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

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Turning a breadbasket into a basket case in ten easy steps - the Robert
Mugabe way

Illustration by John Ritter

Samantha Power, a lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, at
Harvard University, is the author of "A Problem From Hell": America and the
Age of Genocide, which won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction.

Nearly forty years ago Ian Smith, the Prime Minister of Rhodesia, became
the first and only white colonial ruler to break away from the British
Crown. He had tired of London's nagging about the subjugation of Rhodesian
blacks. In 1965 Smith declared independence.

"The mantle of the pioneers has fallen on our shoulders," he said, calling
on white Rhodesians to maintain standards in a "primitive country." Smith
saw himself as an apostle of Cecil John Rhodes, the British magnate who
gave Rhodesia its name, and who in the late nineteenth century duped black
tribal leaders into signing over the fertile land to white pioneers.
Although Rhodesia in 1965 was home to just over 200,000 whites and four
million blacks, Smith shared Rhodes's belief that black majority rule would
occur "never in a thousand years."

Smith was of course wrong. In 1980, after a civil war that cost 30,000
lives, the black majority took charge of the country, which was renamed
Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe  -  the nationalist leader whom Smith had branded a
"Marxist terrorist" and jailed for more than a decade; a man who had once
urged his followers to stop wearing shoes and socks to show they were
willing to reject the trappings of European civilization - became President.
Zimbabwe, one of southern Africa's most prosperous countries, held great
promise. Its Victoria Falls was one of the seven natural wonders of the
world. Its gushing Zambezi River boasted wildlife and pulsing rapids. Its
lush soil was the envy of a continent. And, though landlocked, the country
had modernized sensibly: it had a network of paved roads, four airports,
and, thanks to Mugabe's leadership, a rigorous and inclusive education
system. Mugabe knew that whites drove the economy, and he was pragmatic.
"Good old Bob," as white farmers quickly came to call him, kept his shoes
and socks on, and urged reconciliation:

"An evil remains an evil whether practiced by white against black or black
against white," he said on the eve of independence. In a cordial meeting
with Smith, Mugabe acknowledged that he had inherited the "jewel of
Africa," and he vowed to keep it that way. "I was very pleasantly
surprised," says Smith, who still lives in Zimbabwe. "He spoke like a
sophisticated Westerner. He was very courteous: it was `Mr. Smith this' and
`Mr. Smith that.' " That Ian Smith has stayed in Zimbabwe is itself
surprising. But it is even more remarkable that the man who once ran an
election campaign promising "a whiter, brighter Rhodesia" does not live as
other well-to-do Zimbabweans do - behind a bolted gate manned by forbidding
security forces. For three years, with Zimbabwe imploding politically and
economically, Mugabe has been inciting violence against whites. Yet Smith's
spacious home, next door to the Cuban embassy in the capital, Harare, is
shielded by neither a guard post nor a guard dog - only by purple jacaranda
trees. When I visited him, earlier this year, Smith's driveway gate and his
front door stood wide open, offering passersby an inviting glimpse of his
plush Victorian furnishings.

Swallowed up by a Queen Anne armchair, Smith, a bone-thin
eighty-four-year-old, told me that all he ever wanted to do in life was
manage his 4,000-acre farm, 220 miles southwest of Harare. He has run the
farm since he returned from flying Spitfires for the British in World War
II. He grows oranges and seed potatoes, and raises cattle. "I hope I don't
sound arrogant," he said, "but you won't find a better-run piece of land."
Smith insists that when Mugabe banned him from politics, in 1987, he was
glad for the opportunity to return to full-time farming. But in Zimbabwe,
where whites owned the finest farmland and most blacks remained
dispossessed two decades after independence, politics and land became
inseparable. A few days before my visit Smith was reading the morning
newspaper when he came across a government notice listing the latest batch
of farms designated for seizure by the state. His farm was among them.

For a man who had just learned that he would lose his livelihood, his
passion, and his family home, Smith was strangely unflustered. Largely
ignored since independence, he seems to have found in the blind bungling of
Robert Mugabe's regime a grim redemption for white rule. "You can't imagine
how many people come up to me and say, `We didn't agree with you back then.
We thought you were too rigid and inflexible. But now we see you were
right. You were so right: they were not fit to govern.' "

The "they," of course, is the black majority. But Smith is drawing the
wrong lesson. Although Zimbabwe is as broken as any country on the planet,
it offers a testament not to some inherent African inability to govern but
to a minority rule as oppressive and inconsiderate of the welfare of
citizens as its ignominious white predecessor. The country's economy in
1997 was the fastest growing in all of Africa; now it is the fastest
shrinking. A onetime net exporter of maize, cotton, beef, tobacco, roses,
and sugarcane now exports only its educated professionals, who are fleeing
by the tens of thousands.

Although Zimbabwe has some of the richest farmland in Africa, children with
distended bellies have begun arriving at school looking like miniature
pregnant women. How could the breadbasket of Africa have deteriorated so
quickly into the continent's basket case? The answer is Robert Mugabe, now
seventy-nine, who by his actions has compiled something of a "how-to"
manual for national destruction. Although many of his methods have been
applied elsewhere, taken as a whole his ten-step approach is more radical
and more comprehensive than that of other despots. The Zimbabwe case offers
some important insights.

It illustrates the prime importance of accountability as an antidote to
idiocy and excess. It highlights the lasting effects of
decolonization - limited Western influence on the continent and a reluctance
by African leaders to criticize their own. And it offers a warning about
how much damage one man can do, very quickly. Destroy the engine of
productivity The Harare Sports Club, a Rhodesian throwback, sits
kitty-corner from Mugabe's private residence. I was told ahead of time by
locals that the patrons would be mostly white ex-farmers "crying into their
beer." Inside, towering, bull-necked men lined the bar. Most were
chain-smoking, and they did seem quite wobbly. A television hanging from
the ceiling played reruns of Tim Henman's latest Wimbledon tease. At the
entrance to the club is a sports shop, which sells squash rackets and
cricket bats. The place is Old England in a capsule, and yet the paint is
chipped, the tabs are unpaid, and the lively chatter, once about crop
yields and rugby scores, now focuses on court dates and emigration plans.

Pat Ashton, a stocky, white-haired fifty-five-year-old farmer, stops in at
least twice a month. Ashton grew up in Cheshire, England, and moved to
Rhodesia in 1971. Trusting Mugabe's moderate rhetoric, he made a down
payment on a farm the year after independence. It took him two decades to
pay back his loans, but in 2001 he finally did so. The Ashton farm grew
mangoes, tobacco, maize, and flat peas, grossing about $800,000 annually.
His workers didn't earn enough to buy their own land ("I probably could
have done more to make them self-sufficient," he admits), but he did build
them a village of some ninety houses, a social hall, a football field, and
a medical clinic. Ashton reinvested virtually all of his surplus in the

In July of 2001 about fifty people who lived in the nearby town arrived on
his land. Most were miners, and they were led by three officials from the
Mugabe government. The group began surveying Ashton's property and marking
out plots for homes. The next six months were a constant battle. The
settlers returned and erected makeshift thatch huts in the middle of Ashton
's maize and tobacco fields. They dug up his maize crops, beat up his farm
workers, and removed and bent his irrigation pipes. Still Ashton hung on,
living in his farmhouse and planting and harvesting what he could.

In January of 2002 four trucks arrived, containing youth militia and men
claiming they were veterans of the liberation war collecting their reward
for service. This time the invaders attacked Ashton, with steel rods and an
ax, cutting him in the forearm and badly damaging his pickup truck as he
tried to escape. They held two of his sons hostage for a day, threatening
to execute them and making them chant songs in praise of the ruling party.
As the invaders carted away all the Ashton family's transportable
belongings - from crockery to toilet seats - the police watched with
amusement and then decided to join in. Ashton is more sympathetic than many
other farmers, but the story of his eviction is fairly typical. In 2000,
about 4,000 large-scale commercial farmers owned some 70 per-cent of
Zimbabwe's arable land. Nearly two thirds of these farmers had bought their
farms after independence, and thus held titles issued not by Ian Smith or
the British colonial regime but by the Mugabe government. Mugabe had long
pledged land reform as a way of redistributing farmland to black peasants
and dismantling what many saw as the country's "mini-Rhodesias." But he had
delayed action for two decades, generally taking farms only on a "willing
seller, willing buyer" basis.

Mugabe decided on what he called "fast-track land reform" only in February
of 2000, after he got shocking results in a constitutional referendum:
though he controlled the media, the schools, the police, and the army,
voters rejected a constitution he put forth to increase his power even
further. A new movement was afoot in Zimbabwe: the Movement for Democratic
Change - a coalition of civic groups, labor unions, constitutional
reformers, and here-to fore marginal opposition parties. Mugabe blamed the
whites and their farm workers (who, although they together made up only 15
percent of the electorate, were enough to tip the scales) for the growth of
the MDC - and for his humiliating rebuff. So he played the race card and the
land card. "If white settlers just took the land from us without paying for
it," the President declared, "we can, in a similar way, just take it from
them without paying for it." In 1896 Africans had suffered huge casualties
in an eighteen-month rebellion against British pioneers known as the
chimurenga, or "liberation war."

The war that brought Zimbabwean blacks self-rule was known as the second
chimurenga. In the immediate aftermath of his referendum defeat Mugabe
announced a third chimurenga, invoking a valiant history to animate a
violent, countrywide land grab. Initially, the farmers held their ground,
but it became clear after several white farmers were murdered that they
were too few and Mugabe's regime was too determined.

