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Yesterday afternoon a number of business owners and citizens were
arrested. Six men were arrested, including Amos Makasa (Roy Bennett's
farm foreman), Rocky Stone (a Farm manager), Steve Housden and Wally
Johnson (Co-managers of Mwenji Lodge), and Doug Thunderuit and Shane Kidd
(involved in the timber industry). A seventh man, Alan Radford, was not
arrested, but was harassed and intimidated, and had his passport taken
away from him. Radford is a British national.

The main agitator behind this process was Joseph Mwale, a CIO officer,
backed by the Chimanimani ZRP. Mwale is said to have severely threatened
all the arrested people, and claimed that he was not concerned with any
court order, regardless of what it said. The arrested men were taken to
the police station, where they were held without any charge being
proffered. They were released this morning after intervention on the part
of both the South African and the British High Commissions.

The majority of the farming population of Chimanimani has left the town,
percieving the harassment to be direct persecution, and many businesses
and most farming concerns are consequently sitting idle, with much coffee
rotting unpicked on the trees.

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MDC Press Statements

1. Inhuman Treatment of Justice Blackie Deplored, 17 Sept. 2002

2. Mugabe's invitation to Abuja Commonwelath Troika surprising, 17 Sept.
3. Harare MDC Youth Assembly in support of Mudzuri, 16 Sept, 2002

17 September 2002
Inhuman Treatment Treatment of Blackie deplored
The arrest of former High Court Judge, Justice Blackie, for allegedly
improperly handling a criminal case came as no surprise in the context of
Zimbabwe's ongoing political crisis underpinned by a complete erosion of the
rule of law and its substitution with the misrule and abuse of law by an
illegitimate regime which has steadfastly refused to return to legality. We
are of the firm view that Justice Blackie is being persecuted for daring to
uphold the rule of law against some Zanu PF zealots who have placed
themselves above the law which they hold in contempt except when it is being
abused against the real and imagined opponents of Zanu PF.

That Justice Blackie is being persecuted for handling the Patrick Chinamasa
case cannot be doubted. The message to everyone, including the sitting
judges is crystal clear: he who dares stand up against Zanu PF thuggery
beware, big brother is watching and you shall be dealt with severely. This
vindictive approach by the regime is meant to scare other judges from an
impartial application of the law, particularly  against Zanu PF
functionaries as well as in favour of the perceived opponents of Zanu PF and
its illegitimate government.

That Justice Blackie was denied his constitutional rights including the
elementary one of access to his lawyers and held without access to his
medication and food in one of the filthiest police holding cells in the
country, namely Matapi Police Station, just goes to show how brutal and evil
this regime has become. The regime should be ashamed that it has turned the
once revered police force into a surrogate force that is now being used to
subjugate innocent people instead of upholding the rule of law. The force
denied Justice Blackie medication and food during the first 24 hours of his
detention in the filthy cells at Matapi Police Station. Such inhuman
treatment of suspects, irrespective of the nature of their alleged crime,
should be deplored in the strongest possible terms by all decent and human
Zimbabweans who should not sit by while their country is turned into a
personal Zanu PF estate.

Professor Welshman Ncube
Secretary General

Mugabe's invitation to Abuja Commonwealth Troika surprising.

The invitation of Zimbabwe's illegitimate President, Robert Mugabe by the
Commonwealth troika to the Abuja meeting which is scheduled for early next
week is fundamentally wrong and is unlikely to contribute to the reduction
of the crisis in our country. While we have no doubt that the meeting has
been necessitated by the Commonwealth's desire to find a permanent and
lasting solution to the Zimbabwean crisis, the invitation of Mr Robert
Mugabe to the meeting to hear the endless Zanu Pf lies on the situation in
Zimbabwe without extending the same invitation to the opposition and to
civil society is extremely worrying.

 The crisis in Zimbabwe can not be resolved without the engagement of all
parties or at the very least hearing them out. We trust that the
Commonwealth troika has not been hoodwinked by Mugabe's deceitful
machinations which were on display at both the World Summit on Sustainable
Development held in South Africa and the 57th Session of the United Nations
General Assembly held in New York last week.

It is our considered view that any serious attempt to address the Zimbabwean
crisis must take on board all the actors including the opposition and civil
society. While we do not doubt that Mugabe is the central problem to the
country's crisis and that consequently he has to be part of the solution, we
do not believe that there can be an understanding of the extent of the
crisis as well as the finding of the solution without the involvement of all
the parties.

It is not too late for the troika to invite the opposition and civil society
to the Abuja meeting.

Professor Welshman Ncube
MDC Secretary General

16 September, 2002
MDC Harare Youth Assembly stands by Mudzuri.

On Tuesday last week His Honour Harare Mayor, Elias Mudzuri was summoned to
a kangaroo court by the illegitimate regime's Minister of local Government,
Public Works and National Housing Ignatious Chombo. Chombo's delegation
which met the mayor included Nicholas Goche, Chief Fortune Charumbira, Kembo
Mohadi and Kenneth Mutiwekuziva. Other senior Zanu PF officials who had been
invited to attend the meeting but failed to turn up included among others,
the army commander Constantine Chiwenga and the Minister of Defence Sydney

We are not surprised by the deliberate inclusion in Chombo's delegation of
some dubious characters known to have had underhand influence in the
persecution and torture of our members. Chombo's team further exposes the
handiwork of a psychopathic schemer determined to instill fear into the mind
of the Mayor in order force him to comply with the illegitimate Minister's

MDC has long established that Chombo is driven by sinister motives and is
determined to create a mine field on the mayor's way in order to pin him
down on some trumped up charges of misconduct.

