbabwe is like a beautiful woman married to a cruel man. And on March 4,
the cruel man raped, brutalised and shamed me. I am sad - deeply sad.

May the leader of the opposition party MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, know that the
ruling party rigged the election. Most officers hate Zanu PF save for a few
top bosses and war veterans.

We are also acutely aware that because of President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe
is a jewel in the mud. We had hoped Tsvangirai would pull the jewel out of
the mess.

If there is one day I felt immensely abused and humiliated, then it was
March 4. The MDC was otherwise destined for a landslide victory had it not
been cheated.

But are you, Zanu PF supporters, not aware that your party is leading us up
a dark alley? Aren't you seeing the hunger and doom that you are bringing
right into your homes by voting for this ruthless party?

And you Sadc members - especially Thabo Mbeki - why are you so spineless as
to stand by idly and watch us being abused and brutalised?

My hope though still remains with MDC. One day the tentacles of the dinosaur
will be cut - and hope will return to Zimbabwe once again.

Abused Officer, Harare.

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Zim Independent - letter to the editor

Struck from roll on poll day after six-hour wait

I AM sure I was just one of many frustrated people bitterly disappointed at
being unable to vote on Saturday. I have voted, along with my family and our
staff ever since being able to vote.

Saturday, however, was different ... the one common ground was that in our
little group of eight, our opinions are now polarised into a single-minded
determination to stop the rot and rid ourselves of the power-hungry leaders
who will balk at nothing to cling on to power.

And the magnitude of the turnout at one of our (now much fewer) polling
stations, and the comments heard along the long lines echoed this sentiment.

There was a palpable determination to queue for however long it took to be
able to exercise our democratic right to vote. Something so taken for
granted in democratic countries where voter apathy is rife.

Here it is more attributable to intimidation, calculated confusion and
because of very real threats to life and limb.

However, despite being at the polling station by 6am, and possibly at number
150 in the queue, we only reached the booths nearly six hours later.

Ironically, we were voting at a secondary school that I had attended in the
seventies as one of the all white starry-eyed and innocent pupils, later to
return for a very fulfilling stint as relief teacher, to all black students
in 1990.

Yes, I was one of the many who was born here and opted to stay and live and
work among my fellow Zimbabweans, way back then; a decision never regretted,
innocently never anticipating the very real hatred now perpetrated by our
president and government leaders towards our much blamed and accused ethnic
minority, who are erroneously perceived to be part of a "plot" (along with
all our black "sellout" friends) to re-colonise our own country!

And, horror of horrors, by a mere fluke of genealogy my husband and I happen
to have parents born in Britain.

Recently hurried legislation meant that to be law-abiding, we had to claim a
citizenship! A real dilemma: Zimbabwean? An obvious choice of the heart, a
birth- right even, but in the current climate of uncertainty the decision
gets more complicated!

Or British? To start our lives all over again in a country that is simply
not home, worrying about all the friends and family left behind who were not
as lucky to have an escape option?

It was not an easy choice, and we are not even certain it was the right one.
Probably basic survival weighed in slight favour of the British option, so
we went with that. But last minute changes meant we were unable to vote! The
logic is stupefying. Along with the flouting of the simple law that the
voters' roll is not supposed to be altered after announcement of the

But the goalposts and rules are changed so swiftly here, you can't really
hope to keep up.

Even the polling officer in charge took me aside and admitted that he just
had to do his job and that he knew it was unlawful to have only this morning
received a hurriedly drawn up list of the "renouncers" that he was told
under no circumstances was he to allow to vote!

This list that arrived half way through the morning of the first day of
polling? Free and fair? I know of at least one person who beat the list and
was allowed to vote. I was insistent as far as I was able: I saw my name on
the main voters' roll with my own eyes, a fact denied by the obvious ruling
party official who tried to hurriedly hide the page with her ample arm and
very threatening attitude.

The obviously embarrassed presiding officer took me outside and said all he
could do was give me the number of the registrar-general, though he admitted
as readily as I did that it would do me no good!

My only consolation was that at least six of us had managed to vote, better
than some more remote stations where it's easier to refuse people the right
without recourse. It was also with somewhat wry humour that I smiled at the
ironic thought that the very classroom that was used was the one that was
used for the remedial classes of errant pupils of old!

I really fear for us all as I feel the frustration first hand and see it
reflected in so many people out there today. The evidence of all the
suffering and frustrations and short- ages and hardships of the last few
years are plain to see on every face.



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Zim Independent

Editor's memo

An 'exemplary' fraud

I WAS one of the lucky ones. Having seen the long lines of people at
Avondale primary school on Sunday morning and finding my usual polling
station at Blakiston school closed, a victim of Tobaiwa Mudede's arbitrary
redistribution, I resolved to wait until Sunday evening.

Checking again in the paper to see what polling stations were open in the
Harare Central constituency, I saw Selborne- Routledge school listed. I
drove over there at 5pm on Sunday and found myself the only person present.
I voted and then immediately alerted as many people as possible to this
seemingly hidden location.

Needless to say, given the ordeal other people were going through I felt
rather guilty. On Sunday night, with a colleague, I toured polling stations
in Chitungwiza. At St Mary's about 300 people were waiting to vote outside a
candle-lit tent. Only 1 000 had passed through that day, the presiding
officer told me, and 900 the day before. But at least they were letting
everybody vote.

Moving on to a school in Zengeza 2 I found the perimeter gates to the
polling station locked with 30 people outside begging the policemen on duty
to let them in. When we arrived a cheer went up as many people thought we
had the power to admit them. I spoke to the presiding officer but she
insisted she had given instructions for all those within a 100-metre radius
of the gates to be allowed in when the station closed at 7pm. Those outside
had arrived subsequently. We conveyed the sad news to the hopefuls outside
and suggested they try St Mary's.

This lack of consistency was evident across the city. At places like Warren
Park and Mount Pleasant Hall hundreds of people were shut out on Sunday

I watched television news footage of President Mugabe voting in Highfield.
He chose Highfield because it is where his nationalist career began. Most of
the voters there on Saturday clearly hoped it would mark the end. The fact
that Zanu PF gangs attacked voters going to polling stations in Highfield on
Monday tells us all we need to know about Mugabe's revolutionary legacy.

However helpful Sadc leaders may prove, he is not going to get away with the
pretence that this was a free and fair poll. How can it be when voters were
deliberately prevented from voting by an arbitrary decision of the
Registrar-General acting on the orders of a president who was himself a
candidate? This election was a sham and the world, as well as Zimbabweans,
will see it as such. Rarely has a government acted so brazenly in rigging a

But we should not despair. In procuring his own return so clumsily Mugabe
has signed his political death warrant. He is so obviously scared of his own
electorate that he wants to silence their democratic voice except in areas
where his militias roam free. In so-doing he has forfeited the nation's
confidence and will now rule on the narrowest of political bases, clearly
not the choice of many of those he affects to speak for. He will have no
legitimacy at home and abroad the international community will shun his
minority regime.

Jonathan Moyo said the conduct of the election was "exemplary". It was
exemplary of how despots, lacking popular support and determined to inflict
their brutal and bankrupt rule upon a restive nation, proceed to prolong
their purchase on power. But for how much longer we must ask?

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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Friday 15 March 2002

This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas.  Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens.  Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.

