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

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Tobacco Farms Close As Land Fight Continues

UN Integrated Regional Information Network

September 25, 2001

At least 570 large-scale tobacco farms in Zimbabwe have shut down because of
violence on white commercial farms two weeks after the government undertook
to end land invasions and observe the rule of law under an agreement
brokered at a Commonwealth meeting in Nigeria, the 'Independent' reported on

Twenty of the farms were invaded and occupied in recent days, Jane Williams,
a spokeswoman for the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), was quoted as saying.
The stoppages on the 570 farms would result in the loss of 75 million kg of
tobacco worth more than US $224 million, she added. Production at about 400
other farms had also been slowed by the interference of ruling party
militants, the report said.

CFU Deputy Director Jerry Grant was quoted as saying on Thursday: "There is
no change regarding the situation on the farms. In actual fact, there is
increased violence." He accused the police of discriminating against
commercial farmers in favour of those who had invaded the mainly white-owned
farms with the blessing of President Robert Mugabe's ruling party, ZANU-PF,
the report said.

Analysts were quoted in the report as saying that new reports of violence on
farms had reinforced suspicions that the government had only agreed to the
Abuja deal to ease pressure on President Mugabe when he attends a
Commonwealth summit in Australia early next month.

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Militant occupations shut down white-owned farms in Zimbabwe

Up to 350 mainly white-owned farms in Zimbabwe have shut down, reportedly because of occupation by pro-government militants, while another 550 are only partially able to function.

The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) says 900 out of 1,150 farms are unable to continue normal operations because they are still under occupation by activists who back government land redistribution plans.

The agricultural slowdown has comes despite a Commonwealth-brokered deal reached earlier this month in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

Under that agreement, Zimbabwe's Government said it would end lawlessness on the farms in exchange for British financing of President Robert Mugabe's land reforms.

But since the Abuja deal, the CFU says 20 new farms have been invaded, while the occupiers have forced 25 farmers off their property.

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IMF cuts off Zimbabwe

Washington - The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut off Zimbabwe, saying it was ineligible for loans because it fell into arrears in February and that those arrears had risen to about $53 million by the end of August.

The lender said authorities in Zimbabwe had offered to make quarterly payments, but that those payments would fall short of the amount needed to stabilise the arrears.

The IMF said the actions would make the African nation ineligible for lending, including under a loan intended to help the nation tackle its poverty problems.

The IMF said it stands ready to help the government develop a plan for economic recovery as soon as possible and that it would review the overdue payments within three months.

"The IMF's executive board urged the Zimbabwean authorities to make full and prompt settlement of Zimbabwe's overdue financial obligations to the IMF," the lender said in a statement.

"The executive board urged the Zimbabwean authorities to adopt the economic and financial policies needed to enable Zimbabwe to achieve economic recovery as soon as possible," the lender said.

Earlier this month, the IMF said Zimbabwe's economy was deteriorating rapidly and its recovery depends on restoring business confidence and an orderly land reform program.

The IMF warned President Robert Mugabe's embattled government against rising inflation, growing poverty and closing down a parallel foreign exchange market thriving in the face of a severe hard currency shortage.

Zimbabwe is in its third year of recession. Analysts expect food shortages later this year or early 2002, raising the specter of civil unrest, after a sharp decline in farm output caused by disturbances on white-owned farms invaded by pro-government militants since February 2000.

The economic malaise has been worsened by the suspension of aid in 1999 by Western donors, mainly over Mugabe's controversial seizure of white-owned farmland for black resettlement without compensation.

In May, the IMF said cash-strapped Zimbabwe was late in its debt repayments to the fund. The following month, Finance Minister Simba Makoni appealed for IMF and World Bank help for Zimbabwe to fulfill its debt obligations, saying that it was determined to pay off $600 million worth of arrears.

The IMF has previously said that only comprehensive policies would provide a lasting solution to the nation's problems.

