HE IS A bloody dictator and a hard-core racist. He clings to
power with undisguised brutality, rigging elections and arranging for
opposition candidates to be kidnapped, beaten - even killed. He has made
criticism of himself a crime and deploys squads of armed goons to terrorize
his political foes. He is engaged in a campaign of naked ''ethnic
cleansing,'' scapegoating racial minorities as ''enemies of the state'' and
driving them from their land. His policies have shattered the economy,
leaving more than half the work force unemployed. He uses food as a weapon so
ruthlessly that in a country that was once a breadbasket to its neighbors,
the specter of mass starvation looms.
What does Robert Mugabe have
to do before the civilized world finally makes him stop?
the media have dutifully reported the bleak news out of Zimbabwe, which
Mugabe has ruled since it became independent in 1980. Reporters have filed
stories about the presidential election Mugabe stole in March, about his
campaign to dispossess Zimbabwe's several thousand white farm owners, about
the widening food crisis that is pushing millions into famine. The impression
they convey is one of Third World despotism, corruption, and thuggishness -
an all-too-familiar tableau.
But Mugabe is not just another African
strongman. He is a sociopath determined to hold power at all costs - even if
those costs include mass murder. Must it come to that before the outside
To get a sense of how hideous life in Mugabe's Zimbabwe
has become, consider that rape has become a favored means of political
control. Thousands of Zimbabwean girls and women have been raped by policemen
and members of the ''war veterans,'' gangs of armed Mugabe loyalists. An
Australian newspaper reported recently on the treatment meted out to Dora, a
12-year-old whose father had made the mistake of voting for the Movement for
Democratic Change, Zimbabwe's main opposition party.
''For ... four
hours, the girl's mother and younger sisters, aged 9 and 7, were forced to
chant praises to ... Mugabe and watch Dora being gang-raped.... Dora's
screams in the African night were a warning to all the other villagers as to
what might happen to those who think of defying the president
At least Dora was spared the fate of hundreds of other women and
girls, who have been herded into what amount to rape camps run by Mugabe's
youth militia, the so-called Green Bombers. Whether she was spared an even
more terrible fate she does not yet know: Nearly 40 percent of Zimbabweans
are infected with the AIDS virus, and rape frequently leads to
Rape is not the only weapon in Mugabe's political
Like Stalin in the 1930s, Mugabe is now using famine to defeat
his opponents. The few thousand white farmers who grow most of Zimbabwe's
food are being demonized in poisonously racist terms and forcibly evicted
from their land. Their black employees are being thrown off the farms with
them, often after savage beatings by Mugabe's thugs.
780,000 Zimbabweans have been expelled so far and are now without homes or
income. Acre upon acre of rich farmland now lies unplanted and untended. Food
production has plummeted. As many as 6 million people - half of Zimbabwe - is
at risk of starvation.
As famine spreads, food donations have poured in.
But the regime sees to it that food goes only to its supporters in Mugabe's
party - the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front.
quite simple,'' a hungry Zimbabwean told The Times of London last month.
''Those who have ZANU-PF cards get food; those who don't, starve.''
explained how it works. When food trucks arrive in the villages, ''everyone
has to stand up and shout, `Long live Robert Mugabe!' `Down with the whites!'
and `Down with Morgan Tsvangirai!''' - the opposition leader. ''Only those
who can prove they are members of the ZANU-PF can queue. They say to the
others, `Go and get your food from Tony Blair,''' the British prime minister
who has bluntly condemned Mugabe's ''corrupt and ruinous'' misrule.
other villages, meanwhile - those who supported Tsvangirai in the election
last March - the food trucks never come. According to the International
Crisis Group, a think tank focused on the resolution of deadly conflicts, the
Mugabe regime is using ''selective starvation'' to
''The denial of food to opposition strongholds has
replaced overt violence as the government's principal tool of repression,''
the ICG wrote in August. ''People are beginning to die.''
lives are at stake. The surest way to save those lives would be to force
Mugabe from power. A detachment of Marines could do the job on its lunch
break. But that would mean interfering in another country's
''internal affairs'' and is politically unthinkable. Perhaps we will think
differently when the corpses begin to pile up.
Although understandable, it was nevertheless
dispiriting to have read so much about 11 September in American newspapers.
Television, too, outdid itself with non-stop coverage. Imagine if Uncle Sam
had been hit with a Dresden, or a Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What then? Still,
at least firemen and cops got the credit that was long overdue. Now even
trendy lefties and Hollywood types recognise their sacrifice, however
reluctantly. I did not contribute to the torrent of words - I said what I had
to say last year - but I do have something to add about the day after 11
On 12 September, some Big Bagel city
council members threw open the doors of City Hall to a murdering crook,
Robert Mugabe, and hailed him as a conquering hero. I kid you not. Councilman
Charles Barron, a former Black Panther - for those of you with short memories
or too young to remember, these were black criminals who went around shooting
cops and selling drugs during the lawless Sixties - was the prime mover
behind this shameless exercise of black solidarity. In fairness, many of the
council's 51 members stayed away, but not a single one uttered a word of
criticism or expressed moral outrage.
Par for the course. Barron now
plans to lead a delegation to Zimbabwe, all expenses paid by Mugabe, on a
fact-finding freebie. Like those taken by British so-called intellectuals to
the Soviet Union before the war. 'I have seen the former white-owned farms
and they will work in future...' type of thing. Barron might even end up
owning one, and why not? The price is right. Oh yes, I almost forgot. Barron
has called for the replacing of City Hall portraits of white historical
figures with black icons. (What about Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Malcolm
X?) He has called Thomas Jefferson a 'pedophile' - that's a new one on me -
and has gone on record saying that 'sometimes I want to go up to a white
person and slap him, for my mental health'.
Mind you, I'm not
surprised. The lack of reaction by whites is what bothers me. Where was Bush,
or Bloomberg, or Pataki on this one? Mugabe is terminating whites in Zimbabwe
in pre-war Hitlerian mode, and not a peep out of American and British whites.
On the contrary. The Zimbabwean ambassador in Washington, Simbi Mubako
(rhymes with tobacco), has been presented with Adrian Wilkinson's 3,000-acre
farm for services rendered, and has bragged about it. But that's peanuts
compared to enforced starvation. Even Hitler did not use selective
starvation, although dear old Uncle Joe did. As does Mugabe (rhymes with
Which brings me to yet another nice guy, Harvard professor Noel
Ignatiev. He is the academic who wants to 'abolish the white race', because
he thinks they are loyal to their race and advance their interests at the
expense of black people. Ignatiev is a very smart feller (known among his
students as a fart smeller) and his admiration for the black race is due to
the advanced state of civilisation of African nations. As everyone knows,
individual rights, presumption of innocence, trial by jury and democracy are
all African inventions. For my part, I'll stick with William F. Buckley,
who famously wrote that 'I would sooner live in a society governed by the
first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society
governed by 2,000 faculty members at Harvard University'.
say, it's not the blacks who hate whites the most; it's white academics and
intellectuals who are doing it for them. Since the ghastly Sixties, college
and university professors have been doing their best to make blacks hate
whites. They are the ones who have made accusations against whites which feed
black anger and resentment. And the whites, instead of responding in kind,
play dead. One US Marine division could topple Mugabe in a jiffy, yet we are
much more likely to hit a prostrate Saddam instead. But why US Marines? Blair
should send in a British regiment to safeguard the whites, but he's as likely
to do that as I am to give one to Monica Lewinsky.
