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Opposition supporters killed in Zimbabwe

Last updated: 26-03-02, 10:31

Two more opposition supporters have died in Zimbabwe after attacks by soldiers during and after this month's controversial presidential elections, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said today.

Mr Donnie Jeranyama, an MDC polling agent during the election a fortnight ago, was assaulted by soldiers on the eve of the election, the party said in a statement. His injuries had caused continous bleeding from his ear for the last two weeks and he died early today at his home.

And Mr Sambami Ncube, an MDC member in the western resort town of Victoria Falls, was beaten to death by soldiers as he was returning home from a shopping center, the statement said.

The deaths bring to 42 the number of people killed so far this year in political violence. Most of the victims have been opposition supporters.

The party said that 10 of its members, who were arrested last Friday outside its national offices in Harare, had yet to be charged or released.

"The MDC is concerned by this violence, which is continuing unabated weeks after the elections," the party's statement said.

"We are particularly perturbed that these acts of barbarism are being perpetrated by members of the uniformed force whose duty is to protect civilians rather than victimize them," it said.

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Zimbabwe opposition blames soldiers for two new deaths
HARARE, March 26 AFP|Published: Tuesday March 26, 9:19 PM

Two more opposition supporters have died after being attacked by soldiers during and after this month's controversial elections, Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said today.

Donnie Jeranyama, an MDC polling agent during the March 9-11 election, was assaulted by soldiers on the eve of the election, the opposition party said in a statement.

His injuries had caused continous bleeding from his ear for the last two weeks and he died early today at his home in Honde Valley, 180km east of Harare, the statement said.

Sambami Ncube, an MDC member in the western resort town of Victoria Falls, was beaten to death by soldiers on March 17 as he was returning home from a shopping centre, the statement said.

A post-mortem at Mpilo Central Hospital in the southern town of Bulawayo found that his spinal cord and ribs had been broken during the attack, the MDC said.

The deaths bring to 42 the number of people killed so far this year in political violence. Most of the victims have been opposition supporters.

The party said that 10 of its members, who were arrested on Friday outside its national offices in Harare, had yet to be charged or released.

"The MDC is concerned by this violence, which is continuing unabated weeks after the elections," the party's statement said.

"We are particularly perturbed that these acts of barbarism are being perpetrated by members of the uniformed force whose duty is to protect civilians rather than victimise them," it said.

Zimbabwe's controversial president, Robert Mugabe, was returned to power in the disputed election.

Zimbabwe troops blamed for killings

AFP - Two more opposition supporters have died after being attacked by soldiers during and after this month's controversial elections, Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said.

Donnie Jeranyama, an MDC polling agent during the March 9-11 election, was assaulted by soldiers on the eve of the election, the opposition party said in a statement.

His injuries had caused continous bleeding from his ear for the last two weeks and he died early Tuesday at his home in Honde Valley, 180km east of Harare, the statement said.

Sambami Ncube, an MDC member in the western resort town of Victoria Falls, was beaten to death by soldiers on March 17 as he was returning home from a shopping centre, the statement said.

A post-mortem at Mpilo Central Hospital in the southern town of Bulawayo found that his spinal cord and ribs had been broken during the attack, the MDC said.

The deaths bring to 42 the number of people killed so far this year in political violence. Most of the victims have been opposition supporters.

The party said that 10 of its members, who were arrested on Friday outside its national offices in Harare, had yet to be charged or released.

"The MDC is concerned by this violence, which is continuing unabated weeks after the elections," the party's statement said.

"We are particularly perturbed that these acts of barbarism are being perpetrated by members of the uniformed force whose duty is to protect civilians rather than victimise them," it said.

Zimbabwe's controversial president, Robert Mugabe, was returned to power in the disputed election.

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Daily News

Matombo hammers ZBC over false report

3/25/02 1:04:05 PM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Lovemore Matombo, the president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU), on Friday dismissed as “a blatant lie” a report on Thursday by the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) that he had cancelled the third day
of the job stayaway, which was Friday.

Matombo said: “The ZBC said I had called off the stayaway, which was not
correct. That was a blatant lie.”

The ZCTU called the job stayaway, largely ignored by workers, for Wednesday
to Friday to protest against continuing harassment of workers and trade
unionists by the government and its supporters.

Matombo said he had a telephone interview with a reporter from Ziana but he
had not said anything about cancelling the last day of the stayaway.

He said the ZBC had used the Ziana report in its evening news bulletin but
had added that he had officially called off the job stayaway.

