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From ninemsn (Australia)

Zimbabwe scorns world 'interference'

AP - Zimbabwe says it won't yield to international pressure and accuses the
European Union of unfairly condemning the government for its human rights

EU ministers on Monday demanded Zimbabwe explain why human rights violations
were continuing or face economic sanctions, including a freeze on aid.

Farming areas in the southern African nation have been convulsed by violence
since March 2000 when ruling party militants began occupying white-owned
farms, demanding they be redistributed to blacks without land.

The government has since embarked on a plan to seize 5,000 farms - nearly
all the farms owned by whites - without paying compensation. About 4,000
white farmers own approximately one-third of Zimbabwe's farmland, while
eight million blacks live on the remainder.

Parliament speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa told state radio the government would
not allow foreign countries to influence its decisions.

"Foreigners are eager to make ultimatums," said Mnangagwa, the third-ranking
official in the ruling party. "Zimbabwe will run its affairs according to
its own laws without interference from foreign forces."

A visit last week by mediators from the Commonwealth of Britain and its
former territories ended inconclusively after the Zimbabwean government
insisted it had taken steps to restore law and order and end political
violence that began last year.

The mediators "at the very least, concluded that there were conflicting
allegations on the situation in Zimbabwe", Information Minister Jonathan
Moyo was quoted as saying in the state-run Herald newspaper.

"What the EU decision means is they are taking sides against the Zimbabwean
government on conflicting evidence," Moyo said.

Under a human rights agreement between the EU and African, Caribbean and
Pacific nations, Zimbabwe has 15 days to arrange for talks with European
officials that can last no longer than 60 days.

Economic sanctions could be imposed if Zimbabwe fails to show respect for
human rights, the rule of law and democratic principles.

Britain has said it will provide funds for land reform only after it is
satisfied law and order was restored and a sustainable land redistribution
program adopted.

President Robert Mugabe has vowed to follow the government's plans to seize
white-owned land despite international condemnation. The government has
accused "the white Commonwealth" of Australia, Britain and Canada of ganging
up on developing black nations such as Zimbabwe.

Human rights groups and white farmers told mediators on Friday that
widespread violence and abuses have continued despite a
Commonwealth-brokered deal signed on Sept 6.

Mnangagwa denied that. "On the ground, there is nothing like that. Isolated
incidents do happen," he said. "That does not mean there is a breakdown in
law and order."
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Independent (UK)

Mugabe appeals to UN for £200m of emergency aid
By Basildon Peta in Harare
01 November 2001
Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, has quietly sent a distress call
to the United Nations for emergency aid worth about Z$20bn (£200m) to avert
a fast-approaching humanitarian disaster caused by shortages of food,
foreign currency and fuel.

Despite voicing anti-British sentiments as international sanctions loom, Mr
Mugabe sent Simba Makoni, his Finance Minister, last week to ask Victor
Angelo, the United Nations Development Programme representative in Zimbabwe,
to appeal to the world community for help, Zimbabwe's top business and
financial newspaper, The Financial Gazette, reported.

Mr Makoni met Mr Angelo last Wednesday and asked him to help to raise aid
from the international community, which Mr Mugabe has angered by allowing
his militant supporters to harass the opposition and white farmers and by
pursuing his own controversial drive to seize white-owned farmland.

The funds would finance the massive maize and wheat import programme
necessary if Zimbabweans, whose harvest this year was poor, are not to
starve in the next few months.

The Financial Gazette reported that Mr Makoni told Mr Angelo that the
government needed money to help to repair dilapidated public infrastructure
across Zimbabwe, including roads and bridges washed away in floods two years

Western diplomatic sources told The Financial Gazette that Mr Mugabe had
decided to send Mr Makoni because the Finance Minister was perceived to be
more acceptable to Western donor countries than most of his cabinet

Most donor countries could in two months' time impose sanctions against Mr
Mugabe and his government for refusing European Union and American demands
to allow inter- national observers to monitor a presidential ballot in
Zimbabwe next year.

Neither Mr Angelo nor Mr Makoni were available for comment. But a senior
Western diplomat in Harare said: "Obviously, Mugabe himself or his Foreign
Minister, Stan Mudenge, cannot champion this thing. But even Makoni will
also find the politics interfering in what should clearly be treated as a
plea for humanitarian assistance. The donors will, for example, want firm
guarantees that whatever aid they give should not be used as a campaign tool
in the election next year."

The sources said Mr Makoni began approaching individual donor countries last
week and was briefing other Southern Africa Development Community countries
on the humanitarian catastrophe facing Zimbabwe if the world did not quickly
offer assistance.

Mr Angelo is now expected to convene a conference at which interested donors
can pledge what they are prepared to contribute to a basket-fund to help

International and local agricultural experts warned Zimbabwe at the start of
this year that it needed to import more than 500,000 tons of the staple
crop, maize, and about 80,000 tons of wheat to avert food shortages that
have been caused by the illegal farm seizures, the government's fast-track
resettlement programme and the high costs of production.

But with a tricky presidential ballot looming, the government refused to
acknowledge the food crisis until three months ago and then only to play
down the amount of food imports required. It said only 100,000 tons of maize
and 60,000 tons of wheat would be needed.

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Zimbabwe Mirror

MDC seeks Blair’s intervention

Constantine Chimakure

THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) intends to petition
British prime minister Tony Blair and the international community to bring
pressure to bear on President Robert Mugabe to guarantee a free and fair
presidential poll next year, The Zimbabwe Mirror has learnt.

The petition, to be handed over to Blair on Saturday, November 17 at his 10
Downing Street London office, is being prepared by the MDC branch in the
United Kingdom, under the coordination of Jennings Rukani, Albert Weidemann
and Duran Rapozo. The three MDC London branch executive members have been
behind numerous demonstrations and protests against alleged human rights
abuses by the Zimbabwe government at the country’s High Commission in the
London, since last year in the run-up to June 2000 parliamentary elections.

“With months to go before the critical presidential election in Zimbabwe, it
is essential that the international community uses all its resources to
ensure that the election not only takes place, but will also be free and
fair,” said Rapozo in a telephone interview from London this week. He said
on the same day of the handing of the petition, MDC supporters in London
will stage a protest march against alleged violation of human rights at the
Zimbabwean High Commission.

“The presidential election in March is not just about choosing a new
government; it is also about choosing a new society for the people of
Zimbabwe, a society based on core democratic principles,” explained Rapozo.
But MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai told The Zimbabwe Mirror this week that
his party’s national executive had not yet deliberated on the necessity of
the petition to Blair.

“The petition you are referring to is being compiled by our branch in
London. Our national executive has not yet sanctioned that petition,” said

He said his party was engaging the international community to use diplomatic
pressure on Mugabe to guarantee a free and fair presidential election.

“We are pressing the international community to apply diplomatic pressure on
Mugabe’s government to make sure that there will be no violence and abuse of
human rights before and after the elections,” added Tsvangirai.

The petition, sources in the MDC said, is part of a wide ranging strategy to
rally support from Southern African countries and the international
community to rein in Mugabe and ensure that the 2002 election would be free
and fair.

The international campaign started in September with Tsvangirai and his
shadow foreign minister, Tendai Biti, visiting Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and
France, urging the European Union (EU) to put pressure on Mugabe to respect
the rule of law before and after next year’s political encounter. During his
visit to Belgium last week, Tsvangirai met the country’s foreign minister
Louis Michel, whose country holds the presidency of the European Union. He
told Michel that the MDC was determined to oust Mugabe’s “dictatorship” at
the ballot box and asked Brussels to seek assurance from the Zimbabwe
government that the presidential poll would be free and fair.

Tsvangirai also asked the EU to pressure the Zimbabwe government into
allowing international monitors and observers before and after the election
expected to take place before end of April 2002.

Michel, acting on behalf of the EU, on Monday gave foreign minister Stan
Mudenge the deadline of Sunday, for the government of Zimbabwe to decide
whether or not it will accept offers of European observers for next year’s
presidential election.

Michel told Mudenge, that if the proposal was acceptable to the Zimbabwean
government, the EU would send a pre-electoral monitoring team as well as
observers during and after the elections to ensure fairness and
accountability in the process.

“It would be good to have an answer by Sunday,” the day before a meeting in
Luxembourg of EU foreign ministers, said Michel. That meeting, he added,
“would assume its responsibilities” - a broad hint that the EU might impose
sanctions on Zimbabwe, if the government failed to comply.

