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

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My Story - Saturday 10th November 2001
Kirsty Colquhoun
At about 8.30 am on Saturday 10 November 2001, my sisters, Fiona and Megan,
and I were watching tv.  My dad, Ian, had left earlier for a meeting at
Mvurwi Club and my mum, Peta, was due to leave for another meeting at
Msoneddi at 9.00 am.
Suddenly, she came into the room, having run up from the bottom of the
garden, and told us to close and lock all windows, doors and curtains.  Not
knowing exactly what was going on, a mild feeling of panic rose and I could
feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  However, we did this and
managed to get as many dogs and cats inside the main house as we could. 
Luckily, Grumpy (our grandpa), Philip Simons, had managed to bypass the crowd
that had forced its way into the security fence and was now making its way up
the driveway and was inside the house with us.  He had been informed by his
cattle-boy of the possibility of activity on the farm.  Included with the
crowd of squatters were many of the women and young children from the farm
village, all of them having been forced into joining the crowd, obviously
with two motives in mind:  firstly, to increase the crowd size, and secondly,
to intimidate them too. 
Most of the men were carrying sticks and pangas (huge, crude knives)  and
they moved into the back garden and garage.  The house staff, garden staff
and a few of the remaining men were also forced to join the women and
squatters, now chanting and singing ZANU-PF slogans, and dancing.  Inside the
house we were all relatively calm and went to make coffee in the kitchen. 
While we were there, we discovered that the invaders had put a hose pipe in
the laundry and were trying to flood the room.  However, the house being
built by farm builders, meant the water flowed straight back outside as the
laundry floor is at a slight slope!!  From the office window we watched the
feeble attempts made by the invaders to rouse the crowd - they did not
respond.  The men outside were shouting for my mother to talk to them and she
consented on condition they spoke to her through the window.  However, they
did not agree to this, so she left it.  By this time, control had been
informed as had my father who immediately drove to ZRP Mvurwi to request a
detail be sent down to the farm.  Mvurwi Security were also notified and
promised to get there as soon as possible.  ZRP said they would not be able
to react immediately as they had no transport. 
Meanwhile, on the farm, the invaders had managed to open a window in the main
bedroom and had put a hose pipe and sprinkler inside.  I walked through the
house into this room to get something and saw that a huge puddle was
spreading all over the carpet.  We managed to push the sprinkler and hose
pipe out of the window and closed it, therefore reducing any further damage. 
The bed was soaked through and all of the electrical equipment, including the
tv and video had been soused in water. 
The tv room, which is joined to the main house by the verandah, contains a
tv, video, decoder and radio.  These too were badly damaged by water, beer
and coke that has been in the fridge on the verandah.  The invaders had
simply helped themselves.  Memories were ruined - a personal journal
belonging to me, a book I was illustrating for my best friend who is leaving
the country in December, and millions of shells collected every day on our
two week August holiday in Mozambique.
ZRP and Mvurwi Security had still not arrived by 11.00 am and the squatters
were by now the only group chanting and singing outside.  The men were
patrolling around the house, and until the day I die, I will never forget the
pure evil and hatred that was so obvious in their eyes.  By now a total of
three fires had been built around the house, however, these were harmless in
that they couldn't damage the house.  From my bedroom window (my bedroom
being the only room upstairs), we could see that fifteen of our geese,
including six goslings, had been killed and were roasting, fully feathered,
on one of the fires.  
The electric fence alarm kept on going off until the invaders managed to find
the main electricity switch, and switched everything off leaving us with no
electricity.  During the whole ordeal we had communications with the outside
world via private channels on the radio and cell phones.  We had been
informed that a group of farmers had reacted and were waiting at the next
door farm (this being my grandparents farm) with my father, for the police
and Mvurwi Security to arrive.  By 11.40 am they were still not on the
neighbouring farm. 
International press had been informed of the incident and much photographic
evidence was taken. 
After realising that we were not giving them a reaction, the invaders
inserted a hose pipe down the chimney into the main lounge.  Luckily we
managed to move the furniture and carpet using superhuman strength, that
could only have come form the adrenaline running through us.  Though there
was little damage in this room, the 'spraying' continued.  While I was
speaking on the phone to our neighbour, I looked out of the curtain onto the
verandah.  Here, the destruction was evident.  A 20kg bucket of chlorine and
a 5kg bag of sunflower seed for our birds had been dumped all over the
furniture, plants and floor.  The fridge, now empty, was left open and a
sprinkler had been strategically placed to increase the damage (the chlorine
bleached the furniture and floor and burnt the plants).
At about 12 midday, things happened very quickly and are therefore a bit of a
blur.  ZRP arrived with Mvurwi Security, following my father and uncle,
William Simons.  After managing to get through two roadblocks that had been
set up by the illegal invaders, the Mvurwi Security vehicle had a puncture
and stopped to repair it.  The plice declined my father's offer to take them
on the back of his truck, preferring to walk.  Having heard vehicles (before
they arrived at the bottom of the garden), I went back to the main bedroom
where I discovered a squatter talking to another one outside.  They were
obviously panicking, having heard the vehicles arriving too.  I think they
imagined a whole huge squad of people and they knew their numbers were not
enough.  I then ran into the kitchen, admittedly giggling nervously the whole
way at their inadequacy.  I sat on a kitchen counter and pulled the curtain
back to watch what would happen, thinking the police would effectively
disperse the crowd and life would carry on as normal.  How wrong could I have
been?  When I saw our truck come up the driveway with my father and uncle
inside, I didn't think anything of the fact that the police were not there to
back them up if everything went horribly wrong.  However, they arrived alone
and I saw them both get out of the car and they moved around to the other
side of the car, having locked it before.  Small details were suddenly not
important as the angry crowd of invaders surrounded them.  I did, however
notice the police presence and the fact that they stood by and watched what
was happening.  As soon as I saw the first man in beige overalls attack my
father, I screamed and yelled abuse at them, then opened the window with
force.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew nothing would help unless I
went out there with a weapon of my own.  I jumped off the counter and vaguely
remember my mother running up to me and asking me what I was doing as I
searched for the biggest knife I could think of.  I ran outside with this in
my hand, but I hadn't thought of using it, it was just there for protection. 
I later realised how lucky I was it hadn't been used on me.  My mind has a
block as to what happened next.  I do remember Grumpy and my uncle taking me
back inside and my father's head being covered in blood.  It is the most
sickening memory.  After a bit more shouting from both sides, we walked into
the house and more photographs were taken of the damage.  All doors were
opened and our little kitten was rescued from the verandah.  She had managed
to hide behind the fridge for these  four hours and escaped any harm.  The
crowd continued their singing and chanting of pro ZANU-PF songs and slogans
and during this, my father told me to get my sisters and as many animals as I
could off the farm.  Adrenaline and anger gave me no time to get emotional,
although my sisters were hysterical.  Still holding my knife, I collected the
car keys and only then surrendered my weapon.  I walked outside among the
crowd unarmed and got into the car.  Some of the women belonging to the
squatters began walking towards me, so I started to car and revved the
engine, warning them to move out of my way.  Because I was so angry, it is
the only moment I would have felt no remorse or guilt if I had run someone
over.  I opened the window and shouted at one of the armed men to move these
women.  One of the women, shouted abuse at me, calling me a bitch and a white
whore.  I turned to the Mvurwi Security representative who was standing
nearby telling me to calm down and told him that if this woman was not
removed from my sight within the next two seconds, the car would be advancing
towards her at a rapid rate.  To emphasise my point I revved the engine again
and an armed officer pushed her out of my way.  Luckily, my father arrived
and pushed a few men who had by now gathered around the car away, telling
them to leave me alone.  I was extremely disappointed with the police's
reaction and if I had had even the remotest bit of trust left in them, it has
all gone now.  Their inaction spoke volumes about their true loyalties.
My sisters got into the car with all of the dogs and the kitten and I left
the scene soon afterwards to go to my grandparents house where I knew the
other farmers were waiting.  Never before have I driven so fast.  My main
objective was to get as far away as possible. as quickly as I could.  When I
saw a couple of the farmers and my gran, Isobel Simons, waiting on the road
for me, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief.  Our horrifying day was
finally over and I could now collapse.
I would like to thank everyone who has phoned or sent messages comforting us.
 Your support and kindness has been overwhelming and amazing.
Please forward this to as many people as possible. I do realise and
understand that many people try to ignore the reality, but even if a few
people read this, it will make a difference.
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Violence flares in Zimbabwe city

A mob of 500 ruling party militants have gone on the rampage on the streets
of Zimbabwe's second city They have also firebombed the local offices of the
main opposition party in Bulawayo.

There has been no confirmation of the number of injuries.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) say the militants were
claiming to be war veterans of the independence struggle and marched into
the city escorted by police. They then set fire to his party's local

Bulawayo firefighters tried to get to the scene but were turned back by the
militants while armed paramilitaries looked on.

Shortly before the random attack on whites, the militants had been addressed
by Dumiso Dabengwa, a former home affairs minister and the chairman of the
ruling party in the western Matabeleland province.

Leader of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, says he had also received reports of
militant attacks in Kadoma, 75 miles southwest of the capital, Harare.

He denied government claims that his party was behind the November 5
abduction of Cain Nkala, a war veterans leader. Nkala's body was found on
Tuesday in a shallow grave near the Botswana border.

President Robert Mugabe's elite policy-making body, the politburo, today
declared Nkala a national hero. He will receive a state funeral at Harare's
Heroes' Acre on Sunday.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo described Nkala as a "martyr who died in
defence of Third Chimurenga" - President Mugabe's name for the renewed state
of civil war.

Mr Tsvangirai, who plans to stand against President Mugabe, urged supporters
not to retaliate, lest the country descend further into lawlessness and
chaos. Despite President Mugabe's campaign of intimidation, boycotting next
year's polls was not an option for the MDC, Mr Tsvangirai said.

Story filed: 15:55 Friday 16th November 2001

The Times


Police escort for mob in Bulawayo rampage


ZIMBABWE moved towards major civil unrest yesterday as a mob of President
Mugabe’s war veteran militias ran riot on the streets of the western city of
Panic seized the city centre at lunchtime when the mob of about 300,
escorted by three police vehicles, stormed through the city and attacked
passers-by, particularly white people, witnesses said.

They stopped cars and dragged whites, some of them elderly women, into the
street and assaulted them, said a German aid worker who asked not to be
named. His car with his three daughters inside was surrounded and he was
pulled out and beaten up.

The veterans firebombed the offices of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) and destroyed it. The staff had already fled and the
building was empty.

“The veterans broke down the concrete wall around the building and went in,”
Joe Ncube, a party worker who watched from a distance, said. “Then there was
smoke and flames all over. The police were on the other side of the road.
They did nothing.”

A fire tender arrived but was driven away by the mob. As the veterans moved
away a crowd of about 1,000 MDC supporters took to the streets and clashed
with riot police.

They marched on the offices of the ruling Zanu (PF) party, intending to
attack it, but were blocked by police. They set fire to a building belonging
to a senior Zanu (PF) official and burnt two cars before police restored

“I think the endgame is near, whatever it is,” Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC’s
president, said. “The situation is deteriorating.”

The violence was the most serious episode of lawlessness since Mr Mugabe
began his bloody campaign of intimidation to crush the MDC in February last

Zanu (PF)’s violent offensive is gathering momentum before presidential
elections next year. Public anger in urban areas over economic hardship —
inflation is nearly 100 per cent — is at unprecedented heights. The
situation has never been so volatile, observers said. “The international
community should resign itself to the fact that there will never be a free
and fair election,” Mr Tsvangirai said.

The veterans’ onslaught followed a deluge of inflammatory rhetoric from the
ruling party, blaming the MDC for the murder of Cain Nkala, a local veteran
leader, this week. Mr Mugabe accused the party of terrorist activity.
Vice-President Joseph Msika threatened those responsible with “a bloodbath”.

Police have raided MDC homes in Bulawayo and arrested about 15 officials
while veterans burnt down three supporters’ homes.

The MDC has denied involvement in the murder of Mr Nkala, who was facing
charges of kidnapping Patrick Nabanyana, an MDC election agent, in June last
year. Mr Nabanyana has not been seen since and is presumed dead.
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The Guardian

Militants Attack Whites In Zimbabwe

Friday November 16, 2001 7:30 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Heavily armed riot police fired tear gas and chased
opposition party supporters through the streets of Zimbabwe's second-largest
city Friday after mobs of ruling party militants randomly beat whites and
firebombed opposition offices.

It was not immediately clear how many people had been injured or whether
anyone was killed.

The day's violence began around noon, when militants claiming to be
ex-guerillas from the country's 1972-80 independent war marched into
Bulawayo - escorted by police - and torched the local headquarters of the
Movement for Democratic Change, said Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of that
opposition party.

Party staff heard the mob approach and fled, he said, locking the doors
behind them.

Witnesses said the mob of about 500 militants were randomly beaten whites on
Bulawayo's streets.

A German diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a German aid
worker was among those assaulted by war veterans.

``He was roughed up. His glasses were broken in front of his children but he
is now all right,'' the diplomat said. ``These people were just randomly
attacking whites.''

Later Friday about 1,000 opposition party supporters attacked a downtown
building belonging to Sikanyiso Ndlovu, a former ruling party legislator.

``They commandeered a car which they used to smash a plate glass window,
then put a match to its petrol tank,'' said a witness, who also spoke on
condition he not be named. He added that armed paramilitaries fired tear gas
to break up the mob, and chased them through the city center as darkness

Tsvangirai said reports were also coming in of attacks by militants in
Kadoma, 75 miles southwest of Harare, following the murder of a local war
veteran in that region.

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Daily News

Armed police harass David Coltart

11/16/01 8:34:40 AM (GMT +2)

By Lloyd Mudiwa

HEAVILY-ARMED police and State security agents yesterday ordered to the
ground a Bulawayo-bound private plane carrying David Coltart, the MDC's
Member of Parliament for Bulawayo South, soon after take-off from Charles
Prince Airport in Mt Hampden, Harare.

The armed policemen and the agents ordered the plane back threatening that
it would be shot down by the Airforce of Zimbabwe, Welshman Ncube, the MDC's
secretary-general, said.
"Coltart left the airport in a private plane at about 3pm this afternoon.
But as soon as they were airborne, the aircraft was called back by the
airport's control tower. Threats were made to shoot down the plane if they
did not turn back."

Ncube said six vehicles with armed police officers and State agents arrived
at the airport 20 minutes after the plane landed.

The police confiscated identity particulars of Coltart, who was returning
from a parliamentary committee meeting, and three fellow passengers, two of
them his clients.
The other passenger was one of Coltart's clients' brother who had just been
operated on. The plane was detained for an hour.
At about 4.30 pm, the police returned the passengers their identity
particulars and allowed them to proceed with their flight
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Farmers slam bid to grab land

HARARE Zimbabwe's embattled white farmers yesterday lambasted the "desperate
duplicity" of the government's latest bid to seize their land, saying it
would have a "devastating effect" on the economy.
Commercial Farmers' Union president Colin Cloete said new laws to sidestep
the courts to force farmers off their farms were "an immediate deprivation
of ownership rights" and were meant to "give seeming legitimacy to the
unlawful activities of invaders on commercial farms".

