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

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Daily News

Assaulted MDC youth dies

3/20/02 7:57:08 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporters

Ernest Gatsi, an MDC youth beaten severely by Zanu PF supporters in Guruve
during the presidential election campaign, died at Guruve Hospital

Biggie Chigonero, the MDC vice-chairman for Mashonaland Central, said:
“Gatsi had been in and out of hospital after the beating. He died this
morning in hospital.”

Chigonero, in Harare yesterday morning to receive assistance from the party
for Gatsi’s funeral, said he would be buried at his parents’ home in Guruve

Gatsi is survived by his wife. Chigonero said MDC supporters were being
harassed and beaten in Mvurwi and on the nearby commercial farms. He said at
least 60 farm workers, some listed as MDC polling agents for he presidential
election, had been beaten and chased away from several farms in the Mvurwi
area, including Rhimbick, Bigdale, Vigila and Wilmot farms.

Chigonero said: “Zanu PF supporters led by Richard Chanda, the Mashonaland
Central youth provincial vice-chairman, have been chasing people from their
jobs in Mvurwi, alleging they had voted for the MDC.”

He said tenants renting one of his buildings had been ordered to close their
shop by the Zanu PF supporters. Chigonero said: “On Thursday last week they
came to my garage intending to demolish it but we resisted. They then dumped
a cardboard coffin with the words ŒRest in Peace Chigonero’ written on it
and left.”

In another case of post-election violence, a 34-year-old Budiriro man
fractured his right arm after an attack by suspected Zanu PF youths on
Friday evening. The part-time lecturer at a city college said on Monday he
was attacked while on his way home from work.

“Two youths approached us soon after we alighted from a commuter omnibus in
Budiriro 5. They ordered us to chant Zanu PF slogans. My friend asked which
slogan they meant. We were forced to sit down and chant Zanu PF slogans,”
said the man, who refused to be identified for fear of victimisation.

The man said they were ordered to run as they chanted Zanu PF slogans. When
they tried to run, the youths assaulted them with whips, sticks and kicked
them all over their bodies.

He said in the confusion one of the youths tripped him and a copy of The
Daily News dropped out of his folder. This incensed the youths who started
calling them names and accusing them of supporting the MDC while beating
them with iron bars.

When the lecturer tried to run away, one of the youths allegedly attempted
to strike him on the head but he blocked the iron bar with his right hand,
fracturing it in the process.

The men were saved by a number of Budiriro residents who intervened, sending
the youths fleeing. The lecturer was taken to Harare Central Hospital where
he had a plaster cast put on his right arm and was discharged.

Glen View police confirmed the report, with a spokesman who declined to give
his name saying: “We have received his report OB 2431/02 but he has not
given a statement to the police. We are waiting to get his statement. At the
moment we do not know the circumstances surrounding his assault.”
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Daily News

Women’s Coalition rejects election results

3/20/02 7:58:57 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

The Women’s Coalition (WC), an umbrella body of individual Zimbabwean women
and women’s non-governmental organisations, has rejected the outcome of the
2002 presidential election.

In a statement, they said women’s participation in the political process had
been severely limited by the political climate of intolerance, intimidation
and violence since the constitutional referendum in February 2000.

Thousands of women had been silent victims of an orchestrated campaign of
terror and political violence that had swept across the country over the
last two years.

The statement said women had been battered, or had watched as their
husbands, partners and children were beaten and tortured. Their property had
been destroyed or they themselves had been been displaced from their homes.

“The perpetrators of these crimes have been the youth militia and so called
war veterans who forced young girls and women into sexual slavery. Cultural
taboos around the issue of rape have silenced the women, many of whom will
never tell their stories.

The impact of this sexual violence will live with these women forever,
especially given the high levels of HIV/Aids,” the statement says. The WC
argues that their members’ political participation was severely curtailed by
new laws governing the election that were rushed through parliament in the
last few months which had the overall effect of violating women’s right to

“In particular the requirements for registration were restrictive. For
instance, proof of residence, was made a requirement for registration even
though it is well-known that documents such as utility bills are registered
under the names of spouses,” the statement said.

It said an amendment to the Zimbabwe Citizenship Act dispossessed women of
their right to vote because of the laborious and expensive process required
to renounce either their foreign citizenship or their parent’s foreign

Most rural women had no access to information on the new laws and no access
to resources. “It is a fact that over 60 percent of women live in the rural
areas and have no access to information and education on their rights as

As a result of the new laws these women were deprived of civic and voter
education which is normally provided by non-governmental organisations.

The information provided by the Electoral Supervisory Commission was
insufficient and belated and did not address the specific needs of women.

The WC deplored the State’s deliberate attempt to discourage and frustrate
voters in urban areas by reducing the number of polling stations.

Their decision demonstrated the indifference and contempt towards women who
shoulder the burden of domestic, family and other responsibilities. Many
women were forced to leave the queue to perform these duties.

“We take great exception to statements applauding the patience and
resilience of Zimbabwean voters who waited in queues for hours on end. Such
statements suggest that it is acceptable for Africans to be inconvenienced
and subjected to these levels of discomfort.

