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

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Zim Independent

Cathy Buckle

ZIMBABWEANS have been following with great interest the coverage on ZBC
television of the visits to farming areas by government ministers. The
latest tour of farming areas by ministers Joseph Made, Ignatius Chombo and
Jonathan Moyo in Mashonaland East is of particular concern. Made expressed
his satisfaction at the settling of some 2 800 landless peasants in one
district and said the settlers were busy erecting what he called

The ZBC cameras showed footage of lush fields of wheat and thriving crops of
vegetables. It is an unfortunate oversight on the part of ZBC that wheat is
not green in October, it is either brown and drying or no longer in the
ground as it has been harvested. As for the fields of vegetables, I am
disturbed that people are being presented with films of such productivity
which is certainly not in the least representative of the situation in the
district the ministers were touring.

Had the film been of vast swathes of blackened, burned paddocks, starving
cattle or unplanted fields it would have been more believable as that is the
situation on the ground on scores of farms in Mashonaland East.
Made may well have settled 2 800 peasants in the district he spoke of but I
am not sure where they were hiding when I visited the area recently.
Made’s settlers may well be busy erecting infrastructure but I saw only
three examples of it in almost 100 km. Throughout the area, broken down,
abandoned and partly completed shacks are in the majority. Some have
half-thatched roofs, others have ugly black plastic overhead or old yellow
fertiliser bags.

Made expressed his satisfaction at the pace and progress of land
redistribution in Mashonaland East — a statement he has repeated in areas he
is touring throughout the country. Made is also on record as saying that he
is very confident that the newly resettled peasants will be able to produce
more than enough food to fill all our bellies.

I have only one question for the minister: Will you be around in April, May
and June 2002 when there is mass starvation across the country and we are
holding out our begging bowls to the world? Will you be answerable Dr Made?

The commercial farmers in Mashonaland East are ready and waiting to plant.
If they have been “allowed” to plough their land, the soil is turned and
ready to give life. The clock is ticking though, in days the first rains
will be upon us and the only thing sprouting on thousands of hectares of
land in Mashonaland East will be weeds as the war veterans will not allow
farmers to plant — tobacco, paprika or maize.

Farmers whose resident war veterans have allowed them to plant are not
growing maize this season. No farmer in his right mind is planting maize
this year after the debacle of last year’s crop. People calling themselves
war veterans claimed vast tracts of the last maize crop. They told farmers
that if they wanted to harvest at all they would have to give a percentage
of the crop to them. Others drove in with their trucks (the ones without
number plates that have become so familiar) at night and stole as much as
they could carry off.

At a glance, at least two thirds of the grazing land in Mashonaland East has
been burnt. The cattle are desperately thin and look worse than they did in
the two horrific droughts Zimbabwe has experienced since Independence. The
war veterans have “liberated” all the grazing and do not allow the farmers
to put their cattle on the remaining grass.

Along the roadsides the fences have either disappeared completely or are
lying in tattered remnants in the ash. Poles have been removed for firewood,
droppers have been burnt, wire has been stolen. One farmer I spoke to said
it would cost a million dollars just to replace the boundary and paddock
fencing on her farm as she would be starting completely from scratch as
every single pole and strand of wire had been stolen.

Perhaps Made can explain to the nation how his settlers are going to produce
enough food for themselves, let alone the entire country. That is the most
frightening thing about this horror story. The newly settled people,
wherever they are hiding, are not planting either. There are not even tiny
little fields of maize around their mostly abandoned huts. No one is
planting anything, not commercial farmers, not war veterans and not
resettled peasants.

Very little food is going into the ground and no one is doing anything about
it. Any crops that are being planted will perhaps be enough to satisfy one
family’s needs, not the 13 million people of Zimbabwe. The police are not
resolving work stoppages, the politicians are not ensuring that food is
being grown and Made, Chombo and Moyo are cruising around with ZBC camera
crews telling us all that everything is coming along very nicely.

ZBC’s lack of coverage of the real situation on the farms is grossly
insulting to the intelligence of the average Zimbabwean. Between 40 and 60%
of the farms in four areas of Mashonaland East are currently not working.
The owners are there, the workers are ready and waiting, the seed and
fertiliser are in the sheds but the farmers have been told they may not
plant our food. They have been told this by the war veterans and politicians
in the area.

Over 10 000 farm workers in four small areas of Mashonaland East will be
unemployed and destitute at the end of October if the situation does not
change. This number can then be quadrupled when dependant children and
extended families are taken into account.

All Zimbabweans living in towns and cities should go out to the farming
areas and see the reality of the situation on the ground and not be fooled
by ridiculous TV footage showing green wheat in October. These film clips
are criminal. Where will your reporters be in six months’ time, ZBC, when
there is no food on our tables and no foreign currency in the coffers?

The horrific facts are there for us all to see if we just turn off the main
road and venture into any farming area. The cold, hard fact is that while
war veterans and politicians squabble over commercial farms, no one is
planting any food.

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Zim Independent

Mugabe to shake up Zanu PF Politburo

Brian Hungwe
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will make new politburo appointments at the party’s
annual national people’s conference to be held in Victoria Falls where a
whopping $30 million has been budgeted for the upkeep of over 10 000
delegates expected to attend, it has been learnt.

Party sources said Mugabe will seek re-endorsement as a candidate to stand
on behalf of his 38-year-old party in the forthcoming presidential election.

The land issue will remain Zanu PF’s rallying point to woo a restive
electorate that has seen steadily falling living standards since the last
conference two years ago.

Party sources said the commissariat wing of the party was likely to be
broadened with two new deputy secretaries being appointed to coordinate with
the secretary. The existing politburo team of 55 will be expanded to allow
other relatively junior members to take positions on the sub-committees to
be created by Mugabe.

This will strengthen the party’s campaign thrust they hope.
A senior Zanu PF official told the Independent that the party was banking on
the Political Parties (Finance) Act allocation of $50 million being released
in the next financial year to boost its campaign machinery.

Currently there are 22 full secretaries in the politburo.

Information minister Jonathan Moyo will, apart from coordinating the
information department, head a new politburo sub-committee of a combined
external, information and commissariat desk. Another sub-committee on
transport and security will be under Nicholas Goche as the party
restructures itself ahead of the election.

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Zim Independent


WHO runs the Harare-based advertising consultancy Greyhawk? They recently
surpassed all previous records of incompetent layout and design with a
full-page spread headed “World Tourism Day 2000”.
This was on September 27 2001!

Greyhawk was unwise enough to incorporate its name into its design, thus
acknowledging authorship of the disaster, carried in a “preferred and
respected” business weekly.

Unfortunately for the leisure industry, Greyhawk’s subject was the Zimbabwe
Tourism Authority (ZTA). We were informed that “World Tourism Day was
coceived (sic)...over a dacade (sic) ago”.

The ZTA, whose public relations manager is Leslie Gwindi, is as culpable as

“Failing to check a full page, bearing ZTA logos, at the head of a
supplement celebrating World Tourism Day demonstrates absolute incompetence
on the part of the PR and marketing staff at the parastatal,” one of the
sector’s key players pointed out in an indignant e-mail.

And worse was to come...

The ZTA-inspired copy on the page went on to state incredible things.
“Zimbabwe now has every reason,” it crowed, “through the inception of the
‘Journey to Recovery’ programme already underway, to look forward to a
positive future in tourism....”.

Evidently none of the Einsteins at the tourism authority had heard about
events in New York on September 11, our correspondent pointed out. “Perhaps
they had not noticed that world airlines are in turmoil with several in
danger of collapse. Perhaps they are not cognisant of the fact that
Americans and Europeans (critical inbound tourists to Zimbabwe) are
cancelling holidays and business trips abroad.

“Maybe the ZTA boffins are unaware that an international war is underway;
that Zimbabwe continues to be embroiled in the ugly affairs of the DRC; that
global recession looms; that thousands of tourism jobs have been lost at
home while hundreds of thousands are being axed abroad.

“Perhaps nobody has told the ZTA that the majority of international carriers
that serviced this country three years ago have pulled out on account of
diminished demand and problems associated with remitting hard-currency
operating revenues to their head offices.

“And perhaps the ZTA has not been informed that Zimbabwe has one of the
worst governance reputations on the planet with a particular penchant for
violence surrounding elections.

“For the benefit of those at the tourism ministry and its parastatal
offshoots, we can tell them that tourism in Zimbabwe will begin a slow and
painful recovery only when and if (1) the rule of law in Zimbabwe is
restored and enforced, (2) a degree of competence returns to national
governance, (3) men like Osama bin Laden stop slaughtering people, and (4)
Zimbabweans are not persecuted for holding divergent political beliefs.”

And there is a sting in the tail of his message.

“While we congratulate Francis Nhema on his appointment to high office at
the World Tourism Organisation, we suggest to the WTO that they would have
more credibility as an organisation if they selected senior office bearers
from countries with governments that practise democracy, shun racism and
prevent rather than foster violence.”

Unfortunately editors don’t always see the advertising copy before it —
warts and all — jumps up and bites them on the nose when they open their
paper on the day of publication. Which no doubt explains how the ZTA’s faux
pas slipped by.

We are not immune to these hazards. Last week we carried on the front page
of our IT supplement a story about tractors. These were presumably specially

Before we leave the ZTA, it might be asked if they have thought through
their statement that “Schools are also being targeted to nurture a culture
of holidaymaking”.

A number of newspapers and media institutions have been pontificating on
whether the Standard should have published Grace Mugabe’s exam results.

In a normal society this would have been a non-issue. Newspapers are free to
publish what they like, so long as it is reasonably accurate, without other
parties groping around for an ethical dimension.

Privacy doesn’t come into it. Grace is in the public domain every week
holding forth on some topic or other. She has even spoken on controversial
issues such as land. And in a sugary puff-piece on ZTV two years ago she
spoke about her studies. We therefore have a right to know how she is
getting along in that respect.

The answer is not very far.

The best response to all this came from the writer who asked: If the results
had been for Morgan Tsvangirai, would the Herald have kept quiet?
Of course not. And we might add, if Grace’s results had come from UZ the
vice-chancellor would have been fired and the war veterans let loose on
unpatriotic examiners!

But the most nauseating contribution came from Ibbo Mandaza’s Zimbabwe
Mirror which managed to spew forth words like “irresponsible”, “simplistic”,
“cheap”, “disgusting”, “petty”, and “malicious” to describe the article.

Here is a newspaper that has no problem with Jonathan Moyo’s Media Ethics
Committee, even though it is stacked with his friends and associates,
including the wife of a minister who Moyo has sworn to protect from press
“demonisation”, but it has a huge problem with any unflattering publicity
accorded to the wife of the president.

Who else is the Mirror protecting because it doesn’t believe the press has a
right to comment on public figures? How useful is a newspaper when it has a
hands-off policy for those at the apex of the Zimbabwean state despite the
fact they are regularly in the news and in receipt of public funds?

Deferential journalism at the Herald and ZBC is entirely understandable. But
at the Mirror it is an absolute disGrace!

The Mirror’s fawning views are reflected by Ngugi wa Mirii whose Zimbabwe
Association for Community Theatre was recently given $10 million by

In a submission to the Media Ethics Committee (in which he had difficulty
spelling “principles”) Wa Mirii says the media should be “pan-Africanist in

What does this mean?

“The media should never denigrate or collaborate in denigrating its
nationals to an extent where it becomes a manifestation of self-hatred or a
mouthpiece of self-hatred,” he opined.

“The media should also desist as a matter of principle from character
assassination, by making disparaging, ab-usive, defamatory statements under
the guise or cover of investigative journalism. A good case in point is that
of open abuse of people in authority or in responsible offices under the
guise of exposing corruption very often unproven.”

How convenient! Any criticism of office-holders — the very people whose
activities the press has a duty to monitor — will be off-limits on the
grounds that it constitutes national self-hate!

Who in any case has ever heard of this silly charge outside the editorial
pages of the Mirror? What it means of course is that any criticism of
President Mugabe, Joseph Made, Jonathan Moyo and the rest of that
self-serving gang will be deemed anti-patriotic and racist. So they will be
free to pursue their abuse of power unmolested by the media.

Asked to show where criticism is racist, they will say it is “hidden”.
And what of the defamatory abuse they heap on the media every day? What
about Moyo calling journalists “stupid” or “economic terrorists”?

What about Mugabe’s dissembling remarks in Dar es Salaam about Joe Winter
and Mercedes Sayagues? Will these politicians, keen to obscure their murky
records from public view, be able to get away with these accusations while
the press is muzzled?

Would we, for example, still be able to say there might be a connection
between Wa Mirii’s views on the role of the media, which dovetail neatly
with Moyo’s and Tafataona Mahoso’s, and the $10 million he recently received
for his theatre outfit? It is doubtful.

Backing the award, the Sunday Mail’s Munyaradzi Huni wrote: “Yes, $10
million just for theatre and nothing else.”

Well, there was something else wasn’t there, it now transpires? Wa Mirii has
joined Andy Brown as a dependant of the President’s Office. And he is
already singing for his supper.

But Huni is not bothered with these trifling details. His job is to promote
Wa Mirii’s productions.

“The $10 million is not just being poured into the Zact coffers for
 nothing,” Huni assures us, “but the association will be dishing out serious
theatre. That kind of theatre far removed from the Romeo and Juliet stuff.
This is powerful, timely, relevant and necessary theatre that deserves the

There you have it.

