The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
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Zim Independent

Plugging the holes in land reform
Blessing Zulu/Augustine Mukaro

LIKE a hysterical builder trying to stop leaks on a spilling dam wall,
government's attempts to plug the loopholes in the Land Acquisition Act are
unlikely to stop the flood of legal cases government is losing.

Zanu PF last week bulldozed through parliament an amendment to the Land
Acquisition Act - the fourth since the Bill was tabled in 2000 - to
regularise the serving of Section 8 notices on farmers.

Analysts have said the amendment will not solve the problems besetting
commercial agriculture because of the unnecessary haste in passing the Bill.
The Bill now awaits President Robert Mugabe's signature to become law.

The 1993 Act was amended once in 2000, again in 2001 and twice this year,
making it the second most tampered with document after the constitution,
which has been amended 16 times.

The Bill comes at a time when government is making frantic efforts to
justify its promotion of land-grabbing which has pushed the country's
agro-based economy to the brink of collapse. Economists say the full impact
of the skewed land reform programme on industry is still to be felt.

Attempts to evict farmers using defective law have put the legal system in a
fix. Magistrates and law officers, torn between applying the law as set down
and obeying political directives, have revealed that in a number of lawsuits
challenging evictions political pressure has compromised the execution of
their duties.

Opposition MDC agriculture spokesman Renson Gasela said the haste with which
the amendment had been drafted left it with even more flaws.

"We haven't seen the last of this Bill through parliament," Gasela said.

"The Land Acquisition Act has been amended four times since the start of
farm invasions in the year 2000 and in all those efforts it has consistently
failed to address the situation, mainly because it was being done in such a
hurry ending up overlooking many issues."

The Bill seeks to increase penalties for commercial farmers defying eviction
orders and to validate preliminary acquisition orders which had been
declared invalid and illegal by the courts because they were not properly
served.

Under the new rules, farmers will be forcibly removed from their land seven
days after being served eviction notices, instead of 90 days as before. The
fine for refusing to comply was also increased fivefold to $100 000.

The Land Acquisition Act had failed to legalise government's attempts to
evict farmers whose properties are bonded to financial institutions.

In a landmark ruling in August, a High Court judge said eviction orders were
invalid if they had not been first served to lending institutions that
farmers were indebted to.

The new amendment seeks to remedy this by stipulating that these
institutions be served with a 30-day notice before the government takes over
the farm.

Farmers who had gained some hope when their eviction orders were ruled
invalid by the court are now likely to see them reissued, leaving them very
little time to pack their bags. Advocacy group Justice for Agriculture
claims a seven-day notice period contradicts provisions in the constitution
for reasonable notice.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa conceded
in parliament that government erred by failing to serve Section 5 notices on
bondholders thereby exposing banks and financial institution to the tune of
$33 billion in unsubmitted claims to the acquiring authority.

Chinamasa said the government would continue to tinker with the Land
Acquisition Act as long farmers continued to go to court to challenge its
various provisions.

He told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that the changes he made in
parliament were meant to hasten the process. Legal challenges by commercial
farmers would be met by further legislation, he said.

"What you must realise is this is a mammoth exercise and there are some
commercial farmers who may want to frustrate the process and we have to
respond to that," said Chinamasa.

"If new challenges come we will not hesitate to go to parliament and plug
the loopholes."

Justice for Agriculture (JAG) has said it will challenge the Land
Acquisition Bill on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.

JAG chairman David Connolly said the amendments compound the illegal basis
of the existing legislation.

"The amendments are clearly designed to plug the holes which have been
exposed by taking matters through courts," Connolly said.

"Giving a farmer seven days notice to vacate his farm is unconstitutional.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that 'reasonable notice' must be given
to the owner and any other person having an interest in the property."

He said the changes were unreasonable and motivated by malice. "The
backdating of the legislation is itself grossly unreasonable and
constitutionally unsound and because of these reasons we will not delay in
challenging the changes," he said.

The difficulty in implementing the law has been compounded by Zanu PF's
insistence on using the land for electioneering purposes. As legal
practitioner Tawanda Hondora argues in his analysis of the Broadcasting
Services Act, the February 2000 referendum marked the turning point in the
land issue.

"There is merit in the argument that the referendum dramatically proved that
Zanu PF's political dominance was under siege from a determined civil
society," Hondora said. "Treading in the unfamiliar waters of defeat and
sensing that its formally and seemingly unbreakable dominance was under
threat, the government sought to desperately save face.

"It explained its defeat as having been caused by whites and unpatriotic
black Zimbabweans. A clause in the draft constitution, which forms part of
Section 16 of the current constitution, provided for the acquisition of
commercial farmland, which farmland was almost exclusively owned by whites,"
he said.

Analysts argue this explains why just after the referendum, farm
occupations, spearheaded by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans
Association members, Zanu PF supporters and masterminded by government
intelligence units, began. The list of invaders now includes youths from the
Border Gezi Training Centre and members of the army.

Hondora also argues that the farm invasions were not spontaneous as Mugabe
and his cohorts claim.

"To further bolster the theory that the farm invasions were not spontaneous,
Zanu PF's campaign slogan during the referendum and the June 2000
parliamentary elections was: 'Land is the economy and the economy is land'.

"Notwithstanding that these brutal acts against Zimbabwean citizens are
well-chronicled, the police have been exceedingly partial and very
insignificant prosecutions have been initiated, suggesting government
connivance," he said.

This was evident even in Zanu PF's own campaign material titled "Election
2000: The People's 15 reasons for voting Zanu PF".

"Zanu PF has decided that 20 years is enough to be polite to white farmers
and Britain and has now started taking back your land following the passing
of the Constitutional Amendment (Number 16 Act, 2000) by your parliament,"
the election material read.

The government had by now dumped the rule of law and commitments made in
1998 to the international donor community who had been willing to sponsor
the programme.

MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube declared the whole process an abuse of
parliament.

"It is astounding for a government, which has the land reform programme as
its sole project, to bungle the process and come back to seek leave of this
House," Ncube said. "What the minister is saying is that he wants to
overrule the judiciary. In other words, he is asking us as parliament to
take away rights conferred on aggrieved parties by a court of law."
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Zim Independent

Comment

South Africa will pay the price of cowardice
THE Harare Declaration, agreed by Commonwealth heads of government in 1991,
is unambiguous. "We believe in the liberty of the individual," the leaders
proclaimed, "in equal rights for all citizens regardless of race, colour,
creed, or political belief, and in their inalienable right to participate by
means of free and democratic processes in framing the societies in which
they live."

In Abuja this week, the heads of state of South Africa and Nigeria betrayed
that undertaking and thereby diminished the Commonwealth as a moral force in
world affairs.

Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo, who together with Australian
Prime Minister John Howard make up the so-called troika of "club" leaders
tasked at Coolum in March with deciding the organisation's response to
Zimbabwe's flawed presidential poll, have decided to do nothing about the
deteriorating situation here. Instead they have said they will review the
position in six months time.

President Robert Mugabe has thereby bought time to continue his damaging
policies that have not only sabotaged agricultural production and spawned
famine but established a tyranny that violates every single aspiration
contained in the Harare Declaration.

The "liberty of the individual" has been systematically eroded by draconian
security and media legislation passed this year and by a concerted attack on
the judicial system. "Equal rights for all citizens regardless of race,
creed or political belief" has been undermined by statements by the
president himself that whites are second-class citizens (April 17) and
attempts by the Registrar-General to strip them and second-generation black
Zimbabweans of their citizenship in order to prevent them voting.

