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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Farm Invasions And Security Report
Friday 17 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.


- Charleswood Estate one cow was snared but released by the snare setter who is a worker of a "war vet".  The snare setter has been arrested and taken to the police.  The dispute with the canal and the ploughed lands has been resolved for the moment, rye grass has been planted and the canal has been unblocked. 
Headlands - There has been a lot of wire theft.  Two major recovery operations have taken place which have been very successful in arresting the culprits as well as the recovering the wire.  The Police have been very co-operative.
General - All other areas are quiet at the moment.
– the owner of Nyamsewe successfully negotiated the release of his possessions with the DA and payment to the settlers, but is not allowed to reap his coffee crop, as he is considered 'too political'.  Whilst in the process of trying to trash the house of the foremen on Camsasa, the local "war vet" leader was laid out by the wife of the resident and is now the laughing stock of the district. Nothing else of consequence to report.

16 May 2002
Beatrice – "war vets" want to move into owners’ houses on various farms.  Owners’ are told to vacate properties.  Three dairy cows were slaughtered.  A husband and wife were locked in their home and all vehicle and tractor keys taken away.  Police reacted and had the house unlocked and the keys to one pickup returned.  There was a house break-in and the dog poisoned.  It was also reported three other houses had break-ins on the same night.  Theft is on the increase.  100 people arrived at the gate of one farm making demands, which was later resolved by ZRP.
Harare South - Demands were made of a farmer that all his livestock be removed immediately and settlers paid for dipping and injections they have given to the owner’s cattle.  One owner moved off all his personal belongings and has started to remove equipment without interference.
Macheke/Virginia - three calves were axed; one had to be destroyed.  One Section 8 received.  One ongoing work stoppage with no police reaction.
Wedza - Another farm received a Section 8 Order.
– whilst the owner of a farm was on leave, over 20 ton's of maize was stolen from the land by settlers who have been resident on this farm since August 2001. On 04.04.02, the manager noticed the settlers helping themselves to the maize situated next to the barn complex. He immediately reported the case to the Karoi police station. Inspector Taderera took the report but there was no follow up, as they apparently had no vehicle available to respond.  The settlers returned on 08.04.02 and began helping themselves to the maize. This time the manager called on H.F.S.A (the local security firm in this area) to respond. They came to the farm with a Sergeant Gapa from the Karoi police force, but did no investigating or any follow up, but merely warn the settlers they should not steal the maize as it did not belong to them. On the 13.04.02, the settlers were back again, and again the manager reported to H.F.S.A, who returned once more with Sgt. Gapa. This time apparently the settlers were in the land helping themselves when the police arrived. When the manager pointed this out, all the police did was to go the edge of the land and report they saw nobody.
Trelawney - Another farm reported that, in an effort to see a way forward, and prevent piece-meal scratching as farming methods, the owner organised a meeting of all settlers on the farm for 10.05.02.  A few pitched up, but the more senior individuals boycotted the meeting.  No real headway was made as a result, and demands were made the owner do all their land -prep for free etc.  A "settler" in a twin-cab, suit, rimless glasses and cell phone arrived to say no such plans could be made, and the meeting ended.  An hour or so later, these settlers drove a large herd of the owner’s cattle from the farm up to the house in an attempt to get them into the fence!  The owner had locked the gates in the mean time, and then held amicable discussions with a couple of semi-inebriated town folk and agreed to have a meeting to resolve the matter on 18.05.02.  Whereupon they returned the cattle to the dip and left quietly.
– the situation regarding farm owners along Porta road is unchanged. Settlers stopped the removal of ZW$ 12 million worth of chickens from a farm.  No one is allowed to grow wheat and pegging continues in lands earmarked for wheat.
Selous – no tobacco seedbeds appear to be growing at this stage.
Chegutu – on Faun Farm the Deputy Minister of Justice continues to exert his power unjustly by commandeering the owner’s tractors, pipes, boreholes etc.  This is a single owned farm and the owner has nowhere else to go.  A Section 8 was received, as with most single owned farms in the region.
Suri-Suri – On Sigaro Farm, "war vet" Iphram Chipamba produced a letter from the Chief Lands Officer, Jo Mapfumu, stating he was the caretaker.  He demanded the key to the house.  When this was refused, he broke a window and forced open the door.  A fence was also broken.
Chakari – On Tawstock Farm the owner employed 14 guards to look after the maize.  Gangs of thieves still try stealing the maize.  They are given community service when caught and fined, but come straight back to steal.  On Dewares Farm the owner is not allowed to plant wheat.  It is his only farm and he has previously sold two farms to government.  Mr. Marimo of the President’s office has a plot on Dewares and he has verbally abused and threatened the owner.  The following day he sent three tractors from DDF to plough and says he wishes to plough in the owner’s paprika.  Nobody is allowed to plant wheat in the Chakari Farmer’s Association.
Kadoma – many farms are overrun by settler farmers using the land illegally.  Some farm owners have turned to mining in order to make a living, and most mining operations have to pay a “tribute” extorted by "war vets". The Deputy Minister of Justice is now the sole gold buyer in the area.  Two owners have managed to put in wheat.
Battlefields – a Support Unit vehicle with army and police details visited Overlaw Ranch and told him to vacate his home.  They said the citrus orchard was not allowed to be reaped by the owner.  The same vehicle and personnel also tried to stop winter cereal planting on another farm.  Only two owners have been able to go ahead with winter planting.
General – there is great concern about the Section 8s issued to nearly all white-owned farms.  It is confusing that the same people who are trying to get farmers to grow wheat, are now making those same farmers criminals punishable for up to two years in prison if they continue to grow after June 25, 2002.
There are still ongoing problems throughout this region.  A full report will be available in the next sitrep.
At Mooiriver Estate Private Limited, demands to make a deal have been made for farmers to plant settlers’ winter wheat. Not interested.  On Dekel Private Limited, bush clearing has started again. Farmers are still unable to plant and are awaiting confirmation from D.A.  Machakwe Estates Private Limited reports the owner is still waiting confirmation from D.A. to plant his winter wheat. Nine cattle were moved on to property by settlers. Maize theft by stationed settlers on neighbouring farms. Bonsted, Die Wevelde, Long Valley and New Farm owners are trying to assist
settlers with their planting, lent an irrigation pump for their use and within the settlers’ committee, one of these people stole their own pump +- ZW$ 500 000.00.  On Beta Farm Private Limited, poaching continues in the Game Park.

No report received.                                   Visit the CFU Website

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

Update - News Release
(On behalf of Commercial Farmers Union)

West Nicholson farmer, Shannon Wheeler, his family, parents and farm manager
were evicted on the 10th May from their Twin River Ranch after twenty-four
days of having been barricaded in their homestead. They lost farm assets and
700 tonnes of produce both worth over Zim $ 22 million. These items were
allegedly looted by settlers.

They attempted to return to their property today and were immediately set
upon by the group, most of whom were highly intoxicated. Wheeler managed to
gain access into the property and discovered that the settlers had broken in
and looted property worth over Zim $ 2 million.  The property has been
stolen from both homes and includes small movable assets, beds and
mattresses. Police report number 092436 refers.

More than three weeks of strength, courage and a deep resolve to stand up
against an illegal eviction led by war veteran Katazo 'Magogorosi' Ndou and
others, culminated in a heartbreaking decision by family members, including
Farm Manager, Sammy Mhazvo to leave their home on the evening of Friday 10
May after their lives came under intensified threats.

Trouble on the farm started on 16 April when Ndou and his entourage ordered
the Wheelers to leave their citrus and cattle farm comprising 15 000 citrus
trees, 4000 mango trees and 600 head of cattle. The farm, which the Wheelers
bought in 1986 and built steadily to its current status, is only under a
preliminary notice of acquisition.

Following the initial encounter, numerous incidents ensued including
intimidation at the homestead fences, theft, threats on the farm manager and
the denying of access to concerned neighbours. The invaders also put up
illegal booms barring entry to the homestead.

On Friday 10th May, eviction came after an intensive day that comprised of
the assaulting and abduction of Mhazvo's pregnant wife Christina, the
kidnapping of Mr Wheeler Senior, the abduction of security guards, theft and
numerous intimidatory tactics.

On the day in question, a group of 75 people armed with traditional weapons,
approached the homestead just after lunch. They broke the lock, forced the
gate open and proceeded to the farm manager's office, the guard's lodgings,
and the workshop area where they started removing furniture and other pieces
of property.

Wheeler was able to get a message through to the police at 2pm. An Inspector
Dube indicated that police officers would be sent out to the farm.

Meanwhile, furniture and other household belongings were still being removed
from the house. Animals were also taunted and attacked. The dogs however
managed to deter some of the invaders from cutting a fence around the

Just after 3pm, the elderly Wheeler couple who live about 1km away tried to
gain access into the homestead but were stopped and held hostage some 50
meters from the entrance. The group, 50 strong, said they would only release
the couple once the whole family moved off the farm. They were eventually
released but had two licensed weapons and cash was stolen from them.

The police arrived at about 5pm, three hours later, comprising of Assistant
Inspectors Ndamba and Kaviya, a member of the CIO, a representative from the
District Administrator's office, and a constable. They were however of no
assistance, were very unpleasant, and instead of protecting Wheeler they
warned him that they could be charged for laying false charges of abduction
and kidnapping. They told Wheeler that they should leave as well as the
manager. They then proceeded to recover the stolen weapons and left without
making any arrests.

The family were forced to make one of the hardest decisions of their lives
and after packing a few of their belongings, they said good-bye to their
home of 16 years and left at 7pm.

The Mhazvo family also had households goods looted, including a lounge suite
and double bed.

During the 24 days, the farm was plundered of its viability after all the
workers were chased away by invaders who raided the orchard and have stolen
more than Zim $14 million of fruit.

