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

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Directors of banned newspaper charged in crackdown on dissent in Zimbabwe
Monday September 22, 2003
Associated Press Writer
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) Four directors of Zimbabwe's only independent daily
newspaper were charged Monday with violating the country's severe media laws
part of the government crackdown on dissent in this troubled southern
African country.

The charges followed the government's move over the weekend to ban the Daily
News. On Monday, police continued to search the newspaper's offices and
seize equipment.

The developments touched off fears that the crackdown against dissent and
opposition to the government of longtime autocratic ruler President Robert
Mugabe might be intensifying.

``The next likely target of the ongoing campaign to snuff out alternative
voices will be civil society organizations,'' said Brian Raftopoulos, a
spokesman for the Crisis Coalition of civic organizations and church and
independent human rights groups.

``Without an independent daily newspaper to comment on and expose these
injustices, attacks on human rights and constitutional freedoms are likely
to continue,'' he said.

On Monday, police questioned four directors of the Associated Newspapers
group, owners of the Daily News, and told them they had violated media laws,
said Gugulethu Moyo, the organization's lawyer.

She said police obtained a search and seizure warrant and said they were
gathering evidence for their case against the directors, including chief
executive Sam Sipepa Moyo and financial director Brian Mutsau.

Police trucks were parked outside the newspaper's downtown Harare offices.

Moyo said the directors were charged under a section of the stringent Access
to Information laws for publishing a newspaper without official registration
by the state media commission.

The offense carries a maximum fine of $364 or two years in jail.

The government-appointed media commission on Saturday denied the paper's
application for registration and accreditation, saying it had not followed
proper registration procedures and published illegally for eight months
without being registered.

The newspaper, with 300 employees and a daily readership of more than
940,000, said it would challenge the ban in court.

A coalition of pro-democracy and reform groups, meanwhile, described the
banning of the Daily News as the ruling party's ``most serious attack yet on
freedom of expression.''

Since its launch in 1999, the Daily News has given a voice to critics of
Mugabe's 23-year rule.

The state controls the country's two other dailies and the single television
and radio station that routinely ignore reports of human rights violations
and political violence blamed largely on ruling party militants and police,
troops and state authorities.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Mugabe vows that his opponents will never rule Zimbabwe
September 22, 2003, 12:41 PM

Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean President, vowed that political opponents he
regards as puppets of Britain, the former colonial power, would never rule
the country while he was alive, the official Herald newspaper reported
today. "Puppets of the British will never rule Zimbabwe as long as the crop
of revolutionaries in the mould of Vice President Muzenda is alive," the
Herald reported Mugabe as saying at yesterday's church service for his close
ally Simon Muzenda.

"We will never agree to be ruled by remote control no matter what. It will
never, never happen while we are still alive," he added in the local Shona
language, according to the Herald.

Mugabe on Saturday announced the death of Muzenda, a loyal aide and founding
member of the ruling Zanu-PF party who had served in government since
independence from Britain in 1980. Muzenda backed Mugabe's controversial
seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks, which
has soured relations with Zimbabwe's former colonial power. Mugabe's
critics, led by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
say controversial government policies including the farm seizures have
plunged what was once one of Africa's most thriving economies into turmoil.

Mugabe dismisses the MDC as puppets of Britain and other Western powers who
want to see him ousted from power over the land reforms. The MDC has emerged
as the biggest challenge to Mugabe's 23-year hold on power as the country
grapples with acute shortages of food, fuel, foreign currency and local
banknotes. The unemployment rate is above 70% and inflation is nearing 430%.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, is legally challenging Mugabe's victory
in 2002 presidential elections, which both the MDC and several western
countries say were rigged. Mugabe insists he won fairly and argues that
Zimbabwe's economy has been sabotaged by his local and foreign opponents in
retaliation for the land seizures. - Reuters
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Business Report

      Zimbabwe's white farmers risk losing land payouts
      September 22, 2003

      By Sapa-AFP

      Harare - Zimbabwe's white farmers have been told by the government
that they must take the compensation package offered to them for their land
or risk getting nothing at all, the agriculture minister was quoted as
saying in a newspaper report on Monday.

      Many white commercial farmers have not collected the money because
they are contesting the sums offered.

      Agriculture Minister Joseph Made was quoted in the state-run Herald as
saying that eight billion Zimbabwe dollars (about R72 million) worth of
compensation money would be disbursed to new black farmers if the white
farmers did not claim it.

      "There is a fund sitting idle and the intended beneficiaries are holed
up somewhere in Australia, Canada, Britain or New Zealand," Made said.

      He did not give a deadline for farmers to collect the money.

      Under its controversial land reform programme launched in 2000, the
Zimbabwe government took over white-owned farms for redistribution to new
black farmers.

      The Zimbabwe government said it was paying for work done on the land,
and not for the land itself, which it says was stolen by 19th century white

      But the white farmers' lobby, Justice for Agriculture (JAG), Monday
dismissed the latest move by the government as a "mere propaganda exercise".

      It said the figures being offered by the government to compensate
dispossessed white farmers for work done on their farms represented on
average ten to 25 percent of their real value.

      JAG vice president John Worswick said that around 700 farmers had been
summoned to the agriculture ministry to discuss compensation.

      "Most farmers have walked away flabbergasted at how low the offers
are," he told AFP.

      "They (the government) have failed to raise the finance for land
reform. This is just another way of robbing Peter to pay Paul," he said.

      According to a recent survey by the white-run Commercial Farmers'
Union (CFU), an estimated 485 commercial farmers out of around 3 291
operating in 2000 have remained on their land.

      The eviction of white farmers has been partly blamed by aid agencies
and critics of President Robert Mugabe's regime for Zimbabwe's worst famine
in living memory which has left about two thirds of the 11.6 million people
facing severe food shortages. - Sapa-AFP

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From Business Day, (SA), 22 September

SA working 'hard' to solve Zimbabwe crisis

Chief Political Correspondent

Government moved to calm nerves over the closure of Zimbabwe's independent
newspaper, Daily News, with an assurance that a lot of "behind the scenes"
negotiation was taking place to arrest the situation. This has fuelled
speculation that Zimbabwe's continued clampdown on an independent critical
voice was symptomatic of political problems spiralling out of control and
that regional leaders have run out ideas to convince Zimbabwe's President
Robert Mugabe to return to the rule of law. Foreign affairs and the
presidency closed ranks yesterday, assuring the public that all stops were
being pulled to resolve Zimbabwe's problems. President Thabo Mbeki had said
the deadline of June next year, which he set for himself to have Zimbabwe's
political parties working on tangible solutions, was still achievable, said
presidential aide Bheki Khumalo. Foreign Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa
said the public could "safely assume government is doing its best to help
Zimbabweans resolve their problems amicably".

