I know that many of you - like me, are suffering a bit from farm fatigue,
but Jean Simons case is so graphic that I felt you should see the communications
from her. Jean is a single woman, farming on her own account. Bought her farm
in 1992 with a "Certficate of No Interest for Resettlement" from the Minister of
Agriculture and has invested millions of dollars in the property. Clearly an
above average employer her staff have stood by her through thick and thin. In
many ways she has become a symbol of all that is wrong and illegal about the
"land reform exercise" that Mugabe has undertaken in the past two years.
I corresponded with you earlier this week concerning potential eviction
from my farm in Zimbabwe.
As I sit here the police are at my home forcing my staff to pack all my
possessions into boxes to move them out of my home.
I have a High Court Order from Justice Chinhengo in which the Ministry of
Lands consented that my section 5 and Section 8 were invalid and of no
I have a High Court Interim Order from Justice Paradza stating that the
Minister of Lands, as well as Minister of Housing , the Commissioner of Police,
the Governor, the District Administrator, The Officer in Charge Chinhoyi, Dr
Ignatious Chombo (my local Member of parliament) Kangachepi (the resident war
vet on my farm) as well as the Member in Charge of my local police station must
- stop harassing me and my staff
- stop allowing illegal settlers to
occupy my farm
- stating that the occupation of my farm by settlers is
- instructing the Deputy Sheriff to evict the illegal occupiers of
my farm with the assistance of the police
- instructing the Commissioner of
Police and the member in Charge of Chinhoyi Police station to ensure that the
order is carried out and the peace is kept.
Despite that, the Member -in Charge of Raffingora Police station, Sergeant
Mukiwa, has instructed the resident War Veteran to remove all my possessions
from my home today and sent Constable Njenje to ensure that the eviction is
The staff on my farms have refused to allow the War Vet and settlers to
touch my possessions and have rallied together to pack everything up and move it
to our irrigation farm.
While that has been happening, an A2 settler allocated a plot on my
irrigation farm has arrived and threatened to burn any possessions taken to
Nswala (irrigation farm). This farm only received its section 8 10 days ago and
I have to be off that farm by the end of November unless I can get relief from
I understand that your hands are tied by the fact that you cannot interfere
in the affairs of a sovereign state but I wish to bring this atrocity to your
The gross human rights abuse by government fully assisted by the police is
appalling. They are ignoring the court decisions and are removing farmers and
their labour from the farms by brute force. Law and order has broken down
completely on the farms and in the rural areas.
The displacement of farm labour is going to result in a humanitarian crisis
of mammoth proportions.
ZIMBABWE NATIONAL SOCIETY
FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
Bulawayo - Chegutu - Chinhoyi - Chiredzi -
Gweru - Harare - Hwange - Kadoma - Kwekwe - Marondera - Mashava - Masvingo -
Mutare - Zvishavane
10 SEPTEMBER 2002
By all accounts, the nearly 3000 farms which were listed for appropriation
in Zimbabwe have now been taken over, despite any court rulings the contrary.
The farmers in question were given 24 hours notice at the week-end to pack up
and leave. Most SPCA centres are at capacity, coping with the influx of pets.
Inspectors nationwide have been uplifting animals to all centres. Most farmers
are looking for alternative accommodation in the cities or on farms which have
not yet been affected. We continue to provide all assistance to relocate and
care for their animals during the turmoil.
After meeting with the Land Committee, Meryl finally secured the release of
the 160 horses at Golden Acres Stud. She described how the young foals, which
had been born during the close confinement of the herd for nearly a month on
bare earth covered in manure, were let out for the first time since their
birth - she said they ran about on wobbly legs in every direction, obviously
jubilant at being freed. Addmore took the very agitated stallion out on a long
rope to exercise and was grinning from ear to ear as he was dragged around the
field, sharing the stallion's obvious enjoyment. Meryl said she was surprised
his arms weren't wrenched out of their sockets.
Incoming reports and appeals for help are endless. The team have been
tackling them one at a time in order of priority.
Last week both teams were north of Harare in the Bindura area where they
rescued quite a menagerie of pets: 2 cats 'Nosy' & 'Oliver", a Bulldog
'Olly', a Pyrenean Mountain Dog 'Cindy', 3 Rabbits, 8 Bantams, 2 Goldfish and a
They also reached Matepatepa where they uplifted two Boerboels 'Msasa' and
'Pumba' and a lively Jack Russell 'Zazu'.
At the week-end they went back up to Concession and rescued another pair of
Boerboels, 'Regan', 'Sasha' and their little companion, 'Snoopy' the Fox
This week the team have been working flat out - they went further north to
the Guruve area and rescued two eight month old Ridgebacks from the Horse Shoe
Block, then south west of Harare to Norton to rescue two Cocker Spaniels, a
Border Collie and a 19 year old Dachshund as well as 16 laying hens -
fortunately they were all compatible travelling companions.
Meryl has also successfully negotiated the release of a herd of Dairy cows
in the same area. The group of 45 animals will be walked 40 Kms to a
neighbouring farm and the team will transport the new born calves.
I should mention that Meryl has achieved all this in spite of the most
untimely loss of her long-time companion, Roly Marais. He was a devoted partner
and hard-working supporter of the Society which has dealt Meryl a
most devastating blow in the face of the monumental challenges she is already
contending with. She has greatly appreciated the many kind messages of sympathy
from around the globe.
Yet another untimely loss to the Society a few days later was Derek Bates,
the Treasurer of ZNSPCA, who also lost the battle against his long
Zimbabwe wildlife and the environment remain under threat. This year in
the Save Valley alone (one of Africa's largest conservancies), 80 Kms of fencing
has been destroyed, comprising of 1280 Kms of wire, which equates to a
potential 427,000 snares (or 400,000 snares not yet recovered). It is reported
that in the past two years 1,089 animals have been recovered dead from snares
(including elephant, wild dog, cheetah, leopard and rhino).
