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

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The Wicked will be swept away





(exerts, by Karen Day, UK).

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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Monday 30th April 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.

Work stoppages and fast-tracking continues country-wide.
The disruption of herd management and illegal movement of large numbers of
cattle onto commercial farms in Masvingo continues and there are several
reports of massive de-stocking.
A private security guard was beaten up on Paradise farm in Macheke/Virginia.
Two farm workers were assaulted by illegal occupiers on Central Farm in
In Marondera, following a minor dispute with illegal occupiers, the owner of
Loquat Grove and his wife were forcibly taken from their house and locked in
a house in the farm village. Police and the DA intervened to defuse the

There were no reports received from  Midlands and Matabeleland Regions.

Mashonaland Central  - Nothing to report.

Mashonaland West North
Karoi - There has been a large influx of illegal occupiers to farms in
Karoi.  6 illegal occupiers have moved onto Milverton Farm.  Plots are being
illegally sold to potential settlers, but police are not prepared to react.
Chinhoyi - Agritex visited Portlete Farm (60 illegal occupiers) and Portelet
Estate (160 illegal occupiers)  yesterday with police to inform them they
will be  pegging.  Farm workers on Portelet Estates are being harassed and
the owner's house was burgled.  Illegal occupiers are instructing commercial
farmers not to proceed with farming operations.
Ayshire - Quiet over the weekend.   The Tyre Company closed for a day after
a person went to ZANU PF to complain about wage payments , which has since
been resolved.
Doma - About 40 illegal occupiers moved on to Northend Farm and 5 illegal
occupiers moved to Kosana Ranch.
Trelawney / Darwendale - Farms in the district have been visited with a view
to fast-tracking, but there has been minimal intimidation.
Umboe - There has been an upsurge of movement onto farms.

Mashonaland West South
General - More Section 8 orders have been issued.  There has been an
increase in activity in the last few weeks, but many farmers are reticent to
report this for fear of reprisals by war vets.
Norton - On Serui Source war vets are trying to extort money from the owner
for the destruction of some maize by cattle.  The figure has increased
tenfold since it was first asked for.  Police have not been helpful, and
have suggested the war vet leader sorts out the problem.  An individual
purporting to be the assistant DA is selling numbered bottle tops (which are
generally the means of randomly allocating plots to potential settlers) for
$300 each.
Selous - On Arbor Farm the assistant DA for Chegutu told the occupiers,
which included a lot of school teachers and other civil servants, that they
will be given land.
Battlefields - On Twintops 30 people arrived and are camped at the farm gate
waiting for the DA to fast track the farm.

Mashonaland East
Beatrice - There has been a new invasion of about 20 people onto Nebo Farm.
10 people from Mhondoro arrived on Glorvina Extension where an illegal
occupier  demanded a meeting with the owner and other war vets today.  2
farm workers who were reaping pecan nuts on Central Farm were told to stop
and were beaten up by 3 people.  Illegal occupiers are reaping the
commercial farmer's maize on Eden.  The owner of Evergreen farm was
summonsed to appear in court today for the case where the farm cattle ate
maize planted by illegal occupiers.
Bromley / Ruwa - The owner of Bellapeace received a letter from the local
war vets instructing them to vacate the farm.
Enterprise - There was a dispute over maize damaged by cattle on Lawfield
farm with exorbitant demands being made.
Harare South - A group of people, one bearing a .303 rifle, have been seen
on the Charter North Road.
Macheke / Virginia - There are still several work stoppages in the area.
Following a dispute, an illegal occupier shot at another on Chigori.  A
private security guard was beaten up on Paradise farm.  A farmer in the area
continues to receive death threats.
Marondera North - Following a minor dispute with illegal occupiers, the
owner of Loquat Grove and his wife were forcibly taken from their house and
locked in a house in the farm village. Police and the DA intervened to
defuse the situation.
Marondera South - There are ongoing work stoppages in the area.
Wedza - War Vet Chigwadere was back in the area instructing a tractor on a
farm to stop ploughing.

Chipinge - There is still pegging and continued harassment, with some farms
having heavy re-invasions.

General - The disruption of herd management and illegal movement of large
numbers of cattle onto commercial farms continues.
Masvingo East & Central - Chopping of trees and building of houses continues
on Beauly Farm and a vintage Fordson major tractor maliciously was damaged
over the Easter weekend. Agritex officials have been seen carting fire wood
off the property. On Cambria Farm war vet "Muzenda", who wears full
camoflage and is armed with a .303 rifle has dug a full conventional war
trench at his hut in front of the homestead front gate. A total of 14 sheep
have been lost over the last six weeks.  Bon Air and three other properties
have been reinvaded. A policeman, in full uniform, has taken occupation on
Chidza Farm and is illegally hunting with dogs. He has threatened the farm
workers and the farm cattle have been pushed out of paddocks and onto the
roads.  All internal fences and standards on Fomax Dairy have been removed.
Gutu / Chatsworth - Farm cattle on Chatsworth Estates have been driven onto
the main access roads.  40 illegal occupiers moved onto Strathsphey Farm and
are again pegging out plots. The owner has been forced to slaughter 95 cows
in calf and 4 bulls due to the pressure on the property.  The farm workers
of Blyth Farm have been instructed to vacate as illegal occupiers wish to
live in their houses and the owner has been instructed to remove all his
cattle.  Youths, one armed with a shotgun, intimidated the owner.   The
owner of Appin Farm has been forced to remove all his cattle from his
property and has already slaughtered 500 head of cattle (cows in calf and
bulling heifers) due to the intense pressure on the property.
Mwenezi -  A Prison Officer from Buffalo Range Prison Camp led a new
invasion of Maranatha Ranch.  An aggressive group of about 20 invaders
informed the owner of Chipimbi Ranch that the property was to be fast
tracked, irrespective of the legal status of the property.  250 people have
been fast track resettled on Minaarshoff Ranch. The owner and his family are
moving off the property due to the extreme pressure.  The owner of Rutenga
Ranch conceded a portion of the farm to Government, but war vets are
attempting to take over the whole property. Similarly, the owner of
Alternburg and Nkomati Ranch conceded one property to Government and has
since been faced with major problems of war vets wanting to take over both
properties. The owner has been forced to destock and is already making
provisions to slaughter about 200 cows in calf.  A new invasion took place
on Twiza Ranch. The owner of Nuanetsi Ranch has had to slaughter 200
breeding cows and relocate a further 300.
Save Conservancy- The situation is still unresolved.
Chiredzi - One hunting group returned to Germany after two confrontations
with illegal occupiers.  Cane and diesel theft is reported on Mkwasine
Ranch. A hunt with foreign clients was interrupted on a ranch when an
official delegation instructed the owner that they would be taking 65% of
the land.   Poaching is still prevalent in the Chiredzi River Conservancy
and the farms are overrun by mopani worm gatherers. A German agent was
insulted by illegal occupiers and war vet Mutemachani. There are ongoing
cases of cattle theft.
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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Thursday 26th April 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.

  a.. Numerous work stoppages and new cases of fast-track resettlement are taking place country-wide.
  b.. Police intevened to defuse a situation on Pimento Park in Glendale where the owner and his family had to take refuge in a locked room after a group of invaders threatened to kill the farmer for investigating new illegal structures on the property. 
  c.. A store in Ayrshire was trashed for selling the Daily News.
  d.. Mbisi game park in Bromley/Ruwa has been closed by war veterans and South African tourists were told by war veterans to leave.

There were no reports received from Matabeleland and Masvingo Regions.

Mashonaland Central 
Glendale - On Pimento Park, illegal occupiers broke into the homestead and attempted to gain entry to a bedroom where the owner and his family had taken refuge.  This was in retaliation to the farmer's son investigating a new illegal occupiers base on the farm, which had been blown out of proportion when the illegal occupiers in question fabricated a report of being visited by six armed whites.  Riot Police responded to the situation and brought war vet leaders to negotiate with the angry mob, who had threatened the farmer with death.  The situation was satisfactorily defused after negotiations.
Mutepatepa - The owner of Duiker Flats has been instructed not to plant wheat, as the farm is to be resettled.  Land prep has been prevented on Mchena and general invader activity has gained momentum in the area.
Harare West - There has been an upsurge of threats and intimidation of farmers and farm workers in the area and prevention of land prep and demands for compensation are ongoing.
Mashonaland West North  
Tengwe - Numerous farms have been visited, presumably with the intention of fast-tracking.
Doma - There is an intention to settle 45 families on each of the 27 farms visited last week.
Umboe -  Officials visited Urume Farm which has withdrawn through the courts, and warned the owner that they will not tolerate any resistance from white farmers. 
Chinhoyi - Some cases of disruption to wheat production.
Ayshire - A store owner had his store trashed because the Daily News was on the shelves.  The invaders threatened the proprieter that blood would be shed if the Herald is not sold tomorrow.  (The Herald has ceased delivering to the area).  There is a provincial boundary dispute with Mashonaland Central on Cornrise Farm.
Banket - 40 illegal occupiers from nearby mines settled on Mimosa Farm.
Trelawney / Darwendale - Farms in the district are being superficially inspected for fast-track suitability.

Mashonaland West South  
General - Five new Section 8 orders have been issued in the region.  Although in some cases activity has increased, the area remains reasonably quiet.  The overriding problem is that farmers are unable to plant wheat due to Government not providing a letter of assurance for the banks to finance them.
Mashonaland East 
Beatrice - Hut building continues on Golidilands.  The owner of New Retreat farm is still not allowed to combine his soya beans in order to plant wheat.  There has been theft of irrigation pipes from the farm.  20 illegal occupiers have moved onto Nebo Farm and have started huts building.  Some illegal occupiers have moved onto Glorvina.
Bromley/Ruwa - Mbisi game park has been closed by war veterans and South African tourists were told by war veterans to leave .
Enterprise - Gum trees are being cut down by illegal occupiers and sold commercially. 
Harare South - On Tuesday  a group of about 150 people arrived on Dunluce farm.  The group later moved to Edinburgh farm by foot or bus.  The leaders informed the owner that the farm has been taken over.  5 men allocated themselves plots on Walmer farm.  20 invaders arrived in the farm village on York farm looking for the tractor drivers and assaulted one farm worker.  The group leader is a Councillor for the Rural District Council  in Muda. 
Marondera - Ponderosa farm has been reinvaded by about 50 people who prevented ploughing on the farm and told the farm owner that he was to move his centre pivot and irrigation pipes.  Another manager in Marondera has been told that he is to stop all ploughing on the farm.  Cattle were driven into the homestead yard on Keal farm following allegations by illegal occupiers that the cattle had damamged crops.
Macheke/Virginia - There was a total work stoppage on a number of farms in Macheke. Cattle are being moved around the district by illegal occupiers.  The owner of Howgate Farm was instructed to stop all land preparation for wheat and tobacco.  A cow slaughtered on Nyagadzi.
Wedza - Illegal occupiers on Collace farm pushed all of the cattle into the homestead area as the cattle had strayed through broken fences to areas claimed by them. 1 cow and 2 calves were slaughtered and another was slashed on Scorror farm.   War vet Chigwadere ordered that all tractors on Rapako stop work.  New illegal occupiers arrived on Markwe farm.  There is extensive hunting going on on Farm Charlie.  There are new huts going up and cattle and dogs being bought onto the farm. 

Rusape - Two properties, Clifton and Sharondale are due to be fast-tracked imminently.

General - Section 7 & 8 Notices have been served to several farmers who are responding. 


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30 April 01

Richard Chadya, MDC candidate for Hurungwe East during the 2000
parliamentary elections who last week successfully challenged Zanu PF
Reuben Marumahoko's victory in the High Court last week had part of his
homestead and a grain storage burnt to ashes by suspected Zanu PF
supporters who were apparently incensed by the court decision. Property
worth over $40 000 was destroyed when the thugs burnt down two thatched
houses and a maize storage area on Saturday night at around 11 pm.

While Chadya was the candidate for Hurungwe East, his homestead is in
Huringwe West in the Boniface Area. Fortunately no one was injured in the
attack, as there was no one in the burnt down houses. However it was clear
that the arsonists has the intention of causing injury. Chadya was away
from home at time of the attack.

Chadya said "This is just a desperate move by the Zanu PF government as it
attempts to stall the process of change that will usher in a better life
for people in Zimbabwe. All the Zanu PF government can do is destroy.
People have to realise that they have the power in their hands to bring
about complete change to the terror and hunger under this dictatorship."

Meanwhile, Godfrey Mumbamharwo, MDC candidate for Mt Darwin South in the
200 parliamentary elections, who is also a former organising secretary for
Mashonaland Central was on the same day, severely assaulted at his home in
Chiwaridzo Township in Bindura at about 10 pm for the sole crime that he
was an MDC activist. A group of Zanu PF supporters wielding iron bars and
logs pounded Mumbamarwo who suffered suspected broken ribs and severe head
injuries. All the further in the house was destroyed. After he had been
taken to hospital, the Zanu PF thugs followed him there vowing to finish
him off. His family has since transferred him to a Harare. Several
assailants were identified. These are Kanosvamhira, a Zanu PF councillor
in the town, Dickson Mafios a Zanu PF Provincial Youth chairman and one
Trust Katsiga.

While the matter was reported to the police, no action has yet been taken
in apprehending the culprits.

