ZIMBABWE'S frantic efforts to
enlist the support of developing countries at the African, Caribbean and
Pacific and European Union (EU) joint parliamentary assembly in Brussels last
week to head off looming EU sanctions appear to have met with little
The Zimbabwe delegation to the assembly included Zanu PF MPs
Edward Chindori-Chininga and Kumbirai Kangai and the opposition MDC's
Abednico Bhebhe. MDC MPs Paul Themba Nyathi, David Coltart and the
party's representative to Brussels, Grace Kwinjeh, were also at the assembly
where they championed their party's cause and gave information on the
country's sad situation.
Chindori-Chininga's delegation failed to
garner enough backing for Harare in the face of razor-sharp criticism from
"Speaker after speaker from both EU and ACP groupings
condemned the behaviour of the Zimbabwe government towards its own people
over the last two years," a diplomatic source said. Chindori-Chininga
defended his government while Bhebhe and his colleagues responded to the Zanu
The week of frenetic lobbying by the Zanu PF delegation fell
completely flat. Last month the EU parliament in Strasbourg passed a
resolution calling for stern measures against Harare for its systematic
repression and lawlessness. The measure included the imposition of targeted
sanctions such as travel bans and the freezing of any overseas-based assets
belonging President Mugabe and his close allies.
The EU Council of
Ministers invoked Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement that will see the
imposition of sanctions. According to diplomatic sources, European and
developing country parliamentarians failed to deliver the support the
Zimbabwe government had been expecting and relying upon.
Friday said no resolution had been adopted at the end of the conference,
adding the assembly had nothing to do with the EU Council of Ministers since
they had already made a decision to invoke Article 96. Sources said out of 54
ACP votes, 17 MPs and hundreds of EU legislators voted against Zimbabwe,
pushing the country into further isolation.
Sadc was divided over
Zimbabwe's plight. South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho and Zambia are
said to have refused to back Zimbabwe, which was supported in the region only
by its remaining ally, Namibia.
The proceedings in Brussels were a
serious rebuttal of government claims that developing countries in the ACP/EU
forum were united behind Harare while EU states were opposed to the
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - The Zimbabwean government on
Monday banned 1,000 white farmers from cultivating their fields and gave them
three months to vacate their homes as part of its ``fast track'' land
The government has targeted 5,000 white-owned
commercial farms, about 95 percent of all farms owned by whites, for seizure
and redistribution to landless blacks.
In a government gazette
released Monday, President Robert Mugabe invoked special powers forcing the
1,000 farmers who had already received notification their land was being
seized to stop all work on it, regardless of whether they had crops waiting
to be harvested or appeals of the seizures pending in court.
given three months to leave their houses.
Lands and Agriculture Minister
Joseph Made said the government would begin allocating plots on the farms to
51,000 black families.
He said 201,000 black families had already been
resettled as communal farmers on formerly white farms, a number white farmers
dispute as vastly exaggerated.
``This (plan) is now fundamentally
complete and has been a major success,'' Made said.
White farmers say
over 500 farms are lying idle as a result of political violence, while many
others are in only partial production, with militants occupying some of the
Ruling party militants began occupying white-owned commercial
farms in March 2000, soon after voters rejected a constitutional referendum
that would have further entrenched the powers of Mugabe, who has ruled
Zimbabwe since independence in 1980. The government later announced its plans
to seize the white farms.
The opposition Movement for Democratic
Change won 57 of the 120 elected seats in parliamentary elections in June
2000, despite a campaign election monitors said was rife with violence,
mainly caused by ruling party supporters.
Opposition officials accuse
the government of using land seizures to garner support and further
intimidate political opponents ahead of what promises to be hard-fought
presidential elections next year.
Vice President Joseph Msika said Sunday
the government supported arming the ruling party militants following the
abduction of one of their leaders.
``If they (the opposition) are looking
for a blood bath, they will certainly get one,'' Msika told state radio and
the government-controlled Bulawayo Chronicle.
Police arrested Simon
Spooner, a white member of the Movement for Democratic Change, on Monday in
connection with the abduction.
Also Monday, police tried to search the
opposition party's offices in Harare, but were turned away when they could
not produce a warrant.
The government's announcement of farm seizures
Monday would further damage agriculture in a country deeply dependent on it,
said Adrian de Bourbon, a lawyer for the Commercial Farmers Union, which
represents most white farmers.
``I believe this is yet another nail in
the coffin of commercial farming in this country,'' he said.
which normally runs large food surpluses, is now facing serious food
The United Nations World Food Program announced last week
plans to begin a large-scale aid program next month to assist more than half
a million hungry Zimbabweans.
De Bourbon said the 3,000 farmers who
had received preliminary warnings the state intended to seize their farms
would likely begin receiving seizure notices next week.
basically signaled the death of an agreement the government signed in Abuja,
Nigeria, in September promising an orderly and legal land reform process and
an end to political violence, de Bourbon said.
Zimbabwe orders 1,000 white farmers from
The Zimbabwean government has banned 1,000 white farmers from working their
It has also given them three months to leave their homes.
President Mugabe has invoked special powers.
The government has targeted 5,000 white-owned commercial farms, about 95% of
all farms owned by whites, for seizure and redistribution.
The 1,000 farmers had already received notification their land was being
Opposition officials accuse the government of using land seizures to garner
support and further intimidate political opponents ahead of what promises to be
hard-fought presidential elections next year.
Lands and Agriculture Minister Joseph Made says the government will begin
allocating plots on the farms to 51,000 black families.
Police have arrested Simon Spooner, a white member of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), in connection with the abduction of a ruling party
"I spent the day in Harare today and returned feeling frazzled.
However, my trials and tribulations paled into insignificance (once again)
when I heard about D, R and W's (R's brother for those who dont know them)
excitement for the day.
In Kuwadzana Township inBanket lives a delightful person who goes by the
name of Kodoza. This wonderful character has been a thorn in the sides of many
farmers and non-ruling-party people for many years, and is a notorious thug and
ignoramus. He is very fat and overpaid, and lately he spends most of his days
swanning around the district, terrorising all and sundry.
Yesterday was W's turn. He was summonsed by the toad, and the 'meeting'
took place in a public place within the township. D went along for support,
while R took over the responsiblity of the Ruben Barwe of ZBC News
A few threats were bandied about by Kodoza (including a fairly graphic
description of what would happen to W if he continued his land preparation for
next year's crop), and when he noticed that his actions and words were being
kept for posterity he simply lost it, ranting and raving like the madman that he
is. R made a quick get-away while W and D tried to placate this idiot.
Today all three were summonsed to the Banket Police station by some
Sergeant, who failed to come up with a reason to see them. The track record of
the police over the last year or so leaves a lot to be desired, and not many
(white, or non-ruling-party member) people who have responded to 'requests' to
present themselves at a police station have managed to sleep in their own beds
for some time afterwards, so naturally these three were a bit cautious (we
already have the "Chinhoyi 21"; we dont really need the "Banket three"). R
called his lawyer who advised that the police HAVE to give a reason for calling
anyone in for questioning - once again no reason could be given so R has managed
to delay this 'meeting' by a week.
D and R's mill is within spitting distance from the police station (in fact
the buildings are right next door to each other), so this is all very stressful
for both of them. They have been advised to go away for a while by concerned
friends and neighbours (and wives!), but they both, rightly, insist that they
have done nothing wrong. Both are also tired of having work disrupted by these
morons, as a week doesn't go by when they don't spend at least one day driving
around the district, either rescuing farmers or doing the Reuben Barwe
The whole situation is very wearying, and we are all finding it difficult
to maintain a positive outlook, and a sense of humour - very essential these
D has won $1,000.00 (Z, not US unfortunately, so not really worth
alot) from R for not losing his temper for a whole week. Imagine that! Not
one tantrum, yelling act or bout of uncontrolled swearing. Quite incredible.
