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

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Headman's charred remains discovered in Nkayi
Loughty Dube POLICE in Nkayi last week unearthed the charred remains of a local headman who was allegedly murdered by Zanu PF militia two weeks before the disputed presidential election.
Police were led to his grave by youths they had arrested.
The discovery of the body has raised fears of mass murders as dozens of people disappeared or went missing in the district before the poll and have not been accounted for.
The headman, James Sibanda of Mathendele ward, was allegedly murdered by the militia two weeks before the election.  His body was burnt before being buried in a shallow grave.
The militia, who were allegedly led by a former dissident, Rainfall Msimanga, accused the headman of being a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporter.
Police last week arrested Msimanga and 31 youths at a terror camp the youths had set up in the district.
"What happened during the Gukurahundi has come to haunt us again and there are fears that some people we thought fled violence to the cities could have been murdered and are buried somewhere in the district," one Nkayi villager told the Independent.
A police spokesman confirmed arresting the youths and their leader but refused to shed more light on the matter.
Villagers in the area have stopped using the local dip tank after it was alleged that there are three unidentified bodies dumped in it.
The discovery of Sibanda's body follows pleas by villagers who enlisted the help of a human rights organisation - Christian Women for Love and Care - to pressure police to investigate the cases.
Some of the youths who talked are said to have become mentally unstable as a result of the murders.
Christian Women for Love and Care director Sakhile Nkomo confirmed her organisation was involved in the Nkayi matter and was also gathering information on other victims.
"The remains of Sibanda will be buried on Friday (today) and we are working on ensuring that all missing persons are accounted for and that justice is done," said Nkomo.
Villagers said Sibanda was abducted by the youths and taken to a nearby secondary school used as a terror base by Zanu PF.
Witnesses who were at the camp at the time of the murder said youths and war veterans who numbered about 50 descended on Sibanda and started assaulting him.
"They knocked out all his teeth and proceeded to pound him with stones and axes as he pleaded for mercy.  They beat him to death and then ripped him apart and buried his bowels separately before setting his body on fire,"
said a visibly-shaken villager who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The villager said when they were released they were warned not to say a word about the incident.
Nkayi witnessed the worst violence in the run-up to the presidential election.
The MP for the area, Abednico Bhebhe, was axed in the head and arrested when he went to campaign for the MDC in the area.
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Black and white mourn victim of Mugabe mob
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 23/03/2002)

HUNDREDS of mourners, white and black, turned up at the funeral yesterday of
Terry Ford, a white farmer murdered at his home on Wednesday by suspected
supporters of President Mugabe.

Many wept openly when his girlfriend, Naomi Raaff, a teacher, walked to the
front row in the Presbyterian church carrying his beloved Jack Russell,
Squeak, who was found on his corpse shortly after he was shot dead.

She put him down, and he sniffed around the coffin before going outside to
the church garden.

Naomi Raaff, the girlfriend of Terry Ford, with his dog Squeak
The 55-year-old farmer was murdered before dawn at his farm near Norton, 27
miles west of Harare, after two years of harassment and threats from
self-styled veterans of the independence war and other Mugabe supporters.

The violence and harassment of white farmers has intensified to its worst
level since Mr Mugabe's presidential election victory last weekend.

Yesterday, while the funeral was taking place, Ben Kirstein, a 64-year-old
dairy farmer, was abandoning his farm near Featherstone, about 80 miles
south of Harare.

Outside his modest home, he was packing farm vehicles with a lifetime's
family possessions. His mainly Friesland dairy herd will be sold next week
or sent to the abbattoir.

"I can't take the strain any more, it has been going on for two years," he
said. Terry Ford's murder was probably the last straw, and so we are going."

Like Mr Ford and many others, he was told to stop farming crops two years
ago and his cattle were allowed to graze in only one field, as the so-called
"settlers" said the rest of the farm belonged to them.

Mr Kirstein has produced more than 200 gallons of milk a day for the past 35
years. Many shops and hotels in Zimbabwe are now rationing milk as dairy
farmers have, like the rest of the commercial farming sector, been

"I am going to Harare," he said. "I can't leave Zimbabwe, we are all born
here, but we don't know what to do."

At least 11 of his neighbours and friends abandoned their farms and left the
Featherstone area this week.

Mr Ford had spent an anguished night phoning neighbours and the police as Mr
Mugabe's militants surrounded his home. The police said they could not
assist as their driver was asleep.

Finally, shortly before dawn, he went outside, followed by Squeak, and tried
to stop youths from stealing a lorry.

They rounded on him, beat him and then shot him with his own revolver at
point blank range against a tree in his garden.

Four men have appeared in court in connection with the murder but police say
they are looking for at least another 10 who were around Mr Ford's home
before the shooting.

Among the mourners yesterday were his remaining farm workers, his cook and
black teachers from the Harare church school where Mr Ford had worked as a
handyman since Mr Mugabe's militants stopped him farming.

In the second row of the packed Presbyterian church was a frail-looking Ian
Smith, 82, the Rhodesian prime minister who led the country into UDI before
handing over power to Mr Mugabe after a bloody guerrilla war.

Pastor Peter McKenzie told the mourners: "It is a time of great loss, a time
of great tragedy but it is not time to give up and throw our hands into the

Mr Ford was the 10th white farmer to be killed since the Zimbabwean leader
launched his violent seizure of commercial farms two years ago.

His younger son, Mark, 28, arrived from New Zealand, where he had been
living, on the morning of his father's murder.

As he got off the aircraft in Harare he was informed of the killing. Barely
audible through his tears, he told the congregation: "All my father wanted
was somewhere to live and somewhere to farm."

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Fear hindering 'true' democracy

Harare - A leading Zimbabwean rights body Saturday said widespread
intimidation of the opposition is preventing the development of multiparty
democracy in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Asssociation (Zimrights), an observer of the recent
presidential polls, said in a preliminary report released on Saturday that
the "electoral process did not really conform adequately with the norms and
standards for a free and fair election".

"As a potential de-facto one party state, we are now in the unenviable
position - along with Swaziland - of being the only countries in the region
without multiparty democracy," said Zimrights.

The human rights organisation called on government to recognise and allow
opposition parties "to flourish as they play a key role in nation-building,
balancing power and counteracting abuse of office."

"Rather than an atmosphere of intimidation of the opposition, there must be
conditions created for genuine multiparty democracy in Zimbabwe," it said.

Elections two weeks ago returned Robert Mugabe to the office of president
with 56.2 percent of the vote, compared to 41.9 percent for Morgan
Tsvangirai, who heads the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

The poll came in for severe international criticism because of widespread
irregularities, and led directly to the suspension of Zimbabwe from the
Commonwealth earlier this week for a period of one year.

