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

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Zim Independent
War against the people

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is reported to have informed United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan that he would not allow the UN to use non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to assist with food relief efforts in Zimbabwe because "these tended to politicise humanitarian assistance".

Mugabe's comments underline once again his indifference towards the suffering in Zimbabwe. Even in countries ravaged by civil strife NGOs are permitted to engage in humanitarian relief efforts.

Operation Murambatsvina and the continued obstinancy of the Mugabe government on the issue of securing food relief provide further confirmation that this is a government consciously waging war against its own people, especially the weak, the poor and the needy.

There is indeed widespread politicisation of humanitarian assistance in Zimbabwe but this is not committed by NGOs; it is committed by ruling party officials and the traditional structures.

Mugabe even had the temerity to suggest to Annan that the UN could use the traditional structures to assist in food relief efforts. He failed to mention that in many parts of Zimbabwe traditional leaders have been at the vanguard of food aid manipulation. Traditional structures have by and large been co-opted into the structures of the ruling party.

Zimbabwe desperately needs food aid. Aid agencies have estimated that nearly five million people are suffering from chronic food shortages. Mugabe, however, is unaware of the magnitude of the crisis.

He has never visited any of the areas or met any of the people suffering from hunger. The only time he meets "the public" is when he stands on the podium at ostentatious Zanu PF rallies ranting about Tony Blair.

Mugabe is dangerously out of touch with reality, as demonstrated last year when he claimed over and over again that Zimbabwe was on course to produce a record maize crop of 2,5 million tonnes.

The man is deluded and Zimbabweans are paying a high price for this delusion. He may still be a hero to a number of African leaders but to the starving people on the ground he is playing Russian roulette with their lives.

We urge Annan not to be misled by Mugabe and to apply the necessary diplomatic pressure to ensure that food aid is delivered to the needy expeditiously.

Paul Themba Nyathi,

MDC information secretary.

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Gulf Times
Zimbabwe cancels 4,000 farm deeds

Published: Saturday, 24 September, 2005, 10:37 AM Doha Time

HARARE: The Zimbabwean government has ordered the cancellation of title
deeds for over 4,000 white-owned farms and vowed to take over all remaining
white farms, a newspaper said on Friday.
Patrick Chinamasa told reporters in the capital Harare that the cancellation
of the deeds follows last month’s constitutional amendments barring white
farmers from appealing to the courts against the government’s seizure of
their land, the Herald newspaper said.
“Government has directed the Registrar of Deeds to immediately nullify all
title deeds to the 4,000 farms which have been nationalised,” the Herald
Most of the farmers who had lost their land had challenged the takeovers in
But last month lawmakers from President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party used their
parliamentary majority to force through changes to the constitution which
make all agricultural land state property.
Agricultural production in Zimbabwe, once known as the breadbasket of
southern Africa, has plunged dramatically in the years following the seizure
of commercial farms for redistribution to new black farmers. – DPA
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Zim Independent
West still major trading partner despite Look East policy
Shakeman Mugari

EUROPE, America and Africa remain Zimbabwe's major trading partners despite government's Look East thrust, latest figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) reveal.

The figures show that local companies are still exporting the bulk of their products to traditional markets. Although the Look East policy started three years ago, the numbers indicate that there is very little business going on between Zimbabwe and Asian countries which are the major focus of the policy.

Central bank numbers show that for the six months to June this year Africa and Europe made up a combined 81,37% of Zimbabwe's exports. The country exported goods worth US$801 million during the same period with Africa taking up US$330 million (41,12%) while goods worth US$323 million (40,25%) going to Europe.

Trade between Zimbabwe and the United States amounted to US$22 million (2,84%) while Australia and Canada imported goods worth a combined US$2,3 million (about 0,30%).

The figures show that the trend is unlikely to change by year-end and that local companies remain heavily reliant on the same traditional markets. Europe is still doing significant business with Zimbabwe despite the political standoff.

