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

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Daily News - Leader Page

At what point will we start speaking out?

4/30/02 8:22:49 AM (GMT +2)

LAST weekend a man wearing orange overalls, a brown leather belt and a big
hat arrived at the gate of a property 12km out of Marondera.

At his side trotted a thin little wild-eyed dog. The man had a large
Zimbabwe flag on a pole which protruded from the back pocket of his

The man, perhaps in his late 30s, had an angry, defiant look on his face;
his eyes were bloodshot and his manner was arrogant.

The man goes by the name of Wind and he was on a definite mission.
Accompanying Wind were a number of tall youngsters, who were perhaps in
their late teens or early 20s, many with shaven heads and Ray Ban

Wind and a group of bored teenagers had come to cause havoc and they
succeeded. They visited three properties and at each one they issued verbal
eviction notices ranging from two hours to two days.

Wind is not from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement
or Agritex or any other official government department. Wind is apparently a
“war veteran” and he does not need any official bits of paper with
government stamps because what he says goes.

It is of no importance to Wind if the properties he visits are designated
for State seizure or not, if he wants them, he takes them.

When Wind arrives at the gate and tells the owners they have two days to get
out of their homes, it is pointless trying to stop him. His demand is backed
up by a mob who carry sticks and chains, fan belts, rocks, pangas and

If you try and negotiate with Wind, your two-day eviction order is reduced
to one day, six hours or even two hours.

If you talk nicely to Wind, he will let you take your furniture and family
car. If you annoy him, you leave with nothing.

A telephone call to the local police station yields the same statement
farmers have been hearing for over the past two years: “Sorry, we can’t help
you because it is political.”

When friends and family arrive to help you pack up and move, Wind and his
mob are there. They offer (or insist) to help load furniture and boxes,
sometimes seeing something which takes their fancy, sometimes deciding which
chairs, tables or electrical equipment the owners can have and which they
want for themselves.

Wind has taken Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Dr
Joseph Made’s pronouncement about not allowing farmers to remove
agricultural equipment to heart in a big way.

On the three properties which he claimed last weekend, Wind would not allow
anything even remotely resembling agricultural equipment to be removed.

Aside from the obvious tractors, ploughs, borehole pumps and water pipes,
other property now in the hands of Wind include: feed tins, drums of fuel,
wheelbarrows, hoes, shovels, rakes, stock feed, live chickens and dairy
cows, to mention a few.

As the eviction deadline approaches, Wind and his men get restless. They
patrol up and down the driveway, lean against the gate, climb trees and hurl
abuse: “Get out! Time up! Go to your big houses in Harare! Go back to

They watch as the veterinary surgeon arrives and administers an overdose of
anaesthetic to dogs and cats who cannot go with their owners as there is no

They watch as you hurriedly pull a few vegetables out of the garden or look
lovingly at trees and flowers which were all planted with such tender care.

There is no time to take cuttings or pick pawpaws off the trees and
everywhere there is utter chaos as a lifetime is packed into boxes and
crates and furniture is carried out onto the lawn.

As you drive out of your home for the last time behind the truck carrying
your life, one war veteran and his mob are waiting at the gate.

Wind demands the keys to the house, all buildings and padlocks. If you
refuse, you may not leave.

Tragically none of this is fiction. It all happened less than a week ago
just a dozen kilometres outside of Marondera. Two of the properties
“liberated” and now inhabited by Wind have never been listed for

The third had been gazetted, but no official papers had been served on the
owners within the government’s time frame, thus rendering the notice of
intention to acquire null and void.

Wind is but one of hundreds of men who are now controlling Zimbabwe.

His actions have earned him and his men three farmhouses, 30 farm workers’
houses, three boreholes, one dairy, one trading store, four dams, thousands
of prime gum trees, 200 laying chickens, 12 dairy cows in milk, a tractor
and plough and hundreds of agricultural tools.

By Monday morning Wind’s actions had left 63 people, 28 adults and 35
children without homes, jobs or livelihoods.

Of the 35 children directly affected by the eviction, 22 are of school age
and their education is now jeopardised as there will be no money with which
to pay their school fees.

Wind’s work last weekend has immediately deprived Zimbabwe of 110 dozen eggs
a week, 1 500 litres of milk a week and 1 000kg of beef a week.

This week war veterans announced that when they have finished on the farms
they are coming to towns and cities to share big houses with their owners.

Will it be at that point that we, as Zimbabweans, start speaking out?

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Daily News

Only in unity can the country’s workers improve their lot

4/30/02 8:22:12 AM (GMT +2)

THERE was a time when many people took lightly the probable effect of the
Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU) on trade unionism.

Most thought there were so many glaring similarities between that
organisation and Zanu PF the two were virtually indistinguishable from each

If you added into the mix the name of Joseph Chinotimba, then you had the
distinctly pungent stench of violence with which that Zanu PF and war
veteran activist has been associated since the commercial farm invasions of

Chinotimba is the vice-president of the ZFTU.

Today, it is alarming that the ZFTU appears to be thriving to the extent
that it plans to hold Workers’ Day celebrations to rival the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)’s functions on the same day.

Zanu PF set up the ZFTU to compete for influence among the workers with the

The idea was that since the MDC, the most powerful opposition party since
independence, was born out of the ZCTU, Zanu PF needed its own “union

Previously, Zanu PF had terrorised the ZCTU to become an affiliate of the

The control freaks in the party were furious when the ZCTU spurned all
attempts to turn it into a “Zanu PF union”, which would have emasculated it
as an effective conduit for workers’ grievances to the employers, including
the government.

To this day, the government and Zanu PF have been trying to undermine the
legitimacy of the ZCTU as the mother body of all trade unions, through its
naked support for the ZFTU.

Chinotimba has boasted that his union has won $6 million for workers
victimised by their companies through unfair labour practices. If all this
sounds as if it ought to be taken with a pinch of salt, then that is not

A union one of whose key officials was involved in the land invasions in
which innocent people were killed, maimed and raped should not inspire
confidence in any worker genuinely desirous of improvements in their working

Yet, through dubious strategies, mostly associated with the same iron-fisted
methods used by Zanu PF and the war veterans, the ZFTU seems to actually
have bona fide workers as members.

Tomorrow is Workers’ Day, celebrated by workers throughout the free world to
commemorate the vital role played by workers in development and the need for
them to be rewarded adequately for their work.

Karl Marx declared in the 19th century: “Workers of the world unite, you
have nothing to lose but your chains.”

He spoke at a time when a class war was raging in Europe between the rich
and the poor, who were mostly the workers.

His philosophy was translated into the Communism that overthrew the
government of Russia in 1917 and set in motion the events leading to the
creation of the ill-fated Soviet Union.

That vast union, as history shows, was dismantled, along with the doctrine
of Marxism-Leninism, when it became clear that the workers and the employers
were not the implacable enemies that Marx thought they ought to be.

In a developing country such as Zimbabwe, the interests of the workers can
be safeguarded only if the workers themselves are united and independent.

Reliance on political patronage, whether it is from Zanu PF or the MDC, will
cripple the effectiveness of any trade union.

It is not that their interests are totally dissimilar, but when it comes to
the crunch -the choice between bread and butter, and winning votes, for
instance -the political party will tend to place the latter at the top of
its list.

A strong trade union movement is one totally committed to the welfare of the

It may sympathise with a political party, but that has to be a party with
the same respect for the welfare of the workers as the union.

Not one which wants to use them as cannon fodder to boost its flagging

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Daily News

Mumbengegwi demands grazing fees

4/30/02 8:03:39 AM (GMT +2)
From Energy Bara

DR Samuel Mumbengegwi, the Minister of Higher Education and Technology, has
been demanding grazing fees from a couple whose farm he has already taken

Mumbengegwi allegedly grabbed Irvine Farm, but is demanding $370 000 a month
as grazing fees.

The farm, owned by Sais and Linda Vosloo, is along the Chivhu-Gutu highway
and has about 300 head of cattle.

Since he took over the farm six moths ago, Mumbengegwi has not given the
Vosloos a chance to remove their cattle.

He is now demanding money as compensation for the grass the herd grazes.

The minister has on several occasions approached the Vosloos advising them
that they were in arrears in payment for the grazing fees.

A commercial farmer, who lives near the Vosloos, said several farmers around
the Gutu-Chatsworth area have fallen victim to the practice.

The neighbour refused to be identified fearing victimisation from Zanu PF
officials and war veterans in Masvingo.

“We know senior Zanu PF official involved in such practices.

“This has been happening since the farm invasions began in February 2000. We
expect Cabinet ministers to lead by example and this case is corruption of
the highest order by a Cabinet minister,” said the farmer.

Jane Williams, the Commercial Farmers’ Union public relations consultant, on
Sunday confirmed the incident.

“It is true that the minister is demanding grazing fees from the couple and
we have supplied your paper with all the details,” she said.

Mike Clark also confirmed the harassment saying the case has shocked most
farmers in Masvingo.

“It is basically true that the minister wants compensation. And we were all
shocked by the development.

Mumbengegwi on Sunday confirmed that he had taken over Irvine Farm.
He, however, denied allegations of extortion.

“That is not true. It is a campaign by your paper to tarnish my image and
destroy me politically,” he said.

He did not entertain questions on the arrangement he had made with the
Vosloos to allow them to continue grazing their herd or when he expected
them to be moved from the farm.

Mumbengegwi, who took over the Masvingo Zanu PF chairmanship under
controversial circumstance, is also under siege from party supporters to
relinquish his post.

Last month, a group of war veterans led by Isaiah Muzenda locked party
offices in Masvingo demanding, among other things, the immediate dismissal
of Mumbengegwi and his entire executive.

The executive is alleged to have failed to properly account for $3,5 million
meant for the presidential campaign.

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Daily News

Harare’s councillors still to get allowances

4/30/02 8:01:39 AM (GMT +2)
Municipal Reporter

HARARE’s new city councillors, all, except one, members of the MDC, are yet
to be paid their allowances, almost two months after they assumed office.

Josephine Ncube, the chamber secretary, told the councillors they could not
get their allowances because Dr Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing, had not approved of them.

During a full council meeting last week, several councillors said they were
concerned about the delay. Their allowances amount to $25 000 a month each.

