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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

Government publishes shocking land acquisition list

3/27/02 8:12:10 AM (GMT +2)

By Davison Maruziva

IF EVER there was any evidence of the government’s irrationality over its
land reform programme, it was bared on Friday in its latest notice of the
farms it intends to acquire compulsorily.

Stung by the decision of the Commonwealth to suspend Zimbabwe from the
grouping for a year, and the recommendation of the joint assembly of the
African Caribbean and Pacific-European Union Parliament for Zimbabwe to hold
a fresh presidential election, the government seems to have reacted angrily.

The Zimbabwe Football Association Village in Mount Hampden, measuring 4,8500
hectares is listed for compulsory acquisition. So is 10,4 morgen (about nine
hectares) of land belonging to the City of Harare, even though the
government has said it is important for the capital to acquire more land in
order to provide housing for thousands of would-be home owners on the
housing waiting list.

Among the farms listed are eight church properties, the government wants to
take. One of them is Copota Mission for the Blind, run by the Reformed
Church in Zimbabwe.

Properties belonging to the National Railways of Zimbabwe and the Cold
Storage Company, both of which are cash-strapped and debt-ridden, will also
be compulsorily acquired under the notice published on Friday.

Tanda Tavaruva, the owner of Masvingo United Football Club, who is a
prominent transport operator in Masvingo, has had his Arkesden Estate listed
for compulsory acquisition by the government.

Nick Swanepoel, who last year sought to mediate between the government and
commercial farmers, has had his Avalon Farm in Lomagundi (Nemakonde)
district listed for compulsory acquisition, as is David Smith Farm in the
same district.

David Smith was one of three white members appointed to Cabinet under the
policy of national reconciliation soon after independence in 1980.

The University of Zimbabwe’s research farm, Thornpark, where agriculture
students undertake most of their work is also listed for compulsory
acquisition, as is one of the remaining suppliers of agricultural produce to
the capital, Eskbank.

Major agricultural estates, Tanganda, Hippo Valley and Triangle, which
employ hundreds of workers, have found themselves caught up under the
government’s latest land grab programme.

Tanganda produces tea, while Hippo Valley and Triangle produce sugar. The
products are both for domestic and export markets and earn the country
invaluable foreign currency.

The Forestry Commission, the Wattle Company, Mutare Board and Paper Mill in
Manicaland province, as well as Thetford Estate, north of Harare are also
earmarked for compulsory acquisition.

The Oppenheimer family, which has extensive properties, has not been spared
either, even though in the past the family has enjoyed closer ties with
President Mugabe.

The government has given little thought to the disruptions caused to
foreign-currency earning ventures.

More than a dozen conservancies or wildlife ranches in the Lowveld and in
the Victoria Falls area have also been listed for compulsory acquisition,
even though one of them Eaglemont, was delisted last year after successfully
arguing that as a game ranch it was a foreign currency-spinning venture.

That seems to have made sense temporarily. The properties in both the
Lowveld and the Victoria Falls areas attract wealthy Americans and
Europeans, who spend considerable sums to view the unique game found in
these areas.

The listing of the conservancies comes amid suggestions that some of the
properties are earmarked for senior army personnel, who will be allocated
the properties.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Farm Invasions And Security Report
Wednesday 27th  March 2002

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

·         Wedza - Chingamere,  Mtemwa, and Hungwe  in the Ruzawi River Valley, were subjected to attacks by a group of 12 to 16 during the night of 24.03.02.  The mob broke through the homestead security fence at Chingmere; the owner declined to meet them on observing their menacing mood.  For half an hour they stoned the house and vehicles near by.  They left to attack the farm village at about 2200 hrs, gathering extra people to join the gang on the way. All the workers were beaten up - 7 severely, and 6 of those were taken to a neighbouring farm and beaten up further.  The mob, armed with sticks and other weapons, went on to beat up other workers at Mtemwa and Hungwe.  At Mtemwa, 56 labourers were beaten up with thick sticks by the now 30-strong gang, led by "war vet" Cde Moyo.  Seven bruised, five hospitalised and the balance very bruised.  Of the hospitalised victims, one has lost hearing and one is a pregnant girl.  At Hungwe Farm, the group beat up 60 people in the farm village, and two women were raped, one being a girl of thirteen years of age.
·         The Komani Farm owners, Esigodini, suffer continual harassment.  They are packing up and vacating the farm. There was a herd of 114 registered Afrikaner and Tuli heifers comprising two age groups.    Of this number only 39 were found when "war vets" let them out, which slept in the dip kraal on the night of 24.03.02.    During the night the gate was opened, the heifers removed, the gate closed and the animals driven into the Railway Reserve.   A train hit nine, with seven killed outright and two so badly they had to be destroyed.    Out of a herd of 114 heifers, only 30 remain.
·         Nyamandlovu – the owner of Hilda’s Kraal  was abducted and his hand held radio taken off him. He was taken to the Ticehurst Police Station with 15 men and 30 men were left at his farmhouse with his partner trapped in the house. The situation was resolved at the Police Station and he had to pay his ZW$ 60 000.00 to cover the charge laid against him.
·         The Lot 1A of The Grove owner is still not allowed to go back to his property in chegutu, and the ZANU (PF) youth base continues to function, causing general harassment and contributing to the increased level of theft.  Police maintain allowing the owner back is a political issue, and the millions of dollars lost in revenue has nothing to do with them. 
·         Norton - Looted property, including fridges, freezers, stoves and furniture, was found on Gowrie Farm close to Terry Ford’s house.  Police have not allowed the Zimbabwe National SPCA to uplift the arrested settlers’ dogs, which will starve if no one is allowed to take care of them. SPCA left food for the weekend for them. 
·         Information received at Ashton, Featherstone, was that ± 350 cattle moved off to grazing on next door farm, have been driven back on to the farm to be parcelled out to settlers/workers as retrenchment packages.