And I am sure that those of you who know better, and seen/heard him in action
will not believe it, and will think that he has been telling more Abujas.
We have a busy weekend coming up. On Saturday there is a fund raising
party/fun day about five houses up from ours in aid of the afore-mentioned
Chinhoyi 21. Their legal fees are running into eight figures. Naturally they
will never manage to foot these bills themselves, so the community decided to
give them a hand."
"We have a friend, (I will call him John Doe) who used to live fairly
near us on his family home until he moved to his own place in Doma a few years
ago. (A few years before that they lost their youngest (two year-old) son in a
tragic drowning accident). He and his wife, Jane, have struggled since day
one, as farmers do, to make a success of their farming business, and up until
August, they had managed to succeed. Then came the madness of August when 90%
of farms in the Doma area were trashed - destroyed in the name of the Third
Chimurenga, and Land Reform by savage, Government-backed so-called War
Veterans. John and Jane's house was one of them... even the baths and toilets
were smashed in this violent orgy of destruction.
The Does have managed to stay positive through this all. About three weeks
ago, while, ironically, John was in the Police Station reporting some theft or
something, a huge fire was started on his farm by the wahvits to flush out what
little game was still alive on the farm. This fire went on to destroy some of
their own houses.
On Thursday, John was arrested by the police for starting this fire and
deliberately destroying property belonging to the wahvits! He spent Thursday
night inside a filthy, rat- and lice-infested cell with common criminals, and
was only finally released late on Friday; a lawyer flew out from Harare to
ensure that this happened.
The 'houses', which these wahvits build, are pathetic grass and stick
'structures'. (the kind of building that our kids make in the pine forests in
Nyanga as forts!) Certainly nothing permanent or valuable, and built using grass
and sticks stolen from John's property anyway! In addition to this, they are
illegal squatters. They should not be there in the first place, and yet they
get so-called 'justice' before John does (not one person has been arrested, or
questioned with regards to the looting and trashing of the Doe's house).
John has now been paraded on ZTV news (or should I say ZANU PF TV?), as the
baddie, of course, with his court hearing being shown from within the court! I
don't know if this is the norm, but sounds strange to me that cameras were
allowed in the court in the first place!
The blatant disregard for the rule of law, and the petty, unjust harassment
of all people in Zimbabwe who are perceived to be non-party sympathetic is
getting out of hand, and I really wonder what we are in for next."
COMMERCIAL FARMERS' UNION Farm Invasions and Security Report Thursday 8
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 reprisals.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF: Marondera South –
angry mob breaks into farmhouse Wenimbi 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 REGIONAL REPORTS MASHONALAND
EAST Macheke-Virginia - 120 hectares of gums were destroyed on Chabwino Farm.
Irrigation piping was stolen from Glenisla farm and 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 farm. Agritex 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
stolen. Beatrice - 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. Marondera
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 their followers. Marondera 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. Harare 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 Marondera 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 there yesterday.
Featherstone – 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. MASHONALAND WEST
(SOUTH) 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.
MASHONALAND WEST (NORTH) Umboe – 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. Chinhoyi (Lions Den Area)
- Agritex have started pegging Ormisten Farm The owners have left Kapiri Farm
and Amagora Farm . On 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. Karoi - 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
Banket - 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. Tengwe - 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. Doma -
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. Raffingora - 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. Trelawney/Darwendale - 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, my blood MASHONALAND CENTRAL Horseshoe – On Dunaverty 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 work stoppage 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 Worker's 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. MIDLANDS 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 anymore. 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. Somabhula/Daisyfield: 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 suspects. Gweru East/Lalapanzi: 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. MATABELELAND Nyamandhlovu – 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. On 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. West 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.
On Atherstone 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 domestic
worker. Insiza/Shangani – 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 voters. Gwaai – 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 homestead.
Umzingwane - 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.
Inyathi/Bubi – 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 family. 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. Beit 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. MASVINGO Masvingo East and Central Area -Nothing to
report Mwenezi Area The water 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. Chiredzi Area Continued
poaching, snaring, building of huts, felling of trees, veld fires. Save
Conservancy Nothing to terport Gutu\Chatsworth Area On Wheatland 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 issue.
I AM an African. I
believe in the sanctity of my roots. In my Africanness, I got the urge to
visit my folks. Taking advantage of the porous national boundaries, I quietly
slipped back into the country of my birth. The journey was not eventful. I
only lost R250 (about Z$1 800) to some hungry police in the land of
self-imposed bondage. I arrived at my rural home during the witching
Early next morning I duly got the standing ovation I deserved.
My hero status was swiftly bestowed upon me without any long and tiresome
bargaining process. I asked everybody why I was being pampered like a
demi-god. The reason was clear. I was like the prodigal son who had decided
to return home. My return was worthy of some celebration. Of course, I had to
sponsor my own "welcome home party"! I had only been away for six months but
my folks made it look like a century. I only concluded that my rural folks
were just too hungry for a party. They demanded to be spoiled and spoiled
they were. What I considered important business for me started when the
"politburo" of the family asked for an audience. This was after the party
and when all the invited guests and gate-crashers had gone. We assembled in
the dimly lit hut and "Chairman Mao" called for silence.
granted the silence, my old grandfather, whom we gave the nickname "Chairman
Mao" because of his beliefs that are similar to the great Chinese leader,
spelled out the purpose of the hastely convened session. "Chairman Mao"
expressed his profound gratitude to the gods for allowing him to see his
grandson who had left for another country without the blessing of the
ancestors. He warned his progeny never to undertake such dangerous
trips without the knowledge of the elders. He made it clear that it was
only through the blessing of the gods that his large family could
prosper. I agreed with his advice. I knew that I could never win an argument
with him, however hard I tried. Then questions started being fired from
I was asked questions on both important and trivial
aspects of life in Johannesburg. I was asked if I have had the chance to meet
former president Nelson Mandela in person. On this question I answered by
asking if there were any members of the "politburo" who had ever met
President Mugabe in person.
No one spoke. No one moved. I could clearly
hear the heartbeat of "Chairman Mao". There was even fear in his breath. I
was frightened by the fear in the hut. What had I said that had scared
the whole "politburo"? There was no enthusiasm to continue discussing. A
fatal interruption had killed off the debate. My trip back home was not worth
the tension that was in the hut.
The situation was saved by the quick
thinking of my cousin. We call him "Stalin" because he claims that he was
trained to use the "Katyusha" during the war of liberation. The "Katyusha" is
the multi-barrelled artillery piece also known as the Stalin Organ. Instead
of denigrating our cousin by calling him Stalin's Organ, we just called him
Stalin. "Stalin" intelligently changed the subject to the more mundane one of
weather and sport. When the "politburo" finally closed business, I asked to
have a one-on-one audience with "Chairman Mao". I really wanted to know why
he had lost his composure when I asked if there were any who had met
President Mugabe in person. I wanted to know if I had said anything taboo to
the family, clan and tribe.
I wanted to know if at all there had been
enacted a new law against uttering the name of the President. I wanted to
know what I did not know. "Chairman Mao" asked me to promise not to raise my
voice. He pleaded with me to keep that promise. He asked me to swear never to
divulge whatever he was going to tell me. The way my grandfather shivered was
as if he was about to sell the juiciest of all State secrets to some
foreigner. But then I cannot keep any secret. I told him so.
it hard to see the secret in any information that comes to me
without bargaining for it. Those who fail to keep their own secrets should
not expect others to keep their secrets for them. Without any solid
promise from me to keep the secret, "Chairman Mao" refused to tell me what it
was that bothered him so much.
