Farm Invasions And Security Report
Tuesday 28 May
This report does not purport to cover all the incidents
that are taking place in the commercial farming areas. Communication problems
and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens.
Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF
- Although Minister Chikowore has allowed planting in the land the owner of
Chevy Chase Farm, Chakari, prepared on this unlisted farm, the settlers will not
allow him to plant unless he forms a new company in which they are shareholders,
as they wish to have a percentage profit of the crop. It is now too late to
- Still in Chakari, the owners of Blackmorvale cannot plant wheat unless they
make a deal with the settlers, who want to take a proportion of the crop for
free. The farm is under Section 8 and no letter is forthcoming to allow planting
to take place.
- The owner of Rufaro Farm, Mvurwi, and three of his labourers were forcefully
evicted from the farm on 25.05.02. The perpetrators threatened to return on
27.05.02 to do an inventory of all the machinery and equipment on the farm.
- Mazowe/Concession - the settlers on Maryvale Farm wanted to beat up the
owner and would not allow him to return to his farm until such time as the
labour had been paid their gratuities. Negotiations are still under way.
- Government valuators arrived at Idaho, Norton. A settler moving 450 cattle
through the farm pulled a gun on one of the labourers when he was told to
refrain from taking the Idaho cattle with him as well.
Mutare - Cynara Farm, received a warning
from a reliable source, in the early hours of 27.05.02 that the settlers were
planning something. The family have left the house.
Mvurwi - The owner of Rufaro Farm and three of his labourers
were forcefully evicted from the farm on 25.05.02. The perpetrators threatened
to return on 27.05.02 to do an inventory of all the machinery and equipment on
Horseshoe - Nothing to report from Horseshoe as
of the 26.05.02. All quiet. Good mass farewell party was held at the
Bindura - On 20.05.02, the owner of Brockley Farm
tried to leave the farm but settlers stopped him, as they did not want him to
take his property. They locked the security gates and refused to let him leave.
The DA was called but as yet no resolution has been found.
Mazowe/Concession - There is a total work stoppage on
Watakai Farm, called by the settlers. The settlers on Maryvale Farm wanted to
beat up the owner and would not allow him to return to his farm until such time
as the labour had been paid their gratuities. Negotiations are still under
Beatrice – eight bulls were stolen
from one farmer, and were tracked to the communal land where the "new owner”
said he “had bought them". Investigations are continuing as to who stole and
sold the cattle. One farmer had switchgear stolen. One dairy cow was
slaughtered. On one farm 2 wildebeest, 2 Kudu, 3 Impala and 1 Tsessebe were
snared. The perpetrators were arrested when they were caught with the meat.
One farmer had a farm pickup commandeered, which was returned. Irrigation pipes
were also stolen and cut. The thief was
Bromley/Ruwa/Enterprise - Several Section 8 Orders
were received. The manager of one farm was instructed to vacate his homestead
within 24 hours. ZRP and Land Committee representative explained Section 8
procedures to the settlers and normality returned.
- Nothing to report.
Marondera North - One house
break in was reported. Various farmers continue to be harassed by settlers.
Maize theft and cutting of timber reported.
No report received.
MASHONALAND WEST (SOUTH)
Norton - On Gowrie Sabina
Mugabe continues with her operation. She was quoted in the Sunday Independent
from South Africa, after being asked when the owner would leave the property as
saying "it's up to him actually, I cannot just send him away. I can't kill him
because he did not move". The owner of Gowrie was murdered two and a half
months ago. We do not know which property was referred to, as the owner of
Gowrie's son is not allowed on his property. Gowrie is a single-owned property.
On Wilbered Farm the owner still cannot return after the property was trashed
and looted in March 2002. Police have advised him to not go back, but
information received from his workers indicates some cattle were killed for a
celebration recently, at which Sabina Mugabe was present. Settlers were told
they could take whatever equipment was left, as they would be moved to make way
for a "chef". This is a single-owned property. On Idaho Government valuators
arrived. A settler moving 450 cattle through the farm pulled a gun on one of
the labourers when he was told to refrain from taking the Idaho cattle with him
Selous - Various A2 settlers continue to harass
farmers as they wish to take over their houses, commandeer irrigation pipes
etc. On Mara Farm poachers chased a Kudu up against the owners homestead fence
with dogs. Poaching continues through this area with dogs coming in regularly
on Mount Carmel and Carskey Farms.
