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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Daily News

MDC trounces Zanu PF in Harare council elections

3/19/02 7:43:00 AM (GMT +2)

By Luke Tamborinyoka Municipal Reporter

THE MDC won 44 of the 45 wards in the council elections held in Harare last
weekend, to become the dominant party in the Harare City Council chamber.

Two of the opposition’s party’s candidates, Dale Dore (ward 6) and Michael
Laban (ward 7) won the polls in their respective wards but were disqualified
on the grounds that they are not citizens of Zimbabwe.

They are challenging their disqualification.

Zanu PF’s Hubert Mafadze Nyanhongo provided the sole consolation for his
party when he won the election in ward 1. The ward comprises mainly farming
areas in Harare South, where Zanu PF resettled its supporters in the
controversial land reform programme.

The new executive mayor for Harare, Elias Mudzuri (MDC) also lost in ward 1,
where Zanu PF’s Amos Midzi polled 3 059 votes against Mudzuri’s 1 035.

Surprisingly, details of the results of the council election were still not
available yesterday, a week after the election. This did not prevent
jubilant MDC councillors from taking their oath of office and loyalty at
Town House before Nomutsa Chideya, the Harare City Council clerk, in
accordance with the Urban Councils Act.

The councillors are required to take their oaths before assuming office.

Among the new councillors is Dr Chris Mushonga (Ward 17), the husband of
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC), the MP for Glen Norah.

Yesterday, Chideya told the councillors that they would hold their first
council meeting tomorrow at Town House.

The new council replaces the government-appointed commission, which has been
running council affairs since February 1999.

The commission, led by former diplomat Elijah Chanakira, was appointed by
John Nkomo, the then Minister of Local Government and National Housing, when
he dismissed the entire council led by Solomon Tawengwa, on grounds of
corruption and maladministration.

The MDC also resoundingly won the mayoral election last week, in which
Mudzuri polled 262 275 votes ahead of Midzi’s 56 796.
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Daily News

Made to be axed

3/19/02 8:00:14 AM (GMT +2)

By Collin Chiwanza

ZIMBABWEANS, who have of late been forced to endure never-ending queues for
mealie-meal, may have a reason to smile when they learn that the main cause
of their misery, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made, is to be axed from his
post in a Cabinet reshuffle to be announced soon by President Mugabe.

Jonathan Moyo, another unpopular minister who has hogged the limelight
spreading propaganda on local television for the past two years, will now be
spending more time outside the country, in his new post of Foreign Minister.

Mugabe is expected to announce a new Cabinet this week following his
controversial re-election in the 9-11 March presidential poll.

The MDC has refused to recognise Mugabe’s victory, arguing that it was
flawed and marred by violence. Mugabe’s rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, dismissed
the election as “daylight robbery” and “the greatest electoral fraud in
history”, while the European Union has refused to
recognise Mugabe’s government and threatened to impose further economic

Well-placed Zanu PF sources said Mugabe’s two ageing Vice-Presidents, Joseph
Msika and the ailing Simon Muzenda, will be replaced.

It is understood Muzenda is likely to be replaced by his protege Stan
Mudenge, the Foreign Affairs Minister, while Msika’s post will be taken over
by John Nkomo, the Zanu PF national chairman and Minister of Home Affairs.

Nkomo is a long-time Mugabe loyalist.

Muzenda has not been well for the past few months and had already indicated
his willingness to step down after the watershed presidential ballot.

Professor Jonathan Moyo, the junior minister for Information and Publicity,
is tipped for the powerful Foreign Affairs post, while information
secretary, George Charamba, is tipped to replace him as minister The
Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Joseph Made, widely
blamed for misleading the nation on the level of the country’s maize stock,
is expected to be kicked out of Cabinet or receive a junior post.

Mugabe had a torrid time during the presidential election campaign as he
tried to calm the restive electorate and assure them that nobody would
starve because of the acute shortage of the staple food currently facing

Two people in Hwange have already died of starvation, while many more face
severe food shortages throughout the country.

Made ignored early warnings of the looming food shortages from a number of
respected organisations, including the Southern African Development
Community Early Warning Unit, the Commercial Farmers’ Union and the United
Nations World Food Programme.

He repeatedly appeared on the State-controlled television to assure the
nation that there were adequate food reserves and the warnings of an
impending maize crisis were baseless.

Two Cabinet ministers perceived to have adopted a neutral stance during the
presidential election campaign are likely to face the chop, according to
party insiders.

They said Saviour Kasukuwere and Elliot Manyika of Mashonaland Central
province could be rewarded handsomely for “not wavering from the party”.

Manyika, the Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation,
is expected to be elevated to the Home Affairs portfolio, while Kasukuwere,
the party’s deputy secretary for youth in the politburo, replaces him in his
current post.

Health Minister Timothy Stamps, who suffered a stroke last year, and Simba
Makoni, branded as “too clean” for Zanu PF, face an uncertain future.

Stamps’ deputy, David Parirenyatwa, is tipped to take over from his boss.

Nhlanhla Masuku and Nicholas Ncube, both Zanu PF favourites, could find
themselves ascending the political ladder.

Mugabe’s two homeboys, Swithun Mombeshora and Ignatius Chombo, are not
likely to be touched by the reshuffle.

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Zimbabwe police arrest four for farmer's murder

HARARE, March 19 — Police in Zimbabwe said on Tuesday they have arrested
four men in connection with the murder of a white farmer, but it was not
clear if they were farm invaders or war veterans.
       ''Four people have been arrested, and firearms which we suspect were
used in the murder were recovered,'' assistant commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena
told Reuters.

       ''The four are from the Norton area...We have not gone into that,''
he said when asked if the suspects were war veterans or land invaders
settled on the victim's farm.
       Terry Ford was tied up and shot to death outside his homestead in
Norton, 40 km west of Harare, early on Monday, by what the farming community
said were suspected self-styled war veterans of the 1970s liberation
       This was the first attack on a white farmer since President Robert
Mugabe beat off a challenge by Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader
Morgan Tsvangirai last week in a presidential election marred by violence
and charges of vote rigging.
       Most Commercial Farmers Union members backed Tsvangirai, who had
promised to stop the illegal seizure of white-owned farms and to implement a
negotiated programme to advance black land ownership.
       Ford was the 10th white farmer to be killed since landless blacks
began with government sanction to seize white-owned farms two years ago.
       Hundreds of farms have been abandoned in the face of the violent
occupations and many other farmers moved to the cities or out of the country
for the election, fearing violence.
       Mugabe said at his inauguration on Sunday he had delivered ''a
stunning blow'' to Britain and said he would accelerate the seizure of
white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

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Daily News

Fresh problems rock Harare’s Anglican Diocese

3/19/02 7:43:42 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

PROBLEMS that have dogged the Anglican Diocese of Harare since last year
resurfaced last week, with Reverend Godfrey Tawonezvi, the Dean of the
Anglican Cathedral of St Mary and All Saints, allegedly suspending Ambrose
Chikukwa and Newton Nyamupingidza, the two church wardens at the cathedral.

A member of the cathedral congregation, who declined to be named, said on
Friday: “They were suspended for refusing to be subservient to the dean.
What he seems to want are ‘yes men’ around him, for reasons best known to

Tawonezvi refused to discuss the issue and referred The Daily News to George
Wauchope, the spokesman for the diocese, who was said to be unavailable.

Nyamupingidza refused to comment, saying: “Nothing is to be said at this
point in time.”

But Chikukwa said: “We don’t work at the cathedral, so the dean cannot
suspend us. We are just people who help to see that everything, including
the finances, is run properly. We are not paid.”

Tawonezvi was appointed dean by Bishop Nolbert Kunonga in September last

The appointment was viewed by some as a reward for his support for Kunonga
during the controversial election for bishop, which Rev Tim Neill, one of
his rivals, charged was irregular.

Neill has since resigned from the church.

Kunonga, who became Bishop of Harare in April last year, has been mired in
controversy ever since because of his overt support for Zanu PF, despite
attacks on innocent people and members of the opposition by the ruling party
’s supporters.

Last month an election for church officials at the cathedral was abandoned
following accusations that Tawonezvi wanted to impose his own candidates on
the congregation. He and the parish council clashed at the 3 February
meeting, with the council accusing him of violating the Acts of the Diocese
when giving notice of the meeting.

The council wanted audited financial statements for last year produced first
before the meeting could proceed.
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Daily News

ZCTU stayaway on tomorrow

3/19/02 7:40:52 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called for a nationwide job
stayaway from tomorrow to Friday in protest over the harassment of workers
by the police.

A general council meeting of the ZCTU was disrupted last week by the police.

Wellington Chibhebhe, the ZCTU secretary-general, said the umbrella union
body “categorically denounced” the use of draconian legislation which
interfered with the running of the affairs of trade unions, especially after
the government announced that it was going to withdraw recognition of the

He said workers had been beaten up for no reason and harassed by State
agents, a development the organisation is condemning.

