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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Posted By:  Jan Lamprecht in SA.

Date: Sunday, 8 September 2002, 5:34 p.m.

I happened to be privvy to a most interesting news conference held in
Rosebank, Johannesburg, on Friday, 6th September. It was an interesting
exercise in how the truth is kept from people here in South Africa. More of
that, further down.

It was a very active week on the political front here in South Africa. The
World Summit on Sustainable Development, which is best described as a
travelling circus, finally came to an end - thank God! I was getting sick
and tired of hearing how America's industry is responsible for Global
Warming - as if I believe that.

The really weird stuff happened with Robert Mugabe and Colin Powell. When
Colin Powell gave a speech, he was booed until he could not be heard and had
to stop. But Robert Mugabe on the other hand was never booed once, in fact,
he was given quite an applause which came mostly from African delegates!
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa never once mentioned
the Zimbabwe crisis during all his speeches at the summit. To top it all, he
gave Robert Mugabe twice the allowed speaking time which he gave all the
other delegates! These are but a few of a number of highly ominous signs. If
folks think that Africa has hit rock bottom - think again - Africa is about
to head into a new era which will make its recent
history look like the "Good old days", and which will make Colonialism look
like a long lost Utopia! If you think Africa is hell on Earth - wait - the
worst is yet to come.

Robert Mugabe's propaganda exercise started the minute he landed here. There
are millions of black Zimbabweans living in South Africa and they all hate
Mugabe. So imagine my surprise when there was a massive pro-Mugabe
demonstration at the summit. I wondered if "Rent-a-Crowd" had been hired for
the occasion. Someone in Zimbabwe emailed me to say they had information
that the CIO [Central Intelligence Organisation] was behind the pro-Mugabe
demonstration. The political opposition parties in South Africa are highly
opposed to Robert Mugabe. The DP [Democratic Party], which is the official
opposition in parliament, actually suggested that Robert Mugabe be arrested
in South Africa on human rights violations (apparently our law allows for
this). Of course it never happened.

Mugabe gave a speech at the World Summit on Sustainable Development which
was nothing more than a propaganda exercise filled with blatant lies. He
said he was not forcing anyone off their farms! He said each white farmer
gets to keep at least one farm! That is a total, blatant lie which anyone
with half a brain can see through. Consider Mugabe's own statistics.
They say that 2,900 farmers will be removed from 4,500 farms. But hold on,
if each farmer gets to keep one farm, then surely there will be 2,900 farms
left in white hands? According to JAG [Justice for Agriculture], the total
land area which Mugabe wants is 97% of all farmland. Furthermore, 75% of the
farms were bought by white farmers AFTER Mugabe came to power! These are not
"remnants of colonialism". So Mugabe told one lie on top of another, and got
a huge applause. He mocked Tony Blair, and made a melodramatic statement
about how he had never asked for a part of Europe and how Blair can keep
"his England", while Mugabe kept "my Zimbabwe".
Some people noted that he said "my Zimbabwe" as if it were his personal
possession - which I am sure he believes it is.

Mugabe claimed there were some farmers with 35 farms. Well, judging once
more by statistics such as those above, there can't be too many farmers with
multiple farms. Obviously there are a few. As has been reported, time and
again, those being thrown off are often elderly, and the farm is not only
their home, but also their only source of income! That is why these
people are struggling so desperately to hang on to it because it constitutes
their only source of livelihood. According to JAG [Justice for Agriculture],
in Zimbabwe, there was one farmer who owned 20 farms. But he gave up 19 of
them willingly to Mugabe's government and kept one for himself to live on.
Then some of Mugabe's thugs came, and set his farm
house on fire in the middle of the night with him and his wife inside. He
was badly burned but managed to survive. According to JAG, most of the
farmers with multiple farms have given their farms back to Mugabe already.

The thing which has been on my mind for the last 2 years, and which is why I
started my website and also wrote my book, Government by Deception, is that
it seems as if the Socialists in Africa have decided to finally get rid of
all Western influences in Africa for once and for all. It is not just about
driving white farmers off their land in Zimbabwe. It is much bigger. It
includes the destruction of industry, the take-over of
mining, and finally, the removal of all whites from the continent. We could
be on the edge of the greatest humanitarian disaster which southern Africa
has ever known...

There were a number of indications that this is something serious, and
something big, and that Mugabe is in reality leading the charge with most of
Africa behind him.

Firstly, people must understand that Mugabe is not some "nobody" in the
African context. Mugabe is a recognised figure, an "elder statesman" if you
will, of the same "rank" as Mandela. Mugabe is about 10 years younger than
Mandela. He is no yuppie. Guys like President Thabo Mbeki look up to him.
Mugabe regards himself as an intellectual, and many black leaders respect
this guy - and also fear him. Mugabe has always had an aura of ruthlessness
around him which may not be evident to those in the rest of the world. But
if you live in Zimbabwe, as I did, you will know this man means business,
and anyone who crosses his path gets their butts kicked. He has a
reputation, and everyone in Africa knows this.

During Mugabe's speech, wherein he liberally insulted Blair and England, he
said that Zimbabwe was "ready to shed blood" in defence of its independance.
Mugabe said that neighbouring states must not interfere in Zimbabwe's
internal affairs. President Thabo Mbeki had also said the same thing in
recent weeks. When Mugabe says he is prepared to shed blood, you had better
believe he is serious.

Here in South Africa, we live in a Liberal state of wishful thinking and
total denial. The subject of "land reform" does come up quite regularly.
There is a process in place whereby blacks can go and claim back land which
belonged to their ancestors. It is a process fraught with problems since it
is based on word of mouth. But there is a system in place to deal with all
land claims and even with evictions harking back to Apartheid.
There is a court where blacks can go and present their case. Land Reform
here is based on the "willing buyer, willing seller" principle. Land is paid
for at market rates. This is of course how things started in Zimbabwe too -
more than 20 years ago. It is orderly, and it is slow. And before long,
government runs out of money. Although, I must say, most of the money used
to drive the process is actually donated by Western nations.
So there are many people in South Africa who believe that land reform is
orderly and will never become like the situation in Zimbabwe. Most whites in
South Africa are of the opinion that the lawlessness up there can never be
repeated here. They are living in a state of self-denial - which I have seen

The topic of land reform is something which is downplayed quite a bit here,
and when it is mentioned, they do so, sometimes in a cryptic fashion. For
example, Presdent Mbeki, and even the highly respected former ANC leader,
Cyril Ramaphosa, have both said that if whites do not learn to "share" then
a Zimbabwe situation may repeat itself here! They
tackle the problem from a pseudo-logical point of view. They say that white
Zimbabweans did not "share" and that is why the "landless" are invading
them. This is of course nonsense. The landless did not invade them. Mugabe
deliberately drove the entire process by hiring
the "War Vets" and using the Army and the CIO [Central Intelligence
Organisation] to manage the entire process. This has been thoroughly
established by the independant journalists who reported on the process.

This has nothing to do with "sharing". It has to do with a political move to
violate our constitutional rights. Let me remind people, that Zimbabwe,
Namibia and South Africa, all have proper constitutions which were hammered
out with international approval and which are recognised and which drive
these countries. These constitutions allow for organised
land reform as I have described. These constitutions recognise private
ownership of property. Nobody can just come and take your land. It is
against the law - period. Most of what is happening in Zimbabwe is
completely against the constitutional rights of the whites there.

So people here in South Africa hope the law and the constitution will
protect us. But I have heard a number of ominous remarks which make me think
this will not be so. A few months ago, a friend of mine told me of an
interview in Cape Town, on talk radio of a prominent black journalist in
Zimbabwe who happened to get a farm from Mugabe. I later obtained a copy
of the interview. The interviewer was grilling this guy, asking him why he
was getting a farm when clearly he was not "landless" and when he had a good
career and a senior position. The journalist struggled to answer the
questions. Eventually, in exasperation, he lashed out and said something
along these lines "You South Africans think that this will not happen to
you. But I know that land reform is highly topical in South Africa whether
you South Africans like it or not."

This week, Patrick Chinamasa, Zimbabwe's Minister of Justice, was
interviewed on South African TV. He said "If you think that in South Africa
you will be freed from what is happening in Zimbabwe and you don't
anticipate these changes, I feel sorry for you because as things are, South
African blacks are in a worse situation than Zimbabweans."

