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

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From The Sunday Times (SA), 26 September

Now Mugabe expels farm invaders

Zimbabwe's chaotic land reform programme comes full circle as so-called
settlers are themselves violently evicted from farms

Sunday Times Foreign Desk

Tafireyi Matondo sits on a drum along the Chirundu highway, surrounded by
his wife, Chiedza, grimy children and their personal possessions in the
ruins of a gutted hut. Glum and despairing, the 67-year-old war veteran
battles to make sense of the actions of the last couple of weeks. "It was
alarming," he recalls. "Soldiers and police came and evicted us
military-style. They used tear gas, beat us up, set our houses on fire,
rained missiles and sparked something like an inferno. We are sitting here
in the open, we have nothing to eat, nothing to drink and we don't know
where to go. There is no one to help us." It was an end Matondo never
envisaged when he and other war veterans violently invaded the farm Inkomo,
north of Harare, about four years ago. Then, he believed the government's
promises: that the land they had brutally wrested was now theirs, and their
rights to it would be protected. But last week, in a new twist to Zimbabwe's
controversial land reform programme, President Robert Mugabe's regime
embarked on a new phase of evictions: that of the war veterans and settlers
who had taken over once-vibrant commercial farms, usually those owned by

In a show of force by police, more than 200 settler families, as they are
known, were moved off at least 20 farms which include Little England, which
last year was the subject of a dispute between Mugabe's relatives and
villagers. Domestic animals such as cattle, goats and sheep were reportedly
stolen as their owners were booted out of their huts well before dawn, while
other animals, such as dogs, were killed. Huts on farms between the towns of
Norton and Banket are reported to have been torched and international human
rights watchdog, Amnesty International, said this week that at least 10
people were killed in the eviction from Porta farm. Police denied the
killings. By Wednesday this week burning and looting had spread from 30km
north of Harare and was approaching Doma and Mhangura, more than 100km away.
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said the evictions were to ensure that farm
land that was seized would be properly used. He said a land audit had shown
that seized farms were mostly lying fallow and had been reduced to dustbowls
by settlers who had no resources and lacked aptitude to till the land. Made
insisted the evictions would continue - even as the realisation that things
have come full circle seeps into the consciousness of the settlers.

Said Mudara Takawira, who was among thousands left stranded along the
Chirundu highway: "The government is now evicting us from the farms because
it has used us to vote it in, in previous elections. We know this is a
political issue. The government wants to be seen as if it is rectifying
problems associated with the land-reform programme and we are being used as
the scapegoats." He said there was also a growing belief among settlers that
they were being evicted so Zanu PF politicians could get the farms. But this
realisation means little to the wives of the settlers who once again find
themselves without homes - and without hope. "We are appealing to the
government to show mercy," said Chiedza Matondo. "We have grandchildren,
some as young as 10, and we don't know what to do."
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From The Daily Mirror, 25 September

Trust Bank clients fail to access funds

Daily Mirror reporter

Grace Mudiwa of Greendale, Harare, yesterday morning left her home and went
to Trust Towers, the headquarters of Trust Bank, hoping that news of the
bank's closure had just been another nightmare. After having heard on
Thursday evening that her bank had been placed under curatorship, she still
hoped that she would access her salary yesterday. That was not to be, and
she joined hundreds of other Trust Bank account holders who will have to
wait for the next six months, or until conditions set for the bank have been
relaxed, before she can withdraw her salary. "We had just got paid on
Wednesday and l was preparing to go and withdraw some of my money, but when
l heard that the bank had been closed during the 8 pm news, my heart skipped
a beat," she said. Yesterday morning, she joined scores of other account
holders who had hoped for a miracle, just in case the bank opened for
business. Instead, a notice was pasted on the bank's glass doors, telling
clients that the bank had been closed by order of the Reserve Bank. Trust
Bank becomes the fifth financial institution this year - after Intermarket
Discount House, Intermarket Banking Corporation, Royal Bank and Barbican
Bank - to be placed under the management of a curator after the RBZ
determined that they were financially unstable. First National Building
Society has also been under the management of a curator for nearly two
years. "l heard the rumours that the bank was about to be closed early in
the evening but when l rushed to the bank, the central bank notice was
already stuck on the windows," Brighton Matori said.

