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

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WHERE : Ascot Racecourse
WHEN: Monday 24th September, 2001
TIME: 1730 Hrs (5.30 PM) Prompt

SPEAKERS: The Hon. David Coltart MP
What is the significance of the Abuja meeting?
Do you have a question on citizenship?

The SADCC Visit - what does it mean for us?
CHOGM - will he attend ?

Do you have concerns that can be answered?

Be there, bring your friends and be uplifted and updated !!

"Together we will complete the change for a better life for all"

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Date: Saturday 6 October 2001
Time: 12.00hrs - 14.00hrs
Venue: Zimbabwe High Commission
429 Strand Street
(Nearest tube Charing Cross).
SPECIAL NOTE: In light of the American tragedy on Tuesday 11th September 2001: On Saturday 6th October at 12.30 hrs a 2 minutes silence will be observed followed by prayer, thereafter collectively singing of Amazing Grace. The world is overwhelmed by the shock and horror of these sinister attacks levelled at the proud city of New York, the Pentagon in Washington DC and the American People. We would like to take this time to say that out deepest sympathy, condolences and prayers go out to the victims, their families, and all Americans world-wide in this tragedy that has affected and touched us all. This is not only a national tragedy in America but an appalling,cowardly and sinister attack against the very foundations, principals and beliefs of  all democratic and civilised countries.''Under the shadow of thy wings shall my refuge, until this tyranny be over''. Psalm 57.1

The protest is organised by concerned Zimbabweans and supporters, Human rights campaigners, Church groups and organisations, gay rights organisations and environmentalists. Possibly the last protest outside Zimbabwe House before the end of the year 2001. These protests shall coincide with the CHOGM meeting/protests taking place in Brisbane Australia. The protest will focus on:

Albert Weidemann
1 Ambrose Road
North Yorkshire
Tel: 01765 607 900


Durani Rapozo
Mobile: 07740 437 667 (UK) 
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From the Zimbabwe Independent

Mugabe faces stormy summit

Dumisani Muleya
EMBATTLED President Robert Mugabe, whose attendance at the Commonwealth
Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in Brisbane was uncertain, has finally
confirmed he is heading for the summit.

Mugabe was the last head of government to confirm his attendance at the
meeting. He kept organisers guessing forcing them to make last- minute
arrangements for his entourage.

Australian High Commissioner Jonathan Brown yesterday said Mugabe would be
braving the stormy biennial gathering to be held in the coastal city from
October 6-9.

“We were notified yesterday (Wednesday) that President Mugabe would be
attending the Chogm meeting in Brisbane,” Brown said. “It has been

Diplomatic sources earlier in the week said Mugabe was the only leader who
had not yet stated whether or not he was attending the conference of mostly
former British colonies.

The Commonwealth is expected to crack the whip on Mugabe for the Zimbabwe
crisis which is regarded as one of several hot topics for discussion.

Sources in Brisbane said Mugabe’s delay in confirming his attendance had
inconvenienced Australian authorities in terms of organisation.

Other heads of government in the 54-member group — currently chaired by
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa — confirmed their turnout much earlier
and necessary arrangements were made for their security.

There are growing fears Mugabe would be a security risk at Brisbane because
political and human rights activists were set to descend on the Queensland
capital for demonstrations against his rule.

It is understood Mugabe wanted to beef up his security but the hosts
insisted they would disarm any bodyguards in line with normal
procedures for visiting leaders.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has threatened he will make another
attempt to arrest Mugabe in Brisbane (See Page 3). Mugabe in March came
under attack from Tatchell in Brussels. He was however knocked down by
presidential bodyguards.

Brown told the Zimbabwe Independent last month sufficient security would be
provided for the heads of government.

“What I can say is that the Australian government has organised adequate
security for each visiting head of state,” he said. “We are aware some heads
of state will attract more attention than others ... we will take
appropriate action to ensure tighter security.”

Presidential spokesman George Charamba was yesterday unavailable for

“He is very busy and is not taking any calls. Please try him tomorrow
afternoon,” his secretary said.

Mugabe’s attendance became doubtful due to increasing calls from human
rights and political activists to bar him from the conference.

The activists said it was pointless to invite Mugabe to Brisbane because he
was now beyond the reach of customary diplomacy and reasonable political

Last month two Australian MPs, Queensland Liberal Peter Slipper and National
Party Whip, Paul Neville, accused him of turning the “Switzerland of
southern Africa into a terminal cot case”.

They described him as a “dangerous, malicious, and aged dictator”.

The legislators called for the banning of Mugabe from the get-together.

But Alexander Downer, Australian Foreign Affairs minister, said the
Australian government was not in a position to bar him from Commonwealth
deliberations and that, anyway, the meeting would be an opportunity for
other leaders to acquaint him with their views.

Attacks on Mugabe in Australia led the Zimbabwe High Commissioner to
Canberra, Florence Chitauro, to write an angry letter to Slipper accusing
him of being a racist.

However, Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Downer firmly rejected
Chitauro’s accusations and defended the MP.

Australian’s neighbour New Zealand also hauled Mugabe over the coals, saying
he had reduced his country to an “economic and political disaster area”.

The Australians, who played a significant role in the negotiations leading
to Zimbabwe’s Independence, believe his attendance offered Commonwealth
leaders a unique opportunity since farm invasions and political violence
started 18 months ago to remind him of Commonwealth values set out in the
Harare Declaration.

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IMF warning on Zimbabwe economy
By Christopher Munnion in Johannesburg
(Filed: 21/09/2001)

ZIMBABWE's shattered economy is deteriorating rapidly and causing widespread
poverty, an International Monetary Fund team reported yesterday after a
two-week visit.

"To improve prospects for a resumption of economic growth, the team stressed
the need for measures to restore confidence in the economic future,
particularly through an orderly land reform programme," the IMF said.

At talks in Abuja, Nigeria, this month President Robert Mugabe's government
agreed to end violent and illegal occupation of land. According to the
Commercial Farmer's Union, however, 22 white-owned farms have been occupied
since then.

The IMF suspended loans to Zimbabwe in 1999 after the government defaulted
on repayment of loans running into millions of dollars. The move prompted
most other lenders to pull out, leaving the country with little credit and a
chronic shortage of foreign exchange.

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Economy to Shrink 8 Percent - Reserve Bank

UN Integrated Regional Information Network

September 21, 2001
Posted to the web September 21, 2001

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) warned this week that the country's
economy was in a "downward spiral" and was likely to shrink by around eight
percent this year, a Reuters report said on Thursday. Sydney Mabika, an
economist and assistant director at the RBZ, said initial forecasts of a 2.8
percent contraction for the year had been revised downward because of the
knock taken by the country's agricultural sector.

"We are forecasting an eight percent decline (in the economy) in 2001,"
Mabika was quoted as saying at a press conference. Later, he said the
decline would be "more than five percent". "Interest rates are low,
inflation is shooting through the roof ... and our economy is in a downward
spiral," he said.

