Botswana blames Mugabe for crisis
BOTSWANA'S ruling party has blasted Zimbabwe's agrarian reform
saying the government of President Robert Mugabe has lost control
land redistribution process.
A high-powered delegation from the
ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP),
which met Zanu PF officials in
Bulawayo last month, said Botswana was
suffering from the contagion effect of
the land-induced crisis in Zimbabwe.
Reports from Botswana said the meeting,
initiated by the BDP, was called
because of the negative effect on the
economy of Botswana of the political
crisis in Zimbabwe.
chairman Ponatshego Kedikilwe, who headed his party's
delegation, said this
week that the Zimbabwean situation was not only a
threat to security in
Zimbabwe but to the region as a whole. He said while
most people and
governments - including Britain - agreed in principle to
there was a groundswell of opinion that the
implementation process was
"We indicated to our counterparts in Zimbabwe that we feel their
the situation is not neat enough," Kedikilwe told the Botswana
At pains to choose diplomatic language to explain the exchanges at
meeting, Kedikilwe said the BDP felt that the Zimbabwean government had
control of the situation.
"It is important for the state to be in
control," he said. "But an
impression has been created that the government in
Zimbabwe has lost control
of the situation, which is just as dangerous as the
situation of a driver
who has lost control of his vehicle."
tourism industry is one of the biggest casualties of the
International tourists who used to visit the country via
Victoria Falls no
longer come because they fear political violence.
Although President Festus
Mogae has warned of the danger of Zimbabwe's
problems spilling into Botswana,
the indictment of Mugabe's land policy by a
ruling party in the region where
leaders have refused to publicly censure
one another is unprecedented.
BDP said in their private talks with Zanu PF that they emphasised
importance of the Zimbabwean government reasserting its authority over
However, Zanu PF information supremo Nathan Shamuyarira
yesterday denied the
BDP registered its disquiet with the land reform
"There was no such dismay registered," said Shamuyarira.
what was discussed at the meeting he said: "That was a confidential
between the two parties. We cannot disclose what was discussed. It
an exchange of ideas." National chairman John Nkomo headed the Zanu
Subject: from feast to famine
Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 7:19
I write to you again to update you
on the position in our farming area of Raffingora, Zimbabwe. As the dawning realisation of famine slowly reaches into the minds of the
farm workers in the district they wonder what will happen to them.
After having been whipped up by a Zanu PF led group calling
themselves "the big six" during this last month to demand their termination
packages and having barricaded the farmers into their homes, prevented tobacco
being delivered for sale and staging work stoppages, the farmers eventually
caved into the labour demands and paid out huge packages to the labour. Many had
worked for the same farm for over 40 years.
payment of these packages has in many instances made farmers lose all their
savings and they now face a situation where they are unable to farm using their
savings and unable to farm as the banks will not lend money to farmers in these
uncertain times. Combine this with the government's eviction of the farmers from
their farms during the past three weeks and the labour now face a future with no
work, no food and no homes.
Many of the labourers
originate from Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. They and their forefathers came to
Zimbabwe in the early part of the last century to work on the tobacco farms as
there was not enough labour in Zimbabwe to work the land. They did not renounce
their foreign nationality or that of their forefathers before 6 January 2002 and
so they are stateless aliens. Many have no birth certificates or national
identity cards. Many of them have no idea of where their forefathers came
With their self-imposed termination of
employment, they are now required to return to their communal homes. Very few
farm labourers have been given land to till on the farms that have been taken by
government for resettlement and if they are aliens or opposition supporters, the
farm labour have no hope of being resettled on any of the farms they worked on
for so many years.
The temptation to buy blankets,
pots, bicycles or drink away their terminal benefits has been huge. Many have
already lost their money through theft or alcohol consumption. Very few have
though about where the next bag of maize meal will come from. This has always
traditionally been supplied by the farmer at the beginning of each month. The
farmer has always (for up to 60 years) sourced maize for the farm labour and so
this problem has never arisen. The Grain Marketing Board Depots are empty and
when a delivery of maize does arrive, the members of the ruling party are given
maize first...often leaving...nothing for the farm workers. That is, for those
farm workers who still have any money left after their happy spending spree at
the beginning of September .
To add fuel to the fire,
the local hospital has no drugs and no trained staff. The local war vet who
abducted me in 2000, as well as evicted me from my home in August despite a high
court order specifically disallowing him from doing so, has been made the local
Rural Councilor. He was unopposed in the nomination for Councilors during this
month and therefore took up his post without an election. He controls the
clinic, hospital, roads, and general well-being of all the people in our
We face a humanitarian crisis in the
Raffingora district over the next few months. People will be homeless, jobless
and worst of all, foodless. This has never happened before. How can they
conceive of something that has never happened before? Sir, while I accept that
you feel that you cannot interfere in the internal affairs of another country, I
plead with you to see that this is a form of genocide. Do not allow the world to
look back on Zimbabwe in the future and compare it with Rwanda, Burundi or
Ethiopia. Please do whatever you can to prevent this humanitarian crisis and
the total removal of our basic human rights to life, food and shelter.
sincerely Jean Simon
DFN Hosts Online Chat with Geoffrey Nyarota
Editor of Zimbabwe's Leading
Independent Daily Newspaper To Discuss
Press Freedom and Local Elections
Results In Zimbabwe
WHEN: Friday, October 4, 2002 from 12:30 to 1:30 PM
New York time
(4:30 to 5:30 PM GMT).
WHERE: Digital Freedom
Network's Web site at http://dfn.org/chat
The Digital Freedom
Network (DFN) will host an online meeting with
Geoffrey Nyarota, the
Zimbabwe Daily News editor arrested five times
in the last three years for
printing articles considered critical of
the Zimbabwe government.
the past few years, Mr. Nyarota has seen his printing presses
bombed and a
number of his staff arrested on charges of defamation.
And on May 3, Mr.
Nyarota's work was recognized when he won the
UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World
Press Freedom Prize for 2002.
