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

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Daily News

Commercial farmers in massive exodus to neighbouring countries

3/20/02 7:46:06 AM (GMT +2)

By Columbus Mavhunga

Zimbabwe has been rocked by a massive exodus of commercial farmers opting to
settle in neighbouring countries. The move can only deepen the crisis in the
agricultural sector.

Last week alone, 67 commercial farmers successfully applied to get
Mozambican visas to farm in Zimbabwe’s eastern neighbour, where the economy
and political climate are relatively stable.

The Mozambican High Commission in Harare this week confirmed that its office
had been inundated with commercial farmers who were interested in doing
business in their country. But the High Commission said figures could only
be released by Maputo.

Speaking from Maputo, an official in the Mozambican Ministry of Agriculture,
said: “We now have many Zimbabwean farmers who are farming here. We are
actually expecting winter crops from most of them.

“They have decided to settle in Manica Province, so that when things
normalise in your country they will come back. Last week alone 67 moved in
with some of their property.”

Commercial farmers have been on the receiving end since February 2000, when
Zimbabweans rejected a government-sponsored draft constitution,
after which war veterans occupied commercial farms.

So far the lives of 10 farmers have been claimed by the violent farm
invasions, while some farmers have had their property looted by the
invaders. Work stoppages on farms became the order of the day, resulting in
reduced yields of most crops.

The current maize shortages have been attributed to the work stoppages and
the departure of commercial farmers will further affect the food security
and the economy.

Commercial farmers account for most of the tobacco and wheat grown in the

Tobacco is the main foreign currency earner. The Commercial Farmers’ Union
(CFU) president, Colin Cloete, and his executive could not be reached for
comment as they were said to be in Mutare attending a CFU meeting until

“It is a disturbing development that some of our members are leaving the
country. That will affect our industry and the economy,” a CFU official
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Daily News

MDC rejects Mugabe offer on talks

3/20/02 7:58:00 AM (GMT +2)

Yesterday, Tsvangirai said his party had resolved, after a national
executive meeting, that Zanu PF was not honest and sincere with Mbeki and
Obasanjo over the conditions prevailing in the country.

“Mugabe has embarked on a massive retribution exercise in the rural areas
and at the same time has lied to Mbeki and Obasanjo that conditions for such
discussions do exist,” said Tsvangirai.

“The reports we are receiving from the rural areas are shocking.”
He said hundreds of his supporters were being displaced by Zanu PF’s massive
retribution exercise against people thought to have voted for the MDC.

As a result MDC offices across the country were slowly turning into refugee
camps, Tsvangirai said. He added that the lawlessness sweeping across the
country must be halted first if meaningful discussions were to take place
between the MDC and Zanu PF.

Besides, he said, the demonisation and undermining of confidence in the MDC
by the State media had to stop. Tsvangirai said his party would soon be
writing to Mbeki and Obasanjo, listing their demands and their position.

The MDC leader said his party supported the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions’ stayaway that begins today, since it reflected the workers’ anger
and disgust at the Zanu PF government.
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The Age, Melbourne

Zimbabwe: strike call largely ignored in Harare
HARARE, March 20 AFP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 6:19 PM

A general strike called by Zimbabwe's powerful trade union federation over
the country's electoral crisis was largely ignored today in Harare, where
business went on as usual.

Riot police were seen in poor black suburbs, but traffic was normal coming
in from the suburbs and the twin city of Chitungwiza, with commuter
minibuses packed as usual. Some workers were commuting by bicycle, while
many others unable to afford the minibus fare were walking.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) called a three-day national
strike in the wake of last week's widely condemned presidential election
that returned longtime ruler Robert Mugabe to power.

The stayaway's official purpose was to defend "workers' rights" and protest
"harassment of workers in the aftermath of the presidential election,"
according to ZCTU secretary general Wellington Chibebe.

But the action was seen as a more broad-based demonstration of displeasure
over Mugabe's tainted victory.

Union members form the core of support for losing candidate Morgan
Tsvangirai, formerly the head of ZCTU who now leads the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC).

In Harare today, the sprawling market in the working-class suburb of Mbare
was teeming as usual, and schoolchildren were seen heading to school.

Another familiar sight was that of people queueing up for food.

Dairibord Zimbabwe, one of the country's largest companies, was open, with
long queues of people waiting to buy milk, a commodity that has become
scarce in the current economic crisis.

Nearly 400 people were waiting in line outside a supermarket in Harare,
while in the industrial areas people were queueing for maize meal, the main
food staple, outside food depots and factories were churning out smoke and
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Times of India

Rwanda, DRC rebels deny links with Zimbabwe oppn

AFP [ TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2002  7:51:23 PM ]

IGALI: Rwanda and the rebel group it backs in the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) on Tuesday denied accusations by the Kinshasa government that
they had entered into a conspiracy with Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan

"The Rwandan government has never had contacts or a common plan with this
Zimbabwean opposition leader," Patrick Mazimpaka, Rwandan President Paul
Kagame's envoy to the Great Lakes, said.

"On the contrary, we have had contacts with the official authorities," he

On Monday, DRC foreign minister Leonard She Okitundu alleged "a branch of
the Congolese opposition, Rwanda, the (rebel) Congolese Rally for Democracy
and Morgan Tsvangirai" were involved in a plot to capture Lubumbashi, the
capital of the DRC's mineral-rich Katanga province.

The minister said that Tsvangirai had counted on defeating President Robert
Mugabe in Zimbabwe's presidential election earlier this month so he could
pull all of Zimbabwe's troops out of the DRC, where they are backing the
Kinshasa authorities.

"We have no reason to meddle in Zimbabwe's internal affairs," said

The Congolese Rally for Democracy (RDC) also insisted the accusations were

"The RCD has no common political plan with Tsvangirai and has never held
meetings with him," the rebel group's spokesman, Jean-Pierre Lola Kisanga,

"The president of our movement, Adolphe Onusumba, was received by President
Mugabe a month before the election," he added.

Mugabe, who beat Tsvangirai in the controversial election, has been one of
Kinshasa's strongest allies in the conflict that broke out in the former
Zaire in August 1998.

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The Age, Melbourne

Pressure must be kept on Mugabe, Smith
MELBOURNE, March 20 AAP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 7:16 PM

The Commonwealth must maintain pressure on the Zimbabwe's Mugabe government
to ensure democracy in the African nation, the country's last white leader,
Ian Smith, said today.

Mr Smith welcomed the Commonwealth's decision to suspend Zimbabwe for a year
at a meeting overnight after a troika of leaders chaired by Australian Prime
Minister John Howard ruled elections earlier this month were neither free
nor fair.

Mr Smith, a constant critic of Prime Minister Robert Mugabe since he was
ousted by the black leader in 1980, said he agreed with the decision.

"There's no doubt that the last election was rigged and had it been straight
(I) don't think there is any doubt the opposition would have won," he told
Melbourne radio 3AK (3AK) from Zimbabwe.

Mr Smith, 83, said it was now time for Mr Mugabe and the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change to work together for the good of the country and

"I don't think the government has any choice; I think they must not be given
a choice," he told interviewer former Victorian Liberal premier Jeff

"I hope and I believe that if the Commonwealth exerts enough pressure and
we've got the support of the United States and other countries, I think
there should be enough pressure to insist on this.

"Because what is the alternative for this government - they'll go down the

He said Commonwealth and other Western nations could now not ignore what
would happen in Zimbabwe.

"It's got to be monitored and this government has got to be made to realise
that they've got to abide by the conventions of western democracy, freedom,
justice," he said.

"(Other countries have) now got to insist these are implemented and I
believe there's hope."

Mr Smith voted for opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai, who had posed the
toughest challenge Mr Mugabe had faced at the ballot box.

Mr Smith was prime minister of Rhodesia when it was a British colony and
unilaterally declared independence from Britain in 1965. The ensuing
liberation war against white minority rule in the country, from 1972 to
1979, claimed at least 27,000 lives.

