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

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To: Secretary-General - Commonwealth <
Sent: Saturday, March 02, 2002 12:17 PM
Subject: You are achieving the Square Root of Nothing

Dear Mr McKinnon
You are achieving the Square Root of Nothing and spending or rather wasting a lot of money doing it.
Are the African Countries that do not want to confront Mugabe going to feed the people of Zimbabwe as a result of Mugabe reducing the production of food and thereby creating a food shortage?
Surely it is time to do what is right for the people of Zimbabwe and not what is right for people who have nothing to lose from talking and complaining
Learnmore Ndlovu

Sent: Tuesday, 5 March 2002 7:10 AM
Subject: Zimbabwe

Dear Mr McKinnon

Sekai Holland said on the ABC yesterday, and in answer to the question, why is Mugabe saying we are all acting like colonialists "he is playing the colonial guilt card to the hilt - never mind what our real problems are ..."

You have all been deceived by evil.   Before it is too late and we have yet another disaster in Africa, stand up for what is right.   This man is murdering and has murdered tens of thousands of people - just because he is black does he get away with it ?    I wept for the agony on Sekai Holland's face ... their bravery in the face of what has gone on in the last two years is something most New Zealanders and Australians cannot even conceive.

When a tiger becomes toothless - it usually means its demise is imminent.    Zimbabwe has plucked the Commonwealth's last remaining teeth.

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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Monday 4 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.

