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

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From ZWNEWS, 9 September

Abuja failure highlighted

Visiting leaders of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum told a meeting at
Chatham House in London on Monday that it was impossible to have free and
fair elections in the current climate in Zimbabwe - and voiced deep concern
that Zimbabweans are losing faith in being able to express their will
through the ballot box. Albert Musarurwa, chairman of the forum, an umbrella
organisation of 16 civil society bodies in Zimbabwe, and Arnold Tsunga,
director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, were speaking after a closed
meeting with diplomats from 23 Commonwealth countries. The meeting was
called ahead of the Commonwealth summit to be held in Nigeria at the end of
the year, where some African states will press for an end to the suspension
of Robert Mugabe’s regime from the councils of the Commonwealth.

In a report issued Monday, the Human Rights Forum said that the Zimbabwe
administration failed to live up to promises made under the Ajuba agreement
which it signed with the Commonwealth in September 2001. Under the
agreement, Mugabe’s regime promised, among other things, to end occupations
of white-owned farms, to restore the rule of law to the land reform
programme, to permit freedom of expression and to take firm action against
violence and intimidation. "There has been continued disregard for the rule
of law and manipulation of the judiciary that has compromised equal access
to justice," said the report. "This has been accompanied by a culture of
impunity presided over by a seemingly partisan police force. Economic
decline has accelerated as a result of mismanagement, coupled with
engagement in an unsustainable land reform programme that has only served to
aggravate food insecurity in the country." Every election since June 2000
has been marked by organised violence and intimidation, "supplying food in
exchange for votes and the use of retributive force where voters are deemed
not to have voted 'correctly’," the report added. "There has been no
directive given to the police army or the intelligence organisation to cease
gratuitous use of violence against Zimbabwean citizens. The Zimbabwe
government has apparently acquiesced to human rights violations, in
particular those at the hands of uniformed state agents."

There was no word on the outcome of the closed meeting. But informed sources
said it was marked by tense exchanges between representatives of the
Commonwealth Secretariat and diplomats from the Zimbabwe High Commission.
During the public meeting, Zimbabwe’s Deputy High Commissioner in London,
Godfrey Magwenzi, intervened, declaring, "We are not in the habit of
harassing people." He was greeted with derisive laughter. Noting that in
recent parliamentary by-elections and local elections, the turnout was as
low as 11 percent, Tsunga said: "There was serious voter apathy and part of
that apathy was because people in Zimbabwe no longer value elections as a
meaningful way of (getting) change." In its report, the forum called on
Mugabe’s administration, the Commonwealth, the African Union and Zimbabwe’s
southern African neighbours to recognise that the crisis in the country was
not due only – as Mugabe maintains – to the land redistribution issue. They
should acknowledge that the crisis was due also to endemic political
violence and human rights abuses, a partisan and politicised judiciary, the
breakdown of the rule of and the deteriorating economic and social

South African officials have said they want talks between Mugabe’s Zanu PF
and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to be going on during the
Commonwealth summit as an argument for getting Zimbabwe’s suspension lifted.
Despite opposition from South Africa and Nigeria, Zimbabwe was suspended
after Commonwealth observers ruled that the March 2002 presidential election
in which Mugabe claimed victory was not held in a fair climate. Sanctions
against Mugabe and his top lieutenants have also been imposed by the
European Union and the United States. The Forum urged that talks between
Zanu PF and the MDC should be resumed urgently - but not as a face-saving
measure to get Zimbabwe’s Commonwealth suspension lifted in December. Mugabe
blames "sanctions" for the near-collapse of the economy. Said Musarurwa:
"The Zimbabwe economy is not melting down because Mugabe cannot go to New

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Comment from ZWNEWS, 9 September

Stockholm Syndrome

Last month, the government issued a new directive on food aid distribution.
In future, said July Moyo, the minister of Social Welfare, government
officials and village heads would decide who gets food - thereby reversing
the established practise whereby the humanitarian agencies deliver aid on a
non-partisan basis to those in need. "Zero tolerance!" replied the World
Food Programme. "We have not had any incidents of political interference. If
we have a problem, we will stop." Discussions with the government were
reported to be continuing, with the international aid agencies seeking
"clarification" of the new directive. A few days later, UN humanitarian
coordinator Victor Angelo said the government had given an assurance that
the WFP would retain control of food aid distribution.

That assurance turned out to be verbal, and worth as much as the breath with
which it was spoken. Last week, the government forced the UN's Relief and
Recovery Unit to close its provincial offices, citing procedural
irregularities, which the UN denied. But the response was decidedly less
robust than the previous "zero tolerance". "While the situation is not
ideal, field staff are being allowed to go out into the field from Harare",
a UN official said. Discussions with the government were - again -
continuing. What next? Escorts of youth militia on the food trucks? Followed
by disccussions. "Isolated" incidents of blatant food aid discrimination,
which turn out to be widespread? More discussions. The seizure of food
stocks and humanitarian aid-delivery vehicles by the government? Nothing
more to discuss.

In 1973, four Swedes held in a bank vault for six days during a robbery
became attached to their captors, a phenomenon dubbed the Stockholm
Syndrome. There seems to be a Zimbabwean variant of the Stockholm Syndrome
at work here. The aid agencies are not, of course, hostages. But they are
giving the impression that they are. They are not the first to be seduced
into this kind of response to the Zimbabwe government. But they have less
excuse than others to take ministerial "assurances" at face value. They
have, after all, been here before. This is not the first season where the
government has tried to take control of food aid distribution, and this year
conditions are tighter.

The government has little or no maize stocks, and the population at large is
acutely aware that what food there is has been donated by the very people
the government labels as Zimbabwe's enemies.  Such foreign identification
with humanitarian aid is against the interests of the government, and so it
will try and bring it to an end. Border Gezi graduates, for instance, have
been fed the astonishing fiction that western scientists have gained control
of Zimbabwe's weather. The government will also try to regain the means to
punish those it sees as "disloyal" by denying them food, whatever it says to
the UN. The government will bluster about national sovereignty and
blackmail, and it will get all worked up about bureaucratic
"irregularities". It will continue giving "assurances" - while frustrating
work on the ground wherever it can. But at the same time it needs to feed
its own supporters. The government is bluffing, and, like all bullies and
bluffers, it will back down if confronted. It's high time the aid agencies
put their collective feet down. For their reputation, for their own
self-respect, and, more importantly, for the sake of millions of
Zimbabweans. Whatever party they support.

Stockholm Syndrome symptoms: The captives begin to identify with their
captors. At least at first this is a defensive mechanism, based on the idea
that the captor will not hurt the captive if he is cooperative and even
positively supportive. The captive seeks to win the favour of the captor in
an almost childlike way. Long term captivity builds even stronger attachment
to the captor as he becomes known as a human being with his own problems and
aspirations. Particularly in political or ideological situations, longer
captivity also allows the captive to become familiar with the captor's point
of view and the history of his grievances against authority. He may come to
believe that the captor's position is just. The captive seeks to distance
himself emotionally from the situation by denial that it is actually taking
place. He may try to forget the situation by engaging in useless but time
consuming "busy work".

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Mugabe's men fight for seized land
Tuesday, September 9, 2003 Posted: 10:30 AM EDT (1430 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- Some of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's
ministers and his war veteran supporters are fighting over land seized from
white farmers under a controversial land reform program, officials and local
reports said Tuesday.

