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

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This morning the MDC hosted a press conference in Johannesburg to brief the media on the party’s election petition challenging Mugabe's victory in the March 2002 Presidential Election. The High Court is scheduled to hear the petition on 3 November.
21 OCTOBER 2003
On November 3 Zimbabwe’s fragile democracy, and the values we stand for as law abiding and peace loving Zimbabweans, will be on trial. This is the day Zimbabwe’s High Court finally opens proceedings to hear the MDC’s election petition, challenging the outcome of the March 2002 Presidential election, an election that was declared unfree and unfair by the Commonwealth Observer Group, the SADC Parliamentary Forum and by the wider international democratic community.
Under Zimbabwe’s electoral law a candidate is allowed 30 days within which to challenge the outcome of an election. The MDC believed the March 2002 Presidential election to be flawed, and as a law abiding party committed to non-violence, decided to challenge the legitimacy of the poll through the courts. The MDC filed its petition on 7 April 2002. 
The very fact that it has taken over eighteen months for the case to come to court is a serious indictment against the state of Zimbabwe’s democracy. The MDC legal team has been pushing for the case to be heard since the petition was filed but its attempts have been continually frustrated by the respondents. The MDC had to eventually instigate legal action to get the case heard.
Those who criticise our decision to challenge Mugabe’s election victory in the courts fail to acknowledge that it is our legal and democratic right to do so. In any functioning democracy, if an election result is disputed then the aggrieved party has a right to challenge it. If it doesn’t then democracy in that country is in a perilous state. A failure by the MDC to challenge Mugabe’s victory would have been a betrayal of the people of Zimbabwe who we believe were unable to express their sovereign wishes in a free and fair poll.
The timing of the hearing is beyond our control and is not in anyway a deliberate attempt on our part to increase political tension and scuttle any chances of political dialogue. It is also important to remind the international community that Zanu PF broke off inter-party talks in May 2002 on the grounds that they would only engage in dialogue once the MDC election petition had been heard. They then proceeded to delay the case being heard, a point which reveals the level of their commitment to the dialogue process.
The MDC, on the other hand, has always been committed to dialogue and views it as the most effective mechanism for tackling Zimbabwe’s political and socio-economic crisis. Back in July, we issued a statement that stated clearly that the MDC would be willing to consider suspending the election petition in the event of irreversible progress being made towards tackling Zimbabwe’s crisis of legitimacy through a process of meaningful political dialogue.
We demonstrated our commitment to this process by up-grading our negotiation team and submitting an agenda for talks to the clerical intermediaries who were attempting to broker dialogue between ourselves and Zanu PF. We also acknowledged our responsibility to reduce political tension by ending our boycott of the opening of parliament and attending the funeral of Simon Muzenda.
Zanu PF has failed to reciprocate any of these gestures to reduce political tension and facilitate a process of political dialogue. In such circumstances it would be a betrayal of the democratic values we stand for as the leaders of the Zimbabwe’s social liberation movement to drop a court case that goes to the very heart of Zimbabwe’s democratic struggle. 
Paul Themba Nyathi
MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity
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Something Does Not Add Up in Mugabe's Land Report

Business Day (Johannesburg)

October 21, 2003
Posted to the web October 21, 2003

Dumisani Muleya

A REPORT produced by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's land review
committee has shown his government has been misleading critics over its
controversial land reform programme.

The report, which is yet to be made public, says only 127000 people were
resettled under the state's chaotic fast-track programme and not 300000 as
always officially claimed.

"The committee established that nationally a total of 2652 farms with a
combined 4231080ha had been allocated to 127192 households under the A1
resettlement model as of July 31 2003," the report says.

"As for the A2 resettlement model, the corresponding figures were 1672 farms
amounting to 2198814ha for 7260 beneficiaries," it says.

The government has claimed that more than more than 50000 people were
resettled under the A2 resettlement model compared with the stated 7260, in
the report produced by a team led by Mugabe's former secretary, Charles
Utete. In provinces such as Matabeleland South, there has been a total lack
of take-up of allocated farms under A2.

A lot of farms in Zimbabwe are lying idle and derelict either because people
have no resources or interest in utilising them.

Some of land earmarked for resettling villagers nationwide was seized by
Mugabe's ministers and followers for personal benefit.

On top of farms, the ruling elite also looted more than Z75bn worth of
equipment from whiteowned properties.

While the figures in the long-awaited report, expected to provide a detailed
audit of the land reform exercise and its impact on the economy, do not add
up, the rest of the report is saturated with Zanu (PF) propaganda.

It ignores the link between land reform and economic decline and skates over
the destruction of commercial agriculture. The report also overlooks the
well-documented destruction of infrastructure , the food crisis, lawlessness
and violence.

It also lets Mugabe's top public officials, who unlawfully grabbed several
farms, off the hook and glosses over a whole range of issues such as the
plight of farmworkers and the decimation of wildlife .

Foreign powers and the media are cited as stumbling blocks to the exercise,
not lack of resources and inadequate planning.

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1: Land Reform - From The People Or The Party?

Will a new dispensation sort out the mess?

Many in the international community and perhaps even within Civil Society
and the MDC appear to have conveniently forgotten the poverty assessment
survey that was conducted shortly before the whole land "reform" programme

This was a landmark and very revealing survey led by the government of
Zimbabwe along with NGOs, the donor community and Civil Society.  It was by
anybody's standards, a broad based and professional survey that went to 809
enumeration areas all over Zimbabwe interviewing 19,173 households in 617
communities as well as 518 homeless persons.

The results of the survey showed that in the communal areas 77% of the
population were considered to be "very poor" living below the food poverty
line.  It was interesting to note that there was little or no correlation
between poverty and the availability or unavailability of land for cropping
or for grazing.  The communal areas had by far the highest proportion of
"very poor" people.

Households were asked how they identified poverty.  Shortage of food was by
far the biggest factor.  Only 1% of people thought that shortage of land
was a factor that identified a household's poverty.

Households were also asked what the main causes of poverty were.
Unemployment nationally was the biggest factor with 30% subscribing to this
view.  Drought was the next factor at 29%.  Only 1% of the population
blamed poor land quality with another 1% blaming the shortage of land as
the cause of their poverty.

Households were then asked what their perceived solutions to their poverty
were.  Nationally the biggest factor by a wide margin was "create

In the rural areas "affordable agricultural loans" and "irrigation water"
were the biggest factors in both communal and resettlement areas making up
47% and 39% of respondents interviewed.  Provision of land only made up 2%
and 3% of respondents answer in communal and resettlement areas on their
perception of how to break the poverty trap.

Why then, less than two years after the results came out, were 1472 farms
listed for compulsory acquisition?  And why two years after that was the
referendum campaign fought on the land issue spearheaded by the now Chief
Justice in the Supreme Court and the Minister of Information in the Zanu PF
cabinet?  And why did "spontaneous" land invasions begin less than two
weeks after the people rejected the draft constitution which was to "give
them" the land?

The answer to these questions is surely clear.  The land "reform" programme
came from the party not the people.  The party has deliberately disregarded
the survey in its entirety and actively gone against its findings.  The net
result is the abject poverty the land "reform" programme has brought.  The
thorny issue at take though is do the MDC, Civic Society and the
International Community have the courage and foresight to grapple with the
illegalities of the land "reform" programme?  Will there be a respect for
title deeds and private ownership to create an enabling environment for
wealth creation and poverty alleviation?  Will title be created in the
communal and resettlement areas?  Will the invaders who have forcibly
stopped production, evicted farmers and farm workers, committed untold
human rights abuses and stripped assets be told they can "co-exist" in the
future as they are doing now?

There appears to be a strange silence on many of these issues.  The time
has come to get some answers.

