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Zim Standard

MDC delegation off to Brisbane

Farai Mutsaka
AN advance MDC delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
(Chogm) left for Brisbane on Friday to meet Australian civic society and
student movement groups ahead of the 6-9 October conference.

The delegation, comprising Chimanimani MP, Roy Bennett, party secretary for
international affairs, Sekai Holland, and youth chairman Nelson Chamisa, is
expected to lay the ground for party president, Morgan Tsvangirai’s arrival
in Brisbane.

Tsvangirai and MDC shadow minister for foreign affairs, Tendai Biti, will
join the group later to meet Australian government and opposition officials
and those from other Commonwealth countries and the Club’s secretariat.

The party’s spokesman, Learnmore Jongwe, yesterday accused The Herald of
lying in its Friday issue by claiming that the MDC was sending 240 youths to
picket Mugabe in Brisbane.

“Our trip has not been funded by any foreign government, let alone the so
called ex-Rhodesians. It is also false that we are sending youths to
Brisbane. What is happening here is that President Mugabe has, despite
public confirmation, still not convinced himself that he is making the right
decision by travelling to Brisbane in the light of the on-going
state-sanctioned terror, his failure to breath life into the Abuja agreement
and the Peter Tatchell factor.”

“The Herald continues to deteriorate and is fast becoming a madhouse in
which inmates are trying to run the asylum. No good can be expected from a
madhouse where the patients are writing the prescriptions,” said Jongwe.

Responding to The Herald’s assertions, Chamisa said: “That is hogwash. If we
want to demonstrate against Mugabe then the State House is nearer to us than
Brisbane and Mugabe is more accessible here than in Australia. If we have
complaints against Mugabe we have a platform to put them across and the
ballot box is one of them.”

Mugabe faces a hostile reception in Brisbane where several organisations
have lined up demonstrations against him.

Other Commonwealth heads of governments are expected to give Mugabe a
roasting over his handling of the land issue which has been characterised by
violence and mayhem.

The International Students Union (IUS), a grouping of the world’s student
bodies is the latest to join the fray in planning action against Mugabe.

IUS secretary for African affairs, Charlton Hwende, said his organisation
had listed Mugabe as one of the worst leaders in the world and would
recommend action against him by the international community.

Peter Tatchell, a gay and human rights activist said he would have another
go at Mugabe after failing to arrest the embattled Zimbabwe leader in
Brussels earlier this year.

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From the Zim Standard

Army jobs for Zanu PF militia

Farai Mutsaka
ZANU PF youths undergoing military training under the guise of National
Service will be incorporated into the army after their three-month training,
The Standard has learnt.

Sources said last week that the youths, who were drawn from the Zanu PF
youth wing would be given jobs in the army where they would be expected to
spearhead the ruling party’s campaign for next year’s presidential election.

A total of 1 000 youths from the country’s 10 provinces were last week
dispatched to Mount Darwin where they have commenced a three-month national
service training programme.

Although the curriculum of the training is not clear, government sources
said the youths would undergo basic military training.

Although government has said that the students would be given first
preference in various departments in the civil service, the youths were
ear-marked for the army, one source said.

“The majority of the youths will be incorporated into the army. Being the
pioneers of the programme they are very enthusiastic about the prospect of
getting jobs after the training,” said the source.

“It will be difficult to get them jobs elsewhere in the civil service, so
they will be taken by the army. The thinking behind it all is that it would
not set a good precedent if the youths fail to find jobs after training so
jobs have to be secured for them in the army. But more importantly, they are
also being incorporated into the army so that they can campaign for the
party,” said the source.

The move is said to mark an about turn by the army which has been employing
on the basis of academic qualifications, but has come under pressure from
government which believes many soldiers lack allegiance.

“There is mistrust of the army. There is a feeling among senior Zanu PF
officials that the current crop of young soldiers are not sympathetic to
Zanu PF and cannot be relied on to campaign for the party.

“So youths from the national service will help dilute the anti-government
sentiment within the army. They will also spy on their colleagues to
identify those that are sympathetic to the MDC,” said the sources.

The army refused to shed light on the matter referring questions to the
youth development, gender and employment creation ministry.

“The ministry of defence has no meaningful information on the ongoing
national service training being conducted by the ministry of youth
development, gender and employment creation,” said defence spokesman,
Lieutenant Colonel Mboweni Gatsheni.