Dr Eddy Maloka, CEO of Africa Institute of SA, said Zimbabwe's problems were
making it difficult for the African Union, and the Southern African
Development Community especially, to continue supporting Mugabe. "They have
been giving him support and lots of opportunities to prove their critics
wrong. Unfortunately, his party is very divided on how it should move
forward and end the chaos." Maloka said Zimbabwe had become a crisis that
was not of Mbeki's making, but which had come to affect his programme for
Africa's vision and Nepad. "It does not matter what people outside the
country do or say, without a protagonist element inside both parties (the
ruling Zanu PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change) that see
eye to eye in the interest of the country, regional efforts will not
succeed." Meanwhile, the African Editors' Forum and the South African
National Editors' Forum have requested an urgent meeting with SA's foreign
affairs department. Mathatha Tsedu, interim chairman of the African Editors'
Forum, said if the ban was permanent it would shut down the voice of dissent
in a country where democratic gains had been rolled back significantly in
the past few years. The Daily News said yesterday it was preparing to
challenge the state media commission's refusal to grant it a licence.

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From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 22 September

Simon Muzenda

Simon Muzenda, who died on Saturday aged 80, was Zimbabwe's vice-president
and one of the less colourful but more important members of the ruling Zanu
PF; he played a vital role as a backroom power-broker among the clique whose
personal loyalty to President Robert Mugabe remained unquestioning and
steadfast even as the country descended into political turmoil and economic
chaos. Muzenda's organisational and administrative skills were largely
responsible for healing the bitter rifts within Zanu during the guerrilla
war in the 1970s that led to the transition from white-ruled Rhodesia to
black-ruled Zimbabwe. The movement's then leader, the Reverend Ndabaningi
Sithole, caused turmoil among the thousands of freedom fighters massed on
Rhodesia's borders by renouncing violence as a means to power. Muzenda,
released from prison with other leaders during the Anglo-Rhodesian peace
negotiations in 1971, travelled to every guerrilla camp in neighbouring
countries, calming fractious elements and organising a key meeting of the
divided leadership that eventually confirmed Robert Mugabe, then in hiding
in Mozambique, as the new Zanu leader.

Mugabe's ascent to power in Zimbabwe was in no small measure due to
Muzenda's efforts. He rewarded the quietly-spoken former carpenter by making
him his deputy prime minister and foreign minister upon independence in
1980, and later his vice-president. As a leading political figure among the
Karanga people, the largest of the sub-groups making up the Shona-speaking
people of Zimbabwe, Muzenda's support was vital in keeping the sprawling
south eastern Midlands region of the country loyal to Mugabe, a member of
the rival Zezuru clan. Some of the younger and more ambitious Karanga
leaders had hoped that Muzenda would make his own bid for the country's
leadership, but he remained a faithful friend and second-in-command to
Mugabe to the end. The Karanga people were regarded as the most arrogant of
the tribal sub-groups. Their leaders frequently laid claim to being the true
founders of the nation, and they were viewed with suspicion by other
Shona-speaking people as they had been seen to co-operate with the first
white pioneers and settlers sent by Cecil Rhodes to colonise the country.
The Karanga had also intermingled and inter-married with earlier black
invaders, the Matabele people, who had occupied the south west of the
country in the late 19th century. Joshua Nkomo, the political figurehead of
the Ndebele people, was seen by himself and by many others, including
Britain, as the natural leader of the future Zimbabwe but Karanga support
was a vital component of his bid for power at independence. It was not
forthcoming as Simon Muzenda had pinned his flag firmly to the Mugabe mast.
Nkomo was thus condemned to play second fiddle to his Shona rival.

Never regarded as an original thinker or orator, Muzenda was given to
parroting Robert Mugabe's more outrageous utterances as well as giving
unreserved backing to the more disastrous policies. When Mugabe condemned
homosexuals as being "no better than pigs or dogs", Muzenda frequently
repeated the condemnation, insisting that homosexuality had been introduced
to Africa by "white colonialists". When Mugabe, stung by the mounting
criticism of his rule, decided to muzzle his own independent press and curb
the activities of foreign correspondents, Muzenda told journalists: "Those
who want to tarnish our country's image through inaccurate reporting in the
Western-backed media should have the courage to answer charges about their
malicious political campaigns in courts of law." As the Mugabe regime openly
flouted democratic principles, subverting the judiciary and brutally
crushing opposition politics, Muzenda told an election rally in his home
region of Masvingo - formerly Fort Victoria - that if Zanu PF chose to put
up a baboon as a candidate "then you will vote for that baboon". Zanu
members had fought and died to win power and were not going to hand over the
country to "so called opposition sponsored by foreigners". Despite failing
health and offers of a generous retirement package, Muzenda insisting on
staying on in government "to see the successful conclusion of the land
redistribution programme", a reference to Robert Mugabe's seizure of white
farms which precipitated Zimbabwe's slide to ruin. The "redistribution" had
less to do with a more equitable deal for the landless than for Mugabe, his
military chiefs and his faithful clique to grab the most valuable real
estate in the country for themselves and their families. Muzenda did not
hesitate to take advantage of the land grab. In 2002 he ordered a successful
white farmer off his cattle ranch south of Harare. He allowed the farmer to
take "his household goods and furniture but nothing else", leaving the
prosperous acreage with its livestock, crops, equipment, farmhouse and
outbuildings as a "gift" for the ageing vice-president. By most accounts, it
was the third such property appropriated by Muzenda and members of his

Simon Vengai Muzenda was born on October 28 1922, to a family of peasant
farmers in the Gutu district of what was then the Victoria province of a
Rhodesia then firmly under British colonial rule. He was brought up by his
grandmother who ensured his regular attendance at a local Catholic
missionary school, and he spent his teenage years herding the family's
cattle. A relatively bright child, he was sent for teacher training and on
the advice of his tutor travelled to the Marianhill mission in Natal where
he showed an aptitude for carpentry. At Marianhill, between completing his
carpentry course and furthering his studies, he developed an awareness of
politics from fellow students, including several men who became prominent in
black activism in South Africa and Rhodesia. He returned to Rhodesia in
1950, working in a furniture factory in Bulawayo and becoming involved with
Benjamin Burombo, one of the earliest black activists to challenge
discriminatory laws.

