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

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Tuesday, 27 November, 2001, 16:58 GMT
Zimbabwe violence spirals
Riot police on patrol outside parliament
Mugabe appears increasingly intolerant of criticism
Zimbabwean riot police in the capital Harare have used teargas to break up a student protest over the killing of another student by a soldier.

The United States rejects any comparison between the international coalition's fight against terrorism and the deterioration of the rule of law and the state-sponsored violence that has emerged in Zimbabwe

US State Department
Correspondents say hundreds of students had gathered at the University of Zimbabwe planning to march to parliament and hand in a petition.

But before they could set off, riot police sealed off the campus and started to beat them up.

Students said they had wanted to march peacefully to hand in their petition, which denounced army indiscipline and called for the resignation of President Robert Mugabe.

The latest violence came as the United States joined the chorus of international condemnation of Mr Mugabe's government.

Resignation call

The student protest came in response to the death over the weekend of student Lameck Chemvura, who was thrown from a train by a soldier.

Farmer Alan Bradley watched over by his wife
Farmer Alan Bradley is one of the latest victims of the violence
Reports quoted witnesses as saying the soldier had accused him of being a supporter of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The angry students said they were calling for Mr Mugabe to resign because as commander of the defence force he was clearly failing to impose any discipline.

They said reports that a soldier had been arrested for Mr Chemvura's murder were irrelevant, given the "lack of control at the highest level".

Unconfirmed reports say one student was arrested during the clashes, but our correspondent said many student leaders had now fled underground.

The spiralling violence has also left a white farmer in critical condition in hospital in Harare.

Farmer Alan Bradley was shot over the weekend by unidentified assailants who had used branches to block a road to his farm southeast of the capital.

Many farm workers and white farmers have been injured, and some killed, in an often violent campaign of invasions of white-owned farms in the past 18 months.

US anger

On Monday, the United States joined global condemnation of Mr Mugabe, rejecting the government's use of the word "terrorist" to describe a group of foreign journalists.

"The statements reflect a continuing trend of harassment of the free press by the government of Zimbabwe," US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters.

"The United States rejects any comparison between the international coalition's fight against terrorism and the deterioration of the rule of law and the state-sponsored violence that has emerged in Zimbabwe," he added.


It appears that Zimbabwe could be moving closer towards some form of sanctions following a warning from the the British Foreign Office not to harass foreign correspondents based in Bulawayo.

Zimbabwean voters
Mugabe has rejected EU calls for poll monitors
A presidential spokesman was quoted in the government newspaper as calling six journalists "terrorists" after they reported on last week's political violence in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo.

Also on Saturday, The Herald quoted President Robert Mugabe as rejecting calls from a visiting European Union delegation to monitor next year's presidential elections.

The EU has threatened to impose sanctions against Harare if it is not allowed to monitor next year's elections, in which Mr Mugabe will face his strongest-ever challenge from the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai.

EU officials earlier said that relations were "critical".

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Zim farmer in a coma after gunman attacks
November 26 2001 at 11:56AM

Harare - A farmer was in a coma in a Harare hospital on Monday after he and his family came under attack while travelling in their car on Sunday, Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) officials said.

Alan Bradley, 36, was in a stable condition in the intensive care unit of Harare's Avenues Clinic with a collapsed lung.

A bullet punctured one of the car's side windows, passed in front of his wife Anthea and struck him in the arm before it disintegrated in his right lung.

The couple's son, Mitchell, who was sleeping on his father's lap was not hurt.

Motive for the shooting was not criminal,
"How it missed him (Mitchell), I have no idea," said a close relative who asked not to be named.

The motive for the shooting was not criminal, said Guy Watson-Smith, the provincial chairperson of the CFU.

"It was to take him (Bradley) out," he said.

The couple were nearing their farm, Royal Visit, in the Virginia district about 120km east of Harare when Mrs Bradley saw a pile of branches in the road, about 200m from the farm's security gate.

When she stopped, she saw a man step from behind a tree with what appeared to be a .303 rifle.

'It was to take him (Bradley) out'
"Alan was shot at point blank range," said Watson-Smith.

"The bullet went through the window on Anthea's side, missed her and hit Alan.

"She had the presence of mind to put her foot down and she drove through the roadblock, and managed to get through to the homestead. The assailant disappeared."

Mrs Bradley alerted police and farmers in the district via their farm security radio network and neighbours reacted immediately.

"It took police more than two hours to get there. They weren't in any particular hurry," said Watson-Smith.

During the night, several roadblocks consisting of logs were set up on the main road through the district.

"I don't know who by or for what purpose."

The latest attack follows a 21-month campaign of violence and harassment against the country's community of about 4 200 white farmers after President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF began its land redistribution programme.

Thirty-nine farm workers and nine farmers have been killed.

In December last year Henry Elsworth was shot and killed when he stopped to open his farm gate.

In April that year, David Stevens was murdered in the Virginia district. He was the first white farmer to be killed after the land invasions began.

Relatives said invaders had settled on the Bradleys' farm and there had been friction between the farmer and the squatters' leader.

Bradley had drawn up an agreement that allowed both sides to farm on different parts of the land.

"Alan got on well with the settlers, and they were happy for him to stay on the farm. But the war veteran leading them had it in for him, and was violently opposed to the family staying on their farm."

Scores of farmers have been driven off their properties in recent months by self-styled war veterans, while hundreds have been forced to stop all farming activities and have been confined to their homes.

Earlier in November, Mugabe passed a decree which gave him the right to evict farmers with three months' notice and without first seeking a court order.

Zimbabwe has appealed to the international community for food aid because of a decline in food production which has led to forecasts of a famine in a country that was once called "the breadbasket of Africa". - Sapa

Daily News

Suspected war vets shoot, injure farmer

11/27/01 9:20:03 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Alan Bradley, 36, a Macheke farmer, was shot and critically injured at about
7.30pm on Sunday by suspected war veterans on his Royal Visit Farm.

The shooting occurred about 500 metres from his house as he was returning
from an outing with his wife and two young children. These were not injured.

Yesterday a close relative, who declined to be named, said: "They came
across sticks laid on the road about 500 metres away from their house. They
got out and were approached by about three war veterans. They were about to
ask them to remove the sticks when they saw that they were armed, so they
jumped back into the car. The war veterans fired at Bradley at very close

The bullets shattered the window on the driver's side, hitting Bradley, who
was in the passenger seat of the Nissan Hardbody truck holding his son
Mitchell, six.

The shots missed his wife Anthea by a whisker.

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The Age, Melbourne

Zimbabwe police arrest man for shooting white farmer
HARARE, Nov 27 DPA|Published: Tuesday November 27, 11:52 PM

Police said today they had arrested a man in connection with the shooting on
Sunday of farmer Alan Bradley in his car as he was returning to his home in
eastern Zimbabwe with his six-year-old son asleep on his lap.

Superintendent Lameck Jena said police suspected the gunman planned to rob
the family, but relatives who asked not to be named identified the man as
the militant leader of squatters on Bradley's farm, Royal Visit, in the
Macheke district about 100 kilometres east of Harare.

"The motive was to take him (Bradley) out," said Guy Watson-Smith,
provincial chairman of the Commercial Farmers' Union. Jena said the arrested
man, William Nyawire, would appear in court soon.

