When the farmer saw the woman's name,
he knew he was finished
9/24/02 9:05:32 AM (GMT
ONE afternoon last week a smart, silver, double cab
pulled up at the
gate of a Marondera farm.
A woman, a
complete stranger, got out of the car and introduced
herself to the farmer as
the new owner of the property.
Before even identifying herself, the
woman ordered that all the
furnishings in the farm cottage be
She would move in, she said, and would be preparing the
planting very shortly.
At this stage, the farmer politely
pointed out that he had not been
served with a Section 8 notice.
"It's coming very soon," he was told. The farmer then asked the woman
identify herself. She produced an official letter and her ID.
the farmer saw the woman's name, he knew that he was finished. As
leaving, as if to add insult to injury, the woman spotted the farmer
and said that she would like to meet her so that the two could have
a cup of
Scenes like this are happening all over Zimbabwe.
Until quite recently
a commercial farmer in Zimbabwe and now,
less than three weeks away
from the beginning of the 2002/03 rainy season, I
thank God that I am not a
farmer any more.
If I was one of
Zimbabwe's so-called "new farmers",
I would be tearing my hair out
by now, the ulcer would be percolating
and a nervous breakdown would be
looking precariously close.
Anyone in their right mind would not
dream of venturing into farming
in late September 2002 in
We are facing a very unpredictable season and weather
already warning of El Nino, erratic rains and an early cut-off to
The new owners of Zimbabwe's farms might indeed take
over and move in,
but without title to what they are calling their land what
is to stop
someone coming along and evicting them too?
not a single pip of seed maize to be had in our farming
Neither of the two biggest farm suppliers in Marondera have any seed
all and both stockists say they have no idea when they will
Both suppliers told me last week that they were
still waiting for the
government to issue a directive on the new price of
seed and that only when
that is done will any seed maize be
This is a diabolical disaster in a country where the newly
figure of starving people has increased by 600 000 and now stands at
I wonder how much longer Dr Joseph Made, the
Minister of Lands,
Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, is going to keep on
telling us that
everything is just fine and dandy out there on the
A recent United Nations humanitarian report on conditions in
for the coming season reports that only 50 percent of the
Development Fund's tractors are serviceable and available for
It also points out that the
majority of our so-called new farmers do
not have oxen with which to plough
and in other areas draught power has been
severely restricted by
foot-and-mouth disease which has debilitated
Agricultural experts are already warning that, even with the
budget for agricultural inputs, only 15 percent of available
land will be
ploughed in time for the rainy season.
Surely now the time has come
for the men and women who lead and govern
Zimbabwe to get out of their
comfort zones and see just exactly what is
happening on Zimbabwe's farms. Can
they really continue to blame everything
on the whites and the
By this time next year, how many people will there be left
for them to
govern and who will they have left to blame for the starvation
have chased all the legitimate farm owners off their
Surely now the time has come for Made and President Mugabe to
that they are simply not going to be able to cope with satisfying the
of a starving nation.
The fields are not ploughed. The
tractors are grossly insufficient.
The lands are not fertilised.
The seeds are not waiting to be planted
and the new farmers are either
destitute peasants or multi-millionaire
government officials and their
All these things are a recipe for the complete demise of
and the world and our regional neighbours sit by and watch it
they dare not interfere in case they are called racists.
State urged to give land to peasants
9/24/02 8:43:52 AM (GMT +2)
chairman of the newly-formed Justice for Agriculture (JAG), David
urged the government to return to the original Land Reform
places emphasis on giving land to landless peasants.
JAG is a
group of concerned Zimbabweans with a mission to secure
justice, peace and
freedom for the agricultural sector and Zimbabweans.
In a statement
entitled, The way forward for Zimbabwe, on the eve of a
meeting on Zimbabwe
in Abuja, Nigeria by the Commonwealth troika, JAG said
resettlement programme People First, adopted in June 2001 said
already listed six million hectares for acquisition, one
million more than it
thought it would need for resettlement in that period,
and it would start
The troika comprises the Presidents of Nigeria and
South Africa and
the Prime Minister of Australia.
million hectares have instead been added. The programme
has been doubled in
area and shortened from five years down to just one,
without resources to pay
for any part of it. Forgotten is that precaution to
spread land acquisitions
over five years to 2005 and to still leave a six
million hectare strategic
core which government recognised was necessary for
economic stability and
food production," JAG said.
The organisation said despite
previously set criteria, 1 024 single
owned farms had been listed for
acquisition with at least 50 percent of the
farmers being off their farms and
unable to produce any crops.
A large number of these were stopped
from farming after the signing of
the 6 September Accord.
also called for the appointment of an impartial board in
accordance with the
Land Acquisition Act and Constitution, and the
Agricultural Land Settlement
Act governing applications for allocation of
land and conduct an independent
"The laws regarding allocation have not been complied with.
impartial board is required to consider each application for a lease,
specific criteria to be taken into account, and make recommendations,"
The organisation said despite government promises for a
land reform programme, there was very little information about
"There are serious problems over the
allocations, arising in part from
the Ministers announcement in April that
maximum farm sizes would not apply
to blacks, only whites.
few published lists and information from farms show that some
particularly those associated with police and defence forces,
the ruling party are receiving pieces of land far larger
than those maximum
farm sizes, largely at the expense of other Zimbabweans
farm workers," JAG said.
According to JAG, only 12 000 of the more
than 50 000 people who were
promised commercial plots of land and whose names
were published have
actually been allocated land.
total names officially published of those who have now
been allocated and
accepted land is only about 6 456 names, on 698 farms.
of farms thus shown is insignificant.