All he said was that walls had ears and
they were now developing eyes. He said whatever people said went to the wrong
ears. He claimed that whatever people did was also seen by the wrong
eyes. The brief by "Chairman Mao" unsettled me a bit. I began to imagine that
in the darkness lurked some pair of eyes with night-vision lenses trying
to picture what this wretched returnee from bondage was up to. I
fearfully imagined that in the stark darkness of the night, there was some
pair of ears wearing sound amplifiers waiting to hear a dint of treason from
an illegally border-crossing migrant worker.
I was unsettled by the
onslaught on democracy that was being imagined by "Chairman Mao". I began
to think of the possibility that Big Brother was truly watching
over us. Without blasphemy, I equated the Big Brother effect to the
situation where God watches over His people. Perhaps Big Brother is a noble
invention. There is need for the people to be watched over. While God watches
over his people from above, Big Brother can watch the rest of us from the
When I illegally returned to South Africa, I smiled triumphantly
at the flaws of Big Brother. Big Brother could not spot me or stop me
from illegally crossing the national boundaries of three countries. I
imagined how sleepy the Big Brothers of the three countries I was violating
their national borders were. My sixth sense forebade me from celebrating
the flaws of Big Brother prematurely. My sixth sense told me that at times
Big Brother just ignores as citizen upon citizen transgress the limits of
their freedom and democracy. I could only conclude that the Big Brother
effect scares the hell out of us. I could picture my old grandfather
shivering with fear. There is untold fear in the hearts of the people. The
worst affected are the rural dwellers who believe that Big Brother is
everywhere, every time and on everyone.
"Chairman Mao" is a typical
stereotype from the rural areas. He fears what he believes in and he believes
in his fears. This "Chairman Mao" could never have led the great revolution.
But then "Chairman Mao" is my grandfather. I will not persecute him for
being a failure. I will continue to revere him as the father of my father. I
will remain loyal to his advice. I will seek guidance from him whenever I
need it. I will continue to make him feel great. I will continue to send him
money so that he may subscribe to the demands of the dispensation. I am
positive that he is not the type to want to buy the green card for relocation
to the United States. He would only buy cheap cards as he is budget
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has amended the country's
Land Acquisition Act so that white farmers can be forced off their land with
The move means that farmers who have been issued with acquisition orders by
the government will have to stop farming immediately and remain confined to
their houses, which they will have to vacate after three months.
Previously, land-acquisition orders had to pass through the courts first, now
the courts will examine cases retrospectively which correspondents say could
Zimbabwe's white farmers say farming is likely to stop on almost 800 farms
President Mugabe has his sights set on elections next
Zimbabwe's economy is already in crisis, blamed largely on President Mugabe's
Militants loyal to the government have occupied an estimated 1,700
white-owned farms over the last 18 months, demanding that they be redistributed
to landless blacks.
This, and the violence that's accompanied it, has meant that farming
activities have been massively disrupted.
The World Food Programme is due to begin a huge relief operation next month
to feed over 500,000 Zimbabweans who face hunger or starvation.
Bread is in short supply after prices were fixed
But on Sunday, the Zimbabwean Government announced a ban on humanitarian
agencies from distributing food aid saying groups were using it as a pretext to
campaign for the opposition party.
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo told state media that where food aid
distribution is needed, it would be done by the government.
Mr Moyo stressed his government would not allow strangers to interfere in the
political affairs of the county.
Aid groups and political analysts have expressed concern that the government
will use food aid to bolster votes in the presidential election.
approval of additional amendments to the Electoral Act that entail changing
regulations on postal voting, campaigning, polling and on the voters' roll
itself, as reported in the State media, is both
regrettable and disheartening.
Regrettable because the government,
arrogant as always, decided on those amendments alone without consulting
other stakeholders for consensus. This makes the amendments a partisan affair
clearly meant to make it easier for the government to manipulate the ballot
in favour of Zanu PF, perhaps as a way of ensuring that President Mugabe's
vow that "Tsvangirai will never, never, ever rule this country" holds
Disheartening because the amendments are clearly a self-serving
move designed to make all other aspiring contestants in the next and
subsequent elections lose all hope of winning as the cumulative effect of
the amendments is to render the political playing field in Zimbabwe much
more uneven than it had been hitherto.
Over and above the physical
dangers those who brave standing against Zanu PF candidates face because of
the ever-present violence the party always unleashes against those who oppose
it, the amendments make contest by anyone outside Zanu PF a costly, futile
Under the proposed amendments, only uniformed forces and staff
at Zimbabwe's diplomatic missions abroad will be allowed to vote through the
postal ballot system.
Now, this is really as self-serving as electoral
amendments will ever come.
The government is keenly aware that, over the
years, hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans have been forced into the
diaspora where they are living as economic refugees as a direct result of its
repressive rule and disastrous economic policies.
The government also
knows quite well that those hundreds of thousands are very bitter and angry
with it for forcing them into a life of expatriates by making conditions back
home unbearable and that, for that reason, none of them will vote for Zanu
PF. It has, therefore, resolved to deny them the vote as their votes would
only serve to swell those for the opposition.
On the other hand,
uniformed forces' votes and those from embassies abroad are always taken for
granted to be votes for the ruling party. Besides, the collection of those
votes provides an excellent opportunity for throwing in a few hundred or so
phantom ones, which could just make that crucial difference between winning
and losing for the ruling party.
Put bluntly, the government has devised
an easy mechanism to cheat its way into remaining in power.
glaringly self-serving amendment to the Electoral Act stipulates that only
personnel recruited and trained by the Electoral Supervisory Commission will
be allowed to monitor all elections.
As we all know, members of the
Electoral Supervisory Commission are all hand-picked appointees of President
Mugabe who naturally would consider loyalty to Zanu PF as the number one
qualification for appointment to the commission. With the Registrar-General
being a self-confessed ruling party member, what this effectively means is
that chances of impartial policing of any polls are almost
As if these two measures were not sufficient to ensure
opposition contestants are cripplingly disadvantaged even before the race
proper has started, the government has placed yet another hurdle on its
opponents' lane of the race course.
Most Zimbabweans who are permanent
residents in neighbouring countries such as Botswana and South Africa and
who, therefore, would find it relatively easy to travel home to vote have
been virtually banned from voting.
The amended Act will now require that
they produce passports and bills to prove they have lived in
their constituencies for a continuous period of 12 months.
this means is that the government is doing its damnedest to disenfranchise
all Zimbabweans it thinks will vote for the opposition.
ZESN condemns plans to recruit civil servants as presidential
11/12/01 8:03:05 AM (GMT +2)
THE Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has condemned
Government's plans to recruit civil servants as election monitors during next
year's presidential election saying this was detrimental to a free and fair
ZESN said the civil servants would be under immense pressure to
support the ruling party.
The government resolved on Tuesday to amend
the Electoral Act to make it clear that the mandate of the Electoral
Supervisory Commission (ESC) includes recruitment, training and deployment of
If this succeeds, the ESC would be required to draw
monitors from the public service only.
In a statement ZESN said : "We
recognise Government's constitutional right to effect amendments of an Act of
Parliament using Zanu PF's slim majority.
"However, we implore the
Executive to reach out to broader civil society and to be more accommodating.
It should be noted that flawed electoral processes are often a cause of
"We reiterate that it is absolutely imperative that there be
an Independent Electoral Commission, and not a mere addition of civil
servants to the existing ESC," the ZSEN said.
"We will not shy away
from our right and duty to observe the coming elections. We reiterate that
there be early accreditation of both local and foreign monitors and
Vakai Douglas Chikwekwe, a senior magistrate at the Gokwe
Magistrate Court fled his home last Friday after he was attacked by a mob of
suspected Zanu PF supporters.
Police confirmed the incident and said
they were still investigating the matter.
