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

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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!


Sokwanele reporter

26 October 2004

Amazing resilience in the midst of great suffering

It has been said that suffering reveals the true character of a person, and this is surely as true of a community that is being tried and tested in the fires of adversity as it is of an individual.  Like the assayer’s fire revealing the glint of the metal among the dross so the suffering within the community highlights the resilience, the courage, the   heroism – and sometimes just the sheer dogged refusal to give up hope.  So it is in Zimbabwe today.


An incident that occurred on a farm near Marondera just a week ago (7th October) illustrates the point.  Henry Faber, his wife Rosemary and son John have been farming in this district for many years.  Given the violent farm invasions that have swept the country these past few years and the often brutal evictions of established commercial farmers, the fact that the Faber family is still on the land at all is testimony to their dogged perseverance. (Many times they have been threatened with what might happen to them if they did not leave).  Add to this that they have a barley crop in the ground and are busy planting seed maize, and it is apparent that this family at least have not been crushed into submission or given up hope of  a new dawn in Zimbabwe.


But on 7th October all of this came perilously close to extinction.  Henry Faber was called to a meeting with the District Administrator at the far end of his property.  While he was away – and the timing does not appear to have been coincidental  – two armed men broke into his house and accosted his wife, Rosemary.  The bandits were armed with military weapons, AK 47’s and a pistol.  They demanded from her money and weapons. They tied her hands very tightly and held a screwdriver to her throat, threatening to kill her instantly if she did not cooperate.  Unexpectedly at that moment Mrs Faber’s son John, aged 38, arrived at the property to see his father. He walked right in on the bandits surprising both them and himself.  One of the bandits opened fire with his AK rifle set on automatic.  Providentially there were only two bullets in the weapon at the time, and John Faber received but two hits, one in the lung and another in the stomach. Had there been more rounds in the magazine he would almost certainly have died on the spot.  The intruders then ran away and Mrs Faber was able to radio for help.


As it was John Faber had sustained very severe injuries requiring urgent medical attention. An ambulance took him to the Marondera clinic but on arrival there the doctor said that he would have to be taken immediately to Harare because the clinic did not have the necessary medical facilities for his injuries.  He was therefore taken on in the ambulance to the Avenues Clinic in Harare.  The medical team attending him in the ambulance later admitted they did not think he was going to survive. 


From Harare an urgent appeal was put out for RH A Negative blood and the response was overwhelming. No fewer than 200 donors turned out at the Blood Transfusion Centre in Harare.  Some volunteers had to be turned away.  A number of prayer chains were started and people from all over the world as well as around Zimbabwe kept in touch with the family by phone.   And so from a critical condition Faber was gradually nursed back to better health. A week later he was due to be taken off the respirator and sedation and his family were hoping to talk to him.  In the meantime many other farmers from the area forcibly driven off their own lands, had offered to assist in whatever way necessary to keep the Faber farm running while the family are recovering from this ordeal.  Rosemary Faber has been offered trauma counseling by a friend.


Nor have the local police failed in their duty on this occasion.  More often seen to be accomplices of those who perpetrate violent crime, or at the least unwilling to assist the victims in any so-called “political” matter, in this instance they responded promptly and in a professional manner.  They have already arrested a man who, it is believed, has confessed his part in the crime and handed over the AK rifle used.  It is understood the same suspect has confessed to looting John Faber’s house two years ago and disclosed the whereabouts of some of the stolen items.


The tragic consequences which might have followed this brutal shooting have been averted. A critically injured man is off the danger list and hopefully on his way to a full recovery, thanks to the prompt action of the medical team.  The police have done their job – or at least made a good start – by apprehending a vicious criminal. And the local community has responded magnificently to the crisis, bringing practical assistance to a traumatized family and surrounding them with their love and prayers.  In short we have seen the glint of gold in the fiery crucible,  a timely reminder that the people of Zimbabwe are not going to be cowed into submission or defeated by their present suffering.  Rather out of that suffering a new, more caring, more united people are being forged.  For all its negative and destructive effects, the present suffering may yet prove to be the midwife to a better future.




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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!


Sokwanele reporter

26 October 2004

Looking for the bumper harvest in Binga

In May Robert Mugabe told Sky News, and the world, that Zimbabwe was on its way to producing a “bumper harvest”.  Accordingly the activities of the World Food Programme (WFP) were to be curtailed.  Donor food was no longer required. Even the United Nations’ own national food security assessment was stopped in its tracks. Henceforth the government would feed its own people without any outside help.  So five months on one might well ask – Where is the bumper harvest ?  How are the people faring, especially deep in the rural areas where it is very difficult for reporters from the independent media to penetrate ?


Just this week this writer interviewed an MDC Councilor from Binga; let’s call him Isaac Moyo to protect his real identity. How would he describe the situation on the ground in the Ward he represents some 30 to 40 kilometers removed from the Binga Centre ? From our conversation it emerged that he was deeply troubled about the food security situation. The people of Binga are already suffering chronic shortages of staple foods, and that suffering is expected to intensify in the months ahead. 


Councilor Moyo was full of praise for all the NGO’s had been doing in his area prior to the scaling down of their operations.  Just before the last rainy season for example CADEC the Catholic Development Commission and Save the Children (UK), the two NGO’s most active in the Binga area, supplied seed maize to the people, and although some of the seed proved not to be ideal for that terrain and climate, at least it enabled local farmers to plant and reap a harvest.  They also supplied seed for vegetables which were grown with some enthusiasm in local gardens. Overall it was not a good season for this remote district in which survival margins have never been that large. At best the harvest was patchy, but at least many households had some home-grown maize and vegetables. The same will not be true in the season ahead..