- it is unbelievably quiet in the towns.
Headlands - A group of youths went to a farm, demanding beer and meat for their celebrations. Support Unit reacted very quickly and arrested the youths.  On Wakefield Farm, youths arrived but seemed to disperse very quickly.
Mutare – a farm owner was summoned to a meeting at Mountain Home 14.03.02 by the three "war vets" on farm.  They said they would be taking over Coldstream Farm immediately, which was issued with a Section 8 on 11.12.01.  The owners do not feel it is a threat at the moment.
Rusape - A local "war vet" arrived at Arbeid Farm 13.03.02 and told the owner to be off the farm by morning.  The "war vet" followed up the next day and told the farmer to move all off his cattle as he would be moving on his own herd.  He then left someone to keep guard.  The incident was reported to the OIC, who stated he would not tolerate these actions.   Arbeid has been served with a Section 8.
Chimanimani – Although MDC offices were broken into last night no one was arrested in connection.  Everything is quiet on the farms.
– on 14.03.02, "war vet" Chitsinde was seen travelling along the Zanka road with Zanu (PF) youth and a weapon was seen. Chitsinde arrived later at Adlams Rest and a lot of singing and chanting took place before they left.  At Nebo a driver was assaulted but when police arrived he could not be found.
Featherstone – the Nyamazaan manager returned briefly on 11.03.02 to collect a few possessions from his home, but was unable to leave as he was barricaded in by a mob. Demands were made he pay the workers’ retrenchment packages and he could then reclaim the money from the owner. The situation was defused.
Harare South - On 14.03.02, CIO searched the Harare South clubhouse and the club manager’s house, taking his handheld radio. They went on to Edinburgh and searched the son’s house. The son is chairman of the district radio committee. They returned to the club where the radio repeater is sited. A lot of questions were asked as the police suspected the repeater was used to communicate with South Africa. They moved on to the PTC side of the repeater.  As the farmer had no key, the lock was broken off. The farmer could not answer the questions about the PTC side so CIO bought the farmer a drink and left. At Walmer a small group of Zanu (PF) youth ran around the house on the night of 12.03.02, singing and keeping the owner awake. In the morning when the owner confronted them, most were 14 year olds, with a couple of 18 year olds. The youth said it was his last day on the farm and they would be back in the afternoon. He told them to go away and they did, without returning.  On Auk’s Nest a settler’s dogs got into the sheep pen, killing six sheep. The police took statements but would not allow the owner to shoot the dogs even though this was the second time it had happened.
Marondera Urban - Following the announcement of the election result, the town was fairly quiet apart from a few scattered and passing celebrations. Mood generally is sombre.
Marondera South – on Igudu Wedsec security guards made a checking visit to this farm that has continued to come under pressure from "war vets"/Zanu (PF) youths.  Whilst driving out through an illegal roadblock, the "war vets"/Zanu (PF) youths dropped a steel boom on to the vehicle, smashing the windscreen. The guards beat a hasty retreat driving on a punctured tyre.
Wenimbi Valley - On the morning of 13.03.02, as it became clear which way the election result would go, a mob of "war vets"/youths/settlers arrived at the homestead on Spes Bona farm confronting the owner. He was given six hours to get off the farm. The mob took a tractor and entered a shed where some maize was stored, which they stole. The group then proceeded to Ruware where again the owner was given six hours to go, and told his possessions were now theirs to share out amongst themselves. A visit was also made to Bali Hai where similar demands were made. No looting took place at the latter two farms. Police reaction was decisive. Support Unit arrived at Spes Bona and arrested about 15 individuals. The mob at Bali Hai dispersed as soon as Support Unit approached, and by that time no one from the group remained at Ruware. This appears to have been driven from the "war vet"/youth base on Malabar farm, commanded by "war vet" Wilfred Marimo. On 14.03.02 at Mjanje Zanu (PF) youth from Zana arrived and took two tractors and trailers and loaded up all the firewood at the boiler. They left word the tractors would be found at Zana. Police and Support Unit arrived very quickly, found the tractors and told the youth to behave. Tractors were returned. On the night of 13.03.02, Riverside reported a mob resident at the farm went to the farm village, where they damaged doors and windows, overturned chicken coops and stole goods. Labour fled and spent the night in the bush. DISPOL was informed.
Marondera North - on 14.03.02 at Dorset a settler sold 12 pine trees to the Marondera saw mills The police were informed and an RRB number was given.  At Essexdale jubilant Zanu (PF) youth tried to get the guard to let them into the security fence. They left after an hour with no damage occurring.
Macheke/Virginia – On 8.03.02, Glen Somerset Farm reported an all night pungwe by Zanu (PF) youth and "war vets".  The owner reported on 14.03.02 that wood was stolen from the barns. When the police were phoned they refused to react and the phone was put down. At Wheatlands Farm a cow was slaughtered. The Hazeldene Farm "war vet" base commander was seen openly carrying a 303 rifle. At Nyadora Farm the police put up a notice at the farm, stating that anyone seen carrying any weapons, i.e. axes, sticks etc, would be arrested between the 5 - 15th March. At Journeys End Farm the owner’s cattle allegedly got into the settlers’ maize on Nygadzi Farm The owner was forced to pay compensation of six bags of maize. He tried to report this to the Police at Macheke but they refused to talk to him and put the phone down on him. 
Wedza – on 11.03.02, "war vet" Chigwedere has declared his intention to round up all farmers who assisted in observing polling stations in the area.
Enterprise - All quiet. Rumblings at Mbare were quickly contained by the police.
– there is some land pressure to take out tobacco stalks.
Banket – Braeside farm was looted 1630 hr on 12.03.02.  The group of 33 damaged the outhouses then moved down to the farm village.  Both police and Support unit reacted, arresting 12 people.  Meryl Harrison of the National SPCA conducted an animal rescue on the farm.  The local vet lives on the farm and his car is frequently stoned by settlers.  Wannock Glen reported the Zanu (PF) youth and headman Ndundu, based themselves inside the security fence and looted the outbuildings and workshops, in addition to the pantry and laundry room.  Although police responded, the situation has not been defused.  On Tramore Farm two dairy cows were slaughtered and eaten on 13.03.02 and a demonstration was held at the security gate.  On 14.03.02, another demonstration was held, with the mob threatening the killing of the cattle would be nothing compared to what they would do.  ZRP Mutorashanga spoke to the demonstrators, who dispersed, promising to come back the following day when the DA Zvimba will address them.  Demands are made all over this area for food and transport for a rally of celebration.
Ayrshire – Chimbada Ranch came under attack by looters on 13.03.02.  The owner stayed in his house, and had seven sheep stolen and ZW$ 12 900 in cash stolen from the farm store.
Doma – it was reported Police Support Units were flown into the area by helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft. 
Chinhoyi – the looting damage on Chisaki Farm is estimated to be about ZW$ 2,5 million.  On Hillpass Farm the looters took electrical goods and linen.  Maize is being seized in the area and Section 8s received. 
Tengwe – a group of Zanu (PF) youth took maize meal and meat from the butchery without paying for it.
Karoi – a demand for a cow to celebrate was turned down.
- On Windsor the owner and his wife came home about 2200 hr and were attacked at their gate by a group of 70 people.  They were forced to dance and chant ZANU (PF) slogans in front of their labour.  The owner’s wife tripped over someone’s leg and was made to get on her hands and knees to apologise, and slapped around the face.  The group entered the house, demanding the owner’s weapons, as well as radios and other items.  They took shotgun ammunition.  Farmers went to Norton police station but police only reacted after the owner had been evicted.  Two cattle were slaughtered by the group after the owner left after midnight. On Emojeni  there are fifty ZANU (PF) youths now living in the homestead. Selous - On Pilmiur Farm settlers tried to burn the irrigated maize the owner grew for his work force.  The work force managed to put out the fire. 
Chegutu - On Bougainvillea youth stole a tractor.  Several hours later when police had not responded they came back to steal another tractor, and then tried to steal a third.  They also got into the chicken run and killed 340 chickens as well as driving 60 of their own cattle into the garden.  ZANU (PF) slogans and chanting went on around the front door of the house for some time.  The same group also went to Burnbank and took five bags of wheat.  Police eventually responded and some arrests made.
Kadoma - On Glenview Farm there has still been no reaction from police regarding Lieutenant Shumba's occupation of the homestead.  Lieutenant Shumba was in uniform and appears to have divided up the contents of the house with sixteen others.  They also broke into the workshop.
Chakari - ZANU (PF) youths on the celebration night after the election result came out, beat up two people on Mopani ParkThey then went to Deweras and burnt three houses as well as a beer hall and a kitchen in the farm village at approximately 2030 hr.  Police did respond but the group went on to Chevy Chase Farm and burnt 21 kitchens outside the houses of all the work force.  Police appear to be responding and making arrests. 
General - Various threats are issued by ZANU (PF) officials regarding people that assisted in transporting polling agents etc.  There are also very strong demands for cattle etc to celebrate the victory of His Excellency president RG Mugabe.