Chipinge - On Stillemeer Farm, 18 Friesland cows went missing, and the police reacted very well.  On Nyatutu Farm, asbestos sheets and over 10 000 m of barbed wire went missing, which has been reported to the police.  Section 7's were handed out to KC Estate (K Gifford) and Hofstede Rusape - A group of 14 people arrived at Chitora Farm, claiming they were there to “sort out some guys that were stepping out of line.” Police defused the situation.  A Section 7 was received by Lesapi Drift
Bindura - The owner of Chimberi Farm was given three days to remove his cattle and horses from his farm by 25.03.02.  The settlers spoke to the owner on the appointed day, and left after negotiations to “think about the discussions”. They said the Governor and police were "nothing" and they were now in charge! There is a total work stoppage on Banwell Farm.
Harare West - The situation on Danbury Park remains much the same although visitors have been allowed entry for ten minutes at a time.
Horseshoe - A2 settlers have begun to arrive in the area. The owner of Rushpeak Farm was ordered to vacate his farm along with all the workers. Nothing has happened after 24 hours. The owner of Manovi Farm phoned ZTA and explained the situation (the ongoing theft of bananas on his farm) to them. They in turn contacted the National Land Task Force and by that afternoon the DA, Police, war veterans, and the Zanu PF were on his farm, attempting to put a stop to the theft and harassment. The next day another lorry load of bananas was taken, but police said a roadblock would be put in place to capture the culprits. No reports have been received as yet. 24-hour eviction notices are being issued in the area.
Mvurwi - (The names of the following farms have been omitted via a request from the farmers themselves) Some farms have been visited by Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, stating they are to grow wheat. One farmer was informed there were settlers who wished to grow wheat. When he said he did not have any settlers, the officials said they would allocate some to him! The Zanu (PF) youth informed a farmer he and his labour were to be evicted as the farm now belongs to them. The police intervened and managed to resolve the issue. A farm was visited by the leading "war vet", who told the workers the farm should not be listed. He said they should phone him in a week's time to see what they should do next. Indications on the ground are a witch-hunt is to start this week for MDC supporters.
Mazowe/Concession – there are continued problems on Danbury Park Farm Following the invasion of the security area by "war vets", the "war vets" were addressed by Chief Chiweshe, brought in a police vehicle by the Inspector from Marlborough Police Station, on 20.03.02. The Inspector came out again the next day, spoke to the "war vets", then to the owner in the company of two "war vets".  He assured the owner they would be allowed free access around the farm, into the sheds and allowed visitors.  He said he could not move the "war vets" from the yard, but guards could be stationed in the yard to see no more is looted. The owner said his labour are too intimidated and that as soon as the Inspector left, his exit would be barricaded.  In spite of the inspector’s assurances, as soon as he left, the barriers were back in place.  The FA Chairman visited Propol for assistance in removing the "war vets".  In spite of promises, there has been no visit to date.  On 22.03.02, the "war vets" said Chief Chiweshe instructed them to advise the labour to be out of their houses by 23.03.02 and to collect their gratuities from the owner. Again the Marlborough Police Station inspector came to the farm and denied Chief Chiweshe had instructed this.  He spoke with the "war vets" and addressed the labour, which defused the situation to some extent.  The labour is not comfortable with the level of intimidation to which they are being subjected and would like to return to work.  Although the owner has retained grain for them, the "war vets" have denied access to it, so there is a food shortage in the village.  For over a week valuators from the Ministry of Agriculture have requested the owner present goes to their offices to look at the valuation prepared for a sub division of the farm, which is under a Section 5.  Due to the problems on the farm, he had been unable to go. On 22.03.02, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture phoned to establish the reasons for not coming in.  On arriving at the offices, the valuators at the Ministry of Agriculture thought he was there to negotiate a price and sign an Agreement of Sale, were unable to produce a breakdown of how they reached the very low figure offered.  As the farm is a family concern, the owner was unable to sign anything.  Ongoing pungwes disturb his elderly parents still.
Tsatsi – the manager of Blackfordby farm is still unable to return to his house.  He has suffered continued harassment from Clr Nyahongo, the only Zanu (PF) councillor in the Harare City Council.  Clr Nyahongo refuses to let him back on to the farm, and continually interferes with the operations on the farm, chasing off the workers, manager, clerks and mechanic regularly saying he is “firing” them.  He holds political meetings in the security complex, forcing or threatening his way in each time.  After every meeting, within 24 hrs, there is massive loss of electrical goods.  The aftermath of one meeting resulted in the loss of 40 hydrants.  Clr Nyahonga states he wants the manager’s house for an office and, in spite of good response from the Waterfalls police, continually threatens the labour.
Wedza – on Skoonveld, "war vet" Murewa forced entry into the Bickleigh house, and moved in, saying he had done so to protect the owner of Skoonveld as the Zanu (PF) youth were coming to kill him. He also demanded mealie meal.  The labour on Lushington was beaten up and four labourers told they had to go to the base camp.  The "war vets" at the camp claim they know nothing about this order. Some Ndebele workers on the farm were beaten up more severely than the others.  The perpetrators state this was retribution for the owner holding MDC meetings with them – a fabrication. The injured refused to be taken to the clinic as they said they would be beaten up again if seen in the company of the owner. Some were unable to walk. Labour on Raleigh was also beaten up.  On 17.03.02, a Zanu PF official arrived from Harare at Saltash and said his agenda was to get all farmers off the farms. On 18.03.02 the labour had information the farm was to be looted, and on 19.02.03 the workshops were looted and ± ZW$ 4 million worth of equipment stolen. On 20.03.02 the labour were chased away and the youth ransacked the house stealing anything they could carry, which they loaded on a blue lorry from the base camp at Chop Chop Store. Diesel was also stolen. This gang are very aggressive and put up a roadblock between Saltash and Dollanstown. The response from the police has been very poor.  At Dollanstown, looting took place. The owner went with Support Unit on 21.03.02 and observed locks on doors to sheds and barns had been smashed and doors opened. Doors had also been opened in the homestead and outbuildings. The owner, whilst in the company of police/Support Unit details observed youths at the barns cooking meat from a cow they illegally slaughtered. The police left without making any arrests. After the owner had come to an agreement with police to remove his cattle from his farm (he is being forcibly evicted) youth arrived and prevented the loading of the cattle. On Mt Arthur, a tractor and land rover have been stolen. The initial estimate of losses through looting is ZW$ 40 million. At Chakadenga, all labour was ordered to stop working by settlers and the owner told to pay off the workers and vacate the property within 2 hours. Ten youths chased the labour into a confined space. Two tractors have disappeared and police were informed and reacted after five and a half hours. Negotiations have taken place and are ongoing.  On Imire 2 wart hog and an Eland were poached.  The police were slow to react.  At Nelson police warned "war vet" Chiota not to evict owner from farm.  Uno and Idube report switch gear stolen, while Dudley reports switch gear stolen and a cow slaughtered.  At Southlawn the farm school headmaster’s house was looted.  On Skoonveld 7 bulling heifers were stolen and the herdsman threatened.  Brent reports a DDF Tractor ploughing.  On Exeter vehicles driven by plot holders, mainly from Grasslands Research Station, arrived and the occupants broke the lock on the main gate. On Torre "war vet" Kwaipa was arrested for shooting at the police land rover.  On 22.03.02, Daskop reported that, at 2000 hrs, an unknown number of youths invaded the house yard and then the house.  the occupants are an elderly retired couple who lease the house from the farm owner. The couple were barricaded in one of their rooms until one farmer managed to rescue the elderly lady at 2130 hrs; the elderly gent was released at 0130 hrs on 23.03.02.  Mid-morning the police arrived and stopped the owner from removing his property, saying that the youths were acting illegally and the police would not allow them to return. The couple have had property, food and liquor looted, but the value has yet to be determined.  At Mushangwe, on 23.03.02, at approx. 2000 hrs a group of about 60 people arrived at the gate and demanded entry. The owner eventually agreed to dialogue with one representative, but on opening the gate all 60 pushed through. The owner managed to get back into the house and lock up. The front door was smashed and the group entered the house, breaking another interior door. The owner and his wife retreated to the bedroom, where they remained for a short while before being able to escape outside. Part of the group outside saw this, caught them and for the next four hours questioned the owner, accusing him of holding illegal meetings etc. The group inside helped themselves to all the food and drinks. A cell phone was stolen. Police arrived at about midnight and the situation was under control at 0200 hrs. Assessment of damage to property is ongoing.  At Showers, again on 23.03.02 at approx. 0830 hrs, Zanu (PF) youth from Glen Isla came on to the farm and beat up a senior foreman. Monte Cristo reported a new farm invasion on 23.03.02 at 100 hrs, with Chief Svosve reportedly involved. The next day at 1430 hrs, the invaders demanded the farm workers vacate their farm housing.  At Rocklands on 23.03.02, a blue tractor arrived with over 15 Zanu (PF) youth looking for the owner to beat up.  The Rapid farm owner was told to evacuate by 25.03.02. the people involved were lead by the Rufaro Farm foreman.  The Cloverholme owner was served with a Section ‘7’.  Chingamere, Mtemwa,) and Hungwe  in the Ruzawi River Valley, were subjected to attacks by a group of 12 to 16 during the night of 24.03.02.  The mob broke through the homestead security fence at Chingmere; the owner declined to meet them on observing their menacing mood.  For half an hour they stoned the house and vehicles near by.  27 windowpanes were smashed, roofing sheets damaged, two security lights broken and the windows in the doublecab parked outside were smashed.  They left to attack the farm village at about 2200 hrs, gathering extra people to join the gang on the way. all the workers were gathered together and beaten - 7 of them severely, and 6 of those who were badly beaten were taken to a neighbouring farm and beaten further.  Little damage was done to the farm village but on departing the mob threatened to return at Easter and warned the workers had better not be working for a white man on their return.  Police Wedza attended at approximately 0200 hrs.  The mob, armed with sticks and other weapons, went on to beat up other workers at Mtemwa and Hungwe.  At Mtemwa, 56 labourers were beaten up with thick sticks by the now 30-strong gang, led by "war vet" Cde Moyo.  Seven bruised, five hospitalised and the balance very bruised.  Of the hospitalised victims, one has lost hearing and one is a pregnant girl.  At Hungwe Farm, the group beat up 60 people in the farm village, and two women were raped, one being a girl of thirteen years of age.
Enterprise/ Bromley/Ruwa - Area is quiet.
Harare South – at Canterbury two people arrived with a note from Fresnaye farm base demanding oxen, mealie meal and money for sugar. The request was denied.  Edinburgh. reports  Agritex is pegging for the eleventh time. The owner saw them cutting part of a settler’s house with an axe and commented on it.  The Agritex officers laughed and said the settlers would not be coming back.  War vet Chidagwa, who has been away for several weeks, returned to Auks Nest and called a meeting including the neighbouring farm labour. He told the workers to stop work as he was going to allocate the land. In answer to the labour questioning under whose authority he would give out plots, he replied government. The labour told him to go away and return with a government official. He left after he was threatened.
Featherstone – a total of 2250 head of cattle on four farms have now been left unattended for four weeks without dipping or counting.  The Kuruman owner, son and their wives were forced off on 22.03.02 and told to take their property with them and that anything left will become the property of the settlers. Dairy cows were permitted to remain until 26.02.03.  all the Rainbow farm workers were evicted from the farm village.  The farmhouses and workshops on Gelukwerwacht, Wildebeest Laagte, Forestdale and Pennyfather have been broken into with extensive theft of electrical equipment, clothing, foodstuffs, furniture, and other looting. Firearms have been stolen from one farm. the Driehoek Farm owner received a warning to vacate the farm. Police were informed and situation defused.  Retrenchment packages have been extorted on Gelukwerwacht, Oasis, Uitkyk, Pennyfather and Wildebeest Laagte. Attempts to extort gratuities have been made on Oasis, Hazledene, Dover, Kuruman ‘A’, Versailles, Ashton and Knockholt. to a large extent, these have been sorted out by NEC and Labour Office with the police concurring.  Beach Farm’s labour is being beaten and threatened nightly in the presence of the local MP, DA and other officials. Reports received are that Minister J Mujuru is very interested in this farm.  the Kuruman ‘A’  owner and his wife were told by ± 60 aggressive/abusive settlers to vacate the property by 0600 hrs on 23.3.02. Provincial Officials told the owner this action is illegal. Representation was made to the DA and the Lands Committee,  who said that "since he knew he had to be off the farm last year why was he now trying to stop the eviction". The owner is preparing to leave. This farm is an active dairy, milking ± 100 cows. The owner will dispose of all dairy cattle. Workers on Versailles were  chased out of the farm village by representatives of the Lands Committee and youth. They were told to tell the owner to remove 700 head of cattle and vacate the homestead, and that no commercial farmers would be left south of the Ngesi river by the weekend. Dispol Minor attended with the owner’s son. Again representation to Provincial HQ elicited assurance the action was illegal. Matters were temporarily resolved and workers went back to their houses. Leeufontein reported 400 cattle have been shared among the settlers. De La Quellerie reported 200 cattle have been shared among the settlers. Pennyfather reported that of the 1200 cattle left on the farm, 400 have been located and are being moved off. The Nyamazaan Farm manager and his wife were told to be off the farm by midday, 23.03.02. Workers are being paid retrenchment packages. At Vergenoeg, a Section 5 for Vergenoeg Farm in Harare District was served on this farm.  Sable Flats reported a pegging team arrived to re-demarcate plots on property for the fourth or fifth time.  Information received at Ashton was that ± 350 cattle moved off to grazing on next door farm, have been driven back to be parcelled out to settlers/workers as retrenchment package.
Beatrice – at Argyle Ranch two pick-ups arrived - an Isuzu, registration No. 596-448T and a white Mazda B1600 registration No. 251-954Q.  the occupants went to Chitzindie for a shooting spree.  it appears they shot eight Kudu.  a report was made to OIC Turisunda and Inspectors Sibanda and Moyo - no report numbers were given.  One pick-up was still on the farm and the animals were still being skinned at midday. 
Macheke/Virginia - Showers Farm  reported to Cnst. Msipa, that a 2 year old giraffe was snared by settlers, value ZW$ 170 000.00. the owner of Drylawhill was told  to give all workers letters stating length of service, names and ID Numbers, and character references. This was apparently “to weed out undesirables”.  Mignon Farm has an ongoing problem, which has lasted for 4 days.  Police and Mr Matatse attended on the afternoon of 25.03.02.  the "war vet"  refused to do as he was told by these officials and says he  will only listen to Chief Mangwende.  The owner of Warren Farm was told he and the labour have to leave the farm.  There appears to be a confrontation between the farm children and settlers’  kids.  The farm children will be spoken to, and hopefully things will return to normal.  Castledene Pines reports the "war vets" have a problem with one of the workers, and accuse him of being an MDC supporter.   A meeting will be held 26.03.02 to resolve the issue.  Nyagadzi Farm labour reported the "war vets" wanted them out of their houses by 24.03.02.  Springdale Farm labour was told by "war vets" they must be out of their houses ASAP.  Morning Star reported Agritex had arrived, showing people around "their" new plots.  Faroe Farm reported people are inspecting the farm with regard to A2 resettlement, arriving in a white Nissan doublecab.  The owner of Nyadema Farm reported a Mr.  Samunda, the acting DA of Marondera, previously from Mtoko, informed the farmer he was “looking over his 147 ha plot”.  Elikas Vous Farm reported a white land cruiser with people in it, checking all the lands.  Koodoo Range/Exeter Farm reported a Peugeot touring around the  lands.  The owner suspects the occupants are army personnel as he has seen them before at the same lands.  roofing was stolen off the dip building and taken away with a scotch cart.  Police said they would attend, but have done nothing.  Springdale Farm had three labourers evicted.  Police refuse to do anything about it unless the farmer is present.  Nyagadzi Farm had the threat of labour being evicted, and again Police refuse to do anything about it unless the farmer is present.  Soft Farm and Timorin Farm had Section 5s delivered.  Nyadora Farm  reported a build up of people at Virginia Store.  It was understood that these people would proceed to Journeys End Farm (C. Palmer). Sebastian, the "war vet" councillor, told them to disperse, or Support Unit would be called. The Journey’s end owner later reported the youths wanted to  build a camp on his farm.  both Royal Visit  and Hazeldene Farm reported they had requests for transport for a meeting at Rufaro Farm on 24.03.02. Both refused to give transport.  The meeting is apparently to discuss Independence celebrations.
Banket - Newlands Estates received a Section 8 on 23.03.02.  the owner was told on 25.03.02 at 0700 hrs, to move off his farm.  the lock was stolen from the gate and wood is being stolen from his barns.  Sonop Farm reported that on 25.03.02, an ambush was set up at the farm, comprising 4 men armed with AKs.  Support Unit eventually reacted, but the armed men had already left in a white Twin cab.  One man was identified later that day and arrested by Security Services and handed over to the Police.  The Koodoo Hill Farm owner was given 1 hour to leave the farm on 24.03.02.  Buryhill Farm has a work stoppage, with the perpetrators demanding five suspected MDC supporters be fired.  
Darwendale - Nicotina Farm received a Section 8.  the Darwendale area has received 126 Section 8s to date. 
Karoi - Yawanda Farm and Laughing Hills Farm owners were threatened with eviction.  The farmers along the Karoi Rd to Magunje Road are under pressure.  Heskeith Park Estate had graffiti painted on buildings with "go back to Britain" and the farm village houses were painted with "Zvoka ku Masha" which, loosely translated, means “go back to your home”.
Norton - Looted property, including fridges, freezers, stoves and furniture, was found on Gowrie Farm close to Terry Ford’s house.  Police have not allowed Zimbabwe National SPCA to uplift the arrested settlers’ dogs, which will starve if no one is allowed to take care of them. SPCA left food for the weekend for them. 
Selous - On Northwood Farm the owner eventually moved out of his house three months ago, due to continual harassment.  The keys were handed in to the DA.  The owner’s homestead, which was a large double-storey building, has been completely trashed with the roof taken off, window frames taken out, and the parquet floor uplifted.  On Mount Carmel Farm  a window frame was taken out of one of the sheds, and reports wire stolen and a cow slaughtered.  Police still have not uplifted the settlers responsible for nearly killing the cattle foreman three weeks ago.  Poaching continues. 
Chegutu - On Lot 1A of The Grove the owner is still not allowed to go back to his property, and the ZANU (PF) youth base continues to function, causing general harassment and contributing to the increased level of theft.  Police maintain allowing the owner back is a political issue, and the millions of dollars lost in revenue has nothing to do with them. 
Chakari - On Chevy Chase farm which is unlisted, settlers continue to harass and make demands.  It appears they want the owner to stop operations so they can use the land he has negotiated he can utilise.  They also want to use his equipment to grow a winter crop. 
General - A2 settlers continue to be active visiting and telling them to get out of “their” houses, as the farmers are on "their plot".  No early land prep for Tobacco has taken place. There are generally no preparations for a Wheat crop as almost all farms are listed, with many of them served with Section 8 Orders and Government appears to prefer the option of people starving than commercial farmers utilising their land. 
Masvingo East and Central - Fomax Dairy had 1,5 km of fencing stolen.
Chiredzi - Eureka Ranch has had an influx of fresh settlers. The  Alstar Haven owner has had a constant battle to secure a permit from the National Parks representative, Mr. Hove, so he can move the remaining game on his property.  This comprised 43 Wildebeest, 14 Sable, 12 Zebra, 3 Eland and 2 Giraffe. What remains as of this date are 8 Wildebeest, No Sable, 6 Zebra, No Eland and 2 Giraffe. The owner showed the permit issued by Mr. Hove to the base commander, a Mr. Makara on his property (who is the Zaka rep for the Land Resettlement Committee). He accepted it at first, but later claimed it was a fake permit and the owner had made it up on his computer at home. He went on to say that all the game on the property was now the settlers, but if the owner paid ZW$ 50 000 in cash, he  would be given permission to remove them.  since the confrontation with the owner, Mr. Makara told the owner’s three caretakers they must now move off as the property now belongs to the settlers. Zanu (PF) Youth were due to be moved on to the property the following day. The owner reports the caretakers are very scared and he has had to send in a lorry to help remove all their belongings.
Triangle - Triangle Co. dismissed between 50 –100 workers on 21.03.02.  "war vet" Mutemachani and a colleague were trying to cause a riot, and assaulted one of the Triangle employees and kicked a dog. Police and army reaction was very good.
Save Conservancy - Poaching and snaring continue.
Mwenezi – there is continued harassment over use and “sharing” of water. Snaring, poaching and theft of cattle all over.
Gutu / Chatsworth - Condor A Farm had one pedigree bull stolen.  Muirlands Farm had one dairy cow caught in a snare.  Badsa Farm  has continued harassment over cattle. The owner had all cattle chased off the property by the settlers the morning of 25.03.02.
No report received.

