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

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Friday, 8 November, 2002, 11:52 GMT
Zimbabwe 'running out of bank notes'

Worth about 20 pence - but like gold-dust in Harare

Zimbabwe's economic crisis has created crippling shortages, and now even bank notes are proving hard to come by.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has said it will step up monitoring of all but the smallest cash transactions, in the hope of stopping bank notes disappearing from circulation.

Growing demand for large volumes of cash - used, officials say, for untraceable money-laundering operations - has reportedly left big bank notes in short supply.

The Bank has set up a Financial Intelligence Unit to track suspicious cash transactions, and may push forward plans to introduce a new 1,000-Zimbabwe-dollar note, twice the size of its current biggest denomination.

Economic spiral

The Bank's taskforce will look at all transactions in excess of 500,000 Zimbabwe dollars.

At official exchange rates, that is over US$9,000 (£5,700), but on the black market, the Zimbabwe dollar is trading at around 1,800 in the US currency - and falling fast.

Inflation is rampant in Zimbabwe: it hit an annual 140% at the last count, which means many Zimbabweans have to deal in ever larger quantities of cash.

The weak Zimbabwe dollar has left the country short of vital imported goods, which in turn has pushed prices up still further.

At the same time, the authorities also allege rampant money laundering, as rich individuals attempt to spirit their liquid assets out of the country.
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JAG SITREP 9th November 2002

Nationwide, there has been something of a resurgence of SI6 pressure as
new listings have been gazetted. After a relatively quiet period, there
were a number of incidents this week where farmers face pressure from
their employees to retrench them.


Peter Wright leases Nyaradzi farm in the Marondera South area. An
electric motor was stolen from the farm on Thursday, and on Friday he
went to the police to report the issue. He was given the runaround, and
then eventually sent to see the CIO. Again he was kept hanging around for
a long time, and then in the afternoon was arrested. He has been charged
with insulting the president, under the Public Order and Security Act,
but his partner, Sue Parkin, maintains that the charge is trumped up.
Wright has been having some difficulty on his farm due to SI6 pressure.
Wright's lawyer has been contacted, but he has advised that he will be
unable to get him out over the weekend.


    (091) 317 264       If you are in trouble or need advice,
        (011) 205 374       please don't hesitate to contact us -
           (011) 863 354        we're here to help

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From 9 November (00.01hrs) 2002, Zimbabwean nationals will require a
visa to travel to the UK. Zimbabweans wishing to transit the UK en route
to or from a third country will also require a visa.

How will the programme work?

In future, Zimbabweans wishing to travel to, or transit, the UK should
apply for a visa, through our special operator FedEx. You can lodge your
application at FedEx's offices in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare or
Victoria Falls (addresses overleaf). There is no need to visit the High
Commission in person. Straightforward applications will be dealt with
within 7 working days.  If there is a query, you will be invited to an
interview at the High Commission. FedEx will deliver your passport, with
a visa if your application has been successful, to your home address.

How much will a visa cost?

The current fee for a standard visitor's visa, allowing entry to the UK
for up to six months, is Z$64,800. A direct transit visa currently costs
Z$48,600.  Details of fees for other types of visa are available from
the High Commission or on our website, Fees are
subject to review. You should check the current fee before you make an

 What if I have already made my travel plans?

We have put in place special arrangements to help those who already have
a confirmed ticket to travel to or via the UK, and can show that it was
purchased on or before 7 November:

A. you do not need a visa to travel if:

·        you are due to arrive in the UK on a direct flight, or a direct
transfer flight via   Johannesburg, before midnight (24.00hrs) on 15
November 2002 and would not previously have required a visa (eg a
genuine visitor or student);

·        you are due to transit the UK before midnight on 15 November

B. you need a visa, but your application will be treated as a priority,

·        you are due to arrive in the UK on a direct flight or a direct
transfer flight via    Johannesburg, between midnight on 15 November and
midnight on 29 November 2002;

·        you are due to arrive in the UK on any other flight (including
indirect flights via other cities) any time between now and midnight on
29 November 2002;

·        you are due to transit the UK between midnight on 15 November
and midnight on 29 November.

If any of these points apply to you, you can apply for your visa at the
British High Commission from 08.00hrs on 8 November. You should come to
the High Commission as soon as you can, bringing your passport, 2
photos, visa fee and ticket. We will deal with all applications as
quickly as possible to ensure that genuine visitors with confirmed
travel for this period, can stick to their plans.

What if I plan to travel in the future?

Anyone planning to travel to or via the UK, arriving after midnight
(24.00hrs) on 29 November 2002, should apply for a visa through FedEx.
You should also apply through FedEx if you want to travel between 15 and
29 November but have not yet bought a confirmed ticket. You should
deposit your passport, photos, application form and visa fee at any
FedEx office:

·         Harare: FedEx House, 101 Nelson Mandela Ave: Tel 705588; Fax
·         Bulawayo: 6 Princess Park Mansions: Tel 61519; Fax 60218
·         Mutare: Shop 2 Bottgers Building, First Avenue: Tel 66030; Fax
·         Gweru: AA Premises, Lobengula Ave: Tel 054 28340/28035; Fax
054 24282
·         Victoria Falls: Cargo Services, 268 Adam Stander Drive:
Tel/Fax 013 43304

You can do this from today. Application forms are available from FedEx,
or at the High Commission, or can be downloaded from our website, We will also be able to accept visa applications at
the High Commission, although we believe that for most people FedEx will
offer a more convenient service.

Is anyone exempt from the visa requirement?

Yes, the following categories of Zimbabwean passport holders do not need
a visa to travel to or via the UK:

·         those who are legally settled in the UK and have been away for
less than two years;

·         those have a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode
in the UK;

·        those who have previously been granted leave to enter or remain
in the UK for a period of more than six months, and who are returning,
for the same purpose before that period has expired.

Opening Hours?

We will be open 8am - 4.30pm on Friday 8 November and 8am -1pm on
Saturday 9 November to answer any enquiries and to assist those who
qualify for the special arrangements. Thereafter we will revert to our
normal opening hours: 8am-4.30pm from Monday to Thursday and 8am-1pm on

Please do not come to the High Commission over the next few days to make
enquiries, unless you qualify for the special arrangements set out
above. We need to focus on those with immediate travel plans. Please do
contact us by telephone, email or in writing, with any questions, and we
will do our very best to assist:

Tel:        772 990 / 774 700


Address:      Visas, Corner House, Samora Machel/Leopold Takawira, PO
Box 4490.
British High Commission, Harare
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Extract from an email from Zim

 "On the general/national front, Zimbabwe's economy collapsed last week.
Truly collapsed. Some friends in Jo'burg may remember when I was with them
in June (this year) and was complaining that the rand/ Zimdollar (now called
Zimkwatcha) rate had then dropped from 35 to1 to 50 to1. Well it slowly
declined to 75 to 1 until about two weeks ago. Now comes the interesting
bit. In the last week it has plummeted to 145 to1. Yes One SA Rand will buy
you Z$145!!! One UK pound is nudging Z$2000, one USD is Z$1400+ and it just
continues going down. Hence the title of my letter. In a brief three year
period, we Zimbabweans have all become both millionaires AND paupers. Anyone
who owns a fridge or a microwave is now a millionaire, and none of us can
afford the cost of living anymore.

X.'s insulin and medicines have now just gone up to Z$121 000 per month. I
needed some new graters and peelers for my "factory" They're available in
Bulawayo. Z$18 000 for a stainless steel grater, and much more reasonable,
Z$5 000 for a peeler.

Our workers have just got a 100% pay increase, and two further increments in
January and March to make it a total of 200%. Good for them as they might be
able to afford a bit more, but disaster for us. Where do we get the extra
money? Most agricultural produce falls under the Govt's price-control
regime, so we can't just put our prices up!!

Inflation is now officially 139% p.a., but in reality is probably treble
that. With the currency collapse, all imported items have at least doubled
in the last week alone! A report I saw last week said the IMF reckoned we'd
hit 522% inflation by next year. I'd say we're pretty close to that already.
I've been increasing my pickle prices 10% a month (below inflation!!), but
have just had to put through 25% for November and another 25% for December.
Any of you in business must be shaking your heads. I was hit with a 100%
increase in the price of sugar (when you can get it), the new labour costs,
and the devaluation all in the same month. My vinegar is made from acetic
acid which is now Z$1400 per litre, and here's a goodie - the lids for my
pickle bottles are now Z$ 120 each. When I started 4 years ago, they were 83
Zim cents."
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            Zimbabweans speak out against 'anarchy'
            November 09, 2002, 12:00

            Zimbabweans are becoming vocal about their unhappiness with the
situation in their country. A declining economy and growing food shortages
have led to ordinary citizens to speak out.

            Demonstrations are planned in Zimbabwe's four main cities today
by members of a civil rights group called the National Constitutional
Assembly. The marchers are demanding a new constitution, which they say is
the most viable solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe.

            At the same time, Pius Ncube, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of
Bulawayo, alleges that the situation in that country is far worse than the
outside world perceives. He says hundreds of starving people have begun to
die from hunger and the world is unaware of it because the government is
lying about the situation.

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Yahoo News

Police halt anti-Mugabe protests
By Stella Mapenzauswa

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe police have quashed protests by civic groups but
the activists vow to forge ahead with a series of planned demonstrations
against President Robert Mugabe's 22-year rule.

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) said police fired teargas on
Saturday to disperse about 1,000 marchers in Harare's Mabvuku suburb as part
of several marches to protest against a constitution critics say Mugabe has
manipulated to entrench his power.

Police also dispersed protesters in neighbouring Chitungwiza where four
people were arrested, NCA Chairman Lovemore Madhuku said.

"We will forge ahead with demonstrations every two weeks regardless of any
police ban," he told Reuters.