“The ZCTU, therefore, calls on all workers to stay away from their work
places from Wednesday 20 March to Friday 22 March in protest against the
State’s disregard for trade union freedoms, the harassment, beatings and
displacement of workers and the general lawlessness which will lead to
company closures and loss of jobs,” Chibhebhe said.

The workers would be protesting against the displacement they are
experiencing in the aftermath of the presidential election, Chibhebhe said.

He said the ZCTU was determined to make sure that the workers’ interests in
“these difficult times are taken care of, regardless of the intimidation and
State interference”.

Last week 15 Shamva Gold Mine workers were thrown out of their houses by
Zanu PF supporters for allegedly having voted for Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC
leader, in the presidential poll. The Zanu PF militants ordered them to go
to Harare and secure jobs from Tsvangirai
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The Times

March 19, 2002

Victorious 'veterans' slaughter farmer
From Jacqui Goddard in Harare

HE HAD vowed to apply “greater speed and strength” to his land-seizure
programme and yesterday it was clear exactly how President Mugabe’s
supporters were interpreting that.
Less than 24 hours after the Zimbabwean leader formally took up his sixth
term of office, Terry Ford, 53, a white farmer, was murdered. He was shot
through the head while trying to defend his property against a 20-strong
gang of Mr Mugabe’s “war veterans”.

Wearing Zanu (PF) T-shirts and taunting Mr Ford with insults and victory
chants, they had beaten him up and dragged him across the ground before
propping him against a tree and killing him.

Police ignored three telephone calls for help – one from him, two from his
neighbours – the duty constable claiming that he could not get to the farm
because the station’s driver was asleep.

The farmer’s body lay where it had fallen yesterday, draped with a bedspread
and guarded by his dog, Squeak.

“He was such a gentle fellow, old Terry,” Ben Freeth, a friend and
neighbour, said as he visited the farm to organise the body’s retrieval

“Why did they come and murder a guy like this, who’s never been involved in
politics of any kind and never harmed anybody? He wasn’t stopping anyone
from farming his land. He already had war vets living on the land and had
left the place to work in the city.”

Mr Ford’s body was found at 6am when his cook arrived for work. Naomi Raaff,
his fiancée, who had not been with him, arrived at Gowrie Farm at 12.30pm,
having driven the 30 miles from Harare to Norton, where the farm is. At 1pm
the police finally arrived.

“Terry phoned me at midnight to say the homestead was being attacked — at
that point by eight men — and he was just waiting for the police,” Ms Raaff,
43, said. “I don’t think he had any idea of what was waiting for him.”

What was waiting for him was a terrifying and drawn-out battle as he tried
to protect his homestead single-handed.

At 11.30pm on Sunday he telephoned neighbours to report that his property
had been invaded. “He ran out and fired a shot over their heads and chased
them out,” Mr Freeth, a fellow landowner, said.

“We know he was still alive at 1.15am because a neighbour spoke to him and
it seemed that things had calmed down.”

The gang clearly returned, however. Tyre tracks in the dust indicate that
the gate to the property was blocked by a vehicle and that Mr Ford — dressed
only in a pair of boxer shorts and sandals — got into his pick-up truck and
tried to ram his way through the 6ft-high security fence.

“It was bashed about, but he obviously didn’t get through. He then tried a
three-point turn and maybe got stuck because we believe he then jumped out
of his vehicle and tried to get over the security fence on foot.”

His escape failed and instead, Mr Ford was dragged through the dirt and
pushed against a tree where he was killed with a single bullet. Then, his
killers streamed into the house and helped themselves to his television,
mobile telephone, binoculars and hunting weapons.

“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?” Mr Ford, a fourth generation
Zimbabwean, had farmed all his life and grown up with many of Gowrie’s black
workers. The younger ones among them called him Father. “They are
devastated,” Ms Raaff said. “They are saying to me: ‘We have lost our father
today.’ That is the deepest compliment one could receive here.”

Since the Government declared two years ago that it intended to take his
land, Mr Ford had been barred from working on it. It was a move that also
affected his scores ofworkers. “These people have had a much, much harder
life,” Ms Raaff said. “They have no money. They have no work. They are

She and Mr Ford had moved to Harare where he found work as a school estate
manager, returning to the farm only periodically.

Ms Raaff, a Zimbabwean, holds a British passport but had hoped that she
would never need it. “Now I have lost Terry. It is over for me in Zimbabwe,”
she said. Gowrie Farm was one of four in the Norton area to have been
attacked and looted over the past 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 undergoing treatment for

In Chinhoyi, in the north-west of the country, 44 farmers and their wives
and friends were hauled into court accused of “conspiring to interfere with
the electoral process”. The charges stem from a plan by local farmers to
help polling agents for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to get
to the polling stations during last week’s election. They organised
transport, food and water: evidence, say police, that they were trying to
corrupt the agents.

At Esigodini, near the second city of Bulawayo, Paul Goodwin, a farmer, was
visited by a Zanu (PF) gang yesterday and given three hours to get himself
and his cattle off his land for good. At Nyamandhlovu two farmers struggled
to move their dairy herds and evacuate their homes after being given three
hours to quit.
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Business Day

No deal struck after Zimbabwean talks

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change pours cold water on unity
Harare Correspondent

ZIMBABWEAN unity talks, brokered by SA and Nigerian leaders, failed
yesterday to produce a co-operation agreement among the key parties,
boosting the prospect of further international sanctions against the
country's ruling elite.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) poured cold water on the two-way
mediation by President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo,
saying the meetings involving the MDC and the Zimbabwean government were
designed merely to prevent Commonwealth sanctions against Zimbabwe.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who met Obasanjo and Mbeki after the two had
met President Robert Mugabe earlier, said the talks failed because the two
African heavyweights did not put any concrete proposals on the table.

Tsvangirai, who accuses Mugabe of stealing last week's election, said: "The
talks were designed to head off Commonwealth sanctions. The whole meeting
was about how the two leaders could facilitate a negotiating process between
(the ruling) Zanu (PF) and ourselves." Neither did the issue of a government
of national unity now known to be supported by many African governments come
up for discussion, he said.

Mbeki said after the meetings: "The responsibility for resolving Zimbabwe's
problems, first and foremost and principally, lies with the Zimbabwean
leadership." All sides had agreed to consider what was discussed yesterday.

Further meetings including the possibility of one between Tsvangirai and
Mugabe are planned.

Though the mission to Harare secured agreement for future talks, its
inconclusive nature has set the scene for a tough summit meeting today
between Obasanjo, Mbeki and Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

The three men were mandated by Commonwealth leaders a week ago to decide
what action, if any, to take against Harare. The action either a collective
condemnation of Harare's conduct or Zimbabwe's suspension from the
Commonwealth was to be based on the group's election observer mission, which
last week judged the election unfree and unfair.

A Tsvangirai-Mugabe co-operation deal would have constituted tangible
evidence of the success of SA's and Nigeria's quiet diplomacy.

Now, political observers say, pressure is on them. Still, the two leaders,
who have hitherto opposed sanctions, are unlikely to change their stance.

It is understood, though, that the meeting with Mugabe went better than the
encounter with Tsvangirai. Mugabe had already signalled his intention to
work with the MDC "in and outside parliament", though the shape of this
co-operation was unclear.

The MDC feels that he merely wants to buy political legitimacy and fight off
growing international isolation.

Obasanjo said that he was in Harare with Mbeki to initiate talks between
Mugabe and Tsvangirai. "Zimbabwe at this point needs Africans to get it out
of economic difficulties. There's scarcity of food and drought looming. This
shows that Zimbabwe needs assistance from the international community."

The murder of another white farmer yesterday cast a pall over the talks.

The MDC, which is seeking a rerun of the poll, received a boost when the
Zimbabwean Confederation of Trade Unions which groomed its leaders announced
a three-day strike to protest against Mugabe's unionbashing during the

To drive home his demand for a fresh election, Tsvangirai will today seek
the support of his executive for mass action against Mugabe

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Business Report

Constitutional overhaul in Zimbabwe the only way

March 19 2002 at 06:54AM
The efforts by South Africa to foist a government of national unity on the
people of Zimbabwe are misguided. We have been there before. The government
of national unity established in Zimbabwe in 1987 created the present
monster and we don't need demonic, unaccountable governance reinforced.

We are now in very much the same situation that we were in before
independence when we had an illegitimate government and a qualified
franchise - then only white votes counted, now only Zanu-PF "votes" count.
The Rhodesian deadlock was broken by strong diplomatic pressure that forced
constitutional review and fresh elections - leading to the Abel Muzorewa
government in 1978, and again to full independence in 1980.

The innovators of the process were South Africa and America, with John
Vorster and Henry Kissinger as the prime actors. The process worked then
and, Thabo Mbeki and Colin Powell please take note, it could work again. The
following steps could result in establishing democratic and accountable rule
in Zimbabwe within six months.