Ben Freeth


Letter 2:

Dear Fellow Zimbabwean Farmers

Property rights form the cornerstone of a democratic, capitalist society.

Property rights in the hands of individuals gives them the right to:
· own the land for which the right exists
· make improvements to the property
· use the property as collateral to obtain loans from financial
· trade in the property thereby being able to swap one property for another
· acquire additional property as an investment to accumulate wealth
People only look after property if it belongs to themselves

Property that belongs to the state belongs to everybody but it belongs to
no man. It allows the state to abuse their power by being able to place
people on or remove them from the property on a politically expedient or
personal patronage basis. This takes away the individual's security of
tenure and causes uncertainty in ownership of the property. When an
individual is uncertain of his ownership, he will not improve the property.
He will not be able to borrow against the property to improve it and he
will not be able to trade in the property. If he is insecure in his
ownership he will take from, but not improve on, the property he acquires.

Each of us owns the title to the properties we farmed.

Many of us bought our farms after 1980 on a willing buyer, willing seller
basis. After 1990 the farms were offered to government for resettlement and
only after receiving a "Certificate of no interest" from the government
were we able to buy the farms and pay the previous titleholder for the

Some farmers bought their farms on a willing buyer/willing seller basis
prior to 1980. These farms were paid for.

I believe that if government had been serious about a Land Reform Program,
they would have
· Taken more serious account of the need for title to property both in the
commercial and communal areas
· made funds available for young (and old) farmers to buy land on a willing
buyer/willing seller basis
· encouraged commercial farming among the various groups of Zimbabwean
· found a solution to the lack of investment in the communal farming areas
by giving the farmers title to their property.

For Zimbabwe to get back onto the path of growth and development, we have
to come to terms with the need to have title to property in the hands of
the individual. We need to understand that to put land in the hands of
government will be detrimental to the future growth of our nation. We need
to be able to use the title deeds of our land as collateral to fund the
reconstruction of this country of ours.

If you hold title to your land, please remember that if you are able to
wait and survive without giving up that title, there will come a time where
property rights will be held sacred again and our property rights will be

Yours sincerely
Jean Simon


Letter 3: Re Open Letters Forum No. 168 dated 17 October

With reference to the query about the International Media, I can vouch for
the fact that the media is very much aware of the situation in Zimbabwe,
but, for once, they are being very careful about what they print and say in
case it makes a bad situation worse.

My own international organisation lobbies various governments world-wide
and the UN where we have a permanent representative, however, we are very
conscious that not all public outcries achieve the most satisfactory
results for the people who need assistance.

Good Luck, Jo-An M Partridge

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.
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CAREER OPPORTUNITIES: Updated October 20, 2003

Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities <>


(ad inserted 20 October 2003)

"Pottery manufacturing company in Greendale is seeking a Production
Manager, to oversee and control the manufacturing, costing and exporting of
pottery. Enthusiastic, self-starter with friendly disposition is
required. Computer experience especially spreadsheets a must.

Please e-mail CV's to or write to P.O.Box
GT2696, Graniteside, Harare."


(ad inserted 15 October 2003)

I am looking for an experienced driver.  Ideally, the successful applicant
will be able to double as a gardener and live on the property.

Alternatively, is there anyone in the Highlands area who has a driver whom
they would be prepared to share?

Replies to or phone 498266/091-354079


(ad inserted 13 October 2003)

We are looking to recruit a candidate from Zimbabwe to be our
Zimbabwe Liaison Officer - based in Harare, Zimbabwe
Salary between £490 - £600 Sterling per month (depending on skills and
experience), full time, Contract - from November 2003 until March 2005

Reporting to the Southern Africa Programme Manager (SAPM), the Zimbabwe
Liaison Officer (ZLO) will work to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency
of CIIR / ICD's programme in Zimbabwe. The postholder will be supporting
CIIR / ICD's skillshare and advocacy work in the country. She/he will also
be expected to help the SAPM to maintain a broader perspective of the
Southern Africa Region. The ZLO will provide supervision and support to
CIIR / ICDs Development Workers (DWs) and maintain and build key
partnerships with local partner organisations in response to CIIR / ICD's
HIV & AIDS and disability strategies for Zimbabwe.

The postholder should have degree or appropriate qualification in social
sciences or related field and three to five years of relevant work
experience, preferably within a non-governmental organisation, preferably
with senior responsibility.

You should have excellent administration skills and sound book keeping and
financial management experience. Competent IT skills, excellent
self-organising, and prioritising skills, as well as experience of
providing support to and of monitoring personnel is essential. Due to the
nature of the post experience of being able to work effectively within the
current social/economic and political environment in Zimbabwe is essential.

Good interpersonal and communication skills to liaise effectively with
people at various levels and good oral and written communication skills in
English and in Shona and/or Ndebele are important. It is essential to have
a proven ability to think and act strategically in response to HIV & AIDS
as a development issue and a good grasp of gender analysis and dynamics in
southern Africa. Last but not least you must have a valid full driving
licence and willingness to travel extensively by car within Zimbabwe.
Closing date 31 October 2003
Interviews Early November
For further information and an application form visit or email
alternatively fax ++264 61 232317.
CIIR / ICD are committed to equal opportunities
Charity No. 294 329


(ad inserted 07 October 2003)

We have a vacancy coming up in at the end of November for an Administrator
who will perform various BASIC functions in our Harare office.

It is not too demanding and would suit a semi-retired farmer.

Salary modest but has the use of a car to and from work, fuel provided.

The primary role is to "keep and eye on" warehousing and general office
situation.  Please contact JAG offices for contact details.


(ad inserted 02 October 2003)

The Trading Company in Msasa is looking for a mornings only bookkeeper who
is able to work up to trial balance.

Please contact 486596, 011 217 841 or email for further


(ad inserted 02 October 2003)

RESCUE Sheltered Workshop for 43 mentally and physically disabled invite
application for the following posts:

1. Administrator/Director
2. Workshop Manager
3. Bookkeeper

The disabled persons have been trained to carry out various semi-skilled
work in the manufacture of wheelchairs in a well-equipped and spacious
workshop in Harare.

Applications with CV to be sent to Chairman Executive Committee, P O Box
A381, Avondale, Harare.
Tel: (w) 304575, cell 011 405 046


(ad inserted 01 October 2003)

We are looking for someone to work on our till in the Art Mart, please
contact Lindy Rowlands at 485514 for more details.


(ad inserted 19 September 2003)

ONCE UPON A TIME NURSERY SCHOOL is looking for a teacher to start in
January 2004.

Any ex-teachers, or qualified Nursery School teachers, wanting to get back
into the teaching environment?
Ex-teachers, farmers' wives looking for a satisfying job in a happy

Good package. Mornings only.
Please contact Rosy van der Westhuizen on 776470 (school hours) or
091-216730 or e-mail


(ad inserted 19 September 2003)

Applicant, who should be 30 years of age or over, would ideally have:

Minimum 5 years experience
Good references
Competitive salary offered.

Contact: Ms Bassett
Telephone: 758921


(ad inserted 19 September 2003)

Retired farmer/handyman required overseeing a clothing and fabric factory
in Msasa.  No special qualifications needed.  Work hours are from 7am - 5
pm on Mon-Thurs and 7am - 1pm on Friday.  Please contact 011 217 841 for
further details.


HARARE - Avondale area
(ad inserted 19 September 2003)

We are looking for someone to work a 2-3-morning week.  Must be computer
literate and have knowledge of Data input, Excel and Graphs.

Please contact 04 794478 for further details.


(ad inserted 16 September 2003)

We have a vacancy for a receptionist.
Applicant must be MS Word/ Excel/ e-mail literate and of a cheerful manner.
Salary on application.
Phone Carol Livingston 305613/4 Harare


HARARE (Glen Lorne)
(ad inserted 04 September 2003)

Position for a 5-day week mornings only handyman at Imba Matombo Hotel will
be available from 14 September 2003. Please contact Julie Webb 499013.