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Zimbabwe has given Cohen and Woods International a contract worth $200,000 to explain President Robert Mugabe's move to seize the land of the country's white farmers without compensation, and turn it over to black Army veterans of the country's 1970s war of liberation.

Mugabe, in power since 1987, blames the country's 75,000 whites for the economic collapse of the nation of more than 11.5 million people. His government has largely stood by as black squatters have overrun farms owned by whites. At least 30 people have been killed from during these farm invasions.

Supreme Court to rule Nov. 6

Zimbabwe's Supreme Court, according to Reuters, rules next month on a petition by the 4,500- member Commercial Farmers Union on the legality of the land seizures. Mugabe claims any compensation for the whites should come from the U.K, which ruled the country when it was known as Rhodesia. If the Supreme Court backs Mugabe, the Government will begin "resettlement" of blacks on the first 2,000 of 3,041 designated farms owned by whites.

Counter anti-Zimbabwe bias

Zimbabwe has been roundly criticized by governments and the international press for evicting white farmers from their land. C&W says its mission is to "overcome recent negative publicity," and to "restore the enduring trust, confidence and mutual respect between Zimbabwe and the international community."

The firm wants to allay concerns that private sector companies may have regarding investment in Zimbabwe. The political crisis in Zimbabwe, according to C&W, with its "attendant misunderstandings and recriminations, has unfairly poisoned international public opinion against Zimbabwe, and threatens the supportive political, financial and commercial cooperation which Zimbabwe continues to need to achieve its developmental goals." C&W wants to spread the message that Zimbabwe is committed to achieving a peaceful resolution to its political crisis.

March 29, 1999
Information warfare strategy takes shape
By Neil Munro, National Journal
The Tutsi "cruelly kill mankind . . . they kill by dissecting Hutus . . . by extracting various organs from the bodies of Hutus . . . for example, by taking the heart, the liver, the stomach . . . the [Tutsi] eat men."
—Radio-Television Libre des Mille Collines, Rwanda
It was this sort of vitriol in 1994 that helped ignite the bloody and genocidal Rwandan civil war, which killed perhaps 800,000 men, women, and children, and plunged Central Africa into a chaos from which it still has not recovered.
Many observers and former government officials argue that the Rwandan crisis could have been prevented, or at least lessened, if the U.S. government had acted early and with a minimum of force, even by simply jamming the incendiary radio broadcasts. Jamming "might have saved a few hundred thousand people from getting their heads bashed in, but ... [the White House] decided not to give it any consideration," said James L. Woods, then-deputy assistant secretary of Defense for African affairs and now a partner with Cohen and Woods International, an Arlington, Va., firm that lobbies on behalf of African governments.
President Clinton later flew to Rwanda, in 1998, and apologized for the international community's failure to take action that might have prevented the 1994 slaughter. And it is with the lesson of Rwanda firmly in mind that Administration officials are now completing a Presidential Decision Directive on International Public Information, intended to coordinate the U.S. government's numerous public relations offices so that, if necessary, Washington can move quickly to counter future barrages of hate propaganda anywhere in the world. The directive will create a new post at the State Department—the coordinator for international public information. The job will be to harmonize the messages transmitted via top-level press secretaries, the U.S. Information Agency, ambassadors, and even the combat units of the Defense Department.
The new process is already being used in the Balkans. U.S. agencies there are working to persuade Serbian Kosovars to accept the NATO peace plan, mostly by broadcasting interviews of U.S. policy-makers directly into the satellite-television dishes in many Kosovo homes—thus eluding Serbian television-jamming devices. "Anecdotally, a lot of people are viewing it, and apparently it is having a lot of impact," said a U.S. government official who asked not to be named.
Just as the United States military and governmental leaders gradually learned to harness sea, air, and nuclear power to advance the nation's interests, White House officials, through this directive and other steps, are now trying to knit the power of information—and information technology—into all aspects of national security strategy.
When signed, the directive will not only complement a May 1998 directive asking the FBI to create a national cyberspace defense, it will also dovetail with the Pentagon's growing focus on "information superiority"—its goal of dominating all aspects of information collection and dissemination during wartime. Pentagon planners say that if they were to lump together all the money they plan to spend on collecting, creating, and disseminating information, it would amount to an astonishing $43 billion a year in the next few years. And already, Pentagon officials are upgrading anti-hacker defenses and electronic-eavesdropping satellites, as well as developing exotic weaponry that, among other things, would be able to burn out enemy computers with powerful electromagnetic pulses.
But the Information Revolution is doing much more than reshaping national defense strategy. It is also affecting the lives of citizens, both personally and professionally, in a great many ways. So whatever grand infowar schemes the governmental hatchers might hatch, they will constantly bump up against the competing interests of personal privacy, corporate profits, and ultimately, the nature of modern democracy.
Information Operations
Information has always been vital in the conduct of a war. Without it, no one could inform decision-makers, guide weapons, resupply armies, or arrange soldiers into coherent fighting units. But reformers argue that the new information technologies can do much more—that they can be used alongside the panoply of nuclear deterrents, high-tech "smart" weapons, and low-tech weapons to deflate vastly larger armies and to win wars away from the battlefield. Armed with this array, the U.S. lost fewer than 400 lives—most of them to accidents—as it smashed the huge Iraqi army during the Persian Gulf War. On the other hand, uncontrolled information can be immensely destructive to U.S. aims. In 1993, Somali warlords sent the U.S. Army packing, after TV pictures of a few U.S. casualties were broadcast to an audience of U.S. voters already skeptical about the mission in Somalia.
The bare outlines of a newly emerging Information Age vision are laid out in Pentagon manuals, notably in Joint Pub. 3-13; Joint Doctrine For Information Operations. This strategy statement, which is driving the debate in the entire Administration, says that the nation can achieve its security goals if the U.S. government's many agencies work in cooperation to undermine, redirect, distort, or stop an enemy's use of information—while simultaneously protecting information used by U.S. leaders, soldiers, businesses, and citizens.
But that broad vision creates an acute dilemma for government officials, especially soldiers, whose job it is to defend a Constitution under which the government and military are granted only narrow authority, and only by the consent of the governed. Information warfare, unless tightly controlled, may leap well beyond these narrow limits, now that national security information is increasingly commingled with public information, a citizen's private information, a business' proprietary data, and the global Internet marketplace. Thus nearly every citizen cheers the Navy's defense of the U.S. coastlines, but few would welcome a government offer to defend the data on their personal computers.
The information-operations strategy raises obvious political problems. If it were taken to its logical extreme, Pentagon and FBI officials would stand guard on the nation's communications networks, and customs officials would block exports of the compact computers that are so valuable to foreign soldiers, while government flacks would spin tales designed to protect the citizenry from the blandishments of enemies, both domestic and foreign. This Big Brother future is not desirable, or likely, or even possible, acknowledge government officials, even as they work behind closed doors to square the circles of their emerging vision.
So far, officials have squared only a few small circles. For example, White House officials have replaced the Pentagon's original phrase, "information warfare," with the nicer-sounding "information operations," thus fuzzing the distinction—and easing future coordination—between defense agencies and domestic law enforcement agencies. But top officials are still grappling with the tougher policy questions—some pressing, some barely recognized, and others almost beyond the scope of the federal government.
U.S. Hacker War
Consider the relatively modest questions raised here at home by the United States' undoubted ability to wage offensive information warfare by hacking into foreign computers to pilfer secrets, move funds, corrupt data, and destroy software.
When such activities are planned for a narrow, routine, peacetime spy operation, they are dubbed "special intelligence operations" and must be approved by top officials, sometimes even by the President. But what if a more massive U.S. hacker attack was designed to wreck the computers that control an enemy's banking system, electrical-power grid, or telephone network? Launching such a warlike operation would require a different approval process—maybe a presidential finding, or perhaps even a congressional assent that the nation is at war.
And how should the President and his advisers weigh the merits of offensive hacker attacks? One obvious question is whether the United States should forswear such computer attacks in the hope that international law might, over time, curb foreign computer assaults on the United States. This option is advocated by China and Russia, both of whom sought arms control agreements to curb the superior U.S. nuclear armory during the Cold War. In January, China and Russia persuaded the U.N. General Assembly to study the hacker-war issue after the United States rejected an initial proposal to outlaw offensive computer attacks.
This hacker-arms-control option seems absurd on its face because it is so difficult to monitor which countries are complying and which aren't. Nevertheless, it is being considered because the Pentagon is worried about foreign computer attacks on our networks, and because the military wants some clear direction before formulating information-warfare plans. The Defense Department is expected, in the near future, to give the U.S. Space Command responsibility for defending military information networks and for launching military hacker attacks on foreign networks. Space Command can't develop plans for such attacks until the White House signs off on a national policy—just as the U.S. Air Force's Strategic Air Command could not craft Cold War nuclear plans until the White House developed a nuclear strategy.
Which raises another question vexing White House decision-makers: How much consideration should Space Command give to the possibility of "collateral damage"—damage, for example, to U.S. economic interests? After all, Space Command may wish to implant software flaws in enemy computers before war. But politicians who represent districts with lots of high-tech employment might wish to bar such electronic "preparation-of-the-battlefield" measures until the formal exchange of gunfire, especially if such peacetime tactics make foreign customers suspicious that U.S.-built computers are infested with Pentagon-approved security bugs or viruses.
In view of these potential controversies, the White House may put a civilian agency in charge of U.S. hacker attacks, just as the Energy Department now controls the production and storage of nuclear weapons. "It is very important to ensure firm civilian control of strategic information operations, and one way of doing that would be to treat them much like we treat nuclear weapons," said Col. Charles Dunlap, the staff judge advocate at Shaw Air Force Base, in South Carolina.
National Cyberdefense
Apart from debates about when to use information warfare against an enemy, questions also arise about who should defend the United States against computer attacks—the Pentagon, or domestic law enforcement. The White House's May 1998 directive instructed the FBI—not the military—to organize a defense of the nation's electronic central nervous system.
The directive seeks to defend America's critical computer networks, including the ones used by the banking system, power grid, telephone lines, and other vital services. Government officials say these systems could easily be crashed by well-organized hackers in what would be an "electronic Pearl Harbor."
Only "this Pearl Harbor's going to be different," John J. Hamre, the deputy secretary of Defense, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 9. "It is not going to be against Navy ships sitting in a Navy shipyard; it's going to be against commercial infrastructure, and we don't control that." The threat is deemed so great that back in July 1996, then-Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick even called on Congress to fund a program, in the style of the atomic bomb's Manhattan Project, that would defend the nation's critical computer networks.
Despite repeated claims of organized hacker attacks, however, the government has not published any evidence that any terrorists or foreign states are trying to cripple the nation's information networks. This may be because there is no evidence. Or it may be that the Pentagon fears that publishing the evidence would help the attackers. The most that has been said in public is that countries such as France, China, and Israel are hacking into U.S. computers to steal technology and trade secrets, and that organized attempts are being made to map U.S. government computer networks. Still, the vast majority of known hacker attacks amount to petty vandalism or minor criminality, and are largely insignificant for national security.
But according to the new information-operations vision, business and government, law enforcement, and national security are all bound together by their shared information systems. Identical information technology is used by businesses and governments, and more than 95 percent of Pentagon communications—plus 100 percent of critical banking, energy, transportation, and electrical-grid data—travel via civilian communications lines.
To bolster the computer defenses of government agencies, and of industry, the May 1998 White House directive advocates new spending, including money for long-term research into hacker defense. The White House says it will spend a total of $10 billion to fend off new warfare threats—including biological, chemical, and information—over the next few years, although Republicans say the real figure is closer to $5 billion.
The directive also gives the FBI a few small carrots with which to prod companies into upgrading their computer defenses. The carrots include free FBI technical advice and the sharing of secret intelligence about hacker activities. The stick is the unstated but real threat that companies will be sued by customers or shareholders whose interests are hurt when a hacker cripples a company's computers.
Overall, however, despite the high-decibel alarms from Hamre and others at the Pentagon, the White House's efforts have been surprisingly modest. The White House has not given the FBI any new authority—as far as is publicly known—to defend or control company networks, and has done little to win national or international support for new rules that would let the FBI pursue hackers through the various national neighborhoods on the global Internet. Without such powers of pursuit, neither identification nor retribution is likely, thus deterrence is very weak.
The government is, however, studying proposals to amend antitrust law and the Freedom of Information Act to allow more sharing of information among companies and the government without threat from an antitrust lawsuit or a nosy reporter, said Michael A. Vatis, director of the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center.
So far, most companies have ignored the whole issue, much to the distress of national security officials. "What this represents to [most executives] is some future issue, certainly not well-understood, and with no air of crisis," said Michael J. O'Neil, who served as general counsel at the CIA until 1997. This passivity is risky, because a damaging hacker attack may cause Congress to override industry objections and pass a set of expensive and intrusive network-defense laws, said O'Neil, who is now a partner at Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds.
Meanwhile, civil libertarians see information warfare, both offensive and defensive, as an excuse for law enforcement and intelligence officials to win bigger budgets and wider legal authority over information, domestically and internationally. For "the FBI to assume ... authority for domestic networking is a half-step toward a form of domestic military control," especially when the threat is poorly demonstrated, said Marc Rotenberg of the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center. It would be wiser, say libertarians and many industry observers, to let the unfettered marketplace—currently led by American technology—decide how to defend against hacker attacks, with some advice from government agencies. Those companies that perform well at making information secure over the Internet and other networks will survive. Those that perform poorly, won't.
The Marketplace
Underlying the discussions over how much, or whether, to protect our information streams, is the question of whether technology is inherently good, or simply neutral. Does the spread of information technology benefit everyone, making others more like us, making them more eager for peaceful commerce in goods and ideas? Or does it simply give them tools to build new weapons for aggression? That issue has been around for many years; in the climate of 20th-century boosterism before World War I, optimists argued that the growing international trade in finished goods would suppress nationalist tensions, foster understanding, and give rise to a world where war was no longer logical. That didn't quite pan out.
The Clinton administration clearly believes that the spread of technology is essentially good, that technology will transmit American ideas of democracy and freedom around the world. Today's sales of high-powered computers to bad actors—including Russian nuclear-weapons laboratories, the Chinese military, unknown terrorist groups, and criminal syndicates—are only a tiny fraction of U.S. high-tech sales, the argument goes. High-tech sales, in the aggregate, do America too much good to be interrupted. They spur economic growth, create millions of new U.S. jobs, boost government revenue to help fund extra military spending, increase diplomatic clout, help the White House's poll numbers, and make hostile countries dependent on a web of peaceful trading links, say trade proponents and administration officials.
Vice President Al Gore is the chief proponent of this view. "We can build on our progress and use these powerful new forces of technology to advance our oldest and most cherished values: to extend knowledge and prosperity to the most isolated inner cities at home, and the most rural villages around the world ... to deepen the meaning of democracy and freedom in this Internet age," Gore said last October.
This logic prompted the early Clinton Administration to drop Cold War-era export curbs on computers, data-scrambling gear, and satellites. But these days, that policy is returning to bite the White House, now beset by Republican and press charges that it has recklessly given military advantages to enemies of American interests. Critics point most alarmingly to China, which in recent years has bought numerous fast computers and high-capacity communications networks, an aircraft factory, rocket expertise. Growing protests over the Administration's China policy forced the cancellation of a $450 million contract for a pair of cell-phone satellites that could serve military as well as civilian purposes.
U.S. high-tech companies bitterly oppose trade curbs and argue that the benefits of exports outweigh the risks. And because Silicon Valley and its many imitators are a major sector of this economy now, this argument gets a very respectful hearing, from lawmakers and from the Administration in Washington. Joel L. Johnson, at the Aerospace Industries Association, for example, says that the U.S. government gave up numerous good jobs when it nixed the satellite sale, and delayed China's satellite program for only a short time—until it can buy replacement satellites from Europe. Johnson says that even from a security perspective, it is better that we, and not the Europeans, sell to China. "If we sell the Chinese a satellite, we have the [satellite's] wiring diagrams, and there may be some stuff in there that the Chinese don't know about" that would allow the United State to turn it off in a crisis, he said. But "the French won't give us an 'off' switch."
More broadly, many officials argue that exports of American technology, and the cultural values carried by it, boost the United States' so-called "soft power"—the nation's ability to achieve desired long-range goals of freedom and democracy by persuasion rather than coercion. Champions of this view include retired Navy Adm. William A. Owens, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Joseph S. Nye, former assistant secretary of Defense for international affairs and now the Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
International PR
Owens, Nye, and others hold that America's soft power—gradually infusing into other cultures the U.S. values of human rights, freedom of thought, and freedom of commerce—undermined the Soviet Union, helped create the 1989 protests in China, and has otherwise promoted democracy, trade, and peace around the world. This view is, in essence, the ultimate American information-warfare policy. The message transmitted throughout the Cold War by American exports—be they television programs—such as Baywatch or The International Herald Tribune, or Arnold Schwarzenegger movies—made a clear and ultimately victorious point—"Socialism stinks, capitalism is cool."
Armed with this notion of soft power, and seeing information as the chief weapon of choice, the White House is drafting its new directive to try to improve the various ways the government uses information and coordinate these uses into a strategy to use abroad.
Ever since World War II, the U.S. government has augmented the work of American commercial news organizations in reaching out to foreign audiences with its own agencies, including the U.S. Information Agency, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Liberty. At modest cost, these agencies helped undermine communism in Europe, and they are now operating against the Chinese and Serbian governments. These three older Cold War-era agencies now also use TV and the Internet to get their message to places where commercial media won't go and to get past hostile government censors. Recently, they have begun to tighten coordination with the departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Defense. The USIA, for example, has Web pages explaining U.S. bombing raids in Kosovo.
The new presidential directive is intended to further such efforts, and "stems out of the lesson learned from Rwanda and Bosnia, where hate propaganda was used to incite and organize genocide," said a government official. The directive calls on all government agencies to increase their training and inter-agency coordination, and urges them to cooperate with foreign governments and nongovernmental organizations to help spread an authorized message or to counter a false one. These foreign organizations include corporations, environmental and health advocates, democracy proponents, and even populations willing to cooperate with the U.S. government. Already, the U.S. Agency for International Development is paying $800,000 per year to Search for Common Ground, a Washington-based aid organization that operates a pro-peace radio station in Rwanda's neighboring country, Burundi.
The new directive is intended "to bring all the pieces together," a government official said, thus giving policy-makers an extra tool beyond the usual list of economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, or military threats. In the case of Rwanda, this tool would have offered the President a more acceptable alternative than military intervention, he added.
Significantly, the draft directive also calls for development of a still-amorphous "National Information Strategy." This item may merely generate reams of bureaucratic blather, or it may provide a formative stepping stone toward a security strategy for the Information Age, just as the notion of "containment" set the strategy for the Cold War, and "mutual assured destruction" set the strategy for the nuclear age, say government officials. "What George Kennan did for us in 1948, when he wrote the `containment' article, is what we are searching for," said one former government official who is pushing for such a comprehensive strategy.
The first step toward a national information strategy could even be completed this year, said John Arquilla, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, Calif. Already working with top-level officials on information policy, Arquilla said this grand plan should closely combine the computer side of Information Operations with the public-information side; create incentives for all agencies to freely share information; create a policy of "guarded openness" that balances financial profits and other benefits from high-tech trade against damage to national security; establish a top-level organization to manage the information strategy; and set policies that guide any computer attacks launched by the United States.
Although the Defense Department will be encouraging the White House to take a comprehensive view of these issues, political caution and bureaucratic rivalry may stymie creation of this grand strategy, Arquilla warned. In its place, White House officials may simply take the easy route and write separate policies for each aspect of the problem. That route would create a dysfunctional set of feuding fiefdoms, said Arquilla.
One encouraging sign for those who want a comprehensive information-warfare strategy is that the White House already has a czar for information operations—Richard A. Clarke, the President's national coordinator for security, infrastructure protection, and counterterrorism. Clarke, an influential civil servant at the National Security Council, was instrumental in writing the 1998 directive and has shaped the pending public information directive. But it is not clear whether President Clinton has enough interest in the issue to help when Clarke, the Pentagon's Hamre, and other interested officials try to bring the Cabinet together to chart a strategy for the Information Age. Indeed, "a lot of these issues are just too hard," said one congressional staff member skeptical of the White House's willingness to clash with high-tech export industries and anti-government libertarians. Clarke declined to be interviewed for this article.
If no grand strategy is crafted by the White House, a partial strategy will slowly emerge as agencies muddle through piecemeal, driven by the latest crisis. Such a substitute strategy would be put together largely by senior and middle-ranking officials, occasionally in the open but often behind closed doors, usually by appointees, and sometimes by the courts.
Of course, this bottom-up approach may not provide an answer soon enough to be useful, may not allow for sufficient public debate, and may not be understood by the various participating agencies because of the tight secrecy surrounding the topic. "It is easier to get somebody [cleared] to read into nuclear targets than the small information-warfare things," said the Air Force's Dunlap.
That would leave the United States with a crippled strategic approach on the day it finds itself surprised by the first war of the Information Age. Still, that's the way the United States entered World War II—and everyone knows how that turned out.

