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

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News Update
(On behalf of Justice for Agriculture)

Member of the Presidents Office today visited the offices of the Rev Tim
Neil requesting the location of the Justice for Agriculture (JAG) office.
They were directed to the JAG offices, which were not open for business

An update received from Karoi.
At approximately 3:30 pm today (September 11th 2002), two vehicles that were
on Renoc farm yesterday, returned accompanied by a 60/70 strong group. Once
again they fired shots at the house of Mrs Thea Cochrane (67). Approximately
25 shots were fired. Thea was in the house alone and her son Ian was in his
home some 200 meters away with his wife and children.

The mob broke through the security fence and several ran around the house
shouting and intimidating the elderly Thea.

Meanwhile at another house on the farm, members of the invading group broke
into the house smashing windows and looting the household contents.

A fire was started on some dry pastureland close to the stables and hay
bales were engulfed in flames startling the horses. A horse belonging to the
children did not manage to break free and was badly burnt and had to be put
down early this evening.

The police were summoned and responded after other farmers in the area went
to the station to impress upon them that lives could be lost if no police
presence was timeously established. The Police eventually responded with
4-armed details and two assistant inspectors who could not have adequately
coped with the 60 plus crowd who fortunately had dispersed just before the
Police arrived.

The Police remained on site for just over 40 minutes but did not take a
written report, or details of the stolen property. They left after refusing
to provide an armed guard.

Information to hand today is that the ZANU PF youth leader in the area
accompanied by his supporters stole 3 shotguns from guards from a
neighbouring farm last night.

Background info filed yesterday (10th September 2002)
Reports being received indicate that a Karoi farming family are presently
barricaded in their home following the arrival on their farm of a group of
about 60-70 people. Two people are armed with automatic shotguns, and
another, who is a notorious war veteran in the area by the name of Patrick
Mapunga, is armed with an FN.

Ian Cochrane (43), his mother Thea (67), his sister Sally Magjwick, and two
children Hamish (5) and Stacey (3), are presently in the main house of the
homestead at their     3 000 acre Renroc Farm. The Cochrane's do not have a
section 8, but were issued with a Section 5.

Evidence of trouble initially surfaced on Monday night at about 6pm when a
crowd gathered outside the homestead, which comprises two houses. This
morning, a white vehicle with about 60-70 people arrived on the farm, and at
about 8:30am, two men, armed with an automatic shotgun, broke into the fence
of the smaller house where Ian was. Ian took his rifle and chased them out
of the garden.

Soon afterwards, another group of people broke into the main house and
called the elder Mrs. Cochrane to come out of the house. She went out and
confronted the group of people, one of whom was armed with the FN. They
grabbed her and tried to drag her away, however she managed to break free.
During the scuffle, Mrs Cochrane's communication radio and cellphone were
taken from her.

At this point, Sally called Ian to tell him what was happening and he
promptly took his rifle again and was forced to wade through the larger
group of people in an effort to reach his family in the main house. As he
was doing so, a shot was fired and stones were hurled at him. In response,
Ian fired a shot into the ground.

Ian was forced to circle the fence around the house for a while as the gates
were closed. Several more shots were fired at him and he fired twice in
response. His sister managed to open the gate for him and he went and joined
his family.

One of the farm vehicles took a bullet in the side and all roads leading to
the farm have been barricaded. Police are refusing to respond to the

11 September 2002

For more info, please contact Jenni Williams
Mobile (+263) 91 300456 or 11213 885 or on email
Or Fax (+2639) 63978 or (+2634) 703829  Office email:
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Farmer tells of 'mob attack'

Media24 Africa Bureau

Harare - "Things got a bit out of hand," is how Ian Cochrane (41) of Renroc
farm in the Karoi district described his "little shootout" with farm
invaders under the leadership of a senior war veteran.

The attackers used, among other things, shotguns and an R1 attack rifle -
normally issued to Zimbabwean police officials.

Cochrane alleged that the police's failure to react to calls for assistance
was part of a "well-planned conspiracy".

He said his problems started on Monday night when a group of about 65 people
arrived on Renroc farm.

"Everything was under control until a bakkie with armed men and a truck with
about 50 invaders arrived on the farm on Tuesday morning.

"When I walked out of my house to lock the gate of the security fence, I
walked into a man with an automatic shotgun. I pointed my pistol at him,
forced him outside the fence and locked the gate."

Men grabbed his mother

While this was happening, Cochrane's elderly mother, Thea, his sister,
Sally, and her two young children, Hamish and Stacy, were in a second house
about 200m from Cochrane's one. The second house has its own security fence
and gate.

Cochrane said: "The group of invaders split into two and the group at my
mother's house called her outside to speak to her and she complied. Then,
everything went wrong."

The men grabbed Cochrane's mother and tried to drag her away, but she
managed to pull free. Her pistol and cellphone were taken from her before
she managed to reach the safety of her home.

"I knew I had to help my mother. I locked my own security gate behind me and
walked across the open ground to her house as casually as possible with my
automatic shotgun in my hands.

"The group at my house followed. I walked backwards the entire way, pointing
my shotgun at them while they were shouting and throwing stones at me.

"It was the longest 200m of my life. I fired a shot into the ground, but
they kept coming.

"When I reached my mother's house, the security gate was also locked. I
couldn't go forward or backwards and walked along the security fence with
the angry mob following me.

"Then, two or three of the attackers hiding behind our hangar started
shooting at me with, among other things, an R1. I know the guy with the R1.
He is Patrick Mupunga, head of the war veterans in Karoi. I fired several
shots at them before Sally managed to open the gate."

'You develop a very thick skin'

Other farmers from the district arrived to help. Cochrane said: "They were
also shot at and my neighbour was nearly hit by a bullet going through his
bakkie window."

Cochrane said the police arrived only about five hours after the drama had
started. "The three men with firearms had disappeared by that time," said

The three men had left for the neighbouring farm of Piet Storrop, where a
similar drama had unfolded. The Storrops could not be reached for comment,
but Cochrane said everything was "back to normal".

Cochrane said: "My mother is severely traumatised, but everything else is
under control. We have been living with this for two years now and you
develop a very thick skin."