But on his return to Harare on Tuesday, Mudenge castigated the EU,
describing Michel’s statement as tantamount to an ultimatum. Zimbabwe, he
said, “is a sovereign and independent country”, which cannot be treated by
way of ultimatums in international diplomacy. Analysts have questioned the
wisdom of the MDC’s intended petition to Blair. University of Zimbabwe (UZ)
political science lecturer, Steve Maja, said it could be an exercise in
futility, as Mugabe’s government would not listen to the UK because of the
current impasse between the two countries over land reform.

“Unless and until the acrimony between Zimbabwe and the UK is amicably
resolved, I don’t see our government listening to Britain. There is a lot of
suspicion regarding the actions of Britain, especially on matters concerning
elections in Zimbabwe,” said Maja.

He said if the MDC went ahead with its petition, and Britain and the
international community failed to pressure Mugabe to capitulate to their
demands, the party would have dented its image among the electorate.

“The MDC must not seek international intervention on matters of this nature.
They must engage our government to form a national democratic forum aimed at
addressing issues such as that of elections,” said Maja.

But another UZ political science lecturer, John Makumbe, blessed the
petition initiative, saying the Zanu PF government had dumped all democratic
tenets in order to use the rule of the thump to win next year’s election.

“The international community has a duty to force Mugabe to guarantee free
and fair elections. It is the MDC’s democratic right to petition Blair,”
said Makumbe. “There is need to force Mugabe to allow international monitors
and observers for the presidential election and also to uphold the rule of
law.” Coming amid an ailing economy and a deteriorating socio-political
fabric, next year’s election promises to be spectacular as the expectations
seem extremely high. There is also tremendous attention from the
international community as the outcome of that election would determine the
direction of international diplomacy, especially in the context of Zimbabwe’
s current state of de facto isolation.

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Daily News - Leader Page

The government’s unfulfilled promises

10/31/01 3:09:00 PM (GMT +2)

THE government this weekend extended its list of promises to the electorate.

Unfortunately, this is a government with a record of unfulfilled promises.

Clearly eyeing next year’s presidential election, the government announced
over the weekened that it had embarked on an ambitious programme to provide
more than a million houses to urban dwellers between now and the end of next

It is an ambitious programme because the total number of houses constructed
by government over the past 21 years does not come anywhere near a million.

Building that many houses in a little over a year would require nothing
short of a miracle.

The government is, therefore, being dishonest with the electorate.

It is not surprising that the government should be targeting the urban
voters first. These are the people who rejected Zanu PF during last year’s
parliamentary election.

The strategy obviously is to use the prospect of a new house to sway voters
to vote for the ruling party. The government may have a lot of highly
educated technocrats, but there has never been a bunch so out of touch with
reality as this lot.

In every by-election that has been fought since June 2000, the government
has feted voters but lost because people are aware that the government is
resorting to such deception because it is scared of the opposition, not that
it cares anything about the interests of the voters, the poor and the

The motive force currently propelling the government of Zimbabwe in its
plans and actions is the need for survival.

It is ironic that the government should be thinking of building houses for
urban people when those in the rural areas, who voted for it are being
dumped on farms which have not even the barest of facilities for the
villagers and their children.

Since Libya has been Zimbabwe’s recent source of inspiration, the government
could draw instructive lessons from how Colonel Muammar Gaddafi resettled
his own people.

He built modern three/four-bedroomed houses for Libyan villagers and then
gave them the task to feed the nation.

In any case where will the government find the kind of money to finance
construction of more than one million houses in one year? Past schemes have
been undertaken with assistance from either the World Bank, the United
Nations or USAid.

The last attempt by the government to provide housing for the majority of
the people was subjected to considerable looting by those in government,
Zanu PF and people associated with them. It became the VIP Housing Scandal.

Apart from an insidious plot to subvert the right of the people of this
country to freely judge the performance of the government over the past
21 years and decide whether or not it deserves their vote again, the motive
in mooting the housing programme is purely greed and corruption.
It is the same Zanu PF people who will win the contracts to build and supply
materials for the said houses, while inflating the costs.

The only way to build more than a million houses in the short space of a
year would be by cutting corners. Corruption is founded on cutting corners.

The government should be ashamed to propose further holding camps when
health officials have repeatedly warned since 1991 that Harare has become a
health time-bomb because of Porta Farm and Hatcliff Extension.

The government promised Health for All, Education for All and Housing for
All by the Year 2000. This is 2001 and the promises remain just that:

The government should refrain from taking voters for such an obvious ride.
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Daily News

Judgment on Tsvangirai still pending: Chidyausiku

10/31/01 2:18:15 PM (GMT +2)

Court Reporter

CHIEF Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku is still to deliver judgment four months
after presiding over a case in which Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC president,
is challenging the constitutionality of two sections of the Law and Order
(Maintenance) Act.

Chidyausiku’s secretary yesterday said: “The judges are still working on
that judgment. I do not know when it will be ready.”

Tsvangirai is facing charges of terrorism and sabotage arising from
statements he made last year during an MDC rally at Rufaro Stadium where he
said President Mugabe should leave office peacefully to avoid a violent

The case was heard on 12 July 2001 and the judgment was subsequently
reserved. Chidyausiku said the Supreme Court which heard the matter as a
constitutional case would take time to look into the evidence before passing
its judgment.

Tsvangirai’s lawyer, Innocent Chagonda yesterday said: “The Supreme Court
has not yet contacted me on that matter. I do not know when that judgment
will be delivered.”

The other four judges were Justices Wilson Sandura, Nicholas McNally,
Simbarashe Muchechetere and Ahmed Ebrahim.

The case was the first constitutional matter Chidyausiku presided over
following his appointment to the Supreme Court in March, after the
retirement of Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay.

Tsvangirai’s lawyers Advocates Chris Andersen and Eric Matinenga, argued
that sections 51 and 58 of the Act were unlawful and should be declared

Andersen said the charges of terrorism and sabotage and incitement of public
violence as contained in section 51 and 58, were vague and too wide to be
acceptable in a constitutional democracy.

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Daily News

Seven more officers fired for allegedly supporting MDC

10/31/01 2:15:33 PM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

SEVEN more prison officers have been suspended from the Zimbabwe Prison
Service following allegations that they support the opposition MDC.

This brings the number of suspended officers to 34. During past month alone,
27 prison officers have been suspended after they were accused of
campaigning for the MDC.

The suspended officers have denied taking part in any political activities.

They said it was not true that they were members of the MDC. One prisoner
officer, who refused to be named, said: “We are being targeted by some
jealous officials.”

Ironically, Zanu PF has set up branches in most of the prison service
establishments throughout the country where the party’s supporters have been
freely campaigning.

“It is very surprising that Zanu PF supporters are allowed to freely
mobilise for support in the prison camps which have been declared no-go
areas for the MDC,” said one of the dismissed officers.

The first batch of 16 prison officers was suspended on 27 September. One of
the suspension letters reads: “The above-mentioned member is to be placed on
interdiction from duty on half pay with effect from 27 September 2001 in
terms of Section 6 (1) of the Prisons (Staff) (Appointment) and Discharge)
Regulations, 1994 for allegations of being an active member of the
opposition political party MDC.”

Some of the suspended officers have already taken legal steps to challenge
the suspensions. Their lawyer, Tendai Biti of Honey and Blanckenberg, last
week wrote to Major-General Paradzai Zimondi, the Commissioner of Prisons,
pointing out that the Act under which he suspended the officers did not
empower him to do so.

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Daily News

500 000 face starvation in Matabeleland, Masvingo

10/31/01 2:11:03 PM (GMT +2)

From Mduduzi Mathuthu in Bulawayo

AT LEAST 500 000 families out of the registered three million in need of
food aid in rural Matabeleland, Masvingo and the Midlands could face
starvation by December, aid agencies have warned.

World Vision International and the Zimbabwe Agricultural Welfare Trust
(Zawt) have sent an SOS message for thousands of families who face imminent
starvation amid reports that some people were already surviving on tree

Zawt warned of a “massive humanitarian disaster” in a recent report in which
it made a call for urgent aid.

The organisations blamed drought and a drop in agricultural production
caused by farm invasions as the reasons for the imminent crisis.

Despite sustained government denials that there would be a maize deficit,
food experts warned early this year that the country must import 200 000
tonnes of maize to avert a crisis and a further 100 000 tonnes to take the
country through to the next harvest.