Of the 4,000 large-scale commercial farmers in business three years ago,
all but 500 have been forced off their land. Most Zimbabweans (including
white farmers) say that land reform was both necessary and inevitable. The
tragedy of Mugabe's approach is that it has harmed those whom a
well-ordered, selective redistribution program could and should have
helped. Generally the farms have not been given to black farm managers or
farm workers. Indeed, because of their association with the opposition,
more than a million farm workers and their dependents have been displaced,
and they are now at grave risk of starvation. In fact, the beneficiaries of
the land seizures are, with few exceptions, ruling-party officials and
friends of the President's. Although Mugabe's people seem to view the
possession of farms as a sign of status (the Minister of Home Affairs has
five; the Minister of Information has three; Mugabe's wife, Grace, and
scores of influential party members and their relatives have two each),
these elites don't have the experience, the equipment, or, apparently, the
desire to run them. About 130,000 formerly landless peasants helped the
ruling elites to take over the farms, but now that the dirty work is done,
many of them are them-selves being expelled.

The drop-off in agricultural production is staggering. Maize farming, which
yielded more than 1.5 million tons annually before 2000, is this year
expected to generate just 500,000 tons. Wheat production, which stood at
309,000 tons in 2000, will hover at 27,000 tons this year. Tobacco
production, too, which at 265,000 tons accounted for nearly a third of the
total foreign-currency earnings in 2000, has tumbled, to about 66,000 tons
in 2003. Mugabe's belief that he can strengthen his flagging popularity by
destroying a resented but economically vital minority group is one that
dictators elsewhere have shared. Paranoid about their diminishing support,
Stalin wiped out the wealthy kulak farming class, Idi Amin purged Uganda's
Indian commercial class, and, of course, Hitler went after Jewish
businesses even though Germany was already reeling from the Depression.
Whatever spikes in popularity these moves generated, the economic damage
was profound, and the dictators had to exert great effort to mask it.

Bury the truth

Zimbabweans get their news from state television, "the first and permanent
media choice for every Zimbabwean." The station is required to play at
least once every hour a social-realist commercial accompanied by the jingle
"Rambai Makashinga," or "Persevere." The ad shows youthful, chiseled
Zimbabweans, dressed in designer jeans, dancing in maize and wheat fields
as they cheerily harvest the season's crops. Many are wearing yellow and
green, the colors of the ruling party. One is wearing a T-shirt bearing the
number 23, signifying Mugabe's years in power. The maize is shucked to the
beat, and the hoes land rhythmically in the rich red soil. The commercial
reminds starving Zimbabweans what they got from their liberation from white
rule: Nike sneakers and crops aplenty. More representative of the country's
actual situation is the state of the fertile crescent north of the capital.
If Zimbabwe is Africa's breadbasket, the Mazowe Valley is the breadbasket
of the breadbasket. Yet driving through it today is like visiting a refugee
camp that has been hit by a hurricane. Fields that should brim with
knee-high, forest-green winter wheat now contain only the crackling yellow
stubble of last year's crop. The barbed wire that once hemmed in cattle has
been ripped away by squatters, who have plopped down cheap cement houses in
the middle of arable fields and killed off cows and sheep for food.
Surviving cattle wander, emaciated, onto the roads. Untended, they are
riddled with foot-and-mouth disease, dooming what was once a thriving
cattle-export business. Irrigation equipment lies derelict and rusting;
much of it has been dismantled and sold as scrap metal.

Government food warehouses used to contain sacks of wheat and maize piled
to the sky, but the warehouses, on which the vast majority of the
population depends, now stand empty. Mugabe designated the state-run Grain
Marketing Board as the sole buyer and distributor of maize and wheat in the
country, and he fixed prices at a fraction of market value. In a country
with moderate inflation this might have kept staples at affordable prices.
But given that the prices of everything else in the country, including seed
and fertilizer, are doubling each month, farmers can grow these vital crops
only at a severe loss. As a result both commercial and small farmers have
gotten out of the maize and wheat business, shifting to crops that are not

Mugabe handles the unprecedented food shortages the totalitarian way: he
hides them, guarding the size of GMB stocks as carefully as he would
military secrets. Longtime foreign correspondents have been expelled from
the country, and local journalists dare not approach the GMB, for fear of
arrest. Driving by one warehouse in Mvurwi, I observed a typically listless
group of GMB workers in blue overalls lounging in the sunshine, smoking
cigarettes, and stacking and restacking wooden pallets that would
ordinarily be used to store the harvest. Nothing too explosive there. Yet
when the GMB overseers saw they were being watched, they dispatched a posse
of young men to pursue my vehicle in a harrowing (and, owing to their
reluctance to waste scarce fuel, unsuccessful) car chase. Zimbabweans are
severely malnourished, and deaths from starvation occur even in the cities.
The country has not yet suffered nationwide famine only because
interna-tional donors have stepped in. Before Mugabe launched his
chimurenga, the UN's World Food Programme relied on Zimbabwean agriculture
to help keep the rest of Africa fed. It maintained only a small procurement
office in Harare, staffed by a dozen people. Last year, however, the WFP
had to overhaul its operation, hiring hundreds of international and
Zimbabwean aid workers to distribute food in the country. Western
governments have given the organization $300 million to feed some 5.5
million Zimbabweans, nearly 50 percent of the country's population. (At the
height of the Ethiopian famine, international donors fed just 20 percent of
Ethiopia's citizens.) Shortages are expected to be far more severe in the
coming year. But instead of disclosing the country's true needs and
requesting a helping hand, Mugabe's cabinet has delivered a
passive-aggressive screed to the international community. In a
twenty-four-page "appeal" delivered this past July, it defended the land
seizures for "economically empowering the poor," and criticized donors for
their "skepticism [toward] pro-poor policies." Everyone and everything was
responsible for food shortages except the real culprit, Mugabe himself. By
exaggerating Zimbabwe's crop yields in Potemkin fashion, the cabinet
downplayed its needs, making it impossible for the WFP to get from donors
(already stretched thin in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Liberia) the food
Zimbabwe will need to stave off widespread starvation in 2004.

Crush dissent

Zimbabweans are remarkably unshy about criticizing Robert Mugabe's rule.
Ask a taxi driver how he is doing, and he will answer without hesitation:
"I am suffering." Several months after rejecting Mugabe's proposed
constitution, voters in the major cities swept the ruling party out of
office, giving the MDC fifty-seven of the 120 contestable parliamentary

In March of last year, although the ruling party beat and tor-tured
opponents, controlled media coverage of the campaign, and posted its armed
watchdogs at election booths, the voters turned up - and by all unofficial
accounts elected Morgan Tsvangirai, the head of the Movement for Democratic
Change, to replace Mugabe as President. Mugabe rigged the results, but
Tsvangirai's supporters still call the opposition leader "Mr. President."
Tsvangirai is a large man, a labor organizer who gives a rumpled impression
despite his recent turn toward designer suits. "Mugabe underestimated the
people and overestimated his invincibility," he told me when I met with him
in August. Time will tell. For now, instead of leading protests at home, or
mobilizing pressure abroad, Tsvangirai spends his days in court -  fending
off charges of treason, which carry the death penalty. On the eve of
Tsvangirai's stunning showing in the election, the government produced a
grainy and unconvincing video-tape showing him supposedly telling a shady
Israeli business-man that he would like to "eliminate" Mugabe. Stuck in=
court, Tsvangirai hasn't appeared much in public since.

The MDC's message has been circulated by the Daily News, the country's only
independent daily newspaper, which was launched in 1999 and quietly
captured the highest news-paper readership in the country: it was so
popular that it sold out by lunchtime. In January of 2001 Mugabe's
Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, described the paper as "a threat to
national security which has to be silenced." Hours later the Daily News
printing presses were destroyed by a bomb. This past September the
government denied the irreverent paper a license, and the police shut it

Tsvangirai's international standing has thus far helped to keep him alive
(although he was once beaten unconscious), but some of his followers have
not been so lucky. About 250 Zimbabweans have died in political killings
since the competition for power heated up, in 2000. According to Amnesty
International, 70,000 incidents of torture and abuse took place in Zimbabwe
last year alone. The govern-ment's most pervasive form of intimidation is
also its most effective: the denial of food. While international aid groups
try to feed Zimbabweans in rural areas, city folk must buy their maize and
wheat from the sole distributor - the Grain Marketing Board. In order to get
food they are often forced to produce a ruling-party membership card or to
chant such slogans as "Long live Robert Mugabe!," "Down with whites!," and
"Down with Morgan Tsvangarai!" Last year the former would be better off
with only six million people, with our speaker of the parliament, Didymus
Mutasa, stated, "We own people who support the liberation struggle. We don'
t want these extra people." The Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen
has famously argued that no functioning democracy has ever suffered a
famine, because democratic governments "have to win elections and face
public criticism, and have strong incentive to undertake measures to avert
famines and other catastrophes." Like Pol Pot's Cambodia and Mao's China,
Mugabe's Zimbabwe shows what can happen when political elites operate with
no fear of being taken to task.

Legislate the impossible

For all the lawlessness in Zimbabwe, the country in fact suffers from an
over-abundance of laws. Indeed, Mugabe has introduced so many economic
edicts in the past year that most citizens have found it impossible to keep
track. He fixed the price of a loaf of bread at half the bakers' break-even
price, and levied astronomical fines on any baker who charged more. Bakers
stopped making bread until somebody noticed that sesame bread, a "luxury
item," wasn't price-controlled; by sprinkling a few sesame seeds on their
standard loaves, bakers were able to get back in business. A pair of
mortuary workers were arrested recently for running a profitable
"rent-a-cadaver" business: because Mugabe had decreed that drivers in
funeral processions would get privileged access to the trickle of fuel
coming into the country, these entrepreneurs had begun leasing bodies to
Zimbabwean drivers.

"Mugonomics," as Mugabe's brand of economic policy is known in Zimbabwe,
addresses the symptoms of economic collapse, such as food and fuel
shortages, but ignores the underlying causes. Inflation in Zimbabwe is
expected to surpass 800 percent by year's end. Unemployment is at 70
percent. Zimbabwe has its own dollar, but the highest (and rarest) currency
denomination, a $Z 1,000 note, cannot buy even a loaf of bread. Most
transactions require hundreds of $Z 50 and $Z 100 bills.