Masvingo East and Central
– at Fomax Dairy 18 metres of fencing stolen last Sunday evening.
Gutu/Chatsworth - Blyth Farm reported two youths approached the owner on 13.03.02 and told the owner he and his workers had to vacate the property by the following morning. He was also told the farm sheds had to have all the contents removed, as these were required for a school that all stealing done previously was now legal and he should take the above threats seriously. The two youths’ wives arrived on the property 14.03.02 and said that since they were not yet off the farm, they should expect a huge delegation of people at 1400 that day (14.03.02).
Save Conservancy - Nothing to report.
Mwenezi - Lumbergia Ranch reports one cow speared by settlers. The owner had to destroy the cow.  On LaPache Ranch one cow and two steers were snared over the weekend of elections. Some meat was taken.  Nandice Ranch reported two youths were caught for poaching and snaring. Police were too busy with elections to offer any assistance.  While the owner was transporting the poachers, a crowd surrounded the vehicle and the youths were released. The owner was told hunting and poaching would continue regardless and he had better accept it.  The farm foreman was then summoned to a meeting at 1000 hr on 14.03.02, which he declined to attend. The settlers however made the following demands:
  1. No more cattle were to be moved on to Nandice Ranch
  2. The owner must remove all his pumps and engines, as they would like to put their own in.
  3. The staff must vacate all their houses as they wish to take them over and occupy them
  4. The game scouts were not allowed to continue with their jobs and, should they do so, they would be killed.
  5. The owner should not return to the property and, should he do so, he too would be killed.
At the Oerwoud Ranch owner’s cattle kraal, 13.03.02, settlers wired up the labourer’s door and proceeded to beat on his hut with sticks, threatening to kill him if he came out. They then killed two calves, taking the meat. The labourer had to be released from his hut the next morning.  On Merrivale Ranch the owner had been told that should ZANU PF win the elections he should get off his property.  At Umjanjele Ranch the owner was told that now ZANU PF has won the election he had better sort the grinding mill out and have electricity connected for its use. On Edenvale Ranch 10 cattle were slaughtered over the past few days.
- Grasslands/Kwekwe Farms had their motor stolen from their pump on the night of 9.03.02.  A reward was offered for its return by the following night - it was returned.  On Belgrave Farm 35 cattle are reported missing and a search party is in operation but another cow has been slaughtered on Sable.  On Delvillewood Estates maize theft is continuing.  The four culprits are from Village 12 and can be identified.  It has been reported to the police. 

No report received.                                Visit the CFU Website

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

LONDON, March 15 — British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Friday ''the
game is up'' for President Robert Mugabe after his disputed victory in the
Zimbabwe elections.
       Britain has refused to recognise Mugabe's victory, pledging to keep
up the pressure on its former colony and arguing that voters had been denied
their basic rights.

       Straw said he hoped that Mugabe and his ZANU-PF Party would recognise
that ''The game is up. They have been found out. Robert Mugabe thought he
could cheat his way to power.''
       ''He thought he could cheat his way to power and that nobody would
notice and he could get away with it,'' he told BBC Radio.
       ''I hope very much he is coming under the most intense pressure from
the people who have the greatest ability to put him under pressure, namely
his African neighbours.''
       Mugabe was officially declared re-elected as Zimbabwe's president on
Wednesday after a controversial and hotly-contested election.
       Britain accused Mugabe of a sustained campaign of violent
intimidation, but failed to win support for action by the 54-nation
Commonwealth before the vote.
       Straw said leaders at the European Union summit which opens in
Barcelona on Friday would look at ways of strengthening sanctions against
the leadership of ZANU-PF.
       ''There is total widespread condemnation of the way Mugabe stole this
election and a readiness to continue with the humanitarian assistance we are
providing to the people of Zimbabwe because of the way Mugabe has
impoverished his nation.''
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Business Report

Union federation a voice of clarity in Zimbabwe

March 15 2002 at 06:39AM
The beleaguered South African observer mission to the Zimbabwe elections
received an unexpected helping hand yesterday. It came from Colin Gwiyo,
deputy general secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).

He made sense out of the apparently contradictory assessment issued by the
head of the mission, Sam Motsuenyane. Motsuenyane declared that, while the
elections were not free and fair, the "election process was legitimate".

"By this they seem to mean that the form of the election event - competing
parties, polling stations, queues of voters - was followed, in accordance
with existing laws. But that the democratic substance underlying it was
absent," Gwiyo said.

In other words, there was a facade that fairly accurately portrayed the
mechanics of the polling days, within a legal framework. But the framework
undermined, and the overt processes hid, the reality that the democratic
rights of most Zimbabweans were subverted.

It was a way of declaring the elections to have been a farce, but in such a
diplomatic manner as to try to avoid confrontation. "It was a very political
assessment, along the lines of South Africa's 'softly-softly' approach,"
said a member of the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers' Union.

As such, it resulted in confusion and derision directed at Motsuenyane when
he stressed that the elections had not been free and fair and insisted at
the same time that the process had been "legitimate".

There was an outburst of laughter and some jeering at the Harare press
conference at which the statement was first made before a large group of
journalists, international observers and diplomats. Several diplomats walked

But so far as many senior Zimbabwe trade unionists are concerned, it is the
substance of the elections that matters; whether they followed the norms of
a parliamentary democracy and were as free and fair as possible. "The South
African mission has said they were not free and fair, and that is correct,"
said Gwiyo.

He and ZCTU may be accused of being overly generous in their interpretation
of Motsuenyane's statement. But the interpretation does make sense.

And what ZCTU says and feels is important, both in a Zimbabwean and a
regional context. Like Cosatu in South Africa, ZCTU is the largest organised
civilian grouping in that country.

It has 30 affiliates organising a total of 150 000 workers, or roughly 17
percent of the sorely depleted workforce in the formal sector. Two years
ago, before widespread retrenchments against a background of violence and
farm invasions, 25 percent of a larger workforce was unionised.

One of the hardest-hit unions is that which organised farm and plantation
workers. Its 15 000 paid-up members and those who worked alongside them were
a prime target of "war veteran" and militia groups.

ZCTU officials admit that the union now exists almost in name only. Its
members have been intimidated and cowed, displaced and scattered, many of
them badly beaten and several killed.

Most of those who have fled the land have added to an unemployment rate now
probably exceeding 60 percent. As a result, ZCTU has embarked on a programme
of organising in the informal sector.

