By Lebo Nkatazo
Last updated: 11/19/2005 14:23:12
A ZIMBABWEAN deputy minister and top police chief on Thursday faced
accusations of orchestrating a farm labourer's murder.
Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Reuben Marumahoko and Assistant Police
Commissioner, Innocent Matibiri, have been linked to the murder at Springs
Field Farm in Mashonaland West.
The farm is owned by controversial sports trainer, Temba Mliswa, who seized
it from a white commercial farmer at the height of violent
government-sponsored land grabs three years ago.
Violence erupted at the farm on Thursday in an ownership dispute over a fuel
service station located on the farm, resulting in the murder of one person,
In an interview with New Zimbabwe.com, Mliswa fingered Marumahoko and
Matibiri -- a nephew to President Robert Mugabe -- as the driving forces
behind a group of people who attacked his workers.
Marumahoko is said to be claiming ownership, through a proxy, Eric Nodza,
who owns the Wedzera Service Station.
Trouble started early this month when Marumahoko's front, who had occupied
the service station, was evicted by Karoi police from the property.
Police spokesperson, Oliver Mandipaka said Thursday night that police had
arrested three people in connection with the killing and investigations were
The chief murder suspect, Kudakwashe Phiri, a former police officer who
spearheaded the attacks, has close ties with Matibiri.
According Mliswa, Marumahoko and Matibiri sent the gang on Thursday in an
attempt to re-occupy the service station resulting in the skirmishes.
He added that Marumahoko had been supplying fuel at the service station
since the time he was the Deputy Energy Minister, a post that enabled him to
easily access fuel.
The deputy minister was abusing the police through Matibiri in attempts to
force him out of the property, Mliswa claimed.
He also said two weeks ago, Matibiri phoned him claiming that Mliswa was in
possession of a fake offer letter for the property.
"I went to see Matibiri the next Monday and showed him my offer letter that
I was given on October 4. I told him that the police were free to
investigate the issue.
"The deputy police commissioner was obviously taking instructions from his
boss Marumahoko who happens to be the deputy home affairs minister," he
Matibiri was not answering his mobile phone last night.
Wall Street Journal
REVIEW & OUTLOOK
October 19, 2005
We'd never accuse the United Nations of lacking a taste for the
absurd. But Ionesco or Beckett would have been hard pressed to come up with
a better script for the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization's 60th
birthday party in Rome.
Its World Food Day celebrates "sincere intercultural dialogue [that]
is a precondition for progress against hunger and environmental
degradation." The star attraction -- we're not making this up -- was
Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.
This African president certainly knows a lot about hunger, if not
personally. His seizures of white-owned farms have devastated Africa's
former breadbasket in a mere five years. A quarter of his country's 12
million people need food aid. Unemployment is 70%.
In the past six months, 700,000 mostly black Zimbabweans were driven
out of their homes and denied their right to make a living by trading in the
streets of Harare and other cities. Their crime? These lower-class urban
dwellers take a dim view of the Mugabe regime and sympathize with the
harassed political opposition.
For his troubles, Mr. Mugabe finds himself unwelcome in most polite
company. The EU and the U.S. forbid him from coming to visit. But the U.N.
lets him get around the travel bans by rolling out the red carpet at its
shindigs. The wily octogenarian doesn't waste his precious opportunities to
grandstand on the world stage. In a lengthy speech before the FAO Monday,
Mr. Mugabe compared George Bush and Tony Blair to Hitler and Mussolini.
Perhaps the cheering delegates were simply grateful that Zimbabwe now
provides the FAO with a fresh raison d'etre.
At this point, we shouldn't be surprised to see a man who brought
famine to his land embraced at the U.N.'s food agency. Two years ago, Libya
took over the chairmanship of the U.N.'s Human Rights Commission. Among the
world's altermondialistes, who value fulsome anti-Americanism and brutal
domestic repression above all else, dictators are chic. In this company, Mr.
Mugabe claims pride of place.
By Studio 7
18 November 2005
Beatrice Mtetwa, a prominent defender of journalists and media rights in
Zimbabwe for more than a decade, said in an appearance on VOA's Studio 7 for
Zimbabwe that the country's present legal framework "virtually curtails the
free flow of information" and that it is "impossible for a journalist to
practice without the government's say-so."