Apart from providing seed for the 2004 season both CADEC and Save the Children set up supplemental feeding schemes to help the most vulnerable in the community. CADEC supplied porridge to the under 5’s in schools, to patients attending local clinics and to the frail and elderly.  Mealie meal, sugar beans and cooking oil were provided to the most needy. For its part Save the Children laid on a regular monthly distribution of 10 kgs mealie meal to an estimated 80,000  households.  As a result of these programmes the incidence of malnutrition was reducing in the area and the health of the people improving visibly.  The local Council was mighty appreciative of this help and anxious to ensure that the programmes continued.


Yet all these positive developments came to an abrupt halt when the WFP was instructed to terminate its activities and local NGO’s were informed they required express permission to continue with any relief or humanitarian work.   A directive was issued from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare requiring all NGO’s to  sign a memorandum of understanding indicating precisely the nature and scope of their operations and the intended beneficiaries. The approval of the District Administrator and the local Council would be required in future in each instance.  In the case of the Binga Council which has a 16 to 5 MDC majority, that approval for the established feeding programmes was readily forthcoming, but still the NGO’s could not proceed without the Minister’s approval which has not been forthcoming.  The memoranda of understanding submitted for approval are gathering dust while there is no indication that Save the Children or CADEC will be permitted to resume their feeding programmes.


ZANU PF’s extreme sensitivity about issues of food does not apparently extend to health, hygiene and developmental projects. Save the Children were therefore permitted to continue the “livelihood” programmes they initiated last December, involving an AIDS awareness project and the provision of water and sanitation. But it is the enforced suspension of the NGO feeding schemes that has caused the greatest suffering on the ground and deepest sense of outrage among the people


“People in Binga are very angry”, says Councilor Moyo.  “When they were getting cooking oil and mealie meal (from the NGO’s) we could see their health was improving. Malnutrition was reducing and there was more participation in (food-for-work) community projects.  Now the people are suffering.  There is no food , even for the under 5’s, the elderly and the sick”. 


Questioned further Councilor Moyo revealed that people are dying in the area as a direct result of the suspension of the NGO feeding schemes.  Malnutrition may not always be given as the reason for death but certainly it is hastening the deaths of a significant number of AIDS patients and others in the “at risk” category medically.


Furthermore with the first of the summer rains expected at any time now and hence the need to plough the fields in preparation for sowing, the people simply do not have any seeds to plant.  Here again the invaluable work previously done by the NGO’s can no longer be continued – at the cost of untold further suffering to the community in the months ahead.


Those seeking to defend the regime’s reputation would no doubt point out that maize is  available at this time at the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots in Binga and Lusulu.  Councilor Moyo however counters that the Lusulu depot, between 80 and 90 k’s south of Binga is only accessible over a very rough road and transport is always problematic. Furthermore while maize is now available at $Z 30,000 per 50 kg bag few local people can afford even this price. The price was in fact reduced from $ 40,000 to $ 30,000 per bag because it was not selling to hungry (impoverished) local people.  Even at $ 30,000 per bag however it is beyond the reach of most of the local population.  The irony is that at this subsidized rate it has become attractive enough for business people in Bulawayo to make the round trip to Binga, to buy up supplies for re-sale in Bulawayo.  Once again the real losers are the rural poor who, until ZANU PF intervened to seize control of all food supplies, were being well cared for by CADEC and Save the Children. 


What is even more sinister is that by channeling all available grain through the GMB which has been politicized and militarized (with nearly all senior management now being drawn from the military), the ruling party have set up a system of food distribution from which at a stroke opposition MDC supporters can be excluded.  “The next step”, says Councilor Moyo, “will be that ZANU PF party cards are required by anyone seeking to buy maize”.   It hasn’t happened yet he says in his district, but he is no doubt that such a system will be in place before the Parliamentary elections of March 2005.   ZANU PF will then hold all the cards, and they know how easily a starving people can be persuaded to vote for whatever party they are told to vote for – even if that party is responsible for their wretched plight.  Mugabe’s bumper harvest is a myth of course, but then he was always far more concerned with a harvest of votes for himself than a harvest of food for his starving people.



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Zim Online

Wed 27 October 2004

      JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)
last night threatened to blockade the South Africa/Zimbabwe border within 48
hours if any of its 14-member delegation holed up at Harare international
airport were harmed.

      The delegation was being kept at the airport after they arrived when
the last South African Airways flight to Johannesburg from Harare had left.

      The delegation, led by COSATU's second vice-president, Violet Seboni,
was forcibly taken to the airport by armed police and immigration officials
who said they were deporting them on orders from President Robert Mugabe's

      COSATU spokesman Patrick Craven said members of the delegation, who
were in Zimbabwe on a fact-finding mission on that country's deteriorating
economic and political crisis, had reported a large contingent of police
officers at the airport.

      "COSATU warns that if any members of the mission are arrested,
attacked or injured, the federation will organise a blockade of the South
Africa/Zimbabwe border within 48 hours," Craven said.

      He spoke as human rights groups rallied around COSATU and roundly
condemned the Zimbabwe government for its draconian actions.

      The Southern African Non-Governmental Organisation Coalition (SANGOCO)
said the treatment of the COSATU delegation by the Mugabe government was
reminiscent of "racist regimes of yesteryear".

      SANGOCO spokeswoman Zanele Twala, said: "The draconian and excessive
measures taken by the Zimbabwe government in firstly detaining COSATU
leaders in their hotel and their subsequent expulsion from the country is
reminiscent of regimes of yesteryear - the
      racist white regime of Ian Smith and the racist apartheid regimes.

      "If COSATU cannot meet its sister unions in their home country, it is
a very sad day for democracy. If incidents like this continued, it could
cast a shadow over the freedom and fairness of next year's elections in

      In Harare political analysts, pro-democracy and human rights groups
said they hoped the humiliation of COSATU - a key ally of President Thabo
Mbeki and his ruling African National Congress party - would be an eye
opener to Pretoria over Harare's "dictatorial

      Chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, which campaigns for
a new and democratic constitution for Zimbabwe, Lovemore Madhuku, said:
"What Mugabe did today will make Mbeki realise what his friend is capable of
doing. It shows the undemocratic instincts which the government has."