The MDC Harare Youth Provincial Assembly wishes to express its solidarity
with the Harare Mayor for the sterling job he is doing for our city. We
further wish to call upon Harare residents and all progressive forces to
resist Chombo's blatant abuse of authority by interfering in the affairs of
the city. We believe that all issues that affect the residents should first
be taken to the residents for their views.

Chombo's arm-twisting and politicization of civic matters in order to gain
political mileage for the discredited Zanu PF party will be resisted. The
illegitimate Minister is advised to think again before embarking on futile
adventures of this nature.

Edson Mukwasi
Harare Province Youth Chairperson
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Capitalism Magazine

The world condemned White Apartheid in South Africa. International boycotts
were organized against South African gold, products and stocks. But Robert
Mugabe is black and the world is silent. Where is the United Nations? Where
is the indictment of Mugabe before the new International Criminal Court?
Where are the peace keeping missions? Where is the outcry for economic
sanctions. Where are the boycotts?

"Race Cleansing" in Zimbabwe: UN Sees No Evil
By Tom DeWeese (September 25, 2002)

[CAPITALISMMAGAZINE.COM] Only the United Nations, we're told, has the vision
and the moral authority to be the keepers of justice in the world. Well, as
they say, actions speak louder than words. The UN's bureaucrats spend a huge
amount of time wringing their hands over the United States' lack of
cooperation with their schemes for global governance. They insist that
global governance through the UN is vital to assure the complete well being
of citizens in every nation.

Consider, though, the on-going tragedy in Zimbabwe. For several years that
nation's president, Robert Mugabe, has been systematically "cleansing" white
people from its society. Mugabe issued orders that white people would no
longer be allowed to own farms in the nation. Now his stormtroopers are
arresting any whites who have defied his eviction notices on more than 5,000
farms. In fact, the soldiers are even arresting those white farmers who won
court orders staying their evictions. The evictions also threaten more than
230,000 black workers (and their families) who live on the farms.

Mugabe says the evictions are justified to correct the "skewed remains of
colonialism" that left about 4,500 whites owning one third of the nation's
farms while the remainder were owned by 7 million blacks. The often-violent
seizures have contributed to more than two years of political chaos, pushing
the country to the brink of economic ruin and food shortages that threaten
half the population.

The world condemned White Apartheid in South Africa. International boycotts
were organized against South African gold, products and stocks. But Robert
Mugabe is black and the world is silent. Where is the United Nations? Where
is the indictment of Mugabe before the new International Criminal Court?
Where are the peace keeping missions? Where is the outcry for economic
sanctions. Where are the boycotts?

The farmers are white capitalists. The brand of "justice" the UN preaches
apparently doesn't apply to them. Talk to any UN official and you will find
them hardly able to contain themselves from condemning the United States as
an international outlaw state, but it is the United States that is taking
the lead in trying to end the terrorism of Mugabe's rule while the United
Nations hears no evil, sees no evil, and says nothing.

Watch and learn, America. Zimbabwe justice is much closer to the UN's own
brand than that practiced in the United States. The UN and its apologists
will disagree, of course, but actions speak louder than words.

--Tom DeWeese is the publisher/editor of The DeWeese Report and president of
the American Policy Center:
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Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 18:23 GMT 19:23 UK
Zimbabwe's MDC plans open defiance
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai: "They can arrest us"
Zimbabwe's main opposition party is to defy security laws and hold rallies and meetings without police clearance, its leader Morgan Tsvangirai has announced.

The proposed action - ignoring strict public order and security laws introduced before March's controversial presidential elections - will open the way for the arrest of members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

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

If anyone thinks we are not doing enough, just wait

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai

But Mr Tsvangirai said action had to be taken against what he called the "illegal regime" of President Robert Mugabe, the man who beat him to lead Zimbabwe.

The MDC also announced it was starting a court challenge to stop local elections set for this weekend, saying hundreds of its candidates were being prevented from standing in the polls.

Mr Tsvangirai stopped short of calling for the sort of strikes and mass action against the government that he used in 1998 as Zimbabwe's main labour leader.

But he said: "If anyone thinks we are not doing enough, just wait."

Gatherings banned

Public meetings of more than three people in Zimbabwe now require police clearance, which has often been denied.

Election posters
The legal action to stop local elections follows a disputed presidential poll
Gatherings of various civic, labour and opposition groups have been banned and security forces could take action against those flouting the law.

Mr Tsvangirai said: "They can arrest us... defiance is a very important step to show that people will not be subjected to unjust laws."

He added: "Despair engulfs this country."

Zimbabwe has been plunged into an economic and humanitarian crisis.

Six million people - half of the country's population - face food shortages with white farmers being evicted and black farm workers being left without homes or jobs.

Election challenge

The MDC is claiming that 699 of its candidates out of more than 1,400 wards have either been barred from registering or severely intimidated from standing in this weekend's poll.

Mr Tsvangirai said the MDC had challenged the conditions of nominating candidates, which had seen a significant number of their candidates disqualified on technical grounds.

He also said they had challenged the elections because of acts of violence against some of their candidates following their nomination.

