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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Political Terror Abroad Held Accountable Under U.S. Law

Washington, D.C. A United States District Court Judge in New York yesterday
ruled that Zimbabwe's governing political party, ZANU-PF, was liable for
murdering and torturing its political opponents in the run-up to Zimbabwe's
June 2000 parliamentary elections. Washington attorney Charles J. Cooper,
one of the plaintiffs' lawyers, hailed the decision as a victory for
justice: "These plaintiffs came to this Court because they had nowhere else
to turn. Savagely beaten and terrorized at home, they came here looking for
justice and the rule of law."

The court ordered judgment in favor of the victims of ZANU-PF's campaign of
violence, all of whom were targeted because of their peaceful support for
Zimbabwe's burgeoning opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC). The lead plaintiff, Adella Chiminya, was suing on behalf of her
husband, a senior MDC campaign advisor whom the Complaint alleges was burned
alive by ZANU-PF assassins while campaigning last spring. Another named
plaintiff, Elliot Pfebve, was an MDC candidate in the 2000 elections who
survived numerous assassination attempts, and who is suing on behalf of his
brother, whom the Complaint describes as having been tortured and murdered
during one of those attempts. Pfebve expressed gratitude for yesterday's
ruling: "We thank the American justice system for holding out some hope for
human rights victims everywhere. This decision lets Mugabe and his henchmen
know that the civilized world will not allow their political terror to go

The court held that the plaintiffs' uncontested allegations "amply
demonstrate that ZANU-PF did not consist merely of loosely connected,
haphazardly organized individuals or a misguided mob of marauders randomly
roving and unleashing terror throughout Zimbabwe. Rather, Plaintiffs'
factual assertions and supporting evidence suggest that in carrying out the
drive of organized violence and methodic terror portrayed here ZANU-PF
worked in tandem with Zimbabwe government officials, under whose direction
or control many of the wrongful acts were conceived and executed."

The court held that ZANU-PF had been validly served with legal process when
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who is also First Secretary of ZANU-PF,
was served two copies of a Summons and Complaint while making a fund-raising
speech in Harlem last September. The court ruled that although Mugabe was
personally immune from the suit in his capacity as head of state, he was not
immune from being served with a complaint in his capacity as First Secretary

The decision by Judge Victor Marrero of the Southern District of New York
was handed down in an exhaustive 130-page opinion analyzing what it
described as the "unsettled" law of head of state immunity. While holding
that Mugabe was protected from being personally sued by the head of state
immunity doctrine, Marrero warned that the days in which such immunity would
continue to prevail may be numbered. Citing to precedents involving fallen
strongmen such as Ferdinand Marcos, Radovan Karadzic, Augusto Pinochet, and
Slobodan Milosevic, Marrero issued a warning: "These precedents instruct
that resort to head-of-state and diplomatic immunity as a shield for private
abuses of the sovereign's office is wearing thinner in the eyes of the world
and waning in the cover of the law. The prevailing trend teaches that the
day does come to pass when those who violate their public trust are called
upon, in this world, to render account for the wrongs they inflict on

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63 Farmers Settle In Neighbouring Country

The Insider (Harare)

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

Staff Writer

The Mozambican government has denied that there is an exodus of white
Zimbabwean farmers into that country. It said it had licensed only 63
Zimbabwean farmers and had granted each 1 000 hectares. The farmers had
asked for 400 000 hectares.

Soares Nhaca, governor of Manica, said a large number of Zimbabwean farmers
had been turned down because they had failed to prove that they had the
necessary resources for successful investment. He said Zimbabwean farmers
were being treated just like any other investors and were being given land
concessions valid for 50 years which may be renewed for a further 50 years.

Some of the farmers are fleeing from Zimbabwe's land resettlement exercise
which has seen peasants occupy more than 1 700 farms.
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Confusion About Maize Situation Still Reigns

The Insider (Harare)

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

Staff Writer

Confusion about Zimbabwe's food security continues to reign indicating the
political divide over the country's controversial land reform programme.
Non-governmental organisations, which usually bail out nations facing
famines, but at the same time thrive on food shortages as this gives them a
reason to exist, are already warning of severe food shortages.

The Zimbabwe Agricultural Welfare Trust says about 25 000 farmworkers have
been evicted from farms and have now camped at roadsides. It is calling for
donations of maize, dried fish and vegetable seeds. "A humanitarian disaster
is about to unfold," it says. World Vision International says some 500 000
people could run out of food by December in Matebeleland and Midlands alone.

Agricultural minister Joseph Made had denied that the country was going to
face a food shortage until the situation got out of hand forcing the
government to ban trading of maize and wheat restricting this to the Grain
Marketing Board. The move seems to have failed to attract any sellers.

According to the Famine Early Warning System, only 75 413 tonnes had been
delivered to the GMB by mid-September since the start of the marketing
season in April. The government increased the purchase price of maize from
$7 500 to $8 500 per tonne in August but this had little impact on its maize
intake. It further announced a preplanting maize price of $15 000 per tonne,
an increase of 76 percent over the current maize price.

FEWS says this price will introduce confidence in the market and is likely
to result in an increase in maize production in 2001/02 season. It says the
cost of agricultural inputs has increased by 90 percent since June when fuel
prices increased by about 70 percent. Inputs have increased by 135 percent
since September 2000, in line with the general inflation level in the
country. These increases are higher than the producer price of maize at the
GMB, which went up by only 13 percent and 77 percent, respectively, over the
same period.

To boost production and ensure that its fast track land reform programme is
a success, the government has set aside $6.5 billion for the smallholder
sector Agriculture Input Support Programme to acquire agricultural inputs
for the 2001/02 season.