Nyawire opened fire with a .303 rifle from point blank range. The bullet
shattered the side window of the car, missed Bradley's wife, Anthea, who was
driving, and his son, but struck the farmer in the chest.

Relatives said today Bradley, 36, was in a coma and in a critical but stable
condition in Harare's private Avenue's clinic. One lung had collapsed from
shattered bullet fragments.

Bradley was the latest victim of the 21-month campaign of violence and
lawlessness on white-owned farms as President Robert Mugabe's regime carries
out his plan to seize 90 per cent of all white farms.

Thirty-nine farm workers and nine white farmers have been murdered since
February last year when thousands of ruling ZANU(PF) party squatters
launched their invasions of white land.

Earlier this month the government said it planned to issue three-month
eviction orders to nearly all the country's white farmers, using a decree
under Mugabe's sweeping "presidential powers" that sidesteps court approval
needed to order farmers off their property.

In Harare, lawyers confirmed that Tapiwa Mashakada, member of parliament for
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), had been acquitted
yesterday of charges of possessing illegal weapons.

Magistrate Elizabeth Chaponda ruled that the .303 rifle had been left at
Mshakanda's home by a security guard. Last week the state press said that
the charge against the MP was evidence of "terrorist activities".

MDC officials say the acquittal was the latest in a series of failed cases
against party figures, including leader Morgan Tsvangirai who had charges of
"incitement to violence" thrown out by the supreme court last week. The
party accuses police of harassment and arrests on spurious grounds.

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ZIMBABWE: EU cooperation could be reviewed

JOHANNESBURG, 27 November (IRIN) - Consultation with the government of Zimbabwe would continue, despite last week's unsuccessful meeting between European Union (EU) representatives and President Robert Mugabe, sources in Brussels told IRIN on Tuesday.

"We're hoping a ministerial delegation from Harare will be in Brussels before the end of the year for talks," the source said.

Earlier this month, EU foreign ministers agreed to invoke Article 96 of the Cotonou agreement that governs relations between the 15-member bloc and its African, Caribbean and Pacific partners over concerns with human rights in Zimbabwe.

The move meant that the EU has formally asked Zimbabwe to discuss such issues as land reform, ending political violence, ensuring press freedom and judicial independence, and allowing election observers at next year's presidential poll.

The EU delegation - on a tour of central and southern Africa to review the Congolese peace process - said it had failed to hold constructive talks with Mugabe on Friday, and that its relations with the country had reached a low point.

"Our relations are now at a critical point, we have to admit that, we have arrived at a critical point," said Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel, who headed the EU team.

The EU source said that if the proposed ministerial talks in Brussels did not yield results then suspension of specific economic cooperation programmes with Zimbabwe could follow. "Zimbabwe gets a lot of preferential access to EU markets, particularly for its food products and textiles, this access may be reviewed."

Harare-based economist Tony Hawkins told IRIN that Zimbabwe could suffer economically if lucrative EU beef and sugar protocols were reviewed or cancelled. "The EU relationship is basically about aid and trade, the trade component is important to Zimbabwe, it's the kind of sanction that could definitely hurt the economy," he said.
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News release - 15:30 26 November 2001

(On behalf of the Commercial Farmers Union)

COMMERCIAL Farmer, Alan Bradley (36), of Royal Visit Farm, Virginia 110 kilometers east of Harare was shot at approximately 7:30pm on 25th November as he returned home with his family after a Sunday outing. His condition is critical as the bullet went through his upper arm and into his chest; fragments of the bullet are visible in his lungs on the X-rays.

The family twin cab has at least two bullet holes in front of the car and it appears that a bullet went through the driver's window, missing Mrs.. Anthea Bradley (32) who was driving and Mitchell (6) who was sitting on his fathers lap. The bullet seems to have then gone into the upper arm of Mr.. Bradley. Another child Luke (8) who was in the twin cab escaped unhurt.

Recounting the ordeal, a shaken Anthea said that branches were blocking the driveway onto the farm, in what appeared to be an ambush.

"I was driving and as I stopped, I noticed a man crouching behind a tree. I cannot identify this person - all I noticed was that he had a white hat on! I wound down the window and asked him to move the branches but got no immediate reaction. Alan got out of the car and began to walk towards the branches to remove them. I then noticed the long barrel of a gun above the mans shoulder and immediately shouted for Alan to get back in the car. I then accelerated and drove straight over the log. I saw the man step out and heard two gunshots, my window shattered. I drove around the house, instinctively knowing that I should not stop there. As I drove I tried to speak to Alan but he remained silent. I eventually looked over at him and noticed his shoulder was soaked in blood. I radioed the farmers network for support and proceeded on an access road towards the main road where I met my neighbours."

Mrs.. Bradley went on to say that neighbours then drove Alan to Borrowdale Hospital in Marondera where he was subsequently referred to the Avenues Clinic with internal bleeding and crushed ribs.

Royal Visit is under a Section 5 (Preliminary) Notice of Acquisition, and along with 52 other farms in this area have had farming operations disrupted. There are approximately 50 settlers on the farm, who had struck up a reasonable working environment with the farm owner. This had not been well received by war veterans assigned to the area. The farm is 1308 hectares in extent and was purchased by Mr.. Bradley in 1992.

26th November 2001

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Tories say Government is treating Mugabe with 'kid gloves'

Tories claim the Government is treating Zimbabwe's President Mugabe with kid

The Conservatives say the Blair administration is embarrassed about
Britain's colonial past.

They are urging the Government to help ensure Zimbabwe's presidential
elections are fair.

Andrew Rossindell (Con, Romford) says that as long as President Robert
Mugabe maintains the "pretence" of supporting democracy by holding
elections, Britain must ensure that those elections are free and fair.

"I urge the Government to maintain an ethical foreign policy - do not ignore
Zimbabwe. Take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the Zimbabwean
elections are truly independently and impartially observed."

Failure to do so, he warns, will show that this country has ignored "the
potential creation of a dangerous and threatening rogue state".

Tory Hugo Swire (E Devon) condemned the recent history of "violence and
intimidation" in Zimbabwe and urged action from the Government.

He said: "Many people cannot understand why this Government talks tough on
terrorism but seems too afraid to mete out the justice which Mugabe

"The British Government should stop handling Mugabe with kid gloves. They
are behaving as if in some way the British are guilty and I fear it is part
of the Labour Party's continuing embarrassment about Britain's colonial

Junior foreign office minister Ben Bradshaw acknowledged that a "human
tragedy" is unfolding in Zimbabwe. But he urged MPs to allow existing
international initiatives attempting to apply pressure on Mr Mugabe to be
given a chance.

Story filed: 15:00 Tuesday 27th November 2001
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No terrorism in Zimbabwe - it's plain lawlessness

11/27/01 8:55:26 AM (GMT +2)

Nungu at large with Tagwirei Bango

FOR new words to get accepted into a language, they must reflect the mood of the time, fill in a vacuum in the standard lexicon and be accepted as an appropriate form of expression. Thus, the word jambanja which became part of our vocabulary in the past two years, helped people to accept their confusion with an executive order directing the police to ignore crimes classified as political.

Jambanja means state-sponsored lawlessness. The police are not expected to intervene or arrest anyone in a jambanja scene because those taking part will have prior state blessing and approval. But, only one interest group, war veterans and Zanu PF supporters, is allowed to engage in a jambanja.

