ARARE: Homes belonging to farm workers and the
offices on a white-owned farm in eastern Zimbabwe were burned down Saturday,
a farmers' spokeswoman said, despite government's promise to curb violence in
"It is confirmed the office complex and farm workers'
houses were burned down. We can confirm serious injuries to persons involved
in that clash," said Jenni Williams, spokeswoman for the Commercial Farmers'
Union (CFU). The violence occurred on Bita Farm in the rural district of
Hwedza, 100 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of Harare, Williams
Fearing for his safety, the farm owner had locked himself inside
the fence surrounding his house, and could not say how many of his 180
workers had lost their homes, she added.
Police were not reachable for
comment, but Williams said the police, the army, and the local war veterans'
land committee were at the farm. Pro-government veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s
liberation war launched a campaign of farm invasions in February 2000,
claiming they were protesting the slow pace of land reform to redress
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) says the farm invasions are a politically motivated scheme to punish
its supporters and to seal off huge swathes of the countryside to prevent
them from campaigning for the presidential election, due early next
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has agreed to two separate pacts
during the last week to curb violence in Zimbabwe's countryside, but farmers
say they have yet to see any crack-down on the occupiers, who continue
forcing work to a halt on farms and burning grazing land. In the first
pact, brokered by a Commonwealth team in Abuja, Nigeria, Foreign Minister
Stan Mudenge said the government would crack down on the politically charged
violence, in exchange for British funding of its
Although Mugabe has endorsed that deal in principle, he
has yet to officially sign on to it.
Days after the Abuja deal, five
leaders of neighboring countries met with Mugaeb in Harare for a two-day
summit, again urging him to curb the violence and forcing him to meet with
his chief critics -- including the opposition, church leaders, businesses and
The summit ended with no concrete agreement, but Malawian
President Bakili Muluzi said Mugabe had assured his neighbors that he would
halt the violence.
Neighboring nations fear that Zimbabwe's
long-running political crisis could spill across its borders.
political turmoil is already scaring off desperately needed
foreign investment to the region, and Zimbabwe's economic depression has all
but eliminated a key regional market.
HARARE: The head
of a UN team probing the looting of natural resources in the Democratic Republic
of Congo has talked to Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who has sent up to
12,000 troops to the war-ravaged country.
Egypt's ambassador to the
United Nations Mahmoud Kassem met with Mugabe on Friday for what state media
described as a briefing on the conflict in the DRC, which has become known as
Africa's World War.
Mugabe did not make any public remarks after the
meeting, but Kassem told the state-run Herald that the UN team was in Harare to
update its information about the illegal plundering of the DRC's natural
resources by foreign armies fighting in that nation's war.
"We are a
fact-finding body, meaning we ask the countries in the Great Lakes region if
they have information that may help us getting the picture clearer about the
illegal exploitation of resources," Kassem said.
Last April, the UN
expert group accused rebels in the east of the DRC and their backers -- Rwanda,
Uganda and Burundi -- of looting the huge mineral wealth of the country, which
has been effectively split in two by almost three years of war.
five-member panel, then headed by Safiatou Ba-NDaw of Ivory Coast, presented its
findings in a 56-page report on April 16. The team had been set up in July
After presenting the panel's first report, Ba-NDaw told a press
conference that her team was not able to get as much information from Zimbabwe,
Namibia and Angola as from the other nations involved in the war.
United Nations extended the panel's mandate in May. The team has already visited
several countries in the Great Lakes region, according to the Herald, and is
also due to visit Zambia, South Africa, and Europe. "The first stage could
not finish everything. There is some work to be completed and update our
information," Kassem said. "We are complementing the first report."
are concerned about the human exploitation in the Congo. There is a great
violation of human rights in Congo," he said.
The independent weekly
Financial Gazette reported Thursday that the team wanted to determine the extent
of alleged looting by Zimbabwe and Namibia in the DRC.
investigations which led to the report against Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, some
prima facie evidence pointing to the involvement of Zimbabwean generals in the
looting of the DRC surfaced," an official working with the UN team told the
The war has generated a number of lucrative business interests for
Zimbabwe, notably in timber, energy, mining, transport and communications. But
Zimbabwe has never given any public account of the war's casualties or its
Mugabe's military campaign in the DRC has been hugely
unpopular among Zimbabweans, who are suffering through the nation's worst-ever
economic crisis and who see little benefit to their involvement in the
Zimbabwe's troops have fought alongside those from Angola and
Namibia to prop up the DRC government against rebels backed by Rwanda and
Uganda. Namibia has now withdrawn its troops, as UN observers have been
deployed to monitor a peace deal.
In the past, Mugabe has defended
Zimbabwe's wartime business interests in the DRC as legitimate, because the DRC
government had invited Zimbabwe into the country to help defend the
When the UN report was released in April, the government
hailed it as a validation of Mugabe's motives in the tangled
Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda have all angrily denied the UN
HARARE, Zimbabwe--Ruling party militants assaulted a white farmer on
Wednesday despite a government promise to end violence on white-owned farms.
The farmer, evicted from his farm by militants last month, had been advised
by police to return home Wednesday in the wake of promises to ensure the safety
of landowners, the Commercial Farmers Union said.
But on his return to his farm near Marondera, about 45 miles east of Harare,
the militants ''immediately set upon him,'' forcing him to barricade himself
inside his house, a union statement said.
It said there was no reaction from police. No immediate comment was available
from the government or police.
However, in a sign that the police were beginning to crack down, a four-day
siege by militants on a farm near Beatrice, 50 miles south of Harare, was broken
up by the police.
Police freed the white farm manager who had been barricaded in his homestead,
the union said.
Since March, militants have occupied more than 1,700 white-owned farms,
spurred by a government campaign to take 4,600 of them--about 95 percent of all
white-owned land in Zimbabwe--and give the land to Africans.
At least nine white farmers have died in clashes since June.
In an accord brokered Sept. 6 by commonwealth ministers in Abuja, Nigeria,
Zimbabwe pledged an immediate end to violence and farm invasions in return for
British funding for orderly land reform.
