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Financial Gazette (Zim) 21 September 2000

Companies & Markets: Zim dollar heads towards black market rate
National Report: Bloodbath seen in 2002 presidential election
National Report: Cattle producers move herds to undesignated farms
National Report: EU holds aid over rule of law
National Report: Govt to close embassies
National Report: Nkomo recalls Dube
National Report: "Exiled" govt official has no bitter feelings
National Report: Court throws out bid to gag Fingaz

Thursday 21 September, 2000

Companies & Markets

Zim dollar heads towards black market rate
Staff Reporter
THE Zimbabwe dollar, which weakened further at the end of last week to
$52,45 against one American greenback from $51,85, is likely to reach
the parallel market rate of $65 to one US unit by the end of this year,
foreign exchange traders said this week.

Forex dealers said they expected the central bank to continue with its
devaluation of the local currency until the exchange rate was equal to
that on the black market.

"What’s likely to happen is that the Reserve Bank will just keep on with
these small unannounced devaluations just to throw off speculators until
the local currency gets to the same rate as the parallel market," one
foreign currency dealer told the Financial Gazette.

Since Finance and Economic Development Minister Simba Makoni announced a
24 percent devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar from $38 to $50 against
the greenback last month, there have been three further discreet

The local currency weakened three percent from $50 to $51,50 at the
beginning of September before falling 0,675 percent to $51,85 on Tuesday
last week and a further 1,14 percent on Friday.

"This is what is normally called a crawling peg and it has its
advantages and disadvantages," said an analyst with Sagit Stockbrokers.
"It might cause more speculation but it’s good because it gives some
breathing space for exporters, especially those exporting gold and

"But those who get paid at the official exchange rate might find it more
difficult to plan because they don’t know when the rate will be changing

However, the analysts said although the central bank could bring the
official exchange rate to the same level as that on the parallel market
through the continuation of the devaluations, black market rates were
likely to rise further once the tobacco auction floors closed in

Closure of the auction floors, the analysts said, would result in a
drying up of hard currency inflows, worsening forex shortages and
increasing trade on the parallel market.

So far the devaluations have failed to completely eliminate trade on the
parallel market, the analysts noted.

"The new levels being set for the Zim dollar are unsustainable. A new
parallel market will develop very quickly in whatever shape or form, if
it hasn’t already," CFX Bureaux de Change said in its weekly market

"The market will go where it wants to. You cannot control it as we
should know by now. In light of the current collapse of the economy,
this parallel rate is expected to move rapidly upwards, especially after
the tobacco floors close in early November."

This would necessitate further devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar to
discourage the parallel market, the forex dealers said.

The analysts said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe would only be able to
completely eliminate the parallel market when the country’s hard
currency reserves improved significantly but, without balance of
payments support, this was not expected to happen in the near future.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which suspended disbursement of a
US$193 million ($10,1 billion) credit facility last year, has indicated
it will not resume balance of payments aid until the government resolves
macroeconomic and governance issues.

Without a vote of confidence from the IMF, Zimbabwe is unlikely to see
the release of other balance of payments packages frozen when the
Bretton Woods institution suspended its credit facility.

"To get rid of the parallel market, we need to have a lot of inflows,
not necessarily through exports, but maybe from international aid, to
beef up our reserves," Zimbabwe Financial Holdings chief economist
Joseph Muzulu told the Financial Gazette.

"Devaluation on its own may not get rid of the parallel market, we need
complimentary policies."


Thursday 21 September, 2000

National Report

Bloodbath seen in 2002 presidential election
David Masunda, Deputy Editor-in-Chief

LEADING Zimbabwean opinion-makers this week said the 2002 presidential
election could be the bloodiest should President Robert Mugabe decide to
stand for re-election.

The analysts said last Monday’s bombing of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) offices in Harare might be a harbinger of
terrible news: more violence during the presidential poll than that
which accompanied the watershed June 24-25 general election.

A grenade exploded out-side the MDC offices in Harare’s Avenues area
last Monday night damaging two vehicles and shattering windows.

No one was injured in the blast but the MDC immediately accused the
ruling ZANU PF party of using unlawful means to undermine the party
ahead of the 2002 presidential election. The government retaliated by
saying the MDC had bombed its own offices.

Learnmore Jongwe, MDC’s spokesman, said the bombing of his party’s
offices was part of a terror campaign against the MDC as it prepares for
the presidential plebiscite.

More than 30 people — many of them MDC supporters — were killed in
violence that engulfed Zimbabwe ahead of the June poll.

The highly contested election was won by the ruling ZANU PF party by a
slim majority after a spirited challenge from the young, labour-backed

Experts this week pointed out that the stakes were even higher in 2002
when ZANU PF faces its next real challenge from the MDC.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the veteran trade unionist and founder leader of the
MDC, has already declared his intention to contest the presidential
election against the chosen ZANU PF candidate.

It is widely expected that barring any revolt within the ruling party,
Mugabe would once again be the sole ZANU PF candidate.

Most analysts this week predicted that an election fought between two
bitter rivals such as Mugabe and Tsvangirai was likely to be explosive
and would claim more lives than the 30-plus killed in the violent run-up
to this year’s general election.

"The 2002 presidential election is going to be a bloodbath,"
award-winning writer Chenjerai Hove told the Financial Gazette.

"There is a lot of desperation for power from Mugabe . . . this time it
is going to be more explosive," he said.

Heneri Dzinotyiwei, a mathematician and president of the Zimbabwe
Integrated Party which has now transformed itself into a pressure group,
said there was a likelihood of "greater tension" between ZANU PF and the
MDC if Mugabe contested the 2002 election.

But Dzinotyiwei said Mugabe was likely to pull out of the 2002 race
because there was pressure on him and ZANU PF to "make adjustments" to
win over the electorate, a point hotly disputed by Hove.

Hove, author of the internationally acclaimed novel "Bones", said Mugabe
’s thirst for power made it difficult for anyone to believe that the
President would not stand again in 2002.

Said Hove: "I think he will stand. The man loves power and he hates the
idea of being out there without power. That is why he is not going to
order the militias out of the farms."

Hundreds of self-styled veterans of Zimbabwe’s 1970s war of independence
and supporters of the ruling party have occupied more than 1 600 farms
since February.

The invasions started as the party’s election ploy to cow people to vote
for ZANU PF but have now been transformed into a political quest to
wrest control of almost 70 percent of Zimbabwe’s most fertile land that
has remained in the hands of a few white farmers since colonial times.

Hove said the bombing of the MDC offices showed that the election period
before the 2002 election was going to be explosive.

What made the situation even more tense, he said, was that both Mugabe
and Tsvangirai were out of Parliament and therefore had ample time to
traverse the entire country canvassing for support before the poll.

Tsvangirai lost the June election in his home area of Buhera South while
Mugabe, because of 1997 constitutional amendments, does not sit in
Parliament and is not an elected MP.

Godfrey Chikore of the Institute of Development Studies at the
University of Zimbabwe said there would be "incidences" of clashes
between ZANU PF and the MDC as campaigning hotted up but ruled out the
scale of violence that preceded the June poll.

"Time is the best teacher," Chikore noted. "But what I would like to
advise both parties is that the election should be free and fair."