The online meeting will take place on
Friday, October 4, 2002 from
12:30 to 1:30 PM New York time (4:30 to 5:30 PM
GMT) on DFN's Web
site at http://dfn.org/chat. The meeting will be
conducted in English
and is open to the public.
While the crackdown
on press freedom has long been a part of
Zimbabwe's political landscape, the
parliament's passing of the
Access to Information and Privacy Bill this past
January dealt one of
the largest blows to media freedom in the country.
Many believe that the passing of this and other laws were used to
help secure President Robert Mugabe's successful re-election, which
plunged the country into a precarious state. During the chat, Mr.
will discuss the current crisis in Zimbabwe and the current
situation of the
country's beleaguered independent press.
The online meeting will be
accessible to anyone running a Java-
enabled Web browser. Anyone may attend
the moderated forum and post
questions to the guest. The chat will be in
English. Those unable to
attend the chats can submit questions in advance to
Mr. Nyarota by
using our Web form.
The Digital Freedom
Network (DFN) promotes human rights around the
world through the use of
Internet technology. DFN's web site is
International are running a petition to Mbeki on the Mugabe issue,
so if you
have time please log onto the site at
and fill it
out. It takes literally one minute of your time. It is currently featured on
the homepage, so you can't miss it, but if you can't find it (ie if they move
it off the home page) here below is the direct URL
pass this on to as many people as you can, even if you don't have
to Internet, it is rare that we all have an opportunity to do something concrete
alone, 57 people have been deliberately and arbitrarily killed and over a
thousand tortured for their political beliefs in Zimbabwe. Violence has become a
tool of the government of Robert Mugabe to silence its opponents and maintain
its grip on power.
South Africa, with its enormous economic and
political importance in the region, is in a unique position to influence Robert
Mugabe. President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa has been working behind the scenes
to establish peace. Despite this, the violence continues.
It's time to
change tactics. A strong public signal from South Africa has the power to force
change in Zimbabwe.
Farm Invasions And Security
Friday 27 September
This report does not
purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial
farming areas. Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers
from reporting all that happens. Farmers names, and in some cases farm names,
are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.
Chimanimani - The CIO visited Charleswood
Estates and arrested six people, including one visitor, on 24.09.02. They were
arrested but all released in the evening. It was claimed that the owner of
Charleswood was trying to settle the farm with his own people.
The rest of Manicaland is
No report received.
Beatrice – on 25.09.02,
in the early hours of the morning, a couple from Beatrice were tied up and
severely assaulted. The wife has been
admitted to hospital and has a broken leg.
The husband was treated for shock and later discharged. The safe was
opened and items were stolen. The Police
were notified at 0300 hrs but only arrived on the scene at 0600 hrs. On 21.09.02 another farmer was also
assaulted. He was treated by the local
medics for shock, bruising and abrasions.
One farmer reported that settlers from one farm came and started fires on
Harare South - Pressure is increasing on
farmers to pay out the full SI6 package.
Farmers are being barricaded into their homes and labour is
striking. One farmer had farm equipment,
which included irrigation pipes, impounded by the police and the equipment taken
to Chitungwiza. He was told no equipment
was to leave the farm unless it was first valued and offered to the
Tengwe Estates received a
judgement on 07.08.02 declaring the preliminary Notice of Acquisition and all
subsequent actions in the acquisition process declared null and void and of no
legal effect. The police attempted to
arrest the owner on 18.08.02, but he managed to talk his way out of the arrest.
The owner presented himself to Karoi Police Station on 21.08.02 to show them the
High Court ruling. He was released. On 06.09.02 a police detail gave him a verbal
eviction order to be off the farm by 1400 hrs on 06.09.02, threatening anything
left on the farm would then become State property, including 70,000 kg of
tobacco stored in the sheds. On 07.09.02 the labour went on strike, citing
threats of beatings by the police. On
10.09.02 at 13.30 two vehicles with about 10 people arrived. Their spokesman
introduced himself as Major Patrick Maponga and issued the owner with an
eviction order giving him until 1800 hrs evening to vacate, stating this was the
third and final order and was exceptionally threatening. From 12-17.09.02 (6
days) the owner and his family were barricaded in and subjected to all types of
abuse and attempted extortion. On 16.09.02 at around 13.30 the mob turned
off all water and electricity to the house. The barricade ended with the
assistance of Tengwe FA chairman, and Member-in-Charge Tengwe, Mutarofa. That
afternoon, a police detail from Tengwe, together with a delegation of ZANU-PF
personnel arrived and appointed some of the labour to guard the homestead and
barn area. The owner has not been allowed to return to the farm and told his
return is dependent on paying retrenchment packages. the owner has held only one
tobacco sale this season and almost the entire crop is sitting in the shed
waiting to be sold. There is a herd of 60 hand reared Sable as well as 25
Wildebeest and 8 zebra on the farm and an unconfirmed report states the "war
vets" are starting to slaughter the game.
Chakari: On 22.09.02 at Chevy Chase farm
the owner’s lorry collected the month’s maize allocation - authorised by the authorities - for his
pigs and labour from GMB. His lorry was followed back to the farm and at about
midnight approx 100 people congregated outside and began dancing etc. The Police
were called, who then accused him of hoarding maize. he produced receipts showing it was bought
and collected that day. Later the "war vets" demanded to know why he didn't
slaughter the pigs, give them the meat and sell them the maize as there were
people dying of hunger. A member of
parliament, Mr. Ziyambi arrived on 24.09.02 and "took" all the maize and sold it
to the "war vets". The farmer is now
left with no maize for the pigs. A few of his braver employees joined the queue
and got a bag here and there.
Masvingo East and Central - Nothing to
Chiredzi – farmer A reported continued threats and harassment over
Mwenezi - Poaching remains excessive. Farmer B reports they are losing one giraffe
daily. Veld fires have also been reported as well as continued wire theft. Farmer C had 100 cows and 94 weaners stopped
from grazing by settlers over the last weekend. Owner contacted the Police who
did not want to respond saying the matter was political. Settlers drove five of Farmer D’s cows off the property on the weekend. Farmer E has been under continued pressure
from settlers who have made demands that he vacate his property. Settlers have
also been driving owner’s cattle into his premises. Farmer F had 5 cows and five calves stolen
three weeks ago, which have not been recovered.
