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

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Where in the world is Bobby?

October 28 2003 at 03:09PM

Searching for Uncle Bob. Where is the President of Zimbabwe?

According to media reports in South Africa, Mugabe is in a ward in a hospital in Gauteng, convalescing after a stroke.

According to the Zimbabwean government, their president is at work in Harare, where he chaired a cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning.

However, no one could confirm that they had actually seen the president.

'We have no knowledge of this development'
Zimbabwe and South Africa are both buzzing with speculation that 79-year-old Mugabe has fallen seriously ill - possibly suffering a mild stroke - and is being treated in a South African hospital.

Some South African media confidently reported the speculation on Tuesday.

Beeld reported on Tuesday morning: "President Robert Mugabe has been admitted to a South African hospital for urgent medical treatment. It is believed that he might have suffered a stroke, reliable sources in Zimbabwe said on Monday."

Mugabe reportedly attended the wedding of one of his cousins in his hometown Mhondoro about 45km west of Harare on Saturday, the newspaper said.

It was here that he collapsed, and he hurt himself when he fell down, Beeld reported.

'Absolute hogwash'
702 Talk Radio reported on Monday that Mugabe was in South Africa for treatment, reports Sapa.

A reporter at 702 said that the story originated from a source, and that it was not known at which hospital Mugabe was supposed to be.

Foreign affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa told Sapa on Monday night: "At this stage we have no knowledge of this development. In our interaction with the Zimbabwean authorities, they denied any knowledge thereof."

In Harare, the speculation seems to be fuelled by the fact that Mugabe has not been seen in public for some time.

However senior South African government officials on Tuesday again denied knowledge that Mugabe was here and Zimbabwe's High Commissioner to South Africa, Simon Moyo, said the reports were "absolute hogwash".

On Tuesday morning, Independent Foreign Service correspondent Brian Latham said from Harare that the regular, weekly Zimbabwean cabinet meeting was due to start at 10.30 am.

Reporters would monitor it to see if Mugabe appeared.

Phoning back just after 10.30am, Latham said he had seen Mugabe's motorcade arrive outside the offices in central Harare where the meeting would be held. Unfortunately his view was restricted and he had not been able to see who got out of the vehicles.

Soon after this, Sapa reported that Zimbabwe High Commissioner Moyo said Mugabe was in good health and was chairing the cabinet meeting in Harare on Tuesday morning.

Media reports that the president was admitted to a South African hospital for medical treatment were nothing but "wishful thinking", he told Sapa in Pretoria.

"He (Mugabe) is chairing a cabinet meeting as we speak," Moyo said. "There is nothing wrong with his health."

Asked where he got this information from, the high commissioner said: "I am his representative here. I am in touch with home every minute".

On Tuesday morning, Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad, deputy director for Africa in the department of foreign affairs Kingsley Mamabolo, presidential spokesperson Bheki Khumalo and defence ministry spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi all said they did not know of Mugabe being in a South African hospital.

Mkhwanazi said Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota also knew nothing about the reports. He said he had spoken to Lekota on Monday when the reports first surfaced.

The speculation in Harare was that Mugabe was being treated in a South African military hospital but on Tuesday Major Niko Allie, spokesperson for South African Military Health Services, said Mugabe was not being treated in any military hospital in South Africa.

Some observers believe speculation may have been prompted by the fact that former Zimbabwean cabinet minister Edison Zvobgo, who is still a member of the ruling Zanu PF central committee member but now sidelined by Mugabe, is seriously ill in a hospital in Cape Town.

The Star's reporters checked airports and hospitals to see if they could find any trace of Mugabe in South Africa on Tuesday morning.

Asked if had flown in on Monday, airport spokespeople said:

  • Wonderboom: No, he would not have flown here because we have no international status.

  • Waterkloof: Please contact foreign affairs

  • Lanseria Airport: If he did, I'm not at liberty to say that. We have no record of him arriving.

  • SAA: The only way of knowing that is if that person is given VIP status. Unless someone recognises him and by chance lets us know. By aviation law, we are not supposed to disclose the names of people.

  • Acsa at Johannesburg Airport: It's not in our place to say who is in the country. Normally this is dealt with by Foreign Affairs.

    Asked if President Mugabe had been admitted, media relations officers at hospitals said:

  • Milpark Hospital (Johannesburg): No. Even if he is here, we are not at liberty to say that.

  • Sandton Medi-clinic (Johannesburg): No.

  • Garden City Clinic (Johannesburg): No.

  • Sunninghill Hospital (Johannesburg): No.

  • Casternhof (Midrand): No.

  • Jacaranda (Pta): No.

  • Krugersdorp Private Hospital: No.

  • Linksfield Park Clinic (Johannesburg): No.

  • Olivedale Clinic (Johannesburg): No.

  • Park Lane Clinic (Johannesburg): No.

  • Rosebank Clinic (Johannesburg): No.

  • Unitas Hospital (Pretoria): No.

  • Constantia Bay (Cape Town): No.

    Media have been reporting on Mugabe's alleged advancing "frailty" for years.
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    The Australian

    Zimbabwe on 'brink of disaster'
    From AFP
    October 29, 2003
    Zimbabwe is on ``the brink of disaster'' and its people deserve new
    leadership, the outgoing top US diplomat for Africa said on Tuesday in a
    parting shot at President Robert Mugabe and his government.

    Walter Kansteiner, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs who
    is stepping down to return to private life, said he regretted that more was
    not done to improve the lives of Zimbabweans during his two-year tenure.

    "It is a country on the brink of disaster," he told reporters on his last
    day in office.

    But, he stopped short of calling for additional economic and travel
    sanctions to be imposed on Mugabe and his top aides who are already subject
    to a variety of US penalties stemming from widely criticized elections last

    "I regret that the people of Zimbabwe still do not have a voice," Kansteiner

    "The body politique is still being very effectively muffled and I regret

    "I think the people of Zimbabwe have suffered enough economically,
    politically," he said. "From a human rights point of view, it's a tragic
    place. I feel great empathy for them."

