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

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        Mugabe regime launches new attack on opposition
      Luke Tamborinyoka, News Editor, Financial Gazette, Zimbabwe
      HARARE, 13 April 2003

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has come under
fresh siege, in what analysts say is an attempt by the government to
intimidate the party's top leadership and instil fear in the nation ahead of
mass action to press for a resolution of Zimbabwe's political and economic

      HARARE: Since the MDC called for a job stay-away that shut down
industry for two days in the middle of last month, the party says several of
its supporters and top officials have been arrested or harassed.

      The opposition party says about 500 of its supporters have been
detained in the past two weeks, as have been its vice president, Gibson
Sibanda, and spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi. Sibanda has been charged with
contravening the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) by organising a mass
action, while Nyathi is also due to be charged under POSA.

      "The arrest of Nyathi adds to a growing list of MDC leaders and party
activists who have become victims of (President Robert) Mugabe's incited
crackdown on the opposition, aimed at crushing the MDC," the opposition
party's secretary-general Welshman Ncube said in a statement after Nyathi's
arrest on Monday.

      "This crackdown, which involves the militia, the army, state agents
and the police, has resulted in torture in police custody, rape (and) broken
limbs. At least 500 MDC supporters and leaders have been arrested and
tortured in the last two weeks. One MDC supporter, Steven Tonera, has died
as a result of torture in the last two weeks while at least 100 supporters
are in hospital today."

      MDC officials say several party supporters have fallen victim to a
campaign of retribution perpetrated by state security agents after the
ruling ZANU PF lost parliamentary by-elections in the Harare high-density
suburbs of Highfield and Kuwadzana at the end of last month.

      University of Zimbabwe lecturer Lovemore Madhuku told the Financial
Gazette: "The intention is obviously to cow the opposition leaders, send
fear right across the ordinary people and spread the message that if people
proceed with any action detrimental to the government, the security forces
will deal with them."

      Political analyst John Makumbe added: "They want to show Zimbabweans
that the government will deal with them if they dare attempt to unseat it."

      Party officials have indicated that the mass protests are still on the
cards since Mugabe had not responded to the MDC's demands by the expiry of
the ultimatum's deadline on March 31. Political commentators said mounting
public pressure on the MDC to announce a date for the protests and not to
lose the momentum of last month's overwhelmingly supported stay-away had
contributed to the latest crackdown against the opposition.


      Analysts said the latest siege against the opposition was in line with
Mugabe's terse warning to the MDC at the burial of Higher Education Minister
Swithun Mombeshora in March, and was aimed not at merely intimidating the
party but in completely crushing it.

      "Let the MDC be warned that those who play with fire will not only be
burnt but consumed by that fire," he said.

      Commentators said the government's objective was to cripple the MDC's
structures from the top to ensure that once destroyed, it would not be able
to resurrect itself.

      They pointed out that three of the party's top leaders, president
Morgan Tsvangirai, secretary-general Welshman Ncube and shadow minister for
agriculture Renson Gasela, were already on trial for treason.

      The three are accused of plotting to assassinate Mugabe in the run-up
to last year's presidential poll, charges that they deny.

      MDC treasurer Fletcher Dulini-Ncube is also facing murder charges
relating to the abduction and killing of war veterans' leader Cain Nkala,
while several of the party's members of Parliament also have cases pending
in the courts.


      The analysts said the detention of MDC leaders and supporters was
likely to escalate in the next few weeks following the arrest of alleged
army deserters who claim to have links with an alleged underground military
wing of the opposition party.

      The so-called deserters allege that they were recruited by the MDC to
bomb service stations, among other terrorist acts, during last month's
stay-away and to pose as soldiers to terrorise members of the public and
discredit the army.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena indicated this week that more people
accused of participating in the terror campaign would be arrested in a
countrywide operation.

      "It (confession of alleged deserters) provides the appropriate excuse
to justify repression and to send everyone scurrying for cover," Madhuku
said. "It's a systematic way of diverting the MDC's focus from the national
crisis and get it bogged down in a litany of court cases battling for its
own survival and its leaders'."

      Commentators said the growing repression would test the resolve of the
MDC, but could also ultimately work against the government by forcing
Zimbabweans to rally around the opposition party.

      Makumbe said the arrests would attract the attention of the
international community, which is focused on attempts to unseat Iraqi leader
Saddam Hussein by a United States-led coalition. Arrests draw attention to

      "The arrests make the MDC leaders popular among the people and are a
meaningful prize to carry for the opposition," Makumbe told the Financial
Gazette. "For ZANU PF, they have the effect of bringing Zimbabwe back in the
net of conflict-ridden areas deserving international attention.

      But political analyst Heneri Dzinotyiwei said ordinary Zimbabweans
were likely to be the worst affected by the stand-off between the country's
two main political parties, which could result in a violent confrontation.

      He urged dialogue, which some analysts say is Zimbabwe's best chance
of overcoming the political impasse.

      He said: "We have two parties obsessed with the issue of power. One is
so worried about getting into power while the other is prepared to use
whatever means to maintain it, including repression.

      "We definitely have to move away from this kind of politics because we
are likely to see a bloody confrontation which benefits no-one. There must
be a paradigm shift from this to a more dialogical approach between the two

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MDC: Final freedom call
14/04/2003 00:35  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe's main opposition leader on Sunday told his supporters to
be ready for a "final call" for freedom, as the party confirmed it would
press ahead with mass action against President Robert Mugabe's government.

In an Easter message, Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) said that peaceful mass action and defiance of
Zimbabwe's security laws was the only way to achieve a "peaceful,
compassionate, caring and prosperous country."