President Robert Mugabe promised Sunday to abide by the accord, but there
were doubts the government could quickly rein in violence by militants.
Remember that anthill that Tito Mboweni was beating up the other day? Well
an even bigger group of elephants came down to the Pan on Monday and they sat on
the anthill! From where I am in the water he looks pretty flat at present, but I
am watching the anthill closely to see how it will react to the most recent
incident. I do not think it will be long in coming.
The new group of five regional elephants, led by Malawi, came from
Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. Their intentions were quite
clear and I think had been decided at a meeting some months ago in London when
South Africa met with Jack Straw in London. There they decided that something
had to be done about the situation in Zimbabwe and they agreed that as far as
possible it should be an African initiative. This was followed by a careful and
quiet consensus building exercise in Africa, culminating in the meeting of
regional leaders in Blantyre where for the first time Mugabe got a hint of what
I am certain that sometime later, he received a further warning of what was
on the table in the form of a message from the biggest elephant in Africa,
Nigeria. On receiving this last message he cancelled all other appointments and
rushed off to Libya. There he sat for a week, soaking up the balm of the warmth
of the desert and the admiration of that other crocodile of Africa. While there
he frantically tried to rebuild some form of an alliance with African leaders to
head off the initiative that he now saw was underway in Africa. He failed, and
when his Foreign Minister and the Minister of Agriculture went to the summit of
the Commonwealth group of 8 States, summoned to consider what to do to this
errant Member, they ran into a wall of criticism and were forced to sign a
humiliating back down on the land issue.
They felt that although this had happened, all was not lost, the "boss" had
not seen the document yet or committed himself in any way, perhaps when they got
home, he would know what to do? Worse was to come. No sooner than had they got
back, but the Foreign Minister of Nigeria arrived to make sure that the message
was received loud and clear? Once that was done and our "beloved leader" had
said, rather unconvincingly, that he accepted the deal, the Foreign Minister
left for Nigeria and the Zimbabweans then had to wait for the regional leaders
to arrive, what next?
The spin doctors got to work and began to interpret the Abuja agreement in
ways that completely distorted the outcome of the meeting, but with an
underlying nervousness that was not there a week ago. They were unsure of what
to do next. The regional leaders did not let them wait very long. Led by the
President of Malawi who was blunt and to the point, they made it clear to Mugabe
that there was more on the table than just land. A time of tough and straight
talking ensued and in the process, for the first time, the truth about the
situation here was clearly laid out for all to see. This was achieved even
though the majority (three-quarters) of the groups allowed to see the visitors
were pro Zanu groups led by apologists. This was reinforced by the fact that the
visitors had done their homework. Intelligence officers have been at work in
Zimbabwe and the real facts about the Zanu agenda were clearly known and
They left on late Tuesday night – with Chissano remaining to Wednesday to
brief local SADC heads of mission. What they left behind was a man who now knows
that the majority of African leaders, especially in the southern half of the
continent, are no longer prepared to be used and abused in Mugabe’s programme
designed to retain power at the expense of his people and the people of the
region as a whole. He was publicly humiliated and reprimanded, he was forced to
sit in a meeting and listen to speaker after speaker denounce his activities and
his programme. He was not assisted by his henchmen, who, not fully understanding
either the balance of power present or the context, tried in vain to protect
their leaders mantle. All they succeeded in doing was to deepen his sense of
isolation and to heap ridicule on his claim to be the last hope of the
"liberation forces" in the region.
The regional leaders told Mugabe that he has two weeks in which to make
substantive progress in four areas: -
1. A return to the rule of law.
2. Preparations for a presidential election that will be "free and
3. Taking the land reform issue out of the political arena in Zimbabwe
and placing it under a "Land Commission" guided by the UNDP.
4. Establishing a credible form of consultation and dialogue with the
opposition so as to establish consensus on the way forward.
For Zanu PF and for Mugabe, implementing any one of these four demands will
mean the end of the road for them and their Party. Implementing all of them
would be suicide. The question now is what will they do? The options are very
limited, if sense prevails, Mugabe will announce his retirement from active
politics and allow Zanu PF to select a new leader who will then fight the
presidential elections next year in March 2002. He will try to secure for
himself a decent exit from the stage and security in retirement. His problem is
that the ants that inhabit his anthill are so mad at what he has done to them in
the past 22 years that they are unlikely to allow him any peace so long as he
tries to stay where he is.
Terror in the USA
While watching the "sitting ceremony" at the anthill site, I was stunned to
see the terrible events unfolding in the United States. It’s now clear that tens
of thousands of ordinary working Americans and others will have died. I thought
of the parallels with the genocide in Matebeleland in the 80’s when the 5th
Brigade of the Army, aided by the intelligence services and the Police murdered
and maimed tens of thousands of ordinary, working Zimbabweans in an effort to
crush their opposition to a form of political oppression.
Both incidents were carried out in a planned, ruthless and effective way.
Behind the actions are people who are educated and sophisticated. They look like
ordinary human beings, they are not. They are members of a global coalition of
people who care nothing for the rights of humanity or for justice. Totally
focused on their own narrow and selfish agenda, they strike out using whatever
means they can find to inflict maximum damage.
The only difference is that the TV cameras were not rolling in Kezi or
Tsholotsho. The other difference is that major decision-makers did not share a
common horror that was felt in the US when they saw four huge passenger planes
full of ordinary people like themselves being used to hurt a perceived enemy.
But the effect was the same, and we will not forget.
Sep 13th 2001 |
HARARE From The Economist print edition
But Robert Mugabe,
unyielding, goes his own way
THIS has been a humiliating
week for Robert Mugabe. His government has come under unprecedented criticism
from other countries, first at the Commonwealth talks in Abuja, Nigeria's
capital, and then at a special southern African summit in his own capital,
Harare. As if that were not enough, his party, ZANU-PF, got a stinging slap on
the face in the Bulawayo municipal elections, losing the post of mayor and all
eight council seats to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
despite its best vote-rigging efforts.