Thursday 21 September, 2000

National Report

Cattle producers move herds to undesignated farms

ZIMBABWE’S commercial cattle producers are relocating their herd to
''undesignated'' commercial farms while others are de-stocking in the
face of uncertainty in the industry, the Cattle Producers’ Association
said this week.

Association chairman Tim Reynolds said because of the government’s
decision to earmark large numbers of cattle ranches for land
resettlement, farmers had been left with no choice but to de-stock their

"Farmers are de-stocking most of the national herd but we are advising
the few who still have hope of a better future to put their cattle in
undesignated farms so that we do not destroy the national herd which
took us years to build," he told the Financial Gazette.

He said even ranches belonging to the state-run Cold Storage Company,
where farmers could have moved their cattle, were appearing on the list
of designated farms, thus worsening the plight of the farmers.

Zimbabwe’s beef exports to the European Union this year will double to
nearly 150 000 tonnes and earn $6,5 billion because of the massive
de-stocking as uncertainty dogs commercial farming because of the
government’s seizure of at least 3 000 farms.

The de-stocking exercise has seen an upsurge in exports to southern
African countries such as Mozambique, Zambia and Mauritius. Most of
Zimbabwe’s abattoirs are fully booked as cattle producers sell their
cattle to pay debts they owe to banks.

Reynolds dismissed as untrue allegations that some local farmers were
taking their cattle to South Africa by rail in a bid to save their herd
and start a new life there.

"That is totally ridiculous because, if that was happening, we would
have been the first ones to know. There is nothing like that going on at
the moment because South Africa will not allow any of our live cattle to
enter that country," he said.

Beef exports to South Africa are under the Zimbabwe/South Africa
bilateral trade pact which allows Zimbabwe to export 5 000 tonnes of
fresh-chilled boneless beef.

Meanwhile the pulling down of electric fences by independence war
veterans who have invaded conservancies countrywide is posing a serious
threat to the viability of an already suffering industry because there
is a serious risk of buffalo straying into cattle ranches and passing on
the foot-and-mouth disease.

Reynolds said the veterans, who have seized the conservancies and farms
in the name of land hunger, were refusing veterinary services staff to
enter the wildlife sanctuaries to repair the stolen fences. — Staff

Thursday 21 September, 2000

National Report

EU holds aid over rule of law
Staff Reporter

THE bulk of funding allocated to Zimbabwe under the new trade pact of
the European Union (EU) - African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states
will remain undisbursed until the country deals with governance issues,
it was learnt yesterday.

According to a spokesman for current EU chairman France, the 15-nation
economic bloc has budgeted 13,5 billion euro for ACP states under the
9th European Development Fund (EDF), the aid component of the new trade
pact signed in Cotonou in June.

The spokesman said nine billion euro remained undisbursed from the Lome
Four EDF, to which the Cotonou agreement is a successor, bringing the
total available in the seven-year first phase of the two-decade-long new
agreement to 22,5 billion euro.

But Eddie Cross, economic affairs head of Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) who has just attended EU-ACP talks in
Brussels, said the EU had indicated that the bulk of whatever aid is
allocated to Zimbabwe from the budget would remain only as indicative.

"They (EU) indicated that because of political problems in Zimbabwe,
they would release funding for education and health but budgetary and
other economic support will be withheld until our political situation is
regularised," Cross told the Financial Gazette.

"The MDC was asked what it thought about funding for health and
education and we said we supported the continuation of social programmes
in Zimbabwe."

The Cotonou accord, expected to radically alter trade and aid ties
between the EU and ACP, has for the first time included a clause
stipulating that individual countries that are seriously corrupt will
have sanctions, including withholding of aid, levied against them.

Aid to Zimbabwe has already been suspended by several European
countries, the United States of America, the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund because of continuing macro-economic
instability, pre-election violence before June, the unlawful occupation
of commercial farms and disregard for the rule of law.

Cross said Zimbabwe would attend a meeting in Mauritius next week where
Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) states and the EU would
discuss funding under the EDF for the first phase of the Cotonou

"Each region of the ACP is holding meetings with the EU and there will
be a SADC meeting in Mauritius next week," he said.

"Zimbabwe will attend the Mauritius meeting and the preliminary outcome
of the discussions will be indicative of the amount that will be given
to each country in the next seven years. The distribution will then be
on a bilateral basis through the National Indicative Programme."

He said under the new pact, funds to be allocated would not be
distributed to countries but held in a special pool until states came up
with projects that qualified for funding.

"If we get 600 million ECU, which is what I think we had under Lome
Four, the money will remain indicative until we have projects that
qualify for funding," Cross said.

Thursday 21 September, 2000

National Report

Govt to close embassies

OFFICIALS in Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs this week said the
government had embarked on an exercise to cut the number of its foreign
missions abroad in a bid to whittle down runaway expenditure.

Under the rationalisation exercise, which the country’s Parliament has
for years clamoured for, the government will retire long-serving
diplomats and close down embassies mainly in the former Eastern bloc and
Scandinavian countries.

Foreign Affairs officials said some of the embassies would be merged and
staffers recalled to Harare for re-deployment in the public service.

But Chamunorwa Wadyewata, a spokesman for the Public Service Commission
(PSC) which is overseeing the exercise, said he could not comment
specifically on the reduction of embassies, which he said was part of a
programme involving the rationalisation of the entire public service.

"The exercise is ongoing in the public service to rationalise manning
levels and to improve service delivery," Wadyewata told the Financial
Gazette. "The PSC cannot offer statistics in instalments as the exercise
is in progress servicewide."

But Foreign Affairs officials said staffing levels at Zimbabwe’s foreign
missions would be reduced by about 25 percent and a majority of
employees re-deployed in the public service.

Rationalisation in the ministry, allocated $1,5 billion in the 2000
budget and $890 million in a supplementary budget passed by Parliament
this month, comes when Zimbabwe, which has over 37 missions abroad, has
been failing to pay some of its diplomats because of foreign currency

Zimbabwe’s diplomats are among the highest paid in the region, with some
earning over $1 million a month and enjoying perks that include
state-funded holiday allowances and school fees for their children.

The government also pays for diplomats’ food, electricity rates, water
and storage of their household goods in Zimbabwe.

— Staff Reporter

Thursday 21 September, 2000

National Report

Nkomo recalls Dube
Staff Reporter

GWANDA — A new twist to the saga involving Matabeleland South’s
administrator Angelous Dube emerged this week when governor Stephen
Nkomo recalled Dube from Harare where she fled after bands of marauding
war veterans threatened to kill her.

Documents shown to the Financial Gazette here reveal that Nkomo, the
brother of the late vice president Joshua Nkomo, has recommended that
Dube be brought back from Harare to Matabeleland South.

She was forced to flee Gwanda for Harare last month because of pressure
from the veterans who twice chased her out of the office and threatened
to beat her up if she ever returned.

The veterans accused Dube of not favouring ruling ZANU PF supporters
when allocating land under the government’s fast-track land resettlement
programme. ZANU PF insiders and some war veterans here this week said
the governor’s push for the return of Dube would result in renewed
clashes between civil servants and the former freedom fighters who
forced her departure from Gwanda.

"The governor is playing with fire if he wants that woman back," said
one veteran in Matabeleland South’s provincial capital.

"Nkomo’s actions are bound to annoy us. Our national chairman (Chenjerai
Hunzvi) has already warned the governor about the problems of
frustrating war veterans as far as the resettlement of landless people
is concerned," the war veteran told the Financial Gazette.