But he warned: "If you want change, expect pain. There is gain at the end of

The party's spokesperson confirmed that there would be more mass action. A
strike called by the MDC last month to protest alleged misgovernance was
widely heeded.

Speaking after a five-hour meeting of the MDC's national executive
committee, Paul Themba Nyathi said it was decided that "the MDC would have
to implement yet another mass action for the government's failure to respond
positively to those demands."

He was referring to a set of 15 concerns over democracy, the rule of law and
governance that the MDC had asked the government to address before the end
of March.

Mugabe dismissed the ultimatum.

Reports of a split

There have been unconfirmed reports that the MDC was split over whether or
not to press on with mass action. Tsvangirai was said to be in favour of
dialogue with the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front

Nyathi could not confirm when the action would take place, or what form it
would take.

The party said that after last month's stayaway, the government launched a
vicious crackdown on the opposition's supporters, arresting at least 500.
Scores of others were assaulted, the party claims.

Six legislators have also been arrested in the wake of the mass action. The
last two were released on Saturday in the country's second city of Bulawayo.

Tough security laws introduced last year forbid unauthorised political
gatherings. The MDC says the laws have been designed to prevent opposition

"Throughout our history unjust laws had to be defied in order to achieve our
freedom," Tsvangirai said.
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Zim bribes farmworkers
08/04/2003 22:13  - (SA)

Liesl Louw

Pretoria - The Zimbabwean government is trying to bribe farm workers with
food and promises of work to return to the farm of a member of the
Zimbabwean opposition after the workers were earlier violently removed from
the farm.

The situation on the farm of Roy Bennet, MP of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), has become an embarrassment for the Zimbabwean government and
it is trying to convince the farm workers to return to the farm.

This comes after a high-level delegation of international non-governmental
organisations announced that they would be visiting the farm on Tuesday.

Bennet said the governor of the Madika Land district, Opa Muchingure, drove
to his farm near the Mozambique border in her luxury vehicle on Friday to
speak to the workers and their families.

The workers and their families, about 1 200 men, women and children, have
been living in "terrible conditions" at a bus stop near Chimanimani, Bennet

One of Bennet's workers said Muchingure told them that they were now rid of
Bennet and could return to the farm. The farm would be taken over by

"The workers phoned me to ask whether they should accept the governor's
food. I told them to take the food as it could do no harm."

However, the workers refused to return to the farm unless Bennet himself
came to fetch them.

Bennet said media reports in South Africa have caused the government to
"wake up" and that they were now trying to salvage the situation.

"It has had a huge impact, because it now focuses attention on what is
really happening here. The fact that ministers from the South African
Development Community (SADC) are now asking questions, definitely plays a
big role," he said.

A delegation of SADC ministers will visit Zimbabwe this week on invitation
of the Zimbabwean minister of foreign affairs, Stan Mudenge.

"The international community has been aware of the situation in Zimbabwe for
some time. What we need is for SADC countries, and especially South Africa,
to criticise the government, then we will see a reaction."

Bennet is still the lawful owner of the farm under a court interdict that
prevents police from setting foot on the farm.

He and his workers were threatened and assaulted several times during the
confiscation of farms.
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The Star

      Witnessing more deprivation in Zimbabwe
      April 14, 2003

      I have just returned from a business trip to Zimbabwe. During my stay
I was fortunate enough to play golf at a beautiful golf course in Ruwa (30km
east of Harare). Eighteen holes cost Z$800 (about R8) and a caddie just
Z$500 (about R5).

      But what was disturbing during my round of golf was when I met three
black children, aged 13, who were selling golf balls. When I asked them why
they were not at school, they said that although they wished to attend
school, they could not afford to go as their fathers were not working.

      I then asked them what it cost to go to school. They said that for one
term it costs Z$3000 each (about R30). They also said that they were at a
farm school the previous year, where their fathers worked, but the farmer
was evicted by war veterans and emigrated to South Africa. The school no
longer exists and their fathers no longer have jobs.

      This is only a small example of the deprivation of human rights that I
happened to witness during my short stay.
      The hopes of just three young people to receive an education were
crushed. Massive petrol queues remain in Zimbabwe. Subsistence farming is
evident on all farms that I passed by. Human rights groups rate the level of
state torture the worst in the world.

      Sixty percent of the Zimbabwean population is starving, while Mugabe
has his groceries flown in from London. The independent judiciary has been
destroyed. Over 2-million Zimbabweans live in SA and 1 500 flee Zimbabwe
every day.

      Zimbabwe gets poorer every minute while the megalomaniac remains in
power. However, there appears to be hope among Zimbabweans that I met who
feel that soon they will be free and the world will start investing in their
beautiful country once again.

      Maybe history will repeat itself.

      Andrew Tyndale-Biscoe
      Houghton, Johannesburg
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1:


They arrived at a roadblock, not expecting anything, thinking they would
ask for a drivers licence.  To their surprise they were asked what the Cock
(Chicken) stands for on the Zanu pf slogan. They could not reply. They were
asked again, this time the police were shouting at them, they could not
reply. They were poked on their heads, called names and were spat at.  They
were then told to jump out the car and dance for Zanu pf showing their
hands in a fist. These women were terrified as the police laughed at them.
They danced for sometime while they watched on as their car was searched.
They were then told to smack each other hard one for one this lasted for
about 2 minutes then were told to go, but before they left the police told
them to learn the calls of Zanu pf.

Please be alert

If you get caught:-
1. What does the Cock stand for:- JONGWE
2. The fist is for Zanu pf
3. If they ask who is your president start with Comrade not Robert -
Comrade R. G. Mugabe.

They could ask other questions if you don't know then you could be beaten

Please be careful - be alert at all times.

