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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Thursday 1 November 2001

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


·        Horseshoe – man locked in his house over a labour dispute

·        Horseshoe - owner has been evacuated from his farm

·        Work stoppages, displacements of farm workers and extortion continue to occur

·        Burning of grazing is compounding the difficulties of cattle management  created by seasonal effects and foot-and-mouth restrictions

·        Demands to remove cattle entirely from occupied farms are widespread as some settlers begin to plant maize in lands prepared by farm owners

- On Thursday afternoon the settlers on Brockley Farm asked to speak to the owner who contacted the DA and was told not to speak them. A commercial vehicle hired to transport a tobacco machine to the farm was prevented from delivering the machine. On Thursday on Duiker Flats all work was stopped under instruction from one Mutungire in an attempt to extort water and other items from the owner. The illegal settlers formed a human barricade across the gates preventing anyone from entering or leaving the premises. The police response to this incident was totally biased in favour of the settlers.  On Frinton Farm an Agritex Officer and six helpers began pegging Rhodes Grass paddocks. On Sunmount Estates unidentified men arrived on his farm and began marking the trees with numbers of plots. When asked for papers they could not produce them but said that the Lands Committee had sent them.
Glendale - Tractors with ploughs and harrows arrived on some of the farms in the district.
Horseshoe - On Blue Grass Farm the owner’s partner was locked in his house over a labour dispute.  On Camsasa Farm the owner has been evacuated from his farm and all irrigation of his tobacco crop has been stopped. On Amajuba Farm all work on the coffee plantation has been stopped. On Naini Tal Farm the owner has been accused of setting fires.
Mvurwi - Farfields Farm was pegged for resettlement and illegal settlers arrived to claim the land that they said had been allocated to them.
Tsatsi - On Rivers Farm illegal settlers stopped the planting of tobacco after only two of the intended 40 hectares had been planted. The situation remains unresolved.  On Glen Devon Farm the resident war veterans stopped the labourers from cutting gum poles and thatching grass.  On Howick Estates 30 illegal settlers arrived and began building huts. The invader who goes by the name of Bote informed the owner that he no longer owned the farm and that the farm had been legally given to them by the Government. The farm is not listed for acquisition and no Section 5 has been issued to the owner.  There have been no changes on the farms where work stoppages are continuing.
Victory Block - The labourers on Msitwe Farm, in fear of being made redundant, attempted to return to work on Tuesday but the illegal settlers threatened the manager with violence which then caused the women to become involved. They were very brave and loud but in retaliation for this the illegal settlers slashed 5000 tobacco plants (approximately 1 hectare) that had already been planted. The Mvurwi Police were called to the scene but they did not arrest the culprits The illegal settlers also burnt a paddock with Rhodes Grass. Tensions are high on the farm between farm workers and illegal settlers. The owner of Undercragg Farm was visited by a uniformed soldier who stated that he was a plot holder on the farm and requested to rent a building in the farm village to use as a grinding mill. The soldier was accompanied by a Government Official from Harare (Arnold Kapisa) and three unknown men. The request was denied and Kapisa later told the labourers that the owner had been told to state when he intended to leave the farm.  32 illegal settlers led by Mhaka stopped a tractor that was ridging.  When the workers attempted to discuss the matter with them they were threatened with violence. The tractor and workers left the land and stated that they would return to work on Tuesday. The matter has not been resolved. On Mount Fatigue Farm a police support unit Landrover arrived on the farm with representatives from the Lands Committee, army and police. Amongst them was a Mr.R.Marime, Mr.Kaningoni and one other man representing the war veterans. The owner was informed by the representatives of the Lands Committee Members that normal farming operations would be allowed on unpegged lands. Under no circumstances was the farmer allowed to go anywhere near officially pegged lands. The question of the 12 hectares of irrigated tobacco that had already been planted was raised - because of the fact that it lay within some of the pegged area. The farmer explained to them that the ridging and fertilising had been done in August, prior to the land being pegged on the 26th and 27th of September. The people concerned accepted that this was an error and agreed that the farmer should continue with the crop. The Land Committee wanted the farmer to instruct his labour, in their presence, not to be nasty to the illegal settlers. This was done! The visitors expressed concern when they realised that there were only 5 illegal settler families resident on this farm.

- On one property the owner has had to harrow his seedbeds in as he is unable to plant and it is now getting too late.  The status quo regarding lack of planting remains the same.
Selous - On Mount Carmel most of the rest of the grazing has been burnt out and cattle have been moved on.  The D.A.'s pegging team continues to go out with letters on to properties even where they are unlisted and do not fit into any Government criteria.  The D.A. says these order for pegging are instructions from his superiors in the Ministry.  They remain contemptuous of the Supreme Court Order stopping this from continuing.
Chegutu/Suri-Suri - On Bougainvillea Farm illegal occupiers have told the owner to remove all his cattle, and the owner is still not allowed to plant despite the fact that the farm was only listed after the Supreme Court Order stopped farms from being listed.  On Exwick illegal occupier Makoni has occupied a store room and barns.  Government vehicles continue to be used in taking off wood.  This farm was de-listed nearly four months ago.  On Mkute Councillor Dube has erected a milling machine in one of the outbuildings, with ZESA having supplied power from their transformer for him.  On Farnham a Rural District Council tractor and trailer delivered bricks for illegal occupiers to build with.  This property is unlisted.   
Kadoma/Chakari/Battlefields - On Newbiggin Farm, where the fifteen year old girl recently had a public whipping by the leader of the illegal occupiers there, the witnesses who reported to police have been threatened and told to get off the farm.  On Eiffel Blue Farm the D.A's pegging team is pegging under the centre pivot where the owner is currently trying to plant Paprika. 

- Squatodzi Farm owner received a demand for land prep to be done and maize to be milled for a group of settlers.  The police declined to record the incident as no law had been broken.   On Elveden Farm  6 vehicles moved in with a total of 49 people.  One pre-fabricated house has been erected with an asbestos roof. There are now a total of 40 houses now. The farmer reported to the Darwendale Police who would not provide an RRB number.  Next year's tobacco lands are now occupied.  On Gwarati Farm  settlers informed some of the labour that they must stop stumping as the farmer will not be allowed to even grow vegetables this year. They continued stumping anyway.  The farmer decided to pay all the labour for the days they worked and sent them off back to the farm village to avoid being victimised. 
Lions Den -  General -   The situation is fairly quiet but some illegal fires and continued pressure on cattle and grazing.  Many farmers have been prevented from planting. On Laureton no crops are allowed to be planted and the cattle are under constant threat.  The owner has been de-stocking but the settlers are still not satisfied and he has been told that all his cattle must be off the farm by today.  The CIO Rural however agreed that the owner cannot be moved off the farm.  He phoned the owner to advise him of this and said he would reiterate the point to the Land Committee.  The Range owner is under constant pressure to get off the land and not to plant any crops.  The farmer has to dip the settlers’ cattle when he dips his own cattle or he faces new threats.  Two Tree have a work stoppage except for the flowers.  On Dumalan settlers have claimed the land with underground piping for their own use.  The owner is attempting to negotiate the use of this land with the D.A.  The owner of Kapfundi has been driven off the farm together with all his cattle. On Shubara no cropping is allowed, there is limited grazing left and lots of pressure on his cattle. Building of houses continues and settlers have killed 3 calves and set fires.  On Mutala Farm no cropping is allowed and the farmer has had to compromise on the grazing.  The owner of Zintafuli has been forced off the farm and the house has been occupied by settlers.  Poaching is rampant.  The owner of Omagora has also been forced off his farm and poaching is rampant.  No cropping and grazing are allowed on Shadows Farm, Marnette and Zebra Vlei .  On West/Athens and Akardia grazing land is being disputed and Nyamakare has been burnt out.  Fynnland’s has successfully got his wheat crop off.  On Blue Hills the DA demolished three shacks erected without his consent.  Kanami are able to plant but with threats of destruction of the tobacco, even by one Police Officer in uniform.  Windsock Farm owner has been driven off the farm. Tsare Farm  is 80% burnt out with only 100 head of cattle left. Irrigation pipes have been stolen.  On Slaughter Farm  the grazing has been burnt and there are approximately 50 head of cattle left.  Chief Chirau sent a delegation of approximately 20 people to settle on Sligo Farm.  On Greensleeves Farm theft of irrigation equipment has occurred.  The owner’s guards and ZRP are patrolling at night for one week.  Portelet Farm has a work stoppage and on Portelet Estates the owner has been stopped from baling wheat straw. Cattle are not allowed to graze the wheat straw and there are no farming operations in progress.
Umboe -  On Temperley Farmgum trees have been felled and used to build houses. There are 23 houses on the farm, 8 Families, 5 Goats and 21 Cattle.  The settlers are mixing their cattle with Long Weaners.  The farmer warned the settlers that these weaners were being fed a high urea feed, and the farmer cannot be held responsible if their cattle die from urea poisoning. Chifundi, Gordonia and Elmely Farms have completed combining the wheat.  The settlers have burnt all the wheat lands and now the farmer is unable to bale wheat straw to feed his cattle.  All labour on the above three farms will be paid off at the end of October 2001 as the farmer can no longer afford to pay wages.  All lands have been pegged so he is unable to plant crops.  A Lister motor was stolen by Shepard Everton, assisted by the driver of a Massey Furguson (390) tractor doing land prep on the farm.  The driver turned state witness and  gave evidence against Sheppard Everton on condition that he is not charged.  On Fupi Farm fires have now burnt most of the grazing. On Oswa Farm the  previously reported illegal activities continue uninterrupted.  New fires are lit almost every second day.  Muni Farm owner held a meeting with the settlers, but they continue to cut boundary fences and main Lions Den/Mhangura road fence.  On Kaukua Farm the construction of houses continues, snaring and hunting with dogs is on the increase.  Ditchwe Farm and Talfourd Farm has a work stoppage.  Snaring and hunting with dogs continue and there appears to be an increase in the number of people visiting over the weekend.   On Devonia Farm  fires were started on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday night by settlers which totally burnt out approximately 100 ha. On Highbury Estates two settlers approached management and stated that they wanted tractors to plough for them.  The request was denied.  Land prep and normal farm operations continue without interference.
Doma - 3 Farms are not working : Northend, Kismet and Vrede.  A blue Land Rover went to pick up a war vet at Chiridsa Farm and the occupants loaded a 7.5 hp Relmo motor as well.
Karoi -  Settlers have planted tobacco, maize and cotton in the tobacco ridges prepared by the farmer. As at the 29th October, a full work stoppage continues.  The D.A. Karoi made an agreement with the farmer and settlers on co-existence and said that if any settler broke the agreement the police would arrest them.  The settlers told the farmer that the D.A.'s agreement is scrapped as the settlers own the land and the farmer must negotiate with each plot holder individually.  The farmer has decided to give most of his labour notice as obviously no agreement is binding with any of these people.   Ardingly Farm resident settlers protested against the farm labourers gleaning the wheat fields. A settler by the name of Jack threatened to burn the wheat straw and carried out his threat. Extensive poaching continues unabated on Yawanda Farm. Large packs of dogs are a frequent sight. The farm has not been successful in its attempts to restart full farming operations. No arrests have been made despite the farmer’s tireless efforts to report all cases of lawlessness to the Z.R.P.
Ayrshire -  Chiwe   reports a work stoppage.
Chinhoyi -  The Range Farm has not been allowed to destroy his cotton crop and is not allowed to bale his wheat straw.  Two Tree Hill Farm owner met with settler Vitalis Guta who had two houses burnt down in a fire started by other settlers who were burning wheat lands.  After avoiding a confrontation, the owner had a panic radio signal from Two Tree Farm that all three foremen had been abducted by "Vitalis-Guta". As a result of the police reaction to the abduction report settlers have burnt all grazing and much of the wheat stubble.  They have 300 cows with calves that will definitely die if the farmer cannot find alternative grazing. 
Nyabira -  A large demonstration was held which involved two new Renault tractors at Spa Farm. The ZRP were in attendance with many other government vehicles.  However, only a few ha. were planted.  Fencing on Upwey Farm   has been stolen and the building of houses is taking place along the road to Lilfordia.  The seed maize producers remain concerned that the 300 meter sanitary zone cannot and will not be respected.

- Newton Farm had 10 irrigation sprinklers stolen whilst in use. On Fair Adventure a reedbuck was shot.  Another 3 fires were started on Rapako.  Two cows were found in snares and shots were heard in the night. 1 sable and 1 reedbuck were slaughtered and 1 Impala snared. Snaring is on the increase.  Leapyear 25 x 3" pipes were stolen. A cream Nissan truck Reg. No 377-115G was seen and 17 damaged pipes were recovered. On Markwe with the help of some of the illegal settlers the owner's son caught one member of a gang stealing irrigation pipes, after interrogation by the illegal settlers he told them there were 3 more in a truck. After a chase in a vehicle they managed to apprehend the rest of the gang who came from Darowa and are stealing pipes to make pots. The police arrested the gang. 70 ha of Rhodes grass pasture were burnt on Fels together with 10 ha of gum trees. After cleaning up in the greenhouse an estimated $15 000 000 worth of export roses have been thrown away and 4 irrigation sprinklers were stolen. War vets and illegal settlers arrived at Ashlyns having caught 3 people and the driver of a 3 t truck (Reg. No. 411-475 E) who had been buying irrigation pipes from the guard who had broken up 15 pipes and had another 15 beside his house. On Imire another cow was poached. Snares that are cleared by guards are replaced within 24 hours. Snaring rampant.  Plymtree had 300 head of cattle pushed into the security fence. The farm has been divided into 62 plots. At present there are 5 illegal settlers and their wives on the farm. They again told the labour they must move into the security fence. The owner called the police and the labour have moved back into their houses but are very jittery.  On Mbima a road block of rocks and a tree was put across the road leading to the dam.  Richard Chirimuta, a settler from Rapako farm, led about 100 people to peg Kangewa. The farm is not listed and has not been pegged or invaded before.
Marondera South - On Safari a drunken mob broke the homestead fence  lock and  moved around the house drumming and singing.
Marondera North – On Wingtip and Meandu Agritex are pegging for A.2
Featherstone – On Kuruman during the night an invader’s house was burnt, apparently by a child. War veteran Wezhira came to the workers’ village and chased the workers out of their homes, threatening to shoot anybody who tried to sleep in his home. At Featherstone Old Sale Pens war veteran Wezhira, an ex-member of the Chivhu Land Committee was dismissed for taking money for plots.  He told the caretaker that if he refused to plough the 7 ha. premises he would be considered an MDC supporter, and Wezhira would take over the land. The owners of Ngesi and  Harvieston have completely destocked their 450 breeding cows under pressure and Vergenoeg has destocked 300 cows and heifers under pressure.
Beatrice -  On New Retreat there is continued pegging in steel in concrete. The irrigation 4'' aluminium main line was deliberately sabotaged. Goldilands has renewed pegging. Up to 30 settlers arrived on Brakveld in a minibus to peg this unlisted farm. The police were informed but said they should continue with their activities. The invaders left after an hour. Possibly the same group lead by war veteran Chitende started planting on a land prepared land by the commercial farmer on Argyle Ranch.  Plots were being ploughed by oxen and later by the Manyame Rural Council tractor on Welcome Home. On Maasplein  war veteran Mombe stated that the farm now belonged to the Government and instructed the manager that all work had now finished on the farm and the labour could only work within the confines of the fence around the two homesteads.
Enterprise & Goromonzi – There is widespread ploughing by D.D.F. tractors
Macheke/ Virginia -  MALDA had a prowler with a firearm within the homestead security fence. This was reported to Police who stated that they would react later in an undercover manner. Agritex are pegging on Glen Wyvis. There is continuing pressure on Howgate by settlers for the owner to remove the cattle from the paddock containing wheat stubble as they wish to commence ploughing. They want the cattle to go back to a paddock with no grazing left as the cattle have been forced to remain there for some weeks. Four head have died in the last week from malnutrition.  At a meeting held with settlers and war veteran Radoka a compromise was reached on various matters including the grazing of cattle during the day only. Demands that the farmer plough the settlers’ land were refused. Murrayfield reports the widespread cutting of timber within a pine plantation by settlers with preparation of the poles for sale by them.
Harare South -  Agritex arrived in a Ministry of Health Vehicle on Edinburgh and told the owner they were there to peg.