“The thrust of the Zanu PF presidential and parliamentary campaign centred
on land redistribution. Over 60 percent of Zimbabwean women work and live on
rural land, yet the current land distribution programme has in no way
enhanced women’s access and control of the land.”

The WC says violation of women in the presidential campaign had been
justified by the need to redress the imbalances of the past. But women had
suffered doubly from this campaign.

They had not gained access or control of the land. Instead, they had borne
the brunt of the violence associated with the campaign.
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Daily News - Letter

The most wicked fraud of all

3/20/02 8:02:11 AM (GMT +2)

I REALLY cannot imagine President Mugabe and his Zanu PF people staying in
power for another six years if you look at what has happened in the last two

He has been rigging elections over the past years, but this one is the
biggest and most wicked fraud I have ever seen and I just wonder whether the
votes that he got in the rural areas do not differ from the ones he got in
the parliamentary election in 2000.

I urge the MDC to refuse the “unity” that Mugabe is talking about now
because that will just mark the end of the party that is trying to put
Zimbabwe’s crisis to an end.

People know that the election was rigged because most of them voted for the
MDC. Mugabe’s votes were bought and pre-cast there in the rural areas.

I was even surprised that he celebrated his “victory” and had his
inauguration where he invited regional leaders who do not know what
transpired during the election.

To the MDC, I say: Please do not look back; just keep fighting for the needy
people, you have risked your lives and chosen to stand for the people who in
turn are giving you the support that you need.

To the people, I say now that we have been cheated we cannot wait for
another six terrible years. Let us also stand for our rights for we have
already lost friends and relatives.

Gaja Mthuli
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Daily News

30 face charges of interfering with election

3/20/02 8:11:36 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Thirty people, mostly farmers from the Raffingora area, are facing charges
of conspiring to interfere with the electoral process in the presidential
election, attempting to corrupt polling agents by offering them food, and
operating an illegal radio network.

The last two charges are under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act
and the Posts and Telecommunications Act, respectively. Jenni Williams, the
spokesperson for the Commercial Farmers’ Union, said the 30 had made warned
and cautioned statements at Chinhoyi Police Station yesterday and are due to
appear in court for a bail hearing today.

This brings to 42 the number of people facing the same charges. On 8 March,
12 Raffingora farmers were summoned to Banket Police Station to make

They were detained until they appeared in court on 12 March. They are out on
bail of $50 000 each. They were ordered to surrender their travel documents
and to stay at their usual addresses.
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Daily News

Hospital rationing patients’ food

3/20/02 8:10:35 AM (GMT +2)

From Our Correspondent in Mutare

Rusape General hospital is reportedly rationing food for patients as
suppliers are refusing to give them credit for not paying up on time.
Workers at the hospital told The Daily News this week there had been food
shortages at the hospital since January when rationing was introduced.

The suppliers are said to be rejecting government requisitions due to late
payments. The hospital has been forced to dip into the Hospital Health
Services Fund to avert a major crisis.

The fund is financed through fees paid for admission and drugs by patients,
and other services. Dr Rashmikand Parekh, the medical superintendent,
confirmed some suppliers were unwilling to give them credit but he denied
there was a food shortage.

“These days we are using the Health Services Fund to buy maize-meal and
other food items. The situation has not been very bad though,” said Parekh.

He referred further questions to the administrator who was not available.
But sources in the hospital’s catering department insisted the situation was

“We reduced beef quantities from 50kg to 20kg, which is not enough to meet
the hospital’s needs,” said the source. Chicken has since been struck off
the menu, with patients now being restricted to cabbages, milk, kapenta,
beans and beef.
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Daily News

War vet plot to hijack stayaway

3/20/02 7:55:22 AM (GMT +2)

By Lloyd Mudiwa

WAR veterans and their ally, the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions, led by
former combatants such as Joseph Chinotimba, plan to hijack the three-day
nationwide stayaway which starts today.

Sources said the plan is to discredit the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU), which called for the mass action, with war veterans and Zanu PF
youths masquerading as MDC members engaging in violence.

The strike, the first direct challenge to President Mugabe since his
controversial re-election last week in a poll widely believed to have been
rigged, has been blessed by the powerful Congress of South African Trade
Unions (Cosatu), part of the ruling alliance in South Africa.

Moloto Mothato, Cosatu’s spokesperson, said yesterday: “The general public
has a right to demonstrate against the ruling party if they are not happy
with the situation they have.

Workers have a right to take to the streets if they are not satisfied with
the political and economic situation.” Sources said a meeting of the top
leadership of the war veterans, including Chinotimba, agreed to bus Zanu PF
youths from outside all major urban areas to cause chaos during the

According to the plot, the Zanu PF youths have been ordered to attack
government buildings so that the blame can be apportioned to the ZCTU. The
youths, some wearing MDC From Page 1 T-shirts, will “confess” to having been
sent by the MDC and the ZCTU to protest against Mugabe’s victory.

This would provide an excuse for the government to clamp down on the MDC and
the ZCTU leadership. Chinotimba, the chairman of the Zimbabwe National
Liberation War Veterans’ Association’s Harare province and ZFTU’s
vice-president, immediately dismissed the allegations as false.

Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesman, has said the police would deal with
the stayaway in accordance with the law, in apparent reference to the
repressive Public Order and Security Act, which makes such demonstrations

Mugabe in February threatened to ban the ZCTU if he was re-elected.
Wellington Chibhebhe, the ZCTU secretary-general, said although they had not
heard of the plot, they were urging workers to remain vigilant against

He said: “It’s possible the strike could turn violent if it’s coming from
their side, but we are peaceful.” Chibhebhe said he would inform officials
in the union’s structures to be on the lookout and to avoid joining such

Chinotimba said: “There is nothing like that. We don’t play such dirty
games. We are mature politicians.” Meanwhile some shop owners in Bulawayo
were yesterday frantically securing their premises in anticipation of
violence during the stayaway.

The shop owners fitted burglar bars on shop windows. A manager at a clothing
outlet said it was necessary to take security measures because anything
could happen during the stayaway.

Most shop owners said they would not open tomorrow to protect their
businesses although most stayaways and strikes in Bulawayo have generally
been peaceful.

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Business Day

Zimbabwe economy 'on its knees'

-----------------------------------------------------------------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), says.

"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, agreed to an IMF structural
adjustment program in 1991.

Economic liberalization 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 marginalized 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 land reform 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%, according  to the central bank.

The currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, is weakening steadily.

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

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 and unity is necessary", according to Kenzias
Chibota, president of the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ).

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Business Day

Zimbabwe suspension watershed for Africa

-------------------------------------------------------------------------by Peter Cunliffe-Jones

LAGOS - A watershed decision by a troika of countries including two of
Africa's most powerful leaders to suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth for
a year over rigged polls, sets a new bar for elections on the continent,
analysts said.
With major elections due in the next 12 months in Kenya and Nigeria, and
scores of other elections due in coming years, the implications of the
suspension of Zimbabwe by a Commonwealth group led by Australia, South
Africa and Nigeria are "profound", African political analysts said in Lagos.

The African leaders in question - Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo and
South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki - had been expected to resist
suspension of Zimbabwe.

But at least one must have sided with Australia's Prime Minister John Howard
to reach Tuesday's decision, analysts said.

Ironically, both the countries involved have themselves been either
suspended or expelled from the Commonwealth before.

South Africa was expelled in its days as an Apartheid regime and Nigeria was
suspended from 1995 to 1999 over the behaviour of its then military rulers.

The Commonwealth's suspension of Zimbabwe 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

And the Commonwealth suspended Fiji from its councils in June 2000,
following a coup that led to the imposition of martial law, but not from the
organisation as a whole.

Two years ago, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) voted to suspend any
country where a military regime takes power.

But this is the first suspension of a country because of elections judged
rigged or unfair.

"If what it means is that countries whose elections are not free and fair
are going to be suspended from the Commonwealth and other international
bodies it is a very welcome development for Africa," leading Nigerian
democracy activist Clement Nwankwo said.

"For Africa, where elections have long been contentious, it is a major step
forward," said Nwankwo, a lawyer jailed for campaigning for democracy under
past military regimes.

"It sets a new bar, a new standard," he added, noting that "in doing this,
President Obasanjo has actually set a standard for the elections here to be
met next year, as well as for Zimbabwe and other African countries."

Dapo Olufade, news editor with the leading Nigerian newspaper Vanguard,
agreed it was a "good development for Africa", adding it was a signal from
fellow African leaders to Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to leave office

Olusegun Adeniyi, a commentator with the newspaper This Day, said the
significant news was not the suspension itself, but the reason behind it.

Both Nigeria and South Africa had, at first, "in the spirit of African
brotherhood, even in the face of overwhelming damning evidence, stated that
the election was not fraudulent," but had realised that this was not
tenable, he said.

"For President Obasanjo himself, he has put himself on the spot as the 2003
election here approaches... It is clear that Nigerians will not stand for
the ?Mugabelisation? of the electoral process here and he (Obasanjo) may
have learnt one or two things from what is happening in Zimbabwe," Adeniyi

More than a decade after the passage of most if not yet all African
countries to an at least theoretical multi-party political system, many of
the elections in Africa are still far from free and fair, according to UN

Earlier this month, Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso was declared
winner of presidential election with 89.41% of the vote after his only
serious opponents withdrew citing widespread fraud.

Elections in the tiny west African nation of Togo a few years ago were
considered so bad the European Union imposed sanctions.

Hence, the importance of the signal of African leaders siding with
proponents and supporters of real elections, within and outside the
continent, Nwankwo said.

Nevertheless, the suspension of Zimbabwe was expected to be criticised by
Mugabe loyalists, within Zimbabwe and around southern Africa, in part
because of his past record as an independence war hero and in part because
of the stil strong sensitivity of all African leaders to any perceived
'colonial' attitude in the West - of Europeans and Americans telling
Africans what is best for them.

The suspension would also be hard to swallow for some groups such as the OAU
whose own observer team in Zimbabwe announced that "in general the elections
were transparent, credible, free and fair", and even South Africa's own
official observer group.

In Nigeria, a major test will take place next year of the new standards in
which Obasanjo is expected to play a key role and he himself last month
warned the elections are likely to be difficult.