Today, hundreds of people, mainly from the opposition, have either died or were disabled by jambanja. Some lost their homes; others were swindled out of millions of dollars through company jambanjas.

Among the people who manufactured the term was Joseph Chinotimba, the self-styled leader of the farm invasions.

Luckmore Chakanyuka, a commuter omnibus driver, was quickly sentenced to three years in jail for attempting to runover Chinotimba in Harare. Stanley Murinda and Warning Manombe were severely beaten up after being accused of trying to break into Chinotimba's car. Manombe fractured a collar bone and his right hand in the assault. Murinda suffered some internal injuries and vomitted a lot of blood. The two were charged and prosecuted. Those who beat them up are free.

The two incidents took place in a neighbourhood granted to Chinotimba after he allegedly shot and injured Anna Maria Maenzanise in another jambanja in Glen Norah. His trial has been postponed repeatedly to a date sometime next year.

We have accepted the word jambanja in our language, with some reluctance.

Now, the government is trying to force many other words into our language, including terrorism. We are now subjected to intense hate speech from the state, the kind of fictitiously dangerous utterances meant to divide and alarm the nation.

The distorted use of the term terrorism is meant to incite pro-government supporters against the millions who rejected Zanu PF in the last election.

If the word came in a little earlier, Chakanyuka would have been arrested and prosecuted for terrorism for trying to kill a war veteran. Chinotimba's attempted murder charge, for allegedly attempting to kill Maenzanise, an MDC veteran, must be revised to include terrorism.

Zimbabwe is in a state of extreme lawlessness. It is not under a terrorist threat. Lawlessness is not a new thing here. We have lived in that poisoned climate for the past two years and, everybody accepts that it will only end when there is a change of government.

Cain Nkala was a victim of lawlessness; so was Limukani Luphahla of Lupane,
Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika in Buhera, David Stevens in Murewa,
Martin Olds in Nyamandlovu, Matthew Pfebve in Bindura, Felix Mazava in
Chivhu and many others whose fate has gone largely unrecorded.

Nkala and Luphahla were treated differently, as expected. A number of suspects are already in court. And, the state media is having a field day of scoops! The legal process must be given its way to enable Zimbabweans to hear what the accused have to say about their charges. It seems the government wants to have none of that. With the help of state journalism, it has already convicted the suspects.

The state media's behaviour has gone maniacal and out of control, to the point where the seriousness of life and death is ridiculed.

Gory images of burnt out bodies are paraded on television and on front pages of newspapers. Bodies of real people, not fossils. Bodies of family men watched on television at home by school children and toddlers. This is an abuse of human life for political gain.

To assume that by doing so, one may whip up emotions against the opposition and sway the vote in next year's election is wishful thinking, misguided hate and outright day-dreaming.

If Nkala and Luphaphla were the first victims of political murders before an election, perhaps some voters could be so shell-shocked that they could drown in the propaganda flood.

But that is not so. Many died in the chaos since February last year. No arrests were made. Zimbabweans know this. They hate it.

A murder is a murder. The murderer must be jailed or even executed. It does not matter whether the murderer supports the MDC or Zanu PF.

Instead of punishing the nation with nonsensical hype and useless propaganda, let us haul any assumed murderers before our courts, prosecute them and deal with them.

Zimbabweans are aware of many cases of state-sanctioned brutality and severe stress inflicted on urban workers, rural school teachers and opposition activists.

They know where the problem lies. They know the difference between lawlessness and terrorism.

Newspapers and their vendors have not been spared by the current state of lawlessness. For sometime, vendors in Kwekwe sold The Daily News under police escort. The newspaper's printing press was later bombed. No arrests were made.

Their counterparts in most parts of Mashonaland were threatened and their newspapers burnt, often in the glare of television cameras. The people who committed all these acts are still free.

The cases of Mabika, Chiminya and Stevens need particular mention. The High
Court ordered the Attorney General to instruct the police to investigate war veteran Kainos Tom 'Kitsiyatota' Zimunya and CIO operative Joseph Mwale after they were repeatedly named as the prime suspects.

Andrew Chigovera, the Attorney General, duly complied with the court directive and forwarded a request to the police. That was ignored.

When pressed in Parliament on the progress made in the matter, Patrick
Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, made a startling U-turn, accusing the High Court of exceeding its mandate.

"The courts have no legal right to order the Attorney General to prosecute criminals," fumed Chinamasa.
"If a High Court judge did so, he was usurping the powers of the AG because the AG must not take directives or get influenced by the executive, parliament or the courts."

Chinamasa misdirected himself here. Section 137 of the Electoral Act empowers the courts to refer evidence to the AG.

Stevens was dragged out of Murewa Police Station and murdered. Daniel
Chitekuteku, a Marondera war veteran, was arrested - almost a year later - and released soon afterwards.

No charge.

The state media, as in all the cases involving the murder of assumed government opponents, took no interest in the matter.

White South African journalists, working for the Afrikaans media, have since apologised for being used by politicians against their own people.

So did their colleagues in the former German Democratic Republic.

Some journalists here are certainly going to do so, very soon.

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Zanu PF owes city $20 million

11/27/01 9:04:12 AM (GMT +2)

By Brian Mangwende

THE ruling party, Zanu PF, owes the City of Harare more than $20 million in unpaid rates and water bills incurred at its headquarters and the former head offices at 88 Robert Mugabe Road.

According to rates and water bills from the City of Harare compiled on 2
November 2001, Zanu PF owes it $20 703 003, 74 dating back to December 1999.

Zanu PF owes an additional $276 865 30 in unpaid rates and water bills from its Robert Mugabe Road offices since October.

The total amount owed is $20 979 869,04. The rates include payments for the land being used, improvements, refuse collection and sewerage charges.

Cuthbert Rwazemba, the City of Harare spokesperson, was unreachable for comment last night.

But a municipal official who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation, said the department was under strict orders not to cut water supplies at the Zanu PF offices. Non-compliance would risk unspecified action.

The official said: "We have instructions from our bosses not to cut off supplies there. We have been threatened that if anyone even dreams of doing so or pursuing the issue, that person or persons would be answerable directly to Zanu PF's political heavyweights."

Since 3 October, Zanu PF has failed to pay the fixed monthly charge of $116
399,00 at its Robert Mugabe Road offices, while the water bill has shot to $15 482,80.

Dr Nathan Shamuyarira, Zanu PF's secretary for information and publicity, yesterday could only say: "Well, I do not believe we have such a large bill.
But, anyway why don't you fax your questions to my office and I'll investigate?"

On learning that copies of the bills were already in the possession of The
Daily News, he said: "Please may you send the copies to my office and I'll have a look at them and see what is going on."

According to the documents, Zanu PF owes the City of Harare owner's charges of $19 707 506,85 plus $296 622,43 interest for its headquarters along Rotten Row.

The rates not paid for the Robert Mugabe Road offices from October amount to
$116 399,00, with the water bill in arrears of $15 482,80.

Jocelyn Chiwenga, a Zanu PF appointed commissioner, in a well-publicised crusade two months ago demanded payment from institutions and individuals who had been boycotting payment over unsatisfactory service.

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Daily News

Justice Garwe snatches case

11/27/01 9:18:51 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE $219 million tender scam in which Dr Swithun Mombeshora, the Minister of
Transport and Communications, is being accused of flouting procedures when
he awarded a tender for the procurement of 23 Mercedes Benz vehicles to
Zimoco, has taken a new twist.