On Bubiana an estimated 30,000 animals have been killed in the past 18
months. It is thought that 40 rhino have been lost to poachers snares
including a calf which, unable to escape, was burnt to death by a fire set by
the poachers which swept through the conservancy. In addition, an estimated
240,000 trees have been felled.
In Chiredzi, more than 100,000 acres have been cleared, including Mopane
forests which take many years to regenerate.
The National Parks have been carrying out anti-poaching exercises but
conservationists are concerned that the arrests made thus far are only the 'tip
of the iceberg'.
We are gratified to report that the 4 men arrested for assaulting Meryl and
Addmore last month have been convicted.
We have sadly received news that 'Squeak' (the late Terry Ford's 14 year
old canine companion who was the recipient of the Elisabeth Lewyt Award for
Humane or Compassionate Animals) has suffered a stroke. He is receiving the
best of care but still needs to be carried about - we are obviously all hopeful
that he will make a recovery.
In closing, I would like to reiterate our appreciation to all those who
have supported our organisation throughout the past two years. We could not
have done it without you - the financial and material support as well as the
kind words of encouragement and inspiration. Your wonderful messages for the
rescue team have helped them to remain focused when the going has been really
difficult and they have felt like giving up.
Thank you all
ZIMBABWE'S opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
warned today of a gathering
"people's storm" that would battle what he called
President Robert Mugabe's
In a speech to about
1,000 cheering supporters in a Harare hotel, Tsvangirai
called for an
alliance of pro-democracy forces to launch a campaign of
against Mugabe's government.
"This alliance will constitute the people's
storm in this final
confrontation with the autocracy," Tsvangirai
"What confronts us in Zimbabwe is a dictator who presides over
civil-military junta," he said.
"We must all synchronise and
coordinate an activism in the final showdown
Tsvangirai called Mugabe's victory in the March presidential
"coup d'etat," and urged the international community to increase
pressure on the president for a re-run of the poll under
The speech came at a public discussion
organised by the Public Opinion
Institute, a think-tank that conducts
independent surveys in Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai, who leads the three-year-old
Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), did not say what kind of activism he
envisioned, and urged his
supporters against "adventurism" that could provoke
a violent response from
Instead, he called for
"non-violent modes of political combat," saying
"casualties among Zimbabwean
citizens must be avoided or minimised."
"We have acted as a restraining
force on people," Tsvangirai said, referring
to his party's policy of
"But now we have reached a stage where it may no longer be
possible to keep
the lid on," he said. "The people cannot take it any
"Your bullets cannot stop the tide of change," he
"The path to our freedom is still littered with skeletons and the
our people. Let us soldier on in courage," Tsvangirai
The MDC has never accepted Mugabe's victory in the March poll,
widespread vote fraud and state-sponsored violence had compromised
After the elections, most western nations imposed
sanctions on Mugabe and
his inner circle, while the Commonwealth suspended
Zimbabwe from its
At home, Mugabe is presiding over the
nation's worst-ever economic crisis,
with inflation soaring to a record high
of 123.5 per cent and an estimated
80 per cent of the population living in
He has staked his political fortunes on a controversial scheme
white-owned farms with blacks, a program plagued by violence and
which his critics claim has mainly benefited Mugabe's inner
The resettlement scheme also threatens to worsen an already
shortage, which has left at least six million people - about
population - threatened by famine, according to UN estimates.
Tsvangirai calls for nonviolent
Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai warned yesterday of
gathering "people's storm" that would battle President Robert
In a speech to about 1000 cheering
supporters in a Harare hotel, Tsvangirai
called for an alliance of
prodemocracy forces to launch a campaign of
nonviolent activism against
"This alliance will constitute the people's storm in
confrontation with the autocracy," Tsvangirai said. "What
confronts us in
Zimbabwe is a dictator who presides over a civilmilitary
"We must syncronize and coordinate an activism in the final
Tsvangirai called Mugabe's win in the
March election a coup d'etat, and
urged the international community to
increase their pressure on the
president for a rerun of the poll under
The speech came at a public discussion
organised by the Public Opinion
Institute, a think-tank that conducts
independent surveys in Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai, who leads the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), urged his
supporters against "adventurism" that
could provoke a violent response from
called for "nonviolent modes of political combat", saying
Zimbabwean citizens must be avoided or minimised."
"We have acted as a
restraining force on people," Tsvangirai said, referring
to his party's
policy of nonviolence. "But now we have reached a stage where
it may no
longer be possible to keep the lid on," he said. "The people
cannot take it
"Your bullets cannot stop the tide of change," he
The MDC has never accepted Mugabe's victory in the March
saying widespread vote fraud and state-sponsored violence
compromised the returns.
Mugabe is presiding over the
state's worst-ever economic crisis, with
inflation soaring to a record high
of 123,5% and an estimated 80% of the
population living in poverty.
Angola offers chance for new start in
Closer co-operation with Luanda could help Pretoria to apply leverage
COLIN Powell's whistlestop visit to Angola after the conclusion
World Summit on Sustainable Development illustrates both the
importance of the southern African nation to US national
interests, and the
opportunities on offer after the death in combat of Unita
rebel leader Dr
Jonas Savimbi this February.
In the company of
his Africa assistant secretary, Walter Kansteiner,
the secretary of state
addressed senior Angolan officials and the Unita
leadership billeted at the
luxury Hotel Tropico in the capital.
