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

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      Whither now land of the literate?

      9/5/02 8:22:25 AM (GMT +2)

      NOW that close to 4 000 more loafers have obtained first degrees from
several state universities recently, it remains to be seen whether land is
going to be their salvation.

      The scandalous shame about our dogmatic government is that it
perilously proceeded to carry out the land reform during a time of economic
devastation. That is an unforgivable miscalculation.

      A manoeuvre as taxing as land reform can best be performed during an
era of economic stability, short of which it becomes an invitation for the
full wrath of despondency such as the situation in Zimbabwe.

      Graduates from about 80 percent of the state university faculties will
not work on the land not only because their careers are incompatible with
agriculture but that these are trying times of living for today, practically
from hand to mouth.

      What is worse, there is no alternative for these jobless graduates who
eventually might be brought down to earth in the literal sense.

      Several thousands of these graduates are currently looking for
employment with optimism but are soon to be disillusioned when they realise
that there is no hope for a proper job in this tattered economy, which would
test "positive" for economic malady in a laboratory test-tube experiment.

      When this dawns on them, they will start to pay attention to ZANU PF's
suspicious land offers. The dilemma will then arise whether to use brains or
burden to get bread.

      At this stage, the demoralised graduates will start to disintegrate.
And at this juncture hope disintegrates, patience fragments, ambitions
crumble and a whole future seems to fall apart.

      The new graduate must realise, therefore, that President Robert Mugabe
is primarily redistributing land to suppress inevitable insurrection. That
he means to preoccupy the new peasant with what the land has to offer even
during a severe drought than what the opposition will materialise.

      The land issue is being used to divert the grumbling masses from the
real catastrophe, which is economic demise. And for saying that the economy
is in rags, one minister was unceremoniously dismissed.

      This vivid diversion must therefore be intelligible to the new
graduate that it is also intended to thwart mobilisation. Clusters of
citizens from dissimilar classes are haphazardly bunched on tracts of
grabbed land in a move aimed at foiling the emergence of any meaningful
dissenting assemblies.

      All this is a well-orchestrated system meant to prolong ZANU PF's
greedy plundering and misgovernace.

      The new graduate might choose to migrate and betray the struggle for
economic emancipation, but that would be a painfully passive response to the
present despotic regime. Those intending to run away from Mugabe's burning
house must do away with the fallacy that their skills are on demand

      On the contrary, Zimbabweans are becoming slaves in the overseas
labour force since there is hardly any opportunity for them in the skilled

      They must discard another erroneous belief that they will buy houses
here and only return when economic stability enters our borders again.
Without the necessary local discontent needed, Zimbabweans in the diaspora
will invest in houses that they will never live in, because there will be
not a shack remaining by the time they wish to come back home.

      One Tonderai Chanakira was seriously defied by this logic which I was
trying to convey in the article "Docility is our greatest weakness" when I
stated in no uncertain terms that migrants from this country are "cowards of
the most traitorous manner".

      If the truth be told, those running away from this country are
expecting that things are just going to happen on their own; that things are
just going to get better while they feed fat in alien lands.

      Well, things are not just going to happen as wishfully as they think.
As a matter of fact, any Zimbabwean worth his salt must make things happen.
Or will one give the excuse that there is no salt in this land? If so, then
by any means necessary we must mobilise to get rid of Mugabe in order to
restock our pantries with the most basic commodity.

      The call then remains for those who intend to head for the diaspora to
escape an impending identity crisis by redressing the grave leadership
crisis, which has ravaged our homeland and which threatens to leave this
country as an abyss of skeletons and debris.

      Revolution by Zimbabweans for Zimbabwe, whether one likes it or not,
remains the only practical remedy to redeem the soul of this troubled
country especially after all democratic processes have tumbled.

      It is crystal clear that anticipating a re-run of the presidential
elections is a dangerous daydream. Therefore understanding that, as a point
of departure, will prepare a solid foundation for no-nonsense

      Revolution has not happened in the United Kingdom or the United States
because their citizens have something but it must happen in Zimbabwe because
its citizens have nothing.

      The country needs as many dissenting voices within its borders as can
be imagined in order for Mugabe to prepare for his exit and for opposition
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai to know that the
people need a serious government to take over.

      Psychologists who study revolutions say that a revolution cannot
happen if there is too much suffering. There can be no revolution if there
is too much misery because people become addicted to their suffering.

      The poor cannot revolt. It therefore follows that we cannot wait any
longer. We simply cannot wait for the ruin to get any worse than it already

      Those in Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe, where Mugabe is more feared than God,
cannot rebel because they have taken their misery to be god-ordained. In
reality, they have sort of hardened towards hardship.

      The rural folk never entertain any hope of deliverance. For them, life
is determined and it is dissidence to oppose Mugabe.

      Mugabe has managed to make the land issue a tradition in Zimbabwean
politics. He has made it a tradition that is not supposed to be criticised;
a tradition he is compelling everyone who cares to listen to adhere to.

      Unfortunately a mob among us follows the path of his tradition very
strictly. Whatever his tradition insists on is holy and it becomes profane
to question it - no matter how much suffering the stoic multitude may have
to go through because of doing so. It never even occurs to that rabble that
its concepts could be causing its sufferings.