The first crucial step is to replace the existing, seriously flawed
constitution. Civic society in Zimbabwe has long since drafted a
constitution that could be put to a referendum within three months. The
referendum would, of course, have to be run by an independent electoral
commission and the new information bill would have to be repealed.

Once a new constitution is in place, a general election (not just a
presidential election) could be held within two months to allow Zimbabweans
to elect a government and president of their choice to lead them for the
next five years.

During the five or six months that this process would take, two further
steps would be necessary. Firstly, humanitarian assistance would be required
to stave off famine and, secondly, the ministries of finance and agriculture
would need to revise fiscal and land policies to minimise further economic

Anything less than rapid constitutional reform and the restitution of
democracy in Zimbabwe, and all that that entails, will lead inexorably to
the decline and eventual collapse of southern Africa.

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Zimbabwe: Citizens' rights, not politics must set the agenda.

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
International *

18 March 2002 AFR 46/023/2002

As Zimbabwean authorities continue their crackdown on human rights defenders
and non-governmental organizations following the presidential elections,
Amnesty International today appealed to the troika of Commonwealth leaders
to address human rights concerns in their deliberations.

"Addressing human rights concerns in Zimbabwe means immediately disbanding
state-sponsored militias, releasing over 100 individuals still in illegal
detention, reforming the police to ensure impartiality, and repealing laws
which curtail freedom of expression and assembly," Amnesty International
urged the presidents of South Africa and Nigeria and the Prime Minister of

"It is important that the Commonwealth leaders work constructively now to
find long-term solutions to ending the culture of human rights violations
and impunity in Zimbabwe," the organization said.

Next week's meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights is the first major
opportunity to put forward concrete steps to address these human rights

Amnesty International has received numerous reports of state-sponsored
militia groups, which far from being disbanded, have begun a coordinated
effort to track down, attack and abduct members of the opposition -- many
who acted as polling agents during the elections -- in Chitungwiza and in
six provinces.  In Marondera on 15 March, some 20 members of the ZANU-PF
affiliated militia beat to death a security guard on a farm and seriously
injured a commercial farmer.  The same militia held and tortured three MDC
polling agents on the same day.

A local human rights organization last week described how ZANU-PF affiliated
militia operating from 10 bases located around Macheke town in Mashonaland
East Province were torturing suspected political opponents.  National Youth
Service trainees from the Border Gezi Training Centre near Mount Darwin were
reportedly assisting in the abduction and beatings.

So far, Zimbabwean human rights groups have recorded 22 torture victims who
have sought medical treatment in Harare after being released from illegal
detention by these militias operating across the country.

Amnesty International estimates that more than 100 persons remain detained
at these bases, with police officers reluctant to intervene to free those
being held.  In one case, a detainee told the organization of his three-week
detention in several camps around Mutoko in Mashonaland East province before
being released.

Privately, the police have stated to Zimbabwean human rights activists that
they can take no action against the militia and ruling party supporters.
However, victims have often reported seeing police officers at the scene of
attacks and beatings by militia.

The human rights crisis is being compounded by the threat of famine that has
affected parts of the country.  Thousands of people may soon be forced to
move into neighbouring countries.  In past circumstances, the government has
used control of food aid as a weapon against those perceived to be
opponents, and today's press reports indicate ruling party affiliated
militia have taken over food aid distribution in the province of Masvingo.

"The international community, especially Southern Africa countries must
recognize that the combination of human rights abuses and the humanitarian
crisis threatens not only Zimbabwe , but also the entire region," Amnesty
International said.

The solution to Zimbabwe's human rights crisis lies in bringing to justice
those who have planned, orchestrated and carried out serious human rights
violations, regardless of their high rank or the power they wield.

Putting an end to impunity would be a first step towards restoring public
confidence in Zimbabwe's police force and judicial system.  Initiating the
reforms necessary to bring it back into line with international standards of
justice is also vital.

The challenge of overturning years of impunity and carrying out reform
necessitates that the international community, especially Southern African
countries and the Commonwealth and the UN, support all efforts in putting
human rights in Zimbabwe at the top of their agendas for talks with the
Zimbabwean government.  This includes pressing the government of Zimbabwe to
extend an invitation to UN special human rights rapporteurs.

You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not
altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and
this footer remain intact.  Only the list subscription message may be
Past and current Amnesty news services can be found at
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Mass civil unrest over Mugabe's election crackdown
By Tim Butcher in Johannesburg
(Filed: 19/03/2002)

THE threat of mass civil unrest loomed over Zimbabwe last night as the
opposition ordered a three-day general strike and a diplomatic mission was
rebuffed by President Robert Mugabe.

The Movement for Democratic Change, allied to Zimbabwe's largest trade
unions, called for the strike from tomorrow to protest against Mr Mugabe's
brutal crackdown on its members after last week's disputed election. More
than 1,400 have been arrested or abducted.

Yesterday the post-election clampdown claimed its first white victim when a
farmer was murdered by a mob outside Harare.

Any industrial action is likely to provoke a brutal response from Mr Mugabe.
In 1999 and 2000, he used troops and riot police to attack businesses that
obeyed opposition calls not to open during previous general strikes.

Meanwhile the Presidents of South Africa and Nigeria left Zimbabwe
empty-handed last night after failing to persuade Mr Mugabe and Morgan
Tsvangirai, his rival, to work together in a government of national unity.

The talks represented a last-ditch attempt by African leaders to force a
compromise on Mr Mugabe, who most international observers believe stole
victory in the presidential election 10 days ago.

The diplomatic focus now shifts to London today with a ground-breaking
Commonwealth meeting to determine whether it is possible to bridge the
growing rift between Africa and the West.

Observers said the next two days represent the "the toughest test yet of
Thabo Mbeki's presidency and the willingness of South Africa to play its
rightful part as the regional leader".

The Harare talks were kept secret but Mr Mbeki is understood to have been
uncommonly direct with Mr Mugabe after months when the South African leader
has been reluctant to criticise the 78-year-old dictator in public.

With the West threatening to withdraw its support for Mr Mbeki's African
debt relief plan unless the Zimbabwe crisis is resolved, Mr Mbeki was
reported to have threatened to withdraw his backing for Mr Mugabe's regime.

He is understood to have been shocked by the way the South African observer
mission at the presidential election was ridiculed for giving a preliminary
assessment that the poll was legitimate.

With almost all other observer missions questioning the legitimacy of the
poll and with some members of the South African mission breaking ranks from
the preliminary finding, South Africa's international standing was being

So sensitive was Mr Mbeki's message that he ordered his spin doctors and
political advisers not to accompany him to Harare to ensure that his
comments were not leaked or misrepresented.

The tone of the day was set when Mr Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun
Obasanjo kept Mr Mugabe waiting for two hours, a clear diplomatic snub to a
leader who was sworn in for a further six years at the weekend.

Mr Mbeki kept silent after the talks with Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai
although Mr Obasanjo said: "In a matter of days they [Mugabe and Tsvangirai]
should let us know where we stand and where they stand.

"Zimbabwe at this point in time needs assistance to get it out of its
economic difficulties. Whatever the ordinary people of Zimbabwe have done,
voted or not voted, they need to be assisted. It is up to Zimbabwe itself to
set its own agenda," he added.

While Mr Mbeki and Mr Obasanjo would normally be reluctant to criticise
other black African leaders, both will be under severe pressure today when
they meet Australian Prime Minister John Howard in London to distance
themselves from Zimbabwe.

The three leaders were authorised by the Commonwealth heads of government
meeting earlier this month to meet after the election to decide what action
should be taken. Commonwealth observers have already published a report
highly critical of the poll and questioning the legitimacy of the result.

Britain, backed by Australia, Canada and New Zealand, has called for
Zimbabwe's suspension from the 54-nation grouping.

While Mr Mbeki and Mr Obasanjo do not favour this outcome, in the face of
overwhelming evidence of electoral fraud last week any other outcome from
today's talks would represent a significant blow to the Commonwealth's

The Movement for Democratic Change was "bitterly disappointed" at this
month's Commonwealth delay in dealing with the Zimbabwe crisis.

"We still hope that the Commonwealth will be able to restore its
credibility. We hope it will vindicate itself," said Tendai Biti, the
movement's shadow foreign minister.
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As I write this e mail it seems that the situation in the country is
deteriorating. One of our church members is facing a
difficult court appearance in regard to helping to deploy election monitors
during the recent sham of an election. Nothing
illegal was done and yet property and people have been detained. In the same
case 20 monitors who were detained
during the electio have still as yet been denied bail. I was sitting in the
court room and heard the 'evidence' , it was so
filled with inconsistencies and lies that even I could tell a great
was being commited. The case continues
tomorrow, Tuesday morning Zimbabwe time. Please pray for their release as
in prison here without sanitation or
food is aweful.