The BBC is frequently lambasted for providing a negative picture of
Zimbabwe. When it recently tried to get the views of Minister Moyo on
President Mugabe’s thinking, he declined to cooperate.

Other Zanu PF officials also refused to go on the programme.
They should therefore not complain when there is no government viewpoint on
the panel discussion that followed.

The programme was “aimed at demonising and demeaning President Mugabe”, the
Sunday Mail’s Phillip Magwaza childishly told us.

A number of “psychiatrists and psychologists” had been invited to explore
Mugabe’s thinking on the programme, “Inside the mind of Mugabe”. But the
only panellists Magwaza could name were Sekai Holland, Lupi Mushayakarara
and Prof Terence Ranger.

At least the BBC made an attempt to get a Zanu PF viewpoint. Can you imagine
ZBC attempting to get the views of Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesman before
broadcasting a programme about him?

Moyo referred to the programme as a “charade” saying the BBC was a
state-controlled broadcaster whose government had been funding the

This is thought to be a reference to the Westminster Foundation which is not
part of any government. The story about the Labour government funding the
MDC is one of several lies Moyo regularly disseminates via his less-
than-professional mouthpieces in the state media. And just because ZBC is
crudely manipulated by Moyo doesn’t mean all public broadcasters are puppets
of the government.

“They want us to go before their psychologists to reinforce their
anthropological thinking that Africans do not think properly,” Moyo was
quoted as saying.

Here we see the Ngugi wa Mirii approach. Moyo is extending any criticism of
Mugabe to one in which “Africans” are collectively criticised. That way all
criticism of Mugabe is suppressed on the grounds that it is racist.

But what if the criticism of Mugabe comes from Africans? Then they are of
course depicted as “tools of colonialists”.

You need to have a mental age of six to swallow this nonsense. Which, while
okay for Magwaza who has evidently never heard of “Chattam” House, is rather
mind-insulting to millions of other Africans who believe they have the right
to criticise their leaders.

The spat with South Africa over evicted farm workers is giving the official
media an opportunity to engage in some imaginative reporting.

Tim Chigogo, writing in the Herald, described the white farmers of the
Northern Province as follows: “Most of the farmers were former Rhodesians
who fled there after independence...”

Does he really believe that? Does he have any idea what language or culture
these farmers come from? It is certainly not Rhodesian. Where is he getting
this nonsense?

Probably from an ignoramus like Saviour Kasukuwere. He said “white farmers
in South Africa were sympathetic to their white counterparts in Zimbabwe who
did not want land reform to succeed”.

“These people can do anything to cause problems in Zimbabwe,” he said.
So who went to the courts to prevent the deportations? Who wanted the
Zimbabwean workers to remain in South Africa? Wasn’t it the white farmers?

During his recent state visit to Japan, South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki
was asked by reporters if he would try to stop Mugabe seeking another term.

“That’s for the people of Zimbabwe to decide,” he answered unambiguously.
Then he paused and looked meaningfully at his questioner: “And they will
have to live with whatever decision they make.”

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Peter Lovemore
RECENTLY, one of the country’s two vice-presidents, Joseph Msika, was widely quoted as having said that “white people are not human beings”. He has neither, as far as I am aware, retracted this gross statement, nor denied it.

Nor has he been asked to do so by any of his colleagues in government or by anyone working in the many organs which comprise what has become known as the state media. The only condemnations have emanated, predictably and rightly, from the independent press.

Last week, the former Zimbabwe cricket captain, Alastair Campbell, apparently informed members of the British media of his misgivings about the Zimbabwe Cricket Union’s “quota” policies, whereupon all hell broke loose on the back page of the Herald (October 17).

Msika is a quotable political entity, Campbell a sporting one. The Herald and its stable mates in the state media are supposedly in the job of collecting and commenting upon quotations from persons with a high public profile. Here then, for all reasonable minds to witness and digest, is a classic illustration of their lack of balance and objectivity in such matters.

I am not well-versed in the rules and regulations governing what contracted players may, or may not, say to the media.

I know for certain, though, that Campbell did not tell them (the British press) that “blacks are not human beings”, and had he done that then he would have fully deserved all that he got, and more.


It has become a matter of concern that to express even the mildest misgivings about the ZCU’s commitment to the system of quotas, or “goals” as the Zackrisson report so sweetly puts it, is to invite, literally, a Fatwah upon one’s head from certain quarters.

The fact remains, however, that a quota system is autocratic and decrees mandatory composition, regardless of talent or ability.

What, for example, if the Indian cricket authorities were, for whatever reason, to suddenly proclaim that future national teams must contain a minimum of four Muslim players, or five Hindu players? Or that no less than two Sikhs were to be included in every national side? Or at least three members of the Untouchable caste?

They would very quickly become the laughing stock of world cricket, not to mention the objects of derision and justifiable criticism.

More seriously, though, the morale of the Indian cricket team would suffer accordingly, as would, inevitably, the standard of their cricket.

Yet, would we accuse Sourav Ganguly or Sachin Tendulkar of being racist, of indulging in class or religious bigotry in the event that they, as two of the team’s kingpins, objected to the imposition of such a system on their team’s selectors?

Quite the opposite, in fact, as most sane people would rush to defend them in their efforts to present the best possible team at all times, regardless of any other extraneous factors, disciplinary infractions aside.

As it is, the modern Indian team is a formidable, yet a happy mixture of all those elements and more — a perfect example of the merit system at work.

Concern, not racism

Yes, white cricketers are, to a man, very concerned about current trends in Zimbabwean cricket but not, as is constantly being alleged, because they are vicious racists determined to keep black cricket players at bay. They are legitimately concerned about the principle of merit selection versus the quota system and this concern does not make them racist.

You see, under a quota system the only players that stand to lose will be those with white skins. To understand just a little about human nature would be to understand some of the tensions in the game at present.

The point is, when will the leadership of the ZCU stand up and defend ALL their cricket players from the depradations of the press, state or independent?

And to keep calling certain established players “multi-millionaires” in an attempt to portray them as selfish and greedy is also patently ridiculous and, given the worthless state of the local dollar, a sorry argument.

Andy Flower could have been a “proper” millionaire years ago had he decided to ditch his loyalties to his country, as could a few other of our local players.

The harsh fact of the matter is that until there is something else, other than the national squad, considered worthwhile aiming for in Zimbabwean cricket, then for so long will the competition for places in that squad be an acrimonious affair.

The national squad, under the present system, is by far the tallest peak of a very high mountain, one which drops steeply away to the largely inactive and non-travelling “A” side, takes a further precipitous drop down to a tame inter-provincial contest and then, way down at the bottom of the slope, the intercity domestic league.

It is a matter of absolute priority for the ZCU to gain entry for Zimbabwean sides into South Africa’s domestic one- and four-day competitions.

Look at Kenya

If we in Zimbabwe are to look anywhere for our future inspiration as a cricket-playing nation, then it need be no further than our near neighbours Kenya.

Now there is a truly African cricket team, one that bounced back with alacrity from a disastrous run of defeats against two of the world’s most powerful sides to defeat India comprehensively last Thursday in Port Elizabeth.

I use them, not as some would — as an excuse to suppress the abundance of white African talent

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Zim Independent

Commonwealth team rejects attempt to restrict enquiry

Dumisani Muleya
THE visiting Commonwealth team of ministers yesterday foiled an official
attempt to restrict the scope of their inquiry by foisting on them groups
aligned to government while excluding genuine civic organisations.
Diplomatic sources said government tried to limit those seeing the team, led
by Nigerian Foreign minister Sule Olamido, to six groups.

These were the Council of Chiefs, Zimbabwe Farmers Union, Indigenous
Commercial Farmers Union, Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative, Commercial
Farmers Union, and the parliamentary select committee on land.

But the visitors, here to follow up progress on the Abuja accord, protested
that they did not want to be restricted to the government list and would be
happy to see any civil society group that was prepared to meet them.

“The government is trying to whitewash this,” a Commonwealth diplomat said.
“This is not a group of gullible people. They want to be fully informed by
all sectors of Zimbabwean society and have therefore rejected this rather
one-sided list.”

Diplomats were surprised when NGOs they had suggested did not find their way
onto the list

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which was not on the
original official list, is expected to meet the team today. MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai and his foreign affairs spokesman, Tendai Biti will make
their presentations.

Opening their meeting yesterday Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge
attempted to set the agenda for the team which includes ministers from
Britain, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Nigeria, Jamaica, and Kenya.

He claimed the team was here to “reconcile differences between Zimbabwe and
the United Kingdom” and facilitate the implementation of land reform.

Despite energetic attempts by government to limit the Commonwealth’s focus
to land, the club wants to look at issues of governance and compliance with
the Harare Declaration, as set out in the Abuja agreement.

The visiting group, which includes Commonwealth secretary-general Don
McKinnon, kicked off its schedule yesterday morning by meeting President
Mugabe and his two deputies, Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika, at State House.

After that it moved to a local hotel where it heard testimony from civic
groups and government supporters.

Mudenge opened the session by making a number of claims to show government
was complying with the Abuja accord.

“You may be aware that, as our contribution to the success of the
initiative, we delisted some 581 farms that did not meet our criteria just
before Abuja,” he said. “Since Abuja, we have delisted a further 20 such
farms. This information was published in the Government Gazette of September

“Immediately following Abuja, I triggered the process of consultation
between Zimbabwe and the UNDP through calls I made to the UN
secretary-general (Kofi Annan) and Jack Straw (British foreign secretary),”
Mudenge said.

“Subsequently, Mark Malloch Brown, the administrator of the UNDP, wrote to
me. I have since replied, and we expect a UNDP technical team around the
29th of this month.”

UNDP officials yesterday said they expected the team to assess the land
reform situation in Zimbabwe from November 5.

Mudenge also said cabinet as well as the ruling Zanu PF met after Abuja to
consider and adopt the agreement. He said committees were set up to
implement the accord.

The Abuja accord, signed in the Nigerian capital on September 6, demanded
Harare should address specific issues: end fresh land invasions, remove
illegal occupiers, restore the rule of law, stop violence, uphold human
rights and democratic values, and embark on a just and fair land reform

Civic organisations, including the CFU, have said new land occupations,
violence, and other forms of violations of the Abuja agreement persisted
despite government claims of compliance.

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Zim Independent

Zanu PF arms war vets, reignites terror

Brian Hungwe
THE ruling Zanu PF party, in cahoots with war veterans, has launched a reign
of terror in the Midlands that has witnessed the closure of schools with
teachers fleeing for their lives.

Scores of armed war veterans were busy this week conducting rallies at
schools and business centres in the province.

School children have been abducted and forced to attend the rallies, missing
lessons while the “O” and “A” level end-of-year examinations are in

Some of the war veterans are reported to have claimed that they left school
to join the liberation struggle and there was nothing special about school
children leaving school to attend their rallies.

Gabriel Shumba, a human rights lawyer working with the Amani Trust — a body
that attends to victims of political violence — told the Independent that he
had handled several cases of political beatings, the majority being
secondary school teachers. Many had now deserted their schools and gone into
nearby Gweru and Zvishavane for refuge.

In Mberengwa, Zanu PF has launched a crackdown on suspected Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) supporters.

Secondary school teachers and students have of late been forced to attend
rallies and chant Zanu PF slogans with the most affected areas being Vutika,
Mupandashango, Danga, Mataga, Mnene, Vutsanana and Rengwe.

A teacher who declined to be named told the Independent that the notorious
architect of terror in Mberengwa, Biggie Chitoro’s colleagues were
continuing where Chitoro left off.

Some of his armed henchmen include Divine Chitoro, his younger brother, and
Nyasha Koke. Koke hails from Rengwe and is still on bail after being charged
with being an accomplice in political violence and murder.

“They (Koke and Chitoro) are armed and the police are not doing anything,”
the teacher said. “Many teachers have fled the on-going violence and there
are no normal lessons going on at Vutika secondary school,” he said.

Teachers identified as V Moyo, Marufu, Gumbo, and headmaster Hove, whose
property was burnt last year by war veterans, have left the school.

At the school a war veteran and teacher, Walter Mucheregwa, was singled out
as terrorising MDC supporters and issuing political threats of victimisation
to fellow teachers he suspected had links with the MDC.

“Mucheregwa is a war veteran and targets any teacher suspected to have links
with the MDC,” the teacher said.

The teacher added that Zanu PF supporters thought of Chitoro as a hero and
some youths now wanted to take over from where he left off.

A Zanu PF councillor in Rengwe — identified only as Mhike — was allegedly
masterminding the terror in Mberengwa. In Gookwe in the Midlands, the
situation had reportedly got out of hand.

Seven schools have been closed while scores of teachers have fled. Shumba
said he had received cases of six teachers that were squatting in Gweru
after having abandoned their belongings at their respective schools fleeing

The affected schools are Tenda secondary, Zhomba primary and two other
schools in Sanyati, near Kadoma.

“War veterans are abducting school children and taking them to their bases
around Gokwe,” Shumba said.

“As we speak seven schools have been closed. We have interviewed some of the
victims who confessed that the number of students attending lessons has
declined. Students are being taught politics of land and Zanu PF,” he said.
Shumba said the perpetrators of violence were armed and the police were not
doing anything about it.

“What is the logic behind giving a war veteran, whose life is not under
threat from anyone, and a village headman a firearm?” he asked.

