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

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Business Report

Zimbabwe bans farmers from driving off with their equipment
April 22 2002 at 10:55AM
Harare - Zimbabwe's white farmers have been banned from exporting equipment
used on farmland destined for redistribution to the country's black
majority, minister of lands Joseph Made told the Mail newspaper yesterday.

"All borders across the country have been issued with a directive not to
allow any farming equipment to leave the borders," he was quoted as saying.

The pro-government Mail reported that white farmers had been seeing taking
tractors and irrigation equipment off land slated for acquisition by the
government under its land reform programme.

Police had intercepted some of this heavy equipment as its owners were
trying to export it to neighbouring countries such as Mozambique, Zambia and
South Africa, the paper said.

"No farmer should be given such [export] permits," Made said. "What exactly
can we expect from a group of persons who claim to be Zimbabweans when they
do this? Their objective is to destroy the infrastructure in farms [where]
we have resettled our new farmers.

"In fact such truckloads should be detained. There will be no compensation
for those who vandalise equipment."

In 2000 the Zimbabwean government introduced land reforms aimed at handing
over almost all the farmland held by white commercial farmers who, two
decades after independence, still owned 70 percent of the most fertile soil.

The land reform programme has been accompanied by the often violent
occupation of hundreds of farms by groups spearheaded by veterans of the
Zimbabwean war of independence.

A severe drought and the uncertainty over tenure have helped turn the former
breadbasket of the region into a net food importer.

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Business Day

To Europe, Zimbabwe hardly exists

FROM Europe, Zimbabwe seems a mere speck, a distant object seen through the
wrong end of the telescope that is trained, fearfully, on the line of
conflict that runs between Christian and Muslim worlds. Or on Israel, the

Except for a couple of paragraphs in the International Herald Tribune, I
have seen no reference in three weeks to Mugabe, or to quiet diplomacy, or
to any of the other trivial issues of southern African policy that have
recently loomed so large in South African politics. The Congolese
negotiations rated less attention than Retief Goosen.

What matters to Europe these days is Palestine, breathtakingly devastated by
the Israeli army, and President George Bush's stated intention to get rid,
somehow, of Iraq's recalcitrant leader, Saddam Hussein. And Afghanistan,
where the Americans have embroiled their allies in a war that seems
increasingly messy and dangerous.

The Americans themselves seem shaken by Israel's ferocity. The Washington
Post summed it up: "Israel's right to target the authors of (such) murderous
attacks is undeniable. But with its killings of women and children, its
torture and terrorising of unarmed men, and its mass destruction of the
property and dignity of people in the West Bank, (Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel) Sharon's army is achieving the opposite of its aim."

The European reaction has been worse, leading to sanctions on Israel and to
a visible rift with the US. Germany no longer promises the unlimited support
for Bush's campaign against terrorism that it offered last September.
Europeans everywhere are inclined to observe that they have spent years
trying to develop the Palestinian economy it was growing at better than 6% a
year only to see their efforts destroyed by Israeli arms supplied by the US.

The French see ominous parallels to their experience in Algeria.

They use an old, familiar term to describe the Israeli raids on crowded Arab
quarters: ratissage.

That was the word they used for the French army's raids in Algeria which
deteriorated, inevitably, into atrocity and torture, and eventually
destroyed, entirely, the moral basis of France's struggle to maintain their
settlers, called colons, in that country.

Today, inevitably, they call the Israeli settlers on the West Bank colons,
and anticipate their eventual eviction. Twentieth century experience,
including SA's, has shown that no army can win a war against a people. To
see the Israelis erecting fences along crazy lines to confine Arabs to
"separate areas" certainly sends a chill down a South African spine.

I mention these things not to pose as an expert on the Middle East (it is 40
years since I did any serious work there), but to convey, if possible, the
flavour of European comment. It is underlaid by a growing concern that the
new, unipolar American world may prove less stable than the bipolar order of
the Cold War.

Europe has a thousand-year collection of good reasons to fear that the clash
of ideologies is being replaced by a clash of religions or, since the west
is now no more than nominally Christian, a "clash of civilisations". The
Mediterranean is a lake, ringed by mutually dependent states, and
half-integrated populations: Arab, Jew, and for want of a better word,
Christian. Nobody in Europe wants to rekindle those old fires.

So the Europeans watch, filled with misgivings, as the Americans rampage
across a vast landscape stretching from Mauritania to the borders of China
in search of "terrorists", and as the intertwined conflict in Palestine
threatens to ignite a terrible conflagration. There is a sense here of vast
forces gathering, of tectonic plates shifting.

It may all be exaggerated, of course, and may simply pass away. That has
happened often enough in Europe's long history. But "Christianity", in the
geopolitical sense, has not survived by inattention to threat. The Europeans
know when to worry, and when to posture.

Concern over Zimbabwe (to return to my original point) is posture. It is the
sort of thing Europeans do when they are bored, or free of serious worries,
or feeling playful. In the greater scheme of things, seen from Europe,
Zimbabwe hardly exists, and SA is a side-show.

So long as the Middle East boils, Mbeki is free to practice diplomacy as
quietly as he likes. Nobody in Europe gives a damn.
Apr 22 2002 12:00:00:000AM  Business Day 1st Edition

22 April 2002

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Statement - Tommy Bayley email :

Update - Danbury Park Farm 21 April 2002

Since the last report we wrote on 11 April, we have been barricaded out of
house and my father fell and broke his leg, so my parents and their cook /
assistant had to be evacuated.

On Friday 12 April my parent's cook / assistant returned.  He had had to
two days at the bus stop at Mazowe before he was able to get a lift to take
wife and furniture back to his rural home.  We had a very peaceful day and
suspected that this was the calm before the storm.  It was.

Following threats by the "war veterans" and the police saying they were
to secure their safety, our tenants had arranged to have their belongings
removed from their cottage in the early morning on Saturday 13 April.  It
fortunate they began early because there was an enormous build up of
and people that morning, and the resident "war vets" lit fires around the
cottage and mobbed around them as they were loading the trucks.

We had agreed to move the belongings of our tenant's cook, but during the
morning the "war vets" wired up the gate to the field, which we had been
to access our house.  The only other access being our main entrance, which
been barricaded for the last three weeks.  Suspecting trouble, we requested
cook obtain the assurance of the "base commander" that we would be able to
return if we went out to move the furniture.  The "base commander" assured
cook that we would be able to return, so we left through the main entrance.
Amid much abuse, we had to wait for the youth militia to remove the chains
blocking the road.

When we returned, we found a new barricade and a fire at the end of the
We were denied access inspite of the earlier agreement with the "base
commander".  Now we were barricaded out and my parents and their cook /
were barricaded in.

We spent the afternoon with a neighbour trying to get some response from the
police.  They visited the farm, but said they could not help, apparently,
the District Administrator and the Lands Committee could make any decisions
regarding this issue!