"We want a war veteran in the post of provincial administrator here and
no one else. We don’t want that woman back," he added.

Dube was for the best part of August forced to work under heavy police
guard following threats from the veterans who have also been accused of
terrorising other civil servants here daily over land reform.

Hunzvi warned in Bulawayo at the weekend that Nkomo risked losing his
job if he continued "frustrating" the war veterans on land reform.

The governor declined to discuss the latest developments, but sources in
his office said Dube’s proposed comeback was high on his agenda.

Meanwhile John Brown Ncube, the acting provincial administrator of
Matabeleland South, is said to be just as frustrated with the pressure
from the veterans on the land resettlement programme in the province as
was Dube.

Documents show that commercial farmers have contested most of the farms
where the government wants to resettle the landless but the veterans
here are trying to force the provincial government to ignore the court

Ncube has already written to the Secretary for the Ministry of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing on the problems he is

"Because of the mounting political pressure, particularly from war
veterans camped in various farms, the governor was compelled to settle
people in some contested farms," says Ncube’s letter dated September 8.

He named some of the farms involved as Swaither and Enyama in
Umzingwane, Zimbile in Umzimgwane, Cala Estate in Insiza, S/D 6 of
Sampson and Montrose also in Insiza and Hay Grange in Bulilimamangwe.

Other farms listed by Ncube as being contested by their owners but
wanted by the veterans include Victory Lots 1-3 in Matobo and Three
Streams in Bulilimamangwe. He said most of these had already been
settled without proper procedures being followed.

"Given that these farms have been settled officially ahead of the court
hearing and verdicts, we would like to be advised on the best way
forward," Ncube said in the letter.

"In this regard, we request for guidance from the National Land Task
Force as to what is the right course of action pertaining to these

Thursday 21 September, 2000


"Exiled" govt official has no bitter feelings
Grace Mutandwa, Staff Reporter

FORCED to work under police guard and eventually hounded out of
Matabeleland South, she is a victim of growing political interference
and intolerance in the province.

The first black Zimbabwean woman to become a district administrator and
later a provincial administrator, Angelous Dube was in August forcibly
transferred to Harare from Gwanda where she was working as the
provincial boss.

Twice before her flight to Zimbabwe’s capital, the soft-spoken woman had
been threatened with death by armed independence war veterans who
accused her of supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change

Dube told the Financial Gazette this week that on her first day at work
in Gwanda after a three-week vacation, she had arrived to find that
"hell on earth" had broken out there.

She was in a meeting on land resettlement with district administrators
and other government officials when more than 40 war veterans stormed
the offices, chanting that she be relieved of her duties.

"I was actually in the middle of this meeting with the administrators
and other officers in charge of the resettlement programme strategising
on how to move forward when they arrived. The previous day I had been in
Harare to prepare for the beginning of the programme," she recalled.

Speaking in a cool and composed voice, she said: "This unsettled me
because prior to this demonstration by the war veterans, I had not
received any complaints about my conduct, my work or anything else for
that matter.

"There were no grievances which had been presented to my office. I
really didn’t know what was happening."

Normally, she said, the nature of her work did not antagonise local
people because provincial administrators merely acted as an advisory

Her work included guiding the actual resettlement process.

She said the police had to step in and have a meeting with the veterans
after which the latter also met Matabeleland South governor Stephen

Only then was she allowed to continue with her work and then only on the
understanding that the governor would meet with the provincial
leadership of the veterans.

"The meeting took place minus me and I was told by the governor and ZANU
PF provincial chairman Ananias Nyathi that the war veterans wanted me
out," she said with a wry smile.

"The two told me that the war veterans had said that the two (Nkomo and
Nyathi) should not leave until they had seen me out of the office."

Dube said after it had been made clear to her that this was the decision
of the meeting, she had no choice but to go home.

"My employer is the Public Service Commission but this had nothing to do
with my employers. The decision by the ministry to transfer me to Harare
was taken in the interests of my safety," she said from her new Harare

"You see, I could not continue to work under police guard because the
leader of the war veterans, Chenjerai Hunzvi, also came to address them
and said in no uncertain terms that anyone who was guarding me was
working against the interest of the ruling party."

Dube however maintains that she has always done her work professionally
and is not in any way aligned to any political party.

Because there was no evidence to link her to the MDC, she said she did
not want to speculate on the real reason why the veterans wanted her

"I understand that a week before I returned from leave, some war
veterans had come to the offices asking for transport which they didn’t
get so maybe this could have triggered their displeasure," Dube said.

"I’m a very frank person and I prefer to deal with people in that way.
Nothing has been said to my face about what could be the cause of my
problems with the war veterans. I have only heard rumours but nothing

A holder of an administration degree from the University of Zimbabwe,
Dube refuses to let this incident dampen her life nor does she feel
bitter about her transfer.

"Sometimes we have to balance out and look at life more positively," she
said philosophically.

"In my case, you will find that there are some social benefits that
exceed the ones I had in Gwanda. Now I have the opportunity for
self-improvement. I have already enrolled for a French language course
and am working towards a doctorate in administration or development."

"Being transferred to the capital will also increase my contacts base.
Most of my friends are here and now I can even go to the gym."

She emphasised that while she enjoyed working in Gwanda, her transfer
was not such a bad thing because she valued her safety.

The 38-year-old mother of two said as provincial administrator, she had
successfully dealt with development issues and had started work on a
programme to bring productive life to the dry and arid province.

Under her guidance, the province had launched commercial livestock
production and fodder cropping and was working on solutions to the area’
s perennial water shortages.

By the time she was transferred, the province which also happens to be
her home area, had 36 dams through the privately-run "Give-A-Dam"
campaign and more than 20 irrigation schemes were at various stages of

Dube has in the past had to deal with major disasters.

When she took over the province’s administration in 1998, she did so at
the height of a devastating drought and earlier this year she had to
contend with the ravages of Cyclone Eline, which blighted much of
southern and eastern Zimbabwe.

A woman who clearly thrives on her work, Dube glows when she talks about
her brainchild — the trans-Limpopo spatial development corridor that is
expected to bring in investment through the linkage of neighbouring
South Africa’s Northern province, Matabeleland South and North and

She said this would require development of a good road-and-railway
network so that local communities could engage in eco-tourism and food
production and processing.

Dube said discussions with her South African counterparts were at an
advanced stage and that a memorandum of understanding that would set the
legal framework within which the two parties would work would soon be

A refreshingly confident and well read woman, Dube says while women
should be respected they should not be treated with kid gloves.

"I believe that meritocracy must reign supreme," she said. "We must
deserve whatever position we get and when we do get it we must perform.
I sincerely hope that this minor mishap that happened to me doesn’t put
off other women who might want to follow this line of work."

"We need more women in the sub-national administration, a sector that
still lacks women. There are several well-educated and hard working
women out there but they have to stand up and be counted."

Referring to affirmative action, she said: "Nothing good is ever handed
to you on a silver tray. I don’t think we should demand wholesale that
we always get special concessions."

Dube was transferred to Harare as a director of research, policy and
public relations in the local government ministry. The position is at
par with the previous one and she remains a deputy secretary there.

She is an active Catholic who says she spends much time in her job
meeting people. Away from work, she enjoys quiet moments during which
she reads espionage or romantic novels and watches movies or just
listens to religious music and reggae.