A recent survey conducted by
the Zimbabwe Community Development Trust
(ZCDT) indicated that already 150
000 agriculturally skilled employees are
jobless and only 34 000 of these
have somewhere to go with some obtaining
plots. This translates to 750 000
Zimbabweans displaced to date.
JAG also noted that commercial
farmers owned 28,2 of commercial land,
of this 97 per cent had been listed
for compulsory acquisition. Despite
this, Government was silent on the aspect
"The new beneficiaries of the A2 Resettlement Model
receiving mixed signals and already the banking sector have
said they will
not fund new farmers who do not possess collateral. Commercial
only succeed on the basis of Security of Tenure and Provision
Collateral," JAG said.
The organisation urged the government
to make a public statement
calling for settlers, war veterans and other
persons to cease interfering in
the vital production process on legally
correct farms, and where there are
violations, to press for convictions of
Poverty replaces politics as main talking
9/24/02 8:07:29 AM (GMT +2)
case of Zimbabwe remains alive elsewhere, a dangerous vacuum
seems to be
developing at home, replacing the once noisy political
thoroughfares with a
cemetery of silence.
Pessimism and dejection have sunk in as the
nation awaits further
bruises from a cornered government whose public
behaviour has left the world
gasping for meanings.
For the past
six months, President Mugabe has failed to be heard and
turned on his own
people with a cocktail of repressive measures to maintain
His outbursts at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg and at
Assembly in New York quickly turned into
a whimper soon on his return
to the realities at home.
majority is quiet, it is becoming clearer that Mugabe has
taken the position
of a beleaguered international outcast left without a
choice, but to engage
in a sombre soliloquy as he pleads for understanding
and a long-lost
camaraderie among former friends and associates at the
Zimbabwe is still a major talking point among
investment analysts, politicians and even street vendors
in the Southern
African Development Community (Sadc) region, within the
Commonwealth and in
most Western capitals.
But here, muffled
murmurings have replaced the open shouts, stickers
and slogans that dominated
our public spaces and commuter omnibus talk in
the past three years. We
showed our concern for the future and tossed our
thoughts into the air for
all to hear and respond.
The scene has changed radically, mainly
because the government has
poured all its resources into subverting any open
attempts to free political
speech and dissent.
increased police surveillance, intolerance and a
public media squeeze have
succeeded in bringing about plastic compliance
with the status quo. The
countryside is under an iron seal, barring the
and the free movement pro-democracy activists.
Civil society is failing to conduct education campaigns.
literature prepared by the National Constitutional Assembly
is being barred
from circulation in the rural areas. Any public claims to
and freedom have been effectively neutralised.
nor civil society seems to have the spine to jolt
the government on matters
of public policy. Parliament has failed to move
and deal with a national
grievance presented by the opposition on the
impeachment of Robert Mugabe as
president of the republic.
Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa scoffed at
the impeachment articles soon
after they were lodged. That subject died -
without debate. No explanation
was given either to Parliament itself or to
the MDC, the movers of the
person, after two-and-half years of hyper-political
consciousness, can be
excused to conclude that the democratic movement and
institutions have hit a rock in their quest to enhance the
quality of life
for all. Sustained tyrannical pressure and stubbornness are
In the absence of alternative strategies to rekindle debate
people to talk about the future, ordinary voters would be right to
that the government has managed to weaken Parliament and the
substantially. Nothing has emerged from that House on the ongoing
in the rural areas, the continued shrinkage of the democratic space,
reversals on food distribution, citizenship and governance.
Poverty has taken over as the main discussion point, broadening the
basket, leaving politics festering in the background. Desperation has
the last veneer of social comfort, pushing any other agenda off the
concern of the family, the community and society.
became acute in the past few weeks when supplies of
maize, bread and other
basics dwindled to a threatening level. There seems
to be no time to organise
political meetings or refine the pressing
questions over Mugabe's legitimacy.
Everybody is scavenging for food to ease
hunger and personal
Underlying the food crisis is an open, but rarely
of families decimated by the HIV/Aids scourge. The
convergence of hunger and
disease has sharply increased ordinary people's
vulnerability to infection
Grandparents caring for
innumerable children and orphans could soon
give up the fight as they are
unable to source food, nor do they have the
money to buy at black market
"This is a very, very different crisis than anything we've
before - HIV/Aids is laying siege to entire communities, decimating
workforce and putting an even heavier strain on already over-burdened
weak healthcare systems," said Tim Morris,
the director of the
World Food Programme.
Morris says he was shocked to be confronted
by a devastating mix of
extreme hunger and severe shortcomings in
agriculture, health, sanitation
and institutional capacity.
needs are immense and immediate, and we are working very hard to
rest. Failure to address all of the needs now will only extend
Preliminary findings of an emergency food needs
began in mid-
August, co-ordinated by Sadc,
says the number of people in trouble has
now risen from
in May, to 14,4 million. The crisis is not only
devastatingly real, it is
worsening faster than was originally projected.
Limited supplies of maize -
and people's access to it - are mainly
responsible for the increased numbers,
especially in Zimbabwe where the
government is broke and unable to import
food at a faster pace.
As a result, prices continue to soar. When
available, bread has gone
up to between $130 and $150 a loaf, potatoes sell
at nearly $2 000 a pocket
and maize has shot up to $1 500 a bucket in a
country where the minimum wage
of a domestic worker is less than $5
The government's populist policies of price controls and
political impediments on critical issues, such as a refusal to let
opposition and the private sector take part in food matters, are leading
greater food insecurity.