The "inalienable right" of Zimbabweans to "participate by means of free and
democratic processes in framing the societies in which they live" has been
made a mockery of by Zanu PF's no-go zones during elections, the role of the
police in preventing opposition rallies, and the closure of voting stations
in opposition strongholds. Opposition supporters have been abducted,
tortured and in some cases murdered in Zimbabwe since 2000. Those
responsible for the killings are still free as are the killers of white
farmers.

This is a society in which only the very brave exercise their constitutional
right to participate in the democratic process. Two opposition MPs elected
with large majorities in 2000 were recently told by Mugabe they had no right
to remain in Zimbabwe except in prison.

Mbeki and Obasanjo, by declining to exercise the responsibility bestowed on
them by other Commonwealth leaders in Coolum, have in effect turned a blind
eye to this record of misgovernance. They have ignored the legislation
passed this year to curb democratic rights. They have ignored the assault on
the judicial system exposed this week by United Nations special investigator
Parum Cumaraswamy. They have ignored the impunity granted to Mugabe's rogue
agents across the country. Above all they have ignored the suffering imposed
on millions of Zimbabweans by Mugabe's violent and often illegal land
seizures.

These problems will now spill across our frontiers rendering them much less
amenable to solutions in six months time. Botswana's ruling party this week
complained about the consequences of anarchy in Zimbabwe. But the South
Africans continue to wring their hands in helplessness. Minister in the
Presidency Essop Pahad says he doesn't like the words "muscular diplomacy".

"It's too macho," he says. "If somebody explains what this means, other than
shouting abuse, then I myself would be very happy to look at it."

Here it is in terms even he might understand. It means not glossing over a
manifestly stolen presidential poll in which the opposition was terrorised
by state-sponsored militias and electoral rules were manipulated by the
incumbent. It means spelling out support for the democratic process, freedom
of the press and independence of the judiciary - principles set out in South
Africa's so-called ethical foreign policy and enshrined in its own
constitution.

It means not being afraid of underlining those principles because they might
embarrass a neighbouring tyrant. In other words it involves doing the right
thing, not ducking the issues as Pahad does on the feeble grounds that South
Africa has its own problems.

By failing to bite the bullet of Zimbabwe's misrule, Mbeki and Obasanjo will
now find it more difficult to obtain trade and investment flows under Nepad.
That will demonstrate to them something they evidently can't grasp: that by
providing shelter to a rogue ruler and failing to even criticise him they
could end up sharing his isolation.
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Zim Independent

Muckraker

A Buffoon in charge of New African?

NEW African editor Baffour Ankomah has evidently picked up a tip or two
during his recent visit to Zimbabwe when he was hosted by officials of the
Department of Information and ZTV. His editorial in the magazine's September
issue ("Baffour's Beefs") resembles a discursive Mahoso-type monologue which
is littered with racist generalisations and historical inaccuracies. Lord
Lugard, for example, would have had difficulty writing his Dual Mandate in
1965. If Ankomah is unable to tell a republication from an original issue he
should be doing another job!

But after a rambling essay which wanders from Lugard to Saddam Hussein,
detecting an imperialist conspiracy at every turn, he ends with the threat:
"To be continued next month."

In other words, despite being an editor, he was unable to match his copy to
the space available! And a little more attention to detail would not go
amiss. It would be useful for instance if he could spell "Brithish" and
"Argentineans" correctly. A map on Page 29 of the September edition of New
African clearly shows the Anglo-American base of Diego Garcia on the British
Indian Ocean Territory of Chagos Archipelago. But New African's contributor
and its caption writers refer to it as the British Indian Overseas
Territory. And the island is at the centre of their story!

An "Endtail" article at the back reproduces President Mugabe's speech at
Heroes Acre last month but doesn't say when or where it was delivered.

Ankomah's magazine is in the forefront of portraying Nepad as a conspiracy
to undermine the Pan-Africanist project. It is, of course, a bid to rescue
Africa from the wreckage of that project. The Sunday Times reported this
week that African Union secretary-general Amara Essy is leading rearguard
resistance to Nepad. He heads a cabal of African leaders which includes
Robert Mugabe who want to sabotage the Nepad plan by making it subordinate
to the AU political framework. It is important everybody was brought "inside
the boat", Essy told the South African paper.

But he did not say that some people in Harare and Windhoek were trying to
capsize the boat. President Mbeki and Kofi Annan are only too aware of that,
which is why they are pressing ahead. Mugabe must not be given a veto over
Nepad. He, together with allies like Ankomah, represent the old Africa of
Nkrumah's dreams which ended in economic decay. It is the Africa we see
today in Zimbabwe's desolate landscape.

Another Mugabe ally is David Nyekorach-Matsanga who represents, or is
perhaps the full membership of, something called African Strategy. The
opinions he expresses at regular intervals enable the government press to
make claims such as this in the Sunday Mail last weekend: "The government's
position on the proposed meeting tomorrow (of the Commonwealth troika in
Abuja) was supported by many people including African diplomats, political
analysts and officials from respectable international organisations".

We are pleased to hear that the Sunday Mail's sources are now respectable
and that the "African diplomat" who has seen service at the Herald is now
speaking to the Sunday Mail from his base at Munhumutapa Building. But
Matsanga is a decidedly dubious analyst. He has told all sorts of stories
about the Commonwealth Observer Mission and its Nigerian leader which have
more to do with partisan persuasion than any kind of professional research
and we have yet to learn how he became an election observer himself without
anybody knowing about it.

We would also like to know where African Strategy gets its money from.
Presumably it publishes its accounts? Any why is Matsanga based in London?
Can we add him to our list of pro-Zanu PF zealots like Ankomah and the
Herald's WT Kanyongo who don't love Africa enough to live in it?

Muckraker was impressed by Harare Mayor Elias Mudzuri's robust response to
the strike by municipal employees last week during which they turned off
water supplies to high-density suburbs.

"Such an act of sabotage undertaken at a time when there is a cholera
outbreak in the country, when terminally ill patients in hospitals and homes
need water, and when residents prepare to go to work is totally unacceptable
and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms," Mudzuri said.

Water supply falls under essential services in terms of the Labour Relations
Act, he pointed out. He might also have pointed out that the Harare
Municipal Workers Union is a Zanu PF-affiliated union. Its workers were
opposed to the ZCTU stayaway earlier this year but are now particularly
indignant that the mayor won't let them hold meetings during working hours.
This is evidently what they are used to.

Many of these "workers" are the very same people Mudzuri has been trying to
fire because they were improperly recruited by Zanu PF officials ahead of
the March poll. And Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo is threatening
the mayor with dismissal because he refuses to retain people whose only
claim to a job is their party card.

Now they have shown their true colours by making life unbearable for city
residents. This is how Zanu PF sabotages democratic governance in Zimbabwe's
cities where it was decisively rejected by voters. Let's note the
fifth-column role played by the Municipal Workers Union on behalf of its
political masters and support the mayor in his quest to chop the dead wood
in Harare.

Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri says his health is "very much under
control". He was responding to a report in the Mirror that suggested
otherwise. Only "Almighty God" would decide his future, he said, "not a
bunch of speculative, poor rumour-mongers or bar-talk peddlers in the form
of journalists and editors-in-chief".

He wasn't asked how his big toe was coming along. His feet were injured
during the liberation war, we understand, and Chihuri felt he was entitled
to compensation from the War Victims Compensation Fund as a result. The $138
664 he received was "peanuts" compared to what he went through, he told the
commission appointed to investigate looting of the fund in 1997. The medical
specialists who examined him didn't appreciate the seriousness of war, he
complained.

