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

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Dragged off and deported

Zimbabwean officials flout courts after seizing Guardian correspondent

Steven Morris
Saturday May 17, 2003
The Guardian

The Guardian's Zimbabwe correspondent, Andrew Meldrum, was deported last
night even though three separate court orders were made prohibiting his
After spending 23 years reporting on the country, Meldrum was manhandled
into a car outside the offices of Zimbabwe's immigration service, driven to
the airport and put on a plane to London.

The foreign secretary, Jack Straw, led worldwide condemnation, saying: "I'm
very concerned at this case. Petty and vindictive actions like this simply
expose the Zimbabwe regime for what it is."

Michael Ancram, the shadow foreign secretary, said: "This is yet another
disgraceful action showing the lack of respect for freedom of expression and
speech of Robert Mugabe's evil regime. This is the act of a dictator."

A US state department spokesperson said the treatment of Meldrum, an
American citizen, "reflects ongoing erosion of basic rights and the rule of
law, and is yet another example of the intimidation faced by journalists in
Zimbabwe, who have endured threats, arbitrary arrests and violence at the
hands of the government and its supporters."

Meldrum's wife, Dolores, spoke to him on his mobile phone. "He told me the
immigration officials had covered him with a jacket, hooded-style, and drove
him around a dirt road. When they got to the airport he was locked up in an
underground room," she told Reuters.

Meldrum's lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, claimed his deportation signalled a
"complete breakdown of the judicial system and the entire state machinery".

The disturbing sequence of events began yesterday morn ing when Meldrum, 51,
presented himself at the headquarters of the immigration service. He was
told that he was considered a "prohibited immigrant" and "an undesirable
inhabitant"and would be deported. He emerged from the building surrounded by
officials and police.

Meldrum shouted to waiting reporters: "I'm being deported. This is a
vindictive action of a government afraid of a free press." He was manhandled
by police officers, one of whom grabbed him by the collar, and bundled into
an unmarked police car before being driven to the airport.

During the day the high court in Harare issued three orders at three
hearings that Meldrum should not be deported.

At the second of the hearings yesterday afternoon Ms Mtetwa argued that the
immigration officials were in contempt for ignoring Meldrum's right to
appeal a previous de portation order last July to the supreme court. That
appeal has still to be heard.

The state attorney, Loice Matamba-Moyotold, said she did not know why the
home affairs minister, Kembo Mahadi, issued the deportation order because he
had said it was not in the public interest to disclose why Meldrum was
deemed an "undesirable".

Judge Charles Hungwe said he saw no reason why the reporter should be
detained. "He must be able to enjoy his freedom," the judge said. He said
the state's reluctance to give reasons for Meldrum's deportation left
"suspicions in one's mind".

After the third hearing yesterday evening, Ms Mtetwa raced to the airport
and served the new order prohibiting Meldrum's deportation to Air Zimbabwe
staff. Though immigration officials rushed away when they saw her, she also
managed to serve the or der on them. Nevertheless, Meldrum was put on a
flight to Gatwick. He managed to wave to friends and make a phone call to
reassure them that he was all right.

Ms Mtetwa said it was clear the state attorney and the immigration officers
were not acting independently.

The editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, said: "The deportation of our
reporter Andrew Meldrum from Zimbabwe is a political act which should invite
the strongest possible condemnation from the international community.

"The Zimbabwean authorities have been persecuting Andrew for the past 12
months and their determination to deport him can only be interpreted as a
concerted effort to stifle any free press within the country. This is an
extremely grim day for Zimbabwe."

The latest attempts to deport Meldrum began last week when immigration
officers ar rived at his home after dark and said he was wanted for

On Tuesday Meldrum voluntarily went to the immigration offices, where he was
told he had been writing "bad stories" about Zimbabwe. His residence permit
and passport were confiscated. He was subsequently told to appear at the
immigration offices yesterday.

Johann Fritz, director of the International Press Institute, said:
"Meldrum's illegal and unwarranted removal is yet another example of the
ongoing attempt by the government of President Mugabe to prevent information
on the appalling situation in Zimbabwe finding its way out of the country."

Paul Themba Nyathi, secretary for information and publicity for the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, described the decision to deport
Meldrum as "another nail in the coffin for press freedom in Zimbabwe".
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Desperation in Harare
(Filed: 17/05/2003)

In their determination to prevent news of what is happening in Zimbabwe
reaching the outside world, Mugabe's officials have launched a fresh attack
on the Guardian's correspondent, Andrew Meldrum, one of the last
correspondents to be working there. Accused of breaking the terms of his
residence permit by writing about the country's political situation, he has
had his residence permit and passport confiscated.

A prominent local lawyer who is representing him has herself been threatened
with detention. Behind this campaign against Meldrum, who has lived in the
country for 23 years, lies the aim of intimidating him to a point when such
journalists as remain are persuaded to stop reporting the dire conditions
that now prevail in that country.

