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Subject: Death of a Farm

Names have been changed to protect the safety of these poor farming people



Farewell to "Lx. "

This letter serves to give insight into the final days of "Lx. "
farm....the bittersweet emotions that goes with this are sometimes difficult
to express. I am a firm believer in the forces of human nature and that our
life events occur, often for reasons unknown even to ourselves. I am fully
aware that this does not justify the actions of evil, but we have taken
great lessons from the events of the past three years and we wish to give
outsiders an insight into a week in our lives, the last week of a 42 year
relationship with a piece of land called "Lx. " ... There are thousands of
lives that have and are  still to be affected by this evolution that
dominates our every living moment trying to survive in Zimbabwe......this
was our goodbye to "Lx. "..... to our is not the process that
we are against but the injustice and manner in which it is being carried


1. At approximately 6.45pm a group of about 100 ZanuPf squatters lead by
Temba Mupanedengu and other squatters ransacked, looted our compound beating
up and hospitalising a total of 15 of our labour, including women.

2. The labour were severely beaten with bicycle chains, batons and axes.

3. Due to the deteriation of the situation, my parents and I fled to my
brothers neighbouring farm 12km away. Our cook managed to radio and make us
aware that the workers were in need of medical attention. Our gardener had
managed to get a message that he was bleeding in the bush.

4. There was an average of 7 squatters beating 1 of our farm labour.

5. I was able to pick up 6 policeman with 2 dogs, but by the time we reached
the homestead, the    squatters were gone.

6. We took the following injured workers to hospital

    a. Rx. who suffered chest and head wounds from being hit by an axe

    b. Hx. who suffered back wounds from being beaten with a fan belt.

    c. Jx. who had leg wounds from being beaten with a bicycle chain.

    d. Cx. who had head wounds from being beaten with a bicycle

     e. Tx. who  had bruised ribs from being hit with a fan belt.

    f. Px. who had bruises around his back and waist from a baton.

    g. Lx. had back and arm injuries from beatings with a bicycle chain.

    h. Bx., a lady who had back wounds from a bicycle chain.

    i. Dx., also a lady who had eye and shoulder wounds from a baton.

    j. Ix. had his whole body battered and suffered a head wound from a
bicycle chain.

6. There were several people unaccounted for that evening


1. The police did not following up any of the beatings or make any arrests.

2. All the labour were told to leave by Friday 22nd and a threat of further
beatings was given.

3. All the workers, their families and their few possessions were moved into
the grading shed within the perimeter of the homestead fence.


1. I was able to organise negotations with the squatters, that the labour will
go on leave on the 22nd, they agreed to let us have seven workers of their
choice and we had to dismiss  our cook and workshop manager. They threatened
us with further violence if we did not co-operate.

2. At about 8pm, the squatters walked past the barns where our workers were
staying and started to verbally threaten them that they were going to enter
the fence and started stoning the workers through the fence.

3. I managed to position all the labour around the perimeter of the fence in
self defence armed with batons, this chased the squatters away and nothing
further developed.


1. Further police reports were made, "through the channels", we asked for
police protection to protect our tobacco crop and possessions, but were told
that they could not be seen to be taking sides and they could not help.

2. We tried to hire armed security guards to protect us but were told that
it was a political situation and they could not help us.

3. We payed our labour leave pay on Friday afternoon, but we had to escort
them off the property to the main road as there were threats that they would
be beaten when they leave.

4. Finally at 4.30pm the Chief Inspector........ gave us his personal
cellphone number in case the situation flared up again.


1. Our sheds were broken into and approximately $100 000.00 were stolen from

2. Our security guard was chased away as the local war vet Campbell Mmpofu
said he would look after the property.


1. I took my security guard as a witness that an empty scotch cart had
passed our gate at 11pm and returned at 1pm full of equipment, further
evidence was filed with the police.


1. We made a police report and spent several hours in the police station
with two other neighbours that were also looted. Approximately $18 million
dollars between the three of us.

2. Our last seven workers were further threatened with death , one ran away
under the pressure.

3. They were told that they were supposed to be gone by month end.

4. I tried to talk to several settlers eg: Temba Mupanedengu who refused to
talk to me without his committee. They agreed to meet with me on Thursday.


1. I picked up a policeman from Karoi, to come and make an investigation and
report on my shed that was broken into.

2. On arriving to check the damage, we saw the settler Cambell Mpofu,
leaving the property with two wheelbarrows full of equipment and property.

3. The policeman with me said he was unable to arrest him as this was a
political issue not theft.

4. Campbell Mpofu said he had a letter permitting him to remove our
property, which was a copy of the government paper stating that property
left on the farm was the possessions of the squatters. This was his
justification for theft.


1. The squatters had arranged to meet me at 9am. The meeting degenerated as
I told them I was not able to meet their demands of $5 000
000.00(compensation they were demanding for their cotton crop from 2 years
ago that I had removed after the Courts had said they were planted

2. By this time a group of about 30 squatters managed to pull down the gates
of a ten thousand volt electric fence and  a further security fence.