When Tsvangirai was arrested, several men were needed to carry his bail
money to the Harare high court in huge cardboard boxes. Newspapers
advertise "money rubber bands" and electronic money counters that "count
1,500 bills per minute." Because the rate of inflation is astronomical in
comparison with the interest rates offered by banks, Zimbabweans are
desperate to withdraw their savings in order to spend the money while it
still has value. The banks say they would be happy to oblige - but they
don't have the cash. The government has so little foreign currency that it
can't pay to import the ink and the paper needed to print more bills or
bills of higher denominations. In July desperate Zimbabweans began sleeping
outside banks so as to be there maximum withdrawal to the equivalent of
$2.50, patrons were rewarded for a night's wait with just enough money to
cover their bus fare home. Mugabe has kept the official exchange rate fixed
at 824 Zimbabwean dollars to one U.S. dollar, even though the black-market
rate hovers around $Z 5,000. Businessmen thus do their best to bypass
official banks and government institutions, and the black market has become
the only market of relevance. The state requires Zimbabweans who export
goods to change 50 percent of their foreign earnings into local money at
the official exchange rate. This means that every dollar converted loses
almost all of its value - giving companies no incentive to bring money home,
and worsening the severe cash shortage. Forlorn Zimbabwean pensioners whose
savings have vanished in a matter of months are reminiscent of the doleful
Yugoslavs and Argentines who have endured similar im-plosions. The economic
dynamic in Zimbabwe is perversely robust: while ordinary people suffer,
black-market dealers and people with foreign bank accounts prosper, making
them powerful stakeholders in the perpetuation of devastating economic

Teach hate

When Mugabe took over as President, fewer than half of Zimbabweans could
read and write. He transformed the country - producing a literacy rate
higher than 85 percent. Yet he may be remembered less for his education
drive than for creating the "Green Bombers," the youth militia that emerged
from the National Youth Service Training Program, introduced after the
ruling party' s dismal showing in the 2000 parliamentary elections. Some
50,000 Zimbabweans aged ten to thirty have passed through the training
program since it started. The youth academies initially advertised
themselves as offering training in agriculture, construction, and other
occupations, but they have morphed into a paramilitary and indoctrination

When dictators feel their support slipping among adults, it is not unusual
for them to alter school textbooks in the hope of enlisting impressionable
youths in their cause. And because tyrants never stop worrying about the
loyalty of their militaries, they often establish ruling-party militias to
act as personal guarantors of their safety in the event of assassination or
coup attempts. In the service of the third chimurenga in Zimbabwe, students
are taught how to make gasoline bombs and set up roadblocks. Elliot
Manyika, a hard-line ruling-party official who now runs the program, says
the training will teach youths to "change their mind-set * and not aspire
to be a servant of the white man," especially now that "whites are going
where they came from."

Many enroll reluctantly, because they know they have no chance of finding
work otherwise: slots at university, at teacher and nurse training schools,
and in the civil service are reserved for those who can produce
certificates showing that they have graduated from a youth academy. Clad in
green fatigues and red-and-green berets, those graduates who become Green
Bombers vandalize MDC offices, harass Zimbabweans waiting for food, seize
whites' farms, confiscate newspapers, and intimidate voters and candidates.

Scare off foreigners

The Mbare market, in Harare, is Zimbabwe's largest bazaar. It contains more
than a hundred stalls, selling African carvings, tapestries, and
sculptures. In normal times at least four tourist buses and dozens of taxis
visited the market every day. Yet when I arrived one Sunday, the vendors
looked at me as though they were seeing the ghost of Cecil Rhodes. After a
moment's pause they rushed behind their stalls and hurriedly began
polishing and propping up their wares. One of them told me I was his first
customer of the month; it was July 27. The murder of white farmers, the
attacks on the opposition, and the theft of an election have obviously done
nothing to help tourism. Nor has the disappearance of two indispensable
travel items: cash and fuel. One Air Zimbabwe flight attendant recently
explained a two-hour delay by telling passengers that the plane was waiting
for a flight arriving from London "so we can siphon from its tank." One of
the reasons tourists used to visit Zimbabwe was its game parks. But many of
the fences around the parks have been destroyed by squatters, and amid
starvation, poachers have begun hunting even rare wildlife.

Farm invaders running out of white commercial farms to seize have begun
taking over wildlife preserves, creating safari parks for their personal
viewing. Foreign capital is disappearing faster than the wildlife. When
Mugabe called for the "indigenization of the economy," he asserted
pointedly that some Zimbabweans were "more indigenous than others." It
wasn't only farmers who were threatened by the chimurenga. In 2000 "war
veterans" invaded white-owned urban busi-nesses -  everything from hotels
and department stores to the offices of foreign corporations. The remaining
investors are running scared.

Invade a neighbor

As even a democracy like the United States has shown, waging war can
benefit a leader in several ways: it can rally citizens around the flag, it
can distract them from bleak economic times, and it can enrich a country's
elites. In August of 1998 Robert Mugabe sent 11,000 soldiers -  a third of
his army - into the most menacing country in Africa: the Congo. He justified
the invasion on the grounds that he was defending the sovereignty of an
African country being invaded by Rwandan, Ugandan, and Burundian forces,
which were backing a rebellion against the Congo's President, Laurent
Kabila. In reality, just as Saddam Hussein went after the oil in Kuwait,
Mugabe had his eye on the Congo's riches. "There are fortunes to be made in
the Congo," Tshinga Dube, one of Mugabe's colonels, told a television
interviewer, "so why rush to conquer the rebels?"

Mugabe's cronies did in fact get rich off diamonds, cobalt, and timber. But
the war was extremely unpopular at home. As casualties mounted, some army
officers grew restless and began plotting a coup, which was foiled in its
planning stages. Mugabe dismissed his critics as "black white men wearing
the master's cap." But it was harder for him to ignore the outrage of one
of his key constituencies: the veterans of the 1970s liberation war, who
saw fortunes being made in the Congo and began clamoring for the
compensation Mugabe had promised them for their sacrifices.

Mugabe thought he might placate the war veterans by offering up the white
farms, but in the end, although the vets were the ones who expelled the
white farmers, it is the country's elites who got the farms. Zimbabwe's
troops are thought to have withdrawn from the Congo in September of last
year, but the consequences of the war are more durable. In addition to
unleashing the war veterans as a powerful political force, the Congo war
consumed vast sums of money that would have been better spent on medicine
for the country's dying people.

Ignore a deadly enemy

Zimbabwe's only real surplus is HIV, which has infected a third of the
population, causing life expectancy to drop from fifty-six years in the
early seventies to a deeply distressing thirty-five years today. In 1999
Mugabe's government actually did something that no other African government
had tried: it introduced an "AIDS levy" - a three percent tax on every
Zimbabwean's salary, which was to be used to fund AIDS prevention and
treatment. Predictably, most of the money disappeared. AIDS and food
shortages have combined to generate what is called a "new variant famine,"
in which hunger weakens the immune system, speeding HIV's progression to
full-blown AIDS. AIDS illnesses and deaths, in turn, further wreck the
economy, reducing the number of communal farmers who can produce in the
countryside, and forcing factories and mines to hire almost twice as many
workers to secure the same amount of labor. Zimbabwe's neighbors have begun
to treat patients with anti-retrovirals, but Mugabe can't afford the drugs.
"Working here is pointless," says Barbara Deve, the lone nurse in the
impoverished Hatcliffe township, near Harare. "We write prescriptions
knowing very well our patients don't have the money to buy the medicines in
the pharmacy. We say `go buy' and `go buy,' but it is just cruel theater."
Some 3,800 deaths from AIDS occur in Zimbabwe each week. Ignorance and
misinformation persist. When an AIDS death occurs in a rural area, it is
still common to hear the deceased described as having been "bewitched." A
recent poll revealed that condoms were thought to harbor HIV.

Commit genocide

Gukurahundi refers to the seasonal Zimbabwean rains that wipe out the
debris of the previous year's crop. It signifies a purging of the old, a
purification. In January of 1983 Robert Mugabe, a member of the ethnic
Shona majority, ordered his North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade to carry out
what he called a gukurahundi against the Ndebele people.

The Ndebele account for about a fourth of the country's population, and
Mugabe felt that they threatened him be-cause his chief political rival at
the time, Joshua Nkomo, was a Ndebele. The Nazis gave us the Final
Solution; the Serbs gave us "ethnic cleansing"; the Zimbabweans have given
us "wiping away." Public discussion of the gukurahundi is forbidden in
Zimbabwe. But George Mkwananzi, thirty-three, is the self-anointed keeper
of Ndebele memory. Wearing thick spectacles that keep sliding down his
nose, he doesn't fit the image of a would-be rebel leader. But that is what
he says he and others will become if Mugabe is not punished for the murder
of the Ndebele. "In the whole history of this country nobody ever caused
such a loss of life, not even Cecil John Rhodes," Mkwananzi says. Rhodes's
conquest left some 5,000 Ndebele dead. Mugabe's forces are thought to have
killed 25,000. "When liberation was achieved, we never experienced it as a
region," Mkwananzi says. "We were merely transferred from British
colonialism to Shona colonialism. If Mugabe and his henchmen are not
prosecuted, we will break away and create our own country, and we will find
a way to make revenge against Mugabe. It will happen. It may sound like a
dream, but ours is a brutalized past that has to be revisited. Five or ten
years from now they will say, `What that man was saying was true.' "

In an era of international justice, dictators with blood on their hands are
afraid that if they relinquish power, they will end up prosecuted, like
Slobodan Milosevic, or humiliated, like Augusto Pinochet. Mugabe knows that
his massacres have been carefully documented by survivors and human rights
investigators, and he is right to be nervous. Tsvangirai, for his part,
might be willing to accept a deal in which Mugabe was given a golden
parachute to Nigeria (as Charles Taylor, of Liberia, was), but he knows
that if he does so, his many Ndebele supporters may revolt. "I cannot stand
up now and say, `We will forgive Mugabe,' because I will be dead,"
Tsvangirai told me. "But neither can I say, `We are going to send you to
the Hague,' because he will say, `Let me burn down the building.' "

Blame the imperialists

Following the lead of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the United States
and Europe have imposed sanctions against Mugabe and seventy-four members
of his inner circle, freezing their assets, imposing a travel ban, and
forbidding arms sales. But other nations, including Malaysia, Libya, and
Venezuela, have been openly supportive of the Mugabe regime. Mugabe swats
away American and European criticism by citing imperial sins. "How can
these countries who have stolen land from the Red Indians, the Aborigines,
and the Eskimos dare to tell us what to do with our land?" he has asked.
Like Castro in Cuba, Mugabe is admired in the developing world for flouting
the Western powers.

