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

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 MDC office : burnt out & trashed
MDC office : burnt out & trashed

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Correspondence from a once-friendly city

I've just had the most awful experience. It's just a tiny taste of what is
happening across the country, and now even inside the major cities.

I was driving up Harare's 7th Street and stopped at the traffic light next
to Bob's palace when his motorcade came from the opposite direction in the
-other lane - he must have been coming north from Domboshawa or Borrowdale.

The light was red and, in any case, he was heading for town and was not on
my side of the road. A policeman stepped into the intersection and waved
through the cars that were stopped at the lights so that the motorcade
could whizz through.
--- now my car was opposite Bob's garden wall.

There was much shouting and someone fired a shot into the air. It seems
they only wanted the town-bound cars to move.

I stopped and froze on the road. My driver's window was open and a soldier
ran up and thrust his bayonet through the window and into the side of my
neck but didn't pierce the skin.

He began shouting at me :

"Who the hell do you think you are, you f***** bastard. I can shoot you
now, do you understand, I am going to shoot you now and no one will ask any
questions. Get out of your car."

I didn't move. but spoke softly to him, telling him how sorry I was and
that I thought the policeman was waving me forward.

He continued abusing me and pushed the bayonet harder, drawing blood but,
all of a sudden, he withdrew his gun from the car and told me to go.

It's a long time since I've been as scared. If they'd taken me out of the
car I would have been dragged to the neighbouring barracks and beaten up -
like so many less-fortunate others in today's Zimbabwe.

I'm lucky to be home now and am sipping a brandy. I never want to go
through that again.

Thanks for your thoughts xxxxx, but I will not be moved in my determination
to stay in Zim and make a difference.

Evil, even at this level, must not be allowed to prevail.
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Holding out in Cuckoo land

No doubt you have heard of the presidential decree that any farmer served
with a section 5 will be out of his house in 90 days.  At least we can have
Christmas home.  That's if anybody is at home because we could all be in
prison.  The trend is you go inside very quickly but take much longer to
come out.  The lawyers won't be able to sit down for christmas dinner either
as they will spend their time trying to negotiate enormous bails.  The
Chinhoyi 24 went to court today and gosh surprise it has been remanded until
January.  Unfortunately they have no travel documents so if this place does
go up in a bang as predicted they will have to jump the borders just like
thousands of black zimbos are doing every day.  I paid attention to the
security meeting that P. attended we were told there could be enormous
problems here and it would be up to us to make our ways to the border we
wouldn't be given much help.  So I packed a little suitcase, fresh pair of
undies, picture of my mum and dad, couple of tins of baked beans in case we
had time to stop and the passports of course.  We would have to leave the
weapons behind which reminds me of a story of a couple who had to flee
Mozambique all those years ago when they were kicked out.  The hid their
weapons in the ceilings.  20 years later they paid a nostalgic visit to
their old home in the foothills of some mountains in some mozambique town.
They decided to check the ceiling just for a laugh, and guess what there
were the guns.  I can see us coming back to zim in 20 years time, clambering
up in the ceiling lofts and yahoo there are the weapons Grandpa just like u

We are so settled in our new home with all our refugee furniture and last
remaining pictures of the Rezlaff ancestors they look pretty sour but then
they had reason to be, kicked out of Berlin, kicked out of Tanzania and now
gazing fondly at us as we are about to get kicked out of Zim. We have packed
away the remaing silver that wasn't taken by the warvets thats because it
was packed into jonny's school trunk and was forgotten about and left in
town. I have tried on ski pants  and anoraks to see what it would be like
living in colder climes but its so sweltering here it was hard to imagine a
driving ice rain in your face. I am off the horse tranquilizers they were
very good so anyone with a horse thats traumatised i must recommend these. I
smoke now which is great but because i get asthma i have to have an asthma
pump in one hand and a cigarette in the other. The scotties have been
behaving badly they love their new house but they are being bad to their
neighbours they bark the night away.  They were locked in the kitchen but
Patrick found them in the kitchen cupboards they had decided to sleep on the
dinner plates.  Now they have been banished to the computer room and they
look surly because they like their night jaunts.

Everyone asks me how is the soap.  Its wonderful I have learnt how to mix
colours and we have mixed beautiful pinks,blues, browns and speckled whites,
added essential oils, like sandalwood, peppermint and cammomile they take
your breath away, specially if you have put in too much caustic soda, it
takes your skin away as well if you are not careful.  My eyes are constantly
pink and puffy from the fumes.  But I don't care.  J. and I are off to
Zambia to sell our soap at the Christmas fair.  I hope they let me back in
the country because I am travelling on a (sin of sins) british passport.  Oh
baby I will probably be arrested at the border.

You will be pleased to know that nearly 6 and a half million dollars has
been raised for the Chinhoyi 24 which is so great most of it locally.  What
an outstanding effort by all these wonderful people. I have told you all
this before its you guys who keep us guys hanging in.  Another thing I must
tell you Tertia's story went out and the response has been fantastic it has
gone all over the world.  It brings us lots of coverage if you have  story
about your farm, your traumas, please write it down and send it out because
so many people are not aware of what is going on here on the farms and you
probably won't believe me if I tell you most people who have expressed
horror and didn'ty realise it was as bad as this ,live in Harare.

To everyone who donated furniture, clothes you name it, to the Dutch
Reformed church or Doma centre thanks from the bottom of our hearts.  I
would not have been able to furnish this house if it had not been for the
donations received. It makes me so humble and so proud to be a Zimbabwean
love you all lots. M. the soapmaker.

Meeting at the Umzarwi Polo Club.