The federation is financially weak, but it boasts a strong organisational
base. It was this base that provided the impetus to make the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) a serious challenger to the government of President
Robert Mugabe.

But although the MDC is headed by former mineworkers' union and ZCTU general
secretary, Morgan Tsvangirai, ZCTU is not an affiliate of the MDC.

"It is probably correct to say that most trade unionists are MDC supporters
and the ZCTU supports certain policies such as democracy and transparency
advocated by the MDC," said Gwiyo. "But we are not part of the MDC. We are
an independent trade union organisation, uniting workers as workers."

In the immediate wake of independence in 1980, ZCTU supported Zanu and,
later, Zanu-PF.

A move from within the trade union movement to affiliate to Zanu-PF was
rebuffed by Mugabe.

"He was afraid of trade union influence, but it was a lucky escape for us,"
said Gwiyo. The unions remained an independent force, free to support
whomsoever they felt best served worker interests.

"Now we have to decide what is the best way forward for us."

Part of this would involve discussions with other trade union organisations
in the region, most notably Cosatu.

The leading South African federation was still meeting yesterday afternoon
to decide its official attitude to the Zimbabwe elections. A senior official
admitted there had been a "problem" created by the fact that the ANC, as the
senior partner in South Africa's governing alliance, had apparently endorsed
the elections.
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Zim Independent

Uncertainty grips forex market
Godfrey Marawanyika

UNCERTAINTY was rife in the foreign currency market this week ahead of the
announcement of the watershed presidential election result, resulting in
dealers not buying or selling any currency.

The market was this week in a flux; to sell or not to sell, with most
adopting a cautious approach and standing in the wings.

Dealers said that they were hedging to cut their losses if they sold before
the market stabilised. President Robert Mugabe's victory is expected to push
the parallel market rates up. The greenback is selling upwards of $350 on
the parallel market, against 55 on the pegged interbank market.

"We will only start buying forex next week after the announcement of the
results, but for this week we are not buying or selling anything," one


"Zanu PF has failed to inspire the market for the past two years and
besides, they do not have any sympathisers in the international community."

The government has been battling to find a workable exchange rate system
since August 2000, when the local unit was fixed at $38 against the

Since October 2000 the exchange rate has been fixed at $55 to the US dollar
and the resultant foreign currency crisis has seen the mushrooming of a
thriving parallel market where the US dollar fetches more than $325, thus
representing a premium of more than 490%.

This week the parallel market rate declined to $318 from $325.

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Zim Independent

At the Market with Tetrad: No cure in sight for Zimbabwe's ailing economy
By Tony Fisher

AS the n'angas and family members hover around the ailing patient,
discussions become heated as to the next course of action. The impoverished
family cannot afford the very expensive foreign medical drugs as the patient
starts entering into the comatose stage. Pleas for foreign assistance are
mute. Who is this patient? Obviously, of course, Zimbabwe.

Results coming through in recent weeks have continued to defy the poor
operating environment in which our country finds itself. To a large degree,
pricing power and stock profits have been the common thread, as the majority
of the following batch of financials reveals.

Beginning with BiccCafca, the company experienced a magnificent year,
turning around a loss making position at year-end 2000. In contrast with
other exporting companies, domestic turnover, thanks to "number one
customer" Zesa, increased 249% to over $2 billion and was largely
responsible for the overall 210% growth in sales to $2,4 billion. Exports
were up 84% to $338 million.

The higher volumes attained as well as a focus on process improvement and
more effective material and product flow, saw operating profit jump more
than twenty times to $425 million, and margins improved dramatically from
2,6% to 17,8%. Despite increased borrowings throughout the year, finance
charges at $26 million were only up 47% thanks to the low interest rate
regime, and the company went from an attributable loss of $17 million to
record a profit of $275 million.

Zimplow's interim results to December proved similarly impressive. Turnover
was up 220% on the comparative, to $535 million. Local sales contributed 67%
to this figure, whilst exports accounted for the balance. The increase in
turnover stemmed not only from price increases, but from growth in unit
sales, 56% locally and 36% regionally.

Operating profit was up 300% as cost increases lagged sales growth, and
margins, as if they weren't high already, were up 8% to 39,4%. Despite large
cash outflows due to increased stock purchases, the company remained cash
positive, and generated interest income of $7 million. Attributable earnings
for the half-year were $153 million compared with $39 million in 2000. The
company expects the next six months to be challenging, with margins coming
under increased pressure. The resettlement exercise should go some way
towards offsetting this however, though the increased prospects of a
full-blown drought will affect negatively affect sales. Year-end results at
best are expected to slightly improve on the first half performance.

If Afdis's results are anything to go by, Zimbabweans are continuing to
drink their problems away! The distiller experienced significant volume
growth in most product categories, as it benefited from high money supply
growth and informal cross border sales. Net turnover thus increased 230% to
$1,9 billion. The productivity gains coming through as a result of the
restructuring exercise carried out during 1999, and tight cost controls saw
margins improving from 16,4% to 28,9%. Operating income increased 471% to
$560 million.

As a result of an increase in short-term borrowings, interest payable more
than doubled to $17 million. Attributable earnings for the half year were
$352 million, 469% up on the comparative and more than double the amount
achieved for the full year to June 2001. The company remains a strong cash
generator, managing to be cash positive at the operational level despite
working capital outflows of $449 million. Despite all the problems existing
around us, hic, management considers that the company should maintain its
first half performance.

Dairibord produced excellent results for the year ended 2001. Turnover
increased from $3,4 billion to $6,9 billion, underpinned by a first rate
performance from its subsidiaries, with Lyon's contributing 15% to group
turnover, whilst Dairibord Malawi contributed 2%. Allied with the subsidiary
performances were regular price adjustments on products during the year. A
decline in export volumes of 7% was offset by an increase of 12% in export
revenues as the company shifted from commodity to value added products.
Interest receivable declined by 41% to $98 million, despite the company's
huge cash resources. Attributable earnings at $611 million were 123% higher
than the $274 million achieved in prior year.

Management maintains price controls have so far had a minor effect on its
performance. In terms of future supplies, they do not foresee any problems
as their view is that milk producers are still in possession of an adequate,
high quality herd. However, reports of culling by dairy farmers due mainly
to problems with new settlers, as well as the shortage of stock feed and
milk supplies to the public would seem to contradict this view.

Now we look at the results of two of the listed clothing retailers,
Truworths and Edgars who reported interim and year end results respectively.
Both companies saw sales benefiting from same factors which boosted Afdis's
turnover. With all the three chains under its umbrella, that is Truworths,
Topics and Number 1 performing well, turnover for the Truworths group
increased by 248%, 185% and 180% respectively. As a result overall group
turnover was up more than threefold to $1,3 billion. The biggest contributor
to both sales and operating profit in the group remains the Topics chain.

Improved productivity and stock turnover, allied with a well managed
debtors' book and more efficient cost controls, saw operating profit jump a
huge 761% to $323 million, and margins almost trebling from 8,6% to 24,7%.
This resulted in attributable earnings growth of 613% to $225 million.

Edgars produced a much improved second half performance after first half
sales had lagged inflation. Net turnover increased 126% to $4,4 billion,
with the Express chain experiencing the largest increase whilst the Edgars
chain remained the biggest contributor. The core clothing business saw unit
turnover increasing by 20% during the year, whilst overall unit turnover
growth was 36%. Operating profit more than doubled to $1,1 billion, but
margins at 25% remained unchanged due to the weaker first half period. Net
interest received declined due to the lower interest rates and the fact that
the investment in stock saw Edgars go cash negative compared with the
previous year.

