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

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Clarence Page

Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, means "place where
one does not sleep." That's what a black Harare
journalist told me last summer as he drove me around his
town. When Shona tribesmen first settled the area, he said,
the lions in the nearby forest interrupted the night so
forcefully with their roars that settlers had a hard time
getting much shut-eye.

More recently, as I watched
from afar while President Robert Mugabe appears to have
stolen his re-election fair and square, the entire country
of Zimbabwe has become a tough place to sleep.

Terry Ford, for example, is
sleeping permanently. He was a 55-year-old white Zimbabwean
farmer. He was killed Monday, a day after Mr. Mugabe, 78,
was sworn in for a hotly contested fifth term.

Mr. Ford was the 10th white
farmer to be killed since 2000 in Mr. Mugabe's so-called
"fast track" land reform. Ownership by
Zimbabwe's tiny white minority of 90 percent of the best
farmland is a real issue, dating back to the country's
independence in 1980.

Great Britain and the United
States pulled out of the original land reform plan a few
years after independence, charging corruption in Mr.
Mugabe's government. Mr. Mugabe did not make an issue
out of the land dispute until a few years ago, when white
farmers provided a convenient scapegoat for a mounting
political backlash against Mr. Mugabe by his fellow blacks.

Mr. Mugabe's supporters in
the United States (yes, he still has a few; I think I have
heard from all three of them) cynically blame Mr.
Mugabe's horrible international image on the Eurocentric
view of the world's major media.

Indeed, there have been many
more blacks than whites killed, injured, jailed or made
homeless during Mr. Mugabe's land seizures and other
political power grabs, but their cases usually don't
sizzle through the world's media as much as Mr.
Mugabe's black-on-white crimes.

Nevertheless, Mr. Mugabe
can't blame his country's troubles on the media.
Besides, those of us who supported Mr. Mugabe from this side
of the ocean in his battle against Rhodesia's
white-minority rule are more obliged than anyone else to
hold him accountable, racially and otherwise, now that he
and his political party ZANU-PF are in charge.

The larger story in Zimbabwe
goes beyond race or tribe. It is the story of a postcolonial
Third World nation struggling mightily to join the new,
emerging globalism.

Mr. Mugabe's opposition is
quite real and growing, born out of his country's labor
movements and fed by a new, young black professional class
struggling and striving to join neighboring economic giant
South Africa in the new global economy.

No other sub-Saharan African
country besides South Africa has more potential than
Zimbabwe for development based on its natural and human
resources. It has one of the continent's highest
literacy rates. Its agricultural strength made it the
breadbasket of southern Africa until drought and political
turmoil in the last two years caused famine and fuel

Harare today bristles with
young entrepreneurial professionals, easily detected by
their cell phones, laptops and, in many cases, American and
European educations. If countries that have Zimbabwe's
potential fall to the old big-man form of tribal despotism,
it is bad news for a world trying to bridge widening gaps
between rich and poor.

After two decades in office,
Mr. Mugabe has become a hindrance to his country's
future progress. Even the pragmatists within Mr.
Mugabe's party have urged him to step aside while he
still can be remembered with some semblance of honor as the
father of his country. Instead, he clings to the old
despotic form of African leadership, tribally based and
eager to play the race card when his back is up against the
wall, no matter who else gets hurt.

"You know what we say
around here, we thrive on our optimism," Geoff Nyarota,
editor of the Daily News, Zimbabwe's only independent
daily told me by cell phone after the votes were counted.

Mr. Nyarota knows optimism.
His printing press and offices were bombed last year,
apparently by Mugabe supporters. Still his staff comes to
work every day and puts out a paper that has helped fill the
gap left by Mr. Mugabe's closing of independent radio
and TV broadcasters.

Zimbabwe maintains some
semblance of democracy because its courts, its press and
other institutions are weak by American standards but strong
by African standards. The country's best hope is the
relentless optimism of its people.
Mr. Mugabe has angered them by
putting his corruption right in their faces and thwarting
the popular will. The opposition began calling for national
strikes as soon as the votes appeared to be miscounted in
the recent election. The voice of a new Zimbabwe is rising.
It has many miles to go before it sleeps.
Clarence Page is a
nationally syndicated columnist.

This article was mailed from The Washington Times
For more great articles, visit us at

Copyright (c) 2002 News World Communications, Inc. All
rights reserved.
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Afrlcan Dreams
by Peter Simple
The Weekly Telegraph (UK)
20 March 2002

THERE is nothing surprising about Mr Mugabe's victory. What is surprising
is that he bothers about elections at all. There must be easier ways of
holding on to power than beating up voters, stuffing ballot boxes with fake
papers and losing them or setting them on fire and generally rigging the

And for all the shock, horror and distress among Western liberal thinkers,
there is nothing surprising about the African countries' support for him.
The quarrel in Zimbabwe, as in all of Africa, is between the white man and
the black man. The black man, as Mugabe knows and the white thinker denies,
would like to get rid of the white man and all his laws and institutions
that linger on so confusingly from colonial times and irritate Mugabe and
his fellow potentates by getting in the way.

There is an obvious remedy. Let the black man get rid of the white man's
democratic eletions, his parliaments and woolsacks and judges' wigs, his
military uniforms, his weapons and other ingenious devices, his science and
technology, his money and financial arrangements, his motor cars and
aircraft, his computers, radio and television, not to speak of his
hospitals and medical services.

No longer ensnared by the white man's overpowering gifts, the Africans
could return to African ways of doing things.

The African chief would summon his tribal council and dispense African
justice. Wars would be fought with sticks and stones. Cattle would be
currency. Witchdoctors would flourish with their spells and potions. The
people would dance and sing and celebrate birth and death and the
procession of the seasons. The fat man, reclining in the shade, would have
the thin men scurrying about to do his bidding, as from time immemorial.

No news, good or bad, would come out of Africa any more to fill our "media"
with worry and soul-searching. Experts and liberal thinkers, deprived of
conscience-fodder and obsessive guilt, would have to find other ways of
passing their time. And Africa, free of mad, white, alien dreams of
progress and modernity, would be itself again.