Zimbabwe's economy was in its third year of recession, the report said. The
economy shrank by 4.2 percent last year. Mabika's forecast was relatively
close to the estimates of independent economists, who predicted the economy
would contract by 10 percent during 2001, according to the report. Mabika
also warned that inflation, which rose to a record 76 percent in the year to
August, would end the year "higher than that". He did not speculate on how
much it would grow.

"Our monetary policy has not been very successful in containing inflation,"
Mabika was quoted as saying. This was partly due to the fact that the
central bank's hands were tied by the government, which was not pursuing
complementary fiscal policies. Mabika said that despite the government's
efforts to close down a thriving parallel market, the parallel market
accounted for an estimated 95 percent of all foreign exchange transactions
in the country.

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From the Zim Independent

Tatchell ready for Mugabe in Brisbane

Dumisani Muleya
BRITISH gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has renewed threats to arrest
President Robert Mugabe for “human rights atrocities” at the forthcoming
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in Brisbane.

Tatchell announced on Wednesday he would be flying to Australia next week to
push for the Attorney-General and Brisbane police chief to apprehend Mugabe
under the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

“I dare President Mugabe to attend next month’s Commonwealth Summit in
Brisbane,” Tatchell warned this week.

“Soon after arriving in Brisbane on September 28 I will seek to persuade the
Australian Attorney-General and the Brisbane police chief to arrest Mugabe
for the crime of torture under the UN Convention Against Torture (1984)
which Australia has signed, ratified, and pledged to enforce,” he said.

“This UN Convention has been incorporated into Australian domestic law — the
Crimes (Torture) Act (1988). Because Australia’s anti-torture law has no
exemptions, President Mugabe does not have immunity under the International
Protected Persons Act (1978).”

Tatchell said Mugabe’s human rights abuses were not new as he stood accused
of presiding over the Matabeleland atrocities in which over 20 000 civilians
were massacred by state security forces under the pretext of suppressing

“If Mugabe isn’t guilty, he has nothing to fear. The fact the president is
coming to Brisbane with Russian-trained bodyguards suggests that he fears
that he might suffer the same fate as Slobodan Milosevic,” he said.

Tatchell — who raised money for Zanu PF and its military wing Zanla during
the liberation struggle — said Mugabe should not be afraid if he was

“I challenge Mugabe to meet me face-to-face, without his bodyguard henchmen.
Why is he so scared?” Tatchell asked. “I will not harm him, but I will try
to have him arrested for authorising the torture of journalists Ray Choto
and Mark Chavunduka.”

Tatchell has on two occasions unsuccessfully tried to arrest Mugabe, in
London last year and in Brussels in March.

The gay rights group Outrage! leader said there are clear grounds for
arresting Mugabe for human rights abuses.

“I will bring with me affidavits from the Zimbabwean journalists tortured by
Mugabe’s regime which have been corroborated by Amnesty International and
the Zimbabwe High Court,” he said.

“These affidavits provide the legal basis for Mugabe’s arrest under
Australian law.”
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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Monday 17 September 2001

Sincere apologies to subscribers for the late distribution of this report

This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas.  Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens.  Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.

Members of Zimbabwe National Army have been deployed on Bita Estate in Wedza in an effort to curb looting following clashes over the weekend which resulted in the death of two occupiers.
According to a recent survey conducted by the ZTA, 570 tobacco farms are currently affected nationwide by work stoppages. This equates to 75 million kilograms of tobacco, which at current prices represents prejudice to foreign exchange earnings of US$225 million.
Illegal occupiers on Riverlea and Howgate farms in Macheke have burnt the farm village houses with no immediate response from the police.
Four farm workers were assaulted by police officers on Aldington farm in Harare South.
The owner of Stoneridge farm and his wife have been barricaded in their home since Friday following extortionate demands by illegal occupiers for bricks.
Valuations are being carried out country-wide, mainly by unqualified youth.
Mashonaland Central