On the news a farmer was reported to have been murdered by suspected war
veterans. He was shot in the head on his
farm. Right now, in Mazoe, an elderly couple are being held hostage by thugs
surrounding the farm house. These folks
are Mr and Mrs Bailey, 90 and 80 years old respectively. They are the
of one of our church members here at
Gweru Baptist Church and have been hostage in the their farm house since
last week. As of tonight, the thugs are
still camped on the front lawn beating their drums , banging on the windows
night and threatening the couple. The
police are standing aside , helplessly watching the new force of lawlessness
and disorder in our nation. Please pray
that God will put a spirit of fear in to the hearts and minds of these
persecutors and that TONIGHT they will be driven
away by the angels of the Lord.

President Mbeki of South Africa holds little hope or regard in our minds. He
bent on supporting this growing anarcy. God answers prayer, please pray.

regards, Pastor Chris Anderson.
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Police warn against Zimbabwe general strike

Zimbabwe police have warned the main union federation against going ahead with plans for a three-day nationwide strike from Wednesday.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has called the strike in protest at harassment of labour groups aligned with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

The opposition and several election observer groups have condemned last week's presidential election as intentionally tilted to ensure Robert Mugabe's victory.

The strike was also called in protest at the breakdown in law and order, state-sponsored political violence, and the economic crisis in Zimbabwe, said Wellington Chibebe who heads the grouping of trade unions.

The government was using repressive legislation to stop the federation from holding meetings in an effort to weaken the organisation which represents 90 percent of organised labour in Zimbabwe, union officials said.

"It is an attempt to expose workers to unchallenged victimisation," Mr Chibebe said.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said the union federation had not sought police permission for the strike which is required under new security laws passed ahead of the elections in a bid to crack down on dissent.

Police would deal with illegal action "in accordance with the law," Bvudzijena said. He would not elaborate.

Meanwhile, opposition officials, met in Harare today to discuss mounting pressure to hold talks with the ruling party over the election it has dismissed as fraudulent.

Morgan Tsvangirai said he was ready to hold talks with Mugabe's party, but only with the aim of securing a new election.

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Zimbabwe suspended from Commonwealth for a year

Zimbabwe has been banned from the councils of the Commonwealth for one year.

A troika of Commonwealth leaders - South African President Thabo Mbeki, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Australian Prime Minister John Howard - announced the suspension following several hours of talks at Marlborough House in London.

John Howard said Commonwealth observers had concluded the recent elections were "marred by a high level of political violence" and had not allowed for a free expression of the wishes of the electorate.

However, Mr Howard also said the Commonwealth leaders wanted to promote reconciliation between the main political parties in Zimbabwe, and were conscious of the perilous state of the southern African state's economy.

"The committee calls upon the international community to respond to the desperate situation currently in Zimbabwe, especially the food shortages," Mr Howard said.

But he went on: "The committee has decided to suspend Zimbabwe from the councils of the Commonwealth for a period of one year with immediate effect.

"This issue will be revisited in 12 months time having regard to progress in Zimbabwe based on the Commonwealth Harare principles and reports from the Commonwealth Secretary General."

The decision was warmly welcomed by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. "In deciding to suspend Zimbabwe, the Commonwealth has today spoken with one voice. The message could not be clearer, nor the messengers more significant," he said.

However, in a Commons point of order, Tory spokesman Richard Spring called for him to make an emergency statement in the House.

Deputy Speaker Sir Michael Lord said there had been no indication from the Government that such a statement would be made.


Zimbabwe suspended from Commonwealth
(Filed: 19/03/2002)

ZIMBABWE was tonight suspended from the Commonwealth for a year after
election observers found that the elections which returned president Robert
Mugabe to power were seriously flawed.

A troika of Commonwealth leaders - South African president Thabo Mbeki,
Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo and Australian prime minister John
Howard - announced the suspension following several hours of talks at
Marlborough House in London.

Mr Howard, chairman of the troika, said the observers had concluded that the
elections were "marred by a high level of politically motivated violence",
and conditions did not allow adequately for a free expression of will by the

The troika decided to suspended Zimbabwe from the councils of the
Commonwealth, which effectively bars the country from any of its meetings.

It could have gone a step further and suspended Zimbabwe's membership
completely although the effect would have been virtually identical.

Announcing the decision after the three-hour meeting, Mr Howard said: "The
committee decided to suspend Zimbabwe from the councils of the Commonwealth
for one year with immediate effect.

"This issue will be revisited in 12 months' time, having regard to progress
in Zimbabwe and report from the Commonwealth's Secretary General (Don

"The committee mandated the Commonwealth Secretary General to engage with
the government of Zimbabwe to ensure that the specific recommendations from
the Commonwealth (elections) observer group report, notably on the
management of future elections in Zimbabwe, are implemented."

Today's meeting had lasted about three hours and Mr Howard told reporters it
had taken note of the observer group report, which "had concluded that the
presidential election was marred by a high level of politically motivated
violence and that 'the conditions in Zimbabwe did not adequately allowed for
a free expression of will by the electors'.

"They deemed these conclusions, together with other aspects of the report,
to be an adverse reflection on the electoral process, requiring an
appropriate Commonwealth response."

But the Australian premier stressed: "The committee expressed its
determination to promote reconciliation in Zimbabwe between the main
political parties."

He said there was strong support for the initiatives of the Nigerian and
South African presidents "in encouraging a climate of reconciliation between
the main political parties in Zimbabwe which they considered essential to
address the issues of food shortages, economic recovery, the restoration of
political stability, the rule of law and the conduct of future elections".

Mr Howard added: "I have noted in the lead-up to this meeting that people
have said repeatedly that this is a test for the Commonwealth as to whether
it's going to be consistent in its treatment. I believe we have been
consistent in our treatment."

He added that the action taken was "at the more severe end of the options
available to us if I can put it that way".

Those options had ranged from a statement of condemnation to full suspension
from the Commonwealth.

The Australian Prime Minister added: "The most important thing about
Zimbabwe is the future of its people. I believe that the series of measures
I have announced today are an appropriate and balanced response."

The decision was welcomed by Mr Blair, who kept in touch with developments
during the day, speaking twice by telephone to South African president Mr

Mr Blair is also expected to have talks with prime minister Howard in
Downing Street tomorrow evening.

On a conciliatory note, Mr Howard said the Commonwealth leaders wanted to
promote reconciliation between the main political parties in Zimbabwe, and
were conscious of the "parlous" state of the southern African state's

"The committee calls upon the international community to respond to the
desperate situation currently in Zimbabwe, especially the food shortages,"
Mr Howard said.

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The Age, Melbourne

Zimbabwe economy on its knees needs outside help - analysts
HARARE, March 19 AFP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 5:55 AM

Zimbabwe's economy has been brought to its knees amid the ongoing political
turmoil and cannot recover on its own, according to economists, who doubt
much foreign assistance will be forthcoming.

Western donors and international financial institutions are increasingly
estranged from the government of longtime ruler Robert Mugabe, returned to
power last week in an election widely condemned as fraudulent.

"Zimbabwe is on its knees. Mugabe offered absolutely no solution," economist
John Robertson, a white Zimbabwean who supports the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), told AFP today.

"We are not going to get assistance."

When asked to comment on Mugabe's repeated calls for Zimbabwe to strive for
economic self-sufficiency, Robertson said: "The crisis has reached such a
level by now that I do not see how we can get out of it on our own. Mugabe
is the worst news for the economy."

Tony Hawkins, another liberal white economist, said: "The MDC were the only
ones who could deliver access to the foreign aid, investment and debt
restructuring without which there can be no sustained economic recovery."

Farai Zizhou, chief economist of the Confederation of Zimbabwean Industries
(CZI), was more sceptical of the benefits of aid that might come from the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank.

"The IMF has been very good at giving lessons and dictating its conditions
without understanding the constraints of our economy," Zizhou said.

Mugabe, who led the 1970s Marxist guerrilla war against Ian Smith's
segregationist regime in the then Rhodesia, shed his socialist ideals 11
years after independence from Britain in 1980, agreeing to an IMF structural
adjustment program in 1991.

Economic liberalisation stimulated growth but caused prices to skyrocket,
hurting the poorest sections of the population and eventually leading to
food riots.

The IMF suspended disbursements in 1999, objecting to excessive government

In early 2000, Mugabe launched his controversial fast-track land reforms,
seizing white-owned farms and resettling them with marginalised blacks at a
time when parliamentary elections were looming and the MDC looked set to
unseat a number of ruling party MPs.

The often violent land invasions were spearheaded by veterans of the
liberation war and continued with Mugabe's tacit approval even when courts
ruled them illegal, and police mostly turned a blind eye.

The IMF program, combined with drought, has devastated the agricultural
sector, turning Zimbabwe, once a regional breadbasket, into a net food
importer. More than half a million people are in need of emergency food aid.

Throughout his campaign for re-election, Mugabe railed against former
colonial power Britain, accusing Prime Minister Tony Blair of bankrolling
his opponent, the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai.