Kadoma - On Lanteglos
the owner was again assured by Minister Chikowore he would be allowed to plant
Wheat, but when he tried on 25.05.02 the settlers chased the tractors out of the
Chakari - On Chevy Chase Farm although Minister
Chikowore has allowed planting in the land the owner prepared on this unlisted
farm, the settlers will not allow him to plant unless he forms a new company in
which they are shareholders, as they wish to have a percentage profit of the
crop. It is now too late to plant Wheat. On Blackmorvale the owners cannot
plant wheat unless they make a deal with the settlers, who want to take a
proportion of the crop for free. The farm is under Section 8 and no letter is
forthcoming to allow planting to take place.
General - No
letters are forthcoming allowing planting to take place either from the
Governor, Vice President Msika, or Minister Made. Without these letters farmers
face prosecution and up to two years in prison if they do plant. Despite
assurances that people are being removed from properties as per the Abuja
Agreement, this has not happened on a single farm that we know of in this
region. On the contrary, new settlers still appear on farms to take up plots,
and the majority of farmers have received Section 8 notices, requiring them to
stop production and leave their homes or face imprisonment.
The incessant and iniquitous poaching and
harassment of workers and farm owners continues unabated. Detailed reports will
be available in later sitreps.
No report received.
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State misleading nation on food situation:
5/29/02 8:48:30 AM (GMT +2)
THE former general manager of the Grain Marketing Board
Gasela, says the lack of foreign currency and general
inefficiency are the major causes of the severe food shortage in
In a statement, Gasela, the MDC shadow minister for
blamed the use by government of people without the technical
maize and the conflict of interest among government officials as
reasons for the shortage.
Gasela, the MP for Gweru Rural,
warned the nation was being
deliberately misled by the government, through
the State-run Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), on the food supply
Gasela disputed the ZBC report on 23 May that millers
had large stocks
He said in the same report, the GMB
acting chief executive, Joanna
Mtukwa, said a total of 170 000 tonnes had
"ZBC and Mtukwa used that figure to imply that in
fact, there were 170
000 tonnes of maize in the country. This is completely
false. As the maize
arrives, it is all sold. In fact, there are virtually no
stocks in the
country," Gasela said.
He said it was wrong for
the government to accuse those who bought and
sold maize in bucketfuls of
"In any shortage scenario, enterprising people
will capitalise on the
situation. Society can moralise on the virtues and
vices of such action but
the fact is that shortages create exploitable
opportunities," Gasela said.
He said since January, when the
importation of maize-meal and maize
began, the total amount received is 170
000 tonnes, as confirmed by the GMB
The daily consumption
nationally is 5 000 tonnes.
The total amount of imported grain
which could have alleviated the
shortages would have been around 500 000
tonnes to date, said Gasela.
"We need to look at whether it is
logistically possible to have
imported 500 000 tonnes of maize since the
"During the drought of 1992, the GMB imported
2,6 million tonnes of
food in 12 months. About 800 000 tonnes was imported in
four months then,
compared with 170 000 tonnes in four months now," Gasela
He said the government had ignored advice from experts in
leading to the present desperate situation.
could not be reached to comment on Gasela's claims.