Many people find it hard to understand how Robert Mugabe, who has brought
Zimbabwe to this pass, remains apparently impregnable, defying all advice to
step down and strong enough to avenge himself on those who attempt to stand
in his path. He is in fact surrounded by ministers, officials, policemen and
paramilitaries, well aware by now that if Mugabe goes they are doomed. Most
of them would have no place under a different regime except the prison
house. That lends a certain desperation to actions designed to muzzle the
press, direct the judiciary and punish those who dare offer political
opposition. Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwean opposition leader, is on trial
for treason.

The recent attempt by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and others to
persuade Mugabe to step down or at least to attempt to pull his country back
from the brink by enlisting the help of the opposition fell on stony ground.
Though last year's presidential election was derided by observers as a
travesty of democracy and is being challenged in the courts, Mugabe insists
that his re-election must be recognised as legitimate before there is any
question of talks with the opposition leader of Movement for Democratic

Such a demand has, properly, been rejected. Since that unsuccessful
encounter, President Mbeki has done a U-turn and is now protesting that it
is wrong for outsiders to meddle in Zimbabwe. Embarrassingly for us, Jack
Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has chosen this moment to make his first visit
to South Africa. He is likely to be told bluntly to mind his own business.

What we now have to reckon with is that sooner or later the end will come in
Zimbabwe for Mugabe, and the ugly truth of what has been happening there
will pour out. The world will hear in full of the tyranny that has
prevailed, the gross denial of human rights, intimidation of the judiciary,
the theft of white farms and pervasive corruption. All this without serious
rebuke from South Africa, without redress by United Nations, but with a
certain amount of hand-wringing by Britain, Europe and America. What has
been happening in Zimbabwe, a former British responsibility, will take its
place in history alongside the more shaming episodes of our times. We shall
not find it easy to live it down.
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  Source: Committee to Protect Journalists
  Date: 16 MAY 2003
  Country/Topic: Zimbabwe
  Person(s): Andrew Meldrum
  Target(s): journalist(s)
  Type(s) of violation(s): harassed , legal action
  Urgency: Bulletin
(CPJ/IFEX) - The following is a CPJ letter to President Robert Mugabe:

May 16, 2003

President Robert Mugabe
Office of the President
Munhumutapa Building
Samora Machel Avenue/ 3rd Street
Harare, Zimbabwe

Via facsimile: 011-263-4-708-820

Your Excellency,

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is outraged by your government's
continuing harassment of Andrew Meldrum, Zimbabwe correspondent for the
U.K.-based Guardian newspaper. Immigration officials ordered him today to
leave the country.

Meldrum, a U.S. citizen who has covered Zimbabwe for The Guardian for 22
years, went to the Department of Immigration today at 10:00 a.m. for a
scheduled meeting with officials, where he was informed he had to leave the
country. The deportation order, signed by Home Affairs Minister Kembo
Mahadi, called Meldrum "an undesirable inhabitant" of Zimbabwe but said it
was not in the public interest to disclose why, The Associated Press

Immediately after the meeting, while he was speaking to journalists outside
the immigration offices, Meldrum was manhandled by police and pushed into an
unmarked car that drove him directly to the Harare Airport, local sources
told CPJ.

Beatrice Mtetwa, Meldrum's lawyer, obtained a high court stay against the
journalist's deportation, which she later presented to officials at the
airport. The court order stipulated that Meldrum was to be allowed to attend
a hearing on his deportation this afternoon. However, officials have not yet
produced Meldrum. Though the state attorney has informed the court that the
journalist is still at the airport and has not yet been deported, no one has
been in contact with Meldrum since he was taken this morning.

Meldrum, along with Daily News journalists Geoff Nyarota and Lloyd Mudiwa,
was charged with "publishing false information" under Section 80 of the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) in April 2002.
Though acquitted of the charge on July 15, 2002, Meldrum was ordered to
leave the country within 24 hours. He successfully challenged the
deportation order, which was overturned.

Meldrum recently went into hiding after a group of immigration officers went
to his house on the evening of May 7, demanding to question the journalist.
On May 13, Meldrum attended a meeting at the Department of Immigration
during which his passport and residence permit were confiscated. Officials
told him that his permit only allowed him to report on economics and
tourism. Meldrum had recently filed stories about the deteriorating
political and economic climate in Zimbabwe and police brutality. Meldrum,
however, told CPJ that his residence permit does not include any conditions
on his reporting.

As an organization of journalists dedicated to defending the rights of our
colleagues worldwide, we condemn the harassment of Andrew Meldrum. The order
for his deportation, as well as the extraordinary conditions of his arrest,
indicate that this is a blatant attempt to silence the reporting of a
journalist who has criticized Your Excellency's regime.

We remain deeply concerned about Meldrum's well-being. We call on you to do
everything in your power to see that Meldrum is immediately released, and
that the deportation order against him is dropped. We also urge you to stop
the harassment of journalists in reprisal for their work and to see that
they are allowed to practice their profession freely.

Thank you for your attention in this matter. We await your reply.


