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

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Kerry Kay @ JAG

Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 9:05 AM


As a result of many Members being forced off their farms and now living in
Harare and having lost contact with the Farmers Associations, it has been
decided to invite such Members of CFU to a General Meeting.  This will be
held on Thursday 20th March 2003 at 2.30pm at CFU.  It would be useful if
those reading this email passed on its contents to those who do no have
email and would thus, not attend.  It would also be useful if those
intending to come would either respond to Sue Nelson or Mel Barnes on
telephone number 309800/9 so we have a rough idea of numbers attending to
organise an appropriate sized hall.

Thank you.

Colin Cloete
CFU President

Justice for Agriculture mailing list
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CFU President, Colin Cloete attended a meeting of the NECF Task Force yesterday afternoon, where the call was once again for increased production. All major stakeholders were invited, and representatives from the banking sector, input manufacturers, agricultural unions and technocrats were present.
Focus was on identifying the hindrances and factors which are limiting an increase in production and thus threatening food security and foreign exchange earnings.
This year’s winter wheat crop and next season’s tobacco crop were singled out as priorities which must be stimulated in order to ensure maximum production.
Although there was a lot of debate on the subject, we believe the core of the problem is still land tenure and law and order on the ground. Being of a political nature, these issues were not addressed at all. Until they are addressed, and satisfactorily concluded, production will not improve.
A new structure, known as the Zimbabwe Agricultural Council, was presented by John Mapondera. Still at the planning stage, this council would be an apex body comprising all stakeholders, which would advocate and lobby for agriculture as a whole. The concept received a luke warm response from the meeting, in favour of more urgent matters at hand. This is a clear indication of the crisis management approach being taken by many stakeholders, with little commitment to longer term policy-making.
The CFU remains firmly committed to its three main principles of security of land tenure, law and order and viability. We believe that by attending meetings such as the NECF, the BLF (Business Leaders Forum) and the TNF (Tripartite Negotiating Forum), we are ensuring not only that our voice is heard, but that we are also participating in the national interest.
Commercial Farmers' Union of  Zimbabwe
P O Box WGT 390
Tel: 04-309800
Fax: 04-309873
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ABC News

National Strike Cripples Zimbabwe Economy
National Strike Shuts Down Businesses, Disrupts Transportation for a Second
Day in Zimbabwe

The Associated Press

      HARARE, Zimbabwe March 19 -
      A national strike called to protest Zimbabwe's increasingly
authoritarian government shut down businesses and disrupted transportation
services across the country for a second day Wednesday.

      After violence in Harare a day earlier, police reinforcements were
deployed in Bulawayo, the second largest city, where shops and banks were
closed, state radio reported. Factory owners in Harare reported fewer
workers showing up at their jobs Wednesday.

      "Those who have made it say the buses are harder to get today. Some
have walked to work," said Amos Chimedza, a furniture factory supervisor in
the Southerton industrial district.

      He said with about 60 percent absenteeism, many businesses sent
workers home and closed their gates.

      "We can't operate like this. It's as quiet as a Sunday around here,"
said Chimedza.

      The government has yet to comment on the strike action.

      The two-day strike, which began Tuesday, and a series of
demonstrations in outlying townships were called by the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change to protest alleged government repression and
acute shortages of food and gasoline.

      In clandestinely distributed flyers, the opposition called for
peaceful protests carried out with "utmost discipline".

      "People must demand change through action if we are to survive in
these trying times," the flyers said.

      Two buses and a truck were torched by rioters in Harare Tuesday,
police said. Officers fired tear gas in eastern Harare, where gangs of
youths hurled stones at passing cars and attempted to block streets
surrounding a bus station.

      A van of the state Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. was damaged in a
stoning attack and a bakery truck was intercepted and looted.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said detectives were investigating
what he described as "ringleaders who are paying youths to participate in
illegal activities."

      Army units were deployed in some neighborhoods of Harare. They imposed
an informal curfew in one district, telling people to keep off the streets.

      The response to the call for "mass action" was the largest since
President Robert Mugabe was re-elected last year. The election was denounced
by the opposition after international observers reported intimidation and
vote rigging.

