Early into her new
post in the 1980s as the first ever female News Editor at The Chronicle and
in the entire Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) group as a matter of fact it
became clear that Edna Machirori, who has just been eased out of her new post
as the paper’s first female Editor, was no woman to mess with.
In fact, as her then Editor, Geoff Nyarota, quickly
realised, the moment she felt you wanted to brow-beat her simply because she
was a woman, she would never hesitate to take you on in an argument, firmly
stand her ground right or wrong until you either gave in or gave
That was what soon inspired Nyarota to nickname her “The Iron
Lady”. She is a remarkably tough woman as Steve Mpofu also quickly discovered
when he later replaced Nyarota at The Chronicle. That she got fired from
her editorship of The Chronicle barely three months after her appointment the
shortest editorship of that paper on record would appear to point to the fact
that it didn’t take long either for Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, the
de facto Zimpapers Editor-in-Chief, to realise that Machirori was, in a
manner of speaking, a hard nut to crack.
Tension between the two had
been building up for weeks because of the unease she felt about being ordered
to publish as fact, Moyo’s image-maker Admore Tshuma’s palpably transparent
fiction in praise of the minister.
Things finally came to a head when she
resolved enough was enough and decided to show Moyo why she was called The
She flatly refused to publish Tshuma’s carefully doctored and
heavily biased story meant, on the one hand, to minimise the damage inflicted
on Moyo by Sikhanyiso Ndlovu’s unflattering remarks about the minister, while
on the other hand it sought to discredit Ndlovu by rubbishing his remarks as
being those of a jealous, bad loser.
Her refusal to print the story
was based on two legitimate professional considerations. In the first place,
she had asked Tshuma to seek Ndlovu’s reaction in order to balance the story.
Tshuma refused. Not only that.
Curiously, Tshuma, who, it is understood,
normally insisted that his stories about Moyo should always be under his
personal by-line, this time expressly forbade the Editor to by-line him. So
she stood her ground and refused to let the story see the light of
Although it was subsequently never published, The Mole somehow
managed to get an unedited copy of Tshuma’s original copy.
following is part of the story datelined “Tshuma, September 16 Sikhanyiso”
whose non-publication earned Machirori her marching orders:
Bulawayo Provincial Chairman, Cde Jabulani Sibanda, yesterday told the
party’s acting national commissariat (sic), Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu to shut up
because his statements were causing confusion within the party at a
Cde Sibanda was reacting to Dr Ndlovu’s statement in
Saturday’s Chronicle that the general mood among ex-Zapu leaders and
supporters was that the Unity Accord was not benefiting people of
“In the same story, Dr Ndlovu savaged the Minister of State
for Information and Publicity, Professor Jonathan Moyo, saying he did not
like ‘his style of doing things’.
“Cde Sibanda dismissed Dr Ndlovu’s
accusation as ‘nonsensical’ saying all cabinet ministers have a national
mandate to serve the entire country. ‘I think Sikhanyiso is going with the
wind,’ Cde Sibanda said. ‘He is not qualified enough to talk about the Unity
Accord. He is not positioned to speak about it,’ said Cde Sibanda, a former
Zipra cadre close to the late Dr Joshua Nkomo.” (Are we to understand from
this statement that Sikhanyiso was “not close” to Nkomo, I
Tshuma’s unpublished Moyo-image damage-control piece continues
with Sibanda saying: “‘This bad attitude by politicians in Matabeleland has
cost us virtually all the elections. Instead of concentrating on campaigns we
spend our time saying Jonathan Moyo want (sic) to become the new Joshua Nkomo
in Matabeleland.” (Who, exactly, said that? In any case, isn’t Moyo
working overtime these days doing just that, if we may ask?)
promptly responds: “‘I know Jonathan does not have those ambitions.’ Cde
Sibanda applauded Prof Moyo for showing commitment in working for the people
in Matabeleland . . .”
Then followed the character assassination of
Ndlovu which could not have been authored too far away from the Department of
Information: “Analyst (sic) said it was grossly unfair for politicians to
blackmail the President into giving them ministerial positions by making
empty threats on the Unity Accord. They have chose (sic) to speak about the
Unity Accord because they know that it is a sensitive subject, analyst (sic)
“A party official who requested anonymity scoffed at Dr Ndlovu
saying his statements were treasonous and unacceptable considering that he
was the party’s acting national commissariat (sic).
The official said
a commissariat (sic) of the late Cde Border Gezi’s caliber would not speak
like that especially at this moment when the ruling party faced pressure from
“‘If it were not for Prof Moyo and his officers who came
to our rescue during the campaign in Bulawayo,’ said analyst (sic), ‘things
could have been worse difficult (sic) for us.’
Party officials said Dr
Ndlovu’s attack on Prof Moyo was childish and unwarranted. Analysts said it
takes a malicious person to fail to appreciated the laudable and supreme
efforts being made by a fellow politician to reorganise the party.” Then
came the punch line: “This raises a lot of suspicions, especially when it is
being said at a time when The Daily News is attacking Pro Moyo left, right
and centre. Journalist (sic) from the hostile media have found (?) a field
day in Dr Ndlovu’s statements . . . blah, blah, blah . . .”
goes on and on. Needless to say, this was one very long ego trip by one truly
remarkable titan of an egocentric whose identity we all know.
bottom line is that the story never saw the light of day in The Chronicle
because The Iron Lady Machirori simply said: “No more of this vainglorious
nonsense!” and that was it. And for that principled stand, she was soon given
the boot. But she left with her head held high. Great girl!
Machirori departed from The Chronicle, Tshuma bid colleagues farewell enroute
to the UK, where it is understood he enrolled for a course in basics of
Tsvangirai wins prestigious Solidar Silver Rose
10/20/01 12:16:59 PM (GMT +2)
By Sandra Nyaira Political
MORGAN Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC, has won the prestigious
2001 Solidar Silver Rose Award.
He was presented with the award
yesterday at a special ceremony at the European Union (EU) Parliament in
The award was presented to him by Glenys Kinnock, a Member of
the EU Parliament, on behalf of the president Guyvuy Vherhofstadt.
Solidar Silver Rose is an award for outstanding achievement by an individual
or organisation in the activities of civil society and in bringing about a
fairer and more just society.
Tsvangirai, whose party almost ended Zanu
PF’s 21 years of uninterrupted rule in last year’s parliamentary election,
has become President Mugabe’s biggest thorn in the flesh since
The two will lock horns in next year’s watershed
presidential election that is expected to be held by April. There have been a
number of attempts on Tsvangirai’s life by suspected Zanu PF supporters on a
number of occasions as he went around the country on party
Austrian Roma rights campaigner, Rudolf Sarkozi, and Polish
community organisation, The Barka Foundation for Mutual Help, were also
awarded the 2001 Solidar Silver Rose Awards.
Kinnock, who headed the
selection jury, said: “We hope that these awards will give greater
recognition to these courageous figures, and give inspiration to others who
may wish to follow in their footsteps.”
At a crucial period for world
stability, the Solidar Silver Rose Award winners “show the positive change
that can be brought about by determined individuals and organisations”, the
Solidar is an independent international alliance of
development, humanitarian assistance and social welfare non-governmental
organisations which have links with the trade unions and democratic labour
After accepting the award, Tsvangirai will meet with high-level
officials on a tour of European capitals of Copenhagen, Stockholm, Brussels,
Paris and London.
During his tour, he will “ask the Western
governments to send a strong signal to Mugabe that restoring the rule of law
and protecting human rights in Zimbabwe remains high on the political
Although the horrific events in the United States on 11
September have naturally focused world attention on combating terrorism,
Tsvangirai will urge the West not to forget the crisis in
Some of the officials he will meet include Charles Josselin,
French Minister for Co-operation, Laurette Onkelinx, the Belgian Deputy Prime
Minister, Anna Lindh, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Baroness
Amos, the British Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth
ONDON: Key Commonwealth foreign ministers will visit
Zimbabwe next week for talks with President Robert Mugabe on the thorny issue
of land reform, the Commonwealth Secretariat said in a statement issued here
The visit has been expected since Zimbabwe extended an
invitation to the ministers during a Commonwealth meeting, in Abuja on
September 6, during which they discussed the tense political situation in the
southern African country.
The foreign ministers from Britain,
Australia, Canada, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa will also meet
members of Zimbabwe's government and opposition leaders, the statement
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon will also attend the
visit next Thursday and Friday.
In Abuja, agreement was reached
committing Zimbabwe to end illegal occupations of land and to take action to
stop political violence, in exchange for British financing of Mugabe's land
Zimbabwe is a former British colony. London has spearheaded
international criticism of the occupation of white-owned farms and the
associated violence by pro-government militants.
Mugabe says he simply
wants to correct colonial-era inequities which left whites owning a
disportionate amount of land.
McKinnon said the Commonwealth meeting
"represents an important step towards implementation of the Abuja
He added, through the statement, that he hoped "all
concerned" would be able "to agree an implementation
According to a survey published Friday by Zimbabwe's
Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), white-owned farms in the country have
suffered a major escalation of violence in recent weeks, despite the
Commonwealth deal. Zimbabwe, which has a majority black population, has been
shaken in recent months by the violent farm seizures by landless
White farmers and, to a greater extent, black farm workers have
been victims of the violence.
Political opponents of Mugabe have
meanwhile been attacked, beaten or even killed by his supporters with the
apparent backing of the police.
white farmers said today the country's land crisis had escalated despite a
deal by the government to end violent farm invasions, and output of key crops
could fall by 40 percent next year.
A survey by the Commercial Farmers
Union (CFU) on the impact of farm invasions by supporters of President Robert
Mugabe showed some 1,948 farms out of 6,000 properties owned by whites had
been occupied since February 2000, with 72 percent of these invaded from
March this year after a law cutting out further invasions.
said production of tobacco, which accounts for a third of Zimbabwe's export
earnings, could fall by at least a third in the 2001/2 (Nov-April) cropping
season as an increasing number of new settlers were halting commercial
"Unless the problems of operation stoppages is addressed, and
our survey shows that this is affecting 31 percent of the farms, some believe
the tobacco could fall as low as 100 million kg," CFU director Mr David
Hasluck told a news conference.
And that we will also see significant
falls in other crops such as maize, coffee and paprika, Mr Hasluck
Zimbabwe produced about 190 million kg of flue-cured tobacco this
year, and is the world's third largest exporter after the US and
The survey was immediately dismissed as a pack of lies by
Zimbabwe's Agriculture minister Joseph Made.
"It's a pack of lies. If
things are so bad, why don't they pack and go and we will take over the
production," Mr Made said on state television.
21oct01 HARARE: Robert Mugabe has ordered supporters to stockpile weapons
and prepare for war.
As the Zimbabwean leader edges towards predicted
defeat in next year's presidential elections, he has signalled his determination
to cling to power by resorting to terror tactics.
And gangs that spearheaded violent land invasions earlier this year are being
trained by members of the armed forces to crush opposition.
There were reports this week that some members of the ruling ZANU PF party
have already been handed French-made weapons despite an arms embargo imposed
last year by the European Union and the US.
Mugabe is said to have enlisted the help of Namibia and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) to sidestep the sanctions.