The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) denies MDC claims of pre-electoral violence, accusing the party of crying foul to garner international sympathy ahead of an election it fears losing.

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Zimbabwe High Court Acts in Land Reform Case
Peta Thornycroft
25 Sep 2002 14:45 UTC

Zimbabwe's High Court has ordered the army chief and his wife to produce
bank statements that could show profits from the sale of produce from two
farms they allegedly took over illegally. The case is part of the ongoing
story of Zimbabwe's land reform program.

General Constantine Chiwenga, commander of the Zimbabwe National Army, and
his wife Joscylin, are accused of taking over two high-tech flower and
vegetable farms and illegally exporting the produce.

The legal owner of the farms, Roger Staunton, lodged a detailed affidavit
with supporting documentation, claiming he was violently forced off his

The High Court on Monday provisionally barred the Chiwengas from selling any
more of Mr. Staunton's vegetables and flowers, and ordered them to pay Mr.
Staunton for what has already been sold.

Charges have also been filed against the main exporter in Zimbabwe, who
shipped roses allegedly stolen from Mr. Staunton to Amsterdam.

This is the first court case involving Zimbabwe's once lucrative flower
exports. Zimbabwe's flower industry is only 16 years old, but was worth at
least $5 billion a year before seizures of white-owned land began in
Februray 2000.

But flower farming is complex, and flowers on many seized farms have died.
Industry sources say a few flower farms, which have been taken over by
members of the security forces and the elite, are still operating, and the
new owners want to export their crops.

The Chiwenga case could determine whether they may do so. If the court says
the farms were seized illegally, there may be no market for their output.
Importers in Amsterdam say they will not buy what amount to stolen flowers.
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ZIMBABWE: MDC asks High Court to postpose local elections

JOHANNESBURG, 25 September (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has asked the Harare High Court to postpone this weekend's local elections on the grounds that the government has not complied with the Electoral Act.

"They still haven't supplied us with the voter's role [an MDC request after the March Presidential election], the Electoral Supervisory Commission [ESC] is improperly constituted and there is no impartial presiding officer," David Coltart, MDC legal affairs director, told IRIN on Wednesday.

This Saturday and Sunday candidates will contest elections for rural district councils and a by-election in Hurungwe, in the north of the country.

Coltart said the party would lodge a separate application to the High Court alleging that many MDC candidates were prevented from registering through "intimidation and spurious bureaucratic obstacles".

He said about 690 candidates had registered to stand for the elections, but about another 700 MDC candidates had been turned away.

Thomas Bvuma, a spokesman for the ESC said the commission had, so far, not received any official complaints of intimidation, and that the process of nominating candidates had now closed.

He told IRIN that election observers would be drawn from various civic organisations with monitors coming from the ESC. There would be no international observers.

Government-linked political violence has marred elections in Zimbabwe since the emergence of the MDC. In March, Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth over the presidential poll which was deemed as not free and unfair.

The European Union and the United States have imposed a travel ban and a freeze on assets of ministers in protest over the government's human rights violations.

Meanwhile, MDC shadow agriculture minister Renson Gasela has denied that an unsuccessful attempt to import 102 mt (2,000 bags) of maize for drought-relief was a pre-election political move.

The maize was stopped at the South African border on Sunday as it did not have the necessary import permit. Only the Department of Agriculture and the government-controlled Grain Marketing Board can issue permits for maize imports. 

Gasela said the MDC's Feed Zimbabwe Trust (FZT) had planned to hand the maize over to a church group for distribution as its contribution to drought-relief efforts.

The party would not apply for a permit, he said, as it believed the government should relax import restrictions during the current food crisis which threatens 6.7 million people.

"The GMB has failed to make enough food available in the country and the FZT and any other people should be allowed to play a part in bringing food to starving people," Gasela said.

"The government has been asked by the World Food Programme and the UN Development Programme to relax regulations on food imports and let the private sector play a part," he added.

But, according to Regis Chikowra of the Department of Information, "one of the reasons [for import and export permits] is to safeguard the interests of the consumer in terms of genetically modified grain and in terms of scarce commodities - that they are not spirited out of the country when they are needed here."

A Beitbridge border official told IRIN: "We control imports irrespective of the importer. When we receive their permit, we will smilingly release their maize."

However, even if the maize did cross the border, the MDC would face another obstacle - only seven NGOs which are registered with the government can distribute food aid.

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Hi All,
 I am sure you all know the council elections are on this week end.
Please find out where your polling station is, there as usual, has been some changes.
The polling stations for HIPPO VALLEY are at:
The polling stations for MKWASINE are at:
Please vote and see that your workers have transport to the polling stations. Even though we know that the opposition will cheat to win, we must still try to do our best.
With the exception of the ZANU candidates being allowed to distribute Maize meal and MDC [although we tried] not allowed the same privilege, their has been very little serious intimidation.
A lot of people have worked very hard to get our MDC candidates through the nomination court, so deserve a good try at this election.
Good luck and all the best,
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Mugabe mouthpiece thanks Mbeki for 'victory'

      September 25 2002 at 08:35AM

Harare - The Zimbabwean government has greeted with triumph news that a
Commonwealth troika had decided to spare it from further sanctions, calling
the decision a victory over colonialism.