- On En Avante the owner had ceded a piece of land and the DA told the war vets to move off the rest of the farm onto the ceded land, as a result the war vets erected a barricade across the road.
Odzi - On Green Valley war vets/Zanu PF members have been forcing farm workers to attend meetings and demanding transport for them to do so.  This has been refused and war vet Magondo took offence at the refusal and threatened the Owner with having the farm closed down, told the owner to pack and go back to Britain.  He claimed to be President, Joseph Made, Msika etc with the authority of all the above.  The Police were advised of the above, and asked to explain to Magondo that transport will never be available for such purposes, which they have undertaken to do. On Clare Farm a piece of land had been ceded, and when the authorities told the war vets to occupy the ceded land, they harassed the farmer.

No report  received.

-  The farmer on Chiltern farm had a visit from Shepherd Moyo, a war vet who has caused a lot of trouble in the district. He was drunk and arrived with a Combi load of people and demanded to know where his land was. The farmer phoned the D.A.’s Secretary who advised him that Moyo had no right to be there. The farmer then phoned Mr Nkomo from the Bubi Rural District Council who spoke to Shepherd Moyo who slammed down the phone and insisted that he phone the Governor. The farmer refused to do this and finally Moyo left. He phoned Mr Nkomo back a few hours later and was told that his application to be delisted had been approved and Moyo was not to be allowed back on Chiltern Farm.  Mary Ellen Farm’s Manager was visited by 2 war vets claiming to belong to a Union called Horticulture and Agriculture Workers Union of Zimbabwe, which the Manager has ascertained from the ALB is not yet legal. They wanted to know if he had a Workers’ Committee and why workers had been fired. Braemar Ranch had people who came to ascertain the meat prices in the Butchery and insisted that the farmer lower the price to $50, which the farmer refused to do.  They said they would check prices on to other farms. Mambo Ranch was visited by a man claiming to be a former member in charge of a police station during the Smith regime, who asked to be shown two plots for which he had paid $3000. The plots are supposed to be on another farm. The 9 settlers that were on the other farm have moved back to Kennilworth as they were told by the Police that this was state land. Agritex also arrived on the farm with a man who probably came from the Historical Society. This man was very angry that the Agritex man had allowed them to settled on land considered holy because of all the shrines, graves etc, and told him they had no right to move people on to Mambo.   The owner of Gravesend was told by Dumiswa Dabengwa that he must sell him some cattle and the land on Gravesend. The owner reported the loss of 3 cattle and said he had very good reaction from the Police member in charge at Inyathi.  Redland Valley Farm’s owner has asked to exchange his farm for Dingaan farm, which was followed up with the Matabelenad North P.A. who also updated Miss Siwela. The P.A. was angry and said that he was very disappointed with her as she was refusing to de-list any white-owned farms in her district and he would speak to her and the Governor about it. About 4 hours after this conversation the owner's wife had an anonymous phone call from a woman (whom she recognised as Miss Siwela) who threatened to kill her and her husband.   On Paddys Valley Farm a war vet, Mtambo, threatened to bring in the Youth Brigade from Masvingo and kill 4 of the staff who were looking after the owners. The farmer's wife phoned the Police, who promised to rectify the matter.
Nyamandhlovu – On Edwaleni Farm the owner reported that there has been no improvement since September. There are settlers around the farm homestead and the staff are cowed by the war vets' intimidation and predations.  500 head of cattle and 120 donkeys are causing overstocking of the farm by 50%.  The farm has suffered 7 veld fires that have destroyed 55% of the grazing area.  Prime, improved grassland is being ploughed up and this will increase the overstocking problem to 250% by Jan 2002.  Settlers' lands are up against every water point and are interfering with the availability of  water.  Stockfeed has already been a major expense. The farm infrastructure is being rendered inoperable.  Police have attempted to move the squatters, but were angrily rejected by the war vets. Wire theft has started, and what little game is left is systematically being destroyed.  
Bulawayo Lupane Road - Disused PTC lines are being stolen and used for snares.  Long lengths of wire are being stolen in the Winterblock Area of the Cold Storage Commission Ranch.  The PTC Area Manager states that the wire should be reclaimed to construct new lines in the Tsholotsho area and will assist by having the lines removed as fast as he can.  Two new settlers moved on to Cedar Park this week claiming to have been sent by Gov Obert Mpofu.  Content Lot 1/ Yekabiyinale - Both properties are unlisted, but are occupied by 45 families.  Settlers are continuing to arrive and all attempts to halt and redress the situation with the authorities and Lands Committee have failed.  Foreman Felix Dube of Kennebec Farm was told by war vets to leave the farm immediately and not to return.  A heifer was killed on Edwaleni farm and dragged onto Mkondo farm where some of the meat was removed.   Clever Ncube phoned at 0645 hrs to advise that he intended to value Kauzaan farm. Ncube arrived at 1400 hrs with a driver in a Nissan 7 tonne truck  Reg. No. GLM 2211.and as he could not produce proof of whom he was and in what capacity he was there he was asked to leave.  Prior to leaving he said that he had been sent by Mr Majero who could be contacted on given telephone numbers, one of which turned out to be the National Breweries and the second number is the Ministry of Local Government.   A man in a brown Datsun 1300 pickup shot a kudu cow on East Junction farm but before he could load it war vets living nearby approached him and he absconded.  It is believed he could be a butcher from Tsholotsho.   Following a report about D.D.F. bulldozers last week one of them totally destroyed three steel gates on an undesignated farm whilst proceeding to build some small 'dams'. A Police vehicle Z.R.P. 1151 driven by Cst. Ngwenya of PISI Z.R.P. Nyamandlovu was found hunting on Cheshire farm at 3.00am.  At least one of the group was a war vet, Moses Moyo, who was seen in possession of a spotlight and an F.N. rifle.  The vehicle was escorted to the Nyamandlovu Police Station by local farmers.  Inspector R.F. Ncube drove to the complainant’s farm, an indigenous farmer, and the report was dropped.  Following a meeting at which certain dairy farmers, the Manager of D.M.B.  Bulawayo Branch and the Govenor of  Matabeleland North were present,  Japhet Mpofu, a local farmer and office bearer in ZANU PF, told a farm manager that the landowner would have to pay the squatters on the farm for their labour and materials used to build their huts and for transport to move off the farm. Police react to a report and the investigating officer said he would take the matter up with Agritex.
Gwaai – On Hankano Ranch war vets deliberately revved up the diesel engine on the borehole to the point that the borehole rods or the diesel engine would be damaged.  The owner was prevented from intervening and threatened with a severe beating. The elderly owner was harangued for sometime before he managed to convince them to allow him to slow the engine down.  It seems the only purpose to the exercise was to anger and antagonise the owner. On another Gwaai property two Agritex officials who claimed they had been allocated half each of the 400Ha farm and were going to take over the farm and the safari company as it now belonged to them have not returned in the last five days.
West Nicholson – On Jonsyl Ranch a further 30 settlers have moved onto the Ranch.
Wedza Block - Army and Police moved into position on Sunday 21st, and from Monday this week have been removing illegal squatters off several properties in the area.  Many have moved back to their communal areas by themselves and some 500 are being moved by army vehicles to a new area set aside for them under a local community plan. More than 2000 settlers are involved.  Any resistance to moving has not been tolerated, and any claims for refunds for payments to  Councils/individuals/Committees etc have been referred to the recipients of the money.  The exercise is expected to be completed next week. All huts are being destroyed by the army.  All squatters who arrived after March 2001 have been instructed to find their own way to their place of origin, as their occupation is illegal.  Settlers legally brought on are being very efficiently run and co-ordinated.  This will bring tremendous relief to the local conservancy.
Shangani – On Cinderella the cottage and storeroom were broken into last weekend and various household good were stolen.  Police have been informed, but no results as yet.  On Thornville Farm invasions are continuing to take place and building has commenced.  People arrived on Forfar Farm claiming that the farm had been designated in May 2001.  Military personnel have been showing interest in this farm throughout the year.  It was listed in April 2001.
Gwanda - Illegal occupation and tree felling was reported on Cleveland Ranch.  Forestry Dept declared it illegal to fell trees on this property. Collen Bawn ZRP advised the owner that the Gwanda District Lands Committee headed by the DA is responsible for the six occupiers engaging in tree felling.

Masvingo East and Central
– On Marah Ranch  a fire was started by illegal occupiers which spread into the owner’s security yard and burnt all the fruit trees.  The owner is presently away.
Mwenezi – Fires are reported to be a major problem throught the area.  Poaching is rife and there is continued theft of wire and firewood.  On KleinbeginJoco/Kayansee Ranches the court order to remove all livestock is being completely ignored.  One pedigree cow was caught in a snare and has subsequently died.  The owner of Bothasrus had a visit from the Assistant DA at Beit Bridge and has been threatened with an invasion of people.  This property has not been invaded before.
Chiredzi – Illegal occupiers are moving over all properties and poaching is rampant. Wire theft is out of control and cattle are snared on a daily basis.  Continued poaching, deforestation and snaring continues unabated on Mungwezi Rand.
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Press Statement
1 Nov 01

Makoni Presents “No Solutions Budget”

After 21 years of Zanu PF rule, the Zimbabwe economy is in a crisis of such
severe proportions that nothing short of a comprehensive stabilisation and
recovery strategy would be adequate.  The budget prepared by Dr Simba
Makoni, Minister of Finance and Economic Development instead tinkers at the
edges of the crisis, addressing some of the symptoms of the problems but
failing to grapple with the fundamental causes.  He has missed the
opportunity to present a more far-sighted approach, which might have some
chance of restoring confidence and international support.

Economy in retreat
Minister Makoni painted a dismal picture of the economy in 2001, and
predicts that it will be worse in 2002.  This is not the “standstill” budget
that some were expecting, but a “no solutions budget.”  The Minister himself
had two criteria for his budget.  On the first, the mobilisation of
resources to expand the productive base of the economy, despite all the
measures he claims will contribute he is projecting a further decline in GDP
of 5.3% in 2002.  This will be the fourth year in a row that GDP has shrunk
in Zimbabwe, with income per capita contracting even faster.  This is
disastrous for the ordinary Zimbabwean.  This the Minister acknowledged in
his second criterion for his budget—alleviating the suffering of the people.
Yet when it comes to the social sectors his allocations do not even keep up
with inflation.

In the health sector, for example, the allocation is 76% above last year’s
totally inadequate resources, but the Ministry’s inflation figure for 2002
is 83.6%, implying a decline in real terms for the health sector.  The
allocation of 2002 is one third of the target the Minister himself mentioned
(US $21 per capita) for Zimbabwe to have a decent health service  Claims
that his budget will alleviate the suffering of Zimbabweans caught in a
cycle of poverty and ill health, and struggling with the consequences of the
HIV/AIDS pandemic are fallacious, since there is evidently no real growth in
support to these sectors.

There are some significant non-disclosures in the statement.  The defence
budget is not revealed, wages of civil servants were discussed in an
abstract way, but no figures were given, no mention at all of price control
and only a passing reference to the looming food crisis.  Most seriously for
the future of macro-economic stability was his failure to be specific about
government’s intentions in respect of interest and exchange rates.  There is
thus no reason for the markets to anticipate anything other than
continuation of the current disastrous negative real interest rate and fixed
nominal exchange rate policies.  These are the measures which are driving up
inflation to unimaginable heights, and from the budget statement it seems
that Zimbabwe is destined to spiral into inflation levels of well over 100%
by the time of the presidential elections next year.

Zimbabweans are a patient and long suffering people.  After 21 years of Zanu
PF maladministration, incomes are lower than before independence, life
expectancy has fallen to below 40 years, inflation is running at record
levels of around 86% and state institutions are near collapse.  The quality
of life for the great majority has no deteriorated to the point where life
is a daily struggle for survival.  Food is in short supply; prices continue
to escalate; job losses run to hundreds of thousands in the past 18 months
and are accelerating, so that about 65% of people who should be working are
unemployed.  In the coming year every sector of the Zimbabwe economy will
show further decline in activity and output.  There are no signs that the
Zanu PF government has the political will or understanding to arrest the

No amount of “dressing up” the stark facts can disguise the reality.  The
2002 budget shows more clearly than ever before that this is an
administration which has run out of ideas, and is hell bent on a destructive
course designed to protect their power at the expense of the nation.  This
stands in stark contrast to MDC: in August the party launched its
comprehensive stabilisation and recovery programme, which will be a BRIDGE
to a better future for our children.