Shuvai Mahofa, the deputy minister for youth development, gender and
employment creation, denied that the youths would be incorporated into the

“I am not aware the youths will be incorporated into the army after
completing their training. We will be giving them skills that will enable
them to employ themselves after the training. No one will join the army,”
she said.

But MDC shadow minister for defence, Giles Mutsekwa, said he was aware of
the move to incorporate the Zanu PF youths into the army.

“We are aware of the plot. They want to usher in as many Zanu PF faithfuls
as possible into the army through the National Service. The contingency from
the National Service will not only act as soldiers, they will also actively
campaign for Zanu PF,” said Mutsekwa.

“This is an unholy exercise which should never be done by any sensible
government. One institution that should remain independent is the army and
for Zanu PF to plant its youth in an army that we are going to inherit is
very dangerous.”

The duration of the training period for the youths, sources said, fitted
well with government’s timing for next year’s election.

“The youths will train for three months and will finish the service around
November. That will give them about three to four months to campaign for the
party,” said the source.

Presidential elections are due by April next year although reports abound
that government might move the elections to January to avoid possible defeat
due to worsening living standards.

Mugabe faces the biggest challenge to his 21-year-rule stern challenge from
MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai.

Send off ceremonies for the youths held in various provinces around the
country last week were marked by calls from Zanu PF officials for the youths
to vigorously defend the party.

In Manicaland, provincial governor Oppah Muchinguri urged the youths to
defend the party from “outsiders” as they would be the first casualties of
an MDC government.

Muchinguri told the youths to be prepared to die for the country which she
said had been invaded by outsiders.

Members of the police and army have, of late, been co-opted into the Zanu PF
election campaign machinery. Opposition officials and innocent citizens have
been subjected to harassment by the armed forces in areas where the
opposition MDC has a stronghold.

Sources within the army told The Standard that a number of soldiers,
particularly war veterans within the army, have been given an indefinite
leave from official duty to campaign for Zanu PF.
Police commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, has already declared his loyalty to
Zanu PF and has warned other officers to desist from sympathising with the

Africa Rights, a continental human rights watchdog, said the youth service
was meant to indoctrinate youths with Zanu PF propaganda.

“The establishment of a National Training Service for youth, ostensibly to
teach ‘history and culture’ is a sinister development given the evidence of
Zanu PF techniques of political indoctrination during the ‘re-education’
sessions,” said Rakiya Omaar, the organisation’s director.
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"Last Saturday three truck loads of "war veterans" and youths arrived on Bita Farm in Wedza. Two men fell off the back of one of the vehicles, were hit and run over by another truck. The two men died. The farm owner, 70 year old John Bibby, had heard the approaching vehicles and he and his wife locked themselves into the farmhouse. The first John Bibby knew of the deaths was when war veterans and police arrived at the gate later in the afternoon and told Mr Bibby to accompany them to the farm workers' village. Mr Bibby did so and was then told that two men had been killed. 70 year old John Bibby and 17 of his workers were arrested and taken into police custody. On Wednesday Mr Bibby was formally charged on two counts of murder by a Marondera magistrate. Journalists from the Daily News newspaper went to Bita Farm on Monday to report on the events of the weekend. Three journalists and a cameraman were attacked by "war veterans" with poles and chains. They ran for their lives and hid in the bush where they were rescued 8 hours later. Whilst professional journalists were being brutally attacked, the Assistant Commissioner of Police agreed that he was on the property at the time but said "I don't have any comment on that issue. I think they are confusing me with someone else." Police impartiality is seriously in question here. A part of Bita Farm falls in the electoral constituency of Chikomba - a by election is being held in Chikomba this weekend to replace the seat after the death of Chenjerai Hunzvi - need I say more?
On a farm south of Harare this week, a couple have been barricaded into their home by "war veterans". No one has been allowed in or out the farm, which has not been listed for government seizure, and the farmers wife described one of the terror tactics used during the ordeal. Two boxes in the shape of coffins were placed outside the house and decorated with flowers in the shape of crosses. "They had a mock funeral for us today and they say the boxes are for my husband and myself."
On a farm in Karoi an American tourist was attacked and beaten by "war veterans" this week. The Zimbabwe Independent newspaper reports that in this same area: "The Karoi officer in charge for the CIO... is now the proud owner of the farmhouse and a plot at Nyamambizi farm which was left by Sven Johnson who abandoned it at the peak of the farm invasions last year."
The incidents described above have all taken place since the Abuja Agreement was reached in Nigeria. An Agreement which said that violence on farms would stop. An Agreement which said "war veterans" would be moved off undesignated land. An Agreement which said Press Freedom would be ensured. Minister of Agriculture, Dr Joseph Made said this week: "Commercial farmers are on a blitz to undermine the Abuja Agreement by saying all kinds of lies." Asked by SABC about farm invasions, Dr Made said: "There are no invasions here, there are land occupations." Addressing a zanu pf congress, President Mugabe said yesterday that this was a "British led western coalition against zanu pf." President Mugabe said that the land re-distribution exercise was aiming at: "one farmer, one farm in a de-racialised agricultural sector." If this is the case, the goings on in Zimbabwe's Supreme Court this week are extremely worrying as judicial bias is clear for all to see.
The government are attempting to prove that they have restored the rule of law on commercial farms and that their "fast track" land re-distribution has been replaced by a workable and fair programme. Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausike was asked to rescue himself because he has previously stated his views on the land issue and is therefore biased. The Chief Justice refused to rescue himself from the current hearing. The Independent's editorial this week points out that two of the other judges at this hearing: 'are listed by the Ministry of Lands as recipients of leases of land originally earmarked for peasant resettlement. In other words they are beneficiaries of government patronage...' Judicial impartiality is seriously in question here."
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Mugabe's police bug poll rivals

