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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Tuesday 14 May 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.


·        Chimanimani – at Charleswood Estate 3,5 hectares was prepared for planting, which was commandeered by the settlers who are now planting wheat and vegetables. 

·        Bindura - Two cattle were slashed and badly wounded on 10.05.02 at Chumire Farm.

·        Macheke Virginia - There were new invasions occurring on various farms and various works stoppages.    Seven Section 8 Orders were received.

·        Chinhoyi - The manager of Sleigo Farm is not allowed home, and cannot retrieve his furniture.

·        Mwenezi - Fires, fires and more fires - on 06.05.02, nine properties in the centre of the FA area alone were affected, with many properties suffering multiple fires simultaneously. Gross irresponsibility may account for one or two properties, but on this scale arson has to be suspected.

·        Chiredzi in general –Over the weekend the mounted section and the support unit began operating on the following ranches: Mungwezi Ranch, Oscro Ranch, Rakatchya Ranch, Sebenanai Ranch, Wasarasara Ranch, Ruware Ranch, Crown Ranch and Dombedema Ranch to clear up the poachers. So far thirty poachers have been arrested. It is said that there will be a “patrolling presence” in the Chiredzi Conservancy and the Save Conservancy over the next few weeks. Poaching has been rampant with bows and arrows, nets for fishing, hunting with dogs etc.



Chimanimani – at Charleswood Estate 3,5 hectares was prepared for planting, which was commandeered by the settlers who are now planting wheat and vegetables.  The settlers also blocked off the canal from Charleswood and are using this for their own irrigation.  A young calf was killed and skinned.  The skin was found in the river.


Bindura - Two cattle were slashed and badly wounded on 10.05.02 at Chumire Farm.

Horseshoe - The stand off on Woma Farm was resolved when the Senior Police Officers from Bindura came to the farm. It was resolved the citrus on Camsasa belonged to the owner, but the "war vet" who sold about ZW$ 5 million worth already, stopped the labour picking and trashed the managers' house.  Mvurwi - the settlers on Ealing Farm arrived at the farmhouse to evict the owner only to find he was not there. They moved on to the farm village and assaulted the labourers. The owner of Wendiri Farm, who has left the farm and is living in the village, reported that on 10.05.02 his foreman and lorry driver were evicted from the farm. Since then there have been more evictions and continuous harassment. On 11.05.02, the settlers on Rocky Lodge attempted to evict the owner The Police were called, who reacted and told the settlers there were to be no more evictions. Extortionate demands for gratuities etc are continuing throughout the district. Many farmers have been approached by settlers for assistance planting a wheat crop but unless finance and inputs are supplied, no help will be offered.


Harare South - The farmer who had a work stoppage has had the issue temporarily resolved, and is now back at work.  A manager had to vacate his house.  A farmer had a visit from A2 settlers who wanted all the homesteads vacated but wanted the owner to help him prepare seedbeds.  The same farmer had two dogs poisoned, which died and the house was broken into.

Macheke Virginia - There were new invasions occurring on various farms and various works stoppages.    Seven Section 8 Orders were received.

Marondera North - A farmer had three cattle die and Government vet and police are to be notified.  A farmer had a Government official querying irrigation equipment and lands.  One Section 8 Order and one Section 5 notice received.

Marondera South - As a result of increased Police presence the area is reasonably quiet.  Out of 34 households living in the area only 11 have been allowed to return.  Many arrests have been made but no feedback on who has actually been charged and with what.  The DA has requested that those who can should grow wheat. 

Wedza - Two Section 8 Orders were received over the weekend.  One farmer had a work stoppage on the morning of 13.05.02, as the settlers want the farmer to plough for them.


The Mcherengi Farm manager’s house was vandalized, with three beds and two stoves stolen.  Police went to the Chiredsa Farm house and arrested two people thought to have speared three cattle on the farm. 

Chinhoyi - The manager of Sleigo Farm is not allowed home, and cannot retrieve his furniture.

Doma - Large movement of A2 settlers making unreasonable demands.

No report received.


Masvingo East and Central - No reports have come in from this area.

Chiredzi – the Samba Ranch owner reports two sergeants from National Parks and two members from the ZRP came on the weekend and made enquiries about poaching and the relevant statistics. They were supposed to visit all the other surrounding ranches, but never arrived.  The Bangala Ranch owner reports roofing from the old homestead was stolen. Attempts were made to steal a Lister Engine, but it was too heavy to carry.  At Palm River Ranch on 07.05.02, the owner had settlers making extortionate demands for compensation. Affidavits were given to the Police all claiming the same thing. On 09.05.02 pegging yet again commenced on the plot allocated to the owner.

In general in this area – "war vet" Mapanzuru informed the owners of Bangala Ranch, Faversham Ranch and Palm River Ranch that rallies are to take place in the next two weeks. It is not known what they will be about. Over the weekend the mounted section and the support unit began operating on the following ranches: Mungwezi Ranch, Oscro Ranch, Rakatchya Ranch, Sebenanai Ranch, Wasarasara Ranch, Ruware Ranch, Crown Ranch and Dombedema Ranch to clear up the poachers. So far thirty poachers have been arrested. It is said that there will be a “patrolling presence” in the Chiredzi Conservancy and the Save Conservancy over the next few weeks. Poaching has been rampant with bows and arrows, nets for fishing, hunting with dogs etc.

Mwenezi - Fires, fires and more fires - on Tuesday 06.05.02, nine properties in the centre of the FA area alone were affected, with many properties suffering multiple fires simultaneously. Gross irresponsibility may account for one or two properties, but on this scale arson has to be suspected. At Bea Ranch the 13 A1 "settlers" and 4 or 5 workers all allocated land by the Asst. DA Beitbridge in the past were told to vacate this property. Apparently the Beitbridge MP (Deputy Minister of Local Govt.), Kembo Mohadi, his wife, the Beitbridge DA, and the chief "war vet", Philimon Mbedzi, have claimed the property as their own.  On Kayalami Ranch  a member of ZRP PISI, a Mr. Ngulube, from the Pande mine area of Beitbridge district, and stationed in Beitbridge, told the owner he wants 4 000 acres of this unlisted property. He says if his demand is not met he will ensure the property is listed. He has cattle on Swanscoe at present where he has been the instigator of much trouble.  A Section 8 was served on 5/5/02 at Duvi Ranch All three properties are suffering serious poaching - the nyala population has been devastated. Cattle have also been slaughtered. At Limburgia Ranch  cattle continue to be driven on to the tar road and railway line where they are killed by traffic. Slaughter and outright theft also rife.  On 09.05.02 alone the remains of eight cattle were found in snares, dead with all the meat removed. It is impossible to get an accurate count of remaining cattle due to the disruptions on the ground (fences cut and stolen, gates left open, cattle and squatters wandering everywhere, staff being terrorised, etc.), but the owner is presently unable to account for about 300 head.  A number of properties have received Section 8s over the past few days.  At Valley Ranch  on 01.05.02, an individual identifying himself as Ananias Chauke Ngwani 67-065217 Z-02 was found herding five cattle from Tshituripasi to Gezani (Chiredzi district) through the Mateke Hills commercial farming area (Mwenezi district). He was doing this by "authority" of a letter issued by the ZRP in Tshituripasi.