She also uses the time to be with her four-year-old son.

Her life-long dream is to be self-sustaining, although she says with a
laugh that she would really want to be rich.

"Maybe after retirement I could dabble in politics but that is really
not my passion. If ever I was to go into politics, I would want to have
made my own money so that I don’t go into it as a source of living. I
would only do it as a way of sharing my experiences for the benefit of
my country," she said.

But as Dube begins to settle down in her new position, the dust has
lifted again in Matabeleland South, where the governor has now decided
that she should be reinstated as provincial administrator.

Thursday 21 September, 2000

National Report

Court throws out bid to gag Fingaz
Staff Reporter

The High Court in Harare last night dismissed with costs an urgent
application by State Security Minister Nicholas Goche seeking to stop
the Financial Gazette from publishing a follow-up report to a story the
newspaper carried last week about a plan to rejuvenate the operations of
the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

The Financial Gazette reported that five top directors of the CIO and
several of their juniors would be axed from the organisation from next
month under a major shake-up aimed at revamping the operations of the
spy agency.

The report said the forced retirement of the directors and some of their
juniors had been prompted by their failure to correctly monitor the
activities of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which
won 57 seats in Zimbabwe’s June elections against the CIO’s estimate
that the labour-backed party would win 20 seats at the most.

Goche said in his application he had learnt that this newspaper was to
publish a follow-up story identifying members of the CIO and retirees,
together with their pictures. He said such a move would seriously
prejudice national security and the families of the affected employees
because some may be undercover agents.

He cited the Financial Gazette as a company and its Editor-in-Chief
Francis Mdlongwa as the first and second respondents respectively.

The newspaper’s lawyer Linda Cook of Atherstone and Cook told Justice
Ishmael Chatikobo that the newspaper had not planned to publish any
follow-up to the original article this week and there was no basis for
Goche’s application.

In fact, she drew the judge’s attention to a paragraph in last week’s
article which specifically said although the newspaper had the names of
the affected directors, it would not publish them due to professional
and security reasons.

She emphasised that this paragraph alone made it obvious that there
would be no follow-up report mentioning any names and showing pictures
as alleged by Goche.

Goche’s lawyer, Simplicius Chihambakwe of Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and
partners, said he had no problems with Cook’s statement that no
follow-up story would be published by the Financial Gazette this week
but pressed for a settlement in which this newspaper and Goche would pay
their own separate legal costs.

Cook opposed the arrangement and insisted that the CIO pays the
Financial Gazette’s costs.

Justice Chatikobo noted that there had been no indication in Goche’s
papers that he had made a serious attempt to inquire if an article was
indeed going to be published before bringing his application.

The judge also noted that the minister had also not detailed in his
application the reasons and sources of his suspicions that the Financial
Gazette was indeed going to publish a follow-up report.

Chihambakwe said the CIO’s operations were secret and Goche could have
relied on his internal sources for his information about the newspaper’s

"If they put it (the application) in the way they did because they are
CIO as you say, then they should equally pay in silence," the judge
said. He then dismissed the entire CIO’s application with costs.


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Daily News 22 September 2000

Chitoro remains in custody
NYC wants youths to be given land
Convicted CIO officer, still at large
Chiredzi MP named in election violence
Sithole denies failing to repay debt
We cannot reward barbarism

LEADER PAGE: Offences are political and, therefore, not criminal!
FEATURES: Councils in bid to stem corruption

Daily News
9/22/00 10:43:27 AM (GMT +2)

Chitoro remains in custody
Daily News Correspondent, Gweru

MBERENGWA war veterans leader, Wilson Kufa Chitoro, better known as
Biggie Chitoro, who is facing charges of malicious injury to property,
public violence, murder and kidnapping, appeared for an initial remand
at Zvishavane magistrates' court on Wednesday.

Chitoro is being charged with politically motivated crimes committed
prior to the June election.
Emilia Mbirikira, the Zvishavane magistrate, remanded Chitoro to 31
Chitoro and his accomplices allegedly kidnapped the MDC candidate for
Mberengwa East, Sekai Holland, and her three colleagues and burnt her
Chitoro, 60, was remanded in custody while his co-accused, Nyashadzashe
Koke, 43, and Tavatangira Dzingirai, also 43, were remanded out of
custody after paying $500 bail each.
Chitoro is also being tried for the murder of Fainos Kufazvineyi Zhou
prior to the June parliamentary election.
Gibson Sibanda of Sibanda and Partners is representing Chitoro.

Daily News
9/22/00 10:40:20 AM (GMT +2)

NYC wants youths to be given land

Daily News Correspondent, Mutare

The National Youth Convention (NYC) on Wednesday urged the government to
include the unemployed youths in its "fast-track" resettlement

Kelvin Ellem Gozho, the convention's president complained youths are not
recognised as equals in the redistribution of land.
"To leave the youth from the redistribution process is to deprive them
of their right to own property," Gozho, a student at Africa University,
said in Mutare.
He said land redistribution could never be comprehensive as long as most
of the youths were left out.
"The youths are left out to roam the streets with nothing to do," he
Gozho said because they had nothing worthwhile to do the youths resorted
to crime, prostitution and drug abuse.

Daily News
9/22/00 10:39:16 AM (GMT +2)

Convicted CIO officer, still at large

Energy Bara, Masvingo

Convicted Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative Jacob Gono,
who beat up a number of journalists in Masvingo last year, accusing them
of being irresponsible, is still on the run three weeks after his appeal
against sentence was thrown out by the High Court.

The High Court last month ordered Gono to report to the nearest prison
to serve four months in jail.
But by yesterday afternoon Gono was still at large, although the court
had issued a warrant for his arrest.
Last week, Gono was alleged to have beaten up three police officers
trying to arrest him.
He was alleged to have smashed the windows of a police vehicle as
officers watched helplessly from a distance.
Gono (37) was last year convicted of six counts of assault by Masvingo
magistrate Hubert Nyamujara.
He was sentenced to eight months in prison with four months
conditionally suspended for five years.
Gono, represented by Isaac Muzenda of Muzenda and Partners, appealed
against the sentence on the grounds that it was too severe.
He said in view of the gravity of the offence, community service was
most appropriate.
But the High Court upheld the sentence and ordered him to approach the
nearest prison to start serving his sentence.

Daily News
9/22/00 10:42:38 AM (GMT +2)

Chiredzi MP named in election violence

Energy Bara, Masvingo

ELLIOT Chauke, the Member of Parliament for Chiredzi North, is alleged
to have given his pistol to Boniface Mutemachani, 42, the Chiredzi war
veterans' chairman, which he used to intimidate supporters of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the run-up to the June
parliamentary election.

Mutemachani appeared in court yesterday on allegations of illegal
possession of arms after he was found with the pistol.
Mutemachani was not asked to plead when he appeared before Masvingo
magistrate Sunsley Zisengwe on Wednesday.
The State alleged that in December last year, Mutemachani obtained a
pistol from Chauke for self-protection.
On 4 April this year, he and his son went to Shepard Nyoni's house armed
with the firearm. On arrival they ordered Nyoni to come out of his
house, which he did.
The State alleged Mutemachani pointed the pistol at Nyoni's head and
threatened to shoot him if he disobeyed orders. He later handcuffed
Nyoni at gunpoint and drove him to Chiredzi Police Station where he
handed him over to the police. He accused Nyoni of being an MDC
supporter who was "causing problems in the area".
On 10 April 10, Mutemachani was called to Chiredzi Police Station where
it was discovered he did not have a licence for the pistol. It was also
discovered he had five live rounds of ammunition.
He allegedly induced fear in members of the opposition using the firearm
in the election campaign.
Mutemachani was remanded out of custody to 26 October.