“Where did they get the firearm licences from? It is just strange and it now
appears that the police are aiding and abetting the crisis situation in
Gokwe,” he said.

One of the headmen in Gokwe, Mabasa Munotengwa, was reportedly armed and
terrorising people.

“Any reasonable person in a civilised country would find it nauseating that
politicians would stoop so low,” Shumba said.

“That some people are being allowed to unleash such untold suffering amongst
innocent civilians is just politically wrong and immoral.

“They are raping some of the school children. They ask them to chant Zanu PF
slogans. What kind of a society is it that condones such activities?” Shumba

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said he was
“busy” and was going to attend to the Independent inquiries later.

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Zim Independent

Zimbabwe placed in league of ‘media rogues’

Dumisani Muleya
ZIMBABWE has been added to the “watch list” of the Vienna-based
International Press Institute (IPI), joining growing press tyrannies in
Russia, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, and South Korea.

The consignment of Harare into the league of media rogues was announced last
weekend at an IPI board meeting in Paris.

This came as government was stepping up pressure against the local private
media. The attacks until this week included harassment of newspaper vendors
to limit circulation. The operation was suspended as Commonwealth ministers
gathered in Harare to examine the local crisis.

Government has of late launched an all-out war against the independent
media, using weapons ranging from lawsuits to physical violence. Verbal
abuse, frayed propaganda and lies, incitement of hostility and bombs are
part of the arsenal of the free press’s assailants.

IPI director Johann Fritz said his organisation was worried about countries
which were on an unrelenting and vicious campaign to exterminate press
freedom at all costs.

In adding Zimbabwe to the “watch list”, IPI said it was “deeply concerned at
attempts to extinguish press freedom in the country against a background of
government support for this activity and reluctance to prosecute offenders,
(and) restrictions imposed or contemplated”.

The group said the breakdown of the rule of law and the prevailing anarchy
allowed impunity directed at the media to flourish.

“Attacks on press freedom in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, appear
contagious and countries eagerly adopt the media restrictions imposed by
others,” the IPI said.

Government, apparently annoyed by the unflinching exposure of its failures,
is currently working on an Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Bill. It is widely feared the new media laws are aimed at muzzling the
independent press.

While authorities persist with their scorched-earth assault on the
independent media, those who bombed the Daily News and many other physical
aggressors against journalists have not been brought to book although some
of them are known.

President Robert Mugabe was on Press Freedom Day, May 3, included by the New
York-based press freedom pressure group, Committee to Protect Journalists,
in the top 10 global enemies of press freedom.

Mugabe, who joined the media despots’ league for the first time, and his
ally Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed were the only Commonwealth
leaders in the rogue group.

Other current members of the line-up are: Presidents Fidel Castro of Cuba,
Jiang Zemin of China, Zine Al-Abdine Ben Ali of Tunisia, Charles Taylor of
Liberia, Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme
leader of Iran.

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Commonwealth Visit Could Lead to Further Isolation

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

October 26, 2001
Posted to the web October 26, 2001

A significant development in Zimbabwe this week was the arrival on Wednesday
(24 October) of a Commonwealth mission charged with monitoring September's
Abuja agreement. The visit came as farming organisations and civic groups
said that state-backed invasions of white-owned farms had escalated despite
the deal the government signed in Nigeria pledging to end the land crisis.

Analysts said the ministerial mission would probably try to set a timetable
for the government to comply with the Abuja agreement which pledged British
funding in exchange for an orderly and legal land reform programme without
violent farm seizures.

President Robert Mugabe's government has been giving mixed signals about the
visit. While it agreed to cooperate with the Commonwealth team, an article
in the state-controlled Herald newspaper on Thursday attacked Britain for
not implementing its side of the Abuja deal.

A senior British source said in London on Tuesday that Zimbabwe had not yet
delivered on the key elements of the deal and that British Foreign Office
Minister Baroness Valerie Amos was travelling to Zimbabwe with "no

Another Herald article criticised the European Union (EU) for allegedly
telling Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge earlier in the week that Zimbabwe
would face sanctions unless it accepted EU observers into the country to
witness presidential elections next year. The government also criticised
white farmers for mounting a "propaganda campaign" aimed at showing that the
government was failing to implement the accord. The mainly-white Commercial
Farmers Union (CFU) said last week that after surveying most commercial
farms in the country, it found that a further 700 had been occupied or
disrupted since Abuja.

The CFU warned that output of key crops, such as tobacco, wheat and maize,
could fall by 40 percent next year. "We're very concerned that government
will try and stage manage this Commonwealth visit. We have not been
approached to show the delegation farms that represent what is really going
on," CFU spokeswoman Jenny Williams told IRIN.

But Mudenge insisted that government was doing its best to implement the
Abuja agreement. He told the Commonwealth delegation on Thursday that the
cabinet, as well as the ruling ZANU-PF party, met after Abuja to consider
and adopt the agreement. He added that committees were set up to implement
the accord.

After meetings with Mugabe and Mudenge, the delegation spoke to stakeholders
and representatives from civil society. The Zimbabwe Independent reported on
Friday that the delegation foiled an official attempt to restrict the scope
of its inquiry by foisting on the Commonwealth team groups aligned to the
government while excluding genuine civic organisations. Diplomatic sources
said the government tried to limit those seeing the team, led by Nigerian
Foreign minister Sule Olamido, to six groups.

But the visitors reportedly protested that they did not want to be
restricted to the government list and would be happy to see any civil
society group that was prepared to meet them. Diplomats were surprised when
NGOs they had suggested did not find their way onto the list.

Analysts said it was unlikely that the visit would have much effect on
Mugabe's controversial land reform programme. "If South Africa and the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) have failed to moderate his
(Mugabe's) policies, its hard to see how the Commonwealth can have an
impact," economist Tony Hawkins told IRIN. He predicted that the visit could
lead to further international isolation for Zimbabwe.

Malawi President Bakili Muluzi responded to criticism that SADC had done
nothing to solve the crisis in Zimbabwe by saying on Tuesday that SADC would
continue seeking an "acceptable solution" to Zimbabwe's land crisis. Muluzi
added that last week, while in London, he had asked British Prime Minister
Tony Blair to be flexible with President Robert Mugabe because Mugabe had
also shown his flexibility by agreeing to the Abuja accord.

For the full IRIN story:

Human rights violations continue - Amnesty

As Commonwealth ministers gathered in Harare, Amnesty International warned
that state-sponsored repression - including political killings and torture -
was worsening in the country. Zimbabwean human rights organisations reported
as many as 50 politically motivated killings since early 2000 and more
political killings took place during several by-elections in September 2001.
Amnesty International fears the situation will deteriorate if the
international community does not take preventive action.

"The level of human rights violations and intimidations have continued since
the signing of the Abuja agreement in September," Casey Kelso a researcher
with Amnesty International in London told IRIN. "We fear that these
violations and intimidations will only increase as the election draws
closer. We call on the Commonwealth ministers to use this visit to undertake
their own investigation into the reports of violations."

For more details:

Price freeze leads to more shortages

Meanwhile living standards for ordinary Zimbabweans continued to decline
this week as the consequences of the government's controversial price
controls were felt. Local media reported that the recent freezing of prices
on basic commodities was leading to food shortages in urban areas. Shops in
the capital Harare were reportedly running out of washing soap and cooking
oil. This follows last week's bread shortages as some bakeries went out of
business due to having to sell bread at below cost.

A survey by the independent Daily News in Harare on Thursday (25 October)
revealed that products whose prices are now controlled such as cooking oil,
washing soap and salt were out of stock, with shelves empty in most

South African food retailers complained that maintaining a steady supply of
produce was proving increasingly difficult. Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson said
it was especially difficult to find fresh produce. He believed disruptions
on farms were the main reason for this. Pick 'n' Pay CEO Sean Summers said
he was confident that he could keep his stores supplied with food, but he
was critical of the price freeze. Summers said the freeze did not make
"commercial sense" .

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) warned earlier this month
that there would be food shortages in Zimbabwe following the gazetting of
price control regulations on specified basic commodities. The CZI added that
the controls would also lead to unemployment and further shrinkage in the
economy as food-related industries closed down. The government said it
introduced the controls as a measure to counter rampant price increases.
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Ministers Hear Both Sides in Zimbabwe Land Divide

By Stella Mapenzauswa
HWEDZA, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - Commonwealth ministers heard stories from both
sides of Zimbabwe's bitter land crisis on Friday as they toured a
white-owned farm invaded by supporters of President Robert Mugabe.
The ministers, who are pressing Harare to implement a Nigerian-backed deal
to end the 20-month-old crisis, visited the Bita Farm where two people died
in a bloody clash between farmworkers and new settlers last month.
"The problem is that the farmers don't want to co-exist with us," said
Better Choto, spokesman for the 81 families who took up plots on the farm,
87 miles southwest of Harare.
"They organize their workers, our fellow Zimbabweans, to fight us," Choto
said. "If they want us to co-exist peacefully, they have to respect the
government policy on land."
The settlers were handed the plots under the "fast-track resettlement
program" -- the name the government has given to what others see as
state-sponsored farm invasions.
But when they moved onto the farm in September, the settlers clashed with
the white owner, John Bibby, and two dozen of his workers. Two settlers were
killed and 13 others injured.
Bibby and 24 of his workers were arrested and charged with murder, assault
and public violence. They are currently out on bail and Bibby has been
barred from returning to his farm.
Bibby's son Peter told the Commonwealth group that the farmworkers had
retaliated after they were attacked first by the settlers, who burned the
workers' houses. He said the wife of one worker died of injuries sustained
in the attack.
He said many workers have fled the farm and militants have refused to allow
him to plant tobacco and maize crops this year.
"We have been told that if we try to plant, we will be in trouble," Bibby
The Commonwealth ministers, led by Nigerian Foreign Minister Sule Lamido,
did not speak to reporters, saying they would comment at the end of their
They returned to Harare to resume meetings with various groups, including
Mugabe's war veteran supporters and the main opposition, before setting a
timetable to implement the deal.
"While we support the (Abuja) agreement we will not allow the world to just
talk about it and leave us in a situation where we don't have the land," war
veterans spokesman Patrick Nyaruwata said after meeting with the
Commonwealth ministers.
The mission includes Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon, Britain's
Baroness Valerie Amos, and representatives from Kenya, South Africa, Canada
and Australia.
Commonwealth and government officials declined to comment on the outcome of
Thursday's talks with Mugabe, but diplomats said Mugabe told the ministers
he was committed to the Abuja deal.
They said the Zimbabwean leader also warned Western governments they had to
do their part to end the land standoff, which analysts say has worsened an
already dire economic crisis.
Analysts also say the invasions are a ploy aimed at keeping Mugabe in power.
A presidential poll is due by April next year.
Zimbabwe dismisses allegations that the invasions have escalated since the
Abuja land accord was agreed on September 6.
Under the pact, the government agreed to stop landless blacks taking over
white-owned farms, and Britain pledged to help fund a fair and just land
reform program.
According to the mainly white Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) which groups
4,500 farmers, at least 680 farms have been occupied afresh since the Abuja
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Friday, 26 October, 2001, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Commonwealth team visit farms
Settlers at Bita Farm in Wezda listen to presentations
Government says there are more people on the waiting list for farms
A visiting Commonwealth delegation to Zimbabwe has been to occupied farms on Friday on the second day of their visit to assess whether promises to end political violence and intimidation are being met.

An angry exchange of words was reported between a Canadian envoy and a Zimbabwean official at one farm south of the capital.

A diplomat told AP news agency that officials were reluctant to allow them to talks to a group of white farmers.

Peter Bibby Bita Farm owner in  Wedza
Pleaded for his farm to be saved

But a BBC correspondent who caught up with the team as it toured Bita Farm the Wedza communal area, 140km south of the capital Harare.

There, he said, the ministers listened attentively to presentations from the farm owner, government officials and representatives of the 82 families who have been resettled on his farm.

Acid scarred women

The farmer pleaded with the government to spare his land because, according to him, farm workers would suffer if it is taken away.

At its peak the farm produced tobacco, maize and paprika.

Zimbabwe agreed at Abuja
No further occupations of white-owned farms
To restore the rule of law to the process of land reform
To the principle of freedom of expression
To take firm action against violence and intimidation
Voluntary sale of hundreds of white-owned farms
Britain and others to compensate farmers

One of the members of the visiting team, Canadian Keath Martin told the BBC: " I have reports that farm workers have been brutalised and a number of them beaten up and some killed."

" We saw pictures of women that had acid thrown over their faces and that is profoundly tragic," he added.

On Thursday the group held talks with President Robert Mugabe in the capital, Harare. Invasion continues

Neither side would comment officially on the talks but Mr Mugabe is reported to have told them he is committed to the deal agreed in Abuja, Nigeria, last month.

The main aim of the mission is to set a timetable for President Mugabe's government to comply with the Nigerian-brokered deal to end the violent invasions of white-owned farms.

Battered window with sign to show presence of war veterans
Sign of the times

But opposition groups and white commercial farmers in Zimbabwe say the Abuja accord has had little success and the illegal occupation of commercial farms by groups of government supporters, so called war veterans and landless peasants has continued.

The seven-member Commonwealth team is due to visit southern Masvingo and eastern Mashonaland East provinces.

It is led by Nigerian Foreign Minister Sule Lamido and includes representatives from South Africa, Kenya, Britain, Canada and Australia, as well as the Commonwealth Secretary General, Don McKinnon.