Ms. Mtetwa is one of five recipients of the 2005 International Press Freedom
Award given by the Committee to Protect Journalists - and the only recipient
this year who is not a journalist. The New York-based CPJ made the exception
in recognition of her extraordinary legal efforts on behalf of Zimbabwean
journalists as the government of President Robert Mugabe has moved to
circumscribe press freedom.
Her clients have included the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, publisher
of the Daily News, barred from publishing in 2003 for its aggressive
coverage of the Mugabe administration, and Andrew Meldrum, an American
journalist who was expelled from Zimbabwe in May 2003 after 23 years as a
correspondent for British papers.
Ms. Mtetwa has also represented innumerable lesser-known journalists caught
up in the Harare government's repressive apparatus, recently winning an
acquittal for a Daily News reporter in a critical test case over alleged
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Today's Herald Friday 18 November 2005 contains two new listings with no
lot numbers in evidence.
The first is a listing of 35 farms under the Constitution of Zimbabwe
section 16B(2)(a)(iii) as amended recently. This is the first Notice of
Acquisition under the Constitution and this list first appeared in the
Herald last Friday 11 November 2005 and is repeated today. Section 16B of
the amended Constitution is included below for those farmers listed who
wish to refer to it. No lot number appears. Clarification and advice with
regard to this new method of acquisition is available through the JAG
The second listing pertains to two small properties (Salisbury) listed
under the Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:10) under Section 5 Preliminary
Notice to Acquire land. No lot number appears.
Amendment to this section of the Constitution:
2 New section inserted in Constitution
The Constitution is amended by the insertion after section 16A
("Agricultural land acquired for resettlement") of the following section^×
"16B Agricultural land acquired for resettlement and other purposes
(1) In this section^×
"acquiring authority" means the Minister responsible for lands or any other
Minister whom the President may appoint as an acquiring authority for the
purposes of this section;
"appointed day" means the date of commencement of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 17) Act, 2005. [14 September 2005. Ed.]
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Chapter^×
(a) all agricultural land^×
(i) that was identified on or before the 8th July, 2005, in the Gazette or
Gazette Extraordinary under section 5(1) of the Land Acquisition Act
[Chapter 20:10], and which is itemised in Schedule 7, being agricultural
land required for resettlement purposes; or
(ii) that is identified after the 8th July, 2005, but before the appointed
day, in the Gazette or Gazette Extraordinary under section 5(1) of the Land
Acquisition Act [Chapter 20:10], being agricultural land required for
resettlement purposes; or
(iii) that is identified in terms of this section by the acquiring
authority after the appointed day in the Gazette or Gazette Extraordinary
for whatever purpose, including, but not limited to^×
A. settlement for agricultural or other purposes; or
B. the purposes of land reorganisation, forestry, environmental
conservation or the utilisation of wild life or other natural resources; or
C. the relocation of persons dispossessed in consequence of the utilisation
of land for a purpose referred to in subparagraph A or B;
is acquired by and vested in the State with full title therein with effect
from the appointed day or, in the case of land referred to in subparagraph
(iii), with effect from the date it is identified in the manner specified
in that paragraph; and
(b) no compensation shall be payable for land referred to in paragraph (a)
except for any improvements effected on such land before it was acquired.
(3) The provisions of any law referred to in section 16(1) regulating the
compulsory acquisition of land that is in force on the appointed day, and
the provisions of section 18(1) and (9), shall not apply in relation to
land referred to in subsection (2)(a) except for the purpose of determining
any question related to the payment of compensation referred to in
subsection (2)(b), that is to say, a person having any right or interest in
(a) shall not apply to a court to challenge the acquisition of the land by
the State, and no court shall entertain any such challenge;
(b) may, in accordance with the provisions of any law referred to in
section 16(1) regulating the compulsory acquisition of land that is in
force on the appointed day, challenge the amount of compensation payable
for any improvements effected on the land before it was acquired.