He claimed that Zimbabwe did not need Western aid and won votes of
sympathy - if not promises of aid - from African allies including South
Africa and other neighbours nervous over the possible ripple effects of
Zimbabwe's crisis on their own economies.

"Banking on aid from Africa and developing trade with African and Asian
countries is an option but a limited one," Zizhou said. "Until recently our
main business dealings were with the West."

In 2001, Zimbabwe stopped repaying its debts, accusing the IMF of protecting
Western interests and those of Zimbabwe's white minority.

Exports, the main source of foreign exchange along with tourism - also hard
hit - have fallen off more than 30 per cent, according to the central bank.

The currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, is weakening steadily.

The official exchange rate of 55 dollars to the greenback has no grounding
in reality, since a dollar will fetch 310 Zimbabwe dollars on the parallel

Thus imports are extremely expensive and exports far less lucrative.

"The government needs to take immediate steps to revive the export sector
and revive agriculture," Zizhou said, advocating a lifting of price
controls, which have served only to fuel inflation and lead to shortages.

Analysts also stress the need to restore investor confidence, for which "a
certain degree of peace an unity is necessary", according to Kenzias
Chibota, president of the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ).

By Isabelle Ligner

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The Age, Melbourne

Zimbabwe: One of few countries suspended by Commonwealth
LONDON, March 19 AFP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 6:33 AM

The Commonwealth's suspension of Zimbabwe today relegated the African
country to a small group of nations on whom the body has slapped sanctions.

Pakistan, which joined in 1989, was suspended from the 54-nation group in
October 1999 after President Pervez Musharraf seized power in a bloodless

The Commonwealth "unanimously condemned the uprooting of the elected
democratic regime" and continues to call on Musharraf to set up an election
calendar that would see democracy return to the country.

Despite the fact that Musharraf pledged elections in October and has become
a close ally in the war on terrorism, Commonwealth leaders decided during a
summit earlier this month to maintain Pakistan's suspension, saying the
country had failed to make sufficient progress in restoring democracy.

The Commonwealth suspended Fiji from its councils in June 2000, following a
coup that led to the imposition of martial law.

Fiji was suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth, but not from the
organisation as a whole, after the coup in which failed businessman George
Speight and a band of special forces soldiers seized parliament and held
then prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry and his government hostage for 56

The group decided in December, however, to readmit the country as a full
member after September elections and the swearing in of a new prime

The suspension marked the second time Fiji was reprimanded by the
Commonwealth, following its 1987-1996 suspension resulting from the October
1987 coup that led to the country's independence from Britain.

Zimbabwe, suspended from Commonwealth councils following controversial
elections that re-elected Robert Mugabe, joins a group also comprising
Nigeria and South Africa, who were suspended, but later re-admitted.

Nigeria was suspended in November 1995 after nine opposition figures from
the Ogoni ethnic group, including writer Ken Saro Wiwa, were hanged.

The Commonwealth told the country it would be re-admitted after it improved
human rights and political freedom, and let Nigeria back into the grouping
with the election of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999.

South Africa quit the Commonwealth in 1961, during its apartheid government,
and was re-admitted into the group after the end of apartheid in 1994.

And in 1997, Uganda was outlawed from the group without being suspended, the
same year that Gambia and Sierra Leone were sanctioned for the lack of human
rights in the country.

The Age, Melbourne

US still mulling Zimbabwe options: WHouse
WASHINGTON, March 19 AFP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 6:42 AM

The United States said today it was still mulling a response to Zimbabwe's
"fraudulent" presidential election and chided African nations for turning "a
blind eye" to irregularities in the vote.

"The United States is continuing its conversations with allied nations about
what the proper response should be to the fraudulent election in Zimbabwe,"
said Ari Fleischer, spokesman for US President George W Bush.

Without naming names, the spokesman also said that Bush was "disappointed"
that some African nations have not spoken out against alleged irregularities
around the vote, which returned President Robert Mugabe to power.

"The president is disappointed that some African nations that profess their
support and practice for democratic values nonetheless have been willing to
turn a blind eye to what happened in Zimbabwe and the abuse of those values,
which the president thinks are important everywhere," said Fleischer.

Fleischer's comments came after the Commonwealth agreed to suspend Zimbabwe
for one year over the violence-scarred election, and Switzerland said it was
slapping sanctions on Zimbabwe, including a freeze on financial assets held
there by Zimbabwe government officials.

Talks with allies "will continue because the president wants to make certain
that no decision be rushed, that whatever decisions are taken will be
constructive in improving conditions for people on the ground," said
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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Tuesday 19 March, 2002

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

Mashonaland West (South)  - Norton – Norton farmer, Terry  Ford of Gowrie
Farm, who was in his mid fifties was bludgeoned to death sometime in the
early hours of the morning on Monday 18th March,2002.
Just before midnight, a group of about twenty, suspected to consist of
settlers and war veterans, approached the homestead area.  Mr Ford, who was
alone in the house, immediately made a report to the Norton police station
and alerted a neighbouring farmer.  At 02.15hrs, Mr Ford contacted the
neighbour to say that there still had been no police response and that he
would remain vigilant and call for assistance if necessary.  Mr Ford’s
battered body was found in the early hours of the morning.
Manicaland - Chipinge – Farmer on   Smithfield Farm, was dipping his cattle
when he was surrounded by ZANU PF supporters who said he could not leave
until he had given them a cow, he managed to escape and reported the
incident to the police who then dispersed the war veterans.
Mashonaland Central - Bindura - On Benridge Farm, the crop guard and his
wife were abducted by youths from Ledbury Farm on Friday evening at 6pm. The
guard was severely beaten and both he and his wife were returned the next
morning and ordered to leave the farm. The Police responded and managed to
defuse the situation.
Assault in Marondera North - At Oxford farm in Marondera North at 6.00am on
Friday morning, John-John Rutherford was instructed to hear what the youths
on the farm had to say. He was taken to a house in the farm village where
accusations were leveled at him that he had been involved in political
activities  His  wife was forced to go to the farm village,  to witness her
husband being beaten, after which she was told she would be killed. A number
of individuals, took turns in beating him with a badza handle. He was forced
to lie front-down whilst being beaten on the buttocks. The other assailants
identified by the victim are Obert Makiwa, Washington, Jealous Ndaudzwa,
Lynn, Constable Chikove, who has been allocated a plot on the farm, Joe
Nyatsiwe, Aida Mambare and others unnamed. A farm security guard,
Darlington, had been severely beaten beforehand and was also in the room. He
collapsed repeatedly, and was taken outside the house and dumped. When it
became evident to the assailants that the guard’s condition was critical,
two of them with the two victims drove to Borradaile Hospital in Marondera.
The guard died before arrival. John-John is being treated at Borradaile
Hospital. He has severe bruising on both buttocks, abrasions on his knees
and a bruise on his left shin.


Chipinge – Lessee Smithfield Farm, was dipping his cattle when he was
surrounded by ZANU  PF supporters who said he could not leave until he had
given them a cow, he managed to escape and reported the incident to the
police who then dispersed the war veterans.
Rusape - Section 7's have been issued to Silverbow Farm, Chimbe Farm,
Chitora Farm. These were received on Saturday 16 March 2002.
Old Mutare - On Mountain Home, the war vet has told them that he is taking
over the administration tomorrow morning and they need not come to work.
The police have been advised.
Headlands - On Ruanda Farm, a month ago some of his cattle went into the
settlers maize, it was settled amicably.  The settlers came back yesterday
demanding compensation for the incident.  The Police were collected and have
diffused the situation but there is still tension there.
Odzi - There was a large mob present at Kondozi Farm demanding closure of
the packshed.  Police are present.
Nyazura - The war veterans approached Gerald Knight on Saturday and demanded
a cow for their celebrations but eventually only got ZW$10,000.00.   However
the Councillor for Ward 17 said that no-one can approach a farmer without a
letter from the council and then it is up to the farmer whether he will
donate anything or not.

