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

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Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.

It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions.

And the actions which speak louder than words.

Commitment is making the time when there is none.

Coming through time after time, year after year.

It has the power to change the face of things.

It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.


The plane is full.  I am going through more than seven hours of notes from one interview.   The people on either side are talking about their holidays, clutching tall, hand-carved giraffes, reading the in-flight magazine and complaining about the quality of airline food.   A mother is singing gently to her child;  intermittent laughter echoes through the cabin.


In the margin of my note pad, I jot down key words:  the first attack;  the second attack;  war vets beat up farm workers;  betrayal;  under siege;  coping;  anarchy;  AIDS work;  stress seminars;  son’s thoughts of suicide;  support;  control;  manning the radio;  leaving with nothing…..


When we touch down, I will be in the country where Nelson Mandela wrought a miracle.   Left behind is a country where ZANU PF has wrought destruction.   Zimbabwe was once a place many people referred to as ‘God’s own country’, a bread-basket of Africa and a land of opportunity.   The scale of the devastation is difficult to comprehend.   Fear silences the public voices of many - CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation) agents lurk in unexpected places, and a chance remark could send one for immediate interrogation.   Privately it’s a different story and many people want to speak out.   They want to air their views on the threats, intimidation and violent attacks.   They want to be counted, but they are also afraid.


Kerry Kay is a person who has worked through pain and loss on many levels and has emerged philosophical, proactive and determined to speak out for those who are unable to speak. She represents the agricultural sector on the National AIDS Council and, as an ex-police sergeant, chaired the Security Liaison Committee between the police and the farmers for three years.  She is deeply committed to her role as AIDS Co-ordinator for the Commercial Farmers’ Union’s comprehensive national programme, which she took over in 1995.


The walls of her office portray the many AIDS projects underway and the cheerful warmth of the AIDS workers, despite the enormity of their task.   Beautifully written in italics are quotations from well-known world figures such as Abraham Lincoln:


You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong –

You cannot help small men by tearing down big men –

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich –

You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer –

You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income –

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds –

You cannot establish security on borrowed money –

You cannot build character and courage by taking away

a man’s initiative and independence –

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them

what they could and should be doing for themselves.


In Kerry’s view, truth will prevail. Her dream is to meet Nelson Mandela.





“We need to be the keepers of our brothers and sisters, wherever they may be.”


                                                                                                            Nelson Mandela


Whenever I feel absolutely down or frustrated, I go into the communal area adjoining our farm and sit with one of the special women under a tree.   The shade softens the relentless heat and we can relax in silence for a while under the limitless blue dome of the African sky.   When we talk, we share family concerns – the progress of the children, the illness of a grandmother, the impact of soaring prices on staple foods.   Given time, the conversation will turn to the difficulties of a country wracked by violence, and the relentless advance of the AIDS epidemic.  


Sometimes, when we pause in the companionable stillness, we can hear the droning of bees in the wild blossom above us, or the rustle of leaves stirred by a gentle breeze.   In the distance we may hear the steady chug of a tractor – a reliable, comforting sound which brings a sense of normality to the abnormal days.


These women have set up their own form of hospice, taking it in turns to give moral and spiritual support to family members, friends or even strangers whose lives are ebbing painfully away.  I ask how the three children of a dying mother are faring, and I am taken to her where she lies, frail and uncomplaining, in a dimly lit hut.   We talk together for a while, but the effort for her is great and I feel it is time to go.  I take her hand, reassure her that her children will be looked after when the time comes, and prepare to leave.   Suddenly there is panic in her eyes and she reaches out towards me weakly.   (Words in Shona followed by the English)  “I do not want to die alone.   Please pray for me.” I take her hand and pray to the God who has become an integral part of my life through Zimbabwe’s daily traumas.  My tears strengthen her and, as I close the door behind me, her face reflects acceptance and peace.


The women who come to take over have learnt how to turn ill people to avoid discomfort or bedsores.  They have also learnt the importance of fresh air, so that patients are not shut away in the darkness, as was the custom.  


Although I always bring something to relieve the escalating hardship of their everyday lives, the women never ask for, or expect anything.  Each gift, however small, is accepted with enthusiasm and dignity.  A day or two later, when I return to the farm after a long day’s work, I may find on my kitchen shelf a couple of eggs in a neatly tied plastic bag, perhaps two or three potatoes, a mealie for each member of the family, or a little hand-crocheted mat.


My father-in-law, Jock Kay, who was Deputy Minister of Agriculture from 1992 to 1994, bought this farm in 1948 – a 5 000 acre expanse of virgin bush.   My husband, Iain, was born here and grew up speaking Shona like the local people.   His second father was Sydney Tuhna, the cook, and Iain would spend endless hours exploring the bush with Sydney’s children.   For many years, Sydney dreamt of owning a car.   When he retired, Iain’s father took great pleasure in giving him the trusty Mercedes he had admired for many years.


Iain is committed to this country, and to continuing with our productive farming operation.   He is also committed to helping the rural people become more efficient, productive farmers.  Several years ago, he started cattle discussion groups which were held once a month in different resettlement communities.   The meetings would take place out in the open under an indigenous tree, with topics such dehorning, disease control and the construction of a dipping tank on the agenda.   Since the government provided no assistance or advice to these farmers, the discussion groups were well supported.   To ensure the communal farmers retained their self-respect, a nominal fee would be charged and ploughed back into specific projects.          


Iain also set aside eight bulls from our herd and each village could have one on loan for a period of two years to improve the gene pool of their stock.   A similar programme was set up for goats.   The cattle sired by our bulls were magnificent animals and won many prizes on the local agricultural shows.   Four years ago the bulls were sent back – it was too risky for the villagers to retain them.   Relationships of this nature threatened the government’s hold over the communal people and ZANU PF’s displeasure was becoming increasingly apparent.


For these communal farmers there is no land tenure.   If they had title to land, and were equipped with better farming skills, they could be self-sufficient.   Increasingly, the rural electorate realises it has been betrayed. As a result of government policy, and the rapidly degenerating state of the economy, mere existence today is an ongoing struggle.  Throughout Zimbabwe, one basic meal a day is becoming the norm in a country which was not only self-sufficient, but a significant food exporter.


This government’s current strategy is to force the communal people into submission through fear and to wage an escalating war of terror on farmers and their farm workers.   The first time my husband was attacked and beaten up was in a resettlement area where he was helping to hand out opposition party leaflets.  The second attack took place on our farm, in front of the children of farm workers, while he was taking measurements for an additional classroom.  Resident “war vets” and squatters, who were psyched up on dagga, beat him with sticks, axe handles and fan belts tied onto sticks.   It was like a feeding frenzy.   Then they tied his hands with wire and demanded that he show them where the guns were kept in our home.   Fortunately our teenage son, David, was alerted and he raced to the scene in a truck.  The diversion of his arrival was sufficient for Iain to unshackle himself and dive into the nearby dam.   The mob fanned out immediately, hurling sticks and stones each time he came up for air.   Single-handedly David managed to drive them away and, in a last act of malice, they set fire to Iain’s Honda 125 motorbike.   David raced Iain to hospital in Marondera.   His father’s face was covered in blood and his back was zigzagged with appalling welts.   They took a long time to heal.


It is strange how premonitions occur.   As AIDS Co-ordinator of the Commercial Farmers’ Union’s National programme, I had been selected to go to America on the USA Information Service’s International Visitors’ programme.   Initially I had been reticent about travelling at this time because the farm had already been invaded and I sensed that something would happen.   Over the past three years we had lost four friends, two of whom had been killed in a plane crash.   I could not face another death.   However, Iain had encouraged me to accept.   It was a wonderful opportunity to represent our country, he said.


The night before I left, I tucked a card under every family member’s pillow.   On each was a cross, with the words:  “Never will I leave you, never forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).  When the “war vets” tried to kill Iain, he remembers a vision of this cross flashing before him.


My group was just about to leave Atlanta when the news reached us and I flew home immediately.   For over a month, Iain’s eyes remained expressionless.  It was as if the person inside the shell was far away.  When the curtains finally drew back, he still would not talk about it.   Men have to come to terms with things in their own time, and we must learn to be patient.


During this period, the support we received was incredible.   Offers of help poured in from the district, from friends and strangers countrywide, and from people across the world.   Many of the letters we received were deeply touching, especially those from people who were close to us and in permanent danger themselves.



