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Govt steps up propaganda war

Cris Chinaka

Harare - The Zimbabwean government has stepped up a propaganda war against
the main opposition party ahead of elections in April in which President
Robert Mugabe will face a tough challenge to his rule.

But the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said on Tuesday the
campaign would not guarantee Mugabe victory.

In the past week, state media have published a series of stories suggesting
the MDC - which nearly beat Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party in last year's
parliamentary election - is set to split over Morgan Tsvangirai's

The MDC dismissed the articles, which said that Tsvangirai, a fiery former
trade unionist, was being challenged by his secretary general, Welshman
Ncube, a university professor.

The stories quoted unnamed MDC members of parliament saying Tsvangirai, who
has no university degree, did not have the right academic qualifications or
the skills to lead Zimbabwe.

The legislators reportedly accused Tsvangirai of failing to deal with the
public spats within the MDC which led it to suspend some members last month
pending an internal probe.

Ncube said the stories were "attempts to discredit and demonise the MDC
leadership with false and fictional stories concocted within the corridors
of the Central Intelligence Organisation and the Department of Information".

Political temptations

He told Reuters that even if Zanu-PF managed to "sponsor some superficial
split for propaganda purposes", the rump of MDC leaders would back
Tsvangirai and the party's strength would remain intact.

Political analyst Masipula Sithole said the MDC had the capacity to weather
the hostile campaign, although the careers of some promising young MPs who
allowed themselves to be lured away from the main MDC might be destroyed.

"I think there are serious temptations in the political field at the moment,
but there is also the real danger of living with the label of 'sell-out',"
he said.

Tsvangirai says there is no danger from the internal spats, which spilled
over when MDC member of parliament Job Sikhala accused a party colleague of
organising an attack on his house.

Sikhala threatened to quit the party, but later backed off, saying he did
not want to play into the hands of Zanu-PF, whom he now blames for the

Zimbabwe has been in political and economic turmoil since February 2000 when
Zanu-PF supporters, led by veterans of the liberation war, invaded hundreds
of farms in support of Mugabe's drive to seize white-owned land for
redistribution to blacks.

Last month Mugabe endorsed a Nigerian-brokered plan to end the farm seizures
in exchange for funds from former colonial ruler Britain to carry out a fair
land reform plan.

But analysts doubt Mugabe will implement the accord before the election,
because he wants to use land as his campaign theme.
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The Mail&Guardian, November 7, 2001.

Showdown Looms between EU and Zimbabwe

A showdown is looming between Zimbabwe and the European Union (EU) over the
African nation's refusal to allow the European Union to monitor next year's
presidential elections




imbabwe's foreign affairs minister, Stan Mudenge, has described as
"thoughtless and futile" a demand by the European Union to be allowed to
send its election monitors for the elections.
"That is how exactly we feel when people ... come to us, even before we
ourselves know the date of our elections to urge, insist and demand that
they should be allowed to come by such and such a date and start assessing
and observing," he said.

"It breeds suspicions and tempts others to ascribe sinister motives," said
Mudenge, warning that Zimbabwe is a sovereign and independent state that can
never take orders from any country.

Zimbabwean political analysts, however, beg to differ with Mudenge. "Yes,
Zimbabwe is a sovereign state, but does it want free and fair elections. No.
If they are genuine about holding free and fair elections, they should allow
monitors from all over the world. They have something to hide it's clear,"
says Moses Tekere, a University of Zimbabwe lecturer.

"Although it's not possible to hold free and fair elections now, the
government runs the risk of no one recognising it even if it were to win
freely and fairly," notes Tekere.

Talk Back Forum
E-mail the editor
E-mail this story
Democracy: the new hidden agenda October 10, 2001

Election in Zimbabwe: We'll do it our way October 24, 2001
Commonwealth urged to keep watch over Zimbabwe October 1, 2001

John Makumbe, a political analyst, agreed. "It's a frivolous excuse," he
says. "If the Zimbabwean government has nothing to hide, they should allow
international observers to come in. Their refusal to let in the
international community is already evident of their intention to steal the

The European Union claims that President Robert Mugabe's government is
failing to uphold the rule of law, threatening to impose sanctions on
Zimbabwe over worsening human rights conditions in the country.

Zimbabwe's presidential elections, which is expected to be the most fiercely
contested since independence in 1980, will take place early next year.