George Vlahakis (Ward 2) asked why the minister was delaying approval of the
allowances when he had been quick in issuing directives to the new council.

“The minister was quick to decide on our resolutions, which he quashed, but
he is now delaying approval of our allowances,” he said.

Chombo could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Vlahakis was referring to a case in which Chombo issued three directives to
the MDC-dominated council in its first week in office.

One directive requires the new executive mayor, Elias Mudzuri, and his
council to refer all financial and personnel issues to the minister for

The other bars Mudzuri from attending Cabinet Action committee meetings.

After assuming office last month, they fixed allowances at $25 000 a month

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Daily News

Man cooked up story on beheading, says MDC

4/30/02 8:00:42 AM (GMT +2)
Staff Reporter

THE MDC said yesterday the Harare police last week bluntly refused to arrest
a man who claimed his wife was beheaded by suspected Zanu PF youths.

The MDC believed the man cooked up the story to extract money from the
party, which has helped others in the same boat.

Learnmore Jongwe, the MDC spokesman, said the police flatly refused their
request on Wednesday to arrest Enos Tadyanemhandu when the party suspected
he was lying.

Tadyanemhandu claimed his wife, Brandina, was beheaded in Magunje by
suspected Zanu PF supporters.

Tendai Nyashanu, the MDC’s director of security, asked a detective inspector
in the Harare Central police station’s CID law and order section to arrest
Tadyanemhandu, he said. The policeman reportedly refused.

Jongwe said: “It is somewhat puzzling that the police, who had denied the
murder story that very day, would decline an opportunity to question the
person responsible.”

The Herald on Saturday claimed Brandina never existed, alleging this exposed
the MDC and The Daily News as liars.

The first time that Tadyanemhandu came to the offices of The Daily News in
December 2000, he was with a woman he identified as his wife, Brandina. The
couple reported the death of their son, Tichaona, 20.

They claimed Tichaona, an MDC youth activist, went missing in Hurungwe six
months earlier only for his body to be found in the Harare Central Hospital

Brandina said then that her son sustained a slit throat, gash on his right
side and bruises, suggesting that he was murdered.

The Magunje police denied the case, but the MDC and ZimRights, a human
rights organisation, each gave the couple $15 000 for funeral assistance.

Other sympathisers gave the couple money too.

Tadyanemhandu returned to the MDC’s Harare offices on Monday last week to
report the alleged decapitation of his wife.

The Daily News tried to confirm Tadyanemhandu’s story with the police.

An officer who answered the telephone at Magunje police station referred the
newspaper to Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesman, who routinely refuses
to speak to The Daily News.

Efforts to get comment from the Magunje Rural District Council, alleged to
have provided the suspected assailants with food, initially failed.

The efforts succeeded on Wednesday, when a Mr Gombe, the district
administrator’s secretary, denied Tadyanemhandu’s claims.

When Tadyanemhandu narrated his ordeal in the presence of Godfrey Gumbo, the
MDC’s treasurer in Mashonaland West, who happened to be in the MDC offices,
the party officials were convinced and gave him
$15 000 for funeral assistance and $4 800 for transport.

Tadyanemhandu said after the tragedy he went to Gumbo’s Munhuwepi bottle
store at Magunje growth point, where he was informed the MDC official was at
the party’s Harare offices.

He claimed he left his two daughters with his brother, Phibeon Mupukuta, who
works at Gumbo’s bottle store.

Gumbo merely confirmed Mupukuta worked for him. It later turned out Mupukuta
did not know Tadyanemhandu.

Tadyanemhandu produced a postmortem report, which may have been forged,
indicating Brandina’s head was chopped off with a sharp instrument, but
refused to leave a copy saying he was rushing back to Magunje to make
funeral arrangements.

But he produced a copy of his identity particulars, saying he would return
the next day with the report.

When the police denied the story, The Daily News did not ridicule them, but
challenged Tadyanemhandu when he returned on Wednesday.

He became furious and challenged the police to exhume his wife’s body for

At no time did Geoffrey Nyarota, the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily News, urge
Tadyanemhandu to maintain his story. It is also not true that Nyarota
absconded from work after the fiasco unsettled him.

“I was in the office on Friday and we can produce a number of cheques that I
signed on the day,” he said yesterday. “I also attended the Tanzanian
National Day celebrations at the residence of the High Commissioner, Mr
Alexander Muganda. He can testify to this. So can Dr Ibbo Mandaza, the
publisher of The Mirror, Mr Elias Rusike, the publisher of The Financial
Gazette, and the ambassadors of The Netherlands, Norway, India, Libya, Iran,
Israel, among others, with whom I chatted.

“The Herald published a pack of lies on Saturday and they know it.”

Nyarota left at the weekend for Manila, in the Philippines, where on Friday,
he will receive the Unesco/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize.

Later, he will travel to Brussels, Belgium, to receive World Association of
Newspapers (WAN) 2002 Golden Pen of Freedom prize.

Collin Chiwanza, and not Lloyd Mudiwa as reported by The Herald, travelled
to Magunje on Friday.

Chiwanza admitted having gone to Magunje police station to check whether
they had received the murder report, but denied ever apologising to the

Chiwanza said: “I simply inquired about the alleged murder. I never
apologised because there was no reason for me to do so.”

Mudiwa said: “I never went to Magunje as reported in The Herald.”

Jongwe said while the MDC regrets a misleading report was made, it had acted
in good faith and would investigate the matter.

“It should, however, be emphasised that the fact that the report emerged to
be false does not erode the fact that retributive post-election violence is
escalating and if Zanu PF does not address this, talks between the two
parties may collapse,” he said.

He said out of more than 100 reports of MDC members murdered by suspected
Zanu PF supporters, this is the first one that has turned out to be false.

He added adding that his party suspected the report was stage-managed to
undermine the party’s integrity as a reliable source of information.

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Daily News - Feature

Poverty puts Zimbabwe’s birthright, sovereignty on sale

4/30/02 8:12:42 AM (GMT +2)

Now that President Mugabe’s continued rule looks certain, there has been an
accelerated exodus of young people out of Zimbabwe.

Professionals and ordinary school leavers are galloping to South Africa,
Europe and the United States to take up menial chores as nannies, nurse
aides for the aged, gardeners, farm workers and toilet cleaners.

Back-room immigration agencies have sprung up in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and
Mutare to conduct simulated interviews with young, aspiring expatriates to
equip them with skills in lying their way through immigration checkpoints at
major international airports.

Many succeed, though. Once in, they play hide-and-seek with the police to
eke out an existence, far away from Zimbabwe’s now empty larder.

If you are unable to afford expensive air tickets and entry “coaching
sessions”, just wait for darkness to sneak into Botswana and South Africa,
trek to the main road and off you go to the nearest town.

Highly qualified and experienced professionals quietly tuck away their
certificates and toil as labourers in foreign lands. They grudgingly
undertake any hard labour for a US dollar, a South African and/or a British

These faraway places were best remembered, traditionally, as centres where
people moved in, acquired the necessary academic qualifications and returned
home to show off to families and friends. They were also proud to bring back
a foreign accent and a certificate.

Today, Zimbabweans tell strange stories about their risky escapades. They
need no school nor foreign accent anymore. It has become a dog-eat-dog

They falsify documents and exploit every loophole to stay away from home.
When caught, they make all kinds of false claims to solicit sympathy from
their captors.

We must admit that Zimbabwean migrant workers have kept us afloat during the
past two years with the little hard currency they are repatriating home.

The flow, though small, is quite impressive. We often see smiling faces with
prized notes, a £20 piece here, US$50 there, haggling over the latest
exchange rate before entering and leaving bureaux de change.

Zimbabweans, at first, looked unprepared for the consequences of exile.
Emotions run riot among exiles each time they meet and review the picture at
home. They feel let down by the aftermath of the election.

What is at stake here is the quality of life. When an economy works,
politics becomes a luxury. Popular participation comes out best when
pronounced through organised institutions, interest groups and civil

Politicians enter the game for the love of public service, not as a sole
source of income. They are supposed to compete, not to kill, steal and
punish the same people who employ them. History shows that the
president-for-life concept is nursed by dangerously unpatriotic leaders who
usurp eternal royalty through the back door.

French politicians were at pains last week to find fresh ideas to sell to
their people. Al Gore and George W Bush found themselves in a similar trap.

Americans failed to see any serious policy differences between the two.
Here, the presidential election was supposed to place Zimbabwe on a firm
road to recovery and to create space for young people to shine in their own
land. Nothing came of it.

The winner is much weaker and completely bereft of new ideas for a
meaningful turnaround.

In fact, the conduct of his government and the events before and after that
election proves critics right. Zanu PF is so overwhelmed by Zimbabwe’s
problems that it is now dating its arch-enemy, the MDC, for short term

In an equally hopeless gesture, Morgan Tsvangirai filed papers in the High
Court seeking the nullification of the election result. The move is forlorn
because the papers will gather layers and layers of dust before the matter
is heard.

The hearings are likely to be long and complicated. In the unlikely event of
Mugabe losing the case, he is certainly going to appeal to the Supreme
Court. The appeal papers will take on their share of the dust.
By the time the matter comes up, the nation will have forgotten about it.

Even if that appeal fails, Mugabe will certainly use his special
Presidential powers to declare himself the winner!

In doing so, he will always argue that he is motivated by a patriotic desire
to prevent Zimbabwe from being a colony again. What crime have we have
committed to be exposed to this morbid fear of the white man? Zanu PF wants
the courts to fear the same white man in all its decisions.

Remember, the MDC challenged, with much fanfare, some results of our flawed
parliamentary election two years ago. The party won some and lost others.

Zanu PF appealed against the court’s decisions. The cases are still to come
up. The Supreme Court sees them as routine hearings and is not in a hurry to
finalise them.

That reduces the call for an immediate election rerun to a mere howl.
Tsvangirai was right when he initially followed his gut and said Zimbabwe
needed a political solution to confront Mugabe.

But in the absence of a defined path to resolve the fracas, deliberately
created to frustrate the opposition and to spite the West, Tsvangirai found
himself without a choice. He opted to register his complaint, at least for
the record. Like the so-called inter-party dialogue, there isn’t much our
army of desperate exiles expect to pan out for them. They are right.