Stating the US
administration's support for economic and political
reform, he publicly
stressed the need not to lose the opportunity for
reconciliation. In his
private meeting with President José Eduardo dos
Santos, Powell reportedly
called for greater focus on the reintegration of
former Unita combatants, the
setting of a calendar for elections now
scheduled for 2004, and greater
transparency on resource inflows.
Understandably much written about
Angola dwells less on options for
political direction than the humanitarian
situation. This is not surprising
in a country ranked the world's 13th most
underdeveloped. More than
4-million, a third, of its population is displaced,
and nine out of
13-million live on less than $1 a day. This is all the more
mineral-rich Angola the secondlargest African oil producer after
fourth-largest diamond producer worldwide.
It is a
land of huge contrasts, with about 2-million refugees living
conditions on Luanda's surrounding hills. Those who survive by
Luanda's trash cans exist cheek-by-bumper with sparkling
latemodel Volvos and upmarket BMWs.
Only 40% of the population has
access to safe water and sanitation;
and life expectancy is only 44
But there has been an important shift in Angola since
with implications vital for Pretoria in its pursuit of African
prosperity, especially in the Southern African Development
region all the more so as Angola takes the SADC chair after
regional summit to be held at the end of this month.
Savimbi's death has not only brought Unita once more within the
political system with consequent savings in military spending
consumes 30% of the government budget) expected. It has also
greater transparency and debate on humanitarian
Most important, it has meant the war no longer serves as a
issue, simultaneously deflecting attention away from
mismanagement and lack of delivery. In the absence of an
as in the cold war between the Marxist-Leninism of the
MPLA and Unita's
cocktail of pro-western pragmatism and Maoist populism,
politics now works
in a comparative conceptual vacuum of unrestrained
self-survival and personal aggrandisement.
Herein lies an opportunity for SA to work closer with Luanda a policy
and emphasis potentially bringing substantial benefit to both.
Pretoria, Luanda is perhaps the only regional power which could
President Robert Mugabe under control. It has displayed a willingness
engage regionally, and use its military prowess, not least in the Congo.
relationship with Zimbabwe and Namibia through its involvement in the
has resulted in something of a regional political schism portrayed as
between reformers headed by Pretoria, Gaborone and Maputo, and
recalcitrants in Windhoek, Luanda, Kinshasa and Harare.
However this rift could be healed by rapprochement between Luanda
Pretoria, without which the progress of the New Partnership for
Development in the region is inconceivable.
could assist in providing the lack of regulatory cover now
missing from the
Angolan business environment. While the risk profile of
doing business is
predictable, it is a hugely costly operating environment,
partly as the
nebulous regulatory regime calls for a setting up and
maintaining of a costly
network of contacts and partnerships. In this way,
given the relative
economic delinkage and independence of Angola from the
SADC region, there is
more to be gained by Pretoria than Luanda from better
For Luanda, a focus on regionalism offers a project other
than war, a
focus for national activity, an acknowledgement of regional
status as the
second-ranking economic power behind SA, and a conduit for
However, there are political
obstacles to overcome before such a
regional partnership can emerge. For one,
Pretoria will need to make
positive, public overtures to Luanda's leadership,
in doing so placating
what many Angolans perceive as an ungrateful attitude
on the part of the
African National Congress for the years of sanctuary and
Small but significant steps
can make this possible: such as was
offered by the Rwanda-Congo peace accord
recently facilitated by Pretoria.
Pretoria's failure to publicly acknowledge
Angola's role left many in Luanda
And there are also
more practical tensions, such as the need for other
bilateral actors such as
Washington and the former colonial master Portugal
to work together in
facilitating such a regional consensus.
In spite of Powell's
comments, US policy is shaped primarily by its
strategic economic interests,
with Angola now supplying about 10% of US oil
and other European "Club Med" players, will also likely be most
accept greater SA involvement a threat to those who see SA not
as a way to
improve the size of the regional economic pie but as enjoying a
This reflects a paradigm of regional
economic interaction as a
short-term, zero-sum game.
relations with Angola are akin to Franco-German relations
before the European
Union. While they can invariably develop apart, by
working together they
offer a regional future greater than the sum of their
Symbolic political gestures backed by cultural and
exchanges could complement the SADC vision, and in doing so
Dr Greg Mills is National Director of
the SA Institute of
International Affairs, and recently visited
Sep 10 2002 12:00:00:000AM Greg Mills Business Day 1st
Mozambicans report abuse by
Mozambican government has launched an inquiry into claims that
border officials have abused Mozambicans crossing into the
country to trade,
a senior Mozambican official has said.
Soares Nhaca, governor of Mozambique's
central Manica province, which
borders Zimbabwe, told state television the
alleged abuses were reported to
him by residents of the Machipanda border
area during his recent tour there.
"We are now in contact with the government
of Manicaland in order to clarify
this issue," Nhaca said.
Machipanda residents reported that they are excessively checked
beaten and sexually abused by Zimbabwean border guards.
"I do not
understand why they are doing this when we have helped the
many ways from their country's independence war," one woman
Hundreds of informal traders cross between Mozambique and Zimbabwe
day, but Zimbabwe has tightened the screws on cross-border trade
drastic food shortages in the country.
price controls on basic foods like sugar, cooking
oil, salt and other
products have made those goods there far cheaper than
the prevailing market
rates in the region.
But the system has also contributed to shortages in
Zimbabwe, as the
state-mandated prices are often lower than the cost of
When the products are available, traders from
neighbouring states try to buy
the goods cheaply in Zimbabwe and take them
home to sell at a profit.