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Mugabe heads to Asia en route to CHOGM

The Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, has left Harare for a three-nation trip that will end at next month's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Brisbane.

Zimbabwe state television says President Mugabe is first flying to Singapore before continuing to Vietnam for an official visit in Hanoi.

President Mugabe is expected to come under fire at the CHOGM summit for his land reforms and his crackdown on political dissent.

Several groups have already said they will protest against the President's participation at the meeting in Brisbane.

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Zim chief justice brands critics 'racist'

-- The Mail&Guardian, September 25, 2001.

There are fears that Zimbabwe's reorganised Supreme Court might rubber-stamp
'fast-track land reform'


Zimbabwean civil society went on trial this week when the country's new
Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, branded criticism of himself "racist".
He refused to withdraw from the first constitutional test case brought
before the country's newly reorganised Supreme Court.
The government is asking the Supreme Court for a declaration that it has a
comprehensive land reform programme in place and that there is law and order
on Zimbabwe's white-owned farms.

"The case will decide whether Zimbabwe will be deprived of peaceful means of
change, by a decision that approves state violence," David Hasluck,
executive director of the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), warned his 5 000
embattled members in a confidential message.

President Robert Mugabe, after assuring visiting members of the
International Bar Association he would never pack the Supreme Court with
ruling Zanu-PF party loyalists, last month confirmed former minister
Chidyausiku as chief justice following the early retirement of Anthony
Gubbay (69). He also expanded the court to eight, promoting three new appeal
judges considered sympathetic to Zanu-PF.

Gubbay, an internationally respected figure, was forced to quit after
militants invaded his courtroom, making death threats.

During 19 months of state sponsored violence, judicial orders have
repeatedly been ignored and police have refused to act, but the Supreme
Court bench unanimously condemned "wicked things" done on pretext of
agitation for land redistribution, including more than 40 murders.

It would be a major coup for Mugabe to win a declaration endorsing his
"fast-track land reform" from the reorganised court, through a plea brought
on Wednesday. This would enable him to boast to President Thabo Mbeki he had
kept pledges to restore the rule of law in redistributing white farms to
black Zimbabweans.

But it would extinguish the dying hopes not only of farmers but lawyers,
journalists, unionists and social workers for the survival of civil society
and for peaceful change.

Last week four reporters were beaten by Mugabe's militants in the presence
of police while visiting a farm from which 20 families of workers had been
forced to flee.

And while maize stocks dwindle, food relief was allegedly reserved for party
card-holders in drought-stricken Mberengwa, 400 km south-east of Harare.

The Supreme Court under Chidyausiku will have the final say on a vital 30
contested results from the June 2000 parliamentary polls and, more
importantly, on the validity of Mugabe's bid to retain the presi-dency in
pending elections.

It will also judge imminent laws to control journalists, containing an
expected "patriotic" conduct code and state licensing system.

During nearly two hours of frequently acrimonious exchanges with the bench
on Wednesday, Adrian de Bourbon, counsel for the CFU, appealed to
Chidyausiku to recuse himself in view of his past statements and conduct,
towards not only farmers but the entire white community and Mugabe

In an affidavit, Hasluck said there was an unavoidable implication
Chidyausiku was made chief justice "because of his acceptability to those
invading land who are being allowed and encouraged to do so by the
government of the day".

Chidyausiku chaired a 1999 constitutional commission which published
advertisements declaring: "White settlers, with the help of the British
Government and their international friends, are funding sellout Zimbabweans
to buy your rights by urging you to vote no." Voters nevertheless rejected
the judge's plan to expand Mugabe's powers.

Chidyausiku claimed Hasluck's affidavit was "absolutely racist" but declined
to specify how when challenged by De Bourbon.

De Bourbon said the three senior appeal judges - Nick McNally, Wilson
Sandura and Simbarashe Muchechetere - should be brought in to hear the case
with the newly appointed Vernanda Ziyambi, Luke Malaba and Mishak Cheda, and
the long-standing Ahmed Ebrahim. No explanation has been given for the
exclusion of McNally, Sandura and Muchechetere from the bench for the case.

