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Daily News - Leader Page

      Made's paranoia over farmers

      5/28/02 10:16:59 AM (GMT +2)

      THE government is trying to do to the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU),
what it did to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), instead of
addressing the urgent issue of getting farmers to ensure the country
weathers the food crisis. Dr Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture
and Rural Resettlement, at the weekend as much as threatened to deregister
the CFU for reasons best known to him.

      But his latest outburst only confirms the government's frustration in
its determination to break the back of the powerful commercial farmers'
      This is an old agenda: At the onset of the officially-sanctioned farm
invasions and occupations, the government, led by Made, fought a determined
campaign to dismantle the CFU. The offshoot of that was the Zimbabwe Joint
Resettlement Initiative.

      But as with all manner of subterfuge, the scheme failed to gather
momentum because it never captured the support of all or the majority of the
commercial farmers. Now it exists only in name. The government realises it
failed and this is why, in its battle for the control of the heart and soul
of the commercial farming organisation, it is threatening to deregister the

      This is the same approach the government adopted towards the ZCTU. It
sought to influence the election of the leadership of the workers'
organisation, but when this failed, it resorted to setting up its own
creation - the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU), whose
vice-chairperson is Joseph Chinotimba, a Zanu PF official.

      The government is quick to accuse the ZCTU of becoming political, but
is ready to condone the political import of Chinotimba's presence at the
splinter union. Now they are promoting its attendance at the International
Labour Organisation summit next month in Geneva. The whole agenda is to
subvert the ZCTU. The government sees imaginary enemies in the political
arena as represented by the MDC, in the workers' organisations as in the
case of the ZCTU, in civic rganisations as in the case of the National
Constitutional Assembly, and in the religious arena as represented by the
Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference or the Zimbabwe Council of Churches.

      The CFU is more powerful, transparent and accountable and this
frightens the government. As a result, the government has toyed with the
idea of merging all farmers' organisations, in order to dilute and
subsequently manipulate the leadership of a new farmers' representative
body. Ironically, it was the government which gave rise to and nurtured the
ZCTU. But the moment the ZCTU sought to assert its independence from the
government, it was considered dangerous to the survival of the Zanu PF
government. This is why establishing a rival organisation, the ZFTU, became

      Instead of being paranoid about commercial farmers, the government
should be working flat out to ensure it will guarantee food to every
Zimbabwean during this crisis. The very people Made is singling out and
threatening are the people he ought to be working with. But in a sense Made
could be employing this tactic to divert attention and criticism from
himself for the manner in which he has bungled his portfolio.

      Made also declared that the government would station officers at all
commercial abattoirs throughout the country and that the slaughter of
heifers was now banned. But where was Made when the government was being
warned about the wanton slaughter of livestock on farms by so-called war
veterans and Zanu PF supporters?

      This is a classic case of closing the stable door after the horses
have bolted. In any case this fascination with Big Brother-type of
government will not work. Where will he find the people to sit out their
time at abattoirs, just to see which cattle are being slaughtered - or is
this another "bright idea" to covertly redeploy the "graduates" of the
Border Gezi institute?
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Daily News

      Livestock under threat as war vets invade Old Mutare farm

      5/28/02 10:11:40 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Mutare

      THE survival of 15 000 chickens and 24 head of cattle at Grange Farm
in Old Mutare hangs in the the balance after war veterans who invaded the
farm recently barred farm workers from feeding them.

      This is the third time that the farm has been invaded since the
implementation of President Mugabe's controversial land reform programme
which has seen the eviction of white commercial farmers from their
properties throughout the country. Grange Farm was invaded two weeks ago
when about 40 war veterans descended on the property and ordered Brian
James, the owner, and his workers to vacate the property immediately. James
said he was forced to move off the property together with Xavier Vandenberg,
the farm manager, and his family.

      He said: "Following the incident last Sunday, we decided to move off
the farm purely for our own safety. "My livestock is not getting enough food
as the war veterans are only allowing sporadic feeding of the 15 000
chickens and 25 head of cattle. "We have been prevented from slaughtering
chickens for sale. We are now running the farm from Mutare City." Last
Tuesday, Vandenberg's family started moving off the farm under the watchful
eye of the ex-combatants and two policemen.