The invasions in this district are said to be driven by the District
Administrator, Mr Eddison Mbedzi, who told a third party that Wheeler had
"stayed too long and must leave."

Several farmers in the Beit Bridge district have also reported problems
related to illegal evictions. It is understood that the Member of
Parliament, Comrade Kembo Mohadi addressed a meeting on Wheeler's property
on Independence Day. It is reported that he encouraged the people present to
take over all the properties in the area, and that they own the land,
engines and buildings, as well as the wildlife, but the furniture and
contents of the buildings belonged to the farmer.

Ends. 17 May 2002
A Photograph of the Wheeler family with Manager Sammy Mhazvo is available on

For more information, please contact Jenni Williams
Mobile (Code +263) 91 300 456 or 11 213 885
Office landlines: (+2639) 72546 Fax 63978

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Zanu PF leaders battle over economic policy
Dumisani Muleya

GOVERNMENT appears to be functioning without a settled economic policy as
Zanu PF reformists in cabinet remain locked in mortal combat with hardliners
over economic management.
Economic analysts this week said government badly lacks a transparent and
consistent economic policy framework and has been operating with ad hoc
measures compliant with President Robert Mugabe's political imperatives.

Professor of Business Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, Tony Hawkins,
said government was working without a discernible economic policy.

"I don't think they have any economic policy," Hawkins said. "It's just a
policy of drift. The economy is on auto-pilot and one moment it's Mugabe in
charge, the next moment it's (Agriculture minister Joseph) Made and
(Information minister Jonathan) Moyo and at another it's (Finance minister
Simba) Makoni. It's all chaos, bungle after bungle!"

Hawkins said Mugabe's regime is besieged and bewildered about how to
resuscitate the faltering economy.

"They are just running around in circles hoping something will happen to
help them out," he said. "But it's impossible to have a clear economic
policy when there is a clash of visions."

UZ economist Phineas Kadenge said the inconsistencies in government economic
policy have reached alarming levels.

"We continue getting mixed signals every time on what really is government's
economic policy," Kadenge said. "One time we had President Mugabe saying
Merp (Millenium Economic Recovery Programme) is dead and the other we had
Makoni saying it's alive, all that we want to do is to add the agrarian
reform component into it. This indicates there is no settled policy."

Kadenge said there are two camps in government slugging it out for control.

"We have a group of conservatives led by Mugabe who don't want economic
reforms and there are reformists, which Makoni is one of, who want to change
things," he said. "If the situation continues like this the economy will
further decline and contradictions and tensions will intensify."

Although the differences between the reactionary wing and reformers have
always been apparent since the appointment of the current cabinet in 2000,
the divisions heightened last year after Mugabe announced he had discarded
economic reforms.

Mugabe told mourners gathered at Heroes Acre on October 15 during the
funeral of nationalist Clement Muchachi the reforms had been dumped.

"Enough is enough," he declared. "Esap (Economic Structural Adjustment
Programme) is no more. We can bury it here," Mugabe said.

Zanu PF politburo member and spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira, who is Mugabe's
disciple, last year celebrated the president's statement and "Esap's

"I'm glad that it failed because it was a capitalist project. I was totally
against it," he said.

Asked last year if Zimbabwe was not going where others were coming from,
Moyo, who is one of those fighting Makoni's vision, said: "Everyone is going
that way (socialist), especially for the enlightened."

Mugabe said he wanted to retreat to command economics. He said price
controls, which he re-introduced in August despite disapproval from Makoni,
would be consolidated. Government would take over businesses hoarding goods
or closed down in protest against his policies, he warned.

"They are our businesses anyway...the socialism that we have always wanted
can start working," he said.

Zimbabwe flirted with Marxist-Leninist policies during the first 10 years of
Independence. The siege economy was characterised by regulations and direct
interventions by government in all markets. In the goods market, the
government ran a plethora of parastatals. Behemoths in agriculture had the
sole responsibility of buying and selling produce. They also had an export
monopoly. Prices were controlled.

The exchange rate was fixed and foreign exchange controls were put in place.
It was an offence to possess foreign currency and earnings in hard cash were
supposed to be liquidated into local currency. The rigid system made it
difficult for companies to import machines, spare parts and raw materials.
As a result companies were operating below capacity by the end of the first
decade of self-rule. The situation was worsened by strict labour market
regulations, which made it difficult to operate and survive. Overall,
economic growth slowed down as companies choked under tight state controls
and unemployment as well as poverty increased.

Mugabe has of late been trying to change Zimbabwe's economic links with the
outside world by turning away from the West to the East. But analysts say it
would be difficult for him to refashion Zimbabwe's international economic
relations to the design of his regime.

Political relations with Libya, China, Cuba and South Korea would not easily
translate into economic linkages, critics say. The Malaysians appear to have
backed away from schemes such as the Hwange Power Station and Zambezi
pipeline they had once expressed an interest in.

In his book, Coming to Terms: Zimbabwe in the International Arena published
last year, Richard Schwartz - a journalist and international relations
specialist who conducted his research at the Department of International
Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science - explains
why Mugabe would fail. "International economic relations, having been forged
by a combination of external factors (international markets, international
commodity regimes, trade treaties, transport routes) and diverse internal
factors (private sector and public sector actors, production patterns,
import necessities and export opportunities) are less responsive to
government intervention short of diktat," he says.

"International economic relations will therefore almost inevitably remain at
variance with the pattern of political relations and alliances that the
regime wishes to develop."

Despite Mugabe's announcement that reforms had been jettisoned, Makoni
insisted - in direct rebuttal to his boss' earlier statements - during his
budget speech on November 1 that his policy thrust remained Merp.

"The Millenium Economic Recovery Programme remains our anchor," he told
parliament. "Hence, the strategic objectives of Merp continue to be the
beacons that guide our work."

After that, Mugabe's diehards started planting hostile anonymous stories in
the media attacking Makoni. Merp is the successor programme to the Zimbabwe
Programme for Economic and Structural Transformation (Zimprest) whose
predecessor was Esap.

The economic reforms started in 1991. Between that year and 1998 Mugabe - in
well-documented records - consistently acclaimed Esap saying it had
modernised Zimbabwe's economy and improved its performance.

But when the current economic tailspin started in 1997, Mugabe changed his

Analysts say this was hardly surprising because Mugabe - despite having a
Masters degree in economics from the University of London - has always
muddled through the economy with the consistency of a chameleon. For
instance, during his inauguration on March 17 he contradicted his October 15
2001 statement, saying "government had worked out a comprehensive economic
recovery strategy" and the details were "enshrined in our Millenium Economic
Recovery Strategy".

No sooner had Mugabe settled back into office than he resumed his economic
policy somersaults.

Addressing his party's central committee on April 5, he attacked the reform
measures he had promised at his inauguration to implement.

"Our so-called experts ...are always the first ones to tell us what is to be
done. They pull us back to preoccupations of the IMF (International Monetary
Fund) and the World Bank, as if this is what we sold to the people. At no
point in my star rallies did I promise voters more and more Esap," Mugabe

"This central committee must tell the government quite clearly that there
will be no more hobnobbing with IMF-inspired blueprints," he said.

Critics say although Zimbabwe has of late been experiencing an industrial
and agricultural revolution in reverse, Mugabe still hopes for a "green

He recently announced an agrarian-based 10-point economic recovery plan,
which economic experts described as "disastrous nonsense".

Last week Makoni announced in parliament that economic haemorrhaging is
getting worse. He said the economy shrunk by 7,3% in 2001 compared to a 4,2%
contraction the previous year. All key sectors of the economy declined in
2001 and were still going down. The minister attributed this to high
inflation, foreign currency shortages and problems caused by distortions in
other macro-economic fundamentals.

Contrary to Mugabe's agitating to turn away from the international
community, Makoni - the only minister who has told the truth about the state
of the economy - said: "We need to rally together to widen our circle of
friends and narrow the circle of detractors in the international community."
But in his speech to the central committee, Mugabe said: "The rest of the
world, more so that part of it with an imperial past can, quite frankly, go
to hell!"

Schwartz suggests, whether Mugabe likes it or not, Zimbabwe will remain
economically connected to, and significantly dependent on, the West. But
Mugabe's failure to grasp the realities around him has it seems at the same
time doomed the country to further dislocation.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zimbabwe veterans head held over threats to Asians

HARARE, May 17 - Zimbabwe has arrested a war veterans leader who told the
country's Asian business owners to surrender some of their commercial land
holdings to blacks or be forced to do so, a state-owned newspaper reported
on Friday.

       The paper quoted Home (Interior) Affairs Minister John Nkomo as
saying veterans leader Andrew Ndlovu and 12 other veterans were detained on
Wednesday in a government drive to enforce law and order in the
crisis-ridden southern African state.
       The war veterans have led a campaign backed by Robert Mugabe of
seizures of farmland from white owners.
       Ndlovu had threatened on April 24, through newspaper interviews, to
target Indians and order them to ''surrender a certain percentage of their
commercial land and improve conditions for their workers.''
       Nkomo said Ndlovu's warnings did not reflect government policy, and
it would not allow anybody to pursue personal agendas under the state
programme of seizing white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks.
       ''...Ndlovu is now in police custody assisting police with
investigations in connection with these statements,'' he said.
       Nkomo was unavailable for comment on Friday.
       The Herald said the minister had warned ''other war veterans aligned
to Ndlovu in the criminal activities'' that the government would not
tolerate any law breakers, and had assured the Indian community of security.
       The Herald said Nkomo had also accused the main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) of planning a military revolt against President
Robert Mugabe's government.
       MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai charges that Mugabe won March's
presidential elections through ''daylight robbery,'' but says he has no
plans to overturn the result through violence.
       The March 9-11 elections have been widely condemned by Western
powers, including the United States and European Union, as fraudulent, but
Mugabe says they were free and fair.
       Nkomo said both the MDC's military plans and Ndlovu's behaviour were
unacceptable and would be punished because they threatened national peace
and stability.
       Veterans of Zimbabwe's independence struggle threw Zimbabwe into
political turmoil in February 2000 when they launched a violent campaign
backed by the government to grab white-owned farms for redistribution
amongst blacks.
       Ndlovu had accused Zimbabwe's 20,000 to 30,000 Asians of isolating
themselves from blacks and national events, under-utilising land and foreign
currency racketeering.
       ''If they do not stop looting our economy they will leave us with no
choice but to go door-to-door making sure all the Indians in the cities are
complying with instructions from war veterans,'' he said.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zim rejects media law appeal

Harare - Zimbabwe's supreme court has rejected an appeal by foreign
journalists to urgently revise a tough new media law they say infringes on
press freedom, the Foreign Correspondents' Association said on Friday.