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Monday, 22 March 2002

.Zimbabwe At The Crossroads: Transition Or Conflict?
If the current election outcome in Zimbabwe is allowed to stand, the message
across Africa would seem to be that managed violence works, vote rigging is
acceptable and that Africa is in the main not prepared to defend modern
democratic standards. In the end the goal must be a transitional
power-sharing arrangement, new elections and a political exit strategy for
Robert Mugabe. ICG sets out a two-track, complimentary strategy with
regional leaders, including importantly South Africa, seeking to broker a
transition, while the EU, U.S. and others should take a hard-line position
that reinforces the leverage of the regional efforts.
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International Editor, Denver Rocky Mountain News 
Foreign Affairs Columnist, Scripps Howard News Service
'Brother' Africans turning on Mugabe
By Holger Jensen
News International Editor
  President Bush is still consulting with allies on how to respond to
Zimbabwe's stolen election but other nations have begun piling the pressure
on President Robert Mugabe.
  The Commonwealth, composed mostly of former British colonies covering
nearly a third of the world, humiliated the 78-year-old despot by suspending
Zimbabwe for a year and calling for new elections.
  Denmark closed its embassy in Zimbabwe and shut off economic aid.
Switzerland froze any assets Mugabe and his inner circle might have in that
country and joined in a travel ban imposed by the United States and European
Union before the election.
  Suspension from the Commonwealth is largely symbolic since few penalties
are attached. But it was a stinging personal rebuff to Mugabe because it came
from two African leaders he had previously regarded as friends and allies in
his battle against “white imperialism.”
  The Commonwealth task force that recommended the suspension was made up of
Australian Prime Minister John Howard, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa
and President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria.
  Howard, the leader of the troika, is unimportant to Mugabe, who considers
him a lackey of Britain. Australia is routinely dismissed by Zimbabwe's
official press as a “British dominion” and thus part of the “Western
conspiracy” that seeks to restore colonial rule in Zimbabwe, according to
Mugabe's carefully spun mythology.
  But Mugabe had always counted on the support of neighboring South Africa,
the continent's richest nation, and Nigeria, its most populous.
  Mbeki's African National Congress and Mugabe's ZANU-PF had been allies
since the 1960s, when both were fighting white minority regimes. Some of
Mbeki's top lieutenants had already recognized Mugabe's election victory as
legitimate and congratulated him on what he called his “stunning blow to
  Obasanjo's betrayal stung even more because Mugabe idolized him. In an
interview with a Lagos newspaper last year, he praised the Nigerian leader as
his “master,” saying: “You are the one who taught us how to fight the white
man.” Now the master, in Mugabe's view, has rallied behind the white man
against an African brother.
  The Commonwealth groups 50 developing countries from Africa, Asia and the
Pacific alongside four developed ones: Britain, Canada, Australia and New
Zealand. Supporters say it offers a platform for joint action on worldwide
problems such as poverty and AIDS. But critics say it is a redundant relic of
the British Empire, a difficult mix of rich and poor nations with sharply
diverging priorities.
  Eleven years ago, at a meeting hosted by Mugabe, the Commonwealth pledged
to uphold “the rule of law and the independence of judiciary, just and honest
government and fundamental human rights.” It backed that up by suspending
Nigeria in 1995, when it was under military rule, and Fiji and Pakistan for
coups that ousted their elected governments in 1999 and 2000.
  However, Zimbabwe had always escaped censure even though Mugabe's regime
was neither honest nor just and often operated above the law. Steeped in
corruption and ruthless with political opponents, it killed, tortured and
terrorized the president's foes, ignored court orders, fired judges who ruled
against the government and unleashed lawless mobs of war veterans to seize
white-owned farms and intimidate the growing black opposition movement.
  Faced with convincing evidence that Mugabe was rigging his re-election,
Britain, Australia and New Zealand demanded Zimbabwe's suspension at a
Commonwealth summit a week before the vote. But all the African nations
banded together to protect Mugabe. Saying it would be unfair to judge the
election before it happened, they created the three-nation task force to rule
on its validity after the vote.
  Even then, Mbeki and Obasanjo gave Mugabe one last chance to avoid
suspension by trying to persuade him to invite his opponents into a
government of national unity.
  Only when he refused did they fly to London and signal their acceptance of
the Commonwealth election observers' report. It cited political violence and
other irregularities, concluding that “conditions in Zimbabwe did not
adequately allow for a free expression of will by the electors.”
  Now that Africa's two most influential leaders have turned their backs on
Mugabe, others are bound to follow.
     Copyright 2000 Holger Jensen. 
These columns may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise
distributed without the prior written authority of Holger Jensen.
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ABC Australia

Zimbabwe Farmers Report Intimidation
Intimidation, Revenge Violence Reported by Labor Officials, Farmers in

The Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe March 21 — Most businesses on Thursday ignored a national
strike organized to protest disputed elections and remained open, and labor
leaders blamed government intimidation. They said police, troops and ruling
party militants took down the names of people who did not report for work.

Tensions have remained high in the wake of the March 9-11 elections, which
Zimbabwe's opposition and several independent observer groups say was rigged
to ensure the victory of President Robert Mugabe. The government declared
Mugabe the victor.

The Commonwealth of Britain and its former colonies this week suspended
Zimbabwe from the organization's meetings for one year, citing the "high
level of politically motivated" violence in the vote.

On Thursday, a Commonwealth official said that he hoped Zimbabwe would work
to regain full status within the 54-nation group.

Speaking from a U.N. summit in Mexico, Don McKinnon said the Commonwealth
stopped short of taking harsher action such as expelling Zimbabwe from the
group in part because of "the fragile nature of the Zimbabwean economy."

Labor leaders said authorities used new security new laws to prevent them
from meeting freely with workers to coordinate the three-day nationwide
protest strike that began Wednesday.

Some factories remained closed Thursday, but most banks and shops reopened
and government offices, post offices and schools never closed.

The federation estimated about half of Harare's businesses were curtailed by
early Wednesday, declining to about a third in the afternoon as workers
showed up at their jobs.

Meanwhile, white farmers accused ruling party militants of attacking them as
part of a new campaign of violence intended to punish them for perceived
support of the opposition in the elections.

The Commercial Farmers Union said at least 50 farmers were illegally evicted
from their properties since the elections.

One farmer died Monday in an execution-style killing, a farm worker was
killed in a separate assault, hundreds of workers were forced to flee their
jobs and 66 farmers were arrested after providing logistical support for the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, the union said.

Most of those arrested face charges they violated new security laws by using
licensed radio equipment for political activities, the union said.

Though international leaders have appealed for reconciliation in the
country, which has been plagued by violence and intimidation over the past
two years, Zimbabwe remains as tense as ever.

Authorities charged opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai with treason
Wednesday and released him on bail in connection with an alleged plot to
assassinate Mugabe.

Tsvangirai has denied the accusation, dismissing the charges as a government
ploy devised to weaken the opposition.

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Business Day

Mugabe might sink SA's aid strategy


HARARE Despite vigorous SA efforts to secure political accommodation in
Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe seems intent on a hardline cabinet
committed to scorched-earth policies.

Official sources said yesterday that President Thabo Mbeki's reconciliation
and economic recovery plans faced collapse as Mugabe contemplated a "crisis
cabinet" to resist growing international pressure and sanctions after his
disputed election victory. That would make a coalition impossible with
Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Mugabe seemed interested at first in Mbeki's unity talks and the economic
rescue package as he sought political legitimacy, but made an about-turn on
Wednesday, and dug in his heels, raising fear of heightened repression.

A day after Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth, Mugabe pounced on
Tsvangirai. Despite his earlier assurance to Mbeki and Nigerian President
Olusegun Obasanjo that he would not hound opponents, Mugabe dragged
Tsvangirai to court on treason charges for an alleged assassination plot.

The US said the treason charges were baseless, and it was reviewing more
measures to pressure Zimbabwe's leadership.

Sources said Zimbabwean Finance Minister Simba Makoni and Industry and
International Trade Minister Herbert Murerwa seen in SA and the US as
progressive faced the chop in a looming cabinet reshuffle. It is thought
Mugabe will cling to his old guard and turf out ministers amenable to
economic reforms.

