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

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Zim Independent - letters

Mugabe knows he stole the vote

I WANT to thank you for offering us an alternative source of information,
particularly when the publicly owned papers and broadcasters have become too
partisan. I also wish to express my sentiments about the just-ended flawed
presidential election.

I received news on the outcome of the election with shock and despair and
remained in that state for 24 hours until I wept in prayer. I felt like I
had been sentenced to a six-year jail term for an offence I had not

After the prayer, I got relieved and realised that no one was going to free
us but ourselves. It is true, especially when neighbouring states have
betrayed us by declaring the election free and fair.

They decided to overlook the real tenets that make an election free and fair
and qualified them on the basis of voter turnout, although the same voters
were denied the right to vote. Surely this election was a non-event. Thanks
to the Commonwealth observer mission that reported accurately the situation
on the ground. What do the other observer missions have to say about the

· The violence, abductions and murders that were carefully planned by the
state and executed by the Zanu PF militia, war veterans, the police, the
army and individual ministers against MDC members and their perceived

· The crafting of laws that would suppress fundamental rules of freedom,
that is freedom of expression, association, movement etc? These were hurdles
put in the way of the MDC.

· The failure by public media organisations to give equal space and airtime
for campaigns by all presidential candidates? They all became campaign
agents for Zanu PF.

These factors should have been taken into account in determining the degree
of freedom and fairness in the electoral process.

We do not need foreigners to tell us how we feel about issues that affect
us. We know that the election was rigged in rural constituencies where MDC
observers were denied entry. Even President Mugabe himself knows that the
people of Zimbabwe rejected him. He is ruling by decree. I know for sure
that he is not settled at all because his conscience is tormenting him for

Fellow Zimbabweans, we are our own liberators. Let us not be fooled by the
likes of Ibbo Mandaza who also decided to evaluate the election on the basis
of campaign rallies each candidate held, voter turnout and inflated voter
figures from rural areas. These variables cannot be used to determine
whether an election was free and fair.

I say to you all, let us soldier on and rally our support behind the true
liberator who has proved capable of challenging the monster in our midst.

God is on our side. He might have chosen this course for us to avoid
bloodshed as Mugabe had sharpened his daggers in readiness for war in the
event Morgan Tsvangirai won the election. I believe he had a good plan for
us. Let's remain focused and trust in him.

Delfos Muchapondwa,


Business Day

Sadly, Mugabe is still with us

Dear Sir,
ROBERT Gabriel Mugabe will be with us at least another six years. We have
little choice but to deal with the man who has successfully poked his finger
up the nose of the west and got away with it, albeit with the slight
inconvenience of personal "smart" sanctions.

We will also have to deal with other unpleasantness Zimbabwe's ruined
economy, its current inability to feed itself, continued state-sponsored
violence and increasing corruption to name but a few. There is no shortage
of challenges facing ordinary Zimbabweans or those intent on talking to

The wily leader blatantly manipulated events and the law in his favour in
the run-up to the March 9-10 vote, reneged on or "reinterpreted" every
agreement made and undertaking given and said many vile things about his
opponents. An essentially powerless European Union (EU) was sidelined and
Africa remained supine.

Mugabe was supported to the hilt by the state-owned print and electronic
media, the security forces (including the military, the Central Intelligence
Organisation and the police), the statesponsored "Mugabe Jugend", or youth
movement, and self-styled war veterans.

While the EU, the US and others talk sanctions and SA speaks of economic
reconstruction and social stability "within a context of national unity",
Mugabe has his own plans. On Sunday, the long-time Maoist indicated that he
would press ahead with his land-reform programme a Nazi-like scheme to strip
white farmers of their land and hand it to his supporters on the
historically correct pretext that it had earlier been taken by conquest from
indigenous Zimbabweans.

Indications are that after them he will be moving on the country's small
urban Indian and coloured communities with the aim of redistributing their
commercial properties to his cronies, as he has the farms already taken.

This has severely disrupted food production. As famine begins to bite, areas
that voted for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai can expect no food aid
from the state, by law the only body that may distribute such aid. They can
expect more repression at the hands of Mugabe's thugs. Incidents of
"reprisal violence" for not voting for Mugabe are being reported.

The Movement for Democratic Change, the labour movement and other centres of
resistance are already under attack by way of tough laws passed shortly
before the election. Tsvangirai faces a treason charge on flimsy evidence
and stands accused of "plotting" to murder Mugabe. For him the noose, jail
or exile beckons. His party and its MPs face an equally bleak future.
Nothing but ill health or death prevents Mugabe from standing for
re-election again or simply just abolishing the polls.

Clad only with a thin veneer of legality he has done all this in plain view
of the world. Soon no legitimate way to oppose him will remain. He is secure
in his country from the threat of actual civil war and his neighbours as
well as allies will help secure his borders from any possible guerrilla
threat posed by expatriate groups and refugees.

Leon Engelbrecht Via e-mail

Mar 27 2002 12:00:00:000AM  Business Day 1st Edition

Letters received by ZS ...........

" I was in Rhodesia when it was a pleasant land with pleasant people, both Black & White..... and now it seems that one man is turning it to dust......ONE man.... Fight back for Gods sake show that you will and others will help you...don't roll over "

I would  have liked  to be the first to CONGRATULATE : “ President of the Democratic Republic Of Zimbabwe

Mr Morgan Tsvangirai “ BUT SAD….. We all have to face the fact… but look around you, what do you see ?

I was last in Zimbabwe I January 2002, people is starving…. There is no jobs course leak of US / £ currency,

Kids is no longer going to school course they can’t pay the fees… how can anybody believe that the vote for Mugabe

Is true…. It is with out doubt FIGGELT.  I have seen things going the wrong way, I stayed I Zimbabwe from  1995 to

2001, I am married to a black Zimbabwean ad therefore I also have 3 lovely mixet kids, YES… I am white, or my skin is


If anybody think that things in Zimbabwe is bad.. just wait… it is only the beginning. How will MUGABE feed his people

With out currency to buy maize from outside….. in some years to go there will only be bicycles in Zimbabwe, cause of the leek of fuel, no currency no fuel, and the worst is that kids will not be educated and that way Zimbabwe will only go longer down the hill, the country  cant stand another 6 years, I don’t want to see Zimbabwe as another Ethiopia, or so. But face it, it was easy for MUGABE to win at the countryside… what he did was to create at situation with no food in the country ahead of the election, then “ who will not accept Z$ 1.000,- to go and vote for ZANU” course you will have to feed your family, IF I was at poor Zimbabwean with out ways to feed my family, I would also accept the 1.000 Z$. I would have liked to go back to Zimbabwe after the election, but now I will have to wait another 6 years ???? some of you will say: THAT is fine with us, we don’t need the white man here, but remember that I am married to your sister, my kids I carrying your blood…. The only different between us is, that Europe don’t have as mouths sunshine as Zimbabwe???

Zimbabwe… I feel with you, I pray for you….. tell me what to do and I will tray by all means.

Chris . Denmark

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Zim Independent - letters

Do you sleep well, Moyo?

IF Zimbabwe is not a banana Republic as so ineloquently pro- claimed by
Jonathan Moyo to the world on Wednesday, March 20 in defence (or was it
support?) of the arrest of Morgan Tsvangirai on treason charges, can he
explain to the same world, and particularly to us Zimbabweans, why the
murder of another human being is not only tolerated in Zimbabwe, but
seemingly encouraged by government?

Why are some murderers not even apprehended for their crimes? Why is assault
with intent to cause grievous bodily harm a political tool of our
government? Why is it acceptable to force people from their properties under
threat of death and then loot their property?

I could go on and on. Do you sleep well at night, Moyo? Have you any sense
of integrity left in you?

Banana Republic,

Democracy Crucified for a Few Pieces of Silver

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

March 28, 2002
Posted to the web March 28, 2002

Learnmore Ndlovu

THE more one reads about the 2002 presidential election, the more apparent
it becomes that it is money that counts for most people, and not political
belief, honesty or concern about governance, the economy, or building a
better nation.

While people expect to be paid for doing what should be a voluntary civic
duty, we can never expect to have democratic elections or a democratic
government. If you are prepared to sell yourself to a political party rather
than support the party because you believe it will offer a better government
and future, there is no hope that we will have democracy.

I have read that thousands of youths who unleashed a reign of terror
countrywide were still to be paid more than $18 000 that they were each
promised for campaigning for Zanu PF.

It is a sad indictment on the success of Zanu PF that so many youths have no
moral objection to being used to terrorise their own people for a monetary
reward rather than a political belief. If they are not paid, they have the
reward they deserve.

Soldiers were duped into campaigning for Zanu PF in the presidential
election with promises of pay rises that have now been rescinded. I have no
sympathy for them. They were prepared to ignore their constitutional duties
and obey a political party in order to suppress the process of a free
election. They have the reward they deserve.

I hear that a large number of the people who campaigned and helped with the
election process for the MDC also expect payment in return for their support
and services. They also have the reward they deserve.

Very few people, it would appear, campaigned or provided assistance because
of their political beliefs or that it was a civic duty to participate in the
election process. "No money for services rendered, no support" appears to be
the attitude of far too many people. They also have the reward they deserve.

The more you hear about the election the more it appears that to win you
simply require a large supply of money and that for a few pieces of silver,
you can get the support you need. Political belief does not come into the
debate. "Pay me, I will support you, and to hell with the consequences."

That is a horrifying thought for democracy, for it means that unless the
opposition candidate has unlimited financial support, the incumbent
candidate will always win the election. It is not a question of who has the
best ability to run the country, but who has the best resources to buy the

It is sad that there are sufficient people who are involved and control the
electoral process who apparently have no moral qualms about allowing the
election to be blatantly rigged. Presumably short-term personal gain and
reward is more important than allowing a democratic free and fair election.

The soldiers, the police, the war veterans, election officials, and
thousands of youths, have all been willing to sell their country and deny
the people a democratic election for a reward of a few thousand dollars
without any thought to their duty to uphold the law or any moral conscience
that they are doing wrong.

