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

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Zimbabwe's Spreading Misery


The economic and political cancer of President Robert G. Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe now promises to spread to South Africa — and so endanger the continent. Zimbabwe's man-made tragedy desperately threatens all its neighbors, and deeply compromises American attempts to help Africa help itself. President Mugabe's paramilitary troops have brutalized and killed opponents; assaulted lawyers, human rights activists and democratic reformers; and invaded factories and universities as well as farms. Washington, London and Pretoria must act together to end this lawlessness before it undermines the entire region.

Mr. Mugabe turned recklessly violent when the Movement for Democratic Change challenged his 20-year omnipotence. The months before last June's parliamentary elections were rife with intimidation; Mr. Mugabe's paramilitaries killed many opposition activists. The Movement for Democratic Change still won 57 seats in the 150-seat parliament. Before the election, Mr. Mugabe had controlled all but three seats.

In reaction, Mr. Mugabe and his associates have ignored rulings by the Supreme Court and forced the chief justice to resign, illegally occupied hundreds of (white-run) farms, killed prominent farmers and their supporters, closed radio stations, bombed the only independent daily newspaper, arrested leading opposition figures, legislated to prevent the Movement for Democratic Change from receiving funds from abroad, and rebuffed Secretary General Kofi Annan of the United Nations, the president of Nigeria, and the British and American governments.

As a result of these and other developments to its north, South Africa has seen its own currency depreciated, its economic growth compromised and its race relations, especially in the white farming sector, endangered. Mr. Mugabe has repeatedly snubbed President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.

Nearly a million immigrants have walked into South Africa from Zimbabwe — an exodus that endangers South Africa's economic future. President Mbeki fears the spread of Zimbabwe's violence to his own country.

Mr. Mugabe hopes to destroy the opposition in advance of next year's presidential election. Only Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change is a credible challenger. "I am firmly asserting to you," Mr. Mugabe told a rally in April, "that there will never come a day when the M.D.C. will rule this country — never, ever."

The intimidation has escalated in part because serious shortages of wheat and maize — Zimbabwean dietary staples — are expected later this year. Zimbabwe has had virtually no foreign exchange since September, and production of its biggest exports, tobacco and gold, has shrunk considerably. A trickle of petroleum and electric power continues to arrive from South Africa. Zimbabweans now experience long lines for gasoline and frequent brownouts. Inflation has soared, the currency has lost much of its value against other currencies, gross domestic product has fallen 10 percent, unemployment has reached 60 percent, tourism has declined by more than half, and hospitals and schools barely function. Twenty-five percent of all adults are infected with H.I.V.

Life in Zimbabwe is increasingly brutish and short, and most of the responsibility lies with Mr. Mugabe. Washington and Pretoria cannot wait until after next year's election to act, hoping that Zimbabwe will save itself. Mr. Mugabe will not let a free election occur.

Constructive engagement can no longer curb Mr. Mugabe's assaults on Zimbabweans or his flouting of international norms. Pretoria has shown new signs of alarm since South African-owned businesses were attacked last month. South Africa should now stop supplying fuel.

Most Western donors, including the International Monetary Fund, have already frozen aid, and many charitable organizations have abandoned their operations — not least because of attacks by paramilitaries. Washington should refuse visas to Zimbabwean officials and their relatives and work further to isolate Zimbabwe until Mr. Mugabe stops oppressing his people and restores the rule of law.

Robert I. Rotberg is director of the Program on Intrastate Conflict at Harvard's Kennedy School and president of the World Peace Foundation.

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National debt ballooning at the rate of $10m a day

Daily News: 5/24/01 8:17:46 AM (GMT +2)
Mduduzi Mathuthu, Bulawayo

THE country’s combined foreign and domestic debt has shot up to $636 billion and is accumulating at a rate of $10 million a day, just under a week after the government stopped servicing all its debts and loans because the Treasury is empty.

Economic commentators said the ballooning debt was a result of the constant devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar and government overspending.
They said if urgent corrective measures are not taken, the country could be blacklisted and all loans frozen.
“Devaluation is partly to blame for the crisis,” said Eric Bloch, an economic analyst, in an interview in Bulawayo.
“As soon as we devalue our currency, our foreign debt goes up because we borrow in hard currency.”
The MDC secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, told thousands of party supporters in Bulawayo last Saturday the country was teetering on the brink of insolvency.
Said Ncube: “Zimbabwe is in a total mess. Almost 64 percent of the tax that workers pay is being channelled to pay interests accrued on the country’s debt. Zanu PF has embraced some disastrous policies which will leave the
country in a shambles. You really wonder what can save Zimbabwe at this
Peter Robinson, a political commentator, said in an interview, the parastatal debt
estimated at $90 billion was adding to the country's economic woes.
He blamed what he termed “old-fashioned Zanu PF policies” for the rising debt.
“The cost of the government’s lack of positive policies in the face of the
current situation is being borne by the workers who subscribe to pension
funds. What it means is that people’s savings are being eroded with the
upward spiralling of the debt.”
The government last week said it would stop servicing all its debts because the Treasury had run out of money.

The MDC has often emphasised that should it come into power, the people should not expect a “quick-fix” solution to the economic problems.
On the suspension of all debt repayments by the government, Bloch said
Zimbabwe ran the risk of being penalised and all loans being stopped by financial institutions abroad. He said: “It is only through the restoration of law and the dropping of some obsolete policies by this government that can help the country come out of this crisis. We need to pull out of the Democratic Republic of Congo as a matter of urgency and have strict controls over our spending.”
Robinson blamed the government's “irresponsible policies”.
“Zimbabwe is going to burst soon because the current debts are sure to increase and that means coming generations will still inherit these huge debts,” he said

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Amnesty International Blasts Government Over Human Rights

Johannesburg, May 24, 2001 (UN Integrated Regional Information Network/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX)-- An Amnesty International (AI) research team has found widespread evidence of politically-motivated murder, torture, rape and violence. Tor-Hugne Olsen, head of the team, told IRIN on Wednesday that after spending a week in the country, they had established that such acts were "commonplace" and that the government was doing nothing to stop them. "Extra-judicial executions and torture are occurring throughout Zimbabwe, but particularly in legally-disputed constituencies," Olsen said.

"We saw a clear pattern, where the constituency is the subject of a legal case, witnesses who could confirm allegations of violence are now being targeted," he added. The team noted with concern that some witnesses had been badly assaulted by self-styled war veterans and ZANU-PF supporters and some had disappeared. The amnesty team said it had received the names of at least eight missing people, all opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists.

The MDC is contesting results in 38 of 120 parliamentary districts. In April, a judge overturned election victories by two ruling party lawmakers, declaring that they illegally used violence and intimidation to defeat the opposition party leader and another candidate for parliament in elections last June. More cases are pending.

Olsen said the team found the assault of two elected opposition MPs, Justin Mutendadzamera and Job Sikhala particular worrying. "When MPs are attacked it sends a very strong message to the rest of the people in society that there is no atmosphere conducive to freedom of expression," he said.

During their stay in Zimbabwe, the AI team looked at the recent killing of a student at the University of Zimbabwe. "Police say he was trampled in a riot on campus, we've interviewed many people who witnessed police brutally assaulting him," said Olsen. "The international community should be alerted particularly when these acts of violence are happening with the apparent acquiescence of the government," Olsen added.

As well as opposition supporters, student and civic organisations, the team met police and government representatives during its week-long fact finding trip. "Police denied use of excessive force and government blamed the violence on opposition supporters and those they say are against legitimate land reform, this is totally unacceptable," Olsen emphasised to IRIN.

Amnesty International plans to draw up a report on its findings and to use it to pressure governments. "We're calling for the UN's Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions and the Special Rapporteur on Torture to go to Zimbabwe now and see what is going on there," Olsen said.\ZIMBABWE
Amnesty International
International community must take action now

April 2001
AI INDEX: AFR 46/003/2001

Amnesty International remains very concerned about the grave human rights situation in Zimbabwe, where there are constant attacks on the independent press and on perceived and real opponents of the government. Of particular concern is the ongoing violations by the group calling themselves war veterans, who act with impunity and with the acquiescence of the government. Some are veterans from the war for independence, others are youths apparently paid for their actions.

In this situation, Amnesty International welcomes the resolution on 15 March by the European Parliament condemning the human rights violations in Zimbabwe and the decision on 20 March by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to send a mission to Zimbabwe.

Political killings, beatings, acts of intimidation and other assaults amounting to torture or ill-treatment, have been inflicted on the population in Zimbabwe by members of the army, as well as war veterans, particularly in some of the areas that supported the opposition in the last elections. Zimbabwe is a party to the Organisation for African Unity (OAU)'s African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and to the United Nations (UN) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 5 of the African Charter and Article 7 of the ICCPR prohibit torture. Furthermore under Articles 9, 10 and 11 in the African Charter and Articles 19, 21 and 22 of the ICCPR, Zimbabwe is obliged to respect its population's right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. Zimbabwe is violating these rights on a daily basis. Every individual should be guaranteed equal protection of the law in accordance with Article 3 of the African Charter and Articles 16 and 17 of the ICCPR. In Zimbabwe, respect for the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law is steadily being eroded.

