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

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      Evicted farmers fear returning to properties despite court order

      10/31/02 10:33:22 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - Commercial farmers in Matabeleland granted permission by
the High Court earlier this month to return to their properties have not
done so because of fear of reprisals from ruling ZANU PF supporters
occupying their farms, it was learnt this week.

      The farmers, who had been evicted from their properties under the
government's controversial land reforms, were granted a temporary reprieve
allowing them to return to their properties until the Administrative Court
confirmed the acquisition of their farms.

      But the head of the Commercial Farmers' Union in Matabeleland, Mac
Crawford, said yesterday that police in the province were ignoring the High
Court order, which directed them to assist embattled white farmers to return
to their farms.

      He told the Financial Gazette: "Members in charge of police stations
are in contempt of the High Court provisional order because they are not
adhering to it by refusing to assist.

      "The police have not responded to the order to ensure that we are
restored to our respective properties. So it's difficult for farmers to
venture out there without protection from the police."

      Mthokozisi Manzini-Moyo and Alfred Zwenyika, the spokesmen for the
police in Matabeleland, declined to discuss the issue. Chief police
spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena was unreachable for comment.

      Commercial farmers in Matabeleland have filed a court application
contesting their eviction from farms to make way for blacks being resettled
by the government under a programme that has led to the seizure of at least
90 percent of Zimbabwe's 4 500 white-owned farms.

      They allege that their eviction is illegal because some of the
affected farmers have not been issued with eviction notices as stipulated by
the Land Acquisition Act.

      Two weeks ago, High Court Justice Maphios Cheda issued a provisional
order barring the police from evicting farmers in Matabeleland. He ordered
them to assist the affected farmers to return to their properties.

      Crawford said: "The police are in clear contempt of court. We are in
the meantime seeing how we can go about this so that the farmers go to their
properties as per the High Court order."

      Most white-owned farms in Zimbabwe have been occupied by ruling party
supporters and war veterans, who have in the past used violence against
farmers opposed to the seizure of their land.

      About 11 white farmers and an unknown number of farm workers have been
killed since the land invasions began in February 2000.

      Analysts say nearly two million farm workers and their dependants
could also have been displaced by the agrarian reforms.

      - Staff Reporter
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      Stevens' killers have a case to answer: court

      Staff Reporter
      10/31/02 10:08:34 AM (GMT +2)

      THE High Court in Harare yesterday dismissed an application for
discharge by four alleged killers of Macheke commercial farmer David

      The four ruling ZANU PF supporters, who are accused of murdering
Stevens in cold blood in April 2000, had applied to the court for their
discharge, arguing that the state had failed to prove its case.

      Justice Benjamin Paradza however ruled that there was overwhelming
evidence linking the suspects to the abduction and murder of the white
commercial farmer at the height of the seizure of commercial farms by
militant mobs of the ruling party.

      "My ruling therefore is that the four accused will be placed on
defence because the state has so far managed to prove its case," Justice
Paradza said.

      The four are Richard Svisviro, Muyengwa Munyuki, Charles Matanda and
Douglas Chitekuteku.

      A fifth suspect, Banda Katsvamudanga, did not appear in court.

      Stevens is said to have clashed with the ZANU PF supporters, who
included war veterans, occupying his Arizona Farm before being abducted and
taken to the former freedom fighters' base where the farmer and three others
were beaten up.

      The four white farmers were taken to Murehwa Heroes Acre, where
Stevens was allegedly shot dead by the war veterans.

      Meanwhile another High Court judge, Justice George Smith, yesterday
granted bail to opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Member of
Parliament for Mbare East, Tichaona Munyanyi, who is accused of murdering
ZANU PF activist Ali Khan Manjengwa.

      Munyanyi's lawyer, Raphael Maganga, yesterday said his client had been
awarded $50 000 bail after a previous attempt to seek his release from
custody through bail had failed.

      Manjengwa was shot dead in August after addressing a party meeting in
the populous Harare suburb.

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      Born-again Jongwe invited ex-inmates on his death day

      By MacDonald Dzirutwe Senior Staff Reporter
      10/31/02 10:23:14 AM (GMT +2)

      LEARNMORE Jongwe, the late opposition MDC legislator for Kuwadzana,
was jovial and did not seem troubled hours before his sudden death last
Tuesday, according to two eyewitnesses who shared a remand cell with the

      Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Raymond
Majongwe recounted this week how he had become one of Jongwe's constant
companions during the three days Majongwe was held at Harare's remand

      Majongwe, the leader of a teachers' strike declared illegal by the
government, was held in remand from Saturday, October 19, until last Monday
evening, several hours before Jongwe's mysterious death in the early hours
of Tuesday morning.

      The two cellmates discussed the plight of Zimbabwe's teachers and the
country's political situation, which they kept abreast of by reading

      Majongwe said at no time during their discussions did Jongwe, arrested
in July for allegedly murdering his wife Rutendo, ever indicate that he was

      "During my stay with Jongwe, he never complained about anything or
showed that he had problems," Majongwe told the Financial Gazette.

      "He was in a jovial mood and encouraged me to keep on fighting for the
cause of teachers since we had taken the plight of teachers to a new level."

      The late lawmaker, Majongwe and three other inmates had dubbed the
corner where they slept in the large remand cell that holds 78 prisoners
"Gunhill", after the posh Harare suburb.

      The five inmates, who included MDC Harare legislator Tendai Biti's
brother Stephen and two prisoners named Justin and Mushonga, would share
food brought in by their relatives before chatting well into the night.

      Because the prisoners' bedtime is 4:30 in the evening, they would play
a game of cards and read the Bible for inspiration and to stave off boredom
during the long night.

      Jongwe, 28, was also writing a book about his life, clearly taking
advantage of the time he had in prison after being repeatedly denied bail
over the alleged murder. Jongwe had voluntarily handed himself over to the
police before his incarceration.

      One of the five inmates, who declined to named, said yesterday: "We
had our corner where me, Jongwe and the other colleagues used to sleep. This
is where we would be playing cards and chatting well up into the night.

      "This is where Jongwe and I would continue chatting after the others
were asleep and he would be telling me his personal problems if he had any
at that particular time."

      He said Jongwe, who had been like a brother to him since his arrest in
July, had become a born-again Christian at the time of his death and was
cheerful even up to the last day.

      The inmate said when he was discharged from remand on Monday, the last
person he saw was the legislator, who had asked him to visit him the next

      "I was actually surprised, in fact stunned, when I heard that he had
died because he had sent me to get his laptop from a colleague. I was
supposed to visit him that same day (of his death)."

      Majongwe also said when he left the remand prison, the last person he
saw was Jongwe, who asked him to bring him Mazoe orange crush and toilet
paper on Tuesday, the day of his demise.

      Majongwe, who heard about Jongwe's death over the radio as he prepared
to visit him on Tuesday morning, said only the late MP's remaining inmates
held the answer to his still unexplained death.

      Two pathologists - one representing the police and the other the MDC -
have conducted autopsies on Jongwe's body. Their results are still to be
made public.

      Jongwe's second inmate said the parliamentarian had suffered from a
cough four days before he died, but it did not seem serious enough to have
killed him.

      Although the results of Jongwe's autopsy have yet to be released,
reports in the state media have implied that the legislator could have taken
his own life with the assistance of uncles who visited him the day before he

      But the MP's former inmates said there was nothing poisonous in the
food brought in by Jongwe's relatives, otherwise the four cellmates who
shared his meals would also have died.

      "The only people who can tell the nation what really happened on that
fateful morning are the prison inmates," Majongwe said.
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                  Commercial farming seen crumbling

                  By Nqobile Nyathi Assistant Editor
                  10/31/02 10:12:27 AM (GMT +2)

                  THE divided Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) came to a
crossroads this week, but analysts say whatever route the organisation takes
will not lead to the salvation of Zimbabwe's commercial farming sector in
the near future or the government's deviation from its set course.

                  The council of the CFU, which represents the majority of
the country's white farmers, met on Tuesday amid division over whether the
union should maintain diplomatic dialogue with the government or
aggressively pursue litigation to oppose the eviction of thousands of
commercial farmers from their properties.

