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

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........some good news is that the NSPCA managed to get to our home late this afternoon, and the front door was open so the bastards had been through our home, but at least the dogs were alive.  They will go back tomorrow to hopefully fetch the dogs, cats and pigs. The house hasn't been looted yet - perhaps some fat political commissar is waiting to move into our lovely home. He may move in but he won't be there long ....  All our goats have been killed, the farmyard looted of all our equipment, fertiliser and fuel.  However, we are alive and that's how it must stay, even if it means losing everything again as we did two years ago.  We are re-grouping with all our colleagues, friends and extended families, black, white, young, old, farmworkers etc. and giving one another encouragement - we are all scattered away from our homes, but once again are "building other homes and families" all over the place.
When we had to leave the farm in April 2000 for those five long months, we moved our cattle to a place of safety the other side of Harare.  This morning we learned that the farmer who we have been leasing grazing from, was bludgeoned to death by the local "war vets" and squatters.  His cousin phoned me today and she said it was a gruesome, brutal, savage sight to behold.  How long will this evil bastard and his henchmen be allowed to continue on their retribution spree?  Does the world not realise, acknowledge (especially Mbeki) that the mdc is 47 per cent of the legitimate national government - yet the brutality is being systematically metered out on all those connected with the legitimate opposition.
In the high density suburbs in Marondera, black people are "being dealt with" every night for not being a part of the ruling butchery party - they are the unheard voices, the people without email access, access to the media and definitely NO recourse to law - because there is NO LAW.
Whoever you are, where ever you are, get writing, phoning, lobbying for the battered silenced and mutilated majority in Zimbabwe.
with love and some hope, through you, Kxxx
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Subject: Zimbabwean citizen

Alistair wrote the message below.  May we as the adoptive parents of Jon
carry on from here. I flew in to the Hospital the minute I heard to be with
Jon.  I did not take my diary, brief case, emergency evacuation case etc. -
just wanted to get to Jon.  Iain and David followed an hour later. No sooner
had they arrived at the hospital we got a phone call to say our tractor
driver had been beaten up. So I stayed with Jon and Iain and David returned
home. The next nightmare unfolded as a group of zanu trained killer militia
surrounded David and Iain in the truck. David managed to get away through
the bush and with great presence of mind, switched off my computer, locked
our dogs up in the house, gathered our weapons and ran back through the bush
to Iain.  By which time Marimo and Katsiro (self styled war vets) were
threatening them through the window.  The farmers had called the Police (a
joke).  I managed to get half way home and stopped in at a friends farm only
to hear David yelling over the radio, "please someone help, red alert (i.e.
Life threatening) I was in the garden helpless other than praying and
crying. Then, the wonderful call on the radio, "the Police have arrived".
Out leapt AK 47 wielding so called Police who then turned their guns onto
Iain and David !!  Between a rock and a hard place, Iain said to David,
"duck" and put his foot down - the truck windscreen was smashed but they got
away with their lives.   Earlier that morning Alistair and I had helped the
police constable "load" Jon's dead guard into the body box - he had been
beaten to death (interpreted by the police as "ill - natural causes" well
perhaps natural causes according to the doctrine of brutality and killing in
the ruling party book) - the dead guard Darlington's eyes and mouth were
open, his last words to his killers was "my boss (Jon) did not do anything
wrong".  I just broke down and sobbed uncontrollably for the sheer brutality
of it all, killing and beating with impunity, a witch hunt to beat, rape and
kill whoever supported the legitimate opposition party.
It is evening and our workers have all been chased off the farm, our dogs
are still locked up in our house (or killed) and our home and farm yard
looted.  This is a carbon copy of what happened two years ago.  We have to
believe that God has a plan for our beloved country - and we continue to
pray.  Today I allowed myself the total breakdown of all defenses - together
with our wonderful friends, black and white, urban and rural, and cried and
cried and cried.  Tomorrow I will be strong again, and so will my family,
friends and countrymen and women.  For those of you in the wings, please
help us avoid genocide/ethnic cleansing, whatever you want to call it.  We
are on the brink.  With much love and chinja's, Kerry (rather devastated but
not defeated!) Kay

This is what you get for being a citizen of Zimbabwe. Hours of being beaten
and threatened with death, one of your employees lying near by dying after
being beaten for hours. The badza handle wielders are previous employees who
have been taken to youth camps and politically re-educated over the last two
months. Jon Jon Rutherford's supposed crime is that during the election he
supported and transported MDC agents etc. He was not involved and was
actually away from the farm with friends.

The security guard beaten with him possibly saved his life. Jon Jon effected
his escape by managing to persuade the thugs that he needed urgent medical
attention and had to get him to hospital immediately. This they conceded
after realizing that the man was dying.
Jon Jon and his wife Emma and two young children are very lucky to be alive.
She had to spend two and a half hours away from her children detained by
these thugs being continually threatened with her life, before she was

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Zimbabwean farmers fear extermination

AFP - The shooting death of a white farmer overnight has spread fear through
Zimbabwe's small white community, with many already thinking about fleeing
into exile following violence-wracked elections.

"It's the end for us," said a neighbour of Terry Ford, who was found dead in
the early hours of Monday at his farm in Norton, 40km west of Harare.

"The white farming community is very frightened. People I spoke to feel we
are going to be exterminated if we don't leave," he added.

Ford was the eighth white farmer killed in the country since early 2000,
when ruling party supporters began invading white-owned farms under
President Robert Mugabe's controversial land reforms.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which is generally
backed by the white farming community, has recorded more than 100 deaths
among its supporters since 2000.

The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) said Ford's farm was looted by supporters
of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).

He called for help but the police did not respond, and when neighbours
showed up it was too late.

"Terry called me around midnight," said the neighbour, who is alone on his
farm after having evacuated his family.

"He was very upset, he told me to go and get the police as soon as I could
because his life was at stake."

He added: "He told me, 'Don't come alone, they'll kill you,' and then the
line went dead. I couldn't sleep, I knew deep down that the worst had
happened to him."

Another white farmer, in Mazowe to the north of the capital, would give his
name only as David.

He told AFP: "Since Mugabe was re-elected, the invaders know they have a
free hand".

"They gave me three hours to leave on Saturday. I'm still here, but I think
my death will come soon and through violence."

In Seke, south of Harare, a white farmer named John said he was considering
joining his wife and children in Britain, where they fled after their farm
was occupied by black settlers last year.

"It's not our homeland, we don't belong there, but the only choice we have
is between exile or death," he said.

Mugabe, who led the nation to independence in 1980 following a bloody
guerrilla war, was widely praised for the conciliatory attitude he adopted
towards whites who wanted to stay on in the former Rhodesia, renamed

By 2000, race relations had remained surprisingly good considering that two
decades after independence whites, making up less than 1 per cent of the
population, still hogged 70 per cent of the prime farmland in the country,
despite early efforts to correct the inequities.

