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Opposition plans Zimbabwe rallies

Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Monday May 20, 2002
The Guardian

The Zimbabwean opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, said yesterday that his
party would lead thousands of people in protest against President Robert
Mugabe's government within weeks, following the collapse of its talks with
the governing party, Zanu-PF.
"Mass action is inevitable and unavoidable," he told the Guardian. "We have
come to a stage where non-violent action has to be taken. The assessment we
have from consulting with the people is that they are prepared to protest
against this illegitimate government."

The call to the streets is a new step for Mr Tsvangirai, and is expected to
increase the tension in Zimbabwe. He said the protests would take place

"Even three weeks or a month is too long."

In recent weeks Mr Tsvangirai has addressed several rallies. "I have been
going around the country and I tell you the mood is combative and defiant,"
he said.

"I am glad there is consensus between the rural and urban divide about the
illegitimacy of the government.

"As a responsible leadership we are going to channel their emotions in a
positive way that will resolve the crisis this country is in."

Mr Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change have refused to accept
Mr Mugabe's victory in the March presidential election.

Mr Mugabe said in the state-controlled Sunday Mail yesterday that his
government was prepared "to talk peace if the MDC wants to talk peace, but
if they choose violence, then we will deal with them effectively".

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The Scotsman

      Voiceless victims facing extinction in another Zimbabwe conflict

      Jacqui Goddard In Chiredzi

      WILDLIFE experts believe that up to 600,000 animals have been poached
in Zimbabwe since the launch of President Robert Mugabe's land invasion
programme two years ago.

      The ongoing slaughter, which includes supposedly protected species
such as black rhinoceros, has wiped out an estimated 60 per cent of wildlife
on privately owned game ranches and conservancies.

      Such areas have been overrun by thousands of settlers, who have
stripped away game fences and used the wire to make snares, using the meat
either for subsistence amid increasing hunger caused by food shortages, or
for commercial sale.

      "This country's natural heritage is being decimated," said Johnny
Rodriguez, of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force. "Unless the government
restores law and order, we can ultimately kiss Zimbabwe's wildlife goodbye."

      There is also evidence that rural authorities in some areas have
sanctioned the shooting of game in order to feed the youth militia set up to
terrorise political opponents by Mr Mugabe's ZANU-PF party during his
campaign for re-election.

      There are two main habitats for wildlife in Zimbabwe, commercial game
ranches, which earn their income from tourism and controlled hunting, and
which in some cases have joined together to form larger conservancies, and
National Parks.

      Gerry Whitehead owns a game ranch in the Mateke hills of south-east
Zimbabwe, which he bought in 1989 and stocked with more than 1,000 animals.
"There was no wildlife, very little grass and no surface water. It was like
a desert," he said. "I built dams, bought in game, enticed wildlife into the
area. It was beautiful. You could see herds of zebra, wildebeest, impala.
Now we are heading towards having no wildlife left. Even with eight game
scouts, we are losing animals every day to poachers." Of the 200 eland he
once had, just 25 remain; of 60 sable, there are now nine. The giraffe, who
used to number 50, are down to around ten.

      Wally Herbst, chairman of the Wildlife Producers' Association, said:
"Almost two-thirds of the wildlife on commercial farms has been eliminated.
If the authorities don't start running in the poachers now, within four to
five months the damage will be irreparable."

      On Chiredzi Conservancy, the 16 owners are struggling to get a grip on
the crisis. "We have lost thousands of animals," said Digby Nesbitt, the
chairman, whose Dawlish Ranch is now peppered with 200-300 settlers' huts.
"They are chopping down mopane trees, killing the game, setting snares and
threatening to kill game scouts."

      Clem Coetsee also owns land on the conservancy. One of the most
respected faces on southern Africa's wildlife scene, he won plaudits for his
rescue of more than 500 elephants from the Gonarezhou National Park during
the drought of 1992-93 and for the movement of Zimbabwe's black rhino
population into protected areas during the 1980s, when an upsurge in
poaching in the Zambezi Valley threatened their survival.

      His 9,000-acre property, that he had lovingly stocked with animals
including eland, duiker, reedbuck, bushbuck and wildebeest, is now occupied
by "war veterans" and settlers. They have stolen more than ten miles of game
fence and used it to snare wildlife, and destroyed two-and-a-half miles of
pipes that he had laid to provide water for buffalo.

      Having done so much for the country's fauna, the 63-year-old feels
bitter. "I barely see any animals on my place now," he said. "The president
himself said the conservancies would not be taken for resettlement, but we
have seen otherwise. Responsibility for this lies with him."

      The poaching situation in the national parks is unclear, but Mr
Coetsee believes that possibly hundreds of thousands of animals have been
illegally killed there. He is especially worried about the fate of the
rhino. On the Chiredzi Conservancy, anti-poaching patrols are doing their
best to monitor the 21 resident black rhino, but on other conservancies, war
veterans have created "no-go" zones, meaning nobody can assess the rhinos'

      "If the land question is not resolved soon, the future for the rhino
is grave," Mr Coetsee warned. Since the land invasions began in 2000, there
have been ten confirmed rhino deaths in Zimbabwe and 13 more animals have
required veterinary treatment after being caught in snares.

      It is feared by some land managers that around 30 more rhinos may have
been killed in areas that can no longer be monitored. There are around 400
black rhino in Zimbabwe, of a total of around 2,500 in Africa as a whole.
"We could go from 400-odd to nothing in a year if they really put their
minds to it," warned Norman Crooks, a rhino specialist.

      The Bubiana Conservancy at West Nicholson is one of the worst affected
areas. Formed in 1991 by seven commercial farmers who joined their land to
form a 350,000 acre protected zone, it is now under partial occupation by
war veterans and settlers. Three of the seven landowners have been forced to
flee and the 50 game scouts who used to patrol that part of the conservancy
have been reduced to 30 due to the threats and intimidation.

      A total area of 170,000 acres is now unpatrolled on Bubiana. The fate
of the estimated 40 black rhino who lived within that area, out of a total
of 104 animals on the conservancy as a whole, is unknown. "Personally, I
fear that up to 20 of those 40 may be gone," said Mr Crooks.

      Of the four confirmed rhino deaths on Bubiana over the past 18 months,
one was a calf under two weeks old that was burned to death when squatters
set the conservancy alight. Another was caught in a snare then stabbed to

      A black rhino rehabilitation programme at Tashinga in the Matusadona
National Park has also suffered casualties. Last month, two semi-tame rhinos
were poisoned by poachers using agricultural pesticide. One survived but
Chibage, aged 30 months, was killed and its horn hacked off.

      At the 50,000-acre Gourlays Ranch at Turk Mine, Richard Pascall, the
landowner, lost an adult male called Squeeze, that was killed in a fight
with another rhino after settlers moved on to the land, apparently causing
Squeeze to flee into a rival's territory. Mr Pascall was forced off his
property by armed war veterans who attacked him.

      Raoul du Toit, head of the World Wide Fund for Nature's rhino projects
in Zimbabwe, believes there is hope if the government can be persuaded to
intervene. In recent days, there have been moves by the police and army to
conduct sweeps in some areas, such as the Save and Chiredzi conservancies,
although there is concern over the long-term picture.

      "It's a case of how far the government wants to let it go," said Mr du
Toit. "The whole world knows how black rhino were being driven to the point
of extinction and another major setback appears to be on the cards here
unless we act fast."

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From ZWNEWS, 20 May

The Grand Nationality Steeplechase

Three visits to different offices, an 8-hour queue, applicants beaten with sjamboks: journalist Michael Hartnack describes the quest to renew his Zimbabwe passport.

My passport expires in September. Warned by a colleague that his took four months to renew, I went in April to Home Affairs in Harare Street/Herbert Chitepo Avenue to begin the process. It is so dreaded that many whites have opted to forfeit their citizenship and their vote by seeking the passports of foreign countries.