Calling for action to stop election violence and vote rigging, he declared:
"When people only vote without choosing because elections are rigged, and
when politicians employ coercion instead of persuasion, such that fear and
intimidation nullify free choice, then we have no reasons to expect that the
populace will respect elected leaders and their offices."
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The Age, Melbourne

Aust Senator says he will be haunted by Zimbabwe elections
CANBERRA, March 20 AAP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 4:57 PM

A government observer of Zimbabwe's recent elections said he would be
haunted by images of the country as he gave an emotional speech in the
Senate today.

Alan Ferguson (LP,SA) was one of an Australian delegation of four to observe
the elections earlier this month.

Meeting many victims of political violence during the elections, Senator
Ferguson said armed youths regularly attacked opposition supporters.

One victim had the initials of the opposition party, Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), carved into his back, he said.

"Another victim was chained alive in a coffin and emersed into water and
threatened with drowning while being repeatedly interrogated about the
identities of local MDC operatives," he told the Senate.

He said no opposition campaigning was allowed in the northern areas he

"The images that have brought home from my two weeks in Zimbabwe as a member
of that Commonwealth observer group will continue to haunt me," Senator
Ferguson told the Senate.

He said the election failed to meet the three basic tenants of a democratic
election process of freedom from violence, freedom of movement and
association and freedom of association

"Against this background, I have never met so many brave people, both black
and white, who are determined to fight for their democratic rights against
such terrible odds," he said.

Senator Ferguson also criticised fellow delegate, opposition foreign affairs
spokesman Kevin Rudd, for comments in The Bulletin this week.

He said Mr Rudd spent much time calling Australian media when the bulk of
the delegation's report was being done.

He denied Mr Rudd's claims that he was responsible for half of the useful
recommendations put into the final report.

Zimbabwe has been suspended from the Commonwealth for a year after a
committee of leaders headed by Prime Minister John Howard ruled its
elections earlier this month were neither free or fair.

The decision, taken by Mr Howard and presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa
and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, followed a report by Commonwealth
observers on the conduct of the poll.

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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 reprisals.


– 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.
- 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 donation.

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 Chipesa.
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 resolved.
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 control.
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 windscreen.
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 barns.
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 recovered.
– 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 received.
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 there.
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 t 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:
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.                                   Visit the CFU Website

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ANC: 'Package of reconciliation'

Kalay-Vani Nair

Johannesburg - The ANC on Tuesday cautiously accepted Zimbabwe's suspension
from the councils of the Commonwealth, calling it a "package of

Zimbabwe's suspension was announced by a troika comprising Australian Prime
Minister John Howard, and Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and
Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria.

The decision was based on the "high level of politically motivated violence"
during the presidential election.

ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama said the "package" will create an
opportunity for Zimbabweans to extricate themselves "from a potential

"We say that this decision will assist Zimbabweans to put themselves in a
position of economic recovery."

He said Commonwealth countries like Australia should persuade other western
countries to reconsider their stance of economic sanctions against Zimbabwe.

The United States, the European Union and Switzerland have all imposed
targeted sanctions against the Zimbabwean government.

He urged all South Africans and Zimbabweans together with the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) to support the "package".

"We call on the Zimbabweans to remain united in creating a stable
socio-economic and political environment."

Most South African political parties and the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) were more forthcoming in their praise of the

Welshman Ncube

Speaking from Harare, MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube said his party
hoped Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF "will read the signs and read them
correctly that the world would not have tolerated a government that steals

"We welcome the suspension, which to all intents and purposes indicates our
refusal to accept the election results as legitimate," Ncube said.

"We also welcome Switzerland's decision for sanctions on Zimbabwe, and we
hope that it will be followed by similar nations."


Democratic Alliance chairperson Joe Seremane said: "if suspension is a way
of averting civil strife in Zimbabwe, then it is a lesser evil".

Seremane said a government should protect all its citizens, irrespective of
their political allegiance and the Zimbabwean authorities had failed to do

"One death (in an election) is too many."

Seremane said the SADC parliamentary observer team had spelled out the
irregularities they had observed in the election.


The New National Party foreign affairs spokesperson Boy Geldenhuys said his
party thought that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) "should
follow suit" after its parliamentary observer forum made the same finding as
the Commonwealth's team.

The SADC parliamentary forum was "the most significant of all observers of
the Zimbabwean election," he said.

It "did not mean much" if the Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe, as this could
be seen as the act of "the former colonial power".

But if SADC suspended Zimbabwe "that was not a colonial power, that was
credible black leaders," Geldenhuys said.

Freedom Front

The Freedom Front also welcomed the suspension, saying the recent
presidential poll should now be declared illegitimate.

"This should not be the final step - this should be the first step which
should culminate in the election being declared null and void," said
spokesperson Pieter Mulder.

"It should lead to the process of fresh elections under internationally
supervised conditions," he said.


Pan Africanist Congress MP Patricia de Lille said the suspension would not
impact on the situation in South Africa's neighbour.

"To me the Commonwealth has always been more of a ceremonial body than an
organisation with teeth," she said.

"The challenge still remains with the Zimbabwean people to lead the way in
plotting the way forward and coming up with a solution.

"The only role the international community can play is one of complementing
the decision of the Zimbabwean people."