Nyamandlovu – the owner of Hilda’s Kraal was abducted and his hand held radio taken off him. He was taken to the Ticehurst Police Station with 15 men and 30 men were left at his farmhouse with his partner trapped in the house. The situation was resolved at the Police Station and he had to pay his ZW$ 60 000.00 to cover the charge laid against him.  A roadblock was put up at the Hilda's Kraal Road by the "war vets" and as yet has not been removed.  Fountain Farm  found a steenbok snared, and the owner gave the meat to his game guards. The "war vets" then arrested the game guards and took them to the Police Station. The owner was told by the OIC that he would arrest the owner and charge him for shooting State Game.
Esigodini – the Komani Farm owners suffer continual harassment.  they are packing up and vacating the farm. At a meeting on held on 20.03.02 with the owner, "war vets" and Zanu (PF) personnel, the owner was given an ultimatum, in very threatening terms, to vacate by 27.03.02.  he was told he could remove all livestock and moveable assets.  Since then, the labour has been continually harassed while trying to carry out the task of finding cattle that had been mixed.  The mixing had occurred in three days prior to the meeting, when the labour was not allowed to work.    As of 25.03.02, it has not been possible to find the cattle and sort them back into their respective herds.  There was a herd of 114 registered Afrikaner and Tuli heifers comprising two age groups.    Of this number only 39 were found, which slept in the dip kraal on the night of 24.03.02.    During the night the gate was opened, the heifers removed, the gate closed and the animals driven into the Railway Reserve.   A train hit nine, with seven killed outright and two so badly they had to be destroyed.    out of a herd of 114 heifers, only 30 remain.  The owner requested of the  ZRP. OIC, Esigodini, Inspector Mfuwa, an armed police guard to protect those cattle still sleeping in the dip kraals.    His response is awaited but he did indicate the owner would have to pay for the guard, to which he agreed.   The Shonalanga Farm owner was given until 26.03.02 to vacate his farm but as yet nothing has happened.
Inyathi – Paddy’s Valley received a letter from the War Veterans Head Office in Bulawayo, telling him to vacate his farm in 24 hours.  he has not done so. The Police have reacted favourably.
Bulawayo Landowners’ – the owners of Mindora Farm, Umgusa Plot and Holly Lodge were all given similar notices from the War Veterans Head Office. they had a meeting with the P.A. on 25.03.02, who said he would sort out the problem.                                               Visit the CFU Website

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

Foreign Troops in Harare?

The Namibian (Windhoek)

March 27, 2002
Posted to the web March 27, 2002

THE Congress of Democrats claims that Namibia deployed troops in Zimbabwe
prior to that country's elections and that they have yet to return.

CoD leader Ben Ulenga notified Parliament yesterday that he would ask
Defence Minister Erkki Nghimtina next Thursday how many units of Namibian
troops were deployed in Zimbabwe and under which military pact or
international instrument.

Ulenga also indicated that he would ask the Defence Minister how long the
troops would be in Zimbabwe.

The Namibian was unable to establish independently whether Namibia Defence
Force members were deployed in Zimbabwe and, if so, what the purpose of
their presence was.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zimbabwe food crisis deepens, govt says no new poll

HARARE, March 27 — Finance Minister Simba Makoni said on Wednesday he was
revising the budget to find money to feed hundreds of thousands of hungry
Zimbabweans, and the ruling party ruled out a re-run of the controversial
presidential election.

        The economy is in its fourth straight year of recession -- drought
and illegal land invasions have decimated crops, inflation and unemployment
are at record highs and there is an acute shortage of foreign currency.
       The political and economic crisis is expected to deepen after
President Robert Mugabe's re-election earlier this month in polls rejected
by the opposition and the Commonwealth as fraudulent.
       The ruling ZANU-PF party on Wednesday ruled out a re-run of the
presidential election, saying the March 9-11 poll had been conducted in a
''free and fair manner'' despite British efforts to subvert the process
through violence and propaganda.
       Party deputy spokesman Jonathan Moyo said in a statement ''ZANU-PF
will not allow that verdict to be annulled or nullified in order to
accommodate the evil whims and caprices of imperialists and their local
puppets, all who have become desperate.''
       Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for a year last week
after the group's election observers accused Mugabe of electoral fraud. Moyo
said the politburo had condemned the suspension and that it was based on a
flawed report.
       Its economic troubles, the worst since independence from Britain in
1980, have been blamed largely on the government's controversial seizure of
white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks -- a process Mugabe
has pledged to continue in order to remedy the sufferings of blacks under
       A cabinet minister said on Wednesday that former Rhodesian premier
Ian Smith, the country's last white leader, had been denied a new Zimbabwean
passport until he renounced his British citizenship.
       But Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo denied Smith's claims that the
government had stripped him of Zimbabwean citizenship, saying he was free to
stay in Zimbabwe pending the normalisation of his citizenship status.
       Smith, who defied the world in 1965 when he declared self-rule from
Britain, accused the government of taking away his citizenship by refusing
to renew his expired passport.
       ''I just learnt yesterday that my citizenship had been confiscated.
It has been taken away from me. This is totally unacceptable to me. After
all I was born here 83 years ago,'' said Smith, who turns 83 next month.

       Makoni said preliminary forecasts showed that the southern African
nation would need to import more maize and other grains than was anticipated
when the budget was presented in November.
       ''We are revising the 2002 budget in order to re-prioritise
expenditure to create resources for food imports. My expectation is that by
the middle of April, at the very latest, we would have finished that
revision,'' he said.
       Makoni said the government had so far spent about US$37.5 million on
imports of 200,000 tonnes of maize and other grains and was arranging
financing for another 200,000 tonnes to be delivered by May.
       ''We now certainly need 400,000 tonnes to when we begin to receive
the 2002 harvest. Estimates for the 2002 yield range between 600,000 and at
best one million tonnes,'' said Makoni.
       ''Depending on where that number finally falls we may need between
1.5 million and 2.2 million tonnes. These are rough estimates.'' He said he
could not rule out a supplementary budget later this year.
       According to government figures about 500,000 people will need food
aid, but aid agencies put the number at more than one million.

       Smith said he supported calls for fresh elections in Zimbabwe, and
urged the international community to help set up a transitional government.
       ''We are really in a state of total disarray,'' said Smith, who
endorsed opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), in the presidential poll.
       The MDC said in a preliminary report on the presidential election
that Mugabe had beaten Tsvangirai only after inflating voter turnout in
rural areas, stuffing ballot boxes and locking out voters in the
opposition's urban strongholds.
       Tsvangirai has branded Mugabe's victory ''daylight robbery'' and
spurned suggestions from southern African leaders that he should join a
government of national unity.
       The Zimbabwe government ordered citizens with dual nationality to
renounce their British citizenship in 1984, a measure London never
       Smith said he would mount a court challenge to the government's
refusal to renew his passport. ''I believe the actions the authorities have
taken are illegal. If they don't restore my citizenship, which I am entitled
to as my birthright here, then I will be forced to go to the court,'' he
       Smith took the British colony Rhodesia into white-run isolation in
1965, rather than accept black majority rule. A brutal seven-year guerrilla
war led to a political deal in 1979, culminating in black majority rule and
independence in 1980.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From Debbie Jeans of Rolf Valley Gym.