FEWS says that official maize stocks were estimated at 233 000 tonnes as of
mid--September, down by 41 percent from the opening level of 393 000 tonnes
in April. It says these low levels should be supplemented by immediate
imports of about 200 000 tonnes to meet domestic consumption requirements
through to March 2002.

FEWS also says the planned imports of 80 000 tonnes of wheat should be
enough to meet domestic wheat consumption requirements, estimated at about
364 000 tonnes. Maize grain prices in all urban markets have risen by at
least 30 since the start of the marketing season in April 2001.

The highest price increase of 50 percent to $8.33 per kg was recorded in
Bindura, while in Gweru the price went up by 43 percent, in Harare by 46
percent and by 47 percent in Bulawayo. The lowest price increase of 34
percent was observed in Chitungwiza. As a result of these increases, maize
grain is being sold at between $7.78 in Chinhoyi and $12.20 in Bulawayo per

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Agribank Makes Huge Loss

The Insider (Harare)

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

Staff Writer

The recently privatised Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe (Agribank) plunged
from a profit of $31.5 million to a loss of $103.1 million, but management
is not worried about this loss, which was exceptional in the banking sector
where some institutuions recorded profits eight times those of last year,
because it is consolidating its position.

The bank says it made a privision for bad debt of $714 million to handle the
difficulties in its agricultural loan portfolio. It,however, says it now has
the capacity to handle an anticipated wide customer base. The bank
established 13 city branches and 37 national offices. Net interest income
dropped from $221.3 million to $45 million but other income shot up from $62
million to$129.7 milion resulting in operating income standing at $175.2
million, down from $283.3 million.

Operating costs which increased from $251.9 million to $278.3 million wiped
out the operating profit plunging the bank into a loss of $103.1 million.
The bank, however, says its aim of becoming the national bank of first
choice as well as profitability are both achievable, but it warns: "the
process might be long and sometimes painfull".

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The Global Spotlight Falls On Harare Once Again

Business Day (Johannesburg)

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

Dumisani Muleya

Commonwealth visit finds Harare dodging Abuja accord, but turns blind eye

THE Commonwealth ministerial team which visited Zimbabwe last week to follow
up on the Abuja agreement implementation has refocused the global spotlight
on Harare after a short-lived respite.

Political analysts say the tour by foreign ministers from Britain,
Australian, Canada, SA, Nigeria, Kenya and Jamaica brought Zimbabwe back
onto the international radar after it had vanished following the attacks in
the US.

This week the European Union (EU) general council of foreign ministers,
alongside the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly, also reconvened on
Zimbabwe in Brussels.

Commonwealth secretarygeneral Don McKinnon, who led the team with committee
chair Sule Lamido of Nigeria, said after the visit considerable progress
should be expected henceforth.

University of Zimbabwe professor of politics Masipula Sithole was sceptical
about the effect of the visit.

"The dust hasn't settled yet and I still doubt the sincerity of the
government," he said.

"I'm concerned the government is just bluffing. It continues to read from
the agreement only the land issue, and it ignores the issues of governance."

However, Southern African Political and Economic Series researcher Prof
Mwesiga Baregu appreciated the Commonwealth findings, saying that the deal
could hold.

"There was no fatalism that the agreement will not work. If the Abuja accord
is delinked from the parallel political process (electoral and governance
matters) it will succeed," he said.

The team recommended the government should establish a stakeholders'
committee to explain the agreement to the public.

Authorities were asked to instruct "the top leadership of the law
enforcement and security organs to ensure that Zimbabwe's commitments are
implemented and, where necessary, enforced."

Analysts say this is where the real challenge lies. They suggest it would be
difficult for President Robert Mugabe to adhere to Abuja if it undermined
his re-election prospects in next year's presidential election.

Baregu noted that progress on the Abuja arrangement would hinge on whether
the signatories would stick to the "originally conceived ideas, or bring in
extraneous issues".

The government tried to limit the scope of inquiry for the team by foisting
on it organisations pushing the official line to give testimony, while
excluding other interest groups. But the visitors resisted state dictates.

Harare sought to misrepresent the legal status of its fasttrack resettlement
programme. It alleged the exercise was proceeding in terms of the
constitution and in accordance with the laws of the country, but it is
common knowledge the exercise was given legality through arbitrary laws and
backdated legislation.

Canada's Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa David Kilgour, who
incurred official wrath for his views, managed to bring out some of the
issues the final communique tried to fudge.

"A number of groups which met with us found out the fasttrack was not taking
place in accordance with the laws of this country," Kilgour said.

Britain's Foreign Office Minister Baroness Amos shattered another official
myth on Abuja. "Britain reaffirms its commitment to the Abuja agreement.
This is a process and money will not come pending the outcome of the UNDP
technical team," she explained. The Zimbabwean government had been peddling
the fiction that London was not fulfilling its side of the bargain.

Unfazed by realities, Harare brandished as evidence of compliance with Abuja
the delisting of 20 farms, Zanu (PF) and cabinet meetings and phone calls
Mudenge made to British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annan and UNDP administrator Mark Malloch Brown in connection with the
accord. It deliberately evaded the situation on the farms.

But still the Commonwealth team agreed to play ball. "The committee
considered that the government of Zimbabwe has established a process to
implement the Abuja conclusions of September 6 2001, particularly as they
relate to land reform," it declared.

Commentators said the communique was quite weak overall, although it touched
on fundamental issues.

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From FinGaz

Govt fails to raise $6.5b for resettled farmers’ inputs

Staff Reporter
11/1/01 8:04:36 PM (GMT +2)

THE government has failed to raise $6.5 billion it was supposed to transfer
to the state-run Grain Marketing Board (GMB) last month for a crop input
scheme for resettled and other small-holder farmers, it was learnt this

The money was supposed to be the first tranche of $15 billion the government
promised to provide to assist resettled and communal farmers to buy inputs
such as fertiliser, seeds and chemicals, and to meet transport costs.

