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

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Evicted farmer Thomas Bayley (89 yrs) dies in Harare

News update
(On behalf of the Commercial Farmers' Union)

Thomas Bayley (89 yrs) of Danbury Park Farm in Mazoe passed away in his
sleep early this morning. He was with his wife Bobs (Edith) 79 yrs at his
daughters house in Harare.

After 37 days of remaining in his home under siege along with his wife and
an assistant, he had a fall and had to be taken to hospital. He had broken
his femur just above the knee, and had to undergo an operation.

Members of the youth militia had been on perpetual guard around their house
and intimidated them whenever they opened the curtains or doors. Mrs Bobs
Bayley is also very ill with Parkinson's disease.

The family said, "He was very tormented about the loss of his home. He had
not been sleeping well as he had been having bad nightmares about his
experiences whilst under siege. He passed away in his sleep this morning at
his daughters house where he had been staying since being discharged from
hospital last week."

The couple came to Mazoe in 1936 from the United Kingdom and built up their
farm, Danbury Farm from virgin bush. The farm is just 30 kilometers from
central Harare. The hilly farm normally has 350 hectares of seed maize; soya
beans and runs beef cattle. The farm is under a compulsory notice of
acquisition but the owners were due to argue their case in administrative
court. Before the problems began, there were eighty workers employed on the
farm and most lived there with their families.

Bayley's last days on the farm were captured in a statement from his son
Tommy. It read..... "Throughout the day on Friday 19 April the "war
veterans" were threatening to pour petrol into my parent's house and set
fire to it.  This was a particularly dangerous situation because my mother
has no sense of smell. The stress of this situation obviously made my father
more unsteady than usual and this resulted in him falling badly onto his
knee in the bathroom. My mother and their cook / assistant managed to get
him into bed, but suspected he had broken his knee.  When he awoke during
the night in considerable pain, my mother asked us to call an ambulance to
get him out.  She was determined to stay behind, but the family decided she
should be evacuated too.  The police would not provide an escort for the
ambulance and my two sisters when they went in to collect my parents.  When
the ambulance and my sisters arrived at the barricade, they were initially
denied access and had to wait some time before they were allowed entry.
While the evacuation was taking place, my sisters, parents and ambulance
drivers were subjected to continual verbal harassment by the "war veterans".
As they were leaving the "war vets" assured my mother that our houses were
now going to be looted and trashed."


1st May 2002
For more information, please contact Jenni Williams
Mobile +263 11 213 885 or +263 91 300 456
Email or

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Zimbabwe Cheers UN Rights Seat

May 1
— By Stella Mapenzauswa

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe police arrested on Wednesday a journalist
working for a British newspaper over a story alleging that a woman had been
beheaded by supporters of President Robert Mugabe.

The government meanwhile hailed its election to a seat on a U.N. rights
panel as a victory over Britain.

American Andrew Meldrum, a correspondent for Britain's Guardian newspaper
and a permanent Zimbabwe resident, was picked up by police at around 7:40 am
(1:40 a.m. EDT) at his home in the capital Harare, his wife Dolores told

"It's about the same story that they arrested the Daily News reporters for
yesterday," she said, referring to the Tuesday arrest of two reporters from
Zimbabwe's only private daily which first carried the beheading story.

The Zimbabwean police were not immediately available for comment.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger condemned Meldrum's arrest in a statement
and called for his immediate release.

"It is outrageous that he should be the subject of criminal charges for
doing the job of a reporter and we call on the Zimbabwean Government to
release him immediately and to drop charges against him and his colleagues
on The Daily News," the statement said.

"We have contacted the U.S. Embassy, the Foreign Office and the
International Press Institute to ask them to put pressure on the Zimbabwean
Government for his release."

Rusbridger said Meldrum could face up to two years in prison if convicted of
breaching Zimbabwe's information law.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said last week
53-year-old Brandina Tadyanemhandu was killed at her home in Magunje in
Mashonaland West in front of her two daughters, citing a report by the
woman's husband.

It blamed supporters of Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF.

On Tuesday, police arrested two reporters from the privately owned Daily
News, Lloyd Mudiwa and Collin Chiwanza, over an April 23 story on the
alleged beheading.


State media reported on Wednesday that Mugabe's government hailed what it
saw as a victory over ex-colonial power Britain after its election to the
U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

"Zimbabwe has scored yet another victory over Britain and its allies when
the country was elected to the influential... Geneva-based Commission on
Human Rights amid protests from some Western countries," the official Herald
newspaper said.

An annual session of the 53-member commission that investigates human rights
abuses around the world which ended in Geneva on Tuesday elected Zimbabwe
among its new members.

Zimbabwe's Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa called the election a
demonstration of the international community's "confidence in Zimbabwe and
its role in international affairs."

