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

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From ZWNEWS, 6 May

Land for the poor

The following is a partial list of farms illegally seized by senior government and Zanu PF officials and others inrecent weeks:

Joseph Msika - part of Umguza Block; Simon Muzenda - Chindito Farm, Gutu; Obert Mpofu, part of Umguza Block; Sabina Mugabe - farm of murdered Terry Ford; Elliot Manyika - Duiker Flats; Shuvai Mahofa - Lothian Farm and others, Gutu; Samuel Mumbengegwi - Irvine Farm, Gutu; Augustine Chihuri - Woodlands Farm; Sydney Sekeremayi - Maganga Estate; Swithun Mombeshora - unnamed farm, Mashonaland West; Nicholas Goche unnamed farm; Edward Chindori-Chininga unnamed farm, Mashonaland Central; Saviour Kasukuwere part of Pimento Farm, Mashonaland Central; Joseph Chinotimba part of Pimento Farm, Mashonaland Central; Solomon Mujuru - Alamein Farm; Ambrose Mutinhiri - Waltondale Farm, Marondera West; Dick Mafiosi (Mashonaland Central ZPF youth chairman) part of Pimento Farm, Mashonaland Central.

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The Age

Aust woman shot in Zimbabwe remains in critical condition
CANBERRA, May 6 AAP|Published: Monday May 6, 9:36 AM

An Australian woman shot by bandits in Zimbabwe remains in critical
condition in a Harare hospital, the Department of Foreign Affairs said
A foreign affairs spokeswoman said Sheryl Jones, 46, was stable in intensive
care after being shot twice in an apparent robbery at her farm at Headland,
150 kilometres east of Harare at the weekend.
"Our High Commissioner in Harare Jonathan Brown has visited her in hospital
and is providing consular assistance which basically means liaising with the
medical staff there on her condition," the spokeswoman said.
"Consular officers in Canberra are providing assistance to her family."
Ms Jones' mobile telephone and handbag containing farm wages were taken by
her attackers.
Police were investigating and the motive for the shooting was unclear, the
country's Commercial Farmers Union told Reuters.

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Mugabe's Zimbabwe govt racist: says Aust minister Downer
CANBERRA, May 6 AAP|Published: Monday May 6, 6:17 PM

Relations between Australia and Zimbabwe took a further dive today, with Foreign Minister Alexander Downer branding the Mugabe government racist after the shooting of an Australian farmer.

President Robert Mugabe's government encouraged violence towards farmers and the campaign to remove them would likely be violent and vicious, Mr Downer said.

"Just about all farms in Zimbabwe which are owned by whites are marked for seizure and our expectation is that the government in Zimbabwe is just going to continue to run a violent and vicious campaign until those white farmers leave the farms," Mr Downer told reporters in Melbourne.

"And, of course, that is racism at its worst, and it is something we abhor."

Mr Downer was responding to questions about farmer Sheryl Jones, 46, formerly from Wagga Wagga in NSW, who was today in a stable condition in intensive care after being shot twice at the weekend by bandits.

The shooting occurred during what appeared to be a robbery at her farm at Headland, about 150 kilometres east of Zimbabwe's capital, Harare.

Australia condemned the shooting, saying it showed the support of the Mugabe government for violence and intimidation.

"We utterly condemn those people who have shot this Australian woman - she's a farmer," he said.

"It is just part and parcel of ongoing violence and intimidation

on farms in Zimbabwe and it just underlines to Australians how appalling the regime in Zimbabwe is and its support for and encouragement of intimidation and violence on farms.

"Our hearts go out to the woman and her family and we just hope that she will be able to make a recovery."

The Australian High Commissioner in Zimbabwe, Jonathan Brown, had visited Ms Jones in hospital in Harare, a Department of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said.

"Consular officers in Canberra are providing assistance to her family," she told AAP.

Ms Jones' mobile telephone and handbag containing farm wages were taken by her attackers.

Police were investigating and the motive for the shooting was unclear, Reuters reported from Harare.