As it was evident that this issue would not be resolved quickly, on Monday
April we contacted Meryl Harrison of the ZNSPCA and requested she collect
five cats and three of my parents' four dogs.  We had no way of getting food
water to the cats, and while the younger ones could catch rats, we were
particularly concerned about the mother cat, who is no longer fast enough to
hunt.  My parents were having problems whenever they let the dogs out of
house, because the "war vets" would crowd around the door as it was being
and try to hit the dogs as they ran out.  My mother wanted to keep one dog
company.  Unfortunately the ZNSPCA were only able to find the mother cat,
other four were obviously in hiding.   A friend of ours kindly agreed to
after the three dogs, and the cat is living with us in our temporary

The whole of the following week we tried to get some response from the
DA and Lands committee.  Finally, late on Friday afternoon (19 April), they
at our house on the farm and we were asked by the police to accompany them
there.  The meeting had already started when we arrived and we were not
to join in.  We were there for about two hours and in this time we were
continuously taunted and insulted by the youth militia.  They felt they
our two year old daughter for their wife and told us they would like to kill
like chickens and assured us that they could do what they liked without fear
arrest.  Unfortunately they are correct on the last issue as the murderers
our worker's brother were at this meeting, gloating at us, infront of the
police, that they were still free.  My daughter could not understand why she
not allowed into the house to play with her toys.

At the end of the meeting the DA, police and "base commander" came to us and
said they were unable to resolve the issue because of "irreconcilable
differences" between us and the "war veterans".  They proceeded to list
we had "committed".  We did not recognise any of these stories and were
horrified that such outrageous lies could have been dignified by being
 The DA advised that he will refer this issue to the Provincial
and the Provincial Lands Committee.

Meanwhile we have been advised that the remaining maize in our silo and our
workshop have been completely looted.  We requested that police go with us
the yard to check this but  the "war veterans" denied us access.  At this
the situation became extremely volatile and the police advised us to leave.

On that Friday morning I reported to the police that more of my cattle had
slaughtered and that one cow had been chopped up and distributed to my
After investigating, the police phoned me back, while I was in my lawyer's
office.  They advised that the cow had died, so the war vets had just
chopped it
up.  They did not seem to think this was a crime.  They then put me onto the
"base commander" who told me that I had to take my parents out of their
remove all their household belongings and my household belongings and we
be allowed one car.  Everything else was theirs, including the other cars,
the tractors, machinery and cattle.  I had to do this by Sunday or they
trash the two houses.  The police, it would seem, had no problem with these

My parents have been denied  visitors for some time, so on Friday 12 April,
had to ask a charity organisation to take food and medicine to them.  We had
ask these people to take more food on Friday 19 April, as all other visitors
been denied access.  Jenni Williams, on behalf  of the CFU, was denied entry
take them food on Wednesday 17th.

Throughout the day on Friday 19 April the "war veterans" were threatening to
pour petrol into my parent's house and set fire to it.  This was a
dangerous situation because my mother has no sense of smell.   The stress of
this situation obviously made my father more unsteady than usual and this
resulted in him falling badly onto his knee in the toilet.  My mother and
cook / assistant managed to get him into bed, but suspected he had broken
knee.  When he awoke during the night in considerable pain my mother asked
us to
call an ambulance to get him out.  She was determined to stay behind, but
family decided she should be evacuated too.  The police would not provide an
escort for the ambulance and my two sisters when they went in to collect my
parents.  When  the ambulance and my sisters arrived at the barricade, they
initially denied access and had to wait some time before they were allowed
entry.  While the evacuation was taking place, my sisters, parents and
drivers were subjected to continual verbal harassment by the "war veterans".
they were leaving the "war vets" assured my mother that our houses were now
going to be looted and trashed.

The doctors advise that my father has broken his femur just above the knee,
he has been admitted to hospital, where he will need an operation.  My
their cook / assistant and the fourth dog are now staying in Harare.

We managed to retrieve one more terrified cat on Friday, but the other three
are still missing and we fear for their safety in the proximity of such
merciless and brutal people.

We have not given up on the farm, our home and livelihood and are very
appreciative of the assistance given to us by family, friends, neighbours,
charity organisations, our lawyers who have spent many hours and cellphone
at all times of the day and night, working on resolving our problems.

Statement ends

For more information, please contact
Jenni Williams Mobile (Code +263) 91 300 456 or 11 213 885
Office landlines: (+2639) 72546 Fax 63978
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The Age
Pro-democracy officials arrested in Zimbabwe

HARARE, April 22 AFP|Published: Tuesday April 23, 1:17 AM
Zimbabwean police today arrested three top officials of a pro-democracy movement, one day before it planned to hold national anti-government protests, the group's spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said.
Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), national coordinator Edna Zinyemba and information officer Maxwell Saungwene were arrested early this afternoon, Mwonzora said.
Police arrested the three at NCA's national headquarters in Harare, one day ahead of anti-government protests the group had planned in Zimbabwe's five main cities, he said.
"They were taken by police to the law and order section at Harare Central" police station, Mwonzora said, adding that the current location of the three was unknown, with NCA's lawyers unable to find them.
Mwonzora said the protests would go ahead despite the arrests.
"It goes on. Lovemore is not supposed to be at the protest anyway," he said.
Police in Harare and the southern town of Masvingo have banned the protests, but NCA is asking a court to overturn the ban.
The planned demonstrations are part of a series of national protests the group has organised in the aftermath of President Robert Mugabe's controversial re-election last month, which was declared illegitimate by independent Zimbabwean observers and the opposition.
The first protest on April 6 was quickly broken up by police.
The NCA wants to force the government to accept a more democratic constitution, which the group says would prevent the abuses that aided Mugabe's re-election in the March 9-11 presidential poll.
The current constitution, negotiated with Britain at independence in 1980, gives Mugabe broad executive powers, which he used to change electoral rules up to the day before voting began.
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Zimbabwe gets huge agricultural export deal to Malaysia

Pana has reported that a state-run agricultural agency announced that they
clinched a $2.5 billion deal to export various agricultural products to
Malaysia. The agency has signed an agreement with Malaysia International
Trading Corporation. The exports will include products such as tobacco,
beef, beans, paprika and coffee. The deal is to be reviewed annually. This
deal is characteristic of the new type of deals that the government is
entering into as it moves away from European markets as a result of
sanctions imposed by these countries. Other deals include a beef deal with
Libya and cotton exports to Indonesia.
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Human Rights Watch

U.N.: Many Countries Escape Censure

Human Rights Commission Fails to Pass Critical Resolutions on Many Countries

(Geneva, April 19, 2002) -- Human Rights Watch sounded an urgent alarm at
today's votes by the world's highest human rights body, which chose one by
one to ignore severe human rights violations in several countries on its
agenda, such as Russia/Chechnya, Zimbabwe, and Equatorial Guinea.

"This is a frontal attack on one of the most effective human rights tools:
the naming and shaming of human rights violators," said Joanna Weschler,
Human Rights Watch's United Nations Representative.
In recent years, many highly abusive governments facing censure by the
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) successfully fought to gain seats on the
U.N. body as a way of fending off criticism. Today, as the period in which
the CHR considers the records of individual countries began drawing to a
close, that cynical strategy reaped big rewards.

Countries with disturbing human rights records now command a significant
bloc of votes on the commission. Those countries include: Algeria, Burundi,
China, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Kenya, Libya,
Malaysia, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Togo and Vietnam.