Farmer G reports settlers on this property have slaughtered another
Save Conservancy - Poaching and snaring
continue. Farmer H’s manager reports of
problems with labour over wage payment.
Gutu / Chatsworth – Farmer L reported that
individuals arrived on his property on 24.09.02, making demands he vacate the
neighbouring homestead of all its possessions, as they wanted to move in by
evening. his wife was threatened and told she should have the keys ready by the
evening otherwise she would witness what they would do to her homestead. Police
in Masvingo and Police at Chatsworth were informed. They reacted late in the
evening and arrested three of the culprits.
A very elderly
couple were attacked in their homestead on the night of 22.09.02 in the Shurugwi
area. They were tied up and gagged while the house was ransacked for linen,
blankets and clothing. They have now recovered from the experience. Stock theft
continues unabated. In one case, in the Lower Gweru area, a heifer belonging to
an employee was taken and, when the thieves were tracked down, they were very
apologetic as they thought the heifer belonged to the white farmer. Poaching
also continues on a large scale and gold panners continue to present a major
Nyamandhlovu - On 21.09.02 "war vets" moved the farmer’s cattle,
saying the cattle were damaging their properties. The farmer went to investigate and his
vehicle was stoned. His game scout was
hit on the head with a rock. The pump
boys were also chased away. The farmer and game scout went to the police to make
a statement and the police refused to take a statement from the farmer, saying
they needed permission from the OIC.
They did however take one from the game scout.
Nothing else to report.
Visit the CFU Website www.mweb.co.zw/cfu
specifically stated that this is a Commercial Farmers' Union communique, or that
it is being issued or forwarded to you by the sender in an official CFU
capacity, the opinions contained therein are private. Private messages also
include those sent on behalf of any organisation not directly affiliated to the
Union. The CFU does not accept any legal responsibility for private messages
and opinions held by the sender and transmitted over its local area network to
other CFU network users and/or to external addressees.
Zim to the polls
Harare - A last minute attempt by
Zimbabwe's main opposition party to delay
local elections set for this
weekend failed Friday when a High Court judge
"I make a ruling to the effect that this matter is not
Benjamin Paradza said.
The Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) filed an urgent petition earlier
this week to postpone the
elections citing widespread intimidation of their
irregularities in nomination procedures.
The MDC's presidential candidate
Morgan Tsvangirai lost to President Robert
Mugabe in elections held earlier
this year, a result the party has rejected.
In dismissing the MDC's
application, Paradza said: "To me it smells like a
game of politics is being
played, and sadly is being played in the courts of
claims that 699 of its candidates out of more than 1 400 wards have
been barred from registering or severely intimidated from standing in
September 28-29 poll.
Victory has been effectively handed to Zanu-PF in
wards where the MDC has
failed to register candidates. - Sapa-AFP
Here is some news that I have just received
about pre- council election violence in the Chipinga South
A business man Meki Makuyana who is a staunch
MDC supporter at Chisuma shopping centre was attacked at his store at 1.30 am 27th
Fortunately the only damage
was to all the windows and some of his goods.
The ZANU militia came in a T35 truck owned by a well known
business man in that area.
The matter was reported to the police, but Mr Makuyana was
told to go and that it was his own fault.
Another business man Biggie Chigadza who is standing as
councilor and has a store at Chitepo township was also attacked at about 0215 am
on the 27th Sept.2002. This was by the same group in the same vehicle.
He was also fortunate and only windows were
The matter was also reported to the police with the same
Three teachers Mr Gwitira, Mr Famire and Mr Muguta who are
seen as MDC supporters at Maparadza School were attacked separately during the
night of the 26th Sept 2002.
Reports are that it is the same group of thugs.
The police were notified but no docket was
ZIMBABWE: Oppsition cries foul over local elections
September (IRIN) - Zimbabweans are scheduled to return to the polls this weekend
to vote for district councils whose tasks include the delivery of local services
and overseeing the distribution of food aid.
However, there were two last
minute court challenges by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
on Friday, aimed at postponing the poll, and protecting ballot papers from the
March presidential election from being destroyed.
On Thursday, Registrar
General Tobaiwa Mudede applied successfully to the High Court to re-use election
boxes from the March election on the grounds that the government did not have
money to buy new ones.
The ballot papers inside the boxes are the subject
of an MDC court application, which resumes in November, challenging President
Robert Mugabe's defeat of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
MDC legal affairs
director David Coltart told IRIN on Friday that in terms of Mudede's ruling, the
MDC was supposed to have witnessed the removal of the ballot papers to secure
storage, but had not been informed of the venue or time of the opening of the
boxes. A letter to the government setting a Friday noon deadline for the
information had not received a response, he said.
"They can't break the
seal unless we are present," Coltart said.
He added that it was not
necessary to re-use the boxes as there were still enough empty boxes left over
from the 5,000 prepared for the March election.
He said the MDC had
earlier this month launched an urgent application to protect the old ballot
papers after "getting wind that the government wanted to destroy
An analyst from the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa
(EISA)said that the Electoral Act did allow ballot boxes to be destroyed after
six months, but in this case it would be "destroying evidence the MDC might need
to prove the elections were rigged".
"It won't be in the interests of
democracy," Claude Kabemba, a senior policy analyst with the EISA told
The second court application by the MDC, to have the election
postponed, was because it said almost 700 of its candidates had allegedly been
prevented from registering by "spurious bureaucracy".
The MDC has accused
the ruling ZANU-PF of using political violence, particularly in the rural areas,
to intimidate its candidates from standing.
Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa has rejected the allegations. He reportedly said the MDC was to blame
for not finding candidates for the council polls.
Supervisory Commission said earlier this week that it had not received an
official complaint from the MDC. It said that 1,394 candidates had initially
registered, but many had since withdrawn and the exact number of candidates was
not immediately known.