'Ongoing implementation'

Mr McKinnon told the BBC it was a priority of the mission to "ensure the ongoing implementation" of the agreement, signed in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

He said the talks would not be limited to the single issue of farm invasions.

If you look at the Abuja agreement it was well beyond land itself. There was an undertaking that the rule of law would be observed too

Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon

"If you look at the Abuja agreement it was well beyond land itself. There was an undertaking that the rule of law would be observed too," he said.

But according to the Reuters news agency, analysts warn the mission may hear the right words but see little or no action.

There have been mixed messages from Harare.

The government has promised to cooperate with the delegation amid continuing hostility to white farmers who have questioned its commitment to the Nigerian deal.

Mixed messages

Under the deal signed in Abuja, Zimbabwe agreed to stop homeless black people from seizing white-owned farms.

In return for Zimbabwe agreeing to respect the rule of law, Britain agreed to find £36m ($53m) to compensate white farm-owners whose land would be redistributed to poor black families.

But Mr Mugabe's government has recently launched several verbal attacks against farmers who believe the deal is not being taken seriously.

President Mugabe of Zimbabwe
Mugabe's government says they are implementing Abuja accords

"With this sort of approach, I don't see where the Commonwealth will find room for progress," political analyst Chenjerai Hove was quoted as saying.

Militants have occupied nearly 2,000 white-owned farms since last year, with the tacit approval of the government.

Farmers say the violence has not let up since the Commonwealth deal, and that there has been no action by the government to evict illegal land invaders.

Reports of violence and intimidation directed at members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change are also persisting.

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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Thursday 25th October 2001

This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas. Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens. Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.
Two people were burnt, and one subsequently died after an old farmhouse in Masvingo was set alight.
A fifteen year old girl received public whipping by illegal occupiers on Newbiggin farm in Chakari.
Police and CID have arrested 3 suspects following the robbery and assault of a farmer in the Somabula area. The farmer is making good progress after the attack.
Police in Chiredzi intervened to release a game scout on Ruware Ranch who had been captured by poachers. 
A cautionary note for motorists in Harare - a Chegutu farmer was pulled over by a man in plain clothes and a man in an army uniform after he stopped his car on the road near the barracks on the airport road in Harare to look for a receipt in his briefcase. He was told that he could legally be shot by the police. 
To correct a report previously made on the 17 'tryps' (tsetse bourne cattle disease) cases in Macheke/Virginia, veterinarians have only positively confirmed two such cases.
Bindura – The Land Committee contacted Finton farm to advise that they would be pegging this week and he would be resettled by the following week. 
Centenary – Everton farm has a work stoppage.
Norton – 50% of the tobacco is unplanted with no resolution to the work stoppages despite advising the provincial and district authorities.  On Fort Martin farm  the DA and the Deputy Speaker of the House, Edna Madzongwe, told the owner that as he was not allowed to farm, the workforce should leave their houses.  The owner and his wife are attempting to find placements for more than fifty families.  Fort Martin is a highly developed single owned farm and the owner was the Tobacco Grower of the Year two years ago.  On Talford farm fires are continually being set, as they are throughout the rest of the region.
Selous – On Spencer Estate which has been de-listed, illegal occupiers drove the owner’s livestock into the barn area.  The owner’s house was surrounded and he was unable to leave it.  Illegal occupiers’ dogs chased a kudu into the dam and killed it.  Police took some time to react and a neighbouring farmer was hit over the back when he came to try to defuse the situation.  The DA did arrive, but no action has been taken against the illegal occupiers.  On Exwick farm which was de-listed some months ago, 49 head of cattle have been moved onto the property. Government vehicles continue to be used to illegally remove wood from the property.  On Wicklow Estate the owner managed to do some ridging, but has since been stopped by illegal occupiers.  More fires have been started on Homedale.
Chegutu/Suri-Suri – The owner of Faun farm stopped his car on the road near the barracks on the airport road in Harare to look for a receipt in his briefcase. He was later pulled over by a man in plain clothes and a man in an army uniform.  He managed to make one phone call and was interrogated for eight hours.  He was returned to the farm and his house was searched without a search warrant.  The owner was told that he could legally be shot by the police.  On Concession Hill Farm illegal occupiers from the neighbouring farms were caught stealing tomatoes.
Chakari – There are still no farmers allowed to do any land preparation or planting in this area.  One farmer has managed to plant some seed maize, but has since been stopped.  On Newbiggin a fifteen year old girl received a public whipping by illegal occupier chairman, Masinyeri for laughing at illegal occupiers stealing sorghum. The farm workers’ wives continue to be harassed by illegal occupiers whilst the men are at work.
Kadoma/Battlefields – There are still virtually no farmers allowed to carry out land preparation or planting in this area.  On Inniskilling farm three head of cattle have been slaughtered and two have had their legs broken.  Illegal occupiers have been demanding that the cattle leave the property for some time now.  No-one has been arrested for these crimes despite reports being made to the police.  Police have only come to investigate indiscriminate tree cutting.  Should the police continue to ignore the situation it appears there will not be any crop or livestock production in the area.  On Umsweswe River Bock 10A where the owner has been driven off his property, illegal occupiers have re-connected the electricity and poaching is taking place on a commercial scale.  The owners is unable to obtain police assistance.  The Officer in Charge, Rimuka, has received an illegally acquired plot on one property.
General – The DA’s are still unwilling to give any assurance regarding planting and reaping of crops.  One single owned farm, which is unlisted, has requested a letter from the DA for financial purposes to allow production, but this is not forthcoming.
Beatrice – The owner of Zanka farm went to see the DA in Seke and was accosted by a group of what appeared to be illegal occupiers who accused him of trying to see the DA to get his farm delisted. They demanded that he leave the office immediately.
Harare South – There are illegal occupiers on Walmer demanding a meeting with the owner and his foreman.  Illegal occupier Elias Ben demanded that the workers on Kinfauns vacate the farm village immediately so that the illegal occupiers can develop their stands. 
Marondera South – A farm in the Wenimbe area was visited by government evaluators who insisted on even valuing the cold room equipment.
Marondera North – Closeburn farm, which is not listed, is not allowed to plant.  There is a work stoppage on Kirndean farm.  The owner of Nyagambe was going to lease 20 ha of land from a neighbour, a black commercial farmer, but the neighbour received a phone call stating that if he leased the land out he would be the next target.  Irrigation equipment was stolen from Rapid farm.
East & Central – Bon Air, Wepener and Good Hope farms have had fires over the past few days. At Wayne and Barquest Extension illegal occupiers have moved onto the properties over the last two weeks.  Plots are being pegged and tree clearing is taking place.  The farms appear to be reserved for “Chefs” in the area.  On Mayo farm two cows have been killed.  The old farmhouse on one of the owner’s other farms was set alight and two people were burnt, one severely who subsequently died in the Bulawayo hospital.  The owner is being asked to compensate the family and pay for the funeral.  The owner of Lamotte farm was stopped from planting paprika by illegal settlers, but has managed to resume work again.  Chidza farm has officially been delisted.  45 steers were stolen, but later recovered on the Gutu road.  Captain Zimutl’s brother instigated the theft and no arrests have been made.  Farm labour has been threatened with violence and the owner has been told to remove all his cattle from the property.  More huts are being built daily and more illegal occupiers are moving onto the property on a daily basis.
Chiredzi – On Buffalo Range 21 head of cattle have been slaughtered, two head of cattle, which had to be put down, caught in snares.  The meat has been removed from the property in different vehicles at all hours.  The owner has lost 8 impala, one warthog, an eland calf and a duiker through poaching continues.  136 snares have been recovered.  Fresh invasions are occurring and 16 fires have been lit.   Poaching and snaring has escalated on Eureka Ranch.  Two head of cattle have been caught in snares and have had to be put down.  Two other cattle are missing, presumed stolen and the police have been informed.  Five head of communal cattle have been hamstrung on Wasarasara Ranch and the meat is being taken into Chiredzi Town and surrounding communal areas.  12 new settlers have moved onto the ranch from Osoro Ranch.  Agritex have pegged one whole village on Palm Rive Ranch and another two remain to be completed.  The owner has conceded the property to government.  On Dawlish Ranch illegal occupiers are clearing trees and have designated 80 x 120 ha plots.  A new lot of between 30 – 40 illegal occupiers are reported to be on this property.  Four poachers captured a game scout on Ruware Ranch.  The police reacted and arrested the four poachers and released the game scout.
General – Poaching and snaring is out of control in this area. 
Munezi – An impala was killed and taken of Battlefields Ranch.  A large fire was reported on Turf Ranch and 50 head of communal cattle moved from the Red Zone to the Green Zone.  On Steimarco the pipelines are being maliciously damaged virtually on a daily basis.  The owner is unable to keep up with the repairs and has had to allocate people to patrol on a full time basis. The owner of La Pach E  requested the police to arrest an illegal occupiers he had caught moving cattle illegally, but the police were reluctant to do so.  Several fires have been reported on Valley Ranch and between 500 and 600 head of cattle have been moved from the Red Zone to the Green Zone.  The letter from the Foot and Mouth Committee has been totally ignored and MP Baloyi has said he cannot now tell people to move their cattle off when he originally said they could move them onto the farms.  The Senior Animal Health Inspector, Rutenga, advises that he did not permit them to move the cattle in the first place.  On Lesanth Ranch an NRZ driver of a Nissan UD 7 tonne truck (Reg 885928Y) has been seen lighting fires along the railway service line track.  The driver refused to be identified.  On Joko/Kleinbegin/Kayansee the owner’s builder, who is in the process of building a wall for the solar panels and electric fence, has been threatened with violence and has not stopped working.  Threats have been made to burn the owner’s tractor should he continue.  Although the DDF have drilled two waterholes and they have hand pumps available, water is still being stolen and the situation is becoming critical.  On Kayansee fires are being lit on a continual basis and the police refuse to investigate despite identification having been made.  Serious threats have been made towards the farm labour and the owner.
General – Fires are occurring on a more regular basis.  The water situation is fast becoming critical on some properties, there is either not enough or pipeline damage incurred is hard to keep repairing on a daily basis.  Destruction to the environment is large and snaring and poaching continues unabated.
Gutu/Chatsworth –   The situation remains unchanged.  There is continued harassment towards owners over the movement of cattle.  Tree clearing, pegging or plots and planting is now taking place and poaching and snaring continues.
Marula - A delegation of settlers met with the owner of Sandown North Farm to deliver demands. Workers were told to move from their brick-under- thatch housing, as it is right where the settlers want to plough. Workers were told to move to plots 8 km from the homestead and place of work. Workers are not allowed to cut grass. The farmer was told that the grass belongs to the settlers and he has been prevented from selling grass for two seasons.  A settler was admonished for taking 75 litres of water from the farm village water point. Subsequently, the farmer was accused of dumping the water and one settler, Charles T Ndlovu, accused the farmer of planning to poison the settlers.  Demands were made that the game scouts be disarmed, that patrols be stopped, and that hunting cease – currently the only source of income to the property, as the farmer was forced to remove all cattle in June 2000. They said the sound of gunfire is threatening to them and the farmer must also stop all crop protection (shooting francolin which are doing untold damage to the tomato crop). The settlers stated that they do not recognise the Police as a law-enforcing body. They will only take directions from the "Land Committee", and the Police may attend, but the Police alone will be ignored. A report was made to the Figtree police, who promised support and consultation with the DA, but nothing more transpired.  There was evidence of a large fire on Kirby Block farm.  This farm was conceded in 1997, but has never been paid for, so technically the farmer stills owns it. However, he is prevented from going onto the farm, so is unable to investigate the fire.
Nyamandhlovu – The boundary fence between Redwood Park and Edwaleni, which is also the veterinary fence between Red Zone enzootic area and the Green Zone buffer area, was vandalised. The wire has been stolen and appears to have been used around settler housing. A report was made to Veterinary Services and Police, and the matter raised at a CPA meeting. A week later a Nyamandhlovu Veterinary Officer arrived to inspect the fence and promised to repair it. No effort has been made to retrieve the stolen wire or arrest the perpetrators. Fencing valued at $25 000 was stolen from Mcobeni/Redwood Park boundary fence.  War vets continue to move stock through a 2m wide gap in the Veterinary fence and locked gate at Umguzaan river grid. Dr Dube is believed to be condoning illegal movement of cattle and is not concerned about theft of wire for residential and snare use. The Veterinary Department recently said it had no diesel to carry out Foot & Mouth disease vaccinations.
Inyathi – On Gravesend the settlers held a meeting attended by three silent (CIO) seniors from Bulawayo. There was a disagreement between two groups, both from Ntabasinduna CL, with the group backed by Dumiso Dabengwa getting the choice land on Horseshoe. Gravesend settlers now find that they are not on record with the DA lnyathi although they have been allocated land at a cost of $150 per plot. The foreman was allowed to attend and address the meeting and he pointed out that the people on Gravesend should really be on Gravesend Extension and that this confusion could result in them getting nothing. He complained about the theft of fencing, windmill parts and the setting of fires.  The majority of the people expressed their genuine opposition to these developments. Theft of firewood using DDF was reported personally to their CEO, who advises that they have little option but to transport the DA, AGRITEX, and pegging teams and to drill boreholes and then to plough, but that transport and staff for the theft of farmers’ goods is to be punished.   49 gum trees were cut from a standing plantation and seen on the ground at settler housing sites on Horse Shoe farm.  DDF tractors and trailers are used to collect firewood.  Approximately 40 cattle are being pushed through the Mafinisa line daily in flagrant contravention of Veterinary FMD regulations.  The ZRP seem to have their hands tied and are being held to ransom by a few militants.  On Rouxdale B there was a settlers’ meeting chaired by the local Base Commander with a committee dominated by affluent town dwellers. A form was distributed for "settlers" to complete urgently. They discussed at length a recent meeting called by ZRP Queens Park, who monitor the situation closely. The Chairman laid down the law about crime and the penalties, especially concerning the snaring of animals. They grudgingly accept that the farmer will only communicate with them with police present. They are still very upset by the recent successful prosecution of a settler for snaring. They discussed the recent visit by the Vet Department (Dr. Lewis Sibanda) to inspect goats brought from Nkai, and understand why stock movements must stop. No action was taken by the Vet Dept. The settlers were unanimous about the control of fires, gate opening, petty theft and snaring on this farm and next door on Kenyane. They seem to be able to, and do, discipline their members. They await DDF tractors for ploughing.  On Gourlays Ranch the farmer caught a poacher with a kudu and cutting electric fences. Poachers name is Fiswayo. Miss Swela, the D.A., commandeered his one borehole, with all the piping and foot valve. The DDF came and put on a bush pump. This was reported to Insp. Dube of Inyathi Police.  There have been new farm invasions on Gourlays Ranch, and a 7 ton blue Nissan truck Reg. No, 635-418V brought on new people with all their belongings beds, cupboards etc.  The farmer on Mambo reported 5 cows that were caught in snares set by settlers that have been resettled on Kennilworth. There was a gang of 15 people and no reaction from the Police.  Three days later, 3 more cows were caught in snares.  On Scheemers new invasions have been reported.  People came in from Sigwala Communal land. The names of the settlers are Douglas Magutshwa, a school teacher from Gweru, Nkosilatehti Magutshwa who is employed by the Thornhill Air Base in Gweru and Ben Mnkandla. 46 poles were cut.  On Pyramids farm 2 vehicles arrived with about 17 people, one was a DDF 4 x 4 and the other was a Mitshubushi sedan. No one settled as yet, just looking for plots.  Miss Mildred Choga came to the farmer’s house on Gratham farm to tell him that Miss Swela, the D.A., had allocated her his homestead and garden as the previous plot holder had died. She informed him that he could share the house with her when she moved in.  Both the above farmers are going to proceed with legal action against the D.A.
General - 12 farms have been set alight by settlers - Fairburns, Clonmore, Robins Diglis Park, Dexters farm, Peach Mine, Batttlefields, Oscardale, 2 fires on Deeside, Whites farm and Delonga farm.
Shangani  - On Fountains farm the foreman was phoned by Jabulani Petchu Moyo and told that he and the Cattle Foreman, were both sell-outs, and that he was going to kill them both. Reported to ZRP Fort Rixton.
Gwanda – At Oakley Block the farmer and his wife were told by the DA and illegal settlers to move off the farm. ZRP responded but were unable to assist. The farmer has subsequently moved into town. The water on the property was turned off by the war vets. Further invasions on this property have been reported, as well as other properties in the area - Induna, Thsipise and Jonsyl, Swallow Fork West Nicholson.
West Nicholson – A survey in Matabeleland South reveals that since invasions commenced in March 2000, farmers who responded had 1547 animals snared and 9663 found snares. Reports are still coming in. Many more animals are snared, carted away and consumed without being accounted for. Hundreds of kilometres of fencing has been destroyed to equip snaring activities. On Chipizi Ranch there are 3 organised gangs of poachers operating out of Mpande Communal Lands targeting different species. Their strategies are clearly defined, with safe bases at Doddieburn Ranch, squatter camps and occupied areas. When scouts are on their trail, poachers deliberately start fires to distract scouts from their pursuit. National Parks seem to not want to get involved, as it is "political".  Gold panning, especially on Mzingwane River, is rife, with well over 1000 people polluting the environment with excrement and litter.
Beit Bridge – On Denlynian, poaching with snares and dogs is ongoing. 3 hunting safaris from USA and 4 from Latvia were cancelled during the season. Only 5 hunts took place on the property this year.  On Mavimba three hunts took place but 8 were cancelled from the USA.  At least 600 cattle were pushed onto Sentinel Ranch, with damage to the Limpopo riverine area as a result. FMD inspections by Veterinary Services were only done on farm cattle until the owner objected. The property has been proposed for inclusion as core area in the Limpopo Shashe Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) with Botswana and South Africa. However, there is great pressure coming from SA conservation groups to exclude Zimbabwe from the project for political intransigence. This could result in a huge loss of potential investment, development and income to the Maramani Communal people, an extremely impoverished community, whose main income is presently derived from men working on South African border farms, but whose future employment is in jeopardy. During the normal hunting season the farm hosts over 20 hunts a year. This year they were down to 12, with three cancellations. Poaching is rife with dogs, spears and spotlights, and snaring, but this draws good ZRP support. However, the ZRP are refusing to prosecute a war vet who was found with one of the farms’ 61 Lister engines, because the DA alleges that the engine belongs to the people. The engine was recovered, but no action has been taken.  Cross border raids into SA farms for produce have been reported. There is no Deportee camp on Sentinel as reported in the Daily News. War vets are running a lucrative business ferrying Border Jumpers to and from the Limpopo River in scotch carts. At least half the hunts this season were cancelled at Nottingham Estates, one a very lucrative one from Mexico. The others were all from the USA. Poaching is rife. This property was also proposed for inclusion in the TFCA. War Vet cattle are present but controlled.  On Mberengwa 60% of the grazing has been burnt. Feed costs and current cattle prices may force producers out of business. Management staff on most farms are being retrenched and labour cutbacks are necessary. Tractors are taken from daily use, winter maintenance blocks have been stopped and ZESA points put off when the water is sufficient. The District has de-stocked by 7000-8000 head of cattle over the past 18 months.
General - Lawlessness and harassment continue unabated. There is a general influx onto farms as people move on to allocated plots to prepare for the rainy season and associated with this is an increase in displays of aggression.
Gweru East/Lalapanzi - Cattle on a farm in the area were herded into the dipping pens by occupants and the owner was told to remove them from the farm by a delegation armed with axes, picks, knobkerries and one spear.  Intervention, promised by authorities, has not materialised.
Kwekwe -  Poaching with dogs and weapons is ongoing and setting of fires continues. Trespassers tell everyone that the land is theirs and they can walk where they like. There has still not been any reaction from the police with helping to find the missing rhino. An anti poaching unit shot two poachers’ dogs. Occupiers from a neighbouring property advanced on the owner demanding compensation for the dogs, thereby admitting involvement in the poaching incident. Police have responded. On Sherwood Block, most properties are still not allowed to plant. Occupiers have called in a bulldozer to clear their lands. Interference and intimidation are ongoing.
Somabhula/Daisyfield - Police and CID reacted very promptly and efficiently in the case of the elderly farmer who was assaulted and robbed last Sunday night. 3 suspects have been arrested while 2 are still at large. The farmer is making good progress after the attack. Police in the area also apprehended a fisherman, who, seeing a calf lying down, killed it and was carrying it away in his fishing bag.