In general in this area - grazing becomes scarcer by the day. Food for workers is virtually unobtainable as supplies are controlled by Zanu (PF) and anyone perceived to be unsupportive is denied access.  Ongoing movement of people, poaching, snaring, theft of firewood etc.

Save Conservancy - Poaching and movement of people continue.

Gutu / Chatsworth - Lauder Farm reports at 00.20 hrs on the night of 13.05.02. A lorry loaded with 12 heifers arrived and began offloading the cattle into a kraal. The owner reports some of the cattle are LIT tagged and has managed to obtain three numbers (5044; 5074; 50800). Mrs. Mahofa informed the owner she would be taking up residence in the old homestead on Wragley farm, stating she has written permission from the DA Gutu to move into the house. To date, the owner has not seen the letter. Mrs. Mahofa is said to be driving around the area in a vehicle that has no registration number plates.

No report received.

No report received.                                               Visit the CFU Website

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The Scotsman

      MDC leaders warned of death squad

      Jacqui Goddard In Harare

      AN assassination plot has allegedly been ordered from within President
Robert Mugabe's politburo against four members of Zimbabwe's opposition

      The targets: David Coltart, the shadow justice and legal affairs
secretary; Roy Bennett, MP for Chimanimani; Mike Auret, MP for Harare
Central and Eddie Cross, the shadow secretary for economic affairs, have
been warned that a hit-squad has been formed to eliminate them in a move
sanctioned by at least three members of the politburo, a 26-strong group of
ZANU-PF party stalwarts.

      "The information has come through a trusted and well-placed source,"
said Mr Bennett. "This person claims that a team has been put in place, but
the members of that team are not happy with their orders."

      All four targets are prominent whites in the Movement for Democratic
Change, whose leader Morgan Tsvangirai has accused Mr Mugabe of vote-rigging
in the March presidential election.

      A highly respected lawyer and human rights advocate, Mr Coltart is
responsible for overseeing the MDC's legal challenges to both the results of
the June 2000 parliamentary election and the March polls, along with a
number of cases challenging presidential powers.

      "I am by no means paranoid and I have certainly had death threats more
direct than this before," Mr Coltart said. "But what's alarming about this
case is the identity of the source, who is well-placed and well-trusted ...
we have to take this as a serious warning."

      A ZANU-PF spokesman said the allegations were false. "We have no
intention of killing MDC people. The MDC are just manifesting the
allegations because they lost the election." When told that the allegations
came from a military intelligence source, he said: "The MDC plants these

      The MDC believes there is protection in publicising such information,
but it is wary of set-ups after an incident last month in which it appears
to have been tricked by the Central Intelligence Organisation, Mr Mugabe's
secret police, with a false story about a woman having been beheaded by
ZANU-PF activists.

      Four independent journalists were arrested after the claims of a man
purporting to be the woman's husband turned out to be false. The
journalists, however, face jail terms for "publication of falsehoods" under
Zimbabwe's new media laws.
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Daily News
 Leader Page

      One trip to New York won't change much

      5/14/02 9:09:40 AM (GMT +2)

PRESIDENT Mugabe ignored the crisis in his own country and flew off to the
United Nations in New York just to cock a snook at his domestic and
international detractors.

Probably spurred by a desire to notch another success as the African
president with the most political machismo, Mugabe left the country as his
own Minister of Finance and Economic Development warned of a deepening
economic, political and social crisis compounded by a looming food shortage
of staggering proportions.

It would seem that massaging his own political ego is much more vital to the
President than the prospect of facing head-on the problems his government
has created for the last 22 years.

The conference on children at the UN was important in its own way, but not
for a head of state whose country has not recovered from the political
fall-out of an election condemned as woefully flawed by everybody not
particularly starry-eyed about the false glory of "regaining our heritage" -
the violence-riddled land reform programme.

Only those misguided by the government propaganda of righting the wrongs of
the past could believe that killing farmers, their workers and other
innocent people could constitute a noble move to "return the land to the
people", rather than a violent campaign to boost the sagging political
fortunes of a party on its last legs.

Even at the UN, Mugabe managed to drag to the world forum his war with the
past - blaming his 22 years of failure on the white minority. After the end
of colonialism in 1980, he and his government were expected to chart a new,
democratic, non-racial course for all the people - and not just those who
prayed at the shrine of his political party, with its blood-spattered past.

By the year 2000, the people had recognised that the Zanu PF cockerel would
not shed its feathers. It would peck and peck at them with violence and
would not waste time or money improving their material status as long as it
had to fund its own survival.

Those listening to Mugabe's speech at the UN must have felt a little sorry
for the man. There he was, standing proud and erect before the world forum,
pretending that he had won a free and fair election, pretending that two of
the most powerful African leaders had not forced him into a dialogue with
the opposition party they seem to believe won the 9-11 March election.

Just as one swallow does not make a summer, Mugabe's one trip to New York,
in spite of the US-imposed sanctions, will not change much. Millions of
people, mostly children, may still face death from starvation.

The political crisis continues, with his party suspending the talks with the
MDC because of their legal challenge to Mugabe's election victory.

Nothing is said about his government's court case against the MDC leaders
for treason on the basis of a videotape most experts believe ought to be
treated with suspicion.

The violence against MDC activists continues in the rural areas. There are
even occasional reports of opposition officials in the urban areas being
bashed by Zanu PF youths and war veterans. The party whose leader boasted
"we have many degrees in violence", seems determined to live up to its

Clearly, the country is by no means at peace. The government campaign
against the independent Press continues unabated. In fact, the latest
declaration by the junior minister of information and publicity brings in a
new element.

Zanu PF, which gets an annual allowance from taxpayers through the Political
Parties (Finance) Act, intends to use that money to sue the media both here
and abroad.

People are entitled to protest at this unconscionable extravagance. This
party has done so little to deserve the taxpayers' largesse, it doesn't even
rate a sausage from them.

Some might even say the people ought to sue the party for dereliction of
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Daily News

      Riot police throw refugees back to their tormentors

      5/14/02 8:18:01 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

HARARE riot police on Sunday descended on refugees from the Marondera and
Hwedza commercial farming areas and carted off some of them to the farms
from which they had been evicted by land grabbers last month.

The farm workers were at the Coronation Park campsite in Msasa and at
Cleveland Dam near Mabvuku and were being looked after by a non governmental
organisation, the Zimbabwe Farm Community Development Trust (ZFCDT).

Reports from Marondera yesterday said the workers who were taken to the
farms on Sunday had had a hostile reception from the settlers and had fled
into the bush.

Yesterday, about 40 people were still at the Cleveland Dam campsite, while
the rest of those left at the Coronation Park campsite on Sunday were moved
yesterday afternoon.

Rev Tim Neill, the executive director of the ZFCDT, said yesterday about 270
people were affected by the move.
He said: "This was an unjust action and we are making an urgent application
to the High Court to get them back to Harare."

Police officers who were guarding some of the remaining families at the two
campsites on Sunday refused to speak about the matter.

