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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mugabe land grab takes last British estate
By Peta Thornycroft in Raffingora
The last British-owned estate in Zimbabwe has fallen victim to President
Robert Mugabe's land grab and will close at the end of this month after 50

Lady Salina Graham, the only family member of one of the owners still living
in Zimbabwe, was evicted from her farm by a brigadier in the Zimbabwean
army. She left Raffingora, 60 miles north of Harare, on Friday.

She returns to Britain with a heavy heart this week. "I am sad," she said.
"The school we were building is going to be opened at the end of the month
and I will miss that."

According to former managers of Sipolilo Estates, the only returns on their
inheritance for the four British owners were annual air tickets to Zimbabwe
and a two month holiday during the British winter.

The remaining tractors are now being sold or removed for storage in Harare.
Ploughs, planters and tools are being stacked into old tobacco barns.

"We made a big mistake," said Smart Mwale, 48, who has worked on the farm
for many years with his nine children and two wives.

The mistake is the "package" which thousands of retrenched farm workers
demanded from their former employers.

Mr Mugabe forgot about the 1.2 million blacks living on white-owned farms
when he launched his land grab. They are losing their jobs and homes. In
panic, the regime passed a law this year compelling dispossessed farmers to
pay terminal benefits to their workers.

In a country where unemployment exceeds 60 per cent, the former farm
labourers know that they will never work again. They threatened their former
employers with violence, destroyed property and seized farm equipment to
force them to pay. All of them did so.

At Sipolilo Estates, workers who once enjoyed free housing, schools, food
and medical care were paid the equivalent of £67,000, divided between 500
workers on a sliding scale. It amounts to serious money by Zimbabwean

"I bought three cows with my package. But now we have no food," said Mr
Mwale. Aggressive supporters of Mr Mugabe have occupied large areas of the
estate, dictating who can do what and where.

The Grain Marketing Board, the only legal grain trader, has raided Sipolilo
and every other maize farm and confiscated maize.

"The settlers will not let us plant maize. They say this is their farm. We
have no money left for food," said Musaida Mtetwa, 45, a trained health
worker on Sipolilo. If my husband loses his job next door we will go home to
Chipinge [250 miles south east]. Everything is broken. We made a mistake
with packages, but we were confused."

Mr Mugabe claims that drought put 6.7 million people, more than half the
population, at risk of starvation. Yet rains were normal in Mashonaland
West, Zimbabwe's most fertile province, which has fed the nation for 60

Further north from Raffingora lies the heartland of grain production. But in
Lion's Den, Umboe, Mhangura and Doma, mile after mile of empty land
stretches from horizon to horizon. There are abandoned farmyards every few
miles along the dusty Umboe Valley road.

The maize planting season ends this week. Instead of a green landscape of
young maize there is nothing but bare earth or dry stalks from past seasons.
Instead of the rhythmic pounding of tractors, Zimbabwe's food for next year
is planted seed by seed in small plots.

The "new farmers" settling on formerly white-owned land will barely succeed
in growing enough for their families. There will be nothing left over to
feed the nation.

"This land reform is catastrophic," said a farmer in Doma. "The time for
planting maize ended this week." He once grew enough maize to feed 4,000
people, but has now been compelled to stop.

After years of vilification from Mr Mugabe, the British Government is
helping to pick up the pieces. British donations are feeding 1.2 million
children. © Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2002.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

US govt protests attack of officials in Zimbabwe Harare
19 November 2002 09:45

The US government officially protested on Monday after one of its employees
on an aid mission was beaten and robbed of official and personal items by
ruling party militants, the US embassy said, calling it further proof of
lawlessness in the southern African country.

The employee, a Zimbabwean citizen, and another Zimbabwean travelling with
him, were beaten and suffered serious injuries, the embassy said in a

The two had been travelling with another US embassy employee who is an
American citizen, and a UN officer from Britain.

The group of four were held and subjected to what the US embassy called a
"hostile interrogation" in the Melfort district, 40 kilometres east of
Harare on Friday by a group of ruling party militants and then the two
Zimbabweans were beaten.

"The injuries were serious but not life threatening," the embassy statement

The four had been conducting a survey near the village of Melfort to assess
needs for humanitarian food assistance for workers who had worked on
white-owned commercial farms before they were seized by the government
recently as part of controversial land reform program.

"The assault took place at a site where former commercial farm workers are
subsisting on a diet of berries and termites," the embassy said.

"The US government is deeply concerned by this incident. It is symptomatic
of the lawlessness that has affected Zimbabwe for the last two-and-a-half
years. It is the same sort of intimidation and violence suffered by
thousands of Zimbabweans since the rule of law was effectively suspended,"
the statement said.

The US government protested the incident and called for swift action to
identify and arrest the perpetrators. "We call once again on the government
of Zimbabwe to restore the rule of law and respect for human rights," the
statement said.

No comment was immediately available from Zimbabwe police. Last week, the US
embassy also protested
"unclear" circumstances in the shooting to death of a US citizen at a police
roadblock in eastern Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe police and the state media said Richard Gilman (58) a computer
consultant and former Torrington, Connecticut teacher became uncooperative
and drove off at high speed to flee the roadblock when he was shot.

His family has questioned that account, saying Gilman had returned to his
brother's home in the eastern city of Mutare to collect his passport and
drove back to the roadblock to show it to police after they complained the
papers of his rental car contained

Gilman, a regular visitor to Zimbabwe, was funding a feeding program for 840
needy children in the impoverished mountain district near the border with
neighboring Mozambique.

Zimbabwe has been wracked by violence and economic turmoil for the last
two-and-a-half years. About 200 people have died in political violence,
mostly blamed on ruling party militants.

At least half the country's 12,5-million people face hunger in coming months
because of a sharp drop in agricultural production blamed on a drought and
the seizure of thousands of white-owned commercial farms.

Hundreds of the farms were violently seized by ruling party militants and
despite government promises to redistribute the properties to landless
blacks, many prime farms have gone to President Robert Mugabe's
confidantes. - Sapa-AP All material copyright Mail&Guardian.

Daily News

      US embassy staff assaulted

      11/19/02 8:18:20 AM (GMT +2)

      By Luke Tamborinyoka Political Editor

      BARELY a week after the Zimbabwean police shot dead an American
citizen in Mutare, the United States embassy in Harare yesterday revealed
that so-called war veterans had beaten up their staff in Melfort going about
their normal diplomatic work.

      The US government immediately expressed concern over the incident and
urged the authorities in Harare to identify and arrest the perpetrators.

      The US embassy said, in a statement on Friday, that two of its
employees, accompanied by a United Nations officer and a Zimbabwean citizen,
were detained and subjected to hostile interrogation by a group of men who
identified themselves as war veterans.

      The embassy said in its statement that one of their employees, a
Zimbabwean citizen, and another Zimbabwean were beaten up and some personal
and official items were stolen in the attack.

      "The assault took place near Melfort as the embassy employees were
conducting a survey of displaced farm workers in order to assess the needs
for humanitarian food assistance in Zimbabwe," the embassy said.

      Visits by staff are part of the normal work of embassy personnel in
fulfilment of their diplomatic and humanitarian mission. The assault
allegedly took place at a site where former commercial farm workers were
subsisting on a diet of berries and termites.

      "The United States government is deeply concerned by this incident. It
is symptomatic of the lawlessness that has affected Zimbabwe for the past
two years. It is the same sort of intimidation and violence suffered by
thousands of Zimbabweans since the rule of law was effectively suspended,"
the embassy said.

      "The US government has protested the incident to the government of
Zimbabwe and called for swift action to identify and arrest the
perpetrators. We call once again on the government of Zimbabwe to restore
the rule of law and respect for human rights."

      A visiting American citizen, Richard Gilman, was shot dead by the
police in Mutare last week on Monday. They alleged he was trying to flee in
his vehicle from a roadblock.

      His brother, Howard, a resident of Zimbabwe, denied the allegation,
saying Richard could not have attempted to flee from the police when he had
in fact returned to the roadblock after collecting from his brother's home
some documents he had been asked to produce at the roadblock.

      Richard was involved in charity work in Manicaland. The US government
has since called for a full investigation into his death.

Zimbabweans beat US embassy employee

AFP - The US government has protested at the beating of an embassy employee
by suspected war veterans in Zimbabwe, the embassy said in a statement.

The employee, a Zimbabwean citizen, and three others accompanying him, were
on a field trip last week to the farming district of Melfort, just north of
Harare, when the incident took place.

War veterans took the four hostage and "subjected (them) to a hostile
interrogation" and beat two of them, the statement said. It said the four
were assessing the plight of displaced farm workers.