The farm had been earmarked for seizure by the government in its program to redistribute land to black Zimbabweans.

Ten white farmers have died since February 2000 in militant invasions of hundreds of farms in support of a state drive to forcibly acquire white-owned land for redistribution to landless blacks.

Mr Mugabe sees his success in the March elections, which many observers described as fraudulent, as justification for continuing the acquisition program.

By Karen Polglaze and Lisa Walker

ABC Australia

Shooting of Aust woman farmer shows Mugabe Govt racism: Downer

Australia says the shooting of an Australian women in Zimbabwe shows the
violence and racism of the Mugabe Government.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says the Zimbabwean Government is running
a vicious campaign to drive white farmers from their properties.

Mr Downer says the Australian woman farming in Zimbabwe, Sheryl Jones, was
shot twice and is in a critical condition.

"We utterly condemn those people who have shot this Australian woman - she's
a farmer," Mr Downer said.

"It is just part and parcel of ongoing violence and intimidation on farms in
Zimbabwe and it just underlines to Australians how appalling the regime in
Zimbabwe is and its support for, and encouragement of, intimidation and
violence on farms," he said.

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The Times

Flight from the land

Harare: Farmers' leaders say that almost 250 white families have
been forced off their land since March when President Mugabe claimed his
election victory (Michael Hartnack writes). They say 95 per cent of the
remaining 3,100 white farmers are under some threat of eviction from their
land. The white population - 293,000 at its 1974 peak - had dropped to
70,000 by 2000, and now numbers 30,000.
South African officials say that the country has two million
black Zimbabweans, most illegal workers who earn more in a day than in a
month at home. This includes at least 40,000 accountants, doctors mining
engineers and other qualified people.
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ROBERT I. ROTHBERG: A cry against the Pol Pot of Africa

Copyright 2002
Christian Science Monitor Service

Chirstian Science Monitor

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (May 2, 2002 9:10 p.m. EDT) - Africa has its very own Pol
Pot. Everything that President Robert Mugabe has done to Zimbabwe since the
stolen March elections qualifies him for that despicable allusion. Even Mr.
Mugabe finally acknowledged last week that more than 7 million Zimbabweans,
including 5 million children, were at risk of starvation.
What he did not say was that he and his administration are directly
responsible for the wave of acute hunger, and for the chaos that is
continuing to destroy a once- rich nation. Like Cambodia's vicious Pol Pot,
the Khmer Rouge chief, Mugabe has not seemed to care that Zimbabwe is
sliding rapidly from weakness to failure, that the tide of human misery is
eroding the very foundations of the state (as in Cambodia), and that new
outrages occur daily.
Although Mugabe promised fellow African presidents that he would mend his
ways, since the mid-March poll his regime has systematically punished
opponents. Thousands of white- and black-owned farms have been confiscated
without legal proceedings; nearly all are being grabbed at gunpoint, their
owners (and workers) being forced to run for their lives.
Last month, too, Mugabe's militants started threatening Asian factory and
store owners, telling them they would be "next." The law of the jungle now
prevails in Zimbabwe.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) fielded about 1,100 poll
watchers in March. Already, 400 of the 1,100 have had their houses burned to
the ground by Mugabe's henchmen. Zimbabwe human-rights organizations report
that nearly 100 MDC candidates and operatives have been killed since March
by government-backed hooligans; independent newspaper editors and
journalists have been questioned and arrested; and new laws curtailing media
criticism have been enacted. A leading American critic has been deported.
The purpose of the regime's renewed attacks on the commercial farming
community is to punish probable supporters of the MDC, to turn productive
properties over to black supporters of Mugabe as spoils of war, and to
spread terror.
Few, if any, of these farms are being transferred to landless peasants or
farmworkers. As a result, Mugabe's land-focused pogrom has destroyed food
production, dried up investment, greatly reduced the planting of new crops,
and created food shortages for years to come.
None of this is rational or necessary. Undercutting a once-prosperous
country's main source of wealth is purely vindictive. Indeed, severe maize
shortfalls were predicted at least eight months ago, but the government
ignored the warnings and even exported stockpiled maize for cash. Mugabe
seems to relish his opponents' discomfort. That is the Pol Pot in him coming
Mugabe has good reason to believe he can do what he wants. Although the
British Commonwealth, the European Union, individual European nations,
Senegal, and the United States refused to recognize the election results,
condemned his theft, and imposed sanctions, many African nations accepted
the faked count. South Africa, the regional power and Zimbabwe's neighbor,
has refused to condemn Mugabe's actions.
Independent analysts have demonstrated that the margin of Mugabe's victory
was almost certainly provided by padded counts and dubious votes. Yet South
Africa and other Africans have done nothing to restore democratic practice
and sound economics to a Zimbabwe, where inflation is at 116 percent, the
local dollar is valueless, unemployment has reached 80 percent, and the
shelves are bare.
Zimbabwe now needs 700,000 tons of maize. The World Food Program, the U.S.,
and other donors have been prepared for six months to supply maize, but
Mugabe has often found procedural reasons to slow the aid. Or he has wanted
to use food as a weapon, denying it to MDC supporters.
Only renewed pressure on South Africa, which has the power to act, can save
the people of Zimbabwe from the fate of their Cambodian cousins.
Robert I. Rotberg directs Harvard's Program on Intrastate Conflict and is
president of the World Peace Foundation.