    Kansteiner, along with his boss Secretary of State Colin Powell, has blamed
    Zimbabwe's current economic woes - including hyperinflation, massive
    unemployment and food shortages - squarely on Mugabe and his policies.

    He called for a "combination of carrots and sticks" to be used to convince
    Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party to relent in their increasingly
    authoritarian rule which has in the past few days seen a renewed crackdown
    on the independent media.

    "There needs to be carrots for the current political party in control,
    ZANU-PF, demonstrating that if in fact there is flexibility and a
    willingness to reach a new dispensation, that there will be some rewards for
    that," he said.

    "Likewise, if there is recalcititrance and unwillingness to move and be
    flexible, there need to be some sticks on that too," Kansteiner said. "They
    have seen some of our sticks and perhaps we should look at others."

    At the same time, he said he would not advocate the imposition of new
    sanctions against Mugabe and his government, maintaining that the current
    penalties were sending the right message.

    "I think the smart sanctions that we have in place right now have sent the
    signal, have done the ostracizing, have done the isolation," Kansteiner

    "The world knows where we stand as far as Robert Mugabe and his cronies."

    Meanwhile, diplomats in Zimbabwe and South Africa quashed reports that
    Mugabe had collapsed and been flown to South Africa for treatment.
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          Tuesday October - 28 November 2003

                Zimbabwe is a tragedy - Oppenhiemer

                PROF MALEMA
                Staff Writer
                10/28/2003 10:13:27 AM (GMT +2)

                JOHANNESBURG: Jonathan Oppenhiemer, the heir to the Oppenhiemer
    dynasty described the political and economic turmoil in Zimbabwe as a
    tragedy. Speaking at the fourth African Economics Editors Conference on
    "wealth creation" in Johannesburg on Sunday, which was attended by editors
    from 35 African countries he said "what is happening there is a tragedy.

                "Quiet diplomacy has been partially successful but I would like
    to see some movement there," he said.

                "Zimbabwe is growing at a rate of -15 percent because there is
    no rule of law. What we need there is partnership with labour, government
    and businesses.

                We need a partnership that is built on trust not on suspicion,"
    he added.

                He said in contrast to what is happening in Zimbabwe, Botswana
    is a great example of good relations between government and the private
    sector. He said the relationship has enabled the country have the fastest
    growing economy on the continent.

                He further praised the Kimberly Process -- an agreement between
    the industry and government aimed at eliminating conflict diamonds from the

                "There has been phenomenal progress with the Kimberly Process.
    De Beers is working with several countries to develop a new phase of the
    Process," he said.

                The conference is scheduled to end on Thursday.

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    Incident report.
    16/10/03 a farmer in Mashonaland central visited his farm to collect a
    driver and some of his personal possessions. On arrival he was approached
    by a group claiming to be the new owners of the farm (no previous notices
    to acquire had been served).  The farmer was then beaten with a sjambok all
    over the body, punched in the face smashing his glasses, all the while
    having racial abused hurled at him. Identities of assailants are known.
    Police were very reluctant to accept a report of Assault GBH saying that
    they would determine the crime committed.

    WESTMINSTER, London. Tell the South African Government that their refusal
    to speak out whilst Zimbabweans slip further every day into poverty, fear
    and despair is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. New starting point.  Meet at the Queen
    Elizabeth Conference Hall, Broad Sanctuary-adjacent to Westminster Abbey.
    Speakers there will include Eldridge Culverwell whose Dad was Joseph.  The
    marchers will procedd to the SA High Commission. For more details visit Wednesday 22nd NCA Peaceful Demonstration.

    78 people have been charged and are in custody at Harare Central Police
    Station following the demonstration in Africa Unity Square at lunchtime
    today. Lovemore Madhuku is amongst those arrested as is Newton Spicer who
    was filming the demo in his private capacity as a Zimbabwean citizen. At
    least two hundred people were picked up by armed riot police and some were
    reportedly dumped on the airport road. The demo was peaceful except for
    some isolated incidents when riot police dispersed onlookers. One woman was
    hit to the ground but the extent of her injuries is not known. Human rights
    lawyers are to be commended for their strong turnout at the charge office.
    Access to those arrested was denied. The 78 activists arrested yesterday
    have been charged under POSA Section 19 [1]a(i) which reads 19 Gatherings
    conducing to riot disorder or intolerance
    (1) Any person who, acting together with one or more other persons present
    with him in any place or at any meeting- (a) forcibly- (i) disturbs the
    peace, security or order of the public or any section of the public; or
    (ii) invades the rights of other people; intending to cause such
    disturbance or invasion or realising that there is a risk or possibility
    that such disturbance or invasion may occur; or
    (b) performs any action, utters any words or distributes or displays any
    writing, sign or other visible representation that is obscene, threatening,
    abusive or insulting, intending thereby to provoke a breach of the peace or
    realising that there is a risk or possibility that a breach of the peace
    may be provoked; or
    (c) utters any words or distributes or displays any writing, sign or other
    visible representation- (i) with the intention to engender, promote or
    expose to hatred, contempt or ridicule any group, section or class of
    persons in Zimbabwe solely on account of the race, tribe, nationality,
    place of origin, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion or gender of
    such group, section or class of persons; or (ii) realising that there is a
    risk or possibility that such behaviour might have an effect referred to in
    subparagraph (i); shall be guilty of an offence and be liable to a fine not
    exceeding $50,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or
    to both such fine and such imprisonment.
    (2) An offence under subsection (1) is committed whether the action
    constituting it is spontaneous or concerted, and whether the place or
    meeting where it occurred is public or private. Newton Spicer has also been
    charged In spite of the fact that he was not part of the demo but merely
    filming for his own records. Additionally he has been accused of
    distributing a newspaper which came out on Tuesday called 'street sheet' -
    apparently two people who were arrested for distribution in Mabvuku
    yesterday stated that they received copies from Newton. The Street sheet is
    a two page tabloid-sized free sheet put out by Zvakwana a group of
    activists. Email for details or go to the zvakwana
    website A freelance photographer (non-journo) who works in
    Africa Unity Sq was also arrested and continues to be held. Two Herald
    journalists and one from the Independent were held briefly yesterday but
    released without charge.