One must give credit to the many people who were determined to cast their
vote, and who are now stunned and shattered at the outcome.

The election was not rigged by Robert Mugabe. It was rigged for Mugabe by
Zimbabweans with no morality or conscience who were prepared to sell their
country and their souls to Mugabe for a few pieces of silver. Sadly, Morgan
Tsvangirai believed in democratic support and did not have as many pieces of
silver, and lost.

There were not enough good men willing to be involved. They also have the
reward they deserve.
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Zim Independent - Muckraker

Bishops, blackmail, and bluster . . .

"AN entire nation of over 12 million people cannot, surely, be held to
ransom by one man whose desire for power knows no bounds, even if it means
courting war, sanctions or international isolation," the Herald
editorialised last week.

The commentary was apt. President Robert Mugabe's arthritic grip on the
nation's windpipe has led to international isolation and a mounting array of
sanctions. His followers threatened war if he was not returned. For how much
longer can he hold the nation to ransom?

The Herald of course was not talking about Mugabe, however immediately
identifiable the description. It was attempting to denigrate Morgan
Tsvangirai, suggesting "his posturing is very dangerous to this country as
it provides an opening for our country's enemies to destabilise our

This theme was taken up by Herald political editor Phillip Magwaza who
appears to think Tsva-ngirai's tenure at the helm of the MDC is under threat
from the treason charges he faces.

Magwaza must be the only political commentator left still taking those
charges seriously. They stem from a frame-up staged by a Canadian political
consultancy at the instigation of the Zimbabwean authorities. The "evidence"
is about as credible as the anthrax attacks we were asked to swallow ahead
of the election. The complicity of Zimbabwean ministers is a gift to any
defence team. That Magwaza is prepared to believe this transparent set-up
tells us more about his analytical skills than anything else.

Magwaza is not ashamed to advertise his loyalties. The MDC, he says, "is not
a party like Zanu PF, born out of the blood, sweat and tears of millions of
Zimbabweans. It is in essence a party driven by the lustful and racial
indignation of whites."

How does lust come into it? And Winston Churchill might be amused to know
that Magwaza has borrowed from one of his wartime speeches ("blood, sweat
and tears") to attack his countrymen! This was probably unwitting. We can
safely assume Magwaza has not heard of Churchill. On Monday he told us
Britain's deputy prime minister is somebody called Preston.

But having tried to rubbish Tsvangirai, Magwaza moved his attention to the
United States which he claimed was trying to blackmail African countries. We
found it curious that Phillip "LeVanhu" Magwaza could write a whole story
about blackmail without the slightest twinge of conscience. We are pleased
however that he was able to refer to a speech by Canadian opposition
spokesman Keith Martin.

Martin called for sanctions against Zimbabwe, we were told. But,
unfortunately, Magwaza omitted to quote him. For the benefit of our readers,
this is what Martin said:

"They (the Commonwealth) need to continue taking a hard line to isolate Mr
Mugabe and make the people of Zimbabwe and his own party know that he is an
international pariah, he's a thug, a murderer and has no legitimacy in or
out of Zimbabwe. He needs to step down and be prosecuted as a criminal."

We can well understand why Magwaza left that bit out!

Still on the subject of Zanu PF scribes who believe they are government
publicists first and journalists last, we had Garikai Mazara in the Sunday
Mail alerting the authorities to the presence in the country of a suspected
BBC correspondent. Somebody called Lindsay Hill was filing copy for the
corporation from the capital recently, he reported.

"Last week she reported from Shamva and on Wednesday she was reporting from
Africa Unity Square. Has the ban been lifted?" Mazara asked.

If people like Mazara want to get fellow journalists arrested for doing
their job perhaps we should consider proposing them for the list of people
which the EU and US are drawing up as unwelcome on their shores. What, for
instance, is Addmore Tshuma still doing over there?

The Zimbabwe war veterans association wants the ZCTU deregistered and
banned. It has opened talks with government departments to this effect.

"The ZCTU must be banned with immediate effect," the war veterans' secretary
for projects, Andrew Ndlovu, told the Zimbabwe Mirror, "because it is
causing confusion among workers, damaging the already ailing economy, and
discrediting the ruling Zanu PF abroad".

He said if the government didn't act, the war veterans would persuade its
affiliates to join the Joseph Chinotimba-led ZFTU.

Why do Zanu PF spokesmen believe that "causing confusion" is a serious
offence? Is it because people like Andrew Ndlovu are easily confused? And
what role has he and other war veterans played in "discrediting the ruling
Zanu PF abroad"?

Zanu PF has been discredited at home and abroad because it is a corrupt and
violent party with no policies left except economic sabotage. What public
accounting has Ndlovu provided for his "projects" department? What happened
to the missing Sankorp millions? Or the Chinese tractors?

Meanwhile, the ZCTU could do a great deal more to earn public respect. It
could spell out its right to function free of police harassment and its
right to call for a stayaway if it wants to. It should underline the linkage
between employment prospects and governance. Very simply it should have the
courage of its convictions instead of wringing its hands and asking every-
body else what it should do.

The government press has been claiming the failure of its stayaway was a
blow for the MDC. If the MDC had organised the stayaway it would have
worked. People were looking for an opportunity to protest against being
deprived of the right to vote. But the ZCTU gave no clear lead because it is
scared of POSA. What it needs is courageous leadership and proper direction.
Keeping out of the tripartite agreement with a discredited government bent
on voodoo economics and business leaders who fall over themselves to
congratulate the president on his election victory would be a start. Both
business and labour must stop conferring legitimacy on this illegitimate

We were interested to read Ignatious Chombo's remarks on meeting the
newly-elected Harare mayor, Elias Mudzuri. "The meeting was held at the
mayor's request and we told him what we expected from him as government."

Hasn't he got it the wrong way around? Shouldn't Mudzuri be telling Chombo
what the residents of Harare expect from government? Like honouring its

Government departments owe the City of Harare millions of dollars in unpaid
bills and subsidies. Yet the council continues to supply these departments
with water and other services. What did Mudzuri tell Chombo? And what is he
doing about the presence of Joseph Chinotimba on the council payroll?

In an interview with this paper last week Mudzuri said there were other line
managers who should deal with the issue. He is wrong. Chinotimba's role as a
council employee is emblematic of the corruption and misappropriation of
ratepayers' money that characterise Zanu PF rule. Who kept promoting him
while authorising him to pursue Zanu PF's criminal agenda on the farms? Why
was he never prosecuted for threatening judges? Who protected him and
instructed the council to pay him a salary? We want answers. And Mudzuri
should make it his business to supply them.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been rubbished in the pages of the Herald this
week as a British puppet. Along with so many in South Africa's civil
society, he is disappointed that his government could endorse such a
self-evidently flawed poll as that recently concluded in Zimbabwe.

But having expressed his views he immediately came under attack from a
pro-Zanu PF church organisation called Bishops for Peace in Africa. This
gang of bought prelates declared in the language of our Department of
Information that Tutu was endorsing the British government's position by
refusing to respect the electoral outcome.

"He should not be a parrot," the churchmen said. "He belongs to the same
church of which the Queen is head and now they are using him..."

Who is being used here: a principled spokesmen for the down- trodden and
oppressed or a bunch of state-serving clerics who do not even have the
courage to identify their spokesmen? Who exactly belongs to the Bishops for
Peace in Africa who believe Zimbabwe's land programme, which has left a
trail of blood and destruction as well as food shortages, is "in accordance
with the command of God"?

They praised Bishop Nolbert Kunonga's "unwavering stance" on the land

That should have come as no surprise. Kunonga once again disgraced himself
and the Anglican church in Zimbabwe by his grovelling performance at
Mugabe's inauguration. Bishops for Peace are clearly in the government's
pocket. They seek to anoint a programme of state-orchestrated violence that
has seen over 120 people murdered, thousands abducted and tortured, and tens
of thousands dispossessed. They have sanctified evil and sold their souls to
the devil who inspires terror in the hearts of his people.

Bishops for Peace needs to be exposed for its affiliation with tyranny and
suffering. Let's have the names of these purported servants of God who
willingly serve God-forsaken leaders.
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Telegraph journalist held in Zimbabwe jail

A national newspaper reporter is being held in prison in Zimbabwe after
being charged under newly re-elected President Mugabe's security law.

Peta Thornycroft of The Daily Telegraph is charged with "publishing false
statements likely to be prejudicial to state security" and "incitement to
public violence".

Mrs Thornycroft is the first journalist to be charged under the notorious
public order and security act since the disputed presidential election.

The 57-year-old widow who has a son, daughter and granddaughter has been The
Daily Telegraph's Harare correspondent since last July.

She is a Zimbabwean citizen although she was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

Her arrest, in Chimanimani, 300 miles east of Harare, is being seen as a
sign of Mr Mugabe's growing paranoia and indifference to international

She was arrested within two hours of arriving in the town to investigate
reports of widespread political violence and a campaign of retribution
against the opposition.

The Telegraph reports that Mrs Thornycroft was taken from a cafe to the
police station where she was held for about five hours without any charges
being laid.

Later she was told she would be charged with the two offences, which carry a
possible two-year prison sentence, and taken to the cells.

The public order and security act, passed in January, has been condemned as

Editor demands journalist's 'immediate release'

Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore is demanding the immediate release of the paper's Zimbabwe correspondent who is being held by the country's police.

Peta Thornycroft, who is said to be "in good spirits", is being moved to the police headquarters in Mutare, 200 miles east of the capital Harare.

It is believed she has been charged with "publishing false statements prejudicial to the state" under the condemned new Public Order Security Act.

But her lawyer has since told the Daily Telegraph that Mrs Thornycroft has not been formally charged but continues to be held by police.

The newspaper has asked the Foreign Office for help and sent a fax to the Zimbabwean government calling for the journalist to be freed.

Mr Moore said it was "ludicrous" to suggest that Mrs Thornycroft was being subversive.

"She is a highly experienced journalist who was carrying out her professional duties," he said.

