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

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13, march 2002
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum has completed its interim assessment of the Zimbabwe 2002 elections.
On the invitation of the government of Zimbabwe by letter dated February 4, 2002, the SADC Parliamentary Forum Observer mission constituted a delegation of 70 members, consisting of 39 Members of Parliament and support staff drawn from the Secretariat in Windhoek, Namibia and eleven parliaments of the region.
It is the policy of the Forum to observe elections of all member states starting with the pre-election phase. This is the seventh election the Forum has observed in the region since 1999.
Since its inception of the observation programme, the Forum has collectively evolved Norms and Standards for Elections in the SADC region approved in March 2001. The main objective of the Norms and Standards is to ensure the conduct of peaceful, free and fair elections in the region.
In observing the elections, the Forum was guided by the constitutional and legal framework of Zimbabwe and the Norms and Standards for Election Observation in the SADC Region. Among other things, the Mission was detailed to assess the security and political environment in which the elections were to be held.
The Forum Deployed to all the ten provinces following consultations and interaction with all stakeholders, including political parties, electoral authorities, representatives of civil society, media editors, Security officers and members of the Diplomatic corps.
The teams proceeded to observe the campaign rallies, meetings, preparations for elections, location of polling stations, media coverage of elections, voting and counting processes and actions that impinged on the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens of Zimbabwe as enshrined in Part III of the constitution.
The Political and Security Climate
The Forum has observed that the political and security climate in which the elections were conducted was complex. It was characterized by high levels of polarization and political intolerance, lack of communication amongst stakeholders and lack of free flow of information to the electorate, which are necessary conditions for democracy to prevail.
We observed noticeable differences in the provinces but generally there was no euphoria that normally characterizes elections the SADC region.
Violence and Intimidation
The election campaign was marred by incidents of violence in all provinces of the country. Police and party leaders have not denied the fact that there has been violence in various forms. What seemed to be in question was the perpetration of that violence. Violence was visited upon ordinary voters, party supporters and leaders alike. Reports indicated that violence was perpetrated by supporters of the two main political parties-the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC).
Not only did the SADC Parliamentary Forum Witness some of these acts, its mission members were themselves targets of an orchestrated attack 10 kilometres out of Chinhoyi on 24 February.
However, evidence indicated that the majority of those affected were supporters of the MDC or those perceived to be opponents of the ruling party and government. Violence was manifest in the number of hospitalized victims, numerous cases of alleged torture, arson, assault and incidences of false imprisonment.
The prevalence of violence is reflected in virtually all reports from our observers in the field, which included abduction of some polling agents of MDC; in one such incident, our observer team intervened when Police in Mashonaland Central detained 24 election agents of the opposition party who were on their way to Harare to vote.
Regrettably, the phenomena of political intolerance and violence seem to have been prevalent since the 2000 legislative elections. Acts of violence appeared to be systematically employed by youth and War veterans with camps dotted around the country.
Police Conduct
In any situation of conflict, the police were expected to be impartial. In spite of the arrests made, there are significant claims that the police have been partisan in handling of the political situation when called upon to intervene. The use of riot squads to disperse potential voters in some Harare constituencies raised questions about the impartiality of the Police.
Voters Roll
A voter’s register is considered a basic condition for a successful election. In this election, concerns have been raised regarding the timeous release of the voter’s roll which was only made available three days before the polls, leaving no time for the electorate to verify its accuracy. As a result of this, it was observed that a large number of people were unable to vote.
Issues of the voter’s roll were compounded by the announcement that a supplementary register had been prepared and would be used in the 2002 elections contrary to earlier announcements that registration for 2002 was closed.
Freedom to Campaign
In any election, contestants should be able to move freely among the electorate. In this election whereas the ruling party’s campaign was relatively uninterrupted, some of opposition party meetings were cancelled or interrupted by opponents. It was however, significant, in two instances in Harare and Bulawayo, rallies of opposing parties were conducted in the same city without any violence. This should be the norm.
Polling stations
Information to the electorate and other stakeholders on the location of polling stations was not available to enable the electorate to make informed decisions. Much as we appreciate the increase of polling stations in rural areas, the reduction of the number of polling stations in urban areas had a major impact on the elections. This was particularly so in Harare and Chitungwiza where tripartite elections were held. It resulted in congestion with some people spending more than 48 hours in queues because of their sheer determination to vote.
Voting and counting
We observed that in many provinces the voting was peaceful. Well over 50 percent of the registered voters were able to cast their vote. The major exception was the Harare Province where the voting process was excruciatingly slow resulting in the extension of both times and days of voting.
There were also a number of violent incidents in which the police dispersed voters from polling stations especially in high-density suburbs. Further, although a large number of people voted, a significant number of the electorate was unable to vote as a result of logistical, administrative and other impediments. The counting proceeded very well.
It was significant to note that the recommendation from the Forum observers for the polling agents to ride with the ballot boxes was accepted and implemented. However, free movement of party agents was compromised by acts of intimidation and reported abductions in some provinces.
However, the massive turnout of voters demonstrates the commitment of the people of Zimbabwe to multiparty democracy.
Lack of Independence of the Electoral Commission
Despite various recommendations and practices in the SADC region, Zimbabwe is one of the countries without an Independent Electoral Commission. The assignment of roles to three different electoral bodies, the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC), the Election Directorate and the Registrar-General’s Office affects efficiency and causes duplication. The government should seriously consider establishing an Independent Electoral Commission as recommended by the Forum after the 2000 legislative elections and as held by the Norms and Standards of Elections in SADC.

Access to Public Media
There was lack of access to the public media by political parties other than the ruling party. The monopolization of the public media by the ruling party went contrary to the guidelines set out by the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) for equal and equitable access to contesting parties. The slanted coverage the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and the Zimbabwe Newspapers deprived the electorate an opportunity to make an informed choice.
The climate of insecurity obtaining in Zimbabwe since the 2000 parliamentary elections was such that the electoral process could not be said to adequately comply with the Norms and Standards for Elections in the SADC region.
It is evident to us that elections may not, in themselves, be a panacea to Zimbabwe’s complex situation of political conflict.
We therefore appeal to the political leadership of the country, the churches, civil society and the business sector to join hands and begin a healing process for Zimbabwe in the face of enormous problems. An election should not be construed to be one of “victor” and “vanquished”.
We also urge the Heads of State and Government of SADC countries to urgently engage the leadership of Zimbabwe
to facilitate dialogue and reconciliation. We believe it is within the powers of the people of Zimbabwe, through their leaders with the support of SADC to avert a political crisis in the country and bring about peace.

Signed for and on Behalf of the SADC Parliamentary Forum Observer Mission,
Harare, Zimbabwe, 13 March 2002

Hon. Duke G. Lefhoko, MP
Head of Mission
Hon Dr Elvy Mtafu, MP

Hon. Lutero Simango, MP
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The facts set out below, are to the best of my knowledge and belief, true and correct RUSHINGA Counting Centre All polling agents from the Rushinga constituency were chased away on the counting day after verification which revealed many anomalies which were noted down by the election agent, mainly over seven ballot boxes which had problems, as the seals had been removed.  The election agent informed the presiding officer to stop the opening and counting, but the presiding officer insisted on opening those ballot boxes, saying he had been given a directive from the Registrar General office to open and count, and if there was a problem MDC could proceed to court.

One of our polling agents complained about the opening and was threatened with arrest.  His name is Ferguson BANWA.  The CIO created a story that he had a gun.  He quickly disappeared from the scene and the counting continued.  Some of the numbers counted did not tally with the numbers from our data forms, which were given to our polling agent as a check to avoid rigging.  This check did not work as the CIO had already stuffed some boxes with ballot papers.  These numbers were so great that it was impossible to tally with the numbers on the data form.