Matombo said: “The reporter from Ziana phoned me (Thursday) about the
outcome of the stayaway and I said we would be mapping out new strategies.
We never discussed anything about calling off the stayaway.”

An angry Matombo said: “I am strongly tempted to call the ZBC the ÔZimbabwe
Liars Broadcasting Corporation’.”

This is not the first time that the ZBC has been accused of peddling lies.

An example last week was when Obriel Mpofu, the news presenter, said on the
8pm bulletin on Wednesday that Morgan Tsvangirai, the president of the
opposition MDC, had been arrested while trying to flee the country.

Tsvangirai, who was charged with treason and is out on bail, was in fact
summoned and was driven by his bodyguards to Harare Central Police Station,
where he was formally charged with plotting last year to assassinate
President Mugabe. He was then quickly whisked off to the Harare Magistrates’

Nothing about any attempt by Tsvangirai to flee the country was mentioned in
court or in the report by the ZBC’s own reporter, Tonderai Katswara.
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Zimbabwe's events continue to haunt' the rand

Economics Editor

THE rand continued to be "haunted" by events in Zimbabwe due to foreign investors failing to distinguish between the two countries' approach to redressing inequitable access to land, the Reserve Bank said in its first Labour Markets and Social Frontiers bulletin.

"The rand continues to be haunted by problems of contagion due to investors' tendencies to perceive the SA and Zimbabwean experience from the same viewpoint," the bulletin, compiled by the Bank's research department, says.

It said the report, which will be published twice a year, was introduced to demonstrate how to the macroeconomic policy framework was linked with labour markets and social policy issues. The Bank said opinions expressed in the document would not necessarily represent its official view, as was the case with most research material.

The report sought to distance SA from Zimbabwe, whose economic and political crises have been blamed for denting confidence in the whole region.

Zimbabwe has been cited as one of the major reasons for the rand's depreciation over the past two years, beginning with the adoption of a land redistribution strategy condoning and encouraging illegal and often violent land seizures.

Together with the impact of the global slowdown, increasing risk averseness in the light of the September 11 attacks on the US, market traders and analysts have cited Zimbabwe's problems among the major factors behind the rand's 37% depreciation last year.

The currency also survived a number of nervous sessions ahead of Zimbabwe's disputed elections two weeks ago, threatening to race above R12 to the dollar, towards the R13,85 low it hit in December. But it has stabilised since then at around R11,50 to the dollar.

The Bank said investors failed to recognise the fundamental differences between SA and Zimbabwe. These included the fact that Zimbabwe's government supported illegal land seizures, while SA's government had acted firmly to end land invasions, like the one in Kempton Park last year.

"The SA government has strenuously opposed them. Through court action and decisive physical removals of land invaders, (the) government sent a message about its unwavering intolerance of lawlessness," it said. SA was committed to land reform within the rule of law and had programmes to return land to people forcibly removed during apartheid.

The Bank also noted that demand for land in the two countries was underpinned by different needs. While land invasions in Zimbabwe were in rural areas reflected demand for farm lands, in SA the demand was in the fringes of urban areas and was for housing purposes.

In the report, the Bank also noted that massive inequalities in SA's labour market has meant that it was common for wage increases to be above 6%, the upper limit set for its targeted consumer measure CPIX, consumer inflation excluding mortgages. But the inflationary impact of higher labour costs could be mitigated by the adoption of productivity linked incentives.

Mar 26 2002 12:00:00:000AM Lukanyo Mnyanda Business Day 1st Edition

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Maize Crop in Mhondoro Succumbs to Dry Spell

The Herald (Harare)

March 25, 2002
Posted to the web March 25, 2002

Herald Reporter

THE prolonged dry spell that has affected most parts of the country has not
spared crops in Mhondoro, which are now wilting at an alarming rate.

The maize crop in the communal lands is a complete write-off, according to
officials from the Agricultural Technical and Extension Services in the

The Herald was in Mhondoro this week and spoke to the Agritex officials and
several communal farmers on the condition of the crops.

The Agritex officials said that the maize crop has already succumbed to the
dry spell and prospects of getting any meaningful harvest this year were

"We are anticipating harvest levels downward between 20 and 35 percent of
our original target. Most of the crops are getting to a permanent wilting
stage and even if the rains were to fall there is no chance of any better
harvest at this stage," said one of the Agritex officials.

Mrs Ernia Magwaza, a communal farmer from Shekede, said most of her crops
were already a write -off.