Police were not available for a comment.

Earlier this year, Mugabe's government enacted a tough new security law
which outlaws the staging of demonstrations without police permission.

The NCA -- a broad coalition of student and church groups, political parties
and human rights groups -- has spearheaded several protests in the past two
years to press for a new constitution.

Mugabe has amended the constitution 16 times since leading the country to
independence from Britain in 1980, in what critics say were attempts to
tighten his grip on power.

In April police arrested more than 60 NCA activists during demonstrations
against Mugabe's controversial victory in a March presidential poll
condemned as fraudulent by the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) and Western governments.

Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party says the election was free and fair and has
rejected MDC demands for a fresh poll.

On Saturday, police fired teargas at a crowd of MDC youths to stop them from
marching around a stadium in Harare's populous township of Highfields, where
the party later held a rally to commemorate its third anniversary.

A Reuters correspondent saw youths throwing stones in retaliation, smashing
the windows of two government vehicles as they drove past.

Formed in 1999, the MDC emerged as the strongest challenge to ZANU-PF when
it won nearly half the contested seats at parliamentary elections held in
June 2000.

The opposition says it would have won had it not been for a violent campaign
it blamed on ruling party supporters.

The opposition says Mugabe has mismanaged the country since assuming power,
leading to a political and economic crisis marked by acute food shortages
affecting nearly half the population.

The government blames the shortages on drought but critics also point to
Mugabe's controversial drive to seize white-owned commercial farms for
redistribution to landless blacks.
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     SATURDAY 09/11/2002 17:49:34
      Zimbabwe protest in London

      Hundreds of people gathered outside Zimbabwe's High Commission today
to protest against the Mugabe government's prosecution of opposition

      Organisers said the demonstrators, who included exiles and torture
victims of the Mugabe regime, numbered around 400 and had come to London
from all over England. Police could not confirm that number.

      The group were voicing their opposition to treason charges Mugabe has
laid against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other senior members of
his Movement for Democratic Change, who are due in court on Monday.

      The demonstration began at midday and lasted around two hours,
although the weekly vigil that began a month ago was continuing late this
afternoon with around 50 people remaining.

      Police said the protest was peaceful with no arrests or violence.

      The protest came a day after Zimbabwe banned British Prime Minister
Tony Blair and scores of his ministers from entering the country and imposed
visa requirements on Britons in retaliation for European sanctions.

      That move in turn was made a day after the British government
announced that most Zimbabweans will need a visa to enter Britain.

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Written by a Belgian visitor to Zimbabwe :
This are two of the emails I sent ( and wrote in english), while staying in zimbabwe.
Hi there,
These last days were very unusual. There were two birthday party's, one on friday and the other on Saturday.  These two events again were a demonstration for the schizophrenia in this country.   On Friday we were invited at the house of the UNO - FAO cooperator. These people donated a part of the fencing surrounding the property of the orphanage. The amounts of food and the variety of dishes was shocking. More shocking was the attitude of the people I talked with. Some of them were very humble but most of them were the rich and upperclass. I sat at the table with a Swiss  diplomat. Her husband is Brazilian and as a spouse of... he is not allowed to work - to have a job, allthough he gets wages from the Swiss government. This man starts to tell that nothing in Zimbabwe is as bad as in the news overseas is said. He has a pleasant life, he can get everything he needs. He can have as many staff as he wishes, because it is so cheap, he does not experience any shortages, etc. etc.  The only places he has been in Zim ever since he arrived almost two years ago is in Harare and in Vic Falls - of all places those were you're less likely to encounter food shortages and starvation...especially when you are used to air conditioned houses, servants and swimming pools all around.
If people like him keep spreading the word that Zim is OK then how can people in Europe or the US for instance be convinced that the situation is extremely bad?
An other lady  was astonished to hear that at least two of the kids here in the orphanage are emaciated as if it were Biafran children.  "How can that be in my backyard?"
The second party was on Saturday in the orphanage were we celebrated the first birthday since the place exists and it was Dorcas' first birthday. They call her porky Dorky because sometimes she behaves like a little piglet. None of the children had ever been to a birthday party. They don't know what it is.  Most of them even don't know their birthday and ages are estimated.
Porky's parents are both death - from AIDS and TB. 
We couldn't afford to buy a birthday cake. Instead we baked a cake from a package of cake mix,  and we added biscuits, guava strips and sweets. For the children it was a treat as they never had before.
We used balloons to decorate the place. These balloons were a gift from somebody in Belgium.
Porky's crown stayed on her head all day, which was a surprise... and during that day a group of youngsters from St. John's College came by to give her some presents and spend some time with the children. These boys and girls kind of adopted Dorcas,  are godfather/mother to her because she has no one else.
The children already are asking who's next to celebrate his or her birthday.
Some good things are happening here too, you know. Yesterday the fish were released in the swimming pool. (they are going to bread fish to be able to get food out of it for the children in the orphanage) They are so small that we are teasing Norman - there's no fish at all.  Actually I only saw one (out of probably over 200)  but they are as small as kapenta (a little 4cm long fish that is eaten a lot - they dry the fish and because it is so small you cannot remove any inner parts nor the head, so it is eaten as a whole but miniature fish). I really hope this experiment will succeed. If not, what a waist.
Another funny thing : they have  chickens, rabbits, turkeys etc. One little bantam hen is nesting behind the front door. On the inside - in the house.
Then the children are very funny. Their Shona is much better than their English. Yesterday a little boy went to the housemother and says "I ROVE YOU mammy" He cannot pronounce the letter L.
In the mean time I've made a file for each child on the computer. I scanned all their documents so that they can be printed at any time in stead of getting expensive photocopy's. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
Tomorrow we will have another busy day, but it's worth it. Today Tatenda has laughed for the first time.
until next update.
Subject: another zim story

Yesterday it started to rain over Harare. During the past week we already had a few showers but this was different. Heaven opened it's gates and it went on all night.
I had supper together with Winnie, Eunica and Grace who look after the children. They wouldn't believe that I would eat sadza with my hands. I told them that I had before, while staying at Lucy Mashonga's homestead and when visiting Thobekile, every year now since 1992. At that moment the lights went off. One of the famous power cuts in Zimbabwe. You don't know what causes it, you don't know how long it lasts... so we ended up eating by candle light, a poor substitute for the fire you sit by whole evening, spending your time in a rural areas. They wanted to know if I have a totem and I explained it is not common in Belgium to have one but it was a nice entrance to ask them about theirs. Winnie's is the wild cat, Eunica's the buffalo and Grace's the heart, meaning she can not eat the heart of any animal. 
Rainy season means that lots of thatched roofs start to leak and actually need repair before that happens. Talking about these things we spend some time, also being grateful to be in a nice house instead of being in a hut.
When I entered my room that night a strange sound came out of it and I realized it was water splashing on the carpet. A large spot appeared, showing this must have gone on for a while already. As it didn't stop raining all night I could listen for hours to the sound of raindrops falling into a bucket, until finally I fell asleep.
A house doesn't protect you from the weather in Zimbabwe.
This morning we went to the Clinic with 6 of the children to get them weighed. Little Tatenda who is over 1 y only weighs 5.3 kg.
After  that we went into town. All the children's documents had to be handed to Social Welfare in order to prolong their stay in the orphanage and to keep things in order. While waiting  in the car, I was watching watching hundreds of people, men - women, baby's, toddlers... queuing for passports. Why are all these people applying for a passport? Or is it obvious?
Funny though, because of the rain some of them had umbrella's, some of them a plastic bag wrapped round their hair and even some of them were bold enough to put on a shower cap.
(queues for bread are the most common thing -  for petrol also since the country once again has ran out of fuel)
With high hopes on the rainy season -  which I don't like as much as the Zimbabwean people do - on behalf of them I hope this long rainy day has set a start for a fertile and prosperous year.
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Dear Family and Friends,
The end is near ! I haven't felt so positive about Zimbabwe since the 9th March 2002 when I stood for 4 hours in a queue and with huge pride and satisfaction marked a bold cross on a ballot slip in our Presidential elections. On that day I felt 99% sure that we were about to see democracy in Zimbabwe. I was wrong then but now I feel 100% sure that the end is in sight. No, I haven't gone mad but for the first time since the September 11th terror attacks in America, the world has started noticing us again and had the courage to openly criticise and condemn our government's policies and actions. This is excellent news and at last we have hope to hold on to.
The US announced that they were considering taking what they called intrusive and interventionist action in Zimbabwe to ensure that people who are starving to death are able to access the food that is being given to us as emergency relief aid. It's taken them long enough but they seem to have finally admitted that a lot of their donated grain is not reaching starving people but being hijacked and used to feed people who support the government. With the US announcement came a mass of propaganda here at home. The ZBC radio headlines screamed that America was planning to invade Zimbabwe. Silly as that may sound I got pulled off the road yesterday when travelling to Harare to make way for a State motorcade to pass. These convoys are headed by outriders on police motorbikes. The bikers travel in the centre of the Highway with lights flashing and sirens blaring. When you see them you must immediately pull up and stop. I sat on the edge of the road watching in the mirrors as the car behind me did not stop quickly enough. The biker stopped, waved his fist at the driver and shouted at the man for a couple of minutes before moving off. Then I watched in wide-eyed horror as the convoy passed. First a BMW, then a silver Mercedes and then 14 armoured cars. All the vehicles were filled with soldiers wearing yellow berets, pointing their rifles at us standing next to huge cannons. The convoy appeared to be heading towards Mutare which is a border crossing into Mocambique and perhaps our government think that that is where the Americans will invade from! 
The EU also finally publicly announced that food is being used as a political weapon in Zimbabwe. This announcement caused another immediate rash of vitriolic propaganda in our State media and resulted in our government playing tit for tat. They announced that they had imposed a travel ban on British Prime Minister Tony Blair and 121 members of his government and frozen their assets in Zimbabwe. They also announced that the Zimbabweans who run the Voice of the People Radio Station and Short Wave Radio Africa may not return to the country.
For the last 32 months everyone has been saying that things will have to hit rock bottom before anything happens to change the situation in Zimbabwe I think it would be fairly accurate to say that Zimbabwe has now hit rock bottom.Things are falling apart very rapidly now. There are queues of 100 and more cars at the few filling stations that have fuel, there's very little food to buy, meat went up 100% this week, bread flour is non existent as is maize, sugar and cooking oil. One cob of green maize costs $110 if you can find it and almost every queue you see is now manned by police.
Thank you all for reading my weekly letter these last 32 months, thanks for lobbying your MP's and ensuring that the true stories of horror in Zimbabwe are exposed. At last our work is bearing fruit and the world has started believing that the crisis in Zimbabwe is not about land or race but about politics. We have hope now, we don't know how or when this hell will end but now at least we know it will be soon. The EU, US, UK and UN finally found the courage to speak out and now we look to South Africa and our regional neighbours to do likewise and prove to us that they aren't racists and greedy politicians but that they really do care about the suffering of ordinary people. Until next week, with love, cathy. Copyright cathy buckle 8th November 2002. 
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House of Lords debate on Zimbabwe this week FYI:

Zimbabwe (Freezing of Funds, other Financial Assets or Economic
Resources) (Amendment) Regulations 2002
12.53 p.m.

Lord Howell of Guildford rose to move, That an humble Address be
presented to Her Majesty praying that the regulations, laid before the
House on 8th October, be annulled (S.I. 2002/2530).

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I shall direct my remarks to both this
Motion and the Overseas Territories (Zimbabwe) (Restrictive Measures)
(Amendment) Order since they cover similar ground. That will make for a
better debate.

I make clear that in raising these matters we on these Benches are not
against, in principle, the purposes behind the two measures. Indeed, if
anything, we want them to go much further. We believe that a global
approach to the problem of sanctions and restrictions on Zimbabwe is
needed and that as many financial centres should be covered as possible.
But the decision to pray and to amend, as we are doing, reflects our
extreme concern that sanctions are not biting and that more can be done,
both by the European Union and by the United Kingdom, to stop evasion
and to tighten travel bans.

Although I shall make some criticisms of the policy behind these
measures and the policies they lead to, those criticisms are not
directed at the noble Baroness,

1 Nov 2002 : Column 451
Lady Amos. She has fought nobly and strongly for addressing the Zimbabwe
situation to more effect, and I know that she is as frustrated as some
of us are at the turn of events in Zimbabwe and the difficulty there is
of facing up to and dealing with it effectively.
We are discussing what might be termed "catch-up" measures. They extend
existing EU restrictions on the movement of Zimbabweans and on
provisions for the freezing of funds and other restrictions to British
Overseas Territories, including the Cayman Islands, which is an
important financial centre, and to Cyprus sovereign bases.

What kind of assets is it believed will be caught by the extension of
these powers? The total figure of assets so far frozen-the noble
Baroness gave the figure the other day in your Lordships' House-is
£120,000, which is a very small sum. It defies belief that the assets of
the Mugabe regime and its associates held in various banks are only
£120,000. I suspect they must be at least 10 times, if not 50 times that
sum. That figure is, frankly, ridiculous. I am interested to know why
the figure so far is so modest and whether these measures will enlarge
it a little.

The United Nations panel on illegal activities in the Democratic
Republic of Congo submitted a report to the president of the Security
Council on 15th October giving details of massive involvement by
Zimbabwean defence force personnel, numerous Zimbabwean politicians and
officials and several mining and diamond companies, most of them
implicated in asset manipulations and bankrolling activities for the
Mugabe regime.

The panel speaks of,

"crucial groups linked to the army of Zimbabwe".

That report, although aimed at the Congo, casts light on the funding
position and the finances of the Mugabe regime. It lists 29 companies
which the panel says should have financial restrictions imposed on them.
Presumably they have assets somewhere-perhaps some in the United
Kingdom. I do not know. It lists a further 85 companies, 12 of them with
headquarters based in the United Kingdom, which are described as
violating OECD guidelines in the Congo/Zimbabwe labyrinth.
So the question is whether the assets of those companies that are
involved have been investigated. We can therefore become a little
clearer about how Mr Mugabe is financed and what assets from these
companies are kept in the UK. If the UN panel believes that some of
these companies should have financial restrictions on them, have we
proposed to the EU that such financial restrictions should be imposed?
Can we meanwhile act unilaterally in relation to companies that are
based here, with headquarters in London, if we have the power to do so?
Do we need to wait or should we urge our EU colleagues to come along
when they are ready to do so, when they cease to be quite so hesitant?

1 Nov 2002 : Column 452

That is the position on the freezing of funds. We get more and more
light cast, as the days go by, on the gigantic pattern of activities,
some of them criminal, which fund and feed the Mugabe regime and enable
it blithely to disregard the outside pressures on it.

The second measure deals with named individuals. Again it wishes to
extend powers to target individuals to the British Overseas Territories.
The number is listed. We do not believe that the are working. There are
far too many loopholes and exemptions, which seem to mean that
Zimbabwean officials, many of whom have been identified as having
involved themselves in extremely undesirable activities, can move around
much too freely.

One problem is that the exemptions are rather wide. The Minister in the
other place quoted them as being,
"on the grounds of humanitarian need, including religious obligation, or
on grounds of attending meetings of international bodies or conducting
political dialogue that promote democracy, human rights and the rule of
law in Zimbabwe".

Those seem wide exemptions, which make it understandable how undesirable
people are still be able to move around.
The order brings the total of named individuals to 79-which is, of
course, the number identified in the latest EU regulation with which the
order is designed to catch up. But that still leaves out a long list of
names in the UN panel report that I mentioned of people who have been
illegally involved in both the Congo and Zimbabwe. I have added three
names in my Motion. They are all mentioned in the UN panel list as
individuals who ought to be sanctioned or banned from travel, but many
more qualify. My Motion also proposes that the list should include
families and dependants, which would increase the number again. If there
is any doubt about the need to increase the number, the New Zealand
Parliament has just banned a list of 142 undesirable Zimbabweans who it
believes should not be able to travel outside their country.

Meanwhile, there have been what appear to us to be flagrant breaches of
the ban. For instance, back in the summer, there was the example of the
sinister police chief, Augustine Chihuru, going to Lyon in
France-apparently he had some exemption or was able to exploit some
loophole. Since then, EU Ministers recently decided to move the EU-South
African Development Community meeting from Copenhagen, where it had been
intended to be held next week, down to Maputo in Mozambique to allow
Mugabe and company to attend. I know that there are two sides to the
argument: the outcome for pressure on Zimbabwe may be better in the end
as a result, but that move is certainly questionable. It would be useful
to hear the Minister's view on whether it is right for British Ministers
or officials to be attending.

However, it is not just a question of issuing more orders or statutory
instruments. Such measures must be turned into properly implemented
policies. The Government keep saying that they cannot intervene in the
internal affairs of a sovereign country-apparently not in this case,
although that is a selective doctrine

1 Nov 2002 : Column 453
these days-that they cannot act on their own and that anyway, these
things are best left to other African nations to deal with.
I am not sure that I agree with that; the Movement for Democratic Change
in Zimbabwe and Morgan Tsvangirai do not, arguing instead that the
international community should intervene. But even if one agrees with
that hand-binding position, the United Kingdom could take some action on
its own immediately from London. We could then urge others in the
European Union, the Commonwealth and the United Nations to follow.

I should include in those measures: implementing the UN panel
recommendations and pressing the EU to do so as well; extending
sanctions to spouses and dependent children, as does my motion;
eliminating the travel ban loopholes; and ensuring that the travel ban
list complies with the list already issued by the US Government. The new
list does not seem to cover individuals specified in the UN report,
which I recommend to anyone interested in the matter. It does not cover
the same group of people; we should certainly make the lists match.

We should review and, where practicable, freeze the assets held in the
UK of all companies implicated in bankrolling Mugabe, and draw up and
publish a dossier of all known or suspected Zimbabwe torturers and human
rights abusers. Perhaps we should even state that some of those people
may have to stand trial for crimes against humanity, as has been done by
the Americans in the case of the gangsters in Baghdad and Iraq. Such
crimes have certainly been committed.

We should extend the embargoed goods list, which at present seems
perforated and permeable, and press the EU to do likewise. I
understand-no doubt some of your Lordships will want to comment on
this-that the Mugabe regime is kept well supplied with the appurtenances
of power, such as black Mercedes, and so on. That should be
reconsidered. I add to that the point made by my noble friend Lord
Carrington the other day. If funds have been allocated for land reform-I
do not advocate new expenditure, but if such funds are available-surely
some of them should go to the Zimbabwean farmers who have been evicted,
cannot get hold of their money and are without any resources or support,
rather than to be spent on further land reform and budgetary support
directed by the illegal government in Harare.

The Zimbabwean crisis is at present moving towards a dangerous
catharsis. There is now an ongoing threat to the Matabele people. The
effects of Zimbabwean economic chaos are beginning to strangle the whole
region and are threatening all of the vision and hopes embodied in the
New Partnership for Africa's Development and other development claims
for southern Africa.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary has pledged that the integrity of
targeted sanctions must be maintained. It is important that that
worthwhile pledge-no doubt made with all good intentions-is carried into
practice. That is why we have raised those

1 Nov 2002 : Column 454
issues and prayed against or sought to amend the orders by the Motions
on the Order Paper. I beg to move.
Moved, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that
the regulations, laid before the House on 8th October, be annulled (S.I.
2002/2530).-[Lord Howell of Guildford.]