Without the support and supply of
essential inputs necessary to
guarantee continued survival into next year,
the government will have to
brace itself for a difficult period. The people's
patience is thinning fast
because prospects for next year's harvest are bleak
generally assumed to be pro-government, immediately receive
In the urban areas, the grip is getting tighter.
Food inflation and
the erratic availability of basics look set to spark a
Food riots are certainly on the way. The people
can't take it any
The stories dominating discussion in
public buses, shopping malls, in
offices and in the villages point to a scale
of unrest that could derail all
possibilities for a peaceful resolution of
Zimbabwe's unending crisis.
For immediate release 24 September 2002
Government intimidation of
opposition candidates for council elections in Zimbabwe is intensifying as local
elections draw near and the ZANU-PF regime seeks to extinguish all political
Roy Bennett, outspoken MP for Chimanimani, reported today
that there has been further pressure on MDC candidates for the local council
elections in the area. Mr Bennett said "Since Saturday, pressure on the MDC has
intensified. MDC Councillor Mukhazhi from Mhakwe ward has been arrested and the
police will not disclose where he is being held. Another councillor from Martin
ward has been visited by members of the President's office, the CIO, and
threatened. The government's strategy is clear. As the election dates draw
closer, it is trying to force MDC out of the elections".
been spearheaded by notorious human rights violator, Joseph Mwale, who is head
of the feared Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) in Chimanimani and Chogo
Gueza, Police member in charge of the district. Mwale's human rights record has
been well documented by respected human rights organisations. He was transferred
to Chimanimani 14 months ago after an order for his arrest for the murder of two
MDC activists was ignored.
In latest developments, Mr Bennett added,
"This afternoon, Joseph Mwale and Chogo Gueza visited my farm demanding to know
where I was. When I wasn't there they arrested six others in my place. They also
stole all the heavy vehicles which are used to transport workers to and from
their work. Tonight there are 300 men stranded on the farm. They arrested about
13 others in Chimanimani, including an MDC activist, and a prominent local
sawmiller. Thankfully, 10 black workers who were arrested have been released. Of
the latest round of arrests, Shane Kidd, Wally Johnson, Rocky Stone, Amos
Makaza, and Steven Housden remain in police custody. Last night they severely
harassed Allen Radford, owner of a local tourist lodge and confiscated his
Chief Spokesman for the Save Zimbabwe campaign, Ephraim Tapa,
said "Chimanimani is one of the few constituencies in Zimbabwe in which the
opposition candidates have managed to withstand government intimidation and
harassment. With elections only days away, local authorities will do all they
can to make sure no opposition members contest the local elections. The
government is subverting democracy at all levels of government. In Chimanimani
and elsewhere in Zimbabwe, the Mugabe regime is making sure there is no-one to
vote for except themselves."
Mr Tapa also pointed out that farms like Mr
Bennett's employed up to 1,500 people. "When these farms are attacked, when
their equipment is looted and work has to stop, the local community loses its
livelihood. Mr Bennett has never opposed the idea of orderly land reform. From
the outset he has worked closely with his local community. But what is happening
here is not land reform. It's political terrorism, and theft by a ruling elite
to reward its henchmen. The attack on Roy Bennett has nothing to do with his
farming activities. It is an assault on an articulate and well-loved member of
the Opposition. It should be remembered that Roy Bennett was elected by a
constituency of 50,000 black and just 11 white voters. This is an assault on
democracy and a deliberate policy to displace opposition supporters."
"Save Zimbabwe" campaign is a non-partisan international initiative, with
broad-based support drawn from both political parties and community groups. It
was launched during the recent African Union meeting in Durban and is designed
to restore democracy, human rights and legitimate government to Zimbabwe. The
holding of early, free and fair elections, under full and proper international
supervision, is a key objective of the campaign.
For media enquiries,
Terence Fane-Saunders +44 20
+ 44 7768 283 144
Campbell +44 20 79397939
44 7768 283 144
Customs impound maize
9/24/02 8:28:34 AM
From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo
2 000 bags of maize sourced by the MDC from South Africa are
being held by
Customs officials at Beitbridge border post. The consignment
has been denied
entry into the country.
The maize is the second consignment being
held by the government,
which has accused the MDC of importing maize without
The bags of maize arrived on Friday last week. The first
of 640 bags arrived in the country three weeks ago.
The MDC is working with the Feed Zimbabwe Trust, a
non-governmental organisation, that is helping to secure food
the starving millions, especially in rural areas.
Current United Nations estimates put the total number of Zimbabweans
starvation at more than 6,5 million.
The maize was destined for
selected areas in Gweru, Chivi, Binga and
Chikomba districts, where hunger
has ravaged whole communities.
Renson Gasela, the MDC shadow
minister for agriculture, said his team
had failed to have the maize released
over the weekend.
"As far as they are concerned, they are
implementing the law but this
is not necessary because we are facing a crisis
as thousands of people are
starving," said Gasela.
He said the maize
was now in Customs storage. Officials had indicated
they would continue to
store the maize and may even have to discard it.
"It would be
tragic if they were to dispose of the maize because we
know the issue will be
politicised and food only given to Zanu PF
supporters, while other deserving
people suffer," he said.
He said the maize was a donation and was
not for resale therefore
there was no justification for the pretext of
competition with the Grain
Marketing Board, the only company licenced to
import maize in the country.
