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Zimbabwe blames opposition for bomb - BBC: 19 September, 2000.
Police Minister Alleges Opposition Weapons Found in Zimbabwe - AP 19 September 2000
MDC PRESS RELEASE - 19 September 2000

Zimbabwe blames opposition for bomb

BBC: Tuesday, 19 September, 2000, 21:00 GMT 22:00 UK
Zimbabwean Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo has told parliament that the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was behind a grenade attack last week on its own offices.

Mr Nkomo said police raids on the opposition's premisies had uncovered weapons including grenades and a hand gun.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai described the accusations as completly without foundation, and the party has reaffirmed its commitment to non-violence.

The Home Affairs Minister statement to parliament was greeted with howls of ridicule and incredulity from members of the opposition.

"You people are insane," shouted one MP.

'Inside job'

The minister told parliament that police investigations revealed without doubt that the explosion at opposition headquarters a week ago was an inside job.

Subsequent searches of the MDC's offices and the homes of its members had produced an unspecified number of grenades, a loaded pistol, and 10 cartridges, Mr Nkomo said.

He said key suspects were now known and all that remained was for the police to consolidate evidence.


Mr Tsvangirai said he was dismayed that a minister he had previously considered to be honourable could make false statements to parliament.

He went on to suggest that the government's intention could be to provide a pretext for banning the MDC, less than 3 months after it came close to winning a majority of the contested seats in parliamentary elections.

Last week the police raided the MDC offices several times, carrying off documents and computers, and arresting four party officials who were later released without charge.

Similar tactics were used against Zapu, the main opposition in the 1980s. The political instability then was resolved only by the signing of a unity accord, which in practice meant the swallowing up of the opposition by the ruling party.

Police Minister Alleges Opposition Weapons Found in Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- The government said Tuesday that police searches at opposition party offices last week unearthed weapons caches, a claim the opposition Movement for Democratic Change warned it could be used as a pretext for a crackdown.

"These searches yielded nothing, and the police know this very well," party spokesman Learnmore Jongwe said.

Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo, in a statement to Parliament, said police seized arms caches "comprising grenades, pistols, rifles and tearsmoke" at three sites in the capital, the Zimbabwe news agency reported.

Nkomo said other consignments of arms were found at the homes of opposition officials and though suspects were known, police were "simply consolidating evidence" before arrests were made, the state news agency reported.

Nkomo, whose ministry is responsible for the police, said police investigations also concluded a grenade attack at MDC headquarters September 11 was "an inside job," suggesting it was the work of opposition supporters.

Jongwe, the opposition spokesman, said the searches Thursday and Friday were monitored by independent observers and lawyers acting for the opposition, none of whom reported weapons being found.

He described Nkomo's statement as "a clear attempt ...to maliciously and falsely concoct baseless allegations against the MDC with a view to discrediting it and as a pretext for cracking down on the MDC leadership."

The opposition was committed to peaceful and democratic change through the ballot box and deplored government attempts to frame it with false allegations, Jongwe said.

In June, the MDC won 57 of 120 elected seats in parliamentary elections. The results posed the biggest challenge to President Robert Mugabe's hold on power since he led the nation to independence in 1980. In the outgoing parliament, Mugabe's party controlled all but three seats.

At least 31 people died and thousands were left homeless in political violence ahead of the elections. Most of the victims were opposition supporters.

Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.

MDC PRESS RELEASE - 19 September 2000

The MDC is utterly shocked by the Minister John Nkomo's statement in Parliament today, 19 September, 2000, in which he alleged that the police had found consignments of arms of war comprising grenades, pistols, rifles and tear smoke at the MDC support centre, MDC Head Office and MDC provincial offices at St Martins and MDC officials residencies in Harare.

We note for the record that the searches for arms of war which were conducted by the police on Thursday 14 September 2000 were done in the full view of both local and international journalists, MDC lawyers and other individuals. These searches yielded nothing and the police know this fact very well. It was after the police search for arms of war had yielded nothing that the police now sought to confiscate documents. Indeed they succeeded in doing this on the 15 September 2000 when they took with them MDC documents and computer discs.