The Financial Gazette newspaper reported that a DRC military cargo plane,
loaded with weapons, recently arrived at the Suri Suri airbase in Chegutu, 100km
west of Harare.
From there, guns were shipped to army bases throughout the country and handed
to Mugabe's supporters, who have been told to make it impossible for opposition
members to campaign or even vote in rural areas.
Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi said: "I am not going to comment on that
A senior government official told the newspaper: "I sympathise with those who
want change in the presidential elections, but judging by the groundwork ZANU PF
is doing to deal with the opposition, I am afraid to say that I don't see that
France has denied supplying arms to Zimbabwe, but said it could not prevent
other African nations selling French-made weapons.
However, David Hasluck, director of the Commercial Farmers'
Union, gave a chilling account of developments in the agricultural sector, which
provides nearly half Zimbabwe's foreign currency. Nearly a third of Zimbabwe's
population has applied for food aid.
Of the farmers surveyed, 51 per cent had been invaded, Mr Hasluck
said. More than 800 violent incidents, including assaults on farmers and their
workers, had been recorded.
Mr Hasluck predicted at least a 40 per cent loss of production
this season, costing £142 million for the tobacco industry alone. Commercial
farmers were growing only enough of the staple food, maize, for their workers
and for stock feeds.
Mr Hasluck said 75,000 people had been forced from their farm
homes in the past few months. They were replaced by 104,000 "settlers", who so
far had made no preparations to grow crops when the rains fall next month.
In the past 10 days, four of Mr Mugabe's most loyal cabinet
ministers have been touring white-owned farms and speaking to farmers and new
"settlers". They have repeatedly told white farmers that they have "no rights
These meetings were no more than "political rallies", according
to a CFU official.
Zimbabwe publisher protests over government
.......HARARE : A leading Zimbabwean newspaper publisher
sold copies of his papers near President Robert Mugabe's office on Friday,
protesting against what he says is government harassment of independent
media. Trevor Ncube, publisher of the weekly Zimbabwe Independent and Sunday
Standard, said about 60 of his paper sellers had been arrested and fined by
police in the last three weeks on charges of obstructing traffic or selling
goods without a licence. ......."These charges are not just false, but
they have been trumped up as part of a programme to harass the private media,
hit our sales and to limit the flow of news perceived to be critical of the
government," Ncube told reporters as he sold papers at a road junction near
Mugabe's office in the capital Harare for about two hours. ......."We are
not going to sit down while the government abuses our rights and uses the
police to attack our operations and try to drive us out of business. I am
here to protest that." .......A police spokesman dismissed the protest as a
publicity stunt. ......."People are selling newspapers all over the country,
and where vendors have been arrested they have been arrested without
prejudice of what newspapers they are selling and they have been arrested on
justifiable grounds," the spokesman told Reuters. .......Political
analysts say Mugabe has targeted independent media, the judiciary and the
opposition before presidential elections due by April 2002 in which he is
expected to face his toughest challenge since coming to power in
1980. .......The government says the West, notably former colonial power
Britain, is using foreign and local media to discredit its drive to seize
white-owned farms for land-less blacks. .......Earlier this year, the
government refused to extend the work permit of a British journalist working
for London's Daily Telegraph and expelled a BBC correspondent and a
correspondent for South Africa's Mail and
Guardian newspaper. .......Zimbabwe now requires foreign journalists to
apply a month in advance to visit, and has turned down many
applications. .......In Johannesburg, the chairman of the Foreign
Correspondents Association of Southern Africa, Kurt Shillinger, told Reuters
the Zimbabean government seemed to be taking advantage of attention being
focused on US air strikes in Afghanistan. ......."The number of foreign
journalists being denied permission to enter Zimbabwe exceeds those being
allowed in," he said. ......."This may simply be a symptom of the fact that
Zimbabwe is no longer getting enough international exposure because of what
is happening in Afghanistan. It gives President Robert Mugabe an excellent
opportunity to carry on with impunity," he added.-Reuters
At around midnight a black Zimbabwean woman in
Chegutu was woken by men banging on her door saying they had come with a
message. The woman, alone and frightened, was reluctant to open her door. When
she finally did so she was lashed on her shoulder with a whip. She immediately
closed and locked the door. I can only imagine her terror as she then heard the
men get up on to the roof of her house and smash a hole through it. The men
poured paraffin through the hole in the roof and dropped in a burning missile.
The woman could not get out as the men were still there, waiting for her with
sticks and rocks. She could not protect any of her posessions and had to wait
until at last the men ran away. Priscah emerged with only the thin nightdress on
her back, her home was burnt down, all her posessions lost. What was her crime?
Priscah supported the opposition mdc party. No arrests have been made. This
excerpt comes from a 12 page report just released by the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Forum on political violence in our country in September. In September alone
there were 6 deaths/executions; 14 kidnappings/detentions and 112 cases of
torture. The ZHR Forum says that 42 711 people have been displaced from their
homes due to political violence since January. For Priscah I wear my yellow
ribbon in silent protest at this horror.
On Friday Trevor Ncube, the Publisher and Managing
Editor of the Zimbabwe Independent and Sunday Standard newspapers, took to the
streets of Harare, stood in the middle of a busy road and sold copies of this
weeks' Independent. Over 60 newspaper vendors employed by Trevor have been
arrested and fined for "obstructing traffic" or "selling goods without a
licence". This is a blatant and crude attempt to stop the truth of Zimbabwe's
hell being told. Trevor said: "We are not going to sit down while the government
abuses our rights and uses the police to attack our operations and drive us out
of business. I am here to protest that." Trevor Ncube has been consistently
determined to tell and expose the truths behind Zimbabwe's land grab. When he
wrote the introduction to my book, African Tears, Trevor spoke from the heart.
He has encouraged and inspired me in so many ways and is an inspiration to
hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans. I applaud you Trevor and wear my yellow
ribbon in support of your unflagging determination not to be
In Marondera this week a beautiful Holstein dairy
cow was slashed from her rectum to her stomach. Still alive, parts of her
intestines were pulled out, her right eye was gouged out and the cow was then
left to die. The men who did this call themselves "war veterans" and they then
told the farm workers that the same thing would happen to them if they did not
vacate the houses on the farm on which they work and live. On another Marondera
farm 60 "war veterans" stormed the farm workers village just before dark. They
smashed windows and dragged people out of their homes. 16 men and 6 women were
beaten with sticks, whips, clubs and chains. One of the women was pregnant but
even she was not spared and was kicked in the belly. No arrests were made and
when asked why the Police Member in Charge said he would have to "clear it with
his commanding ofiicer." On yet another Marondera farm, the owner was barricaded
into his home by "war veterans". They broke down the security gates, smashed
homestead windows and lit fires outside the house. They then pushed running hose
pipes in through the broken windows, flooded the house and burnt rubber in an
attempt to get the owner to abandon his home and farm. This farm is not listed
for government seizure. These three examples are a minute fraction of the
horrors over this past week and for all these farmers and the people who work
for them, I wear my yellow ribbon in support of bravery and immense
Price controls of basic goods introduced by our
government have had exactly the expected results. Bakers who spend Z$52 to
produce a loaf of bread are now being forced to sell it at Z$48 - their
businesses are going to collapse and already hundreds of casual workers have
been laid off. In Marondera's largest supermarket yesterday morning there was no
rice, salt or cooking oil - all newly controlled products. Controlling the price
of basic commodities was, I thought, political suicide, President Mugabe
however, has declared otherwise. Speaking at a funeral this week, our President
said that any companies which closed down would be nationalised and run by the
state. He said it was time to return to the ideologies of
I know my letter this week appears bitty and
disjointed but I have done this for a reason. On the 29th October the EU is set
to meet and make a decision on the crisis in Zimbabwe. Glenys Kinnock MEP said
this week:" the onus is now on the EU." She is right. We have had our hands tied
on every single front. The police are not acting and have turned on the people
they swore to protect. The screws have been tightened on the press.The judiciary
has been rendered almost impotent. Almost no foreign journalists are being
allowed into the country. Infringements of the Abuja Agreement are blatant.
People are enduring terror in the extreme, being burned out of their homes
with nothing but their nightdresses. Yes, it is up to the EU now, and to anyone
else brave enough to speak out, to save Zimbabwe from herself. Black, white,
brown or in between - whatever our colour, age or sex, there are no human rights
in Zimbabwe, no legal rights, no political rights, no property or business
rights - we are completely at the mercy of a political party intent on complete
and utter destruction.To the many dozens of people who have written this week, I
am sorry I have not replied to you all. I will attempt to catch up this weekend
and thank you all for your support and encouragement. Like Trevor and Priscah
and hundreds of farmers and their workers, I am not prepared to give up. With
COMMERCIAL FARMERS' UNION Farm Invasions and Security
Report Thursday 18th October 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. NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF:
Macheke/Virginia - 150kg of tobacco and steam hose were stolen Marondera
– Uitkyk - 16 men and 6 women were beaten Marondera – farmer barricaded in
his house Harare South - the manager and family barricaded in their house
Karoi – farmer pelted with catapults REGIONAL REPORTS: Mashonaland
East Macheke / Virginia - Belgravia, Flintand Mignon had complete work
stoppages which were reported to the police and the DA with no reaction. The
situation was however resolved. 65ha of maize stover on Maryland was set alight
and illegal settlers prevented the owner from putting out the fire. At Hazeldene
150kg of tobacco and a steam hose were stolen. The manager of Castledene Pines
was informed that he had to be off the farm or else. The threat has been
reported to the police and the DA at Murehwa. On Fault Agritex have been
pegging on the farm for the last two days. Camdale reported a lorry delivering
building material, livestock and household goods during the night. On Twist Mr
Matatse arrived with Agritex to settle a boundary dispute between Twist and
Barrymore farm. The matter will be discussed in Murewha and an answer was
promised for Tuesday. Illegal Occupiers attempted to move all the cattle into
the yard fence of Nygadzi Farm. The owner has moved the cattle to another farm
temporarily and is still waiting police reaction. There is a total work stoppage
of all the Nyagadzi labour who have been told that they are never again to work
for the present owner. Illegal occupiers have stopped the labour from
destroying regrowth on Glen Summerset and the occupiers have demanded the farm
store be opened again. The store has been shut awaiting clarification on price
controls. The tractors have been stopped from taking out cattle food.