He said the MDC would continue to
bring in more maize and would be
undeterred by the government's efforts to
"We are hoping that reason will prevail because
people are hungry and
since the government is failing to feed all of them,
they should let anyone
who can assist proceed, rather than be
counter-productive," Gasela said.
From The Commonwealth Secretariat,
02/71 - Meeting of the Commonwealth
Chairpersons' Committee on Zimbabwe
ZIMBABWE MID-TERM REVIEW
The Commonwealth Chairpersons' Committee on Zimbabwe,
consisting of the Prime Minister of Australia, Rt Hon John Howard, the President
of Nigeria, HE Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and the President of South Africa, HE Mr
Thabo Mbeki, met in Abuja, Nigeria, on 23 September 2002, to discuss the
situation in Zimbabwe. The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon Don McKinnon,
participated in the discussions.
Following a review of recent political developments in
Zimbabwe, the Committee recalled that in their Marlborough House Statement of 19
March 2002, they had mandated the President of Nigeria and the President of
South Africa to continue to actively promote the process of reconciliation in
Zimbabwe and to appoint special representatives to remain engaged with all the
parties concerned towards this end. The Committee had also mandated the
Commonwealth Secretary-General to engage with the Government of Zimbabwe to
ensure that the specific recommendations from the Commonwealth Observer Group
(COG) to the March Presidential elections were respected and to remain actively
engaged with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in promoting
transparent, equitable and sustainable measures of land reform in Zimbabwe. The
Committee deeply regretted that the process of reconciliation facilitated by the
Special Envoys of the President of Nigeria and the President of South Africa had
stalled. The Secretary-General reported that as a consequence, the level of
suspicion, division and hostility between the various parties in Zimbabwe has
increased considerably in recent months and that reports of harassment of the
political opposition, the press and sections of the judiciary continued.
The Committee was disappointed to note that despite repeated
efforts, including in collaboration with regional Commonwealth Heads of
Government, the Commonwealth Secretary-General had been unable to establish a
dialogue with the Government of Zimbabwe in fulfilment of his mandates.
The Committee was also deeply disappointed that the President
of Zimbabwe had not taken up their invitation to come to Abuja to dialogue with
The Committee also called on the Government of Zimbabwe to
engage with the Commonwealth Secretary-General at an early opportunity on the
basis of the mandates given to him.
Whilst all members of the 'Troika' strongly believe that
efforts to engage the Government of Zimbabwe should continue, one member,
Australia, supported the full suspension of Zimbabwe with immediate effect
whilst the other members wish to see how Zimbabwe responds to the Marlborough
House Statement over the next six months as foreshadowed in that Statement, at
which point stronger measures might need to be considered.
PM foreshadows action against Mugabe
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's time in the Commonwealth was limited,
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said.
He said Mugabe would not be allowed to thumb his nose at democratic
Mr Howard said while the troika of Commonwealth ministers, of which he is a
member, did not agree on expelling Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth, it could not
go on indefinitely.
"The Commonwealth has to be concerned about what has happened in Zimbabwe.
What is at stake is a central Commonwealth principle of respect for the
democratic process," Mr Howard said after talks with British Prime Minister Tony
"The troika was given a role in Zimbabwe because of the rorted election. The
Commonwealth in the past has upheld very strongly the maintenance of democratic
principles and I think it would be to the Commonwealth's detriment if Zimbabwe
was allowed to indefinitely thumb its nose at Commonwealth opinion."
if he would accept Mugabe's offer to return to inspect conditions, Mr Howard
laughed and said: "What's your next question?"
Zimbabwe escapes C'wealth suspension
9/24/02 8:27:57 AM (GMT +2)
ABUJA - A three-nation
Commonwealth group ended talks yesterday
divided over whether to toughen
sanctions on Zimbabwe for its land and
political policies, an official
The "troika" of the presidents of South Africa,
Nigeria and prime
minister of Australia was meeting to review what steps
Zimbabwe had taken to
avert further sanctions after it was suspended from the
March following Mugabe's controversial re-election. The
Zimbabwe's opposition said those polls were
But the troika failed to reach agreement because of
South Africa and Nigeria, the communique said.
"Whilst all members of the troika strongly believe that efforts to
government of Zimbabwe should continue, one member, Australia,
full suspension with immediate effect," said a statement by
Diplomats at the talks had earlier said the
Commonwealth, a 54-nation
group of mainly former British colonies, was left
with little choice but to
toughen the symbolic sanctions.
Mugabe boycotted the talks in the Nigerian capital Abuja,
officials saying the Zimbabwean leader complained of being
made to feel he
was going to be "court-martialled".
The statement said that Nigeria
and South Africa wished to see how
Zimbabwe responded over the next six
months to the measures imposed in
March, "at which point stronger measures
might need to be considered".
The Commonwealth troika has the
group's mandate to recommend sanctions
and suspension, and could make such a
move in March 2003 when current
measures against Zimbabwe run out. Full
suspension of Zimbabwe would
cut off Commonwealth development assistance at a
critical time for the
nation in the throes of economic crisis.
South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo
long-time allies of Mugabe and only reluctantly agreed to limited
on Zimbabwe in March.
But political violence in Zimbabwe and the
government's campaign to
appropriate white farms for redistribution
ostensibly to the largely
landless black majority is hurting their initiative
to promote good
governance in Africa in return for massive foreign
Diplomats described the atmosphere at the talks,
overshadowed by a war
of words between Zimbabwe and Australia, as tense."It
was hot in there. The
jackets were off," said one diplomat. The communique
said that the
Commonwealth process to reconcile Mugabe with his domestic
opponents had "regrettably stalled".