Chidyausiku was expected to adjourn the court for several days to consider
De Bourbon's recusal application, but rejected it after a 30-minute tea
break. He said detailed reasons would be given at the conclusion of the

Three days of argument are due, followed by some weeks' delay for the five
judges' verdict.

Deputy Attorney General Bharat Patel called on the court to declare a
credible programme of land reform is now in place, clearing the way for
lower-level courts to ratify moves to seize more than 4 000 designated
white-owned farms.

"We have had the Abuja agreement. I am not sure of the significance of that
document in law - possibly not very much on past experience," said Patel.

Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge on Wednesday told Parliament Britain must
provide funds before Zimbabwe will honour its side of the Abuja terms.

Up to 2 000 of the designated farms have been occupied by Mugabe's
militants, in defiance of repeated court orders, but experts reject his
claim that 100 000 peasant families have already been resettled there
successfully. They say 30 000 farm workers' families have been made homeless
and destitute.

While ministers claimed all recent incidents were stage-managed by whites,
independent reports said violence against farmers and workers was continuing
regardless of the Nigerian-brokered Abuja accord. Nearly 600 tobacco farms
have been shut down with 75-million kilogrammes of leaf, worth
US$225-million, going to waste, said the CFU.

"This case represents a watershed in the history of the judiciary," warned
De Bourbon. "The concept that justice must not only be done but be seen to
be done is on trial."
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Zimbabwe  - A View from the Pan.

Well Chikomba has come and gone as expected - the total vote was slightly
lower than in the June election and the Zanu vote slightly higher and the
MDC vote slightly lower - more or less the same pattern as the other
bi-elections. Chikomba is real Zanu territory, in a poll conducted last year
this area recorded the highest residual level of Zanu support of any
constituency in the country. In the context of the violent and intense
campaign conducted by the government in the constituency, this must be
regarded as a satisfactory result by the MDC. Thank God this is the last of
the bi-elections and we do not have to put any other rural constituencies
through this nightmare experience.

The Food Crisis.

MDC said in March this year that we were going to face a serious food
shortage. The Party also approached the international community and alerted
the UNDP to its point of view and formally requested that they should start
to think about a food aid programme. The cost estimated at the time, would
be about US$200 million and MDC suggested that the funds be made available
to the commercial firms in the food industry with the counterpart funds
(about Z$20 billion) being used to finance a range of programmes to
alleviate poverty and hunger. We said that this must be carried out
independently of any political party - including the MDC. The international
community eventually accepted the MDC point of view which was subsequently
confirmed by the professional agencies in the food field - with the sole
exception of the Ministry of Agriculture which continued to state to anyone
who would listen, that we would not need to import food. In July the UNDP
put its position to the international community and agreement in principle
was achieved that the donors would support the kind of programme put forward
by the MDC. A formal suggestion was submitted to the government to the
effect that if they asked for such aid, it would be forthcoming. There were
two problems with this proposal - government (Zanu PF) would not control the
programme and would not benefit from it politically and the admission that
they were short of food and needed assistance was too much to ask.

They did nothing.

Then, in August 2001, recognising that they were in fact running out of
maize, they imposed harsh new regulations on the grain industry. They made
both wheat and maize "controlled" products and stipulated that only the GMB
could trade in these commodities. The objective was quite clear - to secure
full control over grain supplies so as to be able to use this as a means of
patronage in meeting basic needs. The other was a crude attempt to reduce
the prices of basic commodities by imposing the GMB price structures on what
had been a free market. Now we are nearly at the end of the 2001 intake
season for maize and the wheat crop is yet to be harvested. The GMB, despite
all its huff and puff has taken in less than 100 000 tonnes of maize (three
weeks supply) and it is expected that about 250 000 tonnes of wheat will
become available from large-scale commercial farmers. With opening stocks on
the 1st of April 2001 of only 300 000 tonnes of maize, the GMB is now
nearing the end of its own stocks and must shortly start imports.