      The horde cannot simply spell "why". What idiocy!

      But those cadres who want to bring about a revolution during their
lifetime will naturally have to rise above the concepts of the inflexible

      Revolution means something new happens, something that was not going
to happen on its own accord, something that can happen only through human
intention, human consciousness. Something that cannot happen without the
help of human conscience, that is revolution.

      Revolution is craving for Zimbabweans to exploit it.

      If we honestly will not tolerate Mugabe, then we must take heed of
Otto Van Bismarck, the illustrious 19th century German chancellor who
observed that if to strike the iron when it gets hot is too long a period to
wait for, then it is best to make the iron hot by striking.

        a.. Taungana Ndoro can be contacted at
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      Cde Made proves he's 'amadoda sibili'

      9/5/02 7:54:14 AM (GMT +2)

      Dear Cabinet and Politburo Members

      MY heart has been warmed by our much maligned minister of agriculture'
s firm refusal to allow Zimbabweans to be used as guinea pigs by these
meddling Americans.

      Comrade Made has put his foot down and unequivocally told the world
that Zimbabwe will NOT accept the genetically modified food being peddled by
the United States to the drought-stricken countries of southern Africa.

      He has proved himself to be one of our amadoda sibili by refusing to
yield to intense pressure and emotional blackmail over this thorny issue. He
has fully justified my decision to retain him in Cabinet even though I'm
sure many out there thought he should have been the first to go.

      I'm very happy that Cde Made and I seem to be of the same mind on this
issue. I firmly believe that these attempts to pressure Zimbabwe into
accepting this dubious grain are part of a diabolical plot against our
government and I'm sure he has reached the same conclusion.

      I detect the shadowy machinations of the British and the Americans in
this whole plot. After all, the Americans have already shown what they are
capable of by trying to implicate our African brothers in a plot to oust our
democratically elected government.

      As for the British, their schemes against myself are well known and
are too numerous to mention.

      I would not be surprised if those British puppets trying to upstage us
by importing maize are not also involved. After all, the British and the
Americans have even managed to hoodwink the United Nations and a bunch of
misguided African scientists who are demonstrating their ignorance at the
Earth Summit.

      I'm sure you would agree with me that the idea behind this whole GMO
debacle is to make us look like a cold-hearted regime which has no intention
of alleviating the food crisis that threatens many of our people.

      On the other hand, even the United States' own environmentalists say
if we accept this GMO aid, we could expose our people to unknown health
risks, while contaminating our environment and endangering our agricultural

      Truly Machiavellian!

      Rumours that we are refusing to go along with the Americans because we
are miffed at the "smart sanctions" they have imposed on us are plainly

      We are merely safeguarding the interests of our beloved people who, as
I have already promised, will not die of starvation no matter what the
so-called independent Press gleefully claims.

      After all, there is enough non-GMO food in the world to spare for
Zimbabwe and I am reliably informed that our resettled farmers are raring to
go and are willing and able to feed the nation.

      I believe this is one of the reasons Cde Made is secure enough to turn
his back on this GMO nonsense, and I am confident you will all back him
fully on his commendable decision.



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      Mbeki must get tough

      9/5/02 7:59:22 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S crisis is snowballing into the biggest challenge facing
South African President Thabo Mbeki, who himself has had to swallow the
bitter truth of the failure of his policy of quiet diplomacy on his rogue

      In unprecedented scenes which underlined Mbeki's predicament on
Zimbabwe at the Johannesburg Earth Summit this week, Namibian and Zimbabwean
leaders used the meeting in choreographed speeches as a platform to rebuff
Mbeki's soft approach to resolving Harare's crisis, which has been caused by
none other than the government.

      Indeed, behind-the-scenes manoeuvres had been made to prevent the
Zimbabwe question from hijacking the global summit on poverty, the
environment and sustainable development, but this message was rejected by
both Sam Nujoma and Robert Mugabe.

      The two men turned a sombre and sedate occasion into a war of words
against British Prime Minister Tony Blair, with Nujoma repeatedly and
crudely gesturing with his hand towards Blair in scenes which stunned most
world leaders.

      Predictably their verbal tirades focused on the racism that has
coloured the land question in Zimbabwe, an increasingly popular and only
excuse by the besieged Mugabe, but glaringly omitted to address the real
cause of the crisis: the government's stark misrule.

      No doubt, Mbeki's ambivalence on Harare must have contributed to the
hyperbole in Johannesburg, which shocked many into finally realising why and
how Zimbabwe has crumbled.

      But it also must have been a rude wake-up call for Mbeki to urgently
review his blind support for organised chaos in Zimbabwe, which the
government calls land reform.

      Mbeki's country, as indeed all others in southern Africa, have already
been soiled by economic and political contagion from Zimbabwe's lawlessness
but stand to suffer even more unless the South African leader firmly stamps
his foot down now to say enough.

      We are encouraged however by Mbeki's public admission two weeks ago
that his quiet efforts to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis had failed and that it
was time to take vigorous action to end the madness.