      The opposition hoped the action would paralyze the economy and force
Mugabe to step down ahead of new internationally supervised elections, said
spokesman, Paul Themba Nyathi

      Instability began to spread in Zimbabwe three years ago after the
government launched an often violent campaign to confiscate 95 percent of
white-owned farmland as part of its land reform program.
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Herewith the names of some companies / shops still open at 1pm. today.
Mabelreign.......                                                       Strathaven...........
Sherwood Service Station                                    Spar
Mabelreign Meat Market                                      Better Days Bottle store
Mabelreign Butchery                                           Expert Hair Care
Dalmor Videos                                                    Strathaven Bottle store
Moonrise Motor Spares                                        Midrange Electronics
Stortford Superette                                              Smokey Blues and Jazz
Adorable Kids                                                     Sports Bar
Sherwood Golf course
Crusty Loaf bakery.                                            
Mabelreign Spar                                                 
                                                                               La Coupe Hairstylists
Avondale ............                                                   Belvedere Trading
Debonaires                                                               Shades Ahead
Kings                                                                       Montague BP service station
Bata                                                                         Da Guidos
Scoop                                                                      Promobile
IB Coffee Bar                                                            Fingers Hair Clinic
Wimpy                                                                     Leisure Centre Video.
Rainbow Video
Avondale Chinese
Chicken Hut
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Anti-Government Demonstrations Gain Momentum

South African Press Association (Johannesburg)

March 18, 2003
Posted to the web March 18, 2003

Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters and anti-government activists
erected roadblocks Tuesday as opposition calls for nationwide demonstrations
against the Zimbabwean government gained momentum, witnesses said.

In other unrest, witnesses said a bus of the state transport company was
torched in southern Harare. Some factories on the outskirts of the city
closed their gates after workers failed to arrive.

National protests were called by the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change in full page newspaper advertisements and fliers distributed across
the capital.

Opposition officials said millions of fliers were printed though police
seized many in a raid on a Harare print shop last week.

The advertisements and fliers said called for an end of state repression,
economic mismanagement and corruption that they say has led to over half the
population of some 13 million in danger of starvation.

"We can only take so much and no more. When a people lose their dignity
through despair, injustice, hunger and oppression, they have to resort to
desperate measures to survive," said one advertisement.

Commuter bus services and traffic from Harare's townships and suburbs were
disrupted. Protesters built makeshift barricades of rocks and wooden poles
while a military helicopter swooped over the city center.

There were no immediate reports of arrests or injuries.

Residents of the eastern Harare township of Mabvuku said police fired tear
gas when protesters converged on a bus station and blocked the surrounding

A decision to launch nationwide protests was made last week, said opposition
spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi.

Protests would continue Wednesday and into the future, said Nyathi. The
opposition hopes the action will bring business to a halt in the country.

The protests come exactly a year after presidential elections gave President
Robert Mugabe, the only ruler since the southern African country won
independence in 1980, another six-year term.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai narrowly lost the race which was
denounced by independent election observers as swayed by political violence,
intimidation and vote rigging.

The country began to destabilize three years ago when the government
launched an often violent campaign to confiscate 95 percent of farmland
owned by white farmers as part of its land reform program.

Disruptions in the agriculture-based economy and erratic rains slashed
harvests of corn, the staple food, and tobacco, the main hard currency
earner, plunging a hunger and economic crisis.

The opposition accuses the government of stifling its activities through
violence, police torture, intimidation and stringent security and media

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      Explosions in Zimbabwe as strike cripples economy

Police in Zimbabwe say there have been a series of explosions in the town of
Kadom as a national strike shut down businesses for a second day.

Thirty-three people, including an opposition politician, have been arrested
in connection with the blasts outside food shops.

Explosives have also been found on a road bridge, near the town but they
have been disabled by bomb disposal experts.

The strike has been called by opposition party Movement for Democratic
Change, in protest at Robert Mugabe's government.

Spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi, dismissed police claims the opposition is
responsible for the explosions, saying: "Our protests have been peaceful. If
there were explosives they must have come from government sources."

The opposition is scheduled to release a statement on whether to continue
the protests for a third day.

Army units have been deployed in some neighborhoods of Harare and imposed an
informal curfew in one district, telling people to keep off the streets.

Police reinforcements were deployed in Bulawayo, the second largest city in
the country, where shops and banks were closed.

Major supermarkets and many other stores in Bulawayo did not open because
people did not show up for work, store owners said. Factory owners in the
capital, Harare, have reported fewer workers showing up.

The government has yet to comment on the strike action, which began on
Tuesday to protest about government repression and acute shortages of food
and gasoline.

© Associated Press
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      19 Mar 2003 16:24
      Zimbabwe police on guard as strike enters day two


      (By Stella Mapenzauswa

      HARARE, March 19 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe police kept their grip on
Harare's black townships on Wednesday, firing into the air to disperse a
crowd on the second day of an opposition strike marred by mob violence.

      Explosions, clashes and mass arrests have marked the two-day
nationwide strike called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC). It is the biggest protest in more than two years against President
Robert Mugabe's 23-year rule.

      Most factories in the capital's industrial zone stayed shut although
small groups of people waited for scarce transport into the main commercial

      Witnesses said police fired warning shots early on Wednesday to
disperse a crowd in one township, but there were no reports of injuries.
Police could not immediately confirm the report.