Bindura/Mutepatepa - Pegging is ongoing on several farms and Government Evaluators are moving around the district.  Last week, 30 head of cattle were illegally moved onto Felton. Illegal settlers had originally told the owner of Amanda that he would be allowed to continue farming on 21ha of the farm, however, the entire farm has now been pegged. The labour on Dundry Farm went on strike due to interference by illegal settlers in a dispute concerning NSSA payments. A delegation from NSSA is expected to settle the issue. Work continues to be prevented on Munzi and Butcombe. Six people arrived at Rosetta Rust and prevented tobacco planting after switching off the irrigation.  A DDF team arrived at Chinenga Farm and they pegging an irrigated tobacco land. 
Glendale - There has been an influx of illegal settlers into the area with increased building and other activities but no violence has been reported.
Harare West - Illegal settlers impounded tractors belonging to Danbury Park Farm in an effort to stop the ploughing. The police were called in and the situation was brought under control. There are a number of work stoppages reported throughout the area.
Mazowe/Concession - On Saturday, illegal settlers set fire to maize stover on Warmingham Farm. On Sunday a tense situation developed on Iron Mask Farm when illegal settlers invaded the farm but police responded and resolved the problem.
Mvurwi - Last night a group of intoxicated ex-workers surrounded the homestead at Rocky Lodge demanding to see the owner. The situation has only been partially resolved and negotiations continue. Farm labourers on Muirend are striking again today but the situation is currently stable.
Shamva - The work stoppage at Burnleigh is ongoing.
Tsatsi - Illegal settlers from a neighbouring farm orchestrated a total work stoppage on Three Sisters Farm, making unreasonable demands relating to gratuities etc.  Police responded and managed to defuse the situation.  The owner of Barwick K was instructed by illegal settlers to desist from using or going to one section of the farm.  Illegal settlers at Nyachura Farm have threatened to evict the owner.  Pegging teams and Government evaluators have continued to visit some properties in the area.  An influx of illegal settlers and accellerated building activities are taking place on Nangura, Msorodoni and Three Sisters. Cranham Extention Farm S/D 9 (unlisted) was visited by persons purporting to be evaluators from D/A Concession.  Most of their time was spent walking around the farm.  The following day,  two vehicles with approx 15 persons arrived and the whole farm was pegged, including a centre pivot land. Wengi Farm had a group of six persons in a vehicle "looking for their plots".  This farm has been pegged by Agritex. A group of about 20 persons arrived on Rivers in four vehicles, stating they were awaiting the DA Concession to arrive and allocate them land.  He failed to arrive.  They later wandered around the whole farm, including shed area, before eventually leaving.  Nyachura farm had an increase of invaders over the weekend, with additional huts being built.  40 head of communal cattle were driven into tobacco seed beds and death threats were made against the owner if he plants tobacco. The farms with heavy squatter numbers experience a constant movement of people, animals - coupled with incessant fires, tree cutting, poaching and hut building - frequently with bricks and asbestos. 
Mashonaland East
Beatrice - There was a political meeting held but there were no complications.
Bromley/Ruwa/Enterprise - Irrigation equipment continues to be stolen daily.
Featherstone - Individuals claiming to be Government evaluators have visited Pennyfather farm and a few other farms in the district. It has been established that there are about 40 Government evaluators in the district under the guidance of Gazimbe and DA from Chikomba intending to value 72 farms in the Chikomba district.  To date Gazimbe has valued Ashton, Christiana, At Last, Charter Estates. Poaching is on the increase and is easier as large areas of the district have been burnt out. There has been some police reaction to reports of poaching.
Harare South - The manager on Auks Nest was instructed to move all the tobacco off the farm and all the houses on the farm should be vacated by Thursday.  The owner and his managers have not been on the farm for about 2 weeks now. Four farm workers were assaulted by police officers on Saturday on Aldington. The police were there to arrest one of the workers for beating up his wife.  On arrival the police starting beating the worker so another three intervened and were subsequently assaulted. There was a meeting held for illegal occupiers at the Harrage police base camp. Government evaluators were evaluating on Chesham and Alsace over the weekend. The owner of Stoneridge farm has been barricaded in his house since Friday afternoon.
Macheke/Virginia - Evaluators have been active in the area as well trying to get into farmers homesteads.  The illegal occupiers on Riverlea Farm and Howgate have burnt the farm village houses with NO response from the police at all.  Seed bed sheeting was stolen from the seedbeds.  The owner was instructed to replace the windmill on the farm to avoid being arrested. The owner of Riverlea was not permitted to move his goods off the farm.This was eventually resolved and the equipment was moved. Hazeldene farm has had a persistent work stoppage despite the DA going there and instructing that work must continue on the farm.  When the labour went to destroy the tobacco regrowth they were told that their houses would be burnt if they continued to work. The tenant on Mignon was instructed that he had to be off the farm by the end of the month and had to do all the ploughing for the illegal occupiers plots. The farm has been delisted. Ilegal occupiers on Rufaro demanded that the cattle be moved off the farm.
Wedza - Members of the Zimbabwe National Army have been deployed on Bita Estate, Wedza, the scene of a violent weekend onslaught on farm workers by a group of land invaders, in an effort to curb looting which was reported to have occurred last night on the property. Reports from members of the Wedza Farmers Association indicate that electrical goods and clothing were stolen by as yet unknown persons from the farmhouse, which was left empty after Saturday’s incident. The attack, in which a mob of about 100 people arrived on the farm in two trucks and severely assaulted several farm workers and burnt their houses, resulted in the deaths of two men who fell off the trucks. Mr. John Bibby (70), the father of the farm owner was arrested and charged with two counts of murder in connection with the deaths. His legal counsel, Mr Ray Passaportis, said he would appear in the magistrate’s court tomorrow after Wedza police asked for an extension of his stay in remand prison. "In terms of the law the police are entitled to hold the accused for 48 hours but in this case they asked for the period to be extended. I have indicated to them that I want to see the extension order tomorrow to confirm that my clients’ stay in prison was legal," said Mr. Passaportis. Meanwhile in the same district, operations at Corby Farm have ceased after the farm owner was forced by war veterans in the area to dismiss his entire labour force, a total of about 80 families. The workers, who milled around roads in the morning, had been used by the war veterans in their demands to leave the farm. The development effectively means the owner will be unable to deliver for grading and sale about 60 000 kilograms of tobacco, as the auction floors are set to close next month.  Twenty-six out of a total of 45 cropping farms have been shut down in the district in disturbances which began last month. Twenty-seven livestock farms have been affected as well, with beasts being left to tend to themselves after the disruption of farming activities. A member of the Wedza Farmers’ Association said illegal invaders had been responsible for starting bush fires, which have so far burnt out nearly half the bush veld in the district.

Mashonaland West North
Chisanga - On Redacres approximately 30 farm invaders have stopped all farm work. No crops can be planted for fear of death. Only grading of last seasons Virginia tobacco can proceed. All grazing burnt out. Main instigator of disruption is Kaifangano Kangachepe, resident next door on Mafuta.
Mutorashanga - Wilbert Magwaza, Chairman of squatters, and 9 settlers are stopping all work on Windsor Ranch.
Mashonaland West South
Chakari - On Newbiggin the farm labour has been taken to Chakari town for re-eduction almost every night.  On 17th Sept the labour was returned and one of the farm guards was evicted from his home by illegal occupiers.  A report has been made to Chakari Police with no reaction as yet.  On Tawstock Farm Zanu (PF) youths beat up a number of the labour force, with children being forced to take refuge inside the homestead security fence.  A report was made to police who have been out to Tawstock but it is unclear whether any arrests were made.

Suri-Suri - On San Fernado the owner instructed the manager to remove a dryer from the property on to another property.  As a result the DA and police arrived yesterday with a warrant for the managers arrest for removing property which they claim now belongs to the resettled people. No arrest was made, and a further 200 settlers were moved on to San Fernando yesterday.  The manager has been instructed three times by telephone this morning to see the DA in his offices at 4.30pm yesterday. A DDF pegging team on Dodington, when asked why they were continuing to peg farms that had not been legally acquired after the Abuja agreement, the owner was told "that is just political". 

Selous - The owner of Zimbo Drift has been told by the DA to remove his cattle from the property despite the Foot & Mouth regulations in place against this. 

Battlefields - On Twintops 33 bags of maize have been stolen from the farm shed.

Chegutu - On Bougainvilliea Farm farm workers were given notice to leave their houses and were given death threats if they failed to do so.

Norton - On Nyadgori a tractor was commandeered.  On Emojeni army personnel fired weapons in the farm village to intimidate farm workers.  The manager was told to report to Police as a result of two barn doors being taken off to stop looting, after the army and Police told him that he could not plant on his farm. On Malham Grey Scouts and Chikurubi Police (who were drunk) based on a neighbouring farm arrived at the farm workers village and beat on all doors.  All the farm workers were rounded up and instructed to put out a fire, and were assaulted whilst doing so.

Selous - On Homedale the DA sent his pegging team whilst the owner was in the middle of planting.  The farm workers had to stop work and the owner was told that he was not allowed to plant any more tobacco on his prepared lands as they had now been pegged.  On Zimbo Drift the manager was told by the pegging team that arrived that he could not plant anything, and has since been told by the DA that he must remove all his cattle. 

Kadoma - On Normandi North farm workers were told to give illegal occupiers milk if they did not want the dairy to be vandalised.  They then got farm workers to pull out the owners sunhemp and were told that they would be killed if they did not, and that if they reported it to Police they would also be killed.  The owner is currently on leave.  On Inniskilling Farm some farm workers were assaulted and hospitalised by illegal occupiers, but they were released from hospital soon after. 