 “Madam Kay


The …….. farm workers are very unhappy because of what has happened to Mr Kay.   There are cruel people here on earth.   Mr Kay would have been killed.   God is there.    Our country is very corrupted.   War veterans is fighting people … the uneducated mujibas whom they recruit are playing dirty games…


AIDS is also fighting us.   S……. is still in bed, he is very serious.   This sickness is not understood.


Thank you….”



“Mr Kay


We are very sorry with what we have heard….  We thank God that you haven’t been killed.  We are created in different ways, some of us need to be helped in thinking and some are hot-headed for nothing.   We know that God is going to punish them somehow.


We hope you are going to recover very soon and we are gong to pray to God to help you.


Thank you….”



Two weeks after Iain’s second attack, David Stevens, who farmed near us at Virginia, was abducted and severely assaulted, together with the five farmers who raced to his rescue.   He was then shot in the back.  The mob burnt his entire tobacco crop, including the portion curing in the barns, which would have brought in vital foreign currency.   Afterwards, they ransacked the farmhouse, burnt it and then set fire to his workers’ village. More than twenty homes were razed to the ground.  Since Iain was becoming a thorn in the flesh of the ruling party, threats of a petrol bomb attack on our home began to reach us.


By this time, I was beside myself.   We had four children depending on us: our sons, Clive, David, and Bruce, and our adopted daughter, Lindsay, who had lost her parents tragically in the plane crash the previous year.    She could not afford to lose a second dad.


We immediately called over eight farmers from the area to discuss the situation.   Iain felt that his presence was fuelling the violence and endangering the lives of others, including our farm workers.   He then consulted with the workers and a consensus was reached.   We would leave the area temporarily.


It is hard to describe what my home means to me, and what it felt like preparing to abandon it.   For twenty-one years we had lived in a ‘shoebox’ until, two years ago, we built a beautiful thatched home.   I love every bit of the house and cherish every beam, every piece of thatching grass and especially my beautiful kitchen, made big enough for the whole family to be in together while I cook.   Leaving was a painful decision.


At a time like this, knowing the enemy and being prepared are among the most effective ways of overcoming fear.  I was not a stranger to this type of situation.  In 1979 during the bush war, our tiny thatched cottage was attacked.   I was alone with David, who was a baby at the time.  The firing started about 9pm.   As I carried him quickly from the kitchen to his specially-made armour-plated cot, I had a premonition of the sequence of events about to take place:  who would answer the radio, what the person would say, and what I needed to do in the interim.   It was an extraordinary experience. I knew instinctively then that I was not alone.   


Once David was safe, I crept outside with my automatic shotgun and started firing in the direction from which the tracer bullets were coming.   Suddenly the gun jammed and I had to run back inside, light a candle, try to unjam it and then reload.   Although the ‘reaction stick’ was on the way, it would take about half an hour to reach us.  When everything went quiet, the fear set in.   My mouth went dry and, for over 45 minutes, I could not get one iota of saliva going.   It was pitch dark and the only way to be safe was to slip into the dark garden to hide so that I would have a chance of seeing the attackers if they came through the security fence.


In today’s situation, our lives are still being threatened but we live vigilantly and keep in radio or phone contact with each other, wherever we are.  We slept in tracksuits and shoes, and had our backpacks ready the night we were warned that our house would be petrol bombed.   Each pack told its own story.  Iain’s included a torch, Swiss army knives and a Leatherman, and David’s a compass and matches.  Clive had packed the bandages and ammunition, and I took all our personal papers.   To ensure their safety, Iain and I had sent Bruce and Lindsay to friends.


Before we went to bed, we discussed in detail our plans for getting out in an emergency.  Since it would probably be dangerous to leave by road, we needed another option.   However, when the call came through at 11.30pm – Dave Stevens had just been shot – they said we must leave immediately by road.   We experienced no fear at all in leaving.   It is amazing how, when you carry out rehearsed plans, the adrenalin gets going and everyone takes a task and gets on with the job of evacuating.  There is comfort in taking intelligent action.  In my experience, the worst stress is the anticipation of something happening.   Once it has happened, you can move on.


The men who ransacked our home after we had left included two people we had helped to start a security firm.   They had sat around our table on a number of occasions drinking tea and asking for advice.   Three of the youths sent to kill Iain during the second attack were sons of a farm foreman who had succumbed to AIDS, as had his wife.   We had cared for both of them and had made sure that the sons were employed or at school.  Betrayal is a difficult concept to comprehend.


The two weeks after we left the farm were the worst of my life.  Many black friends advised us not to return home, and I could not come to terms with the loss of our home, our farm and all that life as we knew it meant to us. I remember sitting on a rock on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, consumed with anger and bitterness.   When the anger threatened to overwhelm me, I would counter negative with positive, evil with good.   It took long hours of soul-searching to realise that I could not live like this and, for the first time, I admitted to God that I could not cope.   Finally I realised that, at this point, the answer was simply to accept what had happened.


While we were away, our neighbours took over the land preparation tasks and, with the help of our workers, planted the tobacco seedbeds for the next crop.   When the “war vets” tried to stop them and put burning grass under a tractor, our workers went ballistic and drove them away.  When the crop was finally reaped, it was sent to Harare for grading.


Those who are fomenting the destruction of our country and perpetuating the violence on our farms have no conscience.   During the attack on our farm, they killed our dairy cows and broke the leg of Starlight, Bruce’s polocrosse horse.   Bruce had played polocrosse on Starlight since he was six and she was his soul mate.  Starlight had to be put down and Bruce was inconsolable.


The incredible pain you feel for your children is almost suffocating – it’s like being inside a wave shattering on a rock.   At times like this you struggle to keep yourself going and to buoy up your children.   The lesson of adversity, I have found, is to be more philosophical and to turn the difficulty into an opportunity.


In trying to reduce the trauma of our lives for the children, I made a mistake.   I told them that we had many wonderful, supportive friends and that home could be anywhere.   But the children had lost something very important in their lives and needed time to come to terms with their grief.   Lindsay had kept all other special things in a box, and this too had been stolen.   The most important item was her parents’ St Christopher, found at the scene of the plane crash in which they lost their lives.


Clive had been deeply shocked to see his father so badly beaten up – why would someone want to kill Dad when he is so loved by everyone, Mum?    Leaving his home late at night and armed had compounded the situation.  Since all of his clothes, and those of the rest of the family had been stolen in the attack, he had nothing.   His friends were generous and caring, and I phoned him and the other children at their boarding schools every day.


During one phone call, Clive told me that he could not face another class.   He needed time out.   I sensed it was serious and phoned the school chaplin.   The next morning Clive did not attend classes and wrote all day.   What emerged was “Desperate”, a poem expressing deep-seated pain at the devastation of his home and his country, and the futility of it all.   The following day I went to see him, and read the poem.  Part of what he wrote follows:




A certain calmness has returned.

Day to day chores are carried out;

the mind strays little from work

Every so often a thought or two

disturbs the tranquility of school,

but stays only for a short while.


Seldom is there anything worthwhile;

one just drifts through time,

hoping and being ever patient.

Coping is the hardest goal to achieve.

Never offer a glimpse of sadness

as it will only dissolve what little

happiness there is left to enjoy.


Like adrenalin injected straight into the heart

so the feeling of violence erupts,

the desperate desire to punish.

The ultimate goal is to annihilate

the perpetrators without remorse!


The devil has blown through your life

like a wild fire, consuming what

little good you had ever grown in your heart.

Some may say he and the Lord do not exist.

If this is so, then why to you feel, touch, think,

fight, love, hate, live, die and then live again?


Your home is where your heart is;

and my heart is in ZIMBABWE.

When someone threatens my home,

they threaten my heart,

my existence.

I want to exist, therefore I will fight.


"Focus, don't let it disrupt your work,"

the less affected say;

they don't and can't feel what I am feeling,

keep drumming into my head.

Consciously I am alive;

subconsciously I am dying.


I feel alone and isolated from people,

from those around me,

they do not understand my pain

How do I make them understand?

I am cornered and slipping down the

wall and falling to my knees.

I am fighting with myself

And drowning in my own thoughts,

and in so doing losing my loved ones.


Being temperamental, impatient and volatile

inhibits communication.

Trivial matters become monstrosities

and I turn on those who care.

Slowly my courage and strengths

are being consumed and I am

retreating into darkness.

Quitters are losers;

I guess by giving up I am quitting

If so, I have lost.