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All 'political' deaths probed

Harare - Zimbabwe's police have launched investigations into all deaths
claimed by the opposition to have resulted from violence related to the 2000
parliamentary election and this year's presidential election, said a
state-run Sunday paper.

The Sunday Mail said after revelations that media and opposition reports
alleging that a 53-year old woman was decapitated by suspected pro-goverment
militias were false, the police had decided to probe a death list compiled
by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

"We are going to investigate all the cases one by one," said an unnamed
police spokesperson quoted by the Sunday Mail.

The MDC claims that at least 100 people, most of them its supporters, were
murdered in politically motivated violence since the run up to the June 2000
parliamentary election.

The spokesperson said police will examine all the cases of allegedly
political violence deaths to establish if the victims actually existed and
if they did, whether they died of political violence.

"We will not leave any stone unturned and we will take as long as it takes
to get to the bottom of the matter.

"It is important for us to investigate all the alleged victims of political
violence because these reports have done enormous damage to the country. The
image of the police has also been tarnished because of these reports," the
spokesperson was quoted as saying.

An official police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment on

A week before the March 9-11 presidential election, police had reported 16
deaths from political violence since January 1 while rights group spoke of
over 30 deaths.

As of end of April, rights groups claimed some 54 people had been killed in
political violence this year. No updates could be immediately obtained from

Some 30 people died ahead of the parliamentary election in 2000. - Sapa-AFP
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Women Journalists Working in Afghanistan, Russia And Zimbabwe Will Receive
Courage in Journalism Awards