There they were a hundred or so farmers sat out in the afternoon sun, I was
late so managed to get a seat inside the club and observed through the
window as  our leaders spoke.  As i looked through the window my heart
turned over.  There was a collection of people who had put everything they
have into the land.  I knew most of them personally and as i scanned the
faces in the crowd I was so overwhelmed. Somehow Zimbabwean farmers must be
the most special folk you can possibly  meet and above everything else they
have an enormous sense of humour.  Questions were asked and of course
questions were answered but who has a solution for what is going on in this
country. How can such a wonderful country get in such a mess.  The most
heart rendering thing of all is how many wonderful people are leaving and
what a gain for any country that receives them.  I know that without each
other as neighbours and friends we would not have stood up to half as much
as we have.  I can't tell you how proud I am of all Zimbo farmers their
wives and children I don't think at any of these meetings people tell you
how wonderful you really are and it should be shouted out. You are
versatile, dynamic and capable of almost everything.  I am proud to be a
part of the farming communtiy in this country even though  we are not
farming at the moment, but thats not through choice.  What ever goes on here
be proud of yourselves and if you have to leave,our love and your honour go
with you and you are our ambassadors. It takes great people to build a great
nation and lets hope we have the chance again.  I love you all. M.
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Dear Family and Friends,
The events of this last week in Zimbabwe are almost beyond belief and in order to paint an accurate picture this letter will be long and I apologise in advance. According to world relief agencies including the World Food Programme, the UN and Oxfam, 1 million Zimbabweans will be in urgent need of food aid within the next month. Our government, having acknowledged the crisis and held out the begging bowl, announced this week that they would not allow anyone but themselves to distribute the food as it comes in. The Government have banned all foreign aid agencies from distributing humanitarian food aid. Our Minister of Information said: "We will not allow strangers to roam around our country interfering." He said foreign aid agencies were: "planning to smuggle election monitors into Zimbabwe using the guise of food aid to decampaign the present government." Can there be anyone now who believes that the Zimbabwean government actually cares for her own people? It is criminal that 1 million people face starvation because our government has prevented farmers from growing food and have allowed people calling themselves 'war veterans' to rule supreme for the last 20 months. I can hardly bear to think how people who do not support the ruling party will survive. How can any government refuse to allow donors to distribute the food they have collected?
To compound this imminent crisis is the even more devastating announcement this week that, using the Presidential Powers Act, the Land Acquisition Act has again been amended. Farmers who have been served with a section 8 letter informing them of the seizure of their land, have been told to immediately cease all farming operations and have 90 days to get off their farms and out of their homes. The starvation we face now will be compounded a hundred fold in 2002 and 2003. I say this not because I believe only whites can farm but because the people squatting on farms simply do not have the experience or capital needed to grow more than enough food for just themselves. The mere fact that they cannot even plough the land they have invaded and, as I write, are waiting for the government to give them seed, demonstrates this fact very clearly. More worrying is the evidence that many of the men squatting on farms are being paid to do so and are not farmers at all but political pawns. I gave proof of this in my book African Tears and told how an American TV crew actually filmed the 'war veterans' receiving their weekly pay for squatting on my farm. In an article I wrote for this weeks Zimbabwe Independent I tell how this is still the case and that "war veterans" presently creating hell on farms near Marondera are wearing orange overalls with the initials of the Harare Municipality embroidered on the pockets. The Commercial Farmers Union have described the amendment as "potentially devastating" and with 25% of farmers immediately impacted and more about to be so, they have "estimated that 85% of CFU members are affected ... farmers who have succeeded in planting face huge additional risks...." In a telephone interview with South African television this week, our Minister of Agriculture, Dr Joseph Made clarified the position on the payment of compensation to farmers evicted from their properties. Again he said that it was up to the British to pay for the land. He said that the Zimbabwe government would pay for "improvements" (i.e. the buildings, fencing, dams, etc) but could only afford to pay 25% now and the balance over 5 years. Worse though, Dr Made has now classified the payment as being only for improvements that were "required" or "relevant". Asked by the interviewer what a farmer should do if the government did not find a specific improvement "relevant", Dr Made said the farmer should "dismantle and remove it."
While farmers have been frantically trying to decide what on earth to do now, both with themselves and their families but also with nearly a quarter of a million people who work for them, the country has seen burning, looting and beating in Bulawayo. An abducted war veteran was found murdered. Two terrified young men stood in front of a TV camera and "confessed" but there was a huge wave of arrests. As I write more than 16 people are in police cells - all are active members of the official opposition mdc party, one is an MP. Many have been denied their rights to legal counsel, many have been held for for more than 48 hours without being charged, all have been denied bail. War veterans in towns across the country have denounced the murder of their compatriot and police have stood by and watched as government supporters have burnt down a number of houses, looted property and beaten people. Photographs came through to me this morning of a man whipped on his arms, hands, back, legs and feet. The bleeding under the skin, bruising and blistering is horrific and the look in the mans' eyes is of utter desperation. He has no one to turn to for help. Neither has a Magistrate in Gokwe who this week convicted two government supporters. He found them guilty of robbery and sentenced them to 8 months. That night the Magistrate was attacked by a mob in his home. His windows were smashed, furniture trashed and he fled bruised and terrified into the night. The Magistrate is unable to return to either his home or workplace and is in hiding.
I will end with a story of two incredibly brave farmers who I sat and had tea with with one afternoon this week. They are a couple in their 70's who survived the most terrifying experience recently. A mob of 40 "war veterans" got into their house at night by breaking down the back door. While this elderly couple hid in their bedroom the "war veterans" smashed the windows, climbed onto the roof and broke a hole in the asbestos with a steel pole. They looted the contents of the fridge and deep freeze, stole tools from the garage, cutlery from the kitchen and then smashed glasses and plates. They put the plug into the sink, turned the taps on and flooded the lounge, dining room and pantry. They smashed the bedroom window where the couple were hiding and tried to set the curtains alight. For three hours 40 men roared and shouted and destroyed. The police were called at 7pm and did not arrive until after 10pm. The following morning three men were arrested - they were found with 2 of the 25 geese that the mob had stolen. This couple are not leaving. They have been terrorized repeatedly in the last 20 months but are not leaving. This is their home and they are not leaving. For months I have been wearing a small yellow ribbon on my shirt in silent protest at the lawlessness that has become the only face of Zimbabwe. This week I wear it for farmers, for an elderly couple, for 16 men in gaol, for a man with a bleeding back and legs and for a magistrate in Gokwe. We are all alone, powerless and frightened of where/how and when this will stop. Until next week. cathy
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Zim Latest Land Grab Mechanics.

Implications of amendments to the Land Acquisition Act

Statutory Instrument 338 of 2001 - 9th November 2001

Communiqué to members by CFU President, Colin Cloete
14th November 2001

  a.. Background

  b.. Interpretation

  c.. Implications

  d.. The "political" message

  e.. Actions and recommendations

  f.. Closing remarks

The amendment to the Land Acquisition Act, on 9th November 2001, using the
Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act, has sent shock waves
throughout the commercial farming community. Statutory Instrument 338 of
2001 (SI 338) will go down in history as a desperate attempt by Government
to subvert the last vestiges of property rights, particularly with respect
to rural agricultural landowners.

Against the background of the Abuja Accord and formal acceptance by
Government of the Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative (ZJRI), observers
to the Zimbabwe crisis are quite simply stunned at the duplicity of this


The first step in dealing with this crisis is to understand the broad thrust
of the amendments to the Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:10).

Before SI 338, landowners were afforded some protection through Sections 8
in that their properties could not be demarcated or permanently settled
prior to confirmation through the Administrative Court. Further, an eviction
notice could only be issued through a competent court.

Prior to SI 338, invaders on commercial farms before 1st March 2001 were
protected by the Rural Land Occupiers (Protection from Eviction) Act,
promulgated on 25th April 2001. Through the Roper case (Karoi), this Act has
subsequently been convoluted to include occupiers "shifted" from delisted
farms to other farms. Thus invaders, declared illegal through the Supreme
Court interdict of 21st December 2000 have the artificial cover of the law
to "legitimise" their occupation.