Clive’s poem was circulated internationally by e-mail and through the Internet.  The response from people worldwide was incredible and offers of help poured in.  Families we had never heard of were prepared to look after our children or animals and we were humbled by their concern.   Months later, Clive, a big strapping ‘rugger-bugger’, took on one of the stress seminars in my overloaded schedule and admitted publicly for the first time that he had been suicidal.   Referring to the work of Dr Stephen Covey, which focuses strongly on values, principles and integrity, he pointed out that there were people in Zimbabwe who were compromising their principles for short-term gain.  He said this totally unacceptable.  Since then, Clive has spoken at a number of seminars and has helped many young people to cope with the stress of life in today’s Zimbabwe.


At this point, my husband was also struggling with the ongoing trauma of our lives.   Heading up a substantial and successful 5 000-acre farming venture, he was the main provider for his family and our 200-strong workforce, most of whom had dependants themselves.   Iain was highly regarded as a farmer and for his work in the communal areas.   But overnight he had lost control of his life and could not return to the farm.  Furthermore, he had been seriously assaulted on two occasions and had to borrow money in order to continue paying our workers in full.   He was also reliant on our neighbours for overseeing all operations on the farm.   “It’s like driving downhill flat out and then your brakes fail,” he explained.   The workers on a farm in north western Zimbabwe which has been devastated by the “war vets” expressed similar feelings regarding the current situation on their farm.   “We are like a trailer behind the tractor.  We have no brakes, no steering and no acceleration.”


Despite the fact that we were without a home at this time, we found many other homes and the wonderful friends who took us in became like an extended family.   Through the e-mail our network had grown tremendously and support flowed in with unceasing dependability.  


For a while, we lived in a small apartment in Harare.   However, on two occasions our neighbours drove me back to the farm, hidden in a truck, so that I could see how the workers were getting on.   When they realised who it was, everyone, including the children, would come running to greet us.   For a few minutes we would catch up with each other’s news and then we’d have to leave, otherwise they’d be hassled by the “war vets” and squatters.   When we were gone, the workers would be on their own again.  It was very worrying.


The attack on our home had been planned carefully.   Using trucks and a trailer, the invaders had sought to disperse their pickings throughout the communal areas.   One of the elders, who was offered the goods, refused to take over anything stolen from the Kay’s house.


“We will send people to kill this man,” the villagers were told.   “He is a security risk.”   When the next wave of attackers arrived, the elder managed to escape by slipping away into the night.  Bent on destruction, they burnt his home and his tractor, leaving him with nothing.


Directly the story reached us, I arranged to meet him in a hotel in Harare.   I arrived with loads of clothes, and he came in a borrowed suit.   We were delighted to see each other, and he immediately wanted to know how Iain was managing.   Suddenly he broke down and cried – a difficult thing for a black man to do in front of a white woman.


Later, when we were back on the farm, Iain ploughed 20 acres for him and helped to plant his mealie crop.   With assistance from many quarters, a truck was filled with things for his home so that he could rebuild his fragile existence.


The day after our return – we had been away for eight months – a little boy arrived at our door.   He explained that his father was dying of AIDS and his mother was already dead.   His family had sent him to us to look after.


It was exciting to be back home and to see the workers and our animals.  While we were away, our caring, thoughtful neighbours had cleaned up our home and put what goods remained intact into storage.   To break the emptiness, there were roses in every room and clothes for the whole family.   The kitchen too was stocked - they had even managed to find baking tins!


It was also good to be in control of our lives again.   As evil as the men who ransacked our home were, there must somewhere have been a scrap of decency and an appreciation for what we had done for them to make them stop short of arson.


Over the years I had collected beautiful African artifacts from all over the continent.   These had been left.   However, they had taken most of our special pieces – my inherited bone china, the crystal glasses, my grandmother’s table and my Chanel No 5 perfume – a thirty-year old bottle that had belonged to my mum.   Did it matter?   Was I just trying to hang onto the long-gone past – to thirty-three years ago when our parents and grandparents had all died within three years?  The silence of the empty rooms spoke volumes.


Surprisingly, the pot plants were still alive and, outside on the compost heap, the nasturtiums were coming into bloom.   Just before we had left the farm, Lindsay had planted two lucky bean trees in memory of her mum and dad, and they were also doing well.   It is remarkable how nature’s resilience puts everything back in perspective.


The second week-end we were back, the “war vets” started burning our workers’ homes.   About a hundred marched up to the house, chanting and armed with their standard weapons of “war”.   A number of our friends were at the local club when we phoned through for reinforcements and their response was immediate.   Everyone raced to the farm, including farmers from Wedza, which is over thirty-five kilometres away.   As a result, further bloodshed was averted.  


Within a few days, news of this latest violence had resulted in the arrival of truck loads of goods for our farm workers from as far afield as Masvingo.   In cases like this, the people of Zimbabwe have learnt not to feel beholden as we all need each other.   Trouble takes place on a revolving basis and each must support the other.


Throughout all the violence, the police countrywide have done little to protect the farmers and their farm workers, claiming that “their hands are tied”.   I trained as a policewoman and, as a police reservist, have supported our Police Force for over thirty-one years.   However, their fear for themselves, their families and their jobs is so great that they have failed to protect many of us during these critical times.  Yet, when I asked for help to search a couple of communal homes for our goods, they agreed to assist.  It was an uncomfortable experience to go into a stranger’s home and find one’s stolen property.  


Later, sitting in front of the police van with the two black policemen and a suspected thief at the back, I began to feel ill.   On three occasions they had to stop the truck, but both men were very sympathetic.   “We can understand your stress, Mrs Kay,” they said.  It is an overwhelmingly traumatic time in our country.   Together we are having to deal with loss of life, loss of livelihood and the loss of things we have held sacred.   We have also had to accept loss of dignity.


Just before midnight, the police dropped me, filthy and exhausted, at a friend’s house.   Within minutes, hot water arrived from the boiler, the bath was filled with sweet-smelling bath foam and a fresh set of clothes was laid out on the chair.  My dirty clothes were whisked away for laundering.  I don’t believe that you would get as compassionate a response from a community anywhere else in the world.   Zimbabwe is truly an extraordinary country.    


It is strange how stolen things have a way of turning up again.   Months later, some guards found our trailer, now converted into a Scotch cart, in Rusape.   Inside was Dave Stevens’ diary.   During September, five months after the ransacking of our home, my son’s copy of Dr Stephen Covey’s book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, was discovered in the bush.  Our family has been profoundly influenced by Dr Covey’s work, which focuses on values such as integrity, ethics, trust and principle-centred leadership.  We find that interest in his material grows here daily.


Leadership is such an important issue at this time.   For two weeks a year the Commercial Farmers’ Union holds a programme called “The Leadership Challenge”, which discusses principle-centred leadership within the family, community, society and government.   It also examines the concept of servant leadership.   The role of a servant leader is to serve and protect the people he leads, and to act all times with honesty and integrity, for the common good.


Increasingly, Zimabweans are reading the works of the Delai Lama, who is revered across all cultures.   Our AIDS co-ordinators have recently ordered “God Calling” to help them with the overwhelming challenges they face daily.   We have consciously to remind ourselves that there is a greater force than ZANU PF and to learn to be at peace.


Each of us handles the stress of our lives in different ways.   One of my coping mechanisms is to ensure that I spend a few hours on my own every day, either reading or praying in a quiet place.   The rest of the time I work at a frenetic pace.   My advice to people when I speak at stress seminars is to something positive.  Look around and see who needs help more than you, and find a way of helping him.   If you are committed to this country, you must stand up and be involved. Seek out positive people and avoid those who are always negative.   Accept that things will get tougher and work out a strategy to minimise the effect.   If you are really down, have the courage to ask for help and accept it.   Visit a hospice.   Talk to a counsellor.   Be honest with your feelings, especially with family members, and encourage them to express theirs. Remember that “fine” can be a dangerous word.  You have to interpret what it means.   It could mean that the person is not coping, and perhaps even close to suicide, but is afraid to admit it.  We have to face the reality that we are living in a very critical time, in an abnormal world, and we have to look after ourselves and each other.  Before we returned to our farm, we discussed the risks together, decided that the pros outweighed the cons, and then put our lives into God’s hands.


One evening after Iain had been attacked for the second time, I was cooking in my kitchen, hurting deep inside, when Clive walked in and sat down to keep me company.   After watching me intently for a while, he said:  “You are also allowed to cry, Mum.   You can’t be Superwoman all the time.”   I realised then that I was not allowing myself, or my children, to be normal.