      Indeed the success of the New Partnership for Africa's Development
(NEPAD), a brainchild of Mbeki and other democratic African leaders for the
continent's revival, is threatened with collapse unless Mbeki and his peers
assert themselves in the face of a regime that will do anything to stay in
power against the will of its own citizens.

      Mbeki faces a simple question: why should Africa and the international
community believe in NEPAD if he and his colleagues are unable to order one
of their errant members to adhere to even the new blueprint's minimum
conditions of governance?

      For Mbeki, whose country has huge influence on Zimbabwe's fate, this
question becomes more troubling, if embarrassing, as the crisis deepens.

      It also throws light on why the Southern Africa Development Community
has failed to hold Mugabe to account for the many promises which he made but
failed to deliver to other regional leaders before and after the deeply
flawed March presidential election.

      Mbeki and other world leaders, especially France which is increasingly
aligning itself with the oppression of Zimbabweans, must reject the racist
card being waved by Mugabe to justify violence against real or imagined
political foes in Zimbabwe under the guise of land redistribution.

      As we have often stated before, the murder, rape and torture of a
farmer or any other Zimbabwean has nothing to do with delivering the land to
the hungry. It is the highest criminal offence possible, which needs to be
punished most severely.

      The real purpose of the violence is to crush Zimbabwe's emerging
democratic voices and to perpetuate Mugabe's misrule at whatever cost to
Zimbabweans and the country itself.

      If leaders such as Mbeki remain silent about the lawlessness and do
nothing about it, they unfortunately become co-conspirators to the crime, as
indeed other world leaders did during the Nazi pogrom.

      Surely this is not the image of a new Africa that Mbeki wants under
his bold NEPAD, let alone the legacy upon which South Africans and the rest
of humankind should judge him in the years to come.
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      Permanent secretaries face travel ban

      Staff Reporter
      9/5/02 9:06:07 AM (GMT +2)

      THE European Parliament is today expected to pass a resolution urging
tougher action by the European Union (EU) and the Group of Eight (G-8)
countries against President Robert Mugabe and his top hierarchy, it was
learnt yesterday.

      An emergency debate and vote will take place on the resolution this
afternoon in Strasbourg, Belgium.

      "We have negotiated a compromise with all the parties in Parliament
and they have all agreed on a strong resolution," said Geoffrey Van Orden,
vice chairman of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, who
proposed the motion.

      He told the Financial Gazette yesterday: "We expect to have the
support of all the parties tomorrow."

      The resolution calls for the EU to immediately take firm and
meaningful steps to extend smart sanctions against Zimbabwe and insist that
its travel ban and other EU measures against the Mugabe regime are
rigorously enforced and "without exception".

      A total of 72 government and ruling ZANU PF officials have been
slapped with an EU travel ban and a freeze on assets.

      But several officials have managed to enter EU member countries to
attend meetings sponsored by organisations that are exempt from enforcing
the travel ban.

      Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri last week attended a meeting at
the headquarters of the International Police Organisation in France, while
Mugabe earlier this year entered Rome for the United Nations' food summit.

      The resolution on Zimbabwe calls on members of the 15-nation EU to
review arrangements for the hosting of international organisations so that
sanctions cannot be breached.

      Van Orden said: "We are concerned that EU sanctions are not being
effectively implemented since people like Police Commissioner Chihuri can
enter France.

      "We want the EU to review arrangements with international
organisations so that loopholes can be closed and we don't find people on
the travel ban being able to find a way of getting into EU countries."

      The resolution on Zimbabwe points out that a crucial test of the EU
Council's credibility will be to refuse a visa to Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs
Minister Stan Mudenge to prevent him from travelling to Copenhagen to attend
the EU-Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) foreign ministers'
meeting in early November.

      Other government officials that could be affected by the tightening of
sanctions are permanent secretaries in all government ministries.

      Authoritative sources this week said permanent secretaries, most of
whom are appointed because of their affiliation to ZANU PF, were expected to
be added to the sanctions list.

      Since the EU imposed sanctions were slapped in February, permanent
secretaries have been conducting government duties in countries that have
enforced a travel ban against ministers.

      The resolution on Zimbabwe also calls on EU countries to liaise with
other key members of the international community to explore additional
international measures against the Zimbabwe government.

      The G-8 countries - the United States, Canada, Britain, Japan, France,
Italy, Germany and Russia - are also urged to join EU states in imposing
financial and other targeted sanctions.

      Canada and the United States, together with Australia, New Zealand and
Switzerland, have already introduced a travel ban, financial sanctions and
an arms embargo against Zimbabwe.

      Other recommendations contained in the resolution on Zimbabwe are
greater transparency and detailed information on the application of EU
sanctions and calls to provide information on the freezing of the bank
accounts of those on the black list.

      President Thabo Mbeki and SADC chairman Bakili Muluzi are also urged
to emulate the international community's tough stance against Mugabe.

      Mbeki and most SADC leaders have failed to condemn the Zimbabwean
government's disastrous policies, despite the potential backlash on their
own economies.

      Van Orden said: "We want tough action on the part of regional leaders
and we especially want President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa to show real
leadership in this issue and bring about change in Zimbabwe.