He urged farmers to carry on farming as best they could. "To do otherwise
would be the certain death of the commercial farming community."

He said a decree issued last week under President Robert Mugabe's sweeping
"presidential powers" meant the state had the unrestricted power to give
owners eviction notices to get off their farms in 90 days.

Owners had no right to continue farming during this period, and could go to
jail for two years if they tried. The decree overrode previous legislation
that allowed the government to issue eviction orders only after the state's
confiscation of the land had been approved by a court.

It affected 85% of the union's estimated 4500 members, he said. Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Monday that about 1000 farmers had been
covered by 90-day eviction notices since Friday last week. Another about
3700 farmers would be issued with eviction orders.

The move is seen as the most severe blow inflicted by Mugabe's regime in the
past 20 months of violence, harassment and lawlessness that has cost the
lives of 39 farm workers and nine white farmers, and forced 75000 farm
workers out of their jobs and homes.

The new law came as the economy tottered deeper into chaos with Wednesday's
announcement of the latest official inflation figures of 97,9%. Economists
predict that Zimbabwe, once one of Africa's most resilient and diverse
economies, would swiftly become one of the world's poorest countries.

Observers say that the law appears to have been passed to allow Mugabe to
distribute white-owned land to thousands of voters ahead of presidential
elections due by the end of March.

Meanwhile, a United Nations technical team has arrived in the country to
oversee implementation of an agreement on land reform, a source close to the
UN Development Programme said yesterday.

The source confirmed the arrival of the team, which is responsible for
overseeing implementation of the Abuja agreement signed in September by

The agreement, brokered by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, commits
Harare to upholding the rule of law and quelling the violence and
lawlessness that has accompanied the land reform programme. In return
Britain, the country's former colonial master, has agreed to provide funding
and mobilise other donors into supporting the programme.

Since the agreement was signed white farmers have said the lawlessness has
continued on their farms, but the government vehemently denies this,
accusing the farmers instead of trying to discredit it.

In a letter to Mugabe, quoted in the state-run Herald yesterday, Obasanjo
commended the government on steps taken but urged him "not to relent in
speeding up the full implementation of the other aspects of the agreement".
Obasanjo called on Mugabe to "extend full support and co-operation" to the
UN team.

The US has suspended the Peace Corps programme in Zimbabwe, following
Mugabe's failure to issue work permits to trained volunteers, a US embassy
statement said yesterday. Volunteers who have already been in the country
for a three-month period have not been issued work permits.

Under the Peace Corps programme, the US sends volunteer teachers to work in
developing countries. Sapa-DPA-AFP.

Nov 16 2001 12:00:00:000AM  Business Day 1st Edition
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Daily News - Leader Page

A heedless self-interest that could boomerang

11/16/01 7:45:33 AM (GMT +2)

THE government's nakedly tyrannical ban on non-governmental agencies
distributing food to starving villagers illustrates the kind of heedless
self-interest that is likely to boomerang, come election time.

The government wants the aid to be channelled through it.

This move was obviously prompted by the desire to project Zanu PF as the
only organisation that cares about the people in rural Zimbabwe.

From very early into independence, the government has successfully exploited
three disadvantages among the majority of the country's black population -
fear, ignorance and poverty - to keep them unquestioningly loyal to the
ruling party as a way of maintaining its stranglehold on power.

As we moved towards the first post-independence general election of 1985,
for example, the government used fear to persuade rural people, its
traditional power base, to vote it back to power.

People were told openly that Zanu PF would go back to war if the party did
not win the election. With the horrors of that best-forgotten era still
vivid in their memories, people went to the polling stations in their droves
to register an emphatic win for Zanu PF.

Although the ruling party still uses that "we-will-go-back-to-war" threat as
its main trump card, it has for years now become aware that many people no
longer take it seriously on that.

It, therefore, had to come up with other, more subtle ways of buttressing
its political subterfuge and maintain a facade, if not exactly of
invincibility, then certainly of popularity among the less sophisticated

The building of numerous clinics in communal areas all over the country -
never mind that they have never been stocked with essential drugs - and the
construction of hundreds of schools in the same communal lands - that pupils
attending them have had to make do without the requisite textbooks is
entirely another matter - were all part of the government's grand plan to
keep the rural voter firmly on the ruling party's side.

And so, too, was the largesse that rural people could get free treatment at
government medical facilities and their children receive absolutely free
education at primary school level and only pay token fees when they get into
secondary school.

Why the people in towns have never protested against that blatantly unequal
treatment will forever remain one of the biggest puzzles in the psyche of
post-independence blacks of this country.

Suffice it to say it is one of those inglorious monuments to Zimbabweans'
inexplicable timidity and a self-oppressive tolerance which eventually
emboldened the government into taking for granted that it can do with us as
it pleases.

As they say, ignorance is bliss. What those who benefited from these free or
heavily subsidised services did not quite appreciate was the fact that it
was a classical case of the government robbing Peter to pay Paul. The
government was - and still is - using the bulk of the money it collects in
taxes from urban workers to buy the loyalty of rural people by false

Whenever there has been a drought, the government has been quick to
compulsorily mobilise everyone in formal employment to chip in to help their
starving countrymen in rural areas through the drought levy.

Government has used that money to buy food and agricultural inputs which it
has then distributed to rural people claiming dishonestly that the
assistance was from Zanu PF.

Now that it doesn't have enough food to go round, it has seen fit to protect
its lie by banning non-governmental aid agencies from distributing the food
they have sourced through their own efforts.

Starving villagers are soon bound to find out that their plight is of the
government's making and will punish it accordingly in the polling booths.

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Irish Times

Pro-Mugabe militants burn opposition offices

 Last updated: 16-11-01, 18:39

A mob of 500 ruling party militants have gone on the rampage on the streets
of Zimbabwe's second city. They have also firebombed the local offices of
the main opposition party in Bulawayo.

There has been no confirmation of the number of injuries.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) say the militants were
claiming to be war veterans of the independence struggle and marched into
the city escorted by police. They then set fire to his party's local

Bulawayo firefighters tried to get to the scene but were turned back by the
militants while armed paramilitaries looked on.

Shortly before the random attack on whites, the militants had been addressed
by Mr Dumiso Dabengwa, a former home affairs minister and the chairman of
the ruling party in the western Matabeleland province.

Leader of the MDC, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, says he had also received reports
of militant attacks in Kadoma, 75 miles southwest of the capital, Harare.

Mr Tsvangirai, who plans to stand against President Mugabe, urged supporters
not to retaliate, lest the country descend further into lawlessness and
chaos. Despite President Mugabe's campaign of intimidation, boycotting next
year's polls was not an option for the MDC, Mr Tsvangirai said
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MDC expresses dismay at lack of law and order

We wish to bring to your attention our perspective concerning the abduction
and subsequent murder of Cain Nkala, a war veterans’ leader in Bulawayo.

The MDC profoundly believes that the best and only way of resolving any
problem in any society is through non-violent methods. It is in this context
that we are appalled by and condemn the kidnapping and murder of Cain Nkala.
His murder has denied us the right to establish his guilt or innocence in a
court of law in Patrick Nabanyama’s case.

Just as we have consistently urged the AG to investigate and prosecute
quickly, thoroughly and professionally, the kidnappers (murderers) of
Patrick Nabanyama, so do we make a similar call in this matter. (Patrick
Nabanyama was the election agent for MDC MP David Coltart who was abducted
in broad daylight by 10 war veterans in the run up to the June 2000
parliamentary elections. He has not been seen since and is presumed dead.)

We are dismayed that the war veterans’ leadership and the government of
Zimbabwe is accusing the MDC for the abduction of Nkala. The MDC has nothing
to do with the abduction of Nkala. We are a peace loving and non-violent
party. Under extremely difficult circumstances in the face of killings,
beatings and intimidation we have refrained from retaliating.

We believe that the people who abducted Nkala are among the war veterans
leadership themselves, arising out of their own power struggles. Far from
being the perpetrators of the violence we have been the victims of Zanu PF
sponsored attacks.

The police have apprehended suspects (all members of the MDC) and justice
must be allowed to take its full course. We implore the police to speedily,
fairly and bring to book the real perpetrators of this callous criminal

We believe that the police know the real killers of Nkala and are seeking to
protect them by shifting the blame on the MDC. We insist that if our members
are guilty let the law take its course. We are saddened however that the
police has, flagrantly violated the law regarding accused persons’ rights.
Furthermore there is strong evidence, once again that the police have acted
in a partisan manner and are not pursuing the real suspects. Just as the
inaction of the Attorney-General and the police in the Nabanyama case has
failed to secure a conviction of the perpetrators of that crime, so too
their partisanship may well fail to convict the actual perpetrators of this

Seven MDC members Sonny Masera, Ferdinand Dropper, Simon Spooner, Ronny
Zulu, Sithabiso Mangala, Army Zulu and Alexander Khanye, who were arrested
last Wednesday and should have appeared in court 48 hours later according to
Zimbabwean law have still not been brought to court yesterday, 7 days later.
Their lawyer Nicholas Mathonsi was only able to see them once last Thursday.
Since then Mathonsi has been denied access by the police despite repeated
appeals. (Late on Wedesday evening three of the members, Simon Spooner, Army
Zulu and Sonny Masera appeared in Court. The rest of the members did not,
meaning the government defied a court order directing that they all appear
in court by yesterday.)

MDC lawyers on Wednesday this week filed an urgent application with the High
Court demanding that the police be compelled to give access to MDC members.
However, upon being served with the notice by the messenger of court the
police read the notice and immediately took it to Chester House to the CIO.
The CIO upon being served with the notice read it and threw it back to the
messenger declaring that they have nothing to do with court orders. They
were completely contemptuous of the court process.

What should be clear to all Zimbabweans and the world at large is that there
is selective application of the rule of law in Zimbabwe. The ZRP is
certainly not an impartial investigator. The police force is clearly under
the manipulation of Zanu PF for political gain.

We also note with increasing concern the intimidation, harassment and unjust
arrests of MDC members in Bulawayo and Harare. Whereas those who have
repeatedly attacked MDC members and destroyed their property in the last 48
hours have been left to roam the streets of Bulawayo free to commit further
crimes against the MDC.

The entire MDC leadership in Bulawayo from District to Province and National
level is currently under attack and many of them have gone into hiding. They
have not received any semblance of protection from what passes as our police
force. Examples of these wanton attacks include the destruction of Peter
Mangena’s (MDC Councillor for Pumula) house and the attack on Zwelithini
Msimanga’s house in Emganwini. The house belonging to Sazini Mpofu was burnt
to ashes in Magwegwe. Other houses destroyed belong to Themba Ndlovu and one
Mr Tshili.

There are serious concerns that the Zanu PF leadership will be happy with
degeneration into a total civil war, which will have catastrophic
consequences for the country and the region at large. We believe that the
present government will do anything to retain power.

We put it on record that the state of lawlessness that is currently
prevailing in the country at the moment and the abduction of Nkala is a
direct result of the failure of the state under the direction of Zanu PF to
apply the laws of Zimbabwe fairly and equally to all citizens. When the
state places certain groups of people above the law, the inevitable result
sooner or later is a regression to anarchy.

The MDC once again implores the Zanu PF leadership to return the country to
the rule of law, where the police are left to carry out their duties freely
to deal with any criminals high and low without fear or favour.

The rule of law is our only guarantee against barbarity, anarchy and a
return to the uncivilised social relations. Any pretence to the contrary is
not only dangerous but is also highly misguided.

The outcome of the upcoming Presidential elections must be legitimate. We
are thus committed to setting up of a Code of Conduct between MDC, Zanu PF
and other stakeholders that will ensure a non-violent constitutional

Morgan Tsvangirai,
MDC President.

Daily Telegraph

Zimbabwe opposition chief fears death plot

By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 16/11/2001)

ZIMBABWE'S ruling Zanu-PF party is considering assassinating the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to ensure President Mugabe's re-election next year, the MDC claimed yesterday.

Morgan Tsvangirai: possible target for 'outright elimination'

It said it had obtained a copy of Zanu PF's strategic plan for the election campaign and published extracts from the document in the independent Daily News.

Referring to Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, under the headline "Outright Elimination", the text read: "This could be dangerous to the govt [sic] but it needs a very serious consideration."

It added: "Reflections on the ground show that urban voters will vote for MDC in 2002. Now what Zanu PF can do is to make sure that Morgan Tsvangirai's short comings [sic] and weaknesses are greatly exposed so much that voters may want him but the situation won't allow them to vote for him or to make sure there is no Morgan Tsvangirai to vote for come 2002."

The six-page document, allegedly titled "Zanu PF Presidential Elections Strategic Document - What Zanu PF can do to win 2002 election", included recommendations on media coverage.

"State media should be directed to write again and again of splits within the MDC until voters believe it to be true," it said. "The state newspapers must be made to present MDC as a party of puppets funded by foreigners."

Official newspapers and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, which runs the only radio and television outlets, have recently carried many reports of splits in the MDC. There was no confirmation yesterday of whether the document was genuine.

A government spokesman said she could not comment on it. The information minister, Jonathan Moyo, was unavailable. Andrew Moyse, director of the independent Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe, said: "One has to assume that it is a genuine document because it reflects the truth of what is happening on the ground. There is also a single-minded campaign by the state media to destroy the opposition.

"The contents of the document are not surprising; what is on that piece of paper reflects the extremes of what is happening to the MDC. However, I wish they had supplied concrete evidence to corroborate the authenticity of the document."

But Mr Tsvangirai said: "Believe me, this is all true." The MDC declined to release the document, saying that to do so could compromise its source. Prof Welshman Ncube, the party's secretary-general, said it was given to him 10 days ago as a computer print-out and he had no doubts about its authenticity.

Several political commentators have said recently that the suppression of the MDC in all but the main urban centres has made it, de facto, a banned organisation. The Amani Trust, a Zimbabwean human rights organisation, says more than 100 MDC supporters have been killed in the past year, and scores of members are in detention.

At least 200 MDC officials are on bail awaiting trial and Mr Tsvangirai is awaiting judgment in a case in which he was charged with treason.

Yesterday, David Coltart, an MDC MP, was held briefly at an airfield 12 miles north of Harare after his Bulawayo-bound plane was ordered to return to the ground.

As the crisis in Zimbabwe deepened, the Commercial Farmers' Union suspended a move to resettle and financially support thousands of the poorest on farms donated by white landowners.

The move was in response to a government decree ordering the immediate seizure of more than 1,000 white-owned farms, without recourse to the courts


Zimbabwe editor charges dropped
November 16, 2001 Posted: 1308 GMT

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- A magistrate has thrown out fraud charges against the
editor of Zimbabwe's only independent daily newspaper and a former
colleague, saying the state had failed to provide evidence against them.

Geoff Nyarota, 50, editor of the Harare-based Daily News, and his former
business partner Wilfred Mbanga, 55, were arrested last week, and charged
with misleading officials about the amount of money they had at their
disposal to start the paper three years ago.