The MDC has also demanded a copy of the voters
roll, which it should have received under the terms of the Electoral Act. But
this case would only be heard on Tuesday, after the election. The party had not
yet received a copy for the March election either.
U.S. says Zimbabwe voting unlikely to be
WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 - The United States said on Friday the
free and fair local elections in Zimbabwe this weekend were
the government had failed to prevent violence and
U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said
in a written
statement that Washington condemned ''the environment of fear
intimidation'' during preparations for the voting.
''The Government of Zimbabwe has not taken the necessary
steps to ensure
conditions for a credible democratic election. It has failed
to ensure that
all parties and candidates are able to participate, to
condemn and punish
election-related violence and intimidation, and to follow
transparent, and equitable registration procedures.
circumstances, the outlook for free and fair local
elections in Zimbabwe is
The United States says it does not recognize President
as the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe because of the conduct of
elections in March.
The local elections will pit the
ruling ZANU-PF party against the
main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, which says 700 of its
candidates have been barred from registering or
have been intimidated from
MDC worried over Zanu PF’s continued onslaught
We, The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), condemn
the continued dismissal of teachers by Mugabe’s regime of unruly war veterans
and Zanu PF supporters throughout the country, which clearly demonstrates the kind
of intolerance of the regime. Reports just received indicate that 10 teachers
have been dismissed from Makwe , Tshoboyi, Connemara, Lushongwe primary
schools, and from Lushongwe Secondary School – all of them in Gwanda North
War veterans who dismissed teachers at Lushongwe
Secondary School on 19 September 2002 were accompanied to the school by the
local councilor, Mr. K. Nyathi. The MDC questions the capacityof the Ministry of
Education and the regime when it is overrun by war veterans in running the country.
The unlawful dismissal of teachers by anybody is
unacceptable, and should be condemned in the strongest terms. While Mugabe
misleads the world into believing that
he is a champion of children’s rights, Zanu PF councillors are recruiting war
veterans to illegally dismiss teachers. It is ironic that Mugabe purports to
protect children’s rights and provide them with a good education, yet he is
denying them access to it.
The international community should note that
Mugabe, who this year attended a children summit in New York and spoke at
length about his commitment to ensuring that children of school going age are
all in school, continues to unleash his militias and councillors to dismiss
teachers in the rural areas.
Fidelis George Mhashu,
MDC Shadow Minister for Education
September 26, 2002.
Made’s comments reflect regimes hypocrisy and
Joseph Made’s comments in the Herald today that MDC’s bid to bring in food
to feed the people of Zimbabwe is an attempt to cause anarchy and confusion
reflect the regime’s hypocrisy and cruelty.
A national disaster has been declared and the regime simply is failing to
feed the people of Zimbabwe. It is only natural that resources and efforts from
everyone should be harnessed to bring in food to feed starving children.
However, Mugabe and his blinkered ministers still does not realize the
gravity of the crisis. This not the time for politics. This is the time for
action. The nation cannot afford a regime that behaves as if the situation is
normal when millions of children, women and men of this country are staring
death in the eye because of the shortage of food.
Zimbabweans will remember Made as the blinkered minister who stood on top
of roofs, flew round the country and lied to the nation that Zimbabweans had
adequate food reserves to last two years. Today, the nation faces a catastrophic
famine and he has cruelty to detain 2000 bags of maize while the people are
hungry. That hypocrisy and cruelty will damn him and his regime to hell.
The MDC will not be deterred in its efforts to bring food to the people of
Zimbabwe. We shall intensify our efforts and hope that sense will prevail on
Mugabe and Made that the people of Zimbabwe are starving, they need food
Paul Themba Nyathi,
MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity.
'Zim is Mbeki's acid test'
Town - President Thabo Mbeki's international esteem as chairperson of
African Union would be improved if he can take on his Zimbabwean
Robert Mugabe. If not, it could only diminish, said a
At a meeting of business communicators on Friday
spokesperson for the movement Justice in Agriculture (Jag),
said: "Why does
Mbeki fold his hands while Mugabe systematically destroys his
economy to keep his government in power?"
She said Mbeki's
much-famed African century should start now in Zimbabwe.
"Mbeki asked for
six months when the Commonwealth's troika (Mbeki, Nigerian
Obasanjo and Australia's John Howard) met recently. If
Mbeki cannot achieve
something with his northern neighbour in this time, he
will have no
credibility left, and large-scale boycotts will then have to be
"With Mbeki and Obasanjo's decision not to suspend
Zimbabwe from the
Commonwealth, the future handling of this thorny issue
became a big test for
Mbeki in particular. Zimbabwe is now Mbeki's acid
Williams related that she had received
several death threats since she
started working for the commercial farmers to
restore democracy, peace and
pride to Zimbabwe. She can also be arrested at
any time and sent to prison
for two years. This did, however, not unsettle
her, she said.
"While half of the country's 12 million people are already
are prevented from producing food. Some of them have been
because their crime is farming. Most are white. The "third
war for land and
agriculture" started in all earnest in February 2000 when
farms were taken
over, and plundered or destroyed. How does one produce food
"About 3 000 farmers are now being forced off their land.
Their game is
being killed indiscriminately. Hundreds of farmers, several of
descent, are fleeing before government supporters, their workers
squalor in camps and the governing elite now live on the land
expropriated for the ordinary people. The few new farmers who have
in, receive no assistance and are struggling."
draconian laws were often made to further restrict farmers in
her country and
to make criminals of them.
"There is no commitment from the Zimbabwean
government to solve the problem.
Mugabe disregards agreements with the
farmers. The only option is enough
pressure from outside to straighten things
"What kind of wind of change is Nepad, the Zimbabwean people want to
Would this hold Zimbabwe's leaders accountable?
"If Africa is
unable to use its influence regarding the injustice in
Zimbabwe, what hope is
there for other countries in the sub-region? Even in
South Africa there is
unease about these ominous events which cannot be
Zim not on SADC summit agenda
Town - Southern African leaders meet in Luanda next week for their
body's annual summit, but the political crisis in Zimbabwe is not
agenda, a South African official said on Thursday.