South Africa remains Zimbabwe's largest trading partner in Africa while the EU countries and Britain are the major destinations for the country's exports to Europe. China, which is the major target of the Look East policy, is lumped with many other countries under the "others" section which, according to the figures has so far contributed a combined US$124 million (15,49%) in foreign currency to Zimbabwe.

Last year Zimbabwe earned US$1,7 billion with Europe and Africa being the main exports destinations. African countries took up 40,43% of the exports while 36,34% of exports went to Europe and 4,16% to the US.

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24th September 2005
Following our recent appeal for funds to buy fuel to pump water into the dry pans in Hwange, we would like to thank all the people who very kindly assisted us.
Castrol Zimbabwe donated 25 empty drums to us and we managed to acquire 7 000 litres of diesel which we took up to Hwange. We were donated the use of a 7 ton truck by the Pioneer Corporation which we used to transport the fuel to Hwange. 
We delivered the fuel to The Hide in Hwange National Park where Barry Wolhuter very kindly offered to monitor and distribute the fuel to the dry water holes which is a huge undertaking in view of the great distances between pans and we are very grateful to him. Barry has been updating us daily on the distribution of the fuel and he has sent us reports on the reaction of the animals to the sudden appearance of water in the pans. He has taken photos which we will circulate as soon as we receive them.
The water hole at Inyantuie was bone dry and Barry says it was a "sight to be seen" when the pump engine started. The animals literally poured out of the surrounding bush when they heard the sound of the engine. The smaller animals didn't have much chance to drink  because the elephants, obviously extremely thirsty, were throwing their weight around.
There are 2 pumps at Inyantuie but Barry and 2 National Parks employees, Mafu and Khanye found that the second one wasn't working. A special thank you to Mafu and Khanye who worked all through the night to repair the pump engine. They finally fired it up at 10 o'clock the next morning.
Barry had problems though when the second pump started working. The water flows into a trough first and then overflows into the pan but it was not able to reach the pan because of the queue of elephants fighting for it there. Barry had to keep  driving the elephants away to allow the water to overflow so that the impala, warthogs, kudu, sable and baboons, who were waiting by the pan could have a drink. One kudu cow was so thirsty that she took a chance and went right into the middle of the elephants and managed a few sips before being smacked out of the way. 
So far, as of yesterday, water is being pumped into 9 of the dry waterholes and the scene has been much the same at all of the pans as it was at Inyantuie. We would like to thank all the people who responded to our appeal and made this possible. Unfortunately, though, the crisis is not yet over. The diesel we took up to Hwange is only going to last another week or so and then the pans will dry up again so we are now working on taking up a second load of 15 000 litres and we hope this will last until the rains start.
If anyone is able to assist with the second load of fuel, we would be very grateful - our contact details are below.
We have attached some photos of our trip up to Hwange which show the truck loaded with drums, fuel being pumped into the drums, our arrival at Hwange National Park gate, offloading the fuel at The Hide and one of the dry pans we drove past.
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Phone       263 4 336710
Fax           263 4 339065
Mobile       263 11 603 213

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IMF says will verify sources of Zimbabwe payment

published:Fri 23-Sep-2005

"The board has asked us to get back to them to verify the source of the
funds. It is something we need to talk to the authorities about"

Washington - The International Monetary Fund said on Friday it plans to
verify the source of a $120 million payment by Zimbabwe to the global lender
last month in a bid by the country to pay down its IMF arrears. Our
understanding right now is that this was a voluntary submission of proceeds
(from export receipts)," Siddharth Tiwari, deputy director in the IMF's
Africa Department, told a news conference. "The (IMF) board has asked us to
get back to them to verify the source of the funds. It is something we need
to talk to the authorities about," he added.
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Zimbabwe Central Bank Issues Gloomy Food Report By Blessing Zulu
23 September 2005