      Head of the University of Zimbabwe's political science department
Eldred Masunungure said by fighting with COSATU, Harare was by extension
also fighting against the ANC.

      He said: "The move (deportation) was unwise, untimely and it was not
necessary. The idea is to engage and not to disengage as what has happened

      "COSATU is a major player in South Africa's politics and it is the
last thing one should tamper with. Fighting with COSATU, by extension means
Zimbabwe had unreasonably attacked the ANC."

      Brain Kagoro, who is chairman of the Crisis Coalition of Zimbabwe that
is pushing for a negotiated solution to the country's crisis, said the
incident showed that Mugabe was being poorly advised.

      He said: "It was a splendid act of great irresponsibility on the part
of the regime. . . It shows that someone in ZANU PF is making a diplomatic
gaffe which has implications of a gigantic magnitude."

      But Kagoro said the incident alone might not be enough to influence a
change of direction in South Africa's much criticised and ineffective policy
of "quiet diplomacy" on Zimbabwe.  - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

High Court issues order against deportation of COSATU delegation
Wed 27 October 2004

      HARARE - The High Court last night interdicted the Zimbabwe government
from deporting a COSATU fact-finding mission until it justified why they
have to be deported.

      The order was issued after Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
lawyers filed an urgent application at the High Court seeking a
nullification of the deportation process on the grounds that it was illegal.

      "Our application has been granted and the government has been given
until 2pm today to show cause why these people should be deported," said
ZCTU lawyer Alec Muchademana.

      Muchademana was speaking from the airport where he had gone to serve
immigration officials with a copy of the order late last night.

      He said he had wanted to serve the court order on Chief Immigration
Officer, Elasto Mugwadi, who had overseen the deportation process but could
not get him. He had thus finally served the order on one Moyo from the
immigration department.

      "They (immigration officials) have been refusing to receive the order.
But we have served it on them. The law allows us to serve it on them by
throwing it on their feet if they refuse to accept a lawful court order," he

      Muchademana said the interdict issued by High Court Judge Tendai
Uchena effectively stopped all the respondents - the Immigration Department,
the Ministers of Public Service and Labour and Home Affairs from deporting
the COSATU delegation.

      However, ZCTU President Lovemore Matombo said the respondents had been
avoiding being served copies of the court order because they wanted to defy

      "This is a trick they do all the time. They hide and evade being
served with court orders as a pretext of defying them," said Matombo in an

      "Their plan is to deport these guys early in the morning on the first
flight or find another way of getting them out of the country before being
served with the court order so they can evade being charged with contempt of

      But Muchadehama insisted that the order served on the immigration
official was enough for the purposes of stopping the deportation.

      Matombo and Muchadehama said they could not locate the 14 COSATU
officials last night. They had unsuccessfully tried to gain access to them
at the airport.

      "We had bought food for them but we could not gain access to them at
the airport. They have not been taken back to the hotel as far as I know,"
said Matombo.

      Unconfirmed information suggested the 14 had been put on a bus last
night and were being driven by immigration officials to the border. -
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Zim Online

ZANU PF militants to face trial next month for violence
Wed 27 October 2004

      RUSAPE - Thirty-one ruling ZANU PF party militants accused of
unleashing violence and terror against a rival faction of the party in
Makoni North constituency were yesterday remanded to November 19 when they
will face trial.

      The activists, who allegedly belong to a faction here led by senior
ZANU PF politician and Anti-Corruption Minister Didymus Mutasa, are being
charged with assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and malicious
injury to property.

      The activists, who are on Z$300 000 bail each, about two months ago
allegedly went on the rampage in Chiendambuya, Mayo, Headlands and Rusape
areas of Makoni North constituency attacking supporters of Mutasa's rival,
James Kaunye.

      Kaunye, who is the chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War
Veterans Association in Manicaland province under which Makoni falls, is
challenging Mutasa for the ZANU PF ticket to represent the party in next
year's parliamentary election.

      The militants are also said to have destroyed property worth millions
of dollars during their rampage from August 21 to 22.

      Next month's trial will be the first time ever that ZANU PF militants
are tried for political violence.

      The ruling party's militants have in the past committed human rights
abuses and violence against supporters of the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change party but none have been prosecuted or jailed. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Zimbabwe ranked among worst enemies of Press freedom
Wed 27 October 2004

      HARARE - Zimbabwe is among the worst repressive countries against the
Press, worse than war-torn Iraq and Cote d'Ivoire, according to world media
rights watchdog, Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

      According to RSF's third annual index of Press freedom released
yesterday, Zimbabwe is ranked 155 out of 167 countries polled. Iraq is
ranked, 148 and Cote d'Ivoire is number, 149.

      The southern African nation, where journalists can be jailed for up to
two years for denigrating state President Robert Mugabe, is lumped together
with some of the world's worst dictatorships such as Burma, 165; Eritrea,
163; and North Korea, which anchors the list at number 167.

      In its citation on Zimbabwe, RSF said: "The media landscape is almost
as denuded in Zimbabwe. Since the repeated attacks by the authorities on The
Daily News, the independent Press has been reduced to one or two weeklies
with a limited circulation.

      "At the same time, although general elections are due in 2005, the
government has banned the main opposition party from being allowed any
access to the state media."

      The Daily News, which was Zimbabwe's only independent and largest
circulating daily newspaper, was last year forcibly shut down and its
equipment seized by armed police because it had not registered with the
government's Media and Information Commission.

      Under Harare's Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act,
media companies and journalists must register with the state commission to
practise in the country.

      According to RSF, countries that had the greatest Press freedom were
Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, the Netherlands and Norway. Of the 20
top-ranked companies only three (New Zealand, 9; Trinidad and Tobago, 11;
and Canada, 18) are outside Europe.