In addition, many Western countries, particularly those from the European
Union, have been less outspoken this year than in the past. In a bow to the
opponents of "naming and shaming," the European Union departed from its
long-established practice of naming the worst violators in its speech under
the agenda item dealing with country situations. Instead it chose to
distribute that part of its statement in a separate written text.

"Today's votes underscore a serious crisis at the Commission on Human
Rights," said Weschler. "Governments around the world that profess
commitment to human rights must undertake immediate steps to prevent the
current situation from recurring or degenerating further." Weschler said
those steps should include making a country's human rights record the
decisive factor in election to the CHR and working year-round on issues
related to the CHR, rather than making it a discreet, six-week process
largely confined to Geneva.
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Africa Must Fulfill Pledges

If there is one thing that the East African region and Africa in general lack, it is private-sector initiatives aimed at steering national development. The reason for this has been the inherent mistrust between governments and entrepreneurs over the control of wealth largely created by the private sector.

Underlying this mistrust is the manner in which governments shrink the cake baked by individuals and corporate bodies in the form of tax and doubts as to whose benefit the tax proceeds are utilised.

That is why two recent developments are worthy of note. Last week's meeting in Dakar, Senegal, ended with African leaders pledging democracy and good governance in return for greater investment from developed nations. The aegis was the New Partnerships for Africa's Development (Nepad) initiative.

A week earlier, Kampala had hosted the now familiar meeting between presidents from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, who appear intent on establishing regional institutions that will eventually form the pillars of a vibrant East African Customs Union, if not a political federation.

The icing on the cake at the Kampala summit was the official launch of the East African Business Council (EABC) - an umbrella body for the region's business organisations established in 1997 to lobby governments into formulating and effecting policies conducive to attracting foreign investment.

Nepad is essentially the brainchild of Southern, West and North African economic heavyweights in South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria. An Africa Economic Summit, under the initiative, is scheduled for Durban, South Africa, in early June.

Of concern to East Africa is the absence of its active input in the Nepad initiative despite the fact that it receives the least portion of foreign direct investment destined for the continent. That poses the first challenge to the region's governments and EABC.

For instance, will the council and the governments have a common position to present at the summit, or will the region's aspirations be crowded out by those from other regions? In South Africa, the South African Development Community (SADC) has a voice, as does West Africa through the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) in Nigeria, while Algeria speaks for North Africans. Where is the East African voice? Since Tanzania is an SADC member, who speaks for the common aspirations of Kenya and Uganda?

Representation aside, there is a more fundamental issue that could, despite the hullabaloo, make Nepad stillborn. Since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the democratisation wave across the globe, Africa has offered the West the rule of law, human rights, democracy and zero tolerance to corruption in exchange for capital, technology and technical support.

But one can point to numerous occassions when African leaders have appeared to be dishonest brokers in the deal. The latest was the Zimbabwean election, which the West unanimously agreed was stolen.

With the exception of a few silent leaders, Africa eschewed international condemnation of President Robert Mugabe's tactics in surviving the opposition's onslaught. The message: Africa was not yet ready to change. Kenya's coming election presents another ground for scrutiny.

With Africa failing the Harare test case, what hope does Nepad have? Will the West provide the $64 billion-a-year needed to push Africa out of the woods on broken promises? In the absence of tangible guarantees, the answer might simply be no.

Copyright 2002, Nation Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved

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The Daily News
War vets torch settlers’ homes 
4/23/02 12:59:43 AM (GMT +2)
From Brian Mangwende in Mutare
TWELVE families in Makoni East and North constituencies narrowly escaped death last week when about 30 war veterans and Zanu PF youths set on fire six dwellings and 12 tobacco barns belonging to members of the opposition MDC.
Property worth millions of dollars was destroyed during the attack last Tuesday. The families have now been rendered homeless and are living by the roadside.
The rampaging war veterans and Zanu PF youths accused their victims of backing Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, during last month’s presidential poll.
Elvis Mhiripiri, an MDC election agent in Chirimutsitu resettlement area, Makoni East, said: “About 30 war veterans and Zanu PF youths came to my house at around 11am and ordered my family to leave the constituency and go to Britain. Two of them had pistols. They burnt six adjacent dwellings belonging to MDC supporters.
“Part of my property, which I managed to save, is now out in the open on the roadside. But the rains have already destroyed it. I do not know where to start. My wife was beaten up and my children were almost burnt had it not been for the burglar bar on the window which thwarted the attackers’ intentions.”
He said the Zanu PF attackers set the dwellings on fire using petrol bombs.
Mhiripiri’s brother, Newton, of Bingaguru resettlement area, Makoni North, said he lost 23 bales of tobacco worth thousands of dollars.
He said: “They beat me up taking turns for about 20 minutes. Then they burnt my house and bales of tobacco demanding that I denounce my membership of the MDC. I have never seen such savagery. Have we gone back to war? It seems as if this is where we are heading.”
Other MDC members whose dwellings were burnt are Cephas Makungwa, Fungai Kanda, Taurayi Nyamapote and an agent identified only as Marondera.
A police report was made and is recorded as case number 192/2002, which is being investigated by one Constable Gatsi.
In a related incident in Rushinga in Mashonaland Central province, war veterans have evicted from the Department of Water Development houses all people suspected of being loyal to the MDC.
The war veterans have also taken over the recruitment of untrained schoolteachers, workers for Cottco and Agricom and the sale of maize from the Grain Marketing Board, according to a statement from the MDC office in Harare.
In the Mudzi district of Mutoko, war veterans on 4 April abducted two brothers, Alois and Peter Bob, from Karimbika village for supporting the MDC.
Their whereabouts are still unknown.
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The Daily News
NCA defiant over demo ban 
4/23/02 1:00:27 AM (GMT +2)
By Rhodah Mashavave
THE National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) will go ahead with its planned peaceful demonstration tomorrow, despite a police ban.
Douglas Mwonzora, the NCA spokesperson, yesterday said: “The police in Harare said the demonstration would lead to a breakdown of law and order that would trigger violence, but we are going ahead with the marches.
“The police have never allowed us to hold any of our demonstrations against the government, citing the same reasons every time, but it’s obviously a way of crushing our rights,” Mwonzora said.
He said this time the demonstration would take a different form from the one held on 6 April and that more people would be involved.
“We are not going to disclose where we are starting our marches, but I am certain this time we will succeed,” Mwonzora said.
Dr Lovemore Madhuku, the NCA chairperson, said: “The police have no power to ban a peaceful demonstration and, as before, we are going to ignore the so-called police ban because it is unlawful.”
About 400 protesters, including Madhuku, were arrested for taking part in the NCA’s thwarted demonstrations on 6 April.
They were arrested under a section of the draconian Public Order and
Security Act (POSA), which the police say compels protesters to obtain police permission first before they engage in any public demonstrations. But the NCA says that the Act only requires that the police be informed.
Madhuku said the last arrests gave them more determination to push for a democratic constitution.
“The NCA will continue with demonstrations until the government accepts a new constitution,” Madhuku said.
He said the decision by the NCA to embark on another demonstration in less than three weeks was clear evidence of the organisation’s resolve to have a new constitution.
“We have already experienced the worst forms of repression from President Mugabe’s regime.
“The only way to have a democratic future is through fearless and consistent struggle and no amount of repression or brutality will stand in the way of our resolve to have a new democratic constitution,” Madhuku said.
He said the NCA believed in the primacy of a new constitution that even the rerun of the presidential poll under the current constitution would not be free and fair.
The NCA has blamed Mugabe’s disputed win on the defects and flaws in the current constitution that enabled Zanu PF to manipulate the outcome of the March election in which the opposition MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, lost because of alleged massive rigging.
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The Daily News
Ben-Menashe signs contract 
4/23/02 1:01:17 AM (GMT +2)
Staff Reporter
ARI Ben-Menashe, a key player behind the sting operation of an alleged plot to assassinate President Mugabe, says he has signed a contract with the government to launch an international economic lobby.
Ben-Menashe said this on SW Radio Africa’s Saturday programme, News This Week. SW Radio Africa is an independent station which is run by Zimbabweans and broadcasts from the United Kingdom.
“I have signed a contract with the Zimbabwean government to embark on an international economic lobby,” said Ben-Menashe, the director of a Canada-based public relations consultancy firm, Dickens and Madson.
However, in the same radio interview he said he had decided not to be a witness in the case anymore, repeating what he was quoted as saying in The Zimbabwe Independent’s Friday issue.
Ben-Menashe was expected to be the State’s star witness in the treason charges against Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general, and Renson Gasela, the party’s shadow minister of agriculture. They are due to appear in court next week to answer charges arising from a meeting they held with Ben-Menashe in London and Montreal in which they allegedly plotted to kill Mugabe. The trio, if convicted, face the death sentence or life imprisonment.
Ben-Menashe said of the Tsvangirai case: “That is now something else, I am now concentrating on this contract.”
Asked if he got the deal because of his links with Zanu PF, he said: “The contract was signed with the government of Zimbabwe and not Zanu PF.”
He refused to say how long the contract was for.
There was no immediate confirmation from the government.
Ben-Menashe is involved in a number of deals, including several multi-million dollar contracts concluded in 1997 and 1998 with the Zambian government of former president Frederick Chiluba.
It is alleged that Ben-Menashe, representing a Canadian company, was introduced to Chiluba. The Zambian government allegedly paid US$7,8 million (Z$429 million) for maize procurement, which was never delivered.
The Zambian government also contracted Ben-Menashe to play down allegations of gun-running by the Angolans in 1998. Angola accused several senior Zambian politicians of selling arms to Unita. Chiluba’s government allegedly paid US$1 million to Ben-Menashe to use his alleged contacts in the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency and the United Nations to downplay the allegations.
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The Daily News