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.

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US wants Mugabe out, transitional government in Zimbabwe: senior official

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States is urging Zimbabwe's neighbors to step
up pressure on President Robert Mugabe to hand power to a transitional
government to pave the way for new elections, a senior State Department
official said.

"What we're telling them is there has to be a transitional government in
Zimbabwe that leads to a free and fair, internationally supervised
election," the official said.

"That is the goal, he stole the last one, we can't let that happen again,"
the official said, referring to a widely condemned election last March in
which Mugabe won re-election.

"It has to be internationally supervised, open, transparent with an
electoral commission that works," the official told reporters on condition
of anonymity.

The official would not say whether Washington had gotten positive reactions
to its call from any specific country in the region, but said generally the
"neighborhood" was increasingly aware of the problems posed by Mugabe's

"The neighborhood -- meaning southern Africa -- is realizing that this is
not going well, this is breaking bad," the official said. "The food
situation is going to get nothing but worse, the economic scene is

The official noted that Zimbabwe's economy was now crippled by
hyperinflation and an unemployment rate of 80 percent and that Zimbabweans
were fleeing their country in droves to become refugees in Botswana,
Mozambique, and South Africa.

In addition, the situation in Zimbabwe is hurting the economies of other
countries in the region as potential investors steer clear due to fears
about the spread of the crisis.

"The neighborhood is starting to realize that there is a downside to giving
aid and protection to Comrade Bob," the official said, using a derogatory
nickname for Mugabe.

"There is stuff happening, there is stuff happening behind the scenes," the
official added, declining to elaborate.

However, the official said Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Walter Kansteiner would be heading to two of Zimbabwe's neighbors --
Botswana and South Africa -- later this month in part to discuss the

The United States has been a vociferous critic of Mugabe in recent months
and led a charge at the UN Human Rights Commission to condemn the Harare

South African President Thabo Mbeki, whose country is seen as wielding the
most influence with Mugabe, has been reluctant to enter the fray and
restated his support over the weekend for so-called "quiet diplomacy" in
encouraging reforms in Zimbabwe.

Although he broke his silence in late March after hundreds of people, most
of them opposition supporters, were arrested, detained and assaulted after a
national anti-government work stoppage, Mbeki said Sunday that he would not
use his position as chairman of the African Union (AU) to condemn human
rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

Mbeki said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was dealing
with the situation, including the issue of press freedom and various pieces
of legislation related to press, general and political freedoms.

Opposition leaders in Zimbabwe say they are planning another nationwide
"mass action" against Mugabe's government but have not said when it will
take place.
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New York Times

Mugabe's Recruits Flee Brutal Zimbabwean Past

JOHANNESBURG, April 10 - It's neither the week they spent in jail nor the
nights on the streets that most torment the dozen or so young Zimbabweans
standing like scared deer in a park at the center of the city. Their
nightmares, they said, come from the demons inside.

They look like common vagabonds, dressed in ripped T-shirts and shoes with
no laces. But since they abandoned their homeland last December, they said,
they have lived like hunted prey: on the run from their government, harassed
by the South African police and despised as traitors by Zimbabwean
immigrants here.

The young men, who range in age from 18 to 22, explained that they are
runaways from Zimbabwe's National Youth Service, whose graduates are known
and feared as the "green bombers," a nickname that comes from the group's
military-style uniforms and capacity for devastation.

Human rights groups and Western diplomats accuse President Robert Mugabe of
Zimbabwe of turning the recruits into violent thugs and unleashing them on
political opponents. President Mugabe, who has governed since the end of
white rule in 1980, dismisses the accusations. He has said that he
established the youth league three years ago as a kind of poor boys' Peace
Corps, enlisting his country's sizable 18-and-under population for
desperately needed community service projects.

In an interview today, Makhosi Ngusanya, 19, said he answered President
Mugabe's call to service when his teachers filled his head with visions of a
noble way out of poverty.

"They told us that if we became good green bombers then they would make us
soldiers and give us land," Mr. Ngusanya said. "But they didn't give us
anything. And all they taught us was to kill.

"For me it got too bad," he added. "There was too much beating - old people,
young people, our own aunts and uncles. I had to run away."

Allegations of escalating abuses by the green bombers - whose numbers are
estimated at 10,000 by human rights investigators - have led Western leaders
and human rights groups to criticize the Mugabe government. But for
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, political analysts said, the arrival
here of a small band of green bomber defectors compounds a complex foreign
policy problem.

President Mbeki has so far clung to a policy of quiet diplomacy in Zimbabwe,
issuing statements of concern that have the effect of playing down
allegations of government abuses.

Meanwhile, mounting evidence of a brutal Zimbabwean reality pervades South
African society, turning up pressure on President Mbeki to take a tougher

Human rights groups report a violent crackdown by President Mugabe against
the opposition that forced nearly 1,000 people to flee their homes. An
opposition representative in the Zimbabwean Parliament arrives in
Johannesburg showing reporters how he was tortured by Zimbabwean security
agents with electric shock. Three Zimbabwean women who had participated in a
rally here against President Mugabe report they were later raped by
Zimbabwean agents operating in South Africa. A popular Zimbabwean cricket
player flees to South Africa saying he received numerous death threats after
wearing a black armband - a symbol of mourning for what he considered the
death of democracy in his homeland.

At the University of the Witwatersrand last week, researchers held the
premier of a documentary called, "In a Dark Time," about sexual attacks by
the green bombers against women and girls linked to government opposition
groups. "We need to break the silence of academia and human rights
institutions in South Africa about what is happening in our neighborhood,"
said Dr. Sheila Meintes, a member of South Africa's Commission on Gender

Now, young men like Henry Nyathi, trained in Zimbabwe's youth service camps,
have begun talking publicly in Johannesburg about the cruelties they
committed in Mr. Mugabe's name.