      In southern Africa, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia received
special mention for respecting Press freedom.

      "In addition to the countries that have traditionally respected Press
freedom - South Africa, 26; Benin, 27; Cape Verde, 38; Namibia, 42;
Mauritius, 46; Botswana, 50; Mali, 56; and Ghana, 57; - there have been
noticeable improvements elsewhere," RSF said.

      RSF compiled the index by asking its partner organisations and freedom
of expression groups in five continents, journalists, researchers, jurists
and human rights activists, to answer questions on the state of Press
freedom in the respective countries. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Grassroots ZANU PF members to choose election candidates
Wed 27 October 2004

      HARARE - Ordinary members of the ruling ZANU PF party will choose the
party's candidates in next year's election through internal primary
elections to be held across the country, it was learnt yesterday.

      Party chairman John Nkomo told ZimOnline the ground-breaking move was
meant to ensure that only candidates with grassroots support were selected
to represent ZANU PF in the critical parliamentary election pencilled in for
March next year.

      Previously only members of ZANU PF's district and provincial
executives were permitted to vote in the intra-party elections, a situation
that in the past caused friction with some candidates accused of bribing
provincial and district officials to be selected.

      Nkomo said the ruling party was now engaged on a membership drive to
ensure that all of its supporters were properly registered so they could
take part in the primary elections.

      "As a party we are engaging in a membership drive to register more
people and each aspiring candidate would want to make sure that he or she
registers as many supporters as possible so as to win the primaries," Nkomo

      The date for the primary elections has not yet been set.

      The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party, which is
boycotting the March poll unless Zimbabwe's electoral laws are sufficiently
democratised, chooses candidates through what it calls a "consensus process"
which does not involve ordinary members directly nominating or voting for

      If ZANU PF sticks to the new selection method it will arguably be the
first political party in southern Africa to allow its general membership to
directly decide who represents them in parliament.

      But there are already rumblings within the ruling party over the new
system with candidates accusing each other of manipulating the membership
registration system to ensure that only their supporters are registered to
vote in the party polls. - ZimOnline
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Cosatu delegation to Zimbabwe heads south in a bus

October 27, 2004, 04:30

Cosatu delegates who were hustled into a bus by Zimbabwean authorities late
last night reportedly passed through Chivhu, a small town south of Harare
early this morning. The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), with whom
the delegation were to have held talks before they were deported, said the
13-strong delegation had not returned to their hotel from the Harare
International Airport.

"(We) got a call from a delegate who said they were in a vehicle and passing
through a place called Chivhu. We suspect they are being taken by road to
the Beitbridge border post," Tabetha Khumalo, a ZCTU executive committee
member, said.

Violet Seboni, the head of the delegation, could not be reached by telephone
early this morning. Patrick Craven, a Cosatu spokesperson, earlier confirmed
that the members were in a bus, but said they were being kept in the dark
about their destination.

Direct challenge
Zimbabwean authorities sought to deport the delegation yesterday, saying the
visit was "a direct and most frontal challenge to the sovereignty of the
Republic of Zimbabwe", and claiming they were "working with Tony Blair".

However, there were no flights to South Africa available and a high court
judge had also ordered the government not to deport the trade unionists. For
a while it looked as though the union representatives would be spending the
night at the airport, until they were put on the bus.

The delegation, which was on a fact-finding mission, had planned to meet
with Zimbabwe's labour movement, civil society groups, and had also
requested a meeting with the country's government.

However, last week the Zimbabwean ministry of public service, labour and
social welfare said the mission was "not acceptable" because they planned to
hold meetings with groups who were critical about the government of
Zimbabwe. Cosatu decided to go ahead with the mission and flew into Zimbabwe
on Monday evening. - Sapa

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The Herald

Fires adversely constrain Border Timbers' operations

Business Reporter
OPERATIONS at Border Timbers, Zimbabwe's largest timber producer, has been
adversely affected by a series of fires at its properties, a situation that
could affect supplies for the next five to seven years.

The company said a total of 40 fires were experienced in the firm's estates
so far this year, damaging approximately 900 hectares of timber.

Last year the company suffered a major setback when fires destroyed 930
hectares at its properties.

"It is of grave concern that arson fires in the company's plantations have
become an annual occurrence. With 25-year production cycles therefore,
mature timber is likely to be short in supply for the next five to seven
years," Border Timbers said in a statement accompanying its results for the
year ended June 30 2004.

Border said measures were being put in place to ensure the problem is put
under control and resources have been located to the affected areas.

"A decision was made to revise the planting programme to some of the areas
that were damaged by the fire.

"Substantial investment has been made in fire protection equipment and most
of this equipment will be in place for the next fire season," said the

The company emphasised the need for the relevant authorities to undertake
awareness campaigns, mainly in rural areas, on the dangers of fire.
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Tsvangirai urges region pressure on Mugabe

October 26, 2004, 22:15

Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, urged southern African
countries today to put pressure on president Robert Mugabe to conduct free
and fair parliamentary elections in March. Tsvangirai is visiting Mauritius,
which holds the current chairmanship of the 14 nation Southern African
Development Community (SADC), as part of a regional tour to drum up support.

"I think SADC is the appropriate body that will be able to apply the peer
pressure (on Mugabe). I think SADC has to deliver that pressure," Tsvangirai
told a news conference after a meeting with Paul Berenger, the Mauritius
prime minister.

Tsvangirai, acquitted last week on charges of planning to assassinate
Mugabe, said it was not for him to decide how the pressure would be exerted.
He urged Mugabe to improve press freedom, repeal repressive legislation and
appoint an independent electoral commission.

Zimbabwe is battling its worst political and economic crisis since
independence in 1980, with unemployment estimated at 70%, soaring inflation,
and acute fuel and foreign exchange shortages. "We really think that the
March election is going to be critical for the resolution of the political
crisis," Tsvangirai said.