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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Monday 22nd October 2001

This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas. Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens. Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.
·        An elderly farmer on Standhope farm in Somabhula/Daisyfield was severely assaulted when his house was broken into. The thieves got the safe keys from him and made off with Z$40 000 in cash, a pistol and a rifle.  It is believed that theft was the motive.
·        A new influx of illegal occupiers from Harare were moved onto Trianda farm in Mazowe, which has been delisted, two days after the District Administrator moved illegal settlers off the farm.
A farmer in Nyanandlovu, who owns a single, unlisted farm was shown a Council stamped document by a District Development Fund (DDF) (Government) employee which indicated that he had paid Umguza Rural District Council Z$1000 for a plot on the farm.
A DDF bulldozer has been bush clearing on two unlisted farms in Nyanandlovu
Bindura – On Benridge and Headleywood Farms the DDF have begun pegging.  Guitingwood is experiencing a complete work stoppage.
Glendale – Many farmers have continuously been threatened with closure and have been advised that once the wheat has been harvested, they will have to move off the farms.
Mazowe/Concession – There is an increase in theft of irrigation equipment.  At Trianda the DA moved the illegal settlers off the farm on Thursday, but on Saturday a new influx of illegal occupiers from Harare moved on again and are not interested in what the DA has to say.
Nyabira – There are many work stoppages in the area.  On Saturday a farmer tried to move tractors off the farm as he had permission to do so legally.  Illegal occupiers threatened that if he does they would torch the tractors. 
Chinhoyi - There has been further illegal cattle movement from Zvimba Communal Lands. It is apparent from the position of the Assistant District Administrator (ADA) that occupations in the district will be falsely dated prior to 1st March 2001, the effective date of the Rural Land Occupiers (Protection from Eviction) Act.  In reply to a query about occupations after this date, the ADA replied that he has proof that the whole of this area was invaded before the 1 March 2001.  He also stated that the settlers were moved onto the farms secretly, so the farmers don't actually know when the settlers were moved on as "this is a war that we are fighting". There has been no improvement in the situation since the tour of Government officials who visited Chinhoyi farms last week,  including Governor Chanetsa and Ministers Mujuru, Makoni and Made.
Banket – On Gwarati Farm there is a work stoppage. On Gwina Farm illegal occupiers have started building huts.
Tengwe - Following the theft of two electric motors from Tara Farm, the owner has been prevented by illegal occupiers from securing the remaining motors on the farm.   The confirmation hearing for Ramona and Ndiropo Farms on Friday 19 October 2001 in the Administrative Court was withdrawn by Government an hour before the case was due to be heard.  Support Unit reacted positively to a work stoppage on this farm once the case was withdrawn, but illegal occupiers are not prepared to comply.
Umboe – There are work stoppages on Mongwe, Kaukua, Telfourd, Inyati Farm, Muni Farm and Longmede farms. 
Kariba – The owner of Kariba Bream Farm was threatened by local ZANU PF youths that his company would be taken over if he did not donate to a ZANU PF function.
Ayrshire – On Pamwechete Farm,  the tractors were stopped from working. 
Trelawney/Darwendale - Crime has increased dramatically. In the last month there were 5 store break-ins, two house break-ins and 20 cases of theft of irrigation equipment.
Doma – On Glendower Farm 30 kms of fencing has been stolen.
Norton – There is still only 50% of the crop allowed to be planted.
Selous – Pegging has been continuing with the DA’s pegging team and as a result there have been new invasions.
Chegutu/Suri Suri – Two DDF tractors are ploughing on Bougainvillea Farm. This farm was listed after the 1st July and is a single owned farm, not fitting any criteria.  On Makuti Farm, 56 hunting dogs have been counted on the property.
Kadoma/Battlefields/Chakari – On Deweras Farm, cattle were pushed into the barley crop (winter cereal) on three occasions.  Police asked the owner not to prosecute.  On Normandi North another thirty sheep have been stolen in addition to the fourteen previously stolen.  After having de-stocked his whole beef herd, the owner is now de-stocking his sheep flock completely.  The farmer's wife on Milverton Estates was stoned whilst in her vehicle at Patchway mine, where there was a Zanu PF rally.  Farm workers from a number of neighbouring farms, particularly the youth, were abducted and taken to this rally.  Some of them were assaulted.  The owner of Glenview Farm is being accused by the police of stealing his own electric motors and other moveable property.  The compulsory acquisition process affects fixed assets only, but the police attitude is that once a farm has been evaluated, anything removed by the owners will be considered stolen property and those involved will be arrested. The owner of Twintops, who was threatened with bloodshed if he planted any crops, went to see the DA and the Land Committee and was told that he could not plant under his centre pivot despite this area not being pegged.  This is the only farm owned by three families.
Rusape – Deforestation is rampant and completely out of control
Masvingo East and Central – On Beauly farm a cow was pushed onto the main road and was hit by an oncoming bus.  Illegal occupiers then skinned it.
Chiredzi – Snaring and poaching continues.  Movement of people across properties is on-going and fires have occurred, but have been dampened by the drizzle.  Wasarasara Ranch game guards were once again threatened by illegal occupiers for carrying out their duties.  Buffalo Range had 8 head of cattle stolen.  Agritex has been pegging on Hippo Small Scale Holdings, which is sugar cane scheme for black commercial  farmers.
Mwenezi – Poaching, snaring, tree cutting, pegging, theft and cutting of wire continues unabated.   New invasions occurred on Dorrington Farm and these people are pegging and clearing lands.  The DA says that despite any agreements that have taken place, this resettlment is legal.
General -  Throughout the area stock theft, poaching, snaring, fence cutting and theft, petty theft and general harassment continue. Valuations are ongoing, even on properties that are earmarked for delisting.
Gweru - Two head of cattle were slaughtered and the meat was taken away on a scotch cart. War vets in the area reported this to the police who set an ambush and arrested 2 suspects, while one escaped. On another farm, about 5 kms of fencing was stolen and taken away to a communal area.
Somabhula/Daisyfield -  An elderly farmer on Standhope farm was severely assaulted about the head and legs when his house was broken into. The thieves got the safe keys from him and made off with $40 000, a pistol and a rifle. Two suitcases containing his late wife's clothes were also taken. The motivation is believed to be theft only. The farmer has  had to seek medical attention in Gweru.
Nyamandlovu - A cooking fire left unattended by a District Development Fund (DDF) drilling rig team started a veld fire on Imvani farm.  A farmer who owns a single, unlisted farm was shown a Council stamped document by a DDF employee which indicated that he had paid Umguza Rural District Council Z$1000 for a plot on the farm.  A DDF bulldozer on a low loader arrived on Spring Grange farm, but the bulldozer operator refused to identify himself. A small dam was cleaned out, a rough dam constructed and bush cleared on two unlisted farms. Nyamndlovu District Veterinary Officer Dr Dube reacted to a  report of a veterinary fence between Edwaleni and Redwood Park farms being destroyed and materials stolen. He stated he will not take action against the perpetrators and that Veterinary Department will replace the 500 metres at it's own expense. Fencing valued at Z$25 000 was stolen from Mcobeni/Redwood Park boundary fence.   Five new invaders have moved onto Nyokeni farm and sixteen have moved onto Gwaai farm. 
General  -  General lawlessness continues including theft, poaching, burning and tree cutting with minimal reaction from the police.      