      "We are also condemning Mugabe's speech in Johannesburg, where he
sought to mislead world leaders on the true nature of activity in his

      Mugabe on Tuesday took advantage of the World Summit on Sustainable
Development to defend a land reform programme that has slashed food
production by at least 60 percent and to attack British Prime Minister Tony

      The resolution on Zimbabwe expresses commitment to providing further
humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe to avert starvation and condemns reports that
ZANU PF is withholding food aid from opposition party supporters.

      About six million Zimbabweans, half the population, face starvation
because of food shortages resulting from drought and the government's land

      The EU is among donors who have responded to an international appeal
for food aid.
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      UN envoy to ask Mugabe to end GMB food monoploy

      By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
      9/5/02 9:04:39 AM (GMT +2)

      JAMES Morris, a special envoy of United Nations' secretary-general
Kofi Annan, is to press President Robert Mugabe in talks in Harare today to
allow the private sector to import food into Zimbabwe to save millions of
people threatened with starvation.

      International aid agency diplomats said yesterday Morris, the
executive director of the UN's World Food Programme, had already raised the
issue of breaking the food distribution monopoly of the state-controlled
Grain Marketing Board (GMB) in talks with Mugabe on the sidelines of the
Earth Summit in Johannesburg.

      "Morris had talks with President Mugabe on Tuesday this week and the
meeting today will be a continuation of the Johannesburg meeting and the
issue of private sector involvement will be brought up in the talks," a
senior aid agency diplomat said.

      The government earlier this year promised UN under-secretary general
for humanitarian assistance Kenzo Oshima it would consider allowing private
sector players to import maize and other foodstuffs but has not delivered on
that promise.

      The United Nations' Development Programme (UNDP) had proposed to set
up a hard cash basket fund of more than US$80 million from which private
companies wishing to import food could tap into.

      Victor Angelo, the UNDP's resident coordinator in Harare who doubles
up as the UN's coordinator in Zimbabwe, yesterday said the world body was
still negotiating with the government to agree to the setting up of the

      "We are still in talks with the government over the matter," he said.

      He did not say why it had taken so long for the two parties to reach
accord when at least six million Zimbabweans, or half the population, face

      Social Welfare Minister July Moyo, under whose portfolio aid relief
falls, could not be reached for comment.

      Sources close to the negotiations said the government was reluctant to
abolish the GMB's monopoly because it would give away its political control
over food distribution.

      "There is no strategic or logistical reason why the GMB should retain
control of food imports other than that this allows the state to directly
control food distribution," one source told the Financial Gazette.

      The government is accused of withdrawing food from supporters of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) as punishment for their
backing of the opposition party. The state denies the charge.

      This week the government impounded 30 tonnes of maize brought into
Zimbabwe to feed starving villagers by a non-governmental organisation
linked to the MDC. The government said the private agency must have an
import licence to buy the staple food.

      Poor rains last season and the government's chaotic and often violent
land reforms are blamed for causing a 60 percent drop in food production in
the past farming season.

      Morris, who will tour five other southern African countries facing
severe food shortages, will also meet senior Harare government officials,
representatives of donors and discuss the humanitarian response with UN
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      Govt rapped over harassment of human rights groups

      9/5/02 9:02:42 AM (GMT +2)

      INTERNATIONAL human rights organisations this week condemned what they
termed an intensified campaign of harassment by the Zimbabwe government of
the judiciary, the independent media and organisations fighting for human

      Amnesty International and the United Nations' special investigator on
the independence of judges and lawyers, Param Cumaraswamy, were responding
to recent attacks on magistrates, an independent radio station and the
arrest of Amani Trust director Frances Lovemore.

      "On 29 August, Dr Frances Lovemore, medical director of Amani Trust, a
leading human rights NGO in Zimbabwe, was arrested in Harare," Amnesty
International said.

      "Dr Lovemore was charged with 'publishing or communicating false
statements prejudicial to the state'. The charge apparently stems from
recent press reports, which referred to Amani Trust's work with victims of
torture and politically motivated rape in Zimbabwe.

      "Amnesty International views the arrest of Dr Lovemore as an attempt
to intimidate a human rights defender. The international community should
take every step to support the work of Zimbabwean human rights NGOs which
place themselves at risk in documenting cases of human rights violations and
in treating victims."

      The organisation also condemned the bombing at the end of last week of
the offices of Voice of the People (VOP), a radio station that has managed
to operate despite restrictive media laws by transmitting to Zimbabwe from
the Netherlands.

      Amnesty said the government had also stepped up the harassment of the
judiciary, citing the assault of Manicaland district magistrate Walter
Chikwanha in mid-August and the stabbing a week later of Godfrey Gwaka, the
magistrate for Zaka district in Masvingo.

      Both men were allegedly attacked because of judgments they recently
made in politically charged trials.

      Amnesty said: "The arrest of Dr Lovemore, the bombing of the office of
the VOP and the assaults on magistrates is evidence of a clampdown on
critics of the government as the September (rural council) elections draw

      "The attacks on the magistrates reflect on-going attempts on the part
of government authorities and state-sponsored militia to undermine the
judicial system and prevent court officials from executing their duties
impartially and professionally."