Secretary-General Don McKinnon told the meeting that as a
level of suspicion, division and hostility between the
various parties in
Zimbabwe had increased considerably in recent months".
harassment of the political opposition, the press and
sections of the
judiciary continued," the communique said, quoting McKinnon.
committee was also deeply disappointed that the president of
Zimbabwe had not
taken up their invitation to come to Abuja to dialogue with
Mbeki and Obasanjo are spearheading the New Initiative for
"Everywhere they go to promote
NEPAD internationally, they are asked:
What are you doing about Zimbabwe?" an
African diplomat said earlier.
Zimbabwe's fierce attack on Howard,
the Commonwealth committee's
chairman, followed Howard's invitation letter to
Mugabe listing Zimbabwe's
domestic politics on the agenda.
serious person expected us to be part of that kind of a circus (in
Moyo was quoted as saying in the state-owned Herald newspaper. "The
thing stinks of an orchestrated media event designed to insult the
and demonise Zimbabwe at the behest of Britain with Australia
role of a cheerleader.
ZIMBABWE: Commonwealth postpones decision on further action
24 September (IRIN) - Zimbabwe received a reprieve from full suspension from the
Commonwealth this week when a three-man Commonwealth Chairperson's Committee on
Zimbabwe decided to give the country another six months to
Australia's Prime Minister John Howard pressed for full
suspension at the review meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, on Monday. But Nigeria's
President Olusegun Obasanjo and South Africa's Thabo Mbeki decided to wait until
the end of the initial one-year suspension period before taking any further
Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth shortly after March
elections, which the organisation, along with most Western countries, found was
marred by politically motivated violence and conditions that "did not adequately
allow for a free expression of will."
A statement from the South African
government following the Abuja meeting said that it regretted that the
post-election reconciliation talks between the ruling ZANU-PF and opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), facilitated by Obasanjo and Mbeki, had
As a result, Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon
reported that "the level of suspicion, division and hostility between the
various parties in Zimbabwe had increased considerably and that reports of
harassment of the political opposition, the press and sections of the judiciary
continued," a Commonwealth secretariat statement said.
noted that many of the suggestions made in the Marlborough House Statement,
which followed Zimbabwe's suspension, had not come to fruition. These included
helping the Zimbabwe government address the land issue, but attempts at
discussing the matter with the government were not successful.
committee was also "deeply disappointed" that President Robert Mugabe had not
attended the Abuja meeting.
Zimbabwe's state-controlled Herald newspaper
reported on Tuesday that Mugabe had felt insulted by an apparently unsigned
invitation, and could not negotiate the date of the meeting, making him feel as
though he was being summoned.
After the announcement on the troika's
decision, The Herald reported that Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge had invited the
Australian premier to visit Zimbabwe "to find the truth about the situation in
Howard invited to Zimbabwe
From correspondents in
September 24, 2002
ZIMBABWE'S government has welcomed a decision by
a Commonwealth troika not
to take tougher action against it - and invited
Prime Minister John Howard
to visit the country.
"They're free to come
to Harare," Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge
we want Prime Minister Howard to come to Harare.
"We guarantee he
(Howard) will be safe. He can come and see what he wants to
see, he can
discuss what he wants to discuss."
Of the three countries of the troika -
Australia, Nigeria and South Africa -
only Howard backed a complete
suspension of Zimbabwe from the
Mugabe did not
attend the leaders' meeting in Nigeria, called to discuss the
imposing more sanctions against the southern African country
human rights and democratic abuses.
Mudenge strongly condemned
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon and
accused him of playing the
role of "a hatchet man of British imperialism and
said in previously suspending Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth councils,
troika had attempted to "get to the throat of Zimbabwe".
Smug Zim regime 'invites' Howard to
September 24 2002 at 08:58AM
Harare - Zimbabwe's government on Monday welcomed the decision by a
Commonwealth monitoring panel not to take tougher action against Zimbabwe or
suspend it from the body altogether, and invited Australia's premier to visit
"They're free to come to Harare," Foreign Affairs Minister
Stan Mudenge told a press conference. "Particularly, we want Prime Minister
Howard to come to Harare."
"We guarantee he will be safe. He can come and
see what he wants to see, he can discuss what he wants to discuss," Mudenge
Of the three countries on the panel - Australia, Nigeria and South
Africa - only Australian Prime Minister John Howard backed a complete suspension
of Zimbabwe from the 54-member body.
Mugabe did not attend Monday's meeting in the Nigerian capital
Abuja to discuss the possibility of imposing more sanctions against Zimbabwe
over human rights and democratic abuses.
|'We guarantee he will be
Mudenge strongly condemned
Commonwealth secretary general Don McKinnon and accused him of playing the role
of "a hatchet man of British imperialism and machinations".
He said in
suspending Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth councils, the panel had attempted to
"get to the throat of Zimbabwe". - Sapa-AFP
Morgan moans after troika goes easy on Mugabe
23 2002 at 10:00PM
By Toye Olori and Basildon Peta
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has shunned meeting the
"troika" set up to discuss his controversial March election.
But he seems to
have had the sympathy of the two African leaders in the
The group ended their talks divided on the issue of new sanctions
Zimbabwe over its land policies and human rights
Zimbabwean civic groups said the troika should disband because it
serving any purpose.