This follows revelations last night that the Judge President of the High
Court, Justice Paddington Garwe, issued a directive that the matter be heard
by him today and not by Justice George Smith, who has presided over the case
since it was brought to court. Dumbfounded High Court officials yesterday
confirmed that Garwe had snatched the case from Smith.

Harare businessman Stanley Botsh sued Mombeshora, the Government Tender
Board and the government's vehicle procurement arm, the Central Mechanical
Equipment Department, after a tender he had won to supply the vehicles was
taken away on the grounds that he had failed to secure the vehicles.
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Daily News

Mourning students want Mugabe out

11/27/01 9:21:37 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

STUDENTS at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) yesterday implored President
Mugabe to resign following the brutal murder on Saturday of Lameck Chemvura,
a second year student who was thrown out of a moving passenger train by
rowdy soldiers.

The students made the call for Mugabe's resignation in a petition to Mugabe
in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

Part of the petition reads: "The national students' union demands that R G
Mugabe, the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Forces and the President, should
humbly resign over the murder of a student by his armed forces.

"The Zimbabwe National Army is now a terrorist organisation and those who
head it are not distinguishable from the terrorists themselves. To us, this
is a clear declaration of war against students and the rest of Zimbabweans."

The body of Chemvura, 23, was yesterday being kept at the Rusape General
Hospital mortuary. Police in Nyazura yesterday said evidence at hand showed
that the student had been strangled before he was thrown out of the train.

A sombre mood prevailed at the UZ campus as thousands of angry students
staged a peaceful demonstration in a moving tribute to their slain

They gathered outside the Students' Union building where they were addressed
by their leaders and the acting Dean of Students, Reverend Charles Mugaviri.

Addressing the students, Mugaviri said: "After the tragic death of Batanai
Hadzizi, I never imagined that I was going to stand before you again with a
broken heart.

"Police in Rusape have confirmed the incident and we are making frantic
efforts to locate the family and relatives."

Hadzizi died in April after police descended on the UZ halls of residence
around midnight and threw teargas canisters into the rooms causing a serious

Hadzizi was assaulted by the police and left for dead.

Henry Maronga, a student, said: "This is very tragic and we are all greatly
shocked. I am particularly sad because Lameck was in our faculty.
"We hope the law will be allowed to take its course without undue
interference. We condemn this murder in the strongest possible terms."

The student leaders declared a week of mourning for Chemvura.

"As students, we no longer regard a government that murders its students as
a legitimate government," the petition reads.

The riot police yesterday sealed the university campus and barred the
students from marching to Munhumutapa Building, which houses the Office of
the President and Cabinet.

Meanwhile, the MDC yesterday condemned the brutal murder of Chemvura.
Learnmore Jongwe, the party's spokesperson, said in a statement: "The
cold-blooded and callous murder over the weekend by State militias of
defenceless university student Lameck Chemvura, whose only crime was that he
looked like an MDC supporter, signifies the ruthless continuation of
organised violence, torture, abductions, and outright elimination of
opposition or perceived opposition supporters." He said the government is no
different from the Taliban.

Jongwe said Zimbabweans were now expecting Professor Jonathan Moyo, the
government spokesperson, to "employ the same amount of venom he summoned to
condemn the murder of Cain Nkala".

Jongwe said: "Zimbabweans further await the dispatching of ZBC chief
correspondent Reuben Barwe to Nyazura to cover the mystery surrounding the
torture and subsequent murder of a poor and defenceless student by these
marauding Zanu PF militias."
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Daily News

Media watchdog blasts Mugabe

11/27/01 9:22:21 AM (GMT +2)

By Lloyd Mudiwa

PRESIDENT Mugabe, once the darling of the international Press, is now
attracting the wrath of the media worldwide as his government steps up its
intimidation campaign against freedom of speech.

Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF - Reporters Without Borders), a Paris-based
international media watchdog, expressed its indignation in a letter to
Mugabe last Friday after the government blacklisted six Harare-based foreign
correspondents accused of aiding terrorism.

RSF called on Mugabe to publicly condemn such measures taken by his
government and to reaffirm his commitment to Press freedom.
Robert Ménard, the general secretary of RSF, said: "Zimbabwe is one of worst
places in Africa for local and international journalists to work. The
authorities never cease to develop new rules to try to muzzle the
independent Press and to force foreign journalists to leave."

He said 20 local journalists have been arrested and four foreign
correspondents have been expelled from the country, since the beginning of
the year. Mugabe was named one of the 39 predators of Press freedom in the
world early this month, the RSF also noted.

Provoking a storm of protest around the world, an unnamed government
spokesman was quoted in the State-controlled Herald newspaper on Friday
describing the journalists as "terrorists" who had filed false reports on
the violence sweeping Bulawayo following the death of Cain Nkala, a war
veterans' leader in Bulawayo.

The spokesman's remarks were the government's most serious attempt to
intimidate journalists in the run-up to next year's presidential election.

The blacklist comprises British correspondents, Jan Raath of The Times, Peta
Thornycroft of The Daily Telegraph, Andrew Meldrum of The Guardian, and
Basildon Peta of The Independent. The other two are Angus Shaw of the
American news agency Associated Press, and Dumisani Muleya, of the South
African newspaper Business Day. A London-based human rights campaigner,
Richard Carver, was also included in the list.

Foreign correspondents have reported on numerous human rights abuses, the
State-sponsored murders of some 50 opposition party supporters and the
torture of many more in the past year.

The list's publication follows an announcement by the government on
Wednesday last week, that it planned to reintroduce a Public Order and
Security Bill which will punish acts of terrorism with life imprisonment or
the death penalty. Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and
Publicity, says the bill is aimed at combating terrorism. It prescribes
stiff penalties for people who publish information considered offensive, and
life sentences for people accused of espionage, terrorism, sabotage and
other crimes.

Jack Straw, Britain's Foreign Secretary, on Sunday condemned the
government's assertions as "a clear breach" of the Abuja Agreement, which
explicitly referred to Zimbabwe's commitment to freedom of expression.

He said the British High Commission in Harare would make urgent
representations to Mugabe seeking assurances that independent journalists
will be able to report freely and without sanction.

Straw said he would talk to the European Union and the Commonwealth "to
consider how else we should respond" and would make a further statement in
Britain's House of Commons today.
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Daily News

LEADER PAGE  Tuesday   27  , November

Western values have become cheap

11/27/01 9:01:46 AM (GMT +2)

By Rainer C Henning

Once, Western values inspired backward governments towards modernisation and
oppressed people to demand the human rights enjoyed by others.

Nowadays, the values broadcast from the West represent oppression of the
poor and decay of civilisation. They generally seem to be loosing their

After the United Kingdom Labour government of Tony Blair reversed a
four-centuries trend of strengthening human rights in Britain by proposing
new draconian anti-terrorism legislation, it is harder for the Congolese
opposition to contradict the government's claim of a need for infringements
on human rights in a situation of true national emergency.

After the United States government slowly but visibly counters centuries of
Press freedom traditions being engaged in a war on the other side of the
globe, it becomes more difficult for the national Press in countries victims
to civil war or political instability to cry out for independent journalism.