Critics say while thousands have benefited from the program in the last
three years, ministers and officials from Mugabe's ZANU-PF party have seized
the most productive farms.

The privately-owned Daily News said on Tuesday leading war veteran activist
Mike Moyo had obtained a court order barring Mines Minister Edward
Chindori-Chininga from occupying a farm in northwest Zimbabwe, saying he
already had two other properties.

Moyo and Chindori-Chininga were unavailable for comment Tuesday, but court
officials confirmed a provisional order had given the mines minister until
October 14 to state his case.

Officials working on land resettlement said several other ministers were
locked in ownership disputes with war veterans.

"There are other cases...but many of them are being resolved at provincial
level to avoid this sort of publicity," one official told Reuters. He
declined to further give details.

Dozens of ZANU-PF officials including ministers, have taken more than one
farm in what critics say is proof the reforms are not being carried out to
benefit the landless black majority.

In July, Mugabe ordered top officials to reduce their holdings to one
property, but private-owned newspapers say only a handful have complied.

The mainly-white Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) says about three quarters of
its 4,500 members have now lost their land in the sometimes violent
takeovers, often led by veterans of the country's 1970s war against white

Mugabe, Zimbabwe's ruler since the former Rhodesia gained independence from
Britain in 1980, says the land seizures are to correct colonial imbalances
which left 70 percent of the best farmland in the hands of minority whites.

But critics say the land seizures were poorly planned, and are partly to
blame for a deepening crisis in a country where agriculture is the mainstay
of the economy.

Agricultural production has fallen more than 50 percent in the past year,
and Zimbabwe is facing food, fuel and foreign currency shortages while
unemployment and inflation have soared.

Once a regional breadbasket, the southern African state has become a net
importer of food over the last three years but the government blames this on
drought, not its land reforms.

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Zimbabwe seeks international help to get Britain to pay land compensation

Zimbabwe has asked international groupings to intervene and try to convince
former colonial power Britain to pay compensation to white farmers who have
lost their land under land reforms, the ZIANA state news agency said

The appeal was made late Monday by Zimbabwe's speaker of parliament,
Emmerson Mnangagwa, as he addressed a group of visiting lawmakers from the
African, Carribean and Pacific (ACP) grouping, which includes some of the
world's poorest nations.

"I call upon you, our brothers and sisters from the ACP, to encourage the EU
to play a mediatory role in encouraging Britain to comply with its
obligation to compensate white commercial farmers in the spirit of the
Lancaster House Agreement," Mnangagwa was quoted as saying, referring to the
1979 peace pact signed in London ending Zimbabwe's guerrilla war of

Zimbabwe has accused British Prime Minister Tony Blair of reneging on
certain agreements made by his predecessors, Margaret Thatcher and John
Major, on compensation for land reform in Zimbabwe.

Under a controversial land reform programme that was accelerated in 2000,
the government of President Robert Mugabe has seized land from white
commercial farmers and redistributed it to landless black Zimbabweans.

The land seizures have been marred by violence, with would-be black settlers
sometimes invading white-owned farms.

Britain has said it will only support land reforms that it believes to be
fair and transparent and has tied the compensation pay-outs to the
restoration of the rule of law in Zimbabwe and an end to violent land

Mngangagwa said the land issue in the southern African country was
"essentially a bilateral dispute between Zimbabwe and Britain".

"However, we are saddened by the fact that Britain is mobilising
international opinion against Zimbabwe in a purely bilateral dispute," he

Britain has led an international outcry against Mugabe's government over the
land reforms, which have seen about 4,000 white farmers evicted from their
land over the past three years.

And in March last year, the 15-nation EU imposed a travel ban on President
Robert Mugabe and his inner circle in protest at rights abuses and claims of
vote fraud during the March 2002 presidential elections.

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Radio Netherlands

A trader's plight

By our Internet desk, 9 September 2003

'Mabel'The deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe occasionally draws headlines, and the news is never good. The economic situation has gone into steep decline, in part due to the costs of participating in an expensive war in the Congo. There has also been a drought, rigged elections, fuel shortages, hunger, human rights abuses and widespread violence against any accused of dissent or opposition. It is hard to imagine how people cope from day to day.

Click to hear the full reportThis report was featured on A Good life. Click to listen to the programme in full. (29:30)

A Radio Netherlands journalist recently went to Zimbabwe. Because of severe restrictions against foreign journalists, he traveled undercover. Despite the risks, some people were willing to talk. 'Mabel', a trader, was one of them.

When things started getting tight in the country, the government encouraged people to go north, to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). There, they were told, goods were needed, they would do good business and Zimbabwean traders would be welcome because of the support their government troops had given the DRC during the civil war. The reality, Mabel found, was quite different.

Mabel: "I went to DRC. I took 560 for my husband. I ordered things in town. I went to DRC, because I heard that the government says we are supposed to go and make our small business in DRC. What I met there in DRC is not good. They arrested me. They took all my things. We were in prison there for two months."

RN: "Why did they arrest you?"

Mabel: "They said that we are not allowed to sell there in DRC."

RN: "What were you selling?"

Mabel: "I was selling blankets, clothes."

RN: "So they took you to jail. What happened in jail?"

Mabel: "In jail we were not eating the whole day. They were frustrating us, telling us: 'You Zimbabweans, we don't want to see you here, because your president has stolen our diamonds.'"

RN: "You spent two months in prison. What happened afterwards?"

Mabel: "In prison they didn't give us the chance to phone home, to give the messages that we were there. We ended up giving one of the guards money. She took us out of prison without permission at night. We ran away across the border, with no stamp in my passport. We reached Zambia. There in Zambia they arrested us. They said: 'Where are you coming from?' We said: 'We are coming from DRC.' They asked why they had arrested us [in the DRC], because DRC was a friend of Mugabe."

RN: "How long did you stay in Zambia?"

Mabel: "In Zambia I stayed 26 days."

RN: "Did you stay in prison there also?"

Mabel's passportMabel: "Yes, in Chingoli prison."

RN: "Why did they put you in prison in Zambia?"

Mabel: "Just because we didn't get stamps in our passports in DRC - we were running away."

RN: "What were the conditions like in the prison?"

Mabel: "The conditions were better than in DRC. They were giving us food. Church members came to visit us in prison. They were the ones who contacted home, so that they knew our whereabouts. I am surprised by the DRC. Our brothers died there [in the war]. They said we were friends, but now they arrest us. They want us also to die there."

RN: "How did you get out of prison in Zambia?"

Mabel: "I was with another woman, whose name I cannot say. The church members phoned the husband. The husband came to collect us from Chingoli prison."

RN: "Did they do anything bad to you in DRC or in Zambia? Did they hit you?"

Mabel: "In Congo they were hitting us. We were doing hard labour, carrying timber. I had pain in my chest and I was coughing blood. I was suspecting that I had Ebola. I didn't have any treatment there."

RN: "What do you think it is? Do you think it's tuberculosis?"

Mabel: "No, tuberculosis is not there - I went for an x-ray."

RN: "Do you know why you were coughing blood?"

Mabel: "I don't know. I went for an x-ray and they gave me treatment."

RN: "And now you're OK."