180 students flee as youth brigade descends on Chinhoyi University of

4/23/02 1:01:57 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE Chinhoyi University of Technology was deserted on Saturday after most of
the 180 students left the campus in a hurry following attacks by members of
the Zanu PF youth brigade and university security guards on Friday.

The president of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC), Tivaone
Gwatidzo, said he left the campus hurriedly on Friday morning when he learnt
that six Zanu PF youths, known as the Top Six Squad in Chinhoyi, were
looking for him.

“I am worried about the fate of Honest Munatswa, the secretary-general of
the SRC, whom I left in Chinhoyi,” he said from the safety of Harare.

Gwatidzo said there were disturbances triggered by the students who demanded
their payout from the university authorities on 17 April.

He said students were supposed to get a loan of $ 58 000 a year, but this
was far too little as most of it, $49 000, went into paying for tuition,
leaving a student with only $9 000 to cover for boarding and book expenses.

He said the Chinhoyi students were particularly not happy that they were
being charged $49 000 for tuition yet their counterparts at the University
of Zimbabwe in Harare, the National University of Science and Technology in
Bulawayo, the Bindura University of Science Education and the Midlands State
University were paying $30 000 a year for tuition.

“We were concerned by the delay in the disbursement of our payouts and the
$19 000 discrepancy. When we demanded an explanation, soldiers who had been
rehearsing at the university campus for the independence celebrations
started beating us,” Gwatidzo, who sustained injuries on his left hand
during the commotion, said.

He added that the violence began in the morning but in the evening of the
same day, university security guards unleashed dogs on a group of students
who had gathered at the main gate, to bar the Zanu PF youth brigade from
entering the campus in order to beat them up.

“At least three girls were injured in the melee and I don’t know what their
condition is because there was a lot of confusion after that,” Gwatidzo

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Dr Chris Nherera, was away during the
disturbances and could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Most of the affected students are pursuing studies in production engineering
and tourism degree programmes.

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The Daily News

Andrew Ndlovu accused of leading fresh farm looting

4/23/02 1:02:43 AM (GMT +2)

By Staff Reporter

AT LEAST eight farms have either been looted or besieged by war veterans and
Zanu PF supporters after the owners received letters of eviction signed by
Andrew Ndlovu, the projects secretary for the Zimbabwe National Liberation
War Veterans’ Association.

Ndlovu visited Gwanda and Beitbridge last week and issued farmers with the
eviction letters in what appears to be an intensification of farm evictions
in Matabeleland South.

At Joco Farm in Beitbridge yesterday, Sam and Janet Cawood, aged 74 and 70
years respectively, were besieged in their house. With them were their two
grandchildren aged 15 and 13.

Jenni Williams, the spokesperson for the Commercial Farmers’ Union, said the
Cawoods were among several farmers in the West Nicholson and Beitbridge
areas who have been seriously affected by the disturbances.

The war veterans and Zanu PF supporters came on donkey-driven carts and
looted the farmhouse and barred the Cawoods from carrying out any
agricultural activities on their farm.

“Several farms in the two areas, specialising in market gardening and citrus
fruit, have been targeted by the war veterans. Fruit and vegetables worth
thousands of dollars have been destroyed or looted during the last few
weeks,” Williams said.

On Saturday, the provincial Governor for Matabeleland South, Stephen Nkomo,
instructed Beitbridge police officers not to “interfere with the farm
invasions as this was a politically motivated issue because the end of the
farmers’ stay in the country was overdue”.

The governor, accompanied by the Member of Parliament for the area and
senior Zanu PF officials and war veterans, is alleged to have quizzed Chief
Inspector Mapurisa, in charge of Beitbridge police, and warned him not to
deploy his men to arrest or restrain the war veterans.

Nkomo was not readily available for comment last night.

In West Nicholson, 35 employees on a safari operation were evicted from
their homes by the war veterans and Zanu PF youths on Wednesday last week,
to force the operators to wind up their business.

Twin River Ranch, a cattle ranching and citrus fruit farm owned by Shannon
Wheeler was also besieged yesterday by about 50 war veterans who demanded
that the Wheelers move off the farm.

Wheeler, who was on the farm with his wife, two teenage children and farm
manager, said the war veterans told him they would not harm him because they
simply wanted to get the farm.

Wheeler said he had received a message from the District Administrator,
Edison Mbedzi, advising him to leave as he had overstayed in the area. He
was given until yesterday to vacate the farm. It was not clear at the time
of going to press whether or not he had acceded to their demand.

