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

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Preparation Meeting for the Protest Planned for 06 October 2001 in

Date: 06 September 2001
Time: 17.30hrs
Venue: O'Hagans, Paulshof, Witkoppen Road, Johannesburg.
Contact: Sue Jameson.
Cellphone/ mobile number:  (South African number) 0828850771.
E-mail address attached:

In discussion with Sue this morning, this meeting is in preparation for a
solidarity protest to coincide with the protest outside the Zimbabwe High
Commission in London on 06 October 2001.

Take part and make a difference, it is our combined effort and the love for
our country that binds us united in wanting change for a new democratic

Please contact Sue and let her know if you will be able to attend.

We wish you all well in your preparations for a peaceful solidarity protest.

Regards and best wishes from
Fellow human rights campaigners.

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Mass Exodus Hits Intelligence Outfit - Mubabe's Election Camgaign in Trouble

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

September 5, 2001
Posted to the web September 5, 2001

Staff Writer

In a move likely to deal a severe blow to President Mugabe's bid to retain
the presidency next year, over 500 members of the Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) are set to quit the organisation in frustration over poor
working conditions, The Standard has learnt.

The usually partisan CIO has been at the centre of Zanu PF election
campaigns since 1985.

This apart, the disgruntlement within the CIO is likely to compromise the
country's internal security, for the agency plays an important surveillance
role in the internal and external situation.

CIO insiders told The Standard last week that more than 500 junior officers
had lined up to quit their jobs due to poor working conditions in the 3
000-strong organisation.

The operatives who want to quit are reported to be up in arms with their
directors for refusing to grant them the 50% salary increment and 100% hike
in allowances they have been pressing for since last year.

The sources said a deep rift had developed between junior and senior
officers. Efforts by junior officers to have their working conditions
reviewed had consistently been thwarted by seniors, thus forcing junior
spies to leave the organisation.

"All is not well in the organisation because the government has refused to
review the working conditions of junior officers and the senior guys have
failed to stand up for their juniors. This development is worrying as junior
officers are the people on the ground and will be crucial in President
Mugabe's campaign. It will derail the whole presidential campaign," said one

"At a time when the government has become very unpopular, the president's
security system could be in danger if they lose all these officers. They
should not be surprised if they are given the wrong information. We provide
them with timely intelligence information on internal and external
socio-economic and political developments that affect the state. The
government's policies and decisions are influenced by intelligence
information," he added.

Of late, junior officers have been on what has been described as a 'go
slow', resulting in them failing to provide timely and detailed intelligence

The exodus of staff and the deep-rooted divisions in the CIO will
effectively deal a blow to Mugabe's election campaign which is already
facing a strong challenge from the MDC.

Sources said junior officers could no longer be relied on for information
because of the stand off.

CIO directors John Maringa, Menard Muzariri, Thomas John Meke, Justin
Mupamhanga, Tobias Chau-noita, deputy-director general Happyton Bonyongwe
and director-general Muzonzini have reportedly fallen out of favour with the
entire staff over working conditions.

The anger of the low ranked officers built up in the past three months after
six directors diverted the $57 million meant for fuel procurement to the
purchase of luxury vehicles.

Said one source: "Factionalism which led to the dismissal of the former
director-general, Shadreck Chipanga, and his deputy, Lovemore Mukandi, is
now rearing its head. There is still talk of a sit-in strike among the

"The exam which the junior officers boycotted 13 days ago, is a clear
indication that they are fed up with the organisation because of its empty
promises. Boycott was a method unheard of within the agency. One is either
demoted or disciplined heavily if they disobey rules or orders."

The examinations were to have formed the basis of the restructuring exercise
of the organisation to determine who would be promoted, retrenched or
redeployed. All promotions in the organisation have been frozen since the
end of 1999.

At least 1 200 officers within the CIO boycotted writing the internal exams
in protest at the refusal of their bosses to approve salary increments. Only
300 turned up for the exams which were written in Mutare, Harare and

Apart from the 3 000 full time staffers, the CIO employs an additional 2 000
part time informers planted in what the agency regards as "crucial sectors".

Efforts to obtain comment from Muzonzini were fruitless as he was
continuously said to be out of the office. The minister of state security,
Nicholas Goche, was said to be in meetings when The Standard sought comment
from him on Thursday and Friday.

Muzonzini's term, which was was to have ended in February this year, has
been extended, together with that of Happyton Bonyongwe, his deputy.

Former commander of Zimbabwe National Army and Zanu PF kingmaker, retired
General Solomon Mujuru seconded the appointment of the pair to sharpen the
intelligence network ahead of the crucial 2002 presidential elections.

Meanwhile, the CIO top brass last week held marathon meetings with senior
ruling-party and government officials in a effort to combat the leaking of
confidential information to the press, The Standard has learnt.

A senior officer believed to be attached to the ministry of state security,
together with two directors from the organisation are said to have chaired
the meetings held throughout the week.

Senior intelligence sources confirmed to The Standard on Wednesday that
there had been numerous internal meetings with several heads of departments
at the CIO headquarter at Chaminuka building, with one said to have been
held at the Zanu PF headquarters.

Said one the sources: "There is growing concern and fear that there is no
more secrecy, both within the government and the intelligence operations.
There is also concern that the agency's internal politics, which should not
be known by the general public, are being leaked to the press."

Last week, The Standard revealed that six CI0 directors were mired in
controversy after they allegedly diverted more than $50 million meant for
fuel procurement to the purchase six luxury cars.

The CIO was also disturbed by revelations in the press that it had bought
assets worth $100 million from the troubled State fuel procurement company,

Reports earlier this year that several CIO agents had been accused of
stealing property worth $2 million from Indian nationals were also viewed as
detrimental to the organisation.

"Documents have been leaked to the press. There is growing mistrust among
members of staff. Several government officials and officers within the CIO
have been taken to task over the leakage of confidential material to the
press," said the source.

Another leak which has caused a stir in CIO ranks is that of a media hit
list allegedly drafted by the agency with the assistance of the Zimbabwe
Republic Police law and order section.

CIO insiders last week revealed that the hit list had now been expanded from
the original seven targeted journalists to include Independent and Standard
publisher Trevor Ncube; Standard senior reporter, Farai Mutsaka; Financial
Gazette editor-in-chief, Francis Mdlongwa, and his political editor, Sydney

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From the Financial Gazette

900 farms closed in one month

Staff Reporter
9/6/01 7:13:09 PM (GMT +2)

SUPPORTERS of the governing ZANU PF party and its war veterans have forced
the closure of 900 white-owned commercial farms across Zimbabwe in the past
month alone, a top farming official said yesterday.

Colin Cloete, president of the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) whose members
own about 3 500 properties, said 25 percent of the farms in the commercial
sector had stopped operating because of intimidation from ZANU PF mobs.

"The security situation on commercial farms has degenerated, 25 percent of
commercial farms have shut down countrywide and have stopped farming," he
told the Financial Gazette.

He said in the tobacco-producing Mashonaland East areas of Hwedza, Macheke
and Virginia, 5 000 families, mainly those of black farm workers, had been
forced off farms in the past three weeks.

He said the areas, which farm horticultural products, no longer had a
labourforce to carry out the grading of tobacco, bringing to a standstill
even those that were still operating.