Under pressure from Britain, Mr Smith stepped aside to be replaced by
liberation war hero Mr Mugabe.

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" Subject: Personal Piece on Kerry Kay
  Yesterday was such a surreal day.  We went to a women's discussion group in the morning and   were addressed by Kerry Kay.  Kerry is the wife of Ian Kay, a farmer from Marondera.  The Kay   family one of the bravest.  During the general election 2 years ago, Ian was badly beaten for his     work for MDC. 
This has not stopped him.  They were forced off the farm for three months and have taken the govt to court and won.  They live with daily harrassment and have had their house looted and Ian, Kerry and   their son David have all been arrested at one time or another.  They have 3 children and an   adopted daughter.  Kerry has done an incredible amount of work for AIDS in Zim and also runs the     Farm Families Trust which helps with displaced and traumatised victims of the Governments land  policy.
    She speaks very very well.  Her talk was on how she copes with her life etc.  She was arrested at    her home last Sunday.  The cops arrived there and were very aggressive.  Kerry said she had a    bit of an argument with them but they insisted.  Only her son David was home and she managed     to tell him to follow the open cop truck.  They were accusing her of making petrol bombs, I ask   you.  They did not take the main road to Marondera but drove through the communal lands and     at one stage she thought they may be taking her to a Zanu-PF election rally as the prize to be     held up and publicly abused.  She said a few of the cops were either drunk or on marijuana She spoke of her fear of violence which has intensified since Ian was beaten so badly and her terror at wondering if she was going to be raped or beaten and said she prayed so hard.
At the cop shop she was made to sit on the floor and wait in the holding section while they went out to argue with David who had by then arrived. David was making as much noise about it as possible.  He had managed to get through to some farmers and the election monitors were on their way.
Kerry's words were: "Well you know I have a voice like a foghorn and I sing very badly.  So I was sitting on that filthy floor asking God to help me because I was terrified.  So I started singing Psalm 23 as loud as I could.  I don't know if it was God helping or whether they thought my voice was so bad, but they left David and came back to start interrogating me."
When the monitors arrived, the police denied accusing her of making petrol bombs and said they were questioning her in connection with house breaking.  She was eventually released at about 6.30 that evening and on the way home, David took the road through the farm compound.  Kerry said please, she just wanted to get home but David said they had to as the labourers were beside themselves with concern for her.  They all came running out crying, to hold her hand and check that she was OK.
This was how her whole talk was - and she never faltered - Barbs and I were in tears the whole way.  How blessed we have been not to have to cope with the persecution that that family has had to bear. When speaking about how they trashed their house, she said that they were so LUCKY because it was not like the Doma trashings - the house itself was not damaged.  She then spoke about her precious things from her Mum and Gran that were gone.  Especially a half bottle of perfume of her Mum's that she kept on her dressing table and used to smell to get the scent of her Mum back.  And about the things belonging to Lindsay's parents that she had kept for Lindsay to use in her own house one day.  All gone.  The other son's beloved horse was so mutilated they had to shoot it.  This son was the strongest and most spiritual of all the children and Kerry said that, after she made him go to counselling (reluctantly), he admitted that he had been suicidal.  She said that was what makes her so angry!  That her children have been forced to go through unspeakable horrors and been helpless, and in fact harrassed, by the people supposed to be protecting them.
When they had to move off the farm for those three months, she was sitting on some rocks down on the south coast watching the children swim and knew she had reached the end.  She said to God that she could not cope any more and had no more strength and needed His help." She said an incredible peace came over her.  She says since that day she has come to realise that God only gives you the hardships you can bear.  She said "Use all your precious things everyday - don't keep them for special occassions. Make every day a special occassion." She told us that the day before she had visited a man in hospital who had had MDC carved into his back with a screwdriver.
What an inspiration she was.  I can honestly say, she is the best speaker I have heard.  She finished with that poem " I asked God for strength, He gave me hardships etc..."
After the meeting I had to get some things in Karoi.  Most of you have been shopping there with me and you can imagine the bustle as it was the 1st of the month.  Not a single drop of milk, sterimilk, condensed milk or a grain of milk powder in Karoi.  Mel Barnes tried 9 supermarkets in Harare for milk - none available.  The shortages are all starting to compound themslves.  No maize for stockfeeds + dairy herds being slaughtered because of farm invasions = no dairy products or baby formula.  No maize = greater demands for bread = the wheat reserves are being used up much faster than anticipated (60% more has been used than at this time last year.) No maize for stockfeed = no food for chickens = no eggs, temporary glut of chicken meat due to slaughtering, then shortage.  Same for pork.  Sugar estates have been shut down = no sugar = no cooldrinks and, even worse, BEER will be short.
The Farmers Co-op supermarket had to shut their doors.  They had received a precious load of sugar and there was such a big mob queueing up that they were letting only a few people in at a time.  Ouside Venod's supermarket there was a HUGE black billy goat which has been walking around Karoi for weeks - no-one will touch it - people are very superstitious unexplained black goats.  This goat apparently wanders in and out of all the shops etc. Anyway he took offence at an advertising sign for Tel-One - one of those things on a frame that spins round in the wind.  The goat was BELLOWING and butting the sign which was spinning like mad.  Nicky Blyth was standing there amongst the blacks watching it and she said in this voice of absolute exasperation "Will you just look at this?  If someone had to take a photo of the sugar queue and the goat and us standing looking at the goat, they would want to know what the hell we are doing fighting to stay in a place like this!!" The one guy said with a smile (in shona) to his mate " Well maybe the goat also wants sugar!".
In the afternoon the papers arrived.  We have been distributing independant newspapers on the farms and the surrounding communal area three times a week.  The MDC ad campaign has been brilliant.  They have a set of ads depicting what has happened to our money.  e.g.  the top line shows a picture of a second hand peugeot, an equals sign and $1500 in big letters. The next line shows a one way Bulawayo/Harare bus ticket, an equals sign and $1500 in big letters.  Another shows 12 loaves of bread = $10 and the next line shows 5 slices of bread = $10.  The papers also have shona articles on voter education etc.  Well yesterday we got a bonus.  A donation of 5000 copies of this weeks Independant Newspaper on top of the usual Daily News.  My dining room looks like the basement of a printing house. Unfortunately the papers carried the news that the Supreme Court upheld the new draconian legislation, overruling the high court which had decided that you had the right to vote anywhere in the country since this is a Presidential not a General election.  Now everyone has to vote in their constituencies including the people monitoring the polling stations and the tens of thousands who have been displaced or have fled their homes due to violence.
Truly a day to remember!" 

From Kerry
"- for your information. It is now Sunday and we still don't   know what has happened to our home and animals. Have asked the SPCA to  rescue our four dogs and two cats if they are still alive.
"  .........involved are none other than Wilfred Marimo (on bail for all the other   crimes against us over the past 30 months!) and Godwin Ganda (an war vet   from Muveve in Sosve communal area next to our farm).  "
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ZIMBABWE: Persecution continues - NGOs

JOHANNESBURG, 20 March (IRIN) - The persecution of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters in Zimbabwe has continued following President Robert Mugabe's election victory, IRIN was told on Wednesday.

Francis Lovemore, medical director of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Amani Trust, told IRIN: "There's an enormous amount of persecution (of MDC supporters). (There's) a witch-hunt for people who voted MDC. Whole areas are on the run - a community of about 3,000 people who are unable to remain at home. About 1,200 MDC polling agents, who were registered to monitor for the MDC, are unable to stay at home, they are on the run."

In its political violence report for the period 1-15 March, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (ZimRights) noted that "the majority of violators have been supporters of the ruling party ZANU-PF, state agents and war veterans". Apart from reported cases of politically motivated murders and abductions are incidents of rape.

Lovemore said: "The victims of the violence are being forced to commit sexual acts, homosexual or heterosexual. It is being used as a form of torture."

ZimRights said its report detailed "politically motivated violence reported in the period directly before, during and after the March poll".