From The Independent (UK), 11 September

White farmer in gun skirmish

By Angus Shaw, AP, in Harare

A white farmer exchanged gunfire yesterday with ruling party militants who shot at his homestead and tried to force him off his land. Ian Cochrane fired eight shots into the ground and some above the heads of militants who were surrounding the farmhouse in Karoi district, 125 miles north-west of Harare. No one was hurt. Three of the attackers, armed with pump-action shotguns and a rifle, were accompanied by about 50 militants who barricaded Mr Cochrane and his family inside the yard, Alan Parsons, a neighbour, said. Police intervened, dispersing the attackers, who moved away in trucks to adjacent properties from where at least two more gunshots were heard. The leader of the militants was identified as an army major, Mr Parsons said. "It seems they are trying to provoke farmers to retaliate with weapons," he said. Farmers leaders said Mr Cochrane was among 26 farmers contesting the legality of government eviction orders to leave their farms in the Karoi grain and tobacco belt.

The independent Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum said the displacement of farmers had risen since 8 August, the eviction deadline for about 2,900 landowners. Property and equipment had been stolen. In one recent incident, a farmer who fled for her safety returned to find militants in her house and property strewn outside. In south-eastern Chimanimani, police officers, soldiers and Central Intelligence Organisation agents were "meting out a reign of terror", assaulting civilians with fists, boots and whips, the forum said. No one from the government was available for comment. President Robert Mugabe vowed last week to crack down on defiant whites. "Time is not on their side," he declared. Earlier yesterday, police reported that 306 white farmers had been arrested since the eviction deadline. Most were freed on bail but prohibited from returning to their farms before trial proceedings. The government is trying to seize about 95 per cent of white-owned farms.


Gunfire breaks out on Zimbabwe farm

Jane Fields In Harare

WHITE farmers and supporters of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe traded
shots yesterday on a farm in the north-west of the country, as tensions over
land reform reach boiling point in the former British colony.

Ian Cochrane, a farmer of Scottish descent, said he was forced to fire shots
into the ground and the air after self-styled war veterans levelled their
guns at his mother.

Neighbouring farmers who came to the Cochranes' rescue also exchanged
gunfire with the settlers, who are believed to have been trying to force the
family off the farm. There were no reports of injuries.

Mr Cochrane told The Scotsman that around 100 war veterans surrounded the
two homesteads on his farm, in the tobacco and grain-producing Karoi
district, early yesterday morning.

Black veterans of the war for independence from Britain have led the
invasions of white-owned farms in Zimbabwe over the past two and a half
years. They have been suspected of - but never charged with - the murder of
at least 11 white farmers.

From his garden, Mr Cochrane saw three armed men disarm his mother, who was
staying in the next-door house with her daughter and two children.

"My immediate concern was that they were going to shoot her," Mr Cochrane
told The Scotsman. "I trotted across to my mother's house with this crowd
surging with me.

"These guys were watching to lynch me," a clearly shaken Mr Cochrane said.

He said that two militants shot at him, and he fired back to "keep them
behind me".

About 50 farmers answered his distress call, but were fired at as they drove
towards his house. The war veterans had barricaded all roads leading to the
property, Mr Cochrane said. "It was not very nice at all," he said.

The situation stabilised when police eventually reached the farm - more than
three hours after they were first called. White farmers complain that police
are slow to intervene when they are under attack, while some police say that
farm invasions are "political matters" which they are not allowed to
intervene in.

The father of two had been told to vacate his farm by Sunday afternoon under
the latest ultimatum issued by the regime of the ageing Zimbabwean

Mr Mugabe has made the battle to seize land from those he calls "greedy"
white farmers his rallying call. More than 95 per cent of farms have now
been earmarked for government acquisition.

Dozens of white farmers vacated their farms last weekend, fearing a repeat
of the mass arrests which followed the expiry of an earlier eviction
deadline last month.

But Mr Cochrane, who is descended from Lord Cochrane, 9th Earl of Dundonald,
says he has not received a valid eviction order and had decided to stay on
at his farm, which is the only property he owns in Zimbabwe. "This is just
to intimidate us. We've all resolved to stay on in the area. We are not
going to get out." "Hopefully the world will realise that something has to
be done to stop this," he said.

Jenni Williams, spokeswoman for the farming pressure group Justice for
Agriculture (JAG), said that Mr Mugabe's regime had turned to "land

Nine farmers were arrested on Monday in Centenary, northern Zimbabwe. They
were held overnight but released without charge yesterday morning, Ms
Williams said. Another farmer, Jean Simon, of nearby Raffingora, said she
was packing up after war veterans had told her to leave yesterday.

Mr Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party this week through its mouthpiece, the
People's Voice, promised that more white farmers "are going to be arrested
in the coming week in an effort to complete the programme of redistributing

Meanwhile the government has expelled a US journalist, Griffin Shea of AFP.

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Last chukka as farmers realise the game is up
By Peta Thornycroft
(Filed: 09/09/2002)

The last chukka of northern Zimbabwe's last polo game was played yesterday while 600 white farmers fled their homes <>  in the country's most productive farming districts.

While players thwacked the ball across the polo ground of the Chinhoyi Country Club, 55 miles north of the capital Harare, the main road nearby was packed with removal vans, heavily-laden farm lorries and pick-ups heading south to safety.

On Thursday hundreds of farmers in the northern grain belt were warned by uniformed police and soldiers to be off their farms by lunchtime yesterday and that anything left behind would be nationalised.

In two hours early yesterday, more than 200 vehicles loaded with farmers and their possessions were on the road.

The Umboe Valley Copper Cup, a 44-year-old polo tournament at one of the last functioning country clubs in Zimbabwe, was the end of an era, signalling the beginning of the realisation for farmers who endured 31 tormented months, that the game was up.

"This is the last time we will play this tournament as there will be none of us left next year," said Zimbabwe's top grain farmer.

"Please don't name me now until I have got my family safely to Australia."

The farmer said he and a colleague last week met Ignatius Chombo, the minister dishing out white-owned farms to the elite and to thousands of peasants hoping to become farmers.

"He told us there would be no white farmers left in Zimbabwe," he said. "Now we know."

A mile or so behind the polo ground, next to the few wheat fields planted this season, a fire was raging in tinder-dry bush, which farmers say was started early in the morning by President Robert Mugabe's supporters squatting on a recently productive grain farm.

"They set fire to millions of dollars worth of cattle food last week," a farmer said.

The regime's land seizure programme <>  has destroyed Zimbabwe's agricultural sector, cost hundreds of thousands of black farm workers their jobs and left millions facing starvation. International aid agencies are having to distribute food in a country that was once a grain exporter.

