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Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Media Update # 2001/41
Monday 8th October to Sunday 14th October 2001

1. Summary
2. Price Controls
3. MDC Suspensions
4. Political Violence


News of the reintroduction of price controls on basic commodities
dominated the week, but none of the media has yet provided the public with
any coherent breakdown of the costs involved in producing a loaf of bread,
the commodity the public missed most when it all but disappeared.
The government-controlled media - especially ZBC - continued to
allow themselves to be used as a propaganda tool to persuade their audiences
that the opposition MDC was falling apart.  Welshman Ncube's announcement
(ZBC, 8pm, 13/10) was swamped by comments from three Zanu PF officials'
attempting to discredit the MDC.
And the ongoing political violence, particularly in the rural areas,
was again only given prominent coverage in the privately owned Press where
it continued to be linked to the Abuja agreement. The state media either
ignored the violence or carried the incidents as denial reports in which
ruling party officials were portrayed as peacemakers appealing for calm and
co-existence on the occupied farms. The Herald (13/10) completely subverted
a report of a second attack on the convoy of the MDC president, Morgan
Tsvangirai, outside Kadoma, using it instead, as another opportunity for
Zanu PF officials to attempt to discredit the man.


Zimpapers' dailies (The Herald and The Chronicle) (10/10) proudly
announced the return of price controls on basic commodities in their
"exclusive" lead stories, but provided inaccurate prices for the products to
be controlled at their August 2001 levels.  ZBC followed up their
colleagues' story in all their main news bulletins that evening (radio and
TV 8pm) with TV's reporter claiming that "most people" saw the measures as
an 'indication that government has the plight of people at heart'. The
report quoted members of the public, ZANU PF officials and war veterans who
praised the government's action. Zanu PF's Stalin Mau Mau was quoted saying:
"All these commodities, the majority of them, are produced locally, so I
strongly think that there is no justification whatsoever to increase prices
by 300% ...You cannot tell me that every business in this country relies on
foreign currency, that is not true at all..." His comment summed up the
dominant theme of the rhetoric from the state-owned media justifying
government's measures. ZBCTV also quoted ZANU PF's Nathan Shamuyarira
echoing Mau Mau's comments and describing price increases as a 'political
issue'.  In a veiled attempt to appear balanced, ZBCTV also quoted CZI
representatives (10 & 11/10, 8pm), criticizing the government's move,
highlighting the negative economic effects of price controls, and even
carried a brief comment from the MDC. However, praise solicited from the
public and the ruling party swamped the informed observations of the
ZTV (11/10 8pm) quoted CZI president, Jacob Dube, denying
government's claim that businesses were profiteering since production costs
"had been verified with government ministries and with the CSO". No comment
was sought from any relevant ministry about why government was accusing
industry of profiteering when it had verified rising production costs.  ZTV
and the daily papers failed to provide any clear information about
production costs and a deeper analysis of the underlying factors responsible
for rising prices. The Financial Gazette's article (11/10), "Price controls
will hurt consumers" and The Zimbabwe Mirror's editorial (12/10) were the
first reports to provide readers with this information. Other publications
merely followed up on events at street level and featured articles defending
price controls or criticizing them.
Both sections of the print media included independent comment
critical of government's action. A statement from CZI chief executive,
Malvern Rusike for example, was carried at greater length in The Herald
(12/10), than it was in the previous day's Daily News but was buried in the
turn page of its lead story about events on the ground. Rusike was quoted as
saying price controls would cause more "harm than good," and criticized
government's action, saying: "It is futile to address the symptoms of the
economy's problems and avoid the real issue, nor does it make sense to
control the price of the end product, whilst key input prices are market
He was quoted in The Daily News (11/10), condemning price controls,
saying they would result in shortages. CZI's Dube, expressed similar
criticism and was quoted in The Daily News (12/10) contending that the new
bread prices would make the baking industry unviable and "lead to a closure
of bakeries, resulting in massive job losses."
Likewise, The Zimbabwe Independent (12/10), criticized government's
action, saying it would lead to "closures, shortages, job losses and the
mushrooming of a black market for scarce goods." The Financial Gazette
(11/10) warned that price controls would have long-term detrimental effects.
The story on television (10/10) announcing price controls followed a
threat of a prices protest from war veteran Andrew Ndlovu who called on his
colleagues to monitor prices. But trade minister, Herbert Murerwa denied
that the controls were introduced as a result of this threat in The Herald
the next day. He was even reported as saying the controls were "...agreed to
after wide consultations of all stakeholders."
Yet, the next day the same paper carried a statement from the CZI
contradicting this claim, saying the Ministry of Trade "...should have taken
the trouble to invite producers of basic commodities to meetings to discuss
the problem of escalating prices."
The paper never investigated this contradiction, and the other media
did not check out who was telling a fib either.  ZBC (14/10) and the next
day's Zimpapers' titles, covered an impromptu monitoring exercise conducted
by three ZANU PF MPs.  Philip Chiyangwa, Saviour Kasukuwere and David
Chapfika were reported (ZTV and Radio 1/3, 14/10, 8pm) to have visited
bakers and retailers to monitor prices. Television viewers were shown the
three MPs haranguing a Lobels Bakery manager. At no time was the baker given
a chance to air his views, while the legislators, in an obviously
stage-managed drama for TV, were presented as champions of the people's
cause. The news piece was immediately followed by a story on Bulawayo war
veterans threatening business people with an ultimatum to cut prices. Both
stories lacked any reference to balance and went begging for analysis on the
implications of the MPs' 'invasion' of Lobels and the war veterans' threat
to businesses.


The Sunday Mail (14/10) and The Standard covered the suspension of
eight senior MDC officials linked to the internal strife afflicting the
party. While The Standard reported the story as an announcement, The Sunday
Mail included comment from unnamed sources, criticizing the suspensions as
indicative of "an amorphous party without a cohesive ideology" The MMPZ
notes with concern how both Sunday papers relegated news of the important
developments within the MDC to second place on their front pages ahead of
stories that reflected the editorial philosophies of both papers.
In an apparent response to a story that appeared in The Financial
Gazette reporting Britain's concern that Zimbabwe was not meeting its
commitments contained in the Abuja accord, The Sunday Mail ran as its lead
story, "Abuja: UK dragging its feet," an attempt to inculcate the false
impression in the public mind that Britain was not adhering to its part of
the agreement.
The Standard, on the other hand, chose a salacious story about Grace
Mugabe's exam results for its lead. While it can be argued that the Mugabe
story was of greater public interest, it defines the paper's news selection
as being one that relegates issues of national importance to issues that are
likely to be more sensational. This should not, in itself, affect the
public's perception of the quality of the paper's reporting. However, given
the government's intolerance of independent investigation into senior public
figures, the paper should be prepared for the criticism such editorial
decisions elicit. The subsequent attack on the paper by Information
Minister, Jonathan Moyo, was predictable, but cannot be defended in light of
the fact that Mrs. Mugabe is indeed, a prominent public figure who has
publicly declared her interest in studying and is a subject of great public
interest.  The MMPZ also notes how, in the week, the state press continued
its propagandist invective against the MDC. For example, The Herald (8/10),
quoted some unnamed African diplomats condemning the party's involvement in
demonstrations in Australia's capital, Brisbane, as "disgusting." The
following day, the paper followed the issue up with a front-page article
that castigated the party's involvement in "anti-government" demonstrations
in London, Pretoria and Brisbane. Zimbabwe's High Commissioner to South
Africa, Simon Khaya Moyo, denounced the demos as a failure and an
"embarrassment" given that only a "handful" of people had reportedly
participated.  ZBC hammered home the same story in its evening bulletins
(ZTV & Radio 1/3, 8/10, 8pm and ZBC Radio 2/4, 9/10, 6am) in which Moyo,
acting as a reporter and commentator, criticized MDC MP Munyaradzi Gwisai
for taking part in the South African demo. He also took the opportunity to
revive an old government allegation that the MDC was associated with the
Democratic Alliance (DA) of South Africa, which ZANU PF has widely
discredited as racist. He said (ZTV & Radio 1/3), "The development confirms
in no uncertain terms that the MDC and the DA are partners hook line and
sinker. Surely the MDC MP for Highfeild Mr. Gwisai could have profitably
spent his weekend visiting his constituency in Highfield (rather) than
demonstrating in Pretoria" No comment was sought from Gwisai or the
Democratic Alliance.  Moyo concluded: "We are just wondering what kind of
tactic this is. But of course we have taken up the matter with the
appropriate authorities because protocol demands under the Vienna
ZBC made no effort to explain this mysterious statement.  The MDC's
disciplinary action against eight of its senior officials presented ZBC with
another opportunity to advance ZANU PF claims that the MDC was on the verge
of collapse. ZTV (14/10, 8pm), while stating that it had failed to get a
comment from the MDC, quoted ZANU PF officials Chapfika, Kasukuwere and
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu who discredited the MDC. Ndlovu deliberately misinformed
ZBC's audiences when he said: "Developments in the MDC were
expected...because the leadership really, from the time they started, have
been in the leadership by imposition. The people have never elected those
people. They have never had any primaries. So if people are appointed at
random they can be removed at random..." Ndlovu was not reminded about the
MDC congress at which its leadership had been elected, nor that he was
appointed to his post of ZANU PF deputy for the commissariat. The national
broadcaster failed to subject his propaganda to interrogation when he made
comments that were clearly false:
"If a party does not have a vision, does not have ideology and
doesn't come from the people as a home grown party...such things are to be
expected...this shows that the MDC as a party is gone. The MDC have had
cracks after crack and they cannot mend those cracks by the way they behave.
This is heralding the downfall of the whole party of MDC" In the three
minutes of uninterrupted rambling, he was allowed to continue unchallenged
accusing the MDC leadership of running the party as if it was a student
union or trade union.


