Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2001 4:34 PM
Subject: burned on the soles of their feet
Dear Family and Friends,
There are a host of things that keep coming back to
remind and haunt me about the nightmare seven months that I lived on a farm with
men who call themselves 'war veterans.' When I wrote about my own experiences of
those months from hell, it was cathartic but to this day I cannot even open my
own book,'African Tears', because it is all still too real and too raw. Those of
you who have read African Tears will know that it is not just a story about a
white woman on a Zimbabwean farm but about the political monster whose evil is
devouring men, women and children of all colours and professions. I am now
working on another book which picks up both my story and that of Zimbabwe
because the evil continues. As I write this letter I am listening to all of the
presenters on ZBC's Radio 1 saying goodbye to their listeners. The Zimbabwe
government have declared that Radio 1, the only light listening and slightly
informative news station will close down next Thursday and be changed into a
sports channel. This is almost the final step in our government's programme
of completely closing the media down and will leave hundreds more people
unemployed and emotionally broken. This week I have spent many hours talking to
both black and white Zimbabweans. Their encounters and two photographs have made
the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and made me more than ever determined
to speak out about the unspeakable horror that has become everyday life in
Zimbabwe. In my letter this week I would like to tell just a couple of the
things I have heard and hope I can find the words to paint this picture of our
In African Tears I tell how one weekend the 'war
veterans' kept demanding that I give them my truck so that they could use it for
a political rally and in order to avoid a confrontation I left the farm for the
weekend. When I got back one of my employees had been tortured by 'war veterans'
who had burnt her on her upper lip with a heated iron bar. That horror of seeing
Jane's burned mouth, the thought of the agonising pain, the smell of burning
flesh and the weeks of carefully tending her wound - all of that stayed with me
and was bought right back into the present this week when I saw the photographs
of a 27 year old mans' feet. This man, this week, was burned on the soles of his
feet with heated iron bars by men calling themselves 'war veterans'. This 27
year old man was accused by the 'war veterans' of supporting the opposition
party and was punished by being burnt. This man is one of dozens who have been
burned with heated rods on the soles of their feet. The skin is gone, the
wounds are massive, purple and suppurating and the look on the man's face is of
pure agony. The people who did this to him have been identified and are known to
the police. The police were contacted for comment, they confirmed the incident
had taken place but have not made any arrests and refused to explain
The second thing which has haunted me this week is
the horror experienced by a five year old boy. 40 marauding 'war veterans' went
on the rampage through three farms just outside Marondera one evening this week.
Farm workers, their wives and children were ordered by 'war veterans' to vacate
their homes. When they did not come out, the veterans smashed all the windows,
broke down the doors and pulled people out screaming and kicking. They chased
everyone out and ordered them to leave. Anyone who could not run fast enough was
beaten by men with sticks, knobkerries, chains and stones. A five year old child
could not run fast enough and was whipped across his face by men with sticks.
The attackers are known to the local Police, none have been arrested, they all
reside in shacks on invaded farms in the area. The child's forehead, cheek and
upper lip are swollen and lacerated. Seeping wounds weep under his nose and his
upper lip is enormously swollen. In his mother's arms, this five year old boy in
his little blue and green checked shirt, dried blood caked on the collar, could
be your son or mine. His eyes show fear and exhaustion, confusion and pain. If I
didn't know better I would say the look in the child's eyes is the same look I
have seen a dozen times this week in the eyes of all the people I have spoken to
- a look of despair and resignation. A look I saw on a nurses face who has not
had disposable gloves to wear at work for over two months. A look I saw on a
newly redunant businessman's face - a man who was approached by a skeletal and
terrified farm worker who had only eaten roots and insects for four days and was
hiding in the bush with his family having been evicted by 'war veterans'. A look
I saw on the face of a middle aged farmer who had been ordered to vacate his
home by 'war veterans' and was trying to decide what to do with a lifetimes
work and posessions.
There are so many thousands of people now receiving
this letter from me every week and I thank you all for your loving messages
and continued support. I believe this letter now goes on to at least six major
websites every week and I thank those webmasters for their continued support.
Rod Stevens at http://www.btinternet.com
is now also running my letters and I am indebted
for his friendship and support. Rod is also publicising African Tears for me and
I am most grateful for that because I can only use word of mouth to tell of the
horrors. Until next week, with love, cathy
THIS LITTLE IS A 3 YEAR OLD BOY
BEATEN BY RULING PARTY THUGS ON
WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT A FARM IN OUR AREA.
Is this about land?
Article Violence on farms in Mashonaland
- Zimbabwe’s trouble spot
(On behalf of the Commercial Farmers’
TWENTY-FIVE farm workers, including a 3
year old child and 8 month pregnant woman were assaulted on Munemo and Mushangwe
farms in Ruzawi River Valley, Marondera last night, after a group of invaders
began their rampage by visiting Eirene farm village smashing doors and breaking
windows, burning down a house and destroying a vegetable garden.
10 of the injured were taken to Hospital
for treatment and later discharged. According to a letter of complaint submitted
to the Assistant Inspector Mafu of Marondera Police Rural, the group is the same
one that attacked Uitkyk farm and assaulted 22 farm workers on 13 October,
despite the issuing of a High Court order on 9th October to Marondera Police.
The order, issued by Justice Chinengo granted a relief order to five farmers,
upholding their right to continue farming on Eirene, Uitkyk, Safari, Bonne
Chance and Munemo farms.
Two days after the court order was served,
a mob arrived on the one of the farms, and ordered the farm owner, Mr. Angus
Campbell to stop farming operations. They further said that the Court Order was
‘powerless’ as they were above the law and that if he did not comply "blood
would be spilt on the ground"; they would return ‘to finish us off’, Campbell
On Tuesday 6th November, a 69-year-old
farmer, Loutjie de Jongh of Esperance Farm in the Wenimbi Valley of Mashonaland
East had his home attacked by over
30 invaders during the night. Over $ 300
000 dollars of damage and theft occurred.
Farmers on the radio network reported that
a frightened Mrs de Jongh came over the radio saying, “They’re breaking
everything. They’re coming into the house “, before the radio had to be disabled
before the couple retreated into their bedroom, preventing personal harm. The
screaming and smashing noise made by the attackers was so loud that it was heard
on the neighbouring farms kilometers away.
The group tried to set fire to curtains
and looted goods from the house which were ferried away in a vehicle. This
follows the looting of Malabar farm where over $ 900 000 of damage was done;
estimates now stand at over ZD $ 4 million dollars worth of damage on just a
handful of farms in this district.
The section of the farm where the
homestead is built has been issued with a Section 5 (Preliminary notice of
acquisition). This farmer along with
13 others in the valley has been badly
affected by labour and production disruptions compromising tobacco earnings in
excess of US 2,5 million. There are 18 farms in this district. On Ponderosa
Estates over the weekend, a group of 20 invaders barricaded the farm owner in
his house overnight and most of the next day before Police were able to remove
the group who had camped out on his lawn. The farmer was injured with a whip as
the group gained entry through the security fence. A fire was started on the
lawn with chairs placed around it, a window was broken and water poured into a
room in the house via a hosepipe in an attempt to flush the family out. They
had been preparing to go camping for a few days and all their camping equipment
and food was stolen
Ponderosa Estates, described as “a highly
productive” farm growing Tobacco and Tobacco seed, Flowers and Maize. He also
runs 230 head of Cattle but has had to move over 150 cows and calves off to
other farms as his grazing was burnt out.
The farm has been served with a Section 5
(Preliminary notice of acquisition) and has been pegged for resettlement.
Although a letter of objection has been sent no response has been forthcoming to
date, this also lends itself to the confusing state of affairs permeating our
At a meeting called once tension had
eased, the farmer was informed that he would be allowed to stay within his
6-acre homestead but that both farms belonging to his family had been taken. He
would be allowed to employ guards but his 250 staff would have to leave.
A tractor-drawn maize planter arrived on
Arcadia and proceeded to plant maize for illegal settlers in a land ripped and
disced by the farmer. The same land was rendered unusable from the farmer's
point of view when illegal settlers built a line of huts along the crest. The
farm is not listed, but in spite of this and the fact that the hut building took
place after Abuja, no progress has been made through the DA to remove the
Regional executive, Steve Pratt called for
action by law enforcement agencies to arrest the perpetrators of this spate of
violence, as there is an increasing risk of loss of life and limb.
He said “ Latterly the incidents have
taken a more sinister turn, where there used to be a noisy demonstration outside
the security fence, the mobs now break the fence and come through and attempt to
flush out besieged farmers by burning rubber tyres to smoke them out and by
breaking windows and pouring water into the house via hosepipe to flush them
out, or just breaking down the front door. We remain hopeful that arrests will
be made and we can once more return to a more productive lifestyle.”
In Ruzawi district 20 out of 42 farms have
also had production halted by ongoing disputes to land occupation, which remain
unresolved despite 'speechifying' by top government officials at national level.
Another farmer unable to farm is Mr. Iain Kay. His Chipesa Farm was granted a
Court Order allowing him to continue with farming operations without harassment,
but there has been no let up in intimidation.
Such events are now common occurrence for
Zimbabwe’s’ commercial farmers who have exhausted all legal channels to give
them respite and return the sector to its once highly productive state. Although
the constitution of Zimbabwe and the Government Land Reform document detail
procedure for land acquisition, with calls by various Government ministers,
including Vice President Msika to follow these procedures, farmers remain under
threat from illegal invasions perpetrated by opportunists under the guise of
being War veterans. The Constitution of Zimbabwe seems to have been superseded
by the 'Fast track methods’.
In a recent survey conducted by the CFU,
of the 613 farms surveyed in Mashonaland East, 252 had work stoppages, putting
at risk the harvesting over 18 673 hectares of crops already in the ground. The
jobs of 5
250-farm workers are under threat.
On Fairview Farm in Macheke/Virginia
production is at a stand still with no traffic being allowed on or off the farm.
Both entrances were barricaded for several hours with five settlers guarding the
gates. A 30-hectare gum plantation, valued at ZD $5 million was burnt as part of
the intimidation tactic. On Lowlands the farm owner was penalized six head of
cattle for not providing access to grazing for illegal settlers cattle. A
further four farms had their grazing and gum plantations extensively burnt.
In Featherstone both farmers and illegal
occupiers have complained of the loss of cattle and game, with Tradou Farm
recording a loss of 15 Sable and
5 Eland from within their game fence.
On Wemel 26 illegal occupiers were
planting maize in land prepared by the owner. When approached they stated that
they will plant in their "plots" if the owner ploughs for them.