      "Its awful and nerve-racking. There is not much we can do but to
vacate the farm. "We have started to remove our property from the farm,"
said Vandenberg's wife, Susan. "They are stopping my husband from collecting
stuff he inherited from his parents and my parents which he so dearly loves"
, she said. "I spoke to one Inspector Waita, but it seems his hands are
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Daily News

      A dozen arrests made in 10 weeks of repressive Press law

      5/28/02 10:09:55 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      DURING the past 10 weeks that the repressive Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Bill became law, there have been a dozen arrests of
journalists from the independent media, Geoffrey Nyarota, the
Editor-in-Chief of The Daily News, said last night.

      In his acceptance speech, after receiving the 2002 Golden Pen of
Freedom from the World Association of Newspapers in Bruges, Belgium, Nyarota
said before the new law came into effect, the Chairman of Parliament's Legal
Committee, Dr Eddison Zvobgo, spoke in the House with rare foresight when he
said in February that if the Bill, whose passage through the House he sought
to block, became law all journalists would live in terror of Professor
Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity, and the
architect of the new legislation.

      No sooner had President Mugabe signed the new Act than Moyo tested his
new weapon. Nyarota said journalists from the independent Press in Zimbabwe
carried an onerous responsibility on their shoulders. "They have exposed and
will continue to expose rampant corruption in government. They have
highlighted abuse of basic human rights by government.

      "They have criticised mismanagement of the economy - inflation now
runs at a shocking 116 percent. "The journalists have challenged the total
lack of transparency in the handling of State affairs, especially in the
implementation of Mr Mugabe's controversial land redistribution programme.
"Above all, they have challenged abuse of power by government officials. The
current campaign by Professor Moyo to use the police force to mete out
punishment on his perceived personal adversaries in the independent Press,
being those editors whose papers have published allegations of impropriety
levelled against him in Kenya and South Africa before he was appointed
government minister, is a typical example of abuse of power."

      He said the work of the journalists required courage, determination
and perseverance beyond the normal call of duty. Nyarota said: "No amount of
repression now, or of intimidation, harassment, imprisonment or violence
will persuade them to abandon their resolve to save their once prosperous
nation from man-induced catastrophe.

      "Ladies and gentlemen, as I receive this award today on behalf of the
beleaguered and much terrorised journalists of Zimbabwe, I wish to thank my
colleagues on The Daily News for their courage and determination; my family
for their sacrifice and understanding; and the World Association of
Newspapers for the award and for their much appreciated support.

      "It is my very sincere hope, nay, my fervent prayer that in the
not-too-distant future the people of Zimbabwe will collectively receive a
major media award - genuine Press freedom for the entire nation." Zvobgo had
warned then that if passed,the Bill would give the Minister of Information
frightening powers. "Ask yourself," Zvobgo said, "whether it is rational for
a government in a democratic and free society to require registration,
licences and ministerial certificates for people to speak."

      He expressed a fear shared by most of his compatriots that if the Bill
was passed, it would muzzle the independent Press, ban foreign journalists
from practising in Zimbabwe and impose stringent conditions in accessing
public information. The award is in recognition of The Daily News'
determination to continue to provide an uncowed and enlightened alternative
voice in an increasingly dangerous and hostile environment, characterised by
threats, harassment and arrests by the government
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Daily News

      MDC lawyers blast police over confiscated vehicles

      5/28/02 10:02:37 AM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      MDC lawyers have protested to Bulawayo police over the confiscation of
two of the party's vehicles. The lawyers have alleged the action is aimed at
curtailing the party's operations in one of its strongholds.

      The MDC's Mazda 323 was taken into police custody after the arrest of
Khethani Sibanda and Remember Moyo, accused of the murder of war veterans'
      Cain Nkala. The car has remained in police custody since then.
Nicholas Mathonsi of Webb, Low and Barry, representing the party, said the
vehicle was not used in the commission of any offence and there was no basis
for holding it.

      The party's Mazda B2500 was impounded by the police at the arrest of
Themba Vincent Ncube and three others on 4 March this year. The three were
on patrol duties in the run-up to the presidential election when they were
stopped and arrested by riot police at the intersection of 9th Avenue and
Herbert Chitepo Street.
      They were later charged with malicious injury to property, rape and
assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

      Mathonsi has written to the State counsel in the Nkala murder case,
Mercy Moya-Matshanga, protesting the custody of the vehicles. In his letter
Mathonsi argued that none of the allegations against his clients could be
proved. "Even if this was not the case, nothing would be served by holding
onto the vehicles," he said. Mathonsi said he hoped that what he called the
"simple matter" could be resolved without the necessity of going to court.