Mbedzi could not be reached last night.

At least three farmers telephoned The Daily News offices in Harare yesterday
to report the latest disturbances in the area. They expressed deep concern
about the failure of the police to take action against the farm invaders.

Dr Joseph Made, the Minister of lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement, is on record warning his officials not, “to seem to be putting
brakes on the implementation of the land reform programme”.
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The Daily News

Feeding scheme for farm workers’ children

4/23/02 1:03:47 AM (GMT +2)

By Staff Reporter

A PROGRAMME that intends to rescue farm workers’ children from malnutrition
has been launched in two provinces in the country.

The programme is a response to the negative effects of the disruption to
farm activities and the subsequent inability of farm workers to provide
adequately for their families. At the last count at least 250 000 farm
workers had been displaced as a result of farm invasions.

The Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe (FCTZ) said at the weekend it was
feeding nearly 1 500 farm workers’ children in Mashonaland East and West

The feeding programme began last month and is aimed at enhancing the
nutritional status of children of farm workers, through provision of a
nutritious drink, mahewu.

Kaday Sibanda, the deputy director of the FCTZ, said the intention was to
increase the number of children benefiting from the programme to
10 000 by the end of next week.

Sibanda said while the exercise was being conducted at play centres
established in the two Mashonaland provinces, plans were already under way
to extend the programme to other provinces.

She said more than 2 600 children from 22 farms had been identified in
Marondera and Seke districts of Mashonaland East, as consolidation of the
number of children to benefit from the programme continues.

She said more than 1 800 children from 43 farms in Kadoma and Chegutu
districts of Mashonaland West province had also been identified under the
consolidation exercise.

“To ensure that the programme adheres to the nutritional and hygienic
standards set by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, the FCTZ has
worked in close collaboration with the ministry before the launch of the
feeding programme,” Sibanda said.

Health extension workers were trained in rapid nutritional assessment
procedures using the upper arm circumference method.

Sibanda said: “This procedure is the preferred method for a quick assessment
of malnutrition in children.

“FCTZ trainers working within the provinces are responsible for identifying
the children, distributing the food and monitoring the programme.”

She said because winter was approaching, they would be changing the feed
from mahewu to hot nutritious porridge.

Mashonaland West alone has seen more than 50 000 farm workers displaced
since the onset of the farm invasions and it is some of these workers’
children who will be among the beneficiaries of the drive to enhance the
nutritional status of farm workers’ children.

The farm invasions have attracted worldwide condemnation, but the government
has remained defiant in its implementation of the exercise.
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The Daily News

MDC polling agent missing

4/23/02 1:05:36 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THOMAS Manyika, 31, the MDC polling agent for Mt Darwin in the 9-11 March
presidential election is still missing after he was abducted by suspected
Zanu PF supporters in Mabvuku last month.

Manyika was in the company of another MDC member, Kelvin Nzimba, when he
disappeared on 6 March.

Nzimba said: “Manyika was carrying 17 T-shirts when he opened his bag to get
a wallet to pay for the commuter omnibus and the T-shirts were seen by all
the people in the bus.”

He said Manyika dropped off at the Mabvuku turn-off because everyone had
seen what he was carrying in his bag. Six men followed him.

“I had told him that we would meet in town but Manyika never came to town
and I have never seen him since that day,” Nzimba said.

He said Manyika fled Mt Darwin after Zanu PF supporters threatened to kill
him for supporting the opposition party.

Nzimba said he reported the abduction to the police, who said they would

Gift Sambana, 33, shadow MDC parliamentary candidate for Mt Darwin South,
during the June 2000 election, said: “Manyika told me that there were some
Zanu PF supporters who wanted to kill him and he had always been in touch
with me, but I am now worried because since his disappearance last month he
has not contacted me.”

In another political incident, Terry Marodzi fled Mt Darwin after Zanu PF
supporters threatened to kill him.

“I left all the doors to my home unlocked and I heard that all my property
was stolen,” Marodzi said.
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The Daily News

Muchinguri says defiant land invaders face arrest

4/23/02 1:06:24 AM (GMT +2)

From Our Correspondent in Mutare

OPPAH Muchinguri, the provincial Governor for Manicaland, says the
government will not hesitate to arrest all invaders allocating themselves
land in the province.

Speaking at the independence celebrations at Sakubva Stadium Muchinguri
said: “Don’t resettle yourselves on land that you have not been allocated.
We have a problem with people invading allocated land for selfish gains. Let
me warn you that we will send the police to evict you from those pieces of
land. We don’t need anarchy in this country. The election has come and gone,
it’s now time to live in harmony.”

About 12 000 people thronged the stadium on Thursday to mark the country’s
22nd birthday. Muchinguri read President Mugabe’s Independence Day speech in
Shona, at times putting it aside and dwelling on issues pertaining to

At the same occasion, she lashed out at a decision by the Mutare City
Council to repossess all undeveloped stands, including that of Saviour
Kasukuwere, the MP for Mount Darwin South.

Dr Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing, quickly moved in to save Kasukuwere’s stand.

She said: “The minister responsible said that exercise must be stopped. He
is coming to Manicaland to put an end to it.

“One cannot be seen to be giving land with one hand and taking stands with
the other. The minister’s policy is housing for all by the year 2010.”

Muchinguri said due to the drought, resettled farmers were no longer
required to pay for agricultural inputs loaned to them before the
presidential election.
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The Daily News

ZCTU, ZFTU head for May Day clash

4/23/02 1:07:05 AM (GMT +2)

By Staff Reporter

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the Zimbabwe Federation of
Trade Unions (ZFTU) are headed for a showdown in Harare on 1 May, Workers’
Day, when they stage rival commemorations of the day.

The ZCTU will hold its celebrations at Gwanzura Stadium in Highfield after
it found its traditional venue, Rufaro Stadium, already booked by the
government backed Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU).

Wellington Chibhebhe, the ZCTU secretary-general, on Friday said the
organisation had been facing problems booking its traditional venues in the
major urban centres because of what he termed “politics and intimidation”.

Chibhebhe said: “The police say they can only provide security at Gwanzura
Stadium for three or four hours, starting at 8am. There is no way we can
hold our commemoration in such a short period. We will go ahead with or
without them.”

He said the ZCTU was aware that there would be attempts to disrupt its

Joseph Chinotimba, the ZFTU vice-president, said: “Rufaro Stadium used to be
the ZCTU’s traditional venue for Workers’ Day but they no longer represent
the workers. It is now ours. The ZCTU can come as workers if they want but
it is now our show.”

Chinotimba, who is the Zanu PF political commissar for Harare province, said
the ZFTU had booked all the traditional Workers’ Day venues in the major
urban centres, including the White City Stadium in Bulawayo, Sakubva Stadium
in Mutare, Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo, and Mkoba Stadium in Gweru.

But Chibhebhe said: “We have already booked White City Stadium in Bulawayo
and that is where we will be.“

Both the ZCTU and the ZFTU have invited July Shamu, the Minister of Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare, to their events.
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The Daily News

Chegutu council ignores court order, ejects councillor

4/23/02 1:08:26 AM (GMT +2)

Luke Tamborinyoka Municipal Reporter

THE Chegutu Municipality has barred Ward 6 councillor, Cephas Magaso, from
attending council meetings, almost two months after the High Court quashed
his suspension by Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public
Works and National Housing.