Then Minister Chinamasa did the pseudo-logical bit, like our President, and
he said "My advice to South Africa is start now, don't wait until the
pressures are too overwhelming."

My view is that following his advice will not change the final outcome.
Whether we hand over land willingly or not, it will not cause the Marxists
here to change their plans. In the end, they are after everything we have.
Let me quote from my book, Government by Deception:-
"Remember that they want what is yours. What is theirs is not up for sale.
But everything that belongs to you is what they want. So you have two
choices. Either you give it to them or they will come and fight you for it.
If you give to them you must keep on giving until they have everything. The
minute you stop they will attack you to take the remainder of what you did
not give."

Minister Chinamasa's remarks only made the front page of one newspaper here
in South Africa. As important as these remarks are, it was largely ignored.

On Thursday I received a message that JAG [Justice for Agriculture], would
hold a Press Conference in Rosebank, near where I live. So I decided to
attend. It turned out to be highly informative and also gave me a small
insight into how the journalists can manipulate the news. I was determined
not to miss it, so I arrived there first! I watched as people arrived. Even
though it started late, there were only about 6 journalists there, and only
two from organisations of any standing. The one was a major talk radio
station and the other was from the Farmers Weekly.

They showed a most interesting piece of film footage shot clandestinely in
Zimbabwe from a microlight aircraft. The film was entitled "A Wet Drought".
It showed farms in the Marondera district of Zimbabwe. It showed a canal
full of irrigation water and dams everywhere which were 75% full even though
this is the end of winter. Winter in southern Africa is
always dry. So when you see footage of a "drought" in southern Africa,
remember, our rains stopped in April, and that is why it is dry now. But the
rains were good, and the dams are mostly full. One could see farm after farm
with green fields. But sometimes, next to a beautiful green field you would
see a ruined one - which was parched and had no crops. It turned out, these
were the fields which the new "settlers" or "War Vets"
had taken over.

Even though the rains were on time, Mugabe's government was slow in handing
out seed, etc and so most of the new "settlers" were not able to plant last
year when the first rains came. That is why a lot of those fields had no
crops even though the blacks had them during the entire rainy season (as we
call our summers).

As the presentation continued, the spokesperson for JAG said that it is
important that people not repeat Mugabe's propaganda that white farmers own
70% of the country. 70% of the country is actually state land. i.e. Tribal
Trust lands (for blacks), Game Reserves, etc. Only 30% of the country is
privately owned. The commercial farmersonly control about 50% of that 30%
(in other words somewhere round about 15% of the entire land area of the
country). That is what I understood from the many facts
and statistics presented. (I must admit a lot of journalists asked questions
showing that they did not fully understand all the numbers themselves).

While maize (corn) is the staple food of the blacks, there is also a lot of
wheat grown there. But wheat is grown in southern Africa during the winter
(dry) months. In Zimbabwe, wheat can only be grown under irrigation. The
settlers were not using the irrigation and so the wheat crop had fallen
drastically. The wheat situation is so bad that many bakeries cannot produce
bread because of a lack of flour.

At the JAG news conference we were told that there really are 6 million
people starving. Some are too weak to walk to the queues where they can get
food aid. It was announced on the South African conservation TV program,
50/50, on 8th August, that 60% of Zimbabwe's wildlife has been wiped out in
the past two years despite Mugabe's assurances that it
would not happen! Zimbabwe once had some of the finest wildlife and game
reserves on the African continent. There are millions of blacks from
Zimbabwe in South Africa. They live and work here because they cannot get
their families admitted into South Africa. So instead they buy food here and
pay people to take it up to their families in Zimbabwe. It is measures like
this which no doubt keep many alive. But what will happen when there is no
more wildlife or farmer's cattle to kill and eat? What then?

The JAG spokesperson, Jenni Williams, said that agricultural production in
Zimbabwe has dropped by 66-70% in the last two years.

As the presentation continued, more and more journalists finally arrived. By
the time the conference ended, the room was packed. Various journalists
asked questions. The man from Reuters asked several good questions, and a
French journalist asked many as well. The representative from the Sunday
Times (UK), also asked intelligent questions.

There were not many black journalists in the room, but the few that were
asked nothing. They were totally silent.

Then one journalist, I can't remember if it was the guy from Reuters, said
that he had heard that Mugabe would not stop with the farmers alone. He had
heard that Mugabe would go after "Filling stations and businesses". Jenni
Williams from JAG told him that they had been hearing lots of stories and
rumours about this in Zimbabwe for a long time. The general feeling there
was that Mugabe was going to go after all businesses once
he was finished with the farming sector. She cited new laws which made it
very difficult for certain businesses to function.

During the presentation Jenni said she hoped that "Zimbabwe's hindsight
could become South Africa's foresight". She then spoke about the perception
they have in Zimbabwe, that this is going to be a much bigger thing in
Africa. She warned that the crisis in Zimbabwe could extend into all of
Africa. Countries which are likely to be affected the most are Namibia
(where President Sam Nujoma defends Mugabe to the hilt), and of course,
South Africa.

It was Jenni's mention that this could spread more widely across Africa,
which struck me as being a key observation. Yet, I wondered how many of
those journalists present would report on this.

I spoke to one journalist from DIE BEELD, which is an Afrikaans newspaper in
South Africa. I told him of my book and my own views that this is going to
be a bigger story than just Zimbabwe. He looked at me and just said "I hope
it doesn't happen here..." It showed total denial on his part, which is a
common South African trait.

There was a TV crew from South African Broadcasting Corporation's TV News
department - which controls national TV. They were shooting film footage. I
thought that the story was big enough for it to make national news on Friday
night. More especially because Jenni explained that she was cutting short
her trip to South Africa to fly back IMMEDIATELY because JAG had heard a
serious rumour that the Police HQ in Harare had sent out a signal to all
Police across the country to arrest the remaining farmers this weekend.

Jenni had told us that many farmers were in hiding. Sometimes, the Police
arrested a farmer's wife if they could not find the farmer. She said that
during the last mass arrests, 250 farmers had been arrested, and another 250
had willingly reported to Police stations. Thus the new orders were for them
to get hold of the remaining 2,400 farmers. I thought this was all
newsworthy enough to make TV news on Friday night.

Would you believe there was not one word of this mentioned on South African
TV News on friday night! Not one word. The first news report I heard was on
radio on saturday morning. The first TV news of the new move only happened
on sunday night after it had started. Not one word of the JAG press
conference, or any of the facts in it, got on to national TV news!

Jenni ended by saying that JAG was not asking for sympathy, nor pity, but
just for the truth to be reported. I hope that the foreign journalists there
did a better job than what I saw coming from the South African journalists.

I always remind people that the last chapter in the so-called "Liberation of
Africa", has not yet been written. But that last chapter is going to be
written, and we are seeing it in Zimbabwe. Let me leave you with the final
words in the introduction to my book.

I wrote these words in March, 2001:-
"In 1994, the world thought that South Africa's race and poverty problems
had finally been solved. Some even hinted that Africa's problems were going
to be solved since the last pesky white men had been put in their place.
Personally, I'm not so sure. There are quite a few of us who believe that
the problems have in fact just started. The Marxists here will simply take
the old problems and make them worse. There are some
of us here in Africa who believe the worst is yet to come."


I leave you with this final thought: The Worst thing a conservative can do,
is to keep quiet. That is a recipe for certain defeat. The only hope for
conservatism is for us to
speak out much more loudly and to counter the many lies put out by our
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Posted: Mon, 9 Sep 2002 7:45 AEST

Zimbabwe farming exodus continues
More than 100 white farmers have evacuated their properties in Zimbabwe,
amid fears of further arrests.

The farmers, from Mashonaland West district, packed up their possessions and
drove to the capital Harare after officials imposed a deadline.

They had been ordered to leave their properties by midday local time.

However, by early afternoon, there were no reports of arrests.

Spokeswoman for farm lobby group Justice for Agriculture, Jenni Williams,
says the deadline was unofficial.

"The nature of the deadline really was an illegal and we feel intimidatory
tactic, but definitely not a legal deadline in any way shape or form," she

Ms Williams says the farmers are expected to assess the situation and return
to their farms within the next 48 hours.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


White farmers return home

Stella Mapenzauswa

Harare - Zimbabwe's white farmers trickled back to their farms on Monday,
ignoring the latest weekend deadline to quit their land and make way for
landless blacks, a farmers' group said.