Step One, to get the necessary application form, took me over an hour in an unruly scrum. I had to produce my birth certificate, my metal national identity disk and two photographs. The form was thrust at me with a curt order: "Go to 'Citizenship'." For Step Two I returned another day to queue at the Citizenship Office with every conceivable document proving it is impossible for me to claim the nationality of any other country. My friend Judy Todd has just won a constitutional test case that she is entitled to retain her Zimbabwe citizenship although she took no steps to renounce a possible right to a passport from New Zealand, birthplace of her father, former Prime Minister Sir Garfield Todd. The judge ruled she was not obliged to renounce a supposed right she had never tried to claim. However, I mustered every shred of evidence that I have no rights to any foreign citizenship and before the January 6 deadline sent copies by registered post, twice, to our controversial Registrar General, Tobaiwa Mudede. Robert Mugabe’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, in its original draft, banned any journalist not a Zimbabwean citizen from working here. I was taking no chances.

After a 90-minute wait in a squalid corridor outside the Citizenship Office, I presented attested copies of all the evidence I sent in January. An official examined this and questioned me about my and my parents' birthplaces. He then disappeared into a back office, evidently to check my file. When he returned he stamped my passport application form with the words "Subject has renounced his foreign citizenship in terms of the new law" and wrote a reference number. The third fence is this Grand Nationality Steeplechase was by far the worst - formally submitting the application. Exhaustive enquiries revealed it was impossible to do this without hiring specialist help from some of the four million unemployed. Security guards at Home Affairs do not allow people to queue outside all night, so passport seekers have to hide themselves some streets away, then converge on the gates towards dawn.

When I arrived at dawn on May 13 there were three rival, disorderly queues, each about five abreast and 400 metres long, all people hoping to lodge passport applications – mostly so they can escape to South Africa. There were, I estimate, between 4 000 and 7 000 people there by 7:30 a.m. For his Zimbabwe $700 fee, my specialist had stationed proxies in all three queues. I took the place of one, but his queue swiftly broke down in pandemonium as paramilitary police with AK47s and men in plain clothes with sjamboks and two-metre canes emerged and began whipping those at the head. I was told, but cannot confirm, these were members of the Central Intelligence Organisation. As terrified women fled screaming, a burly Mike Tyson lookalike was among many knocked off his feet, his application form, precious personal documents and passport photos trampled in the dirt. Eventually a single queue was formed, the men with whips striding up and down swishing the air menacingly. A man who remonstrated received two lashes. (This queue eventually extended two kilometres.) My specialist pointed out a young man in a yellow jerkin who was our "place saver" in the surviving queue. When things calmed down around 8:00 a.m. I asked a baton-wielding policeman if I might substitute myself. In view of my advanced years I was allowed to step out of the gutter and take over. The policeman then gratuitously assaulted the man in the yellow jerkin for being on the pavement.

From the chaos down the street came what sounded like a shot from an AK47. "Ah! Wellsi-Fargo!" quipped a humourist and we all laughed. The amazing good nature of the people is this country's greatest asset. More plain clothes officials made their way down the line checking papers. A date and number - 184 of May 13 - was written on my application form. The officials allocated only 300 people to a day. We were shepherded onto the verandahs outside the passport office and lined up in our numbered order. As one of only two pale faces in the queue I became a sort of landmark during my eight-hour wait. Those going off to buy food or use the frightful toilets told neighbours to remember they were X places ahead of or behind me. Just as I finally reached the front at 3 p.m., the doors were closed and numbers 201-300 were told to come back next day. One official checked in my form, another took my Zimbabwe $300 fee, a third told me to return in November. Footnote: Mugabe's Zanu PF cronies get preferential treatment, many being issued "diplomatic passports" although they have no link to the foreign service.

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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 20 May

At harvest time, famine stalks Zimbabwe

May is normally a month of plenty in Zimbabwe, as farmers harvest their crops ahead of the austral winter. But this year, rural granaries are as empty as the dusty urban store shelves, and the government has declared a state of disaster because of the desperate shortage of food in most of the southern African country. Nowhere is the crisis as severe as the already dry provinces of southern Zimbabwe. "We didn't really get anything -- only a few melons," said grey-haired Francis Sibanda. "The rain was not fair, so we couldn't harvest anything. Now we go for sometimes a week without food," he said. His wife spends the days scavenging for berries and wild fruit in the nearby mountains. He sometimes sells a chicken alongside the highway that passes 100 meters outside his village, but that money only buys enough maize meal to last a few days, and he is running out of chickens. "If we can find (maize meal), we don't make the thick sadza, we just make a thin porridge so the mealie meal can last another day," one neighbour said.

Most people in the villages in Lukosi district, about 130 kilometres east of Victoria Falls, said they were relying on relatives, friends and neighbours to survive – hoping that some distant cousin working in a city or overseas will send home money or food to share with the village. "Now we are waiting for the neighbours, to see if they find some food. We are living communally, to make sure no one is dying," said Ruth Ndlovu, who was using her cooking pots for stools as she had nothing to put in them. Even in these rural areas, people have heard of government plans to import maize. But everyone in this cluster of villages thinks they know why no food is coming to them - politics. "Those areas where the imported maize is going, is where the people voted for the government. That is why we are not getting food," Ndlovu said. "Last time when the maize was brought, it was said it was only for the ruling party supporters – the war vets, the army. Sometimes if shops manage to get mealie meal, it's only 10 bags. When the maize is disbursed, they say it is only for Zanu PF, not for MDC supporters, and they make sure it does not come."

Voters in southern Zimbabwe turned out strongly in favour of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the March presidential election and the 2000 parliamentary elections. Most of the people in these provinces are from the Ndebele minority, and none of them have forgotten the ruling Zanu PF's bloody 1980s campaign to wipe out "dissidents," which left thousands dead or missing. During that campaign, church groups accused the government of using the army to block food deliveries and to destroy food supplies during the 1984 drought. The memories have left a suspicion of President Robert Mugabe that's hard to erase in this region, especially after the violence-wracked presidential campaign that saw thousands of people - mainly opposition supporters - beaten, abducted or otherwise intimidated, according to rights groups. At least 55 people have died so far this year in political violence, rights groups say.

Aid agencies, however, are trying to respond to the crisis without getting entangled in the political drama. The UN's World Food Program (WFP) suspended its emergency food deliveries for the two weeks around the March 9-11 election. But the political crisis and international dissatisfaction with Mugabe's government have overshadowed the growing humanitarian problems. UN officials here fear the famine will act as a catalyst for other health problems, not the least of which is HIV, the deadly virus that has infected one in four Zimbabwean adults. Other diseases like malaria and cholera can also take hold as malnutrition spreads. If international assistance does not come, villagers in Lukosi have resigned themselves to scavenging and hoping they survive to see better rains next year. "We are just waiting to see if next year there is some rain. In the meantime, we just eat wild fruits, berries, some baobab fruit. And we rush to the highway to see if someone is getting down with some maize," Ndlovu said.

