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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Mugabe says whites are second or third class citizens

Robert Mugabe has stated white people in Zimbabwe are to be considered
inferior to blacks.

The president has vowed to educate Zimbabwean children that whites are
second or third class citizens.

He has also promised to end Zimbabwe's food shortages, provide jobs and end
foreign exchange problems. He said he would do this by creating an
agricultural production boom on former white-owned farms allocated to
264,000 black families.

© Copyright Ananova Ltd 2002, all rights reserved.
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Mugabe hails 22 years of democracy
April 18, 2002 Posted: 11:33 AM EDT (1533 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe accused
Western powers on Thursday of seeking to destabilise his country after last
month's controversial elections, but said he would bow to no one but God.

Addressing thousands of people at a ceremony to celebrate Zimbabwe's 22
years of independence from Britain, Mugabe said he would defend his position
and his country's sovereignty.

Mugabe vowed to allow nobody to overturn his victory, branded "daylight
robbery" by his main rival Morgan Tsvangirai and rejected by many Western

"There is an imperial bid by hostile countries of the West to erode our
electoral democracy and qualify our independence," he said, without naming
any country.

But the 78-year-old former guerrilla, who also marked 22 years in power on
Thursday, said he was willing to work with all political forces in the
country for peace and national unity.

Mugabe denounced the growing Western pressure on his government, saying his
ruling ZANU-PF party was being targeted for defending Zimbabwe's sovereignty
and his decision to seize white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks.

"Whatever our detractors might say, we are a self-made democracy that does
not stand beholden to anyone except God.

"Our democracy was not made in England, Germany, Denmark or America. We are
a democracy that carved itself from the war of liberation. We therefore do
not stand beholden to any nation, great or small.

"We do not owe our position to any earthly power. None at all. Indeed we do
not live by the approval of any foreign authority. This is our stance, and
one we jealously guard," he said.

Mugabe said his principled stance had not endeared him to some Western
powers who preferred subservient leaders.

"Today those nations that have sought to interact with us on the same
reciprocal basis still stand by us," he said.

"We fiercely guard our independence and stubbornly defend our sovereignty
for that's what makes a nation," he added.

Mugabe sees his land seizures as part of asserting Zimbabwe's independence
and said he had handled the issue firmly.

"How can people who don't own their land ever claim to be sovereign? I am
happy to tell you this outstanding task has been tackled resolutely. Land
has finally come to its rightful owners in meaningful quantities."

Mugabe acknowledged Zimbabwe was facing a severe economic crisis that had
seen poverty, inflation and unemployment rising in the last few years.

But he said his land reforms in the former British colony of Rhodesia would
form the basis of an agrarian-led economic recovery programme in which the
state would offer substantial financial and technical services support.

"There has to be a new deal for Zimbabweans," he said.

On national unity Mugabe, whose party militants are accused of continuing a
campaign of violence against the opposition that began two years ago, said:
"Let us work to be one.

"Avoid quarrels, avoid fights, concentrate on the building of our nation. We
are ready for that, and if other people are ready let's walk together
regardless of our differences, our political persuasion," he said.

"You gave us victory. The victory came from the people. It is our victory.
Let it remain so. Let it not be interfered with by outsiders, whoever they
are. Zimbabwe shall never be a colony again."

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Business Day

War of words at Zimbabwe embassy

By Anele ka Nene
Angry words flew between Zimbabwean officials and Democratic Alliance
members during a protest in Pretoria on Thursday.

"The white DA dogs can go to hell," was one the insults that greeted DA
members who demonstrated outside the Zimbabwean High Commission in support
of the people of South Africa's northern neighbour.

DA chief whip Douglas Gibson retorted: "We don't use that kind of language
here. Take your rudeness back across the Limpopo River".

About 300 DA members earlier in the day marched from the Union Buildings to
the Zimbabwean High Commission in Merton Street. Their action co-incided
with Zimbabwe's Independence Day.

As the DA members arrived, celebrations of the day were in full swing inside
the grounds of the high commission.

"Stop (President Robert) Mugabe and save Zimbabwe," the DA group chanted at
the gate.

They produced a memorandum that demanded, among others, media freedom and
fresh elections in Zimbabwe.

Amid much shouting across the security fence, the Zimbabwean officials
refused to accept the document.

"This is nonsense," Gibson complained. "They are sitting there, wining and
dining while their people are suffering."

Pan Africanist Congress secretary-general Thami ka Plaatjie, who was a guest
at the high commission, also entered the fray, saying: "These racists should
take their protest to the Israeli Embassy".

After resolving that local DA chairman Danie Erasmus would attempt to
deliver the memorandum on Friday, the protesters dispersed.

The document demands the establishment of an interim government of national
unity in Zimbabwe to prepare for a new presidential election under
independent supervision.

It asserts that the independence of the judiciary in Zimbabwe needs to be

The DA also demanded the scrapping of what it described as "draconian" laws
on access to information and other issues.

"Twenty-two years ago, the Zimbabwean people were liberated from
colonialism. We stress their urgent need now to be liberated from tyranny,"
the memorandum reads.


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Mugabe Vows To Create Ag Boom To Solve Zimbabwe Econ Woes

  HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP)--President Robert Mugabe vowed Thursday to end food
shortages, provide jobs and end foreign exchange problems by creating an
agricultural production boom on former white-owned farms allocated to
black families.

  "The land has finally come to its rightful owners," he told a crowd
celebrating the 22nd anniversary of independence from the U.K. at the
55,000-seat National Sports Stadium.

  On the eve of the celebrations, Mugabe told a party for schoolchildren:
soil that we walk is ours - every grain is ours.

  "The white man is here as a second citizen: you are number one. He is
two or three. That must be taught to our children."

  Mugabe announced the coming year would see maximum government efforts to
production going among 264,000 households given land under his "fast track
reform program" with distribution of seed and chemicals.

  Farming experts fear the near-bankrupt government will be unable to afford
the inputs. Disruption of agricultural production by the previous 5,000
farmers and a two month dry spell January-February have contributed to
shortages of many staples including maize meal, milk, sugar and cooking oil.
regional famine early warning unit reports that up to 7.8 million need food
relief with 380,000 facing imminent starvation.

  Many white farmers have already fled militants, while others face imminent
eviction and are banned from working their fields. Whites owned 17% of
Zimbabwe, including 70% of the most productive farmland, before Mugabe
the start of land seizures in February 2000.

  (END) Dow Jones Newswires 18-04-02

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ZIMBABWE: 'Hasty deal will not end political crisis'

JOHANNESBURG, 18 April (IRIN) - Regional and international pressure to end Zimbabwe's bitter political conflict may result in a hasty deal that could undermine democratic principles, the International Crisis Group (ICG) has warned.

As Zimbabwe marked 22 years of independence from Britian on Thursday, President Robert Mugabe struck a conciliatory note in his address to the nation. Talks between the ruling ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are set to begin on 13 May under the stewardship of South African and Nigerian facilitators.

However, concern has been raised that the intense regional and global interest in finding a solution to the political impasse could result in a deal that endorses an election many observers believe was flawed.

AFP reported on Thursday that Mugabe made fresh appeals for Zimbabweans to unite in the wake of the disputed March election that returned him to power.

"Let us build our country, let us bury our differences. It is time to close ranks ... time to grow, time to develop and time for the empowerment and enrichment of our people, and this can only be done when a nation is united," Mugabe reportedly told a rally attended by 40,000 people at a sports stadium in Harare.

Zimbabwe is in the grip of severe food shortages and faces an economic meltdown.

John Prendergast, co-director of the Africa programme of the ICG, told IRIN on Thursday: "At some point well into the negotiations, one can imagine a scenario where a plan is laid down and ZANU says they can live with it under strong pressure from South Africa.

"Yet this plan could be absolutely unacceptable to the rank and file of the MDC. The MDC leadership would be under intense pressure to make a decision, either they alienate their rank and file or they stand on principle and risk isolation regionally and internationally."

There was a recognition by the South Africans of the "enormous gulf" between ZANU-PF and the MDC, he said. But they "appear to be focused on this for as long as it takes, they have the confidence of President [Thabo] Mbeki and President [Olusegun] Obasanjo".

The objective of the South African and Nigerian facilitators was to immediately get dialogue going, said Prendergast "Only later will they start to put forward potential compromises and positions both parties might be able to move forward on. However, it's important that South Africa maintain the objective of neutral facilitation."

It was inevitable, he said, that liberation movements throughout Southern Africa, including the ANC, would have "issues" with the MDC's origins, platform and composition.

Said Prendergast: "Not only is the model of a labour and civil society based political party considered by some to be threatening on a political level, [they] also have different views on how the region will move forward on political and economic policies.

"Therefore, the starting point for the ANC-MDC relationship will be more problematic than the starting point for the ANC-ZANU-PF relationship, which is not all roses either."

Observers and role-players needed to be aware of the possibility of a "diplomatic ambush" should a final plan be presented that is deeply flawed.

"Nobody wants to see this thing escalate with [consequent] reverberations throughout the region. That would cause deterioration in investor confidence and the economic climate. Everyone wants a solution, but the solution must be based on [democratic] principles.

"We have a Commonwealth judgment on the election - echoed by the vast majority of Zimbabwean [NGO/civil society] groups and the international community with the exception of a few important governments and regional groups in Africa - that these elections were not free and fair.

"Therefore, to ignore that and cobble together something that simply legitimises a process that does not meet the minimum standards for democracy, should not be the foundation for an agreement to end the stalemate," Prendergast said.

Prendergast had on Wednesday attempted to enter Zimbabwe to hold discussions with ZANU-PF and the MDC. However, when he arrived at Harare airport, police and customs officials expelled him. Prendergast was a senior member of the US State Department during Bill Clinton's presidency.

"I had spent time with key people in the South African government and the [ruling African National Congress] ANC, talking about their negotiating strategy, so I intended to speak to both sides [in Zimbabwe] about possible compromises [that could be worked out in negotiations]," Prendergast said.

Prendergast's expulsion from Zimbabwe came after the editor of Zimbabwe's Daily News, Geoff Nyarota, and South African newspaper Business Day's correspondent, Dumisani Muleya, were arrested and charged with abuse of journalistic privilege. A conviction on the charge could mean a two-year jail term under the new Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

On Wednesday police used the same legislation to charge another editor, Iden Wetherell of the Zimbabwe Independent, AFP reported.


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The winter wheat growing season is almost upon us now and farmers have been
anxiously awaiting policy and guidance from Government as to what is
required from the large-scale irrigation sector. Traditionally this sector
grows 95 per cent of the wheat crop and last season, grew 330 000 tonnes.
Farmers remain willing and able to plant cereals for the coming season. For
optimum yields and harvest conditions, this requires planting to be
completed by 15th May.

There is wide agreement in that a wheat crop is required and that it can be
grown much cheaper than importing the product. It is also more efficient to
use local resources of land, capital and labour than to import food
requiring scarce foreign currency. Furthermore, large-scale farmers have the
capacity, technical ability and the resources to grow the crop.

While we support a pragmatic and transparent land reform programme, the
current spate of illegal farm evictions and harrassment, coupled with the
Section 8 orders (compulsory acquisition order) and no actual acquisition or
compensation, is untenable. These developments have seriously impacted on
farmers’ ability to produce and resulted in widespread food shortages,
exacerbated by a prolonged mid season dry spell.