Two weeks ago, the Grain Millers Association said the Grain Marketing Board
(GMB) silos in Bulawayo had run out of maize just a few days before the
government slapped price controls on maize and other commodities.

The government also reinvigorated a blitz on maize vendors in the city to
force all maize to go to the GMB as part of a monopoly the parastatal was
granted in July this year.

A total of 500 000 people registered for food aid in Masvingo,
840 000 in Matabeleland North and 540 500 in Matabeleland South.

The aid agencies warned that more are likely to come forward in December.

An urgent meeting was called in Harare yesterday by the Civil
Protection Unit and attended by several non-governmental organisations and
food aid agencies where a plan was to be worked out for assistance.

The acting secretary-general of the Red Cross, Desmond Mudombi said his
organisation was aware of the critical food deficit in the region and had
attended the Civil Protection Unit meeting to see how it could assist.
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Wednesday, 31 October, 2001, 17:26 GMT
Zimbabwe's gloomy budget prediction
Dr Simba Makoni Zimbabwe finance minister
Makoni has not been able to control rising inflation
Thursday is budget day in Zimbabwe but commentators fear that the Finance Minister might put short term political gains ahead of prudent economic management. Our Harare correspondent reports.

Olivia Nyabadza used to afford groceries, rent and medical bills. She also used to show up regularly at the hair salon for the latest style on the fashion scene. As she says, she was upwardly mobile.

Zimbabwean voters
Budget might target voters

But all that has changed in the last two years.

Now, whenever she goes to the supermarket, she takes a calculator and goes for only the most basic of supplies. She can barely make ends meet. Millions of others are in the same boat.

Economists say the government will most certainly come up with a budget that will do nothing to revive the economy

They say it would rather appease voters ahead of next year's crucial presidential election.

Vote-winning budget

Zimbabwe's economic growth, initially expected to decline by 2.8 percent, is now expected to shrink by around 10 percent by year's end.

Inflation is at an all-time high of 86.3% and is expected to hit the 100% mark in two months time.

Economists and political analysts say the annual budget might entrench the return to socialism declared by President Mugabe two weeks ago.

The abandoning of International Monetary Fund and World Bank economic policies which Mr Mugabe flirted with for 10 years, has already seen the re-introduction of price controls of basic commodities.

John Makumbe, a political analyst, predicts quite a number of handouts in the form of tax cuts will be announced in the budget.

Elections or not, consumers such as Nyabadza would like to see more funds channelled into social services, especially in health care where costs have gone beyond the reach of the majority.

But with next year's elections ringing in his ears, commentators say it seems likely Finance Minister Simba Makoni may find himself putting short term political gains before the prudent management of the ailing economy.

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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Monday 29 October 2001