The embassy said the assault "is symptomatic of the lawlessness that has
affected Zimbabwe for the last 2-1/2 years."

Veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation war against white minority rule are
staunch supporters of President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party.

The country has been in the grip of political tension since early 2000, when
war veterans began invading white-owned farms in the run-up to general
elections. Tens of thousands of farm workers are said to have been displaced
since then.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

ABC News

Zimbabwe Denies U.S. Charges
Zimbabwe Information Minister Denies U.S. Charges That Embassy Employee Was
Beaten and Robbed

The Associated Press

"There are no displaced farm workers in Zimbabwe and the embassy knows that. As to claims that there is lawlessness, purely on the basis of this incident, that is over the top and quite preposterous."

      HARARE, Zimbabwe Nov. 19 - Zimbabwe's information minister denied
American charges that an embassy employee was beaten and robbed by
government militants, saying Tuesday the worker had trespassed and was
baiting people with food.

      The U.S. government lodged its official protest Monday, saying the
employee was on an aid mission when attacked and that the violence was a
further sign of lawlessness in the southern African country.

      It called for the arrest of those responsible.

      "We are still waiting for a response from the government of Zimbabwe,"
the U.S. Embassy said in a statement Tuesday.

      The employee, a Zimbabwean citizen, and another Zimbabwean traveling
with him, suffered serious injuries, the embassy said. The two had been
traveling with another embassy employee who is an American citizen and a
U.N. officer from Britain.

      The embassy claimed the two Zimbabweans were beaten after the
government militants subjected the group to a "hostile interrogation" Friday
in the Melfort district, 25 miles east of Harare.

      The state-owned Herald newspaper said Tuesday the group was
trespassing on a farm occupied by supporters of President Robert Mugabe and
allegedly threw food from a moving vehicle and filmed farm workers jostling
for it.

      Jonathan Moyo, the information minister, accused the four of baiting
people with food to create chaos, the Herald reported.

      The militants confiscated a camera and two computer discs from the
group, the paper reported.

      The embassy said the four had been conducting a survey of food needs
of laborers who had worked on white-owned commercial farms before they were
seized by the government as part of a controversial land redistribution

      Human rights groups and family support networks say up to 1.5 million
farm workers and their relatives have lost their livelihoods under the
program. Some workers were given parcels of land on the seized farms, but
many were evicted and set up shanty camps in the bush.

      The embassy said that many of the former farm laborers seen last week
were "subsisting on a diet of berries and termites."

      Moyo said the incident was "rooted in intrusive and interventionist
behavior by some U.S. Embassy personnel who have been trespassing onto some
farms under the guise of looking for alleged displaced farm workers," the
newspaper reported.

      "There are no displaced farm workers in Zimbabwe and the embassy knows
that. As to claims that there is lawlessness purely on the basis of this
incident, that is over the top and quite preposterous," Moyo said.

      Last week, the U.S. Embassy also protested "unclear" circumstances in
the shooting death of an American citizen at a police roadblock in eastern

      Zimbabwe police and the state media said Richard Gilman, 58, a
computer consultant and former Torrington, Conn., teacher, became
uncooperative and drove off at high speed to flee the roadblock when he was

      His family questioned the account, saying Gilman had returned to his
brother's home in the eastern city of Mutare to get his passport and drove
back to the roadblock to show it to police after they complained his rental
car papers contained errors.

      Zimbabwe has been wracked by turmoil for the last 2 1/2 years. About
200 people have died in political violence, mostly blamed on ruling party

      More than half the country's 12.5 million people face hunger because
of a sharp drop in agricultural production blamed on a drought and the farm

      Despite government promises to give the seized land to poor blacks,
many prime farms have gone to Mugabe's confidantes.

      Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News - Feature

      The tragedy of power politics in Zimbabwe

      11/19/02 9:02:43 AM (GMT +2)

      By Tawanda waMagaisa

      IN Zimbabwe we have now reached a point where it is imperative for us
to return to the basics. It is necessary for us to think not so much about
what we have done, but what we have not done. For what we have done is there
for all to see - the decline into the abyss is evident everywhere.

      But for all the haggling and politicking, there is much that remains
to be done, a lot that we could have done but for the distractions attendant
to power struggles. We have concentrated so much on either winning or
retaining power, to the detriment of the very basic foundations that hold
our society together.

      We seem to have thrown into the dustbin all the fundamentals of astute
economic management, provision of essential services, and even made food a
potent political tool over the fundamental respect for human life.

      Images of skeletal Ethiopians in 1984 rush back into and play havoc
with my senses. What seemed an impossibility then, is now a very real
probability in Zimbabwe. Yes, there has been drought but we must be fair
with Nature, for famines are not just a creation of our Mother but are
brought about by man's machinations. That is why why when I insist on
returning to basics, I refer to the ethics that define us as humans
co-existing in a society.

      Yet, of course, when power is at the centre of everything, it is the
other aspects of life, perhaps more important, that suffer. So in order to
exercise, gain or solidify power, we refuse to give food to our neighbour
because he is on the other side of the political divide. We authorise
looting and unlawful force against those who hold different opinions. We
refuse to accept that we can differ but still pursue a common goal.

      As we engage in the power game, elections have taken centre-stage.
Employed correctly elections are important for purposes of cultivating and
sustaining a culture of democracy and tolerance. Yet when abused, they can
negate the very goals that they seek to achieve. It seems to me that instead
of building up a mature democracy and allowing elections to be an exercise
of free will, they have become infamous for sporadic episodes of terror and
upheaval. It is because we are fighting elections not to build a democracy,
but more to demonstrate and exercise power.

      It seems to me that on either side of the divide, we are dissipating
energies and meagre financial resources on something that is only
exacerbating our precarious situation. There seems to be no end to this
power game. Each year we will have vacancies that require elections, and on
each occasion the poor folk, mere fodder for those who seek political power,
are forced to participate in a game in which they have very little
influence, if any.

      They queue on empty stomachs, barefoot, cold and terrorised. Their
children do not go to school and even if they do, their teachers are not
motivated, for want of adequate remuneration for their labour.
      There are no materials for education. Yes, the hospital buildings
remain standing - we call them "hospitals" only because we arrogantly choose
to do so, yet in reality they have become chambers where the sick merely go
to meet their demise, for want of better facilities.

      The roads on which we travel are potholed, traffic lights a memory of
a bygone era and as for the collection of refuse, only the elders can remind
us of what it used to be like.

      It appears to me that we have become too obsessed with power. The
pursuit of power for the sake of it should not be the guiding principle for
our conduct of national affairs. We must focus on the wider picture and
avoid being persuaded by power. We need to resuscitate the economy.

      These things do not require constant bickering and more blood-letting.
They require sober minds and generous hearts that have compassion for the

      Any economy where everything, from foreign currency to bread, is
transacted on the parallel market, away from the formal terrain, is
unsustainable in the long run. The result of all this is institutional

      It may not be discernible by the naked eye, but it erodes the
foundations upon which societal structures rest. Even when we wake up from
the current slumber, rebuilding these structures will take time. But first,
I hope we can wake up.

      I have no doubt that there are many external forces that affect
Zimbabwe negatively. I have travelled and experienced the world enough to
know that there are many forces that play a role in each of our countries. I
understand too that in Africa, perhaps colonial powers did not do enough to
take responsibility for some of the problems born of colonialism.

      However imperative it is to sort out these issues, I still believe
that such efforts do not require the destruction of the pillars upon which
the country is founded.

      In South Africa, a country with similar problems, their constitution
clearly spells out that the state must ensure that socio-economic rights are
accorded to everyone. But it goes further, accepting the reality that these
rights cannot be available to everyone immediately, and that they are to be
accorded on a "progressive" basis. Whatever the changes we make to our
systems, they ought not to cause massive social upheaval that undermines the
very basis upon which we survive as an economy.

      In my law school, there is a telling work of art hanging on one of the
corridor walls. Many times I walk in the corridor I cannot help but pause to
analyse it. It depicts a cow standing between two men. One is pulling it by
the horns and the other is pulling it by the tail. On one side there is a
big man who is standing, watching the event with faint interest. Crouching
on the other side is a corpulent man. With a bucket under the cow he is
working actively on the udder, milking the cow. So there you have it - some
are pulling it by the horns, others by the tail and still others milking it
dry. And yet still others are just observing, without much interest. Many
among my learned brethren in the legal fraternity are familiar with this
picture. But I also wish to bring it closer to home.