For the first time, political analysts give incumbent president Mugabe
little chance of winning the vote. In last year's parliamentary elections,
analysts claim the ruling party only won through violence and the beating up
of opposition supporters.

At least 32 opposition supporters were killed in the run-up to last year's
elections. President Mugabe is facing his strongest challenge ever from the
opposition's Morgan Tsvangirai.

"There is a lot more than meets the eye. They are very scared. They
(government) don't want the glare of the international community and it's
obvious that it's going to be a violent election," says Makumbe.

Last year Zimbabwe signed the Cotonou Agreement in which it agreed to the
key essential elements of rule of law, good governance and the observance of

A new report released recently by Amnesty International blamed the
Zimbabwean government "for sponsoring the killings of dozens of opposition
supporters" in the country.

In the report, the London-based Human Rights group warned that
state-sponsored killings were on the rise. The group also said that the
murders would continue to increase in the run-up to next year's presidential

According to the rights group, since January, more than 50 people have been
killed and the figure is rising. Amnesty International claimed that
supporters of the ruling party beat up political opponents sometimes with
the active support of the police.

These claims have, however, been denied by police spokesperson, Wayne
Bvudzijena. The police, he said, had "not stooped so low as to kill people".
He challenged Amnesty International to provide evidence to back up their

Amnesty International predicts that violence will worsen and appeals for
international election observers to be sent to Zimbabwe as soon as possible
ahead of presidential elections next year.

"Pressure should continue to be exerted on the Zimbabwe government to allow
independent election to stop them from stealing the election," says
Makumbe. - IPS
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Irin Interview With UN Resident Coordinator, Jose Victor Angelo

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

November 7, 2001
Posted to the web November 7, 2001


Many analysts predict Zimbabwe will run very short of food early next year.
With donor relations at an all time low, the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) in Zimbabwe has continued to engage the government in
seeking solutions to the growing crisis. UNDP Resident Representative and UN
Resident Coordinator Jose Victor Angelo spoke to IRIN about UN efforts to
coordinate an effective humanitarian response to the food shortages and the
importance of next week's critical UNDP assessment mission to Harare.

Q: Do you think the government of Zimbabwe has accepted the reality that
growing food shortages combined with severe economic problems are going to
lead to a humanitarian crisis unless there is rapid intervention ?

A: The government has formally approached the UN Resident Coordinator here
in Zimbabwe with an appeal for humanitarian assistance, both for food and
non-food items. This appeal is basically related to what the government sees
as the drought and flood problems.

Q: Given that predictions are becoming increasingly bleak, has the
government appealed for sufficient resources to avert a humanitarian crisis?

A: The appeal is quite comprehensive. However, it does not cover the needs
of the population in urban areas. But as far as the needs in rural areas are
concerned, yes I would say it is a comprehensive one.

Q: Relations between the government and many traditional donors are
currently less than cordial, how do you think that appeal is going to be
viewed internationally?

A: My opinion is that Zimbabwe still has quite a large number of friends in
the international community, including within the donor groups. The donors
are definitely interested in looking at the appeal and we have been talking
to the donors about the appeal. The key question is to make sure that
whatever assistance is provided is provided in a non-partisan way.

Q: The critical Presidential election is now just a few months off. Would
the UNDP seek guarantees from all stakeholders that food and other aid will
not be used politically in the run-up to the poll?

A: We have no conditions on the table. But we as the United Nations system
in Zimbabwe we are looking at the delivery mechanisms and we are going to
make a number of proposals to make sure that the selection of beneficiaries
is transparent and those in real need benefit from the programme.

Q: So UNDP is pushing for as transparent an aid distribution process as

A: It's not just UNDP, its the UN system, we have the different agencies
from the system involved in this. I am doing it in my capacity as United
Nations Resident Coordinator. What we are trying to put in place is a
mechanism to ensure that the delivery of assistance is as transparent and
impartial as possible.

Q: What will be the UNDP's role in coordinating this humanitarian response?

A: There's no role for UNDP to coordinate, I'm doing that as UN Resident
Coordinator. So UNDP is just one of the players, there are other players,
the World Food Programme is a major player, WHO (World Health Organisation)
is another major player, UNICEF, FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation),
the World Bank, so there are a number of agencies involved under the
guidance of the resident coordinator. We have been able to establish a
mechanism to bring the different agencies together under a relief and
recovery unit, that's a UN unit. We're also in very close consultations with
OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), so it has really
been a collective effort by the UN system here in Zimbabwe to respond to the
emergency needs.