On Kinfauns, in Harare south, an illegal
settler David Mugombe I.D.08
270229D started fires in the grazing paddock.
The farmer went to put the fires out and was told by the drunken settler that he
was not allowed to do so. The police arrived and took the settler to jail over
In Beatrice, on Brakveld, resident illegal
settlers stopped the farmer from planting maize. The police came and told the
settlers not to get involved with farm operations. If they did the army would
come & remove them.
At Home Park, a resident war veteran
arrived at the homestead on his tractor, waving a beer bottle and shouting
"Abuja is dead!" and saying the farm belonged to the illegal settlers. He
demanded access to a cottage on the farm. On Monday the road to the homestead
was blocked with rocks. The farmer was told that any visitors would be searched,
and he was not permitted to leave. He managed, however, to get out by driving
across the bush, and is currently off the farm.
In Hwedza district alone, 56 out of 90
farms are no longer operating and over 1748 farm workers have lost their
livelihoods, affecting approximately
9 614 people. In the area twenty-six
out of a total of 45 cropping farms have been shut down in the district by
disturbances, which began in August. Twenty-seven livestock farms have been
affected as well, with beasts being left to tend to themselves after the
disruption of farming activities
More than 24 people are facing murder
charges following violence on Bita Farm in Hwedza. A mob of about 100 people
arrived on the farm in two trucks and severely assaulted several farm workers
and burnt their houses, resulting in the deaths of two men who fell off the
trucks. A female farm worker has since also died from injuries sustained during
Meanwhile in the same district, operations
at Corby Farm have ceased after the farm owner, Mr. Craig White, was forced by
war veterans in the area to dismiss his entire labour force, a total of about 80
families threatening the grading and sale about 60 000 kilograms of tobacco.
Another farmer, Mr. Kobus Van Rooyen of
Ruwari Farm, had production stopped in September when a group of war veterans
and occupiers on the property chased away about 100 workers, demanded and
received 70 litres of diesel from the farm owner, and ordered him to plough
their plots in return for safety guarantees. The group then ordered his labour
to uproot about two hectares of tobacco, already in the ground.
A failure to communicate lends itself to
the confusing state of affairs permeating our land impasse. Some farms such as
Ponderosa have been evaluated for Government by young and inexperienced
evaluators but compensation can only be for development on the farms, payment
for land must come from donor funding, currently being withheld due to
lawlessness and human rights abuses condoned by Government.
8th November 2001
Mugabe Pipped By Rival in Popularity Polls
November 9, 2001
Posted to the web November 9, 2001
Lewis Machipisa And Dumisani Muleya
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is trailing his main rival in the
public approval stakes ahead of presidential elections due by next April,
according to an opinion poll released yesterday.
The poll, conducted by Target Research for Zimbabwe's
independent Financial Gazette newspaper, found that 52,9% of Zimbabweans backed
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), while 47,1% supported Mugabe.
The MDC, which won 57 of 120 contested seats in last year's
parliamentary elections, has gained support countrywide, including in
traditional rural power bases of Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF) party.
The poll was published just hours after Zimbabwe police
arrested Daily News editor-in-chief Geoff Nyarota and former Associated
Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ ) director Wilf Mbanga, claiming that they were
probing the firm's shareholding holding structure.
The two were taken to the criminal investigation department
in Harare for questioning and were later transferred to Rhodesville police
station, where they would be held overnight before a court appearance this
They have been charged with violating section 40 of the
Zimbabwe Investment Centre Act. They are accused of giving false information
when they registered their company.
If convicted, they face imprisonment or a Z2000 fine.
The incident followed a report in the government-controlled
Herald alleging that ANZ breached investment procedures. It said the company had
lost its investment permit and faced closure, but the newspaper denied the
report, saying it was part of Mugabe's clampdown on the local independent
The government alleges that Zimbabwe's privately owned media
is funded by Mugabe's opponents and wants to topple him over his controversial
and often violent drive to seize whiteowned farmland for redistribution.
The SA National Editors' Forum said last night it noted the
arrest of Nyarota and Mbanga "with great concern".
"The arrest and imminent closure of The Daily News is
obviously designed to remove an independent voice that has not kowtowed to Zanu
(PF) dictates. These events are intended to remove obstacles to Zanu (PF)'s
propaganda machinery," the editors' forum said.
Limits on voters give Mugabe edge in election
Foreign monitors barred: Expatriates, citizens with dual
citizenship lose their franchise
National Post newswires
HARARE - With polls showing he would lose a fair vote, Robert Mugabe is
beginning to put in place restrictions to prevent electors from kicking him out
of office in next April's presidential elections.
Under a package of new laws unveiled by Patrick Chinamasa, the Justice
Minister, foreign monitors will be banned from observing elections and
Zimbabweans outside the country will be unable to vote, except for diplomatic
staff and soldiers, who can be counted on to back the government.
Anyone who tries to fly home to cast their ballot will also be banned, as
will people with dual citizenship, disenfranchising 30,000 whites.
Although no surveys have polled the hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans
living overseas on their political views, analysts here said those people were
likely to vote for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
"I suspect from the Internet and from correspondence that we get from abroad
that many of them would vote MDC," said Masipula Sithole, an independent
"If they were going to vote for [Mr. Mugabe's party], it would be foolish to
make a move barring them. We suspect that the regime is convinced that
Zimbabweans outside, most of them will vote MDC."
Mr. Mugabe, the Zimbabwean President, has already sought to prevent people
with dual nationality from voting, by requiring they renounce their right to a
foreign passport or give up their Zimbabwean citizenship.
Apart from the white Zimbabweans who qualify for foreign passports, the move
affects up to one million farm workers and their families who came to Zimbabwe
from Malawi, Mozambique or Zambia during colonial times.
The latest announcement will also restrict the rights of hundreds of
thousands of Zimbabweans living in other countries, mainly in neighbouring South
Africa and in the former colonial power, Britain.
In addition, Mr. Mugabe's government is moving to ban independent monitors of
Last year, about 24,000 people, many recruited by civic groups, monitored the
parliamentary elections in which the opposition MDC won 57 of 120 elected
Most of those civic groups "are partial, foreign-funded, loyal to their
funders and therefore produce monitors who are partisan," said Mr.
The MDC said it would continue to press for independent supervision of the
"We have a delinquent government of geriatrics who want to cling to power
regardless of anything. So we will insist the elections be held under the full
glare of scrutiny, because they want to cheat left, right and centre," Welshman
Ncube, secretary-general of the party, said.
Jonathan Moyo, the Information Minister, said critics of the planned
amendments were "inherently subversive" and "unpatriotic."
The European Union and other foreign donors "are partisan and should never be
allowed to poke their noses into our elections," he said.
"We will not mortgage our constitutional bodies and processes either as a
reaction to what these people are saying, or accommodating their
The moves follow the release of a poll on Thursday showing Mr. Mugabe would
lose a fair election. The poll, conducted by Target Research for Zimbabwe's
independent Financial Gazette newspaper, found 52.9% of Zimbabweans backed
Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, while 47.1% supported Mr. Mugabe.
Mugabe paves his way to win
plans to ban independent monitors and expand state media
President Robert Mugabe's government is leaving no stone
unturned in a bid to
win next year's presidential elections.
A report in the official Herald
newspaper yesterday that the government
wants to ban independent election
monitors was followed by news that the
state's media would be expanded in
preparation for an unprecedented
In a bid to
widen viewership of the state television channel, the Zimbabwe
Corporation (ZBC) is seeking a deal with satellite television
provider Multichoice Africa.
Multichoice Africa GM for Corporate Affairs
Lebogang Hashatse confirmed
yesterday that the group, which also operates in
Zimbabwe, was discussing
the possibility of adding the ZBC channel to
platform. However, he said nothing had been concluded
The Herald said under the proposed amendments to be tabled before
later this month, the Electoral Supervisory Commission, which
Zimbabwe polls, would "be required to draw the monitors from the
service, banning international and local monitors".
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the government wanted to
from the commission's reliance on monitors recruited and trained
nongovernmental organisations, whose impartiality he said was
Any amendment to a law needs a simple majority in parliament
to be passed.
Mugabe's party holds 93 seats in the 150-strong legislature.
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said the proposed
was "cause for serious concern".
Last week the Zimbabwean government said
it rejected what it called an
ultimatum by the European Union to allow
foreign observers to monitor the
A senior SA foreign affairs
official said yesterday he was aware of the
Herald report, but had yet to
receive official confirmation of the ban from
the SA embassy.
also indicated yesterday that authorities were working hard to
huge government-controlled media group to be known as the
This organisation will have its own 24-hour television and
eight newspapers, publishing services and recording
facilities to augment
state-controlled Zimpapers and the ZBC. The company,
expected to be a rigid
government monopoly, will emerge from the state news
agency Ziana, the
Community Newspaper Group and other concerns.
week Mugabe's Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and his
permanent secretary, George Charamba, held a meeting with the
Media Trust, Ziana, editors and consultants to finalise the
Sources at the meeting said Moyo made it clear that "we will
and firing until we get the right people".
came in the wake of Herald reports this week that the privately
News' parent company, Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ),
properly registered. Derek Smail, one of the founding members of
the allegations were "another move to discredit and undermine the
Invasions and Security Report
8 November 2001
This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that
are taking place in the commercial farming areas. Communication problems and the
fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens. Farmers
names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF:
- Marondera South – angry mob
breaks into farmhouse
and Ruzawi – 25 people including a three-year old child beaten up
- Kwekwe – farmer and wife
locked in farmhouse by armed robbers
- Kadoma/Chakari/Battlefields – farmer
surrounded, and forced to dance and chant slogans
hectares of gums were destroyed on Chabwino Farm. Irrigation piping was stolen from
was reported to the Marondera Police. A blue
land rover with people claiming to be war vets who would not give their names or
ID’s, instructed the storekeeper on Chikumbakwe Farm to close the store, because
they claimed the prices were too high.
Malda Farm had an individual arrive at the farmhouse, demanding
compensation for the loss of his garden, caused
by cattle belonging to the owner. The owner claimed his cattle were
nowhere near that part of the farm, and called the
police. Illegal settlers on
Hazeldene Farm were arrested for the theft of a tyre in the yard. Later a group
of 8 illegal settlers gathered outside the kitchen gate pressurising the owner,
who informed the Macheke Police. The situation was later defused by the owner
and his son. On Mignon Farm the gate key
was removed and cattle driven into the Lupin seeds. This situation could have
arisen because the owner switched off the electricity to the farm village
housing which is now only occupied by illegal settlers.