The crooks in Zanu PF are running around the traders trying to do deals as
it is fully expected that import licences will only go to a select few who
are Zanu loyalists - you can guess who might be involved. The private sector
has been left to its own devices in respect to wheat (despite the new
regulations) and is continuing to import wheat using foreign exchange
purchased on the free market. This has driven flour prices over the wall and
bread is now over Z$50 per loaf - compared to Z$15 in August 2000. There
will be some relief for bread when the new crop comes in - if the millers
and the farmers are allowed to get on with the job of buying and storing the

As yet there is no agreement with the farmers on the price the GMB will pay
and if this is not resolved very shortly, we will have yet another crisis.
However it is the maize sector that poses most concern. If we allow the GMB
to run out of maize, what will happen? Consumers have been sheltered from
the worst affects of the inflation in prices of this basic commodity by the
stocks of the GMB and their willingness to sell those stocks at below
replacement cost. Thus maize meal prices (unlike bread) have only risen from
about Z$14 per kilo in September 2000 to about Z$24 per kilo in August 2001.

If we have to import maize and use the free market for foreign exchange to
do so, maize prices will follow those of wheat and vegetable oils - the
landed cost of maize is expected to be about US$200 per tonne. Work that out
at (say) 300 to 1 and you get a frightening figure. If the government
releases some of its own foreign exchange at the official rate of 55 to 1,
then the cost of the imported product will rise only marginally above
current levels. Even if we import maize at the lower landed cost, we will
then still have the problem of getting it into the country. We need about
180 000 tonnes a month.

Assuming that the retention's on farm will feed those people in the rural
areas until, say April 2002, then we will only have to import urban needs
from now onwards - say about 80 000 tonnes a month. Even so that is 2000
rail wagons or 100 trainloads at 2000 tonnes per train per month. Nothing
like that capacity exists at this moment in time. If we physically cannot
meet requirements for this staple food, then I do not even want to think
about the consequences. When we get to the position where even farm stocks
are exhausted, then the import volume will rise towards the total required
for the country and could reach 150 000 tonnes a month until the 2002 crop
comes on stream in about June/July.

That is an impossible goal and if we do not start importing now - as Zambia
has been doing for at least two months already, then we will run out of
maize with all its consequences. MDC will not get any satisfaction out of
being the first to spell out the serious food situation and to propose
workable and affordable solutions. The party and its members - the great
majorities of whom are in the lower income category and living in the urban
areas, will suffer most. However sight must also not be lost on the millions
who are suffering food and other shortages in the more arid areas of the
country where there were crop failures this past season.

Had the MDC programme been adopted, their needs would have been met in full
and without disturbing the political equilibrium of the country. Starvation,
malnutrition and poverty are not the products of season factors; they are
the direct consequences of bad government. In Zimbabwe, these are the
inevitable hallmarks of the activities of Zanu PF and its selfish pursuit of
power at the expense of the people. The land issue; the contrived conflict
with Britain; the role of the tiny white community, are all red herrings.
Smoke thrown up to obscure the real agenda and its dreadful consequences.

M Ngwenya
24th September 2001.
Please note that this note is personal and does not necessarily reflect the
views of the Movement for Democratic Change.