1.8 p.m.

Lord Bruce of Donington: My Lords, I speak briefly in this debate to
seek further information from my noble friend the Minister. First, to
what extent-I use my words with some precision-are the Government
responsible to the European Union for any steps that they are
considering taking or have already taken? I ask that bearing in mind
that the European Union itself has great difficulty accounting for its
expenditure and income. Few people know exactly how the finances of the
European Union are conducted; to what extent they have been legalised;
to what extent they are considered valid by our laws; or to what extent
we are bound by them. I hope that that does not include members of the
Government. That comes against a background of accounting
irresponsibility in the European Union, to which reference has been made
many times not only in the press but by Members of this House.

As one who is certainly not an expert on Zimbabwe, I venture to suggest
that the Government insist on dealing with their part of the matter-that
part of the matter connected with British interests that they control.
They must ensure that steps are not imposed on them by the European
Union. I humbly submit that we are in no way accountable to the European
Union or the Commission for actions taken in connection with the present

Lord Dholakia: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Howell of
Guildford, for raising these matters. I shall comment on a few aspects
of the concerns that he raised.

The second Motion seeks to extend the number of people included in the
order before us. No one doubts for a moment that those people, and many
others, bear responsibility for serious violations of human rights and
freedom of opinion in Zimbabwe. I press the Minister to ensure that the
Government keep up the pressure, as they have done for some time, by
making sure that the economic, humanitarian and legal situation in
Zimbabwe is not undermined by the action that they take in bringing
European countries along with them. Nobody doubts that there has been a
breakdown of the rule of law or that there have been human rights
abuses, but I plead with the Minister that, although unilateral action
on our part may seem attractive, it is no substitute for joint action
with others in the European Union. That will have the maximum impact in
allowing us to achieve our objectives.

The Minister should consider carefully the names mentioned by the noble
Lord, Lord Howell of Guildford. We should ensure that others in the
European Union take note of what he said, in

1 Nov 2002 : Column 455
proposing those names. Finally, what about the United Nations? Would it
be possible to take any international action with the United Nations at
the centre? I look forward to the Minister's reply on that.
We should send an unequivocal message from your Lordships' House that we
did not accept white racism before independence and that, equally, we
are not prepared to accept black racism, supplemented by oppressive
action by Mugabe against his own people.

1.15 p.m.

Baroness Park of Monmouth: My Lords, it is reassuring to know of the
action being taken today. I hope that the Government will now lose no
time in acting against Oryx, which is UK-based, and against John
Bredenkamp and his firms, ACS, Tremalt, Ridgepoint International and any
affiliates that they may have in the UK. Oryx is reputed by the UN panel
on the illegal exploitation of natural resources, to which reference has
been made, to have or to have had an account in Hambros Bank in London.
Since the original European Commission regulations were made and the
common position agreed in July, the House would be glad to know whether
a report could be made on action taken to freeze assets and obstruct
money laundering. On 8th October, when I asked about Oryx, the Minister

"we will continue to examine ways in which we may seize the assets of
those who are on the banned list".-[Official Report, 8/10/02; col. 220.]

We would like to know what, if anything, has happened, if it can be said
The Government continue to allow President Mugabe to impose a veto on
any British action, under than discreet private pressure, to defend
democracy for the people of Zimbabwe-if only the right to free
reporting-on the grounds of our wicked colonial past. The African states
continue to say that what is happening is an African affair that should
be solved by Africans. Other countries of the Commonwealth, which has
every right to act and insist on the upholding of the Harare
Declaration, continue tacitly to accept Mugabe's right to murder his
people, conduct ethnic cleansing in Matabeleland-not for the first
time-and to destroy a flourishing country. The Commonwealth troika,
alas, has been defied and has, effectively, been powerless so far.

I suggest that there are two cards that we ought now to play. We are
also members of the UN, as the noble Lord, Lord Dholakia, said, and we
have a strong tradition of human rights. What are the Government doing
to disseminate immediately the recent report of the UN panel to which
reference has been made? That report is about the Democratic Republic of
Congo and was made at the order of the Security Council. When I suggest
dissemination, I do not mean that it should be sent to the Secretary
General of the Commonwealth. It should be sent to every member of the
Commonwealth, with a covering note pointing out what the Zimbabwe
Government, through their armed forces, have done to another,

1 Nov 2002 : Column 456
African country and highlighting the disgraceful plundering conducted by
the Zimbabwe government organ, OSLEG.
I hope that all the individuals and firms who are, as my noble friend
Lord Howell of Guildford said, listed in the annexes to that report will
be included-if they are not already included-in the EU list for action,
either to prevent them from travelling or to freeze their assets.
Unfortunately, as several Commonwealth countries are listed as being
involved, this cannot be brushed aside as a domestic squabble between
Britain and Zimbabwe. We must use the report and not let it pass into
the limbo in which all too many of such UN documents pass. In July, the
Council of the EU spoke of responding to the UN humanitarian appeal; I
hope that it will work equally actively with the UN to follow up the

I spoke of human rights. I hope that the Government will also take steps
to publicise and send to every Commonwealth member a copy of the Amnesty
International report of 22nd October, entitled Democratic Republic of
Congo: Making a killing. It records the killing of Congolese miners in
Mbuji-Mayi, the diamond mine ceded to Zimbabwe and exploited by Oryx and
OSLEG-the beautifully named Operation Sovereign Legitimacy-and by the
Zimbabwe forces. Perhaps, their political and military masters should be
reminded that they could qualify for trial for war crimes.

Other noble Lords will, I am sure, speak about the monstrous ethnic
cleansing that is going on in Matabeleland, not for the first time. A
document exists-and has been publicised-that purports to be a secret
plan for genocide; that is to say, the total destruction of the Matabele
by the Shona. Many thousands were massacred-with no word said by the
world-by Mugabe's regime, not long after he came to power, by the North
Korean-trained 5th Brigade, under Perence Shiri. Shiri is now head of
the Zimbabwe air force and the owner of a large farm, from which,
earlier this year, he evicted the family settled there under the land

There is, alas, no need for a secret plan. Matabeleland has been
systematically starved and oppressed for years. Now, however, there is
open ethnic cleansing and open use of the weapon of starvation, as well
as simple violence, murder and intimidation. There is, incidentally, an
interesting section of the document that refers-with what truth I do not
know-to a more sophisticated long-term Shona takeover of the banks. It
attributes some of the extensive seizures of large properties and farms
to Shona owners, thanks to the banks and, as the document says
laconically, to the fast-track A2 resettlement programme, which was
supposed to resettle families from the reserves.

The Government cannot have a policy on Africa that ignores not only what
Zimbabwe does to other African countries-Malawi and Zambia would not be
starving, but for Mugabe's deliberate destruction of wheat and maize
crops-but what it does to its own citizens. We should make it clear to

1 Nov 2002 : Column 457
Commonwealth that its members must stand by their principles, as they
were ready to do over Fiji and Pakistan, and insist on a major visit by
observers who will see what must be done to restore a country now
utterly destroyed. If they do not, we cannot take them seriously. They
have tried the polite way, and they have been defied by a dictator. Now,
they must stand up for the people, on whom he daily inflicts murder.
What pressure has the Commonwealth, apart from the admirable John
Howard, exerted on President Mbeki? What is Mozambique, admitted
uniquely into the Commonwealth, doing to uphold the principles for which
it is supposed to stand? It is time that Mozambique paid its dues.
People are dying every day, and the world does not know it. The
Matabele, in particular, must feel like the inmates of the concentration
camps during the last war in Germany-forgotten and unacknowledged. We
must use every means open to us to save them. During the war, even the
Germans could not refuse entry to the Red Cross, at least to see
prisoners-of-war. Why do we not promote and finance visits by the Red
Cross, the UNHCR and Amnesty International to Zimbabwe? They will be
turned back, but we should send some more the next day. Each day, we
should give the event full, world publicity.

It is difficult to understand how we failed to convince the African and
Asian members of the Commonwealth that, in defending tacitly Mugabe's
right to murder his people and destroy his country, they are wholly
betraying the Zimbabwean people, a large number of whom are black.
Millions of them will soon die, and those countries are looking the
other way. They enjoy freedom, law and order, so what right have they to
fail to defend the right of Zimbabweans to the same things? If they need
an African view of the ineffable Mugabe, let them remember President
Mandela's denunciation of him as a tyrant four years ago.

Lord Astor of Hever: My Lords, I fully endorse everything that my noble
friend Lord Howell said about these two statutory instruments. With
regard to the first instrument on the Order Paper-the freezing of
funds-surely our list of restricted persons should, at the very least,
be congruent with the more extensive United States list. In view of the
globalised nature of the business world, can the Minister explain why we
have not yet managed to achieve such congruence?

I believe that we should take a leaf out of the United States' book and
extend the restrictions to cover spouses and dependent children. The
point of these targeted sanctions ought to be to make life very
uncomfortable for the individuals listed. Apparently, four Zimbabwean
Cabinet Ministers have children at school in the United Kingdom. That
education is being paid for by criminally-acquired wealth, while whole
rafts of children back in Zimbabwe are too weak from hunger to attend
school-if, indeed, they are fortunate enough to have a still-functioning
school in their area.