      Moyo-Matshanga could not be reached for comment last week.
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Daily News

      CFU blasts suspension of compensation to farmers

      5/28/02 9:57:55 AM (GMT +2)

      By Takaitei Bote Farming Editor

      THE Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) says the government's intention to
suspend compensating farmers who lose their properties through the land
reform programme will shatter farmers' last hopes of fair negotiations with
the government.

      The Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Dr Joseph
Made, said last Friday the government would soon stop compensation so as to
      resources to new farmer programmes.

      Made, who did not give details, said the government was under pressure
to find money to support resettled farmers' projects and food imports. The
government, reeling under a domestic debt of $270 million, claims it has
made available $5,6 billion for the new farmers' winter cropping programme
aimed at improving the food situation in the country.

      More than $3,3 billion is needed to import food to avert starvation.
The government is obliged by law to compensate farmers for improvements on
the farm after the owner receives an eviction notice. The compensation would
be for infrastructural developments such as dams, irrigation facilities and
tobacco barns. A CFU official, who declined to be named, said: "The
suspension of compensation payments for land that has been acquired by
government, as reportedly announced by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture
and Rural Resettlement, removes the last glimmer of hope that farmers will
be treated by Minister Made in a fair and lawful manner with regard to land

      The total amount of money paid to commercial farmers through
compensation is not known. Made also announced another drastic government
decision last Friday where farmers are no longer allowed to slaughter
heifers. Made said the government would soon ban the slaughtering of female
cattle herds, a measure which he expected would prevent the further
depletion of the national herd.

      His decision to ban the slaughter of heifers follows reports that many
commercial farmers who face evictions were destocking mainly female cattle
breeds because they were not sure about their future on the farms. He said
his ministry would soon be deploying law enforcement agents and agricultural
officers in areas the government suspect had the highest incidence of cattle
slaughters. CFU Matabeleland president, Mac Crawford, said: "According to
the new Land Act, commercial farmers served a section 8 notice have 45 days
to wind up their operations and another 45 days to leave their properties.

      If they have cattle, what are they supposed to do? They are then
forced to slaughter them, or send them to abattoirs and butchers. "So, in
actual fact, they are doing what they are supposed to be doing under the new
Act.". According to a Central Statistics Office report of September 2001,
females bulled in the 12 months to 31 March 1999, 2000 and 2001 were 508
000, 436 000 and 378 000, respectively. Bulling intentions for the period up
to March 2002 declined to 282 000 head.
      This indicates a decline of 45 percent in the commercial herd, which
normally supplies up to 80 percent of the beef exports a year.

      The national herd is said to have dwindled from 5,1 million in 1998 to
4,5 million in 2000.
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      Daily News

      Tsvangirai slams Mugabe

      5/28/02 10:10:43 AM (GMT +2)

      By Collin Chiwanza

      MORGAN Tsvangirai, the president of the MDC, has attacked President
Mugabe and his government for deceiving landless Zimbabweans into supporting
him in return for land which the government is now forcibly taking away from

      In a statement, Tsvangirai said: "Mugabe and his regime have exposed
their hypocrisy further by evicting people they had encouraged to resettle
on farms.

      During the run-up to the 2000 and 2002 elections, Mugabe, who was
desperate to hoodwink landless Zimbabweans to support his re-election bid,
encouraged and condoned land invasions and the lawlessness and barbarism
that accompanied the exercise."

      Tsvangirai said his party pointed out at the time that the haphazard,
ill-planned and lawless way of resettling genuinely landless people was not
sustainable and would have catastrophic effects on the economy.

      "The regime did not take heed of our advice in the same way that it
arrogantly refused to take our word that, partly due to the chaotic land
reform programme, Zimbabwe was heading for massive food shortages and
starvation," he said.

      Tsvangirai said Mugabe's government deliberately ignored the MDC's
warning that failure by government to effect a proper, legal and orderly
land reform programme would result in its electoral defeat, as it would not
be able to posture, kill and coerce voters in the name of land reform.

      Tsvangirai said: "Now that, through banditry and election theft, the
regime feels a false sense of security, Mugabe is now beginning to pompously
display his true colours, chief among which are selfishness, arrogance and
downright hypocrisy.