Q: Is there a need for an urgent donor conference to address this crisis?

A: Urgency is certainly something we have to take into account. We are
trying to do our work as quickly as we can. We have not yet decided if we
are going to hold a formal donor conference or just hold a number of
meetings to share our appeal with the donors. But certainly it is urgent to
start moving, we have been preparing ourselves for quite a while and we will
be formally approaching donors very soon.

Q: How soon?

A: Very soon means certainly before the end of the year.

Q: UNDP is hosting an assessment mission to once again look at the land
issue in Zimbabwe. That team will be in place next week, what will it be
doing ?

A: The UNDP mission, which also comprises people from the European
Commission (EC), Commonwealth Secretariat and the World Bank as well as
technical advisers from the FAO will try to come up with programme framework
for land reform. So we are going to do an assessment of the situation on the
ground, not just for the sake of finding out what has been done so far, but
basically to be able to prepare a programme proposal. That will be the first
stage of the mission, to come up with an outline of what would be a land
reform programme that could be accepted by all the stakeholders, both
domestic and international and see if there is consensus around that

Q: But hasn't that process already more-or-less taken place?

A: In December of last year the administrator of UNDP wrote to government
suggesting a number of options in terms of the land reform. The letter we
sent to government in December 2000 is still the basis for our approach to
land reform. But we also have to take into account almost a year has elapsed
since then, the realities on the ground are different and based on our
original proposal we will see what outline we can put together at this

Q: Is this UNDP mission going to look at whether the Abuja agreement - that
commits Zimbabwe to end violent farm occupations in exchange for British
funding of a transparent and legal land programme - is being adhered to?

A: We are not going to comment on the implementation of Abuja, we are going
to collect a number of facts that will allow the different players involved
in Abuja to see if things are moving or not.

Q: Is there a lot hanging on the success of this mission?

A: This mission is certainly a critical step in the process. Many eyes both
inside and outside Zimbabwe are now on the outcome of that mission, so we
are taking this very seriously. We hope to be as constructive and
imaginative as possible in terms of being able to propose an outline that
meets the approval of the different players.

Q: What are the differences between government's fast track land programme
and UNDP's proposals for peaceful land reform?

A: There are some differences. We really believe a land reform programme is
required, it must be done as soon as possible, but it must be done in a way
that takes into consideration poverty reduction as well as the
implementation capacity. We cannot go faster than the implementation
capacity existing in the country. Even if we mobilise a lot of resources
there is only so much that one can do in a given period of time.
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The Guardian

Zimbabwe To Ban Intl. Poll Monitors

Wednesday November 7, 2001 3:20 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Zimbabwe plans to ban independent poll monitors
ahead of presidential elections expected early next year, the state-run
Herald newspaper reported Wednesday.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was quoted as telling The Herald he
intended to introduce a law in Parliament banning all independent election
observers when the legislature reconvenes Nov. 20.

The government will provide its own observers, he said.

The European Union last month warned of possible sanctions if Zimbabwe
refused to admit election observers and failed to end political violence
that has killed scores of opposition supporters and white farmers in recent

About 24,000 people, many recruited by civic groups, monitored parliamentary
elections last year in which the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
won 57 of 120 elected seats.

However, most of those civic groups ``are partial, foreign-funded, loyal to
their funders and therefore produce monitors who are partisan,'' Chinamasa

The Movement for Democratic Change will continue to press for independent
supervision of the presidential election, said Welshman Ncube,
secretary-general of the party.

The party had lodged 45 protests after last year's parliamentary elections -
which had been preceded by wide-scale political violence.

``We have a delinquent government of geriatrics who want to cling to power
regardless of anything. So we will insist the elections be held under the
full glare of scrutiny, because they want to cheat left, right and center,''
Ncube said.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said critics of the planned amendment to
the Electoral Act were ``inherently subversive'' and ``unpatriotic.''

The European Union and other foreign donors ``are partisan and should never
be allowed to poke their noses into our elections,'' he said.

``We will not mortgage our constitutional bodies and processes either as a
reaction to what these people are saying, or accommodating their
ultimatums,'' he said.