In the light of these clear violations of Zimbabwe's treaty obligations, Amnesty International urges that individual governments and other intergovernmental organisations, in particular the OAU and the UN, should pay increased attention to the human rights situation in Zimbabwe.

Amnesty International fears that torture, political killings, ''disappearances'' and other human rights violations will continue and may escalate in the run-up to presidential elections that are due to take place in the first quarter of 2002. The international community must act now to prevent further incidents of these human rights violations.

Constant attacks on the press

The independent press in Zimbabwe is under siege from the government and its supporters. Journalists doing critical and independent reporting are subject to harassment, including violence and death threats.

On 10 March 2001 Njabulo Ncube, Bureau Chief in Bulawayo for the weekly Financial Gazette, was threatened by a war veteran leader who entered the Bulawayo Press Club, where the South African High Commissioner to Zimbabwe was addressing journalists. These threats included that Ncube would be dead by the time of the presidential elections in 2002 because of his alleged links with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). "You are a fool, you will be killed for nothing. You will not last up to 2002", the war veteran leader allegedly shouted in front of the High Commissioner and other journalists.

On 28 January 2001, the printing press of the Daily News was bombed. The Daily News is the only non government controlled daily newspaper in Zimbabwe and its editor and staff appear particularly targeted by the government and its supporters. Only hours before the bombing, the Minister of Information and Publicity in the President's Office, Professor Jonathan Moyo, told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) that the state would silence the Daily News, as he alleged that it posed a security risk to the nation. The bombing was the second in less than a year, following the bombing of the editorial offices in April 2000. No conclusive investigations into the bombings were ever made by the police. The editor of the newspaper, Mr Geoff Nyarota, has also reported receiving death threats and on one occasion a man told him in person that he had been paid to assassinate the editor.

Five days prior to the January 2001 bombing, the offices of the Daily News were subject to a violent demonstration by war veterans.

On 3 February 2001, a demonstration by journalists to protest against the harassment of media workers and the bombing of the Daily News printing press was called off at the last minute, because the police refused them permits to demonstrate. The police said that they feared war veterans would simultaneously hold a demonstration, and that this could lead to clashes.

On 26 January 2001, police officers summoned in for questioning Davison Maruziva, deputy editor of the Daily News, and reporters Conrad Nyamutata and Luke Tamborinyoka. They were, together with their editor, Geoff Nyarota, questioned for four hours over a story on a civil lawsuit filed in USA against President Mugabe. Their statements were recorded in the presence of their lawyer. The police later summoned and questioned Mark Chavunduka, editor of The Standard, a weekly newspaper, over reports on the same lawsuit. The journalists are allegedly being accused of criminal defamation arising from the articles on the lawsuit.

In a statement issued in connection with reporting on the ongoing lawsuit against President Mugabe in the USA, the Department of Information and Publicity in the Office of the President stated: "Government is reviewing media laws with a view to bringing to Parliament, before the end of the year, appropriate legislation to bring to a stop once and for all the kind of journalism typified by the Daily News and The Standard.'' It also noted that, "the reports [on the ongoing lawsuit] were not only false but criminally defamatory. Even worse, they have used the frivolous case to wilfully, maliciously and criminally defame both the office of and person of the President.''

In addition to these direct forms of harassment of the independent press, the Minister of Information in the President's Office, Jonathan Moyo, has stated that the government is preparing new accreditation regulations for journalists, according to reports of 9 March in the state-controlled daily The Herald. Under the new accreditation rules journalists will be required to hold certain professional qualifications before they can be issued with press cards. Members of the press fear that the regulations will be abused by the government to silence critical journalists.

Constant attacks on the opposition

The elections in June 2000 resulted in the opposition parties Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) gaining 57 and ZANU (Ndonga) 1 out of 120 elected seats in parliament, despite the election campaign being marred by violence, particularly against perceived or real opposition supporters with the aim of intimidating them.

In the aftermath of the elections, the attempts to silence the opposition have been ongoing. Officials and supporters of the MDC, and even the population at large in some of the areas where the MDC won seats in the elections, have faced and still face severe harassment. Some of the incidents have included:

C death threats made against David Coltart, MDC MP for Bulawayo South and shadow minister for legal affairs, who was forced to go into hiding in the beginning of March for a week. The gravity of these threats were underscored by the previous abduction and ''disappearance'' of one of his main election campaigners. Patrick Nabanyama was abducted by government supporters in broad daylight on 19 June 2000 and remains unaccounted for to this day.

C indiscriminate assaults against civilians in Chitungwiza constituency, where the MDC candidate Fidelis Mhashu won with close to 70% of the votes. The residents are living in a state of fear of members of the army who from dusk assault people indiscriminately in the streets, in bars and in some cases in peoples' own homes, while accusing them of being MDC supporters. The soldiers have allegedly forced them to denounce MDC and chant slogans for the ruling party, while beating them up or intimidating them in other ways.

Threats to the rule of law and ongoing impunity for human rights violations

On several occasions over the past year, including when the Supreme Court has delivered judgements on the land issue, the President and government ministers have announced that they will not comply with court decisions. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has taken early retirement, reportedly as a result of threats and intense pressure. On at least one occasion a group of war veterans invaded the High Court in Harare and threatened court officials.

These symptoms of blatant disregard for the rule of law are occurring in a context where human rights violations are sustained by a culture of impunity that has prevailed prior to and since independence. Serious violations of human rights have neither been investigated nor the perpetrators identified and punished.

In 1980, the independence settlement included an amnesty for all perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses committed during the war for independence (1972-80). Those who served in Rhodesia's military and security forces who had been involved in extrajudicial executions and torture were thus incorporated without sanction into the new Zimbabwe government's military and security forces. Inevitably this sent a clear signal that the commission of human rights violations was acceptable and would go unpunished. Methods of carrying out human rights violations were also passed from the Rhodesian to the newly integrated Zimbabwean forces, often practised by the very same people.

As a result, the pattern of violations during the Matabeleland crisis of 1983-1988 was similar to that during the period of the war of independence. Once more, political expediency resulted in an amnesty for all those responsible for human rights violations, so that no-one was brought to justice for the extrajudicial executions, political killings and torture, including rape.

During the election campaign leading up to the parliamentary elections in June 2000 a pattern of violations that included extrajudicial execution and torture emerged. In October 2000 the President announced a Clemency Order that gave unconditional amnesty for all violations during the first seven months of the year, with the exception of acts of murder, rape and theft. This order resulted in investigations of torture and ill-treatment being halted, suspects remanded in custody pending trial released, and charges dropped.

Amnesty International is concerned that this longstanding culture of impunity will facilitate the repetition of massive human rights violations in the run-up to presidential elections in 2002.

Amnesty International recommendations

C governments in Southern Africa and around the world should condemn the ongoing violation of human rights in Zimbabwe;

C the international community, in particular countries in Southern Africa and other countries with trade, aid, cultural or other links to Zimbabwe, must press the President and the government of Zimbabwe to end human rights violations and ensure effective investigation of incidents that have already taken place;

in order to end the culture of impunity an independent, international and impartial commission of inquiry should be constituted and invited to Zimbabwe to investigate reports of extrajudicial executions, torture and ill-treatment, in accordance with international standards for such inquiries and with adequate resources. Standards for such inquiries include the Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the ''Istanbul Protocol'') and the Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions;

C The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights should request Zimbabwe to submit a special report, as well as submitting the report overdue since 1999;

C the international community should put pressure on the government of Zimbabwe to invite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, the Special Rapporteur on independence of the judiciary and the Special Rapporteur on torture to visit the country and conduct investigations;

C the international community should call upon Zimbabwe to permit international observers to monitor the human rights situation in Zimbabwe now, as a preventive measure in the run-up to presidential elections; such monitors should report publicly on any abuses that may occur. The presence of observers only at the time of elections will be too late to prevent a further erosion of fundamental freedoms.
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Mugabe opponent wins supreme court hearing right

By Basildon Peta In Harare

The Independent UK: 08 May 2001

Morgan Tsvangirai, the firebrand Zimbabwe opposition leader who is facing charges of terrorism, scored a major victory yesterday after winning a bid to have his case referred to Zimbabwe's highest court, the Supreme Court, where it will become a test case for freedom of expression in Zimbabwe.

Mr Tsvangirai appeared at the High Court yesterday on terrorism and sabotage charges. His lawyer, Innocent Chagonda, suggested that the ultimate aim of President Robert Mugabe in pressing the charges was to disqualify Mr Tsvangirai from standing in next year's presidential elections and secure a "default victory" for his beleaguered ruling Zanu-PF party.

Zimbabwe's five-member Supreme Court will determine in a month's time whether the charges raised against the opposition leader denied him his rights to freedom of expression enshrined in the Zimbabwean constitution.

Mr Tsvangirai is being charged under Sections 51 and 58 of the colonial era Law and Order Maintenance Act for allegedly "inciting Zimbabweans to violently overthrow President Robert Mugabe's government" at a rally of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party last year.