Beit Bridge -  Illegal occupiers on Kleinbegin have continued erecting structures despite a visit by the National Taskforce. Deputy Director Madzima of the Vet Dept came down to Beitbridge to give the instruction from DDVS that all cattle that had crossed vet zones into commercial areas must be returned to their origins. This was discussed at length at the FMD sub committee meeting, chaired by the DVO Beitbridge, and it was agreed this would be carried out. The following day the DVO arrived at Kleinbegin and told the staff to round up all the owners’ cattle for vaccination on a specified day. This is a Clear zone. The decision to remove all the illegal cattle appears to have been unilaterally changed to illegal vaccination of the commercial cattle in a Clear zone.
Namandhlovu - On Mindoro a Mpindo Mboi, employed as farm manager by Govenor O Mpofu of Matabeleland North, was apprehended by the owner. He and other accomplices had shot and loaded four kudu and five impalas into a vehicle.  The weapon number was obtained and police are investigating. Redwood Park and Couston owners still not allowed to return to their farms and are operating with skeleton staff. 
Insiza/Shangani - Illegal occupiers are active on Poplars Farm which is unlisted. There have been five major fires in the district this week.
Mberengwa - Four fires were deliberately started on Manjiri Ranches.  The were extinguished but re-started later that night.  Woodlands had three fires started deliberately.  The frequency of fires in the province makes it obvious that war vets and settlers are following a deliberate policy of arson.  Many communal grazing areas also being burnt.
Inyati  - At Loxon farm a mono pump's concrete base was smashed and the pump plus piping was removed with shearlegs and stolen.  Police investigations found the equipment in the DDF workshops in Inyati, theft charges are being pressed.
Gwaai - Sotani Ranch, which was listed last week has been invaded in an organised thrust this week by some 200 invaders from the neighbouring communal land.  The Safari Camp was invaded and a lady occupant was held hostage for a few hours. The camp is now closed to hunting clients. Police claim the problem is political and would not intervene, but have undertaken to work through the local people and chiefs and the DA to try and resolve the issue.
Masvingo East and Central - On Rockwood Farm one big steer was cruelly maimed by illegal occupiers. All four legs were broken and steer was left alive in pain. Another farmer has had to put the steer out of its misery. Another cow has been hamstrung and a hindquarter removed. The rest of the meat was left to rot. The owner of Yettom Farm has been told by illegal occupiers never to return to the farm again. War vets are also threatening to move into the main homestead. War vets have already taken over three main homesteads on the farms. The owner has now been off the farm for 19 months during which time all work has been stopped.  The owners of Shallock Park Farm and Lothian Farm have been similarly affected over the past 19 months.
 Save Conservancy Area - There has been no improvement - poaching continues unabated.
Chiredzi - Poaching and snaring continue unabated. Tree cutting and building of huts continue. Fires continue.
Mwenezi - Fires have been dampened by recent rain of up to 50mm.
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DRC-ZIMBABWE: Zimbabwe hopes to log area larger than the UK

NAIROBI, 21 September (IRIN) - In its recently released report titled 'Branching Out', London-based NGO Global Witness criticises the world's largest logging deal that will, if Zimbabwe raises the capital, enable the government of President Robert Mugabe to harvest 33 million ha of prime rainforest, an area almost 1.5 times the area of the United Kingdom.

"Global Witness is very concerned that this highly secret deal could threaten the [DRC] peace process and is yet another example of the way in which natural resources are not only fuelling conflict but undermining an already complex peace process," Patrick Alley, of Global Witness, said.

"If Mugabe is serious about the Peace Process he must stop this deal from going through. And if [DRC President] Joseph Kabila is serious about wanting peace in DRC then he must end this dubious deal, in which his father Laurent-Desire Kabila gave away 15 percent of the DRC to the Zimbabwean army."

Global Witness reported that Zimbabwe was coming under increasing pressure to make the DRC pay for the costly military intervention Harare provided when rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda launched an offensive from the eastern DRC in August 1998 to topple the elder Kabila. Global Witness further reported that the DRC was singled out by the UN Environment Programme in August as one of 15 countries where international efforts at forest conservation should be focused.

"The long-term impacts on people's livelihoods and rare wildlife such as the gorilla will be devastating," Global Witness reported.
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Government of Zimbabwe vs Commercial Farmers’ Union

The cause of lawlessness in the commercial farming area and the role of Government , its institutions and its officials in the anarchy have come under strong criticism. This on the second day of the landmark Constitutional Court hearing, in which the State is seeking a relief order recognising that since December 2000 it has restored the rule of law on farms and produced a land reform programme in keeping with the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act. The case follows a decision by the Supreme Court in December 2000, ruling that the fast track resettlement programme was illegal and granting the State an interdict requiring it show and prove correction of this illegality by July 1 2001.

In Harare today the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) represented by Advocate Adrian de Bourbon dismissed the State’s earlier argument that the rule of law on commercial farms was being restored, asserting that the State and its ministers were actively involved in spearheading, sponsoring or directing violence on farms. This in effect has rendered the rule of law non-existent and opened a Pandora’s box which shows clearly that the situation on the ground can no longer be contained. Citing affidavits submitted for evidence by members of the farming community, Advocate de Bourbon said the Government was guilty of creating and attempting to legalise a situation. This in effect entrenched anarchy on farmlands and provided impunity to the offenders through protection by the Rural Land Occupiers (Protection from Eviction) Act.

"The State concedes that Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act does not permit occupiers to do all the illegal acts they are doing on the farm, but these incidents in many cases are being done with the support of the State. There has been no attempt by the State to deal with issues of the rule of law. It is beyond doubt that the rule of law has not been restored. The Commissioner of Police has failed or is unwilling to respond to the affidavits filed and has also failed to comply with an earlier order given by Justice Garwe that he provide a copy of the instructions given to police with regards to restoring the rule of law. This is because the document does not exist," said Advocate de Bourbon. In his submissions, he also challenged the move by the State to have the case heard in the Constitutional Court, saying the Court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter unless it involved an appeal alleging the infringement of the State’s declaration of rights.

Yesterday the State, represented by the Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Bharat Patel was at pains to convince the Bench, headed by Chief Justice Chidyausiku, that Government had complied with the order to restore the rule of law on commercial farms. Mr. Patel had as part of his argument, an affidavit from the Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri denying impartial application of the law on commercial farms and cataloguing incidents and arrests made in connection with the land resettlement programme. He was taken to task, however, by Justice Malaba who said there was clear evidence of unlawful incidents occurring on commercial farms. Justice Malaba also questioned why Commissioner Chihuri had made an affidavit in the case, when he had not been specifically identified as a respondent in the December 2000 case.

Mr. Patel drew audible murmurs of disagreement from the floor, when he asserted that the police were performing at their best under the circumstances and that there had been no deaths connected with violence on commercial farms since December 2000. He was immediately reminded by Justice Chidyausiku of the weekend deaths of two people during disturbances on a commercial farm in Wedza. The case comes in the wake of reports that 20 commercial farms countrywide have been invaded since September 6 2001, (Abuja Accord date) with reports of work stoppages, labour harassment and evictions being received from most districts. The case continues tomorrow with the legal counsel of the CFU expected to round up its arguments, before the State is given an opportunity to reply.