·        On Versailles, Featherstone, the owner returned to collect personal effects.  "Settlers" and Zanu (PF) youth surrounded the house demanding "retrenchment" packages for farm labour.  Two details from Featherstone Police reacted and defused the tense situation.  The labour returned to work but the group of agitators said they would enlist the support of "war vet" Padera.
·        The owner of Igudu, Wedza, was given two hours to leave the farm at midday on 02.03.02.  Two observers spoke to the settlers saying any violence or intimidation would not look good for the country.  The police eventually arrived and decided the Lands Committee would have to make a final decision on 04.03.02.  The owner is not allowed to leave the farm and no one is able to visit him.
·        On Lot 1A of The Grove, Chegutu, ZW$ 7.7 million worth of cut flowers are currently sitting on a compost heap as the owner and his foreman are still not allowed back to the farm by Zanu (PF), a result of the owner’s support for "change".
·        Testwood Farm, Masvingo, had 1500 acres burnt out over the weekend.
·        In Nyamandlovu, a group of people believed to be from Redwood Park, assaulted four labourers on Causton Block and three on Mcobeni farm.  The labour does not want to report the attack, or the severity, for fear of retaliation.
General Laws Amendment Act
On Wednesday 27 February 2001, the Supreme Court nullified the General Laws Amendment Act on grounds that Government had not followed the proper procedure when placing it before the parliament.
Many people have been asking whether this also nullifies the new Section 8 Compulsory Acquisition Orders promulgated in Statutory Instrument 338 of 2001, using the Presidential Powers Temporary Measures Act.  In other words, do all Section 8 Compulsory Acquisition Orders revert to those provided in the Land Acquisition Act as amended by Act No 15 of 2000.
The Union is advised they do not.
This is because SI 338, by which the new Section 8 Compulsory Acquisition Orders were promulgated, is still valid, having a life of 180 days from 9th November 2001. 
Therefore the State must now either reintroduce the General Laws Amendment Bill following the correct procedure or promulgate the provisions  of SI 338 in a new Land Acquisition Amendment Bill before 8 May 2002, failing which the law concerning compulsory acquisition of commercial farms will revert  to that in force before SI 338.
David W Hasluck
CFU Director
Rusape – there were plenty of meetings held over the weekend.  A tractor was commandeered on a farm and the Support Unit had to be called in to get it back.  On Chitora farm labour were beaten up and forced to march about 9 km to a Zanu (PF) rally site, which was to be held the next day.  When told to go back to their homes, they were reminded to attend the rally the following day.  They did.  Two farms had work stoppages on 04.03.02 because labour was forced to attend rallies.
General – all other areas suspiciously quiet.
Mvurwi – three work stoppages occurred on Chigudu, Umsengesi and Forrester J.  This was because labour was working on a Sunday to make up for lost time attending a Zanu (PF) presidential rally on 28.02.02.  On Forrester, a cow was axed and recovered by tracker dogs in Chiweshe. 
Beatrice – "war vet" Chiramba arrived at New Retreat demanding the reason for maize being reaped and threatening to fetch reinforcements from Joyce Mine.  The police and GMB officials arrived and the owner told to deliver 30 tonnes of shelled maize to the GMB by 05.03.02.  The maize is still too wet to shell.
Enterprise/Bromley/Ruwa – plenty of meetings ongoing.  The farm village at Chinyika was raided; windows and doors were broken and ten people needed medical attention.
Featherstone – the owner of Dunkirk was instructed by a delegation of local settlers to move all dairy cattle off the property by 23.02.02.  At Perseverance a local "settler" told the owner to pay off  three labourers and was not permitted to move personal property until then. The Zanu (PF) Youth supervised the loading of property and the owner has vacated.  The local "settler" says he is now responsible for homestead and ZESA.  At Beach Farms "war vet" Padera told the labour they must be paid off and vacate the property.  He still refuses to speak to the farm manager.  The owner of Wildebeestlaagte has paid off the labour.  Charles Gumbo with Zanu (PF) youth has told the labour to vacate by this weekend.  The situation on Gelukverwacht remains difficult.  Most of the labour is paid off.  There are roadblocks, manned by Zanu (PF) youth at the entrance to the homestead and all vehicles and individuals are being searched.  On Versailles the owner returned to collect personal effects.  "Settlers" and Zanu (PF) youth surrounded the house demanding "retrenchment" packages for farm labour.  Two details from Featherstone Police reacted and defused the tense situation.  The labour returned to work but the group of agitators said they would enlist the support of "war vet" Padera.  On Kuruman 'A' the Zanu (PF) Women’s League held a meeting on how to vote, with labour told to put their X by Zanu (PF) and when leaving the polling booth, they must give the closed fist salute.  Party will know how everyone has voted because ballot papers have serial numbers.  The owner was told to  enlist police support to vote, and told by Zanu (PF) youth leader Josie to leave the farm for safety.  "War vet" Padera arrived at Jakkalsdraai (F Viviers) – an unlisted farm - asking labour why it has not been pegged.  He sad they must be paid off and if they are not paid off he will bring Minister Chinotimba to physically evict them.  At Leeufontein - unlisted farm – labour was evicted from the farm village and now live in the bush.  The labour have been told by "war vet" Padera they are not allowed to work for commercial farmers.  DA Chagwiza is aggressively pursuing "resettling" this farm.  On Calais the Umtegesa resettlement Zanu (PF) Chairman, Mr Dehwa, told labour to stop farming operations by 01.03.02.  The owner of Oasis was told to pay off labour with retrenchment packages.  His bank supplied a letter stating funds are not available.  On 02.03.02, he was told he was part of MDC as he had been to CFU for advice.  On 27.02.02, an aggressive mob arrived at Ashton armed with sticks and one had an iron bar.  The owner was forced to collect the cattle labour from another farm where he leases grazing.  The mob demanded he pay off all labour, left, only to return later in a more belligerent mood.  They broke through the fence and surrounded the homestead.  Police failed to arrive.  The owner, fearing for his safety, fired a shot into the roof to keep the advancing mob back.  He then made his escape with his wife and daughter, leaving their pets behind and the house open.  On Hazeldene– an unlisted farm – the owner was warned a group would come to "sort out" his labour and retrenchment packages on 2/3/02.  This was after a work stoppage on 28.02.02, when the owner refused to pay retrenchment packages.  Most labour is absent from the farm and are said to have each contributed "bus fare" for one person to collect "war vet" Padera from Chivhu.
NOTE: 1) On Pennyfather, Leeufontein, De La Quellerie and Ashton – the dogs, cattle and horses have not been removed, fed or dipped.  National SPCA has said they will try and  assist.
2) Commonwealth Observers visited the area on 02.03.02.  Further visits during working hours to DA, DISPOL and police officials commanding stations are imperative.
Harare South – at Marirangwe farm village about 30 people destroyed a house and assaulted the occupant who they suspected belonged to MDC.  The Houmoed manager had the security fence cut in three places and the dogs poisoned but nothing was taken.  At Red Dane Dairy five drunken men in a yellow Datsun sedan arrived, and tried to threaten the owner into repairing a puncture and providing transport to a rally.  The owner said he would try and  assist.  At Monderwa a group of 20 men and women arrived.  Eight distracted the owner by demanding food, whilst the rest broke into the storeroom to steal maize.  Some farmers and the police arrived and the group absconded.  The house at Ripplemead was broken into.  Thieves stole a microwave and food and poisoned the dogs.  Zanu (PF) youth arrived at Albion on a tractor and trailer, abducting the foreman and telling his wife to not to expect him back.
Marondera Urban – Daily v iolence in the high-density suburbs.  An MDC rally scheduled to take place was aborted because of the prospect of violence.  Youths and ZANU (PF) supporters occupied, and barricaded the road past, the venue.  People perceived to be opposition supporters were beaten up and opposition organisers returning to Harare were stoned near the Goromonzi turn-off.
Marondera South – the owner of Monte Cristo informed police that he believed the ongoing theft of maize on farm is by settlers from the neighbouring Chipesa base camp.  There was no response.  On 03.03.02, the suspects were caught red-handed and reacted by angrily stating, as there is a drought no one should dare stop them trying to feed themselves!  One of the handcuffed thieves nicked his ear crossing a fence, and tried to claim he was assaulted with sticks.  The group refused to be transported to the police station.  When the police arrived, the accused had vanished.  At Eldorado a cow and a weaner were slaughtered on 01.03.02, bringing the total killed in three months to six.  At Makarara Zanu (PF) youth were harassing the owner, wanting to take over the bar and build a store in the farm village.  When met with refusal, they threatened to return with the ‘masses’.  A proposed ZANU (PF) rally at Igava farm was cancelled as Zanu (PF) started beating up labour as they arrived.  The labour responded by leaving the meeting immediately.
Marondera North – at Rocklands tractors and labour were held hostage by settlers demanding an exorbitant compensation.  The police and Support Unit reacted and the tractors and labour released.  At Nyamwera the foreman was abducted and accused of being MDC supporter.  There were widespread Zanu (PF) youth meetings over the weekend and requests for assistance for the Zanu (PF) star rally in Marondera on 05.03.02.
Macheke-Virginia –on Mignon Farm seven labourers were told to not report for work until after the elections.  Reported to Police RN 25/2002.  A roadblock set up by Zanu (PF) youth on Barrymore Farm was dismantled by the time police arrived.  At Drylawhill 15 youths demanded the owner dismisses a labourer for having no ID.  The owner refused, called the police, and the youths left, threatening to return with larger numbers to "fix the farmer".  The policeman attending the scene refused to give out an RRB number.  On Fault Farm youths forced entry into the security fence, demanding maize from the owner’s daughter.  She radioed her father for help.  He managed to get the youths to disperse and said he would not give them any maize.  The Nyagadzi Farm gate was padlocked by a settler, and a log put across the road.  The case was reported to a Constable Manyika, who said that the only way to solve the issue was to cut off the padlock, and refused to come out.  On Salama Farm the guards were chased out of maize land by about twelve Zanu (PF) youth.  This was reported to Cst Chanakira.  The police refused to attend, as there was no real evidence of maize theft.  An official from Agritex Murehwa, a Mr. Matipano came to the farm for A2 resettlement, approximately 18 plots of 70-80 hectares, driving a white Toyota, reg. number GPR 1731.  A 200-strong but peaceful gathering took place at Craigielea   A high-powered delegation from Murehwa arrived at Bimi Farm and demanded a shed for their tobacco.  The owner conceded, fearing violence.  Longridge Farm received a Section 7.
Medlar Farm reported a large gathering took place at the farm crèche, reputedly a Zanu (PF) meeting.  At Salama Farm the MP for UMP area north of Murehwa, Mr. Mutiwekuziwa, arrived with his entourage to inspect “his farm” for A2 resettlement.  Whilst the owner of Waterloo Farm was away for the weekend, "war vets" and Zanu (PF) youths arrived and said this was now a training farm.  They accused the owner of having an arms cache and they would be back to search for weapons.
Wedza – the owner of Igudu went to see the DA after being told to get off the farm.  He was passed on to the Governor's office and told, "your 90 days is up so go".  The police did not resolve the situation as the settlers refused to listen to them.  At midday on 02.03.02 he was given two hours to leave the farm.  Two observers spoke to the settlers saying any violence or intimidation would not look good for the country.  The police eventually arrived and decided the Lands Committee would have to make a final decision on 04.03.02.  The owner is not allowed to leave the farm and no one is able to visit him.  Agritex arrived on 27.02.02 Exeter asking for information on hectrage under cultivation and farm equipment.  They pegged the following day.  Agritex delivered several people to Liliefontein for A2 resettlement.  On 02.03.02 a truckload of people arrived at the owner's gate at night and hooted.  The owner refused to come out, they spoke to the new settlers.  On 03.03.02, the owner met with them.  They said the 90 days were up on the Section 8 served, the cattle must be moved and compensation paid for damage to a house by the cattle.  At Mimi domestic staff and the few labourers left were told they could not work from 01.03.02.  The owner's wife said they had no intention of leaving when asked for a date.  "War vet" Philip William from next door told the owner's son-in-law the Zanu (PF) youth complained he had restricted their water.  He explained this was because the youth had broken the tap and had to ask the guards to turn on the water for them.  "War vet" Philip said he would tell them to replace the tap and the owner must report any further trouble to him.  Inoro (Swanson) received a Section 7 on 3.3.02, which was signed by the Minister on the 15.2.02.  At Plymtree 20 cattle went missing from the farm next door where they were grazing and two animals were found slashed.  The culprits were apprehended and 15 cattle recovered, one slaughtered and four remain missing.  Two of the ringleaders were taken to the police.  A bull belonging to the owner of the next-door farm was slashed in the same incident.  On Devon a starter was stolen and the MCB broken from a borehole.  At Leaplear 10 weaners went missing from Bally David, with one found slashed.  The Rapako owner received a threat they would be closed down in 24 hours.  The threat came from an underling with no authority and nothing happened.  The Skoonveld owner was abducted on his son's farm, Bickleigh, at 0500 hrs by "war vet" Murewa and 30 settlers headed by Maisiri.  He suffered verbal abuse from Murewa, who indicated he needed the keys for the Bickleigh homestead, as he was moving in.  Murewa pressured the owner into signing over 25% of the tobacco on farm before releasing him at 0900 hrs.  Maisiri has told his family in Harare to join him on Bickleigh.  Theft of MCB and starters is ongoing.
Ayrshire - A rally was held at Katawa Farm over the weekend but the guest speaker did not turn up.  Voters are being taught to line up behind foremen voting captains.
Trelawney/Darwendale – the ZFTU is causing problems assisted by the Zanu (PF) youth.  One farmer left his farm and the rose cultivation as the agitators said there was an insufficient supply of protective clothing.  Zanu (PF) intervened on behalf of the labour and the situation is quiet.
Banket - Political activity intensified dramatically.  Persudade Nyulube, the Zvimba North constituency MDC co-ordinator, was assaulted by 25 Zanu (PF) youth on 02.03.02.  Although he suffers continuous bleeding from the right eye, he is unable to visit the local hospital as his assailants’ superiors work there.  The police made no attempt to arrest the perpetrators.  A farmer was arrested and put in the remand cells at Banket for making a false report, when he was trying to protect his labour, who had been badly beaten.  A Sgt. Mperakedzwa threatened the farmer when he wrote down the Sergeant’s name, and had to hand back the piece of paper during  verbal abuse. 
Nyabira - All quiet over the weekend.  Lilfordia School was subjected to harassment over their annual "Three Woods" Cross Country Meeting.  A group comprising police, army, CIO and War Veterans Association personnel visited, alleging MDC youths were seen running in to the school grounds during the event; and spectators at the event were making MDC signs with their hands as they passed Zanu (PF) supporters on their way home.  They insisted these incidents proved beyond reasonable doubt the Cross-Country Meeting had been an elaborate cover for a political rally and the cricket and tennis matches were also a ploy to disguise another such meeting.  They finally left after issuing stern warnings the local police must be forewarned of any functions taking place at Lilfordia likely to attract an adult attendance, and all visitors to the school must be specifically directed not to wave to people on the roadside with open hands during the course of their journey.  The woman representing the War Veterans stated everyone must be advised the route to the school via the old Kadoma road and past what was previously Mr Levy's estate is now a total "no-go" area.
Doma - One farmer cannot get back to his farm The Mhangura Butcheries opened again on 02.03.02.  Although plenty of on farm rallies are taking place, often the guest speaker does not arrive.  All meetings are quiet.  The Chipungu Farm owner was assaulted by the Zanu (PF) youth on 04.03.02 as he is supposed to have refused to hand over transport to go and register to vote.
Umboe - Food supply is poor.  Labour face beatings and intimidation.  There are three known Zanu (PF) youth camps in the area.  Settlers planned retaliation for Talfourd Farm labour for not attending a meeting, stealing a tractor and forcing the driver to take them to Dichwe Farm and others climbing over the fence at the Talfourd workshop area to harass labour. 
Chinhoyi - Maize meal virtually unobtainable, oil and sugar is very short.  It has been quiet over the weekend.  The registration office has mobilised voter education on the farms.
Karoi - Maize meal is short due to GMB confiscations.  There have been some political assaults and MDC supporters were abducted at several places including Magunje and Grand Parade Farm.  No arrests made.  A man was very badly beaten by Rex Jesus in Chikanjwe Township.  The police now have an RR Book, which they have been without for over a month.
Tengwe - Fairly quiet.  The Rambleholm Farm house was broken into and occupied. 