It is time for change, real change and only the MDC offers this at this time
in our history.  The power to effect change is in the hands of ordinary
Zimbabweans of all walks of life.  They must register to vote and when the
time comes, they must vote for change in the way that the government manages
their affairs.

Zimbabwe is a rich country and all that is needed to prosper from its riches
is a government that respects the principles of good governance and the rule
of law.  Zimbabwe needs a government which will implement a coherent
economic programme designed to set our country on a path of sustainable
growth and development.

Welshman Ncube
Secretary General
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Business Day

Budget offers no hope for Zimbabwe


Hopes faded on Friday that Zimbabwe's 2002 budget will help end the nation's
economic crisis, as analysts warned the new plan could make matters worse.
"It's a people-oriented budget, and to a large extent it's in line with the
recent announcement by Zimbabwe that we are going back to socialism," said
Edmore Tobaiwa, an independent economist.

The new plan calls for massive spending increases - double for the military
and ealth care and triple for agriculture - but predicts that the economy
will shrink for the third year in a row.

That means the government will either fail to make enough money to meet its
spending goals or will have to print more money, which would send the
inflation rate even higher than its current 86.3%, analysts said.

"At the end of the day, you?re going to see that the situation will
deteriorate," Tobaiwa said. "We're already in a recession, it can only make
matters worse."

In many ways, the budget presentation on Thursday in parliament was  more
notable for what it failed to mention than for what it did.

The detailed proposal of the spending plan was still not available on Friday
because the government's printing press broke down earlier this week.

The speech Thursday by Finance Minister Simba Makoni largely ignored
Zimbabwe?s military intervention in the Democratic Republic  of Congo (DRC),
where one-third of its armed forces are deployed to  shore up the DRC
government against rebels.

"What's being spent there, what they hope to do there, hasn't got a
mention," economist John Robertson said.

Makoni mentioned only in passing the massive food shortage already affecting
southern Zimbabwe, where 2.5 million people have reportedly asked the
government for food relief.

The speech also failed to take into account earnings losses caused by the
government?s violence-wracked land reforms, which will "wipe out of
existence a huge portion of the commercial farms,  and a huge portion of the
foreign currency earnings", Robertson said.

In his speech, Makoni projected increased government revenue, even as the
tax base shrinks and businesses are closing.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) called the proposal a
"no-solutions budget", for failing to lay out a plan for  reviving the

In the coming year, every sector of the Zimbabwe economy will show further
decline in activity and output. There are no signs that the Zanu-PF
government has the political will and understanding to arrest the decline,"
MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said.

The budget did call for new spending on public works, such as roads,
bridges, and dams, but it was unclear how the government would raise the
money to finance the projects.

"It's a very shallow budget. It's treating only the fringes of the real
problems. It's not even recognising in the budget speech that these problems
exist," Robertson said.

Most lenders pulled out of Zimbabwe after the International Monetary Fund in
1999 cut off support over concerns about governance issues and the slow pace
of market reforms.

Mugabe announced two weeks ago that the government had abandoned  its market
reform program and would return to socialist policies.


Zim Independent

Makoni budget a damp-squib

Barnabas Thondhlana
FINANCE minister Simba Makoni yesterday presented a $390 billion populist
budget which falls short of addressing the mounting problems afflicting the

Analysts described the budget as an election-friendly gambit aimed at
appeasing a restive populace before the watershed presidential poll next
year. None of the antidotes advanced by Makoni come anywhere close to
providing a panacea for the ailing economy.

The budget proposes modest tax reductions, a boost to the social services
sector, and encourages construction in the high-density housing sector.
Money will be raised by a 5% tax on bank profits.

But it is silent on a programme for economic recovery.
“The budget has been presented in a way which seeks to strengthen the voter
capacity base for the ruling Zanu PF for next year’s presidential election
and it fails to address the basic issues pressing the ordinary citizens,”
Tapiwa Mashakada, economics spokesman of the Movement for Democratic Change

University of Zimbabwe business lecturer Professor Tony Hawkins said the
budget had no relevance to the problems the nation was facing.

Makoni said Zimbabwe’s economy was expected to shrink by 7,3% in 2001 from
an earlier estimate of 2,8% as the economic crisis deepens. He has estimated
the budget deficit at 12% of GDP.

“Persistent inflationary pressures, continuing uncertainty over the land
reform programme, declining business confidence, the withdrawal of support
by the international community, and shortages of foreign currency have all
combined to make the decline much more than we projected,” Makoni told

While Makoni referred to privatisation under the now increasingly redundant
Millennium Economic Recovery Programme, he provided no timetable.
Privatisation was originally expected to provide $22 billion for state
coffers. So far it has raised no more than $5,5 billion.

The agriculture sector is reeling from the impact of hundreds of invasions
of white-owned farms by pro-government militants who say they support Mugabe
’s land programme.

The rest of the economy is suffering from a shortage of hard currency,
record inflation and unemployment of over 60%.

Makoni said Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector would decline by minus 12,2%
against an original estimate of minus 9,5%; electricity and water minus 2%
(2%); construction minus 2% (-2%), hotels and distribution minus 9,1% (1%),
manufacturing minus 7,5% (-5%), mining minus 4% (-3%), and transport and
communications minus 3,5% (2%).

Allocations to Health and Education have risen. More money has been
invested in social welfare services. And there will be some rehabilitation
of public infrastructure such as roads.

Makoni said details of allocations to other departments such as Defence,
Foreign Affairs, and the President’s Office will only be available today.
There is provision for security services ahead of next year’s election under
the Home Affairs vote.

Makoni admitted the budget had been “extremely difficult to produce”, saying
each time “we thought it was coming together, a new issue, challenge or
compelling need popped up”.

“The pressures did not just emanate from huge demands on very limited
resources, but morefrom how to stretch the resource farthest, in the
direction that impacts most positively on the condition of life of
Zimbabweans,” he said.

Minister Presents Election Budget

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

November 2, 2001
Posted to the web November 2, 2001

Public spending in Zimbabwe will double next year and taxes will be cut in
what economists described as an electioneering budget presented to
parliament on Thursday.

Less than four months before Zimbabwe goes to the polls to elect a
president, Simba Makoni, finance minister, shrugged off concerns over
deepening recession, a depreciating currency and escalating inflation to
announce a 108 percent increase in public spending and the equivalent of US
$400 million in tax cuts.

Economists described the budget as a holding operation designed to see the
country through until the presidential elections in March. "But most voters
will soon see that they will probably be no better off," Harare-based
analyst John Robertson told IRIN. He added that Makoni had failed to address
the real economic causes of the nation's ills.

Public spending will increase to 42 percent of gross domestic product from
38 percent this year, while revenues will increase marginally to 27 percent
of GDP. The budget deficit will increase to 14.9 percent of GDP from 12

Makoni had been forced to radically revise his earlier growth forecasts for
the economy, saying that GDP will fall 7.3 percent in 2001, compared with a
budget projection last year of 2.8 percent. Agriculture - hard hit by the
land resettlement crisis, drought and a foreign exchange shortage - is
leading the downturn with a 12 percent fall in output, while tourism and
distribution are down 9 percent and manufacturing and mining 7.5 percent

"The whole budget is predicated on everything staying the same in Zimbabwe
while every indicator shows the economy is rapidly shrinking," Robertson
said. He warned that Makoni's package bore little relation to economic
reality and would do little to aleviate the nation's crisis.

In a speech that was at times remarkably frank, the finance minister
admitted 75 percent of Zimbabweans were "living in abject poverty". He
revealed health spending per head had fallen from US $23.60 in 1991 to only
US $14 today.

The top tax rate was cut to 45 percent from 52 percent while the threshold
at which income tax becomes payable by low income groups was increased to
Zim $90,000 (US $1,125) a year from Zim $60,000 (US $1,687).

Robertson said that the increase in the tax threshold would not offer much
poverty relief and that Makoni should have upped it to around Zim $110,000
(US $2,062) to have made a real difference to low income Zimbabweans.

The budget included US $36 million for compensation to farmers for the 4,800
farms listed for compulsory acquisition. A paltry sum, economists said,
given that the average value of each farm listed was about US $1 million.

Thursday, 1 November, 2001, 15:57 GMT
Zimbabwe's economy slumps
Zimbabweans queue for fuel
Zimbabwe's weak currency has caused fuel shortages
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Simba Makoni has painted a bleak economic picture in his 2002 budget statement, predicting a second year of depression.

We are sitting at the bottom of the pile both in terms of the sub-Saharan African group as well as the SADC group

Simba Makoni
Finance Minister
"Persistent inflationary pressures, continuing uncertainty over the land reform programme, declining business confidence, the withdrawal of support by the international community and shortages of foreign currency have all combined to make the decline much more than we projected," Mr Makoni told the parliament.

The economy is expected to contract by 7.3% in 2001, more than twice the previous estimate, and a further 5.3% in 2002, he said.

"We are sitting at the bottom of the pile both in terms of the sub-Saharan African group as well as the SADC group" for economic growth, he said, referring to the 14-nation Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

Zimbabwe is in the midst of its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1980, with record inflation and unemployment of more than 60%.

President Robert Mugabe's controversial land reforms, in which white-owned farms have been seized for redistribution, have deepened with the downturn.

Who's to blame?

The agriculture sector has suffered as production on hundreds of farms has ceased.

Earlier this week, President Mugabe denied Zimbabwe's economic problems were due to his government's policies and said he would not backtrack on the land issue.

He claims the economy has been sabotaged by domestic and international opponents, led by Britain, in retaliation for the land seizures.

Analysts said the budget is full of promises to win President Mugabe next year's elections but they are unlikely to revive the shattered economy.

Economic slide

Zimbabwe's gross domestic product dropped to Z$385 in 2001, from Z$421 in 2000, and poverty levels have rocketed with three quarters of the population living below the poverty line, said Mr Makoni.

Foreign investment has dried up, exports have fallen, inflation has risen to 86%, and arrears on Zimbabwe's foreign debt have risen to Z$682m, the finance minister said.

Most international lenders, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, have cut off Zimbabwe.

But the Z$390.2bn ($7bn) budget boosted spending on public works such as dams, roads, bridges and irrigation.

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Zim Independent

Govt builds fuel stocks

Vincent Kahiya
ZIMBABWE is building up large fuel stocks to face international sanctions
and provide for campaigning for the presidential election next year.

Government sources said Zimbabwe was taking advantage of the concessionary
arrangement with the government of Libya, which in August provided a US$90
million line of credit to import huge stocks of all oil products.

The Zimbabwe Independent understands that a Libyan business delegation met
President Mugabe at his Munhumutapa offices on Tuesday for almost four hours
to discuss investment opportunities in Zimbabwe. The Libyan fuel is being
paid for in local currency which is deposited at the Jewel Bank. The Libyans
would like to use the proceeds from the sale of fuel to invest in
agriculture, tourism and fuel industry.

The Independent has been told that Libyan investors were in Mashonaland West
and Mashonaland East inspecting farms on Tuesday. The respective governors
Peter Chanetsa and David Karimanzira accompanied the investors on the trips.

As Libyan investors continue to explore business opportunities here From
Page 1

it is not clear whether Zimbabwe has started to pay for the fuel and, if so,
how much has been imported.

Fuel industry sources this week said Zimbabwe was importing almost
one-and-a-half times its normal monthly consumption in a bid to build stocks
which had been virtually wiped out in the last 20 months of critical foreign
currency shortages. Zimbabwe’s current monthly consumption is around 60
million litres but as much as 90 million litres are being pumped through the
pipeline from Beira, with over a third of all imports going into the

“The idea is to build between six months and a year’s reserves of all
products before the expiry of the deal with the Libyans,” a source in the
industry said.

“Before the shortages started almost two years ago, Zimbabwe used to have
six months reserves but the truth of the matter is that other than the
Libyans, no one is prepared to go into a big deal with Zimbabwe because of
the country’s high risk factor. Zimbabwe would rather make hay while the sun
shines,” the source said.

The industry sources said Zimbabwe had enough storage facilities such as the
underground tanks in Mabvuku and Msasa, which can store up to 700 million
litres of fuel. This is enough to supply the country for 10 months. Zimbabwe
consumes two million litre of fuel per day. There are however other storage
facilities at Birmingham Road in Harare, Beitbridge, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare
and the smaller urban centres. These have a
combined capacity of over 500 million litres.
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Zim Independent

Mau-Mau invades Borrowdale farm

Forward Maisokwadzo
ZANU PF Harare province publicity and information official Stalin Mau-Mau,
together with a group of war veterans, has appropriated the $250 million
Carrick Creagh Farm in Borrowdale which he has started to subdivide for
residential purposes, it has been gathered.

The former condom vendor, cellphone salesman and now boxing promoter who
lost the Harare East seat to the MDC’s Tendai Biti in last year’s election,
has allegedly flouted the law as the property is being sub-divided without
the approval of the city council.

Mau-Mau could not be reached for comment as his office said he was in London
for a Commonwealth boxing title fight.

Sources said a top cabinet minister was also working in cahoots with Mau-Mau
and committee members of the Harare East Housing Scheme, a brainchild of
former Zanu PF MP, Nyasha Chikwinya, Mau-Mau’s wife.

When the Zimbabwe Independent visited the farm this week, a bulldozer was
seen constructing a road leading off Umwinsidale Road next to the bridge
over the Umwinzi River.

Workers at the farm said the bulldozer started work on Wednesday
last week but in only one week a two-kilometre stretch had already been cut.

However, it could not be immediately established who the owner of the
bulldozer is as the driver refused to disclose his/her name.

Police at Borrowdale station where complaints have been received confirmed
they had visited the farm and saw the bulldozer making roads but could not
stop it as the farm owner had signed an agreement with the war veterans, an
agreement the owner’s lawyers said was not legally binding.

On Thursday last week, the farm owner’s lawyers wrote a warning letter to
the construction company barring it from continuing with its work on the
delisted farm, but no one complied with it.

A second warning was again delivered yesterday but war veterans vowed to
continue preparing the area for residential development.

Reports reaching the Independent say people, particularly from the shanty
Hatcliffe holding camp and some bused from Mbare, had been offered free
stands on the farm.

The police said they have advised their superiors about the events at the
farm, which they describe as “political”.

