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

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October 1, 2001

Mugabe faces censure from world leaders

With the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Brisbane, Australia,
scheduled to start on October 6, hopes are high in Zimbabwe that President
Robert Mugabe will face censure from world leaders




eaders of the 53-nation grouping will consider whether Mugabe's regime is
beyond the pale on human rights after nearly two years of systematic terror
against its opponents.
Western diplomatic sources believe the 77-year-old president is reluctant to
fulfil pledges made to Commonwealth leaders at Abuja, Nigeria, to rein in
state-funded "war veterans" because they represent his last hope of winning
a further six-year term in elections set for next April.

This week talks between white farmers and officials over land seizures and
lawlessness collapsed. In a by-election last week in the Chikomba
constituency that was left vacant by the death of war veterans' leader
Chenjerai Hitler Hunzvi, Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) polled 5 207 votes against 15 570 for Zanu-PF
despite massive intimidation, including the murder of a headmaster.

Operating in a ruling-party stronghold, the MDC relied entirely on a
word-of-mouth message to reach its supporters. MDC organisers say it will be
impossible for Zanu-PF to sustain a similar virtual ban on all open
campaigning, with economic conditions worsening daily for Zimbabwe's
13-million people.

Following the visit of a five-member assessment team, the International
Monetary Fund ruled out any resumption of aid, frozen in 1999, until Mugabe
makes moves to restore fiscal probity and begins repayment of $53-million in
debt arrears.

Zimbabwe's new Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku reserved judgement in an
application by the government for a declaration that it has a comprehensive
land-reform programme in place, and that there is law and order on the
country's white-owned farms.

Advocate Adrian de Bourbon, representing the Commercial Farmers' Union
(CFU), told the Supreme Court that efforts to open a post-Abuja dialogue
with the government had been totally blocked at a meeting with Minister of
Justice Patrick Chinamasa.

The accord envisaged new British and foreign funding in return for a
transparent land-reform programme that benefits the rural poor rather than
the Zanu-PF party faithful, as in the past. "Chinamasa wasn't interested in
Abuja and he stopped the CFU from talking to anyone else in government,"
said a member of the CFU legal team.

The CFU, and journalists who quoted it, were called "economic terrorists" by
Minister of Information Jonathan Moyo for announcing that, despite Abuja,
there had been 20 new invasions, 900 farms were suffering production
disruption, 350 were shut down and 25 farmers were forced to flee.

Mugabe told his party's central committee he would be able "to take a
position on compliance" with Abuja once its terms had been explained to
militants occupying farms.

"We will win. We are winning. For at no stage and time in the history of
mankind has colonial occupation ever lasted forever," Mugabe said.

He claimed continuing violence was contrived by underground "colonial
military structures" among whites.

-- The Mail&Guardian, October 1, 2001.
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ZIMBABWE: Opposition ready for presidential poll

JOHANNESBURG, 1 October (IRIN) - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on Sunday his two-year-old Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was confident of winning presidential elections due next year, Reuters reported.

"In MDC we have one project and that is to remove Mugabe and his cronies...we are ready for the presidential elections," Tsvangirai told about 10,000 supporters at a rally to commemorate the party's second anniversary in Zimbabwe's second city Bulawayo.

Tsvangirai, a former trade unionist, poses the stiffest challenge to President Robert Mugabe's 21-year rule in elections due by next April as the country struggles to cope with an economic crisis widely blamed on Mugabe. On Sunday he said the MDC, which has emerged as Zimbabwe's most popular opposition party since independence in 1980, remained strong despite reported internal rifts over the last few weeks, which some party members have blamed on Mugabe's ZANU-PF movement.

Last month the MDC unveiled a recovery plan aimed at pulling the country out of its worst economic crisis since independence, to be implemented if it wins next year's presidential elections. The crisis has been worsened by Zimbabwe's isolation from the international community over Mugabe's endorsement of the invasion of more than 1,000 white-owned farms since February 2000 by pro-government militants. The MDC made a near clean sweep of urban centres in the parliamentary elections, and recently won the executive mayoral election in Bulawayo.

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From the Daily News

Mombeshora dissolves entire board as ticket scam rocks Air Zimbabwe

10/1/01 8:21:57 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE Air Zimbabwe board, appointed last October to steer the troubled airline
out of its financial problems, has been dissolved.

Dr Swithun Mombeshora, the Minister of Transport and Communications,
dissolved the board on Friday, saying he wanted to re-constitute it
following the departure of Philip Bamu and Martha Nyazema, who are now based
in the United States and South Africa, respectively.

The dissolution of the board follows the resignation on Thursday of board
chairman, Patrick Chingoka, after a damning report in The Financial Gazette,
which alleged a ticket scam involving senior management. Chingoka was among
those named in the report. Mombeshora appointed the Chingoka to chair the
board in October last year, replacing the previous one chaired by Nicholas
Nyandoro. Members of the dissolved board included Bamu, Kennedy Mandevhani,
Patrick Ndlovu, Nyazema and Leonard Nyamutsamba.

Mombeshora said: “It is true that I have dissolved the Air Zimbabwe board
for re-constitution because some of the members were no longer serving on
the board.”
Apart from reorganizing the board, Mombeshora said he wanted to weed out
some of the members whom he alleged “lacked corporate governance and ethics”
He said: “Some of the members were leaking important internal documents to
newspapers and this was just unethical.”

