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

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MDC hold urban strongholds
HARARE, 1 Sep 2003 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), has consolidated its grip in urban areas after
winning the majority of executive mayoral posts and local councils in
weekend elections.

The polls were marred by a low voter turn-out, while the opposition
complained of intimidation and violence, including cases of fire bombings
against members' homes. One victim was the MDC chairman in the northern
farming town of Karoi, Biggie Haurobi, whose house was set alight by unknown
assailants on the eve of voting.

In two key parliamentary by-elections, also over the weekend, the MDC won
Harare Central in the capital, while results for the Makonde rural
constituency in the centre of the country had not been released by late
Monday evening.

In Harare Central, the MDC candidate polled 2,707 to ZANU-PF's 1,304 votes.

The countrywide municipal elections involved 222 council wards in 21 towns
and cities, with seven mayoral posts up for grabs.

In the resort town of Kariba, in President Robert Mugabe's home province of
Mashonaland West, the MDC's mayoral candidate John Rolland Houghton beat his
ZANU-PF rival Petros Maya.

The MDC also won executive mayoral posts in Victoria Falls in Matabeleland
North, and Gwanda, the capital of Matabeleland South province. The
opposition party was also expected to romp to victory in the Midlands
capital of Gweru, and the city of Mutare in Manicaland province.

The MDC already has executive mayors in Harare, the second largest city
Bulawayo, Masvingo, and the satellite town of Chitungwiza, 35 km from

The MDC also won ward council elections in Bulawayo, where it white-washed
the ruling party by winning in all the 29 wards.
It also won the ward elections in Hwange in the west and Masvingo in the

But the ruling party consolidated its power base in Mashonaland West,
winning in Norton and Kadoma. It took Kwekwe town in the Midlands province
where it won the mayoral post and ward elections. In Shurugwi, in the centre
of the country, it won all 13 wards.
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Mugabe's man claims top reserve for 'hunting'

      September 01 2003 at 07:55AM

   By Gustav Thiel

Amid weekend reports that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is building a
R60-million retirement mansion, it has emerged that one of his closest
allies has claimed the world-renowned Hwange Wildlife Estate to be used for
hunting purposes.

The estate is home to the "presidential herd" of about 500 elephants, which
were given special presidential protection in a decree issued by Mugabe in

Johnny Rodrigues, chairperson of the Zimbabwean Conservation Task Force,
said on Sunday that the governor of Matabeleland, Obert Mpofu, "has just
simply taken the Hwange estate".

"The land will now be a free-for-all for poachers and for him (Mpofu) to
allow hunters to kill the animals," he said.

The Hwange Wildlife Estate is state-owned and comprises 14 000ha of prime

Rodrigues said he "would not be surprised if he (Mpofu) next moves to claim
land in the Hwange National Park for his own purposes" because there were no
fences separating the estate from the park.

Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe's biggest game reserve at 14 650km2.

Rodrigues added that people like Mpofu "are putting a death sentence on the
future heritage of the country and the benefits that wildlife conservation
would have had for the people of the country".

It has been estimated that more than $400-million (about R2,9-billion) has
been lost in Zimbabwe's southern region because of rampant poaching.

Bambo Kadzombe, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Wildlife Advisory Council, said:
"Three thousand animals have been poached so far on commercial game farms
and Zimbabwe's conservancies, mainly at Save Valley, Mahenye, Bubiyana
conservancy, Bubye Valley and Chiredzi River conservancy."

In 2002, more than 100 poachers had been arrested and Kadzombe said that if
the poaching continued species could become extinct. Rodrigues said it was
with that in mind that Mpofu should understand the "folly of allowing
hunting at Hwange".

He said over the past five years more than 300 of the remaining black rhino
in Zimbabwe had been killed.

A wildlife researcher based in Zimbabwe said the taking of the land by Mpofu
could jeopardise the inclusion of Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou Park in the Limpopo
Transfrontier Park, combining three national parks in Zimbabwe, Mozambique
and South Africa.

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Southern African urban diary - A week in the lives
by John Sparrow and Selma Bernardi in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe

<b>International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) - Switzerland</b><br> logo
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) - Switzerland
Urban ills are growing in southern Africa. In the humanitarian crisis gripping the region, aid efforts have been greatest in rural areas. The needs of towns and cities have been overshadowed, although often they are more acute. Red Cross home-based care services provide critical support to those most at risk from an enduring disaster driven by AIDS that is eroding the fabric of society. A week in the lives of urban Zimbabweans shows why the International Federation is appealing for US$ 10 million to strengthen a safety net for vulnerable people across the region.

A bright morning does not lift the depression over the industrial town of Chitungwiza, south of Harare. Mamerida Tanda, 34, one of Zimbabwe’s legion of young widows, has much to think about in the hour and a quarter it takes to walk from her home in Unit D to the Red Cross home-based care post in a local clinic.

It isn’t easy bringing up four children alone in a tough urban environment reeling from humanitarian crisis and deepening economic recession. There’s the rent, the water and electricity bills, the school fees and uniforms, the daily struggle to put food on the table, and one over-riding consideration.

Like a third of the adult population she is living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). More than that, as a Red Cross volunteer bringing home-based care to her neighbourhood, her days are filled with helping others to “live positively” as well.

She crosses a yard off a backstreet, and calls out through a half-opened door. A voice responds and she enters a darkened room with a concrete floor and low corrugated iron roof. In the gloom a woman is waiting for her.

Alice is 31, alone, afraid and penniless. She is also eight months pregnant. Mamerida calls in twice a week and is the person Alice confides in.

Driven into the social shadows by the stigma of HIV, the woman trusts no one else.

She has reason. Her neighbours have figured that she is HIV-positive - her skin infections betray her. And, she says, they are laughing at her.

Alice hopes to God her baby will live. Her other five children are dead, the last four succumbing to wasting illnesses before the age of two. Why no one suspected HIV until after the final death is worrying in a country with such a high prevalence. But it was only then that Alice was tested.

The Red Cross worker can relate to the subsequent devastation. It was the recurrent illness of her own youngest child that prompted Mamerida’s test. Her little girl, too, is now dead.

Already widowed, she struggled on for the sake of her other, healthy children. Alice, though, went to pieces. When the news came through of her infection, her husband left her and the in-laws they lived with threw her out.