And speaking of
that slob, Bob Greene, a 55-year-old writer for the Chicago Tribune, has just
been fired over a tryst with a teenage girl that took place ten years ago.
Greene is a nice guy who was made fun of by his colleagues for describing a
Norman Rockwell kind of America. (He was at Esquire with me during the late
Seventies.) The trouble with this case is that the girl was not a minor, and
it was perfectly legal. Definitely ungentlemanly - she was legal but too
young - but no more than what Clinton did with Lewinsky. So the poor one
loses his job, while the bullshitter got to keep his. Greene was a
crypto-conservative. Clinton was a crypto-crook. There are two laws in
America. One for conservatives, the other for liberals. Just like in
Zimbabwe, one for whites, the other for blacks. We whites should hang our
heads in shame. Return to top of page
Mugabe's Reign Of† Terror Against Blacks By Andrew Meldrum in Harare The
Guardian - UK
Lamprecht AfricanCrisis.org 9-18-2
The worst victims of Robert
Mugabe's land seizures are not the few thousand white farming families being
evicted from their farms. Those suffering the most are the hundreds of
thousands of black farm workers who are losing their jobs, being thrown out
of their homes, often violently, and who will make up an enormous new
landless class. As Zimbabwe's parliament yesterday considered new legislation
to speed up the seizure of white-owned land, Mr Mugabe's ministers made no
mention of the growing crisis of homeless black farm workers and their
families. But trade unions, aid agencies and human rights groups are very
concerned about their rapidly worsening plight.
James Sani, 26, has been
homeless since March 15 when he was thrown off the farm where he worked in
the northern Marondera area. He and other workers on Chipesa farm had been
badly beaten by Mr Mugabe's supporters on several occasions. After Mr Mugabe
won the disputed presidential elections in March the farm workers were
attacked with even greater ferocity by a large group armed with iron bars,
clubs and rocks. "They were beating everybody," Mr Sani says. "People got
broken arms and legs and fractured skulls. We ran away. We could see them set
fire to our homes and destroy all our belongings. They killed our goats and
cattle. We were forced to sleep in the open, with no clothes, no pots and
pans, no belongings." Mr Sani is one of the lucky ones. He, his wife and
young daughter have found shelter in a small, tented camp for evicted farm
workers. But the camp, south of Harare, and the few others like it across the
country are housing only a few thousand people and are dwarfed by the huge
numbers in need of assistance. "We are happy to be in this place," Mr Sani
says, proudly showing the rows of tents and the makeshift nursery school.
"But this is just temporary. I want to start a new life, to find a job or to
get somewhere to farm, but things are very difficult."
labourers have been evicted from seized farms, and when their families are
included that figure grows to 780,000, according to a new survey by the
Zimbabwe Community Development Trust (ZCDT). "The numbers are mind-boggling,"
says Canon Timothy Neil, director of the ZCDT. "According to our survey only
35,000 farm workers had some form of alternative place to live, either on a
resettlement scheme or a family home to return to. The overwhelming number
had nowhere to go, and on average they had sufficient food for only 54 days.
In two months we are going to see this huge group going hungry. It is
frightening." The ZCDT survey also shows that more than 10,000 orphans and
14,000 elderly people who had lived on the farms will now be homeless. "These
are the most vulnerable," Canon Neil said. "Across the country, there are
people living by the side of the road and moving to the outskirts of towns.
It is a shifting, roaming population that needs assistance." The ZCDT is
distributing blankets and food. Another group, the Farm Community Trust, is
providing food for 80,000 children in central Zimbabwe, and the Farm Orphan
Support Trust is helping children in the eastern part of the
The Mugabe government has largely ignored the plight of the farm
workers. Despite assurances that the workers will be allocated land, very few
have been accepted for resettlement. The government did insist that workers
be paid "termination packages" by the white farmers being thrown off
their land. In the Raffingora area, 125 miles north-west of Harare, farm
workers have been paid Z$500,000 to Z$800,000 (£5,600 to £8,900). These
are unimaginable riches to the workers. "It is like Christmas. People are
buying things like mad, shoes, bicycles and fancy biscuits," one local
resident said. "But much of the money is being squandered on booze and women.
I saw a worker offer a girl Z$3,000 for a kiss! These pay packages will not
last long. They cannot make up for a lost job or a lost
International aid organisations are beginning to respond to the
crisis, but they are hampered by the government's attitude that the farm
workers are supporters of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic
Change and therefore not entitled to new land or assistance. The ZCDT leased
land in northern Zimbabwe in August to give plots to 160 ex-farm families.
But as 17 workers dug trenches for latrines, they were arrested, jailed and
eventually charged with "undergoing training to become terrorists". Another
problem for the farm workers is that most have recently lost their
Zimbabwean citizenship because their parents were born in foreign countries.
Most farm workers' parents came from Malawi and Mozambique and according to a
new law they were classified as "permanent residents" in Zimbabwe instead of
full citizens. Wireless Chipoka, 74, is a plucky, enterprising man who had
worked on a large farm since 1955. He rose to become head foreman and had
planned to retire on the farm. "I was beaten by the war veterans," he says,
showing a scar on his head, "and they chased us away. Now we are struggling
and we don't know what to do. I would like to do farming. I am still strong.
But my parents were born in Malawi and the government says I cannot get
Ndoro ††††† 9/19/02 6:41:50 AM (GMT +2)
††††† Racism has always worked
to keep tyrants in power but the evil practice has seen many a despot tumble
from the helm of any such discriminatory regime.
††††† Zimbabwe is one
excellent example where a plague of black Ku Klux Klan is ravaging a
defenceless and harmless white minority.
††††† If President Robert Mugabe
had truly been a noble blackman the land saga had presented him with the best
chance of identifying, isolating and crushing racism rather than fuelling it
to monumental proportions.
††††† Racism has played a huge role in
Africa's underdevelopment from the days of Christopher Columbus' discovery of
America, which paved way for the horrendous slave trade, to nowadays when
Mugabe's racial land grab has impoverished millions of marginalized
††††† Mugabe's land reform no doubt veils rabid racism - an
evil that mankind is failing to surpass in the dark lamentable catalogue of
††††† Mugabe's conflict-ridden land policy is
entirely being propelled by a repellent sense of racial vindictiveness and
revenge that is ironically far removed from his renowned reconciliatory
speech at independence in 1980.