"The farmer sows seeds with faith in the Existence,
losing the seeds he holds in his hand
and gaining much more"
                                                                       - Sri
Sri Ravishankar -

I dedicate these few thoughts to Terry whom I had the pleasure of meeting
two years ago and to all our farmers and their families. Strange as it may
seem Terry is in our lives every day laughing in a photo taken at a gym
party, captured forever and hung on our gym wall in the "Year of 1999"
collection of happy memories. Terry, this is for you. I want you to know
that I now walk up the gym stairs and I look to catch the twinkle in your
eye in that photo. You remind me every day what life is really all about
.... living today as if there's no tomorrow. Giving thanks for everything
and everyone in my life .... Your fight was not in vain my friend. We will
remember you with pride, with love and with more purpose than ever before in
the struggle to free our beloved land.

It is something exquisitely unique which makes a farmer. For time eternal
how many have placed their hearts and souls, everything they own at risk by
believing in seemingly "uncontrollable" variables. How many material and
human resources go into a seed's fruition?

A farmer plants with no solid guarantees. Season after season he makes his
offering to Mother Nature and to his God ... a seed laid gently in the
ground ... so vulnerable, so small, so seemingly frail. Yet look at what it
becomes with dedication, care, sweat, work, undoubtedly at least a few tears
and a whole heap of faith! How many times has he stood in his fields gazing
at the heavens pleading for the rain? How many times has he passed sleepless
nights worrying about his responsibilities over that seed? How many times
has he asked himself whether or not he made the right decision at the right
time? How many times ........ has he found himself at the mercy of God and
Nature? For over two years we have watched our farmers, their incredible
resilience, their strength in knowing when to yield as opposed to the
temptation to fight back which in so many circumstances must have surely,
been the easier option. Their dangerous optimism in the face of seemingly
insurmountable barriers to their beloved farms and to their life's purpose.

Perhaps it is the inherent quality which makes a man into a farmer that
steels him to our situation on the ground today. Perhaps his strength comes
from his truth formed from countless years and generations ... trusting,
knowing through faith that good or bad season, at the end of the day it's
worth the risk. The process is worth as much as the end product. To watch
that seed sprout, to nurture it gently, protect it, feed it and watch it
grow from strength to strength know that this harvest will feed
hungry mouths, send his children to school, support a community, help to
build the nation's economy, pay for the next seed to be planted ...

In essence, our farming community has taught us about concentrating on one
day at a time ... giving 100% to the moment and "knowing" that the results
will take care of themselves. Controlling what we can and leaving the rest
to God. It has taught us about just how far these courageous men and women
will go to defend what they love ... the only life they have ever known and
to so many the only country they have ever known.

Some would argue that they should quit and go start a new life somewhere
else ...  but if you think that this kind of decision would be hard enough
for you and me, well, for a farmer it's close to downright impossible! How
can anyone "own" the wind, the great African thunderstorms, the sunrises and
the sunsets? How can anyone "sell" the beauty of a golden field of wheat
undulating as a gentle breeze passes through on it's way to who knows where?
Who can "buy" the happy communities comprising generations of families who
have thrived on the farms and watched their children grow tall and strong
through the seasons .... what right do any of us have to lay claim on sacred
ground? I'll tell you .... the only real work is in service to others ... to
the extent that a farmer contributes to his family, his community and
therefore his nation, is the extent to which he may rightfully call and
defend his farm as his home.

We are beholden to this awesome farming community for teaching us the spirit
of courage .. feeling the fear every day yet standing tall and steadfast in
the front line. To all you farmers out there, don't for a moment think that
we don't know what's going on out there ... don't for a moment think that we
don't care ... don't for a moment feel alone. Our hearts are breaking just
like yours, our tears are flowing just like yours, our frustrations and
daily struggles are just like yours. But we are growing ever stronger
following your light and remember, when you need a shoulder to lean on or a
helping hand we're right behind you .... all the way. Your dream is our
dream ... together we will get there. God Bless and God's Strength!


Debbie Jeans
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zimbabwe denies passport to Smith

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- Former Rhodesian premier Ian Smith, who defied the world in 1965 when he declared self-rule from Britain, has been denied a new Zimbabwean passport until he renounces his British citizenship, a minister said on Wednesday.

Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo denied claims by Smith that the government had stripped him of Zimbabwean citizenship, saying the country's last white leader was free to stay in Zimbabwe pending the normalisation of his citizenship status.

"In terms of the laws of Zimbabwe, if one or both parents are born outside the country, you need to renounce your right to the citizenship of their country of birth," Nkomo told Reuters.

"I understand he has not done that yet. He can still do that, but while he is doing that he is not entitled to a Zimbabwean passport. We have not stripped him of his citizenship," Nkomo added.

Smith, whose Zimbabwean passport has expired, accused the government of President Robert Mugabe of taking away his citizenship by refusing to renew his passport.

"I just learnt yesterday (Tuesday) that my citizenship had been confiscated. It has been taken away from me. This is totally unacceptable to me. After all I was born here 83 years ago," said Smith, who turns 83 next month.

Smith said in the absence of a Zimbabwean passport, he would be making alternative arrangements to travel to Britain and the United States, where he had prior engagements, this week.

He termed the government action illegal and said he would be challenging the move in courts of law.

"In these circumstances, I believe the actions the authorities have taken are illegal. If they don't restore my citizenship, which I am entitled to my birthright here, then I will be forced to go to the court," he added.

The move to deny Smith a passport comes just over a week after controversial presidential elections in Zimbabwe, widely condemned as unfair by the opposition, many local and foreign observers and Western nations.

Support for MDC

Smith said he supported calls for fresh elections in Zimbabwe, where Mugabe, in power since 1980, is accused of blatantly rigging the polls pitting him against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. He said the international community must help set up a transitional government.

"We are really in a state of total disarray," Smith said.

Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for a year last week after the group's election observers accused Mugabe of electoral fraud.

Zimbabwe's government has dismissed the fraud accusations as being made by Western powers who want to see Mugabe ousted because he was seizing white-owned farms for distribution to landless blacks.

The Zimbabwe government ordered citizens with dual nationality to renounce their British citizenship in 1984, a measure London never recognised.

Smith endorsed main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the March elections won by Mugabe.

Smith took what was then Rhodesia into white-run isolation in 1965, refusing black majority rule.

But a brutal seven-year guerrilla war led to a political settlement in 1979, which culminated in black majority independence in 1980.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

 From: Democratic Alliance  (South Africa)



DA Leader Tony Leon returned on Monday from a very successful trip to
Germany and Hungary, where he focussed primarily on the Zimbabwe crisis and
prospects for its resolution.

Leon held meetings with his German Free Democratic Party (FDP) counterpart,
Doctor Guido Westerwelle, as well as FDP honorary president and Friedrich
Naumann Stiftung (FNS) chairman Doctor Otto Graf Lambsdorff. He met with
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder during celebrations for former German Foreign
Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher's 75th birthday.

Addressing the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin last Wednesday,
Leon called on European countries to condemn the massive violation of human
rights in Zimbabwe, and that country's fraudulent presidential election. He
said an unequivocal commitment to democracy and the rule of law was needed in

"This will send a clear message of hope to the people of Zimbabwe and a
clear message of denunciation to Mugabe," said Leon.

He further called on Europe to:
- Isolate Zimbabwe;
- Broaden targeted sanctions to include senior figures in Mugabe's government;
- Give essential humanitarian aid to the people of Zimbabwe.

"What Mugabe is hoping is that the world will lose interest in Zimbabwe.
Then he will resume his corrupt rule," Leon said. He added that the post-war history
of the West's relationship with Africa suggested that when African states
collapsed, the West looked the other way.

"But I believe there is a growing understanding that the flipside of
globalisation means you cannot ring-fence the problems of Africa - disease,
poverty and unemployment know no boundaries ... we want Africa to be proud,
prosperous and free."

Leon went on to call for a tougher line on Zimbabwe while addressing the
51st Liberal International Congress on Good Governance in Budapest, Hungary, on
Saturday. He also thanked the congress for passing a resolution condemning
the outcome of the recent "fraudulent" presidential election there.

"The next few weeks are critical: President Robert Mugabe has now taken the
gloves off and his promise of 'national unity and the spirit of brotherhood'
has already been broken. How we deal with President Mugabe's increasing defiance
and the collapse of the rule of law will be a defining moment," Leon told the
congress. "It will test the commitment to the fundamental principles of
freedom, democracy, good governance and the rule of law in Southern Africa."

He said President Thabo Mbeki's "very tepid" support for the decision to
suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth was regrettable. "And the ANC's endorsement of the election result as representing the 'will of the people of Zimbabwe' was deplorable."

Leon said this made a mockery of Nepad which stated that Africa undertook to
respect global standards of democracy, which include political pluralism,
and open, free and democratic elections to enable the populace to choose their
leaders freely.

He said the DA and the ANC also had fundamentally different solutions to the
ongoing political crisis in Zimbabwe. "The ANC government wants a government
of national unity to promote national reconciliation and economic recovery. But
this must surely be impossible under the current circumstances. We want an
interim government of national unity to restore political stability, the
rule of law and democracy by preparing for fresh, internationally supervised and
observed, presidential elections," he said. "What the people of Zimbabwe
really need is a radical departure from the policy of 'quiet diplomacy' and 'good


Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon and Inkatha Freedom Party leader
Mangosuthu Buthelezi shared a stage in Durban two weeks ago to explore the possibility of extending co-operation between the two parties in KwaZulu-Natal. The IFP and DA already co-govern eight municipalities in the province. The 1300 IFP and 200 DA local government councillors in the province attended the meeting at the
Durban Exhibition Centre, which was also addressed by Kwazulu Natal Premier, Lionel
Mtshali, and DA Provincial Leader, Roger Burrows.

Addressing the meeting, Leon said, "South Africa cannot do without the
voices of the IFP and the DA in the current crisis. We share an approach to many of
the most urgent problems. We are both parties of federalism and the rule of law;
we both believe that the market economy, if freed to do so, can be used
responsibly to assault the battlements of unemployment and poverty; we are at one with the need to provide anti-retroviral drugs to pregnant women with HIV; and, we
share a belief that the skills flight can be turned around by urgently
implementing the right policies."

The IFP and the DA did not need to agree on all policies and on all issues.
"We are not the same. But we have similarities. We do not prescribe to one
view - we, in fact, respect differing views. But let us join together and stand
together for the greatest causes of our time and the challenges which confront our land - deepening democracy, strengthening good governance and delivering to the people," Leon said.

Echoing these views, Buthelezi said only by bringing people together could
problems be solved. "I am not suggesting that the IFP and the DA should
eliminate their differences, or become one party. We are two distinct
parties and will continue to remain two distinct parties because we have two
different functions to perform in the making of South Africa's history."

Referring to the eight municipalities co-governed by the DA and IFP, he
said: "We did not choose to enter into this co-operative alliance at municipal
level because it was the simple or expedient thing to do. We chose it because we
knew it to be the difficult thing to do, but in truth the right and principled
thing to do."

But he believed we can work together as two distinct political
organisations, and when differences arose "we can sit down with a spirit of goodwill to
sort out those differences in a framework of mutual respect," Buthelezi said.
"The IFP and the DA are here to celebrate our having common and shared values.
This is the basis on which a co-operative alliance has been formed in respect of
municipalities. We want to prove that the IFP and the DA can govern at the
local level better than anyone else. We must prove our fitness to govern where it
counts the most."