There is a strong perception here and elsewhere that the judiciary is
heavily biased against the opposition. The perception was fuelled by the
Supreme Court’s decision to reserve judgment in a crucial election matter on
the eve of the presidential poll.

It can be argued that the perception is wholly wrong. Fine. But perceptions
reflect the situation on the ground and are always difficult to erase,
especially when they are etched in a widespread mistrust of the Zanu PF

Mugabe will ignore all that. He will strengthen his position by taking a
hard-line stance on dissent, the media and the remnants of the white
community. He doesn’t care about the exodus of skilled Zimbabweans. In his
view, they can be replaced by Libyans, Cubans, and in the case of the media,
some exiled Kenyans.

Zimbabwe’s future is blurred. It is sinking deeper into frightening debt. It
must import huge quantities of fuel and food. The debt will paralyse us, our
children, our land and our future.

If anything, Zanu PF has started to sell our birthright and sovereignty to
its rich friends in Africa and Asia.

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Daily News

Tsvangirai says Mugabe not behaving like a poll winner

4/30/02 8:04:23 AM (GMT +2)
From Brian Mangwende in Mutare

PRESIDENT Mugabe is uncertain about the validity of his disputed re-election
in last month’s presidential poll, Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, said
in Mutare on Saturday.

Tsvangirai pointed to Zanu PF’s willingness to hold talks with the
opposition MDC as illustrative of Mugabe’s dilemma over the legitimacy of
his win.

The MDC leader, who addressing an estimated 6 000 people at Dangamvura
grounds, said Mugabe’s quandary over his disputed victory had resulted in
him delaying naming a new Cabinet.

“People voted for change, but Mugabe and Tobaiwa Mudede, the
Registrar-General, stole the votes. Mugabe says he won the election, why
then does he want to talk to the opposition?” Tsvangirai asked.

Tsvangirai said this was the first time a victor in a presidential election
had engaged the opposition in talks in Africa.

“Mugabe must go ahead and rule the country. What is his problem if he
genuinely won? He is not convinced that he really won the election and the
only reason we are in these talks is to press for a rerun.”

Mugabe, on the other hand, has stridently ruled out any possibility of such
a rerun.

The opposition leader warned of unspecified action should Zanu PF reject the
MDC demand for a rerun of the poll.

He said: “If Zanu PF refuses, then we will respond accordingly.”
The MDC-Zanu PF dialogue, convened at the behest of the South African and
Nigerian governments, opened earlier this month but was postponed to May to
allow both parties to agree on an agenda.

Tsvangirai urged the urban electorate not to be angered by the result from
the rural areas saying those from the rural areas were beaten up and
intimidated into voting for Mugabe.

He accused members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), the
police and the army of spearheading an orgy of terror against MDC supporters
in Manicaland.

“Let me warn you that one day you will pay for these acts,” he said, amid
applause from the boisterous crowd.

“The police, CIO and army are being used for political expediency. Before
the election they were awarded a 100 percent salary increment, but up to now
some have not received a penny of it. They are being used and it’s time for
them to wake up and smell the coffee.”

He lashed out at some African leaders, accusing them of “blindly” endorsing
Mugabe’s contentious re-election.

He singled out Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, saying his victory last
December was equally questionable.

“Birds of a feather flock together,” said Tsvangirai. “That is why you see
Mugabe and Mwanawasa working hand-in-hand.”

Mwanawasa was in Zimbabwe last week to officially open this year’s Zimbabwe
International Trade Fair.

The Zambian leader’s victory in the presidential election in that country is
being challenged by the opposition.

Defiant MDC supporters wore their party’s regalia, sang and toyi-toyied
under the watchful eye of the police who surrounded the ground.

The police in Mutare last week issued a directive to the MDC leader not to
use loudspeakers at the Dangamvura rally as one of the conditions for
allowing it to proceed.

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Daily News

Outrage as commuter bus fares are increased

4/30/02 8:12:13 AM (GMT +2)
By Columbus Mavhunga

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the government are heading
for a showdown over yesterday’s commuter omnibus fare increases in most
suburbs in Harare ranging from $10 to $ 15 a trip.

Wellington Chibhebhe, the ZCTU secretary-general, yesterday said his
organisation was seeking an urgent meeting with the government over the fare

Commuters from Glen View to the city now pay $40, up from $30, while a
journey from Mabvuku now requires $45 -from $35 -and in Chitungwiza,
commuters now pay $50, up from $35.

“Naturally, we are disappointed and concerned at the rate at which prices
and charges are rising,” Chibhebhe said. “Moreover, this comes against a
background of a commitment from the government before the presidential
election that no increases of that magnitude would be effected. Workers now
feel betrayed, and we wonder if this was not just said for campaign purposes

Asked whether the government had sanctioned the fare increases, Finnie
Munyira, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Public
Works and National Housing, said: “Can you send your questions in writing
and I will respond after researching the whole issue? But I cannot do so

Most of the commuters interviewed by The Daily News yesterday said the
increases had come at a time when they were struggling to make ends meet.

Lovemore Chenga, who works in Msasa and lives in Glen View, said: “I need
about $200 every day for transport only. Honestly, I am now going to work
for transport. Where will I get money to feed my family and spare some for

Chioniso Zenda, of Kuwadzana, said: “There is no justifiable reason for the
fare increase as the fuel price has not gone up. Fares are going to increase
again in the event of a fuel price rise.”

Transport fares in Zimbabwe tend to follow patterns in fuel price increases.

Yesterday, a bus companies said fare increases were the result of rising
input costs other than fuel.

Portia Zimbudzi, a commuter, said if the government did not reduce the fares
it would be a sign it was neglecting the people.

She said: “I think we have suffered enough, the government must see that. It
has to move in quickly and reverse the increases because these transport
operators are going to raise their fares again when fuel prices go up.”

The increases come shortly after the government gazetted price increases of
most basic commodities, including bread, cooking oil, milk, soap, margarine
and cement with effect from last week. The price of beer has also gone up.

In the run-up to the 9-11 March presidential poll, Zanu PF promised voters
it would not raise the prices of basic commodities if President Mugabe were

But the latest increases in fares and prices of basic commodities comes
hardly 40 days after the election, won by Mugabe but whose result is
disputed by the opposition MDC and by the international community.

The government introduced price controls last year, in a move which was
widely seen as an election gimmick.

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Washington Post

Kicked Out of Zimbabwe, but Others Got Worse
By Richard Morin and Claudia Deane
Tuesday, April 30, 2002; Page A17
You know you're in for an interesting day in Zimbabwe when the immigration
officer stamping visas at the airport in Harare takes one look at your
passport and runs away.

That's exactly what happened two weeks ago to John Prendergast, co-director
of the Africa program of the International Crisis Group and one-time senior
Africa hand at the State Department and White House.

"I had just arrived in Harare and when I got up to the visa counter the guy
stamping the visas saw my name and he jumped up from his chair and just
ran," Prendergast said. "I started laughing. But I didn't laugh so hard when
he came back with four immigration officers."

Prendergast had never had visa problems in Zimbabwe -- until then. The burly
quartet took him to a dingy, windowless and entirely too private room in
another part of the airport. "Nobody would tell me anything. They were very
hostile, all they would say is 'You can't come into Zimbabwe. You're not
allowed.' "

After letting him cool in the hole for about 15 minutes, the muscle men took
him to the departure lounge and told him to get on the next plane out of the
country. "Which I did," he said.

Why the unneighborly welcome? Prendergast suspects it's because he and the
ICG have been particularly critical of the government of President Robert
Mugabe and Zimbabwe's recent national election, which was marred by deadly
violence and allegations of widespread vote fraud.

Prendergast said that the same week he was given the boot, two journalists
inside Zimbabwe who had questioned the March vote were charged with
defamation and a third was detained for questioning.

"I'm one of the lucky ones," Prendergast said. "I just got deported. What is
happening inside the country is torture, arrests and murder at levels that
continue to increase since the election."

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Business Day

Zimbabwe warns of crisis talks folding

Opposition's legal challenge to outcome of presidential poll is a threat,
says information minister
HARARE Crisis talks between Zimbabwe's governing party and the main
opposition could collapse if the opposition peddled "falsehoods" about
post-electoral political violence, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo warned

He told the state-run daily The Herald that the talks were also threatened
by the opposition's legal challenge to the outcome of last month's
presidential poll.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) wants a new election on the grounds
that the last one was characterised by fraud and violence, an opinion shared
by Commonwealth and many other observers.

The Herald reported yesterday that Moyo accused the MDC of perpetuating
"criminal falsehood" by saying political violence was continuing in the wake
of President Robert Mugabe's win.

Moyo cited the example of the MDC's claim last week that one of its
sympathisers was decapitated in front of her two daughters by members of the
ruling Zanu (PF) party. The claim was false, according to the police, and
state and private media.

"They (the MDC) should not expect us to talk to them under the clouds of
these falsehoods."

However, MDC spokesman Learnmore Jongwe said the party was "not bothered at
all" by Zanu (PF) threats to quit the talks. "It is Zanu (PF) which needs
these talks more than the MDC."

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai warned last week that the negotiations were
threatened by violence.

He said: "In light of the statesponsored violence and campaign of
retribution being waged and sustained by Zanu (PF), we now find it difficult
to resume talks under a climate of banditry, lawlessness and terror which is
being left to flourish."

Tsvangirai, MDC secretarygeneral Welshman Ncube and the party's shadow
minister for agriculture, Renson Gasela, are due to appear before a
magistrate's court today on treason charges arising from an alleged plot to
assassinate Mugabe. Four other MDC officials have been implicated in the
alleged plot.

The opposition leaders were formally charged with treason last month. The
charge carries the death penalty on conviction.

The charges arose from a video tape given to Zimbabwean authorities by a
former Israeli intelligence agent, Ari Ben Menashe, and screened by an
Australian television station on February 13, purporting to show Tsvangirai
discussing a plot to "eliminate" Mugabe with Ben Menashe and his business
associates in Canada.

Tsvangirai rejected claims that he plotted to kill Mugabe, saying he was set
up by government agents in a bid to sideline him ahead of the presidential
race. Western countries have criticised the charges, saying they were a form
of political retribution.