In addition to farm violence, conservancies and forestry estates
were also added to the list of victims of lawlessness. The Zimbabwe
Independent reported that Zimbabwe's second largest conservancy, Bubiana,
had been invaded. Quoting the chairperson of the conservancy, the article
revealed rampant poaching of wildlife, including rhinos. The Financial
Gazette also revealed that timber worth $15 million was destroyed at Border
Timbers estates, jeopardizing expansion plans, expert personnel, foreign
investment, and the Abuja pact. Two top board executives corroborated the
The two papers used the CFU situation report as the basis for their
stories of an incident at Njiri farm in Chinhoyi, where invaders slashed 1.5
hectares of tobacco, disrupting farming activities. The Zimbabwe Independent
provided photographic evidence of war veterans cutting down the crop.
However, none of these articles contained any comment from the
government or the police.
While it is known that these institutions are often reluctant to
provide comment on activities that are likely to portray a negative image of
the government and its supporters, MMPZ believes it is essential that media
institutions attempt to obtain these opinions for the sake of balance and
credibility. It is also important to tell audiences of attempts to obtain
comment even if unsuccessful, so that readers understand that the media
institution has made the effort.
The Financial Gazette's lead story claiming that the government had
abandoned an "Idi Amin-type" plan to drive white farmers off the land
following the signing of the Abuja agreement, carried the misleading
headline that the "plot" had been "foiled". The article claimed that
previously reported incidents of violence and the arrests of white
commercial farmers were part of the plan. But all the sources used to
sustain the story were anonymous, including a "government spokesman" from
the department of information denying the plan.
While it is obviously unrealistic to expect the identification of
sources for this type of story, publishing such serious allegations relying
solely on "intelligence sources" without some further corroboration, exposes
the publication's credibility to criticism.  The article acknowledged its
failure to obtain comment from the war veterans.
The Daily News carried 15 stories about political violence in the
week. It also carried a number of court reports related to the topic,
including the acquittal of three MDC supporters charged with violence during
the Bindura by-election. The acquitted were actually the victims of
In the same manner, The Daily News (13/10) reported a Marondera
farmer, Iain Kay, who was arrested when he tried to report disturbances at
his farm caused by invaders defying a court order to stop disrupting
farming. Kay recently won a rare and much publicized order compelling
provincial authorities, state agents and the police, including the
Provincial Governor and the Police Commissioner, to stop lawlessness on the
farms. Despite the ruling, the daily reported that invaders were barring
farmers from "normal farming activities." No reason for his arrest was
furnished and the daily reported that it could not get comment from the
police. The Daily News should be credited for being the only paper to follow
up the court order, which was widely covered in both the private and public
Zimpapers ignored all these developments.
Inter party political clashes in Epworth were covered in all the
dailies. The Daily News (8/10) led with an eyewitness account of the
clashes, blaming the violence on ZANU PF youths. The report revealed that an
attempt by MDC MPs to secure police protection was unsuccessful. An unnamed
female police officer was quoted saying, "No MDC rally is taking place."
The rally was reportedly relocated to Chitungwiza, where, again, the police
barred the rally until an interdict won by St Mary's MP against such police
action, was produced.
The Daily News, The Herald and The Chronicle (13/10) all carried the
attack on the convoy of MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai outside Kadoma. All
the reports relied on a press conference convened by Tsvangirai after the
The week also witnessed the second attack (after Bindura) on MDC
president Morgan Tsvangirai's convoy near Kadoma.  Zimpapers' dailies played
down the police presence. They took a different angle altogether, starting
by removing the context of Tsvangirai's statements. They then concentrated
on his assertion, nowhere in The Daily News, that the party might consider
boycotting the presidential elections if necessary, to form the main thrust
of their story. The reports played down the attack and, using the boycott
clause, allowed Zanu PF's Nathan Shamuyarira ample space to discredit the
MDC as a failed political force. Unnamed "analysts" were indirectly quoted
"expressing no surprise" as it had become Tsvangirai's nature to seek
"choruses of excuses every time crucial elections approach to draw sympathy
in the event of a defeat."
ZBC failed to report the incident itself and instead, aired denial
statements by police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena (ZTV & Radio 2/4, 12/10,
8pm). Bvudzijena stated that a metallic green Mazda 626 and Tsvangirai's car
were attacked but denied that the attack was politically motivated. In an
attempt to give the impression that the MDC had provoked 'mine workers',
Bvudzijena said, "...what we recovered from the scene itself were three
cartridges which were fired most probably from a 9mm pistol. A metallic
green 626 is said to have fled from that scene and the sequence of events
are still to be established as to whether it was the shooting itself or the
firing of the pistol which might have triggered the stoning of the vehicle"
An intriguing question is what would "mine workers" be doing with a "9mm
pistol" or even firing it. There must have been something seriously
irregular about the incident but the police did not have the curiosity to
solve the mystery except to play down the incident.  MDC's version of the
incident was briefly referred to by ZTV's newscaster but was quickly
suffocated by Bvudzjena's sound-bite.  ZBC presented government officials as
peacemakers doing everything to restore the rule of law and that any
violence was a result of people who were defying government calls. This was
reflected in the coverage of an incident of farm violence in Trelawney (ZTV,
12/10, 8pm). The reader introduced the news item thus: "Calls by the
government for commercial farmers, farm workers and those recently resettled
to co-exist peacefully on farms earmarked for resettlement appear to be
falling on deaf ears..." In the same report a resettled farmer and the farm
manager were quoted accusing each other of the violence on the farm. Another
farm worker stated that although they supported land reform they should not
be forced to own a piece of land. The reporter did not ask the farm worker
to explain his statement, or to name those who were coercing the farm
In the report Minister Ignatius Chombo was quoted as having called
for peaceful co-existence on farms in "the spirit of the Abuja agreement",
giving the impression that the government was doing all it could to
implement the accord. No comment was sought from government about why those
who were defying its calls were not being arrested.
In another public relations report for the government, Obert Mpofu,
the Matabeleland North governor, was quoted (ZTV, 11/10, 8pm) calling on the
people of Nkayi to stop the "violence". ZBC never reported the violence the
governor was referring to.


To me you are the watchdog for the reading public over the media.
Can you assist me with something I am struggling with- I just went through
the weekend papers and today's papers. Can you tell me what the public
interest is on the issue of Grace Mugabe's alleged poor grades in her
studies? In the print version, the story was the lead. From some and most
universities' point of view a student's results are confidential personal
records and an official who releases them could face disciplinary action.
Students who are married to public officials or are public officials enjoy
the same protection.
Why does the Sunday News have a headline which claims Chief Ndiweni
gave an ultimatum to Tsvangirai when in the story they write that he denies
doing so? Should a headline not have a relationship of 'truth' with the
Am I right to say that papers that wrote articles implicitly or
explicitly accepting that the MDC wrangles were over potentially misled the
public because indeed the saga continues with suspensions of very senior
officials (including a spokesman (Learnmore Jongwe) who will NOT be allowed
to speak!) and a commission to look further into the matter. Is it not the
duty of ALL the media to independently investigate this matter and get to
the bottom of it? What exactly is going on? If the public media has evidence
that all is not well how come they have not presented it either?
Media watchdog please help a confused reader?
From MMPZ- thanks for your comments. Section 3 of this week's Media
Update alludes to most of the issues you raise including the question of
Grace Mugabe's grades. We invite our subscribers to submit their
observations on these and other issues to MMPZ.  Please keep your letters
The MEDIA UPDATE is produced and circulated by the Media Monitoring
Project Zimbabwe, (MMPZ). Send all queries and comments to the Project
Coordinator, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4
703702, E-mail: <>  Previous copies of
MMPZ reports can be accessed at
<>  Please feel free to circulate this message!
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Daily News - Feature

Even Zanu PF companies failed to make it under socialism

10/23/01 7:39:17 AM (GMT +2)

Nungu at large by Tagwireyi Bango

The British? Tony Leon of South Africa? The Americans? Tsvangirai . . . and
unpatriotic whites? It’s the born frees? They must be taught history. No.