1 Nov 2002 : Column 458

What we are facing in Zimbabwe is catastrophe. There is no time for
gentile persuasion, or pressure, through the usual channels. What we
have is a cynically engineered human catastrophe. This is engineered by
the Zanu PF élite to cling to the power from which they corruptly derive
their wealth, but abetted and sustained for their own purposes by an
international criminal élite. They need the corrupt regime to launder
their drugs money and to cover the tracks of their lucrative arms

If the Government are serious about doing something that will materially
alter the lives and conditions of the millions of Zimbabweans living on
the brink of starvation, they must work to break the business network
that supports Mugabe. We must now go for the other individuals who have
well-documented connections with the web of business interests that lie
at the heart of the Zanu PF regime. I ask the Government to lay before
the House a revised instrument, an up-to-date instrument, that takes
full account of recent developments, such as the report and
recommendations of the UN Panel of Experts, mentioned by my noble

With regard to the other statutory instrument, I see little point in
bringing before the House an order that will prevent the lower echelons
of the Zimbabwean Government from travelling to the smaller, outlying
territories of the British Crown-to Pitcairn or St Helena-when key
individuals-those who engineer shady deals to provide the all-important
financial lifelines to the regime-are free to come and go at will and
use their assets to broker more international deals.

The names of Wing Commander Mike Moyo, Brigadier General Sibusio Moyo,
and Thamer al-Shanfari are specifically named in the list of individuals
against whom the UN Panel of Experts asks us to impose a travel ban and
financial restrictions. Brigadier General Sibusio Moyo is
Director-General of COSLEG, the body that co-ordinates the Zimbabwean
regime's plundering of resources in the Congo. He is also a member of
the forum that meets monthly to co-ordinate the military and commercial
strategy, and divide up the commercial spoils between Zanu PF and its
business partners. Thamer al-Shanfari is the Chief Executive of Oryx
Natural Resources, a company whose intimate involvement with funding the
regime has long been known. That involvement has now been officially
confirmed, beyond any doubt, thanks to the painstaking work of the UN
Panel of Experts.

This statutory instrument seems almost irrelevant when a coach and
horses is being driven through the EU targeted sanctions by moving the
SADC-EU summit from Copenhagen to Maputo. Apparently, this Government
raised no objection. I hope that the Minister will explain the rationale
of the Government's policy in acquiescing to this move. Further, as my
noble friend Lord Howell asked, perhaps she will also say whether
British Ministers will attend.

I trust that the noble Baroness will not tell the House that she is
working through the NePAD nations to bring about change in Zimbabwe.
President Mbeki of

1 Nov 2002 : Column 459
South Africa stated on Wednesday that political and human rights matters
would not be subject to peer review as part of the NePAD process. I ask
the Minister also to withdraw this statutory instrument and lay before
the House an amended order, as suggested by my noble friend.
Lord Avebury: My Lords, I entirely agree with the noble Lord, Howell of
Guildford, that what we need is a global approach to the matter. It is
apparent that the EU targeted sanctions are not working; indeed,
everyone knows that. We have three components: the sale, supply, export
and shipment of equipment, which we are not discussing this afternoon;
the freezing of funds; and the restrictions on travel. I should like to
take up the reference made by the noble Lord to the import of armoured
Mercedes-Benz limousines by the regime for the exclusive use of Mugabe
and his cronies.

When we are supposed to have a ban on military equipment of all kinds,
it seems extraordinary that such goods could slip through the net. As
the noble Baroness has informed me in correspondence, they are not
covered by the list that is being adopted by the European Union. If that
is the case, the list should be changed, as I have tried to convince the
noble Baroness, to include armoured limousines. I do not believe that
the noble Baroness needs much convincing in that respect; it is just a
question of how we persuade our European partners to extend the list to
cover other goods.

As the noble Lord, Lord Howell, pointed out, very few of the leading
members of the regime are seriously inconvenienced by the existing
measures. Even those who are actually named do not suffer any real
hardship as a result of the measures that we have so far introduced: it
is the wives who go on the shopping trips around Europe; and it is their
children who attend expensive public schools at the expense of the
people not only of Zimbabwe but also of the Democratic Republic of the
Congo. They can easily evade whatever restrictions are imposed by
importing goods through third countries that do not go along with the
restrictions that we place on both travel and trade.

I agree that we need to strengthen the EU sanctions and make them bite
on as many senior figures of the regime as possible. I also agree with
noble Lords who pointed out that we should co-ordinate our activities
with others who are independently adopting different lists. It seems to
me to be crazy that we should all do our own thing, so to speak, and
"invent the wheel" from scratch, instead of getting together with the
Americans, the New Zealanders, and others, and establishing a common
list. It has been said that the American list consists of 200 names. I
hear that the New Zealand list contains 142, while our list consists of
only 72 names. The noble Baroness will no doubt correct me if I am
wrong, but there are disparities between the figures adopted by three
different regimes. Such lists should be aligned accordingly. We should
go for the maximum-the American list-which includes many people who are
hangers-on and not the principal figures in the regime.

1 Nov 2002 : Column 460

When the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group meets next March to
consider what to do about Zimbabwe, it will be guided not just by what
we are doing now by way of these extensions but also by the objective
evidence of whether Zimbabwe is violating the Hirare declaration.
Therefore, as has been said-especially by the noble Baroness, Lady Park
of Monmouth-it is essential that we collect the evidence and that it
should be incorporated in a definitive set of documents that the Troika
can use as yardsticks for its judgment. I believe that the Commonwealth
Secretariat should be charged with that task. I wrote to the
secretary-general a few days ago asking him to compile a dossier for
circulation to member states. I believe that much of the criminal
behaviour of the Zimbabwe regime has either escaped the notice of other
members of the Commonwealth or they have, for their own reasons, chosen
to ignore it.

One particular piece of evidence which your Lordships should note is the
Inter-Parliamentary Union report on the violations of rights of
parliamentarians-a matter which should concern this House and another
place. For example, Mr Justin Mutendadzamera, his wife and step-son,
were severely ill treated by police who broke into their house and beat
them. Mr David Mpala was kidnapped on 13th January 2002 and, after being
stabbed in the abdomen, was dumped six kilometres away. People helped
him to the police station and hospital, and he was put on a life support

Mr Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, whose case I have mentioned before, a 61
year-old diabetic, was incarcerated for several weeks without being
given appropriate medication for his disease. As a result, he almost
lost the sight in one eye. There are three other cases with which I
shall not weary the House, but all of them should be made available to
other Commonwealth states, to our partners in the European Union, and to
member states of the United Nations, so that they know what is going on.
If that can be done to MPs, what are they doing to the ordinary citizens
of Zimbabwe?

The noble Baroness, Lady Park of Monmouth, has referred particularly to
the case of Matabeleland. The Minister will know that we had some
information from reliable sources there earlier this week concerning the
diversion of humanitarian aid to the supporters of the ZANU PF regime,
the confiscation of aid which has led the World Food Programme to
suspend its operations in some parts of Matabeleland, the holding up of
large quantities of aid which are waiting in South Africa to cross the
border into Matabeleland because they cannot get permission, and, as a
result, withdrawal from the territory of many agencies such as Oxfam,
Save the Children Fund, CAFOD, and so forth.

I have a letter from the Right Reverend Pius Ncube, Archbishop of
Bulawayo, who begins by saying:

"The biggest problem right now is that of starvation".

That is what we are confronting in Matabeleland. That is because, as he
says, the Zimbabwe Government are denying import licences for
humanitarian agencies, is

1 Nov 2002 : Column 461preventing the distribution on the ground of the
aid which is provided, and using violence against persons operating for
humanitarian agencies. He goes into much detail that I shall not weary
your Lordships with now, but if such a personage as the Archbishop is
moved to write that letter, then we are facing a situation in
Matabeleland which, as the noble Baroness has said, is even worse than
in the rest of Zimbabwe. It almost amounts to genocide, as our
representatives from Matabeleland told us when we met earlier this week.

The noble Baroness also mentioned the UN expert panel report. Here we
have a particular responsibility because there are organisations and
individuals who are operating from this country. She particularly
referred to Oryx, a company whose machinations we have discussed several
times on the floor of the House in debates on both DRC and Zimbabwe.

I should like to draw the attention of the Minister particularly to
paragraph 53 of the report which states that Oryx transported eight
crates of Congolese francs for shipment to Harare on 13th March 2000 in
an aircraft belonging to Mr John Bredenkamp. His name will be familiar
to the Minister as a person who lives in Sunningdale, Berkshire and
whose address has been given to the Foreign Office on previous
occasions. Yet he apparently continues his activities with impunity. The
Minister also mentioned the account of Oryx in Hambros Bank, London.
That was used to transport parcels of United States dollars, which had
been withdrawn from the bank, and sent to Kinshasa, without declaring
them to the Congolese authorities. At Kinshasa that money was changed
into Congolese francs and transported to Harare and the eastern DRC.

On another occasion Oryx employees said that they were asked to pay Mr
Emerson Mnangagwa a commission on those transactions, which contravened
Zimbabwe law. Mr Mnangagwa is the speaker of the Zimbabwe Parliament. He
is the same gentleman who refuses to answer questions about the torture
and ill treatment of MPs when they were addressed to him by the
Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. He has ignored all
the letters. This is also the gentleman who is illegally diverting the
resources of the DRC.

Another aspect of Mr Bredenkamp's activities is that he is said to be
the agent for British Aerospace in Zimbabwe. The expert panel report
accuses him of having facilitated or organised the sale of 3.5 million
dollars of goods to the Zimbabwe defence forces in July 2001, and to
have organised the delivery of spare parts for the Hawk jets owned by
the Zimbabwe Air Force early in 2002. Has Mr Bredenkamp been, or is he
going to be, questioned by the police about those activities?

Of course, within Zimbabwe itself, let alone the DRC, political violence
continues unabated. The political violence report of the Zimbabwe Human
Rights NGO Forum for September gives detail about

1 Nov 2002 : Column 462the state of affairs there. I shall not weary the
House with everything they say. I shall give some figures from the
period 1st January 2002 to end September.