War veteran Mtsatse from Macheke
visited the farm to talk to the resident group. He told the farmer that he must
negotiate with the committee of 7 to resolve problems on the
arrived to peg Twist Farm and Journey’s
End On Mignon Farm 60 head of cattle were moved inside the
security fence by illegal settlers and a
work stoppage continues. The owner
phoned Dispol who organised for the D.A. Murehwa and the Lands Committee to
attend but the meeting achieved nothing and they left, telling the farmer to
negotiate with the illegal settlers. The Assistant DA visited
and advised the farmer that he was not permitted to feed workers still on the
farm who were no longer working, and that he should give up the maize to the
State. He insisted that the farmer sort out his problems by talking with the
settlers’ committee on the farm. When the farmer did so with reference to the 90
head of cattle driven into the yard, he was told that he would have to pay the
illegal settlers grazing fees. He was also told that only 5 workers could be
employed on the farm, and that they would
be chosen by the settlers. The farmer did not concede to these demands. Illegal
settlers on Royal Visit tied a calf to a
stake in the vegetable garden, separating it from its mother in the hope that
its bellowing would attract its mother and others into the garden, thereby
facilitating a claim for compensation for damage. Fencing has also been
- After the manager of Maasplein finished his term of employment and removed his
possessions from his house, war veteran Mombe arrived at main homestead and
demanded the keys to the vacated house from the owner. Police attended, but
resolution of this issue is still pending.
South - A large
and aggressive mob arrived at the homestead on Esperance in the Wenimbi valley,
broke through the security fence and almost immediately set about breaking
outside doors down and attempting to gain access through the roof. The owner and
his wife were forced to disable the radio and retreat into the bedroom as the
mob smashed down the door and entered the building. Police were contacted but
the Support Unit only arrived three hours later. Fortunately the mob did not
break through to the bedroom. The following morning neighbours gained access to
the homestead to assess the situation, and on leaving their vehicle was attacked
and damaged. Loss of broken windows, smashed doors, roofing, and looting from
the kitchen amounted to an estimated $300 000. This attack is believed to have
been in retaliation for the neighbour’s refusal to supply transport for illegal
settlers to harass owner of nearby Ponderosa Homestead barricades and
accompanying violence and looting are increasingly common and volatile in the
Wenimbi and Ruzawi area, as is pressure against labour, with the perpetrators
getting away with their excesses War
veteran Musimbi and a mob returned to Eirene and smashed doors and windows in
the farm village, burning down at least one house and destroying a vegetable
garden. They then went to Munemo and
beat up 25 people including a three-year old child. Ten of the victims were
hospitalised. The same mob then went on the rampage on Mushangwe where they
again assaulted workers and smashed doors and windows in the farm village.
Uitkyk is under threat of similar treatment this weekend. These violent
activities follow the granting of a High Court Order to these farmers preventing
the eviction of workers and allowing the farmers to get back to work. The police
and DA, who are compelled to comply with the Order, have failed to do so and
continue to ignore it in spite of the escalating excesses by war veterans and
North - A grey
Land Cruiser, with white registration
plates, arrived at Essexdale with members
of the District Land Committee. After going to the farm village they spoke to
the farmer at his house, introducing themselves as members of the Land Committee
and the farm’s settler committee. The farmer was told that the illegal settlers
were now the owners of the farm and that he and his workers were illegal
squatters. The farm has been listed as a Section 5. The farmer was instructed to
remove all his workers from Essexdale onto Coylto, a farm that the owner had
previously offered through Provincial/District Administration. If he complied,
he would be allowed to stay in his house for a short while, but if not he and
his workers would be forcibly evicted “within hours”. The fact that there are no
houses on Coylton did not concern the visitors who insisted that housing could
be built within 2 to 3 days.
South - Nyatsimefarm
is being pegged. A fire was started on Auk’s Nest by illegal settlers. A
returning illegal settler named Madzidire moved into the cook’s one-roomed
house. After police spoke to him he agreed to move out. One sheep was killed and
one injured by a settler’s dogs. Police undertook to arrest the owner of the
dogs and to destroy the dogs. A white
7-tonne Nissan lorry reg. No. 511-961D arrived with 10 passengers ranging from
13 to 40 years old. They dropped a metal hut on unlisted Stilton farm before
leaving. Agritex is pegging on Edinburgh
North – On Bothas Rust Agritex arrived
to peg and left again as the farm is not listed.
Increased building is taking
place on Rapids Agritex pegged with steel pegs and cement on Longlands Hut building and work stoppage continues on
Kirndean Warwick is unable to plant maize due to threats and valuators were
– On Kuruman A the owner was
told by DA Chikomba that his dairy is not a registered dairy and cattle should
be off the property by 15/11/01. The owner
has been dairy farming for 35 years and the milk has been delivered to DZL. The DA claims that there are only two
registered dairies in Featherstone. New
pegging is taking place in a 70Ha gum plantation and also in the feed pens on
R/E Kuruman which allegedly will be
"State Land". The situation concerning workers’ eviction and work stoppage on
this property remains unresolved. The
owner of Vergenoeg has until 11th
November to remove the cattle from the property or the cattle will be rounded up
and closed in handling facilities. On
Harvieston about 10 valuators, led by a Mr Gonah, arrived in a 7 tonne truck (GLM 2257) to value the property
and stated that they will return to Uitkyk on Wednesday. On Knockholt two national registration officials in
vehicle GLLS 2177 requested accommodation from 11th November for voters roll
inspection and a voters registration team. A further team will be deployed to
register births, deaths and national registration. Cattle numbers have been severely decimated in
the last two months.
Norton - Pegging continues, even on
one property which is not actually listed, by employees of the District
Administrator who says that his orders "from the Ministry" are to continue
pegging unpegged properties. The tobacco crop looks to be about 30% down in the
Norton area, due to farmers not having been allowed to plant. Increased hut
building is reported throughout the area.
Selous - Some work stoppages have
been resolved. On Mount Carmel Farm fires have been started every day this
week. The gate stopping free movement of cattle from the Musengezi small scale
area has been broken three times in the last week without any arrests. Pegging
continues within the area by Agritex.
Kadoma/Chakari/Battlefields - On
Benga Farm approximately fifty war veterans arrived
at the farm village and a number of farm workers were assaulted, sustaining cuts
and bruises. The war veterans smashed 332 windows, damaged 13 asbestos sheets,
11 doors and 12 locks before moving off. On Tawstock Farm fire setting continues. On
Pamene Farm the
Agritex team is cutting up the irrigation lands into 1acre plots. On Lanteglos
he owner was
surrounded and made to take his shoes off and dance and chant slogans. He was
also spat at and prodded with spears until Police intervened. He has been told
that he is not allowed to plant under his centre pivot. On Normandy North
Farm another two
beef cattle were slaughtered, but the culprits have finally been apprehended.
On Sillery Farm theft of sheep and goats continues on a
weekly basis. The ex-owner of Damvuri Ranch, who offered his farm for resettlement
and is now living in town, was arrested on Monday night under charges related to
Section 24 of the Law and Order Maintenance Act. The alleged contraventions are
supposed to have taken place on a farm that he was leasing, but has not been
involved with since September. Mr Lewis is an upright and respected member of
the community and the charges appear to amount to straight harassment.
– On Temperley Farm settlers
called a meeting and asked when would the pegs in the lands be replaced. The
Chairman and settlers agreed that they were going to sort out the problem. They
told the farmer to supply the pegs and labour as his cattle knocked out the pegs
(to our knowledge there were no pegs put in ). The farmer asked the Chairman and the seven
settlers on the farm if they were going to plant the 205 ha of arable land that
they had pegged. This was confirmed and the farmer gave him the farm foreman to
assist replacing the pegs and made it
quite clear that now that the settlers have decided they would plant all the row
cropping land on the farm, the farmer would not be held responsible if at a
later date the land was not fully utilized and blamed for not having used it to
it's full potential. Mseteka Sekesai
I.D. No. 70-102209C70 arrived on the farm looking for his plot. He showed the
farmer an official letter from the D.A. Chinhoyi stamped 19.10.2001 informing
him he had been allocated plot No. 8 on Temperley Farm. On Oswa Farm settlers are
burning their lands and chunks of grazing. Fences are being cut daily.
Approximately 100 snares have been collected from the fence lines. A meeting was
called with the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the settlers and the Asst. D.A.
and 5 Land Committee members. The main
voice in the meeting was that of W V Magwaza who told the settlers that the land
was already theirs, so they should carry on as they pleased. The Asst. D.A.
advised that as the owner had not been paid this was not yet the case and the
answer was to share the land so that the sheep would still be able to
graze. The settlers returned to the farm
and decided the farmer could use 18 out of
122 ha for his sheep, but under the condition that he provided ploughing and fertiliser seed for them.
At the meeting the settlers were told not to take on more land than they
could effectively use, but they refuse to share even with each other and are
scared of forfeiting their pegs. They were also informed by the D.A. that
production had to be optimum or they would loose the land next year. The farmer refuses to deal with them nd says
he will make another plan for his livestock as he is expecting to be very short
of grazing soon. At Palmtree Extention fires continue almost daily, random and
unsupervised. Thousands of hay bales are
being bought in to feed the cattle, and there is stumping of huge indigenous
trees by the settlers. Snaring is also on the increase. A policeman was brought in to speak to the
chairman about all these illegal activities who
denied all knowledgte of the burning even though the water carts
were passing his house. The manager was told not to approach the
Chairman's house in case he was attacked by the guards. All paddocks bar two
have areas of stumped settler lands in them and one is not burnt yet, but
pegged. Steel wire is being stolen off
the electric fence and turned into snares.
Lynfell Farm has been closed down and farmer left. Listed with Section
8. On Kaukua Farm snaring
continues. The Boundary fence has been taken down and used for snaring. Due to
the fact that settlers continue to damage the ball valve on the cattle trough,
the farmer is unable to graze the cattle on one portion of the farm. The
owner’s dog was killed in a snare. 3 more settlers have moved onto the farm
although the farm is not listed. On
Devonia Farm a verbal agreement was reached between the settlers and the
farmer that if any burning was to be done
on the farm, settlers would approach the farmer and make arrangements with him
for a water cart and they in turn would supply the labour to control the fire.