They need national service?
In times of hardships and misery, it is always fashionable and
self-fulfilling to blame others. As part of a process of self-denial, some
people find comfort in careless utterances.

Others turn to outright lies as part of a broad search for explanations.

Zimbabwe, it seems, has since passed that stage and slid into a more
serious, subliminal phase where life has assumed a distorted meaning and
people simply pray for the best.

Our civil servants and national economic planners have exhausted all
scenario-building theories and are now unable to match the textbook with the

We live at a crucial time as the nation gets exposed to all facets of
political games and experiments. Abuja. Yes. No. Where are we going?

On his return from a trip to the Far East, one of the many whose benefits
remain a mystery, President Mugabe found Zimbabwe in a state of flux. Price
controls were now in place. Commerce and industry were battling with the
state on how the move could possibly usher in the necessary oxygen to keep
companies breathing.

After several deadlocks, Mugabe took to the podium and vented his anger
backwards: Esap out, socialism in. To him that is the solution.

Esap, the economic structural adjustment programme, introduced in 1991, is
to many today nothing but history.

It was a relatively short plan to help Zimbabwe join the community of
nations, reduce State spending, reduce the size of government, abandon a
command economy modelled along the collapsed Eastern European experiments
and develop new business methods.

In short, the government was supposed to have no business in business other
than just creating a regulatory, policing and healthy environment for
unfettered capitalism. This was after 10 years of piece-meal socialism, an
ideology which is partly responsible for Zimbabwe’s economic failures soon
after independence.

No black businessman was empowered by socialism, except Zanu PF companies.

New executives who tried to share economic power with the mainly white
private sector were quickly labelled uncouth exploiters keen on sapping the
sweat and blood of their kith and kin.

Many of the present day successful black business people were forced by the
circumstances to work clandestinely with corrupt politicians and officials
to get import licences. They registered businesses and set themselves up,
but in reality they were fronts for sly government ministers.

Senior Zanu PF officials could not come out and practice capitalism openly
because of some party document called the Leadership Code which was imposed
on them in 1984.

The other entities which thrived in such an environment were Zanu PF
companies. By the way one of their crimes was to reduce one departmental
store in Harare’s First Street to a rural kiosk. There is no other visible
sign of Zanu PF mismanagement than what one sees in this once glittering

With Esap, went minimum wages. They constrained collective bargaining and
meaningful trade union work. Also to go were subsidies, which raised the
budget deficit and gave us a false sense of wealth and comfort.

What the President left out in his angry outburst at Clement Muchachi’s
funeral was a whole historical path which we followed when the original Esap
plan expired in 1995.

The government came up with something it called Zimprest, the Zimbabwe
Programme for Economic and Social Transformation.

This second generation set of reforms, aimed at correcting the deficiencies
of Esap, was nursed right through to the new century.

For the record, the root of our problems can be traced to that fateful day
in November 1997 when a large amount of unbudgeted money was dished out to

The dollar collapsed immediately from $12 to the United States dollar to
almost $25 against the greenback.

It was then pushed to around $17, but was finally forced to stay at $39.

Since then, our situation has never stabilised.
After Zimprest, a third baby named the Millennium Economic Recovery
Programme (Merp) came in.

Soon after his appointment, Finance Minister Simba Makoni found the Merp
under a heap of papers.

With a bit of sprucing here and there, according to Makoni, the home grown
plan, cobbled together by his predecessors, still covered the government’s
aims and objectives.

The plan was hatched in March 2000 to consolidate fiscal adjustment
initiatives, hasten and complete the privatisation of parastatals, stabilize
prices and lower interest rates. It was essentially a government wish list
and dream. It lacked targets and measurable outcomes against which
performance could be assessed.

While it was supposed to be a business plan, Merp saw no role for the
private sector or trade unions in dealing with issues affecting the economy.

It failed.

So, why did Mugabe have to skip these essential developments and concentrate
only on a dead Esap programme? He still dreams of a socialist paradise,
guided by co-operatives and parastatals.

Zimbabweans must be scared of leaders who still have faith in such expensive
structures. Parastatals are a major drain on resources. They are infested by
mismanagement, inefficiency and corruption, contributing significantly to
the nation’s rising debt. This has been raised in all parliamentary
investigations and reports every year.

The corruption stories of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), the
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa), the National Oil Company of
Zimbabwe (Noczim), the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Ziscosteel) were as
heart-rending as the effect the national debt will have on future

There has never been a political will to follow any economic plan since
independence: Esap, Zimprest, Merp, anything. Why? Our wise old men are only
interested in holding onto power, not the greater good of Zimbabwe.

That is unpatriotic
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U N I T E D  N A T I O N S
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN)

ZIMBABWE: EU wants clarification on election monitors

JOHANNESBURG, 23 October (IRIN) - The European Union has asked for clarification from Zimbabwe on whether the government will allow EU observers to next year's presidential elections, a senior European official told IRIN on Tuesday.

"We would like an indication of their position. It is not an ultimatum, but it would be very helpful if we had it by the end of this week," Roger Moore, the head of the European Commission's southern African desk said.

He told IRIN that Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge was in Brussels on Monday on a flying visit to meet with his Belgian counterpart to discuss good governance issues, before returning to Harare to welcome Commonwealth ministers due in Zimbabwe on a fact-finding mission on the land crisis this week. Belgium currently holds the EU presidency.

According to Moore, the EU has chosen to focus on the issue of democracy in Zimbabwe. He said that more than 200 European observers monitored the country's controversial parliamentary elections in June last year, and the EU was watching "very closely" the run-up to Zimbabwe's presidential poll, amid widespread concerns over the potential for voter intimidation and political violence.  

He told IRIN that discussions on Zimbabwe within the EU had revolved around the best framework for political dialogue with the government. The Cotonou Agreement - that links developing countries to the EU - contains fundamental good governance benchmarks. If they are violated, the agreement has provisions for a robust response from the EU under Article 96 that could include sanctions.

"If we feel that [the tenets of Cotonou] are being seriously violated then we have the obligation to start consultations under Article 96," Moore said, in reference to concerns over the fairness of the upcoming elections.

EU aid, administered by the European Commission, has already been cut "quite dramatically" over the last few years, Moore added. With all balance-of-payments support frozen, what is currently funded are education and health sector programmes to "prevent their total collapse".


Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11 447-5472

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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2001
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Daily News

Serious bread shortage continues in Harare

10/23/01 7:18:59 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

A SERIOUS shortage of bread has hit most parts of Harare as bakeries
continue to bake limited supplies of bread in protest against the gazetted
controlled price.

The bakers are resisting the gazetted price, arguing that it falls below
their input costs, resulting in them losing about $10 for each loaf.

Instead, the bakers want the government to subsidise wheat and flour.
Early yesterday morning, hundreds of people queued outside a supermarket in
Warren Park, where they waited for several hours to get a loaf of bread

Residents interviewed in the suburb said although bread was still being
delivered, it was coming in very limited quantities.

One resident, Andrew Mashonganyika, said: “If you want bread here you have
to wake up very early in the morning.

“By 7am, there will be no bread and this is why many people have to queue at
this supermarket for it.”

However, a number of in-store bakeries recorded brisk business as hundreds
of consumers turned to them after failing to get bread from bakeries such as
Aroma, Lobels and Proton, which usually deliver bread to all suburbs.

The big bakeries have drastically reduced their production levels as they
resist the gazetted price.

A Mabvuku resident said if the situation was not addressed urgently, people
would protest in numbers because bread was a staple food for many urban

The critical shortage of bread comes in the wake of a looming showdown
between the government and bakers who have vowed to close down their
businesses if the government does not review the gazetted price.

About 50 bakers last week issued a 14-day-ultimatum for the government to
revisit the controlled price or they will close shop.

Thousands of people risk losing their jobs in the bakery industry once
operations close down.

Last week the government re-introduced price controls on bread, maize meal,
cooking oil, margarine, beef, chicken, soap, salt and fresh milk.