Police also said they had launched a daily newspaper when they had applied
to start a weekly.

Magistrate Weston Nyamwanza ruled on Friday that there had been no
deliberate intent to mislead the authorities.

Zimbabwe editor attacks harassment


Geoffrey Nyarota: a defiant voice

"I hope now they will now stop harassing us and let us get on with our
lives," Mbanga told The Associated Press outside the court. "I think this is
proof there is still justice in Zimbabwe."

Nyarota was given special permission to be absent from the hearing -- he was
in the United States to receive an award from the Committee to Protect

Before leaving, Nyarota said he would fight any attempt to close his
newspaper and would not change its anti-government stance.

Staff at the Daily News have been subjected to a barrage of intimidation
over recent months, and several have been arrested.

In January, the paper's presses were blown up hours after Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo declared it would be silenced as "an enemy of the

International media campaigners have accused President Robert Mugabe of
trying to stifle the free press ahead of presidential elections expected
early next year.

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Times of India

15 oppn members held in Zimbabwe murder case

ARARE: Fifteen members of Zimbabwe's leading opposition party, including one
MP, were in police detention on Friday for their alleged involvement in the
murder of a war veteran leader, national radio reported.

A first group of activists from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party were arrested at the beginning of last week.

They reportedly took police to a site near Zimbabwe's second largest city,
Bulawayo, where the decomposing body of war veteran leader Cain Nkala was

Nkala had been abducted from his home in Magwegwe eight days earlier by a
group of armed men. The police said he had been strangled with one of his

On Wednesday and Thursday, two more groups of MDC activists were also
arrested for Nkala's murder. Fletcher Dulini Mcube, MP for
Lobengula-Magwegwe, near Bulawayo, was detained in that wave of arrests.

MDC leaders, including party head Morgan Tsvangirai, have denied any
involvement of the party in the murder, saying that two of the suspects in
police custody who admitted to having taken part in the abduction and murder
of Nkala did so under torture.

The secretary general of the MDC, Welshman Ncube, accused the police of
"protecting" the real perpetrators of the crime.

Nkala was suspected of having taken part in the abduction and probable
slaying of Patrick Nabanyama during the campaign for Zimbabwe's
parliamentary elections in June 2000.

Nabanyama, who worked on the campaign of MDC parliamentarian David Coltart,
has not been seen since his abduction.

On Friday morning, a group of angry war veterans demonstrated in Bulawayo,
calling for Nkala to be given "national hero" status, an honour usually
reserved for high-ranking or well known Zimbabweans who fought in the
country's war of independence.

Meanwhile, an MDC spokesman told AFP on Friday that the party's offices in
Bulawayo "had been burnt."

On Wednesday, the homes of three MDC party members in police custody for the
 murder of Nkala were attacked.
( AFP )

Daily News

Herald story pack of lies, says MDC

11/16/01 8:26:57 AM (GMT +2)

By Brian Mangwende

THE MDC has dismissed as a pack of lies yesterday's front page story of The
Herald which claimed that Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, the MP for
Lobengula-Magwegwe constituency in Bulwayo, had fled his home following the
discovery of Cain Nkala's decomposing body on the outskirts of the city on

The Herald said police were hunting for the MP whom they wish to interview
in connection with Nkala's death. It said Dulini-Ncube fled soon after news
of the first arrests broke out.
In a statement denying the story yesterday, Welshman Ncube, the MDC's
spokesman and secretary-general said: "The Herald, formerly the Rhodesia
Herald, has lied in its publication today that MDC MP for
Lobengula-Magwegwe, Fletcher Dulini-Ncube has fled. Dulini attended a
Parliamentary Committee meeting in Harare on Monday. On Tuesday he spent the
whole day at the party's headquarters at Harvest House where he attended
party meetings. "On Wednesday, Dulini-Ncube's lawyer Josphat Tshuma of Webb
Low and Barry who had heard that the police were looking for Dulini-Ncube,
met with the police and agreed with them to take their client to the police
station this morning (Thursday).

Ncube said the MP spent Wednesday night at home with his family. Police
spokesman Tarwireyi
Tirivavi was quoted in the state-controlled media saying Dulini-Ncube had
been named by the nine suspects who were arrested in connection with Nkala's
Tirivavi said the police were seriously looking for the MP because they
believed he was the king-pin in the case.

"We condemn the deliberate manufacturing of stories taken straight from the
imagination of junior minister Jonathan Moyo and the CIO," said Ncube.
"It is clear therefore that The Herald and The Chronicle editors who are
slaves to the Zanu PF election strategy have no intention whatsoever to
write any truth about the MDC.
"The papers should be read as the fiction sheets that they have become."
Meanwhile, two MDC members alleged to part of the gang that brutally
murdered Nkala have been arrested.

Friday, 16 November, 2001, 01:20 GMT
Man arrested over Zanu-PF death
Zimbabwe war veterans
More than 40 people have died this year in political violence
A Zimbabwe opposition politician was arrested on Thursday and 14 opposition activists appeared in court after the alleged murder of a supporter of President Robert Mugabe's land reform campaign.

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai: Zanu PF are attempting to intimidate political opposition
Fletcher Dulini Ncube did not appear in court on Thursday after he handed himself in to police in the city of Bulawayo following state media reports indicated that he was on the run.

The other 14 activists appeared in a Bulawayo court on various charges of murder and plotting to kill officials of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

MDC Secretary General Welshman Ncube said on Thursday that the 14 activists were not asked to plead, but would refute the charges once they reappeared in court on Friday.

Zimbabwe's main opposition party has rejected government claims that it was behind the abduction and murder of Cain Nkala in Bulawayo.

If they [the MDC] want a bloodbath, they will certainly get it

Vice President
Joseph Msika

The body of Nkala was found in a shallow grave on Tuesday, a week after he was kidnapped from his home by armed assailants. He had been strangled with his shoe laces.

The minister of home affairs has been quoted as saying that the police are actively investigating leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change.

But the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, says this is a pretext to intimidate the opposition ahead of presidential elections due early next year.

More than 40 people have been killed in politically-motivated violence since President Mugabe was defeated in a constitutional referendum in February 2000.


Most of the violence has been blamed on supporters of Mr Mugabe, especially war veterans involved in the occupation of white-owned land.

Since Mr Nkala's abduction, there have been isolated cases of violence against MDC members in Bulawayo and Harare - both opposition strongholds.

On Saturday, war veterans, closely allied to Zanu-PF, stormed the headquarters of the MDC in the capital.

"If they [the MDC] want a bloodbath, they will certainly get it," said Vice President Joseph Msika.

Prime suspect

Mr Nkala was a prime suspect in the abduction of an MDC polling agent, Patrick Nabanyama, on the eve of the June 2000 parliamentary elections.

This raises suspicions that the two young men were tortured into admitting something that they did not do

Welshman Ncube, MDC
It is widely believed that Mr Nabanyama was murdered but his body has never been found.

Mr Tsvangirai condemned the murder of Mr Nkala and called for the culprits to be brought to justice.

"Our conscience is clear," he said.

State television had shown two men confessing to the murder and says they are members of the MDC.

The MDC has not disputed that the men are members and secretary general Welshman Ncube has complained that they have not been given access to lawyers.

"This raises suspicions that the two young men were tortured into admitting something that they did not do," he said.

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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Thursday 15 November 2001 

This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas. Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens. Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.


  • Horseshoe - farm manager  barricaded into his house 
  • Unauthorised movement of cattle countrywide
  • Norton - Pegging team accompanied by armed military personnel
  • Chigutu - Five pedigree bulls stolen/killed



Our apologies for an error reported in the Sitrep of Monday 5th .  The incident reported under Chikongas Farm in Odzi actually occurred at Green Valley Farm.


Nyamandhlovu - New squatter families have moved onto Mount Pleasant farm from an unknown locality.  This brings to 45 the number of new squatters on this company's properties since Abuja. On Ibana Farm a Lister I/T1 engine valued at $300 000 stolen.  Police reacted two days later citing lack of transport.  They are reluctant to give CID details. On Luchabi Ranch squatters cut cables to the submersible pump that was the only source of water.  A DDF vehicle 669-182, containing some five people, visted Porter Farm, which has not received a Section 5 order, and the occupants of the vheicle have been pegging for the past 2 days. 26 head of cattle were seen moving off the property, but no permit was provided when requested.  Approximately 200 head of cattle were moved off Newcross Farm to Communal lands to plough.  It is doubtful if permits to move these cattle were issued.

General - poaching is ongoing, but there has been a decline in veld fires with the recent wet weather.  Veterinary Dept attempts to control the recent FMD outbreak is ineffectual.  It takes so long for any reaction that people now feel there is no point in reporting suspicious movements of livestock.   A farmer was told that he must wait 4 days before a Veterinary Officer can carry out a pre-loading, for immediate slaughter, inspection.  


Karoi - La Rachelle is not farming.  Settlers stole 13 barn doors, 400m of electric cable, 3 corrugated roof sheets, 1 electric motor.  Settlers have  moved into the farm village and half the labour force had to move into the barns, the other half have left the farm. 500 head of cattle are restricted to one paddock.  Settlers are planting cotton on prepared tobacco lands. 8 -10 km of fencing has been stolen since April 2000.  The P.A. sent out a Task Force to move settlers out of the farm village, which they did.  The labour force was chased out again by the settlers. The whole farm has been burnt out except for the cattle paddock.  On Tuesday the settlers tried to burn the cattle paddock but were stopped as the farmer extinguished the fire.  Soangalala Estate had put in 1M worth of inputs into his tobacco ridges and the settlers started planting maize in the tobacco ridges.

Ayrshire – On Combe Farm Agritex are pegging. 

Chinhoyi - East Range Farm has stopped work.  On Natalia, Angwa Farm and Crescent Park 3 people were hunting with dogs and weapons.  Glenshields has a work stoppage.  38 plots being pegged for A2 model farming on Sheepridg.  D.A. (Makonde) called a meeting wanting the farmer to continue producing and wanting co-existence to succeed.  

Trelawney/Darwendale - Weltevrede Farm reported a work stoppage. 

Tengwe – On Kumusha Farm the coffee plantation has not been watered since August. However, some of the trees have survived and DDF tractors are ploughing them in.  Because the farmer took the case to court the D.A. and Police will not do anything to help. 

Nyabira – On Delamoore Farm tractors were ploughing  all night.  The farm is not pegged or listed.  Mead Farm has a work stoppage.


Norton - On Maine Farm the owner has been stopped by both the police and the District Administrator from planting his dry-land crop in lands which have already been prepared and fertilized.  No arrests have been made regarding the destruction of 2 six inch pipes worth $45 000.00 each by illegal occupiers with axes.  The farmer has been threatened by Chief Inspector Gunyani with arrest. Illegal occupiers have locked the gates into the lands so that the owner cannot access them.  On Daisy Farm the District Administrator’s pegging team arrived with six military personnel, four of which had AK47's to intimidate the owner into not stopping this illegal exercise on the property. 

Selous - On Carsky Farm, which is an unlisted wildlife property that the District Administrator has settled, seven shots were heard late at night. 

Chegutu/Suri-Suri - On Cigaro Farm  five pedigree bulls have been stolen/killed, and large amounts of fencing stolen.  On Kufaro, which is not listed, illegal occupiers have planted maize in the Tobacco land that has been prepared by the owner.

Kadoma/Chakari/Battlefields - On Twintops a Sable has been killed and the District Administrator’s pegging team is pegging in the irrigated lands under the centre pivot.  Every time a poacher gets caught killing wildlife police merely give them a nominal fine and they are back the next day.  On Alabama illegal occupiers are trying to take over the school and become the enrolment and payment officers.  On Ardconnel, which is an unlisted farm, illegal occupiers continue to cut the boundary fences to allow scotch carts entry  and have also broken the padlock on the gate.  Police did attend, and although illegal occupiers were caught red-handed, police have only asked how much the lock was worth. 

General - The vast majority of Kadoma District is still not allowed to plant.


Horseshoe - On Tuesday the resident war veterans on Nyamfuta Farm agreed that only 15 workers were to be allowed to remain on the farm. On Amajuba/Mapetu the ZRP have failed to respond to several reports made to Sgt Nyamakope concerning the destruction of the coffee trees in the plantations. On Penrose Farm the farm manager was barricaded into his house by illegal settlers who are resident on the neighbouring farm, Siyalima. These settlers also forced the Siyalima school children to march to Penrose. They have ordered a complete work stoppage on Penrose, including the watering of fruit plantations and called for a forced "pungwe" meeting. At this meeting they threatened the farmer and the manager and told them to vacate their properties within the next two weeks. The Police arrived but no resolution was found and the farmer was told that he would have to negotiate with the war veterans and workers. These same war veterans then returned to Siyalima and ordered a complete work stoppage and called for a "re-educating" meeting that lasted for 4 hours. When this meeting ended they ordered the whole work force to march to the homesteads where they barricaded the roads and beat drums and sang for a further 3 hours. The farmer's cattle were then herded together and brought to the gates whereupon the farmer agreed to discuss the matter of retrenchment with his workers the next day and the crowd dispersed. The next day no work was allowed on the farm. The farm owner and his family watered and fed the pigs in the morning. All the calls to the Police have met with prevarications and no RRB numbers have been issued. When the fourth report was made to Inspector Charuwa at the Guruve ZRP the farmer was told that they were awaiting the arrival of the chairman of the war veterans so that they could visit the farm together. When the final call to Inspector Charuwa  was made the farmer was told that Kanengoni, the chairman of the war vets and Sgt Nyamakope would visit the farm. When they arrived the war veterans demanded to be paid compensation for their damaged paprika seedbeds, however, none could be found so they changed their claim to damage to vegetable gardens. Meanwhile the lives of 2000 pigs are at stake. On Marirambada on Monday the war veteran Shadrek Pedzesai demanded that a date and a time be arranged to hold a re-education meeting for the farm workers and he claimed a portion of the farm for himself.

Centenary - A total work stoppage has begun on Mawari Farm this morning.


Featherstone – The owner of Kuruman has not moved the cattle in spite of deadline of today.

Harare  South  - On Dunluce a woman claiming to be the acting D.A.  Seke arrived with Assistant Inspector Sibanda, and nine followers including Dunluce settlers Matsangura & Narowanyanga.  The followers claimed they were the Seke Lands Committee.    The owner was accused of trying to trick them when he attempted to record the meeting, and Assistant Inspector Sibanda insisted the recorder be turned off. The owner was asked why he was planting, to which he replied he had an agreement with the Chiota settlers. The D.A. ordered the owner to stop planting and when the latter asked to have this order in writing, he  was punched in full view of the police.  When the owner wanted to record the police reaction, the cassette was forcibly removed by Assistant Inspector Sibanda. Army personnel removed an illegal settler hut from near the farm house on Auks Nest.  On Rusimbiro a young gum tree plantation was damaged by fire that is believed to have been set by illegal settlers.