Ann Cooper
Executive Director

American Society of Newspaper Editors
Amnesty International
Article 19 (United Kingdom)
Artikel 19 (The Netherlands)
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
Freedom Forum
Freedom House
Human Rights Watch
Index on Censorship
International Center for Journalists
International Federation of Journalists
International PEN
International Press Institute
Lorne W. Craner, United States Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human
Rights, and Labor
The Newspaper Guild
The North American Broadcasters Association
Overseas Press Club
Reporters Sans Frontières
Sergio Vieira de Mello, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The Society of Professional Journalists
World Association of Newspapers
World Press Freedom Committee

Similar appeals can be sent to:

President Robert Mugabe
Office of the President
Munhumutapa Building
Samora Machel Avenue/ 3rd Street
Harare, Zimbabwe
Fax: +263 4 708 820

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.


For further information, contact Adam Posluns (ext. 107) at CPJ, 330 Seventh
Ave., New York, NY 10001, U.S.A., tel: +1 212 465 1004, fax: +1 212 465
9568, e-mail:,, Internet:

**Updates IFEX alerts of 16 and 9 May 2003. For further information on the
previous legal harassment of Meldrum, see alerts of 18, 15 and 3 July, 19,
13 and 3 June, 22, 8, 7, 3 and 2 May 2002**
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Fear reigns in Zimbabwe

Saturday May 17, 2003
The Guardian

The harassment of Guardian journalist Andrew Meldrum and his lawyer is
symptomatic of the clampdown on freedom of speech in Zimbabwe. We have
documented widespread threats, arrests and beatings, including the police
attacks on a peaceful international women's day march, and know that human
rights defenders are more fearful than ever.
The Zimbabwe government has systematically introduced legislation which
silences criticism and opposition, while continuing to perpetrate human
rights violations and place the basic rights of the Zimbabwean people under

The work of Andrew Meldrum and other independent journalists who continue to
work against pressures that would be unimaginable in the UK is vital.

The international community, particularly Zimbabwe's African neighbours,
must state categorically that these restrictions and abuses must end and
ensure that this happens.
Kate Allen
Director, Amnesty International UK
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The Herald

Government dismisses Daily News story

Herald Report
The story in the Daily News yesterday claiming that a deal for a
transitional government in the country has been put in place is a shocking
and unacceptable example of the kind of unprofessional and unethical pink
journalism that Zimbabweans neither need nor deserve, the Minister of State
for Information and Publicity, Professor Jonathan Moyo, said yesterday.

"In fact, nobody in the civilised world needs or deserves this kind of
journalism. The deliberately false and sensational story in Strive
Masiyiwa's beleaguered paper has provided the clearest proof to the media
fraternity that pink lies from elsewhere have come to the blue Daily News,"
the minister said in a statement.

Quoting unnamed western diplomats, the Daily News story, written by Sydney
Masamvu, said the international community was putting together an economic
package for Zimbabwe that was dependent on President Mugabe stepping down in
the next six months.

But Prof Moyo said: "Unsuspecting readers of the self-evidently false story
who might be misled into believing that Sydney Masamvu, who recently left
the Financial Gazette in a huff under as yet unclear circumstances, actually
wrote the article, should be forgiven for not realising that the story is a
typical case of a reporter without a soul or mind of his own being used to
peddle not so clever anti-Zimbabwe British intelligence propaganda."

He said that was why, despite purporting to be about a major issue that
should be of major public interest, the whole story was based on an unnamed
and faceless western diplomat "who must, in fact, be a British intelligence

"No serious, ethical and professional reporter, editor or newspaper would
want to be associated with that kind of a story. Therefore, there is
something going on here," said Prof Moyo.

"If Strive Masiyiwa, who has been recently reported by some sections of the
media to be harbouring presidential ambitions, imagines that he can improve
his chances of leading an imaginary transitional government in Zimbabwe by
using the Daily News' outright fabrications, then he and his blue-eyed
editors at the Daily News should think again."

Prof Moyo said Masiyiwa, his editors, reporters and newspapers as well as
others like them, including British intelligence operatives, could have as
many scenarios in their heads about imaginary transitional governments and
exit plans as they wanted but none of them would become true through the
mere fact of their repeated publication in unprofessional and unethical
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      Globe and Mail Canada

      Security Council wants emergency force in Congo
      Associated Press

      United Nations - The Security Council on Friday demanded an end to a
wave of killings in northeastern Congo and urged Secretary-General Kofi
Annan to try to round up troops for an emergency international force.

      Mr. Annan sent a letter Friday asking the council to approve the
speedy deployment of "a highly trained and well-equipped multinational
force" to the town of Bunia, which has been at the center of the ethnic

      He expressed concern that "the rapidly deteriorating situation" would
worsen and have serious humanitarian consequences.

      The secretary-general has already asked France to lead the force and
provide a battalion with up to 1,000 troops.

      But Paris won't accept unless other nations join and the deployment is
for a limited period.

      Council diplomats said Mr. Annan has asked about 20 countries for
troops and some indicated they were prepared to contribute, including South
Africa and Angola.