"My early and late crop has been affected by the drought. I have already
lost hope of ever getting a good harvest. I am now appealing to the
Government to provide us with food assistance," she said.

Another villager, Mr James Rwizi, said that his maize and groundnut crops
were also a complete write-off. Agritex officials said that farmers with
fields that were in low lands were likely to harvest slightly more while
those with fields that were on dry and higher lands would reap nothing. "The
situation is really bad. I am already preparing for the next season.
However, we are appealing to the Government to provide us with seed inputs
for next year's agricultural season," said Mr Cephas Chiwetu, a communal
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Daily News

Endorsing Mugabe’s win could lead to more poverty, says ICG

3/25/02 1:06:42 PM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) says if the outcome of
the recent presidential election in Zimbabwe is allowed to stand, the
country would be condemned to more poverty, chaos and a high risk of violent

In a statement, the ICG says endorsing Mugabe’s victory would also seriously
undermine the credibility of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development
(Nepad), Africa’s own blueprint for its relationship with the international

Based on its own observations in Zimbabwe during the election period, the
ICG concluded that Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) candidate Morgan
Tsvangirai should have won.

According to the ICG, Zanu PF used several tactics, including
State-sponsored violence, rigging, disenfranchisement, food as a political
weapon, restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly and the threat of
military intervention to thwart the will of the people and keep Mugabe and
Zanu PF in power.

“Since the election, land invasions have resumed, the army, police, youth
brigades and “war veterans” have been deployed to bludgeon potential
resistance, and reprisals have begun against MDC supporters. Morgan
Tsvangirai has been charged with treason. The economic crisis will intensify
with no change of policy from the government and the risk of conflict may
rise,” the ICG said.

If Zimbabwe’s long slide into chaos and increasing violence is to be
reversed, a concerted international and regional effort will be needed, said

ICG’s Africa Programme co-director, John Prendergast, said: “The role of the
international community should be one of unrelenting pressure on the Harare
regime, rejecting the legitimacy of the electoral result and calling for a
new vote. South Africa and Nigeria should be left to broker an internal
solution for Zimbabwe. The international community in turn should
politically and financially support the result of their efforts, if the key
stakeholders in Zimbabwe are successfully brought into the political

The ICG is proposing a transitional power-sharing arrangement, new elections
and a political exit strategy for Mugabe.

In order to achieve it, the ICG urges the international community to impose
much tougher targeted sanctions on the political elite, their families and
those who bankroll them.

It should also expose countries that do not participate in an asset-freeze
exercise, and substantially increase support for civic groups working to
establish democracy and prevent conflict in Zimbabwe.
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Daily News

Mugabe must spell out his new plan for the nation

3/26/02 7:37:19 AM (GMT +2)

AFTER being sworn in as Head of State for another six years, President
Mugabe must get down to business and run the country. But events in the past
two weeks show that despite his victory, the man seems unprepared to
discharge Zimbabwe from hospital.

His opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, enjoyed the rare privilege of meeting four
heads of state and government barely hours after Mugabe took his oath of
office. There is something a bit strange about the interest Mugabe’s
colleagues in the region have in Tsvangirai.

Despite his victory, Mugabe is still hopelessly weak. In the eyes of many,
he is unable to pull Zimbabwe out of the mess without Tsvangirai.

In normal circumstances, there would be no need for any visiting head of
state to leave their host and discuss national affairs with the defeated
opposition candidate. Such actions could be deemed to mean interference in
our internal politics. Why would anybody waste time with a loser, supposedly
rejected in a free and fair election?

Why can’t Mugabe get down to business, use his mandate and run the country
as he has done in the past 22 years? Why is he calling for opposition help
in raising Zimbabwe from the mud?

The buzzword today is unity. Who needs the unity and why? Mugabe claims to
have an overwhelming mandate from the people. Why does he seem to be
developing cold feet?

Also interesting is the behaviour of our business community. Through their
representatives, they have been meeting Mugabe at State House and presenting
a picture of a happy community wishing the President long life and a lasting
working relationship.

Unless public memory is terribly short, Zimbabwe’s business community has
undergone trying times in the past decade, which climaxed with the invasions
of their factories, companies and offices. Millions of dollars were lost to
Zanu PF hooligans who caused mayhem and disruption of operations of commerce
and industry countrywide.

Today, they say they are meeting a new Mugabe and plotting the way forward
for our battered economy. Price controls were imposed as an election ploy,
forcing many companies to struggle.