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Daily News - Leader

Zimbabwe slowly sliding into authoritarian rule

10/23/01 8:23:53 AM (GMT +2)

THE crackdown on newspaper vendors by the police is part of a strategy to
ensure the government’s mouthpieces, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
and Zimbabwe Newspapers, are the only ones Zimbabweans will listen to and
read. Only they, will be allowed to reflect the Zimbabwean reality,
according to Zanu PF.

Even Ian Smith was not as vindictive as Zanu PF sometimes shows itself to
be. The suggestion that the police are arresting newspaper vendors for their
own safety is as bizarre as it is absurd.

Why do they not arrest vendors of cellphone cards and of petrol funnels who
also peddle their wares at busy intersections whenever there is a shortage
of fuel?

The practice all over the world is that newspaper vendors sell their
products on street corners and at junctions.

This has also been the practice in this country since the heyday of The
Herald and Sunday Mail. That vendors threaten the safety of motorists is a
lie. Newspapers threaten the government’s desire to cling onto power.

The selling of newspapers has not created a crisis on the streets.
No accidents have been reported. The police could be more gainfully employed
maintaining law and order and enforcing the rule of law on the farms and in
the communal areas where people are being terrorised by elements of the
ruling party.

Obviously, the strategy is not just to disrupt the sales of newspapers.
It seeks to limit the influence of newspapers in informing Zimbabweans about
the unfolding tragedy in their country.

This is a declaration of a news blackout.
By the time the presidential election is held, the government wants the
world to know what is happening in this country as told by its own

The origins of this nefarious scheme are found in the arrest and harassment
of Zimbabwean journalists, the bombing of The Daily News printing press and
expulsions of foreign correspondents.

The intention is to silence alternative voices so that government can begin
to take total control of and guide the thinking of the citizens of Zimbabwe.

What the government is doing in urban areas is an extension of what the
so-called war veterans have been doing to independent newspapers since last
year, when they declared a “ban” on their distribution in selected rural

These measures, the purchase of riot gear and the hiring of Libyan security
agents suggest the government is not preparing for a peaceful presidential

This is confirmed by the deployment of land invaders onto commercial farms
where they have driven off the farmers and displaced the workers.

In the villages they have unleashed terror squads. The government is going
into a presidential election on a campaign platform of terror.

This week a delegation from the Commonwealth is visiting Zimbabwe on a
fact-finding mission to establish the extent of the government’s compliance
with the Abuja Agreement.

It is also hoped that the group will meet and hear evidence from all
affected sectors of society to appreciate what is happening in this country,
who is responsible and what the motivation could be.

It is hoped the delegation will meet and discuss with the Law Society, the
Judiciary and the private Press.

There is a genuine need to avoid trivialisation of the mission, so that it
does not suffer the fate of the summit of the Southern African Development
Community heads of state on the land crisis, held here during August.
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Business Report

Zimbabwe to suffer severe food shortages say aid agencies

October 23 2001 at 12:58PM
Harare - Aid agencies on Tuesday warned of severe food shortages in rural
Zimbabwe over the coming months, saying a combination of drought and land
invasions had dramatically reduced crop plantings.

In its latest report, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Welfare Trust (ZAWT) said
25,000 workers had been evicted from farms over the past five weeks and many
had been forced to camp on roadsides.

Fearing a shortfall in food stocks, the ZAWT has called for donations of
maize, dried fish and vegetable seeds. "A massive humanitarian disaster is
about to unfold," it said.

A recent survey by the Commercial Farmers' Union, grouping some 4,500 mainly
white farmers, shows nearly a third of the country's 12.65 million
population has applied for food aid.

Intentions to plant maize in the next cropping season had declined from
74,000 hectares to 55,000 hectares due to the land invasions and President
Robert Mugabe's plans to seize land from white farmers for landless blacks,
the CFU survey showed.

"It is anticipated that most of this maize is for on-farm consumption," said
the CFU, whose members traditionally produce about 40 percent of the staple

Humanitarian group World Vision International (WVI) said on Tuesday some
500,000 people could run out of food in the country's drought-prone
Matabeleland South and Midlands provinces alone by December.

"Most of the people in these areas are already scrounging around for food
and even those that still have stocks will definitely run out before the
next harvest," said WVI Zimbabwe spokeswoman Knowledge Chikondo.

A local weekly newspaper reported last week villagers in Matabeleland South
province were eating tree roots to survive. WVI plans to distribute food
from early December in the two provinces.

Earlier this year, Finance Minister Simba Makoni acknowledged the country
would need to import food to meet domestic demand, but said there was no
provision in the 2001 budget for imports.

The United States based Famine Early Warning System Network says Zimbabwe's
official maize stocks were 41 percent down at 233,000 tonnes in September
from 393,000 in April. Immediate imports of about 200,000 tonnes were
necessary to meet domestic consumption needs through to March 2002. -

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We Should Have Borrowed a Leaf From Nigeria - Zimbabwe Minister

Daily Trust (Abuja)

October 23, 2001
Posted to the web October 23, 2001

Hon. Paul Mangwana (MP), a young and articulate minister in President Robert
Mugabe's government in Zimbabwe, was recently in the country to attend the
African Parliamentary Union meeting in Abuja. Owing to the growing currency
the Zimbabwean land crisis gained in recent time, Kevin Ebele Adinnu and
Musa Aliyu cornered the Deputy Minister of Justice (Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs) to discuss legal technicalities on the land issue. Excerpts.

Your Excellency, some time ago Nigeria presided over a meeting in which an
agreement was signed between your country and the British government over
the land distribution disagreement. What progress has been made after that?

The progress we have made so far is to make sure we put the legal
machineries in place and to entertain the legal objections which have been
raised by the committee of farmers over land resettlement. The process which
is supposed to be taken by the government for it to acquire land is too
long. Initially, they sent a notice to white committee of farmers and the
white farmers have the right to object. And they can bring the case to the
court of Zimbabwe. Now with the Abuja agreement in place and also the
supreme court decision which allows the government, we are now legally
taking the land. In the sense of following the provisions of the land
acquisition act and the court decision. That is what we have done.

Secondly, we are making sure that there is peaceful co-existence between the
commercial farmers and the people who occupy the land. As you know we have
the law which protects legal occupants from eviction. The land occupant
protection act. So our people are clearly aware of the provisions of that
act. But you know in our situation we have some people who are trying to
take advantage, political opponent, who cause confusion by sending their
party youths to go and attack farm workers and claim that it was the
government supporters.

The British government has said that war veterans still invade farms to
attack white farmers in spite of the agreement. Is there any truth in that

It is not true. In fact no farm invasion has taken place after March 2001.

If you take a look at our law protecting land occupation it actually gives a
date of March 31, 2001. But anybody who invades the land after March 31
would not be protected by the law. We have made sure that no one invades the
land after March 31. We made that commitment that anyone who invades after
that period will not be protected by the law. So, there is no truth in that

You are aware of the accusation.

(Cut in) Yes we are aware. It's not the first time that section of the
British media will report that. In fact the white farmers do not want to
part with the land. It is not a question of them making allegations they do
not want to part with the land.

A major aspect of the agreement which was re-echoed at the Lancaster
conference was the undertaking by Britain to provide fund for the
compensation of the farmers whose land have been redistributed. Have they
made efforts towards providing the fund?

Not as yet. In fact, it is not a special undertaking. That was the basis in
which the Lancaster agreement was reached. So we can say that they've
retreated on the undertaking. But now we've started negotiating with the
UNDP, they are sending a technical team to look into the implementation of
the Abuja agreement. That is what is happening now.

At one time some people were saying that your government is doing all these
as a political strategy against next year election and nothing more. So, how
do you react to this?

That is incorrect. In fact, the land redistribution struggle is a business
of the liberation struggle. It is the main reason why we took up arms
against the colonial regime. It is our land. You cannot achieve sovereignty
without ownership of the land. In fact, we made a mistake by agreeing. We
should have taken the Nigerian example where land was nationalised and now
belongs to the state and the federal government. We didn't take such
decision because we tried to follow what was being dictated to us as
international law tenets. But now it is being used against us. You end up
dealing with a piece of land (about 10,000 hectres) instead of the whole of
the land. You cannot assert the sovereignty of the state without the control
of the your own land. Because land is the basic property of a country.

So it is not the question of electioneering. We can win the elections
without the issue of land being raised. If you take a look at the history of
this land question, in 1980 it was said that we could take the land on a
willing-seller-willing buyer basis. The whites did not even offer the land
on this basis. Then we could not change that constitutional provision until
after 10 years. Then after that in 1992 we passed the land redistribution
law but we were told that we have to pass through the legal process to make
it work. But even then it couldn't work. So when we decided to make it work
there was no election. When the farm invasion by the communal farmers took
place, there was no election then. So, it is not the question of elections
or political gains but the question of feeling. The desire to make our
people own their own land.