The forum said that there were 58 political murders during that period,
that 1057 cases of torture occurred, and 223 abductions or kidnappings.
I shall not read the rest of the figures, but that gives a picture of
the state of affairs that affects ordinary people in Zimbabwe.

If European Union members are to appreciate the serious situation that
exists in Zimbabwe and, hence, the need to intensify pressure on the
regime through targeted sanctions, if the Commonwealth is to have the
material to enable it to decide the question of Zimbabwe when that comes
before it next March, and if the United Nations itself is to be left in
no doubt about the impending crisis, the necessary information should be
collected, analysed and published by some unimpeachable authority. I
request that the Minister contact the Commonwealth Secretariat and
inquire whether the Secretary General is willing to undertake this task.

Lord St John of Bletso: My Lords, I intervene briefly to give my total
and undivided support to the noble Lord, Lord Howell, in those two
Motions. As noble Lords are aware, there is a total case of despair in
Zimbabwe. Normally in countries where there are cases of natural
disaster-particularly the famine in Zimbabwe-the police and army come to
the help of the nation. Sadly, the police and army in Zimbabwe are mere
puppets of the ZANU PF.

Clearly, sanctions have to be targeted and it has been made clear in
Europe that we would not want the more general sanctions to affect
particularly the poor in Zimbabwe. I am pleased that the issue of Oryx
has been raised. I hope that the Minister will give us encouragement
about more decisive action to be taken against Oryx, as well as John

However, I hope that a more global approach can be taken to sanctions. I
spent many years living in South Africa and, clearly, sanctions did not
work. What eventually caused a great deal of concern were sporting
sanctions and I want briefly to raise the fact that the cricket World
Cup will be held in South Africa at the end of February and in March
next year. The last five games will be in Zimbabwe. Do the Government
intend to send our cricket team into Zimbabwe?

Everything has already been said most eloquently by previous speakers.
However, I would like to discover from the Minister what action is being
taken in order to promote a government of national unity in Zimbabwe. I
understand that behind the scenes the Government are doing a great deal
together with Thabo Mbeki and SADC in order to promote this. While we
all hope that sanctions will bite, I hope that diplomatic actions will
continue to force change in a country ravaged by famine and corruption.

Lord Elton: My Lords, I rise briefly to add my voice to the chorus of
outrage that has been expressed in this Chamber. I am most grateful to
my noble friend for

1 Nov 2002 : Column 463

shining the spotlight again on Zimbabwe. One of the dangers is that
these events develop when there are even greater and more anxious
developments in the Middle East. That tends to drive Zimbabwe off the
front pages of our newspapers.

I am largely a novice in the matter of Zimbabwe, but the debate has
revealed to me that we have an apparent system of sanctions which when
examined begins to look like a system of tokenism. If one has an
incomplete list of people who are proscribed in some way, it shows that
one is not serious about what one is doing.

By way of Question for Written Answer, I earlier asked the noble
Baroness about the effectiveness of the travel ban. She gave an able
exposition of exemptions which are necessary for the management of
international organisations. People are given tickets to come to that
and then go home. I wonder whether that should persist, because they go
home triumphantly smiling, saying, "I have beaten the ban".

Another aspect of sanctions which worries me is the economic one, not
simply because of the amazing revelation by the noble Lord, Lord
Avebury, of crate-loads of money being flown out of this country with,
it would appear, necessarily the knowledge of the authorities-I imagine
the Customs and the Foreign Office-and yet it continues. Even if the
system were more effective in the terms in which it is drawn up, I
wonder whether it would work. I am sorry that I have not given the
Minister notice of my question, but I believe that she may have an
estimate of the number of Zimbabwean citizens who are already resident
in this country and sending money home weekly. I understand from a
Zimbabwean friend that that is playing a significant part in maintaining
a fairly healthy economy in Harare and its immediate surroundings. There
appear to be bits of the economy in Zimbabwe which even if we had an
effective system of sanctions-and clearly we do not-would not be

Part of the sanctions is the freezing of the assets of named
individuals, which has been referred to already. The figure I have from
the Minister's latest answer to me is £123,000. But £3,000 more than
£120,000 is not real money when it is divided among so many people and
it is totally insignificant when one looks at a national economy.

What am I doing except wailing in despair? First, I want to say
something in solidarity with the beleaguered Archbishop whose cry should
be heard not only by this Parliament but by our Churches and to which I
hope there will be a response by our Churches. Secondly, I want to
differ marginally from my noble friend about the move from Copenhagen to
Maputo. I do not believe that anything we say or do cuts much ice with
Mr Mugabe or his cronies. They are affected by the words and deeds of
their neighbours and fellow Africans. SADC, the organisation which was
to have met in Copenhagen, recently demoted Mr Mugabe from deputy
chairman and thus denied him the prospect of glorious publicity as
chairman next year. That must be humiliating. If the meeting were in

1 Nov 2002 : Column 464

Copenhagen, Mr Mugabe would not be able to attend. He can attend in
Maputo and there he can learn of the developing opinion of him by his
fellow Africans. I hope that he learns a lot.

1.45 p.m.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth
Office (Baroness Amos): My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Howell of
Guildford, for his opening remarks; in particular his recognition of the
work in which we have been engaged in terms of framing our policy on
Zimbabwe. Noble Lords will be aware that the European Union extended the
EU-wide asset freeze and travel ban on Zimbabwe. The total number of
individuals subject to target exemptions is now 79.

In the discussions we have had in this House, I and noble Lords have
made it clear that what we require is a multilateral not a unilateral
approach. I agree with noble Lords that it would make sense to try to
ensure that the lists across countries are consistent. We are in touch
with our partners, including the United States and New Zealand. Noble
Lords will know that the United States does not have an assets freeze,
so there are differences between us with respect to the nature of the
travel ban and the number of individuals on it, and with respect to the
asset freeze. However, we will continue to work with out international
partners because we all want to see the same things. We all want to see
the restoration of the rule of law; democratic accountability; sound
economics; and basic human rights in Zimbabwe. I know that all noble
Lords share those concerns.

Many noble Lords asked about the assets and the noble Lord, Lord Howell,
asked in particular what additional assets would be caught by the
extension. With respect to the funds so far frozen, a total of 28
accounts containing funds totalling £513,000 have been frozen in the
United Kingdom and Crown dependencies since the introduction of the

I agree that the process is slow, but it requires painstaking research.
The money is moved around frequently and, from other areas of money
laundering where money is being moved not only from one country to
another but from different jurisdictions, we know that the matter
requires a great deal of research. It also requires co-operation between
countries. It is slow, but we have made some progress.

There have also been a number of questions about the travel ban. The
noble Lords, Lord Astor of Hever, Lord Howell of Guildford and Lord
Elton, pushed on this matter. It is only where international treaties
legally oblige EU member states to let banned individuals in that they
have been allowed to do so. There have been recent examples-one in
Belgium and one in the United States in the past two weeks-where
individuals have not been allowed in.

We will of course keep the list under review. I share many of the
concerns raised, but I repeat that we act most effectively when we act
together with our partners. That means that we have to persuade our
partners that the kind of action that is being proposed is the right

1 Nov 2002 : Column 465

I now want to comment on the two orders before the House before turning
to the other matters which have been raised. The Zimbabwe (Freezing of
Funds, other Financial Assets or Economic Resources) (Amendment)
Regulations 2002 puts penalties in place with regard to the EU asset
freeze. Without that regulation, we will not be able to prosecute
breaches of the asset freeze in respect of the additional names agreed
by the EU.

The Overseas Territories (Zimbabwe) (Restrictive Measures) (Amendment)
Order 2002 implements the sanctions in respect of the additional names
agreed by the EU on the overseas territories. It is important that the
sanctions are implemented consistently and it would not be sensible for
this order to go beyond the EU common position. Both these instruments
are vital to ensuring that sanctions are effective.

A number of noble Lords referred to the issue of designating additional
names, a matter raised by the noble Lord, Lord Howell of Guildford. I
shall consider those additional names and discuss their addition to the
EU designated list with our EU partners. As I said, it would not be
effective to take unilateral action. Acting in concert with our EU
partners is vital to ensuring that maximum pressure is applied to the
Zimbabwe regime. We keep the list under constant review.

As to the three individuals named and featured in the recent UN expert
panel report on the exploitation of resources and other forms of wealth
in the DRC, I agree that the way in which resource exploitation has
fuelled conflict in the DRC is deplorable. We have given our full
support to the work of the panel. The report makes a number of
recommendations which we shall have to study with fellow UN Security
Council members. We shall consider what further action is appropriate
once the Security Council has studied the report. Indeed, there may be a
number of other, more significant, names mentioned in the report which
we shall need to look at. Lord Avebury: My Lords, surely we do not have
to wait for the Security Council to meet in cases where criminal
activities are alleged. That applies particularly to Mr. Bredenkamp.

Baroness Amos: My Lords, the allegations have to be investigated. I am
not saying that we have to wait for the Security Council to meet to take
action. Given that all noble Lords agree that multilateral action is
better than unilateral action, it is important that the Security Council
meets to consider the report and for there to be joint UN action in
respect of the recommendations made in it. We are already engaged in
discussions with our UN colleagues on this issue.

The noble Lord, Lord Astor of Hever, and other noble Lords referred to
the question of adding spouses and dependent children to the list. Again
this has not been ruled out entirely. However, we need to consider the
matter with our EU partners. It has been discussed and we shall continue
to discuss it. If there is a change

1 Nov 2002 : Column 466in what is recommended to the European Union, I
shall bring that change to the attention of the House. It is right to
recognise that we have focused on the key decision makers in the
Zimbabwe regime, and we shall continue to do so.