The factory invasions by the so-called war veterans and Zanu PF “labour
officials” destroyed Zimbabwe’s economic profile as an investment

Agriculture, the backbone of the economy, will take years to recover. Chaos
still reigns supreme in that sector, with new settlers now killing each
other for farmhouses and farm implements, instead of working the soil.

Neither the farms nor the private businesses received any meaningful
protection from the State. If anything, the private sector was pointedly
accused of siding with the opposition and often demonised at political
rallies and in policy statements.

What has changed today? Any new ideas on our skewed macro-economic
fundamentals, the budget deficit, excessive government spending, a bloated
civil service and lawlessness?

A popularly elected government is deemed to have a social contract with the
people, guaranteeing the protection of life, property and basic liberties.
Mugabe’s government failed to honour that contract in the past two years.

It lost the confidence of the people in urban areas. It lost its integrity
and respect to a point where it can’t be trusted to act in their best
interests. Ironically, this is an area where most of the cheerleaders who
visited State House last week claim to do business.

When a government formulates, implements and enforces a battery of unjust
and unpopular laws together with regular, off-the-cuff decrees, it violates
an understanding that it is supposed to function with power conferred on it
by the people.

A wave of retribution and post-election violence directed at the opposition,
commercial farmers and urban workers looks set to provide a major setback to
Zimbabwe’s efforts to rebuild its economy, reclaim international confidence
and maintain internal stability. By allowing that wave to continue, once
again, Mugabe has failed to fulfil that social contract.

South Africa and Nigeria supported Zimbabwe’s 12-month suspension from the
Commonwealth, a move the government rejected.

A few hours later, the African, Caribbean and Pacific - European Union
(ACP-EU) joint parliamentary assembly rejected Mugabe’s victory and called
for a fresh election.

The ACP-EU assembly is made up of 93 countries.

The few messages of plastic solidarity from a select leadership of our
business community, Namibia and others seem to be failing to have an impact.

The world is collectively holding its breath, expecting the worst as there
are no signs of rapid recovery for a country in turmoil.

Given the widespread food shortages, political instability, the ongoing
persecution of opponents, insecurity in commercial farms and rural areas,
Mugabe is badly positioned to manoeuvre or even tell the world to “go to
hell” as he so often does.

Under siege, Mugabe will soon become suspicious of everybody, especially in
Zanu PF. He will surround himself with a tough team of loyalists and
opportunists whose job will be to block reformers and promote a vengeful and
dangerous mentality that is inflexible, paranoid and impervious to new

When a government thrives on the use of violence and force to manage
personal liberties, control choices, limit ideas and hold a nation hostage,
it sends out the message that as long as a sitting president believes in a
theory, no matter how abhorrent and unacceptable, the whole country must

As long as the promotion of crude nationalism pays off, party desperadoes
quickly join the fray and apply every available instrument of coercion and
suppression to run society.

It is going to take time for life in the rural areas to return to normal.

Militia camps are there to stay, Malawian Young Pioneer style. Unless Mugabe
moves swiftly to restore law and order, especially on commercial farms and
in the rural areas, Zimbabwe is on the threshold of total anarchy,
insecurity and economic collapse. That situation will lead to a loss of
trust in the government, create deep divisions among the people, and open
doors which would be impossible to close.

If the people have spoken as the government wants us to believe, what is the
meaning of the noise, the shuttle diplomacy and talks about national unity?

Why does Zanu PF need the MDC today - puppets of Britain and Europe,
teaboys, cats and dogs, you name it - that they are?

Mugabe has been in power since 1980. He may stand again in 2008, just to
spite urban residents, whites and the world.

Let us avoid pretending that Mugabe has suddenly emerged from the mountains
as our liberator. We have known him for a long, long time.

The nation still awaits new ideas, if any, from Mugabe. Two weeks down the
line, nothing seems to be forthcoming.

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Daily News

Failed stayaway a vital lesson for ZCTU

3/26/02 7:58:06 AM (GMT +2)

INADEQUATE consultations, anger, rushed decisions and lack of clear
communication strategies were at the core of last week’s failed mass
stayaway organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).

The mass action was unsuccessful because it was the idea of novices who
allowed their anger and not rationality to guide them.