Tom Walker

ZIMBABWE'S feared secret police network, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), has bought sensitive electronic bugging equipment to help it quash opposition ahead of elections next year in which President Robert Mugabe is attempting to win another four years in office.

The equipment is believed to allow the CIO to monitor nearly all telephone calls and e-mails in the country. Diplomats fear this will help Mugabe's Zanu-PF party combat the opposition by using its youth movement to storm meetings and intimidate individuals identified by the taps. Disillusioned CIO officials said last week the devices were bought from "Israel or Germany" through a Danish middleman.

Diplomats say Mugabe has lost none of his confidence since being upbraided by other African leaders earlier this month over the violent campaign of land occupation and has reneged on the deal he made with Commonwealth leaders in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, two weeks ago.

Stan Mudenge, the foreign minister, gave his word that the invasions which have crippled Zimbabwe's agricultural sector would stop. However, the violence has continued while the attention of the international community has been turned elsewhere.

The telephone surveillance is especially damaging for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which used to evade the secret police by the use of mobile phones. Now all mobiles with the prefix 091 - the most popular network - are known to be vulnerable to bugging.

The network, called Econet, is owned by Strive Masiwa, an evangelical Christian who has been a persistent thorn in the side of Mugabe's party, challenging the government in the courts and spreading his business empire to neighbouring countries.

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Congo Rebels, Zimbabwe Leader Meet

Associated Press Writer

BUKAVU, Congo (AP) — Congolese rebels and Zimbabwe's president — a top ally of the Congo government — have held unprecedented talks on the prospects for peace and the political future of Congo after three years of civil war, a rebel leader said Sunday.

Adolphe Onusumba, head of the rebel Congolese Rally for Democracy, returned to rebel-held eastern Congo fro the talks with Robert Mugabe, saying he had ``sensed a genuine willingness on the part of Mugabe to end the conflict.''

The talks were the first between the rebels and Mugabe. Zimbabwe has been the main backer of the Congolese government, together with Angola and Namibia, in the war that broke out in August 1998 after rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda attempted to oust then-President Laurent Kabila.

Both Rwanda and Uganda accused Kabila of warmongering and threatening regional security by arming Rwandan and Ugandan rebels.

Following Kabila's assassination in January and the accession to power of his son, Joseph, key provisions of the 1999 cease-fire deal were implemented, including the pullback of troops from front-line positions and the deployment of U.N. observers to verify the cease-fire.

But a recent upsurge in fighting involving government-backed Rwandan rebels and tribal militias in eastern Congo could scuttle the peace deal, Onusumba said.

``We requested Mugabe to advise Kabila to stop financing and arming the Interahamwe (Rwandan rebels) and sending the war to our territory,'' Onusumba said.

The Rwandan government holds the Interahamwe responsible for the 100-day slaughter of at least 500,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus in Rwanda in 1994. The Interahamwe fled to neighboring Congo, then known as Zaire, to escape retaliation.