Recently your country hailed Nigeria for the efforts to achieve the Abuja
agreement. Britain also did the same, though this was not the first time
such agreement is being reached. How optimistic are you that the latest
accord would achieve something towards the resolution of the impasse?

Our position is simple. We are indebted to Nigeria for the efforts it is
making to resolve the land issue through dialogue with our farmer colonial
power. But we are going to do our part. We are going to take the land.

Whether British play their role or not, we are going to take the land. And
we are going to do it by legal means. We are putting in place a legal
machinery to take the land without violence.

Your political opponents in Zimbabwe have said that if they gain political
power, they would reverse the decisions you have made on the land issue.

What message do you have for them?

As far as I am concerned, they are puppets being used by the British to
neocolonialise our country. And every one in our country knows it. So come
judgement day we loose the elections, the people would judge them.

What are the highlights of events at the African Parliamentary Union
conference you are here for?

Before I speak on that, let me first inform you that we have had a very
important ruling of the supreme court in our favour. The supreme court has
ruled that the question of land is not a legalistic matter. It is the
question of social justice. With the ruling, it means that the issue is more
of political than legal. So, they have given us the go ahead.

Were there whites among the judges.

That particular one is made up of four blacks and one (white) Indian. And
the decision was unanimous. So we are determined to follow legal means to
take back the land. There is no way we can pay for our stolen land to have
it back. That will amount to social injustice.

On the APU, I must express my gratitude to Nigeria for the warm hospitality
to which we have been treated. The atmosphere has been quite conducive for
us to deliberate on critical issues affecting Africa. We looked at what the
parliament can do to ensure that each government takes the issue of poverty
alleviation very serious. We talked of justifiable allocation of resources
so that defence and other related issues do not get preference over social
issues like the education, provision of social infrastructures, etc.

We also discussed on corruption which has become quite endemic. How to
handle it following the example of Nigeria's anti-corruption crusade. We
also condemned terrorism but at the same time called for international
social justice as the right means of eliminating terrorism. This means that
if we want to eliminate it we must not condone any form of terrorism by some
countries while condemning those by others.

As part of enhancing cooperation between my country and Nigeria, I have been
able to meet two ministers. One is the minister for cooperation and
integration with whom I discussed how we could enhance cooperation between
business men in both countries. How they can invest and do business in both

I also met the minister of state for justice and discussed on Nigeria's
anti-corruption law which we are also trying to introduce in Zimbabwe.

I am very grateful to the Nigerian authorities for this.

We also talked of technical assistance. With the land issue going on in
Zimbabwe and the legal technicalities involved, we may need a lot of lawyers
to handle this. So, we have asked for Nigeria's assistance and the minister
said Nigeria is willing to assist. So, we shall go back home, look at the
exact areas we need assistance and file in our application.
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Mugabe's Socialism Could Actually Work
Moneyweb (Johannesburg)

October 22, 2001
Posted to the web October 23, 2001

Tim Wood

Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe has finally branded his policies socialism,
although he need not have bothered. Some brands need no advertising; they
just speak for themselves.

Nevertheless, I can't help but feel sorry for him because he duffed even a
simple thing like price controls. It's not as though there isn't a lot of
history to lean on for solid, practical advice. Even supposed paragons of
capitalism like America have vast ongoing experience with price controls and
they have much to offer, never mind the lessons from the Soviet Union's
masterful 70-year experiment in social engineering.

America has catalogue after catalogue of price controls designed to fiddle
market values for some or other special interest. It gets away with it
because the market is sufficiently free in other aspects to generate the
prosperity required to pay for such foolishness.

Rule number 1, therefore, is: if you aren't awash in prosperity, don't try
price controls, especially not on essential products.

The Northeast Dairy Compact is a cosy deal designed to help the dairy
farmers of Vermont avoid a grinding commute to city jobs. They cannot
produce milk at the market price for various reasons, so the elected
officials from that state cut a deal. In return for being elected, they
siphon subsidies from the federal government to keep the farmers in clover,
so to speak.

The net effect has been to inflate prices by up to 20 per cent so Vermont's
uncompetitive farmers get the price per gallon of milk they need to stay
alive. Nobody seems to mind too much because milk is hardly critical to the
national economy. So price controls on milk remain and are spreading
(careful of that ? price control sprawl eventually ruins it for the original

Jimmy Carter learnt in the late 1970s how price controls on essential items
are seriously career inhibiting.

When fuel prices began to rocket, he hit on the brainwave of controlling
prices, especially for natural gas which was supposedly in short supply. He
set prices at the wellhead for any gas introduced to the national pipeline
infrastructure. But he couldn't match the price the market was paying (and
that he was paying Mexico), so the producers simply diverted their gas away
from the national pipeline to buyers who were serious. That infuriated
Carter who then set prices for all gas produced in the U.S., whether or not
it went into the pipeline.

It was a fatal miscalculation. The producers simply stopped producing gas
altogether, leaving it in the ground rather than lose money extracting it.

Needless to say, the shortages only got worse and prices increased
exponentially. Everything that Carter did to reduce prices and shortages had
the opposite effect. When Reagan removed the price controls, supplies soared
and prices dropped far and fast.

Rule number 2: if you cap prices of essential goods, make sure you
nationalize every last bit of the supply chain or you will face an
unpatriotic revolt by people going bankrupt.

This rule is fraught with danger though. Inherent state inefficiency will
make the controlled product hundreds of times more expensive than it would
be if it remains in private hands. There will be an additional perverse
effect that will make things even worse - because the product is subsidized,
people will demand more of it. Probably much more than they need.

For example, here in the U.S., there is a serious problem with cigarette
smuggling. Arbitrageurs (rednecks who haven't seen the inside of a grade 3
textbook) buy cigarettes in states with lower sin taxes and then ship them
to states with higher sin taxes and sell them by the pick-up truck full in
dark alleys. High powered speedboats criss-cross the Great Lakes delivering
arbitraged jacks to Canada from the U.S..

Much of the money gained from the higher taxes is spent trying to catch the
moonlighters, while the states with higher taxes are furious because they
are getting much less revenue ? there are suddenly very few official
cigarette sales even though health officials report much higher smoking
statistics. It's lose-lose for everyone except the smugglers and smokers.

Likewise, if you nationalize the bakeries in Zimbabwe, don't be surprised to
discover trucks and planes of hot loaves of bread making their way to SA,
Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. It could be that profitable.

Stalin encountered this problem early on (Kulaks are everywhere), but staved
off the Soviet Union's disaster for at least another 50 years by
implementing rule 3.

Rule number 3: you must colonize surrounding territories to maintain a
subsidy feedstock.

The Soviet Union was pretty much bankrupt by the mid 1930s, but war with
Germany kept the evil empire alive thanks to generous aid from the U.S. and
Britain. Stalin realized the aid would not sustain the wealth-sapping
machine he presided over. So he confiscated all the property his army
liberated on its way to Berlin.

The Soviet Union sucked those satellite states dry, forcing them to under
invest in everything (Trabants were being produced on a 1930s assembly line
in the late 1980s) so that surpluses could be diverted to the Nomenklatura
and military ambitions. Unfortunately, Stalin's successors failed to
maintain the annexation trend which doomed the whole thing.

Just as a gold mine must replace its reserves on a regular basis, so
centrally commanded economies must supplement the wealth they destroy,
preferably through military conquest.

Rule number 4: peg to gold.

After plundering Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union might have pulled off
another 100 years but for one terrible oversight. The Americans cancelled
the dollar's convertibility with gold. In one stroke, the price stability
that central planners needed was gone. It became hopeless and chaotic to
adjust the Soviet Union's output and prices to larger fluctuations in the
global economy.

Had then party boss Brezhnev forced his planners to peg the rouble to gold,
Russia may have had a chance, but it was inflation that eventually did the
most damage, just as it is going to do in Zim. If you can't control your
currency, then price controls will definitely not work. It's like sailing
into a hurricane without a rudder. Gold is a reliable rudder in a regime of
floating currencies.

Rule number 5: peasants know better.

Unfortunately, Mugabe's only potential annexation will be Congo and that
could be a worse headache than it's worth. Consequently, Zimbabwe doesn't
have the options to pursue a command economy. The party could save face by
relying on the peasantry.

The Soviet Union had aggressively nationalized farms and taxed the workers
at a rate of 90 per cent. The workers were, however, allowed to keep 100 per
cent of whatever they produced from tiny "subsistence" gardens.