      Zimbabwe is that cow, the rulers pulling by the tail and those on the
other side pulling by the horns. And there is that class - those many
forces, internal and external, that continue to milk Zimbabwe dry.

      The international community, of course, is the dispassionate observer.

      But even when I look closely, it is not milk that is flowing out of
that cow anymore - I see traces of red matter. We are no longer milking
Zimbabwe, if I may take the liberty to anoint a new adjective, we are
"blooding" it. For it is the liquid of life that we are now drawing from
that cow. And without it, life ceases.

      Let us return to the basics, to respecting the cow and to accepting
that we are all equal, that we can share the milk that comes out of that
cow. What we need is to stop this power game, to return to our senses and to
ensure that this cow can feed again and bring forth more milk for all of us.
There is still hope yet. There is another way - and some day I shall share
my views on this - the Other Way.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News - Leader Page

      This kind of hypocrisy is breath-taking

      11/19/02 8:16:04 AM (GMT +2)

      I WONDER just where it is that Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma stays when
she comes to Harare.

      I think it must be in one of those plush diplomatic houses or one of
the capital's luxurious five-star hotels. South Africa's Foreign Minister
told reporters in Pretoria last week that she had recently been to Zimbabwe
to see for herself just exactly what is going on here.

      I can't think what Dlamini-Zuma might have been shown while she was
here, but I'm absolutely convinced she must have been wearing very dark

      At a joint Press conference held from a diplomatic guest cottage in
Pretoria, Dlamini-Zuma sat next to Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister, Dr Stan
Mudenge, and between them they tried to persuade Britain to pay white
farmers who have had their land seized from them in Zimbabwe.

      Dlamini-Zuma insisted that human rights and democracy issues should
not enter into the conversation at all and should not be mixed up with the
need for Britain and other international donors to fork out compensation for
white farmers.

      What shocking words from the Foreign Minister of newly democratic
South Africa, whose constitution is acknowledged to be one of the most
liberal and enlightened in the world. And Dlamini-Zuma says human rights
should not be mixed up with the land issue! Is this what human rights mean
in Africa, for Dlamini-Zuma? We won't talk about your human rights if you
don't talk about ours?

      I am a white farmer in Zimbabwe and had my land seized and my home
grabbed by strange men and frankly I could not and would not accept any
money from anyone while there is no law and order in the country and while
the last 600 commercial farmers bravely struggle on with threats of eviction
and worse hanging over their heads every single day.

      To take the money would be like accepting a bribe and forgetting the
horrific suffering of everyone else. If I accepted British compensation
money now I would never again be able to say that I am proud to be a
Zimbabwean. How could I accept what can only be described as blood money
when more than six-and-a-half million Zimbabweans are starving and hundreds
of thousands of others are homeless and deprived of even the most basic of
human rights in the country.

      Perhaps Dlamini-Zuma thinks that human rights only apply to white

      I would go further and say that what Dlamini-Zuma is suggesting is
blackmail: give the whites their money and then they will stop telling the
world what is really going on in Zimbabwe. And for the critics who will
scream - as they have done before - at my words and say that I must be one
of those multi-million-dollar farmers, I would like them to know that I am
not. I do not live in a mansion in Harare; I cannot afford a domestic
employee; I have only one car and my son does not go to an exclusive private

      Dlamini-Zuma said there were three challenges facing Zimbabwe as far
as the land reform programme is concerned. She said the British needed to
compensate the white farmers, someone needed to take care of the hundreds of
thousands of destitute farm workers, and someone else needed to give money
and infrastructural support to the "new farmers". What about law and order?
Why doesn't that come into it?

      For 34 months, commercial farmers who were, even in their heyday, only
a minute fraction of the population, have been told by police when they
begged for help that nothing could be done because "it is political".

      Yet suddenly Dlamini-Zuma and indeed Zimbabwe's own Foreign Minister,
are shedding great fat crocodile tears for "the trauma white farmers
      are going through", to quote Mudenge.

      The hypocrisy on all sides is utterly breath-taking. Suddenly,
thirty-four months into these so-called peaceful demonstrations, a
government minister is talking about the trauma of the white farmers. What
unbelievable naivety, or was that just an example of "quiet diplomacy" at
work again?

      Dlamini-Zuma announced she had been advised by Mudenge that farm
workers - who were mostly of foreign origin he said - were going to be
offered Zimbabwean citizenship. The staff of SW Radio Africa might have
something to say about the advantages of Zimbabwean citizenship!

      Dr Joseph Made's contribution to this so-called Press conference was
to inform the assembled journalists that the war veterans had, of course,
been given twenty percent of the designated land or, he added later, a
quarter of the farms. Obviously Dr Made's maths is as suspect as his

      This extraordinary Press conference was carried live on SABC. I can
only speak for myself but my own reaction was one of absolute disgust at the
hypocrisy and downright untruths being told on all sides. "Let's take the
route of reason" pleaded Mudenge. Ah, but if we had taken the route of
reason, Mudenge, we would not be in the appalling mess that we are in now.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News - Leader Page

      Only unpopular leaders fear the people they rule

      11/19/02 8:12:04 AM (GMT +2)

      MANY law-abiding citizens will have read the story of Statutory
Instrument No 299 of 2002 in this paper yesterday, with either howls of
derisive laughter, or the chill of terror running down their spines.

      This law was probably not brought before Parliament because of its
utterly asinine implications: it will make it a crime for people to utter
words or make a gesture that might be "construed to be offensive to the
President or any member of his escort, when the presidential motorcade

      Many will be forgiven for ascribing its authorship to sick, unbalanced

      That adults, well-educated and endowed with average intelligence, sat
down to draft this absurd law must make many wonder what kind of people are
running this country today.

      After all, Dr Herbert Murerwa, the Minister of Finance and Economic
Development, in his Budget speech last week, ended with an extraordinary
quotation from the Bible - referring to the prophet Jeremiah - in a plea to
God to help this country emerge from its self-inflicted economic morass.

      "Who is running the country?" seems a perfectly legitimate question,
in view of these recent absurdities.

      That the government is running scared seems self-evident. It has now
accepted, it would seem, that it is deeply unpopular with the people.

      If the President is frightened that a citizen fed up with the
destruction of the economy and the soaring cost of living - or the
cold-blooded murder of their relative by the "Green Bombers" - might call
him a dirty name or make an obscene gesture as his motorcade passes, then it
is time for the government to ask itself: have we lost legitimacy to rule?

      It is only leaders who know the majority dislike them intensely who
are frightened of the people they ostensibly govern. They are disliked - or
even hated, in extreme cases - not because of any personality trait, but
because of how blithely they have ignored the people's welfare,
concentrating instead on their own political survival and enrichment.

      The remedy is simple enough: give the people what they want. In
Zimbabwe's case, this entails a decisive return to the days of political and
economic abundance in the early years of independence, when people were
proud to live in a newly-independent country which respected their human
rights and gave them the opportunity to prosper, if they had the vision and
ability to do so - not the "correct" political affiliation.

      This was a land, if not flowing with milk and honey, then certainly
bursting with the joy at being able to feed itself and have surpluses to
export to other countries.

      Zimbabwe was the land of so much promise, until one dark night in 2000
when it was decided that the people should not say NO to anything their
government proposed that they accept.

      Zanu PF, which has ruled this country since 1980, is digging a big
hole for itself with its unimaginative political and economic policies.
Soon, the party may not be able to climb out of that crevice, once it has
fallen in, which it is bound to do.

      Clearly, a change in leadership could improve the party's chances of
surviving an MDC electoral onslaught. No amount of rigging may be enough to
halt the opposition juggernaut this time around.

      Zanu PF's political mentor, the Chinese Communist Party, last week
underwent a significant changing of the guard, with the leader, Jiang Zemin,
75, stepping down and giving way to 59-year-old Hu Jintao. Zemin had been at
the helm only since 1997 - not 1975.

      Zanu PF's annual conference takes place next month.

      Unless the party wants to condemn this country to another bout of
geriatric mismanagement, it must replace its top leadership. Right now, the
party survives in power only through violence, because the old men at the
helm have run out of ideas to manage the country, let alone their own party.

      To kill a few more people just to gain popularity is not a long-term
formula for clinging to power.

      For the sake of the country's survival, the old men must go.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      State silent on stalemate with striking health professionals

      11/19/02 8:38:14 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE strike by the Health Professionals' Association (HPA), has entered
its third week, with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare remaining
tight-lipped over their plight, much to the detriment of the welfare of

      Trust Chivasa, the HPA spokesperson, yesterday accused the ministry of
ignoring them. Chivasa said his association approached the ministry last
week to resume dialogue on their demands. They were referred to the Public
Service Commission, which, in its turn, referred them back to the
      ministry, he said.