It is alleged that Chikwekwe
convicted a Zanu PF supporter from Nembudziya to an effective eight-month
jail term after he found him guilty of robbery charge.
his colleagues who ganged up and demonstrated at the magistrates court before
proceeding to Chikwekwe's home at night.
Household goods and window panes
to Chikwekwe's home were destroyed when about 100 suspected Zanu PF
supporters besieged his home at Gokwe Growth Point to vent their anger over
what they called a "miscarriage of justice."
Chikwekwe, who was at home
when the attack occurred, escaped unhurt. Police and senior officials from
the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs met with senior Zanu
PF officials in the area on Tuesday to resolve the impasse.
could be obtained after the meeting as the officials
July Moyo, Zanu PF's Midlands provincial
chairman could not be reached for comment.
Chikwekwe becomes the
latest victim of Zanu PF's terror campaign in Gokwe where several villagers
and teachers have been attacked for allegedly supporting the opposition
University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa, has engaged
lawyers to recover about $10,5 million paid by the university to Professor
Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of Information and Publicity, for a research
project he undertook to carry out as a visiting professor but
Dawn Taylor, of the university's legal department,
last week said: "All we have done is refer the matter to our lawyers for
advice. I am sorry I cannot tell you anything more until the matter is of
She refused to say when the university approached the
lawyers or to name them.
Professor Tom Lodge, the head of Wits'
department of political studies, had said: "The university's legal
proceedings are going on, but I don't think that they have got to a stage of
bothering Moyo yet.
"But I can tell you that I don't think we are going
to get our money back," he said, before referring questions to Taylor. Lodge,
last year in September, said the university's legal department was engaged in
discussions with Moyo to recover the money given to him while he was working
on a research project, initially funded by the Swedish International
Mbeki's efforts are crucial ahead of polls in
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- NOW
that the month-long bombing campaign in Afghanistan is losing its lustre,
Africa's newsmakers of the year Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his
troubled country are bouncing back into the limelight. As in the past year,
the question is not so much what Zimbabwe and its leader are up to, it is
what can be done to deal with him. He has reintroduced price controls; he
continues to intimidate the opposition; he has turned up the heat on the
country's independent press; he is strengthening his propaganda machinery
ahead of the presidential elections due in March; and the diplomat in him is
keeping the international community guessing about his next move as Zimbabwe
heads for hyperinflation.
As things stand, the opposition looks
sufficiently disorganised and incapacitated by internal wrangling to launch a
credible electoral challenge to him. The pseudosocialism he has introduced
will buy him time in the short to medium term that is, certainly before next
March from ordinary citizens by delaying street protests that would result
from economic hardship.
Unlike in last year's general election, this
year's strategy is more sophisticated and, if all falls into place, may not
rely on violence at all. Price controls and harassment of editors that keeps
them away from their desks, plus an effective propaganda campaign, seek to
restore the old image of a people's hero that Mugabe once enjoyed.
western world's attention continues to be trained on the
anti-terror campaign. In the US, the administration is not keen for mainly
wrong reasons to impose sanctions on Harare. Sanctions, which are contained
in a law, are an inflexible tool to any administration. But a significant
body of opinion in Washington still believes sanctions can work.
European Union has made it clear enough is enough. Brussels is
planning consultations with Harare the precursor to the imposition of
sanctions in protest at the human rights violations under a multilateral
accord. The Commonwealth, which helped broker the Abuja deal that Harare has
now turned its back on, has few teeth.
The African Union (AU) is run
unofficially, yet effectively by Mugabe's friend, Libya's Colonel Muammar
Gadaffi. Prompted by press commentators and opposition, leaders of the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) have now resorted to publicly
scolding the Zimbabwean leader.
More worrying, Pretoria's influence in
Zimbabwe has weakened significantly with its change in approach. Those who
were urging President Thabo Mbeki to publicly rebuke Mugabe are now urging
sanctions. Impose travel restrictions on Zimbabwe's ruling elite, freeze its
assets abroad and cut off electricity, they urge.
These calls are
misguided. None of the African leaders will ever support sanctions. In fact,
they have already refused to back them against Harare. A year ago, they
showed little interest in aiding Belgian authorities to arrest and prosecute
Abdoulaye Yerodia, then Laurent-Désiré Kabila's foreign minister, accused of
fuelling ethnic hatred in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
hurt the poor. Worse, in Zimbabwe's case, sanctions might just be the reason
for a state of emergency, which will further undermine democracy and crucial
freedoms in that country. It is also, in part, for this reason that they will
never be supported, even wisely, by Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Sanctions also undermine sovereignty. This is very
precious to all African governments both elected and unelected.
Mbeki's critics refuse to admit is the success of his "quiet diplomacy". It
was through this approach that SA managed to send in observers to last June's
elections. What these parliamentary observers saw and reported, though, is
Mbeki also succeeded in internationalising and
regionalising the Zimbabwean crisis.
In the same way that it would be
unwise for him to publicly claim credit for these efforts, Mbeki would be
ill-advised to start scolding Mugabe in public. Equally, he cannot disengage
or juniorise SA's dealings with Zimbabwe, as his critics want him
He must use his influence in the SADC, the Commonwealth and AU teams
in which Pretoria participates to step up pressure on Mugabe to behave
better ahead of next year's polls. Among others, Mbeki must insist that
foreign election observers are invited. Otherwise, democracy will remain
endangered. So will both Mbeki's and SA's reputation.
just be the reason for a state of emergency, which will further undermine
democracy and crucial freedoms in the country
Nov 12 2001
12:00:00:000AM Business Day 1st Edition
PRESIDENT Mugabe’s Government
announced yesterday that it would not allow aid agencies to distribute
emergency food supplies to Zimbabweans affected by a famine. The ban will
wreck a relief operation that was being mobilised by the United Nations and
several international charities, including Oxfam, Western diplomats
Nearly a million people are in dire need of food, according to a
survey last month by the World Food Programme. Food stocks are expected to
start running out in December and even the Government says that at least four
times as many people will be affected as the famine worsens.
Jonathan Moyo, the Information Minister, said yesterday that charities would
use food relief to campaign for the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change. Aid agencies were “planning to smuggle election monitors
into Zimbabwe using the guise of food aid to continue with their plans
to decampaign (destabilise) the present Government ahead of next
year’s presidential elections,” the state-controlled The Sunday Mail quoted
him as saying. “Suggestions by these groups to distribute food through NGOs
are totally unacceptable.” The Government alone would distribute food. “We
will not allow any strangers to roam around interfering in the political
affairs of our country,” he said.
The biggest concern among
international donors is the ruling Zanu (PF) party ’s strategy of issuing
emergency relief to party supporters and cutting off areas with a record of
support for opposition parties. With Mr Mugabe’s popularity shrinking as the
economy implodes, the party means to ensure it has food as a weapon before
the elections that are due by the end of March.
confirm that international donors have decided to exclude the Government from
the distribution of their supplies of food.
A source said: “No one must
be allowed to go without food because they support this or that
MAHLANYA (Swaziland). — Swaziland's young absolute
monarch bowed to pressure from the maidens of his kingdom yesterday and
delivered up an ox as a fine for taking another fiancee after demanding that
all young women take a vow of chastity in a bid to counter the Aids menace.
Five soldiers escorted the 300 triumphant young women and the ox back from
Ngabezweni Palace, the king's sleeping quarters in the centre of the tiny
mountain kingdom, which is sandwiched between South Africa and Mozambique, to
their village of Mahla-nya, seven kilometres away. That trek took five hours,
because the ox was unco-operative.
At Mahlanya, they slit its throat,
and the village held a barbecue, eating the entire ox, because the soldiers
forbade them to take any meat home.
The saga began in mid-September, when
King Mswati III, who is just 33, and at that point had seven wives and one
fiancee, announced the reintroduction of the age-old "Umchwasho" chastity
rite, under which young women and teenage girls must wear "don't touch me"
woollen tassels and foreswear sex for five years.