"It is ludicrous to suggest that she had a subversive agenda. She should be released immediately.

"This is a matter that concerns the future of all journalism in Zimbabwe, foreign and domestic," he said.

Mrs Thornycroft was arrested in Chimanimani, on the border with Mozambique. She had travelled to the town to investigate reports of widespread political violence and a campaign of retribution against the opposition.


Moore demands release of Zimbabwe reporter

Jessica Hodgson
Thursday March 28, 2002

Charles Moore

The Telegraph editor, Charles Moore, has called for the immediate release of
the paper's Zimbabwe correspondent, Peta Thornycroft, who was arrested in
the country last night.

The Zimbabwe government accused Thornycroft, a 57-year-old widow, of being
"subversive", a claim Moore dismissed as "ludicrous".

Thornycroft has not been charged with any offence.

"She is a highly experienced journalist who was carrying out her
professional duties," said Moore.

"It is ludicrous to suggest she had a subversive agenda. She should be
released immediately.

"This is a matter that concerns the future of all journalism in Zimbabwe,
foreign and domestic," he added.

The reporter, who has been arrested under Zimbabwe's new Public Order and
Security Acts, is "in fine spirits", according to the paper's foreign
editor, Alec Russell.

But Russell said she had not, as previously thought, been charged, according
to the paper's lawyers.

Thornycroft was driven in her own car from a police station in Chimanimani -
where she was arrested - to a larger police station at Mutare.

Lawyers acting for the paper are pressing the Zimbabwean home affairs
ministry and the Zimbabwean high commission in the UK to put out a statement
clarifying the reason for her arrest.

Russell said he believed the move was part of a campaign to intimidate
Thornycroft and said he was not expecting any charges to be made today.

"I suspect they're just going to duck the issue," he said.

Thornycroft, a Zimbabwean citizen, is the first international journalist to
be detained under the controversial legislation passed shortly before the
recent general elections.

Critics have accused the government and its powerful information ministry of
passing the laws to stifle criticism of President Robert Mugabe's regime.

Thornycroft was arrested while investigating reports of intimidation of Mr
Mugabe's political opponents
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Zim Independent

Business leaders should be frank with Mugabe

REPRESENTATIVES of the Business Leaders Forum last week met with President
Mugabe to congratulate him on his election win and to offer their support in
efforts to resuscitate the economy. They condemned the ZCTU-organised
stay-away as "contrary to the president's policy of nation-building".

It is extraordinary that the Business Leaders Forum, which groups the CZI,
ZNCC, Emcoz, Bankers Association and Chamber of Mines, could conclude that,
given his public remarks, President Mugabe is in any way interested in
reviving the economy. What leads them to that conclusion apart from some
generalised remarks he made at his inauguration?

He has said quite openly during the election campaign that he is committed
to a siege economy, price controls, a fixed exchange rate, further land
seizures, company takeovers, and every other facet of Zanu PF policy that
has scared off investment and crippled the country. To assume this
particular leopard has changed its spots is frankly delusional.

As the business leaders met with the president, his militias were invading
farms, evicting their owners (killing one), threatening labourers and
fomenting instability across whole swathes of the country. Agricultural
production has slumped. GDP is set to contract by 10% this year after
shrinking 13% last year.

Foreign exchange receipts will also diminish as the country proves incapable
of exporting tobacco and beef in the quantities required and fails to
attract tourists.

It would be interesting to know which of these realities the business
leaders raised during their cosy meeting at Zimbabwe House last Wednesday.
Did they raise the issue of ongoing violence unleashed by Mugabe's
supporters which has led to an internal refugee crisis and makes economic
recovery impossible?

No, instead they criticised the ZCTU for calling a peaceful and lawful

We have of course been here before. In July 2000, after nearly losing the
general election, Mugabe committed himself to economic reform. "Technocrats"
were appointed to senior posts to preside over the country's rehabilitation
and reintegration into the international community.

It never happened. Finance minister Simba Makoni was thwarted at every turn.
His plans for macro-economic stability were sabotaged by politburo dinosaurs
with no grasp whatsoever of how a modern economy works. Nkosana Moyo gave up
trying to instill sense at the Ministry of Industry and International Trade
and fled amidst vicious state-media attacks. Joseph Made turned out to be
less technocrat than party hack.
And who's heard of July Moyo?

Their one useful contribution was to help frame a South African rescue
package that South African Trade and Industry minister Alec Erwin says is
waiting upon a political solution. As that in turn is premised upon
Presidents Mbeki and Obasanjo's government-of-national-unity project it is
unlikely to fly.

Zimbabwe's economic recovery is wholly dependent upon creating a climate
conducive to investment, trade and growth. Given the attitudes of
ruling-party politicians, that environment is a distant prospect.
International lenders will not assist so long as Mugabe incites violence and
creates instability in order to punish that half of the nation which voted
against him.

Local business leaders should come to terms with this reality on the ground
instead of deluding themselves about the president's intentions. There is no
nation-building taking place, nor is there likely to be under a regime
intent upon political vengeance.

Business leaders should be spelling out the conditions for economic recovery
in plain language, not taking cheap shots at the ZCTU and indulging a
president responsible for perpetuating the nation's misery.
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Zim Independent

Made's maize project a pipedream
Vincent Kahiya/Blessing Zulu

GOVERNMENT'S proposal to produce irrigated winter maize is an expensive
attempt at the impossible, agricultural experts said this week. They have
described the project as "harebrained".

President Robert Mugabe's government, which has presided over the steady
collapse of commercial agriculture, recently announced the idea of producing
winter maize to meet shortfalls. Agriculture minister Joseph Made told state
media last week that Zimbabwe would irrigate 100 000 hectares of winter
maize to produce 400 000 tonnes of the crop.

There is no precedent for commercial production of winter maize in the
region as it is an extremely expensive exercise and would likely impact on
the production of winter wheat.

Agricultural experts have dismissed the idea as yet another damaging policy.
The experts, who asked to remain anonymous because they do business with
government, said it was not practicable to plant 100 000 hectares of
irrigated maize as Zimbabwe only had about 155 000 hectares of irrigable
land of which winter wheat require up to 60 000 hectares.

The experts said it was not economic to grow a crop on this hectarage and
harvest it by August. If anything, the experts said, government had to
concentrate on importing maize and prepare adequately for the normal
planting season.

Opposition MDC agriculture spokesman Renson Gasela said plans to grow winter
maize would affect wheat production as only the wheat farms had
infrastructure for winter irrigation.

"It is better to grow wheat in winter and not maize because it is much more
expensive to import wheat," he said.

An agronomist with a seed company said it was largely uneconomical to grow
maize in winter on such a large scale.

He said low temperatures on the maize belts along the main watershed meant
that the maize could only be grown in the Lowveld, which traditionally
produced winter wheat. He said farmers would have to look at the cost factor
of switching from wheat to maize.

He said a farmer produced four tonnes of wheat per hectare in the Lowveld
and earned $160 000 at $40 000 per tonne. With maize the same tonnage per
tonne, at a producer price of $15 000 per tonne, would earn $60 000, he

He said production costs in winter were substantially higher in the hot
Lowveld and constant irrigation of the crop was required. He said maize took
longer to mature and there was a danger of it encroaching on the summer

However, Indigenous Commercial Farmers Union President Nokwazi Moyo
yesterday said the need to make grain available outweighed the costs of
producing it.

"Yes, it is not very economical because it is very expensive and the yields
are lower, but you have to understand that it is more important to make
maize available to the people," he said. He said the National Investment
Trust was prepared to fund the project.

Zimbabwe was until this month importing maize from South Africa to meet its
shortages. This had since stopped as Pretoria has said it was also facing a

In addition, South African consumers were now bearing the brunt of the
mayhem currently taking place in Zimbabwe as the price of maize continued to
increase as a result of demands from their northern neighbour.
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The Times

March 29, 2002

Mugabe steps up terror campaign against opponents
By Tim Reid

PRESIDENT MUGABE, emboldened by his election victory and angered by
suspension from the Commonwealth, has unleashed his own form of ethnic
cleansing across swaths of rural Zimbabwe. Thirty thousand people have been
forced to flee their homes and entire “blacklisted” villages have been cut
off from the food supply.

Thousands of incidents of rape, torture, murder, kidnap and arson have been
reported to human rights groups and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change. The wave of terror far exceeds the brutality witnessed before this
month’s vote, and before Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for a

In Mberengwa East district alone, in the Midlands province, 5,000 MDC
supporters have fled in the face of reprisals. The internal refugee crisis
has escalated so dramatically that earlier this week the Amani Trust, the
Zimbabwean human rights group, applied to the United Nations and the Red
Cross for tented villages to be set up in the capital, Harare, where the
majority of people have fled, but was turned down.

Some MDC supporters have been buried alive for weeks in “bush pits”, with
the so-called “war veterans” and youth militia demanding information from
them on the Opposition.

Before the election Zenny Dube, 27, an MDC polling agent in Nkayi,
Matabeleland North, was buried alongside two colleagues in a bush pit,
covered in logs and branches, then weighed down with soil. He was kept there
for three weeks. “They gave us water every three days,” he said yesterday.
“They wanted to know everything about the MDC, who were members, where they
lived. They said they wanted us to die because we were selling Zimbabwe out
to the white man.”

One of the three, Thembeni Ndebele, is almost certainly dead. Suffering from
malaria, he was removed from the pit after two weeks and has not been seen
since. Mr Dube, a structural engineer, was dumped in the bush and left for

President Mugabe’s campaign against white farmers has intensified. More than
20 farmers in the Esigodini district, an irrigated dairy area south of
Bulawayo, fled their properties yesterday, having been given until today to
leave. Black workers on one of the farms were then beaten unconscious. In
Matabeleland North, farmers on 60 properties have been handed the same
ultimatum, with some deciding to quit but most standing firm.

The Amani Trust estimates that up to 30,000 people have been forced from
their villages since Mr Mugabe was declared the victor in the presidential
election on March 14.