Wedza – On Rapako illegal settlers are planting paprika under the direction of war veteran Chigwedere on  lands prepared by the owner of the farm.  On Corby tobacco seedlings from seedbeds established by the farmer are being planted in lands on the farm by illegal settlers. Paprika seedlings transported from elsewhere are being planted on Corby.  Ex-policeman Chinamberi is co-ordinating illegal settlers’ ridging and planting on Plymtree.  On Hull 5 hectares of  illegal settlers’ maize planting has been completed using a Renault tractor with a new planter of French manufacture.  Totnes had 40 irrigation pipes stolen and on Journey’s End a battery on an irrigation pump was stolen.  On Nelson illegal settlers are planting with water bowsers. Nurenzi had a 30hp motor stolen.  The following farmers confirmed receipt of Section 8 Orders on 14th November:  Nelson, Sutton and Hefa, Chard, Liliefontein, Uley, Numwa and Oklahoma.  

BeatriceAdlams Rest reported that the house had been broken into and I calf  stolen and extensive barbed wire has been removed.  Police arrested the wire thief.  War Vet Chitzinde visited Karreeboom and caused trouble over tractors moved from from Ngezi Farm in Featherstone.  Chitzindi arrived on Argyle to plough lands and on Adlams Rest to plant maize. On Central the DDF ploughed with a couple of illegal settlers planting behind.  The owner had a visit from a truckload of war veterans including Carter, Chirumba, Madox and Zoah.  They did not want the owner to meet with the DA and said if he did they would punish him by dividing up the crops he had already planted and sharing it amongst themselves.  On Brakveld illegal maize planting continues. This has been reported to the local police.

Macheke-Virginia - Springdale Farm labour were told to move out of their houses.  On Nyagadzi Farm  the labour were told to move out of their houses and were evicted by nightfall. The workers were led to believe that only those employed were allowed to stay in their houses.  Later all labour were forced out of their houses which were then locked by the illegal settlers with their own keys. Police did eventually attend but did not resolve the matter. The evaluators arrived on the farm.  On Craigielea and Mug Farm the labour were evicted from their houses.  On Castledene Pines the illegal settlers are demanding more water in the farm village. They also asked the farmer if he could plough for them, which he refused on the grounds that there were D.D.F. tractors on the farm up until Sunday. Glen Somerset has a complete work stoppage, including domestics,  and a demand that all cattle  be removed from the farm to make way for the planting of illegal settlers’ crops. The matter is still unresolved in spite of police attendance. On Paradise illegal settlers have moved into the farm cottage. Mignon Farm has a full work stoppage, including all persons working inside the security fence area. This is in spite of an agreement reached between owner, the D.A. and the settler leader (who instigating the incident). The owner and four of his workers were also threatened with a beating by the settler leader. Settlers on Royal Visit have planted approximately half a hectare of tobacco.  Planting of tobacco by illegal settlers has been carried out on Athlone Farm.  Cattle have been pushed onto Eureka Farm by settlers from Mangwende Far.  Lingone Farm owner was prevented from planting anything Illegal settlers have demanded that some old pensioned workers resident there were to move off. This demand was refused. Whilst the owner of Malda Farm was away unsuccessful attempts were made to evict a number of workers from the farm village by the resident illegal settlers.  Relevant to this attempted eviction, the Government evaluators were requesting accommodation in the owner’s farm village.  Government evaluators arrived on Methven Farm.

Enterprise/ Bromley-Ruwa - Widespread pegging continues.


Chiredzi Area – On Fair Range Estates three poachers chased a game scout. The Game scout  warned the poachers to desist, but the poachers ignored the warning and the game scout fired a warning shot over the head and shoulders of a poacher. One pellet accidentally hit the victim and entered into the heart. The poacher subsequently died. Due to this unfortunate incident a lot of threats have been made . Illegal occupiers have turned very aggressive. Farm workers have been assaulted and staff houses trashed. The Support Unit moved in and quietened the situation.  On Alstar Haven an illegal occupier known as Makaja was seen retrieving water from owner’s garden. When questioned, he answered that he owned everything on the farm and was allowed to do as he wants.

Masvingo East and Central Area – On Heathecote Farm a pungwe was held. Drinking, dancing, braaiing of meat and even urinating in a new make shift toilet (hole dug in the ground) took place right in front of owner’s homestead gate. The owner has been forced to destock the entire cattle herd due to the continued harassment on the farm. The Cabinet Action Committee recently visited property and the Abuja Agreement and coexistence were stressed. Subsequent to this the owner has experienced continued pressure.  Chidza Farm has officially been delisted. A Policemen known as Chirove has ordered the staff to vacate their houses. It has been established that Lovemore Zimuto the resident war vet, had organized the theft of 19 pedigree cows and 4 calves reported earlier. Cattle were retrieved in Chikwanda Communal Land. A resident war vet has also pegged in the owner’s prepared lands. New invasions are occurring on the property. Cattle management has become impossible because every gate is being left open. Due to the property having been officially delisted, the above reports have consistently been reported to the Governor, the PA, the DA and Propol. No reaction has occurred as yet.  Public Relations Vehicle of the ZRP has been seen on Beauly Farm followed by a five tonne truck cutting thatching grass for huts that are being erected. Three DDF tractors have been reported ploughing on this property.  On Lothian Farm illegal occupiers have chased away the security guards protecting the owner’s property and replaced the owner’s locks with their own locks.

Gutu / Chatsworth Area – On Northdale Farm , Middeldeel Farm, Nuwejaar Farm A2 resettlement has commenced on the dairy farms and 100ha plots have been allocated.  On Nuwejaar Farm fencing has been forced down and driven over with vehicles and gates have also been left open.  The owner of Mazongororo Farm was informed  by a Police detail that no ploughing and planting could commence.                          Visit the CFU Website

The opinions in this message do not necessarily reflect those of the Commercial Farmers' Union which does not accept any legal responsibility for them.
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Daily News

The Mole

Did Zanu PF's mafia do an inside job?

11/16/01 8:07:51 AM (GMT +2)

LAST week was marked by one of the most intriguing politically-inspired
dramas in real life this country has ever experienced since the
disappearance, without trace, of nationalist lawyer Edson Sithole who,
together with his secretary, was abducted by security agents of the Ian
Smith regime outside the Ambassador Hotel a few years before the end of the

The abduction of war veterans' association provincial leader, Cain Nkala,
from his New Magwegwe home in the middle of the night on Monday last week -
who was found dead by the police on Tuesday - had all the makings of a
meticulously well-planned operation which could never have been carried out
by anybody outside the elite ring of the most experienced State security

In fact, other war veterans told The Standard he was abducted by the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

The man was abducted, commando style, in full view of his wife and children,
by a group of men brandishing Kalashnikov assault rifles. That Nkala's wife
has steadfastly refused to discuss the incident points to one thing: her
life literally depends on her keeping what she saw, and knows, strictly to
herself. It is all very consistent with the Mafia's Omerta - the code of

The sophisticated weapons the abductors carried are a loud statement that
the perpetrators of that spine-chilling operation were no amateurs. They are
no newcomers to the world of terror. Pointing fingers at the MDC by the
likes of Joseph Chinotimba and Endy Mhlanga was, therefore, either one of
the clumsiest attempts at using a red herring or else it was a display of
the most laughable ignorance of how sophisticated their party's security
system is - with a little help from the CIO, of course.

The MDC cannot even boast possession of a single AK rifle, a weapon as
common in today's armouries as the hunting club was during our ancestors'
time, let alone the extremely rare Kalashnikovs.

How then could that party have managed to pull off such a smart act when
they can't even protect their own security chief, Job Sikhala? Sikhala is
being bashed almost on a weekly basis right there in his own home. He is
some kind of sitting duck for Zanu PF's learner hitmen!

His boss, Morgan Tsvangirai, is being constantly ambushed and clobbered at
will by Zanu PF youths who will not even be carrying firearms, making the
MDC's pretensions at having a security department look like one very tragic
big joke.

No, it is not plausible that a party which can't protect its leader could
have staged such a sophisticated kidnap of a person who is not only an
ex-combatant, but is also a member of an organisation that has perfected and
turned violence into a full-time career.

That is why the theory that the abduction was an inside job makes sense. And
the reason - that the party fears there is the real likelihood of a breach
of Omerta if Nkala were allowed to stand trial for his alleged part in the
abduction of the MDC's Patrick Nabanyama - being given for the kidnapping is
also quite valid.

Let's just picture the scenario as presented to the nation through the

A high-ranking party official, who is a former Cabinet minister and member
of the politburo as well, orders the abduction of Nabanyama, a former Zanu
PF activist who is now busy helping the opposition defeat the ruling party.

Before Nabanyama is permanently eliminated, he is taken to the former
minister's house, probably for interrogation, and Nkala is one of the few
people to see him there before he is done in and his body disposed of.

Nkala is later arrested and charged with the kidnapping of Nabanyama.

The former minister thinks the government will "do something" to make the
case die a natural death. But no!

More than a year later Nkala is brought before the courts and a date is set
for his trial. Nkala tells his friends that should things become too hot, he
will squeal. The ex-minister gets wind of it and panics.

Rather than take chances, he decides Nkala has to be silenced and so
masterminds the abduction.

It is almost a replay of the Edson Shirihuru scenario. As he awaited trial
for the abduction and disappearance of Rashiwe Guzha, he whispered just that
little bit too loudly to friends saying that if he were convicted "I will
not go alone". He intended to squeal. Not so long after making the threat,
Shirihuru was a dead man. The party then did not have a ready scapegoat.

But in Nkala's case, it was so easy to blame it all on the party's perennial
whipping boy, the MDC. But The Mole wonders: Why didn't the war veterans
kick up equally blinding dust when army man Edwin Nleya, considered another
potential squealer over some army chiefs' filthy activities in Mozambique,
was done in?

Or when the Evangelical Lutheran Federation's Strover Mutonhori was abducted
from a Maphisa hotel and then done in, allegedly on the orders of a minister
whose wife's morals apparently weren't much higher than those of the girls
who flash their underwear-less full-frontals to male motorists driving in
Harare's Avenues area at night?

Ever since Jonathan Moyo became the de facto editor-in-chief of Zimbabwe
Newspapers, following his fast-track elevation to the post of propaganda
chief for both Zanu PF and the government, Zimbabweans have been left
wondering on a daily basis whether the papers at Zimpapers are reporting on
the same events as the rest of the newspapers outside Moyo's control. The
distortions are unbelievably startling.

The reason, of course, is that State papers have strict instructions to
print, about Zanu PF and the government, only those things the authorities
would be pleased to hear, not what they must know.

But this Monday The Herald really outdid itself in the shameful practice of
sycophancy and twisting facts. In a story headlined Botswana's president
blasts white land owners, the paper began: "Botswana's President Festus
Mogae has criticised Zimbabwe's white land owners for their reluctance to
voluntarily turn over farmland for use by the landless black majority . . ."

Compare that with the story in The Daily News of the same day. Headlined
Mogae blasts Mugabe over land grab policy, our story began thus:
"JOHANNESBURG - Botswana's President Festus Mogae has harshly criticised his
Zimbabwean counterpart, Mugabe, for a land-grab policy that has triggered a
political and economic crisis . . ."

Both stories were based on South Africa's Sunday Times' exclusive interview
with Mogae. But, as can be seen from the dateline (Johannesburg) at the
beginning of The Daily News story, ours was an authentic Reuters news agency
story, distributed throughout the world, while The Herald's was obviously a
complete fabrication from Munhumutapa Building meant to flatter Mugabe into
falsely thinking Mogae supports him.

To make the distortion even more shameful, copies of The Sunday Times
carrying the interview in question were on sale everywhere in Harare.

Nowhere in that interview did Mogae even so much as hint that he thought
white farmers were to blame for what is happening here! I think someone
somewhere, either at Herald House or at Munhumutapa Building is getting
insane, quite seriously.

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Zim Independent

Discontent simmers in Zanu PF over Mugabe

Brian Hungwe
THE ruling Zanu PF party goes to its December annual people’s conference
without anything tangible on the plate — except the land issue and the
restructuring of its administrative wing, the politburo, with particular
focus on the forthcoming 2002 presidential election.

But party insiders are quietly concerned about the prospect of having
77-year-old Robert Mugabe at the helm of the party for another six years.
Vocal challenges to Mugabe’s reign have so far only marginalised the

Mugabe’s biggest challenge is opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) president, 49-year-old Morgan Tsvangirai whose trade union background
accounts for his meteoric rise to political fame.

Several Zanu PF MPs who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent acknowledged
simmering discontent within the rank-and-file of Zanu PF over Mugabe’s
seemingly interminable stay in power.

Mugabe has been at the helm of government for the last 21 years. No possible
successor has been touted to challenge him for the country’s highest
political office.

Any prospects for a surprise nomination at the annual people’s conference
has been ruled out. Zanu PF secretary for information Nathan Shamuyarira
said last Tuesday that Mugabe was the party’s one and only candidate.

He denied that there was discontent in the party over Mugabe’s candidature.
“There is nothing like that. There is no such a feeling,” Shamuyarira said.

Authoritative party sources said even amongst the old guard there was
considerable discomfort at having Mugabe remain at the helm of the party

Advocate Edith Mushore, suggesting that 21 years in office was too long a
time in modern democracies, said Zanu PF was fast losing its touch with
reality and making itself a laughing stock of the world by allowing Mugabe
to run until he turns 83.

“History has shown that questioning Mugabe’s ability to run for office
carries with it dire consequences for those who dare to ask,” she said.

Mushore said that even if Mugabe was to win the presidential election, it
was highly unlikely that he would resign and pass the torch on to someone
else to run until 2007.

“If he were to resign there has to be a stop-gap measure, where the
vice-president takes over for a limited period before calling for another
presidential election,” Mushore said.

“I do not see him handing over power to someone else.”

Mushore believes Mugabe will run until the last day of his office if
“infirmity of body or mind or any such illness” does not affect him during
his term of office.

For several years Defence minister Sydney Sekeramai, parliamentary speaker
Emmerson Mnangagwa, and the party’s former legal secretary Eddison Zvobgo
have been touted outside the party as Mugabe’s possible successors.

Political analysts have said they have all faded like the morning dew and
were no longer serious contenders for high office.

Zanu PF’s Young Turks with a grasp of the economic fundamentals but devoid
of grassroots support stand no chance. It will be too late to campaign for
them as possible usurpers of the seat as the presidential election is about
four months away, effectively leaving Mugabe as the only possible choice.

That Mugabe has the energy and drive to withstand the pressure surrounding
the presidential election campaign is a matter of debate with speculation
rife that he has not been in good physical shape of late.

When over 7 000 party faithfuls congregate at the yet-unnamed Victoria Falls
venue for the annual people’s conference, they will all be grateful that
Mugabe has done his best over the land issue, but certainly will be divided
over Mugabe’s continued stay, insiders said.

Mugabe’s consolidation of his dead man’s grip on the post gave the
impression that he alone and no-one else in the party can redeem Zimbabwe
from the jaws of a cracked economy that has seen inflation soaring to a
record 97,9% and the unemployment rate rising to 65%.

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Zim Independent

ZCTU slams govt over lawlessness

Godfrey Marawanyika
IN its first direct attack this year on the country’s political
administration, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has said the
nation’s political risk factor can only be resolved by addressing the issues
of governance.