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Moyo says he cannot stand trial in Kenya

Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity in the President’s Office, being sued by the Ford Foundation in Nairobi, has claimed the Kenyan High Court has no jurisdiction to hear the suit. According to yesterday’s issue of the East African Standard, an independent Nairobi newspaper, Moyo filed an application in the Kenyan High Court to terminate the suit on the grounds the court could not hear the case as he was now staying in Zimbabwe. The hearing was postponed to November. Moyo, a former programme officer with the American non-governmental organisation, and Professor Joshua Olewe Nyueya and Dr Mutahi Ngunyi, directors of a non-governmental organisation based in Nairobi, are being sued for alleged misuse of about US$414 000 in donor funds.

Ford claims Moyo and the officials in the Nairobi office diverted funds meant for a project to their own use. The East African Standard said Moyo’s affidavit, drawn by his lawyer, Mutula Kilonzo, said he was employed by Ford Foundation from 15 September 1993 until 31 December 1997, when he resigned. "When the suit came up yesterday, Kilonzo told Judge Onyango Otieno that his client has handed over the contract documents requested by Ford," the newspaper said. "Henry Ongicho for Ford, however, said he required time to go through the documents before the matter can proceed to full hearing." Ford is seeking to recover US$98 000 from Moyo which it alleges he wrongfully used to buy property in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Editorial from The Vanguard (Nigeria), 20 September

Mugabe And His War Veterans

Those unleashing terror on whites in Zimbabwe are not war veterans, but youthful brigands with the backing of Robert Mugabe, writes Oladipo Omole

Lagos - On the eve of Zimbabwe's independence, Mugabe had declared "if yesterday I fought with you as an enemy, today you have become a friend and ally with the same national interest". He was addressing whites in Zimbabwe who are now the objects of his mood swings, his whims. The population of Zimbabwe was expected to reach 9.4 million in the mid-1990s, with a population density of over 20 people per square kilometre and growing at a rate of 3.1 per cent per annum. Fairly recent reports show that the proportion of the population living on the land as peasant farmers was an estimated 70 per cent. Agriculture is the second largest contributor to Zimbabwe's GDP and accounts for almost 50 per cent of foreign exchange earnings. As at 1991, there were approximately 6,000 commercial farmers in Zimbabwe who are white. These white farmers largely employ workers in the agricultural sector of Zimbabwe's economy. Records show that the contribution of over 750,000 communal and small-scale peasant farmers was becoming increasingly important both in numbers and level of output.

There are conflicting reports on how the foreigners - including the whites - acquired land in Zimbabwe. Records show that for instance in 1573 the Portuguese and Mawanamutapa Nogomo signed a treaty which gave the Portuguese possession of a number of gold mines and other minerals. Ngomo also gave the Portuguese the permanent ownership of a strip of territory along the south bank of the Zambezi from Tete to the sea. The same report had it that, at the close of the 1940s the African Voice Association were embroiled in a struggle with the white government over a scheme which included the forcible removal of masses of peasants from their homes and land and de-stocking their cattle.

In addition there was the Lancaster House Agreement which protected ownership of property and allowed for transfer only on a "willing seller/willing buyer basis in local currency. This agreement could not by any means be interpreted to subsist only between whites. Blacks who had the means are also affected. Then the minority regime did not prohibit ownership of land in Zimbabwe by blacks, hence no peasants will be engaged in farming as they are now. Mugabe had a laudable and noble objective: The resettlement and rehabilitation of war veterans, but his motives and strategy are suspect. To put it bluntly they are sinister. Who are the real beneficiaries of Zimbabwe's new land policy and what criteria will be used for distributing seized land? When were these war veterans disengaged? What has been happening to them since disengagement? Are there blacks engaged in agriculture in Zimbabwe. These questions raise a lot of suspicion on Mugabe's real motive.

It is on record that the approximately 6,000 commercial white farmers provide employment for Zimbabweans so their settlement in Zimbabwe is functional. Mugabe's present disposition to white farmers and his war veterans is not commendable and neither is it justified by any stretch of the imagination. The truth is Mugabe has been in power for 21 years and he is not willing to let go. He has denied this allegation but it remains his latent motive. The man really has nothing else to offer Zimbabwe. He has an option he has refused to take because of his obsession for power. Instead of propagating brigandage, Mugabe could actually rehabilitate his army of war veterans with little or no skill or experience in commercial farming by giving them jobs that suit their skills, knowledge and abilities. He has enlisted the support of Nigeria in his mission of justifying voodoo economics but apart from the failed indigenisation policy of Gowon's regime Nigeria allows foreigners to own property including farmlands. It is not exactly clear what role he expects Nigeria to play and how Nigeria will reconcile his motives with her foreign policy objectives. If he expects an army of occupation or any form of moral or political support it is futile and he is not on firm ground.

Zimbabwe has agreed to act against self-styled independence war veterans who have been occupying white owned farms during a meeting of Commonwealth foreign ministers in Nigeria. So the Commonwealth of Nations does not share Mugabe's idea of land reform nor does Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge who led Zimbabwe's team at the Commonwealth Ministerial Meeting in Nigeria as he declared that government would move swiftly to evict illegal land invaders. Within the framework of the Abuja accord, Zimbabwe has agreed to stop landless blacks from invading white-owned farms and to acquire farms for black resettlement on a fair and legal basis As a matter of fact Britain has agreed to co-finance compensation for farmers, whose land was acquired, under the Abuja accord as well.

It is not only the Commonwealth of nations that does not share Mugabe's idea of a land reform. South African President Thabo Mbeki has urged Zimbabwe to uphold the rule of law and has called on the international community to honour pledges of financial assistance for Zimbabwe's land reform programme. Mbeki recognises that Mugabe and his war veterans are operating above the law. Robert Mugabe and his war veterans are also undermining the economy of Zimbabwe and surrounding states. This is evident in the statement credited to a senior South African official, Mboweni who told an investment conference that Zimbabwe's crisis was one of several factors affecting the rapidly depreciating Rand adding the situation has became untenable when it is seen that the highest office in that land seems to support illegal mean of land reform, land invasions, the occupation of land and violence. Mboweni went a step further as he added the land problem in Zimbabwe must be solved, but this must be done within the law -anybody who acts outside the law must be locked up and brought before the courts.

Southern Africa is indeed apprehensive of a possible spill over of violence from Zimbabwe to the whole of Southern African region as groups of brigands within the area might act i.e. Mugabe and his war veterans. This is not good for peace, security and business. The 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called for a meeting to drive home the implications of Zimbabwe’s refusal to honour the agreement reached in Abuja. Bakili Muluzi, the president of Malawi and chairman of SADC said regional stability was the prime concern "of great concern to all of us is that, if the land issue is not urgently resolved amicably and peacefully, the economic and political problems of Zimbabwe could easily snowball across the entire South African region." Muluzi also expressed fear, on critical direct foreign investment in the region which may not be forthcoming any longer due to increasing political instability.