Magaso said he was on Wednesday ejected from the council chamber by the
Deputy Mayor, Phineas Mariyapera, despite a High Court order obtained on 6
March allowing him to continue with his duties as a councillor.

He said Mariyapera and two other councillors ignored the court order he
produced, insisting that the council would only reinstate him on Chombo’s

In October, Magaso, the only MDC councillor in Chegutu, was suspended by
Chombo in unclear circumstances at a time he and his Zanu PF counterparts
had teamed up to fight graft and maladministration affecting the smooth
running of the council.

Magaso was handed his suspension letter by Willie Muringani, the then mayor
of Chegutu, who immediately ordered him to vacate the council premises.

Yesterday, Magaso’s lawyer, Obert Gutu of Gutu and Associates said Chegutu
municipality was in contempt of court for failing to reinstate Magaso in
line with an order granted by High Curt judge, Justice Ben Hlatshwayo.

“This is a clear case of contempt of court. I am going to institute contempt
of court proceedings against the municipality because Hlatshwayo’s order is
unequivocal,” he said.

“For anyone to say he will not respect the decision of the court but wait
for political instructions from the minister is pure hogwash.”
Mariyapera could not be reached for comment yesterday but the Chegutu mayor,
Francis Blessing Dhlakama, confirmed that Magaso was ejected from the
council and that the mayor had in turn written to the minister for

“I consulted the council’s lawyers and they said failure to obey court
orders was contempt of court. I then communicated to the councillors who
insisted that we had to await instruction from the minister and that is why
I wrote to him,” he said.
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The Daily News

New movement wants to press for the right to vote

4/23/02 1:09:52 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THOUSANDS of people in Harare and Chitungwiza, who failed to cast their vote
in last month’s tightly contested presidential ballot, have agreed to form a
pressure group to be called the Disenfranchised Voters’ Movement.

The movement’s sole purpose is to press the government to grant all people
their right to vote in a fresh election.

Members of the group allege they were denied the right to vote for a leader
of their choice last month. The election was controversially won by
President Mugabe in circumstances that are now a subject of international

A sizeable number of people was not able to vote in Harare and Chitungwiza
after the Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, drastically reduced the number
of polling stations in urban areas, which are MDC strongholds.

Some of the voters agreed at a meeting held last week in Chitungwiza that
the movement was necessary because it would help push the government to hold
fresh elections under the supervision of non-partisan and respected
organisations such as the United Nations.

In a statement, Tinashe Mutamba, the movement’s interim spokesman said: “We
decided to form this movement so that we can collectively urge the
government to give us the opportunity to vote for the person we want to lead
us. The movement is a pressure group and our specific objective is to
jealously guard the voting rights of all people.”

Mutamba said the movement included a large number of people who were
arrested on the second voting day after they were falsely accused of
attempting to vote twice.

Hundreds of people, including priests, lawyers and teachers, were locked up
by the police but, to date, not a single person has been successfully
prosecuted in the courts.

A significant number of eligible voters were deterred from voting after
being chased away by the police, especially in Glen Norah, Budiriro,
Mabvuku, Mufakose and Chitungwiza.

“We will not give up the fight. To some of us this was a nasty experience
which we never expected to encounter in our own country,” said Mutamba.
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The Daily News

Hardships affect celebrations: residents

4/23/02 1:11:16 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

FOR many people in the high-density suburbs of Harare Independence Day has
lost its excitement over the years because of the economic hardships they
are experiencing.

And they blame the failed economic policies of the government that have seen
hundreds of businesses collapse, and, together with the violent farm
invasions, thrown hundreds of thousands of workers out of employment.

For the thousands of farm workers who have been evicted from commercial
farms by Zanu PF in the name of land reform, there certainly was nothing to

Wet and bitterly cold nights by the roadside and constant harassment by the
Zanu PF supporters, is now their lot in independent Zimbabwe.
Generally in some of the high-density suburbs of Harare, Independence Day
was just like a normal mid-month Saturday afternoon, as people went about
their business.

In Dzivaresekwa 2, Trainos Mukova, 44, said there was nothing to celebrate.

He said: “What is there to celebrate when I cannot feed my family properly,
and there are chances that I will be out of a job before the end of the year
because of the government’s mismanagement of the economy?”

Johannes Mwambi, 32, of Mufakose said: “I don’t find it exciting at all
because Zanu PF turned it into a party celebration rather than a national
event long ago. They have done the same with the Heroes’ Day in August. The
only thing I look forward to on Independence Day is the soccer final.”

In Highfield, Gladys Nyatengwa, 36, said: “I was 14 years old when Zimbabwe
became independent in 1980. I remember the excitement during the first few
years but now things are very bad economically and it’s really difficult to
find anything to cheer about. Life is so tough for the ordinary people but
the government seems to care only for itself.”

Calisto Muzvonga, 29, of Mbare said: “Hundreds of thousands of us were
deliberately denied the chance to vote in the presidential election last
month. Tell me, what is there for people to celebrate?”
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The Daily News

Soldiers accused of harassing people

4/23/02 1:12:49 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

WHILST President Mugabe was delivering his 22nd Independence celebration
speech at the National Sports Stadium on Thursday, some officers from the
army were busy harassing members of the public in Bays 13 and 14.

President Mugabe said the country was commemorating its independence facing
unprecedented threats from the West.

“Our democracy was not made in England, America, Denmark or Germany. If
anything, it was unmade by those countries. We got it from the war of

Zanu PF youths were, at the same time, threatening people making their way
into the stadium, accusing them of being supporters of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) only interested in watching the soccer match between
the Dynamos and Highlanders football clubs.

People coming to the stadium after Mugabe’s address found it difficult to
enter the stadium as Zanu PF youths blockaded the gates, accusing them of
boycotting the celebrations in favour of soccer.

The Border Gezi Training Centre-trained youths barricaded the entrance and
said the stadium was already filled to capacity.

When people attempted to force their way through the gate, a government bus
registration number number G-BL-03 carrying soldiers blocked the gate. The
driver, a soldier in uniform, alighted and together with Zanu PF youths
threatened to beat up anyone trying to force their way into the stadium.

Noah Katabvu, 33, of Milton Park was thrown out of the stadium. He had
brought with him his two-year-old daughter, Tadiwa. Three of the soldiers
suddenly became impatient, grabbed him and forced him out of the stadium.

“If you think we are here to watch soccer, you are lost,” one of the
soldiers said, “We are here to celebrate our independence. If you want to
make noise, go to Rufaro Stadium.

“Be very careful you people. If you misbehave, we will discipline you today.
Those who do not listen should go to London and stay with Blair,” he said.

The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has been the subject of ridicule by
Mugabe since the MDC emerged as the strongest party to challenge his
iron-fisted rule since independence.

Katabvu was taken outside the stadium, where he was assaulted and ordered to

He identified one of his three assailants as Chishana E, the name sewn on
the soldier’s pocket.
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The Daily News

LEADER PAGE  Tuesday   23  , April

Who will save us from our fellow Africans?