Norton - New youth bases appear to have sprung up, particularly along the Tilford Road, where roadblocks are common and motorists are forced to chant Zanu (PF) slogans on a daily basis.  Although nobody has been physically assaulted some vehicles have been stoned.  There is also a roadblock at the Zimbo Store at the end of the Sid Mine Road.  On the Lydiate Road Zanu (PF) youth smashed the windscreens of two vehicles and commandeered a tractor from Roscommon from where five youth were forced to join the Zanu (PF) youth brigade.  On Kilvington two people were assaulted by Zanu (PF) youth and tractors commandeered for a rally, which caused a work stoppage.  It is thought there is a new Zanu (PF) youth base at Jenkinstown.  At Shingwiri Zanu (PF) youth from Dorton (owned by Minister Chombo) and "war vet" Don Carlos, are currently evicting the farm manager from the homestead.  They have been on the lawn the whole night of 03.03.02 and confiscated three weapons and some ammunition.  Police have retrieved the weapons but not the ammunition, and are doing nothing to stop the illegal eviction.  Don Carlos says that the DA, Mr Shumba, has ordered the eviction.  On Serui Source there are 20 Zanu (PF) youth living in the foreman's house after the foreman was evicted a few weeks ago.  The owner is still not allowed to go back to his farm from over 6 months ago and his son is only able to get back once a week with a police escort. 
Selous - On Mount Carmel Farm Stanley Majiri, the campaign manager for Zanu (PF) in Chegutu constituency, threatened to send a hit squad.  Subsequently a group of Zanu (PF) people led by "war vet" Vangani came to the next-door farm and demanded mealie meal, which was given to them under duress.  They then accosted the owner of Mount Carmel's son, threatening he would be barricaded into his house for a week if he did not shoot them an impala.  A lack of police reaction resulted in the impala being shot, and the group also got away with stealing two boxes of mangoes and 20 litres of diesel.  On Carskey Farm which is unlisted, two fires were started by settlers to clear land by the Safari Lodge.
Suri-Suri - On Thistle Farm there was a Zanu (PF) rally, and three Air Force vehicles full of armed Air Force personnel arrived to intimidate the workers as well.  At Chanton there is a Zanu (PF) youth base where the youth are tasked with ensuring no MDC campaigning takes place. 
Chegutu - On Bougainvillea cattle were driven into the garden by settlers.  On Lot 1A of The Grove ZW$ 7.7 million worth of cut flowers are currently sitting on a compost heap as the owner and his foreman are still not allowed back to the farm by Zanu (PF), a result of the owner’s support for "change".  On De Rus Farm impromptu and illegal Zanu (PF) rallies have caused considerable losses as the rallies take place during working hours, and up to 02.00 on many nights since the invasion of Lot 1A of The Grove next door.
Kadoma - On Glenview the homestead was broken into and ZW$ 100 000.00 worth of goods stolen.  The roof was stolen off the pump house. 
Battlefields - On Railway Farm 4 labour were forced to attend a Zanu (PF) rally during working hours.
General – during the campaign period, there has been no MDC rallies held on any farms in Mashonaland West.  There have been no reports of visits by MDC officials to any of the farms, as a farm becomes a target of violent disruptions if MDC is thought to have gone there. 

Masvingo East and Central - Testwood Farm had 1500 acres burnt out over the weekend.
Chiredzi - Fairly quiet, with plenty of Zanu (PF) youth activity.  There is movement of people on farms.  As the days go by this is marked by voter education taking place and more hungry people.  All of the cane farms have now received Section 8 Orders.
Mwenezi – on Limburgia Ranch30 of the owner’s cattle were kraaled by the main settler for allegedly eating their crops.  A huge fire was reported over the weekend on Nuanetsi Ranch.  At Quagga Pan Ranch five more cattle have been axed and the owner’s safari camp vandalized.
Gutu / Chatsworth – the Irvine A owner was told by Zanu (PF) youths all his cattle must be off the property by a certain date.
Save Conservancy - No reports have come in from this area.
No report received.
Inyathi - On Waterfalls Farm, a house near the work shop was broken into by three men from Bulawayo driving a cream coloured Cressida: Mr. Perrezo Moyo, Mr Sibanda and Mr. Moyo.  They smashed the lock of the gun cupboard, stole a weapon, but left behind the magazine and firearms certificate.  They proceeded to destroy furniture in the house, stole food and then went to the Inyathi Police station and handed in the weapon.  This was thought to be in retribution for the arrest of some poachers two days previously.
Nyamandlovu – on 02.03.02 three "war vets" in a white Mazda pick-up, reg. Number 490-902N, arrived at Thandanani Farm.  They enquired why the labour had certified copies of their IDs and why the owner of the farm was keeping the originals.  After explaining the owners had the originals for safe keeping, secured in a safe in Bulawayo, the "war vets" pressured the owner to go to Bulawayo, followed by the "war vet", vehicle to retrieve the IDs.  At the 30 km peg on the main Victoria Falls road, the "war vets" fired six shots at them.  The owners managed to lose the "war vets” and made it to the residence of a partner, who holds an influential position in Zanu (PF).  The owners were escorted to Nyamandlovu Police Station where the OIC, Inspector Ncube, refused to provide an RRB number.  He instructed they were to bring the labour’s IDs to him, - the owner refused.  On 02.03.02, the OIC arrived with seven police details and took all certified copies of IDs away from the workers.  Legal advice was sought and clarification given that a person is allowed to carry and use certified copies of IDs.  The owner was told he had to make an appointment to see the OIC to hand over the original Ids, which the owner refused to do.  A group of people believed to be from Redwood Park, assaulted four labourers on Causton Block and three on Mcobeni farm.  The labour do not want to report the attack, or the severity, for fear of retaliation.   In general, political activity seems to be increasing throughout the district.  Information received states voters are still being registered in some parts of the District as people complained they had not obtained IDs or did not have photo's on their IDs during the last registration exercise.                                               Visit the CFU Website

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MALAWI-MOZAMBIQUE-SOUTH AFRICA-ZIMBABWE: Neighbours bolster border security

JOHANNESBURG, 5 March (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's neighbours have moved to strengthen security on their borders, fearing the worsening political and humanitarian crisis in that country will result in an influx of refugees.

Mozambique has followed South Africa's example and deployed extra security force personnel on its border with Zimbabwe. An analyst with the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) told IRIN it was clear the neighbours "fear a possible spillover (of refugees into their countries) during and in the aftermath of the election".

At least 26 people have been killed in political violence in the run-up to the presidential elections on 9-10 March. President Robert Mugabe is up against Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the biggest fight of his political life.

The country is also in the grips of a serious food crisis. Chris Maroleng, a researcher with the African Security Analysis Programme of the ISS, told IRIN it was more likely that hunger, and not political violence, would force Zimbabweans to flee to neighbouring countries.

South African Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota has said his troops are standing by to contain any exodus from Zimbabwe to South Africa. He is reported to have said: "Today there is no food in Zimbabwe. Now its people are coming across to South Africa. They (the Zimbabwe government) did not have the sense to manage the problem."

AFP reported on Tuesday that Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi told journalists at his weekly briefing that "we have decided to reinforce control along the border to put an end to smuggling of various products, particularly sugar".

However, Radio Mozambique reported that the deployment of troops along the border was aimed at preventing possible Zimbabwean refugees from slipping into Mozambique.

Maroleng said: "There's definitely an escalation in the security presence on the border with Zimbabwe. The neighbouring countries fear possible spillover in the aftermath and during the election period because of possible violence. Especially on the South African side, where (so far) there has not been the huge influx of refugees that they had expected."

South Africa has turned a former military base in the border town of Messina into a refugee camp. "They estimated, and have been planning for, 50 000 refugees coming across. So far though it's been the normal economic refugee situation - with Zimbabweans crossing over for work and crossing back to provide for their families," said Maroleng.