With one of the best marketed and best designed corporate brands in the
financial services industry, and certainly in the country, many people never
imagined that Trust Bank would one day be placed under curatorship. Problems
started in late 2003 when the bank was caught up in the liquidity crunch
that gripped the financial services sector. By January, allegations of shady
dealings, that involved speculative investments in vehicles and bricks
surfaced. Heads rolled, with group chief executive officer William Nyemba
and executive directors Chris Goromonzi and Nyevero Hlupo being forced to
resign. The move was meant to be part of the troubled bank's clean-up
campaign as directed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). To get the
commercial bank back on its feet, the RBZ through the Troubled Bank Fund,
provided liquidity support. Of the $208 billion liquidity gap support and
$60 billion statutory reserve support sourced from the central bank (making
it a total of $268 billion), only $83 billion has been repaid so far. The
amount, however, excludes interest charged on the loans, now believed to be
beyond $1 trillion. And when the bank's shareholders booted their chairman,
Dr Tichaendepi Masaya, out of office on Wednesday, little did they know that
the RBZ had other plans for them. Addressing a Parliamentary portfolio
committee early this week, RBZ governor Dr Gideon Gono warned that nine
banks would face the chop for failing to meet the central bank's
requirements. So far it is one down, eight to go.
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From The Sunday Times (SA), 26 September

Moyo sells his grubby SA mansion for a song

Penny Sukhraj

The South African luxury house of Zimbabwe's controversial Information
Minister, Jonathan Moyo, has been auctioned for R1.5-million - a low price
for the Johannesburg suburb of Saxonwold. Last year Moyo told lawyers,
acting on behalf of the Talunoza family trust, in whose name the property
was registered, to "get rid of the house" after he fell into arrears on bond
repayments to Nedbank. This week, the property's new owner, Dr Adam Habib,
executive director of the Democracy and Governance Research Programme at the
Human Sciences Research Council, confirmed the sale. Moyo had not lived in
the house for four years, and kept a caretaker on the property. However, the
property looked run-down by the time of the auction in November last year
and was sold at a price considered a bargain for one of Johannesburg's
upmarket northern suburbs. Moyo bought the house while working as a visiting
professor at Wits University in 1998. At the time, he paid R875 000 for the
1 976m˛ house in the suburb of Saxonwold, where monthly rents are estimated
to be between R20 000 and R30 000. However, Moyo left a legacy of unpaid
bills. Habib could not take proper ownership of the house because Moyo owed
the Johannesburg City Council about R60 000 in municipal rates. He also owed
more than R48 000 for electricity and water. "My lawyers had to send notice
to lawyers acting for Moyo, saying that if he did not pay the outstanding
amount within a stipulated time, we would pull out of the deal," said Habib.
The bills were finally settled in May, at which point Habib could move in
with his family. "When we got here, we found that many of the electrical and
water facilities were not working. The sewage was overflowing. The garden
had not been watered and was overgrown with weeds. And the pool was black,"
he said. Habib has spent about R300 000 repairing the eight-room house,
which has a double garage, a large modern kitchen, Oregon pine floors, two
lounges and four bathrooms. "The place was filthy. We had to get people in
here to strip everything and scrub and clean it. "We drained the pool,
scrubbed it out and then refilled it. We've taken out carpets and sanded the
original wooden floors. We also stripped the doors and restored their
original wood," he said.
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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 26 September

Mugabe's online nightmare

Matthew Buckland

When South African mainstream media were covering the banning and demise of
Zimbabwe's biggest independent daily paper, the Daily News, what wasn't
widely reported was that the title continued publishing from outside
Zimbabwe's borders via another medium: the internet. The Daily News had
cleverly registered a website address,, in
neighbouring South Africa and kept churning out the news in the absence of
its print product. So while Zimbabwean police moved into the Daily News
offices to shut down printing presses and confiscate computers, there was
not a single thing they could do about a website registered and located in a
foreign country with free press laws. Perhaps the South African media should
have made more fuss about the Daily News website. For example, it may have
ever so slightly dented the Zimbabwean government's victory if SABC or
news reports on the Daily News demise were accompanied by a reference to the
rise and continued presence of the website, together with the web address
for viewers to visit and support. Following the Daily News example, another
Zimbabwean website has now burst onto the scene. Zimonline, at, is another website for Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe
and it too is registered and published from South Africa - beyond the
clutches of the Zimbabwean government. Unlike the Daily News it is an
exclusively online publication without a newspaper to back it. The website
has a small army of dedicated journalists based in Harare and Johannesburg
to keep the news ticking over on a daily basis. The "" domain address
means that Zimbabwe's energetic editor-in-chief, Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo, can do absolutely nothing about these sites. He can vent,
scream, shout and spout his usual vitriol, but he cannot close Zimonline or
the Daily News website. The sites fall under South Africa's free press laws,
and that's where it ends.