(4) As soon as practicable after the appointed day, or after the date when
the land is identified in the manner specified in subsection (2)(a)(iii),
as the case may be, the person responsible under any law providing for the
registration of title over land shall, without further notice, effect the
necessary endorsements upon any title deed and entries in any register kept
in terms of that law for the purpose of formally cancelling the title deed
and registering in the State title over the land.
(5) Any inconsistency between anything contained in^×
(a) a notice itemised in Schedule 7; or
(b) a notice relating to land referred to in subsection (2)(a)(ii) or
and the title deed to which it refers or is intended to refer, and any
error whatsoever contained in such notice, shall not affect the operation
of subsection (2)(a) or invalidate the vesting of title in the State in
terms of that provision.
(6) An Act of Parliament may make it a criminal offence for any person,
without lawful authority, to possess or occupy land referred to in this
section or other State land.
(7) This section applies without prejudice to the obligation of the former
colonial power to pay compensation for land referred to in this section
that was acquired for resettlement purposes."
New listings Friday 11 November 2005 repeated 18 November 2005:
Constitution of Zimbabwe
Notice of Acquisition of Agricultural Land under section 16B(2)(a)(iii) of
Notice is given, in terms of section 16(B)(s)(a)(iii) of the Constitution
of Zimbabwe, that the Minister responsible for Lands hereby acquires for
and on behalf of the State, the Land identified and described in the
Schedule for the environmental conservation, the utilisation of wildlife or
other natural resources and relocation of persons dispossessed in
consequence of utilisation of land for either of the foregoing purposes.
Further take notice that the ownership of acquired land with full title
therein is vested in the State is with effect from the date of publication
of this notice in the Gazette.
D N E Mutasa
Minister of State for National Security, Lands, Land Reform and
Resettlement in the President's Office.
1 6441/00 Rhino Kop Bindura Remainder of Leopards Vlei 697,0308 ha
2 3049/90 Trustees of the SOS Children's Village Association of Zimbabwe
Bindura S/D A of the Farm Arcadia 576,4366 ha
3 3055/97 Quick Harvest Farm P/L Bindura Remainder of Stoney Lea of
Canaille Tobacco Estate of Shashi Estate 490,4977 ha
4 5455/85 Esperance Estates P/L Chipinga Lot 1 of Lot 1 of Gungunyana
5 8153/99 Chiriga Estates P/L Chipinga Lot 1 of S/D A of Excelsior of
Hofstede 101,1700 ha
6 12668/99 Woodview Farm P/L Chipinga Lot 2 of Geluk 107,2029 ha
7 7530/97 Johannes Human Joubert Chipinga S/D A of Lansdowne 122,4821 ha
8 10193/99 Alfred Mupeti Chipinga Parkels Lot Chipinga Township 47,9750 ha
9 1724/73 Pigeonswood Farm P/L Chipinga Lot 2 of Chipinga 140,7452 ha
10 1304/79 Christoffel Johannes Greyling and Hendrik Johannes Greyling
Goromonzi S/D D of Sellair 118,7101 ha
11 6542/83 Christoffel Johannes Greyling and Hendrik Johannes Greyling
Goromonzi S/D of S/D C of S/D F of Melfort Estate 109,1630 ha
12 1867/80 Walter Bryan Lawry Gwelo S/D 21 of West Gwelo Block 1544,3977 ha
13 119/95 Craig David Smith Gwelo Triangle of East Shangani Block 772,6935
14 597/89 A Lourens Gwelo Chums of Four Chums Block 524,4600 ha
15 251/93 L M Paul Gwelo R/E of Figtree 2809,1572 ha
16 5677/84 Wendy Elvie Catherine McDiarmid Inyanga R/E of Stanhope of
Inyanga Downs of Inyanga Block 255,6116 ha
17 710/97 Prudence Anne Fowler, Robert Derek Fowler, Avril Janine Beare and
Michael John Fowler Inyanga Remainder of Susurumba of Chinaka of Juliasdale
18 1365/76 Stanley George Baker Makoni R/E of Nyongeni 371,2728 ha
19 6166/59 Groenvlei Estates P/L Makoni S/D A of Tsungwesi Ridge 471
20 7736/88 Kenneth Charles Ziehl Makoni Lot 1 of Alpha A 387,5501 ha
21 8724/88 Margaret Catherine S Marandellas Lot 8 of Cotter 42,0389 ha
22 7813/00 Tolstov Investments P/L Mazoe S/D A of Caledon 809,3721 ha
23 457/94 P Barron P/L Melsetter Lot 1 of Lot 1 of Merry Waters 217,4000 ha