As a result, 27 per cent of the total value of Soviet farm output came from
these "subsistence" plots that accounted for less than 1 per cent of all
arable land. These subsistence farmers, working mostly by hand, produced 40
times more than the highly mechanized, fertilized and fawned over collective

The economic lesson is clear, and even peasants understand it; unless you
would rather declare them counter-revolutionaries.
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How Ready Are We for Anthrax?

The Monitor (Kampala)

October 23, 2001
Posted to the web October 23, 2001

Jennifer Bakyawa

Between 1979 and 1985, Zimbabwe experienced a terrible epidemic of skin

There were more than 10,000 cases reported within these years, though human
anthrax is a rare disease.

Last year, a BBC report cited nine human and 44 cattle deaths in Mhondoro
province. There were also 630 people treated for suspected anthrax symptoms
and four were hospitalised.

People who reported to clinics complained of stomach pains and diarrhoea,
headaches, fever, small skin lesions and coughs.

Much as these cases came up, anthrax has existed for centuries. It still
occurs naturally in both animals and humans in many parts of the world, like
Asia, southern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Australia.

Grass eating animals, such as cattle, are most often infected because they
can eat spores living in the soil. Animal vaccination - and destruction of
infected herds - has drastically reduced the number of infected animals.
Even so, anthrax spores continue to be found in soil samples from all over
the world.

However, today it is causing more concern because of the possibility of
being used as a biological warfare, with the onset of United States of
America's War on Terrorism in Afghanistan.

Several cases have been reported in the USA. In Africa, Kenyan officials
also reported citizens having received mail containing anthrax spores.

Anthrax is thought to be the perfect germ for bio-terrorism because it is
contagious and the spores last for a long time. During World War II, the
British army experimented with an explosive shell filled with anthrax
spores. These experiments took place on an island off the coast of Scotland.
Spores persisted in the environment for 36 years. A massive decontamination
effort finally cleared the region in 1987.

Because inhalation anthrax is very, very rare --- the last USA case was in
1978 - officials believe it highly unlikely that the Florida cases came from
a natural source like the environment. State and federal investigators are
conducting a criminal investigation. However, the strain of anthrax in this
outbreak remains highly susceptible to antibiotics, suggesting that it was
not created in a sophisticated bio-weapons laboratory, Michael Smith, a
medical doctor and Senior Medical Editor of WebMD says.

"Even so, it's not easy to grow deadly anthrax and it's even harder to make
it into a weapon. The spores have to be turned into a microscopically fine
powder - no simple trick. Then the powder must be sprayed over a large area
with a specially adapted device. Even then, the temperature and the wind
must be exactly right to contaminate populated areas," Smith says.

According to the World Health Organisaton website, anthrax is caused by a
bacterium called Bacillus anthracis.

Anthrax bacteria can survive in the environment by forming spores. In its
most common natural form, it creates dark sores on the skin, from which it
derives its name--anthrax, which is Greek for coal.

People can catch anthrax from infected animals or contaminated animal
products. Most natural infection comes from skin contact. You can also get
anthrax infection from eating raw or too-rare meat - but this is uncommon.
Even more uncommon - but by far most deadly - is anthrax caught by inhaling
spores. This is because a person has to inhale several thousand spores
before infection can take hold.

According to WHO, there are three types of human anthrax.

Cutaneous, or skin, anthrax is the most common form. It is usually
contracted when a person with a break in their skin, such as a cut or
abrasion, comes into direct contact with anthrax spores. After a day or two,
it forms a small liquid-filled sac. This sac then becomes a painless ulcer
with an area of black, dead tissue in the middle. Antibiotic treatment cures
this infection. Untreated, it kills about one in five people.

Another form of anthrax is gastrointestinal, which is caught from eating mea
t from an infected animal. It causes initial symptoms similar to food
poisoning but these can worsen to produce severe abdominal pain, vomiting of
blood and severe diarrhoea. Appropriate medical evaluation and treatment are

The signs of intestinal infection are nausea, loss of appetite, and
vomiting. This is followed by severe abdominal pain, vomiting of blood, and
severe diarrhea. Untreated intestinal anthrax is deadly 25 to 60 out of 100
cases of the time.

The most severe form of human anthrax is called inhalation or pulmonary
anthrax. Though the rarest, it is the form of human anthrax causing the most
current concern. This form of the disease is caused when a person is
directly exposed to a large number of anthrax spores suspended in the air,
and breathes them in. The first symptoms are similar to those of a common
cold, fever, muscle aches and fatigue but this can rapidly progress to
severe breathing difficulties and shock.

As early as one day after these symptoms appear - but up to weeks later -
the symptoms suddenly become much more severe, usually with breathing
problems and shock. This form of the disease is often fatal.

When anthrax spores get inside the body, they grow rapidly. The germs
themselves can cause dangerous infections. The bacteria produce anthrax
toxin, which helps the bug survive by killing off cells of the immune
system. This toxin is so deadly that it can kill even after infection is
brought under control, the WHO site reveals.

However, all is not lost because anthrax can be prevented and treated
according to WHO officials.

A vaccine against anthrax has been licensed for use in humans. The vaccine
is reported to be 93 per cent effective in protecting against anthrax.

The anthrax vaccine is manufactured and distributed by BioPort, Corporation,
Lansing, Michigan in USA.

In countries where anthrax is common and vaccination levels of animal herds
are low, humans should avoid contact with livestock and animal products and
avoid eating meat that has not been properly slaughtered and cooked. Only
preventive treatment with antibiotics can keep an exposed person from
developing anthrax.

"Anthrax responds well to antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics must be
prescribed and taken with medical advice. Nobody should attempt to use
antibiotics or any other drugs to treat or protect themselves without first
getting medical advice," Dr. David Heymann, Executive Director for
Communicable Diseases, WHO Geneva headquarters, said.

In Uganda, an Anthrax Task Force was set up last week, a day after anthrax
was reported in Kenya. The team consists of the former Ebola task force,
representatives from security organizations, WHO, Uganda Posts Limited,
Uganda Revenue Authority, Entebbe International Airport and Mulago Hospital.
The Director General of Health Services, Prof. Francis Omaswa is the

The Commissioner of Public Health in the Ministry of Health, Paul Kagwa says
the task force is charged with working out strategies on how to contain
anthrax in case it breaks out in Uganda.

It is also responsible for surveillance, investigating any cases that may be
suspicious and informing the public about the disease. An anthrax unit has
been set up at the Central Health Public Laboratory, Kagwa said.

"Whenever there is a suspicious case we are supposed to move together, " he

Much as anthrax is causing alarm though it has been around, Ugandans should
least worry because the National Medical Stores have in stock antibiotics,
which can treat anthrax for two or three years, Kagwa said.
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US Dept of State

23 October 2001
Zimbabwean Pollster Gauges Voter Opinion Of Presidential Contest
(Election To Be Held Before March 17) (1160)
By David Pitts
Washington File Staff Writer

Harare, Zimbabwe -- The first Zimbabwean-based polling organization is
to survey the opinions of Zimbabweans about their upcoming
presidential election, which must be held before March 17, 2002 "I'm
currently developing the questionnaire," says Masipula Sithole,
director of The Mass Public Opinion Institute. "It will ask such
questions as: Whom will you vote for in the presidential election?
What is your opinion of the presidential candidates? What issues are
important to you? And, are you in favor of presidential debates?"

The election will likely pit incumbent President Robert Mugabe, the
country's leader since independence in 1980 and the head of ZANU-PF --
which currently holds a parliamentary majority -- against Morgan
Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). MDC
became the main opposition to ZANU-PF after it came from nowhere to
gain 57 seats in the country's parliamentary elections held in June
2000. Sithole says the results of the Institute's presidential poll
will likely be published "at the end of November or beginning of

Sithole feels it is "very important," to scientifically measure the
public's opinion of the upcoming presidential election, and other
issues, since too often the views of the public are neglected, and
even unknown, by the elite. Democracy is not just about the views of
the politicians or the press or business leaders, it also is about the
views of the people, he adds. "Could public opinion be the missing
link in the democracy debate in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa?"

Since the Institute was founded in 1999, it already has held two
high-profile surveys of Zimbabwean opinion. A poll taken prior to a
February 2000 referendum on a new constitution proposed by President
Mugabe accurately predicted its rejection by voters. They turned down
the proposed constitution by a margin of 54 to 46 percent. Later that
year, prior to the June parliamentary elections, the Institute, based
on its second survey of public opinion, predicted a win for the
opposition MDC even though the party had been in existence only since
1999 and ZANU-PF held all but three seats in the then parliament.