Zimrights cited political violence, massive intimidation and the
politicisation of government food aid said to provide by the ruling Zanu-PF
as three reasons the hotly-disputed poll could not qualify to be free and

"President Mugabe also had an unfair access to state resources during the
campaign. A perfect example was his use of Air Force and Presidential
helicopters to travel around the country attending ZANU-PF rallies," said

"And with electoral laws that give the incumbent president powers to appoint
who supervises his re-election, it is also difficult to say they were fair,"
said Zimrights.

The opposition has rejected the result claiming massive vote-rigging and
voter intimidation. - Sapa-AFP

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   The Age

Mugabe's fast track to self-destruction
By Ed O'Loughlin
March 23 2002

Outcast by the Commonwealth and abandoned by his peers, despised in his
capital and banned from most of the developed world, it is just possible
that Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe, may now be starting to realise the
price of victory in this month's disputed presidential poll.

For two years, critics of the ageing strongman have warned that his bloody
and lawless tactics would create a crisis that even he could not control.
Now, with Western donors uniting with Zimbabwe's civil society to condemn
the election, it seems he has wasted his political capital on buying a paper

It is not hard to see Mugabe's life as an Elizabethan tragedy, and indeed
the former schoolteacher still delights in quoting Shakespeare in his
increasingly infrequent public appearances.

Here is a man of parts, a brave resistance leader and a preacher of love and
reconciliation, brought low by his inability to give up the power his gifts
have brought him. Now he sits brooding in Harare's state house, alone but
for an assortment of paid thugs and sycophants, while beyond the wall gather
forces, which, through the veil of his vanity, he can only dimly comprehend.

Mugabe feared becoming King Lear, who benignly abdicated power only to be
betrayed and ruined by his heirs. Instead, Mugabe is turning into Macbeth, a
brave man corrupted by power and pride, battling his fate to the bitter end.

All this might be quite entertaining if it were only fiction. Sadly for the
people of Zimbabwe, and southern Africa in general, the tragedy of Mugabe is
playing out for real.

While the 78-year-old President and his ruling party cling desperately to
power, the forces that will eventually destroy them are already at work on
the 12 million unfortunate people they control. Despite the undoubted blow
Mugabe has received from the international community, these forces are not
diplomatic, and certainly not military. They are economic, and they are
already biting the people hard.

All over Zimbabwe basic foodstuffs are severely rationed. In some areas,
particularly those that did not vote for Mugabe, people are beginning to

John Robertson, an independent Harare economist and critic of Mugabe's
regime, says Zimbabwe urgently needs more than a million tonnes of maize,
400,000 tonnes of wheat and $US2 billion ($A3.8 billion) in donations. But
with donors alienated by Mugabe's racist anti-Western rhetoric, and his
government's corrupt, lawless and willfully inept handling of the economy,
there is no chance of that happening any time soon.

"Nobody is going to talk to us while we have Mugabe in charge but we need
help desperately," says Robertson. "I've given many lectures saying that aid
is a bad thing, how it soon becomes addictive, but we are in the position of
a country that has been at war with a very fierce enemy for a long time. We
need aid on the basis that somebody who has fallen off a ship in the middle
of the ocean needs a lifebelt."

He musters grim figures to back up his case. First, drought and
state-sponsored attacks on white-owned commercial farms have hammered
Zimbabwe's staple maize and wheat crops.

Harassed, assaulted, driven off their land, and sometimes murdered by gangs
of pro-Mugabe "liberation war veterans", many white farmers have been unable
to borrow working capital. The government's "fast track" policy of handing
out seized land to blacks means white farmers no longer have bankable title
to their land.

According to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, the commercial
maize crop could be down as much as 90 per cent this year. The small farms
run by blacks that produce most of the annual maize crop, usually about a
million tonnes, do not have the capital for irrigation or fertiliser, and
drought is likely to halve their production.

The result is a looming humanitarian catastrophe, made worse by the fact
that neighbouring Zambia and Malawi are also drought-stricken and will be
competing with Zimbabwe for South Africa's small grain surplus. Worse again,
there are not enough trains and trucks to transport the required volume of
maize into the region. "We can't move fast enough to avoid hunger now," says

The second problem is that Zimbabwe's economy is in deep trouble. Staples
such as wheat and maize are only secondary crops for most white commercial
farmers. The country's biggest earner is tobacco, with exports worth US$600
million in a good year. Now that, too, has been dramatically reduced.
Production is forecast to fall from 237,000 tonnes in 2000 to about 160,000
this year.

Producers have been hit twice by the government's hunger for foreign
currency. The law requires all export-earners to sell 40 per cent of their
foreign currency to the government at the official fixed rate of $ZW55 to
the US dollar. But the collapsing economy and foreign exchange shortage
means the real rate at which exporters must pay for their imported inputs
can be as low as $ZW350 to the US dollar. Exporters are effectively paying
the government a massive tax on their turnover.

A similar problem has crippled many small gold producers, who until recently
were forced to sell all their product to a government marketing board at the
official US dollar rate.

Manufacturing exports have been affected by the foreign exchange crisis and
the fact that much Zimbabwean industry is based on the shattered commercial
agriculture sector.

Tourism has collapsed to account for a fraction of the usual 8 per cent of

Estimates of jobs lost in the two years of Mugabe's de facto re-election
campaign range from 150,000 to 300,000. Unemployment could be up to 70 per
cent. Inflation and interest rates are over 100 per cent. Robertson's
figures suggest the economy has shrunk 20 per cent in four years, with no
recovery in sight.

To pay for its expensive activities and pay rises for the army and police,
the government has resorted to printing money and forcing local financial
institutions to lend it money at preferential rates. Mugabe is effectively
robbing the country's savings. "The borrowed money is being used for
consumption, not investment. It simply can't go on," says Robertson.

Yet go on it surely will, says John Makumbe, dissident academic and chairman
of the Zimbabwe branch of the anti-corruption pressure group Transparency

"Mugabe is going to continue printing money and borrowing money locally, so
financial houses are going to totter to the brink of collapse. Companies are
already closing and I think the exodus of skilled work will intensify and
escalate," he says. "There are likely to be more street demonstrations than
we've seen for some time. I think if there is no agreement with the MDC, you
are going to see a lot of public resistance of various forms, which will be
easily provoked into violence by the state, so it can then crack down on the

He believes there is little that the outside world can or will do to help.
"Only a UN-supervised election would do, which Mugabe would resist with the
vigour of a maniac. I think he would mobilise even militarily against that."

Makumbe believes that ultimately Zimbabweans will have to save themselves,
either by mass resistance or by means of a power shift within the ruling
Zimbabwean African National Union - Popular Front.

"There is utter hatred for Mugabe right now throughout the country. Anything
can spark a revolt and believe me, a lot of his comrades in ZANU-PF are fed
up with him and embarrassed by him. If the MDC plays its cards well and
resists and says we will not be compromised on change, the people will be
with them completely."