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Choosing death
 "I cannot explain the madness that took place on [Sept. 11]. For what we saw with our own eyes is the face of evil. And evil cannot logically be explained because, as those of you who are steeped in the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas know, evil - malum - is nihil. It is nothing. Since God is existence itself - God told Moses, 'I am who am' - evil would be non-being. Nothingness. And to confront nothingness is to come face-to-face with unspeakable horror. "A terrorist is not born. Terrorists are made, with every conscious decision they make in life to hate, to choose death rather than life. Remember Terry Waite, the Anglican envoy who negotiated with terrorists for the release of the hostages in Lebanon, and who himself became a hostage, and suffered? He later wrote, 'The terrible thing about terrorism is that ultimately it destroys those who practice it. Slowly, but surely, as they try to extinguish life in others, the light within them dies.' "And where there is no light, there is darkness. Nothing. Speculation is all around on who is responsible for the attacks on our country. With amazing speed, we have identified the terrorists who took over the planes, and we probably know who masterminded it. But who is really behind it all? We are speaking of an enormity of hate and evil here, for these were evil acts. But evil is not something. Evil is someone. Satan. "Barbara Olson, full of life, cheerful, laughing, smiling, loving, was the opposite of the dark powers that brought her death. But their evil deed was in vain."
-The Rev. Franklyn McAfee of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Great Falls, in his memorial sermon preached Sept. 15 for Barbara Olson, killed in a Sept. 11 terrorist attack
No prayer for pacifism
"A class begins and the voice from the front of the room says, 'We only got what we deserved. We've been bombing and invading other countries at will.' In a seminar, a student says, 'The level of patriotism in America is scary.'
"College campuses are probably the most liberal, politically correct havens in America, and here at Duke [University], the PC response to the attack is rampant. Such sentiments are the result of a liberal education gone awry.
"The incident has awakened a sleeping giant. "
A minister at the prayer service at the University last Wednesday told the audience to pray that the government remains peaceful and doesn't attack anyone else. Although we've all been brought up wanting world peace, I will not pray for pacifism. I'll pray against it."
-Alexandra Wolfe, writing on "Lack of Outrage," in the Sept. 19 issue of the Duke University Chronicle
A world of thugs
"Remarkably, the term 'civilized world' is now being used without politically correct embarrassment. The civilized world consists of the advanced modern nations, mostly of the West.
"And it is remarkable how quickly the civilized world came together in response to this assault, an assault that was radical and profound.
"The fact is that most of the world is not civilized, and that most of the things we call 'nations' are not nations in the modern sense at all. Zimbabwe does not have a government. It is run by a thug named Robert Mugabe. It does not have disciplined courts of law, its life lacks predictability, its treasury is empty, and bands of brigands roam the countryside.
"'Zimbabwe' is merely a geographical expression, not a nation. And the same is true of much of the planet. Iraq is not a nation. It does not have a government in any civilized sense. What kind of a wild thing is Iran, with its Ayatollahs? What is the 'Palestinian Authority'? Who elected Arafat? Multiculturalists don't take their vacations in these cockroach entities.
"The assault on us brought such reflections into the foreground of the mind."
-Jeffrey Hart, writing on "In Focus," Friday in National Review Online at
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Mugabe party holds on to ex-veterans leader seat

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's ruling party won a by-election for the parliamentary seat left vacant by the death of the man who spearheaded the invasion of white-owned farms, state television said Monday.

The television said Mugabe's ZANU-PF won 15,570 votes against 5,207 for the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Liberation war veterans' leader Chenjerai Hunzvi, who held the Chikomba seat until his death in June, had been at the forefront of the invasion of white-owned farms by pro-government militants, which began in February last year.

His supporters -- many claiming to be veterans of Zimbabwe's war of independence against white-minority rule -- also waged a violent election campaign which was widely credited with helping ZANU-PF narrowly win the June 2000 elections.

At least 31 people, mostly opposition supporters, died in pre-election violence. Five of the victims were farmers whose properties were invaded.

Hunzvi, a key political ally of Mugabe, won 63 percent of the Chikomba vote in the general election for ZANU-PF against the MDC's 32 percent.

Four parties contested the by-election, but analysts said the real contest was between ZANU-PF and the MDC. Analysts predicted the ZANU-PF would retain the seat, a traditional stronghold of the ruling party in southeast Zimbabwe.

While voting in Chikomba was peaceful Saturday and Sunday, the MDC has accused ZANU-PF supporters of killing a school headmaster who backed the opposition two weeks ago.