Meanwhile, the Amani Trust, a Zimbabwean human rights group, said political
violence in Zimbabwe had indeed worsened since Mugabe's election victory,
compounding the plight of those people grappling with food shortages.
Reuters, Sapa-AFP

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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Tuesday 30 April 2002

This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas.  Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens.  Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.


·        On 16.04.02 the whole of Middle Save was issued with Section 8's.  All farms were gazetted on 05.04.02.  Up to now, there have been no problems experienced in this area, but acquisition seems to be happening all at once.

·        Centenary - The siege on Mwari Farm ended after negotiations between himself and the "war vets". He has been allowed to grade his tobacco.  All farmers in this area have been advised not to move any equipment or personal property from their farms for the next few days.

·        On 27.04.02 commercial farmers from Harare South and Beatrice were called to a meeting which was addressed by "war vet" Zhou.  He told farmers those with section 8 orders should vacate by 02.05.02, leaving behind all assets and if there was no one on the farm to receive those assets they would be taken to the police station.  Those with Section 5 orders should see the D.A. and Lands Committee and ask to be served their section 8 orders.  They should also apply for the 400 ha they wish to keep, if they so wished.  Those not listed should find out from the D.A. and Lands Committee if the government wants the farm and if so, ask to be listed and if the government did not want the farm, they should ask for a certificate of no interest.

·        At Koodo Range, Macheke/Virginia, "war vets" held a meeting with labour, saying if the labour wanted land they were to register in Murewha, and if they wanted a job, employment can be granted with a minimum wage of ZW$ 50.00 per day! after further problems (see below), chief "war vet" Gutura said he is the power of the land and shouted down the police after asking the police to attend a meeting on the farm.

·        Only one farm in Raffingora has attempted wheat land preparation so far.

·        Chakari - On Tawstock three settlers were caught with 440 kg of maize on the cob. One was apprehended and the police took him away, but later escaped after police removed his handcuffs in order for the criminal to carry out his ablutions! 

·        In the Sherwood area, Kwekwe, farmers were given the ‘go ahead’ to plant wheat and barley on a limited scale except for Dekel Farms P/L who have been told not to plant.

·        Felix Farm, Inyathi, had ten settlers attack three game guards on 30.04.02 at about 1330 hrs.  One was abducted.  The owner’s wife had to drive an hour either way to collect the police who had no transport.  The police were very obliging and produced five police officials and three army officials to attend the scene.  They are currently searching for the abducted game scout.



Middle Save – on 16.04.02 the whole of Middle Save was issued with Section 8's.  All farms were gazetted on 05.04.02.  Up to now, there have been no problems experienced in this area, but acquisition seems to be happening all at once.

Chipinge - Smaldeel and Elizebethville were re-invaded on 12.04.02.  Between the two farms 200-300 people have settled on the farm.  On Lushoff Farm, approximately 40 people arrived at the homestead stating they would be having a party at the home of the owner for 3 days, as they had “won the election and won the war”.  There was singing and chanting throughout the day.  The dairy was stopped and 40 litres of milk stolen.  Six logs of Mukwa kept for furniture use were burnt down to nothing.

Odzi - On Welvedrien Farm, two ZBC crew and "war vets" arrived at the house with an eviction notice from Cde Ndlovu.  The "war vets" said they would be handing over an eviction notice to him and the press would take a video of the occasion.  Welvedrien Farm has only been gazetted and it is within the correct hectarage.  The owner accepted the eviction notice and went back in his house.  The Police and other relevant parties were informed and hence the notice in the Herald 26th April 2002: 'Ignore War Veteran Ndlovu's Threats'.

Rusape - On Glen Fard farm, a mob moved on to the land that has been pegged for some time.

Nyazura - People are moving on to various farms and setting up plots of land haphazardly.

Chimanimani - On Charleswood Estate, threats were made that cattle can no longer go into their normal grazing paddocks or they would be killed.


Bindura - A settler on Granter Farm was caught stealing maize. In retaliation he drove the guard off the farm and the group of settlers called a halt to ploughing. The owner of Guitingwood Farm began negotiations with settlers on 25.04.02 to see whether or not he should assemble the centre pivot.

Centenary - The siege on Mwari Farm ended after negotiations between himself and the "war vets". He has been allowed to grade his tobacco.

All farmers in this area have been advised not to move any equipment or personal property from their farms for the next few days.

Throughout Mashonaland Central the total number of farmers who have now been evicted from their farms stands at 30 as at 25.04.02. Almost the same number are threatened with evictions.  The area is generally quiet but with continuing threats of evictions taking place on a daily basis. Section 5, 7 and 8's are being delivered throughout the area.

Horseshoe – on 28.04.02, demands were made for the owners of Wona and Makashwe to vacate. A Section 7 was issued to Mangondo and Makashwe Farms. There has been some success in removing stock and equipment. The "war vet" leader demanded keys to the farmhouse and store on Taikoo. The Camsasa citrus ownership and issues on other farms are still unresolved.


Marondera South - Munemo Farm reports a missing truck, paprika and driver, with no sign of the stolen vehicle to date. This is a white Hino 7 Tonne lorry with 6 tonne trailer, lorry registration number 648-505W.  The Eirene Farm owner was stopped from loading cattle being moved to a feeding lot.  Although all relevant papers were available, "war vet" Masimbi and his settlers stole the truck keys and stated they were taking the cattle.  The cattle were moved to a neighbouring farm where Masimbi is based.  The owner went back to Police who once again gave authority in the presence of Masimbi.  Mtemwa Farm reports the owner went to see the DA in Marondera, who stated the evacuation, was illegal and a task force would be sent to assess the situation.  The task force turned out to be CIO, who advised the owner to not return to the farm until CIO had defused the situation.  The second homestead was broken into the night of 21.04.02. The Pressmennan Farm owner transported an old jeep and vintage tractor into Marondera for repair.  The driver was flagged down by youths going into Marondera, but he did not stop.  He was followed into Farmec and told the tractor was impounded and was to stay at Farmec, although the jeep was released. The youths then searched Farmec asking questions in respect of spares and oil drums on the premises.

Harare South - The owner of Kinfauns was told to vacate the homestead.  He called on district support for assistance and received a good response.  The response team had to remove two barriers from the access road before getting to the house.  Whilst packing up the owners possessions, settlers began chanting and singing at the gate and chased away two support vehicles maintaining a roving patrol on access roads.  The Police arrival caused an upsurge in settler activities.  Police told the owner he was not allowed to move any cattle or farm equipment. 

All the support vehicles were barricaded in for approximately three hours whilst settlers/labour demanded severance pay.  Demands were made three tractors be returned to the farm. Eventually police decided the mob was only creating a fuss for the sake of it and organised support vehicles to leave.  At Albion two settlers demanded compensation for maize eaten by cattle.  The police were present and the owner had to pay out ZW$ 7000.00.

24 April 2002

Beatrice – Beatrice Estate had all work stopped about 18 months ago and still cannot operate. New Retreat, its sister farm, reports work was stopped on 12.04.02.  The owner's son, who runs this farm, was away and the owner was not allowed on to the farm.  The labour was told they must be paid off and vacate their houses to make space for the A2 resettlement workers.  This was done by the owner. The owner's son returned on 18.04.02 and saw the "war vets" on 22.04.02 to negotiate the removal of all the chickens and broilers off the farm.   The "war vets" moved into the main homestead between 12 – 18.04.02.   All the guards were told to vacate both farms.  A shed was broken into at New Retreat but nothing is missing.  The "war vets" want to have a meeting with the owner's son to discuss the removal of 45 tonnes of tobacco currently slat packed. 

Macheke/Virginia - Journey's End Farm reported 250 "war vets" marched on to the farm from Virginia Store. No further report.  Head "war vet" Mutatsi is aware of new settlers now building houses and cutting trees on the farm. At Vanguard Farm settlers removed a 35 hp electric pump, two disc harrows and other implements, as well as the balance of the irrigation equipment.  On reporting to the Police, they told the owner to found out where the stolen goods.  He said he knew they were taken to Royal Visit Farm and they told him to follow it anyway. He also reported settlers counting his cattle. 40 settlers arrived on Belgravia Farm and were told to sit and wait for further instructions. They had a letter indicating other farms that were to be occupied including Percyvale, Airlie, Nydora, and Durlstone.  At Durlstone Farm, two lorry loads of settlers arrived and started claiming their plots. At Koodo Range "war vets" held a meeting with labour, saying if the labour wanted land they were to register in Murewha, and if they wanted a job, employment can be granted with a minimum wage of ZW$ 50.00 per day!  The owner asked for police permission to move cattle off the farm.  Police advised to not move cattle at the present moment.  The owner tried to move the lorry off the farm and was stopped.  The "war vets" were angry; they hijacked and later returned with the lorry, armed with sticks etc.  They verbally abused the owner, threatening if he did not attend their meeting there would be huge problems, as well as threatening his life.   Chief "war vet" Gutura said he is the power of the land and shouted down the police after asking the police to attend.  Although the owner attended the meeting and defused the situation, new demands were made including inventory checks and not allowing him to walk around his farm.  The Howgate foreman reported labour was chased out of the farm village and curing has been stopped.  A lorry load of cattle arrived at the farm for dispersal.  "War vet" Matatsi did not believe this was happening and wanted to speak to Howgate's chief "war vet".  The situation is now stable but the farm has a work stoppage, with tobacco not loaded. The labour slept outdoors on 24.05.02.  Durlstone Farm reported pegging and a new invasion of 30 people.  Chilinda Farm reports Murewha police visited and stated they must not remove pipes, motors etc. from the farm. 


Beatrice - Shamrock Farm reported 21 sprinklers, 3 T pieces and 4 corners were stolen on 21.04.02.  Two farm owners were visited by six "war vets" and severely harassed.  The owners of Charmaine Farm and Tavistock Farm were visited by "war vets" who completed an inventory of their farm equipment and cattle.  They were told nothing was to be removed from the farms and the "war vets" posted guards at the entrance and exit gates to ensure this. The owners were told they would be compensated later.  A farm owner was told by local "war vets" to get off immediately.  As he has no transport they told him to leave everything behind. He is now in the process of packing up.  Another farm owner said two different groups from the Ringo Resettlement were fighting for his farm. He was threatened and also received a letter from a Mrs Chumuti stating he was to be off the farm by 27.04.02.  A farm owner was told by local Beatrice "war vets" he had two weeks to move off.  They posted guards at his gates to ensure only personal belongings would be removed.