    JAG Hotlines:
    (011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
        (011) 205 374
           (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
           (091) 317 264
        (011) 207 860 we're here to help!
    (011) 431 068
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    Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.

    Letter 1:
    Re: Compsensation communiqué


    Letter 2.

    Dear Sirs,
    Re: Ben Freeth "The Real Enemy" 21/10/03
    The society that elected zanupf in 1980 was corrupt in the first place.

    Letter 3.

    I thank you for your updates and letters and wish the community everything
    for safety and blessing for their crusade for freedom.
    I'm here in Christchurch, just had breakfast, toast and marmalade, Listened
    to the news and I even had a plate of Maltabella porridge. Bought it in the
    Pak-and-save supermarket here in New Zealand, there were plenty of other
    things too, mealy meal, Pronutro, Koo tinned fruit, Mrs Ball's chutney,
    Five roses tea etc etc. But it also came with a lump in my throat as I know
    only too well that others in the very land that it came from don't have the
    choice of three meals a day. The other fact is that the infrastructure to
    get these goods here will eventually also disappear, the commercial
    farmers, Lever Brothers, Olivine industries, and the like.

    The news is very saddening, I did participate in the week of fasting, it
    reminded me all day what others are suffering, the difference being I could
    still have tea with milk and one or two sugars to stir in, others did not
    even have that choice and that is a part of their normal life.

    Why is it some will detest from cohabitation with the world, are the first
    to spread the word of communism, socialism, then blame misfortunes on
    others but will gag opinions (free speech) and not take heed from others. I
    remember when we were scared of the words Marxism, Socialism, but didn't
    imagine that the current governing body would go this far, and it is
    tribalism, a custom of a bygone era, a primitive society where
    international trade, technology exchange and education were not at the
    forefront (they didn't know of such things), plunder of another's land and
    home (kraals) was the daily activity. A true reflection of ignorance and of
    a one eyed leader living the past leading the supposedly blind who in fact
    are blind folded. Take that blind fold off the nation and they will be
    dazzled from having it on for so long. This cycle must be broken,
    gradually, or chaos will erupt. They will be hungry for knowledge, a better
    life, what they have lost, some have been blind folded since childhood and
    will not know right from wrong. It is important who removes these blind
    folds be recognised as the person who didn't put the blinds on, but the
    one who helped the nation see the light again, and the nation are wise
    enough to make their own assumption of who put the blind fold on them in
    the first place. They must forget about the past, get on and make things
    better, catch up with things they have missed, make the nation prosper by
    pulling together with enthusiasm in one direction, there being no whips
    needed this time.

    This kind of dream can become reality, it was only made into a dream by one
    man who denied the reality of freedom to the nation through his own lust
    for more freedom for himself.

    Yes the fruits from Africa tastes better than any other I have tasted, I
    treasure it and thank the right person when the blind fold is taken off.

    John Baldwin
    Letter 4.
    Dear Mr. Taylor-Freeme,
    Clem Sunter writes about scenario planning - looking at possible scenarios
    in the future. He is Chairman of Corporate Affairs for Anglo American.David
    Saul writes about the past. He is an author on Military History.

    At some stage in the future a military historian is going to write about an
    event known to us as the "Third Chimurenga." David Saul could well consider
    doing it because he has written a book about Military Blunders. There are
    many players in the Third Chimurenga, just as there were many in the Third
    Reich and there will be a lot of interesting material to cover. Mr.
    Henwood, Mr. Cloete, Mr. Hawgood and yourself will have invaluable
    information to impart because you were very much "in the ring" to use Mac
    Crawford's words. The Honourable Minister of Agriculture will probably have
    a fascinating variety of material. It is possible that Mr. Hasluck, Mr.
    Olivier and maybe Mr. Swanepoel could make some very useful contributions
    to an historical account. Sadly, Dr. Hunzvi's input will have to be second
    hand, but the historians could possibly interview Mr. Chinotimba.  Mr.
    Gavin Conolly and his cousin Mr. David Conolly, along with Mr. Worswick and
    Mr. Crawford will probably assist in piecing together a very important
    period in the history of Zimbabwe.I think it would be most valuable for the
    historians, if you could keep a diary of events - so that a modern day
    Arthur Bryant could use it in the future.

    Moving on to the Scenario Planning. Could you perhaps impart to farmers,
    and ex-farmers (mainly) how you and your colleagues envisage commercial
    agriculture over the next three years. Along with Mr. Cloete, you and
    Council openly supported the Government Land Reform Programme as far back
    as August 2002, and it would be most interesting to be fully briefed on
    your dreams for the future of commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe, and the
    way forward. I look forward to your reply at at your convenience.

    Yours faithfully,
    Willy Robinson.
    All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
    of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
    for Agriculture.

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    JAG has got hundred and ten documents that have been handed in to our
    offices. These documents were handed in from the first original printed
    version that has evolved to the present electronic form. The result has
    been that we have documents in various stages and of varying quality. There
    are some that contain 100% information but I the wrong format and there are
    those that contain very little facts but have been handed in good faith.

    We will be implementing a second phase to get these documents upgraded and
    standardized so that all the documents we receive will be in the updated
    standardized format.