      In a statement, police said explosions damaged three shops and a bar
in the central town of Kadoma on Tuesday, while in the nearby Eiffel Flats,
two explosive devices destroyed a supermarket and damaged a bridge.

      "Thirty-three people were arrested in Kadoma including Austin
Mupandawana, the MDC member of parliament," the statement said.

      Critics at home and abroad accuse Mugabe's administration of human
rights abuses, rigging his re-election a year ago and causing mass hunger by
seizing farms owned by the white minority for distribution to landless

      Half of Zimbabwe's 14 million people face food shortages which Mugabe
blames solely on drought. He accuses whites and former colonial power
Britain of sabotaging the economy over land seizures he says are designed to
redress a colonial injustice.

      State media dismissed the strike as a flop, saying only white-owned
companies were closed. But the MDC hailed it as a success, saying the second
city of Bulawayo, an opposition stronghold southwest of Harare, had largely
shut down.

      MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai called the strike "a big victory against
this tyranny and all its forces of oppression" and said the opposition would
soon call for further protests.

      "This action has demonstrated beyond any doubt that we the people of
Zimbabwe have no fear and will take concrete steps to reclaim our power,"
Tsvangirai said in a statement.

      The government says the strike is illegal and police had warned they
would deal ruthlessly with any violence.

      Harare police said they arrested 63 people on Tuesday after mobs
stoned motorists and blocked roads before officers moved in, backed by army
helicopters and armoured cars.

      The detainees included 12 alleged MDC supporters suspected of torching
a state-owned bus in Harare. Police said a bus carrying pre-school children
was also burnt in Chitungwiza, 35 km (20 miles) from Harare, but the
children escaped unhurt.

      The privately-owned Daily News, openly critical of Mugabe, said in an
editorial that the strike's success signalled "a national desire for action
to force the government to change the way it is running the country."

      "(But) after the mass stay-away, it is back to the long queues for
fuel and food, poverty and hunger," the paper said.

      The 54-nation Commonwealth, split along racial lines over Mugabe, has
extended Zimbabwe's year-long suspension until December when the group of
mainly former British colonies will meet in Nigeria. The suspension was due
to expire on Wednesday.

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The Herald

Thugs blow up shops, bridges

Herald Reporters
SUSPECTED MDC youths allegedly detonated dynamite and explosives on shops
and bridges in Kadoma, causing damage worth over $11 million early on
Tuesday morning in violence related to the opposition-sponsored mass action.

Police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said the youths
were instructed by their leaders to place dynamite to destroy bridges,
supermarkets, shops and vital installations to cripple any legal and normal
activities in the town.

They allegedly placed spikes and stones on the roads to curtail the movement
of traffic.

Asst Com Bvudzijena said 33 people - including the Member of Parliament for
Kadoma Central Mr Austin Mupandawana and a councillor - were arrested in
connection with the violence related to the mass action.

"In Eiffel Flats, explosives were set at three points at a supermarket. They
did not explode.

"The gangsters went on to stone windowpanes and damaged part of the stock.
Estimated damage to property is worth $6 million.

"At another supermarket in Eiffel Flats, explosives were set at three points
behind the supermarket and exploded, damaging a freezer and five
windowpanes. Estimated damage to property is $4 million.

"Explosives were set on two sides of a narrow bridge along the Eiffel
Flats-Mhondoro Road. One exploded causing minor damage. The other explosives
did not explode and were recovered," said Asst Com Bvudzijena.

Explosives also damaged two supermarkets in Rimuka.

The damage, which is estimated at $200 000, left big holes at the

An explosive placed at a tuckshop in Rimuka exploded, causing one side of
the wall to collapse.

The damage is estimated at $700 000, the police spokesman said.

A dynamite placed at another tuckshop in Rimuka failed to explode and was

Asst Com Bvudzijena said at yet another tuckshop, explosives were set on the
wall and they exploded causing the side of the wall to collapse.

This caused moderate damages estimated at $500 000.

He also said explosives were set near Ingezi beerhalls and exploded, causing
damages to the windows.

Asst Com Bvudzijena said there was calm in Harare yesterday, after buses
were burnt and cars stoned at the beginning of the mass protest on Tuesday.

The only incident of note was the burning of a commuter bus in Budiriro 4 by
a group of 10 suspected MDC youths in the afternoon.

Most large supermarkets, departmental stores, industries and banks remained
closed for the second day in Harare.

However, a survey in the capital's suburbs showed there was peace and the
police were on alert.

Asst Com Bvudzijena said the MDC was paying youths at least $5 000 each to
engage in terrorist activities.

"Some of the leaders have been arrested and we would like to assure members
of the public that the police are on top of the situation and that they
should not fear to go about their daily activities," he said.

Harare was hit by transport problems as many omnibus operators suspended
their services.