24 5712/79 Stephanus Gerhardus Borman Mrewa Wheatlands 972,4100 ha
25 2694/94 J E Woodhouse & Son P/L Salisbury S/D D of S/D D of Great
Bromely 133,7278 ha
26 1166/61 Arthur Basil Collingwood Borradaile Umtali Crystal Creek
27 693/60 Rudolf Phillippus Van Der Merwe Umtali Alpha 3066,8223 acres
28 8468/89 Cloud Castle Estates P/L Umtali Lot 3 of Cloudlands Estate
29 7124/91 John Desmond Whitney Umtali Lot 4 of Cloudlands 70,6916 ha
30 10071/98 Jennifer Clare Hingeston Umtali Lot 5 of Cloudlands Estates
31 3663/86 Robert John Rickard and Jill Penelope Rickard Umtali Globe Rock
of Monkfield of Morseland 74,5303 ha
32 8431/91 Zowe Ranch P/L Umtali R/E of Bomponi 103,5764 ha
33 2202/90 David Andrew Langmead and Keven Douglas Langmead Umtali
Remainder of Kimpton 88,7579 ha
34 1215/64 Vumba Coffee Estates P/L Umtali Eggardon Hill 499,9917 acres
35 2904/68 Guy Goodwin Coke-Norris Umtali Lot 1E Laverstock 528,2422 acres
Section 5 listings Herald Friday 18 November 2005:
Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:10)
Preliminary Notice to Compulsorily Acquire Land
Notice is hereby given, in terms of subsection (1) of section 5 of the Land
Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:10), that the President intends to acquire
compulsorily the land described in the Schedule for Specialist Educational
A plan of the land is available for inspection at the following offices of
the Ministry of State for National Security, Lands, Land Reform and
Resettlement in the President's Office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. from
Monday to Friday other than on a public holiday on or before 19 December
(a) Block 2 Makombe Complex Cnr. Harare Street and Herbert Chitepo, Harare;
(b) Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, CF 119, Government
Composite Block, Robert Mugabe Way, Mutare;
(c) Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, 4th Floor, Block H,
Office 146, Mhlahlandlela Government Complex, Bulawayo;
(d) Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, M & W Building, Corner
Park/Link Street, Chinhoyi;
(e) Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, 1st Floor, Founders
House, The Green, Marondera;
(f) Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, 19 Hellet Street,
(g) Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, Exchange Building,
Main Street, Gweru;
(h) Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, Mtshabezi Building,
First Floor, Office No. F20, Gwanda;
(i) Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, Ndodahondo Building,
Any owner or occupier or any other person who has an interest and right in
the said land, and who wishes to object to the proposed compulsory
acquisition, may lodge the same, in writing, with the Minister of State for
National Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement in the President's
Office, Private Bag 7779, Causeway, Harare, on or before 19 December 2005.
D N E Mutasa
Minister of State for National Security, Lands, Land Reform and
Resettlement in the President's Office.
1 224/85 Bavama Development P/L Salisbury S/D B of S/D A of Greengrove
2 224/85 Bavama Development P/L Salisbury Tonycroft of S/D A of Greengrove
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
email@example.com with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.
I ask, in the name of an interesting sideline on History, and recent
letters, what would have happened to us all if Mr Blair had treated Mr
Mugabe with a bit more respect in Edinburgh 1997. There was a fuss made
about what had happened to aid, but this had been going on for 17 years,
why would anyone get upset about it after so long?
As per our telecom today, herewith some details re the National Institute
of Allied Arts Event. I hope JAG will be agreeable to "popping a few lines
onto your mailing list announcing this event.
The dance festival meeting is on Saturday 19 November 2005 at 10:30, 4
Malvern Road, Mt. Pleasant, very close to the intersection Golden Stairs
Road/The Chase, (Ashbrittle) on the Mt. Pleasant side. We hope you can make
it & get to meet you.