    The facilitators have been busy in the last three weeks and more and more
    farmers have now seen that the compensation process needs the Loss document
    as a tool to achieve maximum returns on their claims. The average number of
    documents that the facilitators are working with are 25 farmers and it
    seems that in some cases they will end up finishing between 30 to 60
    documents per facilitator. The number of facilitators active up to this
    standard are 10. A number of farmers have collected the software from the
    office and are doing the documents on their own. I would estimate that a
    total of 100 farmers could do it this way. There are a number of farmers
    that are in the region or in other countries. I believe that these people
    could be more computer literate and that they could be better equipped to
    do the documents on their own we have to find a way of ensuring that they
    can become members and can benefit even if they have left the country. If a
    further 50 people become involved in this process then the total farmers we
    can involve are 500 to 600. It has always been my argument that there are
    only about 600 to 650 proactive farmers that will actually get involved in
    any process in time for action and to ensure any form of results. The
    counter argument to this would be that the valuators consortium have got 1
    400 farmers on their books. If we argue that there are 400 farmers still on
    their farms and a further 400 still farming then this brings us to the
    total of 1 400.

    There is a target group of three thousand farmers Zimbabwean Commercial
    farmers that are not actively involved in ensuring the future of commercial
    agriculture in Zimbabwe.

    Where are they and why are they not responding. How are we going to get
    them to make the first move.



    A Mash. East farmer went to Ministry of Agriculture this week and was
    offered the equivalent of US$40,000 for their farm improvements, which have
    been valued at US $680,000 !!!  Something wrong, somewhere !?

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    The Herald

    UZ students fight running battles with riot police

    Herald Reporter
    STUDENTS at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) yesterday fought running battles
    with riot police after they marched to the Vice Chancellor’s office
    demanding an explanation for the late disbursement of their payouts.

    The students said they were also protesting for an increase of their
    payouts, which is currently pegged at $300 000.

    They said they had decided to demonstrate because it was now more than four
    weeks after the new semester began but they had not yet received their

    "We are demonstrating because first, we want our payouts and secondly, an
    increase of our payouts from $300 000 to about $500 000 or alternatively
    subsidise our food or bring back the catering division," said one student.

    "We buy a meal for $2 500 and we have three meals a day…we can’t survive
    with this meagre payout we are given. If we take for instance a student from
    Chitungwiza he would need about $5 000 for transport only," said another

    The students said no explanation had been given for the delay in
    disbursement of their payouts.

    They said they were experiencing a number of problems and the Government
    needed to address the issue urgently before the situation gets out of

    ‘‘At the moment there is no bond paper and we are not getting course
    outlines. We have to photocopy on our own for about $100 a copy."

    The students said they would continue demonstrating until their grievances
    were addressed.

    It is understood that the demonstration began on Sunday after students
    marched around the university campus singing revolutionary songs.

    The students broke into a grocery shop at the campus and looted various
    goods. Yesterday riot police were called in and they dispersed the students.

    When The Herald visited the campus at around 6pm the college was deserted
    with only some riot police milling around.

    No comment could be obtained from the UZ authorities.
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    Business Report

          Zimbabwe's white farmers settle and invest in Zambia
          October 28, 2003

          By Reuters

          Lusaka - Growing numbers of white farmers had settled in Zambia after
    fleeing Zimbabwe's land seizures, bringing more than $100 million in
    investments with them, Richard Chavula, the acting director of operations of
    the Zambia Investments Centre (ZIC), the county's official investment
    promotion agency, said on Friday.

          Zambia is emerging from a severe food shortage and has put agriculture
    at the top of its agenda, seeking to boost output and farming skills.

          Chavula said:

          "Zimbabwean farmers have collectively invested a total of $107.6
    million from 1993, of which $46.3 million has been invested from 2002 to
    September 2003."

          Government officials say some Zimbabwean farmers have bought farms for
    as much as $1 million.

          Chavula said Zimbabwean farmers would bring in much-needed expertise
    and help boost production, especially in tobacco. He estimated that
    Zimbabwean investments would raise tobacco production from 4 million
    kilograms a year to 20 million kilograms within five years.

          Chavula said no virgin land had been allocated to the farmers, who
    were buying or leasing farms from Zambian farmers. But the Zimbabwean
    farmers were free to apply for state land, he said, adding that 70 percent
    of Zambia's arable land was not being used and was available for

          Chavula said 10 farmers settled in Zambia between 1993 and 2002, and
    31 moved in between 2002 and September.

          In March, the ZIC said it had received 125 applications from Zimbabwe
    farmers seeking to settle in Zambia. The white farmers have also fled to
    other nearby countries, notably Mozambique, and helped shore up their rural

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    From The Sunday Mirror, 26 October

    A2 multiple farm owners exposed

    Provincial governors worst culprits

    Innocent Chofamba-Sithole

    An addendum to the Presidential Land Review Committee’s report shows that
    nearly 200 influential individuals have violated the land reform programme’s
    one man, one farm policy and are in control of hundreds of thousands
    hectares of commercial farmland, the Sunday Mirror can reveal. While the
    government last Thursday made public the findings of the committee, which
    was led by former secretary to the President and Cabinet, Charles Utete, it
    has however emerged that the report released for public consumption does not
    contain the annexure chronicling violations of the cardinal one man, one
    farm rule. Although the release of the report to the public has brought to
    an end months of speculation on the special committee’s findings, it has
    also engendered disappointment among many who expected an expose of the
    widely alleged corrupt acquisitions of multiple farms under the A2 scheme,
    mostly by powerful Zanu PF politicians and senior government officials.
    However, a confidential source has told the Sunday Mirror that the multiple
    farm ownership issue is dealt with in detail in a separate addendum to the
    report, and that only President Mugabe and land review committee chairman,
    Utete, are in official possession of it. The addendum, which is understood
    to be circulating freely within senior government and ruling party circles,
    lists 178 individuals as having acquired more than one farm under the A2
    commercial farming model during the fast-track land reform programme.