      At the ministry, Chivasa said the aide to the Permanent Secretary,
Elizabeth Xaba, told them her boss was away and would call them when she

      But Bright Mpofu, the ministry spokesperson said his ministry had met
with the representatives of HPA some time in October.

      Mpofu said: "We have held meetings with them and reached an agreement
on the grades and allowances. The ministry and the Public Service Commission
are currently engaged in dialogue over the proposals."

      Mpofu said there was need to create an enabling and sustainable
environment to enhance the health delivery system. He said the parties were
still to agree on how the agreement reached would be implemented. The health
professionals are demanding that their pay be raised by the same scale used
in awarding doctors their pay rises earlier this year. Chivasa said the
strike was causing a major strain on cash-strapped hospitals. He said the
hospitals were now sending tests to private laboratories, which cost more
money, wasted time and was a danger to the welfare of patients requiring
urgent operations.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Maize-meal only sold to Zanu PF card holders

      11/19/02 8:27:42 AM (GMT +2)

      By Sam Munyavi

      Only people with Zanu PF cards were allowed to buy maize meal at the
Sunningdale community centre in Harare yesterday.

      This was despite government denials that food is being distributed or
sold on partisan lines.

      Baton- and whip-wielding police officers and "Green Bombers" manned
the gates at the centre where hundreds of people crowded outside the
perimter fence.

      Many of the people went away disappointed.

      Some who wanted to go to the clinic in the same grounds as the
community centre, were not allowed in unless they had clinic cards or looked
visibly ill.

      This reporter was denied entry into the grounds of the community
centre. One of the "Green Bombers" said: "Kuti utenge hupfu wotoona kuti
wakabata chikwambo cheZanu PF," he said, meaning that anyone without a Zanu
PF card could not buy maize-meal.

      A number of women who said they were Zanu PF officials at the local
cell and branch level complained bitterly that they were being sidelined
when it came to buying the maize-meal, yet they were in the lead when it
came to campaigning for their party.

      One said: "When it comes to campaigning those party officials in there
use us but when there is maize-meal they ignore us."

      Last Thursday, Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary-general,
warned the Zimbabwean government against politicising food aid distribution.
      Annan said famine relief had to be distributed according to need and
not political affiliation.

      On Saturday last week, Elias Mudzuri, the executive mayor of Harare,
was refused entry into the Harare city council's Hatfield hall where Zanu PF
supporters were selling maize-meal from the Murehwa Milling Company.

      As was the case in Sunningdale yesterday, those without Zanu PF cards
went away empty-handed.The sales of maize meal at council halls and
community centres are being conducted without the approval of the
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Washington Times

Lawless Zimbabwe
     The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe complained yesterday about the
"lawlessness" of the southern African nation after an embassy employee was
assaulted by men calling themselves "war veterans," the same description
government-sanctioned thugs have used in their two-year campaign to force
white farmers off their land.
     The embassy employee, who is a Zimbabwean citizen, was among a group
conducting a survey among the displaced farmers to assess their humanitarian
     That employee, an official of the United Nations and another Zimbabwean
citizen, whose position was not identified, were held and subjected to a
"hostile interrogation," the embassy said in a statement, adding that the
embassy employee was later beaten.
     The assault "is symptomatic of the lawlessness that has affected
Zimbabwe" since President Robert Mugabe began encouraging militants to seize
the land of white farmers, the embassy said. "We call once again on the
government of Zimbabwe to restore the rule of law and respect for human
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Report

Zimbabwean manufacturers and retailers face bankruptcy
November 19 2002 at 08:46AM
Harare - Zimbabwean retailers and manufacturers are facing bankruptcy after
the government extended price controls last week on goods ranging from
diapers to steel to slow record inflation.

The controls, which will last for six months from November 15, cover fuels,
foodstuffs, cosmetics, building materials, motor vehicle parts, seeds,
school fees and uniforms, medicines, domestic appliances, newspapers and

Previously, only the price of essential foodstuffs was controlled.

Zimbabwean companies are struggling to cope with inflation that has
accelerated to 140 percent a year, and the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar
that lost more than half its value on the black market in the past month.
The price controls will mean companies' sales prices will not be able to
keep up with costs.

"It's unworkable," said Gus McTiernan, the managing
director of computer sales and repair company RD Computers. "There is simply
no way I can sell a computer for the same price in six months time. I can't
even sell it for the same price next week."

Computer part costs have doubled in the past month, McTiernan said, mainly
because of the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar, which trades for as much as
Z$1 800 for $1 compared with its official rate of Z$55, and rising freight

Zimbabwe's economy, once the second-wealthiest in southern Africa after
South Africa, was expected to shrink by 12 percent this year, finance
minister Herbert Murerwa told parliament in his annual budget speech.

More than a half of Zimbabwe's 12 million people face famine after a
regional drought and the state-sponsored seizure of white-owned commercial
farms slashed agricultural production.

Many factories might not open after the Christmas recess, which runs from
mid-December to mid-January, said John Robertson, the managing director of
Robertson Economics in Harare.

"It's a nightmare," said Janet Hogan, the general manager of the Zimbabwe
Independent and the Standard newspapers. "We are running out of plans to
cope with the economic crisis".

The cost of newsprint was going up by 10 percent a week. Hogan said: "So
even if we can work with the price controls, we probably won't be able to
get paper."

The government announcement came one week after Murerwa said price controls
had failed to slow inflation and had damaged many manufacturers.

"Price controls resulted in shortages of many goods and we need to focus on
increased viability of production," Murerwa said.

"The private sector needs to return to its role as the engine that drives
the economy," he said. - Bloomberg
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Day

Avoiding obvious (or real) targets, Zimbabwe shoots itself in the foot

ZIMBABWE's Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa has learned not to disagree with
his boss. In last week's 2003 national budget, the issue of devaluing the
nation's currency, which lost his predecessor Simba Makoni his job, did not
come up.
Instead, Murerwa sought short-term measures to tackle the spiralling
parallel foreign exchange rate, currently at about Z2000 to US1 as opposed
to the officially pegged Z55. However, perversely, he also introduced
measures likely to cripple already hard-hit exporters, thereby further
reducing the availability of foreign exchange.

The budget has underlined the reluctance of President Robert Mugabe's
government to undertake anything more than crisis management to address
massive and mounting problems. Unfortunately, the whole exercise will be

In the face of Zimbabwe's worst economic crisis to date, Murerwa has taken
steps likely to result in reduced exports, more company closures and so
greater unemployment, higher inflation, further currency decline and more
consumer shortages.

Expectations that he would rise to the occasion were low because what is
really needed is out of his hands.

The solutions lie with Mugabe, his police force, his supporters, his
militias, his newly installed judiciary and all the other groups that,
collectively, have helped to bring Zimbabwe to its knees.

Significantly, Murerwa did do something the government has tried thus far to
avoid admit the magnitude of the economic crisis, the failure of price
controls (which didn't stop him slapping price freezes onto a wide range of
goods the following day), the negative effect of land reform on agricultural
production, and the damage done to pension funds and other financial
institutions by government's interference in macroeconomic fundamentals.

However, it remains clear the government does not have the stomach or the
will to deal with its problems.

Despite the withdrawal of troops from the Congo, defence has been given the
second highest ministerial allocation (after education). Land, agriculture
and rural resettlement the cornerstone of Mugabe's much-heralded agrarian
revolution is only in fifth place, with allocated revenues of Z40,5bn,
compared with Z76,4bn for defence.

The president and cabinet comprising a handful of people in a total
population of more than 12,5-million are to get more than five times the sum
allocated to tourism and the environment despite government having
identified tourism as a key hard currency earner.

Those who applauded Mugabe at the World Summit on Sustainable Development
might also reflect on this.

Although some relief was ostensibly offered to ordinary Zimbabweans, the
short-sightedness of the steps means, in the long run, their plight will
worsen. "Highlights" include:

New tax concessions raising most thresholds by 100%. However, inflation is
already 144% and likely to be 200% by the year-end which means, in real
terms, more onerous taxes;

A 40% increase in import duties, followed immediately by price freezes. This
is likely to create further shortages;

Exporters being required to pay 50% of their earnings to the government (up
from 40%) at the official exchange rate. The government will then decide
whether exporters should be allowed to spend the other 50% themselves. If
the purpose they intend to use it for does not match some unstated Reserve
Bank requirement, it seems these profits might be offered to someone else
who does. This at a time when forex shortages mean encouragement of exports
is imperative;

The forced closure of all bureaux de change by end-November in an attempt to
curb the spiralling parallel forex market. This will push forex dealing
ironically a mainstay of the distorted economy underground and may hasten
the demise of the nation's currency;

An attempt to control remittances sent home by Zimbabweans abroad by setting
up a fund to channel the money. Mistrust of the government by both senders
and recipients renders this unworkable, if not laughable.

