Commercial farmers in massive exodus to neighbouring
3/20/02 7:46:06 AM (GMT +2)
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
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
The Mozambican High Commission in Harare this week confirmed that
had been inundated with commercial farmers who were interested in
business in their country. But the High Commission said figures could
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
normalise in your country they will come back. Last week alone 67
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
So far the lives of 10 farmers have been claimed by the
invasions, while some farmers have had their property looted by
invaders. Work stoppages on farms became the order of the day, resulting
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.
account for most of the tobacco and wheat grown in
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
MDC rejects Mugabe offer on talks
3/20/02 7:58:00 AM
Yesterday, Tsvangirai said his party had resolved, after a
executive meeting, that Zanu PF was not honest and sincere with
Obasanjo over the conditions prevailing in the
“Mugabe has embarked on a massive retribution exercise in the
and at the same time has lied to Mbeki and Obasanjo that
conditions for such
discussions do exist,” said Tsvangirai.
reports we are receiving from the rural areas are shocking.”
He said hundreds
of his supporters were being displaced by Zanu PF’s massive
exercise against people thought to have voted for the MDC.
As a result
MDC offices across the country were slowly turning into refugee
Tsvangirai said. He added that the lawlessness sweeping across the
must be halted first if meaningful discussions were to take place
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
The MDC leader said his party supported the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade
Unions’ stayaway that begins today, since it reflected the
and disgust at the Zanu PF government.
The Age, Melbourne
Zimbabwe: strike call largely ignored in
HARARE, March 20 AFP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 6:19 PM
general strike called by Zimbabwe's powerful trade union federation over
country's electoral crisis was largely ignored today in Harare,
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
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) called a
strike in the wake of last week's widely condemned
that returned longtime ruler Robert Mugabe to
The stayaway's official purpose was to defend "workers' rights"
"harassment of workers in the aftermath of the presidential
according to ZCTU secretary general Wellington Chibebe.
the action was seen as a more broad-based demonstration of displeasure
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.
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
Nearly 400 people were waiting in line outside a supermarket in
while in the industrial areas people were queueing for maize meal,
food staple, outside food depots and factories were churning out
Times of India
Rwanda, DRC rebels deny links with Zimbabwe
AFP [ TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2002 7:51:23 PM ]
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
"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.
the contrary, we have had contacts with the official authorities,"
On Monday, DRC foreign minister Leonard She Okitundu alleged
"a branch of
the Congolese opposition, Rwanda, the (rebel) Congolese Rally
and Morgan Tsvangirai" were involved in a plot to capture
capital of the DRC's mineral-rich Katanga
The minister said that Tsvangirai had counted on defeating
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
"We have no reason to meddle in
Zimbabwe's internal affairs," said
The Congolese Rally for
Democracy (RDC) also insisted the accusations were
has no common political plan with Tsvangirai and has never held
him," the rebel group's spokesman, Jean-Pierre Lola
"The president of our movement, Adolphe Onusumba, was
received by President
Mugabe a month before the election," he
Mugabe, who beat Tsvangirai in the controversial election, has
been one of
Kinshasa's strongest allies in the conflict that broke out in the
Zaire in August 1998.
The Age, Melbourne
Pressure must be kept on Mugabe, Smith
March 20 AAP|Published: Wednesday March 20, 7:16 PM
Commonwealth must maintain pressure on the Zimbabwe's Mugabe government
ensure democracy in the African nation, the country's last white leader,
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
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
Mr Smith, 83, said it was now time for Mr Mugabe and the
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.
to be monitored and this government has got to be made to realise
they've got to abide by the conventions of western democracy,
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
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
Under pressure from Britain, Mr Smith stepped aside to be replaced
liberation war hero Mr Mugabe.
" 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
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
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
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
Truly a day to
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). "
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
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
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
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
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
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."