The President’s “war veterans” and youth militia — the feared teenage “Green
Bombers” paid to spread terror — have been on the rampage across most of
rural Mashonaland and Midlands province, where Mr Mugabe enjoys his
strongest support, singling out whole villages suspected of being
sympathetic to the MDC.

In the Midlands area of Gokwe, women and teenage girls have been raped by
regular soldiers and Zanu (PF) militia, the trust says. Young girls have
been forced to perform humiliating sexual acts in public.

“Whole villages are being declared MDC and anyone living there is being
targeted,” Shari Eppel, an Amani Trust veteran, said. She issues a report
today detailing a litany of rape, murder, beatings and torture carried out
since the election.

“Food is being blatantly used as a political weapon,” she said. “Even if you
have money you cannot buy maize if you are declared an MDC supporter.

“There are entire villages in Mberengwa East where war veterans are
diverting maize supplies to the homes of local chiefs who support Zanu (PF).
You can only buy maize through the chief and whole villages have been
blacklisted.” She said that she received a report yesterday of two children
in Tsholotsho, north of Bulawayo, starving to death.

Lorryloads of maize have been driven from the area’s Mataga depot to the
chiefs’ homesteads. MDC supporters are barred from buying it, while it is
being sold to Zanu (PF) supporters for ZIM$1,300 (£10) for 110lb.

The full scale of the torture and murder of MDC polling agents is also just
beginning to emerge. In Gokwe, James Nevana, 32, an MDC polling agent, was
abducted the day that voting ended and taken to a youth militia camp. He had
bicycle spokes poked through his genitals and was forced to drink poison.
The MDC estimates that ten agents have been murdered since the polls closed.

Ms Eppel said: “Mugabe’s terror machine has been dramatically stepped up
since the election, and especially since the Commonwealth decision. He is
sending out the message that he is going to do what he wants, whatever the
outside world thinks. People here are very depressed, and there is enormous

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Zim Independent

Botswana raps Zim lawlessness
Dumisani Muleya

THE Botswana parliament has expressed serious concern about events in
Zimbabwe and their negative impact on the economy of that country.

Botswana Foreign Affairs minister Mompati Merafhe said although his
government supported an orderly and transparent land reform programme in
Zimbabwe, it was opposed to President Robert Mugabe's violent redistribution

Responding to questions in parliament during a debate on Botswana's
2002/2003 budget last Thursday, Merafhe said the government had voiced
concern over Zimbabwe's land invasions and the persistent lawlessness.

Merafhe said MPs' concerns about the situation in Zimbabwe were legitimate
as it badly affected Botswana. The legislators complained about the
increasing flow of illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe.

"Whatever happens there, we must be prepared to live with its consequences,"
Merafhe said.

The minister however said Botswana did not have to be confrontational with
Zimbabwe and should adopt a mature approach.

Merafhe urged the international community to chip in and rescue the troubled
and restive nation. But some MPs said it would be difficult to help out
Zimbabwe as long as the cur-

rent regime continued clinging to power through illegal means.

The minister, who is the chair of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group,
fired a broad- side at Duke Lefhoko, the MP for Shoshong who led the Sadc
Parliamentary Forum observer mission to Zimbabwe's presidential election,
after Lefhoko attacked the Sadc Ministerial Task Force over its report on
the poll. The team included Merafhe and officials such as South African
Labour minister Membathisi Mdladlana and Malawi Foreign Affairs minister
Lillian Patel.

Merafhe recalled Lefhoko saying on television that the Sadc Ministerial Task
Force pronounced the Zimbabwean election as free and fair because it enjoyed
the hospitality of the Zimbabwean government and as a result abdicated its

The minister said the fact that the Sadc Ministerial Task Force and the
Parliamentary Forum compiled different reports on the election showed that
Sadc tolerated a diversity of views.

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Zim Independent

Zanu PF reprisals displace 18 000 MDC supporters
Jacob Mutambara

LOCAL and international organisations are bracing themselves for a massive
humanitarian crisis following the displacement of an estimated 18 000
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters fleeing retributive attacks
by members of the ruling Zanu PF.

While the MDC is still compiling a comprehensive report on the total number
displaced, its preliminary findings show that 2 547 families have so far
been affected. An average family has at least seven members.

Following the controversial Zanu PF victory in the just-ended presidential
election, ruling party supporters have unleashed a wave of violence against
political opponents leaving a trail of deaths and many injuries.

Officials from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) confirmed on
Tuesday that a considerable number of people have been displaced and plans
were already underway to avert the crisis.

"The displacement takes two dimensions," an official said.

"There is the humanitarian side which involves helping people who have been
removed from their homes.

"These people need food, shelter and somewhere to make a new start. We are
taking care of that," he said.

"The other dimension is the human rights issue which is beyond us. There is
the United Nations Human Rights Commission in session and it can deal with
that if raised by member states," the official said.

The UNDP is co-ordinating the humanitarian assistance.

The International Committee of the Red Cross is also preparing to weigh in
with material support to the displaced persons.

A local human rights activist, Julius Mutyambizi, who is closely monitoring
the situation, said he dealt with over 30 cases of displaced people every

"The biggest worry at the moment is that local (election) observers and MDC
election agents have become the target of these assaults," Mutyambizi said.

He said civil society and international organisations like the United
Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) were treating the victims as
internally displaced people and not refugees.

"The UNHCR should not only accord refugee status to people who stream across
borders. Internally displaced people are actually refugees," Mutyambizi

Amani Trust, a local non-governmental organisation which rehabilitates
victims of torture and violence, said the level of post-election violence
was much greater than the pre-election period. Almost all the victims were
members of the MDC.

At least 1 250 MDC polling agents were on the run, said Amani Trust. As the
electoral law required polling agents' names to be published in local
newspapers, the ruling party supporters has been using the list to identify
their victims, the Trust said.

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Zim Independent

More militia camps planned
Blessing Zulu

ZANU PF national political commissar Elliot Manyika has proposed to allocate
over $500 million to the construction and running of national youth training
camps in the country's eight provinces, a move viewed as giving rein to
further violence and an abuse of public funds.

Manyika, who is also the Minister of Youth Development, Gender and
Employment Creation, claims his call for more training camps was part of an
exercise by the government to create employment.

Manyika said last weekend money would be taken from the $2 billion revolving
fund set aside for indigenisation by Simba Makoni, the Minister of Finance
and Economic Development. He did not specify what amount he required but
ruling-party sources said it would be at least $500 million.

Manyika is understood to be pushing for the camps as a way of consolidating
the Zanu PF militia which played a crucial role in President Robert Mugabe's
hotly-disputed return to State House.

Highly-placed sources in the ruling party said plans to build the camps were
well underway. The first camp was set up at Border Gezi Training Centre in
Mount Darwin towards the end of last year.

"The training camps are to be built in all the eight provinces and what has
been holding up the implementation is the lack of funds," a ruling-party
source said. The latest camp is at Jamaica Inn near

Melfort which has had one intake so far.

Nelson Chamisa, MDC national youth chairman, described the plan as a further
attempt by the ruling party to abuse the youths using taxpayers' funds.

"Their training camps are indoctrination camps to try and shift the youths
from basic issues of survival to fighting for the 'sovereignty' of the
country," Chamisa said.

"This is a systematic way of stifling the participation of youths in a
positive manner. It is ridiculous that after the election they still want to
use the youths for electioneering. Maybe they are anticipating a re-run very

Professor Brian Raftopoulos of the University of Zimbabwe described
Manyika's programme as a "disaster".

It is a disaster which is consistent with the policy of the broadening of
repression in the post-election period," said Raftopoulos.

Independent economist John Robertson said "the youth camps would be useless
if they are run on military lines. There is need to depoliticise them by
giving the youths skills that benefit them like building and carpentry."
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Zim Independent

Tourism plan faces collapse
Stanley James

GOVERNMENT'S much-touted Tourism Recovery Plan (TRP) faces collapse because
of financial constraints and negligible tourist arrivals which have
undermined the exercise aimed at restoring confidence in the beleaguered
tourism sector, it has been learnt.

Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe president Douglas Mrewa said hotel
occupancies had declin-ed by 30% since January. Crowne Plaza Monomatapa
Hotel general manager Anthony Petrakis said the-re had been little activity
at the hotel as bookings continued to slide.

Zimbabwe Council for Tourism president Pedia Moyo said there had been no
progress in implementing TRP programmes due to inadequate funding.

"The TRP is a private-sector initiative adopted by government in 2000, but
whose implementation has been hindered by lack of funds," she said.

ZTA operations have been affected by suspect business decisions such as
renting office space at $800 000 per month at the Kopje Plaza and a sharp
drop in tourist arrivals which created a cash-flow crisis. The ZTA has since
moved to cheaper office accommodation.

As a result of its precarious financial position the ZTA has been unable to
send tourism attachés to source markets. Marketing initiatives once done by
professional lobbyists in the United States and Europe have been
discontinued. Another initiative to fly in travel writers in the hope they
would write favourable articles about Zimbabwe has not brought the desired

Commenting this week, ZTA director (marketing and communications) Givemore
Chidzidzi said the programme was still on.

"At the moment we are still trying to sail on with the plan though operators
might have their own views about its successes and failures. The ZTA is
still committed to restoring confidence within the entire tourism industry,"
he said.

Operators resent paying hefty levies to the ZTA which they see as a
political body feathering its nest with little to show for the revenues

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Zim Independent

Malaysians to start work on Matabeleland water project
Loughty Dube

THE on-again-off-again circus surrounding the implementation of the
long-awaited $30 billion Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP) is set to
continue in the coming weeks after officials announced that a team of
Malaysian engineers and technicians will be in the country next week to
start work on the delayed Gwayi-Shangani Dam.

The government and the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust (MZWT) have over the
past five years assured Matabeleland that the project would kick off as a
matter of urgency.

A few weeks before the mayoral election in Bulawayo last year, five
Malaysian engineers left the country in a cloud of secrecy after MZWT
officials had announced they were here to kick-start the project.