Attributable earnings growth was 120% to $712 million. Given the exceptional
nature of the operating environment this past year, the company feels it may
struggle to match the inflation rate performance wise in the current year.

Finally we look at the year end results of Clan. Turnover was up by only 64%
to $706 million, as the group's core transport business for export of
manufacturers' products experienced a decline of 50% in terms of tonnages
available from existing customers. Most of its other operations also
experienced a reduction in business. Operating profit at 9% to $90 million
was virtually flat, as margins were squeezed from 19,2% to 12,7%. Net
finance costs at $30 million were up 46%, inclusive of $9,1 million in forex

An impressive performance from the associated tyre business saw associate
income increase five fold to $75 million, and this helped boost the
attributable earnings figure, which grew 76% to $88 million.

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Zim Independent

MDC rejects prospects of a coalition govt
Vincent Kahiya

MOVEMENT for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai has rejected the
prospect of a government of national unity as a South African initiative to
bring the MDC and President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF together ran into a
brick wall.

Yesterday, as South Africa's deputy president Jacob Zuma arrived in Harare
to help rescue Zimbabwe from isolation, international condemnation of
Mugabe's stolen victory reverberated around European capitals and
Washington. US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Wednesday Mugabe
could not claim democratic legitimacy.

"Mr Mugabe may claim victory, but not democratic legitimacy," said Powell.

Yesterday US Assistant Secretary of State, Walter Kansteiner, in a radio
interview said "something had to be done" about Mugabe before there could be
any international assistance.

"We can't just live with it," said Kansteiner.

"Living with it would, in fact, spell economic doom for Zimbabwe because the
greater international community is not going to come in and give the
Zimbabwe government the assistance that is so desperately needed. Not when
you have a very flawed electoral process like that," he said.

Asked what the US would do now he said: "The most interesting thing we do is
what we don't do, in the sense that there won't be economic assistance
coming. There won't be the rebuilding of the infrastructure that is in such
dire straits right now in Zimbabwe."

Zuma's visit is part of an attempt by Pretoria to sell to Mugabe's
government the idea of a government of national unity, diplomatic sources
said yesterday.

Details of the meeting between Zuma and Vice-President Joseph Msika were not
immediately available. But sources yesterday said MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai had been in touch with Chief Shonekan, Nigerian leader Olusegun
Obasanjo's special envoy, regarding the issue of a government of national

Yesterday Tsvangirai dismissed the possibility of the MDC participating in
such a government aimed at reconciling the 1,2 million voters who opposed
Mugabe with the Zanu PF regime.

"First of all Mugabe has to reconcile himself with the people of Zimbabwe,"
said Tsvangirai.

"This is not about appointing people to certain positions without first
achieving stability. Mugabe cannot buy legitimacy by forming a government of
national unity with the MDC."

Speaking yesterday, MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said his party
would like to see a significant expansion of the targeted sanctions already
in place, to cover a broader section of individuals associated with Zanu PF
who he said were guilty of manipulating the electoral process to deliver a
fraudulent victory.

"We also recommend that targeted sanctions be extended to include those
businessmen whose financial wealth stems from their close affiliation and
loyalty to Zanu PF," Ncube said. "Essentially we want all those pampered by
Mugabe's elitist system of patronage to be exposed to the full impact of
targeted sanctions."

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Zim Independent

Zanu PF unleashes militias on commercial farms
Blessing Zulu

ZANU PF militias have been unleashed on commercial farms whose owners are
accused of giving logistical support to the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change in its bid to oust President Robert Mugabe.

Commercial Farmers Union spokesperson Jenni Williams said the situation on
the farms was very volatile.

"So far 15 farmers have been visited by groups of youths of varying size -
up to 50 in a group - and given up to six hours to leave. Five were in
Mashonaland West, three in Mashonaland East and five in the Chegutu area,"
said Williams.

The militia has also gone on the rampage looting and slaughtering cattle on
the farms.

"Of the 15 farmers visited, five had their homes looted with Bruce Douglas's
house in Lions Den being cleaned out. The farmers have stay-ed put and in
some instances so have small contingents of the groups who demanded to be
fed. Two dairy cattle were slaughtered by the invading party on one farm,"
she said.

The Zimbabwe Independent was yesterday inundated with calls from farmers
around Norton who said they were being ordered off their farms by militias
at one hour's notice. Farmers in Banket and Raffingora also reported threats
from militias

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Zim Independent

Zanu PF caught red-handed
Loughty Dube

CASES of vote-buying by ruling Zanu PF supporters were unearthed last week
in Bulawayo where party members were caught in the act by South African
election observers and international journalists in the Lobengula-Luveve

A group of women operating from a house in Lobengula was seen taking down
names and identification numbers of potential voters promising them money if
they voted for President Robert Mugabe.

One of the women approached by the Zanu PF supporters, Ethel Moyo, tipped
off South African observers and the media who rushed to the house and found
the women with lists of people who had already been paid for voting for

The Zanu PF members claimed they were only registering the names of
supporters who wanted to vote. The exercise was also seen outside a polling
station in Makokoba and at MacDonald Hall in Mzilikazi.

The women in Makokoba were allegedly paying $100 to anyone promising to vote
for the ruling party candidate.

Meanwhile, scores of Zanu PF youths, who disappeared before the weekend
polls, resurfaced at a polling station in Sauerstown on Saturday where
police allowed them to form their own queue and to vote ahead of other
people who had been queuing for hours.

When the Independent together with the foreign press arrived at the polling
station, scores of the militia were seen milling outside the polling station
while a sizeable number were inside casting their vote.

Independent election monitors stationed about 100 metres from the polling
station said the youths were initially turned away but later allowed to vote
after the intervention of Zanu PF officials.

The election agent for the Movement for Democratic Change at the polling
station, Dave Mnkandla, claimed the youths were not on the voters' roll but
were still allowed to vote.

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Independent (UK)

Black and white, rich and poor, 'anyone who can' prepares to join mass
By Karen MacGregor in Harare
15 March 2002

The re-election of President Robert Mugabe is expected to accelerate
Zimbabwe's economic crisis and prompt a mass exodus of the professional and
middle classes, both black and white

Many people had been waiting to see what happened this week before deciding
whether to leave a country whose economy has shrunk by 30 per cent a year in
the past two years and shed tens of thousands of jobs.

One of them was Ben Mbanga, a mechanical engineer. "Enough is enough," he
said yesterday after a crowd of 2,000 led by a pistol-toting thug stormed
the gold mine he works for in Kwekwe, south-west of Harare. He said: "They
wanted to pan for gold to celebrate Mr Mugabe's victory. They forced their
way in and started digging."

The people Zimbabwe can least afford to lose – the skilled and the wealthy –
are prominent among those who will leave. Already more than two million
Zimbabweans are living elsewhere, some 400,000 in Britain. A fresh exodus is
likelyas people contemplate continued economic collapse and renewed
invasions of farms and businesses. State television has announced that the
take-overs will be speeded up now that Mr Mugabe has a popular mandate.

Many, but not all, of those planning to leave are well-off, and many have
already tried to leave. In the first six weeks of this year, neighbouring
South Africa caught some 7,000 migrants, most of them poor, who had risked
swimming the crocodile-infested Limpopo River to seek a better life.

The shipping manager of one of the country's biggest removal companies said:
"We're expecting an awful lot of people to leave now so we're gearing up.
Most are going to Europe.

"The number of people going abroad rose sharply last year, and we're
anticipating many, many more as people look into a future with a worthless
currency, declining living standards, more violence and no jobs ... Most
don't want to leave but feel they have to. Dual citizens are packing up and
leaving for good."