Daily News
9/22/00 10:33:25 AM (GMT +2)

Sithole denies failing to repay debt

Staff Reporter

REVEREND Ndabaningi Sithole yesterday denied he had failed to pay back a
$1,2 million debt owed to Harare businessman Neville Mujikwa for which
he was being evicted from his Waterfalls house by a Messenger of Court.

Sithole was responding to allegations that he borrowed $1,2 million from
Mujikwa and signed his house as collateral.
Speaking to The Daily News on the telephone from the United States of
America where he and his wife, Vesta are on holiday, the veteran
politician confirmed that he indeed owed Mujikwa $1,2 million.
But he said the time for settling the debt was not yet up, according to
an agreement signed between the two on 18 March last year.
Said Sithole: "We are surprised that Mujikwa is behaving that way and we
can't escape the conclusion that he is now behaving that way because of
certain political forces behind him."
Sithole accused Mujikwa of taking advantage of his desperation.
"We know that he preys on desperate people and he is clearly taking
advantage of our plight.
"We have an agreement to pay back his money next year but we are
surprised that he is already demanding the money from us before the
agreed time," said Sithole.
But last night Mujikwa lashed out at Sithole, labelling him a "shameless
He said Sithole came to his offices pleading for assistance after he was
jailed at the Harare Central Prison for a $200 000 bad debt owed to
Metallurgical Construction Company (Pvt) Ltd.
Sithole applied for release at the High Court, offering his Waterfalls
house as security.
The Sitholes, said Mujikwa, approached him and pleaded with him to
advance them the money so that they could save their house from being
sold at a public auction.
An agreement was then struck between the Sitholes and the businessman,
in which the politician agreed to sell his house to Mujikwa.
It was agreed that Sithole's lawyers, Musunga and Associates, would
facilitate the transfer of the property from Sithole to Mujikwa.
Mujikwa agreed to let Sithole's family continue occupying the house for
the next two years effective from 1 April 1999 to 1 April 2001.
The agreement stipulated that Sithole could stay in the house without
paying any rentals except for all the rates, charges, levies,
electricity and water charges during the period that he was staying in
the house.
The matter, however, came to a head when Mujikwa made frantic efforts to
get Sithole to sign a lease agreement which would be effective from 1
April 2001.
Mujikwa said Sithole declined to sign the lease agreement, arguing that
he could not sign an agreement to rent his own house, prompting Mujikwa
to take steps to force him out of the house.
"I am now being persecuted for my goodwill. I simply helped the old man
because of the tremendous contribution he made for the good of this
country," said Mujikwa.

Daily News
9/22/00 12:55:10 PM (GMT +2)

We cannot reward barbarism


FOR years after the massacre of innocents in Matabeleland and the
Midlands in the 1980s, the government and Zanu PF maintained that the
bloodshed had been part of the war of liberation.

Until only a few months ago, President Mugabe had insisted that no
apologies were necessary.
Perence Shiri, who led the savage campaign against unarmed civilians by
the notorious North Korean-trained 5 Brigade, was apparently rewarded
for his bloody work.
He has been the commander of the Air Force for a long time now.
The world, not to mention most Zimbabweans, were disgusted with the
callous attitude of the government towards the massacres. The people of
Matabeleland would never forget, nor would they forgive and in June this
year, in the parliamentary election, they seized their moment.
Even though Mugabe had at last apologised for the massacres and
virtually begged for forgiveness, the people decided it was too little
and too late.
In any case, he had lost credibility with them, with his cynical change
of heart. They voted against his party, virtually throwing Zanu PF out
of Matabeleland.
Today, Eddison Zvobgo is leading Zanu PF's campaign against the Zimbabwe
Democracy Bill 2000 with which the United States government wishes to
punish Zanu PF for its sins during the campaign for the June
parliamentary election.
Many Zimbabweans, not influenced by the US government in any way, have
been itching for revenge against Zanu PF for its deployment of hired war
veterans in the rural areas to terrorise voters into voting for it.
In the 2002 presidential election, many such voters are going to record
their anger with Zanu PF in the most graphic and poignant manner
possible - they intend to do their best to demonstrate to Zanu PF that
they will not be cowed into submission.
That is our reading of the mood of the people. It apparently is the
reading of the ruling party too, or there would not be this feverish
campaign to pin something on the opposition, to launch a search for
"arms of war" which has so far turned up a pellet gun, a grenade and a
But what is ominous for this country is the veiled appeal to the US
government by Zanu PF for it to be rewarded for responsibility for the
deaths of "only" 30-odd people, and not the "thousands" killed in
election campaigns in South Africa.
As was the case in the Matabeleland massacres of the 1980s, it may be
years before Zanu PF begins to appreciate that the world, and indeed
most people in Zimbabwe, cannot reward the party for the barbarism of
killing people to achieve its political ends.
It was justified in the war of liberation, where the enemy was
determined not to yield to the forces of freedom by killing the freedom
fighters if they didn't kill its own forces first.
But in an independent country, proud of its victory over the forces of
darkness, it cannot be countenanced by any civilised society.
It would indeed be equivalent to rewarding barbarism.
If Zanu PF believes that the violence it unleashed on the people in the
rural areas during the election campaign is no more than a footnote in
the political history of this country, then people are entitled to feel
frightened of how lightly the party now values life.
People have been permanently traumatised by that violence. There are
children who are having to undergo therapy for the psychological wounds
they suffered at the hands of doped-up war veterans and Zanu PF
People lost their property and with it all hope of resuming a normal,
stable life ever again.
If Zanu PF expects the world to applaud its restraint in killing 30 and
not thousands of people in the election campaign, then it's clear that
its long stay in power has finally killed in its leaders' hearts any
residue of compassion for other human beings.
As we have said in the past, the US government is perfectly entitled to
act in any way it deems fit in response to the actions of a country with
which it maintains diplomatic relations.
The people of Zimbabwe, by the same token, are entitled to react to that
action in anyway they see fit.
To hurl at them the accusation that such an attitude is unpatriotic or a
mark of disloyalty to the republic is laughable.
The republic is not Zanu PF, neither is Zanu PF the embodiment of the

Daily News
LEADER PAGE  Friday 22, September
9/22/00 12:55:40 PM (GMT +2)

Offences are political and, therefore, not criminal!


WHO are the true guardians of democracy?