They denied The Daily News permission to talk to the farm workers. Some of
the women wept openly as they were not sure of their fate.

A member of the public said he found it disturbing that black people were
inflicting such pain on fellow blacks.

Most of the farm workers have denounced the government's chaotic land reform

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Daily News

Leader Page

      Greedy MPs have sentenced us to more hunger

      5/14/02 9:10:34 AM (GMT +2)

LAST week Parliament sat for one day and ratified the Land Acquisition
Amendment Bill. For one brief moment, hungry Zimbabweans may have dared to
hope that someone in authority would at last see sense.

Sadly it was not to be and our Members of Parliament are clearly still more
concerned about their personal status and political positions than they are
about their starving brothers and sisters.

In simple terms, the ratification of the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill
means that on every farm served with a Section 8 Notice: n Full ownership
rights immediately revert to the State; n The farmer is immediately confined
to his homestead area; The farmer has 90 days to get out of his house and
off the farm; It is a criminal offence for the farmer to farm; and n He may
go to prison for two years if he keeps on trying to grow food for us.

As I write, 95 percent of commercial farms are listed for compulsory
acquisition and 60 percent of farmers have been served with Section 8
Notices of seizure.

It is anticipated that the remaining 35 percent of farms will be served with
Section 8 Notices before the start of the rainy season. Dr Joseph Made, the
Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, has stated that he
intends to have agricultural production fully indigenised by August this

In real terms, the ratification and implementation of the Bill in Parliament
last week means that by July 2002 there will a 60 percent reduction in the
amount of milk, eggs, meat, vegetables, roller maize-meal, sugar and cooking
oil on our supermarket shelves.

It is already almost impossible to find milk, sugar, cooking oil or roller
maize-meal in the shops and by July it will be 60 percent harder to obtain
these basic daily essentials.

We are already paying $190 for a dozen locally produced eggs; $63 for one
loaf of locally produced bread and $82 for one locally produced litre of

How much will these products cost us in July when they are being imported?
Before the election, leading economists warned of 1 000 percent inflation
and although we all gasped and shook our heads in sad resignation, I don't
think it actually sank in for most of us.

A thousand percent was just such a ridiculously high figure that we couldn't
really comprehend it but now, thanks to the MPs who voted for full-scale
farm takeovers, we can see it becoming reality.

I wonder if ordinary Zimbabweans like you and me will be able to afford
bread, milk and eggs in July or if those purchases will be considered
luxuries only to be bought by our MPs who ratified the Land Bill last week.

In real terms the ratification of the Land Bill last week means 60 percent
less foreign exchange (forex) going into our economy by July. There will be
60 percent less tobacco, paprika, export vegetables, flowers and herbs being

There will be 60 percent less forex available to import fuel, medicines and
machinery. If we think things are tough now, they will be impossible after
the evictions have been effected.

Perhaps to some people this may sound like sour grapes coming from a white
Zimbabwean and a former farmer. It is not though. It is coming from a person
who bothers to look out of the window and see exactly what is happening on
our farms.

New farmers are just not growing our food. Some are trying to grow food for
themselves and their immediate families; others are cutting down trees and
selling the wood; netting the farm dams and selling the fish; culling the
wildlife and selling the meat.

Even Dr Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing, said on ZBC television last week that if new settler
farmers do not start showing signs of production within the next three
weeks, they will be removed from the land and their places taken by other
"land-hungry peasants".

For the last fortnight there has been a desperate scramble by various
government officials to persuade commercial farmers to get some wheat seeds
into the ground.

District administrators (DAs)and provincial administrators (PAs) have been
personally travelling around farms asking farmers to plant wheat.

They have been giving farmers their verbal assurance that they will be
allowed to see the crop through to harvest and that work will not be
interfered with by war veterans and "settlers".

They have promised farmers that they will not be evicted from their homes
and properties before the crop is harvested and sold. Do they really think
that any of the 95 percent of farmers whose land is currently listed for
compulsory acquisition will risk putting one single seed into the ground?

Banks will not lend money to farmers whose properties are listed. Insurance
companies will not offer cover for crops which are lost due to "political"

Police will not act on any issue on farms which involve war veterans or
settlers as these matters are considered "political". The verbal assurances
of DAs and PAs mean absolutely nothing to the arbitrary men standing at the
farmer's gate making demands and threats.

Commercial farmers in Zimbabwe have been stripped of their human, legal and
constitutional rights. They are not even allowed to sell or remove their own
agricultural property, including hoes and shovels, and yet they are still
being asked to grow another crop, to endure another six months of taunts,
harassment, intimidation and barbaric behaviour.

I wear a yellow ribbon in support of people suffering in Zimbabwe. Perhaps
it should be a yellow star because our government behaves to white farmers
here as the Nazis did to Jews in Germany 60 years ago.

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Daily News

      Major economic sectors suffer 5 percent decline

      5/14/02 8:44:38 AM (GMT +2)

By Ngoni Chanakira Business Editor

At a time when the country's economy continues to underperform, major
sectors experienced decline averaging more than five percent last year,
according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Finance and Economic

Included in this poor showing is tourism, at one stage the country's fastest
growing industry chalking up billions in foreign currency, but whose decline
has been the worst since independence.

Commenting on this scenario, the Minister of Finance and Economic
Development, Dr Simba Makoni, blamed the manufacturing declines on high
inflation rates which increased cost of production and reduced export

The country's inflation rate is pegged at 113 percent.

In tourism, Makoni blamed the declines to the "negative publicity related to
the land reform programme and the perceived unstable political climate".

The minister also blamed the manufacturing declines on low commodity prices
mainly for agriculture and mining, acute foreign currency shortages, which
resulted in reduced imports of raw materials, spare parts and machinery, the
fixed exchange rate, and shrinking domestic demand, due to increased
unemployment and declining purchasing power.

"The major sectors of the economy experienced declines of more than five
percent," Makoni said.

In the manufacturing sector from the period January to September 2001, the
minister said only non-metals, clothing, and food had made a positive
contribution to the country's economy.

The growth rate for food stood at 1,6 percent, clothing, 2,2 percent and
non-metals 3,5 percent.

He said the volume of output in the manufacturing sector for the first nine
months of 2001 fell by 10,1 percent, compared to the same period in 2000.

Major declines had been recorded in beverages and tobacco, transport and
equipment, textile and ginning, as well as metals and metal products.

The country's manufacturing sector has suffered major declines because
industrialists complain of lack of raw materials and input shortages, as
well as company invasions experienced last year.

In the mining sector, Makoni said mineral production for the period January
to September 2001 had also declined by 6,8 percent, compared to the same
period in 2000.

Major declines were in gold, 13,7 percent, asbestos, 18,5 percent, black
granite, 22,6 percent and iron ore 23,2 percent.

"The decline in mining production is largely attributable to the scaling
down of production, due to prohibitive costs, and problems at Blast Furnace
Number 4 at the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, which reduced demand for
iron ore," Makoni said.

On tourism, the sector which began declining in 2000, Makoni said in 1999,
US$201,6 million (Z$11 billion) was received and in 2000, US$124,7 million
was generated, marking a 38,1 percent decline.