    The total area under the control of these individuals is 150 000 hectares.
    Two provincial governors, whose names are in the possession of this
    newspaper, top the list of avaricious "chefs" who looted the land reform
    programme. One of the governors is in possession of nine prime commercial
    farms while the second has about 75 000 acres of land under his name. The
    latter also enjoys concessions to grant hunting licences on his vast ranch.
    Presidential spokesman, George Charamba could not be reached for comment
    yesterday as his mobile phone rang without being answered. Following
    President Mugabe’s order, made during a Zanu PF politburo meeting, the
    government recovered about 30 000 hectares from influential individuals who
    had acquired more than one farm under the A2 resettlement model. Special
    Affairs minister, John Nkomo, told state radio in September that some
    officials had responded to the President’s directive to multiple farm owners
    to choose one holding and give up their excess land. "I can confirm some
    people have responded to the call to give up excess land," Nkomo said at the
    time. President Mugabe’s order came after a preliminary report by the Utete
    committee had indicated that a number of high-ranking officials in the party
    owned multiple farms.

    Although the deadline for surrendering excess farms has since expired, some
    errant individuals are understood to have still not done so. The issue of
    multiple farm ownership has contaminated the entire land reform programme
    and given the government’s detractors ammunition with which to discount the
    historic exercise as a sham. Analysts have warned that unless conclusively
    resolved, multiple farm ownership stands to smudge President Mugabe’s
    legacy, who has otherwise weathered domestic and external opposition by
    drastically changing the historically skewed land ownership structure in the
    country in favour of the black majority. This prospect is further heightened
    by the fact that a number of communal areas in such provinces as Manicaland,
    are still in dire need of decongestion. The Utete committee also notes that
    thousands of A2 applicants have still not received any land one and half
    years after their names appeared in the press declaring their applications
    successful. Some have suggested that President Mugabe fire those of his
    lieutenants who have abused the land reform programme for self-enrichment in
    order to show that he does not condone corruption and also to instil public
    confidence in the programme.

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    Comment from The Mail & Guardian (SA), 27 October

    The power of political ideas

    Tony Fluxman and Peter Vale

    Little has been written about political change in unjust political systems
    such as Zimbabwe. Attention should fall on those at the sharp end of
    oppression - a country’s people. It is their support, or compliance, that
    enables oppressive minorities to sustain their power. Two conceptual
    approaches help to explain the relationship between people and oppressive
    regimes. In the first, the authority is maintained by force or coercion -
    the threat of force. Its operation is as simple as it is brutal. When any
    individual, or group, acts against power they are met with costly sanctions.
    Given this, only a minority are prepared to suffer the costs involved in
    challenging a repressive regime. The second approach argues that coercive
    rule is insufficient to maintain a regime because even a powerful minority
    can never contain subversion by the majority. What maintains a regime, in
    these circumstances, is that the oppressed believe that rule over them is,
    in some sense, justified. So, for instance, the ruling elites deserve to
    rule because they come from noble stock - Swaziland is a case in point. Or,
    they are divinely sanctioned to rule as in the case of theocracies such as
    Iran. In modern times elite rule is more often justified by the argument
    that holds that inequalities are essential to uphold the living standards of
    the majority. Without wealth differentiation things would be infinitely
    worse because there would be no inducements to create wealth. Other
    variations of the same idea abound - for instance, the superiority of
    racially based fitness to rule was used to justify apartheid. So, how is
    rule in Zimbabwe maintained - by coercion or by ideology?

    Take the first. Even though it is in the interest of the majority to revolt
    against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, it is not rational for any
    particular individual to do so without an assurance that equally oppressed
    fellow citizens would do likewise. In the face of a well-organised security
    apparatus, the risk to an individual is not worth it unless the vast
    majority of Zimbabweans also act. On this interpretation, the Zimbabwean
    case seems to be a classic case of a coordinated minority facing an
    uncoordinated majority. But there is more to the argument. Consider this:
    Zimbabwean repression - brutal though it undoubtedly is - is not the worst
    case of repression in history. In more brutal regimes there has often been
    strong resistance. While the South American dictatorships stand out, there
    is much evidence of resistance in Cold War Eastern Europe and even earlier,
    during the Nazi period. Given the awful everyday treatment of the Zimbabwean
    state to its citizens and their decline in living standards, not to mention
    the absence of social welfare, should one not expect more resistance? One
    possibility for this lack of resistance is the so-called "whining
    mentality" - a tendency to blame all the ills of Africa on colonialism,
    imperialism and the like. This results in a passive acceptance of immediate
    circumstances because contemporary social conditions are held hostage to an
    awful past. The problem with this account is that it fails to explain the
    capability of Africans to wage wars of liberation against their colonial and
    apartheid oppressors. In fact, nation-building, political struggles in
    Africa are said to be synonymous with overcoming colonial oppression. So
    why, then, have Zimbabweans acquiesced to their oppression? The answer lies
    in the power of political ideas.

    Liberation is an effective weapon in the hands of post-liberation
    governments. This is powerfully shown in Zimbabwe where the ruling Zanu PF,
    and Zanu PF alone, carries the mantle of liberation. The ruling party’s
    interests and those of the masses are claimed to be identical, even when
    there is patently a gulf between them. As the gap widens even further,
    ideological appeal takes on a negative tone. So, as Zimbabwe’s president
    emphatically claims with each speech, his country faces a threat from its
    old enemy, the British colonisers. In this characterisation of their
    destiny, embattled citizens are presented with only two political options -
    the return of colonial domination or the status quo. And here, the power of
    memory is central. Oppressive rule is constantly buttressed by simple
    contrasts between secure insiders and hostile outsiders. The final years of
    apartheid South Africa present a powerful example of this phenomenon. Given
    the power of this discourse, if liberation is to be successful and, most
    importantly, sustainable, then Africans need to develop a new alternative
    progressive ideology, one that can create a third alternative to which the
    oppressed can give their allegiance. What exactly the content of this is is
    for the oppressed and their leaders to determine. The above ideas indicate
    that the management of political change in a country like Zimbabwe, as often
    suggested by pundits — who habitually resort to stylised answers informed by
    a narrow understanding of democracy - is problematic because it fails to
    deal with the more fundamental processes at work in the society. These need
    deeper understanding and critical inquiry.