The official Herald newspaper on Tuesday said the two African members of the
troika, Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Thabo Mbeki of South
Africa "did Africa proud" by out-voting Australia's Prime Minister John

The troika met in Abuja, Nigeria on Monday, six months after it partially
suspended Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth over flawed elections that returned
President Robert Mugabe to power.

Howard backed full and immediate suspension of Zimbabwe, while Obasanjo and
Mbeki wanted to continue to monitor the southern African country for another
six months.

      'Unrepentant and unreforming'
The three agreed that nothing had been done yet to address Commonwealth
concerns that Mugabe had been re-elected undemocratically.

But Commonwealth secretary-general Don McKinnon, along with Howard and Prime
Minister Tony Blair of Zimbabwe's former colonial power Britain, said the
54-member body intends to keep up the pressure.

Speaking on BBC radio, McKinnon said the Commonwealth had given Mugabe a
12-month period that expires on March 19 next year, to come into line before
full suspension from the organisation is considered.

"We are still remaining engaged," he said. "The Commonwealth is not just
walking away from this. We are doing our best to remain engaged and try to

Blair and Howard agreed Tuesday after meeting in London to keep up pressure,
with the British leader reiterating his concern at the deteriorating
situation in Zimbabwe, a Foreign Office spokesperson said.

      'We have been given a long rope
Meanwhile, the Herald, which closely reflects government thinking, claimed
Howard's agenda was "not to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe but to
prescribe punishment to a country that had dared challenge colonial

Zimbabwe has accused white Commonwealth countries of trying to undermine a
controversial land reform programme.

The government-backed scheme is aimed at redressing colonial imbalances in
land ownership by the compulsory acquisition of white-owned farms, which are
redistributed to landless blacks.

Aid agencies warn that the programme, which has resettled some 300 000 black
families and aims to resettle many more, will aggravate a famine that
threatens over half the country's 12 million people, because the new
landowners are not trained commercial farmers.

Zimbabwe's main political opposition criticised the troika for being too
lenient on Mugabe.

Welshman Ncube, the secretary-general of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) said the Commonwealth had missed "an opportunity to take firm action."

He said Obasanjo and Mbeki had given their assent to an "unrepentant and
unreforming" Mugabe and given him "another six months to destroy the

"Right now it (the government) is doing everything to subvert democratic
processes in Zimbabwe," he charged.

The Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe from its political councils after its
observer mission to the March presidential polls produced a report saying
the election did not reflect the will of voters.

The Zimbabwe government rejected that report, which it described as flawed
and one-sided, and accused the troika of acting unilaterally when it
partially suspended Zimbabwe.

Masipula Sithole, a political science lecturer at the University of
Zimbabwe, said the reprieve had not totally let Zimbabwe off the hook.

If there was no improvement in the next six months, the country could expect
the ultimate censure - sanctions and full suspension from the body - he

"I believe we have been given a long rope," Sithole said. He described as
"premature" the glee in government circles over being spared further

"We know what is coming," he said. "If we don't improve within the next six
months, we're doomed."

On Monday Zimbabwe's Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge welcomed the
panel's decision, and invited the troika to come and assess the situation in
Zimbabwe for themselves.

"Particularly we want Prime Minister Howard to come to Harare," Mudenge
said. "He can come and see what he wants to see, he can discuss what he
wants to discuss." - Sapa-AFP

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The Australian
Editorial: Africa fails the test of Mugabe

September 25, 2002
THE failure of the leaders of Australia, Nigeria and South Africa to agree
on how to deal with President Robert Mugabe is a setback for the
Commonwealth, the people of Zimbabwe and for Africa in general. John Howard
was correct in arguing for Zimbabwe's full suspension from the Commonwealth.
Since the 54-nation body's ultimatum in March, Mr Mugabe has snubbed all
attempts at engagement and has failed to address concerns his re-election in
March was rigged and Zimbabwe's opposition is persecuted. Mr Mugabe's
boycott of Monday's meeting of the Commonwealth's "troika" in Abuja was just
the latest expression of his contempt for world opinion. By insisting on
another six more months to monitor Zimbabwe's progress, Nigerian President
Olusegun Obasanjo and South African President Thabo Mbeki have, in effect,
extended Mr Mugabe's licence to pursue his dictatorial, racist and
destructive policies.

The refusal of Mr Howard's African counterparts to endorse his tough line
has once again exposed the Commonwealth's impotence. Its central
principles - the promotion of democracy, judicial independence and good
governance - will lose their meaning if not backed up by action. Although
largely symbolic, Zimbabwe's partial suspension in March represented the
first time the Commonwealth had acted against one of its members over
electoral violations. It also served to isolate the Zimbabwean President
from his African allies. Now even these limited achievements have been
undermined by the willingness of Mr Obasanjo and Mr Mbeki to give Mr Mugabe
the benefit of the doubt.

They should know better. To ignore the problem of Zimbabwe is to ignore the
main cause of endemic poverty in Africa - corrupt, despotic leaders and
their governments whose misguided policies have caused millions to live in
misery. Yet not a single African leader at this month's Earth Summit on
sustainable development in Johannesburg was prepared to acknowledge this
fact or to criticise Mr Mugabe's tyrannical rule. Instead, delegates
applauded Mr Mugabe's address to the summit in which he blamed British Prime
Minister Tony Blair for Zimbabwe's problems while denying his starving
people access to genetically modified food.