But for now, Mugabe can rely on the protection of his country's
45,000-strong armed forces and its 25,000 police. While inflation and the
dollar's collapse have eroded the salaries of nurses, teachers and civil
servants, Mugabe has bought off senior officers by allowing them to exploit
the natural resources of Zimbabwean-occupied areas of the Democratic
Republic of Congo.

The lower ranks have received huge pay rises to maintain their purchasing
power. According to the opposition, a private soldier or constable earns
much more than a teacher or nurse.

Ultimately, however, an army cannot long remain intact after the society
that supports it collapses. It will be interesting, says Makumbe, to see how
soldiers react when their starving relatives start protesting in the street.

"Mugabe has been very clever in the past two years by drafting in many of
his war veterans and accelerating their promotion dramatically," he says.
"But there are still many other soldiers who are professionals or from the
old Rhodesian army and from ZAPU (the Ndebele liberation movement led by
Mugabe's rival, the late Joshua Nkomo). These are the ones who, when the
time comes, will say no, we cannot beat our own mothers."
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Dear Family and Friends,
The picture on the front page of this week's Zimbabwe Independent is gruesome and shocking. It is of murdered farmer Terry Ford, lying in a pool of blood, his body covered from top to bottom in wounds and bruises. Terry, trying to escape from his farm over-run by a mob, had been caught, tied to a tree, bludgeoned and then shot. Terry's family were brave enough to allow the world's cameras in to expose this horror but his murder is only one of seven that have taken place in the last ten days. This letter is dedicated to the lives, loves and in memory of 7 men who have been murdered by government supporters in the last ten days: Terry Ford, Ernest Gatsi (MDC activist - beaten to death), Tafi Gwaze (MDC Polling agent - abducted, tortured and beaten to death), Laurence Kuheya (MDC activist), Funny Mahuni (MDC supporter), Owen Manyara (MDC activist - beaten to death) and Darlington Vikaveka (Farm security guard - beaten to death). In each case the brutality has been barbaric in the extreme and I offer my condolences to the families and friends of them all. In addition, scores of people have been beaten, a dozen farms have been looted or trashed and an estimated 1 200 MDC polling agents have been displaced from their homes and are on the run as they are being hounded by government supporters who seem intent on hunting down anyone who dared to differ in our recent elections. Throughout 2 years of hell I have never seen so many distraught people - women sitting in a restaurant, holding hands, crying and praying aloud; middle aged men shaking and speechless, with only the clothes on their backs, having been evicted from their homes by juvenile mobs; a third hand message from an old man to his son - don't come home it is not safe, they are still looking for you; an exhausted and bruised husband and wife standing at a petrol station telling me how they have been beaten and are on the run - they do not know where to go but they cannot stay in our little town anymore.  The violence this past 10 days has been horrific and stunned all of us into terrified silence. Across the country reports have poured in detailing the lawlessness and violence and as I write it continues. The government's silence on this awful situation makes a complete mockery of President Mugabe's inauguration speech calling for unity, brother and sister hood and rebuilding. Their silence too on food security is even more frightening. There is still no maize to buy, no cooking oil, sugar or milk. Land preparation for winter wheat has not commenced, paprika has been trashed in the fields by youths, 13 000 litres of milk were destroyed by men who tipped stock feed into the bulk tanks; irrigation equipment has been trashed and yesterday more than 300 properties were listed for government seizure in the newspaper. It is beyond belief and almost defies words.
The only comfort for ordinary Zimbabweans is that world pressure is mounting.  We have been suspended from the commonwealth council for a year. Denmark has closed its embassy in Harare and suspended all development aid and Switzerland has imposed travel and financial bans on President Mugabe and other top government officials. We all know that the horrors in Zimbabwe cannot and will not last and each day has become one of survival. I continue to wear a tattered and frayed yellow ribbon on my chest in support of all who are suffering and in silent protest at anarchy. Until next week, with love, cathy.   
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Zimbabwe Election Reignites Argument
International Disagreement Over Election in Zimbabwe Reveals Competing Views
of Democracy

The Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa March 23 — The re-election of another autocratic
African leader in a vote dogged by accusations of rigging and violence has
reignited an argument between Western and African leaders over democracy,
colonialism and the continent's future.

President Robert Mugabe's purported victory in the first competitive
presidential election in Zimbabwe's history was quickly welcomed by African
leaders such as President Daniel arap Moi of Kenya and President Benjamin
Mkapa of Tanzania.

"You have been firm defending the inalienable right of the people of your
country to free, democratic and sovereign governance," Mkapa wrote Mugabe.
"Your firmness was good for all of Africa."

But while the Organization of African Unity proclaimed the election
"transparent, credible, free and fair," President Bush declared the United
States would no longer do business with Mugabe, and the Commonwealth of
Britain and its former colonies suspended Zimbabwe for one year.

The March 9-11 vote is the latest in a series of controversial elections in
Zambia, Uganda, Zanzibar, Gambia, Benin, Ivory Coast, Mali, Togo and
Madagascar. Those elections have been marred by irregularities and have
tended to divide Western and African governments over the nature of

African governments have consistently disagreed with their former colonial
powers about what makes a fair election, arguing that Western standards
should not apply to the continent.

Zimbabwe, like many African countries, has laws that make it illegal to
criticize the president and require police permission for political
meetings. State-run media rarely carry positive reports on the opposition.
Many African leaders readily enforce such laws, claiming they represent
democracy adapted to African circumstances.

But retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, a veteran
anti-apartheid activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, said freedom, justice
and human rights are universal.

African leaders "are really subverting all the gains we may have made from
being able to establish democratic regimes where previously we had military
dictatorships, or the awfulness we had in South Africa," he said.

But Tutu also told The Associated Press he understood the resentment many
Africans feel toward the West, and cited the disputed election that gave
Bush the U.S. presidency. "In America they couldn't even count votes. It was
quite disgraceful what happened in the presidential election."

Democracy has made some progress in Africa in recent years, with credible
elections taking place in South Africa, Ghana, Senegal and elsewhere. But
often, the picture tends to be mixed.

Uganda is one example. Since taking power by force in 1986, President Yoweri
Musveni has allowed elections that observers say were basically fair, but he
only allows candidates to run as individuals. He has barred political
parties from competing in elections, saying they are tribally based, caused
much of the bloodshed in the past and could do so again.

John Makumbe, a political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe, accuses
some African leaders of redefining democracy "to suit not so much the
African interests or culture, but to suit the culture of those who have
ascended to positions of power."

The difference in opinion takes on greater importance as international
institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund,
require greater accountability and good governance before they release aid
for Africa's poor.