      "The poor souls who, a few months ago, were called heroes of a new
'revolution', 'self-determination' and such other high sounding phrases, are
now all of a sudden being labelled 'impostors' by Zanu PF chairman John

      The MDC leader said his party did not take kindly to Nkomo insulting
Zimbabweans, "not least because he is an unelected minister".

      Nkomo, the Minister of Home Affairs, is one of the 30 non-constituency
MPs appointed by Mugabe.

      Tsvangirai said: "There is no need for this illegitimate government to
pour scorn and insults on Zimbabweans who genuinely need land, especially
considering that these Zimbabweans were encouraged to occupy farms by none
other than Mugabe himself.

      If it's impostors that we are looking for, then we need not look
further than Mugabe and Nkomo, who allow people to occupy farms for over a
year and then evict them on the pretext of carrying out legal land reform."
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From ZWNEWS, 28 May

Mr Nasty, Mr Nice

Is Mugabe - paying a "Mr. Nice Guy" visit to a white-owned farm and arresting a war vet leader - trying to turn a new leaf? The signs on the ground are very different, writes journalist Michael Hartnack, in an examination of the conflicting signals from a regime Zimbabweans deeply distrust.

President Robert Mugabe paid a bizarre call May 18 at Clydesdale Farm, near Banket (100 km northwest of Harare), where owner Mike Mackenzie is sitting out his last few weeks before eviction. Mackenzie, 68, who has received a Land Acquisition Act "Section 8 Order" giving him 90 days to get off, faces a two year jail sentence if he tries in any way to work the 1 000 ha estate. He is legally "confined to the homestead." The first alert of Mugabe's impending arrival came when Mackenzie walked into his farm office and found Agriculture Minister Joseph Made making himself at home at Mackenzie's desk. Shortly thereafter, Mugabe's motorcade arrived with a posse of armed security guards and the obese regional governor, Peter Chanetsa. Mugabe feigned astonishment that all cropping programmes had stopped, save those of 40 militants supporters of the ruling Zanu PF party who invaded Clydesdale last year. When Mugabe asked why a 60 ha irrigable wheat field had not been sown despite the impending bread shortage, Grace Mugabe pointed out a small plot of cotton, planted in the midst of it by invaders. "That's why," she said. Mackenzie said the couple were "charming." "Very, very pleasant, relaxed, warm," he added. "We took pictures of him with us, he signed a map of the farm in my office. I took it as a sign from God. I took him around the farm. I didn't tell him our troubles because I wasn't asked." Mackenzie was unhappy that reports of Mugabe's first inspection of an invaded farm in two years of government-orchestrated seizures were not more "up beat", said sources at the Commercial Farmers’ Union which represents large-scale farmers.

Simultaneously, farmers in other areas were told by officials to ignore Section 8 orders and plant wheat immediately. Most demanded this assurance in writing, in case they were arrested. The government also announced it was evicting 12 000 invaders from farms in the south eastern Masvingo province not targeted for redistribution. War veterans' leader Andrew Ndlovu was detained on charges of threatening the Asian community, issuing letters attempting to extort money from Asian traders, and defrauding other ex-guerrillas of their state handouts. Altogether, it seemed like Mugabe was turning over a new leaf, perhaps with the aim of impressing South Africa and the international aid donors whose support is urgently needed to avert the first famine in a century. Up to eight million people face starvation, according to Social Welfare Minister July Moyo. However, the signs on the ground give a very different picture. Few squatters are being cleared, and those only from farms seized by the Zanu PF elite since the March elections – widely regarded as rigged - in which Mugabe claimed victory. Violence continues against farmers, their workers, and those suspected of voting for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, with wholesale seizure not only of farm equipment and items such as fertiliser, but crops themselves. Combine harvesters moved onto a farm outside Harare and stole a field of soya beans. In southern Matabeleland, the Wheeler family were the latest to be forced by militants to abandon their homestead after a 40-day siege by militants who had the sympathy of police.