Yesterday's flight by the majority of Zimbabwe's cereal producers included up to 100 farmers in the Chinhoyi area who successfully challenged nationalisation of their farms.

Most who fled yesterday were owners of only one farm, said the Commercial Farmers' Union, and as such should have been allowed to keep them under Zimbabwean law.

While Justice for Agriculture, the pressure group, told farmers on Friday to stay put, most ignored the advice. "Some of us, who had time to pack up, are leaving forever," said a farmer whose wife leaves for Europe to join their three young children at the end of the month.

"Some are staying with friends on farms which were not visited by the police. Others have gone to Harare. If the tension dies down, then we will go back and pack properly.

"I will be going at the end of the year," he said. "Now I am going to play my last game of polo in Zimbabwe."

His farm in the Umboe Valley, after which the polo tournament was named, was trashed a year ago. "We repaired it and thought it would come right eventually but it's over," he said.

David Rockingham-Gill, the farmers' representative in the Chinhoyi area, said: "The Sunday deadline was impossible to meet. There are not enough vehicles in the whole of Zimbabwe to move off this large number of farmers' equipment and personal possessions."

Nonetheless the day passed reasonably peacefully for the farmers of northern Zimbabwe, who have become used to constant harassment, threats and beatings by Mugabe supporters.

"One farmer was barricaded in for several hours but he rammed his security fence and got away," said a farmers' representative.  © Copyright <;grid=P9>  of Telegraph Group Limited <>  2002.
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Dear Friends
We have taken a few steps backwards in Tengwe this weekend. We have had 7 families move - 5 have stopped farming completely and 2 (father and son) have relocated within the district. Add to this another 3 families who planned to leave in the next few weeks and you will realise that we are in dire straits. Our boundries have shrunk badly.
The weekend was fairly quiet - all the section 8 farmers who decided to stay prudently spent the nights with friends and we are back at home. There was only one incident - at Craig Werrit's. He went back to collect some stuff - he is on remand and has not been able to sleep at home since being arrested a few weeks ago. They barricaded him and three of his workers in the house. The guys reacted and it got a bit ugly. Andy collected a good black black eye but they eventually had to withdraw. The police refused assistance. Eventually, Craig had to walk out with a shotgun and cut his fence - he then walked back and drove through the opening holding the shotgun but did not have to fire it. There were 2 arrests in other districts. Over the weekend the foremen on all the farms were called into the copshop and told that if they worked, they would get beaten. The message was repeated on Monday. The cops tried to tell our workers that we were leaving as we had all our tractors etc in the yard not at the barns. Our people told them that the stuff has been kept here since we had a rash of battery, fuel and parts theft from the workshop area. Also that we had only had one sale and all the tobacco was in the shed. The cops tried to convince them we were nevertheless about to skip and they should press for retrenchment packages (if they didn't they could expect a beating for working). Andy assured them that we did not go to the high court because we wanted to leave - we went because we wanted to stay. They are not working today and we can't do anything until they realise that it is intimidation and we certainly can't pay anything untill the crop is sold. Yesterday afternoon late the member-in-charge went around again to everyone that had been warned to get off to see if they had obeyed. Andy was at Leith's when they got there. The end result of the acrimonious altercation with them was the MIC saying "I am very glad you two have not moved off because you will see what is going to happen to you." We have just heard that 4 guys in Bindura, 2 in Mutepatepa and one in Mvurwi have been arrested - they are unprotected because they did not go to the high court.
We are now in a refugee situation as far as displaced workers are concerned. All the compounds which are allowed to work are overflowing with people trying to find shelter. Most of the workers from the farms which have shut down have been evicted from their homes - we had some rain and Leon's guys had to spend the night in the bush. They are all at Blythe's - cold and homeless. If you think that each farm probably employs 45 families minimum, it is a lot of homeless people.  
We are tired and it is very hard to be positive - if they would just state categorically all the way from RGM down to the DA that we must all piss off immediately, they don't want a single whitey to farm, then fine. Instead we get all these mixed messages - one farmer one farm etc etc. Our leadership is just as much to blame because we have no idea what is really being said to them. Are they diluting the  messages from govt and just feeding us what they hope is the story? We never get a verbatim report of what is said at meetings with govt. RGM has certainly succeeded in creating two nations in one - the cities have no idea what goes on on the farms and when we go to the cities we are amazed that life just seems to be plodding along. We had a classic this weekend. One of our farmers phoned a guy in town to ask if he could come out on Saturday to do a valuation of the farm and the reply was that he couldn't because he would be playing golf on Saturday and as a consequence would probably not be feeling too good on Sunday. Last week's Financial Gazette carried a report that property and rents had shot up lately because of "cash rich" farmers moving to Harare. If we were so cash rich, would we not have invested in property in Harare long before being turfed off our farms?
The radio is going in Karoi - there is an incident building there but we can't hear all the transmission and don't want to tie up the network by calling in to find out whats going on. Its on Ian Cochrane's place and it sounds a bit hairy. They were barricaded in last night. The media guys say its very hard to get a story on farmers onto the news channels - displaced farm workers yes, but not stories on farmers. Especially now with the anniversary of September 11th and the Iraq crisis looming. Whenever there is a crisis in Zim, another international crisis seems to happen to overshadow any interest there might be in the plight of Zimbabweans. I have a feeling though, that things must come to a head in the next week or two. Many districts have been cleaned out and if you are one of the few left in the district, you must decide if you want to live and farm in an area devoid of friends. You must also decide if you can farm when there is a culture of "help yourself" and you are supply depot.
1.00 p.m.
We were having a lie down when I heard a vehicle then another. It was Maponga the army colonel who has been put in charge of the evictions here and at least 7 henchman. Lucky we had locked the doors. Andy spoke to them through the burglar bars. He tried to explain about the High Court and one man one farm etc. They said that they didn't care what Mugabe or the high court said - this was them running it on the ground. There was now no place in Zimbabwe for Andy. We had been given plenty of warning and if we weren't out by tonight we would have to take what comes. Andy thinks that this is a further tactic since the police pressure over the weekend did not work. I don't know what to think. Given the choice, will our district hold out? The only way we can do it is if everyone stands together but I detect some jitters. You can't expect people with young children in the house to be steadfast in the face of physical intimidation. They have gone from here to Chris Edgar's farm. We will monitor their movements. We are to have a meeting tonight at the club to try to work out a strategy.
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Africans asked to aid Zimbabwe

THERE are African leaders today who remain reluctant to criticise Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, despite the suffering he has inflicted on his people, despite his illegitimate hold on power, and despite the human rights abuses of his regime.