By 1955, Muzenda and his wife, a nurse, had moved to the Midlands town of
Umvuma where he started his own carpentry business, continuing his
involvement in black political activity and eventually becoming
administrative secretary of the embryo Zimbabwe African National Union. He
was soon attracting the attention of the Rhodesian security police and spent
two years in Salisbury's central prison which he later described as "a place
of study" as he and other inmates completed their education. In 1964, having
been elected deputy organising secretary of Zanu, he was arrested again for
being in possession of a pistol. By this time he was committed to the cause
of armed revolution as the only way to topple white colonial dominance and
was active in organising young blacks to leave the country for military
training elsewhere in Africa, the Soviet Union and China. He was soon
imprisoned again and remained incarcerated until being released under the
Anglo-Rhodesia agreement in 1971. Muzenda then travelled throughout Africa
in an attempt to heal the deep divisions within the black nationalist
movement. He failed to draw Joshua Nkomo and his Zapu movement into a
unified political front and eventually backed Robert Mugabe as
Zanu-Patriotic Front leader. The subsequent guerrilla war culminated in the
Lancaster House negotiations, a brief interregnum of British rule as
democratic elections were organised, and the election of Mugabe as the first
president of an independent Zimbabwe. Muzenda was criticised - and
challenged - by many Karanga leaders during the post-independence period but
he used his status to retain political power in his home area, repeatedly
delivering the Karanga heartland to the Mugabe camp. His health was always a
problem and in the last decade he often visited China for prolonged
treatment for heart, lung and liver complaints. He is survived by his widow,
Maud, and seven children.

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Business Day

Zanu, MDC in potential breakthrough deal


BULAWAYO - A political settlement between Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF and the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) looks headed for a major breakthrough
following an agreement by the two parties to draft a new constitution that
would make way for a transitional government.

Paul Themba-Nyathi, an opposition party spokesman, said the MDC and Zanu-PF
have started putting together a new constitution that will see President
Robert Mugabe relinquishing power.

It remains unclear how long the process will take.

"Given the scenario on the ground we sincerely believe there is progress in
the process of negotiations though no formal talks are currently under way,"
said Themba-Nyathi, adding: "There has been an agreement between the
government and the MDC to come up with a new constitution that will
automatically pave way for a transitional authority."

Nathan Shamuyarira, the ruling party spokesman, could not be reached for
comment as he was said to be attending the funeral of Simon Muzenda,
Mugabe's first vice-president since independence.

But John Nkomo, the Zanu-PF chairman, was quoted in one independent weekly
last week saying his party was more than determined to see a kickstart to
the stalled talks between the two parties.

"We in Zanu-PF have always said we are ready to discuss with anybody without
exception... I therefore have no doubt in my mind that there will be a
breakthrough soon," said Nkomo. "What may be left now is a pronouncement of
the breakthrough, if only the press can help us in projecting these things,
they would have done much more than any individual can do."
Talks to resolve the country's ever-deepening political and economic crisis
collapsed last year after the two parties failed to agree on key issues.

The MDC refused to drop its court challenge against Mugabe's re-election as
head of state in an election widely condemned as flawed and unfair last

It argued the presidential election was marred by violence, intimidation and
other "gross irregularities".

Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC president, said he was also hopeful the talks would
succeed this time, urging the people to remain at ease.

"No talks have started as yet, but as soon as the ball starts rolling we
will inform the people. They should not be so much agitated," said
Tsvangirai in an exclusive interview after holding a closed meeting with
other party heavyweights in the second largest city over the weekend.

The MDC leader last month set October 1 as a deadline for Zanu-PF to have
committed itself to the talks or face unspecified action.

Asked what course of action his party was likely to take, now that the
deadline was drawing closer without any progress on the dialogue, Tsvangirai
backtracked and denied ever setting a deadline for the talks.

So did Themba-Nyathi.

As soon as the talks start, the MDC will issue a formal statement to its
supporters, stakeholders and the international community, Tsvangirai said.
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Mbeki 'advancing Mugabe regime'
22/09/2003 16:58  - (SA)

Johannesburg - President Thabo Mbeki should call for an urgent resolution on
human rights violations in Zimbabwe when he addresses the United Nations
General Assembly this week, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.

Mbeki was scheduled to address the 58th session of the General Assembly on

Acting DA leader Joe Seremane said Mbeki would have the opportunity during
his speech to counter "the growing perception" that he and his government
were actively advancing the interests of the Mugabe regime, against the
interests of ordinary Zimbabweans.

While everyone else was criticising the Zimbabwean government for its
draconian and oppressive media laws after the Daily News was closed down
last week, Mbeki's government was actively campaigning for Mugabe to attend
the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Nigeria in December, said

Mbeki's spokesman Bheki Khumalo was saying there was no reason for the
continued exclusion of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth. The ANC government
was risking the interests of South Africa for a rogue state, Seremane said.

He said South Africa actually led the rejection of a draft resolution on the
human rights situation in Zimbabwe in April. Under the resolution, the UN
Human Rights Commission would have expressed deep concern at continuing
violations of human rights by Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF government and would
have demanded certain actions, said Seremane.

Mbeki should use Tuesday's opportunity to put pressure on Mugabe. By calling
for a new resolution, Mbeki could show the world that he was serious about
the values reflected in the New Partnership for Africa's Development

If he did not call for action, it would simply be another instance where
South Africa, and Mbeki, had failed to do the right thing, said Seremane.

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Zim Standard

      Mugabe vetoes devaluation attempts
      By Kumbirai Mafunda

      PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has since May vetoed eleven times his Cabinet’
s efforts to have the local currency devalued against Zimbabwe’s major
trading partners, it was learnt this week.

      Government sources said Mugabe, who is vehemently opposed to
devaluation and once denigrated former Finance Minister, Simba Makoni, over
the issue, has turned down 11 proposals that had been agreed to by his
Cabinet to devalue the Zimbabwe dollar .

      Mugabe called Makoni “a saboteur” after he had suggested devaluation,
and fired him.

      In February, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Herbert
Murerwa, adjusted the dollar from a pegged $55 to the American greenback
after an outcry from exporters that the currency was over-valued.

      The local currency has since then been trading at $824 to the American
unit on the moribund official market, but brisk business is being conducted
on the parallel market where this week it was selling at $3 500 to the US

      Murerwa, who also adjusted the price of the Zimbabwean dollar against
the Pound Sterling, the South African Rand and the Botswana Pula in
February, had promised commerce and industry that he would make a further
review in May and again in August.

      “In the past four months, Cabinet has discussed devaluation eleven
times. In a greater number of those discussions, Cabinet has voted in favour
of devaluation but Mugabe said no,” said the highly placed source.

      Ever since Makoni’s dismissal, no government minister has dared to go
public about their feelings on the local currency which experts say, judging
by its value on the thriving parallel market, is grossly over-valued

      Bulawayo-based economic analyst, Eric Bloch, said government’s
unwillingness to devalue the Zimbabwe dollar against those of the country’s
main trading partners, was depriving the few exporters left of “price

      “Exporters are losing price competitiveness because the increased
costs of production are not being compensated by the foreign exchange they
are getting. Foreign earnings are down which in turn triggers further
unemployment and shortages of commodities on the local market,” said Bloch.
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Zim Standard

      Daily News to appeal against MIC ruling
      By our own Staff

      THE Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), publishers of The Daily
News, say they will take the Media and Information Commission (MIC) to the
Administrative Court, for turning down their application, but admit it might
turn out to be a long drawn out process for their papers to hit the streets

      The company’s legal advisor and director of corporate affairs,
Gugulethu Moyo, told The Standard yesterday that by turning down their
application for registration, the MIC had closed a door that had been opened
by the High Court which granted them permission to publish their newspapers.