The inaugural Federal Congress to launch the Democratic Alliance is now less
than three weeks away. It will take place at the Nasrec Exhibition Centre
South of Johannesburg from 13 - 14 April, and approximately 1300 people are
expected to attend.

The first order of business will be the adoption of the Party's Constitution.
Considerable work has already gone into this. More than 40 people have
worked on the document, and comments have been incorporated as broadly as possible.
The final document is presently being refined for presentation to the Congress.

The Congress will also receive a reportback from the DA delegates on the
SADC and SA Parliamentary Observer Missions to Zimbabwe, and consider resolutions
on such matters as the arms deal, solutions to crime, HIV/AIDS and the Basic
Income Grant.

Deputy Minister Anna Nyamekye of the New Patriotic Party in Ghana has
accepted an invitation to address the Congress as guest speaker. The NPP is a
co-affiliate of Liberal International, and was one of the first liberal
parties to be elected to Government in Africa.

You can also keep up to date with the latest news and speeches by visiting
our website at
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Day

Shadow of Zimbabwe could blight Nepad


THIS is a critical time for President Thabo Mbeki's African renaissance
plan. The New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) has become a
defining policy aim of his presidency.

And SA's response to the Zimbabwe election will be the first real test of
Nepad's credibility.

Nepad documents recognise the reality of Africa's economic marginalisation
"Africa's peripheral and diminishing role in the world economy." The policy
is anchored on the objective of ending exclusion from a swiftly globalising
world economy in order to extricate Africans from the malaise of
underdevelopment and exclusion.

Although Nepad is unique in several respects, two attributes stand out as
particularly original. Both are crucial to an understanding of Nepad's
Zimbabwe crisis.

First, Nepad is an African initiative centred on African ownership and
African management. Nepad documents stress the importance of the policy
being based on what Africa's leaders consider to be necessary for the
renaissance of the continent.

Second, Nepad is an extraordinarily wide and comprehensive plan based on
policy initiatives in several areas. At national level Nepad prioritises
economic and political good governance, peace and security.

At international level Nepad urges changes in the regulation of the world
economy, better and more generous development aid and debt relief.

Nepad represents a distinct break from past initiatives. It links domestic
reforms to calls for a new global partnership between Africa and the
developed countries of the north that will result in Africa being able to
participate in the global economy on the basis of fair and just conditions.

Domestic and international initiatives are closely interlinked, and for
Nepad to succeed progress has to be made simultaneously in both areas.

Nepad's democracy and political governance initiative argues "it is
generally acknowledged that development is impossible in the absence of true
democracy". It then goes on to define the basic components of democracy
"which include political pluralism and fair, open and democratic elections
to enable the people to choose their leaders freely".

Nepad then boldly states "Africa undertakes to respect the global standards
of democracy" in line with principles of "transparency, accountability,
integrity, respect for human rights and the promotion of the rule of law".

Fine words, but did Zimbabwe's elections really meet such standards? Several
observer missions reached highly polarised conclusions.

Thus far, SA's policy has been confused and confusing. On one hand, Mbeki
"noted and accepted" the SA observer mission report, accepting the poll was
legitimate but not free.

On the other hand, Mbeki and President Olesegun Obasanje of Nigeria, with
Australian Prime Minister Howard, suspended Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth
to express its displeasure "with the weakness in the recent electoral

Nepad is being damaged by this polarisation of views. To be effective, it
has to be based on an effective partnership between Africa and the developed
countries of the north.

The deal is simple. Africa promotes domestic reform based on political and
economic good governance. The west promotes structural reforms leading to
better market access, debt relief and enhanced development aid.

The first real test of the Nepad partnership, the Zimbabwe elections, has
exposed just how difficult this process is going to be. Convincing the
industrialised G-8 nations to invest in this partnership has now become a
lot more difficult.

Gibb is with the University of Plymouth UK, and a visiting fellow at the
University of Cape Town.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Star (SA), 26 March

Protesters demand SA take action against Zim

About 100 people picketed outside parliament on Tuesday to demand the South
African government take a stand against human rights abuses in neighbouring
Zimbabwe. Friends of Zimbabwe chairperson Bertha Zakeyo said the group was
also protesting against the response of the South African observers and
parliament to that country's controversial presidential election. "We come
to parliament because we feel deeply disappointed that our parliament has
endorsed such a sham of an election. We come to parliament because we are
deeply disappointed and confused by the position of the SA observer mission
to the Zimbabwe election," she said in a statement handed to a parliamentary
official. Robert Mugabe was re-elected Zimbabwe's president earlier this
month in a poll that Western observers have condemned as severely flawed.
South Africa's observer mission, however, described the vote as "legitimate"
while its Parliament endorsed it as "credible".

The group - made up largely of Zimbabweans working in South Africa and
University of Cape Town students - was joined by "concerned South Africans".
These included human rights activist Rhoda Kadalie, the Treatment Action
Campaign's Zackie Achmat and Andries Botha, a Democratic Alliance MP and
member of parliament's observer mission. The protesters displayed placards
that read "Mr Mbeki, don't forsake the people of Zimbabwe", "People of
Zimbabwe deserve the truth" and "Mugabe - no friend of the rand". They
called on the SA government to take an unequivocal stand against human
rights abuses in Zimbabwe, and urged it to speak out on a clamp-down on
press freedom and the breakdown of the rule of law. "The futures of South
Africa and Zimbabwe are inextricably linked. May we share a future where our
brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe enjoy the same human rights, the right to
dignity and justice that we do here in South Africa," the group said in its
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From SABC News, 27 March

African leaders agree on governance

Leaders of a dozen African countries, including some of the region's most
powerful figures, agreed yesterday to set up a new body to enforce standards
for governance across the troubled continent, but gave little indication of
whether it would have any teeth. Tired of lectures on good governance and
democracy from former colonial powers, the leaders of countries from Algeria
to South Africa agreed to set up an "African peer review mechanism",
independent from governments and "designed, owned and managed by Africans".
Opening the one-day summit in Abuja of the New African Partnership on
Development (Nepad), Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigerian President, declined to
mention Zimbabwe by name, but the dilemma raised by the troubled southern
African country was clearly on everyone's mind.

Earlier this month, Obasanjo and President Thabo Mbeki, his South African
counterpart, sided with John Howard, Australia's Prime Minister, in
suspending Zimbabwe for a year from the Commonwealth because of the violence
and intimidation surrounding this month's elections there. The decision
caused some unease in Africa, because of a perception that it was former
colonial power Britain and its Western allies that were dictating terms to
an African country. In a communique read out after the meeting, signed by
presidents and ministers from Algeria, Congo, Gabon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mali,
Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, SA, and Tunisia, the
leaders pledged to promote a series of good governance initiatives and seek
more trade with the West. The new "peer review mechanism" must be "credible,
transparent and all-encompassing so as to demonstrate that African leaders
are fully aware of their responsibilities and obligations to their peoples",
the leaders said.

They agreed that what they called the "technical aspects" of the mechanism
should be "conducted by an independent, credible African institution
separate from the political process and structures". Apart from political
standards, the leaders also agreed what they called the "draft codes and
standards for sound macro-economic and public financial management and
accountability among members". They also agreed a set of demands to be put
to an upcoming meeting of the world's eight most developed nations in Canada
in June on access to rich Western markets for African goods. The African
leaders said they had noted with "satisfaction" the commitments made by the
Western powers at this month's UN poverty summit in Monterrey, Mexico, "to
provide increased funding for Africa's development" and "expressed the hope
that these commitments will be speedily actualised". The group, which is to
hold its next meeting in June during the World Food Summit in Rome followed
by a meeting in SA in July, called on Mbeki to lead a sub-committee looking
into ways of ending conflict on the continent.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

From News24 (SA), 26 March

Devaluation of Z$ seen in May

Harare - Zimbabwe's government is likely to devalue the dollar by May ahead
of the start of the tobacco auction season, but that massive maize imports
and debt servicing considerations will limit its scope, analysts said. The
Zimbabwe dollar has been fixed at 55 to the US dollar since November 2000,
and analysts expect it to be devalued to between 80 and 100. But this would
still be far out of line with a black market level of between 300 and 330.
Many analysts believe fair value is around 200, taking into account widening
inflation differentials between Zimbabwe, whose deepening economic crisis
has led to annual inflation of around 117%, and its trading partners.
Tobacco auction floors open on May 15 against the background of a worsening
standoff between Zimbabwe and the international community following
President Robert Mugabe's controversial March 9-11 election victory. Tobacco
is Zimbabwe's largest foreign currency earner, accounting for a third of
total receipts.

"Everyone agrees that the Zimbabwe dollar is overvalued and has to be
devalued, but at a time when you are going to have big imports of maize it
becomes a question of how much," said Tony Hawkins, a business professor at
the University of Zimbabwe. "A devaluation will increase the costs of
imports, and some people in government will use this to argue against it. We
will devalue but it is not going to be enough," he said. The Zimbabwe
government had resisted calls for the devaluation of the dollar, wary of
triggering a surge in food prices before the presidential election. Annual
inflation is currently at around 117%. The former British colony is in its
worst economic crisis since independence in 1980. Unemployment is sky-high
and there are acute foreign currency and food shortages.

The country's economic woes have been largely blamed on the government's
seizure of white-owned farms for the resettlement of landless blacks. A
drought and reduced crop output following farm invasions since 2000 has led
to a massive grain deficit. Zimbabwe needs to import up to 600 000 tons of
maize this year to meet domestic demand after output fell to 1.5 million
tons in the 2000/01 season from 2.04 million tons. The country is expected
to produce at best 1 million tons of maize from the 2001/02 (November-March)
cropping season against domestic demand of 1.8 million tons. In addition to
grain, Zimbabwe also imports fuel from Libya and is struggling to meets its
payments for electricity purchases from South African power utility Eskom.

"They might not want to devalue because of the implications on fuel,
electricity and foreign debt. They have not been servicing their debt for
sometime," said Witness Chinyama, a Harare based economist. Zimbabwe
defaulted on its debt payments with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in
February last year and has fallen into arrears with other bodies. Last June,
Finance Minister Simba Makoni estimated arrears at US$600 million, but
analysts reckon this has since ballooned to over US$1.0 billion. Since
January 2001, the government has moved to restructure its domestic debt -
shifting debt from predominantly short-term to longer-dated securities - an
exercise which analysts said has created an artificially low interest rate
environment. Independent estimates put the domestic debt at Z$227 billion, a
large chunk of which has become long term. "There is no way out without
international assistance. We need to regularise relations with the
international community," said Hawkins.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Independent (UK), 27 March

'Sluggish' response from donor nations contributes to starvation fears in

Durban - The World Food Programme warned yesterday of imminent mass
starvation in several drought-struck southern African countries, including
traumatised Zimbabwe. In all, 2.6 million people across the region were
"already suffering from severe food shortages". The UN agency appealed for
an "urgent response" from donor nations, whose response to the growing
crisis it described as "sluggish". The worst-hit countries are Zambia,
Malawi, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique, which two years ago
suffered from calamitous floods. In Zimbabwe - where opposition activists
and supporters continue to be harassed, arrested and beaten following what
has been condemned as President Robert Mugabe's "stolen" election victory -
the WFP has only a third of the £42m it needs to help half a million people.
The British Government donated at least £3.5m of that.