That was a bid to
counter AIDS, which is estimated to have killed 50,000 of Swaziland's one
Shortly afterwards, the young women, annoyed that a
14-year-old daughter of the king was attending school in Britain, and had
thus escaped the rite, discovered that the king had just taken a second
fiancee, 17-year-old Nontsetselelo Magongo, a schoolgirl he spotted at a
traditional reed dance.
They rebelled, and marched Sunday ululating and
chanting on the palace, where they demanded the fine.-AFP
Farm controversy ends
By Ivy Ncube
Government has authorised the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and
Rural Resettlement, Dr Joseph Made, to acquire two Karoi farms which were at
the centre of controversy between the white owner and landless
The two farms, Peveril Place, owned by Mr Marshall Henry Roper
and Ansdel farm, owned by Rockwood Estates P/L, have a total of 22 852 370
According to an amendment of the Land Acquisition Act gazetted
last Friday, the Government immediately takes over ownership of the land and
the farmer remains confined to his house, which he should also vacate within
This effectively means that the two farm owners would
with immediate effect be confined to their houses.
Being the new
landowner, the Government can now start demarcating, pegging and allocating
land to the settlers.
The settlers can also immediately start farming
activities on their plots.
This is also to pave way for the resettlement
Model A2 expected to begin this week.
"Whereas it is provided by
section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:10) that an acquiring
authority may, inter alia, not less than 30 days after the publication in the
Gazette of a preliminary notice of intention to acquire land compulsorily in
terms of sub-section (1) of section 5 of the said Act, acquire by order land
or any interest in or right over land," said Cde Made in two acquisition
orders signed yesterday and to be delivered to the farmers this
According to the orders, Cde Made has been authorised by the
President to acquire Peveril Place measuring 15 884 372 hectares and the
remaining extent of Ansdel, measuring 6 967 998 hectares as described by
General Notices 439 and 400 of 2000.
The amendment to the Land
Acquisition Act also rules out the contentious issue of co-existence, where a
farmer does not own a piece of land but only his house.
This is the
case with the majority of farms to be acquired under the new Act.
so doing, the Government wants to ensure that farming activities take place
in a peaceful environment.
This comes against increased violence in which
some farmers have been mobilising their workers to perpetrate
Minister of State for Information and Publicity Professor
Jonathan Moyo yesterday welcomed the development as it had resolved the
critical issues pertaining to land ownership and co-existence.
is an important development because the legal ambiguity surrounding the whole
issue of co-existence has been removed.
"There will hence be no
co-existence to talk about unless a farm had been subdivided and the farmer
allocated part of that sub-divided farm.
"It is a legal requirement for
the farmer to leave the property and Government to take ownership and allow
farming activities by the resettled farmers with immediate effect," said Prof
The new development reverses a ruling last Wednesday by the High
Court ordering settlers on Peveril Farm to defend their continued stay on the
farm and barring any pegging on the land in the interim.
Makarau also made a provisional order directing the occupiers to show cause
why the court should not grant a final order compelling
The settlers were supposed to defend themselves in the
The settlers and the owners of the farm were ordered to hold a
meeting within 14 days to work out a way of co-existing
Cde Made said there were many more farms to be compulsorily
acquired under the new Act, including some in Hwedza.
Mr Roper had
filed for the eviction of the land occupiers alleging that they had disrupted
his farming operations.
He claimed that they were ploughing on land
prepared for tobacco.
In a desperate attempt to evict the landless
families, Mr Roper made the second application through Justice Makarau after
his first application had been rejected by Justice Chinhengo.
re-filing the matter, Mr Roper through his lawyer Advocate Adrian de Bourbon,
sought that it be considered "in new light’’ although no new evidence had
been produced on the matter.
No crisis in Zimbabwe: Mudenge
THE Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Dr Stan Mudenge, has rebuffed attempts by the European Union to
coerce the United Nations to intervene in Zimbabwe’s land dispute with
Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Mr Louis Michel, whose country
is currently the EU president at the weekend called on the United Nations’
56th General Assembly to help resolve what he described as "a crisis" in
But Cde Mudenge quickly dismissed the claims that Zimbabwe was
in a crisis, saying provided all parties honoured their obligations, the
so-called land crisis would disappear overnight.
"Obviously when Mr
Michel referred to a crisis in Zimbabwe he meant the land reform programme. I
dismissed that of course. I told the delegates that there is no crisis. In
fact, Zimbabwe is helping the UN in resolving crises in the rest of the
world. We have police officers in Kosovo, East Timor, Sierra Leone and the
Democratic Republic of Congo.
"What we have in Zimbabwe is a land reform
which is meant to correct the skewed land ownership structure as a direct
result of racist policies and laws of successive colonial regimes between
1890 and 1980.
"Britain has accepted responsibility and this is why we
are working towards implementing the Abuja pact," Cde Mudenge said in an
interview from New York yesterday.
Cde Mudenge said the attempt to
lump the reform process in the country with crises such as in other areas was
mischief of the highest order.
He told the assembly that 70 percent of
arable land was owned and utilised by less than one percent of the population
represented by 4 100 white farmers of British descent while 13 million black
Zimbabweans eked a living from 30 percent of the worst arable
Cde Mudenge said such a situation has to be corrected in the
interest of equity, justice, social harmony and political stability in the
country and in the Southern Africa region.
"The land reform programme
guarantees that none of the present white farmers will be left landless.
Every existing white farmer, who wants to farm, is assured of getting a farm.
The programme is not about total alienation or dispossession but equitable
"As to who should pay for compensation, we have
understandings and agreements reached with the former colonial master when we
negotiated our independence at Lancaster House in 1979. Obligations to pay
compensation were assumed by the former colonial master," he told the
Permanent representative to the UN in New York, Ambassador
Tichaona Jokonya said it was unfortunate that Zimbabwe’s efforts at
rectifying unsustainable colonial imbalances were seen by others as a
He said it was apparent that the EU strategy to demonise Zimbabwe
hit another hurdle as the country received overwhelming support from Third
Latin American and Third World countries gave Zimbabwe
rapturous support to correct the colonial legacy that was evident in the
racially skewed land ownership structure in the country through the reform
"In fact it became racial after Cde Mudenge’s response to Mr
Michel’s allegations. How can the EU take an interest in issues that were
bilateral. Zimbabwe is resolved to correct this colonial injustice in spite
of the outcry from some quarters who regard the defence of the present
injustice as their historical responsibility," said Cde Jokonya.
his address to the UN General Assembly, Mr Michel, said the world body should
help resolve crises in Africa’s troubled spots such as the Great Lakes
Region, the Horn of Africa and Zimbabwe.
He however, excluded Sierra
Leone and Angola where war has been raging for years.
were surprised that the EU — which recently threatened Zimbabwe with
sanctions if it did not accept monitors and observers during the presidential
election — had suddenly taken a bilateral issue between Zimbabwe and Britain
to the world body.
Understanding the Budget
A genuine understanding of the 2002 Budget,
presented to the nation by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development
Dr Simba Makoni, is only possible if one has in clear view and grasp of the
current interplay of both the internal and external historical, social,
economic and political factors on the Zimbabwean scene.
Such a premise
spells out the reality that we have to go by, if Zimbabweans as individuals
and loyal citizens, the civil society, non-governmental organizations, donor
community and the progressive peace loving International community expect to
meaningfully contribute to the Zimbabwe national building efforts in the year
2002 and beyond.
