Assaulted MDC youth dies
3/20/02 7:57:08 AM (GMT
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
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
He said tenants renting one of his buildings had been ordered to
shop by the Zanu PF supporters. Chigonero said: “On Thursday last
came to my garage intending to demolish it but we resisted. They
a cardboard coffin with the words ŒRest in Peace Chigonero’
written on it
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.
youths approached us soon after we alighted from a commuter omnibus
Budiriro 5. They ordered us to chant Zanu PF slogans. My friend asked
slogan they meant. We were forced to sit down and chant Zanu PF
said the man, who refused to be identified for fear of
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.
lecturer tried to run away, one of the youths allegedly attempted
him on the head but he blocked the iron bar with his right hand,
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
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
Women’s Coalition rejects election results
7:58:57 AM (GMT +2)
The Women’s Coalition (WC),
an umbrella body of individual Zimbabwean women
and women’s non-governmental
organisations, has rejected the outcome of the
In a statement, they said women’s participation in the
political process had
been severely limited by the political climate of
and violence since the constitutional referendum in
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.
impact of this sexual violence will live with these women forever,
given the high levels of HIV/Aids,” the statement says. The WC
their members’ political participation was severely curtailed by
governing the election that were rushed through parliament in the
months which had the overall effect of violating women’s right
“In particular the requirements for registration were
instance, proof of residence, was made a requirement for
though it is well-known that documents such as utility
bills are registered
under the names of spouses,” the statement
It said an amendment to the Zimbabwe Citizenship Act dispossessed
their right to vote because of the laborious and expensive process
to renounce either their foreign citizenship or their parent’s
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
“The thrust of the Zanu PF presidential and parliamentary
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.”
says violation of women in the presidential campaign had been
the need to redress the imbalances of the past. But women had
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
Daily News - Letter
The most wicked fraud of all
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
I urge the MDC to refuse the “unity” that Mugabe is talking about
because that will just mark the end of the party that is trying to
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.
MDC, I say: Please do not look back; just keep fighting for the needy
you have risked your lives and chosen to stand for the people who in
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
30 face charges of interfering with election
8:11:36 AM (GMT +2)
Thirty people, mostly
farmers from the Raffingora area, are facing charges
of conspiring to
interfere with the electoral process in the presidential
to corrupt polling agents by offering them food, and
operating an illegal
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
This brings to 42 the number of people facing the same charges. On
12 Raffingora farmers were summoned to Banket Police Station to
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.
Hospital rationing patients’ food
3/20/02 8:10:35 AM
From Our Correspondent in Mutare
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
The fund is financed through fees paid for admission and drugs by
and other services. Dr Rashmikand Parekh, the medical
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
beef quantities from 50kg to 20kg, which is not enough to meet
needs,” said the source. Chicken has since been struck off
the menu, with
patients now being restricted to cabbages, milk, kapenta,
beans and beef.
War vet plot to hijack stayaway
3/20/02 7:55:22 AM (GMT
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
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
The strike, the first direct challenge to President Mugabe
controversial re-election last week in a poll widely believed to
rigged, has been blessed by the powerful Congress of South African
Unions (Cosatu), part of the ruling alliance in South
Moloto Mothato, Cosatu’s spokesperson, said yesterday: “The
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
Chinotimba said: “There is nothing like that. We don’t
play such dirty
games. We are mature politicians.” Meanwhile some shop owners
were yesterday frantically securing their premises in
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
Most shop owners said they would not open tomorrow to protect
businesses although most stayaways and strikes in Bulawayo have
Zimbabwe economy 'on its
economy has been brought to its knees amid the ongoing political
cannot recover on its own, according to economists, who doubt
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),
"We are not going to get assistance."
When asked to comment on
Mugabe's repeated calls for Zimbabwe to strive for
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.
stimulated growth but caused prices to skyrocket,
hurting the poorest
sections of the population and eventually leading to
IMF suspended disbursements in 1999, objecting to excessive
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.
violent land invasions were spearheaded by veterans of the
and continued with Mugabe's tacit approval even when courts
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
his campaign for re-election, Mugabe railed against former
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
Africa and other neighbours nervous over the possible ripple
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
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
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
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).
Zimbabwe suspension watershed for
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,
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.
least one must have sided with Australia's Prime Minister John Howard
reach Tuesday's decision, analysts said.