Three foreign journalists - Jan Raath, Peta Thornycroft and Andrew Meldrum,
who report for British dailies - asked the court early this month to
urgently examine the most restrictive aspects of the law, enacted by
President Robert Mugabe after his controversial re-election in March.

But the court said there was "no sufficient basis" to fast-track the
journalists' request, Meldrum told AFP.

"We have to follow the normal procedure. It can take months and months,"
said the reporter for the Guardian, who was himself arrested under the law
early this month.

The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) gives the
information minister sweeping powers to decide who can work as a journalist
in Zimbabwe.

It created a government commission that hands out "licences" that allow a
journalist to work in the southern African country.

The law bans foreigners from working as journalists based in Zimbabwe. The
new commission will grant accreditation only to citizens and "permanent

Since the law was enacted, a dozen journalists from the foreign and
independent domestic press have been arrested.

Thornycroft, a citizen of Zimbabwe, was detained for five days in March and
released without charge, while Meldrum, a US citizen with permanent
residency in Zimbabwe, was detained early this month and spent a day in
police cells.

Meldrum's lawyer said he was accused of abuse of journalistic privileges and
publishing false information.

On Thursday, the editor and two reporters at Zimbabwe's independent weekly
The Standard were arrested. According to the paper's deputy editor, they
were charged with abuse of journalistic privilege.

Under the new law, publishing false information and working unlicensed as a
reporter are crimes. - Sapa-AFP
Hindustan Times

Government moves to reassure Asian citizens in Zimbabwe
Harare, May 17

The Zimbabwe government today assured citizens of Asian origin, including
Indians, that their businesses and properties would not be seized by ruling
party militants.
Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo, who is in charge of the police, said
threats by militants against the 12,000-strong Asian community were under
investigation, the state Herald newspaper reported.

It said Andrew Ndlovu, a militant leader of veterans of the guerrilla war
that led to independence in 1980, and 12 other "rogue war veterans" were
being questioned by police over threats made last month.

Ndlovu, quoted in the official Herald on April 24, warned that militants
planned a "door to door" campaign to force Asians to hand over business
assets to blacks.

Nkomo said such threats were spurred by "personal agendas".

"Certain statements have been made against some communities, including the
Indian community. These statements are just hallucinations," he said.

Nkomo asked Asian businessmen to "come out into the open and be counted" in
contributing to the country.

Ndlovu last month accused Asian businessmen of smuggling hard currency out
of the country and charging exorbitant rents for their properties while
holding down their employees' wages.

Earlier, other government officials had accused Asian shop owners of
hoarding and profiteering as the country faced acute shortages of corn meal,
sugar, cooking oil and other essential commodities.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News - Leader Page

      Reparations for colonialism

      5/17/02 2:22:32 PM (GMT +2)

      OUR land problem is just one example of unfinished business left over
after colonialism. Since a number of our neighbours have a similar land
problem, however it may have been handled here, and whatever other problems
may be involved, they don't want to seem to oppose land reform.

      We must respect that, especially when the issue of compensation and
reparations for colonial exploitation is at last being raised in
international fora.
      Last year's United Nations conference on reparations for slavery and
racism put the issue on to the international agenda. It is tied up with the
question of international debt, and many people have been trying to get that

      The Jubilee 2000 movement was one attempt to appeal to the Biblical
concept of jubilee. The Bible commanded the Jewish people, every 50 years,
to forgive all debts and release all captives.

      So the year 2000 seemed a particularly important opportunity to get
that debt forgiven. Some people, such as the Ecumenical Association of Third
World Theologians (EATWOT), pointed out that there were more debts that
needed to be settled.

      EATWOT suggested the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama's voyage to
India in 1498 was an opportunity to apply the concept of Jubilee to
compensation for colonial exploitation.

      They calculated the compensation due to several countries. A quick
calculation of compensation that would be due to Zimbabwe showed that the
items that were easiest to calculate - compensation for land taken, for
racial discrimination in wages and social services and unequal trade - added
up to 10 times our 1996 national debt. That debt has grown since then, but
the compensation still outweighs it.

      The trouble about compensation is that it talks merely of a cash
payment. Some of the aspects of exploitation cannot be easily expressed in
cash terms.
      Then there are questions of who should pay and to whom, which are
rather complicated.
      So EATWOT have moved on to talking of reparations.

      We are owed more, so we can afford to be forgiving. But that doesn't
mean we lie down meekly and let the exploiters trample all over us again.
      Forgiveness requires the offender to admit they need forgiveness.

      For example, do you remember seeing the TV footage of Winnie Mandela
before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?
      Archbishop Desmond Tutu was appealing to her as a family friend, on
the verge of tears and almost on his knees, to admit she had done wrong when
her "Mandela Football Team" assaulted youths and murdered at least one, so
that she could be forgiven.

      Tragically, she could only say "bad things happened" not even "I knew
about it and didn't stop it", so she went away without forgiveness or
      Or some people here will remember Michael Lapsley, an Anglican priest
and African National Congress member exiled from South Africa under
apartheid, who worked for some years with refugees in Harare until he
received a letter bomb.

      He lost both his hands and one eye.
      Now he is back in South Africa and when the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission started holding its hearings, someone asked him if he forgave the
people who did that to him.

      His answer was: "It depends whether they want it."Nothing unChristian
about that. It would be insulting to offer forgiveness to someone who doesn'
t recognise they need it.

      Forgiveness also demands that the offender tries to reform and offers
some hope that he or she won't commit the same offence again.
      When we talk about forgiving the debt of the colonial powers to those
they have exploited and continue to exploit through the World Bank,
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organisation (WTO), they
must reform. They must change the structures of those organisations or
abolish them completely. They must agree to change the rules of
international trade, which are loaded in their favour because they made

      If they really want a more just and equal world, they must include us
as equal partners in all the planning of a new world order - not keeping a
veto for some permanent members of the UN Security Council, not giving more
votes in the meetings of the World Bank, IMF and WTO (if those institutions
continue) to those who subscribe most money to them, as if the organisation
was a company and they were big shareholders.

      We could apply the same principles to our land issue. White commercial
farmers who are prepared to change their ways can be forgiven if they agree
to a more just distribution of land and to use it for the benefit of the
whole nation.

      Some of the crops which only they can produce are needed, either to
make our bread or to earn foreign currency.
      But it is estimated that even on the richest land, in Region I, at
least 25 percent of the area of an average commercial farm is unused or
under-utilised. That means many farms need to be divided. They must give up
this land, which they don't really need.

      These commercial farmers also need to improve the way they treat their
workers. And the way they behave toward their black neighbours. All
right-minded people deplore the violence that broke out a few months ago in
Chinhoyi, but anyone who walked through Chinhoyi or many similar towns at
any time in the past 30 years could feel in the air the tension, black
resentment and white fear which broke out then.

      There was, and still is, a need for reconciliation and forgiveness,
now from both sides. That means reparation for the recent excessive reaction
as well as, from the white side, for the century of white exploitation that
provoked that reaction, but reparation to the workers and peasants, not just
a transfer of farms to the political leadership. I hope this suggestion isn'
t too late.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      State privatisation programme flops

      5/17/02 10:53:25 AM (GMT +2)

      By Ngoni Chanakira

      The much talked about privatisation programme, designed to raise money
to bail the government out of its financial woes, has only managed to raise
$7,1 billion so far from a budgeted $22 billion, in the period ending 31
December 2001.

      Total external arrears payments, on the other hand, continue to build
up, reaching US$762,7 million (Z$41 948 billion) by the end of 31 December
last year.

      Of this amount, parastatals' arrears amounted to US$220,6 million
(Z$12 133 billion). Other culprits were the government, which owes US$497,2
million, and the private sector, with a debt of US$45 million.

      The failure to privatise loss-making parastatals has resulted in the
government's external debt continuing to balloon as there are no funds
coming into the coffers.

      The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Simba Makoni,
last week admitted that the privatisation programme was way behind schedule
and was making it "more difficult for the government to service its external

      The government has shareholding in several loss-making parastatals
which continue to milk billions monthly from the fiscus.

      These include the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, the National
Railways of
      Zimbabwe, the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe Limited (Noczim), the
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, and Wankie Colliery Company.

      Alleged mismanagement and political interference in decision-making
have been blamed for poor results at the parastatals.

      One of the few blue-chip parastatals still government-dominated, but
not causing headaches, is the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe
Limited (IDC) led by Mike Ndudzo.

      The IDC has continued to chalk up billion-dollar profits annually,
coming to the rescue of the cash-strapped government.