      Pakistan's U.N. Ambassador Munir Akram, the current council president,
said the council hopes to have a clearer idea about troop contributions
early next week.

      Then, a resolution authorizing an emergency force would be drafted,
and hopefully be approved later in the week, he said.

      Rival Lendu and Hema tribal groups have been fighting for control of
Bunia in resource-rich Ituri province since May 7, when neighboring Uganda
withdrew its more than 6,000 troops from in and around the town as part of a
U.N.-brokered peace accord.

      At least 100 people have been confirmed killed in the fighting.

      The Ugandan withdrawal left Bunia in the hands of local Lendu tribal
fighters, a 625-member U.N. peacekeeping contingent made up mostly of troops
from Uruguay, and an even smaller Congolese police force.

      The contingent proved no match for an estimated 25,000 to 28,000 Lendu
and Hema fighters in Ituri.

      The United Nations strengthened its forces in Bunia to 750 on Friday
as the tribal factions signed a cessation of hostilities agreement.

      "This is an escalating and serious situation to which greater
international attention is urgently needed," said Richard Grenell, spokesman
for U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte. "The United States is very concerned
about the recent developments and is looking for ways in which we can
support efforts to end the violence."

      A formal statement adopted by the Security Council on Friday condemns
the recent killings and "demands that all hostilities in Ituri cease

      The council warned that "there will be no impunity" for the
perpetrators of human rights violations and other atrocities in Bunia.

      The French-led force that Mr. Annan is trying to put together would be
an international force, backed by the United Nations, which Mr. Annan said
would provide security at the airport and vital installations in Bunia "and
protect the civilian population."

      It would not be a U.N. peacekeeping force.

      Neighboring Uganda and Rwanda and their Congo rebel allies held east
Congo during a civil war that began in 1998.

      The armies and those of Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia have since
withdrawn under a series of peace deals.

      Uganda had warned that the withdrawal of the last of its troops would
leave a security vacuum.

      The council authorized an 8,700-strong U.N. peacekeeping force for
Congo in December and Mr. Annan is expected to recommend an expansion in a
report next week, diplomats said.

      A 1,500-strong Bangladesh-led battalion is expected to be deployed to
Bunia and Ituri in the coming months, and diplomats said France wants the
emergency force to remain only until it arrives.
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Daily News

      MDC trip cancelled

      5/17/03 7:18:31 AM (GMT +2)

      By Sydney Masamvu Assistant Editor

      MALAWIAN President Bakili Muluzi has withdrawn an invitation to
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai to hold talks
in Lilongwe, pending further consultations between Malawi and South Africa,
it was learnt this week.

      According to a preliminary plan that was drafted by the Malawian
government, Tsvangirai and his delegation were supposed to have travelled to
Malawi yesterday for talks with Muluzi. The talks were supposed to centre on
ways of resolving the political stalemate in Zimbabwe.

      MDC officials said the trip was cancelled abruptly on Friday
      Tsvangirai yesterday confirmed that the trip had been put on hold.

      "We were informed that the trip had been shelved and that President
Muluzi and Mbeki are still consulting. That is all I can say," Tsvangirai
told The Daily News.

      The MDC leader was also supposed to meet with President Thabo Mbeki of
South Africa, who is part of a regional troika - including Nigerian leader
Olusegun Obasanjo and Muluzi - that is attempting to facilitate dialogue
between the MDC and the ruling ZANU PF.

      The three southern African presidents were in Harare last week to hold
talks with leaders of the two parties in an attempt to bring them to the
negotiating table.

      Sources told The Daily News that after the visit to Harare, Tsvangirai
received an official invitation from the Malawian government, through its
Foreign Affairs Ministry, to hold talks with Muluzi.

      They said the invitation was received last Friday morning but was
cancelled on the afternoon of that day.

      They said on Friday afternoon, the MDC leadership received a message
from the Malawian High Commission in Harare cancelling the invitation and
saying that Muluzi and Mbeki were consulting on the matter.

      It could not be established yesterday why the Malawian and South
African leaders still needed to consult over Tsvangirai's visit.

      No comment could be obtained from the Malawian High Commission in
      It was not clear yesterday whether a new date had been set for the

      On Monday, Tsvangirai had used the letter of invitation from Muluzi to
request Zimbabwe's Attorney General's Office to relax his bail conditions to
enable him to travel to Malawi.

      Tsvangirai, who is on trial for treason, had to surrender his passport
as part of bail conditions set by the High Court.

      By yesterday, there had been no response to his request for a return
of the passport.
      Sources say following the cancellation of Tsvangirai's proposed trip
to Malawi, Mbeki and Muluzi are now expected to travel to Harare again for
another round of talks with the leaders of Zimbabwe's main political

      Analysts yesterday said the withdrawal of the invitation could be a
bad omen for attempts to break the political impasse in Zimbabwe.