Anyone with experience in organising stayaways would have known that it is
courting failure to schedule such action on the first of the paydays of the
month. Hard-pressed workers would be more concerned about getting their
money first than participating in any mass action. The results would,
perhaps, have been quite different if the action had been planned for after

It is, therefore, wishful to think that the opposition MDC could have had a
hand in the unsuccessful mass action. Those who moved from the ZCTU to the
MDC have more experience in organising such mass actions and if the MDC had
any input in it, the stayaway would have been an emphatic blow against the
government. They have strategists, who are veterans of such struggles.

But the attempt by the government to link the action to the opposition is
not surprising.

The government finds comfort in ascribing such action to the MDC because
that is how it defines its relationship with the Zimbabwe Federation of
Trade Unions (ZFTU).

It is the government that instructs or applies pressure on the ZFTU to
initiate any industrial action.

But linking the mass action to the opposition is something that can be
expected from the government. It has such contempt for people that it
believes in order for them to do something, it must be the result of
external influences.

In the government’s thinking the 1,2 million people it claims voted against
it in the just ended flawed presidential election, could only have done so
at the instigation of someone and not the people themselves. That is how
contemptuous the government is of the people’s ability and right to exercise
free thought.

To infer the MDC’s influence or involvement in the unsuccessful mass action
is to seek to deny workers the right and capacity to discern the root cause
of their problems. It is a view that is founded on the basis that only the
government has the monopoly of wisdom. Yet its record of the past 22 years
is full of evidence to the contrary.

Apart from lack of consultations and failure to allow the message to get
through to its membership, the ZCTU was unclear as to whether it was
protesting police interference in ZCTU activities, such as the insistence
that the police sit through a ZCTU General Council meeting, or whether it
was a protest against the Public Order and Security Act, which strips the
workers of their recourse to industrial action, or whether it was against
the flawed presidential election from which many of its members were
deliberately excluded as a result of sinister
manipulation by the government.

The distinction was blurred.

The voices from the so-called business leaders were a major disappointment.

They chose to castigate the ZCTU, claiming its action would harm industry.

Yet over the past two years they watched with arms folded, as the government
systematically presided over the closure of many business in pursuit of
misplaced policies.

The country is in its sorry state not because of the ZCTU, but because of
the government.

These so-called business leaders have access to President Mugabe. Where is
the evidence of their advice to the Head of State on managing the economy
properly or creating an environment conducive to domestic and foreign
investment and employment creation?

There has never been more evidence of squandered opportunities on helping to
pull Zimbabwe from the brink of the precipice.

It is difficult not to conclude that these so-called business leaders are
nothing but beneficiaries of Zanu PF’s largesse in some cases.

But the failed mass action is an important lesson for the labour movement.
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50 farmers have been illegally evicted in Zimbabwe since the 2002 Presidential Election