Mabel: "I'm not OK, I'm better, but I am also weak."

RN: "So what are you going to do now?"

Mabel: "I'll concentrate, because I lost that 560. It was the all the money I had. I don't have a cent. I don't have anything for food. My children are starving. They've cut off my phone at home. Even the house they are going to close, because my husband is not working."

RN: "How many children do you have?"

Mabel: "I have three children. They are going to school. The first is fifteen, the second was born in 1985, the third was born in 1992."

RN: "And all three of them are going to school?

Mabel: "Two are going to school."

RN: "And the third one isn't because you don't have the money?"

Mabel: "I don't have money. I don't have anything."

RN: "How do you see the future?

Mabel: "I can't see the future from now, because I'm stranded. Food, something to eat, is coming from next door."

RN: "What was your husband doing before, when he was working?"

Mabel: "My husband was retrenched from the railways in the year 2000, so they gave us money. That money was what I took to DRC. I also borrowed from other people. I can't manage to pay that money back. The one who lent me money the time I went to DRC has taken my TV - a 54-inch colour TV. He said: 'You can't manage to pay, you are sick.' Someone is going to come and take something else, because I can't manage to pay them. I want to tell you our government is killing us. I starved in DRC. I may die of hunger. I am sick, I don't have something to eat. Things are very expensive and they are not there in shops. There is no food in Zimbabwe. We are starving."

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Business Day

Zanu-PF officials return excess land


HARARE - Some 30,000 hectares of farmland have been recovered from Zimbabwe
ruling party officials  who had acquired more than one farm under the
government's land reform scheme, state media quoted a  cabinet minister as
saying today.
John Nkomo, minister of Special Affairs in President Robert Mugabe's
government said on state radio and in the government-run Herald newspaper
that some officials had responded to Mugabe'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.

Mugabe appointed a Land Review Committee earlier this year to investigate,
among other things, multiple farm ownership. A preliminary report by the
Land Review Committee indicated that a number of high-ranking officials in
the ruling Zanu-PF owned multiple farms, according to a party spokesman.

At the end of July, Mugabe gave Zanu-PF officials two weeks to surrender any
land in excess of one farm.

Although the deadline for relinquishing the farms has passed, the Herald
said more officials were still expected to come forward to surrender their
excess land.

The government, which accelerated its programme of acquiring white-owned
commercial farms for redistribution to landless blacks in 2000, has been
criticised for allowing ruling party members to grab prime farmland.

More than 200,000 landless black Zimbabweans have been resettled onto some
11-million hectares of land that were forcibly taken by Mugabe's government
from some 4,500 white farmers.

Critics of Mugabe's government have argued that the land seizures have
exacerbated a severe famine in Zimbabwe, where around  half the population
is threatened by hunger.

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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: Good Governance

The President,

Dear Mr. Taylor-Freeme,

Following on from the Rule of Law, Transparency, Accountability, Efficiency
and Tolerance for the diversity of opinions, there are three further
requirements for good governance that I would like to share with you and
your Council.

*Free and Fair Elections

*Participatory Decision-making

*Socio-Economic Rights and Sustainable Livelihoods

*Free and fair elections is a fairly simple concept to grasp, and possibly
a difficult one to implement that need not be expanded upon.

*Participatory Decision-making: This is rather pertinent as I gather that
Matabeleland Region is intending to break from the CFU due to factors of a
similar nature.

*Socio-economic Rights and Sustainable Livelihoods:

I believe that this is one area where you and your Council, and your
predecessors, need to give some serious consideration. Support for the
Government Land Reform programme, given in writing in 2002 by Council,
could expose Council to culpability for the destruction of this important
requirement for good governance. John Worsley Worswick has recently touched
on the magnitude of this "socio-economic and sustainable livelihoods"
destruction to other parties who are in a position to make a difference.

I take note of your reply of 21.8. to my letter referring to the Rule of
Law, where you felt that I was "playing games."

The eight points of good governance I have extracted are from the Freedom
Charter put out by the Crisis Coalition - not games by any stretch of the

A point at issue now is that you have been briefed, in writing, of areas of
possible culpability where CFU has supported, in writing, the Land Reform
Programme. Secondly, you have been made aware, in writing, of components of
the Freedom Charter.

It's your call to make the stand.

Yours faithfully,
J.L. Robinson.


Letter 2: Frank Urquhart

I refer to the letter to the JAG open letters Forum by Dave Joubert dated
2nd September 2003 (included in No 138 03/08/03) and can only say WELL
SAID. It's about time the CFU Leadership wake up and smell the coffee (or
lack of it!)


Letter 3: Transportation for Horses


We have six horses which we have managed to re home.  The only problem is
that we do not have the transportation. The horses are in Karoi and need to
be moved to Harare.  The only problem is that the owner of the farm needs
to be off the farm by the 15th September 2003.  Is there anyone that can

Please contact:
Janine Casling
work: 730880/2
home: 745512
cell: 011 804 859


Letter 4: Next Time We Meet

Dear Family and Friends,

Sitting in the sun on a low wall outside one of the main banks in Marondera
this week was a man who has become familiar to me over the last year and a
half. I don't know his name and he doesn't know mine but we always greet
each other and bit by bit I've come to know of his story and circumstances
quite well. The man used to be a worker on a farm just outside Marondera
until it was taken over by war veterans. Like most of us that were once on
Zimbabwe's farms, this man has seen his fair share of violence and
brutality meted out by government supporters and war veterans. He has seen
mobs marauding through the farm workers' village, pulling people out of
their houses, burning possessions and thatched roofs, smashing doors and
beating people. He saw his employer being arrested and going to prison for
trying to keep farming and he's got the same sort of look on his face that
I still sometimes see on my own face when I look in the mirror. I suppose
you would describe the look as a combination of emotions - shock, fear,
horror, disbelief, mistrust and a deep sadness at everything that has
happened to us all regardless of what colour our skins are and whether we
were employers or employees.

Every time I meet the man he always asks me what I am doing now that I
cannot farm, how I am surviving and how my son is. Likewise I ask him about
his wife and their 4 young children, how they are coping, if he is working
and if he has found somewhere to live. Like all the farm workers I've ever
known, the man has a way about him, a sort of strength and quiet dignity
which comes from having spent your life out of doors. His big hands are
work hardened, his eyes crinkled up from being in the sun all the time and
he's got the most wonderful smile. Every now and again the man asks me if I
can help him with a bit of money for food but more often it's just chat
about what he calls "those good days that are gone now."

When I came out of the bank this week, I saw the man and he smiled and
rested his hand on the wall next to him. I sat down next to him and we
passed the usual pleasantries. He still hasn't got a job, he was always a
farm worker and doesn't know how to do anything else and has very little
education. He is surviving by sometimes pushing a hand cart filled with
wood for people or hanging around outside factories on the off chance of a
days casual labour. The bit of money he manages to earn just gives him
enough to feed his family once a day but none of his 4 children have been
in school since the farm was taken over, he simply can't afford the fees,
let alone uniforms or books. He won't tell me where he lives, he just says
he is staying in the bush near a bus stop.