The determining reality currently is that:
Budget is a definitive document that typically articulates just like any
other country, the Zimbabwean priorities, goals and values
(historical, social, economic, political and etc) in their national, regional
and global perspective;
l it constitutes an official rallying and
referral point for all genuine stakeholders (national and foreign) in the
development moratorium of Zimbabwe in 2002 and beyond;
l The Budget is
chara-cteristically more of an inward looking official document that seeks to
remind Zimbabweans that they only have themselves to look upon and decide
whether Zimbabwe is to be or not to be especially at this crucial
transitional juncture demanding the last graduation leap from the remnants of
the colonial past to the era of consolidation of their sovereignty (that is
l while attempting to address a wide range of interests on
one hand it again on the other hand hardly does that exhaustively because of
scarcity of resources and the unfavourable image of the Government of
Zimbabwe that has been projected by the opposition and foreign media with no
interest in objectively portraying the Zimbabwean historical
l the Budget provides a highly motivating platform for dialogue
by different local and foreign interests who genuinely subscribe to the
Zimbabwean cause for a human centred socio-economic development
l while articulating Zimbabwean priorities the Budget is just
but another commendable step to stabilise the macroeconomic fundamentals
which since the early 90s have had a strong dimension of incoherence and
instability (rising inflation, increasing unemployment levels, very retarded
economic growth rates, etc).
Analysing the global economic development
trends, which show greater indications of weakening into the first half of
2002, the idea is to show that the Budget is being drafted in highly
unfavourable global economic circumstances. In that perspective while the
Budget is designed see Zimbabwe making an input to the global economy it also
seeks to make strategic interventions that cushion the Zimbabwean nationals
from the momentous negative impact of the pending global economic
On another note the cited favourability of economic growth in
Sub-Saharan Africa from 3 percent in 2000 to 3,5 percent in 2001 and average
2,5 percent for the SADC in 2001 while seemingly comforting are in the final
analysis dependent on the unpredictable performance of the global economy and
ongoing reforms in the region and world wide.
These are the challenges
and realities 2002 Budget has to take into account as it adopts measures to
stimulate the recovery of the national economy, which in fact is by virtue of
its high 86,3 percent inflationary levels, reduces Zimbabwe’s export
competitiveness in the regional and global markets where its trading partners
have an average of under 5 percent inflationary levels.
of the Budget are further complicated by consistently declining prices of
Zimbabwe’s major exports on one hand while on the other hand paradoxically
paying high prices for Zimbabwean imports.
Such a precedent creates a
challenge for academia, industry, labour, Government, civil society and
international institutions, to dialogue and emerge with alternative
strategy-packages that should enable the Budget to sail through 2002 and at
the same time subsequently creating conducive conditions for further
development in the future.
An analysis of the Zimbabwe economic
development in 2001 in the Budget just as much as the global and regional
analysis still portrays the same unfavourability degree of the Zimbabwean
economy and where such a negative inexorable trend derives
Citation of such factors as continued uncertainty over land
reform programme, declining business confidence, withdrawal of international
donor support and foreign exchange shortage as the major sources of
economic contraction by 7,3 percent in 2001, is not only an end in itself but
a reflection of the deeply underlying fundamental contradictions and
class interest (national and equally foreign) on whose resolution the destiny
of Zimbabwe as a sovereignty ultimately depends.
dialogue with a developed, enlightened clear and near objective
conceptualisation of the past, present and future of Zimbabwe and the place
it has to occupy regionally and globally is just but one of the guiding
principles the stakeholders have to uphold, to ensure the Budget will have
better returns for all interests in the year 2002 and beyond.
the 2001 Budget in which targeted revenues saw reversals by such a great
order from $140,3 billion to $126,5 billion is indicative of a contracting
economy especially unstable and declining
Beyond conviction this presents a real
challenge to all stakeholders (Govern-ment, Zimbabweans, non-governmental
organisations, civil society, opposition parties, ruling party, international
community, etc) as to what could be the most appropriate alternatives to be
explored in order to boost production within Zimbabwe, not only in provincial
capitals but in the peripheral zones (rural areas) which have long been taken
for granted in that respect, etc.
The 2002 Budget economic prospects
exposure as a logical derivative of a fairly critical analysis of the
macro-economic fundamentals on the Global, Sub-Saharan, Regional (SADC) and
National (Zimbabwe) level for 2001, notes that there will be a deceleration
in economic activity decline in Zimbabwe in the year 2002.
this unarguably simply confirms our expectations as citizens
but consideration of the vote appropriations for the ministries related to
the manufacturing sector, infrastructure development and other primary
auxiliary sectors cast a fairly cool wind of hope, but in the final analysis
the magnitude of the vote that is production targeted is what correctly
matters. Equally, stakeholder subscriptions to the Zimbabwean cause will on
this juncture once again have quite a big bone to chew in their attempts find
the most appropriate input for the 2002 period.
The departure point
for the implementation of the 2002 Budget is as a matter of principle the
Millenium Economic Recovery Programme (MERP). The objectives of this "budget
anchor" are still fundamental as they in essence address the national,
regional and international priorities of Zimbabwe as a sovereign
These objectives are:
l arresting economic
l stimulation of production; restructuring of public sector in
order to promote capital formation and social services;
discipline, to live within our means;
l establishing confidence and
Government credibility with its citizenry, and last but not least,
restoration of positive relations with the international community,
In line with MERP some of the accompanying key elements of the 2002
Budget for purposes of mobilisation of the nationals, for production
and development are:
l macro-economic stabilisation;
effective land reform and increased agricultural production;
substantive and broad-based economic empowerment and indigenisation;
mitigating hardships and protecting the vulnerable groups;
of international cooperation, etc.
This makes a credible policy thrust
for development in 2002 around which all stakeholders by all means should
attempt to rally as they make their various inputs in the development
process, to actually decelerate or mitigate the declining development trend
so pronounced in the Zimbabwean economy.
Part 2 :
As for the 2002 Great Zimbabwe Budget estimates, it is vital to note
that ministerial vote appropriations have generally been revised upwards.
However this would be commendable in terms of the real buying power of votes
in the contemporary since inflationary levels of 86,3 percent render the
Zimbabwean economy precarious and national currency considerably
Even then and more so, what matters at the end is the amount of the
vote that is production generation targeted and promotive. This dimension
equally weighs for the productive and non-productive sectors as they all in
the final analysis constitute fundamental elements of the National Gross
Product on the principle of their indispensability. However, the citation
made by the Honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr
Simba Makoni, of the Pan Africanist Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah on the founding of
the OAU on 24 May 1963 addressing other African leaders about the need
to eradicate symptoms of African troubles so that they do not turn
chronic, through combined planning and making concerted efforts to serve
people, rings a bell to those who opt to be in the leadership vanguard,
that political commitment and will are greatly essential as guiding
principles. Otherwise on another note, it also indicates one very vital
feature that governmental circles are gradually no longer a domain for
politicians alone but intellectuals with a clear and mature political
Having noted the above, the commentary on the Budget
would be premature without a consideration of its eminent strengths, weakness
and alternatives it inherently generates. On one hand, the strengths of the
2002 Budget constitute:
its economic recovery stimulation
definition of a policy thrust around which Zimbabwean
nationals and foreigners will be mobilised for the promotion of production
and development as well as alleviation and mitigation of
its accurate depiction of the unfavourable Zimbabwe
socio-economic scenario as a derivative of unstable macro-economic
fundamentals (economic growth, inflation, unemployment, debt, negative trade
balance etc) on the global, Sub-Saharan, regional scene, etc.
other hand the weaknesses of the 2002 Great Zimbabwe
inadequacy of the resources and the absence of
investment in research science and technology as the major determinants of
absence of a vote appropriation to support the
mechanism on mitigating the effects of an already unfavourable global,
sub-continental and regional macro-economic environment;
empowering inclination is still very small since Finance and
Economic Development; Industry and International Trade; Lands, Agriculture
and Rural Resettlement, as the currently relevant ministries have been
accorded votes which still fall short of the demands raised in those
ministries, in the contempoary, etc.