Bromley/Ruwa/Enterprise - Various farms received Section 8's and a vehicle with CIO, Agritex and Police officials is driving around telling owners to not remove any assets.

Marondera South – the Munemo Farm lorry, trailer and paprika were located.  The driver delivered paprika under another name.  Police investigating.  The Eirene Farm owner was approached by "war vet" Msimbi who demanded keys for the tractors be handed over so the settlers could prepare “their” lands.  The owner refused.  Later a delegation of about 30 arrived and demanded the keys etc. to the farm, which was again refused.  They gave him ten minutes to pack up his house and get off the farm.  He went towards the Land Cruiser and stated he was not taking anything and would just go. They said he could not take the vehicle and had to walk out.  He was then barricaded in the house and all electricity was switched off.   When police and army officials finally arrived the owner was told to hand over the keys, as everything now belonged to the settlers.  He has been given sixty days to get his furniture out and is allowed to use the office.  Munemo Farm had a delegation arrive at the farm store and asked the owner to talk to them, which he refused and stayed in the house. After some time, the delegation moved off, threatening to return the following morning.  At Essexdale six labourers herd cattle on leased grazing, but had their families on the farm evicted by settlers.  The settlers are violent and assaulted the labourers, who made a report to the police.  As of 1900 hrs that night, they still awaited a reaction from police.  The Mutoramondwe owner arrived home on 24.04.02.  He has been in negotiations with settlers, accompanied by police and "war vets" negotiating on his behalf for his return to the farm.  The outcome was he would be able to return to move the settlers by truck from whence they came.

Wedza - Masasa reports the Police said the boom sprayer removed by the settlers would be returned to the farm. They were accompanied by "war vets" Zinoro and Choto who said they would be back to collect the rest of the Igudu equipment. "War vet" Maizawana phoned to say he would be coming to plough.  At Bita a cow was slaughtered and taken away.  The Brent owner was loading cattle and managed to get off 90 cattle.  He was then visited by "war vets" from Waltondale, who were armed and told her she was not allowed to remove cattle. They accused her of stealing fencing, which was “appropriated” by the settlers.


Macheke/Virginia - Ongoing work stoppages on various farms, with various owners reporting their equipment was from one farm to another by the settlers.   The owners are not allowed to remove their own equipment off farms.

Marondera South  - The settlers demand from various owners they hand over their keys, and issuing varying times to vacate the property. Lorries, pickups and tractors are used by the settlers without the relevant owner's permission.


Beatrice – a great deal of farmers are told to vacate.  No assets are allowed to leave farms.

Bromley/Ruwa/Enterprise - Lots of farmers have received section 8's and possibly one farmer evicted.

Harare South- On 27.04.02 commercial farmers from Harare South and Beatrice were called to a meeting which was addressed by "war vet" Zhou.  He told farmers those with section 8 orders should vacate by 02.05.02, leaving behind all assets and if there was no one on the farm to receive those assets they would be taken to the police station.  Those with Section 5 orders should see the D.A. and Lands Committee and ask to be served their section 8 orders.  They should also apply for the 400 ha they wish to keep, if they so wished.  Those not listed should find out from the D.A. and Lands Committee if the government wants the farm and if so, ask to be listed and if the government did not want the farm, they should ask for a certificate of no interest.   Various farmers were told to vacate and pay off their workers.

Macheke/Virginia - Cattle are being moved from various farms and taken on to other farms by the settlers.  Farm owners report they are forced to hand over their keys. Some settlers are using farm equipment without permission.

Marondera South – currently plenty of Section 8s are handed out.

Wedza - Some section 8's were delivered.  Some farmers are told they cannot remove their cattle that have been sold.   General theft reported.


Chinhoyi - Farmer and farm names not for publication

1.           A farm was visited on 19.04.02 by people in a Chinhoyi Municipal vehicle.  One had a soap stone carving and placed it near the gate of the house and the owner told this was their guard.  No description given of the carving.  No further discussion took place.  They left stating that they would return to the farm at 1430 hrs.  On 22.04.02 the owner returned to the farm at 1600 hrs and was met by a soldier and one other, who advised him and his father to report to the DA’s office on 23.04.02 to discuss the take over of one house.

2.           A farm reports 162 cows and 141 calves were rounded up by "war vet" Mabau and herded on to the neighbouring farm.  This is allegedly in retribution for the owner’s cattle damaging "war vets" maize, a false claim made some time ago and proved untrue.  This was reported to the Mureka Police, who attended the incident, but only interviewed employees on the farm and have done nothing further about the matter. On 22.04.02 police advise they are not prepared to get involved in this matter and this matter should be taken up with the D.A.

3.           A farmer arrived home at 1700 hrs on 20.04.02 and was informed by employees a cow and calf were taken to the dip, where the cow was tied up and appeared to have been axed to death.  Most of the meat has been taken.  The calf was unharmed.  He found another cow slaughtered later. Police did arrive but did not do very much.

4.           A farm owner said he received a message from a neighbouring farm that the D.A. and the Police had arrived and demanded the irrigation pipes and equipment belonging to him be handed over to them, as they claimed that all this property should not have been removed from the farm. Pipes, including some farm machinery, were loaded on DDF. trucks and removed.  Despite being told that this was illegal, they claimed that they were acting lawfully and they had a letter prove this.  They refused to show the letter on request.  Total amount of property removed is unknown at this stage.  This matter is to be taken up with Propol, Chinhoyi.

Raffingora - Report For The Week Ending Friday 12 April 2002.

1.      A farm owner, who now resides in Harare and is unable to farm, went to the farm on 09.04.02 accompanied by a neighbour and CID Chinhoyi details organized by Dect. Inspector Dhedheya. On arrival the CID reported all was quiet and left for Aarda CC. As soon as the police presence left about 8/9 settlers, led by Barbara Mudahondo, attacked the owner and his companion and ripped off the owner’s shirt.  Under threat of death he was forced to sign over his farm to Barbara Mudohondo. He was instructed to be off the farm, and have his personal belongings removed by 13.04.02.  The owner is very traumatized and refuses to go back to the farm.  On 10.04.02, Insp Nyabasa of Mutorashanga Police said Police officials could be provided to accompany lorries to remove personal/household belongings, but any equipment intended for production could not be removed. Lorries from the District, accompanied by Police went out to the farm and two loads of household goods were removed. On 11.04.02, the lorries returned unaccompanied by Police and two more loads were removed. On their return the settlers became volatile and chased the lorries off the farm and evicted some families from the farm village.  The DA said this was totally unacceptable and had the police react and the families are back in their homesteads. On 12.04.02, the lorries returned to the farm with police protection and Raffingora ZANU PF to try and remove the remainder of household goods. No further information as yet.

2.      Only one farm has attempted wheat land preparation so far.

3.      Problems still abound on two sister farms, Buwi and Mete Farms, where "war vet" Gwasira found the maize stored in the silo and wants GMB to impound it. Negotiations continue.

4.      Despite favourable negotiations on a farm, with the Lands Committee land preparation for wheat has been stopped. Other operations still continue.

5.      On a farm, about 100 ha prepared for wheat was stopped.  The Lands Committee will try resolve who is going to plant the wheat – the owner or settlers.

6.      A ZRP Mutorashanga vehicle picked up the DA from Murambedzi to negotiate the removal of the crocodiles from a farm on 08.04.02. This meeting went favourably but the main "war vet" Akim was not present.

7.      A farm reports that on 27.04.02, youth and settlers from Raffingora Village and the sister farm came looking for the owner who was in Harare. They barricaded the farm clerk in the office, confiscating farm keys. They wanted to take an inventory of everything on the farm, and they demanded to know when the owner would vacate, as he had received a Section 8. Police reacted with Zanu (PF) Raffingora and eventually left the premises. The keys were returned and they are waiting for the owner to come back to sort out the issues.

8.      On 26.04.02 at 1600 hrs, about 15 resident settlers arrived at a farmhouse and told the owner to vacate within 30 minutes. He stalled them whilst the Police were notified, and was made to sign a document allowing them to kill a heifer and take 50 kg of mealie meal. They entered the spare cottage next door to the main house and used a tractor and trailer to carry the mombe (cow) out of the yard. When they realised he was not leaving the house, the settlers became aggressive, forced entry to the main house yard, nearly abducted him, stole the farm keys and tried to break into the house. The family barricaded in themselves and eventually the crowd moved off with intervention from Zanu (PF) Raffingora. Although the Police did not react they were instrumental in alerting the Zanu (PF) office.  The family managed to get out the following morning to attend their daughter’s wedding in Banket.  Apparently the keys have been returned to the farm guard. The youths occupy the cottage and will stay until the owner’s return.

9.      A2 settlers continue to visit farms, checking on their plots and indicating their intention to plant wheat and take up residency when the farmers vacate. There is huge interest in all equipment especially for irrigation. It has been noted all A2 settlers are high-ranking Government employees e.g. Army, Police, Ministry etc.

Doma – on 29.04.02, Chimsenga Farm was approached to make an inventory of all their pipes and told government will pay for these.  The group making the inventory want the owner to contract plough for them.  The settlers must occupy the farm by 01.04.02 and told the owner’s son-in-law that all inputs will be supplied by the GMB.

Nyabira – on 29.04.02, the "war vet", Mrs Nyandoro, told the owner of Riverside E to be out of his house 02.05.02, to have paid off his labour, and she will take over the seed maize crop.  No Section 5 or 8 has been received and the farm is only 180 ha in extent.

Banket – on 26.04.02, Northwood Farm, which has no Section 5 or 8, was invaded on a small section of the farm.


Chegutu - On Faun Farm, Paul Mangwana, the deputy Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament, continues to apply pressure on the owner to vacate the homestead.

Chakari - On Tawstock, three settlers were caught with 440 kg of maize on the cob. One was apprehended and the police took him away, but later escaped after police removed his handcuffs in order for the criminal to carry out his ablutions! 

Kadoma - On Railway Farm 4, ZFTU representatives demand meetings with farm labour to discuss their retrenchment packages.  The reps will allow NEC or GAPWUZ officials to attend these meetings.  The owner has no intention of retrenching any labour at this point and his operation continues, but ZFTU seem undeterred by this.