In his hand, the man had a doctors prescription and I asked him if he was
unwell. He said the script was for a cream and he bent down and carefully
lifted his trouser leg to show me his problem. Behind his knee and on his
calf were about fifteen big blister encrusted sores, seeping and oozing. He
said it was painful to walk and that he didn't have enough money for the
medication. He had already priced it and it was going to cost three and a
half thousand dollars. Then he took a well worn wallet out of his pocket
and showed me the two five hundred dollar notes he had managed to earn
towards the cost. I pulled out my wallet and gave him the balance and the
man's eyes filled with tears. He patted my hand repeatedly as we sat there
in the sun being stared at by passers by. "God Bless You" he kept saying as
he counted his and my money again and again to make sure it was enough. As
we said goodbye he asked me to wait and watch him go into the chemist so
that I would know he really was going to get the medicine. "I will be
strong next time we meet" he called out as he limped away and I watched
until he turned into the chemist. He looked back and smiled, waving the
prescription and the precious pile of five hundred dollar notes.

Lots of things happened in Zimbabwe this week, President Mugabe is in Cuba,
Vice President Muzenda is critically ill in hospital and the opposition won
massively in last weekend's council elections. But it was my meeting with a
proud and struggling ex farm worker which I will remember for a long time
to come

Until next week, with love, Cathy

Copyright cathy buckle 6th September 2003.
My books on events in Zimbabwe, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are
available in the UK, USA and Canada through: ;
in Australia and New Zealand through: and in
Africa from and


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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SA not going the Zim way
08/09/2003 23:07  - (SA)

Marietie Louw

Johannesburg - South Africa's land reform process "is not heading along the
same route as that of Zimbabwe".

This was the statement of Tozi Gwanya, chief land claims commissioner, after
he warned white farmers about a month ago to change their attitude to land
reform to "prevent a second Zimbabwe".

"I did not mean that this country's land reform in future would be the same
as in Zimbabwe. It is something totally different," Gwanya said.

Political parties and agriculture organisations sharply criticised his
earlier statement in Johannesburg during a discussion on land reform. He
said it was the fault of white farmers in Zimbabwe "that their land reform
process failed".

He said white farmers in Zimbabwe have had a negative attitude towards land
reform for the past 20 years. "Now they want to talk, but it is too late. We
can prevent a similar situation if farmers co-operate."

Gwanya said the land claims commission was concerned because TAU SA was
opposed to land reform.

TAU SA said during the recent public hearings in parliament on the planned
Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act that it was opposed to land reform
"as it is currently structured".

Peet Grobbelaar, legal representative of TAU SA, said they were not opposed
to land reform "when it is done correctly".

TLU SA is opposing the amendment act. Under the new legislation, Thoko
Didiza, as minister of agriculture and land affairs, would be able to
expropriate land without a court order.

Gwanya said that under current legislation, land could not be expropriated
without a court order. The landowner and claimants must agree on the planned
expropriation. "Under the amendment, land could be expropriated without a
court order, but dissatisfied landowners could still turn to the court."

He said the land claims commission had enough money to conclude restitution
claims. "Another 150 people were appointed with the latest budget to assist.
We are hopeful that the process will be concluded by 2005."

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Daily News

      War vet, minister clash

        WAR veterans’ leader Mike Moyo last week obtained a court order
barring Mines Minister Edward Chindori-Chininga from a farm in Banket, which
Moyo says Chindori-Chininga wants to grab from him to add on to two other
farms the minister already has in Mazowe district.

      In an application for a peace order against Chindori-Chininga at the
magistrates’ court in Chinhoyi, 110 km north-west of Harare, Moyo accused
the Mines Minister, his brother Victor and their four workers of
"threatening my peace and that of my workers" at Nkodzwi Farm.

      Moyo, who is the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’
Association’s national secretary for security, told the court that he had
letters from the government offering him Nkodzwi Farm, which he says was
allocated to him by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural

      Chindori-Chininga, Victor and their workers identified in court papers
as Brian, Munyaradzi, Whyson and Fidelis, were cited as respondents in the
court application and were given up to 14 October to show cause why
magistrate Wilfred Chipato should not grant a final order.

      "What surprises me is that the first respondent, who is a Minister of
the Republic of Zimbabwe, is actually instigating the violence," said Moyo,
who was represented by Nicholas Chikono of Mhiribidi, Ngarava and Moyo law

      "He brings his people from his other farms to intimidate me and my
workers. The Minister has two farms in Mazowe. He now needs one allocated to

      "The policy in this country is one man one farm. I have no other farm
besides the one in issue."

      At the end of July this year, President Robert Mugabe ordered ruling
ZANU PF party leaders with more than one farm to surrender them within two

      But to date no Cabinet minister has publicly surrendered the extra
farms, although most senior government officials are known to have grabbed
several prime farms for themselves, their wives and children under the guise
of the government’s chaotic land reform programme.

      Under the controversial and often violent land reform programme that
has also reduced hunger-stricken Zimbabwe’s capacity to produce food for the
country, the government seized 90 percent of white-owned private farms for
ostensible redistribution to landless blacks.

      But most of the best farmland ended up in the hands of ZANU PF
heavyweights, top government officials and their hangers-on.

      Mugabe issued the order to surrender farms after reading a preliminary
report prepared by the Presidential Land Review Committee.

      The report revealed that several top ZANU PF officials had multiple

      Moyo said in his affidavit to the magistrates’ court, the minister and
his brother had brought 300 head of cattle to Nkodzwi Farm while he was
paying other farmers to keep his own cattle for him.

      He said: "The honourable minister is now fabricating false charges
against my employees," said the war veterans’ security chief.

      "Quite clearly this is a way of getting at me. He claims that my
guards and workers stoned his car and four of my workers are on bail on
frivolous and vexatious allegations.

      "The crucial question is: what is an honourable member of the Cabinet
doing at my farm? Why does he frequent my farm instead of doing (sic)
progress at his own farms?

      "I am a fellow Zimbabwean, a war veteran who deserves to be given
land. I have an obligation to put the farm to use to help alleviate poverty
in the country.

      "This cannot be achieved if the respondents continue to harass me and
my workers.

      "It seems he is taking advantage of his position to harass me and my

      The war veterans’ leader said the minister’s brother, Victor, had
taken over the farmhouse, a move he said "was a way of provoking me so that
we behave violently and they will have us arrested". It was not possible by
the time of going to print last night to ascertain from Chindori-Chininga
whether he or his lawyers had yet filed papers challenging the peace order
granted by the court last week. By Fanuel Jongwe Court Reporter

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Daily News

      Matabeleland farmers ditch CFU

        BULAWAYO – The Matabeleland chapter of the Commercial Farmers’ Union
(CFU) has split from the main CFU assembly, in protest against the
association’s leadership strategies, as divisions over relations with
government and the management of the commercial farming

      crisis deepens, the Daily News has established.

      The development is the latest in a series of crises and regional
divisions rocking the farmers’ body, stemming from differences on the
methods of negotiating with government regarding the continued arbitrary
seizures of farmers’ properties.

      Matabeleland CFU chairman, Mac Crawford said that commercial farmers
in the province would no longer be represented by the present CFU leadership
and would not pay membership fees, or be bound by any statement or agreement
entered into by the association.

      He said Matabeleland commercial farmers had lost faith in the
organisation’s top executive, adding that the current leadership was
unacceptable to farmers in the province.