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"Brushing Zimbabwe under the carpet?"
Sent: 18 May 2002 11:02
SABC featured news yesterday showing the Zimbabwe Police instructing "war vets" to remove themselves from certain properties that have not been officially designated by the Government...laughable isn't it.  Mugabe, is NOW about to display to the rest of the world that he is actually HUMANE and considerate and that he has restored " law and order" but only after he has achieved all his objectives by removing 95% of the white farmers off the land, torturing, raping and beating up literally thousands of innocent people and successfully getting away with rigging the last election.  Its amazing how the SABC are now able to feature Mugabe's Police moving squatters off the land, whereas in the past they (plus the international media) have failed so miserably to portray some of the actual realities of the situation such as the brutal violence or some of the very inhumane acts committed against the people and animals.....not only have they kept it all at a low key but there are reports that they actually suppressed most such news.  We suspect that it will be convenient for the International media follow suit and do likewise.  It seems that its a win, win situation all round ....except for a few white farmers and millions of poor black Zimbabweans.  Chirac of France and Mbeki of South Africa will be happy because they will have saved their staunch ally, the Frontline states will be happy for a similar reason, Britain will be happy (because it will save spending millions of Dollars on compensation for land) and the European Community will be happy because it will have prevented them from having to challenge the OAU (Organisation of African "so called" Unity)....and nobody in the outside world will be any the wiser about what really happened!  Its so very difficult trying to come to terms with this awful, despicab injustice.
G.  Ncube.
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2002 9:00 AM 

Dear Readers,
If convenient please read an "opinion" submitted to me by a would appear that South Africa, Nigeria and the western world are attempting to conveniently sweep the "whole Zimbabwe issue" right under the carpet, pretending that all is now well and that law and order and democracy have been restored in Zimbabwe.  And they are doing so principally because everybody wants this NEPAD (New Partnership for African Development)
financial aid package to go ahead.  It is for this reason that there has been this extensive news blackout on Zimbabwe.....  it has allowed President Mugabe the necessary time to quickly remove all the white farmers and pulverise his people into total submission so that everything now appears sweet and so refreshingly clean.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, could be further from the truth...believe me.  I often feel that watching events unfold in Zimbabwe and witnessing some of the key players performing (African and Western) is like watching a "thriller/horror" movie, only problem is that this is for real and it doesn't seem to ever end or get any better.
G.  Ncube.

Sent: Sunday, May 19, 2002 9:05 PM
Dear John -
Very interesting note...  This seems to concur with other stories I'm reading in ZWNews or elsewhere, which suggest the world is busy trying to push Zimbabwe under the carpet so that everybody is happy.  That clearly is the interest of South Africa: The more the world forgets about what happens to Zim or believes it's no longer an issue, the higher its chances of getting funding through Nepad, and the lower the risks of capital deserting SA...
Mbeki can score a personal victory by showing how well his pet project Nepad has been received by the West, without having to really get tough to Mugabe and risking (who knows) to upset some of his grassroot ANC support!
Already the rand is firming - coinciding with Zimbabwe fading from the news - and that probably is luring the SA officials into believing that what they've done is enough!  As for the western leaders, well they probably feel that by giving money to Nepad and praising it as an African success, they will score big with their own voters by appearing like nice people who've done their bit for the third world.
So it seems that rather than trying to solve the Zim problem, the world powers are trying to put a positive spin on it and pretend that either there is no problem, or that it is being resolved.  Great work!  I'm sure Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson, the great masters of spin, will appreciate.  Once again, our global politicians are dealing with the problem the way they're so used to: If people don't like the policy, do not change it, but rather hire a PR consultant in order to explain it better.  In the case of Zimbabwe, of course, it is not too difficult, as their constituents probably have little sympathy for the victims of Mugabe.  Right-wingers tend to consider all African countries as basket-cases anyway, and many left-wingers probably still have some sympathy for "socialist" ZANU and regard MDC as a stooge of foreign capitalists.  Some people in Britain feel sorry for the plight of the white farmers, but that feeling does not extend to sparing two hours of their life to go and demonstrate in support of Mugabe's victims.  The last demonstration I went to - opposite Zim House in London, organised by MDC and the Freedom of Zim campaign - we were about 35...  About the same as when some concerned South Africans tried to have a demonstration in front of SA House to protest against the farm murders and violence in SA in general.
And yet God knows that London is full of white South Africans lamenting the falling apart of their country!
As for the loss of wildlife in Zimbabwe, we're facing an even greater problem: Even those people far-sighted enough to feel about what is happening to Zimbabwe people do not necessarily see beyond simplistic solutions.  Some (white) people who are active in the MDC in London have told me that the priority is to concentrate on the people of Zim rather than the elephants...  That reminded me of the good souls who were shocked at the Nigerian patrols shooting at Somali poachers back in the early 1990s to protect some rhino.  Obviously too many people, and educated people, still cannot see the importance of an asset like wildlife for the future and the people of Africa, or do not want to see it because of their own ideological bias.  Some people have highlighted the plight of Zim wildlife (there have been, for instance, several articles in the SA magazine Africa Geographic and also warnings by the Endangered Wildlife Trust) but I must admit that by and large, the outcry from the environmental NGOs has been muted.  As for Greenpeace, it seems more interested into smashing the French boat for the America's Cup - on grounds they're sponsored by a nuclear power agency - than in protecting wildlife...
The fight goes on!
Best regards, Jean-Francois Mercier
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Land to the politburo : article featured on 19 May 2002 CLICK here to view the list of prominent persons who appear to have been allocated farms
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(On behalf of the Commercial Farmers' Union)

With reference to an article carried in The Herald on 20 May 2002, we wish
to give facts omitted from your report. We require a front-page rebuttal in
tomorrows Herald. The title was 'Farmer poisons tonnes of Maize'.

In consultation with farm owner, Basil Hulloville Brent, we submit a
response and request that equal coverage be given. Both Brent and Jenni
Williams (CFU   spokesperson) were not contacted for comment by The Herald
leading to this biased report, which has besmirched the good repute of Brent
and that of his son Gary who is a member of the national cricket team.

Firstly the Norton farm, Riverside E, is 126 hectares in extent and is the
only farm owned by Brent and his son Gary. It remained unlisted for
acquisition until a preliminary notice in The Herald of Friday, 17 May. The
farm has employed 100 workers in the past but 55 are currently on the books.
There are also 69 head of cattle on the property.

The small farm normally crops 30 ha of Seed maize and Brent is a registered
Seed Maize Grower. 3 000 pockets worth of seed maize variety SC501 is
currently being graded for Seed Co-op.

Brent also has 17 ha of Tobacco, and 45 000 kgs is stored in his sheds
awaiting grading. He also grows 8 ha of maize for consumption as green
maize. This maize for consumption is what was photographed by The Herald and
is clearly stored indoors as it was harvested last month and is yet to be
shelled. This is the maize that farm workers can purchase at very subsidized

There is a heap of approx 10 tonnes seed maize lying outdoors, which is
clearly visible. This seed maize was reaped last year and has been lying
outdoors since then. It is unfit for livestock consumption as it was
infected with Diplodia, it is therefore the poisoned maize in question. Both
John Mukrayi and Mrs Nyandoro were informed of the reason this maize was
lying out in the open. It was not photographed by your cameraman.

For background information, there were no occupiers on the farm until after
the September 6 Abuja Accord signed on 6th September 2001. The first
occupier was an ex army captain by the name of John Mukrayi, a weekend
farmer who insisted Brent plant a bean crop for him. He recently harvested
and sold this crop having contributed nothing to its planting or tendering.

On the 25th April 2002, someone whom I know as Mrs Nyandoro arrived with her
husband and had a meeting with the Brent's. She was extremely threatening
and told them to vacate the house immediately, which they eventually did.

Loice Mugadzaweta, the person quoted in your article is not known to me. I
have only seen and spoken to Mrs Nyandoro and John Mukrayi.

In the article, Loice Mugadzaweta alleges that there is damage to damage to
farm equipment. Farm staff have not reported this and if it is the case then
Mugadzaweta and Mukrayi must give details of damage and who caused it.

CFU Regional Executive Mashonaland West North, Ben Freeth confirmed that
Brent had last been to his farm three weeks ago.

He said, " Basil was not listed until last Friday but has had numerous
difficulties on his farm which is on the Porta Road next to Gowrie Farm
where Terry Ford was murdered. Most of Brent's belongings are still in his
house and he is currently staying with different people because he has got
no other home. A Mrs Nyandoro from the Porta Butchery also wants the farm
and put up an illegal roadblock monitoring all traffic on or off the farm.
RRB Number 4847 refers "

Freeth continued, "Last year, due to the rain, some of his seed maize got
Diplodia and was left in a heap.  It is poisonous for animal or human


20th May 2002

Copy to - Coghlan Welsh and Guest - Mr O. Matizanadzo

For more information, please contact Jenni Williams
Cell +263-11 213 885 or +263-91 300 456
Email or

Maize Allegedly Poisoned

The Herald (Harare)
May 20, 2002
Posted to the web May 20, 2002
Herald Reporter

A WHITE commercial farmer in Norton, irked by the designation of his farm
under the land redistribution programme, allegedly sprayed poison on more
than 10 tonnes of maize and destroyed substantial farming equipment after
receiving an eviction order.
According to the new owner of the farm, Mrs Loice Mugadzaweta, the
commercial farmer, Mr Bazil Hulloville Brent, claimed to have sprayed poison
on all the maize stockpiled in the granary.