The contents of the following letter self-explanatory.

Fenner < >now living in TO, Canada evidently
has definite views on the matter. In an effort to assist him in this
I have already forwarded a copy to Alaistair Honeybun

Mike R


I have sent the following letter to Messrs Cohen and Woods, the Washington,
D.C.  lobbyists and spin doctors who have accepted a $7-million fee to
represent Mugabe and ZANU-PF internationally.

Should anyone wish to add their support, please write individually to Cohen
and Woods at :

Thanks, RF



As a former Rhodesian Television news anchor, and a long-time journalist
and public relations practitioner, I am deeply disappointed to hear that you
have accepted ZANU-PF and Mr. Robert Mugabe as clients.

In our profession, where practitioners live and die by their ethics,
credibility and reputation, you have obviously decided that yours is worth
less than the reported $7 million dollars.

I am not so naive as to believe that such a financial consideration is
insignificant.  However, I believe that, to make the business decision you
have places your firm and its principals in one of two categories: the
abysmally uninformed, or the morally bankrupt.

How does any decent person, let alone an ethical practitioner, accept a
client who is guilty beyond any doubt of ordering genocide; the wholesale
torture of political prisoners; massive and organised intimidation on a
national scale; a total contempt for both legal process and the rule of law;
grand theft and larceny; and suppression of any freedom of speech, either by
the media or the people?  (Should you need proof of any of these
allegations, it is readily available.)

Let me say that I left Zimbabwe during the Smith years.  My family, however,
elected to stay, and are still in Harare.  My family has been in Africa for
longer than America has been a nation.

Whilst at RTV, I was branded a "liberal", a "kaffir-lover" and even a
"traitor" for daring to voice the opinion that there might be a different
way to do things than that adopted by Ian Smith's Rhodesian Front.  I
believed he was right, however, about many things - one of which was that
Rhodesia was not ready for universal suffrage and a Westminster system of
government.  One had only to look at the dismal record of former colonial
states to see that.

Mr.  Smith has been proven right beyond all doubt, and is owed the biggest
public apology in history by the western nations that perpetrated this mess.
The showplace of Africa lies in ruins, a scant 20 years after Mugabe took
power.  One of the richest countries in Africa is broke, and its people
suffering terribly.  Zimbabwe is a monument to the truism that "Those who do
not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

That you and your partners seem not to care about your client's record of
atrocities is bad enough.  That you should take your blood money over the
dead bodies of the Matabele nation, however, and through the hunger, pain
and suffering of nearly eight million innocent Zimbabweans, is no less than

That you, Mr.  Cohen, a Jew with a Jew's tragic history, should be
insensitive to this issue is appalling.  That you should voluntarily
contribute to upholding a regime such as this is despicable beyond belief.
When you take up the money and cause of a murderer whose methodology
parallels the Nazis, and whose main henchman goes by the name of "Hitler",
you become no more than a modern-day Goebbels.  You spit on the sacrifice of
every victim of the Holocaust and their families, and every soldier of every
nation that fought and died to save them.

I'd ask that you consider this - the only reason you are able to accept a
commission of this nature and its benefits is because you live in a
democratic country with a government and police force that respects and
upholds the rule of law.  Were you in Zimbabwe and handling an issue this
inflammatory, I doubt you'd last a week.  You'd simply disappear in the
night, as so many others have already done.

In light of all the above, I strongly urge you and your partners to
reconsider.  Your personal and professional reputation would be far better
served by helping to bring this man's tyranny to an end, and giving a great
people and country a chance at true democracy.

Yours truly,
Richard Fenner

N.B.  This letter will be mailed individually to as many members of the
Senate and Congress as possible; to the Federal and provincial Parliaments
of Canada; hand-delivered to our local federal MPs; to UPI, AP, Reuters and
Canada Newswire.

It will also be sent to every Association of Public Relations practitioners
of which your firm may be a member, or with whom you may come into contact.
Perhaps they will consider the disrepute into which this association will
bring our profession.

And, finally, it will be sent to every Rhodesian and Zimbabwean society and
organisation I can locate, worldwide.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike and Fiona Lander" <>
To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:;>
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2001 8:10 PM

Zimbabweans!!  Time for protest!  Your chance to fight back.

Flood these addresses with your protests.
2 partners of Cohen and Woods, the Lobby company, hired by Mugabe, to spruce up his image internationally...

Cohen & Woods :    

Would Mr Cohen have accepted the job of improving the image of Hitler?

I enclose a contribution together with statistical data which you may be able to utilise in your protest. Make yours individual.



Dear Mr. Cohen,

Our Presidents actions have been likened to those of Hitler before the second world war. How can one improve an image such as this and if you had been approached in 1939, would you would you have condoned his actions and accepted his thirty pieces of silver?
You are hopefully aware of the intimidation, abductions, beatings, brutal murders and general harrassment of any opposition to the ruling party. Innocent apolitical Zimbabweans are forced into submission and continuously caught in the cross-fire. These acts of oppression are carried out by so called warvets and publically endorsed our President and Government. This must be likened to Hitlers youth and his Brownshirts. Moyo is our Goebles

In addition the partisan nature of the police and army is widely reported and witnessed.  Only a few days ago a young lady was
arrested by the police and spent a night in the cells for waving at a friend.   She was charged with disturbing the peace and fined $200.  A well respected man of the community accidently drove too close to the back of the President's cavalcade after they had overtaken him.  He was pulled from his car and severley beaten.  These are recent examples of what is happening in our country on a daily basis.   