Asst Com Bvudzijena said there was a possibility that owners of the buses
were being paid to stop plying routes in the city.

Harare residents who had gone to Mbare Musika for business were stranded, as
there were no buses to take them home.

They were resorting to hiring pushcarts to carry their goods to suburbs as
far away as Budiriro.

"We have been waiting for transport for more than five hours, but nothing
has come," said a Budiriro resident.

In most suburbs, the stranded residents jostled for the few Zimbabwe United
Passengers' Company buses that were plying the city routes.

Few rural buses were also seen plying their usual routes from Mbare Musika.

At least two buses and a truck were burnt and reduced to shells by suspected
MDC youths in Harare on Tuesday.

"Our bosses instructed us to park buses at garages since they were afraid
that the situation would deteriorate and get out of control," a Mhunga bus
conductor said.

But many schools were open in the capital and they had normal lessons as
teachers and students attended.

Asst Comm Bvudzijena said the situation was quiet yesterday in most
provinces, with very few skirmishes.

At least 13 people were arrested in Bulawayo for various offences related to
the mass protest.

The only incident of note in the city yesterday was the recovery of a 1 000
metre long sealing tape inscribed with MDC slogans which police suspected to
have been used to seal off Luveve Road.

In Chinhoyi businesses and workers ignored the mass action as banks and
shops were open and the situation calm, our correspondent reported.

Police and the army were closely monitoring the situation and quelled
threats of trouble at a filling station where fuel was available.

The MDC said it resorted to the mass action to protest against President

The protest was expected to last for two days beginning on Tuesday.

Asst Com Bvudzijena said police were still compiling figures of those
arrested throughout the country in connection with the protest.

At least 53 people were arrested in Harare alone on Tuesday for various
offences related to the protest.
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Violence, Arrests On Day 2 of Zimbabwe Strike
VOA News
19 Mar 2003, 17:41 UTC

Zimbabwe's nationwide strike has spread to virtually every shop, factory and
supermarket in the nation's two largest cities - Harare and Bulawayo.

Police say under 200 people have been arrested since the strike began
Tuesday. The political opposition says two of its lawmakers have been

Violence flared Wednesday with police reporting that home-made bombs damaged
two supermarkets outside the capital. Several buses were set on fire. A
policeman, Wayne Bvudzijena, also said an explosion superficially damaged a
bridge near Kadoma.

On Tuesday, crowds erected barricades and torched several buses. Police
fired tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters in the suburbs of

It is illegal in Zimbabwe for workers to go on strike, or to encourage them
to do so. It is also illegal for businesses to close for political reasons.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change organized the massive work
stoppage to protest the policies of President Robert Mugabe. It is the
largest and most successful public challenge to the president since his
controversial re-election a year ago.

Zimbabwe has been in a political and economic crisis since the vote. The
poll was widely condemned as fraudulent. The nation is also suffering from
food and fuel shortages, and record-high inflation.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Better planning needed

      3/19/2003 1:59:20 PM (GMT +2)

      The success of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)-organised mass
stayaway, which began yesterday and is expected to continue today, is
indicative of a national desire for action to force the government to change
the way it is running the country.

      The critical food shortages and the worsening violence and
lawlessness - coupled with the runaway inflation which is predicted to hit
500 percent by year-end - have pushed people against the wall. They are fed
up with standing in endless queues every day and of being beaten up or
harassed by the police and youths from the Border Gezi national youth
training centre. They want political change now so that they can lead better
lives. But whether or not the mass stayaway is the best strategy to bring
about positive change remains a topic of intense public debate.

      What is not debatable is that the latest stayaway, like the previous
ones, was not properly planned and co-ordinated. Granted, the organisers
face a government that enjoys unbridled monopoly of national resources like
the public media, control of the police and the army. It remains crucial
that a lot of time be spent on planning.

      The lack of a clear strategy and poor planning often results in
half-measures. It is vital that word about the mass stayaway should be
communicated from the top to the bottom nationwide. There must be an
understanding of what should be done next after such an exercise because
there is a high expectation of immediate change among the people. When such
change fails to take place, they might conclude that it was a futile

      The mass stayaway aims at forcing the government to take stock of
itself and accept that change is inevitable. In 1997, President Mugabe and
his team had a rude shock when their most loyal supporters, the war
veterans, demanded their pound of flesh, by way of land and money as
compensation for their role in the country's liberation.

      They told Mugabe in no uncertain terms at the National Heroes' Acre
and the Zanu PF headquarters in Harare that if they failed to get what they
wanted, they would take the law into their hands and virtually make the
country ungovernable. Mugabe read the message and bowed to the war veterans'
demands. Later, he would not lift a finger as they rampaged through the
commercial farms owned mainly by whites.