"But," he added, "a large number of Zimbabweans can be expected to leave the country in search of food ... predictions are of a deficit of 500 000 mt of maize. Yet South Africa only has the capacity to ship in 50 000 mt a month. So one of the worries of Zimbabwe's neighbours is that they already have their own problems and when faced with an influx of refugees seeking humanitarian assistance, will they have the capacity (to assist refugees)."

According to Maroleng, the plan is "to stop the refugees from coming into your own country and try and stabilise the situation in Zimbabwe itself".

Malawi is experiencing its own humanitarian crisis, with 70 percent of the population in danger of starvation, so it's unlikely they would have an influx of Zimbabwean refugees. "One might expect a flow out of Malawi rather than into it," Maroleng told IRIN. Zimbabwe's crisis had already damaged South Africa's economy, impacting on trade and "scaring-off potential investors in the region and worsening the influx of immigrants".

Mugabe has faced mounting international condemnation for the continued violence and intimidation of MDC supporters in Zimbabwe.

The European Union recently imposed sanctions on the 78-year-old and 19 of his close associates. The independent Harare newspaper the Daily News reported on Monday that Mugabe was said to have sent more than US $14,234 million (Z$800 million at the official rate or Z$4,5 billion on the parallel market) through the Channel Islands in the past three months.

The paper claimed the transfer of the millions was seen as a hint that Mugabe may flee the country if he loses the poll. It said British newspaper, The Sunday Telegraph, had revealed that most of the money was moved through financial institutions without their knowledge and had ended up in Malaysia.

"These reports came as the Swiss government announced it would freeze more than US $ 78,287 million (Z$4,4 billion at the official rate or Z$24,75 billion on the parallel market) of Mugabe's money stashed away in Swiss bank accounts if ZANU-PF rigged its way to victory in the presidential election," the Daily News said.

George Charamba, Zimbabwe's Secretary for Information and Publicity, dismissed the allegations that Mugabe had seeded away millions in foreign bank accounts.
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Yahoo News

Tuesday March 5, 03:58 PM

 Mugabe hits out at foes amid poll fears

By Cris Chinaka and Nicholas Kotch

HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe has hit the hustings around
Harare, promising to deliver a knockout blow to popular opposition candidate
Morgan Tsvangirai in independent Zimbabwe's closest-ever presidential

After 22 years in office, Mugabe takes on opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai in two days of voting at the weekend which the opposition says
will not be free and fair.

Electoral officials have not yet released key details such as the number of
registered voters and polling stations, fuelling fears that Mugabe is trying
to fix the election.

The March 9-10 polls are expected to be the closest and most bitter since
independence from Britain in 1980.

"This fist is 78 years old and has 78 horsepower that could send Mr
Tsvangirai to the ground if we were to get into the ring," Mugabe told a
rally of his ruling ZANU-PF on Monday.

Speaking in the town of Gokwe, Mugabe said ZANU-PF's complacency had allowed
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to make big gains in the
2000 parliamentary polls.

"But now we are wide awake. We won't let MDC win in the presidential
election," he said in a speech quoted by the state-owned Herald newspaper on

Mugabe was scheduled to address at least three provincial rallies on


Tsvangirai has repeatedly urged his supporters to flood the polls, saying a
large turnout would make it difficult for ZANU-PF to fix the election. Voter
turnout in the 2000 poll was 48.2 percent of the 5.3 million eligible

A spokesman for the Electoral Supervisory Commission said on Tuesday
information on the elections would be given to observers and the media on

The elections are run by a commission whose members are appointed by Mugabe,
and for this election the commission abandoned its old practice of drawing
some of the officials from non-governmental organisations.

Over the last two years Mugabe has filled key positions in his
administration with former army officers. The ESC is chaired by Sobuza
Gula-Nbebele, a lawyer and a retired colonel while the chief electoral
officer is a former brigadier.

The government has rejected allegations that it is trying to fix the polls,
and blamed pre-election violence on the MDC.

The MDC said on Monday that 34 of its supporters had been killed in a wave
of state-sponsored violence since January 1.

The alleged death toll is almost impossible to verify independently but the
United States and Britain have led international protests against violence
and intimidation, blaming ZANU-PF supporters in and out of government.

The United States' annual Human Rights Report released in Washington on
Monday blasted the Zimbabwe government for what it said were a string of
abuses leading up to the 2000 elections, interim by-elections and this
year's presidential poll.

The election comes at a time of severe food shortages caused by drought and
the state-sanctioned invasions of white-owned farms which have slashed maize

Under the gaze of riot police in Chitungwiza, some 3,000 people queued at a
supermarket on Tuesday to buy staple maize meal, the erratic supply of which
looms over Mugabe's prospects at the polls.


Mugabe's camp claimed a major diplomatic victory on Monday when the
54-member Commonwealth decided not to slap sanctions against him. African
states blocked pressure from Britain, Australia and New Zealand to do so.

Tuesday's Herald headlined one story "Why UK lost Battle of Brisbane".

ZANU-PF is campaigning on the platform that the MDC and Tsvangirai are mere
stooges of Britain and Zimbabwe's tiny white minority of around 70,000 in a
population of 13 million.

While Mugabe's harsh message has rattled Zimbabwe's embattled whites,
analysts say it is unlikely to affect generally cordial relations or force
the whites out if he wins the election.

"I think many (white) people here are used to Mugabe's language and I don't
see anybody getting too worried over it...," said law lecturer Emmanuel

Tsvangirai's campaign faces a host of problems.

On Monday, police halted a meeting with 30 foreign diplomats that he was
addressing in a five-star Harare hotel.

He also faces treason charges linked to a video purporting to show him
discussing Mugabe's assassination with security consultants in Canada. He
denies the charges.
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Tuesday, 5 March, 2002, 15:50 GMT
Zimbabwe security forces 'rigging vote'
Zimbabwe police
Officers say they are being victimised
Police and soldiers in Zimbabwe say they are being forced to vote for President Robert Mugabe in secret votes ahead of this weekend's election.

Members of the security forces say they are being ordered by their superiors to vote by postal ballots and they have no choice who to select - a charge which Mr Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party denies.

That's just disinformation. They haven't voted

Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi
"We are busy casting our votes. The ballot papers were sent to individuals in envelopes and our bosses were presiding officers," a policeman in Masvingo Province, who wished to remain anonymous, told BBC News Online.

The revelations came as the Commonwealth wound up its biennial heads of government summit in Australia, having postponed action on Zimbabwe until after the 9-10 March election.

Some members had wanted Zimbabwe suspended from the Commonwealth, arguing that President Mugabe is using intimidation, violence and rigging to win the election.


Police officers were presented with envelopes with their names on and the serial number of the ballot paper inside, said the Masvingo policeman.

This means it would be easy to find out how they had voted.

Opposition supporter with initials MDC carved into his back, allegedly by Mugabe supporters
This man had initials MDC carved into his back

The leader of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, presents the sternest electoral challenge to Mr Mugabe since independence in 1980.

But he is "bound" to lose the election because of "victimisation and rigging", another disgruntled policeman, from Gweru in Midlands Province, told BBC News Online.

He went on to detail how the officers' ballots were being miscast.

"All members of the police force here are being forced to vote using the postal ballot box now before the election date.

"The voting is done in the office of the officer-in-charge who checks on whom you have voted for before you are allowed to go out.

"After that we are asked to fill in forms to indicate that we shall be posted outside our constituencies during election time."

Claims denied

On Monday, Zimbabwean Minister of Defence Sydney Sekeramayi said it was not true that police and army members had already voted.


People are being killed. My family lives in fear.

Tendai, a farm worker
arrow Read his full testimony

"That's just disinformation. They haven't voted," he told the Daily News.

The MDC has cried foul over the issue arguing that none of its representative were present when the uniformed forces cast their votes.

MDC spokesman Learnmore Jongwe said : "We have to sit urgently as a party and see what to do in view of this latest development".

Zimbabwe has 40,000-45,000 soldiers and 35,000-50,000 police officers in an electorate of about five million registered voters.

President Mugabe was due to take to the hustings on Tuesday around the capital, Harare.

"This fist is 78 years old and has 78 horsepower that could send Mr Tsvangirai to the ground if we were to get into the ring," Mr Mugabe told a Zanu-PF rally on Monday.

Commonwealth split

Under the deal struck in Coolum, a committee of three Commonwealth leaders will wait until after the election before considering whether to suspend Zimbabwe.

Their decision will be based on the findings of Commonwealth election observers deployed there.