Western countries and Tsvangirai blame Mugabe for the crisis. Mugabe has
accused Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial power, of undermining Zimbabwe.
Many analysts say the most effective way for the SADC to wield influence
over Mugabe would be to isolate Zimbabwe from the bloc, although some argue
this would be a drastic measure.

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu(PF) party has proposed reforms such as setting up an
electoral commission appointed by Mugabe, increasing the number of polling
stations, reducing polling from two days to one day and using transparent
ballot boxes.

Three nations tour
Tsvangirai, making his first trip out of the country in two years, left
Zimbabwe on Saturday to begin a week-long tour to South Africa, Mauritius
and Botswana.

He still faces another treason charge of plotting mass action against the
government. "The treason charges laid against me were political
persecution," Tsvangirai said. "You cannot be targeting your opponents by
using trumped up charges and expect to have a democratic spirit."

Zimbabwe's state newspaper today quoted Jonathan Moyo, the information
minister, as saying Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party was
trying to discredit the government over the elections. - Reuters
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Cosatu delegates left at Beitbridge border
          October 27 2004 at 05:48AM

      Delegates from the Congress of South African Trade Unions mission to
Zimbabwe were left at the Beitbridge border post by Zimbabwean police early
on Wednesday morning.

      After being taken to the border by bus overnight, without being told
where they were going, they were escorted through into South Africa, and
then left, said head of the delegation, and Cosatu deputy president, Violet

      "We are arranging transport to Johannesburg for ourselves. We don't
know when we will get there," she told Sapa.

      Sounding relaxed, she said the delegation felt they had accomplished
their mission: "We spoke to the ZCTU (Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions) and
their affiliates. We did not get to speak to any civil groups but it shows
that the people shared something with us."

      Shibone said she did not want to comment on the Zimbabwean
government's treatment of the delegation, which was expelled from the
country on Tuesday, despite a court order preventing the deportation.

      Zimbabwean authorities first tried to get the 13 members of the
delegation on a flight back to South Africa. However when this plan failed,
they put the delegates on a bus, telling them they were taking them to the
hotel, and drove them to the border under police escort.

      The delegation was on a fact-finding mission, and had planned to meet
with Zimbabwe's labour movement, civil society groups, and had also
requested a meeting with government.

      However, last week the Zimbabwe Ministry of Public Service, Labour and
Social Welfare said the mission was "not acceptable" because they planned to
hold meetings with groups who were critical about the government of

      Cosatu decided to go ahead with the mission, and it flew into Zimbabwe
on Monday evening.

      This was received as "a direct and most frontal challenge to the
sovereignty of the Republic of Zimbabwe", by Zimbabwe's information
minister, who claimed they were "working with Tony Blair".

      South Africa's foreign affairs department responded to the deportation
by saying Zimbabwe had a right to determine and apply its own immigration
laws "as it may deem appropriate". - Sapa
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New Zimbabwe

South Africa's most wanted bank robber held in Zim

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 10/27/2004 12:04:02
ONE of South Africa's most wanted bank robbers, Zimbabwean Ferdinand Bongani
Mlotshwa has been arrested in Bulawayo.

The arrest comes barely two weeks after fellow gang member Welcome
'Scarface' Mpofu was shot and killed in South Africa after executing a
recorded 28 major bank robberies.

Mlotshwa's arrest immediately turned into an extradition battle for South
African police who say he holds dual citizenship for both countries.

However, Mlotshwa's lawyers went before a Bulawayo magistrate on Monday to
deny he was a South African citizen and oppose any extradition attempts.

Zimbabwean police, responding to an SOS sent by South African detectives
ambushed Mlotshwa in his sleep at Bulawayo's Emganwini suburb last Friday,
it emerged.

At least 12 detectives from the crack Criminal Investigations Department's
Homicide section led the raid on Mlotshwa's home in an early morning swoop.

Mlotshwa is a member of South Africa's "Hammer Gang" which is linked to
South Africa's biggest bank robberies in history. Mlotshwa is wanted over a
series of bank robberies which are said to have netted him over R1,7

Mlotshwa was remanded in custody to November 3 to allow Bulawayo magistrate
Sibongile Msipa to go through the submissions made by both the State and
defence counsels on whether he should be placed on remand..

Mlotshwa's lawyers insist that his arrest and detention was illegal as the
warrant of arrest was addressed to officers in South Africa and was also in
the Afrikaans language.

"This is in contradiction to the Extradition Act and there are no
indications that the South African government want to have my client
extradited to that country. There is no prima facie case against him and his
arrest is unlawful because the laid down laws were not followed," Nkululeko
Fuzwayo, of Calderwood, Bryce and Hendrie for Mlotshwa said.

South African police say Mlotshwa, in the company of fellow gang members,
robbed several banks in Gauteng Province between 11 April 1999 and 13
September last year, stealing over 1, 7 million South African rands.

SA police say they have Mlotshwa's fingerprints linking him to the offence.
Other suspects in police custody are Amon Kunene, Thulani alias Pilot Ncube,
Martin Ncube alias Busi Dube, Oscar Moyo, Mehluli Ndlovu and Velaphi
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New Zimbabwe

MDC expels Bulawayo deputy mayor

By Pamenus Tuso
Last updated: 10/27/2004 11:27:55
ZIMBABWE'S opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has expelled a
second high profile councillor in the second largest city of Bulawayo, just
months after former Harare deputy mayor Sekesai Makwavarara was shown the
exit door.

Bulawayo City Council Deputy Mayor and Ward 25 councillor, Aldermen Charles
Mpofu, has been expelled from the opposition party for "bringing the party
into disrepute", the privately owned Daily Mirror newspaper reported.

MDC councillor for Ward 24 (Cowdray Park) Stars Mathe was not spared either.
She was suspended from the party for a year for issuing unauthorised press
statements in the media.

