U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
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 quiet.
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 her farm.
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 settlers.
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 report.
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 cow.
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
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 problem.
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
Nothing else to report.
Unless 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.
Peoples' DailyChinese Entrepreneurs Ready to Invest in
African Farming Sector
While some Chinese farmers rack their brains to get their corn, beans
and milk sold, a Chinese-funded farm in Zambia, in remote Africa, sold
everything the farm produced and is expected to make a profit of 600,000 US
dollars this year.
While some Chinese farmers rack their brains to get their
corn, beans and milk sold, a Chinese-funded farm in Zambia, in remote Africa,
sold everything the farm produced and is expected to make a profit of 600,000 US
dollars this year.
The Zhongken Farm, established near Lusaka with an
investment of 220,000 US dollars in 1994, sold a total of two million chickens,
1,000 heads of beef cattle, 6,000 pigs and 1.80 million liters of milk by the
end of 2001. It was one the most successful stories of Chinese investment in the
African agricultural sector.
"We are proof that Africa is a top option
when we are about to invest in the agricultural sector abroad," said Han
Xiangshan, deputy general manager of the China State Farms Agribusiness
Corporation, owner of Zhongken Farm, summing up the company's experience in
Africa at a seminar on Friday.
"We can make great profits through
investing in the farming sector and processing farm produce," he told about 60
Chinese entrepreneurs attending the China-Africa Agricultural Investment and
Cooperation Seminar, which wrapped up Friday.
Agriculture is one of
China's greatest concerns following its accession to the World Trade
Organization (WTO). Many Chinese officials and farmers thought of investing in
Africa when they were considering ways to cope with the challenges brought about
bythe WTO entry.
The entrepreneurs attending the two-day seminar hailed
from 15 provincial localities of China. They were briefed about the basic
conditions in Africa and about China's incentive policy for investing in Africa
by vice-ministers from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and
Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) and Agriculture.
Han, along with other
businessmen who have invested in Africa'sfarming sector, also shared their
experiences with the entrepreneurs.
China and Africa have enjoyed
traditional friendship. Beginningin the 1960s, China initiated a large number of
cooperative agricultural projects in the Republic of the Congo, the
DemocraticRepublic of Congo, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Sierra Leone,
Somalia, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda. Most were initially aid projects, however,
agriculture cooperation has continued up to thepresent time.
said, however, that agricultural cooperation in Africa has changed a great deal
since the early days.
Most African countries are now politically and
socially stable,and have listed agriculture as the top priority in poverty
relief and economic development.
With respect to China's experience, it
continues to successfully provide food for its nearly 1.3 billion citizens.
China's agricultural experience, high-breed crop species, agricultural
technology and equipment are wanted by many developing countries, according to
"China will make agricultural cooperation with Africa
a key area of cooperation in the coming years," said Li Zhaoxing, vice-minister
of Foreign Affairs. "We will take more pragmatic and effective measures to push
forward the mutually beneficial cooperation."
The Ministry of
Agriculture said many African countries are interested in cooperating with China
in the areas of crop cultivation, vegetable and flower-growing, agro-tech
promotion andtraining, irrigation systems, the raising of farm animals and
aquaculture, the processing of farm produce and in providing engineering
services for agricultural projects.
However, some experts said that
agricultural cooperation with Africa in the coming years should be conducted in
new ways and should be able to generate profits. Non-profitable cooperation
cannot last long, they said.
Officials in charge of China's investment
abroad supported thisposition.
"China-Africa agricultural cooperation in
the new century must be conducted by enterprises and should be market-oriented,"
said Wei Jianguo, vice-minister of MOFTEC. "We encourage Chinese companies to
invest in the farming sector in Africa through a variety of forms, including
joint ventures, joint stock companies or solely-owned companies."
African diplomats in Beijing welcomed China's decision to strengthen
agricultural cooperation with Africa.
Joseph Obiang-Ndoutoume, acting
head of the African diplomatic mission in China and Ambassador of Gabon to
China, said the development of agriculture is an important way to relieve
poverty,and most African countries still need to do more to develop their
agriculture. They hope to have more cooperation with China, he said.
Emmanuel Zinyuke, counselor of the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Beijing, said
African countries will open their arms to Chinese agricultural investors. He
said it will strengthen the ties between Africa and China.
agricultural investors in Africa, who have made profits are ready to expand
their businesses. The Jiangsu Provincial State Farm Corporation, for instance,
is ready to expand its business from Zambia to Zimbabwe, South Africa and
Botswana in the coming two to three years.
"Ten years of experience in
Africa has made me more confident about investing in Africa," said Wu Yuchao,
deputy general managerof the Jiangsu Provincial State Farm Corporation, which
began to invest in Zambia in 1990. "We are now capable of expanding our business
in southeast Africa, and we are confident about our success."