But official sources this week said the government had failed to live up to
its promise and warned that this could adversely affect many people who had
been resettled on commercial farms seized under the government’s
controversial land reform programme.

"We have not received the money until now, but it was supposed to have come
in the week ending October 19," a GMB official who declined to be named told
the Financial Gazette.

"The money was meant to benefit established and especially the newly
resettled farmers, but this has not happened up to now."

There was no comment this week from GMB’s acting chief executive Joan
Mtukwa, who had not responded to written questions sent to her last week.

The GMB had however opened 155 more depots countrywide in anticipation of
more farmers benefiting from the government’s crop input scheme and in
anticipation of collecting more maize from communal growers after the
passing of legislation making the parastatal the sole trader in maize and

The sources said the government, under pressure at home and abroad because
of its controversial agrarian reform plan, wanted to be seen as delivering
on its promises to the resettled farmers.

"Remember that the government has been accused of not doing enough for the
resettled peasants, which is why it has been trying to be seen to be doing
something," the GMB official said.

"They (the government) have to make good on their political statements that
they will make the money available, although of course this will be
difficult because they do not have the money anyway. But if they say they
have the money, would you question that?"

Since January, the government has disbursed $375 million to the GMB under
the crop input scheme, under which small-holder farmers borrow funds from
the parastatal at concessionary interest rates of 15 percent a year. They
also pay a five percent administration fee.

Newly resettled farmers are supposed to have access to the funds until "they
are on a sound financial footing".

With the rainy season expected to begin this month, many communal and
resettled farmers might face delays in planting their crop, making it
unlikely that they will reap enough to support themselves next year.

The sources however said they expected the Ministry of Agriculture to
receive a substantial financial boost from the 2002 budget, which will be
presented today, enabling the government to meet some of its commitments to
the farmers.

"We hope that the budget will realise the need for more money for the
agriculture sector to help black farmers to access funds for their inputs,"
said an official of the Agriculture Development Fund, which provides loans
to small-holder farmers.

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From FinGaz

Govt to legalise squatter camps on city outskirts

Staff Reporter
11/1/01 7:43:50 PM (GMT +2)

THE government is planning to regularise illegal settlements that are
mushrooming just outside Harare along the Bulawayo road where the landless,
led by self-styled war veterans, have been allocating themselves residential
stands since last year.

Sources said this week that due to the political sensitivity of the issue,
especially for the ruling ZANU PF party which has promised to deliver more
than one million houses ahead of the presidential ballot due next year,
local authorities had no option but to formalise the settlements.

Hundreds of squatters have haphazardly allocated themselves stands along the
main Bulawayo road, throwing a poser at the Harare City Council’s town
planners and those of the neighbouring Zvimba Rural District Council.

The squatters started moving into the area just as other ZANU PF supporters
began seizing commercial farms across the country in the name of land hunger
in February last year.

"They (the local authorities) have no option but to try to regularise the
settlements. They cannot evict these people because they moved there with
the support of the government and some of them have already put up permanent
structures," a source close to the National Housing Taskforce told the
Financial Gazette.

The regularisation of the settlement will involve changing the areas’ land
use from agriculture to residential and providing urban services such as
sewerage, water, electricity and roads.

Currently the squatters are putting up all forms of housing structures,
which vary from plastic and cardboard box dwellings to pole-and-dagga
houses. Only a few have built proper housing units, although there is no
piped water, sewer connections, roads or electricity.

"The main problem is that the regularisation of the settlement would involve
the destruction of some of the structures to make way for roads as well as
water and sewerage reticulation systems," the source said.

The source said once the settlement is regularised, the squatters would be
required to comply with certain regulations when they build their houses,
unlike now when it is a free-for-all.

Harare municipality spokesman Cuthbert Rwazemba this week declined to say
what the council plans to do about the illegal settlements, saying most of
them were outside the boundaries of the city and therefore outside its

He said the Zvimba Rural District Council was responsible for the area
occupied by the squatters.

The mushrooming of the illegal settlements has hit the sale of new
residential stands at two nearby housing projects because prospective buyers
are hesitant to build homes next to an unplanned settlement.

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From FinGaz

AirZim loses credit lines, suppliers demand cash

Staff Reporter
11/1/01 7:15:22 PM (GMT +2)

INTERNATIONAL Jet A1 fuel suppliers have withdrawn credit lines to the
national passenger carrier Air Zimbabwe and are demanding cash upfront after
the company failed to make timely payments for fuel supplies, it was learnt
this week.

Air Zimbabwe spokesman David Mwenga told the Financial Gazette that the new
policy had been in effect for two weeks and was a result of severe hard
currency shortages that have forced most local firms to delay payments to
international suppliers

"As far as fuel suppliers are concerned, they say we must pay for the fuel
when they give us the fuel," he said. "You can say that is asking for cash

"We delayed in payments because the foreign currency has not been there.
When you need to pay in 15 days and you pay on the 20th day, they will ask
for cash payments. Forty-five percent of our fuel bill is paid in foreign
currency and, although we have enough local currency to cover the costs of
our operations, we cannot get the foreign currency."

He however declined to disclose Air Zimbabwe’s monthly fuel bill, although
he said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had stepped in to provide foreign
currency for "critical areas" which include fuel imports.

The central bank has introduced measures requiring exporters to immediately
remit 40 percent of their earnings for the import of fuel and energy.

"We are grateful to the Reserve Bank," Mwenga said. "There are cases where
some suppliers threaten to impound planes if they arrive in their countries,
but the bank has been able to help us pay off the critical areas and so far
none of our flights have been grounded."