In its submissions to the Tripartite Negotiating Forum on the
Political/Country Risk Factor of Zimbabwe, the labour body said failure to
address the issue of governance would only deepen the crisis.

The ZCTU warned that if the current economic crisis persisted it would only
worsen an already difficult situation.

“The political risk factor can only be resolved by addressing the issues of
governance,” labour said. “Failure to do so will only deepen the crisis and
result in social and political instability.”

The ZCTU said the adoption of unpopular economic reforms also resulted in
the economy underperforming.

“Firstly, the unilateral implementation of unpopular economic polici- es,
such as Esap, resulted in a lacklustre performance of the economy and the
reversal of the gains achieved (especially in the social sector) during the
1980s,” the umbrella body said.

“The point is not that reform was not necessary, but rather the form and
content of the economic reform programme was defective.”

It said the unilateral imposition of political decisions such as the
awarding of $50 000 each to 50 000 war veterans in December 1997 and a
monthly pension of $2000 deepened the budget deficit.

The ZCTU said the situation was further worsened by the breakdown of the
rule of law following the occupation of farms after the rejection of the
draft constitution last February.

“People are being victimised for holding different political views. It is
important for political leadership to practise political tolerance. The rule
of law has been undermined in Zimbabwe, especially with respect to the land
resettlement programme. It is also being selectively applied on political
grounds,” said the ZCTU.

“Restoration of the rule of law and its indiscriminate application will help
bring the economy back on the rails.”

“At certain times it is the British or the West that is targeted, at other
times whites and yet others ‘profiteering’ firms or ‘politically-inclined’
trade unions,” the labour body said.

“The rhetoric of senior politicians remains antagonistic and anti-West, and
yet what is required to restore relations with the international community
in general and donors in particular is a more positive and responsible

“Measures that are being taken, such as doling out project funds at rallies
suggest a lack of seriousness in dealing with real problems.”
Labour said abrupt solutions to issues such as the exchange rate and price
controls are short-term and will not solve the problems.

“What is required therefore is a very bold approach, which should begin with
an acknowledgement that we are in a crisis of governance.

“Any attempts to find scapegoats will not help our cause,” the ZCTU

It said Zimbabweans are also disadvantaged by draconian legislation, citing
the Law and Order (Maintanance) Act, the Presidential Powers (Temporary
Measures) Act, and the formation and government’s recognition of splinter
unions and federations.

To try and dilute the powerful ZCTU, the government formed a splinter union,
the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions.

Labour said the June parliamentary election was proven by the courts to be
irregular, not free and in many cases marred by violence.

“Workers in particular have suffered violence and intimidation at the hands
of the ruling party during and after the 2000 election,” labour said.

The ZCTU said that corruption was largely going unpunished and had become
endemic with prosecution being applied selectively.

Last year the country saw a series of high profile arrests but no

Meanwhile, the ZCTU yesterday said it would take action to try and keep up
wages in line with the inflation rate of 97,9%. It did not elaborate.
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Zim Independent

Police involved in smuggling

Godfrey Marawanyika
POLICE officers manning the Mukumbura border post on the northern border
with Mozambique are conspiring with local businessmen and villagers to
export tonnes of sugar every week into Mozambique and Zambia despite a food
export ban by the government, it has been learnt.

So serious is the continued smuggling by the uniformed force members that
some of the officers have been transferred to other parts of the country,
and officers from Bindura called in as replacements and to investigate the
illegal exports.

Sources said up to 20 tonnes of sugar were being smuggled out every week.
Yesterday police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed that smuggling was
going on at Mukumbura border post but said the illegal trade had declined
since the deployment of officers from Bindura.

“We have laid a corruption charge against one of our officers after
receiving complaints that he was engaged in illegal activities,” Bvudzijena

He said police had from October 16 arrested 25 people who had paid deposit
fines for smuggling sugar and other groceries. Some were found with large
sums of money. In one case $458 000 was confiscated by the state.

“Some businessman were thriving on the smuggling of sugar and other basic
commodities and we have deployed some officers from Bindura to put a lid on
it,” Bvudzijena said.

He said some of the businessmen in Mozambique had paid up-front for
Zimbabwean sugar.

Police sources said the sugar was normally transported to the border in
trucks which were then parked in the surrounding communal areas until dark.
The sugar is off-loaded into animal-drawn carts under cover of darkness and
taken across the border through the shallow waters and dry riverbed. Canoes
were also used in places.

“The deployment of new personnel from Bindura has really changed nothing
because some of the officers have started to participate in the shady
deals,” a source said.
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Zim Independent

Police harass German delegate

Augustine Mukaro
A DELEGATE to the Harare/Munich workshop on “encouraging civic participation
and exchanging experiences” was harassed by the police in Harare, a day
before the departure of the delegation, it was learnt last week.

The delegate and two officials of the Combined Harare Residents Association
(CHRA) were picked up by the police for questioning.

In the early evening of 0ctober 29 a member of the Munich Residents
Association delegation, Winfred Eckhardt, together with CHRA vice-chair- man
Mike Davis and Glenview Residents Association chairman Patrick Nyamadzawo,
were arrested outside Book Café at the Fife Avenue shopping centre in

“A blue Landrover from nowhere stopped right beside a taxi we had boarded at
the shopping centre, with the man sitting on the passenger side of the truck
beckoning the taxi driver to leave the car,” Davis said.

Following a short conversation the two men in the Landrover came to the taxi
where they quickly produced their identity cards. It wasn’t possible for me
to check if the ID cards were genuine,” he said.

The two men focused on Eckhardt, asking him what he was doing in Harare and
why he was with a black man. They pestered him to explain in detail his
reasons for coming to Zimbabwe. They later turned to Nyamadzawo whom they
quizzed on why he was hanging around with a white man.

The three were then shoved into the police truck and were not allowed to use
their phones to inform colleages of what was happening.

“At the police station we were taken into a small room in the basement for
further interrogation one after the other and we just repeated what we had
told them earlier,” Davis explained.

“After about an hour of interrogation we were taken out of the police
complex and then released.” He said it was only after their release that
they were able to call for help.

“Mr Locherer of the German Embassy came to pick us up in his diplomatic
 car,” Davis said.

He said the arrest was meant to scare the delegates but the intended effects
seem not to have been achieved.

Commenting on the incident, leader of the German delegation Thomas Kempf
observed: “Welcome to Zimbabwe! We will stay with you — strongly and in

Munich is Harare’s twin city and its residents association has implored the
government to hold mayoral and council elections in Harare. The association
recently announced that it would not work with the commission led by Elijah
Chanakira but would instead assist in empowering residents’ associations.

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Zim Independent

Opinion - Cathy Buckle

THE inability of Zimbabwe’s public officials to overcome their fear and
stand their moral ground is rapidly destroying our country. I do not know if
it is now too late for these men and women, who are the servants of the
people of Zimbabwe, to redeem themselves.

I am talking about the men and women in the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the
Zimbabwe National Army and all the provincial and district administrators
throughout the country. For 20 months these public servants have stood by
and witnessed rape, torture, beatings, looting, arson and murder. For 20
months the police, army and regional civil servants have folded their arms
and turned their heads away.

They have allowed common criminals and people young enough to be their
children to run rings around them and drag the country into this lawless
state. The men and women who are paid with our taxes and levies have allowed
rapists, murderers and thieves to take complete control.

When asked to do their jobs, these men and women say: “It is political” or
“we have not received a directive”. When this insanity is over, do these
public officials really believe that their behaviour will be forgotten? The
state Zimbabwe now finds itself in is their fault because they have been too
cowardly to do what they know is the right thing. Walk with me around a
small town in Mashonaland East and see the results of their moral

A three-year old child was attacked by a rabble last week. He was pulled out
of his parents’ house one night and told to run, told that this was no
longer his home. The child, scared and confused, did not run fast enough and
was beaten by crazed men with sticks. His face is covered in bruises and
pus-filled scabs.

The men who did this call themselves “war veterans” and “settlers”; they are
known to the local police, they live in shacks on a commercial farm and wear
orange overalls with HM on the pocket. Is it possible that anyone in
Zimbabwe does not know that HM stands for Harare Municipality? Why do the
police not arrest them and why don’t the DAs and PAs stand up and condemn
this most horrific attack on a child barely out of nappies?

Why don’t the men and women who are officials on the “land committees” stand
up and say that these men in orange overalls are not landless peasants; they
are paid council workers. Public officials who are turning a blind eye and
pretending it is not happening are being used by their political masters.
They are condoning the beating of infants because they are too scared to
speak out.

A bedraggled, skeletal man, wild-eyed and almost dead from starvation
emerged from the scrubby Msasa bushveld one day last week. He begged a
passing motorist to help him. He, his wife and their children have eaten
only roots and insects for five days. The man was a farm worker, evicted
from his home by “war veterans”, told to stay out of town, out of sight and
off the road or he would be killed.

His wife and children are too scared and too weak to come out onto the dirt
road and also beg for help. What kind of public officials can continue in
their jobs and keep saying “it is political” when this is the result?

A middle-aged farmer, desperate to stay on his land, earn his living and
keep putting food on our tables, gave up half of his hectarage to the rabble
occupying his property. Last week the “settlers” came back and told the
farmer that if he did not remove all of his workers from the farm village
then they would be forcibly removed.

The farmer was told that he was now an “illegal squatter” and that if he did
not do as he was told he would have to “bear the consequences”. When the
local district officials were informed they told the farmer that the
settlers were entitled to evict everyone forcibly. About 25 people calling
themselves war veterans and settlers are intent on evicting 150 men, women
and children and the public servants are sitting back and allowing it to

A Marondera farmer with a court order saying that farming operations must be
allowed to continue unimpeded has still not been able to put a single seed
into the ground. The farmer has been prevented from putting food on our
tables by men under 30 who call themselves war veterans. When the farmer
approached public officials for help, he was told “we won’t help you because
you won’t help us”. Because the farmer has a court ruling protecting his
rights, public officials accuse him of not helping them.
On this property 18 men are depriving 400 men, women and children of
accommodation and employment and the public officials are allowing it to
happen because they cannot face their own fear.

I do not like to think what life will be like for Zimbabwe’s public
officials when this madness is over. Their refusal to protect the citizens
of Zimbabwe, their cowardly fear will not be easily forgiven. How can these
public officials sleep at night and live with themselves when they know
people are being chased out of their homes, forced to survive by eating
insects and have to witness their three-year-old children being beaten?

Zimbabwe’s public officials must be prepared to pay the price of their fear
and silence which is causing untold suffering to hundreds of thousands of
Zimbabweans. Public officials must serve the people who pay their wages,
they must speak out now. They may be saving their jobs now but they must
look to the months ahead. We will not trust you to continue holding these
positions, we will not want you protecting us. We will not forget how you
have stood by and done nothing. Your moral negligence is the shame of

Cathy Buckle is an author and human rights activist.
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Zim Independent


MANY residents of Vice-President Simon Muzenda’s Gutu North constituency
snubbed the veteran politician’s 79th birthday celebrations which were held
at Masvingo’s Mucheke stadium recently, our Masvingo correspondent reports.

The vice-president is understood to have chartered more than five buses to
carry people from Chatikobo, Zvavahera and Makanga business centres to
Masvingo but the buses came back nearly empty because hardly anyone turned

Only seven people were picked up at Zvavahera. Buses waited for at least two
hours at their pick-up points in the hope that people had decided to come
late. Alas, they waited in vain. But at least some people turned up at
Gutu-Mpandawana growth point to fill the gaps.

The birthday celebrations caused considerable resentment when Zanu PF tried
to raise money for the party from school teachers. The most they were
prepared to agree to was $5 each after a proposal of $10 was shot down.

Enthusiasm was perhaps dampened by the treatment people received at the
“victory” celebrations held in Muzenda’s constituency a few weeks earlier to
mark his return to parliament over a year ago.
People had been asked to bring pots, plates and firewood and were told they
would be supplied with meat and cooking oil for the feast. But
the feast didn’t materialise.

Addressing the gathering, Muzenda said he had not invited all children in
the area but only those who were entertaining the crowd. To adults who
turned up for the meal he said: “Nhoro dzakatiza (the kudus we had captured
for your meat escaped)”. The hungry crowd jeered the vice-president as they
were told to leave the party venue.

Some took their firewood to a nearby homestead where there was a funeral
while most abandoned their piles and wearily walked back to their homes.
It wasn’t apparently the best public relations exercise Zanu PF has
conducted in recent months. But then again, what has been?
The Nigerian High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, Wilberforce Juta, was reported
to be highly indignant recently over a suggestion by a Daily News columnist
that Harare was “abuzz with rumour” that Stan Mudenge had “exploited a
weakness associated with Nigerians throughout the world” in winning over the
support of Nigerian Foreign minister Sule Lamido who chaired the
Commonwealth team that visited Zimbabwe last month.

We will not comment here on that particular report except to say that Lamido
proved a strict and conscientious chairman during the hearings he presided
over in Harare.

What does interest us however is the position of the Nigerian High
Commissioner regarding other “weaknesses” associated with Nigerians
throughout the world.

At this paper we receive a constant stream of “proposals” by Nigerians which
are nothing more than elaborate scams. They invariably suggest that we
deposit funds into offshore bank accounts in order to qualify for the huge
payoffs in US dollars which the sender says he/she is holding in Nigeria as
a result of some theft from state funds.

The latest, which arrived on the very day the Nigerian High Commissioner was
fulminating against the Daily News, purports to come from Chief Annie
Okonkwo who claims to be a director of the Standard Trust Bank Ltd (fax
number 234 1 7596202).

She says she is holding US$6,5 million belonging to the late Roy Durand, an
oil merchant for the Nigerian government until his death in a “ghastly” air
accident two years ago. Attempts to trace the family have failed so Chief
Annie-get-your-chequebook Okonkwo now wants to split the loot with us!

Of course, first she must have our bank account numbers, swift code etc etc.

It is extraordinary that people still fall for these scams, mostly in South
Africa which has had less exposure over the years. We have in this column
drawn attention before to senior Nigerian officials offering vast sums of
illegally acquired money to share with gullible and greedy recipients of
their blandishments. Other businesses in Harare report similar and regular
dispatches from Nigeria.

Not once has the Nigerian High Commission sought the details of these frauds
so it can alert its CID to a practice that tarnishes Nigeria’s name.
Mr Juta, by the way, is the same High Commissioner who fell hook, line and
sinker for one of the government’s stage-managed farm tours a few months ago
in which police officers were the guides.

His eyes had been opened, all was now clear, he breathlessly exclaimed to
the state media!

If he wants to be taken seriously he should stop collaborating with
government-media liars and instead do something about nailing Nigerian
criminals — beginning with the person claiming to be Chief Annie Okonkwo.
Still on the subject of state-media liars, why is the Chronicle persisting
with the myth that the Oppenheimer ranch is the size of Belgium? Debshan

Farm is 137 000 hectares or 1 370sq km while Belgium is 30 497sq km.