President Robert Mugabe has ordered 2 900 commercial farmers to quit their
land without compensation under a controversial programme to seize
white-owned farms and hand them over to the black majority.

Farmers' group Justice for Agriculture (JAG) had asked farmers to ignore
Sunday's eviction deadline, saying it appeared to be unofficial. Some
farmers complied while others left fearing for their safety.

JAG spokesperson said Jenni Williams it was still unclear how many farmers
had actually complied with the deadline, the latest since an eviction order
was issued on August 8.

"Everything seems to be quiet. There are some people who seem to have
decided to leave, but some who went away for fears of safety are slowly
coming back onto their farms," she said.

Mugabe gave his latest ultimatum to white farmers on Wednesday, telling them
to co-operate with the land reforms, leave the country or face jail.

Failed to deliver crop

But on Sunday, police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said he was not aware of
a new deadline. He said police were still carrying out arrests relating to
the initial order made in August.

JAG says some 2 500 farmers have defied the initial eviction orders. Police
have charged more than 300 of them.

Police also arrested white farmer Jim Arrow-Smith on Sunday on the separate
charge of failing to deliver his maize crop to the state Grain Marketing
Board, which has a legal monopoly on all maize trading.

Williams said Arrow-Smith, whose farm has been designated for seizure, was
likely to appear in court on Monday.

"He spent the night in jail. I was told that they are going to court today,"
she said.

Police were not immediately available for comment.

Wider crisis

Under Zimbabwean law all farmers must hand over their maize crop to the
Grain Marketing Board. The staple maize output has fallen sharply, leaving
half the country's 13 million people in need food aid this year.

Mugabe's government blames a severe drought for the food shortages, part of
a wider crisis in six drought-stricken southern African countries. Aid
agencies say Mugabe's land reforms have exacerbated the problem.

Zimbabwe has been in crisis since pro-government militants led by veterans
of the 1970s liberation war began invading white-owned farms in early 2000.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, says his land
drive is aimed at correcting colonial injustice, which left 70% of the
country's best land in the hands of whites who make up less than one percent
of the population.


Farmers, workers flee
fury of Zim's land reform

Deon Lamprecht, Media24 Africa office

Harare - President Robert Mugabe's accelerated land-reform programme was
stripped of all vestige of lawfulness on Sunday when farmers and their
workers were indiscriminately forced off farms amid intimidation and threats
of large-scale arrests.

Zimbabwe's countryside was in chaos when hundreds of farmers heeded orders
by armed police and soldiers to vacate their land by Sunday at 14:00, and to
leave behind their livestock, harvests and farming equipment. At the same
time, truckloads of aggressive "settlers" arrived at many farms and chased
off workers and their families.

Rural towns were bursting at the seams by Sunday night due to a massive
shortage of housing.

Farmers and their families rented houses at high cost and, in some cases,
dwellings were shared by up to four families. Others are staying in church
halls or at camping grounds.

At least six farmers who did not want to leave were detained by police,
while several families were trapped in their homes by riotous crowds. Other
farmers, who wanted to help them, were pelted with rocks, among other

Most farmers got off their farms

Jenni Williams, spokesperson for pressure group Justice in Agriculture
(JAG), told Beeld from Harare on Sunday that no high official in Zimbabwe's
government had given the order for the latest removals - the largest so far.

"It seems as though someone at Zimbabwe's police headquarters just decided
that it was time to get all the farmers off the farms, by fair means or
foul, and he sent out the order to all police offices country-wide."

Williams said almost all Zimbabwe's 3 000 farmers were ordered to vacate
their land by Sunday, whether Section 8 attachment orders had been served on
them or not. Most of the farmers complied.

"We told our members to obey these illegal removals to prevent unnecessary

Williams said it was now finally clear that negotiations with the Zimbabwean
 government were no longer an option.

"We can just continue to profess the unlawfulness of Mugabe's land-reform
process and again appeal to President Thabo Mbeki to do something - the
tragedy in Zimbabwe soon will spill into South Africa."

Elderly Kobus van Rooyen from the Marondera district started crying
uncontrollably when he described to Beeld in a telephonic interview on
Sunday night how he had to leave his beloved cattle herd to the mercy of
farm invaders.

"I have 1 000 beef cattle and 400 cows that are ready to calf, thousands of
tons of tobacco and mealies on the land. But my cattle... a big famine is
coming and I just know they are going to slaughter my cattle for food."

Van Rooyen and his family were moving into a rented house at Marondera on
Sunday evening. Van Rooyen, of South African origin, says a court recently
declared Section 8 null and void.

"A general in the Zimbabwean air force came to tell me yesterday he was
taking my house. Truckloads of people arrived who said everyone had to
leave, they were coming to build houses on my farm, it was now their home."

'We fear for our lives'

Davey (his surname is being withheld for safety reasons), van Rooyen's black
farm manager, was helping the family move on Sunday evening.

Davey said he, the 160 farm workers in his charge and their families had
nowhere to go and were anxious about what the future held for them.

"We have been assaulted and threatened and driven from our homes of many
years. We do not know where we are going to live, or how we are going to
feed our children.

"We are furious about what is happening on farms and believe it is wrong to
drive off the white farmers, but cannot say anything because we fear for our

A woman of the Chinyohi district said her elderly parents vacated their farm
on Sunday after having escaped invaders and attachment orders so far.

"My husband and I have remained behind at the farm house and hope no one
notices. Please do not tell anyone who or where we are."


Zimbabweans flee to towns

Johannesburg - Political violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe's rural areas
is forcing victims to flee to major towns and cities, the Zimbabwe Human
Rights Association (ZimRights) warned in its latest report.

Many of the displaced, who reportedly have escaped with little but the
clothes on their backs, have become stranded in urban areas without food,
shelter or medical care.

ZimRights said supporters of both the ruling party Zanu-PF, and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), have been victims and
perpetrators of the political violence. However, "the majority of victims
were assaulted, arrested, detained and chased from their homes by the police
and Zanu-PF supporters", the organisation noted.

ZimRights had received "a plethora of political violence cases from Buhera
North, Chipinge and Chimanimani [in the eastern Manicaland Province] during
the months of July and August 2002".

Apart from the destruction of homes and property, "relatives and children of
supporters of the MDC were tortured, assaulted and subjected to various
forms of inhumane and degrading treatment".

"Interviews with the victims who thronged ZimRights head offices in [the
capital] Harare reveal that the problem has reached unprecedented levels,"
ZimRights said.

In August alone, ZimRights helped 152 "cases" at its head office. The group
called for urgent humanitarian aid to displaced persons in Harare, and other

It also warned that the level of violence was increasing as the country
braced for local council elections to be held later this month.

"Buhera North has been specifically targeted because it is the home area of
the president of the MDC [Morgan Tsvangirai]. Police details operating in
the area have been assaulting, arresting and detaining people for no just
cause," ZimRights alleged.

The police had also teamed up with Zanu-PF youth militias and the
perpetrators of violence were not being arrested, the rights group said.

However, police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena denied that the police were
acting in "cahoots with Zanu-PF".

"It's a false allegation. We go in to arrest people when they commit an
offence, irrespective of their political allegiance. We don't need support
from any groups of people," he told IRIN.

Meanwhile, in a rare interview with foreign journalists on Thursday,
President Robert Mugabe said his government's seizure of white-owned farms
had not contributed to the country's food shortages.

"If anything, it's the only way you can empower people to produce, not just
for subsistence, but to enable them to enjoy life and to enable the country
to continue to export maize," the Associated Press quoted him as saying.

The World Food Programme estimates that about six million Zimbabweans are
threatened with hunger over the next six months.

The food crisis has been blamed on a severe drought during the growing
season, and Mugabe's land redistribution programme.

Last month, 2 900 white commercial farmers were ordered to leave their land.
Many disobeyed the order, and about 300 were arrested, most of whom have
since been released on bail. - IRIN
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Monday, 9 September, 2002, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Diary of a Zimbabwean farmer - part II
Colin Shand,  photo by Declan Walsh of the Irish Times
Colin Shand has worked on his farm for 38 years
White Zimbabwean farmer Colin Shand tells BBC News Online of developments on his farm after he decided not to comply with a deadline to leave his home at midnight on Thursday or face arrest.