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
Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11
I am a white Zimbabwean who was born in this country, as were my parents.
do not have any claim to any other citizenship in the world. Unlike most
my white country folk I do not have anywhere else to go and I do not want
leave my country and the people both black and white that I
This week I have had countless black friends, colleagues and
literally break down and weep over the result of this election. I
a political activist for the past 2 years. Now I speak to you all
desperate plea from my shattered heart over the terrible news of
Mugabe rule us for six more, tyrannical years. We cannot survive three
months. As just an ordinary, peace loving person I cannot understand,
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
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
Sanctions won't worry them because you can be sure they will have so
money hidden away under other names you don't worry them. I doubt it is
bothering them that their children have to leave their universities.
also gave them so much warning of your sanctions they have had ample time
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
coalition government because Mugabe does not even listen to the
he has, having bought a comfortable majority of ministers on his
train. People who have already seen enough of their colleagues killed
mysterious car accidents because they tried to be brave and speak out.
is no point in taking this to court in Zimbabwe because he has fixed
with bought judges. Funny that some of his new judges are suddenly
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,
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
When ARE YOU going to arrest Perence Shiri for his crimes
like you have done with Milosovic.
Mugabe is worse
than Hitler because he leaves the maimed behind to serve as
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
run wild, HIV etc), soap, toothpaste, toilet paper. So a prison
any woman is a death sentence. You are given two small bowls of
porridge with a small raw leaf of rape a day. There are 20 people in
designed to house six. To sleep you have to all turn over at the same
Does this not ring a few bells of Germany in the war!!!! And they all
equipped with their own torture chambers. Bear in mind that many people
in prison at the moment are only guilty of 'love of his country'. I
toilet paper, toothpaste and soap in my bag all the time. What a joke
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
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.
African's it's time for you to ask questions about how this
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
Above all else you need to consider that if your president continues
a blind eye and his observers can blatantly ignore what is happening
Zimbabwe , what is his future plan for South Africa.
What can you
Send this to anyone you know who would be remotely interested in
and ask them to sent it to their M.P/senator anywhere in the world
them to take it to parliament. Send it to anyone you know who has
with The Hague, U.N., E.U., NATO, SADCC, Commonwealth.
The Age, Melbourne
Aust PM Howard calls for sanity over Zimbabwe
LONDON, March 20 AAP|Published: Thursday March 21, 6:35
The Australian and British governments today appealed for
sanity in Zimbabwe
following the arrest on treason charges of Opposition
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
would hope that wiser, saner, more intelligent counsel prevails and that
influence that I do know that the president of South Africa and the
of Nigeria have on the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe will be brought
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he had hoped that the
suspension would send a strong message to President
"The news this morning of the further detention of Morgan
treason charges suggests that this message has still yet to get
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.
Straw dismissed as preposterous claims that South African president
Mbeki had only agreed to suspend Zimbabwe after being threatened with
loss of British aid to an African development project.
the last person to respond to any such unacceptable pressure would
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
"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
Mr Howard said the most important thing now was to get on with
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
"Zimbabwe has been playing out of bounds as far as democratic
concerned for a very long time and that's got to
By Maria Hawthorne
Violence continues in Zimbabwe after
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
In their final report after the March 9-11 poll, the
reiterated their view that the elections failed to meet a number
broadly accepted criteria of fairness and were conducted in a climate
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
country had embarked on systematic reprisals against opposition members
supporters,'' the head of the Norwegian team, Kare Vollan, said in
Vollan said the fact that the list of polling agents
published in national newspapers before the vote made it easy to
those belonging to Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change
''Numerous cases of assault, beating, torture, looting, arson
least one killing of a suspected MDC supporter were reported to
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
suspects, said the murder was not politically motivated.
Norwegians, who left Zimbabwe on March 17, were the largest
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.
The Age Melbourne
Namibia deplores Zimbabwe's suspension from
WINDHOEK, March 20 AFP|Published: Thursday March 21, 4:23
Namibia today deplored the Commonwealth's decision to suspend
one year following March 9-11 presidential election which the
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
the outcome of the results in favour of the opposition long
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 was re-elected, extending his 22-year grip on power by a
The conclusion reached by the Commonwealth was
shared by the Zimbabwean
opposition and much of the West but rejected by most
"The one-year suspension can only be interpreted by the
support for their call for a rerun of the presidential
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.
government of Namibia, which is itself a member of the Commonwealth, on
13 extended its "warmest congratulations" to Mugabe for his defeat
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the polls.
Mugabe vows more security for ''patriotic''
HARARE, March 20 — President Robert Mugabe has pledged to
for Zimbabwe's embattled white farmers, just two days after
one farmer was
shot dead by land invaders, state radio reported on
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) said Mugabe
had made the
pledge during a meeting with business leaders, including farming
called to discuss the southern African country's economic
The ZBC said Mugabe, who won a controversial election last
is being fiercely contested by the opposition, had also told the
that his government was prepared work with ''patriotic''
''Comrade Mugabe assured all those present that the
willing to work with farmers who are patriotic, adding that
security will be
beefed up on the farms,'' it said.