Press Statement (On behalf of the Commercial Farmers Union)
COMMERCIAL Farmers' Union, President Colin Cloete has confirmed an increase in incidents of harassment, trashing and looting on commercial farms countrywide since the general election ten days ago.
These activities perpetrated by opportunistic elements, have resulted in
2 deaths, a commercial farmer, Terry Ford and a farm guard, Darlington Vikaveka; the assaulting of 25 farmers and scores of farm workers.
At least
50 farmers have been illegally evicted, with some given an hours notice.
According to reports, over a dozen homes have been trashed and looted, including the Ruzawi Club in Mashonaland East.
In the last two weeks, on at least 14 of the farms affected, the workers are under threat of eviction from their farm villages - a minimum of 600 farm workers are affected prejudicing the lives of approximately 3000 family members.
A large proportion of the incidents seem to be retribution against farmers who were exercising their democratic right to support the political party of their choice, which in the cases reported is the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), although some of the farmers attacked have no political affiliation.
66 farmers who were resource persons for the opposition party were arrested with some due to appear in court at the end of April.  Charges are centered on the use of radios used by farmers have used since before 1980 under licence.
Yesterday alone, 2 farmers signed warned and cautioned statements on attempted murder charges, one whose vehicle backfired causing a bystander at a polling station to claim he was shot at, and another who shot twice into the air when under physical threat from 30 persons who had bashed the door of his bedroom down to get at him.
In some cases, farmers were told to leave all household effects and farm assets behind as these now "belonged to them".  Several farmers in the grai n belt report of settlers pressuring farmers to provide irrigation equipment for the planting of a winter wheat crop.
A farmer in the Enterprise area confirmed that settlers had been addressed by Agritex who had encouraged settlers to prepare the fields for wheat.
They would be paid a fee of Z$ 50 000 per crop (no size specified).  They required irrigation but would be planting the 'old-fashioned way' by hand from baskets.
Cloete said in a statement, "Incidents of harassment, trashing and looting, forced eviction and extortion as well as political retribution have reached alarming proportions since the election weekend.  The lack of a definitive police response is playing into the hands of opportunists.  The problem seems to be at district level where officers seem to be slow and in some cases unwilling to react to farmers' calls for help, their hands seem to be tied.
The Union and its members are working with Police at all levels to stabilize the situation.  Security of our members is of paramount importance at this time."
Mashonaland East has reported the most cases of violence and forceful eviction with Mashonaland West reporting the most arrests.
The Marondera Rural police district has been extremely volatile in the post-election period.  Response from the police in this area has been unpredictable and unsympathetic to the farmers' position.  All incidents have been properly reported to police at Station level and referred through Dispol and Propol as necessary.
In this area, the polling weekend began with the assaulting of two farmers, who were part of the civic observer group supporting MDC polling agents.
They were ambushed at Mupazvihiro School and held for around 5 hours by Zanu PF militants led by a "war vet" called Ganda.
On Tuesday farmers in the Wenimbe valley on Bali Hai, Ruware and Spes Bona in the Weniembe valley and Uitkyk, Eirene, Chipesa, & Monte Christo in Ruzawi were threatened with eviction and given hours to leave.  Home Park Farm was trashed.
On Thursday 14th March, a security guard Darlington Vikaveka on Oxford Farm in Marondera was beaten to death.  The manager, Jon-Jon Rutherford was severely beaten with pickaxe handles.  Both were accused of supporting MDC.
The same gang beat up a driver from Suffolk Farm.
Still in Mashonaland East, Chipesa farm once again came under attack from known ZANU PF militants led by Wilfred Marimo.  The driver and a security guard were beaten up and the gang seized control of the farm and lay in wait for owners, Iain Kay and his son David, who were off the farm.
The group ambushed the Kay's and when they tried to retreat they were blocked by the arrival of what at first seemed to be Police vehicles.
In the vehicles were what appeared to be Police reservists and ZRP officers but are suspected to be imposters as they turned their guns on Iain and David.
The Kay's managed to extricate themselves from the scene but had their vehicle substantially damaged.  It is suspected that the farm has been looted but no visit has as yet been permitted.  A neighbour who tried to go onto the farm was threatened by the 'constabulary' who are widely believed to be Zanu PF militants in Police reserve uniform and were armed with AK 47 weapons.
Chipesa farm workers and their families, 84 of them, are currently seeking shelter in the surrounding area, and they report having seen a 7 tonne lorry being loaded with items from Kay's house, and that his diesel, fertilizer has all been stolen/trashed.  These farm workers had all their possessions stolen - they have nothing more than the clothes they are standing up in.
On Sunday 17th March a group arrived at the farm village on Gresham and proceeded to smash doors in the farm village.  The same group returned on Monday morning and told the owner to vacate the farm.
They proceeded to the Wenimbe valley to Ponderosa and Bali Hai farms and forced workers to leave their houses and get of the property.  In a further incident Zanu PF militants held the Pattison brothers hostage for some hours on Tuesday.  The situation was eventually defused by the police after hours of delay.
The elderly owner of Esperance farm had a visitation, which resulted in the smashing windows in the homestead.  On Nelson, Una and Igava farms the owner was told to leave.  On Igava Farm, ten staff were assaulted on the night of Tuesday 19th March.
On Home Park/Riverside the owner's son returned home to discover a barricade of rocks and had his windscreen smashed as he tried to drive away.
In a further development the home was trashed and looted on 18th March, by Zanu PF youths resident on Malabar farm.
The owners of Bickleigh and Skoonveld were ordered to pay rent for the use of their own tobacco barns or face eviction.
Workers were told to leave the farm village on Chakadenga and proceed to the war veteran base, four senior workers were threatened with death should they not comply.  The owner reported to Police but the situation remained unresolved until the Support attended a day later.  Workers were forced to take refuge in the bush but have been able to return Wednesday.
On Mount Arthur, a blue Mercedes Benz arrived whilst the owners were away.
The visitors forced the guard to open the security fence gate and broke into the homestead.  Doors were smashed; a few cabinets trashed; a washing machine burnt; TV, VCR and various other household items and provisions were stolen; two tractors (a Ford 4x4 and an Ursus) and a trailer and workshop equipment were stolen and a brand new Nissan pickup was doused in petrol and set alight.  None of the stolen items have been recovered.
At midnight on Thursday 14th March a vehicle arrived at Torre Farm with at least five individuals, one of them claiming to be from the President's Office.  They gave the owner some days to vacate the farm.
Peter Neuby-Varty said that another group said to be Zanu PF officials arrived and requested a report on the earlier visitation.
"They told me that the other group were criminals and that I should arm my guard and shoot anyone who came onto the farm." He was to take their advise and arm his security guard who 2 days later had to fire 2 shots to scare away a mob who came onto the farm at midnight.  The security guard has since fled.