In Abuja, on
September 6th and 7th, the foreign ministers of seven Commonwealth countries sat
in judgment on Zimbabwe. Mr Mugabe-on a ten-day "working holiday" in Libya,
where his old friend Muammar Qaddafi had a welcome cheque for him-left his staff
to make his case. Zimbabwe's foreign minister, Stan Mudenge, told the meeting
that his country's problems boiled down to the need for land reform. Ministers
from Australia, Britain, Canada, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa begged
to disagree. While acknowledging that land reform is needed in Zimbabwe, they
told him unanimously that the trouble also stemmed from state-sponsored
political violence, contempt for human rights, economic decline and the
subversion of democracy.
Hard on the
heels of the Abuja meeting, Mr Mugabe found himself obliged to attend an
extraordinary two-day summit with the leaders of five neighbouring countries,
all members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), in Harare. He
had not asked them to come. They had insisted on inviting themselves, and on
raising the same disagreeable subject that had been broached in Abuja: the
effect of Zimbabwe's disorder on their own struggling economies. The summit
opened with Bakili Muluzi, Malawi's president and SADC's chairman, politely
telling Mr Mugabe that the neighbours only wished to help, and then blaming him
directly for Zimbabwe's economic collapse and the spreading violence there.
South Africa already faces constant difficulties from the stream of Zimbabweans
pouring across the border in search of work.
SADC had also
ordered meetings with members of Zimbabwe's opposition parties and white
farmers, though many were forbidden to speak. At the close of the meeting Mr
Mugabe's self-styled "war veterans", finding themselves in the same room as many
of their opponents, applauded and cheered anything that redounded to Mr Mugabe's
credit. There was not much of it. Slumped in his chair, lips pursed, the
president could not have looked more sulky if he had tried.
the two summits came up with some formalised ideas to make Mr Mugabe behave. In
Abuja, the British government pledged money-reported to be £36m ($53m)-for land
reform, if Zimbabwe would carry out the redistribution legally and peacefully
and make macroeconomic reforms. No particular body will check on this, but a
ministerial "action group" will meet on the eve of the Commonwealth
heads-of-government meeting in Brisbane in October to consider whether Mr Mugabe
has fulfilled his end of the bargain, and what to do if he has not. At the
Harare meeting, a regional task-force was set up to meet every few weeks to
monitor events in Zimbabwe. Mr Muluzi said he had had every assurance from Mr
Mugabe: his government would follow the rule of law.
And pigs might
fly. Mr Mugabe is still prevaricating over the Abuja agreement, saying he needs
the approval of his party's politburo and his cabinet, neither of which has met
yet. In fact, even if it cared to try, Zimbabwe's government would find it hard
to carry out the macroeconomic reforms that Britain insists on. Meanwhile, the
seizure of white farms has carried on as usual, as invaders moved in
unrestrained by police and the "war veterans" who lead the takeovers vowed to
continue their "peaceful demonstrations" for "as long as there is no justice".
It is clear that Mr Mugabe's idea of legal land redistribution is exactly what
he has been inflicting on the country for the past 18 months.
Yet, try as he
may, Mr Mugabe cannot dismiss the new pressure on him merely as the vengeful
work of former colonial powers or the machinations of western capitalists. It is
African anger he faces now. Within Zimbabwe too there is a firm resolve among
the opposition parties to resist Mr Mugabe's rule. The voters of Bulawayo,
admittedly an opposition stronghold, showed their firm rejection of ZANU-PF,
despite the cash handed out freely, violence, intimidation and evidence of
large-scale voting fraud. The MDC candidate for mayor, for example, won around
61,000 votes; his ZANU-PF rival, around 12,000.
meeting should see continued pressure on Mr Mugabe to meet minimum standards for
a free and fair presidential election, which must be held by April. But he has
not met those standards for several years, if ever, and on the evidence of this
week's events he has little intention of adopting them
A circus of a very tragic
nature, which opened to the public with the appointment of Jonathan Moyo to
the post of Minister of State for Information and Publicity, is now in full
season at Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers).
We all know the sorry
mess that the once proud Chronicle in Bulawayo has ecome. Everyone is now
resigned to the recklessness that has become the norm at. The Chronicle where
libellous fabrications have become the order of the day. Scant regard is
obviously being given to the potentially high cost of that foolhardiness in
terms of both ruining the media practitioners’ concerned careers and, more
immediately, the cash drain from the company by way of the huge amounts it is
certain to pay to the persons being libelled.
That paper’s editor may
want to pretend that she is responsible for all the morbid ranting and raving
and all the putrid stuff being carried in The Chronicle daily, but we all
know better, of course. The public will forgive her because they know she is
merely a figure being made to carry the can while Moyo, through the loose
cannon that his hatchetman Admore Tshuma has become, calls the
The situation at The Herald is completely different. There, we
have yet to be told of Pikirayi Deketeke having been rendered as impotent as
poor Edna Machirori. And yet, all indications are that the paper is operating
much like a ship that has gone adrift. No one seems to care at all what
goes into that paper. We are not just talking about small lapses such as
naming minors facing criminal charges, which the paper does very often. We
are talking about the paper publishing stories with the potential to land
both the editor and the company in serious trouble – and this includes
virtually convicting, in its columns, people who are still only
On Thursday last week, for instance, the paper merrily carried
in its sports section a story which, on any normal newspaper, ought to have
set off alarm bells throughout the editors’ offices the moment it was
submitted by the reporter. Not at The Herald. Apparently nobody thought
nothing about its publication being not only an unpardonable invasion of the
sportsman in question’s privacy but, even more alarming, of it being an
actionable breach of confidentiality.
The following day the paper made
very light of the outrage the publishing of the story, divulging a boxer’s
HIV status, had caused among members of the public and the pain it had caused
the boxer himself, his friends and relatives! “The Herald’s correspondent,”
boasted the paper impudently last Friday, “Tendai Ndemera, who wrote the
story, maintained last night that he had assumed that Mau Mau (the boxer’s
promoter) appeared to be prepared to have the story published.” End of story.