      Diplomats this week said the international community was already
working on an economic package that would become effective once Mugabe
stepped down and a transitional government took over to prepare for fresh
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Daily News

      Jostling begins for Zengeza seat

      5/17/03 7:25:32 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      JOSTLING for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)-held
Zengeza parliamentary seat has intensified after Member of Parliament
Tafadzwa Musekiwa vowed this week that he would not return home from the
United Kingdom, where he is in self-imposed exile.

      MDC officials said the party had failed on Wednesday to persuade the
MP to return home.

      Gabriel Chaibva, the MP for Harare South, said Musekiwa was adamant
that he would not return to Zimbabwe and vowed to remain in Britain, citing
safety concerns.

      Musekiwa himself told The Daily News: "It is unfortunate that I am
living in exile because of the behaviour of this rogue regime, which does
not respect human dignity and the sanctity of human life."

      Gibson Sibanda, the MDC's vice president and MP for Nkulumane, said
the decision to contact Muse- kiwa was made at a caucus meeting of MDC MPs
in Harare on Wednesday. Sibanda said if Musekiwa failed to return
immediately, he would lose his seat in Parliament because of his long
absence from the House.

      The Speaker of Parliament on Thursday indicated that the Zengeza seat
would be declared vacant next week if Musekiwa did not return to Zimbabwe.
Sibanda said: "Musekiwa's problem emanates from police brutality. He says he
has evidence that his life is under threat." "Although we are concerned
about the constituency which is not being served, the MP's life comes first.
His life is in danger and that is our greatest concern," he explained.

      Asked what became of an ultimatum the MDC issued to the legislator to
return home by 26 February, Sibanda said: "At that time Musekiwa had not
elaborated on the seriousness of the matter. I spoke to him after the
ultimatum had been issued and we are now more concerned about his safety."

      Silent Dube, a former army captain, yesterday said he had already
started campaigning for the Zengeza seat, while Collin Gwiyo, secretary
general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, said he was also
interested in the seat.

      An MDC insider said apart from Dube and Gwiyo, others gunning for the
post were Solomon Madzore, an MDC activist, Alex Musundire, the MDC's
chairman for Chitungwiza, and businessman Batsirai Potera. However it was
not possible to secure comment from Madzore, Musundire and Potera.

      Musekiwa fled Zimbabwe last year for what he said was temporary exile
in London, citing a plot by ZANU PF officials and relentless efforts by the
police to eliminate him and other "Young Turks" in the opposition MDC.
Musekiwa has been arrested on several occasions in the past and in March
2002, the MP fled from his home in Chitungwiza when six men threw teargas
into his bedroom.
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Daily News

      Bar Mumbengegwi from summit, Belgians urged

      5/17/03 7:26:18 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      MEMBERS of the European Parliament (MEPs) have petitioned the Belgian
government against the granting of a visa to Samuel Mumbengegwi, Zimbabwe's
Minister of Industry and International Trade, to travel to Brussels despite
a European ban on senior government officials.

      Mumbengegwi is in Brussels to attend the African, Carribean, Pacific
countries-European Union (ACP-EU) Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels,
which began on Wednesday.

      However, the minister is one of several government and ruling ZANU PF
officials who have been banned from travelling to EU member countries as
part of smart sanctions imposed by the 15-nation economic bloc.

      The United States of America, Canada and Australia have also imposed
smart sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and his top hierarchy
because of alleged human rights abuses and electoral fraud.

      Lizzy Sugg, a press officer for the EU Parliament, said
parliamentarians had on Wednesday voted unanimously on a report of the
ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly severely criticising Mugabe for sending
the banned Mumbengegwi to Brussels.

      She said the MEPs had petitioned the Belgian government over its
decision to grant
      Mumbengenwi a visa.

      "We still await the response from the Belgian authorities as regards
the granting of the visa to the Zimbabwean minister to travel into the EU
despite his travel ban," she said.
      Speaking from Brussels, MEP's Geoffrey Van Orden said the travel ban
against Zimbabwean officials had mostly proved to be a failure.

      Van Orden said: "Yet again this exposes the ineffectiveness of EU
measures. To add insult to injury, Mumbengegwi, who is personally banned by
the EU, is being hosted in an EU building by EU ministers. What message does
this send to the Zimbabwean people suffering Mugabe's continuing repression?

      "We have this ludicrous situation of an individual banned by the EU
coming to the EU's capital, with the host country claiming it has no power
to stop this. The simple fact is that if EU governments wanted to prevent
Mugabe's henchmen from attending meetings in the EU, they would."

      But Frankeinet Benedicte Frankite, the Belgian ambassador in Harare,
said Mumbengegwi had only been granted a visa so that he could participate
in the EU-ACP meeting.

      "We understand the concerns of these people. It must be understood
that the visa was granted solely for the duration of the meeting," she said.
"When the travel bans were imposed, there is a clause which allows banned
people to attend an international conference being hosted in a given EU
country." She added: "The visa is strictly to Belgium only and for the
duration of the meeting. The freezing of his property also applies, so if Mr
Mumbengegwi has some assets in Belgium, he will not have access to them. He
will have to depend on what he brought from outside the EU."
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Daily News

            Governor ordered to stop interfering in conservancies

            5/17/03 7:28:38 AM (GMT +2)

            Staff Reporter

            ENVIRONMENT Minister Francis Nhema has directed provincial
officials to cease unilaterally allocating interests in Zimbabwe's national
conservancies, where the government is attempting to empower blacks, it was
learnt this week.