She ended up on the streets, sleeping in doorways and eating out of the trash. The fear is that she could soon be back there. A Red Cross HIV support group helped her find this place. It isn’t much but it’s cheap. Alice, though, has no income and has not yet managed to pay any rent. Eviction could come before she gives birth.

Mamerida will be there and do her best to help. For now she dresses her wounds and counsels her.

She talks of infection control, the importance of nutrition in positive living, and brings her Red Cross food parcels. Her skin has improved with her diet. Alice says just having someone to talk to is important.

Whatever happens, her baby will have a chance. Alice has been admitted to a programme to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. Almost 90 per cent of all HIV-infected children (some 2.7 million in 2001) live in sub-Saharan Africa and the virus has reversed years of improvements in child survival.

There is more than one cause, but mother-to-child transmission is the major one, with rates reaching up to 30 per cent, and up to 45 per cent with prolonged breast feeding. The most dangerous time is during labour and delivery but an anti-retroviral drug called nevirapine can cut rates by half.

Alice will take one nevirapine tablet when her labour begins, and her child will receive an oral dose within 72 hours of birth.

Mamerida is planning for Alice to deliver in hospital and have her counselled on the risks and benefits of infant feeding options. Breast feeding can add to the risk of HIV transmission although lack of it can increase the risk of other infectious disease and malnutrition.

There is one complication. Alice has an unpaid bill from her last hospital visit which means two things could happen. The hospital could refuse to take her or hold her after the birth until both her bills are paid. Mamerida is working on the latter. Better a prisoner of the health service, she says, than on the streets with a new-born baby. Somehow she will find the cash.
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Hi All
This weekend (30&31 August) Council elections were held throughout Zimbabwe. This evening the results were  announced.
The movement for Democratic Change (MDC) took every town and city apart from two. These two happen to be overun by the evil NAZI ( or should I say ZANU PF) forces existing in this country.
Bulawayo had a most resounding success, with the MDC taking all 29 seats by extremely large majorities. The MDC had been working hard for months; planning, recording, watching, alert, so that the NAZI's could not cheat as usual.
I was one of those lucky enough to be outside the City Hall when the results were announced.
As the results of one ward after another were read out, the crowd became more jubilant.
At the end of it when it was realised that the MDC had won EVERY ONE of the 29 seats (by large majorities) the crowd became ecstatic!
Oh my, what an experience it was!
The cheering, the dancing, the singing, the sheer joy of the crowd was simply explosive. Tears were running running down many many faces. The kissing and the hugging! The congratulations! Blacks, whites, coloureds, you name it. For the first time in many years; the people of this country had WON! And WERE ONE.
Suddenly the huge crowd just burst forth, down the street into and through the city singing, cheering, with banners, voting posters taken from the trees, MDC flags etc. etc. obtained at the spur of the moment from who knows where? 
In a situation of this nature it is common practice for the police here to fling tear gas around; to beat people around the head with riot batons, whether they be women or children or whatever and then to fling them into gaol. The police did nothing they simply stood there with terrified expressions on their faces. I think that maybe it has at last sunk in that just maybe THEY HAVE BACKED THE WRONG HORSE!
What a wonderful, wonderful evening. What a wonderful feeling one has inside after that incredible experience. Oh joy; I think our country is on the way to being saved at last.
God bless you all for helping us
And especially God bless us - the people of Zimbabwe
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MDC Euphoric over Total Control of the City


The democracies of Africa can no longer deny the wishes of the Zimbabwean people as the Movement for Democratic Change has proven their position as the party of choice for the country’s major urban centers.


Twenty nine Council Seats were fought for in Bulawayo over the weekend and every one of those has been overwhelmingly won by the opposition MDC.  A crowd of around three hundred MDC supporters were gathered at the steps of the City Hall when the results were announced.  The crowd spontaneously and euphorically erupted into songs of jubilation, but this excitement was short lived as all realized the potential danger of their pro MDC celebration. 


The police gathered in the area looked on despondently, but no violence has been reported.  However, information has come in that a force of around fifty uniformed (not riot) police are currently awaiting instruction outside Central Police Station, close to the City Hall.


Alderman Charles Mpofu was arrested on Sunday for violating Section 21 of the infamous Public Order and Security Act (POSA).  His crime was to allege that the police were behaving in a partisan manner!  He has been released on remand.


The City Council results are made especially significant considering the widespread intimidation carried out by the ZanuPF regime in the run up to the elections and throughout the weekend, as well as the regime’s manipulation of the voters’ roll.  The MDC has consistently been denied access to the voters’ roll and there is extensive evidence that the roll has been tampered with. 


According to photographic and anecdotal evidence collected there were also several reports of food used as a means to coerce voters to cast their ballot in favour of the regime.  The abuse of food comes at a time when millions of Zimbabweans are on the brink of starvation.


The MDC victory is a remarkable feat bearing in mind that the party is denied any access to the population through the state controlled television and radio.  In any truly democratic society Council elections are fought through the media, not so in Zimbabwe.


Despite all odds the MDC has gained almost total control of the country’s major urban centers.  The ZanuPF regime still manages to hold on to power in the rural centers, but only under the threat of violence to a depressed population ravaged by starvation and intimidation.



Eight out of ten Council seats were claimed by the MDC.  One of the seats lost to the ZanuPF regime was drastically affected by the “import” of all A2 settlers in the area into that ward.  The other seat was lost by seven votes.



Seven out of ten seats went to the MDC as did the position of Mayor.  It has been reported that the city is in celebratory mood with all bottle stores plying a brisk trade.


Victoria Falls

Eight out of ten Council seats were won by the MDC, as did the Mayoral position.

One ward reporting no voting, and  one seat loosing by two votes.




Report Bulawayo South; Midday Sunday 31st August 2003

 I have just completed a tour of several polling stations in the Bulawayo South constituency. 5 Wards are being contested in the constituency. The election has been marked by a high level of voter apathy and by lunchtime today less than 10% of those registered to vote had done so. I spoke to a number of people in the constituency this morning who had not voted and they gave a variety of reasons for not doing so, including that they were worn out having queued over the last few days for money, food and other basic necessities, that there was no need because the MDC would win a landslide in any event and, most often, that they feared that if they voted and Zanu (PF) lost they would be denied food aid.