On Saturday 16 September the police went through the documents they had confiscated with an MDC team that was headed by the MDC Secretary General, Prof. Welshman Ncube at the Central police. Again no documents to do with of arms of war were found and the police are well aware of this fact.

Minister Nkomo's statement therefore is a clear attempt by the Government and the ruling party to maliciously and falsely concoct baseless allegations against the MDC with a view to discrediting it within the eyes of the public and also taking this as pretext for cracking down on the MDC leadership.

This does not come as a surprise to the MDC as the same trick has been used against opposition parties in the past. ZAPU and ZANU (Ndonga) have been victims of the same strategies in the early 80s and mid 90s respectively.

The MDC urges all its supporters and Zimbabweans of genuine goodwill to dismiss Minister Nkomo's statement and the government's attempt to frame allegations against the MDC.

In the interim the MDC is convening an emergency meeting of its National Executive and a detailed statement will be issued after the meeting.

MDC Technical Support Services
Press and Information Department
8th Floor, Gold Bridge, Eastgate
Harare, Zimbabwe

Cell: 091 361 151-3 Web:
Fax: 751 273

"The rule of law should not be applied selectively" (Morgan Tsvangirayi)

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Urgent Sitrep
Wednesday 20th September: 14:15hrs


Abduction of ten farmers in the Featherstone area:

At least ten commercial farmers were taken hostage in the Featherstone area
this morning.  Farm workers in the area were dismantling war vet huts and it
appears that some farmers were observing.  A group of about forty war vets,
at least twelve of them armed (some with automatic weapons) reacted and it
is reported that shots were fired by war vets over the heads of the farmers
and workers.  The war vets abducted the farmers and  took them to Chivhu
police station by vehicle, where the hostages were released.  The police
operation was decisive and all hostages are reported to be safe.  Full
details, including the names of the released hostages, are not known at this
time, but there are no reports of serious injuries.

A full account will follow, but please ensure that the basic facts are
broadcast over each community radio network to avoid speculation.

Malcolm Vowles
Deputy Director (Admin & Projects)

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Tragic stories from the Honde Valley

This woman had her house and food granary burned to the ground by ZANU PF hired thugs because she is a supporter of the MDC - Movement for Democratic Change. When the hired thugs burned her house on the 27th May she was 8 months pregnant they also beat her for being a member of the MDC. As a result of the beating and the trauma of seeing her home and belongings burned to the ground she was hospitalised until the 29th June when she gave birth to twins who have been named Morgan and Evelyn after The President of the MDC and the Member of Parliament for her constituency.

She has positively identified the leaders of the gang who burned her house and beat her yet the police have not made any arrests because of the directive given from the Commissioner of Police under instructions from the president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe.

Assistance to rebuild her home can be made to

Honde Valley Development Trust
Barclays Bank - Zimbabwe
Avondale Branch - No 2190
Account No 2740627

Children on the veranda of a house vandalised by ZANU PF and sitting on tents that were supplied for their temporary shelter but only one tent was allowed to be erected by the police for unknown reasons Their parents homes and food granaries were burnt by ZANU PF because they dared to support an opposition party. With only one tent being allowed to be erected, cooking for the displaced persons had to be done in the open by volunteers. Food had to be acquired as the ZANU PF had also burnt the homesteads food granaries. Feeding becomes problematical when large numbers of children have to be fed. Without homes and living in tents the people who suffer the most are the children. Please help us to help them
This homestead in the Honde Valley was burnt to the ground by ZANU PF gang of thugs lead by Samanga Tendai on the 27th May. Some days later they returned and knocked down the walls. This woman was at the scene of the burning and has positively identified the arsonists and was beaten by the thugs because she supported MDC. Goats in the shed were trapped when the fires were started and were severely burnt, two had to be put down. The food granary was burnt and the contents of the homestead destroyed by the fire.
This goat was nearly burnt alive by the ZANU PF intimidators Evelyn Masaiti stands near her car burnt by ZANU PF to prevent her from campaigning. Donations can be made to:-

Honde Valley Development Trust
Barclays Bank - Zimbabwe
Avondale Branch - No 2190
Account No 2740627
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Zimbabwe - Concerned Citizens' Initiative (Bulawayo)