Zimonline spokesperson and human rights lawyer Daniel Molokela says most of
his site's readership is from Zimbabwe, even though the site is based in
South Africa. He says the site has been "overwhelmed", attracting a big
readership that is showing a "thirst" for independent news. And the website
appears to be quite successful at breaking the news too. Molokela says that
some big South African titles such as Thisday, The Star, Sunday Independent
and Pretoria News have carried stories that Zimonline first broke. The
Zimonline and Daily News examples show the power of websites in championing
freedom of speech in oppressive environments, and the special role they can
play in the face of government censorship. Oppressive governments haven't
known quite what to do with the internet up until now because it's not as
simple to control as other media. In many ways websites are the ultimate
tools of democracy and freedom of expression. Almost anyone can publish
easily and quickly, and at a fraction of the cost of television, radio or
print. Websites are a way of combating not only political censorship, but
censorship caused by financial constraints. But the reason we have yet to
see a major clampdown on the internet by authoritarian regimes on this
continent is probably because it is still largely a tool of the elite:
restricted to universities, corporations and the wealthy. It has yet to pose
a threat worth worrying about in Africa, unlike China where internet use is
more widespread and authorities have tried to restrict the free flow of
information in cyberspace. The Zimbabwean government's recent moves to force
internet service providers in the country to monitor customers' e-mails and
report "objectionable, obscene, unauthorised" material shows a greater
awareness of the danger the internet poses. Regretfully, this unwanted
attention may be a sign of things to come from certain autocratic African
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From The Mail on Sunday (UK), 26 September

England in tour mutiny threat

Vaughan's new row over Zimbabwe

By Peter Hayter

English cricket's glorious summer is in danger of ending in a bitter dispute
involving players, selectors and management over the controversial tour of
Zimbabwe. Steve Harmison's withdrawal from the tour last weekend led to a
stand-up row between the fats bowler and captain Michael Vaughan, and
tomorrow all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is expected to follow suit and declare
himself unavailable for the one-day series in November. While England's
impressive run was halted at the Oval yesterday - the West Indies winning
the ICC Champions Trophy Final by two wickets - the refusal of England and
Wales Cricket Board chairman to allow coach Duncan Fletcher to rest key
players from the squad threatens a further breakdown in relations. Vaughan
and Fletcher believe the crisis could be avoided if the ECB accept the need
for senior players to stand down after their exertions of the past two years
and before a programme that includes a five-Test tour of South Africa and
next summer's Ashes campaign. Fletcher has made a final plea to Morgan to
relent, but if the board refuse to budge, even more player withdrawals are
expected from the 14-man squad, which is due to be announced on Tuesday.

The team spirit on which England have built their recent success has already
been unsettled by Vaughan and Harmison's confrontation last Saturday.
Celebrations after their victory over Sri Lanka went flat when Harmison
informed his skipper that news of his withdrawal was about to break. Prior
to Harmison's decision, Vaughan had passed on to his players the ECB line
that they had no choice but to tour for fear of ICC sanctions. In that
context, Vaughan urged his colleagues to make themselves available for
reasons of collective unity. But the Durham bowler's decision blew a huge
hole in any notion of team solidarity and Vaughan, upset that the side's
focus on beating Australia in last Tuesday's semi-final might have been
distracted, openly berated him. 'Harmy kicked a hole in the dam and raised
the possibility of division within the camp,' said one team insider. Apart
from moral concerns over a tour most players are privately opposed to,
Fletcher and his management team would prefer to allow the players some
well-earned time off, particularly given the poor standard of the current
Zimbabwe side. But with Morgan anxious not to irritate his ICC counterparts
by being seen to sanction and understrength squad, the selectors have been
told to pick their best players.
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Zim polls won't be postponed
26/09/2004 14:22  - (SA)

Harare - The government of Robert Mugabe will not delay parliamentary
elections to meet an opposition call to reform unfair electoral laws, state
media reported on Sunday.

Parliamentary polls are scheduled for March, but the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change has said it will boycott the polls unless sweeping
electoral reforms are made.

The opposition also demanded an end to political violence and the repeal of
repressive media and security laws.

The state Sunday Mail newspaper on Sunday quoted Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo saying it would be "treachery" to delay the elections, which
are traditionally held in March, because doing so risked overshadowing
celebrations in April of the country's independence from Britain 25 years

"It will be treachery for us as a nation to celebrate our 25 years of
independence in the shadow of elections," Moyo said. "The silver jubilee
calls for special celebrations."

Zimbabwe marks its 25th anniversary of independence from Britain on April

Moyo said President Robert Mugabe called the March polls "the anti-Blair
elections", a reference to Mugabe's repeated accusations that British Prime
Minister Tony Blair and the former colonial power are backing the

Though the government has announced some changes in polling practices, the
opposition has described them as cosmetic and falling far short of regional
election standards of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community.