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono has broken ranks with the
Harare government and warned the country to brace for drought and reduced
harvests in the coming agricultural season, drawing the ire of some top
cabinet officials.
This forecast in a recent central bank study has put Dr. Gono at odds with
officials the likes of State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa – also in
charge of food security - as Zimbabwe's ability to feed its people has
become a charged political issue.
The central bank report on grain financing and pricing says shortages of
funding and limited foreign exchange are likely to depress maize production
this year to 750,000 metric tons, less than half the 1.8 million tons needed
to meet Zimbabwe's needs.
Projected wheat production at 120,000 tonnes will also fall short of the
400,000 tonnes which the country needs, according to the Reserve Bank
Despite such forecasts, which roughly square with those from the
international agencies monitoring Southern African food supplies, Harare has
steadfastly refused to formally request food assistance from the United
Nations World Food Program.
Reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe turned to
Johannesburg-based analyst Obri Mashique for perspective on this divergence
of official views.
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United Press

U.S. tightens Zimbabwe policy

HARARE, Zimbabwe, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Zimbabwe's Financial Gazette said children of high-ranking ZANU-PF officials will be included in the expanded U.S sanctions list.

U.S. government officials said that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice voiced her concerns with Zimbabwe during a meeting with South African president Thabo Mbeki at last week's United Nations General Assembly meeting. According to insiders, potential sanctions would include travel bans covering immediate family members.

In response Zimbabwe assembled a list of its critics who will be banned from traveling abroad.

The United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2000 following the divisive parliamentary polls that were marred by serious acts of violence.

"We are certainly not happy with what is going on in Zimbabwe. There's discussion to tighten the personal sanctions on the regime by including families members, especially children of ZANU-PF members that are in US colleges and universities," said a staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Zim Independent
Imara upbeat on Zim's prospects
Dumisani Muleya

IMARA Asset Management Zimbabwe says Zimbabwe would retain its 12% weighting in a new investment fund targeted primarily at European and American investors.

This should come as rare good news for a country overwhelmed with negative publicity at home and abroad due to a prevailing political and economic crisis.

The Imara African Opportunities Fund was launched at the end of June by the firm, an independent financial services group based in Botswana and has offices across southern African. The fund is an open-ended offshore facility registered and licensed in the British Virgin Islands.

The Fund's managers are mandated to take equity positions in cash-generative companies across Africa, including South Africa, Botswana, Egypt, Malawi, Mauritius, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Imara Group has asset management, corporate finance and stock broking operations in southern Africa, including in South Africa. The group has more than US$150 million under management in southern Africa and its corporate advisory division has raised more than US$1 billion for sub-Saharan corporations.

Lead fund manager John Legat, CEO Imara Asset Management Zimbabwe, said the initiative had attracted attention from investors in Europe and North America.

However, Zimbabwe's economic woes and the humanitarian crisis caused by the widely condemned demolition of shantytowns and informal businesses have caused panic among investors.

"Zimbabwe's current economic situation is well known internationally which is why it's stock market trades at very low levels," Legat said.

"Should the economics in Zimbabwe change in the future the stock market will experience a sharp re-rating. For the time being the exposure is 12% in the Imara African Opportunities Fund but this will be increased should the country embark on a credible economic reform programme."

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange - with 88 listed counters - is still one of the best developed in the region although it recently came close to a collapsed after investors boycotted the bourse it protests against "extortionist taxes".

"Zimbabwe is therefore one of the few countries where asset prices are low and offer good value yet the financial system is relatively well-developed," Legat said.

Legat believes Zimbabwe's long-term prospects are bright despite the current problems.

"Zimbabwe still has much to offer - the tourism industry is already well developed and Zimbabwe's mineral resources could be rapidly developed, especially platinum, gold, coal, chrome and natural gas," he said.

"Zimbabwe justifies its place in our fund and Imara - in view of our strong presence in the country - is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities for the benefit of our investors."

Legat said a number of African economies were registering good growth rates and Zimbabwe should be able to do so once it recovers from the crisis.