This is addressed to all concerned citizens in an appeal to protest the disappearance of PATRICK NABANYAMA. Patrick, (53), the polling agent for the MDC Bulawayo South MP, David Coltart, has been missing since the afternoon of June 19. War veterans allegedly abducted him from his Nketa home. He was taken away after a brief struggle as the war veterans, some of whom had threatened him with death, told family members that they wanted him to answer questions.
We are planning to gather on the Large City Hall steps on Friday 22nd at lunchtime (13:45 HOURS). The organizers would wish that this should take place each Friday, at the same time at the same place until further notice. Placards, such as "Where is Patrick" would be encouraged.
It is our intention to raise the profile of his disappearance and demand that action to be taken in seeing that justice is done. (Please avoid MDC T Shirts and associated items).
Be reminded that a trust fund is being set up to support his beleaguered family. Please await further details.

From News24 (SA), 20 September

Zim steps up crackdown on illegal farm squatters

Harare - Zimbabwean police have evicted some 2 500 squatters from nine white-owned farms and burned their makeshift huts west of the capital, stepping up a crackdown against illegal occupations, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported on Wednesday. Police descended on farms in Chakari, some 200km west of Harare, on Tuesday, a day after expelling scores of squatters from farms on the outskirts of the capital. In the past, police have done little to stop thousands of landless black squatters who began invading some 1 600 white-owned farms since February.

The land occupation campaign, spearheaded by veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation war, has won open support from President Robert Mugabe. Evictions carried out last month ended with police backtracking and with the squatters receiving promises of winning plots through a housing programme run by the city of Harare. Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo, who after last month's evictions came under fierce criticism from the militant war veterans, has still not commented on the recent expulsions.

A manager of one of the farms where squatters had been removed praised Tuesday's police action in Chakari. "We told ourselves that the police would one day deal with the potentially explosive situation. Now that they have been chased away we can continue with the production on our farms without problems," Paul Botha said. But one of the squatters reacted with anger, saying he was let down. "We were hoodwinked to leave our homes in February only to be forcibly evicted," Julius Bernard said.

After Monday's expulsions, the leader of war veterans, Chenjerai "Hitler" Hunzvi said he was "shocked" that police had expelled the squatters in such an "inhuman manner." Hunzvi said he felt that police were now showing loyalty to Zimbabwe's opposition party, the MDC, which won nearly half of contested seats in the June parliamentary election. The MDC called the new wave of expulsions a "half-hearted, isolated attempt" to solve the land crisis that has rocked the nation.

From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 21 September

2,500 farm squatters evicted in Zimbabwe

Harare – Police evicted 2,500 squatters from nine white-owned farms in Zimbabwe and burned their makeshift huts, it was reported yesterday. Although farmers welcomed the first sustained effort to end the anarchy, attacks by invaders continued and farmers questioned whether the evictions heralded a shift in government policy. A farm owner and about 30 of his labourers were briefly held hostage yesterday at Chivu, 90 miles south-east of Harare, by invaders armed with assault rifles. The captives were freed after heavily armed police intervened.

The CFU adopted a cautious line over evictions. One official said: "Nine out of 1,700 farms is a very small percentage. It is far too early to say if this is a genuine change of heart by the government." On the last occasion when invaders were evicted and huts burned down, President Robert Mugabe was out of the country. When he heard the news, he intervened on behalf of the squatters. This time Mr Mugabe is at home and observers say the evictions could not have been carried out without his permission. Agricultural labourers have emerged as a new force in the battle for farms. There have been several incidents recently in which labourers, armed with axes and clubs, have driven off invaders.

From Pan African News Agency, 20 September

White Farmers Take Mugabe To Court Over Land Occupations

Harare - Zimbabwean white farmers have finally joined president Robert Mugabe in a legal suit over the occupation of their farms by independence war veterans, after a previous decision to spare him. In their suit Tuesday, the farmers are challenging the legality of the government's intention to compulsorily acquire more than 3,000 of their farms to resettle landless blacks who have joined the war veterans in forcibly occupying the properties. The Zimbabwean leader, three cabinet ministers and the head of the police are joined as respondents in the case, expected to drag on for a long time.