Saturday 24 August, 2045 local (1845GMT)

Still lots of farmers moving off the farms to Harare, waiting in anticipation for the new cabinet, but don't hold out much hope.

Mr Shand moved from Chipinge to Concession in 1985
We at least know that all the Section 8's were illegal, but the people on the ground don't realise that.

Just hope that we will be paid something for our farms. It's not very pleasant living with other people, but at least I have a roof over my head, not like the workers from the farms. I don't know what is going to happen to them.

I'm hoping to see my lawyer on Monday to see if I can go back to my farm to collect the rest of my belongings.

Friday 23 August, 2220 local (2020GMT)

I am trying to get permission to get back to get the rest of my belongings.

Went past my farm yesterday and the police followed me.

I think they want me to break my orders so that they can re-arrest me.

I don't know what is going to happen. But I still hope that sanity will prevail and the government will come to its senses and let the farmers who know how to farm and not the bank managers and politicians who are taking our farms!

Thursday 22 August, 2030 local (1830GMT)

With the help of neighbours and my two daughters we managed to remove a lot of the furniture but unfortunately did not have time to finish.

I am in the process of trying to get an extension (to the latest deadline for vacating my farm) so I can finish as I have still got cats and a horse and a fair amount of equipment and furniture.

President Robert Mugabe
Land reform is Mugabe's main policy

At the moment I am living with friends with my household belongings stacked in a shed 80km away and my dogs in kennels in Harare.

Very dramatic and emotional.

But we will continue to fight through the courts and hope that we will be paid, even if I have to approach the British Foreign Office to pay us in the UK.

Wednesday 21 August, 1600 local time (1400GMT)

I left my home yesterday at 4pm as ordered by the courts. The police came to arrest me if I didn't.

But I left lots of my stuff behind - you can't back up 52 years in a few hours.

I refused to give the keys to my farm to the DA (district administrator), as I was instructed. As far as I'm concerned, it's my farm until I've been paid for it.

Nobody has said anything about compensating me for my farm.

But now I don't have anywhere to stay and no money to pay rent.

I'm staying in a room at my daughter's place but I can't stay here for ever. She and her husband have also just left their farm.

My lawyers are today filing my appeal against my eviction with the High Court.

We're taking the legal route but there's no law and order in this country.

Now, I'm just taking my dogs to some kennels in Harare. I hope there's some room as I hear the kennels are full of farmers' dogs.

Tuesday 20 August, 1250 local time (1050GMT)

Things are not going well today. I've got just three hours left to pack everything up and leave.

Three hours in which to pack up 52 years of life.

I'm out at my farm with my family and the police have already told me I have to go in three hours.

I can't say anything else today because there's not time.

I hope I'll have a chance to say more on Wednesday if I can get to a computer.

Monday19 August, 1945 local time (1745MT)

I've had a meeting with my lawyer today. On Tuesday, I'll file a challenge to my eviction order in the High Court. I can't go back to my farm or they'll jail me for contempt.

But I'm not giving up. I want the court to declare the order null and void.

If I can get to a laptop or a personal computer on Tuesday, I can get back to writing my diary again.

Monday 19 August, 1215 local time (1015GMT)

I've just left court in Harare, where the magistrate told me to leave my farm by 4pm tomorrow, which is a physical impossibility.

It's a nightmare. There is nowhere for us to go but we can't live here any more.

If you detain me, I will die in the cells

I was remanded out of custody to 30 August on 10,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($182) bail.

I'm going back to my farm now, to see what I can save.

I finally left my farm on Saturday evening, after the police said that they had instructions to detain me.

I was not feeling well at all. The stress of the situation had worsened my diabetes. I told them: "If you detain me, I will die in the cells."

I gave my word to turn up to court on Monday morning.

I then drove to hospital in Harare, where I was put on a drip.

I checked myself out at 2am on Sunday morning and stayed with some friends.

On Sunday, I went back to hospital. They wanted to keep me there but I told them I couldn't stay as I had to appear in court.

I just wanted to get this sorted.

Friday 16 August, 1900 local time (1700GMT)

Well back at last.

The visit I was receiving from the officer in charge, Concession Police Station, was to arrest me for defying the Section 8 order (eviction order) and not leaving my farm.

When he phoned me he said he was coming about the theft of my motor, when I asked him what information he had on it he replied that he was lying and that he had come to arrest me.

Zanu-PF supporters
Zanu-PF supporters arrived at a meeting at Mr Shand's farm

I showed them my Notice of Withdrawal from the Court on the 14 August and he said I should have left on the 10 August.

I said that I was a diabetic and need four injections a day and regular food with protein and carbohydrates, and it would be very difficult in prison.

They took me to the police station at about 1400 (1200GMT) and proceeded to warn and caution me.

I refused to say anything until I contacted my lawyer.

In the meantime my daughter had spoken to them and said that she was coming with my lawyer and doctor and that I needed Insulin.

I was consequently released at 1645 (1445GMT).

Their reason for releasing me was that they eventually had to take note of my Notice from the Court.

They then tore up the Warn and Caution Statement and said they had made an error and were very apologetic towards me.

I must say that I was very impressed with the police. They treated me well and were polite at all times.

But I am very relieved to be home, I understand that a lot of farmers have been arrested on (President Robert) Mugabe's instructions and I believe he is making a statement tonight.

Speak to you later.

Click here for Diary of a Farmer Part I
Back to the Top
Back to Index

ZIMBABWE: Low-cost irrigation to help rural poor

JOHANNESBURG, 9 September (IRIN) - Aid agencies have proposed a low-cost irrigation method that could save thousands of Zimbabwe's communal farmers time, money and energy.

With close to six million people facing critical food shortages mainly due to adverse weather conditions, the drip irrigation outreach programme aims to help farmers grow drought resistant crops, such as soya beans, millet, and sorghum.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Zimbabwe NGO Linkages for the Economic Advancement of the Disadvantaged, have already supplied 600 rural households with low-cost drip irrigation kits for household gardens.

Drip irrigation (sometimes called trickle irrigation) works by applying water slowly through plastic piping directly to the soil.

Traditional sprinklers throw water in gallons per minute into the air and onto plants where much is lost to evaporation. 

In contrast, micro-irrigation emitters apply water slowly - in gallons per hour - close to the soil and roots of plants. 

This is said to result in a 70 percent saving in water.

"Unlike sprinklers, drip irrigation is practically unaffected by wind conditions, nor is it affected by soil surface conditions. Soil is maintained in a continuously moist condition. This reduces the use of fertilisers," a USAID worker told IRIN.

The main advantage, however, is the substantial saving of time and energy.

"Drip irrigation only requires one trip to the well or borehole to fill the water container. Once the container is full, it can last up to four days, as the water seeps out of plastic piping," she said.

The joint project is aimed at assisting the most vulnerable households.

"The project targets households that have been affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. So the kits are distributed to homes headed by orphans affected by HIV/AIDS. In most cases, however, we find that the kits are most needed in households where the elderly have become responsible for their grandchildren following the death of a parent from the virus. The kits help to lessen the work load," the official said.

The drip kit has great potential for commercialisation and at a low price, it would contribute to food security and provide new income for those who employ it, the official said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Movement for Democratic Change was launched 3 years ago, on Saturday 11
September 1999.

It is tragic indeed that 11 September will be forever seared on our brains
as the day the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York were
attacked and destroyed with the thousands of lives in and around them.

I propose that instead of trying to de-link the two events, we use September
11th as a Day of Prayer for Democracy in Zimbabwe.  It is too late this year
to organise a big central event, but that is all the better for us to make
this a personal day to dedicate ourselves to continue the struggle for
democracy in our country.

Let us wear our white and black ribbons on Wednesday 11 September, and let
us commemorate in our own way the launch of the Movement for Democratic
Change and those who have suffered and died for democracy in our own
struggle, as well as those who died last year in the United States of

Together we will complete the change for a better life for all Zimbabweans.

Trudy Stevenson
Secretary for Policy and Research, MDC
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Day

SA must share blame for Zim: DA

The Democratic Alliance said yesterday it was time for the South African
government to share moral responsibility for the Zimbabwe crisis.
The DA said in a media statement that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's
land redistribution programme was directly responsible for the famine in
that country.