The Minister said: "The decline continued into 2001 as only US$72,2 million
was realised for the period January to November 2001 compared to US$116,5
million for the same period in 2000, representing a 38 percent decline in
tourism earnings.

"This is the worst consecutive decline experienced in the sector since

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Mugabe displays confidence but seen vulnerable

HARARE, May 14 - A decision by Zimbabwe's ruling party to postpone talks
with the main opposition movement is a sign that President Robert Mugabe is
regaining his political confidence after his controversial re-election,
analysts say.

       But Mugabe's ZANU-PF government remains vulnerable to international
pressure as it battles severe food shortages in the southern African state.
He could yet be dragged back to the negotiating table to ease post-election
tension, they said.
       ZANU-PF announced at the weekend that it had cancelled further talks
with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) until the courts
ruled on an MDC challenge to Mugabe's declared victory in the March 9-11
presidential elections.
       South Africa and Nigeria, Africa's most powerful countries, who have
been mediating the inter-party dialogue, have been applying intense pressure
to bring the ruling party back to the talks, the analysts said.
       MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has emerged as Mugabe's biggest
threat since the 78-year-old former guerrilla came to power 22 years ago,
says the elections were rigged.
       The March poll was condemned as fraudulent by key Western powers,
including the European Union and the United States, southern African
parliamentarians and the Commonwealth, which suspended Zimbabwe. Some
African governments and the Organisation of African Unity endorsed Mugabe's
60-40 victory and South African observers called the polls ''legitimate.''
       Mugabe's party insists the veteran leader won fairly and has rejected
opposition calls for a re-run.
       ZANU-PF said its talks with the MDC -- which were due to resume on
Monday after a brief session last month -- would not be useful in a
political environment ''poisoned by the MDC's continuous lies'' over
ZANU-PF's alleged campaign of violence against MDC activists.
       Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei, a political analyst at the University
of Zimbabwe, said ZANU-PF's decision to suspend talks with the MDC
underlined its growing political confidence and its scepticism over the
utility of the talks.

       ''What we are looking at is an important political statement from
ZANU-PF saying that ZANU-PF has little to gain from these talks...,'' said
Dzinotyiwei, chairman of political pressure group Zimbabwe Integrated
Programme (ZIP).
       ''ZANU-PF is saying that it is confident that it has the ability to
defend its political position at home and on the international diplomatic
stage,'' he told Reuters.
       But other political analysts said ZANU-PF remains vulnerable to
foreign pressure.
       Brian Raftopoulos, an associate professor at the Zimbabwe Institute
of Development Studies, said Nigeria and South Africa had the muscle to pull
ZANU-PF back to negotiations.
       ''The Zimbabwe economy is in a very serious crisis and needs outside
help, and Zimbabwe has a very, very serious food shortage which can only be
alleviated with the assistance of the international community,'' Raftopoulos
       ''If ZANU-PF gets back into the talks it will be for public relations
purposes because in its view these talks are doomed to fail,'' he added.
       South Africa has mostly adopted a policy of quiet diplomacy towards
its troublesome northern neighbour. Remarks by Defence Minister Mosiuoa
Lekota last week suggested there was a cabinet split over that policy. ''The
government of Zimbabwe would not listen to us. We asked them to stop the
looting of farms and not to follow the route of lawlessness but we failed,''
he said.
       On Monday he made clear that view was his own, not the government's.
       The Zimbabwe government was gloating on Monday that Mugabe, who has
been slapped with travel sanctions by the United States and the EU, managed
to go to New York last week for a United Nations childrens' conference
without any incident.
       Zimbabwe's official Herald newspaper quoted Foreign Minister Stan
Mudenge as saying that Mugabe's U.N. trip, through France, proved that the
''smart sanctions'' against Mugabe and his political and business associates
had failed.
       Mudenge said the trip demonstrated the world recognised Mugabe's
leadership of the former Rhodesia, which he has ruled since it gained
independence from Britain in 1980.
       ''We wanted to demonstrate that the sanctions will not stop us from
carrying out our diplomatic functions...that our international intercourse
is not affected by sanctions,'' he said. The United States does not normally
prevent visits to U.N. headquarters, which is not U.S. territory.
       In an editorial entitled ''(ZANU-PF/MDC) Talks were doomed to fail,''
the Herald said while Zimbabwe welcomed Nigeria and South Africa's good
faith in trying to restart talks, the talks would be useless and there was
no crisis over Zimbabwe's leadership.
       ''Zimbabwe is no longer an international issue except in the minds of
the MDC and its blind supporters,'' it said.

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Daily News

      Danish Embassy employees demand hefty exit packages

      5/14/02 8:16:26 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Ten Zimbabweans working for the Danish Embassy in Harare will lose their
jobs when it closes on 14 June. Denmark decided to close the embassy and
stop development aid to Zimbabwe following the presidential election in
March, which it condemned as not free and fair.

The international community has largely described the election as
fraudulent. Yesterday, the workers said they were worried about their
severance packages because their employer was tight-lipped about proposals
they submitted in March at the embassy's request.

The workers were given three months' notice from April. A spokesperson for
the group said: "From the time we got our notice letters they stopped
holding monthly staff meetings.

They asked us to propose a severance package and we did so in March. Since
then they have not said anything and we are now very worried."

In their proposal, the 10 workers said it would be very hard to find other
jobs because of the high level of unemployment in Zimbabwe.

The workers wrote: "Given this uncertainty, it is proposed that the
retrenched staff receive an exit package that will sustain them for a
considerably long period of time while they seek new jobs or engage in
income-generating activities."

They proposed a gratuity of five percent of annual salary multiplied by the
number of years served, cash in lieu of leave, and an annual bonus.

They asked for 24 months' salary, a "disturbance allowance" of three months'
salary for each year served, medical aid for one year, pension contribution
for one year, and to be given priority in the purchase of the embassy's

The workers wrote: "The entire severance package should be given out in
foreign currency, in United States dollars.

"It is not possible to measure the extent of the inconvenience and the
damage the closure of the embassy will have on employees. It is strongly
believed that this is fair compensation for loss of employment."

Ole Moesby, the Danish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, yesterday said it was not
true that there was no communication with the workers. He said: "They have a
contract and we are just following that."

He declined to say what the workers were going to get as exit packages.
Moesby said: "I don't think that is something I am willing to discuss with
the media."

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Daily News

      Zanu PF youths occupy MDC rally venue

      5/14/02 8:12:57 AM (GMT +2)

From Brian Mangwende

WORRIED by the support the opposition party is attracting at its meetings,
Zanu PF youths in Chipinge South have occupied Chibuwe Grounds, the venue
for an MDC rally to be addressed by the party's leader, Morgan Tsvangirai,

Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC's spokesman in Manicaland, said the action was
calculated to intimidate MDC members and discourage them from attending the

This is not the first time that Zanu PF supporters have tried to bar the
opposition party from holding a political rally. In January, Zanu PF
militants occupied White City Stadium in Bulawayo overnight and beat up MDC
supporters who came in to attend a rally the following morning.