"Contrary to the impression given by the state that there were no incidents of violence during the actual polling days, the Human Rights Forum recorded more than 24 incidents of politically motivated violence in this period and on the extended polling day of 11 March," ZimRights said.

The forum alleged that since 1 March four politically motivated executions were perpetrated, bringing to 35 the number of politically motivated killings since the beginning of the year. They alleged that 46 people had been unlawfully detained (72 since the beginning of the year) and that 50 people had been abducted (175 since 1 January).

The NGO alleged there had been 187 cases of torture, bringing the total to 453 up to 15 March this year.

Meanwhile, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who was formally charged with treason on Wednesday, has dismissed the attempt to prosecute him. Tsvangirai told IRIN: "The position is that this is ongoing political harassment and that we are not going to be (distracted) from our thrust. We are going to go ahead."

Tsvangirai was charged for alleged involvement in a plot to assassinate Mugabe, which he has denied.

Lovemore said she was relieved that the Commonwealth had on Tuesday suspended Zimbabwe from the body for a year. The Commonwealth took the decision to suspend Zimbabwe after it received a damning report on the March presidential election from its observer team.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Australian Prime Minister John Howard had been tasked with deciding what action the Commonwealth should take if the report was adverse. Lovemore said: "The message (sent by the suspension) was desperately important."

A national stayaway called for by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions to protest the election result has not resulted in the expected shutdown of major centres. "A high percentage of people were at work," Lovemore said.


Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11 447-5472
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I am a white Zimbabwean who was born in this country, as were my parents. I
do not have any claim to any other citizenship in the world. Unlike most of
my white country folk I do not have anywhere else to go and I do not want to
leave my country and the people both black and white that I love.

This week I have had countless black friends, colleagues and employees
literally break down and weep over the result of this election. I have been
a political activist for the past 2 years. Now I speak to you all with a
desperate plea from my shattered heart over the terrible news of having
Mugabe rule us for six more, tyrannical years. We cannot survive three more
months. As just an ordinary, peace loving person I cannot understand, like
many of my countrymen many things.

Do not believe for a moment that the rural people voted for Mugabe. They
simply did not vote so Mugabe's men did for them. Quite easy when you have
arranged that there is no MDC representation at 42% of polling booths, so
there is no check on the boxes. The road to the polling station is lined
with militia (with red berets) And the CIO are conducting things their way.
There was a large element of his terror tactics working, mentioned later in
this document. How do you explain an 80% poll anywhere in the world but they
managed it in Mashonaland East. The area of greatest intimidation in
Zimbabwe. That means they had to process 14 votes per minute. I voted in one
of the more efficient urban stations and by the time a voter was checked off
the voters roll, had is I D checked been given his ballot paper, had it
explained how to fold it, mark it and a present it to the polling officer
the entire process took approximately 1 person per minute.

Why can't the international human rights bodies, governments, United Nation,
Commonwealth do more to help us?. You have talked and talked - we need
drastic action. As with Hitler, is the world going to continue to talk to
this maniac. Are you in 50 years time still going to be trying to charge him
and his cronies for human rights violations - are you going to continue to
turn another blind eye, or just verbally condemn what is going on but do
nothing. Isn't the 1980's Gukurahundi enough evidence of ethnic cleansing to
demand more than talk - now twenty years later!! Why would sanctions worry a
man who has absolutely no moral fibre at all. The international community's
handling of this man is like a mother with a spoilt brat throwing tantrums
and the mother feeding it sweets in the hope it will shut up and behave. As
soon as the mother's back is turned the child taunts her.

Sanctions won't worry them because you can be sure they will have so much
money hidden away under other names you don't worry them. I doubt it is even
bothering them that their children have to leave their universities. You
also gave them so much warning of your sanctions they have had ample time to
make a plan.

I know it is not international policy to interfere in the courts and laws
and running of another country but surely the time has come now to change
that before we have a million dead Zimbabweans. You can only play by the
rules if both sides know them. Thus there is no point in suggesting a
coalition government because Mugabe does not even listen to the parliament
he has, having bought a comfortable majority of ministers on his gravy
train. People who have already seen enough of their colleagues killed in
mysterious car accidents because they tried to be brave and speak out. There
is no point in taking this to court in Zimbabwe because he has fixed that
with bought judges. Funny that some of his new judges are suddenly the
owners of lovely new farms!!!

You know he stole the majority in parliamentary elections rigging 30 seats
that were rightfully MDC and what have the by-elections of those likely to
bring but more rigging and deaths. We are as helpless as the Jews were in
the concentration camps and I can promise you much of the 'seen support' for
ZANU PF is poor innocent people being led to believe they will live and see
their starving children fed. Do not underestimate the power of the gods in
the beliefs of the black man. Mark my words they have used these evil powers
fully. Can you imagine, as a small child, seeing your parents and brothers
and sisters being herded into a hut and burnt to death (just close you eyes
for a minute and hear the screaming). Now 15 years later as a young adult a
troop of the same terrifying men in the same red berets arrive and at gun
point march you to a polling station. I defy anyone to take anything but the
line of peaceful resistance. I know because in 1982 I was marched off into
the bush with my sister at gun point whilst I left my 6 month old baby in
the car being prodded by a man in a red beret with his bayonet. We were very
lucky and were rescued but I can assure you there is no fear like it.

Ask the BBC for a copy of the film shown on Sunday 13 March at 8.05pm.
Panaroma called "The Price of Silence" Look at your pompous High
Commissioners and Foreign Diplomats, with the hot potatoes in their mouths.
I quote their interviews on this film "Reports of FAIRLY brutal" "It is a
pity", "Reports rather blown up" "Steer clear of it" "Not risk a row with"
"Use quiet diplomacy" "We talk nicely to them but they wouldn't listen so we
left and DID NOTHING". The Foreign Office told Prince Charles "It was all
exaggerated". The Deputy High Commissioner "We condemn it but have no right
to interfere" "It was a side issue" Shame on all of you, people like you,
share the blood on Mugabe's hands. How can you comment "it's a pity" as if a
child spilt the milk, when, in fact, a bunch of hired, carefully trained
maniacs brutally cut the foetuses out of pregnant women's stomachs. I'm sure
if it was your wife "it's a pity" would hardly be your comment. How DARE YOU
comment so pompously when 10's of thousand of the most innocent people in
this world were and still are being massacred. 'Wake up' this man has no
morals. Listen to people like Bishop Pius Ncube and please protect him, he,
above all people needs to be awarded a bravery award of the highest level.
When ARE YOU going to arrest Perence Shiri for his crimes against humanity
like you have done with Milosovic.

Mugabe is worse than Hitler because he leaves the maimed behind to serve as
a constant reminder to the rest of the village of what he is capable of.
Death from his wrath comes to the lucky ones. There are thousands of
reports, all documented by the Amani Trust for anyone who has the gut to
read even a portion of it. Your silence is deafening. Why can't one of you
arrest this man, and charge him in an international court of justice for
human rights violations. After all he has ordered rape, murder, burnt our
houses, stolen land for his people (I don't mean his recent redistribution
but the farms taken from farmers as far back as the 1980's) and given it to
his cronies instead of the people who have waited 20 years for him to
deliver. Land that now stands derelict and unused. If we could see that land
given to the people was producing food for the people, farmers would happily
give more and help poor peasant farmers get started. What is the point
needs, sanitary towels (Yes let your imagination
run wild, HIV etc), soap, toothpaste, toilet paper. So a prison sentence for
any woman is a death sentence. You are given two small bowls of maize
porridge with a small raw leaf of rape a day. There are 20 people in cells
designed to house six. To sleep you have to all turn over at the same time.
Does this not ring a few bells of Germany in the war!!!! And they all come
equipped with their own torture chambers. Bear in mind that many people are
in prison at the moment are only guilty of 'love of his country'. I keep
toilet paper, toothpaste and soap in my bag all the time. What a joke they
probably wouldn't let me keep it anyway.