      What followed was a haphazard grabbing of land, ostensibly for handing
over to landless peasants. The reality is that most of the beneficiaries
have been Zanu PF fat cats, who are already wallowing in ill-gotten wealth.
The granting of gratuities and monthly allowances to the war veterans
sparked the decline of the value of the Zimbabwe dollar, from which it has
never really recovered.

      But Mugabe and his government were forced to recognise that the war
veterans would not back down until their demands were met. Unfortunately,
this is the only language Zanu PF understands. The MDC, the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions, the National Constitutional Assembly and other
organisations involved in the stayaway must be honest with themselves when
they assess the effect of their collective action.

      They must realise that for the majority of people in Zimbabwe, the
mass stayaway will not by itself bring about an end of their suffering.
After the mass stayaway, it is back to the long queues for fuel and food,
poverty and hunger. There have been several mass stayaways since 1998 and
none of them have led to anything positive. After every stayaway, the
organisers should go back to the drawing board and assess their action
conscientiously, so that future stayaways are better-organised and can
enhance their chances of achieving their objectives.
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Daily News


      3/19/2003 1:57:26 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporters

      BUSINESS was brought to a virtual standstill in the major cities as
the nation heeded the opposition MDC's call for a protest mass action to
press President Mugabe and his government to confront the worsening economic
situation and stop the violence against dissenting voices.

      In Harare, Bulawayo, Kadoma, Masvingo and Chitungwiza, many stayed at
home, resulting in most businesses, including banks, supermarkets and
factories, and some schools to shut for the day. Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC
spokesman, was cautious in his response on whether the mass action had been
a success.
      He said: "There is still tomorrow (today) and work is being done on
the ground to ensure it succeeds. This is only a test run. We are learning
as we go along."
      Nathan Shamuyarira, the ruling Zanu PF spokesman, refused to comment,
saying: "What comment do you want? You are the ones organising the mass
action. Get a comment from Morgan Tsvangirai."

      Tsvangirai is the MDC president. However, it was business as usual in
Gweru, Kwekwe, Zvishavane and Mutare. In Harare, the mass action turned
violent with two policemen and several other passengers narrowly escaping
death when a State-owned Zupco bus they were travelling in was petrol-bombed
along Chiremba Road in Hatfield. The bus was extensively burnt. Police on
the scene blamed the attack on MDC activists.

      In Mabvuku, at least three commuter omnibuses were stoned at a rank.
In Glen View, there were running battles between the police, accompanied by
soldiers, and residents. In Chitungwiza, a number of teachers failed to
report for duty because they could not get transport to get to work.
Students and pupils at Zengeza 2 High, Zengeza 4 High, Mberi and Tangenhamo
primary schools were sent back home early after their teachers failed to
turn up.

      The police and army cordoned off the Ximex Mall in Angwa Street,
Harare, in the afternoon following a bomb scare. In Bulawayo, dozens of
Nkulumane, Sizinda and Tshabalala residents barricaded roads leading into
the city with burning tyres and boulders as early as 5am. The barricades
were immediately cleared by the police who maintained a heavy presence in
the city. In the city's industrial areas, more than 90 percent of the firms
were closed. The police forced businesses in the city to open. Ten people
were arrested and charged under the Public Order and Security Act for
organising the stayaway. They were granted bail of $2 000 each and remanded
to 3 April. A man was arrested after head-butting two police officers. There
was a major police deployment in the city centre and high-density suburbs as
the police moved in to curb the protest.

      In Kadoma, Austin Mupandawana, the MP for Kadoma Central (MDC), and
about 100 MDC youths were arrested yesterday morning following clashes with
the riot police. Most businesses in President Mugabe's home province of
Mashonaland West were closed as the riot police were involved in running
battles with people they suspected to be convening illegal meetings. In
Masvingo, most shops did not open for business.

      At least 15 people were arrested, including Silas Mangono, the MP for
Masvingo Central (MDC). Mangono and Jobert Mudzumwe, an MDC national
executive member, were bundled into a police vehicle at about 5am as they
joined party youths marching through Mucheke high-density suburb chanting
party slogans and blowing whistles. The two and other MDC activists were
still in police custody by yesterday afternoon.
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Daily News

      Court stops minister's bid to seize property

      3/19/2003 2:06:42 PM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      THE High Court in Bulawayo has ordered Abednico Ncube, the Deputy
Minister of Foreign Affairs, not to enter Todd's Hotel and Guest House,
which he tried to seize in the guise of the land reform programme.

      Justice Nicholas Ndou, granting the provisional order, said Ncube must
not enter the premises or contact the applicant's workers whether in his
personal capacity or through an agent. Kingworthy Investment, which owns the
property, made the court application following what the company cited as
constant harassment by Ncube. Ncube tried to take over the hotel, petrol
service station and guest house including the land where the property is
located. His argument was that the property was on a piece of designated
land. When Kingworthy refused to hand over the property, Ncube ordered them
to pay a monthly rental of $50 000 to him.
      Ncube's lawyers wrote a letter to Kingsworthy Investment advising them
that they should vacate the property.