There is no doubt colonialism has left a mixed legacy in Africa. The
positive effects of infrastructure development have often been offset by
inequalities in land ownership. But rather than implement an orderly reform
program, Mr Mugabe has used colonialism as a scapegoat to justify his brutal
methods for seizing land from white farmers. As a consequence almost a
million black farm labourers are unemployed, GDP has fallen for the past
three years and around half the population - or 6 million people - are now
at risk of starvation.

The rousing reception in Johannesburg and his success in splitting the
Commonwealth's troika are likely to embolden Mr Mugabe further. Rather than
leading by example, Nigeria and South Africa have only highlighted their own
failings. Mr Obasanjo has restored some personal liberties after years of
repressive military rule, but has failed to tackle corruption and cronyism.
Opposition legislators have begun moves to impeach him for abusing his
authority. Even though South Africa has more HIV-positive people than
anywhere in the world - almost 11 per cent of the population - Mr Mbeki
clings to the absurd belief that AIDS is somehow caused by poverty and has
resisted prescribing antiretroviral drugs to HIV-positive women giving
birth. With friends like these, no wonder Mr Mugabe thinks he can get away
with murder. Pity the rest of Africa will be poorer as a result.
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Howard slams Zimbabwe meeting

Prime Minister John Howard has described his weekend meeting with the Commonwealth troika on Zimbabwe as a profoundly disappointing experience.
Mr Howard could not convince his fellow Commonwealth leaders - South African president Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo - to suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth for President Robert Mugabe's repeated abuses of human rights.
"(It) was for me a profoundly disappointing meeting," Mr Howard said after a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in London.
"The unwillingness of South Africa and Nigeria to support what I regarded as an entirely appropriate response to Zimbabwe's indifference to the Marlborough House statement ... was a disappointment.
"We'll continue to try to engage Zimbabwe but the reality is there was a rorted election earlier this year, that was the finding not of Australia and Britain but a Commonwealth observer group led by a former Nigerian president."
Mr Howard, Mr Mbeki and Mr Obasanjo were appointed to deal with the Zimbabwe issue following a meeting of Commonwealth leaders.
Mr Straw said he and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were deeply grateful to Mr Howard for his work in making sure that the abuses of the Mugabe regime were brought to world attention.
"Prime Minister Howard's trip to Abuja will rank in history as one well beyond the call of duty," Mr Straw said.
"The Commonwealth is able to see that the current leader of the Commonwealth is taking a firm stand on this and I'm as disappointed as Prime Minister Howard has been in the response by the presidents of Nigeria and South Africa.
"The greatest sadness is that the greatest harm from Zimbabwe, aside from that caused to Zimbabweans, is to Africans and to Africa."
©AAP 2002

Mail and Guardian

Australia calls for full suspension of Zimbabwe


      25 September 2002 14:49

Australian Prime Minister John Howard told BBC radio on Wednesday that
Zimbabwe should be fully suspended from the Commonwealth.

Currently Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's regime is suspended from the
councils of the Commonwealth, one step short of full suspension.

Howard, South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun
Obasanjo are the members of a troika monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe.
The two African members of the troika disagree with Howard.

Howard told the BBC: "I was arguing with the troika we should move
immediately to fully suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth because of the
failure of Zimbabwe to show any sensitivity at all to Commonwealth opinion.

"I'm concerned, if we just remain mute and indifferent, that democratic
governance, which is a central Commonwealth value, will just go by the
board," he added.

Howard said he had spoken to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Tuesday
but did not reveal details of the conversation.

Mugabe's land reform policies, carried out through violent occupations and
dispossession of white farmers without compensation, has drawn strong
criticism in the west. - Sapa-DPA
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Press statement
(On behalf of Justice for Agriculture Zimbabwe JAG)

The no show by President Robert Mugabe in Abuja, Nigeria is proof of his
intransigence and demonstrates his Governments contempt for accountability.

As to the inability of the meeting to come to a decision on how to proceed,
Justice For Agriculture would like to remind our African brothers Presidents
Obasango and Mbeki about the spirit of New Partnership for Africa's
Development (NEPAD). In President Mbeki' s words, "The idea behind NEPAD was
to move away from the donor-recipient relationship with the developed world,
to a new partnership based on mutual respect, responsibility and

Over six million Zimbabweans are currently in dire need of food assistance;
the rightful owners of farms have been prevented from farming. The critical
planting season is upon us and, many of the new settlers lack the promised
resources to grow food on the commercial scale necessary to offset the
hunger. Despite the attempts of the World Food Programme staff to ease the
suffering, the humanitarian disaster is gaining ground.

It is against this background of suffering that the 'troika' leaders make
their way home, abandoning their set task and sentencing Zimbabweans to
another six months of uncertainty and famine through their failure to bring
President Mugabe to book This failure to censure the ZANU PF regime implies
a tacit support of its dubious policies in the eyes of the world, and can
only deepen the despair in the hearts of suffering Zimbabweans.

We would like to echo the sentiments of our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr.
Stan Mudenge, in inviting Prime Minister Howard and any other heads of state
to visit Zimbabwe to establish the reality of the situation, and would like
to invite them to visit not only Harare but the rural and farming areas of
the country where the harsh reality of an unmitigated humanitarian disaster
is most evident.