No comment from the editor, no expression of remorse from the paper, nothing.
Callous, that’s what it is. I can only say ruefully that our profession has
gone to the dogs.
n Talking about Zimpapers and the profession having
gone to the dogs, something very disheartening and extremely worrisome is
happening in Bulawayo where our lost colleague, Admore Tshuma, has become a
willing tool in Jonathan Moyo’s wicked agenda to destroy professional
journalism in Zimbabwe.
By the way, you ought to read Moyo’s own
mind–numbing effort – a confused and confusing epic headlined Bread and
butter issues still beckon in City of Kings – in Tuesday’s Herald! But be
warned before you start looking for it. You need to possess extraordinary
fortitude and perseverance to be able to read it to the end.
it is to subject yourself to severe intellectual torture. But then, as often
happens, I digress again. Let’s go back to Pickaninny Chef Tshuma (it would
be impolite to call him Pretender to the Throne!). Impeccable sources tell me
the pliant former teacher (it is said he left teaching under a cloud), who I
understand has no formal journalistic training (which probably explains why
he thinks nothing of bringing our profession into disrepute) has become more
than just a terror at only The Chronicle where his editor (poor Edna
Machirori) has practically no power over him.
He has extended his
empire and sphere of influence to also bring terror upon the entire
journalistic fraternity in that city and beyond. It is said that everyone who
works in the State media, be it ZBC or Zimpapers, literally shivers (bayaquqa
sibili) when they are in his presence because, just one bad word about you
from him to Motor Mouth, and you are out of your job, pronto. I am told that
when he walks into the Press Club, everyone literally jumps up, with many of
them reportedly falling over each other in a bid to be the first to buy him a
The Hitler-sized little fellow, who is said to be regarded now as
the Deputy Minister of Information and is reportedly feared even by George
Charamba, is no doubt enjoying his newly-found power big time. I wonder what
sin they might have committed to deserve to have in their midst a man who is
truly a curse to the rofession of journalism. Thankfully, as the old saying
goes, okungapheliyo kuyahlola (what goes up will as sure as hell come down
I am not sure where to start this week, everything
pales into insignificance after the horror in America. All week I have battled
to find any words for anyone, have not replied to many letters and now find
myself filled with a feeling of great fear as the only words coming out of
America are of war and vengeance. Trying to keep perspective in times of terror
is an almost impossible task, a task we have been battling with in Zimbabwe for
18 months. For the most part though, we have suceeded and have mastered
restraint, patience and tolerance. Last night the words of past President Bill
Clinton showed sanity and compassion and are as true for Zimbabwe as they are
for America: "It's not about numbers, it's about lives." Regardless of how many
thousands of people have been tortured and murdered in Zimbabwe or how many
thousands were killed in America, each and every life is so very precious.
Rather than waiting for that awful "number" I find myself thinking of a spouse,
a child, the memories, the love and laughter. I find myself thinking of all the
things that could have, should have and would have been - thoughts that have
become very familiar to most Zimbabweans who have been living with terror for 18
This letter is dedicated to the lives, loves and in
memory of thousands of Americans who have died this week in the World Trade
Towers and the Pentagon and also to a Zimbabwean Headmaster, Felix Mazava. All
were helpless victims who died at the hands of ruthless terrorists who are, as
Tony Blair said this week, "utterly indifferent to the sanctity of human
Perhaps the most moving film clip I have seen
coming out of America this week is a shot of hundreds of people lining a street
in Manhatten and cheering as fireman, medical teams and policemen drove past. I
have not been able to stop myself from comparing the bravery, stamina and
incredible courage of American civil servants to their Zimbabweans counterparts.
If our public servants could show even a fraction of the selfless and
compassionate dedication to service and duty as the Americans, Zimbabwe would
certainly never be in the state it is in now. I believe all Zimbabweans could
learn an awful lot of lessons from Americans - their patriotism, unselfishness,
spontaneous love and generosity are qualities we seem to have forgotten in
I cannot help myself from comparing America's
terror to that in Zimbabwe. I cannot help myself from asking an awful lot of
questions too. Uppermost is the immediate world response and reaction to
America's morning of terror. Why has it taken the world 18 months to acknowledge
the terror in Zimbabwe? Why has the world allowed the words "racism" and
"colonialism" cloud the issues in Zimbabwe? I believe now though, that there are
few who cannot see the truth of Zimbabwe's situation. This week a summit of
regional African leaders was held in Harare. Pesidents from Malawi, Botswana,
Mocambique, Namibia and South Africa came and heard for themselves exactly what
has been happening here for 18 months. They were told of terror on the farms,
terror in the towns and cities, horrific politically sponsored violence and of
hundreds of thousands of people who are now refugees in their own country. At
last these regional leaders spoke out. It was a tremendous day for Zimbabwe when
Malawi's President Muluzi told Zimbabwe's President that this terror has got to
stop - and President Muluzi did not mince his words or hide the truth in
diplomatic double talk either. As I write the Abuja Agreement has not yet been
ratified by President Mugabe. First he gave it to his Cabinet who referred it to
the zanu pf Politburo. For two days this political body studied that short
Agreement and now have announced that they will think about it some more over
the weekend and meet again to discuss it on Monday as it needed "further
thorough debate". The only thing I can see that needs debating is how the
government now manages to undo what they have done, reign in the war veterans
and instruct the police to do their jobs - all without losing votes. Very
shortly President Mugabe will have to make a statement, a public statement
telling "war veterans" to stop doing what he gave them his blessing to do. He
has managed to stall for over a week, the clock is ticking and the crisis is
deepening, every day that he delays making this statement brings us a day closer
to starvation. This week all basic food exports from Zimbabwe were suspended.