      Cumaraswamy said the failure to protect the magistrates was another
example of the Zimbabwean government's disregard of the rule of law.

      "The provision of adequate protection to judges and lawyers when their
safety is threatened is a basic prerequisite for safeguarding the rule of
law," he said.

      "This is fundamental in order to guarantee the right to a fair trial
by an independent and impartial tribunal and the protection of human
rights." - Staff Reporter
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      ZANU PF militias stifle MDC poll campaign

      9/5/02 8:59:15 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) this
week accused the ruling ZANU PF of intensifying a campaign to silence it in
all rural areas ahead of rural district council elections due on September
28 and 29.

      MDC officials said its activists were being chased away from
campaigning in rural areas by ZANU PF militants, a charge quickly denied by
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, ZANU PF's deputy political commissar.

      Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general who doubles up as the party'
s spokesman, said the ruling party had increased the level of its militia in
all rural areas to intimidate the MDC from campaigning for the polls.

      "They (the government and ZANU PF) have virtually closed all avenues
for us. We are not allowed to campaign anywhere in Zimbabwe," he said.

      According to MDC officials, war veterans last week chased away MDC
legislator for Tsholotsho Mloliki Sibanda from the area, situated in
Matabeleland North, where Information Minister Jonathan Moyo is quickly
building up a political base.

      The war veterans prevented Sibanda from attending a ceremony to donate
a borehole to the community there by a non-governmental organisation.

      Sibanda said: "The war veterans and the militia threw me out of the
gathering and said I should never again attend functions in my constituency,
let alone campaign for my party in the forthcoming council elections."

      He said he was saved from physical harm by quickly driving away from
his constituency to Beltway, about 120 kms away.

      "Had I not driven away, they were going to harm me. They chased me for
some distance in a truck full of war veterans and militia clad in their
party regalia."

      Ncube said: "They are not giving me any authority to hold meetings.
Sitting members of Parliament are also not allowed to call meetings.

      "The long and short of it is that they are refusing us permission to
campaign in the rural areas for the district elections. It is even worse in
Mashonaland. The levels of the militia have been raised."

      But Ndlovu dismissed the MDC charges, saying the main opposition was
already chickening out of the polls.

      "They are already smelling the rat and running scared. They are coming
up with all sorts of allegations. Everyone knows that we have a strong base
in the rural areas and there is no way they can beat us," he said.

      Abednigo Bhebhe, the MDC legislator for Nkayi, which is also in
Matabeleland North, said 10 MDC supporters chosen to stand in the district
council elections on the party's ticket had withdrawn their candidatures at
the weekend following threats by the war veterans and the militia.

      "We are having problems in my constituency as well as in other rural
areas because of the presence of the militia and the marauding war veterans.
I have 10 cases where people have withdrawn their participation in the polls
because of threats of violence if they stood on our ticket.

      "Just today a man came to me and said he cannot stand because his life
is in danger. There is nothing we can do but to hope that people will not be
afraid and come and vote in the polls."

      A police spokesman said police had not been alerted to the incidents
of political violence in the districts involved.

      - Staff Reporter
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      MDC won't seek permit for seized maize

      Staff Reporter
      9/5/02 8:57:10 AM (GMT +2)

      THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which has raised
more than $50 million to buy maize to alleviate food shortages in Zimbabwe,
vowed this week not to apply for a permit to secure the release of 30 tonnes
of grain held by the Department of Customs in Beitbridge.

      MDC shadow minister for agriculture Renson Gasela said the grain
detained at the weekend and further consignments expected from this week
were part of food aid donations, not commercial goods, and therefore did not
require an import licence.

      Since the start of Zimbabwe's food crisis last year, the
government-controlled Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has been declared the sole
trader in grain and the only agency that can freely import maize and wheat.

      This has hampered efforts by non-governmental agencies to alleviate
food shortages.

      Gasela told the Financial Gazette: "They (customs) detained the maize
on the grounds that we have to apply for a permit. We are arguing that this
is a donation to help the starving masses of Zimbabwe.

      "We are not buying this maize to sell, it's a donation. We are not in-
terfering with or challenging the GMB's monopoly because we are not going to
sell it. For that reason, we are not going to apply for a permit. We are
saying the government must allow the maize in. If they don't want it, they
must send it back."

      He said the MDC was expecting another 30 tonnes of maize from South
Africa this week and further consignments that would arrive in batches of 30
tonnes in the coming weeks, which it would stockpile at the border post
between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

      The MDC, the chief foe of the ruling ZANU PF, is storing the grain
detained at the weekend in a bonded warehouse to protect it from rampaging
baboons that have also been hard hit by the drought affecting southern

      Gasela said he was not expecting the government to seize and
distribute the grain because it had no legal basis for doing so.

      He said the MDC, which last week registered the Feed Zimbabwe Trust to
procure grain, had already raised over $50 million in local donations while
foreign donors were pledging cash or donating food.

      The donated grain will be distributed through churches to areas most
affected by shortages, the result of drought and the government's often
violent and chaotic land reforms which have cut food production by more than
60 percent.

      According to United Nations agencies, at least six million
Zimbabweans, about half the population, need emergency food aid.