When women featured in the main bulk of Western popular culture, broadcast
throughout the globe, more and more become sexual objects, it logically
becomes harder for women living in traditional, patriarchal societies
claiming such basic rights as to dress as they like or choose their partners
on their own.

When the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund - due to their
structure, totally dominated by Western powers in decision-making - demand
higher prices on basic goods in Ghana while subsidies on the same goods are
accepted in rich countries, thus preventing imports from poor countries,
Western economic liberalism is not seen as a freedom, but as oppression.

When the veto holders of the UN Security Council still are composed of four
Western, Christian powers and one Eastern, Confucian power, Muslim,
African or Latin American countries and their citizen have no illusions on
which culture represents power and thus oppression and that, when it comes
to important decisions, their voices are not heard.

Long time ago, Africans, Asians and Latin Americans lost their faith in the
economic values represented by the North, values that had indeed "developed"
these countries over the last two centuries.

Attempts to copy these values mostly failed because market structures
imposed by Western powers did not permit equal market access, nor were
protective measures, historically used in the West, allowed to maintain
prices somewhat high and thus promote and protect investments.

In the seventies, these Southern governments put their trust in
international agencies, such as the UN and the World Bank, to gain some
influence by adapting Western economic values to their own needs.

They were allowed to talk, but were not heard. Instead, they found
themselves in the debt trap of the nineties, again demonstrating that
Western economic values were meant to exploit them.

Government trust in Western-like modernisation thus faded.

Several attempts to alter the power sharing model of international agencies
have since that utterly failed, lowering confidence in the indeed Western
values promoted by, for example, UN agencies as a whole.

Western domination over world agencies and treaties is demonstrated clearly
by the recent failures of Kyoto/Marrakech, the failure to establish an
international tribunal of war crimes and the trends in world trade policy.

Why should The Gambia listen to Unifem's (United Nations agency promoting
women's rights) demand for an abandonment of the harmful tradition of female
genital mutilation when the US uses its muscles to prevent the
implementation of the Kyoto Protocol against global warming, which could
result in the flooding of half of The Gambia's territory?

Why should Guinea spend enormous resources on hundreds of thousands Sierra
Leonean and Liberian refugees when rich Australia simply ignores calls by
the UN High Commision for Refugees to let a ship with some hundreds
desperate Afghan refugees enter its territory?

UN agencies represent humanist values defined by the West after the American
and French revolutions, though most of these values are rooted in
non-Western societies and religions. These agencies, however, promote their
Western interpretation and classification.

Respect of these values is, however, undermined by the language of power,
expressed louder and louder by Western governments when international
agreements go against them. It seems, critics are only "allowed" when
expressed towards Sudan, Rwanda or Pakistan.

Human rights for long were the flagship of Western values among oppressed
masses in the South. People demanded political representation and democracy.

Oppositional politicians demanded freedom of speech and association and a
free Press. Workers demanded labour and social rights. Women demanded gender
equality. Western governments, the UN and organisations willingly supported

But somehow, one found out, not all human rights were equally important to
Western pressure groups and governments. Social rights, one observed, were a
sleeping human right outside the Western world.

Labour rights were from times to times branded as communism, which was a bad
thing indeed. So bad, that not even the other human rights counted if some
government did all it could to fight communism.

Then, human rights did not matter that much if economic interests were
substantial - oil being the most important example.

Nowadays, human rights do not matter at all if your government is totally
dedicated to wage "war on terrorism".

So then, the West suddenly doesn't care about Russian human rights
violations in Chechnya, Chinese violations in Sinkiang or dictatorships in
Pakistan, Uzbekistan or Sudan.

Worst of all, human rights groups now stand increasingly isolated as they
have had to criticise growing human rights violations in the former model
states of the US and the UK.
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Daily News - Feature

Shaken and bruised, Daily News' journalist Mathuthu fears for his life

11/27/01 8:03:29 AM (GMT +2)

From Mduduzi Mathuthu in Bulawayo

This year alone, I have been arrested on flimsy and trumped up charges on
three occasions. The charges have ranged from "trespassing at a police
station" to writing stories likely to cause fear, alarm and despondency.
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Daily News - Leader Page

State manipulation of law sign of desperation

11/27/01 9:00:55 AM (GMT +2)

THE number of times the government has been caught on the wrong side of the
law would seem to suggest it needs an entirely new crop of legal advisers.

Or that it is so desperate to cling to power its chief law officer is under
strict instructions to ignore the very laws which underpin our Constitution.

When critics, both at home and abroad, accuse the government of turning this
previously law-abiding country into a virtual terrorist and lawless one
comparable to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, they refer to the use by
the government of legally dubious methods to silence dissent.

A number of citizens, exercising their inalienable right to free expression
and association, have been locked up by the police on one flimsy charge or

Once brought before the courts, most of these cases have developed into
legal farces in which the State has shown it had not done its homework
before pouncing on the innocent citizens, invariably in the dead of night or
in the small hours of the morning.

It may be a chest-thumping declaration for the government to claim this
shows how law-abiding it is, but that is a very small consolation.

The government, in its reckless pursuit of retaining power at any cost, may
now be beyond shame. But it is ruining the reputation of this country and it
may be a long time before the outside world can consider Zimbabwe a
law-abiding country in which to invest or visit.

The virtual police raid on the headquarters of Econet last week is a prime
example of how political expediency has been allowed to undermine the rule
of law.

Many countries and organisations have warned President Mugabe that his
obsession with retaining power against all odds will lead to the total
isolation of this country.

His colleagues in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) have
tried, so far in vain, to rein him in, but we urge them not to give up.

Malawi's Bakili Muluzi, as the current chairman of Sadc, has recently
received a strongly-worded message from the Africa Division of the
international human rights group, Human Rights Watch, urging Sadc to speak
out against the violence in Zimbabwe.

Peter Takirambudde, the executive director, said in a statement: "President
Mugabe must take urgent steps to restore the rule of law and end the
harassment of Zimbabweans who peacefully express their opposition to his

"The situation in Zimbabwe seems to be deteriorating daily."

Referring to the arrest of 18 MDC supporters in connection with the
assassination of Cain Nkala, Takirambudde says: "It seems this killing is
being used as an excuse to crack down on the opposition."

Last September, the Sadc heads of state met with Mugabe in Harare for talks
during which they were expected to curb his lust for absolute power. At the
end of the talks, there were statements which some people thought would calm
Mugabe into pursuing a less confrontational stance with his detractors.

But little has changed so far. The violence continues unabated.

Now, there is talk of the government working to reintroduce the Public Order
and Security Bill (POSB), Mugabe's preferred replacement of the evil Law and
Order (Maintenance) Act (LOMA). The POSB, as crafted by Zanu PF mandarins
under Mugabe's tutelage, will be even more evil than LOMA.

The people have every right to protest, but under LOMA even that right is
considered illegal. A recent attempt by the National Constitutional Assembly
to protest against the electoral terrorism the government is planning
against the people suggests it is poised to destroy the foundations of the
democracy ushered in by the results of the 2000 constitutional referendum.

The government must know that when the people's right to freely express
their views is circumscribed, then it is sowing the seeds of its own

Every pressure, domestic and foreign, must be exerted on Mugabe to step back
from the brink.

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Daily News

Joy Television an extension of ZBC, says NCA

11/27/01 9:23:03 AM (GMT +2)

By Obert Matahwa

LOVEMORE Madhuku, the chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
last week said Joy Television, a private station, was an extension of the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and should not be misconstrued as a
move towards opening up the broadcasting industry to new operators.