This is expected to further worsen Zimbabwe's foreign currency crisis, which
has spawned biting fuel and power shortages and threaten industry with total

Tobacco is Zimbabwe's single largest export, netting a third of hard cash
annually. Horticulture is also a significant earner of forex.

ZANU PF supporters last year invaded more than 1 000 commercial farms to
back President Robert Mugabe's land reforms.

Cloete said the violent confrontation used by ZANU PF supporters in the past
to drive workers and farmers off farms had been replaced by a covert
eviction strategy carried out under cover of darkness.

These all-night sessions last more than two days on targeted farms, which
are shut down and workers told to leave.

The CFU said the closure of farms and the eviction of workers would compound
looming food shortages, which are a result of the disruptions of
agricultural activity by government followers on farms that began last year.

The country may have to import about 700 000 tonnes of maize and wheat next
year to avert starvation but has no foreign currency to buy the imports.

Cloete said neither commercial farm owners nor resettled peasants were
farming because the two groups were not sure what course to take.

"No one is farming, not the commercial farmers or the settlers. This is
going to have a severe impact on food production," he said.

Cloete said he hoped the government would accept the proposals of the
Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative (ZJRI), under which farmers are
offering one million hectares of suitable land to the government to resettle
at least 20 000 families.

The ZJRI, an initiative of the commercial farmers and the private sector,
seeks to find an amicable solution to the government's controversial land
reforms, already ruled illegal by the Supreme Court.

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Thursday, 6 September, 2001, 01:04 GMT 02:04 UK
Commonwealth to debate Zimbabwe
Black farm-workers fleeing
Land reforms have seen farm workers chased from their homes
By Dan Isaacs in Abuja

Ministers from Commonwealth countries are gathering in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, for talks to discuss land reform and political tension in Zimbabwe.

There has been uncertainty over whether the talks will concentrate on just the land reform process - as Zimbabwe hopes - or whether discussions will also cover the tense political climate in the country.

The meeting is likely to be highly charged.
Black workers packing up
Many farm workers have been left homeless

But it is being seen as an opportunity to put the issue on the agenda ahead of the Commonwealth heads of government summit in Brisbane, Australia, next month.

Until now, the issue of land reform in Zimbabwe has been regarded by other African nations as largely an internal matter.

President Robert Mugabe and his government have been happy to keep it that way, accusing the former colonial power, Britain, of meddling in its affairs and of failing to pay reparations for land taken during colonial times.

But with increasing political instability in Zimbabwe, Mr Mugabe can no longer guarantee the unquestioned support of his neighbours.

There are fears that instability in Zimbabwe could spread across Africa and sour the climate for foreign investment.

President Robert Mugabe
President Mugabe is unlikely to be openly criticised
So it is in this light that the Nigerian Government has taken the significant step of bringing Zimbabwe, Britain and other Commonwealth members together.

It is very unlikely that Nigeria will openly criticise Mr Mugabe at these talks.

But, like the South Africans, they will be hoping that pressure can be placed on Zimbabwe to tone down its support for the forced seizure of white-owned farmland.

Zimbabweans want to keep the talks limited to the land reform issue.

But other delegations, including the British, are determined to broaden the debate to include the issue of political instability and the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

All sides are hoping that the meeting in Abuja will at least give them the opportunity to put their cards on the table in a civilised manner ahead of the Brisbane summit.

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Wednesday, 5 September, 2001, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Fire in South African game park
At least 19 people have been killed in a fire that swept through part of the Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Among the dead were 16 local villagers who had been harvesting grass for their homes, and three game rangers who had been called in to help contain the blaze.

Kruger's many animals are reported to have escaped the blaze
The cause of the fire, which destroyed the Numbi camp in the southern area of the park, located about 500km (300 miles) north-east of Johannesburg, was not immediately known.

"It could be that it was a natural fire caused by lightning, or that it was a man-made fire," said Salifou Siddo, head of corporate affairs at South African National Parks.

"Currently our people are on the ground working to keep the fire under control," he said.

Most famous

Kruger, South Africa's most famous park, attracts nearly one million visitors a year, 40% of them foreign tourists.

It is home to species including lion, rhinoceros, buffalo, leopard and elephant.

It's not completely put out, but it is under control

William Mabasa
Kruger Park

Police spokseman Captain Harry Shabangu told Reuters news agency that most of the villagers, who had been given permission to cut grass, died as they were trying to escape the blaze.

"Two ladies died on their way to hospital and another died (Wednesday) morning in hospital. The rest were found at the scene," Shabangu said.

"Most of the people died while they were running away," he added.

'Under control'

There were no reports of tourists or animals being hurt.

"Three rangers who were called in to fight the fire were also trapped and killed," said Mr Siddo.

Kruger Park spokesman William Mabasa said the fire, which started on Tuesday afternoon and covered a large area of dry bushland around the workers' tented camp, had been largely contained by midday on Wednesday.

"It's not completely put out, but it is under control," he said.

The fire was fanned by strong winds which blow across South Africa at the end of the dry season.

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From the Telegraph (UK)

Straw offers £36m for Zimbabwe land reform
By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor
(Filed: 06/09/2001)

BRITAIN will renew its offer of millions of pounds to help pay for land
reform in Zimbabwe when Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, meets his
Zimbabwean counterpart today.

Ahead of a tense meeting in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, senior officials
warned that intransigence by Zimbabwe could provoke tougher action by the

Mr Straw will make clear that Britain's offer of £36 million, made last
year, is still on the table on condition that it is carried out with
"transparency, respect for the law, poverty reduction, affordability and
consistency with Zimbabwe's wider economic interests".

The meeting of Commonwealth ministers is part of an intense diplomatic
effort to avoid a damaging split at next month's summit of Commonwealth
leaders in Brisbane. A diplomat said: "The question of suspending Zimbabwe
has been in the air for some time, but there has been no consensus until
now. Abuja could be the trigger."

Five southern African presidents will visit Zimbabwe next week to discuss
the crisis with President Mugabe. Zimbabwe wants the Abuja talks to deal
exclusively with demands that Britain pay for the acquisition of white-owned

Britain insists the meeting must also address the breakdown of law and
political violence against Mr Mugabe's opponents. Zimbabwe also announced
that it had accepted an offer of 2.5 million acres of land from white
farmers to resettle 20,000 black families.

But vice-president Joseph Msika said most of the 531 farms were already
earmarked for acquisition under the fast-track resettlement programme and
the government was still determined to seize about 5,000 farms.

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From the Telegraph (UK)

Mask that hides true menace of Mugabe
(Filed: 06/09/2001)

For the casual visitor there is little evidence of the political turmoil
that is threatening to tear the country apart, reports Graham Boynton in

PAMUSHANA is a luxury safari lodge in Zimbabwe's south east. Situated high
above the Gonarezhou Game Reserve, it is widely recognised as one of the
best lodges in Africa.

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones took a nine-day holiday there two
weeks ago and were said to have fallen in love with the place, and with
Zimbabwe. It was not that they were unaware of the events going on around

Every night Douglas watched the developments in the Chinhoyi farming
district, the centre of the latest government-sanctioned violence, and was
apparently well-briefed on the turmoil in other parts of the country.

He needed only to look out from the honeymoon suite to see first-hand
evidence of the country at war with itself - a number of huge bush fires,
the work of the self-styled war veterans, in the conservation area south of

It is a strange thing about Zimbabwe that even in these days of civil
strife, an unravelling economy, of much-debated threats of anarchy and
martial law, the country appears to amble along at its own pace, apparently
without a care in the world.