"At 6am Zanu PF people arrived and handcuffed me, taking me into the bush for some hours, where they left me.  When they returned we went to the Mausekwa Police station and then on to the Zanu PF headquarters.
They told me that I was not going to be charged but that I should get off my farm.
We returned to the farm and they loaded up my lorry and gave me 4 days to remove the rest of my assets.  The farm owned by my family since 1948 is under a compulsory notice of acquisition.  "
Meanwhile Neuby-Varty's vehicle, a Mazda 2,2 pickup is being driven around by the District Administrator after having been 'confiscated' by the officials, who also took 7 weapons and two farm radios.  Reports have been made to Police.
On Sunday 17th March a group of people including war veteran Kujeke and four others arrived in a metallic brown Mercedes Benz at Saltash from the war veteran base camp on nearby Liliefontein.  The owner was told to vacate the farm the following day or suffer the consequences.  The workers were told to leave the farm immediately.
On another farm, John Faber, was besieged on 18th March by Zanu PF militants who forced him to one end of his house, and have looted household contents and other farm equipment.  Police responded after a 16-hour delay too late to stop the looting.  Over Z$ 10 million dollars worth of household goods and farm equipment was lost.
Mtemwa and Gresham Farms owners were told to leave.  On Gresham the farm village was trashed on Sunday night.  The militants are demanding that he pay off his workers immediately and that everyone must vacate forthwith.
Another farmer was given 2 days to leave his home.  When police responded they advised him to "negotiate".
On Tuesday 19th, Michael Colahan, had to seek refuge in a bedroom, as a mob of 30 advanced into his home threatening his life.  He fired two shots into the ceiling to frighten them away.  He was made to sign a warned and cautioned statement and faces attempted murder charges.
In Featherstone, the Jakkalsdraai owner was told to leave by an official delegation comprising Member of Parliament and District Administrator.
In Mashonaland Central, two new settlers arrived on Penrose farm insisting that the 8ha citrus orchard belongs to them.  At another farm, Nyamsewe the farmer and all farm labour were given 6 hours to vacate.  This was reported to ZRP but no response obtained.  A similar incident occurred on Manovi farm.
Other forced evictions occurred on Danbury Park, Msitwe, Manovi, Siyalima and Brookfield Farms.  A crop guard and his wife were severely beaten up and told to leave the farm.
On the 11th March, one MDC election agent and 15 logistics support personnel were detained on the pretext of possessing unlicensed radios, which interfere with ZRP frequencies.  One member of the detained team was assaulted by a Police officer.  Most of them are members of the farming community.
In Norton, Mashonaland West, a farmer, Terry Ford (mid 50's) was killed on his Gowrie Farm on the 18 March 2002, six persons have been arrested.
Initially Ford had fired a shot to scare the intruders away but they returned to murder him - shooting him in the head against a tree.  In a radio message to neighbours, he described the intruders as war veterans and settlers wearing Zanu PF third Chimurenga T-Shirts.  In this instance calls to Police Norton were ignored.
Police Norton was more vigilant the next day, when farmers tipped them off at the scene that a bystanders footprints matched the spoor around the house.  Three youth were arrested and they assisted Police to arrest another three, all resident settlers.  One of these is a 'Comrade Sheke' who is believed to have used Ford's revolver to kill him.  Leading the band in this area is War Veteran leader; Mrs Rusike and base commander resident on Gowrie Farm is Cde Mwambo.  Both are known to have been involved in the looting and forced eviction of neighbouring farmers.
Other farms attacked by this gang over the last week are Windsor Farm, Wilbered Farm and Umzururu and Royden Farms.  Losses incurred amounted to many millions of dollars worth of belongings including four shotguns, a .22 rifle, three revolvers and a lot of ammunition.
The owners of Windsor farm, who were forcefully evicted on Thursday have lost everything and are still unable to return to their Farm to tend the Dairy.  Zimbabwe is currently facing a critical shortage of milk for varying reasons, including land disturbances and most recently the shortage of stock feed.  These incidents have been reported to the police at all levels.
In Mashonaland West, the Legal representative has said that the group of farmers who attended Chinhoyi Police yesterday and signed warned and cautioned statements.  The case against them will now proceed by way of summons.  The group, numbering 26, have been charged with operating an illegal radio network under the Posts and Telecommunications Act.
No bail was required.  This follows the arrest of twelve farmers on the eve of the elections.  They have since been remanded to the 30th April 2002.
These farmers were held for 3 days without definitive charges being made until they appeared in court.
They were then released on bail and charged with 1) Conspiring to interfere with the Electoral process 2) Attempting to corrupt polling agents by offering them food.  This is under the 'Prevention of Corruption Act' and
Operating an illegal radio network - a charge under the Post and Telecommunications Act.  They paid Zd$ 50 000 bail each and were made to surrender their travel documents.
The nub of the charges seems to be a Raffingora 'community plan' which was drafted to encompass medical, safety support, safe houses, food supply and support for monitors to the polling booths of the Election period.
In another development Douglas Campbell a farmer from Banket has signed a warned and cautioned statement to Chinhoyi Police on charges of attempted murder.  In his statement he indicated that he was at Mapinga Rod Camp (a Polling station) during the election days and had a rock thrown at his car causing him to accelerate rapidly.  His vehicle is said to have backfired as he sped away.  No one was apparently injured.
Nyamanda Farm owner was given 6 hours to leave by 6 Zanu PF supporters.
Banket farms affected by forced eviction this last week are Mushanswa, Dalkeith and Mbidzi Farms, all visited by Zanu PF youth and given hours to leave.  On Glen Athol Farm the owner was barricaded inside his security fence as he had refused to comply with settler demands to supply irrigation equipment for their wheat.  On Wannock Glen Farm settlers stopped production demanding the dismissal of 8 farm employees.  Tobacco is rotting on trailers and in barns due to this disruption.  On Wichens Farm the settlers have moved into the main homestead and cottage.
In the Trelawney/Darwendale area, on Vooruitzig Farm, the owner was barricaded in his security fence and prevented from escaping by the placing of rocks across the gate.  He was given 2 days to leave.
Manicaland also report a forced eviction on Mountain Home farm.
Six members of the farming community in Manicaland were arrested on the
9th March, they were charged under the Post and Telecommunications Act for having illegal 'transmitters' (radios).  All of their radios are licensed.
In the Esigodini farming area of Matabeleland, another farmer, Paul Goodwin, was yesterday visited by a Zanu PF gang and given hours to leave and to remove his cattle.  At Nyamandhlovu, it was a similar situation as two farmers struggled to move their dairy herds and evacuate their homes after being given a three-hour ultimatum.
20th March 2002 For more information, please contact:
Jenni Williams Mobile (Code +263) 91 300 456 or 11 213 885 Email Office landlines: (+2639) 72546 Fax 63978 or Mobile (Code +263) 91
668 Email
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Business Day