The totals on our data forms were almost 19000 but for the counting they ranged up to 27,000.  The difference is irreconcilable, as we believe the polling election agent was set up to remain alone so that the Registrar-General's staff could vex him and he could not see what was happening as everybody else, including observers and journalists were chased away.  In the counting room he was alone (MDC) against sixty people from the registry office, who were also responsible for 40 other boxes.
There should have been 56 MDC agents in the room, one for each box.  The election agent JOEL MUGARIRI was the only MDC agent in the room.  Joel wrote his complaint but the presiding officer refused to accept it, or acknowledge it by signing it, and referred Joel to the registrar general.
In most village polling stations, Mozambique citizens without ID cards were allowed to vote.  They were brought in by lorries by MP Dokora.  They were not on the voters roll.  An example of such a village where the Mozambicans voted is Sadzandibaye.

MT DARWIN SOUTH State agent and ZANU PF militia harassed the election agent Mr GIFT SAMBAMA before he entered the counting centre, some 20 metres from the gate near Darwin Sports Club.  They confused him by sending him from one officer to the other thereby delaying him in entering the counting room.  They also threatened him with death after the counting.  All polling agents from the
45 stations were chased away by the Police and state agents from the counting centre.  They were vulnerable to the ZANU PF militia from the Border Gezi camp.  This resulted in them boarding buses to Harare or Bindura, running away from the militia, leaving the polling election agent alone.  There were many complaints raised by the these agents, especially that of the MDC SEAL MARKS AND TAPES WHICH HAD BEEN REMOVED.  They threatened to arrest him if he continued complaining about irregularities and abnormalities on the boxes.  He also wrote five complaints .  One major complaint, which needs serious addressing,is the fact that there were two queues for the voters, one for literate and one for the illiterate The illiterate queue was the longest which was incredibly suspicious to all voters.  Voters actually complained about this fact to the Police and the MDC Polling Agent Henry Chimbiri.  Example of these irregular queues are the polling stations at PFURA Hall and KANDEYA Business Center Polling station.
These had the longest illiterate queues.  In most centers it was the presiding officer alone and/or a police officer assisting the illiterate.
The police officers were not genuine police officers, but but were either from the Border Gezi training camp, or ZANU (PF) activist or CIO in police uniform.  This was definitely RIGGING.  Also very serious has been the report of kidnapping of polling agents from their station who were only returned well after the ballot boxes had been opened, checked that they were empty, and closed at the beginning of the voting process.  This was reported from
9 stations.  Another serious problem was the movement of mobile stations.  It could not be ascertained as to when they would be moving to the next station.  The presiding officers complained about vehicles being in short supply and would just disappear leaving the polling agent to find his own way to the next station.  Overall most people were told that they should vote on Saturday for ZANU PF and not MDC because Tsvangirai was arrested and his whereabouts not known.  So people were told they could not vote for Tsvangirai on Saturday.  TOTAL VOTERS 29,000 against our,MDC data forms of
21,000 approximately.

MT DARWIN NORTH There were serious problems in this constituency .  Our polling agents did not man 17 polling stations because they were kidnapped and detained for
12 hours at Katarira Primary School, which was a ZANU PF Militia base.  They were assaulted and tortured and then released after police intervention from Mukumbura Police Station.  Our support group helped in deploying extra polling agents to those affected polling stations.  The election agent was also detained for two hours when he was making his rounds and it was later found that in the entire constituency there were three polling stations which operated without MDC polling agents for the process.  The MDC was unaware of these unlisted stations.  These three stations operated as mobile stations and the figures published after the counting were horrendous and do not tally with the MDC data form figures.  The election agent Mr.
Langwani was detained for two hours at Mukumbura Police Station by State agents and released well after the Polling Station had closed in the evening.  The MDC was not aware of the three other polling stations operating without their knowledge in this area.

MUZARABANI There was a lot of violence in this area.  Two of our vehicles were burned by a group of ZANU PF militia at Utete business center at around 3.00 pm The group was led by the MP Nobie Dzinzi, a self styled war veteran.  The police officers had confiscated the car keys, and this is the reason the cars could not be moved and were damaged.  Two other vehicles and their drivers were impounded by State agents and detained at Muzarabani Police Station.  A further 3 vehicles were impounded that were heading for Muzarabani with approximately 27 polling agents.  They were detained at Centenary Police Station for 18 hours.  The Police officer in charge was Constable MBIMBI .  In another incident, the election agent TIMOTHY MUKWEGWE and 5 polling agents were kidnapped when the vehicles were burned and could not be located for 20 hours.  The voting process in most stations went on without polling agents.  About 21 stations were without their MDC polling agents for approximately the initial five hours .  These agents had been either harassed, kidnapped or assaulted.  A ballot box went missing at UTETE for 4 hours with the presiding officer.  When the election agent TIMOTHY MUKWEGWE was found in Centenary,he was then arrested for allegedly "burning his own vehicles" and taken to Bindura.  He was in custody until Wednesday evening.  He did not participate in the verification or counting process.
After approximately 6 hours of counting, the State agents went and collected someone from the Centenary Police Station to replace TIMOTHY MUKWEGWE and took him to Centenary Country Club, the counting centre of the Constituency.

A rescue vehicle and driver were also detained by State agents at the Centenary Country Club.  The driver was arrested, and as he took the vehicle keys with him, the vehicle was stranded.

93 Polling Agents, with their leader and provincial supervisor - Mr Edwin Dzambara were chased from the counting center and detained at Centenary Police Station.  These persons were left to sleep in the open, and were dispatched to Harare by bus the following day.

This was the worst constituency, which had deployed in excess of 50 State Agents.

1..  At station 27 on 9/03/02, Mr Nicholas Goche, MP, visited the station
3 times:  approx 8am, 9am, and 11a.m.
a..  At 8am he moved around the polling station with his men and was speaking to voters in the queue within 100m of the station a..  At 9am he called the Zanu PF polling agents to him and talked to them.
a..  At 11am he entered the polling station and talked to the presiding officer for about 3 minutes in a low voice so that others could not hear the conversation.  He then went outside and talked to voters in the queue, again within 100m of the polling station.
1..  At station 17 on 9/03/02 Mr Goche was distributing National I.D.
cards to his men.  That they were National I.D.  cards was certain because the MDC election agents saw 2 of the cards.
3.  At station 17 on 9/03/02 around 50% of the voters were asking for help to fill in their ballot papers giving reasons such as drunkenness, dizziness, cannot write.  The Zanu PF polling agents until the MDC agents objected were helping them.  The presiding officer then agreed that only supposedly non-partisan persons such as policemen or the presiding officer himself could assist voters to fill out their ballot papers.  However, the Zanu PF agents were only removed after a substantial number of voters had already been helped thus.  In addition, some voters who filled in their ballot papers by themselves called the Zanu PF agents over to note that they had voted for Zanu PF.  This was done to ensure they would not be molested after voting.  Some said they feared for their lives.  Others said that their houses would be burned down if it was suspected that they had not voted for Zanu PF.

4 At station 17 on 9/03/02 headmen were canvassing voters in the queue to vote for Zanu PF within 100m of the polling station after they themselves had voted.

5.  At station 25,Mr William Mandere (a ward/constituency councillor) was inside the polling station for much of both days of voting.

6.  At mobile station M6 the MDC polling agents were attempting to get to the polling station on the evening of Friday 8/03/02 when they were stopped by a group of Zanu PF youths who would not let them through.  The MDC agents only got through by persuading the Zanu PF youths that they were observers and not agents.

7.  At mobile station M6 on 9/03/02 the Zanu PF youth "controlled" the voters queue from 5am until 12pm by which time most people had cast their votes.  Neither the Presiding Officer nor the 2 policemen on duty could do anything to stop the youth.  One of the Zanu PF agents was a war vet and was assisting the youth in canvassing.  In addition, these same Zanu PF youths were not allowing prospective voters whom they considered were not going to vote for Zanu PF to even join the queue.  They were turned away at the turnoff from the main road.