"He told me that he had deliberately sprayed the maize with a deadly poison
because he was leaving the farm and could not bear the thought of anyone
eating his harvest," said Mrs Mugadzaweta.
She said workers on the farm were starving while the maize was rotting in
the granary.
The Grain Marketing Board is yet to test the maize for poisoning.
The farmer is alleged to have also destroyed some farming equipment.
Mrs Mugadzaweta said before the commercial farmer left in March this year,
he had tried to subdivide the farm into several plots.
Efforts to get a comment from the commercial farmer have been fruitless.
However, the Government has in the past warned commercial farmers against
vandalising infrastructure on farms that would have been designated for
Police recently impounded large quantities of farming equipment that had
been moved to warehouses by farmers planning to take it out of the country.
The Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Cde Joseph Made,
said commercial farmers who vandalised infrastructure to frustrate the Land
Reform programme would be arrested.
Last month the minister received reports of commercial farmers who were
allegedly vandalising irrigation equipment, spraying sugar cane plantations
with harmful chemicals and infecting cattle with diseases.
"These criminal acts are going to be investigated and the culprits will be
brought to book," said Cde Made.

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Daily News

      Government rounds up refugees

      5/20/02 12:06:43 PM (GMT +2)

      From Kelvin Jakachira in Mutare

      THE government, reportedly uneasy with the free movement of refugees
in the country's urban centres, has decided to round up all refugees not
employed or attending school and confine them to Tongogara camp in Chipinge.

      The move is largely seen as a security precaution by the government
because some of the refugees are from countries perceived to be hostile to

      The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Zimbabwe
is expanding Tongogara camp to accommodate the refugees, should the
government go ahead with its plans.

      Zimbabwe is home to 9 472 refugees from war-ravaged countries such as
Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congo Republic,
Angola, Liberia, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Sudan and far-flung
Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.

      About 800 are staying at Tongogara camp, while others live in the
country's urban centres.

      A few of those staying in the urban centres are either employed or are
undergoing studies.
      Tapiwa Huye, the UNHCR assistant programme officer in Zimbabwe, said
20 houses had already been completed at Tongogara camp.

      Huye said the dwellings would accommodate about 40 families.

      Another 30 houses are expected to be completed soon to cater for about
60 families, Huye said.

      The water system at the camp has also been upgraded to serve a larger
      "In the urban centres the cost of living is high," Huye said. "Some of
the refugees could end up being destitute or getting involved in illegal
activities and prostitution for survival.
      "Besides, it is government policy that only those refugees who are
attending school or in employment will remain in the urban centres."

      Huye said there were also security concerns in allowing refugees who
were not doing anything to stay in urban centres because some could have
hidden agendas.

      "At the moment, we do not know of any such cases, but it can happen,"
he said. "It is also good for the UNHCR and the government to know where the
refugees are at any given time."

      Isaac Mukaro, the commissioner for refugees in Zimbabwe, declined to

      In 1999 there were fears that countries perceived to be hostile to
Zimbabwe, such as Rwanda and Burundi or the rebel groups they back in the
DRC, could send their agents to masquerade as refugees so as to gather
security and military information about the country.

      Relations between Zimbabwe and Rwanda and Burundi have hit rock-bottom
because of the war in the DRC, which finds them fighting on opposite sides.

      Zimbabwe has deployed combat troops, heavy artillery and jet fighters
into the DRC to defend the Kinshasa regime from a rebel onslaught sponsored
mainly by Rwanda.

      A peace initiative being brokered by South Africa appears to be
crumbling amid reports that Rwanda is amassing troops on the eastern
frontier of the DRC.

      Three years ago Burundi accused Zimbabwe of training and arming
anti-government Hutu rebels called Forces for the Defence of Democracy. The
government denied this.

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It was sickening in the extreme that Zimbabweans had to hear about murderous Mugabe's attendence at the UN Congress on children in New York! A dictator so desperate to hang on to power, that he resorts to brutally persecuting his own people ....killing, abducting, incarcerating,raping & torturing them! To ensure that all this is carried out with the minimum of resistance from the already thoroughly terrified citizens, he throws in a bunch of draconian "legislation" that totally eliminates what few civil rights there were!! Add to all this big chief Chihuri, and the stage is set! Mugabe could never have accomplished  his very successful campaign of terror without a partisan police force......which does not protect the citizens of Zimbabwe.......INSTEAD it enforces lawlessness & helps to pulverise them. THE POLICE, UNDER CHIHURI, PARTICIPATE FULLY IN THE SUPPRESSION & TERRORIZATION OF THE ZIMBABWEAN PEOPLE OF ALL RACES!! Taxes paid by the long suffering people of this country pay the salaries of these bullies!
These "police" who look the other way whilst people are brutalised, tortured or even burned alive. These same "police" stand by and allow homes to be torched, property to be vandalised & looted....& in many cases have been reported to even orchestrate these events!! These "police" who can't uphold the law that they took an oath to serve, because all these events are POLITICAL , are the VERY police who arrest farmers who dare protect themselves & their property( a basic human right!!) because the "police"refuse to carry out their duty! Selective justice according to chihuri and his master mugabe.
And Chihuri will continue to dance to his master's voice, because he is WELL rewarded. How many farms has he "acquired" now? Farms STOLEN from farmers who bought & paid for their properties after they were assured of a future in this country by mugabe in 1980.
The man is nothing but a thug, a conman,and a criminal. In every society in the world, theft is the taking of someone else's possessions without their consent, or against their will. No presidential decrees, no illegal "laws" can alter that THEFT IS THEFT, and those who do it are thieves! Mugabe, ZANU PF, the army, and the "police" are all in this looting spree together. Zimbabwe has become a plunderers' paradise.....particularly sickening because of the violence, terror & death involved.
And now Chihuri, chief thug of a thug "police force" is attending an Interpol function in Lyon????WHAT is the world coming to? WHY hasn't he been removed from his position as vice-president of the organisation & made an example of? Why hasn't he been exposed for the crimes perpetrated against his own people? Why has Interpol not shown it's respect for human rights, by forbidding his participation & publishing a strongly worded statement to uphold one of its core values?
C.x.x.(sender's name omited for safety reasons)
The e-mail address for Interpol public relations is
Protest the Chief Thug's visit to France

Chief Thug, Augustine Chihuri has been visiting Lyon, France attending an
Interpol meeting. Augustine Chihuri is a key member of Robert Mugabe's inner
circle. As commissioner of police he has been implicated in widespread human
rights abuses. Interpol has refused to comment on the affair - Mr Chihuri is
still a vice-president of the organisation which stresses respect for human
rights as one of its core values.

So let Interpol know what you think of their hypocrisy: their public
relations department email address is:

French Embassy in Harare:


Worshipping a dictator is such a pain in the arse.
- Chinua Achebe

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Daily News - Letter to the editor

A juicy yarn about what Jonathan did

5/20/02 11:47:36 AM (GMT +2)

I SHALL give some juicy stuff about Jonathan! Do not be too fast and think
that I am about to divulge some top secret on Jonathan! I can see some of
your faces pitying my bravado.

From the side of law, I can sense some tails in a cop shop wagging in
anticipation of a millennium arrest.

Talking about the shop stewards at the cop shop, I read that they are very
efficient in apprehending those who transgress the mighty law on information
and privacy. It is not a surprise that someone might already be sensing an
arrestable issue here.

All the same, I shall not be deterred by the zeal and efficiency of the guys
at the cop shop. I will stand by my promise and tell you about Jonathan.

All I shall do is give you some interesting facts about Jonathan without
causing any hatred, ridicule and injury towards him.