††††† The temptation to take out the
following chunk from that celebrated speech was too great to
††††† "Only a government that subjects itself to the rule of law
has any moral right to demand of its citizen's obedience to the rule of
law... it is not the intention of our government...to drive anybody out of
this country; nor do we intend to interfere unconstitutionally with the
property rights of individuals. I urge you, whether you are black or white,
to join me in a new pledge to forget our grim past, forgive others and
forget, join hands in a new amity, and together, as Zimbabweans trample upon
racialism, tribalism and regionalism... Let us deepen our sense of belonging
and engender a common interest that knows no race, colour or
††††† But just when we thought
Zimbabweans had made racism an oily goblin that nobody can get hold of and
manipulate, Mugabe suddenly grabs the hobgoblin with sharp claws and
unleashes the wicked creature on poor white farmers in a mind-boggling
††††† In his obsessed endeavour to amass unequivocal
political power Mugabe has exploited the antics of the Ku Klux Klan by
plunging himself head-on into the quick sands of racial
††††† Just when we thought he would emulate Africa's greatest
statesman Nelson Mandela, who towered beyond bitterness to live and work with
his pro-apartheid jailers, Mugabe pounces on helpless white
††††† Mandela's response to hatred from his apartheid oppressors
mirrors a virtuous example to all African statesman and citizens: be
forgiving, remain noble, foster racial harmony and keep a
††††† For all it's worth, these times and the 21st century
truly require someone with Mandela's vision, temper and courage to move
further away from colour-line hindrances, in the context of a new
††††† When militant blacks burn down white farmhouses and harass
every white farmer they see then surely that stubborn black pride will have
sunk to an irredeemable low. The black pride should instead be worried about
ending the racial war in order for there to be something to be certainly
††††† Of course there is no doubt that land reform is necessary
in Zimbabwe but should the minority whites give up all their land, their
farmhouses, their property without compensation even where their assets have
been used as surety for the bank loans they obtained?
††††† On the
other hand, should the blacks, particularly the big guns, just take the land
willy-nilly and create a humanitarian disaster that has seen former farm
workers destitutes of the most deplorable kind?
††††† The culprit for the
existing chaos in the land reform is Mugabe's Nazi racial dogma. If the
eviction of white farmers is not reverse racism then the neglect of black
farm workers is nothing other than ethnic cleansing, in the fashion of
Hitler's holocaust, since they are mainly of Malawian, Mozambican and Zambian
††††† This gloomy situation is a vivid reminder of the eternal
scars of old wounds inflicted during the 1980's Matebeleland slaughter of
innocent civilians executed with the enthusiasm of the Stalinist
††††† Mugabe's unrelenting intolerance of other races, tribes and
clans will be the downfall of a country that continues to call him
'president'. If our citizens persist on being driven by racial hatred then
the promised land will be a hell of strife and cannibalism.
Edward Wilmot Blyden, who is sometimes dubbed the father of
African nationalism, once predicted that: 'Africa will furnish a development
of civilization which the world has never yet witnessed.' Indeed, he
was referring to the highest order of civilization in which the blackman can
be trusted with eradicating racial conflict forever.
††††† It is
obvious today that Mugabe has defaulted on this
††††† It would be fatal for the nation to overlook
the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the white
farmers and the liberal blacks to maintain peace and prosperity for the good
of all citizens.
††††† ZANU PF should not seek to satisfy the thirst for
political power by drinking from the cup of bitterness and
††††† The land reform can still be carried out in an atmosphere
of dignity and discipline rather than let it degenerate into physical
††††† As Martin Luther King Junior put it in his illustrious 'I
have a dream speech'; 'We must rise to the majestic heights of meeting
physical force with soul force.'
††††† It will no
doubt appear "politically incorrect", and may inflame those sympathetic to
the frothy-mouthed African demagogues who attended the Johannesburg Earth
Summit, but it has to be said: so what about the bulk of Zimbabwe's
commercial farmers being white?
††††† Much has been rightfully stated
about the insanity of the government in taking land from its top producers at
a time when half the country stands on the verge of famine.
what of those farmers' rights? And why should anything, in fact, ever be
spoken of when it bears the tag of race?
††††† In a non-racial society,
race should by definition never be an issue. Unrealistic? Ridiculously
††††† Not really. All it requires is for the entire concept of
race - as a factor which can only divide and retard society - to be utterly
dismissed. It is, in fact, easier that way. ††††† When, a few years back,
the wave of "black" mayors was elected across the United States of America,
what a relief it would have been for every news bulletin not to have begun:
"Such-and-such a city has its first black mayor . . ." The news should have
been that of a change of mayor per se, not a first "black"
††††† Herein lies a key question: that in places which do not set
out to be blatantly racist, should a "non-racial" or a "multi-racial"
††††† The reason that "multi-racial" societies will
always have problems is that, try as one might to adapt these in a positive
framework, one still has at the core of the issue the very concept of
††††† from any focus whatsoever on race - when it is not even on
the radar screen, and when it is not permitted to blight the consciousness of
future generations - can we meaningfully move forward in the true sense of
"race" - the "human race", that is.
††††† What is disappointing in
Zimbabwe is that even those bodies resisting the evil of President Mugabe -
such as the Commercial Farmers' Union and the MDC - do themselves acknowledge
the need for land reform, citing historical racial imbalances.
This approach is wrong, misses the point, and sadly reveals a fundamental
unwillingness to disassociate themselves from something still clearly seen as
a political liability.
††††† Pretty much everyone should know about
Rhodesian land tenure legislation, yet how convenient it is to forget that so
many of the farms in white hands - until the burning of the chateaux, that is
- were purchased after Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.
added irony is that, in many cases the purchasers went to the trouble of
seeking and obtaining a certificate of no interest from
††††† This alone should dispel Zanu PF's
much-trumpeted myth of seeking to redress colonial injustices - to say
nothing of Zimbabwe's kleptocratic elite whose cynically naked greed has been
††††† Yet whatever the causes of the black/white land
ownership ratio, treating this on ††††† a racial basis is wrong. The
traditional white farmer types in Zimbabwe may not be the most likeable of
individuals - and indeed may well conform to Zanu PF heavyweights' favoured
description of "arrogant" - yet the vast majority of the farmers are
Zimbabwean citizens or permanent residents, after all, and that is what
matters - not the colour of their skin.
††††† The plain fact is that
recourse to the race issue is, as always, the cheapest card to play. Those
spittle-dispensing African demagogues, and the audience which apishly egged
them on, have only this last straw to grasp at - in a desperate bid to cloud
over their appalling record of human rights violations, corruption, and gross
††††† South Africa's African National Congress - and indeed
Zimbabwe's Mugabe - were frequently quoted during their liberation struggles
as seeking to smash the systems - which were race-based systems - of their
opponents, rather than waging a "race war", as it were, against their
††††† South Africa seems unable to free itself from the
albatross of obsession with race, with the national psyche being continually
worn down by a seemingly endless parade of conferences and commissions on the
††††† "Affirmative action" lobbies - whose self-interest is only
too apparent, and who have clearly been utterly discredited in Zimbabwe,
for instance - seem to be cropping up all over.
††††† And where does
it all end? What august figure in his or her ultimate wisdom will one day
brandish a sceptre and proclaim that affirmative action has done the trick
and is no longer needed?
††††† The South African Cricket Board tried
this, yet its statement was virtually drowned out in howls of
protest. ††††† Yet an example of racial quotas being, thankfully, dispensed
with can be seen within higher education in the US state of
††††† Under pressure from students classed as racial
minorities, who realised that quota protection only portrayed them in a
demeaning light, the education authorities rightfully consigned this
short-sighted policy to the scrap heap.
††††† South Africa's
employment laws require employers to make serious efforts to move towards
reflecting within their workforces the ethnic composition of the whole
country - clearly discriminatory and hugely impractical in many
††††† And it is no surprise that so many young people
increasingly see little future in South Africa and are departing, thus
rendered victims of the sins of the fathers.