                  About 90 percent of Zimbabwe's 4 500 white farmers have
been served with notice to cease farming and vacate their properties under a
controversial government programme to resettle blacks.

                  On Tuesday, the CFU council announced the resignation of
union president Colin Cloete and the retirement of director David Hasluck.

                  The council said Cloete had resigned "for personal
reasons", but both he and Hasluck have been seen as supporting continued
dialogue with the government, which many in the union oppose.

                  In a terse statement announcing the departure of the two
officials, CFU vice president Doug Taylor-Freeme said the organisation had
embarked on a broader strategy that would "encompass the needs of all
members, regardless of whether they are farming or not".

                  Some farmers said the departure of Cloete and Hasluck
might herald a more vigorous strategy to fight the government's seizure of
farms without paying compensation.

                  "Farmers have realised that in the past year-and-a-half of
dialogue, more and more people have just been kicked off their farms," said
Ben Freeth, a CFU regional executive officer who was suspended from the
organisation last month.

                  Freeth was removed from his post for criticising the
government's handling of the land reform programme and accuses the CFU
leadership of bowing to government pressure to force him out.

                  He told the Financial Gazette this week: "We have now
probably got only 10 percent of people still farming and that has major
implications for the whole country and not just the farmers. Dialogue has
simply failed and a stronger approach is necessary.

                  "I don't believe either Mr Cloete or Mr Hasluck were
prepared to change their way of doing things and have made room for people
who are prepared to take different action. What we need is a strong
leadership, and if that is in place, people can then go on."

                  But analysts this week described the farmers' split as
"tragic" because neither of the contested options had any chance of averting
the destruction of Zimbabwe's commercial farming sector.

                  Economic consultant John Robertson said: "It has been
enormously painful to see how it has developed. They are fighting each other
when they should be uniting to fight the real enemy.

                  "We have seen the people who ought to be uniting and
fighting very hard to protect each other being divided and not protecting
each other or themselves. It seems they have been misinformed that if they
had done something different, they could have had a different outcome, but I
don't think that's true."

                  Commentators said pursuing litigation against the
government would prove futile for farmers, even though it has had some
success in the past few months.

                  Some members of Justice for Agriculture in Zimbabwe, a
militant pressure group that seeks to challenge the farm seizures in court,
have had some success in the courts since the organisation's formation in

                  However, the analysts pointed out that the government had
simply ignored court rulings in favour of the farmers or changed the rules
by amending legislation to close the loopholes that had caused the courts to
rule in favour of evicted farm owners.

                  In addition, the government has indicated that as far as
it is concerned, its agrarian reforms are virtually complete, although the
resettlement of black farmers is an ongoing process.

                  The commentators said this would also dampen the ultimate
success of litigation.

                  University of Zimbabwe analyst Heneri Dzinotyiwei said: "I
think any group in Zimbabwe at the moment that tries to fight the government
on the land issue will not succeed."

                  Robertson added: "The government is not intending to lose
and has been changing the rules to suit itself. The intention of the
government is to annihilate commercial farming because it believes in
peasant farming and the communal ownership of land, and my belief is that
there is nothing the farmers can do.

                  "Things are falling apart. The old guard is no longer
there but my guess is that whatever the new team does will not help because
it's not the intention of the government to lose. Which means the end of
commercial farming for the time being."

                  The collapse of commercial agriculture, the backbone of
Zimbabwe's economy, will have widespread implications for already struggling
local companies that rely on the sector for raw materials and markets.

                  Commercial agriculture accounts for 38 percent of Zimbabwe
's export earnings, while farmers in the sector have in the past produced
most of the country's food during severe droughts such as the one presently
blighting southern Africa.

                  The land reform plan has already slashed food production
by at least 60 percent in the past year and analysts say food security will
remain precarious for the next two years.

                  Opposition Movement for Democratic Change economic adviser
Eddie Cross said: "The commercial farming industry is frozen in its tracks.
Only about 10 percent of people are left on the farms and, as for the new
(black) commercial farmers, it's anyone's guess what they will do.

                  "At least half of the farms are lying idle and we are
looking at another two years of hunger. We will have to continue importing
food and how we will pay for it is another matter."

                  Commentators said only a change in government or the
failure of the land reform programme would result in the recovery of
commercial farming in Zimbabwe.

                  Robertson said: "Commercial farming is likely to come back
because the alternative being put in place will not work unless what the
government is trying to achieve is low output.

                  "Only if there is a change of politicians will commercial
farmers be able to come back. They have been written into history by this
environment and they have no future under these conditions."

                  But Freeth was more optimistic. "I believe that in the
fullness of time, there will be things to salvage," he said.

                  "Things will be run down when people get back, but
infrastructure like underground piping, dams and boreholes will still be in

                  "This season is going to be a write-off, whether we like
it or not, but in the fullness of time we will be able to get going with
what we know best, which is farming.

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      Forex crisis to worsen as tobacco output falls

      By Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
      10/31/02 10:01:35 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S tobacco receipts will fall by at least 20 percent next year
and deepen the country's biting foreign currency crisis, a development
analysts warned this week could worsen President Robert Mugabe's headaches.

      The analysts project that Zimbabwe's 2002/03 tobacco crop will decline
by between 30 and 60 percent in the 2002/03 agricultural season because of
the expulsion of more than 1 400 white commercial farmers whose properties
have been seized by the government.

      About 350 large-scale tobacco farmers are still on the land, down from
more than 1 750 last year.

      Financial services group Intermarket Holdings estimates that Zimbabwe
will produce a flue-cured tobacco crop of 112.8 million kilogrammes next
season, about 30 percent lower than the 2001/02 output of 165 million kgs.

      Quoting preliminary estimates from the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association
(ZTA), Intermarket said projections on the basis of seed sales up to
September 6 2002 implied a potential crop hectarage of 57 688 hectares
compared to 69 556 hectares last year.

      Consultant economist John Robertson said reduced hectarage under
tobacco crop could cut output by as much as 60 percent in 2002/03 and worsen
Zimbabwe's hard currency crisis.

      Zimbabwe faces a severe hard cash crisis that has resulted in the
country missing payments on its external debt and has triggered shortages of
essential raw materials and basic food commodities.

      Tobacco is Zimbabwe's single largest exporting, earning a third of all
annual foreign exchange receipts.

      Large-scale commercial farmers produced about 90 percent of tobacco
and contributed more than 40 percent of Zimbabwe's total agricultural

      "What we could see is a very small and low-valued crop and the main
impact of that will be on revenue collection where the country risks losing
the entire receipts that used to come from tobacco," Robertson told the
Financial Gazette.

      No comment was available from the Indigenous Commercial Farmers' Union
(ICFU) or the Zimbabwe Farmers' Union this week but ICFU president Thomas
Nherera recently said black commercial farmers planned to produce up to 90
million kgs of tobacco in the 2002/03 season.

      "Indigenous farmers and those in the smallholder sector are estimated
to grow the crop on an area of more than 40 000 hectares and between 70 and
90 million kgs are expected to be realised," Nherera said.

      There are about 10 000 smallholder tobacco farmers but it was not
clear at the time of going to print how many ICFU members are into tobacco

      Analysts however estimate that receipts from the golden leaf, which
were projected at US$330 million this year, would decline by at least 23
percent next year due to the anticipated reduced output as well as the poor
quality of the crop.

      The analysts noted that, assuming an average price of US$2 a kg, an
output of 112.8 million kgs would imply total earnings of about US$225

      They said reduced tobacco earnings would have a ripple effect on the
rest of the agro-based economy, which is expected to decline by as much as
20 percent next year unless stability is restored in agriculture.

      Agriculture accounts for about 40 percent of Zimbabwe's economy and
provides at least 60 percent of the inputs used in the manufacturing sector.

      At its peak in 1999, tobacco netted US$600 million before government
supporters moved onto white-owned farms in February 2000 to punish the
farmers for their alleged support for the opposition Movement for Democratic

      The ZTA this week said there was an urgent need for a review of the
current tobacco marketing system.