(ad inserted 21 August 2003)




(ad inserted 10 October 2003)

We are looking for someone who has:

1. Loads of common sense
2. Patience
3. Sense of humour and an ability to communicate at all levels
4. Self-motivation
5. Prepared to work hands on (mostly feet on!)
6. Perseverance
7. A touch of stubbornness would be an advantage
8. ENERGY (that should perhaps have been listed first!)

That is the basic mindset.

Experience in sewing most important. Designing and pattern making an
advantage but not essential.
The working environment is in an export orientated clothing factory - we
are unquestionably competitive in the world market and have uncompromising
quality standards to support this.

The work is hard, the job is rewarding. If you are interested, please
contact me on email:

Judith Clark


(ad inserted 02 September 2003)

Farm sitter urgently required from 16-30th September 2003.  Duties to
include looking after tobacco grading shed and possible ridging to be done.
Please contact 091 321 406.

(ad inserted 19 August 2003)

Position Vacant.
Estate Manager for large company, Eastern Districts, to control fields,
office and factory. Duties entail learning and enforcing all present
practices, maintain and improve standards of production and quality. Good
prospects for the right person seeking long-term commitment.

Qualifications: BSc Agriculture / Horticulture; plus 8 years experience at
senior level; may consider Diploma plus track record.

o Normal farm perks;
o Double-cab with free fuel; may qualify car purchase scheme.
o Company share scheme.
o Annual Commission on performance.
o Competitive Salary.
o Assistance with school fees.
o Company pays 75% of CIMAS.
o Generous Leave.

Appointment on probation for 4 months.
Submit CV to "The Director"


(ad inserted 06 August 2003)

Position Vacant
A large company in the eastern districts seeks to fill the post of Estate
Manager on the following general terms. Appointment may be subject to a
satisfactory report from an Industrial Psychologist.

Duties: To take control of the estate, reporting to the overall
agricultural manager, being responsible for field supervision, for office
control and planning, and for factory production. These duties will entail
learning and enforcing all present practices to maintain and improve
standards of production and quality. Later, we would expect initiatives to
lead this enterprise to even greater heights.

This post has good promotion prospects for the right person, as the
incumbent gains experience and responsibilities. These duties require a
high level of commitment and long hours of work at busy times. The Company
works a 6-day week.

Qualifications: A BSc in Agriculture or Horticulture; plus at least 8 years
of relevant experience, recently at a senior management level; Capable of
commanding a large workforce through the department managers and with
assistance from the service departments; Aged between 32 and 45 years. A
Diploma plus excellent track record may be considered, but demonstrable
technical and managerial expertise is essential.

o Subsidised housing with lights and water, and 2 gardeners;
o A double-cab vehicle with free fuel within reason; may qualify for the
car purchase scheme after the probation period.
o Company share schemes allow participation in the company's fortunes.
o Annual Commission on performance against targets of production, quality,
profitability, and tasks.
o Competitive Salary, commensurate with qualifications and experience.
o Pension Scheme. Employee contribution is 8%. Must meet medical standards
in this respect.
o Schooling: assistance with school fees for up to four children.
o Company pays 75% of CIMAS monthly rates on any scheme level.
o Leave: 36 calendar days; plus 1 day per month `occasional' leave.

Appointment would be on probation for 4 months, during which one month's
notice applies. The company is looking for a long-term commitment by a
professional seeking a career.
Suitable candidates should submit CVs marked for attention "The Director",

(ad inserted 18 September 2003)


A very exciting and challenging opportunity for a financial controller /
accountant in the tourism industry

IDEALLY: We require: A couple who can both become involved in the
business and who do not still have children at school.

Either the husband or wife should have extensive accounting experience and
be able to manage the accounting staff.

The company is also involved in Christian mission and overseas student
tours throughout Africa, conducting hunting safaris and has an export
orientated weavery business.

The company offices, homesteads, extensive workshops and very busy Safari
lodge/camp are based on a game park 10 kms out of Gweru.

Enthusiastic and committed couples interested in joining us should please
forward details to or phone me directly on 091-205956

The position is available immediately and really is an exiting one.

We offer:

· Company vehicle
· Company house on the game park
· Competitive salary
· Lots of perks
P O Box 1218, Gweru, Zimbabwe
Phone/Fax: +(263 54) 52172, 50919

(ad inserted 20 October 2003)

Do you love the bush, enjoy gardening, and have the personality to make
guests feel welcome? Are you mechanically minded?  Interested in catering?
We are looking for a mature fit couple to run our resort at Kariba.  If you
feel this is for you, please email us on

(ad inserted 16 September 2003)

Lake Fresh Fisheries in Kariba has a vacancy for the position of General
Manager with the core business being Kapenta Fishing. Ideal for successful
farmer - minimum age 30 years. The company offers a very attractive Salary,
free vehicle for company use, plus free house, lights and water, with 21
working days leave p/a. Genuine applications only please
Phone 011 608 782 or 308960, or email

(ad inserted 09 September 2003)

A General Manager is wanted in Chalala, Kariba to start work immediately.
Skills to include:

1. diesel mechanic,
2. must be a hard worker,
3. is familiar with boats and equipment,
4. good at labour relations,
5. preferably married as social life is limited.

A 3-bedroomed cottage is offered for accommodation.

Salary is substantial but negotiable.

Please contact 061 2523 or 011 715 425 for further information.

(ad inserted 16 September 2003)


A farm manager / assistant for a horticultural project situated 25 km from
Please contact Mr. P. Buchan on


(ad inserted 13 August 2003)


Barwick School is situated in the peaceful countryside of Mutoroshanga
about 100km north of Harare. The school itself faces the beautiful hills of
the Great Dyke and surrounded by the Caeser mining village and Barwick
farming community.

We require the services of a matron, as of the Third Term preferably
someone who has nursing experience and who has a lot of drive, to look
after the Grade 5----7 and maintain law and order in the top hostels.
Please contact the Headmaster on phone no:066-8-285/091345352 or


(ad inserted 08 October 2003)

We have a job offer as a manager of a large Timber Milling operation in
Nkai.  We are looking for:

1.  A decision maker with good managerial skills, able to control and
discipline a large work force.  Integrity and honesty are vital.

2.  Because Nkai is in the middle of the bush and far away from any towns,
it is important that the applicants are personalities that are not
interested in social life or likely to turn to alcohol.  A more introverted
type of person would be more suitable.  Preferably without children at

3.  Duties will involve the running of a very large hardwood sawmill, hire
and fire of labourers, maintenance of all machinery and vehicles and
dealing with customers.  Work will often take up weekends.  Any mechanical
knowledge will be greatly advantageous.

4.  Accommodation at the moment consists of a Bungalow.  However when the
right person is found for the position we intend building.

5.  Salary although not fully decided at this point will be very high.  We
will work out a scheme based on percentage of profits as well as a basic.
Salary although paid in Zim Dollars will be based on the Rand.


Glen Wiseman
Cell phone: 011 208 329

(ad inserted 20 October 2003)


Someone to assist on farm; any retired farmer or displaced couple looking
for somewhere to live or something to do.

Contact Doreen for more information on e-mail:



(ad inserted 29 September 2003)


Please contact: for further details



Tobacco managers wanted in Malawi: 2003/4 seasons 100ha Flue cured 100ha
Maize African tobacco managers of Malawian extraction wanting to relocate
with costs paid and paper work facilities. Malawian Passport Holders will
obviously be given preference. Respond to JAG's email address and we will


(ad inserted 07 October 2003 - 28/10)

A challenging and exciting opportunity exists for a horticultural manager
to take charge of a 10 Ha. rose project. The position requires a
self-motivated and highly committed manager who must be able to communicate
with a large labour force and have the necessary experience to produce top
quality roses for the export market. Applicants will be expected to possess
a high level of organisational skills and must be prepared to work long
hours at peak periods. The opportunity also exists for the spouse to be
employed in the office and assist in the pack shed.