A smaller shipping agent said: "Who's leaving? Everybody who can."

Jacob Mafume, a young lawyer in Harare, said he had been "paralysed" by
concern for the future after the election result. He is staying put,
believing that his human rights work will be needed now more than ever. His
frozen productivity has not been helped by the departure of his secretary,
who has gone to work in Britain.

Mr Mbanga sent his family to safety in Canada in November, after "war
veterans" began arriving at his home at night and demanding money for
retrenched workers.

"One night three truckloads of war veterans arrived and, in front of our
kids, threatened us and demanded money. Things got ugly. This is not what
you want your children to see. I was also taken hostage at the mine, with
two other managers, for 24 hours by war veterans who forced us to write them
a cheque for 6m [Zimbabwe] dollars. There is no rule of law here any more.
It's scary and it's dangerous."

Lovemore Moyo (not his real name), who has spent two years working in a
Harare factory to save enough money to take up a university place he has
been offered, lights up when he hears I live in South Africa. "Please, give
me your address. Can you find me a job? Forget about university here," he
said. "I'd do anything to live somewhere with a future."

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MDC Supporters Mourn Their Loss

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

March 15, 2002
Posted to the web March 14, 2002

Jaspreet Kindra

The mood at the Movement for Democratic Change's regional office in Bulawayo
on Wednesday was one of disbelief at the reelection of President Robert

"Mugabe has clearly cooked up the results," said an MDC member.

For an excerpt from the Africa 2002 guidebook, click here.
(Adobe Acrobat).

To buy the book, click here.

A few hours earlier armed military personnel had stormed the streets.
"Clearly they were trying to send us a message," said an MDC supporter. But
the opposition party is not sure how long it will be able to restrain its
supporters. "People are angry - we cannot stop them!" said Tamsanqa
Mahlangu, a national executive member of the MDC's youth wing.

MDC MP for Bulawayo David Coltart met representatives of the Zimbabwean
Congress of Trade Unions on Wednesday afternoon to try to calm the situation
and prevent workers from taking to the streets. Later regional
representatives plotted their course of action. MDC members would wear black
on Thursday. They would be in mourning.

Matabeleland, which comprises the provinces of Matabeleland North and South
and Bulawayo, is an MDC stronghold. In the 2000 parliamentary elections the
party won 21 out of 23 seats there, losing only Beitbridge and Gwanda South
to Zanu-PF.

Last weekend Zanu-PF not only managed to win more votes than the MDC but
increased its support in die-hard MDC areas, such as in rural and urban

Matabeleland comprises the Shona and Ndebele communities. Thousands of
members of the Ndebele community were killed in a Mugabe-led action in the
1980s. Animosity towards Mugabe still prevails in Ndebele areas such as
Tsholotsho in the north. It is therefore surprising that Mugabe managed to
poll more votes than the MDC in the area. Zanu-PF support rose from 5634 in
2000 to 10838 last weekend.

There also seems to have been an unexplained spurt in the rural population,
which apparently voted for Mugabe. In Nkayi in Matabeleland North Zanu-PF
support rose from 5746 to 11552, while there was little change in MDC
support - 15601 in 2000 to 15616.

But perhaps the most surprising result came from Bubi Umguza in Matabeleland
North, where support for Zanu-PF rose from 6645 to 16433.

Even in traditional Zanu-PF areas support for Mugabe increased. In
Beitbridge Zanu-PF support rose from 12 988 to 16 448, while the MDC's
slipped from 7686 to 6844.

"Even if the 1000-odd MDC supporters went over to Zanu-PF, how do you
explain the materialising of the more than 2 000 new voters?" asked one MDC

The MDCbelieves its supporters were intimidated and prevented from going to
polling stations around Bulawayo. The party backs it argument with the drop
in the number of votes cast for it in the province's eight constituencies.
The party won all eight, but the votes dropped by an average of 2000 a
constituency. "It means those people were prevented from voting," said a
party member.

Disbelief and a feeling of hopelessness was evident in the rural areas of

Roadworker Kismoir Siziba and his colleagues Phethile Ndlovu and Kessinki
Ndou were upset at the outcome of the election. They had hoped for change.
"There is no mielie meal - there will be no food . People will fight for
food now," says Ndou.

Mtshiwa Mandekwa, an MDC polling agent, fears that the MDC, particularly the
white members of the party, will now face increasing pressure from Zanu-PF.
The MDC's regional office was burned down in November last year. It has
since been rebuilt, but members still conduct their business out of
temporary offices, which they keep changing for fear of being raided or
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Mbeki's Zim Crisis

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

March 15, 2002
Posted to the web March 14, 2002

Drew Forrest

President Thabo Mbeki is in a suffocatingly tight corner in the aftermath of
a deeply flawed Zimbabwe presidential election, which returned Robert Mugabe
for a fifth term by a 500 000-vote margin.

By late Thursday, more than 24 hours after the results had been announced,
Mbeki had significantly not pronounced on whether the election reflected the
will of Zimbabwe's people. Western diplomats said his stance on the election
could make or break the New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development
(Nepad), the African recovery plan he is driving.

The presidency said Mbeki was consulting world bodies and governments and
had already been in touch with United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan
and the United States government. He would not comment before receiving
reports from the South African, regional, Organisation of African Unity and
Commonwealth observer missions.

However, Mbeki appeared to rule out any punitive response by insisting South
Africa had "an obligation to assist Zimbabwe irrespective of the outcome of
the elections".

His cautious stance was welcomed by Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
The two men, together with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, make up the
"troika" of leaders charged with deciding the Commonwealth's election stance
on the strength of its observer team's report.

The fear in Western diplomatic circles is that the troika will not be able
to reach agreement - despite the Commonwealth observer team's finding,
announced yesterday, that "conditions did not adequately allow for a free
expression of will by the electors".

The Nigerian observer group has endorsed the election and Obasanjo is
reportedly planning to try to persuade Europe and the US to accept the

One set of pressures on Mbeki is domestic. The South African observer
mission under Sam Motsuenyane endorsed the poll as "legitimate" and the
African National Congress enthusiastically acclaimed Mugabe's victory.

Arriving in Harare yesterday Deputy President Jacob Zuma restated South
Africa's satisfaction with the South African observers' findings, saying
that "those discrediting Zimbabwe's electoral process should listen to what
Africans are saying".

Sources said the South African parliamentary observer team was expected to
split along party lines, with ANC members endorsing the poll at a meeting of
the team next week.

Mbeki will also be wary of breaking ranks in a context where the
international response to the Zimbabwe poll has been largely polarised along
racial and "north-south" lines.

The election result has been welcomed by the Kenyan, Zambian and Chinese
governments, as well by Namibian, Nigerian and Organisation for African
Unity observers. The only dissenting African voice has been the Southern
African Development Community's parliamentary observer team, which found
that the election did not meet SADC standards.

In contrast, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said there was "overwhelming
evidence the election was neither free nor fair". The European Parliament
was to hold an emergency debate yesterday on a motion calling for the
international community to reject the poll, proposing "further measures"
against the Zimbabwe government and urging Mbeki to show "real leadership"
and take tough action.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was expected to make what a diplomatic
source described as "an extremely hard-hitting statement" in the House of
Commons on Wednesday.

Mbeki is acutely conscious of the reactions of the G8 countries' on which
Nepad, and his personal attempts to rehabilitate Zimbabwe in world financial
circles, critically depend.

The Nepad plan entails an expansion of Western aid and trade access in
exchange for African self-policing on governance and democracy.

Western diplomats expressed "disappointment" with Africa's response to the
election yesterday, saying it seemed to be driven by racial solidarity and
support for an African liberation icon, rather than concerns for good
governance and democratic practice.