Sad final days for Zimbabwe vet as farmers have pets put down
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare(Filed: 28/09/2002)
The destruction of the first of 650 former guard dogs will be the last
task of veterinary surgeon Robert Gordon in his native Zimbabwe.
Dr Gordon, 42, is leaving for New Zealand on Monday, unable to take the
strain of destroying family pets and horses any longer. For the past six months
he has done little but put down the pets of fleeing white farmers.
"I worked in Cumbria last year during foot and mouth," he said yesterday.
"This is worse. I have put down hundreds of family pets and hundreds of horses
recently. Some families want to stay with their pets when I do it. Others can't
take it, and leave first.
"I have nowhere to bury the animals as I was chased off my farm. So the
farmers have to take the bodies away. Sometimes we put the horses down mine
"I respect farmers who decide they have a final obligation to their
animals, and put them down. A woman asked me to come and shoot seven horses this
week. I am glad she changed her mind."
The 650 dogs belonged to a security company in Banket, 50 miles north of
Harare, which employed more than 400 farm guards but closed its doors yesterday
because of political unrest.
The company, Tredar, had been guarding homes in the once
prosperous grain belt around Banket
, but since white farmers were evicted or
fled in early August, they were protecting homes and agricultural equipment that
had been abandoned. The first guard dog to be put down was a labrador, Wimpy, a
young bitch, passed on to the company after her owners, also farmers, fled.
But Dr Gordon will only destroy the first 20 dogs. "We have been shooting
the horses according to Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' guidelines. I
would rather use chemicals, but we haven't enough. We can't shoot dogs and cats
and the few vets left in Zimbabwe are putting down pets at such a rate, we have
run out of the chemicals."
The remaining dogs will be put down in batches when the chemicals arrive
from South Africa, said Diana Hopcraft, who with her husband Paul owned the
Dr Gordon wants no more to do with it. "I can't ask them to pay, it feels
like blood money, paying the hangman. I just want to get on that plane, lie on a
beach and hope I can stop taking medication for stress."
After putting down the first 20 dogs yesterday, Dr Gordon said: "I can't
take it any more. There was a really wonderful friendly Alsatian that had to go.
The names of the other dogs who went included Angel, Bonny, Foxie, Rocky and
Farmer wins battle of roses
By Peta Thornycroft in
Zimbabwe's military supremo has been
ordered to pay more than £100,000 in compensation for stealing a farmer's
Gen Constantine Chiwenga, commander of
the Zimbabwean army, forced Roger Staunton off Hortico farm, 20 miles east of
Harare, earlier this year.
Mr Staunton told the High Court in Harare
that he had a confrontation with Gen Chiwenga's wife, Jocelyn, who told him that
"she had not tasted white blood since 1980 [the year of Zimbabwe's independence]
and missed the experience and that she needed just the slightest excuse to kill
"She ordered one of her guards to 'kill
the white bastards'," he said. Millions of his roses were later exported to
Amsterdam, the world's largest flower market, and his vegetables were
Mr Staunton told the court that, like
many desperate white farmers, he had given permission for his produce to be
exported provided he was paid part of the proceeds but the Chiwengas and their
associates failed to pay him.
The High Court issued a provisional order
against the Chiwengas and their companies to produce bank statements to disclose
proceeds from the sales.
They were ordered to repay £120,000 to Mr
Staunton and barred from selling roses or vegetables from his properties until
Mr Staunton was in South Africa yesterday
receiving treatment for heart problems.
SA Farmers Attacked,
The Herald (Harare) September 27, 2002
Posted to the web September 27, 2002
A court case involving one of South Africa's most successful white farmers
has stirred up growing fears among the 40 000 farmers that South Africa's future
could well develop along the same lines as experienced in Zimbabwe in recent
Abraham Duvenage, who farms at Benoni, 30 miles east of Johannesburg, went to
the Pretoria High Court to seek implementation of a year-old order to evict
nearly 50 000 illegal squatters from his land.
The evictions were meant to be carried out by a Johannesburg sheriff, who has
declined to act, arguing Mr Duvenage must pay him 1,8 million rand to hire a
security company to do the work.
In his court application, Mr Duvenage has named President Thabo Mbeki and
three of his ANC government ministers, the national police commissioner, Jackie
Selebi and the local council, as respondents.
Agri South Africa, the farmers' umbrella organisation, points to wide and
serious political implications in the case, which was postponed until November
to allow lawyers time to prepare their arguments.
An Agri South Africa spokesman said the case comes against the background of
Zimbabwe's land invasion and murder of white farmers. Killings of South Africa's
farmers are running at more than 15 times the equivalent rate in Zimbabwe but go
barely reported and militancy is quickly accelerating among landless blacks.
Furthermore, a best-selling book Midlands by Jonny Steinberg shows that white
farmers are being attacked and killed for political reasons, not as part of the
worsening crime wave.