Mozambican companies producing commodities such
as sugar, beer and cement
have complained that such competition is unfairly
eating into their markets
and hurting their attempts to rebuild an economy
devastated by civil war in
Zimbabwe has tightened border
controls to stop the loss of scarce food
products to neighbouring countries,
while at the same time limiting what
foods can be imported to Zimbabwe
because of the government monopoly on the
sale of grain. Sapa-AFP
2002 12:00:00:000AM Business Day 1st Edition
Rural elections - a nuisance to the
9/10/02 8:51:48 AM (GMT +2)
For some reason, it seems the opposition MDC still believes that a
saliva can extinguish an inferno.
The government is determined to
punish any challenge, especially among
the hostage population in the rural
The fire is still raging, threatening to raze whatever is
left of what
used to be Zimbabwe.
Experiences from the past 30
months must have taught Zimbabweans that
taking part in any election is a
deadly hazard. Those brave enough to risk
life and limb know that their
safety and the security of their families and
supporters are never
Many wonder why the MDC is still fielding candidates
life-and-death conditions, police collusion in political
Elections can never be treated
as a democratic yardstick in an area
where political space is at a premium.
There is no point in shouting back at
a rough street kid, or an unpaid
prostitute claiming his or her dues at a
bus stop. Elections have been turned
into sharp tools to cajole, humiliate
and deride legitimate calls for
The opposition must revise its strategy and move away from
elections in the penultimate stage of the struggle for dignity
happiness. Elections have become a dangerous experiment in a
laboratory with faulty equipment and inflammable
The ballot today is basically an insufficient premium
insurance and safety. The opposition must work out a different
reclaim the people's voice.
Without the necessary
institutions and processes designed to protect
contestants, public liberties,
civic rights and human life and dignity,
elections will always be a nuisance
to law abiding voters.
Zanu PF has already claimed 700 wards
without an election. A genuine
election victory, as is clear to all, is
registered in a ballot box, not at
an inaccessible nomination
It must be remembered that in the past there were fights
PF itself between party-sponsored candidates, Zanu PF
The executive mayors of
Mutare and Chinhoyi assumed office in such
serious were the disagreements that Moses Mvenge,
Shambambeva-Nyandoro, the late Lazarus Nzarayebani and many others
fired from Zanu PF because of their desire to stand in an election
Our culture always made room for a multiplicity
of candidates, even
members of the same family, in an election. Why are we
suddenly being told
that in 700 wards, there were no takers other than those
from Zanu PF?
Zimbabwe is a diverse and complicated place awash
with candidates for
any office, be it a school committee, a football club or
a council office.
The latest events can only deepen the people's
hopelessness. The so-called
Zanu PF winners will never tackle the people's
grievances. Instead, they
have usurped the people's sovereignty.
There are numerous reports of candidates withdrawing at the last
failing to turn up on nomination day. Those at the nomination
at police stations and other government offices, escaped the
emotional Zanu PF supporters, without the constitutional protection
police, as was the case in Chegutu, Muzarabani, Chipinge and
In the former commercial farms, the opposition could not
dare to get
near the so-called nomination courts for obvious
Another impediment was a fresh demand from the Registrar
Office requiring long birth certificates as an essential document
candidates. The MDC says it was verbally informed of this demand less
five days before the deadline. There is no legal basis for
To ask villagers to change existing official documents
given the chaos at Makombe Building in Harare, amounts to a
interference with the election.
In Chipinge and some
parts of Manicaland, nomination courts were
demanding that prospective
nominees must first be cleared by the council,
again contrary to current
electoral laws. This is a requirement for
The MDC must make a decision, for the benefit and safety
supporters, whether or not to keep up the fight with this government
conditions of blatant arrogance and deceit.
pull-out would take away the false claims to victory by the
pull-out would force Zanu PF to sponsor its puppets as
candidates as part of
the current information war.
Falsehoods and illusions about the
demise of the opposition will never
change the reality on the ground, which
points to growing dissent and
mistrust for the ruling party.
Original sites for the nomination courts were shifted to police camps,
at the last minute. Anyone watching police behaviour since the
commercial farms in February 2000 would accept that the force
has turned its
back on the majority and is now pursuing a partisan agenda.
Non-Zanu PF candidates and their supporters, given their experiences
police and war veterans, could find it extremely unpleasant to
any police charge office and declare their open intentions to
Mugabe's party from power.
Some candidates said they were asked to
pay nomination fees, a clearly
interesting case came from the Magamba ward in Mberengwa West,
where Zanu PF
failed to field a candidate in time.
The nomination court was
ordered to extend its tenure until a suitable
contestant was identified. The
court complied. Any judicial officer who does
not toe the line will be dealt
with. It happened to magistrates in Bindura,
Chipinge and Zaka.
Candidates who were lucky to make it still faced another hurdle, a
naysayer and perennial gadfly - the voters' roll. No copies were
at least to the opposition.
Zimbabwe lacks exhaustive, internal
self-assessment benchmarks that
ensure a free and fair platform for all to
decide on the future.
Those denying the people a chance to fight it
out for public service
have a single agenda. They want the people to lose
interest in their lives.
We have failed to harness and deal with
political decay and chicanery,
thus allowing Zanu PF to claim dubious
victories under a beguiling mask.
Unpopular regimes always use
elections to hide their losses and confer
legitimacy to unworkable, corrupt
and rejected policies. Anyone who has
tried to question the conduct of these
elections and the unfair result is
quickly labelled a traitor. No room is
spared for patriotic critics.
Critics end up seeking help from the
courts. But reliance on this
route for corrections, as we have seen with the
parliamentary petitions, is
a forlorn dream.
The petitions are
still gathering dust in the Supreme Court. Without a
speedy recourse to law,
forget about taking part in an election.