Thank you & kind regards
All letters published on the Open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
JUSTICE FOR AGRICULTURE SITUATION REPORT AND UPDATE - MASVINGO - November
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SEIZURE OF EQUIPMENT UPDATE: MASVINGO - 15 NOVEMBER 2005
In May 2005 the Masvingo Equipment and Material Committee led by Assistant
Commissioner Loveness Ndanga visited farms and homes to write up equipment.
They unfortunately ignored procedures and also used signed, blank forms,
which they completed before issuing to the farmers, which was outdated
because it bore the signature of the previous minister, J L Nkomo.
The attitude of the committee was aggressive and uncompromising. They
merely wrote down what they saw, regardless of whether it was being used
for agricultural purposes; or belonging to a third party; or being held in
trust; or being repaired for a third party.
A letter was sent to the Masvingo Provincial Administrator Chikovo, in May,
as the senior civil servant responsible for the administration of land
reform, but this has never been answered. A copy of the Acquisition of
Equipment and Material Act was attached.
Several meetings were held with the Governor W Chiwewe and individual
members of the Masvingo Equipment and Materials Committee, firstly to
appeal for the correct procedure to be followed with regard to the lawful
acquisition process; objections; confirmation through the Administrative
Court; valuation and compensation.
Secondly it was suggested that the equipment should rather be bought
through Amtec, which would be financed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe,
under a scheme where new farmers would be offered a facility for easy
payment over several years. The interest charge would be very low and the
other advantage was that Amtec would throw in a service agreement to ensure
that the second hand equipment would remain in good working order. The
willing sellers would receive a fair cash price as well.
Unfortunately, in response to this the common answer was that the equipment
would be too expensive by using that method and they preferred just to take
it. Even the Governor was of the mistaken impression that the equipment
belonged to the Government immediately a farm was acquired.
The most startling facts were revealed during further lobbying with
committee members, whilst discussing the process as defined in the Act as
well as the legality and constitutionality of the exercise. It was admitted
that the law was not being followed, "Because we are at war and during war
the law does not apply."
Several attempts were made by farmers for the release of their equipment
from the impoundment on their properties. They wanted to use some of it for
agricultural purposes whilst others wanted to sell it to new farmers. In
all cases this was emphatically denied.
This led the beleaguered farmers with little other option but to apply for
a spoliation order through the courts, but unfortunately they could not
raise the then quoted $30 - $40 million for the legal costs. With the
impoundment of their equipment they no longer had an income from their
various ploughing and harvesting contracts with new farmers.
It is firmly believed that the committee were following high-level orders
and were just 'testing the waters' with 'soft targets', which they took the
gamble that they could not adequately defend themselves.
In November, when the Ndanga-led committee started removing equipment in
Masvingo a letter was immediately submitted to the Officer Commanding
Masvingo Province Emanuel Shiku, which requested an internal investigation,
and if necessary, a prosecution, of the suspicious actions of the
committee. Attached were copies of the Act and the unanswered letter to the
Provincial Administrator. There has been no response to or acknowledgement
of this letter, which was hand delivered and faxed. Copies were also sent
to the Ombudsman in Harare, which were followed up with a formal written
The Ndanga-led team moved to the Mwenezi district where they seized more
farm equipment from 3 ranching properties, completely disregarding the
warning and appeal.
It was pointed out once again that the committee was acting outside the law
therefore it is the opinion that the committee, knowing full well that
their action was illegal, was vicariously liable for their actions.
Furthermore, the letters act as evidence in aggravation as they informed
the group of their wrongdoings.
When a reporter friend spoke to Minister J Made about the confiscation of
the equipment he said that it was illegal but that it was not his
department, or ministry. He therefore offered to discuss the matter with
Minister D Mutasa, "Who I will be seeing in the next 10 minutes as I am on
my way there."
A fairly high-level 'political' delegation from Masvingo was able to seek
audience with Minister D Mutasa, on 2 occasions. He is reported as being
horrified at the seizure of the equipment saying it was illegal and not
Government policy and immediately spoke to Governor W Chiwewe to castigate
the actions of the committee. This was late evening. He suggested that if
the equipment had not been returned that the group should return to either
him or Minister F Bhuka.