Accra Mail (Accra)
May 6, 2002
Posted to the web May 5, 2002
The International Women's Media Foundation has announced that three women
journalists who have risked their lives to report in-depth, illuminating
stories about war and repression in different parts of the globe will
receive Courage in Journalism Awards for 2002. They are:
Kathy Gannon, a Canadian who is chief correspondent for the Associated Press
in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Gannon's compelling stories and courageous
reporting have made her a standout in providing the West with eyes and ears
in the region, particularly since the beginning of war in Afghanistan.
Anna Politkovskaya, a reporter for the Moscow-based independent newspaper
Novaya Gazeta, whose balanced reporting on the war in Chechnya has earned
her threats from both the Russian government and Chechen rebels.
Sandra Nyaira, the 27-year-old political editor at The Daily News in Harare,
Zimbabwe, who works amid daily harassment and threats in a country with one
of the worst records of press freedom in the world.
"In a year when so many journalists have risen to perhaps the greatest
challenge in their professional lives, when so many have lost their lives in
pursuit of the news, we have chosen to honour three women whose work
reflects the best that journalism has to offer," said Judy Woodruff, prime
anchor and senior correspondent at CNN, who is chair of the IWMF's Courage
in Journalism Awards. "Our Courage Award winners have faced repression,
threats to their lives, the horrors of war and the difficulty of day-to-day
reporting under extraordinary circumstances. They have done this with
courage and with focus on a mission to report the full, unvarnished truth."
Mariane Pearl, widow of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl,
will join the IWMF for a special tribute at the awards ceremonies to
journalists killed in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the
United States and the war in Afghanistan. The IWMF also announced that
Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory will receive the IWMF's Lifetime
Achievement Award in recognition of her leadership role in the media.
Cathleen P. Black, president, Hearst Magazines, and Mel Karmazin, president
and COO, Viacom Inc., are event chairs for the New York awards ceremony,
which will be held October 16. Susan Lyne, president, ABC Entertainment, and
John Puerner, president and publisher, Los Angeles Times, are event chairs
for the Los Angeles awards ceremony, which will be held October 24. The
awardees will also be honoured in Washington, DC on October 21.
The International Women's Media Foundation created the Courage in Journalism
Awards in 1990 to honour women journalists who have shown exceptional
courage and bravery in the face of grave danger. Since 1990, 41 journalists
have won the awards.

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The Times

Zimbabwe's children growing old too soon
From Jan Raath in Harare

JADE, the ten-year-old daughter of Zimbabwean farmers, has the same
nightmare, again and again.
"I dream they are shooting my mom and my dad, my brothers," she said. "I
actually see it. There is like a gang of people. They will come into the
door. My mom will be dishing up food. They will have a chain and strangle
her and shoot my dad in the back. I'm there but I freeze. I can't move."
The nightmare ruins her sleep and often brings her to tears. "I sleep for a
few hours, then I wake up. Then I think about my parents talking, about
anything. I think, are they still alive?" Jade is one of thousands of
children, black and white, wrenched into premature, disturbed adulthood by
the past 27 months of President Mugabe's campaign to force white farmers and
their workers from their homes.
Now all Jade wants is snow. Pure, clean snow to play in, in New Zealand. She
should be there in a few weeks' time with her parents and she never wants to
come back. "Never," she said.
In March her parents were given 30 minutes to leave the farm they worked on.
Her mother ran through the house, unhooking the curtains in each room,
bundling into them whatever belongings she could lay her hands on, and then
throwing them on to the lorry waiting outside.
It was the second time that the family had been illegally evicted. They
decline to be identified for fear of retribution. Her uncle has also been
driven off his property and her grandparents may be about to lose theirs.
"Mom, there's a car at the gate," Jade's brother calls as we sit on the lawn
of the family's temporary home in Harare. Jade's eyes widen suddenly in
alarm and focus on each of the adults with her, looking for reassurance.
It is another family from their district, who have just fled their home. The
eldest son is playing next door with the children of another family, who are
also refugee farmers.
When Jade's family moved here, the youngest son, aged eight, refused to
sleep alone in his bedroom. "He said he saw the curtains move, the shelves
move," said the children's mother, who is 33.
He and his nine-year-old brother have their own way of venting their
anxiety. "There is so much aggression in this house," she said. "It's a
constant punch-up from the moment they open their eyes until they go to bed.
And they really want to do each other in. It's really serious."
It was raining, she said, when she and her husband took Jade to see a doctor
in Harare, thinking that she had scarlet fever.
"I heard the wailers (the nickname given to the sirens of Mr Mugabe's
heavily armed escort). One of the motorbike riders shouted at my husband to
get off the road. The Mercs (Mercedes Benz limousines) came past. The next
thing I am crying. I started sobbing and sobbing." She was still crying when
they reached the doctor's rooms, and went in to see the doctor with Jade.
He asked the girl what was wrong. "She said, 'my mom and dad are going to
get killed by war veterans'. I burst into tears again.
"I had never heard this from her before. I never realised to what extent
these children are perceiving these things. They have got inner torment. She
is ten and acting like a 20-year-old."
Jade's alarming maturity is common among the children at her school. At a
"life skills" class recently, one of her teachers asked a class what they
feared the most. "I was expecting things like being kicked out of school,
the break-up of the family," he said. "They said 'death'."
The children were never present when Mr Mugabe's militia, armed with sticks,
axes and occasionally firearms, came to "jambanja" the homestead, forcing
their way through the security gate, beating drums, banging on the door and
shouting death threats and filled with racist rhetoric.
But they have absorbed the fear. "Every time we drive down the road to the
farm, you see two or three people, and in their minds it becomes a crowd of
war veterans," the mother said.
She has the three children, sitting in the back seat, well drilled in case
they are attacked. "Get on the floor, even on top of each other, and keep
your head down."
Jade's nightmares have become less frequent now that she is on
antidepressants. "She is more relaxed, but she is still not sleeping," her
mother said. "You see her wandering up and down the passage at all times of
night. She doesn't feel safe in town. It breaks my heart."
Their tickets have been booked and they are looking forward to a new life on
the other side of the world. "This is the country of my birth," Jade's
mother said. "I would do anything to stay here, but it's enough now. I have
done my time. It's not worth it."