To improve his image you will have to endorse these actions and thereby condone those of Hitlers.

To accept Z$162 million of Zimbabweans tax money is to me despicable. This money would provide basic housing for 800 Zimbabwean families, uncountable food programs, HIV/AIDS assistance and other projects too many to mention.
To help you understand the problem further I attach the most recent update of human rights abuses. 

Please reconsider your decission to take on this Portfolio as it will only tarnish YOUR image in the eyes of the democratic world.

Do you belive in the "Preservation of Life and Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" or does it only apply to the United States of America - Your Declaration of Independence



Last year, our sources included NGOs, victims themselves, our rural network of sources including churches and others, and media. 68% of data entries were either primary source or based on written statements taken directly from victims by trusted informants, with the remaining 32% coming from media reports we considered reliable, based on their general concurrence with our own independent findings during the course of last year.
Statistical Summary of Human Rights Abuses and Violence Nationwide:

 14 February - 24 June 2000


Deaths: (beating, gunshot, burns, hanging)                             37

Assaults: (weapons, burns, gunshots, strangling):                          2,466

Rapes :                                                                                            27

Property destroyed/damaged/stolen                                             1,139

Detention/abduction:                                                                      617

Assault threat:                                                                             1,904

Death threats:                                                                              2,459

Displaced people:                                      more than                10,000

 Categories of violation not individually listed above include: interference with freedom of movement and association, forced eviction, of which the cases totalled 43,352


Unknown (farm workers, civilians, etc.):                           52,8  %

MDC (people at rallies, MDC officials):                            37,8   %

Other political parties (UP, ZUD):                                      4,8   %

Police:                                                                               0,8  %

ZANU-PF (war veterans, officials, etc.):                            3,8   %                                   


 ZANU-PF (war vets, invaders, officials, ZP Youths):         91,2 %

Govt. officials (police, district registrars, etc.):                    3,3 %

MDC (people at rallies, officials, etc.):                                2,0 %

Unknown (farm workers, civilians, etc.):                             3,5 %


As at 07 December 2000
The intention is to show trends rather than to claim to have documented all occurring violence with total accuracy, although every effort has been made to include only reliable sources and accounts of incidents. Apart from death, all figures can be assumed to be conservative.

Death (beating, gunshot, burns, hanging):                                      9

Assaults:  (weapons, burns, gunshots, strangling):                    939

Rape:                                                                                                  8

Property destroyed/damaged/stolen:                                          396

Detention/Abduction:                                                                       49
Assault threats:                                                                             177

Death threats:                                                                                  55

Displaced people:                                                                        306


Unknown (farm workers, civilians, etc:                                 70.7%
MDC (people at rallies, MDC officials:                                 26.4%
Other political parties (UP, ZUD):                                           0   %
Police:                                                                                        0   %
ZANU PF (war veterans, supporters, officials):                     2.9%
ZANU-PF (war vets, Youths)                                                68.6 %


                The Army                                                                  5.4 %

                The Police                                                                 8.2 %

                The CIO                                                                   0.7 %

                The Police/Army                                                     10.3 %

MDC (supporters, officials, etc):                                           2.5 %
Unknown (farm workers, civilians, etc):                              4.3 %

 The pre-election period saw war veterans as the main perpetrator of the violence that descended on the rural and farming areas.  War veterans were responsible for about 90% of this violence.  After elections, violence shifted to encompass not only the rural and farming areas but to show a pattern of increased violence in the urban centers where the police and the army were responsible for the violence: this explains the statistical shift away from war veterans to government officials as perpetrators in the last few months. The overall pattern of 90% + of violence being committed by those who favour the state remains the same.


Please note - this is a summary based on daily updates and subject to correction. Every effort is made to ensure only reliable sources are used. Apart from deaths, all figures can be assumed to be conservative. Violations  that are monitored by not listed individually include violation of freedom of expression, association and movement as well as voters rights.


Deaths ( gunshot and beatings)                8
Assaults:                                            369
Rapes:                                                   0
Property offences                                 177
Assault threats                                    258
Death threats                                      354
Displacement of people                          65


Unknown:                                        78,0 %
MDC:                                              16,9%
ZANU-PF:                                         5,1%


ZANU-PF (war veterans,youths etc)      71,5%
Army:                                                  4,4%
Police:                                               10,2%
CIO:                                                    4,4%
MDC:                                                  2,2%
Unknown:                                            7,3%

The beginning of the month saw government and the judiciary in a showdown as Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay threatened to challenge his forced dismissal. The Minister of Information in the President's Office Prof Jonathan Moyo told journalists that the office of Chief Justice would be vacant as from midnight of the 28th of February. The Chief Justice's Lawyers meanwhile advised that he was not vacating his office until his midterm office has lawfully come to an end.

the impasse ended with the government agreeing to cease their verbal attacks on the judiciary and allowing Gubbay to retire honourably and with full recognition for the role he has played in the past, and also to hold his position until 1 July, as agreed. Later in March, Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, a pro-government judge, was appointed acting Chief Justice until 1 July, at which date he will assume the position.

Election results challenge
The High Court of Zimbabwe has this month been hearing the first petitions from the MDC, in which they are challenging the results of the June 2000 election in 39 constituencies.  Witnesses told the court about how they were intimidated beaten and some recounted how their party members were either beaten or burnt to death by Zanu PF supporters. Witnesses highlighted how senior members of Zanu PF incited violence. 

The court heard how MDC supporters' houses were burnt down and how they went into hiding after receiving death threats. MDC members fled from smaller towns to Harare for fear of being attacked.  Some MDC members were kidnapped and kept in secret hideouts, and although police were said to have  know about the whereabouts but to have done nothing to the kidnappers.  Some Zanu PF MPs carried pistols to intimidate voters.

The war veterans continue to take the into their own hands by closing down in rural district offices, recruiting teachers, appointing executive officers in the District Councils.  The reason behind these recruitments is to remove MDC supporters and replace them with Zanu PF.

Soldiers go on rampage
The  deployment of soldiers in residential areas, where they beat people up, continued to be reported.  Midnight raids seem to be the order of the day with one MDC MP and his pregnant wife surviving after assassination attempt youths from the opposition. MDC  supporters have been reportedly sleeping in maize fields for fear of being attacked or kidnapped.  Midnight visits by CIO are also on the increase.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
The ZCTU held elections for its executive posts. The union, which gave birth to the MDC opposition movement, has retained an executive that is  pro-MDC.


Narrative Summary of Human Rights Violations
March 2001
Please note this is a running narrative updated daily.  It is also subject to retrospective adjustment as new, more detailed accounts of old events come in: the intention is to show trends that claim to have documented all occurring violence with total accuracy, although every effort has been made to include only reliable source and accounts.  It remains difficult at times to determine exactly the day a certain event has occurred.

2 March: The Daily News reports that soldiers beat people in Harare' Sunningdale suburb, in the process rupturing the spleen of a man who had just been discharged from hospital.  The man had to undergo a second operation since he could no longer pass urine in the normal way.
3 March: Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay wins his battle against government, forcing Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa to reinstate him unconditionally until he retires voluntarily on 1 July. However, it is nonetheless the case that government has forced him to retire prematurely, before the middle of 2002 which was Gubbay's original intention. The High Court reserves judgement in a petition in which Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC president wants Zanu PF victory in the Buhera North constituency to be nullified.

Meanwhile Zanu PF is beginning to revive youth brigades.  These youth brigades are known for their activities during the 1980s, when they force marched people to Zanu PF rallies, and were also responsible for gross human rights violations including beatings, murders and the destruction of homesteads.

5 March: Riot police unleash violence in Chitungwiza, beating up people who had gathered at a shopping centre for the official opening of a market place by MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai.  The ceremony was abandoned to avoid an escalation of police brutality.

5 March: In Nyamandlovu, Gloria Olds, a 70 year old farmer is shot dead by unknown gunmen. Gloria Olds' son Martin was killed by 100 war veterans, on Independence Day, 18 April, last year.  A reconstruction of her murder indicates she was killed early in the morning when going to unlock the gate. She was shot in both legs, and then as she crawled away, was shot again. Fifteen bullet holes are found in her body. The murder weapon is an AK-47, which places the suspects as war veterans. Gloria Olds is alleged to have been killed by politicians according to one war vet, Stan Wolfenden.  Politicians are alleged to be after the Olds farm. No arrests have been made.

5 March: War veterans and members of the CIO continue harassing villagers in Bikita West.  Teachers have also been targeted and threatened with death, for supporting MDC.

A sports club manager is forced to kiss Mugabe's portrait by war veterans after accusing him of being a racist.

6 March: President Mugabe's body guards assault a British gay spokesman, Peter Tatchell, in Brussels, Belgium. He was attempting to conduct a citizen's arrest at the time, as he has done once before in London, accusing Mugabe of crimes against humanity. Mugabe holds talks with Belgium and French leaders, while other leaders in Europe and the Zimbabwean MDC protest against these meetings.

6 March: War veterans are reported to have impounded an omnibus fleet in an effort to solve a pay dispute.  The impounded fleet was kept at the Zanu PF headquarters in Harare.  The hearing of election results challenge continued in the High Court, with a witness testifying that the Minister of Defence, Moven Mahachi threatened MDC supporters with death if they did not surrender their t-shirts and membership cards.  Meanwhile hundreds of government workers in Matabeleland North have been forced out of their jobs by war veterans who accuse them of supporting the MDC.

7 March: The MDC chairman in Shamva is severely assaulted by Zanu PF supporters.  Other MDC officials from Shamva have fled from their homes after repeated attacks.

7 March:  government bans opposition rallies in Chitungwiza,  as a response to the huge crowd that gathered to hear MDC leader Tsvangirai talk on the 5th.

Fifteen villagers are injured in Nemamwa near Masvingo after Police Support Unit stormed the area and began assaulting villagers at random.  Police claimed that they were doing their normal duties.

7 March: Gibson Sibanda, vice president of MDC is further remanded by a Bulawayo Magistrate.  Sibanda is charged with inciting violence at a rally in Feburary.  War veterans have closed four municipal offices in Redcliff, alleging that officers were supporters of the opposition MDC.

8 March: MDC MP David Coltart receives death threats delivered by anonymous callers on his mobile phone. Well-sourced rumours state that it is the intention of ZANU-PF to kill all the four white MDC parliamentarians, with Coltart and Auret top of the list.

8 March: In Epworth, two people are shot and injured by war veterans.  The two victims are said to have refused to pay war veterans a fee so that they could collect sand from the area.  An argument ensued and the war veterans pulled out pistols and AK rifles and shot at two of the people. Zimbabwe Cricket Team Captain's father, Dennis Streak, is abducted by about 40 war veterans who later release him unharmed.  War veterans had previously raided the foreman's house and assaulted the foreman's wife.

9 March: CIO agent responsible for murdering MDC president's driver and his colleague are to testify in the election petition hearing in the High Court.

10 March: War veterans and Zanu PF forcibly occupied four houses belonging to a Harare woman following accusations that she cheated some people out of their properties.

12 March: Kenneth Mwinga's leg was broken by Boniface, Mutemachani a war veteran after Mwinga agreed to testify in the High Court against Zanu PF MP for Chiredzi North Elliot Chauke. A pick handle was used to assault Mwinga.

12 March: In Kadoma, war veterans closed down three offices at the town centre over allegations that three of the council's directors supported the opposition MDC party.

13 March: Zanu PF parliamentarians admit that their supporters are terrorising MDC supporters, especially in rural areas.

14 March: About 15 war veterans besieged the Chiredzi district administrator's office and threw out Chief Hlaisi Mundau Tshovani from a land committee meeting. The war veterans were angered by his remarks when he testified in theHigh Court during a petition in which MDC is challenging the election results.

15 March: MDC files an urgent application in the High Court challenging the ban on political meetings imposed in St Mary's Chitungwiza.

15 March: thousands of villagers in Tsholotsho have been displaced by massive flooding after continuous rain. NGOs report that government is exploiting the situation and forcing traumatised refugees to listen to political speeches before being given relief food - which is not being paid for by government, but by relief NGOs! This confirms the fears of the NGO community that the government will exploit the drought/flood relief needs for politicking in the year ahead.

15 March: A team of visiting jurists led by the former chairman of  the general council of the Bar of England and Wales, Lord Goldsmith, tour the country speaking to lawyers and others concerned with the rule of law, to establish for themselves what the situation is. The government reacts angrily, and accuses the Legal Resources Foundation of bias in arranging the trip. When they speak to Zimbabwe government ministers, the visiting council are verbally attacked.

15 March: Acting Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku is sworn in taking over from Anthony Gubbay, currently on leave pending retirement on 11 July.

16 March: Zanu PF MP for Chiredzi tells the High Court that he told a meeting of local authorities and war veterans that they should not allocate MDC supporters land under the fast track resettlement exercise.

16 March: Police are reported to be sitting on a murder docket in which Joseph Mwale, a member of the CIO and Pianos Zimunga a war veteran, are cited as prime suspects in the gruesome murder of two MDC supporters, who were burnt to death.

16 March: An MDC MP calls on government to address imbalances created by the 1980s atrocities.

17 March: The High Court nullified a police ban imposed on the opposition MDC prohibiting it's leaders from holding peaceful campaign rallies and gatherings in St Mary's Chitungwiza and other parts of Zimbabwe.