This position holds excellent prospects for a dedicated person seeking a
long term commitment and offers:
Company house and servant
Company vehicle
Medical aid assistance
Competitive US$ salary
Bonus based on production targets

e mail C.V. to :

(ad inserted 16 October 2003)

I work for a US based Consulting firm - GoodWorks
International LLC, engaged in amongst other things, promoting investment in

Some of our clients in Nigeria, in this respect, Northern State Governors
have asked that we enquire into the possibility of attracting farmers
seeking to divest or diversify their knowledge, expertise or investments
from Zimbabwe and the Southern African region into the northern part of

The northern part of Nigeria is seeking to boost its economic activity and
develop its communities by promoting the only viable assets it has - its
agriculturally viable land and traditional farming communities. Riding on
the back of an "agricultural boost" would be the development of tourism in
the area, largely renowned for a rich culture, colorful festivals, an
erstwhile beautiful game reserve and numerous other historically valuable
sites which have suffered neglect.

The northern part of Nigeria has a traditionally farming community, notable
for the production of maize, sorghum, cowpeas, groundnuts, rice, sugar cane
etc., cattle rearing and poultry farming.

The idea would be to have these farmers, enter into joint
venture/working/concession/management agreements for farms or land either
owned and/or controlled by the state governments.

Similarly, I am also seeking game park operators who might be interested in
considering a similar working arrangement for a game reserve located in
Bauchi state (Yankari game reserve).

I would appreciate your putting me in touch with members of the farming
community interested in exploring this opportunity further and I would be
happy to provide additional information and arrange working
visits/conference calls.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.


Aisha Rimi
GWI Consulting
1900 K Street, Suite 1050
Washington DC, 20006

Tel: 202 736 2152
Fax: 202 736 2213


(ad inserted 07 October 2003)

There is a vacancy for a vegetable production manager in SA. The project is
involved in the production of baby vegetables and peas (Mange Tout) for the
local market (Woolworths) and the European markets.

The applicant must be able to work in SA. The project is based in the
Southern Cape region of George.

Good experience in all aspects of farming are essential - I am looking for
a particularly dedicated person.

Please contact me - CHRIS CHARTER
+27 82 880-1351


(ad inserted 09 October 2003)

Ugandan Forest Resource Management and Conservation Programme


Degree or Diploma in Forestry or Forest Engineering

Essential Experience:
· Minimum 8 years practical experience of establishing, management and
harvesting of large-scale, commercial, tropical or sub-tropical timber
plantations - particularly pines and eucalypts.
· Proven experience of modern weed control techniques - including the safe
use of herbicides.
· A thorough understanding of modern tree nursery techniques.
· Demonstrable experience of working with chain saws.
· Experience with skidding logs using a 4WD tractor and double-drum winch.
· Organising and supervising private Contractors to carry out work.
· Drawing up and implementing fire protection plans for forests.

Desirable Experience:
· Knowledge of Health and Safety issues in forestry operations.
· Experience in training in various aspects of plantation silviculture and
· Forest Certification experience.
· Knowledge of marketing roundwood.
· Competence in computer use - especially MS Office applications.

A 12-month contract initially but with a likelihood of extension

The successful applicant will be based in Kampala.  The work will involve
frequent travel around Uganda which will necessitate frequent overnight
stays up-country. Kampala is a thriving, cosmopolitan city with excellent
facilities for shopping, schooling and general R&R.

Start Date:
ASAP from 1st October 2003.

The post-holder will have the use of a good 4WD vehicle to carry out his or

her duties and a driver will be assigned to the vehicle.

Salary and Conditions:
To be discussed with Agrisystems Ltd. (UK).

The activities of the FRMCP places considerable emphasis on the development
of new plantations and the sustainable management of the remaining mature
Despite the excellent growth conditions available for tree plantations in
Uganda, the forest plantation sector still remains under developed and a
serious shortfall of timber is predicted in the near future.

The FRMCP has already started establishing some demonstration plantations
in Forest Reserves in strategic places around the country and has also
recently launched a Sawlog Production Grant Scheme to act as an incentive
to the private sector to plant commercial timber crops.

The lack of practical skills (following years of poor management and
general unrest in the country) is severely affecting the FRMCP's plantation
development plans hence the need to recruit a suitable person who can pass
skills to the Programme's management team, private sector & other
stakeholders to meet its plantation development targets.

Other Info:
The post-holder will join the Agrisystems Technical Advisory (TA) team -
reporting directly to the FRMCP's Chief Technical Advisor.

Please contact: for further information.


(ad inserted 08 September 2003)

I have been in Uganda for the last six weeks. Whilst there, I met a Ugandan
who is a lawyer by profession, who owns three pieces of land and who is
looking for someone to run farming operations for him. He has 800 acres
between Entebbe and Kampala, where he is doing maize and cattle and two
other properties of 10 square miles and two square miles respectively, both
with potential for irrigation if necessary.

Should you know of anyone who might be interested, I would ask that they
send responses to the Ugandan email address for more information:
(ad inserted 01 October 2003)

Vegetable and fruit grower supplying large supermarket chain from
developing irrigated Copperbelt Farm requires a suitably qualified hands-on
Assistant.  Married or single.  Wife could assist in office.  Some
experience with seeding growing an advantage.
Excellent free housing and services paid, and vehicle provided.  Salary
Please reply email
Fax: Zambia +260 2 210468
Tel: Zambia +260 96 990096


(ad inserted 09 September 2003)

Mechanical Engineer required for a large engineering firm in Lusaka.  All
enquiries contact Diego Casilli in Lusaka on or


(ad inserted 08 August 2003)

For Attn of Mr Richard Tigner

Dear Mr Tigner,

I am contacting you in response to information given to me, and subsequent
to a conversation with Mr John Hanley of the University of Exeter.

We understand that you have a dairy scheme for which you are looking for
farmers who may wish to participate, and that there have been various trips
to Europe to recruit farmers to become engaged in the project.

I understand also that you have been looking for people with the funds to
invest in the opportunity as well.

You may also be aware that there is a particularly difficult situation in
Zimbabwe (Southern Africa) where the Govt of the day has forced 85% of the
former farmers off their land and as a result has all but destroyed the
farming industry.

As a charity, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Welfare Trust is well connected
with many of those deposed farmers, and it may well be that some may be
interested in opportunities you may offer. Some may have funds they could
invest, but others would be looking for any kind of opportunity.

Please would you get back to me with any details you may have that could be
of some interest to these farmers.

I am copying this email to the Justice for Agriculture Team in Zimbabwe and
I would ask that when you reply to me, you copy your reply to them.

Thank you for your help.
Yours aye,

James Maberly
Chairman, Zimbabwe Agricultural Welfare Trust
Dear Mr Maberly,

I am a farm management specialist with Iowa State University, a land grant
university established in the mid-1800's.  Iowa is an important part of the
US dairy industry, producing just under 3% of the total US milk, number 9
in total milk processed and number 12 in milk produced per cow.

New dairy farmers would find available feed and dairy production
facilities.  Some local crop farmers have also indicated they are ready to
sell land for construction of a dairy facility, sell the dairy producer
feed and use the manure produced on the dairy for crop production.  We have
begun working with some Dutch farmers in moving to the US since they have
limited opportunities there, but for different reasons.

The most difficult part of the process of developing a dairy here is the
immigration process; at this time an exemption has been applied for to the
US government's immigration service that may make immigration easier.
There are some financial investment requirements for one visa type that may
be eased.  There is another visa type that does not put the immigrant on a
citizenship track.  An application for citizenship could take place at some
other time however.