24th September 2002

For more information, please contact Jenni Williams currently in
Johannesburg South Africa
Mobile +26311213886 or email
or Johannesburg fax +2711 482 3576 (till 30 September 2002)

Zimbabwe office Mobile (+263) 91 300456
or Fax (+2639) 63978 or (+2634) 703829
Office email
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Independent (UK)

Anger over visa for Zimbabwe minister
By Stephen Castle in Brussels
26 September 2002
Zimbabwe's Trade Minister has been granted a visa to attend talks in
Brussels, prompting a political row and claims that Harare is making "a
mockery" of the European Union's travel ban on top officials.

Samuel Mumbengegwi arrived in Belgium this week and will be allowed to stay
in the country until a series of meetings between the EU and developing
nations ends tomorrow. Belgium says it had little alternative to granting a
visa, which was given only after consultations with legal experts. But the
decision has provoked bitter criticism from MEPs and Zimbabwean opposition

Zimbabwe's élite has already taken advantage of a loophole in the EU's
travel ban to attend UN-sponsored or international meetings in Italy and
France. However critics argue that, by travelling to the EU's headquarters
in Brussels, the minister is exposing the sanctions to particular ridicule.

Mr Mumbengegwi and his officials had been invited to talks between the EU
and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, which began on Monday.
The minister is thought to have been in Brussels since the beginning of the
week, staying in a luxury hotel.

Belgium says it granted the visa on the advice of the European Council's
legal service which ruled that the Cotonou agreement between the EU and
developing nations gives the minister exemption from sanctions imposed by
the 15 member states. Because Cotonou is a formal treaty it is deemed to
have higher legal status than the EU agreement to impose the visa ban.

But one theory is that the EU was concerned that, if it barred Zimbabwe,
other African nations would boycott the talks.

Glenys Kinnock, Labour's development spokeswoman in the European Parliament
and co-president of the EU/ACP Joint Assembly, said granting the visa
"surely makes a mockery of the strong stand which Europe claims to have
taken against the Mugabe regime".

She said: "When President Mugabe has broken all the rules, it would be a
travesty to allow his minister to come. You may be able to get agreement on
imposing sanctions, but when it comes to implementing them some nations are

In a statement, the Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change
described the decision to admit the Trade Minister as an "alarming
loop-hole" in the law. It added: "Travel bans must be comprehensive. Mugabe
and his cohorts must be made conscious of their international isolation and
made aware that their policies are viewed as morally repugnant by large
sections of the international community."

The European Commission stressed that Mr Mumbengegwi will not be holding
meetings with any officials during his stay in Brussels.

In February EU foreign ministers imposed a European travel ban on President
Mugabe and 19 of his top-ranking associates - a list which was extended in
July to a further 52 close associates.
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ZIMBABWE: Crisis has regional impact

JOHANNESBURG, 25 September (IRIN) - Developments in Zimbabwe have been identified as a threat to democracy and the rule of law and as a key reason for the flight of capital from the regional economy.

In a hard-hitting statement, the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Dat'o Param Cumaraswamy, expressed "outrage over the further deterioration of the rule of law in Zimbabwe".

While Reuters reported that South African Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni, stressed the link between the seizure of land owned by white farmers in Zimbabwe and the impact on foreign direct investment in the regional economic powerhouse.

"Part of the rand's weakness is a political economy problem. It's not an economic-technical problem, it's a political economic problem arising in part from regional perceptions about Zimbabwe," Mboweni said.

"The City of London is a very important financial centre in the world. So you then touch the farmers in Zimbabwe in a manner that obviously is not right - the land reform problem is correct, the demand for land reform is correct, but the manner in which it is happening, I don't think is correct.

"So then the whole thing explodes because they [investors] look and say: So that happened in Zimbabwe, it took 20 years, it might happen in South Africa [for example].

"So what happens? Some of them take their money and go," Reuters quoted him as saying.

Meanwhile, Cumaraswamy said in his statement that "the latest arrest, detention and charges laid against retired High Court Judge [Fergus] Blackie for alleged corruption and obstruction of justice ... [was] yet another clear systematic attack on the basic fabric of democracy - i.e. the rule of law in Zimbabwe".

There was reasonable cause to believe that the actions against Justice Blackie were "an act of vendetta by the government" over the earlier conviction for contempt of court and a sentence to jail time and a fine imposed on the Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa, by Justice Blackie in July.

The conviction and sentence were subsequently set aside by a Supreme Court judge.

Cumaraswamy once again called on 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. The prevailing lawlessness in the government is not only a menace to the people of Zimbabwe but if allowed unabated could threaten peace, democracy and the rule of law in the African region", Cumaraswamy said.

He noted further that on no less than five previous occasions he had publicly expressed his grave concerns over the deterioration of the rule of law in Zimbabwe. "The government obviously is impervious to international concerns and outrage," he added.

Meanwhile, in its latest report, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum said it had received testimonies of political violence against teachers in eight of the country's 10 provinces. The authorities have often accused teachers of supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Bulawayo and Harare provinces had no reports of violence against teachers. However, the incidents recorded in the report did not in any way reflect the actual violence perpetrated against teachers as information collected was by no means exhaustive, the Human Rights Forum noted.

"The period under study saw the reported closure of 30 schools throughout the country. Most of the reported closures were due to teachers fleeing violence perpetrated against them and their subsequent refusal to go back until their safety was guaranteed.