However, the Rural Land Occupiers (Protection from Eviction) Act, did not
deal with Government's problem that occupiers had no "legitimate" means of
sustaining themselves. Regardless of the position in law, the interpretation
on the ground has been that once a farm is listed, it has de facto been
acquired by Government and once it has been pegged, the farmer should cease
operations to make way for the occupiers. Some senior Government officials
have openly promoted this perception. Through the CFU response to
Government's application to revoke the Supreme Court Interdict of 21st
December 2000, factual evidence was submitted that interference on occupied
farms, other than simply occupying the land, was clearly unlawful.
International observers, notably at the SADC Heads of State Summit on 11th
September 2001 and the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers Committee on 27th
October 2001, were under no illusion about the prevailing lawlessness,
widespread violence, intimidation and disruption to farming operations.


The amendments through SI 338 are a clear attempt to circumvent this
complication on Government's part and to give seeming legitimacy to the
unlawful activities of invaders on commercial farms.

The affect of the new legislation is potentially devastating. The amended
Section 8 Order confers immediate ownership to the acquiring authority and
serves as a ninety-day eviction notice for landowners.

In simplistic terms, the service of an amended Section 8 Order on the owner
or occupier:

  a.. Permits the acquiring authority to survey, demarcate and allocate the
land, provided that there is no interference with the owner or occupier's
living quarters.

. in relation to any agricultural land required for resettlement purposes
the acquiring authority may exercise any right of ownership, including the
right to survey, demarcate and allocate the land .

  a.. Immediately removes all rights for the owner or occupier to occupy,
hold or use the land, other than to occupy the homestead area.

.the making of an order in terms of Subsection (1) of Section eight shall
constitute notice in writing to the owner or occupier to cease to occupy,
hold or use that land immediately on the date of issue upon the owner or
occupier, and if he fails to do so, he shall be liable to be evicted by
order of a competent court.

  a.. Constitutes a ninety-day eviction notice to the owner or occupier to
vacate the homestead(s) and the farm.

. the owner or occupier of that land may remain in occupation of his living
quarters on that land for a period of not more than three months after the
date of service of the order.

The penalty for "interference" is severe, including the provision for
imprisonment of up to two years:

Any owner, occupier . or other person who interferes . without the
permission in writing of the acquiring authority . shall be liable to a fine
not exceeding twenty thousand dollars or imprisonment for a period not
exceeding two years or both such fine and such imprisonment.

This legislation is backdated to 23rd May 2000, in an attempt to legitimise
all pegging, occupation and interference with farming operations for the
entire period of the "fast-track" programme.


Without knowing Government's intentions with any certainty, it is difficult
to assess the potential impact with any accuracy, but the severe erosion of
confidence within the commercial agricultural and private sectors has
already had a devastating affect.

SI 338 flies in the face of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and is contrary to
the principles of natural justice.

3.1 Immediate deprivation of ownership rights

The main implication of the amendment is that the fast-track resettlement
process can take place prior to any form of confirmation through the courts.
Thus landowners can be immediately deprived of their livelihood, long before
the matter is considered in the courts.

Our estimates are that up to 1000 landowners have received Section 8 Orders
prior to the amendment of the Act. Until we have clarification of the
retrospective implications of the amendments, we are not in a position to
assess the immediate impact, nor can we give clear recommendations to
members who have already received Section 8 Orders. This information will be
communicated as soon as it is available.

While it is possible that Government may endeavour to serve a new flood of
Section 8 Orders, it should be noted that the Supreme Court Order of 2nd
October 2001 effectively freezes land acquisition matters, save for the
continuation of Administrative Court cases, from 1st July 2001. Members who
receive a new Section 8 Order should immediately consult their lawyers.

Government has the authority to serve new Section 8 Orders to all landowners
with valid Section 5 Notices. Taking duplications, repeats and delistings
into account, the net number of properties with current section 5 notices is
approximately 4 200, equating to 7.8 million hectares in extent. No full
analysis has been done on the ownership patterns of these properties, but it
is estimated that 85% of CFU members are affected.

85% of CFU members are thus immediately vulnerable to the new legislation.
At a press conference on the 12th November 2001, the Minister of Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs - Patrick Chinamasa, stated that all farmers
previously served with Section 5 Notices would be served with Section 8
Orders as soon as possible.

3.2 Prejudice with respect to work-in-progress, standing crops and

By implication, there is provision within SI 338 to proceed with farming
operations with the permission in writing of the acquiring authority. The
intent of the acquiring authority with respect to work-in-progress, standing
crops and livestock is by no means clear. The affect of SI 338 is to reverse
the position where Government was required, in law, to prevent interference
to farming operations carried out by landowners.

The contradiction between the SI 338 position and official Government policy
that there should be no disruption to production, publicly stated by
Vice-President Msika and other senior Government Ministers, is glaring. This
would appear to highlight the split between the pragmatists and the

Farmers on listed farms, who have succeeded in planting crops or with
established plantation or livestock enterprises, now face huge additional
risk. Although it can be assumed, in law, that work-in-progress, standing
crops and affected livestock enterprises are subject to full compensation,
there is no certainty that this fundamental right will be respected.

3. Insufficient funding for Government to meet compensation obligations.

In law, once again, the owner can expect compensation, at least for
improvements, but in practice, funding is extremely limited.

3.4 Impact on national production and employment

>From a purely practical point of view, with a late start and limited access
to inputs, it is predictable that implementation of this legislation will
lead to substantial reductions in national output with the consequent
disastrous economic ramifications.


Through SI 338, Government is issuing some very clear messages that:


  a.. Government intends to fully implement the fast-track programme
regardless of the economic consequences.
  b.. Government wishes farmers to believe that they have ultimate control
over the farmer's destiny to the extent that they can select which farmers
may remain on the land and which farmers may produce.
  c.. Any attempt to challenge the fast-track process, particularly through
the courts, will simply be countered by changing inconvenient laws and
imposing custodial sentences as penalties.
  d.. The authorities, including police and DA's, will be further
neutralised, simply by serving an amended Section 8 Order on the landowner.
  e.. Intervention by invaders or any other people to "enforce" the
provisions of SI 338 can be expected.