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
were suspected self-styled war veterans of the 1970s
This was the first attack on a white farmer since Mugabe
beat off a
challenge by Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
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
Ford was the 10th white farmer to be killed since
began seizing white-owned farms two years ago, backed by the
Hundreds of farms have been abandoned in the face of the
occupations and many other farmers moved to the cities or out of the
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.
Wednesday, 20 March, 2002, 18:00 GMT
Mugabe rival charged with treason
Mr Tsvangirai describes the move as
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.
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
This particular appearance is just continued harassment of Mr
Tsvangirai and senior members of his party
Defence lawyer Eric Matinenga
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
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.
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.
Tsvangirai denies plotting to kill
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.
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
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,"
Jonathan Moyo told reporters.
"Political retribution is not settled in a
court of law. Political
retribution has nothing to do with legality," he
Tsvangirai and one his lawmakers, Renson Gasela, who is also the
minister of lands and agriculture, were on Wednesday formally charged
treason over an alleged plot to assassinate President Robert
If found guilty they could face the death sentence.
pair were summoned to a magistrate's court in Harare the day after
54-nation Commonwealth announced in London it was suspending Zimbabwe
one year, on the basis of a damning report on Zimbabwe's March
presidential vote by Commonwealth election observers.
declared victorious in the violence-scarred election, which was
The lawyer for Tsvangirai and Gasela described the decision by
government to hold the hearing Wednesday as "a typical knee-jerk
the events that unfolded yesterday in London."
particular appearance is just continued harassment of Mr. Tsvangirai
senior members of his party," lawyer Eric Matinenga said.
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
Wednesday, 20 March, 2002, 03:43 GMT
Mugabe and unions on collision
Joseph Winter |
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.
And it is no
surprise to see that the ZCTU is in the forefront of the post-election protests.
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
"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
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.
A new security law gives the president the power to declare any strike
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
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.
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
Ruling party militias yesterday intensified their post-
election campaign of
attrition against white farmers in many parts of the
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
in the last room of the house with the mob beating at the door
lost radio contact with their neighbours. When police finally
they arrested Mr and Mrs Colahan and forced them to spend the rest
day at the office of the local governor. "Mike was charged with
a firearm twice," Lindsay Campbell, spokesman for the local
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
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
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
there was more at stake than the prestige of an ageing
trying to justify ever more authoritarian
Nigeria's president, Olusegun Obasanjo, was sympathetic to Mr
plight in some ways but in the end became irritated by the
stubbornness and his refusal to acknowledge that power was not his by
But it was Thabo Mbeki who had most at stake at yesterday’s
meeting. The South African leader was confronted with the
destruction of his laborious work to revive his continent's
his grand vision of an African renaissance to his New
African Development (Nepad). Mr Mbeki had a clear choice:
Zimbabwe's leader and watch the barrage of scorn from across the
destroy his vision, or make a stand and save Nepad.
has no great liking for Mr Mugabe. The Zimbabwean president and
Africa's ANC were not close in the apartheid years, even though Mr
feted as the leader of the "frontline states". But Mr Mbeki was
antagonising him. So he attempted a different approach - quiet
tried to engage Mr Mugabe, and persuade him that he was doing
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
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
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
"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
On Tuesday, a Commonwealth committee made up of the leaders
South Africa and Australia suspended Zimbabwe from Commonwealth
a year after President Robert Mugabe's controversial win in
Zimbabwe blames Britain for Commonwealth
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
credibility of the 54-nation grouping.
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
The decision to suspend Zimbabwe was taken by a taskforce
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, South African President Thabo
and Australian Prime Minister John Howard, based on the report
Commonwealth election observers.
The observer group declared the
election, which extended Mugabe's
22-year rule, was neither free nor
''The government of Zimbabwe rejects these conclusions and calls
all member countries to give urgent and active attention to the
the collective will of the Commonwealth to serve the hostile
intentions of a
few,'' Mudenge said.
MDC, BRITAIN BLAMED
''The report is largely about what the group read or was told by the
the British government,'' he said, adding there were no structures
Mudenge said Mbeki and Obasanjo -- who held separate
Mugabe and the MDC leader on Monday in an attempt to ward off the
African country's suspension -- had been confronted by the flawed
when they reached the Commonwealth headquarters in London.