Insiders said the "ultras" would prevail over reformers, given the state of
Mugabe's mind.

It is now accepted in government circles that Vice-Presidents Simon Muzenda
and Joseph Msika will be retired. Sources said Mugabe's combative loyalists
like Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Chinamasa, Elliot Manyika, Sydney Sekeramayi and
Nicholas Goche were set to form the core of the obstructionist team.

A reactionary cabinet would undermine the rescue package the SA government
was preparing. Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin said last week
Pretoria was waiting in the wings with a recovery plan linked to political
stability. Ironically, the plan was drafted with the assistance of Makoni
last year.

While there has been growing international pressure for a new election in
Zimbabwe, Malawian President Bakili Muluzi called yesterday for closure,
saying the controversial election was now "water under the bridge".

Muluzi said the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC),
which he chairs, would help Zimbabwe rebuild its economy and attain
political stability.

"It's important that there is stability in that country because the economy
is in shambles. Stability is the future of Zimbabwe," he told Malawian
observers to the Zimbabwean election at his Sanjika palace in Blantyre.

Meanwhile, Tsvangirai has joined calls for another poll. Charging that
Mugabe stole the presidential poll, the opposition chief said his party was
pressing for an election rerun in line with growing international demands.

Bulawayo-based opposition party Zapu also called for the election to be
staged again under United Nations monitoring.

Mar 22 2002 12:00:00:000AM Dumisani Muleya and Sapa-AFP Business Day 1st

22 March 2002
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Murderous thugs attack farm family again

The Times, 21 March 2002,,3-242742,00.html

WHEN President Mugabe began his land grab two years ago Iain Kay was among
the first white farmers to suffer. He was tied up and beaten senseless by
so-called war veterans.

Within hours of Mr Mugabe declaring victory last week, Mr Kay, a supporter
of the opposition MDC, was again in the frontline. On Friday, his home at
Chipesa Farm in Marondera was taken over. His adopted son, Jon Rutherford,
was assaulted and his black bodyguard killed as he tried to save the young
man's life. Police fired on Mr Kay and another son. On Monday, Tony Ford, a
friend and fellow farmer, was tied to a tree and shot.

Mr Kay's wife, Kerry, said that after helping to get her grievously injured
son to hospital, she had seen the mutilated body of Darlington Vikaveka,
the security manager, placed in a metal coffin as local police recorded his
death as natural causes. Farm workers told her that Mr Vikaveka pleaded
with the mob to spare her son.

I just broke down and sobbed for the sheer brutality of it all, killing and
beating with impunity, a witch hunt to beat, rape and kill whoever
supported the legitimate opposition party, she said.

While she waited at Jon's bedside, her husband and his son David drove to
Chipesa after reports that a tractor driver was being tortured. When they
arrived the father and son were surrounded by armed marauders. They knew
two of the ringleaders, Marimo and Katsiro, who were trying to smash the
vehicle's windows.

Mr Kay, shouting for help on his shortwave radio, was told that police were
on their way. When they appeared, Mr Kay said, they turned their assault
rifles on him, shattering the windscreen as he accelerated away.

Mrs Kay is worried about the farm workforce and their families, who were
chased into the bush after their homes were torched. Among them is a
nine-year-old boy who appeared at Mrs Kay's front door recently, explaining
that his father was dying of Aids and his mother was already dead. She
found him a home, but now has no idea of his fate.

Like so many now suffering at the hands of the war veterans, the Kays were
once supporters of President Mugabe. Mr Kay's father, Jock, was an
Agriculture Minister from 1992 to 1994.

Iain Kay, 52, was born on the farm and was a pioneer in helping black
farmers to build up their own herds of livestock and developing pockets of
land. Zanu (PF) took exception to his interference in the hold it had over
so-called communal farmers, fearing that if they had their own livelihoods
the party's control would slip.Mrs Kay says that this is why, when Mr
Mugabe declared war on white farmers, her husband was singled out.

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C'wealth hopes for Zim's rehab

Monterrey, Mexico - The secretary-general of the Commonwealth said on
Thursday that he hoped Zimbabwe, recently suspended from councils in the
organisation of Britain and its former colonies, would work to regain full
status after its conflicted elections.

Commonwealth nations suspended Zimbabwe from their councils for one year on
Tuesday because of the "high level of politically motivated violence" that
marred March 9-11 presidential elections. The disputed vote gave President
Robert Mugabe another six years in office.

The organisation stopped short of harsher action - such as expelling
Zimbabwe from the group - in part because of "the fragile nature of the
Zimbabwean economy", Don McKinnon said.

"I think there's always the feeling, 'It's got to get better some day',"
McKinnon said. "If you take the major action and suspend them, you lose

He said the Commonwealth would work with Zimbabwe to help renew investments
in the country and to improve its electoral system.

No new financial aid

Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who announced Zimbabwe's suspension
on Tuesday, said the decision was based on a report from a group of 64
Commonwealth election observers who concluded that the poll was seriously
flawed and had not allowed for the free expression of the wishes of the

Other independent observer groups also have said the election, which
followed a campaign marred by political violence widely blamed on the ruling
party, was rigged to ensure Mugabe's victory.

The suspension shuts Zimbabwe out of all meetings of the 54-nation
Commonwealth over the coming year and means it will receive no new financial
aid from the organisation except under programmes aimed to restore political
stability and the rule of law.

Full suspension would have halted all aid programmes and barred Zimbabwe
from competing in the Commonwealth Games this year. - Sapa-AP

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The Age

Zimbabwe: Hundreds at slain white farmer's funeral
HARARE, March 22 AFP|Published: Friday March 22, 11:01 PM

Hundreds of white farmers, including former Rhodesian prime minister Ian
Smith, and black farm labourers attended a moving funeral today for slain
white farmer Terry Ford in Zimbabwe.

Ford was assaulted with axes and run over by a car before he was shot five
times at his farm near the capital overnight Sunday.

Four of his assailants appeared before a magistrate court yesterday and were
not asked to enter their plea.

His son, Mark, who lives in Australia told the funeral service at Highlands
Presbyterian Church in Harare said his father died for a "reason".

"He just wanted to live. He lived by what he believed and he died by what he
believed," said Mark Ford.

The church minister Peter McKenzie preached forgiveness.

"One of the saddest thing about bitterness is that the only person it
destroys is the person who carries it," said McKenzie.

President of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) Colin Cloete said the
farmers were determined to stay in Zimbabwe regardless of the violence
targeted at them.

"People are pretty desperate, with lack of direction, but are determined to
stay and farm as much as they can," Cloete told AFP in an interview after
the funeral.

"The lawlessness is absolutely unacceptable. There is no support for farmers
out there so things are very difficult, but we are determined to stay," he

In a show of the determination to stay in Zimbabwe despite difficulties the
white farmers have faced over the past two years, the funeral ended with a
song by a prominent Zimbabwean international cricketer, Henry Olonga, called
Our Zimbabwe.

The song advocates for peace and harmony.

Ford's Jack Russell terrier Squeak, who was at his side until his death, was
also at the funeral.

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Squeak mourns his master

Squeak the Jack Russell who refused to leave his master's side when he was murdered in Zimbabwe has been taken to his funeral.