'I am convinced that Mugabe should
be given a long rope'
While Australian Prime Minister John Howard wanted an
of Zimbabwe, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and
President Thabo Mbeki
argued for more time. Zimbabwe was temporarily
suspended from Commonwealth
On Monday Howard spoke strongly
in support of an outright suspension of
Zimbabwe "because the political
situation in the country (Zimbabwe) has
continued to deteriorate - even now
we cannot get the secretary-general of
the Commonwealth to talk to Zimbabwe.
That to my mind is a very serious
But Obasanjo, speaking
also for Mbeki, argued that the main issues - land,
elections, drought and
reconciliation - still needed time.
He said Mugabe had promised to
resolve the land question soon: "You may not
believe him, but that is what
Mugabe said. I am convinced that Mugabe should
be given a long rope,"
Mugabe, who was invited to Abuja, refused to attend. He
was quoted as saying
the invitation gave the impression that he was going to
His government claimed the Commonwealth was "ganging
up" on Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai,
said that in six
months' time, all democratic forces in Zimbabwe would have
been destroyed by
Mugabe's "siege of terror" on his opponents.
(Mugabe) has been given a blank cheque," said Tsvangirai.
must now realise that putting faith in the international
community to resolve
the crisis in this country is futile." - Independent
Commonwealth risks credibility by ignoring
CANBERRA, Sept. 24 - The ink on the Commonwealth
communique delaying action
on Zimbabwe was barely dry before analysts and
member states began debating
the relevance and very future of the group of
mostly former British
Australian Prime Minister John
Howard, who led a three-nation
Commonwealth meeting in Nigeria to discuss
Zimbabwe, did not hide his
disappointment at the group's decision to overrule
his desire to impose
sanctions on President Robert Mugabe.
think the Commonwealth is the poorer because there hasn't been
this view,'' Howard told the BBC.
South Africa and Nigeria blocked
Howard's efforts to impose sanctions
on Mugabe, targeted by the West for the
confiscation of white-owned land and
allegedly rigging his re-election in
In two interviews Howard granted before leaving Nigeria,
commentators got straight to the point.
Cable news network
CNN asked whether the Commonwealth wasn't really
''a toothless bulldog.'' The
British Broadcasting Corp held off until its
fifth question to ask if the
Commonwealth didn't ''look very toothless
a muted defence.
''Well I think the Commonwealth has gone through
this in the past and survived and I think it will in the
future. But I'm
concerned about the Commonwealth values and one of those
values is a
democratic process,'' he said.
said privately the inconclusive talks marked a
major setback for the
BLACK AND WHITE DIVIDE
Sandy Macdonald, a member of Howard's conservative
government who saw
Mugabe's alleged election abuses first hand as a
observer in March, said the failed troika meeting had
ended the group's
''If it can't impose its own Harare declarations on the
whence the Harare declaration were born, then you have to have
about the relevance of the organisation,'' Macdonald told
The 71-year old Commonwealth, molded from the ashes of the
Empire, pledged in Harare in 1991 to commit its members to democracy,
rights and the rule of law.
Since then, the group which
represents 1.7 billion people from
nations as diverse as Canada, Pakistan and
Tuvalu, has suspended Nigeria in
1995, Sierra Leone in 1997, Pakistan in 1999
and Fiji in 2000, all following
coups or rights violations.
March, the troika agreed to a sort of half-expulsion for Zimbabwe,
it from the ministerial meetings but not from non-political
events, like the
Commonwealth Games in August.
It was a far cry from the 33-year exile
of South Africa, which lasted
until the white apartheid government was ousted
by Nelson Mandela's rainbow
coalition in 1994.
Chris Reus Smit, an
international relations analyst at Australian
National University, said the
difficulty in going any further with Zimbabwe
lay in black Africa's loyalty
to Mugabe, hailed as a nationalist hero when
he came to power in
Senator Macdonald agreed, saying white leaders
flinched at accusations by black Africa that the former
British rulers were
trying to re-assert influence in the region.
''It's an easy ploy, that's Mugabe's great line -- that we're just
running dogs of the former colonialists,'' he said.
Reus Smit said the
Commonwealth would survive the Zimbabwe crisis,
but its credibility may not
''If the Commonwealth role is not to facilitate peace
and good governance among and between its members, what is it
Govt may go alone on Zimbabwe
September 24, 8:05 PM
Australia could impose its own sanctions
against Zimbabwe after Prime
Minister John Howard failed to convince African
leaders to take strong
action against the Mugabe government.
was unable to convince fellow Commonwealth leaders that Zimbabwe
expelled from the Commonwealth because of the breakdown in
President Robert Mugabe.
Fellow Commonwealth leaders Thabo Mbeki from
South Africa and Nigeria's
Olusegun Obasanjo instead gave Mr Mugabe a further
six months to restore
democratic principles in Zimbabwe.
leaders met in the Nigerian capital of Abuja to decide on
against Zimbabwe after Commonwealth observers found the
to be unfair and conducted in an atmosphere of violence
But African nations have been wary of the push by white
nations - Australia, Canada, Britain and New Zealand - for
Mr Howard was clearly disappointed
with the outcome and said he had hoped to
convince Mr Mbeki and Chief
Obasanjo of the need to suspend Zimbabwe's
said the outcome undermined the Commonwealth's goal of promoting
"I think it was clear that what should have happened today was
suspension and that's what I argued for," Mr Howard told the BBC from
"I think the Commonwealth is the poorer because there hasn't been
on this view."