Britain, backed by New Zealand and Australia, had sought the country's immediate suspension.

Barring Zimbabwe from Commonwealth events would be a largely symbolic act.

But it would open the door to states imposing sanctions, following the lead of the United States and the European Union who have already done so.

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Yahoo News

Zimbabwe opposition vows to fight Mugabe win
By Emelia Sithole and Nicholas Kotch

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's opposition says President Robert Mugabe can
only win this weekend's election by stealing it and is vowing to fight a
Mugabe victory in the courts.

Mugabe and his opposition rival Morgan Tsvangirai campaigned hard on Tuesday
ahead of the March 9-10 poll -- the closest and most bitter election since
independence from Britain in 1980.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has accused Mugabe's
ruling ZANU-PF party of waging a campaign of terror in which 107 MDC
supporters have died since 2000.

"Despite all of these obstacles, despite the fact that this is not going to
be a free and fair election we are still confident that we can win," MDC
legal affairs secretary David Coltart told Reuters in an interview.

"The only way that Robert Mugabe can win this election is if he steals it,"
he added.

The MDC, which is hoping to turn public anger over a crumbling economy and
severe food shortages into victory at the polls, accuses ZANU-PF of using a
militia disguised as a youth training service to terrorise the opposition
ahead of the poll.

Mugabe and his party have denied orchestrating a campaign of intimidation
against the opposition.

Coltart said the MDC was building a case to show that the poll was not free
and fair and illegal under the country's laws.

"Our first course (if Mugabe wins) will be to go to the courts to set aside
an election result. We will call on the international community to play its
role," Coltart said.


The 78-year-old Mugabe hit the campaign trail on Tuesday, focusing on the
two themes of his campaign -- defending the state seizure of white-old
farmland and accusing Britain of meddling in African affairs.

Tsvangirai used the backdrop of a Harare hospital to blame a crumbling
health care system on Mugabe's mismanagement.

"There are no drugs and patients have to buy their own drugs...and there is
severe malnutrition, especially among children, because there is no food,"
Tsvangirai said.

Zimbabweans go to the polls at a time of severe food shortages caused by
drought and the state-sanctioned invasions of white-owned farms which have
slashed maize output.

Under the gaze of riot police, some 3,000 Zimbabweans queued at a
supermarket in the town of Chitungwiza on Tuesday to buy vital maize meal,
the erratic supply of which looms over Mugabe's election prospects.

"It looks like some people slept in the queue. People are always here,
waiting for the mealie meal because we can get deliveries at any time," said
an assistant at the shop 35 km southwest of Harare.

Mugabe insists that his government will not let anyone starve to death, but
tensions are rising as people queue for food in a country that can normally
feed itself.


Election officials said on Tuesday the country's defence forces and police
had begun voting in advance polls.

Zimbabwe's privately-owned Daily News quoted unnamed army and police
personnel on Tuesday as saying they had been forced to vote for Mugabe in
the presence of their superiors.

"If the newspaper report is true, the soldiers and police officers in
question should come forward and identify themselves," Registrar General
Tobaiwa Mudede said in remarks broadcast on state television.

Mudede said 5.5 million Zimbabweans were registered to vote at 4,000 polling
stations around the country.

Tsvangirai has repeatedly urged his supporters to flood the polls, saying a
large turnout would make it difficult for ZANU-PF to fix the election. Voter
turnout in the 2000 poll was 48.2 percent of the 5.3 million eligible

The elections are run by a commission whose members are appointed by Mugabe,
and for this election the commission abandoned its old practice of drawing
some of the officials from non-governmental organisations.

Over the last two years Mugabe has filled key positions in his
administration with former army officers. The ESC is chaired by Sobuza
Gula-Nbebele, a lawyer and a retired colonel and the chief electoral officer
is a former brigadier.

Mugabe's camp claimed a major diplomatic victory on Monday when the
54-member Commonwealth decided not to slap sanctions against him. African
states blocked pressure from Britain, Australia and New Zealand to do so.

ZANU-PF is campaigning on the platform that the MDC and Tsvangirai are mere
stooges of Britain and Zimbabwe's tiny white minority of around 70,000 in a
population of 13 million.

Mugabe's harsh message has rattled Zimbabwe's embattled whites, but analysts
say it is unlikely to affect generally cordial relations or force them out
if he wins.
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World Council of Churches to observe Zimbabwe vote

GENEVA, March 5 — The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the All African
Conference of Churches said on Tuesday they would send a joint 86-member
team to observe Zimbabwe's elections at the invitation of the government.
       ''We are going to be in solidarity with the churches
and the people of Zimbabwe, to assess with them the whole process of the
elections,'' said WCC international relations official Melaku Kifle.
       Following the decision of the government of President Robert Mugabe
not to admit election observers from the European Union, the WCC and the
AACC said they had decided to staff their team with a majority of observers
from other African countries.
       After 22 years in office, Mugabe takes on opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai in a March 9-10 presidential election that the opposition says
will not be free and fair. The vote is expected to be the closest and most
bitter since independence from Britain in 1980.
       The campaigning has been marred by incidents of violence and
intimidation that have sparked international protests, with Britain and the
United States blaming supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party.
       The church groups noted that, as observers rather than election
monitors, they would have no powers to intervene in the electoral process.
       ''It would have been more helpful and useful to be monitors rather
than observers, but we have to abide by the policy of the Zimbabwean
government,'' Kifle said.
       The WCC, which represents most leading churches with the exception of
the Roman Catholic Church, noted in its statement that it had a long
tradition of monitoring elections in Africa and other regions.
       In 2000, the WCC participated in the monitoring of Zimbabwe's
parliamentary elections.

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1.  Electronic report for 3 March 2002
2.  Print media report for 4 March 2002
3.  From our subscribers
1.  ELECTRONIC REPORT FOR MARCH 3RD 2002 CONSPIRACIES: The most remarkable news about the output of the electronic media during the day was ZBC television's documentary following up the Australian SBS broadcast that claimed to be revealing an MDC plot to assassinate President Mugabe and seize power with the assistance of sections of the army.
The documentary, Inside The Plot To Kill Mugabe, broadcast what it said was more revelations of MDC's complicity in the plot and revealed that the identity of a man obscured as "XXXX" in Mark Davis' original SBS documentary was Airforce Commander Perence Shiri.  Questions about why Davis masked Shiri's identity remain unanswered.
According to the transcript of the original documentary, it is not clear who brought Shiri's name into the discussion during Tsvangirai's Montreal meeting with officials of the political consultancy, Dickens and Madson.  However, the ZTV documentary made it look as if it was Tsvangirai by screening new footage of the security video showing the MDC leader responding to an unheard question saying he intended to take Shiri aboard.  To support claims that the MDC intended to use Shiri, the ZTV documentary alleged that, as a follow-up to the Montreal meeting two MDC MPs, Job Sikhala and Tafadzwa Musekiwa, approached Perence Shiri to "entice him to cross the floor" and asked him to pacify the army.
However, ZTV's use of this expression to suggest some kind of defection by Shiri added a dimension that even Shiri himself did not suggest.  In fact, he was quoted as saying the two MDC MPs met him to discuss his possible role in pacifying the army in the event that the MDC won the presidential election.  Given previous statements by the uniformed forces, this was not a surprising development.  Snippets of a poorly recorded audiotape of this discussion was included in the ZTV documentary to establish the veracity of Shiri's claim to have met the MDC MPs.
Perhaps the most important claim to emerge from the documentary was Shiri's allegations that Sikhala and Musekiwa had said the MDC executive was prepared to pay him a fee of Z$10 million for his assistance in pacifying the army in the event of an MDC victory.
This offer, he said, was made as they were leaving his residence where the meeting took place and presumably, this was why viewers were not offered audio proof of the allegation However, he also claimed that the two MPs had begged him to take the money anyway and give them $2 million each while the party's deputy secretary-general, Gift Chimanikire, "had gone to the gents".  This was the first time viewers were told that Chimanikire had apparently attended the meeting as well and was especially confusing as Shiri had only referred to that meeting as being with the two MPs.
Themba Mliswa, the Zimbabwean fitness trainer based in London, was also quoted in the documentary alleging that Musekiwa and Sikhala had visited in London and told him about plans they had to form another political party.  He said the two also revealed that some white people had approached them to arrange Mugabe's assassination.  Mliswa added that he had evidence to prove his claims and that he was prepared to testify in a court of law.  But he provided no evidence to connect his claim to Tsvangirai's meeting in Montreal.  Nor was he asked if the two MPs had told him whether they had accepted or rejected the alleged approaches.
During the programme Musekiwa denied Mliswa's allegations and refused to respond to other questions about his meeting with Shiri.
While the title of the documentary promised viewers the inside story of an alleged plot to assassinate Mr.  Mugabe, it failed to do this beyond airing the hearsay evidence from Mliswa.  And Shiri's contribution to the documentary was only linked via the heavily edited surveillance video.
MMPZ finds that the most worrying aspect of this documentary is the "trial by television" of a man who is facing charges (or is likely to) of treason.
CAMPAIGNS: ZTV covered three presidential candidates during the day (Sunday).  These were ZANU PF, MDC and National Alliance for Good Governance (NAGG).  However, ZBC continued to allocate far more time to ZANU PF than to other parties.  Also, the little airtime that MDC was allocated was used to denigrate the party.
ZTV, in its 8pm news bulletin, allocated 15 minutes to ZANU PF, one minute 25 seconds to a negative report about the MDC and one minute 20 seconds to a pro-NAGG report.
ZTV carried 14 campaign related stories during the day.  Eight (57%) of them were campaign pieces for ZANU PF while four (29%)
were about the MDC and two (14%) were pro-NAGG.
Radio Zimbabwe had seven reports on campaigns.  Five of the reports were pro-ZANU PF while two reports on MDC were negative qualifications of the party's policies.
3FM had 14 (82%) pro-ZANU PF reports out of 17 that were reported during the day.  Three (18%) of the reports were negative analyses of Tsvangirai's campaign statements.