Squeak by his master's coffin (AP)

The 14-year-old dog was cradled in the arms of Terry Ford's fiancee, Noami Raaff, as mourners paid their last respects in Harare to the tenth white farmer killed by ruling party militants.

The dog had huddled by Mr Ford's body for several hours after he was beaten, lined up against a tree and shot through the head on Monday.

"It is a time of loss and great tragedy. It is not a time to give up and throw our hands in the air," Pastor Peter McKenzie told the mourners.

At least 150 people, most of them opposition supporters, have died in political violence since 2000.

Mr Ford was the tenth white farmer killed since the often-violent land occupations began. Ruling party militants, with government support, have demanded the farms be redistributed to landless blacks.

Mark Ford, 28, said his father "just wanted somewhere to live and farm."

Squatters had occupied the farm in 2000, forcing Mr Ford to take on teaching work at a nearby Christian school.

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There are no excuses for Mugabe

Zimbabwe's election should be judged by its own high standards

Chris McGreal in Harare
Friday March 22, 2002
The Guardian

There is only one measure by which to judge Zimbabwe's election. It is not
by "African standards" as Robert Mugabe and his friends would have us do. It
is not by the criteria laid down by a myriad election observers from widely
differing political cultures - from Japan to Libya - with an array of tests
for what constitutes a good election. It is by Zimbabwe's own standards,
after more than two decades of independence. And by those, imperfect as they
may have been, the election was a disaster.
Nigeria's president, Olusegun Obasanjo, recognised that the election was
fatally flawed when he agreed to suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth this
week. So did Thabo Mbeki, if more reluctantly. But others in Africa continue
to defend Mugabe by pointing to the violence that plagues presidential
ballots in Kenya and the many shortcomings of a Nigerian election. They
remind us of the bloody run-up to South Africa's elections in 1994, and note
the west has turned a blind eye to the rigging of Zambia's latest election.

Wasn't Zimbabwe's vote a model of tranquillity and efficiency by comparison
to elections in some other parts of Africa, they ask? Why the double
standard? It's a good question, and one asked by those who stand to benefit
from seeing Zimbabwe's tainted election accepted by the wider world. Kenya's
Daniel arap Moi is certainly not interested in scrutiny of next year's
presidential ballot in which he can be expected to fall back on his routine
strategy of using violence to divide and rule. But Mugabe's opponents ask
whether this is the standard by which Zimbabwe should be judged.

Some of those dispatched to monitor Zimbabwe's election think so, including
the head of the Nigerian observer mission, Ernest Shonekon. He knows a thing
or two about stolen elections. When Moshood Abiola was deprived of his
election victory in 1993 by the Nigerian military, Chief Shonekon was the
frontman who took power on the army's behalf.

Some of the loudest voices in support of Mugabe have come from South Africa.
The deputy foreign minister, Aziz Pahad, wondered what all the fuss was
about - 120 political murders was nothing compared with the thousands who
died in the run-up to South Africa's first free ballot. And hadn't they
managed to pull off a free and fair election?

Well, no. Much of the violence then was concentrated in KwaZulu-Natal and
the election results there were openly manipulated with the consent of the
African National Congress to ensure that Inkatha won the province. That made
sense in the South African political context of the time because it went a
long way to ensuring the political stability the country enjoys today. But
it is no reason to brush off a strategy of murder and terror by the
Zimbabwean government as small potatoes.

It is to Zimbabweans' credit that 120 recent political murders are not as
meaningless as Pahad suggests, particularly in a country which endured a
liberation war in the 1970s and then the massacre of 20,000 people in the
Matabeleland rebellion two decades ago, when Mugabe's forces put down the
only real challenge to his authority before now.

Others have said that those foreign observers who condemned the elections
are hypocritical because they have failed to make similar criticisms of
ballots in Russia, eastern Europe or Italy. Perhaps so. Italian politics is
remarkably corrupt. Does that mean that when we encounter corruption in
British politics we should let it go? Voters of any country have the right
to be outraged if the loser is declared the winner in their elections.

The point missed by those who defend Zimbabwe's election is that its
shortcomings are not the result of under-development or the inability of the
system to cope which is implied in talk of "African standards". It did not
happen after a civil war. It did not happen in apartheid's death throes. It
did not happen because the country is so fractured by religious and ethnic
divides that blood- letting is part of the political discourse. It happened
because Mugabe was not prepared to accept defeat. His government set about
to subvert the will of the people.

There were certainly problems in past elections, particularly in
Matabeleland in the years after the massacres. Sometimes there was violence
against opposition candidates and supporters. But until Mugabe was faced
with a real challenge to his power, elections were transparent and largely
untainted by rigging. Political gatherings were not banned, nor was
criticism of the president. The voters' roll included just about everyone
who lived in the country and was over the age of 18, including non-citizens.
Above all, people did not live in terror of an election. That is the
standard by which many Zimbabweans want Mugabe's claim to victory to be

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Zimbabweans need your support

WHAT CAN YOU DO???  Zimbabweans are living in fear for their life now.  The
people are suffering from starvation because President Mugabe has NOT
allowed crops to be planted and their currency has collapsed.  Please visit
Images from the London protest outside the Zimbabwe High Commission link to
various websites about what is happening in Zimbabwe today.  If your heart
is touched by what you read, please SPEAK OUT.  Your voice is important, so
please e-mail church leaders, government officials and organizations that
can help.

Thank you in advance
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Zim Independent

MDC appeals for help to end violence
Dumisani Muleya/ Abeauty Mangezi

THE besieged Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is calling for
international intervention as mobs loyal to President Robert Mugabe step up
their retribution against the party's supporters.

This includes murder, abductions, beatings and destruction of property.

The MDC said in a statement this week the international community should
help stop Zanu PF violence after the hotly-disputed presidential election.

"We call on Sadc leaders and the international community to urge the ruling
party and government to restrain their supporters and abandon their agenda
of violence," it said.

The MDC's anguished appeal for intervention came as fresh violence swept
across the country. In Muzarabani communal lands, 83 houses belonging to 34
families were burnt after the election.

On Wednesday, newly-elected MDC councillor for ward 32 in Glen View, Last
Maengahama, was beaten up at around 2am by thugs in riot police gear. During
the evening of the same day MDC national youth executive member Philip
Mabika's house was stoned.

The MDC complains its members are being "hounded and hunted down, kidnapped,
tortured, and killed" by Zanu PF militias.

"Tafireyinyika Gwaze, our polling agent at Rukwenjere polling station in
Mutoko in the just-ended presidential election has died after being abducted
and tortured by Zanu PF militias," the opposition party said.

"Gwaze was picked up by the militia from a bus in which he was travelling
after the poll on Tuesday last week. He was taken to a nearby torture camp
where he was savagely beaten the whole night and released the following day.
He died from multiple injuries and wounds sustained."

The MDC also said another party activist, Owen Manyara, died on Sunday after
a brutal assault by Zanu PF thugs.

"Manyara was assaulted by Zanu PF militia at Nyamaruro Growth Point in Mt
Darwin for supporting the MDC."