United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa echoed De Lille's

"I do not think that (Zimbabwean President) Mugabe and Zanu-PF will stoop so
low as to moan and groan about it. After all the Commonwealth is a toothless

He criticised Mbeki and Obasanjo for turning their backs on Mugabe.

"It is a pity that they turned against Mugabe after their observer mission
declared the Zimbabwean poll legitimate."

"This action will encourage the US, UK and EU to take their own punitive
measures which will negatively affect us in this region," he said.

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The Age, Melbourne

Highlights of Commonwealth statement on Zimbabwe
LONDON, March 19 AFP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 6:51 AM

The Commonwealth agreed today to suspend Zimbabwe for one year after its
tainted election that returned President Robert Mugabe to power. Here are
the main points of the statement, read out by Australian Prime Minister John

The committee recalled the mandate given to them by Commonwealth heads of
government at their recent meeting in Coolum, Australia, to determine
appropriate Commonwealth action on Zimbabwe, in the event of an adverse
report from the Commonwealth Observer Group to the Zimbabwe presidential

The committee noted that the Commonwealth Observer Group, led by General
Abdulsalami Abubakar of Nigeria, 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 allow for a free
expression of will by the electors". They deemed these conclusions, together
with other aspects of the report of the observer group, to be an adverse
reflection on the electoral process, requiring an appropriate Commonwealth

The Commonwealth expressed its determination to promote reconciliation in
Zimbabwe between the main political parties. To this end, the committee
strongly supported the initiatives of the president of Nigeria and the
president of South Africa in encouraging a climate of reconciliation between
the main political parties in Zimbabwe, which they considered essential to
addressing the issues of food shortages, economic recovery, the restoration
of political stability, the rule of law and the conduct of future elections.

The Committee called upon the international community to respond to the
desperate situation currently in Zimbabwe, especially the shortages of food.

The Committee noted the reference in the Commonwealth Observer Group report
to national reconciliation being a priority and that the Commonwealth should
assist in this process, and requested the president of Nigeria and the
president of South Africa to continue to actively promote the process of
reconciliation in Zimbabwe between the main political parties and to appoint
special representatives to remain engaged with all the parties concerned
towards this end.

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.

The committee mandated the Commonwealth secretary-general to engage with the
government of Zimbabwe to ensure that the specific recommendations from the
Commonwealth Observer Group report, notably on the management of future
elections in Zimbabwe, are implemented.

In line with the Abuja agreement and the Coolum statement, the committee
stated that land is at the core of the crisis in Zimbabwe and cannot be
separated from other issues of concern, and the Commonwealth will be ready
to assist Zimbabwe to address the land issue and to help in its economic
recovery in co-operation with other international agencies. The committee
requested the Commonwealth secretary general to remain actively involved
with the United Nations Development Program in promoting transparent,
equitable and sustainable measures for land reform in Zimbabwe.
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Christian Science Monitor
Zimbabwe farmers brace for further land seizures

President Mugabe's land-grab campaign again turned violent over the weekend
as a white farmer was killed.

By Jacqui Goddard | Special to The Christian Science Monitor

HARARE, ZIMBABWE – They called him "father," a white man who saw no racial
boundaries and treated his black workers as his family.
A fourth-generation Zimbabwean, Terry Ford spoke to workers in Shona – the
majority language – and had grown up among them. Childhood days were spent
playing together in the fields of wheat and maize that once blanketed the
Now the crops are long gone and the workers of Gowrie Farm are in mourning.
Ford was shot dead by a mob of ZANU-PF Party activists supporting President
Robert Mugabe's illegal land-seizure program early Monday.

"Terry's workers are devastated – we all are," says his fiancée, Naomi
Raaff. "They are saying to me, 'We have lost our father today. Terry was one
of the most kind-hearted people in the world, and all he wanted to do was
farm.' What has this achieved, other than the loss of a much-loved, innocent

Many people fear that Mr. Mugabe – flush from his election victory, despite
claims by the opposition and monitors that it was rigged – has started his
new term of office in the way he means to rule the country. They hoped that
his hints of reconciliation – urging people to "work joyously" to rebuild
the shattered economy, and acknowledging that, whether black or white, "our
destiny is one" – meant there would be change.

"We had hoped that certain elements of his speech would translate into
positive action on the ground," says Jenni Williams of the Commercial
Farmers Union (CFU). "Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be happening that
way. Farmers are thinking long and hard about their futures."

Ford had been prevented from farming for the past two years, since the
government served notice that it intended to seize his land and property. It
is a situation 98 percent of Zimbabwe's 3,500 commercial farmers face. Since
the land seizures began in 2000, hundreds of farmers have left. Now, more
are contemplating following.

"There is a huge feeling of doom and gloom," says Peter Goosen, vice
president of the CFU for Matabeleland South. "We have a real opportunity to
make this into a jewel of Africa, but if the land seizures continue, we will
be forced to leave. You will see the emigration of Zimbabwe's farmers – a
huge number of refugees – and the total collapse of commercial agriculture."

Supporters of the president point to Zimbabwe's colonial history, which left
70 percent of the land owned by the white 5 percent of the population, as
justification for the land seizures.