Food aid to Zimbabwe could run out by July. Drought has combined with the
mass displacement of people and the state-sponsored invasion by the
land-hungry poor of 4,000 commercial farms, to seriously disrupt production
in a sector that used to be a surplus exporter for the country. Its maize
crop is half of what it used to be. Inflation of 117 per cent, and high food
demand, which has pushed up informal market prices, has put much food beyond
the reach of many millions of the poorest people. Zimbabwe may have to
import more than a million tons of maize and, according to the WFP, "the
number of people needing food aid is set to rise. Skipping meals and
eliminating the staple maize-meal from diets will likely continue. Southern
African countries face a "significant rise in food aid needs in the months
ahead, which will compound critical food aid shortfalls for 2.6 million
people already suffering from severe food shortages".

Natural disasters and the high price of maize have made hundreds of
thousands of people reliant on food aid for survival, says the WFP. Poor
donor response means it urgently needs £48m (to buy 145,866 tons of food) to
stave off a break in food supplies. Judith Lewis, the regional director for
east and southern Africa, said: "Much more must swiftly be done to stave off
the spread of hunger and malnutrition. Now is the time to act to prevent
what is now a crisis from developing into a major disaster." WFP believes a
bad April-May harvest will bring low yield and great hardship, exacerbated
by a "vicious dry spell, which has swept through the region and withered
crops. Coming on the heels of a similarly poor 2000-01 crop, the effect of
this year's poor harvest could be devastating".

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe: Top musician, Mapfumo, slams election,                         22. March 2002

By Joy Mutare and Sean Barlow

Singer, composer and bandleader, Zimbabwe's world famous musician, Thomas
Mapfumo, has a thirty-year career of prolific recording and performing in
Zimbabwe. His chimurenga songs are identified with the liberation struggle
against the white minority regime in Rhodesia of the 1970s.
Post-independence, Mapfumo's songs have addressed head-on, serious issues
such as corruption, land reform and now the conduct of the presidential
elections, much to the displeasure of President Robert Mugabe's ruling
ZANU-PF party. On March 18, one week after Zimbabwe's disputed presidential
election, Joy Mutare, a Zimbabwean radio professional living in New York
City and Afropop Worldwide Producer Sean Barlow, interviewed Mapfumo in
Oregon where he now lives with his family.

-We want to know what you think happened with the elections in Zimbabwe

Well, well, well, well, well... this is quite a sad story. You heard from
the news what happened. I don't think this was a free and fair election.
They were NOT free and fair. They were rigged from the very beginning.

-Why would you say that?

Because a lot of people did not vote. You heard from the news always that
people were being harassed. People were being beaten up in the pubs,
everywhere, in the townships. People were asked if they had ZANU-PF cards...
When I went to Zimbabwe myself (over Christmas holidays 2001) I went to see
my folks in the rural area. I met a young group of people. They started
asking about ZANU-PF membership cards. What has that got to do with the
people? What is ZANU? ZANU is not Zimbabwe.

-What do you think about us Zimabweans living abroad not being allowed to
vote? Not having an absentee ballot?

This is something. You have to fight for your rights. Everyone has the right
to vote for whomever he wants or she wants. So this is ridiculous. I mean
you are a Zimbabwean citizen. And to be denied the right to vote, I don't
think that's good enough.

-What do you think should be the first step for us Zimbabweans living
abroad? Should we go the embassies?

You should be united. You must add your voice to what happened. If you just
keep quiet... it's like what is happening today back home. A lot of people
are grumbling but that does not help. You have to go out in the street and
protest and show everyone that this was not a free and fair election. Yeah,
you really got to do that. Just by sitting at home and feeling bad does not
help at all. You have to act.

-We need leadership, and for a very long time you have been one of our
biggest leaders through your music. You have been able to fight unfairness
within the government... now the government has effectively banned some of
your music. How are we going to continue the fight when our leaders are
leaving the country?

Myself, I'm not running away from anything. I'm not even afraid for my own
life. I'm not afraid of them. Zimbabwe is still my home. I could fly there
tonight and I could be there tomorrow. No one is going to stop me. Because I
know the people are behind me. So if the people are behind me, why should I
be afraid?! I'm not afraid of anyone.

-Congratulations on your latest cassette "Chimurenga Rebel" which has sold
over 30,000 copies in two days. Is that a correct figure?

It is very true, but now the people (in Zimbabwe) have been intimidated.
Some people who had been seen buying this type of music were warned. People
are just afraid just to play the music because of the violence which is
going on there. This record should have sold more than 100,000 copies but
because of the intimidation which is going on there people are afraid to buy
the music. Because they are afraid of being victimized.

-Is the song "Marima Nzara" on "Chimurenga Rebel" a political statement?
What is it saying?

"Marima Nzara" is a song about the situation. What is happening today. The
situation has started deteriorating. People are now suffering from hunger
because there are food shortages. And a lot of things are missing in the
country. There is no foreign currency. People are suffering. I mean this is
only the beginning! If people don't realize where they are headed then they
are in deep waters. They are in deep waters.

-So "nzara" means hunger,yes?

Yeah, by fighting against the commercial farmers and harassing them, what
are we creating?! We are inviting hunger.

-So that is your stand on the land issue?

Yes. That is my stand. I'm not saying our people don't need land. Our people
need land. But it must be done in a proper manner where everyone should be
left satisfied.

-What do you think about the fact that the international community is
telling Zimbabwe what to with their policies, as far as imposing sanctions.
Do you think they are justified or not justified?

They are justified. Because as you can see, we're saying the elections were
not free and fair. The EU monitors left the country because there was no
fairness in these elections. They were actually rigged a long, long time
ago. Before we even started talking about them, they had started rigging the

-What do you think about the support that Mugabe is getting from all... the
fact that (South African President) Thabo Mbeki is not saying anything
against what happened in Zimbabwe?

Because they are the same. Birds of a feather flock together. I'm talking
about certain African leaders who do not want to let go of the power. Those
are his (Mugabe's) friends. They act like him. You can look at people like
Moi (President of Kenya). He does not want to let go of power. He's just the
same. That country Kenya. What do you get from Kenya or Namibia? Namibia can
not feed Zimbabwe. But those European countries. They were the donors. They
were helping Zimbabwe to develop. And today we don't want to talk to them,
we don't want to see them. So who is going to help us?

-So what is the way forward?

The way forward is for every Zimbabwean to be united and fight against this
evil system.

Thomas, I'm interested in what you said a while back in the interview, you
said you're a musician concerned with the events of his country, and you're
even considering yourself as a politician. Do you mean that you may be
thinking of running for a political office in Zimbabwe?

I want to work for the people of Zimbabwe. Maybe I'm not going to join any
political party, but I just want to work for the people of Zimbabwe, for
their better tomorrow, for a better Zimbabwe. That's exactly what I want to do.

-What is the song "Huni" on your new cassette "Chimurenga Rebel" about?

"Huni" is about the harassment that is going on in Zimbabwe . You can't play
around with the people. They have got the mandate and the power to choose

-Well how do we have the power if the power is seemingly being taken away
from us? If millions of people who want to vote are not allowed to vote?

You've got to find a way to fight against the system. We have to do
something. We have to be united, to find a way forward... like I said you
have to go out in the streets and protest. Show the world that this was
indeed wrong. Show the world. You have to show the world! And the outside
world cannot just sit back and look at you people suffering. They will do
something about it.

-Do you think Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC would have been the better option
than the government of Robert Mugabe?

You can never tell. You can never know what happens with these politicians.
They can say something today and tomorrow they will be speaking a different
language. You have to be very careful with a lot of these politicians. They
promise you something today and tomorrow they don't do exactly that. You
remember when Zanu-PF came into power. They were promising people lots of
things like our children having free education, free medical aid, and things
like that. Is that happening today? It's not happening. So you can't trust
the politicians. You have to trust yourself and trust the people. Trust the
people because they are the majority. Whatever they say - If the people are
satisfied with (Morgan) Tsvangirai (presidential candidate in recent
elections), give him a chance to rule... And another thing, why isn't
Tsvangirai given a chance to speak to people on the television? Or even
through the radio? Because they (Zanu-PF and the government) know that
Tsvangirai might have something that is actually going to upset them.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Ministry Reviews Applications to Hike Prices of Basic Goods

The Herald (Harare)

March 26, 2002
Posted to the web March 27, 2002

THE Ministry of Industry and International Trade has started reviewing
applications by companies to increase prices of monitored basic commodities.

Secretary in the ministry Mr Stuart Comberbach said several companies had
submitted statements of production costs which a tripartite committee
comprising the Government, labour and private sector was studying.

"The Price Monitoring and Surveillance Unit is reviewing requests for the
price increases from producers of commodities such as beef, cooking oil,
margarine, fertilisers, cement, soap, bricks, agro-chemicals and
stockfeeds," said Mr Comberbach.

He said the unit had admitted that some companies had cited high production
costs as the major setback to the manufacturing of basic commodities.

"The Ministry of Industry and International Trade, through the unit, has
held extensive discussions with the relevant industries concerning the
pricing of basic commodities," Mr Comberbach said.

The price-monitoring exercise, particularly on basic commodities, was meant
to make basic goods available and affordable to the consumer.

Mr Comberbach said 141 inspectors comprising officials from the ministries
of Industry and International Trade and Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare were doing the monitoring.

He said the industries were not against price controls as they had indicated
that the prices of basic commodities would drastically be reduced if they
were to source foreign currency at the official exchange rate.

The industry was sourcing forex at the parallel rates.

Government last year re-introduced price controls when most consumers were
failing to access basic commodities because of soaring prices.

Products like maize meal, sugar, cooking oil, fertiliser and agro-chemicals
were scarce on the market.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Students Shy Away From Open Discussion On Activate Reports

East Cape News (Grahamstown)

March 27, 2002
Posted to the web March 27, 2002

Mike Loewe

Only about 30 Rhodes students attended a half- hour open forum yesterday
called to discuss a report in the student newspaper Activate about the
Zimbabwe election.

No cameras were allowed in order to protect the identity of students
following incidents of harassment on Rhodes campus and back in Zimbabwe.

On Friday a Rhodes student's father was punched and his car damanged by
thugs in Harare who demanded to know if his daughter was involved in
organising a march to be held at Rhodes the next day.

No Zimbabwean students out of 600 on campus attended yesterday's discussion
on the library lawns, which was a repeat of Saturday's march of about 200
South African students through town, which was led by vice-chancellor Dr
David Woods.

Woods has been highly supportive of the student journalists and has
condemned the abuse of human rights in Zimnbabwe.

One student yesterday described the Activate reports on Zimbabwe, which was
distributed with the latest edition on campus yesterday, as "tame", while
Rhodes University Journalism head professor Guy Berger and journalism
writing lecturer Rod Amner called the reports and the edition in general
well-written, balanced and informed.

Students deplored the intimidation of Zimbabwe students on campus and their
relatives back home saying that supporters of both the ruling Zanu-PF party
and the opposition MDC had to be allowed to freely debate the issues.