To import wheat, as well as the 1,5 million tonnes of maize required, is
wasteful and unnecessary. It is also impractical in view of the serious
constraints already placed on the infrastructure by the massive maize import
programme. The current wheat stocks will be depleted by July and imports are
already required prior to the harvest in October/November before the local
crop is harvested. If a full crop is not grown the wheat import programme
required is 2003 is likely to exceed 500 000 tonnes.

However, there are major constraints facing farmers and these have to be
addressed if a sizeable crop is to be established this winter. Most
commercial farmers are now subject to Preliminary Notice of Compulsory
Acquisition or Section 8 orders, which are being served on a daily basis.

Farmers, who have been served with a Section 8 order can no longer, by law,
plant a crop on their properties. Many others who may not have received
Section 8 orders have been shut down by war veterans and farm invaders and
are physically unable to continue their operations.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Dr Joseph Made
released a press statement on Friday, 12th April. In the statement, he
regrettably does not address issues vital for production thus comprising
food security.

Unspecified allegations that farmers are destroying assets on their farms,
infecting their cattle with disease, and spraying toxic chemicals on their
sugar plantations are spurious and do not deserve comment.

The Land Acquisition Act is quite clear on what may and may not be removed
from farms following the serving of acquisition orders. The movable assets
remain the property of the current landowner and not the acquiring
authority. Farmers have had their trucks with equipment seized at Zimbabwe
Republic Police (ZRP) roadblocks and these actions are clearly unlawful.

Furthermore the Minister’s statement indicates that the Farm Size
Regulations will be implemented immediately but on racial grounds - only
white owned farms will be so affected. This is unfortunate and impractical
and will only serve to further undermine investor and donor confidence in
our country.

In conclusion, if no encouragement is to be given by Government in
alleviating the constraints imposed of mass Section 8 orders, production of
a wheat crop this winter is unlikely to be more than 20 000 hectares of the
60 000 hectares traditionally planted by the large scale sector. Massive
food shortages will be therefore be inevitable.

As part of the Nation our farmers remain committed to this country and its
food requirements and ask nothing more than to continue to play their very
important and meaning full role of ensuring food security.

I therefore appeal to our Government to clearly and transparently implement
the land reform programme according to the Land Acquisition Act. There is a
need to explain to all, the process of acquisition from the preliminary
Section 5 notice, Section 8 orders and then the Section 7 notice, which acts
as the notice to appear in the Administrative Court and onto final
acquisition and compensation.

I also appeal to the relevant authorities to clamp down on opportunistic
criminal elements and local warlords that only serve to impede much needed
production of food crops and hinder the land reform programme through
antagonism and confrontation.

17th April 2002
C. B. Cloete, President

End of statement

For more information, please contact Jenni Williams
Mobile (263) 11 213 885 or (263) 91 300 456
Email: or

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Daily Telegraph

Prophet of hope for a nation in turmoil
(Filed: 18/04/2002)

At a time of violent political upheaval, millions of Zimbabweans regard
singer Oliver Mtukudzi as a symbol of unity. Douglas Rogers talks to a
reluctant hero

IT is a long way from the courtyard of the Queen's Hotel in Harare, where
his all-night shows in the Eighties and Nineties were legendary, but when
Zimbabwe's musical giant Oliver Mtukudzi plays in London this weekend it
will, in many ways, be a homecoming.

Thousands of Zimbabweans have fled their country in recent years for
economic and political sanctuary in the UK, and many of them will descend on
the Stratford Rex on Saturday to welcome a man who is both the social
conscience and creative musical force of an entire nation.

Mtukudzi is here to promote his new album Vhunze Moto ("Burning Embers" in
his native Shona language). It is the 44th album in a career that stretches
back to the late Seventies, when Zimbabwe was Rhodesia, Ian Smith was in
power and the country was in flames. Two decades on, Zimbabwe is burning
once more, wrecked by horrific political violence, economic meltdown and one
of the worst Aids crises in Africa. If "burning embers" is an appropriate
metaphor for the nation, Mtukudzi's role as artist, social commentator and
national unifier is as vital today as it has ever been.

Surprisingly, Vhunze Moto has not been banned in Zimbabwe. The album cover
depicts a map of the country in flames, and the track from which the title
comes, Moto Moto ("Fire is Fire") is a moving Shona ballad that fans
interpret as a warning to President Mugabe of impending catastrophe. "Even
embers are fire," it translates. "Why wait until it's a huge flame to accept
that it's fire?"

Despite its often upbeat jiti rhythms and soaring vocal harmonies, a sense
of foreboding permeates much of the album. Tapera ("We Have Been Decimated")
is a tragic ballad about Aids - more than one million Zimbabweans are HIV
positive. Perhaps most controversial is Magumo ("How Will It All End?"), a
call-and-response number sung in Shona and Ndebele, the language of the
minority Matabele, 20,000 of whom were killed in the genocide Mugabe
unleashed in Matabeleland in the Eighties. "You may have the power, much
power, and you oppress those who are weak. How will it all end?" Mtukudzi

To millions of Zimbabweans, Mtukudzi's lyrics are nothing less than the
teachings of a Shona prophet, and the inferences they draw are clear:
Zimbabwe is burning and Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF party will soon have
to suffer the backlash.

For Mtukudzi, though, there are no such simple interpretations. "I'm not a
politician, I don't understand politics," he tells me, speaking from Harare.
"My songs are about what I see around me, the happiness and sadness in my
country. I don't believe in singing for a particular time. My songs should
mean something yesterday, today and tomorrow."

Mtukudzi never openly refers to politics in his work, nor does he openly
criticise Zimbabwe's leadership. Instead, he uses Shona imagery and African
parables to tell stories that his listeners can interpret for themselves. On
Yave Mbodza ("What Kind of Rearing is That?"), Mtukudzi asks why the ancient
Shona practice of a parent chewing traditional root medicine and passing it
on to a baby is no longer followed. On the surface, it is a simple morality
tale. Look deeper, say his fans, and Tuku, as they like to call him, is
singing about the corruption of the ageing generation of Zanu PF rulers who
are keeping all the goodness of the country for themselves.

"Oliver is an iron fist in a velvet glove," says John Matinde, a DJ on SW
Radio Africa, a station set up in London last year to broadcast to Zimbabwe
the music and independent news that state-owned radio no longer airs. "It is
an open secret that he is referring to the political situation in Zimbabwe,
but Oliver speaks in tongues. People can interpret him any way they wish."

The minstrel observing from the sidelines - it is a tactic that has served
him well. Unlike his friend Thomas Mapfumo - Zimbabwe's only other bona fide
international superstar - Mtukudzi has never allied himself with a political
party, even in Zanu PF's heyday after independence. It has meant that,
although state radio no longer plays his new work, the government has not
been able to ban him either, and respect for him among the people is greater
than ever. He still plays more than 100 concerts a year in Zimbabwe, many in
remote rural areas where people cannot afford to buy his albums. The shows
are always sold out and fans will cross the country to watch him.

That said, he does not have an easy ride either. Several recent concerts
have been cancelled after warnings that the CIO - Mugabe's notorious Central
Intelligence Organisation - would beat up fans if he performed certain
songs. A pre-election concert near Harare was invaded by 30 Zanu PF youths,
who tried to force the band to wear Zanu PF T-shirts and caps during the
performance. Mtukudzi refused, carried on the concert, and publicly rebuked
the youths.

But the track that has caused most controversy is Wasakara, from the album
Bvuma ("Tolerance"), which was released at the end of 2000 when the
political violence was gaining momentum. Wasakara refers to an old man and
the chorus translates: "You are old, you are spent, it is time to accept you
are old."

Zimbabweans immediately interpreted it as a reference to the 78-year-old
Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980 and shows no sign of stepping down.

Once again, Mtukudzi refuses to commit to interpretations. When I ask him
what Wasakara is about, he says: "It's about a man getting old." Asked what
he thought of the MDC using it as their anthem, he replies: "I'm happy for
people to get meaning from my songs." And when asked why state radio no
longer airs his new albums, he responds, with perfect PR spin: "Maybe it's
because my PR is weak. I should promote myself more." It is possible that
were he not speaking from Zimbabwe he would be more forthcoming, but
Mtukudzi has always been opposed to confrontation and remains the ultimate

He is also the ultimate performer. He sings, plays guitar and dances
throughout his shows - often for four hours straight - although, at 49, he
has stopped playing Pungwes, traditional 12-hour concerts that would end at
6am. His nine-piece Black Spirits band (with three rousing backing singers)
have been with him since the Eighties, and they contribute to his big-voice
gospel-blues sound, which merges Zimbabwean jiti and South African mbaqanga,
while retaining a style all its own. In Zimbabwe, they even call the genre
"Tuku music".

What, though, of his fans in London? So many Zimbabweans now live in exile
in the UK that on the streets back home they refer to London as Harare
North. "I will tell them their parents and families are missing them, and
that they must not forget where they come from," says Mtukudzi. "One day, I
hope they will go back."

Oliver Mtukudzi plays at the Stratford Rex, London E15, on Saturday.
Tickets: 020 7836 1973

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Paradox of independence without total freedom

By Canisio Mudzimu
4/18/02 2:51:16 AM (GMT +2)

TODAY is an historic day for Zimbabwe as the country marks its 22nd
anniversary of independence after almost 100 years of colonial rule.

The hunger for and attainment of independence in Zimbabwe in particular and
most African countries in general can aptly be summed up by Ezekiel
Mphahlele in his novel Down Second Avenue when he says: "If you want a thing
badly, you get it."

The question that remains unanswered is: did "independence" bring the fruits
normally associated with it to Zimbabweans?

If there is anything that the political dispensation in this country is
meticulous about, it is promises upon promises that are "full of sound and
fury, signifying nothing", as William Shakespeare would have put it. The
22-year-old promises that are recycled and repacked as new from time to time
yet being unmatched with reality prove correct what Nikita Kruschev meant
when he said that "politicians … promise to build bridges, even where there
are no rivers".

For the Zimbabwean scenario, this assertion holds true except that the
rulers in this country will promise to build two bridges instead of one!

The tirade of promises dates back to the days of the "liberation" struggle
when peasants were being promised, during all-night indoctrination pungwes,
a new Zimbabwe flowing with milk and honey. It was going to be a country
full of peace and economic prosperity; a country abundant with freedoms and
rights, unlike Rhodesia under the racist Ian Smith regime. It was envisaged
to be a new Zimbabwe akin to the biblical Canaan.

We were promised a democratic country with God-fearing leaders and this was
even incorporated in the "independent" Zimbabwe’s national anthem — Blessed
be the Land of Zimbabwe — to the effect that "may our leaders be just and
exemplary". We were made to believe fervently that these new leaders would
not oppress their fellow Zimbabweans who had endured repressive legislation
of the calibre of the Law and Order Maintenance Act which the new Zimbabwe
inherited until recently when it replaced it with the more draconian Public
Order and Security Act.

The year 2000 was set as the deadline for the achievement of most of these
goals which, two years past the deadline, are still aspirations.