The CFU, which represents the interests of white farmers, had earlier withdrawn the case against the government to promote land reform, in preference for dialogue with the authorities, but changed their minds two weeks ago and decided to go ahead with the lawsuit, excluding Mugabe from the case. But on Tuesday, the farmers changed their minds again, and included the Zimbabwean leader as a respondent in the case. Mugabe has strongly backed the farm occupations by the war veterans. A handful of white farmers own more than 70 percent of Zimbabwe's arable land and the government wants to compulsorily acquire half of these holdings to resettle landless peasants.

From News24 (SA), 21 September

Brits will help in Zimbabwe: Mbeki

Cape Town - The British government has given a commitment that it is prepared to assist in the process of land redistribution in Zimbabwe, President Thabo Mbeki said on Wednesday. Responding to questions in the National Assembly, he said British Prime Minister Tony Blair had said to him - in a message received on Wednesday - that his government would assist Zimbabwe, given certain principles. Blair had said the issue was vitally important and should be dealt with urgently. This was the first response by the British government to approaches from Mbeki and Malawian President Bakhili Muluzi to assist in resolving the land problem. He and Muluzi were appointed in July by SADC to talk with Blair on the issue.

Mbeki said the redistribution of land in Zimbabwe related directly to the dispossession of that land under colonial rule. South Africa would continue to talk with the Zimbabwean government to help resolve the issue peacefully. "I believe that it will be wrong to proceed in any other way." This should be done within the context of Zimbabwe's laws, and in a way that ensured against lawlessness and maintained stability. Mbeki refused to denounce Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. "The reason we will not do this is that it will not result in the addressing of this colonial legacy," Mbeki said. "If it results in the isolation of the president of South Africa, I don't mind... as long as this particular result is achieved."

He rejected reports that the Zimbabwe government planned to take over all white-owned farms. That government's programme recommended the redistribution of about five million hectares of farmland, which represented less than half the 4000 farms owned by whites. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan would circulate that programme to donor countries. Mbeki said he had always made it clear to Mugabe that illegal occupants of farms should be removed, and did not think it was necessary to put any further pressure on the Zimbabwe government. South Africa had a Constitution, laws and procedures to deal with land redistribution, and would therefore not suffer the same problems as its northern neighbour. Any people removed from land in South Africa should be fully compensated, he said.

From The Star (SA), 20 September

Mugabe is ruining Africa's reputation – Hain

Lilongwe - A British minister said on Wednesday that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe had single-handedly undermined investor confidence in Africa by supporting land grabs in Zimbabwe. Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain, on a three-day tour of Malawi, told reporters that Mugabe had also reinforced the view that little or no good could come out of Africa. "President Mugabe single-handedly did more to undermine both investor confidence and Africa's reputation than anything else in the past year," Hain said. "During the crisis in Zimbabwe, all the caricatures of Africa, tyranny, violence, corruption and devastation of a beautiful and successful country were bounced back into international public opinion," he added.

Hain is a vocal critic of the Zimbabwean leader, who backed often violent invasions of hundreds of white-owned farms by thousands of liberation war veterans ahead of June parliamentary elections. Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party narrowly won the vote. Under Zimbabwean law, the president can make further nominations, giving ZANU-PF a comfortable parliamentary majority. But it lacks the two-thirds necessary to amend the constitution. Mugabe has earmarked several thousand white-owned farms for re-distribution to blacks in what he sees as "fast-track" land reform. He has won no Western support for his proposals.

But Hain said there was hope elsewhere on the continent, and cited Tanzania, Botswana, Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Uganda and Mauritius as thriving and prosperous democracies. "Britain will continue to support these success stories in Africa and remains ready to help those countries working to put behind them conflict and private greed in pursuit of peace and prosperity," he said. Hain said the rapid spread of HIV and AIDS remained one of the continent's biggest development challenges, and Britain would increase funding to African states to fight the pandemic.