      Ncube was listed as the first respondent, and Joseph Made, the
Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, as the second
respondent. Attached to the court application was an affidavit that contains
details of the alleged harassment of the property's owner and workers. The
affidavit said three people claiming to be war veterans sent by Ncube, went
to the hotel on 13 September, and gave the staff an order to vacate the
premises by 30 September. The notice required the respondents to state why
the interdict should not be served against Ncube, the first respondent.
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The Herald

Trains nearly collide head-on in Kadoma

Herald Reporter
TWO passenger trains travelling in opposite directions were nearly involved
in a head-on collision near Kadoma on Sunday as they were on the same track.

The Bulawayo and Harare-bound trains narrowly missed a head on collision.
The drivers managed to stop the trains on realising that they were on the
same track, a short distance away from Kadoma.

The trains were supposed to shunt in Kadoma where there are many
rail-tracks. But the Bulawayo train had already passed through Kadoma.

"Thank God the drivers quickly realised that they were on the same track and
managed to bring the trains to a halt otherwise it could have been another
disaster as both trains had a lot of people on board," said a passenger, who
refused to identify himself.

This comes hardly two months after the Dete train disaster where a goods
train collided with a passenger train, resulting in the death of at least 50

Poor communication has been blamed for the Dete train tragedy.

Were it not for the quick reaction by the drivers, the Kadoma incident could
have been the fifth train disaster in less than five months.

Officials at the National Railways of Zimbabwe headquarters in Bulawayo
could not comment when contacted by telephone, preferring that questions be
forwarded to them in writing.

"Can you please put the questions on paper so that we can respond as we do
not answer questions on the phone," said the secretary to the public
relations officer, who refused to identify herself.
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The Herald

State to train gender focal persons

Herald Reporter
THE Government intends to train 300 people as gender focal persons to serve
in Government ministries and parastatals.

The Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation Cde Elliot
Manyika announced this at the official opening of a training programme of
gender desks at the Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and
Management yesterday.

He said the main objective of the training programme was to equip the 300
gender desks, who have been nominated from different ministries and
parastatals, with the skills and capacity to help facilitate gender equality
in various organisations and sectors.

"This training is very important considering the fact that Zimbabwe still
has high levels of gender imbalances, a rather undesirable position
considering the fact that the country is among the African countries with
high literacy levels.

"The existing inequalities show that women need to be accorded the
opportunity to participate at all levels from the family, community and
national level," Cde Manyika said.

He said the training of the 300 gender focal persons demonstrated the
Government's commitment to addressing the issue of gender imbalances.

"To facilitate the mainstreaming of gender across all sectors the Government
has in consultation with stakeholders put in place a national gender policy,
which provides the guidelines and institutional framework for attaining
gender equity and equality," he said.

He also called on other sectors to help in the implementation, monitoring
and evaluation of the national gender policy.

Cde Manyika urged the gender focal persons to produce action plans to guide
the integration of gender perspectives into their organisations' operations.

"You will be playing an important role in the production of sectoral data,
which will enable the gender department to compile country reports. I hope
that after you receive the appropriate orientation and training, the
mainstreaming of gender will be done in a more effective manner at all
times," he said.

He pledged his ministry's support and guidance, through the gender
department at all times.

"The Government remains fully committed to gender equity and equality and
will continue its efforts to create an enabling environment for the
institutionalisation of gender in Zimbabwe," Cde Manyika said.
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Daily News

      Chiwenga assaults lawyer

      3/19/2003 2:09:26 PM (GMT +2)

      By Brian Mangwende Chief Reporter

      Jocelyn Chiwenga, the wife of the army commander, Lieutenant-General
Constantine Chiwenga, yesterday joined the police in assaulting Gugulethu
Moyo, the Corporate Affairs Director of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe

      ANZ are the publishers of The Daily News. Also participating in the
assault was Kelvin Chadenyika, the former assistant coach of Darryn T
Football Club. It could not be ascertained yesterday whether Chadenyika is a
police officer or not. The incident occurred at Glen View Police Station
where Moyo had gone to secure the release of Philimon Bulawayo, a
photographer with The Daily News. Bulawayo was arrested and severely
assaulted while covering the mass action called by the opposition MDC. The
incident was witnessed by this reporter, and fellow Daily News photographer
Aaron Ufumeli.