††††† Apartheid proved
that it is impossible to legislate for race, any attempt at this is a
hopelessly unnatural grappling with social engineering which is ultimately
bound to fail.
††††† Similarly, "positive discrimination" - whether
promoted by genuine philanthropists or self-serving charlatans - is likewise
doomed to fail.
††††† For Africa to become a sustainable region, it
requires realism - not racism. ††††† The bleating of certain African
leaders, and the vitriol heaped on everyone but themselves, can only
perpetuate the same sad old story.
††††† Applying race in any shape or
form can never end in anything but tears. Colour blindness, in this respect,
is the only true vision.
††††† Acting like madmen is not the best way to get
what you want
††††† 9/19/02 8:19:19 PM (GMT +2)
day people applauded the speech by President Mugabe in Johannesburg was truly
a sad day.
††††† The United Nations conference in South Africa will
be seen by many as one of the greatest mistakes ever made in
††††† The outbursts by Sam Nujoma and Mugabe will very much come
back to haunt southern Africa. British Premier Tony Blair has been the
biggest backer of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) in the
West. Britain and the United States have been the biggest providers of food
to southern Africa. Blair is most likely the best friend Africa has in
††††† But Nujoma and Mugabe managed to kill that, in front
of the whole world. Whom do the two expect to provide food necessary to keep
their people from starving? Cuba? China? South Africa?
††††† It has
become very evident that Africa's worst enemy is Africa. Given just a little
more time, Africa will manage to kill itself.
††††† Unfortunately, Africa
was very able to turn off the hearts of countries that have the capacity to
help it at this time.
††††† Perhaps people don't realise the damage done
to Africa at this conference. Perhaps people do not understand how very upset
people become when their goodwill is thrown back in their face. If you want
to see and hear really racist views and statements don't look to the US or
Europe, look to Africa.
††††† I have heard no racist statements coming
from the US or Europe. However, every day I read racist statements coming
††††† There are no starving people in the US or Europe.
America and Europe have food enough to keep Africa from
††††† If Africa continues to live only to redress wrongs that
were done in the past she is going to kill herself. Can't African leaders see
what they are doing to their own people? ††††† Can't these leaders see the
damage this constant hatred is causing? Can't these leaders see how America
and Europe view them? Cut off your nose to spite your face is a saying common
in America. African leaders should completely understand the meaning behind
the saying, because it very much fits southern Africa today.
America and Europe are very close to cutting ties with Africa. When the West
finally turns its back on Africa, what will happen then? It's about time
African leaders began to rid of those attitudes that are destroying every
chance we have for success.
††††† This is the time to find people who can
really lead our nation into the future, not back to a dark past. Now is the
time to find the strength to throw out evil and do the right
††††† No one outside Africa can make the necessary changes. Only
African leaders can make these changes - and they must be made very
††††† America and Europe have other problems that they must address
right now. Africa is not at the top of the West's agenda at this moment.
And slapping the face of the West is not the way to get the attention you
††††† Acting like madmen is not the way to get the things you need
to survive. I wish the people of Africa luck, you will need a lot of it,
and you need it immediately.
one is a Christian or not, there are certain fundamental teachings of Jesus
Christ which are universally indisputable. One of them, "Love your neighbour
as you love yourself" would, if followed to the letter, create a perfect
world. But it's perhaps impracticable. However, it's less idealistic version,
"Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you", should be, without
doubt, the basic law or code of conduct for peaceful co-existence
††††† If all of us were to live by that teaching, there
would be no conflict whatsoever in the world.
††††† Sadly, however,
this world seems full of people who are only too eager to do to other people
things they would never want done to themselves. In fact, there are far too
many people who appear to actually delight in treating other people in a
manner they themselves would never want to be treated.
††††† And we
have more than our fair share of them in this country. The way some of us
treat those they either don't like, don't agree with or whom they perceive to
have done wrong projects us as a nation of sadists and uncivilised barbarians
in the mould of Attila the Hun. There are countless tales, by people who will
have been lucky enough to live to tell them, of the horrifying treatment
political prisoners and criminal suspects have been subjected to in custody
at the hands of either the police, the army or the Central Intelligence
††††† It makes you wonder whether it ever occurs to those
subjecting their captives to that kind of treatment that they wouldn't like
it one little bit if the roles were reversed and the captors became the
captives, especially considering that some of the suspects will be totally
††††† It is difficult to believe that those so-called war
veterans who savagely beat up, bludgeoned or shot to death white commercial
farmers at the height of farm invasions would have liked it had they been in
those farmers' shoes. So is it also hard to imagine that the Zanu PF youths
who have been beating up, torturing, maiming, raping and killing
suspected supporters of the opposition from March 2000 to this day would have
liked it if those things were being done to them.
††††† The sadistic
and humiliating manner in which the authorities have treated prisoners in two
recent cases must be a source of immense national shame for all Zimbabweans
and should leave every one of us with a conscience doing a lot of
††††† About three weeks ago, Solomon Chikowero, an MDC
intelligence officer, and Linos Mushonga, the party's councillor for Harare's
Ward 23, arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Ali Khan
Manjengwa, a Zanu PF political activist in Mbare, had some stomach-churning
things to tell regional magistrate Virginia Sithole.
††††† As reported
in the 31 August issue of this newspaper, the two men were tortured so
brutally and subjected to so much inhuman and degrading treatment that it is
difficult to believe such things are still happening in a country even
remotely associated with civilised governance and a modern criminal justice
system. They are happening here.
††††† If the truth be told, their case
is merely a microcosm of what is being done daily all over the country to
Zimbabweans who may not necessarily have committed any real crime other than
that they are seen in the Establishment as presenting a threat to their
monopoly on power.
††††† More recently the whole nation has watched in
shame the manner in which former High Court judge, Fergus Blackie, was
arrested and detained in police cells for four days before being granted bail
on Wednesday. Not that anybody thinks the former judge should not have been
arrested or that he has no case to answer. It is the humiliating manner in
which he was treated which must have filled all decent Zimbabweans with shame
and left the entire civilised world disgusted.
††††† Normal police
practice is that, if arrested at home, a suspect is detained at the nearest
police station with holding cells. The question, therefore, arises: Why was
Blackie taken all the way across town from his home in the northern suburbs
to be detained at Matapi in Mbare if the intention was not to humiliate him?
And wasn't there a more decent vehicle than an open truck to transport him in
if the intention was not to parade him and make him an object of
††††† Court allows 7 more farmers to continue
††††† 9/19/02 8:14:20 PM (GMT +2)
††††† SEVEN more commercial farmers were yesterday allowed by
the High Court to continue farming as the government brought before
Parliament the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill, which seeks to punish farmers
who resist eviction and to validate preliminary acquisition
††††† This brings to at least 73 the number of farmers granted
reprieve from vacating their properties in the ongoing chaotic land reform
††††† Among the farmers granted an order setting aside the
Section 8 eviction notice for the compulsory acquisition of their farms is
Ian Kay, son of the late Jock Kay, a former deputy agriculture minister in
††††† Kay was brutally attacked by people
suspected to be ex-combatants during the farm invasions at his Chipesa Farm
in Marondera in 2000.