The Zimbabwe election threatens South African President Thabo Mbeki's recent
initiatives to begin what he calls an African renaissance. Mbeki has
promised that in return for investment and aid, African leaders will
guarantee democracy and good governance.

"The credibility of African leaders is very much on the line," Ross Herbert,
research fellow at the South Africa Institute of International Affairs,
said. "South Africa as champion of good governance, as well as the idea of
Africa policing itself, and not dealing, or to be seen to be dealing, with a
violation of good governance and the region's own rules, will be seen in a
very poor light."

Herbert also said the African defense of Mugabe will set a bad example for
other nations facing elections in the near future, including Kenya, Namibia,
Malawi, Cameroon and Gabon.
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Farm Invasions And Security Report

Friday 22 March 2002


This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas.  Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens.  Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.



Ø       MANICALAND - Odzi - On Kondozi, the youths are very active.  They have tried to stop some of the white staff members from accessing their houses or leaving the homestead area for work, by blocking off the roads with branches cut from trees.


Ø       MASHONALAND CENTRAL - Horseshoe - youths who are based at Gwakwe School arrived on Wona Farm 19.03.02, demanding the owner leave within 24 hours with all his assets and the workers were to be retrenched and off the farm by nightfall. They ordered the owner to sing and dance which he refused to do.


Ø       MASHONALAND EAST - At Torre Farm at approximately 2200 hrs on 18.03.02, a group of people arrived at the gate but dispersed when the guard fired shots. At approx. 0600 hrs on 19.03.02, when owner went to open his security gate, he was grabbed by militants, handcuffed and taken in his truck and left in the bush somewhere near Poltimore. He was threatened with an axe and forced to sit in the long grass while militants went back to their base camp. Later he was taken back to his farm




Chipinge - Smithfield Farm had 4 cattle stolen, 1 cow slashed and a calf slaughtered.  Helderstroom received a Section 7 19.03.02 and has been to court.  Stillemeer Farm had 20/30 ZANU PF supporters at the house demanding meat.  They refused to speak to the owner, only his wife.    She eventually gave them rations from the deepfreeze, and then they demanded a sheep.  They caused a work stoppage until they got their sheep.  The DA and the police came out to the farm and the group returned the rations, as they did not know whether the animal had been killed or had died from natural causes.  They threatened to re-educate those who voted for MDC.

Odzi - On Kondozi, the youths are very active.  They have tried to stop some of the white staff members from accessing their houses or leaving the homestead area for work, by blocking off the roads with branches cut from trees.

Headlands - A farmer on the South West extremity had youth harassing him at his house.  They all dispersed when the Police arrived.  There has been a major increase in theft of wire, maize and slaughtering of cattle.  On 20.03.02 they abducted the farmer for 1 hour. When he was returned he seemed unharmed.  The mother’s house was trashed.  The farmer’s sister went with the Police escort to talk to the group and resolve the issues.   Some "war vets" were arrested for the slaughter of cattle, who subsequently put a roadblock up to detain the security guards who made the arrests. On Sunrise Farm, ZANU PF supporters warned the owner there would be retribution for those who voted MDC.



Bindura - There is a total work stoppage on Brokley Farm, which has a Section 8 Notice. The settlers have demanded all work comes to an end as "the farm now belongs to them." On Chumberi Farm, which has been designated but not received a Section 8, the settlers informed the owner he and his workers must leave as the reaping has been completed and the farm belongs to them.

Tsatsi - The youths continue to hijack vehicles in the area. The police have been contacted and attempts are being made to deal with the situation. Section 5 Orders and Section 8 Notices are being issued on a daily basis.

Horseshoe - youths who are based at Gwakwe School arrived on Wona Farm 19.03.02, demanding the owner leave within 24 hours with all his assets and the workers were to be retrenched and off the farm by nightfall. They ordered the owner to sing and dance which he refused to do. The DA and main war veteran contacted the owner and told him the matter would be resolved. The youths then moved on to Red Lichen Farm and ordered a work stoppage. The OIC notified the owner of Woma Farm they would react to both incidents. The owner of Manovi Farm received a letter stating he was to remove all stock from the farm store as the settlers intend taking over the store on 21.03.02. He was also ordered to give them his irrigation pump as they wanted to irrigate the bananas which they have been stealing and selling for some time. On 20.03.02 a truck arrived and loaded ZW$ 100 000:00 worth of bananas and left before the Police could react. The OIC visited all farms who reported problems so far and managed to resolve many of the cases. The owner of Nyamfuta Farm was visited in Harare, where he is temporarily based, by his workers, who relayed a message he and his workers were to vacate the property and take their belongings with them. On Siyalima Farm the settlers have stolen the roof off the feeding pens in broad daylight. The settlers are digging up the pipes and rerouting them to their houses.



Marondera South - Gresham Farm farm village was trashed by militant youths on 17.03.02.  "War vet" Isaac instructed the youths to leave, which they did, but this order was countermanded by "war vet" Marimo. All workers have left the farm and paprika is being stolen from the lands. The owners of the farm were ordered to leave which they have done temporarily.

On Gwaai Farm youths accused the owner’s sister of assisting the opposition during the elections. A number of false accusations have been made which resulted in angry youths breaking into the sister’s house. Groceries were looted and a hosepipe opened in the house whilst the sister was away. The owner went with youths for a meeting and the issue has been resolved.  K-se-ra reports that the evening of 18.03.02, the owner was locked into his house by "war vets". ZRP and Army were called and went to the farm but did not go to the farmhouse. At 06hrs00 the next morning, the house was stormed and the owner and his wife retreated to a safe room without any communications. The house was partly looted. By 09hrs15 the Police reported that they were about to attend the scene. The couple drove out just before lunch accompanied by war vets and police. The owner was detained by "war vets” and police for some hours. By the evening, the wife had been released and her husband had signed a warned and cautioned statement. He is to be charged with firing 2 shots  (which he did, into a wall, on the advice of the Security Rep for Ruzawi River) and attempted murder. The owner has so far been unable to access his farm and reaction is uncertain. At Waltondale Farm a man claiming to be the Mash West MP told the owner to vacate within the next 2 weeks as the barns and homestead area have been allocated to him under the A2 Resettlement scheme.  A mob arrived at Mtemwa  and demanded a work stoppage. The owner was then barricaded into his house.  On Igava two managers cottages were broken into and looted. Rampant maize theft occurred. Workers were ordered to attend an all night pungwe.  The Esperance Farm owner is still under pressure to vacate.  The Ponderosa owner’s house was looted on 19.03.02.  The Ruware Ranch owner’s garden worker was abducted and taken for re-education on 20.03.02 and a security guard was severely assaulted.