Lawyers for the opposition leader argued at yesterday's hearing that the provisions of the two sections were too vague and they impinged on constitutional guarantees on freedom of expression. State lawyers said the trial should proceed, insisting that it was not a constitutional matter. If at all, the provisions of the Law and Order Act were about entrenching the rights protected by the constitution itself, the state lawyers argued.

The judge, Justice Moses Chinhengo, agreed that the provisions of the Law and Order Act were too wide and vague, and a threat to constitutional freedoms. "If a statutory provision is vague, it cannot be allowed to stand, if it threatens freedom of expression ... The Supreme Court must therefore determine the matter," he said.

The judge also emphasised that the Law and Order Act was formulated during the colonial era before a constitution with a justiciable Bill of Rights was enacted at independence from Britain in 1980. As such, the Act would always be challenged on constitutional grounds whenever the state sought to rely on it.

The Supreme Court has already declared other provisions of the Law and Order Act to be unconstitutional in a case brought by two Zimbabwean journalists last year after they were illegally detained and tortured by the Zimbabwe National Army over a report alleging a coup attempt on Mr Mugabe.

If Mr Tsvangirai wins the constitutional case in the Supreme Court, all the charges against him will immediately fall away.

The Zimbabwe government alleged that Mr Tsvangirai had been recruited by the British government in a wider plot to overthrow Mr Mugabe whose confiscations of white-owned land, without compensation, for redistribution to black peasants had angered the West. If convicted on the terrorism and sabotage charges, Mr Tsvangirai faces a possible life imprisonment or death sentence. A prison term of more than six months would disqualify him from challenging Mr Mugabe in presidential elections which the opposition leader is tipped to win in April next year.

The legal fraternity in Zimbabwe has also expressed fears that yesterday's victory by the opposition leader might result in Mr Mugabe stepping up efforts to muzzle the judiciary.

Mr Mugabe has already fired Zimbabwe's Chief Justice, Anthony Gubbay, and replaced him with his ally, Godfrey Chidyausiku.

Lawyers interviewed yesterday did not rule out the possibility of Mr Mugabe appointing more "loyalist" judges to the Supreme Court to secure the majority required to rig Mr Tsvangirai's case and have the opposition leader convicted.

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Government Rejects Oppenheimer Land Offer

May 24, 2001 (UN Integrated Regional Information Network/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX)-- Zimbabwe has rejected an offer of land for settlement from the Oppenheimer family, saying it wanted twice as much from the mining magnates, 'Business Day' said on Wednesday. The report said an offer of 34,000 hectares was offered as a "gift" to Zimbabwe by Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of diamond group De Beers. The land was part of the family's 137,000 hectares Debshan ranch in the arid southwest of the country where 21,000 head of cattle are bred for export to Europe.

Zimbabwe's Information Minister Jonathan Moyo was quoted in Zimbabwean news reports as saying the government was not satisfied with the offer. "The government will be satisfied with at least 65,000 hectares. The size of the land they offered is obviously unacceptable, considering this ranch is the size of Belgium," he said. "The clamour for land by peasants in surrounding areas cannot be underplayed. This place dramatises the historical imbalances that we are trying to correct."

It was the first public response by the government since Oppenheimer personally made the offer to President Robert Mugabe in September last year. Oppenheimer also offered to set up a trust fund to help settlers begin farming. Oppenheimer went to Zimbabwe last year after all 240,000 hectares of the family's ranches in the southwest were formally listed for compulsory acquisition.

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South Africa Condemns Violence

May 24, 2001 (UN Integrated Regional Information Network/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX)-- The South African government has condemned the general political violence in parts of Zimbabwe and the latest attacks on businesses, the news Website IOL said on Wednesday. "South Africa does not, and will never condone the violence seen in the country, excuse the occupation of farms and serious harassment of people in rural and urban areas, and strongly condemns the latest spate of business invasions in Zimbabwe," South Africa's high commissioner to Harare was quoted as saying.

High Commissioner Jeremiah Ndou restated President Thabo Mbeki's remarks on the situation in Zimbabwe, saying events there remained of great concern to his government. "It is clear that we must deal with the issue of Zimbabwe in order to deal with a negative perception related to what I am told is the 'fear of contagion'," a statement issued by the high commission was quoted as saying.

The report said Ndou expressed South Africa's concern over the invasions of mainly white-owned businesses in Zimbabwe in recent weeks by war veterans, during which at least 16 South African firms came under attack. "The South African government is very concerned with events in the past few weeks where the business community has been threatened and harassed," he said. South Africa's Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was quoted as saying recently that her country had a responsibility to avoid a "complete collapse" of Zimbabwe.

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Trade Unions Threaten Mass Strike Over New Labour

May 24, 2001 (UN Integrated Regional Information Network/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX)-- The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) would call a national strike if parliament passed a proposed labour law which bars the unions from work stoppages, a union leader was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

ZCTU President Lovemore Matombo said that if the government refused workers the right to strike, "its confrontational, they will have chosen the antagonistic approach". "If the bill passes in its current form, workers will not accept such a repressive piece of legislation and may be forced to exercise their democratic right to withdraw labour," he told a news conference.

"Once a worker is refused the right to strike he is docile," he said. He added that the proposed law was intended "to stifle and weaken the labour movement", which is closely linked to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Thursday 24th May 2001
Every attempt is made to provide a comprehensive report of ongoing activities in relation to farm invasions, but many incidents are unreported due to communications constraints, fear of reprisals and a general weariness on the part of farmers.  Farmers names and in some cases, farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisal.
30 head of cattle and thousands of guinea fowl were poisoned on a farm in Kadoma, after illegal occupiers had soaked maize in cyanide acquired from gold mines.   
About 10 ostriches were killed on Stonehaven, in Marondera North, by illegal occupiers and their dogs.
The owner of Central Farm in Beatrice, has been told to stay off his farm by the Lands Committee after illegal occupiers stated they were taking over the farm.
The owner of Blighty Farm, in Mvurwi had to pay $20,000 for alleged damage done by his cattle to illegal occupiers maize  
There were no reports received from Mashonaland West (South), Manicaland and Matabeleland Regions.
Mashonaland Central
Mvurwi - The owner of Blighty Farm, had to pay $20,000 for alleged damage done by his cattle to illegal occupiers maize on his farm, after the fence had been cut.  The dispute between illegal occupiers and the owner has been resolved for the time being.
Mutepatepa - The owner of Dunaverty Farm has been allowed to continue with wheat planting but has been advised that there will be no summer cropping.  Work continues to be prevented at Amanda, and seedbed planting has been stopped at Katanya.
Mashonaland West North
Chinhoyi - Illegal occupiers have caused two wheat work stoppages on Braeside Farm  and threatened to burn the owners tractors. More illegal occupiers have moved onto Msengi Farm. 40 families from Shackleton Mine have moved onto The Range Farm. The DA has instructed that pegging commence on Bandira Farm even though the owner had already sold 22 000 ha to government.
Trelawney - More illegal occupiers have moved onto Shirleigh Farm.
Banket - There are 72 illegal occupiers remaining on Mimosa, arguing amongst themselves as to whether they should stay on the farm or not. The remaining illegal occupiers have returned to the Chrome Mines.
Karoi - A work stoppage occurred on Ardingley Farm preventing the owner from planting seed beds.
Doma - There has been much movement of illegal occupiers onto Chipiri and Chitatu Farms.
Umboe - 6 more head of cattle are missing on Chifundi Farm.
Mashonaland West South  
Kadoma - 30 head of cattle and thousands of guinea fowl were poisoned, after illegal occupiers had soaked maize in cyanide acquired from gold mines. 
Mashonaland East 
Beatrice - The labour from Welcome Home farm were instructed by illegal occupiers to meet at Joyce Mine. The meeting was a form of orientation where the labour had to stay there for 3 hours and the youths for 4 hours. When labour were called to attend the meeting the following day, a dispute between a labourer and an illegal occupier took place, resulting in one of the labourers being beaten up. Illegal occupiers demonstrated outside the homestead of Nebo Farm as they did not want the lessee of the farm to prepare land for next years crops. The owner of Central Farm has been told to stay off his farm by the Lands Committee after illegal occupiers stated they were taking over the farm. The owner has been told that he can finish grading his soyabeans, only if he has the permission of the police to go to the farm, but he must remain in the grading sheds and not visit the lands. Agritex are pegging on Muriwai, Carnethy and Logan Lee.
Bromley/Ruwa/ Enterprise - DDF have pegged through lands being prepared for next seasons crops on Dunstan.
Harare South - About 80 illegal occupiers arrived on Edinburgh farm, pegged in three lands prepared for tobacco and erected a hut in one of the prepared lands.
Marondera - Ngezi farm has been reinvaded. Agritex are pegging on Chipesa.
Marondera North - There have been work stoppages on Cambridge and Ulva. About 10 ostriches were killed on Stonehaven by illegal occupiers and their dogs.
Macheke/Virginia - The owner of Warren Farm was told by the main illegal occupier, Manera, that the labour were to leave their houses as the illegal occupiers wanted to occupy them. The owner refused and reported the incident to the police. Manera then proceeded to plant a vegetable garden in the tobacco seed bed site, and barricaded the farmer in his house. This was later resolved. Later that night, the illegal occupier barricaded the owner’s wife in the house, the police refused to react and a neighbour went in and collected her.  There have been a number of " fast - track" letters served in the district. Illegal occupiers on Malda farm stopped the owner from cutting grass for his seed beds. A councillor from Murehwa instructed the owner of River Valley farm to move his labour off the farm as he had been fast - tracked. About 20 abusive illegal occupiers arrived on Marylands and stopped all work. The Assistant DA resolved the problem and after being told that there were to be no work stoppages, the invaders left.
Wedza - There was a work stoppage on Idube. Two calves have been slaughtered on Collace. A work stoppage has occurred on Fells.
Masvingo East & Central – There has been an increase of illegal occupiers on Bon Domi, with huts being erected.
Chiredzi - Continued tree chopping, building of shacks and poaching continues.
Mwenezi – A veld fire on Rutenga Ranch resulted in a substantial area of grazing being burnt.  200 illegal occupiers are living in one paddock and about 67 in another.  Firewood was stolen on Rienette Ranch. 18 snares were found on La Pache Ranch. There has been an increase in illegal occupiers on Sheba and Valley Ranches.  The owner of Alternburg Farm has offered two thirds of his farm to Government and the remaining one third he has requested for himself.  This has been occupied.  Work stoppages continue on Umbono Holdings.
Gutu / Chatsworth – Deforestation and building of shacks continues.
Save Conservancy – The situation remains unchanged.  On Mukwasi Ranch there has been an increase of illegal occupiers.  Negotiations between Government and Save Conservancy appear to be moving ahead to resolving the fence issue.
Mvuma - Illegal occupiers are waiting quietly to be allocated stands on two new farms in the area.
Somabhula - A farmer was prevented by Illegal occupiers from cutting and baling hay,  the reason being that the hay belonged to illegal occupiers after being resident for two days.
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SA abandons soft stance on Zim