In any of Zimbabwe's gateway cities - Harare, Bulawayo, the Victoria Falls -
you would have no idea that the country was engaged in a bloody battle for
its soul.

These parallel worlds are evident everywhere. Last Saturday in Bulawayo I
came across a group of rugby enthusiasts partying around a braivleis
(barbecue) and watching a tri-nations rugby match on satellite television.

A few miles away an international group of human rights activists was
exhuming the body of a woman who had been murdered by President Mugabe's
Fifth Brigade soldiers in the mid-Eighties. Further north a gang of "war
veterans', having chased off a farmer and his wife with axes, were wrecking
the couple's ostrich farm.

In Harare I joined a regular Friday lunch club of executives whose
businesses are on the line. Last year 400 businesses closed, this year the
same number have closed in the first eight months. Their firms are limping
from week to week, and still they dine in delightful suburban restaurants,
laughing and telling jokes.

In the Mashonaland on the same afternoon farmers were meeting to discuss
security initiatives as more farm invasions were threatened. Meanwhile, the
local repertory company was running the first auditions for its summer
production of Guys And Dolls.

In the Victoria Falls Hotel, a monument to Victorian elegance overlooking
the falls, I met a group of American tourists who said they were charmed by
the friendliness of the locals.

Of course, they knew there was a political furore going on somewhere in the
country, "but it's a dispute between white settlers and the black
government. It doesn't affect us." Significantly, there are hardly any
British tourists and overall tourism has fallen by 70 per cent.

The newspapers add to the surreal atmosphere. On the day after the family
were run off their farm, the Chronicle reported the story under the headline
"White farmer abandons ostrich project". In Harare, the Herald announced the
beginning of the week-long agricultural show with the headline "Farmers in
High Spirits".

While the opposition press screams out headlines of death and destruction,
such as "Villagers flee in new wave of violence", the State-owned Bulawayo
Chronicle and The Herald in Harare lead with stories in the style of OK!

It does not take the visitor long to realise that not far from the surface
is a prevailing sense of despair. I have never encountered such pervasive
gloom in a community that has survived international economic sanctions, an
unpleasant bush war and the chaotic unpredictability of post-colonial

The whites are talking about relocating to Zambia. Their sons and daughters
have already left for Australia, New Zealand and Britain. The black
Zimbabweans who had come to expect so much after their independence told me
they were bracing themselves for more violence in the run-up to the
presidential election and for serious food shortages.

It is spring and usually the air is clear, the skies blue, the days sunny
and warm, the nights cool and clear. Now, there is a haze - the haze of
burning bushveld. Although conversations are turning to the English cricket
tour, thoughts are more inclined to centre on the next moves of an African
dictator who seems prepared to destroy everything to keep to power.

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Armed Zim militants try to evict Ian Smith
September 05 2001 at 06:07PM
Harare - War veterans wielding axes and knives tried to evict former
Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith from his farm in central Zimbabwe but
police intervened, a family member said on Wednesday.

"There was a problem at the farm about two days ago when some war veterans
came onto the farm and threatened him but he was not harmed," said the
family member, who declined to be named.

"When I spoke to him yesterday they had left because the police intervened.
He's back at his house in Harare today. I'm not sure what the situation at
the farm is like, the war veterans might be back there," he added.

Smith was not immediately available for comment. Immediate police comment
was also not available.

Smith called on Mugabe to resign
Eighty-year-old Smith has accused President Robert Mugabe, who took over
from him in 1980, of stirring up racial hatred against white farmers, many
of whose properties Mugabe wants for black resettlement.

Smith, who divides his time between a house in Harare and his cattle farm in
Shurugwi, led 250 000 white Rhodesians in declaring unilateral independence
from Britain in 1965 rather than accept proposals for black majority rule.

He fought an unsuccessful war against black guerrillas led by Mugabe and
Joshua Nkomo from 1972-80.

His farm was invaded in May 2000 by pro-government militants who have
illegally settled on white-owned farms since February 2000 in support of
Mugabe's land reform programme.

Smith called on Mugabe to resign last November for allegedly destroying the
southern African country, calling him a gangster and saying he did not think
the Zimbabwe leader would remain in power "past Christmas". - Reuters

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From the Sydney Morning Herald

Australia overruled on how to deal with Zimbabwe

By Michelle Grattan, Chief Political Correspondent

Australia argued for the Commonwealth to take a tough line on Zimbabwe, but
was overridden by other countries when the Commonwealth ministerial action
group considered the issue in London this week.

While Australia, represented by the Foreign Minister, Mr Downer, did not
argue Zimbabwe should be suspended immediately, the implication was that
would follow if Harare failed to put its house in order quickly.

The ministerial action group, meeting on Tuesday, decided it was too close
to the Brisbane Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) for the
ministers to act.

Canada and Britain also wanted a hard line. But Malaysia, Nigeria, Barbados,
Bangladesh and Botswana pushed a more moderate approach.

Zimbabwe is shaping up as a potential flashpoint for the Brisbane meeting.
It has also produced domestic heat in Australia, with some Coalition MPs
declaring President Robert Mugabe should not be allowed to come.

Canberra has pointed out that if Zimbabwe is not suspended Mr Mugabe has the
right to attend CHOGM. It is not known whether he will do so.

Zimbabwe will be the topic of a special meeting of African Commonwealth
countries in Nigeria over the next couple of days. Australia has been
invited; the High Commissioner to London, Mr Michael L'Estrange, will go.

But the African countries will be even less willing to act against Zimbabwe
than the ministerial action group.

The situation in Zimbabwe will be further considered by the ministerial
action group when it meets in Brisbane on October5, immediately before
CHOGM. It will review any progress made by the Nigerian talks, which
Zimbabwe will attend.

The London meeting reviewed Pakistan's suspension. The Commonwealth is set
to lift the suspension of Fiji following its elections. Some ministers
distinguished between these suspensions and Zimbabwe, saying Fiji and
Pakistan were suspended after the overthrow of regimes.

But Australia says the issue is human rights abuses and that there is no
such distinction. Australia's line is that it is not focused on Zimbabwean
land reform, but on attacks on the opposition and media and the denial of

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Wednesday, 5 September, 2001, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Zimbabwe welcomes farmers' offer
White farmer supporting Mugabe
Some farmers are now trying to work with Mugabe
The Zimbabwean Government has welcomed an offer by white farmers to hand over nearly a million hectares (2.4 million acres) of land for redistribution.

The statement came on the eve of a Commonwealth foreign ministers meeting called to discuss President Mugabe's controversial programme of farm take-overs, as well the violence that has accompanied it.

President Robert Mugabe
President Mugabe is away in Libya
However, it is not clear what effect the government reaction will have on the rest of the farms targeted for acquisition by the government.

The farmers' offer has been on the table since July but the authorities have been in no hurry to discuss it.

Zimbabwe's Vice-President Joseph Msika said: "Government welcomes the fact that some white commercial farmers appear to have turned a new leaf in their attitude towards the government's land reform programme."

"This means precious time will not be wasted in needless legal battles which only serve to polarise our society and cost us dearly through loss of production time."

Acting president

Mr Msika is Acting President while Robert Mugabe is in Libya.

In the past, he has made conciliatory suggestions concerning land reform while acting president only for them to be dismissed on Mr Mugabe's return.