17 March: High Court reserves judgement in the election petition in which MDC is challenging the victory of Zanu PF in the June Parliamentary elections in Chiredzi North.

Senior Zanu PF officials are reported to be grabbing land in Lower Gweru, leaving the needy villagers still crowded.

In Victoria Falls, war vets force tourism company Shearwaters to close after alleging that the firm was refusing to pay its former workers.

19 March: Police shoot dead an 18 year old man in Chitungwiza, suspected of being car thief.  He is in fact an innocent bystander. In Lower Gweru, police shoot and kill a man suspected of being a gang leader of criminals who shot a policeman at a roadblock in Harare. 

19 March: A Dutch development agency SNV, was forced to abandon construction of a $4 million school at Chitora Farm, after a group of war veterans turned four classroom blocks into their homes.

19 March: The Minister of Defence, Moven Mahachi is reported during evidence in the MDC appeals in the courts, to have promised a reward of $100 000 to Zanu PF youths for helping him win the parliamentary elections.

19 March: In Marondera war veterans dismiss 16 Marondera Town Council workers, accusing them of supporting the MDC.

20 March: A policeman guarding the rural home of Foreign Affairs Minister, Stan Mudenge, allegedly fired shots into the air after he was allegedly assaulted by villagers following an argument.  He is alleged to have fired 90 rounds into the air as he moved around the village.

20 March: it is reported that the witnesses in the election petition filed by the MDC in the High Court are now targets of terror.  Most human rights abuses were reported after the hearings into the petitions.  MDC supporters were mostly targets of the organised violence and torture.

21 March: three school teachers in Nkayi report being terrorised by war veterans in their areas. They are too afraid to stay at their schools, and government-supporting teachers have occupied their teachers' accommodation. However, the education ministry tells them that if they do not return to work, they will lose their jobs. They are among dozens of teachers under similar threat in their region, and as the district education offices have been occupied by war veterans and the district administrator intimidated, there is no support for them in the field. Other reports of schools being forced to close also come in from Matabeleland South.

20 March: MDC sets up a six member committee to compile evidence of intimidation and terror campaign by the army, police and Zanu  PF supporters.  MDC is preparing to take government to court for the trauma suffered during ongoing terror campaign.

22 March: War veterans, driving a Defender vehicle thought to belong  to Zimbabwe Republic Police closed two schools at Sawmills, west of Bulawayo, accusing the teachers of teaching children MDC slogans.  The headmaster was forced to hand over the school keys to war veterans.

22 March: The CFU reports that a group of about 80 Zanu PF youths beat up selected farm workers at Burnleigh Farm, using chains, sticks, whips and knobkerries.  The reason for beating people up is that they support MDC.

General lawlessness is reported to be on the increase, in all farming areas of the country, with invaders demanding compensation from farmers for dog bites, maize thefts and any imaginary offences.  Some farmers haves been assaulted in the presence of the police and nothing has been done to the perpetrators.

23 March: The Daily News reports that a group of war veterans stormed into to Harare Children' Home demanding to see the authorities at the institution.  The home looks after 92 orphans ranging from seven months to 18 years.  The British House of Lords is reported to be anticipating an increase in the number of asylum seekers from Zimbabwe because of continued Human Rights abuses.

26 March: MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai addresses a rally at the official opening of a flea market at Chitungwiza.  An earlier meeting was disrupted by police and the government then attempted to ban rallies. The order was overturned by the courts. This rally was estimated at 15 000 people. 

26 March: Zanu PF militias and war veterans have allegedly set up a base at Chadereka Business Centre in Muzarabani and are using it to launce raids on supporters of MDC.

27 March: Joseph Mwale of the CIO and Kainos Zimunya a war vet, named in the High Court as the killers of two MDC activists, fail to appear in the High Court to give evidence in their own defence, in the ongoing MDC election appeals.  The MDC activists were killed when a petrol bomb was thrown into their car.

27 March: in Chiredzi, people claiming to be war veterans closed flea markets in the town until the operators produced Zanu PF cards.  War veterans leader Boniface Mutemachani also went around schools threatening to beat up teachers who sympathise with MDC.

27 March: Victims of political violence in St Mary's Chitungwza have given the Police Commissioner  and Home Affairs Minister, a notice of intention to sue the government for terror orchestrated by the police and army.

Police are also looking for war veteran Mbada, whose gang allegedly stole cabbages and maize worth $1,3 million.

28 March: War vets have also taken up the role of labour relations officers as evidenced by their involvement in a labour dispute between Mike Stavrakis and 16 of his former employees.  War veterans and the Mashonaland West Provincial governor.  Peter Chanetsa are now involved in the matter. 
28 March: Two MDC members were killed by Zanu PF militias and war veterans in Muzarabani.  Rabson T.Chirima was beaten up with heavy logs, had his eyes gouged out of their sockets and was killed instantly by Zanu PF youths and war veterans.  Peter Mataruse while being chased by a group of about 80 Zanu PF supporters, jumped into the flooded Musengezi River to escape his pursuers.  He drowned.
18 - 24 March: The weekly Standard newspaper reports that employees at the troubled Zimbabwe Newspapers Group have engaged the services of war veterans against one of their managers whom they accuse of being racist.

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From The Star (SA), 30 April

Zim opposition leader may face treason charge

Harare - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be charged with terrorism and could face life in prison when he appears before the country's High Court on May 7, his lawyer said on Monday. "He is being charged under Section 51 of the Law and Order Maintainance Act, which covers acts of terrorism," lawyer Innocent Chagonda told Reuters. It had been expected that he would be charged for inciting violence.

The charge arises out of a statement Tsvangirai made to an MDC rally in Harare in September last year, urging President Robert Mugabe to resign. According to news reports at the time, Tsvangirai, whose party had come close to defeating Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF in June elections, told about 20 000 supporters: "We ask Mugabe to go peacefully. If he does not, we will overthrow him violently." Tsvangirai said later he had meant that the people of Zimbabwe would rise against Mugabe out of frustration and not that his party would organise a coup or any other illegal action.

"It (the charge) is not appropriate from what transpired at the event," Chagonda said. Lawyers in Harare said any sentence of six months' imprisonment or more would disqualify Tsvangirai, a former trade union leader, from standing against Mugabe in presidential elections due early next year. The Law and Order Maintainance Act was introduced by white Rhodesian leader Ian Smith more than 20 years ago as a weapon against Mugabe's guerrillas fighting to end white rule. Mugabe won power in 1980 and announced earlier this month that he would seek a further six years in office because he was the only person who could deliver the country from its crushing economic decline.

From the MDC, 30 April
MDC Candidate's Home Burned
Richard Chadya, MDC candidate for Hurungwe East during the 2000 parliamentary elections, who last week successfully challenged Zanu PF Reuben Marumahoko’s victory in the High Court, had part of his homestead and a grain storage burnt to ashes by suspected Zanu PF supporters who were apparently incensed by the court decision. Property worth over $40 000 was destroyed when the thugs burnt down two thatched houses and a maize storage area on Saturday night at around 11 pm.
While Chadya was the candidate for Hurungwe East, his homestead is in Hurungwe West in the Boniface Area. Fortunately no one was injured in the attack, as there was no one in the burnt down houses. However it was clear that the arsonists had the intention of causing injury. Chadya was away from home at time of the attack. Chadya said “This is just a desperate move by the Zanu PF government as it attempts to stall the process of change that will usher in a better life for people in Zimbabwe. All the Zanu PF government can do is destroy. People have to realise that they have the power in their hands to bring about complete change to the terror and hunger under this dictatorship.”
Meanwhile, Godfrey Mumbamharwo, MDC candidate for Mt Darwin South in the 200 parliamentary elections, who is also a former organising secretary for Mashonaland Central was on the same day, severely assaulted at his home in Chiwaridzo Township in Bindura at about 10 pm for the sole crime that he was an MDC activist. A group of Zanu PF supporters wielding iron bars and logs pounded Mumbamarwo, who suffered suspected broken ribs and severe head injuries. All the furniture in the house was destroyed. After he had been taken to hospital, the Zanu PF thugs followed him there vowing to finish him off. His family has since transferred him to Harare. Several assailants were identified. These are Kanosvamhira, a Zanu PF councillor in the town, Dickson Mafios a Zanu PF Provincial Youth chairman and one Trust Katsiga. While the matter was reported to the police, no action has yet been taken in apprehending the culprits.

From The Daily News, 30 April

War vets accused of extorting money to have farms delisted

Masvingo - War veterans, some in the Masvingo province Zanu PF executive, have allegedly extorted money from commercial farmers claiming they could use their influence to have their farms delisted. At a tense provincial land committee meeting held in Masvingo on Thursday, it emerged that some veterans had demanded money from the farmers. They promised they would use their political clout to have the farms delisted. Part of a letter written to the land committee and signed by the veterans read: "We as war veterans are not interested in some of the properties you have acquired. We, therefore, appeal to you to have them delisted . ..".

Masvingo provincial administrator Alphonse Chikurira on Friday confirmed the land redistribution exercise was riddled with irregularities as war veterans, MPs and even ministers were meeting commercial farmers without the knowledge of the provincial land task force. Said Chikurira: "We have received reports that veterans and some politicians are promising to have farmers’ properties delisted. It is a very disturbing situation." Chikurira said no one should pay money to be given land or to have his farm delisted. "A farm can only be delisted on the recommendation of the district land committee. It is illegal and highly criminal to demand money from farmers," said Chikurira. A commercial farmer who was swindled told The Daily News war veterans demanded money to have his property delisted. "I gave them money, but to my surprise the provincial land committee said they were not part of the deal," said the farmer. Commercial Farmers' Union regional chairman Mike Clarke said reports of war veterans demanding money form commercial farmers were on the increase.

From IRIN (UN), 30 April

Harare Quiet As War Veterans Back Off

Zimbabwe's capital was reported quiet on Monday as self-styled war veterans and ZANU-PF supporters appeared to be in retreat. "It's much calmer here compared to last week," Steve Omollo, Disaster Preparedness Delegate with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Harare told IRIN. President Robert Mugabe's regime has been backing off from its threat to withdraw protection from diplomats after unprecedented international outrage.

Chenjerai Hunzvi, fiery leader of the war veterans was quoted last Thursday by the 'Financial Gazette' as saying that embassies and foreign NGOs that supported the opposition would be next on his hit-list. A statement from the Zimbabwe foreign ministry issued within hours of the Financial Gazette report said that diplomats and aid agency staff who backed the regime's opponents "may not hope to receive assistance" from the government. Britain said on Thursday that it viewed the threats in a very serious light. But the statement has yet to be published in the state press, indicating that the government may have got cold feet in the wake of international concern. Events over the weekend supported the notion that ZANU-PF may have realised it had gone too far. Hunzvi backtracked from his bellicose remarks, reportedly appearing on state television on Sunday to deny his statement. A day earlier, Joseph Chinotimba, who has led a six-week campaign of often violent invasions of private companies, was quoted in the state-controlled 'Herald' as saying he had instructed his war veterans "to stop interfering" with private companies.

Omollo said that the IFRC, along with other foreign NGOs, was meeting foreign ministry officials on Monday afternoon in order to obtain assurances that the attacks would stop. The IFRC office in the capital was targeted by aggressive war veterans last week, ostensibly to settle a labour dispute. "We don't know why the vets came here, someone was dismissed a long time ago for misconduct, but all the proper channels were followed," Omollo added. Analysts told IRIN that the retractions and the blotting out of the foreign ministry threat were probably ordered by Mugabe, who appears to be in direct control of the militias. During the last six weeks of raids on hundreds of private companies, many of them foreign owned, as well as on foreign aid agencies, militants have declared they take orders only from Mugabe.

Ben Magaiza, CEO of the Harare Chamber of Commerce, told IRIN that from what he knew, there had been a significant reduction in the number attacks on companies since Friday. "Someone high up has told the vets to back off for now, but it doesn't mean we're out of this yet," he said. On Friday, SAPA reported that a mob was about to collect Zimbabwe Z$5-million (about US $65,000) in extortion from the local subsidiary of Dutch multinational Philips, when officers of Mugabe's secret police intervened and told the company not to pay. Zimbabwe was plunged into full-scale international disrepute last week over the foreign ministry threat and the attacks on private companies, with Harare's diplomatic representatives in Britain, South Africa and Germany summoned for angrily worded protests from the host governments. Britain on Monday warned its citizens living in or travelling to Zimbabwe to "exercise caution" following attacks on foreign embassies and businesses there.

From BBC News, 1 May

Harare fears May Day showdown

War veterans' leaders are challenging the unions

Harare - Trade unions in Zimbabwe are due to hold traditional May Day rallies on Tuesday. However there are fears that this year's main rally in the capital, Harare, could descend into violence. Recent weeks have seen war veterans who were responsible for the invasions of white-owned farms intervening in labour disputes on behalf of urban workers. The war veterans say they want to replace the existing trade union leadership, and plan to join the workers' demonstration. About 5,000 members of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions are expected to march from the centre of Harare to a rally in one of the city's stadiums. There they will join thousands of other trade unionists to celebrate May Day. However, this year the war veterans who have been invading businesses in Zimbabwe's cities are challenging the trade union leadership. The war veterans say they can better represent the interests of urban workers. The leader of the opposition MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, is a former secretary-general of the Congress of Trade Unions and sees the war veterans' challenge as an assault on his support base. With both trade unionists and war veterans planning to attend the rally the fear is that the battle for the hearts and minds of Zimbabwe's workers could result in physical confrontation.