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Comment from The Washington Post, 6 May
Africa's Challenge

This could be the year when the rich world focuses on Africa. The United
States and Europe both committed themselves recently to expanded development
assistance. A global effort is underway to negotiate trade liberalization in
a way that benefits poor countries. Africa is at the top of the agenda for
this summer's G8 summit. But the new willingness to address the continent's
vast problems may be frustrated if Africans themselves do not demonstrate
their commitment to development. This is why the news from Zimbabwe is so
Africa's leaders - most notably Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo and
South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki - theoretically are committed to
something called the New Partnership for Africa's Development. This
partnership is founded upon an agreement that economic development requires
honest and open government, and in March its adherents announced a new
"system of self-assessment" designed to move the continent away from
fraudulent elections and corruption. The concept is precisely the right one:
In Latin America recently, democratic leaders collectively have put pressure
on coup leaders in Venezuela and on Cuba's dictator. But Africa's leaders
need to demonstrate that they mean to live up to their rhetoric. Zimbabwe
suggests that they may not.
Zimbabwe is a textbook case of the link between governance and development.
Only a decade ago, the country seemed to have a good shot at prosperity: It
had profitable mines and farms and tourist attractions; its infrastructure
was decent; there was a critical mass of educated city dwellers, and it was
not obviously corrupt. But President Robert Mugabe single-handedly has
squandered these advantages, unleashing violent mobs that have attacked
commercial farms and businesses, deterring investment by demonstrating
contempt for the legal process and stamping on critics. In March Mr. Mugabe
rigged Zimbabwe's election, and since then more than 50 people have died in
political violence and some 30,000 have been driven from their homes. A new
law muzzling the press has been pushed through parliament. On Wednesday Mr.
Mugabe's goons locked up Andrew Meldrum, an American journalist. A
combination of mob attacks on farms and a drought has brought agriculture to
a standstill. Last week food shortages forced Mr. Mugabe to declare a
national "state of disaster."
If Africa's new partnership means anything, it is that the continent's
leaders must tell Mr. Mugabe to stop terrorizing his country and call fresh
elections. But Africa's leaders have equivocated. Mr. Obasanjo and Mr. Mbeki
played their part in expelling Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth, much to their
credit. But they have not used their partnership as a tool to squeeze him,
and Nigeria recently blocked a European attempt to force a vote of censure
at the U.N. Human Rights Commission. "There is an urgent need to set up
parameters for good governance," Mr. Obasanjo declared at the recent
partnership summit. If Mr. Mugabe does not fall outside those parameters,
who will take them seriously?

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Monday, 6 May, 2002, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
No surrender for Zimbabwe's reporters
Bombed Daily News printing press
The Daily News printing press was bombed in 2001

It is a risky business reporting the news in Zimbabwe these days.