He said the central bank had provided the foreign currency to pay the
airline’s fuel bills, insurance fees and monthly dues to the International
Airline Transporters’ Association (IATA) clearing house, which handles
payments for all inter-airline transactions.

"If we fail to pay IATA, then we are in trouble and we obviously cannot do
without fuel," said Mwenga, adding that the airline was also using its
foreign currency reserves to pay for fuel and would continue to prioritise
the search for forex.

"We will continue doing this until the currency situation improves and we do
not know when that will be."

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From FinGaz

Editors disabuse C’wealth on land issue

Staff Reporter
11/1/01 7:08:30 PM (GMT +2)

EDITORS of some privately-owned Zimbabwean newspapers have urged the
Commonwealth to stop labouring under an illusion that the question of land
is at the core of Zimbabwe’s problems.

They told a Commonwealth ministerial team which visited Zimbabwe last week
that President Robert Mugabe’s "survival politics" were the root cause of
the country’s deepening political and economic turmoil.

Trevor Ncube, the chief executive officer of the Independent and the
Standard, his editor Iden Wetherell and Daily News news editor John Gambanga
appeared before the ministers from Kenya, South Africa, Jamaica, Australia,
Canada, Britain and Nigeria who were in Zimbabwe to review the
implementation of the Abuja accord on land reform.

Also in attendance were editors of the state’s Herald and Sunday Mail
newspapers Pikirayi Deketeke and William Chikoto.

The Zimbabwe Union of journalists (ZUJ) was represented by its
secretary-general Basildon Peta.

Editors from the independent media only appeared before the committee by
chance as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was coordinating the event,
sent no official invitations to them.

The editors only got to know of the interest from the Commonwealth ministers
to meet them through diplomats who then advised them to mill around the
venue, even though they were not invited.

Other editors from the private media such as those from the Financial
Gazette and the Standard were also not on the official list of media
representatives invited to meet the ministers.

Some Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officials tried to bar Ncube
and Wetherell from entering the room where the meeting was being held.

The two only managed to enter the venue after the CIO officials were
restrained by deputy secretary for foreign affairs Ngoni Chideya who seemed
worried that their action was embarrassing the government in full view of
the visitors.

Ncube told the Commonwealth ministers that "no sane person in Zimbabwe" was
opposed to land reform.

"The big question is: why should this land reform be accompanied by the
violence and the lawlessness that we have witnessed?" he asked.

Ncube said the turmoil in Zimbabwe was part of Mugabe’s "survival politics"
and if the Commonwealth ignored that factor, its efforts to return normality
to Zimbabwe would fail.

Wetherell said the media had not been spared the terror imposed by the state
on civic society and political opponents ahead of the crunch presidential
election due next year.

Peta said ZUJ had received reports of 40 journalists being affected in one
way or another in both the independent and public media by the actions of
the government or ruling ZANU PF party in the past year.

These included attacks on journalists and the sacking of nine editors at the
government’s Zimpapers and others at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
who had lost their jobs for refusing to toe the line.

He said some foreign and local journalists had been attacked by war veterans
for visiting farms while others covering political events in rural areas had
also suffered similar attacks.

Scores of reporters currently faced criminal defamation charges and some
foreign reporters had been expelled from the country, Peta said.

A South African representative asked Peta if he had any evidence or records
of these attacks and he explained that he had not brought the documentation.

Peta however promised to prepare a detailed report to present to the
Commonwealth ministers through their respective embassies in Harare and they

This week, the ZUJ leader dismissed a Herald story that said he had been
asked to temporarily leave the room to get the evidence and had never

Peta said several journalists were at the news conference which he also
attended last Saturday and could vouch that he was never asked by Nigerian
Foreign Minister Suli Lamido to produce any documents as alleged by the

"I have encountered fiction before but this is one of a kind," Peta said.

Gambanga informed the ministers about the attacks on the Daily News,
including the bombings of the newspaper’s printing press and its offices
early this year. He also talked of the assaults of his reporters by war

Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge intervened and insinuated that the daily had
bombed itself. He also charged that the British funded the Daily News and
that he had evidence to prove that.

Gambanga explained the shareholding of the Daily News and refuted charges
that the newspaper received any British funding.

Both Deketeke and Chikoto however denied that the government harassed the

Deketeke went on to say that there were no problems on farms occupied by
ZANU PF supporters and that independent media reports that farm workers were
being harassed and displaced were fabricated.

Ncube, referring to Deketeke’s remarks, said: "I just wish I had brought a
tape to record him then replay this music the day he gets fired."
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From FinGaz

Groups warn of nationwide disobedience

Staff Reporter
11/1/01 7:06:56 PM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWEAN civic bodies this week said they will call for a national
campaign of civil disobedience before the end of the year if the government
refuses to embrace conditions that will enable the holding of a free and
fair presidential election.

Brian Raftopoulos, the chairman of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Committee which
groups 250 civic rights organisations, said a document containing the
proposals was submitted to the government this week.

"We expect the government to ignore these conditions in the way they have
ignored civil society’s demands in the past and civil disobedience is the
only weapon we have to make them accept our conditions," he told a news
conference in Harare.

Conditions presented by the civic bodies include an immediate end to
violence, a return to the rule of law, an equitable access to the public
media by all political parties and the creation of a genuinely independent
electoral commission, which should take charge of the staging of the
election and the accreditation of international election observers.

The government has in the past opposed these conditions.

"There should be a more intensive voter education programme aimed
particularly at the population in rural areas," Raftopoulos said. "There
should be no attempt by the government to control voter education as is
currently proposed.