      It noted that a higher tobacco exchange rate, together with high US
dollar prices paid on the floors, would see growers' Zimbabwe dollar returns
doubling over last year's but only just sufficient to recover historical
production costs and not providing any extra cash flow towards funding the
highly inflated costs of producing the next crop.

      According to the ZTA, the cost of production of flue-cured tobacco has
risen by about 152 percent in the past year compared to average consumer
inflation of 139.9 percent in the 12 months to September 2002.

      "At 158.5 Zimbabwe dollars to the US dollar and a parallel rate of
over 1 000 Zimbabwe dollars to the US dollar, there is little current
incentive for growers to put in another crop," the ZTA said in the tobacco
report for October 2002.

      It said the growers looked forward to the possibility of an early
announcement of a significantly increased support price for the new season
when Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa presents the 2003 national budget on
November 14.

      "The announcement of a viable support price scheme as soon as possible
will be necessary for continued support by financial institutions and
growers alike as they proceed at the moment with a leap of faith in
continuing to transplant their seedlings," the association said.
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      ZANU PF Insiza win 'fool's gold': analysts

      By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
      10/31/02 10:20:13 AM (GMT +2)

      THE ruling ZANU PF's victory in the Insiza parliamentary by-election
demonstrates that the government has mastered unorthodox tactics to close
democratic space in Zimbabwe and not that the ruling party is popular with
voters, political analysts said this week.

      They said the outcome of last weekend's Insiza poll, in which a ZANU
PF candidate triumphed over the opposition MDC in largely opposition
territory, showed that the ruling party's unorthodox methods, crucially its
resort to violence as a political tool, was bearing fruit in the dire
circumstances of troubled Zimbabwe.

      The analysts noted that ZANU PF had secured victory in rural council
elections last month using virtually the same methods which it adopted and
perfected during the 2000 parliamentary vote and the 2002 presidential

      These methods include the use of violence, intimidation and the
politicisation of food aid, which defenceless and starving rural voters are
unable to withstand.

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which polled 5
102 votes against ZANU PF's 12 115 in the just-ended Insiza ballot, claims
that ruling party supporters engaged in widespread violence and intimidation
to discourage voters from voting for the opposition.

      As in previous elections, ZANU PF's use of violence and resort to
Zimbabwe's draconian legislation against the opposition also made it
difficult for the MDC to campaign effectively before the Insiza poll.

      Before the election, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai only addressed one
campaign rally under heavy police and army guard, which further intimidated
the electorate.

      ZANU PF supporters have also been accused of using food to bribe
Insiza residents, most of whom are facing starvation because of the
government's controversial land reforms which have virtually killed
agriculture, the locomotive of Zimbabwe's agro-based economy, and a severe

      A week before the Insiza election, the United Nations' World Food
Programme (WFP) stopped distributing food aid in the area after ruling party
supporters boldly seized WFP food aid and denied it to villagers suspected
of supporting the MDC.

      Heneri Dzinotyiwei, a political analyst at the University of Zimbabwe
(UZ), said Zimbabwe's rural people were starving and would do anything to
survive, hence their apparent willingness to be bribed with food aid to vote
for ZANU PF.

      "The situation in the rural areas is that of starvation, that is the
climate under which the election was held," he said in an interview.

      "People in those areas will accept any form of help in the short term
to survive and the government has the edge on this. The opposition has not
been given space to also offer help in this regard."

      The MDC's food aid to the starving is still being held at Beitbridge,
which forms the Zimbabwe-South Africa border, months after it was shipped
into Zimbabwe.

      The government says it will not allow the maize, Zimbabwe's staple, to
be distributed to those in need unless the MDC gets state approval to import
the maize, a product whose trade is solely controlled by the government.

      The analysts said the conditions under which the Insiza poll was
conducted, not ZANU PF's popularity, had contributed to the defeat of the
MDC, which rocked ZANU PF in the 2000 parliamentary vote by capturing nearly
half the seats at stake.

      Until then, ZANU PF had ruled unchallenged since independence in 1980,
prompting it in the 1990s to seek to impose a dejure one-party state in

      "The election result in Insiza has no significance at all because, in
the first place, it wasn't an election by any stretch of the imagination,"
another UZ political analyst, Elphas Mukonoweshuro, told the Financial

      "It was littered with the usual fraud and violence. The victory can be
best described as a fool's gold because that is what it is."

      He said ZANU PF was burying its head in the sand if it thought a
victory achieved through such unorthodox means demonstrated that it was
still a popular party.

      Government policies are widely blamed for the collapse of Zimbabwe's
economy, characterised by soaring inflation, company closures, record
unemployment estimated at over 70 percent and severe foreign currency and
fuel shortages.

      Abject poverty now afflicts nearly 80 percent of the population
compared to about 40-50 percent at independence.

      The government's programme to seize white-owned farms to resettle
blacks and a drought combined to slash food production last season by over
60 percent, leaving close to seven million Zimbabweans - or half the
population - facing starvation.

      The analysts said the impact of these conditions had been particularly
severe on the country's urban population but noted that urban dwellers were
unlikely to bow down to ZANU PF's intimidatory tactics in future

      A parliamentary by-election is set to take place soon in Harare's
Kuwadzana constituency following the still-unexplained death in prison last
week of MDC legislator Learnmore Jongwe.

      "The outcome of the Insiza election has no bearing whatsoever to any
election which will take place in urban areas because the conditions and
set-up are entirely different. It takes more than intimidation and food
politicisation to cow urban voters," Dzinotyiwei said.

      The analysts urged the MDC to come up with better strategies which
would compel the government to open Zimbabwe's democratic space, otherwise
the opposition party could become ineffective and possibly irrelevant.

      They said the MDC's failure to lift its presence in national politics
might give ZANU PF the majority seats in Parliament, thus allowing the
ruling party to pass key constitutional legislation without consulting the

      A two-thirds majority in the House is needed to pass such laws.

      Following the Insiza vote, ZANU PF has now increased its seats in the
150-member Parliament to 64 from 62 gained during the June 2000
parliamentary election, while the MDC's seats have shrunk from 57 seats to

      "The MDC has now to go into a survival mode and take ZANU PF head-on,"
another political analyst said.

      "The MDC has been too nice to ZANU PF, much to the opposition party's
disadvantage. The political playing field is too uneven for the MDC to
compete effectively. The MDC has to find ways to rectify this," the analyst
said, preferring not to be named.
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      MDC to take govt to court over forex transactions

      10/31/02 10:32:54 AM (GMT +2)

      THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is preparing to
file a court application to compel the Ministry of Finance and Economic
Development to release records of Zimbabwe's 2001 foreign currency
transactions, it was learnt yesterday.

      Efforts to secure the release of the records began in June when the
opposition party wrote to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe requesting full
disclosure of the country's hard currency transactions.

      The MDC requested the information under the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act, passed after the March presidential election. The
law allows the public to seek information held by public bodies.

      The central bank subsequently referred the request to the Ministry of
Finance, from which MDC economic advisor Eddie Cross said there had been no

      He told the Financial Gazette this week: "We wrote to the ministry a
week ago reminding the minister of his obligation and he hasn't even
bothered to acknowledge our request.

      "We are now going to court. The appropriate papers are being drawn up
and we are taking the government to court."

      Requests for full disclosure on the use of Zimbabwe's foreign currency
resources have been prompted by fears of mismanagement of the forex, which
has been in short supply in the country for more than two years.

      Hard currency shortages have spawned a thriving parallel market, which
analysts say is sustaining the country's economy and has enriched
speculators, many of whom are converting their assets into forex to protect
themselves against the collapse of the tottering economy.

      Massive demand for foreign currency has resulted in parallel market
rates devaluing by about 50 percent in the past three weeks, while the
official exchange rate has remained fixed at $55 against the United States
dollar since the year 2000.

      The rapid depreciation of the black market rates is expected to force
up the cost of goods because most manufacturers secure their forex from that

      "There has been a 50 percent devaluation of the dollar in the last
three weeks and that has profound implications for everyone," Cross noted.