This was not done and on Saturday several small fires were started by the
settlers, which got out of hand and as a result burnt approximately 300 ha of
grazing. On Dichwe Farm there is a work
stoppage. A Fiat Tractor with two furrow Moldboard Ploughs arrived on the farm and commenced to plough an
irrigated wheat land that has been harvested. The tractor has ploughed
approximately 4 ha. On Ringari Farm a
work stoppage occurred. Settlers were involved in a dispute with the farmers
irrigation staff over water. A tap where settlers obtain their water was left
open wasting water. Irrigation staff closed the tap and removed the tap handle.
Work stoppage lasted for about 1 hour and the matter was resolved. 3 Support Unit details are back on Long
Valley Farm where there is an on going dispute between the farmer and the
settlers over 90 head of cattle that have been brought onto the farm. The
cattle are mixed and no agreement can be reached regarding the grazing and
watering facilities. The commercial herd is continually being pushed by the
settlers onto the main road. No land prep is
being allowed . On Inyati Farm
land prep has not been allowed and no tobacco has been planted. The settlers
have stated that once the potato crop has been harvested, the owner must leave
immediately as the farm no longer belongs to him. On Talfourd Farm only work inside the
security fence is allowed. No land prep has been done and no tobacco planted. A
decision has been made that no planting will take place this year. Settlers
stole three bags of maize off the back of a farm trailer. On Long Valley Farm cows are calving and
there is no place for the cattle. The farmer spoke to D.A. Chawaruwa about the
stocking rate on the farm as the grazing is burnt out, and he said he would send
an Agritex Team if he could fit it into his schedule.
(Lions Den Area) - Agritex have started pegging
Ormisten Farm The owners have left Kapiri Farm and Amagora Farm
Braeside Estates settlers tried to burn 4000 bales of Oats Hay in the field.
Only 4 were burnt and no investigation was carried out. Theft of irrigation pipes has occurred on
several occasions. Whilst the police were investigating, the farmer asked them
to investigate the setting of several fires. They apprehended one suspect, and
left the other and said this would be referred to
the Land Committee. Settlers have
put their cattle into the farm workers vegetable gardens. The farmer is missing 9 cows and calves and
the theft of fencing continues. Wytchwood Farm has a work
stoppage. At 6.00 am this morning all tractors were prevented from going to the
land, trees have been chopped down and pulled across to block the road. The
farmer approached the resident settlers, Budson, Badza’s brother and Abel, who
instructed him not to send any tractors to the land because no agreement has
been made with them. Budson warned not to attempt to move the trees as
reinforcements were waiting in the bushes to prevent this. Apparently 6 of the
settlers, Budson included are going to plant cotton in the fertilized ridges.
The owner has reported this work stoppage to the police This farm is not designated and no section 5 or
section 8 letters have been received.
- Troon Estate reported the
arrival of Agritex who advised that they would not interfere with the farming
operations. Agritex then visited Goodhope Mukunga, Buttevant Lot 2 Hunters
Lodge and Bananza
- Glenluce has a work
stoppage on land prep of 430 ha and irrigated pastures of 20 ha. The farmer was accused of
holding an MDC meeting and the invaders threatened to burn his house. North Banket has a work stoppage. Mr Kadoza
told the owner to stop farming or expect trouble, and not to work until he had
spoken to the D.A. The farm is not listed and no action was taken by the
police. On Koodoo Hill the building of
houses continues and the owner has shut down the farm until police take action
to restore law and order on the farm. On
St. Ninnians there is a work stoppage.
- 26 house kitchens have been
burnt and two brick houses on Ndiripo Settlers demanded a signed
agreement from the owner of Chobeni Farm before they will allow him to continue
farming. 1 Kudu was killed over the weekend.
Tayesa Farm (neighbouring
farm to Chobeni) was previously stopped from all farming operations but has been
allowed to plant tobacco on certain lands this last 2 weeks. All has being going
well, but early this morning(7/11) the chairman of the settlers tried to stop
the workers fertilizing a ridged land. Work is continuing at this time.
- Woelwehoek Farm Gravellotte
Farm and Rukute Farm are all being pegged for A2 resettlement of 35 ha each. In
Rukutes case they want more plots than there are hectares. At Gravelotte Extention the leasee Norman
Madzoreke has killed about 80 sable.
- Junction Farm is an unlisted
farm and cannot plant. He went to see the P.A. who said he would get hold of
the D.A. Court case dates given to some
listed farms. Agritex is in the process of preparing for the cases. Agritex
arrived to peg Mariwano and the farmer phoned the relevant authorities and
established it should not be pegged as it was not listed.
- Mvebi Farm - 5 resident
'illegal settlers' prevented normal farming
operations from taking place
demanding that an agreement be drawn up between settlers and the farm owner with
the owner to provide transport for them to go to Murombedzi and the owner to
sign the new
agreement. They want a tractor to transport poles, maize, water
and the sick, without the settlers having to pay for this service. They also
require food. The settlers refused to go to the police station. Police said they
could not respond even though the farm made transport available, saying it was
an issue for the Lands' Committee. The Lands' Committee said they were busy,
had no fuel to attend the matter, but they would attend the next day if they
were given transport/fuel. The settler's, approximately 15 in number, verbally
abused farm management and told various lies about management to the police. It
was agreed farmer could continue with farm work and a meeting would be held the
following day. A meeting held on Wednesday 31st
October resolved these issues. The Land Committee drafted a letter to Mr Churu,
forbidding him from interfering with Mvebi farm and cites that the full wrath of
the law will apply to him should he break the law. The farmer took the settlers
to the Member in charge Darwendale on Thursday 1 Nov to make it clear to the settlers what they can or cannot
do. The Member in Charge agreed to
attend any further work stoppages or breaches of the law. On Mpanda Farm hut building has started on an
unlisted section of the farmTengwe - A Support
Unit and Constable Moyo from Tengwe arrived on Indiripo to inform the settlers that the farmer was to plant the lands that had been prepared
for this season. One of the lands had some structures on it, three of which
needed to be moved. The Support Unit Sergeant told the settlers this and ALL of
them that were there agreed. The farmer
and his labour then attempted to move the structures so that he could disc the
land. War vet Sitcha arrived on the farm and declared war on the farmer. He does not agree with Support Unit's instructions
because he was not present at the meeting. He said he does not take orders from
Government, this D.A., the Governor, Police or Support Unit and said "they are
all kids, babies in civilian clothes". The Settlers then ransacked the compound,
beat the labourers and burnt their houses. They broke open 4 of the main gate
entrances to the premises. The farmer
was told to leave the farm by 12.00 pm otherwise "there would be blood,
Horseshoe – On
a large quantity of irrigation equipment was stolen. On Penrose a door and electrical switchgear
was stolen. A cottage on Nainital was broken into and burgled. The owner of Chingoma sent a pickup to the
valley with a driver and a worker who had retired to move his belongings to his
home. The retiree was dropped off and on the way back, in the Masomo area, the
vehicle was stopped by logs on the road and
about 30 youths, who were all
drunk. They pulled the driver and two
passengers from the car, searched them and the car looking for MDC cards.
Nothing was found and the youths beat up all three and wanted to burn the truck
but couldn't find matches. The main problem apparently being the influx of farm
workers (MDC) from the closed farms into the valley. This is perhaps a warning
to others who may send vehicles down that way.
Mangondo experienced extensive hunting with dogs, large numbers of
animals being killed and meat sold; no assistance or support from Parks despite
promises to do so. Peugeot station wagon
369-807R and Nissan 7-tonne truck G-LMP bring people onto the farm to fish and
hunt. Amajuba returnws to work (at the request of farm labourers) after total
i.e. coffee, banana, horticulture and fishery, although no tobacco/planting is
allowed. Despite advice and direction
from the Ministry of Labour and NEC to the
Committee on Blue Grass to cease the total work stoppage, the labour have again
been very militant and prevented any feeding or watering of pigs all day. Police notified but there has been no
resolution. Finally late in the day the
Ministry of Labour instructed ZRP and DA to allow a return to work at the
piggery on condition that the farmer pays the labour in the interim in part as
per the pending legislation and has to make up the difference
as and when legislation effective.
Penrose experienced a militant labour disturbance and total work
stoppage, including no watering of citrus and mango orchards. ZRP attended and
the police were locked up in the farmhouse by the war vets and labour. They were
finally released late in the evening. Watering of orchards has finally been
allowed. All the farm labourers forced
off Rungudzi by war vets. On Siyalima
farm labourers were requested by war vets to return to work after a total work
stoppage. A local war vet instructed he
would consider allowing work to continue and stated that the Ministry of Labour
and NEC were not in charge, the war vets are. Discussions with the DA and Member
in Charge at Guruve ZRP gave no resolution. - directions from DA were "there are
laws in this country, follow them".
Large numbers of war vet cattle are being driven onto Siyalima, including
on to irrigated pastures. On Nyamfuta there is a total work stoppage. On
Karoe tobacco planting was stopped but after negotiation with settlers the
farmer was allowed
to complete the final 7ha of tobacco planting.
General - Police are
not being very co-operative in dealing with identified gang members who are
operating over a wide area, robbing farm villages.