Bindura - On Benridge Farm, the crop guard and his wife were abducted by
youths from Ledbury Farm on Friday evening at 6pm. The guard was severely
beaten and both he and his wife were returned the next morning and ordered
to leave the farm. The Police responded and managed to defuse the situation.
Harare West - On Danbury Park two truck loads of Zanu PF supporters and war
veterans arrived on the farm and broke down the fence and ordered the owner
to leave immediately. He refused and reported the matter to the Marlborough
Police. They have been unable to resolve the situation and all night pungwes
have been held outside the owners home since Friday.
Tsatsi - Youths have been hijacking vehicles in the area since Friday.
Police and heads of the Zanu PF have promised to put an end to this.
Horseshoe - The owner of Nyamsewe Farm was ordered to leave his farm on
Sunday. The Police reacted and the situation is under control. A dispute has
arisen on Penrose Farm where the war veterans have claimed that the fruit
belongs to them. They are reaping and selling the fruit. On Manovi Farm a
similar incident has occurred with  bananas,  but the war veterans and the
settlers are arguing amongst themselves as to whom the fruit belongs to. The
Police have reacted but nothing has been resolved. The owner has been told
not remove any of his belongings without Police protection. The owner of
Andrea Farm is not allowed to feed the pigs.
Victory Block – Yesterday (15th March, 2002) was a bad day in the V. Block.
It started with a work stoppage (for the 2nd day) at Birkdale.  This was
resolved before the Police could react.  A commandeered pick up visited
Nrowe farm having collected a cow for celebrations from Delken Farm and
drove round the district all day.
At lunch time there was a report that trouble had broken out at Prangmere
farm and that youths were threatening to ransack the house.  A neighbour
drove to Mvurwi to collect the Police.  In the interim the owner (having
been released from jail in Bindura) arrived back at his farm with the
member-in-charge, Mvurwi and the Police Support Unit from Harare and they
managed to sort everything out before any damage was done.
Meanwhile at Msitwe Farm, the settlers demanded that the owner's son pay
them for his tobacco, which he had cured in his father's barn and return the
wood, which he had used for this purpose.  They also demanded that the
farmer  and their workers move out immediately.  Luckily, the team from
Prangmere went on to Msitwe Farm and sorted that matter out and everything
is quiet again there.
A farmer reported that his African manager had been thrown out of his house
and asked for the same team to go to his farm.  The owner at Nrowe also
requested a visit from the team as even his settlers were fed up with the
carryings on.
Another report was received that the African manager of abandoned Brookfield
farm had telephoned from Mtoko to say that he had been driven off.  He was
advised to stay there and call again later.  Have just received a report
that he has done so and he has been asked to return and to report to a
neighbour as his farm is totally occupied by unfriendly people.
The owner of Kelston received a letter from the manager of the abandoned
farm Kelston Park requesting assistance as the war vets there were demanding
to live in the owners house and had also asked for the farm keys.  The
Police Mutoroshanga were informed and advised that he should report the
matter to Raffiingora Police.  He was advised by letter to do so.
16.03.02 A farmer’s truck had been from Prangmere to Chengoma and on to Disi
with settler Nari on board.  There they had met up with the Member in Charge
and 2 Police land rovers.  They confiscated the meat (from Delken farm) and
picked up Nari and his wife.  They took statements and went to a farm  where
they insisted that the Manager be reinstated in his house.  Then on to
Delken Farm and from there back to the original farm, where they visited the
beer hall.  As a result the labour was happier as they felt things would be
returning to normal.
At about 2.15 p.m. a crowd of about 60 people arrived inside the gate of
Kelston Ranch singing and beating drums and carrying a mock coffin for
Tsvangiraison and a placard declaring "Tsvangiraison go to hell and rest in
peace 2002".  They advanced on the owner's wife and daughter saying they
would not harm them.  After some talk with a Mr Mutungwa (who showed his
card saying war hero) they were given a contribution to their celebrations
and they left to threaten 4 workers in the farm village with eviction.  They
were in a white half ton truck reg. no. 762 405 A They then proceeded to
Msitwe Farm.  There they followed the same procedure and the owner went out
to talk to them.  They then left after the owner had also given them a

Murewa - although it is not on the sitrep area on Monday 1000 youth
descended on the ZANU PF headquarters demanding $28000 pay They were
addressed & told that "You have been given maize & sugar, cattle had been
bought from the white farmers for you do not be greedy go away."
Marondera - Police Reaction - It is noteworthy that the following
post-election disturbances from Thursday to Sunday in the Marondera and
Wedza commercial farming areas all took place in the area falling under ZRP
Marondera Rural. In most cases, whilst reports were made at station level,
appeals for assistance from the police were fraught with frustration, lack
of professionalism and sometimes hostility. Again, in most cases it became
necessary to appeal to District or Provincial level before any reaction
occurred on the ground, and even after such reaction occurs many problems
remain unresolved.
It is of concern that there is little consistency in the level of response
from one station to another, and in some cases from one day to another in
the same station. For example, police reaction from Macheke over the weekend
was markedly more positive than that from Marondera, where in the former,
cases of threatened illegal eviction of workers on two farms were averted
because of the action of the police. Last Wednesday police reaction to the
looting of a farm in the Marondera Rural police area was swift and decisive.
It appears that the command structures within the police are being
undermined by elements within and outside the police at station level. It is
in turn a potential threat to the effectiveness of the entire command
structure when decisions that should rightly be taken at station level have
to be referred upward by members of the public.
Assault in Marondera North - At Oxford farm in Marondera North at 6.00am on
Friday morning, John-John Rutherford was instructed to hear what the youths
on the farm had to say. He was taken to a house in the farm village where
accusations were leveled at him that he had been involved in MDC activities.
One of the accusations came from a worker named Godfrey, who claimed that
the farmer had met with him recently and instructed him to burn down the
settlers’ huts after the election. John-John’s wife was forced to go to the
farm village,  to witness her husband being beaten, after which she was told
would be killed. A number of individuals, including the above-named worker,
two other ex-employees and others took turns in beating John-John with a
badza handle. He was forced to lie front-down whilst being beaten on the
buttocks. The other assailants identified by the victim are Obert Makiwa,
Washington, Jealous Ndaudzwa, Lynn, Constable Chikove, who has been
allocated a plot on the farm, Joe Nyatsiwe, Aida Mambare and others unnamed.
John-John was forced to sign an admission of his alleged misdeeds, or face
death. A farm security guard, Darlington, had been severely beaten
beforehand and was also in the room. He collapsed repeatedly, and was taken
outside the house and dumped. When it became evident to the assailants that
the guard’s condition was critical, two of them with the two victims drove
to Borradaile Hospital in Marondera. The guard died before arrival.
John-John is being treated at Borradaile Hospital. He has severe bruising on
both buttocks, abrasions on his knees and a bruise on his left shin.
His wife and two children are safe.(RRB No. 05416, ZRP Marondera Rural.)
The previous night on neighbouring Suffolk a driver was beaten up. It is
believed that there may be a connection between this incident and that on
Oxford today. Both farms currently are tense but calm.
Marondera South - In the Ruzawi River area, at Chipesa at about midday on
Friday a mob beat up a tractor driver then went to the farm village intent
on beating up workers there. Workers stood their ground, and the mob left.
They returned later with reinforcements. The owner and his son were forced
to flee. The homestead/farmyard area has been occupied and looting has taken
place, the extent of which cannot be ascertained due to the presence of very
hostile people. Police have been contacted on numerous occasions but the
situation remains unresolved.
On Sunday night at approximately 9.30 p.m. a group of aggressively noisy
people entered the farm village on Gresham and proceeded to smash doors in
the farm village. The extent of the damage could not be ascertained due to
the instability of the situation. It is believed that the mob was searching
for senior workers who had fled from the disturbances on neighbouring
Chipesa. (RRB No. 054148 through Constable Mazhindu at Marondera Rural). The
same group returned on Monday morning and told the owner to vacate the farm.
He was also told that the same fate awaited Monte Cristo,  Igava and
On Sunday workers were forced to vacate their houses and get off the
property on Ponderosa and Bali Hai in the Wenimbi valley. Although acting
O/I/C Marondera Rural personally attended on Ponderosa, the matter was not
On Saturday night at Esperance in the Wenimbi valley a mob got inside the
homestead fence and harassed the owner. Police arrived at 2.10 p.m. after
which the crowd calmed down., but did not leave. One Richard Maguda, a
settler, claimed that the farmer was being barricaded because cattle had
damaged his plot. Police again came at about 8.00 a.m. on Sunday morning,
without effect. The barricade was ongoing by nightfall, and by 9.00 a.m. the
mob was reported to be smashing windows in the homestead, and further
efforts were being made to get the police to bring the problem under
On Sunday afternoon owner’s son was returning home to Home Park/Riverside
when he found the farm road blocked by a barricade of rocks. Whilst
attempting to drive away a rock was hurled at the vehicle, smashing the
Marirangwe settlers demanded to use the barns to cure tobacco. Chopped trees
and blocked off all entrances and exits. Police did respond and took away 2
people however the others remain, have broken down the gates and are
currently using the barns.
Uitkyk - Cattle once again confined to one small paddock as a "reprisal" for
supposed political activity of the owner in Bulawayo. Police responded once
but have done nothing to resolve the matter.  Owner told on Friday that he
must vacate within the next 2 days.
Wedza - Increased pressure in the western sector of Wedza F.A. being that
area falling under Police Marondera:
On Thursday on Bickleigh, war veteran Kujeke told owner that he was to pay
him rent for the use of tobacco barns. He also said that the owner’s  son
and the labour had to get off the farm by Monday (18.3.2002). On Sunday
workers were evicted on Bickleigh, and the owner’s son is not able to return
to his house. The owner was threatened on Sunday with eviction from his
house on Skoonveld unless he negotiated and paid rent for the use of tobacco
On Thursday evening on Chakadenga, youths told workers to leave the farm
village and proceed to the war veteran base. Four senior workers were
threatened with death. Instead the workers, who have been the subject of
severe and sustained intimidation and violence, went to the homestead and
told the owner at they would not move until the police arrived to sort the
issue out. Police arrived after midnight, but in the meantime many of the
workers, including the four who had been threatened, had taken refuge in the
bush. Others spent the night at the homestead gate. Only about ten of the
workers reported to the war veteran base.
At approximately 9.00pm on Thursday night a blue Mercedes Benz arrived at
Mount Arthur. The lessee was away at the time. The visitors forced the guard
to open the security fence gate and broke into the homestead. Doors were
smashed; a few cabinets trashed; a washing machine burnt; TV, VCR and
various other household items and provisions were stolen; two tractors (a
Ford 4x4 and an Ursus) and a trailer and workshop equipment were stolen and
a brand new Nissan pickup was doused in petrol and set alight. None of the
stolen items have been recovered by the following Monday.
At midnight on Thursday night, a vehicle arrived at Torre with at least five
individuals. One of them claimed to be "Ignatius Chombo" from the President’
s Office. They gave the owner until today to vacate the farm.
On Sunday a group of people including war veteran Kujeke and four others
arrived in a metallic brown Mercedes Benz at Saltash from the war veteran
base camp on nearby Liliefontein. The owner was told to vacate the farm the
following day or suffer the consequences. The workers were told to leave the
farm immediately. They were back on the farm on Monday morning, but were
very nervous and expectant of problems.
Enterprise/Ruwa/Bromley - Nothing to report.
Beatrice - Victory - at about 4.00pm yesterday afternoon six youths demanded
meat and maize from the farmer. This was refused.
Brakveld– at 11.00pm last night a mob gathered at the homestead gate
shouting and singing. They kept up the noise all night, entering the fenced
area in the morning. The farmer spoke with the group and succeeded in
pacifying them. Youths threw bags of stockfeed into a water tank. The
principal aggressors were Mukambari, who is the deputy headmaster of Gura
School, and Mudhi Zenge.
Adams Rest– settlers from Wheelerdale resettlement are demanding maize, $50
from each labourer and transport.
Colandra War vet Godfrey told the owner to vacate the house; owner refused.
Argylle War vet Chitsinde stopped the milk tanker before it was loaded and
told driver while he was loading to leave some of the milk in the farm
tanks – this was refused. There was then an all night pungwe attended by
approx 100.
Canterbury Settlers requested maize, this was refused.
Nengwa Settlers demanded to be given access to the cottage to live in – this
was refused
Featherstone - Jakkalsdraai yesterday the owner was visited by the MP for
the area, the DA and the Deputy DA, accompanied by others who appeared to
have been drinking. The MP stayed in the vehicle whilst the DA and his
deputy did the talking. They told the owner that they were going to take
over the farm. Later from a black neighbour’s farm that has come under
recent pressure workers were seen running away from a disturbance, but
specific details are not known.
Harare South - Welmer On Friday youths were around the fence all night.
Mashonda Two settlers came to inspect their plots – no problems.
Auks Nest Settler numbers are building up.