"For some time now, there have been international players who have been
abusing the issues of human rights to pursue personal agendas," Chinamasa
told the Herald, without elaborating.

"Now that we have been elected, we will do our best to safeguard the
interests of those countries, which are not necessarily on the commission,"
he added.

Journalist Meldrum was arrested over a story also carried by several other
international newspapers including the Guardian.

The Daily News reporters' lawyer Lawrence Chibwe said the two men had been
charged under a tough new media act which imposes tight controls on the
media. If convicted, they face a fine of Z$100,000 ($1,818) or up to two
years in jail.

On Saturday the Daily News said it had doubts about the alleged murder after
failing to locate the woman's grave.

Zimbabwe human rights groups say 54 people, most of them opposition
supporters, have been killed in political violence since the start of the

Most of the deaths occurred in the run up to Mugabe's controversial March
presidential election victory over MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Zimbabwe elected to UN rights watchdog

Democracies urged to act: A new member for the 'abusers' caucus'

Michael Petrou
National Post

The United Nations Human Rights Commission reinforced its ranks yesterday
with some of the world's worst human rights violators, including Zimbabwe,
which got the call even though Robert Mugabe secured his own re-election as
president in a violent campaign widely denounced as rigged.

Rights groups attacked the move, pointing out Zimbabwe joins China, Syria,
Sudan and many nations that flout human rights on a commission meant to
protect people against just such abusers.

"It's a huge problem. It has created a crisis," said Joanna Weschler, the UN
representative for Human Rights Watch.

"This is not new. Zimbabwe is only part of a trend that started a few years
ago when countries with quite atrocious human rights records fought and
managed to become members of the Human Rights Commission."

She added that countries guilty of human rights violations have formed an
"abusers' caucus," the only goal of which is to protect members from
scrutiny and censure. Two weeks ago, for example, the commission failed to
pass a resolution criticizing Zimbabwe's presidential election in March,
instead electing to heap criticism on Israel for alleged abuses in
Palestinian territories.

Patrick Chinamasa, the Zimbabwean Justice Minister, called the outcome a
victory for Zimbabwe over "imperialist forces."

The UNHRC consists of 53 seats that are allocated according to geography.
Democracies in Europe and the Americas are a minority.

Ms. Weschler said countries with poor human rights records have banded
together to shield themselves from international criticism. She said
democracies need to be vigilant if they are to save the commission from some

"It would truly be a tremendous shame to just turn your back and start
laughing," she said.

"Countries which have at least a stated commitment to human rights have a
responsibility to save the commission. Hopefully, they will wake up and
start being as effective, as proactive and as organized as the other side
has been for quite a few years now."

In a vote on Monday, the United States returned to the commission it helped
to found more than 50 years ago. Italy and Spain pulled out of the race to
ensure the United States would be re-elected after it lost its seat last

Ms. Weschler said she is optimistic the United States will use its clout to
reform the commission.

In the meantime, autocrats and one-party states control a body that was set
up to ensure and protect freedom. The following is a snapshot of some of its
worst human rights abusers.


Mr. Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Unity-Patriotic Front party won
the presidential election in March in a process that has been almost
universally condemned as rigged.

The Zimbabwean leader has criminalized public opposition to his rule.
Independent media and opposition political leaders are publicly defamed and
often beaten by armed gangs allied with the government.

Mr. Mugabe has backed the violent occupation of white-owned farms, a process
described as land reform and carried out by veterans of the struggle for
independence. Several white farmers have been murdered.


Several states in northern Nigeria have introduced penal codes based on the
Islamic law known as shariah, which demands women be stoned to death for
adultery and makes drinking alcohol an offence punishable by 80 lashes with
a cane.

International human rights groups were outraged last October when Safiya
Hussaini, an illiterate mother of five, was found guilty of adultery and
sentenced to death by stoning. The woman said she had been raped. She was
eventually acquitted in March.

Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigerian President, recently declared shariah
illegal, but it is still widely in force in the Muslim north.


The 40-year dictatorship of Fidel Castro continues unabated. Amnesty
International reports several hundred people have been imprisoned for politi
cal offences and authorities use short-term detention, house arrest, threats
and harassment to stifle dissent.


The United States' coalition partner in the Middle East finances mosques and
religious schools all over the Muslim world that preach hatred against
Israel and the United States. The Saudi government gives large cash awards
to the families of Palestinian "martyrs" killed in the conflict with Israel,
likely including families of suicide bombers.

Women in Saudi Arabia face severe discrimination. Suspected political or
religious activists are subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention and
punishment under secret judicial procedures. Political parties and trade
unions are banned and non-governmental human rights organizations are given
only restricted access. Torture and amputations of prisoners' limbs are
widely reported.

Bill Sampson, a Canadian citizen, is currently detained in Saudi Arabia.
Some reports say he has been sentenced to death in a secret trial.