President Robert Mugabe has accused his critics of being a front for British
attempts to frustrate his plans to redistribute 5,000 white-owned farms to
landless blacks without paying compensation to the farmers.

Opposition leaders and human rights groups say Mugabe is using the land
issue to cling to power during an economic crisis.

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Daily News - Leader Page

Budget a mismatch of policies and allocations

11/7/01 1:19:49 PM (GMT +2)

By Eddie Cross

LAST year we called Dr Simba Makoni’s first budget the “Beer and Bicycle
Budget” because it seemed to give no direction to the country or the
economy, but contained some populist measures designed to give the ordinary
Zimbabwean the false impression that somehow, the government cared about
their plight.

We had a repeat performance on Thursday last week.

Makoni started out by clearly defining the extent and nature of the current
economic crisis. Why he bothered is an interesting consideration.

Some have suggested that he was determined to clearly state what was wrong
so as to draw a line between his own personal position and that of the State
President who was sitting on the front benches a few metres away from him.

The admission of failure would have done an MDC spokesperson proud. The
economy will decline by 7,3 percent in the year 2001 and will continue to
decline in 2002 for the fourth year in a row.

All sectors have declined in output and are expected, with two exceptions,
to decline further in 2002. Inflation already at record levels is projected
to rise still further in 2002. Incomes and employment will drop alarmingly.

Foreign exchange income is down a third in three years no forecast
available, but will decline still further was the suggestion.

Arrears in foreign payments now at US$682 million (about Z$38 billion) and
still rising will exceed US$1 billion by year-end.

Social services are in a catastrophic state, there are staff shortages and
there are no drugs or other essential inputs available in hospitals.

Per capita allocations to health are down by half in five years and
projected to fall still further in 2002 despite a huge increase in monetary
allocations because of inflation. About 75 percent of all Zimbabweans are
living below the poverty datum line.

Now if this statement was from the leader of the opposition or from the MDC
shadow minister of finance, you would have not been astonished, but this was
the Zanu PF Minister of Finance and Economic Development! It was an amazing
performance, even more so when he came to speak about the essential
requirements for any recovery from the cataclysmic decline in economic

He went on to state very clearly that in his view, a form of structural
adjustment was the only way out.

He then went on to present a budget that had clearly been mangled by the
Cabinet and was a mismatch of policies and allocations that bore no relation
whatsoever to any of the above.

He stated that this Budget was based on two essential pillars: the need to
mobilise the resources to work toward recovery; and to mitigate the
suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans.

I have looked carefully at the Budget and can find little evidence of
either. The Budget calls for expenditure of 42 percent of the gross domestic
product (GDP).

Our estimate of the maximum sustainable level of public sector expenditure
is about 32 percent. So straight off, he has had to budget, once again, for
a totally unsustainable level of public expenditure.

His estimate of revenue is that they will only collect 27,1 percent of GDP
as revenue, there will be no growth in income in a situation where national
economic output is projected to decline by over 5 percent.

The resulting budget deficit was predicted as 14,9 percent of GDP. This
compares to the norm accepted internationally of a maximum of 3 percent.

In the context of controlled interest rates, this estimate of the deficit is
massive by any measure. It is completely unsustainable and means that we are
going to continue to build up local debt, external arrears and to print

It points again to a hyper inflationary situation which could get completely
out of control as it has threatened to do in recent weeks as prices have
soared. On the expenditure side, although it is a stated “pillar” of the
Budget, allocations to education and health are again down in real terms.
Expenditure on education is down by over 12 percent and health by about 5

There is no mention of food aid or emergency food imports even though the
minister is on record as saying that we need both. Instead there are token
allocations to inputs for agriculture (Z$6,6 billion or Z$6 500 a farmer).

This compares to an estimate that farm inputs for a normal season would
require over Z$150 billion; Z$2 billion for the “resuscitation” of companies
closed down as a result of the poor economic environment or price controls.

This is simply another slush fund for Zanu PF sycophants and leaches in the
business world. On the infrastructure side, he has allocated only Z$1,9
billion to road maintenance, about 20 percent of what is actually needed to
keep our roads in any sort of condition and nothing to bring back into
operational condition roads damaged by the Cyclone Eline two years ago.

He then goes on to ignore defence. Is that because he is tired of lying to
the world about our real defence budget?

Last year he stated quite confidently that we would withdraw from the
Democratic Republic of the Congo in the second quarter of the year and
defence expenditure would return to normal.