Police raid Tsvangirai's rural home
By Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief Reporter
Buhera rural home of Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC president, was on
night raided by more than 20 heavily armed men in riot police gear,
two notorious war veterans, who severely assaulted two of
The police, armed with AK rifles, are believed to have
for arms of war and MDC supporters who had allegedly committed
arson in the
Marume area of the district last week. Washington Maposa and
said they were assaulted by the riot police who were
accompanied by war
veterans Bernard Makuwe and a Mudzamiri, both mentioned by
witnesses in the
High Court last year as having taken part in the petrol bomb
murder in 2000
of two MDC activists, Talent Mabika and Tichaona
In Harare yesterday, Wayne Bvudzijena, the police
refused to comment on the raid. Bvudzijena said: "Ruhanya, what
think that I will speak to you today?" Tsvangirai yesterday
raid and the beatings as illegal acts by the police. He said:
serious acts of lawlessness. The police should appreciate that
Munhanga have every right to work. They also need to appreciate
that as a
law-abiding citizen of this country, I possess the right to
"If the police want to search my city or rural home
they need to have
search warrants. This is the legal position. They should
know that as a
law-abiding citizen I do not keep arms of war." Tsvangirai's
Simbarashe Muzenda, said yesterday he had instructions to investigate
incident before taking legal action against the police for
Tsvangirai's constitutional freedoms. Muzenda said: "I will
officer-in-charge at Buhera Police Station to identify his
officers and find
out if they had a search warrant to raid Tsvangirai's
He said legal action would be taken against the police
once the facts
of the matter were established. "I am yet to establish reasons
alleged arrest of MDC supporters with a view to representing
Maposa, the caretaker at Tsvangirai's home, said the
were driven in two trucks while others arrived on foot
demanding entry into the yard. ''As I took them into the yard,
me with the butt of an AK rifle, accusing me of hiding weapons
bedroom. They searched my room but found nothing. ''They later
search Tsvangirai's main house, including the kitchen,'' Maposa
''They told me I should not work for Tsvangirai and I
should leave the
place immediately. They accused me of keeping a gun. I
allegation. I am not a bodyguard but a mere caretaker,'' said
that he did not report the matter to the police because it was
who attacked him for no apparent reason.
this was the second police invasion of the home since the
election, controversially won by President Mugabe in March.
''At the end of
March seven armed policemen raided and searched Tsvangirai's
me of keeping people who had allegedly assaulted Zanu PF
supporters in the
area. We are not safe here because violence is being
perpetrated by the
police who are supposed to protect us,'' Maposa said.
who stays with Tsvangirai's 70-year-old mother, Lydia, said
he was severely
beaten for working for the MDC leader. He alleged he was
bundled into a
police truck and driven to Jaggers business centre about five
the Buhera district offices, where Makuwe operates a shop.
On the way, the
police took turns to beat him, he alleged. Munhanga said the
police wanted to
know where Lydia was, but when he told them she had gone to
Harare to visit
her son, they accused him of lying and struck him
He sustained injuries on his back from the
beatings. ''When we arrived
at the shopping centre, Makuwe bought beer for
the men in police uniform in
one of the shops. I was later taken to Buhera
police station, where I was
released without charge,'' said Munhanga. He said
at the police station he
saw a number of MDC supporters arrested by the
police on allegations of
Zimbabwe Arrests Newsmen Over Report
(Reuters) - Zimbabwe police arrested two journalists on Tuesday and
them with publishing a false report alleging police intimidation,
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said Bornwell
Chakaodza, editor of the
Sunday Standard, and his entertainment editor,
Fungayi Kanyuchi, were
charged under the Access to Information and Protection
of Privacy Act.
"According to the police, the story headlined 'The private
written...about issues involving the police force, is
Police were not available for comment on
Eleven journalists have been arrested and charged under the Act
President Robert Mugabe signed it into law soon after his
re-election in March.
Some, including former government
spokesman Chakaodza, have been arrested
and charged more than once under the
same Act. Under the tough media law,
journalists can face fines of up to
Z$100,000 ($1,818) or up to two years in
jail if they are found guilty of
Mugabe's government has been accused of cracking
down on journalists since
March 9-11 presidential elections which were
rejected as fraudulent by
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as well as
Mbeki's Quiet Diplomacy' to Come Under Scrutiny
May 28, 2002
Posted to the web May 28, 2002
Government's "quiet diplomacy" towards Zimbabwe
and its President Robert
Mugabe will come under scrutiny again in the
National Assembly tomorrow when
President Thabo Mbeki faces members of
Parliament (MPs) in presidential
question time for the second time this
Recently Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota said in a speech in Durban
policy of quiet diplomacy towards Zimbabwe had not worked because it
failed to change Mugabe's behaviour. Leader of the Opposition Tony Leon
ask Mbeki whether he agrees with Lekota on this matter.
ask if Mbeki believes that quiet diplomacy towards Mugabe was a
if so, "what policy changes on Zimbabwe he is contemplating?"
He will also
ask Mbeki whether or not any new policy directions towards
Zimbabwe have been
implemented and if so what they are?
If they have, then, has he communicated
them to Mugabe?