††††† Justice Ben Hlatshwayo set aside seven of the
eight Section 8 notices on the basis they were not issued according to
laid-down procedure, and that the holders of bonds on some of the properties
had not been notified of the intended eviction of the farmers.
This is despite efforts by the government to press ahead with the eviction of
2 900 white commercial farmers from their farms.
††††† Other properties
served with similar orders are Nyahundi Farm, Mashanda Farm, Mike Campbell
(Pvt) Ltd, Mtotwe Farm, Milanwood Enterprises, and M C Agricultural
Consultants (Pvt) Ltd.
††††† The only farm not granted an order is
Woodrow Farm, because the owner did not provide evidence that the property
was bonded at the time it was issued with a Section 5 Preliminary Notice.
Ndlovu, a war veteran leader serving a three-year jail term for defrauding
the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association, yesterday
appeared briefly before provincial magistrate Joyce Negonde for remand on
charges arising from his threats against the Asian community
††††† Ndlovu, 45, was remanded to 10 October. He is the
secretary for projects of the war veterans' association.
is alleged to have written and printed a document entitled: Operation
Liberation: Indians Watch Out.
††††† The State said the document was
meant to engender, promote or expose to hatred, contempt or ridicule a group
of the Indian community, thus contravening Section 19 (1) (c) of the Public
Order and Security Act Chapter 11:17.
††††† The allegations are that
on 23 April Ndlovu wrote and printed the document. ††††† Ndlovu stated in
his document that the Asian and Indian communities should surrender parts of
their property in all cities around the country to the
††††† He alleged the Indians were sabotaging the economy by
dealing in foreign currency. ††††† Acting in concert with others who are
still at large, Ndlovu allegedly sent some of the documents to Ben Moyo, a
member of the war veterans' association in Mutare for distribution. The
latter gave out by hand copies of the document between 24 and 26 April to the
Indians at their businesses.
††††† The State said the war veterans
chairman, Patrick Nyaruwata, was interviewed by the police and denied any
knowledge of the document and distanced himself from it.
Zimbabwe's parliament on
Wednesday rushed through amendments to land laws, giving the government of
President Robert Mugabe a freer hand to seize white-owned property and evict
farmers, state television reported.
Under the new rules, farmers will now
be forcibly removed from their land seven days after being notified, instead
of 90 days as before, ZBC television said.
The fine for refusal to
comply was also increased fivefold to 100 000 Zimbabwe dollars ($1
Mugabe, who has defied criticism at home and abroad to proceed with
the controversial evictions, had been angered by legal challenges filed by
many white farmers to the acquisition of their farms.
The bill has to
be signed by the president before it becomes law.
Mugabe has been
criticised at home and abroad for ordering 2 900 white farmers to leave their
homes early last month, despite a devastating food shortage that has left six
million Zimbabweans facing starvation.
Most farmers affected by the
government deadline ignored it, resulting in a police crackdown on dissenters
that saw more than 300 farmers arrested around the southern African
The farmers have been accused of racism and trying to undermine
national development and Mugabe has warned those who challenge his government
that their place is in jail.
The government has embarked on a massive
land redistribution exercise that has so far seen more than 95% of
white-owned land compulsorily acquired for redistribution, according to
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) put
up stiff resistance during debate on the bill. They accused the government of
using parliament to validate a disorganised land resettlement
This amounted to "abuse of parliament" said the MDC's secretary
general, Welshman Ncube. But he added that his party was pleased to have
registered their protest.
"For us the important thing was to expose
the gross incompetence of this regime," he said.
On Monday, the UN
food agency WFP said nearly seven-million Zimbabweans were threatened with
starvation, an increase of 800 000 from previous figures, a crisis it blamed
on inclement weather, government policy and Aids.
In a landmark ruling in
August, a High Court judge said that eviction orders were invalid if they had
not been first served to banks or lending institutions farmers were indebted
The new amendments seek to remedy this by stipulating that
these institutions are to be served with a 30-day notice before the
government takes the farm.
Farmers who had gained some hope when their
eviction orders were ruled invalid are now likely to see them reissued,
leaving them very little time to pack up their belongings.
government has consistently said that white farmers who own only one farm can
stay on their land. But farmers' groups dispute the claim.
Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) said on Wednesday: "Mr Robert Mugabe's
statement at many international fora, that of one man one farm and that no
man shall be dispossessed of all of his land, is simply not being adhered
to." - Sapa-AFP
††††† PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Tuesday diverted a
Harare-bound Air Zimbabwe plane from London to pick him and his entourage
from Casablanca, Morocco, where he had gone for a private visit.
The diverted flight, which was supposed to arrive in Harare at 6:30 am, was
delayed for four hours and only arrived at the Harare International Airport
at 10:30 am.
††††† Some irritated passengers who spoke to this newspaper
said they had missed their business appointments because of the delay and
insisted that Air Zimbabwe should have informed them in advance of such a
††††† But an Air Zimbabwe spokesman yesterday said although
the flight had been diverted and delayed, the passengers had been informed in
††††† This is not the first time that Mugabe has diverted Air
Zimbabwe flights to accommodate his schedules, which have at times left
††††† Last December, Air Zimbabwe passengers were
twice left stranded within a week after flights had been diverted to carry
the President and his party in Spain, where he had sought specialist eye
Masamvu ††††† 9/19/02 6:28:37 AM (GMT +2)
††††† ALL hell broke loose
last week when opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai was deliberately misquoted by state media as having said that
Zimbabwe's newly resettled farmers are scavengers.
††††† Needless to say,
he never uttered this statement. But maybe what Tsvangirai should have
categorically stated is that we Zimbabweans have become
††††† For indeed this is what the majority of Zimbabweans
have been reduced to - scavengers in their own motherland, all because of
President Robert Mugabe's policies which have wrecked the
††††† For how can you describe a people who try to eke out a
living in a country where the economy is run and administered on the parallel
††††† They are scavengers, fullstop.
††††† For how can one
describe people who queue on a daily basis for the staple mealie-meal, plus
sugar, cooking oil and bread, to name just a few basic food commodities that
are now scarce and are only available from the parallel market?
When people at work become pre-occupied with finding a loaf of bread, a
bucket of maize and a bottle of cooking oil, then God things can't be
††††† One needs to go into Harare's townships such as
Highfields, Glen Norah, Chitungwiza and Mbare to see how ordinary Zimbabweans
are battling each day just to survive under the most wretched conditions on
††††† Ordinary Zimbabweans have to struggle so much just to eat
sadza and meat that I cannot find any other word but to call them scavengers.
It is this fake resilience of Zimbabweans which has put this regime under a
false sense of security.
††††† Even when you look at the national
level, how can you describe a country which begs for literally everything,
including food and fuel?
††††† Indeed Mugabe has reduced us to scavengers
through the destruction of the economy and there is no apology in stating an
obvious fact which only fools will disagree with.
††††† That we have
become scavengers should not be an issue but how we can change
††††† Every week thousands of young, skilled and frustrated
Zimbabweans are leaving the country to take up menial jobs in the United
Kingdom and in neighbouring South Africa and Mozambique, fleeing growing
poverty and untold human suffering.