Health for all by the year 2000, education for all by the year 2000,
employment for all by the same year and many other unfulfilled hopes that
constitute a tragic litany of broken promises are still fresh in our
memories. To who therefore have the fruits of independence gone?

What the Zimbabwean authorities should have promised the citizens of this
country is derived from Winston Churchill’s famous
"I-have-nothing-to-offer-but-blood-toil-tears-and-sweat" since they have
delivered these beyond expectations. They, too, have managed beyond any
reasonable doubt to fatten their pockets, telling the povo to tighten their
belts until they could not afford any to tighten while the leaders
themselves were busy loosening theirs.

This reminds one of Keith Richburg’s insights in Out of America where he
pointed out that: "The ‘Big Men’ . . . still have their marble palaces
carved out of the jungle and their bank accounts in Switzerland, their
villas in the south of France, and their apartments on the Avenue Foch in
Paris. They will have their fleet of Mercedes limousines and their private
jet. They will build basilicas and with their own likeness in the murals
with the apostles, they will open universities that bear their name but
where students cannot afford books and will have no jobs if they ever get

"They will equip their armies with shiny boots and their security forces
with the latest weapons, but the hospitals will run short of needles and
bandages, and college students will be using cardboard cutouts to learn the
keys on a computer keypad because they don’t have a real computer to use . .
. "

I do not want to sound "unpatriotic" but the unequivocal truth is that there
is a large lacuna between what our leaders promised us in the new "Canaan"
and the situation on the ground. The reality is pathetic: the health
delivery system is in shambles due to ill funding; students at tertiary
institutions are starving and their libraries are filled with archaic and
archival textbooks, most of which are host to theories that were long proven
wrong; the economy of the country is on a cliff-edge owing to quick-fix
policies that defy economic fundamentals; the country’s international
relations have been catapulted to cataclysmic proportions and the general
populace has been thrown into a vortex of suffering.

Democracy has been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency and
elections have acted in tandem with Said Adejumobi’s hypothesis about
"elections in Africa: a fading shadow of democracy" since they have become
more of a formality in which they alter nothing but culminate in the
"reinstitutionalisation of authoritarian regimes" that will be masquerading
as democratic by "putting on a democratic garb".

I am not oblivious, however, of the "many" good things that have been done
for Zimbabweans and the land redistribution exercise is a recent phenomenon
that deserves special mention.

It is an axiom in the Zimbabwean context that land forms the fulcrum of
survival and is a necessity in a country where the majority literally live
on the outskirts of the country. The Land Apportionment Act and the Land
Tenure Act resulted in the marginalisation of blacks by settling them on
poor sandy soils and I do not believe that any sane being will oppose land
reform in this country. The only worry, however, comes when the solution is
not only worse than the problem but also exacerbates instead of alleviating

It is an adage that you do not rectify a wrong by creating another wrong yet
the fast-track land reform programme is determined to put food security in
this country in jeopardy and the economy on a life support system. The modus
operandi of the programme leaves a lot to be desired and I won’t delve into
the issue of the farm invasions lest I appear "unpatriotic" and intent on
selling the country’s independence on a silver plate.

Zimbabweans commemorate independence day with a cloud of uncertainty hanging
over the future of this country. Instead of throwing parties to celebrate,
citizens of this country should take the opportunity to ponder seriously
about the destiny of Zimbabwe and map out a strategy to direct this country
which is precariously heading towards the precipice of economic doom.

Canisio Mudzimu is a freelance writer. He can be contacted on e-mail

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FinGaz - Public Eye

I’d rather be unpatriotic than tell lies

Masipula Sithole
4/18/02 2:57:58 AM (GMT +2)

ON this our 22nd Independence anniversary, many will struggle to put up a
case for our achievements over the past 22 years. While this patriotic front
(no pun intended) is desirable, I would rather be unpatriotic than tell
It is true that peace and stability; education and health are prominent in
our litany of achievements. Let us not forget to include also in this
impressive list the more recent achievement: land redistribution.

But we know, don’t we, what the state of our education and health is in
today. Moreover, many of these achievements were registered during the first
decade of independence when schools and clinics mushroomed all over the

Yet we know, don’t we, that many of these schools and clinics are now in
different stages of disrepair. I know the University of Zimbabwe is in a
shocking state of disrepair, in as much as there has been a mushrooming of
tertiary institutions all over the place.

This we all know. There is no patriotism in lying about it. In fact, it is
unpatriotic to lie about a national disaster or problem. It serves no
national interest.

This relative peace and stability we have enjoyed over the years since the
liberation war of the 1970s has been in spite of ourselves. We all know, don
’t we, that in the 1980s there was no peace to talk about. We were at war
against each other, ala Gukurahundi in Matabeleland and the Midlands

Ironically, the relative peace we enjoyed in the 1990s was peace without
prosperity as things began to fall apart at all fronts, including in health
and education where we had made inroads in the 1980s.

We know, don’t we, that since the 1980s the economy has been doing badly,
very, very badly: unemployment is now between 60 and 70 percent, meaning
that only between 30 to 40 percent of our potential workforce has a job;
inflation is now over 113 percent with no end in sight; there is now no
foreign currency. In the past we used to get foreign currency, albeit in
limited amounts. Shall I say more?

There is even a shortage of sadza, not to mention cooking oil, sometimes
fresh milk, and even the Chimombe brand!

If patriotism means not making these observations with outrage and concern,
then I would rather be unpatriotic than lie or keep quiet. For, to keep
quiet about these things is being unpatriotic.

Towards the end of the 1990s, the independence war veterans took over the
politics of this country. They would be in control of ZANU PF politics since
they destabilised the President in 1997. They have controlled and directed
this country’s politics, agriculture and hence the economy since then.

Just stop and reflect for a moment. Since the drums of war on Heroes’ Day at
the Heroes Acre in 1997, the war vets have increased their presence and
control of this country’s politics and economy. Only a few will deny that
the Border Gezi Youth Training Centre is a facility for the war vets to
reproduce themselves.

We can’t continue running the country this way and hope to prosper.
Hazviiti. Akwenzi. It just can’t happen, no matter how much we would wish it

By sheer coincidence, just about the same time as the war vets took over the
political and economic direction of this country, we plunged ourselves in
the unending war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Wars are expensive
and that war is expensive.

We have been in that war since 1998. We are now in the fifth year of that
war, for whatever it is worth. And it looks like we are not going to get
anything from it at the end, just like it happened in Mozambique. Only that
in Mozambique we were guarding the Feruka oil pipeline plus the stability of
a neighbour in our long backyard.

As we began the decade of the 2000s, we started a low-intensity Gukurahundi
in the rest of the country, mainly in the rural areas. We declared war on
each other mainly on party lines. ZANU PF on one side and the newly formed
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on the other.

This low-intensity war has so far cost 116 lives. Nearly 70 000 are internal
refugees running away from their houses in the aftermath of post-election
violence. Teachers are being forced away from their schools to leave pupils
without instructors; women are being raped; citizens are being tortured. Now
there is this Public Order and Security Act and the "Access" to whatever

Is this patriotic, really? Is this what the liberation war was about? I am
supposed to seek police permission to hold a seminar in a hotel room. Just
imagine, all this after independence!

I don’t remember this during the Rhodesia Front regime. Honestly, kuti a
seminar yoita need police permission! Even during times of war!

Comrades we are doing badly on all fronts, even hondo yeminda we sing in
self-adulation tiine nzara. We have done it the wrong way in as much as it
is the right thing. I would rather be unpatriotic than tell lies.

Just some three weeks ago, we nearly plunged ourselves into a full-scale
civil war. Were it not for divine intervention blood would be flowing all
over this country. This again of our own making.

Let’s examine this proposition next week, but meanwhile let’s all be
patriotic and pray for the success of the talks between ZANU PF and the MDC.

Professor Masipula Sithole is a lecturer of political science at the
University of Zimbabwe and director of the Harare-based Mass Public Opinion
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FinGaz - Letter

A looter's paradise

4/18/02 3:03:57 AM (GMT +2)

EDITOR — I note with interest that there is surprise at the alleged theft of
Guy Cartwright’s successful tobacco and cattle farm by a senior government
official "even though Mr Cartwright is not involved in politics".

What surprises me is that anyone at all should be surprised!

ZANU PF has been systematically plundering the nation for the last 22 years
and whenever caught in a particularly blatant act it always dreams up some
"political" excuse. Perhaps people have forgotten some of the more
noteworthy examples?

From the very beginning the best land was parcelled out to the party’s
faithful and fat cats. There was the Willowgate scandal, where once more the
"chefs" were adding to their obscene wealth at the expense of a nation
desperately short of vehicles.

The very well named "Hazy Investments" airport scam was another, as were the
scandals at the Grain Marketing Board and the National Oil Company of
Zimbabwe, where one member of staff alone was accused of misappropriating
over $800 million.

The list goes on and on until we come to the alleged looting of the War
Victims’ Compensation Fund. Just as had always happened before, no one was
prosecuted in this case.

This enraged some who had actually fought in the war so much so that they
demanded "their $50 000 too". Because of the precedent set, and no doubt
sensing a useful ally if he could buy the support of a wider section of the
population, President Robert Mugabe unilaterally gave in to these demands
that bankrupted the nation. Where else in the world have people been
financially rewarded decades later merely for having taken part in a war?

The next unilateral decision was to involve the country in the war in the
Congo in defence of the late fellow dictator Laurent Kabila. Once more this
was an opportunity to loot — the people of Zimbabwe paid for the war and the
fat cats reaped even more wealth.

Perhaps the picture is now becoming clearer? It is very difficult indeed to
find examples that benefited the common people and not the ruling elite. So
is it any surprise that the government official allegedly stole Cartwright’s
farm, even though he was "not involved in politics"?

Over the years the people of Zimbabwe have become hypnotised into accepting
the unacceptable. First one thing and then another and another until they
become dizzy and confused and cannot remember what is right and what is
wrong. The Chinese call this "how to boil a frog" and it is the same Chinese
who taught our present leaders.

It is time to clear our minds of propaganda and go back to basic principles.
Theft is the taking of someone else’s possessions without their consent. No
presidential decrees, no illegal laws can alter that. Theft is theft and
those who do it are thieves.

No smokescreens of political rhetoric, no ZBC propaganda, not even Jonathan
Moyo, Joseph Made or Mugabe can alter this fact.

It is surprising that people talk of "section this" or "section that"
notices as if they were actually legal laws. Have we forgotten that Mugabe
once again acted unilaterally after he lost the constitutional referendum
and issued yet another of his presidential decrees in defiance as usual of
the wishes of the majority of the people?

When Zimbabwe still had a Supreme Court these so-called laws were
unceremoniously thrown out. Can we believe they are suddenly legal now
because a newly appointed judiciary of party supporters, some of whom have
suffered from regrettable moments of weakness in the past — not to mention
extremely suspect judgments — has endorsed them?

Going back to basics, let’s take a closer look at the validity of these

First and foremost, the constitution of Zimbabwe expressly forbids
discrimination on the grounds of race, colour or creed. Yet the President
and his officials have been outspoken on the fact that only farms belonging
to white citizens will be seized.