Government Valuers are assessing Lingone Farm. 17 cattle have been confirmed
with sleeping sickness on Chirunge Farm. The Government Veterinary Department
has been informed & Tsetse Fly Control will be in attendance. The police and
D.A. have visited Hazeldene Farm and reportedly told the illegal occupiers to
vacate the farm and said that farming operations should continue. There has been
no change and farming is still not possible. Police and the D.A. also visited
Morning Star and told the illegal occupiers to move off the farm which they have
said they would do. Work stoppages continue on Belgravia and Mignon farm. The
Agritex pegging team were pegging on Showers with the pegs being set in
concrete. Beatrice - Alemane farm has a 100% work stoppage. At Maarsplein no
new work is allowed except the dipping of cattle and to finish the grading. On
Nengwa work is only allowed on the flowers and onions. Silveroak had some
occupiers from town visit the farm over the weekend and pegged land that had
been prepared. Eden Farm has not been listed but they are not allowed to do any
work. Brakveld had invaders from Mondoro arrive with threats of violence. This
situation was resolved. Goldilands had an occupier from town visit the farm
over the weekend and was seen taking soil samples. The DA Seke later said that
farms in that area were to be taken for commercial resettlement. An Apostolic
Faith Church pick up went to Endslensdeel with thatching grass yesterday and
have started building huts again. The farm is not listed and the illegal
occupiers were moved off but have returned. Illegal occupiers instructed the
owner of Dunrobin farm to move all cattle of f the farm so that they can plough
their land. On Slygo farm five heiffers were speared and one has had to be put
down as a result of this. General - There was a political meeting in the
township and farm workers were invited. The speaker said that if anyone of them
wanted to start a project they must submit their plans to the party and that
money was readily available. There is however ongoing theft of irrigation
piping and valuators are visiting listed and delisted farms. Marondera South
- The owner of Uitkyk attempted to continue working, backed up by a Court
Order. About 60 illegal settlers stormed the farm village after work, smashing
windows, dragging workers out of their houses and beating them with sticks,
whips, clubs and chains. There was at least one firearm present. 16 men and 6
women were beaten, some of them severely. One was axed in the head, potentially
fatally. A pregnant woman was kicked in the stomach. The workers’ possessions
were thrown out of their houses. Police responded but made no arrests. On
Sunday morning the farmer received a warning that the settlers were regrouping
to attack again, but this was apparently aborted because police were on the farm
taking statements. Instead they rounded up the workers on Bonne Chance and
indoctrinated them with slogans denouncing the owner of Uitkyk. The settlers
returned to Uitkyk on Sunday afternoon to finish their business but this time
they were outnumbered. When asked why no arrests had been made, the acting
Member in Charge said he had to clear this with his Commanding Officer first.
On Ruware illegal settlers barricaded the farmer in his house on Friday night in
retaliation for going back to work. The farm is not listed, and the PA had
instructed that work should go ahead. The attackers broke down the security
gate, smashed windows, lit fires outside the house, turned hose pipes on through
windows and attempted to smoke out the occupants with burning rubber. Terara
farm had a cow mutilated. Its eyes were gouged out and the anus cut open, a
similar incident to that which happened last year on the same date. Marondera
North - At Lekkerwater harrassment continues. Communal cattle have been moved
onto Essexdale. Glenisla has fires being lit on a continuous basis. Wedza
- Beziudenhout has been pegged by Agritex into large plots.On Rhodesdale over
the past two weeks 3 sable cows and 2 giraffe, one of them pregnant, have been
slaughtered and the meat taken away by scotch cart. Msasa had 4 poachers, two
of them armed, who chased the guards out of the lands. Two police details were
collected from the station and followed the poachers to Shaka. A pedigree calf
is missing from Scorror and is believed to have been poached. The remains of a
poached duiker and a reedbuck were found. On Markwe the illegal settlers claim
they caught seven people responsible for slaughtering cattle and selling the
meat and took them to the police. The seven then denied the charge saying they
had been beaten into admitting the charge. At Mbima a policeman who was
investigating a theft asked the settlers why they were chopping down indigenous
trees bordering a small dam and was told they had been told to do so by the DA
to make vegetable gardens. On Leeds a red tractor belonging to Sango Motors in
Wedza is ploughing a portion of last years paprika land which was earmarked for
maize this year. Assistant Inspector Nhakwe would not take the report and
referred the matter to the DA. The farmers of Mbima, Corby, Leeds and Markwe
who were called to see the DA last week have all had labour threatened by the
settlers. The labour were told that if they do not move into the barn areas
they would be beaten up. The police have been informed in each case but
Inspector Nyamatamba says that he is unable to do anything as it is political
and the DA must deal with it, but states that the labour should stay in their
houses. He says he can only act if there is violence. The DA has said, on
several occasions, that he will come down and speak to the settlers but never
arrives. On Friday he was supposed to visit Mbima but he was seen in a blue
lorry collecting gum poles from Merryhill illegally. A tractor has arrived and
started ridging with no fertilizer or E.D.B. on Igudu Farm. Four herdsmen were
assault on Chakadenga. The illegal occupiers alleged the cattle were allowed to
eat the thatching on the their houses. The cattle had not been near the houses.
A trailer was taken on Bigkleigh by illegal occupier Kujeke. When the owner
retrieved it he was harassed all weekend with gates left open etc. and he took
the owners dog which has since been returned. Although Brentor Farm is not
listed Agritex have been pegging it for commercial resettlement. Agritex has
been pegging Fair Adventure for commercial resettlement. A crowd arrived at
Rhodesdale and rocks were thrown over the gate and three messages left for the
owner. The first in shona “JB we cannot live with you Pack up & go.” The
other two in English saying “ JB you did not bring these animals from the U.K.
they are ours” “ JB you did not bring this soil from the U.K. it is ours.” An
eland and three calves were found dead with parts missing at Imire Game farm.
Poachers are suspected. One Kudu an eland bull & cow have been found
snared. A weaner is also missing. A fire was started at midnight on Rapako
Farm by suspected poachers. Two heifers are missing and the remains of another
were found in a sack at the dam. Another cow that was missing was found dead.
A Tsesebee was found dead and a zebra in a snare was released. 2km of fencing
was stolen. Illegal occupier Chigwadere has asked the farm owner to do his
ridging for him. Valuators arrived on Markwe farm and a cow was hamstrung.
About $600 000,00 worth of irrigation equipment has been stolen in a two day
period. There are about 25 head of illegal occupiers’ cattle being moved around
Plymtree farm. The owner’s 300 cattle are confined to a 60ha plot. Illegal
occupier Darlington Dinide, also known as Black Wadada was seen by farm
labourers starting fires. About 600ha of land was burnt on Ruware. The old
remains of a kudu and reedbuck were found on Brent farm. Illegal occupiers were
planting maize in a land prepared for tobacco on Lustleigh farm. The owner of
Corby farm received a phone call asking him to inform all the farmers on listed
farms in the district that the Lands Committee had decided that all cattle on
the listed farms must be off by the 20th of this month. A river pump was
vandalised on Mbima farm, and it appears that they tried to steal the starter.
38 head of illegal occupiers’ cattle are wondering around the farm with gates
being left open and the cattle mixing with the commercial
cattle. Featherstone - On Calais illegal occupiers demanded that the manager
remove his dairy cows from the paddocks on the farm because it is time to
plough. If the cattle are not removed they will be put in the security fence.
The matter was reported to the police. Member In Charge (Inspector Mutize) said
the problem was that farmer has two farms which is not correct. The dairy
cattle and followers were put into the security fence area and the DA and Member
In Charge said the cattle should stay in this fenced area. As yet milking has
not been stopped. On Thursday night cattle broke out and one was severely
axed. Kaukonde and Makunde have both said dairy farms should not be interfered
with . The owner has offered a portion of the farm for subdivision. Kuruman A
dairy farm is under extreme pressure from occupiers. On Vergenoeg a group of
approximately twelve settlers told the owner that he has four days to remove the
cattle from the property because it is time to prepare the land. The farmer has
already sold three properties to the Government and had Government authority to
purchase Vergenoeg. Uitkyk has work stoppages. Oasis is unlisted and has
been pegged. Indications are that the farm will be utilised for model A2. The
owner is unable to begin planting tobacco. The DA is aware of the status but
says it is earmarked for future resettlement. On Nswala Manyoni resettlement
villagers assisted in the apprehension of stock thieves who stole two cows and a
calf. General – Government valuators visited several farms in the
area. Harare South - On Dunluce occupiers Matsangura and Luston Karonga
approached a tractor driver and told him that if he worked the following day
they would destroy the tractor, lime and fertilizer and kill the owner. Whilst
threatening the driver, he was waving a pistol around. On Sunday a Mazda 323
with Matsangura and two friends cut a padlock on the farm gate and drove around
the tobacco lands and started lighting fires on the land. On Auk’s Nest Mr
Chidagwa and another, both armed, threatened two workers. They wanted the
driver to get the tractor and destroy the seedbeds. Police came on Saturday
morning and failed to recover the firearms. Further investigation are taking
place. On Sunday evening the manager of Rusimbiro and his family were barricaded
in their house by settlers who lit a large fire and sang and danced until
midnight. Three Agritex vehicles arrived on Garth farm and told the farmer to
leave the farm. About 12 illegal occupiers threatened to assault the foreman of
Swallowfield farm because he was ridging his lands. The owner was chased off
the land into his house and was referred to the DA to sort the problem out. The
gang leader arrived in the farm village and started burning houses. Eight houses
were burnt. The mob then went to the owner’s house and shouted for him to pack
and leave the farm and built a fire about 100m from the house. Later the owner
and his wife went around the farm to assess damage and were ambushed, their
vehicle’s window was smashed. Brechin, Carolina and Duiker farms were evaluated
by Government Evaluators. Bromley / Ruwa / Enterprise - The owner and son of
Fourdyce farm were moved off the farm
completely. Matabeleleland Nyamandhlovu – On Auburn and Hilda farms the
DDF arrived to peg the property and drove over and broke irrigation pipes. The
owner was followed to Ticehurst Police Station where he went to lay a complaint
and he was followed to his house in an attempt to intimidate him. Squatters
from Redwood Park threaten workers on neighbouring Mcombeni farm and ordered
that some leave immediately and others next week. The evening milking has been
stopped. The property has virtually been taken over by squatters. The
environmental destruction is massive with large areas of farm cleared of its
natural woodlands. 2500m barbed wire has been stolen, this was reported to
Siganda ZRP with no response. On Kennelly's the DDF have pegged approximately
10 plots. 900 acres of grazing has been destroyed on Glen Curragh and Nyokeni
despite being currently in use. A perpetrator has been arrested and has
appeared in court. A very aggressive group of war vets, led by Pindumbone, were
at Ticehurst Police Station threatened the farmer when he went to make a
report. Fires have burnt about 5500 acres on East Junction, West Junction and
Glen Carrif. The accused is a squatter who works in Bulawayo and will appear in
court. A fire was started on East Junction Farm by Mr Just Ngwenya, a squatter,
where he was clearing land for ploughing. The fire raged out of control and in
three hours burnt approximately 2000 hectares of prime winter grazing. This
included the whole of West Junction, a farm rich in wildlife. No effort was
made by squatters to assist in controlling the fire. The matter was reported to
police and investigations are under way. A private vehicle with a war vet and
a Mr Tommy was driving around Galitos Farm. They shot an unidentified animal and
a duiker. The incident has been reported to the Ticehurst Police sub station.
On Glen Curragh Ranch ruling party cards were being sold at $20 for membership
only and $70 to include some sort of food aid. Squatters have been told to
mobilise youth. Umguza R.D.C. C.E.O. threatens to get war vets to burn
Nyamandlovu Farmer's Hall if the Council are not allowed to use it. On
returning to Marylands the owner found most of his farm burnt and fence removal
continuing. A group of about 50 squatters gathered at Highfields farm security
gate shouting and complaining about the arrest of poachers, shooting of
warthogs by safari clients and denial of entry to the farm store which is within
the security fence.The situation was defused after the arrival of Sgt. In Charge
of Police Mounted Unit and some of his details. Farmer did not accede to
squatters demands. General - It is estimated that over 100 000 acres have
been burnt so far in the district this year. About 20 000 this week. D.D.F.
continue to plough but a lot of squatters have not stumped their lands.