Journalists run a gauntlet of arrests, beatings and threats.

A civilised democracy cannot enact laws that single out the media for special punishment

Media Monitoring Project
A case in point is the recent arrest of three journalists - two from the privately-owned Daily News and one from Britain's Guardian newspaper.

Their crime was trusting an old man who claimed that his wife had been beheaded by ruling party supporters in front of his two daughters - and reporting it as fact.

But investigations by the Daily News revealed that the old man was a super conman.


Unfortunately, the paper had already published the story which, finding a life of its own, also grabbed the headlines in the Western press.

A front-page apology to Zanu-PF by the Daily News failed to save reporters Lloyd Mudiwa and Collin Chiwanza from being arrested last week. A day later, the Guardian's correspondent, Andrew Meldrum, was picked up at his home.

President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe signed the new media law in March

"The incident should stand as a salutary example to all journalists and media organisations that they carry the burden of an exceptional public responsibility to report accurately and fairly as messengers of society," said the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ).

"MMPZ, however, condemns the repressive media laws under which three journalists perceived to have been responsible for writing and perpetuating the story have now been arrested, charged and detained.

"A civilised democracy cannot enact laws that single out media workers for special punishment, since this represents an unconstitutional curtailment of an individual's fundamental right to freedom of expression - even if what is said is false."

Government boycott

But now, thanks to the conman, Zimbabwe's Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, has found good reason to hound journalists.

A paper vendor in Harare
The independent press is feeling pressured

Following the beheading story, Mr Moyo, the man behind the new media law, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, has ordered all government departments to stop advertising in the Daily News.

Mr Moyo also warned of sterner action against journalists writing "lies".

The media law requires journalists and newspapers to get an annually renewable "licence", at the discretion of the ministry.

Correspondents also face up to two year's jail for writing "lies".

I feel the law is designed to silence independent voices more effectively than the bombs which last year blew up printing presses of the private Daily News.


Deeply worrying is that journalists deemed to be writing stories critical of President Mugabe will lose their licences or be sent to jail.

I personally have been threatened on several occasions. But who has not?

Although charges against Lloyd Mudiwa, Collin Chiwanza and Andrew Meldrum have been dropped, the episode has reinforced the fears of many journalists working in Zimbabwe.

Over the past month, seven other reporters have been picked up by police.

Peta Thornycroft a correspondent for the London-based Daily Telegraph was charged under the law and held for days.

Dumisani Muleya and Iden Wetherall of the weekly Zimbabwe Independent have also found themselves on the wrong side of the new media law.


Despite the threats against them, journalists here remain resolved to tell it like it is.

While accepting that they ought to check their sources more carefully, they say the arrests will not deter them from exposing the wrongs and excesses of the government.

Andrew Meldrum and Lloyd Mudiwa on the day of their release
Meldrum and Mudiwa have been released

I personally have been threatened on several occasions. But who has not?

No-one appears to be safe - either in the private or the state-run media.

The other day, a state television crew pleaded to be spared as soldiers pounced on cameramen covering a pro-democracy march.

But to no avail.

Taking a cue from more experienced colleagues, I watched the demonstration from a distance.

Mutual help

Some of my journalist friends have had to flee the country. One left after an attack by soldiers.

For those remaining behind, life and our work must go on.

Even if some officials won't speak to me because I report for the BBC.

Colin Chiwanza
Chiwanza too spent three days in jail

I also feel sorry for some of my colleagues who work for the state-controlled media.

It can't be easy for them, passing on what many listeners and readers see as lies.

But as journalists, we try to help each other as much as possible.

I have had to cover some assignments under the cover and protection of state media journalists.

But I have often returned the favour and protected them from pro-opposition supporters.

Supporters of the ruling party seem to trust only journalists from the government media while the opposition supporters will only talk to the independent press.

But I will continue to write and report.

Hopefully this won't deny me a licence to practice as a journalist in my country.