      There was no comment from the government on the MDC's threatened court
case. - Staff Reporter
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Binga and Food
Extract from letter ......
"It is now a clear month since Save the Children Fund and the Catholic Church were stopped distributing food to the 180 000 to 200 000 people in this District.  This instruction came from the Governor of Matebeleland North (Obert Mpofu) and has covered not only the donor agencies but also GMB stocks of maize in the area.  All attempts to get the embargo lifted have failed and even an intervention by the Governor of Midlands (Cephas Msipa) has been rejected.
You are aware that this District was identified very early on as one of the worst affected areas and one with an almost total crop failure during the past season.  The people in the District are 90 per cent Tonga and represent one of the poorest communities in the country.  There is no commercial activity to speak of in the area and they are totally dependent on food from the outside - either donor funded or from the Grain Marketing Board.
The District has consistently voted MDC since 2000 and the local MP was elected with the largest majority in the country.  It is clearly being punished for doing so in clear violation of the UN statutes on Human Rights and all other norms covering the supply of food to people in their position.
This is a human rights violation of the worst kind and simply cannot be tolerated by any organisation with responsibility and influence.
In the past three weeks we have seen no public attempt to censure the State for this action and certainly no public statements from your offices or the offices of the World Food Programme.  The last effective intervention we have seen was the visit by the Special Ambassador to the WFP, Mr Tony Hall.
Last week when I spoke to the Ambassador of the United States in Harare on this matter he told me that he had spoken to you on this issue that morning and that the UNDP "was still hoping that progress could be made with the Minister responsible" (July Moyo).
I think a month is enough time to allow for some form of effective intervention.  The fact that nothing has happened on the ground is a disgrace.  I am astonished at the total ineffectiveness of the UN system in a crisis of this nature.  I must also inform you that last night there was a heavy storm in the Binga area and food stocks stored in the open air were severely damaged.  We have organized private transport for food distribution and the District Administrator will not allow the exercise.  People have queued with money at the GMB depot to buy what is available and have been turned away.
E Cross
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Received via Zimbabwe ....
Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2002 1:50 AM
Subject: Re: Snared elephants
Dear Col - Many thanks for your efforts.  They are really very much appreciated.
I've been out searching for another snared elephant - sighted just once.
This one's a teenager with a snare around it's chest.  (Now that was one BIG snare that it walked into ...  ).  Despite my best efforts, I haven't been able to relocate him as yet.  Categorically determining where some of the high-ranking females roam (by way of collaring) would certainly help to ensure that we are focusing our snare collection efforts in the right places.
The good news is that the young elephant that was de-snared last month is doing so very well.  His wound is heeling nicely, and it doesn't seem that he will have any permanent injury.  (Unfortunately, the other young one that we darted with antibiotics a few months ago, after his snare had snapped, appears to have some permanent damage, and may well always walk with a limp.
His gruesome wound however has now healed nicely.)
Yes - here's hoping that some funding is forthcoming for some collars.
With strong rumours of a cull to take place in the NP next year, collars would now serve another valuable purpose.  Given that this gentle herd is supposedly protected by a 'presidential decree', if I can determine home range, I can then also put a case forward to NPs to ensure that they cull BEYOND the range of this Presidential Herd.  Culling is a horrible enough thing, without these habituated elephants being caught up in it too.  But with rumours suggesting a May/June timeframe for a possible cull, time is running out.
(I've done some more investigation into collars, and ideally, to avoid the need to radio track from the air - given the extensive home ranges of elephant - it would be ideal to use GPS collars.  These collars automatically gather regular location readings, which you then download to a laptop, by simply getting close to the collared animal.  The weather here plays havoc with radio tracking from the air, and it would seem that this type of collar would be ideal, although not absolutely essential.  The bad news is that one GPS collar is approx 2,500 pounds ...)
Many thanks once again for your efforts.
Please keep in touch,
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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Friday 01 November 2002

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



Odzi - Ongoing theft of irrigation pipes, motors and pumps.

Chipinge - Cattle are disappearing from all owners on a daily basis.  There was a labour dispute on one farm and the owner given ten minutes to move out.

Burma Valley - There was a labour strike on 26.10.02 on a farm in the valley.  This is a personality clash amongst the workers and a meeting has been arranged between the Councillor and the workers to try rectify the situation. The farmer who was removed by the National Land Task Force has sorted out his problem and is farming.

No report received.

Harare South – reported 21.10.02 that a farmer with a Section 5 and no problems to date, came

home to find the DA, OIC with several policemen and a crowd of people on his farm.  The DA was in the process of splitting up his farm and handing out pieces to the crowd present. They were very aggressive, but then left. The farmer expected them back the following day.

Raffingora/Ayrshire - There are now eight white commercial farmers actively farming in the Raffingora area. Some of these are still awaiting results for the D.A. & P.A.'s Offices concerning LA3 downsizing/sub-division applications.  The date for the next evictions draws closer.  We believe there are only three white commercial farmers in the Mutoroshanga area.  Of interest is some farmers have successfully sold, or are in the process of selling, farms to black businessmen.  (This is not relating to the above)  We estimate nine farms in this category.  All other farms have been pegged and settled to some degree, mostly A2 in the central Raffingora unlike the A1 settlement/allocations last year. Progress in general on tillage is not good from either group of settlers.  The countryside is now completely burnt out, with cattle de-stocking going on furiously.  Theft on all properties is horrendous, in particular electric motors, irrigation equipment and bananas.  This is going to be the biggest problem, especially now that Tredar Security has closed down.  The Ayrshire club remains closed and the settlers are trying to re-open it if they can get enough members.  Plenty of strangers and unknown vehicles moving around the District.  

Doma – there are six people farming, with two farmers having SI6 problems.  The Sunkist Farm owner was told to leave his farm and apply for land elsewhere by the D.A.  Settlers demand implements, maize meal and money.  Ex labourers have no money and no food.  People are starting to starve.  The Farways Farm owner had to send in a petition to ask the settlers if he can farm his coffee plantation, as it has been sub-divided.

Nyabira - Huge theft experienced which is unsustainable. Theft on all properties is horrendous. 

Tengwe - Caversham Estates owner was barricaded in his house because of SI6 problems.  The Renroc Farm family was barricaded in their house (including wife and small child) because of SI6 problems.  The Oribi Park owner’s wife was barricaded in her house and the labour went on strike because they say they have been graded incorrectly.  The manager’s house was totally trashed with doors and baths ripped out. 

Umboe /Doma – the Umboe and Doma Farmers’ Association will have joint meetings every second month.  Umboe now has less than 10 farmers.  Some Section 8’s have been delivered. The Highbury Estates manager’s wife had a road traffic accident near Banket has been taken to the Avenues Clinic for stabilisation.  She is recovering and will be home in a couple of days.  The army arrived on Victory Estate bringing seed and fertilizer on their army truck.  They came ostensibly for an anti poaching patrol but the owner was barricaded in his house, with electricity cut off and drums beaten continually outside. The problem is still unresolved.

Tengwe – the Holme Lacey and Silver Lining Farm owner faces pressure with someone starting to plough at the instigation of the ex-Major Maponga.  Maponga wants to move into the house and barns of Holme Lacey Farm.  The owner has no assistance from the Police who say he must see the D.A.   Neither farm has a Section 5 or Section 8. At Meddury Farm and Solera Farm the ex-Maj. Maponga posted two armed guards at the pipe on a dam so no water is “let down” to both these farmers who are due “let down” water.  They both have tobacco and paprika in the ground and need water desperately.  Police say it is not their problem and they must speak to the D.A.   A large crowd broke windows on Rugare Farm. The owner was extracted and is unable to return.  ZRP again say it is not their problem.  All the windows and doors were stolen from the farm village at Manna Farm.  Police will not react. At Ian Penny Farm a Mr Mapfumo, a teacher at Tengwe School, intimidated labour causing a work stoppage.  The farmer is feeding and watering his large egg operation by himself.  No vehicles are allowed on the farm, and Mapfumo’s locks have been fitted on the gates.  The farmer has to climb under a fence and walk to his neighbouring farm.  Police will not attend to the matter, and again claim this is a matter for the D.A.  Mayor Gumbo of Kariba is claiming Bonanza Farm for himself, and has paid the women settlers to harass the owner.  The owner was threatened and moved off the farm.  Police will not react and state it is the D.A.’s problem.  The owner of Zinyewe Farm has been off the farm for two weeks. Settlers have broken in and stolen some items, which is under investigation.  The owner of Inanda Farm faces daily pressure to move from the house and to pay off the staff.  ZRP say they have a Section 8 and can do nothing about the situation.  The Meidon Farm labour want packages and the owner cannot grade his tobacco.  In general, there are continual problems of strikes lasting 2-3 days at farms where workers demand SI6 packages.  The Police in Tengwe are not a police force.  They have selective law enforcement and therefore there is no order.  There are four Coffee farmers left in Tengwe, with six coffee farmers forced off their farms.