"Economic growth rates of 5-10% are being achieved in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania, to name but a few. The authorities in countries such as these are keeping inflation under control while offering relatively stable exchange rates. They have embarked on wide-ranging economic reforms and are beginning to see the results," he said.

"When Zimbabwe joins the ranks of these reform-minded countries, the weighting within the fund will rise to reflect its improved prospects for economic recovery. We remain confident that Zimbabwe's long-term prospects are good, notwithstanding its current serious difficulties."

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Zim Independent
Zim whitewashed

INDIA, inspired by Irfan Pathan's match haul of 12-126, hammered Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the second and final Test at Harare Sports Club to win the series 2-0.

In losing, a hopelessly outclassed Zimbabwean outfit could at least take some pleasure in breaking a sequence of five innings defeats in succession on home soil.

Set to make 205 runs for this purpose, Zimbabwe made 223 in their second innings, leaving India a paltry 19 runs to get to seal victory.

All-rounder Andy Blignaut at least provided the home support with something to cheer about, blasting a breezy 84 not out off 93 balls after coming to the crease with Zimbabwe at a precarious 85-6.

Blignaut survived five dropped catches during his innings but that did not detract from the invaluable 116-run partnership he put on for the seventh wicket with Hamilton Mazakadsa, who eventually fell lbw to Pathan for 71. -- AFP.

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Zim Independent
Zimplats threatens closure
Godfrey Marawanyika

THE country's platinum mining giant Zimplats has threatened to stop production because of a US$16,6 million ($400 billion) withholding tax dispute with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), the Zimbabwe Independent has established.

Of major concern to the white-gold extracting firm is that the government is now reneging on an agreement struck with previous Mines ministers, Sydney Sekeremayi and Edward Chindori-Chininga, on the tax exemption.

The state's sudden u-turn on the issue has resulted in the holding company of Zimplats, South African-based Implats, seeking the intervention of Vice-President Joseph Msika.

According to documents to hand, one key condition of the investment was that the miner would be exempt from paying withholding tax. This provision does not however exist in the country's statutes which has prompted Zimra to demand the tax.

Zimplats chief executive officer Greg Sebborn last Thursday wrote to Mines Permanent Secretary Thabani Ndlovu to remind government of the international agreement signed by Zimbabwe, Hartley Platinum represented by BHP, and themselves.

He said that should Zimra carry out its threat to force the company to comply with their demands, operations will have to stop since the company would be unable to meet ongoing costs.

"The impact of this will be severe, not only on Zimplats' operations but on investor perceptions in general," Sebborn said.

"A possible re-start will be difficult in view of the cooling and freezing of the furnace which would require considerable time and cost to re-start."

Zimplats revived platinum mining in Chegutu after BHP pulled out in June 1999 citing viability problems.

Sebborn said that the agreement was specifically crafted to attract large-scale investment in the country.

"In this regard, specific issues were included in the agreement in order to ensure that investors were not penalised by investing large sums of foreign capital in new assets within Zimbabwe, especially in view of the long-term risks and payback periods," Sebborn said.

"Such clauses include an exemption from sales tax on new capital goods, thereby ensuring that capital costs were competitive worldwide, and an exemption from withholding tax on dividends, thereby ensuring that equity funding costs were not inflated to the point where investment became unviable," he said

"The agreement is clear in terms of the obligations of all the parties," he said, "and in the agreement government undertook to give effect to its obligations by way of amending legislation where necessary."

Sebborn noted that with regard to the withholding tax on dividends, the promised amendments to legislation have not been promulgated into law.

According to the letter, Sebborn said at a meeting between Zimplats, Msika and the Minister of Mines, Amos Midzi, held on Wednesday last week, "it was once again stated that our agreement should and would be honoured.".

"Today, 15 September 2005, Zimra have insisted that Zimplats pay US$16,6 million immediately for dividend tax (US$3,2 million) and penalties and interest (US$13,4 million) failing which they will take immediate unspecified action to ensure compliance with their demands," Sebborn said.