The support from our urban community has been outstanding.   Town and city dwellers send cards, letters and e-mails to the farming community, offer accommodation when we are destitute, supply clothing when the homes of farm workers have been destroyed and set up prayer groups.   They also help in other small but important ways, like offering to baby-sit our children when we have to come to town.


To alleviate some of the pressure on farm workers, we’ve set up a Farm Workers’ Assistance Fund through the Commercial Farmers’ Union and the National Employment Council for Agricultural Workers.  As a result of this initiative, those who have been retrenched but are still resident on a farm can have their children’s school fees paid.   We organise for boxes of clothes to be sent to them and provide mealie meal and vegetable seeds.  After homes of workers were trashed on what was previously a highly productive farm in the Mazowe area, people collected clothes, blankets, pots and buckets.  It is important that they realise we care.  My husband talked to them for a long time, and was deeply impressed with their courage and morale.   We are in this together, they said - together we will survive. 


We are deeply concerned about what will happen over the next few months – inevitably there will be bloodshed.   We organised a two-day Medical Air Rescue Service course at our club during April and asked the instructor to replace the snake-bite section with information on dealing with gunshot wounds and the setting up of drips.   Everyone who took the course was asked to purchase a MARS kit so that medical support would be spread throughout the area.   Our district has been divided into blocks and all routes have been marked on maps.


Countrywide, people are deeply concerned about the escalating damage to the environment.  Wherever possible, formal and informal planting programmes are underway to counter the devastation of the indigenous tree population.  The barren landscape of farms that were designated and then stripped of their protective vegetation mirrors the pain of the men, women and children who face a bleak future.  Despite this, a common bond is being forged and the country has grown spiritually over the past year.  We are in this predicament together and we have to realise that the decisions we make now are not only for ourselves, but for future generations.  


High up in the steeply pitched roof of our thatched home, the starlings are nesting once again.  The lucky bean trees have grown a few more centimetres and the nasturtiums have almost covered the compost heap.   Our workers tell me that Iain has taken on the totem of the Zebra because all of us, black and white, need to support each other.   Time will heal.   But the scar of these wounds will remain forever.








I asked for strength…

And God gave me difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for wisdom…

And God gave me problems to solve.

I asked for prosperity…

And God gave me brain and brawn to work.

I asked for courage…

And God gave me dangers to overcome.

I asked for love…

And God gave me troubled people to help.

I asked for favours…

And God gave me opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted.

I received everything I needed.










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Mugabe's party 'paranoid about foreigners'

A British-born Daily Telegraph journalist who was arrested by Zimbabwe's
security forces as spoken of her ordeal.

Peta Thornycroft was arrested last week on suspicion of publishing false
statements prejudicial to the state, but charged with a lesser offence. She
was later released on the orders of a High Court judge.

She told the BBC that security forces believe "someone is going to invade
Zimbabwe" and are paranoid about foreigners.

Ms Thornycroft, a Zimbabwean citizen, said: "I faced a charge under the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which was promulgated a
week after the presidential elections.

"I'm still uncertain as to whether that charge was quashed yesterday in the
High Court or whether I still have to face charges.

"I think the decision yesterday was actually a deferred judgment so I will
have to wait and see what emerges in the next couple of days. I think they
arrested me in quite a remote part of Zimbabwe because they are obsessed
with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

"I think they arrested me because I had foreign number plates on my car, I
was white and not known and they are completely and absolutely paranoid that
someone is going to invade Zimbabwe, and the Movement for Democratic Change
were speaking to me.

"I think the situation in Zimbabwe is so fraught with political tension and
paranoia by the ruling Zanu-PF that any hopes that there ever were of a
freedom of political association have actually got worse since the elections
and not better."

Ms Thornycroft said she was treated "OK", although the detention conditions
were "extremely primitive." It was unclear what would happen to her next but
she added she was sure she could prove herself innocent.

Story filed: 09:19 Monday 1st April 2002

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Daily News

Does Made understand the extent of the food crisis?

4/2/02 8:16:35 AM (GMT +2)

EXCEPT for villagers in the Zambezi Valley in Mashonaland Central province,
fewer people in rural areas will be able to harvest enough crops to last
them the next three months.

That is the extent of the food crisis facing the country this year. The
crisis is unprecedented and its full impact is far from being fully

Most rural shops do not have maize-meal and for months they have gone
without. There are no alternatives such as small grains.

Most urban visitors to the rural areas are now expected to carry some
maize-meal, when travelling to their folk in the countryside.

But it is common cause that even in the towns, the commodity is not so
readily available. While bread is available, it is expensive and cannot be a
substitute for maize-meal, especially for rural families.

Without a concerted campaign to maximise the irrigated winter wheat crop,
even bread will run out too, for both rural and urban consumers.

This is also worsened by last week’s notice to acquire 356 more commercial

The scale of the proportion of the crisis needs an urgent assessment by the
international non-governmental community, such as the World Food Programme
and World Vision.

Right now the government is not considered the appropriate authority to
undertake such an exercise. It is guilty of deliberately misinforming the
nation by underestimating the extent of the crisis and disparaging expert
warnings of a looming food shortage.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Dr Joseph Made,
now needs to take another helicopter ride to appreciate the extent of the

He will realise that the crops he boasted of seeing during his flight of
fancy have wilted and that most of these had not reached cob formation

The affected crops will not help even as animal feed for long and soon the
pasture situation will become critical and more losses can be expected.

The livestock herd has never fully recovered from the 1992 drought, and the
combined effects of the current drought and the wanton slaughter of
livestock by so-called war veterans, are further decimating the animal herd.

Zimbabwe will require at least another decade to raise the livestock
population to levels before the farm invasions.

One of the immediate effects of this is that the country will not be able to
fulfil its beef export quota to the European Union market, a development
which will adversely impact on Zimbabwe’s foreign exchange inflows.

It is the duty of everyone to speak out about the extent of the food crisis
in the areas they come from.

This is necessary so that the government does not again underplay the
seriousness of the situation or politicise food distribution.

But it is also important because the international community, while not
having adequate funding to meet the country’s food requirements, will at
least appreciate the scale of the crisis.

Speaking out about the food crisis will be a form of protest and demand to
the government urging its response, as any responsible elected government
should. It cannot just sit by and watch the international community do what
it should have done in the first place.

But what it could do, which does not require foreign currency, is to upgrade
the road network in the communal areas, so that international aid groups
would be able to move food aid to even the remotest areas of the country.

The state of most of the roads is deplorable and it is their condition which
is partly responsible for transport operators’ withdrawal of their services
to these areas.

It is doubtful whether local authorities in charge of the districts fully
understand the need to maintain the roads. They are presiding over a
crumbling infrastructure and the tragedy is that they do not seem to realise

Now more than ever, the rural communities deserve a better road
infrastructure so that food can reach more of the villagers who face
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Daily News

1 000 flee Zanu PF terror in Zaka, Gutu

4/2/02 8:26:01 AM (GMT +2)

From Our Correspondent in Masvingo

AT least 1 000 people have been displaced in Zaka and Gutu districts alone
because of post-election violence in Masvingo province three weeks after the
presidential election.

Following President Mugabe’s controversial election victory, scores of Zanu
PF youths have embarked on a witch-hunt against suspected MDC supporters.

Mushagashe training centre, about 20 kilometres north of Masvingo town, has
been turned into a Zanu PF training camp, where scores of youths are being
churned out every week.

Retired army captain Francis Zimuto, also known as Black Jesus, is leading
the training exercise.

The militia have unleashed a reign of terror in Zaka and more than 500
teachers and MDC activists including polling agents, have so far fled the
district fearing for their lives.

Shaky Matake, the MDC provincial vice-chairman in Masvingo province, said
the situation remained tense in parts of rural Masvingo.

“So far the number of people affected by the post-election violence runs
into thousands, including our polling agents in the recent election,” he

“Intimidation and harassment of our supporters has become the order of the
day in Zaka and Gutu districts.

“We have a number of people who fled their homes soon after Mugabe’s victory
and the situation is getting serious.”

Some teachers at Chimedza and Chitonhora schools in Zaka have been given
orders not to return to their schools next term.

In Gutu North, which is represented by Vice-President Simon Muzenda,
political violence has seen known MDC supporters fleeing Wachi village for
the urban areas.

In Gutu South, some people are reportedly sleeping in the bush because Zanu
PF militants continue to raid the villages at night and beat up people. The
youths are camped at Nerupiri Secondary School.