Perhaps they feel a sense of loyalty. Perhaps there is a deeprooted sympathy for the black ruler of an African nation who claims to be defying the rich, white colonial oppressor.

If so, we have to tell them that their loyalty, however noble a sentiment, is both wrong and misplaced. Their loyalty and support should not be for this tyrant, but for the people of Zimbabwe.

The people who attempted to remove him democratically, through the ballot box were denied this right by the regime's cynical programme of intimidation, vote rigging and blatant electoral fraud. The people now face starvation because of the regime's incompetent and brutal destruction of the rural economy. This is where the loyalties of other African nations should be placed.

Mugabe's days are limited he is an aging leader desperately defying the will of his people. Opposition to his rule is gathering pace, both inside Zimbabwe and around the world.

We beseech African leaders to help the voice of millions of Zimbabweans to be heard through truly democratic elections.

When democracy and stability are restored, and Zimbabwe is once more a neighbour you can be proud of as part of, we will remember those who stood by us in our struggle; who showed true solidarity with the Zimbabweans.

We ask the community of nations in Africa to come to our aid now. There are more than 12-million black Zimbabweans suffering under the savage rule of this tyrant. Help us win our freedom.

Ephraim TapaChief SpokesmanSave Zimbabwe campaign

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MDC MPs Walk Out of Parliament in Protest

The Daily News (Harare)

September 11, 2002
Posted to the web September 11, 2002

Municipal Reporter

OPPOSITION MDC MPs walked out of Parliament for the second time in two
months yesterday just when debate started on President Mugabe's speech.

Soon after the Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals, Paul Mangwana,
rose to move his motion on the debate of Mugabe's speech, MDC MPs who had
been taking part in the business of the house, walked out. In July, the
opposition MPs snubbed Mugabe's address when he opened the second session of
the Fifth Parliament, on the grounds that they did not recognise him as the
legitimate President of Zimbabwe. The MDC is challenging Mugabe's victory in
court, citing massive rigging and intimidation in the March presidential

Yesterday, the MDC secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, said their walk-out
remained consistent with the party's position. "We are not taking part in
this debate because we do not recognise Mugabe as the legitimate leader. It
is not worthwhile to contribute to debate on his speech," said Ncube. "The
party's national executive was very clear that we must not involve ourselves
in anything to do with his speech. We may choose to go back but we are not
going to make any contributions." Before the walk-out, Parliament had
approved the National Social Security Authority Amendment Bill and Statutory
Instrument 112 of 2002, which seeks to amend the Criminal Procedure and
Evidence Act.
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Seed Supply Situation Remains Critical

The Daily News (Harare)

September 11, 2002
Posted to the web September 11, 2002

Chris Mhike

AS SOME parts of the country received early showers last week and early this
week, the seed supply situation remained critical owing to delays by
government in reviewing the price of agricultural seed.

Manufacturers of seed products met with the government in August to
negotiate for a review of prices. Seed companies had begun to withhold their
products citing the unprofitability of the "unrevised" price levels, but the
negotiations have not yielded any results. Seed, especially the maize
variety, had been in short supply in the last month.

Prices of agricultural seeds, which are controlled by government, have not
been changed since June 2001. As negotiations with the government started
last month, seed companies complained that while the prices of importing
chemicals and other raw materials to produce seed had increased, the prices
for selling the product had not changed.

Vincent Gwarazimba, the chairman of the Seed Trade Association, said in an
interview: "The unavailability of seed on the market has reached critical
levels. The few companies that supplied seed in the past few months probably
did so from last season's leftovers, but that has not been enough for market

Gwarazimba said that the government had promised to report on the outcome of
the review process by Friday last week, but he, however, emphasised that
there could be no certainty about a price increase shortly.

He said: "We cannot promise anything because the decision lies with
government. There is nothing we can do, but wait and see. I really hope the
outcome of the review process will be positive so as to improve the seed
supply situation."

Simeon Chibanda, a technical sales manager at National Tested Seeds, a seed
distribution company, confirmed that the availability of maize seed on the
market was low in August and September. He said: "Seed products have been
coming in very small quantities and on a very erratic basis. "While the
supply of vegetables seed has been satisfactory, we have experienced serious
problems with the supply of maize seed." The open pollinated maize variety
(OPVs), considered by the government to be cheaper seed than the
conventional seed type, has been dismissed by the seed distribution sector
and farmers as a non-viable option to seed shortages.

Indigenous Commercial Farmers' Union executive for commodities, Denford
Chimbwanda, said: "The OPVs yields are lower and Zimbabwe will be going
backwards if it uses these varieties."
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S.Africa's Mbeki wants to discuss Zimbabwe at U.N. 
CAPE TOWN, Sept. 11 — South African President Thabo Mbeki will try to discuss the Zimbabwe crisis with Commonwealth colleagues on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, a government minister said on Wednesday. 
Despite Western pressure and limited sanctions against President Robert Mugabe, the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe has dominated southern African politics for more than two years, denting investor confidence in the region and undermining the value of South Africa's rand.
       Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said Mbeki, due in New York on Wednesday for the annual General Assembly, would try to meet Commonwealth colleagues Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
       ''If they are all there at the same time, it is expected that they will try to meet to tackle the Commonwealth find in some way a solution to the situation in Zimbabwe.
       ''There is an economic crisis in Zimbabwe, the food situation is quite dramatic, tensions are still very high,'' Pahad said.
       Zimbabwe has been in crisis since militant supporters of Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF began to seize white-owned farms for landless blacks in 2000.
       Mbeki has refused to take unilateral steps against Mugabe, but agreed with Obasanjo and Howard in March to suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth in protest against an election Mugabe was alleged to have stolen through intimidation and fraud.
       Pahad said no new action against Zimbabwe would be on the agenda for the three leaders, but that it was important to rack up the pressure for a political dialogue and legal land reform.
       Mugabe has ordered 2,900 of the country's 4,500 white farmers to surrender their land without compensation. More than 300 farmers have been charged for defying the order.
       Mugabe says he is taking the land to redress a colonial legacy that left 72 percent of the best land in the hands of a tiny white minority after independence in 1980.
       ''The land issue, everybody accepts, is fundamental not only in Zimbabwe, but in many countries in Africa,'' Pahad said.
       ''We do believe land reform must be done in an orderly way, within the rule of law, within the constitution of the country. (We must) ...ensure that the principle of willing buyer, willing seller becomes a reality,'' he added.
       Pahad said South Africa was pressing for the conclusion of a protection of investment treaty with Zimbabwe, which has been under negotiation for many months.
       ''We are very keen that this agreement gets signed very quickly because it does give South African investors some form of legal protection. But in the end, it depends when you have signed this agreement, whether they really implement it.''
Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.
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A2 Model Plots Remain Unoccupied

The Daily News (Harare)

September 11, 2002
Posted to the web September 11, 2002

Correspondent in Bulawayo

THE majority of the people resettled under the A2 model scheme in
Matabeleland are yet to take up their plots despite the government's threat
to confiscate the land if it was still unoccupied by 31 August.