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Daily News

Split rocks Zanu PF in Matabeleland

10/26/01 7:57:26 AM (GMT +2)

By Foster Dongozi

ZANU PF has split into two factions in Matabeleland with one faction paying
its allegiance to Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and
Publicity, while the other group comprises mainly politicians dumped by
President Mugabe in the last two Cabinet appointments.
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Daily News

Settlers stranded without inputs

10/26/01 7:44:21 AM (GMT +2)

By Sandra Mujokoro and Zhean Gwaze

AS DARK clouds begin to form in the sky, a sure sign of rain, panic grips
villagers resettled under the government’s fast-track land reform programme
as they anxiously await the free tillage promised by the District
Development Fund (DDF).

Like the resettled farmers,the planting season is also begging for

DDF, which was supposed to have ploughed 214 hectares in each district for
free by the end of September, has failed to fulfil its promise because of
lack of adequate funding, fuel and equipment.

The department has to inject about $60 million towards the purchase of
agricultural equipment such as ploughs, reapers and disc harrows.

Of the 770 tractors available, an average of 450 are operational, with a
tillage capacity of 20 000 hectares per month.

In Matabeleland, villagers and war veterans resettled on farms are returning
to plough in their original nearby villages because government has still not
fulfiled its promise to till the land on which they have been settled.

DDF units cannot meet the demand for tillage by close to 130 000 families in
the whole country resettled under the government’s controversial fast-track
land reform.

The shortages aside, the free tillage is allegedly being implemented in
ruling Zanu PF strongholds such as Mashonaland Central province.

Some farmers resettled in the Snake Park area, about 20km outside Harare,
were still to see the promised tillage units when The Daily News visited the
area last week.

This comes at a time when the DDF has been rocked by allegations of

Top government officials are reported to be flouting tender procedures while
several employees have been suspended for diverting spare parts meant for
the parastatal for their own use on their farms.

“We stay near Harare where all the action emanates from, but we cannot farm
because there are no tractors,” said Stanley Shoko, a resettled farmer near
the Snake Park.

“Many of us cannot afford to pay the $4 230 required for tillage per
hectare. Furthermore, we are still waiting for the seed and fertilisers we
were promised during the first year of resettlement.”

DDF has negotiated with the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’
Association (ZNLWVA), which owns some tractors, to till the land for the
resettled farmers.

The talks have, however, collapsed because of the acrimonious divisions
within the war veterans’ camp.

Olivia Muchena, the Minister of State in Vice-President Joseph Msika’s
Office, is said to be have recommended to the Zanu PF central committee that
the tillage fees be reduced so that they are affordable to most resettled

Endy Mhlanga, the secretary-general of the ZNLWVA, said war veterans had
forwarded new demands to President Mugabe which include financial back-up
for tillage and inputs like fertilisers and seed to start farming as the
growing season approaches.

When the fast-track land redistribution exercise was launched, government
announced that under its villagised model, one hectare for each resettled
family was going to be ploughed.

However, very little has come out of this project and resettled people in
Matabeleland who came from villages near the farms are having to go back and
plough in their old fields as the rain season approaches.

Simon Moyo, one of the farmers resettled on one of the farms in the
Nyamandlovu area, said they were not sure whether they would harvest
anything because they haven’t started ploughing yet.

“The land is very dry and we cannot use hoes to till. When we were resettled
here early this year, we were told the land would be cleared for us. Others
are lucky because they have rural homes nearby, but I came from faraway
Kezi,” he said.

Another resettled villager, Naison Nkomo, said they had approached DDF
officers in Nyamandlovu about this delay, but had been told there was no
fuel for the tractors.

Mac Crawford, the Commercial Farmers’ Union regional president, said in
almost all the farms in the region, little or no tillage had been carried

He said resettled people at Sailor Jack Farm and the Greaves farms in
Nyamandlovu had started going back to plough at their old homes.
At Redwood Park Farm DDF officials tilled only the area which had been
marked for the construction of an ostrich pen.

“This was only meant to deter the farmer, Peter Goosen, from proceeding with
any development on the farm and they only made a furrow on the piece of
land,” said Crawford.

All indications are that the first rains will fall without any meaningful
hectarage having been tilled and resettled farmers face a bleak future.

Fertilisers and seed prices have skyrocketed while they await the government
’s help.

Are there going to be enough food handouts for these unfortunate farmers
whose quest for land has backfired?

Friday, 26 October, 2001, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
Food shortages in Zimbabwe shops
The land dispute in Zimbabwe has reduced grain supplies
Zimbabwe is facing serious food shortages due to price controls imposed earlier this month by the government in a bid to control runaway inflation.

According to reports in the independent Zimbabwean media, price caps on basic foodstuffs have forced many producers to operate at a loss, leaving them with no choice but to go out of business.

The baking industry, which has been losing an estimated $33,000 a day, has been hit particularly hard.

Rationing now in force

Basic goods including bread, wheat, maize, cooking oil and soap are reported to be becoming increasingly scarce as a result, with rationing now in force in many areas.

The Zimbabwean Government imposed the price caps on 10 October, citing the need to bring the country's inflation rate under control, which is currently running at over 70% a year.
Currency squeeze

The country's soaring inflation stems from the weakness of the Zimbabwean dollar and its heavy reliance on imported fuel, priced in US dollars.

A slump in the world price of metals and agricultural commodities, the country's principal exports, has deprived Zimbabwean importers of hard currency.

Grain shortages caused by the government's policy of seizing white-owned farms have also fuelled a sharp increase in food prices.

Some observers in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, believe that the price controls are a populist measure designed to shore up electoral support for Mr Mugabe's government ahead of presidential elections next year.

"The government wants to be sure that it can rely on the urban vote, but the policy is backfiring already. We are heading into serious shortages, and the people are angry," said one local source.

Zimbabwe is due to hold presidential elections by April 2002, but no firm date has yet been set.

Daily News

War vets impound maize

10/26/01 7:37:45 AM (GMT +2)

Farming Editor

Suspected war veterans and the police are impounding maize from travelers
from rural areas, and ordering them to sell it to the Grain Marketing Board

Passengers and bus conductors yesterday complained of police harassment,
saying the maize they carried was in small quantities and had been given to
them by their relatives in the communal areas for their own consumption.

“We have dropped hundreds of passengers at roadblocks where they are forced
to sell the maize they have to the nearest GMB depot,” said conductor Laston
Katungunde, whose bus plies the Harare-Chiweshe route.

“As conductors, we have also been affected as we also bring maize from the
rural areas for our families in Harare.”

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena refused to comment.

Joseph Chinotimba, the Harare leader of war veterans, said the veterans were
only impounding maize from cross-border traders intending to export the
commodity illegally, not ordinary travellers. The veterans were on the
lookout at Zimbabwe’s border posts, he said.

“It is not true that war veterans are confiscating maize from travellers,”
he said. “If there are people who are harassing rural travellers, then they
must be criminals.”

But Katungunde’s colleague, Patrick Dombo, maintained the situation was
particularly serious in Mashonaland as war veterans had joined the crusade
of harassing travellers with maize in their luggage, saying all the maize
now belonged to the government.

“No reports are written and people are told just to surrender the maize to
the war veterans. Where there are GMB depots, people are ordered to pay
fines of about $400 and the maize is confiscated,” Dombo said.

Shacky Mativenga, a conductor on the Harare-Gokwe route, said: “It is very
unfair that they say they are giving us land to produce maize, but we are
not allowed to eat it or even carry it to our families in urban areas.”

In Mt Darwin, a war veteran identified only as Kambanje was said to be
terrorising travellers and bus conductors, charging that urban residents
must be denied the maize because they supported opposition parties.

The government declared maize a controlled product in July and made the GMB
the sole buyer and seller. The order outlawed maize sales countrywide,
including trade in small quantities of maize among villagers.

Travellers, who for years cut costs by supplementing their needs with maize
secured from their rural homes, were caught in the net. Hundreds lost out to
the war veterans and police officers at roadblocks.

Nyasha Chinyama, a conductor on the Karoi-Harare route, said 36 of his
passengers lost an unspecified quantity of maize to war veterans camping at
Magunje last month.

Daily News

Shortage of basic goods hits Harare

10/26/01 8:36:22 AM (GMT +2)

By Takaitei Bote Farming Editor

MOST retail shop shelves that are normally stocked with washing soap and
cooking oil are empty, heralding what looks set to become a serious shortage
of basic commodities in Harare.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries warned early this month that there
would be food shortages in Zimbabwe following the gazetting of price control
regulations on specified basic commodities.

A Daily News survey in Harare yesterday revealed that products whose prices
are now controlled such as cooking oil, washing soap and salt were out of
stock, with shelves empty in most supermarkets.

TM Supermarkets’ Nelson Mandela Avenue branch did not have the popular Panol
and Olivine cooking oil brands on its shelves but had an unfamiliar product
called TM Super Saver Cooking Oil costing $148,23 for a 750ml bottle.

However, there were less than 10 bottles on the shelves.

Familiar soap bars such as Dolphin, Brilliant, Sunlight and Big Ben were all
out of stock in TM as was the case at OK as well. The few soap bars that
were available were of unpopular brands.

There was no Panol and Olivine cooking oil in OK Supermarket either.

Another unpopular 375ml cooking oil brand costing $208 was available, but
supplies were also very low. The government stipulated price for a 750ml
bottle of cooking oil is $148.

A TM Supermarkets spokesperson said suppliers were producing limited
quantities of cooking oil and washing soap and suggested this reporter
direct further questions to the suppliers.

The major producers of basic commodities, Olivine Industries and Lever
Brothers, were not available for comment yesterday.

Industry sources said producers of soap, cooking oil and bread had reduced
their output because they were now operating at a loss following the
government directive to reduce the wholesale prices of basic commodities.

The government introduced the controls as a measure to counter rampant price
increases. Prior to the move, the prices of basic commodities were
increasing on a weekly basis as manufacturers passed on the high cost of
production to the consumers.

Manufacturers say they have reduced their prices in line with the government
directive but they are making huge losses as the prices are below their
input costs.

Bakeries said while it cost them $54 to produce a loaf of bread, they were
now forced to sell it at $48.

Some bakeries have started producing lower quality bread, saying producing
standard bread would force them out of business.

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Invasions Threaten Peace Park

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

October 26, 2001
Posted to the web October 25, 2001

Experts warn that south-eastern Zimbabwe is sitting on a foot-and-mouth time
bomb, reports Jenny Sharman

In the excitement about the formation of the Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou
trans-frontier park, a looming problem has been overlooked: land invasions
in the Zimbabwe section of the park.

The planned "peace park" includes Zimbabwe's second-largest game park, the
Gonarezhou National Park and its wildlife environs, along with Kruger park
and a large slice of state-owned land in Mozambique's Coutada 16
conservation area - a total of 35 000km2.

Last November, as the agreement was being signed to establish the park,
sections of Gonarezhou were being occupied, cleared and set alight by
residents of neighbouring villages and "war veterans".

The invasion of Gonarezhou is the latest in a line of crises to hit
Zimbabwe's wildlife since the current "fast-track" resettlement programme
moved into key conservation areas.

As a member of a proposed peace park, it is ironic that historically
Gonarezhou has rarely been at peace. In Shona gona-re-zhou means "abode of
elephants", but for the elephant it has not been a safe abode; poaching has
long been prevalent in this south-eastern corner of Zimbabwe.

In the late 1960s large-scale agriculture began encroaching on the area, and
poaching, coupled with tsetse fly controls that included bush burning and
shooting, resulted in the destruction of 55 000 large animals. In response,
Alan Wright, a local district commissioner, helped establish a wildlife
refuge and a poaching control corridor along the Mozambique border. About
5,000km2 of prime wilderness was designated as a reserve, and in 1975 this
corner of Zimbabwe was declared a national park.

The local Shangaan people were forced to resettle outside the park's
boundaries - an act that has caused major discontent in the area ever since.

The formation of a park did little to stop the unnatural deaths of the
resident elephants. During the war of independence Gonarezhou was landmined
extensively and elephant and buffaloes are still being maimed by the mines.

In the 1980s and 1990s poaching by Mozambican guerrillas, fighting their own
civil war across the border, also took its toll. It is estimated that
between 1987 and 1988 alone nearly 1,000 elephants and 200 black rhinos were
poached from the park. It is not surprising that elephants in Gona-rezhou
respond to the presence of humans with either fear or aggression.