ZANU-PF officials have blamed MDC militants for the death, saying the man had defected to the ruling party.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai poses the first serious challenge to Mugabe in presidential elections due by April next year.

Critics say Mugabe's controversial program to seize white-owned farmland for redistribution to landless blacks is part of a campaign to retain power in the face of an unprecedented economic crisis blamed on 21 years of misrule since independence.

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From the Daily News

Stamps denies hospitals have run out of essential drugs

9/24/01 7:50:06 AM (GMT +2)

Luke Tamborinyoka

TIMOTHY Stamps, the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, on Thursday denied
allegations by MDC MPs that pharmacies at major hospitals had run out of
essential drugs.

“It is an incorrect observation that the pharmacy at Mpilo is empty. Other
hospitals have not really run out of drugs as claimed,” Stamps told the

The MDC MPs argued during the debate on the $17,2 billion supplementary
budget sought by Simba Makoni, the Minister of Finance and Economic
Development, that the $1 billion supplementary vote for the Health Ministry
was inadequate considering the crisis in the health sector.

They noted that the sector has been plagued by an acute shortage of drugs
and perennial work boycotts by doctors and nurses.
The opposition MPs had proposed that the supplementary budget for the
ministry be increased to $7 billion.
Stamps said the situation was not as bad as reflected by the opposition MPs.

He said though there was urgent need for foreign currency, he had received
massive support from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

The RBZ, he said, had provided his ministry with US$342 000 (about Z$19
million) to finance critical areas.
Stamps was heckled by the MDC MPs, during his speech.

The House, sitting as a committee, yesterday adopted Makoni’s proposal and
the Ministry of Health received $1,3 billion.
Makoni said he would fund the supplementary votes from government savings on
Debate on the supplementary budget was adjourned on Wednesday after MDC MPs
argued that the $1 billion proposed for the Ministry of Health and Child
Welfare was too little.

According to Makoni’s proposals, the Ministry of Defence, for long a
recipient of the largest chunk of the National Budget, gets an additional
$1,432 billion.

Other government departments that will receive additional funds are Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare ($2,568 million), Finance and Economic
Development ($5,833 million), Vote of Credit ($4 million), Audit ($1,3
million), Industry and International Trade ($65 million) and Lands,
Agriculture and Rural Resettlement ($1,25 million).

The supplementary vote for the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare ($2,568 million) will go towards drought relief, a public assistance
programme under the Department of Social Welfare.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs needs a further $22 million, Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing ($106 million), Home Affairs
($480 million) and the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
($229,7 million.)

The Office of the President and Cabinet, which comprises the Department of
State Security, will receive $213 million.
Operatives of the CIO, which falls under the ministry, are reportedly on a
go-slow to press for better salaries.

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From the Daily News

Soldiers yet to appear in court

9/24/01 7:46:01 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

DESPITE court orders to have them prosecuted, 50 soldiers who beat up people
in Masvingo two months ago have not appeared in court.

The police in Masvingo have refused to comply with orders from two Masvingo
magistrates, Enias Magate and Shortgame Musaiona, to bring the soldiers to
court without delay.

Masvingo provincial magistrate Magate, said the soldiers had not appeared in
court despite the orders.
“I am not aware of any latest development but what I know is that they have
not appeared in court. It is in the interest of justice that the State has
to prove their innocence,” said Magate.

The relationship between court officials in Masvingo and the police over the
issue has been strained following continued refusal by the police to bring
the soldiers to court.

On 8 August this year magistrate Musaiona ordered the police to bring
thearmy recruits to court within seven days to face either public violence
charges or assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The police, however, refused to comply with the court order arguing that the
$60 deposit fines paid by the soldiers were proper.

The army recruits were arrested following the disturbances in Masvingo town
and ordered by the police to pay deposit fines of only $60.
In a letter to the Officer-in-Charge Masvingo Central, Musaiona said: “May
you with the powers vested in you, ensure that the soldiers are brought
before the court within seven days.
“The scrutinising magistrate was extremely appalled and shocked at the
manner in which your office assessed the case.” The magistrate insists that
the recruits have a case to answer.