I ask this question because it is becoming increasingly clear to me that
we are not making any headway in resolving the problems that currently
exist within Zimbabwe.
We have a situation whereby the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) seem to
be a law unto themselves as evidenced over the past eight months. They
are more intent on breaking rather than upholding laws of the country.
They claim to be hiding behind the theory that the crimes that have been
and are still being committed by their members are justified on the
basis they are sanctioned by the President and as such they are
political and are, therefore, not considered to be criminal! How can
this be? Are we saying that anyone can commit a criminal act so long as
he can justify that it was politically motivated? Is this not setting a
dangerous precedent for future generations?
When we look at the events of this year we are left pondering the
answers to very important questions the answers to which will have a
very profound effect on the future for all law-abiding citizens of the
country that we love and call home. Who will ensure that democracy will
overcome and defeat the evil that currently exists within our society at
the present time?
The ZRP are supposed to be there to protect all law-abiding citizens of
the country from criminal acts perpetrated against them - prevention
rather than cure being the operative word! Most police forces throughout
the world have the support of the majority of the population. In our
case, they have the support of the minority. How can this be? Why should
this be the case? Can we continue to accept this state of affairs?
The ZRP under the current commissioner of police provided a service
charter which has the following main headings proudly endorsing what
they are supposed to stand for, namely: Most Effective and Efficient
Service; Professionalism in Dealing with the Public; Accountability and
Transparency; and Dialogue and Courtesy in Discharge of Duties.
It goes on to proudly state: "Together We Can Fight Crime! If you are
unhappy with the service being provided by your local commander you can
carry on up the chain of command to the very top and have access to the
commissioner himself." Provided, of course, your problem is not
politically orientated!
On my way to Harare this week, I stopped and gave a young policeman a
lift into town. We chatted as we drove and he was telling me that on
Sunday he was very busy chasing war veterans off Mara Farm on the basis
that it no longer served the purpose of government to leave them there.
Some days earlier the activists, who are paid to remain in place, were
beaten by the workers on the farm having threatened the workers once too
Despite the fact that the activists were armed, the workers had decided
that enough was enough. The end result was that the activists, seeing
that they were in for a hiding, ran to the ZRP for protection - which
was duly afforded them!
The reports emanating from the ZRP follow-up indicate that the ZRP took
it upon themselves to investigate and subsequently blame the workers for
the trouble which they had caused by defending themselves against an
armed mob who were threatening them! The young man expressed surprise
that they had been ordered to remove the war veterans and went on to say
that they were going back to remove all activists from other farms in
the area. When asked if they had any problems, he replied: "They know
not to mess with members of Support Unit as we are trained to deal with
this type of problem unlike the uniformed branch who are OK for
directing traffic!" He was very proud of his role in Support Unit.
When asked whether this meant that all areas were now going to be free
of the war veterans at long last, he stated: "Only in Mashonaland East.
We are not going to Mashonaland West, the President's home area, for
obvious reasons."
He stated that he had been involved in other provinces over the past
eight months to intimidate opposition to Zanu PF. When asked whether he
realised that what he was being asked to do was illegal, he replied that
they had to follow orders from their superior officers, who told them
that what they were doing was politically - and not criminally -
I could tell by the young man's responses that he genuinely felt that
what he was doing was OK.
Whilst discipline is an important aspect of any uniformed man's
performance in the execution of his duties, I believe that ordering a
junior person to commit a criminal act on the basis that it is
politically motivated has to be beyond any sane person's comprehension.
To deny the man the right to choose which newspaper he can read or
political affiliation he wishes to follow has to be taking matters to
the worst possible extreme.
Here was a bright youngster who has decided to make the ZRP his career
and I am sure he will go a long way given his enthusiasm for the job. I
wonder what his attitude would be if he became commissioner one day
given the current situation?
Sadly the police, through the commissioner, have allowed themselves to
be compromised as a force. In the current climate they should tear up
their charter for it no longer represents aspirations of the majority of
the ZRP.
Having said that, there are some who have been brave enough to challenge
the authenticity of the orders only to be removed from their positions
posted to far-distant corners of the country. This is short-sighted as
it only serves to ensure that they redouble their efforts to be seen to
be above political parties and the problems associated with linkages to
The recent raids on the MDC offices on the pretext of looking for arms
of war just shows how far they are prepared to bend the rules in order
to appease their political masters. The fact that there are several
hundred activists - so-called war veterans - running around farms and
conservancies with arms of war does not seem to be a problem. How can
this be the case?
Where is justice and fair play in this scenario? Can we continue to
accept this kind of double standard?
The time has come for the hierarchy of the ZRP to ask themselves the
leading question: What is going to happen to me when the country returns
to a true democratic process and the rule of law? Am I able to hold my
head up and state that I was not involved in the deliberate policy of
maintaining a party in power in an unconstitutional manner? We must all
look forward to the day when those that have sanctioned the breaking of
the law in order to destroy our democratic process are asked to account
for their actions in a court of law which is not shackled by a
government which has effectively been ruling through the barrel of the

Daily News
FEATURES  Friday   22  , September
9/22/00 1:04:57 PM (GMT +2)

Councils in bid to stem corruption

Simba Chabarika, Features Writer

"Corruption, by definition, is exclusive: it promotes the interests of
the few over many.

We must fight it wherever we find it," says former World Bank president,
James Wolfensohn.
In the rural areas, the headmaster is a respectable figure of the
The same goes for the rural district council chief executive officer who
wields tremendous influence in his area of jurisdiction.
On the basis of his position, one can classify the council chief
executive as being susceptible to corruption or being corruptible.
Corruption is not restricted to urban areas, for it knows no boundaries.
"Corruption is a trade," says Enita Charewa of Bindura rural district
council. "It involves the exchange of favours, goods or services."
She is one of the 25 senior council officials who attended a three-day
meeting in Kadoma on transparency and accountability in local
"Integrity must be inherent within systems of good local governance and
those implementing them must maintain high standards of transparency,
accountability and integrity," Charewa says.
Since independence, rural communities have endured poor services due to
mismanagement of funds intended for development.
Senior council officials have worked in cahoots with councillors in
corrupt activities such as the awarding of tenders for projects in their
Thousands, if not millions of dollars intended for rural development
have been unaccounted for.
Construction and maintenance of infrastructure such as roads, dams and
sewerage works have been abandoned while the provision of social
services such as health and education has been adversely affected.
Schools and other buildings have been left uncompleted and boreholes
have gone unrepaired for long periods.
Rural infrastructure has been a casualty of corrupt practices in many
Council business has ground to a halt as senior officials pursue
personal interests.
It is with such corruption in mind that Transparency International
Zimbabwe (TIZ) is ringing the alarm bells on the cancer of corruption
which has taken hold of socio-economic and political affairs.
This non-profit and politically non-partisan movement is dedicated to
increasing government accountability to deter corrupt practices.
TIZ, with sponsorship from the European Union (EU) and assistance from
the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, invited these senior council officials
from Manicaland, Mashonaland and the Midlands, to revisit their mandate
as far as transparency and accountability are concerned.
"There have been numerous reports of malpractice, maladministration and
outright corruption that have come to characterise the running of rural
district councils," said Tonderai Munakiri, TIZ acting programme
"Press reports of councillors that have been suspended and some senior
council officials either suspended or dismissed on allegations of
corruption, have been rampant."
Since over 70 percent of the people live in rural areas, Munakiri said
it is the ordinary person who is mostly affected by corruption.
"It is the councils' chief executive officer who runs the show. The
impoverished local community is not involved at all and by virtue of
lack of their participation, local development programmes are ignored.
"The council is there to deliver services to the local communities that
alleviate poverty, but if they are alienated, corruption rides high.
"It is the brief of TIZ to inculcate these values of transparency and
accountability and remind these officials that the important
constituents are the local people. This is why they should be
accountable to them."
During their soul-searching deliberations, Stephen Chakaipa, the deputy
secretary in the parent Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing, fired from the hip.
Chakaipa said the process of decentralisation is meant to transfer
responsibilities and decision-making powers from the centre to the local
"While such transfer allows for greater accountability and efficiency in
the delivery of services, the onus for the successful implementation of
this policy rests on you as senior officials," said Chakaipa.
"But judging from previous experience, the way some councils are run by
you is pathetic. What will happen then when you are given all the
powers? All hell will break loose."
Despite the existence of legislation that governs the running of local
authorities to promote professionalism, Chakaipa said, the current
situation was "far from pleasing."
"For example, at the end of 1999, six rural district councils had their
chief executive officers suspended, and in Mashonaland Central, only two
out of seven rural councils have substantive chief executive officers."
Delegates, however, complained there was too much political interference
in their duties which impinged on the sound management of councils. The
development advisor of the Association of Rural District Councils
(ARDC), Fred Lahle Ndlovu urged council employees not to be dragged into
politics in their public duties.
"Remember, you were employed on merit," Ndlovu said. "So you're a
servant of the people at all times and must not be officially affiliated
to any political party. Now with the mixed breed of councillors we have
in some areas, if you make your political stand public, people will
chase you out if it's not favourable to them."
He said council structures must be accessible to the public and civic
groups to ensure transparency.
ARDC audit advisor, Lovemore Thusabantu, said officials should follow
proper buying, supervision and control procedures.
"People are sometimes asked to bend the rules in favour of certain
individuals or organisations. Once this happens, it is most likely that
corruption will creep in," he said.
Costa Rican Nobel Peace laureate, Arias Sanchez once said:"Corruption
has been globalised as an accepted tool of business; the fight against
corruption must be globalised as well. If the people do not act to
preserve their democracy, if they lack civic virtue and commitment to
their government, then democracy will fall prey to the virtue of