That has not happened but there was no mention of the overrun in defence
expenditure or how much they would spend this year.

However, Makoni did give us an idea of the police budget that this will be
very much larger than last year. If this is so, then what on earth are they
planning to spend on the army and the air force?

I am so glad we do not have a navy to waste money on.
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Mail and Guardian

Oppenheimer family to hand over land in Zimbabwe
Johannesburg | Wednesday

SOUTH Africa's Oppenheimer dynasty is planning to hand over some of the 140
000 hectares of farmland that the Anglo American Corporation owns in
Zimbabwe for settlement by impoverished black farmers, a representative for
the family said on Tuesday.
The Harare-based privately owned newspaper the Daily News reported Tuesday
that the government planned to seize at least 65 000 hectares of land from
the gold mining giant mining giant, which is controlled by the Oppenheimers
through De Beers Investments, which is chaired by dynasty head Nicky
It quoted Vice President Joseph Msika as saying during a visit to an Anglo
American farm on Monday that the government wanted a total of 65 000
hectares of Anglo American land before the end of the year.
But in Johannesburg, family representative Clifford Elphick said: "There is
no seizure of land. Nicky has been making some proposals and what the
government said yesterday is the result of ongoing talks between himself and
the Zimbabwean government".
"This is an interim measure to allow people to plough and plant their annual
crop. Discussions have not been finalised and are still ongoing," Elphick
He declined to provide details of the discussions, but said: "All I can say
is some aspects of the (Daily News) report are not correct."
The powerful South African-based conglomerate owns Hippo Valley, a large
sugar estate in southern Zimbabwe and 50 000 hectares of cattle ranches in
the western part of the country.
In September last year President Robert Mugabe made a rare concession on his
controversial land reform plan telling Anglo American, that it could keep
its properties.
The Zimbabwean government has seized 4 558 white-owned farms totalling
8,8-million hectares since it launched its land reform scheme last year. -
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Envoy Says EU Ultimatum Violates Cotonou Agreement

TOMRIC News Agency (Dar es Salaam)

November 7, 2001
Posted to the web November 7, 2001

Tomric Reporter
Dar Es Salaam

THE Zimbabwean High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ms Chipo Zindonga has said
here that ultimatum given by the European Union (EU) for Zimbabwe to accept
pre-election observers to monitor the electoral process is unprecedented and
against the Cotonou agreement governing EU-Africa relations.

The Commissioner said this yesterday when addressing senior journalists and
editors in Dar Es Salaam. She said under the Cotonou agreement, the EU can
only send observers at the request of the concerned country. According to
her, the EU last week gave the ultimatum on Zimbabwe to accept the observers
or face sanctions which the Commissioner says is not only unacceptable to a
sovereign and independent state, but also sets a dangerous precedent in the
EU-Africa relationship. The envoy said that the constitution of Zimbabwe
gives the sole responsibility of monitoring the electoral process to an
independent Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC). To her, the EU's threat
of sanctions against Zimbabwe attempt to blackmail the country submitting to
what is blatant interference in Zimbabwe's internal affairs. "It is up to
the Zimbabwe government to invite election observers," she said.

According to her, Zimbabwe has held five multiparty parliamentary elections
and two presidential elections since independence in 1980, and all were
judged to be free and fair both internal and external observers. On the land
issue, the envoy said it was another blatant attempt by the Britain once
again to renege on its colonial obligation and frustrate the land
redistribution process by ensuring that the whites continue to own 75
percent land in Zimbabwe.

"Britain has not only reneged on its commitment but is at the forefront of
urging other countries not to provide funds and impose sanctions against
Zimbabwe," she said.

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Daily News

Herald lies again

11/7/01 1:15:32 PM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

The chief executive officer of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd
(ANZ) has described as false and a gross misrepresentation of facts
yesterday’s front page story in the government-controlled Herald which
claimed that the Zimbabwe Investment Centre had cancelled the investment
certificate of ANZ.

The Herald story said the licence had been cancelled because ANZ had flouted
investment laws and exchange control regulations.

ANZ publishes The Daily News.

In a statement yesterday, Muchadeyi Masunda said the Herald story was
malicious falsehood by those bent on undermining the operations or integrity
of ANZ.