It is possible that we may assist the farmers you are in contact with, but
additional information about there needs, financial resources, skills and
goals than I currently have.  Please respond to this email at your
convenience.  Thank you.

For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact (updated 20 October 2003)

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MDC Weekend Rallies.

The President, Vice President and Paul Temba Nyati spent the weekend in
Matabeleland South, On Saturday they attended two rallies - one at a rural
business center just north of the Tuli Circle at  cattle sale pens called
Toporo, the other in Beitbridge at Dulibadzimu Stadium. In the evening a
braai was laid on for the District Executive and was attended by most of the
elected officials in the Beitbridge District plus one official from the
The attendance at both rallies was outstanding - certainly larger than
similar events held in 2002 when the Presidential campaign was being
conducted. At Toporo a group of about 2000 peasant farmers gathered and were
on time to greet the presidential group at just after 10 in the morning.
They gave the MDC leadership a noisy welcome and then sat quietly in the
open on a cold blustery day for nearly two hours while the trio and local
leaders spoke. There was a great deal of laughter and much banter despite
the fact that this must be one of the worst affected food deficit areas in
the country and people are desperately poor. A small group of about 30 Zanu
PF members and "war veterans" had gone to the site of the rally in the early
morning but were confronted by 20 armed Police details who instructed them
to leave the area. We drove through the group as we came in from Beitbridge
and apart from a couple of clenched fist salutes were left alone.
The trio then drove back to Beitbridge - had a quick lunch and then down to
Dulibadzimu Township - almost on time. Again a cold windy afternoon in a
dusty stadium but a very enthusiastic crowd. Difficult to estimate numbers -
one person said 5000, another 3000 but I think it was probably the former
and rising because many people came a bit late. Very enthusiastic, a great
deal of laughter and shouts of agreement at the points being made by the
leadership. Gibson talking in Ndebele, Morgan in Shona and Paul in Ndebele.
The local Chairman of the NCA spoke in Venda - the local language and
thanked the MDC leadership for coming.
After the rally Morgan did one of his "walk about" in the slum areas and at
the bus depot. The township was very empty during the rally - most people
came and those who could not get in stood outside the walls or climbed up
trees. The Police were completely absent apart from a road block on the main
road where they were telling people that "if they were going to the rally,
they should walk". Must have got a lot of queer looks from any South African
visitors. The only Zanu PF presence was a small group of 7 people who sang
and danced using Zanu slogans but faded from view as the crowd gathered.
The evening braai was very good - it gave the local leaders a chance to
speak about issues that were of concern to them and they were able to meet
the leadership themselves. 6 months ago when we started the campaign to
re-organise the district our first meeting was held in fearful secrecy, at
night, in the darkness. This time there was no fear at all and we were left
alone. All report a very different atmosphere and said that it signaled a
significant change in the levels of support for the MDC and in the attitude
of the Police.
On Sunday the leadership went to Gwanda to attend the celebrations in
Pelandaba Stadium but it was cold (very cold) and wet and only a small crowd
of about 2000 attended. But still very enthusiastic and the only Police
presence- two road blocks on the main road trying in vain to stop people
coming into Gwanda for the meeting from the rural areas.
Prior to the weekend Morgan attended the Women's Assembly in Masvingo -
attended by delegates from all over the country and he said to me that he
had been most impressed with the gathering.
There is no doubt in my mind that these weekend rallies are having a huge
impact. The week before this weekend, rallies at Gweru and Mutare in decent
weather had attracted crowds of 30 000 and 40 000. The people have very few
means of getting to know what is going on - there is no news of the MDC in
the state controlled media and the only independent weekly is expensive and
business orientated. SW radio is very often mentioned in the rural areas but
the shortage of short-wave radios (a legacy of the Smith era when these were
discouraged) is a problem. However they require a great deal of work and the
funding is considerable - to get the vehicles to these rallies costs on
average Z$250 000 each. Accommodation for bodyguards and drivers plus the
dignitaries is another matter. But to my way of thinking there is no
substitute and we must maintain the pressure on the regime with these
activities. There were no media present at all, we took photos and a video
clip of each function.
Eddie Cross
19th October 2003
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17 October 2003

REDRESS is shocked and dismayed to learn of the brutal police assault on prominent
Zimbabwe human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa on Sunday 12 October 2003. This unlawful
attack ironically followed her calling the police to report the attempted hi-jacking of her motor
vehicle, and is a further example of how those meant to uphold the law in Zimbabwe are now
amongst the chief lawbreakers.

Beatrice Mtetwa has a well-deserved reputation both inside and outside her country for her
fearless defence of human rights. Her courageous legal battles, particularly on behalf of
independent journalists targeted by the Zimbabwe government, has now made her a target too.
The Harare policeman who beat her up, and his colleagues who watched without intervening,
are all members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, a once professional body which in recent
years has become little more than an extension of the ruling Zanu-PF party. It is the same police
force to which Chief Inspector Dowa belongs, the man Zimbabwe activists recently accused of
torture, who was expelled from the United Nations police force in Kosovo following REDRESS’

Because of her refusal to be intimidated, Mrs Mtetwa was savagely punched, kicked and
choked, but as she herself stated afterwards, the vast majority of ordinary Zimbabweans are
unable to stand up for their rights, and go through worse than this. National and international
groups have documented the continuing gross and systematic violations of human rights,
including torture of the most horrific kind imaginable. REDRESS joins all those people and
organisations inside and outside Zimbabwe who have condemned this latest example of statesponsored violence.

The collapse of the rule of law in Zimbabwe, the refusal of the government to obey court orders,
and the open support the Supreme Court is giving Zanu-PF as illustrated by its recent ruling
leading to the shut-down of the country’s only independent daily newspaper, gives no reason to
think that Mrs Mtetwa and other human rights victims will soon obtain justice. Maximum
international pressure may influence the Mugabe regime to re-think its campaigns of violence, as
all other efforts have fallen on deaf ears. In this context REDRESS calls upon African
governments in particular, and especially those in Southern Africa, to voice their grave concern.

For more information, please contact:
Kevin Laue (Zimbabwe Justice Project) at: REDRESS:
tel: +44 (0)20 7793 1777; fax: +44 (0)20 7793 1719
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Independent (UK)

Mugabe desperate to find evidence of British 'plot'
By Basildon Peta, Southern Africa Correspondent
21 October 2003

President Robert Mugabe, is said to be living in fear of a British "plot" to
kill him and has ordered the Zimbabwe spy agency to do a more "thorough job"
of monitoring the activities of the British high commissioner, as a prelude
to his possible expulsion.

Intelligence sources say Mr Mugabe is eager to collect evidence to justify
expelling Sir Brian Donnelly from Zimbabwe, but has, so far, found none.

His various conspiracy theories against Sir Brian, including one that the
high commissioner has spent most of his time preparing the ground for an
Anglo-American invasion of Zimbabwe, have not been backed up by any tangible

But Mr Mugabe believes his Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) is being
incompetent and it has not done much to uncover Sir Brian's alleged
activities, despite a similar order last year to place him under close

Sir Brian is under instructions to advise the Zimbabwean Foreign Ministry
when the high commission's diplomats leave the country, an order which also
applies to the US ambassador on the movements of American diplomats.

Mr Mugabe has convinced himself that Britain wants to kill him after failing
to help the opposition remove him from power in the presidential election
last year, sources said. A special task force of CIO officers will now work
full time on monitoring Sir Brian.

An intelligence source said: "The President believes Donnelly is up to
something no good. He even thinks Donnelly is working with his enemies on a
plot to kill him.

"The problem [for Mr Mugabe] is that there is no grain of evidence to
justify all these fears. There has been none found, as far as I know.
Donnelly is just like any other diplomat."