The United Kingdom's deputy high commissioner in South Africa, Andy Sparks,
would say only that the British government was "very interested" in how
Mbeki would react. A Western diplomatic source, who asked not to be named,
said: "Tony Blair is sympathetic to Nepad, but if Mbeki rolls over on
Zimbabwe, British domestic opinion may leave him little room for manoeuvre."

The diplomat said it was unrealistic to expect the developed world to
separate Nepad and the Zimbabwe election, as urged by South Africa's deputy
foreign minister, Aziz Pahad.

He expected the US and many European countries, particularly Scandinavia and
West Germany, also to view "Zimbabwe - and the African response to it - as
an acid test of the continent's commitment to democracy".

It appears South Africa is still pinning its hopes on the formation of a
government of national unity embracing the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change. Indeed, government sources said a way out for Mbeki might
be to accept the election, but press publicly for a unity government.

There was little sign of conciliation, or a softening of pre-election
strong-arm tactics, by Zanu-PF or its supporters on Thursday. New land
invasions were reported in Chinhoyi, Banket, Raffingora and Chegutu, with
farmers being given an hour's notice to vacate. The MDC complained that the
house of one of its MPs, Bethel Makwembere, had been teargassed and raided
by police.

The editor of the Zimbabwe Independent, Iden Wetherall, estimated that in
Harare alone 350 000 of a potential 800 000 voters - almost the margin of
Mugabe's victory - had been denied the right to vote.

Of equal significance, Wetherall said, was Zanu's improved showing in MDC
strongholds in the 2000 parliamentary elections - despite worsening economic
conditions. "These are areas where Zanu militias had free rein. It reflects
their success in delivering the peasant vote."

Wetherall said there was deep frustration, particularly among the urban
youth, over the poll. But the heavy security force presence in urban areas
made large-scale civil commotion unlikely. "We have no tradition of peaceful
protest in Zimbabwe, and the MDC has made it clear it will not go to the
streets," he said.

Observers in Zimbabwe are pessimistic about Mbeki's response, pointing to
the public statements of his senior ministers in Zimbabwe. Minister of
Safety and Security Steve Tshwete said last Friday he was impressed with
electoral arrangements. Commenting on the arrest of MDC secretary general
Welshman Ncube, Minister of Labour Membathisi Mdladlana said he had very
serious charges to answer and should cooperate with the police.

In its preliminary report the Commonwealth mission slammed the activities of
Zanu-PF paramilitary youth groups, finding that they unleashed "a systematic
campaign of intimidation and violence" against MDC supporters.

The observers also found police failed to probe reported cases of violence
and intimidation, particularly against the opposition. Thousands of
Zimbabweans were disenfranchised by the electoral registration process and
the wide discretion of the registrar general.

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A Heavy Responsibility

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

March 15, 2002
Posted to the web March 14, 2002

Let there be no doubt: South Africa's response to last weekend's election in
Zimbabwe and its outcome will have a defining influence on the life chances
of many millions of people in our region. This imposes a heavy
responsibility on the shoulders of President Thabo Mbeki. For, having
annexed to his office decisions on South African policy on Zimbabwe, he
cannot now offload the responsibility to apply South Africa's weight in the
region. He must confront the reality that Robert Mugabe is back in power and
should not be there.

The moral issue should be as clear to Mbeki as it is to the majority of
Zimbabweans whom Mugabe has cheated of the president they want. Mugabe
bullied, swindled and gerrymandered his way to victory over his rival,
Morgan Tsvangirai.

The sorry Sam Motsuenyane and others who determined the South African
observer team's report find this difficult to recognise. They were,
evidently, so blinded by Africanist sympathies that they could not find
against Mugabe, whatever he did. Journalists and diplomats who jeered
Motsuenyane when he released his report in Harare on Wednesday seemed to
recognise this. A South African-based diplomat yesterday described the
report to this newspaper as "laughable". Motsuenyane's and his mission's
conclusion that Zimbabwe's presidential election was "legitimate" was
feeble-minded and morally dishonourable.

Mbeki is also sometimes given to judging the merits of an argument on
grounds of the ideological or racial origins of the antagonists rather than
on the quality of the evidence and arguments they adduce. This tendency is
at odds with his modernising efforts in a number of fields, particularly
economics. But Mbeki has all the intellectual equipment needed - and much
more - to take a rational approach to Mugabe, much as he does to the issues
before our economy. Let us hope he can bring himself to do so.

If Mbeki can, he will recognise that Mugabe constitutes - now more than
ever - a malign liability to Zimbabwe, to South Africa and to the region. He
will decline to make any noises about the election that will give comfort to
Mugabe. He will make it clear in carefully modulated language that South
Africa finds the conduct of the elections unacceptable - though it will now
deal with the victor. Mbeki will appreciate that it is vital that Mugabe
absent himself, or be removed, from government in Zimbabwe as quickly as
possible. He will ensure that South Africa does whatever is necessary to
provide Mugabe with an easy way out - if needs be by helping him find
immunity from prosecution in a foreign state. Mbeki will understand he must
establish relations with (and support) elements within the ruling Zanu-PF
party and the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change who recognise
the need for a far-reaching compromise between them if Zimbabwe is not to
implode like Somalia. He will seek out Zimbabwean notables in the churches
and elsewhere whose stature and reputations for integrity and fair dealing
suggest they could facilitate early moves towards a government of national
unity in that country. And Mbeki will place in charge of these efforts an
individual with the nous and cunning to chivvy the strategy along - and that
excludes the likes of Membathisi Mdladlana and Steve Tshwete, as well as his
hubristic foreign minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Alongside this strategy, he will have to develop another. It must involve
the readiness of South Africa - with United Nations approval, and in
partnership with its significant political allies in southern Africa,
Botswana and Mozambique, and in the West - to intervene in Zimbabwe if that
country moves towards outright anarchy or large-scale violations of basic
human rights. If Southern African Development Community (SADC) governments
such as those in Namibia and Angola cannot commit themselves explicitly to
democratic practice, we should not let them delay us in our duty to the
people of Zimbabwe. Rather, we should be content to leave them behind.

Our attitude can no longer be one in which we humour or indulge neighbours
whose behaviour has devastating effects on our currency, on our ability to
attract inward foreign direct investment and on our capacity to create an
environment in which our millions of poor people can prosper. We have a real
interest in how our neighbours behave. Their behaviour is our business. They
must be made aware that we take this view. In other words, it is time we
threw out the timidity that has largely characterised our foreign policy
since 1994. We have regional interests. We must advance and defend them.

Beyond them, we have continental interests. If Africa is to develop the
productive forces and markets it needs in order to rise out of its poverty,
some process akin that described in the new economic partnership for
Africa's development (Nepad) will have to unfold. Nepad's lodestars include
good governance, the rule of law, sound economic management and democratic
government. These are values - moral, political and economic - on which we
should brook no further compromise.

Zimbabwe is a very important test of these values. We - and Mbeki - must not
be found wanting.
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South African deputy hails Mugabe 'victory'
By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor
(Filed: 15/03/2002)

SOUTH AFRICA congratulated President Robert Mugabe on his election victory yesterday, ignoring Commonwealth observers' damning criticism of the rigged poll and widening the rift between Africa and the West.

Jacob Zuma, South Africa's deputy president, was seen hugging Mr Mugabe as they exchanged clenched-fist salutes with the African liberation slogan: "Amandla" (Power).

Zanu PF supporters celebrate on the streets of Harare

Mr Mugabe claims to have polled 54 per cent of the vote, against Morgan Tsvangirai's 40 per cent.