8.  At mobile station M6 on 9/03/02 the MDC supervisor coming in a vehicle to pick up the MDC agents at M6 and to follow the mobile station to its next position saw a group of about 50 Zanu PF youths blocking the road about 500m ahead.  They were approximately 50m down the road from and out of sight of the polling station.  The driver stopped the vehicle because the youths were moving toward the vehicle in a clearly hostile manner.  As soon as the vehicle stopped the youths began to advance faster so the driver hurriedly turned the vehicle round and began to retreat the same way he had come only to find that 2 youths had been stationed behind the position where the vehicle stopped so that they could construct a road block of large boulders and prevent the vehicles escape.  After having seen the damage done to the MDC vehicle and to the occupants the previous night by Zanu PF youth when agents were being dropped off the occupants of the vehicle were well aware of what would happen to them if they were trapped as the youths intended.  Therefore the driver accelerated as fast as possible and was just able to find a passage between the boulders to escape.  As the vehicle went past one of the Zanu PF youths hurled a boulder about 30cm in diameter at the vehicle but missed.  MDC was unable to visit station M6 until later on, on 10/03/02 when they were accompanied by a South African Observer team for safety.

GURUVE SOUTH The Election Agent Mr THABANI NKOSA was arrested.  The reasons for his arrest were not clear, but the rumour was that he was carrying people in his truck, who were singing "without a permit" This was when he was actually walking, and not in a vehicle, either as a driver or passenger.
He was only released to arrive at the counting hall 9 hours after verification had been completed.  Subsequently all the polling agents were chased away, leaving Mr Nkosa on his own.  I was denied access to talk to him or to give him food.  The whole area was inundated with Police who gave the polling agents an hour to clear out from not only the counting centre, but from the Guruve township.

GURUVE NORTH The election agent ALAN MacCORMAC was arrested and detained at Guruve Police station with two white men from the support group.  It was alleged that their vehicles were equipped with walky - talky radios without licences, although they were in possession of radio licences.  It was a way of delaying them in routine checks of the polling stations.  They were detained for six hours and could not deploy some of the polling agents, who by now had been abducted by the ZANU PF militia.  The verification and counting was done by unknown persons because the MDC Election Agent Mr.
MacCormack was not allowed to enter the counting centre.  He did not know who was representing MDC.  Only an election agent can actually verify the abnormality as he was do the counting and spot any errors, unlike the polling agent who were there only to observe and monitor.

BINDURA Polling agents of four polling stations were kidnapped and assaulted and a report was made to the Police about the kidnapping at CHIWARIDZO, MANHENGA NYAVA and NZIRAWA polling stations.  Three agents were found at SOS farm, being held by war veterans, who had abducted them.  They were released by the police.  The verification and counting was abandoned because of the following problems that were noted by our agents.

1..  Seals and red tags were removed by the war veterans.
2..  The counterfeit receipt numbers and the ballot papers did not match.
There were excess ballot papers in most ballot boxes.
3..  Electricity was switched off during the counting process.  We believe that rigging took place.  The election agent , TAPERA MACHEKA protested and was duly thrown out, for at least seven minutes and was only then allowed back in.  There was an increase in Mobile Stations from 8 to 16.  Out of the
16 mobile stations, 13 were in the fast track resettlement area and all the seals and tags had been removed.  The total figures for Bindura did not tally with the ballot counterfeit receipt numbers.  The counting process was stopped from 11 pm to almost 4 am.  The ink jet detector was not working at MANHENGA and MUREMBE.  A lot of our Polling Agent security personnel were assaulted and chased away by ZANU PF supporters based at Mr Midzi's house, the former MDC youth chairman, who was murdered by ZANU PF youth earlier this year.  Bindura was full of CIO agents within the rural and fast-track resettlement areas.
MAZOE EAST There was an incident at Chaona Primary School where four headmen from Chaona were forcing people to stand behind them and were issuing ballot papers in the queue.  The Police caught them doing this, arrested them and detained them at Centenary Police Station.

SIGNED .................


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THE SCOTSMAN 19 March 2002

Loyalty amid Zimbabwe’s betrayal

Jacqui Goddard In Harare
THEY found him tied to a tree, his body brutally battered, a single bullet in his head.

Squeak, his Jack Russell terrier, curled up and slept beside him. He growled when anyone came close.

The tenth white farmer to be killed since landless Zimbabwean blacks began to seize white-owned farms two years ago, 53-year-old Terry Ford’s final hours were spent trying single-handedly to protect his property from a mob of 20 ZANU-PF war veterans.

He was beaten and dragged around a tree before being shot dead, his fiancée, Naomi Raaff, and friends told The Scotsman yesterday. “Terry was one of the most kind-hearted people in the world and all he wanted to do was farm,” Ms Raaff said. “What has this achieved, other than the loss of a much-loved, innocent man?”

His murder came the day after President Robert Mugabe vowed in his inaugural speech to continue his land-seizure programme “with greater speed and strength”.

A fourth generation Zimbabwean, Mr Ford had spent all his life on the farm and grew up with many of the black workers who helped to run it. He was a fluent speaker of Shona, the majority language, and was known to his staff as “Father”.

“His workers are devastated,” said Ms Raaff. “They are saying to me: ‘We have lost our father today’.”

Ms Raaff said police had ignored Mr Ford’s repeated telephone calls for help, the officer on duty telling him that he could not come out to Gowrie Farm to call off the attackers because his driver was fast asleep and must not be woken.

The police eventually arrived at the scene at 12:30pm yesterday – more than six hours after Mr Ford’s body was found slumped beneath a tree by his cook.

Mr Ford had been prevented from farming for the last two years since the government served notice that it intended to forcibly seize his land and property. He had moved to Harare with Ms Raaff, 43, and found himself a new job as a school estate manager, hoping that last week’s presidential election would finally see Mr Mugabe’s curse lifted.

Amid widespread evidence of vote-rigging, Mr Mugabe was pronounced the winner and reinstated for a sixth term.

Fearing a new wave of terror against Zimbabwe’s white farming community, Mr Ford had gone to check on his property at Norton, 50 kms south of Harare, on Sunday and was staying there alone.

At 11:30pm, he called neighbours to report that his homestead was being invaded and ransacked.

“He ran out and fired a shot over their heads and chased them out,” said a friend, Ben Freeth, a fellow landowner and local executive for the Commercial Farmers Union. “We know he was still alive at 1:15am because a neighbour spoke to him and it seemed that things had calmed down.”

However, it is clear that the gang then returned. “We believe he tried to make a break for it in his vehicle,” said Mr Freeth. “He tried to drive his way through the security fence – it was bashed about, but he obviously didn’t get through.”

Mr Ford’s neighbours believe that in his panic, he then slipped as he leapt from his vehicle and attempted to vault the fence on foot.

“He was then grabbed, dragged around a bit and put up against a tree, where he was shot through the head,” said Mr Freeth.

Mr Ford had been seeking a divorce from his first wife, Trish, who now lives in New Zealand and from whom he separated six years ago, so he and Ms Raaff could be married. One of his two grown-up sons by his first marriage was en route to Zimbabwe for a friend’s wedding when his father was murdered.

“He stepped off the plane expecting to see his father and was instead told the news that he had been killed,” said Mr Freeth. Ms Raaff, a Zimbabwean, now plans to seek sanctuary in Britain, having obtained a British passport as a precaution against a Mugabe election victory. “The only reason I stayed was to be with Terry,” she said. “Now I have lost him. It is over for me in Zimbabwe.”

Zimbabwe’s white farming community fears the murder at Gowrie Farm is only the start of a huge post-election backlash by Mr Mugabe’s thugs, who believe that the president’s election victory is a signal that the land is now theirs to take.

“They are saying things like: ‘Your crops are now our crops’,” said Jenni Williams, the CFU spokeswoman. “We had hoped that Mr Mugabe’s election speech might be translated into positive and peaceful action on the ground, but it is obviously not happening that way.”

Gowrie Farm was one of four in the Norton area to have been attacked and looted over the last week. An elderly farming couple have been forced to leave one property and, at a second, the 81-year-old owner had all his household goods stolen while he was in hospital being treated for cancer.

At Esigodini, close to the second city of Bulawayo, another farmer, Paul Goodwin, was yesterday visited by a ZANU-PF gang and given three hours to get himself and his cattle off his land for good. At Nyamandhlovu, it was a similar situation as two farmers struggled to move their dairy herds and evacuate their homes after being given a three-hour ultimatum.