 Once again it appears as if Zanu (PF) has been using food as a political weapon. On Friday the 29th August I received a credible report from a local Postmistress that she had personally witnessed the Zanu (PF) candidate for Ward 5 participating in a hand out of GMB food at Sir Henry Low School, Morningside. The Zanu (PF) candidate was recording the names and ID numbers of those receiving GMB maize meal. I received a completely separate report that the same candidate was witnessed doing the same thing at Bradfield Shopping Centre earlier on in the week.

 On Friday evening I received a report from a Bulawayo businessman who runs a transport business that army and police had tried to commandeer one of his lorries on Friday to convey GMB maize to areas within Bulawayo where Council elections are being held. On the same day police and army raided a large Bulawayo based milling concern, National Foods, and tried to commandeer stocks of maize for the same purpose. They were only thwarted because the business was conducting a stock take and the maize meal could not be accessed.

 At Barham Green School polling station (in Ward 6) yesterday an old woman, after voting, demanded that she receive a “receipt” from the Presiding Officer to be able to prove to Zanu (PF) that she had indeed voted  as “that would enable her to get food” in the next few days. Yesterday I received reports from two of the MDC candidates in Wards 25 and 26 (Councillors Kheswa and Ndlovu) that people had been told by Zanu (PF) election officials that large stockpiles of maize situated just outside two polling stations in the two wards would only be made available to the public on Monday (the 1st September) “once they had seen how the people had voted”.

 I took a drive myself through these two wards this morning and sure enough there were the two stockpiles being guarded by so called “war veterans” outside Nkulumane High School polling station in Ward 25 and outside Senzanakona School polling station in Ward 26. The stockpile outside Nkulumane School is located in a fenced yard which is owned by war veterans and which is right over the road from the school. The huge stockpile of food in Ward 26 is located in an open stretch of land about 500 metres from the School next to the main road that leads to the polling station. Photo 69 shows the pile of food with Senzanakona School in the background, 68 is a close up of the food being guarded by war veterans and 67 shows the food from a distance and the road which leads back to the polling station. Photo 66 shows the Nkulumane High School polling station with the yard containing the food just to the right, 65 is a close up of the food in the yard, 64 shows Nkulumane polling station with the yard to the right and 62 is of Councillor Litshe Kheswa the sitting Councillor and MDC candidate for Ward 25 with the stockpile of food in the background.

 It is pertinent to recall the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act which outlaw this type of practice. Sections 104, 105 and 106 are recorded in full below.


CORRUPT PRACTICES (sections 104-109)



            (1)  Any person who corruptly by himself or by any other person, whether before, during or after an election, directly or indirectly, gives or provides or pays wholly or in part the expenses of giving or providing, any food, drink, entertainment, lodging or provisions to or for any person-

            (a)        for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to give or refrain from giving his vote at an election; or

            (b)        on account of such person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting or being about to vote or refrain from voting at an election;

shall be guilty of the offence of treating and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection (1) amended by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001 with effect from 20 May 2002.]

            (2)  Any voter who corruptly accepts or takes any food, drink, entertainment, lodging or provisions supplied by a person guilty of an offence in terms of subsection (1) shall also be guilty of the offence of treating and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection (2) amended by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001 with effect from 20 May 2002.]

(3)     The giving, providing, accepting or taking of such food, drink, entertainment, lodging or provisions as are reasonably necessary to enable voters to attend any meeting or rally shall not amount to a contravention of this section.



            Undue influence

            (1)  Any person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person-

            (a)        makes use of or threatens to make use of any force, violence or restraint or any unnatural means whatsoever upon or against any person; or

            (b)        inflicts or threatens to inflict by himself or by any other person any temporal or spiritual injury, damage, harm or loss upon or against any person; or

            (c)        does or threatens to do anything to the disadvantage of any person;

in order to induce or compel that person-

            (i)         to sign a nomination paper or refrain from signing a nomination paper; or

            (ii)         to vote or refrain from voting;

shall be guilty of the offence of undue influence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection (1) amended by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001 with effect from 20 May 2002.]

            (2)  Any person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person-

            (a)        makes use of or threatens to make use of any force, violence or restraint upon or against any person; or

            (b)        inflicts or threatens to inflict by himself or by any other person any temporal or spiritual injury, damage, harm or loss upon or against any person; or

            (c)        does or threatens to do anything to the disadvantage of any person;

on account of that person-

            (i)         having signed or refrained from signing a nomination paper; or

            (ii)         having voted or refrained from voting at any election;

shall be guilty of the offence of undue influence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection (2) amended by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001 with effect from 20 May 2002.]

            (3)  Any person who by abduction, duress, threats to invoke any unnatural means whatsoever or references to such unnatural means or by fraudulent device or contrivance-

            (a)        impedes or prevents the exercise of his vote by a voter; or

            (b)        compels, induces or prevails upon a voter either to vote or to refrain from voting at an election;

shall be guilty of the offence of undue influence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection (3) amended by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001 with effect from 20 May 2002.]



            (1)  Subject to subsection (2), any person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person-

            (a)        gives, lends or procures or agrees to give, lend or procure or offers or promises to procure or to endeavour to procure, any money to or for any person on behalf of a voter, or to or for any other person in order to induce a voter to vote or refrain from voting, or who corruptly does any such act as aforesaid on account of such voter having voted or refrained from voting at any election; or

            (b)        gives, lends or agrees to give or lend, or offers or promises to procure or to endeavour to procure, any money to or for a voter, or to or for any other person on behalf of a voter, or to or for any other person, for acting or joining in any procession or demonstration before, during or after an election; or

            (c)        makes any such gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement to or for any person in order to induce such person to procure or to endeavour to procure the return of a candidate at an election or the vote of a voter at an election; or

            (d)        upon or in consequence of any such gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement, procures or engages or promises or endeavours to procure, the return of a candidate at an election or the vote of a voter at an election; or

            (e)        advances or pays any money to or for the use of any other person, with the intent that such money, or any part thereof, shall be expended in bribery at an election, or who knowingly pays any money to any person in discharge or repayment of any money wholly or in part expended in bribery at an election; or

            (f)         before or during an election, receives or contracts for any money or loan for himself or for any other person for voting or agreeing to vote or for refraining or agreeing to refrain from voting at an election; or

            (g)        after an election receives any money on account of any person having voted or refrained from voting or having induced any other person to vote or refrain from voting at an election; or

            (h)        conveys or transfers any property or pays any money to any person for the purpose of enabling him to be registered as a voter, thereby to influence his vote at a future election, or pays any money on behalf of a voter for the purpose of inducing him to vote or refrain from voting;

shall be guilty of the offence of bribery and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection (1) amended by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001 with effect from 20 May 2002.]