            Government sources said one of the officials to whom the
instruction was communicated was Masvingo provincial governor Josiah Hungwe,
who has been accused of interfering with privately-owned conservancies.

            Hungwe is said to be using his influence to plant politicians
and businessmen on privately-owned conservancies in his province.

            Officials within the Ministry of Environment and Tourism said
that Nhema was opposed to Hungwe's attempts to force conservancy owners to
co-opt his allies into their ventures without the ministry's knowledge.

            The officials said Nhema had ordered Hungwe to stop the
interference after complaints from conservancy owners and villagers forced
to move from ranches to make way for politicians and businessmen.

            It was not clear when Nhema had made the order, but officials in
his ministry said the minister had raised the issue " a few weeks ago".

            Nhema confirmed that he had ordered a stop to any interference
in conservancies, but said the directive had not been issued to Hungwe

            "I have told all the provinces not to do that. The ministry has
a programme of action to indigenise conservancies and it has to be followed
through in a proper manner," he said.

            "We don't want it to be carried out haphazardly, so we have told
provincial leaders not to interfere with the conservancies. It has to be
well planned because it is not a matter of just bringing in local people,
but we are convinced that local communities should benefit," he added.

            But Environment Ministry officials said Nhema was particularly
disturbed by Hungwe's actions, which they said threatened an indigenisation
programme of conservancies that the ministry had embarked on.

            "Hungwe has been trying to arbitrarily plant his own people onto
some of these ventures. Reports that he intended to do this to all the
conservancies in his province alarmed the minister, who felt compelled to
order a stop to such shady practices," said a ministry official.

            Hungwe has been involved in wrangles involving
multi-billion-dollar conservancies and ranches in the province because of
his insistence that they should co-opt his nominees into their projects.

            Contacted for comment this week, Hungwe remained defiant: " I am
not going to comment. Go back to Nhema if you want a comment. I am just
going ahead with the indigenisation programme."

            Earlier this year, Hungwe attempted to force the privately-owned
$50-billion Malilangwe Conservancy Trust to co-opt prominent businessman
Enock Kamushinda and army boss Brigadier-General Gibson Mashingaidze.

            Nhema slammed the move then, saying Hungwe's actions were out of
line with his ministry's programme.

            However, Hungwe defended his action saying it was part of a
government indigenisation programme, a claim dismissed by Nhema.

            Nhema this week said his ministry would continue protecting
conservancies until it had finalised the indigenisation programme.

            "Most provinces had not resettled people into conservancies and
those that had moved in people are actually in the process of finding
alternative land for the people.

            "We have finished our paper as a ministry and we have asked the
conservancy owners to give us proposal on how best they can take on board
indigenous players. We are beginning to receive those proposals now," said
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Leader Page

      Chickens coming home to roost

      5/17/03 7:19:18 AM (GMT +2)

      MANY Zimbabweans must have been relieved to read in The Daily News
yesterday that veterans of the country's war of liberation are urging
President Robert Mugabe to dismiss most of his Cabinet and governors because
they are corrupt and regularly misinform the nation about the dire situation
it is facing.

      In a bold move, the veterans declared that corrupt ministers,
governors and senior civil servants were enjoying immunity from the justice
system while, to put it in the veterans' words, "small people are sacrificed
very often for small mistakes" .

      In fact, the veterans just stopped short of telling Mugabe to fire his
entire Cabinet.
      Not that there is anything new in what the veterans are belatedly
telling Mugabe.

      Many Zimbabweans who do not use rose-tinted glasses to look at the
mess that is Zimbabwe actually want the entire government to step down.

      What is refreshing though in the ex-combatants' statements is that it
reflects a growing soberness and realisation among even the most
pathologically radical elements within ZANU PF and the government that
Zimbabwe is in deep trouble.

      It is an admission, veiled though, that the government's chaotic land
reforms and its new National Economic Revival Programme have failed to stop
the economic haemorrhaging and Zimbabwe's steady progress towards total

      Because this is coming from the veterans - the last bastion of support
for Mugabe and his administration - it is a sign that at long last the
chickens may be on their way home to roost.

      This should be cause for serious introspection by Mugabe and his
government. Not that the war veterans themselves are saints.

      These are the same people who have been Mugabe's foot soldiers,
constantly being whipped into line to do the hatchet job to keep ZANU PF in
power, never mind the cost of the activities to the nation.

      It is the veterans who spearheaded the violent seizure of land from
commercial farmers and destroyed this key sector in 2000.

      The results of the veterans' workmanship is now seen in the unending
queues for scarce food, scarce fuel and many other essential products which
are no longer easily available or affordable.