Immediate actions taken:

  a.. CFU has sought extensive legal opinion to assess the legal options.

  b.. ZJRI has formally requested a temporary stay on further launches to
allow sufficient time to obtain clarification and assess the implications of
SI 338.

  c.. In this regard, ZJRI is seeking an audience with Vice-President Msika
and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to seek
clarification of the intentions of Government with respect to SI 338.


  a.. Fully cognisant of the increased risk, we would advise members to
rationalise investment risk but to continue farming to the best of their
ability. To do otherwise would be the certain death of the commercial
farming sector. Ultimately, members will have to assess their business risk
and make decisions accordingly.

  b.. Continue to adopt a non-confrontational stance, continue dialogue at
all levels and persistently work through the endless obstacles that are
placed in our way.

  c.. Continue to avoid conflict with the fast-track process, the validity
of which is still under consideration in the Supreme Court.

  d.. Members with Section 8 Orders should immediately submit a letter to
the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, copied to the
Provincial Governor and your lawyer, requesting permission to continue with
crops-in-progress and livestock enterprises. CFU will shortly be circulating
guidelines on the structure and content of such a letter. Copies of these
letters should be sent to CFU Regional Offices for collation at CFU Head


The potential impact of SI 338 is a very real threat to the survival of the
commercial agricultural sector. Given the unrelenting pounding that our
community has been subjected to, for many the temptations to throw in the
towel is almost overwhelming.

The sense of desperate frustration amoungst members is tangible. I ask you
to step back, take stock of the situation and muster all your resources to
respond to this crisis with unity of purpose and a commitment to continue
farming. The risks are great, but through determination to establish our
rights as Zimbabweans, we can and we will survive.

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The Telegraph

Mugabe's police aid attack on opposition
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 17/11/2001)

SUPPORTERS of President Mugabe rampaged through the streets of Bulawayo
yesterday, burning the regional offices of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement
for Democratic Change.

Police did not prevent the violence. Instead, witnesses said, armed officers
escorted the mob of 100, and the petrol bomb that set fire to the building
was hurled from a police vehicle.

Dozens of cars came under attack and most of the city's shops and offices
were forced to close. Shortly after the offices were destroyed, 1,000 young
opposition supporters arrived in the city centre, outnumbering the war
veterans, who fled.

By dusk, riot police had moved into the city. Police would not release
casualty or arrest figures. Two months ago MDC won all seats in council
elections in Bulawayo.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, who is standing against Mr Mugabe in
presidential elections due early next year, said: "Civil strife is
escalating. This is state sponsored, and we don't know to what extent it
will spread across the country.

"This is not a normal democracy, there can never be free and fair elections
with this government. But for Zimbabweans to boycott elections, even under
extreme provocation, is not an option."

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Mugabe's mob rule

HARARE: Police looked the other way as a rampaging mob of President Robert
Mugabe's "war veterans" kicked and beat whites in the streets of Bulawayo

Panic gripped the city centre at lunchtime when the 500-strong mob, escorted
by police, stormed through the streets attacking passers-by, particularly
whites, witnesses said.
They forced cars to a halt and dragged whites – in some cases elderly
women – into the street and beat them, a German aid worker said.

The man, who did not want to be named, said his car with his three daughters
inside was surrounded and he was dragged out and beaten.

Mduduzi Mathuthu, a reporter for a local paper, said: "An old white man – he
must have been in his 70s – was passing. They beat him to the ground."

The veterans gathered outside the offices of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), broke down the concrete wall surrounding the
building and set it alight.

"There was smoke and flames all over. The police were on the other side of
the road, but they did nothing," party worker Joe Ncube, said.

About 1000 MDC supporters took to the streets and clashed with riot police
as they marched on the offices of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

They set fire to a building belonging to a party official and burnt two cars
before police restored order.

The violence, the most serious single incident since the country's crisis
over lawlessness began in February last year, followed a wave of
inflammatory rhetoric from President Robert Mugabe's regime, promising
revenge against the MDC over the abduction and killing by unknown assailants
of a war veteran leader.

The pro-democracy party has denied repeatedly it had anything to do with the

In other developments:

THE MDC claimed Zanu-PF was considering assassinating its leader to ensure
President Robert Mugabe's re-election next year.

It claimed to have a copy of Zanu-PF's strategic plan for the campaign and
published extracts in the independent Daily News.

Referring to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the text, under the heading,
"Outright Elimination", read: "This could be dangerous to the Government,
but it needs a very serious consideration."

THE Government has declared it would bar non-government organisations from
distributing food because they would use the aid to campaign against Mugabe.

The ban threatens a major international relief operation as famine grips the
country, with almost a million people in "dire need", according to the UN.

IN another move to shore up support, the army has offered land to serving
soldiers in exchange for their votes.

Land requests by soldiers will be given priority, with officers receiving
the largest plots.

THE political turmoil has had a dramatic impact on inflation, with
Zimbabwe's consumer price index rising by a record 97.9 per cent in the year
to October, after rising 86.3 per cent in September.

WASHINGTON has warned it will not recognise the results of next year's
elections unless Harare agrees to international monitoring of the ballot.

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Saturday, 17 November, 2001, 16:09 GMT
Blair urged to act over Mugabe
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
Protesters says Mr Mugabe's tactics are about retaining power
Tony Blair has been presented with a petition urging him to put pressure on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to end human rights abuses.

About 50 protesters from the Zimbabwe community in the UK gathered outside Number 10 on Saturday to hand in the petition of 1,800 signatures.

It calls on the government to encourage its international partners to put pressure on Mugabe to restore law and end alleged human rights abuses.

It also urges Labour to make sure next year's elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair and also to send more humanitarian aid to the country and distribute it.


Protester Barbara Murray, a member of The Movement For Democratic Change (MDC), one of Zimbabwe's opposition parties, said international intervention was needed.

"We want Tony Blair, the European Union and the US to put pressure on Mugabe to allow in observers and minders who would make sure he held free and fair elections and stopped committing human rights abuses," she said.

"Mugabe has complete control of the police, and he has army war veterans under his control who are given free rein to do whatever they want as long as it's against the opposition.


"The issue with land confiscation from white farmers is just a device that he uses to raise emotions and make people who are in opposition look racist or evil or greedy.

"But the real issue is him staying in power.

"The police and war veterans beat up, torture and abduct people with complete immunity. If the victim reports what has happened to the police they are arrested themselves."

Ms Murray cited recent events, including the fire bombing on Friday of the MDC offices in Bulawayo, in which two people died.

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POSTED AT 1:21 PM EST    Saturday, November 17

Zimbabwe police braced for political unrest

Reuters News Agency

Harare — Anger and violence greeted the body of slain war veterans leader
Cain Nkala when it arrived in Zimbabwe's capital on Saturday.

Supporters of President Robert Mugabe's government chased anyone they
suspected of belonging to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) through the streets of Harare. Mr. Mugabe, who faces a tough election
next year, has accused the MDC of killing Mr. Nkala.

Police have been on high alert in several towns across the southern African
country since violent anti-MDC protests exploded after the discovery of Mr.
Nkala's body in a shallow grave outside the southwest city of Bulawayo on

Mr. Nkala was chairman of Bulawayo's war veterans' association and a
supporter of Mr. Mugabe's controversial campaign to seize white farms for
redistribution to landless blacks.

Witnesses said violence in Harare could erupt without warning. In one
incident members of a crowd waiting at the Harare mortuary for Mr. Nkala's
body to arrive suddenly broke away and attacked bystanders.