      “They (MIC) decided they would then close the door as quickly as
possible,” she said. “Quite clearly he (Mahoso) pre-decided the matter
before it even came before him. With the stroke of a pen the MIC has denied
a million people the right to have their own voice. What public service does
this serve?”

      Despite that scenario, Moyo said they would take their case against
the MIC, which could take at least a week to put together, to the
Administrative Court.

      “But there is no guarantee that it would be heard quickly. The court
doesn’t take this as a priority,” she said.

      In addition, Moyo said the Administrative Court could only reject or
accept the MIC’s decision, it couldn’t make a new ruling. If the MIC’s
decision is rejected, the application will then go back to the commission.

      “This again means we could be going round in circles. To be realistic,
I think it’s going to be a really long, drawn out process. We’re going to
have to take it one day at a time,” Moyo said.

      She also said the company had resubmitted its challenge of the Access
to Information and Privacy Protection Act (AIPPA), in which it queries the
constitutionality of the Act.

      Also, the company has charged that police are in contempt of court for
continuing to keep employees out of the paper’s offices.

      Moyo said ANZ would also look for other legal options to get the paper
running again.

      On Friday night, ANZ chief executive Samuel Sipepa Nkomo received a
letter at his private home notifying him that his company’s application to
register as a mass media service had been rejected by the Media and
Information Commission (MIC).

      Strangely, the letter was addressed to Gugulethu Moyo and bore the
paper’s Old Mutual House address. The decision came only a day after a High
Court ruling that the paper could resume operations and ordered police to
return equipment that had been taken from the paper’s offices.

      Earlier in the week, MIC chairman Tafataona Mahoso had said the
commission could take weeks to work through the application due to the
complex and thorough nature of the process.

      Friday’s decision came as a shock to those at ANZ.

      “I’d be surprised if we’ve ever had a decision this fast before,” said
Adrian de Bourbon, the lawyer who represented ANZ in its failed Supreme
Court challenge of the registration process.

      Moyo said the past week had been difficult for everyone at The Daily

      “But what’s been keeping us going is the public support,” said Moyo
adding that with the exception of The Daily News’s editor-in-chief, Francis
Mdlongwa who has left the paper to work in South Africa, no one else has

      Meanwhile, the chairman of ZimRights, Arnold Tsunga, said the refusal
to register The Daily News was tragic as it is hitting the rule of law at
the epi-centre.

      The Media Institute for Southern Africa (Misa) also condemned MIC’s
decision to deny The Daily News an operating licence.

      “We are outraged by MIC’s decision to refuse the paper a licence and
feel the reasons given are invalid,” said Misa director Sara Chiumbu, who
added that AIPPA is undemocratic.
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Zim Standard

      Bleak prospects for agriculture recovery
      By Caiphas Chimhete

      ZIMBABWE’S agricultural output is set for another plunge as the
government’s inept, haphazard economic policies — largely determined by
political considerations than business sense —continue to wreak havoc on the
once viable sector, agriculture experts have said.

      They said macro-economic policy failure, high inflation, unemployment
and severe foreign currency shortages required for the purchase of
agricultural inputs, would seriously compromise next year’s overall cereal
output, exposing millions of Zimbabweans to starvation.

      That apart, prices of basic inputs such as fertilisers, chemicals,
seeds and fuel for draught power, have increased by 300 percent over the
past three months, virtually putting the newly resettled farmers out of

      The Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) said the precarious food situation
is set to worsen next year as agricultural output of all crops is likely to

      “What is needed is to prepare for the disaster now. However, it is
practically impossible to do so because farmers continue to lose their
farms; even those with one farm, meaning they will not be able to produce,”
said a CFU official.

      The government’s failure to implement its own policies is the problem
affecting agriculture and causing the economic decline, added the CFU

      Despite the government’s declaration that only farmers with more than
one farm would have other properties seized, over 1 500 farmers lost their
only farms under President Robert Mugabe’s controversial land reform

      Indigenous Commercial Farmers’ Union (ICFU) deputy director Cleopas
Mandebvu also conceded that disaster was looming as the agriculture sector
continues to disintegrate.

      “If factors such as the shortage of seed, fertilisers and draught
power are not addressed, they will continue to have an influence on
production, not only for next season, but for the coming years,” said
Mandebvu, who however could not project the expected maize output for the
2003/4 farming season.

      As a result of the economic problems and the continual disruption of
agriculture, it is estimated that Zimbabwe would be able to meet only 30
percent of its food requirements for the 2003/4-agriculture season.

      A recent joint UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food Agricultural
Organisation (FAO) estimates that 5.5 million Zimbabweans will continue to
face acute food shortages. This is nearly half of the country’s population
of about 12,5 million people.

      However, other experts said they expected the number of people that
would require food assistance to balloon in the light of the problems
besetting the country.

      Mandebvu said most of the A2 farmers, who constitute the majority of
the union’s members, are unable to start farming because they cannot afford
the spiraling price of agricultural inputs.

      The government, through the District Development Fund (DDF), recently
hiked tillage fees from $10 000 to $25 000 per hectare, virtually shutting
the door to most of the newly resettled farmers who lack tractors.

      The situation is more critical for peasant farmers resettled under the
A1 model, as they fall among the poorest in the country and have benefitted
from cheap DDF services in the past.

      Some have even started trekking back to the villages where they lived
before because they have no inputs to begin production on the newly acquired
farms. Apart from tillage fees, the prices of fertilisers and seed have also
gone up drastically.

      Sylvester Tsikirai, director of the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (ZFU), an
organisation that represents the country’s small-holder farmers, blasted the
government for hiking prices of inputs.

      “It is obvious that for farmers who have been reeling under economic
problems, the figure is out of the reach for many of them,” said Tsikirai,
commenting on the 150 percent rise of tillage fees.

      Another factor that would impact on next season’s output, is the
limited access to credit due to a lack of collateral for the majority of the
newly resettled farmers.

      However, many farmers are pinning their hopes on efforts by government
to transform AgriBank into a Land Bank, specifically to cater for farmers.

      But others, knowing the government’s perpetual failure to stick to its
policies and pledges, say the establishment of the Land Bank – though penned
for next month — might drag on for years.

      There are also indications that tobacco output could be down to 60
million kgs in the next season, compared to 70 million kg this year, as more
farmers boycott growing the crop citing Zimbabwe’s skewed exchange rate.

      The government has sternly declined to devalue the local currency to
ensure the continued production of tobacco, once the country’s largest
foreign currency earner.

      Though admitting that there are indications of a plunge in
agricultural output next season, Farmers’ Development Trust (FDT) director,
Lovegot Tendengu, remains hopeful.