      It is they again who scared away the last foreign investors and their
      Perhaps, more crucially, it was the veterans who triggered the present
economic crisis when they virtually blackmailed Mugabe in 1997 into giving
them hefty financial packages that Treasury had not budgeted for. The now
worthless Zimbabwean dollar collapsed because of this act of madness.

      In short, it is the actions taken by the veterans with the full
blessing of Mugabe in the past six years which have brought Zimbabwe to its

      Indeed, if there was to be a truth commission to delve into the
present chaos, the veterans and their leaders would have a lot to answer

      But the point really is: If Mugabe will not listen to anyone else,
then at least he should listen to his own veterans and fire the government
because it is failing the nation.

      After which Mugabe himself must tender his immediate resignation as
Head of State in the name of collective responsibility
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Leader Page

      Third Chimurenga results there for all to see

      5/17/03 7:19:50 AM (GMT +2)

      By Cathy Buckle

      The Land. The Land. The Land.
      These two little words have been shoved down our throats every single
day for the past three years and now we are sick to death of them.

      "The land is ours! The land is in our hands! The land is the economy!
The Third Chimurenga is almost complete," is the loud and proud proclamation
of the government.

      What a war it has indeed been as seen in the results of the latest
Commercial Farmers' Union survey published in a shocking front page article
in this paper this week.

      The statistics are almost too embarrassing to repeat here.
      Tobacco production has dropped from 200 million kg in 2001 to under
100 million kg today; 60 percent of the national herd is culled and hanging
on hooks in abattoirs and slaughterhouses around the country; maize
production has gone down from 2 million tonnes three years ago to a paltry
70 000 tonnes today; soya bean harvests of 162 000 tonnes per year before
the start of this chimurenga have now dropped to an abysmally pathetic 30
000 tonnes.

      Prior to 2000, Zimbabwe was exporting basic food like maize, soya
beans, wheat and beef to a number of neighbouring African countries and now
we are just paupers, holding out our begging bowls to the world.

      Last year the World Food Programme had to feed 8 million of us and
this year the figure is well over 7 million people needing assistance. Isn't
it a big shame that Zimbabwe, the former breadbasket for their entire
southern African region, has now been reduced to a street beggar?

      The most dramatic statistic produced in the newspaper article related
to tractor sales in Zimbabwe. Prior to the start of the ZANU PF's "land
redistribution exercise", farmers purchased an average of 1 600 tractors a
year, but in 2002 just eight new tractors were purchased from distributors
around the country.

      These are just a few of the horrifying figures that have been produced
from our government's land redistribution policy, but they alone do not
fully capture the awful struggle that now makes up our daily lives.

      Most of us haven't got enough to eat anymore, we can't afford three
meals a day, we can't find bread or margarine and have no money for even the
cheapest of spreads or jams.

      Middle class people can no longer afford to eat properly and
unemployed people have been reduced to starving and desperate scavengers.

      There used to be a sticker that farmers displayed on their car windows
which read "No farmers, no future" - how true these words have become for us
all! No food, no fuel, limited electricity, no public telephone boxes, no
spare parts, no foreign currency and now, not even any bank notes left in
the banks.

      Winter is upon us and again those great fields of wheat which used to
guarantee our daily bread are not there and not planted.

      How much longer are we going to allow this to continue? In just four
months' time the land should be filled with huge tobacco leaves,
shoulder-high maize and a sea of green soya-bean leaves.

      Surely we are not going to waste yet another farming season? Surely we
are not going to wait, again, to see what happens on the political front?

      Politics does not put food in our bellies or fuel in our cars, farmers
      To exacerbate an already dreadful situation, we now hear from a report
in The Financial Gazette that Zimbabwe is to swop US$100 million of
agricultural produce so as to access money promised earlier by the Libyans
but which was being held because the government had reneged on its payment
commitments on fuel.

      The question is: what agricultural produce? The commodities apparently
involved in this deal are tobacco, sugar, beef, tea and coffee.

      Already we are hungry, but now we are going to give what little food
we have to Libya. Will someone point out to the government that foreign
currency is such a precious and critical commodity it must be spent wisely?
The reason we are in dire economic straits is because we mismanaged our
foreign currency reserves.

      With these horrific figures and the dreadful cost to our daily lives
and the economy, I do not know what Zanu PF have got to be proud of.

      Surely after this, the word Chimurenga will forever be banned in
Zimbabwe because there have been no winners in this war. We have all lost.

      Cathy Buckle is a housewife based in Marondera
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Daily News

      Banks hike lending rates

      5/17/03 7:14:13 AM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporter

      LOCAL banks this week hiked lending rates to between 65 and 75 percent
because of the escalating cost of money, according to industry officials.

      Lending rates were previously around 57 percent, after rising from
slightly above 30 percent in the past few months.

      Banking officials said most financial institutions were being forced
to borrow money from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe at high rates because they
did not have Treasury Bills (TBs) to secure funds cheaply.

      Unsecured funds attract a 40 percent penalty but borrowing using TBs
is charged at 51 percent.