"People are running in panic. There is confusion because people are running
in all directions and cars driving out of the town," one witness said of the

A journalist, who said he had run for his life, told Reuters some veterans
were shouting: "Nkala will not die alone."

"I got the impression they were just out for some adventure, to terrify
people and let them know they are in town," he said.

Witnesses said some people were beaten by the rioters and fast-food shops in
the area had pulled down their shutters. But the violence quickly subsided
and the city calm as night fell.

Police moved reinforcements to Bulawayo, where pro-government militants
attacked bystanders and torched an opposition regional office on Friday.
Street patrols were also increased in the nearby towns of Kadoma, Masvingo
and Gweru.

Police have arrested 16 opposition activists and an MDC member of parliament
on charges of murder.

The MDC has said it is innocent of the charges and accused the government of
cracking down on the opposition ahead of presidential elections due by next

Mr. Nkala was due to be buried on Sunday at a shrine reserved mainly for
leaders who fought white minority rule in the former Rhodesia.

"The government has appealed for calm and we hope the public will heed that
call, but we have to be very alert to any developments," a police spokesman
told Reuters.

At least 31 people, most of them opposition supporters were killed in
political violence ahead of the June 2000 polls in which the MDC won 57 of
the 120 contested seats.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Mr. Mugabe's main challenger in the
April poll, warned Friday that civil unrest could erupt across the country.

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UN Wire, Sat 17 Nov 2001

UNDP Mission Arrives In Country As Political Tensions Mount

The three-week U.N. Development Program assessment mission charged with
trying to resuscitate a land reform deal penned in September in Abuja,
Nigeria, arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday as tensions mount following President
Robert Mugabe's controversial decree allowing the eviction of most of the
country's remaining commercial farmers.

The UNDP team plans to meet with Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge, Agriculture
Minister Joseph Made and other senior officials (Reuters/, Nov. 15).
According to BBC Online, the team will also meet with white farmers, black
farmers and the political opposition led by the Movement for Democratic
Change (BBC Online, Nov. 16).

UNDP resident representative in Harare Victor Angelo said the team would
review the government's controversial "fast-track" resettlement program and
compile an estimate for a new land reform program (Reuters/  In the
Abuja accord, the government pledged to end the illegal occupation of
white-owned land, respect human rights and the rule of law.  In return, the
United Kingdom promised to give millions of dollars to fund land reform.
Mugabe's recent decree, which amended the land reform law and allows the
eviction of white farmers without any legal challenges, is being criticized
as contrary to the Abuja accord (BBC Online).

Analysts are predicting that even if the UNDP comes up with a plan, the
government will reject it outright.  "The UNDP people might come with a very
workable plan that meets the need for social justice, equitable land
distribution, poverty alleviation and economic development,  but Mugabe
chose the program he has for election purposes," said Brian Raftopoulos of
Zimbabwe's Institute of Development Studies.  "I don't see how that can
change before the elections" early next year, he said (Reuters/

Meanwhile, the Harare Herald reports that the UNDP has given assurances to
the government that it will focus on its mandate and concentrate on a review
of the Abuja accord.  The newspaper quotes sources as saying, "The
representative indicated that the UNDP mission will focus on land and not
other issues such as the presidential election, the rule of law, human
rights and other such matters."  According to Xinhua News Agency, the
government has also informed the United Nations that "external forces" are
"trying to derail the UNDP mission" (Xinhua News Agency, Nov. 15).

To read an Integrated Regional Information Networks interview with the head
of Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers' Union, click here.  To read a Harare
Financial Gazette Story on how the government is trying to win the votes of
soldiers by promising them land, click here.

U.S. To Reject Election Result If International Observers Are Barred
According to the Harare Financial Gazette, U.S. officials warned that if
Zimbabwe does not allow international observers to monitor next year's
election -- which Mugabe's government said it will not -- Washington will
withhold recognition of the outcome.

"Given the prevailing situation and the conditions being laid out by the
government regarding the issue of observers and monitors, the feeling within
the administration is that it could be difficult for the people of Zimbabwe
and the international community to view the elections as legitimate," the
U.S. official said, adding that the United States has yet to officially
communicate this policy to Zimbabwe.  According to the Financial Gazette,
the European Union holds similar views on the issue.

Zimbabwe's government has ruled out EU and U.S. observers, and is presently
pushing through its Parliament legislation that would prohibit observers
from the international community and Zimbabwean civic organizations from
monitoring the election (Sydney Masamvu, Harare Financial Gazette, Nov. 15).

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MEDIA UPDATE # 2001/45
5- 11 November 2001
2.  THE ANZ SAGA: How to report on a competitor
3.  LEGISLATIVE AMENDMENTS: The Land Acquisition Act and the Electoral Act
1.  SUMMARY o The harassment of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (Private) Limited, publishers of The Daily News, continued in the week.  The paper's editor-in-chief, Geoffrey Nyarota, and the company's founding Chief Executive Officer, Wilf Mbanga, were arrested, detained and subsequently appeared in court.
o The Zimbabwe Investment Centre (ZIC) accused Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) of violating investment laws and exchange control regulations.  The ZIC- instigated arrests came in the wake of claims by Diamond Insurance - a minority shareholder in ANZ and an associate company of Africa Resources Limited (ARL)
owned by Mutumwa Mawere - that it had unearthed possible fraudulent misrepresentation in the placing of the publishing company as a private entity.
o Earlier, Diamond Insurance had made an unsuccessful High Court challenge to the investment by the Independent Media Group in the ANZ as represented by Renaissance Asset Management.  Only last month Mawere also caused the arrests of ANZ shareholders Judith Todd, Dr Burgit Mohamud, Ndaba Mpofu and Stuart Mattison for allegedly submitting false information in their High Court affidavits.
Police recorded warned and cautioned statements from them.
o Coverage of the issue in the public media largely ignored this background and used the story to discredit The Daily News.  Their coverage relied solely on a ZIC letter written to ANZ advising the company that due to irregularities it was canceling its investment licence.  Comment from the ANZ was significantly missing.  It was only after The Daily News carried reports presenting the ANZ position that readers heard the other side of the story.
o Meanwhile, government amended the Land Acquisition Act and announced its intention to change the Electoral Act.
The Herald merely reported the amendment to the Land Acquisition Act by presidential decree as if it was normal procedure and provided no analysis.  Other media missed the story.
o Although all media reported government's intention to amend the Electoral Act, only the privately owned Press sourced alternative opinion on the issue.  However, all media failed to give a comprehensive analysis of the amendments and inform the public on other electoral issues, such as voter registration, the inspection of the voters' roll, and the Citizenship Act.
o Although both ZBC and Zimpapers quoted Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, defining the differences between election observers and monitors, they then confused the definitions when referring to international requests to send foreign observer missions in an apparent attempt to justify government's position and particularly its refusal to allow a European Union (EU) team into the country for the elections.