Even though this in itself is a lie, this is what their public statements
have said, very often and very loudly. Therefore all laws aimed at one
section of the population are unconstitutional.

Next, despite all the decrees in the world, it is still theft to take
another person’s property without permission. This is natural justice and is
so obvious that it should not need restating. To say that someone else
should compensate your victim for your theft shows a very childish mentality

It is a recorded fact that Mugabe pleaded with farmers to remain after
independence in 1980, yet now that is conveniently forgotten. The excuse
that some whites support the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party
is yet another smokescreen. It is perfectly right and legal to support any
political party one chooses to.

Yet another point is that since independence no farm could be sold without
first being offered to this same government for resettlement. As about 80
percent of the present farms were bought since then, it is obvious that the
government did not want them. There has been nothing to stop black citizens
buying commercial farms over this long 22-year period, and indeed many have
become successful farmers.

Farmers of all races who have had their farms "occupied" by "settlers" or
politicians have had their property stolen. That is an inescapable fact.

The seizure of Cartwright’s farm is only the latest in a 22-year history of
"boiling the frog" by ever escalating acts of banditry. In fact, one wonders
whether the chefs’ greed only started in 1980?

Is it not possible that right from the start their plan was to cynically use
young men and women as cannon fodder in order to achieve total power so that
they could loot the country? And now that the farms have been stolen, it
seems that the plan is to steal the few remaining viable businesses.

C Frizell,

Las Vegas,

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FinGaz - Comment

Journey without maps

4/18/02 3:11:26 AM (GMT +2)

NEW ZEALAND this week became the latest government to ban President Robert
Mugabe and his inner circle from travelling to that country, raising the
world’s siege on and isolation of Zimbabwe’s rulers.

As already done by the 15-nation European Union, the United States, Canada
and Switzerland, Wellington promised to seize the overseas assets of the
blacklisted leaders and banned the sale of arms or other "instruments of
oppression" to Harare.

Predictably the Zimbabwe authorities mocked New Zealand’s action — Harare
has done the same to the earlier sanctions — branding it an act of
collaborators who are out to besmirch Zimbabwe’s image and its just struggle
to right colonial wrongs.

But for all the seemingly business-as-usual attitude adopted by Zimbabwe’s
leaders in the face of widening international condemnation and isolation, it
is clear that the sanctions are beginning to have a telling effect and that
Mugabe and his officials are deeply worried about the road ahead.

Nothing bears out the government’s worry more than its rabid response to the
sanctions because, if they were of no effect at all, none of its members
would bother even to respond.

And yet despite this realisation, Harare somehow seems to think that it has
the wherewithal to ride over the storm of its isolation, in the same manner
as former Rhodesian premier Ian Smith hoped he would do in the turbulent
1960s and 1970s.

As Smith now knows only too well, a vain attempt to defy the world over a
clear injustice has its price, and Rhodesia and Smith himself eventually
learnt this lesson to their grief. It won’t be different now for Mugabe.

Let it be said clearly that no one in the world, least of all in Zimbabwe,
has any qualms about the imperative and urgent need to redistribute land to
the majority blacks.

It is the chaotic and violent manner which Mugabe has adopted which
infuriates the entire civilised world, including leaders of friendly nations
such as South Africa.

It is precisely this mindless violence of murder, torture, rape and
beatings, which is primarily aimed at Mugabe’s political foes and not at the
redistribution of land, which has landed the President and his lieutenants
in hot water.

No amount of words, pleas or action will ever dignify this violence under
the guise that the government is only seeking to redress economic imbalances
of the colonial era.

Mugabe has used the racial card, not to mention his divide-and-rule tactics,
to hide his real intentions for too long, but this argument no longer has
any takers.

The simple question any reasonable person keeps asking is: what has the
murder of a Zimbabwean or anyone got to do with the land?

None in the government will ever answer this question because to do so would
only expose the violence for what it is and shoot down the racial card
introduced in the land question.

As Zimbabwe today marks its 22 years of independence, is it not an irony
that the country is once again under international sanctions for
government-sponsored anarchy, as it was for several years up to 1980?

Instead of withdrawing into a cul-de-sac and hoping that normalcy will
eventually return to Zimbabwe, Mugabe and his advisers must get real and do
so quickly.

They need to acknowledge the deep-seated grievances that their actions have
caused and correct these before it is too late. Not even the half-baked
economic reforms led by agriculture, which the government is toying around
with, will ever work in a climate of mayhem and international sanctions.

The alternative to doing the right thing now is clear: Mugabe and his
government will face the same ignominious exit as Smith did. It could even
be worse.
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Mugabe abuses liberation war

Sydney Masamvu
4/18/02 2:56:53 AM (GMT +2)

TODAY we mark 22 years since Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain and
its surrogate white settler regime of Ian Smith.

I salute and thank whole-heartedly all those who fought gallantly to bring
us black majority rule. May the principles and values which they feverishly
fought for live forever and not be used in vain by ZANU PF, as we are
witnessing now.

During the campaign leading to the March presidential election, a disturbing
trend led by President Robert Mugabe began to set in the country, where some
of those who either fought or were on the front line of the 1970s war of
independence began to view themselves as superior beings and in many cases a
law unto themselves.

In other words, Mugabe and his cronies see themselves as more Zimbabwean
than others. They view those with different political opinions as sellouts
or betraying the virtues of the liberation struggle.

The problem I have with the present ZANU PF leaders is that they are
deliberately distorting the core principles of why the liberation war was
fought, just to satisfy their personal and selfish interests and to hold on
to power.

In fact, in their heart of hearts they know that what they are doing runs
contrary to the spirit and letter of the liberation war.

For much of the post-independence era, we have seen Mugabe and his inner
circle abuse their participation in the liberation struggle by spearheading
their personal interests and enrichment at the expense of the majority.

This has been their main preoccupation.

The present leadership thinks that merely going to war gives it the right
and unqualified privilege to impose its will on all Zimbabweans,
irrespective of the people’s feelings and choice.

Mugabe thinks that his prominent involvement in the liberation war gives him
the right to rule forever, or until he himself thinks otherwise.

One may be forgiven for thinking that the President is the only one who
fought in that war, at least judging by the countless times he talks about

Even his lieutenants are gripped with the same attitude. They simply want to
abuse their participation in the struggle by continuing to hold on to power
and to amass personal wealth and to build fiefdoms.

Talk and reference to the struggle by Mugabe at any given turn, even in some
instances where it is not relevant, has reached nauseating levels.

For a long time, Mugabe’s regime has been left to use the liberation
struggle in vain in the face of its outright failure to manage and preside
over the affairs of the state. That should come to an end.

The ZANU PF leadership also thinks that it alone has the monopoly of
defining how this country should be ruled and who should rule it and when.

It is this kind of thinking which led the defence chiefs earlier this year
to make their infamous statement on who should rule this country, when their
job is merely to safeguard Zimbabweans.

It is this kind of mentality which is tearing Zimbabwe apart. This idea of
ZANU PF always banking on the liberation war track record manifests itself
in the arrogance which Mugabe and his colleagues exhibit to poverty-stricken

While we should be cognisant of our history, it is time to look forward and
move on and stop using the struggle in vain. Independence means we should
build and consolidate the country and not wreck and ruin it as is happening.

In fact, Zimbabwe’s real traitors are those people who believe that just
because they fought in the liberation struggle, they alone have the monopoly
to rule until amen.

The real traitors are those people who want to hold the country to ransom
because they fought in the liberation war.

Most Zimbabweans, in one way or another, contributed to the success of that

As we move into our 23rd year of independence, Mugabe and ZANU PF leaders
should stop abusing the liberation war for their selfish ends and to hold on
to power.

They should gracefully acknowledge that they did their part and it is time
for a renewal of Zimbabwe’s leadership and ideas in order to move the
country forward.

It is time Zimbabweans demanded total freedom and independence and said "no"
to black-on-black oppression, which is entrenching itself in this country.

Zimbabwe is for all its people — black, white and whatever colour they are —
and it is not for Mugabe and his leadership alone. Zimbabwe is not Mugabe
and Mugabe is not Zimbabwe.

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Recovery plan targets dual exchange

By Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
4/18/02 2:55:59 AM (GMT +2)

A TWO-TIER exchange rate regime and austerity measures to rein in Zimbabwe’s
runaway inflation and wide budget deficit are among several proposals being
considered under an ambitious economic recovery programme for the country,
it was learnt this week.

But economic analysts immediately poured cold water on the plan which they
said was doomed to fail due to lack of political will and pressing food

According to sources who attended a meeting called by the National Economic
Consultative Forum last week to discuss the proposed agriculture-led
economic recovery programme, the government is proposing a return to the
two-tier exchange rate system last used in 1994.

Under the proposal, a lower rate would be used for all official transactions
while other activities would attract a higher exchange rate.

"The proposal is that the lower exchange rate will apply to essential
transactions like debt repayment, imports of fuel and energy while other
imports and exports will attract the higher rate," a senior Finance Ministry
official told the Financial Gazette this week.

Zimbabwe has pursued a fixed exchange rate policy since 1999 although there
were brief periods in 2000 when the value of the local dollar was allowed to
adjust in line with its purchasing power parity.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), the umbrella body of the
country’s manufacturing sector, also recommended the introduction of the
dual exchange rate system during the same meeting.

It proposed that the lower tier be set at 140 Zimbabwe dollars to the United
States greenback and managed on a crawling peg from there.

According to the CZI, 40 percent of all export proceeds would continue to be
surrendered to the central Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) but at 140 to the
US dollar while the value of the remainder would be market-determined.

"Government will benefit from a lower first tier to provide foreign exchange
for essential imports and exporters will benefit from a market-determined
second tier," the CZI said in a positional paper presented to the meeting.

Both the CZI and the government believe the two-tier exchange rate policy,
last used in Zimbabwe in 1994, will provide a strong incentive for exporters
to drive exports and benefit the tottering economy, weighed down by
unsustainable state spending.

Although the finer details of how the government intends to implement the
two-tier exchange rate system are not yet known, the CZI is proposing that
the local dollar be adjusted in line with a three-month inflation forecast
to be publicly announced in advance by RBZ governor Leonard Tsumba.

Under the proposal, Tsumba would be required to make public forecasts on
inflation differentials between Zimbabwe and its major trading partners for
a three-month period to give maximum transparency and to eliminate

"This forecast is then translated into equal daily adjustments so that the
first currency tier will have adjusted by the full forecast inflation
differentials by the last day of the three-month period concerned," the
industrial body said.

At the end of the three-month period, the RBZ would be required to make
subsequent quarterly public forecasts.

This is expected to effectively destroy the parallel foreign exchange
market, which has deprived the official market of hard cash in the past
three years.

Other proposals contained in the government’s economic recovery plan, so far
kept a closely guarded secret, include measures to rein in galloping
inflation and contain the budget deficit to single-digit levels by the end
of 2003.

But analysts this week said Finance Minister Simba Makoni is being overly
optimistic, given the rising pressure on the fiscus in the wake of the
current food shortages and the unresolved fuel crisis.

Simiso Nzima, an analyst with Sagit Stockbrokers, said Makoni was in a
Catch-22 situation and faced the insurmountable task of increasing inflows
into the fiscus while containing expenditure.