"Apart from school closures, teachers were also chased away from their places of employment by either 'war veterans' or [ruling party] ZANU-PF supporters. The perpetrators would either go to the school where the individual taught and then physically remove them from their places of employment, or just order the transfer of teachers that they suspected to be MDC supporters," the report said.

Teachers were also threatened with either job loss or personal injury if it was established that they supported the MDC. This had occurred "at the highest level ... by the minister of foreign affairs, Stan Mudenge, but it was also done by 'war veterans' in Chimanimani, Bikita West, Masvingo Central, Mberengwa West and Zaka East".

The report also highlights two cases of pregnant teachers who were assaulted for being connected to the opposition MDC.

"One of the teachers lost her baby shortly after giving birth. The victim claims that her medical records show that the death of her child was due to the repeated assaults she suffered at the hands of war veterans and state agents," the Human Rights Forum said.


Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11 447-5472
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Comment from ZWNEWS, 25 September

Blackie: The background

By Michael Hartnack

With the early hours arrest of a recently retired white judge, his 27-hour incarceration in filthy police cells, his appearance shivering in court, and an outlandish allegation of an affair with a white woman he had acquitted, Zimbabwe has taken a giant step nearer total destruction of confidence in the courts, prosecutors and police. It is impossible to escape the conclusion that Judge Fergus Blackie, 65, was the latest victim of a cynical and sinister smear, combined with terror. Before leaving the bench, the last act by Blackie - the seventh judge forced from office by Robert Mugabe’s regime in the past two years - was to order the arrest of Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa for repeated contempt of court orders. Chinamasa evaded the warrant until he had it overturned by pro-Mugabe judges. After three nights in freezing cells, Blackie was on September 16 remanded on Z$10 000 bail on charges of obstructing the course of justice or alternatively breaching the Prevention of Corruption Act. The charges supposedly arise from an appeal by Tara White, a 40-year-old financial controller, which had been heard jointly by Blackie and recently-appointed Judge Rita Makarau. Before leaving in May, Blackie gave his judgment, upholding the appeal, to a typist with instructions that it should be passed on to Makarau. It is alleged this was not done, and the judgment was handed down by the duty judge without Makarau's consent - possibly due to a filing error. The typist has made an affidavit to this effect. Nevertheless, Makarau and High Court Judge President Paddington Garwe sent a complaint to Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku. The Chief Justice informed the police.

White had been sentenced in a magistrate's court to an effective 12 months' imprisonment on allegations of stealing Z$500 000 set aside by her employers, a group of travel and car hire companies, to pay taxes. She pleaded not guilty and produced a receipt for the cash from the tax department. No witness was called from the department to support prosecution claims that the money was never paid. A prominent Zanu PF lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, who had acquired an interest in the companies, made general allegations against White, which, said Blackie, were clearly inadmissible. On this ground alone she was entitled to acquittal, he ruled. Samkange was reportedly furious. White, who has young children, was arrested like Blackie on September 13, and released on Z$5 000 bail on September 17. Her remand application form (but not Blackie's, most significantly) contains the bald and brief words that she was suspected of having "a sexual relationship" with Blackie. The state-controlled Herald falsely reported that this claim was made in open court at White’s remand hearing. It was not; it was in the police docket, which also contained a statement by White that she has never met Blackie, she was not even in court when her appeal was argued, and she only knows that he looks like from newspaper photographs. The Herald ignored this, and instead carried a "cartoon" purporting to show the judge and White in bed together.

Blackie, a devout Catholic and prominent human rights jurist, has clashed with Mugabe's ministers before. A 1995 Bulawayo case in which he presided speaks volumes about justice in Zimbabwe. Itai Maguza, manager of a subsidiary of the parastatal Industrial Development Corporation, pleaded guilty to a massive fraud, but Blackie refused to accept a statement of facts agreed by the defence and prosecution which glossed over the alleged implication of the then Minister of Commerce, Christopher Ushewokunze, and others. They had ample opportunity to rebut Maguza's evidence when Blackie sought and received further, clear testimony of their guilt.  "I was afraid. There was a minister involved. There was the person who could hire me or fire me, who had control of my life, so to speak. That is why I did it," Maguza said. Blackie gave Maguza permission to appeal against a 3-year jail sentence, saying the fraud was the idea of the accused man’s superiors who ``acted with extreme cynicism and greed." Ushewokunze was killed in a drunken car accident (his third in 24 hours) some months later, and declared a "National Hero". Maguza's appeal and jail term, and the prosecutions of the other fraudsters, appear to have been forgotten while the judge’s role has not been forgiven. The African Union last week said corruption cost Africa U$148 billion a year. Now we see how, and why.

South Africa's Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson said Blackie's arrest appeared calculated to intimidate the judiciary. However, the South African government’s appearence of complicity in human rights outrages increased when its police representatives recently supported the election of Zimbabwean Commissioner Augustine Chihuri as chairman of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs' Co-Operation Organisation. After this triumph, Chihuri's long overdue retirement was postponed a further 12 months by Mugabe. And Zimbabweans are left wondering who will be the next person to disappear - and then be accused of raping little children, or some other foul-mouthed obscenity.

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Dear Farmer,

The debate about the merits of dialogue as against litigation,
continues, and Our Director has informed some members of the CFU Finance
Committee, of two most interesting points that must be noted. Firstly,
that the Union and JAG have the same objective but different modus
operandi. Secondly, that the President of Matabeleland has indicated
that there will be no members from his Province if Our Union does not go
the litigation route.