At Halstead Farm, at about 6am approx 30 settlers demanded a cow be
slaughtered  for their victory celebration. When the farmer refused to give
them one, they released all cattle into his tobacco. They then took two
bulls and started to herd them away. Police reacted. Bulls were returned and
two settlers arrested.
At Moniack Farm, (mid-morning) approx 30 settlers reaped green mealies,
saying it was now theirs. Police reacted too late and no arrests were made.
The farmer then hired six guards, who, when the settlers returned to reap
again, arrested a number of them. They were taken to the Police Station
where they were released, as some of them were women who had small children.
At Kiplingcotes,(mid-morning) approx 40 settlers reaped green mealies.
Labour were too afraid to stop them. By the time the Police arrived they had
all left taking the maize with them. No arrests were made. 15 cattle have
also been stolen.
At Mawara Farm, 28 cattle were taken by settlers and herded down the main
road. One of the Community  reported the matter to the farmer, who contacted
the Police immediately. The farmer then went and retrieved the cattle, and
was bringing them back to the farm when the Police arrived.   The Police
spoke to the herdsmen and then left. As soon as the Police drove away, the
settlers returned reclaimed the cattle and chased the herdsmen away. Only 16
of the cattle have been returned.  The Police have done an excellent job in
retrieving these 16.
At Mukuyu Farm, approx 35 settlers demanded the keys for the Guest Chalets
on the farm, saying they wanted them for a school. The farmer refused the
request. The situation went on for days. Eventually, the settlers broke all
the locks off surrounding barns and sheds. Police have been reluctant to
react saying it is a matter for the DA to sort out. The DA says the farmer
and the settlers must come to an greement!
At Zebra Downs, a large number of  green mealies have been stolen.
The owner of Nyamanda Farm was threatened and told to leave his farm by six
Zanu PF supporters.  He was told to leave in 24 hours or they would not
guarantee his safety.  At Hesketh Park, there was a work stoppage. The
farmer was attempting to reap tobacco, when the settlers informed them that
the tobacco now belonged to them. Policve reacted and everthing was fine
until the Police left. No reaping was done that day. Today the workers took
it upon themselves to reap and suffer the consequences. The settlers have
said they are going to get reinforcements.
A similar incident occurred at Rocklands Farm. Once again the workers
decided  to work regardless.
At Mlichi Farm, cattle have been stolen.
At Blockley farm settlers demanded that the farmer hand over two farm
workers to them as they had been seen to be supporting MDC over the election
period and needed to be re-educated. The farmer refused. A lot of screaming
and shouting went on at the gate before they eventually left .  There was an
incident at Tivoli Farm. Two farm radios were stolen. They Have  since been

Norton – Norton farmer, Terry Ford of Gowrie Farm, who was in his mid
fifties was bludgeoned to death sometime in the early hours of the morning
on Monday 18th March,2002.
Just before midnight, a group of about twenty, suspected to consist of
settlers and war veterans, approached the homestead area.  Mr Ford, who was
alone in the house, immediately made a report to the Norton police station
and alerted a neighbouring farmer.  At 02.15hrs, Mr Ford contacted the
neighbour to say that there still had been no police response and that he
would remain vigilant and call for assistance if necessary.  Mr Ford’s
battered body was found in the early hours of Monday morning.
The farm is in the vicinity of Winsor Farm, where looting took place last
week and the farmer and his family were forced to vacate. Also, in the same
area, the homestead at Wilbered Farm, owned by an 81 year old cancer victim
who is away receiving medical treatment, was completely looted of all
belongings. These incidents have been reported to the police at all levels.
Of the group of approximately 70 looters involved in these incidents, 3 have
been arrested.
War veteran leader, Mrs Rusike, controls the Norton district.  The war
veteran base commander on Gowrie farm is Cde Wamba. Both are known to have
been involved in the previous two looting incidents.

Masvingo East and Central – Dromore farm owner has ongoing problems with the
settlers and the trench they are digging alongside his dam for irrigation
purposes.  Cambria farm– on the evening of 14th march, 2002 a war veteran
known as Muzenda arrived on the property at 1.00am.  He was drunk and made a
lot of noise, blowing his hooter and shouting verbal abuse.  Muzenda
proceeded to inform the owner that he was returning on the weekend to claim
his farm.  He also informed the owner that the trench he had previously dug
across his main entrance would be used to bury the owner in.
Chidza farm owner reports that 21 communal cattle were moved illegally onto
property. Farm workers responded well and pushed cattle back and repaired
fence where it had been cut.   CID visited the property as the owner was
allegedly selling maize illegally and they were following up on reports
Lamotte farm - war veteran arrived on the property claiming compensation for
maize that had allegedly been eaten by cattle.  The war vet. was told that
there was no compensation as the whole crop had been destroyed by lack of
rain.  Owner and FA Chairman told the war vet to report to Agritex and ask
for an assessment.  War vet then left.  This matter was also reported to the
Officer in Charge, rural who responded by advising the owner that if the war
vet returned demanding compensation that the police should be contacted and
they would deal with the matter.
Lochinvar farm - 10 cattle were stolen from the cattle kraal in broad
daylight and in front of all farm labour.   Farm labour knew the individuals
and reports were made to the Mashava police who refused to react.

Chiredzi Area - General – theft of wire is now out of control as settlers
claim everything now belongs to them. Small fires are reported here and
Mugwezi Ranch - A huge meeting reported to be taking place this morning
(Monday 18th March, 2002) It is reported to be loud and aggressive.
Dawlfish Ranch - Game Scouts on this ranch have been threatened by the
settlers that they should not remove any snares otherwise they will kill the
horses and beat up the game guards. This has been reported to the police
with no reaction.