Masvingo East and Central – the Farm A owner is under continued harassment from settlers that have moved into his homestead and refuse him permission to continue with land preparations.  Farm B reports that poaching is rife within this park. Attempts at electrifying the fence have failed after all electrical equipment was stolen.

Mwenezi UPDATE – As from October 22, 2002  

Farmer C was ordered by settlers to remove his 400 head of cattle from the farm, and his only working borehole is now unable to sustain the extra demand of settlers’ livestock and human demands for water. The water held in reserve will be depleted within a day or two. Offers to open up another borehole in return for grazing for his cattle has been denied. The DA does not appear to be asserting his authority and the owner has been unable to contact him for two days now. The situation is tense and he has not returned to live at his farm.  Assistant DA Hungwe visited to attempt resolve problems there.  Settlers, who have forced their way into Farmer D’s house, evicted him form his only home. They demand he pays them rent for his remaining livestock. His cattle are unable to move off the farm due to the Foot and Mouth Disease quarantine. He was only issued with a Section 8 notice a few days ago. This is extremely cruel behaviour meted out to an old man in his eighties.   The cattle have been forced to stay in the pens “until the evicted owner sells them”.  Agritex teams visited four farms writing up each farm’s moveable assets, saying that it would be an advantage for the owner to allow them to do so.  The cattle sale at the Lion and Elephant was stopped after a single case of FMD was confirmed at the sale. All 450 head are to be sent for immediate slaughter, which is a huge loss to the beef industry because the cattle were in poor condition and should have been fed for 60 days before slaughter. The immediate loss to the owner is in the region of ZW $18 million. Although there is only one visible case now the virile nature of the disease will cause it to rapidly spread through the confined herds. This will mean that many thousands of livestock are now destined to die as they are trapped on farms without adequate food. Infected oxen will be unable to plough for the settlers. On 24.10.02 there was a confrontation between settlers on Farm F and the manager on Farm G. The dispute is over water and cattle were forced to stay in the pens. When the cattle were finally released after a telephone conversation with Inspector Moyo the settlers insisted the cattle and paddocks were theirs. This claim of ownership is bound to be the next step orchestrated to retaliate over South African protection. The Police will attempt to get the elusive DA there to meet with the settlers and resolve the situation.  Assistant DA Hungwe visited farm H to advise settlers that they are to be removed next week and sent to Farm J. He enquired of the owner whether this move would alleviate the present pressure on the water supply system. Nine heifers stolen from Farm K were recovered in Sengwe communal land over 100 km away.  Seventeen steers from Farm L were loaded on to a lorry and driven to Pahlela area of Sengwe. They are still being tracked, as they could not go far on foot because they were Hereford cross which do not like the heat. 

Chiredzi - Snaring and poaching continue.  The Farm M owner is experiencing continued problems in trying to obtain his eight motor engines from the property.

Save Conservancy - Reports of a wild dog with a nasty snare wound on its neck and a young black rhino with a snare on its rear leg. As yet they have not been caught. No visible change except that there appears to be an increase in clearing and there is serious poaching going on in areas where there has been a green flush in the vegetation. The courts are not playing the game and are handing down ridiculous sentences like community service.

Poaching figures as table shows.





 Total since August 2001 up to the end of:




29/8 to 11/10



Number of Incidents





Incidents where animals have been killed




Number of snares recovered





Number of poachers dogs shot











Gutu / Chatsworth - A team from Agritex has been moving around the farms in this area recording all the equipment on the farms.  Stock theft and theft of wire continue. A large number of the cattle from a Chatsworth group of farms have been relocated to grazing in the Mwenezi district. The area where these cattle are grazing has now been quarantined for FMD. The grazing the owner leased down here is now finished so he has been moving his calving cows to another leased property near Masvingo. This has now been stopped and could be the death of 500 cows and their calves because they will no longer be allowed to move off the farm. Stock feed is in limited supply and the economic viability of buying stock feed is out of the question. The owner has continued problems with the District Administrator Gutu and the "war vet" on the Mazongogroro property.

No report received.

No report received.                                               Visit the CFU Website

Unless specifically stated that this is a Commercial Farmers' Union communique, or that it is being issued or forwarded to you by the sender in an official CFU capacity, the opinions contained therein are private.  Private messages also include those sent on behalf of any organisation not directly affiliated to the Union.  The CFU does not accept any legal responsibility for private messages and opinions held by the sender and transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network users and/or to external addressees.
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Daily News

      Makamba sued for grabbing farm

      11/1/02 9:41:54 AM (GMT +2)

      By Lloyd Mudiwa

      JAMES Makamba, a Harare businessman and former television talkshow
host, has been accused of forcing settlers from a farm which he wants to
      Makamba, the host of defunct Joy TV's Makamba At Night show, is
alleged to have used Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officers and
Zanu PF youths to evict settlers from Maryvale Farm in Mazowe East.

      The farm, being rented by Jack Callow, the director of Eardington
Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, which runs the property, was invaded by the settlers
in 2000.
      According to records filed in the High Court, Makamba, a former radio
disc jockey and MP for Mt Darwin, has seized Callow's farm implements worth
about $213 million.

      Even Kamil M Khalfan, the honorary consul of the Sultanate of Oman,
was too frightened to help Callow, his former employee, from being evicted,
the papers said.

      Khalfan has strong links with the government. His company owns 50
percent of Catercraft, the sole provider of in-flight catering services at
      International Airport.

      The rest of the shares are held by Zanu PF's M&S Syndicate. Callow
applied to the High Court through his lawyer, Constantine Mkinya of Mkinya
and Mkinya, for an order allowing him to continue occupying the farm. He
wants Makamba ordered to vacate the farm and surrender all assets and farm
      In his founding affidavit, Callow says Elliot Manyika, the acting
Governor of Mashonaland Central Province, had encouraged him to expand a
viable rose project he was running, before Makamba grabbed the property.

      Callow's farm had been invaded and he was restricted to the area near
his farmhouse. Manyika is Zanu PF's national political commissar as well as
the Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation.

      "I then asked Elliot Manyika if I could be allowed to continue my rose
project and he said I could even expand it as long as I did not interfere
with the settlers," reads Callow's affidavit.

      "I asked him to put this in writing and he got very cross with me as
he said he was a man of honour and a high-ranking government official who
could keep his word of honour."

      Callow said after he and his Dutch partner, Flodac, refused to hand
over 51 percent of the shares, a group of youths from the Border Gezi
training centre were deployed on the farm in District Development Fund
trucks on 14 April.
      The youths broke into his house and took residence there, he said.
Callow said he was advised not to return to the farm as Makamba had also
evicted the settlers who had earlier invaded the farm.

      Callow finally paid off his workers on 11 May, as he was unable to
continue his work.

      He said: "I made a police report on several occasions, but was advised
that Makamba was untouchable. Even the police officer commanding the
district, Mr Shumba, told me that he was unable to assist me because he was
too junior to deal with Makamba."

      Callow said his problems started after expanding his rose project in
partnership with the Dutch company and financial partners.

      Makamba started putting pressure on the Butler family, whose company
Bartelus (Pvt) Ltd owns the farm, to sell to him. He summoned Callow to his
Joy Television offices in the Harare city centre on 26 November 2001.