The foreigner who could wield the most influence in Zimbabwe is South
African President Thabo Mbeki. But Mbeki, who has insisted on a "softly,
softly" approach, often seems simply to be stalling in Mugabe's behalf. In
September, with Zimbabwe in its worst condition since Mugabe came to power,
Mbeki said that things had normalized. Although his African National
Congress once benefited from sanctions in the fight against apartheid, he
has called for the termination of those against Zimbabwe. When, in 2002,
Tony Blair persuaded the Commonwealth of Nations to suspend Zimbabwe,

Mbeki urged that Britain be the one to exit. "Those inspired by notions of
white supremacy are free to depart if they feel that membership of the
association reduces them to a repugnant position imposed by inferior
blacks," he said. President Mbeki and other African heads of state are
torn. On the one hand, they know that an "African renaissance" can't come
about while Mugabe and people like him continue to wield power. On the
other, they are power-hungry them-selves, and they are terrified that their
own liberation-era organizations will be left behind in such a renaissance.
So they close ranks on racial and anti-imperial grounds. But although
Mugabe's neighbors in Africa may applaud the President at international
conferences, they are privately taking steps to protect themselves against
the Zimbabwean catastrophe. So many Zimbabwean refugees now flood South
Africa that Mbeki grants entry only to those who can produce a bank
statement proving financial solvency or a deposit of $Z 300,000. His
government also deports several thousand illegal Zimbabwean immigrants each
week. Botswana has found itself so overrun by desperate Zimbabweans that it
is erecting an electric fence 300 miles long. Meanwhile, Mugabe's
anti-imperialist rhetoric, though an expedient balm at home, only deepens
Zimbabwe's iso-lation from potential lenders, investors, and tourists.

Still, Mugabe will have the last word on Zimbabwe's fate. His cronies are
clearly worried that if he clings to power indefinitely, the ruling party
will sink with him. He is under pressure to choose a successor by the end
of the year. But at seventy-nine, Mugabe may well decide to stick around,
relying - though he would never admit it - on the United States and Britain
to bail out his people with food aid. If he hangs on, and if other African
leaders don't force him out, Zimbabwe may go in one of two directions. Its
destitute citizens might be so preoccupied with finding food and staying
alive that they will increasingly tune politics out. Over time their memory
of - and sense of entitlement to - a better life will give way, and they will
docilely submit to authorities whose power will only increase as the crisis
deepens. Or the country's appalling conditions might stir a domestic
revolution, a fourth chimurenga, which will bring down Mugabe and his
ruling party. The stakes are not small. Mugabe is one of the last surviving
members of a club of African big men - a club that included the likes of
Mobutu Sese Seko, of Zaire, and Daniel Arap Moi, of Kenya. These men led
necessary and bold opposition to colonial rule, but then grew addicted to=
power and its opulent trappings. They began to see them-selves less as
rulers of their lands than as owners. As their support waned, the big men
acted in ways that big men so often do, following a manual very much like
Mugabe's -  profiteering, stealing elections, torturing opponents,
alienating professionals and foreigners, and ignoring the needs of their
impoverished citizens. Because Zimbabwe had so much going for it, and be-
cause the country has come apart at such a frighteningly brisk pace, one
can see the continent's worst tendencies in microcosm. The lessons are
clear. First, the contemporary skeptics of democracy - who argue that it
enables tyrannies of the majority and that it ranks lower in priority than
economic development - miss the central insight of the

Zimbabwe experience: When a ruler operates without constraint, he can
institute a tyranny of the minority, and he can plunder his country's
economy and starve his people without any potential corrective. Democratic
accountability is the bedrock concept that no developed or developing state
can live without. An outspoken press, a healthy op-position, periodic
elections, and an independent judiciary are rightly valued for themselves,
but their greatest virtue is practical: they deter and thwart top-down
demolition. Second, however distant the days of imperial rule or Cold War
interventions in Africa, the residual resentments are a huge psychological
impediment to sensible action by African leaders. In many instances these
leaders are simply deflecting attention from their own failings. But
anti-colonial rants get a receptive hearing among ordinary citizens,
because Western leaders have rarely acknowledged their past sins and still
refuse to face up to the way the West's farm subsidies are ravaging African
agriculture. Thus when things go wrong, it remains expedient - and easy - to
blame the white man.

Third, regardless of the measure of Western responsibility for Africa's
mess, it is clear that the future of Africa lies in the hands of African
leaders. Thus far, individually and collectively, they have been more prone
to hide behind the past than to take responsibility for the present. If
Zimbabwe is a test of South Africa's capacity to lead an African
renaissance, then South Africa has flunked that test.

Finally, Zimbabwe shows just how hard it is to destroy a place completely.
Mugabe has done virtually everything conceivable to ruin his country, but
one finds signs of a redoubtable spirit everywhere. Graffiti has sprung up
at city bus stops, reading, "Zvakwana!," or "It's enough!" Despite arrest
and torture, opposition activists remain brazen in their dissent. Displaced
farm workers now survive by growing vegetables in grass patches beside bus
stops. The destitute wait patiently in line to cast ballots in elections
they know will be stolen. White farmers spend what's left of their savings
suing for the return of their land in courts presided over by a government
whose officials occupy their farmhouses. All say the same thing: Yes,
Zimbabwe has been the continent's latest example of how not to govern. But
the mounting severity of Mugabe's crackdown is a testament to his
frustration with the resilience of civil society, which simply refuses to
go away. If Mugabe were to give up power, Zimbabweans insist, the country
would quickly show how liberated citizens can mend a shattered land. The
effect, they say, could be contagious.

For all their differences, Mugabe and Ian Smith share a basic misconception
about power: they both fail to realize that a government cannot survive
indefinitely when it advances the political and economic desires of the few
at the expense of the many. When I asked Smith whether he would stop
leaving his front door open now that starving Zimbabweans are prowling the
city, he replied, "I'm not going to change now." The same, alas, is most
likely true of Robert Mugabe. A


True to his word, our vet comes in late afternoon and kneels in a slant of sun.
A pat, a needle stick stills the failing heart.
We lower the ancient form to the hemlock-shrouded grave and before the hole
is brimmed set a layer of chicken wire to guard against predators so that
the earth we broke reforms, a mild mound.
The rock we place on top, common glacial granite, is mica-flecked and flat.
That night the old dog works his way back up and out, gasping, salted with
dirt, and barks his familiar bark at the scribble-scratched back door.
I pull on shirt and pants, a Pavlovian response, and stumble half awake
downstairs to turn the knob where something, some mortal stub I swear I
recognize, some flap of ear or fur, swims out of nothingness and brushes
past me into its rightful house.

Maxine Kumin's most recent volumes of poetry are
The Long Marriage (2001) and Bringing Together: Uncollected Early Poems
1958-1988 (2003).

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      Nigeria woos Zimbabwe's farmers

      A central Nigerian state is trying revive its neglected agricultural
sector by encouraging white Zimbabwean farmers to relocate to the country.
      Six white farmers have just completed a visit to Kwara state at the
invitation of its Governor, Bukola Saraki.

      The farmers mainly represent those who have lost their farms in
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's land redistribution programme.

      Nigeria's farms have been neglected since oil was discovered 40 years

      One of the farmers, Alan Jack, told the BBC's Anna Borzello that
during the week-long visit they had been offered large blocks of land on
99-year leases to resettle in Nigeria.

      He said the farms he had seen were overgrown and neglected.

      "We could resuscitate things in a matter of months and get those
places up and running again," he said.

      Mr Jack said they will return to Nigeria for further discussions, but
had not made any firm decisions.

      The farmers are concerned about the lack of infrastructure and
Nigeria's reputation for corruption.

      But Kwara state is optimistic that the men will agree to the project.

      "I think the few farmers that have visited will spread the good news
that there is arable land here," said Nigel Crompton, a local official. .

      Presidential approval

      Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has also given his support for
the project, saying Nigeria was "anxious to benefit from their expertise and

      The farmers would find their stay in Nigeria "rewarding and exciting,"
he added when the group visited the capital Abuja.

      But Nigeria is not the only offer the farmers have had.

      Mr Jack said they had also received overtures from Mozambique, Zambia,
Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

This Day, Nigeria

Dateline: 23/03/2004 16:32:14
      Benefit From Zimbabwean Farmers' Expertise - Obasanjo
      From Josephine Lohor in Abuja


      President Olusegun Obas-anjo yesterday stated that in the spirit of
the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), Nig-eria wants the
whole of Africa to benefit from the technical know-how and expertise of
Zimbabwean farmers.

      Speaking when a delegation of the farmers led by the governor of Kwara
State, Mr. Bukola Saraki, visited him at the State House in Abuja, the
President who said the Federal Government would support everything that the
Kwara State government was doing in the area of commercial agriculture,
disclosed that government is looking into the Agriculture Credit Guaranty
Scheme to make it more farmer-friendly.

      Obasanjo who said he would not delve into the politics of Zimbabwe
"because politics at times do not go together," however, noted that he had
"no doubt that we have to gradually move towards commercial and modern
agriculture, but the dilemma is, how quickly we move and what we do with the
old farmers.

      We have to move steadily but firmly so that when the 65-year old
farmer can no longer farm, he will be replaced by the modern farmer."