After nothing positive had happened the next day the group again met with
the minister and he promised to take the matter further. No equipment was
returned and no further action was taken by the minister.
The following day the same reporter telephoned Minister D Mutasa. The
minister expressed horror at what was reported to be happening in Masvingo
and commented, "I know nothing about this. Why do those people who are
affected not come and see me and it is embarrassing that I have to hear
this from you."
Another group was referred to Assistant Commissioner Masoja, by Deputy
Commissioner Matanga to discuss the matter of the Masvingo equipment
seizure. He is reported to have expressed deep concern and asked many
pertinent questions appertaining to the application of the Act. As a result
of his questioning he could clearly see that the law was not being followed
and then promised to speak to Mrs Ndanga.
The day after this meeting the Ndanga-led committee started seizing
equipment in Chiredzi, using the same unlawful action which they had used
Masvingo and Mwenezi.
When approached by a Chiredzi lawyer at Whitro engineering, Mrs Ndanga is
reported to have immediately surrounded herself with armed militia,
refusing to discuss the matter in private.
What we are seeing here is the 'good cop - bad cop' scenario, where
politicians and policemen merely talk sympathetically to appease the
complainant. This leads to the very strong suspicion that the exercise has
been sanctioned at high-level, with a very real possibility that orders
came directly from Minister D Mutasa himself.
There have already been very clear statements made by Minister D Mutasa, as
reported in the media, indicating that he is unsympathetic towards
Euro-African participation in the land reform programme.
Furthermore, is this an indication that Operation Taguta has commenced and
that the National Army who are intended to take the place of commercial
farmers to feed the nation will use the equipment?
Or is the equipment to be distributed as 'Christmas bonuses' to partisan
groups and civil servants, which the fiscus can no longer afford?
It has been suggested that recent jambanja and looting of farms in Chipinge
was merely a method of accessing ASPEF from the Reserve Bank. The
beneficiaries could then show that they were eligible to the loans as they
were now (coffee) exporters.
At Mkwasine Estate many of the A2 beneficiaries are mysteriously being
assaulted at night by unknown attackers. One theory is that it is by
workers on the estate who are in fear of losing their permanent jobs
because the estate is being taken over by the A2s.
Some of the actions and attitude of the A2s is blatant and unremorseful.
One walked into the Accountant's office at Mkwasine and physically
assaulted him demanding the keys to the company house in which the
accountant was living.
In another incident an Mkwasine A2 was so badly beaten up that he had to
spend a few days in hospital. When he was released from hospital he took a
taxi to drop him at his farm. When he got out of the vehicle he was asked
for the payment. He replied, "No I do not have to pay. Don't you know who I
am?" He was thereupon set upon and assaulted by the taxi operator and he is
now back in hospital, but this time in intensive care, as his situation is
The (previous) owner of Bangala Ranch, Chiredzi, has had a final demand
served on him for non-payment of $1.3 Billion loan taken out by the
beneficiaries of the farm. The owner vacated the property in 2000!
The Governor of Masvingo apparently told a political rally that nobody
should plant crops on the 'Buffalo Range Conservancy' [Chiredzi
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3. Agricultural Chaos
THE government media continued to dishonestly handle the crisis bedevilling
the agricultural sector in the 74 stories they carried on the matter. Of
these, 17 were published in the government papers and 57 on ZBH (ZTV 27,
Power FM 16, Radio Zimbabwe 14).
The stories, which ranged from exposing poor land preparations and
difficulties riddling wheat harvesting, to throwaway calls on farmers by
the authorities to fully utilise farmland, only mirrored indicators of the
confusion plaguing preparations for the 2005/6 season.
But they failed to holistically address the issue of how these problems
would affect the country's agro-based economy or question whether
government had drawn up adequate plans to rectify them.
Despite citing mostly farmers' complaints, these media continued portraying
government as taking corrective measures while blaming other agricultural
players for the chaos.
For instance, while The Herald (10/11) announced that government had
"launched a soyabean promotion programme" that would provide farmers with
"inputs" and necessary skills "to ensure optimum production", the Chronicle
(11/11) blamed delays in the disbursement of funds to farmers to "rigid
technocrats" who were "throwing spanners" in government's efforts to
"empower the majority" and "capitalists" who "employ dirty tactics at their
disposal to maintain their grip on the economy."