In Zimbabwe, where an estimated seven million people go hungry, Mr. Nyathi
described how he chased men away from food lines if they were not
card-carrying members of the governing political party.

"If the people refused to leave the lines," he said, "we beat them."
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The Times

            April 15, 2003

            Mugabe loses support of Catholic Church
            From Jan Raath in Harare

            PRESIDENT MUGABE has finally lost the vital support of the
Zimbabwean Roman Catholic Church, the largest in the country, after it
condemned the "frightening" corruption, lawlessness and abuse of power of
his Government.
            An Easter pastoral letter from the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops'
Conference said that he had "failed to provide leadership that enables the
creation of an environment that enhances truth, justice, love and freedom".

            Instead, most Zimbabweans were "drowning in abject poverty",
were still "suffering social and political violence" and were being harassed
by officials who "have placed themselves above the law".

            It expressed outrage over the regime's practice of demanding
that people in famine relief queues "produce a party card before receiving

            "People's lives are at stake and the nation cannot afford to
entertain the politicisation of food while people are starving," the bishops
said. The Government's "corrupt practices, poor planning and bureaucracy"
were largely to blame for the famine, which is affecting seven million

            Observers say that the report, the most critical in the past
three years of state-driven lawlessness, is an indication that Mr Mugabe has
lost the support of the most powerful Church in the country.

            They say that its silence over his abuses during most of the 23
years of his rule - including the persecution of the outspoken Archbishop
Pius Ncube of Bulawayo - has lent him respectability and the ability to
deflect censure from Western governments.

            In January 260 Catholic clergy denounced most of the Catholic
bishops for "compromise with an evil regime".

            The bishops' stand endorses damning reports in the past week by
the Commonwealth secretariat and the US State Department. The report calls
for "meaningful dialogue" and for "a balanced constitution that removes
unjust structures". Both echo demands from civil society organisations and
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

            Publication of the report coincided with an announcement from Mr
Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF) party yesterday that its top executive body, the
Politburo, was due to meet to consider whether to declare the late
Archbishop Patrick Chakaipa, the head of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe, a
"national hero". He died of cancer last week. A decision to grant him "hero
status" would embarrass the Church. Mr Mugabe's "heroes" are all ruling
party officials, relatives or cronies. Archbishop Chakaipa solemnised the
controversial marriage of Mr Mugabe, a Catholic, and his young wife, Grace,
38, a divorcée, after lobbying for a special dispensation from the Vatican.

            He also refused to allow the Church's Commission for Justice and
Peace in Zimbabwe to publish a report revealing the massacre of about 10,000
civilians in the western provinces of Matabeleland in the early 1980s. It
was eventually released by its co-authors.
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Daily News

      War vets threaten to disrupt festivities

      4/15/2003 1:43:00 AM (GMT +2)

      From Sandra Mujokoro in Bulawayo

      A WAR veteran splinter organisation, the Zimbabwe Liberators' Peace
Forum (ZLPF), has threatened to violently disrupt Independence Day
celebrations on Thursday this week.

      The group said there should instead be a national memorial service
between 17 and 19 April, for the victims of the massacre of unarmed
civilians during the Gukurahundi campaign in Matabeleland and Midlands
provinces in the 1980s.

      ZLPF broke away from the Zimbabwe Liberators' Platform (ZLP) last year
after leadership wrangles. Its membership nationwide is reportedly 6 000,
smaller than the ZLP's and even smaller than that of the Zanu PF-backed
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association (ZNLWVA).

      Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Zanu PF secretary for administration, said
although he was hearing about the group for the first time, the police would
be ready to deal with them.

      Max Mkandla, the president of the ZLPF, said: "We'd like to warn
people not to risk their lives by attending Independence Day celebrations
because we will certainly disrupt them and they will regret attending such

      He said people should remain at home to remember all the victims who
died in what he called President Mugabe's "moment of madness", when unarmed
civilians were killed under the guise of crushing an armed dissident

      Endy Mhlanga, the secretary-general of the ZNLWVA, said it would not
be proper to disrupt the activities of such an important event.

      He said: "Whatever problems Zimbabwe is facing, the best way to solve
such problems is not by ignoring Independence celebrations.

      "In any case, these people have no capacity to disrupt the event. That
organisation is illegal because it is not registered. It does not represent
war veterans, therefore it has no mandate from any genuine war veteran.''

      About 20 000 civilians were killed when the North Korean-trained 5
Brigade was deployed in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces to put down an
armed dissident uprising in the 1980s.

      Mkandla said the ZLPF was mobilising its members in Harare, Mutare and

      "We have been waiting for the compensation of Gukurahundi victims to
come through as promised by thegovernment, but we realise now it was a
political campaign gimmick.

      "Committees were set up to look into the compensation issue, but
nothing has come out of them and we are tired of waiting."

      Victor Ncube, the deputy secretary-general of the organisation, said
they were not happy that people continued to celebrate Independence Day when
only a small clique was enjoying the fruits of independence.

      "This is not what we fought for. We fought against the oppressive
Rhodesian constitution and that is the same weapon that is being used
against us today," said Ncube.

      A committee led by Moffat Ndlovu, the Bulawayo town clerk, said they
were continuing with plans for the celebrations to be held at White City

      Ndlovu said they were not concerned with ZLPF's threats and would
forge ahead with their plans.

      The organising committee is made up of representatives of various
organisations, including the city council, Zanu PF, the MDC, business
organisations, war veterans and government ministries.