“The Zimbabwe Investment Centre (ZIC) has not cancelled the investment
certificate of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, as alleged in the story.
The certificate in question, which was valid for two years expired on 27
July 2000. Since ANZ had no intention to bring into Zimbabwe any further
foreign investment, it was deemed unnecessary to renew the certificate,”
Masunda said.

“If ZIC now wishes to cancel an expired certificate it is their

He said that ANZ, like any other company registered in Zimbabwe, operated on
the basis, not of an investment certificate, but of its memorandum and
articles of association.

“It is the Registrar of Companies, not the ZIC, which authorises and
regulates the operations of companies incorporated in Zimbabwe,” Masunda

He said that the ZIC had jurisdiction over investments by foreigners in
Zimbabwean companies, not over investments by Zimbabweans in Zimbabwean

It was difficult, therefore, to ascertain how ZIC could purport to declare
null and void the investment by Renaissance Asset Management, a Zimbabwean
company, in ANZ, another Zimbabwean company.
“In any event, the High Court had given a ruling on this issue in favour of
ANZ. It is most extraordinary for an acting executive director of the ZIC to
seek to reverse a High Court decision. He needs to be careful that he is not
held in contempt of court,” said Masunda, himself a lawyer.

He said it was false that Wilf Mbanga, the founding chief executive officer
of ANZ, and Geoffrey Nyarota, the Editor-in-Chief presented themselves to
the ZIC as the directors of a company which was not registered with the
Registrar of Companies. In fact, it was a contradiction to suggest that a
shelf company could be anything other than a registered company.

Masunda said, “The ZIC was correct in stating that no such company as Motley
Investments (Pvt) Ltd was registered with the Registrar of Companies. The
company which Nyarota and Mbanga acquired was Motley Trading (Pvt) Ltd, not
Motley Investments, which is a recent creation of those seeking to undermine
the operations or credibility of ANZ.”

He said that Motley Trading was registered by the Registrar of Companies at
the behest of Price Waterhouse Corporate Financial Services on 16 September

“The Herald story portrays both Messrs Mbanga and Nyarota as men who
fraudulently misrepresented issues to the ZIC in terms of their company when
it is the ZIC which made an error in seeking details about a totally
different company at the Registrar of Companies,” he said.

“Messrs Mbanga and Nyarota have, therefore, quite clearly been defamed by
The Herald and are now seeking legal advice.”

The Herald suggests that, in terms of the investment certificate issued to
ANZ, the company was supposed merely to publish weekly newspapers in
Chitungwiza, Gweru and Bulawayo and to expand to other areas later.

The certificate issued to ANZ describes the business of the company as
“printing and newspaper publishing”.

The objects for which the company was established are “to carry on in
Zimbabwe and elsewhere all or any of the businesses of a printing and
publishing company in all its branches; to act as printers, publishers,
editors, compilers, Herald lies on Daily From Page 1 binders, producers and
distributors of and dealers in newspapers, books, magazines, gazettes,
journals, circulars, prints, pictures, drawings, directories, books of
reference or other publications or printed, written, engraved or
lithographed literary or artistic works of all kinds; to act as technical
authors providing technical writing for the information technology industry
and desktop publishing; commercial printers, general printers, engravers,
typesetters, die-sinkers, electrotypers, stereotypers, photo-lithographers,
chromo-lithographers, designers and draughtsmen, graphic artists, commercial
artists, sign writers and illustrators.

“In these circumstances, the subsequent launch of a daily national newspaper
cannot by any stretch of the imagination be deemed to be inconsistent with
the expansion programme of a newspaper operation to areas other than the
three towns cited,” Masunda said.

“The Herald story is obviously part of the current campaign by the
detractors of ANZ to discredit The Daily News following the dismissal by the
High Court of the case instituted by minority shareholder Diamond Insurance,
an associate company of Africa Resources Limited (ARL), whose chairman is
Mutumwa Mawere, to challenge the investment in ANZ by the Independent Media
Group as represented by Renaissance Asset Management.

“The application by Diamond was dismissed by High Court judge, Mr Ben
Hlatshwayo. An appeal was then lodged in the Supreme Court but was
subsequently withdrawn. They then caused the arrest, two weeks ago, of four
ANZ directors and/or shareholders on very spurious grounds. Now they have
roped in the Zimbabwe Investment Centre.