In the election, MDC won 57 of the 120 seats up for direct election by
voters, a narrow win for ZANU-PF. However, there are 30 additional
seats in the country's parliament. The Zimbabwean Constitution allows
the incumbent president to appoint 12 members himself. He also
appoints eight provincial governors. Ten traditional leaders are
elected by the National Council of Chiefs -- making 30 seats in all
that are not allocated through direct election by voters. The final
result gave ZANU-PF a comfortable working majority.

Even though the Institute's prediction of a win for MDC was wrong,
Sithole says, "we were the closest," in terms of predicting the surge
of support for MDC based on polling of voter attitudes. MDC alleged
that the ruling ZANU-PF had waged a campaign of violent intimidation
during the election that resulted in 37 deaths and thousands of
assaults -- affecting the outcome of the election. The government has
denied that ZANU-PF is responsible for the violence.

Sithole, who is the author of a number of influential books including,
"The Zimbabwe Struggles Within The Struggle," and, "Zimbabwe's Public
Eye: Political Essays," is a well-known political scientist who
teaches at the University of Zimbabwe. He is the brother of the late
Nbabaningi Sithole, whose name became a household word during the
country's struggle for independence. The Institute has a fulltime
staff of eight and hires research assistants to do the survey work.
Just a few weeks ago, the Institute received a major grant from the
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and also is
supported by organizations in The Netherlands and Germany. Sithole
says the Institute has just completed a third poll -- on the
perceptions and aspirations of Zimbabwean youth.

Civil society organizations in Zimbabwe also are involved in preparing
for the country's presidential election. One of the largest is the
Human Rights Trust of Southern Africa (SAHRIT) one of 36
nongovernmental organizations (NGO) that form the Zimbabwe Election
Support Network. The objective, says Phil Matsheza, executive director
of SAHRIT, "is to increase voter education and other support
activities in advance of the election."

SAHRIT, which is active in the southern Africa region in general, also
has been promoting human rights education in Zimbabwe, particularly in
schools, and also human rights training for police officers and their
commanders. Although "we've made a lot of progress in developing
curricula materials," for human rights education, currently the
program "has been suspended," in the schools, Matsheza notes. He also
says the human rights training program for police officers will be
suspended in December. But the program has "definitely improved the
police force. The number of lawsuits against the police fell by 47
percent from 1997 to 2001," he adds.

Matsheza, who is a war veteran -- a term used here to mean
participation in the armed struggle to achieve independence --
stresses that a major focus of SAHRIT is monitoring the country's
compliance with international human rights standards as defined by the
various international conventions and other documents that Zimbabwe
has signed. "I believe governments have an obligation to enforce human
rights standards," he says. SAHRIT also is championing an
anti-corruption drive throughout the region. "We are the first NGO to
come up with a protocol against corruption," he says. "It has been
signed by all 14 heads of government of the SADC (Southern African
Development Community) countries." Major funders for SAHRIT are USAID
and donors in Western Europe.

Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) became independent in 1980 after an armed
struggle against the regime led by Ian Smith, which unilaterally
declared independence (UDI) from Britain in 1965 under white minority
rule. The country has a population of 12 million. About 98 percent of
the population is black (71 percent Shona; 16 percent Ndebele, and
other 11 percent.) Whites account for one percent of the population
and one percent are Asian or mixed. The main languages are English,
Shona and Ndebele.

The country has a high literacy rate - about 80 percent -- and the
population is considered well educated by the standards of the
developing world. Political debate in the year leading up to the
presidential election has been dominated by economic matters -- not
only the land issue and compliance with the terms of the recent Abuja
Agreement, which was intended to resolve it, but also the country's
high inflation (reaching 83 percent in September), unemployment, and
poverty rates.

Last week, the government introduced price controls on basic
commodities in an apparent move back to a centrally planned economy.
This measure also has stirred considerable debate among Zimbabweans.
When they go to the polls to elect their president within the next
five months, experts say it is likely they will vote for the candidate
whom they believe can best improve the economy.

(The Washington File is a product of the Office of International
Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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Tuesday October 23, 05:23 PM

Britain says Zimbabwe hasn't met land commitments
By Dominic Evans

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain says Zimbabwe has still not delivered on
commitments it made to end violent invasions of white-owned farms by
supporters of President Robert Mugabe.

A senior British source, speaking before a Commonwealth ministerial visit to
Harare, said there had been a "slight lessening" in violence following a
September 6 accord to end the 18-month land crisis in Zimbabwe.

"(But) the key elements, ensuring that the government of Zimbabwe met its
commitments, have not yet been delivered," the source said.

Foreign Office Minister Baroness Valerie Amos will join ministers from six
other Commonwealth states on Thursday for a mission which aims to set a
timetable for compliance with last month's accord, brokered in the Nigerian
capital Abuja.

Zimbabwe agreed under the deal to halt farm invasions in exchange for
British and international funds to finance a fair and just land reform
programme in the former British colony.

"One of the outcomes we want to agree on is a monitoring process with
time-scales attached to it," the source said.

"These are things the government of Zimbabwe committed to, the UK government
committed to and the international community committed to."

Zimbabwe's embattled white farmers say the land crisis has escalated despite
the September deal, with settlers taking over 700 more farms. They have
warned that output of key crops could fall by 40 percent next year,
triggering food shortages.


The British source said Amos, the first British minister to visit Zimbabwe
in three years, was travelling with "no illusions" and with a sense of
realism. "We never saw Abuja as an end in itself, but part of a process,"
the source said.

The ministers, accompanied by Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon,
will meet Zimbabwe's opposition, non-governmental organisations, farmers,
and Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge.

Analysts say Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party has turned to violence against
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change as a central plank of its
strategy for presidential elections which must be held by next April.

They have suggested Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in
1980, brought forward plans to intensify his campaign against the opposition
while international attention was diverted by the September 11 attacks on
the United States.

"There's been speculation (the attacks) have taken our eye off the ball. I
don't think that's the case," the British source said, adding that
Zimbabwe's southern African neighbours, the European Union and the United
States were all following events in Zimbabwe closely.

After heated exchanges between London and Harare last year Britain has
sought a lower profile on land reform and stressed the growing international
concern, in an effort to deflect Mugabe's accusations that London was
bullying its former colony.

The European Union offered on Monday to send observers to monitor the
elections and asked for a reply by next Monday, when EU foreign ministers
will discuss the farm take-overs.

In June, EU foreign ministers expressed deep concern over human rights
violations in Zimbabwe. They called for an end to political violence, action
to protect the freedom of the media and an end to illegal occupation of
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Food shortages feared in Zimbabwe

October 23, 2001 Posted: 7:21 AM EDT (1121 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- Aid agencies on Tuesday warned of severe food
shortages in rural Zimbabwe over the coming months, saying a combination of
drought and land invasions had dramatically reduced crop plantings.

In its latest report, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Welfare Trust (ZAWT) said
25,000 workers had been evicted from farms over the past five weeks and many
had been forced to camp on roadsides.

Fearing a shortfall in food stocks, the ZAWT has called for donations of
maize, dried fish and vegetable seeds. "A massive humanitarian disaster is
about to unfold," it said.

A recent survey by the Commercial Farmers' Union, grouping some 4,500 mainly
white farmers, shows nearly a third of the country's 12.65 million
population has applied for food aid.

Intentions to plant maize in the next cropping season had declined from
74,000 hectares (183,000 acres) to 55,000 hectares (136,000 acres) due to
the land invasions and President Robert Mugabe's plans to seize land from
white farmers for landless blacks, the CFU survey showed.

"It is anticipated that most of this maize is for on-farm consumption," said
the CFU, whose members traditionally produce about 40 percent of the staple

Humanitarian group World Vision International (WVI) said on Tuesday some
500,000 people could run out of food in the country's drought-prone
Matabeleland South and Midlands provinces alone by December.

"Most of the people in these areas are already scrounging around for food
and even those that still have stocks will definitely run out before the
next harvest," said WVI Zimbabwe spokeswoman Knowledge Chikondo.

A local weekly newspaper reported last week villagers in Matabeleland South
province were eating tree roots to survive.

WVI plans to distribute food from early December in the two provinces.

Earlier this year, Finance Minister Simba Makoni acknowledged the country
would need to import food to meet domestic demand, but said there was no
provision in the 2001 budget for imports.

The United States-based Famine Early Warning System Network says Zimbabwe's
official maize stocks were 41 percent down at 233,000 tonnes in September
from 393,000 in April. Immediate imports of about 200,000 tonnes were
necessary to meet domestic consumption needs through to March 2002.
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Zimbabweans seek refuge at police station

Hundreds of Zimbabweans have sought refuge at a Johannesburg police station
after their shacks were torched.

South African residents of the Zandspruit informal settlement at Honeydew,
near Johannesburg, allegedly attacked the foreigners.