The biggest farm in the country, according to our information, has always
been the Development Trust of Zimbabwe’s Nuanetsi Ranch. It covers nearly 1%
of the country, we are told, although we are open to correction on this

And while we are at it, why do government propagandists continue to insist
that white farmers own 70% of arable land when 90% of them have been
dispossessed under fast track? Stan Mudenge is still spreading the myth that
no farmer will be left without a farm. Can any farmer testify to receiving a
replacement farm? Is there a single recorded case?

Muckraker is intrigued about the role the UNDP’s suave Victor Angelo is
playing in the food distribution furore. Firstly we had Simba Makoni
approaching him to source food aid which we understood was an official
request. Next we had Angelo saying he is mobilising support from the World
Food Programme and other agencies and exploring the modalities of how it is
to be distributed.

Then we had a story in the Sunday Mail that reports of looming starvation
were “false”, the state media’s favourite word, and that according to the
Zimbabwe Mirror Makoni had “irked” (another favourite) his colleagues by
seeking assistance from Angelo. This was all a plot by NGOs to campaign for
the MDC, said Jonathan Moyo, who was no doubt hoping he could himself use
food aid to campaign for Zanu PF!

“Strangers” would not be allowed to “roam around the country”, he declared
as if he owned it.

So what is Angelo going to do? He cannot allow a government which has
sabotaged food self-sufficiency to benefit from donor aid and then turn that
aid into an electoral instrument! On the other hand he cannot allow people
to starve while the government persists with its denial that there is a
crisis, just as Mengistu did in Ethiopia in 1984.

He is in a fix. But some plain speaking as to the cause of the problem would
not go amiss!

The Sunday Mail took a pot shot at one of our reporters last week accusing
him of cooking up a Shona statement, translating it into English and
attributing it to a non-existent diplomat. This is presumably not the same
non-existent diplomat widely quoted in the government press!

The reporter should be “taught how to write” by “Muckracker”, the paper’s
“Under the Surface” columnist suggested.

It would of course help if the Sunday Mail could spell Muckraker. It would
also help if its contributors could be spared embarrassment by judicious
editorial intervention.

Joyce Jenje Makwenda submitted an interesting piece to the paper on the
“Fall of the Federation” in which she referred several times to the
“Mountain Commission”. We expect she meant the Monckton Commission.
Exactly how it became a mountain we are not sure, but let’s hope it wasn’t
assisted by Graham, UZ’s famous social climber and President’s Office
facilitator who, with only a little prompting, is prepared to make a
mountain out of a moleHill!

Who is the Zanu PF criminal working at the passport office who leaked to the
Herald Justice McNally’s passport details? The passport office falls under
the office of Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede who, the government insists,
is a perfectly professional agent for the conduct of elections. Yet his
officers are working in cahoots with the state media disclosing confidential
information to the press to assist Zanu PF with its election campaign.

This is the office entrusted with management of the voters’ roll. This is
the office, we are assured, which will remain impartial in its conduct of
the election.

If it cannot be impartial in the small matter of a passport number, how on
earth is it going to be impartial about the conduct of an election in which
rather more is at stake?

Some of those taking part in Jonathan Moyo’s Sheraton meetings to chart the
way forward for the state’s new propaganda behemoth must have felt
distinctly uncomfortable as President’s Office officials made clear their

“Some people may appear very genial and friendly but they write the most
terrible things about this country,” the meeting was told as the Reuters
bureau chief sat there passively, no doubt contemplating Daniel’s fate in
the lion’s den.

But despite the new propaganda blitz, some state editors are obviously not
watching the ball. On Wednesday the Herald carried the following subversive
heading on Page 1: “Opposition scores crushing victory as Kabul falls.”

We can easily imagine the following memo landing on his desk with a thud:
“You will be well aware that the opposition have been encouraging their
foreign-backed press to compare Zanu PF to the Taliban. The fall of the
regime in Kabul is therefore likely, as was the case with Milosevic, to
generate unhealthy comparisons.

“Please be sensitive to the prospect of mischief-making that will inevitably
result from the plight of our Afghan friends and think carefully before
passing headings of any sort that begin ‘Opposition scores crushing victory…

“I am however pleased with your columnist Tim Chigodo who suggested that
foreign investors own a majority stake in the Daily News. That is the sort
of lie we want to encourage and which the Media Ethics Committee was set up
to ignore.”

Following the Springboks disastrous tour of France, we received this

“South African rugby practice was delayed last week for nearly
two hours in France. One of the players, while on his way back to the
dressing room happened to look down and noticed a suspicious looking,
unknown white powdery substance at the end of the field.

“After a complete field analysis, the police determined that the white
substance unknown to the players was the line. Practice was resumed when the
officials decided that the team would not be likely to encounter the
substance again!”

Victoria Falls, we hear, is now finally back in business and trying to
entice tourists and locals back. There are special discounts to be had. For
instance, prices for the bungee jump are as follows: Tourists $100; locals
$50; war vets FREE (no strings attached).

Zim Independent - Editorial Comment


ONCE again, the government has sought recourse to presidential powers to
circumvent its own legislation. The resort to the legally dubious
Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act to get around provisions of the
Land Acquisition Act, passed by parliament in 1992 and amended last year,
reveals a government unable to live within even its own sweeping laws.

Statutory Instrument 338 is almost certainly unconstitutional. It violates
Sections 16 and 18 of the constitution relating to the rights to security of
property and access to the courts. And it makes farmers prisoners of gangs
of violent and destructive Zanu PF supporters. At a stroke overnment has
stripped citizens of their right under its own legislation to have their
cases heard in the Administrative Courts.

Last year the government smuggled clauses on land acquisition into the
proposed constitution which would have enabled it to take land without
compensation. Those proposals, together with the rest of the flawed package,
were rejected by the public in a democratic poll. And when the government
then campaigned by persuasion and coercion for a decisive mandate to
redistribute land in the way that it proposed, the electorate responded by
evicting Zanu PF from 58 constituencies.

Ignoring that rebuke, the government proceeded to amend the Land Acquisition
Act in November to facilitate land seizures. A presidential decree under the
Presidential Powers Act had already equipped government to do this as early
as May. But despite this array of legislative empowerment Zanu PF still
feels it doesn’t have sufficient authority to dispossess people. So it will
just go ahead and do so under presidential fiat.

This, by any standard, is a manifest abuse of power. And even our packed
courts will have difficulty nodding through measures that deprive people of
clearly defined rights.

At the same time proposed amendments to the Electoral Act on voter education
will violate Section 20 of the constitution which guarantees the right to
impart and receive ideas and information.

These attempts to circumscribe democracy have been accompanied by a renewed
assault on the opposition under the pretext of finding Cain Nkala’s killers.
Having studiously ignored the case of Patrick Nabanyama’s disappearance 16
months ago, the police have now embarked on a wave of arbitrary arrests of
opposition supporters. MDC members have been illegally detained by the
police; others have been abducted by government supporters and are still

The strongest charge made against the government in evidence to the visiting
Commonwealth mission last month was that of selective justice. Police
Commissioner Augustine Chihuri was tackled on this point by the ministerial
team. How many people responsible for murder and other crimes committed last
year walk free? Yet any hint of wrong-doing by opposition members or
newspaper personnel is pounced on with immediate arrests and detentions
which are wholly unwarranted by the evidence available.

Zimbabwe has over a two-year period, but especially this year, acquired the
modus operandi of a fascist state. That includes the deceitful propaganda
component which has correctly been likened to the hate-based broadcasts from
Rwanda’s Radio Libre des Mille Collines in 1994.

This week’s event in which an alleged crime is laid at the door of the
opposition accompanied by an intensification of the abductions and beatings
already endemic across the country could represent Zimbabwe’s equivalent of
the Reichstag fire. The menacing response of President Mugabe appears to
confirm that the opposition has been set up.

But Zanu PF needs little pretext. It is already aware that it cannot win a
free and fair poll. The occupation of farms, as one columnist perceptively
put it last week, is a war of internal conquest against the people of

The international community is slowly waking up to this. But they continue
to indulge the regime more than they should. The UNDP is trying to find ways
to dig government out of the hole it has excavated for itself. Not only will
a technical assessment team look at the scorched earth fast-track has left
in its wake, it will be making recommendations to donors on the way forward.

This is of course pure fantasy. No donor will look at funding Zanu PF’s
electoral viciousness. But the UNDP and other UN agencies are exploring the
“modalities” of food aid without a word about a government that has in six
short months completely sabotaged food production and, with it, national
self-sufficiency. And UNDP representative Victor Angelo, in a breathtaking
abdication of responsibility, has reportedly assured the government that the
UNDP is not concerned with the rule of law in its assessment of land reform.

Let’s hope he was misquoted. But this is rapidly becoming a situation in
which Zimbabwe’s friends become part of the problem instead of the solution.

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'We Will Live Up to This Challenge'

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

November 16, 2001
Posted to the web November 15, 2001

Morgan Tsvangirai has been tipped as the next president of Zimbabwe. Rehana
Rossouw and Jaspreet Kindra spoke to him about the prospects for a free and
fair election next year, famine in Zimbabwe and his exit strategy for
President Robert Mugabe

Rehana Rossouw: According to opinion polls, you are going to be president of
Zimbabwe in a few months' time.

Morgan Tsvangirai: Congratulate me after we have crossed that bridge.

RR: I will, I promise. Can you tell us about the survey?

MT: It was done by an organisation called Target Research. It is a private
research company. Somebody else asked me: what do you think? I said look,
anyone can publish a poll. They may give you indications where you have to
strengthen your work. You can't go around exalted about an opinion poll
because, at the end of the day, it is the people who will vote. And you need
to continue with the campaign until the final whistle. When the polls show
you in a positive light, that's encouraging. But that's not the ultimate

RR: What do you think the prospects are for a free and fair election in
Zimbabwe next year?

MT: There are serious obstacles to a free and fair election in Zimbabwe at
the moment. Let's look at the institutions. The Electoral Supervisory
Commission has no power. A civil servant called the registrar general runs

You literally have no access to the media. In other words, promotion of the
process itself is being handicapped by the fact that the media is not
promoting even voter registration. People are asking questions: where do we
register, what are the requirements, how long is it going to be, what comes
next? We believe that 80% to 85% of Zimbabweans want to vote in the
forthcoming election, but they will find that there are many obstacles that
are being placed in their way.

We also have established the fact that there is a serious disenfranchisement
exercise that is taking place: relocating of voters in the urban areas, not
registering the first-time voters, the 18- to 22-year-olds are being
excluded, not even considering people who are outside Zimbabwe - which I
think is close to a million voters. So, there's a lot of people who are
being disenfranchised and all with deliberate intention, subverting the
ultimate result.

So, as far as the process itself goes ... people have not been told what's
going to take place ... after registration, what takes place? The dates for
voter inspection have not been announced, so preparations will really be
constrained. We don't even have a definitive date for the election. Those
are the kinds of things that government departments are very secretive

Jaspreet Kindra: Given that the situation is so hostile in Zimbabwe, are you
seeking outside intervention?

MT: No, no.

JK: I remember you mentioned to me last year that you were meeting [United
Nations Secretary General] Kofi Annan ...

MT: Yes, we need international solidarity. We need international support,
but ultimately it is Zimbabweans themselves that have to be clear on their
paths. Discussions around what South Africa can do, what the international
community can do, will only take you so far. There have been so many
initiatives that have been embarked upon - the Abuja agreement, the Southern
African Development Community leadership initiative, the Commonwealth
initiative - all those initiatives are helpful, but they are not a
determining factor. The determining factor is going to come from how
committed Zimbabweans will be on election day.

RR: Is there any chance that between now and February next year you may
decide that the playing field is so uneven that the Movement for Democratic
Change [MDC] could decide not to contest the election?

MT: It's not an option.

RR: You will contest it, no matter what the conditions ...

MT: No matter what the conditions, we will contest. It's not an option
because the people say even if they do beat us, we will have our final say.
So, to me it's not even a leadership option to say we will pull out and we
will boycott it.

RR: And then what happens after the election if you find out that 50% of
your voters have been intimidated? What can you do afterwards? You would
have been part of a flawed process.

MT: It's a Catch-22 situation. It's a very unenviable situation to have to
ask, do we boycott? If we boycott we have denied people a chance to express
themselves. It's better to go in knowing that the playing field is not level
and there are these constraints.

JK: So what can the international community do to assist with this problem?
Are you asking for anything?

MT: No, not at the moment. I think as far as the Zimbabwean crisis is
concerned, we have raised it to a level of international focus. It is on the
international radar. Of course the Afghanistan issue has sort of taken it
away and the cancellation of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting
has taken it away. I think it has come up again. But I think the crisis has
regional as well as international attention.

JK: What is the African National Congress doing to support you? Has its
position changed since last year?

MT: When you spoke to me last year their position was very cynical. I think
there's been a significant improvement in relations. And I am satisfied with
the level of contact, with the level of exchanges, and their basic
understanding of the crisis. Although, of course, they find themselves in a
very helpless situation -how far they can engage, how far they can ostracise
should they decide to take that route. Whichever way they do it, they can't
win. I don't see them winning if they try to ostracise the Zimbabwean
government. So it's a no-win situation.

RR: Would you be in favour of sanctions or harsh measures against Zimbabwe,
given the food and economic crises?

MT: I've never taken a position in favour of harsh measures because we know
the implications. The government will just turn against the people. So
comprehensive sanctions - we are opposed to them. We would rather, if
anybody wants to take stern measures, that they target the leadership. In
other words, targeted sanctions, what they call smart sanctions: travel
bans, asset freezing, those kinds of things. The people who are perpetrating
this violence are government. Sanctions against the government, of course,
we will endorse.

RR: President Robert Mugabe has significant assets in this country. He owns
property, he has money in South Africa. Do you know the extent of his
personal wealth here?

MT: I'm quite conscious of the fact and it's not just the president. The
whole top echelon of Zanu-PF has nests outside the country.

JK: Have you put pressure on the South African government to freeze their

MT: No, not yet. You see, it's a very embarrassing situation for the ANC
government. They tried, with all pomp and ceremony, to advance this quiet
diplomacy, which has not worked. It's very embarrassing for someone who is
promoting a platform for African growth and opportunity, because that
initiative will fail or succeed on how the Zimbabwean crisis is dealt with.

RR: If you do become president, or if the MDC has power in Zimbabwe, you're
going to inherit a mess that is not of your own creation. Do you have firm
plans to overcome the problems? For instance, what will you do about people
who are currently illegally occupying land?

MT: We do have a firm transitional plan. We do have a vision in the plan for
how economic and social conditions have to be handled. Let me just give you
some of the issues that we have to tackle as a matter of priority.

The first issue is, of course, law and order, and that includes a lot of
factors. Mugabe has encouraged the war veterans to commit acts of
criminality with impunity. That cannot be tolerated. We need to restore
confidence to the country, nationally, so that people feel safe. That's the
first thing.

RR: Will you bring the troops back from the Congo?

MT: Obviously, it goes without saying that a part of our economic strategy
in dealing with the fiscal crisis, is to bring back the troops. Anyway, let
me go on to the other important issue ...