On Chingoka’s resignation, Mombeshora said the former chairman had been
dismayed by The Financial Gazette report and “he felt he had to protect his
business interests”. Chingoka runs a human resources consultancy firm and
other private companies. Mombeshora said: “I accepted his resignation on the
grounds he had given and I had no problems with him because he had worked
well to turn around the fortunes of Air Zimbabwe.”

Air Zimbabwe was saddled with a debt of nearly $1 billion but this had been
reduced significantly, the minister said without giving specific details.
Mombeshora dismissed allegations that Chingoka had resigned as a result of
repeated clashes with Nyamutsamba. The two have clashed openly and in the
newspapers with Nyamutsamba blasting Chingoka for allegedly covering up
cases of corruption and lacking expertise to steer the national airline out
of its financial crisis. Chingoka in turn accused Nyamutsamba of disrupting
the smooth running of the airline and leaking documents to journalists.
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From the Daily News - Leader Page

Use Chogm postponement to bring back rule of law

10/1/01 8:30:57 AM (GMT +2)

FOR the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, the postponement of the
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm), due to have started in
Brisbane this week, was an unmitigated disaster.

Hotel and conference centres will have lost a lot of money in unfulfilled
bookings. The government of Queensland will have lost much revenue, having
spent a lot of money preparing to welcome thousands of visitors to the
conference of more than 50 world leaders. But few, including Howard and his
Queensland counterpart, will dispute the logic of the postponement, not
after the murderous terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on 11
September. Many international events were postponed after the suicide
attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Thousands of people were
killed and not many countries could feel safe in the aftermath.

It should be remembered that one of the suicide planes was headed for the
White House when it crashed. Which country would the suicide terrorists
strike next? Even if the mastermind of the deadly plot has not been
conclusively identified, no country counting itself as an ally of the United
States could take the risk of hosting such a high profile conference so soon
after the tragedy of 11 September. For Zimbabwe, Chogm in Brisbane was
promising to be either a watershed or a Waterloo for the beleaguered
government of Robert Mugabe.

His fellow Commonwealth leaders would either endorse the Abuja agreement,
with its disastrous flaws, or they would refuse to endorse it on the
legitimate grounds that he had yet to hold up his end of the bargain. The
rule of law has still not been returned to the whole country. On the
commercial farms, the invaders continue to wreak havoc on property and to
terrorise the farmers and their workers. The main opposition party, the MDC,
is not being allowed to campaign freely in most areas of the country. After
its spectacular victory in the Bulawayo mayoral and municipal elections,
unidentified people, but
suspiciously loyal to the humiliated Zanu PF, went around beating up
residents for having voted for the MDC.

So far we have not been told of any arrests, neither have we heard of anyone
appearing in court over that violence. In Norton and hitungwiza, there was
violence against the MDC and their outspoken Member of Parliament for St
Mary’s, Job Sikhala, was the target of what he believed, with justification,
to be an assassination attempt. Sikhala was categorical in blaming his party
’s tribulations on its heavy infiltration by the government’s major dirty
tricks outfit, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), which has done
similar demolition jobs on other opposition parties which have gone into

The MDC, having come this far, has displayed a remarkable resolve to survive
the machinations of the CIO into the presidential election next year. This
week the party celebrated its second anniversary in the full knowledge that
unless its leaders can resist the divisive designs of Zanu PF, it could go
the way of the Zimbabwe Unity Movement, the Democratic Party or the Zimbabwe
Union of Democrats. It is absolutely vital for Zimbabwe’s fledgling
democracy for a viable opposition party such as the MDC to survive until it
can pose a realistic challenge to Zanu PF in the presidential and other
elections in the future.

As for the postponement of Chogm and what it could mean for the settlement
of the land and other related issues, we suggest the Mugabe government cease
forthwith its reliance on the war veterans to prop up its hold on power.
These people are not even mildly interested in the rule of law. And as long
as they are Zanu PF’s linchpin in its campaign to retain power, nobody
including the Southern African Development Community and Commonwealth
leaders who may still sympathise with Mugabe should hope for an early end to
violence. Mugabe would do well to use the hiatus between now and the next
Chogm to take positive steps to return the country to the rule of law
everywhere, and not just in areas which his party controls.

In Norton, Chitungwiza, Bindura, Shamva, Bulawayo and Harare, people ought
to feel free to walk tall in their own country, without having to answer
questions from political thugs or politically-biased policemen. As long as
the government does not take publicly acknowledgeable steps to bring back
the rule of law on the farms and everywhere else in the country, people
should continue to agitate against any softening of the international
campaign to let Mugabe know that he may not be another Osama bin Laden, but
his treatment of his political rivals is just as reprehensible.
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From the Daily News

MDC vows to end divisions

10/1/01 8:20:27 AM (GMT +2)

From Sandra Mujokoro and Chris Gande in Bulawayo

THE MDC will meet today to tackle factionalism and efforts to destabilize
the party ahead of next year’s presidential election.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the party’s president, told 15 000 party supporters, who
attended the party’s second anniversary and victory celebrations for the
city’s mayoral and municipal polls, at the White City Stadium, the MDC was
not about to disintegrate.

Welshman Ncube, the MDC’s secretary-general, scoffed at the government
propaganda alleging that there were dissenting voices in the opposition
party calling for a presidential candidate from Matabeleland because it was
"the party’s stronghold". He said the MDC was certain of victory in next
year’s presidential election because the party’s leadership was solidly
united on its candidate. Tsvangirai will challenge President Mugabe in the
election, expected to take place before April next year. Ncube asked his
party supporters to disregard government propaganda aimed at destabilising
the MDC. He said Matabeleland was not the MDC’s stronghold.