(2)     Nothing in subsection (1) shall be construed as applying to any money paid or agreed to be paid for or on account of any expenditure bona fide and lawfully incurred in respect of the conduct or management of an election.”

Such brazen actions confront voters with a huge dilemma – they want to vote for the MDC and yet if they do they fear starvation will visit them. In the circumstances it is not surprising that people adopt what they perceive is the safest option - staying away from the poll.

 It is pertinent to note that these flagrant violations of the Electoral Law have been perpetrated in full view of both the Electoral Supervisory Commission and the Police who have done nothing to investigate and arrest the perpetrators. There were no international observers to witness this electoral fraud either.

 Until Zimbabwe’s elections are run by an Independent Electoral Commission and enforced by a neutral and professional Police force our elections will remain a sham. Despite these illegalities we are still confident of winning all the Wards contested in Bulawayo South. However if there can be such brazen acts committed in broad daylight in Bulawayo one shudders to think what is going on in smaller centers where there are no digital cameras and computers to expose quickly electoral fraud and it would not surprise me to see Zanu (PF) “win” in areas they have no meaningful support left.

David Coltart MP

Bulawayo South

Sunday 31st August 2003

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Daily News

      Vote-buying in polls

        ALLEGATIONS of vote-buying dogged urban council polls and
parliamentary by-elections held during the weekend, with some voters saying
they had been given cash and promised food handouts in exchange for votes.

      Voters in Bulawayo and Mutare alleged that some ZANU PF officials
maintained a presence at several polling stations and were giving out cash
and promising handouts of maize if the ruling party won the elections.

      In Mutare, Daily News reporters witnessed ZANU PF officials at Zamba
and Mutanda primary schools and at Sakubva Hospital reminding voters about
the food handouts the party had given them prior to the election.

      They were heard promising the voters food, depending on the outcome of
the election.

      In Bulawayo, there were reports that maize was being sold a short
distance from some polling stations.

      Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) spokesman Thomas Bvuma told the
Daily News that the government-controlled body had also received
"unsubstantiated reports" of vote-buying.

      "We received reports of vote-buying in Bulawayo, but our officials
whom we sent to investigate did not notice anything amiss. There was no
maize being given to people as had been alleged."

      But Victor Moyo, a spokesman for the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) in Bulawayo, said his party had received reports of
"gross manipulation and harassment of the electorate perceived to be MDC

      He added: "Maize-meal and grain is being sold near the polling
stations and many people have been beaten by ZANU PF youths on their way to
or from the polling stations."

      MDC mayoral candidate for Mutare Misheck Kagurabadza said he had also
reported incidents of vote-buying to ESC officials.

      "We made a report to ESC officials, but they told us that they could
not do anything since this was being done away from polling stations."

      But Munacho Mutezo, the ZANU PF Manicaland provincial secretary for
administration, denied allegations of vote-buying in Mutare.

      He said: "That’s a wild and crazy allegation. That alone wouldn’t
prove which party the individual voted for. The MDC is afraid of a defeat,

      Opposition party and independent candidates said the weekend elections
were also marred by violence, mostly blamed on supporters of the ruling

      In Bulawayo, violence broke out on the first day of voting, with MDC
officials alleging that ZANU PF youths barricaded roads leading to polling
stations and beat up individuals they suspected to be MDC supporters.

      The police confirmed that Kwekwe mayoral candidate Henry Madzorera and
Kwekwe Central Member of Parliament Blessing Chebundo were attacked by
suspected ZANU PF supporters yesterday morning when they visited polling
stations around the town.

      This was the second attack on the two, who were also assaulted on
Saturday. Madzorera’s truck was badly damaged in the attack.

      Cases of violence and intimidation were also reported in Gwanda and

      The MDC chairman for Mashonaland East, Silas Matamisa, said nine
polling agents and two aspiring councillors in Kariba were arrested by the
police under unclear circumstances.

      In Mutare, ESC officials and the police had to be called in to remove
a group of ZANU PF activists who were beating drums and singing songs in
praise of ruling party candidates near polling booths.

      The youths were about 50 metres from the polling station at
Chirowakamwe Primary School in the Mutare suburb of Dangamvura. Electoral
regulations do not allow such behaviour within 100 metres of polling
stations. Joyce Munamati, the provincial registrar for Manicaland, yesterday
said she was unaware of the incident. "I cannot comment on the story before
I get an explanation from my officials at the station. Try later when I have
all the details," Munamati said. Meanwhile, in Gwanda thousands of potential
voters were turned away because they were said to have registered at the
wrong points. Voter turnout in the area was low on Saturday but reportedly
improved dramatically yesterday. Voter turnout was also low in Chitungwiza
and Ruwa where there were no reports of disturbances. Ruwa ward registrar
Edward Nyandoro told the Daily News: "The environment here is peaceful. But
people have been coming in very small numbers since Saturday. Queues are not
long, I do not see us going beyond seven o’clock." Biggie Haurobi, the MDC
district chairman for Hurungwe, which includes Karoi, said intimidation of
MDC supporters started at the beginning of July and was still continuing.
Haurobi’s house was petrol-bombed and stoned on the eve of the elections. He
alleged that he turned down a $2 million bribe from people requesting him to
withdraw MDC candidates from the polls. Meanwhile, Bvuma said voting was
peaceful in most towns, adding that voter turnout yesterday had fallen. He
said: "Generally, the turnout was lower than Saturday. The atmosphere was
calm and peaceful countrywide, including in Kwekwe, where there was a report
alleging that a mayoral candidate’s car was stoned. That case is still being
investigated." Staff Reporters

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Daily News

      ZANU PF activist’s trial deferred to September

        HARARE magistrate Judith Tsamba has deferred to 16 September the
trial of a ZANU PF activist charged with violating the Public Order and
Security Act, to enable the state to call more witnesses.

      The case was deferred last Friday. The state alleges that on 13 March
last year, Winefrida Govati led a group of about 30 youths to the home of
one Beauty Mhembere.

      The court heard that at the house, Govati and and the youths sang
liberation war songs and chanted ZANU PF slogans.