White farmers are not the only targets of Mugabe's war veterans. Black farm workers had their homes burned in the village of Beatrice, leaving more than 200 farm hands homeless. In the past 18 months black farm workers have been assaulted and thousands forced from their homes by violence which political analysts link to Mugabe's campaign to retain power. In essence Mugabe and his war veterans are not in the business of land reform. No authority in the South African region recognises or sympathises with their agenda. As a matter of fact Mugabe and his cohorts have become something of an embarrassment to the whole South African region and the Commonwealth. Mugabe's objective is not the rehabilitation of war veterans which he could have done much earlier by absorbing the war veterans into the national army where their skills are needed; he wants to sit tight but he has played dangerously and foolishly into the hands of the opposition who do not see any sense in his wasteful venture.

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ZIMBABWE: Fresh blitz on parallel market

JOHANNESBURG, 20 September (IRIN) - The Zimbabwean government was considering scrapping the export retention scheme and forcing all foreign currency account (FCA) holders to trade at the official exchange rate in yet another desperate attempt to quash a thriving parallel market for hard cash, the 'Financial Gazette' reported on Thursday.

The new measures were understood to have already been communicated to Zimbabwean bankers and industrialists at a meeting called by Finance Minister Simba Makoni and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on 6 September, the report said. It quoted officials as saying that the cabinet was keen to see the measures implemented to curtail the inflow of funds into the parallel market and to improve the supply of foreign currency into the official market. One of the measures being mooted was doing away with the arrangement whereby FCA holders were allowed to sell their hard currency at parallel market rates.

"But there seems to be no consensus at the top government level on how to compensate the FCA holders, with some arguing that such measures would have to be accompanied by a devaluation to encourage people to bring their foreign currency into the country," one source was quoted as saying. The government was also understood to be considering doing away with the export retention scheme under which indirect exporters such as gold producers and tobacco farmers were allowed to keep part of their proceeds in foreign currency, the report said.

This would see the government taking away everything exporters brought into Zimbabwe and placing it into a single pool to finance fuel, electricity and other imports. "Exporters would get a certificate of entitlement as proof of exports and would draw against this each time they want to use foreign currency," one industrialist who attended the meeting said. The planned crackdown on the parallel market is the latest in a spate of measures by the government to curtail the parallel market.
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ZIMBABWE: We'll keep talking - Commonwealth chief

JOHANNESBURG, 20 September (IRIN) - Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon said on Wednesday that he wanted to maintain dialogue with Zimbabwe over land reforms and other issues, shying away from discussing any possible sanction, AFP reported.

Asked if the Commonwealth was considering suspending Zimbabwe from its councils, a sanction already imposed on the likes of Pakistan, he said: "Our principle objective has been to engage in a productive way at a senior level with the Zimbabwe government to achieve the kinds of results that people would want to see." A deal reached in Nigeria earlier this month, he added, had been the beginning of a process that "we would want to see continue".
However, McKinnon said a planned visit to Zimbabwe next week by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, the body's executive arm, had been postponed because President Robert Mugabe would be out of the country. In Abuja, Britain agreed to fund land reform to correct imbalances in land ownership in its former colony, where the bulk of commercial farmland remains owned by the white minority.

The Zimbabwean government in turn committed itself to implementing its land reform programme in accordance with the constitution.

McKinnon said the commitment by Zimbabwe was "a very powerful statement in terms of being prepared to internationalise the land redistribution issue, for recognition of the rule of law and human rights and freedom of the press". McKinnon was speaking at the launch of the Commonwealth's biennial report to heads of government ahead of a summit in Brisbane, Australia, in October, the report said.
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There is encouraging news coming from Zimbabwe as the regime of Mugabe
staggers under the weight of international criticism and the failure of his
people, at home, to concede to his reign of terror.

Whilst resources are limited, particularly at the moment, one man has taken
the initiative to do his bit for his country and those that wish Zimbabwe to
be their home in the future.

Showing courage and determination, he has rallied his friends in Bulawayo
and formed around 25 "clubs" to raise money. This is aimed to take the
message of truth to the rural areas to counter the indoctrination, by Mugabe
and ZANU PF,  of the minds of villagers through the means of the state
controlled media monopoly.

Money has been raised, and this exercise, with the full cooperation of the
Daily News newspaper, has now ensured that this outstanding publication is
being distributed to the bottom one third of the country. This is with the
help of brave couriers, bus drivers, teachers, workers, store owners and
others who risk political repression as a consequence of their courageous

In addition, "What is the Truth"  pamphlets are printed and being sent into
isolated areas with headings in Shona, Sindebele and now Tonga.

With the help of generous printers, the cost per pamphlet is kept to a
minimum thus ensuring wider coverage.

We appeal to all like minded people abroad for funds to help us to now
expand this concept further up country into the Midlands, Manicaland and

Not much money is required as one pound will print over 1 000 pamphlets and
just over 11 pounds will pay for an annual subscription of the Daily News.
Furthermore, it is believed that up to 20 people will read each copy and
there are 6 issues, per subscription, delivered to each address per week.

Should you be able to assist in even a small way, we would really like to
hear from you through this means. Copies of the pamphlets, a full statement
of the account as well as regular updates will then be sent to you.

Join us in our BUNDU NEWS campaign and bring real change to Zimbabwe.

Simon Spooner <>
Mobile: 263 (91) 202319

Join up now!!

Your country needs you

"For evil to prosper, good men must sit down and do nothing"
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Zimbabwe passes $316 mn stop-gap budget

HARARE: Zimbabwe's parliament Thursday approved a $17.5 billion supplementary budget, state television reported, to help the government meet soaring expenses in a crumbling economy.

Government expenses have risen 14 percent beyond what was planned for in the 2001 budget, the report said. The supplementary budget is to meet the shortfall until the 2002 budget is drafted in November.

The extra spending will come from interest savings Zimbabwe gained earlier in the year by restructuring its debt, the report said.

The report did not detail how the money would be spent, but said that some would go to defense and health spending.

Another portion would help the government buy maize to avert a food shortage, as parts of Zimbabwe are already beginning to suffer from hunger.

Normally self-sufficient, Zimbabwe is projected to suffer a 600,000 tonne shortfall in production of maize, the staple grain.
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Mugabe blames white farmers for provoking violence

The Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) Under pressure from fellow Africans to stop land seizures, President Robert Mugabe accused white farmers Friday of provoking violence to resist redistributing property to landless blacks.

Ruling party militants have occupied 1,700 white-owned farms since March 2000, and the government has earmarked 4,500 white-owned farms to be seized and given to landless blacks. At least nine white farmers have died in violence since June.