From The Star (SA), 30 April

Photographers held after taking Mugabe pics

Harare - Three freelance photographers were arrested after they took photographs of President Robert Mugabe as he toured the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo last week. According to the independent Daily News the three photographers, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, said they were arrested by members of Mugabe's security entourage. The bodyguards demanded to know why they were taking pictures of the 77-year-old president before they were handcuffed. The trio were taken to the Bulawayo central police station and released from the cells 24 hours later, one of the photographers was quoted as saying. They paid Z$180 admission of guilt fines after being charged under the Law and Order Maintenance Act. Bulawayo police refused to say which law the trio had broken. One of the photographers said they had been accredited by Trade Fair authorities. "We normally take photographs of the president as he visits the stands because the owners of the stands want to retain their own personal photographs of the president," he said. Daily News photographer Grey Chitiga was also threatened by security aides.

Comment from the African Defence Journal, 1 May

Hind helicopters unsuited for crowd control

The four Russian-built Hind helicopters, which recent reports suggest are being modified for the Air Force of Zimbabwe, are designed for fast sweeping attacks on armour at low level and are unsuited for hovering or circling tasks such as crowd control, says the Harare-based African Defence Journal.

The Air Force of Zimbabwe originally ordered six Hind Mi-24/35's from Russia soon after the war in the Congo (DRC) began. The designation Mi-35 indicates export status. Originally sold in a slightly downgraded version, financial pressures in recent years to earn foreign exchange has resulted in a full combat suite and upgraded weapon system for new Mi-35 export aircraft being on offer. This option is also available as a retrofit programme to upgrade previously exported aircraft. Fighting in the DRC claimed two Mi-24/35's, leaving four in the AFZ inventory. Because instalments on the deal were not kept up, partly as a result of failed promises by Laurent Kabila to fully fund the DRC war for Zimbabwe in US dollars, the Zimbabweans experienced difficulties in paying the Russians. Erratic payments by the Zimbabweans eventually lead to the Russians withdrawing spares and technical personnel from Gweru some time ago. It is now thought that, at least until recently, only one of these aircraft was serviceable - the other three having been cannibalised for spares. If the recent reports of modifications to these gunships are correct this suggests that money or credit facilities have finally been settled, and the Russians are now resuming work on the aircraft.

Essential maintenance work on the surviving four Hinds are necessary before any modest upgrade can be undertaken. Should reports of this work be indeed correct, then the work is most likely to undertaken in the cockpit area, while plinths for machine guns or grenade launchers are also likely to be fitted on the floor in the area adjacent to the door of the aircraft. This modification is now the Russian export-standard after experience in Chechnya. However, even with these modifications, the Hinds are unsuitable for slow manoeuvres in ground effect, at the altitudes and hot conditions found in Harare, specially at mid-day and early afternoon. The Hind is designed to come in low and fast and attack armour on the ground in one pass. The pilot and gunner are protected by a bath of armour plated titanium. The best way of explaining the Hind would be to classify it akin to a heavy ground attack aircraft, more like the British Hawker Typhoon used to attack ground targets in Europe during World War II than a nimble platform than say, the Spitfire.

The Mi-24/35's fuel consumption in the hover is excessive, as essentially the aircraft takes off and flies close to its what could be considered in other aircraft as an overloaded condition. Because of this, the designers fitted small stub wings to unload the rotors for high speed flight, contributing to the safety margins of the aircraft and improving fuel consumption. It is African Defence Journal's contention that crowd control and observation duties can be carried out more efficiently and economically using the single Alouette III and four Bell 412's still operational in the AFZ fleet during April 2001.

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From News24
01/05/2001 15:40  - (SA)
War vets threaten to step up attacks

Harare - Militant war veterans threatened on Tuesday to step up their attacks on businesses in Zimbabwe, during their alternative May Day rally held after a main rally organized by labour unions.

"We want everyone to bring their problems to us for settling," said firebrand war vet leader Chenjerai Hunzvi, in a speech at Harare's Rufaro soccer stadium.

Fellow war vet leader Joseph Chinotimba assembled a list of about 20 employers he said his followers would target for raids to settle labour problems.

During the last month, the war vets have raided scores of companies and beaten or harassed managers, claiming they were acting in the name of disgruntled employees.

Chinotimba invited his few hundred supporters in the crowd to namecompanies they wanted to see raided.

His list included international electronics giant Philips, two major Zimbabwean supermarket chains, the national railway, the state postal and telecom company, the national bus line, a funeral home and a cooking oil company.

But it also included small employers, such as a local producers of matches and fireplaces, as well as employers of domestic workers.

One company named by Chinotimba, Fawcett Security, already had its Bulawayo offices raided by war veterans on Monday, in a raid of three major security companies in the city.

The threat comes amid a campaign by President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party to bolster his support among urban workers ahead of next year's presidential elections.

Zanu-PF failed to win any urban constituencies in last year's parliamentary elections, losing them all to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

His militant followers are now transferring to Zimbabwe's cities the violent tactics of intimidation and harassment they used in rural areas when they occupied 1,600 white-owned farms ahead of the June parliamentary elections.

At least 34 people died in political violence ahead of the polls, and thousands more were beaten, raped or kidnapped. - Sapa-AFP

From Business Day

May day protests turn violent as activists reject globalisation

PARIS — Police and demonstrators fought street battles in cities around the world on Tuesday as many May Day marches turned into violent protests against globalisation, capitalism and political corruption.

In Australia and Germany, dozens of police officers were injured and many more left-wing demonstrators arrested in clashes with riot squads.

Meanwhile in London, where the police had warned of a repeat of last year’s violent unrest, demonstrations began peacefully and appeared not to have attracted the expected crowds.

Each country’s protests were spiced with local economic and political grievances, but the common recipe was the demonstrators’ anger at unemployment and the destabilising side-effects of global capitalism.

In Australia’s main cities, an alliance of anarchists, Trotskyists, green groups, students and schoolchildren brought traffic to a standstill in a series of blockades aimed at big business.

In Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, some protests turned violent and at least 60 police were injured and dozens of protesters arrested.

The demonstrations were organised by the same group responsible for the violent disruption of a World Economic Forum summit in Melbourne last September, part of a series of anti-globalisation protests that started at a World Trade Organisation conference in Seattle in 1999.

In Brisbane, 600 chanting, banner-waving protesters forced the closure of the city’s stock exchange, while in Sydney, mounted police fought a running battle with protesters trying to repeat the exploit.

In Berlin, about 500 protesters constructed a street barrier overnight and set it ablaze. When police, armed with water cannons, attempted to clear it, they were pelted with stones and bottles.

About 9 000 officers from around the country have been ordered to the capital to prevent the street violence that has marred Germany’s Labour Day for more than a decade.

In South Korea, 20 000 brushed aside a police barricade on Tuesday to defy a ban on taking their protests against the economic policies of President Kim Dae-Jung toward Seoul’s main government district.

Demonstrators and pedestrians applauded as the police ranks gave way. There was no immediate violence, but 600 riot police formed a second barricade 50m further down the road.

In London, 6 000 police were deployed, promising “zero-tolerance” of the kind of protest which last year saw damage costing than £500 000 inflicted on banks and symbolic targets such as McDonald’s restaurants.

The demonstrations began peacefully as a crowd of up to 700 people brought traffic to a standstill outside King’s Cross station for 30 minutes, before beginning a slow march under heavy police escort.

“Overthrow capitalism and replace it with something nice,” read a banner.

In Paris overnight, several hundred protesters demanding a tax on global capital flows marched from the stock exchange to the Seine where they threw wreaths into the river to symbolise the fate of thousands of employees sacked by Marks and Spencer, Moulinex, Danone and other international firms.

In Japan, about 1,36-million workers attended rallies across the country as trade unionists warned new Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s plans to kick-start the stagnant economy could lead to unemployment and bankruptcies.

“It will force the Japanese people to make a sacrifice in the name of reform, bringing only unhappiness to the masses while benefiting a handful of the privileged,” said Yoji Kobayashi, president of the National Confederation of Trade Unions.

In Taiwan, several thousand workers waving banners and chanting slogans marched down the streets of Taipei demanding job protection. Officials have hinted the jobless rate for April could top the record 4,1% posted in August 1985, as more layoffs are expected amid mounting mergers and closures.

“We want to tell the government that we really can’t take it any more,” said Lin Hui-kuan, president of the Chinese (Taiwanese) Federation of Labour.

In Zimbabwe, the traditional Worker’s Day rally turned into a confrontation between opposition groups and war veterans loyal to President Robert Mugabe, and riot police were sent to clear 5 000 people from Harare’s Rufaro stadium.

In Pakistan, police arrested dozens of demonstrators who defied a ban on rallies.

And in Moscow, where there were no reports of violence, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev joined a march by 17 000 trade unionists while Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov addressed some 15 000 supporters nearby. — Sapa-AFP


From the Daily News

ZCTU won’t bow to war veterans

5/1/01 8:55:04 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

WORKERS mark Workers’ Day today with little cause for celebration as the economic crisis continues and companies close down.

Last year, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) cancelled Workers' Day celebrations because it did not want to risk workers’ lives at the height of the bloody campaign for the June parliamentary election.
Yesterday, Joseph Chinotimba, the Harare war veterans chairman, played down workers’ fears of a confrontation with the ZCTU leadership at Rufaro Stadium today. He denied he planned to hijack the celebrations and oust the ZCTU’s executive.
Yesterday he said, without elaborating: “The people will decide who will be the ZCTU president.”
Chinotimba declared himself the new ZCTU president early last month.
Last week Chinotimba said: “We want them to go. They should go to hell because they are not helping the workers. We will remove them. We are attending the celebrations because we are also workers. I am a worker at the Harare City Council and I am also a trade unionist.”
Lovemore Matombo, the ZCTU president, said: “The ZCTU will not succumb to any outside pressure.”
He said the so-called arbitration by war veterans was a purely political agenda and was not solving the workers’ problems.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) last week called on the government to act urgently against the company invasions by so-called war veterans.
The CZI said: “Industry is in a state of decline and this turn of events will hasten the closure of companies, thereby increasing unemployment.”
Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC president and former secretary-general of the ZCTU, said workers in Zimbabwe had little to celebrate.
He said: “The workers today face a significant financial erosion to their incomes, job losses, lawlessness and starvation for their families.”
Tsvangirai blamed the Ministry of the Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare for not making laws that would speed up the resolution of labour disputes, resulting in a huge backlog of cases, some going back five years.
He warned workers not to be hoodwinked by so-called war veterans intervening in labour disputes as the gains would only be short-term.
War veterans have been “arbitrating” in labour disputes and subjecting company and other organisations’ managers to intimidation, violence and what amounts to extortion.
The ZCTU programme for today’s May Day celebrations at Rufaro Stadium kicks off at 8am. The gates will be opened at 7.30am and July Moyo, the Minister of the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, is expected to attend.
The ZCTU secretary-general Wellington Chibhebhe will also give a speech while Matombo will deliver the May Day speech at 1.30pm.
The event closes at 2.05pm.


Tsvangirai’s bodyguards appear in court for alleged unlawful military training

5/1/01 8:45:28 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Matthews Masokere and Ernest Chifombote, the bodyguards of MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, appeared before Harare provincial magistrate, Dominic Muzavazi, yesterday on charges of undergoing unlawful military training.

Masokere, 38, of Zengeza 3 in Chitungwiza, and Chifombote of Marlborough, Harare, are alleged to have clandestinely undergone military training in Uganda, contravening Section 24 (2) of the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act Chapter 11:07.
They were not asked to plead.
The court remanded them in custody to tomorrow when the magistrate is expected to make a ruling on their application for refusal of remand.
The State’s case is that some time in 1999, Masokere, then employed by the Zimbabwe Hotel and Catering Workers’ Union, Chifombote, a gardener, and three others not named in the court papers, were allegedly called by Tsvangirai, then secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, to his office.
Tsvangirai allegedly told the five men that they would be sent for military training in Uganda. On 31 July, Masokere, Chifombote and their colleagues, who were said to be at large, allegedly boarded a Ugandan Airlines plane to Kampala, Uganda.
They were allegedly met at the Kampala airport by two Ugandan men who took them to a secret location in the city. They were later driven to a secluded camp, 500km out of Kampala, where they allegedly underwent training in martial arts, military intelligence, close security duties, terrorism and weapons handling.
They completed the training on 8 October 1999 and came back through South Africa, the State alleged. They were arrested on Friday last week.
The two were represented by Innocent Chagonda of Atherstone and Cook.
Chagonda said: “The offence is said to have occurred in 1999 before the MDC was launched and two years have gone by without the allegations. The allegations by the State don’t constitute any offence at all.”


EU warns Zimbabwe over threats

5/1/01 8:50:10 AM (GMT +2)

THE European Union (EU) has expressed concern over reports of threats against foreign diplomats and aid agencies in Zimbabwe.