The hymn of hate went on unabated in the state media while independent journalists continued to be arrested on the flimsiest pretexts. For the state-run Herald newspaper, however, there was no penalty for publishing a blatant lie that a white farmer whose property near Norton has been taken over by Mugabe's sister, Sabina, had left deliberately-poisoned maize behind. The Herald refused to publish his protests that seed was contaminated with toxic fungus, and instead carried a "cartoon" of a white man poisoning maize at the instigation of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. The state-run Sunday Mail upped the hate speech, declaring, "The average black man or woman is already aware of the shortcomings which will always bedevil the white race." The newspaper described Cecil Rhodes was "a devil incarnate" and said, "Like other Jews in Israel, America and Zimbabwe itself, Rhodes also became a shameless oppressor in his search for absolute power." Ivor Davis, president of the Harare Jewish Congregation, protested at the falsehood (Rhodes was not Jewish) and the attempt to vilify Jews here and abroad.

Ndlovu made a pertinent comment in a different way:"I am being sacrificed by the chefs (party bosses) so they can be seen by the international community to be observing the rule of law." In one breath Tourism Minister Francis Nhema said Zimbabwe plans to revive its moribund tourist industry by attracting thousands of international visitors to watch December's solar eclipse, in the next Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo vowed indiscriminate revenge on citizens of countries that have banned Mugabe and his lieutenants. The commercial farming community sought desperately for some tangible sign they can plan for a future. Then the Agriculture Minister announced compensation payments to dispossessed farmers - even for equipment and improvements - had been suspended, because past Rhodesian governments assisted them to develop these, and Zimbabwe needed the money to help the 300 000 blacks now receiving former white-owned farms. The chairman of the state-appointed Tobacco Marketing Board rejoiced "there should be no worthwhile white growers to talk about next season."

The ink was hardly dry on a High Court judgement in a test case ordering Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede to restore the citizenship of Judy Todd (she had allegedly failed to renounce inherited claims to New Zealand nationality) when a prominent Zimbabwe-born dancer of Mozambican descent was refused a passport. In other words, the Mugabe administration will, as so often in the past, simply ignore the law and rulings of the courts when it chooses. Mike Mackenzie may have been impressed by the sudden "Mr Nice Guy" act but the brutal fact is that, internally, no one now trusts the regime. Even if it tries at this late stage to summon the political will to restore order and good governance, there is doubt whether it has the money or the moral authority to succeed. Ndlovu, who has in the past claimed arms caches of arms exist to "defend the gains of the revolution," says the war veterans will resist eviction and will not allow anyone to "sell them out".

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Daily News - Leader Page

      Chigwedere determined to make us a nation of clones

      5/28/02 10:18:16 AM (GMT +2)

      I AM a mother of a 10-year-old boy in junior school and for the last
week have been trying to make sense of Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere'
s new brain wave that all schoolchildren should wear exactly the same

      I think I have finally come up with the reason for the minister's new
grand scheme. Chigwedere, one of his relations or a bigwig in Zanu PF must
have access to a very large supply of cheap material suitable for making
school uniforms. The problem is that this fabric is only available in two
colours and hence the decision to standardise school uniforms across the
country into two groups - junior and senior.

      After a solid week of being bombarded with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation's Culture Week, I had begun to think that our government was
encouraging diversity and individuality. I thought that our government was
trying to remind us how very important the lessons and events of the past
are. Remembering and preserving all those intricate little details that our
parents and grandparents so painstakingly taught us over the years is the
very fabric of our ndividuality and our uniqueness within society.

      For some, it may be a dance, song or type of food; for others it may
be a traditional outfit or a story from the old days. Whatever it is in our
culture and our lives that we hold on to and cherish, they are the things
that make each one of us uniquely different. Chigwedere seems hell-bent on
single-handedly destroying that uniqueness and turning our children into a
nation of cloned robots who all look the same, talk the same and think the

      For two years Zimbabweans have been looking to George Orwell's Animal
Farm for parallels. I think Chigwedere must have just read Orwell's other
novel, 1984, in which identical people are created and churned out on
never-ending escalators. They are clones, have no individuality and no
identity and, hence, never challenge the system. I cannot see any sense at
all in putting all of our schoolchildren into exactly the same uniforms.
Aside from the obvious disadvantages such as losing identity, pride and
individuality, what difference will the colour of a uniform make to the
price of the clothes?