      "We, the leaders of CFU in Matabeleland, believe we should advise you
of why we have decided to take the action we have taken," Crawford said in a
letter to the CFU council, the farmers’ decision-making body.

      "As far back as March 2003, we believed there would be a leadership
problem in CFU once (Colin) Cloete’s term of office ended and we consulted a
number of people to find alternative nominees."

      "At the June 2003 council meeting, we stated that the current
leadership was unacceptable and at the President’s Council meeting in July
the matter of leadership was discussed at length."

      Cloete stepped down at the CFU annual congress last month after
serving two terms.

      Doug Taylor-Freeme, who took over from Cloete as CFU leader, yesterday
said there were farmers in Matabeleland who were agitating for the CFU
leadership to adopt a political position, adding that this would not happen.

      He however said the split would not have any impact because between
seven and eight percent of the remaining CFU members were from Matabeleland.

      "I am aware of the position of the Matabeleland CFU. It’s unfortunate
that they wish to take that action," Taylor-Freeme told the Daily News

      "Our position is that we welcome any of Matabeleland members who wish
to remain in the CFU as individuals.

      "There are a few people in Matabeleland who wish us to take a
political stance but we are not political and will remain so."

      Opinion within the organisation has been divided between hardliners,
who favour court action and international pressure against the government’s
land reform programme, and moderates, who prefer a negotiated settlement to
the land reform dispute.

      Taylor-Freeme and his executive are widely seen as too moderate,
having been responsible for the failed Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement
Initiative which sought dialogue with government and financial support for
the land reform programme.

      Crawford said as far back as March 2003, the CFU top hierarchy and
councillors were aware that the present leadership team was unacceptable to
Matabeleland farmers.

      He said: "At the congress we tried to find alternative leaders, and at
a Matabeleland executive meeting it was agreed that we would make one final
effort to find a way forward."

      "Sadly, two weeks after our meeting our agreements have not been
ratified, and a legal document has not been drawn up and minutes taken at
all meetings have not been made available and regrettably we find no
alternative but to take the action we have."

      According to Crawford, a meeting held on 22 August between
Matabeleland farmers and the CFU executive had set a deadline by which the
CFU council would have to check the constitutionality of the proposals made
by farmers at the meeting, and accept the proposals.

      CFU councillors, due to meet on 23 September, were to be telephoned
for their approval, in light of the urgency of the leadership crisis. The
split by the Matabeleland CFU marks another chapter in the disintegration of
the organisation, which has come under intense pressure from its disgruntled
members, and government, through Agriculture Minister Joseph Made who has
said white farmers were now "irrelevant". By Mbongeni Mguni Senior Business

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Daily News

      Fax on urban polls lands man in court

        A CHITUNGWIZA man, who was arrested in a Harare public phone shop as
he attempted to fax to a friend, a personal letter and a newspaper cutting
chronicling cases of violence in the run-up to last month’s urban council
elections, appeared in court yesterday charged with breaching the state’s
draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

      Martin Mukaro, 35, was arrested on Friday while he was faxing the
documents at a phone shop at Manica House in central Harare.

      The building once housed the ruling ZANU PF party’s headquarters
before they moved to the new premises along Rotten Row.

      Harare magistrate Memory Chigwaza remanded Mukaro on $10 000 bail to 8

      According to the state, Mukaro was standing next to a fax machine when
a man who had been peeping at his personal documents, alerted the police
about the alleged offending documents.

      The police immediately pounced on Mukaro seizing his documents before
arresting and throwing him into cells where he was detained until freed by
the court on bail yesterday.

      According to the state, Mukaro on Friday last week wrote a letter to
Felix Mazava, a Zimbabwean living in London, chronicling the violence that
accompanied urban council and mayoral elections held on 30 and 31 August.

      Mukaro allegedly wrote in his letter that ZANU PF supporters
perpetrated violence to force a win in the Kwekwe mayoral election.

      The State further alleges that Mukaro wrote in the letter that some
houses were burnt down and that the police had not taken action against the
perpetrators, fearing a backlash from ruling party supporters and militants.

      The newsclip Mukaro allegedly wanted to fax to his friend was from the
31 August issue of the Daily News on Sunday headlined: "MP beaten up as poll

      Harare lawyer Shepherd Mushonga, who is representing Mukaro,
unsuccessfully applied for refusal of remand for his client, arguing that
there was nothing unusual in what Mukaro did because the newspaper, which
published the story Mukaro wanted to send to Britain, was a public document
that was also available on the internet.

      Section 15 (1) (c) of POSA makes it an offence for "making any
communication or publishing to any person a statement which is wholly or
materially false and undermining public confidence in a law enforcement
agency, prison service or defence forces of Zimbabwe".

      More than 500 Zimbabweans, most of them supporters of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change party, have been arrested and/or prosecuted
for allegedly undermining the Office of President since the enactment of the
repressive POSA early last year.

      And about 10 opposition legislators have also fallen victim to the

      But the state has lost several cases that have been referred to the
courts because most of the provisions of the Communist-style law have been
ruled vague and generalised by the courts.

      By Obert Matahwa

      Court Reporter

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Daily News

      Kunonga beats a retreat

        CONTROVERSIAL Anglican bishop Nolbert Kunonga at the weekend
backtracked on his attempts to amend the church’s Acts after parishioners
indicated they would oppose the changes which church insiders had said would
have concentrated power in Kunonga’s hands.

      The amendments were listed as one of the agenda items for the Synod,
the church’s annual general meeting, which was held from Friday until

      Representatives of several parishes in Harare told the Daily News
yesterday that Kunonga and other senior diocesan officials failed in their
bid to consolidate their power and instead shelved the plan to amend the
church’s Acts.

      "The truth is that the Bishop backtracked," Paul Makore, a Harare
parishioner, said.

      "What he had sought to do was unacceptable. He backtracked from his
agenda to amend the motions. They struck off the item on Saturday. In that
respect, all the laws that are in place should be adhered to.

      "There was also no debate on the finances of the diocese. A special
Synod is going to be called once the audited financial statements are out.

      It was a fiasco throughout. Amending the motions was always going to
be difficult and he saw it."

      The amendments sought to authorise church wardens and members of the
church council to prevent "demonstrations, disturbances and strikes against
Kunonga, church leadership and administration".

      Kunonga’s secretary said the bishop was not in his office yesterday.

      Three weeks ago, the bishop sent out the proposed controversial
amendments to all church parishes, which the majority believed would empower
him to dismiss, ban, remove from office or transfer priests without the
approval of other church structures.

      Kunonga has clashed with his followers on several occasions in the
past allegedly over his leadership style.

      Robert Stumbles, the chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Harare,
last month urged Anglicans to resist Kunonga’s attempts to change the Acts.

      He circulated a letter, detailing the amendments and their impact on
the church.

      "What the Bishop and his advisers are proposing may be right in their
own eyes and for their own purposes but it is submitted that it is
disastrous for the Church, contrary to democratic laws and does not achieve
what is best for one another and all those around the Diocese," Stumbles
warned then.

      "These major changes will thrust much more power and control into the
hands of the Bishop and deprive others of rights to which they are presently
entitled. The bishop is anxious to have these changes adopted."

      A parishioner who refused to be named said debate on the controversial
document, whose drafting was allegedly done by Kunonga and some individuals,
was postponed to next year.