Staff Reporter
Financial Gazette: 5/24/01 6:43:46 PM (GMT +2)
SOUTH Africa yesterday for the first time publicly criticised the illegal occupation of white-owned farms by self-styled veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s independence war and their attacks on private companies and foreign aid organisations ostensibly on behalf of discontented workers.
In the clearest sign yet of a shift by Pretoria from its policy of quiet diplomacy on Harare, Jeremiah Ndou, South Africa's High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, said in a statement that his country strongly condemned the current wave of company invasions.
"South Africa does not, and will never condone the violence seen in the country, excuse the occupation of farms and serious harassment of people in the rural and urban areas, and strongly condemns the latest spate of business invasions in Zimbabwe," said Ndou.
Gangs led by the self-styled war veterans have unleashed a reign of terror since last June's parliamentary election that left 31 opposition party members dead and have now widened their attacks to include companies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Businessmen and officials of NGOs suspected of supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have been abducted and assaulted by supporters of the ruling party while others have had to pay hefty sums at ZANU PF offices as compensation for firing or retrenching workers.
The government has however begun moves to rein in its rogue element and several so-called war veterans have since appeared in court charged with extortion and kidnapping.
"The rule of law is the fundamentals of any civil society and lawlessness is strongly condemned by the South African government," Ndou said in the statement made available to the Financial Gazette yesterday.
"Acts of violence aimed at an individual will never be condoned by the South African government and people," he added.
Ndou issued the statement in response to recent articles in Zimbabwean newspapers that said Pretoria would not bow to international pressure to condemn lawlessness in its southern African neighbour.
South African President Thabo Mbeki has been heavily criticised at home and abroad for his softly approach to the problems in Zimbabwe largely caused by the excesses of the governing ZANU PF party.
Several other Western countries including the United States and Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial master, have condemned the lawlessness that was triggered by illegal farm occupations just before the June plebiscite won by ZANU PF with a reduced majority.
According to Ndou, South Africa was also engaging Harare on how to resolve its strained relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank and how to end the biting fuel crisis that has almost brought business on its knees.

South Africa and Britain are Zimbabwe's most important trading partners and thousands of Zimbabweans have flocked into the two countries as the economic and political climate in the southern African country deteriorates.

Oppenheimers clash with Mugabe over ranch

By Njabulo Ncube, Bureau Chief
5/24/01 6:42:58 PM (GMT +2)
BULAWAYO - The South African-based Oppenheimer family that owns huge properties in Zimbabwe has clashed with the government for allegedly downsizing its Debshan Estates ranch in southern Zimbabwe that cuts through four provinces, the Financial Gazette has established.
It emerged yesterday that the wealthy family, which also controls the multinational Anglo American Corporation and De Beers Diamond Company, had informed the government that Debshan - which spans the Midlands, Masvingo, Matabeleland North and South provinces - measured about 137 000 acres instead of 137 000 hectares as ascertained by government assessors.
The government last year served notice on Anglo that it intended to acquire part of Debshan for the resettlement of landless peasants.
The ranch was later de-listed from designation after Nicholas Oppenheimer, the chairman of Anglo American, offered the state 40 000 hectares of the 960 000 hectares of land the family and Anglo own in Zimbabwe at a meeting with President Robert Mugabe.
Vice President Joseph Msika, allegedly on the orders of Mugabe who is understood to be personally negotiating the take-over of part of the farm with Oppenheimer, on Monday stormed Debshan's headquarters in the Insiza district of Matabeleland South, about 165 kms from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city.
Msika's visit, according to officials, was to ascertain the actual size of the farm that is being disputed between the Oppenheimer family and the government.
Msika was accompanied by a high-powered government delegation that included Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and senior ZANU PF officials Kembo Mohadi, Thenjiwe Lesabe and some war veterans.
The visibly angry Msika berated the white managers at the estate in the presence of the Financial Gazette, accusing them of wanting to maintain the "present statusquo" in which, he said, they wanted "to remain king over blacks".
He warned them that the government would not tolerate whites who labelled his administration "land-grabbers" when its intention was only to correct an imbalance brought about by colonialism.
"I want to tell you (whites) that your time is over. It is now the time for Mugabe to do what he wants," said an angry Msika, foaming at the mouth.
"I want you to tell me now the exact size of this huge property and why you classify it as an agro-industry? There is no way this place can be called an agro-industry. There are no factories here," he thundered at the visibly shaken white managers.
"Somebody deliberately lied to us but we will not be fooled. We won't remove the people that have settled on this farm since last year," he added, much to the delight of the over 10 000 people that thronged the property on Monday.
He added: "But I also want to tell our people that we will not allow new invaders on this and other properties from now on."
The estate, which has about 21 000 cattle and earns in excess of $80 million a year through the sale of about 4 000 cattle to the state-owned Cold Storage Company, was last March forcibly occupied by some veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s war of independence and other land-hungry ruling party supporters.
This week about 10 000 of them were still at the property waiting to be allocated pieces of land by the government under its so-called fast-track land reform programme.
Clive Swanapoel, the general manager of Debshan, apologised at length to Msika and his delegation over what Swanepoel said was an error by the company on the size of the property.
He said the company proposed to offer the government about 34 000 hectares of the property to resettle some of the landless villagers from the four provinces that border the estate.
"I apologise on behalf of the company. It was not our intention to annoy the government. But I have to also mention that the estate is fully utilized. There is no inch of this property that is not put to full use," Swanepoel said.
He explained how every inch of the estate was utilised but government officials present were adamant that there was no way all the land could fully be utilised. The government delegation also vehemently disputed that the estate was an agro-industrial property.
Over 200 locals are employed at the estate that is crisis-crossed by two large rivers - the Shangani and the Ngezi - as well as several other smaller ones.
Msika told Swanepoel that the government wanted 65 000 hectares of the 137 000 hectares of the estate to resettle people.
"This ranch is just too much for one family. We can have up to five big farms to resettle our people. We need at least 65 000 hectares and I will personally tell your boss Oppenheimer that Robert Mugabe wants almost half of the estate," said Msika.
Of the 40 000 hectares the Oppenheimers offered the government, 34 000 hectares was to come from Debshan, which is estimated to be the same size as Belgium.