Poaching, snaring and tree cutting continue on all farms and appear to be
increasing. Insiza – there have been extensive fires on Ensangu where they
now have only 600 acres left to carry 400 head of cattle. In previous
deliberately lit fires, 25,000 acres of the 32,000 acre ranch has been burnt.
This week on the remaining 7,000 acres, grazing was deliberately torched and the
ranch owners were only able to save 600 acres. Lochard farm workers have been
severely intimidated and have, under war vet instruction and supervision, moved
all the cattle onto the southern half of the ranch across the main Bulawayo
Gweru road. The war vets removed the telephone from the farmhouse thus denying
staff access to the owners, threatening that if the owner comes onto the farm
they are going to kill him. Fort Rixon Police have been notified and a result
is awaited. On Unbunja there has been an invasion of 32 squatters even though
the farm remains unlisted. The farmer has been refused permission to keep
cattle on this property. Pyramid Farm was designated in June and an army truck
arrived with a new invasion of people. Very large bundles of thatching have
been stolen. Shangani - Although Forfar and Thornville have not been
gazetted, valuation teams are insisting on doing valuations. On Forfar four
families have been resettled in the last fortnight with more threatening to come
on and a staff sergeant and another member of the National Army have allocated
themselves land and are building rapidly. The vehicle being used to ferry
material has already had a garage built for it. Albany has four residents
building permanent structures. Rampant tree felling and land clearing are in
progress. General - A bulldozer has been clearing lands on Matabeleland
Concession farm and a DDF tractor has been clearing on Mount Pleasant Farm.
Poaching with snares and dogs and tree chopping are ongoing on most properties.
War Vets have threatened the Headmistress at St James Secondary School, which
has about 700 pupils and staff. The Officer in Charge, Inspector Nube, refuses
to offer protection. Inyathi – On Deesdale a farm guard who was dismissed
went to the war vets claiming that the foreman had made false allegations to his
employer to have him dismissed. In the ensuing arguments the foreman and
another worker were beaten. The housekeeper was falsely implicated and severely
beaten up. Police are investigating. Huntsman Farm have had fences cut and
cattle have been driven in from Inyathi Communal Land. This was reported to Dr
Moyo of the Turk Mine Veterinary Office and the Police. Baltimore have war vets
inspecting their plots and leaving people to take care of them. 15 snares have
been removed. The farmer and game scouts tracked a scotch cart with stolen
boundary wire. The suspects fled, but the scotch cart, a bicycle and $3500 was
impounded. During a follow-up, three suspects were arrested and wire
recovered. Three poachers were caught with three warthogs and have been
prosecuted. Since their arrest, no more poaching incidents have been reported.
Ten people arrived to demand wheat from the foreman, which he refused, and the
people left very angry. The incident was reported and the leader of the group
has been charged with misconduct and breaking the peace. On Gourlay farm the
gardener was handcuffed and slapped around by war vets. A Police report was
made. Fire has been deliberately started by settlers and a large area has been
burnt. On Clonmore Ranch the security fence around the workshop was broken
into and the tractor battery was stolen. 300 ha has been destroyed by fire set
deliberately by settlers on Alandale. Despite a restraining court order, large
areas are being cleared and trees cut on Greenlands and Wessels farms. West
Nicholson – Both Highway and Springs Ranches saw new occupations last week with
demands to remove all cattle off the ranches. Labour housing is being
threatened with take-overs and claims are being made that the ranches belong to
the people. Beit Bridge - General - DA Mbedzi has threatened that he will
defy the Abuja agreement and push more people onto Beit Bridge farms and
targeting Jopembi Lots 7A and 8, because the farmer is using legal procedures to
frustrate the acquisition of his properties. Figtree – On Sandown North a
fire destroyed 300ha of irrigation land including 2ha of spineless cactus pears,
which were imported plant material valued at $400,000. Earlier a worker's house
and irrigation and piping were also destroyed. Bubi - Chilton Farm had
$1225 worth of thatching grass stolen. A game scout came across three men
carrying a .303 rifle. He did not attempt to apprehend them, but on the way to
report the incident, he heard a shot. No animal found, and police offered to
assist with incidents of this nature with a mounted patrol. MASHONALAND
CENTRAL Bindura - There is a total work stoppage on Minto Farm. The DA has
told the owner to go ahead and plant but the illegal settlers refuse to allow
any work on the farm. Mazoe / Concession - Irrigation equipment to the value
of $70 000:00 was stolen on Marodzi River Farm . Glendale - There has been
no change where work stoppages, strikes and theft of irrigation equipment is
concerned. MASVINGO Masvingo East and Central Area - Ballinahone Farm
owner reported fire on this property on the evening of the 16th October 2001.
Fire burnt right up to owner’s homestead and around all ZESA connections. No
grazing left on this property. Beauly Farm has gates that are being locked and
tied down with wire being maliciously opened and padlocks are then stolen and
the gates left open. Owner is experiencing extreme difficulty in the running of
his property. Grazing has been completely burnt out and fences continue to be
cut. Shallock Park Farm has been instructed not to use river sand on
neighbouring farm. Illegal occupiers will also not allow the use of the tractor
on the farm. The owner has to receive special permission from the Land Committee
to uplift his grinding mill and fluorescent light from neighbouring farm.
Lamotte Farm reported a fire that has burnt out 10% of this farm. More illegal
occupiers reported to be moving everywhere. Chiredzi Area - There has been
more pegging and clearing of plots on Dawlish Ranch. More people are moving onto
Bombardine Ranch. Alstar Haven illegal occupiers’ cattle mysteriously found in
the owners yard on the 15th October 2001 at 12pm. Bangala Ranch had Agritex
accompanied by Land Committee Zaka on the property to peg plots amidst the
irrigated citrus crop. 5ha plots are being pegged. The owner has been left with
a 30ha plot. At Wasarasara Ranch illegal occupiers ploughed up the owner’s
access roads. One log was put across the one road – other logs have since been
removed. General Comments - Extensive poaching continues to take place.
Burning, tree cutting still continue unabated. Mwenezi Area - Once again just
more of the same - cutting, burning, fence destruction, theft of wire, gates
left open, snaring, poaching with dogs, harassment of cattle, etc. Fires are
increasing again with the warmer dry weather. On Quagga Pan 'A' & 'B' /
Alko / Kyalami pipeline vandalism is making it impossible to obtain water. It
is virtually guaranteed that the pipe will be broken within hours of being
repaired. Many other properties, such as Limburgia, are unable to cope with the
increased demand for water. There has still been no resolution to the issue of
Red zone communal cattle in the Green zone Mateke hills properties. South Of
Bubi – A court order obtained instructing DVO and O-I-C, Beitbridge to remove
all communal cattle has had no effect. There are still cattle going backwards
and forwards to dip across the zone and quarantine fence. Donkeys pulling carts
also trundle happily from the FMD area onto Joko and Kleinbegin. Six head of
cattle were brought onto Kayansee last week from the Tshituripasi area. Gutu
/ Chatsworth Area - Three police details, headed by Cst Nhema, with six fully
armed army personnel arrived at Berry Springs Farm to demand why a contour
ridge had been repaired, and a water hole created from the borrow pit. In the
absence of the owner the army details were left to 'guard' the workings till the
afternoon. On the return of the owner, he was aggressively addressed, and told
that he needed to fill in the hole. He explained that the repair of a contour
and deepening of a water hole were good developments, but was told that it was
too late for developments as the land no longer belonged to him. The owner was
told he had to fill in the hole. He suggested that this was a 'stupid idea',
which met with an extremely angry and aggressive response. This lead to a period
of sustained harassment by the police and army details which ended close to
midnight when a superior officer apparently instructed that the farmer be
released from the police station where he had been taken. A more conciliatory
attitude was displayed the following morning when the farmer again reported to
the station as instructed. A further dispute about the legality of burying a
deceased relative on the farm was also resolved. Midlands Gweru
East/Lalapanz - Fires, building, tree chopping, land preparation, theft of
fencing and gates being left open is ongoing throughout the area. A farmer has
been told to move his cattle off again, after an agreement had been reached as
to which land he could use for his herd. Kwekwe - A tractor driver was
discing fire breaks when a police vehicle arrived with 3 plain clothes people
and they demanded that the driver stop as he was working on their plots. The
driver was able to resume when they realised there was no threat to their plots.
A house is being built on an undesignated property and no planting is allowed on
half of the property. A farmer has to sell the cattle on designated property as
there is no grazing left due to fires. Brick making and poaching with dogs is
ongoing. 16 houses have been built on a property and the farmer told he is not
allowed to plant. An occupier beat a farmer’s dog on the head with a plank with
nails in it. A gum pole plantation has been burned. Continual fires being set on
the properties. A hired bulldozer arrived on the property to start bush
clearing. A caretaker told the owner that he must leave the gates open in order
for occupants to come and go as they please Fires were set 10 metres away from
the barley land. When the owner put out the fires the occupier got angry. Police
were called and did not react. Continuous poaching and burning ongoing. No
response from police as they say they are understaffed. One farmer had 45 plots
allocated and only 8 appear to be opening up the land for cropping at present.
Most of these plots have been allocated to army, police and teachers. Two cattle
slaughtered, one a cow in calf. Only the hindquarter was removed. Boundary
fences are being cut and kudu slaughtered. A businessman from Gokwe delivered a
worker to clear his plot. Local war vets under the influence of alcohol, visited
a farmer issuing threats, accusing the farmer of not co-operating. One urinated
in the farmyard in front of the women. The farm workers were told by war vets
that they would have to leave with their white men and they would not get land.
Settlers have been moving onto a farm in vehicles which are all police, army and
air force vehicles. Plainclothes police visited a farm demanding that weapons be
handed over and made threats when the farmer refused. Items which had been
stolen were found but the farmer was told he could not claim them because the
farm had been valued. Army personnel visited a farm with the stated intention of
marking out their plots and drove around the lands and house. 25 sprinklers and
risers, 4 x 4" aluminium pipes and one control valve stolen. Hunting dogs have
been shot and poachers chased off. The poachers come from the neighbouring
resettlement area and have threatened scouts for shooting their dogs. Rhino
conservancy scouts, looking for a missing rhino, were threatened by occupiers
and given one hour to get off the farm. The occupiers said the land and the
animals belonged to them and accused the scouts of poaching. Police and Army
personnel have been seen hunting with rifles. MANICALAND Nyanga - The
situation at Claremont is calm but ZFTU never arrived yesterday and are expected
today. MASHONALAND CENTRAL Horseshoe - 17 farms with work stoppages. The
Rungudzi clerk was threatened with death if he does not leave the farm.