It is vitally important to emphasise that whether it is a Zanu-PF or an MDC
government, if it doesn't finalise this issue of land on a permanent basis,
if it doesn't resolve this issue, it is always sitting on a very serious
crisis. So we are all agreed that land reform is imperative. I think that
the only difference between us is the method. Zanu-PF has destroyed the
economic base of the country using the fast-track land resettlement
programme. And therefore it is not sustainable. We are saying, while he is
creating space for the landless, you must recognise the contribution of
commercial farming to the country's economic well-being. However, the
objective of any land reform should be economic empowerment of the majority
of the people. The current land holding is inequitable, we'll have to deal
with that. We'll have to deal with issues of law and transparency.

As I speak, three-quarters of the so-called land given on fast-track land
resettlement has gone to civil servants and war veterans. Not the real
people who are supposed to benefit, like peasants. And besides, what Mugabe
is championing, to turn everyone into a peasant, it doesn't work. On that we
are very clear. So a land commission will be set up to deal with the land

Then, on the economy, that's a total mess. I want to tell you that it will
be an unenviable task to stabilise the situation before we even start
talking about growth. Fortunately, there is enough national and
international goodwill to give us the breathing space to deal with the debt
trap, to deal with foreign currency shortages, and to deal with the bloated
administration that has been created.

Those are the things we'll have to deal with, apart from the fact that we
are committing ourselves to a new constitutional dispensation. The current
Constitution, where the president appoints 30 people before we even start,
is totally unacceptable. It's undemocratic, it's unacceptable. Fortunately,
there is enough work that has gone into constitutional discussions and the
new constitutional dispensation. We will certainly set up a new
constitutional order. And because we believe that we have responsibility to
revamp the health and education sectors, it becomes a very important social
agenda. Health, education and housing are critical issues.

So, yes, we have a plan. We certainly have a plan. We have a transitional
plan, which, we believe, should be tested within the first 100 days of MDC

RR: It's very hard for us South Africans, and I think for Zimbabweans as
well, to establish how big a mess the economy is in. Will you be looking to
the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and foreign governments for
aid in the short-term?

MT: We need as much support as we can get, in terms of grants and in terms
of whatever short-term loans one can get. But without necessarily indebting
the country in the process again. Because, already, the country is in a
debt-trap. So, it's unavoidable.

RR: Have you had discussions with any of these organisations yet?

MT: Yes, we have. They agree with our plans. We have said we don't need to
negotiate nine months down the line. We need immediate support. Without any
delay. Unless we stop the haemorrhage we'll actually kill the patient. It's
as delicate as that.

JK: Has the South African government been advising you on economic issues?

MT: We have been exchanging information on what's happened in Zimbabwe and,
as far as I'm concerned, to us it's a very significant shift in opinion and

JK: Are they providing you with any other assistance?

MT: No.

RR: We have been struggling to understand why our deputy director general of
foreign affairs slammed the MDC for receiving funds from Britain. The ANC
took money from many governments and a few dictators. Where do you think
this attack is coming from?

MT: It's not an issue. Foreign funding is not an issue. Everyone else is
getting foreign funding. The point is to what extent is foreign funding
affecting your principles and your policy and your agenda? That's all. To me
it is not an issue, we are all receiving foreign funding: in South Africa,
right at the moment there are political organisations receiving foreign
funding, so what is the big issue? You want to demonise legitimate support,
it cannot happen.

RR: Have you gotten an explanation yet about why that happened? Was it one
individual talking nonsense, or a South African government concern?

MT: Well I think it is Zanu-PF which is trying to strengthen its perception
that the MDC is a creation of imperialists, of outsiders, whites and all

JK: You've also been accused in South Africa of being too close to the
Democratic Party and that you're a liberal. Where are you placed

MT: We are a social democratic movement, from day one. This ideological
underpinning has been set up by our founding congress, by subsequent
congresses, by our people - they know what it means. But, unfortunately,
this Democratic Party/Tony Leon thing is an obsession of the ANC and the
politicians here. It has nothing to do with Zimbabwe.

RR: But now the Democratic Alliance has split, and the ANC is preparing to
form a new alliance with the New National Party sector of the DA. How do you
feel about that, considering that you were attacked for being too close to
the same people?

MT: I am really astounded that the champions of apartheid are now in bed
with the ANC. The MDC was demonised for allegedly being too close to the DA.
And yet, what is emerging in South Africa is probably a healthy development
insofar as non-racial politics is concerned. Hopefully, that can be
sustained. We are a non-racial, non-ethnic party, not a front for whites.

South African politics is obsessed with race. We are not like that in

RR: How bad are the food shortages? We have very little information about
the extent of the problem. How do you estimate whether your country is
facing a famine or not? Do you see hungry people, are there more beggars on
the streets?

MT: I go out in the rural areas and visit people. What the MDC has
established is that we probably need 800 000 tonnes of maize and 150 000
tonnes of wheat. This shortage has come about because of two causes: the
disruption of farm production and the lack of payment by the District
Development Fund to the small-scale farmers last year. So when the season
came they just planted for their own consumption. We also had a drought in
the southern provinces.

The reality is that we have a serious food deficit, which the government was
denying until the MDC raised the fact in April this year. Now they are
running around trying to seek international support. But it may be too late.
Because there is a lack of capacity to meet those kinds of challenges. We
don't have a railway system that is going to move those hundreds of
thousands of tonnes of food within a short period of time.

RR: And what do you think of Zanu-PF's decree that NGOs cannot distribute
the food?

MT: Once your government puts those kinds of conditions, those who will give
you the support will say as long as you use it for partisan purposes we will
not give you the food. Period. We have said there should be no Zanu-PF or
MDC to distribute the food. Let's find non-partisan methods that are going
to benefit the hungry. But [Minister of State for Information and Publicity]
Jonathan Moyo wants to exploit the plight of the people for political

JK: He, in fact, denied last month that there was a food shortage, he said
that it was the creation of the imperialist press.

MT: I think he has lost it. I think it is sad.

RR: What do you see when you visit rural areas? Children with bloated
stomachs, people presenting at hospitals with kwashiorkor?

MT: At the moment the communities, in true African culture, are still
helping each other. It might reach the stage soon where they will need help.

RR: Do you think this will be the worst food shortage in Zimbabwe?

MT: It is already the worst, in terms of poverty, in terms of economic
deprivation. The inflation in the country is ridiculous. You give someone
Z$50 000, it is nothing.

RR: And yet in the budget presented to government last month, the Central
Intelligence Organisation was given a massive increase in allocation. Why do
you think this is?

MT: This is an election budget, so all resources must be given to Zanu-PF
through different allocations. Gender, youth, employment, the president's
office, defence parastatals - all these got more. If we calculate how much
money is at the disposal of Zanu-PF, it's outrageous.

RR: Aren't you nervous? Why do you think the government gave its secret
service so much money?

MT: We can expect a number of very serious attempts to divide the MDC.
Through buying people, through interference with our operations as a party,
it takes various forms. We don't underestimate the fact that this government
is determined.

RR: You've already got detentions, raids on MDC offices, newspapers being
continually harassed. Are you expecting more direct oppression?

MT: We expect that the MDC will experience a lot of destabilisation. A lot
of harassment, intimidation, even murder. So various officials of the MDC at
various levels may be sitting ducks, may be assassination targets.

JK: You are not going to have inde- pendent monitors for the election, so
anything can happen. Are you mobilising international support to get
independent monitors for the election?

MT: We are trying to get international observers to come, at least two
months before the election. But without a date, how do we organise this? We
know it could be between February 6 and March 17. But the good thing is that
the people are aware of the risk.

RR: I have to ask you a personal question. Are you nervous about the
prospect of becoming president and the challenges you might face in that

MT: I have never been nervous. In all my life I have never been nervous. I
am conscious of the burden of responsibility that we would have to face. We
have enough capacity in the MDC to face this challenge. We have enough
experience to deal with these issues. We hope people will know that it will
not be a situation where they will wake one morning and expect a change
overnight. We continue to appeal to people to be patient while we repair all
this damage. But I have no doubt in my mind that we will live up to this

JK: How do you cope with the fact that you do not have the same access to
media as Zanu-PF?

MT: Well, we use our own means of communication - direct contact with our
people. We use communities, churches, civic organisations, trade unions,
chiefs, local traditional leaders. In fact, Mugabe has not realised the
extent to which he has lost support, even in the rural areas. His patronage
system has got its limitations.

RR: If you win the election, are you prepared to give him a big fat pension,
let him keep a grand home, continue to pay for his staff and luxury cars?

MT: Actually, this is a very vexing question. What is stopping this man from
retiring? It's probably the fear of reprisals. I've said on several
occasions we have no intention of engaging in any act of retribution. He
doesn't believe us. I don't know who else can give him that assurance. We
want to focus on the future and forget about that man. If we can move the
country forward by doing so, we will do that. But we must never forget that
there are victims of his actions, either by omission or by commission. He is
responsible for a lot of suffering.

JK: I have seen South African intelligence reports indicating he was willing
to step down if he was perceived to have done something good for the
country. How true is that?

MT: Yes, he wants to be the founding father. You know, every child cries out
for a father. I'm sure that Zimbabweans would like to have a founding father
for their country. Unfortunately, he destroyed that legacy. The damage is
not anybody's fault but his.

Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

Iden Wetherell
Defeating Talibans

A FOREIGN correspondent’s job is never an easy one. But in addition to being
booted out of countries, they sometimes have to hear the authorities
justifying the move by making false charges against them, usually involving
complicity with foreign forces.

Christina Lamb, Sunday Telegraph writer and regular visitor to Zimbabwe, was
last Friday ordered to leave Pakistan where she was covering the war in
neighbouring Afghanistan.

Christina and her photographer were woken at 2am in their hotel rooms in
Quetta and arrested. They were shown a document from the Foreign ministry in
Islamabad describing them as “dangerous”, the Daily Telegraph reported on
Saturday. They were held for 12 hours before being put on a plane to
Islamabad and then deported.

The home secretary for Baluchistan province was quoted as saying Lamb “was
involved in mysterious activities and she was doing what a professional
journalist should usually avoid”.

The mind boggles! But this is the sort of nonsense trotted out by
governments seeking to camouflage their own questionable records. President
Mugabe made the same sort of remarks about Mercedes Sayagues. Let us not
forget that Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world that
recognises the odious Taliban regime.

The Taliban authorities make Hindus wear yellow patches, punish men whose
beards are not long enough and keep women in a state of permanent bondage,
unable even to allow their faces exposure to the elements. Instead they have
to peer through a medieval grille in their all-encompassing burkas,
prisoners of their menfolk.

As several of our letter-writers have pointed out, the worst punishment the
allies could inflict on Osama bin Laden after capture would be to operate on
his organs and send him back to Afghanistan as a woman.

One of the most memorable TV images for me this week was that of barbers
cutting the beards of smiling young men in cities seized by the Northern
Alliance, liberated from the tyranny of fundamentalist obscurantism. No
shaving, no television, no music.

I was reminded by the BBC’s excellent current TV series on the 20th Century
that intolerant regimes like the Taliban are very often a reaction to what
is seen as Western licence. The footage of Afghanistan under the Communists
where women could perform most tasks without having to cover their heads was
instructive. And Iran under the Shah with its sophisticated middle class
behaving very much like their counterparts in London and New York
illustrated partly what drove the Ayatollahs to such extremes. Mostly
however it was downright intolerance, under the mantra of cultural/religious
purity, of the right of women to pursue their own lives and careers.

The Shah was shown talking dismissively about the alliance of Red and
Black — the anti-monarchist Left and the reactionary mullahs.

Of course once the Shah had gone the two tendencies set on each other with
bloody consequences eventually leaving the Ayatollahs in unchallenged
command. The middle class emigrated just as they have here under our own
Taliban regime.

In Afghanistan there is an ethnic dimension where northern Uzbeks and Tajiks
now find themselves masters of a largely Pushtoon (Pathan) population. But
at least they tolerate music and television!

Christina Lamb, by the way, is the author of a recent biography of Sir
Stewart Gore-Browne, the aristocratic Northern Rhodesian politician of the
1940s who paved the way for expanded African participation in the
Legislative Council. His baronial estate at Shiwa Ngandu is now a pale
shadow of its former self when he played host to the great and good of the

Meanwhile, Christina’s colleague David Blair, booted out of Zimbabwe amidst
much disinformation on the government side, is now in Cape Town writing his
account of Zimbabwe under Mugabe. He has completed most of it, he tells me,
and only has about 20 000 words to go! I can’t wait to see it. I won’t spoil
the impact by revealing the working title. But if it was me,

I would have called it “Let them have it”, the president’s response to ZCTU’
s proposed strike action in early 1998. I think he is letting us all have it
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Zim Independent

Zanu PF MPs hijack inputs scheme

Augustine Mukaro
ZANU PF MPs have hijacked the distribution of the $15 billion agricultural
inputs scheme designed to benefit fast-track resettled farmers in their
constituencies to gain political mileage ahead of next year’s critical
presidential election, it has been established.

Members of Parliament have taken over the distribution of the agricultural
inputs from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots. Zanu PF offices
throughout the country are now being used as distribution points.

Sources in the party said MPs had taken advantage of soaring prices and the
high demand for the agricultural inputs to win the support of poor rural
folk. Currently demand for the inputs was exceeding supply.

The Zimbabwe Independent gathered that farmers in Masvingo were now applying
for the inputs at the ruling party offices instead of the local GMB depot.

Resettled farmers said inputs were being given out in accordance with one’s
affiliation to the party instead of merit.

“Inputs are available but getting them is increasingly becoming complicated
because we are vetted through party structures,” one resettled farmer in the
Chatsworth area told the Independent this week.

When the Independent visited parts of Masvingo province, farmers could be
seen milling around Zanu PF offices at Gutu-Mpandawana growth-point.

Application forms were being obtained and submitted in two offices, one
representing Gutu North and the other Gutu South.

“Some farmers who have connections in the party have already received all
inputs, from seeds and fertilisers, but a good number is struggling to get
seeds,” they said.

The inputs should be distributed through the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe, GMB
and the Farmers Development Trust.

Government recently released $6,5 billion for the purchase of the inputs.
The funds would be for the purchase of fertilisers, chemicals, seeds, curing
equipment, land preparation and transport for the major agricultural

The beneficiaries were supposed to include newly resettled farmers, communal
farmers and indigenous commercial farmers with proven agricultural aptitude.

To qualify, farmers are supposed to apply to the disbursing institutions,
which then assesses the applications before disbursement of the inputs.

Masvingo, Mashonaland West and Central as well as Manicaland have already
received the inputs. Manicaland has got over 300 tonnes of maize seed and
about four tonnes of groundnuts.


Zim govt wants UN help

Harare - The Zimbabwean government on Thursday asked a visiting team of UN
technical experts to help it resolve the country's thorny land problem, and
invited the UN to speak to all concerned parties.

"We wouldn't want you to feel any restriction. Go anywhere, meet anyone,"
Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge told the team at a meeting attended by

The technical team from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is
in Zimbabwe to oversee implementation of the Abuja Agreement on land reform,
signed by the country in Nigeria in September.