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25 September 2000

In this issue :

From News 24 (SA), 24 September

Zim cop in court over bombing

Harare - A policeman, also said to be a member of the opposition MDC, appeared in court in Harare for his alleged involvement in the recent bombing of the offices of the party, newspaper reports said on Sunday. Lazarus Nkomo, described as a Harare-based policeman, appeared before a magistrate on Saturday on allegations of terrorism, sabotage and illegal possession of offensive weapons, the state-controlled Sunday Mail said. He was not granted bail on the grounds of "the seriousness of the crime."

Nkomo's appearance in court is the latest in a confusing series of claims and counter-claims between the MDC and police over a hand grenade that was thrown at the party's headquarters near midnight on 11 September, causing little damage. The MDC has already identified Nkomo as a police musketry instructor who, it said, was infiltrated into the MDC's youth wing on the orders of senior police officers. Party president Morgan Tsvangirai said on Friday last week the grenade attack was to give police a pretext to carry out raids on the party's offices. He said Nkomo had been issued with hand grenades, and instructed to plant them in the party's offices and in the homes of senior officials.

However, police affidavits in court claimed that the policeman had joined the MDC in May and became a member of its security department. Earlier this month he was given grenades by a senior member of the security department and told to "engage in subversive activities aimed at discrediting and tarnishing the image of the government of Zimbabwe," the newspaper reported. Police were still looking for the senior security official. The actions "were meant to show the local and international community that there was no order, security and tolerance of opposition parties in Zimbabwe," police alleged in court.

During the raids, police removed all the party's records from its main offices in Harare, returning them only 24 hours after a high court order barring their action was issued. Shortly after, home affairs minister John Nkomo claimed police had found "weapons of war." Among them were hand grenades, he said, but he also listed a Daisy pistol, a child's toy, and pellets for the pistol, as well as hand-held radios. The searches were carried out in full view of MDC lawyers and party officials. "Police found nothing, and they know it," Tsvangirai said. "Let them prosecute members of the MDC, and the courts will prove that this is nothing but a conspiracy."

The raids, by heavily armed paramilitary police, were the first action against the pro-democracy party since parliamentary elections in June when it won 57 out of 120 elected seats, breaking President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu(PF) party's near absolute grip on power. Observers warn that the latest moves signal a crackdown on the MDC by the government, ahead of presidential elections in 2002 that the opposition party is tipped to win.

From Pan African News Agency, 24 September

Mugabe Says Paid His Children's Airfares for New York

HARARE - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, under sharp criticism at home for wasting huge sums of money on frequent foreign trips he makes, said at the weekend he paid the air fares for his children from his pocket during a recent trip to the UN in New York. Local media accused the Zimbabwean leader of gobbling Z$13 million (US$200,000), at a time of the country's worst economic crisis, on his trip to the UN Millennium Summit three weeks ago. But Mugabe's spokesman refuted the claims, saying the president had paid for his children's airfares, while the Libyan government had provided his delegation with a charter flight to New York. "The reporter of the story never bothered to check all this with us and we want to put it on record that the president always pays for his children just like anyone else. They are saying it cost 13 million, implying that commercial flights were used throughout the journey and this is not true," the spokesman said. Mugabe, who has since been to neighbouring Mozambique and is scheduled to travel to Namibia shortly, has come under attack for frequently undertaking expensive foreign trips.

From Pan African News Agency, 24 September

Zimbabwean Commander Thanks BBC for Saving His Men

HARARE - The Zimbabwean commander of southern African allied troops that Congolese rebels had besieged for more than a year in the northern town of Ikela said the BBC played a crucial role in saving his men from capture by over- estimating his garrison's strength by more than 2,500 men. Maj. Lizwe Nyathi said there were only 168 Zimbabwean soldiers at Ikela throughout the town's siege by rebels, and the whole allied troop strength based there was 500, with other forces from Namibia and the DRC government itself. Angola is also part of the southern African military alliance backing President Laurent Kabila, but had no soldiers at the strategic northern Congolese town during the siege.

Nyathi, a Captain then, said the BBC's reference to his garrison's troop strength as 3,000 mainly Zimbabwean soldiers demoralised the rebels in their repeated attempts to over-run Ikela. But he admitted the rebels, who at times poured up to 7,000 men into the battle for Ikela, came close at one point to capturing the town. Nyathi said the rebels, who are fighting with Rwandan and Ugandan backing to topple Kabila, attacked the town ferociously on several occasions, but they managed to hold on in spite of their numerical disadvantage.

But he added that the BBC's report equally made it important for the allied troops to fight hard to keep misleading the rebels that they numbered 3,000. Nyathi, now a decorated soldier who also took part in Zimbabwe's seven-year guerrilla war of independence, said at one point his garrison ran out of both food and ammunition, and could not be re-supplied because the rebels had cut off all river and road routes to Ikela. The rebel siege was broken early in the year by Zimbabwean commandos.

From The Zimbabwe Standard, 24 September

Invaders pay dearly for trusting Zanu PF

AS police continued with the eviction of squatters at occupied farms last week, evicted families began to feel the pinch of playing to the tune of politicians. Columns of smoke at a farm outside Harare where huts had just been torched by police, signalled the end of life as a squatter for Dennis, who like thousands in other parts of the country, saw their hopes of taking over the farms they had occupied literally go up in smoke. More importantly though, the smoke signalled one thing - time for politicking was over as government saw the threat posed by the invasions to the country's agricultural sector and its tarnished reputation as a lawless country.