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Zimbabwe columnist arrested over beheading story

HARARE, May 6 - Zimbabwean police arrested a fourth journalist on Monday in
a case relating to press articles about the alleged beheading of a woman by
supporters of President Robert Mugabe.

Last week police arrested three journalists -- one working for
Britain's Guardian newspaper and two for Zimbabwe's Daily News -- over the
story and charged them under a tough new media law enacted earlier this
All three were released pending their court bid to have charges of
publishing false information thrown out.
A police spokesman confirmed that Pius Wakatama, who writes a
Saturday column in the Daily News, the country's sole privately owned daily
newspaper, was the fourth person to be arrested over the story first carried
by the paper on April 23.
''Yes Wakatama was arrested this morning. It was in connection with
the beheading story,'' spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said, adding that Wakatama
was likely to be charged later on Monday.
Asked if the police were likely to make any more arrests in the case,
Bvudzijena said: ''We'll be looking at all the stories that were written.''
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said two weeks
ago that a woman named Brandina Tadyanemhandu was killed at her home in
Magunje in front of her two daughters, citing the woman's husband. The MDC
blamed members of Mugabe's ZANU-PF.
Several international newspapers carried the story. But the Daily
News later said it had doubts about the alleged murder after failing to
locate a grave.
Under a new law journalists found to have published ''falsehoods''
face fines of Z$100,000 ($1,818) or up to two years in jail.
A Harare magistrate is expected to rule on Tuesday on the bid by the
three other journalists to have charges dropped.
Mugabe's government has been accused of cracking down on journalists
since his controversial re-election in March, which was rejected by the MDC
and some Western nations as fraudulent.
Peta Thornycroft, correspondent of Britain's Daily Telegraph, was
detained for several days in March after police accused her of publishing
false information

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Tsvangirai threatens Zim strike

Harare - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has threatened a general strike
if President Robert Mugabe refuses to take part in a rerun of a disputed
presidential election, reports the the privately-owned Daily News.

"If President Mugabe refuses a rerun, then we will embark on a general
strike and the country will not be stable," the paper quoted Tsvangirai as
telling a rally on Saturday.

The MDC has rejected Mugabe's victory in the March 9-11 presidential poll,
claiming victory was "stolen" from Tsvangirai by vote-rigging.

Mugabe has ruled out any possibility of a rerun of the election.

The paper quoted Tsvangirai as telling about 15 000 supporters in the
southern city of Masvingo that mass action would force Mugabe to "relinquish

Last week, the country's main labour movement, the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions (ZCTU) threatened a general strike at a May Day celebration in
the capital, blaming Mugabe's government for the country's economic

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%.

The government has dismissed the ZCTU's threat, accusing the labour body of
being manipulated by the MDC and ignoring the plight of workers. - Sapa-AFP
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Irish Times

Zimbabwe parliament recalled to tighten land law
Last updated: 06-05-02, 19:28

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government has recalled parliament for
an emergency session to tighten a law governing its controversial seizures
of white-owned farms.

"There are a number of urgent matters on the parliamentary table, and these
include regularising amendments to the Land Acquisition Act..." one official

Mr Mugabe, who is accused by the opposition and many Western powers of
cheating in presidential polls two months ago, says he wants to finish his
fast-track land redistribution by August.

The southern African country has been in crisis since February 2000, when
militants encouraged by the government began invading white-owned farms and
killing many of the land owners.

Zimbabwe is facing a severe food shortage caused by the farm disruptions
coupled with drought.

Mr Mugabe's Act of 2001 temporarily amended the Land Acquisition Act to give
the government full rights over the land and to fine or jail for up to two
years any farmer or anyone else found guilty of interfering with the
resettlement exercise.

The Act also gave affected farmers three months to stay in their farm houses
before vacating and said those who refused to move would be evicted by court

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said parliament had been recalled to
endorse the amendments because the presidential Act's six-month life-span
was expiring this month and the amendments must be endorsed by parliament to
remain in force.

"We want the law to remain in force to enable the land redistribution
process to proceed smoothly," Mr Chinamasa said.

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