As well as the land, the farmers have offered over $1 m to help the black settlers with infrastructure and agricultural inputs.

Black workers packing up
Many farm-workers have been left homeless by land reform

Most of the 531 farms now offered to the government were already listed for compulsory acquisition.

However, the owners have now agreed to stop their legal objections which will speed up the process of redistributing the land.

The government has described the initiative as "home grown" - a move which may be intended to stop international intervention.

Uncertain future

Analysts say the white farmers will be hoping that this offer will free up other properties which the government has targeted for acquisition.

Mr Msika made no mention of this and the government recently increased the amount of land it wants to redistribute to eight million hectares of farm land - around 70% of all white-owned land.

The previous target had been five million hectares.

The Commonwealth meeting in Nigeria hopes to focus on a wide range of issues which include the seizure of white-owned farmland in Zimbabwe, the intimidation of the opposition, judiciary and the media.

The Zimbabwe Government wants the agenda limited to his quarrel with Britain over the financing of land redistribution.

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We have today learned of some very important issues through extremely reliable resources as follows :

The Zim authorities have piggy-backed the SA authorities by installing through PTC what is known as a "SNIFFER PROGRAM" which is designed through installing passwords or clue terminology against individual's names or organizations they may wish to investigate as potential breachers of "legislations" as determined by the authorities. Apparently a statuatory instrument/law has been passed in SA enforcing the above.
Through authorities PTC have ordered Mail Servers to take down what they call "FIRE WALLS" which are supposedly the systems which protect their client's confidentially - informers working for mail servers in Zim have verified this We are not sure if this is Politically motivated through CIO or Reserve Bank motivated however the fact that 3000 prisoners have been recently released means there is a good chance that those prison berths are going to be filled with white faces.
For this reason please do not forward any politically motivated or foreign currency associated data to anyone.

5th September - from Bev and Tony Reeler

In the last 18 months the Zimbabwean economy has been destroyed.
The Zimbabwean people have been intimidated, beaten, raped, and killed.
Their homes have been burnt, or taken from them.
Their lives have been disrupted by lack of transport, escalating prices,
the breakdown of infrastructures.
Businesses have been closed, tens of thousands of jobs lost.
Farming has been stopped, land burnt, animals killed.
Thousands of trees have been chopped down for cooking fuel and cash.
The population of homeless and orphaned swells.

In the last 18 months Zimbabweans have learned to endure:
To live with grief.
To look pain in the eyes.
To face fear.

They have learnt the meaninglessness of money.
The truth of actions.
The lies of words.

They have learnt the strength of friendship
The folly of racism.

In the last 18 months,
while the government has been bent on destruction
the people of Zimbabwe have woven miracles.

Despite this government sabotage.
and with the help of funding angels from across the planet,
The people of Zimbabwe have taken the government to court for acts of
violence and corruption.
They have staged stay aways, and peace prayers and peace marches.
They have established an opposition party who consistently refuse to resort
to violence .
They have challenged the government's war in the DRC.
They have challenged governments use of the police and judiciary of the
country for their purposes.

They have challenged the government control of the media.
They have managed to keep an independent press going
despite journalists being threatened, beaten, jailed and deported.
Despite their presses being bombed.

They have fought, and lost to establish a free radio.
Civic Action Groups have officially documented and made public,
the acts of government initiated violence.

They have issued reports and named the perpetrators.
They have provided transport, legal aid, and safe houses
for the victims to come to court and tell their stories.
They have set up provisions for food, medical treatment, rape clinics,
counseling, group story telling
for thousands who have suffered in this process.

The Civic groups of Zimbabwe have created a network of more than 250 of
the non-government organizations
From trade unions to churches to lawyers to human rights workers,
Who have presented the government with a unified petition demanding a
return to law and order.

They have spoken to foreign Governments, Human Rights Organizations, the
and presented their reports.

They have established Local Action Groups and Rate Payers Associations
Who refuse to co-operate with illegally appointed councils.

People have been forced out of their comfort zones,
And begun to weave their threads into the tapestry.

- 3 Zimbabweans have dedicated their lives to taking Mugabe to court in
America after the murders of their loved ones,
- a doctor leaves her practice to look after victims of violence
- a managing director on an international company consults with human
rights people on behalf of his staff
- a leading business woman creates a network for distributing food aid to
the homeless
- farmers and farmer workers stand side with new found friendship
to face the violence
- therapists give their time to work with the traumatized
- a business man sets up an email service which dispenses the latest news
- a group monitors the media and makes weekly reports
- people connect in the shops, in the fuel queus, through the email -
keeping in touch, sharing their pain and strength.
- paint their own road signs
- fill their own pot holes

Black and white and in between
Young and old and in between
The people of Zimbabwe have been working for peace with incredible acts of
courage and love.

And in facing our challenges we are weaving a miracle.

ZIMBABWE: Rural poverty fuels anti-government sentiment

CHIKOMBA, 5 September (IRIN) - Susan Mhanga, a 55-year old widow, choked
back the tears as she contemplated her life. Three-years ago her husband
succumbed to AIDS leaving her with five children to raise on her own and
no savings to fall back on. She told IRIN she was forced to turn to
commercial sex work to make ends meet.

Her story of poverty and hardship is not unusual in Chikomba, a rural
district 200 km southeast of Harare. But what could be significant is that
in two weeks time, she has the chance to vote in a bye-election for a seat
that up until now was considered safe for the ruling party.

At 40, Mhanga’s neighbour Peter Gombo should be at the prime of his
working life. But instead he has been made redundant after the
Harare-based Willowvale car assembly plant shut down three months ago due
to Zimbabwe’s harsh economic climate. “Like idiots we continue to watch
silently while the future of our children is being ruined right before our
eyes,” Gombo, now one of the village elders, told IRIN.

With his few savings Gombo has started a poorly-paying small
brick-moulding business. He, like Mhanga, are unequivocal over who is to
blame for their circumstances. “For 21 years we have been groping and
floundering in the swamp, but some among us still think we should continue
to support ZANU-PF even when it has become all too clear that the ruling
party has no solution to our problems,” he said.

That kind of sentiment in a previously staunch ZANU-PF area could be cause
for concern for the ruling party’s candidate, Bernard Makokove. He is up
against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change’s (MDC) Oswald
Ndanga, to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Chenjerai Hunzvi, the
combatative former leader of the war veterans’ association.

Even fervent supporters of President Robert Mugabe such as Cecilia Ngoni
agree that life has deteriorated in the rural areas. Ngoni, who said she
would still vote for Mugabe in next year’s presidential election,
resignedly agreed that the government could have done more for people in
her district in the 21 years it had been in power. “It was good for the
government to build the new schools and clinics for us, but they should
have done more to develop the rural areas,” Ngoni said.

What Mhanga fears is that a government - which in the past won handsome
parliamentary majorities against weak opposition - will again turn to
violence to retain its hold on power against the MDC, as it did in last
June’s parliamentary polls, she told IRIN.

At independence in 1980, Mugabe’s government understood that the neglected
countryside was its key constituency, and earmarked development projects
for the rural areas that had borne the brunt of the country’s liberation
war. But a decade-long economic crisis - coupled with alleged
mismanagement and corruption - have destroyed whatever social sector
initiatives the government poured money into, critics charge.

Zhenje Business Centre, deep in Chikomba communal lands, is one such
example of the decay. While Mugabe and his officials offer various
explanations for Zimbabwe’s economic woes - including “a conspiracy by
British enemies” - poverty and underdevelopment have taken their toll on
the thousands of small rural centres such as Zhenje.