The mantra in the splendid malls, shops and restaurants in enclaves where
whites and the new black elite spend money is; "What's happening in Zimbabwe
can't happen here."
But the trend is well under way, said Steinberg, in his complex story of land
appropriation and killings of white farmers in the Midlands area of
KwaZulu-Natal province. Landless blacks are flying Zimbabwean flags in support
of President Mugabe's policies and the Midlands story is being repeated across
From January 2001 to April this year more than 1 400 armed attacks on white
farms occurred, resulting in nearly 200 deaths of farmers and their families. In
the previous five years some 700 farmers were killed.
In comparison, 11 white farmers were killed in the past 12 months in
Zimbabwe. Steinberg began investigating the murder of Peter Mitchelle, (28) who
farmed near the Midlands town of Sarahdale. He was shot dead in his Land Rover.
His killers have not been brought to book. "In the district's kraals, where few
whites had ever wandered, I discovered that three generations had kept alive
their inherited memories of 1910," said Steinberg, "That was the year the
chieftaincies of the district had large tracts of land confiscated (by the
British rulers) in punishment for their participation in the unsuccessful
Bambatha Rebellion of 1906.
"An old man told me matter-of-factly, 'This land was stolen from us. Ask
anyone you meet and he will tell you the same'." Midlands describes how white
farmers have been killed, wounded or driven away by Zulu peasants with long
memories and resentments of baasskap (servitude to whites). Mr Mitchell's
neighbour, Lourie Styen, an unsympathetic employer, was forced off his farm by
landless peasants. "First, vast stretches of his fence came down during the
night," Steinberg said.
"Then one grazing field after another was burnt. Hundreds of his prize cattle
were stolen and slaughtered. There were death threats. His foreman was shot in
the chest while watching TV one night. And then someone crept into Steyn's
garden and took a shot at his son."
Alarmed by growing farm destabilisation, many groups have urged President
Mbeki to speed up greatly his sluggish land reform programme.
Among the more surprising of these is the Afrikanerbond, successor to the
Broederbond, the secret Afrikaner society that provided the intellectual
underpinning of apartheid. The Afrikanerbond has made comprehensive proposals
for more equitable distribution of land between blacks and whites.
"We want to empower disadvantaged (black) communities to engage in successful
agriculture," said Tobie Meyer, the Afrikanerbond's land reform convener, who
served in Nelson Mandela's post-1999 transitional government as deputy
agriculture minister. "We argue in our paper that a new government strategy
needs to be launched urgently to set up commercial partnerships between
first-time black farmers and communities and established white commercial
Mr Meyer said the Afrikanerbond argues that the new partnerships had to be
reinforced by wide ranging support services. "These would include the transfer
of our modern technologies, widespread training facilities, reasonably generous
start-up finance, subsidised seeds, fertiliser chemicals in the early stages and
much after-care and in-service training once the new farmers are established."
The Afrikanerbond said speedy restitutions of drawn-out land claims are
needed, such as those in the Natal Midlands. The Afrikanerbond has also proposed
a 1 per cent levy on imports to provide sufficient funds for farm reform, which
it says would raise R1,2 billion a year.
While the former architects of apartheid wait for government decisions, they
have begun their own land reform measures. One, near the beautiful town of
Paarl, deep in the mountains behind Cape Town, involves helping and training 90
former ANC Umkhonto we Sizwe guerrilla fighters - who the Broederbond once
pledged to eliminate - to establish their self-owned commercial farm. "The
Umkhonto group leader, Deacon Mathe, is a fine man by any standards, and is now
one of my closest friends," Mr Meyer said.
Mr Meyer, (63) a farmer, added: "It is one of South Africa's widest myths
that black people can't farm. Given the right help and training, many of them
can farm every bit as well as Afrikaners - and often even better."
Kobus Visser, spokesman for Agri South Africa, told The Scotsman that it had
so far proved impossible to distinguish how many farm murders, attacks and land
invasions were politically motivated and how many could be attributed to the
current crime wave. "But it is a much more complex problem than simple crime, Mr
"Farm squatting and occupations have become big problems. Farmers are
complaining to us and we are trying to work something out." Japie Grobler, Agri
South Africa's president, was much more blunt: "We cannot simply accept . . .
these attacks are motivated by criminality."
Mr Globler said groups affiliated to Agri South Africa and targeted by land
invaders and killers were victims of a concerted endeavour to push white
agriculturalists off their land. He said it was a more covert operation than in
Werner Weber, chairman of Action: Stop Farm Attacks, a member of Agri South
Africa, appealed to the government to acknowledge what lies at the root of the
deaths. He said: "If this was a matter of mere criminality, why do these
perpetrators wait for hours for farmers to return late at night, then torture
the man and rape the woman, only then to kill the farmer?
"It is time the government admitted that farm attacks are not part of the
normal criminal cycle. It is an orchestrated effort to intimidate farmers to
share or leave their land." In South Africa's Limpopo province, bordering
Zimbabwe, Joyce Lesiba warned that blacks who own only scraps of land might be
forced to occupy white farms illegally.