The EU statement follows a warning by Chenjerai Hunzvi, a ruling party MP and leader of the country’s so-called war veterans, that foreign organisations would be the next targe of government supporters.
In its letter, the EU, which is Zimbabwe’s largest donor, called on President Mugabe’s government to heed the Vienna Convention, which stipulates that host countries should provide full security for diplomatic missions and personnel.
But the government has already said it cannot guarantee the safety of diplomats and aid workers who, in its words, become involved in local politics.
The issue has aroused widespread international concern, with the Zimbabwean high commissioner in London, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, being summoned to the Foreign Office to be told that the United Kingdom expects the rule of law to be upheld.
Embassies and aid agencies in Zimbabwe are warning staff to be vigilant.
The Red Cross has already decided to withdraw its expatriate workers for security reasons following the attack of Sam Talbot, 19, the son of a senior member of the Red Cross delegation to Zimbabwe last Thursday. He was flown to Geneva for treatment.
Correspondents say that the rule of law has steadily collapsed in Zimbabwe, with farm invasions and attacks on white farmers spreading to all-out violence and intimidation against anyone who opposes Mugabe’s rule.
Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF has accused Britain, the United States and the EU of backing the opposition MDC.
Hunzvi, whose movement spearheaded the invasion of the country’s commercial farms last February, says his supporters will visit embassies and aid agencies which back the MDC to “express their displeasure”. The move followed the massive rejection of the government-sponsored draft constitution.
Three organisation with international diplomatic status have already been at the receiving end of the war veterans. They are the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Plan International and the International School in Harare.
For its part, the government says that while diplomats accredited to the country would receive the full protection of the law, those who chose to side with one political party against another could not hope for assistance from the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
It also advised that aid workers who allowed themselves to “indulge in partisan political work” would not be helped if they got into trouble.
The International Federation of the Red Cross responded by moving its staff to safe locations. And, earlier last week, two German aid agencies closed their offices in Harare, after one of them was attacked by militants.
British Foreign Office Minister Brian Wilson told the Zimbabwean high commissioner that Britain was “deeply concerned” by recent events. The UK, the EU and other countries would be monitoring Zimbabwe’s response very closely, Wilson said. - BBC

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Zimbabwe's main opposition party has accused ruling party militants of torching the homestead of one of its senior officials.

Richard Chadya, of the Movement for Democratic Change, won a High Court challenge last week on his defeat in parliamentary elections.

The court said ruling party MP Reuben Marumahoko won through political intimidation and violence.

Chadya's homestead in northeastern Zimbabwe was set ablaze two days after the parliamentary election results in his Hurungwe district were nullified.

The court nullified two other ruling party victories on the same grounds in the first of 38 poll results being contested by the opposition.

All three ruling part MPs will retain their seats pending appeals to the Supreme Court.

The ruling party was allowed to keep two other contested seats.

Chadya was not at home during the attack and there were no injuries. His family managed to flee the flames, he said in a statement.

He accused ruling party militants of being embittered that their district MP was defeated in the court challenge. "This is just a desperate move," he said.
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Britons in Zimbabwe have been warned to exercise caution, following attacks on foreign embassies and businesses.

The High Commission in Harare is in close contact with Zimbabwe's British community, while the Foreign Office has revised its advice for people travelling to the country.

Foreign Minister Brian Wilson has told the High Commissioner that Britain is deeply concerned about the deterioration in the situation.

"Businesses, individuals and non-governmental organisations from Britain, South Africa, Australia and several EU countries have been attacked," he said after the meeting.

A Foreign Office spokesman added: "We would never advise people against travelling to Zimbabwe, but we have a duty to inform people of the situation on the ground.

"We will keep it under close review and update on a regular basis. We would warn British nationals to exercise caution. "

Last week, militant members of the ruling party turned their attentions to the embassies of countries supporting the democratic reform programmes.

The Zimbabwe Foreign Ministry said last Friday that the government would not intervene if foreign agency personnel "indulge in partisan political work".
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Zanu PF's short sighted strategy

In recent weeks Zanu PF has launched a campaign of violence and
intimidation in the urban centres aimed at doing all they can to retain
power. This campaign has included attacks on the shacks which urban
workers are being forced to use because of the massive shortage of housing
in the cities. In addition they are attacking vendors stalls in key market
centres such as Mbare Musika without regard of the disastrous impact that
these attacks are having on the poor in the towns.

The Zanu PF strategy fronted by a group of lawless hooligans, masquerading
as war veterans have now turned its attention to the formal sector in the
towns. Managers and other employees are being subjected to violence,
intimidation and extortion. These acts of thuggery are taking place in
broad daylight and are often perpetuated in front of police officers, who
are doing nothing to stop this activity. The same Zanu PF thugs are going
around masquerading as arbitrators in labour disputes. Information at hand
shows that Chinotimba and his gang is taking about 50% of the total amount
they recover on behalf of former employees as service fees. While the
plight of retrenched workers and underpaid employees ought to be of
serious concern to any government, Chinotimba and has gang have no
business interfering with labour disputes. The problems associated with
labour must be referred to the appropriate legal channels. We however know
that these channels are inefficient and Zanu PF is to blame since it
created them.

The people of Zimbabwe must not expect the Zanu PF government to act
against this lawlessness, as it is the same government that is sponsoring
the thugs.

While in the short term the actions of the Zanu PF thugs may seem to be in
the interest of workers, in reality it is Zanu PF's attempts at political
survival. The policy does not take into account the long-term impact of
these actions, which shall soon be felt in this country where companies
shall close and hundreds of thousands of people shall lose their jobs.
Instead of creating conditions that could restore investor confidence in
this country and thus create employment for the thousands of people who
have lost their jobs as a result of the economic crisis that resulted from
Zanu PF's ill-conceived economic policies and massive corruption, the Zanu
PF government continues to pursue a selfish agenda.  The people of
Zimbabwe have to realise that they have more to lose if they play to the
whims of a tired generation of corrupt politicians who are in the twilight
of their political lives. The people have to think of the long-term
implications of these actions.

The Movement for Democratic Change is committed to resisting these
irresponsible acts, which are carried out in the name of Zanu PF with
explicit approval of the government. If the thugs who are responsible for
these activities were challenged physically it would lead inevitably to
violence.  We however, call on civil society and all progressive
Zimbabweans to join us in resisting these thugs and their hidden agenda.
Together we can complete the change for a better life for all Zimbabweans.
What the people of Zimbabwe seek is personal safety, secure jobs,
affordable health care and education for their children. These can only be
achieved through a well thought out programme and not ad hoc measures that
include hiring a group of militias to cause terror citizens. No government
can ever win a war against its people. We have to realise that we have the
power in our hands to chart the destiny of our country.

As it is, these thugs and their masters must be made to understand that
their actions are having a serious impact on the economic life of the
nation. The sharp fall in all forms of economic activity and exports,
associated with the decline in employment and the rapid rise in prices has
already created conditions of severe crisis, which are impacting on every
Zimbabwean. The current activity of these Zanu PF thugs is likely to
further undermine business confidence, investor activity and job prospects.

If the government is serious about economic recovery and social stability
it must get to grips with the situation immediately. Failure to do so can
only result in further suffering for all our people.

MDC Support (Southern Region), Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Phone: +26391241156 / 7 or +26391244699
E-mail : OR
Fundraising Details:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MDC SUPPORT (Southern Region) FUND - Make cheques payable to Matilda Trust,
and send to P.O. Box 9400, Hillside, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (clearly endorsed
"Support ") or deposit into Barclays Bank, Main Street Branch (2307),
Bulawayo - account number 1996379.
For transparency and accountability, please advise this office of deposits
to enable us to receipt accordingly.
VICTIMS OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE FUND - as above, but clearly endorse cheques
for "Victims Fund"
SOUTH AFRICA - One of the Party's approved Fundraisers is Laurel Zurnamer,
who is contactable on +27214473570 or on cellphone +27832921407.
(all-new) ZimNews website at and the ZimToday website at for news, views and pertinent information! To subscribe to
the MDC central mailing list, EITHER sign up via the MDC website's Home
page, OR send a blank e-mail to FOR
subscribe to ZimNews at .
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What should we do about the "factory invasions?".....

A few suggestions from Trudy Stevenson, MP Harare North

Advice for "factory invasions"

Industry and Commerce are now under severe threat, in the campaign
strategy of zanu(pf) - which is a repeat of last year's, but with the
focus on the urban areas this year, whereas last year the rural areas were
the target - and the rural areas suffered most severely, and are still

Let there be no mistake, this is not about white commercial farmers, or
about capitalist companies - it is all about clinging on to POWER, at
whatever cost to the nation!

So, what can industry and commerce do, to protect themselves and counter
this attack?

*I believe that people must first of all learn to act as a TEAM- the only
way we are going to find our way out of this crisis is TOGETHER, not as
individuals, or even as ethnic groups!

*Secondly, we must NOT NEGOTIATE WITH LAWBREAKERS!  Doing so will merely
legitimise them, and give them the media coverage they so long for!  Do
NOT agree to "discuss" or negotiate in any way.  These people are thugs,
Zimbabwean MAFIA, and to give them recognition by holding talks with them,
at whatever level, will simply boost their ego and their position, give
them legitimacy and act against the interests of the majority in our

*Thirdly, and following from *1, it is important for MANAGEMENT AND
WORKERS to deal with this situation as a TEAM.  Management should call a
meeting with their Workers' Committee or workers individually, and lay the
position on the line for discussion.  They should point out that they are
indeed a TEAM, and that if one falls, they all fall. If one worker calls
in the War Thugs (Chinotimba & Co- at a cost of Z$ 300 per worker, we are
told) then management will be forced to CLOSE DOWN, to protect the safety
of their workers  - so NO-ONE WILL WIN!  Whereas even if they have to
downsize/close down altogether voluntarily, they will provide some
terminal benefits to
retrenched workers.

The only way out of this scenario is to return to the LAWFUL CHANNELS FOR
SETTLING LABOUR DISPUTES -which have been in place for years and are well
known.  They may be long, and should certainly be speeded up, but to allow
Chinotimba and his band of thugs to replace a legitimate procedure is
simply asking for trouble.

I therefore appeal to all "Captains of Industry" to consider this issue
very carefully, and to follow our recommendations.  We cannot afford to
destroy what remains of the economy of our country for the sake of a
handful of megalomaniacs.

Let us stand together, for democrary and the rule of law, however
denigrated that concept may be by ZanuPF, for reasons we all know only too
well.   Our country, our people, our families, our children and our
parents, can only start to rebuild our economy if we start from the solid
foundation of - rule of law!  Law 2001, not the law of Queen Victoria or
even Queen Elizabeth II - the Law of the Statutes of Zimbabwe, which has
been in exitence for 21 years and can rightly claim that it is a

Stand firm, true Zimbabweans, and let us COMPLETE THE CHANGE for a better
future.  The power is in our hands!

Thank you.
Best wishes.

Trudy Stevenson
Secretary for Policy and Research

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From The Observer (UK), 29 April

Mugabe police to use gunships

Harare - The government of Zimbabwe has secretly converted four helicopter gunships for use in police operations. With tensions running high, the readying of gunships would appear to signal more violence in the near future. Last week President Robert Mugabe's government issued an unprecedented threat against foreign embassies and aid organisations, and launched a renewed campaign of intimidation of pro-democracy campaigners. The Mi-35 'Hind' helicopters, which are already equipped with armaments, have been fitted to operate against small groups of scattered targets.

Embassies and aid organisations were increasing security and making plans to pull out personnel yesterday. Diplomats and aid workers had been warned that they would 'live and meet with the fortunes of the party they would have chosen to support'. More than 32 supporters of the opposition MDC have been killed in state-sponsored political violence in the past year.

The threat came as Mugabe loyalists, particularly the war veterans led by Chenjerai 'Hitler' Hunzvi, began a campaign of violence and extortion directed at factories and businesses in urban areas. 'Our next target will be to deal once and for all with foreign embassies and non-governmental organisations who fund the MDC,' Hunzvi said. Mugabe, who is 77, has repeatedly attacked Britain as Zimbabwe's chief overseas enemy and a supporter of the MDC. Virtually all Western donors, with the exception of France, have halted financial aid to the government, citing its oppression, corruption and economic mismanagement. Instead, the aid has gone to civic organisations which support democracy.

John Makumbe, a political scientist, said the threat was part of a wider strategy. 'It is an attack on the foreign funding of any organisation that stands up for democratic rights and human rights in this country,' he said. Last week Mugabe's war veterans stole 140 tonnes of EU food aid. Police took no action to stop two days of looting of a food warehouse. Harare said that 'humanitarian personnel who allowed themselves to indulge in partisan political work' would not receive government protection 'when they find themselves in trouble'.

From Business Day (SA), 29 April

Mugabe regime backtracking on threats to diplomats

Harare - President Robert Mugabe’s regime appeared on Sunday to be in retreat after unprecedented international outrage over its threats to withdraw protection from diplomats faced with attack by lawless pro-government mobs. Hitler Hunzvi, leader of Mugabe’s notorious militia of so-called guerrilla war veterans, appeared on state television on Sunday and denied his statement reported in the independent Financial Gazette late last week that the militias planned to storm foreign missions.