One of the victims, Opus Ruocha of Gutu South, said he fled his home after
receiving death threats from war veterans and members of the youth brigade.

Ruocha, who is the MDC organising secretary for Gutu South, said: “I am no
longer staying at my home. Zanu PF supporters have compiled a list of people
they have targeted for killing and I am one of them.

“Teachers suspected of being MDC activists have been given notices to leave
their schools. We are saying if you did not rig this election, why are you
beating us up?”

Some of the affected schools in Gutu South include Masvingise, Mundondo and

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Liberators’ Platform (ZLP) yesterday said it was
failing to cope with the number of people who have have fled from their home
areas in Masvingo.

ZLP regional chairman, Noah Mutisi, said his organisation was catering for
thousands of people displaced by political violence.

“We help victims of political violence. We do not support any political
party hence both Zanu PF and MDC supporters can benefit. The workload has
become heavy, but we will try our level best to assist those affected,” he
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In this update:

- Preliminary Report : Second Working Draft Presidential Elections of
Zimbabwe 9-11 March 2002 now available on the MDC website
- MDC polling agents’ homes destroyed in Zanu PF retribution excercise - Mar
28, 2002
- Losing ZANU PF Candidate leads terror campaign - Mar 28, 2002
- Teachers become Zanu PF’s latest victims - Mar 28, 2002
- Nine people killed in post-election violence - Mar 26, 2002
- Police still holding MDC members - Mar 26, 2002
- Herald story on call for MDC congress false - Mar 26, 2002
- Police arrest 10 MDC youths and security officer - Mar 22, 2002

28 March, 2002

Preliminary Report : Second Working Draft Presidential Elections of Zimbabwe
9-11 March 2002 now available on the MDC website

An election is not an event but a process. From the outset, the electoral
environment in Zimbabwe was gravely flawed. Despite MDC winning 46% of the
2000 parliamentary elections against ZANU PF’s 47%, the entire electoral
process rested in the hands of one of the candidates or his nominees. There
was no pretense of independent election administration.

Read the full report on the MDC website at


MDC polling agents’ homes destroyed in Zanu PF retribution excercise

The homes of at least six polling agents who participated in the elections
on behalf of the MDC during the recent presidential elections have been
burnt in Gokwe West as Zanu PF militia embark on a massive retribution
exercise against perceived MDC supporters.

In the Mutimutema area of Gokwe West, houses belonging to MDC polling
agents, Stephen Mudadikwa, Nelson Mudadikwa, Albert Mudadikwa and Stephen
Kandoro, were burnt down on March 10, as punishment for the four’s
involvement in MDC activities.

On March 12, two other houses belonging to MDC polling agents Christian Moyo
and Fanwell Mkoki, were burnt down in the Masakadza area, also in Gokwe West

In the Nyaradza area of Gokwe South, Zanu PF militia attacked the homes of
several MDC supporters on 24 March, injuring some and destroying property in
the process. The militia burned down two huts belonging to an MDC activist,
identified only as Masevere.

Jemani Mhuri lost a hut and bedroom, which were burnt down by the militia in
the same area. Windows to his main house were shattered, while the asbestos
roofing to the main bedroom was extensively damaged in an attack, which
started at 2.30pm and lasted until 7.00pm.

The attackers proceeded to the Gokwe West District Organising Secretary,
Mrs. Mashungupa’s house, where they attacked the main house at her
homestead, shattering windows to the building and burning down her kitchen.

Saul Zvobgo, an MDC activist who was at the house at the time of the attack,
suffered a broken leg, and has since been admitted to the Avenues Clinic in

The perpetrators of the violence in Gokwe are well known Zanu PF activists,
some of whom have been identified as Luke Ncube, Emmanuel Manisa, Thulani
Nkomo, Tapiwa Manisa, and one only known as Dhibha.

Most people who participated in the March 9 and 10 presidential elections as
MDC polling agents are living in fear following threats on their lives by
Zanu PF militia and war veterans.

Many of the polling agents are no longer sleeping at their homes at night as
this is the time that most of the attacks are conducted. Some teachers in
the province have also fled after similar threats by war veterans for
supposedly supporting the MDC.

Members of the Zanu PF militia and war veterans have reportedly vowed to
continue persecuting members of the MDC until the party accepts the results
of the presidential election results.

For detailed information on these atrocities, please contact the MDC
Secretary for Midlands North, Edgar Sithole, on (263) (11) 754 867.

Losing ZANU PF Candidate leads terror campaign

Since yesterday morning, more than 100 self-employed indigenous business
people have been evicted from Mbare Home Industries by Zanu PF youths led by
Ali Khan Manjengwa, the losing Zanu PF candidate for Mbare’s Ward 4 in the
just-ended Harare Municipal elections.

Manjengwa held a meeting with the Zanu PF youths in Mbare yesterday morning,
where she instructed them to weed out MDC supporters from Mbare. All people
who are not Zanu PF activists would be targetted.

The youths, estimated at 100, then descended on Mbare Home Industries,
beating and evicting all businesspeople from the premises, while damaging

Several people were injured during the attack, among them Abraham Murehwa,
an MDC activist.

The evictions took place in full view of ten police officers, who stood by
and watched.


Teachers become Zanu PF’s latest victims

Two teachers have fled from Mberengwa after they were victimized by Zanu PF
activists and war veterans, who accused them of supporting the MDC.

The two, Johnson Zhou and Kudakwashe Matsheza left the area when they became
victims of politically motivated violence, which is currently being
perpetrated in a massive Zanu PF retribution exercise.

Zhou’s problems started last year when war veterans in the area forced his
transfer from Makuva Secondary School to Mposi Secondary School, following
allegations that he was teaching MDC political ideology.

Similar accusations were leveled against him at Mposi Secondary School,
forcing him to flee to Zvishavane after the elections when fresh threats
were made on his life.

Matsheza fled from Rwavamutangwi Primary School near Mataga Growth Point in
Mberengwa, where he was teaching, following threats on his life by Zanu PF
supporters, who accused him of being sympathetic to the MDC.

Matsheza returned to the school on 15 March, hoping that the situation had
normalised, but Zanu PF supporters, who are still camped at a base at
Gwavamutangwi Township about 500 meters from the school, descended on his
house that night, singing revolutionary songs and threatening to kill him if
he returned. He has since fled again, leaving his wife Ellen Makandise, who
teaches at the same school.

Although Makandise, has remained at the school, she has been subjected to
continuous harassment and threats by Zanu PF supporters and war veterans.

Makandise attracted the wrath of war veterans when, during the recent
presidential elections, she refused to comply with their instruction that
she should pretend to be illiterate so that the presiding officer at the
polling station would cast a vote for the Zanu PF candidate, Robert Mugabe,
on her behalf.

Being a well-known teacher in the community, Makandise felt it would be
awkward for her to be pretend to be illiterate hence she defied the order,
resulting in the war veterans threatening to deal with her in an unspecified

War veterans and Zanu PF militia have continued to terrorise suspected MDC
supporters in Mberengwa following the announcement of the presidential
election results, contrary to president Robert Mugabe’s assurance for unity
and we wonder if Mugabe’s assurances were ever sincere.

We also fail to understand how a leader who is genuinely concerned about the
welfare of the nation, can commit much needed resources to a retribution
exercise when all those funds could be spent on rebuilding the country’s
tattered economy and conducting programmes that benefit the nation as a


26 March 2002

Nine people killed in post-election violence

At least nine people have died in election related violence throughout the
country since this month’s presidential election, as Zanu PF goes on a
retribution campaign against perceived MDC supporters.

GWAZE Tafirenyika
An MDC polling agent, Gwaze was beaten up by Zanu PF youths at his home in
Mutoko and died on 13 March as a result of the injuries sustained.

A Zimasco employee, Mahuni was murdered in cold blood at a torture camp in
Mbizo Section 7 in Kwekwe on 13 March, for denying his two daughters
permission to attend a Zanu PF night rally prior to the elections.

VIKAVEKA Darlington
An MDC member and farm security guard, was beaten to death by suspected war
veterans at a farm near Marondera on March 15.

Manyara was beaten by Zanu PF youths on 17 March, at Nyamaruru Growth Point
in Madziva, in Shamva.

NCUBE Sambami
Ncube, a member of the MDC, was killed by two soldiers from the 1.2 Infantry
Battalion in Victoria Falls on 17 March, while returning home from Litinyu
shopping Centre.

The soldiers were beating up people who were suspected of voting for the MDC
during the presidential elections, when Ncube was suddenly spotted. Two of
the soldiers intercepted him, after accusing him of voting for Tsvangirai,
and beat him to death.