It said houses belonging to its polling agents in Muzarabani, David Karamba
and Charles Madziwana, were burnt down in Mahwenda village by Zanu PF mobs
last Friday.

"In Bindura, Zanu PF militia have taken over House Number 2016 in Chiwaridzo
Township, which belongs to Clemence Masawi, who is our activist," the MDC

"Zanu PF militants, among them Newton Hakata, Sydney Mavhangira and one only
identified as Konde, broke into the house and turned it into a torture

The violence is systematic and widespread.

"In Chinhoyi, Biggie Matare, our Hurungwe East coordinator and Cosmos Nheya,
our polling agent in the election, were severely assaulted by Zanu PF
militias and sustained life threatening injuries," the opposition said.

"Another MDC activist, whose name is yet to be confirmed, was abducted.
These cases have been reported to Karoi Police Station and Inspector
Matorofa, a war veteran, is handling the cases."

Three MDC supporters were killed last weekend in Chipinge, allegedly by
soldiers. On Tuesday, an MDC activist, Ernest Gatsi, died in Guruve Hospital
after being assaulted by Zanu PF supporters while Lawrence Kuvheya was
killed in Chikomba district.

Over 110 people have so far been killed in politically-motivated violence.
Thousands of people have been affected. The ruling party has been accused of
being the major sponsor of the terror.

Last week, Zanu PF activists killed MDC supporter Funny Mahuni at a torture
camp in Mbizo township, Kwekwe, as violence swept through the Midlands city.

In Marondera, three people including a farm security guard, Darlington
Vikaveka and farm manager John Rutherford as well as MDC activist Munyaradzi
Mupazviripo, were last week attacked by ruling party mobs.

Masvingo mayor Alois Chaimiti was besieged in his office and threatened with
death last week.

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Renewed Fear Grips Farming Sector

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

March 22, 2002
Posted to the web March 22, 2002

Blessing Zulu

ZIMBABWE'S commercial farming sector was this week gripped by fear as a
terror campaign to force farmers off their land was stepped up following
President Mugabe's re-election.

In what is seen as a direct response to his call to intensify farm seizures
a white commercial farmer, Terrence Ford of Gowrie Farm in Norton, was
bludgeoned to death on Monday by suspected Zanu PF supporters and war

The suspects have been living on his property since farm invasions began in

Yesterday, four suspects - Harrison Jambaya, Joseph Siyabweka, Harrington
Kawanzaruwa and Costa Mahunza - were remanded in custody at the Norton
Magistrate's Court in connection with the brutal murder of Ford whose death
is thought to have helped persuade Commonwealth leaders meeting in London to
suspend Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe Independent understands the police are also looking for senior
war veterans' leaders operating in the Norton area in connection with the

In another incident a security guard, Darlington Vikaveka, was beaten to
death at a farm near Marondera.

Commercial Farmers Union president Colin Cloete has confirmed an increase in
incidents of violence on the commercial farms countrywide.

"Incidents of harassment, trashing and looting, forced evictions and
extortion as well as political retribution have reached alarming
proportions," he said yesterday.

"A large proportion of the incidents seem to be retribution against farmers
who were exercising their democratic right to support the political party of
their choice, which in the cases reported is the MDC, although some of the
farmers attacked have no political affiliation," he said.

"A total of 66 farmers who were resource persons for the opposition party
were arrested with some due to appear in court at the end of April. Charges
centre on the use of radios which farmers have been using well before 1980
under licence," Cloete said.

The new invasions are also affecting farm workers who face an uncertain

"In the last two weeks, on at least 14 of the farms affected, the workers
are under threat of eviction from their farm villages. A minimum of 600 farm
workers are affected prejudicing the lives of approximately 3 000 family
members," Cloete said.

The failure by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to act on time had
worsened the situation, he said.

"The lack of a definitive police response is playing into the hands of
opportunists. The problem seems to be at district level where officers seem
to be slow and in some cases unwilling to react to farmers' calls for help.

Their hands seem to be tied," said Cloete.

Ford's murder this week takes the toll of slain commercial farmers to 10
since farm invasions began in 2000.

Mashonaland East province heads the list with four murders in 2000. The four
are David Stevens on April 15, Stewart Allan Dunn on May 7, John Weeks on
May 14, and William Botha on July 23.

Matabeleland North has two cases: Martin Olds murdered on April 18 2000 and
his mother Gloria murdered on March 4 2001.

There are also two cases in the Midlands Province: Henry Swan Elsworth on
May 7 2000 and Fenwick Robert Cobbet on August 6 2001. Following the recent
murder of Ford, Mashonaland West now has two cases as Tony Oates suffered
the same fate on May 31 2000.

The mayhem on the farms will perpetuate the food shortages affecting the
country as hundreds of farms have now been abandoned in the wake of the

"At least 50 farmers have been illegally evicted, with some given an hour's
notice," Cloete said. "According to reports, over a dozen homes have been
trashed and looted, including Ruzawi Club in Mashonaland East," said Cloete.

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Zimbabwe seeks massive food imports in shattered economy


HARARE, Zimbabwe, March 22 — Zimbabwe announced plans Friday to import huge
amounts of food to stave off starvation caused by drought and the
agricultural chaos following the occupation of white-owned farms by ruling
party militants.
        Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said the government was seeking
200,000 tons of corn, the staple food, from Kenya, Brazil and Argentina.
Over the next 18 months, the country will need to import 1.5 million tons of
corn, state radio reported.
       The fertile, southern African nation was once considered the
breadbasket of the region.
       Now Zimbabweans wait in food lines in hopes of getting bags of
increasingly rare corn meal. In November, the government ordered 200,000
tons of corn valued at $25 million from neighboring South Africa.
       The main labor federation, meanwhile, conceded the failure of its
national strike to protest state-backed intimidation surrounding this
month's disputed presidential elections.
       The few businesses that had observed the strike reopened Friday,
which was to have been the last day of the three-day protest, said Lovemore
Matombo, head of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.
       He said new security laws hindered strike organizers and
''heavy-handed'' threats by the authorities and bias in the dominant state
media stopped workers joining the action.
       ''We did not do a great job. We admit that. This particular battle
might not have been won, but it is a lesson for the future,'' Matombo said.
       At a meeting next month, leaders of the federation will consider
possible further action to protest political violence that has left at least
150 people — most of them opposition supporters — dead since 2000.
       Early Friday, hundreds of white farmers and black farm workers
attended the funeral of Terry Ford, 51, who was shot in the head in an
execution-style killing Monday at his farm west of the capital, Harare.
       ''It is a time of loss and great tragedy. It is not a time to give up
and throw our hands in the air,'' Pastor Peter McKenzie said as he
officiated the funeral.
       Ford was the tenth white farmer killed since the often-violent farm
occupations began two years ago. Ruling party militants, with tacit
government backing, have demanded the farms be redistributed to landless
       Mark Ford, 28, told the mourners that his father ''just wanted
somewhere to live and farm.''
       ''He lived by what he believed, he died by what he believed,'' he
said. Squatters occupied the farm in 2000, forcing him to take on teaching
work at a nearby Christian school.
       Noami Raaff, Ford's fiancee, held the couple's Jack Russell terrier,
Squeak, in her arms. The dog had huddled by Ford's body for several hours
after his murder.
       The farm occupations, along with floods and droughts, have decimated
the country's harvest as its agriculture-based economy collapsed.
       Last year, Zimbabwe produced 1.54 million tons of corn, down from 2.1
million tons in 2000.
       Harvests of tobacco, the main cash crop, also are expected to be down
this year, by as much as 30 percent.
       Foreign loans, aid and investment have dried up. Mining has been
plagued by shortages of equipment and fuel and tourism, the third-largest
hard currency earner, has fallen by 80 percent.
       Emergency food distribution by the World Food Program to 500,000
people facing starvation resumed Thursday in south and western Zimbabwe,
U.N. officials said.
       The distribution was halted a week before the March 9-11 presidential
elections so as not to ''coincide with political concerns,'' the WFP said.
       Official election results showed President Robert Mugabe winning 56
percent of the vote to 42 percent for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai,
who claimed the election was tainted and has called for a new vote.
       Mugabe, 78, led the nation to independence from Britain in 1980 and
had faced little dissent until recent years, when the nation's economy
collapsed and political violence became rampant.
       Some foreign election observer groups said the election was held
under unfair procedures that favored Mugabe.