The agreement, brokered by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, commits
Harare to upholding the rule of law and quelling the violence and
lawlessness that has accompanied its controversial land reform programme.

In return, Britain, the country's former colonial ruler, has agreed to
provide funding and mobilise other donors into supporting the programme.

Mudenge said on Thursday the government had last year agreed to UNDP's help
to try and "breach difficulties that had arisen between Zimbabwe and the
United Kingdom".

Britain has condemned Zimbabwe since a campaign of land invasions, led by
veterans of the country's liberation war and staged on white-owned farms,
began in February 2000.

London has also laid down conditions for financing land reform, emphasising
that reforms should be done fairly and lawfully, that white farmers be fully
compensated, and that the programme should benefit the country's poor.

Since the signing of the September agreement, Zimbabwe's white farmers have
said lawlessness on farms has continued.

The government denies the claim and accuses farmers of trying to discredit
it. - Sapa-AFP

Daily News

Voters' roll inspection delays raise eyebrows

11/16/01 8:42:33 AM (GMT +2)

Political Editor

EYEBROWS are being raised as to why the government keeps on postponing the
inspection of the voters' roll ahead of the next year's Presidential
Reports across the country on Tuesday revealed that officials from the
Registrar General (RG)'s Office are refusing to register as voters some
people thought to belong to the MDC.

Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede's Office was supposed to open the voters'
roll for inspection on Tuesday, but it announced this had been postponed to
next Monday. The roll has always been in a state of shambles.

The inspection is supposed to run concurrently with the mobile registration
exercise that is going on across the country.
MDC officials in the rural areas said the officials from the RG's Office
manning mobile units were refusing to register youthful prospective voters
on flimsy grounds such as having run out of paper or their photographic
equipment being out of order.
Some of the youths have no identity cards and would have to obtain these
before registering as voters.

Registration problems are said to be rife in most parts of the Lowveld,
especially Chiredzi, Zaka West, Chiredzi North and surrounding areas.
"The mobile registration units are here, but they are concentrating on
registering farm settlers. They tell those they associate with the
opposition that they are only registering births and deaths," said Jerry
Whitehead, the MDC's Masvingo support group co-ordinator.

Whitehead said he had even gone to the extent of taking some youths to the
Chiredzi district administrator's office for registration, "but again I was
given feeble excuses and they were not registered".

The government last week approved additional amendments to the Electoral Act
to change the regulations on postal votes, the voters' roll and the polling
Said Johanne Tsvongore from Zaka West: "We all know why the government is
going out all the way to introduce all these measures."

He said the RG's officers in Zaka West were "basically looking at the age of
those seeking registration. They think anyone who is young will to vote for
the MDC, hence they are giving false information resulting in the
registration of people aligned to Zanu PF only, especially on commercial

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Daily News

Mombeshora in $219m scandal

11/16/01 8:00:27 AM (GMT +2)

By Collin Chiwanza

HIGH Court judge, Justice George Smith, has issued an order barring the
Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED), the government's vehicle
procurement agency, from receiving a $219 million consignment of luxury
vehicles from Zimoco under circumstances which are now the subject of court

The cancellation of Zimoco's tender follows serious allegations raised by
Harare businessman, Stanley Botsh, that Dr Swithun Mombeshora, the Minister
of Transport and Communications, flouted laid-down tender procedures when he
awarded a contract to Zimoco for the supply of the vehicles, which include
24 Mercedes Benz limousines, for government ministers, their deputies,
judges and the Speaker of Parliament.

It has since emerged that the contract, which was later covertly awarded to
Zimoco, was for 38 Mercedes Benz vehicles.

Preliminary police investigations have also revealed that at the time of
going to tender, Zimoco had no valid tax certificate and they made a false
declaration to the Department of Taxes and the Government Tender Board

Other bidders for the lucrative contract were Merzim, Bronzet Enterprises
and Southern Region Trading Company.

Botsh's lawyer, Daniel Mhiribidi of Mhiribidi, Ngarava and Moyo, yesterday
said the High Court order means that Mombeshora and the CMED should not
effect any further payments to Zimoco.

On the other hand, Mhiribidi said, Zimoco had been ordered not to deliver
any vehicles to the government.

Botsh's company, Girton Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, on Friday filed an urgent
application in the High Court seeking an order to stop the CMED from
receiving motor vehicles sourced by Zimoco in unclear circumstances.

While police investigations are already underway, Botsh is expected to
institute legal proceedings for the enforcement of the contract he entered
into with the CMED on 26 July, 2001.

Botsh said the government could have been prejudiced of US$500 000 (Z$27,5
million) through the transaction, allegedly sanctioned by Mombeshora.

After Botsh's company won the contract for the supply and delivery of the
vehicles, he was invited to the premises of the CMED on 26 July where he
signed a contract for the supply of 24 Mercedes Benz E240s, 18 Toyota Camrys
and three Peugeot 406s.

Botsh went to South Africa to procure the vehicles. He held meetings with
his bankers concerning the financing of the vehicles.

He subsequently secured the vehicles and paid his South African consultants
for securing the vehicles and handling the shipping arrangements to Zimbabwe
more than 300 000 rand (Z$1,8 million).

Problems arose when the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe delayed in granting
authority for the transfer of foreign currency to South Africa despite the
fact that he had already successfully made arrangements for a foreign
currency facility with the First Merchant Bank.

Botsh's problems were compounded by a crippling three-week strike by workers
in the South African motor trade industry which resulted in the closure of
the entire motor trade industry. The businessman held meetings with
government officials explaining to them that he was experiencing problems.

But despite Botsh's pleas that there were genuine problems preventing him
from fulfiling his obligations, CMED officials prevailed upon the GTB to
cancel the contract.

A day before the contract was cancelled, Botsh had written to the CMED
indicating that he had managed to secure the requisite foreign currency and
secured all the vehicles in terms of the contract.

Botsh had a meeting with one Madamombe, the acting director of CMED, who
advised him that since he had already sourced the foreign currency and
secured the vehicles, he was going to advise the tender board to advertise
the tender again and that the businessman would be given first preference.

In his affidavit, Botsh said: "I was still waiting for the advertisement
when to my utter shock and surprise, on 7 November, 2001, an envelope was
anonymously left in the letter box at my business premises. The envelope
contained two letters and I believe the envelope was left by some employee
of either the tender board or the CMED who had noticed that the tender had
been corruptly awarded to Zimoco."

Botsh is alleging that the letters contained in the envelope show that
Zimoco was aware of the results of the tender adjudication before the
results were officially announced, raising suspicions of connivance between
all the respondents, including Mombeshora and Zimoco.

Botsh argues that the communication amounted to canvassing and Zimoco should
have been disqualified on those grounds.

He is also alleging that CMED and tender board officials colluded to
clandestinely award the tender to Zimoco. Although CMED officials refused to
pay upfront to Botsh for the procurement of the vehicles, they readily
accepted to pay cash upfront to Zimoco, amounting to US$400 000 (Z$22
million), a move which Botsh says smacks of underhand dealings.

Bob Crossly, Zimoco's managing director, refused to comment on the matter,
while Mombeshora could not be reached.

Zim Independent

News Analysis 2

Busani Bafana
AS the resort town of Victoria Falls prepares to host the Zanu PF national
people’s conference next month, a burning question is whether the annual
get-together will provide a blueprint on how the 37-year-old party can
reincarnate itself ahead of the crucial presidential election next year.

Tarnished by political violence and failed policies, observers say the
country shouldn’t hold its breath. As well as changes in the political
landscape following the emergence of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), the ruling party faces a tall order on the economic front.

Zanu PF has kissed goodbye to international investors and now has to face
shrinking GDP, falling agricultural output, record unemployment and a
disaffected urban electorate. Finance minister Simba Makoni earlier this
month acknowledged that more than 70% of Zimbabweans were living below the
poverty datum line.

Commentators are sceptical about the prospect of major policy statements at
the Victoria Falls rendezvous. But they are clear that it would endorse
President Mugabe as the party’s candidate for the 2002 presidential
election. Furthermore, it would be an ideal opportunity for political

Agenda favourites will no doubt include the land issue now aided by the
fast-track programme and a yearly stock-take of the party’s fortunes.
Political watchers are convinced that judging by resolutions from the
previous party conferences, the issue of Mugabe’s succession is dead in the
water. Zanu PF aspirants are not known for their political courage.

Vice-president Simon Muzenda, party national chairman John Nkomo and speaker
of parliament Emerson Mnangagwa could eventually wear Mugabe’s shoes but may
not haul in the needed votes next year. Meanwhile, the Young Turks are
keeping their powder dry, wary of the fate of those who have put their heads
above the parapets.

“We should expect the president to consolidate his position within the party
and he will be confirmed as the party’s candidate,” said Brian Raftopoulos
of the University of Zimbabwe.

“The land issue will be reviewed and there will be the caricaturing of the
opposition. I do not think we will see any economic policies from there. The
land question and economic empowerment will likely feature.”

Raftopoulos predicted that the succession question was unlikely to be
answered soon given the undivided attention Zanu PF was giving to next year’
s election. The party was still smarting from the drubbing in last year’s
parliamentary poll.

“The succession will not come up now, it will be discussed after the
election if Mugabe wins,” Raftoupolos said. “What could happen is that
Mugabe will then introduce people who will consolidate his leadership and
prepare for a successor after the election.”

Zanu PF national chairman John Nkomo was upbeat about the conference which
he said was to review the party’s achievements and chart a way forward to
meet current political challenges.

“We have confirmed the venue and we are now working on the final logistics
and the necessary infrastructure,” he said.

“We are going to pick up from where we left off at the special congress, in
particular issues of economic recovery.

“We have to update the conference on what has been done as previous
conferences focused on the need to arrest spiralling prices and that has
been done with the price controls.”

Nkomo said the restructuring of the party was also on the agenda but he did
not elaborate. He added that there were some aspects within the party’s
constitution that had outlived their usefulness.

“Land is an empowerment issue and it will be a perennial one on the agenda
as our economy is dependent on agriculture,” he said.

“As the achievements of the land issue took centre stage at the last
conference, there was emphasis now to accelerate the redistribution of land
which culminated in the fast-track system.”

Admitting that the ruling party was faced with challenges on the political
front, Nkomo said Zanu PF would not be resting on its laurels as national
aspirations were squandered by “neo-colonialists”.

“We are looking at the party going through the challenges posed by
opposition neo-colonialists using our own black people to achieve their
objectives. We want to assess the party’s ability to weather the storm,”
Nkomo said.

The conference whose theme will be “Land and Economic Empowerment” is set to
attract more than 7 000 delegates from Zanu PF’s provinces across the

Of all the political weapons in Zanu PF’s thinning arsenal, the land issue
remains its last hope of winning the hearts and minds of Zimbabweans, many
of whom are divided on the future of the country, once a bread basket and
prime investment destination in southern Africa.

Economist John Robertson said he is convinced rhetoric will be fill most
presentations at the conference but it will be empty on major policies to
wheel Zimbabwe out of the economic intensive care unit.

“It seems the economic consequences of political decisions have been ignored
even if they have a profound effect on the country,” said Robertson. “I do
not think anyone will dare to bring up economic issues because there are so
many flaws in the economy as a result of political decisions.”

Economist Eric Bloch concurred that the December conference was unlikely to
raise hopes of a quick economic turnaround.

“It will be dominated by rhetoric of politically-driven statements such as
how necessary price controls are and how Esap is dead,” he said.

“I expect a lot of rhetoric focusing on the presidential election, how to
contain the evils of the MDC and how to restore the party’s foothold in

“To me it will be much of a non-event, just as the budget but we expect that
it will confirm whether Mugabe is standing or not,” he said.

The ruling party’s secretary for information, Nathan Shamuyarira, told
national television this week that the conference would confirm Mugabe, in
power for the past 21 years, as the sole presidential candidate.

“We already have a candidate in the name of Comrade President Mugabe,” said
Shamuyarira. “But we need to prepare for an intensive organisation so that
Zimbabweans from all over the country will want to vote and those who want
to support their president and support the national ethos can do so.
So that will be a major item on the agenda,” Shamuyarira said.

Friday, 16 November, 2001, 02:52 GMT
UN land team in Harare
Self-styled war veterans
White-owned farms have been occupied for 18 months
A United Nations team has arrived in Zimbabwe to see if September's land deal reached in the Nigerian capital Abuja is being respected.

In the accord, the Zimbabwean Government promised to end illegal occupations of white-owned farms as well as to respect human rights and the rule of law.

Robert Mugabe
President Mugabe has his sights set on elections next year
In return, Britain agreed to help fund the multi-million dollar programme.

But in recent weeks the violence has continued and President Robert Mugabe has introduced a controversial decree, amending the land reform law.

This effectively means that farmers on land that has been listed by the state must stop farming immediately and that the courts cannot be consulted about the legality of this until after the event.


Zimbabwe's white farmers have condemned this as undemocratic and contrary to the Abuja accord.

An independent newspaper in Zimbabwe has condemned it as proof that Mr Mugabe is intent on using his land reform programme to ensure that he wins elections coming up early next year.

The Financial Gazette reports that all of Zimbabwe's thousands of soldiers will be given land to ensure their support for Mr Mugabe in next year's presidential elections.

During the fact-finding mission, the team from the United Nations Development Programme plans to speak to all stake-holders - the government, white farmers, black farmers and the political opposition.

Amongst many rural landless black Zimbabweans, the reform programme is popular although significant numbers of black Zimbabweans working on the white-owned farms have been negatively affected.

Edcon reacts over Zimbabwe
Ann Crotty
November 16 2001 at 07:15AM
Johannesburg - The macroeconomic, social and political environment in
Zimbabwe had deteriorated so dramatically that the board of Edcon said
yesterday it had decided to deconsolidate Edgars Zimbabwe from its financial

From now on, Edgars Zimbabwe will be accounted for on the basis of cash
dividends received. Edcon chief executive Steve Ross made this announcement
with the release of the group's interim results, which showed headline
earnings had increased 9,6 percent to 91c a share in the six months to

An unchanged interim dividend of 36c a share was declared.

The results, which were in line with expectations, showed sales for the
period were almost unchanged at R3,1 billion and gross profit was marginally
lower at R1,1 billion.

A reduction in "employment costs" helped to lift trading profit by 15,4
percent to R123,5 million from R107 million. This increase was achieved
despite the sharp reduction in trading profit at United Retail.

The pedestrian overall sales performance was due to a 34 percent decline in
the sale of cellular products.

The group's clothing, footwear and textile sales were up 4,3 percent, which
Ross said "surpassed that of the market as a whole".

The dramatic drop in cellular sales was attributed to the proliferation of
outlets offering cellular products to an already saturated market.

The slight decline in gross profit was because of costs resulting from the
clearance of merchandise on consolidation of the stores in the United Retail

At the individual chain level, Edgars reported a 25 percent improvement in
operating profit, which Ross said confirmed that the restructuring programme
initiated three years ago was now mostly complete.

Ross added that the bulk of the restructuring at United Retail was now
complete and that "United is now appropriately structured as a discount

Before results were released, the Edcon share closed 30c firmer at R28,50c.
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