MZWT chairman Dumiso Dabengwa confirmed a Malaysian team comprising
technicians and engineers was expected in the country next week but could
not be drawn to shed more light on the matter.

"We will tell you once they are in the country," Dabengwa said. "We will
also tell you when they want to start on the project because they have to
tell us what is required before they move on site."

The ambitious project to pipe water from the mighty Zambezi River to arid
Matabeleland 478km away is now expected to cost over $30 billion once

Government has pledged to support the project but had not converted its
verbal commitment to financial pledges.

Previously Italian and Malaysian companies have backed off the project after
alleging irregularities in dealing with officials.

Dabengwa said funding for the project had been secured and they were now
only awaiting the arrival of the Malaysians to commence work.

He said the construction of the pipeline would be done simultaneously with
construction of the Gwayi-Shangani dam.

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Daily News - Leader page

Why Mbeki caved in over Mugabe

3/28/02 8:01:59 AM (GMT +2)

WHEN a weary President Thabo Mbeki flew into a wet and blustery London at
5am on Tuesday last week he was left in no doubt by Western leaders, his
closest aides and diplomats that the Zimbabwean crisis was damaging his
reputation and putting his plans for Africa’s rejuvenation in jeopardy.

Mbeki’s seemingly soft stance on Zimbabwe’s severely flawed presidential
election had drawn howls of protests from around the world.

After briefings with South Africa’s High Commissioner to London, Lindiwe
Mabuza, in which reference was made to the unprecedented condemnation of
South Africa in the international Press and diplomatic circles, Mbeki
received a call from British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

In the tense 10-minute call, Blair bluntly told Mbeki he was still committed
to being Mbeki’s closest ally on the New Partnership for
Africa’s Development (NEPAD), but would not continue backing the plan if
there was no action on Zimbabwe from Mbeki.

“Blair made it clear that after the position of Africa on Zimbabwe, other
Western leaders would laugh the plan - and him - out of court if he
pretended that there was no concern on the handling of Zimbabwe,” a Downing
Street source said.

Mbeki also spoke to Canada’s Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, who said the
Group of Eight (G8) would probably refuse to work with African leaders on
the NEPAD if they did not change tack on Zimbabwe.

The G8, with the enthusiastic support of Blair and Chretien, is expected
formally to back NEPAD at its meeting in Canada in June.

By the time Mbeki, Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo and Australia’s
Prime Minister John Howard sat down at the Commonwealth head office in
Marlborough House at 2pm to hammer out the Commonwealth response to
Zimbabwe, Mbeki had concluded that he had to give his Western allies a
symbolic gesture - without damaging his standing with Mugabe.

From the onset, Mbeki gave no indication he would compromise on his stance
on Zimbabwe, which was that he needed more time to hammer out a deal with
Mugabe on a government of national unity.

Mbeki told Howard and Don McKinnon, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, that
the calls for sanctions against Zimbabwe would hurt ordinary Zimbabweans.

He also said Zimbabwe’s suspension would not serve any purpose in the long

Before going into the meeting, Mbeki had also received a call from one of
Blair’s most trusted friends, twice-fired former Cabinet member Peter
Mandelson, who pleaded for a compromise on Mugabe and indicated that many in
the Labour Cabinet were sympathetic to Mbeki’s position.

Mandelson apparently repeated remarks he had stated in an article that day
that Mbeki’s position on Zimbabwe had to be respected because he knew the
region better than most.

After two hours of negotiations, Mbeki’s ally, Obasanjo, caved in to Howard,
agreeing that some action had to be taken.

But Mbeki remained steadfast, saying any action that would alienate Mugabe
would be disastrous.

Howard, however, insisted there should be sanctions against Mugabe and an
indefinite suspension from the Commonwealth.

“He read out the agreements that had been made at Coolum in Australia and
said this is what we said we would do if the Zimbabwe election was not free
and fair. ‘Let us play by the book,’ he said.

‘We must suspend Zimbabwe and impose sanctions,’” said a diplomat at the
South African High Commission, who added that Howard had been almost
schoolmasterish in his approach to the matter.

Commonwealth, Zimbabwean, British and South African diplomats who were
present last Tuesday said Mbeki insisted there be only a year’s suspension
of Zimbabwe -to be reviewed within the year -and that this should come with
a promise from Western leaders that they would provide food aid to Zimbabwe.

Mbeki also insisted that an agreement on food aid be included in a statement
to be issued after the meeting.

Howard left the meeting and called Cabinet colleagues in Australia on
whether he should agree to such food aid.

He agreed to provide US$2 million (about Z$110 million) worth of food aid,
and to ensure that other Western countries did the same.

Howard also called Blair, but details of their conversation were not

After three-and-a-half hours, the leaders agreed on a statement, which
Howard read out to journalists after the meeting.

Despite prompting, Mbeki and Obasanjo did not speak at the Press conference
attended by about 200 journalists from around the world.

“The committee has decided to suspend Zimbabwe from the councils of the
Commonwealth for a period of one year with immediate effect . . .

“It’s at the more severe range of the actions available to us.
It maintains the Commonwealth’s credibility and it maintains its
consistency,” Howard said.

Mbeki, who was apparently told by his doctor that he had been working and
travelling too much, left immediately after the Press conference.

He went to the Dorchester Hotel, where he was instructed to rest for the
night, before flying to the United Nations conference on financing for
development, in Monterrey, Mexico.

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ZIMBABWE: Access to food aid politicised says lobby group

JOHANNESBURG, 28 March (IRIN) - With hunger stalking urban and rural Zimbabweans, the government on Friday dismissed allegations that access to food aid had been politicised.

In its report titled Zimbabwe At The Crossroads: Transition or Conflict, the International Crisis Group (ICG) alleges that "maize imports were, and are, directed first to areas of greatest support for the ruling party [ZANU-PF]".

On Thursday Edward Mamutse, a government spokesman in Zimbabwe's Department of Information and Publicity, said: "There's nothing of the sort. The Ministry of Agriculture is working on prioritising areas. The more acute the need, the greater the priority for relief. This country and government is not facing drought for the first time. In 1992 we had a crippling drought [but government] devised a scheme to send food right round the country."

When the World Food Programme (WFP) launched a US $60 million appeal in December to feed about 550,000 people in need, WFP regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Judith Lewis, told IRIN that WFP and other assessments indicated rural populations were in dire need. She dismissed concerns that the aid would be used politically, saying the operations would be closely monitored so as to provide donors with feedback.

In its report ICG said: "With Zimbabwe's agricultural production suffering as a result of farm invasions and general economic mismanagement, access to food was often politicised during the campaign and the [9-11 March presidential] election itself.

"At a time of severe deprivation, the government released supplies of mealie meal, the staple food for the majority of Zimbabweans, on the day of the election in certain [opposition Movement for Democratic Change] MDC strongholds.

"Its intention was that the guaranteed long lines for food would reduce the number of people able to vote. During the campaign, in some [of Zimbabwe's] Grain Marketing Board outlets, buyers had to have a ZANU-PF party card."

Mamutse strongly denied the allegation and questioned ICG's agenda. "Who are their sponsors, one could find that they are the same power blocs that are against this country. NGOs here, some of them are media freedom agitators, when we trace their background sponsorships we come back to the very same people, the United States and Britain. For us it has become routine to look at who is sponsoring which NGO and saying what.

"As to the food crisis, yes our harvest here is going to be extremely poor, but this is because of the weather. We had extremely promising crops and then the rains just stopped. But it probably suits some people to attribute it to land reform. They want to [link] the drought, politics and economy in the same breath, but it really won't hold."

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), meanwhile, said on Thursday that a Zimbabwean journalist working for a British newspaper had been arrested and faced a charge of writing false information about President Robert Mugabe.

MISA said the charge carried a fine of Z$20,000 (US $350) or one year in prison, or both. Peta Thornycroft, who writes for the Daily Telegraph, was arrested on Wednesday in Chimanimani.

"Although the police have said that they are charging her with writing falsely about the president, evidence or mention of the 'false' story is yet to be made available. MISA-Zimbabwe understands that the police initially said that they wanted to question Thornycroft over accreditation. After holding her for five hours she was then charged with writing 'false information' about the president," MISA said in a statement.

The organisation said Thornycroft was in Chimanimani to interview victims of political violence "that is escalating in the aftermath of the disputed presidential elections". She had not conducted any interviews before being arrested.

"Soon after her arrest, Thornycroft phoned MISA-Zimbabwe and said that she was being questioned about her accreditation status. In an effort to have her accreditation status ascertained, MISA-Zimbabwe phoned Edward Mamutse ... in the Department of Information and Publicity so that the issue could be clarified to facilitate her release," MISA said.

However, Mamutse said his department had not yet received a report from the police and could do nothing about the matter.

Thornycroft is expected to appear in court soon.

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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Thursday 28 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.


No Report
Horseshoe – at Chiringe, the "war vets" /youth moved into the main homestead and the manager's house. The labourers demanded extra package payments. On Rungudzi, "war vets"/youth demanded free use of the tractors and ploughs for land preparation. On Nyamsewe, the "war vets" caused a work stoppage on the coffee, with the threat they will move into manager's house. On Amajuba, a total work stoppage was forced by the "war vets". On Red Lichen, a total work stoppage was caused and the labourers confined to their homes. The piggery was left totally untended.  The farm is NOT listed or designated. On Siyalima, a work stoppage was caused by threats from the "war vets" to barricade houses and put up roadblocks at the entrance and exit to the farm.  The police were notified but refused to respond to all incidents on the pretext they are not criminal acts.