Tsvangirai appeared in court on Wednesday to face treason charges,
Mudenge said the ruling ZANU-PF remained committed to
a call first made by Mugabe at his inauguration on
''That is still on the table...it is important that the law
take its course. It is vital for the integrity of Morgan Tsvangirai
goes through the courts to clear his name.''
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
''We want to assure Zimbabweans and our friends that the
is proceeding resolutely with its irreversible (land reform)
''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
From the Dail;y News
BUSINESS Wednesday 20, March
debt now stands at $227 bn: RBZ
3/20/02 7:57:10 AM (GMT
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
domestic debt for the period ending 1 March, stood at $227 026
This was a $1 billion increase from the previous figure of $226 936
on 22 February. The country’s debt has continued to escalate due
government over-expenditure, some of which was caused by the
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
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
From the Daily News
BUSINESS Wednesday 20,
RBZ confirms possible loss of foreign currency
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.
figures put the actual earnings of the country’s largest single
currency earner at US$354,4 million (Z$19,4 billion) and not
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,
realised led to the artificial pricing of tobacco on the
“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.
matter relating to the blended rate only came to light, when merchants
to export their tobacco at a price below the auction floor
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
On the allegations that
Zimbabwe was deprived of the earnings to the tune of
Mabasa said: “The purchase of tobacco was financed
borrowing, authorised local borrowing, utilisation of own
funds and use of
the premium proceeds realised through dealing on the
The use of own local funds for the purchase of tobacco on the
“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
From the Daily News
Food distribution to resume
3/20/02 7:58:49 AM (GMT
THE World Food Programme (WFP) will resume
its countrywide food distribution
to drought stricken areas tomorrow.
spokesman for the WPF, said yesterday: “We are starting to distribute
tonnes of maize-meal in all of the targeted areas. But we are beginning
Chipinge and Hwange. Then we will spread to other areas. We had
because we did not have manpower during the election period.”
WPF and its implementing partners - Christian Care, World Vision and
have the difficult task of raising money to buy food to feed more than
million starving people countrywide. Those desperately in need of
food are in
areas such as Insiza, Muzarabani, Guruve, Tsholotsho, Mberengwa,
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,
That election: only the rigging was free and fair
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
Many cultures not operating under the draconian Sharia law of
Islamic sects, which demand the amputation of the offender’s hands,
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
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
But some form of punishment seems to be called for. The
people should not
let the offenders believe they can repeat this daylight
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
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
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
be to have them walk in the First Street Mall stark naked,
every day for a
Others suggested they ought to alter the lyrics of their
Hondo yeMinda song
to Kutapira kunoita kubirira (how sweet it is to win by
being too unkind, I would say Zimbabweans have previously
stomach for the gutsy response which would inhibit the offenders
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.
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
Not in Zimbabwe, where a classic case of barbarous rule
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.
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
100 percent anger with the government, must believe his
people are so
politically dumb they will swallow every piece of garbage he
Mugabe did it with Tony Blair, but was totally unconvincing.
for us, the majority did not succumb. The rejection of Mugabe was
total and the observer teams which have given the result the
because only the rigging was free, reflected this
If there had been no wholesale violence against opposition
the police had ensured no Zanu PF thugs molested opposition
voting throughout the country had been extended for two days, if
been no suspiciously cooked-up supplementary voters’ roll, if the
Supervisory Commission was independent of presidential candidate
Mugabe, if Tobaiwa Mudede was not the Registrar-General . .
There is a whole list of “ifs” to consider. What can no longer be
that the majority of the people, even those who had benefited from
scrappy land reform programme, were ready to dump Mugabe.
winning margin of over 400 000 votes has to be juxtaposed with his 22
in the saddle and the three years during which the MDC has been in
with Morgan Tsvangirai at the helm: Mugabe, the consummate
allegedly an admirer of both Machiavelli and Mephistopheles;
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
Most suspect he has enough intelligence to appreciate he has
and has not quit only because he is a proud person, unable to
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.
Sister says urged murdered Zimbabwe farmer to
CANBERRA, March 21 AAP|Published: Thursday March 21, 9:20
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
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
|Dog who wouldn't leave master given new
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
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 has been given a home by a friend of the murdered farmer.
Story filed: 17:33 Tuesday 19th March 2002