      More than half of those affected are women and children, with 600 000
children already said to be in need of supplementary feeding because of

      "We are going to continue receiving maize and hope that they
(government) see reason," Gasela said.
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      High Court nullifies more eviction orders

      9/5/02 8:56:11 AM (GMT +2)

      THE High Court in Harare yesterday nullified six more Section 8
eviction orders issued by the government to commercial farmers, with the
state accepting that the orders were not properly served and therefore

      Justice Anele Matika issued six consent orders declaring the eviction
orders to be invalid and of no force. The state, which has already admitted
that proper procedures were not followed in some of its eviction notices,
did not oppose the applications by the farmers to have the orders set aside.

      The High Court last week nullified similar orders issued by the
government to more than 50 commercial farmers mainly because the state did
not serve the same orders on other parties that have interests on those

      About 2 900 commercial farmers were served with eviction notices in
May which required them to vacate their land by August 10, but hundreds of
them are defying the orders which have resulted in more than 300 of them
being arrested.

      - Staff Reporter


      C'wealth gets tough with defiant Zim

      By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
      9/5/02 8:55:47 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Commonwealth troika on Zimbabwe is expected to meet possibly in
two weeks' time to discuss fresh and tougher action against a defiant
President Robert Mugabe, Commonwealth diplomats said this week.

      Australian Prime Minister John Howard chairs the troika, which in
March booted Zimbabwe out of the 54-nation Commonwealth councils over its
seizure of private farms and bloated human rights record.

      South Africa and Nigeria's presidents Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun
Obasanjo are the other members.

      News of the impending meeting of the troika came as key Commonwealth
players were this week said to have taken advantage of the presence of
African leaders at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in
Johannesburg to lobby major African states to support tougher action on
Zimbabwe, which they have blocked before.

      British and Canadian premiers Tony Blair and Jean Chretien and
Commonwealth secretary-general Don McKinnon, who attended the WSSD meeting,
were said to have piled pressure on Mbeki, Obasanjo and some southern
African leaders in separate talks on the sidelines of the summit to support
a Commonwealth crackdown on Zimbabwe.

      It could not be immediately established whether Blair, Chretien or
McKinnon specifically requested Mbeki, Obasanjo and other Commonwealth
African leaders to support the expulsion of Zimbabwe from the group and the
imposition of sanctions against it, measures already backed by some
Commonwealth nations.

      An official at the Commonwealth's secretariat in London confirmed
McKinnon had discussed Zimbabwe during separate meetings with Obasanjo and
Mbeki but would not divulge any details.

      "The secretary-general met with presidents Obasanjo and Mbeki and the
issue of Zimbabwe came up for discussion," the official said by telephone
from London.

      Howard did not attend the WSSD meeting in Johannesburg.

      But diplomatic sources said the Australian leader, who this week
indicated Australia might join the European Union, the US, Switzerland, New
Zealand and Canada in imposing sanctions on Mugabe and his officials, was
working round the clock to ensure the troika acted resolutely on Zimbabwe.

      "Howard is trying to link up with Mbeki and Obasanjo after the WSSD,"
said one source.

      "The leaders will either meet formally or will teleconference and this
is likely to happen between the end of the WSSD summit and the beginning of
the United Nations' General Assembly meeting which begins on September 17."

      Australian high commissioner in Harare Jonathan Brown refused to
discuss in detail Howard's efforts to bring the troika to act on Zimbabwe.

      He would only say: "Prime Minister Howard is very concerned about
events in Zimbabwe and hopes to speak to presidents Mbeki and Obasanjo

      Mbeki or his spokesman Bheki Khumalo could not be reached for comment.

      Two weeks ago, Mbeki appeared to be shifting from his softly-softly
approach towards Harare, telling journalists in Johannesburg that he now
agreed with Howard on the need for vigorous action to tackle the deepening
crisis in Zimbabwe, where the economy is falling apart as half the country's
population faces starvation.

      Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to his
supporters and poor rains last year have combined to cause severe food
shortages in the country.

      Analysts say tougher Commonwealth sanctions against Harare, which many
members of the group are increasingly clamouring for, would be the last
straw to break Mugabe and his administration's resistance to international

      All of Harare's neighbours are members of the Commonwealth and it is
their support which has kept a financially crippled Zimbabwe just afloat.
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      SA business breaks silence on quiet diplomacy

      By Nqobile Nyathi Assistant Editor
      9/5/02 8:54:59 AM (GMT +2)

      SOUTH Africa's big businesses have for the first time publicly
criticised President Thabo Mbeki's quiet diplomacy towards Zimbabwe as
internal and external pressure mounts for a tougher stance against Harare.

      The South Africa Foundation, an organisation representing big South
African firms, this week slammed Mbeki's quiet diplomacy for failing to
prevent "catastrophic policies under the guise of land reform" and called
for "concerted action by the leaders of Africa and by the international

      The group, based in Johannesburg, represents more than 50 of South
Africa's largest corporations and leading multinationals operating there.

      The companies, represented in the organisation's council at chief
executive or chairman level, include banking giant Absa, mining groups Anglo
American plc and Anglogold, carmaker BMW South Africa, diamond miner De
Beers, insurer Old Mutual and Standard Bank.