``There is a danger of resumption of a full-scale warfare against the Interahamwe,'' Onusumba said, adding ``we have the means and capacity to launch an all-out military assault.''

Onusumba said members of his delegation also discussed with Mugabe the forthcoming inter-Congolese dialogue that begins Oct. 15 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and which is expected to chart Congo's political future after decades of corrupt and dictatorial regimes.

The rebel delegation told Mugabe that Kabila's proposal to hold national elections soon after the dialogue wasn't practical and encouraged the establishment of a three-year transitional administration to prepare Congo for democratic elections and integrate rebel forces into the national army, Onusumba said.

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From ZWNEWS, 23 September

A Damascene conversion?

"The break down of the rule of law began with the invasions - therein lies the problem with the law and its application! The law is a product of the society. You are right on the legality, but is there justice? What is the morality of it all?" This was the startling comment of Chief Justice Chidyausiku on Friday as the Supreme Court heard the third day of argument in the case brought by the government, seeking a judgement that the rule of law has been restored in Zimbabwe. Has the Chief Justice – a Mugabe loyalist – suddenly seen the light?

First some background:

In December 2000, the Supreme Court, under the then Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay, ruled that the government could not legally acquire land until a practical plan for resettlement - in compliance with the Constitution - had been thought out and introduced. The government was given until 1 July 2001 to come up with such a plan. On 2 July, a Supreme Court judgement upheld the December ruling by four to one, with only Chief Justice Chidyausiku dissenting. Chidyausiku is Gubbay’s successor as Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice, and even he was forced to acknowledge in his opinion that such a comprehensive resettlement plan did not exist. In mid-July, Justice Alfas Chitakunye handed down an interdict stating that, in compliance with the 2 July Supreme Court ruling, no further legal action could be taken by the government to compulsorily acquire commercial farms for resettlement. The ruling, from the administrative court which hears the complex legal process required for the government to acquire farm land, was described at the time by a leading Harare lawyer as meaning "government acquisition of the land was illegal in terms of the law, until law and order is restored".

Hence the present case in the Supreme Court. The government is seeking a judgement from the highest court in the land that the rule of law has been restored. In this way, a veneer of legality can be conferred on the violence and intimidation taking place on commercial farms, and in communal and urban areas all over the country, in blatant violation not only of the Abuja agreement and the promises made by Mugabe to the SADC heads of state at their recent Harare summit, but also of the Constitution itself.

The Supreme Court bench hearing the current case is, of course, a very different body to that which made the December 2000 judgement, and also very different to the bench which handed down the 2 July opinions. Not only is it led by a new Chief Justice – who has openly expressed sympathy with the ruling party – but the bench hearing the current case includes three very recently appointed judges, two of whom have benefited from past government schemes whereby land bought for resettlement has been divided up and leased, at very nominal rents, to Zanu PF supporters under a so-called "VIP resettlement" programme. Very few of the new tenants are actually farming these properties, and can not by any stretch of the language be described as poor landless peasants.

So, having brought this case to the Supreme Court, why did the Chief Justice make the statement he did? Why did he, and another of the Supreme Court judges, in effect say to the CFU, who are opposing the application, that the law is on their (the CFU’s) side? Why did he agree that the case - expected to conclude on Friday - could be adjourned until Wednesday next week to allow discussions between the government and the CFU? 

Various theories are making the rounds. Some legal sources say that after two days of hearing evidence of continuing human rights abuses and the subversion of the rule of law by the government and its agencies, it had become obvious that the Supreme Court could not hand down a judgement that the rule of law had been restored, and at the same time keep a straight face. Such a judgement would also have met with derision internationally. It may have also have been the case that wiser counsels abroad had warned of the consequences of pursuing the current Supreme Court case to a judgement. Others say this is yet another delaying tactic ahead of the Brisbane CHOGM, intended to give the impression that dialogue with commercial farmers is continuing – while on the ground the violence and land-grabs continue.

As ever, however, the real devil may lie in the detail – in this case another legal action taking place in parallel.

The current case was filed in the Supreme Court very shortly after the 2 July majority Supreme Court judgement ruling that no farms could be legally acquired by the government after 1 July. The actual hearing of the current case had been delayed and delayed, until Chief Justice Chidyausiku finally set down last Wednesday as the date for the case to begin. But there is also a parallel application before the courts, in which the government is seeking a postponement of the Supreme Court July interdict – which stopped any legal acquisition of land in its tracks – until after a judgement in the current Supreme Court case has been handed down.