“The matter has been referred to our PGHQ and I cannot comment
any further,” said a police inspector at Borrowdale police station

Farm owner, Andrew Newmarch, said the farm falls under the city limits and
he pays rates to Harare City Council.

“This land is not being taken for farming but for a housing scheme,” said
Newmarch, adding that the farm is owned by five family members who have no
other farms.

“The damage caused to large trees is totally unnecessary and they are doing
irreparable damage to the ecology of the area, whereas our well- planned
subdivision has taken into consideration all aspects of conservation and the
ecology of the area for present and future generations,” he said.

“We are surrounded by about 37 plots and small holdings in Umwinsidale who
stand to have the value of their properties greatly affected should the
scheme go ahead.”

Newmarch said the move by the construction company onto the farm followed
a band of war veterans who had vowed to stay on the property after having
invaded it in May and built an office block.

He said problems at the farm started in May when Mau-Mau visited and forced
him under duress to sign a piece of paper giving part of the farm to the
Harare East War Veterans Association.

“I told Mau-Mau that I was not signing it willingly as outside my office
were approximately 500 war vets chanting and he told me that I knew what
would happen if I did not sign it,” said Newmarch.

A memorandum of agreement prepared by the war veterans which Newmarch signed
stated that:

“I, the undersigned Andrew New-march on behalf of RW Newmarch, TJ Newmarch,
IM Speight and JE Mackintosh of Newmarch Farm have agreed to contribute 250
acres as have been physically identified by the war veterans to the people
of Harare East Constituency for the purpose of housing only.”

Two war veterans named Daniel and Mupambwa signed as witnesses on behalf of
their comrades.

Documents in the possession of the Independent show that prospective house
seekers should contact the Harare East Housing Scheme with offices at 43
Basset Crescent, New Alexandra Park. The address is where Mau-Mau’s head
office for his mobile phone company is located.

It is understood that the management committee of the housing scheme located
at the same premises has already sold some of the plots charging an
administration fee of $50 000 and a planning and survey fee of $250 000 to
obtain a stand.

“A member will be allocated high-density residential stand of up to 400
square metres or 4 000 square metres for low density.

“All payments to be made direct to the housing office at 43 Basset Crescent,
New Alexandra Park,” reads part of the agreement.
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Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

NO one can credibly argue that Zimbabwe’s economy is healthy and well — not
even Zimbabwe’s Minister of Fiction, Fable and Myth, who has demonstrated a
remarkable, endless endeavour to contend that that which is not, is; and
that which is, is not! (Most astounding of all is that he appears to believe
that he is capable of convincing all, with virtually no exception, that when
the rain comes down in torrents, the sun is shining, and vice versa, and
that any fault for such occurrence is wholly attributable to whomsoever he
or his president have targeted as the current scapegoat).

Be that as it may, even he is unable to allege that Zimbabwe’s economy is
thriving, developing and growing.

The reverse is most regrettably the case. The economy is fast crumbling and
disintegrating. It is collapsing into a heap of debris. Inflation has soared
to an all-time high of 86,3% per annum as of September 2001 (according to
official statistics) and to a real level in excess of 90% after taking into
account changes in the mix of consumer spending.

Inflation itself is causing drastic changes in spending patterns, with most
having to restrict their expenditure to those of accommodation, utilities,
food, health, education and transport insofar as they are able, and have
nothing to spend on anything else. As a result, the weightings in the
spending basket used to assess inflation are no longer properly reflective
of spending patterns and, therefore, the extent of inflation is no longer
properly assessed.

And, in recent times, inflation of food and allied products, health and
transport has been greater than impacting upon most other spending
categories, and therefore real inflation is inevitably greater than what is
determined by the Central Statistical Office.

But inflation is not the only indicator of the economic collapse. So too is
the terrifying extent of business failures, resultant closures and
consequential intensified unemployment. Yet another assertive indicator of
the devastated economy is the chronic shortage of foreign exchange,
primarily due to a gross insufficiency in export performance (as a direct
result of an inflation caused lack in market price competitiveness not
compensated for by realistic exchange rate adjustment), and to an almost
total discontinuance of foreign direct investment (FDI), a similarly very
considerable reduction in international aid and balance-of-payments support,
and a massive decrease in tourism.

That foreign exchange shortage has fuelled vigorous parallel and black
market operations in foreign currencies at levels almost six times the
official rates, and those currency costs have been a major contributor to
inflation and continue to be.

However, not even those markets can provide all foreign currency
requirements and therefore immense shortages exist of critically needed
health care inputs, raw materials for commerce, industry and other economic
sectors, spares to keep the wheels of the economy turning and much else.

The extraordinary extent of economic ruination is also evidenced by the
magnitude of the state’s deficit of revenues against expenditures which, for
the current fiscal year, will be considerably in excess of 10% of gross
domestic product (GDP). It is also evidenced by the magnitude of the
national debt which includes arrears in international debt servicing as will
exceed US$1 billion by year-end, and those arrears will increase by 50% in
the fist half of next year.

At present estimated GDP levels, the national debt now exceeds 10 years of
Zimbabwe’s total economic output!

There are many, many more negative indicators of the disastrous state of
Zimbabwe’s economy, but the above suffice to demonstrate that the economy
has been decimated and is in a catastrophic state of rack and ruin. No
single action will halt the economic decline. No single economic policy will
reverse Zimbabwe’s economic ills, no matter how dynamically that action or
policy is pursued. And there is no quick fix!

The depths of the economy’s plunge downwards are so great that there can be
no miraculous, spectacular recovery, irrespective of the extent that such a
recovery may be desired. But an unreserved implementation of the September
2001 Abuja agreement, negotiated between Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom, and
six other Commonwealth states would be a very marked catalyst for
progressive restoration of economic wellbeing.

First and foremost, the Abuja agreement prescribes the re-establish ment in
Zimbabwe of law and order. Government argues that law and order prevails,
but that is known by almost all to be untrue. When farms, including those
not listed for state acquisition, continue to be occupied by those devoid of
lawful right of occupation, and they vandalise the properties and preclude
the farmers from pursuing their lawful agricultural activities, law and
order does not exist, and especially so when the occupiers threaten the
farmers, resort to extortion, and destroy property, but the “guardians” of
law and order do nothing and speciously argue that law and order exists.

Similarly, when self-appointed spokesmen for labour harass employers and
browbeat economically unsustainable wages out of them, and the authorities
stand idly by and turn a blind eye, law and order does not exist. The same
is so when civilian groups take the law into their own hands to enforce
destructive price controls, and when the state studiously fails to prosecute
any in high office for corruption law and order does not exist, and yet it
is a prerequisite of a stable economic environment necessary for future

If it is absent, investment is minimal, job-creation non-existent,
international funding beyond the country’s reach. Implementation of the
Abuja agreement includes, as a key element, ensuring unreserved adherence to
the concepts of law and order, which would be a major stimulant to economic

The Abuja agreement, if positively applied, will assure that that economic
sector as has been Zimbabwe’s mainstay, being agriculture, will once again
fill that supreme economic role and, in doing so, will not only be the
support of commercial farmers and about 300 000 farm workers, but also for
many, many thousands of aspiring indigenous farmers. Zimbabwe’s agricultural
potential is such that it could readily be the granary of Africa, instead of
which Zimbabwe must presently resort to vast importation of maize and wheat.

Zimbabwe is on the threshold of severe food shortages, unless it can import
its needs, despite its lack of foreign exchange and its lack of a
sufficiency of international aid. And that is so despite the disregard, as
far back as last February, of the Minister of Land and Agriculture Joseph
Made for the numerous warnings of pending shortages (One must wonder why,
when his parents registered his birth, they appended the letter “e” to his

And Zimbabwe can gain much economic wealth from other agricultural
activities, including the production of cotton, horticultural products,
coffee, sugar, citrus, much else, and the exploitation of livestock and game
ranching opportunities. Instead, by perpetuating a state of anarchy,
Zimbabwe is likely to have at least 75 000 productively capable hectares of
rich land standing idle.

The probable losses of tobacco earnings in the forthcoming season
approximate US$228 million, and losses from other crops that would be
produced in normal conditions, but not presently possible, will be many
millions more.

As a result, all other economic sectors will continue to suffer and the
Zimbabwean people will suffer even more. Instead of throwing endless
allegations against the other signatories of the Abuja Agreement, mainly
ones without foundation, Zimbabwe as the potential beneficiary should show
the maturity to take the lead. It should cease its political posturing, its
self-belittling arrogant rejection of “demands” and “ultimatums” of its
Abuja partners and others, and instead unreservedly implement its Abuja

If it does so, then to such extent as the other countries have failed to
deliver (if they are at fault in so doing) they will have no alternative but
to do so, for the eyes of the world will be upon them.

Although government will have also to do much else, including abandonment of
its foolhardy pursuit of a command economy, its disregard for macro-economic
fundamentals, its pursuit of racial and ethnic divides, and other
significant contributors to Zimbabwe’s economic morass. The first step is to
ensure the constructive implementation, without reservations and without
recrimination, of the Abuja agreement. Perhaps the time has come for the
Zimbabwean government to lead by example, instead of fulfilling the role of

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Zim Independent


“A FUDGE” best describes the outcome of last week’s visit by a team of
Commonwealth ministers to follow up implementation of the Abuja accord.

It would be wrong to dismiss their findings out of hand, however. Their
recommendation to the authorities to instruct “the top leadership of the law
enforcement and security organs to ensure that Zimbabwe’s commitments are
implemented and, where necessary, enforced” was an implicit criticism of the
one-sided interpretation given to the accord so far and the failure of the
police and other security personnel to act as required.

“There were a number (of groups) who believed that the rule of law had not
been adequately upheld,” the team said. “There was confusion over the
process of the implementation of land redistribution and there was concern
about the displacement of people working on the farms.”

This is all very diplomatic. As we reveal this week, the government fought
tooth and nail with the delegation to dilute what started off as a
hard-hitting statement on the need for lawful solutions and an end to
That the final communiqué fell well short of what was needed is clear from
the way it was used this week to bolster the government’s case against EU

Information minister Jonathan Moyo said the Commonwealth visit “at the very
least concluded that there were conflicting allegations on the situation in

It was surely not the intention of the club ministers to let Zimbabwe off
the hook in this way. But they can perhaps be forgiven for their lack of
precision. It must have been confusing taking evidence from hundreds of
people from political parties, civil society, and representative bodies.

There were a number of organisations allied to or directly funded by Zanu PF
masquerading as civil society, so genuine civic groups had to share their
time with frauds.

Then there were the church leaders who might as well have gone in as part of
the Zanu PF delegation. These worthies pronounced as follows: “The land is
the core issue of the crisis in Zimbabwe. The land is the cause of war,
destabilisation, political violence, racial tension that has been
experienced of late and the general decline of our socio-economic life of
the people of Zimbabwe.”

It evidently has nothing to do with misrule, corruption, misallocation of
resources and lack of accountability!

Explicit collaboration of this sort which helpfully ignored state-sponsored
violence was only part of the problem. There were also clumsy attempts ahead
of the meetings to predetermine the outcome by restricting evidence to six
handpicked organisations. Fortunately, the visiting ministers threw this
proposal out saying they were prepared to see whoever wanted to be heard.

They came to the rescue again at Bath Farm last Friday when Stan Mudenge,
Joseph Made and Josiah Hungwe demonstrated extraordinary intolerance when
they tried to stop stakeholders from speaking at what was supposed to be a
showcase occasion.

Only the intervention of the Canadian minister ensured that the full story
of government’s illegal and damaging fast-track scheme was heard (see Page

The way in which this government attempted to orchestrate the ministerial
visit as if no organisations other than their own existed in Zimbabwe
betrays a deep fear of democratic discourse. The same fear lies behind their
refusal to engage in genuine democratic reform or set up an independent
electoral commission.

The paranoia surrounding offers of assistance to civil society by external
organisations like the Westminster Foundation are equally revealing.
If the government persists in refusing to allow democracy to work in
Zimbabwe, it is perfectly natural that parties and NGOs should receive help
from sympathisers outside the country. When Zanu PF is receiving assistance
from China and Libya why should this seem so strange?

At the end of the day the Commomwealth team left with a better understanding
of our problems. And contrary to assiduous attempts by the President’s
Office to portray a racial divide among the countries represented, the real
divide — as the events of Saturday demonstrated — was between Zimbabwean
ministers and the world community.

So where next? The UNDP technical team will arrive and find fast track a
mess. In other words what everybody else already knows.
Despite the UN’s efforts to be helpful following a pledge Kofi Annan gave to
Thabo Mbeki at the Millennium summit in New York last year, Zimbabwe’s
refusal to comply with any sort of coherent programme and its current
attempts to get around legal requirements by post-Abuja occupations and
pegging have left the world body frustrated and helpless.

Without a lawful and orderly programme there will be no donor funds.
The sooner President Mugabe and Ministers Mudenge and Made wake up to this
reality the better.
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Daily Telegraph

Pay £70m to victims, court tells Mugabe

By Philip Delves Broughton in New York
(Filed: 01/11/2001)

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.

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Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

Iden Wetherell
Getting a hearing

TOGETHER with our CEO, Trevor Ncube, I was among those invited to meet the
team of visiting Commonwealth ministers last Friday evening at the Harare
International Conference Centre.

We were not invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I hasten to add.
Despite the fact the visiting ministers had expressed a wish to see us, the
ministry did not inform us of the invitation and we had to rely on officials
attached to the visiting team to tell us when we should attend.

When we arrived at the HICC we noticed the Zimbabwe Independent had not been
listed by Zimbabwean officials as among the newspapers expected to to be
represented in the media group. Nor had the Financial Gazette.

I drew this to the attention of a number of senior diplomats who said we
should go in when our time came despite this crude attempt to keep us out.

Basildon Peta, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists,
joined us. So did John Gambanga, news editor of the Daily News whose CEO had
been alerted by Trevor. The editors of the Herald and the Sunday Mail had
evidently been informed by the government of their need to attend!

We all had to wait a very long time before our turn came. The ruling party,
the MDC, churches, NGOs and others were all scheduled to go in ahead of us.
Tendai Biti appeared to be in typically combative mood as was Sekai Holland
and John Makumbe.