"Specific constitutional amendments should be made to guarantee the minimum
conditions set out herein as well as to ensure that freedom of choice,
movement, association, assembly and expression are strictly adhered to and

He said the committee, which is looking for solutions to Zimbabwe’s
economic, constitutional and governance crisis, was prepared to brave a
violent response from the government over the mass action.

Government spokesman Jonathan Moyo has in the past said the state will
"brook no nonsense" from civic groups and that "civic action is illegitimate
 and mass action will be dealt with ruthlessly".

Raftopoulos said: "We would be irresponsible if we did not know the
consequences of our actions, but the consequences of not taking action are

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Committee includes the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU), the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), Transparency
International Zimbabwe, the Liberators’ Platform, the Media Institute of
Southern Africa, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and the
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

The ZCTU and the NCA earlier this year threatened to stage mass action over
the collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy and demands for a new constitution

Meanwhile Christian Ude, the mayor of Munich, Harare’s German twin city,
this week said the residents of Munich "truly welcome all activities of the
civic society of Harare to restore democratic conditions".

He said residents of Harare, who have been without a city council for
two-and-a-half years and some of whom have called for a mass boycott of rate
payments as a result, would not be abandoned by Munich "in these politically
and economically difficult times".

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From FinGaz

Squatters allowed to be govt co-defendants

11/1/01 7:05:48 PM (GMT +2)

SUPPORTERS of the ruling ZANU PF party and their war veterans illegally
occupying properties belonging to Border Timbers Limited yesterday
successfully petitioned the High Court for inclusion in the firm’s
litigation against the government.

Justice Benjamin Paradza ordered Border Timbers to cite 100 squatters led by
Thomas Chikukwa as respondents in a court action against the government in
which the firm is seeking an eviction order against the veterans occupying
its timber-growing and processing farms.

The company has taken court action against the government which it says
reneged on promises to delist agro-industrial farms that were designated for
compulsory acquisition to resettle landless peasants.

Initially cited in the court application were Agriculture Minister Joseph
Made, the Commissioner of Police Augustine Chihuri and other government

This was opposed by the squatters, who said they were interested parties in
the court action and needed to be in a position to defend themselves against
attempts to evict them from the land they are occupying.

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Border Timbers, one of Zimbabwe’s major
foreign currency earners, has warned shareholders that its viability is in
jeopardy because of the disruption of its operations by the veterans on its

— Staff Reporter
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From FinGaz - Comment

The way forward

11/1/01 7:39:26 PM (GMT +2)

NOTHING could be more tragic for Zimbabwe than the deliberate misinformation
being perpetuated by the government and its sycophantic media that Harare
has complied with Abuja and must therefore be given funding for the land

The Abuja land pact is very clear on what needs to be done and by whom: the
Zimbabwe government must implement the accord first and then be rewarded
with funding from Britain and other international donors and not the other
way round.

But as all now know, the government has refused to comply even with the
minimum conditions laid down by the agreement. These include the eviction of
government supporters from private farms which they illegally occupied after
March this year and the ending of any new farm invasions.

But more crucially, the government’s deeds by which it must be judged show
that it has no intention whatsoever of implementing the pact, hoping as it
does that its misinformation campaign spearheaded by the state media will
get it off the hook.

The key element of Abuja, which has rightly also become the underlying
concern of the governments of the European Union (EU) and the United States,
is the restoration of the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

It is clear that once this hurdle has been overcome, all outstanding issues
in Zimbabwe — this includes the resolution of the long-festering land
crisis — will simply fall into line without any more problems.

Not only would funding for the agrarian reforms be forthcoming once the rule
of law is addressed but the land redistribution scheme would now become
legal and transparent, thus fulfilling the other conditions set by Abuja,
the EU and the US.

It would now also become possible to hold a free and fair presidential
ballot, which is observed and monitored by credible Zimbabwean and
international observers, again thus addressing the other major concern of
the international community.

Just for the record, let it be known that all the concerns of the
international community are exactly the same as those of Zimbabweans, minus
the government which sees them as threatening its hold on power.

It is clear therefore that President Robert Mugabe, if he cares at all about
staving off inevitable international sanctions against himself and his
officials, should redirect his abundant energies into the restoration of the
rule of law rather urgently.

This is no longer an option for him and, regrettably, time is not on his

If he refuses to play ball, as he is likely to if one were to judge him by
his past bravado, he must be under no illusion that there is swelling
consensus both at home and globally that drastic action will be needed to
rescue Zimbabwe from his actions.

The President’s advisers would do well to convince him that, unlike rebel
Rhodesian premier Ian Smith who defied the world for 15 years, he will be
unable to do the same simply because times have changed and the world is now
a global village.

In other words, Mugabe will not win the fight against both Zimbabweans and
the international community, whatever resources at his disposal.

Indeed Abuja is his face-saving coup de grace to make amends for all that
has gone awry with Zimbabwe under his rule of two decades and then to bow
out with some dignity.

Even if the merciful Almighty God did grant Mugabe his wish to live longer —
as Mugabe himself pleaded publicly in Masvingo at the weekend — the
President has unfortunately run out of options except to go.

The message cannot be any clearer.
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From FinGaz

Grazing land, plantation set alight

11/1/01 7:04:51 PM (GMT +2)

MORE than 500 hectares of grazing land and a 15-hectare gum tree plantation
were destroyed by government supporters just as the Commonwealth delegation
visited Zimbabwe to check whether the government is implementing the Abuja
agreement, the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) said this week.

Under the accord, Zimbabwe undertook to enforce the rule of law and to stop
illegal farm occupations in exchange for British financial support for a
rational, transparent and just land reform scheme.

In its latest report on developments on occupied farms, the CFU said:
"Between 500 and 600 hectares of grazing land and a 15-hectare gum tree
plantation at Butcombe Farm in Mashonaland Central province were last
Saturday set alight and destroyed."