      Makoni said: "The privatisation programme progressed slowly in 2001.
While the budget had targeted to raise $22 billion from the sale of assets,
only $7,1 billion, 32,3 percent of the target, was realised. This amount was
raised through the divesture of government stakes in Noczim, the Cotton
Company of Zimbabwe Limited, the Zimbabwe Reinsurance Company Limited,
Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited, WS Craster and Zimbabwe Development Corporation.

      "Failure to raise the targeted $22 billion made it more difficult for
government to service its external debt, as part of the privatisation
proceeds had been earmarked for that purpose."

      The government has, however, continued to drag its feet over the
privatisation issue despite having appointed a Privatisation Agency of
Zimbabwe to oversee the process.

      Makoni said the continued accrual of payment arrears was impacting
negatively on the country's credit worthiness. "It should be noted that
arrears are a recent development for Zimbabwe," the minister said. "Up to
1999, the country was meeting its external debt obligationson time."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News - Feature

      Environment Africa seeks to regenerate Zimbabwe's environment

      5/17/02 12:40:19 PM (GMT +2)

      By Simba Chabarika Deputy Features Editor

      Zimbabwe was once a green countr: lush green and thick forests
dominated the landscape.
      Today, that picture is history. The need for firewood aggravated by
the high cost of paraffin, has left huge scars of barren and heavily
deforested land in communal areas.

      And as if not to be outdone by their communal counterparts, new
settlers under the government's fast-track resettlement programme, have
plundered the forests that were under the protection of commercial farms.

      But an environment organisation has taken it upon itself to revive
this once beautiful image which obtained not only in Zimbabwe but in most
Southern African countries.

      Environment Africa formerly Environment 2000 has come up with a grand
plan to reclaim the losses.

      This is a mammoth task which will take a lot of time, co-operation and
patience to be fulfiled. The organisation has devised a continental
plant-a-tree campaign called "Tree Africa", which will concentrate on the
Southern African region, with the expectation that it will spread across the

      The campaign, which was launched in Zimbabwe on 26 March 2002, will be
corporate and community-driven, and is intended to generate the planting of
a million indigenous tree-seeds in the next 12 months in an effort to
regenerate Zimbabwe's environment.

      It is an effort to 'help tree' the deforested lands in Southern Africa
and will be called by each country's name whenever it starts in that
particular country.

      In Zimbabwe, it is called the "Help Tree Zimbabwe" campaign and when
it moves to the two other countries that are next in line, it will be "Help
Tree Mozambique" and "Help Tree Zambia".

      "The programme will involve more than just trees and get people
involved in real and live action programmes. We need trees for air because
without them we can't have enough air to breathe," says Environment Africa
director, Charlene Hewat.

      The aim is to get as many people as possible involved, both in the
country and in the region. Environment Africa has set up a tree office with
lots of trees outside and has many volunteers involved including key players
like the Forestry Commission's social forestry and the Rotary Club of
Avondale which distributes seeds to communal groups that are affected by the
HIV/Aids pandemic.

      "The support of the corporate world and individuals to sponsor trees
for communal areas is vital. "We want as many corporate bodies,
associations, schools and
      individuals to participate in this exciting and action-oriented

      "Get up and do something to make a difference. Imagine, for every
child, a tree," Hewat says. Every $200 that is donated plants a tree. We'll
plant your trees where they are most needed and send you a beautiful
certificate as a gift. "Trees also make a great gift. Give trees today for
any occasion."

      The overall Tree Africa campaign aims to involve many people in Africa
and the world to grow or sponsor trees for Southern Africa. Becoming part of
the campaign will help the environment for generations to come.

      "Trees are life, they are the very thing that provides us, humans,
with the air we breathe and with shelter, medicine, fuel, food. Trees give
us wood for furniture, art and crafts and musical instruments.

      "Trees contribute to rainfall and water storage, to wildlife habitat
and biodiversity. Trees clean the air and reduce global warming. Yes,
without trees there is no way we would survive.

      "In a nutshell, trees benefit people, the planet and wildlife," Hewat
says poetically.
      The goal of the campaign is to uplift the spirit of Africa and to help
regenerate Southern Africa's environment. Among the aims of the campaign is
to create action and awareness about the importance of the environment for
human survival, especially trees and also create a culture about the
importance of trees.

      It is also aimed to create a positive energy-driven spirit and
encourage the joining of hands among all Africans towards an improved
      The Forestry Commission has welcomed Environment Africa's blueprint to
re-green the whole country and says it is a partner in development whose
efforts complement those of the commission.

      The Commission does not give financial support but provides technical
know-how through its officers who are geographically placed throughout the
whole country.
      "As as parastatal mandated by government to look after national
forestry resources, we assist with technical knowledge and mobilise
communities whenever required.

      "We are happy to have other partners like Environment Africa join in.
"We definitely support the Help Tree Zimbabwe campaign as it assists us in
our efforts as well," says the Forestry Commission's operations manager
responsible for forestry extension and conservation, Lloyd Mubaiwa.

      In Africa, trees provide many of life's day to day necessities. Their
disappearance has resulted in greatly reduced food production and is a
contributing cause of recurring drought and famine.

      Some trees provide food such as fruits and nuts. Many trees help the
earth to return moisture and nutrients to the soil, thereby increasing food
      Trees prevent soil erosion, preserving land for growing food. They add
moisture to the air, resulting in increased rainfall.

      Reliable rainfall combats the severe droughts that lead to widespread
famine in Africa. Planting trees in Africa is an important step towards
achieving a secure, self-sufficient food supply, improved health and
prosperity for the African people.

      It is also good for the whole world, as trees contribute to the fight
against global warming. Trees contribute in the fight against soil erosion,
and stabilise hillsides, protect streams and rivers as well as clean the air
we breathe and slow global climate change.

      "The seeds to be planted in the Tree Africa campaign will have a very
high survival rate due to the close care given to them by local villagers,
individuals and partners involved.

      "The trees will be planted in areas appropriate for the tree species
and people within the area. "One of the key things we are keen to get right
is that these trees will not be destroyed in the process of being planted,"
says Hewat. In Zimbabwe, tree planting is often done on a food-for-work
basis, providing local people with employment in return for food. This
reduces the feeling that they are living on handouts and improves
self-esteem and by planting trees themselves, they gain a keener sense of
ownership of the trees.

      The remainder of the seedlings are distributed to farmers who
participate in the tree planting programme. The farmers plant them around
their homes, fields, and sometimes with their crops, in the case of
nitrogen-fixing trees such as Acacia. Throughout the districts where
community forestry projects exist, schools, health centres and churches are
also being surrounded with trees.

      Some of the species grown include cordio africana, olio africana,
cypress, leucenia and eucalyptus. Besides indigenous trees, fruit trees
which augment the staple diet, have also been planted.

      "You can sponsor our health programme or tree-planting in the name of
a person or group that you care about. "We will send them the beautiful
"Health in Africa" or "Plant a Tree in Africa" certificate inscribed with
their name and number of trees sponsored or the name of the project
supported. "A number of companies , both large and small, recognise the
importance of our trees.

      "We are looking to corporate bodies to generously sponsor the tree
education and action campaign which will benefit people, planet and our
wildlife," says Hewat.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Jumbos destroy settlers' homes

      5/17/02 12:28:37 PM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Masvingo

      Ten huts belonging to settlers controversially allocated land in the
Gonarezhou National Park were destroyed this week by marauding elephants.
National Parks
      officials said they could not do anything since the villagers were
within the animal sanctuary.

      The jumbos raided the villagers at night, forcing the families to flee
into the nearby forest.Although no deaths have been reported so far,
villagers who invaded the national park at the height of farm invasions were
living in fear as no protection is being offered to them by wardens from the
Department of National Parks and Wildlife.

      Ward councillor Jeremiah Mangure told the Chiredzi district land
committee meeting this week that the government should make an effort to
control the
      jumbos as villagers were in danger because of the wild animals.

      Mangure said 10 huts were destroyed causing villagers to flee into the
nearby forest, which are heavily infested with dangerous wild animals. An
official from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife said the
department could not do anything since the land on which the villagers
settled is still part of the national park. He said unless the government
speedily acquired the land the department could not kill the elephants.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Tobacco plantings down
Blessing Zulu
THE economic crisis currently engulfing the nation is set to worsen amid
revelations that many commercial farmers have not planted for next year's
tobacco crop due to the chaotic land reform programme being undertaken by
the government.

Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) officials said tobacco had to be treated
like any other winter crop with preparations for next year's crop now well

"The actual preparations should now be in progress but there is nothing
happening on the ground," an official said.

Commercial farmers have decided not to prepare seed beds due to evictions
being effected through Section 8 Orders and war veterans are moving around
the country giving farmers 24-hour ultimatums to leave the land.

The uncertainty is worsening for the few commercial farmers left on the

Duke du Coudray, who sells agricultural implements to farmers in Mashonaland
West, said Zimbabwe was losing its market niche.

"Zimbabwe's tobacco is in high demand for blending purposes because of its
quality," Du Coudray said.

"Tobacco cannot be removed abruptly from a blend, it has to be weaned out
gradually. Zimbabwe had established a market for its tobacco but because of
the uncertainties in the industry, the tobacco is slowly being weaned out
and to recover this market when the situation stabilises will be very
difficult and take years."

This month's issue of Zimbabwe Tobacco, the official journal of the Zimbabwe
tobacco industry, also painted a gloomy picture of tobacco next year.

"As the ZTA leadership embarked on the gruelling tour of Zimbabwe's 15
tobacco-growing districts, the message they got from the growers was almost
identical: growers wanted to know what the future held," the journal said.

"We need answers and we need them now. 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 the viability and the way forward with the
land reform," the journal quoted growers as saying.

The journal quotes ZTA president Kobus Joubert who will be stepping down in
June as saying the magic wand had broken and the crystal ball was hazy. He
said farmers had had enough and were tired.