We finally went in at about 11.30pm. As I anticipated, the young men of no
fixed job description guarding the door to the conference room tried to
limit attendance to those appearing on their carefully edited list which led
to a minor fracas. Thankfully, Foreign Affairs officials made a diplomatic
intervention which prevented any further skirmishing in front of the
distinguished visitors.

I must say the ministers gave us a good hearing which lasted over an hour.
We all made our presentations although the state editors didn’t have much to
say for themselves except of course to deny some of what we said.

I briefed the panel of ministers, which included Stan Mudenge, on the way
the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act was liberally applied against
journalists, 41 years after it was passed. I also alerted them to the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill that will no doubt include
recommendations by Professor Jonathan Moyo’s Media Ethics Committee to
muzzle the independent press.

The committee was handpicked by the Information minister and includes
individuals who have already made it clear they believe prominent people
should not be subjected to the spotlight we inconveniently shine upon them.
Such curbs will of course be unconstitutional.

Gambanga referred to the problems journalists from the Daily News have
experienced in trying to cover stories on the farms. Mudenge flourished some
sort of document claiming the Westminster Foundation was helping the paper
with its immediate needs.

This was evidently his moment of triumph and he looked very pleased with
himself — until Gambanga and Ncube asked why he was preoccupied with people
trying to assist a newspaper whose premises had been bombed when his
government had done nothing to apprehend those responsible for the crime.

The smile disappeared. He had earlier produced copies of the Zimbabwe
Independent, the Financial Gazette and the Daily News to show what a free
press Zimbabwe had. He didn’t say why police had made no progress in their
court-ordered investigation into the abduction and torture of two
journalists by the army in 1999.

I wonder why when drawing attention to the role of the Westminster
Foundation he didn’t disclose to the visiting team that Zanu PF saw nothing
wrong with taking US$5 million from Nigeria in 1980 to buy the Argus shares
in what is now Zimpapers. Nor did he say why it was okay for Zanu PF to
accept £1 million from Tiny Rowland in 1995!
Then there are the millions reportedly due to flow into Zanu PF’s coffers
from Libya for President Mugabe’s reelection campaign which are unlikely to
be declared under the Political Parties (Finance) Act.

I made it clear that one of the functions of a newspaper is to embarrass
governments that do not play straight with their voters. Minister Joseph
Made’s attempts to mislead the country on the availability of grainstocks is
one example of that. Mudenge’s grandstanding on foreign donations was

It was obvious to most of us that the Commonwealth, anxious to be seen to be
doing something useful, would at the end of the day fudge the issue of
misgovernance so as to remain engaged. That’s precisely what it did do.

But at least the ministers left Harare with no illusions about the true
nature of the regime they remain engaged with!
As the various groups emerged from the conference room they gave their views
to the ZTV camera crew. Of all those interviewed the churches stood out as
singularly unimpressive. Andrew Wutawunashe blamed the press for the country
’s predicament. And the others, who included Zimbabwe Council of Churches
secretary-general Densen Mafinyane and Catholic Commission for Justice and
Peace president Bishop Patrick Mutume, didn’t disagree.

Wutawunashe, who last year appeared on ZTV in support of the government’s
constitutional proposals, actually suggested the government was now engaged
in a programme of social justice!

He then ventured into the field of economic disparities in Commonwealth
countries about which he evidently knew very little.

The churchmen reacted with suitable indignation when I asked why they had
been so slow to condemn violence. But it was clear from their answers that
they are studiously ignoring where the violence actually originates and
therefore have difficulty placing the blame where it really belongs.

In fact they are next to useless and if you belong to one of their churches
please tell them. Zimbabwe needs church leaders who are capable of standing
up to evil.
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Zim Independent


THE absence of Joseph Chinotimba from the itinerary of the visiting
Commonwealth ministerial team last week may have been seen by some as an
indication that his star is on the wane following the Town House incident.

It will be recalled that he was foisted on Sadc heads of state in early
September when they came here, with rather embarrassing results when he gave
them a less-than courteous reception at the Harare International Conference
Centre. Nothing much has been heard from him since an alleged assault on
senior City of Harare officials.

Evidently it was felt his diplomatic skills could be dispensed with on this
occasion. But it would be wrong to write him off too soon. The municipal
employee has now adopted a new career as a preacher and can be found on the
evangelical circuit on Sundays.

At a rally in Epworth last Sunday he was shown by ZTV quoting the Bible in
Shona — albeit rather crudely.

“If you have seen the son, you have seen the father and if you have seen the
father, you have seen the son,” he enthused.

“The same should suffice,” he continued, warming to his theme. “If you have
seen Chinotimba you have seen Mugabe and if you have seen Mugabe you have
seen Chinos.”

This was at six o’clock. Sadly, by the time News-hour came round he had been
axed, no doubt on the orders of other wannabe sons-of-God who felt the
heavenly mantle was being fast-tracked without their knowledge.

A few weeks ago we referred to the mysterious “African diplomat” who keeps
popping up in Herald reports and sounds suspiciously like another
commentator we are all familiar with — and very tired of.

Well, since then the “African diplomat” has become a legend in his own
lunchtime as people quote his “enough is enough” phrase whenever they want
to inspire laughter among their companions.

Blissfully unaware that the Herald’s “African diplomat” is now a national
joke, Itayi Musengeyi conjured him up again in his report; “Whites divide
the Commonwealth” carried in the Herald on Tuesday.

“Events at the Commonwealth ministers’ meeting on land,” Musengeyi reported,
“revealed a need for a reform of the club and other groupings such as the
European Union, diplomatic sources said.”

Did they? Or did this come from Munhumutapa Building where the “African
diplomat” is housed?

Anyway, why should the Commonwealth and the EU, which are constantly
reviewing and revamping their institutions in line with changing world
requirements, be told to reform when the Zimbabwe government refuses to do

Reform is not a priority, ministers have repeatedly said.

The now all-too-familiar “African diplomat” made his usual pitch.

“Because of the desire to perpetuate a colonial injustice and entrench its
racism under the guise of democracy, human rights, and good governance, the
ABC (Australia, Britain and Canada) group in general and Britain in
particular has gone as far as creating a political movement through the
opposition MDC to do the bidding for their kith and kin here,” he was quoted
as saying.

Does Musengeyi think Herald readers are so stupid as to believe an African
diplomat would use language so identical to Jonathan Moyo that he might be
confused for the minister?

Perhaps the Herald’s editor, Pikirayi Deketeke, could have a word with
officials in the Information department: “We are prepared to carry your
silly ‘African diplomat’ quotes provided they cannot be traced back to your
department. They must actually sound like an African diplomat and not like a
minister doing battle with the MDC. That way our credibility is not
undermined and nor is yours.”

But as we know, this conversation will never take place because of the
predictable response: “Off with his head.”

Keeping their heads must be a full-time business at Herald House.

This week the Herald took issue with ZUJ secretary-general Basildon Peta
over points Peta had raised in his evidence to the visiting Commonwealth
team. But the real bone of contention between them had nothing to do with
the number of independent journalists under threat in rural areas as the
article suggested. It had everything to do with journalists under threat at
Herald House.

Peta had rather undiplomatically pointed out in his evidence to the
Commonwealth team on Friday night that the editors of the Herald and Sunday
Mail were lucky to be present. Their shelf-lives were nearing an end because
very few state editors survived for more than six months under the Moyo

This stung Deketeke who defended his track (or is it fast-track) record and
pointed out that his experience in journalism extended well beyond many of
the people present.

And he got his revenge on Peta with the piece on Tuesday claiming the ZUJ
spokesman had not provided the evidence he had promised the team. We look
forward to the next round.

Journalists, by the way, are renowned for their ability to consume a variety
of things other than hard news. But last Friday at the Harare International
Conference Centre they were denied any sustenance whatsoever.

Not only journalists suffered. Hundreds of Zimbabweans had assembled at the
HICC to meet the visiting team of Commonwealth ministers. It proved to be a
long wait as the team diligently heard evidence from all sectors of
Zimbabwean society — despite assiduous attempts by government to prevent
them from doing so. Many of those present had to wait up to six hours before
seeing the team.

At no stage during that period (from 6pm to 12pm) did the HICC or the
government provide facilities for the assembled masses to eat or drink. Not
a single tray of snacks, not even a bowl of crisps or jug of water was
circulated. This was on one of the hottest nights of the year when the HICC
air-conditioning failed!

At this time of reduced revenues in the tourism sector, why did the HICC or
the adjoining Sheraton Hotel not think of setting up a bar? They would have
made a fortune given the presence of Zanu PF chefs, opposition MPs, NGO
heads, as well as journalists.

Another point: With the emphasis currently being given to the drive to
attract tourists, we wonder what the Commonwealth visitors thought of the
litter piling up against the fence at the entrance to the Sheraton. Or the
crisp packets, plastic bags and other detritus on the inside of the
perimeter fence at the Zanu PF headquarters.

Why aren’t Zanu PF youths deployed to clean up the place? Why can’t the
Sheraton staff look after the areas immediately adjacent to their own hotel?
And why can’t the City of Harare get a few workers from its army of staff to
clear the municipal library lawn of litter?

Have the authorities given up caring what other people think of us?
All over the city there are busy traffic junctions where motorists take
their lives in their hands as they negotiate their way through them because
the traffic lights have been stolen.

There is no sign that the city authorities are moving with urgency to
replace them. The police, who have a public duty to man these junctions in
the interests of traffic safety, have been conspicuous by their absence.

But they have been active in preventing vendors from selling newspapers.

Anybody incurring injuries from a traffic accident at one of these
intersections should give serious thought to holding the police and city
authorities liable. They know there is a danger to the motoring public yet
they are doing nothing about it.

Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, by the way, invaded the space which the
Commonwealth team had assigned to the CFU at the HICC on Thursday evening
and lectured them on how the farmers, not the government, were responsible
for all the problems on the farms.

He adopted the current Zanu PF line that farmers were responsible for a
number of crimes.

“Yes, but are those allegations or have they been convicted?” Baroness Amos
wanted to know.

“They are allegations,” Chihuri was obliged to admit.

Muckraker came under fire this week from the e-mail tourism newsletter,
ETEXT, for having “plagiarised” their comments on incompetent advertising at
the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority last week.

Muckraker last week published remarks made by ETEXT about glaring errors in
a full-page ad from the ZTA promoting World Tourism Day.

We are now accused of having published their remarks “without so much as a
casual query” as to whether it would be alright to lift the information.
“Small unattributed pieces were added to the original, changing the slant
and the meaning considerably”, the newsletter said.

Their main criticism however is that their original text did not name the
ZTA’s Leslie Gwindi whereas ours did.

The original ETEXT copy said: “Failing to check a full page bearing ZTA
logos at the head of a supplement celebrating World Tourism Day demonstrates
absolute incompetence on the part of the PR and marketing staff at the

We pointed out in a sentence of our own, which was clearly not attributed to
ETEXT, that Gwindi was the ZTA PR manager.

This seems to have caused paroxysms of indignation at ETEXT which
transformed a perfectly acceptable editorial intervention into a hanging
offence. They also objected to our reference to their material as coming
from “our correspondent”.

Has somebody been leaning on ETEXT or are they naturally anal? “Our
correspondent” referred to the person who wrote the e-mail. If the author is
keen for us to mention his name we would be happy to oblige.

We hereby give full acknowledgement to ETEXT as the author of the criticism
of the ZTA and Greyhawk consultancy and are deeply appreciative to them for
sending us their comments. If there are quotes from them that are not in
quotation marks at the outset, we are again happy here to acknowledge their

At no stage did we “change the slant or the meaning considerably” unless
paranoia has got the better of them. And we naturally regard anything sent
to us as “for our use” unless otherwise stated.

Given the deafening silence of many ministers on the land question we were
pleased to receive recently from a reader the views of Defence minister
Sydney Sekeramayi.

“Any attempt at land-grabbing in Zimbabwe would inevitably lead to local
conflicts which were unnecessary and sometimes dangerous to the point of
people losing their lives,” he was quoted as saying in a local publication.

“In order to avoid this the government would see to it that people were
resettled in an orderly fashion and not in a chaotic stampede,” he said.

“Should there be a land grab,” he asked, “with the strongest getting the
most and the weakest getting nothing, only poor worked-out pieces?”

Actually, he said this in August 1980 when he was Minister of Lands.

Nevertheless, when mi-nisters say something sensible there is nothing
wrong with recording it for posterity!
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From The Zimbabwe Standard, 28 October

Zanu PF women in Libya drama

Libyan authorities last month locked up in a cold room the information and publicity secretary of the Zanu PF women’s league, Nyasha Chikwinya, during a row over the pricing of goods exported to Libya for sale, The Standard has established. Chikwinya, the former Harare North member of parliament, was in Libya as part of a delegation of 40 Zanu PF women who were on a business exhibition tour of the north African country. The women had joined President Robert Mugabe’s entourage to Libya to commemorate the country’s 32 nd anniversary of the September First Revolution whose celebrations were taking place from 1 to 15 September.

The group of women was to have exhibited its goods for three days at the Arts and Crafts Gallery, and then sell them in foreign currency. Trouble started on the first day of trading when Libyan officials insisted on the right to peg the prices of goods from Zimbabwe, with Chikwinya strongly counter-arguing that the hosts had no right to determine prices. Chikwinya was eventually thrown into a cold room by Libyan security details for remonstrating with officials over the pricing of the goods. Sources told The Standard last week that Chikwinya was detained for about one hour in the cold room of the five-star Allbada hotel. Upon release, Chikwinya is said to have been shivering and to have immediately sought warm clothing. Contacted for comment on Thursday, Chikwinya said: "I am not talking to the press about our Libya trip. I’m in the process of writing a report to the national executive of the women’s league."

Other women who formed part of the delegation said bickering and political smear campaigns had cost them the Libyan market and valuable foreign currency. Goods worth about Z$5,5 million had to be abandoned in Libya when the women were ordered home prematurely because of their squabbles with the hosts. Scores of the women blamed their ordeal on the deputy minister of youth development, gender and employment creation, Shuvai Mahofa, whom they accused of conniving with the Libyans. Contact for comment, Mahofa confirmed that the women had encountered problems in Libya. "We had many women that we do not know, who wanted to travel to Libya and they had also carried excessive luggage. These women who are making noise are part of the MDC who wanted to take advantage of the trip," said Mahofa.