"It doesn’t seem feasible that they (the government) will be able to contain
expenditure given the need to import food this year while at the same
increasing revenue at a time companies are closing," Nzima told the
Financial Gazette.

According to the sources, Makoni will seek parliamentary approval in the
next two months for a $44 billion supplementary budget to meet the
additional expenditure required for food imports and other drought relief

This is expected to lift the budget deficit from the initial forecast of
14.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to about 20 percent of GDP this
year and further fuel inflationary pressures.

Zimbabwe’s annualised inflation, the third highest in southern Africa after
Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, stood at 113.3 percent in

President Robert Mugabe has said the economic recovery will be driven by
targeted incentives for newly resettled farmers under his controversial land
redistribution programme, which is however seen by most analysts as the main
cause of Zimbabwe’s economic collapse.

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War vets demand top Cabinet, police jobs

By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
4/18/02 2:23:24 AM (GMT +2)

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is facing new pressure from his militant war
veterans as the former fighters, whose campaign of violence helped win
Mugabe’s disputed re-election last month, demand that he appoints them as
Cabinet ministers, provincial governors and as Zimbabwe’s ambassadors

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) secretary
for projects Andrew Ndlovu said yesterday that the grouping of former
guerrillas of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation war had proposed to Mugabe that he
also appoints their members as district administrators and gives them top
jobs in the police force.

"We are saying that war veterans should be included at all levels of
government. The war veterans should be appointed as ministers or deputy
ministers, governors, high commissioners, district administrators and senior
police officers," Ndlovu told the Financial Gazette.

ZNLWVA secretary-general Andy Mhlanga told this newspaper separately that a
document detailing the proposals was sent to Mugabe last month.

But Mhlanga said there had been no response yet from the 78-year-old leader,
who in recent years has increasingly relied on the 50 000-strong former
fighters to suppress rising opposition to his 22-year rule.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba could not be reached for comment on
the matter yesterday.

The war veterans are also demanding an immediate 150 percent increase in
their monthly pension from $7 890 to $20 000, a hike in the school fees
allowance from $20 000 per child a term to $35 000 and that the government
launches a special state-subsidised medical aid scheme which covers them and
their dependants.

Sources close to the ZNLWVA said the ex-combatants were disgruntled that
while Mugabe had appeared content to use them to ensure he remained in
power, the veterans felt that they had been unable to share in the spoils of
that power.

Most of the ex-fighters except those who were absorbed into the army and
civil service soon after Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980 remain
out of the government.

The veterans now want Mugabe to ditch some of his Cabinet ministers they
allege deserted the 1970s armed struggle and who they say are anti-war

The sources said the veterans want Mugabe to also dismiss several senior
civil servants inherited from the white colonial Rhodesian regime and the
vacancies created in the Cabinet and civil service to be filled by the

The militant former fighters, who have spearheaded the government’s
controversial plan to seize land from white farmers, in 1997 forced Mugabe
to pay them more than $4 billion in unbudgeted expenditure after staging a
series of protests against the government.

Ndlovu said: "The government has been infiltrated through the civil service.
We, the war veterans, have the most to lose if the ZANU PF government was to
be removed from power and therefore we are saying we should get the key
posts to ensure that the government is strengthened."

Mugabe, his top officials and their families are already under smart
sanctions imposed on them by the international community because of
political violence and human rights abuses largely blamed on the veterans.

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Chefs in massive land grab

By David Masunda Deputy Editor-in-Chief
4/18/02 2:56:41 AM (GMT +2)

ZANU PF bigwigs including Cabinet ministers, army generals and police head
Augustine Chihuri have hijacked the fast-track land reform plan and are
grabbing the best of the commercial land meant for resettlement, it was
established this week.

Investigations by the Financial Gazette reveal that Cabinet ministers,
senior army, intelligence, prison and police officers and top ZANU PF
officials have been involved in a massive land grab of top commercial farms
around Zimbabwe since the farm invasions intensified two years ago.

Rag-tag armies of landless peasants, independence-era guerrillas and ZANU PF
supporters invaded commercial farms in the name of land hunger in February
2000, prompting President Robert Mugabe’s administration to embark on land
reforms that have been criticised as lacking transparency and likely to
benefit his cronies.

The fast-track reforms were initially intended to settle more than one
million families during the last two years but have been bogged down by lack
of finance, massive corruption and the land grab by top ruling party

Chihuri forced out prominent Shamva farmer Peter Butler last year and the
government- owned Sunday Mail featured him proudly showing off his maize
crop at the disputed Woodlands Farm barely two months later.

Defence Minister Sydney Sekeremayi is embroiled in a wrangle over the
ownership of Maganga Estate near Marondera which about 80 families,
including some war veterans, claim was allocated to them for resettlement.

Transport and Communications Minister Swithun Mombeshora has been visiting a
farm in Mashonaland West during the last three weeks telling its owner that
he wants to grow a winter crop at the property, farming sources said this

Elliot Manyika, the Youth Minister and architect of Mugabe’s re-election,
has taken over Duiker Flats farm while his deputy Shuvai Mahofa is said to
have shopped around several farms around Gutu in December and indicated an
interest in at least five of them.

Mahofa’s family was early this month forced to pay compensation to the
family of a war veteran killed during a battle over the ownership of one of
the farms, Lothian, in Gutu.

Other government ministers to acquire farms recently include State Security
Minister Nicholas Goche and Mines and Energy’s Edward Chindori-Chininga.

Sources say other government ministers, provincial governors and senior
party officials are now touring their home provinces every weekend to shop
for the best properties they can grab.

Peasants who have invaded a Cold Storage Farm in Nyamandhlovu claim that
they been ordered to vacate the property because it has been earmarked for a
senior ZANU PF official, who is believed to be Vice President Joseph Msika.
He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Scores of spies from the Central Intelligence Office (CIO), others from the
President’s Office and senior police, army and prison officers have also
been implicated in the massive land grab that is being carried out with
police complicity.

Senior ZANU PF official Saviour Kasukuwere, an ex-CIO official, is already
ploughing on Pimento Park farm in Mashonaland Central where war veterans’
leader Joseph Chinotimba and ZANU PF Mashonaland Central youth chairman Dick
Mafiosi have also allocated themselves land, according to the sources.

In Esigodini, horticultural farmer Alistair Coulson this week said his
Glenala farm was being eyed by a senior prison officer and a local police
chief who had visited it several times and ordered him to vacate the farm, a
major supplier of vegetables to Bulawayo, Gweru and Zvishavane.

Thomas and Edith Bayley, an elderly couple which owns Dunbury Farm in
Mazowe, has been engaged in a standoff with ZANU PF youths who are demanding
that the couple leaves the property, their home for the past 70 years.

A Commercial Farmers’ Union official this week said the standoff at Dunbury
"was symptomatic" of what happens on farms that are earmarked for a senior
party official and that 150 farmers had been forced out of their land since
the March 9-11 presidential vote.

The farmers’ union spokesperson said what was worrying was that the police
seemed to have abandoned their civic duties by openly participating in the
land grab, a charge denied by the police yesterday.

She said it was equally disturbing that the government was allowing senior
officials to grab land meant for the resettlement of genuinely landless

Tarwirei Tirivavi, the spokesman for the Zimbabwe Republic Police, said
police officers wanted land like other Zimbabweans but denied that they were
involved in the land grab or refused to attend to pleas for help from
besieged farmers.

Tarivavi said the farmers’ allegations were "mischievous" and said some of
the commercial farmers were manipulating the land issue for political

"We now have a society with people who seek to be victims," Tirivavi said.

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Busines Day

Zimbabwe press curbs divide meeting

Resolution condemning developments in Zimbabwe was not endorsed by the
entire conference
Parliamentary Editor

CAPE TOWN The Commonwealth conference on Parliament and the Media ended
deeply divided yesterday with most African parliamentarians refusing to
support their journalist colleagues and condemn Zimbabwe's crackdown on
press freedom.

The divisions, which began to show on Tuesday during debate on a call to the
government of Zimbabwe to repeal all laws restricting press freedom, centred
on whether or not a resolution condemning recent developments in Zimbabwe
could be endorsed by the entire conference.

The editor of Zimbabwe's Daily News, Geoff Nyarota, and Business Day's
correspondent, Dumisani Muleya, were arrested this week and charged with
abuse of journalistic privilege a charge that carries a two-year jail term
under the new Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Yesterday, police slapped the same charges, including "criminal defamation"
under common law, on Iden Wetherell, the editor of the Zimbabwean

After considerable debate yesterday the secretary-general of the
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Denis Marshall, ruled that
there was not sufficient consensus for the draft resolution expressing
serious concern at the serious obstruction of the free flow of information
in Zimbabwe to be adopted.

He said instead delegates could sign the document in their personal
capacities if they chose to. About 50 of the more than 70 delegates chose to
sign but not a single black parliamentarian was amongst them. This included
delegates from SA, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda and Namibia.

The founder of the Daily Mail, Wilf Mbanga, said he had been let down by his
colleagues. "We have a lawless government in Zimbabwe," he said.

"We sit around and drink tea. I am ashamed."

He said that he had been arrested in SA under apartheid, had been arrested
in other African countries, and probably faced arrest when he returned to
Zimbabwe. He and the news editor of Zimbabwe's Daily News, John Gambanga,
both signed.

Stephen Ndicho, a Kenyan MP, said that he left the meeting with a heavy
heart. "The Zimbabwe issue has split the people," he said, saying that it
was unfortunate that this was along racial lines. He said that, if he
started issuing statements on Zimbabwe while in SA, he would be usurping the
powers of Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi and would go to jail. He and
other African MPs said that any response to the Zimbabwe election last month
or to the antifreedom of the press laws should be left to governments to
make and not individuals.

Walter Hamilton of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said he felt the
conference was rather like "when good men do nothing. If we walk out without
doing anything then we devalue everything we have been doing here at this

Meanwhile, Zimbabwean authorities deported former top US official John
Prendergast yesterday. Prendergast, a co-director of the International
Crisis Group (ICG), the Brussels-based political think tank, was refused
admission to the country when he arrived at Harare International Airport on
a return journey, said a friend who asked not to be named. "They just turned
him round and now he's waiting for the next plane out," said a friend who
was telephoned by Prendergast from the airport.

Prendergast was also the director of African affairs on former US president
Bill Clinton's National Security Council. The ICG is composed mostly of
former senior officials of western governments, including Australia's former
foreign minister, Gareth Evans. Prendergast has assisted in composing
reports criticising Mugabe's government and also lobbied for the imposition
of sanctions targeted specifically against Mugabe and members of his ruling
party. With Sapa

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Remains of victims of violence found

Staff Reporter
4/18/02 3:04:08 AM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO — Christian Women for Love and Care, a human rights group,
confirmed yesterday that two skeletal remains of people suspected to be
activists of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have been
unearthed at Lenkubini Village in Nkayi district of Matabeleland North.

Sakhile Nkomo, the chairperson of the human rights group investigating the
disappearance of several MDC supporters and other villagers in the run-up to
last month’s presidential ballot, said her team spoke to villagers at
Lenkubini who last week witnessed the remains being pulled out from a
drained deep tank.

"My team confirms that two skeletal remains were found but the police don’t
want to confirm it," Nkomo told the Financial Gazette.