His body was taken to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo for a post-mortem,
where it was discovered that his spinal cord and ribs had been broken during
the beatings.

FORD Terry
A commercial Farmer was murdered on 18 March by suspected war veterans and
Zanu PF supporters at his farm in Norton.

GATSI Ernest
A member of the MDC, Gatsi was killed on 19 March in Guruve under unclear

An MDC polling agent, Romio was beaten up by Zanu PF youths for the part he
played in the recent presidential elections. He was killed at his Chatsaka
Village home in Mutoko on 22 March.

KUVHEYA Lawrence
The date of his death is yet to be confirmed but he was killed in Chikomba

Donnie Jeranyama, an MDC polling agent who was assaulted by soldiers at
Gatsi village on the eve of the March 9 and 10 presidential elections, died
at his home in Honde Valley on the morning of 27 March.

Jeranyama was among the MDC polling agents who were intercepted and battered
by members of the army while on their way to monitor the elections at their
respective polling stations.

He sustained severe injuries, resulting in continuous bleeding through the
ear, which subsequently led to his death.

A headman from Mathendele ward in Nkayi district, Sibanda was killed by
members of the Zanu PF militia led by Rainfall Msimanga, two weeks before
the presidential elections who suspected him of being an MDC supporter.

His body was burnt before being buried in a shallow grave. Sibanda’s charred
remains were unearthed last week after police were led to the grave by
youths whom they had arrested.
The MDC is extremely perturbed by the continued senseless killing of
innocent civilians who are being punished for exercising their democratic
right to support a party of their choice. Clearly, Robert Mugabe’s calls for
peace and reconciliation are just utterances meant to hoodwink the public
into believing that he is genuine while he continues to use his militia and
state machinery to commit cold blooded murder against those perceived to be
his enemies.


Police still holding MDC members

The ten MDC members who were arrested by the Police on Friday at our
National Headquarters have still not been released nor have they been

We are baffled by the police action. Taking their harassment to new levels,
the Police are refusing to tell us where they are holding our members. All
that they are saying is that ‘your members are no longer here.’

The MDC is concerned by this violence which is continuing unabated weeks
after the elections. We are particularly perturbed that these acts of
barbarism are being perpetrated by members of the uniformed force whose duty
is to protect civilians rather than victimize them.

We call on the Sadc leaders and indeed the entire international community to
unreservedly condemn these acts of violence by Robert Mugabe’s regime.


Herald story on call for MDC congress false

The Herald’s lead story alleging that there are some members in the MDC
calling for a crisis congress to oust the MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai
and his secretary general, Professor Welshman Ncube has no foundation in
fact and is absolute nonsense.

There was no public or private discussion of the Herald’s so called special
congress at the victory celebrations party for Kuwadzana councilors over the
weekend. The remarks that were made by the speakers are a matter of public
record and no mention whatsoever of Mr. Philip Magwaza’s crisis congress was
ever made. To demonstrate the Herald’s appetite for lies, the paper falsely
alleges that Alex Musundire was part of the Kuwadzana meeting that discussed
the issue of a special congress. This is false. Alex Musundire was nowhere
near Harare as he was attending a party workshop for provincial chairpersons
in Matopo on the day in question.

While it is common and expected for the so called MDC crisis congress to be
convened in the panic stricken newsrooms of the Herald, the Chronicle, the
Sunday Mail, the Sunday News and the ZBC, the fact of the matter is that the
issue of an MDC congress to elect a new leadership will not arise until the
current executive completes its constitutional mandate to lead the party for
a full five year term which expires in February 2005.

The MDC membership and supporters have full confidence in the leadership of
the party’s president Morgan Tsvangirai and the entire MDC executive.

On the contrary it is the generality of the Zanu PF membership, which does
not have faith in the leadership of President Mugabe and his lying
lieutenants like Joseph Made who has lied to the nation on the food
situation, which has brought the country to where it is now. Zanu PF’s
propaganda machinery wants to write factious stories about Tsvangirai losing
grip in the MDC so as to divert public anger from a stolen election and mass
starvation facing the people for which Zanu PF is responsible.

Learnmore Jongwe
Secretary, Information and Publicity


22 March, 2002

Police arrest 10 MDC youths and security officer

Police this morning arrested 10 youths from the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC). Among the 10 was an MDC security officer, Moses Mutava who was
on duty patrolling the premises. The 10, who have not yet been charged, were
taken to Central Police Station where they are currently being held.

Since the announcement of the presidential election results, the MDC head
office has been under armed police guard. While the MDC has no qualms with
the police presence, we take exception to random arrests of party employees
and members and strongly feel that this form of harassment should cease

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An Open Letter to the Commonwealth & the United Nations
There has been much debate recently over the relevance of the Commonwealth, especially with regard to the issue of punitive measures against rogue member states such as Zimbabwe.
It would be fair to say that while the resulting suspension of that country from the Commonwealth for a period of one year is welcomed, the positive effects of those measures are minimal. Clearly, if the Commonwealth is to be taken seriously and remain a key player in today’s political arena, it is going to require far more weight than that.
Conversely, the one clear message that did result from CHOGM in Coolum was that Commonwealth opinion is clearly divided into two camps. Support for Robert Mugabe by fellow African member states, or in the very least lack of support for measures to censure his government, were plainly the main stumbling blocks of the meeting.
The reason… Colonial legacy.
African member states do not want to be seen ‘siding with former Colonial oppressors against one of its own’ – past historical posturing and grudge settling taking precedent over today’s issues. This view was further supported by Zimbabwe’s delegate to CHOGM, Jonathan Moyo, who accused Australia, Canada, Britain and New Zealand of ‘running a racist agenda’ by seeking the country’s expulsion over issues such as gross human rights abuse and the deaths and intimidation of opposition political party members.    
One would have thought that the old ‘race’ and ‘Colonial’ cards would have out-played their worth by now, but sadly while they still receive support from some political arenas, they will continue to be played. This myopic view of racism is unfortunately not only confined to the Commonwealth but to members of the United Nations too.
The resulting lack of real punitive measures against the government of Zimbabwe by either organisation, combined with the snails-pace of democratic political process, is virtually ensuring a massive disaster in that country. Each day that passes without intervention further hinders the chances of any real positive outcome. Zimbabwe can no longer feed itself, its economy is in tatters and its people are leaving in droves. The longer this situation is allowed to go unchecked, the heavier the burden placed on member nations to provide food, and undoubtedly asylum for Zimbabwean refugees.
Consequently, for either the Commonwealth or the United Nations to remain relevant, both bodies will have to show a far more cohesive and mature approach to dealing with resolution. Whilst no one can deny that past injustices have been committed by member nations, this is neither the time nor the appropriate vehicle for score settling. No positive outcomes can be gained by either organisation until history is relegated to where it belongs, and its valuable lessons learnt and put to constructive use TODAY.
Trudi Cairns
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Daily News

Victims of violence petition African rights body

4/2/02 8:28:29 AM (GMT +2)

By Fanuel Jongwe

THE African Commission on Human and People’s Rights is expected in Harare
next month following a petition by victims of State-sponsored violence.

The Commission will hold its 31st ordinary session in Pretoria, South
Africa, from 2 to 16 May. Zimbabwe’s human rights record will feature on the
agenda among other issues to be discussed.

At least 108 victims narrated their ordeal as part of the 100-page petition
compiled by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum, a coalition of non-governmental
human rights organisations.

The Forum has implored the Commission to send a delegation to investigate
the violations, bar the government from continuing the violence and order it
to put in place “effective measures to bring about the cessation of and the
prevention of further violations”.

More than 100 people have been killed and several thousands tortured and
displaced in a violent crusade led by so-called war veterans and Zanu PF
militants after the majority of Zimbabweans rejected the government’s draft
constitution in the February 2000 referendum.

Members of the opposition, white commercial farmers, farm workers and
individuals suspected to be sympathetic to the opposition have been the main
targets, while children have been caught up in the State-sponsored reign of

“We have been informed that the Zimbabwean issue will come under items for
consideration at the meeting in Pretoria,” an officer with the Zimbabwe
Human Rights Forum said.