2.  THE ANZ SAGA: How to report on a competitor The public media, as exemplified by The Herald (6/11), focused exclusively on the ZIC letter - allegedly leaked to them - and ignored the ANZ position on the matter.  The paper's lead story, Daily News in trouble, and sub-headlined Investment certificate cancelled, Criminal violations cited, dwelt mostly on how the ZIC had cancelled the ANZ investment certificate, which "means that the basis on which the company was established has been removed and the company should cease to exit".
The paper went on to claim that the ANZ had failed to comply with investment laws and exchange control regulations and cited an alleged non-existent company, Motley Investments (Pvt) Limited, as the reason behind the cancellation:
"We have now established that in truth and fact, no such company was registered with the Registrar of Companies.Accordingly, had the centre been aware that Motley Investments was not a registered company, the certificate would not have been issued."
In the same article, the ZIC was reported as having declared the investment by Renaissance Asset Management in ANZ null and void.
ZBC (Radio & ZTV 6/11,8pm) simply regurgitated The Herald story and quoted the police to buttress allegations that the paper's directors had committed a serious crime.  The police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena was quoted on ZBCTV (8 pm) as saying:
".The cases which we are currently investigating are much more grave and we would like to go deeper into those cases."
The reporter added, " highly placed sources alleged that ANZ's foreign ownership is well above 90% much more than the stipulated 60%" without providing any supporting evidence.
It became clear that the state media was using the story to discredit The Daily News when ZBCTV juxtaposed the story about ANZ's licence with the Nigerian Ambassador's attack on an opinion piece carried by the paper alleging that some Commonwealth Ministerial Committee members might have been bribed during their fact-finding mission.  The report had been broadcast the previous day (5/11, 8pm).  The attack on the paper was also reported on Radio 2/4 on the 7th in its 6am bulletin.
The Daily News (7/11) countered this article with its front page story, Herald lies again, through a press statement issued by the chief executive of the ANZ, Muchadeyi Masunda.  The paper argued that the ZIC had not cancelled ANZ's certificate, but that the certificate itself - valid for two years - had expired.  Besides, Mbanga and Nyarota had presented themselves to the ZIC as directors of Motley Trading and not Motley Investments.  "If ZIC now wishes to cancel an expired certificate it is their prerogative," Masunda said.
The story also questioned how ZIC could declare null and void the investment of a Zimbabwean company into another local one.
"In any event, the High Court had given a ruling on this issue in favour of ANZ.  It is most extraordinary for an acting director of the ZIC to seek to reverse a High Court decision.  He needs to be careful that he is not held in contempt of court," added Masunda.
Mawere was accused, in the same article, of being in the forefront in the fight against the newspaper.
"Never before, in the history of corporate affairs has so much energy been expended by one minority shareholder to cause the downfall of a company in which it is an investor."
However, The Herald (7/11) article, ANZ investors stand to lose stake, ignored the information provided by the ANZ and reported the possibility of the ANZ losing its investment certificate.  It quoted Mawere, and an unnamed "senior lawyer with expertise in commercial law" to give the impression that it had sought an expert's interpretation of the whole saga.  Mawere is thus quoted:
"The investment laws were clearly violated and we are not protected as a country."
The Herald (8/11) reproduced the ZIC official letter to ANZ lawyers, signed by Richard Mubaiwa - acting executive director - headed, Violations of provisions of ZIC Act to counter The Daily News of 7 November.  The paper also reproduced a letter written on behalf of ANZ by Price Waterhouse Coopers confirming that Motley Investments (Private) Limited has been formed and a ZIC-issued investment certificate bearing the name Motley Investments.
Like The Herald, ZBC (radio and ZTV, 8/11, 8pm) continued to suggest that ANZ directors violated the Investment Act.  ZTV reporter Justin Manyau cited one of the ANZ's shareholders, Stuart Mattison's letter, alleging that his company owned more than 80% of the shares, much higher than the stipulated 60% for foreign investment.  In the same report, a police officer was quoted stating that Mbanga and Nyarota were charged with fraud or contravening section 40 of the Investment Act.
The picture only became more clear in the story, Nyarota arrested, The Daily News (9/11) in which the paper reported that the arrests of Mbanga and Nyarota stemmed from an error made by Price Waterhouse Coopers in a letter to the ZIC on the name of the company with a shareholding in ANZ.  The paper quoted David Scott, the senior partner of Price Waterhouse Coopers, admitting his firm's mistake in a letter to the ANZ.
ZBC (ZTV and radio, 9/11, 8pm) merely made side reference to the typographical error during its reportage of the court proceedings.
No comment from Price Waterhouse Coopers was carried.
Lawrence Chibwe of Stumbles and Rowe described the charge laid against Mbanga and Nyarota as incomprehensible, (The Daily News' , Nyarota arrested (9/11).  Chibwe was further quoted saying the arrest of the two came from "very senior police officers and political heavyweights".
The Zimbabwe Independent (9/11) quoted Masunda corroborating Chibwe's claims describing the arrest as a "politically-motivated campaign" against the paper.  The Independent's article, Daily News threaten to sue police, quoted Masunda saying: "It has really got to a point where the aggrieved parties will have no option but to take action against police officers in their individual capacities.because there is no way in which it can be argued they were acting in their official capacity or public interest."
Eric Matinenga, representing the ANZ, also accused the police and the courts of harassing his clients.  The Daily News article Nyarota Mbanga appear in court (10/11), quoted Matinenga, who while asking the court to dismiss his client's case said, "There is nothing on the facts which points to the accused persons having committed an offence.  This particular remand is an abuse of process, meant to harass the two and it was done in bad faith."
The Herald's one-sided reporting of the case was perhaps predictable, but no less unprofessional for that.  The fact that the Zimpapers daily is the direct competitor of the Daily News only strengthens the obligation for it to report a story affecting its rival in a balanced and ethical fashion.  Instead, it created a strong impression that it was itself part of an apparent campaign to drive the Daily News out of business.