There were about 54 000 applications nationwide for land for farming
purposes. But most of the successful applicants, who are urban dwellers,
have not moved onto the plots and there is still no production going on as
the planting season approaches.

Justice for Agriculture (JAG) chairman, David Connelly, said yesterday they
aware the majority of the applicants had not occupied the farms.

He said they were compiling a list of the unoccupied farms.

"This will have a negative impact on farming because it means that the farm
is not going to be productive this farming season, when it could have
produced food for the country," said Connelly.

Zimbabwe is having one of its worst food crises in recent history as a
result of wheat and maize shortages, with thousands of people, especially in
rural areas, starving. World food agencies have warned that half the
population will starve to death if no food aid is made available. The last
planting season in 2001 was severely disrupted by the chaotic land
redistribution exercise led by war veterans who invaded productive farms and
ordered farmers to cease operations.

This, coupled with the drought last year, has compounded the situation. The
Matabeleland North governor, Obert Mpofu, has admitted in recent reports in
the State media that most of the the plots remain unoccupied.

He has said a taskforce would soon be deployed into the farms to compile a
list of the unoccupied farms. He said the land would be redistributed to
people on the waiting list. In Umguza alone 43 people were allocated land
under the A2 scheme but only 22 have taken up their plots.

Very few have taken up the plots in the Gwayi valley, Esigodini valley and
in the West Nicholson area in Matabeleland North.
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Bishop Mum On Priest's Departure

The Daily News (Harare)

September 11, 2002
Posted to the web September 11, 2002

Correspondent in Mutare

Bishop Alexio Muchabaiwa, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Mutare,
yesterday refused to shed any light on the forced departure from Nyanga,
reportedly by so-called war veterans, of Father Patrick Joseph Kelly.

Three weeks ago Muchabaiwa promised to investigate the circumstances in
which Kelly was forced to leave his St Gabriel's Church in Nyanga. Instead
the bishop told the reporter: "It is very surprising why you are so
interested in Father Patrick Joseph Kelly's matter. I do not have any
information to share with you on that one." Last month, Kelly said he
received an ultimatum to leave the area by 22 August. It was issued by a
group of seven war veterans, supported by the Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO).

Kelly immediately went into hiding and is reportedly still underground,
awaiting the outcome of Muchabaiwa's investigation of the matter. It was not
immediately clear by yesterday whether Jack Straw, the British Foreign
Minister, had intervened to save Kelly, after a request by Michael Ancram,
Conservative shadow foreign secretary, to do so. Kelly said yesterday he had
still not yet received any assistance since his eviction from Nyanga. He
said: "Fearing for my life, I fled. I am forced to shuttle between places.
"I do not understand why our church leaders are taking so long to solve such
a straightforward case."On 16 August a group of so-called war veterans
approached Kelly and accused him of preaching opposition politics.

They reportedly ordered him to leave Nyanga or face unspecified action.
Kelly said he was briefly detained twice by CIO agents who questioned him
about anti-government literature he allegedly distributed in the area. In an
unrelated incident, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference urged the
government to depoliticise the procurement of food amid claims by the
opposition MDC that war veterans and Zanu PF activists were abusing it for
their personal consumption. In an August pastoral letter released last week,
the bishops, among them Patrick Chakaipa of Harare, Pius Ncube of Bulawayo
and the retired Auxiliary Bishop of Mutare, Patrick Mutume, appealed to
their sister churches around the world to donate food. The United Nations
has said about six million people need emergency food aid in Zimbabwe.
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Drought Bites Into National Cattle Herds

The Daily News (Harare)

September 11, 2002
Posted to the web September 11, 2002

Correspondent in Bulawayo

HUNDREDS of cattle have died in Matabeleland South as the drought bites deep
in the region, aggravating the threat to the already depleted national herd.

Mafende Nicos Khumalo, the acting Gwanda North district animal health
inspector, said they had received reports of the deaths of several cattle in
the district. The national commercial cattle herd was estimated at more than
1,25 million before the farm invasions two years ago. The Cattle Producers
Association says the figure had since fallen to an estimated 500 000 after
massive destocking by farmers evicted from their properties. Khumalo said:
"We are compiling statistics as we are still getting reports from around the
district. We hope to have the information by the end of the month." Several
communal farmers in the area are said to be losing their cattle as the
drought takes its toll in the region because of the steep price of
stockfeeds. The communal farmers were reportedly herding their cattle onto
commercial farms which have reasonable pastures, a situation which has
resulted in overgrazing in parts of Matabeleland South.

One farm, Highway Ranch, has been reduced to a semi-desert after hundreds of
cattle were moved onto the ranch. Matabeleland, otherwise known as the
cattle land, falls under climatic region five which receives very little
rainfall. Some villagers at Hwali, about 100km south of Gwanda, said all
their cattle had succumbed to the drought. Joseph Ndlovu said he was forced
to move his cattle some 50km away from home in search of grazing land. "I do
not know whether I still have any cattle left because the area to which I
moved them is very far from here. "There is completely no grazing in this
area," Ndlovu said.
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Chombo Allegedly Fighting to Take Over Two Farms

The Daily News (Harare)

September 11, 2002
Posted to the web September 11, 2002

Lloyd Mudiwa Court Reporter

DR IGNATIUS Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing, has been accused of making spirited efforts to grab two
farms in the Lomagundi district.

He is being accused of trying to take over Erewhon and Nswala farms, despite
a provisional High Court order issued early this month barring him from
harassing or interfering with the farming operations of Jean Simpson, a
director of the properties. Chombo joins several senior government officials
in trying to grab farms amid allegations the reform is benefiting the rich,
not the landless peasants.