Please do not insist on another election and then let Mugabe run it. The
evidence is all there, how this election was mastermind of rigging. Why didn
't the international community insist that SADCC run these elections. We
have to have Perspex ballot boxes, that are held outside the country until
the day before and watched from the minute they arrive here. Ballot papers
need to be printed by an independent body and the layout, colour of paper
etc kept absolutely secret until the minute the first voter arrives. There
needs to be an army of well-trained observers to ensure that the
pre-election groundwork is not carefully orchestrated long before monitors

Start looking now (especially South Africa) for observers who have some guts
and will go out to rural areas and actually see for themselves the villages
surrounded by militia, instead of sipping Gin and Tonic in your hotel then
ambling off to an urban, low density polling station at 4.00 in the
afternoon. There were more than enough people around to show you where to
look!! What? were you on some sort of sight seeing safari!!

Mr Mudede's voters roll is a joke. My name appeared twice (lucky me!!!) and
my deceased sister is still on there. No doubt the Zanu PF supporters
(leaches) probably appear 6 times each. Mind you I suppose if I saw my
children starving before my eyes I might be inclined to go to rallies and
chant songs and beat up a few people on the way for five hundred dollars a
day and a bag of unobtainable mealie meal. We should all be allowed to vote

if we have any form of Zimbabwe identification - even someone who has only
just got his Zimbabwean residency has a concerned interest in how he is
ruled. Why can't Zimbabwean's living outside this country vote when they are
probably economic exiles who long to come back to live here. They probably
have a bigger concerned interest in the recovery of their country because
they are prisoners elsewhere.

South African's it's time for you to ask questions about how this affects

Your state funds last week provided a very luxurious holiday in the Sheraton
hotel in Harare for your hand picked observers, nice and safe and far away
from any real trouble.
What is your president's agenda with his quiet open support of Mugabe and
quite obviously your observers were primed to find this election 'free and
fair' to suit some other political agenda.
Have you ever asked, which is your right, for an audit of Sasol and Eskom's
Zimbabwean debt. Somebody is paying for it and it sure as hell isn't us. Are
you happy that you continue to pay my electricity and fuel bills? Note that
NOCZIM paid the hotel bills for Mugabe's militia staying in the top Harare
hotels before and during the elections - Money that should be going towards
paying the ever-increasing debt to South Africa.
Above all else you need to consider that if your president continues to turn
a blind eye and his observers can blatantly ignore what is happening in
Zimbabwe , what is his future plan for South Africa.
What can you do??

Send this to anyone you know who would be remotely interested in Zimbabwe
and ask them to sent it to their M.P/senator anywhere in the world and ask
them to take it to parliament. Send it to anyone you know who has connection
with The Hague, U.N., E.U., NATO, SADCC, Commonwealth.
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The Age, Melbourne

Aust PM Howard calls for sanity over Zimbabwe arrests
LONDON, March 20 AAP|Published: Thursday March 21, 6:35 AM

The Australian and British governments today appealed for sanity in Zimbabwe
following the arrest on treason charges of Opposition Leader Morgan

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said he was disturbed by the arrest,
which came after Zimbabwe's suspension from the councils of the Commonwealth

"To my way of thinking and I think to the way of thinking of the whole
Commonwealth, any notion of prosecution of the opposition leader in Zimbabwe
is quite inimical to the prospect of national reconciliation," Mr Howard
told reporters.

"I would hope that wiser, saner, more intelligent counsel prevails and that
the influence that I do know that the president of South Africa and the
president of Nigeria have on the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe will be brought
to bear."

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he had hoped that the Commonwealth
suspension would send a strong message to President Mugabe.

"The news this morning of the further detention of Morgan Tsvangirai on
treason charges suggests that this message has still yet to get across," Mr
Straw said.

But he said it was clear from Mugabe's attempts over the past year to avoid
Commonwealth censure that he had been worried from the start about being
isolated from the Commonwealth.

Mr Straw dismissed as preposterous claims that South African president Thabo
Mbeki had only agreed to suspend Zimbabwe after being threatened with the
loss of British aid to an African development project.

"I think the last person to respond to any such unacceptable pressure would
have been President Mbeki," he said.

Mr Howard said while he could not comment on any discussions between the
British and South African governments, Mr Mbeki did not appear to be
operating under any coercion at the meeting to decide Zimbabwe's fate.

"The atmospheric to me at that meeting yesterday didn't suggest for a moment
that South Africa was acting under pressure. Mbeki to me yesterday was not a
man acting under pressure. Far from it," he said.

Mr Howard said the most important thing now was to get on with electoral
reform in Zimbabwe.

"Unless you have those changes made, the next election in Zimbabwe will run
the risk of being as bad as the last one and will run the risk of having no
greater credibility than the last one," he said.

"Zimbabwe has been playing out of bounds as far as democratic practices are
concerned for a very long time and that's got to change."

By Maria Hawthorne
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Violence continues in Zimbabwe after poll-report

HARARE, March 20 — Supporters of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe have
embarked on ''systematic reprisals'' against opposition activists after his
controversial re-election, Norway's observer mission said on Wednesday.

       In their final report after the March 9-11 poll, the Norwegians
reiterated their view that the elections failed to meet a number of key,
broadly accepted criteria of fairness and were conducted in a climate of
intimidation and violence.
       Violence continued after the poll, said the report, whose publication
on Wednesday coincided with the start of a three-day general strike in
Zimbabwe. Also on Wednesday, defeated presidential hopeful Morgan Tsvangirai
was charged with treason.
       ''It quickly emerged that (Mugabe's party) ZANU-PF supporters around
the country had embarked on systematic reprisals against opposition members
or supporters,'' the head of the Norwegian team, Kare Vollan, said in the
       Vollan said the fact that the list of polling agents had been
published in national newspapers before the vote made it easy to target
those belonging to Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
       ''Numerous cases of assault, beating, torture, looting, arson and at
least one killing of a suspected MDC supporter were reported to observers in
the first few days after the poll.''
       In most cases, those carrying out the reprisals had been able to
operate with impunity, the report said, adding that police conduct also gave
cause for alarm.
       A white farmer was shot dead on Monday but the police, who have
arrested four suspects, said the murder was not politically motivated.
       The Norwegians, who left Zimbabwe on March 17, were the largest
European observer group in Zimbabwe after the European Union withdrew its
team because Mugabe had excluded some EU member states.
       The Commonwealth of mainly former British colonies suspended Zimbabwe
on Tuesday for a year, condemning the election as not free and fair.

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The Age Melbourne

Namibia deplores Zimbabwe's suspension from Commonwealth
WINDHOEK, March 20 AFP|Published: Thursday March 21, 4:23 AM

Namibia today deplored the Commonwealth's decision to suspend Zimbabwe for
one year following March 9-11 presidential election which the 54-nation body
judged were rigged.

"Having closely followed developments in Zimbabwe ... the government of the
Republic of Namibia does not share the reasons given by the Commonwealth
troika (Australia, Nigeria and South Africa) for the suspension of
Zimbabwe," the ministry of foreign affairs, information and broadcasting
said a statement.

"It is a well known fact that some influential members of the Commonwealth
have determined the outcome of the results in favour of the opposition long
before the elections were held," the statement said.

The presidents of Nigeria and South Africa and the prime minister of
Australia made the decision to suspend Zimbabwe yesterday on behalf of the
Commonwealth after the organisation's observers concluded the poll had been
marred by violence, intimidation and suspect electoral practices designed to
benefit President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe was re-elected, extending his 22-year grip on power by a further six

The conclusion reached by the Commonwealth was shared by the Zimbabwean
opposition and much of the West but rejected by most African leaders.

"The one-year suspension can only be interpreted by the opposition as
support for their call for a rerun of the presidential elections," the
Namibian statement said.

It added that a three-day strike called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions with the support of the opposition "should be seen as part of a
strategy to destabilise the government of Zimbabwe".

"The government of the Republic of Namibia cannot subscribe to any course of
actions whose effect is to undermine the government of Zimbabwe and undo the
freely expressed will of the majority of the people of Zimbabwe to choose
their own leaders," it said.