"Zimplats now finds itself in a situation where it is under pressure from Zimra to meet obligations from which it had been explicitly exempted in both the original Mining Agreement with government and subsequent assurances from the Ministry of Mines," he said.

Currently withholding tax is 20%, but critics have noted that it is too high and discourages savings.

Last Wednesday, Implats chief executive officer Keith Rumble wrote to Msika expressing concern that Zimra was now hitting them below the belt contrary to the original agreement.

"Shortly after our meeting yesterday, Zimra demanded payment of US$16,6 million of which US$13,4 million is by way of penalties dating back to 28 January 2003 for dividend tax, failing which they intend to immediately take unspecified action against the company," Rumble said.

"As I am sure you will agree, this action runs contrary to the signed agreement, and to all the assurances given by your government to date. The effect of the unspecified action to force the company to comply with Zimra's demands would be to shut down the operations since the costs would not be met."

Since BHP closed in 2000, the country has not had any significant investment because of the high perceived political and business risk.

Zimplats' pending operations have been hailed by the government as suggesting confidence in Zimbabwe by external investors.

Rumble appealed to Msika that the issue be resolved as a matter of urgency, pledging that his company would work constructively with the government to ensure that operations are not affected and that investor "perceptions remain positive".

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Zim Independent
Media workers want MIC disbanded
Augustine Mukaro

STAKEHOLDERS in the media sector have called for the disbandment of the Media and Information Commission (MIC) saying it has failed to come up with a code of conduct and was not properly constituted.

In a joint submission to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Communications on Monday, the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, Misa-Zimbabwe and the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe said the MIC has seriously undermined the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression and media.

"The MIC is mandated to, among other things, ensure that Zimbabweans have access to information and effective control of mass order to foster freedom of expression in Zimbabwe," their presentation says, adding: "The MIC has in fact done the opposite."

In the three years since its inception, the MIC has shut down and denied an operating licence to the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, publishers of The Daily News and The Daily News on Sunday.

It also suspended The Tribune's operating licence in June 2004 and has not reinstated it after its one-year suspension lapsed.

"The reasons given by the MIC for the denial of a licence and/or closure of these media outlets in our opinion do not override the fundamental constitutional right to freedom of expression," the stakeholders said.

They said the MIC has also failed to come up with, or enforce professional and ethical standards in the mass media to ensure accurate, balanced and unbiased reporting by the media and the development of a media that upholds professional and ethical codes of conduct.

"It has been three years since the MIC was established but it has not come up with any publicly-known code of conduct. This is a dereliction of duty and we therefore submit it to you that the MIC has no basis for regulating the journalism profession because it does not have guidelines," their submission said.

"Even if the MIC had met these requirements, we are concerned with the manner in which the commission was appointed and the background of those who sit on the commission's board (who) neither represent journalists nor publishers who should have a say in the regulation of the media.

Therefore, the MIC is not a professional body and should not preside over the regulation of the journalism profession. Journalism like any other profession should be left to regulate itself."

The stakeholders recommended that the media should be regulated through a voluntary Media Council run by media practitioners and publishers.

"With the aim of reviewing media policies to be consistent with the constitutionally guaranteed and accepted norms of democratic practice, Aippa should be repealed or extensively amended to do away with the MIC and transform the legislation into a genuine access to information law instead of the current situation where it stifles access and undermines freedom of expression. The regulation of the journalism profession should be left to a voluntary Media Council run by media practitioners and publishers," the stakeholders said.

Misa and the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum, together with other stakeholders, have already proposed such a council.

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Zim Independent
Cracks widen at Mirror
Dumisani Muleya

INFIGHTING at the Zimbabwe Mirror Newspapers Group is escalating in the aftermath of disclosures about its ownership, with the company now run by rival factions.

This came amid reports that the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) this week summoned Mirror CEO Ibbo Mandaza to discuss an audit report which unearthed financial improprieties at the Mirror.