ZANU PF bid to steal urban vote flops

By Sydney Masamvu, Political Editor
5/24/01 6:49:26 PM (GMT +2)
THE governing ZANU PF party's plan to hijack the elusive urban vote in next year's crucial presidential poll by intervening in labour disputes on behalf of workers has failed dismally, analysts said this week.
The experts said the governing party was last week forced to abandon its ill-conceived plan after it emerged that Zimbabwe faced the real possibility of international sanctions because of the government's failure to stop the wave of violent illegal company invasions.
Hundreds of companies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been invaded by war veterans of the Chenjerai Hunzvi-faction and supporters of the ruling party since March.
The company invasions, triggered by the formation of a labour committee led by Harare war veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba, have resulted in the arrest of more than 20 party supporters for kidnapping and the extortion of about $8 million and the dissolution of the committee.
"The plan was a complete disaster for ZANU PF and the government all round and they had to abandon it midstream because they had no choice since sanctions were beckoning," said Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies researcher, Brian Raftopoulos.
"The pressure which was coming from the international community including possible sanctions and the impact on the economy on companies closing down made ZANU PF realise, though late, that it was stretching its luck too far," Raftopoulos told the Financial Gazette.
Raftopoulos said the plan had also been aimed at wreaking havoc in towns that are seen by ZANU PF as the power base of the MDC but had failed to hoodwink the urban poor, who can barely afford a daily meal and whose fortunes are worsening by the day because of rising poverty, joblessness and the high cost of living.
President Robert Mugabe faces the strongest challenge to his 21-year-old reign from the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai in next year's presidential poll.
Masipula Sithole, a respected political analyst at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), said the ZANU PF plan to woo the vote of urban workers and their families by raiding companies ostensibly to address labour disputes, had collapsed and the party had run out of ideas on how to penetrate urban centres.
"The whole approach by ZANU PF to promote lawlessness in towns by raiding companies as means in order to win votes in the presidential elections was unsustainable and fittingly, it crumbled in their face," said Sithole.
He said the real possibility of sanctions against Zimbabwe and failure by the ruling party to win widespread support of its invasions of companies had forced party leaders to execute a hastily arranged exit plan that culminated in last week's arrest of some war veterans and the dissolution of the party's labour committee.
Sithole said the failure of the violent campaign in the urban areas was now going to instil some form of resilience on villagers who were successfully intimidated into voting for ZANU PF during last year's June parliamentary election.
The ZANU PF plan to browbeat the urban vote into submission hinged on the ability of its so-called war veterans to subdue mainly white-owned businesses and make them pay huge amounts to workers as compensation for lost jobs.
Scores of company and NGO executives were kidnapped and force-marched to ZANU PF party offices during the last two months where they were forced to either re-employ some sacked workers or ordered to pay them exorbitant amounts as compensation.
Chinotimba and another senior ZANU PF Harare province official, Chris Pasipamire, presided over the "negotiations" held at party premises that usually always ended with huge amounts of money being paid to the workers.
The plan backfired on the governing party when rogue elements hijacked it and used it to milk businesses and NGOs of millions of dollars. Several top war veterans, including Pasipamire, are being accused of extorting a total of $8 million from the affected companies.

The analysts said the blitz last week on the war veterans was a result of international pressure that included protests from Britain, Germany, South Africa and Denmark and sanctions recently imposed on Zimbabwe by Canada because of the lawlessness.
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Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Media Update # 2001/20
Monday 14 May to Sunday 20 May 2001


Ř   Masvingo's Mayoral elections again exposed the state
    media's bias in favour of the ruling party. In previous weeks
    these media had given ample platform to the ruling party to
    campaign. In the week even after the defeat of the ruling
    party, the state-media solicited opinions from an array of
    Zanu PF sources. On the day the results were announced
    ZBCTV gave little airtime to the victor. On the other hand,
    The Daily News' had a subjective interpretation of the
    results, both in its headline and in the text. 
Ř   Government's U-turn in dealing with company invasions
    exposed the fickleness of the state media which hitherto
    had glorified the labour arbitrations and ignored the
    abductions, threats and extortion in the arbitrations.
Ř   Of concern, has been the ongoing battle between the
    various media outlets, mainly the private press and state
    media. Both sides have sought to prove the other side
    wrong by denying reports in other media outlets at the
    expense of providing fair and accurate information to the
    public. Obviously, in the final analysis, the reader is the
    victim, as s/he remains unsure of which report to believe.

Ř   The week saw a new live current affairs programme, "Talk
    To The Nation", on ZBC-TV which is sponsored by
    National Development Association (NDA). There were
    about 12 callers, representing views that evenly reflected
    those critical and in favour of government policies.
    However, the programme requires the services of an
    independent and qualified moderator to give it greater


Expectations were high that after a campaign blitz on behalf of the
ruling party, the state-owned media would at least give airtime to
the winning candidate after the elections. MMPZ statistics however
show that on television, for example, of the 20 minutes spent on
the elections in the week, Zanu PF was accorded 16 minutes
(80%) while both the Registrar's office and the MDC 90 seconds
each (7.5%) and 60 seconds was the reporter's opinion. On radio
2/4; 55% of the voices quoted were Zanu PF, 18% MDC. Radio 3
relegated MDC's victory to the third item (14/5 8pm). The station
carried two MDC voices against six of Zanu PF.
Similarly, the Herald solicited three Zanu PF voices versus three
from MDC (sandwiching the MDC victory between extensive stories
of Zanu PF victories elsewhere), while the Chronicle gave two
voices each to the parties. However the bias was evident in the
Herald's editorial which read thus: "in this weekend's election
Zanu-PF pushed its share of the vote to 29.3 percent while the
MDC share dropped to 62.9 percent.that substantial increase
in the Zanu-PF share in just under a year shows that the ruling
party is probably on the right track in its efforts to rebuild its
urban support. The editorial went further to claim that because of
this percentage rise ZANU-PF was going to get a "comfortable"
majority in the Presidential elections. 

The private press however, viewed the victory as people's brave
stand against state violence and intimidation. The Daily News 16/5,
The Financial Gazette 17/5 and The Zimbabwe Independent 18/5
ran editorials reinforcing the futility of state violence to influence
votes in urban areas.
The Daily News quoted four MDC voices against one of Zanu PF.
It's initial article on the MDC victory was opinionated and subjective
in tone as reflected in the headline "Masvingo says no to
violence" and in the sentence "retired engineer Alois Chaimiti
became the first MDC executive mayor when he embarrassed
Zanu PF's Jacob Chademana".

The Independent 19/5 quoted the ordinary voices, while The
Financial Gazette 18/5 quoted two Zanu PF voices (Eddison
Zvobgo and Mavhaire, who cannot be said to represent Zanu PF's
mainstream opinion but are in fact considered a rebel faction in the
party). The two blamed the party's loss on violence, economic
crisis, unnamed opportunists and the party's restructuring
Both the private and state owned press also concentrated on the
political showdown surrounding the polls without trying to compare
the candidates on the strength of their mayoral manifestos or
programmes they had to offer once in office.
ZBC audiences were swamped with Zanu PF's differing reasons for
the loss. These included Samuel Mbengegwi (ZBC; 14/5 8pm &
17/5) who attributed the loss to violence and intimidation,
inefficiency of the registrar general's office. The views of other Zanu
PF officials were from secretary for administration Emmerson
Mnangagwa (three minutes thirty seconds-15/5), John Nkomo (16/5
8 pm) who blamed it on factionalism and Jonathan Moyo (ZBCTV,
20/5; 8pm).

On the other hand, MDC's winning candidate was given a sound
bite once (1 minute on ZBCTV - on the 15th; 8pm), a day after the
results were announced.  On Radio, MDC's spokesman,
Learnmore Jongwe, was quoted commenting about the victory on
the 16th, two days after the announcement of the results.

Notably, ZBCTV also appeared to attempt to counter-balance the
MDC victory with stories highlighting internal ZANU PF
developments, which amounted to little more than public relations
items on ZBC TV. For instance on the 14th Nhau/Indaba carried
news of the MDC victory in Masvingo after an item on  Philip
Chiyangwa's victory in the Zanu PF provincial elections in
Mashonaland West. This item received two minutes and thirty
seconds during the main news bulletin (8pm) while the lead story
received one minute and forty-five seconds of white copy.

Government's U-turn on firm invasions

For the first time in the state-owned media, in a demonstration of
these state institutions political patronage, acknowledged that
there was thuggery and evidence of rampant extortion,
abductions and violence (The Herald 17/5) in the labour
arbitrations. It attributed these to "rogue" war veterans and MDC
impostors. Previous weeks reports had glorified the war veterans as
efficient arbitrators.
Similarly the ZBC in an about turn was quick to condemn the
activities and uncritically reported Nkomo's assertion that those
who were involved in these invasions and extorting money were
rogues/criminals (16/5). ZBC failed to report that war veterans had
been arrested and when it did the following day on 17/5 the report
was buried in the business section of the television bulletin. It was
left to a caller in a new current affairs prgramme to question and
attempt to reconcile the fact that one of the arrested people was
Mike Moyo an executive member of the war veterans and Chris
Pasimarire a war veterans executive member in Zanu PF's Harare
Although radio broke the story in time, 17/5 1pm, on television the
story broke on 18/5 Nhau/Indaba in the bulletins monitored.
The private press was dismissive of government's efforts,
interpreting the about turn as being a result of a strategy that had
gone wrong and brought more losses than gains.

All state media (20/5) reported the appointment of four labour
tribunal judges. No attempt was made to reconcile this with
previous reports which had blamed the inefficiency in the resolution
of labour disputes on the ZCTU. Apparently, the blame could
squarely be levelled on the government because of its failure to
appoint enough judges.