But in February 2000, Mugabe was stung by the failure of a constitutional
referendum that would have allowed him to seek two more terms, as well as
measures enabling the seizure of white farmland without paying compensation
to the owners.

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ABC Australia

Tue, Mar 19 2002 8:55 AM AEDT

Zimbabwe police accused of failing to help murdered farmer

Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) has accused the police of failing
to protect a white farm owner, who has allegedly been murdered by war

Angry farmers say the killing could have been prevented.

Terry Ford was shot in the head on his farm near the capital, Harare, after
a group of more than 20 militants took over his property.

He was murdered despite telephoning the local police station and pleading
for help.

The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) says Mr Ford's calls were ignored.

CFU deputy director Malcolm Vowles says farm owners are fearful of renewed

"The feeling of farmers is one of panic, not knowing whether it's going to
be a runaway situation," Mr Vowles said.

The CFU says security forces must step in to prevent further tragedies.

The latest killing came only hours after President Robert Mugabe pledged to
accelerate his controversial land reform program.

African leaders

Meanwhile, leaders of Africa's two most powerful nations intervened in
Zimbabwe's electoral crisis yesterday, as unions called a three-day strike
in protest at the vote that returned President Mugabe to power.

President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and President Olusegun Obasanjo of
Nigeria, have held separate talks with President Mugabe and opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The two leaders say politics aside, Zimbabwe's leaders need to join forces
against serious economic threats.

"Whatever may be said about other things, Zimbabwe at this point in time
needs assistance to get it out of its economic difficulties," President
Obasanjo said.

"That help may not come unless all the leaders of Zimbabwe put all their
heads together and work together in a way that can and hope."

President Obansanjo says President Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai should report
back to the two visiting leaders within days on specific proposals, after
discussions with their parties.

President Mbeki says the "responsibility rests first and foremost and
principally on the leadership of Zimbabwe" to solve the nation's problems.

"It is for that Zimbabwean leadership to set their own agenda," he said.

Neither President Mugabe nor Mr Tsvangirai made any public remarks after the

President Obansanjo and President Mbeki will now meet with Australia's Prime
Minister John Howard, to discuss the Commonwealth's response to the poll.


Only hours after the meetings, the powerful Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU) called a three-day strike beginning Wednesday.

ZCTU secretary general Wellington Chibebe says the protest will highlight
the harassment workers have received in the aftermath of the election.

"We are saying people should stay home," Mr Chibebe said.

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ABC News Australia

Killing, Strike and Talks in Mugabe's Zimbabwe

March 18
— By Lucia Mutikani

HARARE (Reuters) - A white farmer was shot dead, Zimbabwe's major labor
federation called a general strike and two African presidents counseled
compromise as President Robert Mugabe began his fifth term of office Monday.

Benjamin Freeth of the mainly white Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) told
Reuters that farmer Terry Ford had tried to escape a midnight attack by
driving through a fence after a car had blocked his main gate.

"He failed to drive through the fence and that is when he was dragged out of
the car, bound to a tree and shot through the head," he said.

CFU spokeswoman Jenni Williams said Ford had called for help during the
night, saying he was being attacked by blacks stationed on his farm under a
government-sponsored program to seize white-owned farms for redistribution
to landless blacks.

White farmers and unionized workers are seen as key centers of opposition to
Mugabe, who has ruled the former Rhodesia since independence from Britain in

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), previously led by defeated
presidential challenger Morgan Tsvangirai, announced a three-day general
strike Monday, saying workers had been asked to stay at home from Wednesday
to Friday.

Secretary General Wellington Chibebe told Reuters the strike was being
called to protest against harassment and intimidation of workers since
Mugabe was returned to power in an election that many governments and
observers say he rigged.

"So as far as we are concerned, as a labor center, there are no legal
restrictions on us to defend our rights.

"It's going to be a peaceful strike, a stayaway where we are urging our
members and workers throughout the country to stay at home," Chibebe said.

The ZCTU has forced Mugabe to withdraw several tax and price proposals since
1997, but several strikers were killed in clashes with police in 1998 and
Mugabe cracked down heavily on street protests in 1999, 2000 and 2001.


Earlier Monday Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Olusegun Obasanjo
of Nigeria met Mugabe and aides for nearly four hours, and Tsvangirai for
about an hour, to urge them to seek an accommodation.

The leaders told reporters they would not know until after Tuesday's
Commonwealth task group meeting on Zimbabwe's possible expulsion from the
group whether their call would be heeded.

"We have heard the views of both sides. We are going to digest the views
they have given to us and they are going to digest the views we have given
to them," Obasanjo said.

"I believe that in a matter of days, they will let us know where we stand
and where they stand," he added.

Mbeki and Obasanjo did not comment on the farm killing, but said Zimbabwe
ought to move beyond the disputed presidential vote.

Asked to confirm reports by South African government sources that he was
urging Mugabe to form a government of national unity, Mbeki said: "The
approach we are taking is that the responsibility to solve the problems of
Zimbabwe... rests first and foremost and principally with the leadership of

Tsvangirai's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Britain, the
European Union and the United States have all rejected the election result,
saying Mugabe rigged the poll.

Leaders of Mbeki's ruling African National Congress (ANC) told reporters
after a three-day national executive committee meeting in Johannesburg that
Mugabe's ZANU-PF and the MDC should discuss their differences and seek a

The ANC and ZANU-PF have been allies since the 1960s, when both were
fighting white minority regimes.

"Our first step is to get them together, talking at a table," ANC
Secretary-General Kgalema Motlanthe told reporters after the committee

"It would be presumptuous of us to go in there and remove Mugabe. That's the
agenda of the U.S. and Britain. We will never align ourselves with the U.S.
and Britain."

Motlanthe said it might be in Zimbabwe's national interest to abandon the
treason charges, which carry a possible death penalty, brought against
Tsvangirai and two senior aides.

The government alleges that they conspired with a Canadian security company
to kill Mugabe. The meeting was allegedly filmed secretly by the Canadian

Political analysts say there is little hope that Mugabe would make a sincere
effort to share power or that Tsvangirai, who has branded the result
"daylight robbery," would cooperate.

The talks come the day before a meeting in London of the so-called
Commonwealth troika on Zimbabwe, which is due to discuss suspending the
southern African country from the grouping of Britain and former colonies.

Zimbabwe is in the fourth year of a deepening recession and faces widespread
famine this year after drought and disruption of the farming sector by
government-backed land seizures.
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The Farmer - 19 March 2002

Arrested farmers not charged

FOR commercial farmers in the volatile Mashonaland East and Central
provinces, the weekend presidential elections offered little respite from
the torment of the past two years. Twelve farmers were arrested as the
elections began on 9 March and detained without any charges being laid
against them.