3.  LEGISLATIVE AMENDMENTS a.  The Land Acquisition Act On 5 November, The Herald reported that Section 8 (3) of the Land Acquisition Act empowered the government to assume ownership of listed farms.  An Inyika Trust spokesperson was quoted reinforcing the implication of the Act to farmers.  The Information and Publicity Minister was also quoted as saying "according to the laws of Zimbabwe farmers on listed farms are just occupiers".  The article was written in the context of the pending ruling on an application by Mr.  Marshall Henry Roper to evict settlers from his listed farm, probably to influence the outcome in favour of the settlers.
However, in the event Justice Makarau ruled that the pegging of plots on Roper's farm should stop.  The Herald (8/11) reported the ruling in a rather misleading headline, Defend stay on farm, court orders settlers, to downplay Roper's victory.  The Daily News (8/11)
reported the issue in an article with the more accurate headline Makarau orders Chombo, Made to stop pegging plots.
The Herald (10/11) then reported that Government had used the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act to amend the Land Acquisition Act to give it the right to start allocating land acquired for resettlement immediately after issuing an acquisition order without interference from the owner or occupier of the land.  The amendment was reported without analysis as if this were a perfectly normal step - whereas it appeared to be a response to Justice Makarau's ruling.  The Daily News did not carry the story and none of the Sunday papers subjected this to any scrutiny.
ZBC missed the story altogether.
b.  Electoral Act Government's refusal to admit the EU's election observer team in the previous weeks resulted in the announcement by the Cabinet that it had decided to amend the Electoral Act.  The Herald (7/11)
reported that Government "resolved to make it clear that the mandate of the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC)
includes recruitment, training and deployment of election monitors for all polls".  In the same report, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa was quoted as saying it was undesirable for the ESC to use monitors recruited and trained by NGOs "considering the fact that most non- governmental organizations are partial, foreign funded, loyal to their funders and therefore produce monitors who were partisan".  No comment was reported from any of these organizations.
The article merely cited comments made by MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube to The Daily News (6/11) which was then swamped with a lengthy quotation from Jonathan Moyo.
ZBC (8/11, 8pm) carried the report the following day.  Minister Chinamasa (ZTV, 8/11, 8pm) stated that foreign monitors are only allowed where a government has collapsed and said, "But in our case, the responsibility to monitor elections belongs to the Zimbabwean government.  It is our responsibility to ensure that the elections are run properly and with integrity.we are still the government of Zimbabwe which is going to invite anyone who comes to our soil".

In its follow up, The Herald (9/11) further reported that the "Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Patrick Chinamasa is expected to table the amendments in Parliament when it resumes sitting on November 20".
In another article, misleadingly headlined "US envoy backs stance on election monitors", the US Ambassador was quoted as supporting Zimbabwe's stance on election monitors and forgot to edit that the Ambassador's comments that his country will be expecting to be allowed to observe the election.
Without even analysing the implications of the amendment, the state media went on to distract the public from the issue and dragged them into the definitions of a monitor and an observer.  The Herald (9/11), Minister clarifies differences between monitors, observers, quoted Minister Jonathan Moyo explaining the difference between a monitor and an observer.  In fact, Moyo's definition corresponded to the generally accepted distinction between a monitor - who has certain powers to intervene to rectify abuses - and an observer, who is only entitled to watch and report.
However, the sleight of hand occurred in the claim - entirely unsubstantiated - that the EU wanted to send monitors.  In fact the EU, and other foreign organizations, have asked to send observers.
Hence also the misleading presentation of the US Ambassador's views.
ZBC (radio 6am & 1pm and ZTV, 8pm, 9/11), as is becoming the norm, followed up the paper and offered the same definitions in a voice over.
The Sunday Mail (11/11) celebrated the government's intention in a biased article headlined "State approves amendment of Electoral Act".  Part of the article read:
The honeymoon for civic organizations that have been preaching politics on the pretext of carrying voter education could soon be over as the Government has approved the amendment of the Electoral Act".
The article only quoted Minister Chinamasa and failed to cite alternative voices.
Although radio (5/11, 8pm) quoted EU representative Ms Francesca Mosca as having said that the union would meet the government to discuss their intention to send an election team, there was no effort made to ask the EU exactly what their request was.
The private press on the other hand viewed the intention to amend the Electoral Act as one of government's clandestine motives to influence the outcome of the election in its favour.
The Daily News (6/11) quoted the MDC as having said it would insist that the government allows international observers and monitors for the election ".because they want to cheat left, right and centre".
The Zimbabwe Mirror (9/11) also quoted MDC, accusing government of "desperately attempting to manipulate next year's presidential election by refusing to accept international observers".  However, its comment argued that the presidential poll should remain the prerogative of Zimbabweans alone and called upon the EU to respect Zimbabwe's sovereignty instead of threatening to impose sanctions if it refuses to accede to its demands.
The Standard (11/11) comment was sceptical of the impartiality of the recently launched mobile registration exercise taking place in resettlement areas and occupied farms, which it felt was aimed at boosting Zanu PF's chances of winning the elections.  And in its article, Plans for rigging election begin, quoted both Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET) and the MDC accusing the Government of trying to rig the election.

4.  THE FINANCIAL GAZETTE POLL Results of The Financial Gazette-sanctioned Target Research opinion poll on Zimbabwe's presidential election in 2002 stirred some interest in the public media.
The Financial Gazette (8/11) carried three front-page stories stemming from the research findings: Tsvangirai leads Mugabe, MDC support increases and Poll violence rife.  The first two stories rated the opposition MDC's chances of winning the presidential poll ahead of that of the ruling Zanu PF while the third looked at how political violence, perpetrated mostly by Zanu PF, was likely to affect voting patterns in the election.
While The Financial Gazette simply restricted its coverage of these issues to the findings by Target Research, the public media tried to divert public attention from the findings by questioning the credentials of Target Research, which they accused of supporting the opposition.
When the results of the poll were published, ZTV (8/11, 8pm)
notified its viewers that they were going to carry comments on findings the following day and invited its audience to e-mail their comments.  ZBC never reported the findings of the poll.  In the same report the newscaster, Obriel Mpofu, exposed ZBC's intention to discredit the results when he said, "Last year, towards parliamentary elections the nation witnessed a series of bogus election surveys.  We are beginning to see similar surveys ahead of next year's presidential elections."
The following day ZBC (radio and ZTV, 9/11, 8pm) carried several comments from people who questioned whether the sample was representative and the credentials of Target Research.  ZTV accorded 6 minutes and 55 seconds to the survey and made an attempt to appear balanced by quoting Dr.  Ibbo Mandaza, Dr Khabele Matlosa from SAPES, Joseph Mandizha, a lawyer, and both Zanu PF and the MDC.
However, a closer analysis of the voices reveals that they were all quoted to support the ZBC's anti-survey slant.  Southern African Policy and Economic Series (SAPES) Trust, a research institute, some of whose representatives including Mandaza have previously commented in support of government policies, were quoted to give the impression that the broadcaster had sought independent expert views.  The two political parties most affected by the research were not given equal opportunity to comment.  Zanu PF acting secretary for the Commissariat Dr.  Sikhanyiso Ndlovu was accorded more than a minute and a live sound bite while MDC's Welshman Ncube's comments were cited from The Herald and voiced over for
10 seconds.
Dr.  Mandaza went on to link Target Research with the opposition when he said, "I think polls in this country have always had a definitively political objective.  Maybe to influence voters and significantly they have been manufactured by persons known to be in the opposition."
To further discredit Target, Matlosa said, ".As SAPES Trust we work with a number of institutions.  We have never come across this group at all.  I was surprised when I read the paper that they are renowned opinion polls surveyors."
Dr.  Ndlovu, was completely incomprehensible on the methodology Target should have used when he said, ".As long as you don't go to a crowd and interview the whole people of the same opinion or have people interviewed by newspapers that already has an opinion, partisan opinion.  Therefore the results for sure will be concocted to suit the editorial policy of that paper."
In MDC and ZANU PF dismiss opinion, The Herald (9/10)
conveniently quoted ZANU PF's information secretary Nathan Shamuyarira accusing Target Research as "one of the many racist and biased research organisations from the United States that were ready and willing to undermine the sovereignty of the country".
Besides, the paper's headline was also misleading.  Although Shamuyarira was quoted saying the opinion was nothing but an attempt to confuse people, neither MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, nor his secretary general, Welshman Ncube, tacitly dismissed the findings.  For instance, Tsvangirai was only quoted as saying: "I have read that report just like anybody else.  I don't comment on stories that come out in papers."
The paper also used its comment, Gazette survey contradictory, to dismiss the Target Research opinion poll's findings through the comparative use of Zanu PF's successful performance in parliamentary by-elections.  The comment further said: "What makes the whole survey laughable is that no-one would have expected The Financial Gazette to finance, let alone publish, a survey that would have contradicted its own prediction of an MDC victory in 2002."
This simplistic dismissal of scientific research remained unbroken in The Herald (10/11), Institute dismisses Fingaz poll survey.  In the story, the paper quoted director of the little known Southern Africa Institute for Democracy William Nhari cynically dismissing results of the poll as having been done "under a tree in Bulawayo".