The statement was issued in response to comments by Foreign Minister
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma published in a Cape Town newspaper.

"Since (the Zimbabweans) have done it their way, I don't think we can
reverse that," she was quoted as saying about land grabs in Zimbabwe.

DA leader Tony Leon said the comments not only admitted to the failure of
the South African government's policy of quiet diplomacy, but also to a lack
of commitment to the democratic principles over which Mugabe had ridden

"This amounts to nothing less than tacit support for the Mugabe regime's
lawless land reform programme and an implicit renunciation of each and every
core principle of Nepad," he said.

Leon said that shifting the focus from trying to get Mugabe to change his
chosen route to dealing with the famine in the region and assisting the
ailing Zimbabwean economy, was a "denial of reality."

He said it was only by getting Mugabe to change his chosen route, and adopt
an orderly and legal land reform programme, that South Africa would
influence Britain to resume their funding of Zimbabwe's land reform

"If the South African government is not prepared to accept this role as
regional powerhouse, then it must accept its share of the blame for the
collapse of our northern neighbour and the collateral damage which that is
going to cause the entire region, including South Africa," Leon said.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Scotsman (UK), 9 September

Zimbabwe farmers brace for new deadline’s end

Jane Fields in Harare

At least two Zimbabwe farmers were barricaded inside their homes yesterday and dozens of panicked families packed up their possessions and left their properties, fearing arrest as a new government deadline for giving up their land expired. The latest twist in Zimbabwe’s bitter battle over land redistribution came after government officials and police last week went round three provinces telling farmers to get off their land with their belongings by midday yesterday. The ultimatum - which was made known by the farming crisis group Justice for Agriculture (JAG) but not confirmed officially - came exactly a month after a deadline for some 2,900 white farmers to leave their farms, which most ignored. Their defiance sparked a police clampdown, with more than 300 farmers arrested. Fears of a fresh wave of arrests were running high again yesterday, although none were reported. Most of the farmers ordered to leave have had their eviction notices ruled invalid by the courts, the JAG said.

"The farming community has been very tense because of this threat," John Worswick, the group’s vice-chairman told The Scotsman. "A lot of farmers have made themselves scarce. I think we’ll see a return back to the farms tomorrow." JAG had urged farmers to stay put. In one incident, a farmer in the fertile Doma area of central Zimbabwe was barricaded into his house on Saturday night after being "visited" by an army major who said it was his farm. The farm shop was looted yesterday and a tractor taken. Alan McCormick, a farmer from Guruve in northern Zimbabwe, said he had spent the day trying to remove his belongings. "They’ve said anything left on after today is no longer our property," he told The Scotsman, by phone, adding that he had listened to the local farmers’ radio network and heard a war veteran telling farmers they had to leave. "I think the majority of farmers have decided to move out," Mr McCormick said. "We thought things were just progressing quietly, but now it seems there’s a major drive on." He suggested that the latest deadline was part of a government strategy to break farmers down so that land could be taken without compensation. "Some farmers are pretty close to breaking point ," he said.

Mr Worswick said the deadline was "absolutely" part of a government strategy of intimidation. While the threat "had actually turned out to be a damp squib" - given the lack of incidents - he insisted farmers would be "still vigilant". Zimbabwe’s white farmers are increasingly weary after two and a half years of farm invasions and a dozen fatal attacks. Under President Robert Mugabe’s land reform programme, all new black farmers were supposed to have moved on to their land by last weekend. Farmers report that many of their "replacements" appear to be cronies of Mr Mugabe – far from the landless peasants initially touted as the beneficiaries of land reform.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Hungry Bindura residents take on Manyika

      9/9/02 8:52:47 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      ELLIOT Manyika, the acting governor for Mashonaland Central, was last
Friday embarrassed by Bindura residents at Tendayi Community Hall in the
presence of James Morris, the UN secretary-general's special envoy for
humanitarian needs in southern Africa who toured the province.

      The residents demanded that Manyika explain to them why they were
being forced to buy maize-meal under the food for work programme. Enerita
Kawiya, 31, from Chiwaridzo township in Bindura claimed officials
responsible for the programme were ill-treating them and giving the outside
world a false impression of their work. She said, amid applause from the
crowd: "We will not be cowed here. These people force us to buy the
maize-meal with the $500 paid out after five days' work. "The $500 is too
little and an insult to some of us with big families. I cannot even buy
soap. They are forcing us to buy two-10kg packets of maize meal for $250

      "We are simply being exploited. We are not getting food for free and
people should know that." The message was conveyed to Morris by some of the
UN officials who witnessed the incident. "Minister, you cannot go without
attending to our problems here," said Joel Marira, 38, also at Tendayi
Community Hall.
      "The leaders here told us that you would address us. There is a lot of
politics in this exercise and you should talk to the people before you
leave," Marira said.
      Manyika had unsuccessfully tried to leave before the UN team could
witness the confusion. Manyika, the Minister of Youth Development, Gender
and Employment Creation, was forced to address the restless residents.

      He tried to silence Kawiya and others, but was booed instead. He said:
"Can you wait? I will come and talk to you just now. Just give me time. You
need to understand that this is a drought year and other people have no food
at all." A World Food Programme official who refused to be named said:
"There is confusion here. We do not see ourselves getting the truth about
what is happening under this programme. It is getting late before we make
any progress."
      Most reporters from the world Press were misled and lost track of the
delegation. Morris was in the province as part of his humanitarian mission
in the region to make recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of
response efforts and raise awareness among the international community to
mobilise resources and support.

      Confusion reigned when Manyika and July Moyo, the Minister of Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare led the UN team to different venues at
the same time. Some of the UN officials went to Chiwaridzo Poly Clinic where
they were supposed to familiarise themselves with the state of Zimbabwe's
health delivery system and others went to Tendayi Community Hall. But a
message came from an unidentified government official that they were lost
and should drive to Tendayi Community Hall in Bindura town where food was
being distributed to residents under the food for work programme. The UN
delegation was told that they had come to the wrong point. They were
directed to visit a public works programme at Chireka village in Musana
communal lands, about 50 km from Bindura. The delegation was at the hall for
less than five minutes.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Villagers scrounge for wild fruits, roots as hunger bites

      9/9/02 8:55:42 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE serious food shortage is forcing some people in Musana communal
areas near Bindura to turn to wild fruit and roots for survival. Alice
Chikoto, 64, was on Friday too weak to tell her story of near destitution,
grinding poverty and toiling for a pittance.

      Her predicament is shared by scores of other people in Chireka village
in Musana who toil in return for little money under the the government's
food-for-work programme. For the past three months, most of the villagers
have survived on wild fruits known as manyanya (wild tubers) and shakata to
stave off biting hunger. Chikoto said her three grandchildren had to drop
out of school because of lack of food. She said: "We are eating these roots
for survival. There is nothing to eat here. We ration the little grain we
receive from the food-for-work programmes otherwise most of the time we do
not eat sadza." Sadza is the staple diet in the country.

      Chikoto said together with her eight grandchildren and four children,
they usually woke up in the morning and travelled for about 10km to Murembe
hills where they gathered hacha, a wild fruit normally eaten by donkeys.
Chikoto was speaking in an interview at a brick-moulding project run by the
Chireka community under the government's public works programme. The project
was visited by James Morris, the United Nations secretary-general's special
envoy for humanitarian needs in southern Africa, during his tour of
Mashonaland Central province last week. Chikoto said they pounded the fruits
in a mortar to turn it into powder which they mixed with water to eat as

      "Because of the severe food shortage here, we have to go to collect
the fruit early in the morning otherwise other villagers will take it," she
said. "It is now two months since we received the $1 500 paid out for the 15
days we work under the public works programme." Chikoto said the money was
not enough, considering that the prices of most essential commodities were
rising. She said: "The work we are given is too hard and we do not have any
food in the mornings and afternoon. We only eat this hacha and manyanya
roots which we also boil for the children." Innocent Makaku, 13, of Chireka
said they went into the mountains and surrounding forests to dig for
manyanya roots which they used as relish.