In an agreement signed in September in Abuja, Nigeria, Zimbabwe pledged an immediate end to violence and farm invasions in return for British funding for orderly land reform.

Mugabe told his ruling party's 135-member central committee on Friday that the government was to launch a campaign across the country to explain the deal brokered to end the 18 months of violence on farms.

But he said the white farmers were engaging in a "dangerous trend" of attacking landless blacks occupying their farms, the official Zimbabwe News Agency quoted Mugabe as saying.

"That will have to stop forthwith unless these farmers are ready for a conflict situation," Mugabe said.

He said the government would call on ruling party militants and those living illegally on farms to explain their obligations in ensuring the success of the deal reached in Abuja.

Stopping short of promising immediate action to enforce the accord, Mugabe said the government "would be able to take a position on compliance" with the agreement once its terms were explained to those involved in land seizures.

David Hasluck, director of the Commercial Farmers Union which represents about 4,000 white farmers, said although violence on farms had not subsided since the deal was brokered, there were signs the government might commit itself to the agreement.

"I sincerely believe the opportunity we have now to resolve the problems in this country is an opportunity we have not had before," Hasluck said.

The union said Thursday about 500 white-owned farms across the country had been shut down by ruling party militants forcing farm laborers not to work through intimidation and threats.

Malawi's president Bakili Muluzi warned on Sept. 10 that economic instability in Zimbabwe could spread to neighboring nations if the 2-year-old standoff over land reform is not resolved soon.

Muluzi was the chairman of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community that met in Harare for a two-day summit.

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Zimbabwe's Pres. Seeks Answers

Friday September 21, 2001 9:50 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Under pressure from fellow Africans to stop land seizures, President Robert Mugabe accused white farmers Friday of provoking violence to resist redistributing property to landless blacks.

Ruling party militants have occupied 1,700 white-owned farms since March 2000, and the government has earmarked 4,500 white-owned farms to be seized and given to landless blacks. At least nine white farmers have died in violence since June.

In an agreement signed in September in Abuja, Nigeria, Zimbabwe pledged an immediate end to violence and farm invasions in return for British funding for orderly land reform.

Mugabe told his ruling party's 135-member central committee on Friday that the government was to launch a campaign across the country to explain the deal brokered to end the 18 months of violence on farms.

But he said the white farmers were engaging in a ``dangerous trend'' of attacking landless blacks occupying their farms, the official Zimbabwe News Agency quoted Mugabe as saying.

``That will have to stop forthwith unless these farmers are ready for a conflict situation,'' Mugabe said.

He said the government would call on ruling party militants and those living illegally on farms to explain their obligations in ensuring the success of the deal reached in Abuja.

Stopping short of promising immediate action to enforce the accord, Mugabe said the government ``would be able to take a position on compliance'' with the agreement once its terms were explained to those involved in land seizures.

David Hasluck, director of the Commercial Farmers Union which represents about 4,000 white farmers, said although violence on farms had not subsided since the deal was brokered, there were signs the government might commit itself to the agreement.

``I sincerely believe the opportunity we have now to resolve the problems in this country is an opportunity we have not had before,'' Hasluck said.

The union said Thursday about 500 white-owned farms across the country had been shut down by ruling party militants forcing farm laborers not to work through intimidation and threats.

Malawi's president Bakili Muluzi warned on Sept. 10 that economic instability in Zimbabwe could spread to neighboring nations if the 2-year-old standoff over land reform is not resolved soon.

Muluzi was the chairman of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community that met in Harare for a two-day summit.

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IN the latest edition of the South African magazine Focus there is a picture of a Zanu PF supporter carrying one of Jonathan Moyo’s posters saying: “Forward with Cde Mugabe, the last defence for Africans.” Sadly, it is clear from the picture that the supporter is blind. Is this an illustration of the nation’s predicament?

Just how blind some Zanu PF’s supporters can be was illustrated by their comments ahead of the recent Bulawayo poll. The Herald thought Zanu PF was “heading for a clean sweep” in the municipal poll while Jonathan Moyo’s spokesman Munyaradzi Huni declared in the Sunday Mail that “the signs that the MDC is crumbling are too evident”.

The election would be “a litmus test for Zanu PF”, opined Tim Chigodo in the Herald. Indeed it was!

This was of course before the extent of the ruling party’s crushing defeat was known. Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said “Zanu PF candidates have completely over-shadowed the opposition in all wards and that is an indication we will win”.

Some of the ruling party’s more sensible members such as Dumiso Dabengwa appear to have seen what was coming. But his attempt to play the race card obviously failed.

“Whites might come out to vote in large numbers like they did the last time,” he warned, “so we need to campaign heavily to ensure that Zanu PF wins the election with an overwhelming majority.”

How many whites are there left in Bulawayo Dumiso? And how many of the 60 000 voters who rejected your corrupt and rotten party were white?

Indeed, how many MDC voters bought the racist propaganda Zanu PF has been peddling? While Moyo might be an incorrigible political liar, we expected better of Dabengwa.

The only person who appears to have learnt a lesson in all this is Phillip Chiyangwa. Accused during the general election of buying votes, he has now come out firmly against the futility of electoral bribery.

“No amount of money will win the contest,” he declared on the eve of the Bulawayo poll. The Minister of Information’s response was not immediately available.

Parroting the party line, Huni claimed in the Sunday Mail that the MDC was conceived by four whites — “names supplied” — during a boat trip on Lake Kariba. Why he didn’t supply the names to his readers remains a mystery!
Huni, it seems, is not a very resourceful journalist.

He wrote a long article recently headed “Breaking taboos surrounding judiciary” that was an undisguised puff piece for Patrick Chinamasa who appears to think he is in need of help. Huni repeated all the false charges made by Chinamasa earlier this year in his bid to tar judges with the brush of colonial collaboration and repeated the dishonest mantra that all the government was trying to do was “make sure the judiciary reflects the racial composition of the country. That is what the government wants to achieve.”

Huni didn’t explain why that couldn’t be done without threatening the Chief Justice and other judges. Nor does he say what the government really “wanted to achieve” was a bench that would not challenge blatant misconduct by the state.

“Cde Chinamasa started shaking the judicial mountain” when he questioned Supreme Court judgements, Huni tells us. He conveniently omits to mention that the onslaught on the judiciary followed the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn President Mugabe’s attempt to block MDC electoral appeals.

“Pressure groups, legal experts, and other observers piled pressure on the government to revamp the judiciary as a matter of urgency,” Huni suggests.

What pressure groups and legal experts? Surely not the Inyika Trust which is nothing more than a Zanu PF front organisation and its “advisor” Terrence Hussein, formerly Moyo’s lawyer?

Then we had a “spokesman” for Inyika Trust saying Godfrey Chidyausiku, who the government admits it has installed to obtain favourable judgements, would be “sympathetic to the weaker members of society”.

Really? Is that what his track record tells us? Was Solomon Mujuru a “weaker member of society”?