Mazowe Citrus and Care International

The war between the private media and the state-media continued
this week. This time the state media (ZBC 17/5 and The Herald
18/5) rubbished a Daily News report (17/5) which had alleged that
Mazowe Citrus had been forced to close down by war veterans. In
another report, The Herald (16/5) quoted an unnamed visiting
Canadian envoy who allegedly described the Daily News (7/5) and
The Standard (13/5) reports about the assault of Care director and
Canadian diplomat at the hands of war veterans as grossly
exaggerated "press nonsense".
The Zimbabwe Independent and the Daily News followed up the
denial alleging that the Herald had manufactured a story in order to
discredit The Daily News and that the "O"Brien had never given an
interview with the Herald. The Herald followed up with a story
standing by its story and saying had "impeccable sources".
A similar incident occurred with the Mazowe Citrus Estate report,
where The Herald and the ZBC in indirect speech, quoted the
Estate's chief executive who said that operations and stopped but
only for the morning. The Daily News (18/5) on the other hand
followed this up quoting unnamed workers who expressed shock at
their chief executives denial.
These reports highlight the struggle for credibility between media
outlets, and certainly the reader is the victim. The question of truth
invariably arises.


Another contestation between the Daily News and the state-owned
press came to an end in the week. Against conventional
journalistic ethics and conduct, The Daily News, which had
previously alleged that a US lawsuit against the President had
resulted in a default judgement of $20billion, published a retraction
in its editorial. The statement read:
".we stated that a default judgment had been passed
against Mugabe, where the court had only noted Mugabe's
default. This was an error on our part and we wish to
publicly apologise to Mugabe for the embarrassment and
inconvenience it may have caused him."


The Herald (14/5) carried an article alleging British undercover
operations in Zimbabwe. The story quoted unnamed intelligence,
diplomatic and military analysts, consequently depriving the article
of credibility. In a separate article of the same issue Minister of
Information and Publicity Professor Jonathan Moyo reiterated the
existence of unnamed espionage missions against Zimbabwe.
Without proper sourcing and verification the report read as mere
government propaganda.
The former editor of The Herald Bornwell Chakaodza, confirmed the
existence of such propaganda. The Standard (20/5) reported that
the former editor revealed that he was once forced, against his
better judgment, by a government minister to publish a totally
false story alleging an MDC plot to sabotage the country. MMPZ is
greatly concerned by such lack of professional ethics and the use
of the public press as a medium for state propaganda.


The MEDIA UPDATE is produced and distributed by the Media
Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, 221 Fife Avenue, Harare, Tel/fax: 263
4 734207, 733486, E-mail:, Web:
Feel free to respond to MMPZ. We may not be able to respond to
everything but we will look at each message. Also, please, feel free
to circulate this message.
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Police unleash dogs on students

Daily News: 5/23/01 8:09:19 AM (GMT +2)
Mduduzi Mathuthu, Bulawayo

POLICE dogs were unleashed on about 2 000 students from the Bulawayo
Polytechnic as they protested in the city centre yesterday.

The students were demonstrating against the privatisation of the college’s catering services.
Several of them were injured when riot police released the dogs on them and used force to break up the demonstration.
At least seven students were arrested.
The police were yesterday reported to be keen to interview the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) president, Nkululeko Sibanda.
Sibanda told The Daily News student leaders had held an urgent meeting with student leaders from the United College of Education, Hillside Teachers’ College and Gwanda Zintec College to look at ways of widening the strike.
“We are determined to smash this monster that is privatisation of catering services. We are not intimidated by the police violence against students and our message is that this is just the start of a wave of student protests.
The zeal to see it through is there,” said the Zinasu president.
The police first blocked the students at the intersection of Parirenyatwa Road and Seventh Avenue, but the students overpowered them with a hail of stones, before reinforcements were called.
Meanwhile, another group of students left the Polytechnic, using a different route into the city. The two groups converged outside the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe along Jason Moyo Street.
Eight police vehicles disgorged squads of policemen who set upon the students. They unleashed the dogs and struck with batons to disrupt the demonstration.
A number of unsuspecting members of the public were caught in crossfire.
Police yesterday said they were still compiling information on the protest.
Said Sibanda: “We are surprised that the police attacked peaceful demonstrators. If there was any damage to property, then it must be to the trees from which we took a few branches.”
By late yesterday afternoon, heavily armed policemen stood guard at the college. Efforts to get comment from the college principal, Abraham Mwadiwa were in vain.
At the beginning of the year the government privatised all catering services at institutions of higher learning, prompting a steep rise in the cost of food for students.

Court told of massive torture during Marondera East polls

Daily News: 5/23/01 8:08:11 AM (GMT +2)
Court Reporter

INGE Genefke, the secretary-general of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture, yesterday told High Court judge, Justice Vernanda Ziyambi, there was massive torture in Marondera East at the height of last year’s parliamentary election.

Genefke, a medical doctor specialising in victims of torture, testified in a petition hearing in which Didimas Munhenzva of the MDC is seeking the nullification of the election result in Marondera East, won by Sydney Sekeramayi of Zanu PF.
At the hearing which started yesterday, Genefke, a Dane, said: “I first came to Zimbabwe last year in May at the invitation of Amani Trust to investigate allegations of torture in the country. I examined about 10 people and it was my conclusion they were tortured. On my second visit this year I examined two torture victims, Gwinyai Kanyongo and Crybert Basimon, both of whom have typical symptoms of torture.”
Amani Trust is a human rights organisation.
Sekeramayi, then Minister of State Security responsible for the CIO and now Minister of Mines and Energy, polled 10 701 votes, Munhenzva 10 629, United Parties’ Sekai Charingani won 248, while 205 voters opted for Pascal Dangwa, an independent.
Advocate Edith Mushore, for Sekeramayi, argued the evidence by Genefke was not from an eyewitness point of view, but she chose to believe the men without investigating.
Said Mushore: “You did not investigate what you were told by these two people you interviewed, but instead chose to believe them.”
Advocate Adrian de Bourbon, representing Munhenzva, said the election in Marondera East was marred by massive irregularities at polling stations, intimidation, torture and violence.
De Bourbon said: “This influenced the voting pattern in the constituency.
There were two recounts in Marondera East, resulting in enormous disparities in the results. I’ll come to that in due course.
“There are over 6 000 unaccounted-for votes and the Registrar-General has to tell the court why. Ballot boxes were brought in from the Chikomba constituency, where Dr Chenjerai Hunzvi is an MP, into Marondera East. Why?
The Registrar-General has to explain.”
De Bourbon said out of 500 voters’ registration books, 324 were not used.
“The Registrar-General must explain what happened,” said De Bourbon.
The hearing continues tomorrow when either Tobaiwa Mudede, the Registrar-General, or a representative of his office, is expected to answer De Bourbon’s questions.

Mugabe approved GMB deal: Kangai

Daily News: 5/23/01 7:32:24 AM (GMT +2)
Pedzisai Ruhanya

KUMBIRAI Kangai, the former Minister of Lands and Agriculture, facing a $228 million fraud charge, yesterday told the High Court that his actions had the approval of President Mugabe.

The allegations of corruption levelled against him were merely aimed at embarrassing him, Kangai said.
His lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, said: “Kangai had discussed the matter with President Mugabe who gave his approval. Later, the matter was referred to Cabinet for discussion. After discussion, Cabinet approved the exportation of maize to Malawi and later communicated this approval to the GMB through his officials.”
Kangai is jointly charged with his former permanent secretary, Tobias Takavarasha, and Martin Muchero, the suspended chief executive of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
The three pleaded not guilty to three counts of corruption when they appeared before High Court judge, Justice Charles Hungwe.
Samkange said Kangai discussed the exportation of maize with Mugabe who approved the move.
He said the actual exportation of maize to Malawi was a matter of administration which Kangai would not be concerned with and which he did not concern himself with.
“Kangai was only concerned with the policy aspect of the export of maize,” Samkange said. “As regards the mechanics of how to effect the exports to Malawi, these are matters to be dealt with by the GMB management.”
Kangai denies that he connived with Takavarasha and Muchero to commit any crime.
“Kangai will say he has been included in the charge in order to simply embarrass him because he was a minister,” said Samkange.
“This charge clearly demonstrates the desire by the State to embarrass Kangai as there is no basis for the State to have included him in the charge.
“Instead, they are fully aware the former minister was not responsible for administrative matters. It is Kangaiąs view that the charge was simply brought in order to embarrass and harass him as there is no evidence that he specifically instructed anyone to issue licences as alleged.”
He said the GMB was not required to go through the Government Tender Board under its commercial mandate and, in particular, for its trading business.
Samkange told the court that for its commodity trading business, the GMB had never in the past 10 years gone through the tender board, even during the droughts in the early 1990s.
“Maize was imported by the GMB and it did not go through the tender board,” he said. “The same process was used in the 1998/99 maize importation programme.”
The State alleges that following a poor farming season in 1997/8, the GMB was assigned to import 460 000 metric tonnes of maize for domestic consumption and to replenish strategic grain reserves.
It alleges that Kangai, Muchero and Takavarasha did not follow laid-down procedures in the process of importing the required maize.
Kangai, 63, is on $250 000 bail, while Takavarasha is on $50 000 bail for allegedly misappropriating $160 million through fraudulent deals at the GMB.
Muchero, also on $50 000 bail, faces charges of fraud and corruption involving $176 million.