Last Friday a block of margerine cost Z$280, yesterday it cost Z$324. All week
violence, intimidation and mindless destruction has continued on farms all over
the country. People have been barricaded into their homes, cattle have been
repeatedly driven into almost ripe wheat fields, pastures have been deliberately
burnt, farm workers' houses and posessions have been burnt and the men, women
and children driven out of their homes.
While President Mugabe delays signing the Abuja
Agreement and delays making a statement on law and order, people calling
themselves "war veterans" continue to get away with, literally, murder. This
week a 47 year old Primary School Headmaster was abducted from his school and
bludgeoned to death on the side of the road. Felix Mazava was a teacher, husband
and father to five children and worked in an area called Chikomba, an area where
a by election is shortly to be held. Mr Mazava's wife said: "They killed him
like a dog. Is this democracy?" I weep for Mrs Mazava and her five children and
for all the love, laughter and precious moments that have been taken from them
by "war veterans". President Mugabe will have to ratify the Abuja Agreement, he
will have to make a public statement calling off "war veterans" and he will have
to do it soon. There is hope, enormous hope. The end of terror is in sight and
until then I continue to wear a small yellow ribbon on my chest in support of
all who are suffering in Zimbabwe. People, like those in America, who have names
and faces and are just like you and me. Until next week, with love, cathy
European Parliament warns Mugabe of tough
9/14/01 4:18:54 PM (GMT +2)
Ngoni Chanakira Business
The European Parliament last week adopted a resolution calling on
the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU),
and member states to suspend all development co-operation assistance to
Zimbabwe until democracy and the rule of law are fully
The EU MPs also called for tough sanctions against
Zimbabwe, including banning entry of President Mugabe and his close
associates into all 15 EU member states. In a resolution on Zimbabwe, the
EU said it strongly condemned all acts of the government of Zimbabwe to
silence dissent, such as the crackdown on Press freedoms, seen in a series of
attacks on journalists and the independent Press. The EU called on the
government to comply with its obligations under international law and to stop
harassing and intimidating members of the judiciary. The EU said it
“condemns the sustained campaign of murder, violence and intimidation by
President Mugabe and the ruling Zanu PF party against political opponents,
farm workers and white farmers”. The organisation said it condemned the
decision on 6 October 2000, to grant amnesty to anyone liable to criminal
prosecution for politically motivated crimes committed during the period 1
January, 2000 to 31 July, 2000, and called for an urgent, thorough and
impartial investigation of all serious crimes and other human rights abuses
which occurred before, during and after the election in June, 2000. The
parliament urged the EU to increase pressure on the government to respect its
own land legislation and the tenure rights of both local and foreign
investors. It urged the government to resolve the question of land
distribution through legal, democratic, non-violent and transparent
mechanisms. Glennys Kinnock, a Labour Member of the European Parliament
representing Wales, demanded that the European Parliament put a “freeze on
all assets held in EU countries by President Mugabe”. Mugabe has denied
that he has any “assets outside Zimbabwe”. Speaking in Parliament this week,
Kinnock, Labour’s development spokesperson, said: “The European Parliament
demands that we impose smart sanctions on Zimbabwe and that the EU reconsider
the suspension of aid. Euro MPs will call for a travel ban on EU entry for
Mugabe and named close associates, and for the seizure of assets held in EU
member states by the President and his colleagues.” Kinnock added: “We
must use the next few weeks to explore every possible action before taking
that step. With intensive diplomatic negotiations due to take place over the
next month, there is a window of opportunity for President Mugabe to move
back from the brink. The negotiations over the next few weeks represent an
unprecedented opportunity for President Mugabe to find a way forward.” She
said if after that time there was no progress on any of the issues, including
land seizures and political violence, then it would be useless to continue
with dialogue. “The EU will have no choice, but to take a tough stance
Hello everyone; I must apologise for
not replying to most e-mails lately and also for now sending you one of these
"dupe" letters! Once we have sorted our lives out, we will reply
individually so please bare with us for now.
Just to let you know that we
only have 9 weeks left here in Zim. as we fly on .th ....Can't believe
how the time has flown by. We have managed to rent another flat in Hre. (2
bedroomd) very small but useful for storing our furniture and other items
that we will be taking with us to Australia. We are still in a dilemma as to
which container company to take on as they are all so "over priced" and one
has to pay quite a bit in forex! We would like to see our container leave
Zim by the middle of October or there about. N. is still selling tobacco
but we are almost at the end and then we will have to bid a sad farewell to
more of our labour because we will no longer be needing them. They are
terribly stressed by all this and of course have not been given any land on
our farm so really have nowhere to go! Not fair, but then nothing is these
days. Our garden is looking it's best in years as we have been able to water
24 hrs a day due to not needing the water for seedbeds and irrigation! We
have taken ample photo's and will video nearer the time of leaving. Our
house still has furniture in as we had accumulated plenty of everything over
the past 25 years! We will be passing the remaining fridges,
deepfreezer, stoves, furniture etc to friends of ours who were "trashed"
recently and have nothing left due to the "land-grabbers" looting and then
burning their home down. There will be plenty plus so a lot will be passed
on to other farmers who suffered the same loss and we will feel happy knowing
that we were able to help in some way. Our farm has been completely taken
over now and we purely live in the house and make use of the grading sheds.
Majority of our land has been taken over by the Police force who manage to
visit their lands twice daily in Police landrovers! They do this blatantly
and we just stand there and watch them drive by the house......The damage is
irreparable as far as the beautiful indigenous trees go and the once free
roaming duiker, kudu and other game. It is an ongoing daily event to hear the
chop-chop of their axes and the never ending fires which they set in order to
make it easier to hunt. Our staff or especially one of our staff has been
very forthcoming with info. and so has our immediate black neighbor who has
given us lots of interesting feedback and boy do we know that we are doing
the right thing......They are celebrating our leaving already and have made
it clear that we are basically staying here on "borrowed time"..... M. is
in town for 5 days with S. which makes us feel happier as she is really
taking strain with all this stress and trouble around her. Next week on
Tuesday she will move into Hre. permanently until we fly on 10th Nov. M. has
now been granted South African citizenship which was the first good news she
has received in a long time. We still do not have any idea really of what to
do with our precious dogs and our cat Slinky.....N.'s sister has kindly
offered to have our animals if we get them down to her in Pretoria. We are
seriously thinking of doing this but might not have enough time left to
organise getting down there. We still have cattle to sell but are not
allowed to move them due to the foot and mouth in Zim. This leaves us in a
spot but I guess what will be - will be. Sorry if this e-mail sounds a bit
glum - really not meant to be that way, in fact, we are feeling pretty
excited about our new adventure into Aussie. and can't wait. C. is with
us now and hopefully we will be able to get him into Australia with a youth
Sorry this has turned into a book,!