State's land acquisition deadline comes to
9/10/02 8:35:35 AM (GMT +2)
GOVERNMENT'S repeated claims that the controversial land
exercise would be complete by August came to nought last Friday
announcement that more farms would be seized for the resettlement
An Extraordinary Government Gazette published on
Friday and signed by
Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and
stated that the government intended to acquire an
additional 37 farms.
Owners, occupiers and other persons with an
interest and rights in the
subject properties were given a grace period of
one month within which to
lodge any objections to the intended
An earlier notice, published on 30 August, listed 15
take-over. The continued listing of properties targeted for
acquisition, out of government's deadline, comes at a time when
faces acute food shortages due to disruption of productive
the past two years. Overall economic performance in the
was undermined by the ongoing agrarian reform. National
Foods Limited, whose
losses worsened this year, commented last week in its
statement of results
for the latest half year period, that "agri-business
demand has been
affected by the land redistribution programme and the future
this division is still not clear".
A farm belonging to
Irvine's Day Old Chicks (Private) Limited, a
company that supplies chicken
and eggs, appeared on the latest preliminary
notice of intention to acquire
Economists have warned that government's approach to
redistribution will lead not only to food shortages but also the
of the country's economic crisis.
Addressing a public
forum in Harare last week, Professor Tony Hawkins
called for a halt of the
land programme "in its present form" to repair the
economy and improve
foreign currency earnings.
"As long as government continues with
the land reform programme in its
present form there can be no way the nation
could experience economic and
social normality", said Hawkins.
President Mugabe defended the programme at the Johannesburg World
Sustainable Development saying that no farmer was being left
without a farm,
a claim disputed by the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU).
says more than 1 000 white farmers, all single property
owners, were being
State must explain policy flip-flop
on GM food
9/10/02 8:50:53 AM (GMT +2)
government must explain its sudden U-turn on genetically modified
after Joseph Made said: "These guys are arrogant. They intend to
Zimbabwe's agriculture. You cannot use the Zimbabwean population as
Made is the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
State media reports that James Morris, the director of the
Programme (WFP), was rebuffed by President Mugabe, Made, Jonathan
junior Minister of Information and Publicity, and the Minister of
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, when he first
issue on the sidelines of the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. Morris
and came out to Harare. Soon after meeting Mugabe, the government
the WFP planned to ship 600 000 tonnes of maize, some of it GM,
So what was all the fuss about? The
government's only face-saver was
that the food will be "quarantined",
whatever that means.
The government must explain what it knows now
about GM food - which it
didn't know last week - the precautions people must
take before consumption
and the reason for this radical policy
The UN maintains that GM food is not new to Zimbabweans.
previously shipped in with this government's knowledge. Travellers
Africa and the United States consume the same food, with no known
Villagers without other sources of information are
confused by the
barrage of propaganda by the ZBC concerning GM food. Their
heightened by the failure of the stations broadcasting in national
to translate the term "genetically modified" into Shona and
alone Kalanga and Venda.
A visit to any of the
communal lands will show that the majority of
the people have reached the
limit of their endurance, aggravating their
vulnerability to the humanitarian
crisis created by the government's
bungling. "Many people have already
exhausted their coping mechanisms. If
food aid is not delivered in sufficient
quantities, the possibility of them
falling into starvation is very real,"
Chris McIvor of Save the Children
Fund warned. The plight of these desperate
people is unlikely to be
ameliorated by a sudden influx of food aid from the
WFP, as the government
has to "quarantine" it first, looking for undesirable
bugs as yet unknown to
science, before distributing it. The "quarantine"
process can go on for
months as Zimbabwe lacks the technical expertise and
resources to conduct
meaningful tests on the maize.
rests with the origins of the predicament in which Zimbabwe
finds itself. Was
it necessary for the government to hire its supporters to
in productive farming areas in an attempt to revive its
flagging fortunes in
the election campaign? Now that the land is in the
government's hands, why is
there no activity on most of those farms when
there is plenty of
Goats and cattle were driven into wheat fields to graze. The
there for all to see - bread is now a scarce commodity. Should
continue to watch, in silence, a government that changes its
willy-nilly to suit its political agenda at the expense and the
A UN crop assessment earlier this year
said maize output had fallen by
67 percent compared with the situation in
2001. Seven million people need
705 000 tonnes of food aid until the next
harvest in April.
Even then, there is no guarantee that poverty
levels will fall. A
sharper decline makes the chances of recovery harder. The
rains could also
be in doubt if a potential El Nino, a weather pattern
disruptions, develops, as feared.
happens, then Zimbabwe will be in serious trouble. Even the GM
maize may not
be available, depending on the government's behaviour. Where
are concerned, there should be no political element in
decision-making at the
highest level in government. If there is, the most
likely outcome is for
someone to end up with a lot of egg on their face.
Blair needs to understand the
mentality of African politicians
9/10/02 8:52:34 AM (GMT
It was no surprise when President Mugabe put the knife
into Tony Blair
at the Johannesburg summit.
Minister knew Mugabe would use the presence of world leaders
and the global
media to have a stab at him. Nor was it surprising that
President Sam Nujoma
of Namibia, one of Africa's more bone-headed leaders,
launched his own attack
on Blair, accusing him of creating the Zimbabwe
are still stuck in liberationist politics. Mugabe likes to
have an evil
British Empire as a bogeyman to blame for the catastrophic
once-prosperous Zimbabwe. "Blair," he said, "keep your England and
keep my Zimbabwe." Even though Britain is providing £58 million (Z$5
for Zimbabwe's starving citizens, Mugabe still treats Britain as
What really hurt Blair last Tuesday was not the cheap
lies by Mugabe
or Nujoma, nor even the applause they received from some
observers at the summit.