When British colonist Cecil Rhodes conquered the region (later named
Rhodesia), white settlers staked out plots for themselves and began to farm
commercially. That crushed the black communal farming infrastructure and
created a black working class, with the most fertile areas set aside for the

At an international donors conference in 1998, the CFU agreed to sell back
2.5 million acres of land with another 12.4 million to follow in a phased
plan. But international funding dried up after donor money was instead
lavished on Mugabe's cronies. Restless for a share of the land, the war
veterans launched farm invasions in 2000.

"I very much doubt that there is a single farmer in this country who does
not agree that there is a need for land reform – and if there is, they don't
belong here," says Mr. Goosen. "But let's do it properly. The money was
available, the farmers were in agreement, the government and the
international community seemed happy.... Then the opportunity was thrown

Meanwhile, the policy affects far more blacks than whites. The industry
employs around 1.5 million black farmworkers, many of whom are now living in
the bush after being driven off the land by armed squatters.

Goosen, a fourth-generation Zimbabwean, owns 4,700 acres at Nyamandhlovu,
northwest of Bulawayo. He bought his farm in 1985 with full government
permission – as did many of today's farmers. Last August it was invaded by
70 self-styled war veterans who fired 59 of his 83 workers and threatened
them with spears, axes, iron poles, knives, chains, and knobkerries.

Farmers like Goosen are being prevented from preparing the land for the May
wheat crop, despite a nationwide food shortage.

Squatters are still at his farm now, looting machinery parts and stealing
farm equipment. "They are saying, 'We have won the election, so we have won
your farm. Now we are going to take it,' " Goosen says.

Louis Uys, whose 1,300-acre Lion's Den farm was attacked last Thursday, has
seen most of the owners of his neighboring properties pack up and leave
since the invasions began two years ago.

"I don't have neighbors," says Mr. Uys, whose wife and daughter left to live
in Mozambique last year. "They've all gone, and settlers have moved on to
their farms. About 40 of them came over in a mob and beat up my cook, the
house guy, and workshop manager with sticks."

Matabeleland's CFU president, Matt Crawford, predicts an economic collapse
if Mugabe does not call off the land seizures. "People have a tendency to
believe that it is only the white Zimbabweans leaving, but what we are
already seeing is educated Zimbabweans – both black and white – leaving the
country and taking their skills abroad."

Farmer Alex Goosen – Peter's cousin – has diversified since his 115,000-acre
farm was invaded. He now owns a butchery and an engineering business in

Despite the turmoil, he takes heart from the racial unity that exists among
Zimbabweans who are affected by Mugabe's policies. "Whether you see yourself
as a rump steak or a piece of stewing beef, we are all on the hot plate

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The Age, Melbourne

McKinnon says Zimbabwe must reform elections
CANBERRA, March 20 AAP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 8:37 AM

Zimbabwe would have to prove it had overhauled its electoral system before
it could be reinstated to the Commonwealth, Secretary-General Don McKinnon
said today.

Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for a year today after a
committee of leaders headed by Prime Minister John Howard ruled the
country's presidential election earlier this month was not free and fair.

But no sanctions have been imposed on the southern African nation in the

The decision, taken by Mr Howard and presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa
and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, followed a report by Commonwealth
observers on the conduct of the poll.

Mr McKinnon said the decision was based on the assumption there would be
some reconciliation with political parties on the ground in Zimbabwe.

"That suspension can only be lifted if there is real progress on the ground
across a wide range of activities," he told ABC radio.

"The whole electoral structure and the whole electoral process has to be
changed, there are very firm recommendations about that, and we would hope
that they would take that very seriously."

Mr McKinnon said all Commonwealth countries had delegated their
responsibility to the three-member panel.

"We all knew that what we wanted out of this was not to make life in
Zimbabwe a lot worse but, at the same time, be able to indicate the strong
displeasure of Commonwealth leaders over the conduct of the elections," he

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The Age, Melbourne

Aust PM says Australian wants new elections in Zimbabwe
CANBERRA, March 20 AAP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 10:16 AM

Prime Minister John Howard today said he would like to see a second
presidential election held in Zimbabwe following its suspension from the

Zimbabwe has been suspended from the Commonwealth for a year after a
committee of leaders headed by Prime Minister John Howard ruled its
elections earlier this month were neither free nor fair.

But no sanctions have been imposed on the African nation in the short-term.

The decision, taken by Mr Howard and presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa
and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, followed a report by commonwealth
observers on the conduct of the poll.

Mr Howard said Zimbabwe needed electoral reform and ideally, another

"Australia would like to see another election held in democratic
circumstances as soon as possible," he told ABC Radio.

"That of course will depend upon the will and the behaviour and the attitude
of the different political forces within Zimbabwe."

But Mr Howard said the most important thing was that the leader's troika had
adopted a consistent approach to anti-democratic action and embraced the
recommendations of that group for electoral reform.

"Those people who sought to see this as a meeting between white Australia
and black South Africa and Nigeria were wrong," he said.

"There was a common Commonwealth spirit.

"But you've got to remember that I was dealing with two men whose commitment
to democratic principles has been tested by fire in a way that many people
in the Australian experience wouldn't understand.

"They have a very good understanding of democracy."

Mr Howard said Australia would not agree to follow the EU's lead and impose
immediate sanctions to pressure the Mugabe government into holding new

"I would not expect Australia to be imposing those and clearly it is a
decision for other countries as to what they do," he said.