      Some of the youths allegedly began causing a commotion and confusion
at Mhembere’s tuckshop and others allegedly looted some frozen flavoured
drinks and money from the tuckshop’s cash box.

      The state alleges that Govati and her group then assaulted Mhembere,
beating her with sticks and accusing her of voting for the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change in the 2002 presidential elections.

      In her defence outline, Govati denied the charges. Govati said on the
day she is alleged to have committed the offence, she was not at the alleged
scene of the crime, but was attending victory celebrations for President
Robert Mugabe at Holland.

      She also said it was absurd for the state to charge her with public
violence because this offence entailed rowdy behaviour by a group of people
in a concerted effort to deliberately disturb the peace, therefore, she
should have been in the dock with several other people.

   Court Reporter

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Daily News

      Government, settlers headed for showdown

        A CLASH is looming between the government and nearly 5 000 settlers
who were given until last Saturday to vacate 11 farms in Zvimba district to
make way for State House officials, and who yesterday remained on the
properties in defiance of the directive.

      The settlers, who say they have been pressing the government to
regularise their occupation of the Zvimba properties under its land reform
programme, were ordered to leave to also make way for a relative of
President Robert Mugabe’s, Marjorie Winnie Mugabe.

      Mugabe now lives in the farmhouse at Little England with her sons
Jongwe and Hugh. She was, however, not at the farm yesterday when this
reporter visited it.

      Edgar Manyora, a representative of the settlers, told The Daily News
yesterday that they would meet Mashonaland West governor Peter Chanetsa this
week at his provincial offices, where they would ask him to explain the
government’s position on the controversial resettlement of Mugabe and 68
State House officials.

      He said: "We are not retreating on this until President Mugabe knows
full well that his officials in Mashonaland West are corrupt. We resolved to
present our position to Governor Chanetsa and hear what he has to say
concerning our stay at the farms.

      "Our delegation will also petition President Mugabe before the end of
the week so that he sets the record straight."

      Manyora said the settlers had resolved to remain on the farms and
continue with their farming activities because Mugabe had made it clear
during his election campaigns since 2000 and several speeches he made in the
past three years that no settlers would be evicted from farms they invaded
in 2000.

      War veterans and other ruling ZANU PF supporters in February 2000
spearheaded the illegal occupation of white-owned farms. The government,
whose controversial land reform programme is supposed to allocate land to
landless blacks, indicated that the illegal occupations would be regularised
through its fast-track resettlement programme.

      Under this pledge, settlers at Paradise Gwebi, Jonker, Lilfordia,
Rayndon, Mede, Audley End, Worselly, Gordonsbury, Gwebi of Sigaro, Sodbury,
Sigaro Eastwood, Coker and two farms under Burney Investments, known as
Little England, should have received letters of allocation from the Lands

      But the settlers were told on 17 August that they had until 30 August
to leave the properties.

      The settlers on Saturday held a meeting at Worselly Farm in Chief
Nyawira’s area of Zvimba, about 50 kilometres from Harare, and another at
Little England Farm yesterday.

      According to a programme of the Saturday meeting shown to this
reporter, the meeting was supposed to be attended by Local Government
Minister Ignatius Chombo, who is also the Zvimba North Member of Parliament,
Zvimba South MP Sabina Mugabe and a provincial lands committee official from
the Ministry of Lands only identified as Makaza.

      None of the officials attended the meeting.

      It was not possible to secure comment from Chombo yesterday. However,
ZANU PF Mashonaland West chairman Philip Chiyangwa said he was not
responsible for settling "illegal people from outside my provide" to cause
shortages of land in Mashonaland West.

      He said: "I did not settle them there. They are strangers in the
province and I am the only chairman of ZANU PF in Mashonaland West. They
should have approached me first. They settled in the wrong place and did not
seek my permission.

      "Anyone without an offer letter from the Ministry of Lands should not
be where they are unless they have come through the party political
structure, district and provincial lands committees. I have too many people
that are not yet settled, whose positions were taken by outsiders from
Mashonaland West. Their eviction is fine and they should be fired."

      Chanetsa switched off his mobile phone when The Daily News sought his
comment yesterday.

   By Precious Shumba

      Senior Reporter

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Daily News

      Urban families no longer afford food needs – report

        Although supplies of basic commodities have improved on both the
parallel and formal markets, most urban-based Zimbabweans cannot afford the
cost of all their household food needs, the Famine Early Warning Systems
Network (FEWSNET) said in its latest report.

      "The majority of market-dependent households cannot afford to meet all
of their food needs, given their limited incomes and the extremely high
prices at which these commodities are trading. Price controls have failed to
arrest price increases and protect the poor from the ever-escalating
prices," noted FEWSNET’s monthly update report, issued on 18 August.

      The availability of basic items such as bread, maize-meal and maize
grain improved in most urban centres in August, but are sold for much more
than the government-stipulated price.

      In the case of maize-meal, the price differential is over 590 percent.
As a result, "the cost of living for all sections of the urban poor
continues to increase, seriously compromising food security for this group",

      In response, the government has disbursed the first Z$857 million
(US$1 million) tranche of the Z$12.5 billion (US $15.2 million) allocated to
rural and urban councils for food relief. The programme is intended to cover
the needs of 3.1 million people, providing Z$10,000 (US$12) per month to
recipients enrolled in public works programmes, and direct payments to the
elderly, chronically ill, the disabled and child-headed households.

      The payments will be just enough to purchase a month’s supply of maize
grain for an average-sized household at the parallel market rate outside of
the drought-prone south of the country.

      "If the Grain Marketing Board, a parastatal monopoly, continues to
supply food at subsidised prices, increasing the volume and frequency of
these supplies over time, and if the food relief is paid regularly, the food
security situation will certainly improve in the targeted areas," FEWSNET

      However, an aid worker told IRIN that in view of Zimbabwe’s current
dire shortage of banknotes and fuel, the government’s disbursement of these
funds to the councils would only be the first step.

      "How do you get the cash out? If the bank has no banknotes and there’s
no fuel, it will just be a bunch of noughts in the cheque account of the
local councils," the aid worker said.

      The World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation
estimate that 5.5 million Zimbabweans will be in need of food aid by January

   – Irin

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Daily News

      Stand-off delays action at Town House

        THE implementation of Harare’s strategic plan and several key
projects has been delayed by the stand-off between the capital city’s
council and the central government, according to municipality officials.