Battlefields - Abendrhue, Overlaw and Twintops were all served with a Section 7 Notice on 24.04.02.

Chakari - On Deweras, settlers held a pungwe on the owner’s front lawn and demanded he move out of the house in one week.  The owner was able to negotiate for his family to be able to stay, but the settlers want the cattle moved off, and demand water and lifts into town. 

Suri-Suri - On Tawstock, a transformer worth ZW$ 1 million was vandalised and stolen along with a starter off a motor.  Maize theft is still rife.


Masvingo East and Central – at Chidza Farm, more cattle and donkeys are moved on to the property.  The Beza Estate, Richmond Farm and Riverside Farm owner received Section 8s for all the properties. This is the second lot of Section 8s delivered.  The Cambria Farm owner received a Section 8 Order.  The Clipsham Farm owner has received a Section 8 Order.

Chiredzi – at Oscro Ranch, this week has seen a large escalation of settlers, all pegging and clearing lands. New makeshift huts are also being built. The DA Chiredzi said there should be no more settlers on this property. However the DA Zaka is not in agreement. Dispol visited the owner to try and help, but was of no assistance. A large meeting was to be held 29.04.02 the DAs Chiredzi and Zaka, Mr. Hwarare, War Veteran Mutemachani and Deputy Minister Mahofa. It is also hoped that at this meeting the delisting of properties will be discussed and the removal of settlers.  At Eaglemont Ranch, 60 settlers gathered on the front lawn of the owners homestead and said they wanted to be addressed by the political hierarchy. They had allegations against the owner’s game guards and the poachers were being arrested. The Palm River Ranch owner has 50 resident settlers. In the last week over 100 new settlers have come on to this property and begun pegging, clearing and building makeshift houses.  At Buffalo Range, settlers made claims to an unoccupied homestead and want to use it as a school.  At Wasarasara Ranch on 24.04.02, approximately 200 people gathered under the owner’s trees, began cooking food and claimed they were waiting to be addressed. However the gathering had coincided with the Zambian President’s visit. The crowd soon dispersed and regrouped later. 30 youths remained at the owner’s farm village and slept at the village gates. At 0530 hrs the following morning a meeting was held and the workers told they could remain working until the owner was evicted. They also stated the game guards would not be allowed to carry out their duties and there was to be no tampering of pegs put in the ground. These settlers who had pegged were new settlers and not the original people who had come to the farm at the beginning of the farm invasions.  The youths stayed at the owner’s farm village until 28.04.02 where they continued to harass the farm labour. On the evening of 26.04.02, the youths were found at the owner’s scrap pile where they were seen to be cutting cable into lengths and burning off the plastic to make snares.  These snares were put into the game paddocks where the owner keeps domestic Eland, Giraffe and bulls. Police were notified and only arrived on 28.04.02 at 1000 hrs. By then, the owner had taken four of his farm staff members and done a sweep of the game paddock where he found: wire and cable snares; one dead Eland cow which had been left to rot; and evidence of an Impala that had been caught and removed. Police did a superficial sweep and left the property at 1400 hrs the same day.  On the evening of 29.04.02 the youths sang Chimurenga songs till late and then moved off to the owners parents home to carry on singing till late.

Mwenezi – at Battlefields Ranch one heifer was killed. The herd is three heifers short and two Kudu were killed by snares. Wire theft continues.  Kleinbegin Ranch reports the owner is still under pressure to move off the property. The only functioning water source, a borehole near the house, finally gave up after considerable abuse by the settlers who delighted in starting and stopping it at will, as and when they required water. They are now accusing the owner of depriving them of water, and information to hand is that because of this deprivation ZANU (PF) and the "war vets" from Beitbridge plan to evict the owner on 29.04.02.  The Limburgia Ranch labour were assaulted and chased out of their accommodation. They are now living at the homestead area. The settlers have trumped up a charge against the owner, which the police came to investigate, but when the labour pointed out a mombe that had been snared and axed badly before escaping, there was no interest in investigating the case and no report was recorded, so no RRB was given. 

Save Conservancy - Increase in occupation on the East side of the Conservancy and with that comes the increase in poaching of animals and the movement of settlers.

Gutu / Chatsworth – on Muirlands Farm, three dairy cows were slaughtered.  At Willand Farm, one cow was slaughtered and meat carried away.  At Condor A, one cow was slaughtered and meat carried away.  At Nelville Farm, one dairy cow was stolen.  Chatsworth Farm reported 13 heifers stolen.  On Chomfuli Farm, the owner was threatened and it is believed these have come from the DA.  At Northdale Farm, two dairy heifers were stolen.


General: Some Section 8 orders were served in the area. Five farms in the Region were visited by representatives of Agritex, who produced maps showing how the farms would be cut up into 500-hectare units.

Hunters Road - On Hope Valley Farm, stock thieves cut the fence to a paddock occupied by dry cows and cows in calf. The driver of the NDC tanker alerted the owner his cows were straying on to the main road. A labourer sent to round up the cattle and check the fence, spotted three men in the bushes nearby. They fired a pistol at him and ran away. The incident was reported to the police who responded two days later. The same owner was stopped in his vehicle by "war vets" who demanded meat. On being told there was none available, they demanded money. The demand was refused. In the Nettlethorn, Zoe and Xanthippe farming area, theft of potatoes and cabbages from the lands is carried out on a commercial scale with the whole, or half of the crops being taken at a time. Cattle theft is also rampant although three animals were retrieved on being identified by their LIT ear tags. The farmer recommends this is an almost instant method of identifying suspicious cattle.

Kwekwe - In the Sherwood area, farmers were given the ‘go ahead’ to plant wheat and barley on a limited scale except for Dekel Farms P/L who have been told not to plant.

Inyathi – Felix Farm had ten settlers attack three game guards on 30.04.02 at about 1330 hrs.  One was abducted.  The owner’s wife had to drive an hour either way to collect the police who had no transport.  The police were very obliging and produced five police officials and three army officials to attend the scene.  They are currently searching for the abducted game scout.

Nyamandlovu – on 23.04.02, at approximately midday, +/- 100 people arrived at the packing sheds on Thandanani Farm and cut their way into the security fence.  The group assaulted some of the labour in the packing shed and stole approximately six tonnes of produce valued at about ZW$ 300 000.00.  The farm owner resorted to firing shots in the air and, with the aid of two Police Details who where brought on to the property by his son, managed to apprehend 15 of the perpetrators.  The latter were arrested and appeared in court on 24.02.02.  On 28.04.02 at approximately 1300 hrs, another group of 100 people attacked the one farm village and burnt down 16 huts with all the occupants’ belongings inside - blankets, clothes, savings books etc.  The police in Nyamandlovu were informed and they said that a Detail would react.  They later indicated the detail had reacted, but was not seen on the property as of 2000 hrs.   The only Police reaction was some four hours after the initial report and the Police Details had to be collected by the farm owner from a nearby Police Post.    One of the arsonists was arrested by the farm workers and taken to Nyamandlovu Police Station by the farm owner.  The owner was told the female arsonist was a product of the Border Gezi Youth Brigade.  Five farm workers were assaulted and one has a suspected broken arm, but could not be attended to immediately by the Nyamandlovu Hospital, as there was no electricity.  The injured were left at the hospital to be collected the following day.    The manager on Kennelly’s farm was approached by Ins. R.F. Ncube and two other Police Details who queried why he had moved some irrigation pipes to Bulawayo.  He answered the irrigation pipes had been taken to Bulawayo for safekeeping.  Ins. Ncube then left.  A roadblock was subsequently set up in Nyamandlovu and the farm lorry was stopped on its way from Bulawayo and the Driver was questioned as to how many pipes were transported and the destination.  The lorry proceeded to the farm where it was loaded with farm produce and sent back to Bulawayo.  It was again stopped at the roadblock and instructed by local "war vet" Mr Mhlanga to go to the Police Station, where it was searched before continuing its journey.  Mr Mhlanga tried to stop it, but the driver refused to comply and continued on his way to Bulawayo.  General - Looting continues on Thandanani and Umguzaan farms with no reaction from the Police.                                               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.
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Hijackers attack Zimbabwean cricketer Olonga

April 30 2002 at 12:59PM

Zimbabwean Test cricketer Henry Olonga was recently hijacked at gunpoint in

He was taken out of the city limits where he was shot and wounded.

The hijackers took Olonga's sponsored Nissan 4x4 which was recovered two
days later. Olonga is still recovering from the bullet wound.

The incident took place on April 4, but it came to light only this week.

Fears that the latest incident of violence, especially involving a
high-profile figure, would affect World Cup matches in Zimbabwe next year
have been dismissed by Ali Bacher, who is organising the tournament.

Zimbabwe is due to stage six matches in the World Cup, but these are in
doubt because of political violence in that country. This month the
Australian Cricket Board cancelled a tour there because of the violence.

Vincent Hogg of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union denied that the union had kept
the matter quiet for fear of jeopardising the World Cup matches in that

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Zimbabwe opposition chief wants treason trial date

HARARE, April 30 — Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will ask the
courts to drop a treason case against him if a date is not set soon for his
trial on charges of plotting to kill President Robert Mugabe, his lawyer
said on Tuesday.
        Innocent Chagonda told a Harare magistrate Tsvangirai and two other
senior Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) officials would apply to have
their case removed from the court register if no trial date was fixed at
their next appearance on May 31.
       Tsvangirai, who says he was robbed of victory by Mugabe in
presidential elections condemned by many Western powers as seriously flawed,
appeared for a routine remand hearing on Tuesday on the charge he calls
''gross political harassment.''
       Tsvangirai has accused Mugabe of seeking to ''put him away on trumped
up charges'' because he posed a serious political challenge to Mugabe, the
country's sole ruler since the former Rhodesia gained independence from
Britain in 1980.
       Mugabe, 78, says the March elections were free and fair and accuses
the West of trying to impose Tsvangirai as leader of the southern African
       Tsvangirai was first accused of plotting to kill Mugabe just weeks
before the March 9-11 presidential poll, but he and MDC secretary-general
Welshman Ncube and MDC executive member Renson Gasela were only formally
charged later that month.
       The three deny they ever plotted to kill Mugabe during a secretly
filmed meeting between Tsvangirai and a Canadian security company employed
by the Zimbabwe government.
       Tsvangirai has said a video tape was doctored to misrepresent a
conversation led by the Canadian advisers.
       Mugabe said during the campaign that, if he won, he would pursue the
charge against his 50-year-old rival.
       State prosecutor Stephen Musana agreed to ease bail conditions for
the three accused, saying they would now only have to report to police once
every fortnight instead of weekly.
       Musana said the state was doing its best to tie its case against the
three and was likely to set a trial date at their next remand hearing.
Chagonda said if no date was set at the May 31 hearing he would apply for
their discharge.
       ''I would like to place it on record that if no date is set, I will
apply to the court to have the case removed from remand,'' Chagonda told
magistrate Peter Mufunda.