Poachers/occupiers setting fires continuously, as one is extinguished another is
started. Approx 4 000 acres have been burnt. Grazing is now critical. Poaching
day and night since the police removed guards' guns. Blue Grass and Siyalima
have extensive fires started by poachers/occupiers. Rushpeak have occupiers
threatening to evict workers from their homes. Poaching and tree cutting is
on-going. MASHONALAND WEST NORTH Karoi - All farms that attempted to start
work 2 weeks ago are still unable to. Pegging teams arrived on Musha Wedu and
Elka Ranch although the farms are not listed. Yeadon Farm labour went with a
tractor to collect wood for the boiler. The settlers told the labour they would
be beaten and chased out of the farm village. The squatters became aggressive
and threatening towards the farmer and grabbed him by the arm. The farmer
managed to free himself and ran towards the gate. The settlers started pelting
the farmer with catapults and he radioed for help. ZRP refused to attend on the
grounds of lack of transport. Local farmers arrived and the mob that had started
toy-toying at the gate dispersed. After repairing a hole in the fence the
farmers left and once they had gone the mob returned asking the labour to join
them in their chanting. The labour refused and they left until the following
morning. ZRP arrived at 9.00am the following day and diffused the situation
despite further threats from the settlers that they would return. On Little Gem
Rex Jesus used the H F S A radio network to request keys for the farm from the
farmer. As he was denied the keys he smashed the lock on the entrance gate and
proceeded to the homestead, threatened the guard who gave him the keys and he
took up residence in a storeroom off the main house. He claims the house is now
his. On Yawanda Farm poaching of wildlife continues despite reports to ZRP.
Poachers claim they are from the Government and can do as they please. The
farmer intended to rebuild his farm village after it was destroyed last week but
he has been advised not to do so by the settlers as they claim it is now theirs
and after the tobacco is finished his labour must move off. La Rochelle Farm
had settlers who told the labour to leave, then they returned with
reinforcements and asked the farmer to leave. The farmer is waiting for official
notification from the Government. In the meantime no work is allowed on the farm
and a skeleton staff are allowed to feed cattle and domestic work may continue.
On Fiddlers Green settlers admitted setting fire to the maize stover in front of
the homestead. Settlers tried to stop the farmer and labour from putting out the
fires. Labour has been assaulted by settlers and work stopped. Laughing Hills
has illegal pegging of the farm. Fires have been started by the settlers and the
labour told to vacate their houses. The settlers are occupying the farm village
and the farmer has to remove his cattle. Trelawney/Darwendale - Molby now has
eight rudimentary structures in the farm village that have all been built by the
same three people. On Sunday an Army truck with +/- 30 arrived. They took one
look at the soil and said that it was no good and they were off to Kadoma where
the soil was better. Planting started today on Molby with no problems or any
sign of invaders. On Venmara settlers put in demands for all inputs and they
want lands ploughed immediately. When the farmer refused these demands, the
settlers threatened to pull out the tobacco but have not done so to date. Work
continues. On Chimwemwe the farmer was informed the he may not use the main
farm access road as this passes the settler houses. When the farmer started
using the back roads, the gates were wired up by the settlers. The farmer has
since cut the gates open and there has been no further reaction from settlers.
The farmer is not growing a crop this season. Cleeve - Settlers threatened to
burn tractors if farmer continued working – the Banket MIC went to investigate
but was largely ineffective. At a meeting held on Friday 12th with Reward
Tabukwa and Flight Lft. Jumbe, the farmer was told that he does not communicate
well and must therefore be punished by not allowing him to grow crops in the
final two lands that are not yet planted. Subsequent meetings later resulted in
the farmer being allowed to plant in the one land but not the other and no-one
arrived for a meeting called by them today (Tuesday) Work continues. Major
Mlambo arrived on Templeton Ranch and stated that he has been allocated a plot
and that the cattle there must be moved. Pastures were subsequently burnt
out. Chinhoyi - Sligo /Natalia Farms are in the process of being pegged.
Greensleeves Farm had a kudu poached. On Portelet Farm the owner will be
allowed to continue farming if he agrees to prepare 160 ha of land, and supply
seed and fertilizer to the settlers. The owner has since received a letter
suggesting that he remove all his cattle as he has not met the settlers’
demands. On Portlelet Estates the settlers informed the workers that the owner
has agreed to prepare land and supply seed and fertilizer to the settlers, which
is not true. Longvalley Farm had settlers trying to break down the gate to get
at his maize and 25 tonnes of corn and cob maize was loaded into scotch
carts. Tengwe – On Lasvagas Farm several workers were told by illegal
occupiers to get land from their boss. Police went out defused the situation.
Tayesa Farm owner has been told to move out of his house and his workers were
stopped from working. Police went out and defused the situation. The situation
flared up again when the D.A.'s assistant went out and told the farmer that more
land preparation must be done at the farmers cost for the illegal occupiers
before he can plant, Nyabira - One farm worker was abducted and beaten with a
metal rod. He has been intimidated not to report the matter. A Mazda B1600 was
stolen from Wellesley Farm, the gate fence was cut and the vehicle pushed out of
the premises. The vehicle was recovered as a shell and an axle at Lilfordia
base camp, 24 hours later. MASHONALAND WEST SOUTH Norton - Another two
properties are currently being pegged and work stoppages continue on all
properties previously mentioned, with the tobacco crop expected to be about
fifty percent of last year in the area. On Wilbered farm domestic staff have
been evicted from their homes and are living in the homestead with the owner.
Illegal occupiers have extorted eighty thousand dollars from the cattle
operation after starting to burn grazing when their demands were not
met. Selous - On Homedale farm which was pegged and invaded since the 6
September, the owner has had to abandon the six hectares of tobacco that he did
manage to plant due to Government having allocated this land to someone else. On
Impofhoe the owner is not allowed to plant his dry land crop. On Norwood the
owner has not been able to irrigate his three hectares of paprika for several
weeks. On Wicklow the full Lad Committee told the farmers’ committee set up by
Minister Chombo that they were to be dissolved and that Wicklow could not
continue production. Another cow was slaughtered on Wicklow. On Exwick over a
hundred thousand dollars worth of wood has been corded and Wing Commander
Mazamban has taken to moving it at night in Air Force vehicles rather than in
broad daylight as was the case previously. Chegutu/Suri-Suri - At least ten
occupied farms have had aluminium irrigation pipes stolen in the Suri-Suri area
over the last few weeks. On La Forte farm the gatehouse hut was burnt down. On
Just Right seed maize was stolen. On Borden occupiers stole thirty metres of
pipe from the reservoir so the owner now has no
water. Kadoma/Chakari/Battlefieds - Virtually the whole area is in a work
stoppage situation with seventy five percent of the farmers unable to do any
land preparation due to pegging. Farmers are having to make a decision as to
whether to write off prospects for any production this year or not. Most farmers
are regrettably going to be forced into a no production situation if something
doesn't change over the next few days. One farmer on Twinlands tried to plant in
an unpegged area on his farm under a thirty hectare centre pivot where he had
ridged and fertilised for paprika in July. Ten members of the Land Committee
came and stopped him. The farm is a single owned farm. In the area where illegal
occupiers had recently stolen and caused the loss of seven million dollars worth
of potatoes illegal occupiers are now moving in on the cattle. On Normandy North
thirteen head of cattle have been stolen. On Inniskillen two cows have been
stolen and on Georgea three have been stolen.
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DISCLAIMER The opinions in this message do
not necessarily reflect those of the Commercial Farmers' Union which does not
accept any legal responsibility for them.
Police bar Daily News reporters from covering Nust
10/20/01 12:17:35 PM (GMT +2)
Correspondent in Bulawayo
THE police and security personnel yesterday
barred reporters from The Daily News from covering the National University of
Science and Technology (Nust)’ s graduation ceremony where President Mugabe
Three police officers and three other security personnel
in plain clothes said The Daily News had not been invited to the event and
they were under strict orders not to allow the crew entry.
Broadcasting Corporation news crew and several other reporters from the
government-controlled media were allowed entry at almost the same time The
Daily News was barred. They did not produce any invitation cards.
invited you here? This is a State occasion and you can only attend
by invitation. Go and write that we sent you back,” said one of the
He further threatened Daily News photographer Grey
Chitiga and reporter Mduduzi Mathuthu with arrest for “trespassing” if they
did not leave the Nust campus.
Nust’s director of information and
public relations, Felix Fandroy Moyo, yesterday described the incident as
regrettable. Moyo said he had not received any instructions from the police
to bar reporters from The Daily News. Mugabe capped 433 graduates
including 11 from the Department of Chemical Engineering.
THE government and
bakers are set for a major showdown as representatives of bakeries throughout
the country yesterday gave a 14-day ultimatum for the government to revisit
the gazetted statutory price of bread or they will close shop.
bakers, who are pressing for subsidies on flour and wheat, said if
the government fails to come up with an acceptable compromise that will
enable their operations to remain viable, they will stop
Fifty bakers attended the meeting which agreed on the
ultimatum in Harare. Mark Prior, chairman of the National Bakers’ Association
of Zimbabwe (NBAZ), said it was unfortunate that the government was not
acting on an appeal from the bakers for a review of the controlled
Prior said: “We will be forced to close down. They are just quiet.
We have heard absolutely nothing from the government and we are
unsuccessfully trying to contact them.
“We are giving them a maximum
of two weeks to act on this matter. If nothing materialises we will be left
with no option except to close down because we can’t continue to produce at a
The NBAZ chairman said bakers were getting “very agitated” as they
wanted to know what the government was doing to address their concerns before
they accrue huge losses.
“In the meantime, we will continue to produce
limited amounts of bread until the Grain Marketing Board brings down the
prices of wheat,” said Prior.
The closure of bakeries will inevitably
result in a serious shortage of bread and loss of jobs.
Mugabe, threatening a return to socialism, last week said the government
would take over companies closing down because of the
The bakers’ 14-day ultimatum came as the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) announced yesterday that it fully backed
price controls only as a short-term measure against the price increases which
were spiralling out of control.
Addressing a news conference in Harare
yesterday, Lovemore Matombo, the ZCTU president, said long-term measures were
needed to address the problem of price increases, which he said was
Matombo said: “As ZCTU, we fully support price
controls as an interim measure to cushion the public from high prices. For
the short term, price controls are the only best possible solution under the
“However, we think that the problems we have in
this country are political and we need an urgent political
Matombo criticised Mugabe’s plans to reintroduce socialism
saying it was not a wise move “to go back where others are coming
Said Matombo: “We started off with socialism and abandoned it for
capitalism after discovering that socialism was not feasible.
other countries, including the powerful Soviet Union, and the rest of the
world, have already moved from socialism to which we want to go back to, it
Matombo attacked some companies which he said were
profiteering at the expense of the suffering consumers. “It is very true
that some companies are profiteering,” said Matombo. “However, what we have
done in the Tripartite Negotiating Forum is to set up a price monitoring and
surveillance unit to investigate reports of profiteering. “In some cases
some products were increased by more than 200 percent why all of a sudden and
by such a magnitude?”
Last week the government gazetted reduced prices of
bread, maize meal, cooking oil, margarine, beef, chicken, soap, salt and
fresh milk. The price of bread was reduced from about $61,50 to $48,40 a
loaf. Bakers are resisting the new prices, arguing their businesses will not
be sustainable and they will be forced to close.