The noble Lord, Lord Dholakia, asked me about the United Nations. We and
others supported a resolution on Zimbabwe to the UN Commission on Human
Rights. We lost that resolution because of a blocking resolution by the
African group at Geneva. As noble Lords know, the UN Secretary-General
has been studying these issues with respect to Zimbabwe through the
world food programme and UNDP. He has spoken directly to Mugabe and has
issued statements of concern.

I should remind noble Lords that the UN Security Council's role is
concerned with international peace and security. Any UN Security Council
role in Zimbabwe will require backing from the region, in particular
from the Southern African Development Community, which, in the light of
what we have seen, is unlikely to be forthcoming at present. We are very
conscious of this issue and are continuing to discuss it with our
partners. We need a broader-based support than currently exists if we
are to get UN agreement.

This fits in with the point made by noble Lords that we need a greater
global consensus on these matters, and we shall continue to work and
press for that. The noble Lord, Lord Howell of Guildford, referred to
the frustration that he believes I feel. It is a difficult process-it is
painstaking-but we shall not give up.

As regards its broader recommendations, the DRC panel report does not
call for sanctions against the 12 companies with headquarters in the
United Kingdom. They are deemed to be in breach of voluntary OECD
guidelines. We shall of course follow this up and seek more information
from the panel about the precise nature of the alleged violations in
order to take the matter further.

The noble Baroness, Lady Park, suggested sending the report to
Commonwealth and other countries. It is a very good idea and one which I
shall take up. We have put together a number of different short
information reports about what is happening in Zimbabwe, which we have
sent to a number of countries. Information is often muddled and the UK
position in regard to these issues is often misrepresented, and it is
very important that we do all that we can to communicate properly and to
get the correct information out there. I shall certainly take up the
noble Baroness's suggestion.

I was asked about paying compensation direct to dispossessed farmers. I
have made it clear before in the House that any financial support for
land reform in Zimbabwe would be provided as part of our international
development programme-and that is to reduce poverty. It would not be
specifically to compensate farmers.

1 Nov 2002 : Column 467

We need to think carefully about this. This House and the Government do
not agree with the fast-track land reform programme put in place by the
Mugabe regime, but if we were to go down the road of compensating
farmers for that fast-track process we would be letting the Mugabe
regime off the hook.

A number of noble Lords, including the noble Baroness, Lady Park, who
has raised the issue with me before, and the noble Lord, Lord St John of
Bletso, referred to Oryx. That organisation has an office here but it is
not UK based, which slightly complicates the situation. We need to
investigate the allegations that have been made and we are in the
process of doing so. We have to do so very carefully, with the UN, and
then we shall think about the next steps to take. I shall be happy to
keep noble Lords informed of any progress, but I remind them that these
processes can take quite a long time.

The noble Lord, Lord Howell of Guildford, asked about the EU-SADC
meeting, as did other noble Lords. It is important to remember several
things. Zimbabwe is facing a humanitarian crisis-the noble Lord, Lord
Astor of Hever, called it a humanitarian catastrophe. There are 14
million people in southern Africa facing starvation, half of whom are
from Zimbabwe. We need to make clear to SADC the implications of the
situation in Zimbabwe in terms of what is happening in their own
countries. I have been doing this over a number of months. When I was in
New York in September for the UN General Assembly meeting, I had a
number of bilateral discussions with colleagues from African countries
which focused on the economic and humanitarian impact of the situation
in Zimbabwe on the region as a whole. We have to get this message
across. It is important that the European Union should engage in a
dialogue with SADC, not only on the humanitarian issues but more
generally on issues of poverty, human rights and governance.

I shall be representing the United Kingdom at the EU-SADC meeting next
week. I can assure noble Lords that I shall be extremely tough in the
messages that I give to SADC. It is almost inconceivable that 40 million
people can be facing starvation and that is not being recognised by
government in the region. It is right that the EU should engage in that
discussion through the EU-SADC process. This is a matter that
governments in the region have to take seriously. The United Kingdom
Government are giving substantial amounts of humanitarian assistance not
just to Zimbabwe but to the region. This is about the responsibilities
that governments themselves need to take for what is happening in their

I do not agree that part of our policy has been to say: leave it up to
Africa. That has never been our position. We have said that this issue
should concern the whole international community. That includes
Zimbabwe's partners-including governments on the continent. It includes
the European Union, the Commonwealth and other countries.

1 Nov 2002 : Column 468

The noble Lord, Lord Avebury, talked about the need for a global
approach. That is very much what our strategy has been about. I do not
agree that the Government have vetoed British action in specific
respects because we are concerned about allegations regarding our
colonial past. We have been clear about the limitations of what we have
said because of that colonial history. It does not mean that we have not
made our position clear, but it is heard and read in a particular way
because of our historical relationship with Zimbabwe.

The issue of the Commonwealth was raised by many noble Lords. I have had
numerous discussions with the Commonwealth Secretary-General. It is
important that the Commonwealth obtain data. Noble Lords will know that
Mugabe has refused to meet the Commonwealth Secretary-General. It is
important that the Commonwealth gathers what data it can, but it is
difficult for it to gather data within the country.

My noble friend Lord Bruce asked to what extent our responsibility to
the European Union stops the United Kingdom considering the steps that
we should be taking. This is a matter of us acting together. It gives us
greater weight. I can assure my noble friend that working in partnership
with our EU colleagues has not prevented us from taking specific action.
I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Dholakia, that we need to keep up the
pressure, and I agree with him about the unequivocal message that we
should send; namely, that as a government, or as the second Chamber in
the British Parliament, we are not prepared to accept racism.

The noble Lord, Lord Avebury, talked about working with New Zealand and
the United States. I have addressed that point. The meeting in March
will not be a CMAG meeting; it will be a meeting of the troika that was
mandated by the Commonwealth Heads of Government.

The noble Lord, Lord St John of Bletso, asked about the World Cup. This
is a matter for the ECB and for the cricketing authorities. The United
Kingdom Government do not send our cricket team to Zimbabwe. As to the
point about promoting a government of national unity, we have been in
constant contact with our SADC partners on this. We were strongly in
favour of the initiative taken by Nigeria and South Africa in this
respect. I am aware that discussions continue behind the scenes, but
very little has changed in regard to the matter.

I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Elton, that the pressure needs to be
kept up across a number of different fronts, including through the
Churches. It is the people of Zimbabwe who deserve our support. They
want to know that they have that support and we need to make it clear
through whatever channels we can.

Lord Howell of Guildford: My Lords, I thank all noble Lords who have
taken part in this short but useful debate. From all speakers there has
emerged the extremely clear message that more must be done-that

1 Nov 2002 : Column 469the situation is not satisfactory. I thank the
Minister for her comments and for her undertaking to look at additional
names. That is welcome.

The Minister's main theme is that we have to act in concert. Our reply
is that in a concert someone has to conduct the orchestra and someone
has to play the leading instrument. We are looking for much more vigour
in those tasks in order to put pressure on the Mugabe regime. The
Minister spoke about not letting Mugabe off the hook. We fear that he is
not on the hook at the moment. That is the trouble. More can be done.

1 Nov 2002 : Column 470

We have made our views very clear. I am glad that they will be taken
into account. We believe that better orders could have gone forward than
the one that we are praying against and the one that we seek to amend.
However, in the absence of such, we should possibly let these orders go
forward. Therefore, repeating my strong hope that the Government will
keep very much in mind and will carry forward all the points made in the
debate, I beg leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

House adjourned at eight minutes past two o'clock.

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A real Zimbabwean war veteran speaks

      November 08 2002 at 04:17PM

      By Glynnis Underhill

As a freedom fighter, Wilfred Mhanda helped Mugabe come to power - and came
to regret giving him his support. Today Mhanda is the spokesperson for a
group of around 5 000 war veterans who publicly denounce the Zanu-PF
government of Mugabe, the violent farm invasions and the breakdown of law
and order in their country.

"We are the real war vets," he says, a sense of urgency lending emotion to
his words.

"The majority of the people who describe themselves as war vets and invade
white farms are not really war vets at all. Mostly they are just thugs.

"We fought for freedom and democracy in this country, and what they are
doing is quite the opposite."

This small-framed steely war veteran now coordinates the Zimbabwe Liberators
Platform, a pressure group formed by war vets in 2000 in protest at the
anarchy that accompanied the farm invasions.

"It was the start of the violent farm occupations, and repression and the
suppression of people's basic rights. All of this was being done in the name
of the war veterans.

"We were extremely unhappy that these people committing these violent acts
were using - and destroying - our name, and we felt betrayed that everything
we had fought for, namely freedom and democracy, was being eroded. We want
to help the nation restore law and order."

Mhanda believes the organisation has survived the political turmoil of the
past two years because most genuine liberation war fighters were determined
to defend the original ideals for which they fought for the Zimbabwe people.

While he says that most dissenting voices are usually silenced, Mhanda
continues to speak out about the atrocities being committed in Zimbabwe, his
views strengthened by the belief that sustained pressure will bring about

For a man who has already been thrown into prison twice by Mugabe, Mhanda
shows little fear for his own safety, openly speaking about his dislike of
the repressive regime.

Organising the activities of the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform has become a
full-time job for this war vet, who every day runs the risk of upsetting his
former comrade.

He appears passionate about the organisation he represents, and the fact
that he was in the high command in Zanla and placed in charge of political
and military training, with the advantage of advanced strategic training in
China, has given him an insight few others have.

While working alongside him, Mhanda found Mugabe to be "arrogant, paranoid,
secretive and only interested in power".

The first time Mugabe had Mhanda thrown into jail was in 1977 in Mozambique,
when Mugabe persuaded their host, President Samora Machel, that his own
Zanla commanders were plotting against him.

Mhanda and 50 other commanders were arrested, and he spent six months in a
lice-infested, cramped cell with no toilet.