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The Scotsman

Militant claims farm raids are national service for Mugabe

JACQUI Goddard In Nyamandhlovu, Zimbabwe

A 25-YEAR-OLD woman who was captured on a Zimbabwean farm after setting fire
to workers’ homes during a gang raid has told how she was recruited into
President Robert Mugabe’s youth militia with promises of cash and a
government job.

Silinganiso Moyo, who has not seen a penny of her promised wages, was caught
by workers on Thandanani Farm in Matabeleland following a violent invasion
that was eventually repulsed when the farmer, John Sankey, fired shots over
the mob with his rifle.

The 50-strong gang, who burned down thatched huts in the workers’ compound
and beat up several women, leaving at least one with a broken arm, scattered
across the vegetable fields as smoke and ash from the blazing buildings
enveloped the scene.

Ms Moyo was chased down by some of the farm workers and taken prisoner, the
scuffle leaving her with a head wound that dripped blood on to her T-shirt
bearing the words "Vote Zanu-PF" - the name of Mr Mugabe’s ruling party. "I
had nothing to do with it," she insists as Mr Sankey’s angry staff surround
her, unanimously claiming that they have seen her run up to their homes with
a fistful of burning straw and set them ablaze. She adds: "I was just caught
in the crossfire."

However, she later admits that she is on "national service" and came from
Maraposa, a known youth militia encampment that sprang up near Thandanani
Farm, which is round 30 miles north of Bulawayo, before the controversial
9-11 March presidential election.

She was recruited just before Christmas when party representatives came to
her community - she will not specify where - and ordered her and others to
go with them. "They came on 24 December and forced all youths to join," she
says. "We were given no choice.

"They told us we would receive a monthly wage and that we would get jobs
working for the government if we went with them. But we haven’t seen any
money. Some of my friends went to Bulawayo to demand their money, but I don’
t think they got anything."

Asked what she had been trained to do, she refuses to say, but adds later
that she answers to a superior called Commander Moses Moyo. "We are doing
national service," she says. "We are working for the country."

A man in the crowd that has surrounded her reaches out and jabs her gently
but firmly in the stomach with a large stick. She clutches her blue skirt,
which was ripped as she put up a fight, and takes a step backwards as the
people around her jeer at her explanation. "You weren’t forced to join, you
didn’t have to, you are lying," shouts one man. "Look at us - we didn’t."

From the throng steps Senzeni Ncube, 44, a farm worker, awkwardly clutching
her bruised and swollen arm. "We should shut you in a house and burn you,"
she shouts at the prisoner. The crowd agrees. Representatives from the
Commercial Farmers Union step in hastily to advise the crowd that there can
be no rough justice here; their prisoner must be handed over to the police.

Mr Sankey, 69, moved from Kenya and bought his farm with the approval of Mr
Mugabe’s government 14 years ago. He grows vegetables but his fields have
been repeatedly ransacked and looted since the election - seemingly part of
a stepped-up campaign by so-called war veterans and ZANU-PF officials to see
off Zimbabwe’s remaining 2,250 white farmers. "This has been going on for a
month," he said. "They have been threatening to come and get me."

Describing what happened, Mrs Ncube, one of 150 workers on Mr Sankey’s
1,000-acre farm, adds: "I was at my house and suddenly there was shouting.
This group came - they were just coming round and setting fire to our
houses. I was beaten on both my arms and my leg with a knobkerrie. They were
telling me to go, but I refused. I have a heart condition so I couldn’t run

Her arm looks broken. Her little boy, four-year-old Godspower, clings on to
his mother’s good arm looking bewildered. "They took everything ... all our
documents, our clothes, bed, blankets," says his mother. "One person was
lighting fires, two more were beating me. They told us: ‘Go, go away, leave
this farm’."

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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Zimbabwe 'disaster' as famine looms
Wrecked white-owned farm
The disruption to many farms is part of the problem
Zimbabwe has declared a state of disaster as worsening food shortages threaten widespread famine.

The disaster declaration, which is effective for three months, will give President Robert Mugabe the authority to order "extraordinary measures" to deliver food to those in need.

The Zimbabwean Government has blamed the crisis on a drought, but the World Food Programme says that agricultural disruption caused by the confiscation of white-owned farms has also contributed to the problem.

Robert Mugabe
President Mugabe will have special powers to tackle the crisis
The BBC's Lewis Machipias, in Harare, says the declaration is an SOS signal to donors and international relief agencies.

It allows aid agencies to set up emergency programmes for the estimated 7.8 million of the country's 13 million population in need of urgent food aid.

Earlier this year, the government banned aid groups from distributing food, claiming they were using the relief to campaign for the opposition MDC.

The food shortages are mirrored in Malawi and Mozambique, where poor harvests and erratic rains have led to famine.

"As a result of the prevalent drought, a state of disaster exists in all communal lands, resettlement and urban areas in Zimbabwe," Mr Mugabe said in a government statement reported by The Herald newspaper on Tuesday.

Emergency measures are expected to include possible commandeering of transport and other facilities to distribute food.

Zimbabwe consumes about two million tonnes of corn - its staple food - every year, but this year harvests are forecast at 750,000 tonnes.

Last year's crop was 1.4 million tonnes which was itself below average, research agencies said. The country was once a net grain exporter.

Drought worsens

Farmers have described the drought during the past agricultural season as the worst in 50 years.

UN agencies launched a programme earlier this year to feed about 750,000 people facing starvation in the worst affected rural areas.

But only one-third of the emergency food needed has been delivered.

Malawian girl
Millions are also at risk in Malawi and Mozambique
The government ordered 200,000 tonnes of corn worth $25m from South Africa in January.

But less than half has been delivered because of financing and logistical problems, according to a report of the UN Relief and Recovery Unit in Harare.

Last month, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said the government was also seeking an extra 200,000 tons of corn from Kenya, Brazil and Argentina.

Officials say the disaster declaration is a step towards speeding up the delivery of food pledged by donors.

Economic woes

Zimbabwe's troubled economy is also contributing to the problem.

Inflation is at a record 113%; the economy is shrinking and there are shortages of hard currency which, says the government, means food imports can only be bought with aid.

The European Union and the United States have announced targeted sanctions against government leaders to protest against alleged human rights abuses and the March presidential elections which many international observers said were flawed.

Farming disruptions have led to a 30% decline in forecast harvests this year of tobacco, the main hard currency earner.

Mining has been plagued by shortages of equipment and fuel, and tourism, another key money earner, has fallen by 80%.

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Mozambique to Overtake Zimbabwe As SA's Leading Trading Partner?

The Insider (Harare)

April 30, 2002
Posted to the web April 30, 2002

Staff Writer

Mozambique could soon overtake Zimbabwe, if it has not already done so, as
South Africa's largest trading partner in Africa but with international
sanctions looming and a severe drought devastating the country, Zimbabwe may
have to rely more on its southern neighbour much to the chagrin of South
Africa's business community which seems all out to punish President Robert
Mugabe for "stealing" the presidential elections of March. But trade between

continent's powerhouse and its allies is so skewed that South Africa exports
four and a half times what it imports to the rest of the continent. And when

comes to business, South Africa can do without its sister countries.

Its trade with the whole of Africa only accounts for 14 percent of its
trade. Trade with Asia is higher at 19 percent while that with Europe is a
staggering 40 percent. But there is every reason to be optimistic. Pretoria
is at least trying to expand its trade with the rest of Africa though it
exports finished products to these countries while it exports primary and
intermediate goods to Europe. Pretoria's biggest problem is that it is too
rich. Its Gross Domestic Product for 2000 was US$126.6 billion, accounting
for 23 percent of Africa's GDP. Its GDP was bigger than that of Finland,
Portugal, Ireland and Greece. In fact, the GDP of Gauteng alone, which
houses the former Vaal triangle, is bigger than that of any country in
Africa except Egypt. Its exports to Africa, excluding the customs union,
mounted to US$3.7 billion last year compared to imports of only US$856

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U.S. envoy, Mugabe exchange angry words over election

KINSHASA, April 30 — A U.S. ambassador on a U.N. Security Council tour of
Africa has criticised Zimbabwe's disputed election at a meeting with
President Robert Mugabe, triggering an angry reaction from the veteran
leader, diplomats said on Tuesday.
        Ambassador Richard Williamson, U.S. representative for special
political affairs to the United Nations, told Mugabe on Monday the March
9-11 election was not free and fair and Harare's intimidation of the media
was unacceptable, the diplomats said.
       The 15-member Council mission is touring the region in a bid to end
the nearly four-year-old war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The
mission made a brief stop in Harare for talks with Mugabe, who sent
thousands of troops to Congo in 1998 to prop up the Kinshasa government
against a rebellion.
       During their meeting with the Zimbabwean leader, Williamson told
Mugabe that his comments were a message from the U.S. government, the
diplomats said.
       Mugabe reacted angrily in an exchange that lasted for several
minutes, and pointed out that he did not accept President George W. Bush's
controversial poll win in U.S. presidential elections in November 2000, the
diplomats said.
       Williamson's comments are not the first time Washington has voiced
disapproval of the poll, won easily by Mugabe but criticised as flawed by
several observers.
       However, Williamson was believed to have been the most senior U.S.
official to have expressed such opinions to Mugabe face to face.
       Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), has called Mugabe's victory ''daylight robbery'' and demanded
fresh elections.
       Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party has refused a poll re-run, saying the
vote was free and fair.
       Williamson, who told the meeting he was speaking in his capacity as a
U.S. official and not as a Security Council representative, also said
Washington had grave concerns about alleged violence against Zimbabwean
commercial farmers.
       After his re-election, Mugabe vowed to press ahead with the
government's seizure of white-owned commercial farms for redistribution to
landless blacks.