They called for students from the two parties to excercise their rights to
academic freedom and free speech to come forward and publicly address

ECN learned that only a handful of students were involved in incidents of
intimidation on campus, and that most Zanu-PF supporters opposed their

Some students felt that South African students -- who were being groomed to
be future leaders -- were now free to discuss any issue, but were too afraid
"or apathetic" to use this hard-won freedom.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

There Was a Man Who Once Fought Windmills

Accra Mail (Accra)

March 27, 2002
Posted to the web March 26, 2002

E. Ablorh-Odjidja

Mugabe, the ineffectual leader

It is getting closer to legacy time. Soon Mugabe will be known as an
ineffectual leader in spite of his history as a freedom fighter. He has
chosen brutal politics over institution building. Through foul means, he has
re-instated himself as president of Zimbabwe for another term. Remarkably,
the presidential club of Africa, the African Union, supports him.

Mugabe, now 78 years and already 22 years in office, is in for another six
years. How one could not see this as greedy and brazen act, or not be
angered by it, is unimaginable. The members of the presidential club of
Africa do not, because their own chances for victory at the next local poll
demand tactics like Mugabe's.

Thus opportunity to solve a critical issue like smooth transition and
succession to a presidency in Africa is ignored, and one crucial act of
institution building is disregarded. The message is clear: African leaders
do not want self government in Africa. They want fiefdoms.

Mugabe was elected to office in 1980. His new term will expire in 2008. By
then, he would have been in office long enough for a baby born the first
year of his presidency to be 28 years old. Together with those much older,
they will suffer the same cruel fate of knowing only one political
leadership in Zimbabwe, one exercised by none other than his Excellency

This, in simple terms, is a deprivation that promotes political immaturity.
In Zimbabwe today, the talent pool that should flow to nourish the
presidency is stemmed while all wait for Mugabe's exit. Soon, this young
country will emerge emaciated, looking nothing like she was at independence,
and the white man will say "I told you so!"

This is the same white man we want to prove wrong for colonizing Africa.
Yet, with characters like Mugabe around, it has been difficult to do so.
They stand in the way, and use up every resource Africa has to mobilize for
self emancipation to serve their own selfish interest.

The land question in Zimbabwe is a case in point. It is a critical issue
that will dog all in southern Africa. On it also rest some critical issues
affecting all Africa. Its solution depends on effective leadership, which
Mugabe has proven lately that he is not. Yet, he has proscribed from the
position all who show promise. And, in the process, he has managed to turn
the prosecution of the land issue into a hand to hand combat with the whole
white world.

Sadly, some in Africa are cheering Mugabe on. And some are condemned to
watch him pathetically flay at the windmill. Yes, there was a man who once
fought windmills in a similar manner.

It has become disconcerting to watch this man, Mugabe, who could have been a
great resource as an elder statesman at his age, carry on in this manner: A
man who could have served with Mandela behind the parapet, is now out there
on an arthritic horse, waging a public relations battle he has already lost.

Unfortunately, he is the same man African leaders side with; choosing
solidarity with tyranny over good governance in Africa. While the March 15
elections were unfair to most, they appeared fair to them. And for all the
talk about African Union, it took urging from mostly white members of the
Commonwealth for Nigeria and South Africa to back track from their initial
position of support of Mugabe.

For some in Africa, to support Mugabe is the thing to do, the black thing so
to speak; also known as knee jerk reaction to all presumed white offences.
In such manner, Africa keeps wrapping legitimate issues around sham leaders,
even when these fellows are dangerous to black interest. The white man knows
this and has consistently exploited this weakness.

Perception wise, the white man ends up taking the higher ground in some
issues that are intricately bound to African interest. Believing falsely
that every single move by a white man is against Africa's interest, some
Africans are forced to contrary positions, and end up siding with unsavory
characters like Idi Amin, Sergeant Doe, Abacha and the like in a delusionary
defence of Africa. Supporting Mugabe on this election issue is a perfect
example of these failings.

Why not Tsvangirai? It is highly likely that Tsanvigrai hates the white land
grab as much as Mugabe does. With Tsvangirai or another political hopeful in
the lead, the struggle could have been given a different ethical dimension
than with Mugabe as the flag bearer.

After March 15, the land issue did not change with Mugabe in charge. One
could argue that conditions in Zimbabwe today are the direct result of
machinations of whites. But would these conditions now change because Mugabe
is again the president? Fat chance! The solution will be postponed while all
eyes are fixed on Mugabe.

Conditions might not even change under Tsvangirai. But in that instance the
perfidy of those who claimed to stand for peaceful resolution while Mugabe
was around would be exposed.

In response to a question posed by Newsweek International in the March 11,
2002 issue; whether another six years term in office "is enough time to have
completed (his) mission," Mugabe said "The mission is just about completed.
The white man has lost most of the land that he controlled. We want to
conclude the exercise of acquiring the land. But also empowering the people,
ensuring that they have access to the means of production, fertilizer,
tillage, seed and even the know-how. Also we must improve their cattle
farming. We can do that in two year's time."

It has taken Mugabe 22 years so far. Now, he says, he can solve it in two.
Was there ever a land problem?

Suddenly, two years are long enough for him to turn once landless peasants
into productive farmers.

And there is no worry about turbulence in the national economy even though
Zimbabwe is an agriculture dependent country. Does Mugabe really understand
the size of the problem?

But the final blow came when asked in the same interview that "there's been
talk that if you win, you might turn over power to somebody else if you are
satisfied the land issue has been resolved."

Then the real Mugabe came out. He said "No, there is no deal like that. Some
think the moment we go, then things will fall apart. Leaders do not emerge
just like that." In this simple statement lies the golden truth. Mugabe is
not overly anxious to leave. He has no apparent heirs; except two
constitutional vice-presidents who are 80 and 78 years old respectively.

Tomorrow when pent up frustration explodes in a coup or unrest, some in
Africa will blame it on others knowing fully well that they have chosen the
cult of Mugabe over institution building.

As an African-American friend lamented to me the other day, Liberia, he
said, "was founded some 130 years ago, the only country not colonized in
Africa. Yet, when Doe and a bunch of rascally soldiers decided to take over
the country there was no institution strong enough in Liberia to stand in
their way." That is sad, indeed!
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

Africans now need liberation from their liberators

3/27/02 8:07:04 AM (GMT +2)

THE Zimbabwe saga threatens to exacerbate further portending more suffering
for the masses of Zimbabwe whether they voted for Uncle Bob or Brother

The Commonwealth has slapped a one-year suspension on Zimbabwe, contrary to
initial speculations that African/Asian/Pacific/Caribbean member states
would oppose the white Commonwealth led by Britain.

The European Union, again orchestrated by Downing Street, is expected to
increase the scope of the so-called smart sanctions already imposed.

All these huffings and puffings are mere motions without movement. They are
not likely to cause any change in President Mugabe’s belligerence.

Indeed they play squarely into his belated Chimurenga Phase II rhetoric
laced with xenophobia and selective anti-imperialist posturing.

A number of contradictions on the part of those favouring sanctions also
help Mugabe’s strategy.

One, Zimbabwe is not the first and may not be the last, to hold an election
that is widely believed to have been interfered with.

The champagne-swigging Sassou Nguesso in the smaller Congo managed to secure
for himself another term in office with 90 percent of the vote after forcing
out his main opponent without as much as a whisper from neighbours and other
international busybodies.

President Levy Mwanawasa is sitting comfortably in State House in Lusaka
despite all the hullabaloo about the process that catapulted him into

On the basis of the past record of failure to reverse electoral
manipulation, Mugabe can hope to sit out his pariah status.

Two, the Commonwealth does not have a good record about election monitoring.

The standard report was always: “Though there were . . . blah . . . blah. .
. the outcome was a reflection of the wishes of the voters.”

On Zimbabwe they seem to have discovered a courage for clarity.

However, their verdict remains suspect due to perception of the motives and
interests behind this new courage.

I am sure that I was not alone in cringing when I saw former military ruler
of Nigeria, Retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar, giving the Commonwealth’s

This is a man who was part of a regime that jailed the winner (who later
died in prison) of the freest election ever held in Africa’s most populous
country. What a messenger!

Three, what essentially does suspension from the Commonwealth mean to
Mugabe? Pakistan remains excluded from it but post-11 September, General
Pervez Musharraf is not losing much sleep about it.

However valid one’s criticisms of the Commonwealth’s hypocrisy and Western
inconsistency, they should not absolve us of our own moral and political

The Southern African Development Community monitors declared the election
legitimate, while both the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and
the Organisation of African Unity observers were convinced the election was
free and fair.

How can we accuse foreigners of hypocrisy when we have multiple standards of
our own? What is legitimate may not be fair.

For instance, under apartheid whites had periodic elections that were
legitimate, but were they free and fair to the majority blacks?

However, there are many reasons why many Africans are ambiguous about
Zimbabwe. Most of our countries are still peasant-based societies,
therefore, land still draws passions.

When it is mixed with the fact of historical racial injustices, it’s a
potent brew in the hands of desperate political demagogues.

Also, the way in which Britain has led the campaign to isolate Mugabe
muddled the process. The pressure on African states to be outspoken on
Zimbabwe is also achieving the opposite effect.

Apart from many of them not being too different from Mugabe when it comes to
intolerance or the die-in-state-house mentality, there is also the fact that
it is not politically correct to be seen to be mouthpieces of the West.

If there is any positive lining to the dark clouds spreading over Zimbabwe,
it is a recognition that Africans have to and must be seen to take the lead
in resolving African conflicts.

The new African Union’s Constitutive Act of Union specifically bans not just
military coups, but also unconstitutional changes in government.

We need to look at unconstitutional means of remaining in power too.

In Zimbabwe it is not the outright crude rigging of ballots that did it for
Mugabe, rather it was inducing/coercing his supporters to go out and vote
while intimidating supporters of the opposition from voting or doing so

The February 2000 referendum was Mugabe’s rude shock. He lost because people
in rural areas voted with their feet, while the urban constituencies of the
opposition came out en masse.

One reason being used to justify Mugabe’s victory should make us worry about
the future of democratisation on this continent.

The fear that the army will not have accepted a change gives the military
undemocratic veto over the political process.

President Yoweri Museveni waded into the matter by reportedly saying freedom
fighters don’t give up power easily. It is another variant of the now
infamous advice by Libyan brother Muammar Gaddafi that “freedom fighters don
’t retire”.

Yes, freedom fighters may not give up the struggle, but why should state
lodges be the permanent command post of the struggle? Why should the freedom
struggle be dependent on just the leaders?

At this rate the people will need liberation from their liberators.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

C’wealth observers denounce Zanu PF violence

3/27/02 7:58:50 AM (GMT +2)

Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief Reporter

THE FULL Commonwealth Observer Group report on the presidential election,
won controversially by President Mugabe, acknowledges that Zanu PF
supporters raped and killed MDC supporters while the country’s official
security agents also terrorised opposition followers.

The observer team recommends the immediate repeal of all repressive laws
passed by Mugabe’s government in the run-up to the election, particularly
the Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act, designed to gag the media.

The 43-page detailed report says members of the group met numerous victims
of politically motivated violence, and many had bruises, scars and
axe-wounds all over their bodies.

“One victim we observed had the letters MDC carved into his back with a
sharp knife. Another victim was chained alive in a coffin and threatened
with drowning, while being repeatedly interrogated about the identities of
local MDC operatives.

“Members of our team in the Midlands met a woman who had been gang-raped by
Zanu PF youths because she was the sister of an MDC member,’’ the report

The team, led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar, the former Nigerian president
said in Mashonaland East province three politically motivated murders were
recorded in recent months “two of which were related to the MDC’’.