Duncan Millar, the vice-president of ZTA, who also chairs the Confidence
Committee set up to get the crop back up to 200 million kg, told growers
that more than 300 tobacco farms had been closed since the beginning of the
land reform exercise.

Lending institutions were now cautious in giving loans to tobacco farmers,
as the industry was seen as risky due to continued disruptions and

Farmers have lost equipment worth millions of dollars to rogue elements,
taking advantage of police inaction to cause havoc on the farms.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Government invites ZCTU, ZFTU to ILO conference

      5/17/02 12:20:06 PM (GMT +2)

      By Sam Munyavi

      The government has created a potentially explosive situation by
inviting two labour umbrella bodies to accompany its delegation to the
International Labour Organisation's (ILO) annual conference in Geneva next

      In the past it has invited only the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) to represent the workers, and the Zimbabwe Confederation of Employers
(ECZ), the employers.

      This time, for the ILO conference from 2-20 June, the government has
invited its own creation, the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU),
one of whose top officials is the high-profile war veterans leader and chief
of municipal police, Joseph Chinotimba.

      Wellington Chibhebhe, the ZCTU secretary-general, said yesterday the
ZCTU had asked ministry officials why the ZFTU was invited.
      He said: "They said it was a policy decision that would be best
answered by the minister. This is all part of the continuing onslaught on
the ZCTU and the government's affinity for the ZFTU. They are trying to
frustrate us. Remember, during the presidential election campaign there were
threats to deregister the ZCTU."
      At the height of the campaign for the 9-11 March presidential
election, President Mugabe warned the government would deregister the ZCTU,
alleging it was supporting the MDC.

      Traditionally, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare has invited to the conference only the ZCTU, as the officially
recognised umbrella labour body, and the Employers' Confederation of

      According to the ILO constitution, member countries' delegations to
the general conference must include four representatives, two of whom must
be from the government and one each from employers and labour.

      Two advisers are allowed for each item on the agenda. Chibhebhe said
the ZCTU had told the government of its concerns but not received a reply.
      Neither July Moyo, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare, nor his permanent secretary, Lancester Museka, were available for
comment on the ZFTU issue yesterday.

      The president of the ZFTU, Alfred Makwarimba could not be reached for
comment either. Chibhebhe said: "As far as we are concerned there is no
problem. The ILO recognises us as the representative labour body in
Zimbabwe." The ILO director in Zimbabwe, Ullrich Flechsenhar, could not
comment as he was said to be out of the country.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Teachers' union stands by its story

      5/17/02 12:13:11 PM (GMT +2)

      By Ray Matikinye

      The Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) this week insisted
its members had been forced to pay protection fees to war veterans and Zanu
PF youths.

      Raymond Majongwe, the secretary-general, said: "We stand by our report
and anyone who wants to prove our union wrong should provide statistics. The
only alteration in the story carried by The Daily News (on 9 May) is that
the period in question spans from the referendum in February 2000."
      Brian Mangwende, a Daily News correspondent in Mutare who broke the
story was briefly detained and questioned by the police last Friday.
      Mangwende was released without charge after spending two hours in
police custody.

      He had been questioned in connection with the Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act which outlaws what is described as the
publication of "falsehoods".

      In a report, the PTUZ said it had registered more than 107 000 cases
of extortion and harassment of teachers countrywide. Majongwe said:
      in rural schools have been victims of extortion and have been forced
to make contributions towards the 21st February Movement (which marks
President Mugabe's birthday), independence celebrations, and joint operation
committees of war veterans and Zanu PF supporters. They have been forced to
sustain party mobs living at bases set up in the run-up to the presidential

      Majongwe said his union met the then Minister of Education, Sport and
Culture, Samuel Mumbengegwi in June last year to discuss the harassment and
      According to the minutes of the meeting, Mumbengegwi acknowledged the
concerns of the union but warned: "Any teacher who does anything outside his
professional jurisdiction was doing so at their personal risk, for which the
ministry would not guarantee protection."

      Mumbengegwi said if any teacher was harassed, assaulted or victimised,
they should report to the State security agents. In February last year PTUZ
wrote to the regional director for Mashonaland Central to complain of the
kidnapping for two days of a female teacher at a school in Centenary.

      When she reported the kidnappng to the police, war veterans
demonstrated against her presence at the school and for reporting the matter
to the police. Three months later, the union appealed to the Mashonaland
East regional director to intervene.

      The union cited the victimisation of teachers at Donzwa, Kotwa and
Muzezuru by a group led by war veterans' district chairman Mujuru Mujuru.
      The union president, Takavafira Zhou, said teachers were still being
harassed today

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      EU calls for rerun of poll

      5/17/02 11:56:06 AM (GMT +2)

      By Sandra Nyaira

      Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) yesterday called for a fresh
internationally-bserved presidential election in Zimbabwe within the next 12

      The MEPs from the 15 member-states met in an emergency meeting in
Strasbourg, France. They raised concern at the continued unhindered travel
by government ministers and officials to European Union (EU) countries.

      The debate was based on a strongly-worded resolution on Zimbabwe
tabled by Geoffrey Van Orden, the vice-chairman of the Parliament's foreign
affairs committee.

      "As the government continues to intimidate and harass its political
opponents and the media with highly dubious charges of treason against MDC
leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, and his colleagues and the arrest of many
journalists, the EPP-ED group (which monitors the economic interests of the
EU) calls for a fresh presidential election to take place within the next 12
months, according to internationally accepted norms and under the auspices
of independent international observers," reads part of the resolution.

      The resolution looked set to be adopted last night when MEPs were
expected to vote on it. In the resolution, the MEPs point out "that
Zimbabwean government ministers and officials are continuing to travel
freely to EU countries" and "insists that EU Member States and the Council,
whilst ensuring that current measures are strictly applied, maintain and
intensify the resolve and actions of the EU to bring about an early
improvement in the situation in Zimbabwe and, therefore, to identify and put
in place further measures that will put pressure on the Mugabe regime".

      The "smart" sanctions were imposed after Mugabe controversially won
the flawed March presidential election.

      The further measures should extend the EU's list of banned Mugabe
associates to include other key figures, such as the vice-presidents, all
ministers, senior military, police and secret service officers and leading
businessmen who have helped to bankroll Zanu PF or benefited from its
corrupt activities.

      Those who are playing a role in sustaining the regime and its campaign
of violence should be included on the list of banned associates. Their
respective spouses and children are included too as they spend illegally
acquired money abroad.

      Details pertaining to assets already identified and frozen as a result
of the policy of targeted sanctions must be published and there must an
examination of Zimbabwe's debt situation and drawing rights in international
financial institutions.

      With 626 members, the EU Parliament represents political parties from
across all 15 EU member-states and takes a keen interest in the EU's
relations with developing nations.

      Van Orden called on African leaders, particularly those in the
Southern African Development Community region, not to resume normal
diplomatic relations with
      Mugabe's government and to avoid jeopardising the New Programme for
Africa's Development (Nepad), and prospects for the launch of an "African
Renaissance" by the Group of Eight leading industrial nations at a summit in
Canada set for July.

      He said European MPs were determined that the international community,
distracted by many crises, must not shift its attention away from Zimbabwe.

      This would allow the "catastrophic situation" to deteriorate even
further, "with murder, violence, intimidation and now starvation becoming
part of the norm of daily life in this much abused country".

      The EPP ED group's resolution highlights "the scale of the
humanitarian disaster, a crisis exacerbated by the failed policies of the
Mugabe regime".

Daily News

      Consultations to revive inter-party talks continue

      5/17/02 12:24:27 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      CONSULTATIONS to revive inter-party talks between Zanu PF and the MDC
continued on Wednesday as the two facilitators, Professor Adebayo Adedeji
and Kgalema Motlanthe, sought to bring the parties back to the negotiations.

      The talks are meant to reach an amicable solution to Zimbabwe's
political crisis created by President Mugabe's contested victory in the
March presidential election.
      The official spokesman for the two said: "They were basically tying
the stitches today. They are trying to address the concerns of both parties
because they have both raised some concerns they want to be addressed to
allow the process to proceed."

      He said Adedeji and Motlanthe were still trying to revive the talks
thrown into doubt by Zanu PF's announcement that they wanted a postponement
pending the
      outcome of the MDC's petition challenging Mugabe's victory in the 9-11
March presidential election.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Canada drops Tsvangirai probe
Dumisani Muleya
THE Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have dropped investigations into
the alleged assassination plot against President Robert Mugabe by opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai, it emerged yesterday.

Sources in Montreal, where the inquiry was being conducted, said the RCMP -
Canada's national police force - stopped the probe after Harare authorities
failed to provide sufficient evidence for the investigation to continue.

The RCMP decided to investigate the case because the alleged plot took place
on Canadian soil.

A spokesman for the Canadian High Commission said yesterday: "I can confirm
that the RCMP has ceased their investigation. The Zimbabwe government failed
to provide the necessary information."

RCMP spokesman Richard Huard recently told the Zimbabwe Independent further
investigations would largely depend on the authenticity of the case.

Tsvangirai and two other top MDC officials stand accused of high treason
over the alleged plot. The accused, who include MDC secretary-general
Welshman Ncu-be and party secretary for agriculture Renson Gasela, have so
far appeared twice in court and are on remand.

They are due to appear again on May 31 when defence attorneys will apply for
the setting of a trial date or removal of their clients from remand.

The three have denied the charges.

The RCMP opened the probe after Australia's SBS channel on Fe-bruary 13
screened a document-ary which included surveillancevideo footage purporting
toshow Tsvangirai in Montreal plotting to kill Mugabe.