      The committee has so far raised $300 000 for the celebrations.
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Daily News

      MDC to sue police officers for arrests

      4/15/2003 1:50:32 AM (GMT +2)

      From Ntungamili Nkomo in Bulawayo

      THE MDC yesterday said it planned to sue a number of Bulawayo police
officers for $5 million for last week's arrest and subsequent detention of
David Mpala, the Lupane Member of Parliament.

      Mpala and Jealous Sansole, the Hwange East MP, were arrested on
Wednesday at a roadblock when they drove into the city from Joshua Mqabuko
Nkomo airport.

      The two were detained at Hillside and Entumbane police stations
respectively for four days and were allegedly denied food. The police
charged Sansole with possession of a list of names of the Zanu PF youths
whom he had allegedly threatened. Mpala was released without charge. Sansole
was eventually released on $50 000 bail.
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Daily News

      Top officials implicated in flouting one-farm policy

      4/15/2003 1:55:05 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      SEVERAL senior government and Zanu PF officials have been identified
as having breached the one-farm policy in the illegal occupation of prime
commercial farms, according to a document leaked to The Daily News.

      An undated and unsigned addendum to the land audit conducted by Flora
Buka, the Minister of State for Land Reform in the Vice-President's Office,
also raises concern over the displacement of people who had been settled
under the A1 model by A2 small-scale commercial farming models. Those
mentioned under the A2 category are Sydney Sekeramayi, the Minister of
Defence, businessman Mutumwa Mawere, Alex Jongwe, the Barclays Bank boss and
Ibbotson Mandaza, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Mirror newspaper.

      Repeated efforts to get clarification from Buka yesterday were

      Among those named as having grabbed at least two farms are: Ignatius
Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing,
(Allan Grange and Oldham farms both in Chegutu.), Joram Gumbo, the Zanu PF
chief whip in Parliament (Lot 12A of Nuanetsi Ranch A in Mwenezi and
Wolewehoek in Makonde).

      Masvingo provincial governor, Josiah Hungwe, was mentioned as having
taken Lot 21A of Nuanetsi Ranch in Mwenezi and Bryn Farm in Chegutu.

      Edna Madzongwe, the deputy Speaker of Parliament, reportedly helped
herself to Bourne and Corburn 13 farms in Chegutu.

      Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity,
took over Little Cornemara 1 in Nyanga, Patterson in Mazowe and Lot 3A of
Dete Valley in Lupane.

      Others mentioned under the multiple farm ownership are Air Marshall
Perence Shiri, Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, Mount Darwin MP
Saviour Kasukuwere, Shuvai Mahofa, deputy minister of Youth Development,
Gender and Employment Creation, Obert Mpofu, the governor for Matabeleland
North and Peter Chanetsa, the governor for Mashonaland West.

      The report concluded: "The list is not exhaustive as the people
interviewed were scared to reveal any information least they might be
victimised by the multiple farm owners who seem to have their loyalists
within the various land committees.

      "It is very urgent to take urgent corrective measures particularly
where the leadership is the perpetrator of anomalies as the general public
is restive where such cases exist and a multitude of people are still on the
waiting list."

      The report recommended that its contents be "utilised to take
corrective measures immediately" so that the land reform and resettlement
can be brought back in tandem with the policy.

      "Perpetrators of all cited anomalies should be censured and
institutional arrangements strengthened so that all land committees can
operate freely within the policy guidelines," reads the report.

      The land reform audit was carried out to identify anomalies and policy
violations in the implementation of the reform and resettlement programme
with a view to realigning the anomalies and violations.

      Observers say they suspect this was meant to attract international
donors who have withdrawn their funds since the government embarked on the
controversial and chaotic land reform exercise in 2000.

      At the burial of Dr Swithun Mombeshora, the Minister of Higher and
Tertiary Education last month, President Mugabe said his government was
setting up a new land audit team.

      He repeated the statement when he met Zanu PF youths the next day -
there would be a thorough audit, he said.
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Daily News

      Chimhini condenms haphazard detentions

      4/15/2003 1:50:06 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE police have been condemned for the recent "haphazard detention" of
members of the public.

      In a statement yesterday, David Chimhini, the executive director of
the Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (Zimcet), said: "It is sad to note that
the police officers who are supposed to be protecting people are involved in
detaining civilians.

      "And in some cases these people are released with no charge as they
will have committed no crime.

      "Zimcet is especially worried about the incident that took place in
Mutare where a lecturer at Mutare Teachers' College has alleged that he was
illegally detained overnight and assaulted by the police after visiting a
relative in police custody in Sakubva."

      Chimhini said Zimbabwe was a signatory to several human rights
conventions and should play the game according to the rules.

      He, however, commended the police for arresting 10 members of the
notorious Chipangano group, made up of professed Zanu PF supporters, which
had been terrorising Mbare residents suspected to be MDC members.

      "Zimcet is urging the police and the relevant ministries to be on

      "A lot of violent crimes have not been exposed while the majority of
them are still said to be under investigation," Chimhini said.
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Daily News

      Judgment reserved in Tsvangirai poll petition

      4/15/2003 1:50:59 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      JUDGMENT was reserved yesterday in MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's High
Court application to have Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede and Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa's opposition to the MDC presidential election
petition thrown out.

      Justice Susan Mavangira said she needed time to consider the
submissions made by Tsvangirai's lawyers, Advocate Adrian de Bourbon and
Bryant Elliot and the opposing submissions by Yvonne Dondo, of the Attorney
General's Office, representing Mudede and Chinamasa, and President Mugabe's
lawyer, Terence Hussein.

      Tsvangirai wants the High Court to nullify the results of the March
2002 presidential election which he said was fraught with violence and
electoral irregularities.