Kwekwe: On Sunday
morning, two persons posing as thatching grass buyers, accessed a homestead
armed with a revolver. They forced the husband and wife to lie on the floor and
demanded the whereabouts of the safe, threatening to shoot the couple if they
did not give them this information. The wife was then escorted round the house
by the unarmed thief, looking for a non-existent safe while the husband was held
at gun point. Having searched the house and found no safe the couple were again
threatened. The wife gave them all the money in the house and the thieves
demanded the keys of their vehicle, saying they would leave it in town. The
thieves then locked the couple in the bathroom and made off with the satellite
decoder, video, TV and cell phone. By about 1.00 p.m. the couple managed to
escape by unscrewing the bathroom burglar bars and immediately alerted the
Police through family members in town. Police response was slow as it was their
lunch break and they had no transport. Family members provided transport to the
property but, on arrival, police advised that they could not take fingerprints
as they had no dusting kit. The vehicle was sighted in a lay-by on the Harare
road near Sable Chemicals. Police were again transported by family members to
recover the vehicle but were again unable to take fingerprints. The satellite
decoder was in the vehicle but nothing else was recovered. On another farm a
substation door and 13 x 50kg bags of MOB were stolen. Elsewhere, more
irrigation equipment has been stolen. 4 cattle have been found in snares, cattle
were moved off a property 3 weeks ago and the herd is now 41 short. A poacher was caught with an impala carcass
whilst two others were caught netting fish in the dam. Police have not responded
to the last two incidents. Approximately 7 hectares of land have been opened up
and cleared with a bulldozer on a property on which new people are opening up
lands. When the owner went to help a neighbour put out a fire, he was verbally
abused by war veterans. The farmer’s cattle camp was set on fire but it was
extinguished in time. As was threatened last week, 80 Ha of wheat stover was
burned by settlers and a bulldozer was brought in to clear lands. 14-16
structures are going up and the farmer is still unable to plant. On an
un-designated farm, a farmer has been given permission to plant paprika by the
D.A. Another farmer was visited by the
Governor and told not to plant on designated land and to have all the lands
burned by the 10th November. Settlers threatened to burn the combined lands but
the D.A. told them this can only be done by the farmer. On another farm, a fire
on combined wheat lands was put out as the adjacent land is still to be
combined. The fire brigade was called in to assist and the owner has since
received death threats. House building continues. The D.A. visited the farm to
tell the farmer to co-exist with the occupiers and to wait for confirmation from
him before planting. A group of 9 people arrived on another A group-designated
farm from a Game Park, which they said was not good enough anymore. Snaring and
poaching continues on this farm and two new groups have started tree cutting but
left when apprehended. The farmer was approached by a settler from a
neighbouring farm asking for the loan of a tractor to prepare his lands. The
request was refused. Invaders drove through properties on private roads and the
boundary gate to the Rhino Conservancy, which has been kept locked for many
years, has been broken down.
Perpetrators say there is no such thing as trespass
Shurugwi: A farmer’s
security gate was barricaded by a crowd of illegal occupiers, assisted by gold
panners, chanting and uttering threats.
Two employees were threatened with death. Police reacted and advised the crowd
to disband and remove the barricade.
3 people were spotted stealing 10 dairy heifers in broad daylight. The farm
workers set off in pursuit and managed to recover 9 of the heifers. Occupiers are setting snares all along the
fences of a farm. The fences are being pulled down by the wildlife which gets
entangled as a result, mainly Tsesebe. Most of the wildlife thus caught is left
to rot in the snares. On another farm a breeding cow was slaughtered. The case
was reported to ZRP who have been out to investigate but have as yet no
Two poachers with a dog were apprehended trying to dig an antbear out of its
hole. The poachers were taken to the police who were reluctant to do anything
until the farmer insisted on an RRB number. The dog was taken to the SPCA. The
same farmer, acting on information received, located $5000 worth of 20mm
polypipe that had been stolen from him. The police were taken to where the pipe
had been found but did not arrest the perpetrator, Hamba Trust, because he
claimed to be suffering from TB and could not travel in the back of a pickup. He
claimed to have bought the piping in Chinhoyi.
– On Merrylands a 4 month old calf was killed
and only the hindquarters removed. Two men in a government vehicle visited the
owner and invited him to a court case in Harare regarding the property that they
maintained had been offered to the government. They could not produce an
official summons and were handed a copy of the letter of objection to
acquisition. A suggestion that the matter could be resolved in Bulawayo was
unacceptable to the farmer who declined further discussion on the issue and the
men left. Two out of three workers’
huts were demolished by squatters and all the personal property scattered
around. Constable Kantosa of the Z.R.P. Tsholotsho who assists the Prosecutor
In Charge at Tsholotsho Magistrates Court phoned to find out how his workers
were on Luchabi Ranch where he has a plot.
A D.D.F. vehicle driven by an unidentified man with a woman passenger and
a number of youths on the back arrived at Porter Farm saying they were
checking the infrastructure with a view to settling people. When told by the
farmer that following the listing of the farm no Section 5 order or any other
order had been served, they looked at one pump and drove away.
Redwood Park a D.D.F.
tractor is ploughing up paprika lands with irrigation drip lines and irrigation
equipment valued at $11 million. The drip tape had been removed from the lands
and thrown aside in a manner that has caused hundreds and thousands of dollars
worth of damage, and the tractor has turned on rows and rows of connectors
causing extensive damage. This is despite a new High Court Order that invaders
should not interfere with the work on the farm.
General - Poaching, starting of
bushfires and general lawlessness continues as does the plea from the Police
that transport is unavailable when required. When a farmer said an accused
poacher would be held until such time as he was collected the Police vehicle
arrived within 45 minutes.
Nicholson – On Janee a self appointed settler cut
a gate into the game fence along the main Bulawayo Beit Bridge road and has
allocated himself a plot. This is in spite of the fact that the other half of
the ranch north of the Sandawana road has been conceded for re-settlement, and
is in the process of being settled.
The settlers who moved off
Jonsyl Ranch were
actually evicted as the ranch has now been allocated to 30 individuals who will
each receive 1000ha under the model A2 Resettlement Scheme. The small-scale
commercial lots are being taken up by the owner of Pindi Stores and various
other businessmen and a Mr Mangena.
Reata has also
been divided into 1000ha plots and is being occupied by a Magistrate, some
doctors and four senior policemen from Gwanda. An Agritex team returned for the
second time to peg Swallowfork
Ranch, presumably for Model A2 resettlement. They failed to
gain entry to the ranch as the boundary fence was locked and they could not
break the lock or chain. A phone call to the elderly mother was threatening,
demanding that the gate be opened or they would break through that day. This is
happening whilst many neighbouring properties are being cleared of settlers by
the Army and Police. In
retaliation for the eviction of settlers by the Police and Army from the Bubiana
Conservancy, a group of 100+ settlers surrounded the farmyard of Peregwi, outside the security fence,
and threw stones at the workshop where the owner and his manager were repairing
a vehicle. The owner moved to the house to radio for help, attracting a hail of
rocks, one of which crashed through the asbestos roof into the living room. A
passing army detail involved in moving the settlers was nearby and reacted.
Police also came and the situation was contained. A second demonstration
occurred the following day. The Army were also present and prevented the
situation from getting out of control.
Ranch 10 Members from the Law and
order Maintenance Unit arrived with a search warrant claiming that the farm
owner had an arms cache on his property. An extensive search of the property
revealed nothing. It is suspected that a false report was made by a fired
– On Battle Farm a white Mazda B1800 pick-up,
Registration Number 750-112N, containing six army members, with the driver
identifying himself only as Hobb, was found driving around the property "looking
at accessibility of property for official military manoeuvres". They claimed to
be lost in spite of having district maps with them. They said they had
"hardware" with them and the attitude toward the farmer was quite menacing. The
farm has not been designated, yet the DA claims that as the Council had not sent
a rates account, the farm was now Government's.
The voter's registration caravan in Shangani and on Debshan, and now on
the mine, is reported to be registering land applicants and not
– On Gwaai Ranch three individuals, one
positively identified as a National Parks employee, each brandishing an AK47
rifle, have been travelling around the district in a Parks government number
plate Land Rover claiming to be doing a game count on the game ranches. They
claim Parks will not issue any hunting quotas in the district next year as there
is no game. A major portion of the area they are inspecting has been burnt out
and the game has naturally moved elsewhere.
On Hankano the
owner has had his borehole and equipment tampered with on several occasions as
reported last week. This Friday the ball valve was smashed and a section of
pipe removed to prevent him from pumping water for his staff and his
Management on Essexvale Ranch has been weakened with the resignation of the
second farm manager. The property is being overrun by settlers with little
attempt being made to control the problem.
– On Shemers invaders arrived and Mr Ben
Mkandla has cut 46 poles and is working for Mr Douglas Magutshwa, a teacher in
Gweru, and Nkosilathi Magutshwa of the Zimbabwean Airforce. Reports have been
made to the Member in charge at Inyathi Police Station who said he would be
visiting the farm with the DA and the Chairman of the War Veteran's Association
of Inyathi. Agritex officials arrived on
South Beldans to
measure the diptank, troughs and the dam. Pegging and marking of stands has
started by Agritex officials. This was reported to the ZRP who advised the
foreman to contact the DA. There was no reply.
On Redlands Farm
the owners have, after much haggling, been offered a sandveld
property of approximately 3000 acres with absolutely no infrastructure at all in
exchange for his 11,000 acre property with approximately $40-50 million worth of
improvements. The farm that was originally agreed to by the authorities over a
year ago has in the meantime been settled on by a top local official and his
Marula – On Mananda
Farm cattle have been snared and the case is being investigated. The accused
are setting snares in the late afternoon They then drive the cattle into the
snare line during the evening or after dark. Once the animal is caught it is
killed with an axe, cut up and carried away. The meat is dried and sold.
Police and farm security have arrested three people in connection with the
snares, all of whom admitted the act. A large amount of meat was recovered.
Bridge - The owner of Sentinel Ranch discovered that the
war vets are paying their cattle herders on the property $800 a month. He has
told them that he will report them for paying below minimal agricultural wages
if they do not meet the legal stipulated wages. Strict measures are being
enforced on the property to control and prevent further illegal movement of
stock. Any cattle without Veterinary brands will be removed and/or prevented
from coming onto the property. War Vet cattle owners whose animals are on the
property are agreeable to these measures.
and Central Area -Nothing to report
situation in Mwenezi has now become very desperate. On Lizuma Farm, the owner
reports that he may have to start killing cows and calves due to the continued
harassment of water rgihts.
Mor invasions of
people continue all over the area, more huts erected on a daily basis. Fires
are a daily occurrence as are cutting of fencing and wire theft, as well as
continued poaching and laying down of snares. Farm gates are left open, on one
farm alone nine out of ten gates are left open on a daily basis and the owner is
having to continually check.
poaching, snaring, building of huts, felling of trees, veld
farm, Chibakwe farm, Lorn farm and Edgars Ridge farm cattle have been chased off
the properties by very militant illegal occupiers wielding axes and pangas. A
heavy presence of army personnel is present throughout the disrict and owners
are presently dealing with DA Gutu and the police to try and resolve this
The opinions in this message do not
necessarily reflect those of the Commercial Farmers' Union which does not accept
any legal responsibility for them.
Mugabe steps up evictions
Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has
used his sweeping powers of
decree to force farmers off their land and
sidestep their rights to have
their eviction approved by the courts, the
state press said on Saturday.