“One of those involved is a local school principal who was taken from his
schoolroom, dragged into the bush and clubbed to death because of his strong
association with the MDC in what was traditionally a strong Zanu PF area,’’
the report says.

The team said the other was a white farmer in Mashonaland East, who having
formally joined the MDC, was dragged from his farm and killed by having a
block of concrete dropped on his head.

The report noted that in Matabeleland North, John Sibanda, an MDC chairman
was axed to death, while in the Midlands an MDC operative was beheaded with
a spade.

The report said the team was shown scores of MDC offices and several
residences of MDC officials across the country attacked and destroyed by
Zanu PF supporters and a paramilitary youth group trained by the government
under a “National Youth Training Programme”.

It said there were also incidents of violence by MDC supporters against Zanu
PF followers. For instance the attack on Andy Mhlanga, the secretary-general
of the war veterans’ association. The report however noted that Zanu PF led
the terror campaign with the assistance of the security agents.

“However, the preponderance of political violence was perpetrated by Zanu PF
youths and supporters against known or suspected supporters of the MDC,’’
Abubakar’s team said.

The report said: “Throughout our stay in Zimbabwe, there were widespread
allegations of violence and intimidation by both major political parties but
more involved incidents by supporters of Zanu PF and agents of the security
services, against known or suspected MDC supporters.’’

The team also castigated the police’s refusal to attend to reported cases of
attacks against MDC supporters, saying it compromised the rule of law in the

It was evident that Zanu PF exploited its access to State resources for the
benefit of its electoral campaign, the group said.

It said that at several locations the observers saw trucks, buses and cars
belonging to various government agencies being used to ferry Zanu PF
supporters to rallies while Zanu PF campaign materials were stored in
government departments and police stations.

The team said it was concerned that the legislative framework within which
the election was conducted, particularly certain provisions of the Public
Order and Security Act and the General Laws Amendment Act was basically
flawed and prejudicially applied.

The group said it regretted the restrictions of civil society from
monitoring and observing the election, the disenfranchisement of thousands
of voters and the arbitrary powers of Tobaiwa Mudede, the Registrar-General
to remove people from the voters’ roll without their consent.

“Taking into account all of the foregoing, and recalling our mandate, we
have concluded that the conditions in Zimbabwe did not adequately allow for
a free expression of will by the electors in the 2002 presidential election,
’’ the team said.

The team recommended an urgent need for a cessation of the systematic use of
violence in political campaigns. especially against the MDC

Daily News

Church leaders slam Zanu PF

3/27/02 7:55:49 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

CHURCH leaders in separate interviews yesterday rebuked Zanu PF for leading
a violent campaign against the opposition in the aftermath of the
presidential election and called on political leaders to restrain their
supporters and encourage peace.

At least six people have been killed, 10 abducted and hundreds tortured in
post-election violence, while about 1 500 MDC polling agents and two MPs
have fled their homes fearing for their lives.

Archbishop Pius Ncube said it was distressing that leaders of the ruling
party are fomenting post-election violence using its youths, war veterans
and supporters, as they did in the run-up to the election.

The Catholic archbishop said the ruling party was instigating post-election
violence through its songs in the Hondo Yeminda series.

“That song which goes ‘Zanu Ndeyeropa’ is a violent song which promotes the
battering and killing of innocent people,” said Ncube, referring to Minister
of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation Elliot Manyika’s song
Norah. “Zanu PF rigged the election and won, why don’t they just accept that
and stop the violence?

“They should work for peace and to restore confidence in people.”
Densen Mafinyane, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches secretary-general, said
political leaders must speak the language of peace and tolerance if the
country is to prosper.

“Different opinions should not make us enemies; there should be
non-violence, reconciliation and forgiveness,” said Mafinyane.

Bishop Cephas Mukandi, of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, condemned the
mayhem which preceded the poll and the current wave of violence which has
gripped the country following the election.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

Mbeki issues veiled warning to Mugabe

3/27/02 7:57:25 AM (GMT +2)

By Sandra Nyaira Political Editor

SOUTH Africa’s President, Thabo Mbeki, has issued a veiled warning to
President Mugabe that the onus is on him and all political leaders in the
country to create a climate and conditions that can enable the region, the
international community and the Commonwealth to help revive its tattered
economy and implement the national reconciliation programme.

Writing in his weekly letter on his party’s website, ANC Today, Mbeki urged
Mugabe and his government to “avoid a further worsening of the situation” in
the country where politically motivated violence has left thousands homeless
and over 200 people dead.

“An important responsibility rests on the shoulders of the people of
Zimbabwe and their political leaders to create the climate and circumstances
that will enable us, our region, the Commonwealth and the rest of the world
to help implement this programme of national reconciliation and economic
recovery,” he said.

Mbeki was part of the Commonwealth troika that decided to suspend Zimbabwe
from the 54-nation grouping on the basis of a damning report compiled by its
observer mission.

“To be productive, our interventions can only be as friends who act to
support democracy, peace, stability and prosperity,” he said. “It is however
also true, as we have indicated, that the future of Zimbabwe is of direct
relevance to the future of our own country and our region. We are therefore
materially and directly interested in a Zimbabwe that is democratic,
peaceful, stable and prosperous.”

Mbeki said the situation in Zimbabwe held valuable lessons for South Africa,
and “as a country we must learn from the experiences of our neighbour, so
that we do not repeat mistakes”.

Mbeki said:”At the same time, we have to continue to strive to ensure that
the negative consequences of such mistakes do not spill over to any of the
countries of our region, including ourselves.”

Mbeki said Mugabe’s suspension, along with the provision of food aid and
help to resolve the land issue, had laid “the basis for Zimbabwe to
extricate itself from the political and economic crisis it confronts”.

The language used by Mbeki in his letter makes it clear he disapproves of
Mugabe’s current course of action.

“Zimbabwe and South Africa are immediate neighbours . . . being inextricably
linked to each other, we share a common destiny,” he wrote.

“For these reasons, we have been deeply concerned about the problems that
have afflicted Zimbabwe. Of particular importance, we have sought to
contribute everything we could to help the sister people of Zimbabwe to find
solutions to these problems, to avoid a further worsening of the situation.”

Mbeki obliquely criticised Mugabe’s lack of will to deal with land issues
when he was given the chance by the international community to do so. “The
international community agreed with the government of Zimbabwe on various
measures to be taken to help resolve the land question. Unfortunately, very
little happened to implement the decisions taken.”

Later, the South African government raised the funds to buy more than 100
farms to “resettle people who had illegally occupied a number of commercial
farms. Unfortunately, again, nothing came of this initiative”.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

Moyo threatens Nyarota

3/27/02 8:12:42 AM (GMT +2)

By Chief Reporter

GEOFFREY Nyarota, the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily News,faces a sentence of
up to two years in jail if Professor Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State
for Information and Publicity in President Mugabe's office goes ahead and
succeeds with with legal action which he has threatened against the editor.

The government, for the first time, this week took steps to implement its
controversial and draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act by moving against The Daily News, Zimbabwe’s only independent daily.

Moyo wrote a letter on Monday to Nyarota, threatening to institute legal
action against him after his paper published last Friday a story that the
minister described as patently false.

The story called for fresh elections in Zimbabwe. In his letter to Nyarota,
Moyo accused the Daily News Editor-in-Chief of repeatedly publishing false
information about the resolution adopted last Thursday by the African
Carribean Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly at
the end of a meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, calling for a fresh
presidential elections in Zimbabwe.

In a vote taken by secret ballot, the EU parliamentarians and national
parliamentarians from the ACP states voted 63 to two, with three
abstentions, in favour of the resolution calling for new elections in

Moyo said if Nyarota failed to make a public correction “of your deliberate
falsehood, please be advised that legal action will be taken in terms of
Section 80 (1)(a)(b) of the Access to the Information and Protection of
Privacy Act without further notice.”

Section 80 of the act deals with the abuse of journalistic privilege.
Subsections (1)(a)(b) state: “A journalist shall be deemed to have abused
his journalistic privilege and committed an offence if he falsifies or
fabricates information and publishes falsehoods.”

The Act says that anyone who contravenes the three subsections shall be
guilty of an offence and be liable to a fine not exceeding $100 000 or to
imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.

This is the first time the controversial Act has been invoked since became
law after Mugabe signed it last week. Nyarota received Moyo’s letter
yesterday and said immediately: “I would rather go to jail, if it pleases
the Honourable Minister, than be forced by him to publicly correct a story
that is 100 percent correct.

“If Moyo genuinely believes he can intimidate The Daily News in this manner
then it is patently clear he fails completely to comprehend how much the
paper values its independence.”

While Moyo alleged that Nyarota published a false story on an event that did
not happen, of the eight points passed by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary
Assembly, point number five specifically called for a fresh election in

That resolution stated: “The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly calls for
new elections to be held within the year under the auspices of the
Commonwealth and international community so as to allow all the people of
Zimbabwe the freedom to elect the president of their choice.”

The eighth point of the resolution instructed the ACP-EU Joint
ParliamentaryAssembly co-presidents to forward the resolution to the ACP-EU
council, the European Commission and to the government and Parliament of

The co-presidents of the group were also directed to forward the resolution
to the secretary-generals of the Commonwealth, SADC, OAU and the United
Nations and the presidents of the European Investment Bank, the World Bank
and the International Monetary Fund.

One of the clauses specifically called on Mugabe to repeal all draconian
laws including the Act that Moyo is now using to threaten Nyarota.

Clause Two states: “The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly calls on Mugabe
to drop all charges of treason immediately against the legitimate leader of
the opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, and his colleagues.

“And to rescind immediately all the draconian legislation proposed and
adopted by the government which has restricted the freedom of the media, and
democracy in Zimbabwe before, during and after the elections.”

Zimbabwe was represented by Paul Mangwana, the Deputy Minister of Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Chris Kuruneri the Deputy Minister of
Finance and Economic Development. They are both Zanu PF MPs.

Learnmore Jongwe, the MP for Kuwadzana and MDC spokesperson also attended
the meeting, which has criticised Mugabe in the past.

Daily News

MDC dismisses Herald story

3/27/02 7:59:46 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE MDC yesterday dismissed as “a pack of nonsense”, a front-page story in
the State-owned Herald alleging that its members had called for a special
congress to oust MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube, the
party’s secretary-general.

The newspaper yesterday alleged that some MDC members, at a victory
celebration party for three councillors in Kuwadzana, called for a special
congress to pass a vote of no confidence on Tsvangirai and Ncube. It alleged
that MDC supporters had lost faith in Tsvangirai, Ncube and Gift
Chimanikire, the party’s deputy secretary-general, who were allegedly
“making unilateral decisions”.

“On the contrary, Zanu PF members and the generality of Zimbabweans do not
have faith in the leadership of President Mugabe and his lieutenants, like
Joseph Made who has consistently lied to the nation on the food crisis,” MDC
spokesperson Learnmore Jongwe said.

“Zanu PF’s propaganda machinery wants to write fictitious stories about
Tsvangirai losing grip so as to divert public anger from the theft of
elections and mass starvation for which Zanu PF is responsible.”

Jongwe, who attended the victory celebrations in his constituency, said the
newspaper had lied that Alex Musundire, the MDC chairman for Chitungwiza,
attended the party. He said Musundire was in fact attending a party workshop
for the party’s provincial chairpersons in Matopos.

Jongwe said the MDC had full confidence in Tsvangirai and his entire
Back to the Top
Back to Index