It is the party's policy that all press statements be issued by spokesperson
Paul Themba Nyathi, to avoid confusion.

However, in the past MDC officials have issued conflicting statements to the
press, especially about the opposition's participation in the 2005
parliamentary elections, which pit President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF against
Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC as the front-runners.

The party's Bulawayo disciplinary committee, chaired by Mpopoma Member of
Parliament Milton Gwetu, found the two guilty on charges of disrespecting
the party's leadership and issuing unauthorised press statements.

"The two councillors should be receiving letters concerning their fate. The
committee felt Mpofu's behaviour and actions were causing serious divisions
in the party, hence the decision to expel him," said an MDC source privy to
the ruling handed down yesterday.

The source said the disciplinary committee comprised of Victor Moyo, the
party's spokesperson for Bulawayo, Gladys Gombani, secretary for information
in the women's league, and Farai Sibanda, the provincial secretary for

Mpofu, a former Zanu PF councillor, had been on the warpath with the city's
Executive Mayor, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, since his election into council

Mpofu also made several statements in the media, which were highly critical
of the executive mayor and other councillors. Last week, Mpofu made several
statements against the mayor in the government-controlled Chronicle, among
them that the mayor allegedly sexually harassed a female councillor.

Ironically, Mathe, who is also a former Zanu PF councillor, is the only
woman in the MDC-dominated council. Ndabeni-Ncube had since denied the

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Mbeki, MDC in Talks On Delay in Zimbabwe Poll Showdown

Business Day (Johannesburg)

October 26, 2004
Posted to the web October 26, 2004


Opposition leader Tsvangirai wants polls to be postponed from March to June
to allow for comprehensive reforms to be implemented in line with SADC rules

THE possibility of delaying next year's parliamentary election in Zimbabwe
was raised yesterday in talks between President Thabo Mbeki and the leader
of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zimbabwe's main opposition
party .

The MDC wants the election postponed from March to June to allow
comprehensive reforms to be implemented so that there is a free and fair

The presidency and the MDC would not comment on the hourlong meeting, but a
source said that for the first time in two years there was a cause for
cautious optimism about chances of resolving the crisis in Zimbabwe.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's acquittal earlier this month on treason
charges increases the likelihood of serious talks between Zimbabwe's
opposition and President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF) party.

Ahead of a court appearance next week on another set of treason charges,
Tsvangirai is on a regional tour aimed at building pressure on Mugabe to
adhere to Southern African Development Community (SADC) guidelines on
elections. Mugabe has agreed to abide by them.

The MDC fears Tsvangirai's passport may be seized again should the state
successfully appeal for more stringent bail conditions for the duration of
his trial. Tsvangirai is expected to travel to Mauritius to meet SADC
chairman, Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Berenger, before travelling to
Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana and Tanzania.

Yesterday's talks in Pretoria were attended by the three most senior office
bearers in the MDC Tsvangirai; secretary-general Welshman Ncube, who is the
party's chief negotiator in talks with Zanu-PF; and deputy secretarygeneral
Gift Chamanikere.

The talks in Pretoria focused largely on Zimbabwe's proposed electoral
reforms and next year's parliamentary poll. Zimbabwe's elections have been
hotly disputed since 2000 with the opposition complaining of political
violence and vote-rigging.

Sources said Mbeki wanted to know what progress was made on promised
electoral changes and the MDC's position on the issue.

"They focused on Zimbabwe's forthcoming election. Mbeki wants to ensure that
there is no any other disputed poll in Zimbabwe," said a source who asked
for anonymity.

"The MDC, however, indicated to him that it would be difficult to have a
free and fair election unless Mugabe is prevailed on to adopt genuine

Mbeki is said to have indicated that electoral rules and regulations should
be a product of consultative talks between Zanu (PF) and the MDC.

The MDC has said that it intends to "suspend participation" in all elections
in Zimbabwe until it is satisfied that a free and fair poll is possible.

Mugabe has agreed to introduce an independent electoral commission, to use
transparent ballot boxes, to allow voting in one day instead of two, and to
have ballots counted at polling stations.

The MDC variously described his proposals as "cosmetic, piecemeal or

The MDC told Mbeki reforms should not only focus of the overhaul of the
legal framework for elections, but also on "opening of the democratic space
to allow free electioneering", a source said. Even if electoral laws were
changed, that would not be helpful if the political climate remained the

In a monthly bulletin that monitors Zimbabwe's adherence to SADC election
guidelines, the MDC said yesterday Harare was still able to meet only 16 of
the 17 main guidelines . Citing incidents and evidence, it said Zimbabwe
could say only that it met the guideline on regular elections.
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JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM 26th October 2004

Email: ;

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


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."



Letter 1.  Subject: THE NEW FARMER

In my high heeled shoes and my very smart dress at a bank cocktail party
the other evening, I might as well have been wearing a Moslem ladies
outfit, so well was I camouflaged, as I spoke to a number of new farmers!

I was fascinated to find that they were battling to access productive
sector finance battling to find security to give the banks for loans
complaining about a lack of law and order and ineffectiveness of police
despairing at the low prices received for their last tobacco crop worrying
about how to pay for their inputs for this coming season because the prices
had shot up so much and so many inputs were not available bitter that
government had given the same subsidy across the board to tobacco
regardless of grade as this discouraged production of quality tobacco
concerned that the exchange rate was not moving and so they would not be
viable next year contemplative about the weather and then they were
concerned that the government had not compensated the ex farmers and so
they were not able to get tenure for the land they were tilling. They did
go on to complain that many farms had been vandalised and so unless the new
farmer was lucky enough to access a farm directly after an ex farmer had
been removed, they were unable to farm as the infrastructure had all been
removed by vandals.