5.  THE ABDUCTION OF WAR VETERAN CAIN NKALA The abduction of the Bulawayo provincial war veterans' chairman, Cain Nkala, received prominence on ZBC.  ZBC carried the report for five days during the week in all news bulletins.  ZTV devoted 22 minutes to the abduction and even sent its Chief Correspondent, Reuben Barwe, to Bulawayo to cover the story.  Mention of previous abductions (e.g.  Patrick Nabanyama, an MDC election agent) was carefully avoided on ZBC.  While the state media swamped readers with conspiracy theories, the private media attributed the abduction to internal squabbles within Zanu PF, leaving the public confused as to what the real story was.
The state media quoted war veterans threatening revenge attacks over the abduction without any analysis of the implications of such threats.
The Chronicle (7/11) quoted the Zanu PF provincial chairman, Jabulani Sibanda, saying: "This is terrorism at its worst which is being perpetrated by people such as the British Prime Minister Tony Blair".
This was reiterated at the end of the week (ZTV, 11/11, 8pm) when Ian Beddows, a Zanu PF supporter, made a spurious allegation that, "this is a deliberate attempt by MI5 (Britain security agents) working through destabilize Zimbabwe and in particular the Matabeleland region".
There was no comment on the unlikelihood that Tony Blair was taking time out from the Afghanistan crisis to attend to events in Bulawayo - or that MI5 is in fact the British internal security service and was therefore unlikely to be operating in Matabeleland.
The Herald (7/11) buried the initial story of the abduction on Page
3.  As has become the norm, the police comment was sought to corroborate Zanu PF's unsubstantiated claims that the opposition was to blame.  Assistant Commissioner Oliver Mashonganyika (ZTV, 9/11, 8pm) said, ".  It will be difficult to link it to any other people apart from maybe the opposition party." The opposition was not accorded any space to defend itself.
Barwe (ZTV, 9/11, 8pm) in his report made reference to the abduction of a Zanu PF supporter in Nkayi by alleged opposition members and conveniently ignored incidents where MDC supporters have been abducted.  In particular, failing to relate the case to that of the MDC's Patrick Nabanyama was poor journalism, since Nkala was accused of involvement in the Nabanyama abduction.
The private press linked the abduction of Nkala to Zanu PF's internal fighting and dismissed allegations of MDC involvement.  The Financial Gazette (8/11) quoted unnamed sources within Zanu PF who said that Nkala could have been a victim of internal party squabbles.  Sibanda was quoted denying the allegation.  The Financial Gazette also accorded MDC space to dispel allegations that the party was behind the kidnapping.
The Daily News (8/11) reported that the police had raided MDC Bulawayo offices in search of Nkala and linked Nkala to the abduction of Nabanyama.  The MDC was also quoted denying charges that it was responsible for the kidnapping.  In its comment (9/11) the daily dismissed accusations by war veterans that MDC was responsible for the abduction.  Part of the comment read:
"In all probability, this abduction was stage-managed by ZANU PF in conjunction with the war veterans' association"
The Standard (11/11) 'CIO behind abduction' - war vets quoted unnamed war veterans who accused state security operatives of being behind the attack.
The coverage of the Cain Nkala case and others like it is a serious test of the professionalism of the Zimbabwean media.  In a situation where sentiments are inflamed and lives are at risk the media have a responsibility to report in a manner that is careful, factual, truthful and non-inflammatory.  In the current atmosphere of lawlessness, careless and inflammatory reporting could have a very high cost.

6.  COMMENTS FROM SUBSCRIBERS ZBC VOICES OVER FOREIGN FOOTAGE By WildCahi, Zimbabwe What about ZBC's latest lack of acknowledgement of its satellite sources?  I have noticed over the past few days that on the news when ZBC screens CNN or other foreign footage from, for example, Afghanistan, they cover the cable news logo with their own and use their own commentary!
They did the same with the live cricket broadcast from Sharjah, covering the ZTV logo with their own.  What are they up to?

PRICE CONTROLS REVISITED By Reg Rumney, BusinessMap, South Africa.
In Update 2001/42 you carried a comment from a subscriber who complained about your coverage of price controls.
Price controls have long been discredited, but in any case the context in which they are being imposed will clearly negate their usefulness.  You can't fix price controls if you can't fix the exchange rate or peg wage rates.  And obviously the government needs to re- instil respect for the rule of law or few foreigners will feel the desire to invest any money there, or sell anything there except for a big premium to make up for the risk.
On SA firms' profiteering, my question would be how Massmart or any other foreign firm can profiteer if it can't repatriate the profits!
And inflated prices in Zimbabwe cannot be inflated in rands after being depreciated by the declining Zimbabwe dollar.
I enjoy your analyses of media coverage, and I think we could profit from something like it in South Africa, which has a fairly vital media industry, but is beginning to exhibit some worrying deviations from journalistic standards - and I am not thinking of the State-owned media necessarily.  Some of it is inherited from the history of opposition media during apartheid.
From MMPZ: MMPZ drew its monitoring methodologies from the experience of Article 19: Global Campaign for Freedom of Expression and the Media Monitoring Project in South Africa, among others.  You may wish to get in touch with the MMP-SA on Ends The MEDIA UPDATE is produced and circulated by the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ).  Please send all queries and comments to the Project Coordinator, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 703702, E-mail: Previous copies of MMPZ reports can be accessed at We appreciate comments on local and international media coverage of local issues and events and the work
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