He said he would push for Zimbabwe's full
suspension at the next meeting in
six months unless the situation in Zimbabwe
Target Zimbabwe with sanctions, says Rudd
Opposition is calling for the Government to introduce targeted
against Zimbabwe, after a meeting in Nigeria failed to suspend the
nation from the Commonwealth.
The presidents of South Africa, Nigeria and
the Australian Prime Minister
were unable to reach agreement on taking any
further action against the
The Shadow Foreign Affairs
Minister, Kevin Rudd, says it is now up to
Australia to impose its own
"Targeted sanctions fall into two categories - joining the US, EU
Switzerland and introducing an international travel ban on selected
of the regime," Mr Rudd said.
"It is also placing a ban on the
international personal financial
transactions on the members of the Zanu
elite, the Mugabe thugs who actually
ALP urges action on Zimbabwe
The Howard government
needed to deliver on its promise to take action
against the regime of
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, the opposition
foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said the government had been
and no action over the issue of Zimbabwe.
A bid by Prime Minister John
Howard to suspend Zimbabwe from the
Commonwealth was blocked by the
presidents of Nigeria and South Africa.
Mr Howard, who chaired a meeting
on how to bring Zimbabwe and Mr Mugabe back
to the path of democracy, said
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and
South African President Thabo Mbeki
had a different view.
Mr Rudd said it was up to the Australian government
to introduce targeted
sanctions against Zimbabwe given the Commonwealth's
failure to act.
"It's high time the government introduced the targeted
sanctions it promised
it would introduce back on the 21st of February," he
Mr Rudd also took aim at the Commonwealth troika chaired by Mr
he said had shown itself to be a toothless tiger.
broadly there is a risk that as a consequence of that the Commonwealth
will be seen to be a toothless tiger in failing to deal with a
regime in form of Mugabe's regime in Harare," he said.
U.N. criticises Zimbabwe for abuses
GENEVA, Switzerland (Reuters) -- A U.N. human rights
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday of
undermining the judiciary
and urged states to step up pressure on his
Param Cumaraswamy, United Nations rapporteur on the
independence of judges
and lawyers, said the arrest this month of retired
High Court Judge Fergus
Blackie in Zimbabwe was "yet another clear systematic
attack on the basic
fabric of democracy, i.e. the rule of law."
said there was "reasonable cause" to believe that the charges of
and obstruction of justice against the white judge were "an act
following his conviction of Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa
"When judges can be arrested, detained and charged on trumped
up facts for
exercising their judicial functions, then there is no hope for
the rule of
law in such countries," Cumaraswamy said in a
It was the sixth public declaration on Zimbabwe in as many
months by the
Cumaraswamy urged the international
community to "continue its pressures and
double its efforts to get the
government of Zimbabwe to comply with its
obligations under the constitution
and international law."
He also criticised a recent ruling of the High
Court refusing the opposition
access to the voters' roll in a court action
challenging the legality of
presidential elections won by Mugabe in
"The voters' roll must necessarily be a crucial and material
evidence in the
action," the U.N. investigator said, noting an appeal was due
to be heard on
Earlier this month, the Geneva-based
International Commission of Jurists
also expressed deep concern over
UN: Zim has grudge
Geneva - The
government of Zimbabwe was carrying out a vendetta against a
judge to punish him for trying to jail the justice minister,
a United Nations
expert said on Tuesday.
The arrest of retired High Court Mr Justice
Fergus Blackie on charges that
he improperly freed a woman from jail are "yet
another clear, systematic
attack on the basic fabric of democracy" in
Zimbabwe, said Param
Cumaraswamy, the UN expert on the independence of the
"There is reasonable cause to believe that this latest arrest,
charges against Justice Blackie is an act of vendetta by the
Cumaraswamy said in a statement.
"When judges can be
arrested, detained and charged on trumped-up facts for
judicial function then there is no hope for the rule of law
Prosecutors allege Tara White, a former travel agency
executive, had an
affair with Blackie (65) and influenced him to throw out
her one-year prison
sentence for theft. Blackie's lawyers say the two never
One of Blackie's last acts before retiring in July was to sentence
Minister Patrick Chinamasa to three months in jail on contempt of
charges after the minister repeatedly ignored a court
Chinamasa ignored the contempt ruling and police refused to
arrest him in
what was seen by international legal experts as further
evidence of the
breakdown of the rule of law in Zimbabwe.
lawyers denied access to voters list
Cumaraswamy, a Malaysian lawyer, has
regularly expressed his concern about
the situation in Zimbabwe.
said on Tuesday he also was concerned that lawyers for the
opposition have been denied access to the voters registration list
pending case challenging the legality of the recent presidential
Cumaraswamy said he also had been told that President Robert
threatened the opposition's "shadow" justice minister, David
telling him the only place for him in Zimbabwe was
"The prevailing lawlessness in the government is not only a
menace to the
people of Zimbabwe but if allowed unabated could threaten
and the rule of law in the African region," Cumaraswamy
ICJ mission frustrated
The International Commission of
Jurists, which seeks to uphold the rule of
law around the world, has accused
the Zimbabwe government of acting "in bad
statement on Monday said that in April 2001 Chinamasa had
headquarters and invited the body to send a mission to examine
threats to the
independence of Zimbabwe's judges and lawyers.