POLITICAL VIOLENCE: There were no reports of incidents of political violence on ZBC.
2.  DAILY PRINT REPORT - MONDAY 4TH MARCH 2002 While The Herald gave front-page prominence to President Mugabe's campaign rally, it completely ignored MDC rallies held over the weekend.  In contrast, The Daily News juxtaposed reports of the ZANU PF and MDC rallies on Sunday.
The Daily News article "Mugabe appeals for support" gave the impression that Mr.  Mugabe's three campaign rallies were unsuccessful and poorly attended.  The newspaper noted that all three rallies yielded only "about 20 000 supporters".
But it then cast its own crowd assessment abilities into doubt with its story, "50 000 attend Tsvangirai rally," which wildly exaggerated the size of the crowd at the MDC rally and reinforced this with an unsubstantiated claim that it was ".  the biggest campaign rally ever since launching his (Tsvangirai) bid to dislodge President Mugabe from power".  Significantly, The Herald ignored attendance figures, but concentrated on President Mugabe's vilification of the MDC and British Premier, Tony Blair.  The newspaper also unquestioningly quoted government officials promising "maize deliveries" and "residential stands".
Discussions over Zimbabwe's fate at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Australia featured in both The Herald and The Daily News.  The Herald front-page article misleadingly headlined "African leaders attack Blair over Zim" welcomed statements by Presidents Benjamin Mkapa and Sam Nujoma.  But it only reported them calling for the adoption of a wait-and-see approach until after the election and instead, only quoted Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, at length lashing out at Blair, talking about a cover-up of possible British complicity in an alleged plot to assassinate Mr.  Mugabe.  The Daily News in its articles "African nations block calls for Zimbabwe's suspension" and "Moyo accuses UK of colonial designs, tells Blair to shut up" also highlighted the pro-Zimbabwe stance of African leaders at the summit.  In another article, however, The Daily News quoted the Commonwealth Business Council as saying "the international focus on Zimbabwe in recent months is hampering international investor interest in neighbouring African countries". 
The Daily News borrowed a story from The Sunday Telegraph claiming that Mr.  Mugabe had transferred more than 10 million pounds to Malaysia and used it to insinuate that the move ".is seen as a hint that Mugabe may flee the country if he loses the poll." but only quotes one unnamed Zimbabwean based financial investigator to support this view.
The Daily News carried a report of police brutality in Manicaland.
The newspaper reported that armed police had raided MDC offices seizing maize meal meant to feed about 8 000 people displaced by political violence, and 828 cans of spray paint.  South African and Norwegian election observers reportedly witnessed the incident and were ".  at a loss for words at the police action"
The Herald continued to report election observers' comments supportive of the electoral process.  The newspaper carried an article "Conditions for free poll prevail" quoted the South African head of observers, Dr Samuel Motsuenyane as saying ".
conditions for elections that reflect the true will of the people of Zimbabwe prevail".  But The Herald ignored part of Motsuenyane's statement which also noted " .  the situation is far from ideal".
The Daily News, like The Herald, also quoted Motsuenyane welcoming a statement by Emmerson Mnangagwa saying ZANU PF would accept the election result.  The Daily News comment attacked the leader of Commonwealth Observer mission Abdulsalami Abubakar for a statement ZBC reported him making that the magnitude of political violence was being exaggerated.
The Daily News carried three articles on the food situation in Zimbabwe.  An article headlined, "Maize deliveries grossly inadequate" quoted economic consultant John Robertson as saying ".  statistics being regularly released by the state media about maize deliveries" were far below the country's needs.
A Reuters news agency story in the paper noted that for many villagers, the search for food was now taking precedence over interest in the presidential election and went on to report the World Food Programme's efforts to alleviate starvation.
POLITICAL VIOLENCE: The Press recorded 40 incidents of political violence, including two deaths during the week.  The public Press (Zimpapers) reported just seven incidents, including one death, all blamed on the MDC.
The private Press reported 33 incidents.  ZANU PF was implicated in 29 of them, war veterans (four), the army (two) the CIO (one) and the MDC (one).  Victims were reported to be mostly MDC supporters, but also included teachers and SADC observers.  One death of an MDC member was recorded.
3.  FROM OUR SUBSCRIBERS FRAUDULENT PHONE- IN PROGRAMME I was disappointed to see that you did not report the fraudulent "live" Face the Nation more fully since
1.  The programme questions were not live but recorded - listen carefully to the first question and when the presenter cuts in, you can hear the tape being rewound and then the identical question is repeated 2m 25 s later!
2.  The RG claimed that there are 40 to 50 polling stations per constituency - this is a lie, for example the count for polling stations per constituency is given below:
CONSTITUENCY Total Budiriro 7 Dsivarasekwa 9 Glen Norah 8 Glen View 7 Harare Central 10 Harare East 11 Harare North 9 Harare South 13
3.  Ward 1 has 10 polling stations whereas several wards only appear to have one - of course this may change from day to day e.t.c.
From MMPZ: Further details on the number of polling stations per constituency can be accessed at Ends
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Business Day

Zimbabwe leaves bitter taste for Commonwealth

------------------------------------------------------------------------COOLUM - Commonwealth leaders vowed today to stamp out terrorism at the end
of talks, but failed to take a tough stand on Zimbabwe, triggering charges
the 54-nation body is little more than a talking-shop.
In a strongly-worded seven-page communique, the leaders said: "There is no
justification for terrorism.

"While terrorist activities are unconscionable and should be eradicated
forthwith, the challenge is to understand the root cause of those despicable
acts and deal with them appropriately."

But the tough position, reiterated in a separate Coolum Declaration,
contrasted with a watered-down statement on Zimbabwe which deferred a
decision on whether to impose sanctions until after the weekend presidential

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, backed by Australia and New Zealand, had
led calls to suspend Zimbabwe immediately from the Commonwealth in protest
at the political violence there.

But following stiff opposition from African nations, Britain was forced to
bow to a plan to defer the decision to a panel of three leaders, who will
decide what to do in the light of a Commonwealth observers report after the

The decision stunned the Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), especially as the panel will comprise the leaders of South
Africa and Nigeria, who had led the African opposition, as well as

MDC spokeswoman, Sekai Holland, said the Commonwealth had become "a
talking-shop, a club for leaders on holiday".

She said they had failed to apply their own principles after being
bamboozled by African nations whom she accused of being the "public
relations front" of President Robert Mugabe.

"We're going to win the elections, but the question is whether now that the
Commonwealth has endorsed Mugabe he is going to feel compelled to give up
power," she told AFP.

Blair admitted to the BBC he was disappointed with the compromise that he
termed "the lowest common denominator". "But we've at least the possibility
of a mechanism there in place to suspend Zimbabwe, to take really tough
action, if Mugabe ends up the victor in a rigged election through violence
and intimidation."

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark also slammed the decision, saying: "I
think the Commonwealth has to get its act together for the future. It has
failed to wrestle effectively with Zimbabwe."

The row overshadowed the four-day summit, which was originally to be held in
Brisbane in October, but was moved 100 kilometres (60 miles) north to the
tiny resort of Coolum after the September 11 attacks.