"As far as the future of Zimbabwe is concerned I think the combined effect
of what's been announced today will be to set up processes and pressures
that can possibly deliver change and reform."
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Justice for Mugabe
(Filed: 20/03/2002)

JOHN HOWARD, the prime minister of Australia, deserves the congratulations
of lovers of freedom and democracy everywhere. He is the chairman of the
troika of Commonwealth leaders - the others are Thabo Mbeki, president of
South Africa, and Olusegun Obasanjo, president of Nigeria - who announced
yesterday that Zimbabwe was to be barred from attending meetings of the
Commonwealth for a year.

Two other options were available to the three men: they could have confined
themselves to issuing a statement condemning Robert Mugabe for his
disgraceful conduct of the recent elections; or they could have ordered the
full suspension of Zimbabwe's membership of the Commonwealth. As it was,
they went for the middle way.

Our own instincts would have been to expel Zimbabwe altogether and to issue
a statement spelling out that it could not be re-admitted to the
Commonwealth while Mr Mugabe continued to hold power. But we accept that,
African politics being what they are, Mr Howard probably achieved the
toughest action that was politically possible. As he himself put it, the
decision taken by his troika was "at the more severe end of the options
available to us".

Our strongest criticism is of the language in which Mr Howard chose to
express his disapproval of Mr Mugabe's conduct of the elections. "The
conditions in Zimbabwe did not adequately allow for a free expression of
will by the electors," he said. That deserves to go down as the
understatement of the decade.

His phrase "the conditions in Zimbabwe" covers a two-year reign of terror,
in which Mr Mugabe's political opponents have been murdered, raped and
beaten. It covers elections in which polling stations were deliberately
closed to prevent people from voting, and voters in the countryside were
subjected to a systematic campaign of violence and intimidation. No, these
conditions did not "adequately allow for a free expression of will". They
were an affront to democracy.

Zimbabwe's suspension from the councils of the Commonwealth will be reviewed
in 12 months' time. If Mr Mugabe is still in charge then, the country must
be expelled altogether.

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U.S. criticizes African tolerance for Mugabe

WASHINGTON, March 19 — The United States criticized some African countries
on Tuesday for their tolerance for what Washington says were unfair
presidential elections in Zimbabwe earlier this month.

       ''We are somewhat disappointed that some African countries professing
to support and practice democratic values have turned a blind eye to the
blatant abuse of those values which occurred during the Zimbabwean polls,''
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told a daily briefing.
       Boucher did not mention any names but the presidents of Malawi,
Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo attended
the inauguration on Sunday of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, the
declared winner.
       The spokesman was speaking before he had time to react to the
decision by a Commonwealth troika including the presidents of Nigeria and
South Africa to suspended Zimbabwe from the 54-nation organization for a
year in protest at the election.
       The United States has said that Mugabe's supporters used violence and
intimidation to win. President George W. Bush said Washington does not
recognize the outcome.
       The United States later on Tuesday added ''half a dozen'' names to
the list of members of the Zimbabwean ruling party banned from entry to the
       The White House put Mugabe and 19 close associates on the visa ban
list in February during the election campaign.
       Washington is considering further sanctions against Zimbabwean
leaders, possibly including freezing their assets, though it is unlikely
they still have any in the country.
       ''We are consulting closely with other governments to develop an
appropriate response to this major setback to democracy in Zimbabwe,''
Boucher said. ''Among the responses we're considering is using other
sanctions against those responsible for undermining democracy in Zimbabwe.''

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The Times

March 20, 2002

G8 meeting will put Mugabe to the test
by Michael Dynes

THE next key test of confidence in Mr Mugabe’s handling of the leadership of
Zimbabwe will come in June.
The meeting of the leaders of the G8 group of nations in Canada is due to be
presented with the so-called New Partnership for African Development

The Nepad calls on the West to invest some $70 billion (£50 billion) to help
to lift the African continent out of its economic malaise. The investment
appeal, of which President Mbeki of South Africa is the principle architect,
is predicated on a promise by African leaders to break with the past record
of economic decline, corruption and authoritarianism.

Instead, they are expected to make a collective commitment to multiparty
democracy, respect for the rule of law, good governance and policies to
promote economic growth.

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Commonwealth turns on Mugabe
By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor
(Filed: 20/03/2002)

THE Commonwealth humiliated President Mugabe yesterday by suspending Zimbabwe and calling for new elections.

African leaders in a Commonwealth committee meeting in London were forced to distance themselves from Mr Mugabe's tainted election "victory".

It was a surprising and serious reverse for Mr Mugabe, who had tried to play off "white" countries against "black" states.

Olusegun Obasanjo, John Howard and Thabo Mbeki after talks in London yesterday

As his problems mounted following the election controversy, Switzerland imposed further sanctions, including a freeze on any financial assets held by Zimbabwean government officials in Swiss banks.

A foreign ministry spokesman in Geneva said: "This decision is made in view of the manipulation of the presidential elections and human rights violations."

Although the Commonwealth's measures are mainly symbolic, they caused obvious pain in Harare where Mr Mugabe's associates called it a "bad decision".