Mr Freeth said last night: “Terry survived the last two years basically by being a nice guy and, when they told him to stop farming, by stopping farming. There is a numbness in the farming community. There is anger, shock, a sense of the sheer pointlessness of all this.”
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Irish Times

Killing of white farmer shocks Zimbabweans

  ZIMBABWE: The police finally responded to Terry Ford's appeal for help,
but they came 12 hours too late. Officers wearing rubber gloves loaded the
white farmer's bloodied corpse into a metal box outside his thatched
farmhouse, 30 miles from Harare.

A farm worker had found him at dawn. He was lying in his yard near his
blood-smeared pick-up truck, a gunshot wound to the head.

A week after Mr Robert Mugabe was returned as president of Zimbabwe, a pall
of fear has descended over Zimbabwe and the rule of law has become
increasingly fragile.

Gangs of youth militia and war veterans who helped return Mr Mugabe to power
have targeted his enemies, real or perceived, for vicious treatment.

Attacks on white farmers have increased. Thousands of black opposition
activists are living in fear of retribution. Those with money have fled the
country; those without have fled into crowded safe houses.

For his part, Mr Mugabe has tightened his grip on power by enacting a
draconian media law while mounting a ring of police roadblocks around
Harare. Even his own party members are fearful of his next move.

"Make no mistake, we are very close to the edge [of totalitarianism]. We
hope nobody pushes us over," said one retired Zanu-PF MP.

Terry Ford became the 10th white farmer to die since the land invasions
started two years ago, on a farm just 8 km away. His two dogs stood guard
over his body until the police arrived yesterday, 12 hours after he called
for help.

Mr Graham Hatty of the Norton Farmers Association said there have been five
burglaries over the past week. The thieves, identified as a group of war
veterans squatting on local farms, have targeted weapons, binoculars and
radio equipment. No arrests have been made. "The police seem very reluctant
to deal with the situation," he added.

While high-profile attacks on white farmers originally sparked the Zimbabwe
crisis, the bulk of the attacks have been directed at supporters of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), who have suffered by far
the most casualties since the land movement began.

In January alone, more than 30 MDC activists were murdered. Hundreds more
were abducted and tortured in the run-up to polling 10 days ago. Now the
same activists live in fear of retribution from Mr Mugabe's terror squads.

Brian, an MDC election agent, fled a Harare counting centre after a friend
came to warn him that a Zanu gang was threatening his life. they were
singing that they were going to petrol bomb my house and kill me," he said.

The building clerk had earlier complained of irregularities in the count in
favour of Mr Mugabe.

After gathering his wife and 14-year-old daughter, he fled to a safe house.
They have not returned home since.

His host, a white businessman, admitted he was worried about accommodating
the couple for long.

"I can leave if necessary. We have money and support. Black Zimbabweans have
none of that," he said.

Mr Mugabe vowed at last Sunday's inauguration to press ahead with his
controversial land reforms.

He repeated familiar claims about the British Prime Minister, Mr Blair and
"neo-colonialism" and described his victory as a "stunning blow to

But within his party there is a silent minority that is unhappy with his
rule. One sitting Zanu MP said he had often considered resigning. "But you
ask yourself if you can live safely in this country after you have
embarrassed the party. The answer is 'no'," he said.

He said moderate elements with the party were hoping that President Mbeki of
South Africa and President Obasanjo of Nigeria could talk sense into their

"We've got so much going for us - natural resources, a highly educated
workforce, the climate," he said. "But \ also have one old man - and he is
our biggest liability."
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Talks may grant Mugabe reprieve

by Ben Leapman

Commonwealth leaders were meeting for key talks on Zimbabwe today amid signs that President Robert Mugabe could be granted a temporary reprieve.

Britain is pressing for Zimbabwe to be suspended from the organisation after last week's elections, which saw Mr Mugabe returned to power with widespread evidence of intimidation and vote-rigging.

A panel of South African President Thabo Mbeki, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Australian Prime Minister John Howard has been asked to rule on whether to punish Zimbabwe, with penalties including suspension.

However Mr Mbeki and Mr Obasanjo emerged from talks with Mr Mugabe in Harare yesterday talking of compromise. They also met defeated opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, now facing charges of treason, whose Movement for Democratic Change has promised to release election statistics soon that differ greatly from government results.

Commonwealth election observers warned in an interim report that the ballot had not been free and fair, but there were doubts as to whether today's meeting, at Marlborough House in London, would back up their findings.

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Tsvangirai sees no Commonwealth action on Zimbabwe

LONDON, March 19 — Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on Tuesday a Commonwealth meeting in London would do little against what critics say was President Robert Mugabe's illegal win in recent presidential elections.

Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria were meeting Australian Prime Minister John Howard (eds: 1400 GMT) to discuss how to react to the election and the political and economic crisis in the former British colony.
       The election, condemned by Western nations but largely approved by Zimbabwe's African neighbours, has split the Commonwealth down racial lines and been seen as a test of the group's future viability.
       The three leaders' options are limited -- ranging from protesting at the conduct of the elections, which were marred by violence, to suspension of Zimbabwe from the group of 54 mainly former British colonies.
       Howard has called for immediate suspension, but Mbeki and Obasanjo, who are trying to broker a power-sharing compromise between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, are believed to be against any precipitate action.
       Tsvangirai told BBC radio: ''Mbeki and Obsanjo are not going to allow that. They are going to present a position that the Zimbabweans are talking, so there may be a deferment of any action until those things are concluded.''
       The victory gave Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, a further six years in office in a country that has declined from a model of post-colonial racial harmony and economic success to the verge of collapse and famine.
       ''I don't want any punitive action against Zimbabwe. But...the Commonwealth has a right to ensure that democracy is achieved,'' said Tsvangirai, who has been charged with treason for allegedly plotting to kill Mugabe.
       ''As far as we are concerned, we have various options. For the moment the two presidents have said that we should sit down and negotiate. We will pursue that, but there are other options -- legal or otherwise,'' he added. He did not elaborate.

       More than 100 of Tsvangirai's supporters have been killed and thousands injured or forced to flee in two years of political violence that have accompanied the invasion -- with government approval -- of hundreds of mainly white-owned commercial farms by landless blacks.
       Mugabe, who during his inauguration on Sunday promised to accelerate the land grab, justifies it as a belated righting of the wrongs of more than a century of colonial rule.
       On Monday, farmer Terry Ford was beaten, tied to a tree and shot dead by invaders who then ransacked his home. He was the 10th white farmer to be murdered since the invasions began in February 2000.
       Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, who has twice attempted citizens' arrests on the notoriously homophobic Mugabe, called on individual Commonwealth governments to issue arrest warrants for the Zimbabwean president for human rights abuses.
       ''Charges could be bought under the U.N. Convention Against Torture, based on some of the hundreds of incidents of state-sanctioned torture documented by Zimbabwe's human rights watchdog, the Amani Trust, during the last year,'' he said.
       London-based human rights monitor Amnesty International said it had information that more than 100 opposition supporters were still being held illegally and tortured by supporters of Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party, with police either involved or unwilling to intervene.

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Commonwealth leaders to discuss Zimbabwe

Reuters News Agency

London — Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on Tuesday that a Commonwealth meeting in London would do little against what critics say was President Robert Mugabe's illegal win in recent presidential elections.

Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria were meeting Australian Prime Minister John Howard Tuesday to discuss how to react to the election and the political and economic crisis in the former British colony.

The election, condemned by Western nations but largely approved by Zimbabwe's African neighbours, has split the Commonwealth down racial lines and been seen as a test of the group's future viability.

The three leaders' options are limited — ranging from protesting at the conduct of the elections, which were marred by violence, to suspension of Zimbabwe from the group of 54 mainly former British colonies.

Mr. Howard has called for immediate suspension, but Mr. Mbeki and Mr. Obasanjo, who are trying to broker a power-sharing compromise between Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai, are believed to be against any precipitate action.

Mr. Tsvangirai told BBC radio: "Mbeki and Obsanjo are not going to allow that. They are going to present a position that the Zimbabweans are talking, so there may be a deferment of any action until those things are concluded."

The victory gave Mr. Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, a further six years in office in a country that has declined from a model of post-colonial racial harmony and economic success to the verge of collapse and famine.