The government of Namibia, which is itself a member of the Commonwealth, on
March 13 extended its "warmest congratulations" to Mugabe for his defeat of
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the polls.
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Mugabe vows more security for ''patriotic'' farmers

HARARE, March 20 — President Robert Mugabe has pledged to improve security
for Zimbabwe's embattled white farmers, just two days after one farmer was
shot dead by land invaders, state radio reported on Wednesday.
        The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) said Mugabe had made the
pledge during a meeting with business leaders, including farming officials,
called to discuss the southern African country's economic crisis.
       The ZBC said Mugabe, who won a controversial election last week that
is being fiercely contested by the opposition, had also told the meeting
that his government was prepared work with ''patriotic'' farmers.
       ''Comrade Mugabe assured all those present that the government is
willing to work with farmers who are patriotic, adding that security will be
beefed up on the farms,'' it said.
       Farmer Terry Ford was tied up and shot dead outside his homestead in
Norton, 40 km (25 miles) west of Harare early on Monday, by what the farming
community said were suspected self-styled war veterans of the 1970s
liberation struggle.
       This was the first attack on a white farmer since Mugabe beat off a
challenge by Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai
last week in a presidential election marred by violence and charges of vote
       Most Commercial Farmers Union members backed Tsvangirai, who had
promised to stop the illegal seizure of white-owned farms and to implement a
negotiated programme to advance black land ownership.
       Ford was the 10th white farmer to be killed since landless blacks
began seizing white-owned farms two years ago, backed by the government.
       Hundreds of farms have been abandoned in the face of the violent
occupations and many other farmers moved to the cities or out of the country
for the election, fearing violence.
       Mugabe said at his inauguration on Sunday said he would accelerate
the seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

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Wednesday, 20 March, 2002, 18:00 GMT
Mugabe rival charged with treason
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai outside the court in Harare
Mr Tsvangirai describes the move as 'harassment'
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been released on bail after being formally charged with treason in a court in the capital, Harare.

He was ordered to pay 1.5 million Zimbabwean dollars (around $27,000), and surrender deeds to property and his passport.

This particular appearance is just continued harassment of Mr Tsvangirai and senior members of his party

Defence lawyer Eric Matinenga
Mr Tsvangirai denies plotting to kill President Robert Mugabe, who defeated him in a presidential election 10 days ago that was marked by allegations of vote rigging and intimidation.

But Zimbabwe's Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, said that nobody was above the law - Mr Tsvangirai had to answer the charges against him.

The BBC's Barnaby Phillips says the charge destroys any immediate prospect of reconciliation between government and opposition.


The shadow lands and agriculture minister for Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Renson Gasela, was also charged with treason.

Mr Tsvangirai's deputy, Welshman Ncube, was charged and granted bail the day before the election, which Mr Mugabe officially won with 56% of the vote.

The three opposition politicians were ordered to appear in court on 30 April.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard - one of the Commonwealth leaders who announced Zimbabwe's suspension on Tuesday - had described the prosecution of the opposition leader as damaging to the process of reconciliation in the country.

And Mr Tsvangirai's lawyer, Eric Matinenga, described the court appearance as "continued harassment" and "a knee-jerk reaction to the events that unfolded yesterday in London".


Mr Tsvangirai's summons came after another Commonwealth leader, Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo, told the BBC that the governing and opposition parties in Zimbabwe had agreed to discuss a plan put forward by the Commonwealth to resolve the political crisis.

Robert Mugabe
Tsvangirai denies plotting to kill Mugabe
Mr Obasanjo said this envisaged setting up a coalition government to promote reconciliation, with a new election to be held at an unspecified future date.

UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he hoped a process of national reconciliation would develop during Zimbabwe's suspension.

"The news this morning of the further detention of Morgan Tsvangirai on these treason charges suggests that this message has yet to get across," he said.

Secret video

The treason charge against Mr Tsvangirai carries a possible death penalty.

The MDC leader says the charges, based on a videotape which purports to show him discussing the assassination of Mr Mugabe with a political consultant, were fabricated to try to remove him from the political scene.

The allegations against Mr Tsvangirai were made by a Canadian political consultancy, Dickens and Madson, headed by former Israeli intelligence officer and Mugabe lobbyist Ari Ben-Menashe.

But there have been suggestions the videotape was heavily edited.

Wednesday saw a lukewarm response to a call by Zimbabwe trade unions for a three-day general strike - the first public test of opposition support since the election.

Police have declared the action illegal.

It has been launched in protest at what the unions say is harassment of pro-opposition workers since Mr Mugabe won a fifth term of office.

It has been launched in protest at what the unions say is harassment of pro-opposition workers since Mr Mugabe won a fifth term of office.


Charge 'not political retribution'

Harare - The Zimbabwe government said on Wednesday the decision to charge
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai for treason - just hours after the
suspension of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth - was not an act of political

"Nobody ... is above the law and it is cheap politics for anybody to commit
crimes and seek refuge under allegation of political retribution,"
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo told reporters.

"Political retribution is not settled in a court of law. Political
retribution has nothing to do with legality," he said.

Tsvangirai and one his lawmakers, Renson Gasela, who is also the shadow
minister of lands and agriculture, were on Wednesday formally charged with
treason over an alleged plot to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

If found guilty they could face the death sentence.

The pair were summoned to a magistrate's court in Harare the day after the
54-nation Commonwealth announced in London it was suspending Zimbabwe for
one year, on the basis of a damning report on Zimbabwe's March 9-11
presidential vote by Commonwealth election observers.

Mugabe was declared victorious in the violence-scarred election, which was
widely seen as rigged.

The lawyer for Tsvangirai and Gasela described the decision by Mugabe's
government to hold the hearing Wednesday as "a typical knee-jerk reaction to
the events that unfolded yesterday in London."

"This particular appearance is just continued harassment of Mr. Tsvangirai
and senior members of his party," lawyer Eric Matinenga said.

But Moyo dismissed the opposition's complaints.

"The police must do their job without fear or favour. We don't believe they
are going to start arresting people for political reasons. They don't have a
record of doing that and they are not going to start now," he said.

"The allegations of plotting to assassinate a head of state are very
serious, very serious. Britain must take them seriously. America take them
seriously. We are not a banana republic, we also take them very seriously,"
he added. - Sapa-AFP
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Wednesday, 20 March, 2002, 03:43 GMT
Mugabe and unions on collision course
test hello test
By Joseph Winter
BBC News Online
Zimbabwe's trade unions have led opposition to President Robert Mugabe in recent years.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, ZCTU, was by far the most powerful group involved in the creation of the Movement for Democratic Change in 1999.

The MDC candidate who officially lost the recent presidential election, Morgan Tsvangirai, led the organisation until he entered the political arena.

Strike timeline
July 2001: Two-day strike over fuel price
August 2001: One-day strike over lawlessness
November 1998: One-day strike against price rises
March 1998: Two-day strike against tax rises
December 1997: Strike over tax rises
And it is no surprise to see that the ZCTU is in the forefront of the post-election protests.

"What we are doing has nothing to do with politics and it is purely about the infringements of our freedoms," ZCTU president Lovemore Matambo told the BBC's Network Africa.

He even said that the unions had supporters from both the ruling Zanu-PF party, as well as the MDC.

But the authorities will doubtless see the strike as a political move and the leaders may well be arrested if they do not back down.

'Act now'

A new security law gives the president the power to declare any strike illegal.

All public demonstrations - including protests by striking workers - now require prior police approval.


Under the same legislation, policemen walked into a meeting of ZCTU leaders last week and refused to leave, saying that it was a political meeting.

This incident sparked the strike and Mr Matambo says:

"If we don't act now, there is a high likelihood that there will be no labour movement in this country - and that is what the state is looking for."

He admits that the unions were also worried by what he called the "disenfranchisement" of urban workers during this month's election but denies that was why the strike was called.


As Zimbabwe's economy has gone into freefall in recent years, the unions have increasingly taken a political role.