It was the fact that no
African leader came to Blair's defence, not
even South Africa's President,
Thabo Mbeki, the conference's host and until
recently a "partner" in Blair's
attempts to push Africa's plight up the
There are reasons for this. First, solidarity among Africa's rulers
more important than the pledges they have made to good governance,
and respect for human rights. Second, colonialism and apartheid
Africa's present problems such as Aids, corruption, low
poverty are far less clear-cut. Blair said that he had a passion
The continent has a way of doing that to outsiders. There is a
small band of
Brits - of which I count myself one - who live and breathe
Africa. I once
lived in Africa and have visited it every year for the last
20. I get
withdrawal symptoms if I stay away too long.
never lived in Africa. He first came to Africa in 1999 (to
Cape Town, mainly
urban, white and westernised). Since then he has made a
couple of official
trips. Hardly enough to learn much. Yet he dreams of
saving poor Africa. It
is a "scar on the conscience of our world", he says.
"The world has a duty to
heal it. Heal it we can and we will."
Only someone who had fallen
in love with a TV image of Africa could
have said that. That's the Africa of
Bob Geldof and Bono and pictures of
It brings out the
missionary in Blair. He sounds like David
Livingstone, the missionary who
wanted to save Africa from slavery 150 years
ago. The last time they heard
that language, Africans lost control of their
continent for nearly a century.
Missionaries who are passionate to save
Africa are easily taken in or taken
prisoner by African chiefs.
To become an African ruler you need to
be smart and ruthless. If you
are a Western politician who thinks Africa is
poor and weak, you are in for
a nasty shock. Africa is ruled by men like
Mugabe who are rich, tough and
smart. They understand Britain and Europe far
better than Blair knows Africa
and, using abundant charm, they tell people
like Blair what they want to
hear. Far from being grateful recipients of
Western aid, they often twist
this support to their own political
The more Blair and Jack Straw attacked Mugabe, the
happier he was. He
made Blair's crusade for Africa look like a crusade to
save white farmers
and that cost Blair any chance of winning over other
leaders. Africans are
wary of messianic sounds coming from a Western
A couple of years ago Blair's advisers appealed to
"The PM wants to do something big for Africa. Any ideas?"
The answer came
back: "Don't. Africa must find its own way. Outside
interference is almost
always misinformed and leads to disaster. Support good
ideas from Africa and
stop doing things that damage Africa."
to a point Blair took that advice. He has sought better trade
African goods in rich countries. If Africa were allowed to sell
produce in a free market, it wouldn't need the $12 billion it got
in aid last
Blair was right to keep British troops in Sierra Leone until
was over, preventing the country being taken over by the barbarians.
since then it has been taken over by the corrupt elite that created
causes of civil war in the first place.
Blair also wanted to
avoid basing his Africa policy on personal
relationships with individual
Africans. Instead, he gave Africa a new hymn
sheet. He helped set up the New
Partnership for African Development. It
promised Western salvation in the
form of debt relief, investment and aid.
African leaders sang this
new tune with gusto, and at the G8 summit in
Canada world leaders hailed this
"bold and clear-sighted" initiative.
If Blair thought Africa's
rulers were going to become good little
European-style Prime Ministers as a
result, he was wrong. If Blair wants to
help Africa he needs to listen more,
preach less and tread softly in the
prickly African bush. He must learn that
poverty of the people does not mean
weakness in the leaders and that Africa's
leaders do not split neatly into
goodies and baddies. Most are mixed, but all
dance to a drum that will keep
them in power, and that is an African drum,
* Richard Dowden is executive director of the Royal
State allegedly tricks UN famine envoy
9/10/02 9:08:16 AM (GMT +2)
From Chris Gande in
MEMBERS of the World Food Programme (WFP) and World Vision
Saturday shocked to find stacks of maize next to
where they were meant
to distribute food aid to starving villagers at Hwali
in Gwanda District.
Villagers, who last bought maize from the Grain
Marketing Board (GMB)
in June, woke up on Saturday to find six trucks full of
maize next to free
food aid provided by the WFP.
the idea appeared to be to create the impression to a
delegation led by James Morris, the UN's special envoy on
famine who visited
the area, that the government was managing the famine.
surprised when they told us that maize was going to be
available at the same
time that World Vision was distributing its food.
"We suspect that
this is not a genuine effort because where was the
government all along until
today?" said James Ndlovu, a villager.
The trick appeared to have
worked because Morris, after touring the
area commended the government for
its effort in trying to alleviate the food
maize was being sold while the World Vision food was being
handed out free to
villagers considered eligible after several economic
factors had been
Morris and his delegation were in Zimbabwe to assess
situation as part of their tour of six southern African countries
He left Zimbabwe on Saturday for Zambia where
he is expected to make a
At Hwali, more than
100km south of Gwanda 4 300 beneficiaries,
screened by World
Zimbabwe, the implementing partner, each received 13,8kg of
of beans and one 750 millilitre bottle of cooking oil.
"We are here
to better understand the story of the human tragedy that
has befallen the
southern African region.
"I was encouraged that most of the people
are optimistic about the
future," said Morris.
He said he was
touched by the case of a 12-year-old girl who was weak
because of hunger but
was looking after a family of 15 brothers and sisters.
Ndlovu, a villager from the community said the situation was
livestock succumbed to the drought.
He said people were surviving
on boiled vegetables from a nearby
villagers said they were now depending on gold panning to raise
money to buy
Soneni Dube, the headmaster of Hwali secondary school said
were seriously affected by the drought as both teachers and students
Parliament resumes business after break
9/10/02 9:04:46 AM (GMT +2)
By Luke Tamborinyoka
PARLIAMENT resumes business today, six weeks after President
officially opened the third session of the fifth parliament at which
but announced that Simba Makoni would not continue as Minister of
and Economic Development.