Of the 56 Parliamentary seats the party won, only 21 were in the region
compared to 35 in Mashonaland. Tsvangirai shrugged off reports of
factionalism threatening to split the MDC into two, saying the party would
meet in Harare today to discuss the matter. The reports are surfacing at a
time when the MDC is stepping up its campaign for next year’s presidential
election, which has sent Zanu PF panicking. Tsvangirai said the MDC cannot
be destroyed, even by Mugabe. "We must bring change or else we will be
history," he said to cheers from the supporters.

He said: "In MDC we have one project and that is to remove Mugabe and his
cronies. We are ready for the presidential election."
He said Mugabe was using the land issue to avoid defeat by the MDC. "If
there was no MDC, Mugabe would not have given out the farms. He is giving
out the farms because of a realisation that the MDC is coming on strong."
"Demonstrations do not mean indiscipline, and transparency does not mean
Tsvangirai said it had been a rough two years for the party, but expressed
confidence in the leadership which he described as "largely united".

He thanked the Bulawayo residents for voting Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube executive
mayor of the city. The celebrations at White City Stadium had two primary
objectives: to celebrate the MDC’s win in the mayoral and ward elections in
Bulawayo; and to mark the second anniversary of the launch of the party. The
event, which began during mid-morning and went well beyond 4pm, was marked
by pomp and fanfare. Seventeen beasts were slaughtered for the festivities
in a carnival-like atmosphere.

Tsvangirai said: "Like any democratic party, tensions do arise, but it is
how they are handled that matters the most." Referring to last Thursday
night’s attack on the home of Job Sikhala, the MP for St Mary’s, allegedly
by some MDC supporters, he said: "When children are playing it is natural
for them to sometimes fight, but you do not make a big issue out of it. "You
must expect children to fight. If you don’t expect them to do so, then you
are not human."

Sikhala alleged Tapiwa Mashakada, the MP for Hatfield, and Alexio Musundire,
the MDC chairman for Chitungwiza province, were behind the attack on his
house. Both men have denied the allegations. Sikhala and two other MDC MPs,
Tafadzwa Musekiwa and Learnmore Jongwe, had earlier accused Mashakada of
plotting to unseat Tsvangirai. They urged Tsvangirai to investigate
Mashakada’s conduct or alternatively dismiss the current Harare executive,
of which he is vice- chairman. Mashakada attended yesterday’s celebrations,
but Sikhala was conspicuous by his absence.
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Daily Mail and Guardian


ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe will discuss trade and investment issues
with Thai leaders during a hastily arranged three-day state visit to begin
later on Monday, the foreign ministry said. Mugabe was originally due to
attend this week's Commonwealth summit in Australia but it was abruptly
cancelled in the aftermath of last month's terrorist attacks on the United
States. In a last-minute change of plans Mugabe decided to journey on to
Thailand and Cambodia as part of an Asia-Pacific tour which has already
taken in Singapore and Vietnam. After arriving he is scheduled to visit
landmarks in the Thai capital including the Grand Palace and the sacred
Emerald Buddha, before an evening meeting with Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra. "The two countries will discuss tightening relations and
cooperation including in trade and investment," the foreign ministry said in
a statement. Thailand's exports to Zimbabwe last year -- mostly rice,
vehicles, rubber and plastic -- were worth $4,69-million. They were
outweighed by $42,21-million in imported gold, jewellery and thread for
textiles. - AFP

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Monday 1 October, 2001
 Tsvangirai: I'll be Zimbabwe's next president

Cape Times (SA)
published:Sun 30-Sep-2001

10 000 at Bulawayo rally

Bulawayo - More than 10 000 people filled a stadium in Zimbabwe's
second-largest city for a jubilant rally marking the second anniversary of
the young but potent Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Party leader
Morgan Tsvangirai told the crowd that he would easily win the presidential
elections, due before April, in which he would challenge President Robert
Mugabe. "(The ruling) Zanu PF is panicking because it realises it will lose
the elections," Tsvangirai said. "It has launched a concerted effort to
destroy the MDC by fanning division in the opposition, but it will fail
because we will remain united and focused. It is a figment of Zanu PF's
imagination that the MDC will be destroyed and lose elections. It is
President Mugabe who will go because he has failed to lead the country."

Denouncing the political violence of the past 20 months, Tsvangirai said:
"Lawlessness should end. We cannot have a situation where one is killed,
raped, tortured or one's home destroyed because one supports the MDC."
Tsvangirai accused Zanu PF of causing the country's economic problems. The
MDC had a clear economic policy that would create jobs and halt the rise in
prices. "We are going to reopen the factories that have been closed because
of economic hardships and invasions by unruly Zanu PF supporters," he said.
He said 300 000 people had lost their jobs in the past two years and
hundreds of thousands more had turned to informal trading.
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From Business Day

Leon calls for pressure on Mugabe


CAPE TOWN As the US suicide attacks kicked Zimbabwe off the international
agenda, Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon moved at the weekend to focus
world attention back on SA's northern neighbour: he called on Commonwealth
secretary-general Don McKinnon to take decisive steps to avert further
political and economic destabilisation in Zimbabwe.

In a letter penned to McKinnon just a day after the postponement of the
Commonwealth leaders' summit, Leon stresses the need for a warning to be
issued to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe that he must comply with the
letter as well as the spirit of the Abuja agreement.