      Whether the clothes are blue, khaki, grey, green or purple with yellow
polka dots, they will still cost the same. As a mother of a young boy, I
will still have to buy shorts, shirts, socks, shoes, a jersey, hat,
tracksuit and blazer. If Chigwedere had said that school uniforms will be
standardised because the government is going to subsidise the costs, then I
would be prepared to think about his new idea, but this is not the case. As
with everything these days, the issue of standardising school uniforms is a
red herring supposed to divert our attention from what is really going on in
Zimbabwe. Why isn't Chigwedere addressing any of the issues really
concerning every parent in Zimbabwe?

      Just one of those issues is the astronomical costs involved in
educating a child in this country now and the school uniforms are just a
minute fraction of the overall expense. In the last two years, a simple
exercise book made in Zimbabwe from second grade paper has gone up 10 times
in price, as has a ballpoint pen, pencil or packet of wax crayons.

      School fees have quadrupled as have all the levies and extras that
parents have to keep digging in their pockets to find. The most basic
textbooks and upplementary readers are unaffordable by most, as is the
equipment our children need to take part in school sports. Tennis rackets,
hockey sticks and cricket bats are luxuries and even a pair of swimming
trunks for a 10-year-old boy now costs almost $1 000.

      If the colour of my son's swimming trunks is changed from black to
red, will it be any cheaper? If Chigwedere was addressing any one of these
issues, I would be delighted to take anything he says seriously. If
Chigwedere was honest enough to admit to Zimbabwean parents that the entire
education system in the country is in rack and ruin because the economy has
collapsed, I might be prepared to leave the television on next time he
speaks. If only the minister would explain to us why it now costs $30 000 to
dress a child for junior school.

      Could it possibly be because two years of incessant land invasions
have stopped farmers from growing the cotton which makes the uniforms? Two
years of land redistribution has quadrupled the price of giving my child a
decent meal before he goes to school in the morning. Two years of farm
takeovers has reduced the amount of foreign currency available to import
rubber for school shoes which now cost as much as $5 000 a pair for a Grade
Five child.

      Zanu PF promised us Education for All by the Year 2000. It is now 2002
and it's time to stop throwing in red herrings and deliver the goods.

Daily News - Letter

School uniform issue part of Zanu PF's grand scheme

5/28/02 10:12:07 AM (GMT +2)

Over the last year there seems to be a sustained effort by the Zanu PF
government to take control of the lives of each Zimbabwean.

First of all, we were "persuaded" to vote - through beatings and
intimidation - for someone we now all hate. Next came the Access to
Information Act and Minister Jonathan Moyo's often dramatic attempts to
control what we read in the print media and his unsuccessful attempts to
control the airwaves.

We are also controlled through what we eat, or rather what we don't, through
the government's exceptionally brainless price controls.

Hot on its heels came the government's desire to control what we learn by
examining our children on only those things it wants them to learn. Subtle
brainwashing, I suspect.

Now we are being subjected to a senseless scheme to standardise school
uniforms. I agree with the sentiment behind having basically similar
uniforms, but for the following reasons this latest brain wave will not even
get off the ground: The minister will be expecting the parents of every
school child to change uniforms.

The cost of this exercise will be around $30 000 for every child, unless
government intends subsidising the cost of uniforms.

The cost to each family will be far greater than that of replacing worn-out
clothes. The number of children changing schools and, therefore, uniforms is
relatively small.

The minister is making the whole nation change for the sake of a very small

Assuming that there are about 1,5 million schoolchildren in the country, and
this scheme was implemented immediately, by this time next year 1,5 million
jerseys, tracksuits and winter uniforms would be needed, that is 4 100 every
day, to satisfy the minimum need that will arise.

Individual schools will lose their identity and that will not be popular. A
school with a proud heritage will want to keep its identity.

This is often why schools have resisted name changes. The government must
think that Zimbabweans are robots that must think alike, act alike, dress
alike and perform the same functions.

If the current system is working, leave it alone. Changing uniforms will not
solve problems facing the education sector.


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Daily News

      Government in bid to squeeze forex out of foreign missions employees

      5/28/02 10:10:56 AM (GMT +2)

      By Luke Tamborinyoka

      THE government has sent out two circulars to all diplomatic missions
and international organisations based in Zimbabwe requesting them to submit
lists with full details of their Zimbabwean employees.

      The details should include the properties owned or rented by such
organisations. In one circular, issued on 8 May 2002, the government says it
wants all diplomatic missions and international organisations to indicate
the full names, date of employment and salary of each of the workers
recruited locally. The reasons for the latest move could not be immediately
established on Friday last week, amid speculation in diplomatic circles that
the government was desperate to find loop-holes to squeeze foreign currency
out of Zimbabweans working at such organisations.