      Harare city councillors said they now lived in fear of taking
decisions because they were afraid of clashing with Local Government
Minister Ignatius Chombo.

      The minister has this year suspended executive mayor Elias Mudzuri and
six councillors. Mudzuri was suspended earlier this year on allegations of
mismanagement and corruption.

      Two councillors were suspended this month on a day the council was
scheduled to hold elections that the minister had ordered it to postpone
until after the conclusion of a probe into the allegations levelled against

      Another four councillors were suspended last Thursday, on the day the
municipality was supposed to sit to ratify the election of a new deputy
mayor and the heads of several committees.

      City councillors said a strategic plan proposed by Mudzuri to turn
around the city’s operations within 10 years could not be implemented
because of the uncertainty in the municipality. The councillors said their
majority of municipality officials were now backtracking on crucial
decisions due to fear of being expelled or suspended by the minister.

      Chombo was yesterday unavailable for comment. Calls to his mobile were
diverted to his office and went unanswered. But council officials said the
minister’s directives and unilateral decisions had rendered them

      Mudzuri told the Daily News: "Everything is now out of control for
most senior staff in council. We had put in place a strategic plan that
should be implemented, but now there has to be a long wait before
investigations are complete."

      Gabriel Chaibva, the shadow local government minister of the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), on whose ticket Harare city councillors were
elected, added: "Chombo has ensured that council does not operate until he
imposes his people to handle council affairs. It is shocking that Chombo had
to announce at a meeting that he had approved the borrowing of $5.9 billion
from the banks, 18 months after an application by the City of Harare.

      "Considering that inflation is pegged at 400 percent, the $5.9 billion
is a minute fraction of what is required to complete key projects like the
water reticulation and sewerage systems at Morton Jaffray to improve the
water supply system." Lack of borrowing powers has adversely affected the
operations of the Harare City Council, as well as those of other urban
councils around the country. Because of soaring inflation, city councils are
unable to fund service delivery exclusively using money collected from
residents and ratepayers.

      Chaibva said: "The minister has used informal means to threaten and
issue directives to council officials. The latest are his verbal threats to
senior engineering staff and the suspension of six councillors deemed to be

      "Chombo has become a master of threats and vindictive management. The
behaviour of Chombo is setting an agenda for confrontation. What this means
technically, is that we are going back to the pre-22 July gesture in
Parliament. These people in ZANU PF cannot co-exist with the MDC because
they are not democrats." MDC legislators last month resolved to sit through
President Robert Mugabe’s speech at the opening of Parliament instead of
walking out as they had done in the past. The opposition party, which does
not recognise Mugabe’s 2002 re-election, said its parliamentarians sat
through the speech as an attempt to pave the way for better relations with
the ruling ZANU PF.

      Meanwhile, Chaibva said his party was consulting over Chombo’s actions
against the Harare City Council, and its position on the matter would be
integrated into the MDC’s national political strategy.

      He said the strategy would soon be made public. "The minister has
deliberately embarked on a manpower depletion exercise in the council. The
strategy is a bigger game-plan which is being orchestrated by ZANU PF," he

      University of Zimbabwe academic Jameson Kurasha, who heads the
commission appointed to probe Mudzuri, yesterday said he could not comment
on developments at the city council. "We are just investigating the
circumstances under which the elected mayor was suspended," Kurasha said. "I
am just looking at Harare, which everyone must serve. People should work
together for the good of Harare."

   Staff Reporter

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Daily News

      Shamuyarira says MDC must use proper channels

        THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) should go through the
proper channels if it is serious about resuming dialogue with the ruling
ZANU PF, according to ruling party spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira.

      He said if the country’s main opposition party was serious about
ending the political stalemate in Zimbabwe, it would not attempt to engage
ZANU PF through the Press or at rallies.

      MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai last weekend told supporters at a rally
that the window for talks would only be open until the end of October, after
which the opposition party would proceed with its court challenge of
President Robert Mugabe’s March 2002 re-election.

      He also indicated that the MDC would again resort to mass action to
press for change.

      But Shamuyarira said: "If Tsvangirai is serious about what he is
saying, he knows the route to engage in talks with ZANU PF.

      He cannot negotiate with the party through the Press. Tsvangirai has
to go through our party structures."

      Shamuyarira also blamed the Press for "spoiling everything".

      The local and international media has extensively covered efforts by
local church leaders to broker dialogue between Zimbabwe’s main political
parties. Analysts say their efforts seem to have come to nought, with the
ruling party failing to submit its agenda for the proposed talks.

      The MDC made its submissions to the church leaders early this month,
before the expiry of a deadline set by the churches.

      MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube told the Daily News that his
party was organising its structures to come up with a common position on
what to do if talks did not resume before the end of October.

      He said: "Between now and October is the only time left for ZANU PF to
consider our options. The MDC is organising its party structures to map out
an agenda on what form of action to take after the expiry of its deadline."

      But University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Lovemore Madhuku said the
ultimatum was ill-advised because it might adversely affect the little
chance there was of ending the country’s political stalemate. This would
hamper efforts to end Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis, the worst
since the country attained independence from Britain in 1980.

      "Dialogue is a two-way process and making threats might not go down
well with the other party. This might cripple the whole process," said
Madhuku, who is also the chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly.

      He added: "Tsvangirai has to be patient as he has fairly limited
options that he can use to engage ZANU PF in negotiations. The people of
Zimbabwe are suffering and the MDC should consider another mass protest as
it is the only action that ZANU PF understands."

   Staff Reporter

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Daily News

      SADC has done a great disservice to Zimbabweans

        "They must call clearly and publicly, not in the middle of the
night, but in broad daylight, the MDC must call for an end to sanctions on
Zimbabwe !" This was the loud declaration of Junior Minister of Information
Jonathan Moyo in the last week.

      His cries were echoed in an impassioned plea made by Tanzanian
President Benjamin Mkapa at the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) meeting in Dar es Salaam. Mkapa said that sanctions against Zimbabwe
should be lifted immediately. His words followed the pronouncement by SADC
executive secretary and chief executive officer Pega Ramsamy: "Sanctions on
Zimbabwe are hurting the people of Zimbabwe and should be lifted."

      What sanctions?

      It is disgusting that such highly educated, influential and supposedly
well informed people in the SADC should be calling for a lifting of
sanctions on Zimbabwe. There are no sanctions imposed on the ordinary people
of Zimbabwe, only on 70 top, named government officials.