The government as usual is blaming everyone but itself for its problems.

As a captain of industry in Harare pointed out: "The government asks us to
be sympathetic and to remember it has to split scarce foreign exchange many
ways. However, it ignores the fact that the problem is of its own making."

Sustainable solutions are politically unpalatable for Zanu (PF). Good
governance, rule of law, cutting expenditure and soliciting external
budgetary support are not on the agenda. Why? Because none of this is
possible with Mugabe as president.

This puts Murerwa between a rock and a hard place. The only choice he has is
to follow the government's chosen path plug a few fingers in the dyke and
hope the wall doesn't break.

Games is Director of Africa @ Work, a pan-African publishing and
conferencing company.

(Finance Minister Herbert) Murerwa is between a rock and a hard place. His
only choice is to follow the government's chosen path

Nov 19 2002 12:00:00:000AM  Business Day 1st Edition
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      19 Nov 2002
      World Vision Zimbabwe distributes food in Mutoko
      Ted Vandeloo

      World Vision International
      Regions: Africa, Zimbabwe

      World Vision Zimbabwe distributed food aid to 3348 beneficiaries at
Nyamakope ward, north-eastern Zimbabwe, last week. Mr Phillip J Thomas, from
the US General Accounting Office, and a World Food Programme (WFP) team were
also present to witness the process.

      "This is good to see. The people are so organised," said Mr Thomas.

      Mr Thomas, who also observed the situation in Zambia, said although
the food situation in Zimbabwe was healthier than what he had seen, there
still is an urgent need for food aid. He spoke to members of the community
and met with Nyamakope school authorities.

      School authorities told him that 30% of the 280 pupils were frequently
absent from school. 25 % of those that manage to attend school are sometimes
too weak to continue the day and usually go home early because of hunger.
They always complain of stomach pains and headaches.

      A significant amount of funds and food for the relief programme in
Zimbabwe comes from the American government through USAID.

      When asked what message he would carry to his government, Mr Thomas
said: "A lot of food! Many people need food here; they are suffering. There
is a need to mitigate the drought before starvation strikes. Many people I
have talked to say they have no input for the next agricultural season.
There is need for the food aid programme to be carried forward to next


ZIMBABWE: Government, NGOs must step up efforts ahead of another poor crop

JOHANNESBURG, 19 November (IRIN) - The Zimbabwe government and NGOs need to step up efforts to provide food aid to about 6.7 million people whose food security is under threat in the face of vastly reduced crop estimates for next year, the Famine and Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS-NET) said on Tuesday.

While agriculture has formed the base of the Zimbabwean economy, contributing 45 percent of export earnings and providing livelihoods to over 70 percent of the population, researchers found that farmers had only secured 20 percent of the estimated Zim $160 (US $2.9 billion) needed to finance agricultural activities for the 2002 to 2003 production year.

If a planned Zim $60 billion (US $1.1 billion) Agribond issue raised enough capital, the agricultural funding gap could be reduced to 42 percent, the report said. However, response to the bonds was expected to be "lukewarm" and funding from wary commercial banks was unlikely to close the deficit.

Wheat production at 212,000 mt was the lowest since 1991 and only 62 percent of last year's production. The poor yield would require imports to alleviate shortages from April to the next harvest in October 2003, FEWS-NET said.

Maize imports up to March 2003 would only provide 73 percent of the country's monthly maize requirements, leaving a food gap of about 256,000 mt to meet the total 2002 to 2003 consumption requirement of 1.6 million mt. The report recommended that the maize marketing system allow more private sector participation to increase supplies and lower prices.

Adding to farmers' woes, the moderate El Nino conditions were expected to expand to establish basin-wide mature El Nino conditions between December and February. Past data had shown that this could be accompanied by a drop in rainfall in the south of the country and a reduction in crop yields by between 20 to 40 percent.

Although the country had enough hybrid maize seed for a 14 percent increase in the hectares planted, last year's bad crops and the controversial land reform programe - which saw thousands of commercial farmers evicted - had left a shortage of seed for sorghum, millet, pulses, beans and groundnuts, which were traditionally held over by farmers.

The price of groundnut and sunflower seeds rose by 150 percent, sugar beans by 300 percent and soyabeans by 375 percent, making it more difficult for farmers.

FEWS-NET also warned of an impending shortage of fertilisers.

Phosphate was scarce because rail transport was stretched by food deliveries, forcing the use of more expensive road transport. Calcium and supplementary ammonia supplies were imported, leaving companies at the mercy of foreign currency shortages and fluctuating exchange rates. However, the government had tried to alleviate the shortages by allocating foreign currency to the fertiliser companies, the report said.

If these shortages were not addressed by the provision of foreign currency by the government, it would result in a further reduction of harvests in the 2002-2003 season.

Significant drops were expected in the flue-cured tobacco harvest for next year, which contributes about 29 percent of the country's total export earnings as well as valuable foreign currency and 9 percent towards GDP.

While the country comes to grips with escalating food costs and shortages, the National NGO Food Security Monitoring Network reported high levels of population movement in search of work, land and food through the districts of Matabeleland and Mashonaland central provinces in August and September. There was also a prevalence of internally displaced people in Matabeleland south and Mashonaland central.

World Food Programme spokesman Luis Clemens told IRIN that in response to the countrywide food crisis the organisation had distributed more than 20,000 mt of food aid to over two million people in 20 districts.

"In November we hope to increase that to more than 30 districts and reach three million people depending on the availability of food," he said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Dispatch online

Africa's sincerity on Nepad in doubt ­ DA

CAPE TOWN -- The Democratic Alliance yesterday charged that Africa's
credibility regarding its sincerity in implementing the New Partnership for
Africa's Development (Nepad) was in the process of being destroyed.

The DA's chief whip, Douglas Gibson, was commenting on media reports that
President Thabo Mbeki had sent a letter to Group of Eight leaders to try to
allay their concerns that the planned peer review mechanism, to ensure
African governments were democratic and accountable, was being watered down.

Mbeki's letter said, in part, that "we stand by everything we have said with
regard to Nepad ... This includes the peer review mechanism.

"Good governance on our continent, comprehensively understood, is of
fundamental interest to the peoples of Africa," Mbeki said.

But Gibson claimed Mbeki's letter had created further confusion.

"This confusion is reinforced by South Africa's -- and the Southern African
Development Community's -- continuing solidarity with the Zimbabwe regime,
which was featured in yesterday's New York Times and is the kind of article
that seriously undermines Africa's credibility on Nepad," he said.

Gibson said it was apparent that there was an analysis gap between the West
and Africa: each side had a significantly different understanding of what
good governance entailed, how it should be measured, and what response
should follow if African governments failed to comply with their

"This is evidenced by the serious possibility that dialogue between SADC and
the European Union might shortly come to an end because the EU will not give
Zimbabwean officials visas for travel to Europe while SADC refuses to attend
meetings without Zimbabwe.

"In addition, the EU characterises the problem in Zimbabwe as a human rights
and democracy problem, while SADC insists on describing it as a colonial
legacy and land reform problem.

"The analysis gap between the West and SADC is causing a growing credibility
gap, and unless the credibility gap is closed very quickly, Nepad is doomed
to fail," Gibson said.-- Sapa
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2002 9:56 AM
Subject: Mbeki trying to smooth things over

" I think that there is something afoot that we all need to be alerted about.
No question about it Mugabe is the clear and undisputed winner - he has succeeded in removing all those farmers, the very people whom he believed to be the backbone of the opposition and he has successfully managed to literally pulverise all the rural population into submission to the extent that he would now, unquestionably, win an election with or without the presence of international observers - not because of any popular support that he may enjoy but simply because the majority of blacks (& some whites)
are petrified of him - they believe him to be totally invincible.
Realising that Mugabe has now finally achieved all his objectives, the South African Government is now urging the International Community to "move forward" and render assistance to Zimbabwe otherwise millions of people will be adversely affected.  The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Zuma, used the terminology "we all acknowledge that he has made a few mistakes but we cannot dwell on the past, we have to move forward in order to make progress otherwise it will be catastrophic for Zimbabwe".  In other words, Mugabe must be forgiven and allowed to continue and the current state of affairs will be blamed on the actions of the International community unless they "move forward" and render assistance.
It is times such as this that international leaders need to stand firm and strongly condemn Mugabe and anyone that may attempt to bolster his image.
We must attempt to dissuade the British Labour Government and other Commonwealth leaders from obeying directives from the South African Government and other AU members who are clearly supportive of Mugabe and his regime.
J D"
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Price freeze seen as move to boost agriculture

      11/19/02 8:39:52 AM (GMT +2)

      By Chris Mhike

      THE government has stepped up efforts to ensure the success of the
controversial fast-track land reform programme with the introduction last
week of price freezes for a wide range of farming implements and input

      The price freeze, effective from last Friday, will be operative for
the next six months.