ZBC leases its air time to Joy Television on condition the station does not
flight news and current affairs programmes. The station has to focus on
entertainment only.

He said people can take the government to court over the unconstitutionality
of a number of provisions in the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) which
inhibit broadcasting reform.

Madhuku said: "It is not surprising that not a single broadcaster was
licensed despite the fact that the Act was passed and signed by Parliament
and the President speedily in April this year. The government does not
intend to liberalise electronic media any time soon.

"In the ordinary course of things, people should rise and join the struggles
against the government to force it to respect their wishes for a new
constitution which eventually guarantees them a critical media and an
independent judiciary they want."

Madhuku was addressing a public meeting dubbed Where are the Television and
Radio Stations at a Harare hotel last Wednesday.

The meeting was organised by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
Zimbabwe Chapter to discuss the new broadcasting era, promised by the
government after the enactment of the BSA.

Madhuku said: "It is absurd for one to go to the Supreme Court on a
constitutional issue against the government hoping to get a favourable
judgement. That would be a futile exercise because the recently appointed
judges are sympathetic to the government."

He castigated the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) saying it had no
recognisable role other than advising Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State
for Information and Publicity on issues of broadcasting reform.

The BAZ was relegated to an advisory board and not an active player in
policy implementation in the sector, Madhuku said.

Madhuku said last year's court order to liberalise the airwaves meant that
anyone could operate a broadcasting station.

"According to the judgement of the Supreme Court in the Capital Radio case
last year, a licence was not a precondition for one to start operating a
station," he said.

Participants at the meeting were concerned that Moyo would award a second
licence for a national broadcaster to a government outfit such as the New
Ziana that emerged from the restructuring of the country's sole news agency
and government-controlled community newspapers.

Moyo is the final licencing authority in an application for a broadcasting
license, according to the Act.

But Madhuku said the government cannot establish a broadcasting station
according to BSA in the planned New Ziana because the Act restricts
ownership of a station to a 10 percent stake per individual and for
government to have a 100 percent stake would be a breach of the Act.

"The government cannot give a licence to a company which it wholly owns. It
would be breaching the 10 percent ownership provision," he said.

The BSA undermined the right to impart and receive information as granted by
the Supreme Court, he said.

Madhuku said Zimbabwe should establish an Independent Broadcasting
Authority - a regulatory body - that oversees the broadcasting industry. The
authority would ensure that deserving operators are licenced.
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Daily News

Anglicans cry foul over plans to remove priest

11/27/01 9:23:43 AM (GMT +2)

By Lloyd Mudiwa

ABOUT 200 members of St Lukes Anglican parish in Mufakose, Harare, have said
the decision by Bishop Nobert Kunonga, the new head of the Anglican Church's
Diocese of Harare, to remove their priest, Reverend Petros Nyatsanza, was

The parishioners recently braved a drizzle to demonstrate against the
decision at the offices of the Diocese in Harare on the second floor of
Paget House in the city centre.

They wanted to present a petition to Kunonga.

"We are now beginning to doubt his Christianity," said Joseph Time, the
parish's youth chairman. "We think there is another agenda, which might be

Susan Mangwende, the chairperson of the Mothers' Union, concurred with Time,
saying they did not know why Kunonga wanted Nyatsanza removed.

Soon after his appointment as the Anglican Bishop of Harare five moths ago,
Kunonga was accused of making political statements, described by fellow
clergymen as divisive and partisan.

Time said Kunonga found Nyatsanza guilty of failure to comply with
unspecified church rules.

He understood, however, that Kunonga and Nyatsanza had strong personal
differences and disagreed on certain issues.

Church insiders said Nyatsanza had backed retired Reverend Tim Neill ahead
of Kunonga to become the new head of the Anglican Church diocese in Harare,
while Reverend Godfrey Tawonezvi, then the priest at St Pauls parish in
Highfield, had been among Kunonga's supporters.

Kunonga is said to have rewarded Tawonezvi by appointing him Dean of the
Diocese of Harare. He was alleged to have plotted Nyatsanza's transfer to
the St Pauls parish in Highfield as punishment.

The congregation said they also wanted a Reverend, whom Kunonga has assigned
to the parish, removed. They accused the clergyman of sexually abusing young
women in the church and involvement in adulterous affairs.

Kunonga, who has only been Bishop for five months, has already had several
differences with his flock in Harare. Kunonga's secretary said: "He is not
interested in commenting." Kunonga has since shut the door on the media
saying he was unhappy over the way he had been reported on.

Efforts to contact the Reverend accused of sexual immorality failed as he
was said to be away from home.
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The Independent (UK)

Zimbabwe students fight with riot police

By Basildon Peta, Alex Duval Smith and Ben Russell
28 November 2001
Riot police in Zimbabwe fought running battles with students yesterday and
arrested 19 pro-democracy activists, including a prominent intellectual,
after they tried to stage a demonstration in the capital, Harare.

At Westminster, the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, said Britain remained
"profoundly concerned'' at the recent increase in violence in the country
and denounced as "preposterous" signals last week from President Robert
Mugabe's office that journalists, including The Independent's Harare-based
correspondent, are "assisting terrorists''.

The University of Zimbabwe students stoned police, who retaliated with tear
gas, after they tried to stage a campus demonstration over the killing last
Saturday of fellow-student Lameck Chemvura, 23, thrown to his death by
soldiers from a train. A soldier is under arrest. The students yesterday
branded President Mugabe a "terrorist'' and called on him to resign.

Mr Chemvura died after soldiers harassed passengers and accused them of
supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The party
was declared a "terrorist group'' last week, although it has 57 seats in

The demonstration by activists from Zimbabwe's largest civic group, the
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), was called to protest plans by
77-year-old president Mugabe to change electoral laws. Those arrested
included the respected and outspoken law professor, Lovemore Madhuku,
chairman of the NCA. In yesterday's Independent, Mr Madhuku said President
Mugabe was effectively running Zimbabwe under a state of emergency.

Last night, NCA executive director Perpetua Bganya said Mr Madhuku remained
in custody and she and lawyers had been refused access to him. It appeared
the activists were being detained for "obstructing the flow of traffic''.
Last week, police thwarted a similar NCA demonstration to protest plans to
amend Zimbabwe's Electoral Act. The amendments will ban foreign monitoring
of presidential elections due by April, forbid private organisations from
conducting voter education and deny voting rights to more than million
Zimbabweans living abroad.

In the Commons yesterday Mr Straw staged the vigorous defence of the rights
of journalists to report the situation in Zimbabwe and praised the "great
courage'' shown by Zimbabwean journalists, including The Independent's
Basildon Peta, "recording the situation against the most flagrant
intimidation''. Last week, Mr Peta was included among a small group of
journalists whom the government said it would treat as though they were
"assisting terrorists''.

Mr Straw also told the Commons that the Commonwealth ministerial action
group would discuss Zimbabwe in a tele-conference next month and hold a
meeting in London in January. If violence continues to rise, the
Commonwealth is likely to back planned European Union sanctions from
February. These would include an end to EU aid, suspension of trade
privileges and travel bans on Mr Mugabe, his family and aides.