In the treaty, brokered by Nigeria and SA under the Commonwealth's auspices,
Harare promised to restore the rule of law in exchange for implementing a
lawful and internationally funded land reform. "The Zimbabwean government
has taken advantage of the fact that international attention has been
diverted away from them by the terror attacks in the US," Leon says,
pointing out that the Commonwealth needs to restore credibility to the
action it had taken with regard to Zimbabwe.

The postponement of the Brisbane summit of Commonwealth leaders, thanks to
the US terror attacks, has removed pressure on Harare to implement the Abuja

It was envisaged that the Brisbane summit, which Mugabe hoped to attend,
would provide another opportunity to exert pressure on the Zimbabwean leader
to end the crisis.

Even though the Commonwealth ministers had failed to secure agreement from
Harare to deploy election monitors, Zimbabwe had invited the ministers to
visit the country ahead of the Brisbane gathering. It was unclear last
night, though, if this visit would proceed this year given the postponement
of the Brisbane meeting.

Leon suggests various possible courses of action to McKinnon including the
special ministerial committee on Zimbabwe being urgently reconvened to
discuss violations of the Abuja agreement. e has apparently not yet signed
the Abuja agreement officially, but plans to attend the Commonwealth heads
of government meeting in Brisbane next month.

Other possibilities are that Mugabe be required to formally sign the
agreement; the deployment of international monitors to oversee adherence to
it, specifically to curb violence and to restore the rule of law; and
lobbying to have Mugabe suspended from the Commonwealth if he does not
implement the agreement within a specified time.

Leon notes that since the Abuja agreement on September 6 at least 20 more
farms have been invaded; farming on approximately 900 farms was still being
severely disrupted; and three people have been killed.

Zimbabwean Information Minister Jonathan Moyo has said the government had
not agreed to curb violence on illegally occupied farms.
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Zim Standard

Tatchell accuses Aussie govt of collusion with Mugabe

Staff Writer
HUMAN rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, has accused the Australian
government of an unholy collusion with the government of President Mugabe.

Tatchell was supposed to be the keynote speaker at a meeting in Brisbane on
Friday, until the Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock refused to grant him
a visa. Unable to travel to Australia, Tatchell instead spoke to the meeting
by phone link from his London home.

Said Tatchell: “My bid to get the Australian authorities to arrest President
Mugabe on charges of torture under Australia’s Crimes (Torture) Act 1988
will continue, despite my exclusion from the country. The campaign will not
stop until Mugabe is behind bars, which is where he belongs.”

Tatchell accused the Australian government of doing a deal with Mugabe: “Did
President Mugabe seek and receive assurances from the Australian government
that he would not be arrested at the Commonwealth summit? The bloody
dictator of Zimbabwe would not dare set foot in Australia without first
getting a guarantee of immunity from prosecution. If this is the case, John
Howard’s government is guilty of collusion with a notorious human rights

“President Mugabe was aware that I was seeking to have him arrested under
Australia’s Crimes (Torture) Act, and that I have affidavits from Ray Choto
and Mark Chavunduka attesting to their torture, allegedly on his orders.
These affidavits provide the legal basis for Mugabe’s arrest and trial under
the Australian anti-torture law.

“Did Mugabe demand that I be excluded from Australia as a condition of his
attendance at Chogm? Did the Australian government give him an undertaking
that he would not be arrested under the Crimes (Torture) Act?

“President Mugabe must be overjoyed that Philip Ruddock has got rid of me.
The Australian government seems more interested in appeasing a tyrant like
Mugabe than in standing up for the human rights of the people of Zimbabwe,”
said Tatchell.

The Commonwealth Brisbane talks have been cancelled to next year as the club
countries prepare for the war on terrorism after terrorist attacks in the
United States of America.

Meanwhile, the cancellation of the Brisbane talks has left a number of civic
groups which wanted to demonstrate against Mugabe stranded.

According to sources in Brisbane, a hostile atmosphere awaited Mugabe where
civic groups wanted action taken against the Zimbabwean president.

The sources said despite the signing of the Abuja agreement, pressure was
mounting for Mugabe to be put high on the meeting’s agenda.

MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s arrival in Brisbane also resulted in
pressure for Mugabe’s censure.
Tsvangirai, the sources said, addressed a number of meetings where he
exposed the loopholes of the Abuja agreement and the violations of the
agreement by the Zimbabwean regime.

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From Zim Standard

Zimbabwe still on Chogm agenda

Benhilda Chanetsa in Canberra, Australia
Although the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) was postponed
at the eleventh hour, Australia has udertaken to keep pressure on Zimbabwe
to ensure that it restores the rule of law.

The meeting was postponed to next year due to the American disaster. But the
Australians, who are now turning their attention to national elections set
for November, say the Zimbabwean crisis looks likely to be high on the
agenda of any future Australian government and any Chogm meeting to be
hosted by them.

Following a week-long visit to Canberra by Movement For Democratic Change
(MDC) president, Morgan Tsvangirai, during which he lobbied not only
ministers and parliamentarians of the ruling Liberal/National party
alliance, but also of the opposition Labour party which could form the next
government, Australian politicians were left with a deeper sense of the need
to find a lasting solution to the Zimbabwean crisis.

Tsvangirai himself believes that with these marathon meetings, he set
important groundwork for the future, particularly with the Zimbabwe
elections looming.