They were released on Tuesday after the elections raising speculation that
the arrest was part of the ZANU-PF ploy to deliberately disenfranchise
commercial farmers and their workers, widely thought to support the
opposition Movement for democratic Change. Some of the farmers were arrested
while assisting in transporting election monitors to remote polling
stations, as they are familiar with rural areas. Two of the farmers had
driven monitors from Banket to Raffingora for the weekend plebiscite.

When at 6pm on the opening day of the elections, the two farmers had not
returned from Chininga polling station near Banket, a group of farmers
teamed up to look for them and found that ZANU-PF members had abducted the
pair, taken their keys and radios and were forcing them dance and sing to
party slogans. Two other farmers were ambushed and forced to join the first

CFU spokesperson Jenni Williams said farmers who followed took up strategic
positions along the road down to Chininga and a small group went in to

She said during the evening Police support unit arrived with a vehicle
carrying ZANU-PF officials and after reviewing the situation, asked the
farmers to report to the police station to make statements." Once this was
done, the police decided to take 12 of the farmers through to Banket on
unspecified charges," said Ms Williams.

A Lawyer with Mushonga and Associates, a Chinhoyi law firm visited the
police station and although the officer in charge confirmed that the farmers
were still being held, he denied the lawyer access.

The officer in charge told the lawyer that he expected to charge the eleven
for contravening the electoral Act but was unwilling to elaborate. The
farmers were released without being charged.

Among the arrested was Mr Geoff Kirkman who recently underwent heart surgery
and needed medication. The lawyer had to obtain a letter from a medical
specialist in Harare, which had to be taken to Chinhoyi to be stamped at ZRP
provincial headquarters and thereafter to Banket Police for Mr Kirkman to be
According to the CFU statement, the victims of the election weekend violence
included a boat builder in the Lions Den area, Mr Jeremy O'Connor who was
abducted by ZANU-PF youths and taken to Chinhoyi police station where he was
later released. In a related incident, ZANU-PF youths looted the home of Mr
Bruce Douglas, a butcher in the area. The same gang also visited Hill Pass
Farm where they assaulted farm workers.
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The Farmer - 19 March 2002

Zimbabwe robbed

THE country's presidential poll, said General Abdulsalami Abubakar, was not
an "expression of the will of the people." The Norwegians said much the same
thing, while the Movement for Democratic Change said it did not recognise
the election results.

Only South Africa, pathetically, suggested the election was legitimate.
South Africa's Dr Sam Motsuenyane claimed that long queues that deprived
thousands of their vote in Harare and Chitungwiza were an "administrative
oversight." His stand, no doubt made at Mr Thabo Mbeki's bidding, was a sad
day for Africa. It was also embarrassing. Still, if the South Africans want
to be silly, that's their right, but Zimbabweans know better. They know that
they have been robbed, that the election was neither free nor fair, that it
was marred by violence and intimidation, that polling officials deliberately
and willfully made it difficult for voters in MDC strongholds to vote. They
know that the reduction of polling stations in urban areas and the increase
in rural areas was a deliberate ploy to disenfranchise high concentrations
of voters and they know that some of the figures from rural constituencies
look deeply suspicious.

So… Zimbabwe has a government that is not recognised by most of the world's
important countries. The Commonwealth, the Southern African Development
Community's Parliamentary Forum and the Norwegians have said the election
did not reflect the will of the people, while Zimbabweans themselves have
said the election was illegitimate. That makes for an interesting situation,
because if Mr Mugabe is in power, it is because he put himself in power and
not because the people want him there. It means that Zimbabwe can expect
greater isolation until he does something to rectify the problem. It means
that pressure will mount on the "ruling party" to restore democracy to
Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe finds itself in the same position as Nigeria and
Yugoslavia did not so long ago.

It is unlikely to last. Gone are the days when illegitimate governments
clung to power for years or even decades while the world looked on
unconcerned and impassive. Zimbabweans can expect the engineers of this
massive fraud to come under close scrutiny and even punishment. Of course,
all this would be easier if the fatuous Mr Mbeki behaved with more principle
and honesty. In the end, his support of illegitimacy, of terror and
intimidation will not only discredit him and South Africa, but also his
dream of a new African initiative. He purports to support democracy,
transparency and an African renaissance, but in reality he supports
authoritarian, brutal and unconstitutional government in his closest

What does all this mean for farmers? Well, there are a number of paths
Zimbabwe could take now, but one thing is certain: what should have ended
last week will now continue a little longer. That's a depressing thought,
but it can be countered with the knowledge that in a country facing mass
starvation, farmers are an essential commodity. Mr Mugabe may not agree, but
Mr Mugabe's tenure is extremely fragile. When hunger leads to unrest, as it
will, even his own party will find it difficult to support him. The problem
Mr Mugabe faces is that he has spent two years bringing about a result he
desired, but at such great cost that he cannot sustain it.

When asked whether Zimbabweans faced another six years of Mr Mugabe's rule,
the country's foremost political analyst, Dr John Makumbe said, "Six years?
I doubt the people will give him six months." It is a view shared by many
ordinary Zimbabweans as well; if for no other reason than it is foolish to
fly in the face of Harare's three million residents. They want change and
they will get it, albeit at some personal cost.
There is a legal issue at stake here, too. If the election was illegitimate,
as everyone other than ZANU-PF and the South African government says, then
Zimbabweans find themselves faced with an obligation to do something about
it. There will be a fight, whether on the streets or in the courts has yet
to be decided, but the status quo isn't here to stay.

Farmers, perhaps not by choice, will find themselves in the thick of the
fight because they have endured the brunt of Mr Mugabe's terror tactics for
the last two years. But… no one ever won a fight without taking sides and if
farmers decide not to be involved, to sit on the proverbial fence, then they
stand every chance of being killed in the crossfire. Besides, if the
government is illegitimate, then all Zimbabweans are faced with a huge
political problem. Suddenly, the word "apolitical" no longer applies,
because whatever anyone does now will be a political choice; to plant or not
to plant, to stay or leave, all these are now political decisions.

Staying is a better option than leaving, and planting a crop a better
decision still. Nevertheless, it is no longer possible not to take sides.
Dealing with the government is no longer a simple matter of dealing with the
government of the day because that government has been declared illegitimate
and unconstitutional. It is not recognised by countries that count in these
matters. Farmers, quite simply, have to decide where they stand in this
fight, but they should also be aware that Zimbabwe's illegitimacy has added
an international dimension. With the world looking so closely at a regime it
doesn't recognise, note will be taken of those groups and organisations,
local and foreign, that are helping to extend the unconstitutionality of the

And no, it's not just farmers. Business organisations and businessmen will
also be looked at. Some will find themselves targeted for smart sanctions,
but that is another issue. This magazine is read primarily by farmers,
though right now there is perhaps comfort in knowing that farmers are not
alone. What applies to farmers now applies to every Zimbabwean because we're
all in the same boat.