      Most Zimbabwean staff at diplomatic missions are paid in foreign
currency. The country has had an acute shortage of forex, making it
difficult for industry and the government to procure goods. Dr Stan Mudenge,
the Minister of Foreign Affairs, could not be reached for comment. His
secretary said the minister was in Masvingo and was going to be available

      The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, the Papal Nuncio, the Vatican
ambassador, could also not be reached for comment but some Zimbabweans
working in foreign missions said they had not been informed of the latest
move by the government. One of the two circulars reads in part: "The
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe presents compliments
to all diplomatic missions and international organisations and has the
honour to request lists of all locally recruited staff.

      "The list should indicate the full names, date of employment and
salary of each and every staff member."

      In the other circular, the government demands "lists of all properties
owned and rented by missions and its personnel and the names of landlords,
for rented properties". "The ministry is in the process of updating its list
of properties owned and rented by missions and diplomatic personnel," the
circular says.
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The Age

Zimbabwe editor charged for fifth time in a month
HARARE, May 28 AFP|Published: Wednesday May 29, 5:27 AM

The editor of independent Zimbabwean weekly The Standard said he was charged
by police today for the fifth time in a month for publishing falsehoods.

Bornwell Chakaodza said he and the arts editor of the Sunday paper, Fungayi
Kanyuchi, were charged under a stringent new media law over a story in the
last edition.

The story, authored by Kanyuchi, alleged that a cell in which they were held
overnight last week smelled and that its walls were stained with blood.

"They are saying it is false but we saw the blood-stained walls, and I have
yet to see a cell that does not smell," Chakaodza told AFP.

Chakaodza, 49, was appointed editor of The Standard at the beginning of May.

He was formerly editor of the state-owned Herald but was dismissed in
October 2000 shortly after the appointment of Information Minister Jonathan

He had served as editor of The Herald for two-and half years.

Chakaodza has been charged four times under the new media law and once under
a censorship law.

Since the media law took effect on March 15, 11 journalists have been
arrested - some of them more than once - and nine face prosecution on one or
more charges.
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Zimbabwe Farmers Not Planting Wheat
Peta Thornycroft
27 May 2002 17:39 UTC

In Zimbabwe, the deadline for planting wheat has passed, and farmers have
planted only a third as much as they did in previous years. Farmers blame
President Robert Mugabe's government for failing to give them written
guarantees they would be allowed to harvest the wheat they planted.

Zimbabwe's commercial farmers, most of whom are white, are blaming the
government for their failure to plant wheat. Parliament has repeatedly
amended laws governing seizure of white-owned land for resettlement. The
latest law demands that farmers who receive eviction notices must finish
their farming activities within 45 days and leave their homesteads in
another 45 days.

That means two-thirds of Zimbabwe's approximately 3,000 white commercial
farmers will have to leave their farms by August 10, too early to harvest
any wheat.

Colin Cloete, president of the Commercial Farmers' Union, has revealed that
wheat stocks will run out in four weeks, which will mean bread will
disappear from the shops.

Since early February, shops have had little maize meal, the staple food.

The few farmers who have planted wheat have taken a risk and used their own
money to finance the crop.

The rest needed loans. The banks refused to lend farmers money for wheat
without written guarantees from the government that it would not expropriate
the harvest. The government has refused to supply the guarantee.

People resettled on land previously owned by white farmers say they do not
have the resources or expertise to plant wheat.

Non-governmental organizations distributing food aid in rural areas say the
looming wheat crisis will shortly affect millions living in cities and
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ZIMBABWE: State declares emergency, allows use of generics

JOHANNESBURG, 28 May (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's government has declared a state of emergency over HIV/AIDS and will allow the importation and manufacture of generic drugs, a local state-controlled newspaper reported.

However, Lindy Francis, director of The Centre, an NGO working with people living with AIDS (PWAs) in Harare said that if true, the declaration was "five years too late".

The Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday that, in a notice published in the latest Government Gazette, Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa said the emergency order would enable people to have access to the drugs.

"In view of the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS among the population of Zimbabwe, the minister hereby declares an emergency for a period of six months, with effect from the promulgation of this notice for the purpose of enabling the state or a person authorised ... to make or use any patented drug," Chinamasa was quoted as saying.