It is quite clear to any visitor to Zhenje that the majority of the
households that surround it - or in any other rural area in Zimbabwe for
that matter - no longer meet the minimum food requirements. Officially, 75
percent of Zimbabweans now live below the poverty line. In Zhenje, one
simple illustration of that fact is that two of the community’s four
grocery shops have closed due to lack of business.

Growth points such as Zhenje were built to serve as centres of development
in the communal lands.
Schools and technical colleges were constructed to equip the rural people
with skills to feed these centres. But failed economic reforms and
controversial political policies by Mugabe’s government has scared
investors and foreign capital away, leaving much of the rural
infrastructure derelict. It has also left thousands of trained young
people with no jobs, and little hope.

The MDC, taking advantage of the grinding poverty and economic malaise, is
building its campaign in Chikomba on public discontent with Mugabe’s
administration. “We are explaining to the people how 21 years of ZANU-PF
mismanagement and corruption have destroyed the economy,” Piniel Denga,
the coordinator of the MDC’s campaign in Chikomba told IRIN.

Denga, whose house was stoned by alleged ZANU-PF youths two weeks ago,
said political violence had forced his party to resort to door-to-door
campaigns carried out mostly under the cover of darkness. “ZANU-PF cannot
explain to the people why they are poor and it is now resorting to
violence and intimidation,” he said.

Bright Makunde, ZANU-PF’s political commissar for Mashonaland East
province which includes Chikomba, dismissed the accusations. Makunde told
IRIN: “We have told our supporters to wage a peaceful campaign. Those who
allege we are responsible for violence only want to tarnish our party’s

While admitting that people are facing extreme hardships, Makunde said
ZANU-PF would explain how its controversial fast-track land reforms, to
resettle the landless on white commercial farms, were designed to empower
the people economically.

In two weeks time, it will be proved in Chikomba whether ZANU-PF can still
convince the people that land reform will address their hunger or whether
growing poverty will turn the electorate against the governing party.


William Murchison


All you really need to know about the United Nations' "World
Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination,
Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance" -- now missing the U.S.
and Israeli delegations, which decamped on Monday -- you can
learn by directing your gaze away from the conference

Look up the road, 700 miles or so, from the conference site,
in Durban, South Africa (named for a distinguished
19th-century British governor, Sir Benjamin D'Urban).

There lies Zimbabwe, the former Southern Rhodesia. You might
not know from exposure to the U.S. media, which have been
scandalously inattentive to the story, that terrible events
are afoot in Zimbabwe.

The regime of President Robert Mugabe is endeavoring to
expel from the country -- first taking care to seize their
lands without compensation -- the thousands of white farmers
whose know-how and energy are the backbone of the country's
economy. If the farmers were black, such tactics, such an
objective, would be called "genocide," but, well, you know
how it goes these days.

The regime sends mobs of young squatters to seize the farms.
No use calling the police, who invariably take the
squatters' side. Some weeks ago, about 20 farmers who ran to
the aid of elderly neighbors under mob attack were hauled
off to jail by the police. Mr. Mugabe has silenced judges
disinclined to put up with such tyranny and has all but
silenced Zimbabwe's independent newspapers.

Yet, at the World Conference Against Blah, Blah, how often
does one hear of Robert Mugabe? Oh, about as often as one
hears of the Peloponnesian War or the Defenestration of
Prague -- not a syllable of indignation; not the faintest
tintinnabulation of dismay.

Mr. Mugabe, who stayed home due to "security" concerns, is
Third World. He gets a pass. Who doesn't get one? Israel
doesn't. Yasser Arafat denounces Israel as a racist colonial
power. The conference gets ready to OK a statement
eviscerating the Israelis. Their stomachs too weak for
bilge, U.S. and Israeli delegates pull out.

And then there's slavery, which exists today chiefly in the
Sudan, but don't let that confuse you, because at the World
Blah, Blah, the Sudanese, like Mr. Mugabe, get a pass for
being Third World. In fact, it turns out that the First
World owes Africa a lot of bucks in "reparations" for
importing slaves (whose descendants for some reason haven't
elected to return to the Old Country), even though it was
the British, not the Africans, who suppressed the slave
trade, and even though the president of Senegal wonders
aloud at Durban whether he might be asked to pay
reparations, too, given that his ancestors helped round up
and sell those slaves in the first place.

Jesse Jackson, the noted adulterer, and the Congressional
Black Caucus are also there, lobbying for "understanding"
and First World concessions -- making the whole thing even
more gruesome.

Race, seemingly the modern world's leading preoccupation, is
its most intractable, due to the dishonesty that infects
virtually every attempt to discuss the topic.

Discussions about race are rarely about race. They turn out,
as at Durban, mostly to concern power -- who's got it, who
wants it. "Race" is mainly a club for pummeling the
Israelis, wielded by people who want what the Israelis have
got. "Race," as with "reparations." is a pretext for
rattling the tin cup -- how about some dough, Bro? You won't
get any by not trying, that's for sure.

The real "victims of racism" are those who, with indulgent
smiles on their faces, must sit and listen to all this
tommyrot, with never a thought for Robert Mugabe: the
highway robbery he licenses, the human-rights crimes the
perpetrates, the smile on his own face as he contemplates --
how could he not? -- the joy of being a Third World despot
in the age of Yasser Arafat and Jesse Jackson.


Helle Bering


So, the United States and Israel have finally had enough of
the naked display of anti-Semitism at the singularly
misnamed World Conference Against Racism, Racial
Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance in
Durban, South Africa. Whatever took us so long?

     With this conference, the United Nations has reverted
to its old deplorable self. Does anyone wonder why
Americans, generally speaking, don't trust the organization
and are reluctant to pay the lion's share of its budget? We
are even footing 25 percent of the bill for the conference
in Durban, where the United States is being vilified as a
matter of routine. While it was certainly appropriate for
Secretary of State Colin Powell to refuse to attend, it was
a naive mistake for the United States to think that we could
influence the outcome of the declarations with a lower-level
U.S. delegation floating about.

     In fact, you can be assured that whenever people come
together to discuss the lower human instincts such as
intolerance and racism, these same instincts will rear their
ugly heads in the worst way. Invite people to examine and
explore their grievances, express their true feelings, and
nothing but nastiness will result. In Durban, everybody
feels entitled to victimhood - with the exception of
apologetic and guilt-ridden Americans and Europeans, whose
colonialist past is considered the root of all evil. They
have no one to blame, unless they chose to blame the Vikings
and demand reparations for raping and pillaging from the
Scandinavians, which at least would make for a new twist on
a very old story.

     In fact, more than anything, the proceedings have
brought back memories of an old 1960s song by Tom Lehrer -
"National Brotherhood Week." Not a blessed thing has changed
since he wrote it as a spoof on good-intentions-weeks. Not
usually one to quote Tom Lehrer, I nevertheless found the
refrain ringing in my head with every newspaper article
about the conference. Remember the refrain? "Oh, the
Protestants hate the Catholics/And the Catholics hate the
Protestants/And the Hindus hate the Moslems/And everybody
hates the Jews."