      Meanwhile, the Anglicans also took nearly an hour debating whether or
not beer drinking should be accepted as normal in the diocese of Harare.

      Parishioners said the issue was raised by members of the laity who
complained of the alleged excessive drinking of beer which was a potential
source of problems for priests.

      "Synod just agreed to note the issue down but there was no outcome," a
senior cleric said.

      "It was said no resolution should be made as the bishop has to meet
with the clergy. It was left hanging.

      "The majority of Anglican priests drink beer and have on several
occasions been seen drunk and even though its prohibited in the Bible." By
Precious Shumba Senior Reporter

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Daily News

      Munyanyi further remanded

        HARARE magistrate Memory Chigwaza yesterday remanded to November
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party legislator for Mbare
East constituency Tichaona Jefta Munyanyi, who is facing charges of
breaching the state’s draconian Public Order and Security Act or
alternatively undermining a constitutional government.

      Munyanyi, 45, who is jointly charged with Petronella Muchuchu, 28, was
remanded out of custody to 21 November, is on $15 000 bail.

      The State alleges that Munyanyi and Muchuchu allegedly participated in
a week-long mass action organised by the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) to push the government to resolve the country’s ballooning political
and economic crisis.

      On 2 June this year, Munyanyi, who had been tasked by the MDC to
co-ordinate the march to State House, met other opposition activists near
Parliament Building planning to march in town.

      Court Reporter

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Daily News

      Time to act on road carnage

        THE death of six people in a bus accident near Masvingo at the
weekend and scores of others who have perished in road accidents across the
country in the past three months raises serious concern about the safety of
Zimbabwe’s roads.

      In the latest accident, police have blamed the bus driver who they
said was trying to overtake on a blind curve in front of an oncoming

      Admittedly, several of the fatal accidents that have occurred on our
roads could be blamed on human error and downright negligence by motorists.

      As part of measures to reduce the carnage on the roads, authorities
have introduced stiffer penalties for motorists caught on the wrong side of
the law.

      The government has in the past few months amended road traffic laws to
especially target negligent motorists and other road users.

      But it should be abundantly clear to all by now, the government
included, that tightening legislation or imposing harsher penalties on
offending drivers alone without rehabilitating the country’s collapsing
roads will not reduce the number of fatal road accidents.

      In 1990, 10 years after Zimbabwe’s independence, the country boasted
one of the best road networks in Southern Africa.

      This, thanks to the millions of dollars poured by the World Bank and
other multinational financial institutions into road construction and
maintenance in the country.

      But once the donor funds dried up the government predictably decided
to take a back seat.

      And the consequences of underfunding and years of neglect is the death
trap that the national road network has become as borne out by the hundreds
of people who continue to perish on our roads.

      The government must for once move with speed and rehabilitate the
national highway network and make road travel in Zimbabwe safe again.

      The dualisation and widening of the country’s major trunk roads must
be speeded up so that more lives are not lost due to the poor state of

      More national resources must be shifted away from the government’s
various dubious and self-serving projects into the construction of roads and
other vital infrastructure.

      Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa must allocate more funds to the
dualisation of roads programme because the $575 million set aside for the
project is clearly not enough.

      Likewise, the $5.5 billion allocated for the construction of new roads
and bridges in the current budget as well as the $5.8 billion for
maintenance of existing road networks is insignificant given the dilapidated
state of our roads.

      One would hope that the government would find it more worthwhile to
inject more money into the dualisation programme instead of buying luxury
cars for its ministers.

      Funds being allocated to the notorious national youth service training
programme should instead be used for road construction and maintenance in
order to save lives.

      The move by the government to introduce toll-gates as a way to raise
funds to finance road construction is a step in the right direction,
provided the money so raised is put to good use.

      Toll-gates are used in many countries as one way of raising money for
road maintenance without resorting to new taxes or increasing existing ones.

      And we repeat: it is not too late for the government to address the
concerns of international donors, trading and development groups in order to
ensure that they can resume their assistance to Zimbabwe, which is so
critical to the resuscitation of not only the road network, but the entire

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Daily News

      Why shouldn’t I laugh at our African leaders?

        SO some of our most prominent and arrogant beggars met in Tanzania
recently? These African leaders never miss a chance to parade their
collective opportunistic tendencies and to demand something from people who
don’t owe them anything.

      Poor us! We have the perennially postponed expectation of decency,
respect and civility. Our constant problem has always been to escape the
tyrannies created by our leaders. Yet the outside world insists on pampering
our fiendish presidents.

      In Dar es Salaam, they, of course, masqueraded as genuine African
heads of state and invoked diplomacy in an effort to blunt criticism. They
said they are leaders from a sphere they misnamed as the Southern Africa
Development Community (SADC). This group is the most taxing, unco-operative
and unthankful on the entire continent.

      I do not know what or which development they are referring to when
they support destructive and authoritarian rulers. No country has ever
developed at a time it was engaged in the killing of its own people. Charles
Taylor of Liberia is the latest such failure.

      If African leaders embrace, protect and defend abusers of the law like
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and Swaziland’s King Mswati, who do they
expect to take them seriously? They are more a community of shortsighted
autocrats and mismanagers than developers of nations, nations that have
always cried out for orderly and fruitful considerations.

      No wonder one of the member nations has already served notice of its
intention to quit SADC.

      As they talked, it was announced that Mswati had chosen a 17-year-old
child to become his 11th wife.

      These SADC heads of state had just agreed to a regional strategy to
fight HIV/AIDS, which is said to affect 14 million people in the SADC
region. Swaziland has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world.

      Predictably, the heads of state did not issue a statement condemning
or welcoming the 11th first lady of Swaziland, although AIDS is obviously a
threat to development. Does Mswati want to be emulated by anyone –
presidents or school children – in his country perhaps?

      It appears SADC, like all African initiatives, exists to offer support
to leaders who are hell-bent on destroying African states and the Africans
therein. Why does Africa continue to fail to produce a truly African leader
who really cares for the ordinary woman, the child, the citizen?

      Is it possible that none of these eminent persons understands the
depths of our desperation? We in Africa now doubt the world’s capacity for
good judgment. The world is preoccupied with protocol and diplomacy while we

      Idiocy encompasses mental deficiency, an incapability of rational
conduct. All African presidents except two fall into this very unfortunate

      Both protocol and diplomacy are only useful and can only be observed
where there are accepted set standards of conduct and behaviour. Diplomacy
and protocol emanate from a respect of law and order; without law and order,
both diplomacy and protocol are cowardice.

      All African presidents except two suffer from echolalia, which is a
condition in which victims merely repeat statements made to them rather than
answering questions or venturing an independent thought. They think it is
diplomacy. Oh, Africa!

      The SADC leaders were reported to have declared their support for our
troubled and troubling Mugabe. Why didn’t they simply ask for the Zimbabwean
people’s opinion?

      Who are they to support a man whose government is terrorising its own
citizens? How a group of men can sit down and endorse the lethal activities
of men who violently subdue and abuse their own people, people who only want
nothing but freedom, baffles me.

      Are these leaders aware that the rights of the people and the consent
of the governed have priority over anything else? Are these African leaders
concerned about the African citizens or do they only care about their
exclusive club of despots?