Malawi is an impoverished, landlocked but politically stable southern African country of 10 million people. Its budget depends mainly on foreign aid and Britain is a major donor. Hain's visit comes just a week after the parliamentary watchdog public accounts committee accused ministers and senior civil servants of involvement in fraud that has cost the government of President Bakili Muluzi millions of dollars.

From The Star (SA), 20 September

No-nonsense Oppenheimers impress Mugabe

Harare - The outcome of the Oppenheimer family's meeting with President Robert Mugabe on Monday could rescue other foreign companies whose estates and plantations had been gazetted for compulsory seizures by the government. The family, which offered the government 40 000 of the 960 000 hectares of land which it controls in Zimbabwe for resettlement, is understood to have warned Mugabe that the Anglo American Corporation would drastically scale down investments in Zimbabwe if the corporation's estates were seized willy-nilly.

"The Oppenheimers made it clear that most of their investments in Zimbabwe, directly or indirectly, rely on land and these and future investments would be severely affected if their land was taken," said an official in the President's office. "They were not confrontational, but made their point in a very clear and sober way which impressed the President," the official said. Land and agriculture minister Joseph Made said after the Oppenheimers' meeting with Mugabe that the government would de-list most of the estates and plantations owned by foreign companies which had been gazetted for resettlement.

From The Daily News, 20 September

Mugabe squanders over $13 million in 14 days

MORE than $13 million was gobbled up by President Mugabe, his children and a delegation of about 47 officials during his 14-day trip to Libya, France and the United States of America where he attended the UN Millennium Summit. Mugabe travelled to New York with an entourage of 44 people, among them the Minister of State for Information and Publicity, Jonathan Moyo, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stan Mudenge. Also on the delegation were O Mugabe, Bona Mugabe and Master T Mugabe.

The trip came as talks on the need to reduce presidential trips and the number of people going on them were growing louder. In Parliament the opposition MDC has complained of the cost of the trips to an economy on the verge of collapse. More than $13 million was used to buy the tickets to Libya, France and the US. Then there were the daily allowances of between US$200 ($10 400) and US$300 a day for senior officials, and between US$150 and US$250 for junior officials. Mugabe, who this week leaves for Mozambique to attend the official opening of the Mozal Aluminium Plant in Maputo, will be accompanied by 23 people on the one-day trip. A junior official will receive about $14 000 for accommodation, meals and allowances. Allowances for seniors on the trip to Mozambique could not be verified by yesterday afternoon.

Documents in the possession of The Daily News indicate that on his New York trip, apart from the two ministers, Mugabe was accompanied by the Chief of Protocol, Munyaradzi Kajese, the Director-General of the CIO, Brigadier Elisha Muzonzini, 30 officials from the CIO and the President’s Office, two officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a presidential photographer and a camera person, a nursing sister, two reporters from Zimpapers and Ziana, a ZBC reporter and cameraman and one official from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Yesterday, the presidential spokesman, George Charamba, said the list of the presidential delegation, especially in relation to the number of CIO operatives, was misleading. "The categories may be misleading because in basic international engagements, there are certain invisibles. Some of the people on the list do not know how to fire a gun, so you cannot call them security," Charamba said. He said the President needed technocrats from different ministries. Mugabe dealt with the land issue, the Zimbabwe Democracy Bill 2000 and the conflict in the DRC, among many others. The technocrats were drawn from various ministries but were indicated as working in the President’s Office, Charamba said, without elaborating.

From Business Day (SA), 20 September

Rautenbach May Face Extradition

Johannesburg - The investigative directorate for serious economic offences has applied for a warrant of arrest and is "seriously considering" instituting extradition proceedings against Zimbabwean transport operator Billy Rautenbach, a spokesman said yesterday. The directorate, in a combined effort with the asset forfeiture unit and the SA Revenue Services (SARS), seized assets yesterday worth R40m belonging to Rautenbach in SA, which include a private jet, a helicopter, farms and other properties. The authorities are seeking a further R20m in assets to attach after an 18month investigation found that Rautenbach allegedly defrauded the SARS of R60m. He allegedly underpaid import duties on Hyundai motor vehicles imported to SA from Botswana, where they were assembled.