* The World Association of Newspapers yesterday awarded its annual press
freedom prize to Geoffrey Nyarota, 50, editor-in-chief of Zimbabwe's only
independent daily newspaper, The Daily News for his commitment to reporting
the truth despite a "constant campaign of intimidation".

Zimbabwean students clash with riot police

Paramilitary riot police in the Zimbabwean capital have fought running
battles with hundreds of university students.

The protest in Harare is against the killing of one of a student by

Police have fired tear gas and the students have retaliated with stones.

The students were angered by the death of Lameck Chemvura, 22, who witnesses
said was strangled and then thrown from a moving train by soldiers on
Saturday. Chemvura was accused of supporting the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change.

"The Zimbabwe National Army is now a terrorist organisation. This is a clear
declaration of war against students and the rest of Zimbabweans," said a
petition circulated by the students' union.

It called for the resignation of President Robert Mugabe, 77, who is
commander-in-chief of the army.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said Chemvura's killing took place during
a brawl and was not political motivated.

Bvudzijena said one soldier had been arrested and charged with Chemvura's
murder, although witnesses said six soldiers flung him from the train.

Story filed: 13:55 Tuesday 27th November 2001
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From The Independent (UK), 27 November

Student killed as Mugabe steps up war on opposition

Harare - A soldier has been arrested over the death of a University of Zimbabwe student who was thrown from a moving train at the weekend. Political support for the opposition is strong on the university campus in Harare and the death of Lameck Chemvura, a second-year-student, is seen as part of increasing evidence that the government has launched a campaign of lightning strikes on people and areas suspected of supporting its opponents. Constitutional experts warned that President Robert Mugabe has effectively declared a back-door state of emergency and is often circumventing his parliament, ordering troop deployments, branding critics "terrorists" and ruling by decree.

Britain's Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, who addresses Parliament today on Zimbabwe, is expected to say sanctions will soon be the European Union's only means to counter the blatancy and brutality of the 77-year-old President's campaign to stay in power. President Mugabe's main weapon in his abuse of power is his Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act. Any ruling he makes under its provisions is valid for six months before it must be turned into draft legislation and put to parliament. Lovemore Madhuku, the chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, a pro-democracy umbrella group, said: "In almost every way, Mugabe is now running this country under an undeclared state of emergency. He is using the Act to amend existing laws and create new ones without having to put them to parliament. The way he is operating, he does not need to declare a state of emergency."

Last week, an EU delegation ostensibly concerned with the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Zimbabwe has 11,000 troops, was "told off" by President Mugabe for "lecturing" him on human rights and the rule of law, diplomats said. The EU, which has been barred from sending monitors ahead of presidential elections expected by April, has started a 75-day process leading to the severance of trade privileges and the imposition of sanctions at the end of January. Last week, Mr Mugabe, in power for 21 years and wanting another five-year term, said opposition politicians and their party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), were "terrorists". The President's Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, said journalists, including The Independent's correspondent, Basildon Peta, were "aiding terrorism". The government plans to activate a Public Order Security Bill which will punish acts of "insurgency, banditry, sabotage, terrorism, treason and subversion" with life imprisonment or the death penalty. President Mugabe also issued a new decree on seizure of commercial farmland. The arbitrary amendment of the Land Acquisition Act gives the Zimbabwe government the right to allocate land without giving owners the chance to appeal. If they resist they are liable to a fine or two years' jail.

Since last year's elections, the MDC has held one-third of seats in parliament, allowing the opposition to block changes to the constitution. But the Act now being used by President Mugabe gives him a free rein. Only the Supreme Court can rule his actions unconstitutional, as it did last week when it cleared the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, of treason, but the process takes months. Last week the shadow Justice Minister, David Coltart, was held up at gunpoint by police at an airstrip near Harare. Mr Coltart, who was told a death squad was trying to target him, said: "The international community needs to start thinking through the consequences of Mugabe stealing this election. "There are two things we already know: the rest of this country's skilled people, the teachers, the accountants, the lawyers will leave, and there will be a great danger of massive civil strife."

From The Guardian (UK), 27 November

Editors tell Mugabe to withdraw threats

Johannesburg - The International Press Institute has written to the Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, asking him to repudiate his government's accusation that local and foreign journalists are colluding with terrorists. On Friday the state-owned newspaper the Herald quoted a government spokesman as saying that six journalists, including the Guardian correspondent, Andrew Meldrum, were "assisting terrorists" and would be dealt with in the same manner as terrorists. Mr Mugabe has repeatedly called his political opponents terrorists in the weeks since September 11, in an effort to justify his campaign against them. Johann Fritz, the IPI director, wrote that the allegation endangered the reporters' lives and press freedom. The IPI also expressed concern that the government was using the terrorism issue to lay the foundations for new media restrictions, including a ban on "false statements prejudicial to the state or that incite public disorder, violence, affect the defence and economic interests of the country or undermine public confidence in the security forces". Meanwhile, a student has been killed in the latest political violence. Passengers on a train near Mutare said soldiers strangled and then threw Lameck Chemvura, 20, to his death after accusing him of being an opposition supporter. A farmer, Alan Bradley, is in a critical condition after being shot near his farm 120 miles southeast of Harare.

From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 27 November

Farmer fights for life after ambush

Bulawayo - A white farmer was in critical condition in a Harare hospital last night after an attack by gunmen. Alan Bradley was being driven by his wife, Anthea, to their farm, Royal Visit, in the Macheke area of Zimbabwe, 80 miles south-east of Harare, when the attack happened on Sunday. Their two young children were with them. They were forced to stop when they found logs placed across the road. Mr Bradley, 36, got out of the vehicle to remove the obstruction and, when he climbed back inside, shots were fired. He was hit in the chest, the bullets just missing his son Luke, six, who was sitting on his lap. Mrs Bradley, 32, sped on to their home. Neighbours drove her husband to the nearest hospital, 20 miles away, where he was given emergency treatment before being transferred to the intensive care unit of the Avenues Clinic in Harare.

Earlier this year, about 50 so-called war veterans on his farm stopped him planting crops. He had recently built one of the largest privately owned dams in Zimbabwe, both for irrigation and to supply nearby tribal people with free water. The Macheke area is home to some of the hardiest of Zimbabwe's approximately 3,500 white commercial farmers. It has been among the worst hit since President Robert Mugabe ordered invasions of 85 per cent of white-owned land. More than half of the area's farmers have been forced to stop work. Nine white farmers have been killed. The first was David Stevens, tortured and shot in front of police in Macheke in April last year. Mr Stevens was an official of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change whose leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is standing against Mr Mugabe in presidential elections early next year. The United States yesterday poured scorn on the Zimbabwean government's accusation that journalists were aiding terrorism. Richard Boucher, state department spokesman, said: "The statements reflect a continuing trend of harassment of the free press".

Comment from The Guardian (UK), 27 November

The other war on terrorism

Zimbabwe's president is right behind George Bush - as long as it helps him remove his political opponents and irritating journalists

Chris McGreal

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation is keeping its viewers fully abreast of the war on terror. Its CNN-style strap lines are updated with news of the latest swoops on terrorists, of those supporting an intricate network of killers, and appeals for the population at large not to panic. But Zimbabweans have good reason to be alarmed. In the ever more Kafkaesque world of their country's politics it is those using violence to spread fear who now claim to be fighting terror, and their victims who stand accused of terrorism. Robert Mugabe has usurped the international "war on terror" in a transparent attempt to legitimise his own campaign of violence against those who want free elections. As the US demanded to know where world leaders stood in the pursuit of Osama bin Laden, Mugabe leapt forward to assure President Bush that he was right behind him. To prove it, the Zimbabwean government is vigorously identifying all kinds of "terrorists" on its soil. They include the leadership of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which is all but certain to win a free election in the unlikely event it gets the chance; white farmers disgruntled at the expropriation of their property; the British government for insisting that Mugabe ought to adhere to the rule of law; and now local and foreign journalists for reporting who is behind the campaign of violence and intimidation.