Led by Mr Tsvangirai, the ZCTU argued that the declining living standards of workers were not caused by employers - generally the cause of strikes - but by government mismanagement of the economy.


Since December 1997, a series of strikes and stay-aways have been called demanding that tax rises be reversed, that prices of bread and petrol be reduced, that Zimbabwe withdraw from the war in DR Congo and that government "lawlessness" end.

These have generally been well heeded by Zimbabwe's workers but have only had mixed success in changing government policy.

The police broke up that first strike and ever since the unions have tried to limit violence by not staging mass marches but instead calling on workers to stay at home.

Mr Tsvangirai and many of the current ZCTU leadership will privately be hoping that the three-day stay-away will be extended, ultimately forcing Mr Mugabe out of office.

But he does not back down easily and all diplomatic efforts to calm Zimbabwe's political temperature might well be doomed to failure.

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From The Times (UK), 20 March

Tsvangirai agrees to talks once violence is ended

Harare - Morgan Tsvangirai, the Opposition leader, agreed yesterday to an
appeal from the Presidents of South Africa and Nigeria to hold talks with Mr
Mugabe’s government, but only after the lawlessness around the country has
ended. His agreement came as the Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe from its
councils for a year. The decision came after President Mbeki of South Africa
and President Obasanjo of Nigeria met John Howard, the Australian Prime
Minister, in London at the headquarters of the 54-member group. Mr
Tsvangirai said that the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) executive met
yesterday and "arrived at a conclusion that the objective conditions do not
exist for meaningful negotiations". He said: "Zanu PF (the ruling party) is
engaged in massive retribution of our members" for voting for the Opposition
in last week’s disputed elections, and lawlessness by ruling party militias
was continuing. "The reports we are receiving are shocking. Mugabe must stop

General Obasanjo and Mr Mbeki had put forward proposals when they visited on
Monday that the MDC and Zanu PF open talks under the neutral chairmanship of
the Nigerian and South African Governments, he said. Mr Tsvangirai indicated
that they had not set an agenda. "They did not discuss anything," he said.
"In their opinion Zimbabweans must talk to each other. We will not refuse to
negotiate. But the whole question is about restoration of legitimacy, which
can only be restored in a process acceptable to the people. There is a whole
process that requires the dismantling of a political culture that has
undermined the confidence of the country." The party was writing to Gen
Obasanjo to state its position and make its demands, he said. There was no
indication of Mr Mugabe’s response to the visiting Presidents’ overtures.
The MDC said that the presidential election last week was a massive fraud
and it demanded new elections. The party’s denunciation was supported by
Western governments, as well as the Commonwealth observer group, and major
Southern African election observer groups.

Ruling party militias yesterday intensified their post- election campaign of
attrition against white farmers in many parts of the country, particularly
in the Marondera area about 50 miles east of Harare. Sixteen hours after
police were called, they responded to calls for help yesterday from Mike
Colahan, 47, a farmer, and his wife, Lorna, 46, after they were barricaded
in their homestead by squatters. Their siege began at 5.30pm on Monday, when
squatters smashed their way into the house. The couple retreated from room
to room as the door to each was broken down in turn by the mob and Mr
Colahan tried to keep them at bay with a firearm. At dawn the Colahans were
in the last room of the house with the mob beating at the door when they
lost radio contact with their neighbours. When police finally responded,
they arrested Mr and Mrs Colahan and forced them to spend the rest of the
day at the office of the local governor. "Mike was charged with discharging
a firearm twice," Lindsay Campbell, spokesman for the local farmers’ support
group, said.

Two other homesteads in the district were under siege last night with their
owners barricaded inside. Andrew Lock, a farmer, was abducted by a Zanu PF
mob in the morning, but returned home later unharmed. On Monday two other
farmers were held hostage for several hours. Three other homesteads have
been looted since Sunday, as well as the local farmers’ club. In the Banket
area about 60 miles north of Harare, Douglas Campbell, a farmer and MDC
polling agent who was arrested during last week’s voting, was charged by
police with attempted murder. The arrest came after he left the polling
station and had a stone thrown through a window of his vehicle by Zanu PF
youths. As he accelerated away his vehicle backfired. The youths mistook the
noise for a firearm, his lawyer said. "There is huge insecurity in the
area," Ben Freeth, local administrator for the Commercial Farmers’ Union,

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From The Guardian (UK), 20 March

Mbeki sacrificed a despot to keep his grand vision alive

Robert Mugabe came to believe that if no one else would back him as he clung
on to power in the name of anti-colonialism he could at least count on his
fellow African leaders. And there were good reasons for him to believe it.
From across the continent, presidents showered praise on his tainted
re-election. Never mind the violence; never mind the intimidation; never
mind the rigging. From Kenya to Namibia, African leaders hailed Mr Mugabe as
a champion of democracy. He is worshipped by his people, they said. But Mr
Mugabe had not counted on two of Africa's most influential leaders realising
there was more at stake than the prestige of an ageing despot desperately
trying to justify ever more authoritarian rule.

Nigeria's president, Olusegun Obasanjo, was sympathetic to Mr Mugabe's
plight in some ways but in the end became irritated by the man's
stubbornness and his refusal to acknowledge that power was not his by right.
But it was Thabo Mbeki who had most at stake at yesterday’s Commonwealth
meeting. The South African leader was confronted with the imminent
destruction of his laborious work to revive his continent's fortunes, from
his grand vision of an African renaissance to his New Partnership for
African Development (Nepad). Mr Mbeki had a clear choice: side with
Zimbabwe's leader and watch the barrage of scorn from across the globe
destroy his vision, or make a stand and save Nepad.

Mr Mbeki has no great liking for Mr Mugabe. The Zimbabwean president and
South Africa's ANC were not close in the apartheid years, even though Mr
Mugabe was feted as the leader of the "frontline states". But Mr Mbeki was
wary of antagonising him. So he attempted a different approach - quiet
diplomacy. He tried to engage Mr Mugabe, and persuade him that he was doing
enormous damage to his own country and to his neighbours. It had little
impact. Mr Mugabe made promises to Mr Mbeki's face, but breached them as
soon as it suited him. The South Africans also had much more at stake than
the British and others putting pressure on Mr Mugabe. If Zimbabweans
decamped in their hundreds of thousands - even millions - because of civil
war or starvation, where would they go? South Africa.

But in the end, Mr Mbeki saw Mr Mugabe singlehandedly wrecking his dream.
The Americans and British made it clear that if South Africa was soft on Mr
Mugabe then Nepad was dead in the water. The visit by Mr Obasanjo and Mr
Mbeki to Harare on Monday appears to have sealed their decision. They
pressed Mr Mugabe to make concessions but he offered nothing that could
begin to persuade the opposition it was worth negotiating. And then there
was the violence. The government has once again let loose its thugs on Zanu
PF's opponents. In the end, the two men probably concluded that it was not
worth sacrificing Africa on the altar of one more aged despot refusing to
give up power.

The question left hanging is how much further Mr Mbeki and Mr Obasanjo will
now go towards ending Mr Mugabe's rule. It is within Mr Mbeki's power to
make life very difficult for the Zimbabwean government. But for now, he will
hope that a firm stand will be enough to prod Mr Mugabe into realising that
he cannot act with impunity, and so save Zimbabwe, and Africa, further
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Zimbabwe invited to Commonwealth Games

AP - Zimbabwean athletes are still eligible to compete in this summer's
Commonwealth Games, despite the country's suspension from taking part in any
Commonwealth meetings.

Mike Hooper, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, said that
Zimbabwe was still invited to compete in the July 25-Aug. 4 games in
Manchester, England.

"They are not suspended from the Commonwealth, but from the council of the
Commonwealth," Hooper said. "The situation doesn't affect their

Hooper said 54 nations and 18 territories had been invited and all were
likely to participate.