Ironically, both the countries
involved have themselves been either
suspended or expelled from the
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
Two years ago, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) voted to
country where a military regime takes power.
But this is
the first suspension of a country because of elections judged
"If what it means is that countries whose elections are not free
are going to be suspended from the Commonwealth and other
bodies it is a very welcome development for Africa," leading
democracy activist Clement Nwankwo said.
"For Africa, where
elections have long been contentious, it is a major step
Nwankwo, a lawyer jailed for campaigning for democracy under
"It sets a new bar, a new standard," he added, noting that "in
President Obasanjo has actually set a standard for the elections
here to be
met next year, as well as for Zimbabwe and other African
Dapo Olufade, news editor with the leading Nigerian newspaper
agreed it was a "good development for Africa", adding it was a
fellow African leaders to Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to
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
approaches... It is clear that Nigerians will not stand for
?Mugabelisation? of the electoral process here and he (Obasanjo) may
learnt one or two things from what is happening in Zimbabwe,"
More than a decade after the passage of most if not yet
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
Elections in the tiny west African nation of Togo a few years ago
considered so bad the European Union imposed sanctions.
the importance of the signal of African leaders siding with
supporters of real elections, within and outside the
Nevertheless, the suspension of Zimbabwe was expected to be
Mugabe loyalists, within Zimbabwe and around southern Africa,
because of his past record as an independence war hero and in part
of the stil strong sensitivity of all African leaders to any
'colonial' attitude in the West - of Europeans and Americans
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
In Nigeria, a major test will take place next year of the new
which Obasanjo is expected to play a key role and he himself
warned the elections are likely to be difficult.
for action to stop election violence and vote rigging, he declared:
people only vote without choosing because elections are rigged, and
politicians employ coercion instead of persuasion, such that fear
intimidation nullify free choice, then we have no reasons to expect that
populace will respect elected leaders and their offices."
The Age, Melbourne
Aust Senator says he will be haunted by Zimbabwe
CANBERRA, March 20 AAP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 4:57
A government observer of Zimbabwe's recent elections said he
haunted by images of the country as he gave an emotional speech in
Alan Ferguson (LP,SA) was one of an Australian
delegation of four to observe
the elections earlier this
Meeting many victims of political violence during the elections,
Ferguson said armed youths regularly attacked opposition
One victim had the initials of the opposition party, Movement
Change (MDC), carved into his back, he said.
victim was chained alive in a coffin and emersed into water and
with drowning while being repeatedly interrogated about the
local MDC operatives," he told the Senate.
He said no opposition
campaigning was allowed in the northern areas he
that have brought home from my two weeks in Zimbabwe as a member
Commonwealth observer group will continue to haunt me," Senator
He said the election failed to meet the three basic tenants
of a democratic
election process of freedom from violence, freedom of
association and freedom of association
background, I have never met so many brave people, both black
and white, who
are determined to fight for their democratic rights against
odds," he said.
Senator Ferguson also criticised fellow delegate,
opposition foreign affairs
spokesman Kevin Rudd, for comments in The Bulletin
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
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
The decision, taken by Mr Howard and presidents Thabo Mbeki of
and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, followed a report by
observers on the conduct of the poll.
Farm Invasions And Security Report
Tuesday 19 March,
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.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF
- 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
Rusape - Section 7's have been issued to Silverbow
Farm, Chimbe Farm, Chitora Farm. These were received on Saturday 16 March
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.
- 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
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
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
Tsatsi - Youths have been hijacking vehicles in the
area since Friday. Police and heads of the Zanu PF have promised to put an end
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.
– 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
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.
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.
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
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
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 control.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
- 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
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.
requested maize, this was refused.
Nengwa Settlers demanded to be given
access to the cottage to live in – this was refused
- 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
Harare South - Welmer On Friday youths were around
the fence all night.
Mashonda Two settlers came to inspect their plots – no
Auks Nest Settler numbers are building up.
MASHONALAND WEST (NORTH)
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!
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
A similar incident occurred at Rocklands Farm. Once again the
workers decided to work regardless.
At Mlichi Farm, cattle have been
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
- 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
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
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
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
No report received.