The video, secretly recorded by a hired security firm, was reportedly
provided to SBS documentary producer Mark Davis by Ari Ben-Menashe, who is
the chief executive of a Canadian political consultancy firm, Dickens &
Madson, which has links to the Zimbabwe government.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Independent (UK)

EU allows visit by Mugabe henchman despite sanctions
By Fergal Keane and Basildon Peta
18 May 2002
European Union foreign ministers allowed one of President Robert Mugabe's
most notorious henchmen to visit France last week, bypassing the EU's own
travel ban on Zimbawe's ruling elite because of the regime's gross human
rights violations.

Zimbabwe's Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, left Harare and travelled
to France this week to attend a two-day meeting of Interpol's executive
committee in Lyon. The visit came just a week after President Mugabe and his
officials boasted that EU sanctions were "ineffectual" after they travelled
to the United States via France.

Last night, Annabelle Hughes, the director of the Zimbabwe Democracy Trust,
said the foreign ministers' decision was "an example of how the EU is all
bark and not bite".

"He personally confiscated one of the biggest commercial farms in the
country recently and promulgates human rights abuses, violence, and illegal
actions" she said.

Mr Chihuri's attendance at an Interpol meeting on money laundering was seen
as ironic given the accusations that Mr Mugabe's regime's financial assets
abroad have been frozen. Donald Anderson, the chairman of the parliamentary
foreign affairs select committee, said he was "appalled by the EU's

Mr Chihuri, one of the prime movers in the campaign of violence against the
Zimbabwe opposition, white farmers and the media, topped a list of 19 senior
Mugabe cronies covered by a visa ban when the EU imposed targeted sanctions
on Zimbabwe in February. The sanctions were imposed after Mr Mugabe's widely
condemned interference with the presidential election campaign and expulsion
of the EU's chief election observer.

Mr Chihuri has recently intensified the campaign of harassment of the
independent media in Zimbabwe ordering the arrest of journalists he accuses
of publishing "false news".

In Lyon he stayed at the four star Sofitel Bellecour hotel, checking out on
Thursday. Interpol confirmed last night that he attended the meeting as a
vice president of the Interpol executive. There was also criticism of John
Abbott, the head of NCIS (national criminal intelligence service), who
attended on Britain's behalf. Critics said he should have boycotted the

Last night foreign office sources confirmed that Britain and other EU member
states were consulted by France and agreed that Mr Chihuri should be given
permission to attend the meeting in his capacity as Africa representative.
Officials defended the decision on the grounds that EU member states have
the option of waiving the travel ban if they believe a journey is justified
on the grounds of attending meetings of international bodies.

A spokesman said: "Mr Chihuri's case was discussed through contacts between
the capitals. France is also bound by the Interpol treaty."

A statement from the French embassy in London said Mr Chihuri was admitted
because the Interpol treaty "forces France to welcome members of the
executive committee of the organisation (Interpol)". But questions are being
raised as to why three months after the EU included him on its travel ban,
he remains vice president of the world police intelligence organisation.

Mr Chihuri is seen in Zimbabwe as an enforcer for Mr Mugabe. He stands
accused of running the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on political lines by
selectively applying the law against those identified as enemies of the
President, including white landowners, members of the opposition and the
independent media.

Zim Independent


Yes Stan, even Mugabe can enter the UN HQ

IT is an interesting commentary on the desperation of Stan Mudenge and his
officials that they should breathe such a huge sign of relief when President
Mugabe is permitted to transit through France on his way to the UN and
allowed to address a special session on children's rights in New York
without hindrance.

This led to some extravagant and rather inaccurate claims that no
restrictions at all had been placed on Mugabe and that he was free to travel
to any place he liked in the United States.

The author of that claim, spokesman for Zimbabwe's permanent mission to the
UN, Emmanuel Gumbo, must have known he was being economic with the truth.
Mugabe was allowed to attend the special session of the UN under a protocol
that permits heads of state and their delegations unrestricted access to the
UN headquarters irrespective of their relations with the US government.
Fidel Castro is a regular visitor under that protocol as are Iraqi leaders.
But they are restricted to a 25-mile radius of the UN headquarters in
Manhattan. Mugabe was most certainly not allowed to go "anywhere he wishes
in the United States", as Gumbo claimed.

"Everything was properly planned," Mudenge boasted. "Nobody wanted any
incident and things went smoothly."

Except, that is, the presidential party's visa applications. Muckraker
gathers their applications were only submitted at the last minute. Reports
that the AirZim flight to London last Sunday night had to leave without them
after waiting for several hours could not be confirmed at the time of going
to press. Nor could reports that the government's Libyan patron had to come
to the rescue with the loan of his plane when the visas did finally
materialise early the next morning.

New York must have offered a welcome distraction from the demands of the
Zimbabwean populace for food. Within the prescribed radius of the UN
building are such upmarket stores as Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany's, Harry
Winston, Cartier, Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Ave. The presidential party
is not subject to Customs control on its return from such trips. It would be
useful to know how much the trip to New York cost for Mugabe and his
delegation and how many that would have fed.

Zanu PF lawyers Hussein Ranchod & Co say they have been instructed by the
party to take legal action against all media organisations that carried the
story of the Karoi woman who, it was claimed, had been decapitated.

Terrence Hussein said he was already in the process of instructing legal
practitioners in various countries to take legal action.

Jonathan Moyo told the Sunday Mail Zanu PF would be suing all newspapers and
broadcasting stations which carried the story.

"We are sick and tired that the MDC, some journalists, the Daily News and
certain media houses in the white Commonwealth, South Africa, America, Kenya
and Nigeria had made it their daily business to demonise our party and we
are not going to take it any more," he said last weekend.

All media workers in Zimbabwe should welcome this move. It first of all
reveals that Zanu PF and its legal advisors have no idea whatever of how the
law works in other jurisdictions. Just because journalists can be prosecuted
in Zimbabwe under shoddily-crafted press or security laws for publishing a
report that proves not to be true, it doesn't mean publication of such a
report constitutes an offence elsewhere. Journalists are, like politicians,
allowed to make mistakes in other countries without being jailed!

Recourse through the civil courts will be equally difficult. How is a party
widely identified at home and abroad with systematic violence and repression
going to argue it has been defamed? The defence will parade in court the
same people who recently successfully claimed millions of dollars in damages
in New York from Zanu PF for the murder of family members in cases where the
culprits walk free. They will give evidence as to the nature of the party
claiming to be defamed because in one instance a newspaper got a story
wrong. In particular there will be the on-the-record remarks of party
leaders such as Robert Mugabe and Didymus Mutasa.

Any cursory study of how the law works in the countries mentioned by Moyo
would very quickly indicate that public funds are about to be wasted in
pursuit of a claim that will prove impossible to sustain.

Any such court case will very quickly become a trial of Zanu PF's human
rights record and that will open a can of worms Moyo would probably wish he
had left on the legal shelf!

The decision by the authorities to prosecute St George's headmaster Brendan
Tiernan under the Public Order and Security Act is another example of
government putting itself on trial. The move firstly exposes the sort of
paranoia that only weak and insecure regimes demonstrate. Secondly, it shows
that individuals exercising their constitutional right to freedom of
conscience and expression are likely to be prosecuted where it embarrasses
the government.

Tiernan raised entirely legitimate questions about the outcome of the March
poll. In describing the outcome as "morally invalid" and an embarrassment,
he shared the views of the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network which
monitored the election and many international observers. In listing the
impediments which the 45% of the people who voted against Mugabe had to
overcome he did no more than every other person who witnessed the erection
of a multitude of legal obstacles as well as the clumsy manipulation of the
voters roll.

His trial will advertise what sort of society Zimbabwe has become where
individuals are prosecuted for criticising the way an election is managed or
querying the outcome.

There is another point that will be exposed in this case, if it comes to
court, and that is the intimate link between Tiernan's persecutors in the
Roman Catholic hierarchy and President Robert Mugabe. Why do St George's
College parents permit this abuse of authority by political prelates who
have said nothing about corruption, violence or misrule by those they

A few weeks ago we told people who felt they had been deprived of their
rights by the arbitrary behaviour of Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede to
follow their claims in the civil courts if it was found he had been
wrongfully depriving individuals of their citizenship and thereby the right
to vote.

Now they have their chance. Justice Sandra Mungwira, in ordering Mudede to
issue Judith Todd a passport, described the RG as arrogant and unashamed in
his manipulation of the Citizenship Act.

This newspaper has consistently argued that the Citizenship Act only
required dual citizens to renounce their other citizenship if they wished to
retain Zimbabwean citizenship. Nowhere did it require people to renounce a
citizenship they did not possess. But Mudede, no doubt directed by those in
political authority, chose to instruct tens of thousands of people to
renounce citizenships they did not possess but which they were deemed to
have a claim to. In so-doing he caused enormous hardship and heartache to
many, most notably the elderly who were thoroughly confused by this exercise
and put through an obstacle course by officials of the RG's office.

Many embassies and high commissions refused to cooperate with the exercise
making it impossible for many people to comply with the new law.

It would now seem that Mudede was acting outside the law. Many as a result
were deprived of their right to vote. They must now take legal advice and
hold Mudede directly responsible for depriving them of their constitutional
rights. That goes for every other government official that collaborated in
this arbitrary exercise.

Readers familiar with the incoherent ramblings of Samu Zulu in the Sunday
Mail will know that it is difficult to take him seriously at the best of
times. It would be easier if we knew what he was talking about! But this
week he exceeded our expectations by writing in fulsome terms about four
"seasoned intellectuals", Claude Mararike, Vimbai Chivaura, Tafataona
Mahoso, and Sheunesu Mupepereki.

These regular contributors to ZBC programmes have never actually had their
intellects tested because no contending views are allowed to meet theirs.
But that obvious shortcoming did not prevent Zulu from puffing up the
performance of his partisan heroes.