Crackdown on opposition

Those standards call for an independent election commission to supervise
polling and election preparations.

State officials and commissioners appointed by Mugabe and ruling-party
lawmakers who dominate the Harare parliament are still set to run the March

Stringent security and media laws have been used to crack down on government
opponents, ban political campaign meetings and deny the opposition equal
access to the state media.

The country's only independent daily newspaper was banned last year. The
government controls the five main newspapers and the only television and
radio broadcast stations.

The opposition party on Thursday said under the nation's constitution
parliament elections can be delayed to the end of June and the government
needed more time to introduce acceptable reforms enabling the opposition to

Western nations have cut development aid to protest human rights violations
and disputed presidential elections in 2002 that gave long-time ruler
Mugabe, 80, another six-year term.

Independent observers said voting in that poll and a parliamentary election
in 2000 was swayed by political intimidation, violence and vote rigging.
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The Scotsman

Players Unsure over Zimbabwe Trip


Andrew Strauss claims all the players set to be selected for England's
forthcoming tour to Zimbabwe still have serious moral qualms about visiting
the country.

Middlesex batsman Strauss has yet to make up his mind, even though England
set a deadline of last night for players to inform their employers if they
were unwilling to travel to a country beset by Robert Mugabe's disgraced

The touring party for five one-day internationals in Zimbabwe is scheduled
to be announced on Tuesday, and it is already known it will not feature fast
bowler Stephen Harmison who last week made himself unavailable.

With Andrew Flintoff - recently nominated as the world's top one-day
cricketer - thought likely to follow his friend Harmison's lead, Strauss'
remarks betray more widespread uncertainty.

"All the players have deep-rooted moral problems with going on the tour. It's
not an easy situation for us to be in," he told BBC Sport Online.

"The England and Wales Cricket Board is going to be sending out a cricket
team to Zimbabwe - it's just a question of which personnel go.

"I can only speak for myself and I haven't made up my mind yet."
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      Cricket-Full strength England squad set for Zimbabwe, insists Graveney

      09-26-2004 , 13:36© 2004 AFP

      LONDON (AFP) - England chairman of selectors David Graveney insisted
that injuries will not be used as a smokescreen to leave players out of the
controversial tour of Zimbabwe in November.

      The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have assured players they
will not face reprisals if they opt out of the five-match one-day tour like
fast bowler Steve Harmison on moral grounds.

      But Graveney said that they remain committed to sending a
full-strength squad, and will not be using injuries as an excuse to leave
certain players out of the tour.

      "The side has not been selected. We will finalise our squad today,"
Graveney told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.

      "Steve Harmison is the only player who has indicated he is not going
to Zimbabwe. We will then announce the squad on Tuesday.

      "In my period of being a selector we have always selected the
strongest side. The only question with any team is subject to fitness.

      "A lot of players have been carrying a number of injuries during the
summer and it will be up to the medical staff to inform the selectors if a
period of rest would be beneficial for the demanding programme they have
ahead of them.

      "We're not trying to conceal anything. These guys, particularly the
core players who play both Tests and one-day internationals, have been
playing constant international cricket for a very long time.

      "We're going to take the strongest team. That's the way we play
international cricket but we'll take the fitness angle into account. The
selectors were castigated for taking injured players to Australia and we're
very conscious of that."

      Players selected for Zimbabwe will be consulted and given a chance to
express concerns before the squad is made public.

      England are also due to name a squad for their tour of South Africa.

      Harmison is expected to be included in that group but Graveney also
said more players may be taken to South Africa anyway because of the more
demanding nature of the tour.

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----- Original Message -----
From: Trudy Stevenson

* NB - in view of announced increase in local postage on 1 October to $4
600, if you fill this by 30 Sept you can save money on postage! (My note -
----- Original Message -----
From: H C
Sent: Friday, September 17, 2004 7:49 AM
Subject: telephone petition


We, the undersigned wish to voice our concern at the unjustified and
astronomical telephone charge increases introduced by Tel-One.  The unit
charges have been increased overnight from $120 to $585, a five-fold
increase. This is justified neither by the current rate of inflation nor an
improvement in the quality of service provided. It would appear that these
increases are the result of either pure greed or incompetence. It is likely
that several businesses will not be able to sustain such unrealistic
increases and will have to close down. At a time when the Governor of the
Reserve Bank is trying, quite successfully, to control inflation in
Zimbabwe, the latest measure is tantamount to economic sabotage. These
telephone charge increases will doubtlessly have a 'domino' effect on all
businesses, like fuel price increases do, and you can expect other
charges/fees/rates and subscriptions to increase in order to off-set these!