      Makaku said: "We boil them and eat them like that. In the morning we
do not eat anything. Our grandmother gives us sadza three times every week.
Most of the time we eat these wild fruits." He said at their home they only
ate once in the evening, if there was any food at all. Makaku said he
dropped out of school due to the long distances to Chireka Primary School
and for lack of food to sustain him at school. Douglas Jonasi, 40, from the
same village said his family had gone for sometime without eating any sadza
which they now rationed whenever there was maize-meal available from which
it is prepared. Jonasi said he usually took along his four children to the
mountains about five kilometres away to gather shakata as food. He said he
had withdrawn his two children from school because he had no money to feed
them or to pay the required fees.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      EU adopts tough line on Zimbabwe

      9/9/02 8:49:54 AM (GMT +2)

      BRUSSELS - Euro-MPs last week unanimously adopted a tough resolution
calling for united international action against President Mugabe's regime
plus a strict application of the European Union (EU)'s travel ban and freeze
on financial assets.

      Opening the emergency debate on Zimbabwe in Strasbourg, the EPP-ED
Group vice-chairman of Parliament's foreign affairs committee Geoffrey Van
Orden MEP (UK-Conservative) warned the 626-strong European Parliament: "Let
us be clear: the issue is not the rights of white farmers, it is the rights
of all of the people of Zimbabwe. If you are not a card-carrying Zanu PF
member then you are subject to harassment, discrimination, assault,
selective starvation policies and murder. "How serious does it have to get
before effective action is taken?" Van Orden condemned Mugabe's claims of
support for Zimbabwe's land policies as "a travesty".

      He said: "Mugabe is a tyrant who has plundered the resources of his
country for his own benefit and that of his cronies and who uses the
apparatus of the State, including the police, to terrify and abuse his
political opponents." Highlighting the condemnation by all Euro-MPs of
France's recent decision to allow Zimbabwe's police chief Augustine Chihuri
to attend a high-level executive meeting of the international crime fighting
body Interpol in France, Van Orden demanded: "The council must now take
vigorous and effective steps to close the loopholes and galvanise
international moves against Mugabe before the tragedy of Zimbabwe is again
overshadowed by other international crises.

      "Let us have some determined action for the sake of all the people of
Zimbabwe!" The European Parliament underlined, "its commitment at this time
to provide the Zimbabwean people with emergency humanitarian aid, including
assistance with transportation, provided that there are guarantees it is
dispensed in a non-partisan manner, including through independent agencies
in order to prevent the misappropriation of food for political ends".
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Farmers evicted in fresh wave

      9/9/02 8:49:22 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      ABOUT 200 white farmers have left their farms in the last few days in
Mashonaland East and West provinces after they were ordered to do so by noon

      It was not clear who issued the directive, but Jenni Williams, the
spokesman for Justice for Agriculture, said yesterday: "The directive came
via police stations in Mashonaland West and East, but we have not been able
to establish who actually issued it. So far, the information we have is that
around 200 farmers in Mashonaland West and East have left their farms during
the last two days." The Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement, Joseph Made, yesterday refused to comment, saying: "Sorry, I
can't help you on that one. Thank you." A farmer, Kobus van Rooyen, of
Ruwari Extension in Marondera South said he was ordered to leave his farm
and did so yesterday morning.

      Two weeks ago, he appeared before a Marondera magistrate for failing
to move out after being served with a Section 8 eviction order. He was fined
$5 000.
      He was allowed to go back to the farm pending the decision of an
administrative court. "I had managed to move about 50 000kg of tobacco from
the farm after paying off most of my 165 workers, but I left behind eight
tractors and all my irrigation equipment, seed mixer and other farming
equipment, all worth millions of dollars," he said.

      He said last week more than 50 people were resettled on his farm, most
of them under the Model A2 and a few under the A1 scheme. Relatives of a
senior army officer told him the officer had been allocated 70 hectares in
addition to the farmhouse. "Three of my neighbouring farmers have also been
forced to leave their properties," said van Rooyen. In Mashonaland West, war
veterans and Zanu PF supporters, led by an army major named as Mboweni,
locked in a Mhangura farmer, George Peter Viljoen, and four members of the
family on Saturday afternoon.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Menashe dumps Zanu PF

      9/9/02 8:36:05 AM (GMT +2)

      By Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief Reporter

      ARI Ben-Menashe, the man who implicated Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC
president, and two other party officials in a plot to assassinate President
Mugabe has reportedly cut connections with the government.

      According to a British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, Ben-Menashe
last week refused to say why he had stopped representing the regime.

      Ben-Menashe, who did political consultancy work for the government,
has admitted being a long-time admirer of Mugabe well before the alleged
plot by the opposition leaders last November.

      But Nathan Shamuyarira, the Zanu PF secretary for information and
publicity, said yesterday he was not aware that Ben-Menashe has stopped
working for the government.
      He said: "Ben-Menashe has never worked for Zanu PF, but for the
government. I am not aware of his latest position. I have not read that

      The former Israeli secret agent from the Canadian lobbyists Dickens
and Madson is a key government witness in treason charges against
Tsvangirai, Professor Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general, and Renson
Gasela, the party's shadow minister for agriculture.

      The government alleges that a video shot secretly by Ben-Menashe
showed Tsvangirai agreeing with Ben-Menashe that Mugabe be killed before the
March presidential election.
      Ben-Menashe said he stood by his accusations against Tsvangirai,
saying: "The tape speaks for itself."

      The treason trial, which should have commenced last month, was
postponed to November under unclear circumstances, but with widespread
speculation that Ben-Menashe was no longer interested in testifying.

      Bharat Patel, the Deputy Attorney General (AG), yesterday said he was
not aware that Ben-Menashe has severed ties with the government and would
not be available for the trial.

      Patel said: "I do not know anything about it. I will have to check
with the office."
      Legal experts have said that Ben-Menashe was unlikely to testify
because he feared his reputation could be damaged under cross-examination by
the defence.

      Tsvangirai is the second opposition leader to be tried for attempting
to kill Mugabe. Ndabaningi Sithole, the president of Zanu Ndonga, died two
years ago with a treason charge still pending in the Supreme Court. He was
charged with trying to assassinate Mugabe by bombing his motorcade.

      Innocent Chagonda, the MDC lawyer, said yesterday he was not surprised
at Ben-Menashe's new position because so far the State had not said how it
would proceed.
      Chagonda said: "We have written several letters to the AG's Office and
made two visits requesting a list of the State's witnesses and their
statements. They promised to give us those things in April, but they have
done absolutely nothing."

      He said with only two months to go before the start of trial on 11
November the State had not given them its outline.

      Chagonda said his team sent some blank audio and video tapes to the AG
's Office to obtain a record of what Tsvangirai is alleged to have said, but
they had not received a response.

      He said the State unilaterally set the trial date without consulting

      "I had asked the AG to either have the trial before 11 November or
preferably on 20 November, but they refused. I said so because our defence
team will be committed on that day," Chagonda said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Victims of political violence lobby for their legal rights

      9/9/02 8:56:20 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      VICTIMS of political violence have formed a new organisation, the
Zimbabwe Election Victims' Association (Zimeva), to fight for their legal
rights and to assist in the rehabilitation of victims.

      Munyaradzi Mupazviripo, the founding national chairman, himself a
victim of political violence, said Zimeva would help all victims who came to
it regardless of political persuasion. "It's time we, the victims, stood up
for ourselves otherwise we will forever remain mere statistics of the
violence," he said. Mupazviripo said: "All those who are affected by
political violence, whether directly or indirectly, can come to us for help.
"We have three major aims: to bring victims under one umbrella, uphold
victims' rights under the Constitution and to act as a conduit between
victims and donors." Mupazviripo said they had an initial budget of $28
million from money received from a local donor who wished to remain

      "We depend on donations so we are requesting the public to help as
much as possible. Legal costs are very, high hence the need for your
support," he said.
      Zimeva membership shot to 100 from the original 40 who joined when the
idea of forming the organisation was first broached in March this year.
Mupazviripo, however, cautioned potential donors not to give anything to
individuals purporting to be Zimeva officials as there was evidence that
"planted saboteurs" were already working against the organisation.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Depoliticise food aid, Catholic bishops say

      9/9/02 8:50:52 AM (GMT +2)

      By Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief Reporter

      THE Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference has urged the government to
depoliticise the procurement of food and called upon all institutions in the
food distribution chain to be honest and transparent.