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

·        Bindura – between 500 and 600 hectares of grazing land and 15 hectares of gum trees set alight and destroyed
·        Bindura – owner declines access to valuators on his unlisted farm
·        Mvurwi – Farmer locked in by workers
·        Nyabira – farm house stoned, windows smashed and occupants intimidated
·        Umboe – 50% of farm grazing burnt in one night        
Bindura - On Saturday all work on the tobacco and flowers on Rosetta Rust  was stopped when the head of the illegal settlers (Katsande) attempted to extort seed and fertiliser from the owner. The farmer was told that if he did not comply with their order within the next ten days all his farming operations would come to a halt and all his workers would be chased off the farm. Katsande was accompanied by a man called Morisa who has a military background. Once these men had left, the labourers went back to work. This morning the illegal settlers ordered all work to cease. A report has been made to the DA and the Police.  There is a total work stoppage on Chenenga Farm where the irrigated tobacco crop is at the 16-leaf stage.  On Butcombe Farm  between 500 and 600 hectares of grazing land and 15 hectares of gum trees on the plantation were set alight and destroyed.  On Kinghamdale Farm pegging teams have arrived and six people were allocated land. On Sunday four people from Trojan Nickel Mine arrived to look for their plots.  On Dombawera Farm  two fires were deliberately set in the game park and poaching of fish and wildlife is rife. Theft of piping has also been reported.  After seeking legal advice, the owner of Dawmill farm has declined access to Government valuators on the grounds that the farm has not been listed.
Mvurwi – The owner of Four Streams farm was locked into the grading shed area by his workers because they felt he had not paid them enough.  The police were called in and resolved the issue.  An armed robbery at the workshop took place on Rufaro farm.
Victory Block - At Undercragg workers attempted to start ridging but were stopped.  The owner of Rusumbi Farm reported that he had had a meeting with his war vets at which the war vets asked how many of his labour were going to stay with him and how many were not?  The war vets said that they wanted all labour off the farm.
Norton - The situation remains relatively unchanged, although a farmer who had previously been in a work stoppage situation has recently been allowed to farm again.
Selous - On Mount Carmel Farm filters for the drip irrigation were vandalised and illegal occupiers broke a lock to try to bring cattle in illegally. 
Chegutu/Suri-Suri – A farmer went to Aitape Farm  to look at some dairy cattle and was attacked by between 50 to 60 people and had to make a hasty exit in his vehicle.  Several people leapt onto the tray of his pick-up, and the occupant in the passenger seat was slashed on the forearm with a knife through the open window.  On Concession Hill Farm the owner asked a group of new invaders whether he could help them.  Their reply was "we are helping ourselves".
Kadoma/Chakari/Battlefields - Virtually all farms remain unable to plant or prepare land.  As the wheat is harvested the District Administrator continues to send out Agritex teams to peg, and this has been continuing throughout the weekend. 
Trelawney/Darwendale - On Gwarati an agreement was reached with settlers in the presence of Lt Jumbi, ZANU PF Chairman Zvimba, Mr Kadoza  and a policeman, that the farmer would plant tobacco and the settlers would use the ‘second year’ lands. Subsequently the farmer sent workers to the lands and they were stopped by the settlers who said that the rest of the committee did not want to accept the agreement that had been made. The work stoppage was reported to the Banket Police. The matter was also reported to the D.A. who agreed to send a team to deal with the problem.  On Mtotwe settlers requested transport to collect their fertilisers and seed, which the farmer refused.  The settler Chairman advised that other farmers had agreed to do this. Later the last remaining ungrazed paddock was set alight.    The manager on Lazonby  has received similar demands for transport but pleaded ignorance in the absence of farmer. He was also informed that transport had been offered by other farmers.  On Dartmoor  irrigation fittings have been stolen.  A new house is being built on the farm driveway at Cleeve . This has been reported to the Banket police.
Chinhoyi -  On Portelet Estates the farmer resolved problems with the settlers  and it was agreed that the farmer could continue baling wheat straw and graze the cattle in the wheat land.   This morning 3 tractor drivers were turned back from their work by a settler; one tractor with a hay rake, one with a round hay baler and one with people going to erect a fence.  All cattle are to be removed from grazing the wheat stover.  Wytchwood Farm  owner has been prevented from irrigating and carrying out the land preparation for the second tobacco crop.  On Sunday a police land rover arrived with Mr Gomo, the Chairman of the settlers on Wytchwood farm, accompanied by Chief Inspector Charuma, the vice chairman.  They requested a meeting to negotiate an agreement for the coming season.  The meeting took place in the sheds with the farm workers, settlers, 4 unknown resident settlers, 2 police intelligence officers and 3 settlers who had come from Chinhoyi with Gomo.  The settlers drew up an Agreement whereby the farmer would only be able to plant tobacco and  no land would be made available to plant soyabeans or maize.  The settlers advised that the farmer already had too much land. In return for permission to plant his tobacco, the farmer was required to prepare 2 ha for each settler.  As part of the Agreement the farmer was also required to put in a pipeline from the workers’ village to the settlers’ houses and erect a water tank to supply water. He was also told to provide storage for their fertilizer, seed etc in one of his sheds.  The farmer did not  sign the agreement form, as he wanted to discuss it with the workers first.  The farmer was told that until he signed the agreement no work would be allowed in preparation for the second tobacco crop that he had intended planting on 15.10.2001.  There were thinly veiled threats that the farmer could be punished for going ahead and planting the first crop without their permission, if no agreement was reached. The farmer was advised that on other farms planted tobacco had been chopped out.  Mr Gomo told the farmer that his farm is now a Reserve.  The farm has not been designated, or received a Section 5 or 8.  Illegal occupiers stopped tractors on Eldorado Enterprises from carrying out land preparation.  Cattle were moved onto the wheat stover and illegal occupiers set fire to the 500 ha with the cattle on it.  Had the farmer not quickly removed them they would have been burnt to death.  Illegal occupiers claim that Hunyani Farm has been given to them by Dr Chombo and that they have the sole right to farm the land and all farming operations must cease.  On Msengi Farm  15 head of settlers’ cattle and approximately 10 sheep were moved in with the dairy herd on the irrigated pasture.  When the settlers were asked to remove them they refused The settlers had a meeting and notified the farmer to move off the farm by 1.11.2001 as they could not co-exist.  Scafell Farm has a work stoppage.  The owner of The Range is not allowed to destroy his cotton crop and not allowed to bale his wheat straw.
Banket - St Andrews Estate has a work stoppage.  On Koodoohill settlers have started building again.  The owner of North Banket had planted 30 ha of cotton and was then stopped.  A settler, Crispin Kadoza, says this farm is listed and that the farmer cannot operate as it is illegal for the farmer’s tractors to be involved in planting. The farm is not listed.  On St. Ninnians there is a work stoppage.  The owner of Glenluce was told to stop farming as the whole farm is allocated.  This farm is not listed.
Karoi - One farmer is paying off his labour force as he cannot continue employing them if he cannot be productive.  On Milverton Farm Agritex arrived with a notice entitled “Planning and Demarcation Teams in the Fast Tract Resettlement Programme Hurungwe District”.  The farmer was informed that as the owner of a single farm he would be allocated 350 ha of land. The land situated next to the tobacco, which is second year, where the farmer was going to plant maize was pegged.  The paddock with a dam for grazing was also pegged.  A total of 3/4 of the farm was pegged and the farmer will have to destock by 60% due to lack of grazing.
Nyabira – On Sodbury Estate  a group of settlers chased off the staff and told the farmer that they would be moving into his house.  Delamore farm and Vergenoeg Farm have been stopped from ridging and planting.    On Umzururu Farm a bus arrived, the people debussed and started a smash and grab scene.  They stoned the house, smashed the windows and intimidated the occupants.  One of the occupants was slapped in the face and across the chest It was reported that the invaders were armed with a double barrelled shotgun and a pistol and have taken two tractors to a nearby farm (Doornfontein).   ZRP and Tredar reacted and the situation returned to normal and the 50 perpetrators left the farm.  The incident lasted about 30 minutes.  The two tractors have been recovered but both tractors have been trashed and the one has been burnt.
Umboe – At Long Valley Farm 90 head of cattle have been moved onto the property over the weekend.  They are said to have come from Zvimba.  This is in addition to the 31 head that have been on the property illegally since June.  Half the farm’s grazing has been denied to the farmer including half of crop residues.  Settlers have deliberately started fires that have burnt an area of approximately 120 ha.  On Inyati Farm illegal occupiers have told the farmer to remove his potato crop from the lands or else they would destroy the crop.  They informed the farmer that the farm is no longer his, as the D.A. had pegged it for them.  When the farmer asked if they were going to utilise all the land, they said it had nothing to do with him since the land no longer belonged to him.  The potato crop in question is 6 ha in extent.  As the farmer has also been prevented from planting any tobacco, the potato crop is the only potential income.  The crop has not yet been harvested because it is still immature, and will only start being lifted on the 1.11.2001 through to December.  The illegal occupiers also told the farmer to destroy his tobacco seed beds as they require that land too.   On Saturday a meeting was held at Njiri Farm with a committee under the chairman of settlers, Marindagoma.  The farmer requested permission to burn wheat straw and asked for time to bale hay and allow his workers to glean.  It was resolved not to burn before Friday.  There was a request for an extra water point off the mainline as there are long queues at the existing water point.  Setttler "Noise" told the herdsman to remove the bulls and horses from the grass pasture as he wanted to burn it.  The farmer did not comply with the demand.  Starting at 7pm, fires were ignited in at least 5 different areas, burning the wheat stover (35 ha), the maize stover (15 ha) and grass in paddocks (250 ha).  More than 50% of all grazing on the farm was burnt in one night.  There is now a work stoppage.    Talfourd Farm has a work stoppage.  Settlers intimidated the labour in the farm village and the ZRP at Inyati base refused to attend as it was considered political.  The farmer on Cotswold Estate A  was told to have all his cattle off the farm by 1.11.2001 .  Inyati Farm has to have all the potatoes out by 1.11.2001 or they will be destroyed.  On Whindale Ranch  the four day work stoppage has been resolved.
Ayrshire - Chiwe Farm has a work stoppage and no electricity.
Pamwechete Farm has a work stoppage
Kariba - The dispute about travel allowances for the Kapenta fishermen has been resolved.
Tengwe -  Farmers met with local settlers and police at the Police Station, and subsequently met with the DA, and were advised at both meetings that all the lands that have been prepared must be planted Chobeni Farm has a work stoppage    The settlers have demanded that they be given last year’s tobacco land.   Tayesa Farm had a work stoppage all last week.  They were allowed back to work on Monday and the settlers demanded a meeting on Wednesday.  Indirepo Farm Kumusha Farm (Letcher) and Driftwood (H Barnes) all have work stoppages.  On Kumusha Farm plots in working lands are being measured out.
General -  The situation is similar to the previous week with the same people experiencing problems.
Chipinge - On Canterbury Farm 80 coffee plants have been burnt as well as about 1,000 gum trees.
Rusape - Three to four farms have been totally burnt out over this last weekend and tree cutting is still rampant.
General -The pressure on farmers in this Region, whilst not as violent as in some areas, is relentless and unremitting.
Gweru - A council employee sought an interview with an elderly farmer who declined to speak with him. The Council employee then went to the farm village and sent a message to the farmer advising that he must vacate the area of his market garden as a local headmaster would be moving onto it shortly. He also advised that the farmer should soon move off the farm entirely. On another farm, on which a substantial amount of barbed wire fencing was recently stolen, a tractor driver from a neighbouring farm, whose premises had been searched by the police, arrived in a drunken condition driving his employer’s tractor and shouted at the farmer and uttered threats. On the same farm, occupiers would not allow the farmer to remove the motor from a borehole without the permission of the ‘plot holder" on which the borehole is sited. This property has been listed but not assessed by valuators. Recently the same farmer found the access grid to his homestead blocked with boulders.

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From Future Source

DJ Zimbabwe's Gold Output Dn 18.0% In Jan-Sep 2001

  HARARE (Dow Jones)--Zimbabwe's gold production for the nine months to the
of September was down 18% to 13.8 metric tons compared with the
period in 2000, Zimbabwe's Chamber of Mines said Wednesday.
  Chamber economist Davy Matyanga attributed the drop to sharply rising
of production against the background of a fixed official exchange rate.
  "Producers have to sell their gold to the central bank at the official
while having to buy most of their raw materials at the parallel rate, which
three times the official rate," said Matyanga. "With production costs rising
more than 60% at an annualized rate, operations are becoming inviable."
  All major producers have reduced operations. Rio Tinto Zimbabwe, the
biggest producer, said Tuesday that in the three months to the end of
September, its output fell 13% to 17,000 troy ounces over the corresponding
period the previous year. A big increase in production earlier in the year
meant, however, that for the nine months to the end of September there was
a 1% drop on the year to 53,000 oz.
  -By Martin Rushmere, Dow Jones Newswires; +26-34-339-617,


2001-10-31 11:54:58 UTC
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Nation Hits Bottom of World Rankings

The Insider (Harare)

October 31, 2001
Posted to the web October 31, 2001

Staff Writer

Zimbabwe dropped almost 20 points from number 56 to 75 in the latest world
competitive rankings prepared by Harvard professors Jeffrey Sachs and
Michael Porter and the World Economic Forum. Though considred a basket case,
its inclusion in the survey shows that all is not lost as the survey looks
at the long prospects of a country.

Peter Cornelius, director of the Forum's Global Competitiveness Programme
said: "When we examine the competitiveness of countries, we have in mind a
timeframe of about five to eight years, and that period shouldn't really be
affected so much." Zimbabwe will hold presidential elections which will
change the fortunes of the country, one way or the other, next year. It is
also one of the only four African countries included in the report.

The continent's industrial giant, South Africa, which is considered a
developed country in a third world, dropped one spot from 33 to 34. The
continent's most populalous country, Nuigeria, entered the rankings for the
first time, one notch above Zimbabwe at number 74. The star performer was
Mauritius which moved up from number 36 to 32.