NAME                  ADDRESS
SIGNATURE                        DATE
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Zimbabwe Mirror

Little England evictions insensitive
Kuda Chikwanda

The eviction by government of A1 farmers resettled on Little England and
Inkomo farms two weeks ago betrays insensitivity in dealing with
discrepancies pertaining to the land reform programme, observers say.

The evictions have been described as a case of misplaced priorities as
government has decided to flex its muscle on the helpless A1 farmers, while
at the same time failing to effectively deal with more serious offenders
such as multiple farm-owners.

Several hundreds of families were displaced after government ordered the
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to forcibly evict the families on the two
farms on the pretext that new farmers were illegally occupying the farms.

The families were left stranded, as government had not looked for
alternative places to resettle the evictees before proceeding to torch the
settlers' homes.

With no running water and other sanitary facilities, a major health disaster
is looming as the families are currently camped by the roadside where they
can be seen cooking, while the children dice with death as they play in the
Harare-Chinhoyi highway.

Cattle, goats and chicken can also be seen roaming along the road, while the
evicted settlers seem to have no clue as to where to go.

Minister of Special Affairs for Lands and Land Resettlement, John Nkomo
refused to comment on the matter, referring all questions to the Mashonaland
West provincial and district administrations.

"Talk to them, its their baby," said Nkomo, who recently showed his
frustration with the defiance shown by senior government and party officials
named as multiple farm owners. In what could bring some relief to the
evictees, the High Court late last week granted an order suspending the

The case of Little England had been pending for years after senior party
officials had been unsuccessfully trying to take over the farm.

In evicting the settlers', government reneged on an original agreement with
the settlers who had occupied the farms in 2000 as A1 farmers, at the
insistence of government, pending the issuance of offer letters to them.

The government defended the farm invasions by the A1 settlers during that
period, saying they were legitimate demonstrations to show land hunger. In
addition government had assured settlers on Little England and Inkomo farms
that it would not evict them, but would send land experts to properly plan
settlements on the farms.

Elsewhere around the country, other A1 farmers, who were not in possession
of offer letters for the properties they had been urged by authorities to
occupy, were also evicted.

In another case 100 A1 farmers who were resettled on Groenvlie farm in
Mhangura in July 2001 were ordered off the land by government, but the
farmers have taken the matter to the High Court to challenge the government's

The farmers were approached on September 14 by a District Administrator, a
lands official and a policeman who advised the A1 farmers to vacate the
farms, of which failure to do so would warrant forced eviction.

Coming at a time when government is reportedly moving towards the completion
of the Land Reform programme and the fine-tuning of the exercise, the
decision to evict farmers when landless people are looking towards
resettlement poses a lot of questions.

Government at one time claimed to have resettled over 300 000 families in
the land resettlement exercise, but latest records show that just more than
124 000 families have been resettled so far.

A total of 111 084 families have been resettled under the A1 or
villagisation scheme, while only 12 943 out of a projected 56 000 were
resettled under the A2 or commercial scheme.

Though government defended the evictions as necessary, so as to pave way for
blacks who had resources to carry out commercial farming operations, this
has been dismissed by some people within Zanu PF as a mere guise to allocate
the farms to party bigwigs.

It is alleged that the settlers on Little England and Inkomo farms were
being evicted to make way for senior party politicians, whose interest in
the farms goes a long way back, despite such politicians already being in
possession of other farms.

"This is an extension of the multiple farm ownership saga, which
surprisingly let implicated individuals off the hook. There are a lot of
multiple farm owners in that area, and it is no secret that some of those
individuals are after Little England farm," said the source.

The relevant authority, the Ministry of Special Affairs for Lands and Land
Resettlement, has unsuccessfully grappled with multiple farm owners, and in
the process, has appeared overwhelmed by irregularities pertaining to farm

The accused multiple farm owners, some of whom are alleged to own six farms
each, escaped further scrutiny by Nkomo by transferring ownership of the
farms to names of family members and relatives.

Some senior party officials have defied calls by the President to cede
excess farms.

Recently, the government attempted to forcibly remove residents of Porta
Farm near the small town of Norton, offering them the option of Caledonia
farm, whose stands were unserviced. Similar anomaly-ridden evictions took
place at Kondozi, a Manicaland horticultural company that exported
vegetables to Europe and earned the country at least US$ 15 million a year
in revenue.

The government was accused of, among other things, failing to be sensitive
to the welfare of the farm workers at Kondozi, most of whom did not have
alternative places to go.

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