Mrs Lesiba, who runs an agricultural training project for Limpopo's rural
poor, added: "If the government does not move fast we may see Zimbabwe happening
here, even though most of us don't really want to see that happen."
At the lake-dotted Lavalle Estate, in an exquisite mountain valley near Paarl
in Cape Province, Mr Meyer introduced The Scotsman to black Xhosa and coloured
(mixed race) workers who have been helped by the Afrikanerbond to acquire
part-ownership of the finest olive farm in South Africa.
They have also been given rights to establish commercial fisheries in estate
lakes and take all the profits for themselves. John Scrimgeour, from Skye,
manager of the estate, said: "Together, the management and the workers have
turned the old autocratic leadership into an inclusive co-operative partnership.
We are a community, part-owned by workers who have security of tenure on their
farm homes for life. Since they acquired shares, productivity has increased and
farm profits have increased.
"It is basic. There's no magic to it. We must transform this country
completely. But do we have enough time left? "We must do this on a really large
scale across South Africa. Unless we do that, we will be in a Zimbabwe situation
'We Can't Choose Our Neighbours'
Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)
September 27, 2002
Posted to the web September 27, 2002
The Mozambican and Zimbabwean economies are closely linked --
instability in Harare is bad news for Maputo In August 1980, four months after
Zimbabwean independence, Mozambican president Samora Machel made his first visit
to the country.
At one of the rallies he addressed he showed the crowd the new Zimbabwean
flag and said: "This flag covers everyone. There are no more blacks in Zimbabwe,
there are no more whites, no people of mixed race or Indians. Today there are
And, perhaps unconsciously echoing Nelson Mandela's famous speech in the
Rivonia trial, Machel warned: "Your struggle was not waged in order to replace
white racist injustice with black racist injustice." Sensing that this message
might not go down well with his audience, Machel added "the truth hurts, the
truth punishes, the truth is brutal, but it's the truth, and so is pure".
More than two decades later the Zimbabwean leaders who heard that speech
have obviously forgotten it. Mozambique has not forgotten and has remained true
to Machel's non-racial vision -- but it finds itself powerless to impose a
rational policy on its wayward neighbour. Machel also used to say: "We cannot
choose our neighbours."
He was thinking of the compromises Mozambique had to make with apartheid
South Africa, but today the remark applies equally well to relations with
Zimbabwe. Mozambican officials are irritated at suggestions from Europe or the
United States that other Southern African states should punish the Zimbabwean
government by imposing sanctions of some sort.
For, while the Europeans and Americans are thousands of kilometres away,
Mozambique has to live with the consequences of such actions. Memories of the
1970s are still fresh for the current leadership. Back then Mozambique loyally
imposed the United Nations sanctions against Ian Smith's illegal regime in
While the Western powers casually violated sanctions, Mozambican ports,
railways and tourism all suffered from the sudden end to trade with Rhodesia.
Mozambique cared for hundreds of thousands of refugees and its territory was
regularly attacked by the Rhodesian army. The country was never compensated.
Total losses from sanctions and from Rhodesian aggression were estimated at
$556-million. With this history, it is scarcely surprising that Mozambique has
no desire to be involved in sanctions against its neighbour again.
While parts of the Mozambican press call for a more muscular attitude
towards Zimbabwe, the government still opts for "quiet diplomacy". This is not
simply a matter of historical and sentimental ties between the two ruling
parties, Frelimo and Zanu-PF -- though these are certainly significant.
It is also that the government does not have much leverage over Zimbabwe,
and any sanctions against Zimbabwe would damage Mozambique's economy as much as
Zimbabwe's. The two countries' economies are closely linked. The Mozambican
ports of Maputo and Beira are the quickest and cheapest routes to the sea for
Zimbabwean trade. Zimbabwe obtains most of its fuel supplies via a pipeline from
Beira to Mutare.
It also purchases 500 megawatts of power from Mozambique's Cahora Bassa
dam. So when the Zimbabwean economy declines, there is a serious impact on
Mozambique. Zimbabwe's shortage of foreign currency means its ability to trade
has been drastically curtailed.
When the trains to and from Zimbabwe run less regularly, business on the
Beira rail and port complex suffers accordingly. Zimbabwe has enormous
difficulty in paying for anything -- for rail and port services, for the use of
the oil pipeline, for electricity. Zimbabwean exchange rate policy fuels
rackets. Officially, there are Z$55 to the US dollar.
But the rate on the currency black market is more than 10 times the
official rate. Smugglers play on the dual exchange, managing to purchase goods
cheaply in Zimbabwe, and then putting them on sale in Mozambique at prices that
undercut local producers.