I will not do what the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
forbids me to do as a law-abiding citizen. I will not dig deep into Jonathan
's unknown and safe past. All I will do is tell you what Jonah did.

Jonathan ate honey! Many of you will wonder why Jonathan's gastronomic
preferences are of interest to hungry Zimbabweans. Well, the main reason is
that Jonathan broke the King's promulgation.

The King had made a law, something akin to our Temporary Presidential
Powers, whereupon the people of the land had been forbidden to eat anything
until sunset. This was a temporary measure, but still Jonathan broke it.

This information is indisputable. I would refer all those who doubt its
veracity to the most sincere book on earth. I can also swear upon the living
God that this happened. Jonathan ate honey!

Of course Jonathan had not heard that the King had forbidden his people from
eating anything on that day. Maybe it boils down to the famous issue on
ignorance with regard to the law.

The law states that ignorance is no defence. The law is indeed an ass for
both fools and sages to ride!

Here is how Jonathan broke the temporary measure put by the King. I shall
ask to borrow from Samuel 1, verses 24 to 27.

24: "Now the men of Israel were in distress that day because Saul had banned
the people under an oath, saying, 'Cursed be any man who eats food before
evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!' So, none of the
troops tasted food."

25: "The entire army entered the woods and there was honey on the ground."
26: "When they went into the wood, they saw the honey oozing out, yet no one
put his hand to his mouth because they feared the oath."

27: "But Jonathan had not heard that his father had bound the people with
the oath, so he reached for the end of the staff that was in hand and dipped
it into the honeycomb. He raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes

I am sure those of you who doubt this will lend their doubts to the Holy
Book and get the proof by themselves in black and white.

This is not a quote from Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses, but a direct quote
from the Holy Bible. I am also positive that the Bible is one book that our
country and Constitution solemnly acknowledges as indisputable.

What the Bible says cannot be disputed by anyone! Countrymen, this is what
Jonathan did during the long and perilous struggle in the land of milk and

He broke Saul's temporary order. Saul was the King of Israel and was also
the dear father of Jonathan. I may not explain further what happened to
Jonathan after he had been exposed as the only one who had eaten on that

I do not know how the Koran would put it, but the Holy Bible explains that
Jonathan was spared the curse!

Many of you would wonder why this article now! The reason is simple. As a
patriot, I could not write about the opposition donating blankets to the
suffering folks of Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe.

That would be setting myself a tall order to prove. I could not write about
Tony Blair digging pit latrines in Zimbabwe, for that would be demeaning the
eminence of a foreign premier.

I could not write about the wells of milk and honey drying up, for I would
be putting myself liable for prosecution for causing alarm and despondency.

So I had to write about Jonathan eating honey. I did not have to write about
something I had no proof of.

I did not have to consult a lawyer for advice on the immunity of my article
with regard to the people's law on Access to Information and the Protection
of Privacy. The access to information in the Bible is unrestrained.

It is free and very quotable. The Kings referred to in the Bible had no
privacy to protect. God was always watching over them.

This, my beloved countrymen, is a straightforward article about some
biblical fellow named Jonathan.

He mistakenly ate some honey when he was supposed to be fasting with the
rest of the men. He had not heard of the King's proclamation, so he ate the

Jonathan ate the honey in the hope that it was going to replenish all his
energy that had been lost in the battle with the Amalekites and Philistines.
He did not eat the honey out of contempt for the King or out of greed.

Talking of honey, how many of you countrymen remember the sweet taste of
honey? This fasting called by King Saul seems to last forever! I thought
that Saul had called for only a single day of fasting!

I thought by now we should be free to eat. It seems the binding oath is now
a killing oath! Never mind the honey, it is a luxury I suppose!

Let us then speak of milk. Where is the milk? I would be wrong to suggest
that Jonathan sipped all the milk too. The Bible says he ate the honey.

I am sure if we then had to conduct a thorough search, we would discover
oodles and oodles of milk stashed somewhere in a foreign country for our own

Meanwhile, let us lift our empty glasses and praise those who eat the honey
and drink the milk for us in a solemn toast. This is what Jonathan did!

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Daily News

      Germany, Finland respond to call for food aid to Zimbabwe

      5/20/02 11:43:47 AM (GMT +2)

      By Takaitei Bote Farming Editor

      THE United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)'s US$60 million (about
Z$3,3 billion) appeal to fund emergency food aid operations in Zimbabwe got
a boost last week when Germany and Finland made available food grants worth
about US$1,2 million (about Z$66 million).

      The German and Finnish food grants follow the 6,5 million euro (about
Z$325 million) food aid donation for Zimbabwe made by the European Union
(EU), two weeks ago.

      WFP Zimbabwe representative, Kevin Farrell said in an interview that
Germany and Finland had made their contributions to the emergency food aid
programme, releasing US$900 000 (Z$49,5 million) and US$300 000 (Z$16,5
million) respectively.

      Apart from Germany and Finland, the United States of America, Britain,
Australia, Japan, Switzerland, South Africa and the EU have so far responded
to the appeal made for Zimbabwe last year by the WFP.

      Farrell said: "The programme has so far received half of the US$60
million which we need to feed our initial target population of 558 000
people in Zimbabwe.

      "To date, we have managed to purchase and transport about 11 500
tonnes of food items into the country and half of that has been distributed
to people in most of the 19 districts threatened by serious food shortages."

      Zimbabwe is facing severe food shortages following poor agriculture
seasons last year and this year while a reduction in plantings in the
commercial farming sector, caused by land invasions, has affected production
of food crops.

      The WFP began distributing food in the country in February this year
and the current emergency programme is expected to run until November this

      Farrell said: "We have been reasonably satisfied with the pace of the
pledges made by donors. The responses have been commendable and it is an
indication that the food situation in Zimbabwe is understood by the
governments that have made pledges."

      Although he said the WFP appreciated the donations, Farrell said the
food need was greater.

      The German and Finnish food contributions come at a time when the
German government had vowed last year it would not resume its aid to
Zimbabwe, suspended in 1999 because of the rampant lawlessness on commercial

      In September last year, head of the German mission to Zimbabwe, Werner
Koehler, said the country was unlikely to resume aid to Zimbabwe because of
the looting on commercial farms and the upsurge in the pre-election

      Zimbabwe last received aid from Germany in the 1998-1999 period. It
was worth about Z$815 million.

      The German government has also been directly affected by the country's
land reform through its part ownership of Border Timbers Limited, the
country's largest timber producer.

      Border Timbers properties, which are protected by the Germany-Zimbabwe
Investment Protection Agreement, are listed for compulsory acquisition by
the Zimbabwe government.

      The Germany-Zimbabwe agreement was signed in 1995 to protect German
investments in Zimbabwe. Investors in Germany own 48 percent of Border

      Zimbabwe's relationship with the EU is also strained because of the
expulsion from Harare of the Swedish head of the EU election mission to
Zimbabwe, Pierre Schori, prior to the March 9-11 March presidential

      Officials in the food industry have said the slow response to the aid
appeal in Zimbabwe was a reflection of Zimbabwe's international isolation
over its poor human rights record, the farm seizures and President Mugabe's
contentious victory in the 9-11 March presidential election.

      Zimbabwe's relations with the US, Britain, Australia and Switzerland
also soured because of Zimbabwe's alleged violation of human rights.

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Daily News

      Four farmers arrested under Public Order and Security Act

      5/20/02 12:07:56 PM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

      FOUR Mashonaland West farmers were arrested on Saturday under the
Public Order and Security Act for allegedly holding a meeting without

      The Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), however, yesterday denied ever
holding a meeting.

      One of the four, Ben de Jage, was released after signing a warned and
cautioned statement.

      The other three, Jean Simon, Buster Peale, and Geoff Kirkman, were
still in police custody in Chinhoyi yesterday.

      Kirkman who underwent a heart bypass operation last year needs
constant medical care.

      Douglas Taylor-Freeme, the CFU vice-president, confirmed that the
three farmers had been picked up from Raffingora.