The participants had gone to Libya under the auspices of the Gadaffi Sisters Foundation, a coalition headed by Mahofa and formed to encourage cooperation between the Zanu PF women’s league and the Libyan government. Problems for the women started at the Harare International airport where Mahofa barred some would-be participants, accusing them of being members of the opposition. "We were left at the airport when Mahofa, without any basis whatsoever, accused us of being supporters of the opposition. We are business women from the party. She was only doing that because she wanted to accommodate Jocelyn Chiwenga and Saniso Katerere who are not part of the women’s league," said one woman who preferred anonymity. Jocelyn Chiwenga is wife of army commander, Lieutenant General Constantine Chiwenga, while Saniso Katerere is married to Harare businessman and Zanu PF MP, Philip Chiyangwa.

Upon arrival in Libya, the women were housed at a five-star hotel but their goods were taken by the Libyan authorities for safekeeping. The bickering among the women is said to have continued, prompting Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Libya, John Mvundura, to order some 30 women to return home but without their goods which remained in the hands of the Libyans. The other 10 women, led by Mahofa, remained and were allowed to continue trading but they encountered problems with the Libyans over prices resulting in the Chikwinya crisis. The 10 were then ordered to leave their goods behind and were advised that proceedings from the sales would be forwarded to them. However, no money was forthcoming and they have now been told by Mahofa that their goods were donated to the Libyans on the instructions of the Zimbabwean embassy.

Contacted for comment at his Tripoli office, Mvundura confirmed that the goods had remained in Libya. "I was asked by the leader of the delegation (Mahofa) to donate the goods, so speak to her," he said. Each participant has now been offered US$200 by the foundation as part of the allowances they should have been paid in Libya. Libyan leader, Muammar Gadaffi, facilitated the trip by providing a chartered plane to the Zanu PF women’s league to enable the participants to exhibit their wares which included wooden carvings, batiks, pottery, basket ware, crocheted items, sculptures, copper and other metal wares - weighing over 1 200 kgs in total. The list of the women who visited Libya for the anniversary includes Idah Mashonganyika, Sabina Mangwende, Tabeth Marumahoko, Shuvai Mahofa, Jocelyn Chiwenga, Saniso Katerere, Mandy Chimene and Florence Chiromo.

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Zim Independent


Learnmore Ndlovu
“STATE moves to arrest economic rot” was the headline in the Herald of
October 19. This might lead you to believe that the state is now going to
have a change of heart and adopt a constructive approach to the economic
problems faced by Zimbabwe as a result of government-sponsored disruption of
the agricultural sector. Wrong.

The article goes on to suggest that new alternative markets have been found
for agricultural exports and that this will help stimulate exports and the
economy. But the article fails to explain why we lost our previous export
markets, or where and how the exports will be produced to service the new

It would appear that fact and fiction have merged for the government and
that they no longer have any idea of which is which. In trying, and maybe
succeeding, to misinform and confuse the nation, they have also succeeded in
confusing themselves to the extent that they no longer know what is true and
what is not true.

We lost our export markets because of government-sponsored disruption of the
agricultural sector, thus stopping the production of exports. We did not
lose the export markets because the market did not want to deal with
Zimbabwe. You cannot have an export market without anything to export.

Government has successfully stopped the production of exports.

We have no surplus agricultural products to export. We are short
of food to feed ourselves, so how can we export food? Farmers
have been stopped from growing food, so where will the exports come from?

Ministers make statements that the government’s priority is to grow food,
which suggests that they have no concept of what is happening on the farms.
When ministers make statements that law and order is being upheld, that
there will be no food shortage, that we are abiding by the Abuja agreement,
are they totally unaware of what is happening in Zimbabwe or are they
deliberately misleading us?

President Robert Mugabe makes a statement that industries and companies that
do not adhere to price controls or stop production as a result of price
controls, will be nationalised. No government-run business in Zimbabwe has
been successful or profitable. With few if any exceptions
government-controlled businesses suffer from rampant corruption and require
huge subsidies from the taxpayer.

Once you have nationalised all major industries and companies, who will
create the income required by government as taxes? Does Mugabe not know that
nationalised industries and companies have been proven to be undesirable and

Countries such as Russia and China who were the main proponents of socialism
have opted to move away from the socialist doctrine because it has proved to
be unworkable. Is Mugabe not aware of this? Or is Mugabe simply determined
to destroy for the sake of destroying?

The socialism promoted by Mugabe is not the same type of socialism practised
in Europe as suggested by the Minister of Information, Jonathan Moyo.
Socialism as practised successfully in Europe is not about state control of
production. Socialism in Zimbabwe is about state control of production in
the mould of communism and is not about improving the standards of living or
people’s incomes.

The question no one has the answer to is, where is the breaking point where
people will stop submitting and accepting violence, intimidation, food
shortages and hardships? When will the people who accept the misinformation
broadcast by government wake up to realise that they have been badly misled?
When will the people stop tolerating bad governance and demand an
accountable government working in the best interests of the majority?

The promoted concept of land redistribution is that over-crowded rural
masses will be resettled. Constructively carried out, this could be a
success. But in far too many cases the over-crowded rural masses are not the
beneficiaries of land reform. The people acquiring land under the present
programme are far too often gainfully employed rather than being part of the
unemployed and overcrowded masses. Even the police, so-called guardians of
the law, have members who have illegally acquired land as new settlers.

More unacceptable still are the ministers who are reported to be earmarking
prime farms for themselves with no intention of sharing the land with the
rural masses. A small case of conflict of interests and abuse of power.

Learnmore Ndlovu is a freelance writer based in Harare.
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Another outbreak hits beef industry
Augustine Mukaro
AS the country battles with foot-and-mouth and anthrax outbreaks which have hit the beef industry in the last two months, another report of animal disease has been received, this time in the Macheke/Virginia area.
Black rhino census postponed
Busani Bafana
A SCHEDULED black rhino census in the Matusadona National Park has been postponed after the Zambezi Society which sourced over $10 million for the exercise has instead recommended a long-term conservation approach for the endangered animals.
Byo to go ahead with installation of mayor
Busani Bafana
AFTER three consecutive cancellations of the official installation of the Bulawayo executive mayor to accommodate Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, the ceremony goes ahead this afternoon minus the minister.
CAAZ board faces axe over CEO appointment
Brian Hungwe
THE Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) board led by retired Col Godfrey Matemachani is reportedly awaiting dissolution after repeated clashes with the Minister of Transport and Communications over allegations that it predetermined interview results for prospective candidates for the hotly disputed CAAZ chief executive’s post, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
Civic organisations in voter registration drive

A VISIT to Zimbabwe’s main NGO website shows how seriously civic organisations are taking the current voter registration drive. “Seize the moment, vote, or wait another five years to be heard again!” screams a large flashing message on the Kubatana site.
EU rejects claims of British arm-twisting
Stanley James
BRITAIN does not have the power to recommend the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe by the European Union; such a decision has to be agreed to by all member-states, the new European Commission head of delegation in Zimbabwe, Francesca Mosca, told the Zimbabwe Independent this week.
Mugabe’s days of immunity numbered — US court
Brian Hungwe
A UNITED States district court in New York this week held the ruling Zanu PF party liable for the murder and torture of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters in the run-up to last year’s June parliamentary election.
Ngezi starts full-scale output in January
Stanley James
FULL-SCALE operations at the Ngezi Platinum Mine are scheduled to commence in January.
UNDP technical team will adhere to last year’s plan
Dumisani Muleya
THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) technical team expected to visit Zimbabwe in mid-November to assess the land reform exercise will proceed on the basis of the agency’s December 2000 proposals.
War vets strike again at Town House
Augustine Mukaro
BARELY a month after the attack on Town House officials by war veterans, the ex-combatants were at it again on Wednesday as they invaded Chamber Secretary Josephine Ncube’s office, forcing her to flee, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.
Zim’s bid to enlist ACP/EU support flops
Dumisani Muleya
ZIMBABWE’S frantic efforts to enlist the support of developing countries at the African, Caribbean and Pacific/ European Union joint parliamentary assembly in Brussels this week to head off looming EU sanctions has flopped.
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Registration Threat to Media

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

November 2, 2001
Posted to the web November 1, 2001

Barry Streek

An apartheid-era proposal to licence journalists in the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) has been incorporated into a protocol that was
signed by the heads of state of its 14 member countries in August.

"State parties shall establish a regional and internationally recognised
SADC accreditation system or procedure for media practitioners with specific
guidelines in order to facilitate the work of such personnel in the rest of
the world," Article 22 of the Protocol on Culture, Information and Sport

This clause, says the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa), is
"extremely dangerous and subversive to media freedom, no matter how it is
interpreted. What this means is that SADC governments will make decisions on
which media or media institutions get accreditation." Unaccredited media
practitioners would find it difficult to work in SADC countries, let alone
on the rest of the continent, says Misa's regional and information
coordinator Kaitira Kandjii.

"Licensing of journalists also contradicts an extremely rich body of
impeccable jurisprudence on freedom of the media. The Inter-American Court
of Human Rights issued an opinion that the licensing of journalists was
illegal, especially where it denied any person access to the full use of the
news as a means of expressing themselves or imparting information," Kandjii

The licensing of journalists was proposed by the apartheid government a
number of times, but the move was staved off by the opposition of
journalists and media companies.

Director General of Foreign Affairs Sipo Pityana told the Mail & Guardian
that the protocol was negotiated, from the South African side, by officials
of the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology. He said the
protocol would have to be ratified by Parliament before it could come into

Many SADC countries, particularly Zimbabwe, Angola and Swaziland, have poor
media freedom records and a common SADC accreditation of journalists would
undoubtedly be used to stifle critical journalists and their publications.

Currently foreign journalists, even those from SADC countries, cannot enter
some countries in the region, such as Zimbabwe and Namibia, unless they have
received accreditation from the governments of those countries.

Kandjii says the relevant article on information in the protocol only refers
in very general terms to the free flow of information.

"Its reference to, and definitions of, issues of freedom of information,
freedom of media, media independence and pluralistic media, is technical and
without much substance. The protocol does not pretend to elaborate, define
or create any substantive right to access to information at all.

"Most disturbing is that the protocol fails to limit governments' right to
impose restrictions on the freedom of the media."

This gives individual SADC states carte blanche on the type of restrictions
each state can impose.

"Individual SADC states can create their media laws in any whimsical way
they wish without adhering to any common standards on what should constitute
SADC media laws."

Article 20 states: "State parties shall take necessary measures to ensure
the development of media that are editorially independent and conscious of
their obligations to the public and greater society." However, Article 21
notes that: "State parties shall encourage the establishment or
strengthening of codes of ethics to boost public confidence and
professionalism in the information sub-sector."

Kandjii says the track record of some states in the SADC region is enough
proof that [Article 21] will be used to curtail media freedom".

Misa says the protocol "creates the impression of a half-hearted and shoddy
attempt to pay lip-service to the right of a free media. It is this aspect
that makes it dangerous and subversive to media freedom, and the idea of the
free flow of information."

It should, rather, clearly spell out the unrestricted and unhindered
intra-state and inter-state right of movement by journalists
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ZIMBABWE: IRIN Focus on impact of political violence

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

MUDZI, 2 November (IRIN) - As the shadows of the evening lengthen, the children still play freely out in the fields, but the elders huddle in their huts, speaking in low tones. You do not need to look hard to notice the unease that has settled over Mudzi, a rural communal area about 200 km northeast of the capital, Harare.
More than 15 months after political violence rocked Zimbabwe during the run up to the country's parliamentary election, the memories are still fresh in Mudzi - one of the areas worst hit by the unrest. At least 35 people, most of them opposition supporters, died across the country in the violence that marred the country's watershed poll in which the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) offered the first credible challenge to the ruling ZANU-PF's political domination.
The human cost of those events are still being felt in Mudzi. There is a suspicion of strangers and a guardedness that seems to reflect a new mood in the communal area as a result of the political campaign last year and the renewed politicking around Zimbabwe's upcoming presidential poll due in early 2002.

At Katsande primary school near Nyamhanga village, one of the school teachers who would identify himself only as "Mr Chiwanza", told IRIN that the school had experienced no disturbances during the upheavals last year. Chiwanza insisted that he and his colleagues felt free and secure at the school, but he refused to give his full identity because, he said: "That would be just testing my luck too far, you never know what might happen."

Maria (not her real name) has been more seriously affected. She says she sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night screaming and calling her husband's name. She told IRIN she has "this constant fear and anxiety, which is sometimes accompanied by headaches and it never goes away".  

In May last year, at the height of the violence, a group of about 20 pro-government "veterans" arrived outside her homestead demanding that everybody should come out. They allegedly dragged her half-dressed husband out of the hut, accusing him of supporting the opposition MDC and started beating him with logs and iron clubs. Maria's husband died on the spot while her eldest son was left for dead. He died the next morning.

Francis Lovemore, a University of Zimbabwe (UZ) trained medical doctor, provides counselling to victims of violence and believes that the symptoms Maria reports are trauma-related. He heads the clinical department at Amani Trust, a Harare-based non-governmental organisation that has led research into political violence and torture in Zimbabwe .

The psycological impact of Zimbabwe's political crisis is only slowly being realised. Of the several thousands of clients Amani has dealt with in the last 20 months, Lovemore said 75 percent required specialised counselling in stress management. He believes that much more needs to be done to address the growing numbers of socially damaging violence-related disorders.

The police say they are still investigating the death of Maria's husband and son. But the villagers in Nyamhanga IRIN spoke to said they could identify the killers if asked. Many of them are allegedly unemployed youths from the area.

"There is a general perception among some people that the police are not doing enough to bring some of these culprits to book, but we are doing all we can to ensure justice is done," police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena told IRIN. Bvudzijena could not provide details of the investigation into the murders of Maria's husband and son, but he insisted that the police "are making impressive progress in all these cases".  

Villager Samuel Chiromo has a different perspective. "The government has always regarded us as gullible and illiterate," he alleged. "It appears that after wrecking our lives so we could vote it back into power, we have been abandoned. No one can tell us who murdered our relatives or let alone do something about the killings."

According to Lovemore, when victims "get the impression that nothing is being done against the perpetrators of violence, it only worsens their situation. But by far the main problem in rural areas is the lack of facilities or qualified personnel to deal with the various cases of stress disorder left behind by political violence."

Deputy Health Minister David Parirenyatwa, himself a medical doctor, told IRIN that the public health system - the only source of health services for more than 95 percent of rural people - could in most cases only adequately deal with the physical injuries of victims of violence.