He even attributed great importance to their first names. Vimbai, he told
us, means hope. The significance of that observation was left suspended as
he proceeded to remind us that in July last year Chivaura was on a
seven-member committee of "experts" to investigate the level of
professionalism in the local media.

This undistinguished non-sequitor was followed by another:
"With the heightened patriotism gained five days ago when the Zimbabwean
parliament finally passed the long-awaited Land Acquisition Act, Vimbai's
words - in his fight against white racism - are what gave you readers such
overwhelming confidence."Perhaps mercifully, we weren't told what those
magic words were. Instead Zulu rambled on:

"Not to be outdone, Tafataona's name is equally interesting. It means 'we
may be dead but we have seen a lot'. Not surprisingly, somebody who
professes to have seen as much as Tafataona deserves to be both the head of
Mass Communications at the Harare Polytech and the chairman of the Media
Ethics Committee of Zimbabwe."

So now we understand the criteria used by the minister in making his

Zulu is clearly fortified by what appears to be Chivaura's contention that
"blacks should no longer leave 'white thieves' unsubdued". "Let us be
tough," he urges, clearly unappeased by Zanu PF's record of violent
retribution across the land.

Continuing in this vein Zulu claims "the average black man or woman is
already aware of the endemic shortcomings which will always bedevil the
white race". And what are these shortcomings? "Whites age and wrinkle up
much faster than us."

So, is that it? No, whites also con-sign their old folk to old people's

"We regard our folks as second gods who must live in our households until
they die. Need I go into sexual prowess?"

No thanks Sam. Let's not go there. It's a case of "Let's not play it again,
Sam". But we liked the pic of you with the pipe. Readers may have some
suggestions as to where you can put it!

In the same edition of the Sunday Mail that Zulu could be found lauding
Mahoso and his role as the head of "the Media Ethics Committee of Zimbabwe",
there appeared an article on the Sports page headed "Msasa Guest Lodge has
become home to DeMbare".

"Msasa Guest Lodge, situated in Grendale (sic) is a scenic lodge with
comfort as the catchword," we were told. Owned by Dynamos secretary Ignatius
Pamire, the lodge "boasts of rustic splendour, a convivial atmosphere, and
home décor.The exterior extols a sense of warmth, be it a siesta, or a
consummate chat with colleagues," the article gushed without telling us
exactly what a "consummate chat" entailed.

It has conference facilities and rooms boast a queen-sized bed under thatch.
For those who do not have time to take their kids to the rural areas "this
is the ideal place to come to give them an education on traditional values".
Facilities include a fowl run, a granary and a "typical African hut".

There then follows a puff for another Pamire company, Super Bricks, which we
were told "has provided Harare and its environs with quality bricks as the
building industry blooms". Super Bricks, we gather, "has supported Dynamos
financially and materially".

That tenuous figleaf barely covered what was a fine example of crony
journalism by Pamire's media friends.

Another example of crony journalism could be found in Monday's Herald story
where Jonathan Moyo was given space to make abusive remarks about Bornwell
Chakaodza. Readers were reminded that he had benefited from the government's
VIP housing scheme. But was he the only one to do so? Do we not recall other
well-placed opportunists making a fortune by exploiting that scheme?

Moyo seemed to be stung by the suggestion that a number of editors and
reporters at Zimpapers face his axe.

"Everyone including those fools (at the Standard) know that Zimpapers has
the best editors and reporters in Zimbabwe," he blustered. But then in the
same breath he claimed that "certain elements in the management at Zimpapers
were behind that story".

Is it so inconceivable that Zimpapers editors could find themselves on the
transfer list given the events of the past two years where dozens have been
pushed through the revolving door at Herald House?

The last time the Zimbabwe Independent suggested a Herald staffer (Shepherd
Mutamba) was about to go to ZBC the report was strenuously denied - until he

Munyaradzi Hwengwere's move to ZBC was also denied when we first reported

An alert reader, remarking on our comments recently about President Levi
Mwanawasa's lack of grey matter, pointed out that during the Zambian
presidential poll campaign Mwanawasa had referred to Frederick Chiluba as
his sister and said that, far from being incapacitated as rumoured, he was
"as strong as Tike Myson"!

We were interested to see that South African astronaut Mark Shuttleworth was
filmed reading a copy of the Johannesburg Sunday Times in space. The
headline was shown to viewers around the world. It said: "Mugabe's henchman
and the missing millions." But a quick check with the archives showed it was
a February edition. Mark's reading material was apparently loaded on the
Soyuz spacecraft well ahead of his arrival. Nevertheless, the "henchman"
featured won't be too pleased to learn that news of his dealings with Wits
university and other donors has now reached a galactic audience thanks to
Africa's first astronaut!

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Nepad's Zim Quarantine a False Start

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)
May 17, 2002
Posted to the web May 17, 2002

REMARKS by the Canadian High Commissioner to South Africa and shuttle
diplomacy this week by South Africa's Thabo Mbeki reveal a worrying trend:
The G8 countries are preparing to swallow the deception that African leaders
have the Zimbabwe crisis "in hand" and thereby qualify for the US$64 billion
on offer for trade and investment under the Nepad plan.
Canada will host the G8 summit in Kananaskis, Alberta, at the end of next
month. Nepad is on the agenda.
Canada's High Commissioner in Pretoria, Lucie Edwards, said on Monday that
the Commonwealth troika's decision in March to suspend Zimbabwe from the
Commonwealth re-assured the international community that the sponsors of
Nepad were serious about developing and implementing a peer review mechanism
for the plan. She described Mbeki and Obasanjo's leadership role in the
Commonwealth decision to suspend Zimbabwe as "Nepad passing its first test".
"The decision of the Commonwealth troika, two of whose members were
prominent African leaders and Nepad leaders (Mbeki and Obasanjo), to suspend
Zimbabwe was seen as a sign of real political will to apply the principles
of good governance within the region," she pronounced with breathtaking
disregard for the facts on the ground.
Mbeki fought long and hard against having Zimbabwe suspended at the troika's
London meeting. He was in the end persuaded that the Commonwealth and
Nepad's survival depended on him doing the right thing, although he had
difficulty seeing what that was. His government endorsed the presidential
poll outcome. Since then neither he nor Obasanjo have said a word about the
lawlessness and deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe.
This week the Amani Trust, which has proved a reliable barometer of human
rights abuses, cited youth brigades and state agencies as involved in rights
Organised violence and torture had persisted since the election, Amani Trust
said, and had if anything intensified.
Press freedom has also been under attack as the government arrests and
prosecutes journalists, ostensibly for errors of fact, but in reality for
exposing the regime's trail of violence and misrule.
On the land there has been arbitrary seizure of farms and property by
politically powerful individuals in open violation of the Abuja accord.
Again, neither Mbeki nor Obasanjo have said anything. They argue that their
diplomacy has harness-ed the two main political parties in Harare to a
national dialogue.
This claim has silenced other Commonwealth members who participated at Abuja
and enables the G8 powers to avert their gaze from the growing crisis of
governance in Zimbabwe on the grounds that Mbeki and Obasanjo have
everything under control.
We know that to be a fiction. Mosiuoa Lekota admitted as much last week.
Ms Edwards excused the lack of progress on Zimbabwe by disingenuously
suggesting that peer review as a mechanism had not been developed at the
time of the presidential election. It is new so give it a chance was the
It would be interesting to know what all those Sadc ministerial visits last
year and this year were about, not to mention the visits by Mbeki and
Obasanjo. And how do we explain Sadc's endorsement of the election outcome?
If that was not peer review, what was it?
The Canadian statement this week signalled that collective self-deception
about peer review has become the official line. Zimbabwe as a topic will be
quarantined so its contagion does not infect the Nepad process even though
the Zimbabwe crisis itself is demonstrably infecting the region. Statements
following Mbeki's visits to Oslo and London this week confirm that nothing
will be allowed to get in the way of the Nepad juggernaut. The West wants an
African success story and Nepad, they hope, is it.
Zimbabwe's crisis meanwhile cannot be so easily swept under the G8 carpet.
It is the elephant in the living room. It cannot be ignored. The
humanitarian disaster that is already unfolding across the land is the
direct product of bad governance, not drought. And this tragedy has been
allowed to develop precisely because African leaders indulged President
Mugabe by recognising his flawed victory in the presidential poll.
If G8 leaders cannot see the contradiction between that act of political
dishonesty and Nepad's proclaimed commitment to good governance, the project
is doomed from the outset.
There will be no African recovery, no renaissance until leaders like Mbeki
and Obasanjo get to grips with rogue rulers in their midst. That means
speaking out on human rights abuses, lawlessness and economic sabotage.
The G8 should make this clear. Looking the other way in Canada is no basis
for future relations between the developed world and Africa.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      MDC polling agent was murdered

      5/17/02 8:36:05 AM (GMT +2)

      By Pedzisai Ruhanya

      Morgan Tsvangirai's election agent in Gokwe during the disputed March
presidential election was murdered, a family spokesperson who received a
report from the police last Thursday said this week.

      Tipason Madhobha's body was found on 2 May in a stream under unclear
circumstances. He had been missing for almost three weeks.

      He was buried last Friday in Kufazvinei village. He was the polling
agent for Tsvangirai at Sugwiza Primary School.

      But the police in Gokwe and Gweru this week refused to comment on the

      The Midlands provincial police Press liaison officer, who only
identified himself as Inspector Mandipaka, referred all questions to the
police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, who has kept his
word about not speaking to The Daily News.

      Mandipaka said: "Speak to our spokesperson Bvudzijena. If he does not
speak to you, the same applies."

      The family spokesperson said when they went to the police in Gokwe to
collect the body for burial after they were told that a post-mortem was
going to be carried out in Bulawayo, they discovered that it had not taken
place and the body was still at Gokwe hospital mortuary.