"I have scars on my back I didn't even claim for," he was reported as
telling the commission. When a commissioner had the temerity to ask if this
was likely to lead to further claims, Chihuri objected calling him
"disrespectful". Asked what medication he was using, he said he rubbed
vaseline on the injured toe.

Information minister Jonathan Moyo claimed that the only people who were not
happy with the police chief were "puppets and criminals".

We can't understand what puppets would be doing at the Mirror, that paragon
of nationalist virtue. Nor did Moyo explain why the criminals who blew up
the Daily News' printing press and the VOP premises should be unhappy when
they remain free. Or a number of political killers who are still on the
loose. Surely they're all very happy? President Mugabe is so happy he has
renewed Chihuri's term for another year.

Moyo has also been holding forth on the Blackie case. Responding to
criticism of the government's handling of the case, Moyo said South African
Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson's remarks were "prejudicial" and did not
serve the administration of justice in Zimbabwe.

He then ranted and raved about "whites in South Africa who have links with
former Rhodies and others who may not be white but who are like them".

He didn't say how many millions of South African voters his gross
generalisations were designed to encompass. But the political science
professor did manage to get the date of the 1922 referendum wrong and his
remarks about "intimidating real or potential criminals" should be used by
the defence to show how the outcome of the case may have already been
decided.

As for acts prejudicial to the administration of justice, we must bear in
mind a Herald report last week that the state had claimed Justice Blackie
had a relationship with Tara White while still on the bench, a claim his
defence attorneys say they never heard the public prosecutor make in court.
Nor do they recall hearing the prosecutor say that the relationship had
influenced the judge to "unilaterally give out a judgement in her favour",
as he was quoted as saying in the Herald.

Attorney-General Andrew Chigovera said he could not comment as "commenting
could prejudice those involved". Which is of course exactly what the state,
with a little help from its media, has already done. Chaskalson and others
concerned with the deteriorating administration of justice in Zimbabwe have
every right to comment on a system that is being abused and subverted by
ministerial demagogues before our very eyes.

UN Human Rights investigator Param Cumaraswamy this week described Blackie's
arrest as "yet another clear systematic attack on the basic fabric of
democracy, ie the rule of law". He said there was "reasonable cause" to
believe that the charges against Blackie were "an act of vendetta" following
his conviction of Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa.

"When judges can be arrested, detained and charged on trumped up facts for
exercising their judicial functions, then there is no hope for the rule of
law in such countries," Cumaraswamy said.

How does that fit into Moyo's facile theorising? Are the UN and its chief
investigator racist because they haven't been hoodwinked by the charges
against Blackie? Why hasn't Moyo attacked Cumaraswamy for expressing an
opinion identical to Chaskalson's?

Moyo has instead been resorting to weak puns about kangaroo courts in Abuja
and "Howard the coward". The kangaroo courts are, as Chaskalson and
Cumaraswamy suggest, closer to home. And it is Mugabe, not Howard, who ran
away from the Abuja meeting because he couldn't stand the thought of being
criticised by his peers. Howard was all too ready to tackle Mugabe's
dishonest claims. But Mugabe chose to hide behind the excuse of an unsigned
invitation - a story that later turned out to be nonsense.

Chaskalson, by the way, did not use a newspaper to express his views, as one
ignorant Zanu PF lawyer suggested. He issued a statement that was picked up
by a variety of media.
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Zim Independent

Fuel supply problems deepen
Barnabas Thondhlana
ZIMBABWE has failed to make good a weekly US$9 million payment to the
Libyans resulting in fuel shortages at service stations in urban areas, it
has been established.

Zimbabwe owes the Libyans US$63 million for fuel delivered since 2001 and
the defaulting in debt payments has resulted in cancellation of the 30-day
credit facility. The government has now had to resort to making US$9 million
weekly payments before fuel is released from holding tanks.


The Libyans have continued to pump fuel into the country albeit into bonded
tanks in Mabvuku and business with state oil company Noczim is over the
counter.


"The situation is tight," said a Noczim official who requested anonymity.

Despite claims by Energy minister Amos Midzi that Zimbabwe had adequate fuel
and that shortages would not recur, fuel queues have resurfaced in most
parts of the capital and outlying areas.


"Midzi is guilty of peddling falsehoods," the official said.


Zimbabwe and Libya two weeks ago renewed a US$360 million fuel deal which
will see the North African country continuing with meeting 70% of Zimbabwe's
fuel needs in exchange for stakes in mines, hotels, fuel tanks and the
pipeline and land holdings. The Libyans would also benefit from barter deals
in tea and beef.


President Mugabe signed the deal with the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi two
weeks ago.


However, since the deal was signed, no shipment of fuel has been made.
Stock-outs have become the order of the day as government scurries from one
financial institution to another in search of scarce foreign currency to
make good the promised payment.


Fuel deliveries are only being made on a haphazard basis asgovernment has
resorted to making daily purchases from the Independent Petroleum Group
(IPG) of Kuwait, which has leased Noczim storage tanks in Msasa. IPG sells
the fuel to its clients in the region.


"The fuel we are using is only delivered after government pur-chases it for
cash from IPG, effectively pushing the country to a hand-to-mouth position,"
said another source close to the developments.


Government was earlier this year warned against relying solely on the
Libyans for its fuel needs, with analysts saying this could compromise the
country in the event of failure to meet repayments. Mugabe is understood to
be spearheading the drive to have all other fuel suppliers excluded in
preference for his Libyan ally.


A deal in which two financial institutions, Royal Bank and NMB Bank, would
provide US$180 million to purchase fuel is in place and is also responsible
for the little fuel flowing.


"Royal Bank have offered US$30 million and NMB Bank US$150 million to ensure
fuel stock-outs would not recur," said the source. "But their contribution
is minuscule when one considers that the country requires about US$400
million worth of fuel per annum to meet needs. This can only be achieved if
government reverses the Libyan deal and allows more players to enter the
market."
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Reuters

U.S. needs to rethink food aid policy for Africa

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Raj Patel is a policy analyst at the Institute for Food and Development
Policy, also known as Food First, based in Oakland, California. He argues
that, if the United States has a genuine desire to help feed the needy in
southern Africa, supplying genetically modified food aid is not the answer.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recently chartered a
ship -- The Liberty Star -- to deliver 36,000 tons of grain to an estimated
13 million starving people in southern Africa.

The Malawi government accepted the donation and Zimbabwe allowed the grain
to be imported, so long as it was milled.

Mozambique, however, will not let it cross its soil, and Zambia has decided
that it wants nothing to do with it. Why? Because the United States cannot
guarantee that the grain is not genetically modified (GM).

This looks like morbid folly, like a dangerous game played with the lives of
starving people for political gain. This is precisely true.

The U.S. government has been playing this game for well over a decade; the
famine in southern Africa provides merely the latest instalment.

An example: ever since the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1995, the
United States has been exporting unlabelled GM crops to Mexico.

Last year, the Mexican Ministry of the Environment found that farmers'
traditional maize in two remote Mexican states, Oaxaca and Puebla, had been
contaminated with DNA from GM corn.

Mexico is the world centre of maize genetic diversity and home to maize
varieties developed by farmers for millennia. Mexican maize is now unfit for
sale in the European Union.

The covert U.S. introduction of GM food into Africa is pernicious, for four
reasons.

CAST-IRON GUARANTEES

First, there is mounting evidence that GM crops may be unsafe. Researchers
working for the British Food Standards Agency have discovered that, despite
cast-iron guarantees from the food industry, the DNA from GM crops is
capable of finding its way into the human gut.

Without independent research, the unfettered marketing of this food turns
every consumer into a guinea pig.