††††† If you go to Harare Airport
on a day when there is an Air Zimbabwe flight bound for London, then you will
be left in no doubt by the large numbers fleeing that we have indeed become a
nation of scavengers.
††††† All these people want to work and live in
Zimbabwe but they have been driven out by poverty.
††††† In his speech
at the Johannesburg Earth Summit nearly a month ago, Mugabe should have
actually told Tony Blair to leave "my Zimbabwe but keep my economic refugees"
because this is the bottom line.
††††† It is saddening to hear Mugabe
basking in the glory of rhetoric when Zimbabwe's economic refugees in London
and in many other cities worldwide are actually sustaining the livelihood of
millions of people in Zimbabwe.
††††† The day Mugabe knows that people do
not eat rhetoric and political posturing and that Zimbabweans want nothing
but a decent living, prosperity and food on the table, that will be the day
when this country will begin to move forward.
††††† More importantly,
the day when Zimbabweans will stop being fooled by rhetoric and demand
nothing but food on the table and a conducive economic climate from the
leadership will be time when this country will begin to chart a fresh path
††††† Zimbabweans cannot just fold their arms and watch while
they are being reduced to scavengers. Until they say no to this nonsense, the
suffering will continue and worsen.
††††† Zimbabweans, as a people,
have not demanded anything outside this world. The problem with Mugabe is
that he believes his cronies, who lie to him that the situation is well in
Zimbabwe although he and them know that they are the only ones who are
benefiting from the crisis of their own making.
††††† Some of these
cronies, believe me, want the economic crisis to remain as it is so that they
can continue to plunder the available resources amidst chaos and
††††† Mugabe gleefully says that Zimbabwe will never be a
colony of Britain again, but the truth is that the country has become a
colony of scavengers.
Reporter ††††† 9/19/02 7:59:01 AM (GMT +2)
††††† SEVERE food shortages
gripping Zimbabwe have hit the country's public hospitals, where some
patients are going without meals, a snap survey by the Financial Gazette this
††††† Relatives with patients admitted into some of the
major state-owned referral health institutions told the Financial Gazette
they were now bringing in cooked meals from home to feed their
††††† "We bring my father cooked food from home because he complains
the hospital food is just not enough," one young man, who spoke on condition
he was not named, told our news team during a visit to Harare Central
Hospital this week.
††††† During the lunch time visit to Harare
Central, the country's largest referral centre, several relatives could be
seen carrying loads of food into the hospital for their loved ones admitted
††††† At Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, some patients told our
news crew that they had gone for three consecutive days last week without
††††† Health Minister David Parirenyatwa refused to comment on the
food situation at hospitals, saying the individual administrators should do
††††† Harare Central Hospital administrator Chris Tapfumaneyi
yesterday refused to take questions on the matter on the phone. He was not at
the hospital when out team went there this week.
public relations officer Jane Dadzi insisted the hospital had adequate
supplies of bread and other foodstuffs. But both patients and their relatives
were adamant this was not so.
††††† Dadzi however said patients admitted
into the hospital who were not on dietary restrictions from doctors were
allowed to eat food brought in by relatives.
††††† At Bulawayo's
United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), medical superintendent Godwin Gwisai
confirmed the hospital was facing difficulties feeding patients.
"Admittedly like any other institution we are being affected by the national
food shortages because we are not getting enough food requirements from our
supplies and the food situation is fluid sometimes," he said.
Zimbabwe is in the throws of its worst food crisis that has left at least six
million people or half the country's population at the risk of starving to
death unless the international community provides more than 800 000 tonnes of
††††† The food crisis is the latest blow to the country's
public health system already saddled by years of state under-funding and, in
some cases, mismanagement.
Fraudulent And Bogus Message from CFU, Matabeleland Branch
Further to my
message in the above regard, dated 05.09.02, it has been established without
doubt that Dudley Rogers of Tshabezi Safaris based in West Nicholson is
definitely not the author of the fraudulent message referred to in my
By way of clarification Dudley Rogers did not send
the bogus email claiming to be the Secretary of CFU despite his email address
being given as the originator of the message.† It would appear that the
original email was sent from Japan to a person in the UK after Dudley Rogers
name appeared in the New York Times along with others mentioned in the email,
one being "Max" Crawford.† There was no intention to put Dudley Rogers of
Tshabezi Safaris in a bad light.
Enquiries into the originator of the
message continue and the email address firstname.lastname@example.org is not an address used by
Dudley Rogers of Tshabezi Safaris.
Mugabe Drains Zimbabwe's Lifeblood, Africanist
Says (Former White House official speaks on human rights) (690) By Lindsey
Brooks Washington File Staff Writer
Washington -- The legendary figure
of Count Dracula, known for sucking the blood of his victims, has a
modern-day counterpart in Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who continues
to drain the political and economic life from his country, according to
former White House official John Prendergast.
recently returned from a trip to Zimbabwe, discussed what he saw there
September 17 at the National Press Club in Washington.
Zimbabwe to a horror film, Prendergast, who was director of African affairs
at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration, said, "In
Zimbabwe we have Dracula, as Count Mugabe and the ZANU-PF vampires suck the
lifeblood out of Zimbabwe's economy and state institutions while its people
Prendergast is currently the co-director of the Africa Program
at the International Crisis Group (ICG), a nongovernmental
organization focused on anticipating, understanding, and preventing
"The ruling ZANU-PF party in Zimbabwe has succeeded in
consolidating its nearly absolute political and economic power in the
aftermath of the stolen presidential election," Prendergast said. "A system
of total control was the objective of the ruling party, and this
has largely been accomplished."
Prendergast was referring to the March
2002 presidential election in which Mugabe emerged victorious, although the
election was stained by electoral irregularities and government intimidation,
including the disenfranchisement of urban voters, violent intimidation of
opposition supporters, and intimidation of the independent press and
Referring to Zimbabwe's political situation at a
conference on August 20, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Walter Kansteiner said: "As President Bush and Colin Powell have both said on
a number of occasions, we do not see President Mugabe as the
democratically legitimate leader of the country. The election was fraudulent
and it was not free and it was not fair."
Calling Zimbabwe a
"mafia-based and predatory state," Prendergast warned that if trends are not
reversed, Mugabe's failed political and economic policies threaten to
bankrupt the state and cause it to collapse, affecting the whole southern
For example, he explained, Mugabe's "dismantling of the
commercial farming sector, the backbone of that economy," has now resulted
in famine conditions. "The escalating economic crisis will
further destabilize the region," he added, "and continue to make the people
in Zimbabwe miserable, driving tens of thousands out of Zimbabwe and
into the surrounding region.
"Six million Zimbabweans are facing food
shortages, and what ZANU-PF has done is put in place a strategy of selective
starvation -- the use of food as a political weapon that is designed to
punish the opposition and reward ruling party officials and their
commercial allies," he said. "This policy is actually beginning to achieve
its objectives . people are beginning to die."
Prendergast called the
food crisis in Zimbabwe a "political plus for the ruling party," which no
longer "relies solely on individual torture and rape" to cow its opponents,
but instead on "the government's new tool of selective starvation," which can
affect a much broader population of opposition supporters.
to Prendergast, "Famine threatens Zimbabwe not just because of the drought,
which certainly is a factor, but because of a bad or even predatory
government." Policies that the ZANU-PF uses to implement selective starvation
include monopolizing all food imports and distribution, directing food to and
away from areas based on political calculations, and controlling the
eligibility criteria for purchasing food, he said.