Wedza - CID Marondera attended Mount Arthur farm on 19.03.02 in response to the events of last weekend. Settlers gathered for a meeting at 08hrs00 the next day.  At Torre Farm at approximately 2200 hrs on 18.03.02, a group of people arrived at the gate but dispersed when the guard fired shots. At approx. 0600 hrs on 19.03.02, when owner went to open his security gate, he was grabbed by militants, handcuffed and taken in his truck and left in the bush somewhere near Poltimore. He was threatened with an axe and forced to sit in the long grass while militants went back to their base camp. Later he was taken back to his farm homestead and ordered to leave the farm. Militants loaded household goods on to the owner’s truck and instructed owner to drive to Marondera with one of the militants who was dropped off at Mushandira Pamwe Store. A second truck was loaded with owner’s weapons and radios and driven to Mahusekwa Police Station. The owner has been told that he has 4 days to get the rest of his belongings off the farm. The owner of Skoonveld Farm reported that at 1215 hrs on 20.03.02 Torre Farm was being looted. Tractors have been taken and workshops have possibly been looted. A report has been made at Marondera Police Station (RRB No. 054178).  On Chakadenga all labour was ordered to stop working by settlers and owner told to pay the workers off and vacate the property within 2 hours. Ten youths chased the labour into a confined space. Two tractors have disappeared.  Police were informed and reacted after five and a half hours. Negotiations have taken place and are ongoing.  The mother of the owner of Nelson Farm (was threatened by "war vet” Chirinda and ordered to vacate the property within 3 days, and to leave possessions behind.

Macheke/ Virginia - Although Home Park has been delisted, settlers arrived and took 300 bags of maize, broke into the workshop and stole all the tools, and emptied out all the chemicals. The damage amounts to ZW$10 000 000.00.  The Riverside owner has vacated his property and taken his personal possessions.  On Castledene Pines the owners were ordered to vacate the property in one day. Police informed but no response. Report numbers 40/2002 and 42/2002.  On Mignon  the owners were told to vacate the property in one day. Police informed but no response, report number 37/2002. DA has also been informed.  At Koodoo Range the owners were told to vacate the property within 48 hours. No response from Police.  On Nyadema the owners were told to vacate the property within 48 hours. Police informed but no response. Report number 39/2002.  At Showers New Section the owners were told to vacate the property within 48 hours. Police informed but no response. Report number 41/2002

Beatrice - Youths are reported to be looking for food around the area.  On Muriwai approximately ten youths accused the owner of training para troopers using his microlight. The owner phoned the Joyce Mine "war vet" base and the situation was defused.  At Nengwa "war vet" Mavangira returned and wants to move into the farm cottage but has been put off.  The Brakveld dairy was broken into on 18.03.02 and 25 litres of milk stolen. Resident settlers have threatened to destroy the milking machines if the owner did not carry wood for them. On 19.03.02, settlers broke into the dairy and destroyed 13 000 litres of milk by pouring stockfeed into the bulk tank.  At Geluk Farm, youths demanded food for celebrations but this was refused.



Banket – the Mushanswa Farm owner was barricaded in the house and Zanu PF Youth were in the garden. Farmer has been given six hours to leave the farm.  The Glen Athol Farm owner was barricaded inside his security fence. The settlers are forcing him to supply irrigation equipment for their wheat. Complete work stoppage has occurred.   There is a compete work stoppage by settlers on Gwarati Farm demanding removal of 8 workers. Tobacco is rotting on trailers and in barns, resulting in ZW$ 1,2 million damage.  All access to Wannock Glen Farm denied. Settlers have placed their own lock on homestead fence.  On Wichens Farm settlers have moved into main homestead and cottage.  On Tobey Hill Farm had settlers from Hunyani Farm want to move their cattle to Tobey Hill Farm for grazing.  The Dalkeith Farm manager was told to be off by 1800 by Zanu PF youth on 21.03.02.  The owner’s wife and three-month-old baby were barricaded inside the fence. The crocodile section and butchery has been closed down. Access to the tea tree oil plantation is denied and there is a complete work stoppage. Situation is volatile. Mbidzi Farm owner has been told to get off the farm. The Buryhill Estate owner was phoned by an Inspector Mabunda who said he was coming out to have a look at his plot some time in the week.  The farm is not designated. The Dalkeith Farm has packed up some of his belongings and left the homestead.  The settlers want Zanu PF, Banket Kadoza to speak to them and the settlers want the owner to leave and are refusing to allow him to take out all his irrigation pipes.  On Crocodile Pool Farm the farmer was told to get off his farm in one hour.  "War vet" "Mabhunu Muchapera" says nine farms are being targeted in this area.  

Trelawney/Darwendale - Vooruitzig Farm owner was barricaded in his security fence and given 2 days to leave.  They were forced off the farm 21.03.02.  The owner, wife and child are still barricaded inside the security fence and settlers have refused  to let them leave the house.  A neighbour was abducted whilst trying to rescue the son, and has since been released and has gone back to his house to collect his family.    Situation calm.  Malabar Farm has seasonal workers threatening the farmer, saying he must comply with the following:

1.  Nine workers wanted to attend the Zanu PF Star Rally on 16.02.02.  Not having transport the farmer gave them ZW$ 100-00 to pay their bus fares, as well as marking them present for the day.  They asked for additional payment in advance of Z$300-00 each from their February wages and now state the Z$300-00 should have been a donation and not an advance payment.

2.  They threatened the foreman, saying he is not allowed to mark anyone absent in the future.

3.  The same Foreman has been falsely accused of blocking maize sales.  Maize is extremely short at the present time, and is rationed on farm.

4.  Workers want a borehole to be provided immediately for the farm village, which is presently supplied by the dam.  This water is treated on a very regular basis.

The situation has calmed down.

Mhangura – the Tevrede Farm owner has been told he has until March end to leave by Major Ndwini.  At Dawn Farm the OIC Mhangura and local "war vet" have instructed there will be no more land prep.  At Chirombodzi Farm the OIC says the owner must move off as he is building his own house on the farm.

Chinhoyi - the Blue Hills Farm owner had his radio stolen from his foreman by a local politico who claims the farm belongs to him, and unless the owner moves off the farm he will keep the radio. The police advised the owner to have a meeting with the politico, at which he was abused verbally for two hours. The policeman suggested he lock up the radio at the police station. The owner said the issue is over a stolen radio, as stealing is a crime and the farm has not been listed or received any Section  8 Orders. At Kafundi Farm the guard was chased away from the homestead.