      “We are doing everything within our means, together with government,
to make sure that next season will not be a disaster. I urge farmers to go
their nearest GMB (Grain Marketing Board) offices for seeds and to our
offices for seedlings,” said Tendengu.
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Zim Standard

      Frequent price hikes rile Bulawayo residents
      By Loughty Dube

      BULAWAYO—Consumers in Zimbabwe’s second largest city say they have
been hit by a spate of price increases, some as high as 500 percent, since
the beginning of this month.

      The business community has taken advantage of the collapse of the
government’s price controls, resulting in the cost of most consumables going
up on a daily basis.

      A snap survey by The Standard revealed that many shops in Bulawayo had
two stickers on all goods, indicating that price adjustments were made on
the goods while they were still on the shelves.

      Goods that are selling at higher prices include scarce basic
commodities and foodstuffs while other goods like furniture and electrical
gadgets are now beyond the reach of many ordinary Zimbabweans.

      The price of powdered washing soap rose astronomically from about $3
000 per kg to about $10 000 for the same pack between July and September.

      While mealie-meal that has been scarce all along is now back on the
shelves, the cost of a bag of 20 kgs has shot up about five times to a
whopping $15 400.

      Bulawayo residents interviewed said it was now difficult for them to
make a budget on basic commodities since the prices increase everyday.

      “How can you budget when prices go up everyday. Even up to now we do
not know whether the right price for bread is $950 or the $1 150 that we are
being charged by bakeries,” Bekezela Nyoni, a housewife from Entumbane,

      A bakery manager in the city said flour was not easily available and
in instances when it is supplied, the price is always increased on a daily

      “The only way we can survive in this business is to carry over the
costs to the consumer otherwise we will be forced to shut down operations,”
said the bakery manager who spoke on condition of anonymity.

      The public is however concerned at the lack of action by consumer
watchdog bodies that have remained quiet in the face of the new price hikes.
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Zim Standard

      Land grab goes on despite audit report
      By Loughty Dube

      BULAWAYO - As government studies the findings of the Land Audit
Committee whose report was handed to President Robert Mugabe early this
week, it has emerged that some senior government officials, and a Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) reporter, have been allocated farms at the
Gwayi Valley Conservancy that has over 300 elephants protected under a
Presidential Decree.

      The Gwayi Valley Conservancy borders the Hwange National Park and is
sub-divided into several safari farms that have been given to four Zanu PF
chefs in the province.

      According to government sources, the beneficiaries of the conservancy
farms include a member of Zanu PF’s top policy making body, the Politburo
and others from its Central Committee in the province (names supplied) who
were named in the local media last week as owning more than one farm.

      The Politburo member in question is alleged to be already running
hunting safaris in the area despite the fact that he was not allocated
hunting quotas as required when these were issued at the beginning of the

      An irate safari operator in Gwayi who declined to be named, said the
Politburo member was hunting in the Hwange area with impunity. He said
safari operators were afraid to interfere with the new tenants even though
some of them are involved in poaching and causing more ecological damage.

      Meanwhile, youth militias based at the Kamativi youth camp and led by
a notorious war veteran called ‘Black Jesus’ raided a lodge in the area and
declared that they had taken it over recently.

      Ivory Lodge, owned by the Forest Commission and leased to a private
investor, was invaded by the war veteran leader and a group of youths who
cut off its telephone lines and ordered the manager to leave the lodge. They
ransacked the kitchen and harassed workers who were also told to vacate
their lodgings at the safari lodge.

      Efforts to contact management proved fruitless while a Forest
Commission official refused to comment.
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Zim Standard

      CFU, united we stand, divided we fall

      MY letter is directed at fellow farmers and ex–farmers.

      Isn’t it an amazing thing that just when our government is in the
process of implementing “Operation Cleansweep”, a new constitution is being
prepared which enshrines property rights and the current regime is trying to
form an interim government and re-designate all farms so that they can
legally nationalise the farms prior to the new constitution being put in
place and:

      *ZESA has increased rates on export oriented businesses to such a
level that it makes the remaining export produce farms unviable,

      *inflation sits at 399,5% officially for August but much higher in
real terms,

      *Daily News has just been taken off the streets for being “illegal”
and so removes our main form of public information of the current economic
and political environment. Our leadership in Matabeleland finds it necessary
to withdraw from CFU because of a lack of trust between the leadership.

      For over forty years the debate about trust between the leadership in
Matabeleland and the rest of the country has raged on from time to time.
Over the past years our very brave men have put aside personal differences
in order to stand united as a Union to fight matters of importance to the
farmers and our nation.

      While this internal power struggle rages, our homes burn and our
people starve.

      We are a democratic union. We have to accept the decision of the
majority and work within the framework of our Constitution. We need to put
aside our personal fears and aspirations in the interests of our farming
“family” and do what is good for our people....and we have to work together
as a team.

      United we stand and divided we fall.

      Jean Simon


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Zim Standard

      Drastic plunge in tobacco output
      By Kumbirai Mafunda

      ZIMBABWE’S 2004 tobacco crop is projected to decline further to a mere
55 million kgs, a decrease of 45,5% compared to this year’s 80 million kgs.

      Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) president, Duncan Miller, told
StandardBusiness in an interview that seed sales to date indicate a drastic
plunge in production of the crop, which is the country’s prime export crop.

      The ZTA is the country’s largest tobacco growing body, representing
more than 75% of growers. Seed sales released last week denote that only
266,25 kgs had been bought by both large-scale and small-scale farmers,
22,9% down from 327,2 kgs sold last year.

      The seed is expected to be planted over 53 300 ha against 57 700 ha
planted last year.

      Planting for the irrigated crop commenced at the beginning this month
with the dry land crop slotted for October 15.

      “Seed sales point to a crop of 65 million kgs but with what we are
seeing on the ground, that could be reduced to 55 million kgs,” said Miller.

      He said white commercial farmers were still being served with eviction
notices in Manicaland and Mashonaland province, prime tobacco farming areas.

      Miller said the lack of viability in the sector is hampering
crop-growing activities. Costs had gone up per hectare from $2 million to
between $10 and $12 million, he added.

      Growers are already facing a cocktail of shortages ranging from fuel,
coal and fertiliser critical in the planting of the golden leaf. The cost of
hauling coal from Wankie Colliery has also shot up to about $230 000 per

      “People don’t want to plant because it is not viable,” Miller said.

      The huge drop in tobacco forecasts, analysts said, would heavily slash
tobacco’s contribution to the country’s total export receipts, further
worsening Zimbabwe’s foreign currency woes.

      Tobacco has been the country’s prime export crop accounting for up to
30% of foreign exchange earnings. However, the golden leaf’s output has
drastically taken a knock since ruling party loyalists and war veterans
embarked on a violent and indiscriminate land seizure of white farmed
commercial land from 2000.

      “We are seeing a dangerous period where seedlings might be left to
dry,” said independent economic consultant, John Robertson.