A costly and tight security blanket was thrown over the area to protect the
51 national delegations. Pakistan was absent as it remains suspended
following the 1999 military coup, but Fiji was readmitted.

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien said one of the reasons why it took so
long to agree a stand on Zimbabwe was because everyone wanted to have their

He defended the Commonwealth against the charges of irrelevance saying:
"Talking is very important in politics. Talking to each other is very
important to resolve problems. Isolation is the worse disease to have
problems in the world."

But some leaders felt their concerns were put on a back-burner as the
African nations and Blair's backers tussled over Zimbabwe.

Sources told AFP many of the smaller nations also perceived global warming
to be a significantly greater danger than terrorism.

"We should consider global warming as terrorising our futures," one delegate
asking to remain anonymous.

The four-page Coolum Declaration did express "concern about the consequences
of global warming and climate change, especially for vulnerable small island
states and other low-lying areas".

It also highlighted moves to pull down barriers and forge new opportunities
in trade, investment and private sector development to ensure more of the
Commonwealth's 1.7 billion people benefit from globalisation.

The leaders also pledged to work to combat AIDS, which is pandemic in many
African nations, and sought to address the reforms needed to meet the
challenges of the 21st century.

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The Age, Melbourne

Soldiers, police 'ordered' to vote for Mugabe: report
HARARE, March 5 AFP|Published: Tuesday March 5, 9:21 PM

Soldiers and police have been ordered to cast their postal ballots for
President Robert Mugabe against their will, the independent Daily News
alleged today in a report strongly denied by the government.

The report said several soldiers and police officers approached the paper,
which is openly sympathetic to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), and said that they had been ordered to vote for Mugabe in the
presence of their superiors.

Zimbabwe's presidential election, four days away, will pit Mugabe against
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the first real threat to the president's
22-year grip on power.

The Daily News quoted a soldier as saying: "I honestly feel this matter
should be investigated as it could lead to rigging of the elections."

The soldier, in Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo, said he was made
to cast his ballot in the presence of his superior.

A soldier in Harare also said he did not support the ruling Zimbabwe African
National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) but was ordered to vote for Mugabe,
the paper reported.

Two policemen in the capital also said they had voted for Mugabe against
their will.

George Charamba, Mugabe's spokesman, told AFP: "That's absolute gibberish
and they're aware of it. They're now trying to prepare the world for the
defeat of the MDC."

The registrar general of elections, Tobaiwa Mudede, said: "It's not true."

John Gambanga, news editor at the Daily News who signed the article along
with Sandra Nyaira, stood by the story. "Members of the police have come
here personally and told us," he said. "It's not like we initiated the

He added that the paper had received about 10 calls this morning "from
soldiers who are very happy about that story," because they wanted the
alleged practice exposed. "I stand by that story," Gambanga said.

Thomas Bvuma, spokesman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Supervisory Commission,
said: "I've heard the allegation. We're in the process of trying to get some
information on that."

As for the MDC, Tendai Biti, the party's shadow foreign minister, said: "The
fact of the matter is they're going to cheat. They can't win a free and fair
election in Zimbabwe."

Last week the Supreme Court threw out amendments that would have allowed the
government to handpick civil servants to observe polling to the exclusion of
any independent observers.

By Gina Doggett

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The Age, Melbourne

South Africa will not commit to suspend Zimbabwe
BRISBANE, March 5 AAP|Published: Tuesday March 5, 7:16 PM

South African President Thabo Mbeki today said he could not make any
promises to take action against Zimbabwe.

Mr Mbeki, one of three leaders who will decide Zimbabwe's future in the
Commonwealth after this weekend's election, said he could not make a
decision until the committee received recommendations from the
secretary-general and observers in the troubled country.

"I think it would be incorrect for me as a member of that committee to
prejudge what might come from the observers in the first place and in that
context prejudge what the committee might decide," Mr Mbeki said in

"I don't think it would be proper."

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) this week decided to
take no action against Zimbabwe until after the elections.

Instead, CHOGM issued a statement of deep concern about the pre-election
violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe by forces loyal to President Robert

Zimbabwe's future in the Commonwealth now rests on the report of about 60
observers sent to the country to monitor the elections.

Mr Mbeki took time to meet with Queensland Premier Peter Beattie today to
discuss trade opportunities.

In his address to special guests at state parliament, Mr Mbeki said he
believed Australia and South Africa could have a "partnership of

Mr Mbeki congratulated Australia on a successful CHOGM saying the attendance
was impressive.

"We are pleased with how the meeting was conducted and the way Prime
Minister John Howard led us in the processes of the meeting.

"He handled it very well."

By Vera Devai

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Mugabe confident of election victory despite admitting vote losses

Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe says his party has lost ground to the
opposition through complacency, but will win this weekend's presidential

He told a campaign rally the opposition party is "a donkey being controlled
by the British."

The fledgling Movement for Democratic Change won 57 of 120 elected seats in
June 2000 parliamentary elections as Mugabe's popularity plunged amid
economic chaos.

He told the rally: "We are now wide awake. "We won't let the (Movement for
Democratic Change) win."

The President also thanked African leaders for refusing to buckle to
pressure to suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth of Britain and its former
territories at a summit of the 54-nation grouping in Australia.

He said the decision to defer the possible suspension until Commonwealth
observers report back on the election was "a victory against Britain's
attempts to introduce a new form of apartheid" to serve Western interests in
developing countries.

Tendai Biti, the MDC's foreign affairs spokesman, said President Mugabe was
trying to hide his policies of violence and intimidation behind his rift
with Britain.

"It is not a Zimbabwe-Britain crisis. Our people are being brutalized by
fellow black Zimbabweans. This is the issue we would want our African
brothers to have understood," he said.

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Zimbabwe whites seen surviving Mugabe threat

HARARE, March 5 — President Robert Mugabe has rattled Zimbabwe's embattled
white community with a warning that he has withdrawn the hand of racial

       But political analysts say Mugabe's harsh message is unlikely to
affect generally cordial race relations in the southern Africa country or
force the whites out if he wins this weekend's presidential election.
       Two recent opinion polls said that Mugabe -- in charge since the
former white-ruled Rhodesia gained independence from Britain 22 years ago
and became Zimbabwe -- would lose the March 9-10 poll to his main
challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai.
       Mugabe told an election rally on Saturday that his worst mistake on
assuming power in 1980 was to extend the hand of reconciliation to
''die-hard racists'' who oppose him.
       ''We made a mistake when we showed mercy to those who are
hard-hearted, permanently hard-hearted,'' he said in the southern city of
       ''When you show non-racialism to die-hard racists, when you show a
people with...a false culture of superiority based on their skin and you do
nothing to get them to change their personalities and their perception and
their mind, you are acting as a fool,'' he said to loud cheers.
       Mugabe said it had been a mistake to leave the economy and land in
the hands of the white minority, who number about 70,000 out of a population
of 13 million people.
       ''We are wiser now. There's been a lesson. The lesson that we made a
mistake,'' he said of his policy of reconciliation which he adopted after
leading a seven-year bush war for independence.

       Mugabe has waged a tough campaign against the whites including the
seizure of many of their farms. His justification is that the wrongs of the
colonial past must be righted.
       But critics allege the land seizure is a smokescreen to deflect
attention from a collapsing economy, which many blame on mismanagement by
his ZANU-PF government.
       ''I think many (white) people here are used to Mugabe's language and
I don't see anybody getting too worried over it or his threat affecting the
generally good race relations now or after the elections,'' said Emmanuel
Magade, a law lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.
       ''Mugabe has always employed threats...and I think those who have
been here will look at this as an electioneering threat aimed at cowing
whites out of active politics,'' he told Reuters.
       ''But I don't see Mugabe following up on his threat if he remains in
       Mugabe accuses whites in farming and business of bankrolling his main
challenger Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).
       The 78-year-old Zimbabwean leader dismisses his younger rival, who
turns 50 on March 10, of being a ''shameless puppet'' of former colonial
power Britain and white ''Rhodies'' hankering for the old order when they
were in charge.
       Tsvangirai says Mugabe -- who calls the MDC leader a ''tea boy'' --
has perfected the art of name-calling because he has no programme for the
economic crisis he plunged Zimbabwe into.