Mozambican Finance Minister Luisa Diogo has pointed to the damaging effects
of the artificial exchange. That her concerns had no impact on President Robert
Mugabe was clear when he sacked her Zimbabwean counterpart, Simba Makoni, who
was known to be in favour of devaluation.
President Joaquim Chissano caused some shock when he became one of
the first leaders to recognise the Zimbabwean presidential election as
"generally free and fair", despite the opinion to the contrary of many
observers, including the Southern African Development Community parliamentary
forum. Yet subsequently, Mozambique raised no objection to Zimbabwe's suspension
from the Commonwealth and clearly favours some form of reconciliation between
Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
A thoroughly pragmatic diplomacy is at work here. What is important for
Mozambique is a reasonably stable Zimbabwe: continuing collapse, particularly if
it generates waves of refugees, would be disastrous.
Should the Mozambican government not at least loudly denounce the abuses of
human rights in Zimbabwe, notably the harassment of the press? When I asked
Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi this question some months ago, his reply was: "We
lead by example."
But there is no sign that the Zimbabwean government has the slightest
interest in learning from its neighbours. Meanwhile, there is a trickle of
Zimbabwean commercial farmers into central Mozambique. Agricultural Minister
Helder Muteia insists that they are not refugees, but investors. "Regardless of
their nationality, if they meet the requirements of our legislation, we are
authorising them," Muteia said earlier this month.
So far the Zimbabwean farmers have invested in maize, sunflower, tobacco
and cattle. Muteia also expected Mozambique's first tobacco processing plant to
result from further Zimbabwean investment in the near future. Foreign Minister
Leonardo Simao has made it robustly clear that the government doesn't care what
colour these farmers are, as long as they have the funds to make the investment
and provide the jobs they promise.
The minimum investment required is US$50000 and any project must provide at
least 100 jobs. The movement of a small number of farmers has annoyed Harare,
which has tried to prevent them from taking equipment and
Gono On List of Officials Denied Entry Into
The Herald (Harare)
Posted to the web September 28, 2002
Bank of Zimbabwe chief executive Dr Gideon Gono has been added on
the list of
prominent Government officials and businesspeople who can be
into the United States for actions deemed as threatening
Dr Gono received a notification signed this week
by the US Assistant
Secretary of State for African Affairs, Mr Walter
notification advised him and his spouse that they would be
receive a visa to enter the US.
Part of the notification
read: "On February 22, 2002, the President of the
US signed a proclamation
suspending the entry into the US as immigrants or
persons responsible for actions that threaten
"Information available to the US Department of State
indicates that your
actions are such that you may be covered by this
you are hereby notified that you and your spouse
may be ineligible to
receive visas to enter the US except as provided for by
Dr Gono yesterday confirmed receiving the
notification on Thursday and
wondered whether he was being persecuted for his
efforts to assist the
country in importing maize and fuel.
"It is not
for me to judge whether wearing many national hats have
contributed to the
well-being or otherwise of the people of Zimbabwe.
"If procuring maize
and fuel for the country and trying to rehabilitate
Zisco, the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation, and my past efforts to bring
direction at the University of Zimbabwe are considered
detrimental to the
welfare of the people of Zimbabwe, then let it be so,"
The CBZ chief executive joins the list of people such as President
and his wife Cde Grace Mugabe, Former Minister of Finance and
Development, Dr Simba Makoni, and the chairman of Africa Resources,
Mutumwa Mawere, who have also been advised that they would not be
visas to enter the US.
The addition of Dr Gono on the list
comes hard on the heels of a series of
articles by the opposition MDC
criticising President Mugabe and Dr Gono for
visiting Libya to negotiate for
more fuel imports for the country.
The articles published in The Daily
News last week described Dr Gono as
"masquerading as the regime's fixer,
enforcer and banker".
"Gono must know that in the eyes of Zimbabweans his
degree of moral
blameworthiness is extremely high," said one of the
A senior Government official said last night that in view of
the role he is
playing, it was inescapable for Dr Gono to be left out in the
campaign by the US government.
Dr Gono rose to
prominence over the last eight years after he successfully
turned around the
fortunes of the CBZ, which is now ranked as the third
largest commercial bank
in the country after Standard Chartered Bank and
Barclays Bank of
CBZ has grown from a size of $779 million in 1995 to $50
billion as at the
end of June
Dear Family and Friends,
For well over a year
I've been wearing a small yellow ribbon pinned on my
shirt in silent protest
at what is happening in Zimbabwe and in support of
all those people who are
suffering - black, brown and white. There are many
hundreds of thousands of
people who are suffering here now. There are
children who can no longer go to
school because their parents cannot afford
the fees. There are teachers,
doctors, nurses, lawyers, magistrates and
judges whose lives have become
unbearable due to political harassment. There
are hundreds of brave men and
women who continue to suffer the most extreme
intimidation, physical and
psychological torture because they openly support
the opposition political
party. There are many thousands of farmers and
their workers who have been
evicted from their homes and lost their farms
and employment. There are many
thousands of people who have literally
nothing to eat and to the outsider all
these are mere statistics. But they
are not just numbers, they are real
people just like you and me and this
week I am wearing my small yellow ribbon
for three farmer's wives.