      “They have completely demolished confidence in the sector and the
scarcity of foreign currency will worsen from this year’s levels,” he added.

      Zimbabwe is likely to lose its market share to neighbouring countries
and seasoned producers like Brazil and China, who are increasing their crop.
Already tobacco manufacturers are undertaking huge capital expansion
projects in Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.
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Zim Standard

      Currency devaluation: good or bad?
      By Grace Dzinotyiwei Intermarket Asset Managers

      - Under a fixed exchange rate system, devaluation is an official
change in the value of a country’s currency relative to other currencies.
This can be conducted by policy makers, motivated by unusual market

      - Under a floating exchange rate system, market forces generate
changes in the value of the currency, known as currency depreciation or

      Governments occasionally devalue in most cases as a response to
unusual market pressures. Devaluation, the deliberate downward adjustment in
the official exchange rate, reduces the currency’s value. For instance,
suppose a government has set 5 units of its currency equal to one dollar.
Devaluation can exchange 10 of these units to the same dollar. This move has
made the former currency half as expensive to Americans, and the US dollar
twice as expensive in the devaluing country.

      What forces to devaluation?

      - An indefensible fixed exchange rate due to some interaction between
market forces and policy decisions. Fixed exchange rate sustainability
requires that a country has sufficient foreign exchange reserves, often
dollars, and be willing to spend them, to purchase all offers of its
currency at the established exchange rate. When a country is unable or
unwilling to do so, then it must devalue its currency to a level that it is
able and willing to support with its foreign exchange reserves.

      - Devalue to boost the economy’s aggregate demand.

      Impact on economic growth

      Because devaluation makes the domestic currency cheaper relative to
other currencies, the country’s exports become less expensive for foreigners
while foreign products become more expensive for domestic consumers thereby
discouraging imports.

      As exports increase this may reduce the current account deficit. The
problem with this effect is that by increasing the price of imports and
stimulating demand for domestic products, devaluation can aggravate
inflation. As such, it becomes critical for net exporters to watch out for a
decline in margins due to trade tumult and lower prices. For most companies,
operating and financing costs tend to go up.

      This embezzles back any initial competitive gains. This may then force
the government to raise interest rates in order to control inflation, but at
the cost of slower economic growth. Why? Because high interest rates weaken
banking sector loan book as more companies default.

      Another risk of devaluation is psychological. To the extent that
devaluation is viewed as a sign of economic weakness, the creditworthiness
of the nation may be jeopardised. Thus, devaluation may dampen investor
confidence in the country’s economy and hurt the country’s ability to secure
foreign investment.

      Devaluation can through contagion effect result in trading partners
becoming concerned that devaluation might negatively affect their own export
industries. Neighbouring countries might devalue their own currencies to
offset the effects of their trading partner’s devaluation. This cyclical
effect on policies tends to exacerbate economic difficulties by creating
instability in broader financial markets.

      Empirical Evidence

      Devaluation is not always the answer. What is implied here is that it
cannot be the same prescription for everyone. A policy measure has to be in
line the economic problems inherent in a particular country. Sequencing of
these events (policy measures) is another critical issue. In most cases,
economic stability demands priority.

      In the Asian crisis, the Thai market actually surged just after the
Thai Baht devalued with government officials initially heralding the
devaluation as a positive move. It sounded so good that many other Asian
countries followed yet this had long-term economic problems. The fact is,
most people are hurt by devaluation. Inflation and interest rates tend to
climb while the economy slows, and uncertainty confuses economic
decision-making. The purpose of a currency is to facilitate exchange and
store value over time. Wide fluctuations in currency erode people’s ability
to make long-term economic plans (savings and investments), all foundations
of economic growth.

      Sequencing of necessary policy measures is critical. In Brazil,
economic growth was weak until in 1994, when Cardoso, now president,
developed his 1995–97 strong economic policy, cutting inflation and
decreasing government spending for economic stabilisation. Economic
deregulation and privatisation took centre stage. These measures brought
limited economic growth, but greater stability. Cuts in government
expenditure and financial crisis in Russia and Asia sparked capital flight
from Brazil and an economic downturn. The 1999 currency devaluation assisted
in slowing down economic decline. This accompanied by a privatisation policy
brought the much-needed foreign investment. Brazil recorded its first
recovery in early 2000, registering 4 percent growth by the end of the year.

      Complementarity of policies is also critical given the structural
rigidities associated with that country. Tanzania is highly dependent on
imports that cannot be substituted by any local production. Therefore, to
achieve trade balance exports must increase significantly since imports are
unlikely to decline enough to close the deficit gap. Consequently, currency
devaluation encouraged export agriculture while discouraging domestic
production. Unfortunately gross domestic use dropped as a result of the drop
in imported inputs.

      For Zimbabwe, the foreign currency shortage problem persists with a
projected capital account deficit of about US$300 million by end of 2003
(US$200 million in 2002). Many exchange rate systems (fixed, managed,
floating, crawling peg, etc) have been put in place but authorities had to
abandon them mid – stream. Now the country has been managing a multi – tier
exchange rate system since October 2000 for fear that currency devaluation
is inflationary. To date, the parallel market has continued to thrive
handling over 80% of total foreign currency transactions largely fuelling
inflationary pressure. The latest official year on year inflation now stands
at 426.6% for June 2003. Consequently, despite the structural adjustment
programmes that have been put in place, the economy is projected to decline
further to – 14% by the end of 2003. This represents a cumulative economic
decline of about 30% in GDP since 1999.

      For this economy, restoration of investor confidence, political will,
credibility, consistence of policy measures as well as proper sequencing of
events remains critical for an economic turnaround.


      This document has been prepared from sources we believe are reliable.
While reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the facts given are
correct, no responsibility of any kind can be accepted by Intermarket Asset
Managers (Pvt) Ltd or any of its directors, employees or associates either
as to the accuracy or completeness of any information herein or whatever
material facts have or have not been included.
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Zim Standard

      Zanu PF to blame for dependency syndrome
      Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama

      ONE never expects to hear any kind of logic or common sense from Zanu
PF leaders but once in a while this happens for wonders never cease.

      Recently, Vice President Joseph Msika warned newly resettled farmers
against relying on government alone for inputs saying they should find ways
of sustaining themselves. He said there were fears that if government
continued giving inputs, farmers would not work towards self-sustenance.

      “Dependence syndrome is a disease that is incurable as HIV/Aids,” said
the Vice President when he officiated at a graduation ceremony at Kushinga
Pikelela National Farmers Training Centre in Marondera, a week ago.