3. They began looting my workers belongings, tractor batteries and further
equipment. I managed to get help via the radio from the community and the
police were able to dispatch a riot police unit who were there within half
an hour.

4. The Police managed to calm the situation temporally and as they were on
their way  back to Karoi, the squatters managed to cut our security fence on
the further side of the property and began looting our back cottage. Beds,
tables, mattresses and house contents were looted within minutes.

5. Due to the police and community members being there to react the damage
was minimal.

6. At this point we were fearing for our lives, our home, the farming
equipment and the tobacco, which was our life investment after 42 years.

7. We were able to organise the tobacco to move to Norton (approx.
400km)away for grading.

8. The community of Karoi stepped in to help move our farm and 20 lorries
and labour were organised to move our property the following day.


1. The police were able to offer us armed police protection for 6 days, thus
we had a short space of time to pack up 42 years and 20 barns of tobacco
still hanging in the barn.

2. The miracle of living in a small Zimbabwean farming community are the
people. 200 labour and 60 community members arrived to lay to rest an era on
"Lx. " farm.

3. Two homes took a day and half to pack and move with out our knowing the
destination of our belongings, the woman of the community gathered together
and completely furnished a house in Karoi town with our  furniture - a home
to walk into after the trauma of the previous days, proving to be an
incredible gesture of humanity.

So that was it....130 lorry loads of equipment.....twenty tractor loads of
implements......a 30 ton removal rig and 30 ton rigs
of tobacco. A whole life time - forty two years was gone in seventy two
hours........ A week later and the last days on "Lx. " farm are still
sinking in....... did we do the right thing? Could we have handled it
differently? should we have stood our ground as we only had a section five.
The hardest emotions to deal with in this story are our parents. This is the
only life they have ever known, a life time work, ingenuity and dreams.
"Lx. " was built when mum and dad bought crown land from the former
government in 1960. Not many people would have taken the risk on this land
because of the intense amount of lion and tsetse flies. They lived in mud
huts for five months and developed their dream through hard work,
determination and guts. Around them grew a community who have become their
family. Everything that has made them secure and proud of their heritage has
been torn away from them without the respect they deserve. In any African
community it is the elder that is respected.

How sad it was yesterday to go back to "Lx. " it collect a few final
memories out of the homestead garden, a incredible garden grown with love
over the years. Only this time to be met at the gates by young male placed
there by a government official who would not let us into the property as the
"land committee were now the custodians" why? this their right?
Our dad, being spoken to without the respect he deserves because of the
colour of his skin. Kudzai Vakuru! Does this youngster have any idea what
Dad has had to go through for him to be standing inside the fence of the
property he now "protects". It certainly is this injustice that has torn our
hearts apart - we all weep. What we find hard as 3rd generation Zimbabweans
is that this is OUR home. It should have nothing to do with the colour of
our skin, or from where our ancestors came. Throughout history land and
continents have evolved through predecessors before us - If this be the
situation: America belongs to the North American Indians, Australia belongs
to the is the past that has given us our identity. As
Zimbabweans we need to live in the HERE AND NOW.

Our workers return from there months leave do we explain the
events of the last weeks. How do we tell 50 families that we have no job,
accommodation or food for them. Where will they go? These families are
another source of worry for us. Our workers have risked their lives for us,
they have worked beyond the call of duty. They have been beaten, their
possessions looted twice and been threatened that if they return to the area
of the farm they will be killed as they are now "sell outs".  Many of them
do not have places to return to and "Lx. " was also their home........

We can only now look ahead, we are builders, makers and achievers.... and it
will all be again someday. We are fully aware of the material aspects of all
this, but somehow it is not this that we grieve. As with the loss of a close
family member, it is the relationship that never again will be. We thank God
for the memories.............
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Daily News

Farm workers thrown out into the open

4/29/02 8:35:52 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

ABOUT 1 300 farm workers and their families have been sleeping in the open
for the past two nights at Rainham Farm in Dzivaresekwa Extension, Harare,
after they were summarily ordered to leave the farm by so-called war

The eviction has resulted in clashes between two factions of Zanu PF
supporters in the Dzivaresekwa Extension area.

Another 147 workers evicted from two farms in Marondera are also sleeping in
the open, 127 of them at Coronation Park and the remainder at Cleveland Dam,
both in Msasa, Harare.

At Rainham Farm, one group of Zanu PF youths, which has taken over the farm,
is led by a woman whose name was only given as Mai Zvikaramba.
Zvikaramba, who is reportedly acting on behalf of two prominent politicians,
evicted the farm workers and their families from their homes on Friday. Most
of them were not allowed to remove their property.

Never Kowo, who is leading the other group based at a beerhall in
Dzivaresekwa 5 Extension high-density suburb, wants the farm workers left on
the farm or to be allowed to remove their property.

Mabelreign police diffused clashes between a group of youths sent by Kowo to
accompany the workers to retrieve their property from the farm, while
Zvikaramba’s camp sought to prevent them.

Youths aligned to Zvikaramba, armed with chains, pangas and the farm owner’s
golf clubs threw about six petrol bombs at Kowo’s group burning a sofa.