He told The Standard in Australia: “These were very productive meetings and
I believe there is a constant need for an update on the Zimbabwean
situation. I did not come here just to emphasise Chogm, but to stress that
the Zimbabwe crisis focuses on three issues—land, violence, and the
presidential elections and international observers. No significant change
has taken place since Abuja and there is the temptation for them
(government) to do anything they want because of the US focus. I said there
should be a minimum period of observation after the Abuja accord.”

Contacted for comment on the meetings with Tsvangirai, the minister for
justice and customs in the Australian government, Senator Christopher
Ellison, who also chairs the Zimbabwe/Australia parliamentary group
comprising politicians from across the political divide, said: “We had a
very useful discussion. Zimbabwe was not on the agenda of Chogm, but there
are now strong moves to put it there. I have written to the foreign minister
(Alexander Downer) and suggested that election monitors be put in place not
only on the day of the elections but in the period before. There are of
course problems such as the land issue and the Aids issue which we
discussed, but the problem is first and foremost that of good governance and
then the impact of this on, for example, law and order and the economy.”

Elaborating further on this point, he said: “Morgan has suggested a
transitional period after the presidential election with the possibility of
a unity government representing all parties so that constitutional change
and reform can take place. For a fair election, therefore, it is vital for
observers to go early and for the government to accredit them early.”

The senator has every confidence that Zimbabwe can do well under the right
conditions. “Zimbabwe is a fantastic country for producing food,” he said.

“With a well managed economy in a stable environment, it could be the
leading country in Africa.”
Tsvangirai addressed a second mixed grouping of politicians and the
committee of foreign affairs and trade, regarded as one of the most
influential and prestigious parliamentary side groupings.

Said Senator Sandy MacDonald, a member of this committee: “The only way to
arrest the downward spiral in what was the jewel of Africa is to bring more
international pressure to bear on Mugabe’s administration. If Chogm is to
have any contemporary relevance, then Zimbabwe should be up for discussion.”

Senator MacDonald was part of the Commonwealth Observer mission to Zimbabwe
during the June 2000 parliamentary elections. He said the election left him
with serious reservations about registrar-general Tobaiwa Mudede’s ability
to properly conduct the elections.

“I was not convinced with Mudede’s impartiality, and I believe an
independent electoral commission is absolutely essential, one run by the

Zimbabwe’s trade with Australia, he said, still amounted to A$5 million a
year despite other governments cutting back on aid. But he said there was a
feeling that “every dollar given must be properly spent”.

Tsvangirai’s two-man delegation, consisting of himself and the MDC MP for
Bulilimamangwe North, Mzila Ndhlovu, returned to Zimbabwe on Friday. There
were no body guards in evidence.

Said Tsvangirai: “It’s just me and my colleague. We don’t need bodyguards.
It’s Mugabe who needs them, not us.”

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From Zim Standard

Looted farm property on sale

Chengetai Zvauya
WAR veterans and Zanu PF supporters are selling property and goods they
looted at farms in Mashonaland West during last month’s wave of violence in
the province.

When The Standard visited Two Trees Farm, Long Valley farm, Highbury Estate,
Scorner Farm and Costworld Estate in the Lions Den and Doma areas last week,
scores of people could be seen selling goods ranging from farming tools to

The farms are among the several affected by the rampant looting which took
place last month.
At Highbury Estate, war veterans led by persons who identified themselves as
Tsuro and Chris Mugwagwa were seen trading game meat among other goods,
mostly electrical appliances and clothes.
Fertiliser was being sold at $26 000 per tonne, while several farm
implements and tractor parts were also on sale.

The situation at the farms was tense with scores of Zanu PF youths searching
every visitor demanding to know their business in the area.

Several farm houses remained empty after they were deserted by commercial
farms who were driven off the properties by Zanu PF supporters in the guise
of land reform.

At the Two Trees Farm in Doma, farm invaders were selling electricity
generators and water pumps to buyers who had come from as far as Chinhoyi

At Costwold Estate, owned by Alan York, invaders were seen allocating pieces
of land to each other, led by a war veteran identified as Musavengana.

Last month war veterans launched a terror attack on farms in Chinhoyi and
Doma, destroying property worth $167 million and forcing 60 farms to be
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From Zim Standard


THURSDAY’s postponement of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
scheduled for Brisbane this week has provided the embattled President Robert
Mugabe with a temporary breathing space, and a chance to enjoy his holiday
in Vietnam and wherever else he is still welcome.

Zimbabwe—or more specifically Mugabe himself—was certainly high on the
meeting’s agenda. The Zimbabwe leader was to be dragged over the coals
because of the state-sanctioned lawlessness prevailing in the country, the
politically-related violence and murders, illegal farm occupations, and the
harassment by his government of the press, the opposition, the churches, the
judiciary, and any other section of society remotely suspected of
sympathising with the opposition. Mugabe also faced possible arrest for
human rights abuses.

Already Mugabe had begun ducking and diving over his attendance at the
meeting, becoming the very last leader of the 54 nation states ranging from
India to the tiny Pacific island of Tuvalu that make up the Commonwealth, to
confirm his participation.

Evidently there was a lot of soul-searching taking place, weighing the
possible benefits and risks of making a presence, especially since sizeable
groups had already made known their intentions of giving him the kind of
reception he richly deserved as one man who almost single-handedly presided
over the ruthless persecution of a proud, harworking, and peace-loving
people, at the same time stripping what was once one of the most robust
economies on the continent to a virtual begging bowl.