    Tony Fluxman a is senior lecturer in the politics department of Rhodes
    University and Peter Vale holds the Nelson Mandela chair in that department

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          Jailed Zimbabwe news chiefs 'suffering'

          A lawyer representing four directors of Zimbabwe's only independent
    daily newspaper has complained that they are being imprisoned in inhumane
          The directors were arrested on Monday after the paper, the Daily News,
    was closed down over the weekend.

          Their lawyer, Gugulethu Moyo, told the BBC that the four - Samuel
    Nkomo, Rachel Kupara, Michel Mattinson and Brian Mutsau - were being held in
    a tiny, unsanitary prison cell and had been denied medicines.

          Ms Moyo, who is the newspaper's legal adviser, said the director of
    public prosecutions had told her they would appear in court on Wednesday,
    charged with operating without a licence and of contempt of court.

          Latest setback

          The closure of the Daily News at the weekend came after the paper had
    reappeared on newsstands for the first time in six weeks.

          With a front-page headline saying "We're back", the daily went on sale
    on Saturday, following a court ruling that the authorities were wrong to
    refuse it a licence.

          But the resumption of publication turned out to be short-lived as
    police shut the newspaper's offices and detained one director, Washington

          The authorities said Friday's court ruling did not give them
    permission to start publishing.

          The paper's lawyers disagreed, saying the ruling rendered media
    regulations invalid.

          On Monday, chief executive Mr Nkomo and three other directors were
    arrested and charged with publishing without a licence, bringing the total
    in custody to five.

          This is the latest setback for the Daily News, which is known for
    being highly critical of President Robert Mugabe and his government.

          Legal dispute

          Under controversial legislation introduced last year, all newspapers
    must apply for a licence through the state's Media and Information
    Commission (MIC).

          In September, police seized computer equipment and closed down the
    Daily News offices after a ruling by the supreme court that the paper was
    operating without a licence.

          The commission then denied the paper a licence, saying it had missed
    the deadline for applications and failed to supply the commission with free
    copies of the paper, as required under the law.

          In Friday's ruling, the judge said the commission had not been
    properly constituted invalidating all its actions to date.

          The court has now ordered the MIC to issue a licence by 30 November.

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    Zimbabwe Nurses Join Doctors' Strike
    VOA News
    28 Oct 2003, 16:39 UTC

    Nurses at Zimbabwe's largest state-run hospitals have walked off the job,
    joining doctors in a strike for higher wages.
    Nurses say the government has not yet responded to their pay proposals from
    last year. The striking nurses are quoted by the state-run Herald newspaper
    Tuesday as saying they will not go back to work until they hear from the
    government. They made the decision to strike on Monday.

    The Herald reports the nurses are paid the equivalent of US$170-270 per
    month at the official exchange rate. But the salaries are worth about seven
    times less at the black market rate for the Zimbabwean dollar at which most
    goods are priced.

    Junior and mid-level doctors in Zimbabwe also complain the government has
    ignored requests to review their wages. They say they will continue their
    strike until their demands for a large pay increase are met.

    It is not clear what impact the work stoppage is having on medical services
    in Zimbabwe.

    But one senior doctor told VOA on condition of anonymity that only a
    skeleton staff and student nurses are working at one of the country's
    leading hospitals.

    The doctor also says the emergency section of the hospital was closed, and
    patients who can afford it are going to private hospitals.

    The Herald report says the combined strike has paralyzed operations at
    hospitals in Harare, Mpilo and Bulawayo.

    Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic crisis in more than 20 years, with
    soaring inflation and chronic shortages of fuel and cash.

    Some information for this report provided by AP.

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    Act On Human Rights Violators, World Churches Say

    Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi)

    October 28, 2003
    Posted to the web October 28, 2003


    The World Council of Churches (WCC) has expressed grave concern over the
    assault of human rights activists in Zimbabwe, and called on the government
    in the Southern African country to prosecute those responsible.

    In an October 28, 2003 letter addressed to H E Honourable Patrick Chinamasa,
    Zimbabwean Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the world
    church body cited violations committed against members of the judiciary and
    defenders of human rights between January and October 2003.

    "The World Council of Churches," the letter said in part, "is deeply
    concerned at the deteriorating law and order situation in Zimbabwe.

    During the year 2003, there [has] been an unprecedented increase in
    incidents of police harassment and brutality against human rights defenders
    and members of the Judiciary."

    The WCC urged the government "to take immediate steps to restore the rule of
    law and put an end to arbitrary arrests, torture and killings."

    "The most recent of such incidents took place on the night of 12th October,
    when Mrs Beatrice Mtetwa, a renowned human rights lawyer, was assaulted by
    the personnel of the Zimbabwe Republic Police stationed at Borrowdale Police
    Station. The security personnel have the duty and responsibility to protect
    the citizens of Zimbabwe," said the letter, signed by Peter Weiderud,
    Director, Commission of the Churches on International Affairs at WCC.

    "On behalf of the World Council of Churches, I call on Your Excellency to
    order an immediate enquiry into the case of Mrs Mtetwa and others who have
    been the subject of police brutality, and ensure that justice is done to
    them. Those responsible for such reprehensible acts must be brought before
    the court of law for trial," Weiderud said.

    Other victims include Mr Gabriel Shumba (January 2003), Justice Benjamin
    Paradza (February 2003), Mr Alec Muchadehama (March 2003), Mr Reginal
    Chidawanyika (June 2003), and Mr Dumisani Kufaruwenga and Mpokiseng Dube
    (August 2003).