Take care of yourselves
and drop us a line when ever possible.
BY definition the
actions of the insane are incomprehensible to the sane.
therefore, conclude that Zimbabwe is now being governed by the insane for no
one can give a rational explanation for the present events. Major news
stories have covered the violence and destruction on commercial farms.
Slowly, the recognition is dawning that far more black Zimbabweans than
whites have been the victims of this orgy of intimidation and violence. But
for what purpose is this pogrom being carried out? One could comprehend but
not condone racial hatred against white farmers.
Yet the vast majority
who suffer are black. Is this an attempt then at a show of power, to show who
is boss, and the boss may not be challenged in any way? This is possible. But
the action is insane. Even Zanu PF MP Phillip Chiyangwa has said that an
angry and hungry population is dangerous. The economy of Zimbabwe was built
up over the past hundred years to the point where it was one of the most
vibrant and diverse in Africa and the envy of many others.
cannot actually “see” and “feel” an economy it would appear that those in
power cannot understand the consequences of their actions. When an entire
government is unable to see the linkage between cause and effect, it is time
to panic. It may have seemed like a “good idea at the time” to peasantise the
economy and “empower the masses”. However, that has never worked, as the
Cultural Revolution in China so graphically demonstrated.
The regime of
Pol Pot, however, seems to be the model being used in Zimbabwe. His idea,
too, was to move people from the cities to the countryside in an agrarian
revolution that went horribly wrong. Perhaps one third of the entire
population of Cambodia died of starvation or were executed. No country did
anything effective to check this obvious lunatic, which no doubt encourages
those in power in Zimbabwe. Mugabe sees all those who do not support him as
his enemies, but particularly the whites and those in the cities as well as
all those who are able to think for themselves and draw their own conclusions
– such as teachers and civil servants, who have totally rejected him and his
party at the polls.
Therefore, the Pol Pot option may seem attractive.
The recent events in Chinhoyi and Doma have accelerated the economic
collapse. However, this is only the most recent event. There are many other
factors that make economic collapse inevitable: n The deliberate destruction
of agriculture not only means no export of agricultural products but also
makes starvation inevitable. Not many seem to be aware that a great number of
these “settlers” merely prevent the farmer from farming, they do not
actually grow anything themselves.
The remainder generally have no
knowledge of farming and no money for essential inputs. -The
government-condoned lawlessness has resulted in the outbreak
of foot-and-mouth disease, ending lucrative export of beef to the
European Union. -The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Joseph Made, has said we
will import maize and wheat, but it is common knowledge that there is no
foreign exchange to import food. - The fixed exchange rate and
non-availability of forex has made exports impossible, thus further reducing
foreign currency inflows. The real exchange rate determined by supply and
demand is about $325 to one US$ as against the official rate of $55 to 1,
which exporters are paid. Recent legislation that attempts to deny this
reality cannot succeed. - Violence and lawlessness have destroyed tourism, a
major source of foreign currency. - Massive corruption at the National Oil
Company of Zimbabwe and other parastatals has siphoned billions of dollars
from the economy. - The huge and unbudgeted payout and continuing monthly
stipend paid to the estimated 70 000 “war veterans” cannot be sustained by
the economy. - Managed interest rates far below inflation were introduced to
reduce the huge public debt burden. Investment and savings now bring a deeply
negative return. - Zimbabwe’s involvement in the Democratic Republic of
the Congo war is a huge drain on the economy, though the actual amount is a
closely guarded secret. - Arms purchases continue to deplete our currency
reserves. - Introducing the new $500 note Dr Simba Makoni, Minister of
Finance, said this was necessary as the Zimbabwe dollar was now worth only 6
percent of what it was in 1990. In real terms, the value of our currency
appears to be falling at more than 10 percent a month.
the collapse of the dollar mean that money circulation has almost ceased.
This will lead to the death of the already stressed manufacturing and retail
sectors of the economy, and that in turn will lead to even greater
unemployment. There is always an avalanche effect, as the closure of one
business then leads to the closure of others. The above facts are well-known
to all educated Zimbabweans, yet the mayhem continues unabated. Is it malice,
or madness that has brought a once prosperous country to this state? A common
comment from the man in the street now is: “They are killing us, we will
surely die.” Is this, in fact, the intention? Is Pol Pot the model Zimbabwe’s
leadership is following?
BARELY three weeks after
the launch of the new $5 coin, its outer ring is coming off, according to
reports made to The Daily News yesterday.
The coin is minted at a
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) subsidiary, the recently commissioned $500
million Fidelity Printers and Refiners factory in Bulawayo. President
Mugabe officially opened the factory on 30 August. At the Bulawayo office of
the newspaper, more than seven people brought disintegrating $5 coins whose
outer copper rings had separated from the inner silver grooves. Abel
Sibanda, who runs a flea market in Bulawayo, said: “These coins are not even
a month old, yet they are already giving us headaches. One wonders in what
condition they will be two years from now.” Our Harare office was inundated
with callers complaining about the defective coins. Ignatius Mabasa, the
RBZ spokesman, said in Harare yesterday nobody had complained to them about
the crumbling coins. “Times are hard so people might be exposing the coins to
high temperatures, in the hope of extracting gold from them since they are
bimetallic coins,” he said.