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Monday, 18 March, 2002, 15:18 GMT
Africa's big two press Mugabe
Mugabe welcomes Mbeki at Harare airport
Mugabe in festive mood with the South African president
The leaders of two key African nations have held talks with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in an effort to resolve the crisis created by his disputed election victory.

South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo were expected to urge Mr Mugabe to form a national unity government with the leading opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The two leaders did not comment on the progress of the talks. They later began a meeting with Mr Mugabe's defeated rival, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the French news agency AFP reported.

Zimbabwe soldiers' honour guard for presidential swearing-in
Western governments boycotted Mugabe's inauguration
Meanwhile, a white farmer was shot dead near his homestead - the tenth such killing since militants began often violent occupations of white-owned land two years ago.

The South African and Nigerian presidents will decide in London on Tuesday - with Australian Prime Minister John Howard - whether Zimbabwe should be suspended from the Commonwealth.

As he left for their meeting, Mr Howard said this was "quite a moment of truth.

"The Commonwealth has been held together by a number of things and one of them has been a common commitment to democracy.

"We have to face, fairly and squarely, the responsibility we've been given," he said.

Commonwealth observers issued an interim report condemning Zimbabwe's election, which has also been criticised by the United States, the European Union and the UK.

However, many national African monitoring teams described the result as fair.

Further violence

The MDC says militants loyal to the ruling Zanu-PF attacks have stepped up attacks since the election.

One white farmer was killed near his farm early on Monday, apparently while trying to escape an attack by self-styled war veterans.

Commercial Farmers' Union spokeswoman Jenni Williams said that Terry Ford - owner of a farm about 40 km (30 miles) southwest of Harare, was found shot through the head.

Commonwealth threat

Senior aides to Mr Obasanjo were quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying the Nigerian leader was unlikely to back Zimbabwe's suspension.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo
Obasanjo is unlikely to back Zimbabwe's suspension
For his part, the South African president said on Saturday that, while Zimbabwe's fate would have to be decided by Zimbabweans, the outside world did have a right and duty to speak out about what was happening there.

South Africa's position on Zimbabwe is particularly important, partly because it has political weight and economic leverage - it is the most powerful economy in southern Africa and it supplies Zimbabwe's fuel and power.

In what appeared to be a related effort, Presidents Bakili Muluzi of Malawi and Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique met Mr Tsvangirai on Sunday and urged him, too, to work for national unity.

BBC Southern African correspondent Barnaby Phillips says neither side in Zimbabwe appears ready to compromise.

Mr Tsvangirai says Mr Mugabe is no longer relevant to the search for a solution to the country's economic and political crisis and should step down.

At his inauguration ceremony on Sunday, Mr Mugabe vowed to accelerate his controversial programme of land reform and said his victory was a triumph against "British imperialism".

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Tenth white farmer killed

Emelia Sithole

Harare - A white farmer was killed in Zimbabwe on Monday hours before the
presidents of South Africa and Nigeria arrived to pressure President Robert
Mugabe to share power with his defeated challenger in last week's election.

Commercial Farmers' Union spokesperson Jenni Williams said Terry Ford of the
farm Gowrie, about 40km southwest of Harare, was found dead against a tree
outside his homestead about 06:00.

"There is evidence of a bullet exit wound from the head," she said, adding
that he appeared to have been stopped and killed while trying to drive away
from his homestead.

Ford had earlier called for help from police and neighbours saying he was
being attacked by black settlers camped on his farm, which the government
has designated for seizure and redistribution to landless blacks.

Ford was the 10th white farmer to be killed during Mugabe's two-year-old
campaign to reverse the colonial pattern of land ownership and the first
white to be attacked since last week's election.


The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Britain, the European
Union and the United States have all rejected the election result, saying
Mugabe rigged the poll.

South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo
arrived in Harare on Monday for talks with Mugabe about Zimbabwe's deep
political crisis.

Political analysts said the leaders of Africa's two most powerful countries
were likely to push Mugabe to consider forming a government of national

But they said there was little hope that Mugabe would make a sincere effort
to share power or that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has branded the
election "daylight robbery", would agree to participate.

The talks come the day before a crucial meeting in London of the so-called
Commonwealth troika on Zimbabwe, which is due to discuss suspending the
southern African country from the grouping of Britain and former colonies.

Obasanjo unlikely to back suspension

Mbeki and Obasanjo are members of the troika along with Australian Prime
Minister John Howard. Commonwealth analysts believe Howard is likely to
favour some form of suspension, which Mbeki would oppose, leaving the
deciding vote to Obasanjo.

But senior aides to Obasanjo said in Lagos on Sunday that he looked most
unlikely to back the suspension of Zimbabwe.

Commonwealth observers issued a damning report on the Zimbabwean polls,
saying there was no free expression of will by the electorate.

Mugabe, in power since 1980, was sworn in for another six-year term on
Sunday at a colourful ceremony held within the secure confines of his State
House office complex.

Sources in the South African government said Mbeki hoped to persuade Mugabe
to include the MDC in a unity government to help avert Zimbabwe's suspension
from the Commonwealth.

In a possible response, Mugabe urged MDC supporters to work with his ruling
Zanu-PF party, but he did not refer directly to a joint administration.

MDC could be cast as the dragon

In a move analysts said was probably related, Presidents Bakili Muluzi of
Malawi and Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique met Mugabe's Tsvangirai on Sunday
and urged him to work for national unity.

"We tried to appeal to him that it is important that Zimbabweans work
together for the transformation of this country otherwise you will all lose
out," Muluzi told state television.
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Monday, 18 March, 2002, 16:43 GMT
Q&A: Resolving Zimbabwe's crisis
FONT face=sans-serif size=2>As South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo hold talks with Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, Barnaby Mason, looks at what chance they have of resolving the crisis caused by Mr Mugabe's disputed election victory.

What do South Africa and Nigeria hope to achieve in Harare and London?

A way out of the crisis which simultaneously maintains African solidarity, preserves some credibility for the Commonwealth and offers hope for the future to the people of Zimbabwe.

It is a tall order - maybe the circle cannot be squared.

Have Presidents Mbeki and Obasanjo any specific ideas?

Various reports suggest they are exploring the possibility of a national unity government.

It seems unlikely that President Robert Mugabe would be willing to share power, or that the leader of the opposition MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, would agree to take part in a government with people he accuses of stealing the election.

At the very least, the MDC would want the clear prospect of a new poll.

Is Mr Mugabe likely to take any notice of them?

He might perhaps be tempted to make some kind of offer in the conviction that the opposition would turn it down and he could portray himself as the flexible one. Otherwise, probably not.