    The WCC observed in August/September 2003 that "We share the pain and
    suffering of the people of Zimbabwe as a result of escalating violence and
    repression of fundamental human rights by the state and groups encouraged
    and supported by the government. The violence, intimidation, unlawful arrest
    and torture perpetrated by the police, ruling party militia and other state
    agents must come to an end."

    Formally inaugurated in 1948, the WCC is a fellowship of 342 churches in
    more than 100 countries, in all continents and from virtually all Christian
    traditions. It enjoys close cooperation from the Roman Catholic Church.

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    Save Schools From Collapse

    The Herald (Harare)

    October 28, 2003
    Posted to the web October 28, 2003

    Ruth Butaumocho

    A DANGEROUS wave of violence in the form of demonstrations has hit a number
    of schools in the country, placing the education system under scrutiny.

    Several schools have in the past few weeks staged protests in what many
    critics have described as a "wave of revolution" that seems to be taking
    place in schools, particularly in high schools.

    There seems to be a similarity in the causes of the unrest - alleged
    ill-treatment by teachers, poor and inadequate facilities and alleged
    embezzlement of funds by school authorities.

    Disgruntlement by teachers is also said to be very high since school heads
    were given the power to hire school staff.

    Morale is allegedly very low and teachers were spending the better time of
    their working hours doing nothing.

    Last month, Mufakose 1 High pupils went on the rampage and destroyed school
    property worth millions of dollars protesting against alleged misuse of
    funds by school authorities.

    During the demonstration, the pupils, who were singing revolutionary songs,
    shattered windows in classrooms and threatened to beat up the headmaster who
    sought refuge at a nearby school.

    Two weeks ago, Dzivaresekwa High 1 and its annex, Nhamburiko Primary School,
    were plunged into a state of confusion as students, parents and teachers
    protested against alleged abuse of funds and harassment of teachers by the

    At the beginning of this month, Lower and Upper Sixth boarding pupils at
    Chipindura High School in Bindura went on the rampage and destroyed property
    worth millions of dollars in protest against inadequate food.

    The pupils started the violent protests during supper after they had not
    been served with potatoes, which is part of their supper.

    Last week, pupils at St Augustine's Mission in Penhalonga boycotted lessons
    and threatened to march into town in protest against a school official they
    alleged sexually harassed girl pupils.

    Normalcy only returned to the school after the diocesan education secretary
    addressed the students and promised them that the matter would be looked

    The streak of violence has not been confined to pupils alone, but also to
    some parents who have had to resort to demonstrations as a way of airing
    their grievances at school heads.

    When Mufakose 1 High pupils were engaged in running battles with school
    authorities, most parents withdrew children attending Nyabira Primary School
    protesting against alleged misuse of funds and maladministration by school

    The school is said to have obtained a peace order from the magistrates'
    court against some parents.

    What has taken place in schools is a clear indication of collapsing
    structures within the education system.

    While authorities feel that demands were getting out of hand, observers say
    the demonstrations could be justified and could be a pointer to serious
    maladministration practices currently taking place in these institutions.

    A teacher from Mufakose 1 High who refused to be named for fear of
    victimisation said although there is an element of violence when students
    demonstrate, their grievances should not be dismissed lightly.

    "Some of the complaints that students raised when they went on strike were
    very genuine, although they were put forward in the wrong context.

    "For instance, the parents and the school administration agreed that the
    school bus could be used to generate income by hiring it out, but it is not
    clear how the money is being used.

    "In fact, there is no accountability of the income that is being generated,"
    the teacher alleged.

    He said all this rot was taking place in full view of the pupils who
    resorted to a demonstration with the hope that the Ministry of Education,
    Sport and Culture would quickly move in and investigate the issue.

    "Sadly, the education ministry and the School Development Association have
    decided to sweep these concerns under the carpet," he said.

    Some Harare parents have had to transfer their children from a Government to
    a private school owing to declining standards.

    The problems besetting schools were largely due to the "usurping powers" of
    the School Development Associations (SDA) that have apparently been given to
    them by the education ministry.

    It is alleged that headmasters, with the blessing of SDAs, were now behaving
    as gigantic monsters whose authority is beyond check, hence the
    demonstrations by students to express their displeasure.

    Teaching staff, on the other hand, no longer had a say in school operations,
    as they feared reprisals.

    Most parents interviewed acknowledged the fact that morale on the part of
    teachers, especially in Government schools had plunged to an all-time low.

    Because the teachers have failed to channel these grievances, they were now
    inciting students to protest against authorities.

    "There is a high degree of abuse of funds, serious cases of
    maladministration being perpetuated by headmasters acting in connivance with
    SDA members.

    "More often than not the school administrators often handpick these SDA
    members, and as such they have no say when such shady activities occur.
    Vanenge vachiguta (they also benefit," said a parent.

    The parent had to transfer her daughter, who had been constantly harassed
    for complaining of declining standards at the school.

    "I was labelled a rebel parent because I would take the school
    administrators to task on the standards of the school.

    "It is also amazing how docile parents are when it comes to such issues. One
    day we will wake up to no school at all because the fact remains that
    teachers are not performing and there is no one checking on that," said an
    irate parent.

    Echoing the same sentiments was another Harare parent who said it seemed
    school operations were now detached from the parent ministry.

    "Some schools are being run like autonomous bodies, where decisions are
    being made between SDAs and school authorities, bypassing the parent
    ministry," said the parent.

    These perennial revolutions rocking secondary schools seem to suggest the
    absence of dialogue between pupils and school administrators.

    Secretary for Education Dr Thompson Tsodzo said demonstrations in schools
    were normal, particularly during the final term, as students try to "steam
    off" the tension that is created by examination preparations.