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Defiant Mugabe rules out new poll, vows to crush civil protests planned in


HARARE, Zimbabwe, April 1 — President Robert Mugabe, declared the winner in
disputed voting last month, vowed to crush any civil uprising against his
rule and dismissed calls for a rerun of the election, state radio reported
        The government will not tolerate attempts to make Zimbabwe
ungovernable ''by those bent on causing chaos, especially those who did not
agree'' with his election victory, Mugabe said.
       ''Those who want to rebel and become lawless, we will deal with them
firmly,'' he said. ''They think we will continue to be soft. That's gone.
It's finished. We are in a new phase and there will be a firm government.''
       The radio said Mugabe was addressing a victory party Sunday in his
home district of Zvimba, 25 miles southwest of Harare.
       The National Constitutional Assembly, a reform alliance that includes
the main opposition and human rights, labor and church organizations, has
called for street protests on this coming Saturday.
       In weekend advertisements in independent newspapers, organizers say
the protests and a campaign of civil disobedience will go ahead in defiance
of new security laws banning political demonstrations.
       The advertisements urged Zimbabweans to turn out in large numbers in
the capital and regional centers to protest elections they say were rigged
during voting and marred by political violence and intimidation against
Mugabe opponents.
       Mugabe, state radio said, complained his victory ''was not an easy
one because the white community and the British wanted to see him out'' and
backed the opposition Movement for Democratic Change candidate Morgan
       Britain, the former colonial power, and other Western countries who
criticized the election result wanted to protect the interests of their
white ''kith and kin'' in Zimbabwe, Mugabe said.
       There would be no new election and ''no nonsense will be tolerated
from any quarter.''
       The last protest organized by the constitutional reform group was
broken up by police on Feb. 15. About 40 protesters were arrested and
hundreds fled baton-wielding riot police.
       Many local and international election monitors criticized the March
9-11 election as deeply flawed and engineered to ensure a Mugabe victory.
       Since the poll, Zimbabwe's 4,000 white farmers have reported an
upsurge in violence, evictions, and looting of their property, which they
blamed on retribution against them by Mugabe's militants.
       White farmers became targets of violence two years ago when armed
militants loyal to Mugabe began occupying their farms with tacit government
approval and demanding they be seized and redistributed to landless blacks.
       The opposition accused the government of cynically exploiting the
land issue for political gain and using the farms as bases to terrorize
rural opposition supporters.

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Daily News

Mudede accused of electoral fraud

4/2/02 8:27:51 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

MORE than a month before last month’s presidential election, Tobaiwa Mudede,
the Registrar-General, told a meeting at the Harare International School he
could not imagine circumstances in which he would declare anyone other than
President Mugabe the election winner.

In order to fulfil his prophecy, R W Johnson, the former director of the
Helen Suzman Foundation, said Mudede rushed to register an additional 400
000 voters in rural areas. Mugabe won the disputed poll by the same margin
of voters the researcher contends Mudede registered in the rural areas.

Mudede’s officials last week said he was away for the Easter holidays, while
the International School did not respond to several calls from The Daily

Registration of voters in Mashonaland West, for example, was being
undertaken at the same time of voting, bringing to 5 612 272 the final
figure Mudede said were on his voters’ roll.

But Johnson says one civic organisation, the Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust
(Zimcet), after winning four court orders was able to establish that 5,2
million voters had registered at the close of the registration exercise.

The additional 400 000 voters from the rural areas would account for the
final figure of 5,6 million registered voters on Mudede’s final voters’

The opposition MDC made an urgent application to the Supreme Court that this
clandestinely compiled supplementary roll not be used, but Chief Justice
Godfrey Chidyausiku deferred ruling on the application.

The inter-censal survey of 1997 suggests that there were only 12 million
Zimbabweans. While the birth rate is high, Johnson says, there is also a
calamitous Aids death rate and many continue to leave to seek work in South

He says Zimcet’s audit of the roll revealed that only 50 percent of the
names on the roll actually live at the addresses given and were thus
entitled to vote in their constituency.

Inclusion of army/police/other public servants allowed a postal vote out of
their constituency would not justify 1,9 million votes cast. Even if as many
as 200 000 voters now living outside their constituencies travelled back in
order to vote, this would only bring total votes cast to 2,1 million, he

He said fraud took place on an overwhelming scale. The MDC was unable to
monitor 52 percent of polling stations and nine out of 120 counting

Johnson says: “The name of the game was stuffed ballot boxes. But it was
perfectly clear, even by 10 March, what was going on - with huge turnouts
being recorded for Mashonaland villages in which observers saw almost no one
queueing to vote at all.”

According to Zimcet, 27 percent of the names on the register were either
dead, abroad or no one at all knew where they were.

Johnson says: “This, in part, explains why Mudede has been so reluctant to
allow anyone to inspect the roll and why he has defied repeated court orders
requiring him to do so, as well as why he has also turned down generous
offers from foreign donors to help carry out a comprehensive reorganisation
and verification of the roll.”

Zimcet found that only 31 percent of the population actually appeared on the
roll in the constituency in which they said they had registered.
Johnson cites several examples to support his argument of electoral fraud:
- Deliberate disenfranchisements;
- The forcible way in which police and army personnel were made to cast
postal ballots for Mugabe under the eyes of the authorities:
- Angry letters from policemen made to vote thus against their will;
- Deliberate ruses used to prevent voters in Harare from being able to cast
their ballots - the insistence, against court rulings, on having council and
mayoral elections on the same day in the capital so that voting would take
three times longer; the illegal closure of polling stations for many hours;
the deliberately slow handling of voters by officials within the stations
which sometimes slowed throughput to as little as 20 voters an hour; the use
of police to harass and tear-gas voting queues and of Zanu PF youths to
barge into the queues, creating disturbances and frightening the timid away
and, when they had voted, to stand in the queues again in order to lengthen
them; and then the arrest of people in particularly long queues for
attempting to vote twice.
Compared to turnout in 2000, turnout rose by 82 000, 80 000 and 60 000 in
the three Mashonaland provinces, by 96 000 in Masvingo, 90 000 in Manicaland
and 78 000 in Midlands, while in the MDC areas it only rose a little or
actually fell.

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African leaders 'delayed Zimbabwe farm seizures'

LAGOS, April 1 — The invasion of white-owned farms in Zimbabwe would have
started much earlier if it had not been for the intervention of African
leaders, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said.

       He said President Robert Mugabe's land-seizure programme would have
begun in 1990 but African leaders intervened, fearing it would damage the
anti-apartheid effort in South Africa.
       ''When negotiations (for the then Rhodesia's independence) were going
on in Lancaster House (in London), land was on the negotiating table,''
Obasanjo said in his monthly state television programme, Media Chat, late on
       ''By 1990, when the blacks moved to amend the constitution on the
(land) issue, some of us (African leaders) advised Mugabe that he should
move gently. That was because what he chose to do would affect South
Africa's case. And he (Mugabe) didn't do anything until 1997.''
       Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980. Apartheid ended in
South Africa in 1994.
       Obasanjo said he sympathised with his long-time ally Mugabe because
land was central to the political crisis in Zimbabwe.
       He said Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai -- of the
Movement for Democratic Change, who challenged Mugabe for the presidency in
a March 9-11 election -- agreed. ''He said, however, it depends on the
strategies,'' Obasanjo said.
       Nigeria was a co-broker with the Commonwealth of a deal last
September in Abuja intended to end Mugabe's policy of invasions of mostly
white-owned farms by so-called black veterans of Zimbabwe's independence
       Zimbabwe agreed to halt forceful farm seizures in return for British
commitment to canvass international assistance to fund orderly land reform.
       Both Zimbabwe and Britain have since accused each other of breaching
the Abuja agreement.
       Obasanjo, along with Australian Prime Minister John Howard and South
African President Thabo Mbeki, approved Zimbabwe's one-year suspension from
the Commonwealth last month after the 54-nation group's observers said the
presidential poll was neither free nor fair.
       Mugabe, 78, who has ruled the country since independence, was
re-elected for a further six-year term.
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Daily News

Zimbabwe ranked riskiest investment destination

4/2/02 8:00:11 AM (GMT +2)

By Ngoni Chanakira Business Editor

Zimbabwe, which is going through a very difficult economic recovery period,
has been ranked the riskiest investment destination by the Economist
Intelligent Unit (EIU).

Elizabeth Chitiga, the chairperson of NDH Holdings Limited (NDH), yesterday
said the rating had killed any immediate hopes of obtaining substantial
foreign exchange inflows.

Chitiga told shareholders in her company’s audited results for the year
ended 31 December, 2001 that international financial institutions had placed
Zimbabwe’s foreign debt on a non-accrual basis following the country’s
failure to service its obligations in the face of the unfolding economic

The National Discount House Limited recorded a profit before taxation of
$852,4 million representing a seven-fold increase.