      Through an Government Gazette Extraordinary published last week, the
government announced an immediate price freeze for a wide range of goods,
including agricultural products, under the Control of Goods (Price Freeze)
Order, 2002, otherwise known as Statutory Instrument 302 of 2002.

      Covered by the order in the agricultural sector include inputs such as
maize, barley, soya-bean, sorghum, wheat, groundnut and sunflower seed.
      The prices for agricultural chemicals, including veterinary products,
were also frozen.

      For both imported and local agricultural machinery and implements, the
government froze the prices of tractors (wheeled or tracked), combined
groundnut harvesters, ploughs (disc and mould board), harrows (including
disk harrows), rippers, trailers, sprayers (tractor-mounted, back-pack), hay
bailers (round and square), mowers, hay teddlers, earth and dam scoops,
conditioners and fertiliser spreaders.

      For imported agricultural spares, the prize freeze extends to
bearings, belts, mower blades and fingers, oil and air filters, shafts,
torsion bars, tyres, tubes, seals, springs, bolts, and any other spares used
primarily for agricultural machinery and implements.

      Prices of local agricultural spares were also frozen. These include
belts, oil filters, plough disks, lift arms, reaper points, springs, tyres
and tubes, bolts, batteries and any other spares used primarily for
agricultural machinery and implements.

      The price freeze followed the announcement by Herbert Murerwa, the
Minister of Finance and Economic Development, on Thursday last week in the
2003 National Budget, that the government would next year invest large sums
of money in agriculture-related infrastructural development.

      Productivity on many farms has in the past two years slumped, and the
government, through these latest measures of prices freezes and incentives,
seeks to change the situation for the better in the farming sector.

      Murerwa proposed the allocation of $4,1 billion for irrigation
development and $1 billion for mechanisation.

      Further, the Ministry of Finance would disburse $10,3 billion for dam
construction, borehole drilling and other water supply activities that may
be necessary for irrigation purposes and domestic use of water.

      Murerwa said an additional $700 million had been set aside for farmer
credit facilities and $1,8 billion for agricultural research and farmer
training facilities throughout the country.

      About $1,5 billion was allocated towards field trials and training as
well as subsistence and transport.

      Import duty regulations for agricultural equipment would also be
relaxed, and incentives introduced for corporate bodies and investors who
would support the land redistribution programme.

      Since 12 November, investors willing to put their money into an
Agribond have been exempted from withholding tax interest.

      The Agribond programme is an effort by government to raise $60 billion
for newly resettled commercial farmers under its land programme, through a
consortium of 18 commercial and merchant banks.

      The Zanu PF-driven fast track land redistribution programme has been
widely criticised by economists, politicians, academics and ordinary
citizens for its chaotic and violent nature, and for drastically undermining

      Critics of the programme have said although the idea of redistributing
land is noble, the method adopted by the government in doing so has impacted
negatively on the economy, already battered by the withdrawal of
balance-of-payments support by international financiers in 1999 over
macro-economic policy differences.

      This has resulted in an acute shortage of foreign currency whose
ramifications are being felt by every economic sector.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Chinamasa dismisses UN report on looting in DRC

      11/19/02 8:21:55 AM (GMT +2)

      By Luke Tamborinyoka Political Editor

      THE government has dismissed as "malicious rumours" allegations in a
United Nations report linking senior government officials and the top
military brass to the plunder of diamonds and other resources in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

      Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs, last week dismissed the report, which names senior Zimbabwean
officials among major players in the plunder of DRC resources during the
four-year-old war.

      Last week, DRC President Joseph Kabila suspended three key government
officials implicated in the alleged looting.

      Reports said Kabila was greatly disturbed by reports that several
countries had looted his country's resources during the war.

      Chinamasa alleged the UN report was compiled by the British
government, but would not substantiate his allegation.

      "The so-called UN report is a lot of rubbish and propaganda which is
directed against Zimbabwe for its involvement in the defence of the
sovereignty of the DRC. We were never welcomed there because the very same
people who compiled that report are the persons who want to plunder with
impunity the resources of the DRC," he said.

      He said the conduct of Zimbabwe in the DRC was "above board".

      Chinamasa was responding to a question by the MDC shadow minister for
defence, Giles Mutsekwa (Mutare North), on the government's attitude towards
the international report linking senior Zimbabweans to the plunder of
resources in the DRC.

      On whether there was a chance that a commission would be established
to clear the names of those implicated in the report, Chinamasa said: "We
have no time to waste to clear malicious rumours targeted against our
people. In any case, these reports are unfounded. The allegations are
unfounded and we know the source. It is the British and American interests
who have been trying to drive us out of there because they have been
plundering the resources of the DRC for generations under the Mobutu

      Zimbabwe is one of four countries that sent troops to the DRC in
August 1998 to defend the sovereignty of the government, it was announced at
the time.

      Recent reports said the Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and
Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi had received payments from one of the key
players in the "blood diamonds" racket in the DRC, an Omani businessman.

      The businessman and the Zimbabwean government are joint owners of Oryx
Natural Resources involved in mining concessions in the DRC.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Japan stops funding new projects in Zimbabwe

      11/19/02 8:56:27 AM (GMT +2)

      From Pedzisai Ruhanya in Tokyo, Japan

      THE Japanese International Development Agency (Jica) says it has
stopped funding new government projects in the country because of the
political crisis facing Zimbabwe following the June 2000 parliamentary and
March 2002 presidential elections.

      "We are reviewing our aid policy because of the current situation in
your country." Miyagu Kensuke of Jica Africa division said during an
interview. His organisation required transparency, good governance and
accountability in the countries that receive aid from it.

      Kensuke said Jica would, however, continue to give aid to Japanese
non-governmental organisations and other multinational organisations such as
the World Food Programme to help feed people during the current drought,
which is affecting more than 6,5 million Zimbabweans.
      "We are very concerned about the political conditions in your country.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided in 2000 not to fund any new
      projects until the political situation improves, but those programmes
that were in progress will be completed," he said.

      He said the current position was conveyed to President Mugabe through
the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Stan Mudenge.

      In April last year a serious row erupted between the Deputy Minister
of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Chris Kuruneri, and the Government
Tender Board (GTB) after Kuruneri allegedly interfered with the board's
decision to disqualify a Japanese company from a Posts and
Telecommunications Corporation tender.

      Kuruneri had instructed the GTB to allow Itoshu to bid for the $5
billion contract, in violation of tender regulations.

      The decision was subsequently challenged by Mitsubishi, another
Japanese company, also bidding for the same tender. However, tender
documents disappeared without trace following revelations of ministerial
interference by the Press. Zimbabwe lost the $5 billion loan from the Japan
Bank of International Co-operation after failing to meet the loan deadline
because of the furore over the tender bid.

      Kensuke said assistance to southern African countries, including
Zimbabwe, stood at US$12 million (Z$660 million) as of August 2002. Zimbabwe
is facing international isolation after it failed to conduct credible
parliamentary and presidential elections in June 2000 and March 2002

      President Mugabe's victory has been rejected by the main opposition
party, the MDC and condemned internationally.

      The European Union and the United States have slapped travel and
economic sanctions on Mugabe and his close allies for human rights abuses,
and the murder of their perceived opponents.

      Japan has been the mainstay of development projects such as dams,
roads and bridges and the rehabilitation of rural irrigation schemes, which
      the government has routinely touted as examples of Zanu PF's
developmental success.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From News24 (SA), 18 November

Zim judge remanded

Harare - A retired white Zimbabwe judge arrested two months ago for allegedly mishandling a criminal case, was on Monday remanded to January 30 by a magistrate's court. The magistrate also ordered that former Justice Fergus Blackie, who is out of custody, be given back his passport, and cancelled part of his bail conditions that required Blackie to report to a police station once a week. Blackie has been charged with obstructing the course of justice and breaching the Prevention of Corruption Act over a case he handled shortly before his retirement in July. He is alleged to have overturned a theft conviction in an appeal case he heard without consulting a fellow judge who also heard the case. Shortly before he retired, Blackie drew fierce criticism from the government when he sentenced Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa to three months in jail for criticising the high court. The sentence was overturned, and the government threatened to investigate Blackie for "gross abuse of judicial office". On Monday the magistrate reprimanded the state for not producing a report on complaints that Blackie was denied access to his lawyers, the use of a telephone as well as medication for high blood pressure following his arrest. Concerns have been voiced abroad and at home over a perceived erosion of the rule of law in Zimbabwe and reports that the southern African country's judges are being intimidated.