But what might seem now like a temporary relief for Mugabe could actually
work against him when the meeting reconvenes in Brisbane early next year.
Whereas had Chogm proceeded next Wednesday, Mugabe could skirt many of the
uncomfortable issues by simply pleading that it was still early days after
the signing of the Abuja agreement and that he needed time to fully
implement all of its provisions.

But what will he say, come Chogm 2002, when illegal farm invasions are at
full throttle, the judiciary is still being interfered with, journalists
being harassed indiscriminately, and political opponents being killed like
flies in the run-up to the presidential election? We certainly will be
interested to see how he manouevres that one.

At this point, we wish to divert a little and join other democratic forces
in condemning the Australian government for having denied human rights
campaigner Peter Tatchell a visa to travel to Brisbane for the aborted
meeting. Tatchell had also made known his intentions to have Mugabe legally
arrested for human rights abuses under Australian law.

Tatchell’s application was turned down on the spurious basis of 'bad
behaviour'. Whose behaviour is worse, Tatchell’s or Mugabe’s? We fully agree
with Tatchell when he describes his ban from Brisbane as illegal. We would
go further and describe it as absolutely scandalous. A very big shame on
you, Canberra!
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From the Zim Standard


Staff Writer
TOP Zanu commanders from the Dare Rechimurenga and the Zanla High Command
killed former Zanu chairman, Herbert Chitepo, in Zambia in 1975, a special
report by a Zambian commission into the late leader’s mysterious death

This is the first time that the report has been made public since the
lawyer-cum-politician’s assasination 26 years ago.

Chitepo died when a car bomb planted under the driver’s seat in his VW
Beetle detonated as he was trying to reverse the car from the garage at his
Zambian house.

The Standard this week reveals for the first time the contents of the
report. The report puts paid to claims from within Mr Mugabe’s party that
Chitepo had been killed by agents of the Ian Smith regime. The late chairman
’s widow, Victoria Chitepo, is on record as saying it was common knowledge
that the leader was killed by fellow party members.

The Report of the Special International Commission on the Assassination of
Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo, which was commissioned by former Zambian
president, Kenneth Kaunda, in Lusaka, 1976, cites the late Zanla commander,
Josiah Tongogara; current deputy minister of home affairs, Rugare Gumbo, who
was secretary for information and publicity; Henry Hamadziripi, secretary
for finance; Kumbirai Kangai, secretary for public and social welfare; and
Mukudzei Mudzi, secretary for administration as the people responsible for
assassinating the Dare chairman, Chitepo.

The report said the late chairman was a victim of a tribal power struggle
within the party.
Said the report, in the possession of The Standard: “The members of Dare and
the High Command decided on March 1975 to kill Chitepo for reasons already
stated. On that day, Dauramanzi and Mpunzarima were sent to collect a bomb
from Rex Nhongo. They returned on Monday 17 March when Chimurenga handed the
bomb to Sadat Kufamazuba for safe keeping until midnight when Chimurenga,
Rudo, Short and Sadat planted the bomb on the drivers seat of Chitepo’s car.
The four men were acting under the directions of Tongogara.

“On the same night, Tongogara sent Robson Manyika to Chitepo’s house to go
and check whether Chimurenga, Rudo and Short had carried out the mission.
Manyika said he did all this and reported back to Tongogara. This account is
consistent with the corroborative evidence of the members of Dare and the
High Command before the Commission and with their demeanour when they
appeared before us.”

The report continues: “The members of Dare and the High Command could all
therefore be indicated as principals to the murder of Chitepo because
jointly and severally they actively desired to bring this about and did in
fact bring it about. Although only one individual may have completed the
final act to consummate the crime and though some may not have been present
as in the case of Hamadziripi and Chigowe, who claim to have been in Malawi
at the material time, they could all be charged for Chitepo’s murder.”

The report says members of the High Command who gave evidence admitted that
on hearing rumours some of them were to be arrested, scattered and ran away
from Zambia instead of being eager to assist Zambian Police.
“So the whole evidence both circumstantial, as well as direct with regard to
the Chitepo assassination, points inevitably and clearly to his colleagues
in the Dare and the High Command, especially Tongogara, Chigowe, Mudzi,
Gumbo, Kangai and Hamadziripi,” says the report.

The commission was chaired by Reuben Chitandika Kamanga and Mathias Mainza
Chona, both Zambians, representatives of African countries from Botswana,
Congo, Ivory Coast, Libya, Malagasy, Morocco, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra
Leone, Somalia Tanzania and Zaire.

Its terms of reference was to inquire into the events and circumstances
leading to death of Chitepo on 18 March 1975.

It was to investigate and establish “whether any racists or imperialists
agents, or any racists or counter-revolutionaries or saboteurs were directly
responsible for the said death.”

It was to investigate and establish the identity and the motive of the
person or persons responsible for the death said death.

The commission was tasked to: “Make recommendations with regard to the
measures or any additional measures that ought to be taken for the security
of persons engaged in any political activities aimed at the attainment of
freedom and independence of the people of Zimbabwe and any other country in
Africa still under colonial or minority rule.”

Said Kaunda on Zambian national radio on 31 March 1975: “We are shocked. We
are still grieved and angered. We remain bitter against the murderous act,
bitter against the murderers—the enemies of Zambia and Africa. Many Zambians
are, to say the least, very dismayed and justifiably irritated by statement
made by some Zimbabwe nationals, some, even nationalist leaders, have shown
no concern whatsoever for the assassination of Mr Chitepo. To them, Mr
Chitepo has been assassinated and that must be the end.