Makoni, who was dropped in a
Cabinet reshuffle a fortnight ago, will
not be in the House today, but Mugabe
loyalists, recently appointed to what
he called a "War Cabinet", will be
occupying the front bench reserved for
Cabinet ministers and provincial
Parliament met only once since the opening of the third
it approved a supplementary budget to finance food imports and
land reform programme, which Mugabe described as an "unparalleled
This session is expected to pass several Bills,
among them an
amendment to the Education Act, which would make it mandatory
servants to head all schools, whether public, mission or
"This measure will ensure the appointment of qualified
heads in all
schools and guard against sectionalist and racist policies that
be pursued by some schools," Mugabe told the House in
He said the national youth service would go ahead and
would be set up in all the provinces, including Bulawayo and
He said the programme would include training on
consciousness, HIV/Aids education, First Aid, team building,
education, national history, community service and work-place
Mugabe's expanded Cabinet includes Amos Midzi, who
lost the Harare
mayoral election and was fired as chairman of Zanu PF's
Midzi, is now the Minister of Energy and Power
The "War Cabinet" includes little-known
Kenneth Mutiwekuziva, who was appointed Deputy
Minister of Small and Medium
Enterprises Development. It is widely believed
that Mutiwekuziva, who rarely
speaks in Parliament, was rewarded because his
constituency had the highest
number of Zanu PF votes in the Presidential
election in March.
Zanu PF youths accused of attacking MDC candidates at
9/10/02 9:05:19 AM (GMT +2)
Our Correspondents in Masvingo and Mutare
TWO Movement for
Democratic Change candidates for the forthcoming
rural district council were
seriously injured after political violence
erupted in Zaka West soon after
the nomination court disqualified fourteen
MDC candidates last
Michael Chitsama and Johannes Chongore were severely
suspected Zanu PF youths while they were waiting for transport
to take them
home soon after the nomination court.
allegedly robbed of $20 000 meant for a number of MDC
candidates in the
The two were attacked by suspected Zanu PF youths who were
sticks and iron bars chanting anti-MDC slogans.
However 14 MDC candidates were disqualified at the nomination court
they were allegedly misled by officials from the registrar-general's
to bring wrong birth certificates.
Police in Zaka yesterday
confirmed the incident but refused to give
Manicaland, 63 MDC candidates withdrew from the rural district
elections alleging intimidation and assaults by Zanu PF activists.
Fourteen others were arrested in unclear circumstances.
officer in Nyanga said some of the candidates were on the run
were picked up. As a result, 26 of the 31 candidates in Nyanga
pulled out of
Out of the 214 candidates, only 151 successfully
papers at the nomination court. The remainder withdrew
because of fears of
violence, says Pishai Muchauraya, MDC's provincial
But Munacho Mutezo, the Zanu PF secretary for
Manicaland, disagreed with Muchauraya's views. He said:
"The MDC has lost
ground and support. They should stop looking for excuses
because the game is
over for them."
The elections are scheduled
for 28 and 29 September.
Government issues deadline to surrender
9/10/02 9:03:04 AM (GMT +2)
THE government has given persons unlawfully possessing
ammunition a 90-day amnesty in which to surrender such arms
without fear of
prosecution as it tightens control on the ownership of
Government critics, however, dismissed the move, saying it
to give a reprieve to Zanu PF supporters, supplied with firearms in
run-up to the parliamentary and presidential elections, to return
"This is an admission that the government has been issuing
supporters with arms," Lovemore Madhuku, the chairman of the
Constitutional Assembly, said yesterday.
shows there is something fishy. Why give an amnesty?"
Welshman Ncube, the MDC's secretary-general, said the
amnesty meant the
government no longer knew how to trace the arms they gave
the Zanu PF
President Mugabe announced a clemency order in a
Extraordinary and barred the registration of arms of
9/10/02 8:38:20 AM (GMT
By Luke Tamborinyoka Municipal Reporter
government's simmering discontent with the opposition
City Council reached boiling point last night when the
Executive Mayor, Elias
Mudzuri, was summoned to a meeting with a
Among them were the Commander of the Zimbabwe
Lieutenant-General Constantine Chiwenga, and the Minister of
Security, Nicholas Goche, who is in charge of the Central
According to a letter signed by
Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National
Housing, the meeting was to discuss
Chombo's directives, the Harare City
Council's court action against him, his
powers regarding the elected council
of Harare and the presentation of
critical administrative documents by the
The meeting was also expected to discuss the professional
the council to fulfil mandatory obligations and the co-ordination
government policies within major urban centres around the country.
meeting comes in the wake of a rift between the council and Chombo.
council has filed a petition in the High Court to challenge Chombo, who
ordered them to refer all financial and personnel matters to him
Chombo made the directive soon after the council
had ordered a freeze
on the appointments and promotions of 1 235 mainly
ruling Zanu PF party
supporters, sanctioned by the government-appointed
Commission shortly before
it vacated office in March.
to Chombo's letter, Mudzuri and his colleagues were
scheduled to attend a
meeting in the boardroom of the Ministry of Local
Government at Makombe
Building at 5:30pm.
Also expected to be present were Elliot
Manyika, the Minister of Youth
Development, Gender and Employment Creation,
Kembo Mohadi, the Minister of
Home Affairs, and Sithembiso Nyoni, the
Minister of Small and Medium
was to be accompanied by his executive committee.
The outcome of
the meeting could not be immediately established last
night, but ministry
officials said the government delegation was likely to
read the riot act to
the new council, which has had a frosty relationship
"Otherwise how does one explain the presence of Chiwenga
and Goche, if
it is not to intimidate the new council?" an official
Mudzuri could not be reached for comment as he was said to
already left for the meeting. Chombo's letter is copied to the
secretaries of all the invited ministers. The council has clashed
Chombo over war veteran Joseph Chinotimba, a council employee accused
absconding from duty while conducting Zanu PF business.
council is currently awaiting a report on his involvement in the
a Banket farmer when he was supposed to be on duty.