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ANC: 'Package of reconciliation'
Johannesburg - The ANC on Tuesday cautiously accepted Zimbabwe's
from the councils of the Commonwealth, calling it a "package
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"
ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama said the "package"
will create an
opportunity for Zimbabweans to extricate themselves "from a
"We say that this decision will assist
Zimbabweans to put themselves in a
position of economic recovery."
said Commonwealth countries like Australia should persuade other
countries to reconsider their stance of economic sanctions against
The United States, the European Union and Switzerland have all
targeted sanctions against the Zimbabwean government.
all South Africans and Zimbabweans together with the Southern
Development Community (SADC) to support the "package".
"We call on the
Zimbabweans to remain united in creating a stable
Most South African political parties and the
opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) were more forthcoming in
their praise of the
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
"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
Democratic Alliance chairperson Joe Seremane said:
"if suspension is a way
of averting civil strife in Zimbabwe, then it is a
Seremane said a government should protect all its citizens,
their political allegiance and the Zimbabwean authorities had
failed to do
"One death (in an election) is too
Seremane said the SADC parliamentary observer team had spelled out
irregularities they had observed in the election.
New National Party foreign affairs spokesperson Boy Geldenhuys said his
thought that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) "should
suit" after its parliamentary observer forum made the same finding as
The SADC parliamentary forum was "the most
significant of all observers of
the Zimbabwean election," he said.
"did not mean much" if the Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe, as this could
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,"
The Freedom Front also welcomed the
suspension, saying the recent
presidential poll should now be declared
"This should not be the final step - this should be the
first step which
should culminate in the election being declared null and
spokesperson Pieter Mulder.
"It should lead to the process
of fresh elections under internationally
supervised conditions," he
Pan Africanist Congress MP Patricia de Lille said the
suspension would not
impact on the situation in South Africa's
"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
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
Mbeki and Obasanjo for turning their backs on Mugabe.
"It is a pity that
they turned against Mugabe after their observer mission
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.
The Age, Melbourne
Highlights of Commonwealth statement on
LONDON, March 19 AFP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 6:51
The Commonwealth agreed today to suspend Zimbabwe for one year
tainted election that returned President Robert Mugabe to power.
the main points of the statement, read out by Australian Prime
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
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
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
currently in Zimbabwe, especially the shortages of food.
noted the reference in the Commonwealth Observer Group report
reconciliation being a priority and that the Commonwealth should
this process, and requested the president of Nigeria and the
South Africa to continue to actively promote the process of
Zimbabwe between the main political parties and to appoint
representatives to remain engaged with all the parties concerned
The committee decided to suspend Zimbabwe from the councils of
Commonwealth for one year with immediate effect. This issue will
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
In line with the Abuja agreement and the Coolum statement,
stated that land is at the core of the crisis in Zimbabwe and
separated from other issues of concern, and the Commonwealth will
to assist Zimbabwe to address the land issue and to help in its
recovery in co-operation with other international agencies. The
requested the Commonwealth secretary general to remain actively
with the United Nations Development Program in promoting
equitable and sustainable measures for land reform in
Christian Science Monitor
Zimbabwe farmers brace for further land
President Mugabe's land-grab campaign again turned violent over
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
Farmers Union (CFU). "Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be
way. Farmers are thinking long and hard about their
Ford had been prevented from farming for the past two years,
government served notice that it intended to seize his land and
is a situation 98 percent of Zimbabwe's 3,500 commercial farmers
the land seizures began in 2000, hundreds of farmers have left.
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
When British colonist Cecil Rhodes conquered the region
Rhodesia), white settlers staked out plots for themselves and
began to farm
commercially. That crushed the black communal farming
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.
much doubt that there is a single farmer in this country who does
that there is a need for land reform – and if there is, they don't
here," says Mr. Goosen. "But let's do it properly. The money was
the farmers were in agreement, the government and the
seemed happy.... Then the opportunity was thrown
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,' "
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
last year. "They've all gone, and settlers have moved on to
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
Farmer Alex Goosen – Peter's cousin – has diversified since his
farm was invaded. He now owns a butchery and an engineering
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
The Age, Melbourne
McKinnon says Zimbabwe must reform
CANBERRA, March 20 AAP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 8:37
Zimbabwe would have to prove it had overhauled its electoral
it could be reinstated to the Commonwealth, Secretary-General
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
Mr McKinnon said the decision was based on the assumption there
some reconciliation with political parties on the ground in
"That suspension can only be lifted if there is real progress
on the ground
across a wide range of activities," he told ABC
"The whole electoral structure and the whole electoral process has
changed, there are very firm recommendations about that, and we would
that they would take that very seriously."