“Instead of calling upon the party and government to track down the killers
of this gallant fighter, they are either completely silent, while others
virtually demand that we stop the investigation altogether and thereby
shelter the assassins.”

Twenty-fours years later, Kaunda was still bitter as he told The Standard in
1999 when he came to visit the grave of the late vice president, Joshua
Nkomo: “Chitepo was a committed leader. And some day we will talk about how
he died. It is one blot in the history, a sad reflection of the whole
liberation of this region. Some of the Zanla leadership left Zambia soon
after the burial. I didn’t expect them to leave immediately...this was their
death. It was our death too, and it required all of us to work together on
it,” said Kaunda.

At the Review Conference of September 1973, the following were elected to
the Dare: Herbert Chitepo—chairman (Manyika); Mukudzei Mudzi—administrative
secretary (Karanga); Noel Mukono—secretary for external affairs (Manyika);
Kumbirai Kangai—secretary for labour, social services and welfare (Karanga);
Rugare Gumbo—secretary for information and publicity (Karanga); John
Mataure—political commissar (Manyika); Henry Hamadziripi—secretary for
finance (Karanga); Josiah Tongogara—chief of defence (Karanga).

Apart from being an astute politician, Chitepo made history by becoming the
first black advocate in southern Africa.

• EXCLUSIVE—-The Standard will, from next week, serialise the Report of the
Special International Commission on the Assassination of Herbert Wiltshire
Chitepo which was commissioned by former Zambian president, Kenneth Kaunda.
The report is the most authoritative account into events surrounding the
cold-blooded murder of the former nationalist leader. Standard editor, Mark
Chavunduka, said yesterday that not a single sentence of the entire report
will be edited out.

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From The Sunday Telegraph (UK), 30 September

Thugs step up farm invasions despite Zimbabwe pledge

Johannesburg - Farm invasions in Zimbabwe are on the increase in direct contravention of an international agreement signed three weeks ago. Under the Abuja accord, signed at a Commonwealth meeting in the Nigerian capital, the Zimbabwean authorities pledged to abide by the rule of law. In return, Britain agreed to provide funding for orderly land reform. The deal was hailed as a victory for diplomacy, but opposition leaders have reported that it has been repeatedly flouted by President Robert Mugabe's government, taking advantage of the fact that world attention has been diverted by the terrorist outrages in the United States.

Evidence is emerging of a growing campaign to try to intimidate white farmers into leaving their properties, even though the agreement stated that there were to be no more forced seizures of white-owned farms by self-styled war veterans of Zimbabwe's independence struggle. In one case last week, a couple awoke one morning to find two coffins on the lawn outside their farmhouse in Hwedza, 60 miles east of Harare. As the terrified couple peered through their kitchen window, a group of thugs conducted a mock funeral. "It was our funeral," said Marie Potgieter (not her real name). "They said there was a coffin for each of us. Both had flowers in the shape of a cross on top. They said they would kill us if we didn't leave."

The couple, who asked for their real name not to be used, have barricaded themselves in their home. Their farm is one of more than 20 invaded since September 6, when the Zimbabwe government signed the Commonwealth-brokered deal. The terrorist attacks in New York and Washington five days later have provided Harare with a smokescreen, behind which it can flout the agreement, say opposition leaders. They accuse Mr Mugabe of exploiting the current climate to speed ahead with plans to evict 4,500 white farmers and hand their property to his supporters. The postponement of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which had been due to be held next weekend in Brisbane, also provides breathing space for Mr Mugabe, who had been expected to suffer an uncomfortable few days there.

Harare's compliance with the Abuja agreement was expected to be the main issue under discussion at the three-day summit, which was called off because of the September 11 suicide attacks. It will be rescheduled for early next year. A team from Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change spent last week lobbying political leaders in Brisbane to persuade them that the Abuja deal "is not worth the paper it is written on" and the Zimbabwe issue should be kept alive. David Coltart, the MDC's justice spokesman, said he was "disappointed" at the postponement. He said: "Despite the Abuja agreement, land occupations continue. Violence and threats against any opposition continue. Mugabe recognises that the attention of the world has been diverted and is cynically exploiting that fact and doing his worst with impunity."

Jonathan Moyo, a government spokesman, denied that Harare had agreed to curb violence on white-owned farms. "There is no such condition in the agreement," he said. The pact required only that the government implemented land reform within its laws and constitution. Mr Moyo also described the widespread violence in the countryside as a "side-effect" of the land crisis that would disappear once the government resettled black families on the farms. He said: "Once there is recognition of the fundamental problem, the symptoms will disappear." The text of the agreement, however, specifically states that the Zimbabwean government gave the Commonwealth team assurances of its "commitment to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the constitution of Zimbabwe and to take firm action against violence and intimidation".

Meanwhile, the collapse of the farming industry is having a dire effect on poor rural communities in the south. The World Food Programme has given warning of a growing danger of deaths from starvation, and says at least 600,000 tons of grain assistance is needed. In the cities, food is still available, but rampant inflation has pushed numerous items beyond the reach of many. Three weeks ago, an 11lb block of margarine cost £3.50; it is now priced at £7.50. A menu board outside a snack bar in Harare warned customers: "Due to the ever-increasing cost of cooking oil, we are no longer able to afford to make chips."