Harare South – at Harwen Farm, after labour attended a meeting on the next-door farm, they refused to work, issuing a series of demands including cheaper mealie meal and meat, and more transport assistance.  The owner resolved the situation after a three-hour meeting and the labour returned to work. The following day, they returned to harass the owner’s wife and forced her to chant Zanu (PF) slogans.  The owner arrived with a police detail and the situation calmed down, with the district farmers standing off at a distance. Three farmers entered the house to provide moral support and workers barricaded the gate with farm trailers. The OIC Beatrice arrived at 1330 hrs and held a meeting with the labour and owner. OIC heard both sides of argument and told labour they were wrong. Labour dispersed.  Canterbury reported three "war vets" from Marirangwe base arrived in a green Pulsar (381-629N) wanting funds to assist in victory celebration.  They invited the owner to join them, who declined invitation and informed vets that any monies donated should come from a central district fund.  At Nhuku the labour massed outside the gates, wanting "work information". The matter was resolved. The same night, the foreman was beaten up by labour and others on farm.
Marondera North - Police arrested youth on Glen Isla farm, who were thought to be involved in the beating up of people at a rally in the area.
Wedza – at Lushington ± 18 head of cattle were stolen, and seven were recovered near Leads Farm.  On Saltash, the owner went with the CID and recovered some stolen property. They continue to recover property today.
Featherstone - after vacating the farm last Friday, the owner of Kuruman A, returned on 26.03.02 and was refused access to move remaining furniture, tractor, sheep and pigs. The youth claimed he had to pay off workers before remaining property could be taken. Later owner was informed the ± 100 dairy cattle would not be milked from that afternoon. The owner reported the matter to the Mashonaland East Governor and was escorted to the farm by Support Unit and other officials on 27.03.02. The labour and youth were informed all dairy cattle were to be milked without any further stoppages, but it is not known when / if the owner can return. The officials then went on to Chivhu to settle the matter with the DA Chagwiza.  The Calais owner was informed by a section of settlers he should be off the farm by 03.04.02. One section of settlers claim state he must remain and should not be disturbed while the other section claim he must vacate and pay off the labour. The DA Chagwiza and Land Committee in Chikomba have requested he attend a meeting before then. The owner has signed over a piece of the farm for the settlers and is supposed to be allowed to farm the balance. The dairy on the owner’s section of the farm was closed by settlers in January 2002, and the dairy cattle are now being milked on the next-door farm. They have not been allowed to return.  The Versailles owner had a report from labour that DA Chagwiza had arrived on farm on 23.03.02 and told workers the owner and workers would be off by 02.04.02 (OR ELSE!!). DA handed papers to settlers and informed them the farm would be theirs on 01.04.02. The owner returned to the farm on 24.03.02 to load cattle and was allowed to do so only with police intervention. On 26.03.02 the owner went with workers and officials from Marondera to see DA who at first denied even going to the farm. Later he admitted going there after workers identified him and Asst. DA Chezana. DA denied saying that owner should vacate or giving the settlers the farm and argued that once a Section 5 is received owner should vacate. Agreement was eventually made that owner was to remain and work to continue. Workers are now intimidated and fearful to return. Cattle will remain on farm. Workers have received a letter from Chivhu Labour Office with figures for retrenchment packages.
Chinhoyi – on 26.03.02 at Sligo Farm, settlers covered the farm entrance grid with rocks and tried to bend a pole across to block vehicles coming on to the farm.  On 27.03.02 the owners of Manegas Farm, Highlands Farm and Chengu Farm were given 24 hours to leave their farms.  The owner of Chengu Farm is in the process of leaving his farm at time of writing.
Banket – on 27.03.02, "war vet" Muturugudu ordered settlers to build houses right next to the homestead on Doondoo Farm. Due to pressure, the owner of Dalketh Farm moved out of his house.  The house has been occupied and turned into a school.
Doma - Glendower Farm received Section 8 on 1.03.02, dated 25.02.02.
Norton - A2 settlers are arriving on several farms at the moment, and starting to establish themselves irrespective of the legal status of the farm. 
Selous - On Onverwag, which is not listed, a "war vet" called Nelson Nyamaridza has moved into the homestead.
Chegutu - The DA and the Deputy Speaker of the House still refuse to allow the owner of Lot 1A of The Grove to return to his farm, but have allowed a manager to look after his operations. On Exwick farm, "war vet" Makoni was at the gate on 24.03.02 making demands for the owners to move out.  This property was delisted on the government to government delisting and yet the "war vets" refuse to recognize the delisting.  To date all is quiet. 
Battlefields - The Lands Committee and others are visiting farm owners.  Irrespective of the legal status of the farms, they told them A2 settlers would be growing wheat on these irrigation farms.  It is unclear as to whose irrigation equipment they would be using. 
Chakari - Tawstock last night at 1100 hrs a 50-strong gang of maize thieves went into his lands.  He doubled his guards and they managed to recover the stolen maize.  The "war vets" involved are suspected to come from the neighbouring farm.  The police were advised.
Masvingo East and Central – the Mayo Farm owner (in his seventies) was made to attend a meeting called by the settlers on 23.03.02.  During this meeting he was made to stand up and do the “pamberis”. He was told he must move off his property and demands were made for water.  Chidza Farm reports that on 26.03.02 at approximately 1030 hrs, the resident police settler, Chirove, who settled the farm, mixed three herds of cattle together when they were returning to their paddocks from the dip.  He chased the cattle, causing one cow to break its leg.  The owner had to shoot the cow and wishes to claim compensation of ZW$ 45 000-00 as it is a high-grade cow and was in calf to the pedigree bull, which cost the owner $350 000-00.  Chirove and approximately thirty other settlers were at Chidza bridge afterwards, preventing the cattle from returning to their paddocks. A multitude of meetings with the Land Committee, Governor, PA and DA resulted in a “co-existence” agreement allowing the settlers approximately 1000 acres located on the other side of the main road, on which the owner has provided water, fencing and two gates for movement of cattle.  In spite of this, the settlers insisted on running their cattle with the owner’s pedigree herd, which resulted in the owners’ cattle contracting contagious abortion.  The whole herd of 70 cows and 30 calves had to be slaughtered, with the loss running to millions of dollars.  At the present time, the settlers have approximately 50 cattle mixed in with the owners’ cattle.  The owner was further compromised by keeping his staff in the paddocks during the day to herd the cattle to keep them out of the settlers’ failed crops, then kraaling them at night without grazing, resulting in poor condition of the cattle.  The owner completed land preparation using his diesel, tractors and labour costing more than ZW$ 250 000-00 only to have the settlers claimed the owners’ lands for themselves. Other incidents include Chirove stealing the owners’ bull to run with his cows, blocking the water points to deny access for the owner’s cattle as well as numerous other deliberate sabotages for the past two years.  At Lothian Farm, settlers have moved again into the owner’s homestead. The owner is not presently residing on this property.
Chiredzi – there is ongoing harassment, with poaching and more people moving on to farms. People from the communal areas have been told that they should begin moving on to the farms. Fires have also been reported.
Gutu / Chatsworth – the Beema Farm owner is presently residing in South Africa. Settlers on this property are said to have chased all the farm workers out of their homes and off the property, leaving 300 cattle untended. Reports are that settlers have begun sharing the cattle amongst themselves. This has been reported to the Police who have sent officials out to investigate the situation.
Save Conservancy - Snaring and poaching continue.
Mwenezi - Continued harassment over water. Cattle are being caught in snares. Poaching rampant.
No report received.

General - A new trend developing is to steal four month old calves, which are unbranded or untagged, and moving them into their communal areas.  Many reports from different districts are coming in of unaccounted calf shortages.  Several deliberate fires have already accrued raising fears of a scorched earth policy being applied.  There are some signs of better police response to complaints, although it is too early to see if this is a departmental policy change.  Daily harassment of farmers and their labour continues and comes in many forms.  As soon as one dispute is resolved another one is immediately created or invented.  No life threatening injuries to people have been reported recently.  Verbal abuse, murder threats and ullimatums abound.   Maize meal continues in short supply with no improvement in supplies.
Inyathi - Gourlays Ranch (Richard Pascall) had approximately 300 people around the homestead this morning, demanding compensation for a rhino that had died and wanting the owner to move out with immediate effect. They harassed the labour, causing a work stoppage and telling the labour to vacate the farm.  The Police were called and arrived. After a three-hour meeting between the police, owner and a small representative group of the mob, they finally dispersed when a truck loaded with maize arrived at the store. The situation is quiet.
Esigodini – the Komani Farm (Mr Paul Goodwin at) owner is now completely off his farm, with his stud herd of beef cattle, dairy cattle and sheep moved to neighbours. He is living in town and his fat stock sale was held on 27.03.02.  The Ntabendende Farm (Mr Willie Robinson) owner is completely off his farm.
Nyamandlovu - Hilda's Kraal (John Sharp) had 105 people arrive on 26.03.02.  After a while, they left leaving 16 of the group at the homestead.  Munto Farm (Mr Pilossof -) was visited by a group of people, telling the manager (Mr Parkin) to leave the farm immediately. He is still on the farm.  Porter Farm (Mr W. Herbst) was visited by a group of 30 people, who told the owner to leave immediately. They are still on the farm.  The local self-appointed "war vet" leader, Mquamanzi claims the farm homestead is his and wants to move in.  The issue of who is sharing beds with whom has not been resolved as yet!  Continual pressure from settlers and "war vets" is forcing the owner of Edwaleni into reducing his cattle numbers.  600 head of illegal cattle will leave his herd starving within two months.  The settler cattle will then return to their grazing in the communal lands.  Water supplies are critical, as settlers have burnt out three electric motors on the boreholes. A family member of Compensation farm, which has suffered greatly, was stopped at his home gate in Bulawayo by a group of Zanu (PF) youths, who were putting up posters for the elections.  A hasty retreat prevented him from being injured.  Police at Hillside would not record the incident and the OIC refused to give his name.  The vehicle ferrying the youths was a red Nissan twin cab registration number 757 - 185B.  Labour on Seafield has been beaten up, intimidated and instructed to remove all the cattle off the farm. 
B.L.F.A – all is quiet
Gwaai - Gwaai Ranch 
National Parks official found driving around the farm looking to shoot three Buffalos to feed the youth brigade in the area.
Gwanda – the Oakley Block farm manager has been denied access to the property to manage his cattle.  Settlers have broken into the homestead stealing the remaining furniture, occupying the homestead and establishing a school in the outbuildings.
Insiza – at Fountains farm the bedroom window was stoned and broken.
West Nicholson - at Atherstone Ranch, "war vets" and settlers started removing the irrigation pipes and equipment off the lands claiming the farm and all equipment belongs to them.  Police have intervened but not decisively and there is an uneasy standoff between the owner and settlers.  Police have gone to consult their superiors to determine who owns what.  The Chipizi Farm "war vets" continually harass management.  They have broken and destroyed ball valves on water troughs, effectively destroying water supplies to 80% of the ranch.  The wildlife has already been subjected to heavy poaching pressure, which will now increase dramatically as the animals will be forced to congregate around the only dam on the property.  Giraffe number 35 was killed in a snare this week.
Gwanda – the River Block Ranch foreman was beaten up by settlers.  The vacant house and cottage were broken into. The house is now occupied and the cottage used as a school.  The occupants to allow the owner to remove the pump and switchgear valued at ZW$ 250 000, from the river.  The local MP T. Muhadi is reported to have ordered ZESA to switch on the power and claimed the farm owner would pay for the power used.
Matobo – at Mt Edgecombe, settlers have taken over staff housing and turned the farm shed into a school.  Calves are disappearing and are either killed and eaten or removed into communal areas.
Umguza – at Mawala Farm, a dismissed worker who complained to "war vets" tried to extort an inflated gratuity settlement from the elderly farmer, to no avail.                                               Visit the CFU Website
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Leader Page