      Makamba is the chairman of Flame Lily Broadcasting (Pvt) Ltd which
operated as Joy TV. Callow said: "Present in the meeting was Makamba and two
CIO agents. Makamba said he had been granted Maryvale Farm under the A2
model resettlement scheme, but that I could stay in my house if I agreed to
continue working for him as his manager.

      "The CIO agents threatened me with dire consequences if I either
disobeyed Makamba's demands or took the matter to court or to the Press."

      This was despite the fact that trade agreements between Zimbabwean and
Dutch nationals are protected by a standing bilateral trade agreement.
Callow then approached Khalfan who initially agreed to mediate between him
and Makamba.
      But when Callow returned to Khalfan he found his attitude "completely
changed, almost to a point of being hostile".

      "He told me that he could no longer help me as this could jeopardise
his other business deals with Makamba," said Callow. "Khalfan told me that
Makamba would accept nothing less than 51 percent shares in my company or I
would be forcibly evicted."

      Callow said Makamba, in a subsequent meeting, threatened him and Tim
Ford, the Dutch company's representative, with eviction and went into a
verbal tirade about racism, saying "it was now time for us to pay for the
sins of our forefathers".
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Daily News

      Chinotimba accused of accepting bribes from whites

      11/1/02 9:33:07 AM (GMT +2)

      By Sam Munyavi

      Joseph Chinotimba, the vice-president of the Zanu PF-backed Zimbabwe
Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU), has been accused of taking bribes and of
conniving with "white imperialists".

      According to the minutes of a ZFTU meeting held early last month, two
leaders of a splinter mineworkers' union tried to oust Chinotimba from the
      Enock Sithole Makenga and Kingstone Tafirenyika Chitsuro, the
president and vice-president of the newly-formed National Mines, Quarry,
Iron and Steel Workers' Union, accused Chinotimba of taking bribes and
conniving with "white imperialists".

      The minutes did not specify with which "white imperialists" Chinotimba
connived with or whose bribes he took and in exchange for what he took them.

      During the commercial farm invasions of 2000, Chinotimba was a close
aide of the late war veteran leader, Chenjerai Hunzvi, who spearheaded the
invasions. Chinotimba called himself "the commander of the farm invasions".

      The meeting was held at the ZFTU's offices in Harare Street on 2
      The mineworkers' union is a splinter of the Associated Mine Workers of

      The minutes record that the meeting was attended by, among others,
Alfred Makwarimba, the ZFTU president, R Chokuda, Zanu PF district chairman
for Sunningdale, and a Mr Windman, general secretary for the ZFTU mining

      Chitsuro, the minutes say, warned Chinotimba to vacate his ZFTU post
after he objected to suggestions by Makenga that he (Chitsuro) be appointed
the ZFTU legal adviser or leader of the ZFTU's "mother board".

      Makenga, according to the minutes, angrily told Chinotimba "to hang
      Chinotimba retorted that he did not know Makenga and accused him of
claiming affiliation to the ZFTU when he had not been endorsed by Zanu PF
officials, the minutes say. Chinotimba reportedly refused to work with
Makenga but a temporary truce was struck after intervention by Makwarimba
and other ZFTU officials.

      Yesterday, Chinotimba denied he had attended the meeting. But he then
turned round and said: "If anyone says I must leave the ZFTU, then he is
working against the union. "That Makenga hasn't even been in the federation
for three months. He is too junior to say that."

      Chinotimba dismissed Makenga's claim, reported in The Daily News
yesterday, that he was working with the ZFTU and Zanu PF to destroy the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions by March next year.

      He said: "We are shocked. Unions are there to work for the people, not
to destroy each other. We as presidents of the ZFTU are apolitical. "Whether
it is Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC president, who is going to be president of
this country, we will follow the government which will be there. "We work
with the government, but that doesn't mean we are Zanu PF. Some of the
workers we represent are MDC. We don't get even a cent from Zanu PF."
Makwarimba refused to comment.
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Daily News

      Blacklist hits Red Cross

      11/1/02 9:26:34 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE Danish government has ordered its Red Cross Society not to channel
charity funds sourced through the Danish International Development Agency
(Danida), to its sister organisation in Zimbabwe because the local branch of
the international humanitarian body is headed by a Cabinet minister.

      Swithun Mombeshora, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, who
is also the president of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, is on the blacklist
of the European Union (EU).

      The Copenhagen Post newspaper last week reported the Danish Ministry
of Foreign Affairs had forbidden the Red Cross to distribute Danida aid in
Zimbabwe, forcing the organisation to use funds from nationwide collections.
      The Danish Red Cross has been accused of "extreme naivety" in
continuing to transfer charity funds to the Zimbabwe Red Cross, which is
headed by Mombeshora, who is on the EU's travel blacklist.

      Denmark is a member of the EU, which slapped President Mugabe, his
ministers, Mombeshora included, and top government and Zanu PF officials
with travel bans over human rights abuses and the flawed March presidential
      The EU has also called for a rerun of the disputed presidential
      As an integral member of Mugabe's inner circle, Mombeshora is viewed
as part of a corrupt government accused of indiscriminately murdering white
farmers, inciting political violence and violating human rights throughout
the country, the paper said.

      It said the Danish Red Cross was now being criticised by opposition
parties in Zimbabwe for allowing Mombeshora to administer hundreds of
thousands of kroner, the Danish currency, donated by charitable Danes.

      Although there has been political violence in Mombeshora's Makonde
constituency, the Danish Red Cross' general secretary, Jorgen Poulsen, said
he had no reason to believe that Mombeshora did not uphold Red Cross
      "We have investigated this man on many occasions during the 17 years
he has been president of the Red Cross, and on no occasion has he been found
to mix politics with his work for us," said Poulsen.

      But Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC spokesman, said: "That is naivety of
the worst kind. How can Mombeshora be neutral when he participates in daily
government meetings planning violence and repression? I have never once
heard him reject the violence that plagues our country."

      Mombeshora could not be contacted to comment on allegations that his
organisation was involved in the partisan distribution of food aid.

      Denmark moved its embassy from Harare to South Africa early this year
over the deteriorating political and humanitarian situation in the country.
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'Join the Zanu-PF or lose seized farms'

      October 31 2002 at 10:22PM

By Patrick Leeman and Mercury Correspondents

A top-ranking official of president Robert Mugabe's cabinet has said the
ruling Zanu-PF will take back land from newly-resettled black farmers who
are not members of the party.

Youth, Gender and Employment Creation Minister Elliot Manyika told the
state-run Herald newspaper that farmers should "make sure they are members
of Zanu-PF or risk losing land".

The statement provoked a sharp response from the main opposition party which
said it proved that Mugabe's claims about his land reform benefiting the
poor were "bogus".

      It had become an open secret that the main beneficiaries of the land
were Mugabe's supporters
Mugabe's critics say most of the prime land seized from whites has benefited
government ministers, senior state officials, military and police chiefs and
ruling party cronies and supporters.

Paul Themba Nyathi, spokesperson for the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, said Manyika's remarks confirmed that the land seizures were part of
Mugabe's grand plan to buy his prolonged stay in power without regard to the
economic consequences.

Lovemore Madhuku, chairperson of Zimbabwe's largest civic group, the
National Constitutional Assembly, said there was nothing new in Manyika's
statement since it had become an "open secret" that the main beneficiaries
of the land were Mugabe's supporters.

Meanwhile, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, local church leaders and their
Zimbabwean counterparts said it was time for the churches in both countries
to rediscover their "prophetic voice" and speak out against injustices such
as the torture of innocent civilians, the erosion of civil rights and land
invasions in Zimbabwe.

These were among the conclusions reached after a two-day consultation
between church leaders of nine denominations from the two countries held at
Umzumbe on South Africa's south coast.

The chairperson of the consultation, Bishop Rubin Phillip, said the factor
of fear among the Zimbabwean church delegations had emerged constantly
during the two-day meeting.

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Fuel Price Hikes Loom in Zimbabwe
Sharp Fuel Price Hikes Loom As Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe Demands Oil
Cos. Supply Nation

The Associated Press

      HARARE, Zimbabwe Nov. 1 - After more than two years of acute gasoline
shortages, President Robert Mugabe said he will deregulate fuel imports and
demand private oil companies supply gas from their external hard currency
reserves, state radio reported Friday.