      This is not the first time Vice President Msika has expressed words of
wisdom. When the illegal and violent invasion of white owned farms by
so-called war-veterans started, he unequivocally said that was wrong and the
invaders should leave the farms forthwith. Other members of the government,
namely John Nkomo and Dumiso Dabengwa agreed with Msika and echoed his

      Unfortunately, when President Robert Mugabe returned from one of his
frequent jaunts abroad, he whipped them into line and said the government
would not take any action against the illegal invaders. If Msika, Dabengwa,
Nkomo and others of like mind had held their ground and insisted that that
was no way to carry out land reform, the scenario in Zimbabwe would be
different and definitely better today.

      Zimbabwe’s tragedy is that all Zanu PF leaders, especially the
“honourable ministers” don’t have the courage of their convictions. When
they discover that their convictions are not in line with the thinking of
President Mugabe, they quickly swallow their words, and make an about turn
and loudly sing their master’s voice.

      What Vice President Msika said is so true. However, for such straight
forward and honest talk to be a rarity in such dire straights as ours is
indeed an indictment on our own political leadership. It shows that we are
in for a long poverty-ridden haul for no country was ever built on
propaganda and lies.

      There is indeed a dependency syndrome in Zimbabwe. Begging from
government and expecting things for free or by grabbing by force is now part
of the Zimbabwean culture. At the end of almost every media interview of
resettled farmers, one hears this refrain without fail, “If only the
government would help us with ...” (Dai hurumende yedu yaitibatsirawo

      Every interview ends with the new farmer or businessman asking the
government to help with capital, fertiliser, seed, boreholes or tractors to
till their freely acquired land. One would think that government is some
kind of rich and benevolent Father Christmas.

      Nobody should blame the people of Zimbabwe for expecting their
government to do everything for them. The government is solely to blame for
creating the dependency syndrome, which characterises Zimbabwe today.

      After independence, the government should have promised the people
nothing but the free environment for them to develop themselves through
their own blood, sweat and tears. Instead it promised them free education,
free medical care, free housing and free everything. It promised them the
sky, sun, moon and stars included.

      This of course was part of the Communist rhetoric adopted by leaders
of the present government when they were a liberation movement. Their idea
of government was through a pervasive all encompassing welfare state which
would do everything for the people.

      When I bought my properties just before independence, a number of
people told me that I was wasting my money. They said, “Kana kuzvitonga
kuzere kwauya, dzimba dzevarungu tichadzigara mahara idzi. Nemotokari
tichadzikwira mahara,” (After independence we will live in white homes for
free of charge. Even cars we will drive without paying anything.)

      This is why anybody could just walk to any white-owned farm and
declare that they now own it. Any protest from the owner who, in most cases,
had bought the farm legally with the consent of government was violently
dealt with. This is why today a group of people can, with all the audacity,
go to the Lion and Cheetah Park and declare to its hard working owners and
employees that they are now the new owners of the property and the business
and they should vacate it forthwith. Crazy, isn’t it?

      At almost every Zanu PF rally, the rhetoric is the same.

      “The government will provide you with seed and fertiliser. The
government will give you tractors to till your lands. The government will
give you money for self-help projects...,” ad nauseam.

      It is time Zimbabweans woke up to the truth.

      Government does not produce anything except hot air. It is composed of
people who spend their time talking in Parliament and attending meetings and
lavish dinners. They don’t do any productive work. So, where will they get
all the money to fulfil these wild promises?

      It used to come from from productive individuals and the private
sector has been milked dry and all manner of hindrances thrown in its way by
the same government that it can’t produce more.

      Unfortunately, most Zanu PF leaders do not see the light, which the
Vice President seems to have seen. They continue to promise things which
government will never be able to deliver including rural electrification. It
cannot even borrow because it is now so over borrowed that no individual or
institution in its right mind is willing to lend it money even at the most
enticing of interest rates.

      What is happening in Zimbabwe has also aspired me to write a song. It
is called Rambai Makashinga Yechipiri. It goes this way:

      Nehondo, Nehondo, Takaitora nehondo,

      Kana Zvikaipa sei,

      Rambai Makashinga.

      Kana Mitsetse ikareba sei

      Rambai makashinga

      Kana Mukafa sei nenzara,

      Rambai makashinga.

      Nehondo, Nehondo, Takaitora Nehondo

      Kana mbeu ikashaika

      Kohwai Pakuru muZimbabwe.

      Kana fetireza ikadhura sei,

      Kohwai Pakuru muZimbabwe.

      Kana makambani akavharwa,

      Tichapfuma chete nehondo,

      Kana zvipatara zvose zvikavharwa,

      Rambai makashinga.

      Kana Zimbabwe ikaparara,

      Rambai makashinga.

      Nehondo, nehondo, Tichaimutsa nehondo.

      He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
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PR COMMUNIQUE - September 22, 2003




The Daily News refused to register under the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act.  It declined to register strongly believing that
to register would be to submit itself to a system of repressive state
controls that would violate its fundamental right to freedom of expression
and would drastically curtail its ability to inform the public.  It
therefore sought to bring a constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court.
The basis of this challenge was that the system of state control over
newspapers is unconstitutional as it violates its right to freedom of
expression enshrined in the constitution.

The Supreme Court refused to entertain this challenge.  It held that a law
remains valid until a court of law rules that it is invalid and therefore a
person wishing to challenge the validity of a law must first comply and
afterwards argue in court about its validity.  The newspaper could not
approach the court for a constitutional ruling whilst it was in breach of
the law it was challenging.  The court could not condone its open defiance
of that law.  Before it would be heard it must first stop violating that
law either by registering under the Act or ceasing to publish the newspaper
until the constitutional challenge had been decided.

We believe that this decision amounts to an abrogation by the Supreme Court
of its duty to protect and uphold the fundamental rights of the people of

Section 3 of the Constitution provides that the Constitution is the supreme
law of Zimbabwe and any law that is inconsistent with the Constitution is
invalid and void.  The Constitution has a series of provisions declaring
the fundamental rights of the people.  These are vitally important rights a
and an Act of Parliament will be invalid if it contains provisions that
breach these fundamental rights.  The primary responsibility for deciding
whether provisions are void on this basis rests with the Supreme Court.
This court will decide this when constitutional challenges are brought
before them.

In cases where the constitutionality of laws is challenged, it is important
that the Supreme Court gives its ruling as soon as possible so that the
position can be clarified.  If the law is indeed void, portions of it are
void, people should not be obliged to abide by such a law.  If it is found
to be constitutional, then everyone will be expected to abide by that law.

The Daily News did not simply defy the law and refuse to obey it.  It
sought a ruling from the Supreme Court about the constitutionality of that
law and would obviously have been bound by the ruling.

It is unfair and unjust to require compliance with a law as a precondition
for a constitutional ruling on that law.  If a person believes that a law
obliges him or her to take action or imposes conditions that will seriously
violate his or her fundamental rights, that person should be entitled to a
ruling by the court about this without first complying with the law.  A
person may suffer grave prejudice by having to comply with a law that the
constitutional court later rules to be in flagrant violation of
constitutional rights.