Mr Mugabe wants to have Sir Brian's meetings with opposition and civic
officials monitored. He also suspects that the diplomat might be reaching
out to army officials and other people close to him to facilitate an
assassination plot.

Asked whether Mr Mugabe might take the drastic action of expelling Sir
Brian, even in the unlikely event that he built a case against the high
commissioner, one source said: "I wouldn't put it past him."

The sources said a story, probably planted in Mr Mugabe's main mouthpiece,
The Sunday Mail, blaming Sir Brian for causing Zimbabwe's crippling fuel
crisis, should be seen more as being a result of the regime's frustration
over its failure to get hard evidence to back its imaginary theories.

A few days before publication of the story, Mr Mugabe is said to have met
his top CIO officials, who report to him directly, for a wide-ranging
meeting which also covered Sir Brian.

The high commissioner was accused in the newspaper of causing the fuel
crisis to plunge the nation into chaos and ignite internal resentment ahead
of the Abuja Commonwealth summit in December.

A Foreign Office spokesman yesterday described The Sunday Mail article as
"complete and utter rubbish".

The spokesman said: "It would be laughable if the realities of economic
collapse were not so serious for millions of Zimbabweans." Sir Brian has
written to The Sunday Mail in the same terms.

An oil industry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: "If you
can believe the story, then you can believe anything. These are the kinds of
reports that make us a laughing stock of the world.

"Let's be serious about solving our economic problems by first getting the
basics right."

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The Star

      Possible scenarios for Zimbabwe
      October 21, 2003

      By Allister Sparks

      In my last column I described the surreal state of Zimbabwe, where the
formal economy has collapsed and the country is running almost entirely on a
black-market economy in which a handful of people with access to hard
currency are growing stinking rich while the masses are starving.

      It is a country whose future course, I believe, will be decided over
the next three months, with December as a kind of deadline. That is when the
ruling Zanu-PF party will hold its annual conference at which President
Robert Mugabe is expected to announce his intentions, and when the
Commonwealth Summit will meet to consider whether or not to continue
Zimbabwe's suspension.

      Mugabe has indicated he wants to retire. Nobody knows whether he will
or not, but his statements have been enough to trigger a power struggle for
the succession within Zanu-PF.

      Meanwhile, some informal "talks about talks" have taken place between
Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Demo-cratic Change (MDC), but these
have not touched on the critical issue of transitional arrangements for a
new election that will be free and fair. There have been no formal

      So what is likely to happen? Here are some possible scenarios.

      Scenario 1.

      Zanu-PF's preferred way forward would be for the MDC to agree to a
transitional Government of National Unity (GNU) under a successor to Mugabe
as president, which would govern the country until parliamentary elections,
due in June 2005. This would give the successor time to settle in and
establish his leadership before having to face the electorate.

      The MDC will not accept this. Its constituents would react angrily if
it were to become a junior partner in a government which has tortured and
terrorised so many of them. The MDC is also determined not to become part of
a regime that would be unwilling or unable to reverse disastrous policies
such as the land-grab programme which has devastated the economy.

      Any attempt to reach agreement on this basis will deadlock.

      Scenario 2.

      The MDC's preferred way forward would be for the two parties to agree
on transitional arrangements to ensure that a new election was free and
fair. The Zanu-PF government would then remain in place under Mugabe, while
a Transitional National Council of both parties would prepare for elections
to be held within six to 12 months and ensure that the agreed transitional
arrangements were followed.

      Zanu-PF will be reluctant to accept this, for all indications are that
if genuinely free elections were held, it would be swept from power.

      On the other hand, if the MDC holds out, knowing there can be no
internationally acceptable deal without its participation, it may eventually
prevail. But that would depend on the strength of the pro-settlement group
within Zanu-PF and how the power struggle within the government plays itself

      Scenario 3.

      Zanu-PF may try to negotiate a variation of Scenario One, with Mugabe
becoming a purely ceremonial president (which would ensure his continued
immunity from International Court prosecution for crimes against humanity,
which he fears), while a leading MDC figure such as secretary-general
Welshman Ncube becomes prime minister and appoints a cabinet of national
unity, possibly with a new leader of Zanu-PF as deputy prime minister. This
GNU would govern the country until new elections in June 2005.

      This scenario would be tempting for the MDC but would also hold high
risks for it, as it would for Zanu-PF as well.

      Culling out a senior MDC figure in this way could make it look as
though he had been co-opted by Zanu-PF and could split the opposition party.
At the same time it would be risky for Zanu-PF to hand over executive power
to an MDC premier, however circumscribed that power may be.

      It would mean a shift in the centre of gravity of political power, and
historical precedents - South Africa and the Soviet Union among them -
suggest that when a geriatric party that has wielded unrestrained power for
many years relinquishes even a part of it, it quickly disintegrates and

      This scenario would be a high-stakes gamble for both par

      ties, and for that reason may - just - tempt them into accepting.
Again, historical precedents indicate that when parties are deadlocked, as
these are, they will only enter into an agreement if both think they can

      Scenario 4.

      Mugabe's long dominance of Zanu-PF has stunted the growth of his
subordinates, so there is no successor of any stature. This despite the fact
that Zanu-PF has 17 PhD graduates in its ranks. The problem is all have
become corrupt and subservient yes-men - in the words of one senior
diplomat: "a confederacy of the damned".

      A further complication is that Mugabe will want someone he can trust
to continue protecting him when he loses the immunity from prosecution that
goes with the presidency. That makes the Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson
Mnangagwa, his first choice.

      Mnangagwa is a Mugabe loyalist who headed Zanu-PF's intelligence
services for many years, which would couple him with any charges Mugabe
might face - a good insurance against possible betrayal. The problem is he
is highly unpopular within the ruling party and in the country at large,
which makes him a potential loser.

      Given these prospects, Mugabe may well decide that the succession
contest is going nowhere, that all the options are too risky and he would do
better to stay on as executive president himself.

      In that case, Zimbabwe's decline would continue on what I have
referred to as the "Zairisation" road - a long, steady slide to becoming
another Congo.

      Scenario 5.

      There is another alarming possibility. Two weeks ago the chief of the
Zimbabwe Defence Force, General Vitalis Zvinavashi, made a move to enter the
political arena following the death of Senior Vice President Simon Muzenda.
At the same time the word is that there has been a massive increase in the
size of the Zimbabwe Defence Force.

      Put those two factors together and one sees the possible prospect of
an internally managed military option. The recent, to-hell-with-it closure
of the Daily News, threats to other independent newspapers, and the arrest
and beating of trade union leaders strengthen such suspicions.

      Consider the following possibility.

      Supposing Mugabe names General Zvinavashi as senior vice president,
then at the Zanu-PF conference in December (no fixed date yet) announces
that he intends retiring at year's end, and that, in terms of the
constitution, Zvinavashi will take over as acting president to organise a
new election within 90 days.

      Should such an announcement take place before the Commonwealth summit
on December 5-8, would the Commonwealth leaders not be likely to readmit
Zimbabwe to membership?

      But then supposing, after taking over as acting president, Zvinavashi
were to announce early next year that the country was too unstable to hold
an election, that he was suspending the constitution and would retain
control with military backing until stability could be restored and an
election held. Which, as one sees in Pakistan, could be years.

      Forgive me if I have a nasty suspicious mind, but I have seen too many
political shenanigans in my time not to include this among the possible

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Zimbabwe Opposition Fears Another Delay in Election Challenge
Challiss McDonough
21 Oct 2003, 16:07 UTC

AP Photo
Paul Themba Nyathi, left, and David Colthart
The main opposition party in Zimbabwe is getting ready for its court case challenging last year's presidential election. The case is scheduled to go to court in about two weeks, but the party fears it could be delayed yet again.