Senior legal sources in Harare say that, if the parallel application for deferment of the July interdict is successful, then any decision in the current case can be postponed…and postponed…and postponed – in the meanwhile allowing the Administrative Court to resume hearing the complex and lengthy land acquisition process. Credence is given to this view by the sudden appearance within the last two weeks, on farms all over the country, of valuation teams from the Ministry of Lands who have been noting down arbitrary and incorrect estimates of improvements to farms for compensation purposes. The government has always maintained that there will be no compensation for the land itself – claiming that it was all stolen, despite the vast majority of farms having been bought since Independence in 1980, and with the deeds of sale accompanied by the mandatory "certificates of no interest" from the government stating that the farm in question was not required for resettlement purposes.

So Chief Justice Chidyausiku may not have undergone his own personal conversion on the road to Damascus. The august trappings of his office may not have brought about a sudden commitment to the rule of law and an independent judiciary. This latest legal twist seems to be yet another delaying tactic – a smokescreen of legal manoeuvring intended to obscure what is happening on the ground.

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From The Daily News, 21 September

UZ students in running battles with the police

Riot police, armed with teargas canisters and batons, yesterday fought running battles in the city centre with University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students who besieged the offices of the Ministry of Higher Education and Technology’s permanent secretary and Parliament building, demanding clarification on government funding for their education. In the morning, the riot police ordered out of the Old Mutual Centre 34 Students’ Executive Council (SEC) members who had besieged the office of the permanent secretary, Michael Mambo. He eventually held talks with nine students.

Tawanda Mangisi, the SEC treasurer, said Mambo told them his ministry was still talking to the banks and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to finalise the funding and fees policy. "Mambo said the financing players were delaying the process, but he maintained the guarantor would be the parent and I think most of the students will not like the idea," said Mangisi. The Students’ Representative Assembly vice-chairman, Otto Saki, said after they were chased by the police, the students returned to the campus for an emergency meeting with the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Levy Nyagura. They later went to the offices of the UZ Council chairman, Gideon Gono, at the Union Avenue branch of the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, where Gono is the managing director.

At first they were chased by the police, but later their representatives were allowed to meet him. In an interview, Gono said he held a meeting with Nyagura and three SEC representatives and it was agreed to give each student a relief fund of $5000 from the university’s vocational training fund. Gono said because the tuition and boarding fees at the university had been pegged at market related figures, his office, together with that of the relevant ministries, was mobilising financial resources to ensure the smooth running of student affairs. But this was not acceptable to the students who held a general meeting with the rest of their colleagues. The meeting agreed to continue the protest and present their demands to Parliament.

The students then went to Parliament building where they demanded to see the Speaker, Emmerson Mnangagwa, but they were again turned away by the police. Fidelis Mhashu, the MDC shadow minister of education, addressed the students briefly before they were again chased away by the baton-wielding police. The government recently increased tuition fees at all its institutions by 3 000 percent. The fees will go up from $3 000 to $28 000 a semester, while accommodation fees have shot up from $1 800 to $9 000. The government said that it was negotiating with a number of banks to provide students with loans. The students were angered by the slow progress in the negotiations.

From ZWNEWS, 22 September

UZ campus sealed off

On Friday afternoon, the police sealed off the University of Zimbabwe campus. No-one - even academic, technical and clerical staff who do not live on campus – was allowed to leave. There was little violence, according to sources caught on the campus, and lectures continued, but with reduced student numbers. Many small groups of students were standing around, waiting to get off campus, and all vehicles were turned back at the gates. "We are effectively being held hostage here at UZ. There is no notice from the administration of what is happening," said one of those trapped on the university’s grounds. The police action is believed to relate to an earlier incident in which a plain-clothes policeman was found to have infiltrated a student demonstration. It is believed he was assaulted when his identity was discovered.

From the CFU, 21 September

Surprise adjournment in Supreme Court case

A startling chain of events began to unfold in the Supreme Court, Harare today. The Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) has through its lawyers been locked in legal and constitutional arguments with the State, represented by the Deputy Attorney General Mr. Bharat Patel, since Wednesday, September 19 2001. It was after Advocate Adrian de Bourbon completed making his submissions today that Chief Justice Chidyausiku commented: "The break-down of the rule of law began with the invasions - therein lies the problem with the law and its application! The law is a product of the society. You are right on the legality, but is there justice? What is the morality of it all?" Advocate de Bourbon responded: "We would like a situation where this issue was depoliticised on both sides and if that can be brought about by this Court saying to both sides, stop being stupid, sit down and sort this out, then so be it."