      It is these officials who have been banned from travelling to Europe,
America and Australia, not the masses of Zimbabwe.

      It is these officials who have had their overseas assets and bank
accounts frozen, not ordinary people. It is these officials who are
suffering, not eleven and a half million ordinary Zimbabweans.

      It is the President of Zimbabwe, his wife, members of Cabinet and the
politburo, the commissioner of police, commander of the armed forces and
Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga who have "targeted sanctions" imposed on
them, not the people of Zimbabwe.

      Moyo is one of the named officials in the Zimbabwean government who
has sanctions imposed on him.

      The SADC have done a great disservice to the people of Zimbabwe by
peddling this misinformation about sanctions.

      Far worse, they have rubbished Africa in the eyes of the world. They
have made African presidents look like a corrupt old boys’ club. The members
of the SADC have got a terminal case of laager mentality. They have
encircled their wagons, placed themselves in the centre and are now firing
wildly into the darkening African night.

      They talk proudly of the reformation of Africa and of the African
Renaissance, but again they have shown that they only care about themselves
and their positions, not the immense suffering of ordinary African people.

      It is utterly disgraceful that African presidents could have gone into
such an important forum without making sure that they were aware of the
facts now prevailing in Zimbabwe. By deliberately leaving out that little
descriptive word "targeted" in front of the word "sanctions", who did they
think they were fooling, aside from themselves?

      They certainly did not fool the very countries who imposed targeted
sanctions on top officials in our government. Neither did they fool the
ordinary people of Zimbabwe who are not suffering one iota because our
leaders can no longer jet-set around the world on extravagant shopping trips
and have had their assets frozen.

      Because of sanctions, the people of Zimbabwe no longer have to see
their taxes being used to pay the air fares and foreign hotel bills of
massive government delegations travelling around the world. In a thinly
veiled reference to Zimbabwe, Mkapa also praised developments which removed
"colonials" from farmland, supposedly to give black Africans the power to be
in charge of their own destiny.

      What a disgrace that Mkapa could have addressed such an important
forum as the SADC without making himself aware of what is really going on in
the colonial ethnic cleansing that has ravaged Zimbabwe and made us
dependant on world food aid.

      Surely Mkapa’s aides must have told him that in the last fortnight, 6
000 black Zimbabweans have been evicted from farms in the country.

      One thousand of these people, called A1 "new settler farmers", were
given 13 days to vacate farms they had been living on for three years in
order to make way for the family of the late Innocent Mugabe and other
"chosen people".

      Didn’t anyone tell Mkapa that peasant farmers are being ordered to go
back to where they came from so that yet more ZANU PF officials and their
relations can have the land?

      The government official undertaking the evictions told settlers: "This
is a directive coming from the highest office so I will not answer your

      Didn’t anyone tell Mkapa any of these things, or even that Innocent
Mugabe was the son of President Robert Mugabe’s sister, Sabina?

      To African presidents, the African Union and the SADC, I say: "Shame
on you all. You do not lead by example, nor do you inspire confidence. You
have buried your heads so deeply in the hot African soil that you have
become brainwashed by your own disinformation." People are dying here in
Zimbabwe. They are starving. They have no food, no money, no medicines and
are dying. Not white people, but black African people. Shame on you all in
the SADC. There are none so blind as those who will not see, particularly
African presidents, who are huddled in their self important laager.

      By Cathy Buckle

      Cathy Buckle is a social commentator.

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      Punishing banks not solution to forex crisis

        THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is reported to have adopted a tough
stance against local financial institutions suspected of trading on the
illegal foreign currency black market. But yet again, the central bank is
merely treating one of the many symptoms of a much more serious problem.

      Worse still, the Reserve Bank does not seem to have learnt from the
lessons taught by the outcome of similar crackdowns, which have dismally
failed to curb the parallel market for hard cash that has become such a
thorn in its side.

      Clearly, it is admirable that the usually easy-going Reserve Bank has
decided to move vigorously against financial institutions that are believed
to be major players in the parallel market.

      One financial institution has had its foreign currency licence
withdrawn for a year, while another nine have been threatened with the same
fate for allegedly flouting exchange controls.

      Indeed, reports indicate that the central bank is scrutinising and
quizzing another three commercial banks and a merchant bank over their
foreign currency dealings. No one is disputing that the Reserve Bank has an
obligation to punish financial institutions found to be flouting exchange

      However, all we would ask is that such measures be part of a
comprehensive campaign to get to grips with Zimbabwe’s critical and
crippling foreign currency crisis.

      It is not enough for the central bank to be merely seen to be acting
against rogue banks; this alone will not generate enough hard cash to end
the shortages that have plagued the country for the past four years.

      It is only by significantly easing the foreign currency shortages that
Zimbabwe can hope to deal a serious blow to the black market, which has
contributed to the country’s economic crisis by fuelling inflation.

      The Reserve Bank cannot do it alone, but it must work with the
government to restore confidence to Zimbabwe’s economy and to create a
conducive operating environment for exporters and other local businesses.

      It must be obvious that this will not be possible unless decisions are
taken that are necessary to curb inflation, which has contributed to a
decline in output and to making local exports uncompetitive on the world’s

      In addition, Zimbabwe will not be able to pull itself out of the mess
it is in without international financial assistance and a significant
improvement in foreign direct investment inflows.

      This will only be possible if Zimbabwe can show that it is serious
about addressing the issues of the rule of law and property rights, lack of
which has cost the country billions of dollars in foreign investment and
balance of payments support in the past four years.

      Of course, these are matters that have been highlighted countless
times before and which we have no doubt the central bank and the government
are fully aware.

      These are issues that will be repeated again and again until there is
some indication that economic sense is finally going to prevail in Zimbabwe.
Unfortunately, the longer it takes the authorities to deign to see economic
sense, the worse the damage to the economy, the more money will be needed to
fix our problems and the harder the consequences of some of the harsh
decisions that will have to be taken.

      In the meantime, the central bank can continue to flex its muscles by
acting against banks, but the outcome of its measures are more or less

      Just as the closure of Zimbabwe’s bureaux de change last year and the
continuing crackdown on black market dealers has not killed the parallel
market, neither will punishing banks, no matter how many financial
institutions are made an example of.

      Closing the bureaux de change did not release a floodgate to allow
foreign currency to flow into the banking system. The parallel market was
subdued for a short while, but soon picked up and continued as if nothing
had happened.