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Zimbabwe to seize more farms, defies pressure

HARARE, March 22 — Zimbabwe's government on Friday earmarked more white
farms for seizure in defiance of rising international pressure against
President Robert Mugabe after his controversial election victory.

       The government published in the state-owned Herald newspaper a list
of 388 farms for seizure -- including ranches owned by South Africa's
wealthy Oppenheimer family, which has huge mining interests in southern
       ''Notice is hereby given...that the President intends to acquire
compulsorily the land described in the schedule for resettlement purposes,''
read the advertisement.
       It did not give a time frame for the seizures, but owners have until
April 22 to lodge objections.
       The announcement comes on the heels of the southern African nation's
one-year suspension from the 54-nation Commonwealth this week after its
election monitors said the March 9-11 presidential election was neither free
nor fair.
       On Wednesday, opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader
Morgan Tsvangirai appeared in court on treason charges.
       A barely heeded three-day strike called by the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions (ZCTU) to protest against violence collapsed on the final day,
Friday, with workers claiming that fear of reprisals and harsh laws had
driven protesters back to work.
       ''The environment in which we are operating is so cruel...we are
going to evaluate the weaknesses and what we could have avoided,'' said ZCTU
president Lovemore Matombo.
       The United States on Thursday warned African countries they could
lose U.S. aid if they did not take a stand against Mugabe's re-election,
rejected by many observer missions as fraudulent.
       Analysts said the government was trying to keep the land issue at the
top of its political agenda amid mounting pressure for an election re-run.
The land reform programme formed the core of the ruling ZANU-PF's election

       ''They are essentially saying 'to hell with the Commonwealth.' The
government is clearly unrepentant and we are going to see worse trouble,
with pressure growing for a new election,'' said John Makumbe, a political
science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.
       ''They will need to keep the land issue alive so that they can use it
in case there is an election re-run. More farmers are going to be driven off
their land.''
       The MDC and farmers say Tsvangirai's supporters have been
increasingly targeted in a retribution campaign since the 78-year-old
Mugabe's controversial victory.
       A black farm guard has been beaten to death, 25 farmers assaulted and
50 chased from their farms in the past 10 days, the Commercial Farmers Union
(CFU) said on Thursday.
       ''Incidents of harassment, trashing and looting, forced eviction and
extortion as well as political retribution have reached alarming proportions
since the...election,'' CFU president Colin Cloete said in a statement.
       The CFU, which represents mostly white farmers, backed Tsvangirai in
the election. The opposition leader had promised to stop the illegal seizure
of white-owned farms and to implement a negotiated programme to advance
black land ownership.
       Mugabe -- who says it is immoral for the 4,500 white farmers to
occupy 70 percent of the country's best farm land -- vowed at his
inauguration to press ahead with the land reform programme.
       The government wants to seize at least 8.3 million hectares (20.5
million acres) of the 12 million hectares (29.6 million acres) in white
hands. It has so far listed about 6,000 farms, representing about 90 percent
of commercial farm land, for seizure, but not all have been taken yet.
       Mugabe, who came to power when the former white-ruled Rhodesia gained
independence in 1980, sees his land seizure programme as a belated drive to
correct imbalances in land ownership created by previous colonial

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Zim Independent - comment

Dankie Suid-Afrika, Siyabonga, Re a leboga

BEWARE of South Africans bearing gifts. They could have unexpected

On Monday President Thabo Mbeki, accompanied by his Nigerian counterpart
Olusegun Obasanjo, tried to interest Zimbabwe's leadership in something dear
to the hearts of South African politicians, a government of national unity.
Deputy President Jacob Zuma had already introduced the subject last Thursday
during his brief visit to Harare. He didn't get very far. Nor did Mbeki and
Obasanjo. But their agenda is compelling.

Both leaders are concerned about Nepad, their New Partnership for Africa's
Development project, which stands no chance of success if President Mugabe
continues to behave as a delinquent ruler with little regard for the lives
or welfare of his citizens.

Nepad is premised squarely on good governance and an attractive investment
climate. Zimbabwe has neither. The South Africans have put an economic
rescue package in place but it hinges on political stability. That was the
point of Mbeki and Obasanjo's visit this week.

The government-of-national-unity proposal is designed both to secure a
political consensus and head off further measures against Zimbabwe by the
international community. It is in fact a fine-tuning of an initiative the
South Africans have been touting since April 2000.

A government of national unity is not in itself objectionable. But it will
have to be a genuine coalition of interests functioning within a specific
time-frame ahead of internationally-supervised elections. It cannot be a
process by which Mugabe's rule is legitimised by co-option of certain MDC
leaders with a view to neutralising the opposition as happened in 1980 and

Zimbabwe has an unfortunate history of "unity" between major parties which
has suffocated democracy. It mustn't happen again.

Mbeki and Obasanjo said in London they intend to remain "engaged" in the
search for a solution to Zimbabwe's crisis. This says a great deal about
Mugabe's claims to legitimacy based on his election "win". His absolutist
approach to governance has now met its match in the MDC's rejectionism. The
MDC would appear to have a whip hand in the diplomacy now under way.
Together with civil society, they should use it to set out their democratic

By all means let's try to rescue the country from the mess Mugabe has
created. But only if the instigator of violence and economic sabotage is
removed. Under no circumstances should his damaging and discredited regime
be salvaged by MDC participation in it, especially now the Commonwealth has
in effect declared the electoral outcome invalid

However, with Mugabe's departure the way would be open to negotiating a
power-sharing transitional arrangement with an agenda of economic recovery.
A government of national unity would be conceivable only if an independent
electoral commission acceptable to all parties is established. Only if free
and fair internationally-supervised elections are scheduled within a
specific period. Only if the police force is returned to professional
conduct and criminals are prosecuted. Only if the judiciary is politically
decontaminated. Only if repressive laws passed this year are repealed. Only
if the public media is open to all.