There are no doctors manning Parirenyatwa Hospital’s Casualty
Department due to a stalemate over allowances which their employer, the
Public Service Commission (PSC), has yet to address.
the acting chief executive officer of the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals,
said: “It is a spill-over from the recent strike by health
Nurses, junior and middle level doctors at government central
hospitals went on strike over salaries and working conditions on 24 July,
joining specialist doctors who had already been on strike for three weeks
demanding a review of their on-call allowances.
Makarawo said: “The
doctors working in Casualty, like any other doctors, expect to be paid an
allowance. It is not as if there is a shortage of doctors at the moment. The
allowances awarded were unacceptable and unless there is a change, the
stalemate is likely to continue.”
Makarawo said talks with the PSC on
resolving the problem were promising.
LEADING Zanu PF members from
Mashonaland Central Province are alleged to have threatened to harm war
veterans and a top businesswoman over their Telecel Zimbabwe
Nicholas Goche, the Minister of State Security, and Chen
Chimutengwende, a former Minister of Information, were among people alleged
to have threatened Jane Mutasa and two war veterans’ leaders in the ongoing
squabble over their shares in Telecel Zimbabwe.
The company’s chairman
is James Makamba, a former Zanu PF MP for Mount Darwin in Mashonaland
Central. Mutasa is the president of the Indigenous Business Women’s
Organisation, a shareholder in Telecel.
Goche and Chimutengwende this
week denied they ever threatened Mutasa. She and Giles Munyoro, a war
veteran who leads the Empowerment Corporation, and Edwin Hokonya, another war
veteran who leads the Magamba eChimurenga Housing Scheme, initiated by the
late Chenjerai Hunzvi, say they have received threats on the telephone from
Goche, Chimutengwende and other people claiming to be members of the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO).
Mutasa alleged Goche telephoned her
repeatedly, threatening to harm her if she persisted with her demand for
Makamba to explain what happened to her organisation’s shares in the
A senior CIO official, identified only as Kanengoni,
is among the people who have allegedly harassed and threatened to kill the
three shareholders of Telecel Zimbabwe.
Mutasa said Goche,
Chimutengwende as well as CIO and CID Fraud Squad officers had telephoned her
and other shareholders warning them to stop their probe into the alleged
mismanagement of company funds at Telecel.
They said the threats started
soon after they accused Makamba of allegedly swindling them of millions of
dollars in their shares. Goche denied threatening either Mutasa, Munyoro or
Mutasa said: “We have been threatened with death, harassed over
the telephone by people who say they are from the CIO and at times
What aretheir interests? “At one time I had to tell them to stop
phoning me at odd hours because I am a married woman. What will my husband
say if I continue receiving phone calls asking me to report at the police
station at night?”
Goche admitted he phoned Mutasa but said it was only
to give her advice on how to go about solving the Telecel shares
He denied phoning Munyoro or Hokonya. He said: “I telephoned
Mutasa last Saturday after I received a report about the disturbances at
Telecel and asked her to solve their problem with Makamba amicably and not
Jambanja is war veteran slang for violence. “Mutasa
is a respected leader in our society and out of respect, I advised her to
engage a lawyer to take over the matter. Why should they behave in such a
barbaric manner and close down their company? She told me a whole lot of
other things such as the discrepancies in the company’s salary structure, but
I was not interested.”
Denying the allegations, Chimutengwende said: “Who
am I to get involved in Telecel business? I know Munyoro through other
business transactions and, besides, we come from the same communal area. I
have never phoned Mutasa. As for Hokonya, I wouldn’t recognise him if I met
him on the street.”
Early this month, war veterans led by Mutasa, Munyoro
and Hokonya, stormed the Telecel offices in Graniteside demanding that
Makamba explain the fate of their shares.
They threatened to shut down
the company if Makamba failed to give them a satisfactory
Hokonya said: “We are sick and tired of these phone calls by
“The truth can never be suppressed by threats. On several
occasions, Makamba declined to meet us over this issue. We will never
disclose our next move because we do not want to alert him. He must just wait
Said Munyoro: “Makamba should remember that we got the licence
with the help of President Mugabe and Joyce Mujuru, the Minister of Rural
Resources and Water Development. People did not bid for it.
shares in there and he must explain what’s happening to them.” Makamba
declined to comment.
Nine days ago, Harare police questioned Munyoro and
Hokonya in connection with the disturbances at the offices.
ZIMBABWE will not
withdraw totally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where fresh
fighting has been reported over the past few weeks, a government minister
said on Thursday.
Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi said the deployment
of more United Nations peacekeeping forces will determine the time-frame for
the total pull-out of Zimbabwean troops from the DRC.
Defence Forces (ZDF) deployed about 12 000 troops in the DRC in August 1998
to help prevent the government of the then president, Laurent Kabila, from
being toppled by rebels supported by Rwanda and Uganda.
About 4 000
Zimbabwean soldiers from three battalions have been pulled out since April,
but the exercise has been halted to allow the deployment of a UN
There have also been reports of new deployment but
Sekeramayi said this was not true. He said fresh troops were relieving their
colleagues in the DRC.
Sources in the government say the government’s
reluctance to withdraw the soldiers from the DRC was to ensure that private
and public money-spinning ventures established in that country are
ZDF supremos, notably General Vitalis Zvinavashe, the
Commander, are involved in billion-dollar deals in companies such as
Sengamines, Oryx Diamonds Limited and Osleg Private Limited.
conflict has been dubbed the new scramble for Africa with the ZDF last month
getting into a $16 billion deal to fell trees in the Congo. The logging
operation is expected to bring in profits of over $2 billion over the next
two to three years.
Angola and Namibia Zimbabwe’s allies in the Congo
withdrew all their troops after three years of intense fighting that
prevented the fall of Kinshasa to the rebels.
An official from the
Namibian Defence Ministry, Frans Nghitila, was last week quoted as saying his
country would not send its troops back to the DRC despite renewed attacks by
Rwandan-backed rebels there.
But Sekeramayi dismissed the article saying
this was part of “indirect British pressure” to put Zimbabwe in bad light by
pushing articles that suggested that all the allies had pulled out of the
He said: “There is a lot of disinformation that is going on at the
moment. The Namibians have written to us and said they are prepared to send
back their troops to the DRC if the situation deteriorated.”
been happening is that the British have been pushing these stories and
exerting this indirect pressure with some British citizens who are on the UN
mission going to the extent of provoking our soldiers in the DRC expecting
them to retaliate.”
He said the British wanted the soldiers to react and
then “publish stories saying Zimbabweans in the Congo are in conflict with
the UN and all this is calculated to damage our
“Zimbabwean soldiers will remain in the DRC until enough UN
peacekeepers have been deployed,” said Sekeramayi. “We will comply with their
timetable of withdrawal to the letter. It is the UN that is delaying our
Sekeramayi said the DRC peace accord was holding at
the moment because of the presence of Zimbabwean soldiers who could not
afford to lose the ground gained so far.
But Nghitila told The
Namibian newspaper on Wednesday last week that Namibia had accomplished its
mission in the DRC by successfully preventing the rebels from taking over the
He said all Namibian troops and equipment had now been
withdrawn under the Lusaka ceasefire agreement. Namibian President Sam
Nujoma had earlier told Joseph Kabila, the DRC president, that though the
withdrawal had started, Namibia was ready to continue to assist if the
international community failed to ensure the successful deployment of UN
There have been incidents of heavy clashes between rebels
and government-backed forces in areas like Fizi on the shores of Lake
Tanganyika dealing a blow to the fragile Lusaka ceasefire
“Our involvement was to create a conducive environment for
elections. That we have achieved and I don’t see us going back. The rebels
must come to their senses,” Nghitila said.
Sekeramayi was tight-lipped
on how much Zimbabwe had spent on the DRC war so far. At one stage the
military intervention was estimated to cost US$2 million (Z$110 million) a
From Sapa-AFP October 20 2001 at 07:20AM Harare - Zimbabwe
would abandon the economic reforms it negotiated in 1991 with the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and was deciding on alternative policies,
the Herald newspaper said yesterday.
"Analysts were agreed that there was
no reason why Zimbabwe should be imprisoned by economic policies that had
failed to work in other countries," the state-run paper
"Economic liberalisation has not led the private sector to take
advantage of market forces but has led to the creation of a clique that has
taken advantage of the liberalised environment to entrench itself and has
been profiteering instead of doing honest business," it added.
government has asked a group of economic, industrial, financial and banking
experts to draft a new economic policy. The new policy is to focus on
President Robert Mugabe's land reforms, which have paralysed the once-vibrant
The paper said the new policy aimed to revive the
economy by producing agricultural products for export to markets such as
Malaysia, Thailand, China, Libya and Mauritius, as well as to its existing
markets in Europe. It also aimed to boost mineral exports and public works
projects, such as housing and building infrastructure.
minister Jonathan Moyo defended the decision to change economic models. "We
are surprised that some people are scornful of this and we hope it is not
racism, because socialism is alive in Europe. It seems like socialism is OK
in Europe, but not OK in Africa," he told the paper.
Zimbabwe embarked on
market reforms in 1991, with the IMF subsequently pulling out in 1999. The
country has stopped paying its IMF debt, racking up $53 million in arrears by
Zimbabwean cricket will have benefited from England's
By the BBC's Jonathan Agnew
Even on the day the England team left for Zimbabwe, there were last-minute
appeals from politicians and pressure groups that felt the trip could be used as
publicity stunt, and give credence to Robert Mugabe's regime.
As someone who knows Zimbabwe pretty well - my first wife was from there - I
never thought for a moment that the players' safety would be compromised. But
the publicity angle did concern me.
In fact, this proved to be correct, as a large article in the
government-supporting Herald newspaper confirmed.
I wandered into an ordinary-looking chemist shop in Harare in
search of a toothbrush. The price was 900 Zimbabwe dollars - £11!
Seizing on a
report by a cricket writer for the Daily Telegraph, who happened to mention
that, with spring sunshine and the jacaranda trees in full bloom Harare was a
pleasant place to be, the publicity machine declared this as evidence that there
were no problems in Zimbabwe.
The journalists who had been expelled, it was alleged - including the BBC -
But the columns of smoke we saw rising from farms into the clear blue sky
between Bulawayo and the Matopas in the south-west of Zimbabwe suggested a
Thriving black market
The US dollar is king in Zimbabwe, and you really can't do anything without
either it, or pounds.
I was separated from my baggage at the start of the trip, and having
exchanged some US dollars at the 'proper bank rate', I wandered into an
ordinary-looking chemist shop in Harare in search of a toothbrush.
The price was 900 Zimbabwe dollars - £11! It was only then that the black
market - or parallel market as it is called - was introduced to me. Even in
broad daylight, we would stroll into a back room of a local restaurant,
clutching our pounds. In return we were given 350 Zimbabwe dollars to the pound,
nearly five times the proper rate.
Suddenly the price of my toothbrush took on a different appearance - and the
best fillet steaks in town became little more than a pound, while imported South
African wine was a couple of pounds
England beat Zimbabwe 5-0 in the one-day
But what on earth do the locals do - like the taxi
drivers whose meters now rotate even faster than fruit machines?
The answer is that they mutter increasingly openly and bravely about the
government, and its prospects in the elections next spring.