I was hot and fed up on Friday morning having
stood for a long time as the
42nd person in a queue at our local Marondera
supermarket for one loaf of
brown bread. Long before I got to the front, the
bread was finished so I
bought the newspaper instead. On the front page is
the story that the
government's much talked about irrigation of a winter crop
of maize that was
supposed to be the saving grace of us all, is about to be
turns out that at best it will only yield enough food for the
one and half days. Leaving the supermarket with only food for
thought I felt
pretty low as I passed the arrogant groups of youngsters
wearing Zanu PF T
shirts who've been crowding our town the whole week, ready
to harass voters
in the weekends' council elections. As I got into my car a
man stood at my
window, his hands held as if in prayer, "Oh please help me
with something to
eat" he begged. Then I stopped in at the dentist who told
me that he is
struggling to keep going. Yesterday he and his partner saw only
as opposed to the 40 they normally see in a day - dentists and
become a luxury that most of us can no longer afford.
the time I got home I felt pretty depressed but then the phone rang. A
I have never met or spoken to before said: "Oh please Cathy, can I
you, I know I don't know you but please can I just talk to you?" She
farmer's wife and through her tears I listened to yet another story of
hell which involves 30 months of extreme harassment and intimidation.
was the third such call from a stranger that I'd had in a few days and
women are so incredibly brave that I feel ashamed to be sitting in
comfort of my relatively civilized Marondera home. Every day they face
and doped up strange men who hurl obscene abuse at them. At night they
to try and sleep while men sing drunkenly and bang on tins to try and
them out of their homes. Some days they are threatened with sticks,
and other crude weapons; other days the men have guns. These horrors
become a part of every day life for the few commercial farmers still
to grow food for Zimbabwe. A woman, arriving on a farm this
week, told the
owners to get out and in a hurry as this was now her home. She
accompanied by five men armed with AK rifles. She refused to shake
with the farmer saying she didn't shake hands with whites and went on
that she hadn't tasted "white blood" since 1980. This woman gets away
saying and doing these things not because she is black but because
belongs to Zanu PF. Not only does she belong to the ruling party but she
the wife of the Commander of the Zimbabwe Army. This is the calibre of
new commercial farmers and while these obscenities go on, the world
absolutely nothing but use diplomatic double talk. While they do this,
and more people become victims and go to work hungry and to bed at night
Recently I came across a saying which reads: "What
we do, we become". If
this is true about me and my little yellow ribbon then
I wonder what lies in
store for the woman who wants to taste white blood and
for the world's
politicians who sit back and watch Zimbabwe dying. Until next
love, cathy. http://africantears.netfirms.com
Copyright: Cathy Buckle, 27th
Zimbabwe Votes Despite
Saturday September 28, 2002 5:00 PM
Zimbabwe (AP) - Zimbabweans in rural areas voted Saturday in
local councils, and the main opposition party said hundreds of
were barred from running for office.
Ruling party militants, backed by
police, blocked about 700 opposition
candidates from registering, officials
from the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change said.
opposition candidates were assaulted during campaigning and at
70 were arrested on false charges, opposition officials said.
government has denied involvement in any violence or intimidation
An appeal by the Movement for Democratic
Change to have the election
postponed was thrown out by the High Court
Friday, after the presiding judge
ruled the case was politically
The court's refusal to hear the appeal, ``confirms our worst
fears about the
judiciary,'' said Movement For Democratic Change Secretary
Critics of the government say embattled
President Robert Mugabe has co-opted
the nation's courts by packing the bench
with his supporters and
intimidating independent-minded judges in a bid to
However, the opposition turned to the courts Saturday,
seeking an order to
let doctors examine Thomas Spicer, an 18-year-old white
who they say was tortured in police detention
The police had no comment on the case.
British diplomats said they had been banned from traveling
without Zimbabwean government permission in apparent
outspoken criticism of Mugabe by the British government.
controversy, polling ran smoothly Saturday. Voting would
continue Sunday and
results were not expected until Monday.
Vice President Joseph Msika said
the ruling Zanu-PF party expected a massive
victory in what party officials
said would be a show of support for the
government's land reform program to
seize white-owned farm for
redistribution to poor blacks.
those farms, however, have been given instead to
Zimbabwe has been seized by more than two years
of political and economic
turmoil, widely blamed on Mugabe's increasingly
unpopular ruling party. More
than half Zimbabwe's 12.5 million people face
severe food shortages, blamed
on drought and the government's land reform
program which has ground
commercial farming to a standstill.
ruling party narrowly won parliament elections in 2000, surviving
threat to its hold on power since independence in 1980. Mugabe
won a disputed
presidential election in March that independent observers
said was swayed by
violence, intimation and vote rigging.