Mugabe needs to show that he is in charge

3/28/02 8:01:19 AM (GMT +2)

It is no secret that, following his controversial victory in the just-ended
election, what President Mugabe needs desperately is to convince those
countries that matter most in the international community that, despite
their rejection of the result, his government deserves to be recognised as
having some modicum of legitimacy.

And one of the main ways by which he could convince them is by demonstrating
that he is now fully and firmly in charge of the country’s affairs instead
of continuing to be seen as tolerant of the lawlessness that he is generally
believed to have sanctioned over the past two years as a means to an
end -that of retaining power.

He sorely needs that recognition, even if it will only be given grudgingly.

Because, let’s face it, Mugabe’s bravado notwithstanding, without the
goodwill of those with economic might in today’s global village, there is
big trouble lying ahead.

Not only is Zimbabwe likely to be on its knees economy-wise sooner rather
than later, but also his government is not likely to survive for long in an
environment of a completely hostile international community.

So far, however, he has not demonstrated that he is in control of the
situation, particularly with regard to the highly vexatious and
all-important issue of the restoration of the rule of law.

Mindless violence and the selective application of the law persisted during
the election period when scores of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
election agents were subjected to arbitrary arrests, assaults and

The international community might have been tempted to overlook that for the
sake of healing the wounds and rebuilding bridges if lawlessness had ceased
with the end of the election.

Unfortunately, they are unlikely to strike a conciliatory note for the
simple reason that the lawlessness and mindless violence have even
intensified in the post-election period with widespread reports of Zanu PF
rogue elements meting out - with impunity - retributive punishment on
countless perceived MDC supporters.

We shall cite a few of the more unsettling cases of the post-election
violence against MDC supporters reported in this newspaper.

Soon after the election soldiers and riot police, without the slightest
provocation, moved about Gweru beating up patrons in selected nightclubs
resulting in injuries to innocent revellers and extensive damage to property
on the targeted premises.

The two main targets were Timothy Mukahlera’s Takarangana Night Club and
Patrick Kombayi’s night club in his Chitukuko Hotel.

Mukahlera is the MDC MP for Gweru Urban, while Kombayi is well known for his
fearless criticism of the manner Mugabe and his government are running the

In Chikomba district, a prominent businessman was brutally murdered for no
other reason than that he had campaigned for the MDC candidate during the
presidential election campaign.

On Monday this week, we reported that about 17 000 MDC supporters, including
Evelyn Masaiti, the MP for Mutasa, and Leonard Chirovamhangu, the MP for
Nyanga, have fled their homes in the wake of a wave of violence launched
against them immediately after the announcement of the election results.

The attacks on the MDC supporters are allegedly being carried out by a
combined force of so-called war veterans, Zanu PF youths and - unbelievably
the police.

We are told many of the affected villagers are now living in mountains,
while some of the MDC’s election agents in Chipinge are now living under
bridges after fleeing their homes because Zanu PF youths and war veterans
wanted to kill them.

The latest victim of Zanu PF’s murderous campaign of retribution is Harare’s
new executive mayor, Elias Mudzuri, whose Status Night Club in Budiriro was
invaded by the riot police who severely beat up patrons without provocation.

In the face of all these acts of lawlessness, Mugabe has not uttered a word
of rebuke. There can be no doubt whatsoever that these acts are doing
nothing to improve his image internationally. If he does not act decisively
to end them, an impression is likely to be gained that he is either the hand
behind them, or that he is not in full control of the country.
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Daily News

More contradictions among SA observers

3/28/02 7:41:13 AM (GMT +2)

By Sandra Nyaira Political Editor

MORE cracks continue to appear within the South African observer mission to
Zimbabwe’s recent presidential election which the head of the mission, Dr
Sam Motsuenyane, declared was “free and fair”, resulting in the South
African Parliament adopting the report and recognising President Mugabe as
the country’s legitimate leader.

The latest member of the 50-strong mission to condemn the election as being
flawed is Brigalia Bam, the head of South Africa’s Independent Electoral

Bam said: “The elections were not free and fair and I would not want to
describe them as legitimate.”

He said if voters had been allowed to express themselves properly, Mugabe
and his arch-rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC’s candidate in the flawed
election, would have come out of the election with an equal number of votes.

The MDC has described Mugabe’s controversial re-election as the biggest
fraud ever.

Many in Zimbabwe think Tsvangirai could have easily won the election had
Mugabe not employed dirty tricks like the drastic reduction of polling
stations in urban areas.

Polling stations in the rural areas were increased to cater for as many
people as possible while urban areas, which are opposition strongholds,
suffered massive congestion with thousands of voters failing to cast their

“If people had not been stopped from voting on the third day, the parties
would have had the same numbers, and if not that, then it would have been
very close,” said Bam.

“There is no clear majority.” Bam took exception to the description of the
election as “legitimate” by the head of the mission, Motsuenyane.

“I have problems with the word legitimate because I don’t know the legal
implications of that. Does it mean that the government is illegitimate?”

The comments come after Bobby Godsell, Anglogold’s chief executive officer,
broke ranks with the mission last week, saying he was “both confused and
uncomfortable about the use of the word legitimate to describe the
Zimbabwean poll”.

Iqbal Jhazbhay, another member of the mission, said Mugabe and his
government abused power to his advantage.

“It is up to everyone of us to speak up against these terrible abuses of
power,” said Jhazbhay, a lecturer at the University of South Africa.
Writing for the Sunday Independent this week, Jhazbhay painted a picture of
intense fear and intimidation in the run-up to the election.

“Zimbabwe’s rulers hold that no one is immune from their wrath and that
citizens should maintain a permanent sense of fear and capitulation when it
comes to authority.

“Whereas the rest of the Sadc region seems to be moving in a democratic
direction, Zimbabwe is going the other way, towards even greater autocracy.

“As a result, more and more of us feel that we should no longer remain
silent about this.”

But it appears Motsuenyane is sticking to his guns.

“There is absolutely no contradiction. Millions of people voted, even if
there were some people excluded. But I would say the majority of eligible
voters participated.”

However, another member of the mission, Professor Itumeleng Mosala,
vice-chancellor of Technikon North West, concurs with Motsuenyane.

“As far as we are concerned, the voting was not rigged, the outcome was not
rigged. More than two million Zimbabweans voted, and for us that was
significant. They voted secretly and their votes were counted, so that is
where we stand,” Mosala said.

The Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) said the election was
not free and fair.

It attacked the observer mission saying it was regrettable that it had
“failed to offer a clear finding as to the freeness and fairness” of the

“Their failure to do so dilutes South Africa’s standing in the world and
undermines the credibility of our leadership role in the building of a
viable programme of development for Africa,” Paul Graham, Idasa’s boss,

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Daily News


MDC polling agent beaten to death by police, soldiers

3/28/02 7:40:18 AM (GMT +2)

From our Correspondent in Mutare

HIS life ended abruptly at the age of 25 after a group of enthusiastic
policemen and soldiers at Ruda police station beat him up for backing the
candidature of Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC, in the just-ended
presidential election.

Donald Jeranyama, an MDC polling agent in Mutasa, died at his home in the
constituency on Monday from internal injuries he sustained following a
severe beating allegedly by members of the uniformed forces.

Jeranyama was among the 25 MDC polling agents and five whites arrested on 7
March for allegedly contravening a section of Public Order and Security Act
after they gathered at St Martins School to be deployed to various polling

Pishai Muchauraya, MDC spokesman for Manicaland, said yesterday: "Following
the beating, Jeranyama bled from the ears. We took him to hospital but there
was a shortage of medicine so he was discharged and later died at home. We
have since requested a post-mortem. This is a cruel act by the law
enforcement agents. How can they beat their own people to death? The
perpetrators should be brought to book. This country will soon become
ungovernable if this type of government -sponsored murders and brutality

Muchauraya said burial arrangements were to be announced soon.

Evelyn Masaiti, the MP for Mutasa, Muchauraya, and Arnold Tsunga, president
of Zimrights and lawyer, were arrested and assaulted allegedly by soldiers
at Ruda Police station, Honde Valley, when they went to investigate the

They were later released without being charged, but the 25 polling agents
were detained and released after voting was complete. They were also not
charged, said Muchauraya.

Masaiti, who sustained bruises to the body and stiff neck, has since fled
the constituency following persistent death threats from alleged Zanu PF
youths and fears of arrest by the police.

In an unrelated incident in Shinja in Chimanimani, Simon Panganai Mudonha,
the MDC vice chairman for ward 9, was allegedly attacked by Zanu PF youths
on 19 March in the on-going post-election violence. He was admitted at
Biriri Hospital and transferred to Chipinge. District Hospital
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Daily News

War vets’ public service witch-hunt intensifies

3/28/02 7:39:00 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

WAR veterans and Zanu PF supporters have launched a witch-hunt among the
civil servants in Bindura, threatening to flush out all those suspected of
having links with the opposition MDC.