      The president who noted that the visit of the Zimbabwean farmers was
an indication of their faith and commitment to Africa, however, added that
"we do not want to take away what is good for Zimbabwe from Zimbabwe but we
also want you not to leave Africa. I believe that it is in the best interest
of Africa that you do not leave."

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Vanguard, Nigeria

      Group warns FG against Zimbabwean farmers

      By Sina Babasola
      Wednesday, March 24, 2004

      IBADAN - THE Nigerian Economic Society yesterday warned the Federal
Government against allowing the displaced white Zimbabwean farmers to settle
in the country declaring that such a move "portends great danger to Nigeria'
s future."

      President of the society, Prof. Sam Olofin at a news conference on the
delegation of the white farmers already in the country remarked that
government at state and federal levels need to backtrack and stop giving the
displaced farmers a base in the country.

      His words: "It is a fact that the country needs every kobo of
investment. We may be able to attract to the productive sectors of the
economy from local and foreign sources. But it is not every form of
investment that is likely to add value to our investment effort.

      "If anything at all, the value added from this particular category of
investors is likely to be negative over the medium term and longer term."

      According to him, "if our agricultural sector is to be reviewed
therefore, all we need at the moment is a reversal of the deliberate policy
of neglect of the agricultural sector and not invitation to foreign
investors to introduce large scale farming."

      The Professor of Economics of the University of Ibadan stated
emphatically that "the country is not ripe for large-scale farming that
would radically transform the agricultural sector and displace small-holder

      Professor Olofin explained that introducing large scale farming
without corresponding growth in the nation's industrial sector "would have
little or no impact on the rest of the economy or at best accentuate the
level of unemployment as small scale farmers are thrown out of their small
holdings with nowhere to go."

      The NSE president said that Nigeria at the moment had a strong
industrial base to accommodate large-scale farming adding "such isolated
large-scale farming has resulted in enclave economics in most Southern
Africa countries where they have been trailed by complex economic, social
and political problems as we are now witnessing in Zimbabwe.

      He specifically stated that the potential for future resentment and
racial conflict becomes quite enormous by bringing in the white farmers.

       adding "we have enough of intra-ethnic tensions in the country
already and we leave peacefully with the few whites who mingle easily with
the rest of society. Must we now add a racial dimension to our national
problems by creating white enclave farming communities.

      Said he, "unlike other forms of foreign investment especially in
manufacturing, this is a form of investment that would require re-allocation
of a very sensitive factor of production - land. We already have enough
communal clashes all over the country arising from claims and counter-claims
to land possession such that we do not need to exacerbate this by bringing
in foreign investors who would dispossess local communities of their land".

      Professor Olofin who said that "it is only few individuals who will
benefit from the invitation of the white Zimbabwean farmers noted" there is
need to re-examine our foreign dependence syndrome".

      "We therefore urge the federal government to stop and halt this
potentially dangerous policy on its tracks. Our agricultural sector does not
need Zimbabwean farmers to improve. It is a form of foreign investment that
would do the country more harm than good if not in short run, certainly in
the medium and longer term. It would only increase our social, political, as
well as economic problems in the near future enormously with little to show
by way of benefits".
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Zimbabwe police arrest, charge film maker

Wednesday March 24, 2004 15:02 - (SA)

HARARE - An independent film maker in Zimbabwe was arrested and charged
under security laws on "suspicion" he helped to make a recent BBC
documentary about the country's controversial youth training camps, his
lawyer said.

Beatrice Mtetwa said her client Simon Bright was arrested last Friday as he
tried to board an Air Zimbabwe plane to London.

He was detained for the weekend by police and questioned on whether he
worked for "outside broadcasters", Mtetwa said.

The lawyer said Bright was asked whether he was involved in making the BBC's
recent Panorama programme that claimed thousands of Zimbabwean youths are
being trained in special camps to torture and intimidate opponents of
President Robert Mugabe's government.

"The suspicion is that he was involved in that" Panorama documentary, Mtetwa
said, but denied any link.

Bright was released on Monday afternoon after being charged under the Public
Order and Security Act (POSA) for communicating "a statement which is wholly
or materially false", Mtetwa added.

Mtetwa told AFP that Bright, an established film maker who focuses on
development and conservation issues, was taking a tape to clients in London
who had commissioned him to make a documentary on a game park in southern

Mtetwa said police were "unable to say what was offensive" about the tape,
adding that various government departments were involved in the making of
the documentary.

Under Zimbabwe's strict security laws, the communication of false statements
carries a fine or a five-year prison term on conviction.

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Preparations to evacuate Caprivi villages
JOHANNESBURG, 24 Mar 2004 (IRIN) - The Caprivi Regional Emergency Management
Unit (REMU) is preparing to evacuate villagers after the Zambezi river rose
above the six-metre mark over the weekend.

Dotson Kamwi, REMU's secretary, told IRIN the water level of the river,
which flows along the eastern border of Namibia's Caprivi Strip and then
through Zimbabwe, reached 6.57 metres on Wednesday. On the same day last
year it stood at 4.15 metres.

The river is almost at last year's peak level of 6.64 metres, when it burst
its banks and displaced about 12,000 people in the floods that followed.

The Zambezi has been rising since October last year and seven villages had
already been submerged, Kamwi told IRIN earlier this month. The affected
villages are Muzii, Nankutwe, Namiyunu, Nsundwa, Itomba, Malindi and
Schuckmannsburg, all located in the low-lying areas along the river, in
northern Caprivi.

REMU has obtained some boats from the defence force, "but we still have yet
to get an estimate of the number of people we will have to evacuate," Kamwi
said. A REMU team was out on Wednesday visiting the affected areas to assess
the situation.

An assessment team from the Namibian capital Windhoek, comprising government
officials and representatives from the World Food Programme, the United
Nations Children's Fund and the Red Cross were expected to arrive in Caprivi
on 27 March.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
said its Namibian office has been monitoring the situation and was ready to
intervene. The Namibian Red Cross helped 8,700 flood victims last year.

"Emergency response is an essential part of the water and sanitation
programme in the region, be it in flood or drought situation, as thousands
of people are threatened yearly by waterborne diseases such as malaria,
cholera and diarrhoea," an IFRC statement said.

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'Mercenaries' wanted reward for Taylor: Paper

March 24, 2004, 15:48

A South African daily newspaper said today that suspected mercenaries held
in Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea planned to snatch Charles Taylor, the
exiled former Liberian president, for a $2million US reward. Zimbabwe has
charged 70 men in its custody with conspiracy to overthrow the president of
Equatorial Guinea. All have been held in Harare since their plane was
impounded there on March 7.

However, ThisDay newspaper said the plan, which it said was put together by
Northbridge Services Group, a British military company, was to capture
Taylor from his exile in Nigeria. It said Taylor would have been handed to a
UN war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone where he has been indicted. The US
Congress last year approved a $2 million reward for his capture.

Bob Kovacic, Northbridge's president, denied any links between his group and
the suspected mercenaries but said his company had once offered to capture
Taylor. He said his US representative Pasquale Dipofi "did know a couple of
the guys on the plane and one or two in the target country, but we had
nothing to do with the mission". "I don't have any contracts running now. I
am still looking for our first one," he added, speaking from Kuwait where he
said he was seeking a security contract in Iraq.

"Last June the International Court did ask us to get Taylor, but when we
said it would cost $4 million they backed off. I am a businessman. I don't
do charity work," he added.

Zimbabwean authorities have said the 70 men, 10 of them whites and mainly
from South Africa, Namibia and Angola, had stopped in Harare to procure arms
for their mission. Equatorial Guinea announced it had arrested a smaller
group of 15, whose leader had confessed to being the head of an advance
party of a hit team to topple the Malabo government.

ThisDay, quoting "sources close to the South Africans held as mercenaries",
said Equatorial Guinea was merely to be the springboard for a sea borne
expedition to Calabar, the port city in southeastern Nigeria where Taylor
found asylum. Taylor's guarded asylum home overlooks the Cross River
estuary, just under 300kms from Malabo. The men detained in Zimbabwe
appeared in court yesterday.

Mary Zimba-Dube, a chief prosecutor, said Simon Mann, a Briton, was the
ringleader and acted on instructions from Severo Moto, the exiled Equatorial
Guinea opposition leader, who is based in Spain. Mann's lawyers rejected the
charges. - Reuters
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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 23 March

Moguls flee as Zim banks close

Dumisani Muleya

Zimbabwe's anti-corruption crackdown last week resulted in the closure of
five key financial institutions. President Robert Mugabe is vigorously
dismantling the country's deep-rooted economic patronage system in an effort
to ensure his political survival. The sweeping clean-up drive has sent
business magnates - whose economic power was beginning to threaten Mugabe's
diminishing political influence - fleeing abroad to escape jail. As many as
10 prominent business tycoons have fled the country in recent weeks. Most
are said to have sought refuge in London. However, the Zimbabwean president
has said the moguls will be found and brought to justice. Financial
institutions closed by the Reserve Bank this week included Barbican Bank and
Barbican Asset Management. Reports say Barbican Asset Management South
Africa, Barbican Holdings Botswana, and Barbican Capital Partners are also
in deep financial crisis. The collapse of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed
Barbican Holdings, owned by Mthuli Ncube and others, was preceded a few days
earlier by the closure of Intermarket Holdings, one of the local firms owned
by Nicholas Vingirai. The group's major subsidiaries, Intermarket Banking
Corporation, Building Society, and Intermarket Discount House, were shut
down because of a severe liquidity crisis. Barbican Holdings was closed for
the same reason.