Karoi - north of Magunje Road, many farms are having their labour forced off farms on 20.03.02. At Haslemere Farm there was an invasion of 30-40 youths aged 18-25, building huts across the road from the farmhouse. There is no trouble so far as they are waiting for the "big boss" from Karoi to allocate them their plots. No Section 5 issued as yet. Mukuyu Farm has had continued harassment from a group led by "war vet" Dongwiro.  Dongwiro has produced a note on stenographer type notepaper with a stamp from the D.A's. office, asking for assistance to allow the settlers to convert the barns/sheds complex into classrooms. The owner refused to hand over the keys and stated the use of the buildings is not negotiable, as in terms of a Section 5 notice the buildings belong to the farm owner. Dongwiro became abusive and threatening, and then claimed to have a letter stating that the D.A. gave his full permission for entry to the complex which was to be used by the settlers for whatever purpose they chose. He threatened to block all access roads to Kukuyu Farm that and all equipment was to be removed from the complex before the end of the day. When reported to the police, the policeman on duty responded saying it was not their business and they had no transport. The group later broke into the complex.  Loss of property has yet to be established. The Hesketh Park Estates owner was visited by 15-20 settlers from Hesketh Park and Westlands, headed by a Captain Magaza. They seemed intoxicated. The Captain claimed the 10 ha of tobacco planted in October 2001 was planted on his land and he therefore required compensation. This crop is fully-grown with about 2/3 still to be reaped. Hesketh Park Estates has never had a Government listing.  After long discussion, the Captain left saying he would reap the tobacco along with the settlers. There was a work stoppage on 15.03.02.  A carcass of a calf was discovered on the evening of 18.03.02, axed in the head, and a leg, with the intestines removed. Also, a carcass of a fully-grown cow was found dead with the spear still in her.

Doma - Chapumani Farm received Section 8 on the 19.03.02, dated 28.02.02.



Norton - On Serui Source settlers stole two cattle but police managed to recover them.  On Wilbered Farm settlers came in on the night of 14.03.02 with "war vet" Mrs Rusike and Comrade Mwambo, a settler on Gowrie farm.  The owner was away seeking urgent medical treatment in South Africa and was due back the next day.  The whole house was completely looted with absolutely nothing left.  Weapons were also taken including a very valuable collectors pair of shotguns and two revolvers with ammunition.  Borehole motors were also taken and a whole lifetime’s work was looted in a night.  The same people who were involved with this looting had also been involved the night before on Windsor Farm where weapons, binoculars, radios and cellphones were stolen and the owner and his wife evicted under very unpleasant circumstances.  Two prize Holstein heifers worth Z$250 000.00 were also slaughtered.  Police made no arrests on the scene and the weapons were not recovered.  Also on the 14th March Mrs Rusike and her gang tried to pull Mr Wilde out of his vehicle at an illegal roadblock along the Porta Road.  One of his workers was badly assaulted and when Mr Wilde went to Police he was told that he couldn't make a report.  On 15th March the gang went to Umzoruru and Royden Farms nearby and beatings took place as well as looting with one worker being hospitalised.  The gang also went to Lilfordia School nearby and chased the workers out of the school village.  No arrests were made.  The owner of Windsor Farm went back to his property with a police escort to make sure the dairy was all right.  He was chased with police from the farm.  No arrests were made.  On the night of 17.03.02 on Gowrie Farm looters came into the house.  The owner was upstairs in his bedroom.  He fired a shot in the air and scared them away.  Three calls were then made to Norton Police by himself and two of his neighbours.  The gang of approximately 20 in ZANU (PF) Third Chimurenga T-Shirts evidently then reappeared.  The owner tried to make a getaway from his house in his vehicle but could not get through the gate as there was evidently a vehicle parked in front of it.  He tried to ram through the security fence and then was evidently dragged from his vehicle, put up against a tree and shot twice through the head with his own weapon.  The cook found his body in the morning and police came out.  Spoor from the scene was matched up with those of settlers from the farm and some arrests have been made.  The owner was not farming his farm as he had not been allowed to for over a year, and there was no friction from his part.  A serving colonel from the army had recently been given the farm and three weeks ago had told Mr Ford that he must remove his possessions from the house.  Comrade Mwambo, who was involved with the other lootings in the previous few days, was one of the settlers from the farm but is now nowhere to be found. Comrade Mwambo and Mrs Rusike have also been arrested now and we understand that 13 weapons, mostly stolen from farmers, have also been recovered.  On Roscommon and other properties Don Carlos had been issuing threats and demanding that the owners move out of their homesteads immediately.  Don Carols was the instigator of the eviction on Shingwiri last week.

Selous - On Virginia one of the settlers has made a forced entry into the house where his wife is living.  Police were notified but have referred the matter to the District Administrator who is away.  On Mount Carmel Farm since November the average loss per day due to stock theft and other theft etc. by settlers and others has been Z$10 000.00.

Chegutu - On Lot 1A of The Grove Gilbert Moyo has returned to tell the ZANU (PF) youth stationed there they must make sure the flowers are not irrigated.  Police say that the reason why he was remanded out of custody was because of medical reports.  His health is still not good enough for him to be able to go to court.  Over ZW$10 million in turnover has been lost due to the owner still not being allowed back to his farm.  Police are referring the matter back to the District Administrator.  Youth are still eating looted maize from the farm and helping themselves at will to Karioke beans.  They have also been re-organising the labour on De Rus Farm and causing chaos to production.  On Eastbourne the PROPOL for Mashonaland West is wanting to move into the homestead, as he says it has been allocated to him.  On The Downs Don Carlos has told the owner that he must get out of his house.

Chakari - On Newbiggin settlers are trying to force some of the workers that have been given plots to resign and threatening them with beating if they do not.  On Deweras after some of the workers houses were burnt down by settlers, most of the other workers moved their goods into the barns and were sleeping in the bush to prevent themselves from being burnt alive.  On Victory Comrade Gono wants to co-exist in the owner’s house.

Kadoma - On Normandy North the High Court issued eviction orders on the illegal occupiers.  It is unclear as to whether police have reacted. 



Save Conservancy Area - On Masapas Ranch one poacher has been arrested but at the same time was wounded by the warthog he had been poaching. 

Mwenezi – on La Pache Ranch a meeting took place on 18.03.02. Much singing and sloganeering was reported. More demands have been made of the owner. Owner has been told that more pegging will continue in his irrigation lands. Settlers will be allowed to take water from his irrigation dam. Labour was told if they enter these lands they will be beaten. The tractor has been grounded and no movement of the tractor is allowed anywhere. All labour was told they should have ZANU PF cards. Owner has also had three head of cattle stolen from Rienette Ranch where he leases the property for grazing.  The Swanscoe Ranch owner purchased maize from the GMB. Police arrived and confiscated it under armed guard and returned it all to the GMB. The policeman residing on this property is thought to be involved.  The Oerwoud Ranch owner had 89 cattle stolen 20.03.02. Police and other farmers are presently trying to track them down.  There was a fire reported on Moria Ranch.