The usually respected newspaper said Hunzvi had vowed to "deal once and for all with foreign embassies who are funding the (opposition) MDC. But on Sunday he said: "I never said that. We cannot be seen to be terrorising embassies or non-governmental organisations. The aim (of the Financial Gazette) was to tarnish the image of the war veterans." A statement from the Zimbabwe foreign ministry issued within hours of the Financial Gazette report that diplomats and aid agency staff who backed the regime’s opponents "may not hope to receive assistance" from the government. However, for the second day running on Sunday, the ministry’s threat failed to appear in the state press. Also, on Saturday, Joseph Chinotimba, who has led a six-week campaign of often violent invasions of private companies, was quoted in the state-controlled Herald as saying he had instructed his war veterans "to stop interfering" with private companies.

"It looks like damage control," said a Western diplomat. "The government has obviously got a big fright." Observers also believe that the retractions and the blotting out of the foreign ministry threat were ordered by Mugabe, who appears to be in direct control of the militias. They point out that in the last year of mayhem wreaked by the veterans, their leaders have openly ignored attempts by police, top cabinet ministers and the country’s most senior courts to control them. During the last six weeks of raids on hundreds of private companies, many of them foreign owned, as well as on foreign aid agencies, veterans have declared they take orders only from Mugabe.

Business sources contacted said on Sunday there appeared to be a significant reduction in the number attacks on companies since Friday. On that day, a mob was about to collect Z$5m ($90 000) in extortion from the local subsidiary of Dutch multinational Philips, when officers of Mugabe’s secret police intervened and told the company not to pay. A seriously violent confrontation at part-German-owned Border Timbers in the south-eastern town of Chimanimani was averted on Friday when veterans told hundreds of company workers gathered in readiness that they were withdrawing. In Harare the same day, Dezign Incorporated, one of the first companies to be stormed by war veterans, and whose managing director was assaulted and abducted, reopened on for work for the first time in six weeks after war veterans guarding the gates moved off. "It’s easy to say that things have settled down, we will have to wait and see if they keep away," said a company executive who asked not to be named.

Zimbabwe was plunged into full-scale international disrepute last week over the foreign ministry threat and the attacks on private companies, with Harare’s diplomatic representatives in Britain, SA and Germany summoned for angrily worded protests from the host governments, while protests were also made here by the European Union. Most Western diplomatic missions gave their staff security briefings on Friday and were reviewing their security arrangements, diplomatic sources said, after what they described as an abrogation by Mugabe’s regime of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic obligations under which host governments protect all diplomatic establishments.

From The Sunday Herald (UK), 29 April

Caesar's laurel crown shows signs of slipping in Mbeki's new South Africa

Glasgow - South Africa's most important newspaper has levelled a blistering attack on President Thabo Mbeki and accused him of starting to show all the signs of bigotry, fear and paranoia which brought Zimbabwe to the edge of collapse. Top ranking security force members have accused leading black politicians of plotting to replace- or kill - Mr Mbeki.

On the eve of a state visit in June to Britain, during which President Mbeki will visit Scotland, an editorial in the ''Mail and Guardian'' described his 22 months in power as ''a disastrous reign.'' The paper has opened a nationwide debate on whether Thabo Mbeki should be allowed to continue in power now that he is revealing signs of megalomania and paranoia. In a front page editorial which had the ANC leadership in Pretoria shrieking with anger, the liberal paper declared: ''His 22 months in power have been disastrous. And he has no-one to blame but himself. Whether in his dealings with her AIDS crisis - surely the gravest threat ever to confront the country - his timidity over Zimbabwe, or his dealings with the sensitive matter of race in our policies, Mbeki has made worse the disfigured nationhood bequeathed us by apartheid.''

The 'Mail and Guardian'' was considered by Nelson Mandela and others as a champion of the ANC cause during its long and bitter fight against apartheid. Last week Mr Mandela intervened in this potentially explosive situation. He gave his massive and still unsullied support to three of South Africa's most prominent politicians and freedom fighters who have been accused by that country's security apparatchiks of plotting to oust Mbeki. In a stunning intervention on the eve of his appearance in London where he will today mark South Africa's seventh ''birthday'' in Trafalgar Square with some of Britain's best known rock stars, Nelson Mandela told the state-run South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC): ''I will not make any conclusions on the claims of a plot to unseat Mr Mbeki. I have the highest regard for the three individuals under investigation. Until they are found 'guilty', I will regard them as innocent.''

Mr Mandela's personal intervention is seen as a public reprimand of the man he chose to succeed him in 1999. Since then , Thabo Mbeki has earned a reputation as an aloof, arrogant and distant leader who is out of touch with ordinary people. His isolation was underscored once again following the staggering and potentially disastrous accusation by Security Minister Steve Tshwete that Cyril Ramaphosa, Tokyo Sexwale and Mathews Phosa are being investigated by the police and Mbeki's ''apartheid'' and East German trained secret service. Mbeki faces re-election as ANC President in December next year and there is a growing group within the ANC which wants to see his wings clipped, or the bird replaced altogether.

Said the ''Mail and Guardian'' - '' While trying to give the appearance of standing outside the fray, Mbeki appealed on television for those with knowledge of any plots to come forward with their evidence while on the national broadcaster, the SABC, Steve Tshwete - on the flimsiest of evidence - named three of Mbeki's potential rivals for leadership of the ANC as, allegedly, dangers to the President's life.'' After the release of Nelson Mandela, the unbarring of the ANC, the PAC and the SA Communist Party in 1990 Cyril Ramaphosa and Thabo Mbeki faced each other and fought for the crown of Nelson Mandela. While Ramaphosa enjoyed massive support from township blacks and millions in the trade union movement, Thabo Mbeki was the crown prince designate. The son of former Communist patriarch Govan Mbeki, Sussex University educated Mbeki was popular with whites, big business, Western governments, SA's powerful Anglo American Corporation and the leaders in exile of the ANC. He took over. Ramaphosa went into commerce and industry, earning a vast personal fortune in the process.

The coming struggle for power between Mbeki and Ramaphosa is being carefully watched in Zimbabwe. A leader of the Zimbabwean opposition MDC said in an interview: ''Mbeki is angry with Mugabe for allowing party thugs to attack South African businesses in Harare last week. But Mbeki kept quiet when we called for him to show moral leadership after Mugabe's decision to kill leaders of the opposition and allow his hooligans and thugs to invade white-owned farms. If Mbeki is replaced by someone prepared to raise his or her moral head and look at what's happening in Zimbabwe, well, that would be a welcome development. We're praying it will happen.'' Commented the 'Mail and Guardian':'' The time is long past for members of the ANC to ask themselves whether this is the kind of leadership they want, or that the country needs. A great party is at risk of being turned into the instrument of a man caught up in his own personal rages and with so brittle an ego that he fears evisceration if he retreats on an issue or allows a recognition that he has failed.'' The MDC official - who asked not to be named in case he is beaten up by so-called war veterans: ''For years, we looked to Thabo Mbeki as the one man who could put a muzzle on Mugabe. Now we see that he is the same sort of man - paranoid and power mad. If he is going to round up people who plan to stand against him in the new democratic South Africa, what hope is there?''

Meantime, the British Government is keeping a watchful eye on events in Harare following threats made by Mugabe's now out of control supporters to invade embassies and high commissions ''hostile'' to the Zimbabwean government. War Vets leader, Chenjerai ''Hitler'' Hunzvi declared: ''Our next target will be to deal once and for all with foreign embassies and non-governmental organisations who are funding the opposition MDC.'' Since Britain is regarded as Robert Mugabe's main foreign enemy, there are fears that UK diplomats will be the first to be targeted. Britain Wilson, the Foreign Office Minister responsible for Africa, summoned the Zimbabwean High Commissioner, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi , for a reprimand and warning. Mr Wilson said: ''I told him we were extremely concerned by the threats to target diplomatic missions. We expect Zimbabwe to honour its obligations under the Vienna Convention to protect both staff and property of accredited diplomatic missions in Zimbabwe.''

Between 30,000 to 50,000 Britons are this morning (Sunday) making their way to Trafalgar Square for a huge free concert celebrating seven > years of freedom and democracy in South Africa. Nelson Mandela will be there and the line-up for the mammoth Freedom Day Concert includes The Corrs, Mel B, REM, Dave Stewart, Atomic Kitten, Lenny Henry, African singer Baba Maal, saxophonist and trumpeter Hugh Msakela, Beverley Knight and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.''

From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 30 April

ANC seeks damage limitation over Mbeki 'plotters'

Johannesburg - South Africa's ruling African National Congress yesterday embarked on a "damage limitation" exercise to patch over cracks in the movement caused by allegations that three former leading figures were involved in a plot to oust President Thabo Mbeki. Kgalema Motlanthe, the ANC secretary-general, asked the three men, Cyril Ramaphosa, Tokyo Sexwale and Matthews Phosa, to attend a party executive meeting "in a spirit of reconciliation". The three, all once contenders to succeed Nelson Mandela as president, were accused last week by Steve Tshwete, the home affairs minister, of being part of a "plot" to overthrow Mr Mbeki. Newspapers have revealed that the allegations, rejected by the three men, were based solely on affidavits sworn by a discredited former ANC youth leader, James Nkambule, who faces some 70 charges of criminal fraud involving state funds. Mr Mandela said in London that there was no political crisis and he had full confidence in the three men.

From The Star (SA), 20 April

Uganda to pull out of DRC and peace process

Kampala - Uganda, rejecting a damning UN report accusing Kampala of looting minerals in the DRC, is to pull out all of its troops from the country and withdraw from the peace process there. President Yoweri Museveni wrote in the government mouthpiece the Sunday Vision: "I have now decided to recommend to the High Command, the Army Council, the Government and Parliament that Ugandan forces withdraw completely from DRC and also from the Lusaka Process." He did not give a date for the completion of the withdrawal, which had already begun under peace accords signed in Lusaka in 1999, and featured in campaign speeches ahead of his re-election last month. All parties to the peace accord - including Uganda and Rwanda on the side of DRC rebels and Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia backing Kinshasa - had begun withdrawing from front-line positions in the DRC when a panel of experts handed the hard-hitting report to the UN Security Council early this month. The document implicated Uganda and members of Museveni's own family in large-scale looting of DRC resources such as timber, gold, diamonds and other minerals, notably coltan, which is used in high-tech appliances like mobile phones.

Museveni, who described the UN report as "mainly shoddy, malicious and a red herring," promised to ask members of the Ugandan Parliamentary Standing Committee to launch fresh investigations into allegations of looting made against his brother, Major General Salim Saleh, Saleh's wife Jovia and his son Muhoozi. "The three will also be available for interrogation by any international tribunal and if found innocent, we shall demand a full apology from the UN panel," Museveni said. "The panelists excelled in malignment and defamation. They falsely alleged that members of my family such as Saleh, Jovi and Muhoozi are engaged in looting DRC. I have asked all the three for the hundredth time and they have denied," Museveni said. "They picked information from our political enemies in Kampala without bothering to gather evidence to substantiate or reject the lies," Museveni pointed out. Museveni denied, for example, that improper exploitation includes business and trading done in products such as coffee, cattle or tobacco which benefits ordinary DRC people. He also denied that the recent rise in Uganda's gold exports was related to the illegal influx of gold from DRC, claiming instead that it came from recent mining activities within Uganda, as well as gold from Tanzania, the DRC and Sudan as a result of Uganda's liberalisation policies.

In his article, Museveni said he had reached the decision to pull out of the DRC because "our immediate interest of defeating the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels has been achieved." The ADF is a Ugandan rebel group with rear bases in the northeast of the DRC, which has been occupied for more than two years by Ugandan troops and their rebel allies. "However, some Ugandan troops may temporarily remain on the slopes of the Ruwenzori Mountains that straddles DRC's common border with Uganda to mop-up ADF remnants pending the deployment of UN forces," Museveni added. According to Kampala, Uganda has already pulled out about 4 000 troops which it says is more than half its force in the DRC. Deriding the experts who compiled the UN report as "technocrats accustomed to working in air-conditioned rooms," Museveni said: "Experts in what? The experts you need in this region are people with enough experience in combating genocide; fighting for democracy in primitive conditions; experts in liberation wars, not mere accountants from New York."

From The Independent (UK), 30 April

Uganda to pull out of Congo peace plan

In a move that could jeopardise peace moves in Congo, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda yesterday said he would withdraw his remaining troops from the former Zaire and pull out of a United Nations-sponsored initiative to end the two-and-a-half-year war in the huge country. Uganda's threat to pull out of the Lusaka Accords comes in the wake of a UN report suggesting that Ugandans, including members of the president's own family, are looting the minerals-rich Congo. Uganda and Rwanda are backing different rebel groups in the war that the 29-year-old Congo President, Joseph Kabila, has inherited from his late father. Writing in the state-owned Sunday Vision, President Museveni said: "I have now decided to recommend ... that Ugandan forces withdraw completely from Congo and also from the Lusaka process.'' He said his decision was due to "an indifference by the world to the suffering of Africans and ideological confusion by African leaders themselves". President Museveni's decision is most likely to be motivated by fury at the UN looting claims. But some observers believe his move has a strategic founding. It is understood that South Africa - which played a key role in drawing up the Lusaka Accords - believes Uganda's deteriorating relations with neighbouring Rwanda could be leading to war between the two countries. Last week, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda said he would not attend President Museveni's latest inauguration because the Ugandan leader did not come to his. If carried through, President Museveni's withdrawal from the Lusaka framework would upset the power balance in the Congo war at a critical time.

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