Mr McKinnon said all
Commonwealth countries had delegated their
responsibility to the three-member
"We all knew that what we wanted out of this was not to make life
Zimbabwe a lot worse but, at the same time, be able to indicate the
displeasure of Commonwealth leaders over the conduct of the
The Age, Melbourne
Aust PM says Australian wants new elections in
CANBERRA, March 20 AAP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 10:16
Prime Minister John Howard today said he would like to see a
presidential election held in Zimbabwe following its suspension from
Zimbabwe has been suspended from the Commonwealth
for a year after a
committee of leaders headed by Prime Minister John Howard
elections earlier this month were neither free nor fair.
no sanctions have been imposed on the 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
observers on the conduct of the poll.
Mr Howard said
Zimbabwe needed electoral reform and ideally,
"Australia would like to see another election held
circumstances as soon as possible," he told ABC
"That of course will depend upon the will and the behaviour and
of the different political forces within Zimbabwe."
Mr Howard said the most important thing was that the leader's troika
adopted a consistent approach to anti-democratic action and embraced
recommendations of that group for electoral reform.
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
"But you've got to remember that I was dealing with two men whose
to democratic principles has been tested by fire in a way that
in the Australian experience wouldn't understand.
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
not expect Australia to be imposing those and clearly it is a
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."
Justice for Mugabe
HOWARD, the prime minister of Australia, deserves the congratulations
lovers of freedom and democracy everywhere. He is the chairman of the
of Commonwealth leaders - the others are Thabo Mbeki, president of
Africa, and Olusegun Obasanjo, president of Nigeria - who announced
that Zimbabwe was to be barred from attending meetings of the
for a year.
Two other options were available to the three men: they could
themselves to issuing a statement condemning Robert Mugabe for
disgraceful conduct of the recent elections; or they could have ordered
full suspension of Zimbabwe's membership of the Commonwealth. As it
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.
phrase "the conditions in Zimbabwe" covers a two-year reign of terror,
which Mr Mugabe's political opponents have been murdered, raped and
It covers elections in which polling stations were deliberately
prevent people from voting, and voters in the countryside were
subjected to a
systematic campaign of violence and intimidation. No, these
not "adequately allow for a free expression of will". They
were an affront to
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.
U.S. criticizes African tolerance for
WASHINGTON, March 19 — The United States criticized some
on Tuesday for their tolerance for what Washington says
presidential elections in Zimbabwe earlier this
''We are somewhat disappointed that some African countries
to support and practice democratic values have turned a blind eye
blatant abuse of those values which occurred during the Zimbabwean
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told a daily
Boucher did not mention any names but the presidents of
Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo
the inauguration on Sunday of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe,
The spokesman was speaking before he had time
to react to the
decision by a Commonwealth troika including the presidents of
South Africa to suspended Zimbabwe from the 54-nation
organization for a
year in protest at the election.
States has said that Mugabe's supporters used violence and
win. President George W. Bush said Washington does not
The United States later on Tuesday added ''half a dozen''
the list of members of the Zimbabwean ruling party banned from entry
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
possibly including freezing their assets, though it is unlikely
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.''
March 20, 2002
G8 meeting will put Mugabe to the
by Michael Dynes
THE next key test of confidence in Mr
Mugabe’s handling of the leadership of
Zimbabwe will come in June.
meeting of the leaders of the G8 group of nations in Canada is due to
presented with the so-called New Partnership for African
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
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.
Commonwealth turns on
By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic
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
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
Although the Commonwealth's measures are mainly symbolic, they
caused obvious pain in Harare where Mr Mugabe's associates called it a "bad
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
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
"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
The Commonwealth move came after a sharp U-turn from Mr Mbeki, >whose
lieutenants had recognised the election as "legitimate" and congratulated Mr
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
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
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.
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
Tuesday, 19 March, 2002, 23:36 GMT
UK welcomes Zimbabwe decision
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.
The move came following a meeting between the leaders of
South Africa, Australia and Nigeria in London.
It follows as a natural and logical consequence from the
damning reports of the Commonwealth election observers
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
"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
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.
The conduct of the election has been
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
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."