"The physical aspect of it can in most cases be dealt with at the district hospitals. It is the mental scarring, the stress that results from the physical wound, that is difficult to handle," said Parirenyatwa.

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Business Report

More gloomy times ahead for Zimbabwe
Sapa-AFP and Reuters

November 02 2001 at 07:21AM
Harare - Zimbabwe's finance minister painted a bleak picture of the
country's economy yesterday in presenting the national budget for 2002,
predicting another year of depression.

Zimbabwe's economy would have contracted by 7,3 percent by the year's end,
finance minister Simba Makoni told parliament. Last year he had projected
that the economy would contract by only 2,8 percent.

The economy was projected to decline a further 5,3 percent in 2002, Makoni

"We are sitting at the bottom of the pile both in terms of the sub-Saharan
African group as well as the SADC group" for economic growth, he said,
referring to the 14-nation Southern African Development Community.

Per capita, Zimbabwe's gross domestic product dropped to $385 in 2001, from
$421 in 2000, Makoni said. Poverty levels had shot up, with about
three-fourths of Zimbabweans living below the poverty line.

Foreign investment had dried up, exports had fallen, and inflation had risen
to the point where Zimbabwe's economy was now considered hyperinflationary,
he said.

The weak economy had led to a backlog of 1 million housing units in urban
areas even as Zimbabwe was suffering a brain drain of educated workers
leaving the country, "robbing our country of skilled personnel", Makoni

The arrears on Zimbabwe's foreign debt had risen to US$682 million. Most
international lenders had cut off funding to Zimbabwe.

But the budget of Z$390,2 billion (R69 billion) Makoni presented proposed to
boost spending on public works such as dams, roads, bridges and irrigation.

The budget increased spending on social services, especially healthcare and

Zimbabwe has suffered serious shortages of medicines because it does not
have enough foreign currency to buy drugs from overseas.

The budget also allocated money as loans to support struggling businesses.

Tax breaks were given for people to buy bricks for housing, and income tax
exemptions were expanded for the poorest Zimbabweans.

More money would also go to policing, and Z$1,2 billion was budgeted for
next year's presidential elections.

Meanwhile,# Zimbabwe had appealed to foreign donors for nearly Z$20 billion
in emergency aid to stave off looming food shortages and to repair crumbling
infrastructure, a Harare newspaper reported yesterday.

The independent Financial Gazette said Makoni last week asked the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representative in Zimbabwe, Victor
Angelo, to appeal to donors for aid on Harare's behalf.

"Makoni met Angelo last Wednesday and asked him to help raise Z$11 billion
from the international community E the funds would finance a massive maize
and wheat import programme, necessary if Zimbabweans are not to starve in
the next few months," the newspaper said, citing diplomatic sources.

Makoni is reported to have asked for another Z$8,8 billion to help repair
crumbling infrastructure, including roads and bridges washed away during
heavy floods two years ago.

Finance ministry officials were not available yesterday. The UNDP office in
Harare declined to comment on the report.

Aid agencies have warned of severe food shortages in the rural regions of
Zimbabwe over the coming months.

Bumper Tobacco Crop Flops

Business Day (Johannesburg)

November 1, 2001

Tony Hawkins

Despite a larger-than forecast 2001 crop and buoyant prices, Zimbabwe's
tobacco-growing industry is expected to shrink by as much as a third next

Sales of Virginia flue-cured leaf will end this week after sales of about
200-million kilograms of tobacco. This is about 15% less than was sold in
the 2000 harvest. The average price on the auction floors this year was
318c/kg, an 88% increase on last year's 169c.

In theory, this means the 2001 crop was worth about $640m, compared with
$400m last year.

Industry sources say, however, that sales floor figures are no longer
meaningful, due to foreign currency trading by tobacco merchants.

They have been paying a much higher price on the floor for tobacco than
those in export markets. One industry insider said this year's foreign
currency earnings from tobacco would be only slightly higher than last
year's, despite the apparent steep improvement in the price.

The Zimbabwe Tobacco Association says war veterans who have invaded farms
have stopped about 500 growers a third of large-scale producers from
planting for 2002.

Industry sources say the early irrigation crop has been halved, while the
total area under tobacco this year is likely to be down 30% to about
52000ha. Forecasts put the 2002 harvest at 150-million kilograms at best,
but growers said there could be a rush of late plantings if things returned
to normal.

Tobacco is Zimbabwe's leading export, accounting for 25%- 30% of export
revenue. A one-third reduction in the crop would mean a decline of about 10%
in exports, which had fallen by about a third already from the mid-1990's
peak of $2,5bn.

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Daily news

Deputy minister failed exam twice

11/1/01 7:27:53 AM (GMT +2)

By Pedzisai Ruhanya

CHRISTOPHER Mushowe, the Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications,
acquired a master’s degree in Public Administration, after the University of
Zimbabwe (UZ) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Hill came to his rescue.

A High Court judge described the move as unprecedented.

Mushowe, a former director of State Residences in President Mugabe’s Office,
had failed the examination.

In a 73-page judgment, made available yesterday but passed in June, Justice
Elizabeth Gwaunza attacked Hill for awarding a pass mark to Mushowe although
he had failed both his first sitting and the supplementary examinations for
the degree programme.

The judge also took a swipe at Mushowe, who is the MP for Mutare West, for
using his position at State House to induce the UZ authorities to award him
the degree.

She said such underhanded and unethical behaviour would be understood by the
ordinary reader to undermine Mushowe’s credentials as a top civil servant.

“The public expects exemplary behaviour from those in leadership positions,
especially in the government,” Gwaunza said.

Describing Hill as an unimpressive witness, Gwaunza said: “Hill took the
apparently unprecedented step of first referring the script to external
examiners and then changing the failing mark to a pass mark. His explanation
for having done so lacked credence.”

After failing the first attempt, Mushowe wrote a supplementary examination
marked by two people who gave him 45 and 48 percent respectively.

Hill then gave the script to two other external examiners to ensure Mushowe
got fair treatment.

“Be that as it may, Hill received from the two external examiners responses
suggesting that Mushowe was entitled at best, to a very low pass mark and he
was a very average student,” the judge said.

Hill then changed the 48 percent to a pass mark of 50 percent.
According to UZ regulations, a failing mark in a supplementary examination,
no matter how marginal, is never upgraded automatically to a pass as would
happen with an original examination mark.

The court also found that Mushowe did not possess a first degree, a
requirement for admission into the programme.

Despite his lack of qualifications, Mushowe was exempted from doing three
first year courses in spite of objections from the post-graduate committee.

Gwaunza said the court heard that there was a general belief that Mushowe
was a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation, “an organisation
which invokes fear within the general public”. Professor Hill admitted to
having heard the rumour.

She ruled that Mushowe did not need to include the “Office of the President
and Cabinet” in his contact address as he could have simply used the box

“It is misleading for Mushowe to say such an address was also his home
address. One does not live in an office,” Gwaunza ruled.

“Mushowe used the presidential letterhead to put the fear of the
presidential power into the UZ authorities, forcing them to admit him.

“The additional sting also comes through quite clearly. He used presidential
stationery to write letters to the UZ on what in effect was a private,
personal matter, that concerning his being a student at the UZ,” Gwaunza

“Mushowe also knew, by so doing, that such stationery would put the fear of
the President’s Office into the relevant authorities and induce them to
admit him. Clearly, the ordinary readers would understand this to mean that
Mushowe had abused his office in order to gain admittance to the UZ.”

The judge ruled that given all these facts, the probabilities were high that
Mushowe deliberately used his office in order to influence action favourable
to him from the UZ authorities.

She said: “This action induced his admission to the course and the
extraordinary lengths that the authorities, especially Hill, went on to
eliminate any possible bias in the marking of Mushowe’s script.

“Hill conceded it was the very first time, and unusual for him as the
Vice-Chancellor to do that.”

Gwaunza said Mushowe got the degree despite having failed his final
examinations. Mushowe enrolled at the UZ in 1994.

She said Hill took the very unusual step of personally telephoning Mushowe,
a student, and informing him that he had passed.

She said Hill’s actions were difficult to justify except on the basis that
Mushowe had exerted the influence of his office to induce Hill.

Gwaunza made the ruling in a civil defamation case in which Mushowe was
suing John Makumbe, a lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences and
Administrative Studies, the UZ, Basildon Peta a reporter with the now
defunct Sunday Gazette and its publisher, Modus Publications, for $260 000.

Mushowe said Makumbe and Peta defamed him when they said he was not
qualified to be enrolled at the college and that he failed to pass his
examination but used his position as an officer in Mugabe’s office to
acquire it.

Gwaunza said that she was satisfied that the reader would understand that
the same fear Mushowe had put into the UZ authorities to get them to admit
him had also induced them to start working on how to change his failing mark
to a pass one.

Gwaunza dismissed Mushowe’s application with costs saying the matter was of
public interest.
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Zimbabwe asks UN to provide food aid


ZIMBABWE has asked the United Nations for millions of pounds worth of
emergency food aid.
The request comes after President Mugabe’s campaign of harassment against
white farmers which has almost halved food production.

Victor Angelo, the UN Development Fund’s Zimbabwe representive, confirmed
that there had been a formal request for relief assistance, which he was
considering. The request had come from Simba Makoni, the Finance Minister.

Mr Angelo did not disclose the amount requested, but the independent weekly
Financial Gazette said that Mr Makoni had asked for help in raising Zim$11
billion (£140 million) from foreign countries. Mr Angelo said that the UN’s
famine relief agency, the World Food Programme, could send direct assistance
to communities “in dire need”.

Zimbabwe’s National Early Warning Unit said this week that 700,000 people
already needed food aid, and that the Government’s stocks of maize, the
national staple, were likely to start running out next month.

It also said that the Government needed “immediately” to import 200,000
tonnes of maize to avert starvation.

The appeal to the UN comes as Mr Mugabe’s regime faces increasing
international isolation because of its failure to restore the rule of law
and to adhere to its agreement with Commonwealth foreign ministers at Abuja,
Nigeria, in September to halt the campaign of violent seizures of
white-owned farms.

UN Assessment Team Arrives

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

November 1, 2001
Posted to the web November 1, 2001

A United Nations team that is to assess Zimbabwe's land crisis has begun
arriving in Harare, an official from the Food and Agriculture Organisation
(FAO) told IRIN on Thursday.

A specialist in land information management arrived at the weekend from FAO
headquarters in Rome and is providing technical help to the ministry of
lands, said Victoria Sekitoleko, FAO's Regional Representative for Southern
and Eastern Africa.

"The specialist will begin work on establishing a comprehensive land
information resource for the government," Sekitoleko said. She added that
the government did not have proper information on land use, ownership and
quality and had requested help from FAO to help establish this resource.

The specialist is part of a United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
assessment mission due in Harare next week. It will be headed by Abdoulie
Janneh, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau
for Africa. The mission will assess total progress made under the Abuja

The UN assessment mission was called for under a Commonwealth deal signed in
Abuja in September. Zimbabwe agreed to curb political violence tied to its
land reforms in exchange for British financing of the programme. Part of the
deal called for Zimbabwe's government to work more closely with the UNDP on
the land issue.

Meanwhile, a joint report by the USAID-backed Famine Early Warning System
(FEWS) and the state agricultural department made public on Wednesday
predicted worsening food shortages. The report marks a departure in
government's attitude to the nation's food situation - it had previously
allegedly sought to play down evidence of shortages as the presidential poll
to be held early next year approaches.

The report said as many as 30 percent of the population in some districts in
central, western, southern and arid northern Zimbabwe suffered food shortage
s during October. It noted that the nation's stocks of grain, the staple
food, stood at about 200,355 mt in mid-October, the lowest level in two
years, or 63 percent lower than at the same time last year.

The report does not conflict with earlier studies that suggest the combined
affects of drought, economic collapse, and the government's land reform
programme would lead to severe food shortages next year.

Zimbabwe economic woes hit NGO programmes
By Busani Bafana

Farm workers weigh bananas in the Bindura area, 100 km north-east of Harare.
File photo

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (Alertnet) - Alarm bells are ringing among aid agencies and other non-governmental organisations running feeding programmes in Zimbabwe as the price of basic commodities soars and the country's currency declines in value.

The government has announced price controls on staples such as bread, milk, salt, washing powder, cooking oil and sugar in a move welcomed by consumers.

Manufacturers, however, caution that food shortages may worsen since some will be forced to close down rather than make a loss.

A consortium of six NGOs operating in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, areas affected by floods last year and now grappling with a drought, said its operations were being compromised by the economic crisis.

"Everything is getting expensive and food stuffs are in short supply," Norbet Dube, spokesman for the consortium, told Alertnet.

"In our feeding programmes for under-fives we have used maize meal, cooking oil and beans but we have had to shift to pre-prepared meals due to the high costs of the basic ingredients."

Hesitation on the part of donors because of political turmoil in Zimbabwe has also contributed to the slow implementation of some food security programmes such as a pilot project for market gardens that the consortium was promoting in drought-prone regions.

Dube said the project had taken off successfully in the Nkayi district of Matabeleland North province but could not be extended to other areas because of cost.

"There is no doubt that the economic situation coupled with the rising costs of basic commodities has had a negative impact on our programmes as we are still battling to complete surveys on the actual number of people needing drought relief," he said.

"On the ground, most of the NGOs are ready as far as logistics and personnel are concerned but we have not been able to get the up-to-date statistics from government on how many people need help."

Among NGOs in the consortium were the Zimabwe-based Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress, the Red Cross, World Vision, Christian Care, the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Development Commission.

Shrinking government allocations and tight international funding for the emergency feeding programmes have forced the NGOs to become self-sustaining in order to continue.

Feeding programmes for more than 100,000 children under five, launched in Matabeleland South province last year, were being implemented on an ad hoc basic by some NGOs.

More than 500,000 people in the Matabeleland region, where crops failed or were washed away, were estimated to be in need of food aid and material assistance. A similar number was under threat in Midlands province.

In addition, thousands of under-fives in schools would also need assistance.

In Matabeleland South province, declared a drought disaster area in 1995 to solicit international and local intervention, all local councils started registering people in need of food assistance in February this year.

Save the Children UK expects to feed people in Binga and Muzarabani and other NGOs have warned of mass starvation in Matabeleland and other provinces where crops failed and government food assistance has been minimal.