Second, the covert introduction of GM food in the Third World also
jeopardises the possibility of an independent non-GM food policy within the
EU. If the rest of the world is already polluted by genetically modified
organisms (GMOs), there's not much that European consumers will be able to
do about labelling GMO foods.

They will be able to count on there being GMOs in the food they eat, whether
they like it or not. Historians will find something familiar here. In the
current war over food safety between the European Union and United States,
the proxy wars are being fought, once again, in the Third World.

The third reason to be worried is that GM aid compromises the sovereignty of
southern African countries.

These countries want safe and secure access to nutritious food and don't
feel that GM crops fit into this agenda. When India railed against GM food
aid, a USAID official responded "beggars can't be choosers".

A little history, please. The reason poor countries now find themselves
holding a begging bowl is because of the last gift they accepted from the
United State and the EU: structural adjustment policies.

These policies promised financial stability, growth and prosperity. They
delivered reduced levels of health, education enrolment and employment, and
increased poverty, inequality and debt -- facts that the United Nations and
even the World Bank are now, reluctantly, beginning to admit.

These adjustment policies demanded a reduction of national grain stockpiles
because, the rhetoric ran, the market would provide.

The notion of "saving lives through food aid" rings a little hollow if we
remember this; there were, prior to structural adjustment, ample ways to
feed the people, without relying on GM food.

Southern African countries had little choice about becoming beggars, but
they can choose what to do next.

History instructs us here, too. Images similar to those that accompanied
Live Aid are once again on our screens.

ALTERNATIVES DEVELOPED

But these are not the same starving children. They are southern African this
time, not Ethiopian.

In Ethiopia, despite a strong U.S.-led push towards commercialised
agriculture, alternatives have been developed in the wake of the famine.

Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher won the Right Livelihood Award (the
alternative Nobel Prize), by showing that it is possible for Ethiopian
agriculture to produce a nutritious and diverse surplus without the
intervention of the agri-chemical and "life science" industries.

That these alternatives are being obscured by the debate over GM foods is
the fourth, and perhaps most invidious, reason to resist U.S. aid.

These alternatives hold great promise for the future, but what about here
and now?

Several options already exist. Governments genuinely concerned about the
welfare of southern Africans should give immediate monetary aid so that food
grown in other parts of the region, or other non-GM polluted parts of the
Third World, can be brought in.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic, which has been immeasurably worsened by the famine,
can be quickly addressed by tearing up the World Trade Organisation's
stipulations on intellectual property rights. So would land reform in the
region so that the hungry might feed themselves.

There is a gamut of people-centred policies that might be supported in the
region. Yet we hear nothing of them from the U.S. government.

This is why, for many Africans, the deliveries from the Liberty Star are
comparable to those deliveries meted out in Afghanistan (when U.S. military
aircraft dropped aid packages during the bombing campaign against the
Taliban).

Both are ordnances of a kind. No good can come of either.


Website: http://www.foodfirst.org
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Zim Independent

Saluting the government, Libyan brothers
Sandawana
IS the fuel price going to go up any time soon? There is little
justification for this on government's part since oil prices have been
relatively static, aside from the recent Iraq-induced price spike to a
two-year high, and to a level when fuel prices were last increased.

And we get our fuel at $150:US$1, mostly from the Libyans. The government
should be whole-heartedly commended on the deal since it makes excellent
economic sense for us as a nation. We get cheap fuel - probably the cheapest
in the world for a poor country at 10 US cents a litre - and that includes
excise duty!


It helps offset the crippling cost of living, but does not seem to have had
any real dampening effect on inflation. It must be tempting for government
to hike the fuel price, as it is undeniably the quickest way of raising
revenue. Of course the problem is that this would not be "new
farmer-friendly" and would push even official inflation over 200% within a
couple of months.


Government should be commended for resisting the temptation to screw
hard-pressed Zimbabweans for more. But, with its skewed economics, there are
bigger problems looming. There are rising Zimkwacha costs at Noczim, and
where are we with its debt? What about how much fuel being smuggled to
Zambia and Mozambique? And can current prices sustain repayments to our
Libyan brothers? At the moment, all we've given them is a bit of CBZ and
RTG, and there is much talk about agricultural land with no commercial
value. Realistically, we do not have the assets in this country to leverage
this deal. Sandawana doubts we use the much quoted US$40 million a month on
fuel or US$480 million a year, since that same figure has been banded around
since about 1984.


The vehicle fleet has more than doubled on the roads over the past decade,
and so too, one would be led to believe, has the fuel bill. It's probably
somewhere around US$1 billion a year - money we would be unable to find in
our current state. To put things in perspective, even if government was to
buy the US$12 million National Investment Trust stake in Zimplats for the
Libyans, it would amount to somewhere between four-to-eight days of fuel!
And that's about the best we have to offer. Talk that the parallel market
rate is back on the move (apparently it's in the $720-$800 range), means
that the fuel here is probably going to be cheaper still, which you can see
one of two ways.


THZ's last results

THZ released its last set of results ahead of its break-up into three
divisions. The results were above expectations, but there is already a lot
of money in THZ ahead of the break-up and any further upside in the share
price is limited until the release of details of the demerger. Still,
Sandawana makes the point again that this is a most successful company in
terms of stockmarket performance over the past three years, gaining an
astronomical 6 000% and if recent demergers - eg Delta, TZI - are anything
to go by, the break-up will see further value being unlocked. At divisional
level, all three units seem to be roaring along. Sandawana had suspected
that THZ might demerge into four units - Turnall, Steel, Hastt, and Rubber
Products, but he understands that it will now just be the three current
operating divisions. Hastt, it appears, has got a bit more competition from
the second-hand farming equipment market, but the option does remain further
down the line to demerge it from the Steel division.


No real mystery


The Herald said on Tuesday that investors were "baffled" as to why the
stockmarket was tracking sideways, and then quoted Kingdom analyst Patrick
Saziwa hinting as to why this might be the case. The upcoming Agribond.
Rumours have been circulating in the market that this will be a 15-year
issue with a 35% yield that pension funds and insurance companies will be
required to subscribe to. But more worrying is the story doing the rounds
that government is going to hike the prescribed asset ratio to 55% from the
current 45%. The Independent sought clarification from the Registrar of
Pensions, but was told that an answer would only be given next week. An
expected increase has alarmed the funds, which are already press-ganged into
having nearly half their assets into bonds with negative returns.


The market has tapered off as money has apparently come out of shares into
two-year TBs. This is so the funds can get up the prescribed asset ratio as
they fear having to take up what looks to be a junk bond.

Obviously, increasing the ratio to this level has very real concerns for the
market, but it is also worrying that pensioners have to pay for the
government's agriculture adventure as do the over-taxed working population
with higher premiums so that insurance companies can make up for the
negative returns from investments.


The new vatengesi?

Has business sold out to government? It's no secret where their sympathies
lay six months ago, but it appears there is a flurry of support to help the
new farmers. Delta has weighed in, as has CFI and Seed Co is expected to
come up with a similar input/financing scheme shortly. Government has
trumpeted these moves on the front page of the Herald, which has no doubt
got these companies some good PR for something they have been doing for
years. Is this a good thing? If Sandawana is to wear his shareholder's hat
for these companies, he has to say that the new "tough love" affair with
government is probably, if not the only, way forward.

Agro-industrial companies are going to struggle next year to find adequate
grains and cereals for operations and the best way to ensure production is
to cosy up to the supplier. Or, perhaps in this case, the facilitator of
supply.

There is no choice really. The market is going through a flat spot at the
moment, but it would be unfair to punish companies for being collaborators
as they are, at the end of it all, trying to act in the best interest of
their shareholders. As the ever-energetic and affable Mutumwa Mawere said at
the launch of the CFI project, government is an important part of the
partnership and must fulfil their side of the deal. And while business has a
duty to support the new farmers, it is not the "Salvation Army".