The state-controlled daily Herald said
regulations issued on Friday under
Mugabe's "presidential powers" - close to
state of emergency authority -
allow the government to resettle people on
white-owned farms before the high
court has heard the owners'
Farm union officials were shocked by Mugabe's latest
"It demonstrates that the government's fast track resettlement
illegal," said David Hasluck, director of the Commercial
"Otherwise, why would they use executive
Mugabe's new decree on land seizure allows the government to
confiscate land without legal recourse, he said.
current legislation, the government can issue farm owners with orders
state that their property has been acquired by government.
Hasluck said, the government has no right to interfere with the
the owner has exercised his right to object to the high court.
Only after the
court has approved the acquisition can the state prepare the
land and move
The court's approval is also needed before the owners'
eviction is ordered.
However, the new presidential decree allows the
state to "survey, demarcate
and allocate it (the land) for resettlement," and
order the farmer off the
land, the Herald said. Owners will have three months
in which to abandon
The move follows a series of high
court rulings recently that have ordered
squatters to stop harassing farmers
and preventing them from carrying out
farming operations while the farmers
challenge the state's plans to seize
appeared to undermine any further appeals by farmers to be
allowed to work
without being attacked and harassed by squatters, Hasluck
move is expected to cause new anxiety of arbitrary mass evictions of
farmers as Mugabe attempts to build up support ahead of
elections due by the end of March 2002.
The decree is the
latest in a rash of legislation effected by the regime to
enable it to seize
land with the minimum of legal process, observers say.
It also precedes
the two-week survey due next week by a United Nations team
to check if
Mugabe's so-called "fast track land reform programme" is being
legally, transparently and without any disruption to
Thirty-nine farm workers and nine white farmers have been
murdered since the
thousands of state-backed militias began invading white-
owned land in
Over 7 500 farm workers have been driven
off their land and commercial
agriculture - responsible for 85 per cent of
the country's formally marketed
output - is forecast to fall by 40% this
farming season. - Sapa/DPA
IBBO Mandaza appears to have been
stung by our criticism that the Mirror
seeks to protect individuals at the
apex of the Zimbabwean state from public
scrutiny. This followed an attack on
the Standard by his newspaper for
publishing Grace Mugabe’s abysmal exam
results which in turn provoked a
response from Muckraker.
of “puerile ranting”, he gave a demonstration of what puerile
ranting is all
about with a diatribe against “neo-liberalism”, a concept
that has a doubtful
existence outside the sclerotic frame of 1970s
apparatchiks trying to defend
their failed state.
Justifying the Mirror’s willingness to collaborate
with the Media Ethics
Committee, Mandaza says: “We do not believe in the mob
approach to issues.
We could not just have dismissed the Media Ethics
Committee simply because
other privately-owned newspapers had done so. Like
we said before, our paper
believes national issues, no matter who initiates
them, deserve our keen
Like we said before, an issue
doesn’t become “national” just because the
Mirror’s editor, mirroring
Jonathan Moyo, declares it so! The minister is
hardly a disinterested party.
He has an axe to grind following his defeat in
last year’s referendum and
failed attempts to block reporting on a civil
suit lodged in
Mandaza is of course at liberty to collaborate with an outfit
the minister with the declared aim of limiting media freedom.
But if he can’
t see the conflict of interest involved when that committee
wife of a minister who Moyo has pledged to protect from press
, together with other individuals closely identified with Zanu
repressive media agenda, he should perhaps join the Information
where he belongs instead of claiming to be the publisher of an
Mandaza’s pompous claim to be seriously
“dissecting issues” comes apart as
soon as we read his views in the Scrutator
column. Indignantly rebutting the
suggestion that Zimbabwe shares
similarities with Yugoslavia under Slobodan
Milosevic — a theme echoed in the
state media — he says the Zimbabwean state
“is far from tottering and, worse
still for those who have so personalised
and demonised the man, Mugabe is
bound to win the presidential election in
Any coalition against
Zimbabwe, he concludes, would require the cooperation
of Sadc and: “There is
no African state in its sane mind that would ever
contemplate the possibility
of assisting Europe in a campaign against one of
Has he been
following the debate at the ACP/EU joint parliamentary forum in
he aware what other African states had to say about Zimbabwe’s
And isn’t this the same pundit who told us Thabo Mbeki would
never speak out
against an African state like Zimbabwe because he was “one
What happened to that forecast? And as for next year’s election
should bear in mind that this same political scientist gave the
MDC 30 seats
when predicting last year’s poll result.
But what really
stands out in Mandaza’s column is the reference to those
who have “so
demonised” Mugabe. Apart from this being exactly the same
language as that
used in the official media, it conveniently ignores the
central point that
Mugabe is not just president of Zimbabwe enjoying
sweeping executive powers;
he is also first secretary of an overweening
political party with claims to
national hegemony and, assisted by a suborned
media, the most widely
publicised person in Zimbabwe over a 21-year period.
His every word is the
If civil society wishes to engage in public discourse
with the regime, it
has to at some point be able to criticise Mugabe’s record
and his public
pronouncements, especially when those pronouncements have
evidently to the country’s decline and isolation.
Mandaza can’t see this and regards it as “demonisation” tells us all we
to know about his role as an apologist for the regime.
We shall leave
aside the small matter that in nine references to
the heading, he didn’t manage to spell it right
Over the years
Tafataona Mahoso’s capacity to start a column in the Sunday
Mail at exactly
the point he left off the previous week has become something
of a national
joke. Here was an individual with pretensions to being a media
didn’t understand the need for an introductory paragraph
explaining what he
had said previously.
While the newspaper was partly to blame for lack of
it seems Mahoso never pointed the problem out and
continued submitting copy
without any limit on wordage.
the Herald carried a contribution by Prof Mwesiga Baregu which
“Conversely, the article forbids members of the covenant from
the internal economic affairs of other
There was a strap below saying: “This is the last part of a
at the conference, ‘Rethinking Land, State and Citizenship
Zimbabwe Crisis’ at the Centre for Development Research,
But no clue as to what he had said the previous
Nhlanhla Masuku appears to be singing for his supper at the
Authority of Zimbabwe. He was quoted in the Daily News last
saying: “It is a pity that our judicial system was about to become
international disgrace by failing to understand the need for
international administration of airwaves.”
Masuku is the disgrace.
Being Jonathan Moyo’s appointee is bad enough. But
attacking the judiciary in
the same vitriolic terms as his benefactor is
unacceptable conduct for a
public official whatever his provenance.
The judiciary ruled that under
clauses relating to freedom of expression,
ZBC should not have a monopoly of
the airwaves. Instead a number of stations
could be licensed. It didn’t say
these stations should be free of regulation
in respect of frequency
For Masuku, who functions under legislation of dubious
legality designed to
limit freedom of expression rather than enhance it, to
upholding the rights Zimbabweans are entitled to under
the constitution is
to advertise a position we had before only been able to
It is not too difficult to guess who writes pieces purporting
to come from
the Sunday Mail’s political editor. Last Sunday the paper ran
story rubbishing the MDC. It quoted a “frustrated” MDC MP as
“The emergence of the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions has taken
limelight from the MDC which relies on the Zimbabwe Congress of
However “frustrated” they may be, this
certainly didn’t sound like the sort
of thing an MDC MP would say. In fact it
sounded exactly what the Minister
of Information would say!
does this which was put into the mouth of an MDC MP: “The decision by
government to gazette price controls also dealt a big blow to the MDC
wanted to capitalise on the hardships that the people were facing.”
we seriously being asked to believe that an MDC MP said that?
Here is a
note for party parrots and other propagandists. For people to
lies there has to be an element of credibility. If you put into
the mouths of
others Zanu PF-type sentiments, nobody will believe them as
anywhere other than Zanu PF.
Then we had a funny little story about how a
BBC documentary on President
Mugabe had “backfired” when “hundreds of
viewers” applauded the president
for his bold stance on land.
was the source for this claim of “hundreds of viewers”? The
Commission in London working in cahoots with Admore Tshuma who
embarrassed the journalism profession with his extravagant praise
A Zimbabwean “political analyst” in London, Professor George Shiri,
quoted as urging Zimbabweans to rally behind the president.
should not allow external forces to divide our nation,” he
Can anyone in London tell us what subject “Professor
Shiri” lectures in and
where in the UK. Tshuma forgot to mention
The same goes for Solomon Majasi, described as “another academic” who
“I cannot participate in a programme that seeks to vilify my own
Apparently he can’t think for himself either!
theory that state media journalists do not have their own voice was
last weekend when the Sunday Mail’s political editor, Munyaradzi
exactly the same words as the Herald to describe the Canadian
insistence at Bath Farm that all stakeholders should be allowed
The Herald said David Kilgour “went into fits of racial bigotry”
Mudenge and Joseph Made tried to block Dr Japie Jackson from
fact all he did was to insist that Jackson be allowed to make
But the Sunday Mail said: “Mr Kilgour went into fits
of racial bigotry in a
foiled attempt to mislead the committee on the true
situation in the
Either one journalist is copying another or
they are both being told to
write the same thing! And by the way, the
committee certainly saw the true
situation in the country after that
performance by Mudenge and Made!
Before we finish with these bought
hacks, how about this travesty. Under the
heading “Mr Leon says No to Mandela
Street”, the Sunday Mail’s “Under the
Surface” columnist told his readers
that South African opposition leader
Tony Leon had “called for the
resignation of the mayor of Cape Town, Mr
Peter Marais, because the mayor
wanted to rename the city’s main road after
Is the writer
genuinely ignorant or is this plain deceit?
The proposal from the New
National Party was to name two adjoining streets
after Nelson Mandela and FW
de Klerk. Leon took disciplinary action against
Marais for accepting a
petition that was exposed by the media as fraudulent.
Many of the names on it
appeared more than once.
That the Sunday Mail supports fraud and
electoral rigging shouldn’t surprise
us. Nor should the deliberate omission
of De Klerk’s name to make this look
like a racial issue. But open support
for the National Party? Now there’s a
An avid reader of
the Zimbabwe Independent has sent us a note on Philip
achievement as an employer.
“We are sure that the flamboyant Mr Chiyangwa
would rather have the nickname
of either ‘WaBenzi Chiyangwa’ or ‘Bentley
Chiyangwa’ rather than the one
that is in common usage, ie ‘3 Shoes
This nickname presumably caught on as a sign of sincere
G&D Shoes retrenched workers who each received three
pairs of shoes on
termination of employment, the reader reminds us.