Minister Aziz Pahad told reporters the 14-member Southern
Community (SADC) summit next Wednesday and Thursday
would focus on the
organisation's restructuring and the regional food
Zimbabwe was not up for debate, even though its seizure of
and contested election have split the British Commonwealth
investor confidence in the region.
"On the agenda they have sent us from
the secretariat, it's not there.
(Zimbabwe) is not on our official agenda,"
SADC has criticised Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's policies
running of the March election, but has opposed sanctions against
South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian
President Olusegun Obasanjo
dashed Western hopes of tougher action against
Mugabe on Monday when they
blocked a bid by Australian Prime Minister John
Howard at a meeting in Abuja
to formally suspend Zimbabwe from the
The Commonwealth, which groups 54 mostly former British
already partially suspended Zimbabwe in protest against the
of white-owned farms and the alleged rigging of Mugabe's
Mbeki and Obasanjo insisted on waiting until the end of the
suspension already imposed before assessing Mugabe's response and
whether to extend measures.
African central bank governor Tito Mboweni cautioned on Wednesday
investor perceptions of the political crisis in Zimbabwe was undermining
rand, which fell a record 37%against the dollar in 2001, partly on
that the crisis could spread to South Africa.
Pahad said South
Africa wanted to continue efforts to get Mugabe to talk to
his opponents and
warned advocates of tougher action against dividing the
"You would need total consensus to get any decision on
suspension. We have to be very clear that when any move like
place, it does not divide the Commonwealth between the old
the new Commonwealth," he said.
Pahad said the SADC
leaders would assess the regional food crisis which,
according to United
Nations analysts, threatens starvation for more than 14
million people in six
South Africa is looking at "rationalising" its transport
accommodate food aid for the region organised by the UN World
Programme, he said.
The SADC groups South Africa, Zimbabwe,
Zambia, Swaziland, Lesotho,
Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Angola,
Tanzania, Seychelles, Mauritius and Malawi.
Zimbabwe ruling party fights for rural power
HARARE, Sept. 27 - Zimbabwe holds local government elections
seen as a test of President Robert Mugabe's control of his
The polls will pit the ruling ZANU-PF
party against the main
opposition which accuses Mugabe of stealing the
presidential election in
The nationwide council polls come
amid a deepening economic and food
crisis in the southern African country and
opposition charges of
intimidation and violence by ruling party
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says 700 of its
have been barred from registering or intimidated from running in
September 28-29 polls.
The High Court threw out on Friday an
MDC application seeking to
nullify the election nomination process, which the
opposition says has
effectively handed victory to ZANU-PF candidates in
High Court Judge Benjamin Paradza said
if the MDC believed it had a
strong case it should have brought the challenge
three weeks ago when the
nominations closed, instead of three days before the
Political analysts say the ZANU-PF campaign is part of a
strategy to bar the MDC from rural areas, the government's traditional
''Its strategy is to maintain a strong control there,
and that is why
they have been more vicious there,'' said University of
scientist Masipula Sithole.
''They have lost a
number of key urban areas to the MDC during local
government (polls) in the
last two years. For ZANU-PF to lose the rural
council elections would be like
a confirmation that Mugabe lost the
presidential elections,'' Sithole
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa has rejected
allegations the ruling party was using intimidation and violence
run-up to the weekend vote. He also said the MDC was to blame for
finding candidates for the council polls.
The MDC nearly
defeated ZANU-PF in parliamentary elections in 2000,
saying it could have won
if the campaign had been free of political
officials say the MDC is no longer the political force it
was two years ago
because Zimbabwe's majority black people see it as a front
for minority white
CALL FOR DEFIANCE CAMPAIGN
MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai said on Wednesday his party would defy
tough restrictions on
rallies and urged labour and civic groups to join a
new defiance campaign
The opposition call to action came a few days after
blocked efforts by Australia to toughen Commonwealth
Zimbabwe in response to Mugabe's land and political
Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe of stealing the March
elections, which were also condemned by some Western nations as
The government has said the vote was free and fair.
Zimbabwe has been in crisis since pro-government militants, led by
of the 1970s liberation war, began invading white-owned farms in
The MDC says the land policies have contributed to a severe
shortage which is affecting nearly seven million people, or half
population. The government insists the shortages are solely the result
Mugabe, in power since the former Rhodesia gained
Britain in 1980, says his land drive is aimed at correcting
injustice, which left 70 percent of the country's best land in the
EU to shelve Southern Africa talks over
BRUSSELS, Sept. 27 - The European Union is likely to
call off a planned
ministerial meeting with the 14-nation Southern African
Community in November due to deteriorating relations with
diplomats said on Friday.
They said EU foreign
ministers would decide next Monday the time was
not ripe for the meeting, due
to be held in Copenhagen, especially since
under EU sanctions, Zimbabwean
ministers and senior officials are barred
from entering the bloc.
The EU imposed so-called ''smart sanctions'' on Harare, accusing
Robert Mugabe of rigging elections in March after he refused to
European observers to work freely.
The diplomats said the EU would
probably seek a later date and venue,
and possibly hold the talks at a lower
Black leg disease claims 5 000 cattle in
9/27/02 9:24:44 PM (GMT +2)
Mutimba in Masvingo
MORE than 5 000 cattle have died in Masvingo
province since an
outbreak of the black leg disease last
Ernest Dzimwasha, Masvingo Provincial veterinary officer
confirmed the outbreak of the disease.
said there was nothing his department could do to combat
the disease because
the veterinary department was facing an acute shortage
of foreign currency to
purchase vaccines to cure the disease.
The disease causes some
black spots on the legs of the livestock and
livestock affected by the
disease die shortly after infection.
Said Dzimwasha: "The disease
will continue to haunt the province
because the department is facing serious
shortages of foreign currency and
has no money to purchase the
Bikita, Zaka, Chivi and Gutu are the hardest hit areas
and there are
fears that more cattle will die if vaccines are not made
Veterinary officers are reported to be out in the
investigate the cause of the disease and some have blamed the
drought situation as the cause of the outbreak. The cattle deaths
come at a
time when Zimbabwe's beef supplies are dwindling due to massive
in the commercial sector.