Those that have already been harassed include the assistant district
administrator, only named as Gara, and several officials in the Ministry of
Education, Sports and Culture, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, and
the Department of Information.

Six officials in the office of the provincial administrator were reportedly
approached and warned of their “pending dismissals” which have not been
sanctioned by any government authority.

Although none of the affected officials could be reached for comment on
Tuesday, most of them confirmed they had been harassed by war veterans and
Zanu PF supporters who said they were under government instruction to ferret
out suspected MDC sympathisers.

The latest move has, however, been criticised by some of the ruling party
officials in Bindura who have argued that the harassment of government
officials would further damage the already battered image of Zanu PF.

A Zanu PF official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “This is a
very sad development which we all never anticipated from some of our
members. We see our party as consisting of mature politicians who should not
be going about harassing innocent people.”

Elliot Manyika, the MP for Bindura, on Tuesday refused to comment on the

MDC officials in the town said they had a list of targeted civil servants,
suspected of having campaigned for the MDC during the run-up to the
presidential election held on 9-11 March.

Some of the targeted civil servants include officials in the Ministry of
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, particularly magistrates at the
Bindura Magistrates’ Court.

Some of the magistrates have already been accused of delivering judgments
that favour the opposition.

Daily News

Zanu PF supporters besiege Town House

3/28/02 7:38:19 AM (GMT +2)

By Luke Tamborinyoka Municipal Reporter

ROWDY Zanu PF supporters yesterday besieged Town House in Harare to protest
against a resolution passed by the new executive mayor, Elias Mudzuri, and
his council, to terminate contracts for hundreds of employees on probation
and all those recruited in the past six months.

Riot police fired shots and tear gas to disperse MDC supporters, mainly
passers-by, who scaled the Town House fence and demanded that Zanu PF
supporters disband and allow the new mayor and his council to work in peace.
The protesters were later escorted by the police to the Zanu PF

Mudzuri, who has brought his own security to Town House, yesterday said two
war veterans had visited him in the morning and told him they were worried
the resolution was aimed at war veterans in council service.

“They said they would descend on me. I feel threatened, but it is the right
of the employer to terminate the contract of anyone on probation,” Mudzuri

“I was elected and some of these people visiting me are not privy to council

He said the war veterans had identified themselves as Matsoto and Moyo.
Council sources said yesterday the Commission had stuffed several Zanu PF
people into certain positions of council in the last days of their tenure,
despite a government directive to slash the salary bill. The sources said
Tuesday’s resolution had caused panic among the war
veterans, 21 of whom have been promoted to senior positions within the
municipal police.

Among them is war veteran leader, Joseph Chinotimba, a former patrolman who
is now a chief security officer in the municipal police department.

The group was promoted following their siege on Town House last September,
when they beat up senior council officials including the chamber secretary,
Josephine Ncube.

Mudzuri said the council would conduct an audit of all appointments made
during the period the Harare City Council was carrying out a retrenchment
exercise. Among those likely to be affected is Leslie Gwindi, a prominent
Zanu PF member who was recently appointed public relations manager, a
position which the council had abolished.

Gwindi was last year tipped for the governorship of Mashonaland Central
province following the appointment of Elliot Manyika as the Minister of
Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation.

“It is the council’s intention to reduce the huge salary bill as directed by
the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing over the
last three years,” Mudzuri said.

“Identified vacant positions will be advertised and filled with suitably
qualified staff once the audit and restructuring exercise is complete. All
employees affected by the resolution will be free to apply for any vacant
positions determined.”

Mudzuri said he doubted very much whether the protesting Zanu PF supporters
had been granted permission to do so in terms of the draconian Public Order
and Security Act.

Meanwhile, Mudzuri said the salaries and allowances for mayor, deputy mayor
and the councillors were submitted to the government for approval.

The councillors reportedly want an allowance of $25 000 every month, while
the salaries and allowances for mayor and deputy mayor could not be
established yesterday.
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Status of Mugabe’s Cabinet queried

3/28/02 8:15:38 AM (GMT +2)

By Sandra Nyaira

ZIMBABWE’S Cabinet ministers now hold office illegally, a legal expert said
yesterday. Section 31E of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states categorically
that the office of Vice-President, Minister or Deputy Minister shall become
vacant upon the assumption of office of a new President.

It also states that such office will fall vacant if the President removes
him or her from office, or if he resigns his office by notice in writing
addressed and delivered to the President.

Eleven days after President Mugabe’s inauguration for a new term of office,
none of the ministers has been officially reappointed and sworn in, the
expert pointed out.

Therefore, a meeting held by the Cabinet on Tuesday was illegal, he said.
The unusually long meeting was the first after Mugabe’s inauguration.

Constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku said: “There is no Cabinet at the
moment. Cabinet can only exist during the process of holding elections, but
this ceases when the President takes a new oath of office. That act of
taking oath of new office on 17 March 2002 by President Mugabe automatically
dissolved his old Cabinet.”

Madhuku said up to 17 March, Mugabe operated under his old mandate and he
was now obliged by law to appoint or reappoint a new Cabinet. “All decisions
taken by Cabinet after 17 March are, therefore, not valid in law,” he said.

“This includes the purported decisions by the so-called individual
ministers. For example, Jonathan Moyo’s letter to Geoff Nyarota this week
has no legal basis since he is no longer a minister.”

Moyo, the junior minister responsible for Information and Publicity in the
President’s Office, on Tuesday threatened legal action against Nyarota, the
Editor-in-Chief of The Daily News, unless he publicly retracted a story on
the decision by the African, Caribbean and Pacific states-European Union
(ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly calling on the government of Zimbabwe
to hold a fresh presidential election, saying the poll that gave Mugabe a
new term was not expressive of the electorate’s will because of the
preceding violence and uneven playing field.

Moyo said there was no record to support the story. Moyo was in fact wrong
as such a resolution was, indeed, adopted in Cape Town last Thursday by the
ACP-EU joint session.

“Mugabe has mistaken the situation which exists when we have parliamentary
elections and he himself is not going through an election,” said Madhuku.

“In that situation his ministers continue in office even though they have
been re-elected into Parliament. “If Mugabe thinks there is no difference,
the question he must answer for the nation is: why did he himself take a new
oath of office? The Cabinet ministers either lose their jobs or have to be
reappointed and take new oaths of office before Mugabe.”

Mugabe has been unusually quiet since his re-election. He, however, held a
lengthy Cabinet meeting on Tuesday after which he presided over another long
one of the Zanu PF politburo.

On Tuesday, 19 March, The Daily News published a story suggesting a pending
Cabinet reshuffle, following Mugabe’s inauguration as President.

The article, quoting well-placed sources in Zanu PF, predicted that
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made would be axed, while the two
Vice-Presidents, Joseph Msika and Simon Muzenda, would be retired and
replaced by Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo and Stan Mudenge of Foreign
Affairs, respectively. Moyo was said to be earmarked for promotion to
Foreign Affairs.

The government has not responded to the story. Asked to comment on the
failure by Mugabe to appoint a new Cabinet as required by the law, George
Charamba, the permanent secretary in the Department of Information, said
that Mugabe was not a new President.

He had merely been re-elected, he said. He said the clause referred to by
Madhuku pertained to a new President taking over after beating an incumbent
in an election.

“That’s absolute nonsense,” said Charamba. “Let the lawyers go back to their
books. We have a legitimate Cabinet enjoying a legitimate term.”


Nkomo, Mnangagwa tipped for top jobs

By Cris Chinaka
3/28/02 1:25:52 AM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE’S embattled President Robert Mugabe is likely to appoint two new
vice presidents in a Cabinet reshuffle expected after his controversial
re-election, official sources said this week.

Mugabe appeared set on picking his preferred successor, Speaker of
Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa, and Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo to
replace his current ailing deputies, Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika, they

Msika, who was appointed deputy president after the death in 1999 of veteran
nationalist Joshua Nkomo, and Muzenda, who has been Mugabe’s deputy since
1980, are both 79 — just a year older than Mugabe. Mnangagwa is 59 and Nkomo
is 67.

"The expectation is that there is going to be some changes and movements in
the Cabinet, and that the two vice presidents will be replaced because both
have some serious and worrying health problems," one source said.

Both Msika and Muzenda have been reported sick over the months, but the
government has insisted they are in good health.

Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s sole ruler since the former Rhodesia gained independence
from Britain in 1980, retained his hold on power earlier this month after a
presidential poll denounced by many Western powers as deeply flawed.

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has branded Mugabe’s victory
"daylight robbery" and has spurned suggestions from southern African leaders
that he joins a government of national unity.

Senior government officials said Mugabe’s expected Cabinet reshuffle had not
been affected by the controversy over re-election, but the need to assemble
a competent and courageous Cabinet team for a country facing a deepening
economic crisis.

"If there has been any agony at all, then it has to do with the need to put
together a team that is equal to the challenge at hand," one source said.

Officials at the government’s Department of Information refused to comment
on the expected Cabinet reshuffle.

Speculation is rife that besides replacing his two vice presidents, Mugabe
might also split the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement
in a bid to boost his controversial land seizure programme.

Mugabe, whose land policy has plunged Zimbabwe into its worst crisis since
independence, has targeted more than 90 percent of white-owned farms for
seizure under a programme he says is aimed at correcting colonial

Economic analysts said although Mugabe might not be keen on retaining
Finance Minister Simba Makoni, who is seen as too liberal, Zimbabwe’s
economic crisis was likely to force him to keep him in the post.

Independent economist John Robertson said Mugabe might try to win "some sort
of credibility" with his team by having a couple of ministers regarded as

"I don’t think it will simply be about what Mugabe likes. There will be a
measure of pragmatism because I am sure the government wants to keep open
lines of communication with the West and with international donor
organisations," he said.

— Reuter
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