It is alleged that Rautenbach undervalued vehicles on invoices given to customs officials by between 20% and 30%, to avoid paying full import duties. There are about 80000 Hyundai vehicles in SA, say investigators. The investigation could be extended to include Volvo vehicles that were also distributed by Rautenbach until his company Wheels of Africa was liquidated in December. The directorate seized Rautenbach's assets yesterday as investigators discovered that the jet might be flown out of SA from Johannesburg's Rand Airport. The Johannesburg High Court granted the order on Monday night for the seizure of the assets. The seized assets include a Falcon 10 private jet worth R15m and a Bell 407 helicopter worth R8m, both at Rand Airport in Johannesburg. A house in Sandton worth R10m, a wine farm in the Cape worth R10m, a KwaZulu-Natal Midlands farm worth about R3m and six apartments worth about R500000 each were among the frozen assets. They are in the possession of a curator. Rautenbach is expected to oppose the order.

Rautenbach is believed to have left SA for Zimbabwe shortly after a series of raids on his business premises by the SARS and the directorate last year. A large amount of documents was seized in the raids, which Rautenbach opposed in court. The Constitutional Court ruled last month that the raids were constitutionally justified. During the raids it was allegedly discovered that between R10000 and R200000 a month in cash had been paid to family members. It was also found that a subsidiary of the Wheels of Africa group had allegedly invoiced another subsidiary for fictitious services worth about R500000 a month.

In July this year, John Anderson and Konstant Claassen, former managers of a subsidiary of Wheels of Africa, were arrested on charges of theft, fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud which involved R30m. They were charged with conspiring with Rautenbach and his former associate, John Dewar, to reduce fraudulently the tax liability of subsidiary Wheels Parts Distributors by R11m. Last month, a third person was arrested in connection with Rautenbach's business dealings. Dolf Harmse, the most senior customs official in Northern Province, was arrested on charges of corruption. Investigators said they were trying to trace Rautenbach's father, Wessel Rautenbach, and his business partner, Nissem Franco, who they believed could help with the investigation.

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Zimbabweans - those at home, and those scattered throughout the world - WAKE UP ! It's time to take a very serious look at where we stand! The situation in Zimbabwe today is not a dream, nor a nightmare - it is cold, hard reality! Our nation is in an appalling state economically, financially, politically, morally, socially (and most other ...ally's that we can think of) ! We have only a few choices left at this stage:

- we can try and continue as we are - battling against ever more crazy odds every day, wondering it is all going to end (but knowing in our hearts that we can't continue like this forever)

- we can, if we have the money and somewhere to go, abdicate and leave the country, OR

- we can get up and stand shoulder to shoulder with all true Zimbabweans to be counted.

What choice do the majority of Zimbabweans have at present? They face a life of poverty and subjugation to a merciless and cold-hearted Government - a Government that would force through an additional Budget of Expenditure of 9 billion Zim dollars to support the government of a despot like Laurent Kabila, but leave the Social Dimension Fund - which provides for our most disadvantaged brothers and sisters - with not a cent in it's coffers!

What are we doing for the People and our Country? Are we amongst those who are driving and effecting positive change through peaceful means? Or are you amongst the people who - since the Elections - are sitting there saying "Well - what are MDC doing for us? We voted them in - now where are they?" while we carry on with your normal lives? To be perfectly straight - voting the MDC in is not enough - not at this point!

MDC is not ZANU-PF! - it does not have access to State funding, or to secret funding from the President's Office Budget, or to transport provided by the Armed Forces, etc - it is only funded from the People and other well-wishers. It is not manned by full-time paid staff. It does not have permanent offices in every Province. It is a grouping of part-timers and volunteers who give of their time and their talents, for little more than the feeling that what they are doing is of service to their Country and their People.

People of Zimbabwe, these people have given of their best - and in many cases - at great personal loss to themselves through deaths, destruction, beatings, torture, abductions, etc. They continue to give! But are the rest of us continuing to give? We as Zimbabweans must strive together and not rest until our Nation is restored to uphold the basic values of Democracy.