Chombo is suspected to have ordered Hannes Swan, a manager at Alan Grange
Farm in Raffingora, to leave the farm early this month so he could move in.
But Chombo, who chairs the government's land acquisition task force, denied
he had any personal interest in the farm, saying the farms were earmarked
for resettlement under the A2 commercial farming model. Yesterday morning,
two war veteran leaders, Kangachepi and Kusvimbada and a woman, accompanied
by about 60 settlers from Erewhon Farm, tried to force Simpson's workers to
move her property from her house and offices into a barn, allegedly at
Chombo's instructions.

Simpson said: "Although they managed to move out the property in my office
to the barn, they have not broken into my house which is locked." She said
they were thwarted by the police in Raffingora and a local security company.
"Chombo arrived at the farm on Sunday afternoon accompanied by Chrispen
Kadhoza, Zanu PF's political co-ordinator for Banket district, to order
Kangachepi to remove my property from the farmhouse and put it into the
barn," Simpson said. She said she was now considering having Chombo charged
with contempt of court. Justice Benjamin Paradza on 2 September granted
Simpson an interim order preventing Chombo, in his personal capacity,
Kangachepi, and Kadhoza from evicting her.

Cited as respondents are Chombo, in his official capacity, Joseph Made, the
Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Augustine Chihuri,
the Commissioner of Police, Chief Inspector Chipato, the officer-in-charge
of Chinhoyi Police Station, Peter Chanetsa, the governor of Mashonaland
West, and Webster Tembo, the district administrator for Chinhoyi. "The farm
workers and myself have been subjected to a campaign of sustained harassment
and interference by certain of the respondents, notably Chombo and Kadhoza,"
reads part of Simpson's founding affidavit.

"Chombo is being cited in his personal capacity because he has acted
unlawfully and in such a manner as is so unbecoming and lacking in the
imperium and dignitas customarily associated with one of ministerial rank,
it is inconceivable that he could be acting in his official capacity as
such. "Although Chombo has not been physically present on a number of these
occasions, I believe that he has orchestrated the campaign against me by the
use of State power and through the machinations of Kangachepi, Kadhoza and
others, for motives which are not readily understood by me."
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Mugabe Accused of Plotting to Exile MDC

The Daily News (Harare)

September 11, 2002
Posted to the web September 11, 2002

Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief Reporter

MORGAN Tsvangirai, the opposition MDC president, says his party is aware
that President Mugabe's regime is planning to imprison, or drive into exile,
a number of MDC MPs to enable the ruling Zanu PF party to amend the
Constitution and prepare for Mugabe's exit.

Tsvangirai made the remarks in an address to about 500 people at a public
seminar organised by the Mass Public Opinion on Monday night. The MDC leader
said: "We are also aware that the regime intends to imprison or drive into
exile a certain number of MDC MPs in order to enable it to achieve a
two-thirds majority in Parliament and thereby facilitate a change in the
current Constitution to enable Mugabe to slide into oblivion without the
need for a fresh presidential poll as mandated by the Constitution."

Out of the 150 MPs in Parliament, the MDC has 55 seats, Zanu Ndonga one and
Zanu PF 92. There are two by-elections pending following the deaths of Zanu
PF's Marko Madiro of Hurungwe West and the MDC's George Ndlovu of Insiza. At
least 100 MPs are needed to vote in favour of any constitutional amendments.
Zanu PF cannot muster such a majority at the moment. Many MDC MPs, among
them, Professor Welshman Ncube, the party's secretary-general, Gibson
Sibanda, the deputy president, Renson Gasela (MP for Gweru Rural), Fletcher
Dulini-Ncube (Lobengula-Magwegwe) , Munyaradzi Gwisai (Highfield), Job
Sikhala (St Mary's), Tafadzwa Musekiwa (Zengeza) and Austin Mupandawana
(Kadoma Central) are facing charges ranging from treason, murder and public

Most of these cases have been set for trial in November, including that of
Tsvangirai, Gasela and Ncube's. If they were found guilty the MDC's
hierarchy could face the death penalty or life in jail. "The people will
massively resist any illegitimate tampering with the Constitution. We shall
never allow the political proceeds from fraud to be inherited by Mugabe's
hand-picked successor," Tsvangirai said. He said that despite the numerous
cases of rape, murder and assault which had become a part of Zanu PF's
election campaigns, due to the continued illegitimacy of Mugabe's regime,
the MDC would not abandon elections.

Tsvangirai said: "However, should we decide in the long run that this route
has run its course, then we will have to devise other effective non-violent
modes of political combat." He said Zimbabweans should avoid adventurism
because Mugabe had already declared that he was ready to spill blood to
remain in office and casualties should be minimised. Contrary to The
Herald's story yesterday that Tsvangirai described beneficiaries of the land
reform programme as "Stone Age scavengers", his full speech did not mention
the regime's chaotic land reform programme. Tsvangirai said: "The total
emasculation of the people's political power has been complemented by
another strategy to reduce the majority of the population economically to
the level of Stone Age scavengers available for manipulation and abuse by
Mugabe and his cronies."

Reacting to the allegations that he insulted the resettled people, the
opposition leader said he was surprised by the magnitude of lies in the
state-controlled Herald. "I simply don't know where they got that from." He
said that as a nation born out of the revolution whose ideals Mugabe
continuously continued to emasculate, the MDC knew that freedom would come
with a price and the opposition party had absolutely no intention of letting
"the dictator hold the nation to ransom and in shackles forever". "We remain
resolute in our conviction that the illegitimate Mugabe regime shall not be
allowed to consolidate and make its fraud permanent. The people must and
will reclaim their stolen victory," he told the participants such a majority
at the moment. Many MDC MPs, among them Gibson Sibanda, the party's deputy
president, Professor Welshman Ncube, the secretary-general, Renson Gasela
(MP for Gweru Rural), Fletcher Dulini-Ncube (Lobengula-Magwegwe), Munyaradzi
Gwisai (Highfield), Job Sikhala (St Mary's), Tafadzwa Musekiwa (Zengeza) and
Austin Mupandawana (Kadoma Central) are facing charges ranging from treason,
murder to public violence. Most of these cases have been set for trial in
November, including that of Tsvangirai, Gasela and Ncube.