The real Independence

"This is the real 1980. This year has been more like the 1980 we expected,"
one white captain of industry told Sandawana this week. "There has been more
active entrepreneurial black empowerment in the past six months than in the
22 years post-Independence," he said. Yes, those really white businesses
must really feel under siege at the moment. Few can choose to ignore the new
hegemony.


There was some change to corporate Zimbabwe after Independence, but it was
mostly using a small pool of black professionals and much of it was
cosmetic. The sustained "bad whites" government campaign over the past few
years has awoken the white brethren to a black anger they never thought was
there.


To some, it has imparted a new white consciousness, to others, it has made
them increasingly bitter, while many have chosen to leave the country
instead. But contrary to the propaganda, there isn't that much left in the
hands of the "white" few.


Pension funds own 80% of the stockmarket, and the majority of beneficiaries
are indigenous. The general idea appeared to be that after agriculture,
mining was next. But there is not much there (at least among the listed
counters) because the real plum, Bindura Nickel, was largely placed into
black hands in a pre-emptive deal orchestrated by a leading black
empowerment proponent a few years back, and it wasn't Sandawana.
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Zim Independent

GTZ bails out
Blessing Zulu
THE German Agency for Technical Co-operation in Zimbabwe (GTZ) has bailed
out of the country without completing major projects due to the prevailing
political situation, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt. It has relocated
to South Africa.

"We normally complete projects we were implementing but in this case we are
going to abandon all of them," said a source at the German embassy in
Harare.


"This is not in line with established tradition but because of the
prevailing political situation in Zimbabwe, we had to leave hastily."


GTZ is a government-sponsored body with worldwide operations responsible for
international co-operation. It works with more than 130 partner countries
and supports 2 700 development projects and programmes, chiefly under
commissions from the German government.


"GTZ's aim is to improve the living conditions of the people in developing
and transitional countries," said the embassy source

GTZ has been involved in both technical and financial co-operation between
the governments of Zimbabwe and Germany.


"There was no more use in having an office in Zimbabwe because there is no
more government-to-government co-operation between the two countries and we
are thus moving to Pretoria," said the source.


Projects that were being funded by GTZ include: post-graduate training in
agriculture, forestry, and environmental protection.


GTZ was involved in projects such as soil erosion control, indigenous
resource management and irrigation programmes in communal areas.


The hardest hit projects will be the wildlife conservation projects as most
other donors have already pulled out citing political problems in the
country.

"The GTZ was very much involved in the International Rhino Foundation,
assisting in the acquisition of a helicopter and operating staff. The
helicopter was used to create Intensive Protection Zones that have proved
crucial to the Zimbabwe rhino conservation strategy and anti-poaching
activities," said the source.


GTZ also supported the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous
Resources - Campfire.


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Zim Independent

ANC attacks Tsvangirai
Own Correspondent
THE African National Congress of South Africa has attacked opposition
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai for his claim that
the South African government was dictatorial and would soon play the race
card to cover its policy failures.

ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama in a question and answer session with the
Mail & Guardian published today dismissed Tsvangirai's statement as
desperate.


Ngonyama was responding to assertions by Tsvangirai in an interview with the
M&G last month.


"Tsvangirai's comments are those of a desperate person out to prove a point
to his masters," said Ngonyama.


"He makes a big mistake by breaking bridges with parties he should be
working with if he is genuine about finding solutions in Zimbabwe.


"It is not up to President Mbeki or (Nigerian President Olusegun) Obasanjo
to legitimise Mugabe. It is the people of Zimbabwe who legitimise Mugabe
through the ballot box," he said.


Ngonyama said Tsvangirai liked labelling African leaders dictators without
expanding on his understanding of a dictator. "It seems a dictator is a
person he disagrees with.


"He would label anybody who agrees with him a democrat - even a former
oppressor. Tsvangirai always projects himself as some kind of a

super-democrat," he said.


On Tsvangirai's assertion that Zimbabweans did not want the unity government
which Mbeki and Obasanjo were pushing Ngonyama said Zimbabweans must decide
that.


"He cannot speak for the people without consulting them. The only reason we
pulled out of negotiations with the MDC and Zanu-PF on a unity government
was because of the court case against Morgan - not because the people were
against the idea," he said. - M&G.

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Zim Independent

Blue Train mulls cancellation of Zim route
Staff writer
THE world-renowned Blue Train is mulling cancellation of its Victoria Falls
route scuttling efforts to revive the ailing tourism industry.

This comes amid allegations that Zimbabwe has hiked haulage tariffs by US$3
400, an increase of 30%, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.


According to the August issue of the Travel Industry Review of Southern
Africa, Blue Train executive manager Ntahli Borotho said haulage costs in
Zimbabwe were now 230% more than in Botswana.


She said that Zimbabwe was demanding more to maintain the tracks.


"We have asked the National Railways of Zimbabwe to bill us in rands or
Zimbabwean dollars, but negotiations have been unsuccessful," Borotho said,
adding it was becoming uneconomic to run the route.


Double occupancy rates listed for 2003 have already increased by almost R6
000 to R23 241 for the two-night, two-day trip.


Borotho said 2003 schedules were being prepared in the hope that a solution
might be found after she approached Zimbabwe's Ministry of Transport and
Communications last month to intervene in the matter.


Indications were that the haulage tariffs could decrease in December for the
beauty pageant at Victoria Falls, but assurances were needed that rate cuts
would be permanent.


Barotho said the company would like to continue the route amid fears that
the Zimbabwean industry and ground handlers would be the ones to feel the
pinch.


"The cancellation will have a major ripple effect and we are sad that we
find ourselves in a position where we can't support them," she said.


"It's going to take a lot of effort to market the route in future, because
conditions have become so unpredictable. Chances are slim that it will be on
our network next year."


The Blue Train ferries wealthy foreign tourists into the country. It is a
subsidiary of Spoornet.


The cancellation of the train will further impact negatively on the tourism
industry, which has been on a slump since the violent seizures of commercial
farms in 2000. Earnings dropped from $6 billion in 1999 to $2 billion in
2000.


Events like the solar eclipse last year did not attract the much-needed
revenue as tourists preferred to watch it from Zambia.


The Independent reported last year that over 20 000 tourists had booked into
Zambian hotels for the eclipse, a figure thought to be four times bigger
than those hosted by Zimbabwe. Zambia also got the nod ahead of Zimbabwe by
Eclipse Safari, a prestigious and high-profile tour group which had
originally intended to book in Zimbabwe.
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Zim Independent

C'wealth NGO slams Zim local elections
Blessing Zulu
THE Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has called on the
international community to reject the forthcoming council elections in
Zimbabwe.

CHRI is an independent, non-partisan, international non-governmental
organisation, mandated to ensure the realisation of human rights in the
Commonwealth.


In a strongly-worded statement, CHRI spokesperson Maja Daruwala said action
must be taken on the abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe.


"If we in the international community do not express our great concern at
the violations of fundamental human rights in Zimbabwe, we are as culpable
as the draconian regime currently inflicting such suffering on the people of
Zimbabwe," she said.


She said the political environment was not conducive for the holding of free
and fair elections.


"The Zimbabwe government's repressive campaign against the opposition
parties in the country has been too profound and too pervasive to allow for
free and fair elections," she said.


"Human rights abuses have included incidents of violent repression,
manipulation of registration requirements and prevention of the exercise of
political rights by opposition political parties."


"Legitimacy cannot be attained through violence and electoral manipulation,"
said Daruwala. "The human rights of the people of Zimbabwe must be
respected."