Two senior leaders of the Zimbabwean Movement for Democratic Change told reporters in Johannesburg that they are afraid the court case challenging the election could be put off again if there is not pressure from the international community to keep the trial on schedule.

The opposition party filed its court case in April of last year, after President Robert Mugabe was declared the winner of an election that several international observer missions called deeply flawed.

MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said the party has had to file several legal motions just to get the case into court, despite a provision in the country's Electoral Act requiring election disputes to be handled quickly. "The very fact that it has taken over 18 months for the case to come to court is a serious indictment against the state of Zimbabwe's democracy," he said.

Both the South African embassy and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches have been shuttling back and forth between the Movement for Democratic Change and President Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party, in a joint attempt to get some kind of dialogue going. So far they have had little success.

There are reports that so-called "talks-about-talks" are happening at some level, but it is not clear how much progress they are making.

Critics have said the electoral challenge is increasing tensions in Zimbabwe and interfering with attempts to mediate talks between the opposition and ZANU-PF.

Movement for Democratic Change officials dismissed that criticism. Mr. Nyathi says the MDC is exercising its democratic right to challenge the election.

The party's secretary for legal affairs, David Coltart, said it has offered to postpone the court action if there is a breakthrough in talks with ZANU-PF. But he says dropping the case completely is out of the question for now. "The case is in fact our only peaceful weapon, and so we cannot drop that case unless we can be assured that the discussion, the talking process is irreversible," he said.

Mr. Coltart says he is afraid ZANU-PF and government officials are not taking the case very seriously. He says the High Court has not yet appointed a judge to handle the trial, even though the opening arguments are scheduled for November 3.

The opposition official says he does not believe the electoral challenge will lead to a solution to what he calls the Zimbabwe crisis. With the economy on the brink of collapse, he says, the two sides will have to hammer out some kind of political solution long before the court case is over.

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From IPS, 20 October

Without new constitution, no chance for opposition

Wilson Johwa

Harare - Zimbabwe's main constitutional change pressure group has taken its
campaign to a new level, demanding that the next general election be held
only under a new democratic constitution. The National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA), a grouping of civic groups, labour unions, churches and
opposition parties, says to get into another election before changing the
rules would be self defeating. "Zimbabweans would be foolish to go into
another election without a new constitution," says chairperson Lovemore
Madhuku. "The current government is not accountable because there is nothing
in the constitution to make it accountable." Zimbabwe is in the grip of its
worst political and economic crises, blamed on the country's long-serving,
all-powerful executive president with a limitless number of terms of office.
Last year the president, Robert Mugabe, won his fifth election since
independence under a cloud of controversy that he stole victory through
intimidation, violence and mass disenfranchisement. The opposition is
contesting the outcome of this election in court.

But the problems go beyond one man. Zimbabwe has not had a popular
constitution since gaining independence from Britain in 1980, following a
protracted liberation struggle against the rebel Rhodesian government of Ian
Smith. The country has been operating on the ceasefire document, signed at
Lancaster House in London, Britain, in 1979 and subsequently amended 15
times. Political analysts in Zimbabwe say a skewed electoral playing field
has helped the ruling party dominate all elections held since 1980. "You can
have a 100 elections under the current constitution and they will all be
stolen," Madhuku says. Elections in Zimbabwe are run by civil servants and
verified by an ineffective Electoral Supervisory Commission appointed by the
president who also has the power to validate and invalidate elections. Thus,
in effect, the constitution allows the president to be both referee and

One of the constitution's major weaknesses is that the presidential election
and parliamentary elections do not have to be held simultaneously. The
presidential term is six years while parliamentarians are elected for five
years. Furthermore, the gap between the two elections is growing. The last
parliamentary election was held in 2000. The presidential election took
place two years later. The next parliamentary elections will be in Mar. or
Apr. 2005 while the presidential election will be in 2008. This two-year
interval between the two elections will swell to five years by 2020,
potentially making the country ungovernable. Madhuku says to reject voting
under the current constitution is not akin to boycotting elections. "We are
saying let's disturb the electoral process under the current constitution.
If an election is called, we will disrupt nomination through mass action."
But the ultimate decision to participate will be left to the political
parties themselves, he says.

Launched in Jan. 1998, the NCA spearheaded the successful campaign against a
new ruling-party-drafted constitution in Feb. 2000, giving President Mugabe
his first ever electoral defeat. Twenty months after its formation, the NCA
gave rise to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) which has since become
the country's main opposition party. Since then the two organisations have
sometimes had an uneasy relationship. "At the moment, the relationship with
the MDC is fine, we are agreed on these principles," Madhuku says. "But we
don't trust that they will be with us on this point." "Political parties are
opportunistic," he says. "When they see power they abandon principle." The
second round of talks between the MDC and Zanu PF aimed at halting the
country's decline has been on and off since March. Madhuku says if the MDC
believe these talks will offer them a chance at power they are likely to
forget about a new constitution.

Equally, he says if the MDC think the current constitution will lead them
into power they will stick to it. "They have some faith in the current
constitution since they have managed to win elections under it." Nine months
after formation in 2000, the MDC won 57 of the contested 120 parliamentary
seats. Since then the party has scored major victories in council elections.
However, MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi says the party is committed to
constitutional reform. "The only way forward for Zimbabwe is through
constitutional reform," he says. Nyathi adds that the decision to contest
elections is made by the MDC's national executive. "We will cross that
particular bridge when we get to it." Meanwhile, Zanu PF spokesperson Nathan
Shamuyarira says the 2005 elections will go ahead as scheduled and that the
ruling party has no plans to adopt a new constitution. He accuses the NCA of
indecisiveness. "They were the ones who rejected the constitution we put on
the table in 2000. They don't seem to know what they want," he alleges.

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From Business Report (SA), 21 October

Maputo welcomes fleeing farmers

By Reuters

Maputo - Commercial farmers fleeing harassment and economic collapse in
Zimbabwe were helping to shore up the rural economy of Mozambique, Helder
Muteia, the agriculture minister, said at the weekend. The government had
already granted permission for 60 farmers from Zimbabwe to settle in Manica
province, which borders eastern Zimbabwe. "They are doing a great job,"
Muteia said. "They are investing not only in agriculture but also in
building infrastructure such as roads and bridges." About 100 farmers have
applied to cultivate land in Manica, but Muteia said Mozambique was looking
for investment in all its provinces and had 34 million square kilometres
available. He said the farmers from Zimbabwe would produce tobacco,
potatoes, maize, sunflowers, meat and dairy products. A number of farmers
have settled in northern Niassa province under the joint South
African-Mozambican Mozagrius project, although Sweden stepped in as the main
partner after South Africa withdrew from the scheme. "They are giving all
the help in reformulating and reorganising the project and, in the future,
maybe in financing the farmers," Muteia said. "Banks see financing
agriculture as a high-risk business and farmers as not paying their debts.
We have to work to change that and this means having legislation and courts
that function properly."

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Zimbabweans scramble to survive 'Mafia' economy
October 21, 2003, 06:59 PM

Zimbabweans battling economic crisis are living by their wits on the
streets, in shops, on farms and at home, with everything from paying water
bills to buying crop seed or property fraught with the risk of fraud. Police
say the southern African country has been hit by a rise in petty crime as
shortages empty supermarket shelves and the jobless and inflation rates

Critics say corruption and crime is also on the rise among Zimbabwe's
business and government elite, where greed has created a race for wealth as
political and economic tensions push the once-prosperous country to the
brink of collapse.

Zimbabwe's economy has shrunk sharply in the last three years. Much of the
problem is rooted in the key farming sector where production has dropped
more than a half since the government's controversial seizures of
white-owned farms for black resettlement.