"I don't want any punitive action against Zimbabwe. But ... the Commonwealth has a right to ensure that democracy is achieved," said Mr. Tsvangirai, who has been charged with treason for allegedly plotting to kill Mr. Mugabe.

"As far as we are concerned, we have various options. For the moment the two presidents have said that we should sit down and negotiate. We will pursue that, but there are other options — legal or otherwise," he added. He did not elaborate.

More than 100 of Mr. Tsvangirai's supporters have been killed and thousands injured or forced to flee in two years of political violence that have accompanied the invasion — with government approval — of hundreds of mainly white-owned commercial farms by landless blacks.

Mr. Mugabe, who during his inauguration on Sunday promised to accelerate the land grab, justifies it as a belated righting of the wrongs of more than a century of colonial rule.

On Monday, farmer Terry Ford was beaten, tied to a tree and shot dead by invaders who then ransacked his home. He was the 10th white farmer to be murdered since the invasions began in February, 2000.

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, who has twice attempted citizens' arrests on the notoriously homophobic Mr. Mugabe, called on individual Commonwealth governments to issue arrest warrants for the Zimbabwean president for human rights abuses.

"Charges could be bought under the UN Convention Against Torture, based on some of the hundreds of incidents of state-sanctioned torture documented by Zimbabwe's human rights watchdog, the Amani Trust, during the last year," he said.

London-based human rights monitor Amnesty International said it had information that more than 100 opposition supporters were still being held illegally and tortured by supporters of Mr. Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party, with police either involved or unwilling to intervene.

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(Reuters Photo)
Soros Slams Zimbabwe Election, Leaders to Meet


March 19

— By Lucia Mutikani

HARARE (Reuters) - On the eve of a Commonwealth meeting to assess last week's presidential election in Zimbabwe, international financier George Soros accused Robert Mugabe of stealing victory and said Africa would suffer for it.

The leaders of Nigeria and South Africa left Harare on Monday for key talks in London on whether the Commonwealth should suspend Zimbabwe for what critics say was blatant election fraud by Mugabe.

Hours later, Soros told a panel at a United Nations Conference in Mexico on Financing for Development: "Mugabe stole the election by preventing people in urban areas from casting their vote.

"The elections in Zimbabwe have cast doubt on the ability of African states to create suitable conditions for private investment," he added. Foreign direct investment inflows into Zimbabwe have already virtually halted, falling from a peak of $436 million in 1998 to $5.4 million in 2001, largely due to waning investor confidence, according to the central bank.

Foreign participation on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has also plummeted, with net portfolio outflows of US$104.9 million recorded in 2001 compared to outflows of US$1.2 million in 2000.

The Zimbabwean dollar has been fixed at $55/dollar since November 2000 but trades informally on the streets at up to 350 to the U.S. dollar.

Opinions on the validity of the three-day poll remained sharply divided as Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo and South Africa's Thabo Mbeki arrived in London to meet Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

The three men were tasked by the Commonwealth to assess the poll and decide whether the association linking Britain and its former colonies should impose any sanction.

A Commonwealth observer group said last week the election was deeply flawed and did not allow for a true expression of public will.

As a possible straw in the wind, Denmark said it would close its embassy and cease development aid to Zimbabwe in reaction to the disputed election.

Last August Copenhagen froze most of its aid, planned to reach $14 million, and Tuesday said the rest would be phased out due to "constant violations of human rights and democratic rules."


In South Africa, a parliamentary observer group met through the night to finalize its report ahead of the Commonwealth meeting, but failed to reach a consensus.

The ruling African National Congress said the election was "credible" because more than three million Zimbabweans voted.

Opposition parties filed a separate report saying " is not possible to describe the election as free and fair and representing the will of the people."

Mbeki and Obasanjo, leaders of Africa's most powerful nations, Monday met both Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the official loser in elections last week.

They said they had urged the two rivals to find a way to work together to tackle Zimbabwe's deepening four-year recession, looming famine and political instability.

Asked to confirm reports by South African government sources that he was urging Mugabe to form a government of national unity, Mbeki told reporters:

"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 Zimbabwe."

Official results showed Mugabe, 78 and in power since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980, won 56 percent of the votes cast.

Britain, the European Union, the United States and a Commonwealth observer group accused Mugabe of using state powers and institutions to steal victory. African governments have been less willing to condemn Mugabe.


The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) announced a three-day general strike from Wednesday to protest against the post-election harassment of its members.

The ZCTU has a track record of feisty opposition to Mugabe since Tsvangirai, its former leader, led the federation out of an alliance with the ruling ZANU-PF in the 1990s.

Mugabe's first full day of his fifth term as Zimbabwe's leader was marred Monday by the brutal slaying of a white farmer by, neighbors said, pro-Mugabe land invaders.

Police said Tuesday they had arrested four men and seized firearms linked to Monday's murder of farmer Terry Ford, the 10th white farmer killed since Mugabe's followers began a state-sanctioned program to seize white-owned land for redistribution to blacks early in 2000.

"We have not gone into that," a police spokesman said when asked whether the suspects were pro-Mugabe war veterans or land invaders settled on the victim's farm.

photo credit and caption:
White Zimbabwean farmer Terence Ford lies dead under a blanket as his dog curls up next to the body March 18, 2002. Ford was killed hours before the leaders of South Africa and Nigeria met President Robert Mugabe to urge him to share power with his defeated challenger in last week's election. Ford was allegedly killed by land settlers and war veterans while trying to escape from his homestead west of Harare. Photo by Reuters REUTERS/Lynette Frewin

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Tsvangirai suggests talks with Mugabe on new Zimbabwe vote
LONDON, March 19 AFP|Published: Tuesday March 19, 8:03 PM

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai called today for talks with President Robert Mugabe's government with the aim of holding fresh elections after last week's violence-wracked vote.

Tsvangirai, who charges that the March 9-11 presidential election was rigged by Mugabe, said the government had to restore its legitimacy.

"I'm suggesting that the best way is for the two parties to negotiate," he told BBC radio.

"The whole negotiation process should lead to a restoration of legitimacy in a government that is not legitimate," he added.

"As far as we are convinced, a re-election is the only option out of that stalemate."

"In fact we are being magnanimous, there is no reason why we should negotiate with people who have stolen an election, but ... this is the only way we can see the country moving forward," he also said.

"The country is in dire need of food and all these other measures so let's see how it transpires."

He said presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, who met Mugabe for talks yesterday, had offered to lead the negotiations without conditions.

Tsvangirai said that although Mbeki and Obasanjo had urged both sides to pursue talks, his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had other options too, including legal ones.

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Denmark closes Zimbabwe embassy after election
COPENHAGEN, March 19 — Denmark said on Tuesday it has decided to close its embassy in Zimbabwe and cease development aid to the country in a reaction to the disputed re-election of President Robert Mugabe. ''Reports from national and international observers clearly show that it was not a free and fair election,'' the Danish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
 ''Therefore Denmark will abolish the embassy in Harare during the summer.''
       Western critics have characterised the presidential vote in Zimbabwe earlier this month as blatant election fraud by Mugabe. Western countries and leaders of the European Union have said they would consider targeted measures against the government.
       Since August, Denmark has frozen most of its aid to Zimbabwe. The rest of its development cooperation with the country will be phased out as quickly as possible due to ''constant violations of human rights and democratic rules.''
       Danish aid to Zimbabwe in 2001 was 120 million crowns ($14 million).
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Zimbabwean Investors Not Bring Land Problems to Mozambique: President