The 2001 cattle census
gave the national herd as having been about 6,5
million of which 1,3 million
cattle were on the large-scale commercial farms
while about five million were
in communal areas.
It is estimated that the national herd stood at
about 5,8 million two
months ago and had been reduced due to the destockings
in the commercial
Commercial farmers, who export
the bulk of beef in the country are
down-sizing their cattle herd because of
uncertainties caused by the land
Zanu PF prepares for council
9/27/02 9:34:30 PM (GMT +2)
government, using its supporters, so-called war veterans and some
Council workers, last week signalled its first serious move to
entire MDC-dominated council.
Four years ago, the entire city
council, then led by Zanu PF's Solomon
Tawengwa, was fired by John Nkomo, the
then Minister of Local Government,
after several suburbs of Harare had gone
for several days without water.
The argument was that this was a
gross dereliction of duty, which
posed a serious health hazard to the
residents of the entire capital. Last
week the government tried to create the
same conditions that led to the
dismissal of Tawengwa's executive, when
workers in the Department of Works
and Zanu PF supporters went around cutting
off water supplies to several
suburbs of Harare for at least two
Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public
National Housing, has made clear his determination to reverse the
the electorate by making spurious allegations of misconduct against
MDC-led council to find an excuse to sack the council.
idea is to appoint a commission, which would run the council for a
while allowing the ruling party sufficient time to regroup and
that it stands a good chance of being re-elected and then take
running of the council, or so that the outcome of any mayoral and
poll is predetermined in favour of the ruling party.
This is such a
cynical ploy it must bring enormous disgrace to the
party in government. But
it is the only way that Zanu PF can regain its
influence over the capital
city, without allowing the present executive to
serve its full
The government has never forgiven the residents of Harare
rejecting the ruling party in the 9-11 March mayoral and
elections, during which Zanu PF could only manage a single
Since the new council took office, it has made its priority
of the city of Harare from the abyss into which Zanu PF had
plunged it. The
first of these measures involved the sacking of more than 1
000 Zanu PF
supporters, who were hastily and dubiously engaged before the new
came into office. These supporters included war veteran Joseph
who spent more time during the past two years spearheading farm
than working as a policeman or a security guard for the city
other was Zanu PF adherent Leslie Gwindi, as the council's chief
relations officer, even though the post had been
Chombo's response to the council's decision to dismiss
supporters was swift and decisive: all decisions on finance and
matters must be referred to him first, he directed. That marked
preparations by the government and Zanu PF to create the basis for
to sack the council.
Two weeks ago, the Executive
Mayor, Elias Mudzuri, and some of his
councillors were hauled before four
government ministers - two of them in
charge of security ministries - and
threatened with dismissal. Again, this
was such a cynical use of intimidation
that Zanu PF ought to be thoroughly
ashamed of itself, using such beerhall
tactics to get its way.
The government had decided to step up its
campaign to fire the entire
council. But it needed what looked like a
plausible excuse. This came in the
form of a strike during which water
supplies to nearly 10 suburbs of Harare
were cut off.
campaign may have failed this time, but Zanu PF will try
council needs to develop a robust defence mechanism, because this
is just the
beginning. The more desperate Zanu PF desires to occupy Town
the more the accusations of alleged incompetence will
The people of Harare need to show Zanu PF they won't stand for
If this strategy succeeds, Bulawayo, Chegutu,
Chitungwiza and Masvingo
could be next.
Zanu PF and the
government are displaying their traditional and
absolute contempt for the
Shortage of basic goods reaches alarming
9/27/02 9:25:58 PM (GMT +2)
IT has now become a nightmare to find basic commodities in
both in towns and in the rural areas, making life extremely
consequently reducing most families to
For many families, it has become the norm to go for
days and even
weeks in some cases without a decent meal.
households in high density suburbs around the country are having
buns for super on a normal day.
When luck is not on their side,
some families retire for the night
after only drinking water and praying to
the almighty God for intervention.
In many rural areas there are
reports of people living on tree leaves
and wild fruits, a situation that is
likely to spread to most districts. It
is most likely that the situation will
get worse as the drought continues to
government and business continue to point fingers at each
other while the
ordinary Zimbabweans are in a dilemma and are scratching
their heads as they
try to figure out where to get sugar, bread and
mealie-meal or most
importantly, whether after a hard day's work there is
going to be food on the
As all these problems worry the worker, the shortage of
becomes another headache at the start of the end of each
Commuter omnibus operators have been forced to ground many
the wake of shortages of spares.
This has served to
worsen the plight of the poor urban worker who
depends on public transport to
get to and from work. Duty on vehicles and
spares was hiked by 500
The reality on the ground however remains that affluent
persons in the
urban areas would not mind much about prices as long as they
get hold of the
But the situation is the opposite for
the majority poor.
First, the product is not there and secondly,
when it is available,
the price is so astronomically high that they cannot
MDC officials, supporters reportedly assaulted ahead of
9/27/02 9:56:58 PM (GMT +2)
Edwin Dzambara, the MDC spokesman for Muzarabani in
Central said Solomon Mazarire, 40, the MDC chairman for Chadereka
detained by a Zanu PF team led by the MP for Muzarabani, Nobbie
Isaiah Musona and Casma Mushora last week.
last night, he was still not certain where Mazarire was being held.
is contesting the Chadereka and Muringazura Wards in Muzarabani in
weekend's rural district council elections and is represented by
Chihoto and Arthur Gunzvenzve respectively. Dzambara said: "Dzinzi
the area with five lorries, carrying nearly 300 Zanu PF youths
They beat up suspected MDC supporters within the Chadereka
Muzarabani. "Several villagers suspected to be MDC supporters are
at Chimoio base after they were beaten up severely in front of
the Zimbabwe Election Supervisory Network at Gunduza business
Dzambara. At least two MDC members, Isaac Karimete and Mwaka
admitted to hospital in Harare. A third, Paulos Ndoro was
Parirenyatwa hospital in Harare after sustaining injuries from
Zanu PF youths, Dzambara said. Dzambara said the political
climate was not
conducive to holding free and fair elections. Elliot
Manyika, the acting
governor and resident minister for Mashonaland Central,
said he was unaware
of the incident. Chimutengwende and Dzinzi could not be
reached for comment
Harare loses $200m to traffic lights thefts
9/27/02 10:03:21 PM (GMT +2)
The theft of aluminium street-light lanterns is now rampant in Harare
city estimates that replacing them will cost more than $200 million.