If they were found guilty the MDC's hierarchy could face the death penalty
or life in jail. "The people will massively resist any illegitimate
tampering with the Constitution. We shall never allow the political proceeds
from fraud to be inherited by Mugabe's hand-picked successor," Tsvangirai
said. He said that despite the numerous cases of rape, murder and assault
which had become part of Zanu PF's election campaigns, due to the continued
illegitimacy of Mugabe's regime, the MDC would not abandon elections.
Tsvangirai said: "However, should we decide in the long run that this route
has run its course, then we will have to devise other effective non-violent
modes of political combat." He said Zimbabweans should avoid adventurism
because Mugabe had already declared that he was ready to spill blood to
remain in office and casualties should be minimised.

Contrary to a Herald story yesterday that Tsvangirai described beneficiaries
of the land reform programme as "Stone Age scavengers", his full speech did
not mention the regime's chaotic land reform programme. Tsvangirai said:
"The total emasculation of the people's political power has been
complemented by another strategy to reduce the majority of the population
economically to the level of Stone Age scavengers available for manipulation
and abuse by Mugabe and his cronies." Reacting to the allegations that he
insulted the resettled people, the opposition leader said he was surprised
by the magnitude of lies in the State-controlled Herald. "I simply don't
know where they got that from," Tsvangirai said.

He said that as a nation born out of a revolution whose ideals Mugabe
continuously continued to stifle, the MDC knew that freedom would come with
a price and the opposition party had absolutely no intention of letting "the
dictator hold the nation to ransom and in shackles forever". "We remain
resolute in our conviction that the illegitimate Mugabe regime shall not be
allowed to consolidate and make its fraud permanent. The people must and
will reclaim their stolen victory," he said.

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Business Report

SA keen to move quickly to protect investments in Zimbabwe
September 11 2002 at 01:08PM
Cape Town - South Africa was very keen that a bilateral agreement on
protecting investments was signed with Zimbabwe, Deputy Foreign Affairs
Minister Aziz Pahad said on Wednesday.

"We are very keen as foreign affairs that this agreement gets signed very
quickly because it does give South African investors some form of legal
protection," he told reporters in Cape Town.

Echoing comments by Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin, he warned that
such an agreement would only be effective if the country it was signed with
was prepared to implement it.

South Africa's High Commissioner Jerry Ndou had been instructed to take up
any case of a South African who was experiencing difficulties in Zimbabwe.

The problem
had been that not many South Africans in Zimbabwe had registered with the
High Commission.

There was only about eight or 10 who had done so, although a further list of
75 names had subsequently been given to the commission.

"We are following this up and to see what if any we can do to protect South
African interests in Zimbabwe."

Pahad said he was hoping to have a formal meeting to discuss foreign affairs
issues with the Democratic Alliance and the New National Party before he
left for Washington next week to attend the congressional hearings on the
New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad).

"There are many burning issues confronting us. Zimbabwe, and of course now,
the Middle East situation and the Iraqi situation."

Pahad said he would also follow up with Ndou whether any progress had been
made in ensuring that South African farmers were returned to their land in

Speaking in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Erwin told MPs the government
had not received notification of the seizure of any South African-owned
properties or assets in Zimbabwe.

His department was keeping in close contact with the heads of local
companies investing in that country.

"There were certainly at one point disruptions in their activities.

"But, in the main the contact we have with the South African corporates in
Zimbabwe deals with the economic position that they are in, and the
difficulties they face on the economic front," Erwin said. - Sapa
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Fuel Shortage Looms

The Daily News (Harare)

September 11, 2002
Posted to the web September 11, 2002

Staff Reporter

A FRESH fuel crisis has gripped the country, with most filling stations
running dry, leaving hundreds of motorists stranded or enduring long,
winding queues yesterday to get the scarce commodity.

The shortage of petrol and diesel comes in the wake of mounting speculation
that there could be an increase in the price of fuel. Scores of queuing
motorists yesterday expressed fears that the country could be plunged into
another crippling fuel crisis. Since 1999, Zimbabwe has been experiencing
erratic fuel supplies largely due to foreign currency shortages caused by
slumping exports and a cut-off of international aid by financial
institutions including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World
Bank. The latest shortage comes at a time when Mugabe is on a visit to
Tripoli, Libya ostensibly to negotiate for a fresh fuel deal after his
embattled government failed to settle a huge debt estimated to run into
millions of dollars.

Mugabe is leading a large entourage that includes the new Minister of
Finance and Economic Development, Herbert Murerwa, the Commercial Bank of
Zimbabwe chief executive, Gideon Gono, and the newly-appointed Minister of
Energy and Power Development, Amos Midzi. Diplomatic observers see the
inclusion of Gono as ominous as the Libyans are believed to have staked a
significant claim in Zimbabwe's financial sector in general and in banking
in particular. Press reports from Tripoli yesterday said the two countries
were expected to sign a broad-based trade agreement which includes continued
fuel supply.

The reports followed delicate negotiations between representatives of the
two governments and officials from Libyan supplier Tamoil, which has been
providing fuel to Zimbabwe for the past year, the Libya Arab Investment Bank
and the Libyan African Investment Company. The agreement is expected to
renew the US$360 million (Z$19,8 billion) fuel procurement pact between
Libya and Zimbabwe which has seen the latter receiving almost hitch-free
fuel supplies from the former since last year in return for commodities such
as beef, tobacco and cotton.

A number of filling stations had neither petrol nor diesel, while others had
only one of the commodities. By late yesterday afternoon, several filling
stations had already displayed "No fuel" signs. One attendant said supplies
had been erratic for the past week. Midzi, the Energy and Power Development
Minister, only last week quashed reports that a fuel crisis was imminent.
Speculation has been rife, however, that the government has been mulling a
30 to 40 percent fuel price increase.
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Zimbabwe,Libya renew $360 mln fuel deal-media