On Tuesday, a Commonwealth committee made up of the leaders of Nigeria,
South Africa and Australia suspended Zimbabwe from Commonwealth meetings for
a year after President Robert Mugabe's controversial win in elections last
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Zimbabwe blames Britain for Commonwealth suspension

HARARE, March 20 — Zimbabwe on Wednesday accused former colonial ruler
Britain of orchestrating its suspension from the Commonwealth, ruled out an
election re-run and vowed to push ahead with its land reform programme.
       Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge told a news conference the
Commonwealth's decision was ''fundamentally flawed'' and undermined the
credibility of the 54-nation grouping.
       Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth on Tuesday for a year
after President Robert Mugabe's controversial win in elections over Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
       The March 9-11 election was condemned by Western governments as not
free and fair but was endorsed by many African countries.
       The decision to suspend Zimbabwe was taken by a taskforce grouping
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, South African President Thabo Mbeki
and Australian Prime Minister John Howard, based on the report of
Commonwealth election observers.
       The observer group declared the election, which extended Mugabe's
22-year rule, was neither free nor fair.
       ''The government of Zimbabwe rejects these conclusions and calls upon
all member countries to give urgent and active attention to the hijacking of
the collective will of the Commonwealth to serve the hostile intentions of a
few,'' Mudenge said.

       ''The report is largely about what the group read or was told by the
MDC and the British government,'' he said, adding there were no structures
to appeal the decision.
       Mudenge said Mbeki and Obasanjo -- who held separate talks with
Mugabe and the MDC leader on Monday in an attempt to ward off the southern
African country's suspension -- had been confronted by the flawed report
when they reached the Commonwealth headquarters in London.
       Tsvangirai appeared in court on Wednesday to face treason charges,
which he has denied.
       Mudenge said the ruling ZANU-PF remained committed to reconciliation,
a call first made by Mugabe at his inauguration on Sunday.
       ''That is still on the is important that the law has to
take its course. It is vital for the integrity of Morgan Tsvangirai that he
goes through the courts to clear his name.''
       Zimbabwe and Britain have been at loggerheads since Harare embarked
on an often-violent campaign to seize white-owned farms two years ago.
       Ten farmers have been killed and hundreds of farms have been
abandoned in the face of violent occupations. Many other farmers moved to
the cities or out of the country for the election.
       ''We want to assure Zimbabweans and our friends that the government
is proceeding resolutely with its irreversible (land reform) programme,''
Mudenge said.
       ''The next presidential elections in Zimbabwe will be held in six
years' time,'' he said.
       Mugabe said at his inauguration he had dealt Britain ''a stunning
blow'' and said he would accelerate seizures of white-owned farms for
redistribution to landless blacks.

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From the Dail;y News
BUSINESS  Wednesday 20, March

Zimbabwe’s domestic debt now stands at $227 bn: RBZ

3/20/02 7:57:10 AM (GMT +2)

Business Reporter

THE country’s domestic debt has risen once again, this time by $1 billion,
to $227 billion.

According to the latest figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) the
government’s domestic debt for the period ending 1 March, stood at $227 026
200 000.

This was a $1 billion increase from the previous figure of $226 936 600 000
on 22 February. The country’s debt has continued to escalate due to
government over-expenditure, some of which was caused by the recent
presidential poll campaigning.

It has also been raised by salary increments given to the civil service,
army, police, chiefs, headmen, as well as municipal workers.

In January, this year, the domestic debt stood at $202,2 billion. It then
began to gradually increase every week, before reaching the $227 billion
mark reached so far. The RBZ clearing house said during the week ending 28
February, cheque transactions amounted to $156,8 billion.

Of this, 93,2 percent constituted high value items, and the remainder, low

The central bank said by volume, low value transactions accounted for 92,5
percent, while 7,5 percent related to high value.

From the Daily News
BUSINESS  Wednesday 20, March

RBZ confirms possible loss of foreign currency

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

By Columbus Mavhunga

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has confirmed that Zimbabwe could have
lost millions of dollars in foreign currency from last year’s tobacco
earnings because of the thriving parallel market.

This follows research by the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) on
foreign currency draw-down by buyers which revealed that the average
exchange rate used for tobacco on the auctions was US$1 to Z$100 as opposed
to the official rate of Z$55.

The revelations come at a time when the country desperately needs foreign
currency to settle its ever ballooning foreign debt.

The research, which was confirmed by the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association says
the official average price of tobacco for 2001 was US$1,75 a kg against the
ticket price of US$3,18.

These figures put the actual earnings of the country’s largest single
foreign currency earner at US$354,4 million (Z$19,4 billion) and not
US$643,95 million (Z$35,4 billion).

Ignatious Mabasa, the RBZ spokesperson, said statistics supplied by the TIMB
showed that at the close of the 2001 tobacco selling season the total
tobacco sold had a value of Z$35,4 billion (US$643,1 million), implying an
average price of US$3,18 a kg.

Mabasa said: “The true value of the tobacco sold during the marketing season
may have been masked because some tobacco merchants traded the 30 percent
that had been earmarked for market use, on the parallel market. As a result,
premiums realised led to the artificial pricing of tobacco on the auction

“The blended rate was a conceived rate brought about by the buying power of
various merchants as a result of the premium earned through the trading of
foreign currency on the parallel market.

“The matter relating to the blended rate only came to light, when merchants
tried to export their tobacco at a price below the auction floor ticket

Mabasa said the RBZ in conjunction with the TIMB had put measures in place
that were aimed at curbing the illegal trading of draw-down proceeds on the
parallel market.

On the allegations that Zimbabwe was deprived of the earnings to the tune of
US$289,55 million, Mabasa said: “The purchase of tobacco was financed
through offshore borrowing, authorised local borrowing, utilisation of own
funds and use of the premium proceeds realised through dealing on the
parallel market.

The use of own local funds for the purchase of tobacco on the auction floors
was permitted.

“For all the tobacco that was financed through local sources, the country is
expected to receive 100 percent of the tobacco exports in foreign currency.

“It must be noted, however, that the notional United States dollar value of
tobacco purchased on the auction floors is much higher than the actual
export value of the tobacco due to the artificial pricing arising from the
premiums earned from the parallel market activities by tobacco merchants.”

Mabasa said in cases where the Exchange Control identified illegal trading
of tobacco finance on the auction floors, “appropriate action” was taken and
some cases were referred to the police for further investigation.

From the Daily News
BUSINESS  Wednesday 20, March

Food distribution to resume

3/20/02 7:58:49 AM (GMT +2)

Farming Reporter

THE World Food Programme (WFP) will resume its countrywide food distribution
to drought stricken areas tomorrow.
A spokesman for the WPF, said yesterday: “We are starting to distribute 500
tonnes of maize-meal in all of the targeted areas. But we are beginning in
Chipinge and Hwange. Then we will spread to other areas. We had stopped
because we did not have manpower during the election period.”
The WPF and its implementing partners - Christian Care, World Vision and
ORAP have the difficult task of raising money to buy food to feed more than
half a million starving people countrywide. Those desperately in need of
food are in areas such as Insiza, Muzarabani, Guruve, Tsholotsho, Mberengwa,
Bikita, Masvingo, Zvishavane, Chipinge and Hwange.
President Mugabe has repeatedly said “no one will starve”, but at least two
people have already starved to death in Hwange.

From the Daily News
FEATURE  Wednesday 20, March

That election: only the rigging was free and fair

3/20/02 7:26:18 AM (GMT +2)

THERE is no civilised culture which condones theft under any circumstances.

The theft of anything - a bicycle, a rickshaw, an ostrich, a laptop, a wife,
an election, a husband, a child, a Picasso masterpiece, a packet of Viagra
tablets, anything - is punishable.

Many cultures not operating under the draconian Sharia law of extremist
Islamic sects, which demand the amputation of the offender’s hands, still
punish thieves.

Thou Shalt Not Steal is the Eighth Commandment, according to the Bible.
Whether it is Buddhism, Judaism, Scientology, Hinduism, Shintoism or
animism, no religion condones theft. The Cosa Nostra is not a religion.

Now that most Zimbabweans know Zanu PF stole the presidential election, they
ought to prescribe the appropriate punishment for the offenders.