       Eddie Cross, a leading white opposition figure and the MDC's economic
secretary, said Mugabe's comments in Bulawayo reflected his political
       ''But I don't see how they will have an impact on the general race
relations... much more so when he loses the election,'' he said.
       Dozens of whites have been attending Tsvangirai's MDC rallies but
hardly any turn up at ZANU-PF's meetings, where Mugabe routinely attacks
whites for ''racism'' and Britain for alleged interference in Zimbabwe's
       One white, who attended Tsvangirai's rally on Sunday, said that many
voters did not agree with Mugabe that Zimbabwe's main problem is whites and
British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
       ''Mugabe's biggest problem is that he's educated everybody. He's done
a very good job and so people can't be hoodwinked,'' the man said. He did
not wish to be identified.
       On Mugabe's comments on the pointlessness of his reconciliation
efforts since 1980, another white in a group at the rally told Reuters: ''At
the beginning, we didn't necessarily agree with his socialism but we thought
he was doing a good job.''
       ''But we've been excluded from participating in debates on meaningful
       But all but one of the group of six said they would stay in Zimbabwe
even if Mugabe was re-elected. ''We are resilient people,'' said one.
       One said the whites would prefer the MDC to ZANU-PF because it has a
programme to revive an economy in its fourth year of recession.
       ''We all realise that the only future we've got here is with an MDC
government,'' he said.

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From The Daily News, 4 March

Police raid MDC Mutare offices, seize property

Mutare - The police in Mutare last Wednesday night stormed the MDC offices and seized property worth thousands of dollars. MDC officials, including Pishai Muchauraya, the party spokesman in Manicaland, were placed under house arrest for more than 15 hours. The property seized included 210kg bag of maize-meal meant to feed about 8 000 people displaced by political violence, and 828 cans of spray paint. Earlier this month, the police raided the same offices, saying they were searching for arms of war. On Wednesday night six armed policemen surrounded the MDC offices. Muchauraya said upon seeing them, the MDC officials locked themselves in one of the offices. Five policemen, two of them armed with AK47 rifles, were standing guard in front of the offices when The Daily News crew arrived at the scene. Election observers from South Africa and Norway were at a loss for words at the police action. The MDC members only opened the doors after journalists and the international observers arrived. On Thursday, reinforcements, including Central Intelligence Organisation officers, were deployed at the offices, this time armed with a search warrant. They confiscated a camera. A policeman, who identified himself as Assistant Inspector Nyamukova, said: "All we want is Muchauraya’s camera because he took pictures of us yesterday and today."

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From the MDC, 24 February

Volunteers needed

We need further volunteers to: be polling agents from 8 – 11 March; to drive polling agents; to feed polling agents; to donate fuel and the use of vehicles; to assist with administration, telephone support, radio networks, computers, etc.

The polling agents will need to be available from 8 –11 March, and be present at the polling station throughout this period for 24 hours a day, as well as making sure the box is delivered intact to the counting station. The polling agent’s role is to observe, report back to the central teams whether there are any irregularities, to physically follow the ballot box to the counting centres and to wait with the box until it is opened so that s/he can verify that there has been no rigging of the vote. Since the recent changes to the Electoral Act prevent polling agents and monitors from travelling with the ballot boxes, we also need to assist polling agents and monitors to get to and from all polling stations throughout the country.

During the last election there was no violence at all during the voting period, and no comeback on volunteers in any areas. We do not expect any violence during the voting period this year. If you feel unsafe in your area, please volunteer to go to another area. Volunteers will be linked to a central support system with access to international observers, the press and there will be a reaction team in each constituency.

Contact details: fax: 751 273; email:, tel: 011 231 925 and 091 307 423

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Comment from The Financial Gazette, 28 February

Time for change 

When the history of the first 22 years of Zimbabwean independence comes to be written, one explanation – the failure of governance – will dominate. Lesser themes – the naivete and incompetence of the donor community, its willingness to reward failure and venality, and the short-sightedness and greed of many in the private sector – will not be ignored. But the overriding message is that governance – or in Zimbabwe’s case, misgovernance – trumps all.

In 20 years to 2000, Zimbabwe received net inflows of some US$5.9 billion of foreign aid. In current dollars, this inflow, offset marginally by US$300 million in net outflows of private capital, was associated with a US$500 million increase in Zimbabwe’s GDP. In current dollars, over a 20 year period, US$11 of foreign aid was needed to increase GDP by just US$1. It is easy to say that these numbers show that aid does not work. But they show something much more fundamental too – namely that the payoff from aid and investment, domestic as well as foreign, is undermined when governance goes awry. Not that this is a lesson confined to Zimbabwe. Countries with richer natural resource endowments than Zimbabwe – Angola, Nigeria, Zambia and the DRC – all fit the same mould, where misgovernance overwhelmed economics.Hopefully, this lesson will not be lost on voters when they go to the polls on March 9/10. There can have been few elections in which the issues were more clear-cut.

On one side is the MDC with policies designed to restore the rule of law, return the country to international respectability and revive the economy, through the efficient implementation of essentially orthodox, economic policies. Provided it gets governance right, the MDC can deliver access to the foreign aid, investment and debt restructuring, without which there can be no sustained economic recovery. On the other is Zanu PF – with a 22-year track record of sustained failure. Per capita incomes today are no higher than 30 years ago and 25 percent below their peak. Inflation at 116.7 percent is the highest in Africa, barring the DRC. The UNDP-compiled Human Development Index is lower than in 1985. Real spending per head on education and health has declined. Life expectancy has fallen precipitously to only 40 years, largely due to the country’s exceptionally high adult infection rate of HIV-AIDS – the second highest in the world.

That a presidential candidate with a track record of such comprehensive failure is seeking a further six years at the helm to complete the immiserization of Zimbabweans highlights Zanu PF’s policy and moral bankruptcy. Socially and economically, the party has nothing to offer. The Mugabe manifesto is a voyage into a discredited past- bereft of any understanding of what is needed to confront the crises that he and his party have created. What failed before will fail again - the command economy, state ownership, price controls, and a growth path reliant upon technologically backward, small-scale agriculture. The same government that abandoned free health and education a decade ago, when it found it could not pay, is again promising to deliver these lofty goals. A million new homes will be provided by the same politicians who promised "housing for all by 2000".

Arguably, the challenge facing the next administration will be even more taxing than that of the first post-independence government in 1980. Then, the world was a less complicated place. The donors – and foreign investors – were more gullible, willing to support governments whose policies had no chance of success. How else does one explain the IMF, World Bank and donor determination to throw good money after bad in Zambia under Kaunda, the DRC under Mobutu and Tanzania under Nyerere?. Today, that has changed – replaced by a broad consensus that unless governments are prepared to don the Golden Straitjacket of economic orthodoxy and good governance, aid and investment will be wasted. Remarkably, the rules of the game that are taken pretty much for granted worldwide – low levels of government borrowing, positive real interest rates, competitive exchange rates, privatisation, respect for the rule of law and property rights, openness to foreign trade and investment - are seen even by many Zimbabwean businesspeople, as well as the governing elite, as some kind of socio-economic heresy.

Where else in the world do businessmen and politicians seriously argue that interest rates 85 percent blow the inflation rate are good for the economy? Who believes –as does Zanu-PF – that price controls will increase the supply of goods on the shelves? Where else do policymakers claim that an official exchange rate, pegged for 17 months at Z$55 to the US dollar, during which time consumer prices have more than doubled, is in the national interest? Why do so many in business, especially the accountancy profession, as well as in government, prefer taxbreaks, investment incentives, and assorted handouts, to macroeconomic stability and a level playing field? The sorry answer to such questions is that such policies are tailor-made for those well positioned to exploit the situation. Zanu PF economic mismanagement has opened the door to hundreds of sweetheart deals, conducted in the most opaque of markets. Open, transparent, competitive markets and good governance are anathema to the crony businesses and banks who daily exploit the poor and the marginalised, while vociferously pointing the finger of "economic sabotage" at orthodox business.

The day of reckoning cannot now be long delayed. A vote for Mr Mugabe is a vote for an economic – and social – cul-de-sac that would guarantee economic implosion, international pariah status, and an acceleration of the 23 percent decline in per capita incomes that Zanu PF has engineered since 1998. A Mugabe victory would accelerate the return to a subsistence economy, the exodus of skills and capital and the expansion of the informal sector, which the president and his entourage see as some kind of economic utopia. A vote for Mr Tsvangirai offers the prospect of a return to soundly-based economic growth; exploiting, not exporting, the country’s skills and capital. It offers the chance of bringing in the foreign capital so necessary to exploit country’s resources – in agriculture, mining, tourism, industry, services and above all, in the hundreds of thousands of people people left in limbo and poverty by 22 years of Zanu PF misrule. Today, fewer than one person in ten has a job in the formal economy – little more than half the figure of 20 years ago. Governance is the critical element in the development mix. Our candidate is tried and tested, claims Zanu PF. Indeed, - tried, tested and found wanting on almost every count. It is time for change.

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