During the previous year the company made a profit of $104,7 million.
Chitiga said the good performance was attributable to “prudent positioning
of the assets and liabilities before the advent of the Monetary Policy
Statement of 16 January, 2001”.

She said NDH Equities (Pvt) Ltd turned in profit before taxation of $52,6
million, while NDH Asset Managers Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd posted pre-tax profits
of $33 million.

“This business unit has witnessed phenomenal growth over the past year with
funds under management rising to over $1,5 billion from just over $11,2
million at inception,” Chitiga said.

“The group’s special purpose vehicle, Ludham Investments (Pvt) Ltd generated
profit before taxation of $205 million.”

The group, therefore, paid an interim dividend of $10,51 per share. Chitiga
said the country’s economic situation continued to deteriorate during 2001
as characterised by high inflation and high unemployment.

Foreign exchange shortages became acute in the absence of balance of
payments support and meaningful trade inflows.

“Business confidence remained low,” Chitiga said. “It is not likely that
this economic malaise will bottom out soon.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Zimbabwe the riskiest
investment destination which put paid to any immediate hopes of obtaining
substantial foreign exchange inflows.

International financial institutions have placed Zimbabwe’s foreign debt on
a non-accrual basis following the country’s failure to service its
obligations in the face of the unfolding economic problems.”

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Daily News

Mugabe slams urbanites

4/2/02 8:27:13 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday scoffed at suggestions that he holds another
election following his controversial win in polls internationally condemned
as having been fraudulent.

According a ZBC report monitored last night, Mugabe said holding a fresh
election was out of the question. “The results of the election reflect the
will of the people of Zimbabwe. The people have made themselves clear that
they want Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe to lead the country,” he said at a
victory celebration held in his home area of Zvimba.

His re-election, described by the MDC as having been the “biggest electoral
fraud in history”, has aroused widespread condemnation for lacking the
minimum conditions for a free and fair election. The poll was characterised
by massive torture and assault of opposition supporters, alleged ballot box
stuffing, while thousands of opposition supporters in the cities were not
given enough time to vote.

Mugabe made another scathing attack on residents of Harare and Bulawayo,
most of whom voted for the opposition MDC. Showing apparent anger at the
voter pattern in the country’s biggest cities, he said: “They do not even
produce onions or tomatoes. They have tasted the sweetness of sugar in the
cities and some of us did not know that sugar could get people so drunk.”

Ironically, sugar is in short supply in the country and long queues are the
order of the day as people search for basic commodities.

He did not spare British Prime Minister Tony Blair either, whom he accused
of fomenting trouble in the country.
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Daily News

Rigging evidence mounts

4/2/02 8:06:42 AM (GMT +2)

By Luke Tamborinyoka

A PRELIMINARY report by the opposition MDC’s elections directorate alleges
massive rigging in the recent presidential poll in which 432 406 votes
cannot be accounted for.

The votes in question arise from conflicting figures released by the
Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) and those announced by the
Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede.

The report, compiled nine days ago, calls for a proper audit of the varying
figures, which the opposition party says proves that the poll was
manipulated and that there is need for a fresh election which will represent
the will of the people.

“This is the government body responsible for election administration and
these discrepancies must be investigated,” the report says of the ESC.

Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, the ESC chairman, and Douglas Nyikayaramba, the chief
elections officer, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
President Mugabe won the disputed election with 1 685 212 votes - 426 811
votes more than the 1 258 401 polled by Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC.

The flawed poll has been widely condemned locally and internationally.
Mugabe and his close lieutenants face international isolation over the
rejected poll and gross human rights abuses committed in the run-up to the
controversial election, held on 9-11 March.

One of the highest discrepancies is in Bubi-Umguza, an MDC stronghold, where
the ESC says 49 963 votes were cast. According to Mudede’s figures, 29 340
votes were cast in that constituency, leading to a difference of 17 653
“missing votes”.

According to the report, the total of such “missing votes” in 48
constituencies , mainly in MDC strongholds, is 185 961.

The report has a list of 72 constituencies where ballot boxes were allegedly
stuffed. In those constituencies, Mudede announced 246 445 more votes than
those the ESC says were cast.

In Gokwe North, Mudede announced 19 141 more votes than the 13 190 votes the
ESC says were cast in that constituency.

In Gokwe Central for example, the ESC said 15 668 votes were cast, but
Mudede announced 28 062 ballots, 12 394 votes more than the actual figure.

The MDC’s report says in Gokwe district, most areas had no polling agents,
some were arrested while new polling stations were set up at places that
were not previously notified.

“Ballot boxes were moved around by helicopter, apparently without any MDC or
any independent person accompanying them,” the report says.

Apart from the varying figures, the report cites massive intimidation of its
polling agents which resulted in the party failing to monitor about 2 000
polling stations countrywide.

In Manicaland, 60 polling agents and their lawyers were arrested on the eve
of the poll and as a result, they were not able to monitor voting at 56
polling stations in Mutasa.

Eighty-three MDC rallies were either cancelled or disrupted in the run-up to
the election, while the police used the draconian Public Order and Security
Act to disrupt training of polling agents.

In some cases, the agents were abducted or deliberately misinformed on the
location of the polling stations.

Training was disrupted in Chinhoyi and Masvingo, while in Kariba the MDC had
to hire a boat and conducted training on the lake, the report says.

In Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe, where Mugabe polled over 37 000 votes, the MDC
had no polling agents in some areas.

“For example, when our agents arrived at Magudu and Nyamhora primary
schools, the presiding officer did not accept the accreditation given to
them by the Constituency Registrar on Friday, 8 March,” the report says.

At the counting centres in Muzarabani, Mutoko North, Mutoko South and Guruve
North, the election agents were chased away, while four others were removed
half-way through the counting process in Mount Darwin, Zvimba North,
Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe and Shamva.

The MDC says a fresh election must be held as the March poll did not conform
to the Southern African Development Community’s Parliamentary Norms and
Standards for holding elections.

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Telegraph writer freed on orders from judge
Tim Butcher, Africa Correspondent
(Filed: 01/04/2002)

PETA THORNYCROFT, The Telegraph correspondent arrested in Zimbabwe, was
freed last night on the orders of a High Court judge.
She spent the night with her cousin near Mutare and will return to her home
in Harare today. She had been in police custody for five days on an
incoherent series of charges.
The release, on an order made by Mr Justice Adam in the Harare High Court,
came after an Easter weekend of legal confusion, symptomatic of the
increasingly chaotic criminal justice system under the regime of President
Robert Mugabe.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Ms Thornycroft were granted a hearing at 11am,
only for lawyers representing the state to fail to arrive.
After a postponement the hearing was eventually held in the afternoon when
Tendai Biti, an advocate and criminal law specialist who is also a senior
member of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, made a submission
on behalf of the jailed journalist.
"There were many aspects to it, but the main point was that the section of
the law she was meant to be charged under did not have a criminal
component," Mr Biti said.
"It is just frustrating that such a basic legal point took 12 hours and so
much effort to establish. But sadly, that is the state that our country's
legal system has got into."
There had been confusion over the charges faced by Ms Thornycroft. When she
was arrested last Wednesday in the eastern town of Chimanimani where she had
been investigating reports of a violent campaign against MDC supporters, she
was originally told she had violated the Public Order and Security Act.
This draconian law was rushed through parliament before last month's
presidential election and gives sweeping powers of arrest and detention to
the police.
But the authorities failed to find any clause in the act on which to build a
case. So, instead of releasing the 57-year-old mother of two, they looked
for other grounds to hold her.
Eventually they invoked the new media law - the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act - amid claims that she had failed to register her
work as a journalist. But that Act has only just been gazetted and will take
three months before it comes fully into force.
After one night in Chimanimani, Ms Thornycroft was moved to a solitary
police cell in the provincial centre of Mutare. A farcical element of the
drama was that the police had to ask to borrow her car for the trip to
The car was then found to have illegal registration plates, a minor
misdemeanour that made her liable to a fine of £3.
The state-run media in Zimbabwe reported incorrectly that she had been
arrested on Friday, maintaining a steady stream of propaganda directed
against her by the Zimbabwean government. It also claimed on a number of
occasions that she had been released.
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation website accuses her of being "in the
forefront of destroying [her] own country using the pen".
She has been singled out for abuse by the official media in the past. In
November, she was accused of being a "terrorist".

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