It said grazing land, wheat and maize stover were increasingly being torched
and cases of extortion, poaching and theft continued to be reported but the
police were still uncooperative.

No comment was available from the police.

Commonwealth ministers visited Zimbabwe last week to follow up on the
implementation by the government of the Abuja accord. The team left Harare
at the weekend, telling the government to comply fully with the land accord
and to act against lawlessness.

— Staff Reporter
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From FinGaz

Mugabe secretly sends SOS for food aid,

By Abel Mutsakani Assistant News Editor
11/1/01 7:02:34 PM (GMT +2)

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has quietly sent a distress call to the
international community for emergency aid worth $19.8 billion to avert a
fast-approaching humanitarian disaster caused by shortages of food, foreign
currency and fuel.

Mugabe last week sent his Finance Minister Simba Makoni to ask United
Nations Development Programme representative in Zimbabwe Victor Angelo to
appeal to the world community for help on Harare’s behalf.

Makoni met Angelo last Wednesday and asked him to help raise $11 billion
from the international community, which Mugabe has angered by allowing his
militant supporters to harass the opposition and white farmers and by
pursuing his own controversial drive to seize white-owned farmland.

The funds would finance a massive maize and wheat import programme necessary
if Zimbabweans, who this year harvested well below quantities that are
adequate for consumption, are not to starve in the next few months.

Makoni is said to have told Angelo that the government needs another $8.8
billion to help repair dilapidated public infrastructure across Zimbabwe,
including roads and bridges washed away during floods two years ago.

Western diplomatic sources said Mugabe had decided to send Makoni because
the minister, who is at any rate in charge of the country’s finances, is
perceived to be more acceptable to Western donor countries than most of his
Cabinet colleagues.

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

Both Angelo and Makoni could not be reached for comment this week.

But a senior Western diplomat based in Harare said: "Obviously Mugabe
himself or his Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge cannot champion this thing.

"But even Makoni will also find the politics interfering in what should
clearly be treated as a plea for humanitarian assistance. The donors will,
for example, want firm guarantees that whatever aid they give should not be
used as a campaign tool in the election next year."

The sources said that Makoni had last week also begun approaching individual
donor countries and was briefing other Southern Africa Development Community
(SADC) countries on the humanitarian catastrophe facing Zimbabwe if the
world does not move quickly to offer assistance.

Angelo is now expected to convene a pledging conference where interested
donors can pledge what they are prepared to contribute to a basket-fund to
help Zimbabwe.

International and Zimbabwean agriculture experts warned Zimbabwe right at
the start of this year that it needed to import more than 500 000 tonnes of
the staple maize and about 80 000 tonnes of wheat to avert food shortages, a
result of illegal farm seizures, the government’s fast-track resettlement
programme and the high cost of production.

But with a tricky presidential ballot looming, the government refused to
acknowledge the food crisis until just three months ago and then only to
play down the food imports that are needed.

It said only 100 000 tonnes of maize and 60 000 tonnes of wheat would need
to be imported.

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From FinGaz

C’wealth blasts Zimbabwe

Staff Reporter
11/1/01 6:53:15 PM (GMT +2)

THE Commonwealth team which visited Zimbabwe last week strongly rebuked the
government for not upholding the rule of law and told it in closed-door
sessions that its fast-track land reforms are unlawful, according to
officials who took part in the discussions.

Describing the discussions as very frank and open, the officials this week
said the Commonwealth team had been blunt, citing its grilling of Police
Commissioner Augustine Chihuri who was harshly censured for his failure to
implement lawful orders by Zimbabwe’s courts.

"We told the government quite frankly that the fast-track land reforms did
not fully comply with Zimbabwe’s laws," one official said.

"In the communique, we say some members of our delegation felt the rule of
law had not been adequately observed, which is our way of just being nice.
The truth is that all of us except the Zimbabwe government itself were
unanimous that the rule of law was not being upheld," the source said.

The Commonwealth mission visited Zimbabwe to probe ways of carrying forward
a September 6 agreement signed in Nigeria’s capital Abuja under which
Zimbabwe agreed to restore law and order and to stop seizing commercial
farms in exchange for British funding for its land reforms.

The team’s communique did not fully censure Harare for its failure to
implement the agreement, but only urged the government to uphold the Abuja

The sources said the Commonwealth ministers took Chihuri to task, throwing
at him specific cases where they said he had grossly failed to maintain law
and order ¾ as he is required to do under Zimbabwe’s Constitution.

They said Chihuri was, for example, challenged to explain why the police had
not complied with a High Court order issued in early October requiring the
police to ensure farm occupiers did not interfere with operations at five
farms in Ruzawi district in Mashonaland East province.

The order was issued well after the signing of the Abuja agreement.

Chihuri, caught off-guard and visibly shaken, could only mumble that in
future "the law will take its course," one of the officials at the meeting

When Agriculture Minister Joseph Made was told that the government is not
fully complying with its own laws in carrying out its fast-track reforms, he
reportedly said that if there were law experts in the delegation they should
remember that they were experts on the law elsewhere and not in Zimbabwe.

In what the sources said amounted to bungling by government staff organising
transport for the visitors, some members of the Commonwealth team found
themselves having to wait for two hours at Bita farm, the scene of recent
clashes between farm workers and invaders.

According to the sources, the two-hour wait turned out to be the most
informative on what the government’s fast-track land reforms actually entail
on the ground.

"We used the time to tour the burnt-down ruins of the farm workers’ houses
which the invaders had set on fire," one source revealed.

"We could also see an unfinished house which a farm invader was busy putting
up right in the middle of a nice football pitch which the farmer had built
for his workers."