With the strengths and weaknesses
of the Budget outlined, the challenge of what alternatives to pursue becomes
obvious. In the light of the unfavourably prevalent circumstances in which
the Budget obtained, some of the alternatives to explore would
articulation of the Zimbabwe economic, political and social
priorities by way of rallying around this Budget by all stakeholders, that is
the nationals and internationals;
initiating debate within existing
national, regional and international institutions/ arrangements, that seeks
to explain and support the Budget as an instrument of justifying the
Zimbabwean cause for development as a sovereign state just like any other
not adopting the Budget as a tool for antagonisation,
discriminating nationals and internationals by various interest groups but
otherwise adopting it as an institution designed to promote the welfare and
mutuality of Zimbabweans in the final analysis.
Finally, while a lot
could have their own reservations as a right, the 2002 Great Zimbabwe Budget
constitutes a well thought out attempt to address the Zimbabwean cause and
case for development over the timeframe for which it is typically
Zanu (PF) launches presidential election campaign in Harare
Harare Province war veterans leader Cde Joseph Chinotimba yesterday launched
the ruling party’s presidential election campaign in Harare by calling on the
party’s supporters to stop infightings, which he said cost the party all the
Harare urban seats during the June 2000 Parliamentary election.
told party supporters at the provincial headquarters in Harare that
some individuals in the party were bent on causing divisions.
mobilise support for President Mugabe. This is the time for unity and all
divisions and factional fighting that characterised the parliamentary
election should cease," he said.
Cde Chinotimba said it was mandatory
that all eligible voters check their names on the voters’ role and register
for the election.
He castigated the MDC party for betraying the struggle
"Don’t be like Mr Morgan Tsvangirai. We gave him a
job to look after the welfare of the workers, but he has instead betrayed
them. Tsvangirai is like Muzorewa he is being used by the British," said Cde
After observing a minute of silence in a prayer for Cde Cain
Nkala, the Bulawayo Province war veterans leader who was kidnapped last week
by yet unknown persons Cde Chinotimba said: "The kidnapping of Cde Nkala is
like asking for the elections to be cancelled. Hondo yavatanga havaigoni.
They (MDC) won’t be able to sustain the war they have declared."
Events following the disappearance of Cain Nkala, a senior
Bulawayo-based war veteran, took a further sinister turn yesterday and today, as
senior government and Zanu PF officials threatened a violent response to members
of the MDC, who they accuse of being responsible for his ‘kidnapping’. Police
this morning arrested Simon Spooner, managing director of a Bulawayo-based
chemical manufacturing company, and campaign manager for Bulawayo MP David
Coltart in last year’s parliamentary elections. The arrest follows threats made
yesterday in the state media by vice-president Joseph Msika, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu,
Zanu PF national deputy political commissar, and Obert Mpofu, governor of
Matabeleland North. "If they are looking for a blood bath they will certainly
get it. We have not arrived at that juncture yet. We do not want to be
controlled by anger but our reaction will come at the appropriate time, " Msika
Nkala disappeared from his Bulawayo home early last week, being
dragged away by ten men armed with AK47s after a struggle which resulted in
Nkala’s wife being injured. The government has repeatedly blamed the MDC for the
abduction, and has used the incident as a pretext for an eight-hour raid of the
MDC’s Bulawayo offices last Friday, the storming by a large mob of Zanu PF thugs
of the MDC’s Harare headquarters on Saturday, and the current crackdown on MDC
members and supporters in Bulawayo and elsewhere. Ian Beddowes, owner of a
construction company which enjoys the patronage of Zanu PF, was quoted in
today’s Bulawayo Chronicle as saying: "This is the beginning of a lot of things
which are going to happen, that is if we leave them to do as they please.
Unfortunately we cannot afford to let them do that. I believe all this is
fuelled by the M15, which is using MDC to destabilise the country." Cde Msika
also alleged there was a "a third force", which he said was using the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change to destabilise the country.
Nkala’s disappearance is linked to the earlier kidnapping,
shortly before the June 2000 parliamentary elections, of Patrick Nabanyama,
Coltart’s election agent. Nabanyama has not been seen since, and was almost
certainly murdered. Nkala and other Bulawayo-based war veterans were charged
with his kidnapping but have yet to be brought before the courts. Sources within
the war veterans’ association say that growing discontent had developed within
the organisation because the war veterans who actually conducted Nabanyama’s
abduction resented the fact that they had been charged with the offence, whereas
members of the CIO, to whom they reputedly handed Nabanyama after kidnapping
him, had not been charged. Kidnapping and murder are offences not covered by the
presidential amnesty granted last year to perpetrators of politically-motivated
Three weeks ago, a local stringer for an overseas broadcasting
organisation approached senior MDC officials with detailed and precise
information as to the whereabouts of Nabanyama’s body, the location of which he
had been shown by war veterans. Based on this information, the Amani Trust, a
Zimbabwean human rights group which deals with the victims of torture, has taken
the investigations several stages further. Nkala seems to have undergone a
change of heart recently, and is reported to have been helping commercial
farmers resolve disputes on illegally-occupied farms. War veterans in Bulawayo
say that Nkala’s abduction last week was conducted by members of the CIO anxious
to cover up their involvement in Nabanyama’s disappearance and
From News24 (SA), 11
Mugabe steps up
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' appeals. Farm union officials were shocked by
Mugabe's latest move. "It demonstrates that the government's fast track
resettlement programme is illegal," said David Hasluck, director of the
Commercial Farmers' Union. "Otherwise, why would they use executive powers?"
Mugabe's new decree on land seizure allows the government to effectively to
confiscate land without legal recourse, he said. Under current legislation, the
government can issue farm owners with orders which state that their property has
been acquired by government. However, Hasluck said, the government has no right
to interfere with the farm until 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 settlers on. 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 their land.
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 their land. Friday's decree appeared to undermine any further appeals by
farmers to be allowed to work without being attacked and harassed by squatters,
Hasluck said. The move is expected to cause new anxiety of arbitrary mass
evictions of white farmers as Mugabe attempts to build up support ahead of
presidential 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 carried out legally, transparently and
without any disruption to agricultural output. Thirty-nine farm workers and nine
white farmers have been murdered since the thousands of state-backed militias
began invading white-owned land in February 2000. 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
From The Zimbabwe Standard, 11
Plans for rigging election
The recently launched mobile registration exercise taking place
in resettlement areas and occupied farms is aimed at boosting Zanu PF’s chances
of winning the elections, its critics have said. The Standard established last
week that few people in the urban areas were aware of the exercise and believe
it to be part of a wider plan by the ruling party to disenfranchise millions of
potential voters. The current voter registration blitz is concentrated on the
resettlement areas and occupied farms - the bastions of government power. There
is, however, very little of the exercise going on in urban areas where the
opposition derives most of its support. The opposition also believes that a
number of headmen are compiling names of opposition supporters. It is not clear
what the provincial registrars intend to do with the names, but opposition
supporters have complained that they are having difficulty registering as
The Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust sees this move as an attempt
by government to rig the election. David Chimhini, the Zimcet executive
director, said government was attempting to disenfranchise those perceived to be
sympathetic to the opposition. Said Chimhini: "It is public knowledge that the
exercise is concentrated around the farms. What happens to those displaced from
the farms by the war veterans?" He added: "All these are deliberate mechanisms
to deny people their right to vote. You don’t ban election monitors in a
democratic society. If it is only the ruling party which decides who should be
educated, then that is not democracy. They are saying civil servants will do the
educating, and we know that they mean the CIO, war veterans, the police and the
army - the people whose loyalty lies with the ruling party. But then you can’t
referee your own game. You need an outsider to do that. The system is being
designed to rig elections," said Chimhini.