The top spot was taken by Finland which roared from sixth place, knocking
the United States out of the top spot. Singapore, which topped the list for
four years before falling to second last year, was ranked fourth, below
Canada which moved up from sixth.

Australia jumped seven places to fifth. Other new entries to the top 10 were
Norway, Taiwan, Sweden and

New Zealand. Hong Kong, which held second place for two years until 1999,
fell out of the top ten to 13th place.

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ZIMBABWE: IRIN Focus on voter registration

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 31 October (IRIN) - A visit to Zimbabwe's main NGO website shows how seriously civic organisations are taking the current voter registration drive. "Seize the moment, vote, or wait another 5 years to be heard again!" screams a large flashing message on the 'Kubatana' site.

Although NGOs are encouraging every Zimbabwean to register for next year's presidential poll, there's concern that the government-run process lacks transparency and could be the opening shot in attempts to influence the outcome of the crucial poll.

"This is not an open and free process, we're not happy that the compilation of the voters' roll is going ahead without any genuine public input," Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) told IRIN on Wednesday. His comments came after another attack on NGOs by President Mugabe at the weekend. Speaking in the southern city of Masvingo, he said that they were sponsors of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The NCA campaigns for a new constitution and has recently called for an independent body to be appointed to oversee elections in Zimbabwe. The registration process is being conducted by a controversial government civil servant, Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede. Contacted for a reaction to NGO concerns, he refused to speak to IRIN.

Registration for Zimbabwe's presidential poll - which must be held by April 2002 - began in mid-October, but critics, including the opposition, say huge numbers of potential opposition voters are being deliberately excluded from the registration process.

"There have been lots of irregularities, including attempts to prevent under-25s from registering and instructions to village chiefs to provide lists of our supporters," Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC told IRIN. An MDC press release said that "the allocation of voter registration teams and the length of time given to each allocation (an average of two days) are completely inadequate".

NGOs have other concerns about the registration process. "The onus is on government to facilitate this process. All they have done is put notices in the (government-funded newspaper) The Herald, there has been no comprehensive campaign from them to get people to exercise their democratic rights," David Samudzimu, chair of the Harare Residents Association told IRIN. Many Zimbabweans remain ignorant of the need to register to vote and a government policy to restrict voter education has done little to enlighten people about their rights, Samadzimu added.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN), one of the few NGOs that has embarked on a limited voter education programme, confirmed that lack of knowledge and information was proving a big barrier to mass registration. "Not enough time has been allocated to register people. That combined with ignorance, particularly in rural areas, is going to militate against a successful registration drive," ZESN chair Reginald Matchaba-Hove told IRIN.

Rindai Chipfunde, ZESN programme coordinator, said the organisation had 240 registration monitors in place throughout the country and that a report would be compiled based on their findings. "We're worried if this (voter registration) goes wrong it will lead to bigger problems down the line," she said.

ZimRights, another NGO campaigning around democracy and human rights told IRIN that the voter registration process would be controversial unti it was independently overseen. "We encourage everybody to get out and register. Yes, we've heard of lots of problems already, but in the current climate of fear here all we can do is arrange to meet the Registrar General and express our concerns," Munyaradzi Bidi of ZimRights said.

Zimbabwe's chaotic land reform programme has resulted in sizeable population movements and there are fears that some groups may slip through the net and not be registered. "Land invasions usually result in farm workers being kicked off farms, many thousands of these people are destitute and may not get a chance to register," Matchaba-Hove said.

The MDC charges that urban Zimbabweans who registered for land would have to vote in areas they would eventually get the land, effectively disenfranchising thousands of urban voters. The fledgling MDC took control of most urban areas in Zimbabwe after last year's parliamentary elections.

But David Pottie of the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) warned that irregularities around voter registration and reports of constituency manipulation would have to be widespread to have an impact. "There would have to be very comprehensive interference to make a real difference in this (forthcoming presidential) poll - it's a straight fight, so gerrymandering of constituencies will not have as much impact as it would on a parliamentary election," he said.

Voter registration continues in Zimbabwe until mid-December, after this a voter's roll would be compiled, the Registrar General's office told IRIN.

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From ZWNEWS, 31 October

Inside the mind of Mugabe

Last weekend, speculation yet again resurfaced about the state of President Mugabe’s health. The President himself said he was praying for a longer life, to see him through to the conclusion of his self-appointed task of completing the revolution. In passing, he also berated his ministers for being weak, in contrast to his own courage and strength. Last weekend too, by coincidence, a BBC programme was screened which looked into Mugabe’s mental processes, exploring his psyche in an attempt to discover what it is that motivates him, and to explain the contradictions which have seen him move from the perceived pragmatic conciliator at Independence in 1980, to today’s despotic, lonely and desperate man.

Sekai Holland, MDC secretary for international affairs; Chris Mutsvanga - Zanu PF secretary for Harare province; Wilfred Mhanda of the Zimbabwe Liberators’ Platform; and Terence Ranger, historian and sociologist, joined a psychologist and a psychiatrist in the debate. These two began with their ideas of Mugabe’s motivations. Dr Sandra Scott of London’s Maudsley Hospital suggested that Mugabe was a man originally driven by ideology, who has, somewhere along the line, been corrupted into seeking power for its own sake. Professor Nicholas Emler, a social psychologist from the London School of Economics, offered another viewpoint – that here is a man, like many leaders, who has total self-belief, who is convinced that he is always right, and that "the possession of power is evidence that one is right".

The programme examined in turn his childhood and early years, his early image as conciliator and unifier, the growing body of evidence of the violent streak in his character, and, after a brief excursion into his views on homosexuality, the descent into the spiralling hell of the last 18 months. If one common theme did emerge from the discussion, it is Mugabe’s total conviction that he is right, and that his views must prevail. His education by Jesuit missionaries, the panel (for probably the only time in the programme) agreed, gave him the tools of discipline, intellectual rigour, and single-mindedness recognised by almost everyone who knows him. From then on the debate began in earnest.

A conciliator and unifier? The early reconciliatory approach to whites on Independence was cited as evidence. "A visionary approach to politics", said Chris Mutsvanga. "We wanted an eye for an eye, and it was only years later we realised it was a necessary step to stabilise the country…." Wilfred Mhanda disagreed : "It suited his power balance. The whites were by then no longer a threat. Mugabe always extends the hand of reconciliation to the weak and vulnerable. Mugabe understands unity – underneath and behind him". On the Matabeleland atrocities. "His entire leadership is about revenge," said Sekai Holland. "His entire approach to power has been to eliminate what is in his way, and get that through votes and international acceptance." "One needs to distinguish the rhetoric – unity – from the tactics – divide, eliminate the opposition, and, underlying that, the goal – I have the vision, I am right, I need to have the power to push forward my view," said Professor Emler. Terence Ranger begged to differ: "This was not a divide and rule tactic. Rather, it was a quest for democratic centralism. He had 60% of the vote and he wanted 100% of the vote. It is not that he is some Macbeth figure, coveting the crown. He feels that he is right, and is prepared to be repressive in order to maintain his capacity to be right."

And of the present, and the future…Somewhat prophetically, given that the programme was recorded before Mugabe’s statements last weekend, Professor Emler summed up: "In Mugabe’s case, here is someone primarily driven by the idea that he is right, that he is righter than other people, he has a powerful intellect – who could possibly succeed him? Finding a successor is almost an admission of defeat…"

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The Herald newspaper - the Zimbabwean state run propaganda machine!!
The Herald

Britain’s actions against Zimbabwe irk State

Herald Reporter
THE Government is concerned with Britain’s actions in mobilising the EU
against Zimbabwe in violation of the spirit and letter of Abuja, which
states that the United Kingdom should mobilise international support for
land reform in Zimbabwe, a Cabinet minister said yesterday.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cde Stan Mudenge, said the Government would
seek clarification from Britain on the implications of their actions in
relation to the Abuja conclusions.

He questioned the sincerity and commitment of the British to Abuja in the
wake of a meeting of the committee of Commonwealth foreign ministers in
Harare last week.

The meeting accepted the Zimbabwean Government’s commitment to Abuja.

Cde Mudenge was commenting on a statement issued by the European Union
Council of Ministers in Brussels demanding dialogue with Zimbabwe under
Article 96 of the EU’s Cotonou agreement with Africa, Caribbean and the
Pacific states.