Mbeki also faces a potentially controversial question from
Party leader Marthinus van Schalkwyk who will ask him if,
importance of human rights and good governance in the New
Africa's Development (Nepad), SA had voted for China,
Zimbabwe and Swaziland
to be represented on the UN Commission for Human
Rights. The three countries
cited have poor records of respect for human
African National Congress MP Pallo Jordan will also ask Mbeki about
launch of the African Union (AU) in Durban in July. The union will
the Organisation of African Unity.
Jordan will ask Mbeki to
explain the role of government and the people of SA
in making the union an
effective body, and whether the creation of the AU
will have financial
implications for the state.
Freedom Front MP Corne Mulder will ask the
president whether he has been
holding consultation on the appointment of
members of the soon-to-be created
Commission for the Promotion and Protection
of the Rights of Cultural and
Religious and Linguistic Communities.
understood that Mbeki has been holding discussions with former
president FW de Klerk on the formation of the commission.
SA Will Help Bring Zim Back From Brink: Dlamini-Zuma
African Press Association (Johannesburg)
May 28, 2002
Posted to the web
May 29, 2002
South Africa should help bring Zimbabwe back
from the brink rather than push
it over the precipice, Foreign Affairs
Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said
during her department's budget vote on
She was replying to critics of Pretoria's quiet diplomacy towards
On the stalled talks between the ruling Zanu-PF party and the
Movement for Democratic Change, Dlamini-Zuma said: "We can only
the Zimbabweans will take the opportunity presented by talks... to
their country from the political and economic quagmire."
Africa should always work to reconcile adversaries, she told MPs.
work towards bringing the Zimbabweans back from the brink. We
should not be
the ones that push them to the precipice," she said.
It was reported at the
weekend that President Thabo Mbeki would hold talks
with his Zimbabwean
counterpart Robert Mugabe on the fringes of a Democratic
Republic of the
Congo summit in Zambia on Thursday, in an attempt to get him
back to the
negotiating table with the MDC.
In her reply to the debate where Zimbabwe and
the Middle East dominated
opposition concerns, Dlamini-Zuma joked that she
should receive two salaries
"since wherever I go I get asked about Zimbabwe
as if I were the foreign
minister of Zimbabwe".
"I sometimes have to
remind people that I'm actually the foreign minister of
South Africa, because
sometimes they will ask South Africa, even when
Zimbabwe is there to answer
Dlamini-Zuma emphasised that what South Africa was asked to do
it should not lead to the collective punishment of Zimbabweans or
Zimbabwe in a worse crisis.
"We must not punish the Zimbabwean
people for choosing the president they
did. It's their prerogative. We might
not like it, but the Zimbabweans chose
the way they did and we have to live
with it, and they have to live with it
"It's not for us to
choose people in other countries."
Dlamini-Zuma acknowledged that there were
things that Zimbabwe was doing
that South Africa did not agree with "and we
will continue to say so".
She did not elaborate.
Earlier, the IFP's Koos
van der Merwe was among opposition party MPs who
criticised the government's
policy on Zimbabwe and called for a clearer and
stronger stance against
"There are very few examples in the modern, intertwined world that
clearly illustrates the extent of human rights abuses possible under
dictatorial regime such as the one that still holds sway in
"South Africa professes to be a champion of human rights, yet we
decided to follow the course of silent diplomacy, with no tangible
while the abuses of human rights continued, and continues, unabated,"
The DA's Colin Eglin said in his speech the credibility of the
Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) was at risk should leaders
abide by its core values.
These included strengthening political and
accountability, integrity, respect for human
rights and the promotion of the
rule of law.
Referring to Zimbabwe, he
said government had to understand that when a
partnership was based on a
collective commitment, as in the case of Nepad,
each time a country failed to
uphold -- or wilfully violated --those values,
the partnership was
"More than this, should the leaders of Nepad fail in their
commitment to take steps to ensure that the core values are abided
credibility of Nepad will be destroyed," Eglin said.
Daily News - Leader Page
Less violence welcome: Now for the bad
5/29/02 (GMT +2)
THE Zimbabwe Human
Rights Forum's report that there has been a decline
in the incidence of
political violence in Zimbabwe is most welcome.