Comment from The Times (UK), 1 October

Tunnel vision

The atrocities in America have eclipsed all other issues

"Life goes on" is the truism that people use to console each other in times of loss or wretchedness. Since September 11 it has been difficult to draw comfort from this platitude. Much of everyday human activity has ground to a halt, obscured by a noxious covering of dust and ashes. Like the rest of the population, politicians have responded with a tendency towards tunnel vision, despite the best efforts of the media to continue to draw their eyes to the rest of the world.

Even where journalists have been able to keep attention focused, action in these countries has itself diminished, as the universal gaze has turned towards New York. Times 2 today draws together some of the stories that readers may have neglected, chief among them, that some politicians are using this state of distraction to their advantage. For President Mugabe, the atrocities in New York have been convenient. Not only have they eclipsed reports of continuing violence against white farmers and his determination to ignore the undertakings given by his negotiators in Nigeria; they have also led to the cancellation of next week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Brisbane, at which Mr Mugabe faced a strong push by Britain, Australia and a growing number of Commonwealth members to censure him for flouting the Harare principles and suspend Zimbabwe from membership.

Postponing the Brisbane summit was inevitable. Tony Blair was loath to travel to the Antipodes when British forces might be ordered into action any day. The Prime Ministers of India and Canada also indicated that they would not attend. The other 51 leaders would have spent more time speculating on the war against terrorism than dealing with Zimbabwe or focusing on what the Commonwealth should stand for and do. Nevertheless, postponement has underlined the contradiction between what Western leaders are demanding and what they are doing. In public they are calling for business as usual; in practice they have swept every issue from their agenda except the campaign against terrorism and efforts to halt the collapse of the world economy. Had the Commonwealth summit gone ahead, it would have debated the future of a body that has looked increasingly irrelevant to international politics. It can still restore something of its moral authority by taking immediate action against Mr Mugabe. Unlike the world’s media, statesmen today are blinded to other issues by the explosions in America. Life will not return to normal until their vision is restored.

From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 28 September

Zimbabwe govt: our door is always open

The Zimbabwe government on Friday said it was still open to continue dialogue with white farmers in a bid to resolve the land country's land crisis. "Doors of government are open to any negotiations that would work towards the implementation of the Abuja agreement," Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said. An accord was reached in Nigeria early this month to try and find a lasting solution to Zimbabwe's land reform crisis, which has political overtones. Talks between the government and white farmers broke down this week apparently following the government's stance that it expected the farmers to give it 8,5-million hectares of land on an uncontested basis for resettlement of blacks.

On the eve of the Abuja talks early this month, the government accepted an offer of one million hectares of land from white farmers. "We believe that once the white farmers make up their minds that they want to cooperate, the first thing is, we expect then that they will make available the 8,5-million hectares on an uncontested basis," said Chinamasa. "If that fails then it means we have to go through the courts and this will delay the process," Chinamasa said in an interview on state television. White farmers on Wednesday said they had made "no progress at all" in talks with the government this week aimed at avoiding a legal showdown over land reform. Their lawyer Adrian de Bourbon said while meeting was held without prejudice, "no progress was made at all and the door has been closed to approaches to others in government," because of the attitude of the justice minister.

Representatives of farmers met late on Monday with Chinamasa to try to settle a case in which the government has asked the Supreme Court to overturn its previous ruling and declare the government's land reforms legal. The meeting came at the urging of Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku - who was sworn in by President Robert Mugabe in August after his predecessor was pressured to quit. But said Chinamasa: "Our doors remain open, and that when they (white farmers) have thought about it, they will come back and talk to us to see how we can move forward the Abuja agreement".

From Business Day (SA), 1 October

Congo rebels fight rivals from Rwanda, Burundi

Kigali - Congolese rebels have launched a military offensive to dislodge thousands of Rwandan and Burundian rebels who captured a strategic town in eastern Congo aided by Congolese government army officers, the rebel army chief said at the weekend. Commander Sylvain Mbuki, army chief of the rebel Congolese Rally for Democracy, said fierce fighting began last Thursday as his troops launched operations to flush out rebels from the two neighbouring countries who took over the town of Fizi on September 7 with the help of Congolese tribal militia. The Rwandan and Burundian rebels and their Congolese allies also advanced to areas around Baraka town, 25km to the northeast, taking advantage of the vacuum created as Burundian government forces were pulling out of eastern Congo to fight rebels outside their country's capital. "Heavy fighting continues. We have hit them hard and they are now on the retreat from Baraka," Mbuki said.

The war in Congo broke out in August 1998 when Rwanda and Uganda backed Congolese rebels attempting to oust then president Laurent Kabila, accusing him of threatening regional security by arming Rwandan and Ugandan rebels. The Rwandan government holds Rwandan Hutu Interahamwe militiamen responsible for the 100-day slaughter of at least 500 000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus in Rwanda in 1994. The Interahamwe militiamen fled to neighbouring Congo, then known as Zaire, to escape retaliation and have since been fighting the Rwandan government. Burundi joined the fray to fight Burundian rebels based in eastern Congo. The Burundian rebels are also supported by the Congolese government.

The capture of Congolese territory on the shores of Lake Tanganyika provided Rwandan and Burundian rebels with unhindered access to Burundi, located across the lake, said Adolphe Onusumba, head of the Congolese rebels. Congolese rebel leaders, who are signatories to the 1999 peace accord, warned that the move jeopardises the fragile peace process in Congo. The Rwandan and Burundian rebels did not sign the cease-fire, but the Congolese government did. The development puts pressure on efforts to end war in Congo that has claimed an estimated 2,5-million lives, most of them civilian victims of hunger and disease.

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