He was later transferred to a detention camp, where he spent another two
years. The Zanla commanders were finally released after a representative of
the British Labour Party took up their case.

The last time Mugabe arrested Mhanda was shortly after independence in 1980.

Mugabe prevented some of the war vets from being re-integrated into Zanu,
and so Mhanda and 27 of his comrades joined the Patriotic Front, he says.

Joining the Patriotic Front gave him the protection of Joshua Nkomo, who was
the minister of home affairs. Shortly after Mugabe was elected, he arrested
all 27 of the war vets who had joined the Patriotic Front.

They spent ten days in a cell, the last five on hunger strike. Nkomo managed
to have Mhanda and the others freed.

After that, it was impossible to work in Zimbabwe - Mhanda found himself
blacklisted at every company he applied to.

He managed to get a scholarship to study in West Germany and left Zimbabwe,
intending never to return, he says.

After studying for an MSc in chemical biotechnology, Mhanda was offered a
lectureship at the Technical University of Berlin.

But the offer was withdrawn, he believes, because Zimbabwean intelligence
told the German government that he was a communist agent.

It was a trick of fate that Mhanda, who had suffered such hardship in the
war of liberation, should return home to find a battleground of another
sort. He holds Mugabe and his government solely responsible for the chaos
and poverty at home.

"Robert Mugabe is a very focused man, that has not changed. But he is losing
his grip on power and he is acting in defence of that power. The mask of
Robert Mugabe is now slipping, and he is revealing the real man behind the

Mhanda says there are few in power who can be trusted. He protests that most
of those claiming to be war veterans and leading the charge to illegally
seize farms in Zimbabwe were far too young to have fought. Instead, Mhanda
describes them as government agents.

The Zimbabwe Liberators Platform also dismisses the war veterans involved in
the farm seizures as cowards for attacking unarmed civilians during
peacetime, claiming they had turned from liberators to oppressors.

His organisation says the leader of the farm invasions, the late Chenjerai
"Hitler" Hunzvi, and his supporters, a group of not more than 1 500 , do not
represent the majority of former freedom fighters.

"Most of those so-called leaders of war veterans have police dockets opened
against them, the bulk of criminal activities having been committed over the
past two years during the anarchy and violence.

"These so-called war veteran leaders belong in prison.

"They are fugitives from justice who have gained importance, which is
preventing them from being sent to jail. They are not being convicted for
the crimes they have committed."

Mhanda's recent visit to Cape Town was another attempt to mobilise action
against the Mugabe government and to draw attention to the fact that other
war veterans, like himself, are fighting for the restoration of the rule of

Mhanda believes there could be up to 35 000 war veterans in Zimbabwe, and
the numbers joining the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform is growing every day,
although it is not
essential for members to be former freedom fighters.

While many of its members are concerned by the victimisation of opposition
party activists of the Movement for Democratic Change, the Zimbabwe
Liberators Platform is primarily focused on trying to restore a state of law
to the country.

The origin of the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform has its roots in the war of
independence. Many of these war vets are fighters from the Zanu and Zapu
liberation movements, which eventually formed a joint army in pursuit of
national unity.

They won the backing of the neighbouring frontline states' leaders,
especially the late President Samora Machel of Mozambique, who allowed them
to fight from his country. But clashes soon occurred in the Zipa - Zimbabwe
People's Army - camps between soldiers of the two liberation movements.

Mhanda and his comrades from Zanu felt it was a lack of political leadership
that was contributing to the tensions in the united army. When President
Machel asked them to draw up a list of 10 names of potential leaders, Robert
Mugabe was at the top of their list.

At the time, Mugabe was under house arrest in Mozambique because President
Machel was hostile to his anti-unity sentiments. Mugabe was then freed and
came to lead Zanu - but when the soldiers became disillusioned with him, it
was too late.

Today Mhanda finds it hard to witness the food shortage in Zimbabwe and
describes the situation as "critical".

While the rest of the world realised the Zimbabwe presidential elections
held in March this year were a "sham", he said there was little outcry. He
appealed to the international community to condemn what was happening in his
country, as he said poverty was growing more evident daily.

The numbers of beggars on the streets had grown and basic foods were no
longer available at the shops.

"You can't get maize meal on the supermarket shelves, you can't buy cooking
oil, you can't get milk. It is just not there.

"How long can the situation continue? There will be social strife. The only
way to bring about change is to demand a better life and to stand up for
your rights."

Mhanda says there is nothing to justify the violence being perpetrated
against Zimbabweans by the Mugabe government. Land could have been
redistributed to the people and the violence averted, he says.

"The government is hiding behind the mask of the war veterans, yet it was
the government that effected these farm invasions to distract from the
worsening economic plight.

"Mugabe's power is slipping, and the government could not be seen to be
breaking the law, but it was the government that was the architect of the
farm invasions.

"They have used the youth from rural areas and got them to take the law into
their own hands."

Most of the farms are now just lying fallow, he says with despair.

"The farms are now completely under-utilised and the people are starving.
The new settlers are not even using the infrastructure available to them.
They are tilling the land with oxen and donkeys. Commercial farming has been

Of the South African reaction, Mhanda says the attitude shown by President
Thabo Mbeki and the government was a matter of "extreme concern".

"It is more that the South African government has shown an indifference
which has negative consequences for Zimbabwe. There has been a systematic
erosion of the rights of the people.

"Their basic rights have been reduced to zero and despite the repressive
nature of the government, it is not being held accountable by the
international community."

Mhanda says South Africa should be taking a principled stand and openly
voice its concern.

"There seems to be a trend in Africa that political rights and democracy are
not paramount. The situation South Africa could find itself in could one day
be the same as Zimbabwe if a stand is not taken.

"Today it is Zimbabwe, tomorrow South Africa. South Africa must condemn the
erosion of basic rights in Zimbabwe in order to lay a solid foundation for
its own people's rights."

  a.. This article was originally published in The Cape Times on 05 November
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Saturday, 9 November, 2002, 11:40 GMT
Zimbabwe's casualties

Many thousands of black farm workers are destitute

The government in Zimbabwe is expected to present its annual budget statement next week. There will doubtless be promises of a brighter future, but few people expect them to reverse the country's deepening political and economic crisis. Land reforms have left the key agricultural sector in disarray.
White farmers are being chased away, the black farm workers uprooted from heir homes. Crops have failed and millions are facing starvation. Mike Donkin, who has just returned from Zimbabwe, believes their lot can only improve when President Robert Mugabe has gone.

I sit down to Sunday lunch with some white couples - a sort of wake as their farms are picked off one by one by the so-called war veterans.

The children are splashing in the pool under the lilac jacaranda trees, the pink hibiscus in full bloom.

      "War veterans" have wreaked havoc on white-owned farms
There is chat at the table of a farewell trip to the bush to watch the elephants, of a last-ever tiger fishing contest.

But it all quickly turns to gallows humour as more beers are sunk. And talk of "making the plan", if they have to leave Zimbabwe fast.

Over on the hearth, there's a rack of briar pipes and a carved clock that has ticked away for 80 or 90 years. On the bookshelf are the memoirs of a major general who helped Rhodes to carve out Rhodesia.

In another cottage garden, a farmer's wife regrets losing her long-serving family cook. "He's had to go," she says. "Peter - I can't recall his second name."

Black servants and black workers have always lived in the shadows, in basic houses - often shacks or mud huts. But, as Robert Mugabe's land reforms bring them out into the open, it is not to bask in new homes and gardens of their own.

The government brands these workers guilty by association. Kicked off the farms, you see them sleeping rough with their bundles, blankets and children at the roadside. You find them cooking up the day's porridge meal - if they can get the maize - in scattered camps that are already overstretched.

A million-and-a-half people have now become refugees in their own country.

The people who the reforms are supposed to have empowered have been building their huts on the land they've suddenly inherited. It is early days but they are clearly far from settled yet.

Feeding Zimbabwe

One man I walk across a bare field to meet says he's a factory hand and his new garden is proving a bit of a handful.

He's been digging a well for a week and he's not struck water yet. He shows me the flock of chickens he's bought. "I lose them," he says. "They keep straying onto the road."

      There are no shops, no clinics for these transplanted communities to use
The new arrival hopes he can make a go of farming, but he seems far from sure. He is one of the people the government is relying on to feed not just his family but Zimbabwe.

You drive past many such smallholdings, in the most remote of places. Here and there groups of neat-uniformed children make the long, long journey to school.

There are no shops, no clinics for these transplanted communities to use.

Future plans

When you reach one of the villages on land the white farmers did not choose to settle, you can see why. This is where drought now parches the red earth and threatens the villagers with hunger.

The huts here are grouped in neat, mud-floored compounds, swept clean by each householder with her bundle of twigs. Two girls of nine or 10 are shakily pushing a wheelbarrow loaded with water barrels, which they have had to ferry from a distant dam.

      In every Zimbabwean house, farm and garden, Robert Mugabe is leaving his mark
Some hut walls in this, Mashonaland, are painted with bright pictures of elephants, tigers and snakes - a local custom. "There are so many animals here," the headman who's my guide says. "I saw some impala today."

But then he tells the story of one woman who decided to decorate her hut with the open-hand, the symbol of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

"The next day a gang of government supporters came to beat her," he says. "And they threw her a fresh can of paint to cover it up."

In every Zimbabwean house, farm and garden, Robert Mugabe is leaving his mark right now.

He makes his plans for their future in Harare's ex-colonial presidential palace, set in sweeping grounds. It's guarded by watchful troops - their bayonets fixed. The word is that Mr Mugabe hardly ever sleeps there - a different bed every night, they say.

For now, though, as his people - black and white - migrate because of his land crusade, Mr Mugabe has no plans to move house permanently.

Until he goes, it's hard to see how Zimbabwe can be a national home of which its people can be proud.
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