Mwenezi Area - Over the last two years certain properties have experienced
continuous malicious damage to the main water pipeline feeding properties.
Pipes have been broken etc.  Police were seen on Sossonye, Quagga Pan Ranch,
Twiza Ranch and Alko Ranch, apparently catcing up on the backlog of reports
and checking the main water source.   Breakage of water pipes occurred
againover past weekend.
Kalahari Ranch - large fire reported on the property over the week-end.
La Pache Ranch - The settlers have called a meeting for 5pm this evening
(18th March, 2002)  Owner has been told that pegging and allocating of land
is to take place next Wednesday within the owner’s irrigation land.  Police
have been informed.
Nandice Ranch - follow up report from last sitrep.  the Manager has declined
to attend meeting arranged by settlers, but went out to the property later
in the week.  Unknown to him the meeting had been rescheduled and he walked
into it.   He was then made to stay all day and listen to discussion and
demands. Settlers attempted to make him chant slogans but he declined.  The
following demands were made:
The owner, ZRP and DA Mwenezi had to attend a meeting on 22nd March, 2002.
None of the owner’s cattle were to be allowed to return to this ranch.
Owner had to remove one engine from a certain water point so that settlers
could put in their own engine.
The foreman was to be removed from the farm and would not be allowed to
The game scouts would not be allowed to carry out any of their duties in the

Save Conservancy – No report.  Ongoing snaring and poaching.
Gutu\Chatsworth – Makanya farm One steer found with rope around its  back of
legs.   Six women apprehended stealing maize, caught with six bags of maize.
Reported to police at Mvuma.
Kanya farm - One steer found cruelly hacked on back legs – owner had to
shoot it.  Another steer found slaughtered at the river on the farm.  Head
and some meat found in the river.
A Owner has been threatened by the Chairman of the ZANU\PF Masvingo Branch
that he will have to pay $180 000 in grazing fees for his 250 head of cattle
still on the property. Owner declined and told that these orders have come
from the Minister of Agriculture.  Owner told he has until the end of the
month to remove the remaining 250 head of cattle.
Blyth Farm– update from previous report.  Police sent out two details to
owner’s property to enquire on developments and threats made to owner to
vacate property by 1400 on 14th March, 2002.  When owner explained the
situation the police indicated that they have a number of reports of the
alleged perpetrators and they were going to make arrests. The police could
not find them and indicated t the owner that they would return by the same
evening and again try and make an arrest.  On the evening of 14th March, a
police vehicle was seen heading in the direction of the youth league camping
area.  It has now, however, been confirmed if any arrests were made,
although all is now quiet.  On the same property the owner has been
subjected to continued harassment, verbal abuse by schoolchildren attending
school in the owner’s shed (forcefully occupied).  The owner approached the
alleged headmaster on numerous occasions, however, when last approached on
15th March to report verbal abuse there was a significant change in the
attitude and all verbal abuse from the children has now stopped.  Theft has,
however, occurred and a two wheel trailer was stolen on the evening of 14th
March, 2002.

Gweru East/Lalapanzi - ZanuPF youths have been going round the area with a
letter requesting donations (cash or a beast) from farmers for their
celebrations on the outcome of the elections. In one case a farmer's
vehicle, which was returning to the farm after delivering flowers, was
commandeered to transport them to a couple of farms with their demands.

No report received.

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ZIMBABWE: Government dismisses impact of strike action

JOHANNESBURG, 19 March (IRIN) - The Zimbabwean government has dismissed the impact of a planned three-day stayaway called by the labour movement for Wednesday, and accused the trade unions of playing politics.

"The stayaway is supposed to have been called by the ZCTU [Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions] but they have no [labour] grievances. They are protesting against the elections but they are not related to labour concerns," senior ruling ZANU-PF official, Emerson Mnangagwa, told IRIN on Tuesday.

Mnangagwa, the powerful speaker of parliament and ZANU-PF secretary for administration, said the ZCTU's three-day strike was called in collaboration with the opposition and white employers who he alleged were prepared to pay their workers to stay at home. "It's an alliance between the white employers, the ZCTU and the MDC [opposition Movement for Democratic Change]."

The police on Tuesday declared the strike action illegal. A police statement reportedly accused the ZCTU of trying to whip up public support against President Robert Mugabe and warned that "the law will be fully applied against those who participate [in] and orchestrate these illegal activities."

Mnangagwa said the stayaway was only of "political nuisance value" and would not effect the government's plans to pull Zimbabwe out of its deepening economic crisis. "We've got over the hurdle of the presidential elections. What is left now is for the country and government to implement its economic recovery programme."

Zimbabwe continues to be polarised over the official results of the 9-11 March presidential election, which Mugabe won with 56 percent of the vote against his MDC challenger Morgan Tsvangirai's 42 percent. However, the poll has been condemned as deeply flawed by local election monitors and some international observers.

Calls for an internationally supervised re-election by Tsvangirai this week were dismissed as a "pipe dream" by Mnangagwa. He said that initiatives reportedly led by South Africa for a government of national unity as a way of healing the country's political divisions were "currently not on our agenda".

"We'll examine it, we'll look at it," said Mnangagwa, who has been tipped by some analysts as Mugabe's chosen successor. But, he added: "We had a simple, straight forward election for president. It went well and it's over ... We have a huge majority [in parliament] and I don't see why there should be a transitional arrangement."

However, Tsvangirai told IRIN on Tuesday that economic pressures on Mugabe could force him to negotiate with the opposition. But he would resist any political deal unless the government called a halt to alleged violence and "retribution" against MDC members.

"If Mugabe feels we can help him to solve his problems he can forget fit," Tsvangirai said. "He has sworn himself in as president, let him continue, his position is not sustainable. He hasn't got any economic resources or legitimacy."

The former trade union leader said proposed talks with the government, as urged on Monday by the leaders of South Africa and Nigeria, could only take place once political violence was halted and "repressive legislation" repealed. Tsvangirai said a transitional government could then be put in place to create the conditions for fresh elections.

He added: "I have just come from a national council meeting and there is no evidence of divisions [within the party]. People are united and realise the MDC is the future and are not tempted by short term gains."

Tsvangirai said he was not worried about treason charges lodged by the government over his involvement in an alleged plot to "eliminate" Mugabe. "I'm not worried about that. It's intended as harassment. If he wants he can arrest me any time [but the government would not get] a conviction."


Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11 447-5472
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JOHANNESBURG, 18 Mar 2002 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's rival political leaders are expected to comment soon on a Nigeria-South Africa initiative aimed at encouraging them to work together.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, 19 March, 2002, 19:03 GMT
Africa 'passes' Zimbabwe test
The Commonwealth decision to suspend Zimbabwe for a year means Africa has overcome one of the first tests for its economic recovery plan, Nepad.

What is also on trial is the African economy, (since) without democracy there's no future for Nepad

David Coltart MP
Zimbabwe opposition
Despite strong pressure Western donors US and UK, Zimbabwe's neighbours, most notably South Africa and Nigeria, had been relucant to condemn the re-election of President Robert Mugabe.

But in Washington, power brokers in Congress had been linking the success of the New Partnership for African Development (Nepad) to South Africa's attitude to the elections in Zimbabwe.

"This is the immediate test," Ed Royce, chairman of the US Congress African sub-committee told the BBC's World Business Report.

On trial

Politicians from Zimbabwe's defeated Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition party agree.

South African President Thabo Mbeki is "desperately looking for a middle road" so that Nepad can get off the ground, said opposition MP David Coltart.

"What is also on trial is the African economy, (since) without democracy there's no future for Nepad."

But a South Africa goverment spokesperson denied that Zimbabwe had threatened the plans success.

"People saying that Nepad will not fly because of Zimbabwe, it is not true," said presidential spokesperson Bheki Khumalo.

The decision by the Commonwealth group of 54 nations to suspend cames after a meeting in London between the leaders of South Africa, Nigeria and Australia.

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Swiss impose sanctions on Zimbabwe over election

BERNE, March 19 — Switzerland said on Tuesday that it had imposed sanctions
on Zimbabwe, including a freeze on the financial assets of government
officials, in response to manipulation of this month's presidential
       The government also said that it would restrict travel by senior
Zimbabwean officials to the Alpine state.
        The announcement came shortly after leaders of the 54-nation
Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe from the group after concluding that the
re-election of President Robert Mugabe had been undemocratic.
       The Swiss Foreign Ministry said Berne's decision had been made ''in
view of the manipulation of the presidential election and ongoing human
rights violations.''
       It said it was following the lead of the United States and the
European Union after both declared that the election had been neither free
nor fair.
       ''The measures are...also intended to prevent Swiss financial
institutions from being misused for the purpose of circumventing sanctions
applied by other countries,'' the ministry said.
       It added that the sanctions applied only to government
representatives and not to the civilian population. Switzerland was keeping
the humanitarian situation in the country under observation, ready to
provide aid if needed
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