      In their August pastoral letter released last week, the bishops, among
them Patrick Chakaipa of Harare, Pius Ncube of Bulawayo and retired
auxiliary bishop of Mutare Patrick Mutume appealed to their sister churches
in the world to donate food. "For the sake of the nation and its survival,
we urge the government to quickly depoliticise the procurement and
distribution of food and put in place controls to minimise acquisition of
food by threats or any other means, corruption and exploitation." The United
Nations has said about six million people need emergency food aid.

      The bishops' appeal comes after allegations that Zanu PF officials
were denying suspected MDC supporters access to donated maize, an allegation
the government has denied. Last week, the government impounded 28 tonnes of
maize imported by the MDC from South Africa, saying there was no import
licence for it. The bishops' pastoral letter said donors and their sister
organisations should be assured that, as much as possible, assistance
received will be distributed in a transparent manner and given to the

      The letter said: "As there is not enough food in Zimbabwe, we
especially extend our appeal to our sister churches in the world, donors and
all people of goodwill to urgently come to the assistance of Zimbabwe. "We
therefore appeal to whoever is involved in the distribution of food to
uphold the principles of honesty and transparency in the sharing of food.
"In the past droughts, we have always distributed food successfully and we
should use the experience acquired to distribute food now." The bishops said
that corruption levels in the country had filtered to the grassroots and
made it difficult for the ordinary poor citizens to make ends meet and
exploitation of man by man has risen to unprecedented levels.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

Leader Page

      No alternative to a return to normality

      9/9/02 8:42:58 AM (GMT +2)

      PRESIDENT Mugabe went off to Libya last week on a three-day visit, for
consultations with one of his largest benefactors, Muammar Gaddafi. Most
people now know how much Mugabe is beholden to Gaddafi.

      Their relationship goes beyond the oil deals for which Zimbabwe has
reportedly offered land in exchange for almost unlimited supplies of oil.

      Gaddafi is a wily politician and will try to extract as much as he can
from Zimbabwe.

      There is no doubt that the plight of the high-profile Libyan spy,
Yousef Murgham, will be high on the agenda of the talks in Tripoli. Murgham
was deported from this country in shady circumstances last month.

      The official government line was that he had become a security risk to
the government. There were vague accusations that he had become a double
agent, with the British apparently benefiting from some of his clandestine

      Recently, Gaddafi himself seems to have warmed to the British, a
development that must be viewed with understandable trepidation by the
Mugabe regime. What deep, dark secrets of the government in Harare did
Murgham spill to the British?

      Is Mugabe's mission to Tripoli essentially one of damage control? Or
is he going to plead for more time to raise the money to pay for the oil?

      Whatever the eventual content of the talks between the two men, the
future economic and political stability of Zimbabwe must take centre stage.
Mugabe's cockiness at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg raised the suspicion
in some people's minds that Gaddafi, who has his own ambitions of world
conquest, might have guaranteed him more assistance if the West dumped him
in the end.

      The current scenario would seem to confirm the likelihood that both
the European Union and the United States of America will raise the stakes
against Mugabe after his speech at the Earth Summit.

      They may even be persuaded to act more promptly after receiving
reports of Zanu PF's conduct during the rural district election nomination
proceedings. There appears to have been no attempt to disguise Zanu PF's
campaign to prevent the opposition candidates from filing their nomination

      Zanu PF has no intention of changing its spots: all elections will
feature naked intimidation and violence against the opposition. We must
forget about free and fair elections under the present Zanu PF government -
unless they are forced to abandon the strategy.

      It would serve them right if there were more travel and other
restrictions on the ruling elite. The impunity with which they are abusing
every known tenet of the democratic system cannot go unpunished.

      Yet where will all this defiance of the international community leave
the people? Today, there is the spectre of death from starvation hanging
over six million people. The African states, including Libya, which have
been in the forefront of endorsing Zanu PF's blatant election fraud and its
even more blatantly racist land reform fiasco, have not offered any food

      Most of it has been offered by the West, through the United Nations.
Mugabe last week did an about-face on genetically modified maize. James
Morris of the UN offered, in return, to increase the UN food aid to

      The people of Zimbabwe are not all excited about the way in which
Mugabe has handled the food situation or relations with the outside world,
especially with such countries as Libya and Malaysia, whose leaders seem to
share Mugabe's autocratic style of rule.

      What is most urgent for the people is a return to normality:
unrestricted trade with the outside world, East or West, Islamic, Christian
or Buddhist. That can only come about if Mugabe admits his recent domestic
policies have brought this country to the brink of disaster.

      There is no way he can wish away the opposition party. Just as
Zimbabwe will never be a colony again, it will never be a one-party state
again. The sooner Zanu PF accepts that fact of political life the better for
the country.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

Leader Page

      It's people who make change possible

      9/9/02 8:43:41 AM (GMT +2)

      The World Summit on Sustainable Development came to an end last week
without many surprises. For optimists, it was important that the summit even
took place and attracted such large numbers.

      Even though no binding plan of action came out of it, there was
consensus being formed around some fundamental concerns. What is politically
possible now are the minimum agenda and mostly voluntary targets and
regulations agreed.

      For activists this means more work for the next 10 years when the next
summit will be held. If governments, corporations and multilateral
institutions can be held to account and dared to deliver on the minuscule
concessions that were agreed upon, it would be some progress.

      At least there would be more bases to name and shame parties not
co-operating. With strong pressures the voluntary targets of today could be
the compulsory targets of tomorrow.

      There are a number of lessons from the Summit. One, the rich nations
of the world are not willing (not because they are not able) to make the
necessary concessions that would pull up the poorer countries because they
are not willing to change their lifestyle, consumption patterns and fabulous
advantages that are not sustainable in the long run.

      Therefore, a lot of advocacy and mass education needs to be carried
out in these societies to persuade them to be more broad-minded and
visionary even in their own self-interest.

      The Americans are the undisputed prime rogues in this rat race. The
big cars that guzzle fuel like fish do water that they have come to accept
as the American way of life is a threat to the rest of the universe.

      Environmentalists will even protest that comparison because fish
cannot drink all the seas, rivers and lakes they inhabit. The Americans' "I
don't care" attitude symbolised by their truant president is unacceptable.
They cannot just be dismissive of other peoples and the rest of the world
and somehow expect the same "unimportant" people to support their position.

      Two, the gulf between the rich countries and poor countries is getting
bigger because the richer countries operate by the "do as I say not as I do"
rule which makes the whole process lack credibility and integrity and really

      Take the issue of subsidies in foods. According to the Friends of the
Earth, each year US$350 billion (Z$19 250 billion) is paid in subsidies to
farmers, mainly in the US, European Union and Japan. Because of this rigged
rules and botched markets, poorer countries buy cheaper imported foods that
they could have grown themselves.

      That annual agricultural subsidy alone (according to a joint Friends
of the Earth and Guardian report) could provide clean water and sewage for
all (US$170 billion), pay off the debt of 33 most heavily indebted countries
(US$90 billion): provide access to energy for all over 20 years (US$30
billion); basic health and nutrition for the entire world (US$13 billion);
reproductive health for all women (US$12 billion); fight HIV/Aids (US$9
billion); universal education for all (US$46 billion); and fight TB and
Malaria (US$3 billion). There would still be US$17 billion spare change!

      Therefore, Westerners and their global policemen/women in the World
Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and
non-governmental organisations who preach responsible, rational and
transparent government to us should try out their own medicine.

      They demand accountability of our governments but who are they
accountable to? They ask us (force us really) to play by rules they set for
their own interests and yet they give themselves the right to break such
rules with impunity.

      Three, Johannesburg, brought home the need for solidarity, consensus
building and agenda setting by the countries of the South.

      In a world that seemed distant now there was the Non-Aligned Movement,
Group of 77, etc which mobilise poorer countries to counter the machinations
and agenda of the superpowers and richer nations. Today's unipolar world
dominated by an isolationist US is seriously destabilising to all regions of
the world.

      As the dominant power and the greatest beneficiary of the unequal
world we live in, one would have expected the US to be the promoter of
international law, but it behaves like its infamous cowboy outlaws. Even its
most willing accomplices like Tory Blair find it embarrassing to keep
rallying the world behind an absentee leader.