“All this is happening, notwithstanding the fact that Diamond formally
approved the shareholder restructuring exercise in question way back in

Diamond’s assistant general manager for finance and administration, Mr I
Madzinga wrote to ANZ on 22 September 1999 on the subject of the
restructuring exercise.

He said in the letter: “I confirm that Diamond Insurance has no objection to
the restructuring exercise as long as it guarantees security of its

“Furthermore, the company has not changed its position with regards to total
disinvestment from ANZ and refund of the $1,1 million invested.

“As discussed we now await your advice on the progress of the above and the
refund of the
$1,1 million investment.”

Masunda said: “As management, we have done everything possible not only to
guarantee the security of Diamond’s investment but also to enhance its
value, especially at a time when ANZ was faced with imminent collapse and
when our efforts were hampered by the same Diamond Insurance at every turn.

“Never before, in the history of corporate affairs has so much energy been
expended by one minority shareholder to cause the downfall of a company in
which it is an investor.

“When ANZ was established in 1998 the government complained that 60 percent
of shareholding in the company was in foreign hands. Now that the majority
shareholding in the company is in indigenous hands a minority shareholder is
trying to reverse the whole process.”

Mawere was the first individual ever to sue The Daily News for alleged
defamation and has been at the forefront of the fight against the newspaper.
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ZIMBABWE: Veterinary service working to get EU beef ban lifted

JOHANNESBURG, 7 November (IRIN) - Zimbabwean Department of Veterinary Services Director Stuart Hargreaves told IRIN on Wednesday that despite a new outbreak of foot-and mouth disease on a farm near Nyamandlovu, about 400 km southwest of Harare in Matebeleland North Province, he was confident that the European Union (EU) ban on beef would soon be lifted.

"This latest outbreak is very localised, we're putting a report together for the EU and hope to have an assessment team here by January," he said. Hargreaves said the outbreak was detected last week and that 12 cattle out of about 1,000 at the farm had been infected by the virus, forcing the department to vaccinate all the livestock. "We can show the EU that we are capable of controlling and containing these isolated outbreaks," he added.

The latest foot-and-mouth outbreak followed similar outbreaks of the disease in some parts of Matebeleland North province and a farm in Masvingo Province in August this year. The outbreaks led to the suspension of Zimbabwean beef exports to the EU. Zimbabwe has an annual export quota of 9,100 mt of beef worth about US $36.4 million.

Hargreaves said his department remained concerned about anything that led to disease outbreaks among cattle, including the destruction or removal of fencing that allowed cattle to mix with wild animals. Many cattle farmers in Zimbabwe have reported fencing problems associated with the government's chaotic and sometimes violent fast track land reform programme.

"As a department we're working hard on education and information programmes at community level to show people how important it is to respect fencing to minimise disease outbreaks like this one," he said.

Referring to a recent anthrax outbreak in Zhombe District in the Midlands province, Hargreaves said that the department had so far vaccinated 40,000 out of 170,000 cattle in an effort to contain the disease. "Don't read too much into this outbreak, it's fairly normal," he said. Anthrax broke out in Zhombe last week, killing at least one person and several livestock.
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Wednesday, 7 November, 2001, 20:43 GMT
The Zimbabwean way of death
Cremation could save on expensive tombstones
A shortage of burial space in Harare is forcing practically minded Zimbabweans to reserve their final resting place with cash down in advance.

The capital has been struggling with the lack of final resting places and getting a decent burial is becoming increasingly difficult.

It's not like we are encouraging you to die, but after 10 years you have to pay for another booking to show that you are still interested in the place

Harare City Council official
Out of Harare's seven cemeteries, five are full and have closed their gates to business. Space at the remainder is at a premium.

The shortage means only 30 minutes can be spent on each burial service in the over-subscribed graveyards.

The high number of deaths of paupers has also added to the problem. In Harare's cemeteries, about 35 people are buried each day.

More than 300 paupers and infants are buried each week and cremating them would save a lot of space.

Promoting cremation

Given the lack of free land around Harare, cremation would appear an ideal solution.

It is, however, taboo among black Zimbabweans who constitute more than 95% of the country's 13 million people.

Black Zimbabweans still prefer to bury their loved ones

According to a Harare City Council official, they are increasingly encouraging people to turn to cremation to save on a lot of land which is now expensive.

But black Zimbabweans still prefer to bury their departed six feet under.

By now, however, the grave shortage ought to have meant that cultural sensitivities or not, cremation is increasingly appearing the only option, says our Harare correspondent.