Xinhuanet 2002-03-19 19:18:56
   MAPUTO, March 19 (Xinhuanet) -- Mozambican President Joaquim
Chissano has denied that the Zimbabwean commercial farmers who are
working in central Mozambique will bring with them the land
problems that have plagued Zimbabwean politics.
   Speaking Monday in Harare to Mozambican Television (TVM),
Chissano distinguished sharply between the land situation in
Mozambique, where all land is state property, and that in Zimbabwe,
where it is mostly in private hands.
   "The conditions don't exist here for the same thing that
happened in Zimbabwe," Chissano said, noting: "In Mozambique, the
land belongs to the state. It will never be the private property
of the white farmers. The legislation is clear".
   The Zimbabwean farmers in Mozambique were leasing the land for
a period of up to 50 years, and when that period ran out they
would have to apply to renew the lease. And should the farmers not
undertake the investment promised "the legal clauses are clear,
and they will lose the land, and the state does not have to pay
them any compensation", Chissano explained.
   Furthermore, the opportunity to farm in Mozambique was not
restricted to white Zimbabweans. If any black Zimbabweans had
money to invest in Mozambique, they were welcome too, he said.
   "There's nothing to stop them," he added. "This has nothing to
do with the land crisis in Zimbabwe. It has to do with our opening
to foreign investment."
   As for the controversial Zimbabwean presidential election, won
by incumbent President Robert Mugabe, Chissano repeated his belief
that the election had been free and fair, and said that "Europe
and America do not know Africa well".
   Chissano said that the anomalies and "the few scenes of
violence" that preceded the elections had no impact on the outcome.
   Countries that advocated punitive measures against Mugabe's
government did so because they were unaware of the realities of
Zimbabwean, and indeed of Africa, he argued.
   The Mozambican leader said he had followed the Zimbabwean
crisis over a period of years. "One cannot assess these elections
just through an observation of a few weeks or even months," he
   "One must take into account a whole series of factors, and we
think there was a great opening for a democratic process such as
this, which allowed real participation of all forces. We think we
should encourage democracy instead of discouraging it," he
   Chissano denied that the Zimbabwean crisis would open a
damaging political breach between Africa and Europe. What was
happening, he said, was merely a difference of opinion arising
from different analyses of the Zimbabwean problem.
   He also argued that Africa should be given time to improve its
nascent democratic systems. "If Africa is to have mature
democracies, then it must be given time, and above all support,
otherwise everything, including the continent's embryonic
democracies, will collapse under such basic problems as lack of
food, drinking water, medical care and schools," he said.
   As for Zimbabwe's relations with the Commonwealth, Chissano
stressed his opposition to any suspension of Zimbabwe's membership.
It was better to discuss the problems "with Zimbabwe inside the
Commonwealth rather than outside".
   "I think the isolation of Zimbabwe will serve no purpose," he
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From The Daily News, 19 March

3 MDC supporters, farmer killed in fresh terror

Mutare/Harare - Three MDC supporters in Chipinge South were beaten to death on Saturday allegedly by members of the army, as part of a nationwide exercise to punish those who voted for Morgan Tsvangirai, the losing presidential candidate. The tragedy occurred at Chitepo business centre about 40km south of Checheche growth point. The three, whose names could not be released immediately, died at their homes after the assault. Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC spokesman in Manicaland, said the murder was deplorable. He said: "Three of our supporters died after they were beaten up by soldiers. They died at their homes on Saturday. Four others were admitted to Chipinge District Hospital."

In Norton, in another case of post-election violence, Terry Ford of Gowrie Farm was bludgeoned to death yesterday morning by suspected war veterans and Zanu PF supporters who have occupied part of his property since the farm invasions in 2000. The Norton police said they had arrested three Zanu PF youths who are among the settlers on the farm. The officer-in-charge of Norton police station, who refused to be identified, yesterday said: "You will not get anything at the moment. You will get the information from our superiors." He then drove to the police station to get more officers to assist in the hunt for suspected accomplices in the murder, suspected to be armed war veterans.

When reporters arrived at the scene yesterday, Ford’s body was lying in a pool of blood at the entrance to his house. Six heavily armed policemen were on guard. One policeman was heard saying: "We simply need reinforcements and instructions to go ahead. If he plays games with us we should shoot him." This was an apparent reference to a war veteran leader at the base whom the workers suspected to have led the team which murdered Ford. Asani Hali, the security guard at the farm, said before Ford was shot two settlers arrived at his house and demanded that he hand over his gun to them, but he refused and ran away. Hali said: "I heard some noise at the Ford house. Later five shots rang out. I was then told by one of the workers that Ford had been shot dead. We suspect it was the settlers who killed him."

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From ZWNEWS: We include below a South African newspaper report from 16 months ago...

From The Star (SA), 17 November 2000

Mugabe's sister demands farmer's house

Harare - President Robert Mugabe's government listed another 23 white-owned farms for seizure on Friday, as government officials continued to defy supreme court orders to stop the latest wave of lawless land-grabbing. A week after the country's highest court declared that Mugabe's "fast-track resettlement programme" violated farmers' rights, Sabina Mugabe - Mugabe's elder sister - demanded that a white farmer leave his house so she could move in, the CFU said.

It said in its latest bulletin on the anarchy in rural Zimbabwe that Sabina Mugabe, the local ruling Zanu-PF party MP, had told a farmer, Terry Ford, she intended to take over the farmstead on his Gowrie farm in the Norton district west of Harare. Ford could not be contacted for comment. Sabina Mugabe has been reported to be driving round commercial farming areas in her black Mercedes limousine, leading illegal occupations on to white farms in the district. Earlier this week she forced one of the country's major producers of highly specialised seed crops to stop farming on half of his land in Norton so that self-styled guerrilla war veterans could plant their maize on land, which was already ploughed and fertilised by the farmer.

Friday's "notice of compulsory acquisition" published in the state-owned Herald newspaper brought to 2 318 the number of farms listed for Mugabe's bid to grab 3 000 white-owned farms. The "fast-track" has been under way for a month, with government officials - usually accompanied by armed soldiers and police - trucking hundreds of would-be settlers on to white farms and declaring them to be "state land" in violation of the government's own laws on land acquisition. The bulletin said more and more farmers were being told to halt their farming operations as the arrival of summer rains marks the height of crop planting for the new season. Economists warn that the new harassment will lead to severe food shortages next year.

On Friday last week the Supreme court ordered the government to stop "fast track" occupations, and instructed police to remove squatters from all white-owned farms. CFU spokesperson Malcolm Vowles said lawyers were expected to confirm late on Friday whether all the officials cited by the court had been served with the order, which takes effect 48 hours after being served on officials. But up to Friday, the court order "has had minimal tangible effect," said the CFU bulletin. "There are no indications that instructions have been communicated down the police ranks and local government structures." It quoted a senior administrator who was "fast-tracking" squatters on to a farm in the Kadoma area about 150 west of Harare as saying that he would continue moving people onto land, in spite of the order. He said he had been "instructed by our minister" of local government, Ignatius Chombo, who is also head of Mugabe's national land resettlement committee.

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Comment from Business Day (SA), 18 March

All that is needed is to call for a fresh election

SA and Nigeria will pay a heavy price if they refuse to act against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe for stealing an election. The SA and Nigerian posture in the wake of the elections has already been greeted by derision in the rest of the world and could wreck the Commonwealth. But the real tragedy is that their diplomacy has failed to avert the unfolding catastrophe in Zimbabwe. To reverse this they must now deliver, at the least, a new election that is convincingly free and fair. Some of the longer-term costs are likely to be: SA's diplomatic marginalisation, a loss of credibility via a failure to uphold democratic values, hostility from Zimbabweans who feel cheated, and a threat to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad).

The rapid-fire statements last week from the US and UK, calling the election fraudulent, are a turning point. There was no waiting for an SA statement, despite all the major powers' frequent comments that they take a cue on regional issues from Pretoria and see SA as having a stabilising role in the region. SA's call for a government of national unity is a nonstarter as an end in itself, while the days of pondering a response to the results have simply shown indecision and a reluctance to face facts. The election was a betrayal of Zimbabweans, some of whom fruitlessly spent up to 70 hours in queues in an attempt to vote. The SA government's stance cannot but make it deeply unpopular with many Zimbabweans. SA food aid to Zimbabwe will not redeem our popularity.