But there were also allegations of corruption involving "foreign currency
externalisation" and siphoning off of investors' funds by directors in the
form of "loans". Other financial institutions and companies that have been
netted in the campaign include NMB Bank, Trust Bank, Century Bank, Century
Discount House and Metropolitan Bank. NMB Bank managing director Julius
Makoni and his deputy, James Mushore, are believed to have fled to London.
Trust Bank, Century, and Metropolitan have had to be rescued by the central
bank through its Troubled Banks Fund to protect investors and depositors'
funds, as well as preserve their assets. A number of asset management
companies, in particular ENG Capital Asset Management, whose directors have
been languishing in jail since December over a Z$60-billion fraud case, and
discount houses have sunk as the clean-up tide sweeps across the financial
sector. Many other locally owned companies are facing the risk of going

When the corrosive banking crisis began affecting the ordinary people Mugabe
stepped in, masquerading as their saviour. However, critics point out his
disastrous policies helped create the problems. Political analysts and a
wide spectrum of Zimbabweans blame Mugabe's regime for the corruption that
has become an integral part of the country's political system. They have
accused Mugabe of maintaining his tyranny through an eclectic mix of
coercion, emotional propaganda, patronage and graft. Business moguls have
all along been kept within Mugabe's political realm and at his regime's
service. The business executives provided resources to sustain his rule in
exchange for security. However, since September, Mugabe has complained of
"unhelpful businessmen", especially bankers, who had been beneficiaries of
licences under his government but had shifted their political loyalty. At
the Zanu-PF conference in December Mugabe warned the "unhelpful businessmen"
and "tricksters" that their days were numbered. Later that month the
crackdown started, with the arrest of ENG directors.

Mugabe's concentrated campaign has been likened to Russian President
Vladimir Putin's recent clampdown on the "oligarchs" in his country. On
October 25 last year Putin ordered the arrest of Russian billionaire oil
baron Mikhail Khodorkovsky for tax evasion and corruption dating back to the
wholesale plunder of state property during former Soviet leader Mikhail
Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost programmes in the early 1990s.
Khodorkovsky was using his immense personal fortune to bankroll opposition
parties in Russia. This apparently broke an unwritten covenant between the
"oligarchs" and the Kremlin leadership committing the moguls to keeping out
of politics in return for the state's protection of their ill-gotten wealth.
Mugabe is seen as following the same formula by dealing with Zimbabwe's
"economic mafia" for breaking the cardinal rule of not interfering in
politics and funding the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, a party
deeply resented in official circles. Zimbabwe's nouveau riche had
accumulated wealth that had given them economic muscle that was beginning to
challenge Mugabe's political power and influence. The entrepreneurs, who
admittedly had gained some of their fortune through illicit means, were
building up their profiles as an alternative source of political power, and
their adventurism as MDC financiers had ruffled the feathers of the powers
that be.

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New Zimbabwe

Court gags media from naming politician in gold scam

By Mduduzi Mathuthu
A ZIMBABWE magistrate has shocked the legal fraternity by gagging the Press
and ordering that the name of a top Zanu PF politician implicated in a
multi-million dollar gold scam be expunged from court papers.
But New today names that politician as Speaker of Parliament
and Zanu PF secretary for administration Emmerson Mnangagwa who was until
this week tipped to succeed President Mugabe.

Harare magistrate Virginia Sithole consented to a bizarre request by lawyers
defending Mark Mathew Burden that a paragraph which names Mnangagwa as a
beneficiary of illegal gold dealing be blackened out.
The state-owned Herald newspaper ran with the story on its front page but
omitted naming Mnangagwa.
Readers of the paper were left guessing as the magistrate also barred any
reference to his position that could lead the public to identify him.
The magistrate said reference to Mnangagwa was irrelevant and according to
the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, no irrelevant evidence may be led.
"The Press is not to publish contents of paragraph 19, or anything from the
deleted paragraph," she said.
However State attorneys argued that they could prove Mnangagwa was a
beneficiary of illegal gold dealing by Burden.
"This is information which emerged from investigations. The State can lead
evidence that payment was made. Therefore, we see no basis having the
paragraph expunged," State counsel Gerald Butaumocho said.
But the defence lawyers for Burden came out fighting, saying they "took
offence" at the state outline which names Mnangagwa.
"The offending paragraph is paragraph 19," said defence lead lawyer George
Chikumbirike. "It is our submission that the evidence is inadmissible and
totally irrelevant. That evidence does not have any link at all to the 46
charges against accused."
"It was not necessary for accused to explain why he wrote a cheque to a
particular individual. It smacks of mere sensationalism. The court should
not allow that to occur," said Chikumbirike.
After the magistrate ordered the paragraph to be blanked out, questions were
being asked in legal circles why Mnangagwa wasn't being dragged to court to
explain the cheques bearing his name and signed by Burden.
Said one legal expert: "It would appear the police and the prosecutors know
a crime has been committed, but they are scared to charge Mnangagwa. It
seems they wanted the accused to implicate Mnangagwa in court before they
could act. It's a shambles."
Mnangagwa was first named in illegal gold dealing late last year by the
Zimbabwe Independent. But the paper's journalists were later threatened with
death by Mnangagwa's side kicks.
The paper went with accusations brought by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change MP for Kwekwe Blessing Chebundo who said Mnangagwa had
gold gangs who recruited gold panners from whom he bought gold.
At the time, Chebundo named three men - identified as retired army major
Makombe, a Chipinda and Owen Mudha Ncube - as fronts for the politician
touted as President Mugabe's preferred successor.
"The three recruit gold panners from whom they buy the gold," Chebundo told
the Independent in December.
"It is well known that they are fronts for Mnangagwa. Gold panning has been
allowed to go on as a campaign tool by the ruling party. The three frontmen
and gold panners claim they have protection from senior officials in the
party," he said.
But Mnangagwa denied any involvement in gold dealings. "That is not true,
it's political smearing. I am not involved and I am not stupid," said an
angry Mnangagwa.
"Just publish that and I will sue him. Go ahead, write that and I will deal
with him accordingly. He has been saying that for some time now," said
Mnangagwa said the three alleged frontmen had been arrested and police found
no link with him.
Burden who faces 46 counts of illegal gold dealing pleaded not guilty to all
the charges.
Outlining the prosecution case, Butaumocho said Burden, who is the owner of
Ivan Hoe Mine and eight other gold milling plants in the Midlands city of
Kwekwe, has been dealing in gold since 2000.
He said Burden would buy gold at the parallel market rate after milling gold
ore from various people.
In October and November 2003, detectives from the Criminal Investigation
Department at Harare Central Police Gold Squad received information that
Burden was buying gold at a price higher than the one offered by Fidelity
Printers and Refineries.
Fidelity Printers is the sole legal buyer of gold produced in Zimbabwe.
The State alleges that this meant that Burden was not going to sell his gold
to Fidelity Printers as he would incur losses and it was suspected that he
was externalising the gold.
On November 11 last year, the State alleges, a team of detectives from
Harare travelled to Kwekwe to investigate the allegations at Burden's mine
and other surrounding mines and milling plants in the town.
After a search at his mine, it is alleged, it was discovered that there was
2,416kg of gold, 863,5 grammes and 5,0 grammes of smelted gold button in his
safe. Additional reporting by the Zimbabwe Independent, The Herald.
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24 March 2004
Proposed Amendments to Electoral Act Signify Another Step In The Wrong Direction
The Electoral Amendment Bill, scheduled to be presented to Parliament this week for debate and approval, is yet another step in the wrong direction by the Zanu PF government.
Substantive amendments are indeed required to the existing Electoral Act in order to harmonise its provisions with SADC Norms and Standards for elections, adopted by the SADC Parliamentary Forum Plenary Assembly on 25 March 2001. However, the amendments proposed in the Bill, are the very antithesis of harmonisation; in fact they demonstrate the ‘gulf of difference’ between the Zimbabwe government and its SADC counterparts with respect to the management and conduct of elections.
Countries such as Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique will in their turn conduct elections in strict accordance with agreed SADC standards whilst Zimbabwe continues to swim against the tide of progress and electoral probity.
Rather than using this opportunity to demonstrate commitment to free and fair elections, the Zanu PF government has opted to amend the existing Electoral Act for purposes of political expediency. The amendments strengthen the status quo in relation to the administration and management of the electoral process. This is illustrated by an amendment that gives the state sole control of the voter education process through the partisan Electoral Supervisory Commission, whose militarised personnel is appointed by Mr. Mugabe.  
Not only are Mugabe and Zanu PF reneging on a multi-lateral commitment that they are signatory to, they have embarked on an agenda that reverses all democratic freedoms and subordinates the sovereign wishes of the people to the narrow interests of the ruling elite.
As the respective electorates in South Africa, Malawi and Mozambique go to the polls in the next few months they should think of their brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe, who nearly 24 years after independence, are still being denied their basic democratic right of casting their ballots in a free and fair election.
Our SADC brothers and sisters should ask themselves why their Zimbabwean counterparts are denied the opportunity to enjoy electoral processes that have become the norm on other SADC countries.
The MDC recently set out 15 conditions pertaining to the SADC Protocol on elections that need to be met so that the party can participate comfortably in next year’s parliamentary elections. For the sake of democracy and the suffering people of Zimbabwe, we urge our brothers and sisters in SADC countries to bring pressure to bear on Mugabe and Zanu PF to satisfy these conditions and honour their commitment to conducting elections in accordance with agreed norms and standards. 
 Paul Themba Nyathi
Secretary for Information and Publicity
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New Zimbabwe

Zim Catholic Church guilty of forex fraud

By Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWEAN leader President Robert Mugabe's trumpeted anti-corruption drive
has netted an unlikely suspect - the Roman Catholic Church.

The church's Hwange branch in southern Zimbabwe was dragged before a court
Monday on charges of contravening a section of the Exchange Control Act
which deals with exchanging foreign currency on the black market.

The amount involved was not disclosed when the church's representatives
appeared in court.

But the representatives indicated that the church would be pleading guilty
to the offence which will likely result in a fine.

The case was moved to a later date.

The developments came barely a week after the Roman Catholic Church-run
Mater Dei Hospital in the second city of Bulawayo was also arraigned for
dealing in forex on the black market.

Several institutions have been dragged before the courts for trading on the
black market owing to a crippling shortage of foreign currency before the
central bank adopted corrective measures.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe's central bank Tuesday declared it illegal for people to
use foreign currency to pay for goods and services within the country.