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From the Daily News

CIO intercepts MDC documents at airport

9/24/01 7:49:09 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

CENTRAL Intelligence Organisation operatives have been deployed at the
Harare International Airport cargo to intercept documents the opposition MDC
intends to present at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in
Australia next month.

On Friday two CIO operatives were assigned to the Air Zimbabwe cargo section
and were waiting for the Brisbane-bound MDC cargo. On Saturday the two
operatives spent the day at the cargo section, but in vain.
Sources said these intelligent officers were masquerading as customs
officials so they could intercept the MDC material.
“They will intercept the documents or make copies so that the government
will know in advance what the MDC intends to present at Brisbane,” said one
of the sources.
Learnmore Jongwe, the MDC Secretary for Publicity and Information, yesterday
confirmed that his party will make presentations at the Brisbane summit.

Jongwe said: “These agents disguised as customs officials, searched luggage
belonging to MDC’s advance team to Brisbane, which left on Friday.
“Their brief is to search luggage of the MDC delegation travelling to
Brisbane with the intention to seize any documentary evidence pertaining to
the violation of the Abuja Agreement. . .”
Nicholas Goche, the Minister of State for Security, could not be reached
last night for a comment.
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From the Daily News

Violence mars Chikomba poll

9/24/01 8:00:09 AM (GMT +2)

From Pedzisai Ruhanya in Chikomba

IRREGULARITIES, including, intimidation, harassment and the unlawful arrest
of MDC supporters, among them a Member of Parliament, marred the two-day
Chikomba by-election which ended last night with more than 20 000 people
having voted.

According to Augustine Tsuro, the constituency registrar, a total of 19 703
people had voted by 10am yesterday while 3 215 were turned away because they
did not have the relevant particulars or their names did not appear on the
voters’ roll.

Most of the people cast their votes on Saturday, the first day of the
election and yesterday only a handful went to the polling stations.
The MP for Mbare East, Tichaona Munyanyi, was among 20 MDC supporters
arrested by police on Thursday and detained at Sadza Police Station. They
were released on Friday, the eve of the election.

War veterans and Zanu PF supporters forced village headmen to bring people
to the polling stations and marked registers of the villagers present before
they voted.

At Sadza growth point some village heads were seen ticking names of the
villagers in registers before the voters entered the polling station, while
some war veterans were monitoring the process.

At Nzuma primary school, two Zanu PF trucks marked Mashonaland East
Province, were ferrying and dropping off voters within 100 metres of polling
Augustine Tsuro, the constituency registrar yesterday claimed there were no

He said: “I did not receive any report of that nature. My supervisors in
those areas have not raised any complaints.”
Virginia Gwena, the MDC constituency co-ordinator complained that MDC
supporters were being harassed by the riot police.
Gwena said: “On Thursday 20 of us were arrested and released on Friday
morning for allegedly moving at night.”

Gwena said some of those arrested were MDC election agents who were
returning from Harare, where they had gone for training.
“The police were harassing us. They denied us the opportunity to campaign
during the night while Zanu PF were allowed to do so. The election was not
free and fair,” she said.

Kudzanai Mashumba, the MDC co-ordinator for Mashonaland East alleged that on
Saturday Zanu PF youths in youth brigade uniforms carried knobkerries and
intimidated voters at Nharira.

He alleged that the youth brigades threatened the elderly people to vote for
Zanu PF.
Dr Oswald Ndanga represented the MDC while Bernard Makokove stood for Zanu
PF. The by-election followed the death of Chenjerai Hunzvi in June.