While a small group of businessmen prospers, the shortages caused by a fall
in the agricultural sector and a drought of foreign currency to import goods
have left many vulnerable. Now, small-scale cheats and a growing number of
big-time crooks - the so-called "Mafia economy", are the biggest headaches
for consumers struggling to make ends meet.

"Surviving now has gone beyond just running around to get scarce products,
and getting the money to buy the products but it also means avoiding those
who are trying to cheat you," said Solomon Muchengi, a car mechanic with a
Harare firm.

"If you really want to survive now you cannot afford the luxury of blinking
during your transactions because it can be very costly," he said.

Daily warnings
Almost daily, Zimbabwe media carries private and public advertisements
warning people about scams ranging from counterfeit money to fake crop

The economic crisis blamed by many government critics on "mismanagement" by
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, which has ruled Zimbabwe since
independence in 1980, has left the country with disastrous shortages of
fuel, cement, seed, fertiliser and basic foodstuffs such as sugar.

Black market traders sell their wares at up to 10 times the prices set by
Mugabe's government. However, the hunger for life's basic necessities has
also spurred a raging trade in fake goods.

Many Zimbabweans now comb newspapers for "health warnings" on what fraud
schemes to look out for in what one government minister called a fight
against the "Mafia economy."

A bag of cement might be partly filled with sand, a tin of cooking oil might
turn out to be tightly sealed water while a pack of "maize seed" bought at a
premium might just be ordinary maize glossed up with paint.

Some estate agents have warned property buyers to watch out for crooks
"selling" homes they do not own, while urban authorities have put up notices
warning consumers to get official receipts for rates and water charges or
risk yet another stinging fraud.

An official with the watchdog Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) said today
fake goods had become a big problem. "We don't have figures...but yes, we
are getting many reports of people being cheated, of fake goods on the
market," he said."We are trying to work with the police to address the
problem," he added. - Reuters
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Lawsuit against Mugabe aims to expose S.Africa claim

By Ben Harding

JOHANNESBURG, Oct. 21 — Zimbabwe's main opposition party said on Tuesday its
court challenge to President Robert Mugabe's 2002 election victory would
undermine South Africa's claim that the poll was legitimate.
       A legal affairs spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) said a petition filed with a Harare court would refocus world
attention on Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis when the court hears
it on November 3.
       ''We believe it was important to set out for the region, in
particular for the South African government, why we disagreed with the
observer mission statement that the outcome was legitimate,'' David Coltart
told reporters in Johannesburg.
       South Africa's observer mission said last year that the outcome of
the March presidential elections should be considered legitimate despite
condemnation from the 54-nation Commonwealth, non-governmental organisations
and regional parliamentarians.
       South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki has said he favours ''quiet
diplomacy'' to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe, mired in allegations of
political repression and an increasingly desperate economic crisis after 23
years of Mugabe's rule.
       ''President Mbeki might talk of things moving in Zimbabwe. Unless he
himself gets up and makes things happen, the situation in Zimbabwe can only
get worse,'' said MDC spokesman Paul Themba-Nyathi.

       Coltart said the case would challenge constitutional flaws in the
election, which returned Mugabe, 79, to power until 2008.
       He added that if the court did not accept the MDC's request to set
aside the result, the party would bring in evidence of electoral fraud,
ballot stuffing and violence against MDC supporters by those loyal to the
Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party.
       ''We hope it refocuses world attention on the nub of grievance...this
is about misgovernance. It's about an illegitimate regime,'' he said. ''Even
if we lose the case as a result of (judicial) bias our political objectives
will nevertheless have been achieved.''
       Talks between ZANU-PF and the MDC collapsed a year ago after MDC
President Morgan Tsvangirai filed the court challenge against Mugabe, the
Minister of Justice and election officials.
       But Themba-Nyathi said the talks, which he described as neither alive
nor dead, could be put back on track if Mugabe's government truly desired
       ''There should be talks and those talks should yield some kind of
transitional arrangement which ushers in a new constitutional dispensation
leading to the holding of free and fair elections,'' Themba-Nyathi said.
       Church groups and South Africa's high commission are acting as
intermediaries between ZANU-PF and the MDC, which has led a number of
strikes and protests against Mugabe -- resulting in treason charges against
top MDC leaders.

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‘Mugabe must go’ call from UNI-Africa 18.10.2003

UNI-Africa’s Regional Conference in Johannesburg demanded the immediate
resignation of President Mugabe of Zimbabwe, where trade union rights are
coming under ever-greater pressure from his regime.
The people of Zimbabwe face 80% unemployment, and shortages of basic goods
including food and local cash.
African affiliates are being urged to put pressure on the Zimbabwe
government to restore democratic rights and allow free elections to "choose
a leadership that will save the country from the current crisis".
"We will not stop in our struggle to bring peace in Zimbabwe, the Congo and
elsewhere on the continent," said Philip Jennings after the debate.
The resolution calls for Mugabe to go now and so retain some of his
reputation from his freedom fighting days against the Ian Smith white
"Otherwise history will rank his name with those of some of Africa’s
infamous leaders like Vorster, Mobutu, Amin and Taylor who sought to destroy
the African soul".
A reversal of policies in Zimbabwe is necessary, said the resolution, in the
interests of the success of NEPAD - the New Partnership for Africa’s
It warns of ‘the lack of good governance and state engineered chaos leading
to a general breakdown of law and order in Zimbabwe".
UNI-Africa wants other African countries to keep pressing the Mugabe regime
to stop exploiting its people.
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Lack of foreign currency hampers seed purchases


Lack of seed threatens the next year's harvest

JOHANNESBURG, 21 Oct 2003 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's newly settled and communal farmers face the prospect of this season's expected good rains falling on empty fields if the government does not distribute seed in time for the first plantings at the end of October.

The official Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday that the US $30 million needed by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement to buy inputs like seed and fertiliser for distribution throughout the country, was yet to be released by the country's reserve bank.

According to the Herald, the bank had raised the precious foreign exchange using tobacco revenues as security, but the money would not be released until the government had met certain terms. It was not immediately clear what these were.

Government spokesman Steyn Berejena told IRIN that Zimbabwe's land reform programme, which saw thousands of white-owned farms transferred to black farmers, resulted in an increase in the amount of acreage to be planted this year and a corresponding shortage of seed.

The government has a programme to buy seed from seed houses for distribution to new farmers through the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and the Agricultural Rural Development Authority.

"Government will need more seed this year to make sure enough is channelled to the needy farmers," Berejena said, adding that the farmers were hoping to use the predicted good rains to make up for the last two years' drought-induced losses.

"The main thrust [for the government] is to assist newly settled and communal farmers because they don't have the resources to buy seed on their own," he said. "It has to be available in rural shops for purchase, or obtainable through a soft loan from the GMB by the end of October, when the maize planting season starts."

He said the government had already sourced 10,000 mt of maize seed from neighbouring countries, and now just needed to pay for it. Up to 32,000 mt was currently available, but another 56,000 mt was still needed.

"Although many other seeds like millet and sorghum are needed, the emphasis is placed on maize seed for food security," Berejena said.

"We are raring to go - the seed has been found, we just need the money to pay the supplier," he explained.

Economist John Robertson told IRIN there was a possibility that the Reserve Bank simply did not have the foreign currency the government needed, as many business people were holding onto their currency in anticipation of another devaluation.

The Zimbabwe dollar was last devalued in February from Zim 55 to US $1 to a selling rate of Zim 848 to US $1, with the promise of devaluations every three months.

"It is likely that exporters are holding back on repatriating their earnings and waiting for a devaluation, and it is unlikely that the currency will be sourced from the parallel market at a rate of Zim 5,000 to US $1, which would make the seed very expensive."

He added: "It is a disgrace that Zimbabwe is importing seed ... we used to be an exporter. The country also runs the risk of importing seed not suitable for germination in this climate."

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