"Reported cases and
instances of political violence have decreased in
comparison to the cases
reported in the first four months of 2002.
"There has been
a decrease of 50 percent in the reported cases of
torture, compared to the
month of April."
But popping the champagne corks right now
would be premature.
The decline in violence has to be
considered in the context of the
degree of the threat to Zanu PF's brutal
hold on power.
For the moment, this threat has receded. There
is the MDC's legal
challenge to the discredited Zanu PF victory in the
There is nothing frivolous about it, or Zanu PF would
not have been so
nervous it suspended the dialogue with the
The party must know that in a completely neutral court
anywhere in the
world, the revelations of how they stole the election could
enough to blow their victory clean out of the water and into a
That nervousness is going to be on display again when
the party and
its nemesis square up for the campaign for the rural district
elections in a few months' time.
Last week, we
reported violence in Zaka, where MDC candidates were
reportedly assaulted by
suspected Zanu PF supporters.
Zanu PF dominates the rural
district councils, through its usual blend
of violence, intimidation and a
threat to wreak revenge on voters who opt
It's only in the urban centres where this political
modus operandi has
failed to cow the voters into surrendering their right of
Even in the rural areas, the zombies Zanu PF
relied on to do their
bidding in the past may be developing a remarkably
human quality - being
able to distinguish sense from
The results of these elections might not be the
that Zanu PF would have us believe.
Since the referendum of 2000, voters have confirmed their sneaking
that Zanu PF is now a paper tiger because of policies which have
country into squalor.
They now know that their dearest wish to get
rid of this violent,
corrupt party could be realised if a free and fair
election were held.
Most believe they failed by a whisker to do
this in the presidential
election this year because of Zanu PF's
The rural district council election campaign could
be violent. Zanu PF
's thirst for victory is unlikely to be slaked by
anything other than a
total annihilation of the opposition in all the rural
The aim would be to compensate for the massive
showing of the
opposition in the presidential election and Zanu PF's thorough
the Harare mayoral-council and the Chitungwiza mayoral elections
All this negative performance of the ruling party has
attitude towards the opposition and in general against any
section of the
population which evinces even the mildest dissent against its
attempts to rescue the country from the economic and political damage
22 years in power.
This campaign to silence dissent
has its most poignant portrayal in
the field of the dissemination of
The law against the privately-owned Press, the
Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act, is one of the worst
examples of a government
running scared of the end of its
This law is intended to block the public's access to
Coupled with the continued attempts to turn the Zimbabwe
Corporation into the government's loudest parrot, that law seems
part of the
recipe for the continuation of violence as Zanu PF's
The people are not as submissive as they were
in the early 1980s.
They want their share of the independence
cake, even if bread is now
almost a luxury too.
Closure of Chivi council offices illegal, court
5/29/02 8:49:08 AM (GMT +2)
Correspondent in Masvingo
The decision by war veterans to close
Chivi council offices and chase
away the chief executive officer, before
confiscating his vehicle last
month, was illegal and not sanctioned by the
local authority, the Masvingo
magistrates' court heard
Chivi council lawyer Charles Ndlovu told the magistrate,
Musaiona, the veterans embarked on an illegal move for which the
could not be held responsible.
Ndlovu was responding to
an application by Douglas Mwonzora, for
Elisha Chagonda, the council chief
executive officer, who wanted the council
forbidden from holding joint
meetings with the war veterans to discuss
Ndlovu said the local authority had nothing to do with war
He said council should not be interdicted from holding
discuss an audit report in which Chagonda was alleged to have
Ndlovu said: "The war veterans' action
were illegal and council cannot
shoulder the blame. They are not represented
here and what they did was
unlawful. There is need to separate council and
war veterans on this issue."
Ndlovu said interdicting council from
holding meetings would mean all
work would come to a standstill.
He said the application was improper since the war veterans and the
were being treated as a single entity.
In his application, Mwonzora
told Musaiona that war veterans should
know they are not above the law and
council should be forbidden from holding
joint meetings with them to discuss
Mwonzora had cited the war veterans' association,
Zanu PF and the
council as the respondents.
The magistrate will
deliver judgment tomorrow.