      Taylor-Freeme said the farmers were alleged to have held an
unauthorised meeting at Ormeston Farm, in Lion's Den.

      Taylor-Freeme said the accused were adamant that no such meeting ever
took place and that the arrests were a blatant attempt to harass productive
members of the farming community.

      He said: "The allegations are without foundation and the arrests are
pure harassment.

      "These farmers should be busy grading their tobacco and planting
wheat. Instead they are being held on baseless charges."

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Daily News

      Striking workers clash with police

      5/20/02 12:07:21 PM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Masvingo

      POLICE in Chiredzi fought running battles over the weekend with cane
cutters as the pro-Zanu PF Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions
(ZFTU)-organised work boycott at Triangle Limited continued.

      The clashes followed reports that the workers had threatened to set
all the cane fields on fire and shut down the milling plant.

      At least 10 people were arrested and scores injured as the riot police
tried to block the workers from closing the sugar mill.

      The police fired tear-gas canisters to disperse the angry workers
gathered at the main entrance to the milling plant.

      The workers were demanding a 35 percent salary increment, better
working conditions and payment of bonuses.

      The police in Triangle yesterday confirmed the disturbances, but said
the situation had returned to normal.

      The strike had paralysed operations at Triangle, one of the largest
sugar-producing companies in the country.

      Workers said the ZFTU promised the workers a 35 percent salary
increment without the consent of management.

      The demonstration turned violent after workers affiliated to the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) ignored calls by the rival ZFTU, to
go on strike.

      The ZCTU has since described the strike as illegal.

      The ZFTU, whose membership largely comprises the cane cutters, went on
the rampage, beating up other workers who ignored the call for strike

      Property worth thousands of dollars was destroyed during the

      On Saturday, the workers blocked the entrance to the milling plant and
erected illegal roadblocks.

      The workers wanted to close the plant and burn all the cane fields to
press management to effect the salary increments.

      Police threw tear-gas to disperse demonstrators.

      During the commotion scores of people were injured.

      Some sustained broken limbs, while others sustained minor injuries.

      By yesterday afternoon some of the seriously injured were still
detained at Triangle Hospital.

      Hospital authorities yesterday could not specify the number of people
still detained.

      A worker who refused to be named said: "We were promised 35 percent
salary increment by ZFTU and now management is refusing to give us the money
because no agreement was entered into.

      "We want the money and will not go back to work until we get what
belongs to us."
      The president of ZFTU in Chiredzi, Simbarashe Mavhaire, yesterday
refused to talk to The Daily News.

      Mavhaire said: "I do not talk to The Daily News. Do not come to my
office or even my house. I do not even want to see the paper before my

      However, the Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Workers' Union president, Elijah
Zuva, said:

      "We did not sanction the work boycott. We are against the strike. The
workers did not consult us and therefore the strike is illegal."

      There was no immediate comment from management at Triangle yesterday.

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Daily News

      Police bar MDC rally

      5/20/02 11:49:22 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      IN what could signal a hard-line stance towards the opposition MDC,
police yesterday barred the party's rally at Trojan Nickel Mine in Bindura,
despite an earlier approval.

      The refusal comes after Thursday's announcement by the MDC that it
would not accept fresh demands by Zanu PF at the inter-party talks. There
were immediate threats from Zanu PF, with President Mugabe warning they
would not "tolerate any more nonsense and rubbish about an uprising".

      Yesterday, thousands of MDC supporters who had waited in vain to be
addressed by their leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, at Trojan Stadium, were told
of the cancellation by Tapera Macheka, the MDC's chairman for Mashonaland
Central province.

      Under the draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA), the police
have to be notified of any political gathering in advance.

      But Macheka said the police were notified on 8 May of the MDC's
intention to hold the meeting. The police responded the next day but did not
indicate whether or not the MDC could go ahead with the rally.

      When the MDC sought clarification they were told that the rally would
not go ahead, resulting in an appeal to John Nkomo, the Minister of Home
Affairs, last week. Nkomo reportedly gave a verbal nod for the MDC to hold
the rally.

      "But this morning, when we asked the police whether the minister's
approval had been put on paper, we were told another story," Macheka said.

      "The minister said we could go ahead with the rally on condition we
did not bring in our supporters from other constituencies, a position we
agreed to."

      Contacted for comment, Nkomo said he was at a funeral and could not,
therefore, speak to The Daily News.

      Tsvangirai yesterday expressed disappointment in the selective
application of POSA by the police. He said the MDC was going to take legal
action against the police, as well as challenge the constitutionality of
POSA from which the police were drawing their discretionary powers.

      Tsvangirai said his party was particularly disappointed by the
last-minute cancellation of the Bindura rally, especially as the police had
approved it earlier.

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Back-Up Plans Made for Nairobi, Harare

Business Day (Johannesburg)
May 20, 2002
Posted to the web May 20, 2002
Mark Smit

KENYA and Zimbabwe are still being billed as venues for the Cricket World
Cup next year.
But organisers revealed at the weekend that contingency arrangements are in
place, should the two countries prove to be unsuitable.

Problems with getting Kenya's facilities up to standard at the Gymkhana
ground in Nairobi, and the political situation in Zimbabwe, have been
apparent for some time. The exclusion of either country, for logistical or
political reasons, would be a major blow to the Cricket World Cup 2003
organising committee, which has made much of this premier event in world
cricket being an African World Cup rather than simply an SA event.
Cup spokesman Rodney Hartman said yesterday there were contingency plans to
hold Zimbabwe's six games, and those in Kenya, at local SA venues, should
the need arise. "But this is premature at this stage. Ali (Bacher, the
Cricket World Cup 2003 executive director) was quite upbeat yesterday about
plans going ahead as envisaged and he did not see problems with either
country's plans."
Hartman said the International Cricket Council had let it be known they were
quite happy that telecommunications, a critical issue for Kenya after
problems at the last ICC knockout tournament, would be sorted out.
But he could not reveal who was footing the $1m bill for making sure media
covering games there would get their stories through to the outside world:
"The ICC are pretty stern taskmasters and their last comment, after visiting
Kenya, was that they were happy systems would be adequate once the
tournament started."
The issue of Zimbabwe is not quite as clear. The country is scheduled to
hold six games at two venues Bulawayo and Harare. "Both centres are well
into the upgrading of their facilities and at this point we are optimistic
the games at each venue will go ahead as planned," said Hartman. "But it has
to be pointed out that World Cup organisers have no control over political
events or their consequences."
He said the venues would have to be finalised by July 15 when tickets go on
sale to the public. The deadline for season ticket-holders and other
preferential booking bodies to take up their options is Wednesday.

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Protest the Chief Thug's visit to France

Chief Thug, Augustine Chihuri has been visiting Lyon, France attending an
Interpol meeting. Augustine Chihuri is a key member of Robert Mugabe's inner
circle. As commissioner of police he has been implicated in widespread human
rights abuses. Interpol has refused to comment on the affair - Mr Chihuri is
still a vice-president of the organisation which stresses respect for human
rights as one of its core values.

So let Interpol know what you think of their hypocrisy: their public
relations department email address is:

French Embassy in Harare:


Worshipping a dictator is such a pain in the arse.
- Chinua Achebe
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Daily News - Leader Page

      We have made our children economic refugees

      5/20/02 11:54:42 AM (GMT +2)

      "Until we are all gone, I will still be here!" Colin Cloete, president
of the Commercial Farmers' Union on SW Radio on the 26 April 2002.

      FOR those of us who live in countries in crisis, the question of
emigration is a painful one. We often have to say goodbye to friends and
families that we know and watch as families are broken up and children move
away and start new lives in distant places.

      The agony deepens when grandchildren come along and are denied the
privilege of growing up in the presence of grandparents. But the impact of
emigration does not end there. Its tentacles stretch far inside the working
of the countries affected by the phenomenon.