      Four, the consistently inconsistent US administrations make it
impossible for many rational people to take them seriously on policy
pronouncements. How does George W Bush expect the world to back him if he
could stay away from Johannesburg, tear up Kyoto, excuse the US from the
International Criminal Court and is actively sabotaging it by pressuring
states to enter into bilateral deals with it?

      Five, and related to the previous point, is the ease with which
selective Western attacks on particular governments and leaders win those
governments a lot of goodwill and sympathy from other poor countries. Even
people who may not agree with President Mugabe's policies and politics could
not disagree with him when he gave it to the preachy Blair to lay his hands
off Zimbabwe.

      People are tired of the arrogant imposition of views, values and
policies by Western leaders who do not care to jettison the same high moral
standards when their narrow interests are at stake.

      The hypocrisy of the West, their institutions and corporations is not
helping the creation of an international environment that is conducive to
sustainable development.

      The poorer countries have their own contradictions and double talk
which cannot be excused simply because they are victims of bigger vultures.
Governments, companies and institutions do not change out of mere goodwill
and good intentions. It is people, the world's peoples, north and south,
east and west, that can make the changes possible. It is a battle on many
fronts in which we can both be villains and victims.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

itv news

Vital supplies arrive in Zimbabwe
7.00AM BST, 9 Sep 2002

World Food Programme officials have distributed maize meal, oil and other
vital commodities to hungry Zimbabweans in the drought-stricken area of
Gwanda, about 450 kilometres south of the capital Harare.

The villagers welcomed the food, with some saying that they had little to
eat except vegetables. Others said children were fainting from hunger.

One villager said: "As we didn't reap anything this year the area is hard
for us to get food, which is a problem in schools, particularly in the areas
where orphans are left with old people who cannot manage to work for

The distribution comes as the Zimbabwe government announced that it was
lifting a ban on the importation of genetically modified maize.

There had been worries that once the modified maize was in Zimbabwe future
exports from the country would be jeopardised because Europe will not accept
GM crops.

James Morris, executive director of WFP, welcomed the decision to accept GM
maize. He also said that he was glad the WFP was able to pass on food to
villagers who so badly needed it.

"It's incredibly touching to see a girl twelve years of age who's in the
first grade and hardly able to move because of hunger or to talk to her mum
or grandmum who's now looking after ten, 12 or 15 children."

"We're able to provide food so the whole family can have at least one meal a
day," he said.

Aid agencies have said that nearly half the country's 13 million inhabitants
will need food aid this year, a result of a wider crisis in six
drought-stricken southern African countries.

Critics say the crisis has been exacerbated by President Robert Mugabe's
land reforms, which aims to take land from white farmers and redistribute it
among the black population.
Daily Telegraph


      Re: The Zimbabwe issue
      Date: 9 September 2002

      Sir - Last week I refused to buy a packet of sprouting broccoli from
my local Tesco, not because it was asking £1.99 for 200 grams, but because
the country of origin was Zimbabwe.

      Could Tesco explain why it is buying food from a country with a
despotic regime where millions are starving? Could it also tell us what its
mark-up is?

      Barbara Reid, Hounslow, Middlesex

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, left, his wife Grace, center,
stand with the head of the World Food Programme James Morris, right,
at a meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2002. Mugabe
denied that his country's controversial seizure of white-owned farms
had contributed to the massive hunger crisis that threatens half
Zimbabwe's people with starvation. (AP Photo)
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mail and Guardian

Zimbabwe farmers face new eviction deadline


      09 September 2002 08:20

Zimbabwe's embattled white commercial farmers remain wary after the expiry
of the latest eviction deadline to quit their properties under President
Robert Mugabe's controversial land reform programme, a farmers group said on

A new unconfirmed deadline for some of the farmers to leave their land
expired at noon (1000 GMT) Sunday with some who were seeking to comply being
prevented from removing property, a farming crisis group reported.

But by late Sunday only two confrontations had been reported.

One farmer in Doma, 160 kilometres northwest of Harare, was ordered by an
army major not to remove property, saying it belonged to him, Worswick said.

In the Tengwe farming area, also in northwestern Zimbabwe, another farmer
was barricaded inside his house, while eight farmers who went to help him
were stoned by an angry mob, and one of them was assaulted, Worswick said.

"It (the eviction deadline) is not as bad as we expected it could have
been," Justice for Agriculture (JAG) Vice-chairman John Worswick told AFP.

However, he said farmers were not being complacent.
"We're expecting it to escalate," he said.

The new deadline -- which police could not confirm -- comes exactly one
month after around 2 900 of the country's 4 500 farmers who had been served
with eviction orders were supposed to leave their land to make way for new
black farmers.

Around 60% of farmers affected by that deadline refused to leave their farms
and more than 300 were arrested.

"There are concerns this could have been a practice run for something else,"
JAG representative, Jenni Williams said. But she added that most of the
country's commercial farming areas had remained quiet.

Mashonaland West province "in their droves" to avoid

A member of the farming community in Karoi, Mashonaland West, who asked not
to be named, said farmers there with eviction orders, most of them
overturned, had moved off their farms on Sunday evening.

"They will be farming again on Monday," he said.

Another four white farmers were briefly arrested Saturday in Bindura, north
of Harare, allegedly for trying to remove property, JAG said.

JAG said the latest directive had been delivered by government officials,
including police chiefs, but did not give any names. The ultimatum affected
all farmers, even those whose eviction notices had been overturned, the
statement added.

Contacted on Sunday, police representative Wayne Bvudzijena told AFP he was
not aware of any deadline, saying it would have to be issued by the ministry
of agriculture.

Under Zimbabwe's Land Acquisition Act, farmers who receive a government
eviction notice, or "Section 8", are given 90 days to wind up farming
operations and leave their homes.

More than 70 white farmers have had their eviction notices declared invalid.
However, the government has said it will simply reissue the eviction orders
following the letter of the law, and threatened to give the farmers just
five days to leave their farms.

Mugabe, after returning from the UN Earth Summit in South Africa where he
had a verbal sparring match with Tony Blair, prime minister of former
colonial power Britain, last week again warned white farmers to hand their
land over to blacks or leave the country.

"They (white farmers) belong to Britain and let them go there.

If they want to stay here, we will say: 'Stay here, but your place is in
jail'," the 78-year-old leader said. - Sapa-AFP
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe opposition warns Mugabe of public anger 
HARARE, Sept. 9 — Zimbabwe's main opposition leader warned President Robert Mugabe on Monday of rising public anger, and repeated calls for the veteran leader to allow a re-run of disputed presidential elections. 

       Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has launched a court challenge to Mugabe's victory in March polls, which the international community condemned as fraudulent.
       ''We support the international community's call that Mugabe is illegitimate and that there must be free and fair elections to restore legitimacy,'' Tsvangirai told more than 500 people during a public debate in Harare.
       Failure to hold a new election could lead to mass action against a government which was like a ''civil-military junta,'' Tsvangirai said.
       ''We have acted as a restraining force on the people...but now we have reached a stage where it may no longer be possible to keep the lid on. Whatever happens from now on is entirely the regime's responsibility,'' he said.
       Civic groups in Zimbabwe have in recent months staged several demonstrations against political violence and also to press for a new constitution, saying Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party has manipulated the existing one to win elections.
       Tsvangirai and two senior MDC colleagues will go on trial in November on charges of plotting to assassinate Mugabe, in what the opposition leader says is a bid to politically neuter him.
       The case is based on a secretly filmed meeting between Tsvangirai and a Canadian security company employed by the Zimbabwe government. Tsvangirai says the video tape was doctored to misrepresent a conversation led by the Canadian advisers.
       Formed in 1999, the MDC emerged as the strongest challenge to Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party when it won nearly half the contested seats at parliamentary elections in June 2000.
       The MDC says it would have won had it not been for a violent campaign it blamed on ruling party supporters.
       The opposition accuses Mugabe of mismanaging the country since assuming power at independence from Britain in 1980, leading to a political and economic crisis which has ushered in acute food shortages.
       The government blames the food shortages solely on drought.
       But critics point also to Mugabe's controversial drive to seize white-owned commercial farms for redistribution to landless blacks and his sanctioning of white farm invasions since February 2000 by militants loyal to the government.
 Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. 
Back to the Top
Back to Index