Ex-Zipras call for Gukurahundi probe
5/29/02 8:47:50 AM (GMT +2)
From Chris Gande in
FORMER Zipra combatants have called for a study of the
committed by the North Korean-trained 5 Brigade during the
Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s, in order to avoid a repetition of
The former fighters said Zanu PF was demonstrating
tendencies by "persecuting former Zipra fighters such as Andrew
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association secretary
Ndlovu is facing extortion and several other
charges involving the
theft of money from Zexcom, a war veterans' holding
company. He has denied
the theft which he says was committed by his deceased
The former Zipra fighters said the
ruling party had, in "typical Zanu
PF" fashion, made sure Ndlovu was arrested
while other former fighters, such
as Joseph Chinotimba who belonged to Zanla
and spearheaded the farm
invasions, were not being touched.
Zanla was the military wing of Zanu PF, led by President Mugabe, while
was the military arm of PF Zapu, then led by the late Vice-President
Nkomo, during the liberation struggle.
Max Mkandla, a spokesman for
the former Zipra fighters, said the world
had been quiet over the lack of
justice in Matabeleland and the Midlands,
where 20 000 people were killed by
the 5 Brigade.
"A case study is, therefore, called for," said
Mkandla. "Such a study
would have to be rigorous and carried out by qualified
persons who are
experts in the fields of forensics and the law, to avoid
He said this would help to ensure the atrocities are not
"Zipra farms confiscated by Zanu PF should be returned
all associated property. Interest should be paid," he
Mugabe, then prime minister, ordered an inquiry into the
Harare lawyer, Simplicius Chihambakwe prepared a report which
not make public to this day.
Commission for Justice and Peace and the Legal Resources
out their own report, Breaking the Silence: Building the
Peace. It was a
scathing attack on the Mugabe government's involvement in
Church orphanage appeals for help as food crisis
5/29/02 (GMT +2)
BONDA Mission in Mutasa is appealing for donations to
avert a food
crisis at an orphanage run by the mission.
Deliwe Nkomo, the health director for the Anglican Diocese of
said the orphanage had run short of milk to feed 26 infants,
most of them
under two years.
Nkomo said the orphanage had inadequate food
"We are now appealing to donors within and outside
the country to come
to our rescue, otherwise these children will die of
Nkomo, 56, said this after
touring all the health centres under the
Anglican Diocese of
The diocese runs five hospitals and clinics
involved in home-based and
orphan care programmes.
engaged to run the health portfolio for the Diocese of
Manicaland with effect
from 1 May, becoming its first substantive director
"We're faced with the HIV/Aids crisis," said Nkomo. "We
have to fight
hard to reduce the number of infections, especially in the
rural areas where
health facilities are scarce."
people needed to appreciate that HIV/Aids was a reality,
killing thousands of
people every week.
She said Chipinge, Chimanimani, Mutasa,
Makoni and Nyanga rural areas
had an average of 1 000 patients on the
Nkomo said thousands of those infected
were dying in their homes due
to poverty and lack of appropriate
More resources were needed to assist about 6 400
orphans who were the
major casualties of the Aids pandemic in Manicaland, she
Daily News - Leader Page
We have allowed Mugabe to get off the
5/29/02 (GMT +2)
IN 1965 Colonel Joseph
Mobutu became president of what is now known as
the Democratic Republic of
Congo. A few years after coming into power,
Mobutu established the Popular
Movement of the Revolution, declaring it the
sole political party of
In 1972 the president changed his name to Mobutu Sese Seko
Ngebendu wa za Banga which translated literally means, "the all
warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win,
from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake". Mobutu Sese
Seko, as he
was popularly known, ruled his country for 32 years with an iron
In 1971 Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda of Malawi, declared
"President for Life" over the people of Malawi. In the first month of
over the southern African nation, Banda declared:
party, one leader, one government and no nonsense about it."
was able to rule Malawi for 30 years and was able to implement
policies upon the people of Malawi.
President Mugabe is one
man. He is one man who has power. He has power
over my life, over your life,
and over our future. How is this possible? How
is it possible that this one
man whom I have never met and probably will
never meet, has the ability to
affect my life, my choices, and my decisions?