On Sunday, 74 shacks were burnt, and another 124 looted in clashes between
residents of the informal settlement.

Twenty people were subsequently arrested and charged with public violence.

On Monday another four shacks belonging to Zimbabweans were set on fire, and
four more people were arrested.

About 40 Zimbabweans slept at the Honeydew police station on Monday night
and another 400 arrived at the station Tuesday seeking help, police
spokeswoman Terry-Ann Booyse said.

"I think word has spread that we can get them help and more are coming out
of hiding," Booyse said.

Many of the Zimbabweans told police documents proving they were in South
Africa legally had been burnt in their shacks.

"I need the government to tell me where to take these people," Booyse said.
"We do not have enough shelter and do not know what to do with these

Story filed: 13:02 Tuesday 23rd October 2001
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Zimbabwe – Victory March.


Have you ever been to London and seen the guards at Buckingham Palace? 
Well the guards who are on duty are famous the world over for their 
incredible discipline in staying absolutely still and expressionless 
no matter what happens around them. Even if you scream abuse at them, 
sing, dance or strip naked in front of them they will not flinch! 
They have a duty to perform and they will carry it out.

In the 18th century or thereabouts there were many wars fought with 
two armies of foot soldiers marching in long rows directly towards 
each other, directly towards the enemy. As these young men marched, 
to the right of them and to the left of them their compatriots or 
even their brothers lost their lives, blown up within inches of them, 
yet these young men carried on marching. They had a duty to perform 
and they carried it out.

In Zimbabwe today we are marching towards a goal and to the left of 
us our economy is being blown away and to the right of us our brothers 
are being beaten up and murdered and into our faces lies and abuse 
are being spat at us. We are hungry and in pain, we are tired and 
frightened but though thousands may fall to the left of us and thousands 
may fall to the right, we the absolute majority of peace loving, good, 
gentle and hardworking Zimbabweans will not falter.

We will march on to that day and we will cast our vote, we will choose 
our own president and we will change our country - because it is our 
country and we will not give it up to evil. 

We have a duty to perform and we will carry it out.


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Daily News

Mnangagwa fails to appear in court

10/23/01 7:24:16 AM (GMT +2)

By Pedzisai Ruhanya

The Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa, failed to appear in the High
Court yesterday, as expected, following last week’s request for him to do so
by Justice David Bartlett.

Mnangagwa had said he would appear in court.

The saga surrounding the release of George Tanyanyiwa Chikanga, a hard-core
criminal who was released by Mnangagwa, assumed more dramatic proportions
yesterday when the prosecutor, Stephen Musona, told the court that Chikanga
had yet another case pending, that of armed robbery involving $7 million.

Chikanga allegedly committed this offence after his release last year.
Musona said Chikanga’s docket on this matter was now before the
Attorney-General (AG), Andrew Chigovera.

Bartlett’s request to Mnangagwa to appear before the court followed
revelations that the Speaker, when he was Minister of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs, facilitated the release of Chikanga in March last
year in circumstances that Mnangagwa was expected to explain in court

Musona told the judge yesterday that Mnangagwa was out of the country. He
said he did not know when the Speaker was due back.

The prosecutor said: “Mnangagwa has presented an affidavit. He is out of the
country and we cannot say when he will be back.”

Musona presented to the judge an affidavit by Mnangagwa whose contents were
not revealed in court. However, ZBC/TV last night reported Mnangagwa as
saying in the affidavit that “a genuine error” had been made in releasing
Chikanga, and that he had since recommended to the Ministry of Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs that the anomaly be rectified.

During the proceedings, Bartlett ordered Musona to contact Mnangagwa through
Chigovera, the AG, to ask whether the Speaker stands by the contents of his
affidavit or wishes to give oral evidence in the matter.

He said there was a difference between an affidavit and oral evidence
because the court wanted to put questions to Mnangagwa. Bartlett said the
case would resume as soon as this was established.

The judge then asked Musona to explain how and why about $700 000, which was
in Chikanga’s possession when he was arrested, was deposited in the account
of his mother, Febby Chikanga, where it was now being held, instead of being
surrendered to the State as a court exhibit, which is normal practice.

Musona said the money was being held in Febby Chikanga’s account at Kingdom
Bank after a directive to that effect was received from Chigovera.

“It was an instruction to us to put the money into that account,” Musona
said. “The AG ordered that the money be put into Febby Chikanga’s account.

“Febby Chikanga indicated that her daughter in the United States of America
had sent her money. She simply stated that, but there was no documentary
evidence. It is the State’s position that part of the money came from the
First Bank robbery.”

Last Friday a woman calling herself Doreen Chikanga, the daughter of Febby
Chikanga, phoned from the United States and ordered the Editor-in-Chief of
The Daily News, Geoff Nyarota, to instruct reporters not to “harass my

Chikanga has already been convicted and Bartlett is only waiting to pass
sentence in the matter.
In preparation for passing sentence three weeks ago, Bartlett established
that Chikanga was previously convicted and sentenced to 35 years in jail on
various counts of armed robbery. He, however, only served nine years.

Bartlett unearthed the scandal in July after he had convicted Chikanga of
armed robbery involving more than $200 000.

Chikanga had robbed First Bank Corporation’s Birmingham branch in Harare on
16 September 2000.

The court then heard that Chikanga was released earlier because he suffered
from hypertension.

Bartlett ordered that Chikanga be examined by a medical doctor to confirm
whether this was the cause of his early release in March last year.

When the case resumed two weeks ago, a medical report presented before
Bartlett showed that Chikanga did not suffer from any hypertension.

When Chikanga was asked to explain the circumstances of his early release,
his lawyer, Ticharwa Garabga, told the court that it was his mother who had
petitioned Mnangagwa to release her son.

Febby Chikanga was asked to explain the circumstances.
She told the court that after her son was sentenced to 35 years in jail in
1990, she wrote six petitions to Mnangagwa pleading for his release because
he was only 17 years old when he committed the offence and was the sole
breadwinner of the family.

She told the court that after the meeting with Mnangagwa and her last
petition in February last year, Augustine Chikumira, the permanent secretary
in the ministry, then wrote a letter to the prison officials directing them
to release her son. He was released in March 2000.

Chikumira died in January this year.
In the latest case, the State alleges that on 16 September 2000, Chikanga,
armed with a pistol, unlawfully and intentionally assaulted First Bank
employees, Rungamai Bhebhe, Pavelot Mukucha, Virginia Ndowora, Pharastein
Chinokora, Roggers Shonhiwa and Joseph Magaya, by using force and violence
to induce submission before he stole $221 000.

The court heard that a search by the police at Chikanga’s house in Hillside
recovered $632 000 and some foreign currency.

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From The Daily News, 20 October

Dates for presidential election still unknown

There has been considerable debate over next year’s presidential election amid growing anxiety among Zimbabweans as to when the crucial polls will be held. According to section 29 of the Constitution, President Mugabe’s term of office expires at midnight on 31 March 2002 having started on 1 April 1996. The Presidential tenure is six years. The section says the term of office of the President shall be six years provided that he or she shall continue in office until the person elected as the next President assumes office. Section 28(3)(a) of the Constitution says an election for a new President shall be held within 90 days before the existing term of office expires and this means between January and 31 March 2001. There should be a 30 day period from the time the election dates are gazetted and the actual days of voting. In terms of Section 94(1)(b) of the Electoral Act, the earliest permissible date for holding the Presidential election is 6 February 2002. The latest date is 17 March 2002 and the election may not be delayed beyond this date.

Professor Welshman Ncube, a constitutional lawyer, said although the Act could be changed, no amendment to it can change the constitutional amendment that the election must be held between 1 January and 31 March next year. There should be 42 days between the day of gazetting the election dates and the actual voting of which 21 days would be reserved for the sitting of the nomination court. The other 21 days are between the voting days and the closing of the nomination courts to allow candidates to campaign for the last time. According to the Electoral Act, the Registrar General may, by further notice published in the Government Gazette, alter any day, time or place fixed and the day for the elections in terms of the Constitution.

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Tuesday, 23 October, 2001, 07:52 GMT 08:52 UK
EU pushes Zimbabwe on election monitors

The Belgian Foreign Minister, Louis Michel, has met his Zimbabwean
counterpart, Stan Mudenge, in Brussels to discuss whether European Union
observers will be allowed to witness Zimbabwe's presidential elections next

Speaking afterwards, Mr Michel made clear he wanted an answer by Sunday.

EU foreign ministers are to meet in Luxembourg the following day, and Mr
Michel said that meeting would assume its responsibilities - correspondents
say this is a clear indication the EU might impose sanctions on President
Mugabe's government for failing to address human rights concerns.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service
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