Chiredzi – at Wasarasara Ranch, compensation demands are made for cattle eating settler’s maize. The owner has refused to pay any compensation.  At Alstar Haven the Base commander has arrived with a letter from Masvingo with demands that the three caretakers be taken off the property and the youth present will take care of the property. Further demands of no more game to be moved from the property have also been made; the game that remains is to be left there.  On Bangala Ranch the youth on this property have stated that all that remains on the property is theirs. Demands have been made that an inventory of all the tools etc within the farm sheds be made so that nothing is removed from the property. Any work taking place on the farm fencing is posing a problem and being stopped.  The Sebenani Ranch owner received a letter there is to be a council meeting held at 1000 hrs on 21.03.02 and all farmers are to attend. There has been a new councillor elected from the Zaka area and they are still trying to change the Chiredzi ICA area to fall under Zaka.   Farmers have reported to the Police that they will not be attending and Police have responded that they will be present.  There were four fires reported on Buffalo Range One fire was reported on Ruware Ranch

Gutu / Chatsworth - Irvine A owner has continued harassment from an individual called “Samuel” concerning grazing and the removal of his cattle from the property. Compensation demands for grazing continue.



Kwekwe: Farmers with irrigated maize are finding that a half to two thirds of the crop has been stolen before the crop can be reaped. On Tridale Farm a motor was stolen from the dip over the weekend and on Delvillewood Estates an attempt was made to steal a 15 h.p. motor from a borehole but this was recovered about 20 metres away. Also on Delvillewood, a villager asked the owner when he would be returning to England. Maize theft is rampant on this estate, even in daylight. An ox was walked along the power line from Milsonia to Saltana Ranch and then slaughtered. 17 youths arrived on Saltana and tried to arrest the foreman. They followed him to the homestead, as he was trying to get away,\ where he finally managed to scare them off by firing warning shots with his weapon.


Nyamandlovu - The farm owner on Manonodo was hit by a youth with a knobkerrie near his homestead. On 16.03.02, the Highfields Farm owner’s son and son in law attended a meeting of +/- 80 squatters and 20 youths, who gave them one hour in which to leave the property and said their Game Scouts were no longer allowed to be seen patrolling the farm.   On Mamosa Park farm a squatter in a vehicle told the manager to get off his plot.  When the manager informed him the property had been delisted he became angry and said he did not acknowledge any delistings and drove off.  A report was made to the O.I.C. Ins. Ncube who said he was powerless to do anything as he could "get mud on his face".  On 17.03.02, shots were heard on Ulundi farm.  It is suspected two local "war vets" were involved and could also have been hunting on Mamosa Park.  A report of a new invasion of five families moved on to Kennelly's farm over the weekend.  This farm had no previous squatters.  Apart from the above reports, generally quiet.                                               Visit the CFU Website


Unless specifically stated that this message is a Commercial Farmers' Union communiqué, or that it is being issued or forwarded to you by the sender in an official CFU capacity, the opinions contained therein are private. Private messages also include those sent on behalf of any organisation not directly affiliated to the Union. The CFU does not accept any legal responsibility for private messages and opinions held by the sender and transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network users and/or to external addressees.
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Most Price-Controlled Products Run Out

The Daily News (Harare)

March 22, 2002
Posted to the web March 23, 2002

Farming Reporter

IF THE government's real aim of price controls was to make food affordable
then it must be regretting its decision because most commodities whose
prices were gazetted have gone beyond the reach of many consumers.

The major reason for this is the thriving parallel market for these

For an excerpt from the Africa 2002 guidebook, click here.
(Adobe Acrobat).

To buy the book, click here.

Last October, Dr Herbert Murerwa, the Minister of Industry and International
Trade, imposed price controls on various basic commodities on the pretext
that some industrialists were over-charging in a bid to oust the Zanu PF

However, the price controls were criticised by industrialists, who said they
would cause food shortages.

The industrialists said the controls would cut down on production to try and
reduce their losses.

True to their word there has been an acute shortage of maize-meal, sugar and
cooking oil.

The shortages have resulted in the proliferation of a parallel market for
the goods.

Some established outlets are selling the commodities at higher prices than
the recommended ones.

The gazetted price of a 2kg white sugar pack is $76,47 but on the black
market it is $130, officially 750ml of cooking oil is $146, but it is

selling at $250, while five litres of cooking oil should be around $900 but
is selling between $1200 and $1500.

A bar of laundry soap which is supposed to cost $145 is available if one is
prepared to part with between $180 and $200 at Mbare Musika.

Though supplies of white and brown bread have not been a problem at the

gazetted price of $48,40, wholewheat loaves are now a rare commodity.

The only commodity whose price on the parallel market is lower than the
official price is toothpaste.

A 150ml tube of toothpaste costs about $600 in the shops but is going for
between $250 and $300 in the streets.
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Mugabe Victory Bad for Investment in Africa according to George Soros

The Daily News (Harare)

March 22, 2002
Posted to the web March 23, 2002

International financier and an investment advisor to President Thabo Mbeki, George Soros, says he is disturbed to learn that some of Zimbabwe's neighbours have recognised President Mugabe's election victory.

Soros told a panel at a United Nations Conference on Financing for Development, that Mugabe's triumph in Zimbabwe elections, which the opposition says were rigged, has dealt a setback to African nations trying to attract investment.

"Mugabe stole the election by preventing people in urban areas from casting their vote," Soros said. "The elections in Zimbabwe have cast doubt on the ability of African states to create suitable conditions for private investment."

The United States and Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial ruler, have rejected the result of the election as fraudulent. Soros, one of the world's biggest philanthropists who has helped establish a housing credit organisation in South Africa, said he was disturbed to learn that some of Zimbabwe's neighbours had recognised Mugabe's election victory.

Soros is also a member of president Thabo Mbeki's International Investment Council. The council was formed to help Mbeki expand the South African economy and improve international trade.

Other prominent international business figures on Mbeki's council include, Juergen Schrempp of DaimlerChrysler, Niall Fitzgerald of Unilever and Petronas' Ratan N Tata and Hassan Marikan.

Leaders from more than 50 countries, including United States President George W Bush, will attend the five-day meeting in Monterrey, Mexico's industrial capital, to discuss ways of mobilising more resources to fight poverty and hunger.

"I think the situation in Zimbabwe needs to be discussed by heads of state here," said Soros adding, "After the election the situation is likely to deteriorate."

Zimbabwe's economy is on the brink of collapse while unemployment soars and a collapse in maize production has forced the international community to airlift emergency supplies into the country to prevent mass starvation.

Soros accumulated a vast fortune as a financial speculator and is now devoting his efforts to channelling funds, through his Soros Foundation, to the world's poorest countries.

He said that sanctions directed at Zimbabwe's population as a whole would be likely to backfire. Even so-called "smart" sanctions, aimed at freezing financial assets held abroad by members of Zimbabwe's elite were unlikely to be effective.