Mobutu Sese Seko
ruled his people for 32 years and achieved sole
control of people's lives and
Banda ruled Malawi for 30 years and
exercised total control over the
people of this great African
Kaunda ruled Zambia for 27 years and had complete
control over the
future, dreams and hopes of the Zambian
How is it possible that these individual men were able
to have so much
power, influence and control over entire nations for such
long periods of
I am beginning to wonder if these men
breathed the same air as you and
me. Did red blood not run through their
veins like you and I? In fact, I am
positive that these men had two legs, two
arms, one head, two eyes, two
ears, a nose and a mouth, just like you and me.
However, how were these men
able to achieve all this power?
Having spent endless hours contemplating this issue, discussing this
arguing this issue, analysing this issue, the answer finally dawned
Adolf Hitler ruled the world because the world stood by and
Mobutu Sese Seko ruled the central African
nation because his people
and other African states stood by and allowed him
Banda ruled over Malawi for 30 years because his people and
allowed him to.
Kaunda ruled over the Zambian people
because the people and other
African nations stood by and allowed him
Now, Mugabe is ruling over you and me because the people
African world allow him to.
The answer to how these
leaders were able to achieve all this
political power is very
Mugabe, like Mobutu, Banda and Kaunda, has the power
people have given it to him.
There is no denying
the fact that all these leaders, including our
President, had all the state
machinery behind them to ensure that supremacy
and authoritarian rule lay in
But the fact of the matter is, we, the people,
played a part, however,
passive, in letting all this happen.
In 1987 after signing the Unity Accord with PF Zapu, the
political party, and after a constitutional reform,
Mugabe became President
of Zimbabwe after seven years of being the first
Prime Minister our
Between 1982 and 1985, Mugabe took strong military
action and brutally
crushed and massacred people from the Ndebele ethnic
grouping. This massacre
came to be known as Gukurahundi.
1997 a report called Breaking the Silence, Building True Peace: A
the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980-1988, was
which was a record of all the torture and killings that took place
post-independence period. The majority wanted the government to
what it had done. It did so grudgingly.
From the beginning of
Mugabe's rule in 1980, it was clear that this
man had a very clear vision of
the kind of Zimbabwe he wanted.
The older generation knew this
and so did our other southern African
neighbours. However, nothing was ever
done to stop this man and his goal for
was a clear indication of this.
My goal is not to attribute
blame to anyone, but all I am merely
pointing out is that the reason that
Mugabe is where he is right now, and
has all the power that he has right now,
is because we have allowed it.
Everyone stood by and watched
Mugabe get away with Gukurahundi.
Everyone stood by and let
Mugabe get away with winning three elections
and establishing a one-party
Everyone stood by and allowed Mugabe to let the war
Basically everyone stood
by and let Mugabe do as he pleased with
little and ineffective
By being passive, the people of Zimbabwe together
with other African
leaders, allowed Mugabe to gain power and authority to the
point where now
it is unheard of to question his authority, even through the
ballot box, and
yet I am certain he is only one man.
I are the future of Zimbabwe. The future lies in your hands
and mine. We do
not have the luxury of being passive anymore. We do not have
the luxury of
standing by and watching what happened to the Congo and Malawi
Zimbabwe too. We know too much and have come too far.
belief there will be no Zimbabwe. We might as well sit back
and continue to
suffer from high prices and high inflation, job insecurity,
a bleak future,
and a life of constant worry and misery.
But without unity
among the younger generation and belief in this
great country of ours, we
will have failed as a people to make a brighter
future for our children and
our children's children.
It starts with us!
From Business Day (SA), 29
Farmers' union says no action on
Harare - Zimbabwe’s embattled white commercial farmers said
yesterday official claims that government is evicting farm invaders are
misleading. Commercial Farmers Union spokeswoman Jenni Williams said there was
no visible movement of land occupiers from delisted farms and conservancies. She
said announcements that land invaders were being removed were meant to deceive
the international community. "There is not a single farmer who has reported the
removal of settlers from delisted properties," she said. "It appears evictions
are only taking place in farms owned by the chiefs." Williams said there had
been no end to farm seizures. "Yesterday a deputy minister moved a herd of 300
cattle into a farm in Beitbridge," she said. "The official had initially
occupied another farm, but when he tried to evict settlers on it they refused.
So he had to move his cattle into another nearby farm."