And contrary to state media reports that only Australia, Britain and Canada
wanted stiffer action against Zimbabwe, it was actually South Africa which
was rallying everyone behind-the-scenes to agree that "things are in a mess
here and more serious action needs to be taken".

The Commonwealth team also criticised the government because it did not
provide inputs for resettled farmers and said too many people were being
displaced and many jobs destroyed in agriculture as well as in downstream
agro-based industries.

In response, the government repeated the usual and unsubstantiated claims
that it was more urgent to resettle people now and then to try to provide
resources later.

Nigerian Foreign Minster Sule Lamido will present the team’s full report to
his President Olusegun Obasanjo, who will then brief Mugabe on its findings.

The foreign ministers of the countries that were part of the mission will
remain in touch with Lamido to ensure that his report will accurately and
fully represent the findings and feelings of the whole group, the sources

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From FinGaz

CIO trails Zvobgo,

By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
11/1/01 6:51:46 PM (GMT +2)

THE ruling ZANU PF’s presidential election campaign is in turmoil, with
influential party leaders such as Eddison Zvobgo and Dumiso Dabengwa under
strict surveillance by the spy Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) on
suspicion of trying to sabotage President Robert Mugabe’s re-election,
official sources said this week.

Government sources said the CIO had placed Zvobgo, Dabengwa and Dzikamai
Mavhaire, ZANU PF’s former chairman of fractious Masvingo province, under
24-hour surveillance.

The sources said Dabengwa’s "deafening silence" and back-seat approach to
party activities in Matabeleland after the June parliamentary election and
during the recent mayoral poll was cause for great concern in the ZANU PF

Apart from mobilising funds for the long-delayed Matabeleland-Zambezi Water
Project, the sources said Dabengwa — a member of the party’s powerful
Politburo — was not taking his expected leading role to drum up support for
Mugabe ahead of the crucial presidential election due by March.

The CIO is also investigating the re-emergence of what is known as
"South-South" cooperation between senior ZANU PF politicians in the four
provinces of Masvingo, the Midlands and the two Matabeleland provinces, the
sources said.

It is believed the government’s spy agency suspects that some of the leaders
of the "South-South" alliance are de-campaigning Mugabe’s candidature and
re-election in private meetings and deliberately staying away from important
party functions.

ZANU PF sources say Zvobgo’s victory rallies in Masvingo have stirred
controversy within the party, with some saying his speeches are not meant to
support Mugabe but to actually sabotage his campaign.

Zvobgo and Mavhaire are also accused of campaigning for opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), a charge both

"The differences and signals coming out from among our senior party
politicians in Masvingo and Matabeleland are worrying and have a severe
negative impact on our presidential election campaign. Their activities have
to be checked," a Politburo member told the Financial Gazette this week.

The Masvingo provincial leadership, headed by Higher Education Minister
Samuel Mumbengegwi, has since raised its concerns with Vice President Simon
Muzenda about Zvobgo’s rallies and the issue could be brought before the

Mumbengegwi is from a faction led by provincial governor Josiah Hungwe that
supports Muzenda and which for years has fought a bitter turf war with
Zvobgo and Mavhaire.

Zvobgo, the veteran tactician once regarded as Mugabe’s heir, is still
believed to be the most popular politician in Masvingo, Zimbabwe’s most
populous province and a former ZANU PF stronghold.

Seasoned CIO spies have now been assigned to dog Zvobgo at every rally that
he addresses or attends in Masvingo.

According to the sources, junior CIO officers who were shadowing the former
minister have been re-assigned because most of them were unable to write
authoritative reports on his speeches at the rallies.

Zvobgo and Mavhaire have been on a road show in the province in the past two
months holding what they describe as "victory rallies" to thank supporters
who voted for them in the June parliamentary election.

Mavhaire lost his seat to the MDC’s Silas Mangono while Zvobgo easily won
against that party’s Zachariah Rioga.

In Matabeleland, Dabengwa — a ZANU PF stalwart and former close confidante
of the late vice president Joshua Nkomo — is being accused of also
neglecting party affairs.

Dabengwa could not be reached for comment this week.

The sources say his reluctance to stump for Mugabe has resulted in the
emergence of political newcomers such as Jonathan Moyo, Kembo Mohadi,
Abednigo Nyathi, Sithembiso Nyoni, Obert Mpofu and Bulawayo provincial
chairman Jabulani Sibanda spearheading Mugabe’s difficult re-election
campaign in Matabeleland, an MDC powerbase.

ZANU PF won only two seats out of 23 in the two Matabeleland provinces
during the watershed June plebiscite last year.
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Worsening food shortages forecast in Zimbabwe

October 31, 2001 Posted: 2302 GMT

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- More than 700,000 Zimbabweans needed food aid
during October and worsening food shortages were forecast, according to
official and independent estimates released Wednesday.

As many as 30 percent of the population in some districts in central,
western, southern and arid northern Zimbabwe suffered food shortages during
October, the U.N.-backed Famine Early Warning System Network and the state
Agricultural, Technical and Extension Services department said in a joint

The nation's stocks of grain, the staple food, stood at about 200,355 tons
in mid-October, the lowest level in two years, or 63 percent lower than at
the same time last year.

Zimbabwe, mostly self-sufficient in food except in times of drought, will
need to import at least an additional 200,000 tons of corn, the main staple,
to meet domestic consumption requirements by March 2002, the report said.

The main seasonal food harvests begin around May each year.

"Official maize stocks have continued to decrease during a time of year when
they normally build up," it said.

In June, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food
Program said disruptions caused by seizures of white-owned farms were mainly
responsible for a one-third decline in crops planted by the nation's 4,000
large-scale commercial farmers, most of them whites.

Wednesday's report said production losses this year by black small-scale
peasant farmers were affected by the worst economic crisis since
independence in 1980 that saw inflation reach a record 83,6 percent.