But Zimbabwe will find it hard to brush off the ruling, which was taken by a committee composed of Africa's two biggest states, South Africa and Nigeria, together with Australia.

As Downing Street welcomed the move as a vindication of its policy and "absolutely the right thing to do", the Commonwealth said it would continue to seek "reconciliation in Zimbabwe between the main political parties".

The decision followed an election widely judged by outside observers to have been rigged. Many feel that Mr Mugabe's 56-42 per cent "victory" over the opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai would have proved impossible without the widespread use of fraud and violence.

Zimbabwe joins Fiji and Pakistan on a blacklist of countries "suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth", meaning that it cannot take part in any of the decision-making meetings of the 54-member organisation.

John Howard, Australia's prime minister, who presided over the "troika" of Commonwealth leaders that took the decision, said the suspension would be reviewed in a year.

The other members of his group were President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria.

Describing the move as being "at the severe end of the actions that were available to us", Mr Howard said the Commonwealth had salvaged its reputation.

"The meeting produced a sensible result," said Mr Howard. "It's a result that maintains the Commonwealth's credibility and consistency of action. I would like to see free, fair and totally democratic elections held as soon as possible."

The Commonwealth move came after a sharp U-turn from Mr Mbeki, >whose lieutenants had recognised the election as "legitimate" and congratulated Mr Mugabe.

Hours before the decision, Mr Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change, predicted that South Africa would block any attempt to suspend Zimbabwe, on the grounds that it was trying to encourage a dialogue between the MDC and the ruling Zanu-PF party.

However, Mr Mbeki, and to a lesser extent Mr Obasanjo, were forced to break ranks with Mr Mugabe by the unexpectedly tough wording of the Commonwealth election observers' report, which found that "the conditions in Zimbabwe did not adequately allow for a free expression of will by the electors".

Behind the scenes, Tony Blair spoke to Mr Mbeki to exert last-minute pressure on South Africa and to issue a veiled warning that the future of an ambitious plan to provide large-scale aid to Africa in return for economic and political reforms was at stake.

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said: "The Commonwealth has today spoken with one voice. The message could not be clearer, nor the messengers more significant.

"I welcome this decision. It follows as a natural and logical consequence from the damning reports of the Commonwealth observers."

As British officials praised Mr Howard for "playing a blinder", the Australian prime minister went out of his way to acknowledge the "constructive" attitude of Mr Mbeki and Mr Obasanjo.

But he did not deny the deep divisions had been difficult to overcome during the four hours of talks. Mr Mbeki pointedly declined to speak in public.

The Commonwealth decision shows all the signs of an uncomfortable compromise. Mr Howard refused to say whether he, or the leaders of South Africa and Nigeria, considered Mr Mugabe to be the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe.

The Commonwealth called for the international community to increase economic aid to stave off Zimbabwe's food shortages, and Mr Howard urged other countries not to impose further sanctions for the moment.

The European Union has imposed a travel ban on 20 senior members of Mr Mugabe's entourage and has frozen their assets. The United States has also imposed a travel ban, a move echoed by Switzerland in its hard-hitting statement last night.

Mr Mbeki and Mr Obasanjo seem intent on trying to promote a dialogue in Zimbabwe, which Mr Tsvangirai has ruled out while political violence continues.

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Tuesday, 19 March, 2002, 23:36 GMT
UK welcomes Zimbabwe decision
Leaders held talks in London
Leaders held talks in London
The decision to suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth for a year has been welcomed by UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

He said the move sent out a "clear" message to President Robert Mugabe who recently won his fifth term in power amid allegations of electoral intimidation.

It follows as a natural and logical consequence from the damning reports of the Commonwealth election observers

Jack Straw
The move came following a meeting between the leaders of South Africa, Australia and Nigeria in London.

They had been charged with deciding the Commonwealth's reaction to the elections in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram called for a new round of elections in the troubled African country.

He said that given the way the result was achieved it was important that the Commonwealth made it clear it was not prepared to accept a regime "which rode roughshod over all the principles of democracy on which the Commonwealth was founded".

"I think it's important to realise that this was a test for the Commonwealth and I would now like to see the EU strengthen its stance on sanctions on Zimbabwe," he told Sky news.

Prime Minister Tony Blair also welcomed the decision.

Down to Mugabe

"He clearly welcomes the decision by the Commonwealth troika and believes that it is absolutely the right thing to do," the prime minister's official spokesman said.

Robert Mugabe
The conduct of the election has been criticised
Mr Straw said that it was down to Mr Mugabe to show he was determined to follow a path of reconciliation after his failure to uphold the rule of law and abide by standards he had previously signed up to.

Although he added that it was "against expectation" that Zimbabwe's president would do so.

The Conservatives want Mr Straw to deliver a Commons' statement in the wake of the Commonwealth's decision.

South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo and Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced the suspension after talks at London's Marlborough House.

Mr Howard said that the elections were "marred by a high level of politically motivated violence" which had hampered the free expression of will of the electorate.


Mr Straw said: "In deciding to suspend Zimbabwe, the Commonwealth has today spoken with one voice.

"The message could not be clearer, nor the messengers more significant,"

"It follows as a natural and logical consequence from the damning reports of the Commonwealth election observers."

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