      Black empowerment firms African Harvest, African Rainbow Minerals and
Mvelaphanda are also members of the group.

      The foundation's council called for "the unequivocal condemnation" of
the Zimbabwean government by Pretoria, saying "President Robert Mugabe must
not be allowed to undermine the efficacy and credibility of NEPAD (the New
Partnership for Africa's Development)".

      Mbeki's failure to publicly condemn alleged electoral fraud in
Zimbabwe, human rights violations and a haphazard land reform programme that
has slashed food production by at least 60 percent is believed to be a
potential threat to international support for NEPAD.

      NEPAD, spearheaded by Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa and aiming at
boosting Africa's economic growth, has as its main pillars good governance,
democracy and the rule of law.

      Analysts this week said the foundation's statement could be an
indication of the worsening impact on South African business because of the
Zimbabwe crisis, which has already dampened international investor sentiment
in the region and battered the rand.

      Andrew Nongogo, spokesman for civil society coalition Crisis in
Zimbabwe, told the Financial Gazette: "It is significant because business
does not normally address itself to issues of governance in any country,
which is one of the problems we have had here in Zimbabwe.

      "But it has become perfectly clear that governance issues have
everything to do with business. You can't conduct business in an environment
that is unstable. You can't predict what's going to happen tomorrow and
business hinges on knowing what is going to happen tomorrow."

      Commentators said the foundation's statement was also significant
because it was the first public condemnation of quiet diplomacy by big
business in South Africa and could prompt other companies to break their
silence on the issue.

      University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Elphas Mukonoweshuro
said: "It's significant in the sense that for the first time, organised
business in South Africa has come out publicly with one voice to express

      "Of course, behind the scenes business has always been urging Mbeki to
get more involved in finding a solution to the ongoing Zimbabwe crisis. The
only significance is that the sentiments are being expressed publicly and at
a time when the eyes of the international community are focused on

      Johannesburg is hosting the World Summit on Sustainable Development,
which is being attended by more than 100 world leaders, environmentalists
and pressure groups.

      Mugabe on Tuesday defended his land reforms at the summit, launching a
scathing attack on the international community, especially British Prime
Minister Tony Blair.

      Despite efforts to prevent it from upstaging sustainable development,
Zimbabwe's crisis is one of the critical issues at the summit where world
leaders, political parties and pressure groups are urging South Africa and
the international community to adopt a tougher stance against Mugabe.

      European member of Parliament Geoffrey Van Orden, who last week wrote
to Mbeki urging tougher measures against Mugabe, said in South Africa's
Business Day: "The time has come to show him (Mugabe) that his actions are

      Van Orden is among European MPs campaigning against Mugabe and is
expected to table an emergency motion in the European Union Parliament
calling for the tightening of smart sanctions against Mugabe and his top

      But the analysts said internal and external pressure on Mbeki to
abandon quiet diplomacy for a more robust stance on Zimbabwe were unlikely
to bear immediate fruit because of the close ties between his African
National Congress (ANC) and Mugabe's ZANU PF.

      They said mounting pressure on Mbeki was unlikely to force him to show
a change of attitude in the next meeting of the Australia-Nigeria-South
Africa troika that earlier this year recommended Zim-babwe's 12-month
suspension from the Commonwealth.

      Australian Prime Minister John Howard has indicated his willingness to
take sterner action against Mugabe but is expected to face opposition from
South Africa and Nigeria.

      Mukonoweshuro said: "It remains to be seen what the troika is going to
do when it meets at the review, but in my own opinion I don't think the ANC
in general and Mbeki in particular are likely to heed pressure at this

      The analysts said pressure from big business and other quarters was
likely to impact in the long-term and only if the Zimbabwe crisis became a
significant enough threat to Mbeki's own political future.

      Nongogo said: "There are a number of reasons why the president of
South Africa will continue to pursue this quiet diplomacy. They include his
own ANC, which fears the same pressure being applied to the Zimbabwean
government could be applied to itself and wants to safeguard its political

      "But when big business begins to act in his (Mbeki's) own backyard,
there is bound to be some impact. But I think it will be long-term."

      Mukonoweshuro added: "I think he (Mbeki) will only act when the
economy is being more negatively affected by the crisis and when this has a
negative ripple effect on his chances of re-election as president of South

      "I think we can expect to see the crisis getting worse and worse until
such a time that Mbeki realises he has to act and assist in its resolution.
If the crisis begins to unravel the alliance of the ANC, the Communist Party
and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, then Mbeki will act."
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      Scrap dialogue with govt, CFU members say

      Staff Reporter
      9/5/02 9:00:16 AM (GMT +2)

      REGIONAL Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) associations have told the
union's leadership to dump dialogue with the government, which is in the
midst of evicting hundreds of farmers from their properties without paying

      But the associations are opposed mostly by the union's leadership
which wants to re-open talks with President Robert Mugabe's government -
this despite Mugabe's comments two weeks ago that such negotiations would
serve no purpose.

      The tug of war between the two camps has exposed gaping divisions
within the white-dominated CFU just when Mugabe has thrown off the land 2
900 of the country's estimated 4 500 white commercial farmers.