Let us study objective, or objectives, first. I have been advised, by
the JAG Chairman, that the objective of JAG was to contest the
legislation, that has eroded Our Union's membership. The results of
which have reduced Zimbabwe to a basket case, deprived thousands of
people of homes and jobs, seen skilled Zimbabweans leave the country,
and basically destroy the core of commercial agriculture - and
traumatize all those affected. (It has been predicted that about 750 000
people on farms, face starvation by the middle of October.) In addition
to this it seems that perhaps, a fairly substantial part of the rest of
the world, are not fully convinced that what is happening on the ground
is conducive to food security, and strengthening the Zimbabwean economy.
This is not my field, but certainly some members the Commonwealth and
the UN have expressed some degree of reservation as to how this new
order will pan out, given the extremely urgent manner of implementation
that is being experienced on the ground.

In May this year, I had the great pleasure of attending the Union
Council meeting. As early as that, Our Learned Council was budgeting on
about half its membership - down to some 1600 members. JAG would not
like to be thought of being, in any way, party to this "Expendability of
Membership Syndrome". In fact JAG would like to see Our Union have about
5 000 members and more, and grow stronger, to see Zimbabwe export as
much agricultural produce as possible, and create more jobs for the
growing number of school-leavers. JAG's objective would seem to be the
very opposite of the "Expendability of Membership Syndrome", and in fact
JAG may well be drawing its membership from what have become "Expendable
Farmers through CFU default", hence the fact that JAG has a very broad
base and wide variety of members. The common thread to the JAG members,
may well be that they would like to stand up in Court, for what they
believe is right, and for what is rightfully their property, and not
happily hand over what they have spent years building, for nothing. This
very fact was brought up in Congress, and ex-farmers were not exactly
made to feel that welcome or necessary, in terms of the new prescribed
Farm Licence bands as put forward that day. JAG does not appear to have
that same Superiority Complex, because it is dealing with professional
people who are in the process of being deprived of their homes and
businesses. The only real Superiority Complex that JAG may well be
guilty of, is in terms of PRINCIPLES, and it seems that they actually
pride themselves in being guilty of this Complex, and will defend this
Superiority of Principles Complex, fiercely.

If we look at Churchill's appointment, of Sir Archibald Sinclair, as
Secretary of State for Air, in 1940, we will discover that Sir Archibald
had the opposite approach to Our Union, in dealing with a huge
responsibility. Sir Archibald's modus operandi, was to ensure that the
men of His Airforce, were afforded the best conditions possible under
the circumstances, to maximize operational effectiveness. ("Give us the
tools and we will do the job") I have little doubt that Sir Archibald
would have been somewhat astonished if Winston had suggested to him,
that he only needed half the Airmen, and that he should abandon three
quarters of his Air Power. They certainly would not have had the same
objective, then.

Moving on to the membership of Matabeleland renewing its licences, or
not. I asked Our President to go back to the membership (while it is
still at some 3 200 for another seven days) and seek a mandate, there
from, and then to act in accordance with Their Wishes, not just one or
two provinces or regions, or commodities. Indeed the majority of current
members may choose not to be members of what appears to be developing
into a very new type of union compared with what Humphrey Gibbs,
nurtured in a little place called Nyamadhlovu, some sixty years ago. I
really wonder what he would have to say about the custodianship of his
little baby, and what it is now growing into.

The disturbing part about Our Union Leadership's perception of a
Democratic Union, is that it derives its mandate from an ever shrinking
minority. They have very conveniently overlooked the fact, that at least
half of its members have lost "the tools to do the job", and yet they
press on with the confidence of Adolf. My wife teaches Mathematics, and
some people (like me) find it a very complicated subject to understand.
However, she says that the most dangerous situation is, when a student
is so lost that, "they do not know, that they do not know". I now worry,
that this is NOT the case in Our Union, and that there is perhaps, some
other agenda. Time will tell.

If we go back to France in May 1940, France was totally unprepared for
the German onslaught. General Alan Brooke under immense pressure, noted
in his diary, "There is enough to make one feel gloomy, but I must say
that I have a firm conviction that Right must conquer Wrong".

He went on to describe his meeting with the French General Weygand, who
said, "This is a terrible predicament that I am in. Yes, I had finished
my military career which had been a most successful one".

Brooke's comment to this was, "It seemed impossible that the man
destined to minister to France in her death agonies should be thinking
of his military career".

Arthur Bryant has managed to describe the partnership of Churchill and
Brooke, in his inimitable manner. Of Brook's part he says "It was
Churchill who chose him, Churchill who used him and who, even when he
disagreed with him and passionately believed himself right and
Alanbrooke and his fellow Chiefs of Staff wrong, had the wisdom and
magnanimity to be guided by them and to refrain from using the boundless
powers with which Nation and Parliament had invested in him". And then
comes the real punch, referring to Churchill, "Remaining a leader, he
refused to be a dictator".

Fellow farmers, if Our Leadership, chooses to refrain from accepting the
advice given by Our Lawyer, chosen at Our Congress, then in the words of
Arthur Bryant, we must approach Our Director and propose to amend Our
Constitution, to read "The Dictator" instead of "The President". History
has a funny way of repeating itself, and thus we can see now if this is
to be so, right under our noses.

Yours sincerely,

J.L. Robinson
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