Mugabe's policy affects three vulnerable groups. First, Zimbabweans afflicted
with HIV/AIDS, who require an adequate diet to defend against the onset of
illness, have an accelerated mortality rate as a result of malnutrition.
"Zimbabwe has the second-highest rate of infection in the world, and thus
exposure to malnutrition will condemn thousands of people to death,"
Second, black farm workers who have been made
homeless by the ruling party's land invasion strategy are vulnerable. Also at
risk are the elderly, sick, and orphan populations that "are simply falling
through the cracks as no provisions are being made to ensure their
"When people die of starvation and disease related to
malnutrition, as they increasingly will in Zimbabwe, it is a result of
political control and corruption," not natural conditions, Prendergast
(The Washington File is a product of the Office of
International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
††††† By ROBERT I.
ROTBERG, The Christian Science Monitor
††††† (September 19, 2002 2:07
p.m. EDT) - Zimbabwe's Robert Gabriel Mugabe is Africa's Pol Pot and Saddam
Hussein combined. For more than 22 years, as Martin Meredith's chilling new
book "Our Votes, Our Guns: Robert Mugabe and the Tragedy of Zimbabwe"
details, a ruthless Mugabe in pursuit of absolute power has wantonly killed
thousands of his own people.
††††† Today, he is depriving millions of
food aid and giving boastful speeches while systematically destroying his
††††† That sounds exaggerated. But, since 1998, and
especially since losing a referendum vote in 2000, Mugabe has orchestrated
fatal attacks on the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and
anyone thought to be sympathetic to them. More than 100 parliamentary
candidates, poll workers, and white and black persons alleged to be helping
the MDC have been brutally murdered.
††††† Mugabe's atmosphere of
outright mayhem began in the run-up to the parliamentary elections of 2000
(which Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front narrowly won
amid widespread allegations of fraud) and continued steadily through the
presidential elections in March 2002, which Mugabe brazenly
††††† Mugabe physically harassed Morgan Tsvangirai, his MDC
opponent, and his campaigning team in 2002, used thugs and soldiers to
intimidate voters, stuffed ballot boxes in key constituencies, and rigged the
count - all according to European and some African observers.
chapter after chapter, Meredith, a British journalist who has written widely
about Africa, reveals the depths of Mugabe's determination and his wildly
††††† In the earliest phase of Mugabe's
presidency, during the 1980s, he unleashed a series of massacres against
defenseless civilians, the Ndebele and Kalanga ethnic groups, in southwest
Zimbabwe, presumed followers of Joshua Nkomo, Mugabe's long-time
††††† In order to teach Nkomo and his Zimbabwe African People's
Union followers who was boss, Mugabe sent a North Korean-trained battalion on
a rampage throughout rural areas near Bulawayo. More than 20,000
Zimbabweans were thus exterminated by the special battalion between 1982 and
††††† For the succeeding decade, Mugabe's killing fields were far
more selective: some potential dissidents in his own party, followers of some
of his rivals, and, indeed, anyone who thought to challenge his
††††† Mugabe's regime was always corrupt, but, as Meredith
discusses at length, its greed swelled in the late 1990s and continues
unabated. The motivating source of this family avarice is popularly ascribed
to the ambitions of Grace, the president's much younger second wife and
mother of his only living children. Meredith contrasts her lack of
sophistication to the poise and common sense of Sally, Mugabe's Ghanaian
first wife, who was a check on the president before she died in
††††† Extreme corruption would be less disruptive if Zimbabwe
were prospering. Instead, as Mugabe and his family and friends have made
illicit millions (from exploiting minerals in the Congo as well as from all
the usual fiddles), so ordinary Zimbabweans have descended into
††††† Thanks to Mugabe's bashing of white farmers (employers of
nearly 1 million farm workers) and the consequent ruination of the
nation's commercial agriculture, his attacks on industry, his squandering of
foreign exchange, his political chicanery, and his country's military foray
into the Congo, Zimbabwe's annual per-capita gross domestic product has
fallen by 10 percent for three successive years. Eighty percent of
Zimbabweans are impoverished, according to official statistics. Sixty percent
are unemployed. Mugabe has caused massive shortages of maize, wheat,
cooking oil, and sugar. About 6 million (out of a national population of 13
million) are now at risk of starvation, despite U.S. and U.N. World Food
††††† Meredith's fluent narrative effectively conveys
the depths of Mugabe's depravity and Zimbabwe's consequent misery. He
sketches Mugabe's formative years as a self-contained Jesuit-trained teacher,
as a political neophyte, as a political prisoner in Rhodesia, and finally as
a man capable of bulldozing anyone and any obstacle in the way of his
complete authority. He called himself a Marxist, but that was a convenient
cover for increasingly autocratic behavior.
††††† Meredith's book
unfortunately ends well before the 2002 election, so his gruesome tale is
inconclusive. His tale is also studded with numerous informative quotations,
but none is sourced. Authenticity has been sacrificed to pace and flow. But
the major problem with this otherwise engaging account is that Meredith fails
to help readers understand why Mugabe behaves so irrationally.
Why did Mugabe become a monster when his first presidential gestures to
whites were warm and conciliatory? Why did he unnecessarily attack Nkomo's
largely passive partisans? Why, in the contemporary era, is he continuing to
destroy his own fatted calf? Why, at 78, is he not content to retire and
enjoy his spoils rather than unleashing upon himself the wrath of nations, as
well as the disgust of his own citizens? Solving such compelling leadership
failures awaits a deeper analysis.
††††† "Our Votes, Our Guns: Robert
Mugabe and the Tragedy of Zimbabwe" by Martin Meredith is published by Public
††††† Robert I. Rotberg directs Harvard's Program on Intrastate
Conflict and is president of the World Peace Foundation.
††††† Tara White, who together with former High Court judge
Justice Fergus Blackie, is facing a charge of defeating or obstructing the
course of justice was granted bail of $5 000 when she appeared before
Harare magistrate Sitshengisiwe Ndlovu on Tuesday.
††††† The State,
led by Stephen Musona of the Attorney-General's Office, is alleging that
White and Blackie had a sexual relationship.
††††† The State alleged:
"The accused communicated with retired Justice Blackie, thus influencing him
to unilaterally give out a judgment in her favour. The accused had a sexual
relationship with retired Justice Blackie."
††††† Ndlovu remanded White
to 19 November and ordered her to surrender her passport to the Clerk of
Court and to continue residing at her given address.
††††† White, 45,
and Blackie are facing an alternative charge of contravening a section of the
Prevention of Corruption Act in a case where Blackie, 65, allegedly
unprocedurally handled White's appeal after she was convicted and sentenced
for theft of ††††† $500 000 from her employer.
††††† White was
sentenced to four years imprisonment for the theft. Three years were
suspended on condition of good behaviour and that she
††††† She appealed against both conviction and
sentence and the appeal hearing was allocated to Justices Blackie and Rita
Makarau on or about 5 December 2002, the State said. Blackie retired from the
bench in July this year.