Those are the conditions all parties supporting democracy should be able to
subscribe to and they represent a fitting response to Obasanjo's suggestion
on Wednesday that a coalition government should be concerned with "unity,
security...and the essential issue of the economy".

Significantly Obasanjo said at the same time that fresh elections were now
possible to contemplate, if not just yet.

All this contributes to Mugabe's isolation. His refusal to entertain reform
blocks economic recovery. As that leads to a rapidly deteriorating situation
so he will find himself increasingly unpopular.

The consequences of his political recidivism and scorched-earth policy are
now being felt. Mbeki and Obasanjo cannot ignore the knock-on effects. By
delivering Mugabe to the court of international judgement on Tuesday his own
closest allies have dealt him a fatal blow. His obduracy in talks on Monday
and the murderous rampage of his supporters gave them no room for manoeuvre.

This means in a space of little under a week, South Africa's attempt to
recognise the election outcome and persuade the victor to be accommodating
has been transformed into a completely different ballgame in which the
restoration of democracy has become the chief goal, backed by the
international community.

This will come as a shock to the South Africans. But we are grateful to them
for the way things have turned out!

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From News24 (SA), 21 March

Cosatu wants facts from observers

Johannesburg - The Congress of SA Trade Unions on Thursday demanded of the
various observer missions that monitored the recent presidential elections
in Zimbabwe that they produce facts to support the conclusions drawn in
their reports. The ANC ally said none of the conflicting reports on the
election provided a convincing argument to back their conclusions. "In order
to convince Cosatu and the South African population at large that the SA
Observer Mission and other missions did not go to Zimbabwe with preconceived
and fixed positions to legitimise or to condemn the election results, the
respective missions are challenged to give us concrete facts and scientific
evidence to back up their arguments," the trade union federation said in a
statement. "Cosatu believes that the presence of observers did contribute to
the improving of the environment and ensuring restraint," the statement

Cosatu has argued that it would be difficult to hold free and fair elections
in Zimbabwe taking into account the political environment since the 2000
parliamentary elections. "Cosatu consistently called for decisive
interventions by the international community, in particular SADC, to ensure
a free and fair election. The fact that most of the international community
chose to ignore our pleas and act only on the eve of the election made it
too late to reverse the accumulated damage," the labour organisation said.
"On the face of it, there is compelling evidence that the electoral process
was fraught with irregularities, violence and intimidation, a biased media,
and in some respects bias on the part of the police in some parts of the
country. The legislative framework did not allow for a level playing field.
The uncertainty created by court ruling, the defiance of the ruling and the
last minute introduction of regulations resulted in massive confusion and
inadequate preparations by the electoral authorities."

Already heavily involved in the pro-democracy struggle in Swaziland, Cosatu
also undertook to engage itself in Zimbabwe. For that reason the
organisation said it fully backed a three-day general strike called by the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions "in support of their fight for basic trade
union and human rights". Cosatu deplored the action of police "who forced
their way into a private meeting of the ZCTU Executive Council on 14 March,
in contravention of the International Labour Organisation's Convention 87
which gives workers' organisation the right to organise freely without
interference." The federation condemned the harassment of workers by
government militias and the police, "which the ZCTU say has intensified
since the 9-11 March election. Cosatu also is concerned at the threat by the
Zimbabwe government to deregister the ZCTU and its proposed 'anti-terrorist'
law, which would make socio-economic, and political strikes illegal".

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Comment from New Vision (Uganda), 21 March

Commonwealth is right

Zimbabwe has been suspended from the Commonwealth group of nations for one
year following last week's controversial election. A troika of leaders,
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Prime Minister John Howard of
Australia, and President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, delivered the
organisation's verdict after considering it election monitors' report. The
Commonwealth is right to take this stand. A fortnight ago, at its heads of
state summit meeting, it was agreed that sanctions of any sort be held back
pending the election itself. It was rightly deemed premature to judge the
country before the poll was carried out. But the circumstances surrounding
the voting process have been widely seen to be undemocratic. It is not the
first time the group has suspended nations - Nigeria and South Africa have
been themselves been out in the cold as recently as less than ten years ago,
while Pakistan, where a military government took power, and Fiji where a
coup overthrew an elected government, have been the latest suspensions. But
Zimbabwe is the first case of a fraudulently conducted election. The country
failed the standard set, ironically enough, in its own capital, as the 1991
Harare declaration committed all Commonwealth countries, regardless of their
political or economic conditions, to certain basic principles. Democracy,
human rights, judicial independence and sound economic management are some
of the ideals Zimbabwe has failed to live up to. The Commonwealth has sent
out strong signals that to belong, one must meet basic group standards.
After all, which club with a dress code would consistently tolerate shabbily
dressed patrons? But if and when Zimbabwe reforms, they should be
readmitted. The ball is now in Harare's court.
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--> Zim Independent


Where were the Africans at Mugabe's inauguration?

SO what happened to all those 21 heads of state who were due to attend the
inauguration? They seem to have lost interest. Instead President Mugabe had
to comfort himself with five - all cronies from the region.

South Africa, Botswana and Zambia sent vice-presidents while close allies
like Angola and Libya could only manage "high-level representatives" - even
after the ceremony was postponed a day to enable their leaders to get here.

The Herald's "Special Correspondent" had to resort to making the best of a
bad job.

"Rarely, if ever, can the inauguration of a victorious Sadc leader have
attracted 10 Sadc countries, including Zimbabwe, and representatives from
the Arab world, central and West Africa," he claimed.

We didn't get the bit about Zimbabwe being among those "attracted". Who was
Zimbabwe's representative at the swearing-in? Or was this another case of
Zanu PF inflating figures?

It was interesting to note that there was a master-of-ceremonies present to
guide the proceedings. This would appear to be a novel development. Aren't
MCs usually associated with quiz shows and beauty pageants? We have never
seen one before at an inauguration ceremony.

This one seemed to be rather inept, not knowing who was supposed to take an
oath of office. And there seemed to be much emphasis in the official media
on the president's written speech as distinct from his off-the-cuff remarks.

Are we missing something here? Could the distinction have something to do
with that rare animal, the gnu (government of national unity), which Thabo
Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo appear to be foisting on the victor?

Which raises another issue. If everything is fine and dandy with Mugabe's
re-election and he is now master of all he surveys, why the frantic
diplomacy from those he counts as pan-Africanist allies aimed at getting him
to first share power with the opposition and then step down? With the
exception of outbursts from Jonathan Moyo about dead horses, the Zimbabwean
public is being deprived of vital information by the government media about
why these diplomatic shuttles are necessary in the first place.

We were amused to see Thabo Mbeki resisting Mugabe's attempts to embrace him
on arrival at Harare airport. We have noted this before. He keeps Mugabe at
arm's length obliging the Zimbabwean leader to do a funny little push/pull
dance with his reluctant partner.

It would be useful to know who the author is of a dishonest police report
published in the Herald last Saturday. Police statistics, it claimed, showed
that MDC supporters committed 176 politically- motivated crimes last year
while Zanu PF supporters were responsible for 157. During the election, it
said, the MDC was involved in 570 incidents while Zanu PF was held
responsible for two.