If the reason for SA's pondering and "quiet diplomacy" is that it fears a political fallout from taking the same side as the UK's Tony Blair and the US's George Bush because of the potential "colonial" connotations, then it has misjudged the environment. In SA the radio talk shows indicate a concern about democracy across the racial spectrum. In the face of such flagrant violations of basic democratic tenets, the major powers were left without an option other than to speak their minds about the election. Any moaning about attempts to exercise new colonial authority should be treated as an attempt to defend dictatorial rule in this case. But the major powers can be criticised for applying dual standards as there is silence on human rights violations in countries upon which they are reliant, usually for wider strategic reasons. Inevitably all countries take advantage of situations to do what is most expedient at the time.

The reaction of African governments to Zimbabwe's stolen election has given the major powers no room to manoeuvre. It has opened a glaring gap between the words and sentiments of Nepad and the deeds of certain governments. Nepad's governance initiative, which covers such aspects as democracy, transparent government, protection of human rights, and sound management of public finances, is presented as "a precondition for development" in the document. Significantly, the document provides for peer review of governance on the continent, although the mechanisms for this must still be given form. Governance is often called the "cost-free" dimension of Nepad as opposed to the other initiatives that call for heavy funding. But the major powers have made it clear: the better the governance, the more money will flow.

Even if it is argued that Nepad is a process, Zimbabwe is too blatant a case of poor governance to allow it to pass. Moreover, it cannot be argued that Zimbabwe is a special case because of the land issue. There is broad consensus on the need for land redistribution the issue is one of simple political intimidation. The world's powers have been effusive in their rhetorical support for Nepad since the new vision for the continent's development began to emerge. The Cold War long over, there is no imminent threat to wester interests. But failed and rogue states, as well as poverty and disease do pose threats. In the aftermath of September 11, and the fight by the coalition against terrorism, the thinking in London and Washington is that the G-8 must provide a tangible alternative to fundamentalism. In addition, the fact has been that rogue states and terrorist organisations often receive a welcome in failing and failed states because of their lack of alternatives for support. That is why Zimbabwe has a wider importance and cannot be pushed aside. Sanctions targeted at the Zanu PF elite would help, but all that is needed is to call for a fresh election. SA would then have done the right thing at the right moment.

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Malaysian National News Agency

Zimbabwe: Chissano, Muluzi Meet With Tsvangirai

   HARARE, March 19 (SNNi/AIM) - Presidents Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique
and Bakili Muluzi of Malawi, on Sunday met with Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of
Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Muluzi is the current chairperson of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), while Chissano heads the SADC body on political, defence
and security cooperation.

The meeting took place after the two presidents had attended the investiture
of Tsvangirai's rival, Robert Mugabe, for a further six year term of office
as Zimbabwean head of state.

After the meeting the three men spoke to the press, and Tsvangirai said he
had told Chissano and Muluzi that he continued to believe that the results
of last week's presidential election did not reflect the will of the
Zimbabwean people. He therefore did not recognise the legitimacy of Mugabe's
claim to the presidency.

For their part, Chissano and Muluzi said Tsvangirai has assured them that,
although he does not recognise Mugabe as the legitimate president, he would
do nothing to endanger the vital interests of Zimbabweans and of his own

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Business Day

Depoliticising Zimbabwe can save Nepad

THIS week looms large for Zimbabwe and for the future of southern Africa. It
is time to act in the interests of the people of Zimbabwe. Not to place any
faith in its president, Robert Mugabe.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will not fall into the trap of
working with Mugabe the requirement of any national unity government.
Indeed, to ask MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to do so is an insult to all
those who have stood up to tyranny for two long years and seen the failed
attempts of SA President Thabo Mbeki, Nigeria, the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) and the Commonwealth.

The fact that Zimbabwe is in a shambles is precisely because these parties
never once "drew the line" with Mugabe. This could have begun, after the
first stolen general election in 2000, by demanding that public radio and
television be open each week for a number of hours, and that a new
constitution be a proper subject for public discussion.

If that "correction" did not follow immediately, loans, credits for energy
and the like could have been terminated until that democratic requirement
was fulfilled.

The SADC charter allows for that. So too does the New Partnership for
Africa's Development (Nepad). It proposes a system of peer review, just as
do members of the European Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development who monitor each other on progress on agreed benchmarks.

For the international community and the citizens of African countries,
Nepad's core is the promise to beef up democracy and governance. Its genius
is its recognition of African responsibility to create the conditions for
social and economic development as the quid pro quo for international
funding and investment. Zimbabwe is the immediate test.

If Mbeki and others fail this week, that Nepad partnership will fall apart.
Already the west is promising little immediate funds. If it does fall apart,
the $70bn it says is needed from the rich countries will never materialise.
The UK and Canada, Nepad's main backers, are the two most incensed by
Mugabe. The US and the European Union will lose interest in Africa.

The truth about Nepad is it has to be built upon a different partnership
first that of state and citizen before the west comes to the party. The deal
has to be between the international community and Zimbabweans. Mugabe has to
be told he cannot rule.

There is some hope that a new constitution will feature prominently in any
deal. That is the MDC's bottom line. A body like the Commonwealth must take
charge of that process. SA's "necessary consensus" is a suitable approach as
long as Zanu (PF), the MDC, business, and civil society are equally
represented in that forum.

While the constitutional process is under way, an international managerial
team should take over the government. The police must be retrained and the
military kept to barracks. No aid should be channelled through government
until it is neutralised as Mugabe will use it to hurt his foes.

Last week, I outlined an economic rights, demand-led programme funded by the
enormous humanitarian imports the international community must provide but
only if the right conditions are put into place. Such a programme confers
income, community investment, child, school and health rights on all
Zimbabweans and builds a strong economic, civil and competent citizenry.

This, with the arrangements to move to democratic governance, would
completely depoliticise public and economic life until the pieces of
democracy and governance are in place and a free and fair election can
occur. Zimbabwe will be reconciled, and Nepad well born and its founders'
commitments demonstrated.

Reynolds is a director of Earth Africa.

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Zimbabwe - Report from Inside

IYE - 19 March 2002 has just received this exclusive update on the Zimbabwe
political situation from inside the "front-lines". The name of the author
has not been disclosed in the interest of their safety...



There is an unreal sense of living slow motion in a vacuum here. Everyone
was on such a high last week as, despite all the tricks we knew Bob and his
boys had and would pull, the people turned out in droves and they wanted
only one thing.

We now know that no matter how blatant he had to be to rig the result, he
went and did it. To our disgust the 'Boys Club' of African leaders back each
other up ensured their observer teams glossed over 2 years of violence,
torture, the vote-rigging and the now rapidly approaching famine mainly
caused by the last 22 years of disastrous policies, corruption and theft by
this Government. Their verdict - the result was 'an accurate reflection of
what the people of Zimbabwe want' - we are still trying to work out what
planet Mbeki and Co. come from. The countries in this region and Africa as a
whole will pay the price for backing this regime of violence and corruption
over a party that has tried to play by the rules, has a sound set of
economic and social policies AND was the choice of the overwhelming majority
of the people if all the false votes were removed from the equation.

No-one knows what is going to happen now. We know that there is a huge
famine here that is going to last at least 2 years instead of the 1 that we
might have been able to contain it to. The Government have no Forex to buy
the grain needed, it is a logistical nightmare to get it here also and the
process should have started month ago. Due to the past record of 'diverting'
aid and distributing food only to their party faithful, the International
donors are quite rightly wary of pouring funds or food in to the country.

We are sure that Bobs record of not being forgiving to those that threaten
his grip on power mean that the high profile MDC members are in for a tough

The need to reward his war-vets and youth militia means that the remaining
white farms will soon be taken regardless of the further damage this will do
to the countries economy, the need to grow crops and the even greater need
for the forex the tobacco and horticulture industries can bring in.

During his campaign our President indicated that he would take over and run
any companies that they deemed were 'sabotaging the economy' by shutting
down. It is going to be interesting to see them do that in a situation when
most of the companies have closed due to no demand for their product.
Actually in most cases the cost of the imported inputs (which have to be
sourced after obtaining the forex at up to six times the bank rate) and the
labour costs far exceed what you are able (or allowed, due to price
controls) to charge for the finished product.

Unfortunately Zims political and economic problems will probably fade from
world attention now that the Israelis are killing 30 a day and young George
wants to head for Bagdad to make up for Daddies gaff 10 years ago.