Daily News

      Court relaxes Blackie's bail conditions

      11/19/02 8:29:28 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga Court Reporter

      RETIRED High Court judge, Justice Fergus Blackie, who is facing
charges of attempting to defeat the course of justice, had his bail
conditions relaxed yesterday by a Harare magistrate after he applied to be
allowed to travel to South Africa for a holiday.

      Blackie, accused of irregularly overturning a woman's conviction for
fraud last May, was arrested in September.

      Yesterday, he appeared before magistrate Wilbert Mandinde and asked
for a variation of his bail conditions.

      Prosecutor Chifarai Dube did not oppose the application. Blackie was
given back his passport and exempted from reporting to the police between 2
December and 12 January when he will be away.

      Blackie's lawyer, Advocate Firoz Girach, gave notice of his intention
to apply to have his client removed from remand, if the State does not
produce a report about his client's complaints regarding the manner in which
he was handled by the police after
      the arrest.

      Girach was referring to Blackie's complaints that he was denied access
to his lawyer and to a medical doctor since he was a hypertension patient.

      He also complained that he was made to sign the warned and cautioned
statement without consulting with his lawyer.

      Girach said if the report is not produced during Blackie's next remand
on 31 January 2003, he would ask the court to drop the charges against his
client. Dube did not respond as the State was represented by a different
prosecutor, Stephen Musona of the Attorney-General's Office, when Blackie
was initially remanded.

      Blackie is out of custody on $10 000 bail while Tara White, the woman
he is alleged to have released irregularly, is on $5 000 bail.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


OM closes 5 Zim branches

Harare - Life assurance firm Old Mutual Zimbabwe said on Tuesday it is
closing down five branches as part of a restructuring and cost-cutting
exercise made crucial by the country's deepening economic crisis.

Old Mutual Zimbabwe Managing Director Luke Ngwerume told a news conference
the group, a subsidiary of Old Mutual plc, had decided to centralise its
operations in the southern African country's four largest cities.

"We have to take tough decisions to stay afloat in this challenging
environment," he said. Zimbabwe is struggling with an acute foreign currency
shortage, record inflation of 144%, rising poverty and food shortages
affecting nearly half the country's 14 million people.

Ngwerume said while the company could have retrenched 300 of its over 1 000
jobs as a result of a shutdown of the five offices at the end of this year,
only 28 workers would lose their jobs.

"We will be absorbing the rest into our consolidated operations but they
will be redeployed in a manner in which we realise maximum value and offer
the best possible services," he added.

Ngwerume denied speculation that the shutdown of branches was the first step
towards closing Old Mutual's operations in Zimbabwe, where a political and
economic crisis blamed on President Robert Mugabe's government has forced
hundreds of companies out of business in the last three years.

"We have been here for more than 100 years and we are not closing shop.
Things are obviously tough but we are geared to survive and to grow and that
is why we are in this exercise," he said.

"This move is a consolidation of our operations, a restructuring process
very necessary during these times when operational costs and revenue need to
be monitored very closely," he added.

Ngwerume said Old Mutual Zimbabwe's profit contribution to the multinational
group's income had fallen significantly from 13% "some years ago". But he
declined to say by how much.

On Tuesday, Old Mutual shares traded 50 Zimbabwe dollars lower at 900
Zimbabwe dollars a share on the Zimbabwe stock market.

Zimbabwe's worsening crisis is widely blamed on government mismanagement and
Mugabe's controversial seizure of white-owned farms for black resettlement.
The government mainly blames a drought gripping the region.
Back to the Top
Back to Index



Quelea Control: Would farmers who have received invoices from National Parks for Quelea control please forward the invoices to ZCPA, Box WGT.390, Westgate.

Wheat / Barley Insurance Claims: Insurance claims will only be met when farmers provide evidence that insurance premiums have been or will be deducted from their crop sales.

George Hutchinson

NADF Report

The NADF will be holding a Dairy Forum on the use of Alternative Forages than Maize for grazing and silage, over the week of the 25th to the 28th November. The guest speaker is Rudi Kuschke from Advanta Seeds in South Africa, the company that supplies seed for Sugargraze, and other forage sorghums. A farmer with experience in growing forage sorghums will also be asked to describe the advantages, problems and pitfalls of growing these crops in their area. The Forum will be held at 9:00 am for 9:30 am at the following venues:

Monday 25th November: Matabeleland

Members' Pavilion, Trade Fair Grounds, Bulawayo

Tuesday 26th November: Midlands

CFU Office, Gweru Show Grounds

Wednesday 27th November: Manicaland

Hot Springs Resort

Thursday 28th November: Mashonaland

Harare South Country Club

The NADF are also in the process of negotiating with Advanta and Seedco to import Sugargraze seed on order for our members. At this time the Plant Protection Unit have given approval, and the paperwork for the import license is at the Ministry of Agriculture. As soon as the license is issued, the seed will be brought in to the country.

Sally Rowe


The Ministry of Labour has not yet registered the wage agreement. Apparently they feel that the amount agreed upon is too high for the A2 settlers to pay. Regrettably the ministry has raised accusations of collusion between the ALB and GAPWUZ and they have demanded sight off all 14 sets of minutes of the wage negotiation meetings. Accusations concerning collusion could not be further from the truth and it is hoped common sense will prevail and the agreement will be registered shortly. GAPWUZ were disappointed with the end result but agreed because the issue was heading towards arbitration, which would have been a protracted and unpredictable process.

Ewen Roger


The CPA has been notified by CSC that outstanding payments to producers who slaughtered cattle at CSC since late March will be processed in the next few days. Affected producers should contact their respective branch manager to arrange collection and avoid "delays in the post". The CSC has given verbal assurances to CPA that interest will be paid.

Meanwhile cattle prices at Mount Hampden levelled following the gazetted price freeze on 15 November. The 18 November sale realised the following prices for 675 head:

Super/Choice $390 - 420 per kg

Commercial 350 - 380

Economy 300 - 350

Manufacturing 250 - 320

Although further clarification on the details of the price freeze are awaited, the ramifications could be very serious indeed.

Paul d'Hotman

For sale 27x 20kg boxes Temik contact Debbie cell 011 409 796. No longer required!!

If you require any further information on any of the above issues please contact Tel 04 -309800 ext. 279 or e-mail and we will endeavor to supply prompt answers.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Herald, 18 November

State to construct seven farm prisons

Government will construct seven farm prisons to ease congestion at the country's 40 prisons, a cabinet minister said on Friday. The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Patrick Chinamasa, said Government was in the process of acquiring the farms. He said the 40 prisons had a capacity of 16 000 prisoners but were holding more than 25 000 convicts. Speaking in an interview at Ntabazinduna prison complex where he was attending the graduation of more than 700 prison officers, Cde Chinamasa said Government had already acquired a farm in Karoi and was in the process of identifying the remaining farms. He said that once Government completed the exercise of acquiring farms, the construction of the prisons would start. "Our prisons are overcrowded making it difficult to maintain acceptable health standards. There is, therefore, a need to increase the number of prisons, as it is the only way we can ease congestion," he said.

Government was also encouraging courts to sentence people convicted of minor offences to do community service as opposed to serving a prison term as part of measures to ease congestion in prisons. Cde Chinamasa said courts were also urged to grant bail to persons facing charges of committing petty crimes to reduce the number of inmates remanded in custody awaiting trial. The Zimbabwe Prisons Service, Cde Chinamasa said, had started training officers who were going to man the new prisons. At least 2 000 prison officers would be trained each year. "We want to start preparing for the new prisons so that as soon as their construction is over, everything would be ready," he said.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of Parliament, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa said the welfare and health of prison officers and their dependants was being accorded top priority within the ZPS and in this regard staff hospitals were under construction in the different regions. Speaking during the 136th pass-out parade of recruit prison officers where 785 officers graduated, Cde Mnangagwa said work was at an advanced stage in the construction of a staff hospital at Khami Prison complex. He said this would be the second prison hospital after the one at Chikurubi in Harare. "The ZPS is also experiencing housing problems for its officers. To alleviate this problem, I am informed that single officers' barracks are nearing completion at Wha-Wha prison near Gweru and Chikurubi," he said.