The registrar-general’s office refuted allegations that voter
registration was meant to facilitate rigging. "The allegations that our office
is being used to rig next year’s presidential election is news to us because our
office is very impartial in all its activities. It is a public office created to
serve the people irrespective of their political persuasions. If there is
anybody who has been denied registration because of his political party
affiliation, we would be interested to know their details. Members of
parliament, in addition to the local leadership, were advised about the exercise
and asked to mobilise the people to take advantage and register as voters," said
the registrar general’s office in response to queries from The Standard.
However, Giles Mutsekwa, MP for Mutare North, said he had
received over 500 complains from supporters who had been frustrated by officials
conducting the exercise. Mutsekwa, whose constituency is largely rural, said the
exercise would prejudice the opposition as it was concentrated in Zanu PF
strongholds. "The exercise is concentrated on the occupied farms. We will see a
situation where very few people are going to vote. Zanu PF starts rigging the
election from registration and this is part of that process. After covering the
resettlement areas, they will fast track the exercise to deny our supporters a
chance," said Mutsekwa.
MDC secretary general, Welshman Ncube, said what government was
planning amounted to electoral fraud. "The fact that Zanu PF wants to avoid the
scrutiny of impartial local monitors from civil society and the international
community, clearly shows that they want to cheat. They know for a fact that they
cannot win a free and fair election in Zimbabwe today and therefore they are
doing everything to ensure that the presidential election is conducted under
total cover of darkness. How can it be argued that a party that has killed over
50 opposition supporters, displaced over 200 000 farm workers, maimed thousands
of people, and continues to victimise innocent Zimbabweans, can run elections
without the full scrutiny of independent monitors?"
From ZWNEWS: We have a report
compiled by the ZHR NGO - "How to rig an election" - setting out the detailed
evidence, from witness statements and court testimony, of just how the
government rigs elections. If you would like a copy of this report, please send
us a message. It will be sent as a Word attachment to an email message, size 104
KB, or about twice the size of the average daily ZWNEWS.
From The Zimbabwe Standard, 11
$219 Million for VIP cars – But
Stanley Botsh seeks Zimoco’s disqualification
The cash-strapped government has set aside
$219 million to buy luxury cars for government ministers and their deputies, the
speaker of parliament and judges, investigations by The Standard reveal. But the
deal is facing problems. Documents at hand show that an order for 38 Mercedes
Benz sedans has already been placed with Daimler Chrysler in Germany, while
another for 18 Toyota Camry 220 SEis and three Peugeot 406s is yet to be made at
a total cost of $219 250 000. In a letter to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe dated
24 August 2001, the-then acting secretary for finance and economic development,
E T Chigudu, described the vehicle purchases as a high priority. "The government
wishes to procure vehicles for senior government officials with a total worth of
$219 250 000 (see attachment). This is to confirm that this procurement is a
government priority..." reads part of the letter.
Government purchase order number V3218
dated 28 September, from the Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED) to
luxury vehicle supplier, Zimoco, lists a total of 38 vehicles to be imported
from Germany. The order is for 32 Mercedes Benz E240s, two S320s and four E200s,
which all cost $136 530 960, a figure more than a third of the 2002 budget
allocation to the ministry of mines and energy. But the supply of the vehicles
from German auto manufacturer Daimler Chrysler is now in doubt following an
urgent High Court application by Girton Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd which is
contesting the Government-Zimoco deal which did not go to tender. Girton had
initially been awarded the tender to supply the vehicles in July this year. But
in a twist of events, the ministry of transport and communication decided to
place the order with Zimoco which had lost the tender.
In its application that cites the minister
of transport and communication, the chairman of the Zimbabwe government tender
board, the acting director of CMED and Zimoco, Girton argues that it had already
secured the vehicles from South Africa and stands to lose out if Zimoco is
allowed to make the delivery. Sources at the CMED said there had been a lot of
connivance in the award of the order outside tender procedures between top
officials in the transport ministry, the tender board, CMED and vehicle
suppliers. They cited the Reserve Bank’s refusal to give Girton a letter of
credit after the company had won the tender. It also emerged that if government
had bought the vehicles through Girton, it would have saved $80 million to $90
million dollars. Girton had been awarded the tender on the strength that it
offered the lowest prices. The vehicles ordered by Girton from South Africa are
now in a warehouse where they are attracting storage charges, according to
papers filed at the High Court on Friday.
Contacted for comment Girton managing
director, Stan Botsh, refused to comment saying since the matter was before a
court it would be subjudice to comment. In the initial tender, only Girton,
Croco Motors and Southern Region Trading were the companies that met the
required specifications. Tender adjudication documents show that Zimoco had
failed to provide a tax clearance certificate, a prerequisite for any government
tender. The failure by Zimoco to provide the tax clearance certificate means the
company should have been disqualified. Although Girton is seeking a
nullification of the order to Zimoco, a letter dated 31 October from Zimoco’s
managing director to CMED acting director shows that 25 of the vehicles are
ready for delivery.
From Business Day (SA), 12
UN wants all foreign troops out of
New York - The Security Council unanimously approved a
resolution giving the go-ahead to a new phase in the United Nations (UN)
peacekeeping mission in Congo and demanding an end to all hostilities. The
council at the weekend backed Secretary-General Kofi Annan's recommendation to
start implementing the next phase in the peace process which calls for the
withdrawal of all foreign forces in Congo and the disarmament, demobilisation
and repatriation of armed groups. "The peace process in the Congo may be at a
turning point," Annan told an open meeting of the council with parties to the
1999 Congo cease-fire accord, which is still being violated.
Congo's civil war broke out in August 1998 when Rwanda and
Uganda backed Congolese rebels seeking to oust then president Laurent Kabila.
Troops from Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola now back the government, and Burundi
joined the fray to fight Burundian rebels based in eastern Congo. The Lusaka
Accord, which was repeatedly violated, gained momentum after Joseph Kabila
became president of Congo in January, following his father's assassination. The
UN-monitored cease-fire has largely held this year, despite continued fighting
in the east. The council resolution welcomed "the general respect for the
cease-fire", but demanded that the parties to the Lusaka agreement "cease any
form of support to the armed groups, particularly in the east of the country."
It stressed the importance of deploying UN military observers in eastern
Council members expressed "concern" at yesterday's announcement
that Congo's two main rebel groups have agreed to set up a 4100-strong force to
track down and disarm insurgents from neighbouring Rwanda and Burundi and
planned to deploy a joint special force in the eastern town of Kindu. The
Security Council stressed that the demilitarisation of Kindu is essential for
the UN force to ensure that the voluntary disarmament and demobilisation of
armed groups takes place "in a neutral environment." The council also reiterated
its call for the demilitarisation of Kisangani, Congo's second-largest city.
France's UN ambassador Jean-David Levitte said the council decided to reinforce
the UN military presence in Kisangani in the coming months. In addition, Levitte
said the council decided to send up to 2000 troops to Kindu by next summer to
monitor the disarmament of armed groups and the withdrawal of all foreign
The council welcomed the withdrawal of some foreign forces from
Congo and urged others to comply with the accord's demand for a total pullout.
Annan said the withdrawal of Namibian troops and many Ugandan soldiers "is
encouraging," and he urged the governments of Angola, Zimbabwe and Rwanda "to
speed up preparations for a rapid withdrawal of their troops." The
secretary-general said the reopening of the Congo River "is the most important
single step that can now be taken to reunite the country and stimulate its
economic and social life." Rebels from the Congolese Rally for Democracy have
blocked a UN initiative to reopen the river. Meanwhile, the main Congolese rebel
movement said on Saturday their forces repulsed a major offensive by a coalition
of forces backed by the Kinshasa government near Fizi in eastern Congo. "We have
crushed a major attack by our enemies backed by the regime in Kinshasa,"
Kin-Kiey Mulumba, spokesman of the Rally for the Congolese Democracy