Kombayi arrested, detained overnight

Daily News: 5/23/01 8:06:58 AM (GMT +2)
Daily News Correspondent, Gweru

Patrick Kombayi, a prominent Gweru businessman and politician, was arrested and detained on Monday night at the Gweru Central police station following a raid at his Midlands Hotel by 15 armed policemen.

Kombayi was still in custody yesterday evening. His lawyer, Reginald Chidawanyika of Chipere, Chidawanyika and Partners, told The Daily News Kombayi was still in police custody but he did not know when his client would appear in court.
The Gweru Central police station declined to comment.
Workers at the hotel said six armed uniformed policemen raided the hotel at around 7:30pm on Monday night, but later withdrew after Kombayi telephoned the Police General Headquarters in Harare.
“The policemen were armed with AK47 rifles,” said a hotel employee. “They left, only to return at around midnight after which they arrested the old man and took him to the police station.”
Three weeks ago, Assistant Inspector Elphas George of the CID Gweru Central police station allegedly attacked Kombayi at the Midlands Hotel, accusing him of denigrating the government and President Mugabe in his Press advertisements. Kombayi disarmed the police officer and handed over the pistol to the police after two days.
George is yet to be formally charged with attempted murder or alternatively pointing a firearm at Kombayi. The former mayor continues to run advertisements in the Press calling on Mugabe to resign.
Since the incident at the hotel, the police have indicated they were eager to charge Kombayi for obstructing the course of justice, alleging he prevented George from carrying out his duties at the hotel.
Chidawanyika said Kombayi faces a charge of common assault for allegedly assaulting George.
Kombayi is also being charged of allegedly resisting arrest and pointing a firearm at the policemen who tried to arrest him at his hotel on Monday night, said Chidawanyika.

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24th May 2001
Embargoed until 12:00hrs on 24th May 2001
Background and introduction – ZJRI Co-ordinator: Malcolm Vowles

This press release represents a further milestone in the journey towards resolving the land issue in Zimbabwe.

I take you back to a Special CFU Congress on the 21st March 2001, just eight weeks ago. Through this Congress, commercial farmers demonstrated a sincere commitment to change and strengthened their commitment to sustainable agrarian reform. Further, the farmers committed to becoming a more integral part of society and to taking a broader, more national perspective in their outlook.

At this same Congress, a Farmers’ Team was mandated to urgently seek dialogue with Government in order to pursue a lasting solution to the long-standing land dispute. This team has been working diligently towards drawing stakeholders in the land issue towards a common position. Through this process, the seeds were sown for the Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative, with the objective of tangibly supporting a sustainable resettlement programme.

Partners in this initiative were drawn together through a common commitment to the development of Zimbabwe and a vision of a racially integrated agricultural sector that meets national requirements in terms of employment, food security, value added processing and exports. It is our ultimate intention to broaden the partnership of this initiative to bring all stakeholders in the land issue together, driven by a common purpose.

Yesterday, a proposal, which outlines a comprehensive resettlement support package, was submitted to the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Resettlement and Rural Development, Vice-President Joseph Msika. This press release is a public demonstration of our commitment.

We look forward to a positive response from Government in order to move into a progressive phase of co-operation so that this initiative can be speedily implemented.

The following is the full text of a submission made on the 23rd May 2001 to the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Resettlement and Rural Development, Vice-President Joseph Msika. This is a joint submission by the Farmers’ Team (represented by Mr Colin Cloete and Mr William Hughes); the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (represented by Mr Kobus Joubert, ZTA President) and the Private Sector Initiative (represented by Mr Greg Brackenridge, Chief Executive of Stanbic).
"As citizens of this beautiful country we are fully aware of the significance of land to the peoples of Zimbabwe. We are also aware of the manner in which the land issue in Zimbabwe has been politicised on racial grounds. We feel that the organised farming community has contributed to the impasse with Government.
This situation is most unfortunate because it has been sensationalised and misrepresented within the international community. However we remain acutely aware of the need to speedily settle thousands of families crowded in unproductive rural areas. Hence, we pledge our commitment to work with Government to ensure the success of the land resettlement program.

The intention of the Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative (ZJRI) is to consolidate existing private sector resettlement initiatives into a partnership, fully committed to co-operating with Government in a sustainable agrarian reform programme underpinned by continuity of national production.
To demonstrate sincerity of purpose, the following program is proposed:
Motivating commercial farmers to deliver an initial tranche of one million hectares of suitable land, for acquisition by Government, on an uncontested basis, to enable the settlement of at least 20,000 families.
Implement a tillage scheme through commercial farmers, to offer one hectare of free tillage to each of these new families.
Assist the resettled farmers with inputs worth Z$ 60 million (sixty million dollars) to be disbursed through existing channels, such as Cottco, Agribank, Farmers’ Development Trust and other farming organisations, ensuring a direct beneficial effect to the newly settled families.
Implement a Z$ 1.375 billion (one billion three hundred and seventy five million dollars) soft-loan revolving fund through the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Bank to support Government’s Commercial Farmer Settlement Scheme.
Offer consultants (at least 3 per Province) to assist resettled farmers with technical advice.
Mount an international promotion campaign to publicise Zimbabwe`s ability to settle its internal problems, thereby enabling Zimbabwe to secure financial support from the donor community to sustain our land reform program.
Our hope is to exercise the preferred option of settling disputes through negotiation in good faith and by agreement, rather than settlement through the courts. For this reason, the Commercial Farmers’ Union will not need to pursue further litigation against Government, nor does it have any pending litigation against Government.
Successful implementation of this initiative will start a positive cycle of confidence for all stakeholders and reverse the current negative image of Zimbabwe in the eyes of the international community."
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Mugabe's reign of terror forces MDC into hiding

By Karen MacGregor in Durban

The Independent UK: 14 May 2001

Zimbabwe's beleaguered opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has been forced to take much of its political activity "underground" to avoid the violence of a government widening its net of repression and terror to attack diplomats and aid workers.

There have been assaults on the press and the judiciary by a government desperate to cling to power at any price. Now its tyranny has extended to diplomats, aid workers and private companies.

The MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, told The Independent the party had scaled down public shows of strength such as political rallies, because of the risk of sparking violence between its supporters and those of President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party.

"We have gone quiet to organise ourselves on the ground," Mr Tsvangirai said. The party has initiated a "whispering campaign" of one-to-one political education ­ a strategy reminiscent of underground movements in totalitarian regimes ­ holding rallies only when there seems no danger to supporters

A jittery diplomatic corps met the government last week to express concern for the safety of staff after veterans threatened to raid foreign missions and agencies that they believe support the MDC.

Several non-governmental organisations ­ including the British Council in Harare ­ closed their doors, some after visits from the self-styled veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation war, who support Mr Mugabe and Zanu-PF.

Canadian diplomats were assaulted while defending staff at the Care International charity when it was invaded. The incident, in which the Canadian high commissioner was involved in a scuffle, prompted Canada to suspend new development aid to Zimbabwe.

The Canadian Foreign Minister, John Manley, said all new funds would be blocked immediately because there was no response to a formal diplomatic protest. "We regret that the lack of rule of law, which has long affected the people of Zimbabwe, is now having a direct impact on Canadian citizens," Mr Manley said. "This means we must re-examine our aid relations with Zimbabwe."

Nine staff of the German charity Help were imprisoned for several days after trying to stop a mob of about 1,000 people, led by war veterans, from plundering its warehouse. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation, based in Germany, has closed its regional office and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have sent home the families of expatriate staff.

Invasions of companies have struck fear into the hearts of business leaders and destabilised a sector already struggling to keep afloat. Tony Hawkins, a University of Zimbabwe business expert, described the actions as "another nail in the coffin of investment".

On Thursday a government bill aimed at preventing the eviction of illegal squatters on farms was given its first reading in parliament. The Rural Land Occupiers (Protection) Bill is aimed at nullifying scores of court rulings in the past year ordering the eviction of squatters.

Zanu-PF militias reportedly stopped all new production in a block of 27 farms in Macheke, 75 miles east of Harare, last week. Unions said that all new crop preparation had ceased, putting tobacco production worth nearly Ł3.5m at risk.

On Friday the government listed 121 more farms for seizure, including an estate owned by the multinational Lonmin company. This is on top of 2,500 farms already invaded by about 25,000 squatters. The squatters, led by war veterans, have killed scores of farmers and farm workers, assaulted thousands more and damaged crops, livestock and equipment.

The government appears to have begun settling peasants in the Gonarezhou National Park in the south-east of the country ­ an area it recently promised in an international agreement would become part of a cross-border park with South Africa and Mozambique. Some 760 people and 1,000 cattle are being moved on to 11,000 hectares, according to the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper.