      The divisions coincided with efforts of the more militant Justice for
Agriculture (JAG), an organisation formed in July to challenge the farmers'
mass evictions, to vigorously urge farmers to take legal action against the

      CFU sources said the union's regional associations had unanimously
agreed that the group should take the government to court on behalf of all
members faced with immediate eviction and those not under immediate threat.

      According to the government's tally of farms it is seizing, about 90
percent of all commercial farms in Zimbabwe are being taken under Mugabe's
controversial land reforms.

      Minutes of the CFU's association's meetings held on August 23 show
that associations in Kadoma, Chegutu, Suri Suri, Battlefields, Tengwe and
Karoi agreed that the CFU should press ahead with legal action.

      The farmers want the CFU to challenge aspects of the Land Acquisition
Act of 2002 and to oppose restrictive conditions which prevent evicted
farmers from residing on their properties.

      A total of 316 farmers have been arrested for defying eviction orders
since the August 10 deadline to vacate their properties lapsed. A police
spokesman said 10 of the 316 had been arrested this week.

      The sources said the rift within the CFU was so serious that the
organisation's leadership at its Harare head office had begun purging
outspoken members, who it deemed to be "politically incorrect" and against
dialogue with the government.

      For instance, they said Ben Freeth - the regional executive officer
for the southern part of Mashonaland West region - had been asked to resign
on August 27 because of his political stance.

      In a letter to CFU members in the region, Freeth said he would only
resign if the majority of members in the south of Mashonaland West
unanimously agreed that he should step down.

      "I was called up to a meeting today (August 27) at CFU head office
with president (Colin) Cloete and director (David) Hasluck," Freeth says in
his letter. "The meeting .in essence hinged upon the current CFU council
direction and my beliefs.

      "They believe that I am standing in the way of CFU being accepted
politically. I have been asked to resign on the grounds that I was not
prepared to change my principles. I am quite willing to resign if the
majority of the membership in the region feel that I am a hindrance to

      Cloete, Hasluck and some CFU council members are among officials
strongly opposed to court action. There was no comment this week from Cloete
and Hasluck.

      But a senior council official who declined to be named told the
Financial Gazette: "There is a strong belief by the members that dialogue
has failed because the government is not committed at all.

      "Each time we think we have something working, you find farmers are
accused of derailing the land reform programme, so how can we work like

      "How can we continue pressing for dialogue when President Mugabe
himself has said there will be no more dialogue with us? The government is
not interested."

      JAG this week said it supported the regional farmers but could not
take legal action on their behalf because it was not yet registered with the

      "If it were possible for JAG to take these representative actions, we
would not hesitate to do so," the organisation said in a statement.

      "However, we are not yet legalised and duly constituted and do not
have the membership to represent and are not registered with government."
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      ZANU PF courts MDC on next president

      By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
      9/5/02 8:53:35 AM (GMT +2)

      A clique within the ruling ZANU PF is involved in behind-the-scenes
manoeuvres to woo support from opposition MDC parliamentarians to push for
constitutional changes that will allow an acting president to be in charge
of the country for more than the constitutionally allowed 90 days.

      As part of the move to sweeten the deal, the ZANU PF clique is
proposing the creation of an independent electoral commission and the
trimming back of the term of office of a president so that it runs
concurrently with that of parliament.

      ZANU PF officials involved in the plan said this week the strategy,
being secretly sold within the party leadership but not yet made official,
is part of moves to prepare for President Robert Mugabe's eventual exit and
elevation of his successor.

      "There are various ways which are being considered to work out a
smooth succession plan both in the party and in the government," one ZANU PF
Politburo member told the Financial Gazette.

      "From the party side, things are taking shape but some constitutional
changes have to be made to make the plan operational and effective in

      Under the current constitution, an election has to be called to name a
president within 90 days were Mugabe to leave office either by death,
resignation or removal.

      A vice president, who would have acted last as the president, would
act as head of state during that period.

      ZANU PF's legal affairs secretary Patrick China-masa, who is also the
Minister of Justice, could not be reached for comment yesterday. He was
reported to be in South Africa.

      The sources said ZANU PF's plan to push for the extension of the time
an acting president would be in power would ensure that there would be no
immediate election were Mugabe to step down before the end of his six-year
term, as is expected.

      The sources said his successor, who would be in acting capacity, would
have time to to consolidate his support base before an election is called.

      Under the plan, Presidential Special Affairs Minister John Nkomo and
Parliamentary Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa are expected to be elevated to the
posts of vice presidents in the party before assuming the same posts in the

      Under ZANU PF's constitution, vice presidents in the party are named
to the same posts within the government.

      Ailing Vice President Simon Muzenda has already expressed his wish to
retire from active politics.

      The sources said overtures had been made to targeted MDC legislators
to back the extension period of an acting president but that no concrete
results had been reported.

      In the current parliament, ZANU PF is short of seven votes to push for
any major constitutional amendment. A two-thirds majority in parliament is
needed to make such amendments.

      The sources said the current government crackdown on the MDC was part
of political pressure being brought by ZANU PF on its rival to win the game
of numbers in parliament to get approval for the constitutional amendment
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