      We in Zimbabwe are being severely abused both politically and
economically; we live without law and order since our law is nothing more
than the whims of one man. We in Zimbabwe are starving, yet one man harasses
our well-meaning benefactors.

      We are trying to fight off and retire a man who continues to destroy
our nation and whose overzealous supporters have murdered some of us. We in
Zimbabwe are in a predicament, a dilemma; we are trying to peacefully shake
off the shackles of oppression that were violently imposed on us.

      But African leaders from around the continent are making sure our
cries cannot be heard beyond our borders. They deliberately misinterpret our
howls of pain as boisterous laughter of joy and gratitude.

      Meanwhile, Mugabe is trapped in a pen while riding on the back of a
now very agitated tiger from which he is afraid to dismount. The tiger has
not been fed for years. I do not know if Sam Nujoma’s political buffoonery
is noticeable to the Namibians but every time he talks about Zimbabwe, he
convinces us that someone somewhere made a mistake by making him president.
Could Namibians really be looking forward to another Nujoma presidential
term? Like our own President, he fiddles with the constitution and is
already positioning himself to run for a fourth term of office although
Namibia’s constitution originally permitted only two five-year terms. Such
are the men who front for us before the community of nations worldwide.
Without these African presidents, Mugabe would be harmless. But African
presidents are a long-running comedy. Obviously, the humour has
fatalistically mingled with real tragedies on our continent. Some ignore the
difference. I have since stopped laughing; it’s not funny anymore.

      By Tanonoka Joseph Whande

      Tanonoka Joseph Whande is a Zvishavane-based writer.

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Daily News

      US-based Zimbabweans form business link group

        A GROUP of Zimbabweans in the United States of America have formed
ZimChamber USA, an association that will identify business opportunities in
Zimbabwe and provide linkages between local and US businesses.

      ZimChamber chief executive Oliver Chivore told the Business Daily that
the association’s primary goal was to identify opportunities in Zimbabwe for
locals living and working abroad.

      He said there were opportunities in the US that Zimbabwean businesses
could take advantage of to boost exports, which have declined in the past
four years because of a worsening economic crisis.

      The organisation has already identified and will continue to help
identify business opportunities within the US that are available to
Zimbabwean companies and will facilitate trade between companies in the two

      "The number of Zimbabweans and Zimbabwean-owned businesses in the US
has increased tremendously, and all of them are looking at investing back
home," Chivore told the Business Daily from the US.

      "However, there is a serious lack of information and expertise on how
to undertake investments, which is limiting people from investing. We hope
the formation of this association will go a long way in addressing this

      He added that the association had already made formal contact with
bodies representing local industry and commerce, including the Zimbabwe
Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries
(CZI), to exchange business information.

      A memorandum of understanding between ZimChamber and CZI and ZNCC will
be signed soon, according to Chivore.

      He said ZimChamber would also assist Zimbabwean companies with the
procurement of machinery, goods and financial services.

      Local firms are struggling to secure raw materials, spare parts and
machinery because of severe foreign currency shortages. Foreign financial
institutions are also reluctant to extend lines of credit because of the
hard cash shortages and Zimbabwe’s image as a bad credit risk.

      ZimChamber will also assist Zimbabwean companies to negotiate for
better deals in the United States because its members are familiar with both
the Zimbabwean and the US business environments.

      The chamber has already set up a website,

      Business Reporter

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Daily News

      Justice will catch up with Kuwadzana terror gang

        This letter serves as a warning to all the so-called war veterans in
Kuwadzana 7 who are terrorising fellow citizens and making their lives hell
on earth, all in the name of campaigning for President Robert Mugabe.

      I wish to warn all the criminally-minded social misfits who are
engaged in murderous activities in Kuwadzana 7 that as sure as day follows
night, justice will catch up with them. These murderous people instruct the
"Green Bombers" based at the Kuwadzana 6 farmhouse to go on raiding forays
in Kuwadzana 7; abducting innocent citizens, assaulting them and humiliating
them in front of their families, subjecting them to sadistic torture
sessions at their base and generally treating them as if they have no right
whatsoever to exist in this country. Why? Oh why?

      Who gave these animals the right to decide who should live and who
shouldn’t? Are they God the Almighty Himself? I wish to warn them that their
gang-leader and his crew of criminals are going to flee to Malaysia and
abandon them to their fate.

      That’s when the true citizens of this country are going to march to
Kuwadzana 7 to make the gangsters there dance to the music! Justice will
definitely be ours and we know where to find the perpetrators of this gross
injustice that is going on.

      The True Patriot

      Kuwadzana 7


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Daily News

      Be advised: nothing can be secured beyond the grave

        So far, prosecution-immune ZANU PF members are highly skilled at
improving only themselves under the shelter of their local leaders and the
durable South African President Thabo Mbeki-sponsoring patrons.

      Mbeki, in his blind emulation of Mugabeism, is now at last worrying
about his own future. Corruption, unemployment, the failure to tackle
HIV/AIDS, crime, nepotism, incompetence and scandals are progressively
overcoming him and his African National Congress party at home.

      From his present track record, it is unlikely that he will endure the
next election process. He too will have to reduce his futile
self-aggrandising air mileage to now focus on survival. By his actions, he
has condemned his good-governance New Partnership for Africa’s Development
vision to where it belongs – in the dustbin with other African,
Nigerian-styled scams.

      Any visionary ZANU PF members who may exist will therefore know that
they cannot rely on him for much longer to indirectly stoke up their looting
opportunities. Of course, the whole geriatric ZANU PF leadership will
naturally and soon be where they belong. They will not be ever remembered
with due reverence unless by procreated lunatics.

      Earning an honest living is something that ZANU PF heroes are not
accustomed to. The time for change for the better is soon to be at hand.

      ZANU PF cadres should now seek normal means to live and survive unless
their departure bags and bounty are already packed. They should take
advantage of their home-grown culture while they can.

      Soon the main heroes’ palaces, properties, bank accounts, memoirs,
disclosures and assets will be open to global scrutiny. Once willing
supporters will gladly disclose all to avoid prosecution and to make money.
What a commercial opportunity!

      Nothing can be secured beyond the grave. The perfect opportunity for
them would be to convert their non-contributory or useless educational
institutions to a hub point of international African renaissance studies.

      A lot of much-needed foreign exchange could be earned.

      Colleges for modern African business strategies, criminal skill
methodology, deviate mental state and psychiatric analysis could be

      In the face of expanding reality, ZANU PF affiliates would typically
love to make money out of being interviewed, analysed and exposed. After
all, little work is required; they are running out of things to steal and
are not equipped with any honest or employable skills. The povo (the
masses), of course, will continue to admire these adept non-achievers.

      Many international academics and analysts of the ZANU PF syndrome
would find it irresistible to be privileged to make on-site observations on
living global political misfits of this century. Naturally, ZANU PF always
expounds and exposes transparency, especially to the supportive and
sanitising South African Broadcasting Corporation.