The police used tear-gas to disperse MDC supporters who were waiting outside
the stadium to get in, while no action was taken against the Zanu PF
supporters responsible for the violence.

One of the MDC members who was severely assaulted later died in hospital.
Last Sunday, Tsvangirai addressed 25 000 supporters at a rally in Hwange.

Lucia Matibenga, the MDC's national chairwoman, Nelson Chamisa, the national
youth chairperson, and Lovemore Madhuku, the National Constitutional
Assembly chairman, are also expected to address the Chipinge rally.

Muchauraya said yesterday: "Police gave us the clearance to hold the rally
in those grounds, so I do not understand what the confusion is
regarding Zanu PF youths' action.

Since Saturday, they have been toyi-toying in the grounds. Our supporters in
that area have informed us they have been intimidated not to come to the
grounds. Our preparations have been frustrated as we cannot get access to
the grounds.

All the same, I can assure our supporters that the rally will go ahead, no
matter what happens." He warned that if the Zanu PF youths continued to with
their harassment in Chipinge, where hundreds of the opposition party members
have fled, the MDC might consider retaliating.

The Mutare police refused to comment. Charles Pemhenai, Zanu PF's spokesman
in the province, denied his party had sanctioned the move by youths into the

"We are not a Mafia organisation," Pemhenai said. "Why should the MDC
tarnish the name of our party by reporting falsehoods? They are lying.

There is no such thing. If they have any problems, they should report to the

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Daily News

      AG's Office drags feet over probe into Chikanga's early release

      5/14/02 8:17:14 AM (GMT +2)

Chief Reporter

THE Attorney General (AG)'s Office is dragging its feet in investigating
Emmerson Mnangagwa's illegal release of a hard-core armed robber, George
Tanyanyiwa Chikanga, in 2000 when he was the Minister of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs.

Mnangagwa, the ruling Zanu PF secretary for administration, is now the
Speaker of Parliament.

Bharat Patel, the Deputy AG, who three weeks ago told participants at a
post-election seminar organised by the Law Society of Zimbabwe that the
report into the matter would be released soon, yesterday said the case was
being handled by Andrew Chigovera, the AG.

Patel said: "The AG is looking into that matter. He is handling the case."
"The AG's Office has certainly done something about it and a report on the
Chikanga issue will be released soon."

Chigovera was said to be out of office yesterday. Retired High Court judge,
Justice David Bartlett, said Chigovera should investigate all the files
related to the release of prisoners during Mnangagwa's tenure, to establish
whether such releases were done properly.

Since October, Chigovera and Patel have repeatedly refused to say whether or
not they have started investigating Mnangagwa.

In his affidavit during Chikanga's trial, Mnangagwa admitted that the
release of Chikanga was an error, but attributed the mistake to his then
permanent secretary, Augustine Chikumira, now deceased, and his personal
assistant, a Mr Nyathi, now also deceased.

Chikumira died in January last year. In his ruling, Bartlett said he
regarded Chikumira highly and from the evidence he was satisfied he was not
linked to the irregular release of Chikanga.

During the trial, Bartlett established that Chikanga was previously
convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison on various counts of armed
robbery but only served nine years.

Bartlett unearthed the scandal after he had convicted Chikanga of armed
robbery involving more than $200 000.

The court then heard that Chikanga was released earlier because he suffered
from hypertension. Bartlett then ordered that Chikanga be examined by a
medical doctor to establish his health condition and the circumstances
leading to his release in March last year.

However, the medical examination ordered by Bartlett showed that Chikanga
did not suffer from hypertension as claimed on his release.

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Daily News

      Lawyers seek divine intervention

      5/14/02 8:13:47 AM (GMT +2)

Court Reporter

STERNFORD Moyo, the president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, on Friday
urged Christians in the legal profession to seek divine intervention for the
restoration of sanity in the country's judicial system.

He was speaking at the launch of the Harare branch of the Christian Legal

"The launch comes when our country is facing enormous challenges," Moyo told
judges, magistrates, lawyers and church leaders at the launch ceremony.

"We continue to witness the breach of the rule of law. The law has been used
to subvert the law itself, sometimes to subvert the truth.

"You need wisdom, integrity and courage to deal with the challenges facing
our country today. This can only come through divine inspiration."

The first Christian legal community in the country was formed by lawyers led
by Daniel Molokela in Bulawayo last year. The society seeks, among other
things, to integrate Christian values into the country's legal system,
promote the Christian concept of social justice and to offer legal services
to the poor and give consideration to the legal needs of churches.

Harare author and lawyer Davison Kanokanga was elected the society's
chairman; Tapfumanei Nyamwanza of Coghlan, Welsh and Guest, secretary; Joyce
Temu of Chinyoka and Gunje, treasurer; Revai Chisweto, a University of
Zimbabwe law student, was chosen as the students' representative.

Bishop Tudor Bismark, of the New Life Covenant Church, called on legal
practitioners to speak for the downtrodden, citing Psalms 31 which calls on
believers to "open your mouth for the mute".

Kanokanga urged business leaders to take a firm stand in the fight against

"Where there is no rule of law, the law of the jungle will take over and
business will flee," he said.

"If you are interested in your business, then you should join our cause to
transform our legal system."

The first Christian Legal Society was formed by a group of American
attorneys working in Washington, DC in 1959.

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Daily News

      Zanu PF slams door on talks

      5/14/02 7:54:55 AM (GMT +2)

By Sandra Nyaira

INTER-PARTY talks between Zanu PF and the MDC appear dead after Zanu PF's
failure to send its team to resume the dialogue yesterday in the presence of
the facilitators, Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa and the Nigerian
diplomat Adebayo Adededji.

Strenuous efforts by the two facilitators to bring Zanu PF back to the table
failed. But the two men managed to meet Emmerson Mnangagwa, the party's
secretary for administration, who promised to get back to them after
consulting his boss, President Mugabe.

Motlanthe arrived in Harare yesterday in time for the negotiations to
resume, while Adededji arrived on Sunday evening. The two immediately sought
to clear the dark clouds hanging over the talks with Mnangagwa, but
Mnangagwa was continuously not available in his office as he was said to be
meeting Mugabe.

The facilitators ended up having their own meeting at the Sheraton
Hotel late in the afternoon. Mnangagwa said last night he was locked in
talks with his colleagues on the inter-party talks but could not give

Welshman Ncube, the MDC's secretary-general, said later that as far as his
party was concerned, Zanu PF had pulled out of the talks and "has
repudiated its promise to Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo by
closing all doors for a negotiated solution to the political crisis of
legitimacy facing Zimbabwe".

Ncube said it was now up to the people of Zimbabwe to reclaim their freedoms
and liberties and their right to freely elect their government.

Asked if this meant mass action, he said his negotiating team would report
back to the party's national executive, which would make the appropriate

Newspapers in South Africa yesterday reported that Pretoria and Harare
seemed to be on a collision course after Zanu PF unilaterally postponed the

The talks, brokered by South Africa and Nigeria to douse rising political
tension in the country following Mugabe's disputed victory in the March
presidential election, were scheduled to resume yesterday after a three-week

Jonathan Moyo, a member of the Zanu PF negotiating team, said while the two
facilitators were welcome in the country "any time", their presence did not
mean the talks would resume.