      Mugabe is the first respondent while Mudede and Chinamasa are second
and third respondents, respectively.

      Tsvangirai last year made several requests through the High Court for
the production of various material and information relating to the election
but Mudede and Chinamasa failed to comply with court orders to provide the

      On 12 October, Justice Lavender Makoni ordered Mudede to direct
constituency registrars countrywide to secure all ballot papers and
counterfoils used in the election in separate sealed packets and surrender
the material together with all voters' rolls to him for safe custody.

      Mudede did not comply, Tsvangirai's lawyers said.

      In a separate case, Justice Antonia Guvava granted an order sought by
the MDC leader to compel Mudede to make available documents and information
such as correspondence to the police and other "stakeholders" on the
administration of polling stations.

      In responding to the order, Mudede said notices on polling stations,
voting hours and dates were published in newspapers and did not submit the
requested correspondence. "It was the newspapers that dictated the hours,"
de Bourbon said.

      "That's what Mr Mudede is telling the court. He has abrogated the
responsibilities given to him in terms of the Electoral Act. He is in
continuous default. The question is what can be done about the default.

      "If the person who breaches court orders is a government official and
if Mr Mugabe wants a situation where this court imposes no form of sanction
for breaches of its rules, the court is undermined."

      Dondo said the ballot papers and other election material were bulky
and Mudede did not have transport to ferry them and space in Harare to keep
the requested election material.

      Mudede could not be held to be in willful default, she said.

      She said the information requested from Chinamasa was privileged and
that David Mangota, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, had explained the position.

      Hussein said the court could not issue the default judgment sought by
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Daily News

      Don't be used as propaganda tools, editors tell state media

      4/15/2003 1:54:24 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      African editors who met in Johannesburg over the weekend said
state-owned media should desist from being used as their respective
governments' propaganda mouthpieces.

      One hundred and twenty editors from 30 African countries who met in
Midrand resolved that the independent media required appropriate legal
mechanisms for it to remain afloat. An interim steering committee of the
African Editors' Forum consisting of representatives from the five regions
of the continent was set up to ensure the resolutions were implemented.

      The committee is chaired by Mathatha Tsedu of South Africa and Kenya's
Macharia Gaitho is the secretary.

      Other members are Diallo Souleymane (Guinea), Cyrille Kileba Pok-a-mes
(Democratic Republic of Congo) and Hassan El-Hawari (Egypt).

      Part of the editors' declaration reads: "The AU (African Union) and
Nepad (New Partnership for Africa's Development) both mark important
milestones in Africa's evolving political terrain and development.

      "They provide new thresholds for performance and accountability in an
environment notoriously lacking in both, and create a new optimism about the
future of the continent. "The genesis of the AU and Nepad requires a
critical examination of the role of the media in the new continental

      "It is important to subject this role to critical scrutiny for
purposes of a clearer definition and a more coherent programmatic focus."

      John Gambanga, The Daily News Editor also attended.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Lessons from the Iraq war

      4/15/2003 1:44:20 AM (GMT +2)

      By Cathy Buckle

      For the last three weeks the world has watched the incessant
international news coverage of the war in Iraq.

      At first there was a lot of talk about finding chemical and other
weapons of mass destruction but it soon became apparent that the main
objective was simply to free the people of Iraq from a crippling and
oppressive twenty-five-year-old dictatorship.

      The parallels between Zimbabwe and Iraq are chilling and I should
think that the leaders of our country, in power for almost as long as Saddam
Hussein, have been watching events in the Gulf very closely.

      Twenty days into the war, the Iraqi Minister of Information continued
to peddle his propaganda. As British bombs rained down on towns and cities
and American tanks fired countless missiles, the minister insisted the
regime could not be broken and would last forever. As plumes of smoke
blackened the sky and made day appear like night, he said the Iraqis would
crush "these stupid invaders".

      Baghdad Airport was taken over and American tanks bombed government
buildings. Coalition soldiers lay dead on the lawns of presidential palaces
but the Iraqi Minister of Information was still adamant that the Iraqi
leadership would last forever. Until the bitter end, the Minister of
Information lied and lied and then lied some more. I wonder if Zimbabwe's
Minister of Information was watching?

      The moment it became apparent that Iraq really was going to be rid of
its dictator, the Minister of Information and the entire Iraqi leadership

      For over two decades they had been in complete control of every man,
woman and child's destiny but when the world finally told them their regime
would no longer be tolerated, they ran like headless chickens. I wonder if
Zimbabwe's leaders were watching?

      At first people in Baghdad could obviously not believe that liberation
was real; they were scared and did not know who to trust. When Iraqi
television with its incessant propaganda was finally silenced, the people
knew they were free at last. They went out into the streets in their
hundreds, waving, cheering, weeping and thanking the world for giving them
back their country and their lives.

      It is not really known what happened to the people who did their
master's bidding and spread propaganda via Iraqi television but they too
must have run away and are now despised fugitives.

      I wonder if ZBC-TV's presenters and reporters were watching?

      With their oppressors gone, the people of Iraq went on a massive
looting spree of government buildings. They took chairs and tables,
computers and televisions. They ran through the streets with carpets and
chandeliers, plastic flowers and dinner plates. The people of Iraq took back
everything that their taxes had bought for the last 25 years.

      Some Iraqis took international journalists down into the cells below
the headquarters of the secret police. They told how they were tortured,
electrocuted and abused at the hands of state officials and how many of
their relatives had died down there. They described the inhumane methods
that had been used to suppress them - behaviour very similar to events
occurring every day in Zimbabwe.

      The leaders of Iraq were not the only ones who fled when freedom
arrived. Government sympathisers and supporters also fled very rapidly. The
army disintegrated, as did the Presidential Guard and the secret police.