      Mugabe accused foreign oil companies of profiteering from
long-standing arrangements in which they buy fuel imports at subsidized
prices from the state oil procurement monopoly, the National Oil Company of
Zimbabwe, the radio said.

      Multinational oil companies must now import their own fuel for sale,
Mugabe told a meeting of government and business leaders, the radio said.

      Oil industry executives declined to comment on the announcement until
an official order is issued canceling the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe's
import monopoly. Currently companies are not allowed to import fuel.

      Executives said privately the announcement late Thursday caused
disarray in the energy sector and if enforced could push up the price of
gasoline by as much as 600 percent.

      It also gave credence to reports that a deal with Libya to provide $30
million worth of gasoline a month for the next year was falling apart after
Zimbabwe failed to pay arrears in shipping and handling costs.

      A gallon of gas costs about 68 cents one of the lowest prices in the

      The government has pegged the price in a bid to hold down inflation,
now running at a record 140 percent in the nation's worst economic crisis
since independence in 1980.

      Acute hard currency shortages since 1999 have led gas stations to run
dry, with long lines of cars regularly waiting for deliveries.

      The hard currency shortages have pushed up the illegal black market
exchange rate to more than 1,200 Zimbabwe dollars to one U.S. dollar,
compared to the pegged official exchange rate of 55-1.

      International oil companies have said they would need to buy hard
currency at inflated rates of a blended mix between the official and
unofficial rates to remain viable.

      Civil unrest erupted last year when bus and commuter fares were raised
by 30 percent. Commuters boycotted transport firms and vehicles were stoned
until fares were reduced on government orders.

      State radio said Mugabe said foreign oil companies would be required
to use their external hard currency funds to import fuel, but oil companies
said they must be allowed to remit some hard currency abroad to avoid being
left with large amounts of Zimbabwe dollars in a hyperinflationary economy.

      Mugabe described state fuel imports sold by foreign oil companies in
Zimbabwe as "this game of foolery" that reaped huge profits for them and
losses for the state.

      "They must import and not wait for the government to do it for them.
They have the foreign exchange. In true partnership, they should play their
part ... they don't suffer from the headaches and stomach aches I suffer"
over fuel, he said.

      Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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      Commonwealth upholds Pakistan suspension

            02 November, 2002 01:18 GMT+08:00

     By Dominic Evans

      LONDON (Reuters) - Commonwealth foreign ministers upheld Pakistan's
suspension from their organisation on Friday, saying last month's elections
had not completed the transfer of power from military to civilian rule.

      Speaking after a meeting in London, they said it was too soon to judge
how much control President Pervez Musharraf, whose 1999 bloodless coup
triggered Pakistan's suspension from the group of mainly ex-British
colonies, would hand over to parliament.

      "The benchmark for Pakistan is the restoration of democracy,"
Botswana's Foreign Minister Mompati Merafhe, chairman of the eight-strong
Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), told reporters.

      "No government is in place. We don't know how many of the executive
powers held by the president are going to be transferred to the elected
members of parliament," he said.

      Ministers agreed to maintain Pakistan's suspension from the councils
of the Commonwealth -- the decision-making bodies of the 54-nation
organisation -- until they had a clearer picture of "the role and
functioning of democratic institutions".

      The decision followed a report from Commonwealth observers which gave
only qualified approval to the October 10 polls, declaring events on the
election day "credible" but the overall process unfair.

      "We're not calling for new elections. We're saying it could have been
better," Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon told Reuters. "In the
meantime, let's see a government formed".


      Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, voicing Western hopes
that Pakistan would be offered some encouragement at Friday's meeting, had
said he expected ministers to recognise the "big step" it had taken down the
path towards democracy, even if it was too early to consider its

      But the CMAG statement offered little comfort for Islamabad.

      Diplomats said any suggestion of easing the pressure on Pakistan won
short shrift from arch-foe neighbour India and African ministers, who argued
that it would smack of double standards while Zimbabwe was kept out in the

      Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth councils for a year in
response to President Robert Mugabe's disputed re-election in March and the
violent seizures of white-owned farms for landless blacks.

      Last month a troika of Commonwealth leaders failed to agree tougher
sanctions against Zimbabwe and ministers at Friday's talks decided to take
no further action.

      The London meeting of the ministerial action group, which acts as the
Commonwealth democracy and human rights watchdog, brought together ministers
from Australia, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Botswana, India, Malta, Nigeria and

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Portrait of Zimbabweans As Hungry, Angry People

The Daily News (Harare)

October 30, 2002
Posted to the web November 1, 2002

BEING a columnist anywhere in the world can be hazardous to your health,
both mental and physical if your area of concern is the human condition.

I once received a letter from a reader I was convinced had gone bananas who
called me a Banyamulenge and threatened I would come to a sticky end if I
continued to write what I was writing which was basically the human
condition with no punches pulled.

                  For an excerpt from the Africa 2002 guidebook, click here.
                  (Adobe Acrobat).

                  To buy the book, click here.

The human condition in Zimbabwe is tragic and telling it in sugar-coated
language would be just as tragic.

Some Zimbabweans are so laid-back in their response to the corruption and
plunder in high places, I believe they would deserve it if they woke up one
day and found there was no Zimbabwe any more, that it had been carved out of
the earth and flown in a stolen B747 to Libya, to pay for the oil.

For instance, how can people continue to be calm after the United Nations
alleged some of their leaders looted the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
even as they pretended to be doing their Pan-African solidarity duty to help
a fellow country in distress?

That story should be posted on all public notice boards in all suburbs.
People seem so nonchalant about official corruption only after someone has
stolen their wife, husband or lover from their bed will they wake up to

No columnist would feel honest if they pulled any punches with such people.
They have to be hit with the bare truth on the head with the force of a
sledgehammer. They need the truth told to them every day, unadorned,
uncluttered with platitudes.

Most columnists are always hoping that one day the truth will hit the
sceptics and the cowards in the solar plexus and they will know its time to
wake up and smell the garbage.

Many people may not realise it yet, but this country is about to run out of
life its own and its peoples. In other words, in the words of the prophets:
The end is nigh! There will be the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

All this is bound to occur when the final morsel of food is consumed and the
survivors of The Plague stare at each other with the big question mark in
their blank, saucer-like eyes: Who shall we eat first?

The expression you have beautiful legs or a fine body will no longer be a
compliment to pulchritude, but to the culinary delight that someone could

The Plague will be caused by the absence of food, any food at all, and the
spectre of cannibalism. The dustbins will have been emptied by men, women
and children fighting with insane desperation over anything left in them,
for not even the rich will be throwing away their crumbs. They will not be
rich any more. The only rich people will have fled the dying country, their
loot loaded into helicopters guarded by mercenaries bristling with AK 47
rifles and bazookas.

If all this brings a chill to your bones, then all I can say is: You aint
seen nothing yet to quote someone whose name I forget for the moment.

After I wrote about sadza being evidently plentiful in London the other
week, a number of people responded, from there and places beyond. Most said
they were determined to hang on in the United Kingdom until the present
odious crowd exited the scene en masse.

Whether this exit will be as ignominious as these people deserve may depend
on how angry the hungry citizens of Zimbabwe will be by then hungry enough
to tear them from limb to limb, or just enough to whisper fiercely past
their well-fed ear-lobes with a croaky voice: Just get the hell out of my

One e-mail I received from the UK: I was fascinated reading your piece last
week about maize-meal in London. You will be interested to know that it was
the first thing that I looked out for when I arrived here. Its mostly
available in Indian shops and for a 2kg pack, I pay £1,79 . . . its very
nice though, and you can also get powder rice which has been finely ground.
It leaves a funny taste though.

Another one said: Its true there is more maize-meal here than at home. With
the increase of the immigrant population from Africa and the West Indies
over the years, the shop owners (mostly Asians) have seen the golden
opportunity and stock all sorts of hupfu from America, South Africa but,
regrettably, nothing from Zim. Besides the abundance of our beloved hupfu,
many of the Zimbabweans I have spoken to, both young and old, concur that
Ôif they had a choice they would rather be at home than here.