African nations that practised good governance, such as Mozambique, Senegal and Ghana, should be rewarded for their efforts with improved access to markets in the developed world and increased development aid, he said.

"They would constitute a positive example which others would seek to emulate," said Soros. President Mugabe won the 9-10 March poll when he narrowly beat his closest rival, Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, by almost 400 000 votes.

The results we immediately described by the opposition and the international community as not free and fair.

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Rural peacemaker dies in roiling Zimbabwe
Terry Ford had been menaced by militia thugs from the ruling party. He already had given away most of his 2,000 acres. A mob attacked.

Knight Ridder News Service
NORTON, Zimbabwe - They found Terry Ford's body sprawled by a tree in his front yard, his brown-and-white terrier curled up beside him, growling at anyone who approached.

For months, militia thugs from Zimbabwe's ruling party had menaced the white farmer, warning him to abandon his thatched-roof cottage in a pine grove near the broad Mamyami River. Weeks ago, a Zimbabwean army colonel and one of the thugs had quarreled outside Ford's front door, each claiming the ivy-covered house as his own.

But like many of his neighbors in this farming town an hour west of Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, Ford had stayed, always managing to talk his way out of trouble. He already had given away most of his 2,000 acres to the government-backed invaders who had been living there for a year and a half. He had a reputation as a peacemaker, friends say, and like most of his neighbors, he figured the bad times would eventually pass.

Early Monday morning, the bad times caught up with him.

Ford, 55, was alone in the farmhouse when he telephoned police and neighbors at 11:30 p.m. Sunday. A half-dozen locals were looting his house, he told neighbors, and 20 or so were waiting outside.

Ford went downstairs and fired a round over the looters' heads, chasing them off into the night. Within hours, they came back.

Neighbors believe the intruders used stolen keys to open a gate to an 8-foot-tall wire fence and then enter Ford's home. Perhaps the farmer was caught unaware by the group's return; perhaps he tried to negotiate and then fled.

What is clear is that, already wounded, Ford raced into the yard in nothing more than shorts and a pair of sandals, got into his small white truck, and tried to smash through the fence to escape. Tracks show that a vehicle likely belonging to the invaders blocked the front gate, so Ford aimed for a section of the fence and tried to push through. In the process, it appears he hit several of the invaders who were trying to block him.

Ford did not make it out. It appears the mob dragged him from his truck, pushed him up against one of the tall pine trees in the yard, and shot him in the head, perhaps with his own weapon. His body also showed signs of a beating.

A farm cook found Ford's body early Monday. The red earth of the yard was rutted with tire tracks, and Ford's bloodstained truck was smashed against the wire of the partly collapsed fence.

By midmorning, neighbors were milling around the yard near where Ford's body still lay, now under a light blanket. There were tears, but the mood was more one of grim exhaustion.

"We've lived so long with uncertainty, it's become a way of life," said Graham Hatty, one of Ford's neighbors. Since 2000, when Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe allowed liberation war veterans to begin violently seizing white farms as part of a "fast-track" land-redistribution program, 10 white farmers have died, he said, and many more black farmhands have lost their lives.

The violence has worsened since March 13, when Mugabe was declared the winner of a presidential election marred by widespread intimidation. In the days since, ruling-party thugs have unleashed a wave of terror on anyone thought to support Mugabe's opposition, including the nation's white farmers. In the nights since the victory declaration, at least five houses near Ford's farm have been invaded.

At one home, invaders forced a white couple in their 60s to dance and sing ruling-party songs for hours. At another, an 81-year-old man returned to find his house emptied of a lifetime's possessions.

In all of the homes, radios, binoculars and weapons were seized, and other goods looted. Many of the families are too frightened to return home. Most farm owners have sent their wives and children to stay in town.

Yesterday, hundreds of mourners attended Ford's funeral at a Harare church.

Police have arrested three suspects in his death, but that has provided little consolation to his neighbors or to his son, Mark, who flew in from New Zealand on Monday for a reunion with his father only to find him dead.

"People are saying they can't take it anymore," said Hatty's wife, Judy. "We don't want to give up, but you wouldn't believe the number of people leaving."

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Millers Fail to Explain Mealie Meal Shortage

The Herald (Government controlled paper) (Harare)

March 23, 2002
Posted to the web March 23, 2002

Bulawayo Bureau

MEMBERS of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe recently failed to explain shortages of mealie meal in Bulawayo at a heated meeting with Matabeleland North Governor Cde Obert Mpofu when it was revealed that Mr James Mangwana-Tshuma is exporting maize to Botswana.

Quizzed at the meeting Mr Mangwana-Tshuma did not deny the allegation thereby confirming fears that some millers were hoarding maize for export at the expense of the majority.

The GMB official present at the meeting charged that the grain the millers claimed to be getting from the parastatal did not tally with what was going through their mills.

"If they were grinding some 384 tonnes daily, multiply the number of days in a month, the tonnage is much higher than the 7 000 tonnes they claim to be getting," said the official. He said the millers were getting much more than that but could not give the figures.

Some millers who attended the meeting acknowledged there was serious hoarding and rampant profiteering in maize milling and distribution, resulting in the shortages of mealie meal. "We know some of our members are getting the maize and hoarding it, only to cry foul when their supplies run out," said one miller.

The allegations prompted the formation of a new committee composed of the army, police and other Government departments to oversee the distribution of maize and look into the problems faced by the small millers.

Chief Superintendent Cain Sibanda is heading the committee that will directly report to a national task force. This committee also automatically dissolves several committees that were highjacking the maize.

"From now on the issue of grain distribution will be co-ordinated from my office," said Governor Mpofu.

Forty representatives of small milling companies in Bulawayo, claimed they were getting a raw deal from the Grain Marketing Board which supplied their 17 members with only 7 000 tonnes, compared to 450 tonnes given to National Foods.

Small-scale millers in Bulawayo grind a combined total of 48 tonnes of mealie meal every hour, against a daily consumption of 500 to 600 tonnes a day in Bulawayo alone.

"We do not have adequate information on the needs of the small millers but the figures they give us are a bit exaggerated," said an inspector with the GMB who refused to be named.

He said GMB was allocating maize on milling capacity, and the small scale millers were getting enough maize, which is suspected to be delivered to favoured customers and supermarkets during the night.

There are a total of 17 registered millers in Bulawayo, most of whom were present at the meeting. They each grind an average of three tonnes an hour. The majority work for seven to eight hours a day.

Cde Mpofu however said he received reports of profiteering from some members of the grain millers and his office was working on the matter, but warned that those caught would be struck off the register.

"If the whole exercise of maize distribution was transparent, and we had people delivering maize during the day while everyone is watching I don't think we will have this chaotic situation," he said.

Figures at hand, however, sharply contrast with what the millers allege to be receiving from the GMB, raising fears that most of the mealie meal was currently distributed unfairly.

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