Aluminium products, especially traffic flashlights and street-light
are used as disco lights and the aluminium from the street
moulded into coffin handles.
Some of the moulded aluminium
is exported to South Africa where there
is a lucrative market. According to a
confidential council memorandum by the
city's acting director of works,
Vumisani Sithole, thousands of
street-lights have been vandalised and the
cost of repairing each pylon is
$150 000. "In Marimba Park, there is
virtually no more street lighting. The
same applies to Lochinvar and
Westwood. Waterfalls is also falling in the
same predicament. "If other costs
are added, the replacement per unit would
be a staggering $450 000. The total
loss to date is estimated to be around
$200 million and restoring of this
service would take a long time," Sithole
He said 4x4
vehicles were being used in the theft to pull down or
smash the concrete
pylons. Last week, Elias Mudzuri, said the problem of
vandalism of municipal
property was being aggravated by organised sections
who wanted to destroy
council property, such as public lighting and water
valves to disrupt
services and create problems for all residents.
"Unreported cases of
vandalism will ultimately cost all the ratepayers
financially and in terms of
the services they enjoy."
Freight agent cuts ties with MDC
10:05:24 PM (GMT +2)
From our Correspondent in
MANICA Freight, a clearing agent appointed by the MDC's
People Trust to clear maize consignments sourced from South Africa,
stopped dealing with the opposition party citing harassment by
An official from the agents in
Beitbridge confirmed that officers from
the Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO) had visited their offices. But
he said this had nothing to do with
their refusal to handle the maize
consignments. The official, who asked not
to be named, said they had stopped
dealing with the MDC because it did not
have the import licence to bring the
maize into the country. Border officials
have barred tonnes of maize sourced
by the MDC from entering the country. "We
are no longer going to try and
clear the maize because there is no import
"Yes, we were visited by the CIO, but that has nothing to
do with our
stopping to deal with the Feed Zimbabwe Trust," said the
Renson Gasela, the MDC's shadow minister for agriculture said
officials were intimidated by the CIO and as a result stopped dealing
them. "We have appointed another agent to try and clear our goods as
expect more maize into the country," he said.
About 2 000
bags of maize sourced from South Africa by the Trust would
not be allowed
into Zimbabwe last weekend. This is the second consignment of
entry into the country because there is no import licence for
it. All the
maize is being detained at a warehouse at the border post. There
is fear the
maize will go bad if it is not released in the next few weeks.
The MDC has
said it expects the government to allow all the maize entry
without an import
licence because the drought has been declared a national
disaster. More than
six million people are facing starvation because of a
combination of drought
and the chaotic land reform programme.
Confessed drug courier implicates CID chief
9/27/02 9:54:47 PM (GMT +2)
By Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief
Takavadini Katsande, the officer-in-charge of Central
Department (CID) Drug Section, has been implicated in the
smuggling of drugs
retained as police exhibits to London, using a Zambian
national married to a
Zimbabwean as a courier.
of the drug smuggling racket are contained in an affidavit
filed before the
High Court in a case in which Mercy Banda, a Zambian
national married to one
Brighton Munotiyi of Ruwa, was facing deportation
after she was found guilty
of contravening the Immigration Act by using
false travel documents. At one
time, Banda is said to have "bought" mbanje
(marijuana) worth $300 000 stolen
from the police's drugs exhibit room. She
has sought through her lawyer,
Edmond Chivinge of Manase and Manase, the
court's intervention to avoid
Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi and Elasto Mugwadi, the
immigration officer, were the respondents in the matter. Banda, who
Zimbabwe in 2000 and is being detained at Chikurubi Maximum Security
faces other charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act together
detective inspector Katsande and sergeant David Tiese.
Banda is also facing charges under the Dangerous Drugs Act involving
of mbanje which was smuggled to London. All these details are
contained in an
affidavit submitted by detective inspector Luckson Tangayi
Edward Mukazhi of
the Special Investigations Unit at the CID headquarters
who is investigating
the matter. Mukazhi said that the police received
information that Banda was
a member of a drug smuggling syndicate who
travelled to London using forged
documents and she was arrested on 2
September 2002. "Upon her arrest, the
accused elected not to be investigated
by detective sergeant Tiese as he was
one of the syndicate members dealing
in drugs," Mukazhi said. He said when
Banda was searched by the CID
officers, they recovered two passports one of
them with Zambian numbers
ZG93803 "in the name Mercy Banda and the other a
Zimbabwean passport number
ZA627171 in the name of Pamela Chiwara," Mukazhi
When the police searched Banda's Haig Park house in
recovered yet another Zimbabwean passport number ZE447435 in
the name of
Theresa Chibikira."A further search was conducted at the premises
accused and two dagga (marijuana) plants measuring 64 and 75
were recovered. "These plants were uprooted from the flower bed
opposite Banda's main door. "The accused was interviewed and she
she deals in drugs, and on several occasions smuggled dagga to
through the Harare International Airport. "She also confirmed having
different forged passports to travel to London," Mukazhi said. Banda
Mukazhi that she bought the dagga from Katsande and Tiese.