It said the costs of seeds, fertilizers and other producer inputs rose by 90
percent since June this year -- and 135 percent since September 2000.

The consumer price of the corn meal staple rose by up to 50 percent since
April this year.

"The high rate of inflation, pulled up by the continued increase in food
prices, could lead to serious food security problems," the report said.

Shortages and continued price increases, despite a price freeze on basic
foods announced by the government Oct. 12, were a pattern that had triggered
food riots and civil unrest in the past, the report warned.

Zimbabwe consumes about 80,000 tons of grain, mostly corn, a month.
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From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 1 November

Pay £70m to victims, court tells Mugabe

New York - President Mugabe was dealt a humiliating blow last night when his Zanu PF party was ordered by a New York court to pay $100 million (£70 million) compensation to victims of violence that engulfed Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections last year. It is unlikely that the money will be paid, but lawyers for the victims plan to begin freezing and appropriating Zanu PF assets in Zimbabwe and worldwide. One of the plaintiffs, Maria Stevens, whose husband, a white tobacco farmer, was abducted and killed by militants, said the award proved that some of Mr Mugabe's followers "are absolute thugs and terrorists". Even if she never sees the money, she said, the case brought further credibility and attention to the accusations of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. "At least I can tell my children I did everything in my power," she said last night from her new home in Britain.

Any money received from the suit will go first to the plaintiffs, to provide for their children's education and living costs, and the remainder to a welfare fund. Three victims, including Mrs Stevens, testified in New York last week. Adella Chiminya described how her husband, Tichaona, campaign manager for Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, was burned alive in his car by Zanu PF activists in April. Elliot Pfebve joined the class action to seek justice for his brother, Matthew, beaten to death when a mob of more than 300 attacked their home. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum documented more than 1,000 crimes from beatings to torture committed during the 2000 election campaign. It said 31 people were killed in violence widely attributed to supporters of the ruling Zanu PF, who were later given an amnesty for their crimes.

From ZWNEWS: Contrary to the Daily Telegraph article above, damages in the case have yet to be awarded. The judgement handed down on Tuesday found that Zanu PF was liable to pay compensation. The case will now be referred to a lower court where the amount of the damages will be assessed. The ruling handed down by Judge Marrero was a default judgement, because the defendants in the case - Robert Mugabe, Stan Mudenge, Jonathan Moyo and others, as well as Zanu PF, did not contest the case. The defendants did later request the US government to oppose the case, which was done through a "suggestion of immunity" letter from the US State Department submitted to the court. The court did reluctantly take account of this "suggestion of immunity", which argued that the case could not brought against the individual defendants for reasons of diplomatic immunity. The court did, however, find that Zanu PF as a party was not immune. Because the defendants did not contest the case, almost all rights to appeal have effectively been waived. The last remaining option - an "application to vacate" - would have to be made to Judge Marrero. From the tone of his judgement, legal sources say, it is unlikely that he would agree. Jonathan Moyo, Minister of Publicity, and one of the defendants, at the time first claimed that the case did not exist, and then that it was "a non-event". Charges of criminal defamation were brought against several Zimbabwean journalists for publishing articles about the case.

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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 31 October

Zimbabwe's farm workers 'disappear'

Harare - with no end in sight to violence on Zimbabwe's white-owned farms, lawyers for farm workers are increasingly worried over the fate of tens of thousands of workers and their families, who have effectively disappeared. Pro-government militants, who have occupied farms for 20 months now, have blocked off huge swaths of the countryside, making it difficult for workers' advocates and aid agencies to count how many people have been displaced by the violence. The only common factor among the estimates is that tens of thousands of people have been forced from their homes and jobs on the farms, and no one knows where they have gone.

In the farming community of Hwedza, 100 kilometers southeast of Harare, schools, homes and shops catering for farm workers were deserted. Some homes have been burned, and farmers said the workers became so afraid of the pro-government militants that they decided to pack up and take their chances in the bush. The Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) estimated in a survey of the farms last month that about 75 000 people, including workers and their families, have been forced off the farms where they were previously housed and employed. But workers' advocates put the number far higher. The Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe, which promotes workers' rights, estimates the number of displaced at 300 000, based on the government's own data on resettlement.

The General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), the labour union for farm workers, says the number is more like 800 000, including workers who lost their jobs on farms that closed because of the violence. "Exactly to say how they are surviving, given that these people are not given termination benefits as such, it's a mystery. They are surviving on the generosity of the villagers," GAPWUZ president Clement Sungayi said. "Most of them are just going into the rural areas, or into squatter camps" in the bush, he said. Sungayi said he and other GAPWUZ officials have struggled to track down the displaced workers' whereabouts, but have been blocked from searching the areas near occupied farms by ruling party militants.

"It looks like the war vets (liberation war veterans) have the upper hand when some of these issues come up," he said, referring to the militants who have helped to organise the farm occupations. So far, he said, the government has turned a blind eye to the workers' plight, in part because of the perception that workers and their union back the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). But Sungayi said workers come from all political persuasions. The only time government officials have agreed to meet with representatives of farm workers was at the regional summit here in September, when leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) forced the government to meet with a broad cross-section of Zimbabwean society.

Sungayi and other advocates said the need to find the workers and determine their needs was quickly becoming desperate, as Zimbabwe faces a massive shortage of food grains before the next harvest. "The situation is critical, in that they are not getting food. And if they are not getting wages, they are not going to buy food," said Godfrey Magaramombe, director of the Farm Community Trust. Farmers have set up several initiatives to provide some care for workers affected by the government's land reforms, but CFU officials said those efforts only work if they know where the workers are. "Once they've left the farms, a significant number of them we don't know what has happened to," CFU director David Hasluck said

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