It was the first sighting of Mr Mugabe since the election and the 78-year-old president appeared to stumble, adding to speculation that his failure to address the nation was because of ill health.

British officials said the European Union would consider stronger sanctions, including a ban on contacts with Zimbabwean ministers and freezing the assets of companies linked to Mr Mugabe's cronies.

But they admitted that what mattered to Mr Mugabe was South Africa's position. Mr Zuma's endorsement would have delighted him.

Britain and other western countries had hoped that the trenchant Commonwealth report would encourage South Africa to back his suspension.

Keeping watch: Zimbabwean riot police posturing in Harare

Setting out a litany of violence and rule-bending, the Commonwealth observers concluded that "the conditions in Zimbabwe did not adequately allow for a free expression of will by the electors".

But South Africa's government observer mission had earlier ruled that the election was "legitimate".

Barring a last-minute change of heart by South Africa, the Commonwealth seems headed for a damaging black-white split.

Faced with the contradictory reports, Mr Zuma said that South Africa would take the Commonwealth report into account, but insisted: "We sent observers here, who were observing each and every detail.

They have reported . . . the elections were legitimate, are valid. They were free and fair and we have got to respect that."

In Pretoria, however, there were signs of confusion, with South African sources saying that President Thabo Mbeki hoped to convince Mr Mugabe to establish a government of national unity.

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, told Parliament: "We do not recognise the result or its legitimacy."

He added: "Robert Mugabe may claim to have won this election, but the people of Zimbabwe have lost

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Irish Independent - editorial


AFTER the theft by Robert Mugabe of the election in Zimbabwe, the question
is whether even worse must follow.

The prospects for any sort of democracy and human rights are bleak. The
economy has collapsed. There is imminent danger of civil war. And the scope
for outside help is very limited. The sanctions imposed by the European
Union are very mild, but harsher sanctions would have no guarantee of

British Commonwealth leaders are loath to criticise President Mugabe. It is
difficult for Britain, or any former colonial power, to press them.

Slender hopes must now rest on one country, South Africa. For all its
internal problems, it is the only credible source of leadership for the
whole of southern Africa. But the West should not merely shout from the
sidelines. It should give Pretoria all the assistance it needs.

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Toronto Star

Canada withdraws funding from Zimbabwe
PM's statement praises Zimbabweans' 'courage and determination'

OTTAWA (CP) - Canada has withdrawn all funding to the Zimbabwean government
and its officials won't be welcome here, Prime Minister Jean Chretien said
Chretien said Canada and its Commonwealth partners and other allies will
discuss what other action to take to show displeasure with the government of
President Robert Mugabe, who was re-elected after a campaign that saw
opposition politicians detained amid an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.

Election observers in the fractured African country issued a preliminary
report today indicating that the election last weekend was not free and fair
and was held in a climate of fear.

Independent observer missions from Norway, southern Africa, Canada and
Zimbabwe described a complex tapestry of intimidation, unfair laws and
chaotic voting procedures that tipped the poll in Mugabe's favour.

Government officials in Zimbabwe have repeatedly denied irregularities.
According to the government, Mugabe won a new six-year term with about 56
per cent of the vote.

The 78-year-old former freedom fighter who has led the southern Africa
country since its independence from white rule, was once hailed as a model
of African statesmanship. But for the past two years he has resorted to
violence to cement his hold on power.

Chretien's statement said the Zimbabwean people showed courage and
determination in exercising their democratic rights "under difficult

"We implore the Zimbabwean government to provide transparent legal recourse
to those arrested or detained in recent days," the statement said.

In Washington, President George W. Bush also said the United States is
consulting with other countries to decide how "to deal with this flawed
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Zimbabwe faces global isolation

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe is facing growing global diplomatic isolation as
criticism of its presidential poll mounts, but it has the support of many
African neighbours.

The world was still waiting on Friday for a clear verdict on the poll from
regional economic giant South Africa, which has sent out conflicting signals
on its assessment of the March 9-11 poll that kept President Robert Mugabe
in office.

South Africa has been criticised for taking a soft approach in the face of
its neighbour's growing political and economic crisis which has dented
investor confidence in the world's poorest continent.

One casualty has been South Africa's rand, which has been mauled partly
because of events in Zimbabwe.

South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma went to Harare on Thursday to
congratulate Mugabe and pronounced the poll in which he defeated challenger
Morgan Tsvangirai free and fair.

"We sent observers here, who were here observing each and every detail. They
have reported back and made their statement to say the elections were
legitimate, are valid, they were free and fair and we've got to respect
that," Zuma told state television in Zimbabwe after meeting Mugabe.

It was not clear if Zuma reflected official policy.

A spokesman in Pretoria said South African President Thabo Mbeki had still
not reached a verdict on the election.


Opposition leader Tsvangirai, who accuses Mugabe of bringing the formerly
prosperous nation to the brink of economic ruin, said the president stole
the election through violence and by preventing tens of thousands of people
from voting.

Commonwealth observers, Britain and the European Parliament added their
voices on Thursday to the chorus of condemnation of the poll. But there was
approval from Nigeria and Namibia as well as South Africa, exposing clear
divisions with the West.

The 61-member Commonwealth observer group issued a scathing report saying
Mugabe's re-election did not reflect the will of the people, that the poll
had disenfranchised thousands of voters and was held in a climate of fear.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said London would deny access to
international funds for its former colony, which has been ruled by Mugabe
ever since the end of white rule and independence in 1980.

"Zimbabweans have plainly been denied their fundamental right to choose by
whom they are governed," he told parliament.

The European Parliament slammed the election as "not free and fair" and
called on the European Union to widen the scope of sanctions against Mugabe
and his inner circle. The United States said on Wednesday that it did not
recognise the election result.

Zimbabwe dismissed the criticism.

"The Commonwealth...had 42 observers and 19 staff members, and most of what
they would say, you would expect it is based on hearsay because they were
not everywhere," Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said in remarks
broadcast on state television.

"Europeans put Europeans first. Americans put Americans first. A time has
come, for us not to be surprised, when Africans put Africans first. We are
an African country, a proud African country," he said.
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Independent (UK)

South African poll observers criticise 'legitimate' finding
By John Battersby in Johannesburg
15 March 2002

Some members of South Africa's observer mission in Zimbabwe broke ranks
yes-terday to criticise the dele-gation's decision that the re-election of
Robert Mugabe was "legitimate".

Bobby Godsell, who was a member of the 50-strong South African team, said:
"I am both confused and uncomfortable about the use of the word 'legitimate'
to describe the Zimbabwean poll."

Another observer, who preferred not to be identified, said he and two other
South African observers had been taken aback by the "hardline police
harassment of government opponents" in the election, both in urban and rural

When the observer mission leader, Sam Motsuenyane, a South African
businessman, announced their findings in Harare on Wednesday he was
reportedly jeered by journalists and diplomats.

South Africa's Deputy President, Jacob Zuma, who held talks in Harare with
President Mugabe yesterday, said the government in Zimbabwe was "happy" with
the observers' report that concluded the election "should be considered
legitimate" but not "free and fair." But Mr Godsell said that he was
confused by the conflicting terminology used.

He said: "I don't understand the difference between legitimate and free and
fair. I don't understand how an election can not be free and fair but can
also be legitimate."

Mr Godsell was an observer in Harare where there had been some "distinct

"I understand that the mission is to release a final report and I am
assuming that there will be an opportunity to debate and discuss the
findings that have been made," he said.

"So I am hoping that there will be a chance to clarify the irregularities
but I concede that the damage has been done already by now."

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