     In this case, the anti-Semitism whipped up by
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and aided and abetted by
numerous Muslim countries has run so high that Israel has
been singled out as the only country to deserve special
condemnation, a practitioner of apartheid. This in a world
of egregious human rights offenders that include countries
like Russia, China, Sudan, Iraq, Egypt or Zimbabwe next
door, where white farmers are being driven from their farms
for no other reason than the color of their skin.

     Among the offending language, which caused the United
States and Israel to walk out - but not the European Union -
was this draft statement: "The World Conference recognizes
with deep concern the increase of racist practices of
Zionism and anti-Semitism in various parts of the world as
well as the emergence of racial and violent movements based
on racism and discriminatory ideas, in particular the
Zionist movement, which is based on racial superiority."
Well, don't believe for a moment that the authors of that
clause were worried about anti-Semitism at all.

     While reparations for slavery were for a long while the
cause celebre of the conference, the issue has been
overtaken by anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism as its primary
theme. Even the Rev. Jesse Jackson felt compelled to deplore
this fact, in a fairly backhanded way. Mr. Jackson seemed
concerned that it has detracted from his own agenda - racism
in the United States. "It is a shame, we've let the
Israeli-Palestinian thing constrict our view of racism to a
keyhole," he said in his capacity as a non-government

     The tone of this conference unfortunately is a sign of
greater problems facing the Middle East. Muslim countries
obviously feel they have cornered Israel, at least in public
relations terms. Militarily, it very much looks as though
Mr. Arafat will be successful in forcing the hand of Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon through the continued Intifada
and suicide bombings. The Durban conference represents the
public relations arm of this effort, a wonderful forum for
Mr. Arafat to rant in front of a receptive international

     Have no doubt about it, all the condemnations of
Zionism are part and parcel of the movement to erase the
state of Israel from the map of the Middle East. In this
instance, as in many others, Martin Luther King Jr.
expressed the thought with great clarity. "When people
criticize Zionism they mean Jews . . . Zionism is nothing
less than the dream and the ideal of the Jewish people
returning to live on their own land . . . and what is
anti-Zionism? It is the denial to the Jew of the fundamental
right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and
freely accord to all other nations of the globe. It is
discrimination against Jews because they are Jews. In short
it is anti-Semitism."

     That this should be the essence and outcome of a U.N.
conference on racism would be ironic were it not such an

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ZIMBABWE-SOUTHERN AFRICA: Leaders to attend summit on Zimbabwe crisis

JOHANNESBURG, 4 September (IRIN) - South African President Thabo Mbeki and
four other regional heads of state will travel to Harare next week for a
two-day summit with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe aimed at resolving
the crisis in that country, AFP reported on Tuesday, quoting a
presidential spokesman. Bheki Khumalo told AFP that Mbeki would be joined
in the Zimbabwean capital by the presidents of Botswana, Malawi, Angola
and Namibia.

The meeting forms part of a Southern African Development Community (SADC)
initiative to address issues relating to Zimbabwe.

The meeting scheduled for Monday and Tuesday with Mugabe and his cabinet
ministers will also involve interest groups such as commercial farmers and
war veterans. “This indicates the commitment of the South African
government to do whatever it can to deal with some of the challenges
facing Zimbabwe,” Khumalo said.

Zimbabwe has been shaken since early last year by the seizures of
white-owned farms by landless blacks and by violence by pro-government
militants. Political opponents of Mugabe have been attacked, killed and
beaten by his supporters with the apparent backing of the police. The rand
hit a record low against the dollar early on Tuesday amid concern in South
Africa about the political and economic situation in neighbouring
Zimbabwe, dealers said.

ZIMBABWE-NIGERIA: Commonwealth split over meeting agenda

JOHANNESBURG, 4 September (IRIN) - A special Commonwealth group on the
growing crisis in Zimbabwe will meet in Abuja, Nigeria on Thursday. But
AFP reported on Tuesday that there was disagreement over the agenda which
Harare wants focused on land while London and others want to emphasise
political violence and the rule of law. The crisis in Zimbabwe was under
discussion on Tuesday on the sidelines of a Commonwealth ministerial group
in London, Nigerian officials said, and will be raised at the Commonwealth
heads of government meeting in Australia later in the year.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and a growing regional power since
its return to civilian rule, is hosting the special group talks to focus
on the Zimbabwe issue. Besides Britain, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, ministers
and officials are expected from Australia, Canada, Kenya and Jamaica,
while the Commonwealth team will be led by Secretary General Don McKinnon.

Zimbabwean government officials said the meeting in the Nigerian capital
should “make Britain realise” the social, political, moral and economic
justification of President Robert Mugabe’s land reforms. “We believe that
once Britain listens and realises the justification of our programme, we
should be able to patch our differences because our land policy is the
source of our problems,” Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge said
recently of the meeting in Nigeria.

From the ABC (Australia)

Commonwealth may need to get tough with Zimbabwe: PM

The Prime Minister has raised the option of suspending or ending Zimbabwe's
membership of the Commonwealth if the siutation there does not change.

Commonwealth ministers are holding crisis talks on the political violence in

The Prime Minister has again rejected calls for Zimbabwe's President, Robert
Mugabe, to be banned from attending the October Commonwealth Heads of
Government (CHOGM) meeting.

But Mr Howard says he and a growing number of Commonwealth countries would
like to see things changed.

"There's no doubt that what's happening in Zimbabwe is unacceptable," he

"It has to change otherwise people are entitled to look at Zimbabwe's
continuing association with the Commonwealth."

  • CIO ranks urge Mugabe to go - FinGaz
  • UK offer still stands - DTel
  • Humanitarian disaster for farmworkers - News24
  • No IMF aid - FinGaz
  • Intransigence a major risk - BDay
  • An African solution - Guardian
  • Human rights report - Amani Trust

From The Financial Gazette, 6 September

CIO urges Mugabe to go

Middle and junior-ranking officers of the spy Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) have recommended that President Robert Mugabe should retire before next year's presidential election to enhance Zanu PF's chances of winning the ballot, it was learnt this week. However, some of the spies interviewed this week said the CIO's top directors who report directly to the President were blocking this message from reaching him. The CIO officers said several of their colleagues working on the "2002 elections assignment" had emphasised the need to rejuvenate the ruling party ahead of the crucial presidential election, which must be held by May.

Mugabe faces the stiffest challenge to his 21-year reign from the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai. "Our major task as CIO officers is to interact with people and report frankly and accurately to our top bosses on what is happening on the ground," said one junior officer. "Several of our officers have reported that many voters in the urban and even rural areas will not support Zanu PF unless Mugabe retires. The President is however being badly advised by those who report to him directly," he said, adding that this was the general sentiment among middle and junior ranking CIO officers, who constitute the majority of the 3000-strong spy agency.

The officials said the CIO's intelligence officers who are deployed to mingle and interact with the ordinary people - the heart and soul of the organisation - had in the past few months conducted an "intelligence census" which supported the theory that "Zanu PF required a new leadership" to enhance its electoral fortunes next year. "The rate at which our internal politics and frustrations within the organisation are clouding real issues is amazing," said another officer. "We blame our bosses squarely because they have allowed differences between them and us the juniors to widen."

The officers said Mugabe was not doing himself a favour by relying on everything he was told by the senior CIO directors without interacting with the juniors as he used to do in the past. "The President used to interact a lot with lower ranking officers, apart from his formal contacts with the directors. But that suddenly stopped and he now relies on his favoured officers who are badly advising him," another officer said. The spies said even if Mugabe decided to stand, he should at least be well informed about the mood of Zimbabweans who are angry at his policies, something the top brass seems reluctant to tell him.