Zim offers land advice to Brazil

HARARE - The Brazilian government should take a leaf from Zimbabwe's book
on land reforms, Zimbabwe state radio said, reporting on the arrest of
landless peasants who invaded a presidential ranch in Brazil.
"Contrary to Zimbabwe, Brazil has chosen to ignore the landless problem
inherited from the colonial era, which has created tremendous social
inequalities and poverty in the country," the pro-government radio said.

It said Brazil had a "divide and rule" policy and "did not have the courage"
to launch a land reform program such as that under way  in Zimbabwe, which
it said was "the only one of its kind in the world".

Some 200 Brazilan peasants invaded a farm owned by the family of  Brazilian
President Fernando Henrique Cardoso last week to draw attention to the
government's lack of progress in resolving the problems facing the country's
landless poor.

Sixteen of them were detained on Sunday despite government guarantees that
they would be allowed to go free, Brazilian radio reported.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe launched controversial land reforms in
early 2000 with the aim of resettling blacks on some 10 million hectares (25
million acres) of white-owned farms in the former British colony in southern

The program is intended to redress colonial-era inequities in land
distribution that gave the small white minority control of 70% of the
country's best farmland.

An orderly programme launched soon after independence in 1980 lost  steam
within the first few years amid charges of cronyism.

Mugabe's "fast track" reforms of the last two years have been marked by
often violent seizures of hundreds of white-owned farms, causing serious
disruption to the key commercial farming sector and  contributing to
crushing food shortages.


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