      Internationally-recognised African renaissance diplomas and degrees
could be issued in the following categories: Paranoia; solidarity; modern
fair Zimbabwean judicial processes; patronage systematics; constitutional
abuse; abuse of humanity skills; minimal diligent work to yield maximal
wealth; the meaning of a sovereign state; misplaced intelligence; how to
loot fellow comrades; hero-worshipping; political indoctrination and lying;
propaganda proliferation; ethics are irrelevant; AIDS propagation; African
Stalinism; fabricating statistics; modern African despots in depth; how to
exploit donor aid; ethnic cleansing; denial of the truth; foreign bank
accounts; sanctions busting; the stupidity of the civilised world;
corruption; rape; Mercedes-Benz fleet acquisition processes; delusion;
extortion; looting and plundering skills; how to compensate for a lack of
education; structuring and engineering economic collapse; earning pariah
state status; fast-tracking and reversion to the Stone Age; what Zimbabwe
can teach the West; survival strategies; how to avoid prosecution and the
International Criminal Court; Zimbabwean-style democratic processes; and
instant wealth creation.

      Why are ZANU PF deadbeats so slow to understand reality? Obviously, no
explanation is required.

      Walter Hurley


      South Africa

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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: Looking ahead - Deals and Ideals

Dear JAG,

Being positive, I believe the denouement to the "Zimbabwe problem" can't be
that far off. But are we ready for it? I mean some of the moral issues
rather more than the logistics of physical reconstruction and

For example:
What happens to the people who have made deals with the illegal regime and
the criminal elements (War-vets and squatters) on the ground? I know that
in some cases farmers have been under considerable duress.

I think that a farmer who has signed away part of his property in the hope
of staving off total appropriation might be excused. After all, in a
democracy we should defend a man's right to act freely just as we would
champion his right to speak freely in the exercise of his right to freedom
of speech.

We may disagree with him and his actions may not be in the best interests
of the country and community, but he has the right to make his own choices
however imprudent they may be.

However a farmer who feels he is under duress must say so at the time. He
cannot claim to have been coerced at some later date when it suits him.
Perhaps the lawyers could tell us when a man's recourse to a claim of
duress becomes prescribed.

On the other hand a man who "deals" with the Govt., war-vets or squatters
to make use of another man's land or assets, after that man has been
illegally dispossessed, is committing a crime. This is akin to receiving or
buying stolen property. It is like trading guns to the enemy.

What happens to such a person/farmer?

What he has done is immoral and inexcusable. Do we forgive and forget or is
this setting a precedent?

Has anybody out there got any ideas on this?

Most people who have made these sorts of deals, have done so through sheer
greed and I believe that anyone guilty of conniving with the enemy should
be named in the summons alongside the war-vets and ZANU PF when we claim
restitution. How else can they be made to pay?

I wonder if CFU have given this any thought? When the time does come, and
it will, what is going to happen to the sell-outs, those people who are
providing equipment and funds and making it possible and worthwhile for the
squatters, so-called A2 farmers and war-vets to stay on other peoples'

Did I hear someone murmur something about a "truth and reconciliation"

We cannot make a fresh start without getting all the "aggro" out of our
minds and systems. And the people who have made the mistakes must have some
avenue for explaining their actions and for trying to regain some respect.



Letter 2: Zambian Experience

The Vice President,

Dear Vice President,

Following your interesting resume of how you have managed to continue to
farm I have come across a book - "Zambia - I changed my mind." It is
written by Michael Wright who went to Zambia in 1967, to lecture in
economics and constitutional government. Published by Johnson - London -

The Chapter titles are somewhat relevant to our country today:

There was an atmosphere of euphoria..Zambia was filled with the excitement
of its newly won nationhood."

Chapter 2 :"HUMANISM :
Kenneth Kaunda had been represented in Britain as a remarkable man. In
August 1971 Simon Kapwepwe formed a new party."

Inflation speeded up and whilst all this money was poured in to the
country, output did not in fact, increase very much.

A Mr. Holloway produced his Zambian Birth certificate and was told 'this
does not count' and was deported. If one got in with 'the Party' one could
look for a lucrative five years. Kaunda as President controls the army,
civil service and the Police. Executive power is so great that it
overwhelms all others in the Constitution. This in turn gives him
additional authority against the Judiciary, and reinforces the control he
can exercise over the life of the nation."

An ANC supporter lost his life. The police made no arrests in connection
with this slaying. No trading licences are issued to non UNIP supporters."

Chapter 5 : " THE HUNTING OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE: A monthly magazine entitled
The Vanguard attacks all forms of British aid and writes about Zambia's
enemies. About 500 youths from the Zambia Youth Service stormed the High
Court, and then proceeded to State House where Kaunda thanked them for
their support of his stand. The youth would be armed "ready for any
showdown with imperialist forces. I'll change the Law so that Zambians
control the judiciary. I'll change the Constitution" he said. Judges
received threats.

Christmas of 1969 found me relying on imported fruit and vegetables. It
became impossible to obtain fresh milk. Kapwepwe said that the 'ANC is the
running dog of the British in their attempts to cut down our freedom.'"

May 1969: the President instructed the Anglican Church that he would
tolerate no pronouncements from it against the Government."

Chapter 7: "THE EXCUSES RUN OUT : Excuses were -
* Sanctions.
*Every new country must have its teething problems.
*Zambia only had 100 graduates at Independence.

There appeared to be other factors:
*Gross irregularities were found in the way farm loans were issued to
Government officials and Ministers.
*Loans were meant to improve peasant farmers.
*Collapse of agriculture and the organisation supposed to fund it.
*Disappearance of funds.
*Government continued to press ahead with taking more and more control of
*State control of :
 -Soap manufacture
 -Grain Milling
 -Manufacture of cigarettes.

"The Collapse of Agriculture - the agricultural policy simply was not

With such recent history, of a formerly productive sister Federal State,
repeating itself here right now, it is hardly surprising that Britain and
America have also "changed their minds" about pouring their cash into our

The tacit support of "The Land Reform" by CFU Council, under the guise of
"Dialogue" might cause a few more minds to be changed.

However Shakespeare defined the advantages of the "vacant mind" for us -

"Not all these, laid in bed majestical,
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,
Who with a body fill'd and vacant mind
Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread;
Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,
But, like a lackey, from rise to set..."

Have the facts changed or the minds?

Yours faithfully,
J.L. Robinson.


Letter 3: Re: White Africans

Dear Pauline Henson

Your strong poem says it all!

But I refuse to accept that land in Africa was "stolen" by anyone! If one
accepts that premise, then the United States of America, Australia, New
Zealand and many other countries should be given away by the ancestors of
all the settlers in those lands! The main theft of land in Africa is by
Mugabe and his evil Zanu-PF who are stealing not only land in Zimbabwe but
also stealing the homes and livelihoods of countless thousands of black
ex-employees. At the same time, I refuse to carry guilt in my head for the
privileges that were heaped on me by reason of my birth skin.

In the old days I was regarded as a disgusting, left-wing, pink commie
hiding under beds because I voted for the Progressive Party. Now I am
called right-wing because I keep voting for the same principled party (even
though they temporarily and possibly foolishly took in the chameleon
National Party).

There has not been much I could do for the "previously disadvantaged" folks
in my lifetime but I have tried to live by a rather delightful book called
the Water Babies written a long time ago. In it the author featured a Mrs
Do-As-You-Would-Be-Done-By. What more does any religion really require than
that simple action?

So that's how I try to live my life - but I do add my voice and actions to
protest against inequities wherever possible.

Myke Ashley-Cooper
in Cape Town

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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