HARARE, Sept. 11 - Zimbabwe has renewed a $360 million fuel deal with Libya
under which the North African country will supply 70 percent of its fuel
needs for a year, state media reported on Wednesday.
       ''Zimbabwe will continue to receive fuel from Libya for another year
following the signing of a trade, investment and fuel supply agreement
between the two countries on Monday night,'' the official Herald newspaper
       President Robert Mugabe led a high profile government delegation last
weekend to Libya, which has provided most of Zimbabwe's fuel for the last
two years.
       An acute foreign currency shortage has led to erratic supplies in the
southern African country since 1999.
       On Tuesday several garages in the capital Harare reported limited
supplies of petrol and diesel, leading to long queues by motorists, which
have been a regular feature in the last three years.
       State radio however quoted the energy ministry as assuring the nation
of adequate supplies following the Libya deal.
       ''The ministry and the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe are also
working on other financing arrangements which will also guarantee the nation
of continued fuel supplies for the foreseeable future,'' the radio said.
       The Herald said besides supplying fuel, Libya would also invest in
Zimbabwe's mining, tourism and agricultural sectors, and in infrastructure
development in the oil industry while the southern African country would
export beef, fruits and tobacco.
       Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is a key ally of Mugabe, who has faced
criticism on the international scene over his controversial drive to seize
white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks and his disputed re-election
in March.
       Zimbabwe is mired in its worst economic crisis in history, which many
people blame on Mugabe's mismanagement since assuming power at independence
from Britain in 1980.
       On Wednesday state radio said Mugabe was in New York for the United
Nations' General Assembly meeting, which he would address on Thursday.
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ZIMBABWE: Drought worsens cholera outbreak

JOHANNESBURG, 11 September (IRIN) - Ten people have died out of 350 new cases of cholera in southern Zimbabwe since the beginning of August, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Wednesday.

In the districts of Zaka and Bikita, 61 new cases of the waterborne disease - associated with poor sanitation - have been reported since the beginning of September.

Last year, 650 cases were reported throughout the country and 14 people died.

"The current situation is being made worse because of the drought, and in the rural areas sanitation is very poor," UNICEF Resident Representative Festo Kavishe told IRIN.

The situation had been compounded by a protracted health workers' strike, and an overall shortage of health personnel, Kavishe explained.

An unexpected setback was also the initial reluctance of a religious sect in the area to take anti-cholera medication, opting for healing prayers instead, he said.

To control the spread of the disease, UNICEF, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, local health authorities, and even the police, have mobilised for an education and prevention campaign.

UNICEF information officer Mayke Huijbregts said this had also included the distribution of water purification tablets, the provision of public bowsers, and soap.

Huijbregts said people living with HIV/AIDS were in particular danger, as their weakened immune systems made them more vulnerable to illness.

An outbreak of cholera in nearby Malawi earlier this year had a significant impact on the ability of communities to cultivate, deepening the country's food crisis.

Around half of Zimbabwe's 12 million people are in need of food aid until next year's harvest.

For more details on cholera:


Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11 447-5472

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Tobacco Sales Rake in $11 Billion

The Herald (Harare)

September 10, 2002
Posted to the web September 11, 2002

Leornard Makombe

ZIMBABWE has earned US$200 million (Z$11 billion) from the sale of 100 million kilogrammes of tobacco that have so far passed through the country's three auction floors.

The golden leaf, which is the biggest foreign currency earner, fetched an average price of US$2,10 per kg.

Latest figures released by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe indicate that the quantity of tobacco sold at the floors is slightly lower than that of the previous period.

The average price per kg is also 8,8 percent lower when compared with that of the preceding period.

Last year the average price per kg was US$2,30 per kilogramme, which is 20 cents higher than the US$2,10 offered to farmers this season.

The price however, translates into a lower cumulative earning for the crop.

The managing director of the Tobacco Sales Floor (TSF), Mr Pat Devenish told Business Herald yesterday that the crop handled by the three auction floors could reach 170 million kgs projected this season. TSF is one of the three auction floors operating in Zimbabwe.

The other two are Burley Marketing Zimbabwe and the indigenous owned Zimbabwe Industry Tobacco Auction Centre.

"Farmers are not holding on to their crop and to date the three tobacco auction floors have sold 101 582 427 kgs. Most of the farmers are selling their crops as quickly as possible and we expect around 170 million kgs by the end of the selling season," he said.

This year's tobacco-selling season kicked off on a low note after farmers decided to keep their crop demanding better prices and the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar.

Farmers were arguing that they had bought some of the foreign currency required to import inputs on the parallel market.

Trade on the floors normalised after the Government offered farmers an additional US80 cents on each American dollar paid by tobacco merchants on the auction floors.

Tobacco is the country's major foreign currency earner. The crop enjoys an advantage in that farmers are paid instantly compared to other crops, which are paid some months after the purchases have been made.

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September 12, 2002
Gold fever grips Zimbabwe workers left jobless and at risk of starving
From Jan Raath in Harare
GOLD fever has hit Zimbabwe as 1.5 million displaced farmworkers and redundant miners pan rivers for gold dust and try their luck down derelict mines.
But there is no hope of getting rich quick. Starvation is looming while the nation’s once prolific farmland lies neglected. Moreover, the disused mineshafts have claimed 60 lives already this year.
John Holloway, a mining consultant, calls it an unprecedented boom. “It’s driven by famine, the economic situation and the black market exchange rate,” he said. “The work is all manual, exhausting and extremely dangerous, and the technology is no improvement on the Ancient Egyptian goldminers.”
In the rivers, it is mostly women and children who dig through the soft sand to reach the bedrock where the alluvial gold settles, using wooden bowls to separate the particles.
Mr Holloway said that jackhammers and dynamite are used in perhaps 10 per cent of the underground rock mines. In the rest, barefoot and helmetless young men batter at the rock reefs with hammers and chisels. They haul themselves on ropes out of shafts hundreds of metres deep, with a basket of ore on their shoulders. They are often killed by river sands that collapse as they tunnel through them.
For a century gold and tobacco were the country’s most important exports. Zimbabwe was Africa’s third-biggest gold producer, after South Africa and Ghana. However, since President Mugabe’s campaign of violent repression jolted the country into rapid economic decline in 2000, production from the country’s sophisticated mining industry has collapsed from a record 29 tonnes to only 10 tonnes forecast this year.
Fifty mines have closed in the same period. Meanwhile a force of about 1.5 million men, women and children with no knowledge of mining are at work on river banks or prising open old mines to scratch out the deposits by hand.

Zimbabwe has renewed its £240 million fuel deal with Libya, state radio said yesterday. Libya supplies 70 per cent of Zimbabwe’s fuel, which it pays for by beef and tobacco exports. The statecontrolled Herald newspaper said that Libya would invest in mining, tourism and agriculture.
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Hi Everyone,

Amnesty International are running a petition to Mbeki on the Mugabe issue,
so if you have time please log onto the site at

and fill it out. It takes literally one minute of your time. It is currently
featured on the homepage, so you can't miss it, but if you can't find it (ie
if they move it off the home page) here below is the direct URL

Please pass this on to as many people as you can, it is rare that we all
have an opportunity to do somthing concrete so easily.
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