She said if the international community did not act the problems experienced
during the controversial presidential election would recur.


"History will repeat itself if there is no cry of outrage from the
international community. On March 9/11 2002, the presidential election was
held in Zimbabwe amid a climate of instigated fear, allegations of lack of
adequate polling stations, a heavy presence of Zanu PF militias and secret
state agents from the Central Intelligence Organisation, but voters were
still determined to exercise their right to vote," Daruwala said.


"Local and international election observers agreed with the Zimbabwean
opposition that the presidential election was neither free nor fair."

She said the situation in the country had not changed.


"Nothing in the political climate in Zimbabwe has changed since this
election to indicate more respect for human rights and more open and fair
contest for the councillors' seats," she said.


"To the contrary, the decline of Zimbabwe's economy and political
instability has rapidly increased, resulting in a disincentive for foreign
investment, creation of a refugee crisis, and general reduction of trade in
the region. The emerging food shortage, created largely by the government's
policies and actions, continues to daily threaten the lives and well-being
of Zimbabweans," Daruwala said.


The opposition Movement for Democratic Change is challenging both the
presidential and the council elections. The presidential election is being
challenged on the grounds it was neither free nor fair and, in the
forthcoming council elections the party is alleging that its members were
barred from registering by members of the ruling Zanu PF party

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Zim Independent

Zim GDP to decline further
Staff Writer
ZIMBABWE'S gross domestic product (GDP) will decline for three years in a
row with a projected minus 10,6% for this year, the International Monetary
Fund has said.

In its latest report - World Economic Outlook - released this week, the IMF
anticipates that Zimbabwe's GDP will next year fell by minus 2,8%. In 2001
GDP declined by minus 8%.


Despite Zimbabwe's economic shrinkage, neighbouring states are expanding.
South Africa's economy is expected to grow by 6,3%. South Africa used to be
Zimbabwe's biggest competitor and trading partner in the region.


Mozambique, which has since overtaken Zimbabwe as South Africa's largest
trading partner, is expected to see its economy grow by 5,6%.


In the report, the IMF said fiscal indiscipline had led to an expanded money
supply growth in certain parts of the continent, including Zimbabwe.


"Inflationary pressures remain a serious concern, in particular in Angola,
Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe, generally reflecting excessive fiscal
expansion accompanied by rapid money supply growth," the IMF report said.
The report says Africa continues to face a wide range of political and
economic problems. Civil unrest, political instability and armed conflicts
still threaten macro-economic stability and long-term growth prospects
across the continent, including a reduction of life expectancy in Zimbabwe
and Botswana.
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Zim Independent

Soldiers put on high alert
Augustine Mukaro
AS official paranoia about a British invasion of Zimbabwe increases,
government has deployed heavily armed soldiers and police to guard all
airstrips throughout the country, it has emerged.

Sources said uniformed forces have been deployed to guard all strategic
points including airstrips, border posts and other security points such as
fuel storage tanks and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.


The high alert was prompted by the presence of British troops doing routine
military exercises in South Africa. Press reports that the troops were
planning an invasion were dismissed by the British government which said the
military exercises were normal training manoeuvres.


The Independent heard this week that the government had cancelled all leave
for the uniformed forces until the end of the year.


"All military establishments have been put on high alert ahead of the
alleged possible invasion. Police have actually intensified road-blocks
currently being manned by armed riot-police and the army," sources said.


On his return from the Earth Summit earlier this month, President Mugabe
told his supporters at Harare International Airport that some farmers had
"been going to Britain and asking Britain to impose sanctions on us, asking
Britain to send troops to Zimbabwe; sanctions so that they can operate as a
deterrent on us and operate in their favour, troops so Britain can overthrow
our government and put in place a government deriving from MDC."


The government also believes that the opposition MDC is trying to smuggle
food into the country through airstrips. The government has already
confiscated food aid imported by the MDC.


Zimbabwe Defence Forces spokesman Squadron Leader Colonel Mukotekwa said he
was not aware of any such deployments.


"The military authorities are not aware of any deployment at airstrips,
neither are the authorities aware of military establishments on high alert,"
Mukotekwa said.


"Having said that, it is not the tradition of the military to discuss
military deployments or manoeuvres with the public press."


Sources at remote mining centres, farms and ranch airstrips confirmed to the
Independent this week that soldiers were camped at the airstrips and no
explanation had been given in regard to their presence.


Recently technical representatives of a major South African mining house
were confronted by several armed soldiers and a policeman as they
disembarked from a small plane at a private airstrip.


The police insisted on searching the plane before anyone disembarked saying
they were looking for smuggled.
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Zim Independent

Govt, Matsanga target Blair
Mthulisi Mathuthu

THE government's Department of Information and Publicity which masterminded
a whirlwind propaganda drive on behalf of President
Mugabe at the recent Earth Summit in Johannesburg is now involved in a wider
plan to target British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
It emerged this week that the department was sponsoring a London-based
organisation called Africa Strategy to mobilise Zimbabweans and other
migrants from Africa to petition Blair in support of President Mugabe.
Led by former spokesmanfor the Ugandan terrorist move-ment, the Lord's
Resistance Army David Nyekorach-Matsanga, Africa Strategy will today
mobilise people to demonstrate and present a petition at Blair's official
residence, Number 10 Downing Street, in support of Mugabe.
This will follow a two-day conference which began yesterday at Addington
Palace in Croydon near London aimed at marketing Mugabe's current land
revolution. The conference, called "Why Zimbabwe Matters: The Truth About
The Land Distribution Programme", has been organised to appear like a civic
initiative. But information at hand shows that the Department of Information
and Publicity in the Office of the President has been involved in organising
the event which is designed to endorse Mugabe's anti-imperialist stance.
Included in the conference line-up are George Shire, who is based at the
Open University at Milton Keynes and appears frequently on British
television to defend Mugabe's policies, Chinondidyachii Mararike of Devira
Mhere who is based in Birmingham, Zimbabwe High Commissioner Simbarashe
Mumbengegwi, and academics Dan Nabudere of the Centre for Conflict
Resolution in Uganda and Dr JA Obita. Representatives of Zimbabwe farmers'
unions have also been invited.
Speaking from Zimbabwe by satellite link today will be Agriculture minister
Joseph Made, Parliamentary Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa and officials from
Foreign Affairs, the Department of Information and the Zimbabwe Tourism
Authority.
The organisers promise that there will be "many other speakers" from Europe,
Africa and North America. British MPs will attend as observers, they say.
"Zimbabwe is part of us and we can't allow wrong British foreign policy to
spoil this nation," Matsanga wrote to Africa Strategy members recently.
"This is the chance for the government of Zimbabwe and those who support
President Mugabe to drive their message home."
Also on the mailing list of Africa Strategy are Information minister
Jonathan Moyo, permanent secretary George Charamba, and ZBC's Supa
Mandiwanzira.
Mandiwanzira said he had not been invited to participate but met Matsanga
when he was an election observer this year.
Mararike was due to speak yesterday as was Mumbengegwi and Shire. A "youth
representative" from Zimbabwe was also due to speak. Delegates to the
conference were asked to pay ú40 per person to cover the costs of the
conference into an account at the Alliance & Leicester bank, 10 Westow
Street, Crystal Palace.
Matsanga said in a release publicising the event that the conference will
discuss Zimbabwe's victimisation by international donor organisations such
as the International Monetary Fund.
"Africa Strategy has evidence that a country is targeted for leadership
change or for a change in the behaviour of its current leadership," Matsanga
told members.
"The victim country is broken, either through pressures applied primarily
from the Western foreign aid donor and IMF embargoes combined with
diplomatic pressure and isolation."
A British High Commission spokesman said the UK government was aware of the
meeting and that anybody in Britain was free to express their views.
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Zim Independent

Govt keeps parliament in abeyance
Vincent Kahiya
THE Parliament of Zimbabwe has only sat nine times in the last eight months
raising fears that the executive is sidelining the legislature.