4/23/02 12:10:54 AM (GMT +2)

Before they carved it up into colonies at the 1884 Berlin Conference, and
then settled their nationals on the continent, Europeans used to refer to
Africa as the Dark Continent.

Dark, not because there was no sunshine or just because it was inhabited by
people with dark skins, but dark because its peoples conducted their lives
in the most uncivilised manner imaginable. A chief could torture, brutalise
or decimate his subjects at will and other chiefs in nearby territories
would not lift a finger to restrain him.

The way the Africans behaved reminded the Europeans of their own Dark Ages
when the law of the jungle ruled supreme: no governments, no democracy, no
respect for individual human rights, no judiciary but only iron-fisted
monarchs whose word was law.

The colonial powers brought with them all those aspects of civilisation
although, to begin with, those standards were largely the preserve of
members of their own “white” community. With time, however, it seemed we had
truly cottoned on to those civilised ways.

But, as is becoming only too obvious, with each passing day since the
continent threw off the colonial yoke, Africa is fast slipping back into
what it used to be ‘ a very dark continent‘ courtesy of its leaders who,
although educated, want to base their rule on the feudal system.

African leaders seem united by one rotten factor. They are so obsessed with
power that, once elected, they quickly put in place mechanisms making it
virtually impossible for the people to remove them. That in itself wouldn’t
be such a bad thing if they weren’t so oppressive, repressive and corrupt.

The most worrying aspect in Africa’s ongoing slide back to its dark past is
the emerging pattern among its leaders of rallying to each other’s support
in complete disregard of the people’s will and welfare.

It is what the highly principled Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade, who
clearly is an exception to the rule, derisively referred to as “this trade
union of presidents”.

The political crisis in this country has exposed that evil developed for the
whole world to see.

All truly neutral observers saw last month’s presidential election as a
gigantic fraud contrived to give victory where it did not belong and so
refused to endorse the results.

But, incredibly and to their eternal shame, “the trade union of African
presidents”, who must be told in no uncertain terms that they have on their
hands the blood of all Zimbabweans being tortured and killed to keep Zanu PF
in power, chose to gloss over all the glaring flaws and declared the poll
legitimate and the results acceptable.

We really think their action was not just irresponsible, but must be
criminalised under international law.

As if these leaders’ false declaration on the election was not a cruel
enough blow to the long-suffering people of this country, the same leaders
went on to deal us two more cruel blows in rapid succession last week.

At a three-day Commonwealth conference on democracy and the media held in
Cape Town, South Africa, early last week, African delegates lined up against
a resolution, supported by Australia, Britain and India, condemning
President Mugabe’s crackdown on the independent Press in Zimbabwe.

Indications are the delegates were not following their consciences.
If the confession of the Kenyan delegate who said he feared he would be
arrested on arrival in Kenya if he supported the resolution is anything to
go by, all the African delegates were driven by the same fear into opposing
that resolution.

The second cruel blow was dealt us on Friday at the 58th Session of the
United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, when a
British-sponsored resolution by the European Union, calling for
investigations into alleged gross human rights violations in Zimbabwe, was
thwarted after Nigeria managed to persuade 14 other African countries to
oppose it.

The question must be asked: Who will save us from the cruelty of our selfish
fellow Africans?

While there may be no obvious answer to that question, all despotic African
leaders can be sure of at least one thing: Those who make peaceful political
change impossible make violent revolution inevitable.
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The Daily News

LEADER PAGE  Tuesday   23  , April

Mistaken defence of Mugabe by African leaders

4/23/02 12:12:48 AM (GMT +2)

IT is getting closer to legacy time. Soon Mugabe will be known as an
ineffectual leader in spite of his history as a freedom fighter. He has
chosen brutal politics over institution-building. Through foul means, he has
reinstated himself as President of Zimbabwe for another term.

Remarkably, the presidential club of Africa, the African Union, supports
him. Mugabe, now 78 years old and already 22 years in office, is in for
another six years. How one could not see this as a greedy and brazen act, or
not be angered by it, is unimaginable. The members of the presidential club
of Africa do not, because their own chances for victory at the next local
poll demand tactics like Mugabe’s.

Thus an opportunity to solve a critical issue like smooth transition and
succession to a presidency in Africa is ignored, and one crucial act of
institution-building is disregarded. The message is clear: African leaders
do not want self-government in Africa.

They want fiefdoms. Mugabe was elected to office in 1980. His new term will
expire in 2008. By then, he would have been in office long enough for a baby
born the first year of his presidency to be 28 years old. Together with
those much older, they will suffer the same cruel fate of knowing only one
political leadership in Zimbabwe, one exercised by none other than Mugabe.

This, in simple terms, is a deprivation that promotes political immaturity.
In Zimbabwe today, the talent pool that should flow to nourish the
Presidency is stemmed while all wait for Mugabe’s exit.

Soon, this young country will emerge emaciated, looking nothing like she was
at independence, and the white man will say: “I told you so!” This is the
same white man we want to prove wrong for colonising Africa.

Yet, with characters like Mugabe around, it has been difficult to do so.
They stand in the way, and use up every resource Africa has to mobilise for
self-emancipation to serve their own selfish interests. The land question in
Zimbabwe is a case in point.

It is a critical issue that will dog all in southern Africa. On it also rest
some critical issues affecting all Africa. Its solution depends on effective
leadership, which Mugabe has proven lately that he does not have. Yet, he
has proscribed from the position all who show promise.

And, in the process, he has managed to turn the prosecution of the land
issue into a hand-to-hand combat with the whole white world. Sadly, some in
Africa are cheering Mugabe on. And some are condemned to watch him
pathetically flay at the windmill. Yes, there was a man who once fought
windmills in a similar manner.

It has become disconcerting to watch Mugabe, who could have been a great
resource as an elder statesman at his age, carry on in this manner: A man
who could have served with Nelson Mandela behind the parapet, is now out
there on an arthritic horse, waging a battle he has already lost.

Unfortunately, he is the same man African leaders side with; choosing
solidarity with tyranny over good governance in Africa. While the 9-11 March
presidential election was unfair to most, they appeared fair to them. And
for all the talk about African Union, it took urging from mostly white
members of the Commonwealth for Nigeria and South Africa to backtrack from
their initial position of support for Mugabe.

For some in Africa, to support Mugabe is the thing to do, the black thing so
to speak; also known as knee-jerk reaction to all presumed white offences.
In such manner, Africa keeps wrapping legitimate issues around sham leaders,
even when these fellows are dangerous to black interests. The white man
knows this and has consistently exploited this weakness.

Perception-wise, the white man ends up taking the higher ground in some
issues that are intricately bound to African interests. Believing falsely
that every single move by a white man is against Africa’s interests, some
Africans are forced to contrary positions, and end up siding with unsavoury
characters like Idi Amin, Samuel Doe, Sani Abacha and the like in a
delusional defence of Africa. Supporting Mugabe on this election issue is a
perfect example of these failings.

Why not Morgan Tsvangirai? It is highly likely that Tsvangirai hates the
white land grab as much as Mugabe does. With Tsvangirai or another political
hopeful in the lead, the struggle could have been given a different ethical
dimension than with Mugabe as the flag bearer.