      We have lost a quarter of our total population to emigration in the
past five years. Prior to that, almost two-thirds of the white population
had emigrated and the process continues; it's a never-ending drain on the
countries from which the emigrants originate - painful, debilitating and

      Almost all emigrants are economically active people. They are young
enough to pack up and move or they have skills that other countries want.
They either cross borders illegally, as most emigrants do when moving to
other countries, or they leave on "holiday" and never come back. A minority
do it the "right way" and apply for permission to settle in the new country
of their choice and go through the long and arduous task of medical
examinations and long interviews in foreign embassies.

      Whichever way they go, they take with them the education and other
skills and experience that they have gained in the country of their birth.
In the case of those leaving Zimbabwe, these skills are often of world-class
standard and the migrants are valued and easily slip into the social and
economic life of the countries to which they go. They are often hard-working
and make a very valuable contribution to their new host countries. We lose
90 percent of the trained doctors we produce each year, some 50 percent of
our trained and experienced nursing staff have emigrated and every day we
see advertisements for such personnel in our papers. What about teachers,
accountants, lawyers, engineers and those with a myriad of other skills?

      It costs us about Z$500 000 a year to train a university student, the
value of a chartered accountant after years of training and experience in a
highly competitive environment must run to millions of dollars. Relevant
experience in any field is difficult to value, but must also run to millions
a person in many cases.

      When they go they take with them all of that and it comes to their new
home country with no strings attached. It's a pure grant in financial terms
from the country of origin to the country of choice. The value of such
hidden flows of resources must be enormous it must far exceed the combined
value of aid into the countries affected.

      Then there is the effect of these losses of human resources on the
sociological and cultural situation in the affected countries.

      We lose not only the skills and our investment in these people, but
also their social skills. Our artists, our musicians, our actors and dancers
drift to those countries that can offer them recognition and exposure, those
countries where the orchestras will give their talents a home and

      Sometimes, just to emphasise what we are missing, a foreign embassy
will bring a group into the country to tour and bring some "culture" back
into the country. We watch whilst a Zimbabwean coaches the English cricket
side or becomes the hero of the rugby fraternity in Bloemfontein.

      Then there is the affect on the political situation in the originating
country. The two million young Zimbabwean adults that now live in the
squatter camps of South Africa are mostly well educated and urban in origin.
These are the potential democrats of the future.

      In a squatter camp outside Johannesburg they cannot influence events
at home except by sending money (which they do in significant quantities)
and, in a limited way, by writing letters and periodic visits which become
less and less frequent as they gradually find their feet in their new home.
But on the day that matters they cannot vote or attend the rallies or speak
into the situation.

      The loss of the self-employed and skilled affects the political
situation in other important ways. They are the main source of funding for
the emerging political parties. They are also generally independent-minded
people who will stand up to tyranny.

      They buy the newspapers; they communicate into society with ideas and
issues of principle. Where would we be without Kerry Kay talking about
HIV/Aids, Adrian de Bourbon in the legal field, Geoffrey Nyarota at The
Daily News or Trevor Ncube at the Independent Media Group?

      President Mugabe is quite right to attack the commercial farmers; they
are a real threat to his control over the country. They are exactly what a
dictator fears most: independent business people with resources and ideas
and, on top of that, citizens who have every right to be critical and to
vote against his kind when the time comes.

      Every tyrant hates this type of person, which is why Joseph Stalin
killed the independent peasant farmers in Russia; that is why Adolf Hitler
targeted the Jewish businessmen and women of Germany. They fear the
independence of the small businessperson and the free intellectual.

      Which is why we must answer the question as to why Colin Cloete and
people like myself are still living in Zimbabwe and remain fully committed
to working here to try and effect change for the benefit of all our people.
It's partly because we believe strongly that we can only lift up the poor
countries of the world by bringing our skills to bear on their problems in a
sacrificial way.

      You cannot do that by working in an office in Washington or London, no
matter what you may think you are achieving in your own way. Lawrence Levy
is a neurosurgeon working in Harare; he is a living legend as a professional
and as a human being. World-renowned as a surgeon, he chooses to work in the
local State hospitals and to teach at the University of Zimbabwe. He could
work and live anywhere he chooses, but he chooses to live here, amongst the
poorest people on earth. When a young African National Congress soldier was
shot in Botswana and was completely paralysed, it was Levy who saw him in
Harare and tended to his needs.

      Levy serves the people of central Africa and has done so for years,
selflessly and with great skill.

      I am here because of the sacrifices that have been made to bring
myself, my family and my country through to the place where we are today.

      There are hundreds of other examples of people who have given their
lives up for principle in the Third World; people on whom any hope of
progress is dependent in every way. If we in our small way can make a
difference, why not take the risk?

      Risk, after all, is the foundation stone of all progress in every
field of human endeavour.

      There is no other game worth playing.
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Daily News - Leader Page

      Drop in tourism hits foreign currency earnings

      5/20/02 11:28:29 AM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporter

      A SHARP decline in earnings from the services sector, whose main
components are transport, tourism, hotels and restaurants, has worsened the
country's foreign currency situation, says the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

      In its latest Weekly Economic Highlights, dated 26 April 2002, the RBZ
said that a major drop in tourist arrivals and hotel occupancies since 2000
adversely affected travel business.

      The RBZ said: "Low activity in the tourism sector, particularly from
the year 2000, has impacted negatively on travel receipts. Tourist arrivals
dropped significantly and hotel occupancies are still low.

      Reflecting this, inflows from holiday and business travel declined
from US$239,2 million (Z$13 billion) in 1996 to US$81,4 million (Z$4,5
billion) in 2001.

      The RBZ said that a sharp decline in merchandise export performance
during the past four years has also negatively impacted foreign exchange
receipts from related services.

      Exports fell by 35 percent, from US$2,5 billion (Z$137,5 billion) to
around $1,7 billion (Z$93,5 billion) in 2001.

      As a result freight and insurance receipts have declined from US$50,9
million (Z$2,8 billion) in 1996 to US$35,3 million (Z$1.9 billion) in 2001.

      Inflows from port services and passenger fares fell from US$171,9
million (Z$9,5 billion) to US$131,5 million (Z$7 billion).

      The RBZ said: "Against this background, the country's foreign exchange
situation has worsened, further constraining local industry's capacity to
procure essential raw materials and other inputs. The land-locked nature of
Zimbabwe has made it reliant on neighbouring countries for transportation,
shipment and port services, putting the country at a comparative

      Despite these recent setbacks, the RBZ said that the services sectors
retained the potential to generate foreign exchange and to contribute
significantly to sustainable economic development, aided by the country's
abundant natural resources, good transport and communication links and a
relatively diversified banking and insurance sector.

      The RBZ said that tourism retained the capacity to boost foreign
exchange earnings, aided by the 15 percent concessional export finance
facility, and to revive downstream industries.

      The sectors of agriculture, mining and manufacturing are also expected
to benefit from export incentives there by increasing the foreign exchange
earnings capacity of the services sector.
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NGO's Under Threat, EU On Mbeki's Role

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
May 20, 2002
Posted to the web May 20, 2002