Violence still simmers here between Rwandan- and Ugandan-backed rebels and
the central government, which is supported by Zimbabwe and Angola. All sides
use the war as an excuse to justify the repression of political dissent.
Torture and rape are widespread. A peace process is making little progress.


China persecutes the Falun Gong spiritual movement and Muslim minorities.
The Communist government controls almost all aspects of public life and
dissent is crushed. Amnesty International reports China executed more people
in 2001 than all other countries combined. This year, the Human Rights
Commission did not table a resolution criticizing China for the first time
in years.


Syria is a major supporter of Hezbollah, a militant group based in Lebanon
that frequently attacks Israel's northern borders. Dozens of Syrians have
been detained for political reasons and are held in cruel and inhumane
conditions. Reports of torture are widespread. The fate of hundreds of
people who disappeared in the late 1970s and 1980s is still unknown.


Russia's military campaign against Chechen separatists has included gross
human rights violations against civilians. Thousands have been killed in
indiscriminate attacks, and there are reports of torture, incommunicado
detention and summary executions.

Prisons in Russia are overcrowded and disease-ridden. There are reports
prisoners in police custody have been tortured.


A civil war continues to devastate civilians throughout the country as
pro-government forces and armed opposition groups battle for control of
lucrative oil fields. People living in contested areas have been subjected
to ethnic cleansing, indiscriminate bombing, abduction, enslavement, torture
and killings.

Government forces have harassed and tortured journalists, students and human
rights activists. Restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and
association in cities under government control persist.

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How 'loser' Bush blew Mugabe's cool

May 01 2002 at 02:14PM

Kinshasa - A day after a meeting in Harare between Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe and UN Security Council ambassadors ended in a heated
argument, an explanation has emerged for the cause of the outburst.

Journalists waiting outside the meeting in Mugabe's office on Monday heard
the diplomatic encounter degenerate into a shouting match, but were unable
to hear the Zimbabwean leader's actual words.

Sources present at the meeting, which was aimed at accelerating the peace
process in the Democratic Republic of Congo where Zimbabwe has troops,
explained over cocktails on Tuesday night that the row began when US
Ambassador Richard Williamson delivered a bilateral message from Washington.

Williamson reiterated his government's sentiment that Mugabe's recent
election victory fell far short of being free and fair and that the
attendant abuse and killings of farmers and repression of the media were
beyond the pale, the sources said.

Suddenly snapping out of a rather convivial mood, Mugabe rose to his feet,
barely able to control his rage.

"Well I don't think George Bush won the US election!" he thundered. "But I
accepted the victory after the Supreme Court ruling."

He continued in this excited vein for a good 10 minutes, the sources said.

Asked if anything else of note occured on Monday evening, one diplomat
present said: "Not really. But he did serve us fish fingers." - Sapa-AFP

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Business Day

Zim labour urges unity against Mugabe

Zimbabwe's leading labour movement, the political opposition and
pro-democracy activists Wednesday urged that people unite in opposing
President Robert Mugabe, at a Workers' Day rally in a Harare township.

"We should be united. When we call for a stayaway, let's all stayaway. When
we call for a protest, let's all protest," Wellington Chibebe, secretary
general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) told the cheering
crowd of 12,000 in a soccer stadium.

ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo described the government as "the  enemy,"
saying "the political leadership is to blame for the hardships of the
"What is needed now is a general strike," Matombo said.

After the rally Matombo told reporters that the unions would not  announce
when their next labour action might come, after a stayway in March failed to
get off the ground.

"We are dealing with an enemy," he said. "We are all prepared to  die for (a
labour action), but when we do it, we are not going to publicise it."

Zimbabwe's economy has been mired in a deepening depression for four years,
with 80% of the population plunged into poverty and inflation soaring at
more than 110%.

Munyaradzi Gwisai, a lawmaker from the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), and Lovemore Madhuku, a pro-democracy activist who heads the
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), also  urged Zimbabweans to stand
united in protesting against the government.

Across town, a rival group of trade unions backed by the ruling party held a
simultaneous rally that drew in a few thousand people,  many bussed in for
the occasion.

Alfred Makwarimba, president of the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade  Unions
(ZFTU), warned workers against striking, calling it "the last resort."

"When you strike, know the laws of the company. Follow proper channels
before resorting to a strike, for it is the last resort," he said.


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Why Zim Has Gone to the Dogs . . . And Cats

Bill Saidi

SOME will argue that this very proposition that the country has gone to the dogs cannot be sustained when people are celebrating "the return of the land to its owners", and the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) last week was such a roaring success.

For one thing, the Hondo yeMinda is a fiasco, even musically. The racist lyrics make the skin crawl with shame. For another, the ZITF was one big flea market this year.

Nothing more.