After 9-11 March, the land issue did not change with Mugabe in charge. One
could argue that conditions in Zimbabwe today are the direct result of
machinations of whites. But would these conditions now change because Mugabe
is again the President? Fat chance! The solution will be postponed while all
eyes are fixed on Mugabe.

Conditions might not even change under Tsvangirai. But in that instance the
perfidy of those who claimed to stand for peaceful resolution while Mugabe
was around would be exposed. In response to a question posed by Newsweek
International in the 11 March 2002 issue on whether another six -year term
in office “is enough time to have completed (his) mission”, Mugabe said:
“The mission is just about completed.

“The white man has lost most of the land that he controlled. We want to
conclude the exercise of acquiring the land. But also empowering the people,
ensuring that they have access to the means of production, fertiliser,
tillage, seed and even the know-how. Also we must improve their cattle
farming. We can do that in two years’ time.”

It has taken Mugabe 22 years so far. Now, he says, he can solve it in two!
Was there ever a land problem? Suddenly, two years are long enough for him
to turn once landless peasants into productive farmers. And there is no
worry about turbulence in the national economy even though
Zimbabwe is an agriculture-dependent country. Does Mugabe really understand
the size of the problem?

But the final blow came when asked in the same interview that, “there’s been
talk that if you win, you might turn over power to somebody else if you are
satisfied the land issue has been resolved”. Then the real Mugabe came out.
He said: “No, there is no deal like that.

Some think the moment we go, then things will fall apart. Leaders do not
emerge just like that.” In this simple statement lies the golden truth.
Mugabe is not overly anxious to leave. He has no apparent heirs; except two
constitutional Vice-Presidents who are 80 and 78 years old,

Tomorrow when pent-up frustration explodes in a coup or unrest, some in
Africa will blame it on others knowing fully well that they have chosen the
cult of Mugabe over institution-building. As an African-American friend
lamented to me the other day, Liberia, he said, “was founded some 130 years
ago, the only country not colonised in Africa.

Yet, when Doe and a bunch of rascally soldiers decided to take over the
country there was no institution strong enough in Liberia to stand in their
way.” That is sad, indeed! (c) Accra Mail (Accra, Ghana)
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The Daily News - Feature

At 22, Zimbabwe’s signs of aging are now showing

4/23/02 12:13:11 AM (GMT +2)

HAPPY birthday, Zimbabwe!

You are 22 years old and the signs of maturity the African style are
showing. You could not possibly go your own unique way. After all, you are
an African country for Africans in Africa. You are ruled by Africans, the
African way!

I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Zimbabwe on the
occasion of its twenty-second birthday. For this great motherland, I wish
her many more fruitful years ahead.

As the great country celebrates her national day, it is not a crime to
reflect on her past performances with regard to the aspirations of the
people. A fair comparison of her socio-economic achievements with those of
the greater African continent may provide a perfect barometer towards a
rational conclusion.

True to our pledge to uphold the African spirit, we have built a little of
this here and a little of that there and at the same time we have managed to
reverse some notable gains. We have made small strides toward development,
yet at the same time we have taken giant leaps to our own undoing. We have
built bridges here and there, yet at the end those bridges have been
destroyed by our own ineptitude.

One would easily acknowledge the number of hospitals that have been built
over the years. There are many and varied in size. It is quite commendable
that the people’s government has seen it fit to build so many health
institutions, more so in the advent of the HIV/Aids pandemic. True to the
call of the African spirit, many health institutions have been built. As a
negative compliment to the African way, the hospitals stand as killer
institutions where the sick painfully await their death. There is inadequate
competent staff and no drugs to deal with the sick and the diseased.

Educational institutions are also mushrooming with alacrity. From a single
university that used to cater for the minority elite, now the country boasts
of eight fully fledged universities. Above that number the Open University
is also open to all who think that they can obtain their degrees from home.

The issue of competent staff comes to light again. True to our African
syndrome, the universities have to be there even if they cannot attract
competent staff. Educational materials are also scarce with students having
to struggle to learn. The end product is always not ready for the challenges
posed by life.

Food production and food availability has been greatly reduced over the
years. Since independence, the best harvest season was the 1980 season when
there was a lot of surplus grain. Over the years, food deficiency has been
experienced whether there has been too little rain, too much of it or
whether the rain season has been normal. Our failure to export some grain
during normal seasons is a perfect measure to the African way which limits
agricultural production to subsistence farming.

The land reform programme, which was violently launched during the beginning
of 2000, has not helped the African cause on food self-sufficiency. It is
actually a way of eliminating commercial productivity in favour of
subsistence agriculture. In order to survive, everyone has to be a
small-time farmer. Perhaps this is the African way of self-sufficiency! The
great African way actually scoffs at urban dwellers as “people who cannot
even grow tomatoes”.

As a result of some miscalculated land gambles and a dry period, the country
has to import its staple food mainly from South Africa and South America.

True again to the African syndrome, not much can be imported from other
African countries as they also face cereal shortages of a serious
proportion. If we have to extend that idle talk that urban people do not
grow even small things like tomatoes, we certainly should be prepared to be
laughed at as a great African country that cannot grow its own food!

Apart from the Nazi’s Holocaust of the Jews during the Second World War, the
worst pictures of starving people have come from Africa. The rest of the
world may have only given us the sad pictures from North Korea. There is no
reason to be apologetic about the sad pictures that we saw from Ethiopia and
the Sudan. There was no foreign power to blame for those pictures of
emaciated babies suckling nothing from their mothers. Now we are being shown
the pictures from Malawi. There is a serious humanitarian crisis in the
making in Malawi.

As for this great African country of ours, the pictures have not yet hit our
screens. Even though, a crisis in the making can be seen. There is no staple
food on the shelves and, worse still, there is none in the grain silos.

People have to spend long hours queuing for maize-meal. No one has an idea
as to when the situation will improve. The rest of the world waits for the
pictures to start making the headlines.

If I have to speak for my home area, I can say with authority that the
situation is a humanitarian catastrophe that needs other powers to
intervene. Possibly central government thinks the people in my area do not

I have seen those who were panel-beating the people into the “party line of
thinking” during the campaign period having nothing to show for their
diligence. There is nothing in the form of maize-meal. Survival is truly
detected by our being Africans. As Africans, we are made to survive more
like animals than people where the fittest pass the test.

When the pictures start hitting the headlines, the hard-liners will claim
that the pictures are not from this country. After all, they have strummed
endlessly that starvation will be averted, yet they are doing nothing to
improve food availability. This is another attribute that goes along with
being Africans. We hardly accept blame or failure. We always have excuses to
dodge our responsibilities. Suddenly the drought will be blamed for our food
situation. Our lack of foresight will be blamed on the British!

All the same, this country is 22 years old. The signs of aging are there.

The limpness of the economy shows that we are indeed ripening into an
African state.

The starvation we have to face is only a baptism into the real African
world. We are slaves to our own chiefs.

Just like during the Great Slave Trade when African chiefs sold Africans to
slave traders, our modern chiefs can sell us off to hunger.
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