News Analysis 2
Nations Development Programme (UNDP) technical team due in
Zimbabwe next week
to assess the efficacy of the fast-track land reform
exercise has a difficult
task at hand.
It has been officially confirmed the team — whose findings
could have a
serious bearing on the Abuja accord and other events in Zimbabwe
— is to
make recommendations to the donor community on the way
British Foreign Office minister Baroness Amos, who was part of
Commonwealth ministerial mission to Zimbabwe two weeks ago, said
advancement of the deal hinged on the UNDP findings.
observers say the team, like others that visited the country before it,
be caught up in an invidious process of weighing legal issues and
While the team, which was here last year, would certainly want
to produce a
scientific report to keep its reputation intact, it might give
sympathetic hearing to avoid estranging Harare
The land reform programme has had far-reaching ramifications
administration of justice in Zimbabwe. Government has been found to
violating its own laws as political imperatives took precedence
Analysts say the fundamental breakdown in the
rule of law has shaken the
foundation of the state and consigned the country
into a judicial jungle.
Harassment of the judiciary, sidestepping of court
orders and selective
prosecution — all part of President Robert Mugabe’s
struggle for political
survival — are now widespread.
accused of backdating laws it has put in place to give a façade of
to its ill-considered exercise.
In terms of the Land Acquisition Act, any
farmer whose land is to be
compulsorily acquired must be served with a notice
of intent to acquire the
The farmer may object within 30
days and agents of government may enter the
land with due notice to the
landowner to appraise and value the property for
But no demarcation, pegging or settlement is
If the landowner’s objection is not upheld the Minister of
Lands should make
an offer of compensation and may issue a notice of
Again no partitioning, marking out or occupation
As soon as the initial notice of acquisition has been served,
a message to
appear for a confirmation hearing in the Administrative Court is
Only if the acquisition of the property is
confirmed by judgement in the
Administrative Court, and there is no appeal to
a higher court by the
land-owner, is division, carving up and planning for
Occupation and settlement of people is only
legal after the landowner has
been served a notice to vacate the
Land invaders who occupied farms before March 1 and were in
occupation as at
June 8 are protected in terms of the Rural Land Occupiers
However, this Act does not accord any
rights to use the land for crop and
livestock production or use timber and
other materials for building.
The Law Society of Zimbabwe, which
represents over 800 lawyers, made
comprehensive representations to the
Sternford Moyo, the association president, said his
organisation has since
March last year been pleading with government to
restore the rule of law.
He said lawyers were concerned about the
executive’s unwillingness or
inability to enforce court orders.
Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) on March 17 2000 obtained by consent a
Court order for the eviction of farm invaders. Government refused to
In November the same year a further order was made by consent in the
Court. Again authorities declined to enforce it.
Society and the Sadc Lawyers Association issued statements urging
to conduct land reform lawfully.
“On the 16th of August 2000, the Law
Society met with the Minister
of Home Affairs (John Nkomo),” said
“It expressed its support for a programme of land redistribution
emphasised that land reform had to be carried within the framework of
Moyo said the use of violence and coercion to redistribute
the rule of law.
“Resettlement by invasion is the
antithesis of the rule of law, which calls
for a climate of legality, the
absence of wide, arbitrary and discretionary
powers, and an effective legal
order supported by an independent judiciary,”
Last year the
Supreme Court found the land reform exercise to be
however, acknowledged the need for land
interdicted government from taking steps to acquire further land
putting in place a workable land reform programme.
court at the same time suspended the operation of the interdict to
authorities to satisfy the court the rule of law had been restored.
the order was disregarded.
Instead, government responded with a flurry of
attacks against the
Addressing his party’s extraordinary
congress on December 14 last year,
“The courts can do
what they want. They are not courts for our people and we
should not even be
defending ourselves in these courts.” He also made his
infamous “strike fear
into the hearts of the white men” speech.
Prior to that on November 14
2000, the war veterans had stormed the Supreme
Court, singing and dancing on
desks and forcing lawyers to scurry for
Moyo said this, and
other blatant attacks on lawyers and the judiciary, were
also expressed concern at what critics say is crude
packing of the Supreme
Court, in which judges were increased from five to
judges led by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku recently granted
an interim order to persist with land seizures.
Moyo said the CFU’s legal
team argued the Supreme Court did not have the
jurisdiction to interfere with
its own order issued on December 21 2000.
Government had no locus standi
(legal basis) before the court because it
could not allege a breach of the
declaration of rights, and it was in
contempt of court due to its failure to
enforce court orders.
“The court directed that both the preliminary
points and the merits of the
matter be argued together so that judgement
could be given at the same
time,” Moyo said.
“The effect of the order
was to render the preliminary point relating to the
contempt of court
academic. The preliminary point was to the effect that the
(representing government) could not be heard whilst he was
On October 22, the Supreme Court decided to issue an
interim order granting
temporary relief to government pending its verdict on
Observers note, while the UNDP will be sympathetic to government’s
land reform, it will have no choice but to conclude that fast track
unlawful and chaotic.
News Analysis 1
parliamentary Finance Committee on November 1 rejected the proposed
state budget and demanded the government’s spending package reflect the
domestic economic growth.
“Members of the Finance Committee asked me to
ask the Ministry to come up
with a real budget and not one based on
amounts...which have no reality,”
Finance Committee chairman Yakov Litzman
told a news agency.
Back home on the same day, Finance minister Simba
Makoni presented the 2002
budget which analysts said did little to tackle
distortions and would anyway prove hostage to political
This was Makoni’s second budget. Plucked from the private
sector where he
ran a successful software distribution company, the
minister was described as a technocrat who would bring
much needed business
acumen to economic management.
But 16 months
later his influence is minimal as Zanu PF dinosaurs continue
economic recovery by directing scarce resources to military and
The function of a national budget is to establish
a sound macro-economic
framework. This lays the groundwork for policies that
Makoni, a staunch believer in a
market-driven economy, presented his
November 1 budget statement with those
strategic objectives in mind.
But analysts this week said despite its
appeal to the ordinary person and
the corporate world, especially those in
the export sector, the budget, like
those before it, was likely to be
unsustainable and would consequently fail
to achieve recovery.
government in a major policy retreat after abandoning the
Monetary Fund and World Bank-recommended economic stabilisation
favour of its much-vaunted Zimbabwe Millennium Economic Recovery
(MERP), Makoni had been trapped in a corner.
Critics say he
ought to have been more pragmatic. The first thing he should
have done was to
come up with tangible measures to preserve, and if
possible, invigorate what
is left of his tax base. This step would have been
a prerequisite to making
meaningful cash-flow projections.
To secure the survival of what is left
of business requires the will and
courage to identify, confront and seek to
solve first and foremost the
problem of the forex drought.
depleted foreign currency reserves, the Zimbabwe dollar has to
Analysts said it is senseless for anyone to plan on the
basis of a currency
such as Zimbabwe’s. It is surprising that Makoni didn’t
address himself to
the question of exchange rate management. He also made no
mention of the
Cabinet should rather have
directed its effort towards the task of
cultivating a conducive business
environment and overhauling the country’s
shattered image, leaving the
arithmetic to Makoni and his staff at the
“Another unfortunate problem is Makoni’s decision, deliberately
unwittingly, to close his mind to government’s performance record of
past 21 years,” one analyst said, adding that by so doing he undermined
capacity for systematic solutions.
The budget proposes modest tax
reductions, a boost to the social services
sector and encourages construction
in the high-density housing sector. The
indigenous sector will benefit from a
5% tax on bank profits.
But analysts say the social service dimension is
overplayed in the budget,
crafted with next year’s presidential election in
They said directing huge sums of money into social service
not indicate that government is serious about social problems
“It’s just lip service as more resources should have been
boosting production,” a bank executive said.
Makoni fails to convincingly explain his programme of action which
the minister has no room to implement market-driven policies.
requires more than what can be addressed by the budget. The
problems are of
governance,” said the banker, adding problems being
experienced in the
manufacturing sector stemmed from skewed
Though welcoming the tax relief to the
restive workforce, analysts said
incentives alone cannot stimulate
“A number of factors make the 2002 budget redundant,” said
James Jowa, the
Zimbabwe Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) chief
Domestic borrowing by the government, mainly to finance its
has crowded out the private sector and pushed up
Inflation is currently nudging 86%, while interest rates,
which have stifled
industrial operations and therefore economic growth, have
been reduced to
“The current interest rate policy is discouraging
savings to stimulate
investment,” said John Makamure, a local
Makoni projected a budget deficit of $138,3 billion or 14,9%
of GDP in 2002,
which is 2,9 percentage points above the projected 12% for
Jowa said the persistent high budget deficit, the major source
macro-economic instability, should have been held at much lower
He said the consequences of a high budget deficit are
inflationary in the
sense that government is going to finance its deficit
borrowing and also borrow from the Reserve Bank, which will
result in high
money supply growth.
A high proportion of the budget’s
allocation in the 2002 budget went to
defence, health capital expenditure and
This was at the expense, Jowa says, of economic
ministries like Lands and
Agriculture, and Industry and Commerce. He said
funds should have been
diverted to capital projects.
still misplaced. The budget has no capacity to generate
Jowa said though welcoming the $2 billion allocated to
resuscitate over 200
businesses that have closed down due to factory
invasions and macro-economic
fundamentals, it would be more appropriate to
intervene before companies
He also warned that parliament
should guard against unbudgeted expenditure,
a case in point being the $17
billion supplementary budget tabled in
Jowa said there must
be mechanisms in place to avoid a voting cycle budget
which does not
stimulate the productive sector.
Makoni said the accumulation of external
payment arrears represents a big
burden to the country’s distressed
He proposed to stabilise the country’s external arrears by
repayment efforts to unlock suspended disbursements on existing
This appears to have been wishful thinking as the government
has no prospect
of reviving relations with the donor
However, analysts say Makoni tried his best under the current
as he did not have much room to
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries chief economist Farai
Makoni’s export incentives aimed at revitalising the
“The incentives are easy to implement,” he
However, Zizhou says Makoni accepted the economic challenges
giving a solution.
“The actual implementation of what Makoni
is expecting is quite
discouraging,” said Zizhou.
On the outlook,
Makoni admitted that the economy will continue to struggle.
which again rolls for three years, is anchored by MERP,
which analysts say is
Defence vote raises eyebrows
THE allocation of $34 billion to the Ministry of Defence in the
has raised questions over the country’s commitment to reduce
the armed forces.