What are the prospects for Tuesday's Commonwealth meeting in London?

It looks like being very difficult. This month's Commonwealth summit in Queensland mandated the leaders of Australia, South Africa and Nigeria to decide on Commonwealth action in the light of the verdict by the organisation's election observers.

Their preliminary report said conditions did not adequately allow for a free expression of the people's will.

They said there was systematic intimidation of the opposition, the police often did not investigate incidents of violence, and thousands of people were prevented from voting.

That suggests strong action by the Commonwealth?

The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, is in favour of suspending Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth - the strongest measure the meeting can take.

But Thabo Mbeki in particular does not seem ready to agree to that - South Africa's position has been confused, while several of Zimbabwe's other neighbours have endorsed the election.

Mr Mbeki wants to keep African states together, and is afraid of anything that might worsen the crisis and infect South Africa itself.

What about Olusegun Obasanjo?

In Australia he said they should wait for the election, but added "what has to be done, must be done".

On the other hand, Mr Obasanjo has invested a lot of energy in trying to bring about a political settlement of the Zimbabwe crisis - diplomats say he would still like to find a helpful role for the Commonwealth rather than a punitive one.

Is the Commonwealth itself in any danger?

The organisation was deeply split at the summit, partly on black-white lines. The traditional consensus was maintained only by delaying a decision.

If the divide was repeated in London, it would do great damage to the Commonwealth's role as a multi-racial association.

On the other hand, not to act on Zimbabwe would undermine its claim to uphold fundamental political principles like democracy and the rule of law.

Does Zimbabwe threaten Mr Mbeki's dream of an African renaissance?

The ambitious New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) commits the region's leaders to good governance in exchange for increased Western aid. The UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has been one of its main backers.

Western donors will be far more reluctant to commit resources if African states are not prepared to back even symbolic sanctions against Zimbabwe.

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Irish Times

Zimbabwe trade unions call three-day strike

 Last updated: 18-03-02, 17:18

Zimbabwe's main labour federation today called a three-day general strike
later this week to protest the post-election harassment of workers.

Previously led by defeated presidential challenger Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, the
federation's members are believed to have been among his strongest backers
against President Robert Mugabe, who won a fifth term as head of Zimbabwe's
government last week in an election many countries and observers have said
was rigged.

Pointing to an attempt by police to monitor a closed union council meeting
last week, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) said in a statement
it feared the government planned to curtail union activities.

"The ZCTU therefore calls on all workers to stay away from their work places
on protest against the state's disregard for the
trade union freedoms...the harassment, beatings and displacement workers are
experiencing in the aftermath of the presidential elections," said the
statement signed by ZCTU secretary general Wellington Chibebe.

New laws imposed by Mr Mugabe over the past year have significantly
curtailed the right of protest in Zimbabwe and political analysts could not
say immediately whether the strike would be legal.
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ZIMBABWE: Civic groups reject national unity government

JOHANNESBURG, 18 March (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's rival political leaders are expected to comment soon on a Nigeria-South Africa initiative aimed at encouraging them to work together.

But, following last week's controversial presidential elections, civil society leaders said on Monday they would oppose a government of national unity.

The presidents of South Africa and Nigeria ended talks in Zimbabwe on Monday with their counterpart Robert Mugabe and his opponent Morgan Tsvangirai, with an appeal that they should bridge the political divide in the interests of the country.

"In a matter of days they (Mugabe and Tsvangirai) should let us know where we stand and where they stand," Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo told a press conference. South African leader Thabo Mbeki added that the "responsibility rests first and foremost and principally on the leadership of Zimbabwe" to solve the nation's problems.

South Africa has promoted the idea of a government of national unity as a way to ease the country's political crisis in the wake of the disputed 9-11 March elections, and to enable Zimbabwe to deal with its crushing economic problems.

But Brian Kagoro, a member of the NGO umbrella group Crisis in Zimbabwe Committee, told IRIN: "We as civic leaders have rejected it on the basis that these guys [the ruling ZANU-PF party] stole the election and you cannot unite with thieves ... Zimbabwe won't heal by papering over injustices."

He acknowledged that some "weak" members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) could favour a unity government. But he said Tsvangirai did not have a "blank cheque" and was aware of the sentiment of rank and file supporters opposed to a political deal that legitimised a poll condemned by local monitors and some international election observers as deeply flawed.

Kagoro said the only way forward would be for Mugabe to resign and to be replaced by a "moderate" ZANU-PF leader. A government of national unity could then be formed which would oversee the amendment of the constitution to reduce the powers of the presidency and allow for electoral reform, leading to fresh polls under international supervision.

He predicted that "Mugabe will tell them to go to hell - he doesn't understand compromise". The only other option left for the opposition, Kagoro said, would be the "escalation of the conflict within constitutional limits". Zimbabwe's labour movement announced on Monday a three-day strike to begin on Wednesday in protest over the election results which handed Mugabe a comfortable margin of victory.

Obasanjo and Mbeki are due in London on Tuesday for talks with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, under the auspices of the Commonwealth, on whether Zimbabwe should be sanctioned over the elections. An interim Commonwealth report last week said the poll was marred by violence and intimidation and was not free or fair.

Meanwhile, the MDC's legal challenge has been strengthened by a statistical survey highlighting a significant difference between the results announced by Tobiah Mudede, the country's registrar-general, and those compiled by the state-appointed Election Supervisory Commission (ESC), news reports said.

In Gokwe North, the government said there were 32,300 votes cast, but the ESC put the figure at only 13,200. In as many as a quarter of the 120 constituencies, there was a discrepancy of more than 5,000 votes between the two "official" numbers, the Financial Times said.

According to MDC analysis, if the ESC count is used with votes subtracted from Mugabe where the official count was "inflated" and added to Tsvangirai where the official count was allegedly understated, the opposition leader would have narrowly won.

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Independent (UK)

Peter Mandelson: A deal to get us out of the Zimbabwe impasse

'For Blair, accepting the election, albeit on a strictly qualified basis,
will not be easy'
19 March 2002
A few days in South Africa reveal the full extent of President Thabo Mbeki's
dilemma over Zimbabwe. He believes that the country's thoroughly discredited
ruler will not be forced out of office by outside intervention and that it
is futile to pretend otherwise. Yet if you look across the range of
editorial comment that might support his apparently quiescent attitude to
Robert Mugabe's rule, and Zimbabwe's widely contested election result, you
discover no cogent (or even uncogent) defence of the president's approach.

Indeed, the best explanation for his stance has appeared not in a South
African newspaper but in in an "anti-colonialist" column in a British
newspaper that argued in favour of leaving Africa to Africans. That's fine
as a general observation except for two things. Africans are horrified by
the impact that Mugabe is having on the continent's reputation and its newly
flaunted commitment to good governance and democracy, enshrined in the New
Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad). Africa is not only Africa's
business when the success of this partnership, by definition, depends on the
rest of the world's commitment and goodwill.