Mugabe has already declared that he will run for another six-year term in the projected ballot. Many top politicians within the Zanu PF party have nonetheless said in private discussions that it is time he and his two ageing deputies - Joseph Msika and Simon Muzenda - considered retiring to pave the way for a new and younger leadership. Some CIO officers said they still believed there was a possibility that Mugabe could quit before next year's presidential election. They said the President would retire if he could secure Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa's position as his chosen successor. "But if he fails to put Mnangagwa in line to succeed him, then there is a strong school of thought that he will continue hanging in there," said another intelligence officer. Persistent efforts to get comment from CIO boss Elisha Muzonzini on the CIO's recommendations have been unsuccessful in the past two weeks because he refuses to respond to messages left with his secretary. Muzonzini's boss, State Security Minister Nicholas Goche, also failed to respond to other requests for interviews left at his office.

From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 6 September

Straw offers £36m for Zimbabwe land reform

Britain will renew its offer of millions of pounds to help pay for land reform in Zimbabwe when Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, meets his Zimbabwean counterpart today. Ahead of a tense meeting in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, senior officials warned that intransigence by Zimbabwe could provoke tougher action by the Commonwealth. Mr Straw will make clear that Britain's offer of £36 million, made last year, is still on the table on condition that it is carried out with "transparency, respect for the law, poverty reduction, affordability and consistency with Zimbabwe's wider economic interests".

The meeting of Commonwealth ministers is part of an intense diplomatic effort to avoid a damaging split at next month's summit of Commonwealth leaders in Brisbane. A diplomat said: "The question of suspending Zimbabwe has been in the air for some time, but there has been no consensus until now. Abuja could be the trigger." Five southern African presidents will visit Zimbabwe next week to discuss the crisis with President Mugabe. Zimbabwe wants the Abuja talks to deal exclusively with demands that Britain pay for the acquisition of white-owned farms. Britain insists the meeting must also address the breakdown of law and political violence against Mr Mugabe's opponents. Zimbabwe also announced that it had accepted an offer of 2.5 million acres of land from white farmers to resettle 20,000 black families. But vice-president Joseph Msika said most of the 531 farms were already earmarked for acquisition under the fast-track resettlement programme and the government was still determined to seize about 5,000 farms.

From News24 (SA), 6 September

Zim workers 'need help'

Johannesburg - The growing number of farm workers displaced by land invasions in Zimbabwe has prompted agricultural groups to call for immediate humanitarian assistance to deal with the crisis, the UN's Integrated Regional Information Networks reported on Tuesday. "There's certainly a role here for international organisations, these people urgently need feeding programmes and shelter," Godfrey Magaramomba of the Farm Community Trust (FCT), a Harare-based NGO, said on Tuesday. The FCT has been trying to assist former farm labourers in Hwedza, 100 kilometres southeast of Harare. Self-styled war veterans and Zanu-PF supporters evicted about 2000 families from 14 commercial farms in the area two weeks ago.

Magaramomba said that those evicted were now living in appalling conditions in makeshift camps and squatter settlements along main roads. "We've been held up from helping these people by pro-government provincial authorities and by war veterans on the ground," he added. Evicted farm workers have told FCT that after being labelled opposition supporters by war veterans, they are then told not just to leave the farms, but to leave the area completely. Analysts have said that making large numbers of farm workers destitute effectively disenfranchised them. "Kicking people out of where they live and vote appears to be a new tactic aimed at diluting opposition support in rural areas," one observer said.

Over 2800 commercial farms have been listed for compulsory acquisition. About 200 000 workers and their dependants, about 1.5 million in total, live on these farms. If they are displaced and only a handful are given land, Zimbabwe faces social catastrophe, some analysts warned. They argue that only a gradual land reform programme, helped by generous donor funding, could manage a smooth transition without creating more poverty. But donors have shunned President Robert Mugabe's fast-track scheme and accused his government of placing the political imperative of resettling land as swiftly as possible above the goal of poverty alleviation. The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) said that it was also extremely concerned about the plight of evicted farm workers. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said from Harare that it currently had no programmes in place to help evicted farm workers but that the situation could change. Other international agencies working in Zimbabwe were reluctant to speak on the issue, citing political sensitivities.

From The Financial Gazette, 6 September

IMF to hold onto aid until presidential poll

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not release critically needed financial aid to Zimbabwe until the southern African country holds a potentially explosive presidential election early next year, diplomatic sources said yesterday. Speaking as consultative talks between the government and an IMF delegation dragged on in Harare this week, one of the sources said the fund, which abandoned Zimbabwe in August 1999, would maintain "a wait-and-see attitude on Zimbabwe until after the presidential ballot".

A delegation comprising incoming assistant director on the IMF's Africa desk David Coe and his predecessor Paulo Neuhaus this week met Finance Minister Simba Makoni and will also hold discussions with Leonard Tsumba, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. The IMF team also yesterday met leaders of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Makoni could not be reached for comment yesterday. But the IMF's resident representative in Harare, Gilbert Johnson, denied that the IMF would only seriously consider resuming aid to Zimbabwe after the presidential election. He said the organisation only considered economic policy and not politics when deciding when to release aid. "The fund responds to economic policy that is designed to produce growth. Its is not about politics," he said.

The ongoing talks between Harare and the IMF fall under the organisation's Article IV and mainly focus on the country's economic and fiscal policies. Under normal circumstances, an IMF fact-finding mission like the one in Zimbabwe would recommend to the executive board of the Bretton Woods institution the release of blocked funds if satisfied by the outcome of Article IV consultative talks. But another source said that "at this point the board is not even going to want to hear anything coming from Zimbabwe". While Zimbabwe has since February this year defaulted on its debt commitment to the IMF, the sources said the refusal by the Harare authorities to end political violence, uphold the rule of law and implement a legal, transparent and rational land reform plan had scuttled any chances of the country winning back IMF support.

Long-standing differences such as the question of Zimbabwe's distorted exchange rate and the slow pace of privatisation of loss-making government parastatals are also still an impediment to the resumption of IMF aid to Harare, the diplomats said. The IMF's suspension of balance-of-payments support to Zimbabwe has blocked billions of dollars worth of aid from other donors and institutions which provide help to countries that have functional IMF aid programmes.

The MDC's economic affairs secretary Eddie Cross said the IMF delegation had, in technical discussions yesterday, generally accepted the opposition party's approach and proposals on key policy issues such as how to stabilise Zimbabwe's exchange rate, interest rate management and the handling of the burgeoning national debt. Unveiling its economic policy last week, the MDC said it would cut by half the size of the government to rein in spending and drastically reduce the US$4.5 billion owed by the government to foreign creditors within the first 100 days of the party's coming into power.

From Business Day (SA), 6 September

Mugabe intransigence could block Mbeki

President Thabo Mbeki's quiet diplomacy towards Zimbabwe could finally be gaining teeth as next week's meeting in Harare puts the country's crisis firmly on the agenda as the eleventh hour looms before social upheaval impacts more on the region, according to Zimbabwe watchers. The meeting is a follow-up to the Southern African Development Community summit in Blantyre last month, where a task team comprising SA, Mozambique and Botswana was elected to tackle the Zimbabwe crisis ahead of the expected food shortage brought about by illegal land invasions.