I stepped back quietly, in my disguise and wondered where all of this is

Simply Simon

Letter 2.  Subject: Open Letter Forum

The Editor,


From an international perspective the news from Zimbabwe is becoming very
confusing and contradictory. As I recall, Jag described the Third
Chimurenga as an attack on Title - which it countered with the Quinnel
case, which sought to establish that it is unconstitutional to take a
person's property without giving the person a chance to defend his rights
in a court. I am not sure that the ZTA fully understands the imperative
nature of human rights and property rights resulting in a we and them

1. From VOA, a report from the ZTA Vice President Mr. Andries Ferreira
stating that although there are only 370 large scale tobacco farmers left
from the original high of some 1800: "If we get every seedling planted we
will get 160 million kilogrammes of tobacco. There is definitely positive
indications, the government have come on side, they have made finance
available, they are ensuring inputs are available. Experienced farmers are
assisting the small farmers."

2. From Eric Bloch: "From wild and hallucinatory projections of the 2004
crop of 100 to 120 million kilogrammes the end result totalled 65 million

3. From The Times: 60 000 people have been driven from "resettlement areas"
last month alone. Mr. Bvudzijena stating that: "some of the occupiers had
illegally settled themselves" and that this was to "regularise resettlement
patterns." The story from those "being regularised" was something different
apparently. They have stated that their eviction was preceded by visits by
the Party Elite or Cheffes of Zanu and their humble dwellings (on the farms
that they were encouraged to settle on some four years ago) were torched in

4. From Moscow News: Russians have won a tightly contested competition run
by the World Values Survey to be The most miserable people in the world.
The survey reflects happiness and satisfaction with life. Zimbabwe, sadly
had to settle for a Silver Medal in this year's competition - a bit of a
come down after the Olympic swimming tally.

The ZTA official communique requires careful consideration. Especially the
bit about "the government have come on side" and the royal we in "if we get
every seedling planted" - is there more to this than first springs to mind?
One can only assume that the remaining 1430 tobacco farmers and their
hundreds of thousands of displaced staff and families scattered around the
world, are not part of Mr. Andries Frerreira's, the ZTA's or the
government's "on side." Elsewhere on the world wide web reference is made
to this same "on side" in the tobacco fraternity as "Vision 160."

The reference to "legal" or "illegal", in terms of settlers has now become
a very difficult definition for the most imaginative of English scholars
and even politicians, let alone Mr. Bvudzijena. Are Title Deeds legal
tenure or not?

The "come on side" bit from Mr. Andries Ferreira might well have far
greater repercussions. A blissful or wild hallucination is not like a
diamond - it is not for ever - the likes of Mr. Christopher Kuruneri are
now in a similar position to Philani Zamchiya of ZINASU or the evicted
settlers who had their homes burnt just like Martin Olds did. In my wildest
dreams I cannot believe that Andries Ferreira or the other 369 tobacco
farmers have some special patronising muti, mudzimi or red and black cloth
that will keep all those greedy and bloodthirsty evil spirits forever tame
and friendly - to achieve their Vision 160. Is it not a little premature to
say a government has come on side until such time as it shows respect for
human rights and property rights, no matter how humble the person or

Title Holder Abroad.

Letter 3.  Subject: JAG Open Letter Forum
                                22nd October 2004 OLF 304

Post Nubila Phoesbus Borrowdale could not have said it better. I agree

Debbie Graham

Letter 4.  Balley Vaugh Fund Raising Evening


As I am sure most people know Bally Vaughan is a sanctuary for injured or
problem animals close to Harare.  Due to lack of funds and tourists in the
country the animals are in dire need of our assitance.  With this in mind
Bally Vaughan are orginising a fund raising dinner/dance, and we
areappealing to the public to support it.

During the course of the evening there will be Raffels, Auctions, Spot
Prizes, and Cabaret.

Date: 27th November 2004

Venue: City Bowling Club (Harare Gardens)

Music: J. Esterhuizen (Country Juke Box)

Advance Tickets (only): $100 000.00 per person (includs Buffet Dinner)

For further information and tickets please contact Zelda or Noel Botha on
04-309172 Or e-mail Donations If you are unable to attend but
feel you would like to support this cause, any donations will be greatly

Cheques can be made out to BALLY VAUGHAN GAME PARK and delivered or sent to
the ZATSO/ITOZA office at 18 Walter Hill Avenue, Eastlea, Harare.

They are also in need of fencing materials, food for the preditors and
herbivors, dips and flea powders etc.

Thank you in advance for your support.
All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.


JAG Hotlines:
(091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need advice,
(011) 205 374
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
(011) 431 068
                                we're here to help!
263 4 799 410 Office Lines
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JAG CLASSIFIED: Updated 26th October 2004

Please send any classified adverts for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Classifieds:
1.  Advert Received 15th October 2004

Wanted - Secondhand Furniture & Appliances

Are you selling your household goods to Cash Buyers at 50% of their actual
value!!?? who in turn are selling your goods at double the price they paid

Why not allow Grant to sell your goods at an agreed value and only pay 18%

Items presently in demand - (Working or Non Working)

Stoves, Fridges, Deep Freezers, Stereos, CD Players, Sewing Machines,
Wardrobes, Kitchenware and household smalls.

Free Collection within Harare.  Contact Grant on the following Numbers :-

Cell: 091-342108 OR 04-442651

2.  Advert Received 20th October 2004

I am looking for a VCR and a CD player (radio).  I have ready cash. 
Please contact Ivy Motsi on 253933/4 or 091 368 840.

3.  Advert Received 20th October 2004

Wanted: Home for 2 Dairy Cows with calves at foot plus 3 weaners.

Prepared to pay costs. Contact Tim Mills email or phone

4.  Advert Received 20th October 2004

Piranha bass boat, newly-painted and in immaculate condition, with
hardly-used 90 h.p. Mariner (60-100 hours), 2 swivel seats and hi-speed
trailer.  Equivalent of US $6 000.00 o.n.o.  Phone N. Willsmer, 250113, or
Payn's Boats, 251365.