The CIO has reportedly taken over the Mirror titles, the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror, as well as the Financial Gazette using public funds stashed at a local bank. The intelligence network also has vast media interests elsewhere as part of its covert campaign to win hearts and minds.

The Mirror reportedly secured $38 billion from the central bank although some of the money came from the CIO. A forensic report by Ernst & Young is said to have discovered financial misappropriation at the media house. The CIO were understood to have summoned Mandaza to discuss this.

"The report is so damning," a source said. "Mandaza is said to have gone to the company bankers and removed his managers as signatories so that he can withdraw all the monies after the board took a resolution that no payment shall be made without express authority of the chairman," a source said.

"In the process more than $1,6 billion is said to have been withdrawn from the CBZ (Jewel) Bank Kaguvi Branch account. The company is likely to have difficulties in paying September salaries due to the financial crisis."

Sources said the CIO was slowly turning the financial screws on the company and the workers could end up caught in the crackdown. Members of journalists' associations said they were concerned about the possible plight of the workers.

In reaction to last week's "board meeting" convened by Mandaza and his faction, the group's board chairman, Jonathan Kadzura, held a counter board meeting with directors last Thursday. Kadzura and his group were "fired" by Mandaza although they represent the interests of the major shareholder.

After a series of dramatic events at the Mirror, the Mandaza camp was said to be trying to tighten its grip on the administration and management of the company, while the Kadzura faction was fighting to retain overall control.

Sources said after the Mandaza group, comprising Ambassador Buzwani Mothobi, now acting chair, and Amy Tsanga, met last week, Kadzura and his camp came together to plot counter measures to re-establish control.

Kadzura's group includes Thomas James Meke, John Marangwanda, Charm Ndaba Mukuwane, and Alexander Kanengoni - who worked for the CIO - representing the main shareholder.

The other directors Joyce Kazembe, Tendai Mangezi and Musi Khumalo have resigned. Kadzura said last week he would issue a "comprehensive statement" on the matter.

Sources said the Mirror war, triggered by medigate disclosures, centred on "money, control and influence".

"Following a fallout with the major shareholder, Mandaza reconstituted the Mirror board as consisting only of those on his side," a source said. "He is unilaterally disowning the Shareholders' Agreement which was brokered by a lawyer called Kassim (the same attorney who brokered the Financial Gazette deal) at the Gallop Building (corner Herbert Chitepo and Sam Nujoma streets)."

The bone of contention at the Mirror, the source said, started over the issue of loans after the company was taken over and about Mandaza's status after he sold a major stake in it.

"The company loans are still being secured by his personal property. The major shareholder did not do that and Mandaza is now claiming those are the grounds of the collapse of the agreement since each shareholder was supposed to secure company loans in proportion to one's shareholding," the source said.

"The agreement specifies that Mandaza shall be the publisher, CEO, and editor-in-chief. He has wielded too much power as if he is still the major shareholder and that's where the battle for control stems from."

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Zim Independent
Deteriorating standards

I WOULD like to raise my concern over the deterioration in reporting standards at the Zimbabwe Independent. While acknowledging that your newspaper is on occasion the source of breaking and riveting reports, I cannot help but notice some compromise in generally accepted reporting standards.

Articles published in the September 9 issue of the Zimbabwe Independent bear testimony to this observation.

The story "Gono in US to plead Zimbabwe's case" was filled with incorrect information, issues which your reporter should have verified before going to press. The article alleged that Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono had travelled with a high-powered delegation that included two deputy governors, Charity Dhliwayo and Nicholas Ncube.

It turned out though, through other media reports, that Gono had only travelled with one other person, who was Dhliwayo. It was unfortunate that your reporter felt he had to massage the facts to sensationalise an otherwise factual report.

Another paragraph in the same article suggested that Munyaradzi Kereke had travelled to South Africa to negotiate a loan for the country, yet my cousin who is employed by the central bank is certain that the individual did not travel anywhere.