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (Human Rights Forum) claims its members
are under a mounting threat from the authorities, which perceive them as
Human Rights Forum co-coordinator Tor-Hugne Olsen told IRIN that "we fear at
the moment that while the main targets in the past have been members or
alleged/perceived supporters of [opposition Movement for Democratic Change]
MDC [now the targets] are other parts of civil society".
He said: "The NGO that seems to be most under attack at the moment is Amani
Trust." The trust, which focuses on highlighting incidents of torture, had
been attacked in government-controlled media and its offices were recently
visited by police.
Olsen said: "Strong rumours about legislation in preparation, designed to
hamper activities of NGOs, are of special concern to the Human Rights Forum
at the moment."
On Thursday last week, the same day the European Parliament adopted a
resolution strengthening their position on Zimbabwe and smart sanctions
against President Robert Mugabe and his associates, a programme officer for
Transparency International was called in for questioning by police in
Bulawayo under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
Transparency International's Andrew Nangogo said: "The programme officer was
not arrested, he was just called in by the police to give them information
on a meeting we had held. [The police] wanted information regarding
statements that were made at that meeting. He still has to give his report
to them. But the remarks that were made [at the meeting], as far as we are
concerned, were not in violation of the Public Order and Security Act."
The Amani Trust's Tony Reeler told IRIN: "It's a multiple level problem. At
the top level there have been repeated threats from the state, that NGOs are
politically undesirable. [State controlled] press recently carried a story
in which a minister made fairly threatening statements that NGOs were
anti-government etc."
The Amani Trust had received "some fairly unwelcome attention in the last
two weeks from the Police Internal Security Unit".
Reeler said: "We have not been able to get any explanation from them as to
why. They have been requesting that members of my staff go to them for
meetings, they've paid a visit to our offices in search of one of the
members of our staff who was away on leave. The next day we got a request
for three members of staff to visit the police at their offices, again with
no cause, and a few staff have been visited by these people at their homes.
Fortunately they were not there."
None of the trust's staff have yet met with police. "We are attempting to
get an explanation from police management to find out what the problem is.
The political statements made by ministers regarding NGOs are threatening,
we've heard there's pending legislation to deal with NGOs. Given what's
happened to the journalists it may be an indication of how they will move
against human rights organisations."
Political opponents and journalists have run afoul of the POSA and Access to
Information and Privacy Act. Eleven journalists have been arrested in the
past month.
The European Parliament meanwhile has singled out South African President
Thabo Mbeki's role in dealing with Zimbabwe and the consequences for the New
Programme for African Development (NEPAD)in a resolution adopted last week.
It stated: "The European Parliament calls on President Mbeki to show
wholehearted and consistent support for the principles of democracy, human
rights and the rule of law, and accordingly to demonstrate the quality of
leadership that befits the powerful and crucial regional position of South
The parliamentarians also called "on African leaders, particularly in the
SADC region, not to resume normal diplomatic relations with the Mugabe
regime and thereby jeopardise ... NEPAD and the prospects for the launch of
an 'African renaissance' by the G8 summit in Canada this July".
In intensifying actions against Mugabe, the parliament resolved that the
European Union (EU) member states and the council take measures to extend
the EU's proscribed list of banned Mugabe associates to include other key
These included: "The vice-presidents, all ministers, senior military, police
and secret service commanders and leading businessmen who have helped to
bankroll ZANU-PF or benefited from its corrupt activities, and who play a
role in sustaining the regime and its campaign of violence, and also include
their respective spouses and children, as they also spend illegally acquired
money abroad."
The parliament also called for the publication of details pertaining to
assets already identified and frozen as a result of the policy of targeted
sanctions and the examination of Zimbabwe's debt situation and drawing
rights in international financial institutions.

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SOUTHERN AFRICA: Zimbabwe tops list of poor harvests

JOHANNESBURG, 20 May (IRIN) - All of Zimbabwe's rain-fed crops have failed and the country only has a quarter of the food it will need for the next 12 months.

"I have never seen the country so dry and it is supposed to be end of the rainy season. I can't imagine what it will look like after the traditional dry season," UN Development Programme (UNDP) resident co-ordinator for Zimbabwe Victor Angelo told IRIN.

Angelo had just returned from chairing a weekend meeting of regional UNDP country coordinators where the grim regional food security predictions of the last few months appear to be coming true.

The latest harvest figures show that Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and Lesotho are, as feared, going to be the worst off. Swaziland also faces serious food shortages and Botswana and Namibia, though battling, have resources to cope. Last week a government source said that northern Namibia's subsistence farmers could only expect one-third of their usual crops.

Zimbabwe tops the list with the second year in a row of poor harvests in the south and centre of the country. The only safe crop was commercially-farmed tobacco. Besides the drought and poor rainfall, commercial food production in Zimbabwe has also been disrupted by a land restitution programme.

"The northern provinces are better off but they produced barely enough for household subsistence and very little of this will reach the market. Zimbabwe's food stocks are exhausted so there is no stock. At least 1.5 million mt needs to be imported," Angelo said.

Malawi only has a 65 to 75 percent crop and will need to import at least 3.5 million mt. Last week field workers said that though the harvest had eased shortages slightly, at least three million people are still in need of food aid.

"South Africa, who would traditionally supply the region, only has a little to spare over their needs and have already committed their surpluses. There is not much left to buy so we have to get the private sector involved, and other humanitarian assistance," Angelo said.

The shortfalls would have to be imported from elsewhere like North and South America but some countries don't have the foreign currency to import, Angelo said.

His concerns are echoed in a recent Southern African Development Community (SADC) Food Security Network report that warned that the poor regional reserves and corresponding price increases will make it even harder to access extra food.

Angelo said: "Lesotho is also becoming very bad although it is completely out of the news." Lesotho has already declared a famine, while Zimbabwe and Malawi have declared disasters.

"It is a very serious crisis. We see the writing on the wall but that writing seems to be invisible. The key players don't seem to be paying attention," Angelo said. "They seem to be focused on Afghanistan, Angola, the Middle East. We need to create awareness of the situation."

Angelo said that to survive many people were eating wild fruit and berries and killing their livestock, confirming previous fears that most people had exhausted all their coping mechanisms.

The resident coordinators did find though that not all countries in Southern Africa are facing empty larders.

"Botswana and Namibia have problems but they have resources. Botswana is not a concern. It is a well-managed economy and can generate foreign currency to import when it needs to. However, they must be aware that the ports in the sub region will be under severe stress because of the imports for other countries and they must plan ahead," a statement released at the end of the resident coordinators meeting said.

The north of Mozambique is "fine" but areas in the centre and south are under stress, Angelo said. The stress in the south occurs frequently and they have traditional food assistance to count on.

"It is because these types of crises are predictable that they are therefore perfectly preventable," Angelo said in the statement.

The coordinators plan to give the points raised at the meeting to a multi-agency team currently finalising a regional food security assessment due for release in June.

UK Warns of BSE Risk From Imported Beef

Business Day (Johannesburg)
May 20, 2002
Posted to the web May 20, 2002
Charlotte Mathews

Polish, Zimbabwean, SA cattle named

The Food Standards Agency of the UK warned the British public last week that
meat from Polish, Zimbabwean and SA cattle older than 30 months may pose a
"slightly higher BSE risk" than other imported beef sold legally.
BSE refers to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which only affects cattle.
BSE has been linked to a rare fatal form of dementia, variant
Creutzfeldt-Jakob (vCJD) disease, in humans who have eaten beef infected
with BSE.
By March 2001, 95 cases of vCJD had been discovered in the UK, according to
the Food Standards Agency.
It said that, although the amount of beef imported from Poland, Zimbabwe and
SA was low and risk controls applied, "major retailers are already acting to
protect the public" after discussions with the agency. It said the European
Commission had already classified Poland as likely to present a BSE risk.
But no risk assessments had been carried out in SA or Zimbabwe.
The UK has not imported beef from Zimbabwe since August 2001 because of
foot-and-mouth restrictions but the latest UK trade statistics for 2001
indicated that 29 tons of beef were imported to the UK from SA.
According to the SA Meat Industry Company (Samic) website, SA was one of
Britain's biggest beef export markets until the BSE ban. BSE and subsequent
problems like foot-and-mouth disease have hit British farmers hard and there
has been a strong drive in the UK to encourage British consumers to buy from
their local producers.
The Food Standards Agency said it was asking the European Commission to
expedite its risk assessments for Zimbabwe and SA. The European Union (EU)
has three risk categories, ranging from category one where it is highly
unlikely there is a BSE risk, to category four where BSE risk is confirmed
at a high level.
Samic manager of food standards and export market development Dr Gerrit
Bruwer said on Friday that SA did not export to the EU countries because of
their high tariffs and duties but it was good to be seen to be approved by
the EU for the purpose of exporting to other markets.
SA's Directorate of Veterinary Services forwarded a full report to the EU in
January. SA was positive it would be accepted as a beef importer to the EU,
he said.

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