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Daily news

Another farm invaded in Bindura

11/1/01 7:21:06 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

DAWMILL Farm in Bindura was on Monday invaded by alleged war veterans,
despite last week’s visit by a team from the Commonwealth to assess the
government’s commitment to the Abuja Agreement in which it undertook to stop
illegal farm occupations.

Ian Miller, the farm owner said he decided to leave the farm after he was
given an ultimatum to leave or risk being killed.

“The war veterans led by Cde Chitate came to my farm on Monday afternoon,”
said Millar. “They left a note on the gate saying the spirits of the land
wanted me to leave the farm.”

Miller said the problem with the alleged war veterans started last Saturday
when he denied access to the farm to evaluators from the government.

“On the instructions of my lawyer Martin Dinha, I could not allow them into
my property because it is not listed,” he said.

“I later received a call from Mr Kufa, the district administrator, saying
that I had denigrated the provincial governor through the evaluators and
that I had also denigrated the President through the provincial governor.”

Officials at the DA’s office refused to comment and referred all questions
to Mr Kufa who was said to be in a meeting.

Dinha, confirmed that his client’s property was not designated for
“To the best of my knowledge Dawmill is not listed, neither has a letter
been served on Millar notifying him of the intention to list the farm,” said

“I talked to Kufa over this issue last week but nothing has materialised.
Funny enough this happens when the government has made an undertaking to
evacuate invaders from undesignated farms.”

Under the Abuja Agreement, the government undertook to restore law and order
on commercial farms that have been invaded by so-called war veterans.

In return, Britain and the international community would pay an unspecified
amount of money to fund the resettlement programme.

At the weekend however, the British government expressed dissatisfaction at
the progress of the Zimbabwe government’s efforts to restore the rule of law
on the farms.

The United Kingdom said it would only release the required funds depending
on the outcome of a report that will be submitted by the UNDP.
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Daily news

LEADER PAGE  Thursday   1  , November

Time for all men of courage to take a stand

11/1/01 5:05:51 AM (GMT +2)

Even though it has taken Eddison Zvobgo years of dithering, prevarication
and an almost fatal hesitancy to follow Edgar Tekere’s exceptionally bold
move of a little more than a decade ago to speak openly about President
Mugabe, we think he still should be seen as a man of courage for finally
having summoned enough guts to take the bull by the horns.

As reported in our front page lead story on Tuesday, Zvobgo, together with
his firebrand lieutenant, Dzikamai Mavhaire, were conspicuous by their
absence from Mugabe’s Masvingo presidential election rally, thinly disguised
as Vice-President Simon Muzenda’s birthday celebrations.

The two men were merely being polite when they initially said they did not
attend the rally because they had not been officially invited.

The real reason was contained in their unequivocal statement later in the
story. Vowing they would not campaign for Mugabe in the forthcoming
election, the two, for the first time made it publicly known that they were
bitter for having been used and then dumped by Mugabe in the past.

It was especially telling for Mavhaire to poignantly state: “Zvobgo was
injured while campaigning for Mugabe in 1996, and where is he now? This
time,we will not be used.”

It is doubtful that had Zvobgo taken this decision in the mid-1980s, when
Mugabe first showed that he could not be side-tracked from his life-long
ambition that of setting up a one-party dictatorship to ensure he rules for
life Zimbabwe would be in the mess that it is in today.

For Zvobgo would never have crafted for Mugabe an executive presidency with
such monstrously sweeping powers.

We are absolutely certain more than half the people in the Cabinet right now
don’t approve at all of what Mugabe is doing to our beloved Zimbabwe.

It is so clear from their silence over contentious matters such as the use
of the police, army and the CIO to cow everyone into pretending to support
the big lie that the madness now going on in the countryside is in the
economic interest of the people.

All those in Zanu PF and government, now being constantly sullied as cowards
whom the President no longer trusts, are actually the real amadoda sibili
(brave ones), who only lack the courage of their conviction.

For the sake of saving Zimbabwe from total ruin, they have no option but
take a cue from Zvobgo and Mavhaire. Some of them quite rightly fear what
might happen in the event of Zanu PF losing power in view of their having
used their party positions to amass wealth illegally.

Those fears are, of course, not entirely unfounded. Roughly two years ago,
Mugabe had occasion to make some singularly unflattering remarks with regard
to the general conduct of some of the men and women who make up the team
that is assisting him in steering the ship of state.

He said he was aware that quite a number of his Cabinet ministers were
taking bribes to facilitate the granting of government contracts, tenders
and the like.

Although, as usual, he took no action against those concerned - which would
have been almost the entire Cabinet and heads of parastatals - those who had
indulged in corrupt activities must be still quite fearful.

It is mostly those same men and women who, because they are apprehensive of
what might happen to them, are ambivalent about following their conscience
or helping to perpetuate his rule solely for the sake of using him as a
shield against prosecution even though they want no part in what Mugabe is
doing now.

Such people must choose between the benefits certain to accrue from
timeously coming clean and helping build a new Zimbabwe and the risk of
resisting change by supporting evil, whatever the consequencies.

Daily news

Group threatens civil unrest

11/1/01 7:16:44 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

CRISIS In Zimbabwe (CIZ), a group of more than 250 civic organisations, has
threatened civil disobedience unless the government sets minimum conditions
for a free and fair election in the presidential election next year.

President Mugabe of the ruling Zanu PF party will face Morgan Tsvangirai of
the MDC in the presidential race.

In a joint communique, the heads of civil society under the CIZ raised
concern over the government-controlled electoral process which is headed by
the Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede, a nephew of President Mugabe.

CIZ made the following conditions: “Government must immediately appoint an
independent electoral commission.

“The members of this commission must be drawn from nominees provided by the
major stakeholders in Zimbabwe.

“There should be a more intensive voter education programme, aimed
particularly at the population in rural areas. There should be no attempt by
the government to control voter education as is currently proposed. A new
voters’ roll must be prepared and made available at least three months
before the election. Everyone must have access to this roll.

“The postal balloting arrangements must be revised to ensure that all
eligible voters are able to cast their ballots. Very large numbers of
Zimbabweans living outside the country are currently deprived of their right
to participate in elections, and this is unacceptable. Election monitors
must be allowed to monitor the postal vote process.”

Brian Raftopolous, the CIZ spokesman on Tuesday said his organisation would
put pressure on the government to make sure that the election is held when
the conditions have been set.

“Unless we do put pressure on this government no amount of external force
will help,” Raftopolous said. “We intend to do something before the
year-end. Our strategy is already in place. This strategy is essential for
the future democratic Zimbabwe.”

He said CIZ was aware that the government might try to victimise those who
campaign for civil disobedience.

“We will be irresponsible if we do not think of the consequences,” said

“But that is the only option left since the government does not want
dialogue. It uses dialogue to buy time.”

John Makumbe, the CIZ chairman said although CIZ depended on Zimbabweans,
Botswana and South Africa had started to exert pressure on Zimbabwe.

“The recent deportations might have sent some signals but they affected poor
people,” said Makumbe. “The Zimbabwe government has never been known to care
about its people except the fat cats.”

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The EU Threatens "Smart Sanctions"

In a new development, the European Council of Ministers agreed on Monday
this week to hold talks with the Government of Zimbabwe under the Cotanou
Agreement. This is the convention that replaced the Lome Agreement last year
and governs the relationship between the 15 Nation European Union and some
72 African, Asian and Caribbean countries.

The EU is the largest integrated trading block in the world and is also
Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner. In the past the EU and its Member States
has also been the largest source of bilateral and multilateral aid to the
country. Under the Cotanou Agreement, the Partner States have agreed to
abide by agreed principles of governance and democracy as a condition of
membership of this “club”. In the event that a State abrogates the terms of
the agreement in any serious way, the procedure is for the EU to call for
discussions with the government concerned to try and get them to come back
into line with the terms of the Agreement to which they are an signatory. In
the event that this fails, then sanctions of some kind are applied until the
errant State complies.

The most recent example of action under the terms of the Agreement is the
action taken against a Pacific State when the elected Government was
overthrown in a coup.

The next step will be for the EU to convene a meeting to discuss the
situation with Zimbabwe and if these get nowhere, then some form of
sanctions will follow. The EU has already indicated that it sees no role for
full-blown trade sanctions, which will simply make things worse for ordinary
people, and the MDC has strongly supported this view. What they are talking
about is the possibility of “smart” sanctions which will specifically target
members of the Zanu PF elite and their families. These could involve
freezing assets, restricting travel and contact and withdrawal of travel
visas.  They would also involve suspension from the activities of the EU and
the ACP States under the Cotanou Agreement.

Already the Zimbabwe government has rejected the threat. However there can
be little doubt that this action will hurt the present government and will
further intensify it’s economic and political isolation. Further sanctions
can be expected from the USA very shortly and it will put pressure on both
the United Nations and the OAU and the SADC to take a more deliberate and
proactive stance on the Zimbabwe crisis.

In his statement rejecting the EU threat, Munangagwa said that “Zimbabwe is
a peaceful country and incidents of violence are few and far between, no
fresh farm invasions are taking place and the EU has no right to dictate how
Zimbabwe will hold it’s presidential elections in the new year”. That kind
of statement is not going to help the situation in any way. The facts of the
situation here are well known and foreign governments do not rely on Zanu PF
propaganda for their information. In fact Mr Munangagwa is wrong in all
respects – under the Harare Declaration, negotiated and signed under the
Chairmanship of Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwe government has agreed to a
common set of political and economic principles which are binding on all
States in the Commonwealth. Under the Cotanou Agreement, to which we are a
signatory and fully participated in its negotiation – led by Minister
Shamuyarira, a senior Zanu PF politician, we are also bound by common

But in the final analysis, the situation in Zimbabwe is not going to be
sorted out by actions taken by foreign governments – no matter how well
founded or justified. This is an African problem and must be sorted out by
Africans themselves. We will be judged by what we do in this respect and the
promoters of the African Recovery Plan must know that this is the first real
test of their resolve. Here in Zimbabwe, we cannot rely on outside pressure
bringing change.  In the final analysis its up to us, with courage and
conviction, to take control of our destiny again by using the one thing we
still have – our right to vote, even if the playing field is not level and w
e are beaten and bloodied in the process.

Eddie Cross
Secretary for Economic Affairs
The Movement for Democratic Change

A View from the Pan.

Speaking to a group of “settlers” of a commercial farm during the recent
visit by the Commonwealth Ministers delegation, the Zimbabwe Minister of
Foreign Affairs said “we will never reverse our stance on the land – it is a
matter of honour.” He went on to say “our honour is at stake in this matter”
. Then this morning the BBC carried an interview with John Nkomo, who asked,
“why are you trying to criminalize us?”  They are both right – their honour
is at stake in many ways in the present crisis and they are being treated
increasingly as common criminals by all and sundry.

The ZBC and the State controlled newspapers have also excelled themselves
this week – the anthrax outbreak in the midlands is the result of “Rhodesian
biological warfare which killed thousands” of Zimbabweans in the war of
independence. Then they changed tack and said it was the result of
activities by “white commercial farmers who were unhappy with the occupation
of their farms”. Anthrax may be new in the USA but it is endemic in Africa
and dozens of cases occur each year. If anything it is the lawlessness and
breakdown of veterinary controls that is causing any outbreak at present.
The fact that 15 people were hungry enough to eat meat from a carcass and
catch the disease – is a matter for us to ponder as well.

The visit by the Commonwealth representatives is yet another round in the
struggle between the international community and this government. At stake
is the whole issue of good governance as defined in a multitude of treaties
and agreements. Who won this round – I think the score card was a narrow
points victory for the visitors. They adopted a resolution that called on
the Zimbabwe government to fulfil its obligations under the Abuja Agreement.
That’s a tall order as the Agreement calls on the Zimbabwe government to
fully respect the terms of the Harare Declaration as well as the rule of
law.  But how to enforce this dictum? All they can continue to do is to
withhold financial support and aid to Zimbabwe until we comply.

I thought the CFU presentation was factual and clear – the idea of actually
doing a full survey of commercial farms was very clever. The facts were
stark – nearly 700 farms invaded since Abuja, 105 000 illegal settlers on
the farms, 80 per cent of all invasions violent in one form or another.  75
000-farm workers and their families displaced. No wonder John Nkomo is being
treated as a criminal – these are, in any reasonable persons understanding
criminal acts. Once again the Secretary General of the Commonwealth did
little to convince that he is up to the job.

Who will enter the ring for the next round? The EU meets today to decide on
what to do next, the USA must be close to adopting the Zimbabwe Democracy
Bill and the SADC Heads of State must be close to becoming engaged yet
again. They are the real heavy weights in this contest and if a knock out is
to happen, it will be in the SADC/Zimbabwe round.  But the other players are
landing body blows and if you have boxed – you will know that gradually
these blows make themselves felt.

In the meantime the food crisis deepens, now we have a mysterious explosion
on the rail link from Beitbridge to Gauteng. This is our main lifeline and
is the only railway system that is capable of carrying the heavy loads
required on a modern railway. The bridge was destroyed at the site and the
line will be closed for 6 weeks or more. All traffic is being diverted
through the Botswana system.

New controls on food prices – Zanu PF politics is very simple at its heart,
how to win votes – you simply double private sector wages in three months
and then reduce the selling prices of their products to below cost. There is
something wrong with that formula, but for the life of me I cannot see what
it is? Can you?  Maybe the present shortages of maize meal, sugar, salt,
bread, soap, washing powder are the result?  What to do with these
irresponsible business persons who refuse to sell their products below
cost – why we threaten to take over their business and let the workers run
them – its simple really.

What is more difficult to understand is the attempt to stop people using
their own grain to feed their own families. The picture of police taking
maize off busses and confiscating the product is astonishing. The image of
those who are raiding the informal markets in the towns to confiscate grain
being sold along the roadside is also difficult to comprehend if you are
expecting to win an election in 4 months time.

Real basic food shortages are appearing – not just in the rural areas where
crops failed last season but also in the cities as stocks decline. Still no
action on the part of the authorities, do they really want starvation? Is
this part of the plan to drive all the MDC voters off the farms and out of
the towns into South Africa so that they cannot vote in the election?

M Ngwenya
29th October 2001.
Please note that this note is personal and does not necessarily reflect the
views of the Movement for Democratic Change.
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