Ncube said: "The MDC remains firmly of the conviction that the present
defacto government of Robert Mugabe is illegitimate and that there is only
one way to restore legitimacy, namely, a rerun of the presidential

He said the MDC was sceptical of Zanu PF's commitment to the talks from the
very beginning but was going into the talks with an open mind seeking a
rerun of the "stolen election" by ensuring the "illegitimate regime which
tortured people, changed goal posts at every turn" and "disobeyed court
orders" was removed.

"What we are saying is that the Zanu PF government has closed the doors to
negotiations for a return to legitimacy," said Ncube.

"It means we then have to find other methods to make sure people reclaim
their sovereignty that has been appropriated by Zanu PF to make it its own.

"We feel sorry and are empathetic to the facilitators who have been treated
with utmost contempt and have been publicly humiliated by an illegitimate
rogue regime which stole an election through State violence and outright
electoral fraud.

"We trust that, at last, the African nations will recognise this regime for
what it is." Motlanthe and Adededji refused to talk to the Press, saying
this was the major reason they had wanted to have the talks outside Harare
in the first place

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Business Report

Zimbabwe tobacco to be black sector
May 14 2002 at 06:32AM
Harare - The Zimbabwean government would campaign to make blacks the key
producers in the tobacco industry, the country's largest single foreign
currency earner, it said yesterday.

On the eve of annual tobacco auctions, agriculture minister Joseph Made said
the government would ensure that all tobacco farms confiscated from whites
for redistribution to landless blacks continued producing the leaf.

"Tobacco is of strategic importance," Made said.

"It is therefore imperative that the bulk of the production and marketing is
ultimately in the hands of indigenous majority black Zimbabweans."

The bulk of the country's tobacco has traditionally been produced by white
farmers, whose properties have been targeted for seizure under President
Robert Mugabe's controversial land reforms.

Industry officials say about 168 million kilograms of tobacco will be on
auction this year, compared to last year's crop of 195 million kilograms,
mainly because of disruptions to agriculture caused by militants who have
invaded white-owned farms since February 2000 in support of the government's
land reforms.

In 2001 the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA), grouping mainly white
producers, said up to 40 percent of total tobacco plantings were on land
targeted under the government's land reform exercise and the crop could be
undermined by the disturbances.

The annual tobacco auctions, which traditionally run between late April and
October, earn about 30 percent of Zimbabwe's foreign currency, which has
been in short supply since 1999 due to the poor performance of other

Last month the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said tobacco merchants would now be
required to source foreign currency for all leaf purchases from offshore, to
curb what it said were price distortions that resulted from local sourcing.

The country is the world's second-biggest exporter of flue-cured tobacco
after Brazil, and is among the top three producers of high-quality crop.

In a statement published in the May issue of its monthly newsletter, the ZTA
said a recent tour of the country's main tobacco growing districts revealed
uncertainty about the future among producers.

"We need answers, and we need them now," it quoted growers as saying. "Are
we going to be able to grow another crop next season? We need to start land
preparation now, but for us to go ahead we need clarity on viability and the
way forward with land reform."

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McKinnon urges prompt action on African famine

14.05.2002 12.20 pm

LONDON - The general-secretary of the Commonwealth called on Monday for
immediate international action to help the millions of people facing
starvation in southern Africa because of drought and failing crops.

"I appeal to all Commonwealth countries and to the international community
as a whole to show solidarity and increase food aid and other humanitarian
relief to the Southern African region," Don McKinnon said.

There were already severe food shortages in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique,
Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The UN World Food Programme has calculated that close to four million people
face starvation in the region due to causes ranging from erratic rainfall to
failing harvests.

In Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe in particular, the harvests last year were
around one-third down on the previous year.

In Zimbabwe the problem has been exacerbated by a state-sponsored land grab
that has stopped many white-owned commercial farms from working and divided
up fields into small uneconomic parcels.

The looming famine comes as leaders of the G8 countries -- Britain, Canada,
France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States -- prepare to
gather for a summit in Canada next month to discuss the New Partnership for
African Development (NEPAD).

The initiative is a plan for Africa drawn up by Africans, rather than
imposed by international institutions, aimed at lifting the whole continent
out of the cycle of poverty and debt.

Earlier on Monday, international charity Christian Aid appealed for the
developed world to give Africa a new deal by tilting the terms of trade in
favour of the poverty-stricken and strife-ridden continent.

"Africa needs unfair trade. It needs trade policies that explicitly and
deliberately discriminate in its favour," Christian Aid director Daleep
Mukarji wrote in an open letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Striking a chord that is likely to become the refrain of the World Summit on
Sustainable Development due to take place in Johannesburg at the end of
August, Christian Aid said it was the responsibility of the rich north to
help the poor south.


© 2002 New Zealand Herald
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Britain admits lack of influence in Zimbabwe

LONDON, May 14 — Britain said on Tuesday it was almost powerless to influence change in Zimbabwe and looked to President Robert Mugabe's fellow African leaders to apply pressure.
Foreign Office minister Baroness Amos said even the Commonwealth and European Union had limited sway over Mugabe but added that a lack of public condemnation from his African peers did not mean there was no pressure being applied behind closed doors.
       Quizzed by parliament's Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Amos was asked to produce one example of British influence in Zimbabwe before or since March presidential elections, which were condemned as fraudulent by key Western powers.
       ''I cannot give the committee that kind of assurance,'' she said. ''We are all deeply frustrated.''
       Had the suspension of Zimbabwe by the 54-nation Commonwealth had any effect, she was asked. ''I think it is too soon to tell,'' Amos replied. ''It is to Robert Mugabe's peers in Africa that he might listen.''
       Mugabe's ZANU-PF party announced at the weekend it had cancelled further talks with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change until the courts ruled on an MDC challenge to Mugabe's declared victory in the elections.
       South Africa and Nigeria, Africa's most powerful countries, have been brokering the inter-party dialogue.
       ''It is very difficult to say whether those talks will continue and continue successfully,'' Amos said, adding that ''smart'' European Union sanctions, precisely targeting Mugabe and his associates, had probably inflicted no more than inconvenience.
       ''When you have a government that appears to care very little about what is happening to its own citizens...there is a limit to what the international community, not just the British government, can achieve,'' she said.
       South African President Thabo Mbeki was widely criticised both at home and abroad in the run-up to Zimbabwe's elections for failing publicly to use his clout to influence Mugabe.
       Amos said that criticism may be misplaced.
       ''There has been some disappointment about the lack of public statements from some African leaders but what we say in public does not always match what we say in private,'' she said.
       Public silence did not mean ''robust'' representations were not being made behind the scenes.
       Britain, meanwhile, was hampered in acting alone by Mugabe's tactic of portraying every utterance from London as the meddling of a former colonial power.
Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited.

Britain: Expulsion from Commonwealth Did Not Change Zimbabwe's Policies
VOA News
14 May 2002 17:26 UTC

A top British foreign policy official says it is not clear if Zimbabwe's
suspension from the Commonwealth has affected the African country's policies
in any way.