In fact local news, and particularly politics, dominate the newspapers -
which are fiercely divided in their loyalties. The Herald and the Bulawayo
Chronicle support the government to the extent that the Chronicle described Mr
Mugabe's approach to land reform as "internationally acclaimed".
On the other hand, the Daily News attacks the government at every opportunity
and the result is that the war in Afghanistan is relegated to page 13, or
thereabouts, on a typical day.
Shambolic beauty contest
In fact the editor of the Daily News felt that a ferocious account of the
shambles that was the 2001 Miss Zimbabwe pageant deserved greater prominence
than the American Air Strikes - mind you, presented by the cricketer Henry
Olonga, it did sound an extraordinary evening.
Due to begin at 7.30, the event only started at 9 when the audience started
to become restless.
Olonga's cricketing jokes didn't go down terribly well with
the increasingly irate audience
relieved Olonga started to introduce the contestants when a breathless official
rushed onto the stage and announced that the girls weren't ready yet.
What does Olonga do now? His repertoire of cricketing jokes didn't go down
terribly well with the increasingly irate audience - which he then treated us
to, of all things, a coaching clinic on fast bowling.
Finally, with all other options exhausted, he burst - unaccompanied - into
At last the contest began - without, our correspondent noted with a
suggestion of disappointment, the swimsuit parade. Apparently there was an
unsavoury incident at last year's do. However, he did report that during the
show one of the girls' garments fell off.
The evening was rounded off by Zimbabwe's equivalent of Julia Morley who, at
the end of her speech of thanks, invited a host of helpers onto the stage to
receive a bouquet of flowers.
Yes, you guessed it - there were no flowers.
In need of TLC
It's easy to visit Zimbabwe now - especially if, like me, your experience
goes back 20 years or more - and feel sad.
Harare is not now a town you can walk around anymore without a feeling of
unease. But above all, the country as a whole urgently needs some TLC - some
tender loving care.
At least, though, there was evidence of society's change for the better at
the sporting venues we visited.
Mr Mugabe's government has been heavily criticised
Not so long ago, the only black faces you would have seen
in the bar of the Harare Sports Club would have been waiters, but now blacks,
whites and Asians all mix quite happily, enjoying a beer, of course, and
watching the cricket.
On the field, black players represented Zimbabwe not because of the crazy,
short-sighted quota system that they are trying to enforce in South Africa, but
because these cricketers are talented and more than capable of holding their
And it was the cricketers, in particular, who will have benefited the most
from England's short tour and who would have suffered the most had we pulled
The foreign currency we brought with us for the radio and television
broadcasting rights will be ploughed back into local cricket which, in a country
of such grave uncertainty, will be the more secure for our visit.
Harare - Violence on Zimbabwe's mainly white-owned farms is
dramatically worse since President Mugabe signed the Abuja Agreement, according
to a survey of commercial farmers. Almost 700 farms have been invaded since the
meeting of Commonwealth foreign ministers in Abuja, Nigeria, last month. Mr
Mugabe agreed then to stop the invasions and return his land reform campaign to
the rule of law. However, David Hasluck, director of the Commercial Farmers'
Union, gave a chilling account of developments in the agricultural sector, which
provides nearly half Zimbabwe's foreign currency. Nearly a third of Zimbabwe's
population has applied for food aid.
Of the farmers surveyed, 51 per cent had been invaded, Mr
Hasluck said. More than 800 violent incidents, including assaults on farmers and
their workers, had been recorded. Mr Hasluck predicted at least a 40 per cent
loss of production this season, costing £142 million for the tobacco industry
alone. Commercial farmers were growing only enough of the staple food, maize,
for their workers and for stock feeds. Mr Hasluck said 75,000 people had been
forced from their farm homes in the past few months. They were replaced by
104,000 "settlers", who so far had made no preparations to grow crops when the
rains fall next month. In the past 10 days, four of Mr Mugabe's most loyal
cabinet ministers have been touring white-owned farms and speaking to farmers
and new "settlers". They have repeatedly told white farmers that they have "no
rights over land". These meetings were no more than "political rallies",
according to a CFU official.
From News24 (SA), 20
40% drop in Zim farm
Harare - The main white farmers' organisation on Friday
forecast a 40% drop in commercial farm production this year because of
disruptions and violence on farms by ruling party militants. The continuing
disruptions violated an accord Zimbabwe signed in Nigeria on September 6 that
was intended to end the violence, the Commercial Farmers Union said. Ruling
party militants began their often-violent occupation of nearly 2 000 white-owned
farms last year, demanding the land be seized and turned over to landless
blacks. The government quickly followed with plans to seize nearly all the
white-owned farmland in the country. Opposition officials say both moves were
meant to drum up support for the ruling party ahead of parliamentary elections
last year and presidential elections expected next year.
The farmers' union released the results of a survey of its
members on Friday showing that 1183 farms were affected by work stoppages last
month, with about 350 farms shut down completely, some for several months, union
officials said. More than 40 000 ha of food crops were under threat, reducing
crops of corn, the staple food, by up to 40% compared to last year. Tobacco, the
main hard currency earner, was likely to be reduced by between 35 - 50%, a loss
of some $228 million in hard currency revenues in next year's tobacco marketing
season. Zimbabwe is the second largest tobacco exporter after Brazil, which has
already announced increases in its production to make up for the 650 000 tons
Zimbabwean growers have not been able to plant this year, the union said.
The farmers were forced to slaughter more than 240 000 cattle -
20% of the commercial herd - this year after militants and land occupiers
torched grazing land, the union said. "This trend of violence and disruptions is
continuing and the economic consequences will deteriorate further," union
director David Hasluck said. At total of 104 175 militants, occupiers and
squatters were on 1 948 private farms and 74 998 farm workers and their family
members had been driven off their employers' land. Farmers reported 829
incidents of violence against their families and their workers since the
September 6 agreement Zimbabwe signed with ministers of the Commonwealth of
Britain and its former territories promising to restore law and order to farming
districts and stop new farm occupations. Colin Cloete, a union leader, said the
survey revealed worsening violence since the accord. "We see a strong trend in
the escalation of farm invasions and work stoppages in the last six to eight
weeks," Cloete said. Occupiers had seized land on 688 farms since the accord.
President Robert Mugabe had promised to abide by the accord, but some doubted
whether he could quickly rein in the militants.
From VOA News, 19
Commonwealth delegation to meet with
A group of key Commonwealth ministers will be in Zimbabwe next
week for talks with the government about its controversial land reform policies.
A statement issued Friday by the Committee of Commonwealth foreign ministers
says the group will meet with members of the Zimbabwe government as well as
opposition leaders next Thursday and Friday. The ministers from Britain,
Australia, Canada, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa were invited to
Zimbabwe by the government at a September sixth meeting in Abuja, Nigeria. At
the Abuja meeting Zimbabwe agreed to end its seizures of white-owned farms and
stop political violence in the nation. In return, Britain said it would provide
funding for a peaceful land reform program. A commonwealth spokesman says the
meetings represent an important step towards implementation of the Abuja
agreement. In spite of the accord, a survey issued Friday by Zimbabwe's
Commercial Farmers Union indicates that farm violence has actually escalated in
From The Daily News, 19
Beitbridge - The police and officers from the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) are reportedly harassing and detaining thousands
of Zimbabwean farm workers who are currently being thrown out of South Africa.
The deportees have been accused of being vigilantes trained in South Africa to
destabilise Zimbabwe. This follows claims by the Zanu PF MP for Mt Darwin South,
Saviour Kasukuwere, that some South African commercial farmers had trained
vigilantes now being brought into the country through illegal crossing points
along the border, to provide security for their Zimbabwean counterparts.
Kasukuwere, a former CIO operative, claimed the Zimbabwean authorities had
unearthed about 500 such cases. The deportees are said to be linked to the
fearsome former South African soldiers of the 32 Battalion who now provide
security to South African commercial farmers. "They all failed to prove they
were Zimbabweans," said Kasukuwere, who sits on the Parliamentary committee on
The theory being advanced by the Zimbabwean government is that
the vigilantes are going to be used to attack war veterans and families
resettled on seized white-owned commercial farms. Several deportees at
Nottingham and Sentinel Estates in Beitbridge told reporters they had nowhere to
go after being expelled from South Africa. They complained they had been
searched by Zimbabwean security personnel. Those without national identification
particulars were being detained, they said. "They came here in their vehicles
and started quizzing us on our identities. Those who failed to produce their
identity documents were bundled into the vehicles and taken to Beitbridge," said
one deportee at a temporary camp set up for the stranded deportees at Sentinel
The police in Beitbridge yesterday denied they were harassing
the deportees. At least 2 000 deported former workers are stranded at Bite,
Sentinel and Nottingham. An official from the South African High Commission in
Harare yesterday dismissed allegations that the deportees were trained
vigilantes as "fictitious garbage". He said: "There is no such policy which
South Africa has embarked on. It is someone’s imagination." A South African
court has halted the deportations following an urgent application by commercial
farmers who said there was need for dialogue before the deportations could be
effected. Meanwhile, Collin Chiwanza reports in Harare that the MDC says it
holds President Mugabe and his government responsible for the deportation of the
farm workers who were otherwise gainfully employed in South Africa. In a
statement yesterday, the MDC secretary-general, Professor Welshman Ncube, said:
"These Zimbabweans are a tiny fraction of our citizens who have become economic
refugees in countries all over the world as a result of Zanu PF’s failed
economic policies. We hold Zanu PF wholly responsible for the fate of all these
Zimbabweans." Up to 15 000 Zimbabweans working on farms in South Africa are
being deported by immigration officials, supported by the army and the police.
Reacting to the deportation reports, Ncube said if Zimbabweans
were to enjoy peace and tranquillity, urgent action was required to stop the
continued harassment, torture and spilling of blood instigated by the
government. "After 21 years of independence, Zimbabweans face dim prospects of
life as our country is deeply mired in economic ruin," said Ncube. Ncube, the
acting MDC spokesperson, said it was unfortunate that Mugabe and his government
were quick to find scapegoats for any problems caused by the skewed policies of
their party. He said: "The tragedy of this outgoing government is that it
suffers from the recurrent problem of dishonesty. It has perfected the art of
identifying groups of people other than itself as the cause of the Zimbabwean
crisis. It is this same government which is in the process of displacing over
200 000 farm workers in the country through State-sponsored violence." Ncube
said while companies were closing down and thousands of Zimbabweans lost their
jobs, the government seemed to be interested in appointing endless so-called
action committees. He said the government could appoint as many action
committees as it deemed fit and give them all sorts of names, but that would not
solve unemployment and border-jumping problems.
From The Zimbabwe Independent, 19
Zim/SA in diplomatic
Friction between South Africa and Zimbabwe, which first
surfaced at the September 11 Southern African Development Community (SADC)
summit in Harare, intensified this week with a war of words between officials on
either side of the Limpopo. Fuelling the row, high-level sources said, is a
growing perception in Pretoria that President Mugabe, in retaliation for the
diplomatic wringing he received in Harare last month, is supporting the Pan
Africanist Congress (PAC)’s agenda of land invasions modelled on Zanu PF’s
programme. Despite being a negligible party in electoral terms, the PAC has been
given red-carpet treatment in Harare and provided extensive state media coverage
for its land agenda. PAC officials, who expressed support for land invasions in
Zimbabwe during a visit to Harare in August, are set to return soon for further
talks with their traditional Zanu PF allies. South African war veterans,
reportedly raising funds for President Robert Mugabe’s re-election next year,
are also thought to be backing Harare in its diplomatic spat with Pretoria. A
meeting is due this month in South Africa between regional ex-combatants and the
land issue is expected to feature prominently.