Some examples will illustrate this.  Take a law passed obliging a senior
public official to resign immediately without a hearing to determine
whether there are any good grounds for his forced removal and taking away
all his pension entitlements.  The official would have to resign first
before he would be entitled to challenge the constitutional validity of the
law.  Take also a law that orders a newspaper to close immediately and to
hand over its equipment to the state without the law giving any reasons why
the paper should be closed down. Again the newspaper would have to close
and hand over its equipment before it could mount a constitutional
challenge.  Similarly in the Daily News the newspaper would have had to
subject itself to a system of state control that it thought violated its
rights, before it could challenge that law. Alternatively, it would have
had to stop publishing the newspaper thereby sustaining financial

It is established law that a person who is prosecuted for failing to comply
with a criminal provision can challenge the constitutionality of that law
and the Supreme Court will be obliged to make a ruling on its
constitutionality.  The fact that he has breached the law will not mean
that he forfeits his right to a constitutional ruling.  Surely a person who
does not wait to be prosecuted and instead approaches the Supreme Court for
a ruling on its constitutionality should not be in a worse position that
the person who is being prosecuted for breach of the law.

We therefore believe that the ruling in the Daily News case was wrong.

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1: Stand Up

Dear Sir,

It now seems that a number of farmers understand Mr. Kinnaird's point of
view about standing up for what is right. He has also clearly illustrated
that the Farmers' Leadership opted for Dialogue, and have just recently
endorsed this school of thought by saying that the International Community
has a financial responsibility to this country.

*Isn't there a chance of the International Community tainting their
reputation by supporting the Government Land Reform Programme because of
the MANNER in which it has been done? - Mr. Kinnaird's reference to David
Stevens' murder is a case in point, and Mrs. Bonsor has given graphic
detail of the 'manner' of the Government Land Reform Programme in her
specific case.

* Does Justice for Agriculture support Land Reform in a holistic manner,
with sustainable and transparent security of tenure (which is not quite the
same as "working with Government" if we read Mrs. Bonsor's letter again)
within the framework of the Constitution?

*Is the Quinnell case not contesting the very legality of this 'manner' of
so called Land Reform, in terms of the Constituion, with the Honourable
Minister of Justice, Law and Order being one of the respondents??

*Is the report in The Independent stating that Justice Paradza is suing the
Honourable Minister of Justice, Law and Order for $ 500 million for
unconstitutional and illegal arrest and detention, any different to the
approxmately three hundred farmers who were also arrested and detained just
over a year ago? If so, shouldn't those farmers possibly follow Justice
Paradza's example, using that "mechanism" rather than blame the
International Community?

Pro Justice.


Letter 2: Ex-Centenary Farmer

I would like to herewith state my support for John Kinnaird's original
letter, as it sums things up. Jean Bonsor, you have missed the point. WHY
was there not a COLLECTIVE OUTCRY, from the farmers of Matabeleland to
Mashonaland, from Manicaland to Lomagundi , from the top of C.F.U to the
F.A's, from the wealthiest business to the fledgling business of the cities
and towns when David Stevens was murdered?

The reason, Jean, is that the Mugabe leadership had us all summed up, one
or two murders would only encourage us to cling desperately onto our little
"kingdoms", yes, he would have to terrorize many of us to get us to let go,
kill us economically and split and divide agricultural leadership, and
deepen the divide between the town people and the farmers, get farmers to
point fingers at farmers. How well we have played into his hands. Your
response to John Kinnaird's letter displayed this.

Esme' Blair


Letter 3: Replying to Mr Kinnaird

I wonder how you would have re-acted had you been in a position that many
of us were in.  Would you have confronted the people shouting and
screaming at your gate, I doubt it.  The people in the towns have no idea
what it was like to be completely alone with people baying for your blood.
Even the farmers who had neighbours terrorised, evicted etc., did not know
the experience until it happened to them.  You have no right to criticize
any of us, as it is an experience I would not wish on my worst enemy.  The
day we were evicted I phoned my two children out of the country and said
"goodbye", as we thought it was our last moment.  Thank goodness one brave
policeman came to our rescue and still to this day I do not know how we
managed to get through the screaming masses who were trying to take our
land.  One of our elderly neighbours did come to our rescue and that very
afternoon the army moved into her house, giving her 24 hours to leave.  We
left our farm in April 2001 and were told never to show our faces there

We purchased our farm in 1996 and left with nothing.  We paid the last
installment for our farm 3 months before we were evicted.  How would you
feel if, at the age of 50, somebody came and robbed you of your home, your
pension, your livelihood.

I know you criticize the farming community for not sticking together.  That
was far easier said than done as no matter what we did we were crushed.  If
we had all said we are not farming the land would still have been taken
away from us.  The Government saw as an easy target.  Fellow farmers often
did try and come to the rescue of others.  Roads were barricaded, rocks
were hurled at anybody who dared to try and help.  You have no idea of all
the contingency plans we tried to put in place to help each other.  As with
the mass stayaways the government is so powerful and can crush anything,
imagine a few farmers trying to confront them, when all the people in the
cities cannot.

Nigel Worthington


Letter 4: Meg Bots


Why are these "farmers" crooks names not published worldwide and a boycott
organised there must be some one somewhere who can make this known!!!  In
gabs the other day a young man in a designer suit went to my friends floral
shop to try and sell roses She asked the name of the farm and he said
without conscience his parents were given the farm!!! She refused.  Why
wont this happen more or is it wishful thinking!!!  Lack of unity again????

Well done again Cathy Buckle- hit the nail on the head!!

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.
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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - September 22, 2003



Hello fellow Zimbabwean:

As we all know our beloved country and its peoples are caught in a very
serious predicament. It almost seems that the opposition political parties,
regional leaders, and international leaders cannot help us in anyway. For
those of us living abroad - we have not done much either to help.  Instead
many of us are being forced into situations no one could have ever

At this point it is very obvious that ONLY the LORD ALMIGHTY will see us
through all the situations we are going through.  With that in mind - we
are calling for a Prayer/Fast for Zimbabwe. The week beginning Monday
October 6 to Sunday October 12 2003. Let us all join together and ask of
the LORD for a change. The main emphasis is for us as a nation to set time
aside each of those days and seek God's favour. If you can manage to fast
the e whole period - PRAISE be to GOD. If you manage 3 or 4 days - that is
still good. Whatever you can manage will make a difference - even if it
means skipping 1 meal and saying a prayer for mercy that will be truly

Fasting can be whatever you decide - the Lord knows your heart.  We are
aware that there are many different types of fasts PLEASE just get
involved.  Since there are thousands of us living in different time zones -
Zimbabwe will be praying as a Nation 24 hours a day for a full 7 days. As
we fast that week inspirational messages will be sent out from different
church leaders.

PLEASE forward this message to as many Zimbabweans as you know.  For those
who do not have emails - please be sure to print it out for them.  More
emails as the date draws near.

In Christ
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