Look at our most recent example of the failure of democracy! John Nkomo, once thought to be an honourable man, announced in Parliament that the MDC is responsible for bombing its own offices! The ludicrous accusations of "searches revealing weapons of war being found at MDC Offices and supporters premises" have already been dismissed by the MDC's latest Press Statement with the contempt they deserve.

ZANU-PF's tactics of intimidation and disinformation are well known, but these latest utterances go further in revealing the contempt that ZANU-PF hold for the truth, the Rule of Law, Parliament, and worst of all for the People of Zimbabwe. The accusations reflect tactics used in the early 80's and 90's against the then opposition Parties.

So what are we doing about the situation? MDC are bringing intense political pressure in Parliament, but outside this arena, most activities continue to be hampered by lack of funding.

The original appeal for funding and assistance from these offices of 17th August has met with little response. One printing company has offered assistance, one donation of Z$1000 has been received, and a relatively small number (compared to pre-Election levels) of independent newspapers has been received / distributed. We express our sincere gratitude to those who have responded to our previous appeal in any way.

It is understood that many people in Zimbawbe do not wish to be exposed, but support MDC and want positive change in their country. Please show your support for those who are exposed and effecting change by contributing whatever you can afford. For those supporting Zimbabwe from the outside world - as stated in Zimnews - what seems a small amount of money to you goes a very long way in Zimbabwe!

Support desperately need funding to maintain an effective presence to counter the ZANU-PF propaganda campaign and to supply logistical and professional support to the Party. To be effective this office requires the equivalent of approximately £ 2000.00 (British Pounds) per month to cover expenses. This includes, for example, the publication of 400,000 MDC Bulletins to be distributed in 53 constituencies in the southern half of the country. Most important is the preparedness of the Party for the Presidential Elections - due in April 2002 (or sooner?).

To date, no funds have been issued to MDC by the Government under the Political Parties Funding Act. These funds should have been issued within 60 days of the opening of Parliament, but it would be naive to believe that the ZANU-PF Government will release these funds in the near future, if at all.

The sum of £ 2000.00 is a lot of money! However, if we make a concerted effort to distribute this request to everyone on your e-mail address list, it is quite feasible that this amount could be raised, and even exceeded, just by people putting in whatever amount they can afford on a monthly basis. Another suggestion is that nucleuses of maybe 20 people arrange for a regular Stop Order of an agreed amount to be forwarded to Matilda Trust on a regular basis.

Donations for MDC Support (Southern Region) should be directed to the Matilda Trust, Suite 701, Old Mutual Centre, Cnr 8th Ave / Jason Moyo St (where they will be receipted), or deposited at Barclays Bank - Account No. 1996379, Main Street Branch (No. 2307), Bulawayo. Cheques should be made payable to Matilda Trust (Support Fund).

For accounting and audit purposes, it would be appreciated if this Office could be advised of any donations made direct to the Bank Account, so that receipts may be acknowledged. In addition foreign donations made by cheque should be directed in the first instance to this Office.

Having said all this, we would like to acknowledge the many donations that have already been made, and - once again - offer our grateful thanks.

Any further assistance in cash or kind will be greatly appreciated and will be put to good use in furthering the cause of freedom and democracy in Zimbabwe. PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO ALL ON YOUR MAILING LISTS!

We attach our request - through ZIMNEWS - of 28th August 2000, by way of further explanation.

Mike Lander

MDC Support (Southern Region)

Dear All

What WE need to do

Pre-election communication regarding MDC activities and intentions were intense. In the absence of access to State-run news media, information was disseminated in the form of electronic mail and "flyers". Pamphlets were dispatched to rural areas overnight by volunteers driving up to 300 kms through communal lands. Some even fell from heaven like Manna!

The post-election period has seen a dramatic drop in the availability of information - particularly to the rual areas - and has been characterised by the number of enquiries asking why this is so. E-mail is the main source of information but only reaches those with the facility. An MDC Bulletin has been proposed which would address topical issues and counter the government's utterances and misinformation. These bulletins could then be disbursed by the support networks in each constituency.

Independent press newspapers were collected and disbursed throughout the rural areas during the pre-election period. Probably now more than ever this exercise needs to be re-instated.