The government propaganda sheets have accused the MDC of pursuing Nazi terror tactics to grab power. There have been at least 100 political murders in the 18 months since Mugabe lost a referendum on constitutional reform. The dead were either opposition activists, or targeted to make clear to ordinary Zimbabweans the dangers of opposing Mugabe. The police - now the president's private political army - rarely bother to investigate such killings or make arrests. Yet this was not the terrorism Zimbabwe's government had in mind last week as it revealed plans for new security laws even more draconian than those left over from British rule. The new public order and security bill mandates the death penalty or life imprisonment for a host of offences including, not surprisingly, terrorism. A few days earlier, Mugabe referred to his opponents as terrorists no less than two dozen times in a single speech. Later, he accused the British government of supporting terrorists.

He is not the first to use the actions of western governments as an excuse for his own repressive moves. After Margaret Thatcher barred from the airwaves the voices of those deemed to be terrorists in Northern Ireland, PW Botha's apartheid regime promptly tightened already draconian laws restricting the dissemination of its opponents' views. When challenged, Botha said he was merely following the example set by the British government. At the fore of the charade is the country's information minister, Jonathan Moyo. He is wanted in Kenya and South Africa for alleged fraud. A decade ago he was routinely denouncing Mugabe as a corrupt dictator with blood on his hands. Now he is the most fervent praise-singer. On Friday, Harare's Herald newspaper - the minister's pet mouthpiece - announced that a group of Zimbabwean and foreign journalists were de facto terrorists, including the Guardian's correspondent in Harare, Andrew Meldrum. The article quoted an anonymous source - in reality Moyo – as saying: "We would like them [the journalists] to know that we agree with President Bush that anyone who in any way finances, harbours or defends terrorists is himself a terrorist. We, too, will not make any difference between terrorists and their friends and supporters." In September, Moyo said the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and the BBC were "working for British intelligence". Having banned virtually all non-resident reporters from entering Zimbabwe, he then argued that those journalists who refuse to be deterred were "at the forefront of violating the rule of law and yet they tell the world that there is no rule of law in the country".

Before "terrorism" came along, the "rule of law" was the favoured doublespeak. The opposition was pounced on for real or imagined infractions of the law - such as the attempt to charge the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, with treason for saying that if the president did not go peacefully he might be overthrown violently - while Mugabe's supporters literally got away with murder. Mugabe and many of his acolytes really have made violent threats against opponents. They have not been arrested. Neither have the war veterans, soldiers and others unleashed by the government against political opponents and white farmers with a mandate to beat, plunder and kill. Mugabe granted them immunity from prosecution for a vast array of crimes. He also insisted that white farmers were subject to the rule of law while ignoring court rulings in their favour. All of this is intended to get Mugabe re-elected next year. You might wonder why he is bothering with a vote. If he wins, he will have a hard time convincing anyone who does not have a vested interest in seeing Zanu PF retain power that the election is anything but a sham. His furious encounter with the visiting EU delegation last week left little doubt that the Europeans are not taken in. Yet that is the paradox of Mugabe's actions. He will probably have an election because he still craves a stamp of legitimacy that he sees as distinguishing him from Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko or Nigeria's succession of military rulers. But it says much more that he has to use their methods to ensure a win at the ballot box.

Chris McGreal is the Guardian's Africa correspondent

Comment from The Washington Times, 26 November

Zimbabwe on the brink

While the attention of the world is focused on the war against terrorism in Afghanistan, half a world away in Zimbabwe, state-sponsored repression threatens to plunge one of southern Africa's most prosperous countries into a vortex of political violence and social chaos. The crisis in Zimbabwe has been building for years. President Robert Mugabe has turned his country into an economic and political basket case. The decline has been marked by government mismanagement, economic collapse, and rising ethnic and racial tensions. As Mr. Mugabe, once a popular leader, has fallen from hero to hanger-on, his efforts to cling to power have become increasingly desperate.

In mid-November, to cite one recent example, Mr Mugabe issued a decree allowing his government to dispossess white Zimbabwean farmers of their land before a judicial appeal is completed. This was the latest strategy in what is known as the "fast track land resettlement program," in which Mr. Mugabe cynically hopes to win the votes in next year's elections for president by confiscating white-owned farmland and redistributing it to poor black farmers. Thus, Mr. Mugabe seeks to further inflame and politicize the legitimate need to correct the post-colonial patterns of land ownership in Zimbabwe in which whites, who make up less than 1 percent of the population, control the majority of the country's most attractive farm land.

Seeking to stem the maddening spiral into chaos in Zimbabwe, Africa's most influential countries, Nigeria and South Africa, led a Commonwealth effort earlier this year to broker a settlement aimed at ending the human-rights abuses and violent farm takeovers. The resulting agreement stipulated that the government of Zimbabwe would stop promoting violent and extra-legal land appropriations and Britain, the former colonial power, would pay for an orderly and legal land-reform program to right the land imbalance. But violence continues to be used as a tool not only against white farmers but also against the government's black political opponents. According to Amnesty International and local Zimbabwean human- rights groups, the violence is carried out by government-sponsored partisans. The most notorious are the "war veterans," who regularly threaten and beat political opponents. In the past 18 months, the "war veterans" have forced up to 70,000 black farm workers to leave their homes.

In addition, journalists, judges and human-rights activists who have asserted their professional independence have been arrested, threatened and harassed by the government. The leading independent daily newspaper, the Daily News, has had its printing press bombed. And just this month its editor, Geoff Nyarota, was arrested on unspecified charges and later released, as part of an ongoing pattern of government harassment. Members of the main political opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), have also been attacked, beaten and even killed by ruling party partisans. Earlier this year, Zimbabwean victims of political violence filed a landmark case in the United States against Mr. Mugabe. A U.S. judge ruled recently that although Mr. Mugabe, as head of state, enjoyed immunity, he could be held liable for party-sponsored violence in his capacity as head of his country's ruling party.

But violence and government repression are only part of the story. The country's once-vibrant economy, which depends heavily on agriculture, has collapsed. In addition, erratic rainfall, steep rises in the price of staple foods, high unemployment and disruption of the commercial farming sector have contributed to the specter of famine. The United Nations has agreed to provide emergency food assistance to the 500,000 Zimbabweans who are at risk of starvation. Even with this impending humanitarian disaster, Mr. Mugabe's government is seeking to take political advantage by monopolizing the distribution of food aid. With elections nearing, the government of Zimbabwe is counting on international community attention being diverted elsewhere. Speaking about the party's political opponents a ruling party official was quoted in the government-controlled press as saying, "If they [government opponents] are looking for a blood bath they will certainly get it." Given the consistent and clear warnings about impending chaos in Zimbabwe, an equally firm international response is needed to prevent the country from dissolving into a fratricidal war.

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