So, there is the truth which I wish R-R-R-Reuben Barwe would embrace to his
ample girth and broadcast. These people have no choice. Tragic thats the
only way to describe it.

Yet we still have the nauseating official propaganda which would have you
believe that Life Is Beautiful in Zimbabwe. But for whom?

The official statistics of death from starvation are not being released as
readily as those from Aids, which is not surprising.

An admission by the government that people are dying of starvation would be
well-nigh impossible for what is now unofficially called The Ministry of
Lies to deal with.

In Binga, an old woman and her granddaughter ate a tuber the grandmother
mistook for a potato. Before she died, the grandmother told our reporter
that it was her mistake and she could not blame it on President Mugabes land
reform programme, which she said would help her granddaughter, who did not
eat the tuber because her grandmother had left none for her.

Asked for her comment, the granddaughter, aged three, muttered something
about her grandmother having been misled by The Daily News . . .

They will blame it on everyone else except themselves even Learnmore Jongwes
death in custody. The South African apartheid regime did not initially
accept responsibility for the death of Steve Biko.

Sekou Toure did accept responsibility for the death, in one of his own
jails, of Diallo Telli, the first secretary-general of the Organisation of
African Unity. Mengistu Haile Mariam has never accepted responsibility for
the death of Emperor Haile Selassie.

Kamuzu Banda never accepted responsibility for the death of Orton Chirwa or
Henry Chipembere.

The government and the ruling party of Zimbabwe have never accepted
responsibility for the death of Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika. Neither
have they explained why Kainos Kitsiyatota Zimunya and Joseph Mwale, named
in the High Court as suspects in the murder of the two MDC activists, are
still free to continue where they left off at Murambinda in Buhera in 2000.

Clearly, this government has a lot to answer for, apart from trying to
starve the people to death.Even if Thabo Mbeki, the President of South
Africa who is rumoured to be silly-scared of offending Mugabe, were to work
out an exit plan before the 78-year-old is handed his exit papers by
You-Know-Who, there are some who think someone ought to answer for him.

The old man might regret having flown back to this country during the 2002
presidential election, when it is said he flew out after being told the jig
was up.
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Expats scoff at Mugabe's plan to tax them

      November 01 2002 at 02:52AM

By Basildon Peta

Harare - President Robert Mugabe's cash-strapped government is planning to
levy taxes on three-million Zimbabweans working abroad in a desperate bid to
raise cash for fuel and electricity imports.

But expatriate Zimbabweans are mostly scoffing at the attempt, noting that
the same government had banned them from voting in the March presidential

"No taxation without representation" is the unofficial response. "I am not
prepared to subsidise Mugabe's regime when I was denied my inalienable right
to vote," Jeremy Dube said in Johannesburg on Thursday.

      'No taxation without representation'
Others circulated emails among themselves dismissing the planned taxation.

Deputy Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri said the Zimbabwean government was
planning to levy income tax on Zimbabweans working abroad "in a bid to
benefit from the brain drain and strengthen the country's revenue base".

The government's rationale is that the state invested in their education,
and so is entitled to a return in the form of taxes.

It was unclear how the government intends to enforce the new expatriate tax,
which it hopes to implement early in 2003. It claims that foreign
governments will help, but, given Zimbabwe's world standing, this seems
wishful thinking.

Most Zimbabweans working abroad were driven out by the harsh economic
climate, including inflation of 140 percent, unemployment, and shortages of
basic foodstuffs such as bread and milk.
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Daily News

      Cloete says he still enjoys national support

      11/1/02 10:31:19 AM (GMT +2)

      Farming Editor

      Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) president Colin Cloete, who resigned
under pressure from some of the members, says he still enjoys national
      Cloete resigned at the union's national council meeting on Tuesday
this week and gave a 30-day notice of his intention to relinquish the
position he has held since August 2001.

      CFU director, David Hasluck, also announced his intention to be
relieved of his position in 30-days time from Tuesday 29 October 2002.

      Hasluck has been the director for the union since 1984. He has served
the CFU since 1977.

      The faction, which pressured Cloete and Hasluck into resignation,
wanted the two to either resign or they would vote to choose either dialogue
or litigation in dealing with the government over evictions of commercial

      About 95 percent of the CFU's 4 300 members have been slapped with
evictions, despite the fact that some of them own single farms.

      Cloete said in a statement that although his resignation was approved
by the union national council, CFU members from around the country had
during the past 12 years expressed support for him. They had requested he
rescind the resignation.

      Cloete refused to disclose why he had resigned but said, it was
      In a statement produced on his behalf by the union's public relation
firms, ProComm Public Relations, Cloete said he was mindful of the fact that
the CFU needed "more than ever before, strong leadership to unify members".

      "It is not yet known if he will reconsider his decision based on the
majority consensus of the CFU members balanced against his personal
 reasons," the statement said.

      Cloete said recent statements made by Ben Freeth, CFU Mashonaland West
(South) regional executive, suspended by the union for denouncing the
government through a prayer and a message circulated via e-mail, were
"twisted and one-sided and contained a sinister agenda of servicing his own
and Justice for Agriculture (JAG) interests".

      Like JAG, a CFU splinter group, Freeth is calling on law abiding
farmers to use the courts in cases where they see discrepancies in the land
reform programme.
      Hasluck was not available for comment. Internal squabbles have dogged
the union in the past two years when splits emerged as a result of the
government's land reform programme.

      Commercial agriculture is doomed as more than 30 percent of the 2 900
commercial farmers issued with farm evictions have left the country.
      Only 600 farmers out of the union's membership of 4 300 have remained
on the farms.

      Commercial banks have refused to fund the few farmers remaining on the
farms because of uncertainties caused by the land reform programme.

      Foreign currency earning crops such as flue-cured tobacco, soyabeans,
and food crop wheat have over the years been produced by commercial farmers.

      About 90 percent of the beef exported in the country was produced by
large-scale commercial farmers. The dairy industry, also threatened by farm
evictions, is still largely dominated by large-scale commercial farmers, who
produce about 90 percent of the country's milk.
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Daily News

      Starving villagers slam Zanu PF

      11/1/02 9:37:46 AM (GMT +2)

      HUNGRY villagers in Hurungwe district have castigated Zanu PF for
reneging on its election promise to provide them with drought relief food if
they voted for the party.

      Benias Nyamande, Zanu PF district chairman for Piriviri in Hurungwe's
Ward 14, said yesterday he had lost faith in the Zanu PF government because
it had not fulfiled its election promises.

      He said he had been challenged by about 500 starving villagers to
explain why they had still not received relief food.

      The villagers have camped at Chivende business centre for almost a
week now, waiting to receive food aid.

      Nyamande said: "Only a few villagers have received food aid while the
majority are still threatened with starvation. "The situation is
deteriorating by the day and there is no hope in sight because the
newly-elected Member of Parliament, Phone Madiro, has been silent on the
people's plight since he was elected."

      Madiro was elected in a by-election in September to fill the seat
previously held by his deceased brother, Marko.

      Marco Kazembe, the councillor for Ward 14, said the government had
pledged to provide a monthly allowance of $1 500 for each household to buy
maize grain.
      Kazembe said: "The grain from the government is undoubtedly inadequate
and many villagers are still to receive their share. To make matters worse,
the money they promised to pay the villagers is not enough.

      "As a result, we have adopted a system of rotation whereby villages
take monthly turns to receive grain. Only three centres, Marere, Mbezo and
Chirariro, have benefited from the programme so far."

      Hosiah Mutota of Piriviri village said the government should act
promptly to provide grain and seeds, to avert mass starvation in the area.

      Mutota said: "We are yet to receive any grain, let alone some seeds
and fertiliser as the planting season fast approaches. If the government
does not deliver soon, the cycle of hunger may be prolonged."

      Only 20 families out of over 3 000 households in Piriviri village have
received the government-sponsored consignments of farming inputs consisting
of a 30kg bag of seed and 12 bags of fertiliser.
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