The statement, which was officially communicated to the Government
yesterday, reiterates the EU’s "readiness to assist Zimbabwe in preparing
and holding the elections and hopes that Zimbabwe will respond rapidly to
the EU’s offer to send an exploratory mission for that purpose and will then
invite it to send EU observers to monitor the presidential elections".

But Cde Mudenge said Zimbabwe had always been ready for dialogue and had
written to the EU in June and July, but the union was not ready.

"I recently went to Brussels only to be met with ultimatums and threats that
if we do not receive EU election monitors, then they will take the action
that they have taken. We will not act on the basis of threats and

"We will never allow any foreigners to monitor our elections. Our
constitution provides that the Electoral Supervisory Commission will monitor
the elections. Others can come to observe, at our invitation.

"The EU wants to come and monitor. Our answer is no. Only the Electoral
Supervisory Commission is authorised by the constitution to monitor," said
Cde Mudenge.

He said Zimbabwe was an independent and sovereign nation capable of
administering its own elections on the basis of its constitution.

There was no negotiation for sovereignty and the country would only invite

African diplomatic sources said it was becoming more apparent that the issue
was not about land, but racism. They said this was exposed during last week’
s meeting of the committee of Commonwealth foreign ministers, which was
itself divided between blacks and whites.

The sources said this was exposed yet again at the EU where an all white
Council of Ministers ganged up against an African country whose sin was to
seek social justice for the black majority.

"For Zimbabwe it is land, for Europe, led by Britain, it is race. If the
Zimbabwe Government was redistributing land to the black majority taking it
from a few black cats, the EU would applaud it, but it is redistributing
land from a few white people to the black majority and it is now being
punished," said the African diplomat.

Government sources said yesterday Cde Mudenge gave a comprehensive briefing
on the latest situation to his Cabinet colleagues and there was unity of
purpose in Government to forge ahead with social justice and assert the
sovereignty and independence of the country and play within the letter and
spirit of Article 96.

Sources said it was the EU that had been dragging its feet on dialogue under
Article 8 of the Cotonou agreement. The Government approached the EU on a
number of occasions but the dialogue never happened. The move from Article 8
to Article 96 seemed to have been a result of British machinations.

The Herald understands that the Government had been ready for dialogue as
far back as May and that an ad hoc committee comprising Cde Mudenge, the
Minister of State for Information and Publicity, Professor Jonathan Moyo,
the Minister of Home Affairs, Cde John Nkomo, the Minister of Industry and
International Trade, Cde Herbert Murerwa and the Minister of Lands,
Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Cde Joseph Made, made up the core of the
dialogue team.

The team, sources said, was raring to go because "the facts on the ground
speak for themselves".

Sources said it was very clear that Britain did not get what it wanted from
the Abuja conclusions, which was to put land at the periphery and bring in
peripheral issues at the centre stage.

"The British strategy all along has been to find an international forum
through which it would take the land issue off the Abuja conclusions. It had
failed to do that because Abuja recognised that land was the problem.

"It is clear from the EU communique that they are bringing in peripheral
issues to the core and there is no mention of land as being at the core of
the problem although there is a mention of Abuja. They are talking about
democracy, rule of law and human rights for white people," said the sources.

EU commissioner, Mr Paul Nielsen, is reported to have put up a spirited
argument against moving to Article 96, saying this would only succeed in
marginalising the EU’s influence on Zimbabwe.

Virtually all EU countries had already imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe more
than two years ago and Harare had learnt to survive without the EU.

The Minister of State for Information and Publicity, Professor Jonathan
Moyo, said there was a resolve in Government that the British would not get
away with it.

"We will not allow Britain to play games with us. The issue is crystal
clear. It is the land. Resolve the land issue and everything consequential
to that will be resolved and this is the point that we will make clear
during the dialogue.

"The people of Zimbabwe will not allow Britain to run away from its
responsibility," he said.

The Herald

Exchange rates

THE following are the rates of exchange used by the Department of Customs
and Excise for converting foreign currency for the valuation of imported
goods. This list is valid from October 23 to October 29 2001.

Country/Currency Z/$ Forex

Australian dollar 29,3648

Austrian schilling 3,8435

Belgian/Lux franc 1,3111

Botswana pula 9,4439

Brazilian real 0,0814

Burundese franc 0,0683

Canadian dollar 37,1159

CFA franc 0,0740

Chinese renminbi yuan 6,8777

Cuban peso 2,5286

Cypriot pound 90,9035

Danish kroner 7,1087

Egyptian pound 13,3941

Ethiopian birr 6,7639

European currency 59,3906

Finnish markka 8,7976

French franc 7,9935

German mark 26,8091

Ghanaian cedi 0,0079

Greek drachma 0,1566

Hong Kong dollar 7,4229

Indian rupee 1,2060

Irish punt 67,1772

Israeli shekel 13,0742

Italian lira 0,0271

Japanese yen 0,4742

Kenyan shilling 0,7444

Lesotho maluti 6,4975

Malawian kwacha 0,9633

Malaysian ringgit 14,9822

Mauritian rupee 1,9662

Mozambican metical 0,0027

Namibian dollar 6,3710

Netherlands guilder 23,9992

New Zealand dollar 24,4220

Nigerian naira 0,5078

North Korean won 25,8750

Norwegian kroner 6,6311

Pakistani rupee 0,9325

Portuguese escudo 0,2639

PTA UAPTA 58,7345

Russian rouble 1,9290

Rwandan franc 0,1296

Saudi riyal 15,1796

Singapore dollar 32,0397

South African rand 6,3710

South Korean won 0,0434

Spanish peseta 0,3179

Swazi lilongeni 6,4975

Swedish kroner 5,5478

Swiss franc 35,4540

Taiwanese dollar 1,6505

Tanzanian shilling 0,0659

Thai baht 1,2766

UAE dirham 14,4571

Ugandan shilling 0,0334

UK pound 83,0558

US dollar 56,9250

Zambian Kwacha 0,0165

Euro 52.0089

The Herald

‘Blacks under stress over land for 100 years’

From Masvingo Bureau
THE emotional stress white commercial farmers are going through because of
land redistribution is exactly what blacks have been feeling for 100 years,
the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cde Stan Mudenge, has said.

Responding to an emotional speech by Gutu commercial farmer Mr Johannes
Jackson on Friday, Cde Mudenge said what the white farmers have been feeling
since the February 2000 farm occupations, "is exactly what the blacks felt
for the past 100 years."

The only difference, said Cde Mudenge, was that blacks were demanding what
was, and is rightfully theirs, after it was forcibly taken away from them by
whites who have since shrugged off any attempts to share the land.

"I understand the emotional stress you are going through but my people have
felt like that for 100 years."

"God created land once. As a government, we cannot create land and we have
no guarantee that God will create another piece of land so we have to share
what exists," said Cde Mudenge to applause from settlers.

He added: "We have to take away from you some land so that we give our
emotionally stressed people."

Mr Jackson, the spokesman of the white commercial farmers had said every
farmer was emotionally stressed by the land issue and that the government
had failed to follow the rule of law.

"We feel emotionally stressed up, cheated and not respected," Mr Jackson had
said earlier on, provoking settlers and Cde Mudenge.

Cde Mudenge said while the Government is prepared to compensate the farmers
once Britain provides the money, the British did not at any stage in the 100
years, think of compensating the blacks.

"Personally my grandparents were removed from what is now Richmond Farm and
thrown into the sandy Zimuto communal lands.

"Otherwise, if I want to be arrogant I would say ‘let Mr Beth Richmond
compensate me first then I compensate you’. Anyway, we will not go back on
the land issue whatever happens," said Cde Mudenge.

The Herald

'Fast-track land reform succesfull'

By Tim Chigodo
ZIMBABWEANS now expect concrete steps to be taken on the land issue
following the recent meeting of the committee of Commonwealth foreign
ministers in Harare.

The meeting sought to find out what was taking place on the ground after the
Abuja Accord.

Now that the ministers have confirmed that the Zimbabwean Government is
implementing the Abuja agreement, the United Nations Development Programme
is expected to move in with a timetable and mechanism for financing the land
reform programme.

The Commonwealth ministers were in the country at the invitation of Zimbabwe
to assess progress made locally in implementing the Abuja agreement.

The team, which was led by Nigeria’s foreign minister Mr Sule Lamido,
included Com-monwealth Secretary-General Mr Don McKinnon, foreign ministers
from Britain, Australia, Canada, Jamaica, Kenya and South Africa.