Police last week swept the country's farms, removing invaders in a move that was condemned by the war veterans leadership, who accused the police of being pro-MDC. Guarantees by self serving politicians that the war veterans would not be removed from the farms without being resettled elsewhere, were not forthcoming. President Mugabe, who actively encouraged them to go on the farms, was nowhere to be seen. This was the man who only recently was telling the whole world that he would never remove the invaders from the farms: "I will never set the police against my own people." Professor Jonathan Moyo was not there either; neither was home affairs minister, John Nkomo. Chenjerai Hunzvi, Endy Mhlanga and the whole war veterans leadership could not help.

The once gallant and violent invaders, some who had declared the farms as no-go areas for the opposition were reduced to mere spectators as their plastic shacks and mud huts were reduced to ashes. These were the people who were used by the ruling party in the run up to the election to intimidate and harass farm owners and workers for supporting the MDC. Some of the invaders were in tears during the evictions. This was understandable. One family said they had already sold their Gokwe homestead having "found better and bigger land".

At least some of them learnt one lesson during the evictions - never take politicians' promises seriously, especially those made during election time. With 2002 around the corner, it remains to be seen whether it was a lesson well learnt. "We were told that we would never be removed here. It is the government that provided us with the transport to come here but now we are being disowned. It seems they need us only when it comes to elections. Tichaonana pakuyambuka (We will meet at the crossroads)," said one very bitter woman. "At the end of the day, we have been the losers. The politicians got what they wanted and they do not care about us anymore," said another invader.

Nkomo said government wanted to restore order at the farms. Government also wanted farmers to start preparations hence the evictions. However, the settlers had plans of their own. They were looking forward to preparing their newly "acquired" land for the planting season. Some, having abandoned their homesteads, however, said they would find it difficult to settle down and start serious farming this year: Others, mainly those occupying farms around Harare, had been lodgers and were relieved when they were allocated stands. Last week, after some months as proud stand owners, they were back to square one - they were lodgers again, that is if their landlords would have them back. "I do not know where to go. This had become my home and I will have to look for a place to stay again," lamented one invader who previously stayed in Kuwadzana. She also admitted that it would be difficult to get back the monies they had paid war veterans who had allocated them the stands.

Because of farm invasions, the future of agriculture in the country has been seriously disrupted. Already the country faces an acute shortage of wheat due to the invasions and whether the evictions will bring life back into the industry remains to be seen. One thing is clear though - Zanu PF benefited from the invasions and the invaders lost. That is the price of trusting politicians at election time.

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Date: Saturday, September 23, 2000 12:53 PM
Subject: Open letter to Commissioner of Police - Zimbabwe

Page 1

The following letter is a copy of the open letter sent to the Commissioner of Police, Zimbabwe, Commissioner Chihuri from the community of Karoi and is self explainatory. The purpose of the letter is to ensure that there is no misunderstanding  and that the Karoi Community will not except anything less than what it is enshirined  in the Constituion of Zimbabwe. The Letter has been signed by over 1000 signatures and has been hand delivered to the Commissioner.

Please copy and forward this letter to all your contacts and addresses as we, the community of Karoi, wish it to be known that the ball is now in the Commissioners court as the responsible authority.

18th September 2000

Commissioner Chihuri
Commissioner of Police
Zimbabwe Republic Police
Police General Headquarters
Box CY 34



The community of Karoi hereby respectfully requests you to ensure that, as from today law and order will be properly and legally upheld and maintained.  You and the Police force are charged with this duty in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe as well as the duty of preserving internal security.  You, and members of the police force, on taking office, swear to carry our your duty without fear or favour.  It is incumbent upon you to fulfil that role.  Continued failure to maintain law and order tarnishes the reputation off the police force, something we feel sure you wish to prevent.

Each and every citizen is entitled to have his or her rights protected by the police as guaranteed in our constitution.  This is a fundamental right. By ignoring its duty and failing to take steps to maintain law and order, you and your force are aiding and abetting the violation of the rule of law.  We require the rule of law to be complied with at all times and in all circumstances.

Continual work stoppages, assaults, intimidating tactics, and blatant unwillingness by the police to react to potentially violent situations, has prompted this open letter to be written.

The District Police Officer, Superintendent Mabunda, has over the last six months acted in a manner which is counter productive and has virtually ignored any  directives or policy statements issued by your good offices or by Government. Details of these issues have been on numerous occasions documented and presented to yourself for consideration and for appropriate action to be taken through the recognised chain of command.

Further to this, all past agreements have been broken, ignored, undermined and challenged by the war veterans and the local police leadership.  They obviously hold the opinion that  agreements made are only for their benefit and well-being and  may be changed by them to suit only themselves as and when they feel like it, without regard for the third party or the community at large.  In this respect we stress that the local police leadership not only fails to maintain law and order or to obey directives or police statements from you and Government but also has an attitude which brings the police force into disrepute. Page 2 18th September 2000

Commissioner Chihuri Commissioner of Police
Zimbabwe Republic Police
Police General Headquarters
Box CY 34

It is because of this unacceptable scenario and total disregard for negotiated agreements that we, the community of Karoi, including farmers, farm labourers, business persons, workers and residents will forthwith have to ensure that the Laws of the Country are complied with and upheld, preferably with your co-operation and assistance.

Thus, the community of Karoi will in particular ensure that :-

Human rights are recognised and protected in every instance.
The police maintain Law and order as set out in the constitution irrespective of  the party policies. We  quote  that the police role is "to preserve the internal security of and maintain law and order" in the country.
Every report made to the police station is correctly and efficiently dealt with in a proper and professional manner as stated in the police charter.
No person or political party is above the law.
Assets, moveable and immovable, are protected under all circumstances.
Investments, such as land preparation and water reticulation schemes are utilised by the investor fully and not interfered with under any circumstances.
No work stoppages or interference,  which put these investments at risk, will occur.
Persons in breach of the law be arrested and prosecuted accordingly. If necessary the people of this community will institute citizen's arrests if no reaction is taken by the regulating authority in due time.
The judicial system is utilised to take such action as may be necessary against any policeman/woman, irrespective of rank, who refuses or fails to carry our his/her legal and lawful obligation or duty to this community.

This letter is written, as we are most anxious to avert the following:-

Civil strife breaking out between farm labour forces and war veterans. The growing concern amongst farm labourers that their livelihoods and jobs are in jeopardy has sparked potentially violent clashes between the parties.
Further commercial businesses closing.
Further loss of production in the forthcoming crop.
Further labour redundancies.

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18th September 2000

Commissioner Chihuri
Commissioner of Police
Zimbabwe Republic Police
Police General Headquarters
Box CY 34

We wish it to be known that we acknowledge and accept that there should be a more equitable distribution of agricultural land.  This should be effected through an organised and regulated system as laid out in the 1998 Donors Conference.

This letter is written without reservation and will be forwarded to relevant sources and interested parties in order that our concerns be heard and addressed.

We exhort you and the local police authority immediately and at all times to adhere to the rule of law, maintain law and order, prevent security from deteriorating and protect human rights.  The consequences which may flow from your failure to do so will be solely your responsibility.

In concluding we express the sincere hope that you will give serious consideration to what has been written and will attend to our request as a matter of urgency.  A written reply by return setting out your intentions and the steps you intend taking to restore and maintain law and order will oblige.

Karoi Community.

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