The other candidates were Takaindisa Muzondo of the United Parties and
Thomas Mudzinga of Zanu. In the June 2000 election, Chenjerai Hunzvi polled
13 417 votes against 6 776 for the MDC’s Peter Kaunda.
Piniel Denga, the MDC’s provincial chairman said his vehicle was taken away
last week by war veterans while another youth, Regis Chikonyati, was
abducted last Thursday at Chambara School and is still unaccounted for.

Denga said: “This is a violent election. There is no peace here.”
However, the voting process was largely peaceful with no incident of
violence. Hundreds of armed police officers were manning most stations
visited by The Daily News. The election result will be announced later

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From the Daily News

Fuel costs force brewery to close

9/24/01 7:50:21 AM (GMT +2)

By Raymond Mgadzah, Senior Business Reporter

Nesbitt Brewery, the independent Chiredzi beer-brewing company which was
opened by President Mugabe 12 years ago, has closed down citing escalating
fuel costs as the major factor affecting the viability of its operations.

Nesbitt Brewery was known for its Hunter’s lager. The managing director,
Digby Nesbitt said: “We stopped brewing a month ago when the new fuel prices
came into effect. “The main problem was the cost of delivering the beer. It
cost us more to get a keg of beer to Harare than what the content was
Nesbitt said in addition to the rapid increase in fuel prices electricity,
which is a major input in the brewing process, had also risen sharply.

At its peak four years ago, Nesbitt Brewery produced 4 500 litres of beer a
day. When the company closed it had a staff complement of 14. Nesbitt said:
“We have drafted them into different divisions of the company.”

Nesbitt has interests in the bakery and farming industries. He, however,
said these businesses were also facing an uncertain future.

“The farming operation is a disaster and the bakery isn’t looking too good
either. The farm is a safari operation that’s been closed since land
invasions started two years ago. “The outlook for my businesses is grim,
very grim,” he said.

Nesbitt is pinning his hopes on a return to normalcy in the wake of the
Abuja agreement under which Britain undertook to help compensate farmers
whose land has been designated for compulsory acquisition by the government.

In return the government has promised that there would be no new land
invasions. But the Abuja agreement, should it succeed in helping to bring
about an economic turnaround, will have come too late to save the ambitious
brewery business which was officially opened by Mugabe just over a decade
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From the Sunday Times (UK)

September 23 2001

Mugabe's police bug poll rivals

Tom Walker

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe gave a stiff warning to white farmers on Friday against resisting his violence-wracked land reforms.

"I emphasise this against the background of a very dangerous trend where some commercial farmers are attacking the land demonstrators and resisting settler emplacements," Mugabe said, according to the official Ziana news agency.

"That will have to stop forthwith, unless these commercial farmers are ready for a conflict situation. "We continue to watch this closely to see whether or not this amounts to a resurgence of military structures of the colonial period," he said in a speech to a meeting of the ruling party's central committee.

Mugabe warned farmers against forcing occupiers off their land, saying that the government would remove occupiers from land it did not plan to acquire.

Government plans to resettle about 95% of white-owned farms with black farmers.

Mugabe said his land reforms should translate into popular support for his campaign in the presidential election, expected in February or March next year.

His comments came in the wake of an international diplomatic push to resolve the crisis, noteably in a Commonwealth-brokered deal in which Mugabe is to curb the violence that has accompanied his land reforms in exchange for British financing of the scheme.

But since that deal was reached on September 6, violence on the farms has continued unabated.

Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) met as the government and the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) again stood before the Supreme Court to argue over the land reforms.

Government has taken the mostly white CFU to the Supreme Court to ask the nation's highest court to declare the land reforms legal, and to declare that government has restored rule of law on the farms.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku adjourned the case until Wednesday, and recommended that farmers and the government seek to settle the case through dialogue to address the legal and political concerns surrounding land reform.

The Supreme Court in November declared the land reform scheme unconstitutional and ordered police to evict occupiers from white-owned farms.

Mugabe has since appointed a new chief justice and expanded the bench to include three more judges. Those four justices and only one senior judge are now hearing the case. - Sapa-AFP

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