      Officials with banks said the rise in interest rates was meant to
cushion banks from the high cost of borrowing.

      "I think it's only fair that as the cost of borrowing goes up, banks
have to adjust accordingly," said an official with a local commercial bank.

      "We will obviously keep rates in line with the cost of money, but we
will also accordingly adjust depositors' rates," the official added.

      The government last year indicated that it would allow interest rates
to be determined by the market, but rates only started firming a month ago
when banks hiked rates to around 57 percent from 35 percent.

      Kingdom Bank has now increased its minimum lending rates to 65
percent, First Banking Corporation to 67 percent and NMB Bank to 75 percent
from 55 percent.

      In a statement displayed in its banking halls, the latter financial
institution said: "NMB Bank Limited wishes to advise that due to changes in
market conditions, we have had to change the minimum lending rate from 55
percent per annum to 75 percent per annum with effect from 12 May 2003.

      Meanwhile, Kingdom Bank has already suspended issuing new individual
      It was not possible to secure official comment to establish why the
bank had suspended the issue of the loans, but officials at NMB's loan
centre in Harare's First Street said the financial institution would only
resume lending to individuals in two months.

      The rise in lending rates follows indications by the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe that it wanted to increase interest rates to curb speculative and
consumptive borrowing.

      Some investors had taken advantage of the central bank's low interest
rate regime introduced in January 2001 to borrow money to buy foreign
currency, while some of the money was invested on the stock market.

      Meanwhile money market rates, which had peaked to a record 95 percent,
have retreated to around 75 percent as a result of increased liquidity in
the market.

      The market was estimated to be $8,5 billion up yesterday
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      Nothing racial about aiding evicted farmers

      5/17/03 7:20:56 AM (GMT +2)

      I was very upset by the way ZBC-TV, in a recent Newshour programme,
tried to imply that the assistance allegedly being offered to dispossessed
commercial farmers by non-governmental organisations to defray relocation
expenses was racially motivated. Indeed, if anyone should be accused of
fanning racism, it should be ZBC-TV.

      Is it not enough that highly skilled and productive farmers have been
denied the right to practice their trade? Is it not enough that these human
beings have been thrown out of their homes and their property confiscated
with no compensation, all in the name of land reform?

      It appears ZBC Munyaradzi Hwengwere and company would rather these
commercial farmers begging in the streets as proof that the agrarian reform
really has succeeded.

      Now that someone recognises the commercial farmers' invaluable skills
and offers them assistance to resume their farming activities where they are
appreciated, is that racism?

      We all know that the United Nations Development Programme initiates
and funds development programmes in poor countries and issues concerning
food security are bound to be of prime concern to them.

      We have chased away large-scale producers, so why should we be worried
if Mozambique decides to take them on to enhance its agricultural output?

      If you really want to measure the success of our land reform
programme, check out the market prices of tomatoes, onions, beans, beef,
eggs, milk and maize-meal, and you will realise that 11 million hectares of
prime agricultural land is truly in everyone's hands except the farmer.

      M W Kasore
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Mugabe in SA 'a travesty'
16/05/2003 17:31  - (SA)

Cape Town - It is a travesty that Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has the
freedom of South Africa while so many citizens of Zimbabwe do not have the
freedom of theirs, Democratic Alliance deputy chair Dan Maluleke said on

"That he and his wife take advantage of that freedom in the most
ostentatious fashion, by living it up in the most expensive hotels, adds
insult to injury," Maluleke said.

It was also unfortunate that Fort Hare University - the nursery for so many
liberation leaders - still chose to host Mugabe, who had betrayed so many of
the ideals that were fostered at that institution.

"His honorary doctorate of commerce from Fort Hare eight years ago has been
dishonoured by his almost single-handed destruction of Zimbabwe's economy.

"It is also a tragic irony that Mugabe is in South Africa to attend the
funeral of Walter Sisulu, a father of the freedom struggle, while
dishonouring his legacy by eroding hard-won freedoms in his own country,"
Maluleke said.

The late Sisulu would be remembered as a man who, despite enormous
obstacles, never deviated from his ideals of human rights, freedom and
democracy for all.

He steered clear of the trappings of power, refusing any position of power -
in government or the ANC - once a free and democratic South Africa had been

In contrast, Mugabe had turned liberation into oppression and
state-sponsored violence in his desperate attempt to cling to power.

His regime had undermined the rule of law and attacked the basic human
rights and freedoms once enjoyed by Zimbabweans.

If Mugabe really wanted to honour Walter Sisulu, he should restore the rule
of law and democracy in Zimbabwe, retract the oppressive legislation his
regime had passed over the past two years to restrict the opposition, the
media and civil society, and resign as President and allow an interim
administration, which included the opposition, to prepare for fresh
elections, which were internationally recognised as free and fair, Maluleke

Mugabe was in Alice on Friday, attending a graduation ceremony at Fort Hare
University where he was expected to meet Zimbabwean presidential scholarship
award students after the ceremony.
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