Valerie Amos, a senior official in Britain's Foreign Office, told a
committee of lawmakers Tuesday that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe might
be more responsive to pressure from other African leaders.

Late last week, Mr. Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party suspended reconciliation
talks with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Britain spearheaded an effort to impose international sanctions on Zimbabwe
in the wake of violence and fraud allegations surrounding the country's
March election. The Commonwealth subsequently suspended Zimbabwe from its
meetings for one year.

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15:30 14/05/2002 Paper: Zimbabwe buys anti-riot gear from Kibbutz Beit Alfa
A Beit Alfa Riot Control Vehicle.
(Photo: Beit Alfa)

The Zimbabwean government recently purchased state-of-the-art military equipment and anti-riot gear from Kibbutz Beit Alfa, as part of its attempts to crush anti-government demonstrations.

The purchase came to light as result of an investigation by Zimbabwean weekly, The Standard, which pointed out that the ruling Zanu PF has traditionally seen Israel as a "repressive Zionist regime and puppet of the United States."

According to The Standard, "the equipment has already arrived in Zimbabwe and includes customized anti-riot tankers, gas masks and microscopic 'laser guns', similar to those used by Israeli forces against the Palestinian protesters."

The paper reported that the tankers, called Riot Control Vehicle model RCU 4500 I, were supplied by the Beit Alfa Trailer Company and have been undergoing tests at the Police Support Unit Headquarters in the capital. "The anti-riot vehicles include the latest in water cannon technology based on an advanced computer-controlled jet pulse system. Highly accurate pulse firing can be done in three different modes-short pulse, long pulse and continuous stream. The water is shot up to 500 meters," wrote the paper.

"When The Standard visited Harare's Support Unit base last week, police officers were being trained in the use of the lethal cannons, under the watchful eye of an Israeli expert. Police sources said two of the tankers would be stationed in Bulawayo and the other three in Harare."

The Standard reported that the deal to buy the equipment was first mooted last year, when Harare police sought authority to make a $105 million down payment to Israel's Beit Alfa Trailer Company (BAT) for the purchase of the arms to the tune of $1 billion. BAT is one of the world's leading manufacturers of riot control vehicles.

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Mugabe Tightens His Grip in Harare

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (Brussels)
May 14, 2002
Posted to the web May 14, 2002

Following bitterly contested elections in a country where 80% of the
population now live in abject poverty, the Mugabe regime has once again
taken steps to drive Zimbabwe further into the dictatorial grip. Instead of
aiding the struggling workers of his country, Robert Mugabe has incessantly
continued to target the ICFTU-affiliated Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) through police intimidation, government threats and the arbitrary use
of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
In flagrant disregard of an April High Court ruling allowing trade union
meetings without police interference, the government-led harassment has not
The crackdown on activities of the ZCTU has included threats from the Home
Affairs Minister John Nkomo to outlaw the union, the propping up of a new
ZANU PF-controlled union at the expense of the ZCTU, and further police
harassment of legal trade union meetings. Only last week, the police
persistently demanded to be present at a ZCTU-run trade union seminar in
On 13 May, the ICFTU was once again led to address a letter to the
Zimbabwean President to express its outrage at his disregard of basic trade
union rights. In the letter, ICFTU General Secretary Guy Ryder urged Mugabe
"to take immediate action to put a stop to these threats and to all actions
by the authorities that interfere with the ZCTU's legitimate trade union
activities, and to ensure respect for and promotion of internationally
accepted labour standards and practices."
"The ZCTU has become Mugabe's scapegoat for an ever-deteriorating
socio-economic situation for which he himself is to blame," added Ryder.
"The ZCTU is a legally constituted trade union federation striving to
promote workers' interests. The ICFTU is calling on international solidarity
to ensure maximum pressure on the Mugabe regime for the need to guarantee
accepted labour standards, not to trample over workers' rights."
To view the letter to President Mugabe, see below
The ICFTU represents 157 million workers in 225 affiliated organisations in
148 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions:

Violation of trade union rights in Zimbabwe

His Excellency Robert G. Mugabe
President of the Republic of Zimbabwe
Republic of Zimbabwe

By fax: ++ 263 4 70 85 40

13 May 2002

Dear Mr. President,

The International confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), which represents 157 million workers through its 225 affiliated organizations in 148 countries and territories, including Zimbabwe, is outraged at the illegal use of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), by the police, to curtail the activities of the ZCTU. Notwithstanding the fact that the court ordered the police not to interfere in the meetings of the ZCTU General council, the Permanent Secretary of Information and Publicity in the President’s Office and Cabinet castigated the presiding judge. Furthermore the Minister of Public Service Labour and Child Welfare is now threatening to decertify the ZCTU and to work directly with its affiliates. The Minister of Home Affairs has also made some threatening remarks to ban the ZCTU should it carry out a general strike.

It is my unpleasant task to impress upon you the seriousness of such threats by your Ministers and arbitrary actions by the police. You are most certainly well aware that such actions contravene the ILO Conventions that guarantee workers and their representative specific rights, and it is the obligation of the Zimbabwean government to ensure that these rights be respected. I must therefore, urge you to take immediate action to put a stop to these threats and to all actions by the authorities that interfere with the ZCTU’s legitimate trade union activities, and to ensure respect for and promotion of internationally accepted labour standards and practices.

Yours sincerely,

General Secretary
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Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Zimbabwe tobacco farmers protest
Tobacco crop
Farmers groups say they can't afford to grow tobacco
Angry tobacco farmers have dealt another blow to Zimbabwe's troubled economy, halting the first day of the annual auction that is the country's biggest hard currency earner.

Hundreds of small-scale tobacco growers occupied the auction floor to protest over the government's pricing policies.

Zimbabwe is the world's second biggest tobacco grower.

Farmers object to the system under which tobacco is sold in US dollars, but they get paid in local currency at the official exchange rate of 55 Zimbabwean dollars to one.

Industry in jeopardy

The Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) has warned the tobacco industry could collapse if the government does not offer farmers a better exchange rate.

"There's just no viability in the industry," Chris Mowlem, chief executive of the ZTA said.

Early bids by international buyers averaged around $2 a kilogram, or Z$11, while industry estimates put the cost of growing a kilogram of tobacco at Z$300.

The farmers who import equipment and other goods must pay for them at the black market rate of about $1 to Z$340.

"Costs for chemicals, fertilizer are too high, but now prices (for tobacco) are too low," said Christopher Chaterera, a small-scale farmer who has grown tobacco for the last six years.

"If it goes on like this, by next year, some of the farmers will not grow anything," he said.

Land reforms

Many growers at the auction refused to allow their bales to be sold.

Some white tobacco farmers, who have borne the brunt of land confiscations by the government, also withheld their crops.

Farm disruptions caused by the land seizures have reduced this year's tobacco crop from about 205,000 tons last year to 168,000 tons, according to the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board.

Under the government's two-year-old land reforms, which have targeted about 80% of white-owned farms for resettlement by blacks, the number of small-scale tobacco farmers has tripled from 7,000 to about 22,000.