The union recently released a list of senior government
officials, top civil servants, army officers and war veterans who have grabbed
farms. President Robert Mugabe's co-deputies Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika were
among them. Despite union complaints, Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo has
insisted government is evicting those who invaded farms after March 1 last year.
Settlers who seized farms before that date are protected by the Rural Land
Occupiers (Protection from Eviction) Act. The evictions were supposed to start
in Masvingo province, where farm invasion began in 2000, with 12000 land
occupiers being removed. However, the union's Masvingo chairman, Mike Clark,
said there was no eviction of the invaders. "Information at hand is that there
is no relocation of settlers from farms," he said. "Police and army officers
have visited selected farms in the area owned by prominent persons. Some
settlers on those farms have begun drifting into adjoining properties." Union
president Colin Cloete said there was no evidence of the eviction of
The United Nations Standing Committee on Humanitarian Affairs
and southern African leaders will hold an emergency meeting on hunger in
Johannesburg on June 6 and 7. The meeting is important to Harare because
Zimbabwe is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportions.
Governments say more than seven million people in the region about 54 % of the
population need food aid. Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean government has declared the
next six months an emergency period to combat HIV/AIDS. The emergency order,
prompted by the rapid spread of HIV among Zimbabweans, will allow for the
increased availability of drugs to treat the disease.
From The Star (SA), 28
Human rights under attack across the
London - Human rights in Zimbabwe fell victim to political and
state-sponsored violence ahead of President Robert Mugabe's successful bid for
re-election, Amnesty International said in its annual report on Tuesday. The
government used armed gangs to crush the opposition, subvert the rule of law,
undermine the judiciary and harass the private press, it charged. Amnesty said
it had documented cases of extra-judicial executions, torture, abduction and
"disappearances" in the run-up to the March poll. In a January-April update to
the annual report for 2001, the London-based group said militias carried out
violent retribution against those suspected of having supported the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change. By March, local human rights observers reported
that some 17 000 opposition supporters had been internally displaced because of
death threats, harassment and attacks. Mugabe retained his grip on power in the
polls, although they were widely condemned by the international community as
The human rights situation had been "steadily deteriorating"
throughout last year, Amnesty said in its global survey. There were "forced
evictions, arbitrary arrests, beatings, torture and political killings,
amounting to a pattern of deliberate, state-sponsored repression of opposition
to the government or its policies," it added. Most were carried out by so-called
"war veterans" - groups armed and supported by the police and army – who were
able to act with impunity, Amnesty said. There were growing reports that the
police not only stood by and watched but also took part in a number of attacks
alongside government supporters. Police officers were directly implicated in
some beatings and torture and repeatedly used excessive force to disperse
peaceful protesters, the report said. The independence of the judiciary and the
press were also undermined by new government laws and actions, Amnesty reported.
The government deported three foreign journalists, branded others as
"terrorists", banned the British Broadcasting Corporation from entering the
country and blocked CNN broadcasts," the report said. Its refusal to comply with
Supreme Court judgements coupled with threats from war veterans prompted the
retirement of four senior judges.
From SABC News, 28
Dlamini-Zuma urges SA to assist
South Africa should help bring Zimbabwe back from the brink,
rather than push it over the precipice. This was Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the
Foreign Affairs Minister's, reply to government's critics about the way it was
handling the Zimbabwean crisis. On the stalled talks between the ruling Zanu PF
party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Dlamini-Zuma said: "We
can only hope that the Zimbabweans will take the opportunity presented by
talks... to extricate their country from the political and economic quagmire."
South Africa should always work to reconcile adversaries, she told MPs. "We
should work towards bringing the Zimbabweans back from the brink. We should not
be the ones that push them to the precipice," she said. It was reported at the
weekend that President Thabo Mbeki would hold talks with his Zimbabwean
counterpart Robert Mugabe on the fringes of a Democratic Republic of the Congo
summit in Zambia on Thursday, in an attempt to get him back to the negotiating
table with the MDC. Dlamini-Zuma also expressed concern about the "fast-growing
right-wing trend in the developed world" that was being manifested through
xenophobia, Islamaphobia and racist policies. South Africa's hosting of the
World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related
Intolerance to stem the tide of this rabid racism was correct, she said. "It is
our hope that the international community will implement without further delays
the programme adopted at the... conference to push back the frontiers of
racism," she said.