"What we are doing now is to ascertain where the remains are but we believe
they are in the Nkayi mortuary," she said, adding that she was preparing a
full report on the discovery which she promised would be made available to
this newspaper and other human rights groups.

She said her team ascertained from the villagers that police actually pulled
out the remains in full view of several anxious villagers, some of whom have
relatives still missing and are feared killed by ZANU PF militias in the
run-up to the March 9-11 presidential election.

Nkomo refused to disclose if her team managed to identify the deceased. "It’
s a sensitive issue and we have to be very careful. We will document
everything when the time comes," she said.

Nkayi police refused to comment yesterday.

Abednigo Bhebhe, the MDC legislator for Nkayi, said a villager also
indicated to him on Monday that bodies had been found after the dip tank had
been emptied.

"That the bodies were found is true but we are not sure of the number. One
villager told me it was three bodies. I am doing my own investigations
because I believe there are about six bodies lying at Nkayi mortuary. They
passed through the police but the person in charge of Nkayi refused to
comment on the issue to me," Bhebhe said.

Since the government lost the February 2000 constitutional referendum, ZANU
PF has declared Nkayi a no-go area for the MDC.

Thirty-two people, most of them members of ZANU PF’s militia, have been
arrested in connection with the murder earlier this year of James Sibanda, a
headman from Mathendele Village in the same district.

Sibanda’s badly brutalised body was found buried in a shallow grave by
villagers, leading to the arrest of the 32.

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Prospective black farmers still to get land

By MacDonald Dzirutwe Staff Reporter
4/18/02 3:08:40 AM (GMT +2)

EDNA Chitowo, the Financial Gazette’s editorial secretary, thought she had
got an unforgettable Christmas present last year when she saw her name
appearing in the state media which proclaimed that she had been one of the
successful applicants in the government’s fast-track land reforms.
She had been given a farm in Marondera. But four months later, she cannot
move on to the farm because she is yet to receive written confirmation from
the government.

Chitowo is not alone. This is the plight of thousands of other Zimbabweans
who last year thronged the offices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement to apply to be included in the so-called A2 model resettlement

Amid pomp and fanfare, the agriculture ministry had splashed the names of 51
464 people who it said had qualified for the commercial farming scheme.

But for many of these would-be-farmers who are driven by genuine hunger for
land and whose names appeared on the infamous list, the dream of owning a
farm one day is slowly becoming a distant prospect.

Many of the named beneficiaries now fear that the scheme could have been one
of President Robert Mugabe’s election campaign gimmicks.

"I have been trying to get that letter from the Ministry of Agriculture but
it is now four months and nothing has happened," Moses Rupango, a senior
civil servant who wants to quit his job and venture into commercial farming,
said this week.

"I have visited the ministry and the district administrator in Shamva but
they keep on saying the letter will come soon. Now I do not know whether the
farm is there or not."

There was no comment from Agriculture Minister Joseph Made this week,
although this newspaper sent him questions on the issue last week.

Two other ministers who sit on the so-called land task force — Ignatius
Chombo and Joyce Mujuru — were also not available for comment.

An agriculture ministry official who identified himself only as Muzavazi
said many Zimbabweans had not received the letters of confirmation but
defended the delay by saying the issuing of the letters was an ongoing

"What happens is that confirmation letters are written from the list of
names in each province but the letters are first sent to the minister for
his signature," Muzavazi said.

"It is after the minister has signed the letters that they are sent back to
the province and only then can people get them but we have not yet written
letters to all of the people whose names appeared in the papers."

It is understood that many Zimbabweans who received the letters have failed
to take over the farms because militant war veterans already occupying them
will not let them do so.

The veterans, the architects of land invasions which started in February
2000, are refusing to leave the farms arguing that they have been living on
the properties for the past two years.

They are also asking prospective farmers to produce membership cards of the
ruling ZANU PF before they can entertain any questions on the ownership of
the farms.

Andy Mhlanga, the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans
Association, admitted this week that his association had received similar

"Such incidents are happening here and there but what we are saying is that
nobody is above the law, even the war veterans," he said.

"Whoever encounters such problems should approach the national leadership of
the war veterans because we are there to correct these abnormalities. The
time for invasions is past. It is now time for land redistribution."

Mhlanga however said the veterans had not benefited from the A2 commercial
farming scheme, adding that his association is pressing the government to
release commercial farms to members.

The government says 201 942 Zimbabweans have been resettled under its
accelerated land reform plan while another 160 000 people have been
resettled under the A1 model scheme aimed at rural-based peasants.

Analysts however say the figures are dubious, pointing out that the
government only managed to resettle 300 000 people between 1980 and 1995.

But even as the government continues to rave about the success of its
fast-track land reforms, traditional chiefs who met Mugabe during his
campaign rallies in February told him time and again that villagers in their
areas had not benefited from the reforms.

The analysts said the government is now under intense pressure to deliver on
its land promises to appease restive supporters, some of whom backed Mugabe
in the March 9-11 presidential election solely on his promise to deliver the

"These figures (of those resettled) do not make sense at all. They look like
they have been cooked up," Masipula Sithole, a University of Zimbabwe
political science professor, charged this week.

"What is for sure is that on the ground people are starving and if that will
be used to measure the success of the land reform programme then you can
make your own judgment," he said.

Made last week said the government’s main challenge is the lack of financial
resources to fund the land plan. The cash-strapped government needs more
than $40 billion to fund the programme.

But most donors say they are only prepared to fund a transparent, legal and
fair programme and stress that the government must end state-sponsored
violence on commercial farms, blamed for causing severe food shortages in
the country this year.

The government has targeted 5 326 farms covering 10 million hectares — or
nearly 70 percent of Zimbabwe’s rich farm land — for the resettlement plan
which it says is meant to redress colonial injustices.

The delivery of the land to the majority blacks formed the central plank of
Mugabe’s whirlwind campaign for re-election in polls that have now been
widely condemned as fraudulent.

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Land grab threatens wildlife industry

By Nqobile Nyathi Assistant Editor
4/18/02 3:08:01 AM (GMT +2)

BRAVE attempts to revive Zimbabwe’s tourism industry could come to nought as
the government and war veterans forge ahead with a land grab which threatens
at least 40 percent of the country’s rich wildlife and has cost the industry
over $400 million in revenue in the past two years.
The government this month injected $260 million to sell Zimbabwe in
international tourism markets, but industry executives say attracting
tourists could be a waste of time if the country continues to decimate the
wildlife that is the backbone of its tourism industry.

"Tourism comes from wildlife," Roger Whittal of the Save Valley wildlife
conservancy noted this week.

"People go to the Victoria Falls and to see wildlife. What else is there?
And right now that wildlife is under threat."

Bambo Kadzombe, chairman of the Zimbabwe Wildlife Advisory Council, said:
"Wildlife is tourism and tourism is wildlife in this country. When people go
to Cape Town, they want to see the beach and the sea, but when they come to
Zimbabwe our beach and sea are the Victoria Falls and wildlife. These are
our selling points.

"People fly all the way from Europe, the United States and from all over the
world to come and see our wildlife."

Conservationists and wildlife producers said Zimbabwe’s wildlife had come
under severe pressure from the seizure of mostly white-owned farms by
veterans of the country’s war of independence and other ruling ZANU PF
supporters, which began in February 2000 and is intensifying as the veterans
issue more eviction notices.

The occupied properties include commercial game farms and Zimbabwe’s
conservancies, mainly Save Valley, the Chiredzi River conservancy, Bubye
Valley and the Bubiana conservancy, which are grappling rampant poaching by
the peasants and the veterans who have settled on the land.

Although the Wildlife Advisory Council says it is still compiling statistics
on losses caused by poaching, some estimates put the prejudice at more than
300 000 animals killed last year alone and at least $400 million lost in
revenue since 2000.

More than 30 black rhinos, an endangered species, are under threat this year
on one property, Gourlays Ranch in Matabeleland, where the veterans late
last month told the owner to vacate the farm.

"Poaching is rampant," Whittal told the Financial Gazette. "We’ve just
arrested a guy with an AK-47 and there are plenty more guys with weapons. In
the last year, we have arrested in excess of 100 people, but we’ve probably
got a thousand more poaching."

Rob Style, an official at the Chiredzi conservancy, added: "The biggest
problem is poaching. It’s at unsustainably high levels and if it continues
wildlife will be wiped out."

Industry officials said the government’s land reform programme, which has
seen most white-owned farms being designated for the resettlement of
landless blacks, had also put Zimbabwe’s wildlife in jeopardy.

In Matabelaland province, 75 game farms have been targeted for seizure by
the government, with most of the farms allocated to senior government
officials, said Mac Crawford, president of the Commercial Farmers’ Union
Matabeleland chapter.

"What we are seeing is that because game farming is forex-based, these
senior people are trying to get in on it," he noted.

"At the same time, there is a lot of expensive game on these properties and
the owners are being told to get out.

"We are extremely concerned about the damage being done to wildlife. By the
time this whole thing is over, I think we will have lost anything up to 40
percent of our wildlife and in some areas this will never be recovered."

Another resource that might be difficult to recover is the wildlife habitat
that has been destroyed by farm and conservancy occupiers, threatening the
future of several species of wildlife.

The habitat loss has mostly been a result of the tree felling and grass
burning practised by people on newly occupied properties as they clear plots
to build homes and engage in subsistence farming.

According to a report compiled late last year, Bubiana conservancy has lost
at least 240 000 trees, and at least 50 percent of the 270 000-acre Chiredzi
conservancy has been destroyed by burning and tree clearing.

The grass burning and tree cutting have not only destroyed the homes and
young of several small animals and birds, it has also exposed large tracts
of land to soil erosion.

Kadzombe said: "In some of the areas where people have settled themselves,
breeding areas have been affected and this will definitely affect wildlife.

"A breeding area is very sensitive and animals choose these areas very
carefully. If they are disrupted, the animals won’t breed.

"Kenya had some problems years ago, which saw the number of tourists going
down and then picking up. They kept their wildlife areas intact and when
things improved, tourism also improved. If we keep our wildlife areas intact
in Zimbabwe, we won’t have a problem when things improve. But if we don’t,
we won’t have a product to market."

A tourism industry official pointed out: "It’s all very well to say we’re
trying to portray a good image to the world so that tourists will come back
to Zimbabwe, but if we continue to lose wildlife the way we’re doing, then
our good image won’t be worth a damn. We won’t have anything to show these
people and they won’t stick around."

Industry experts said only government and police intervention to halt
poaching could save Zimbabwe’s wildlife, as would the removal of settlers
from arid wildlife producing areas to fertile land that would enable them to
produce crops.

"The conservancies have offered land to the government for resettlement,"
said Style. "These are in writing and have been for some time, but we are
waiting for a decision on the way forward."

The experts said a programme to educate Zimbabweans about the value of
wildlife and its contribution to the economy through hunting, photographic
safaris and the sale of animal products might also alleviate its

Sport hunting alone is forecast to earn Zimbabwe $10 billion in foreign
currency this year and has raked in an average of $2 billion annually in the
past four years. Last year it netted $4 billion.

"I think a lot of people are uneducated about the value of wildlife or its
contribution to tourism," Kadzombe said.