In a statement, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said the Zimbabwe dollar is the
only legal tender in the country.

It said it is concerned that some individuals and companies are charging
their local customers for goods in a foreign currency.

The bank says the practice has become endemic especially for those trading
with foreign embassies, international organizations, and non-government

Zimbabwe is facing a severe shortage of cash which has caused inflation
rates to soar. The crisis has led to a black market, where foreign currency,
especially the U.S. dollar, can sell for many times more than the official
exchange rate.

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The Star

      Alleged mercenaries 'assaulted, refused food'
      March 24, 2004

      By Moshoeshoe Monare and Basildon Peta

      Harare - Dressed in khaki prison shorts and shirts, their legs
shackled and handcuffed in twos, 70 suspected South African mercenaries have
made their first public appearance since being detained in Zimbabwe.

      The 60 black and 10 white men yesterday appeared briefly in a
makeshift court in Chikurubi Maximum Prison, about 20km east of Harare. They
were remanded in custody until their next appearance on April 13.

      Defence attorney Jonathan Samkange told the court that some of the
accused had been assaulted and had been refused food, water and telephone
access for four days.

      They were formally charged but not asked to plead. Samkange told
magistrate Mishrod Guvamobe that he would apply for bail on April 13.

      Meanwhile the Zimbabwean government has deployed heavily armed
soldiers at airports around the country to thwart any attempt it believes
might be made to rescue the mercenaries.

      Fear that other "South African-based mercenaries" might try to rescue
their "counterparts" was one reason why President Robert Mugabe's government
decided to set up a makeshift courtroom at the prison.

      Sources at Harare International Airport said all air traffic
controllers had been ordered to liaise frequently with the Manyame air base

      "Any planes that might stray into our airspace without any good reason
risk being shot down," one airport official said.

      Privately, Zimbabwean officials said fears of a possible rescue bid
were ill-founded, as there was no such likelihood.

      The men are facing five charges, which include conspiring to effect a
coup in Equatorial Guinea; contravening the Public Order and Security Act;
trying to buy firearms without legal certificates; and contravening civil
aviation and immigration laws.

      But the primary charge is contravention of the Public Order and
Security Act, which is regarded as high treason in Zimbabwe and carries a
sentence of life imprisonment.

      Simon Mann, Lourens Jacobus Horn and Carlos Jacob Hermanus, who were
arrested as an alleged advance team in Zimbabwe, are also facing serious
charges of trying to buy firearms.

      The list of firearms they allegedly ordered from a local armaments
company includes 61 AK-47 assault rifles, 45 000 rounds of ammunition, 20
light machine- guns, 100 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, seven anti-tank
launchers and 150 handgrenades.

      Reading the charges, chief prosecutor Mary Zimba-Dube said Mann,
Hermanus and Horn had tried to buy the weapons from Zimbabwe Defence

      When ZDI realised that Mann was a notorious mercenary, Zimba-Dube
said, the company refused to continue with the deal and contacted the

      By that time, a cheque for US$180 000 (about R1,1-million) had already
been given to the armaments company in the name of South African Nick du
Toit, who is being held in custody in Equatorial Guinea.

      The accused appeared to be in high spirits. They were escorted by more
than 40 policemen, half of whom were standing outside the makeshift court. -
Independent Foreign Service
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Possible rescue attempt has Harare on edge

      March 24 2004 at 01:51AM

By Basildon Peta and Bruce Venter

Zimbabwe's government has deployed heavily armed soldiers at airports around
the country to thwart any attempts it believes might be made to rescue 70
suspected South African mercenaries in jail in Harare.

Fears that "other South African-based mercenaries" might attempt a rescue of
their counterparts was one reason President Robert Mugabe's government
decided to set up a makeshift courtroom at Chikurubi Maximum Prison for the
70 men's first court appearance on Tuesday.

It had argued against driving the men to an open magistrate's court 30km
away from Chikurubi prison because of security concerns and fears of rescue
efforts while they were on their way there.

      'My father was never involved in mercenary activity'
An official at the Bulawayo International Airport, also known as the Joshua
Mqabuko Nkomo Airport, said everything possible was being done to ensure

Sources at Harare International Airport said all air traffic controllers
were ordered to liaise frequently with the Manyame Air Base nearby.

"Any planes that might stray into our airspace without any good reason risk
being shot down," said one airport official.

Heavily armed soldiers had been stationed at Manyame Base, which is within
sight of the airport, to monitor all landings and take-offs.

Only a few airlines, mainly South African Airways and Air Zimbabwe, now land
in Harare since other carriers discontinued flights.

      'Why would he risk everything?'
Meanwhile, families and colleagues of some of the men have vehemently denied
they are mercenaries.

The owner of a Pretoria security company, Gert Nel, said Adriano Baptista,
48, and Manuel Baka, 44, among the men held as "mercenaries", had been
tricked into going along as they had been told only that they were going to
do security work in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He said they had resigned from their jobs hours before boarding an unknown
aircraft destined for the DRC. This aircraft was turned back from Ndola in
Zambia after trying to enter the DRC.

According to Nel, Baptista and Baka were recruited by a former colleague,
Alberto dos Santos, who had previously worked for Nel.

Dos Santos, also a former 32 Battalion member, apparently lied to Baptista
and Baka.

"They believed they were going to the Democratic Republic of Congo."

"Dos Santos never told them anything about the alleged coup plot in
Equatorial Guinea," Nel said.

Nel said that many of his employees, all former soldiers in 32 Battalion,
had done legitimate security work in the Democratic Republic of Congo and
had subsequently returned to Pretoria.

"At no stage did Baptista and Baka ever believe they were recruited as

When first approached, Dos Santos denied having lied to Baptista and Baka.
When questioned further, he admitted he had lied.

He declined to comment on the real nature of the task they were recruited
for and who he was acting for, saying only he had been instructed to recruit
soldiers for work in Africa.

According to Marius Boonzaier, 24, whose father, Marius "Bones" Boonzaier,
48, has been arrested in Equatorial Guinea, his father was employed to
oversee the logistical management of a fishing and agricultural project

"My father was never involved in mercenary activity," he said.

Boonzaier is a former member of the South African special forces who was
arrested along with his colleague Nick du Toit.

A third South African, Mark Schmidt, was also held. Schmidt has no military

The three are imprisoned in a facility known as "Black Beach Prison".

Boonzaier, who resigned from the South African Defence Force in 1986, owned
a dairy farm near Polokwane until 1996. He now operates private vehicle
testing stations in Tzaneen, Giyani and Moeketsi in Limpopo province.

Boonzaier said his father was a legitimate businessman who would not risk
his life or the family's future.

"My father does not have financial problems, so why would he risk
everything?" he asked.

Boonzaier said his father had arranged for him to visit Equatorial Guinea in

"If he was involved in alleged mercenary activities or a coup plot, he would
have never risked my safety in Equatorial Guinea," he said.

He said his father, who is ill and need of chronic medication, received
medication on Friday last week.

"Despite getting medication, the conditions in that prison cannot be
pleasant. There appears to be no rule of law in Equatorial Guinea and a
total disregard for basic human rights," he said.

Boonzaier said he was not aware of further developments regarding a possible
release or trial of the South Africans held there.

"I just follow my daily routine... I try not to think about it," he said.

  a.. This article was originally published on page 3 of The Cape Times on
March 24, 2004
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Prelude text JAG OLF 248

The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by
the present, but a place that is created -- created first in the mind and
will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going
to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and
the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination.
(John Schaar, futurist)


Letter 1: A CRUMBING WALL? - Simply Simon
Thursday's Financial Gazette (March 18-24, 2004) has an article headed
"Nocolas Vingirai's crumbling empire. Who benefited from the loans." in
which it appears that
1 Intermarket purchased 11,8 million shares in TSL in June 2003 and a
facility of $325 million was advanced by IDL
2 Closefin Investments, a company owned by a consortium of business
executives led by Anthony Mandiwanza who acquired a stake in TSL Limited,
was advanced a bridging finance facility of $6,1 billion. This facility now
stands at $36,6 billion and the market value of the TSL shares held as
security amounts to $15 billion.

Intermarket was placed under curatorship on Friday 12 March 2004.

Many tobacco farmers benefited from an arrangement made last year after the
disposal of the shares by ZTA took place and the benefit was paid out to
farmers who had sold tobacco on TSF over the past 11 years from 1992.

While many of us have not been farming for a while, but still hold onto our
title deeds in the hope that we will either be allowed to farm our land
again or receive compensation for what has been forcibly taken from us, it
is interesting, and important to us to follow the happenings of an
organisation with which we all worked so closely for so many years.

One can only wonder what the future of TSL and its subsidiary TSF will be
during the coming months when their two biggest shareholders face huge
financial difficulties as a result of the crackdown on the banking
industry. The pressure being placed on this industry, despite their
behavior towards farmers over the past few years when the banks were
noticeably absent in their support of farmers when we were removed from our
farms forcibly and therefore the banks collateral was eroded by the
removals, is huge. The super profits made by banks, huge loans given out at
preferential rates to special clients, lack of support for the agricultural
industry when they were in turmoil, must come home to roost some time.

It will be interesting too, to follow the tobacco auctions which start at
the end of the month where for the first time tobacco will be sold on a
dual system with both the auction and individual buyers being able to
acquire tobacco from the farmers.

How will TSL handle the coming months with their biggest shareholder under
financial pressure to repay their loan to Intermarket and Intermarket
itself holding shares in TSL. Will we see a change in shareholders of this
group? Will there be a change in policy? Will we continue to negotiate with
the Defence Force to grow tobacco to buy military equipment?

For those of you waiting outside to come home...there's no time to get
bored as you learn a new trade but, boy, there's no time to get bored here
at home either!!