Similar distortions were evident in an article entitled "CZI bosses slam Reserve Bank", which maintained that Ncube had travelled to Washington at a time when he was in Zimbabwe at a funeral.

I think that your newspaper should never assume that we are naïve and unaware of developments on the ground.

Mr Editor, do not take us for granted but instead give us some factual news. There is no excuse for such errors especially since information can always be verified.

Obert Mukuti,


 The error is regretted. - Editor.

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Business Day
New wave of farm evictions sweeps eastern Zimbabwe
Dumisani Muleya

Harare Correspondent

A NEW wave of land seizures has hit Zimbabwe as the government enters the
final stage of a campaign to evict the last remaining white commercial
farmers from their properties after nationalising the country’s land.
The latest wave has hit eastern Zimbabwe, especially Chipinge district,
where farmers are now being forced out. Gangs of Zanu (PF) militia backed by
police overran at least two farms this week, beating and threatening farmers
and managers before chasing them off the land.
“All title deeds of the farmers have been cancelled, with the British
government having sole responsibility to compensate the evicted farmers,”
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on state radio yesterday.
Chinamasa said a constitutional amendment that President Robert Mugabe
signed on August 30, stripping land owners of their right to appeal against
state expropriation, had “finally settled the land question in Zimbabwe”.
Zimbabwe has accused former colonial power Britain of creating economic and
political trouble. Mugabe also has accused white Zimbabweans of
orchestrating political opposition.
Farmers interviewed this week said they feared a “mop-up campaign” was under
way to flush them out. They said they feared the “final push” could be
motivated by “ethnic cleansing” designs.
Gideon Mostert and his wife were on Tuesday night forced off their land in
New Castle farm in Chipinge after an invasion by a ruling Zanu (PF) gang and
state security officials.
Mostert said it was a harrowing experience to be forced off his land under
threats of violence.
“I was pushed out on Tuesday night by local Zanu (PF) agents and a
Zimbabwean diplomat based in London, Dr Win Mlambo,” he said. “I’m now
living in a caravan at the backyard of a friend’s house. The group phoned me
at 8pm on Tuesday and told me to vacate the farm.”
Mostert said the invaders arrived shortly after 10pm, and forced him to
leave immediately.
“They came in and threatened to attack us if we didn’t leave.
“We had no choice .... The group, which had about eight security agents and
12 activists, kept on saying: ‘Hurry up, hurry up, time is not on your side’.”
Canadian coffee-farm owner David Wilding-Davies and his South African
manager, Allan Warner, were allowed by doctors to go home yesterday after
receiving treatment for injuries they suffered when they were beaten the day
before by a gang trying forcing them off Liliesvlei farm.
The attack was the first since Didymus Mutasa, head of Mugabe’s Central
Intelligence Organisation, described remaining white farmers as “filth” and
said he would “rid the country of remaining whites”.
Chipinge Farmers Association chairman Irvine Stone said Wilding-Davies was
raided during the night at his Brackenridge farm by an aggressive gang. He
said Warner was “severely beaten”, and that gun shots were fired over his
head during the attack.
The Commercial Farmers Union said disturbances were still rampant on the
farms. Farmers were still being pushed out or their operations being
Mugabe ordered the seizure of 4000 mostly white-owned commercial farms
starting in February 2000. Until 2000, whites farmed 17% of the country and
earned most of its export revenue. Farming was the backbone of an economy
now in free fall.
Chinamasa said that there was now an appreciation in the SA government that
Zimbabwe’s land grabs were effective in addressing land inequalities.
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Zim Independent
Thank you Zinwa boss

I WISH to thank Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) board chairman Willie Muringani (Independent, September 16) for putting me straight on the water situation in Harare.

There I was thinking that it was the responsibility of Zinwa to deliver water to residents. Now I am informed that the problem is that I am actually to blame for wanting too much water!

The "I-am-not-the-one" syndrome has scaled new heights!

PT Bradley,


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