"People come here for hunting safaris, and after hunting they go to the
Victoria Falls.

If there is no wildlife, the tourist only flies in to see the Victoria
Falls, which he can see in 10 minutes and he goes back to the airport and
flies to South Africa and spends all his money there."

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Government Supports Companies Working Hard: Zimbabwean President


Xinhuanet 2002-04-19 02:01:37

HARARE, April 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabeon
Thursday urged that large and small enterprises to be strengthened for the
development of an agro-industry which could sustain the national economy.

Mugabe told Zimbabweans on the 22nd independence celebrations that this
was for purposes of adding value and employment creationwith public
companies leading the way.

There was tremendous scope in other sectors like tourism and mining.

The government's determination was to increase players in the tourism
sector and this should translate into a wider variety of products and
hospitality experiences.

He said the mining sector was presently hit by low prices for minerals
on the international market. They should begin to play a more meaningful
supportive role following the completion of investments in platinum.

He said that it was government's policy to ensure the re-opening of
mines which were closed either for reasons of costs or non-viability.

The government, he said, would assist factories or other important
businesses that were shut down in the last two years to become functional
once again.

Zimbabwe was expected to develop its economy on the firm base which had
been laid by the land reforms. Enditem

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Manufacturing sector tumbles

Staff Reporter
4/18/02 3:06:08 AM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE’S manufacturing sector shrunk by 22.1 percent in the first eight
months of last year, which is more than double the 9.25 percent by which the
sector declined in the same period in 2000, according to government figures
released this week.

Economists examining the figures from the Central Statistical Office (CSO)
immediately warned that the key sector, whose decline illustrates Zimbabwe’s
deepening economic crisis, is set to contract even further unless the
government implements sound measures to restore confidence and rescue the
crumbling economy.

According to the state-run CSO, the production of soft drinks, alcohol,
cigarettes and other tobacco products fell by 58.7 percent followed by
metals and metal products, which dropped by 32.9 percent in the first eight
months of last year.

The troubled textiles industry, where several companies have already closed
in the past few years, maintained its downward trend to record a decline of
25.6 percent.

Overally, the manufacturing sector declined 22.1 percent in the first eight
months of last year, the CSO said.

But the production of foodstuffs, chemicals and petroleum products increased
by 14.3 and 3.3 percent respectively.

Independent economic analyst John Robertson however warned that state price
controls slapped on all basic goods last year and the acute shortages of
foreign currency would continue to dampen attempts to try to revive the
manufacturing sector.

"The figures are getting worse because of price controls and the
unavailability of foreign currency. Companies will continue to close and
others will downsize operations to remain afloat and in the process hundreds
of jobs will be lost," he noted.

The manufacturing industry employed around 200 000 workers at the end of
2000. At least 10 000 jobs were lost when 400 companies folded during the
same year.

There are no official figures for the number of companies which closed last

An economist at a Harare financial institution said the shrinking of the
manufacturing sector meant more job losses for a country already grappling
with record high unemployment of 60-plus percent.

The economist said Zimbabwe’s export base would shrink further, with more
company closures, thus rendering stillborn efforts aimed at ending the
foreign currency crisis.

The economist, who preferred not to be named, said the government’s widely
condemned fast-track land reforms had reduced farm output by more than 45
percent, which had also put more pressure on the manufacturing sector.

"The farm takeovers have contributed to the shrinking of the manufacturing
sector because less output is being produced from the farms for processing
in the industry," the economist noted.

Militant ruling ZANU PF supporters have occupied hundreds of commercial
farms since 2000 in a campaign which has accompanied the government’s land

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Africa begins to isolate Zimbabwe

By David Masunda Deputy Editor-in-Chief
4/18/02 3:06:48 AM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE, once the jewel in southern Africa’s crown, is being left behind as
the rest of the continent forges ahead with an ambitious Western-backed
economic recovery plan anchored on key issues of democracy and good

Analysts this week said African countries, worried about the contagion of
Zimbabwe’s flawed economic and political policies, were gradually tightening
the screws on President Robert Mugabe’s administration and isolating it to
attract Western support for the blueprint aimed at reviving their economies.

The southern African country, the region’s second largest economy after
South Africa, has been under unofficial Western sanctions since 1999 when
the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) withdrew funding
because of lawlessness, a controversial land reform plan and state-sponsored

It has been further isolated outside Africa since the highly contested but
flawed March presidential election which most Zimbabwean and international
poll monitors say was stolen by Mugabe.

Mugabe was not invited to a critical meeting this week in Senegal, where
several African leaders, leading international economic planners, the IMF
and the World Bank polished up the blueprint that seeks to garner a
staggering US$64 billion annually to lift a continent currently getting only
about US$9 million in new investments yearly.

The rich countries, most of which have already slapped smart personal
sanctions on Mugabe and his ruling elite, are expected to adopt the New
Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) at a meeting in Canada in June
but have ruled out Zimbabwe’s participation in the plan, authored along the
lines of the post-Second World War programme that speeded up Europe’s

University of Zimbabwe business lecturer Tony Hawkins this week said
Zimbabwe’s representation by a junior official in Dakar was an indication
that the organisers felt the recovery plan could be hurt by the attendance
of senior Mugabe loyalists who might make customary fiery speeches against
Western countries.

He said there seemed to be a tacit agreement between Harare and NEPAD’s
sponsors, who include South Africa, that Zimbabwe must keep a low profile
between now and June when the continental economic recovery plan is marketed
to the Group of Eight Summit.

"The current position is that Zimbabwe is considered by the international
community as not meeting the requirements of NEPAD," said Hawkins, adding
that a high-profile position might divert attention from the recovery plan
to Zimbabwe’s mounting chaos.

He said Zimbabwe could however benefit from many spin-offs of the plan
because it was based on the construction of regional projects such as road
and rail networks.

An international financier based in Harare said African countries were
increasingly shunning Zimbabwe as one way of attracting vital Western and US
aid for NEPAD and that even key allies such as South Africa would be forced
to gradually put the squeeze on Harare.

Also notable was Mugabe’s absence at a crucial summit meeting of the
14-nation Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) held in Pretoria a
week ago, also to drum up support for NEPAD.

The summit was attended by six SADC heads of state and Canadian Prime
Minister Jean Chretien.

This week’s Dakar summit took place as New Zealand joined the 15-nation
European Union, the United States, Canada, Switzerland and several countries
which have banned Mugabe, his top officials and business leaders linked to
him from entering that country.

Zimbabwe has already been suspended for a year from the 54-nation
Commonwealth and looks set to be expelled from the group altogether if,
after 12 months, it has not taken steps to improve its bloated human rights

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War vets demand 150% pension hike

Staff Reporter
4/18/02 3:05:34 AM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE’S militant war veterans, fresh from waging a violent campaign which
helped President Robert Mugabe secure a disputed re-election last month, are
demanding a 150 percent increase in their monthly pensions.

Andy Mhlanga, secretary-general of the government-allied Zimbabwe National
Liberation War Veterans’ Association, confirmed that the association had
written to Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi this week urging him to
immediately improve the welfare of the war veterans.

The association, which has a registered membership of more than 50 000, is
controlled by the Ministry of Defence and Mugabe is its patron.

The veterans want their monthly pensions raised immediately from $7 890 to
$20 000, the school fees allowance hiked from $20 000 per term per child to
$35 000 and a special government-subsidised medical aid scheme for members

"Most war veterans can no longer make ends meet and we want the issue of
pensions, school fees and medical aid addressed," Mhlanga told the Financial

He said the government should show more commitment in implementing the
provisions of the War Veterans’ Act to improve the wellbeing of Zimbabwe’s
liberation war heroes. So far this had not been done, he charged.

Mhlanga said since the enactment of the Act in 1997, none of the veterans
had benefited from a facility that allows them to get soft loans of between
$250 000 and $500 000 as outlined by the legislation.

He said most of the association’s members in towns and rural areas were
finding it difficult to get proper medical treatment because of the high
costs of medication.

The veterans in 1997 forced Mugabe to pay out more than $4 billion in
unbudgeted expenditure after staging a series of protests against what they
said was the government’s neglect of their welfare.

Each veteran was subsequently paid a once-off gratuity of $50 000 in a move
that triggered Zimbabwe’s present economic meltdown.

The veterans led the often violent seizures of commercial farms in February
2000 and also spearheaded the campaign for Mugabe’s re-election last month
which has been widely condemned in Zimbabwe and internationally.

The veterans were allocated more than $15 million to campaign for the ZANU
PF leader. They have also been promised 20 percent of all the land that is
seized by the government for resettlement under its controversial fast-track
land reforms.

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EU pressures region to act on Mugabe

Staff Reporter
4/18/02 3:01:06 AM (GMT +2)

THE 15-nation European Union (EU) is ratcheting up pressure on southern
African leaders who have rallied behind President Robert Mugabe by sending a
team that will tell the leaders to act on Mugabe or risk losing vital
economic and development aid.

Sources at the EU’s Brussels headquarters said yesterday EU leaders were
angry that not only had regional leaders such as South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki
endorsed Mugabe’s controversial re-election last month but had also
criticised the EU’s position which insists that Harare must uphold democracy
and the rule of law.

Under the EU/African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP)’s partnership
agreement governing relations between the EU and developing nations, human
rights and free and fair elections are a cardinal requirement.

"The focus is no longer just on Zimbabwe," a senior EU official told the
Financial Gazette by telephone from Brussels.

"The team will seek clarification from southern African leaders if we (EU)
and them still have the same understanding of the EU/ACP agreement.

"Another important point the team will seek to establish from regional
leaders will be whether NEPAD will work if they are going to allow such
things as what happened in Zimbabwe."

NEPAD is the short-hand for the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s
Development, the brainchild of African leaders such as Mbeki and Nigeria’s
Olusegun Obasanjo.

NEPAD aims to promote good governance and the respect for human rights on
the continent as a way to lure back vital economic and development aid.

The EU mission, expected in the region in three weeks’ time, will be at
ministerial level and include representatives of current EU president Spain,
next president Denmark, the European Commission and others, EU officials

Although it is not clear if the team will visit Zimbabwe, it is expected to
meet Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) head Malawi, the chairman
of SADC’s Organ on Defence and Politics Mozambique and regional economic
giant Pretoria.

EU external affairs commissioner Chris Patten’s Brussels office yesterday
referred this newspaper to the Spanish government which as president is
coordinating the mission’s visit, when contacted for clarification.

Spain’s ambassador in Harare Javier Sandomingo refused to speak about the
planned EU mission. "I am not in a position to discuss anything about that
issue in public at the moment," Sandomingo said.

Zimbabwe Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge could not be reached for

The EU, the US and most Western countries have not recognised Mugabe’s
re-election last month because they say it was secured fraudulently, charges
Zimbabwe denies.

The Commonwealth has suspended Harare for a year while the EU, the US,
Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada have imposed targeted sanctions against
Mugabe, his top officials and their families for allegedly perpetrating
repression against Zimbabweans.

The EU sources said while the aid-giving group and other international
donors would not allow people to starve to death in southern Africa, which
is facing severe food shortages, even this humanitarian aid to the region
could be under threat if southern Africa does not act on Zimbabwe and on
democracy issues.