      They ran from their homes and deserted their jobs and businesses,
knowing that if they stayed they would have to face the wrath of very angry

      They knew that now there was no one left to protect them or sanction
their abuse of fellow human beings.

      A lot of lessons have been learned from Iraq: propaganda never works,
dictators never last and no one can ever be indestructible - not presidents,
Green Bombers, secret police or even Ministers of Information.

      We hope that the men and women in Zimbabwe who have grabbed farms and
homes, raped, tortured, looted and murdered have been watching TV for the
last month.

      Cathy Buckle is a housewife based in Marondera.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Retirement of key civil servants: what next?

      4/15/2003 1:43:40 AM (GMT +2)

      TO belong to the highest echelons of the government of President
Mugabe today is to risk being on the blacklists of many countries in the

      Some countries will bar such people from entering their borders - for
any reason. Others might do the same to their close relatives.

      Still others might ban such people from owning any property in their
countries, while others might not want them to enter their borders on their
way to other destinations.

      In other words, international travel for many of the top people in
Mugabe's government is not as easy as it was before 2000, when Zimbabwe was
not the pariah state that it is today.

      The European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and New
Zealand have barred most of Mugabe's Cabinet ministers, his top military
brass, entrepreneurs who have long backed his autocratic rule and top civil
servants from entering their countries.

      This is the price the government must pay for refusing to conform to
international norms of democracy, among them the sanctity of private
property, the rule of law and free and fair elections.

      For this defiance, Mugabe and his supporters have had "smart
 sanctions" imposed on them by many countries.

      Most of them may shrug off this action as being of little consequence
to their ability to do business with the rest of the world. But they must
recognise that their international reputations have been tarnished
permanently. They will, henceforth, be listed as members of what some
critics have called a "rogue regime", a government notorious for
disregarding the basic human rights of its citizens.

      Two recent retirements from the Civil Service of this beleaguered
government deserve comment. Certainly, there can be no questions asked over
the retirement of Charles Utete as secretary to the President and Cabinet.

      The man has reached the official retirement age of the Public Service.
Yet his long service and the crucial role he played in ensuring the smooth
implementation of the government's policies would suggest his services would
be needed long after his retirement.

      There is always the suspicion that when the President and his Cabinet
ministers criticised civil servants for not diligently implementing Zanu PF
policies, that criticism could have included Utete as the No. 1 Civil

      But he himself has not let on that he was discontented in any way with
his work or the government's view of his performance. So, until people read
his much-awaited memoirs, they have to take his word for it.

      But not so with Andrew Chigovera, the attorney-general, who retired at
50 years of age, expecting a sceptical world to believe there is nothing
unusual about his retirement. Unlike Utete whose role was always in the
background, Chigovera's position was high profile.

      As the attorney-general, he was in the frontline of most of the legal
gymnastics in which the government had to indulge as it sought to remove the
legal hurdles of its land reform programme.

      In its conduct of the parliamentary election in 2000 and the
presidential election of 2002, the government was not at all exemplary in
sticking to the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

      There was much cutting of corners, which a meticulous examination
might reveal gross irregularities. An attorney-general who had these things
done under his very nose might not feel comfortable enough to defend them
among his professional peers.

      All this is pure speculation and people are bound to ask questions:
why are these retirements of key civil servants taking place now and one
after the other? Is there something in the offing?

      Utete is on the EU sanctions and travel ban list, right next to
Mugabe. Chigovera is not - for the moment.
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Natal Witness


 Lessons from next door

South Africa can't afford to misread what is happening in Zimbabwe, says a
visiting expert.

These opening lines, by Professor Stephen Chan at a South African Institute
of International Affairs (SAIIA) lunchtime meeting recently, formed part of
an eloquent and finely argued talk that held the audience captive. Chan, who
is Professor of International Relations at the University of London, is in
KwaZulu-Natal on a speaking tour sponsored by the Maurice Webb Memorial
Trust. His book, Robert Mugabe: A life of Power and Violence, was published
earlier this year by the University of Michigan Press.

An underlying theme of his talk, similar to what many analysts of the
current Iraqi war are arguing, is that there is a tendency to oversimplify

Zimbabwe, he said, is not just about a leader who has degenerated into a
petty despot. "We demonise Mugabe too simply. There are two sides to this
man: one side positive, the other, a leader who has been derelict in his
duties and the welfare of his people." Chan added that Mugabe has always
shown a tendency to be ruthless and cited the atrocities committed in
Matabeleland to quell the uprisings there. The West turned a blind eye then
because the overall economy was progressing smoothly.

Chan said the situation started changing in 1992 and this is when the story
of Zimbabwe today begins. A drought that gripped the country caught the
government ill-prepared and the lack of planning remains a hallmark of
Mugabe's rule. In the middle of the drought, the death of his wife, Sally,
saw him go into hibernation and he left things to his deputy, Joshua Nkomo.
This is the time when Mugabe started making overtures to the South African
government in order to obtain drought relief. This period also saw him
playing a key role in the peace process in Mozambique.

1992 was also the year when the Zimbabwe Land Acquisition Act was passed.
The government bought 3,3 million hectacres for settlement. The act proposed
to nationalise for compensation an additional 5,5 million hectacres that
would have been half of all the land owned by white farmers. This would have
brought about a situation where 60% of the land would have been owned by
blacks and 40% by white farmers; however, the bulk of agricultural land
would have remained in white hands. If this plan went through, it would have
still left the agricultural economy intact, said Chan.

Mugabe was planning to fund land reform with money the British had indicated
they would pay once Zimbabwe had a policy in place on the issue. However,
this agreement was never written down.