The MDC Provincal Offices that are being developed in each Province will also require commissioning. This includes furnishing at least one computer, phone and fax.

To ensure the Party and Support Groups keep up the momentum, donor funding will continue to be required and we appeal to all for assistance. We thank everyone for their contributions to date whether it has been monetary, in kind, or in time and general support.



What we ask of YOU

If you are in Zimbabwe :

1. Monetary donations - donations may now be made directly at the MDC Southern Region office, Suite 701, Old Mutual Centre, Cnr 8th Ave / Jason Moyo St, or deposited in Barclays Bank, Main Street, Bulawayo - Branch No 2307, Account No 1996379. Cheques should be made payable to Matilda Trust.

2. Newspapers - we are appealing for your unwanted copies of independent newspapers - The Standard, Zimbabwe Independent, Financial Gazette and Daily News in particular. We wish to collect and forward these to the rural areas to afford our rural population the chance to get a clearer picture of the situation in the country. This is a very important exercise and we would appeal to you to approach your Churches and / or social groups to assist in collection for this very worthy cause. Papers can be dropped in at any MDC office, for the attention of MDC Support.

3. Stationery and office equipment - we still require A4 bond paper, envelopes, inkjet printer cartridges etc, and need to source money for our letterheads, computers, and fax machines. Much of the equipment used up to now was most generously loaned to us for a limited period, and we must now face the problem of permanently equipping our offices. Any donations in kind will be most welcome.

If you live abroad :

Remember - what seems a small sum of money to you, goes a very long way in Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe  - The Power of Positive Thought
Read this and circulate !!

Dear All
If you think this is worthy please forward to as many people as you can.
The Power of Positive Thinking, It is Your Choice!
Please think about Zim when you read this, since what we need now is as many friends as we can get. And with this add one more thing. Put into thought, word and deed if you can (thought and word are good enough) and believe from the depths of your heart (most importantly) that Zimbabwe will sort its problems out, soon, and we will recover with our farms and wildlife in tact, although things will have been changed for ever and violence and poaching are still rife, it is no excuse to abandon everything and throw your hands up in despair and say that it is all lost. If you think this you have admitted defeat (and so will encourage defeat and more violence and more poaching until there is nothing) so get out of here and preferably off the planet, there is no room for you and negative thought! I do not mean throw caution to wind, every action has a reaction, but there is no longer any room for negative thought of any kind, total destruction of our economy and country is too close. Yes we have many problems and many things that need to be rebuilt and they do seem insurmountable, but one has to start somewhere and why start when there is nothing left, it requires a lot more effort then. And in some cases especially wildlife and other natural resources, topsoil, trees, etc, can be beyond recovery, I do not need to elaborate the consequences of these loses. Can you live with yourself and allow such terrible waste to happen when all it requires to help the situation is positive thought, word and deed (if possible) acting through love and not fear. Do not think, "ah but anything," just think we will get through this time and soon and if we try we will find the answers and we will make it work. Do not believe people are bad, believe they are good: do not believe people are useless, believe they are useful: Do not believe Africa is doomed, believe we will overcome our problems and finally be self sufficient. To do nothing is to accept and believe in defeat and I will not accept that! When we have applied this to one place we can start on the others. If you have trouble believing, repeat the belief daily or hourly and eventually you will believe it. We have everything to gain (peace, prosperity, love, abundance, joy, no fear, health, life) if we think positively, and everthing to lose if we think negatively (war, hunger, hatred,  famine, sadness, fear, disease, death). IT IS YOUR CHOICE! Choose through love and you will not be wrong.The greatest sin is to do nothing at all!!
 The "garden of eden" is not in some far off distant land, it is at your feet, all you have to do is choose it to be so and believe it!
Remember in all of us, there is the ability to create and in fact most of us the desire to create.
This includes the ability to love and in fact most of us the desire to love and be loved.
Regards Rob Borland
One more thing, it is easier to believe in ourselves and our abilities if others believe in us, and easier still, the more people that believe.
Final thought. Do not expect other governments to help us when we have been masters of our own destruction, once they see us helping ourselves they will eventually want to be involved, the help that they can give us for now is to believe we can do it.
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