Mr Mbeki, therefore, is losing ground rapidly and is in danger of imperiling
his deserved reputation as the most capable and globally conversant leader
Africa has to offer today. His economic understanding and policies are
widely admired for their realism and courage. His own democratic credentials
are untarnished. And he knows better than anyone how much his own country's
prospects are linked to the fortunes of Africa as a whole.

His highest duty and responsibility, therefore, when he meets Nigeria's
President, Olusegun Obasanjo, and Australia's Prime minister, John Howard,
in London today to discuss the Commonwealth's response to Zimbabwe's
poisoned election is to stand up for Africa's wider interests, clearly
distance himself from Mr Mugabe's actions and in so doing ensure Nepad's
survival. This plan represents the best hope in a generation or more of
Africa turning the corner after decades of spiraling into poverty and
despair. But Mbeki will be throwing away any chance of Nepad being taken
seriously by G8 members if he does not move towards world opinion over Mr
Mugabe. The choice is as raw as that.

The quid pro quo should be for Britain, America and others in the West to
meet Mr Mbeki half way, coming from the other direction. There should be
respect for Mr Mbeki's judgement as a seasoned and informed player in the
region and acceptance that he is not pursuing a frivolous or cowardly
agenda. It should be recognised that Zimbabwe is not a province of South
Africa and that Mr Mbeki has to live with Mr Mugabe on his border, not
safely thousands of miles away. And that it is not in anyone's interests –
Britain's or South Africa's – to provoke a violent collapse in Zimbabwe,
with all the consequences and costs that would entail.

In practice, this means forging an agreed plan of action that presents clear
challenges to Mr Mugabe that are not impossible for him to accept and then
confronting him with a united front if he refuses to do so.

The starting point for such an approach is an unambiguous statement that the
lead up and conduct of the elections in Zimbabwe fell below the standards
required for endorsement by the Commonwealth. The next step should be to
assert that the results cannot stand as they are and that a representative,
more broadly-based government should be constituted that reflects the
balanced nature of the election "result". Morgan Tsvangirai might prefer to
keep his distance from such an arrangement so as to continue as an
independent and watchful observer but his freedom and safety, and that of
his followers, must be demanded.

A subsequent condition should be implementation by Mr Mugabe of previous
international undertakings given by him, including the Abuja agreement on
land reforms, and full respect for Zimbabwe's constitution and the country's
rule of law. Ignoring the views of other members of his government so as to
push further erosions of liberty and media freedom through parliament would
be deemed unacceptable to the Commonwealth with suspension and other
sanctions following immediately.

Could Tony Blair, with his outright condemnation of Mr Mugabe, live with
this approach and could Mr Mbeki, with his resentment of outside dictats,
sign up to it? For Mr Blair, accepting the de facto result of the election
albeit on a strictly qualified basis, will not be easy. For Mr Mbeki,
committing himself to uncompromising measures against Mr Mugabe should he
fail to accede to the Commonwealth's demands within a prescribed time, will
be hard given his stance to date. But the alternative is a Commonwealth
stand-off, with the only smile left on anyone's face belonging to Mr Mugabe.

Neither Mr Blair nor Mr Mbeki could draw comfort from that but, of the two,
Mr Mbeki and his country will come off worse than Britain if Mr Mugabe
remains unchecked and the world shrugs and turns away from Africa for a
another generation.

The writer is a former Labour cabinet minister

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Mugabe bends as African allies step up pressure

By Basildon Peta, Zimbabwe Correspondent
19 March 2002

Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe is prepared to negotiate on a government
of national unity, he indicated in talks with two African leaders attempting
to broker an end to the political crisis yesterday.

Mr Mugabe, who was sworn in to a new six-year term on Sunday despite claims
that his election was illegal, nevertheless laid down terms that are
considered unacceptable by the opposition.

But his attitude in the talks with South African President Thabo Mbeki and
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, provided the first sign that Mr Mugabe
may be yielding to the mounting international pressure, with the
Commonwealth poised to suspend his country from the organisation today .

Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change,
rebuffed the national unity government proposals, sources in Harare said.

The crisis stemming from Mr Mugabe's victory in the election last week
showed signs of deepening when the country's main trade union federation,
the ZCTU, called a three-day national strike from tomorrow to protest
against harassment of workers by Mr Mugabe's supporters.

The trade unions said they feared a further crackdown by Mr Mugabe, who has
brought in laws to curtail public protests.

The two African presidents ended their separate talks with Mr Mugabe and Mr
Tsvangirai without revealing any details.

But the sources said the two leaders told both Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai
that the only way to win international support for Zimbabwe's economic
recovery now was by forming a government of national unity.

The two leaders offered to broker a meeting between Mr Mugabe and Mr
Tsvangirai to discuss the deadlock caused by the election outcome, but the
opposition leader did not commit himself. "Tsvangirai said he would need to
consult his national executive first before he can agree to any meeting,"
said a source.

Mr Mbeki and Mr Obasanjo are part of a troika mandated by the Commonwealth
to take action on Zimbabwe in the wake of Mr Mugabe's victory, considered by
most observers to have been deeply flawed. Australia's Prime Minister, John
Howard, the other member of the troika, meets his African counterparts in
London today to discuss whether Zimbabwe merits suspension from the
54-nation organisation.

Mr Tsvangirai did, however, express support for a transitional government,
calling for a rerun of the presidential election under international
supervision. He urged Mr Mbeki and Mr Obasanjo to facilitate a coalition
government between the MDC and the ruling Zanu-PF for the purposes of
preparing for a new election only.

Mr Tsvangirai also reiterated his view that forming a government of national
unity with Mr Mugabe would be tantamount to legitimising his "stolen
victory" in the presidential election. The defeated candidate seems to
believe that he is negotiating from a position of strength, with the backing
of the international community.

But Mr Mugabe left his options open in his meeting with the two African
leaders, the sources said. "Mugabe knew beforehand that the government of
national unity was not acceptable to the opposition and so he wanted to play
the role of a good statesman and then blame the opposition for the failure
to achieve such a government," said one ruling party source.

Mr Mugabe insisted that the opposition should recognise his victory, drop
its demands for a rerun of the election and stop calling for international
sanctions before he invites the MDC to join his government.

Mr Mugabe also said he could consider some of the concerns of the
opposition, such as rewriting the Zimbabwean constitution, once the MDC
proved its willingness to work together with the ruling party for Zimbabwe's

Mr Howard is expected to push for the Commonwealth to suspend Zimbabwe after
the Commonwealth observer team declared the elections flawed. But he might
not succeed in achieving this if Mr Mbeki and Mr Obasanjo oppose this

Britain and the US back the government of national unity proposal and say
they will not recognise the election result.
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I am a white Zimbabwean who was born in this country, as were my parents. I do not have any claim to any other citizenship in the world. Unlike most of my white country folk I do not have anywhere else to go and I do not want to leave my country and the people both black and white that I love.