Cde Mnangagwa said the ZPS had also gone a step further by moulding its own bricks to cut down on costs of constructing staff houses. "To speed up the construction of houses, I am informed that ZPS has a construction unit whose staff complement has recently been increased," he said. The Speaker said conditions of service in the organisation continue to improve as the health personnel in the ZPS were now entitled to on-call, call-out night duty and standby allowances just like all other health practitioners in Government hospitals. In another effort to improve the condition of service, ZPS has established a fund known as the ZPS fund to assist officers with loans for acquiring homes in towns or build better homes in rural areas, he said. The fund could be used as capital to start business or for purchasing farming implements and inputs. Since its establishment last year, the fund has disbursed $35 million.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Comment from ZWNEWS, 19 November

Fantasy finance

By Michael Hartnack

If proof were needed that the Zimbabwe regime is pursuing hopelessly contradictory aims, last week's budget had it all. For example, Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa announced that price controls had failed to protect the poor, but had enriched black marketeers. Just a day later, Trade Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi promulgated a mass of new controls on everything from computers and cellphones to lavatory paper and second hand tractors. These will be policed by squads of the Green Bombers youth militia. With the realistic parallel exchange rate crashing to US$1 = Z$1 700, Mumbengegwi made a ludicrous attempt to freeze the prices of imported goods, while Murerwa wants to force exporters to hand over their foreign currency earnings to the authorities at US1 = Z$55. The howls of derision from opposition MDC legislators that greeted the budget scarcely did justice to this exercise in fantasy finance. A year ago, the then Finance Minister Simba Makoni "balanced" the books by not settling foreign debts and plundering pensions by ordering financial institutions to sink ever-larger proportions of their assets in state funds bearing interest rates vastly below the officially admitted 142 percent rate of inflation. Makoni's targeted budget deficit of 14,9 percent of gross domestic product came out at 17,8 percent, although it is questionable how meaningful any figures can be with inflation that the IMF fears will reach 522 percent in 2003. Murerwa's figures also just didn't add up. He forecast next year's budget deficit will be 11,5 percent of GDP although the economy -output - will contract by a further 11,9 percent. He predicted a 20,8 percent drop in agriculture following last year's 11,9 percent fall. Receipts from mining, manufacturing and tourism are also way down. Murerwa did nothing about Zimbabwe's unrealistic interest rates, nothing about the fuel crisis, outlined no ways to boost state revenues except by some marginal increase in the tax on wines, but he said he expects inflation to fall to 96 percent in 2003 and below 10 percent in 2004.

One of the new forms of political patronage the regime has invented is to give foreign currency to a favoured few at the official rate; they then re-sell on the parallel market, thus making a prompt 2 000 - 3 000 percent profit. No wonder some of Zimbabwe's banks produce excellent dividend results. For everyone else, everything turns on Murerwa's fantasies about a huge surge in agricultural output - for the export as well as the local market - following the supposed redistribution of 5 000 white-owned commercial farms to 350 000 black Zimbabwean leaseholders. The reality is huge tracts of countryside lie fallow and even those peasant and small-scale commercial producers who want to plant cannot obtain seed and fertiliser in time to make use of good early rains. The latest UN Humanitarian Situation Report says even if good rains fall, only 800 000 tonnes can be expected to meet 1,8 million tonne minimum national maize needs. This is due, largely, to political turmoil. In the towns, the reality is of obvious failure to provide even basic standards of governance. For the first time, I arrived late at Parliament for the budget. First, I had to queue in the sweltering pandemonium of the citizenship office to find out whether the renewed passport, for which I applied in May, was ready. I was told to come back in February. Not only are officials unable to cope with the level of demand for travel documents by those seeking greener pastures but, at least temporarily, they lack imported paper to print the passports. Then I queued for bread. There were no lines for sugar, maize meal, cooking oil, salt, or for petrol in my neighbourhood because there just wasn't any to queue for. "There is no logic in it at all," economics professor Toy Hawkins said of the budget. "It is full of wishful thinking on inflation, on repaying the foreign debt, about agricultural production. Murerwa has done little to actually improve the reality and may well have made things worse by inaction and illusion."

Murerwa announced a "wind down'' from the end of November of bureaux de change trading in currency at the parallel rate. In practical terms, a visitor who previously got Zimbabwe $1 700 for one American dollar, will not be forced to accept Zimbabwe $55. He will find someone out on the street, but face the extra risk of being mugged or blackmailed during and after the transaction. The "wind down" talk suggested that bureaux in which prominent members of Mugabe's Zanu PF party have interests will be left operating. Next, Murerwa revealed vague plans for an Economic Recovery Trust which seemed to be linked to the fantasy of fantasies - getting three million exiles to chip in US$250 million a year at the official rate to return Zimbabwe to solvency. Spending zoomed on defence, to keep the military sweet, as well as on the Central Intelligence Organisation. And such is the regime's reputation, that even Murerwa's announcement of plans to establish toll gates on major roads "in partnership with the private sector" roused suspicion this will amount to further political cronyism and sale of monopolies.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Aids terror of British tourist raped by gang By Tim Butcher in Johannesburg
Filed: 19/11/2002
A British tourist was blindfolded, threatened with a pistol and repeatedly
raped during a 14-hour ordeal after being abducted on a mountain road in
South Africa.
The 29-year-old woman, from Gloucestershire, was in deep shock yesterday and
unable to give a statement to police. Doctors were treating her with a
cocktail of anti-Aids drugs.
South Africa has the world's highest level of HIV infection and the woman
told friends she is now "under a death sentence". The virus's long
incubation period means it will be months before doctors can say if the
woman has been infected.
The attack came less than a month after another British tourist was shot
dead and her husband wounded in the same province.
"You have to understand that it is just not safe to get out of your car in
South Africa any more," said Piet Posthumus, a family friend of the victim.
"Hijackings do not just take place in Soweto or Johannesburg but out here in
the country."
The woman, who arrived in South Africa two weeks ago for a three-month
visit, was travelling with her 26-year-old South African boyfriend through
the picturesque mountains of Mpumalanga, the former Eastern Transvaal.
After driving along the winding Long Tom Pass between Lydenburg and Sabie,
one of the country's principal tourism routes leading to the Kruger National
Park, they stopped at a popular picnic spot and viewpoint.
"They got out of the vehicle and suddenly five guys came out of the bush
waving a pistol," Mr Posthumus said. "They bundled the two victims into the
back of the vehicle, beat them and blindfolded them."
The car was then driven for hundreds of miles across Mpumalanga, stopping
repeatedly at a number of shebeens - illegal drinking dens popular with
black South Africans.
According to the couple, their attackers got steadily more drunk and at
times invited other drinkers to come and have a look at their two white
victims trussed up in the back of the car.
At some time during the night the woman was raped twice by the same
attacker, according to preliminary evidence given by her boyfriend to the
"All the time a pistol was being waved about and they were being threatened
with their lives," Supt Danie Hall said. "The pistol was fired a couple of
times as a warning and at least once it was fired through the floor of the
car where they were lying."
The ordeal began at 2pm on Saturday and ended at around 4am on Sunday about
50 miles south of the abduction site near Barberton when the driver lost
control of the car, which careered off the road and overturned.
Two passing cars pulled up on the side of the road because the drivers
believed they had just seen a routine road accident. One of the kidnap gang
opened fire with a pistol and one of the drivers who had stopped to help,
Domingo Chanber, was hit in the head, dying instantly.
In the chaos the British woman and her boyfriend managed to run away into
the darkness and some time later emerged on to a main road where they were
able to flag down a car and call for help.
After the police picked them up they were driving back to the local police
station when they saw two of their attackers walking along the road.
The men, one of whom is from Zimbabwe, were arrested and one was found to be
carrying the mobile telephone and wallet of the woman's boyfriend. The pair
are expected to be charged today with rape, abduction and murder.
"This has been like a death threat for her," Mr Posthumus said. "She is so
traumatised by the possibility that her life is under threat because of what
has happened - it is the worst thing in the world.
"The men left them tied up on the floor of the vehicle while they went into
shebeens to buy drink and boast to the people inside how they had hijacked a
couple of whites. They got increasingly drunk and heavy handed and regularly
punched and hit the two of them as they lay defenceless on the floor."
The woman's boyfriend suffered a stab wound to his leg and lacerations to
his back. Both were heavily bruised from being tied up and beaten.©
Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2002.
Back to the Top
Back to Index