It’s been said by the cynics that the only free and fair aspect of this
election was the rigging.

Reports of 16-year-olds in school being hurriedly given IDs and then being
instructed to vote for Zanu PF have been widespread.

Boiling oil, fire and brimstone, the rack or a ball and chain would be
old-fashioned, but still worth considering.

But some form of punishment seems to be called for. The people should not
let the offenders believe they can repeat this daylight robbery without
risking retribution. The government itself has a parlous record of punishing
miscreants, whether they stole millions in taxpayers’ money or built obscene
mansions with ill-gotten gains.

So it is over-optimistic to hope that The System can penalise itself. The
people may have to bite the bullet.

The international community, except Robert Mugabe’s co-conspirators, chief
among them Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo, have decided to dish out their
own punishment.

Many Zimbabweans, cheated of the very right to vote by a cynical, devious
system, would have preferred something more drastic than the travel bans.

Someone who failed to vote said there ought to be a way in which the
offenders could be permanently deprived of their clothes. The most degrading
humiliation would be to have them walk in the First Street Mall stark naked,
every day for a whole year.

Others suggested they ought to alter the lyrics of their Hondo yeMinda song
to Kutapira kunoita kubirira (how sweet it is to win by cheating).  Without
being too unkind, I would say Zimbabweans have previously shown little
stomach for the gutsy response which would inhibit the offenders from
repeating their crime.

After the victory in the constitutional referendum, efforts should have been
made to ensure Mugabe lost the subsequent election. This would have entailed
an exercise to neutralise the so-called war veterans, by any means. We know
that if Chenjerai Hunzvi and Joseph Chinotimba had not been let loose to
lead the terror campaign in the rural areas Zanu PF would have reaped zilch.

I doubt that anybody staged a parallel mock swearing-in ceremony last Sunday
as Robert Mugabe was sworn in as President. Someone suggested a ceremony
featuring the torching of his effigy in Africa Unity Square.

But I can understand people getting the jitters: under the Public Order and
Security Act (POSA) they could go to jail and come out of there with
tuberculosis or Aids or both.

The passing of the POSA last year did raise a stink, but not what you would
expect in any true, vibrant democracy: people storming Parliament, shouting
abuse at the MPs, halting all debate before that piece of trashy legislation
was passed.

Not in Zimbabwe, where a classic case of barbarous rule masquerading as
democracy is on display every day.

The theft of the presidential election by a person or persons whose identity
is definitely not unknown was made possible by the notorious Zimbabwean
docility, of insouciant citizens who believe, with astonishing gullibility,
that politics is a game too rich for their blood. Which is where we zero in
on the African leaders whose mealy-mouthed statements in support of the
legitimacy of Mugabe’s re-election has sickened all genuine Pan-Africanists.

These African leaders are as contemptuous of their people’s grasp of
realpolitik as Mugabe is. Their careers could come to a sticky end too.  Any
politician who goes on the electoral stump and makes the leader of a foreign
country a major platform issue, when there is 90 percent hunger, 60 percent
unemployment and 100 percent anger with the government, must believe his
people are so politically dumb they will swallow every piece of garbage he
throws at them.

Mugabe did it with Tony Blair, but was totally unconvincing.  Fortunately
for us, the majority did not succumb. The rejection of Mugabe was almost
total and the observer teams which have given the result the thumbs-down,
because only the rigging was free, reflected this rejection.

If there had been no wholesale violence against opposition supporters, if
the police had ensured no Zanu PF thugs molested opposition voters, if
voting throughout the country had been extended for two days, if there had
been no suspiciously cooked-up supplementary voters’ roll, if the Electoral
Supervisory Commission was independent of presidential candidate Robert
Mugabe, if Tobaiwa Mudede was not the Registrar-General . . .

There is a whole list of “ifs” to consider. What can no longer be denied is
that the majority of the people, even those who had benefited from the
scrappy land reform programme, were ready to dump Mugabe.

His winning margin of over 400 000 votes has to be juxtaposed with his 22
years in the saddle and the three years during which the MDC has been in
existence, with Morgan Tsvangirai at the helm: Mugabe, the consummate
politician, allegedly an admirer of both Machiavelli and Mephistopheles;
Tsvangirai, a babe-in-the-woods, an honest, hard-working trade unionist with
not a hint of political devilry in his portfolio.

In 2000, when it was only nine months old, the MDC almost wiped out Zanu PF’
s elected majority in Parliament, winning 57 to their 62 of the contested

To some extent, the theory that people were simply voting against Mugabe
rather than for the MDC is given credence by the number of public rallies
Tsvangirai held then and even before the recent presidential election.

To suggest the two men could run a government together is a little weird.

The Pope and the Mafia running the Vatican? It is not uncharitable to say of
a war veteran like Mugabe that what the people have been itching to do for
so long is to get rid of him.

Most suspect he has enough intelligence to appreciate he has failed Zimbabwe
and has not quit only because he is a proud person, unable to countenance
the reality of his failure after spending nearly half his life at the top of
the political heap.

But someone has to nudge him in the right direction - out. If he won’t
leave, the people’s punishment could be severe, probably worse than

That’s why a friend said, in a Shona dialect common in Mashonaland West and
Central - Zvechisa (it’s frightening), if he remains in power. Mugabe ought
to understand that.
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Sister says urged murdered Zimbabwe farmer to leave
CANBERRA, March 21 AAP|Published: Thursday March 21, 9:20 AM

A Melbourne woman whose brother was murdered in Zimbabwe last weekend said today the family had been trying to persuade him to flee the country for the past two years.

Farmer Terry Ford was shot and killed by suspected liberation war veterans at his farm near Norton, about 40km west of Harare, overnight on Sunday.

A picture of his body, covered by a bedspread and guarded by his dog Squeak, was splashed across the world's newspapers and television screens before his family were even officially notified of his death.

Sister Su (Su) Ford, now living in Melbourne, said she was angry Zimbabwean officials had not even tried to contact his relatives, including their parents in South Africa.

"My objection isn't really that they showed it on TV, my objection is more that nobody was notified before they showed it," she told ABC radio.

Ms Ford said she had found out about her brother's death before she saw the pictures, but they had been incredibly difficult to watch.

She said the family had tried to persuade Mr Ford, the 10th white farmer killed in Zimbabwe's ongoing land seizures, to leave but he refused.

"We've always been aware that he's in danger, you know, and we'd been trying for the last two years to talk him out of the country," she said.

"I guess because generations of the family had farmed on that land and all he knew was farming, what was he going to do anywhere else?

"You can't just move to another country and farm, he couldn't take any of his possessions anywhere, he couldn't take money out of the country, he would basically be a refugee if he left."

Zimbabwean police have arrested four men in connection with Mr Ford's death.

Squeak was in his vehicle when Mr Ford tried to crash through a fence surrounding his homestead in a futile attempt to escape his killers.

He was tied up and shot.

The Jack Russell terrier has been taken in by friends. Ms Ford said he had accompanied her brother everywhere.

"Because he was little, he would ride in the car with him ... my brother had a motorbike on the farm and the dog would ride on the bike with him," she said.

Dog who wouldn't leave master given new home

A Jack Russell who refused to leave the side of his dead master in Zimbabwe has been found a new home.

Squeak, the 14-year-old Jack Russell terrier, was pictured across the world as he lay next to the murdered body of his white Zimbabwean owner Terry Ford.

The body of Zimbabwe farmer Terry Ford lies under a blanket with Squeak curled beside him (AP)

Mr Ford, 51, was the tenth white farmer killed since militants began often violent occupations of white owned land two years ago.

"The dog would not leave the farmer's body," said Meryl Harrison, of Zimbabwe's Society for the Prevention of Cruetly to Animals who was inundated by calls about the terrier.

"When Terry Ford's battered body was found under a tree, the little terrier was still at his side," she said.

Squeak, who refused to leave his master's side, now has a new home (AP)

Squeak has been given a home by a friend of the murdered farmer.

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