The council has
fired former public relations manager Leslie Gwindi, a
Zanu PF apologist,
allegedly improperly recruited by the Commission at a
time the council was
supposed to cut its salary bill in line with an earlier
Time for big switch-off' on all aid to
Robert Mugabe and his finance and energy bosses were in Libya at
to beg its leader Muammar Gadaffi to bale out a
This despite the recent failure to meet payment
obligations on a US360m fuel
import deal for the supply of 100000 tons of oil
products a month Gadaffi
extended last year.
The visit also came just
as Zimbabwe's electricity authority has announced
all companies must pay
their bills in foreign currency so it can pay back
monies it owes to the
regional southern Africa power pool.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority owes more than US24m to the pool
for imports. The Harare Financial
Gazette reports the authority fears that
major regional power firms could cut
Harare off, unless outstanding
electricity accounts are settled.
long overdue "big switch-off" of Mugabe's regime is now likely to
triggered for commercial reasons by regional suppliers. Hydro de
Bassa of Mozambique, which by late June was reportedly owed US12m,
threatened to cut supplies by 50MW progressively for each week
fails to honour payments.
From April last year, there has
been a demand that SA and other neighbours
do just that progressively turn
off the fuel taps and switch off electricity
supplies to Zimbabwe against
stipulated demands that Mugabe improve his
human rights and economic
Now that the New Partnership for Africa's Development
(Nepad), peer review,
the African Union (AU) and the summit endorsement are
in place, and the
misplaced Nigerian-SA search for a unity government has
Zimbabwe's neighbours are beholden to act to protect the
Zimbabwean citizens. Will President Thabo Mbeki quietly let
authorities do the job for them?
The trick is to persuade
Libya that for Zimbabwe to install a government
without a democratic election
is unbankable. The sudden demise of commercial
farming will bury what remains
of the modern economy and with it the tax
base and exports to provide
education and health and to pay for energy
farmers are not gaining land, but rather party hangers-on, many
records of human abuses and enjoying presidential pardons. And
there is no
effective support to help them be productive.
Ironically, according to
reports, "settlers" under the A1 and A2 models have
largely not heeded calls
to take up their pieces of land ahead of the
deadline last week. Also, about
1100 VIPs are listed to gain farms about a
third of commercial farms grabbed
by the Zanu (PF) regime.
A United Nations Development Programme's
technical team said late last year:
"The current scope of the fast-track is
not implementable on a sustainable
basis." In particular, there was "no
present basis for optimism on the part
of settlers about their future leading
them to form viable community
organisations aimed at ensuring sustainability
of new settlements".
Now is the time for the "big switchoff" of all
external moral, political and
economic support to Mugabe. Without it there
will be no implementation of
Nepad, the AU will flounder, and the recent
summit in SA will not deliver
the foundation of global security, "sustainable
Reynolds, a former Zimbabwean government chief economist, is
From ZWNEWS, 10
Reports of politically-related violence declined in August
compared with July, but the focus has shifted ahead of local elections to be
held at the end of September. In its latest monthly report, the Zimbabwe Human
Rights Forum says that the greatest incidence of violence was in Manicaland,
which was largely lead by uniformed officials. The Forum specifically
highlighted conditions in Chimanimani, "where CIO agents, police officers and
soldiers have been meting out a reign of terror. In Manicaland, and other
provinces, farmers and farmworkers have also been singled out for attack. The
report documents one murder – that of Ali Khan Manjengwa, a senior Zanu PF
official – who was shot in Mbare. Two suspects in the shooting, Chikowero and
Mushonga were allegedly brutally tortured by suspected CIO operatives and
soldiers. The Forum received a total of seven reports of torture, one report of
a death threat, 35 incidences of political intimidation, and 23 cases of
assault. The August figures bring the cumulative total for the year so far to 58
murders, 1053 cases of torture, 220 kidnappings, and 772 incidents of arson and
malicious damage to property.
Wattle Company Stops Selling Treated Poles
The Herald (Harare)
September 9, 2002
Posted to the web September 10, 2002
THE Wattle Company, a major timber processing concern, has stopped selling
treated poles citing increased cost of chemicals.
Mr Nigel Payne, the company's managing director, said the cost of
chemicals, particularly creosote used to treat poles, has gone up
"The cost of creosote, which we source from South Africa has been increased
twice in the last 14 months by over 20 percent on each occasion in Rand
"At times we have had to source the foreign currency on the parallel market
so that we purchase the creosote, which cost about R2 million to meet our
monthly needs," he said.
Most of the treated poles were used for fencing and the construction of
Farmers, who require the poles for fencing, would be affected by this
Mr Payne said the Mutare-based firm has shifted its attention towards
gum-tree saw milling.
The change in focus would ensure that Wattle Company delivers better value
to its shareholders.
Wattle Company is a subsidiary of Lonhro Africa Limited. The company has
been in the business of treating poles for the past 60 years.
It has vast tracts of exotic tree forests in the Eastern High-lands.
Mr Payne said 90 percent of the treated poles were sold on the domestic
market adding that consumers had indicated that they could no longer absorb
further price increases.
"It was because of these factors that we decided to use the plantation
resource for eucalyptus (gum tree) sawn timber for both the local and export
markets," he said.
The discontinuation of the business would affect contract workers.
Mr Payne all the permanent employees would be re-assigned to other
operations within the company.
Previously, Wattle Company used to sale an average of 15 000 and 20 000
cubic metres of treated poles each year.