The land-reform plan took a backseat as economic conditions spiralled
downwards. The International Monetary Fund persuaded Zimbabwe to put it on
the back burner and the Commercial Farmers' Union successfully opposed the
legislation. "Maybe the white farmers were too successful in 1992. If a
measured, orderly transfer had started then, what happened in 2000 may not
have happened," said Chan.

By 1997, Blair was the new prime minister of Britain and Mugabe approached
him during a Commonwealth meeting about formalising the package of
assistance that Britain had promised. Blair was brusque and indicated that
these historical problems were baggage of the past and had nothing to do
with his government. The personal animosity that exists between Mugabe and
Blair started then. Chan said Blair entered power with a great deal of
naivety. "He was terribly unworldly in his approach to people. The new
Labour government has made many mistakes and history will judge Blair's
policy on Zimbabwe as one of these. I think the Blair government was too
hasty and naive, and did not think about how to deal with Mugabe."

According to Chan, Mugabe went home and immediately declared that farms
would be taken over as part of the land reform process. For the first time,
individual farms were named. To a certain extent he was posturing and the
British government failed to read the situation.

This was also the time when the Mass Democratic Movement (MDC) was gaining
popularity. As it was an urban-based party, Mugabe decided to take the fight
to the rural areas on turf where he presumed his opposition was weak. Hitler
Hunzvi, leader of the war veterans, was waiting in the wings and, a week
after Mugabe lost the referendum to change the constitution, Hunzvi's raids
on the farms took place. "The police were caught offguard, senior government
officials did not know what was going on and Mugabe was silent.

"It was clear that popular sentiment was caught by the so-called war
veterans. Mugabe realised that he had better jump on this bandwagon and this
was probably when he decided to ride the tiger to the bitter end."

Chan went on to say that what Zimbabwe illustrates is how simple rhetoric,
the kind used by Hunzvi, plays well in certain deprived communities. They
were ready material for recruitment. What this means for South Africa is
that there is a need to pay attention to the engine of growth. The
government has to make a commitment that there will be a trickledown effect
for the have-nots. "If there is no true integration of economic, social and
political policies, then, with Zimbabwean refugees coming across the border
and with ideas filtering down, you will have in this country a breeding
ground for simple ideologues."

In response to a question on what Zimbabwe will look like in five years,
Chan said that the MDC will move to a more powerful position but the problem
is that the party does not have enough talent and sufficient expertise. "I
told [Morgan] Tsvangirai [leader of the MDC] that there are just five people
in his party capable of being cabinet ministers."

Chan speculates that eventually there could be some arrangement with the
technocrats in Zanu-PF. "Not that they will be much better but at least they
know the limits of what government can and cannot do."
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You will see above two articles - "Mugabe loses support of
Catholic Church" from the Times and "Don't be used as propaganda tools,
editors tell state media" from the Daily News.  Now look what I find in the

The Herald

Church leaders blast opposition parties

By Moses Magadza
Senior Roman Catholic Church officials have blasted opposition parties in
Zimbabwe for contributing to the violence that has marred recent elections.

The clerics also criticised some unnamed Government officials for allegedly
being partial by refusing to serve people other than supporters of their own

In their latest pastoral letter published last month but only just released,
the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference, without specifically naming the
Movement for Democratic Change, took a swipe at job stay aways, which they
said were also responsible for weakening the Zimbabwe dollar and causing
economic decline.

The MDC is arguably the most violent opposition party in Zimbabwe.

The clerics acknowledged that, in addition to teething problems bedevilling
the Government's land reform programme such as "poor" planning, drought was
to blame for the country's precarious food situation.

Prolonged dry spells have seen Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of Southern
Africa, experience one of its worst food crises ever, prompting the
Government to import thousands of tonnes of yellow maize.

The clerics' sentiments apparently fly in the face of the MDC which, for
years, has been at pains to spread itself before the international community
as a pitiful victim of so-called State-sponsored violence.

The local and foreign opposition-aligned Press has played a part in propping
this falsehood, painting the situation in Zimbabwe in dark colours and using
isolated incidents of people masquerading as Zanu-PF supporters and
harassing civilians as a stick with which to beat up the Government.

Events on the ground, however, show an entirely different picture.

MDC leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai who is now facing treason charges has called
for the violent removal of President Mugabe from power.

Mr Gibson Sibanda, the MDC's vice president is on record urging his party's
supporters to beat up Zanu-PF activists.

Other MDC parliamentarians have been in and out of court for either
organising or perpetrating violence against political rivals or spouses.
Other supporters are now facing kidnapping and murder charges.

MDC organised stayaways have resulted in the injury of scores of Zanu-PF
supporters and the destruction of millions of dollars worth of public and
private property.
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Cashel violence: Zanu-PF thugs on the loose - swradioafrica

Violence has started up again in the Cashel Valley area of Manicaland. On
April 3rd, families whose homes were burned some months ago were given a
court order allowing them to return and continue farming. 2 days later, they
were severely assaulted by war veterans and youth militia who live at the
Cashel police camp.

The victims reported the case to the police, who know exactly who the
perpetrators were, but no arrests have ever been made. As a punishment for
reporting them , the families were assaulted a second time, and this time
their injuries were so serious that several people had to be taken to
Mutambara hospital. One of them, a grandmother over 70 years old. War
veterans and militia led by John Chitozho and Dudzai Pishiri allegedly were
the offending war vets. They actually live and work at the Cashel police
camp under the guise of community service.

When the victims reported the case to Assistant Inspector Jackson, the thugs
returned and attacked again, causing serious injuries. There was no
medication available at the hospital and police reports were required in
order to receive treatment
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