More blame-games appeared on all ZBH stations (7/11, 6pm and 8pm), which
reported the Zimbabwe Farmers' Union complaining about the acute fuel
shortage and the criteria the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) was
using to allocate the commodity.
However, instead of questioning Noczim, the stations (10/11, 8pm) merely
cited its boss, Zvinechimwe Churu, simply promising farmers that the
parastatal had set up "mechanisms" to ensure that half the diesel
"trickling" into the country would be available to them.
The "mechanisms" remained unexplained. ZBH also failed to dig out the
crucial figure that constituted the 50 percent earmarked for the farmers.
Instead, ZTV aired a confusing report in the same bulletin that Noczim had
distributed 23 million litres of diesel to farmers out of the 120 million
litres it sourced between April and October this year.
However, some farmers ZTV cited said they had not benefited from these
deliveries, including one whom it coincidentally interviewed while rain
pounded his 30-hectare crop of mature wheat. Despite this claim, the
bulletin continued to quote "agricultural experts" accusing farmers of
selling their fuel allocations on the black market. In comparison, the 25
stories the private media carried on agriculture were instructive with 15
of them fully exposing the extent of the mayhem in the farming sector,
including a warning that the coming farming season would be disastrous.
Twenty-four of the stories appeared in private papers, while SW Radio
Africa carried a single report. Studio 7 ignored the topic altogether.
These media also highlighted policy contradictions and the chaos
surrounding government's controversial land reforms. For example, The Daily
Mirror (12/11) quoted the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) revealing that 17
white commercial farmers had their farms seized last month in a new spate
of violent farm take-overs, despite condemnation of this practice by
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and Vice-President Joseph Msika.
Lands Minister Didymus Mutasa confirmed the report, but said he was "not
sure" of the number of farms seized.
Earlier, SW Radio Africa (10/11) citing ZimOnline, reported that the
remaining 18 white farmers in Karoi had been ordered to leave except for
Billy Rautenbach, reportedly a close friend to President Mugabe.
The following day, the Independent revealed that government had "stepped up
efforts to push the few remaining white commercial farmers off the land by
empowering a reconstituted equipment committee to seize farming implements"
. Reportedly, the committee, led by police Assistant Commissioner Loveness
Ndanga, put 10 farms in Mwenezi "under guard by armed personnel to
forestall the farmers removing their equipment from the farms".
The Standard (13/11) carried a similar report.
The Independent also reported that a CIO officer had seized a white-owned
farm and its crops, and that the government had allocated a number of farms
to Chinese enterprises. The Financial Gazette and The Daily Mirror (11/11)
carried a story each showing that some resettled farmers had also been
affected by eviction. The Mirror, for instance, reported the dilemma "new
farmers" were facing when it reported that about 100 farmers, formerly
resettled at Hunyani Farm, were evicted and dumped at Montgomery Farm, a
private property in Mashonaland West.
While the farmers were quoted by the paper complaining that their efforts
to resettle at Montgomery were being frustrated by its white farm owner, it
cited Mashonaland Governor Nelson Samkange exposing the arrogance and
racial bigotry that has characterised the reforms since their violent
inception in 2000.
Said Samkange: "Do you think the government is stupid to take those people
to a farm owned by someone? If we managed to remove Ian Smith from power
then who is this white farmer to stand in our way".
The government media turned a blind eye to these evictions.
November 18, 2005
The seriousness of the dispute bedeviling Zimbabwe cricket became clearer
with the news that Gideon Gono, the central bank governor, had called for
the investigation into allegations of irregular foreign currency dealings at
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC).
Gono took the decision to launch the probe after serious allegations were
made against Peter Chingoka, the ZC chairman, and Ozias Bvute, the managing
director. The pair were called in last week to answer questions while the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's Financial Intelligence, Inspectorate and
Evaluation Unit raided ZC offices last Thursday and searched for cash and
Chingoka looked to play down reports that he and Bvute were being
investigated, telling reporters that they were cooperating with the RBZ
investigators. "We have had some very constructive meetings with RBZ
officials," he said. "ZC will continue to cooperate fully with the RBZ
officials as they guide us in ensuring compliance with their requirements."