Letter 2 AgriAfrica and Jag loss documents and Compensation Debate - Kerry

It is interesting to see that Jag is calling for open debate on this,
however when Alan York, who is with AgricAfrica, came in on a number of
occasions to discuss these very issues with a certain Jag representative,
and was wanting to work hand in hand with Jag, he was "talked at" rather
than "listened to" !!!

In the interests of everyone, it is my belief that both AgriAfrica and Jag
should work together on the loss documents. Jag has a very comprehensive
loss document including consequential losses etc. while AgriAfrica have a
loss document for land and improvements. Let it be the farmers choice which
one they want to complete. But lets not have another open confrontation as
has been the case with Jag other Agricultural unions and associations.

Letter 3

Compensation/Restitution Debate - John Worswick

Dear Kerry

JAG takes responsibility for disseminating factual information over the
OPEN LETTERS FORUM and your letter was devoid of this essential and likely
to cause further confusion with farmers, on a number of points;

(i) Alan York has never been anything but welcome in the JAG Office and we
have had a number of constructive meetings with AA and Alan in the past,
many taking place in this office.  The last one involved Alan York and
Wayne Parham, which culminated in our continuing the meeting after hours at
Alan's home.

The last occasion Alan came into the JAG office he demanded an immediate
audience with me when I was already involved with a group of farmers
strategising a legal way forward for them.  I politely asked Alan to wait
for five minutes whilst I finished with the group I was with.  Alan paced
around the secretaries desk in a very obviously impatient and irritated
fashion and after a few minutes stormed out, much to my (and others)

(ii) I spend most of my time listening very patiently to farmers whether
with or without problems, irrespective of whether they are members of JAG
or not.  Interestingly your complaint on behalf of Alan is the very first
negative feedback I have had in 22 months of meeting with farmers daily.
The facts pertaining to what actually happened, despite your statement as
to it happening on "a number of occasions" and as to "talking at" rather
than "listening to".  Alan can hardly be substantiated in this case as he
didn't even extend to me the common courtesy of waiting his turn for a
discussion to take, place but rather left impatiently and in a huff.
Behaviour hardly conducive to a discussion to broker common ground.

(iii) Yes, JAG have a very comprehensive loss claim document project, part
of which involved the brokering of a commitment by the valuators to form
the Valuation Consortium to carry out valuations on behalf of farmers for
their land and improvements under compulsory acquisition rules and to do
this on a nominal "covering costs" basis backed up by a success fee payable
later in the event of success.  The Valuation Consortium is not Agric
Africa (nor JAG for that matter) but an independent group to valuators. 
It is essential that their independent role is preserved.  To refer to
Agric Africa as having a loss document covering land and improvements is
news to me and will further confuse farmers into the false perception that
Agric Africa and Valuation Consortium are one and the same.  That Mr.
Fernandes and his two consulting valuators at GRL FARM sales are investors
with Agric Africa and that GRL Farm Sales are part of the Valuation
Consortium is established fact.  So which loss document for "land and
improvements" are you referring to here? I'm not aware that AA has one. 
Nor a defined strategy for achieving compensation that they are prepared to
put on the table for farmers and hence the AA comment "we won't go into
modalities now".

(iv) I'm also not aware that JAG is in "open confrontation with other
Agricultural Unions and associations" as you claim.  JAG has a very defined
and holistic approach, policy and strategy for achieving restitution/
compensation which involves; litigation, advocacy/lobbying public
relations, negotiation and comprehensive evidence gathering and

That our policy and implementation has been at variance with other
representative organisations such as the CFU, ZTA, and now Agric Africa is
an undisputed fact.  However I doesn't follow that this puts us "in open
confrontation" with other groups, especially when we meet with those groups
on a regular basis with the view to exploring common ground and areas of
reservation.  With AA, so far, make no mistake, these exist on both fronts,
however the reservations by far outweigh the common ground, hence calling
for open debate.

The flood of farmers to our office for clarification of various issues and
unmuddying the waters since AA initiated its PR launch would indicate that
farmers share many of our reservations and that various issues are being
clouded and misrepresented, resulting in farmers becoming more confused
that ever before.

I think what is pertinent at this moment in time is a response from Agric
Africa with regard to Ben Freeth's and other farmers letters on this forum
both in the interests of transparency and clarification, with regard to
their policy for achievement of compensation and whether their strategy
includes restitution of not only those farmers wanting to return to their
legally owned properties but also their farm workers and their considerable
losses.  Assessment of the worthwhileness and feasibility of AA's policy
and strategy is, in the absence of anything defined being tabled, almost
impossible.  Any policy that excludes comprehensive litigation and
documentation for not only commercial farmers but also their workers is
doomed to failure.  Likewise focusing the spine of a legal strategy based
on bilateral treaties and agreements when only a very small percentage of
commercial farmers fall into this category and especially when the Dutch
commercial farmers are in the International Claims Court already, raises
further concerns.  That the vast majority of commercial farmers do not have
automatic access to the International legal arena is indisputable as is the
fact that we have to exhaust all legal avenues here before that door will
open, AA is not being transparent and clear on this point.  If they were to
clarify this with farmers, it invites the question: what do they propose to
do as part of their policy to rectify this?

JAG has a very defined and comprehensive policy and strategy (that has
evolved over the past two years) for achieving compensation/restitution;
that includes farm workers and this policy comprises: litigation (here and
in the International arena) publicity and PR (here and abroad) lobbying and
advocacy (here and abroad) comprehensive documentation (designed under
International law governing compulsory acquisition) and negotiation on
behalf of farmers.  We disseminate this policy and strategy to farmers on a
daily basis through our office and through email worldwide.  This strategy
and policy is clear-cut and simple and certainly does not confuse the
farmers we represent. Come on Agric Africa a response in this debate would
be fruitful and more than timeous. John


Dear Jag,

Karl Marx pointed out that the "new worker" - the machine - was to blame
for the workers' plight in the Industrial Revolution. From there he went on
to suggest that it was not so much the machine that was to blame but the
ownership of the machine. If the workers of the world were to unite in
smashing all private ownership - they would have nothing to lose but their

It would appear that history has been re-enacting Marx's theory over the
last four years. The workers have been encouraged to destroy all private
ownership, and have pretty well complied. But man's innovative nature
always comes to the fore - is there not a new set of stronger chains being
set up in the form of a single busi-ness entity that "owns" or runs 634

To get the workers to unite to destroy ownership, and then walk in and take
over and tie the workers up in bigger chains deserves the highest award in
Communism - Full Marx.

I am not qualified to adjudicate the award for private ownership
representation that decided to "work with" 'New Marx' to help destroy its
very own private ownership membership - a form of self mutilation in a
sense - it is difficult to fully comprehend. Was there some unseen or
latent benefit?

* Also, which "owners" will New Marx blame in four years time?

No Marx.

Letter 5

Dear JAG

I unfortunatly missed the programme on BBC about the Green Bombers. Through
your good offices, would it be possible to get BBC to air this again,
perhaps more than once, not only for the likes of myself who missed it, but
to show our local friends what is going on.  This surely needs to be
exposed to them? Perhaps JAG could also advertise the times when it is due
to be presented. Kind regards Annabelle Hill

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.

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JAG CLASSIFIED: Updated 23rd March 2004

Please send any classified adverts for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities <>

1.  Repeat Advert Received 3rd March 2004


ANY QUERIES TO ABOVE EMAIL OR PHONE 04 333285 011 801 348.


2.  Repeat Advert Received 3rd March 2004

For Sale:

6 berth Turner Swallow caravan complete with panoramic awning, rally
220 volt, 12 volt
and gas fridge, stove, sparewheel etc.  Offers.

Defy slimline 600 four plate electric hob.  $1 million.

Phone Lindsay 011 604 536 or 04-495430.

3.  Advert Received 16th March 2004

Dear Sir /Madam,

Please be kind enough to include the below in your classifieds :-

WANTED - Portable Single/Double unit milking machine & milk seperator.
Please contact Martyn or Carole on Harare 721710 or


4.  Advert Received 17th March 2004

GALLAGHER electric fence energiser (nearly new) never worked outside.
Model M1500 - G316.  Very strong, works up to a few kilometres.  Offers
to: Arnold 04 333285, 011 801 348,


5.  Advert Received 19th March 2004

Is there anyone moving to South Africa from Bulawayo who could accommodate
a piano among their goods and chattels?  Obviously we would pay all costs
involved.  I'm hoping for several responses as there are actually two
pianos I need to move!  Please contact Carole Johnstone at 09 - 244155 or


6.  Advert Received 20th March 2004

| Greetings,
| Please could advertise the following cream separator for sale:-
| ELECREM Cream separator for sale.Made in France.
| This unit I imported from UK via a friend there a few years ago and it
| extremely well.
| Output-125 litres per hour.
| 220 or 110volt electric motor.
| A few spares plus instruction and parts book.
| Price-Z$3.8 million.
| Contact E-mail:-, or phone {04}498234 or {091}255659.
| Thanks,
| S.J.Faed.

7.  Advert Received 22nd March 2004

Please be kind enough to advertise the following for me:

Canon BJ300 printer - good condition but needs printer head -offers
Facit electric typewriter with spare ribbon-offers-Also cell
phone -Motarola unwanted gift from Botswana but needs unblocking
(guaranteed not stolen) - Phone Doreen -753118 (w), 743282 (h after 5 pm)
023 692756 (depending on network) or write to ONLY
serious genuine offers please.


8.  Advert Received 21st March 2004

Please be kiond enough to advertise the following for me:

Canon BJ300 printer - good condition but needs printer head -offers
Facit electric typewriter with spare ribbon-offers-Also cell
phone -Motarola unwanted gift from Botswana but needs unblocking
(guaranteed not stolen) - Phone Doreen -753118 (w), 743282 (h after 5 pm)
023 692756 (depending on network) or write to ONLY
serious genuine offers please.


9.  Advert Received 22nd March 2004






091 203142
091 412629

10.  Advaert Received 22nd March 2004

20 tonns Compound 'C' $100 000/bag
Contact 091 321 406

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