      Chadenyika frequents the offices of The Daily News where he brings
news tips to the paper's sports department. The officer-in-charge and his
team watched as Chiwenga assaulted Moyo and later ordered the police to lock
her up. It could not be immediately established in what capacity Chiwenga
was at the police station.
      Chadenyika hurled obscenities at Moyo while questioning her on why she
was representing people perceived to be against the government. Chadenyika
shouted: "Who are you? Who are you representing? Do you have the money to
pay for all these criminals? What is your business here?" As soon as Moyo
identified herself as a lawyer, Chadenyika slapped her on the head and
threatened to assault Alec Muchadehama, another lawyer who had accompanied
Moyo to the police station.
      But Moyo insisted that she had done nothing wrong and was only doing
her job.

      This angered Chiwenga, who started assaulting Moyo, twisting her arm
and slapping her in the face. Chiwenga shouted: "So what if you are a
lawyer? You want to encourage anarchy in this country. You want to represent
our enemies." Chiwenga and Chadenyika then proceeded to assault Moyo before
she was detained at the police station. Bulawayo, Moyo and Muchadehama were
later transferred to Harare Central Police Station, where Muchadehama was
released without charge. About 200 people arrested and severely assaulted by
the police for allegedly participating in the mass action were also detained
at Glen View Police Station. Interviewed at the police station, Bulawayo,
looking in extreme pain, said: "All I did was witness an incident in which
people were being ordered to roll on the tarmac by the riot police.

      "When the police noticed that I was carrying a camera, they pounced on
me and severely beat me up." Bulawayo sustained bruises all over his body
and was having difficulties breathing. At the police station, those arrested
were made to roll back and forth on the concrete floor while being assaulted
by the police. Sam Sipepa Nkomo, the ANZ Executive Chairman, said: "We will
take legal action against any policeman or any other identified person in
their personal capacities, who assaulted or will assault our staff. As a
former detainee, I witnessed this kind of barbarism during the time we were
fighting against Ian Smith, but I never imagined that I would witness this
in an independent Zimbabwe."

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Daily News

      Mutare council to come up with mission statement

      3/19/2003 2:07:55 PM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Mutare

      MORGEN Chawawa, the Mutare town clerk, has said the city council will
soon engage a consultant to prepare the city's mission statement and vision,
in line with the new requirements of the Ministry of Local Government,
Public Works and National Housing.

      Chawawa told a recent full council meeting that the ministry had
mandated all local authorities to draft mission statements and visions for
their respective councils. He said: "At the Urban Councils' Association of
Zimbabwe meeting held last month in Victoria Falls, the ministry expressed
great concern at the manner in which local authorities were being run."

      Chawawa said the ministry wanted a strategic plan from all urban
council departments as it was not happy with the "haphazard" planning by
most local authorities. Mutare City Council was expected to come up with its
mission statement by the end of next month. "The Ministry of Local
Government Public Works and National Housing will use the document to rate
the performance of local authorities," Chawawa said.

      Virginia Pinto, Ward 12 councillor in Florida, dismissed the idea as
totally unnecessary. "What local authorities require is not that piece of
paper. We need resources to implement projects, " Pinto said. Kenneth
Saruchera, Ward 11 councillor said the idea would allow respective local
authorities to draft "home-grown" mission statements which would be
reflective of local needs. "The local authority will have an opportunity to
prepare a strategic plan that is responsive to the needs of Mutare,"
Saruchera said. "It will enable the parent ministry to have something to
refer to when monitoring development projects in the city."

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Daily News

      Ex-PTC workers demand benefits

      3/19/2003 2:07:11 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      OVER 1 000 former workers of the disbanded Posts and
Telecommunications Corporation (PTC) have still not received part of their
terminal benefits since leaving the parastatal in 2000 despite a High Court
ruling ordering PTC to award the workers the remaining amount.

      Emmanuel Kasaki, the chairman of the former workers yesterday said
about 1 300 workers went on voluntary retirement on 1 January 2000 and each
worker was entitled to an average of $950 000 as outstanding payment.
Douglas Chinawa, a lawyer representing the workers said they took the matter
to the High Court and Supreme Court, which ruled in favour of the workers
but the former PTC management resolved to disregard both court orders. "The
PTC was directed to pay the workers, who retired, with effect from 1 January
2000, under a voluntary retirement scheme introduced by the corporation, the
salaries due to them between 1 October and December 1999," Chinawa said.
Kasaki said the affected workers were mainly from the postal and
telecommunications sectors.

      "It's pathetic that we are being dumped like this when most of us
worked for the PTC for over 20 years," Kasaki said. He said as a result of
the commercialisation of the PTC, it was the responsibility of both Tel One
and Zimpost to see that the outstanding monies were paid to the workers.
Colin Welbsi, the public relations officer for Tel One said he was unable to
comment on the issue and referred the matter to the acting managing director
of Tel One, Humpton Mhlanga who was said to be out of office.
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Group Calls for Election Free of Violence

Business Day (Johannesburg)

March 19, 2003
Posted to the web March 19, 2003

Dumisani Muleya

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has urged the ruling Zanu (PF)
and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to stop violence in
the run-up to parliamentary by-elections next week.