Cultural reluctance

Cremation may be popular among the estimated small population of Asian origin and among some of the country's whites.

But according to an official in the Harare City Council's amenities department, he has only seen two blacks being cremated in the past 11 years.

If you burn the dead body, you will anger that spirit and it will come back as an unhappy spirit

Zvomuya Gwindi, traditional healer

''I don't think there are more than 10 black people who have been cremated since independence" in 1980, he said.

''If you look at the costs, in the end it's cheaper to cremate than bury because you won't have the costs of buying a tombstone and maintaining the grave.''

It costs between US$23 and US$50 to book a plot for up to 10 years, against US$81 for a cremation.

And according to a City of Harare amenities official, if the person does not die within that period, then he or she loses the place.

''It's not like we are encouraging you to die, but after 10 years you have to pay for another booking to show that you are still interested in the place,'' he said.

Aids crisis

HIV/Aids has played a role as one of the grimmest of reapers. Government figures show that more than 1,200 people die every week because of the disease.

''It's better to burn than take up land which could be used for other things,'' said the city council official.

But talk of cremation riles traditionalists who say it is "uncultural".

''We believe that a person's spirit will come back and look after the departed's family,'' said Zvomuya Gwindi, a traditional healer.

''So if you burn the dead body, you will anger that spirit and it will come back as an unhappy spirit.

I want to leave a bit of my ash with everybody who loves me. I know it goes against African culture, but that is what I would want

A Zimbabwean

''In our culture we don't do that and we have to respect our culture and stick to it. Burning is a non-starter,'' the healer said.

But despite the horror of traditionalists, at least one Harare resident is warming to the idea.

''Once you are dead you are dead. It's unfortunate that in our culture we still believe that one will come back after death,'' she said.

''I want to leave a bit of my ash with everybody who loves me. I know it goes against African culture, but that is what I would want,'' she added.

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An open letter to the UNDP


Your 1998 donors conference was the last sane episode in the Zimbabwe land saga. Since then you have tried to maintain some sort of dialogue with an arrogant and dismissive government that has taken matters into its own hands for political reasons. Soon you are to head back for another go. You may find the government of Zimbabwe rather more amenable than in the past. They are up to their necks and sinking and you, or rather the donor money you can licence, is a thick and buoyant straw for them to grab at. Even so they will strive to stage-manage your visit, to show you only what they want you to see and to hard sell to you their tattered and unworkable programmes. Even if you cannot escape your Zanu PF minders you might ask the following questions and keep asking them until you get some credible answers:

1. How many farms have been legally and officially acquired by the government over the last 18 months? The figure is tiny – no more than a handful, reflecting the fact that the fast track programme has been, and remains, illegal.

2. How can the illegal eviction of upwards of 50,000 skilled farm workers and family members, and their replacement by a far smaller number of unskilled people, be part of a constructive land programme?

3. How many of the thousands of farms designated by the government meet the government’s, and your, set criteria for designation? How many really are under-utilised, owned by expatriates, one of a portfolio of farms owed by a single farmer or on the edge of a communal land? Why are so many farms that do not meet these criteria both designated and occupied?

4. Under Zimbabwean law any farmer has the right to occupy and farm his land until the expiry of a three-month eviction order which will follow a successful government acquisition. Why are so many hundreds of farmers, on farms that both do and do not meet the set criteria, deprived of their land and prevented from farming it when no such eviction orders have been issued, indeed when the acquisition process has yet to begin?

5. When government officials issue instructions in line with the Abuja agreement (and some have) why are such instructions ignored wholesale by local District Administrators, military officers and so-called War Veterans?

6. Why are crimes such as theft, intimidation, arson, rape, assault and wholesale invasion of property and privacy judged to be political and hence outside the remit of the Zimbabwe Republic Police?

7. Why has the government failed to resettle land it acquired prior to 2000 even though that land stands empty and unused?

Move fast but do not be lured into supporting the criminal fast track programme. Zimbabwe, and those who would help her, deserve better. Zimbabwe needs a land reform programme that is driven by poverty reduction and the need for wider opportunities for all rather than by politics and racism. Please make your plans as detailed, transparent and exact as possible so that everybody, farmers, farm workers, government and donors know where they stand and what to expect.

Yours is a heavy responsibility. Please do not fail us.

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