Now Josiah Hungwe, the Governor of Masvingo, who is already responsible for
the invasion of privately owned wildlife conservancies, has been encouraging
families of the previously evicted Shangaan, as well as opportunistic "war
veterans", to take over 11 000ha within Gonarezhou, north and south of the
Runde river.

The situation escalated as Agritex (the Agricultural and Rural Extension
Department) began demarcating and pegging out plots for allocation within
the park.

The invasion appears to have been carried out without the permission - or
knowledge - of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. In fact environment
minister Francis Nhema initially denied it: "What has happened is that some
cattle strayed into the park but our guys from parks are working on that.
There are no people physically within the park at all," he said as news of
the invasion began to spread.

It soon became apparent that Nhema was wrong. A senior national parks
officer wrote the following in a letter to his headquarters shortly after
the takeover: "The Agritex officer stated that his teams pegged some 520
plots but the area had capacity to take 750 settlers ... Cattle are being
grazed daily inside the park. The numbers are never less than 500 in the
park per day. The cattle fence has been put down, allowing free movement of
cattle in and around the park."

The removal of fencing and driving of cattle into buffalo land could result
in a serious outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. Mike Clark, regional
chairperson of the Masvingo Commercial Farmers' Union, says "we have no
foot-and-mouth vaccine due to the forex shortage. We are therefore sitting
on a foot-and-mouth time bomb."

Clark has found evidence of cattle in the park and substantial destruction
of natural habitat.

"When we followed one of the cattle trails we came across people building
elaborate Shangaan-style huts, about 6km into the reserve."

Raoul du Toit of the World Wide Fund for nature's Zimbabwe office has said
that the issues involved are more complex than simply a threat to the
integrity of the national park. The Shangaan people do have a serious land
claim to this area but, Du Toit says, "the issue needs to be assessed in the
context of the land crisis which is engulfing the nearby conservancies".

"The biodiversity value of the basalt plain that has been invaded within
Gonarezhou is relatively low. If this land claim is to be resolved, this may
act as a pressure-relief valve that would reduce the land invasion threat in
conservancy areas with higher biodiversity value. However, the resolution of
this land claim within Gonarezhou must take into account the constraints on
dry-land agriculture and a wildlife-based land-reform model must be

"The other crucial factor to take into account is that any resettlement must
not cut off the wildlife corridors between the park and adjacent private
wildlife areas such as Malilangwe and Save valley."

There has been extensive poaching in the neighbouring Save and Chiredzi
conservancies since the government's resettlement programme began more than
a year ago. The poaching is clearly commercial in nature and, it would
appear, politically motivated.

Recently, in response to the arrest of nine poachers for having abducted a
game scout, the war veterans began dropping off poachers by vehicle
throughout Save.

"One must remember that this is not a spontaneous groundswell, but totally
orchestrated by the party [Zanu-PF]," says Clark.

Malilangwe, Save and Chiredzi are key areas adjacent to Gonarezhou. They,
and the communities involved in various Communal Areas Management Programme
for Indigenous Resources and trust projects, all stand to benefit from the
peace park as long as the corridor that joins them with the park remains
free of human settlement. Once the peace park is operational, there is
enormous potential in creating a wider trans-frontier conservation area
extending into these private and communal lands. The entire economy of
south-eastern Zimbabwe could benefit as a result.

However, these issues are clearly not being debated - or even considered -
in Zimbabwe's political scramble for land. Instead of limiting the invasion
to a controllable area, it has now been extended along the park boundary,
and along the boundary with Malilangwe. Derek de la Harpe, Malilangwe's
director, reports that these plots have already been extensively cleared. He
says that "any development isolating Malilangwe and the conservancies from
the park will in the long term be to everyone's detriment. Malilangwe is
committed to assisting with restocking the park once our own wildlife
populations have been restored to an acceptable level. This will not be
possible if the connection between the two areas is cut."

Residents in the Chizvirizvi resettle-ment area were hoping to involve
themselves in a wildlife and hunting/ tourism project based on the proposed
peace park. If their land does not adjoin the park there is little chance of
it happening.

The Zimbabwe government publicly abandoned its plans for resettlement in the
Gonarezhou National Park in July after a meeting of the trans-frontier park
ministerial committee. However, fires and bush clearing within the park and
along its boundaries continues unabated. Hungwe continues to insist that the
demarcated plots will be settled, despite official promises to the contrary.

There are already suggestions that the removal of the fence has been
disastrous for the region's livestock. Clark has heard reports that "several
hundred head [of cattle] have died from suspected theileriosis, as there are
no dipping facilities. Through my experience this is transmitted by the
tick, Rhipicephalus zambeziensis, which occurs through buffalo/cattle

"The ownership dispute should urgently be addressed by government so that
effective disease control barriers can be erected."
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Daily News - two items.....

Land invaders assault Nyabira farm workers

10/26/01 7:40:15 AM (GMT +2)

Chief Reporter

A GROUP of about 60 invaders yesterday stormed Umzururu Farm in Nyabira and
beat up workers before stealing two tractors.

The invaders demanded to see the farmer, Alister Smith, “dead or alive.”

However, Smith was away when the group besieged the farm.

The gang then beat up Maggie Christian, a worker at the farm, security
guards, the gardener and the maid.
One of the invaders was armed with a pistol while others wielded axes and

Christian said: “Yes, we were attacked, but I do not want to say much and
put myself to further risk.”

The farmer’s 18-year-old daughter escaped the attack.
Sources said the invaders drove into the farm in a mini-bus and a truck at
around midday.

They demanded to see Smith. On being told that he was away, they started
throwing stones at the house, shattering about 40 window panes.

Christian then called the Nyabira police but failed to get immediate

The invaders then beat up Christian, the gardener and the maid.

One of the workers, who had a heart operation about five years ago, is
reported to have trudged the 4km to Lilifordia School to seek help.

Back at the farm, the invaders drove away in two tractors saying they were
heading for their base at Lilifordia Farm owned by businessman, Sam Levy.

Armed policemen later went to the farm but the invaders had already left.

The police promised to recover the tractors.

Umzururu Farm is said to have been taken off the designation list and Smith
had continued with farming operations.

The farm has one of the biggest dairy herds in the country.

The invasion of Umzururu Farm took place at a time when a Commonwealth team
is in Zimbabwe to assess whether the Abuja Agreement signed on 6 September
is working.

Under the agreement, the Zimbabwean government undertook to curb lawlessness
and remove invaders from undesignated farms.

In turn, the British promised to provide money to compensate farmers whose
land would have been expropriated by the government.

However, farm invasions and attacks on farmers and their workers are


Ministers snub Bindura farmers

10/26/01 7:38:54 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

MORE than 100 commercial farmers in Mashonaland Central Province, who had
gathered in Bindura yesterday for a meeting with government ministers over
the continuing disruption of farming operations, left the town a
disappointed lot.

The ministers failed to turn up.

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Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Media Update # 2001/42
Monday 15th October to Sunday 21st October 2001

1.  Summary
2.  ESAP & Price Controls
3.  Land Abuja
4.  Political Violence
5.  Some Missing Evidence- from a subscriber


ª   The President's official announcement that his government had
    "dumped" ESAP dominated Zimpapers and ZBC during the
    week, but none of them explained that government had
    effectively abandoned the policy years ago. The government
    owned media supported the President's sentiments by
    portraying ESAP as an unworkable economic prescription
    imposed on developing countries by Western nations anxious to
    protect their neo-colonial interests. They provided no
    independent experts to support this view and linked the failure of
    ESAP to the need for price controls.

ª   The private Press almost ignored Mugabe's announcement,
    except to say that it was an admission of failure and
    demonstrated the president was prepared to do anything to hang
    on to power at any cost. The private Press was replete with
    stories predicting economic disaster as a result of price controls
    and the president's threat to nationalize loss-making companies
    that closed down.

ª   The survival of the Abuja agreement also found considerable
    space in the media ahead of a visit this week by the
    Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group. The government owned
    media sought to accuse Britain of undermining the accord, while
    the private press reported continuing violence on the farms, the
    scale of the economic damage it was causing and that the
    agreement was all but dead. Notably though, reports of political
    violence declined significantly during the week. The Daily News,
    for example, only carried six (6) stories on the topic compared to
    fifteen (15) the previous week.


President Mugabe announced the death of ESAP during the funeral
of Clement Muchachi at Heroes' Acre (ZBC, 15/10, 8pm). While
describing ESAP as dead, the President re-affirmed his
government's re-introduction of price controls and threatened to
take over any businesses that closed due to the controls. In the
four minutes that ZTV and Radio1/3 gave to his speech, the
President was quoted as saying, ".those companies which
want to withhold products or close down may go ahead and
do so.We will, as the state, take over any businesses that are
closed.They are our businesses anyway. We will re-organize
them with the workers and .the socialism, which we had
wanted, can start."
Despite the fact that the funeral took place in the morning, no
comment was sought from the business community or independent
economists on the implications of the President's promise to return
to socialism and his threat to nationalize private enterprises.
It was only at the other end of the week that ZTV (21/10) quoted
CZI president, Jacob Dube saying on its Insight programme,
".ESAP has been dead for a long time. After ESAP we got
ZIMPREST. Then after ZIMPREST we got the Millennium
Recovery Programme."
Immediately after the programme, ZTV's 8pm news bulletin
continued to celebrate Mugabe's announcement by devoting four
minutes 45 seconds to a report that "some Zimbabweans have
welcomed the announcement by Robert Mugabe that ESAP is
dead". Relying on Mugabe's original speech, viewers were only
treated to the reporter's propagandist analysis of ESAP's demise,
citing well-known critics of the policy, Tafataona Mahoso and Jane
Mutasa, but without directly quoting anyone. This lengthy opinion
piece passing as news ignored the fact that the government had
abandoned ESAP years ago and made no attempt to explore why
government had adopted ZIMPREST and later replaced it with the
Millennium Recovery Programme.
In fact, none of the media provided any useful historical analysis of
Mugabe's announcement, although the private Press devoted many
column centimeters to discrediting the socialist ideal of a
commandist economic policy, its failure locally and globally, and
the disastrous effects of price controls.

Zimpapers exonerated the government of any blame for ESAP's
failure, which was attributed to external factors. The IMF and World
Bank were accused of imposing ". a simplistic economic
model on far too many countries" (The Herald, 17/10). The local
business sector was also accused of benefiting from ESAP at the
expense of the majority.
According to The Herald comment ". the structural adjustment
programmes that became the rage in the 1990s were not
tailored to suit individual states and societies and did not take
into account special local programmes".
It pointed out that the "free market" encouraged by the IMF was
inapplicable to "small landlocked countries like Zimbabwe".
And it concluded by saying: "Finally you dump theories and
look for pragmatic solutions to your own real problems.
Zimbabwe is starting to think seriously, and to act, to chart its
own way forward. We need to look at our problems, and then
fix them ourselves rather than submit to the text-book writers
of the IMF."
The following day The Herald (18/10) carried a commentary
criticising ESAP as being a neo-colonialist weapon in the hands of
Western countries to keep Zimbabwe underdeveloped. The same
edition carried a simplistic analysis of ESAP, saying: "On the
whole, the programme has been a disaster that brought more
suffering to the people." But it didn't analyse whether this was
actually true compared to the previous decade of commandist
economic policies, or why ESAP had failed, beyond sourcing a
comment from economist John Robertson, who claimed the
government had failed ESAP because it did not stick to the terms
it had agreed with the IMF.
The story sought a semblance of balance by reporting ZANU PF
businessman Phillip Chiyangwa dismissing Robertson's criticism
as "rhetoric" and expressing his dismay "at how manufacturers
and retailers had teamed up with financial institutions to
continuously and unjustifiably increase prices.
"No wonder (the) pricing of goods has now become a serious
political issue." Chiyangwa was quoted as saying.
The next day, The Herald (19/10) reported that government was
establishing a panel of experts to chart a new economic policy to
replace the IMF's reforms, but made no mention of Zimprest, the
country's "indigenised" version of ESAP, and the Millennium
Recovery Programme that was supposed to replace it.
The story also dwelt at length on ESAP's faults, quoting
"economic analysts" as saying the policy had major structural
defects ".which made it least susceptible to market dynamics
because it is dominated by oligopolies."
It quoted unnamed sources saying: "What is to bring
indigenous people into the mainstream economy through
empowerment." But the article didn't ask what had happened to
the government's affirmative action policies. The only named
commentator was Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, who
misinformed The Herald's readers when he said: "The Labour
Party is introducing socialism in Britain. If it is good for them,
why is it bad for us?"
Moyo appeared again in The Sunday Mail (21/10) justifying the
dumping of ESAP.