Observers this week said the executive had become increasingly sensitive to
criticism and scrutiny hence the need to emasculate parliament by limiting
the number of sittings which ultimately mean fewer debates.


Parliament was only being convened to pass the Zanu PF government's
legislation and not debate issues of national importance, they said.


Parliament adjourned on Wednesday last week after passing the Land
Acquisition Amendment Bill and is scheduled to reconvene on October 1.

It adjourned on January 31 after passing the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Bill (later Aippa) on January 31. It met again on May
7 and 8 to pass the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill which regularised the
Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act invoked last year to enable the
government to proceed with its land reform programme.


The House met on July 23 for the opening of parliament by President Robert
Mugabe and the sitting continued on July 25 and 30.


The House met again on September 10 and 11 to debate the president's speech
and then on September 17 and 18 to debate and pass the Land Acquisition Act
Amendment Bill.


Opposition Movement for Democratic Change secretary for legal affairs, David
Coltart, yesterday said it had become obvious that there was an attempt to
undermine parliament by adjourning for as long as possible.


"Since the enactment of the Public Order and Security Act, we have had a
number of meetings cancelled and in the few that we have had, we had to be
very careful what we said," said Coltart.


"Parliament gave us the opportunity and immunity to speak freely and expose
these guys without fear of being prosecuted.


"What we are seeing is a further cutback on the democratic space. They just
hate it every time we go to parliament and embarrass them," said Coltart.


Observers said despite parliamentary reforms effected in the past two years,
which were meant to make parliament a more effective institution, the fourth
session of parliament - notwithstanding the presence of a strong
opposition - had failed to make the executive accountable.


Political scientist Professor Masipula Sithole said the current parliament
had only been effective in passing draconian legislation like the Public
Order and Security Act (Posa) and Aippa.


"There is nothing progressive about our parliament," said Sithole.


"It is only effective in passing draconian legislation - I have in mind Posa
and Aippa. There is need for constitutional change to make the president
accountable to parliament for every major thing he does," he said.


Observers said parliament had failed to make ministers accountable
especially during the question and answer sessions.


"Ministers rarely give complete answers and they have been allowed to get
away with murder," said an analyst involved in parliamentary reform.

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Zim Independent

Govt moves to limit contempt-of-court cases against it
Staff writer
THE government plans to amend the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act to
prevent the courts from instituting contempt of court charges against anyone
who makes contemptuous comments outside the courts, unless given express
authority to proceed by the Attorney-General.

The amendment, which will come before parliament next month under the
General Laws Amendment Bill (No2), will limit the powers of the courts to
institute contempt of court proceedings. A court will only be able to
proceed with such charges on its own motion if the contemptuous act is
performed within a court or when enforcing an order of a court.


The proposed amendment has raised eyebrows as it comes hard on the heels of
the contempt of court charge against Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and
Information and Publicity permanent secretary George Charamba.


Chinamasa was charged with contempt for criticising the sentences slapped on
three Americans accused of sabotage, while Charamba's charge stemmed from
his criticism of a court order barring the police from attending Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions' meetings.


Legal experts said the proposed legislation was open to abuse as it gave the
AG the prerogative to prosecute or not. They said the selective application
of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Public
Order and Security Act bolstered the view that the law was open to abuse.


"The likely scenario if that Bill is passed into law is that the government
would be able to attack the courts for unpopular judgements with impunity
and not be censured but would be quick to press charges on those who
criticise pro-government rulings," said one lawyer who requested
anonymity. - Staff Writer.
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Business Day

Oppenheimers give more land to Zimbabwe

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Family has handed over 47% of estate
HARARE The Oppenheimer family has agreed to hand over to Zimbabwe a further
30000ha of its Debshan Estate, leaving it with just more than half of the
farm, said the Herald, citing Vice- President Joseph Msika.

The Oppenheimers, SA's richest family, also gave Z10m to help new farmers to
settle on the vacated land.

The family of De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer had now given the
government 65000ha, or 47% of the cattle ranch in the south of the country,
the Herald reported.

"We appreciate and are willing to negotiate with people like Debshan who are
willing to live side by side with the new farmers," Msika said at a rally on
the ranch.

The donation comes after Zimbabwe's government ordered 2900 white commercial
farmers to leave their farms without paying them compensation.

The official Herald newspaper reported yesterday that Zimbabwe would not
host a special panel of jurists to investigate the country's judicial
independence as long as it had Britons on it.

"If someone is coming from the UK, the answer is no' because they have
already made up their mind about us," said Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa. "We will only entertain people with an open mind," he said.

On Monday the International Commission of Jurists accused the Zimbabwe
government of obstructing a visit by one of its factfinding teams despite
having been formally invited.

"The government's opposition to any outside scrutiny is a serious blow to
the rule of law in Zimbabwe," it said.

In another development in Zimbabwe, a journalist who wrote an article this
month claiming the country's police chief was unwell had been sentenced to
three months in jail under the Police Act, his lawyer said.

On September 9 Tawanda Majoni wrote an article in the Daily Mirror
newspaper, alleging police commissioner Augustine Chihuri was unhealthy and
unfit for duty. The article was immediately dismissed as untrue. Sapa-AFP


Sep 27 2002 12:00:00:000AMá Business Day 1st Edition


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zoutnet

Minister still quiet about Zim crisis
LOUIS TRICHARDT - While South African troops are deployed at high cost in
foreign countries like Burundi, a desperate situation is developing on the
border between South Africa and Zimbabwe, as a direct result of the absence
of the South African security forces.

This criticism was contained in an urgent letter addressed to the Minister
of Defence, Mr Patrick Lekota, by the Soutpansberg District Agricultural
Union (DAU) and faxed through to him last week.

The letter, which was at first returned to the Agricultural Union by the
Minister's Office, because it was written in Afrikaans, was then duly
translated into English for the Minister. Although it was marked as urgent,
no reply has as yet been received.

The Soutpansberg DAU requested the minister in the letter for his urgent
attention for the situation developing along the country's Northern border.
The DAU also offered the Minister assistance in handling the crisis on an
organised scale.

The DAU called the minister's attention to the fact that literally thousands
of the victims of the man made catastrophe in Zimbabwe are streaming
southwards across the border.

"They are pouring across the border, across us and across our possessions.
These people are hungry and desperate and the whole situation places
artificial pressure on the local agricultural community."

Asked about the response from the Minister, a spokesperson for the DAU said
this week that no reply or reaction has been received on their urgent
request to address the crisis on the border.

The spokesperson said the fact that millions of rands are available for
foreign adventures, while the local defence spending is drastically curbed,
would seem to suggest an unbelievably short sighted, na´ve and irresponsible
approach.

"Nobody can expect of us to be satisfied with a situation which we
experience as a totally unrealistic prioritisation of the country's security
needs."

The spokesperson said the dangerous vacuum created by the obvious absence of
a sufficient SANDF presence on the border, is drastically increasing the
burden on the agricultural community to take control of its own safety and
security in addition to its primary task of producing food for the country.
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Food crisis takes SADC spotlight

The food crisis in six sub-Saharan countries, which had put up to 14-million
people at risk, was worsening faster than predicted.

The crisis would therefore be high on the agenda of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) summit, Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said
yesterday.

Pahad's statement comes against the backdrop of the massive food aid needed
in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, where millions face starvation.