The police said the MDC contravened the Public Order and Security Act more
because it treated the legislation with disdain and wanted to create an
impression that it was being victimised.

"The birth of the MDC brought pronounced political violence to the
Zimbabwean political scene," the report said. "This can be understood from
the perspective that the MDC leadership comprises people who in their years
at university have been militant in their approach to national issues."

It would be difficult to find a more partisan and unprofessional document.
It explains fully why the police have forfeited the public's confidence.
First of all its figures tell us nothing at all except that the police have
acted in the interests of the ruling party to arrest opposition members
under draconian new security laws while refusing to act against criminals
belonging to Zanu PF.

The Public Order and Security Act is almost certainly unconstitutional and
gives the police sweeping powers that are incompatible with democratic
norms. The Act has already been abused to ban over 80 opposition rallies
during the election campaign.

The statement that "the birth of the MDC brought pronounced political
violence to the Zimbabwean political scene" looks as if it was written by
Zanu PF's publicity department, not a law enforcement officer. It ignores
the over 100 victims murdered by Zanu PF thugs. It ignores the documented
incidents of abductions and torture of MDC supporters. It ignores the trail
of violence and mayhem unleashed by Zanu PF's militia on farms. It ignores
the setting up of illegal roadblocks and the confiscation of ID cards. It is
a disgraceful report that should be treated by the public with the contempt
it deserves.

Reports on the just-concluded election by the Zimbabwe Election Support
Network, the Commonwealth, the United States, and Sadc parliamentary forum
have all sharply criticised the police for either being complicit in
violence or failing to prevent it.

The Commonwealth Observer Group said "very often the police did not take
action to investigate reported cases of violence or intimidation, especially
against known or suspected supporters of the MDC. Indeed, they appeared to
be high-handed in dealing with the MDC and lenient towards supporters of
Zanu PF. This failure to impartially enforce the law seriously calls into
question the application of the rule of law in Zimbabwe."

That statement should be framed and put up in Wayne Bvudzijena's office.

If anyone had doubted the political loyalties of the Zimbabwe Mirror they
need look no further than its coverage of the election results last week.
"Africa stands by Zimbabwe" was its patriotic heading last Friday. And
inside was page after page of stories such as "Mugabe's victory legitimate"
and "A victory for sons and daughters of the soil".

We are not going to quarrel here with the right of the Mirror's publisher to
declare his loyalty to Mugabe's moth-eaten cause in this clumsy way. Or his
right to gloat in "told you so" terms about the futility of "an orchestrated
international media campaign and voracious but also highly intolerant
globalisation programme" design-ed to "condition the perceptions of voters"
in a way that would "qualify the national independence and sovereignty of
African countries".

It all just goes to show how much the MDC was out of touch, the paper

We could apply the same logic to the Mirror. How did its targeted readership
market vote? Were people living in Zimbabwe's cities (and let's not pretend
that "sons of the soil" buy it) prepared to swallow the Mirror's redundant
junk about sovereignty and pan-Africanist solidarity? Did they agree that
the country's problems can be ascribed to an "orchestrated international
media campaign"? No. They rejected these Zanu PF delusions wholesale.

It would be difficult to find a paper more out of touch with voters in the
parts of Zimbabwe where it expects people to buy it. But good luck to them
anyway. "Let a thousand flowers bloom, let a thousand views contend," or
whatever Mao said!

BBC World's Dateline has been devoting considerable time to discussion of
the Zimbabwe election. Most of the programme's contributors have been
sharply critical of the process. Others have been more indulgent.

The Guardian's Polly Toynbee, for example, while not approving of rigging,
advised viewers to be mindful of "where Mugabe is coming from".

We all understand where Mugabe is coming from. We just don't think that's a
justification for where he's taking us! SW Radio Africa's Tererai
Karimakwenda put that point exceptionally well on the same program- me last
Sunday. George Shire, Zanu PF's London-based apologist, was yelling at
every- body to understand that Mugabe should be judged by African standards,
not Europe's.

Tererai told him it was insulting to have Africans judged by a standard that
was different from those applied else- where. He was calm and forthright on
Mugabe's electoral rigging and the refusal of ZBC to admit other voices, a
point Shire refused to respond to. Instead he kept repeating that there were
nine independent papers in Zimbabwe.

Where are they all? And why does the existence of privately owned papers
give the public broadcaster the right to exclude views other than Mugabe's?

It has been instructive to see the scorn heaped on the South African
observer mission in his or her own country. They didn't get away with their
crude whitewash, if their media coverage was anything to go by.

We accept that the group reflected the diversity of South African society,
including some enlightened individuals as well as a few political

One of the latter was spotted at Harare airport on Wednesday watching the
final results coming through on a TV monitor. When it was announced that
Mugabe had won, he punched the air with his fist and shouted "Yes"!

A female member of an Italian film crew nearby asked if they could record
his joy. But he threatened to hit her if she tried. A wonderful
advertisement for the SA observer mission and for his country!

Muckraker was interested to see the list of organisations falling over
themselves to congratulate "Cde RG Mugabe" (all were required to use the
same formula it seems) on his election theft. The Traffic Safety Council of
Zimbabwe " joined the nation" in congratulating him.

"Let's term (sic) the traffic jungle together", their ad said in what many
will take as a reference to the havoc caused by his presidential motorcade.

Finhold joined the rejoicing as did the City of Harare and Municipality of
Chitungwiza, evidently abusing ratepayers' money before their Zanu PF
administrators are booted out.

Zesa, Arda, Noczim, the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board, POSB, Campfire,
Sable Chemicals, the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, ZimRe,
Dairibord, Tel*One, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority
and GMB, all felt compelled to offer their congratulations. Then there were
individual boot-lickers like Augustine Chihuri, Ignatius Chombo and Aeneas
Chigwedere who are no doubt relieved that their patron has been returned.

We can readily understand why costly and inefficient parastatals should
tender their best wishes. Their parasitic relationship with the public would
have been severed if a reformist president had been elected. But do they
have to waste our money to advertise their slavish loyalty to a discredited

If voter attendance at rallies is a reflection of a leader's popularity then
Mugabe is a very peculiar one indeed. We were constantly told and shown on
ZTV people thronging his rallies in the run-up to the election. Invariably
crowds were estimated at between 20 000-30 000. By the end of the hectic
campaign Mugabe had notched up an incredible 51 rallies against Morgan
Tsvangirai's eight. Surely we would expect Mugabe's victory at the election
to have been in the ratio of almost 6 to 1. But 1,6 million against 1,2
million doesn't seem to be anywhere near that. What happened?

Veteran correspondents have commented on the similarities between Jonathan
Moyo and his onetime predecessor PK van der Byl. Both are tall, supremely
arrogant, ideologically suspect, and hostile to the press. Van deer Bill
held the Information portfolio for many years before being appointed
Minister of Foreign Affairs.

It was Ian Smith's worst move. Van deer Bill immediately alienated South
Africa, Rhodesia's last friend, by his cool contempt for their leaders and
refusal to budge on policy. It didn't help that he was a refugee from the
Nat government there.

Muckraker's guess? Mayo will follow in Van deer Bill's footsteps. The
Foreign Affairs ministry beckons.
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