The paper said the declaration would also allow the "government and other authorised people to import any generic drug used in the treatment of persons suffering from HIV/AIDS or HIV/AIDS-related conditions".

Francis said: "It's five years too late but its something, we've been pressuring government for the last five years to declare a state of emergency and validate the importation of generic drugs and/or licence compulsory local manufacture."

However, the declaration raised more questions than it answered. Said Francis: "The problem is one is not sure who they are expecting to import these drugs. As far as we know the government does not have the money to import.

"Also, what kind of drugs [are to be imported or manufactured]? If they are talking of antiretrovirals it will not even make a dent in the problem."

She said it would make more sense if the government was talking of providing "anti-funguls and multi-vitamins and nutritional supplementation, [drugs] for the treatment of opportunistic infections, drugs such as acyclivir for genital herpes".

Said Francis: "Provision of basic things like anti-histamines for rashes, betadine those kinds of things, basic primary healthcare and continuum of care in terms of opportunistic infections and maintaining health through nutritional supplements ... with that we could treat the whole HIV population."

However, if the declaration only referred to antiretrovirals "only an elite few would have access to them and get the monitoring and support that it needed to take them".
Francis said that despite the uncertainty about the specific intentions of government regarding which generics are to be imported/manufactured, and by whom, the declaration was a milestone.

"Thank God! It's the first time our cabinet has acknowledged the disaster, up until now it has been as if it was not happening in Zimbabwe," Francis said.

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ZIMBABWE: NGO accuses government supporters of abusing food aid

JOHANNESBURG, 28 May (IRIN) - A western human rights group has released a damning report accusing the Zimbabwean government of withholding food aid from Zimbabweans who voted for the opposition party in the controversial March election.

The Danish Doctors for Human Rights'(DDHR) report has sketched several cases of where families suspected of supporting the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had been turned away from food distribution sites or denied access to maize at supermarkets.

"The report has confirmed fears that government supporters had been using food aid as punishment for voting for the opposition," a human rights monitor, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisal, told IRIN.

The report added that it was a misconception that government-sanctioned violence against the opposition had declined since the presidential election.

DDHR secretary Hans Draminsky told IRIN that the report aimed to raise awareness among donors about the possible political manipulation of food aid.

"Donors should be aware of the possibility that their donations could be used by the government of Zimbabwe to repress its political opponents and reward its supporters. Careful monitoring must take place down to the most local level," Draminsky said.

The doctors allegedly found proof of children who were denied access to food distribution points at schools because their parents were suspected of being MDC supporters. 

In one instance in Matabeleland South, women who were at a food distribution point were told by the ZANU-PF district chairperson that MDC supporters were not entitled to maize, the report said.

Most NGOs responsible for food aid delivery in Zimbabwe corroborated the findings in the report or at least had heard of several cases of MDC supporters being denied food aid.

"Food aid has become the most politicised commodity in Zimbabwe today," the human rights monitor said.

Christian Aid programme officer Edward Watkiss said: "We have been fortunate that our feeding programme in schools has continued without incident but we have heard of kids turned away from food queues."

Watkiss added that feeding schemes carried out in schools were "the safest way to ensure that there was no discrimination as it was a lot more difficult for teachers to give food to some kids and turn others away".

Aid agencies suggested that the number of neutral monitors at feeding points be increased, however, the report said neutral monitoring is very difficult or even impossible to implement.

"Headmasters, local chiefs and headman were often affiliated to the ruling ZANU-PF party," the report said.

Said Draminsky: "Whether representatives from churches could take care of or be part of the monitoring, must be a decision taken on the ground. It is clear to us that if groups affiliated to ZANU-PF are involved in the food programmes, other political parties should be involved as well to make the programme politically neutral.

"And in cases where there is politically motivated discrimination, aid agencies should cancel the programme altogether. Food shall be given to everybody or to nobody."

Estimates of how many Zimbabweans face imminent starvation vary from 600,000 to 3 million, and the maize shortfall is estimated at between 400,000 mt and 1 million mt. 

Meanwhile, Amnesty International's annual report for 2001 said the human rights situation in Zimbabwe had been "steadily deteriorating" throughout last year.

The government [in the lead up to the March election] used armed gangs to crush the opposition, subvert the rule of law, undermine the judiciary and harass the private press, it charged.

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