      The family alleged that the police had prepared an affidavit which was
supposed to be signed by a family member, before the body could be taken
without a post-mortem report.

      But that request was refused and the family demanded to have a
post-mortem carried out before taking the body, the spokesperson said.

      "We waited for some time at the charge office before we were taken to
the CID offices. One officer gave us a report and told us that Oyour person'
was murdered.

      The police said the post-mortem was carried out by Dr Chimusoro. "The
police report was attached to the burial order that we left at the Registrar
General's office for the death certificate to be processed.

      The report was written Omurdered' but we did not see the description
of how he was murdered," the family spokesperson said.

      Furere Makumucha, Madhobha's uncle, said Madhobha, 25, went missing on
10 April after he left his home with four neighbours.

      They were looking for stray cattle. Makumucha said their problems
started in Ganye in Manokore village about 15 km from his village,

      "I was told that when the five were in the area they were told by an
elderly man that Zanu PF youths in Ganye did not tolerate any strangers and
they risked being attacked if they met the youths," Makumucha said.

      Investigations by The Daily News have established that Zanu PF youths
were camped at Ganye Secondary School in Fundikwa village, where Madhobha
was found dead.

      Makumucha said that while in the area, the five, including Tafara
Kufazvinei and Edmore Mutami, were called by unknown people. They ran away
in different directions.

      Makumucha said that on 2 May, a young man from Manokore village came
and told him that Madhobha was found dead and his body was dumped in a
shallow stream near Ganye dam.

      The body was then taken to Gokwe Hospital by the police. Manokore is
adjacent to Fundikwa village.

      Although the MDC claimed that Madhobha was killed by Zanu PF
supporters, his family, including his four-month pregnant wife, Dadirai,19,
insisted that the death was mysterious and they expected the police to
unravel it.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

UK frustrated with Mugabe
Dumisani Muleya
BRITAIN'S junior minister in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Baroness
Amos, has expressed "deep frustration" at President Robert Mugabe's
tightening dictatorial grip.

Briefing the House of Commons on Tuesday, Amos said she was "deeply
frustrated by what is happening in Zimbabwe".

Her statements - which followed remarks by South African Defence minister
Mosiuoa Lekota that Zimbabwe has refused to listen to advice - came ahead of
the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group meeting in Botswana today.
Zimbabwe is high on the agenda.

The European Union general affairs council meets on June 16 and will also
discuss Zimbabwe, especially how to tighten targeted sanctions recently
imposed on Harare.

Amos, who was in Harare late last year as part of a Commonwealth assessment
mission, expressed exasperation and dismay at local events. She cited
Mugabe's electoral fraud, violence, famine and the attendant humanitarian
disaster, breakdown of the inter-party talks, economic decline and
persistent attacks against the independent media.

"Journalists working for the independent media are being subjected to
unprecedented levels of harassment by the ruling authorities," she said. "We
deplore this level of harassment and intimidation. A free press is critical
to a flourishing democracy. It is essential that support is given to the
independent media."

The collapse of the reconciliation negotiations between Zanu PF and the MDC,
Amos pointed out, was disappointing. She however said should the stalled
dialogue resume, "human rights must be an integral part of the talks".

"Although we must remember that Zimbabwe is an independent country, it has a
government that does not care for its own people," she said.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Zim heads for 'train smash' - Schofield
Barnabas Thondhlana
ZIMBABWE is fast heading for a "train smash" if no assistance is forthcoming
from multi-lateral donor agencies, industrialist Chris Schofield has said.

Schofield, who chairs conglomerate Radar Holdings' board, said Zimbabwe was
plus/minus a billion dollars in arrears on external obligations, and the
country's ability to go on borrowing, from whatever quarter, was "to put it
mildly, restricted".

"Where in the world - literally - is the bridging likely to come from?"
Schofield asked.

"The numbers are now so large that, in reality, we can only look to the
European Union and Washington. If assistance is not forthcoming from these
quarters then, in the lexicon of the corporate sector, we are heading for
the proverbial train smash."

He said comments made by Finance minister Simba Makoni on the need for an
end to violence and sanity to prevail in government gave "a glimmer of hope
that there is recognition that an element of pragmatism is urgently needed
if the economy is to stabilise".

"By any definition, the economy is in dire straits. Left unattended, the
country will simply skid from one crisis to another," he said. "At very
best, Zimbabwe needs to be placed in intensive care if there is to be any
hope of an early recovery."

He said the sheer scale, from an economic perspective, could be gauged from
the following: Zimbabwe was likely to have run a balance-of-payments deficit
(including invisibles) in hundreds of millions of US dollars for the year
ending 2001. In the year ending 2002, this will likely significantly exceed
the US$1 billion mark, with food imports alone accounting for US$500 million

"Minister Makoni, cocooned in the cabin of a run-away train, is at least
blowing the whistle," he said.

"Rather more important, to those of us sitting huddled in the coaches
lurching along in the rear, watching pop-eyed at the sparks flying all
around, is the earnest hope that the driver knows where the brakes are and,
however tentatively, starts applying them.

"For believe it, there are monumental problems looming ahead," Schofield

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

US delays Mugabe flight, Libya steps in
Vincent Kahiya
CLAIMS that President Mugabe was free to travel wherever he wanted in France
and the United States on his recent trip to New York for a United Nations
conference on children were firmly rejected this week by French and US

Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge was quoted on Monday as telling the
state media that sanctions would not stop Zimbabwe's leaders from carrying
out diplomatic functions. He pointed out that despite the European Union's
imposition of smart sanctions, the president-ial party flew to New York via

"We used Paris, an EU country (sic) and were not hindered to use their
international transit facilities," Mudenge said. Everybody on the delegation
was free to go into town."

Spokesman for Zimbabwe's permanent mission to the UN, Emmanuel Gumbo,
dismissed reports that Mugabe's movements had been restricted in New York.
He said the president had "25 green lights ahead of him to travel anywhere
he wishes in the United States".

US officials who asked not to be named said this week Mugabe's visa had been
issued in terms of the 1947 UN headquarters agreement which confined the
visiting leader to a 25-mile radius of the UN building in downtown

French ambassador Didier Ferrand yesterday confirmed that Mugabe's party did
not leave the airport transit lounge during their Paris stopover.

"The French are abiding by the decisions of the European Union," he said.
"During his stopover on the way to New York and back the president was in
the international zone of Charles de Gaulle Airport."

Mugabe's visa application was made "at the last minute", the Zimbabwe
Independent was told, and was not ready by the time Air Zimbabwe's flight on
Sunday, May 5, on which the presidential party was booked, left for London.
As there was no Air Zimbabwe flight out on Monday, May 6, they finally left
on Tuesday morning, May 7 aboard a Libyan plane sent to collect them.

The Independent heard this week that Mugabe was picked up at the airport in
the early hours of Tuesday, May 7 by a Libyan Boeing 767 jet, which took him
to Paris where he connected to New York - arriving there on Wednesday
morning. The same plane flew him back from Paris, arriving at Harare
International Airport last Sunday.

Air Zimbabwe spokesman Moses Mapanda this week confirmed that the Sunday
night London flight had been delayed on May 5.

"The flight to London was delayed due to operational reasons," he said,
without elaborating.

It is understood the US Embassy in Harare had to seek guidance from the
State Department in Washington on the issuing of visas to Mugabe's party.

"The special visas were only issued sometime on Monday and these had
geographical restrictions to the Zimbabweans, under the UN headquarters
agreement," a US official said.

Notwithstanding the restrictions imposed, Mugabe took the opportunity in the
United States to fire pot shots at the West and grandstand in front of the
few heads of state present.

Heads of state present included Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, Rex Meidani
of Albania and Jorge Sampaio of Portugal.

"It is hideously ironic that when children are starving in Zimbabwe because
of his flawed economic policies," a US officialobserved, "the president
should suddenly find it necessary to attend the UN."

It is reported that the presidential party spent three nights at the New
York Palace Hotel and Towers where the cheapest room costs US$450 a night
and the most expensive US$2 100.

A planned show of solidarity by Coltrane Chimurenga's December 12 Movement
and Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem failed to materialise, most probably
because of the travel restrictions placed on Mugabe.

Diplomats who spoke to the Independent this week on condition of anonymity
said Mudenge's claims were misleading. No foreign leader, however odious
their policies, was prevented from attending sessions of the UN under
specific conditions.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Quiet diplomacy fails for industry
Godfrey Marawanyika
THE quiet diplomacy adopted by the South African government on Zimbabwe,
which the local business leaders have embraced, has caught up with industry
with disastrous effects.

Sectors such as tourism, mining, agriculture and manufacturing are expected
to decline further this year unless prudent economic policies are adopted.

The South African government was heavily criticised locally, regionally and
internationally for its quiet diplomacy at a time when the country's
economic and political environment was deteriorating.

The business community has to date been hesitant to engage the government,
despite the fast deteriorating economic environment.

The community is divided on whether the sector must engage the government
with their concerns or continue the quiet diplomacy.

There was a mixed reaction in the sector when business leaders went to
congratulate President Mugabe on his disputed re-election in March.

Analysts said the dilemma facing the business community was the fear of
making what might be perceived as political statements.

"The business community has withdrawn itself from active participation in
the country's decision-making because it is afraid of making what are
perceived as political statements," said one analyst.

Since last year the major sectors of the economy have experienced a decline
of more than 5%. All the sectors that contribute towards the gross domestic
product experienced a decline. Another analyst said the business community
was faced with a mounting dilemma.

"They are in a tricky situation, if they try to be honest they would be
labelled as opposition" said the analyst.

"The business community are either cowards or they are realising that they
are stuck with Zanu PF for the next six years so they are just trying to
protect their interests."

Back to the Top
Back to Index