    "There is really nothing unusual with the recent demonstrations that have
    rocked secondary schools in the country, with the exception of Mufakose 1

    "There are serious problems at the school, and we have since instituted
    investigations to try and get to the root of the problem at the school.
    There are some elements within the SDAs which are using the school as a
    platform to campaign for a council position in the area," said Dr Tsodzo.

    Dr Tsodzo lambasted the teaching staffers for being too casual in executing
    their duties.

    "Teachers are becoming more irresponsible, and we are beginning to think
    that the teaching course is getting more lax."

    He promised that his ministry would flush out elements bent on
    revolutionising the teaching profession in an unacceptable manner.

    However, some analysts have indicated that all is not well in the education
    ministry and only time will tell.

    This constant disruption of lessons is set to have long-term implications to
    the educational standards in this country.

    During these demonstrations, classes are disrupted and students who would be
    studying for technical subjects which require a lot of practicals and
    experiments tend to lose concentration.

    It is, therefore, incumbent upon the ministry to seriously address problems
    besetting schools to avoid a total collapse of the country's once vibrant
    education system that was regarded as one of the best in the region.

    The ministry is faced with a crisis, which, if not arrested now, might never
    wake up from its deep slumber.

    "It would be interesting to find out how many Government officials have
    children attending these schools.

    "We believe their children are in private schools and they could not be
    bothered about standards at Government schools where every Tom, Dick and
    Harry goes to," said a parent.

    Education in Zimbabwe is definitely in intensive care and the responsible
    minister should do something urgently to save the schools from collapse.

    Education is a right, not a privilege.

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    Korea Herald

          Last straw for Zimbabwe?

         The solidarity among African leaders that has sustained Robert Mugabe's
    brutal regime in Zimbabwe may be on the verge of disintegrating and his
    decision to shut down Zimbabwe's only independent newspaper, The Daily News,
    could prove to be crucial in weakening the support that he still enjoys in
    the region.

          Three years ago a truck packed with explosives careened into the
    building housing the newspaper and its printing press was destroyed. With
    the assistance of foreign donors, The Daily News acquired a new press and
    managed to keep publishing a first-rate newspaper.

          Despite government attempts since then to shut the paper down -
    arresting and even torturing some of its staff, as well as tampering with
    its circulation and newsprint supply - The Daily News adhered to its slogan
    of "telling it like it is." As Zimbabwe plunged into economic chaos and
    Mugabe stepped up his repression circulation, once around 100,000 a day,
    fell by roughly a third.

          Last month, Mugabe's riot police, armed with AK-47 rifles, raided the
    paper, halting production and looting much of its equipment - though not the
    new printing press, which was too big to carry away.

          The purported reason for closing The Daily News is that the paper
    refused to register under the bizarrely named Access to Information and
    Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) of 2002 on the grounds that it violates
    Zimbabwe's constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression. Under the
    AIPPA, reporters are required to file their home addresses with the
    government; presumably this is what the word "privacy" in the law's title
    means. Reporters may face criminal prosecution for publishing inaccurate
    information; apparently, this is the basis for the reference to "access to

          At least a dozen journalists have been arrested under AIPPA, including
    the only foreign correspondent permanently based in the country, Andrew
    Meldrum of the British newspaper The Guardian. Meldrum was subsequently

          The Mugabe regime has committed outrage after outrage. Its catalogue
    of crimes includes: stealing the 2002 elections that enabled Mugabe to hold
    on to power; torturing and murdering supporters of the opposition Movement
    for Democratic Change; transformation of a fertile, prosperous country once
    considered Africa's breadbasket into a place where half the population
    barely survives on foreign food handouts; and, as exemplified by its attacks
    on The Daily News, the suppression of critical voices. Yet Zimbabwe's
    neighbors, particularly those in Southern Africa, have defended President

          In late August, the heads of state of 13 members of the Southern
    African Development Community (SADC), including Mugabe and President Thabo
    Mbeki of South Africa, the leading regional power, met in Dar es Salaam,
    Tanzania, to consider the challenges before them.

          Among the 54 paragraphs of the Summit Final Communique, two dealt with
    Zimbabwe. One proclaimed "solidarity with Zimbabwe to encourage and sustain
    the positive developments that are taking place." The other condemns "the
    Commonwealth, the European Union (EU) and the United States of America
    sanctions, as they hurt not only ordinary Zimbabweans but also have profound
    social and economic implications on the region as a whole."

          The suggestion that international sanctions are a cause of Zimbabwe's
    economic woes is ludicrous, as the measures that have been imposed have
    nothing to do with trade. Indeed, it is the governments cited in the
    communique that are donating the food that keeps Zimbabweans alive. The
    targeted sanctions address such matters as the foreign bank accounts of
    Mugabe and his associates and their right to travel to Europe and the United
    States on holidays and shopping trips.

          Yet the closing of The Daily News seems to have prompted the first
    signs that things may be changing. Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo
    responded to the paper's closure by announcing that Mugabe would not be
    invited to the December meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government
    Meeting scheduled to take place in his capital, Abuja. President Mbeki
    reacted to Obsanjo's announcement with what South Africa's business weekly,
    The Financial Mail, described as "surprise and consternation."

          Much depends on whether Africa follows the path now being charted by
    Obasanjo or whether the continent's leaders stick to the line of SADC and
    Mbeki. It is not only the future of Zimbabwe that is at stake. Also at issue
    is whether the rest of the world takes seriously the commitments to
    democracy and good governance in the New Economic Partnership for Africa
    Development (NEPAD) and the Constitutive Act for the new African Union.
    Mbeki and Obasanjo took the lead in making these commitments. Zimbabwe tests
    whether they will deliver.

          Aryeh Neier, president of the Open Society Institute and a founder of
    Human Rights Watch, is the author most recently of "Taking Liberties: Four
    Decades in the Struggle for Rights." - Ed.

          By Aryeh Neier

          Copyright: Project Syndicate


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