"Katsande assisted Banda to smuggle the dagga into the plane. She went
say the dagga in question was stolen from the CID Drugs Exhibit room,"
said. It is alleged that the stolen dagga was replaced by briquettes
sand and dry grass. "Investigations have revealed that the accused
300 cobs of dagga for $300 000 from CID Drugs officers. On another
she bought 15 briquettes of dagga for $150 000," Mukazhi said. A
search at the CID Drugs Exhibit room discovered nine briquettes, four
dagga which had developed moulds, four with sand and dry grass and
stuffed with newspaper cuttings.
It was also established
that during Banda's last trip on 30 August
from Harare to London aboard an
Air Zimbabwe flight, she was denied entry
into the United Kingdom when the
authorities in London discovered that her
passport was forged. She easily
abandoned the dagga she was smuggling in
London because the bag containing it
did not have an identity tag. The
police also established that the car she
was driving at the time of her
arrest had been stolen in an armed robbery in
Zambia. The car in question
belonged to Paul Chileshe, a drug peddler, who
has since fled to Zambia.
"Banda is also to be deported after finalisation of
the above cases to
Zambia where she is to answer charges of the stolen
vehicle and the
subsequent murder of the victim of the robbery," Mukazhi
He said Banda and her husband Munotiyi, are on separation
divorce.Her deportation was also put on hold until charges against
resolved by the court.
Mutsekwa blasts government's handling of DRC
9/27/02 9:54:06 PM (GMT +2)
RETIRED Major Giles Mutsekwa, who is the MDC shadow minister
defence, says the government's refusal to reveal the number of soldiers
died in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) war is causing anxiety
distress to the families of the deceased. Mutsekwa, the MP for Mutare
said he was shocked to learn through media reports that bodies of
who died in the DRC conflict had started arriving in the
"The behaviour of this illegitimate regime is
unAfrican," he said. "It
is unfortunate that the government deployed its
troops into a foreign
country but has never bothered to inform their next of
kin, including their
wives and children, about their deaths." He said the
recent announcement by
Mbonisi Gatsheni, the army spokesman, that all the
details of the DRC
operation would be made public by Sydney Sekeramayi, the
Defence, on completion of the repatriation exercise, was shocking
insulting to the affected families. Mutsekwa was reacting, in an
with The Daily News, to last week's announcement by Gatsheni that a
parade to honour the fallen soldiers would be conducted by President
who is the Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, to mark
end of the repatriation of the remains of the dead soldiers and the end
Zimbabwe's DRC military intervention.
Gatsheni last week
announced that bodies of soldiers who fell in the
DRC had begun to arrive in
the country for decent burial by their relatives.
A parade was
reportedly held at 1 Commando where relatives collected
bodies for burial.
Mutsekwa said under normal circumstances during a
notification of casualties (Noticas) is done within 24
hours once an injury
or death of a soldier occurred. However, some of the
servicemen whose bodies
were arriving now for burial could have died in 1998
or 1999 but their
relatives had been told all along that they were missing
in action, he
"Why this has taken three years to notify the next of kin
explains one thing: "This government is not sympathetic to the
bedevilling the citizens of this country. We have said this for a
When a regime becomes dictatorial, it takes its citizens for
said the Zanu PF regime should know that the defence forces are
institution which will continue long after they are gone. He said
soldiers or more could have died in the DRC. Mutsekwa said it was
defence forces' constitutional right to defy illegal and
commands from their political leaders.
where he thought the soldiers' bodies were kept during the
four-year war, he
said he could not imagine a situation or a place where the
bodies could be
kept in the DRC. He said: "My only guess is that they
exhumed these bodies
from the shallow graves they were buried in in the DRC
for a decent reburial
in this country. There is no other way to explain how
they were kept." He
said the MDC considered the country's involvement in the
DRC as adventurism
where the military top brass has amassed wealth through
mining and timber
concessions concluded between Zimbabwe and the DRC
MP accuses Mudede of violating Electoral Act to suit
9/27/02 9:56:00 PM (GMT +2)
BEN-TUMBARE Mutasa, the MP for Seke yesterday said Tobaiwa
Registrar-General violated the Electoral Act by twisting the
the Rural District Council's Act to stop 12 MDC aspiring
nomination. Mutasa, an MDC member, said they were challenging
of the 12 Zanu PF candidates in the rural district council
expose the government's attempted fraud.
a letter to Mudede on Tuesday, the MDC's lawyer, Jacob Mafume of
Immerman said 12 MDC candidates were disqualified because they
registered in the particular wards they wanted to contest for.
Mafume said the disqualification of the 12 by Mudede's office was
contravention of the Rural District Councils' Act (Chapter 29:13). He
for one to qualify as a candidate under Section 103G (1) of the Act,
must be a citizen of Zimbabwe and have attained the age of 21. He said
person should be enrolled on the voters' roll for the council area
and should not have been disqualified in terms of Subsection (2) of
Mafema said it appeared that by a "deliberate" or unfortunate stroke
pen Mudede's office altered the "council area" in Sub-section (1)(c)
103G to read "ward area" in the circular that he sent out to various
in the country on 2 September.
"The circular resulted in
our clients being unlawfully disqualified."
he said. "The reading of the
interpretation section of the Act will reveal
why the mistake in the circular
had the effect it had on our clients."
Mafema said they were
waiting for Mudede's response within 24 hours
after which they would make an
urgent application to the relevant courts. He
said: "We hope this matter can
be solved amicably, otherwise we will be
forced to challenge the nomination
process in its entirety, seeking its
nullification." The copies of the letter
were sent to the 12 Zanu PF
candidates for the respective wards, the District
Administrator for Seke and
the district registrar. Mutasa said the letters
were handed to all the
concerned people yesterday. However, in a circular to
all provincial and
district registrars, Mudede said a person shall be
nominated as a councillor
if he was a citizen of Zimbabwe, have attained 21
years and be a registered
voter on the voters' roll of the ward in which he
seeks nomination, as a
Under the Rural District
Councils' Act, a council area is defined as
an area for which a council has
been established and a ward means a ward
into which a council area is divided
or re-divided, in terms of Section 8 or
139 of the Act. Mudede recently
announced that Zanu PF had won about 700
wards unopposed because the MDC had
failed to field candidates. He could not
be reached for comment yesterday