This week I have had countless black friends, colleagues and employees literally break down and weep over the result of this election. I have been a political activist for the past 2 years. Now I speak to you all with a desperate plea from my shattered heart over the terrible news of having Mugabe rule us for six more, tyrannical years. We cannot survive three more months. As just an ordinary, peace loving person I cannot understand, like many of my countrymen many things.

Do not believe for a moment that the rural people voted for Mugabe. They simply did not vote so Mugabe’s men did for them. Quite easy when you have arranged that there is no MDC representation at 42% of polling booths, so there is no check on the boxes. The road to the polling station is lined with militia (with red berets) And the CIO are conducting things their way. There was a large element of his terror tactics working, mentioned later in this document. How do you explain an 80% poll anywhere in the world but they managed it in Mashonaland East. The area of greatest intimidation in Zimbabwe. That means they had to process 14 votes per minute. I voted in one of the more efficient urban stations and by the time a voter was checked off the voters roll, had is I D checked been given his ballot paper, had it explained how to fold it, mark it and a present it to the polling officer the entire process took approximately 1 person per minute.

Why can’t the international human rights bodies, governments, United Nation, Commonwealth do more to help us?. You have talked and talked – we need drastic action. As with Hitler, is the world going to continue to talk to this maniac. Are you in 50 years time still going to be trying to charge him and his cronies for human rights violations - are you going to continue to turn another blind eye, or just verbally condemn what is going on but do nothing. Isn’t the 1980’s Gukurahundi enough evidence of ethnic cleansing to demand more than talk – now twenty years later!! Why would sanctions worry a man who has absolutely no moral fibre at all. The international community’s handling of this man is like a mother with a spoilt brat throwing tantrums and the mother feeding it sweets in the hope it will shut up and behave. As soon as the mother’s back is turned the child taunts her.



Sanctions won’t worry them because you can be sure they will have so much money hidden away under other names you don’t worry them. I doubt it is even bothering them that their children have to leave their universities. You also gave them so much warning of your sanctions they have had ample time to make a plan.

I know it is not international policy to interfere in the courts and laws and running of another country but surely the time has come now to change that before we have a million dead Zimbabweans. You can only play by the rules if both sides know them. Thus there is no point in suggesting a coalition government because Mugabe does not even listen to the parliament he has, having bought a comfortable majority of ministers on his gravy train. People who have already seen enough of their colleagues killed in mysterious car accidents because they tried to be brave and speak out. There is no point in taking this to court in Zimbabwe because he has fixed that with bought judges. Funny that some of his new judges are suddenly the owners of lovely new farms!!!

You know he stole the majority in parliamentary elections rigging 30 seats that were rightfully MDC and what have the by-elections of those likely to bring but more rigging and deaths. We are as helpless as the Jews were in the concentration camps and I can promise you much of the ‘seen support’ for ZANU PF is poor innocent people being led to believe they will live and see their starving children fed. Do not underestimate the power of the gods in the beliefs of the black man. Mark my words they have used these evil powers fully. Can you imagine, as a small child, seeing your parents and brothers and sisters being herded into a hut and burnt to death (just close you eyes for a minute and hear the screaming). Now 15 years later as a young adult a troop of the same terrifying men in the same red berets arrive and at gun point march you to a polling station. I defy anyone to take anything but the line of peaceful resistance. I know because in 1982 I was marched off into the bush with my sister at gun point whilst I left my 6 month old baby in the car being prodded by a man in a red beret with his bayonet. We were very lucky and were rescued but I can assure you there is no fear like it.

Ask the BBC for a copy of the film shown on Sunday 13 March at 8.05pm. Panaroma called "The Price of Silence" Look at your pompous High Commissioners and Foreign Diplomats, with the hot potatoes in their mouths. I quote their interviews on this film "Reports of FAIRLY brutal" "It is a pity", "Reports rather blown up" "Steer clear of it" "Not risk a row with" "Use quiet diplomacy" "We talk nicely to them but they wouldn’t listen so we left and DID NOTHING". The Foreign Office told Prince Charles "It was all exaggerated". The Deputy High Commissioner "We condemn it but have no right to interfere" "It was a side issue" Shame on all of you, people like you, share the blood on Mugabe’s hands. How can you comment "it’s a pity" as if a child spilt the milk, when, in fact, a bunch of hired, carefully trained maniacs brutally cut the foetuses out of pregnant women’s stomachs. I’m sure if it was your wife "it’s a pity" would hardly be your comment. How DARE YOU comment so pompously when 10’s of thousand of the most innocent people in this world were and still are being massacred. ‘Wake up’ this man has no morals. Listen to people like Bishop Pius Ncube and please protect him, he, above all people needs to be awarded a bravery award of the highest level. When ARE YOU going to arrest Perence Shiri for his crimes against humanity like you have done with Milosovic.

Mugabe is worse than Hitler because he leaves the maimed behind to serve as a constant reminder to the rest of the village of what he is capable of. Death from his wrath comes to the lucky ones. There are thousands of reports, all documented by the Amani Trust for anyone who has the gut to read even a portion of it. Your silence is deafening. Why can’t one of you arrest this man, and charge him in an international court of justice for human rights violations. After all he has ordered rape, murder, burnt our houses, stolen land for his people (I don’t mean his recent redistribution but the farms taken from farmers as far back as the 1980’s) and given it to his cronies instead of the people who have waited 20 years for him to deliver. Land that now stands derelict and unused. If we could see that land given to the people was producing food for the people, farmers would happily give more and help poor peasant farmers get started. What is the point of giving to war vets – a true war vet in this country should be facing retirement because if he made a substantial contribution to the liberation war he should have served that for at least 5 years of his adult hood must make his age at least 45 years old. The land must be made available to young (at present unemployed) Zimbabweans coming out of Agricultural college, together with soft loans to develop and make economic progress with it. But please use what you have already stolen before you grab more.

We cannot rise up in Zimbabwe because, contrary to Mugabe’s belief MDC does not have weapons . If the people were to rise he would simply gun them down with his ridiculously huge army which has drained our resources for years. We don’t want a bloody Sunday. We can’t do a sustained stay away because the average Zimbabwean is living hand to mouth so cannot afford to put away enough food to survive it. Aside from which Mugabe has made it abundantly clear he couldn’t care less about the economy, therefore the economic effect of a long stay away would only affect the people. Most of his army are our relatives anyway, people forced to do what they don’t believe in or they face death and death to their extended family. Oh yes!! If I was brave enough to stand up on my own my whole family would be punished.