The private press blamed government's "half-hearted" commitment
to ESAP and chaotic economic policies for the failure of market
reforms and linked these to the ruling party's political imperative to
stay in power. Price controls were an admission of failure, they
claimed, that would accelerate Zimbabwe's economic decline.
But while The Herald and The Chronicle (16/10) led with the
President's Heroes Acre speech under the headline, ESAP
dumped, The Daily News only referred to his comments in the
course of reporting criticism of the President by the family of the
hero being buried for using the occasion for political gain. However,
an editorial in the same edition criticized the government and ZANU
PF for ". experimenting with the running of this country". It
dismissed price controls as a political gimmick and accused the
government of being the architect of Zimbabwe's misfortunes.
The lead story in The Daily News the following day (17/10),
Hundreds laid off as bread war continues, extensively quoted
industry sources in its report on the consequences of controlling
the price of bread.
The Financial Gazette's front-page comment (18/10) criticized
Mugabe for plunging Zimbabwe ".back into the lost decade of
his command-style economics of 1980-1990, dramatically
reversing market reforms which promised to heal and lift a
shattered land". The comment stated that the reforms could have
succeeded, but failed because of their half-hearted implementation,
and that scrapping them now was part of a campaign in support of
Mugabe's effort to hang on to power. In a news analysis story
headlined, "Price controls ploy set to backfire", The Financial
Gazette reported that Mugabe had "cunningly re-introduced
price controls in a last-ditch effort to split and throw into
disarray the opposition's urban stronghold ahead of next
year's presidential ballot ." To support this, the article quoted
an array of analysts.
In similar vein, The Zimbabwe Independent comment (19/10)
complained that government ". is determined to inflict policies
that are causing hardship and even starvation in order to spite
the opposition and punish perceived critics".
The comment noted that: " ZANU supporters have been burning
crops across the country. But they are unable to see - or
choose to ignore - the connection between wheat destruction
and increases in bread prices."

Food shortages and famine was a theme the private Press also
highlighted during the week. The Daily News (15/10) quoted
bewildering statistics by its own reporter and the Famine Early
Warning System Network which also said the country needed to
import hundreds of thousands of tonnes of grain to avert serious
food shortages. The paper followed up the story the next day with a
report from the SADC Early Warning System also predicting
massive food shortages. But the paper didn't make it clear whether
this was an entirely separate report. The daily then carried a report
about the World Food Programme assessing Zimbabwe's food
security (17/10), which also quoted the SADC report again saying
the government had set up a Disaster Recovery Measures
programme which included $15 billion for its Agricultural Inputs
Support programme. The Herald (18/10) reported that $6.5 billion of
this would be released to help thousands of resettled farmers. But
nowhere did it mention that it was part of a disaster recovery
programme. The story merely gave the impression that government
was fully supporting its resettlement exercise.
Ironically, The Daily News' initial story reported the Famine Early
Warning System Network as corroborating a later Herald story
(18/10) that some commercial farmers were withholding some of
their grain stocks in the hope of getting better prices. But the
Herald's story claimed other reasons for the farmers' action without
providing any evidence: "Fears abound that farmers want to
create social discontent against the government by creating
false shortages." the paper stated.
In its efforts to justify price controls, ZTV (16/10, 8pm) enlisted
CZI's Jacob Dube to help balance an interview with government's
National Economic Consultative Forum spokesperson, Nhlanhla
Masuku posing as "an economic commentator". But newsreader
Obriel Mpofu repeatedly interrupted Dube's efforts to explain what
might have been an informative comment on the costs involved in
producing bread. Mpofu cut him short before Dube could make
sense of the figures he was providing and switched to Masuku, who
evaded the questions he was asked and waffled on in support of
price controls for two minutes thirty- three seconds without being
asked to clarify his vague assertions.
To its credit though, ZBC did provide its audiences with a chance
to hear the unfettered views of the business community during its
television current affairs programmes, Issues and Views (19/10,
6.15pm), Insight (21/10, 7.20pm) and the Kingdom Financial
Holdings-sponsored programme, Making Money Make Sense (ZTV,
21/10, 9pm). However, all three programmes relied entirely on CZI
officials to explain why retailers were not happy with price controls.
The comments of other organizations representative of the
business community, such as the ZNCC, or even representatives of
companies affected by price controls, were missing. In all three
programmes CZI officials highlighted the fact that business would
make losses on bread if they were to implement the gazetted
prices. It was in Issues and Views that viewers finally got an
informative breakdown of the costs of producing bread, courtesy of
CZI vice-president Anthony Mandiwanza.
The production costs of other controlled commodities, however,
have not received the same attention.


ZANU PF officials continued to use the government-controlled
media as a platform to threaten white commercial farmers and
accuse them of misinforming the public and the international
community about the situation on the ground in order to derail the
Abuja Agreement. The initial warning to commercial farmers was
issued by President Mugabe (Radio 1/3, 1pm & ZTV, 8pm 15/10)
who stated that " no amount of misinformation will put us off
course." This reappeared buried in Zimpapers' reports of the
President's Heroes' Acre speech the next day.  And when the
Commercial Farmers' Union issued a gloomy situation report of
ongoing farm violence and new invasions Minister of Agriculture,
Joseph Made, launched into a scathing attack on the farmers in an
interview with ZTV (19/10, 8pm).  Made, who was accorded about
five minutes, said: ".They (the farmers) are now irrelevant to
our society, they continue to cause despondency and (it's)
time for them to pack their bags, they must go. We will take
the production into our own hands". The CFU was not
accessed for comment, even though the news item was based
entirely on the CFU report that was not itself, reported in the state
media. The Herald (20/10) echoed these sentiments in its crude
editorial headlined, Kick out stubborn farmers.
In a subsequent report ZBC (radio & ZTV, 20/10, 8pm) Made was
also quoted repeating his earlier statement that claims by the CFU
of fresh farm invasions were a ploy to give the wrong impression to
the visiting Commonwealth ministers. As has become the norm,
police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena was quoted corroborating
Made's allegation that there had been no fresh farm invasions. But
again the CFU was not accessed for comment, even though the
report was voiced over the press conference in which the CFU
presented the figures of new invasions.
In support of Made's tirade, ZTV (21/10, 8pm) quoted 'ordinary
people' in Bindura saying whites were sabotaging the Abuja
Agreement because they didn't want to share land with black
Zimbabweans. However, the political affiliation of the 'ordinary
people' quoted came under suspicion since they appeared to be
part of the crowd that had gathered for a ZANU PF rally in Bindura.
One of them, Temba Mapuranga echoed President Mugabe's
comments after the signing of the Abuja accord when he said:
"They (white farmers) would want to sabotage the agreement
because.ZANU PF and government have supported
Abuja.But the Abuja agreement is there to support the
whites. In fact it's the whites who need the resources so that
they are compensated for the land they bought."
Mapuranga's observation that farms had actually been bought was
never questioned by ZTV and must have astonished viewers who
have been made to believe the false notion created by government
and its media that all the land currently owned by whites was
forcefully taken from blacks.

Foreign Affairs minister, Stan Mudenge, summed up government's
continued anti-Britain propaganda when he was reported on
television and radio (20/10, 8pm) as saying that Britain should stop
meddling in the affairs of Zimbabwe if Abuja was to work,
buttressing the impression given by Zimpapers the same morning
that Britain was responsible for undermining the agreement.

The private and government-owned press, especially the weeklies,
devoted considerable space to examining conditions affecting the
Abuja Agreement ahead of a fact-finding visit by the
Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to review
progress on its implementation.
Both sectors expressed reservations about the agreement's
chances of success, but differed radically in their reasons for their
The public media blamed the British - without supporting evidence -
for delaying in the implementation of their part of the deal, while the
private press continued to cite the on-going anarchy on farms, for
example, as the ultimate undoing of the agreement.
The Zimbabwe Independent (19/10) set the tone of what was at
stake with its lead story, Donors, govt in new clash, which claimed
that the UNDP "had again proposed an alternative approach
which in effect requires Harare to drop the internationally
condemned fast-track policy".
UNDP administrator Mark Malloch Brown was quoted confirming
having written to government "laying out international
expectations before multilateral donors will fund the land
reform programme" and to which "the (Zimbabwean)
government did not answer all issues raised in the letter".
He also admitted asking government to allow the UNDP to send
another technical team to assess the fast-track exercise.
Said the paper: "The move is thought necessary as an air of
mistrust between Harare and London has started to build up
again with Zimbabwe saying Britain is not moving to
implement the Abuja Agreement.
The UNDP however says the successful implementation of the
agreement hinges on the willingness of Zimbabwe to be
flexible and accept recommendations from the international
However, The Sunday Mail (21/10) interpreted the same
development differently. In UNDP committed to speedy
implementation of Abuja Accord, the paper said the UN agency
"does not have any problems with the way Zimbabwe has
been implementing its land reform programme".
No facts were presented to support this except for a vague
reference that it "has emerged that the Zimbabwe Government
has maintained constant dialogue with the UNDP" through a
letter Brown wrote to government and a meeting he held with
Zimbabwe's Ambassador to the United Nations, Tichaona Jokonya.
Brown was not accessed for comment to support this suggestion.
Rather, the paper merely quoted an unnamed government
spokesman saying: "Zimbabwe had complied with all the
provisions of the agreemnent." The only problems, said the
spokesman, were "some incidents where commercial farmers
had provoked resettled farmers, who are protected by the
Rural Land Occupiers and Protection from Eviction Act."
The Standard (21/10), Mugabe back in the frying pan, did not
share The Sunday Mail's optimism.
The story, basically an announcement of the pending visit by the
CMAG delegation, quotes an unnamed diplomatic source as
saying the Commonwealth was already convinced that government
had failed to adhere to the agreement and that their visit was
merely meant to make that position official.
In its comment, Come Clean on Abuja agreement, The Sunday
Mail squarely blamed Britain for the delayed implementation of the
Abuja Accord. The paper accused Britain of "equivocating" over
the agreement and accused British High Commissioner to
Zimbabwe, Brian Donnelly, of  "pandering to the whims of the
media and farming forces".
The UK must send correct signals, carried in the same issue of
The Sunday Mail, merely restated the recognition at Abuja that
land was at the core of the crisis in Zimbabwe, but conveniently
failed to reconcile that with other equally crucial demands such as
the need to restore the rule of law in the country.
However, the paper did allow Donnelly the chance to reply to its
propaganda piece of the previous week, Abuja: UK drags feet
The Zimbabwe Independent's Abuja hangs on C'wealth team visit,
strengthened the idea that the success of Abuja rested on the
"goodwill and the spirit of those that signed it". This could only
be measured after CMAG's fact-finding mission.
Donelly is quoted in the story: "The agreement is about the rule
of law and other factors and the foreign ministers will tell that
once they have met all the stakeholders on the land issue in


Reports of political violence declined significantly in the week and
those that were covered ranged from one-off events to follow-ups of
previous cases and overviews of the situation in the rural areas.
One of the six stories of political violence carried by The Daily
News (15/10) reported that suspected war veterans had attacked
borehole drillers. The following day (16/10), the paper reported that
a school in Gokwe had been closed because of political violence.
Court cases involving alleged MDC supporters also featured during
the week.
The Herald (17/10) reported that suspected MDC supporters
attacked mourners at a funeral accusing the bereaved of being
ZANU PF supporters.
The Daily News (18/10) reported that the Attorney-General had
released four MDC supporters because of lack of evidence. In the
same edition, the paper reported that the AG had also ordered
investigations into the deaths of two MDC members.
The Financial Gazette carried two stories: ZANU PF readies for
war, and a story under the woefully slack headline, AG orders
probe into MDC men's deaths, the latter a story about the murder
of two MDC activists - a man and a woman - who were murdered
in Buhera by suspected ZANU PF and government functionaries
during last year's parliamentary election campaign.
The article entitled "ZANU PF readies for war" alleges plans by
government to unleash violence against its opponents during the
presidential election campaign.
Only one incident of political violence was reported on ZBC (ZTV,
15/10, 7am). The "public" broadcaster reported that ZANU PF and
MDC supporters clashed in Kambuzuma, but only quoted two
ZANU PF officials.  The report did not make it to the main news
bulletins of the day. Radio (Radio 2/4, 18/10, 6am) only picked up
the story when the police announced that 15 MDC supporters had
been arrested for starting the violence. Strangely, this piece of
news never appeared on television.

From a subscriber

Usually the Zim Media Monitoring Project is balanced and even-
handed, and they offer tough, implicitly amusing commentary on
the always-bizarre official press, and also tweak the independent
press when necessary.
They are screwing up their analysis of price controls coverage,

The Herald did its spin-doctoring of the ZCTU endorsement of price
controls, which MMPZ noticeably ignores in its Update # 2001/41-
but that may have happened after this MMPZ issue went to press.

Most importantly, there is a gut reaction against price controls by
the independent media that relies on big business (or the MDC neo-
liberal faction) for its analysis. Better would be for analysts to look
at the fine print in SA corporate news, where there's pretty open
admission of SA firms profiteering--"quite" nicely--in Zimbabwe.
Here's Business Day's report late last week:

".In spite of the difficult trading conditions, Barrett said that there
was no "financial risk on (the group's) investment". Massmart did
not bring back the profit made by its Makro stores to SA. He said
that Zimbabwe's shortage of foreign currency was the main reason
for this. Ironically, the stores were quite profitable when measured
in Zimbabwean dollars. High inflation meant the stores
merchandise were gaining value "by sitting on the shelf", Barrett
said.And when the goods sit on the shelf, they get marked up
again and again..."

From MMPZ- We appreciate your observations. MMPZ's reports
focus on the week covered, although reference is made to stories
outside the week where this is required.
We invite our subscribers to submit their observations on these
and other issues to MMPZ. Please keep your letters brief.

The MEDIA UPDATE is produced and circulated by the Media
Monitorng Project Zimbabwe, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park,
Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 703702, E-mail:
Previous MMPZ reports can be accessed at
Send all comments and queries to the Project Coordinator.
Please feel free to circulate this message.

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