Most African countries rally
29 September 2002
Most African countries who
for a long time were unaware of a time bomb
created by a shortage of land in
their countries are now rallying behind
Zimbabwe and its land reform
Political analysts say after the tremendous efforts by the
Robert Mugabe to explain the land situation in the country,
countries and the world over now understand why the Government
the exercise to empower the black majority.
This week, two
members-states of the Commonwealth Troika on Zimbabwe refused
to censure the
country demonstrating their solidarity with Zimbabwe and an
the country's problems with the western nations.
When the Troika met on
Monday in Abuja, Nigeria to review the Zimbabwean
situation, Australia wanted
Zimbabwe to be expelled from the club but
Nigeria and South Africa declined,
dealing a major blow to Britain and its
To date 300 000 people
have benefited from the on going agrarian reform
programme and more are set
Comment from The Mail & Guardian (SA),
SeptemberWhat lies beneath the mask of
Johannesburg - For a first-time visitor
the reasons why Zimbabwe has garnered so much negative international publicity
are not immediately apparent - many have commented on how normal everything
appears. Harare's roads have lots of smart new cars, the fashionable suburbs
still look good and one does not have a sense of vulnerability to violence on
the streets. Indeed, one of the strange things about what is happening in
Zimbabwe is the facade of normality that covers the turmoil. Visitors from
neighbouring countries think Zimbabweans still have it good and are a bunch of
spoiled whiners. It seems to confirm the contention that Zimbabwe and President
Robert Mugabe have become world pariahs only because of the discomfort caused to
a privileged white farming community. The reality is that by every
socio-economic measure, the Zimbabwe of today is a mere shadow of what it was
two or three years ago. To friends from neighbouring countries who take the view
that talk of a collapsing economy is alarmist nonsense given how much better
things appear here than in other countries, my response is that the measure
should be where Zimbabwe is, compared to where it was and could be. Even taking
into account the inevitable hiccups in the necessary transition from a
race-based colonial past to a majority-based economic dispensation, today's
Zimbabwe is not a good model of transformation. Whites who have been
dispossessed of their farms may be expected to moan about loss of privilege, but
economic decline has affected everyone and it is "the landless black majority"
that suffers the most from the ruinous policies of Mugabe
It is one thing to have the raw statistics that detail the socio-economic
decline of Zimbabwe, but quite another to appreciate how they translate into
everyday experiences. Inflation hovers at about 120%. The collapse of commercial
agriculture, the decimation of much of industry and the country's isolation from
foreign donors has led to an acute foreign currency crisis. This has put many of
the foreign components necessary for the manufacture of goods out of reach of
many companies. For several months now, sugar, mealie meal and cooking oil have
not been readily available on grocery shelves. When they are, there are
stampedes and it is no longer unusual to see long winding queues. Towns have
taken on a tattier look and reports of raw sewage are common. Minibus operators
have taken over whole stretches of streets. Because of the costs of spare parts,
many minibus operators are failing to keep their aged fleets on the road.
Streetkids and beggars on the roads are an increasingly common sight and they
have become more brazen in proportion to the compassion fatigue of motorists and
pedestrians also reeling from a wayward economy. Smash-and-grab incidents at
traffic lights are a relatively new but burgeoning phenomenon. A group of
thieves will distract a motorist stopped at a red light and smash a car window,
grabbing a cellphone, bag or other valuables. Few bother to report such
incidents because public confidence in the police is low. They frequently do not
have vehicles to get to crime scenes, are overburdened by more serious crimes
and are increasingly disrespected for being perceived by many to be partisan.
As more companies close or downsize, job opportunities have shrunk. Many have
resorted to cross-border trading of one type or another to try to make ends
meet. There is a new, harder edge to Zimbabweans as existence increasingly
becomes a matter of survival of the fittest. As if economic problems and drought
were not enough to contend with, HIV/Aids slashes through society. Absences from
work owing to illness or to attend funerals are increasing. It is impossible to
measure how the dispirited mood of the country affects mental health, but stress
levels are high. The general collective attitude towards Mugabe and his regime
is one of sullen insolence. There is a sense of not quite knowing what will come
next, but I don't know many people who think some positive miracle is just
around the corner.
'Commercial Farmers Wasting Time'
The Herald (Harare)
September 28, 2002
Posted to the web September 28, 2002
THE Government will no longer entertain any commercial farmers who want to negotiate for farms that have already been acquired for resettlement, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Dr Joseph Made.
In an interview, Dr Made said there were some farmers who have appealed to the Government to let them stay on their properties although they would have been earmarked for acquisition.
Some unrepentant white commercial farmers were still contesting the acquisition of their properties in the courts.
"Commercial farmers are wasting their time going to the courts to contest the acquisition of their farms because we are not going to remove people from the farms where they have been resettled," Dr Made said.