My friend was arrested this weekend ( together with at least 1 300 others) for carrying a catapult (sling shot) – a toy most little boys carry from the age of six!!. He is still in prison – or shall I say in a Zimbabwean concentration camp. Unlike the prisons in Europe they do not get a T.V to watch or a book to read. The prisons have absolutely NO form of amusement, education or rehabilitation therapy. They have no working toilets, you are only allowed to use the toilet twice a day outside. The blanket you might be offered is so full of human faeces you would rather freeze than use it. You are not allowed to wear underwear, you are not given or allowed to receive from outside basic human needs, sanitary towels (Yes let your imagination run wild, HIV etc), soap, toothpaste, toilet paper. So a prison sentence for any woman is a death sentence. You are given two small bowls of maize porridge with a small raw leaf of rape a day. There are 20 people in cells designed to house six. To sleep you have to all turn over at the same time. Does this not ring a few bells of Germany in the war!!!! And they all come equipped with their own torture chambers. Bear in mind that many people are in prison at the moment are only guilty of ‘love of his country’. I keep toilet paper, toothpaste and soap in my bag all the time. What a joke they probably wouldn’t let me keep it anyway.

Please do not insist on another election and then let Mugabe run it. The evidence is all there, how this election was mastermind of rigging. Why didn’t the international community insist that SADCC run these elections. We have to have Perspex ballot boxes, that are held outside the country until the day before and watched from the minute they arrive here. Ballot papers need to be printed by an independent body and the layout, colour of paper etc kept absolutely secret until the minute the first voter arrives. There needs to be an army of well-trained observers to ensure that the pre-election groundwork is not carefully orchestrated long before monitors arrive

Start looking now (especially South Africa) for observers who have some guts and will go out to rural areas and actually see for themselves the villages surrounded by militia, instead of sipping Gin and Tonic in your hotel then ambling off to an urban, low density polling station at 4.00 in the afternoon. There were more than enough people around to show you where to look!! What? were you on some sort of sight seeing safari!!

Mr Mudede’s voters roll is a joke. My name appeared twice (lucky me!!!) and my deaceased sister is still on there. No doubt the Zanu PF supporters (leaches) probably appear 6 times each. Mind you I suppose if I saw my children starving before my eyes I might be inclined to go to rallies and chant songs and beat up a few people on the way for five hundred dollars a day and a bag of unobtainable mealie meal. We should all be allowed to vote if we have any form of Zimbabwe identification – even someone who has only just got his Zimbabwean residency has a concerned interest in how he is ruled. Why can’t Zimbabwean’s living outside this country vote when they are probably economic exiles who long to come back to live here. They probably have a bigger concerned interest in the recovery of their country because they are prisoners elsewhere.

South African’s it’s time for you to ask questions about how this affects you?

  1. Your state funds last week provided a very luxurious holiday in the Sheraton hotel in Harare for your hand picked observers, nice and safe and far away from any real trouble.
  2. What is your president’s agenda with his quiet open support of Mugabe and quite obviously your observers were primed to find this election ‘free and fair’ to suit some other political agenda.
  3. Have you ever asked, which is your right, for an audit of Sasol and Eskom’s Zimbabwean debt. Somebody is paying for it and it sure as hell isn’t us. Are you happy that you continue to pay my electricity and fuel bills? Note that NOCZIM paid the hotel bills for Mugabe’s militia staying in the top Harare hotels before and during the elections – Money that should be going towards paying the ever-increasing debt to South Africa.
  4. Above all else you need to consider that if your president continues to turn a blind eye and his observers can blatantly ignore what is happening in Zimbabwe , what is his future plan for South Africa.

What can you do??

Send this to anyone you know who would be remotely interested in Zimbabwe and ask them to sent it to their M.P/senator anywhere in the world and ask them to take it to parliament. Send it to anyone you know who has connection with The Hague, U.N., E.U., NATO, SADCC, Commonwealth and any newspapers. If possible follow them up with a phone call next week and ask them "What have you done??". Bombard Embassies with it and demonstrate (peacefully), photocopy it and dish it out, Cause mail overload, phone and physical pressure and when you have done all this PRAY FOR US. We are as helpless as the Jews were during the 2nd world war. Wasn’t the man Chenjerai ‘Hitler’ Hunzvi enough to raise at least international suspicions of who this man’s role model is.


I face two years of imprisonment for expressing these views in this country, so I'm forced to use a pseudonym - but many of you will know who I am

Thank you all for your support

True Zimbabwean

Commonwealth verdict 'delayed by Mugabe talks' The Times

March 19, 2002

Commonwealth verdict 'delayed by Mugabe talks'
From Jan Raath in Harare

COMMONWEALTH leaders meet in London today to decide whether to suspend
Zimbabwe after the presidential elections were condemned as illegitimate by
international monitors.
The talks come after Zimbabwe’s main labour federation yesterday called a
three-day general strike later this week to protest against the
post-election harassment of workers.

Previously led by Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader, the federation’s
members are believed to have been among his strongest backers against
President Mugabe.

President Obasanjo of Nigeria and President Mbeki of South Africa held
separate talks in Harare yesterday with Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai, leader
of the Movement for Democratic Change. They left hinting that they had
offered Mr Mugabe a chance to avoid almost total international isolation and
economic collapse.

The two leaders spent about two hours with Mr Mugabe and another hour with
Mr Tsvangirai. “They are going to digest the views we have given to them,”
Mr Obasanjo said. “I believe that in a matter of days they will come back to
us.” He would give no further details.

However, diplomats say that the offer of a deal for Mr Mugabe to talk over
the issue with his party will, in effect, prevent the Commonwealth troika —
Mr Obasanjo, Mr Mbeki and John Howard, the Australian Prime Minister — from
making an immediate decision in London today on the regime’s future, as the
Commonwealth summit last month enjoined them to do.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions yesterday pointed to an attempt by
police to monitor a closed union council meeting last week and said in a
statement that it feared the Government planned to curb union activities.

“The ZCTU therefore calls on all workers to stay away from their workplaces
from Wednesday to Friday in protest against the state’s disregard for union
freedoms. Harassment, beatings and displacement are being experienced by
workers in the aftermath of the presidential elections,” said the statement
signed by Wellington Chibebe, the ZCTU secretary-general.

Johannesburg: South Africa’s ruling African National Congress yesterday
called on President Mugabe to drop treason charges against Mr Tsvangirai and
begin talks with the MDC. Kgalema Motlanthe, the ANC’s Secretary General,
said: “Our first step must be to get them together talking at the table.”
South Africa is believed to be trying to ward off the threat of Zimbabwe
being expelled from the Commonwealth by encouraging Mr Mugabe to form a
government of national unity between the ruling Zanu (PF) party and the MDC.

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