The meeting will engage not only President Robert Mugabe's government but also stakeholders ranging from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, the predominantly white Commercial Farmers' Union to war veterans and non-governmental organisations. Observers believe that the troika will attempt to set the scene for the task force. "It will be the first meeting in some time that the agenda is the crisis itself and not diluted by something else within SADC," says Kevin Wakeford, CEO of the SA Chamber of Business. But it will be against odds that have arisen since the Blantyre summit.

Firstly, the presence of Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gadaffi on the Zimbabawe stage. On Monday he reportedly signed a $90-million deal to provide Zimbabwe with fuel. Champ Meso, researcher at the Africa Institute in Pretoria, notes: "It is possible that the recent Libyan move may make Mugabe more intransigent." Sanusha Naidu, senior Africa researcher at the SA Institute for International Affairs, points out that Gadaffi, unlike Mbeki or any other regional leader living in fear of the Zimbabwe crisis posing problems in their countries, "has nothing to lose from the situation in Zimbabwe".

The second obstacle is Mugabe's mood. Naidu notes that in late August, since Blantyre, the troika was supposed to have met with the Zimbabwe government to discuss the agenda of the task team at an outside conference meeting at the Global 2001 SMART Partnership International Dialogue in Uganda. However, that meeting had not taken place, as Mugabe had not viewed the task team favourably. "Now it's a delicate situation. Hopefully they are not about to tell Mugabe what he needs to do, but rather consult him on how he needs to proceed." Regional leaders could be in the process of making Mugabe "lose some of the edge on the region", as he lost control of the defence organ of SADC and Zimbabwe has not been put on the list of 15 countries driving the Millenium Africa Programme, Naidu adds. Meso of the Africa Institute adds: "The troika will probably want on the agenda the issue of the rule of law in Zimbabwe, the promise of free elections and the land issue being dealt with differently, while the Zimbabwe government will want to focus on land distribution."

On the issue of SA and other international organisations providing 100,000 tons of grain to Zimbabwe - something that will help avert SA feeling the pinch of Zimbabwe's woes - Sacob's Wakeford says it is important that it should be distributed through non-governmental organisations, business or the United Nations. The troika's mission is to engage with all stakeholders in Zimbabwe society to help President Robert Mugabe overcome the economic and political crisis in the country.

Comment from The Guardian (UK), 6 September

An African solution

Mugabe's neighbours must show the way

Zimbabwe's people are the primary victims of their country's economic and political problems. But food shortages and failing health provision, unemployment, lawlessness and violence, and a governmental culture of defiance increasingly threaten the well-being of Zimbabwe's regional neighbours, too. Worries about the Zimbabwe "contagion", particularly illegal land seizures and escalating indebtedness, are blamed for yet another run this week on the South African rand. This is no help at all to President Thabo Mbeki's efforts to attract foreign investment, crucial for the still-fragile post-apartheid transition.

For this and similar reasons of self-interest, next week's visit to Harare by Mr Mbeki and the leaders of Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia is the most promising of the various efforts now underway to modify President Robert Mugabe's odious behaviour. The Southern African Development Community, which generated this initiative, has been reluctant to take Mr Mugabe to task for his actions of the past 18 months. Some members may actually have believed his characterisation of his land "reform" programme as a symbolic, post-colonial struggle with an unrepentant, racist Britain. Then again, they know very well that Mr Mugabe, southern Africa's self-styled elder statesman, does not take kindly to gratuitous advice from perceived lessers, be they neighbourly presidents or British ministers of state.

But screwing up its courage, the SADC finally declared last month that the Zimbabwe crisis was a cause for regional alarm that must be addressed. By travelling mob-handed to Harare, and motivated by their own growing concerns, perhaps the presidential six-pack can persuade Mr Mugabe to make an overdue return to reason. His latest, anti-semitic outburst is a measure of their task. But try they must - and forcibly, for the sake of all who support human rights and the rule of law, want negotiated land reform, hope for a free presidential election next spring, and have southern Africa's broader interest at heart. Given this context, foreign secretary Jack Straw is right to take a low-key approach to potentially combustible Commonwealth-led talks today in Nigeria with Mr Mugabe's ministers. Britain has a duty to help turn Zimbabwe around. But only strong, clear-headed African leadership can create the right conditions for a constructive re-engagement.

From The Amani Trust, 5 September

Statistical summary of human rights violations in Zimbabwe

1 JANUARY 2001 TO 31 AUGUST 2001

Please note – this is a summary based on daily updates and subject to correction. Every effort is made to ensure that only reliable sources are used. Apart from deaths, all figures can be assumed to be conservative. Violations that are monitored but not listed here individually include violation of freedom of expression, association and movement, as well as voters’ rights. In the last months, owing to increasing prevalence of such violations, incidents of illegal dismissal of people from their work by others, and barricading of people in their own homes, and deliberate burning of grazing and wilderness areas, are now being specifically recorded.


Deaths: ( gunshot, burns, beatings): 27

Assaults (blunt/ sharp, burns) : 1,770

Property offences: (destruction, theft) 1,165

Death/disappearance threats: 711

Rape 6

Rape threat 12

Assault threats 4,891

False accusations 751

Forced displacement: 20,583

Detention/kidnapping: 583

Unlawful dismissal 114

Barricading 97

No of districts affected by deliberate land burning 16


Unknown 66,3 %

MDC 30,6%

ZANU-PF 3,1 %


ZANU-PF (war veterans, youths etc) 73 %


Army/air force: 6 %

Police 14 %

CIO: 1 %

Government ministers 2 %

MDC: 1 %

unknown: 3 %

There has been a dramatic increase in reported violence in the last two months, mainly linked to the new wave of violence on commercial farms, which have affected tens of thousands of farm labourer families, but also linked to election campaigns around the country. There have been 19 political deaths in the last two months. The pattern of perpetrators to victims remains similar to previous months, but with an even greater bias towards government agencies and Zanu-PF supporters. 23% of incidents cited government agencies as perpetrators. Only 4% of incidents reported in the last two months did not cite government supporters/agencies as the perpetrators.

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ZIMBABWE: Severe food shortages in Midlands and Matabeleland South

JOHANNESBURG, 5 September (IRIN) - World Vision International (WVI) said
on Wednesday that severe food shortages were affecting large parts of the
Midlands and Matabeleland South provinces, with the Bulilimamangwe
district in Matabeleland South near the Botswana border being one of the
worst affected areas. “The food shortages have been largely drought
induced,” Marko Ngwenya from WVI in Harare told IRIN. “First we had
cyclone Eline and then the drought, so for quite some time the area has
not experienced consistent rainfall,” she said. “We have to remember that
we are talking about communal farming areas, not commercial farms. So most
farming is done for subsistence purposes, so if there is no rain there is
no food.”

During  a recent food assessment mission to the two provinces, WVI found
that in seven districts targeted by WVI for food assistance, over 50
percent of the population had no livestock, no reliable source of income,
no agricultural implements, and with very little grain production taking
place. “We have been unable to carry out a detailed nutrition survey, but
from very rudimentary findings we can say that the nutrition situation is
quite bad obviously because of the lack of food,” Ngwenya said.

WVI said in its food assessment that it recommended that some form of food
distribution begin in September until May, when most people would begin
harvesting their crops. “We are currently in discussion with other
agencies to see how we will go-about the food distribution, but our
intension is to begin as soon as possible,” Ngwenya added.
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