Britain, on its part, is also expected to live by the spirit of the accord
and help mobilise funds for the programme.

Despite smear campaigns by the commercial farmers, opposition groups led by
the Movement for Democratic Change and backtracking by Britain, Canada and
Australia, everybody agrees the Abuja pact is holding.

During the three-day meeting, the Commonwealth committee of foreign
ministers listened to presentations by all stakeholders to the land crisis
in Zimbabwe.

The meeting recognised and concluded that land was at the core of the
country’s problems.

In their communique, the ministers noted that the Government had established
a process to implement the Abuja agreement.

They urged the Government, Commercial Farmers’ Union and other stakeholders
to co- operate and work together to make the accord succeed.

Under the Abuja agreement signed between Britain and Zimbabwe, Britain
pledged to fund the land reform programme while the Government promised to
stop further farm occupations.

Analysts say ideas about how best the exercise should be implemented must
come from Zimbabweans as it is their programme, and that support groups
should not dictate to Zimbabwe what to do.

Political scientist Professor Mwesiga Baregu said it was good that the
Commonwealth team established for itself that Zimbabwe was not backtracking
on the Abuja agreement.

"Everybody who lives here knows that the Government has been doing its part
in implementing the Abuja pact," he said.

Prof Baregu said the UNDP should move in with funds and speed up the

Zimbabwe should draw the agenda and stop the shifting of attention by
support groups.

"It has to be Zimbabwean owned and driven," Prof Baregu said.

Ideas should come from Zimbabwe in terms of building a consensus.

The Government should make the initiative instead of waiting to be told what
to do by outsiders, he added.

Consultant economist Mr John Robertson said there was need for a fully
recognised return to the rule of law if the country was to attract donor

There was need to develop the economy and provide employment.

"We want investment to take place and let people who want to live in town do
so because not everyone wants to do farming," Mr Robertson said.

The Commonwealth ministers’ on-the-spot assessment of the fast-track land
resettlement programme found that it had been very successful.

Over 130 families have so far been resettled under the land reform

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement, Cde Joseph Made, said
he was satisfied with the progress made so far in resettling people on
acquired land.

"The fast-track has been successful and settlers are, in fact, itching for
inputs so that they can farm better," he said.

The acknowledgement and endorsement of Zimbabwe’s implementation of the
Abuja agreement by the Common-wealth ministers’ committee has thwarted moves
by Britain, Australia, Canada, MDC and some non-governmental organisations
to shift attention from the accord to presidential elections next year in a
deliberate move to delay the exercise.

The CFU lied to the ministers that 688 new farm occupations had taken place
since the Abuja agreement.

When questioned further, the organisation’s director, Mr David Hasluck,
backtracked on the figure and gave a new indefinite figure of between 200
and 300 fresh occupations since the accord.

The Government dismissed the CFU claims and smear campaign as "hogwash".

The failure by Mr Hasluck to justify the first set of figures annoyed many
farmers who were relying on the information to sway the opinion of the
visiting foreign ministers against the land reform programme.

Some foreign and local journalists, bent on further tarnishing the image of
the country, were also not amused by Mr Hasluck’s sudden about turn.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cde Stan Mudenge, reminded his counterparts
that the Commonwealth had not launched an initiative on Zimbabwe and the
Abuja accord was an African initiative led by Nigerian President Olusegun

Cde Mudenge said the countries involved in the initiative should not derail
the Abuja agreement in the name of the Commonwealth.

"Indeed we must keep on reminding ourselves of the parameters within which
we must work in order to serve both the intent and the substance of what
President Obasanjo sent us to do.

"The postman who takes upon himself to edit the love letter he is delivering
has tragically misread his service charter.

"Our ministerial committee must, while laughing at this silly postman, be
careful to eschew his wayward habit.

"Abuja, the love letter that this committee of friends is carrying to
Zimbabwe, is complete as it is and carries all the sentiments that Zimbabwe
can warm up to," the minister said.

Britain, the United States and some NGOs have been enthusiastically trying
to change Zimbabwe’s electoral process and impose some election monitors.

Their anti-Zimbabwe campaign included demonising the Government and
President Mugabe.

The US government initiated the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery
Bill, which seeks to stop donors from supporting Zimbabwe and impose

The campaign was aimed at punishing Zimbabwe for introducing the land reform
programme, which seeks to correct past land imbalances by giving land to
landless peasants and war veterans.

The Zimbabwe Democracy Bill has been hanging in the balance since the Abuja
agreement as Britain, a strong supporter of the legislation, battles to
review its position and throw its weight against sanctions in favour of
mobilising donor funds to implement the pact.

Zimbabwe’s land reform programme has been a source of inspiration to
countries which achieved political independence but were still short-changed
on land.

The countries have hailed the Government and President Mugabe for embarking
on the exercise.

There have already been demonstrations in Kenya and South Africa demanding

It is now up to Britain and its cronies to either come up with funds to
support the resettlement programme or foresake its kith and kin who are the
current holders of the land.

The Government has made it clear that without any funding from the former
colonial master, it would simply acquire the farms and only compensate for
improvements on the land. The land itself would be taken for free.

The Herald
Land must be redistributed

By Isaac Kuseka
In life it is quite normal to have people with differing opinions, attitudes
and convictions over certain subjects.

Political party affiliations are also inclusive in this bracket. In a
democratic society this is a normal feature and is acceptable.

However, one should tread carefully in such murky waters.

Democracy in society "yes" but its applicability should be considered after
certain basic human rights are fulfilled.

In my personal opinion, democracy rest on human rights foundation.

To that effect an ideal model of democracy depends on the strengths of its
foundation which are human rights. The playfield should be level and the
referees should be impartial.

In the context of Zimbabwe we should be happy and appreciate that the two
principles are being observed.

These principles however are being threatened by a shaky foundation which
cannot sustain the load or force being exerted by the super structure of

There is such a plethora of human rights but I am going to discuss the one
which is basic, and that is the right to land.

The right to one’s mother land is a basic human right that no one can afford
to lose. Believe it or not, unless this problem is solved, democracy will
continue to be threatened.

This basic right can be suspended but the problem will never die, it will be
a question of time before the problem resurfaces.

In the light of this it is my subscription that the land question should be
solved once and for all.

In the future Zimbabwe should be faced with other problems and not the
problem of this nature.

Zimbabweans had been patient for the past 111 years and we should not forget
that patience has a limit as well.

It is however sad to note that there are some people who make a fuss about
this subject. They consider this issue to be a trivial issue.

As I highlighted earlier on that people are allowed to have differing views
with mine and I do respect the people.

It is their right to have different perceptions and convictions but there
are a few ideas I would like to share with them of which it is their right
again to consider them or not.

Firstly I want to agree with them that Zimbabwe is facing a multiplicity of
problems at present which are economic, social and political.

I as well do agree that our economy is at its lowest ebb. I also know and
appreciate that the Zimbabwean economy is agro-based of which disturbing the
status quo will have a negative impact on the economy; but how far is this
dependency syndrome going to take us?

Given such a situation we will never direct, control and shape our

Let us have a long term view rather than a short one just catering for today
’s needs.

Current pain is short lived, its like a pregnant woman who is in labour, it
is painful but everyone will rejoice at the results later including our

Party politics aside, this is a thorny issue which should be addressed by
Zimbabweans in general Zanu-PF or no Zanu-PF; MDC or no MDC we should claim
what is by right our own in economics they say after a recession, Zimbabwe
will soon recover from this economic downturn.

The Herald

EU bulldozing stance unfortunate

THE so-called dispute between the European Union and the Zimbabwe Government
over election observers for next year’s Presidential election is largely an
invention of Brussels.

The whole wonderful thing would be mildly amusing, were it not for the fact
that the country may suffer should the EU impose sanctions.

The EU staff in Harare, who at least know what is going on, pleaded with the
Council of Ministers not to impose deadlines and sanctions on Zimbabwe. The
council rejected this advice.

The one saving grace is that there is a consultation period of around 75
days before anything drastic can be done. If that period is used honestly by
the EU, and if there are no hidden agendas, then the whole problem will be
seen as a storm in a teacup.

These are, however, two big ifs in present circumstances. The Zimbabwean
view has been clear all along. Zimbabwe has always allowed external
observers in to see how we vote. We are not ashamed and have nothing to
hide. Last year there were several foreign and local groups who observed the
Parliamentary election, including an EU team.