They will grow less than 6% of the 165 million kilos of tobacco crop expected this year.

Currency shortages

The government has refused to devalue the local currency out of fears of spurring inflation, currently at a record 113%.

Last year's auction season raised about $400m of foreign currency.

However, falling foreign currency reserves have led to acute shortages of gasoline, power, medicines and other essential imports.

Tobacco accounted for more than 30% of Zimbabwe's hard currency earnings last year, ahead of mining and tourism.

Tourism revenues have declined by up to 80% since March 2000, when occupations of white-owned farms began.

ZIMBABWE: Tobacco auction hit by price row

HARARE, 14 May (IRIN) - The opening of Zimbabwe's annual tobacco auction was suspended on Tuesday as small-scale black farmers protested over the low prices on offer due to the country's artificial exchange rate.

Felix Mugari's future has never looked this bleak. He has successfully grown tobacco for 20 years, but this could be his last after attending the tobacco auction.

"I did not bring any tobacco bales on the first day. I came to spy on the market to see how prices are doing. The prices are very disappointing. In US dollar terms it's reasonable, but to convert it to our local currency, its not working," he told IRIN.

The opening of the auction was stopped by around 400 irate small-scale tobacco farmers who disrupted trading on the auction floors demanding a devaluation of the local currency. They said they would camp overnight in protest.

Other growers threatened to burn their crop rather than sell at the early bids of around US $2 for one kg, down on last year's prices by about US $1 per kg.

"I can't hold onto the tobacco as the law says I should sell within the same growing season. But I won't be able to produce another crop next year. If nothing happens to the exchange rate, this would be my last year as a tobacco farmer. Every tobacco farmer is disappointed," said Mugari.

Tobacco growers argue that although input costs have doubled in the past few years, their earnings have not improved since the government artificially pegged the local currency against major currencies two years ago.

At the official rate, US $1 is worth ZD $55. But on the parallel market, on which most import costs are based, the value is ZD 350 to US $1. Although tobacco prices are pegged in US dollars, growers are paid in Zimbabwe dollars using the official exchange rate.

"These white people (merchants and buyers) want to get the tobacco for free. The Reserve Bank should discuss and come up with something that benefits us. We will not be able to grow next year," said Jabulani Magwenzi, a small-scale farmer. "We want devaluation or the price to be increased."

Zimbabwe is the world's second largest producer after Brazil, and tobacco accounts for one-third of Zimbabwe's annual export earnings. This year, about 170 million kg of tobacco are expected to be sold compared to last year's 201 million kg.

Under the government's controversial land reform programme, the number of small-scale tobacco farmers has jumped in the last year from 7,000 to 22,000. They are expected to account for around six percent of the current drought-hit crop, AFP reported.

"Zimbabwe has had a dryer season than normal and some farmers are still reaping and only at the end of the month should there be significant deliveries," Duncan Millar, vice-president of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA), told IRIN.

"Last year's crop was vintage. I would class this year's class as good. But the major issues facing farmers is viability - it depends on what rate the dollar will be set," he added.

However, facing a severe foreign currency shortage, the government has flatly refused to devalue.

"Farmers have been affected by the invasions but they have been able to grow and that's why we have such a big crop. We hope to be able to grow again next year," said Millar. About 90 percent of all tobacco farms have been hit by farm invasions.

But the misery for farmers could continue. As a result of the on-going listing of white-owned farms for acquisition under the government's land reform programme, tobacco growers have found it hard to convince banks to loan them money for next season.

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Settlers Moved to New Farms

The Herald (Government) (Harare)
May 14, 2002
Posted to the web May 14, 2002
Herald Reporter

THOUSANDS of settlers at undesignated commercial farms in Masvingo were at
the weekend moved from the properties to farms acquired under the ongoing
land redistribution programme.
The exercise, which is being co-ordinated by a number of stakeholders, saw
an estimated 12 000 settlers relocated.
Chief police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, yesterday
said the rationalisation started over the weekend without any resistance
from the settlers.
"The people are not being chased away but are being moved to farms that have
been acquired by the Government," Asst Comm Bvudzijena said.
"They are being moved primarily because the farms they had settled on have
not been designated or were delisted.
The settlers have since been advised to move and be resettled correctly."
The police spokesman said the riot squad had not been deployed to the
He said the uniform worn by officers overseeing the exercise was not for the
riot squad but for "fatigue duties".
"There has not been need to deploy the anti-riot squad. Their uniform is
meant for duties that might involve getting dirty."
The affected people were those who h ad mostly occupied black-owned
properties, de-listed farms and conservancies.

Workers at Zimbabwe's Sabi mine down tools over salary nonpayment
May 14, 2002 12:54pm

Miners at the Sabi gold mine in Zvishavane, Zimbabwe went on strike at the
end of April in protest against not being paid their salaries over the
previous three months.
Over 800 miners allegedly took part in the action. The workers, who say they
last got their full salaries in December 2001, have threatened not to go
back to work until all the money outstanding to them has been paid. They are
also demanding an improvement in working conditions.
Sabi, a gold producer that was acquired by the government-controlled
Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp from South Africa's Messina-Transvaal
Development in 1984, has reportedly been experiencing serious financial
difficulties since last year.
(The Daily News, 02 May 2002.) African Mining Monitor includes paraphrased
and abstracted material with the source, which is deemed to be reliable and
duly identified. AMM is unable to provide full-text copies of these original
documents. ((Comments on this story may be sent to

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Business Day

Zimbabweans see peace, food as main priorities


THE needs of ordinary Zimbabweans went far beyond the land question. About
43% of Zimbabweans wanted peace to prevail and 40% were hoping for an
economic intervention to curb rising food prices.

Land did not feature in the top seven list of priorities that the government
was expected to fulfil.

These are results of research done by Zimbabwean-based research organisation
Probe, and presented at the 55th annual conference of Gallup International
an organisation which conduct market and opinion research in over 50
countries .

The results indicated that the voters roll was only about 50% accurate,
raising questions about the remaining 50% which could not be properly
accounted for. It also said that the voters roll had 5,5-million voters,
which if multiplied by two was 11,2-million about 5-million more adults than
there were in Zimbabwe.

It was also learnt at the conference from research on west African Muslims
that the five most admired personalities were Nelson Mandela, Osama bin
Laden, Yasser Arafat, Muammar Gadaffi, Saddam Hussein, Kofi Annan and Gen
Sani Abacha, placing George Bush a little further down the list.

The research said a high percentage of Muslims believed suicide bombings on
Israel, the September attacks on the USA and Israel's invasion of Palestine
were terrorist actions. It is the first time in the history of Gallup that
this event has been hosted in Africa.

About 51 delegates from 38 countries attending will be presenting various
research outcomes conducted on issues such as transparency in stock markets,
globalisation, the effects of the euro on Europe, polling in Zimbabwe and
the Argentine economic crisis, among others.

Mari Harris, the director of Markinor-SA, a member organisation of Gallup
International, said this meeting would help Africans to promote excellence
in research, in sharing local skills with the world, as well as acting as a
vehicle to help locals conducting international research.

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