5.  Advert Received 20th October 2004


One short-haired Daxy pup - for an excellent home (end of November / mid

Good second-hand Zimbrella. Good second-hand garden furniture (iron or
other strong material).

Tel: 091 412993

6.  Advert Received 21st October 2004


A second hand Creepy Crawley, in good condition, wanted urgently please.
Contact: Heather Christensen on 04-335927 cell: 091-313288 or email

7.  Advert Received 22nd October 2004

AMONGST OTHER PLANTS.  We are on CROWHILL ROAD, just past Hoggerty Hill
Drive on the left, (about 1.8km past the Borrowdale Brooke shops).  Phone
860477 or 011 208836 or 091 208836.  We can deliver BIG orders.  Open
8am-12.30 3-5pm Monday thru Saturday. WANTED: ANY EXOTIC PLANTS YOU HAVE TO

8.  Advert Received 23rd October 2004

1 x 10 seater wrought iron verandah/dining room suite. Green with blue
floral and stripe covers, covered in plastic.Glass table top in frame.
$14 000 000 neg.

6 wrought iron bar stools, black with grey patterned covers.
                                                   $ 3 000 000.

1 wrought iron verandah suite, four chairs and small table with cushions. 
Grey $ 2 500 000.

1 brass room divider with six glass shelves, tubular brass.
                                                    $ 2 500 000. neg.

1 brass table, glass top, tubular brass
                                                    $ 1 500 000. neg.

Asssortment of brass light fittings, wall scones, half moons, down
lighters, chandaliers, lamps.Other misc. fittings. POA.

White ,silver grey good quality carpeting as new,
                                                    $ 80 000 pr. sq. mtr.

Various sizes, assortment of big bathroom mirrors POA.

Assortment of bathroom fittings, gold and porcelian.Make Zenite. Taps and
shower fittings.  POA.

Please phone 011 203 543 or 851179 anytime,leave a message and will come
back to you if not in .

9.  Advert Received 25th October 2004

We have four sweet little kit-kits to give away to good homes.  They will
be available in 2 weeks from today 26/10/04. Please call Lynda, Harare (04)
750295, 751887, 775573 ext 165 for further details.

10.  Advert Received 25th October 2004

WANTED urgently is a working / non-working colour TV , VCR , DVD , Hi-Fi ,
DECORDER . Kindly phone Joel on 04 751202 , 023 231286 email

11.  Advert Received 25th October 2004



b) PROFESSIONAL VACUUM PUMP.  Excellent condition!  $5 million

Brand New in box includes pressure - temperature charts. $1 million or near


Phone: Jack Palmer

25th October 2004

PIANO - BABY GRAND OTTO BACH Outstanding - Offers over US 7500 or
RECORDER - Excellent Hohner.  Z$150 000
Phone Ruth Palmer


Household Furniture:

Z$2 M
CANE CUPBOARD with 2 doors, brown & cream .. Z$650 000 (new price Z$1,6 m)
LAMP STAND - TALL CERAMIC. ..... Z$650 000
MATTRESS, SINGLE BED, ....... Z$250 000
MIRROR - OVAL HANGING ........Z$175 000
.... Z$5 m
PICTURES in FRAMES - VARIETY, from .... Z$50 000
TABLE - SQUARE ......Z$130 000


DEEP FREEZES 6 To 12 Cu ft ...  from Z$2 m

FRIDGES 6 to 16 Cu. Ft from .....Z$1,2 M - Z$4,5m
STOVE 3 & 4 Plate from ...... Z$1,5 TO Z$2,8m EACH
Office Furniture
(inserted) TOP
9 Drawers - Z$ 4,5M
DESK - 73cms x 103cms, 3 Drawers ..... Z$450 000



UP COVERS ... Z$2.95 M

                                                                   SIZE 57
... Z$100 000 (Brand New)

PHONE: 301477 Mrs R Palmer
Call at 41 Coull Drive
Mount Pleasant

25th October 2004



PHONE 301830

PIRANAH 16 FT. BOAT WITH 90 HP YAMAHA "AUTO LUB" ... Only 59 hours ...
still has original spark plugs - No indication of wear on Starter ring gear
...  PLUS STURDY ROAD TRAILER Gift at US 5 750 or equivalent. The boat
itself has spent very little time in the water and so there is no problem
with osmosis. Navigation lights.  (PRICE OF A NEW YAMAHA 90 US$ 6500 PLUS

BOAT SHELTER also available for the above boat at a price to be negotiated
Z$3,5 m ... Galvanised IBR sheeting, as new, with cranked ridge on poles .

Phone: 301477 / 301830

Jack Palmer
25th October 2004


PHONE 301477

12.  Advert Received 25th October 2004

Large clump of 13 Staghorn fern - taken as one unit .............$750,000
OR individual plants at $75,000 each

Phone Jack or Ruth Palmer
Tel. 301477/301830
41 Coull Drive,
Mt Pleasant


"What, !! You're Taking Stock! Summer, is here and you're in Shock!!
Shake!! Your body, its Party Time,! We'll put that Sparkle! In your Eyes, a
Smile! on your face, a Spring! in your Stride and a Glow! from Within.
We'll Tweak! those old Bones, on a feast! of Good Health, Up Grade! Old
Skin and Unveil! and New One. With Body Buffing! and Pimples Gone,! what
more! can we do, to please you today? Lets, fragrant! the Air, with a
Wiggle of Delight and Catch! those Glances! you, once had. We'll Distance!
free Radicals and Endorse! good Health! Let's Zap !! the fat!! and Lessen
the Bulge!! And Put!! thsat Cute Waist!! back where it once was!! Pick up!
the Phone! and give us a Call,! Invite us in,! We'll tell you more!" Liz


The Spirit of Wedza A collection of biographies, articles, recollections
and memories (by and about the people of Wedza) compiled by Sheila

Limited number of copies available at the JAG Office.

Softback $120 000
For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact
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