The group, comprised of civic organisations which monitor elections, said
the culture of intolerance and violence in Zimbabwe has now reached
unbearable levels.

"ZESN unreservedly calls for an immediate end to violent campaigns and urges
all contesting parties to tolerate divergent views and opinions.

"We also call on the relevant law enforcement agencies to exercise their
functions in a nonpartisan and diligent way.

"It is very inappropriate for politicians to continue being silent whilst
people are being beaten and even losing lives in these violent campaigns,"
the group said.

The ZESN call came after violent clashes between Zanu (PF) and the MDC
during campaigns over the weekend in Harare.

The two parties are battling it out for the Kuwadzana and Highfield
constituencies. Elections are due on March 29 to 30.

Two more by-elections are due in Zengeza and Harare Central after MDC MPs
resigned for different reasons.

Confrontation between the parties during the weekend started after they
clashed over a venue for a campaign rally.

Police spokesman Bothwell Mugariri said the rallies were scheduled for the
same venue at different times.

Police fired tear-gas and used baton sticks to disperse the crowds.
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Lonrho deserts Africa
Tiny Rowland
Tiny Rowland's ambitious plans saddled the firm with heavy debts
Lonrho Africa, once one of the continent's most powerful and wide-reaching business empires, has decided to desert Africa for more profitable ventures elsewhere.

Chairman Bernard Asher said in a statement that the firm would sell its remaining assets in Africa this year to seek opportunities with "good investment returns and more secure operating conditions than prevail in much of Africa today".

The news came as the firm reported its annual results, which already include a long list of diverse African assets that had been, or were in the process of being, sold.

A spokeswoman for the firm declined to comment on Lonrho's decision to leave Africa but said the sell-off was in line with the firm's debt reduction strategy.

Lonrho Africa was orignially an unprofitable mining firm in Zimbabwe. It was turned into a multibillion dollar conglomerate spanning more than 60 countries by the late business tycoon, Tiny Rowland.

UK focus

The extent of the influence exerted in Africa by Mr Rowland and Lonrho became highly controversial in the 1970s.

Former British prime minister Sir Edward Heath described him as "the unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism".

Mr Rowland's expansive ambitions also saddled the firm with a heavy debt burden, eventually leading to his ousting from the boardroom in 1993.

The company's mining operations were then demerged, with Lonrho Africa taking on the rest of the group's original portfolio.

The firm's assets included a construction business in Zimbabwe, timber in Kenya, hotels in Ghana, distribution networks in Nigeria, farming services in Malawi and a large portfolio of property throughout the country.

Asset sales made during the last financial year helped Lonrho return to an operating profit and more than halve its net debt.

The firm, once of paramount importance in the world of African business, says it will now concentrate its efforts on the UK.

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Daily News

      Noczim remains sole fuel importer

      3/19/2003 1:42:32 PM (GMT +2)

      By Chris Mhike Business Reporter

      The National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) remains the sole
importer of fuel despite the shortages that have left the economy bleeding.
This effectively implies a delay in the policy announced by President Mugabe
in November last year, that oil companies would be allowed to import their
own fuel.

      The move also delays the revision of fuel prices, in line with
government's stated intention to bring the prices to realistic and viable
levels. Through Statutory Instrument 97 of 2003 published in last Friday's
Government Gazette, the Ministry of Industry and International Trade issued
a Control of Goods (Petroleum Products Prices) Order. Noczim was the only
entity cited as empowered to import and sell petroleum products to all oil

      The order repeated the new retail price levels announced three weeks
ago by Amos Midzi, the Minister of Energy and Power Development. The order
included prices at which Noczim could sell petroleum products to oil
companies. The prices at which the oil companies could sell the products to
the public were also outlined.

      The maximum price at which Noczim could sell diesel to oil companies
was $97,50 a litre. In such transactions, unleaded fuel would cost $149,79 a
litre while leaded petrol would cost $119,90. Oil companies would have to
pay $47,38 a litre for illuminating paraffin intended for sale to retail
customers. But if the product was intended for sale to bulk customers, the
price would be $160,12 a litre.

      The wholesale price for Jet A1 was $200,06 a litre. The maximum price
at which any oil company could sell motor-fuel to petroleum product outlets
would be as follows: Fuel stations would buy diesel at $109,40 a litre,
unleaded petrol at $166,50 a litre and leaded petrol at $135,20 a litre.
Illuminating paraffin intended for sale to customers would be sold to oil
companies at $53,78, while that intended for sale to bulk customers would
cost $116,29 a litre. Noczim would sell Jet A1 to fuel 1stations at $220,29
a litre.
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