Sources said Mbeki’s robust stance in regional initiatives over
the Zimbabwe crisis, particularly his encouragement of meetings with civil
society, have riled Mugabe. Since the SADC taskforce Harare meeting, the already
fraught diplomatic relations between Pretoria and Harare have further
deteriorated. Zimbabwean authorities, disguising themselves as "analysts"in the
official media, have attacked Mbeki to undermine his policies, especially on
land. They claim that while refusing to speak to the opposition in South Africa
on the land issue, he is only too prepared to meet Zimbabwe’s Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC). Sources said Mugabe and his advisors resent Mbeki
because he has abandoned the revolutionary solidarity stance which Mugabe has
used to camouflage his isolation. Harare also does not like Pretoria’s meetings
with the MDC, a party it alleges represents foreign interests. This could
explain the resuscitation of relations with the PAC which were abandoned after a
Cape Town bomb attack in 1993.
Despite energetic efforts by Pretoria to explain the
deportation of illegal Zimbabwean farm workers as "routine". analysts say the
move should be seen in terms of a deteriorating relationship. Harare and
Pretoria - albeit indirectly - this week exchanged fire over the issue.
Zimbabwe, through its propaganda mouthpieces, claimed South Africa wanted to
sabotage its land reform through the deportations and threatened to seize more
land to resettle the deportees. It also said whites were influencing Mbeki’s
government on this matter despite clear evidence that Northern Province farmers
were helping their workers to appeal against the move. South African Home
Affairs director-general Billy Masentlha said in an interview that it was
disturbing to note officials were associating themselves with "unfortunate"
remarks. "(Zimbabwe’s) Government has been making unfortunate statements on the
basis of propaganda and rumour," he said. "Most of the things that have been
said about this matter are just not true." Masentlha said official media reports
that 8 000 Zimbabwean farm workers "slipped" out of South Africa to avoid
deportation were unfounded. "It’s an absolute lie, a total fabrication," he
said. "The fact is the courts have ordered (that) we should have an out-of-court
settlement and we have given farmers until the end of this week to argue their
case. Next week we will provide them with a definite response."
There are 10 152 Zimbabwean farm workers in South Africa’s
Northern Province currently working on 94 properties - not 15 000 as the
Zimbabwe state media has been claiming. The total number of farm workers in the
Northern Province - including South Africans and other foreigners - is 16 000.
Despite the widening diplomatic rift, Masentlha denied his government was
playing tit for tat. "We are not deporting Zimbabweans alone. We are deporting
illegal immigrants from South Africa including the farm workers. How many
Mozambicans, Malawians, Zambians, Nigerians and others do we deport on a daily
basis?" he asked. Masentlha said South Africa wants to end the exploitation of
what he termed the Zimbabwe "slave market" by its farmers while creating jobs
From The Star (SA), 19
Zim newsman takes to the streets in
Harare - The publisher of a major Zimbabwean weekly joined his
newspaper's vendors on the streets of Harare on Friday to protest at a police
crackdown on street vendors. Trevor Ncube, publisher and chief executive of the
Zimbabwe Independent, sold copies of his paper in one of the capital's busiest
intersections during the morning rush hour, hoping police would arrest him.
Although several police cars and soldiers passed by, no one bothered Ncube. "The
whole point was to get the police's attention and to make a point" about the
arrests of vendors during the last three weeks, he said. "We have on average
every week about 20 vendors being arrested," he added. "I think this is a ploy
between the police and (information minister) Jonathan Moyo's office to affect
the press...to attempt to limit the free flow of information," he said. Police
say they are enforcing traffic laws and a city ban on street vendors, though
vendors of vegetables or other products have not been affected. The crackdown
has affected two other weeklies, the Financial Gazette and the Standard, which
have suffered declining street sales as police detain the vendors for most of
the day, Ncube said. International press groups have repeatedly criticised the
infringement of press rights by President Robert Mugabe's government, including
harassment of journalists by
From ZWNEWS, 20
Yesterday we offered to send readers copies of the government’s
mobile Voter Registration Programme, This document shows the dates and places
where people can go to check whether their name is on the voters’ roll, and if
not, to register to vote in the 2002 Presidential election. There are other,
permanent, offices where you can do this. All Provincial Registration Offices,
as well as the Registrar-General’s headquarters in Harare, can be used.
Potential voters should take with them their identification
document and some proof of residential address (a PTC or Zesa bill, or something
of that nature). The process of form-filling is handled by the registration
officer. It is extremely important that you check the details entered on the
form. Also, insist on being given a slip to prove that you have registered. This
slip should be kept safely and taken with you when you go to vote. Do not leave
the registration centre without this slip – prior to the parliamentary election
in 2000, many people were not given these slips, were then unable to prove they
had registered, and were unable to vote if their name had not been included on
the voters’ roll.
"Life here sucks at the moment but we all carry on in a bit of a daze, expecting things to change miraculously in our favour any time soon. There's no way we will be able to plant a crop this year and are currently trying to figure out whether or not we can survive a year with only the income from our store and butchery and selling cattle next year. (Actually our store has been closed for a couple of months now because of break-ins but we can easily re-open). It's just we are reluctant to re-open when most of the customers will be squatters! So much farm labour from all the surrounding farms here have been chased away."
" ... it's starting to get hot, we wish the rains would start in earnest - at least so that our cattle will stay on the farm! At the moment they stray all over the place in search of green grass when veld fires have swept through (all over the district) and the situation isn't helped by the fences constantly being cut and gates being left open daily by our new neighbours. "
"P. is having a dreadful time in Chakari - still working, just, but judging from the sitreps, not for long. Plus to add to the frustration squatters accidentally set fire to 40 hectares of his wheat he was in the middle of combining last week. That beautiful farm looks like TTL - I haven't been down for nearly a year and am too cowardly to do so because I know how heartbreaking it will be. All the game poached, not a fish left in the dam, trees cut everywhere, mombies, donkeys, dogs etc everywhere. "'
Herald Reporter THE Government is putting together a panel of economists,
industrialists, financial experts and bankers to map the way forward following
the decision to dump the World Bank and International Monetary Fund-sponsored
economic reform programme.
The Herald understands that some of the
members in the panel have been working on this under the National Economic
Consultative Forum and the Tripartite Negotiating Forum, which looked at the
need for a social contract between labour, Government and business.
is also understood that policy documents on the way forward would soon be
brought before Cabinet for discussion.
The Government last week
introduced price controls to stop manufacturers and retailers from exploiting
the people through profiteering.
Sources said the introduction of price
controls was not an overnight development, but that it had been studied by
experts for more than a year.
Industry — especially the bakers and
millers, who were now running around claiming that they wanted dialogue — had
been given a platform through the NECF, but they had snubbed the opportunity.
As far back as last September, the TNF came up with a draft protocol on
incomes and prices and had resolved that there was need to come up with a new
regime for managing incomes and prices, putting floors and ceilings to stimulate
growth and bring down inflation.
Sources said the policy thinking within
Government went beyond price controls of basic commodities, but that there was a
macro-economic framework based on the fast-track land reform programme as the
centre around which the economy should be rejuvenated.
This would be
done through the production of agricultural products for exports and taking
advantage of new alternative markets in Malaysia, Thailand, China, Libya,
Mauritius, etcetera, and consolidating existing markets.
The new policy
thrust — sources said — was aimed at stimulating exports focussing on
agricultural products, minerals and embarking on public works programmes such as
housing, the provision of infrastructure and amenities, resulting in the
creation of employment.
The new developments were taking place against
the realisation that the economic structural adjustment programme had been
around for more than 10 years but there was little to show for it.
Economic analysts were agreed that there was no reason why Zimbabwe
should be imprisoned by economic policies that had failed to work in other
Esap had a lifespan of five years but the Government had
toyed with the programme for 10 years, a fact analysts said showed that it was
committed to giving the policy its best shot.
"It has become clear that
the policy had major structural defects which had to do with the nature of the
economy, its history and the composition of key actors which made it least
susceptible to market dynamics because it is dominated by oligopolies.
"Therefore economic liberalisation has not led the private sector to
take advantage of market forces but has led to the creation of a clique that has
taken advantage of the liberalised environment to entrench itself and has been
profiteering instead of doing honest business."
Sources said the
Zimbabwe dollar had been devalued by more than 300 percent over the past three
years, but there had been no correct response from the market, leading to a
point where people no longer had faith in devaluation.
supposed to lead to economic empowerment of the indigenous Zimbabweans, but it
had now become a "bookkeeping exercise" and was being used to mortgage national
assets, said the source, citing reports that the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe
wanted to move to Mauritius.
"That shows that privatisation can lead to
capital flight. That is why there should be a distinction between privatisation
"What is needed in an economy like ours is to bring
indigenous people into the mainstream economy through empowerment," said the
The announcement by President Mugabe on Monday that the
Government had dumped Esap had been met with cynicism and criticism from some
quarters, yet South Africa had "quietly" dumped its Reconstruction and
Development Programme in the early 1990s and its economic growth programme in
the late 1990s but there was no public outcry.
The dumping of Esap comes
at a time the Government had introduced socialist economic programmes such as
the urban commuter trains. Governments the world-over subsidised urban
Contacted for comment yesterday, the Minister of State for
Information and Publicity, Professor Jonathan Moyo, said: "The President has
said we now have another opportunity for the socialism that we wanted to work.
"We are surprised that some people are scornful of this and we hope it
is not racism because socialism is alive in Europe. It seems like socialism is
okay in Europe but not okay in Africa.
"The Labour Party is introducing
socialism in Britain. If it is good for them, why is it bad for us? There are a
lot of people in our country who think that socialism is a slogan and do not
know that it is one of the most powerful economic fundamentals of the modern
Prof Moyo said the Communist Party of South Africa was party of
the government in that country yet no-one raised an eyebrow about it.
"So what’s the fuss when we say we want to revert to our socialism?
Communism is more ominous in the minds of the capitalists than socialism," he
THE South African
government must have decided to let Zimbabwe itself deal with the
consequences of its own disastrous policies unemployment and economic
migrants when it ordered a Monday deadline for mass deportations
of Zimbabweans working in that country.
That the directive took South
African farmers, who employ the Zimbabweans, by surprise suggests it was not
something that had been the subject of consultations between the two
governments and must, therefore, be a profound statement on how the Southern
African Development Community (Sadc) now views this country.
assumption must be that the Sadc has given up on trying rational persuasion
of President Mugabe to halt his policies, which have the potential to
destabilise the region, and have decided to place the problem on Mugabe’s
In the past, people simply ran away from Mugabe’s policies, but
by deporting them, the South Africans are forcing them to react to what the
ruling party, Zanu PF, and the government are doing to them.
have reasoned that Mugabe has less pressing issues on his hands and that is
why he has pursued his agenda on land for the past 20 months.