Harare - Six Zimbabweans were feared dead following this week's
terrorist attacks in the United States, a Zimbabwe government official was
quoted as saying in the state-owned Herald on Thursday. Zimbabwe's ambassador to
the United States, Simbi Mubako, said at least five Zimbabweans were known to
have been working at the World Trade Centre, while one worked in the Pentagon as
an engineer. "We don't know if they are alive or got out," Mubako said.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe said on Wednesday he was shocked by the
"ghastly attacks" on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, in a letter to US
President George W Bush. "I have learnt with a deep sense of shock, horror and
utter disbelief of the ghastly attacks on the Pentagon, the World Trade Centre
and other attacks," Mugabe said in the letter.
Bulawayo - Senior Zanu PF officials, including the
Vice-President, Joseph Msika, have asked the Minister of State for Information
and Publicity, Jonathan Moyo, to explain dishonoured cheques issued to hundreds
of people in Bulawayo in the run-up to last weekend’s mayoral and council ward
elections. At a stormy provincial executive meeting in Bulawayo last week, Moyo
is said to have threatened to walk out in protest. Apart from the cheques issued
to residents in his charitable forays, Moyo was also warned to "stop causing
chaos" in the party by making haphazard decisions without consulting top party
officials. Moyo is apparently being blamed for Zanu PF’s massive electoral
defeat in the elections. The MDC won all the seven municipal ward elections and
the mayoral poll.
Senior Zanu PF officials said Moyo was behaving like a "loose
cannon" and had flouted every standing party rule in his bid to position himself
as the most popular politician in Matabeleland. At the meeting, Msika heard how
war veterans and top party officials were opposed to Moyo spearheading the
party’s campaign which ended in defeat when Zanu PF lost by 60 988 to 12 783
votes in the mayoral contest. The heavy loss is said to have caused panic and
anguish within the ruling party. Moyo distributed more than $1 million in cash
and issued cheques to community groups and individuals. The money was said to be
for projects and black empowerment. Members of the opposition said the exercise
was a vote-buying gimmick.
Moyo has remained tight-lipped on the source of the money.
Several cheques issued by Moyo for projects are said to have been dishonoured by
the banks. Some of the cheques were post-dated to well after the elections.
"These young men in the party are causing a lot of chaos," said a senior Zanu PF
official. "Moyo was in Bulawayo distributing money without an invitation from
the party. It is basically the reason why we lost. He is unpopular with the
people. I am glad Msika knows it." Joseph Chinotimba, the self-styled
commander-in-chief of farm invasions and war veterans’ leader, was barred from
leading Zanu PF’s campaign in the city. At the same time, Moyo was slapped with
an order to stop distributing money which Zanu PF officials said made the party
look "cheap". Moyo defied the order and, two days before the elections, doled
out a total of $400 000 to unemployed youths and women in Tshabalala suburb. A
few days before the elections, party officials said Moyo attempted to outshine
top provincial officials and barred provincial chairman, Jabulani Sibanda, from
giving Msika a briefing on the campaign. But Msika is understood to have snubbed
Moyo and maintained he was acting "out of bounds". Msika, sources said,
preferred to talk to the party’s acting secretary for the commissariat, Dr
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu. Ndlovu could not be reached for comment
When Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe returned from Libya last
weekend he was full of cheer that the Abuja agreement on Zimbabwe's land reform
programme had provided a welcome show of solidarity by African states. By
Tuesday that optimism had evaporated as Mugabe had difficulty disguising his
resentment of criticism from neighbours. While last week's meeting in Nigeria of
Commonwealth foreign ministers, which saw Britain offering to fund land reform
in its former colony, might have provided the embattled leader with hope that
things were going his way, this week's two-day summit in Harare of Southern
African Development Community (SADC) heads of state appears to have disabused
him of any idea that African leaders are on his side.
In his opening address SADC chairperson President Bakili Muluzi
of Malawi did not mince words on the danger of Zimbabwe's economic crisis
spilling across its borders, while in closed sessions South African President
Thabo Mbeki was understood to have been sharply critical of the damaging
policies pursued by Mugabe's Zanu PF party. South Africa's relations with Harare
have become increasingly strained over Mugabe's reluctance to rein in militia
leaders who, during the summit, were unleashing violence on farms in the
Beatrice area, south of Harare. Mugabe had even insisted on the heads of state
greeting war veteran Joseph Chinotimba, self-styled "leader of farm invasions",
on their arrival at Harare airport.
Muluzi announced on Tuesday the formation of a ministerial
committee to carry on the work of the regional leaders. He assured reporters
that "things are going to change because the government of Zimbabwe is committed
to the issues which we have discussed". It is their insistence that Zimbabwe
must stick to the rule of law that has stung Mugabe most. The official media,
Mugabe's mouthpiece, this week launched scathing attacks on Mbeki and Muluzi.
Mbeki had been a "casualty" of the Abuja accord, The Sunday Mail curiously
claimed, suggesting South Africa was not a "true African country". The Herald
alleged that Mbeki had refused to heed the Pan Africanist Congress at home on
the land issue while listening to the opposition in Zimbabwe which, it claimed,
opposes land reform. Muluzi was accused of being discourteous to his hosts by
lecturing them on the need for the rule of law.
The Abuja agreement obliges the Zimbabwe government to halt
land invasions. But as most commercial farms are already under occupation by
Mugabe's hired thugs, this will make little difference to violent realities,
including the dispossession of about 300 000 farm workers of Mozambican,
Malawian and Zambian descent. As Mugabe's popularity wanes as economic privation
and political repression mount, so he will resort to every instrument of
coercion at his disposal. That means keeping war veterans and other armed
supporters on the farms. But while the Harare government needs to mollify its
own constituency it is, at the same time, anxious to be seen complying with the
As this week's events show, Mugabe is facing growing
international censure over his self-made crisis. The United States and European
Union are threatening sanctions. Mbeki and President Olusegun Obasanjo of
Nigeria are leading a Commonwealth initiative to bind Zimbabwe to the rule of
law. Next month Commonwealth heads of government meet in Brisbane, Australia, to
examine ways of tightening measures against rogue members. The Abuja and Harare
agreements will likely head off the challenges to Mugabe's renegade rule and
enable him to argue that he is cooperating with the international community. But
he is unlikely to give up the 2 700 farms seized under the so-called fast-track
resettlement scheme which the Supreme Court has declared illegal. And Foreign
Minister Stan Mudenge, on his return from Abuja, made it clear that about 4 500
farms designated for acquisition - 90% of the total - will not be delisted, nor
will their occupiers be evicted.