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Daily News - Feature

Rage and infamy as darkness blinds towns and cities

3/19/02 8:06:11 AM (GMT +2)

WHAT a difficult week! A week of rage and infamy. What a difficult time
ahead. Six more years on the same diet of political corruption, economic
decline and negative freedom.

To many, the news of Robert Mugabe’s victory in the presidential election
came as a mystery, hence the simmering anger, hopelessness and confusion. To
his supporters, it was expected but still unacceptable. They, too, have had
it but who is prepared to bale out the cat?

The meaning will become clearer within a month. As winners, you must now
deal with the following tasks: jobs, foreign currency, zero exports, rising
prices, the Budget deficit, high expectations on land, fuel, cooking oil,
maize-meal, margarine, sugar, soft drinks, soap . . . the list goes on. Do
you have solutions when nobody, beyond the trembling rural areas, wants to
see you?

In a world of rapid change and inescapable interdependence, an aging
leadership under pressure from the West, a wrecked economy, a runaway Aids
pandemic and a politically polarised, starving nation, present a deadly
cocktail no sane person wants to stomach.

The mixture turns into an instant killer when laced with a stolen election,
an uncertain supply of food and a besieged regime that is unable to convince
its subjects that it has the authority and legitimacy to govern.

The election was supposed to end a two-year battle for power. Instead, it
marked the beginning of an even serious phase in the competition for
political control and power.

Mugabe brought the country to an irreparable state, anticipating a loss and
in preparation for a Zanu PF comeback in 2005.

Through Tobaiwa Mudede, fear of one Tony Blair, a heavy tapestry of
brutality, night decrees and complex voting procedures, Mugabe has turned
the tables against himself. Bring back Zimbabwe from lawlessness; abolish
price controls to place the economy back on the rails; regain international
credibility, bust sanctions, cheaply if you can; take over white-owned
companies; dish out parastatals to Zanu PF officials - and then what? Mugabe
will never enjoy his last years in office.

The poll came at a time when people were already angry. Food shortages will
unite all voters against Zanu PF, leading to a spontaneous, unorganised

The government can arrest and jail the entire MDC leadership, or ban private
newspapers and gag dissenting voices, but Zimbabwe will keep on demanding a
better life from his regime. Extreme difficulties can be imposed on
donor-funded non-governmental organisations and civil society generally, but
Zimbabwe’s problems won’t disappear.

In the past week, the face of Harare, the seat of government, illustrated
the depth of feeling and resolve to see change. That was thwarted through a
systematic subversion of democracy: few polling stations, a slow process and
a deliberate delay in allowing voters access to the booth.

Nevertheless, we are told officially that 1,3 million people, all cats and
dogs according to Grace Mugabe, withstood the frustration and made it known
that Mugabe must go.

A Mugabe victory, in a country perceived to have been ruined by its
President, leads us to nowhere. The odds against the nation are so
overbearing that no single group of terrified subsistence farmers, acting
alone, can salvage it from the mud. It is folly to expect the huge
dissenting voice, made up of workers whose rural families depend on them for
primary support, to adapt or die. If the process was transparent, many could
by now have resigned to their fate.

But that is not so. Emotions are still high and Zimbabweans are looking hard
at themselves, revising their goals, drafting survival plans, editing their
visions and reworking their missions.

History has it that no amount of personal humiliation can stand in the way
of Africans, if they believe they are right. Zanu PF declared that its
relationship with the MDC was like oil and water. It has unleashed a volley
of insults and a dangerous dislike for urban citizens in a manner that can
only fan hatred, despair and polarised extremism.

Inflammatory statements meant to rip apart relations between subsistence
farmers and villagers from their urban family members are totally
unacceptable. Given the fact that most workers are part-time rural farmers,
claims that urban areas are centres of subversion are set to backfire.

The election result aside, Zimbabwe needs everybody at home and abroad,
black and white, citizen and non-citizen, to undertake a post-lawlessness
recovery. To refuse to live and co-exist with this reality is simply

Meaningful work aimed at repairing Zimbabwe must start with Mugabe himself.

He must respect the opposition and change his view that the MDC (1,3 million
Zimbabweans) is a front for the British. Nothing can be gained through
another six years of trying to kill each other and driving the people
further apart.

A lot of government leaders are way past their retirement age. They must be
retired and HelpAge must be asked to help comfort them in specially built
villages. These could turn out to be busy centres for tourists, historians
and political upstarts seeking pleasure and advice.

If necessary, Mugabe can relocate to one such retirement village to provide
added security. My family believes that State House, the adjacent Zimbabwe
House and all Presidential villas in other cities should be turned into
HIV/Aids hospitals. They have fantastic facilities and space sufficient to
reduce the strain of patients in public hospitals. Such a move will show the
nation that Mugabe is ready to maximise resources and do something
personally about the Aids menace.

There must be some hope in the future. Condoms are unpopular among the
youths who feel completely useless to their own societies. When dreams are
shattered and doors are closed, the only option is to fight to stay alive.

Mugabe will find it extremely difficult to encourage agile, young people,
eager to own a car or cellular phone, to stay in the new resettlement areas,
watching the rocks grow on their vast plots of virgin bush. They grew up in
villages and want to move on to a more competitive environment in a country
with jobs, security and vibrant debate.

The violence that swept through Zimbabwe in the past two years can easily be
traced to unemployment and hopelessness. There are large pools of young,
hungry and idle minds ready for anything. Will they continue to be forced to
salute Mugabe? Isn’t it funny that this was the first election which
attracted muffled celebrations? Something, somewhere must be very wrong.

Only time will tell what awaits us as a nation.

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Daily News

Zanu PF supporters go on the rampage in Victoria Falls

3/19/02 7:44:56 AM (GMT +2)

From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

SEVERAL people were injured in Victoria Falls on Saturday when Zanu PF
supporters went on the rampage assaulting people suspected to be opposition

The violence has further scared away potential tourists from visiting the
country’s premier resort town.

The rowdy supporters had earlier marched through the streets carrying a mock
coffin with the inscription “Rest in Peace Morgan Tsvangirai”.

Tsvangirai is the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change

Later, more than 200 went to the town’s main bus terminus and started
assaulting people they suspected of being MDC supporters.

Patson Mlotshwa, one of the victims, said the hooligans pounced while he and
other people were at the terminus.

He sustained a deep wound to the mouth and a swollen eye.

An unidentified woman was severely injured by the mob.

She was admitted to Victoria Falls General Hospital.

Austin Ndlovu, a tout at the terminus, said the Zanu PF supporters forced
him to chant slogans before assaulting him.

“There was a group of policemen who watched the Zanu PF supporters assault

“ I wonder what would have happened to me if I had not fled,” he said.
On Thursday, fighting broke out at a resettlement scheme at Monde, on the
outskirts of the resort town. Several dwellings belonging to MDC supporters
were torched by a group of war veterans.

Tour operators on Sunday expressed fears that the political violence would
drive away more tourists the source of much-needed foreign currency.

Tourist visits slumped to very low levels just before the presidential
election last week.

Most hotels and lodges in the town said they had no bookings.
“The resort town will soon resemble a ghost town because businesses will
definitely close down if the situation does not improve soon,” said a tour
operator, who asked not to be named.

Tourists now prefer to gaze at the magnificent Victoria Falls from the
peaceful Zambian side of the Zambezi River.

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NCA denies plotting to topple Mugabe

3/19/02 7:44:17 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has refuted a Press report that
it is planning to topple President Mugabe.

Douglas Mwonzora, the NCA spokesperson, denied an allegation by the
State-controlled Chronicle on Saturday that the NCA together with the
opposition were working on a plan to remove Mugabe who narrowly beat Morgan
Tsvangirai of the MDC in a flawed election last week.

Mwonzora said the NCA was busy intensifying its efforts to campaign for a
new constitution.

“The NCA is not aware of this plan,” Mwonzora said. “The core business of
the NCA is constitutional reform by the people of Zimbabwe on their own,
irrespective of their political affiliation. It is against any activity by
government or anybody else likely to jeopardise the peace, tranquillity and
safety of the people of Zimbabwe.”

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