The ministry received $19,3 billion
in the last budget, of which $6 billion
was a supplementary vote. In his 2001
budget, Finance minister Simba Makoni
projected that the Ministry of Defence
would receive $12,9 billion but this
has been increased by more than two and
a half times in the 2002 estimates.
The allocation contradicts Makoni’s
statement in his first budget last year
that the defence allocation was being
reduced as government was anticipating
the withdrawal of the armed forces
from the Democratic Republic of Congo
Since the outbreak of the
costly war in the vast DRC, senior government
officials have been lobbying
heavily for local companies to penetrate the
DRC market and set up
This year’s budget has not been without controversy. There
omissions from Makoni’s statement — like the Defence vote
mentioned during the address. The vote was only announced the next
although government newspapers were given the diskette containing
allocation. They were also leaked details of the budget the previous
On the day of the presentation there was no “blue book” available
gives the budget estimates for each ministry and government
The bloated defence allocation flies in the face of claims
that social needs
were being prioritised. The Ministry of Health secured $22
billion, yet it
is close to collapse. Most government hospitals have
and there is a serious shortage of drugs. Doctors and
nurses have left the
service in droves as conditions continue to
The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce said defence
spending remained a
major concern given that defence continued to dominate
relative to health and social welfare matters.
allocation indicates a rather clear case of government’s waywardness
prioritising issues,” the ZNCC said. “Despite the current land
programme being severely under-funded, it was only allocated $17
The government missed most of last year’s budgetary
MDC secretary-general Professor Welshman Ncube also expressed
non-disclosure of allocations to some ministries.
some significant non-disclosures in the statement,” said Ncube.
defence budget was not revealed, wages of civil servants were discussed
abstract way but no figures were given, no mention at all of price
and only a passing reference to the looming food crisis.”
failed to be specific about government’s intentions in respect
rates and the exchange rate, Ncube said.
Moyo, Mahofa threaten Masaiti for suing Mugabe
8:07:28 AM (GMT +2)
JONATHAN Moyo, the
Minister of State for Information and Publicity and
Shuvai Mahofa, the Deputy
Minister for Youth Development, Gender and
Employment Creation, allegedly
threatened to have Evelyn Masaiti, the MP for
Mutasa, thrown out of
Parliament for successfully suing President Mugabe in
Masaiti alleged that Moyo approached her in the dining room
last week on Thursday and harassed her over her victory in a US
She said: "I was sitting at one table while he sat at
another. He said to
me, 'You are happy you have won your case,' and warned
they were going to
throw me out of Parliament because I had failed to respect
the laws of my
"He said despite taking an oath of allegiance in
Parliament, I had gone
ahead and sued President Mugabe in the States,"
Masaiti said. "I told him my
political rights had been violated in Zimbabwe
and I decided to go to the
USA for justice."
She said she then moved over
to another table where Mahofa and other Zanu PF
MPs were seated.
said Moyo followed her there.
"Moyo followed me and asked his colleagues
not to talk to me because I had
sued their party in the US," said
"I invited them to come with me to my constituency and see for
the damage caused by their supporters and I also asked them to
as if I was fabricating things. As I was still explaining, Mahofa
me with death."
The MP claimed Mahofa said to her, "Manje
uchafira izvozvo" (You will die
Mahofa, however, denied
Said Mahofa: "She is crazy. That is not true at all.
I never said anything
like that to her. I was not alone at that
Moyo, on the other hand, twice replaced the receiver on finding out
it was a
Daily News reporter on the line.
Earlier this year, Masaiti,
Elliot Pfebve, the losing MDC candidate for
Bindura whose brother Matthew was
killed in the run-up to the June
parliamentary election, Adella Chiminya and
Maria Stevens, whose husbands
were murdered during the same period by
suspected Zanu PF supporters filed a
law suit against Mugabe in a US District
court in New York.
Matthew was killed during the run-up to the June
while Masaiti was harassed together with her
supporters in her constituency
US judge, Victor
Marrero, last Tuesday delivered his verdict in the landmark
case in which he
ruled that Zanu PF was liable for murdering and torturing
opponents in the run-up to last year parliamentary election.
More than 30 MDC
supporters were killed during the bloody campaign.
Masaiti said she would not
be deterred from fighting for justice by the
attitude of Zanu PF
She said: "I will not budge. I'm really happy with the judgment in
because it tells political leaders in the country that they must not
rape or torture people to get into power or Parliament."
government, through Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal
Parliamentary Affairs and Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Speaker of Parliament,
for a long time now been seeking legal advice on how to deal with
suing Mugabe in the US.
However, nothing has materialised since last November
when the debate
cropped up in Parliament.
The Independent (UK)
Fergal Keane: Stop Mr Mugabe turning Zimbabwe into a
'The interests of the big powers are so all-consuming that
any tyranny can
go on without any action'
10 November 2001
week President George Bush was telling us again that we lived in a
would never be the same again. There is some truth in that, but I
Mr Bush is talking in strictly limited terms. When he refers to
world, he of course sees it in terms of American interests. Not
for him the
evangelical universalism espoused by Tony Blair at the Labour
conference, the world in which Africa would no longer be a scar on
conscience of the world. Mr Bush has no interest in becoming a
Woodrow Wilson. As he himself has put it, the war is defined in
simple opposites, a battle between good and evil in which those who
"with us" are "against us".
The United States may exert
pressure for change in different parts of the
world, such as the Middle East,
but only where American interests are
directly affected. Does anybody believe
that Ariel Sharon would be feeling
serious American pressure to start talking
with the Palestinians were it not
for the need to shore up support for the
war in moderate Arab states – or at
least neutralise their active
One can forgive the Israelis a certain amount of bewilderment
when they find
themselves faced with a White House apparently full of zeal
for a peace
settlement. Where was that passion in the first months of the
presidency? As for the rest of the world, with all its little wars
tyrannies... How much of that forlorn landscape have we read about or
on our screens in the past month?
There is no "new" world, only
the old one with new fears. All foreign policy
emanating from Washington is
now defined in terms of the "war on terror".
Take the case of Colombia, where
last week the US declared that the war
against left-wing guerrillas and
right-wing paramilitaries was a new front
line in the struggle against
terrorism. Would that it were so simple. But
having framed the conflict in
this way, the US will step up military
assistance and find itself dragged
into the mire of a vicious civil war.
Accusing the questioner of being soft
on terror can quickly neutralise any
criticism of this, just as early voices
raised against the war in Vietnam
were denounced as
Just as in the Cold War, the interests of the big powers
all-consuming that any amount of tyranny can go on without any
for action. I find it hard to believe the West will intervene to
another genocide in Africa when its military force is so preoccupied
events in Afghanistan and – within the next year – almost certainly in
Remember the promises about Rwanda never being allowed to happen again?
this week in Burundi Hutu rebel groups and the Tutsi army were
each other and numerous civilians in a conflict that has been
described as a
"slow genocide". The only peacekeepers in the country are a
South African VIP protection force.
The most troubling
situation is in Zimbabwe, where Robert Mugabe must be
overjoyed at the lack
of international attention. This week his henchmen
have been threatening
legal action to close the excellent Daily News,
arguably the bravest
newspaper on the planet. A regime notorious for its
indifference to law and
order has drummed up a politically motivated charge
to try and silence The
Daily News. The newspaper represents everything that
Mr Bush and Mr Blair
proclaim as essential values of civilisation: it is
political and social tolerance, and is courageous in
defence of these
In addition, Mr Mugabe's government has let it be known that no
monitors will be allowed into Zimbabwe to ensure that the
election has some chance of being free and fair. The EU has been
told it is
not welcome – a fine thank-you for the decades of bilateral aid
regime has enjoyed. With the threats against The Daily News and
rejection of monitors, Mr Mugabe is paving the way for an election
promises to be an exercise in violent intimidation. The terrible
that accompanied the parliamentary elections and a recent
by-election were a
foretaste of what the heavies in Harare are planning for
the big contest.
A friend of mine who monitored the by-election described
polling stations with some EU diplomats and being threatened to
else" by ruling party officials. They were followed by so-called
veterans, and when they tried to buy a copy of The Daily News they were
that the paper was no longer for sale in the area.
At the time of
independence Zimbabwe was the bread basket of the region.
Today it is sliding
towards a catastrophe. Yet all of this is being watched
by the EU, the
Commonwealth and the White House without any obvious sign of
response that is needed. I didn't hear a squeak of outrage, as
restrained muttering, when the threat to close The Daily News
Two months back Britain offered to pay £36m to finance a land
scheme on condition it was carried out legally. That meant an
end to land
invasions and intimidation by "war veterans". The ink was hardly
dry when Mr
Mugabe's warriors were rampaging on to commercial farms. Since
Commonwealth-sponsored accord, an estimated 680 farms have been invaded.
Commonwealth itself has been repeatedly humiliated by Mr Mugabe, but
refuses to expel Zimbabwe.
There is a great irony in this. It was
in Harare in the early 1990s that the
Commonwealth adopted a declaration in
favour of good governance. I was there
to watch the leaders solemnly intone
their commitment to principles of
openness and accountability. Mr Mugabe was
the smiling and gracious host.
The time for action on Zimbabwe is running
out. The presidential election
must be held before April and Mr Mugabe will
do anything to stay in power.
And anything means a lot of violence and
intimidation. Those with longer
memories will remember how Mr Mugabe's army
slaughtered its way through
Matabeleland just after independence. This is a
man capable of extreme
ruthlessness and nobody in power in the West can claim
ignorance if the
election turns into a bloodbath. Such is the fear of
violence that most
foreign monitors would likely choose to stay away, even if
Mr Mugabe were to
One possible road for the international
community is to tell Mr Mugabe that
unless he accepts a large and
representative monitoring force the results of
the election will not be
recognised. This would prove a difficult choice for
a country such as South
Africa, turning against an African neighbour in so
dramatic a fashion. But
the alternative is a disaster for human rights and
the African continent. The
South African president needs to lead the way on
this. The West might provide
money to rebuild Zimbabwe, but the real
pressure – economic and even
potentially military – must come from Pretoria.
In a world where the big
powers are preoccupied with their own war on
terrorism, Thabo Mbeki must
attend to the terror to his north. It might be
the best thing his country
ever does for the continent it dominates. And it
would be a lot wiser than
waiting for the White House to ride to the rescue.
The writer is a BBC