Mr Tsvangirai, who has been threatened with arrest and death and whose party offices have been bombed, said the MDC's decision to go underground was a survival tactic. "Our people feel more confident if we take such action, rather than being open and holding rallies ­ then in the middle of the night they get beaten," he said. "Violence does not benefit the MDC or its supporters, so we are being very cautious."

The MDC was founded 18 months ago out of frustration with government mismanagement and corruption, and spiralling economic decline.

The party rose rapidly on a crest of growing discontent, defeating Mr Mugabe in a constitutional referendum in February last year and securing nearly half of the vote in general elections in June. But its success carried a high price.

Mr Mugabe panicked and in the run-up to the election orchestrated mass invasions of thousands of white-owned farms. A campaign of violence ensued, in which some 30 people died and thousands were beaten, raped and intimidated.

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From M&G (SA), 23 May

Despite forex troubles, backlog mounts in Zimbabwe tobacco sales

Harare - Despite Zimbabwe's crippling foreign currency shortage, government mismanagement has created an enormous backlog in sales of tobacco, a key revenue earner, a top tobacco official said Tuesday. The backlog in sales is costing Zimbabwe about 850,000 dollars every business day in lost foreign currency earnings that could be made if the sales floors were operating at capacity, Tobacco Sales Floor director Pat Devenish told reporters. The problem stems from a government decision to split its selling teams equally among Zimbabwe's three trading floors - although demand is not equally great at all three, Devenish said. The decision by the government's Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board divides its seven selling teams among the three floors, giving each floor two teams and leaving one idle, Devenish said. The move is meant to force growers to sell their crop at two newer floors, despite a board regulation that allows farmers to sell their crops wherever they wish. As the oldest and most popular auction house, the Tobacco Sales Floor has a backlog of 175,000 bales, while the other two floors have backlogs of only 10,000 and 2,000 bales, Devenish said. The government policy means the Tobacco Sales Floor can only have two auctions a day, while it has enough demand to run five, Devenish said.

The backlog comes despite widespread concerns that farmers would hold back their tobacco to wait to see if the government would devalue the Zimbabwe dollar, currently pegged at 55 to one US dollar. Although tobacco is traded in US dollars, farmers are forced to receive their earnings in Zimbabwe dollars, converted at the official rate. But a long-running shortage of foreign currency in Zimbabwe's banking system means that farmers are forced to import their fertilizers, equipment and other supplies through the parallel market, where the rate runs is anywhere from 110 to 140 Zimbabwe dollars to one US dollar, Devenish said. Good prices for tobacco, plus immediate cash flow problems faced by some farmers, have sent many farmers lining up to sell their crop despite the weak official rate. "In the early part of the season, they've accepted that they will have to sell part of their crop at a rate that may not be viable," Devenish said. Zimbabwe is suffering its worst-ever economic crisis, with inflation and unemployment running at about 60 percent. For the last 18 months, the chronic shortage of foreign currency has left the government unable to import enough fuel and electricity to meet the country's needs.

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BBC:Wednesday, 23 May, 2001, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
'War vets' leader guarded in hospital
Chenjerai Hunzvi
Hunzvi: Thought to have cerebral malaria
The leader of Zimbabwe's self-styled war veterans, Chenjerai Hunzvi, is being guarded in hospital as he recovers from an illness.

A local independent newspaper reported on Wednesday that Mr Hunzvi collapsed on Monday in a hotel in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city.

The newspaper said that he is suffering from "suspected cerebral malaria".

Mr Hunzvi was the man who led the farm invasions last year that created political turmoil in Zimbabwe.

He is also an MP but was not appointed to the cabinet by President Robert Mugabe.

No entry

When a journalist tried to visit Mr Hunzvi he was barred from entering by a war veteran dressed in a military type uniform.

Mr Hunzvi spearheaded occupations of white-owned farmed
Another source said that there were 10 war veterans guarding Mr Hunzvi's room.

A doctor looking after Mr Hunzvi refused to disclose the exact nature of his illness but did say that his health was improving.

Reports say that Mr Hunzvi, 51, collapsed after a whirlwind political tour during which he held a number of meetings with war veterans.

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Hi Everyone !
Today was a very bad day for my family and I.  Basically I was given a death threat, and because I was given that threat, I have evacuated my house.  I will be living in Masvingo with my brother and father in law. I have packed up all my stuff, and this will be the last night that I spend in my house in Zimbabwe until I leave.  It is a very sad situation, and I am very emotional about it, but have resigned my self to the fact that it is just the way things happen in Africa.  I wish all those people that are prepared to stay here in Africa, all the best !  because if you saw what I saw today, and have any sense of reality, you would know that the time to leave Africa is probably already too late, but there is a chance still to get out now!
All the best of African luck to all those staying here, because I think you are going to need it, I am out of the god forsaken place !

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Arrest Hunzvi says Moyo

Brian Hungwe
LEADING war veterans Chenjerai Hunzvi and Joseph Chinotimba benefited from the rampant extortion perpetrated during illegal company invasions and should be arrested, militant ex-combatant Mike Moyo said yesterday.

Hunzvi, the chairman of the War Veterans Association, and Chinotimba, the national treasurer, are said to have become instant millionaires in the process.

War veterans have started trading accusations as the extortion allegations swirl around leaders of the liberation movement.

Moyo, Zanu PF Harare province secretary for security, yesterday accu- sed Home Affairs minister John Nkomo of targeting the small fish while protecting the big ones who are office bearers in the ruling party.

Moyo told the Zimbabwe Independent he was prepared to spill the beans in a court of law. He said he would testify that Hunzvi and Chinotimba had received money from companies they raided.

Moyo accused the police of double standards in their investigations of the extortion allegations. He said the police were going for less prominent figures instead of their commanders.

“Nkomo sanctioned these company occupations. The war veterans did not do this alone. I want to sue the minister (Nkomo) for the harassment that I went through in police cells,” Moyo said.

He called on the high command of Zanla and Zipra to move in to restore order within the war veterans’ association.

Moyo spent last weekend in police cells after he was arrested on allegations of extortion, kidnapping and theft. He later walked out of court a free man after the state failed to make the allegations stick.
Nkomo denied to the Independent that he was protecting Hunzvi or Chinotimba.

“If these people have evidence that the two extorted money, they should report to the police,” Nkomo said.

“I am not protecting anyone. The police will always investigate if they get information. If someone was involved he should be prosecuted. Extortion is an offence. It does not depend on who you are,” he said.
Hunzvi appeared on state television last week declaring that he had advised the police to arrest imposters masquerading as war veterans and extorting money from companies.

Nkomo last week said that the government was going to move in to arrest the “rogue elements” amongst the war veterans who took advantage of the situation to extort money.

“Chinotimba invaded Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries and Cresta in Harare and other companies in Masvingo and Victoria Falls,” Moyo said. “He received money from some of these companies but no one bothers to investigate or arrest him.

“Hunzvi also went to Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries and Gweru and Bulawayo companies. Money changed hands, we know that,” he said.

Moyo accused the police of not being professional in their investigations.
“Why are they leaving behind Hunzvi and Chinotimba? What is so special about them? They got money from commercial farmers during the farm invasions. That has never been investigated,” he said.

Chinotimba said Moyo should not tell the police what they should or should not do.

“The police have brains. If I have a case to answer, they will arrest me. Why is Moyo worried?” Chinotimba asked.
“Let him go and give evidence to the police. You never know, I might be arrested. But you can never be arrested for nothing.

“(Morgan) Tsvangirai called for a mass stayaway and people behaved badly and got arrested. I called for company invasions and people ended up extorting and why should I be arrested?” Chinotimba asked.

Chinotimba, who called himself commander-in-chief of farm invasions, denied ever extorting money from commercial farmers.
He said he communicated well with farmers during invasions and never demanded money.

“Moyo is creating many problems for himself. He should just keep quiet,” he said.

Hunzvi’s cellphone was not reachable yesterday. He was reportedly recuperating in hospital after collapsing in Bulawayo on Monday.
Moyo said Hunzvi had a lot of pending cases but had survived through political connections.

“Hunzvi has a lot of pending cases. The issue of $13 million meant for the war veterans’ housing has not been resolved. The ZexCom funds disappeared and nothing happened,” Moyo said.

“Hunzvi’s term of office as chairman has long expired. He is not a true revolutionary. If you go into history you will see that he was picking mangoes and interacting with whites in Poland when we were in the struggle,” Moyo said.

Meanwhile, the Legal Resources Foundation has said it is gratified that “steps are at last being taken by the government to end the criminal activities of groups of persons who call themselves war veterans and who have been harassing and intimidating employers, diplo- mats and others.

“While this action against these persons is to be welcomed,” the LRF says, “it should not be regarded as the end, but only the beginning of the restoration of the rule of law in Zimbabwe. If the rule of law is to be restored fully, action must also be taken against the persons who have incited these criminal activities.”

Action by the police should not be restricted to the urban areas, the LRF says. “It was in the rural areas that the rule of law was first undermined, and it should be restored there too. Only then can Zimbabwe truly claim to be a country which respects the rule of law.”

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