Others, like me, would say when people are killed for their politics, there is little foreign investment, very few new jobs, you can only get maize-meal through bribery and corruption, there is little or no foreign currency, the prices of essential commodities rise with the rising sun, then the country is definitely in Dogland.

Still others, throwing caution to the winds, will use the F word to describe our situation. In a family newspaper such as ours, you have to draw the line somewhere and the F word is as good a place as any to draw that line.

But that people are forced to use the word ought to illustrate more than a thousand pictures of scrawny-looking village urchins just how desperate our situation is.

The five-star hotels may be filled with the rich in their mink coats and Giorgio Armani suits, dining on lobster, frogs' legs or snails; some people can afford to send their children to the most expensive schools in the land and still have enough left over to buy the latest Mercedes Benz model, as casually as you and I buy buns (most can't afford bread anymore).

All that does not detract from the stark fact that 95 percent of the population are living in a country that has gone to the dogs, economically, politically and socially. What we ought to debate is why and what to do about it.

I saw adults discuss on ZBC-TV the other day whether or not it is rape for a husband to force his wife to have sex (it is rape, stupid). They ought to discuss why we are in this mess and how to get out of it.

For many people, including myself, the reason is Zanu PF. This is a party with a terrible reputation for using murder as a primary political weapon.

Citizens in the cities and towns may be going around believing they inhabit a civilised country with civilised laws protecting them from uncivilised intrusion into their freedoms. They may believe they live in a democracy because in the presidential election in March they voted overwhelmingly against Robert Mugabe, who had insulted them with names as odious as the cats and dogs his wife spoke of in the election campaign.

They may believe all of this, but God help them if they don't stop to smell the coffee: their relatives in the communal areas know a country of young people empowered by their party to butcher innocent, unarmed citizens as brutally as the soldiers of the Five Brigade did more than 20 years ago in Matabeleland and the Midlands.

If, as some of us believe, Zanu PF is to blame for all this mayhem, including the starvation in the communal areas, how is it possible for some citizens to believe that Morgan Tsvangirai, Gibson Sibanda, Lovemore Madhuku, Wellington Chibhebhe, Tony Blair, George W Bush are the real villains?

It may be as self-evident a truth as the hills to say that people who end up with a government as ruthless and uncaring as ours deserve it.

But it bears repeating. No one is to blame for this imbroglio except Zimbabweans. Here is an example:

We all seem to agree there was no way Mugabe could have won the presidential election, not after what he has done to this country.

Someone we know had to take part in the grand conspiracy.

There are citizens who know how it was done. There are people who know, intimately, every dastardly detail of how the election was stolen as most of us believe it was. Why such people will not come forward to tell the world how it happened is another example of the terrible political culture Zanu PF has imposed on the people the culture of fear.

This too has become another political cliche, but it is as true and as old as the hills too. There are citizens who are keeping this deadly secret in their hearts. They may have been active co-conspirators, or may have been coerced or bribed into the Judas act. They may be law-abiding and patriotic citizens patriotic in the sense of not equating patriotism with sloganeering, reading The Herald from page to page, or boot-licking.

Why such people will not come forward could be out of the fear that they might be found out and handed over to Zanu PF youths to deal with as speedily and brutally as they have dealt with other critics of their party tear them from limb to limb.

That brand of fear is the most pathetic, reminding me of the smell of rotting garbage, which is how Hemingway described it in a passage in For Whom The Bells.

But is this fear justified? It cannot be, if we believe loyalty to your country means laying down your life for it. Most of the world's biggest political scandals were exposed only after a loyal citizen decided they could not live with the sin of knowing in detail what happened and not telling their compatriots of it.

Watergate's "Deep Throat" almost certainly blew the lid on the scandal which ended former US president Richard Nixon's political career.

Daniel Ellsberg, an academic, blew the lid on The Pentagon Papers scandal. A group of concerned citizens exposed what became notorious in Zimbabwe as The Willowgate scandal.

The election scandal is waiting for one such loyal citizen to expose it. We all know that in Zimbabwe the life of such a citizen could be snuffed out like a candle in the wind, if they were found out.

But the rural folk now know that it was a big Zanu PF confidence trick to warn that if they voted for the opposition parties cameras hidden on the moon would photograph them in the act and the party would take care of them in its usual fashion. There is a good chance most people now realise the party is a paper tiger, its leadership just as phony.

Comparisons have been made recently between Mugabe's leadership style and that of Jonas Savimbi, the rebel Unita leader killed by government forces in February.

Notes from an obituary by a former Savimbi loyalist: "The later Savimbi could never have settled into a proper society with proper rules.

"This was a Savimbi . . . solely motivated by power and absolute control. He was also thoroughly ruthless . . . Savimbi, in the end, wanted to be in charge and this desire for control had attained pathological proportions."

Savimbi too was a Maoist.

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