††††† The State said Justice Blackie had
quashed both the conviction and sentence as reflected in High Court Judgment
††††† Blackie appeared before provincial magistrate Lillian
Kudya on Monday this week and was granted $10 000 bail. She remanded him to
19 November and ordered him to surrender his travel documents and report once
every Wednesday to the CID.
††††† Kudya ordered the police to
investigate allegations raised by Blackie' s lawyers that he was denied
access to his hypertension medication, legal representation, food and
communication with relatives and friends when he was detained at the Matapi
Police Station in Mbare last Friday.
††††† The lawyers only had access to
him on Saturday after they made an application to the High Court for him to
be produced in court.
CHIEF Rogers Nyamande yesterday said Zanu PF youths were harassing, torturing
and intimidating innocent civilians in Gutu North constituency, accusing them
of supporting the opposition MDC, ahead of the rural district council
††††† Nyamande, a Zanu PF supporter, was himself the victim of
violence last Sunday when he was beaten up and his traditional headdress
snatched by rowdy Zanu PF youths for allegedly supporting the
††††† The chief's spokesman, Zebron Masunda, said: "The chief was
humiliated in the presence of his subjects. He was grabbed and dragged
outside the hall and put in a disused cell while 85 headmen watched from a
††††† "The chief had his traditional headgear taken away from
him, after he was seriously assaulted by party youths."
a war veteran and the chief's son, said his father was being victimised
because he was related to the MDC candidate for Ward 11,
††††† "My father was taken hostage for hours in a
disused cell built by the Ian Smith regime where he was thoroughly assaulted.
No one has the right to strip a chief of his powers."
yesterday afternoon the Gutu district administrator, Felix Chikovo, was still
negotiating with the youths to return the chief's headdress.
Zimbabwe tightens land seizure laws From
AFP September 20, 2002 ZIMBABWE's parliament yesterday rushed through land
law amendments that give President Robert Mugabe a freer hand to seize
white-owned property and evict farmers.
Under the new rules, farmers
will be forcibly removed from their land seven days after being served
eviction notices, instead of 90 days as before.
The fine for refusing to
comply was also increased five-fold to $Z100,000 ($3430).
who has defied criticism at home and abroad to proceed with the controversial
evictions, had been angered by legal challenges filed by many white farmers
to the acquisition of their farms.
The Government has embarked on a
massive land redistribution program that has so far seen more than 95 per
cent of white-owned land compulsorily acquired for redistribution, according
to farmers' groups, despite a devastating food shortage that has left 6
million Zimbabweans facing starvation.
The opposition Movement for
Democratic Change put up stiff resistance during debate on the bill, accusing
the Government of using parliament to validate a disorganised land
This amounted to "abuse of parliament", MDC
secretary-general Welshman Ncube said later. But he said his party was
pleased to have registered its protest.
"For us the important thing
was to expose the gross incompetence of this regime," Mr Ncube
The UN's World Food Program said on Monday nearly 7 million
Zimbabweans faced starvation, an increase of 800,000 on previous figures. It
blamed the crisis on drought, government policy and AIDS.
landmark ruling in August, a High Court judge said eviction orders
were invalid if they had not been first served to lending institutions
that farmers were indebted to.
The new amendments seek to remedy this
by stipulating that these institutions be served with a 30-day notice before
the Government takes the farm.
Farmers who had gained some hope when
their eviction orders were ruled invalid are now likely to see them reissued,
leaving them very little time to pack their belongings.
Mr Mugabe has
maintained that white farmers who own only one farm can stay on their land,
but farmers' groups say this is not the case.
Reporter ††††† 9/19/02 7:42:08 AM (GMT +2)
††††† FOREIGN direct
investment (FDI) into Zimbabwe plunged by about 99 percent between 1998 and
2001 and the country is now ranked among the top eight economies in the world
with the least potential to attract external investors, according to a report
released by the United Nations this week.
††††† The World Investment
Report 2002, published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD), reveals that FDI inflows into Zimbabwe declined from a
peak of US$444 million in 1998 to just US$5 million in 2001.
According to the report, Zimbabwe performed better only against 22 out of the
194 countries surveyed by UNCTAD during the past year for
their competitiveness in attracting and retaining FDI.
††††† Only four
of the 22 countries - Cape Verde, Djibouti, Libya and Sierra Leone - are in
Africa while the others are in Asia, Eastern Europe and
††††† The virtual collapse of the amount of FDI into
Zimbabwe means that the country's share of the total inflows in the world has
progressively dried up in the past few years against a backdrop of an
unprecedented flight of capital spawned by the government's
††††† Inflows into Zimbabwe were US$59 million in 1999 and
US$23 million in 2000.
††††† Total world FDI inflows amounted to
US$735 billion, a drop of 51 percent in inflows over the previous year. This
was the first drop in inflows since 1991 and the largest decrease in three
††††† Analysts yesterday warned that FDI inflows into Zimbabwe
would tumble further this year as foreign investors take flight in the wake
of President Robert Mugabe's threats to nationalise local
††††† The 78-year-old leader, who won a disputed election in
March and currently faces the toughest test of his 22-year rule, has
repeatedly threatened to take over companies he accuses of economically
sabotaging his government.
††††† The threats, which come on the heels
of his policy to seize land from whites, have further scuttled the country's
chances of winning back foreign investors who have left in the past three
years due to worsening economic fundamentals.
††††† "The main issue is
the sovereign risk factor and most investors are even wondering what's next
after the farms," said an analyst with a leading Harare financial services
††††† Investors are worried about the impact of Zimbabwe's foreign
currency crisis on their ability to repatriate dividends.
Stockbrokers estimate that foreign investors are sitting on billions of
dollars worth of dividends and profits that they have been unable
to repatriate from Zimbabwe due to the shortage of hard cash since
††††† FDI inflows into Africa however rose from US$9 billion in
2000 to US$17 billion last year although flows into most countries remained
††††† The increase of US$8 billion is largely due to
a few large FDI projects, notably in South Africa and Morocco.
South Africa had the largest share of the FDI flows into the continent, with
about US$6.7 billion worth of new external investment coming to that country
††††† Morocco was second with FDI inflows of around US$2.7
billion, followed by Algeria, Angola and Nigeria with US$1.2 billion, US$1.12
billion and US$1.1 billion respectively.
††††† About 80 percent of the
growth in Africa's FDI flows is explained by a large increase in FDI flows
into South Africa, the result of an unbundling of cross-share holdings
involving London-listed Anglo American plc and De Beers of South
††††† The transaction was recorded as an increase in FDI inflows
because Anglo purchased De Beers shares by paying the mainly South
African-based owners in Anglo shares.
††††† The other main project
responsible for an increase in FDI inflows into Africa was the disposal of a
35 percent stake in Morocco's Maroc-Telecom to Vivendi Universal of
††††† The UN report also showed that Zimbabwe was one of eight
countries with the lowest potential to attract foreign
††††† The only other countries with less prospects than
Zimbabwe are Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Haiti, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of
the Congo, Myanmar and Sierra Leone.
††††† The UNCTAD report assessed
countries based on their performance on key economic and policy indicators
such as gross domestic product growth, exports, the number of telephone
lines, inflation, country risk, property rights, trade policy, corruption and