Some estimates have suggested that tons of food should already be moving
into those countries if a difference is to be made to the most vulnerable.

There have also been dire predictions of the explosive combination of
starvation and HIV/AIDS claiming many lives.

Pahad said the combination of hunger and HIV/AIDS, which made people more
vulnerable, was one of the main reasons for the rapid deterioration in the
situation across the region.

The summit, which begins today in Luanda, Angola with a meeting of
officials, to be followed by a meeting of ministers and later next week by
heads of state, would also discuss a "deeper" plan to create food security
in the region, Pahad said.

It would also formulate a response to the current crisis.

Pahad said it was estimated that $505m in food aid was needed to address the
crisis. Donor countries had already pledged 36% of this amount and the World
Food Programme was confident of securing a further 30%, leaving 34% still
outstanding.

He said it was hoped that further negotiations and discussions with donor
countries such as the US, Japan and the European Union would make up the
shortage.

Pahad said he did not believe donors would allow President Robert Mugabe and
his Zanu-PF to give food aid to only his political supporters.

The general principle was that food aid was distributed through
nongovernmental organisations, and as far as he was concerned this also
applied to Zimbabwe.

In spite of a new election crisis in Zimbabwe and the deepening food crisis,
Zimbabwe is not on the agenda for the summit.

Pahad said this was the official agenda produced by the SADC secretariat and
did not discount heads of state calling for a report on the situation in the
country, or discussing it in a closed session.

The summit will also discuss the restructuring of SADC institutions,
developments in the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's
Development.

Business Day
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Meeting of the Commonwealth Chairpersons'on Zimbabwe



Commonwealth News and Information Service (London)

September 26, 2002
Posted to the web September 26, 2002

London

Zimbabwe Mid-Term Review

The Commonwealth Chairpersons' Committee on Zimbabwe, consisting of the
Prime Minister of Australia, Rt Hon John Howard, the President of Nigeria,
HE Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and the President of South Africa, HE Mr Thabo
Mbeki, met in Abuja, Nigeria, on 23 September 2002, to discuss the situation
in Zimbabwe. The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon Don McKinnon,
participated in the discussions.

Following a review of recent political developments in Zimbabwe, the
Committee recalled that in their Marlborough House Statement of 19 March
2002, they had mandated the President of Nigeria and the President of South
Africa to continue to actively promote the process of reconciliation in
Zimbabwe and to appoint special representatives to remain engaged with all
the parties concerned towards this end. The Committee had also mandated the
Commonwealth Secretary-General to engage with the Government of Zimbabwe to
ensure that the specific recommendations from the Commonwealth Observer
Group (COG) to the March Presidential elections were respected and to remain
actively engaged with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in
promoting transparent, equitable and sustainable measures of land reform in
Zimbabwe.

The Committee deeply regretted that the process of reconciliation
facilitated by the Special Envoys of the President of Nigeria and the
President of South Africa had stalled. The Secretary-General reported that
as a consequence, the level of suspicion, division and hostility between the
various parties in Zimbabwe has increased considerably in recent months and
that reports of harassment of the political opposition, the press and
sections of the judiciary continued.

The Committee was disappointed to note that despite repeated efforts,
including in collaboration with regional Commonwealth Heads of Government,
the Commonwealth Secretary-General had been unable to establish a dialogue
with the Government of Zimbabwe in fulfilment of his mandates.

The Committee was also deeply disappointed that the President of Zimbabwe
had not taken up their invitation to come to Abuja to dialogue with them.

The Committee also called on the Government of Zimbabwe to engage with the
Commonwealth Secretary-General at an early opportunity on the basis of the
mandates given to him.

Whilst all members of the 'Troika' strongly believe that efforts to engage
the Government of Zimbabwe should continue, one member, Australia, supported
the full suspension of Zimbabwe with immediate effect whilst the other
members wish to see how Zimbabwe responds to the Marlborough House Statement
over the next six months as foreshadowed in that Statement, at which point
stronger measures might need to be considered.
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The Herald - Zim Government paper



'Government will act on saboteurs'

Herald Reporter
PEOPLE who are hoarding basic goods and selling them above the stipulated
Government prices are "saboteurs and enemies of the State", the Minister of
Home Affairs, Cde Kembo Mohadi, said yesterday.

The minister also accused the local private media of peddling "lies and
senseless propaganda" about the country's political leadership.

Cde Mohadi said unscrupulous business people were compounding problems in
the country by hoarding basic commodities which they later sold above
stipulated prices.

This was resulting in artificial shortages causing suffering to the masses.

"The Government shall not stand aside and watch these acts of sabotage bent
on fomenting discontent among the populace," warned Cde Mohadi.

The minister was addressing 106 graduating police officers at the Morris
Depot in Harare.

He said while a flourishing print media was applauded, some journalists from
the so-called independent Press had to be condemned for deliberately
targeting personal lives of high-ranking Government officials.

They are distorting facts to suit the dictates of their colonial masters, he
added.

"This practice of hate campaign is irrational, diabolic and unacceptable in
a democratic society where rights of individuals deserve the same protection
as those of these social miscreants," Cde Mohadi said.

"The propensity to project a dark picture of the country by the private
media to the international community can be no worse abuse of freedom of
expression than what they seek to purport."

He told the graduating officers that the bitterness of colonial rule and
subsequent sacrifices made by Zimbabweans to dislodge the oppressors should
find meaning in the country's security institutions.

Although the black majority was now in control of the instruments of
governance, said the minister, the challenge lay in complete emancipation.

"Sovereignty will remain hollow, nominal, marginal and indeed meaningless
until and unless our people have access to a piece of land in their country
of birth.

"The land, when required, shall continue to come in significant quantities
as the Government endeavours to inject value and content in our
independence, sovereignty and self determination."

He said the historical, social, political and economic order crafted by
colonialism and heavily skewed in favour of sectional white interests had to
be redressed.

"The land, which is the backbone of the economy and the means to achieving
sustainable economic development, must be availed to its rightful owners who
are the majority black people of this country."

The graduating officers, who included 22 women, were integrated into the
regular police force from the constabulary branch.

Their graduation comes barely a week after Zimbabwe successfully hosted the
seventh annual general meeting of the Southern African Regional Police
Chiefs Co-operation Organisation.

Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and Cde Mohadi assumed chairmanship of
the influential body at the meeting.

Cde Mohadi said that their bestowal was a realisation of the "impeccable"
leadership qualities and competences exhibited by the incumbents in the
discharge of duty.

Nineteen resolutions were adopted by the police chiefs and ratified by the
council of ministers from the African sub-region.

"These resolutions must inevitably translate into proficient policing of the
region."

A code of conduct for police officers in the region was adopted during the
meeting which, among other things, emphasises respect of human life and
property rights.

Cde Mohadi urged the graduands to remain patriotic, resolute and determined
in ensuring that subtle, imperceptible and sublime forms of imperialism and
colonialism do not undermine the aspirations of Zimbabweans.

"The upsurge of terrorism the world over has heralded the need for
pro-active strategies of combating it in the Southern Africa sub-region."

He said the proposed establishment of an anti-terrorism centre in Harare was
a welcome development in a society which had witnessed "ugly scenes of
terrorism since the commencement of our land reforms in 2000".

The Zimbabwe police was commended for spreading the tentacles of peace and
justice to flash points around the globe.

The local force has been engaged on tours of duty in Angola, Somalia,
Kosovo, East Timor

and Sierra Leone.

The current economic problems bedevilling the country together with the
devastating effects of drought, he said, are only transitory.

"The nation is set to enjoy the full value of the current agrarian
revolution," the minister said.
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