Most Zimbabweans agree on the need for land reform. But most
insist it must be planned and lawful, enhancing food production rather than
sabotaging it. They are supported in this by the United Nations Development
Programme and other donors. It is doubtful whether the gulf between the two
divergent approaches can be bridged - or whether the international community is
prepared to turn a blind eye to the intimidation and electoral rigging taking
place as Mugabe feels increasingly cornered by democratic forces. That sense of
isolation will have been heightened by last weekend's overwhelming victory for
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in a Bulawayo municipal poll.
Mugabe will no doubt soon be breathing defiance again. But with Commonwealth and
regional pressure bearing down on him, he will at least get away with less than
before while his carefully nurtured myth that Zimbabwe's problems centre on land
has finally been laid to rest.
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai met his
political rival President Robert Mugabe face to face for the first time in three
years this week and bluntly told southern African heads of state to immediately
ensure that Mugabe halts government-sponsored violence if free and fair
presidential elections are to be held. Tsvangirai laid down what amounted to
minimum conditions that must be met for a free and fair ballot to the leaders of
the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), who met in Harare this week to
discuss Zimbabwe’s political and economic meltdown. "We put our position across
on all the problems Zimbabwe is facing as a country and, more importantly, we
told the SADC leaders the minimum conditions which we want them to ensure are
met for a free and fair presidential poll to be held," he told the Financial
Tsvangirai, head of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), spoke after meeting the SADC leaders of Botswana, Malawi, Namibia,
Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe on Tuesday. Apart from calling for an end
to state-led violence, he demanded the setting up of an Independent Electoral
Commission to conduct and supervise the presidential poll, an immediate
deployment of international observers and that opposition parties be given equal
access to the public media. Since independence in 1980, Zimbabwean national
elections have been run by the Electoral Supervisory Commission, which is
staffed solely by individuals appointed by Mugabe. The government has turned the
public media into a propaganda tool for the ruling Zanu PF party while blacking
out opposition parties.
Tsvangirai described the meeting at which he met Mugabe for the
first time in three years as tense but frank and fruitful. The MDC leader last
met Mugabe in 1988 when the former was leader of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU) which had just successfully masterminded a nationwide job stayaway
in protest against the government’s economic policies. During Tuesday’s meeting
in Harare, Mugabe who sat alongside other SADC heads of state, did not pose or
answer any issue raised during Tsvangirai’s presentation which lasted almost two
hours. Conference sources said Mugabe kept mum, only making inaudible
interjections and getting briefings from Vice President Joseph Msika, Local
Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made and Home
Affairs Minister John Nkomo. Nkomo, who is also Zanu PF’s national chairman,
instead answered issues raised by the MDC leadership on the breakdown of the
rule of law in Zimbabwe, the economy, the land, political violence and the
conduct of the war veterans. During the meeting, Nkomo accused Tsvangirai of
ruining the economy by calling for job stayaways during his stint at the
Tsvangirai said his party’s message was well received by the
SADC leaders and that his team had changed their perceptions on Zimbabwe, where
the government insists law and order have not broken down. He said he told the
SADC summit it was important that Mugabe appreciates that the MDC is a
legitimate opposition party in the country which could not be wished away. He
stressed that Mugabe ought to come to terms with the fact that Zimbabwe’s
one-party rule was over if problems affecting the country were to be resolved
through a national consensus. Tsvangirai told the SADC leaders that he had
written to Mugabe twice in the past two years suggesting that their two parties
meet to find a common ground to resolve the country’s problems but no response
had been forthcoming. He said it was a shame that he and Mugabe, as leaders of
the major political parties in Zimbabwe, had to meet only at a meeting organised
SADC chairman Bakili Muluzi urged inter-party dialogue and an
end to political violence and intimidation if democracy was to work in Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai said he told the SADC leaders that Zimbabwe’s problems centred on
crisis governance and that everyone in the country agreed on the need for land
reform but differed on methods that had to be used. Zimbabwe has been in crisis
since February 2000 when mobs of Zanu PF supporters who call themselves war
veterans seized hundreds of commercial farms across the country, already
grappling with a recession. Their action, later expanded to include raids on
companies, drove away virtually all investment at a time when many companies
were already closing because of the poor economic climate, accentuating record
unemployment of 60 percent.
Editorial : Published Wednesday, September 12, 2001 from the Miami Herald.
We'll go forward from this moment
It's my job
to have something to say. They pay me to provide words that help make sense
of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless
shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to
say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown
author of this suffering.
You monster. You beast. You unspeakable
What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on
our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would
learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.
Did you want us
to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.
Did you want to make
us fear? You just steeled our resolve.
Did you want to tear us apart? You
just brought us together.
Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast
and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class
division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of
expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's
revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're wealthy,
too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and
maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe
entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though -- peace-loving and
compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are,
the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and
Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of this
makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in
ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.
we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still
grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to
make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some
Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel.
Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final
death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of
terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of
the world. You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.
But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us
fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time
anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and
monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in
our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any
suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.
I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you,
I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with
dread of the future.
In the days to come, there will be recrimination
and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to
happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will
be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go
forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too.
THE STEEL IN US
You see, the steel
in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom
understood by people who don't know us well. On this day, the family's
bickering is put on hold.
As Americans we will weep, as Americans we
will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we
So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to
me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If
that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in
exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of.
You don't know what you just started.