It was after the luncheon adjournment that the CFU, through legal counsel delivered an ‘unprecedented’ request for time to dialogue with Government. Adv. de Bourbon argued that a premature ruling by the Court would undermine the understanding and intentions of the Abuja Accord. The request before the Court was to allow time for the CFU to engage the Government of Zimbabwe in meaningful discussion on the Accord and to then submit a proposal through the Supreme Court on a practical way forward. Advocate de Bourbon expressed willingness to address the need for justice to be felt to be done as Court orders could appear counter productive.

Speaking after the adjournment, David Hasluck, CFU Director said "The Union sees the Abuja Accord as the way forward. The litigation may not be over but the Union welcomes the postponement of the hearing to give both parties the opportunity to consider their positions. CFU still looks to Government to demonstrate its commitment to Abuja by action on the ground. For its own part, the Union will continue to encourage its members to support the Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative to provide Government and Zimbabweans with land for its resettlement requirements." Mr Hasluck conceded that many thought the CFU was being over-optimistic, but he argued that the development brought the Supreme Court in as a third party to the Abuja Accord. "The acceptance of the adjournment by the State and the Supreme Count can only lend new depth and seriousness to the dialogue over the next few days," he said. The Supreme Court, which is sitting as a Constitutional and Appeal Court, will reconvene on Wednesday 26th September at 9:30 am.

From The Zimbabwe Independent, 21 September

Violence continues on undesignated farms

A campaign of violence against white commercial farmers continues unabated on undesignated farms with war veterans forcing farmers to pack their bags and go despite government’s commitment to abide by the Abuja agreement to respect the rule of law and take firm action against violence and intimidation. An American tourist on a hunting safari at a private game park in the Karoi area was attacked and beaten by war veterans at one of their bases at Maunga Farm. The Independent’s investigations in the Mashonaland West commercial farming area revealed that war veterans and other invaders were being aided in their terror campaign by prominent politicians who have urged them not to worry about the Abuja agreement. Thousands of farm workers will be unemployed by the end of this month as farmers who have not begun operations due to the continued work stoppages are due to commence negotiations with the national employment council on how to lay off workers.

Commercial farmers that spoke to the Independent said senior politicians were operating in cahoots with army officers, the police and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officers to spread terror and evict the farmers. Members of the CIO had settled on properties evacuated by the farmers and assumed ownership of abandoned farmhouses. The Karoi officer-in-charge for the CIO, a Mrs Munakandafa, is now the proud owner of the farmhouse and a plot at Nyambizi Farm which was left by Sven Johnson who abandoned it at the peak of the farm invasions last year. A retired Zimbabwe National Army major, Mati, has a plot on the same farm. A CFU official told the Independent that the farm measured about 1 500ha and mainly produced tobacco. The Independent phoned the CIO office in Karoi yesterday but Munakandafa was reportedly out. Officer commanding Mashonaland West province Snr Assistant Comm Munoriyarwa told the Independent he was not prepared to give interviews to people over the phone and referred all questions to police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena. Bvudzijena said he was not aware there were invaders on undesignated farms and advised the reporter to contact him later.

One war veteran, Japhet Makuwerere, has comfortably settled himself at the Maunga Farm farmhouse in Karoi. The owner of the farm, Anthony Mills, was forcibly evicted from the farm. Mills told the Independent that he was unable to access his farmhouse and the property that he left. "They broke into my compound when I left and looted chemicals, fertilisers, welders, compressors and other machinery worth about $1 million," Mills said. Mills yesterday said he now needed a police escort to go back to the farm. An American tourist, John Ulriech, who had come to hunt at Momba Game Park, was abducted and beaten by war veterans last month. Mills’ Maunga Farm is adjacent to Monga Game Park. "They abducted him when he had just returned from shopping. When he was about to enter the gate, they stopped his car, made him lie on the ground, beat his feet and took him to Maunga Farm, their base," Mills said. "The police were called in and they took John to the Department of National Parks," he said. "He had all the documentation needed from the Department of National Parks but the war veterans harassed him. It is a very painful incident and is another blow to the country’s attempts to woo tourists," Mills said. Of the 350 animals at Monga Game Park, owned by Terry Smit, only 150 were now left. "We have reported these incidents of poaching and theft countless numbers of times but the police insisted that it was political," Mills said. "Makuwere is armed with a 303 rifle and he is behind all this but they have not done anything," he added.