      Meanwhile, black market dealers continue to drive a thriving market
even though they face arrest on a daily basis. With these examples in mind,
why then does Zimbabwe continue to fly in the face of common sense? How much
longer can the country absorb the impact of such bungling.

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      Tobacco deliveries down by 50 percent

        ONLY 55 million kilogrammes of tobacco has been delivered to the
tobacco auction floors in the past 17 weeks of trading, half what was
delivered in the same period last year, according to the Tobacco Industry
Marketing Board (TIMB).

      The TIMB said Zimbabwe had earned US$120 million (Z$96.6 billion) from
deliveries so far, which have continued to be low as growers agitate for a
devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar.

      After 17 weeks of trading last year, about 108 million kg of tobacco
or more than 64 percent of the total crop, had passed through the auction

      "Demand remain(s) strong particularly for the upper stalk reapings and
dominated offerings," the TIMB said.

      "To date, a total of 55 million kg of tobacco has been sold at an
average price of US$2.20 (per kg) compared to 108 million kg that was sold
at US$2.17 (per kg) in 2002."

      Up to 87 million kg of tobacco is expected to be sold at the country’s
auction floors in 2003, compared to 168 million kg last year.

      Large-scale tobacco farmers, most of whom are white farmers, will
account for 72 percent of the current crop, down from the 87 percent
contribution last year.

      The number of large-scale tobacco growers has dropped in the past
three years because of the government’s seizure of white-owned land.

      Industry officials have warned that tobacco output, which peaked to an
all-time high of 228 million kg, will slump again this year because of
continued disturbances in the agricultural sector and unavailability of

      Some of Zimbabwe’s large-scale tobacco farmers have relocated to
Zambia, where they are said to be receiving funding from international
buyers to grow the same variety of tobacco they were producing locally.

      Zimbabwe produces a distinctly flavoured tobacco crop, which has in
the past drawn international buyers to the country’s auction floors.
However, some buyers are already pulling out of Zimbabwe for alternative
sources of the crop.

      "Some international buyers are now contracting former Zimbabwean
tobacco producers to produce the same flavour in Zambia and in a few years’
time we could see our neighbours producing more than us," a tobacco industry
official said.

      The Zimbabwe Tobacco Association, the body which represents the
interests of commercial growers, has indicated that about 258 of its members
will be able to grow tobacco this year.

      There are also fears that some producers, unable to grow tobacco due
to escalating production costs which have risen by at least 900 percent from
last year, are buying seed to resell in the region to earn foreign currency.

      The TIMB said the tobacco selling season was expected to end on 17
October and grading of the crop should be completed by 30 September at the

      According to the TIMB, demand for the golden leaf remains strong but
deliveries are low as growers anticipate a review of the government’s export
incentive scheme, under which the Zimbabwe: US dollar exchange rate has been
pegged at $824: $1 since February.

      Although the average price, at US$2.20 per kg, is slightly higher than
that realised last year, growers argue that the government should have
adjusted the exchange rate as promised, so that they could get higher
Zimbabwean dollar earnings to match galloping inflation.

      Local growers are paid for the Zimbabwean dollar equivalent of their
forex earnings, but have recently been lobbying the government to let them
retain 50 percent of their sales in hard cash, as is the case with other

      Growers are entitled to only 20 percent of their tobacco sales in hard
cash, which is used to procure inputs and is administered by the Tobacco
Growers’ Trust.

   Business Reporter

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Daily News

      Resettled farmers given taste of their own medicine

        It is with some disappointment that I detect some sympathy emanating
from your paper directed at the resettled farmers whose property was torched
by the police to make way for a Mr Mukumba in Masvingo (Police torch 1 000
homes, Daily News 26 August).

      Those people who were forcibly removed by the police do not have my
sympathy at all. They certainly do not deserve any from anyone.

      These resettled farmers wilfully participated in the orgy of violence
orchestrated by ZANU PF and directed at farmers purely on the basis that
these farmers were white.

      They forcefully, and without an iota of mercy, hounded farmers out of
their farmhouses and took over their households. They then unlawfully
confiscated the farmers’ equipment and started using the farm forks, knives
and beds.

      They ate the farmers’ cheese and slaughtered their cattle for braais.
It is with a sense of great satisfaction that I learn that these resettled
farmers have themselves been made recipients of similar treatment by their
former allies, who previously turned a blind eye to their terrorism.

      During the so-called resettlement exercise countrywide, farm workers
had their property torched and they were thrown into abject poverty. They
suffered immensely. These resettled farmers were well aware of the
wrongfulness and unlawfulness, not to mention unfairness, of their selfish

      They were willing to be used as pawns for the so-called spontaneous
land invasions. They now cry foul when they are treated shabbily and expect
sympathy from the public.

      Fat chance!

      These people were accomplices in the destruction of the agricultural
industry in a prospering Zimbabwe. They have directly and indirectly
contributed to the food shortages that are presently being endured by the

      They are discovering that what goes around certainly does come around.
God is alive, after all.

      As far as some of us are concerned, the recent eviction of resettled
farmers by the police and government is nothing but a fallout with a partner
in crime. We gleefully look forward to more of the same!

      Vusumusi Sibhula


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      Let’s suffer for the good of our children

        Every time I read the papers from home, I see the reason why there
are more than a million Zimbabweans now living in South Africa.

      I left home because I could not find a job. Why? Because I refused to
go for national service.

      Six months later, Zimbabwe has been turned into a dilapidated pile of

      Do people like Jonathan Moyo and Joseph Made feel anything for the
ordinary people? I guess not.

      Zimbabwe now holds the world record when it comes to inflation and
with the next rainy season around the corner, nothing seams to be taking
place to avert food shortages, unlike in the past.

      How many people have died to date because they do not have enough food
to eat? How many have died because there is no medicine in the hospitals?
How many have died because there is no fuel to transport them to hospitals?

      Last, but not least, how many people are enjoying life at the expense
of the masses?

      I personally feel there is nothing much to talk about between the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change and the ruling ZANU PF party.
Instead, the only thing to do is for President Robert Mugabe and his
followers to accept failure and leave office.

      Vamwe vanoti kusiri kufa ndekupi. (Either way, we will suffer) but let
us suffer for the good of our children.

      Nyika Edwin

      South Africa

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