“When Justice Gubbay decided to go on early retirement some judges began feeling the heat and they voluntarily retired,” Huni disingenuously informs us.

Can you imagine somebody claiming to be a journalist who treats every statement made by a minister as the gospel truth and then writes a whole article with the sole purpose of defending that minister from criticism and attempting to justify his self-serving record?

Mathew Takaona was in the circumstances entirely justified when he recently accused his colleagues of turning into mercenaries for a few pieces of silver.

“They parrot to become the most favoured,” he said.

This sort of self-criticism at the Sunday Mail is to be encouraged!
While Chinamasa may feel pleased with the way he has sabotaged Zimbabwe’s independent judiciary and replaced it with hired hands, his role at the Durban conference on racism may cause his cabinet colleagues less satisfaction. Zimbabwe was among a group of countries that drove a coach and horses through the carefully structured resolution South Africa had negotiated with the European Union ahead of the meeting.

That would have provided an agreement that Western countries and most African states could have subscribed to and seen funds pledged to President Mbeki’s New Africa Initiative. But Chinamasa, declaring that Western countries should pay reparations for what they “looted” from Africa, coalesced with African-American die-hards to ensure no agreement was reached.

A source close to the South African government was quoted as saying “there were certain weak states in the African bloc which were easily pressed into making demands that were untenable”. This meant that South Africa’s patient diplomacy ahead of the conference was wrecked. There was as a result no EU pledge to support the New Africa Initiative.

The following week Sadc leaders, including President Thabo Mbeki, met in Harare and made damn sure President Mugabe didn’t get away with his claims to be acting within the law on the land issue. Was Chinamasa clever enough to make the connection we wonder? Has he heard of reciprocity in diplomacy?

And how can Chinamasa and Moyo seriously talk about colonisers plundering Africa’s resources when their party is widely regarded as a gang of looters? What about Mugabe, Chinamasa and Moyo being asked to pay reparations for Zanu PF’s depredations before the West is expected to cough up?

Perhaps as a starter they could tell us what happened to those named in the Chidyausiku report as the chief pillagers of the War Victims Compensation Fund. We would hate to think that was just another useless commission set up by the government and headed by Chidyausiku to pacify public opinion!

Have you noticed how certain churchmen who tried to persuade us to support Zanu PF’s defective constitution last year have resurfaced to support the party on the land issue? Dubious individuals such as Rev Murombedzi Kuchera, quoting the Old Testament to justify the unjustifiable, and Andrew Wutaunashe have been given prominence in the state media to rally the faithful behind Mugabe’s land grab. Bishop Cephas Mukandi of the Methodist Church was also cited as supporting the government’s stance.

Then we had Pastor Godwin Mwanza telling us it was “God’s will that our president is leading this country”.

Isn’t it extraordinary that these so-called men of God were happy to be used in this way to bless a programme that has witnessed abduction, torture, murder and massive dispossession of the poorest sector of society, the farm workers.

Nothing from them about the evil of political coercion and violence against opponents. Nothing about the need to uphold the law and see justice done. Instead we had from Wutaunashe the same old Zanu PF verbiage about the “white man fighting tooth and nail to keep land to himself”.

He said nothing about the thousands of victims who were not white. About the abuse of human rights and misery brought to tens of thousands of people by Zanu PF’s campaign of criminality and bloodshed.

Some church leaders are worse than negligent in their pastoral duties.

They are complicit in the evil taking place across the land. And they will surely be judged accordingly when their day comes.

How is Jonathan Moyo’s committee on ethics in the media coming along? The Herald recently, and rather belatedly, discovered the Rhodesians Worldwide website and duly reported all the names it could find on it. But in the absence of the names it was looking for it simply speculated.

“It could not be ascertained whether MDC MP Mr David Coltart was on the list although one of the subscribers said that he was.”

In other words the paper was unable to find any evidence of him being on the list of subscribers so resorted to invention.

This enabled Moyo to climb in with the following: “The best people to comment on the stupidity of the Rhodesians is the MDC, especially the likes of David Coltart who are representing Rhodesian interests here.”

Moyo urged the people of Bulawayo to show that Rhodesians would never rule again by voting overwhelmingly for the Zanu PF candidate in the mayoral poll.

“Rhodesians never learn. If it means they have to learn the hard way, then we will teach them,” he threatened.

Alas, it appears that Zimbabweans taught him — the hard way — that they are not going to fall for his childish claims. He lost and lost heavily in Bulawayo. But what we want the ethics committee to note is the way that having failed to discover Coltart’s name on the Rhodesian Website the Herald threw it into the story regardless, enabling Moyo to respond as if it had been listed. That little exercise in deceit and manipulation should be a matter of public record.

So should the following from the Herald’s crime reporter: “Looting on Mhangura farms which occurred following the attack by 20 white commercial farmers and one Briton on defenceless farmers has since been proven to have been stage-managed by the commercial farmers and their allies.”

Has it? Has judgement been given in the case?

Somebody else guilty of partisan conduct is Claude Mararike who set the following question for his mass communications students in the UZ Social Studies faculty: “The role of the media in Africa today seems caught up between two opposing camps: Those striving to transform colonial structures and those seduced by colonial structures whose aim is to copy and parrot moribund European fads. Discuss this claim using Zimbabwe as an example.”

That’s what most people would call a loaded question. And what reading did he advise students to refer to? The Human Factor: Media and Politics in Southern Rhodesia by Claude Mararike in VG Chivaura and CG Mararike (eds), The Human Factor Approach to Development in Africa.

Viewers of ZTV’s Our Heritage programme may recall that its two main protagonists (see above) regard themselves as apologists for Jonathan Moyo’s 75% local content fatwa — not to mention every other discredited Zanu PF policy being hawked in the state media. But Mararike’s reading list, together with Aeneas Chigwedere’s latest thrust, confirm our worst suspicions as to what local content is really all about!

Few people will feel sorry this week for Ben Mucheche whose buses were blocked by touts from entering Mbare Musika. The touts say they won’t allow any buses belonging to the Zimbabwe Rural Transport Operators group which he heads from using the terminus until its members address the issue of workers’ wages.

Mucheche is a prominent member of Zanu PF’s indigenisation lobby, the IBDC. He is now a victim of the anarchy Zanu PF has unleashed. As it spreads into all sectors of society nobody is spared its damaging impact. It is therefore wholly appropriate that businessmen who support the party of lawlessness should be prominent among its victims.

Following the fanfare over the new $500 note we were surprised to learn that it depicts Wankie power station as proposed in 1996 and not as it looks today. The image provided on the note is hopelessly outdated and, at that stage, the design proposal was so awful that no self-respecting engineer would have put a photograph of it in his office, let alone on a banknote. Something to do with the cooling towers we gather.

And we liked the report about the $5 coin falling apart within days of its issue. The outside “wheel” is coming off. Isn’t that what’s happening nationally?

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