Bvute confirmed their discussions with the RBZ unit centred on the
allegations raised by the provincial chairmen in a dossier submitted to the
central bank. "We've not been arrested," he claimed. "We held a meeting to
clarify issues and get guidance from the exchange control authorities."
"It is not our practice as a central bank to disclose whether interactions
with ZC are of a consultative, investigative or of a social nature," an RBZ
spokesman told the Zimbabwe Independent. "However, we wish to advise that
apart from the supervision and surveillance of banks, the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe has an arm that looks into the economic behaviours of various
The dossier contained a number of allegations, one reportedly questioning
whether Chingoka had switched the controversial $75,000 honorarium he was
granted last year to South Africa, and in doing so had flouted Zimbabwe's
strict exchange control regulations.
The dossier also queried rumours that a female ZC employee had allegedly
disappeared with US$75 000. That money was paid by a sponsor directly to a
bank account in South Africa, although it appears that the board were duped
by the employee rather than being party to the transaction.
Chingoka dismissed the allegations as "financial mudslinging (that) appears
to be the final strategy in the anti-ZC destabilisation campaign". He added
that he was ready for an audit. Despite the bullish comments - the first in
more than a week which has seen the board's two senior officials come under
intense pressure - the indications are that this will not go away. Police
officials spoken to by Cricinfo have said that the investigations are
continuing but that no statements at all will be issued until more is known.
By David Blair in Macavene
In the floodplain of the Olifants river, green shoots of maize grow as if by
a miracle amid an arid expanse of bush.
These precious fields, watered all the year round, make the people of
Macavene village in Mozambique dependent on no one but themselves.
Yet thanks to the creation of one of Africa's biggest game parks, they will
soon have to abandon the floodplain for new homes in a dry region. Here, if
drought strikes, they will need western food aid.
Macavene and seven other villages find themselves inside the new Great
Limpopo Transfrontier Park. For the first time in generations, Africa is
expanding the area of wilderness roamed by elephant, lion and buffalo.
The steady encroachment of human beings on the habitat of wildlife is, for
once, being thrown into reverse.
This vast conservation area, due for an official opening next year, will
span three countries and cover 14,000 square miles - almost twice the size
By removing all boundary fences, South Africa's Kruger National Park will
merge with a new reserve in neighbouring Mozambique and with Gonarezhou Park
Today, 6,000 Mozambicans live inside the park. All will be uprooted, turning
over land they have tilled for generations to herds of wildlife. They have
agreed to move and compensation will be paid. But they are quietly
"Our wish of course is to stay here. This is our land, we know this place,
we were born here," said Julio Mongue, who has lived in Macavene for all of
his 59 years.
Every day, Mr Mongue and his wife, Salmina, tend their fields in the
floodplain, helped by their six daughters and four sons. In a dry region,
they can feed themselves even if the rains fail. "These fields are the most
important treasure here," said Mr Mongue.
"But in the place where we are going to move, we will need the rain. In the
years of drought, we will suffer."
Whenever the rains fail, millions of Mozambicans are kept alive by the World
Food Programme. Their dependence on handouts is a key barrier to the
country's development. The Limpopo Park may only make this worse.
Mozambique is already one of the world's poorest countries and few areas
have enough land or water to accept families resettled from the park.
"We have been asked to move to the Chinhangane area," he said. "But the
owners of that land are refusing to accept us. They say there is no room and
no water for us.
"It's up to the park authorities to sort it out."
But the clock is ticking. Mr Mongue and his family live barely 25 miles from
the Kruger Park. All that stands between them and 2,000 lions, 1,000
leopards and 14,000 elephants is the Kruger's reinforced boundary fence.
Once that is removed, game will overrun Mr Mongue's fields. Already,
elephants have ruined crops nearby. People in Macavene say leopards killed
two cows a fortnight ago. "The government values animals more than us," said
Enoque Cossa, 22. "If nothing is done for us, the foreign tourists are going
to benefit more than we will."