"Since receipt of the
invitation, the ICJ has been frustrated by the
government's stalling on the
date of the mission and its imposing
unreasonable conditions," it
It said it had just been told that a mission is impossible during
of 2002. "No alternative date has been provided."
government's opposition to any outside scrutiny is a serious blow to
of law in Zimbabwe," the commission said. - Sapa-AP
State set to lose more health personnel to UK,
9/24/02 8:43:29 AM (GMT +2)
AS the government struggles to fill vacancies left by
migrating to the greener pastures abroad, public health
institutions are set
to lose more skilled staff to private hospitals in the
Australia and Canada.
Foreign hospitals and
other institutions have found a ready "pool" of
potential personnel in
Zimbabwe, where skilled people are leaving a country
facing caught in its
worst economic recession to seek employment abroad.
by international recruitment and immigration agencies
are a common feature in
local newspapers as foreign companies take advantage
of the parlous state of
Zimbabwe's economy. One such agency, Pearls
International Nursing Agency
based in the UK, has been running an
advertisement in The Daily News inviting
applications from registered nurses
on behalf of Australian and Canadian
Two weeks ago, Thomas Zigora, the chief
executive officer of the
Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, conceded that the
hospital could not cope
with the demand for nurses as some of the few trained
nurses available were
leaving the country for better pay and working
conditions in Britain.
President Mugabe has in the past rebuked Britain for
"coming in the dead of
night" to steal nurses, doctors and pharmacists from
Clinton says Zimbabwe crisis a ''burden'' to
ABUJA, Sept. 24 - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said
on Tuesday that
Zimbabwe's land and political crisis was ''a burden to all of
the continent must resolve it to demonstrate its new commitment
Clinton said in a public lecture in the
Nigerian capital Abuja that
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's controversial
re-election in March and
seizure of white owned farms ran counter to the
goals of the new continental
body, the African Union.
''In the end
President Mugabe must be held to the African Union's
standards of free and
fair elections,'' Clinton told a packed audience that
President Olusegun Obasanjo and the presidents of Ghana,
Senegal and Sierra
Clinton acknowledged it would be difficult for Africans to
Mugabe's policy of seizing white-owned farms for redistribution to
largely landless black majority.
But he said Africa needed to
send a strong message around the world
''that no matter how great the
solidarity one feels he has from natives, no
matter the much general
grievances intertwined with the land reforms or any
other issue, it is simply
no longer acceptable to organise an invasion to
intimidate opponents, to rig
elections or to mutilate the results.''
''The situation in Zimbabwe is
a burden to all of Africa including
Nigeria, not only because of the increase
in the interdependence of nations
and people but because around the world
there are still so many people who
engage in what I will call the regrettable
tactics of continental
profiling,'' Clinton said.
This refers to
when something bad happens somewhere in Africa and it
to all of Africa, he said.
''It is not fair. It's based on ignorance,
but it is a fact
nonetheless that may have consequences for foreign policy
financial decisions by investors from other parts of the
world,'' he added.
Clinton made a jibe at the long-serving Mugabe, who
has been in power
since the south African nation's independence from Britain
in 1980, saying:
''The essence of democracy is not just winning power, it is
when to let go.''
Zimbabwe has been gripped by a
political and economic crisis since
the government launched a campaign in
2000 to seize white-owned farms for
redistribution to landless
Clinton's lecture on democratisation and economic development
day after a special Commonwealth committee ended talks in Abuja
whether to toughen the group's sanctions against
Harare was suspended from Commonwealth meetings for one year
after the group said Mugabe's re-election was rigged.
the Abuja talks, boycotted by Mugabe, Australian Prime Minister
was left isolated in pushing for a tougher line. Obasanjo and
President Thabo Mbeki, the other members of the committee,
said Mugabe should
be given more time to find a domestic solution to the
FARMERS FOR JESUS
We extend a warm invitation to you to join us for
the first Farmers for Jesus Convocation to be held in Bulawayo. It will be at
the Ascot Racecourse, Bulawayo on Saturday 28th September 2002 starting around
10am with Praise and Worship, and finishing around 4.30pm. Registration 9.30am
for 10am. (no registration fee but an offering will be taken up during the
Pastor Phillip Ligthart of the Tabernacles of David
Church, Chinhoyi will be speaking. We are also privileged to have Angus Buchan
of Shalom Ministries in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa to speak to us. During the
day we will have times of prayer and ministry so it promises to be a day of
inspiration, hope and encouragement for each one of us.
We look forward to seeing you there. Please feel
free to bring along friends, workers and anybody else who might be interested
and spread the word that this event is on shortly.
Please note that everyone needs to bring their own
lunch, although we hope to have a stall selling burger-type refreshments and we
will serve tea and cooldrinks.
Please could I ask if you would print the poster
attached and put it up wherever you feel you can.
There is also a men's breakfast at Top-of-the-sun
room at Rainbow Hotel on Saturday 8am 28th September 2002. Tickets are $1200 and
need to be booked with Helen Palmgren on 09-241509 as soon as possible. Angus
will be the guest speaker.
Thank you so much . Stay safe and God bless
Peter and Nan Goosen
FARMERS FOR JESUS
Let us meet and be a joy to one
DATE : Saturday 28th September 2002
VENUE : Ascot Racecourse
TIME : 10am
We extend a warm invitation to you to join us for a time of praise and
worship, prayer and ministry. It promises to be a day of inspiration, hope and
encouragement. Come and be blessed.
SPEAKERS : PHILLIP LIGTHART –
David Church, Chinhoyi
BUCHAN – Shalom
Ministries- Kwazulu Natal
please note that everyone needs to bring their own lunch, although we
hope to have a stall selling burger-type refreshments and we will serve tea and