He said more than 11 million hectares of land had been acquired and there was no way they could reverse that.
"We are not going to be drawn back by a few people who are bitter about the land reform programme. All the farms that have been taken now belong to the people of Zimbabwe," he said.
Dr Made, however, said commercial farmers who were willing to continue farming were free to apply for land like everyone else.
"What should be understood is that the Government has not said it does not want white commercial farmers. We are willing to work with those who understand the need for land redistribution and those who don't will not be accommodated," he said.
He said the Government would also continue to acquire more farms, as there were still a lot of people on the waiting list.
"There are people who are still in need of land and we are not going to ignore them although we know that the majority of them are those who thought the land redistribution was a political gimmick. They are coming now because they have seen that it is a reality," he said.
Dr Made said people had now realised that the land reform programme was not only irreversible, but it was also the basis for equitable distribution of the country's national economy.
The Government embarked on a land redistribution exercise to correct the land imbalances that were caused by colonialism.
More than 300 000 people have been resettled since the launch of the fast track programme in 2000.
Another 54 000 are set to be resettled under the Model A2 scheme.
White farmers constitute less than one percent of Zimbabwe's population but used to occupy 70 percent of the productive land, or 30 percent of the country's surface area.
Don't keep ANC govt too long: Holomisa
SOUTH Africans needed to come together and form an alternative to the ruling
African National Congress government before it is too late, United Democratic
Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa warned yesterday.
Addressing a rally celebrating the UDM's fifth birthday in Port Elizabeth,
Holomisa said the lesson of keeping a faulty government in power for too long
was being taught by Zimbabwe.
"South Africa must not repeat the error committed by our neighbours in
Zimbabwe, who waited for 20 years before coming to the inevitable conclusion
that democracy and freedom are dependent on a viable alternative to the ruling
party," he said.
"The ANC's swallowing of organisations such as the SA Communist Party,
Cosatu, Azapo and the New National Party effectively meant their constituencies
no longer had alternatives to the government's various failed policies.
"In essence, support for these organisations is a vote in favour of
joblessness, violent crime, rape, HIV/AIDS, mismanagement, unnecessary weapons
of war, poverty and corruption."
As a hallmark of all rightwing formations, the ANC had "thrown" billions of
rands of taxpayers money away on weapons of war while millions of people suffer
due to unemployment, illiteracy, hunger and disease, Holomisa told the party
Taking a swipe at the official opposition, the Democratic Alliance, Holomisa
said serious and responsible opposition to the ANC could not come from even
"further to their right".
"While the DA continues to oppose everything for the sake of opposition and
thereby perpetuates the perception that it is not concerned with the needs of
all South Africans, it has also lost any moral standing it may have had."
He said the scandals surrounding Gerald Morkel and Jürgen Harksen, as well as
the dubious appointment of a DA strategist in various government positions
"simultaneously at astronomical cost to the taxpayer", had destroyed whatever
credibility the DA might have had as a watchdog over the ANC.
"Who can with credibility expose ANC mismanagement, corruption and lack of
service delivery? Surely not the DA," he said. Sapa
Pensions of Former Presidents to Be
Posted to the web September 28, 2002
PENSIONS of former presidents and vice-presidents will soon be increased
while the Speaker of Parliament and his deputy will have theirs upgraded to the
same level as that of the Chief Justice.
The Government has approved proposals by the Minister of Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare, Cde July Moyo, to review the pensions of former
presidents, vice-presidents, the Speaker and the deputy.
The pension of a former president will now be 100 percent of his pensionable
Former presidents who served for at least one full term are paid an annual
pension equal to their annual salary when they vacate office.
The pension is reviewed periodi- cally in terms of the Pensions Review Act.
A former president and vice-president will now be able to commute a third of
his or her pension at the time of retirement.
Previously, they could not commute their pension yet the Chief Justice, who
is the head of the judiciary and second pillar of Government and the Speaker,
who is the head of the legislature and third pillar of Government can do so.
"There is no provision for the president who is the head of the executive and
first pillar of Government to commute. There is no reason for the difference,"
Cde Moyo said in his proposals.
He also recommended that the status of the Speaker and the deputy be also
recognised for pension purposes.
Their pension benefits will be equated to those of the Chief Justice, which
is 100 percent of his pensionable income.
The Speaker is presently treated as a Member of Parliament whose benefits are
equal to 75 percent of his pensionable income in terms of the Parliamentary
"There is no separate pension provision for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker in
the Parliamentary Pensions Act, yet the constitution and the Parliamentary
Salaries, Allowances and Benefits Act recognises and makes separate provision
for the Speaker.
"It is accordingly recommended that the status of Speaker as Head of one
pillar of Government also be recognised for pension purposes," Cde Moyo said.
The proposals will be enacted through statutory instruments, which are
expected to be issued soon.