Kuda Chitomba (33), a farm worker at Whindale Farm, told the Independent that the farm, owned by Torbern Hansen, was not designated but war veterans continued creating work stoppages and harassing farm workers. "A copy of the Abuja agreement was circulated to the invaders but they said it had nothing to do with them," he added. "The District Administrator is aware of this but nothing has changed. It has got worse," he said. Marshall Roper of Pevrel Farm told the Independent that he contested the designation of his farm, but he had not received any response and was not sure whether to proceed with farming this season. "What is happening is illegal. They are pegging on the farm and I can’t do anything, there is no progress," he said. Roper said that his irrigation pipe was vandalised on August 30. He said that he called in the army and the police to assist but when he came back to the farm the war veterans, led by one Matinere, "had started burning houses in my compound and beating my labourers". The war veterans burnt 43 houses belonging to the farm workers until the Support Unit and the police defused the situation.

From The Daily News, 21 September

US action on Mugabe imminent

The United States, still smarting from fatal terrorist attacks last week, says despite the tragedy, it would still take appropriate action against Zimbabwe because of recurrent State-sanctioned violence. Speaking from Washington via satellite yesterday, William Bellamy, the US acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, virtually signalled the impending imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe unless the situation changed. He was responding to a question on the fate of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Bill, after the terrorist attacks in which hijackers on three civilian planes rammed into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, while a fourth crashed into the ground on 11 September.

The Bill, seeking to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe, was to be tabled before Congress this month. "I can’t say what action Congress will take on that piece of legislation," he said, "but concern in the US over events in Zimbabwe remains high." Bellamy, accusing the Mugabe government of fomenting lawlessness, said action against Zimbabwe was almost certain. "We are concerned by the violence orchestrated by the government of Zimbabwe, and the political repression," he said. "The concerns remain foremost. And I must say there is consensus between the US administration and Congress for an appropriate response on Zimbabwe."

Political violence and lawlessness have continued, particularly on the farms, despite the signing of the Abuja agreement between Zimbabwe and Britain in Nigeria on 6 September. Under the deal, the government agreed to stop further occupation of farms, to speed up de-listing of farms which do not meet set criteria, to remove invaders from undesignated farms, to respect human rights and to restore the rule of law in the process of land reform. However, lawlessness and human rights violations persist. The Bill will restrict travel to the US for Mugabe, his immediate family, Cabinet ministers, government and Zanu PF officials implicated in political violence.

From BBC News, 22 September

Violence blights Zimbabwe poll

Voters in a rural constituency in Zimbabwe go to the polls this weekend in an important test of the government's recent commitment to stop political violence. But human rights groups in Zimbabwe say that the run-up to the vote has been marred by murder and intimidation. Two weeks ago in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, the Zimbabwean Government pledged to stop political violence and illegal farm invasions in return for a promise from the British authorities to help fund land reform. But while the attention of the world has been elsewhere, both the violence and the invasions are continuing.

This weekend's by-election is in Chikomba, south of the capital Harare. The seat was held by Chenjerai Hunzvi, the leader of the pro-government war veterans, who died in June. Mr Hunzvi was accused of using violence and intimidation to win his seat. But a coalition of Zimbabwean human rights groups say that the political climate in Chikomba has scarcely improved since his death. In a report released on Wednesday they allege that one opposition supporter has been murdered and several others tortured in the run-up to the poll. They also say that the leading opposition candidate has received death threats. The Abuja agreement was meant to restore peace to Zimbabwe, but there is no sign yet of an improvement.

From ZWNEWS: If you would like to read the report on violence in Chikomba referred to above, please let us know. It will be sent as a Word attachment to an email message – size 110 Kb, or roughly twice the size of the average daily newsletter. It can also be seen on our website – – under Reports in the Human Rights section.

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Africaonline cost me $24,000.00 for the year, and only after about 8 months i was charged another $4000.00
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Three weeks ago a 5kg block of margerine cost Z$280, last week the same brand, in the same shop cost Z$324, yesterday it cost Z$520

The minimum wage for a domestic worker in Zimbabwe is 2070.00Z$ ($77 AUD $37 USD) per month
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