It must be noted that these observers were there to observe. They were not
there to run elections or supervise elections. And they were here at the
invitation of the Zimbabwe Government, which does have the Constitutional
and statutory duty of running the elections.

Presumably the same invitations can be arranged for next year. There may be
individuals whom the Zimbabwean Government might not trust to turn in an
honest report, but we see no serious problem in allowing outsiders to see
how we run an election.

But what is unacceptable is the demand, not a request, by the EU and
seemingly by the Commonwealth to be allowed to monitor elections, and this
monitoring to start immediately before even the Zimbabwean authorities know
when the election will be held.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Stan Mudenge, was summoned to Brussels
and given an ultimatum: agree within a few days to let in EU monitors or
face sanctions.

Zimbabwe is an independent sovereign state. It cannot let others decide what
it will or will not do.

If the EU had asked the foreign minister politely if it was possible to send
observers next year, we are sure that they would have received a favourable

At this stage it would have to be something along the lines of that there
was no objection in principle to allowing observers in and details could be
settled in further talks between diplomatic officials. This could have been
done by phone, fax or e-mail and would not require Dr Mudenge buying an
expensive air ticket.

We hope that the consultative period will be properly used by the EU to make
its concerns known and to request permission to send a team in for the

We also hope that the Zimbabwean Government, while remaining firm that the
decision is ours alone, will not let the previous EU rudeness affect its

Similarly the Commonwealth should ditch its unilateral plan for monitoring
polls and ask the Zimbabwean Government for permission to send a team to
observe the elections when these are announced.

Zimbabwe has ambassadors accredited to both the Commonwealth and the EU and
it is very easy for officials at the headquarters of these two organisations
to invite the ambassadors over to see what can be done.

Grandstanding and trying to implement what looks like a hidden agenda does
far more harm than good.

Observers can only be here to see how well elections are run.

They cannot come to influence the result, no matter how much they dislike
one of the candidates. The choice of a President is up to Zimbabwean voters
alone, but most, we are sure, will not mind a few foreigners seeing how they
do it so long as these foreigners show respect for our independence and
sovereignty and clearly understand their limited role.

The Herald

Bid to evict settlers fails

A HIGH COURT judge, Justice Moses Chinhengo, has refused to grant a
provisional order for the eviction of landless families settled on Peveril
Farm, Karoi, which had been listed for acquisition but has not been actually

In a judgment delivered on Friday, Justice Chinhengo said the applicants
(Roper Trust) had failed to show that the settlers were on the farm

This follows an urgent application by the trustees of Roper Trust against
the Hurungwe district administrator, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and
Rural Resettlement, Dr Joseph Made and the Minister of Local Government,
Public Works and National Housing, Dr Ignatius Chombo, among others,
apparently timed to bolster claims that the Abuja Agreement was being

The Roper Trust — which was being represented by Advocate Adrian de
Bourbon — claimed that on July 27 and August 15 2001, "new groups of persons
moved onto the farm and randomly settled themselves."

The affidavit filed by the trust said: "The recent Abuja Agreement heralded
a new dawn for Zimbabwe. Regrettably, on the ground the terms thereof are
not being implemented."

The High Court judge threw out the farmers’ argument that the presence of
the settlers on their farm was a violation of the Abuja Agreement.

Justice Chinhengo pointed out that there were two categories of protected
occupiers: those who settled on farms before March 1, 2001 (the fixed date)
and those who were moved from unlisted farms onto listed farms after the
fixed date.

According to the judgment, the trust proved that the settlers did not belong
to the first group but failed to show that they were not protected under the
second category.

However, sources close to the advocates chambers where Advocate de Bourbon’s
office is, said the lawyer was taking the same matter on behalf of the same
applicants using the same facts with a new twist in the argument to the same

This has raised eyebrows in legal circles who say that once a judge has made
a judgment, the matter cannot be taken back to the same judge.

It would require a different judge or an appeal to a higher court.

The lawyers scoffed at the suggestion that Advocate de Bourbon would take
the matter to Justice Chinhengo as that would be unprecedented and

In an earlier judgment involving Igudu Farm in Mashonaland East, Justice
Hlatshwayo held in August 2001 that the relationship created by the Rural
Land Occupiers (Protection From Eviction) Act on listed farms between the
occupiers and the owners was one of joint possession and that the
"landowners and the occupiers should co-operate with each other and
peacefully coexist" pending the confirmation of contested acquisitions by
the Administrative Court.

Since December 2000, the Administrative Court had stopped processing any
applications for confirmation of acquisitions because of an interdict
obtained by the Commercial Farmers Union from the Supreme Court.

However, the Supreme Court recently granted the Government temporary relief
to proceed with the confirmation of acquisitions of land whose preliminary
notices were issued before July 1, 2001.

Legal experts noted that the position of the courts and that of the
Government had become closer with the realisation that the land reform
exercise was irreversible and that efforts should be directed at ensuring
that the exercise was carried out in as short a period of time as possible
and that unnecessary litigation meant to undermine the programme should be

"The legitimate interest of the farmers is to have the acquisition of their
farms determined by the courts.

"If the determination by the courts is unnecessarily delayed, the occupiers
will continue to be protected on the designated farms until that process has
gone through," said one lawyer.

Meanwhile, the legal experts told The Herald that farmers who were arguing
that protected settlers should not do any farming during the period of their
protection from eviction were splitting legal hairs because protected
settlers needed a source of livelihood as a human right.

The Herald

Demonstration against Democracy Bill postponed

Diplomatic Reporter
A MAJOR demonstration by Friends of Zimbabwe in the United States in protest
against the proposed Zimbabwe Democracy Bill that had been scheduled for
yesterday in Washington has been postponed indefinitely.

A spokesman at the Zimbabwean Embassy in Washington Mr Sign Chabvonga said
the organisers of the protest had put it on hold because of the anthrax
scare and the security situation at Capitol Hill, the venue of the

"They have indicated that they will hold the demonstration at another time
because they felt some people may not travel from other places such as New
York to join in the protest due to the anthrax scare," Mr Chabvonga said in
a telephone interview from Washington.

He said the organisers had also realised that following the September 11
terror attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, security
arrangements at Capitol Hill, where the US Congress meets, did not allow for

"There is a lot of fear here following the September 11 attacks and the
anthrax problem and the organisers said they would find another date for the

The Bill seeks to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe and the Government has said
the law was crafted to punish it for pursuing land reforms to correct
imbalances in land ownership created by colonialism.

Last week a spokesman for the Friends of Zimbabwe coalition had said they
were going to give examples of Kuwait, Qatar, Peru and Turkey in comparison
with the perceived lack of democracy in Zimbabwe.

The spokesman said they were going to question US State Department on what
information it had on these countries.

The coalition intended to specifically question the authors of the Bill —
Jesse Helms, Hillary Clinton and William Frist.

It also planned to engage the Congressional Black Caucus over the Bill.

Friends of Zimbabwe from Brooklyn, Harlem and Queens were expected to take
part in the protest.

The Bill is presently before the committee stage in the US Congress.

The Herald

Chaos as girlfriend disrupts wedding

From Arnold Mutemi in Gweru

A WEDDING was cancelled just before the bride and her groom exchanged
marriage vows in Gweru on Saturday after a woman with an eight-month-old
baby stood up in the congregation claiming that the groom "is my husband’’.

The gathering was left stunned. Incensed relatives of the bride beat up the
woman including her aunt who had accompanied her for disrupting the wedding.

The would-be bride openly wept.

Police spokesman Assistant Inspector Kwashirayi Zvokuomba confirmed the
incident saying police were investigating allegations of assault levelled
against the bride’s brother.

Witnesses said just before a pastor from the New Life Centre joined the
couple in holy matrimony, he asked the congregation at Bumburwi Primary
School where the service was held, whether there were any people who had
reasons why the couple should not be joined in holy matrimony and enjoy
eternal marital bliss.

That question is customary at weddings and is usually met with silence.

Not last Saturday.

"A woman stood up and said the man was her husband and that they had
children together. There was confusion after this announcement, forcing the
pastor to abandon the service," said a witness.

As members of the church walked home, an angry group descended on the woman
and her aunt beating them up.

A cameraman hired to record the happy occasion reportedly captured the
severe thrashing on video.

A report was made to Mkoba Police Station, a few metres from Bumburwi
Primary School.

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