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ZIMBABWE: President declares disaster

JOHANNESBURG, 30 April (IRIN) - President Robert Mugabe has declared a state of disaster throughout Zimbabwe in the face of a government report that estimates that about 7.8 million people - over five million of them children - will need humanitarian help for the next 18 months.

A government gazette published last week said: "As a result of the prevalent drought, a state of disaster exists in all communal lands and resettlement and urban areas in Zimbabwe with effect from April 3 2002."

The briefly worded notice issued under the Civil Protection Act comes amid concerns that crops are failing and predictions that wheat and grain stocks will run out in August. The declaration lasts for three months and can be extended.

Judith Lewis, World Food Programme regional director in East and Southern Africa, last week warned that unless food began arriving within the next four months, there would be "an all-out disaster" in Southern Africa.

WFP is already feeding over 500,000 Zimbabweans and has included Zimbabwe in its list of the six most vulnerable countries in Southern Africa along with Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland. Malawi has already declared a disaster and Lesotho, a famine.

Zimbabwe's economic crisis, political uncertainty, disruptions to commercial farming through a land resettlement programme and HIV/AIDS have been cited as factors compounding the problems brought by the drought.

According to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) a report compiled for Zimbabwe's Interministerial Committee of Ministers on Drought and Social Protection, indicates that the situation is "grim and getting worse".

The estimate of 7.8 million affected people is made up of 5.9 million rural people (74 percent of the rural population) who are affected by the drought and 1.9 million urban poor (51 percent of the urban population) heavily affected by the harsh economic situation.

More than two thirds (69 percent) of the 7.8 million are children up to the age of 14. Of those children, 1,7 million are under five years old and 3,6 million are between the ages of 5 and 14.

The Zimbabwe government has asked UNICEF to support a rapid nutrition status assessment and re-introduce the Child Supplementary Feeding Programme (CSFP) that responded successfully to the 1991/92 drought.

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) has requested an inter-agency mission to be led by the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs to update the December Humanitarian Assistance and Recovery Programe (HARP).

In preparation, the Zimbabwe UNCT has initiated a series of assessments on the humanitarian situation and the HARP to show the level of response needed.

UNICEF have already started the food security and nutrition, and water and sanitation assessments. 

The assessments from the other agencies, including WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, will be completed by mid-May. The Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe (FCTZ) will also assess the humanitarian needs of farmworkers.

However, UNICEF said: "While food is important, non-food response in health, nutrition, water and sanitation and social protecton and education are crucial in responding to this emergency."
Reacting to Mugabe's declaration, Chris McIvor, Programme Director for Save the Childen said: "It is completely appropriate for the president to declare a disaster. If the world doesn't want to see starving children on their television screens later this year we need to start moving now. People need to realise that they are staring a disaster right in the face."

"We have done nutritional surveys and find that many families have exhausted all their coping strategies. They have sold their livestock, their household assets, used up employment options and their money. They are now down to the bare minimum and if a major intervention doesn't take place, there will be a notable increase in malnutrition," he told IRIN.

"In Binga, (in the north west) where we are feeding about 130,000 children, production has dropped 80 percent compared to normal harvests. The current harvest will last families about two to three months, after that people only have their livestock and other assistance available.

"The declaration will help mobilise donors. Food is going to have to be imported and this is five or six times more expensive. The government will need millions in foreign currency. Many surrounding countries are also battling with shortages and don't have much to spare for Zimbabwe so emergency supplies have to be sourced from as far afield as Brazil," McIvor said.

In March the WFP launched an appeal for US $69 million for its emergency programme but the donor response was slow.

On the situation in the cities, Pedro Figueiredo, WFP regional logistics officer said: "In the shops by 10 am there is no food left."

He said a vessel is currently on the high seas from the United States bringing 33,000 mt of maize to Beira in Mozambique.

Some of this would go to Zimbabwe and the rest would be shared throughout the region.

A report in The Herald newspaper said the government is finalising a ZD $95 billion programme to fund maize imports, food aid, child supplementary schemes and winter crop inputs.


Mugabe declares 'state of disaster' in famine
By Tim Butcher in Johannesburg
(Filed: 01/05/2002)

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe declared a "state of disaster" in Zimbabwe
yesterday, with hundreds of thousands of people facing severe food shortages
and some aid agencies predicting people would starve to death.

Mr Mugabe blamed the crisis on low rainfall and made no reference to the
economic chaos in the agricultural sector caused by his policy of supporting
invasions of commercial farms, owned mainly by whites.

Most economic observers accept that abnormally dry weather has caused damage
to crops but they believe the underlying cause of the suffering is

Mr Mugabe's admission of problems in the agricultural sector comes after two
years of claims by his government that all was well in the Zimbabwean

Last year his economic officials published wildly optimistic figures for
production that were seen by most regional experts as unrealistic.

According to an official notice in the government Gazette, Mr Mugabe has
invoked extraordinary powers to bring relief to about 600,000 people. These
powers include using senior military officers to travel around southern
Africa buying up excess grain and mealie meal stocks.

There have already been a number of visits to South Africa, where the
officers, loyal Mugabe supporters who stand to make money out of any
contracts awarded, have paid in US dollars for large shipments of food.

The United Nations and other agencies have been reporting food shortages in
Zimbabwe for more than six months, although the issue of food aid has become
highly politicised.

During the March election campaign supporters of Mr Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF
party gave out food from the meagre government supplies only to people
swearing loyalty to Mr Mugabe.

They also tried to take control of stocks of food provided by the UN's World
Food Programme so they could take credit as it was delivered to starving
rural communities. The WFP refused.

Zimbabwe's main opposition party has retracted its claim that suspected
pro-government militias decapitated a 53-year-old woman.

Learnmore Jongwe of the Movement for Democratic Change said his party now
believed that a man named Enos Tadyanemhandu had made up a story that his
wife had been beheaded.
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From Reuters, 29 April

Zimbabwe human rights groups say violence worsens

Harare - Political violence in Zimbabwe has worsened since President Robert Mugabe's election victory last month, compounding the plight of people grappling with food shortages, a rights group said on Monday. "It is almost two months since the elections took place in Zimbabwe and there is a worsening situation of intimidation, forced displacement, violence and systematic torture," the Amani Trust said in a statement. "The political rivalry and the resulting recriminations have become a way of life for many people, who also are trying to deal with the problems of food shortages, a serious drought and an approaching winter," the rights group said. Aid agencies say thousands of Zimbabweans face starvation after crops were slashed last season by drought and the state's seizure of white-owned farms, which disrupted farm operations. They say opposition supporters are also being denied access to staple maize at state Grain Marketing Board depots in the aftermath of the disputed March 9-11 presidential election. Zimbabwe police accused white farmers on Monday of worsening the food shortages by illegally moving farm equipment out of the country - a charge denied by the main white farmers' group.

The Amani Trust, which gives aid to victims of political violence, said the number of internally displaced Zimbabweans as a result of political strife was rising daily and was "at crisis level," but gave no figures. Rights groups have said up to 50,000 people have been displaced in political violence before and after the election, and have appealed for international aid. "The safety and security of these refugees is of the utmost concern, and urgent assistance is required to tend to their need for accommodation, food and water, medical treatment, psychological counseling and legal aid," the Amani Trust said. Earlier this month a coalition of rights groups - including the Amani Trust - said 54 people had been killed in political violence since the beginning of the year. Most of the deaths occurred in the runup to the presidential election. Police accused the rights groups of lying, saying political violence had eased since the election, which the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai – who challenged Mugabe - condemned as "daylight robbery." The MDC says more than 100 of its supporters have been killed since the runup to June 2000 parliamentary elections in which it came close to defeating Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party.

Ten white farmers have died since February 2000 when militants invaded hundreds of farms in support of a state drive to forcibly acquire land for redistribution to landless blacks. Zimbabwe police said on Monday they had impounded a large amount of farm equipment which they said was being illegally shipped out of the country. But the farmers said the equipment - which includes tractors, trailers, harvesters, water pumps and irrigation pipes – was lawfully removed from properties occupied by militants. "The Land Acquisition Act which the government is using for taking over the farms does not bar farmers who lose their land from moving their property," Jenni Williams, a spokeswoman for the Commercial Farmers Union said. After his re-election, Mugabe vowed to press ahead with the government's seizure of at least 20.5 million acres of the 29.6 million acres of white-owned farmland for blacks.

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Ambassador criticizes Zimbabwe election

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Reuters) -- A U.S. ambassador on a U.N. Security Council tour of Africa has criticized Zimbabwe's disputed election at a meeting with President Robert Mugabe, triggering an angry reaction from the veteran leader, diplomats said on Tuesday.

Ambassador Richard Williamson, U.S. representative for special political affairs to the United Nations, told Mugabe on Monday the March 9-11 election was not free and fair and Harare's intimidation of the media was unacceptable, the diplomats said.

The 15-member Council mission is touring the region in a bid to end the nearly four-year-old war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mission made a brief stop in Harare for talks with Mugabe, who sent thousands of troops to Congo in 1998 to prop up the Kinshasa government against a rebellion.

During their meeting with the Zimbabwean leader, Williamson told Mugabe that his comments were a message from the U.S. government, the diplomats said.

Mugabe reacted angrily in an exchange that lasted for several minutes, and pointed out that he did not accept President George W. Bush's controversial poll win in U.S.

presidential elections in November 2000, the diplomats said.

Williamson's comments are not the first time Washington has voiced disapproval of the poll, won easily by Mugabe but criticized as flawed by several observers.

However, Williamson was believed to have been the most senior U.S. official to have expressed such opinions to Mugabe face to face.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has called Mugabe's victory "daylight robbery" and demanded fresh elections.

Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party has refused a poll re-run, saying the vote was free and fair.

Williamson, who told the meeting he was speaking in his capacity as a U.S. official and not as a Security Council representative, also said Washington had grave concerns about alleged violence against Zimbabwean commercial farmers.

After his re-election, Mugabe vowed to press ahead with the government's seizure of white-owned commercial farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

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