SADC nations but especially Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia need billons of
dollars worth of food aid this year after disastrous crop harvests.

In Zimbabwe, normally a food exporter, the food shortages have been caused
by drought and the violent disruption of farming operations by militant
government supporters who have seized land from farmers.

Mugabe, whose own fast-track land reforms have also disrupted farming, backs
the land seizures saying they are genuine demonstrations of land hunger by

Critics say the invasions are a ploy by Mugabe to divert attention away from
the crumbling economy.

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ZANU PF youths besiege ministry

4/18/02 2:57:52 AM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO — About 200 youths recruited by ZANU PF to campaign for President
Robert Mugabe in last month’s elections this week swooped on the offices of
the Ministry of Youth, Gender and Employment Creation in Bulawayo demanding
payment for their services.

The youths, some clad in tattered military gear, said they were from
Ntabazinduna Training Camp, about 40 kms outside Bulawayo, and were owed
amounts ranging from $1 000 to $18 000.

The youths occupied the offices of the employment ministry on Tuesday.
Officials from the ministry here refused to discuss the issue when contacted
by this newspaper.

It also emerged from the visibly angry youthful militia that food supplies
at their training camp had become erratic since Mugabe was officially
declared the winner of the disputed March 9-11 ballot.

Some said they were seriously contemplating deserting the camp because of
squalid living conditions and poor diet.

"We have been coming to Bulawayo almost daily demanding our dues," said Abed
Mpofu, speaking on behalf of the other members of the militia.

"He (Mugabe) has been re-elected after our campaign, but we are very bitter
that they (the government) are taking their time to pay us as promised."

Another militia member, Smart Nkoma, said: "We have not had a decent meal
for the past three days at our camp. We only had tea when we left this
morning for Bulawayo. We don’t know what we are going to eat because we left
the station without any supplies. We have just been told there is no
transport to take us back."

The youth brigades also said they were not happy that some of their
counterparts in Mashonaland were reportedly being integrated into the
security forces.

"We all campaigned and should be treated equally," added Nkoma, whose
Ntabazinduna Training Camp wreaked havoc in Umguza-Bubi constituency, where
the ruling party surprisingly beat the dominant opposition MDC during last
month’s vote. — Staff Reporter

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ZANU PF ‘sacks’ Binga council, shuts offices

Staff Reporter
4/18/02 2:57:14 AM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO — Ruling ZANU PF party supporters, including its war veterans, have
sacked the entire workforce of the Binga Rural District Council for
allegedly being sympathetic to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), it was learnt yesterday.

The Financial Gazette was inundated with calls from the residents of Binga,
one of the country’s poorest and remotest districts located about 600 kms
from Bulawayo, complaining that the local government offices had been closed
since last Wednesday.

The offices remained shut yesterday because workers feared reprisals from
the marauding ZANU PF supporters and were waiting for a directive from the
Ministry of Local Government, which has been made aware of their plight.

Eyewitnesses said ZANU PF supporters descended on council premises last
Wednesday morning and kicked out the council’s chief executive, Shadreck
Mudimba, and other staff members before grabbing the office keys.

Mudimba and his staff were accused of supporting the MDC. The district
council chief executive confirmed his alleged "dismissal" but would not
comment further because of security reasons.

The witnesses said ZANU PF supporters were terrorising shoppers and other
villagers at Binga Shopping Centre, accusing them of being sellouts by
overwhelmingly voting for MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in last month’s
disputed presidential election.

In the poll, Tsvangirai polled 26 880 votes in Binga versus President Robert
Mugabe’s 5 300. Binga also overwhelmingly voted for the MDC in the 2000
parliamentary election.

"They (ZANU PF supporters) are running the show, they say they are now
running the shop and we should report direct to them instead of management,"
said a supermarket worker who asked not to be named.

According to MDC supporters, some starving Binga villagers are also going
without food because ruling party officials are refusing to give them any
aid, accusing them of voting for Tsvangirai.

Binga is one of several areas in rural Matabeleland North that have seen
local government offices being closed by ruling party supporters following
the announcement by Mugabe soon after his re-election of a purge of civil
servants loyal to the MDC.

Earlier this month, the ZANU PF supporters forced out Sibangilizwe Mkandla,
the chief executive officer of Lupane Rural District Council, together with
another official, Boniface Chivinge, from the office of the

Last week they also besieged the offices of Tsholotsho District Council,
forcing employees to flee. Most civil servants, especially in urban and
rural areas loyal to the MDC, are now uncertain of their future.

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From SAPA, 17 April

Editor charged with criminal defamation

Harare - The editor of an independent weekly newspaper in Zimbabwe was on Wednesday charged with criminal defamation after his paper ran a story alleging President Robert Mugabe's wife's brother was involved in a labour dispute at a white-owned firm. Editor Iden Wetherell said he signed a "warned and cautioned statement" and had his fingerprints taken before being released after 90 minutes. He said he was charged along with Dumisani Muleya, the correspondent for South Africa's Business Day newspaper. Muleya was on Monday charged with "criminal defamation" or, alternatively, with "publishing falsehoods", in a report last week which said that the brother of Mugabe's young wife, Grace, had been trying to use her position to help him seize control of a white-owned company for which he worked. Commenting on his arrest, Wetherell said the police were "perfectly courteous".

Observers say a pattern of growing repression has emerged since Zimbabwe's presidential elections last month. Pro-Mugabe militias have, according to observers, carried out a wave of violent retribution against people suspected of having supported the Movement of Democratic Change in the elections. Now the regime appeared to be targeting the independent press, they said. On Monday Geoff Nyarota, editor of the Daily News, the country's only independent newspaper, became the first person to be charged under the new Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, for a report which said that Mugabe aides had rigged his election. Two weeks ago, Peta Thornycroft, correspondent here for Britain's Daily Telegraph, was arrested and held for four days, on charges she described as "incoherent."

Meanwhile the Zimbabwean government on Wednesday deported a former top US official. John Prendergast, a co-director of the International Crisis Group (ICG), the respected Brussels-based political think-tank, was refused admission and arrested when he arrived at Harare international airport, a friend who asked not to be named said. "They just turned him round and now he's waiting for the next plane out," said a friend who was telephoned by Prendergast from the airport. US embassy spokeswoman Heather Lippett said "a US citizen was detained and deported" from Zimbabwe, but would not name Prendergast, whowas also the director of African affairs on former United States president Bill Clinton's National Security Council. "The government of Zimbabwe has not provided the embassy with any information regarding the motivation for this action," she said. The ICG is composed mostly of former senior officials of Western governments, including Australia's former foreign minister, Gareth Evans. Prendergast has helped author reports criticising Mugabe's regime and also lobbied for the imposition of sanctions targeted specifically against Mugabe and members of his ruling clique. The sanctions, initiated by the United States and the European Union, include a ban on travel to countries imposing the measures.

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The Times

April 18, 2002

Election roll denied to Zimbabwe Opposition
From Jan Raath in Harare

COMPUTER experts trying to uncover evidence of vote-rigging in Zimbabwe’s
presidential elections are being denied access to a digital copy of the
voters’ roll.
Nearly six weeks after the elections, in which President Mugabe was declared
the victor, there is still no publicly available copy of the full list of
registered voters. Nor have any official election results been published,
apart from the confused announcements over state radio by Tobaiwa Mudede,
the Registrar-General, two days after the poll.

The limited information that Roland Whitehead, a human rights activist, and
his small team of volunteers have managed to secure indicates huge
discrepancies in voting patterns, voters who are dead, multiple registered
votes and possibly thousands of voters with fake identity numbers.

The disclosures are contained in a legal petition, issued yesterday by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), to have Mr Mugabe’s victory
set aside. He was said to have won 2.6 million votes, 400,000 more than
Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader.

Mr Whitehead believes that he is on the brink of exposing evidence of
outright fraud.

“The key is the voters’ roll,” he said, “but Mudede won’t give it to us.
What can we assume, except that he has something to hide?” Mr Mudede has
said that he will give them a 100,000-page document containing 5.5 million
names. But that, Mr Whitehead said, “is just a truckload of paper. It would
be impossible to handle.” Each page contains the details of 55 voters, and
takes an hour to input on a computer. A comprehensive analysis can be done
only on digital data.

He has offered to pay Mr Mudede £15,000 for the voters’ roll on compact
discs, the same as the official charge for the paper documents. Mr Mudede
has refused.

“He can do it, he’s done it before,” Mr Whitehead said.

In January, Mr Mudede took only two hours to produce the voters’ roll, as it
was then, compressed into four CDs, after Mr Whitehead went to court to
force him to release them.

Before the election Mr Mudede secretly registered another 400,000 people,
but only in strongholds of Mr Mugabe’s ruling Zanu (PF) party. He has
refused to make this “supplementary roll” public.

Mr Whitehead did manage to obtain from the Registrar-General’s office the
paper documents of the final list of voters in two constituencies in Mr
Mugabe’s heartland.

He input 5,000 names from one of them, Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe into a
computer programmed with the digital formula that the National Registration
Centre, the repository of national identity cards, uses to configure ID
numbers to be able to check validity.

“We ran them through the test and 9.8 per cent were invalid,” Mr Whitehead
said. “It’s very interesting that with the copy of the roll we got in
January, there was not a single wrong ID number.”

The MDC is again asking the High Court to order Mr Mudede to produce the
full voters’ roll. He is due to respond to the challenge in court tomorrow.

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Zimbabwe Withdraws 7,000 Troops From Congo

Xinhuanet 2002-04-18 05:27:01

HARARE, April 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe's National Army spokesman
Mobnisi Gatsheni said here on Wednesday that the country has withdrawn about
7,000 troops from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the last
three years.

Gatsheni said between 6,000 and 7,000 Zimbabwean soldiers were now left
in the DRC from around 11,000 initially deployed in the former Zaire.

"Ascertaining the exact number of those deployed in the front is very
difficult because some retried while others become incapacitated," he said.

"Our movement out of the DRC depends on the success of other programs
related to the Lusaka Peace Agreement of 1999, but we will reduce our troops
according to plan," the spokesman said.

He said the situation was now quiet in the DRC despite some sporadic
fighting being initiated by the rebels in breach of the Lusaka Peace
Agreement which all those involved in the war had signed.

Gatsheni said that the inter-Congolese dialogue underway in South Africa
was seeking a political solution to the Congolese problem, but the army
would withdraw according to military plans.

"We hope the dialogue will produce positive results as that will quicken
our complete withdrawal. We do not intend to stay in the DRC forever as we
went there to protect a legitimate government," he added.

Zimbabwe deployed its troops to the DRC to support the Congolese
government fighting rebel movements backed by Rwanda andUganda.

Angola and Namibia also propped up the Kinshasa government, butNamibia
pulled out last year, while Angola said in February this year that it was
withdrawing the last of its forces. Enditem

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"Be Aware & forward to all you know!

This is happening country wide!

Please be careful when phoning each other!

This morning I was on the phone to my sister and we were discussing the
general despondency and the situation on the farms and so on, when a voice
interrupted us talking politely though, and said, that our
entire conversation was being listened to, and that we were telling each
other lies, and that we should go back to Britain as we were not wanted
here especially as we were telling such lies."
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