Kowo’s group retaliated by hurling back stones.

Ian Nakomo, the farm manager, yesterday said a crop of about 208 hectares of
soyabeans on the farm worth about $78 million could be destroyed.

“Harvesting has to be done quickly,” he said. “The crop cannot be harvested
once the pods have split and the beans fall to the ground.

“Zvikaramba said she would record names of farm workers interested in
returning to the farm and they would reap the beans for her, using sickles.”

He said she prevented a combined harvester hired by the farmer to harvest
the crop from entering the farm early this month.

Nakomo and other farm workers said they captured one youth on Zvikaramba’s
side who revealed that two politicians were behind Zvikaramba’s actions.

Zvikaramba and her three-week-old baby have occupied the main house,
belonging to Marley Dawson, and sometimes wears clothes belonging to Dawson’
s sister, Dailey Bailey.

A certain Nkomo, who is said to be employed at the Zanu PF headquarters, has
occupied Bailey’s house on the farm.

Zvikaramba’s base commander, identified only as Chamisa, has moved into a
house belonging to Dawson’s cousin.

Nakomo said Bobbias Takundwa, Zvikaramba’s security officer, had taken over
his house.

Esteri Karombe, a farm worker, said trouble started on Friday when water
supplies to the farmhouses cut after an electrical fault.

Zvikaramba, wearing Bailey’s clothes, blamed the workers for the fault
accusing them of sabotage. She ordered them to leave the farm within five
minutes. The youths started assaulting the workers and looted their

Yesterday some of the workers were still moving their property.

At Cleveland Dam, 120 displaced farm workers and their families from
Chakadenga Farm owned by Derrick Hind, were still smarting from their
evictions by Zanu PF supporters and so-called war veterans who accused them
of siding with commercial farmers.

“We have been told by the war veterans not to go back to Chakadenga Farm,”
said one of the workers. “They chased us away on 9 April and all these days
we have been living at Adelaide Acres until Amani Trust brought us here.”

He said last week members of the Central Intelligence Organisation
interviewed the farm workers and promised to return to address them.

Amani Trust, which shelters victims of torture and displacement, are
expected to address the farm workers on the issue of their children who
should be at school when the second term opens this week.

At Coronation Park, the 127 workers who have been camped there for a month
complained of lack of assistance by the Social Welfare officers whom they
accused of politicking.

“The Zimbabwe Farm Community Trust and Amani Trust have been taking care of
us, but at times the food is not enough, although they are trying their
best,” one displaced farm worker said.

He said officers from the Department of Social Welfare had promised them
clothes, but changed their mind after The Daily News had interviewed them.

“They had promised to bring The Herald, but when your paper visited us they
were angry,” the farm worker said.

All the 127 sheltered at Coronation Park are from Chipesa Farm in Marondera.

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Zimbabwean Govt. Deploys Troops to Curb Poaching

Xinhuanet 2002-04-29 15:33:32
   HARARE, April 29 (Xinhuanet) -- The Zimbabwean government has
deployed more than 200 soldiers, police and game scouts along the
northwestern Zambezi Valley to protect the country's wildlife
sanctuary from poachers, the Herald newspaper reported on Monday.
   Minister of Environment and Tourism Francis Nhema was quoted as
saying that the ministry wanted a "zero tolerance" on poaching
levels and would deploy an additional troop in all areas to curb
poaching activities.
   He said the government would take decisive measures against
increasing levels of poaching of wildlife and habitat loss on
farms adjacent to the country's leading game conservancies
threatening protected species such as the black rhino countrywide.
   Nhema warned the people resettled on farms alongside the game
ranches and national park areas to desist from poaching to protect
the wildlife industry.
   There are fears that if poaching were not contained to
acceptable levels in accordance with the Convention of
International Trade in Endangered Species, it would hamper the
progress of the wildlife industry.
   Chairman of the Wildlife and Tourism Advisory Council Ed
Kadzombe applauded the government's move saying this would serve
big game.
   Kadzombe said the deployment would also help ensure a continued
flow of foreign currency through sport hunting and tourism.
   Confidence in the protection of game along Zimbabwe's borders
with other countries is expected to be boosted following the move
to man the area, the report said.
   Over the years, operations of the park authorities in terms of
protecting and conserving wildlife had reportedly been found
lacking as evidenced by high incidents of poaching experienced in
the western Matabeleland North and Midlands provinces, and the
southern Masvingo province.
   It is believed that wildlife worth more than 100 million U.S.
dollars has been lost to massive poaching, illegal movement of
wildlife, over-hunting, subsistence and commercial poaching in
   The report said that between 1996 and 2000, 209 elephants, 138
buffalo and 108 impala, among other game, were poached. 
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Daily News  - Feature

No freedom without commercial independence

4/29/02 8:48:46 AM (GMT +2)

By Ioana Adavani

In a country in which media rank number three among credible institutions,
after the Church and the Army, how free are the media?

How solid is this freedom? How far can this freedom go in a poor economy?

In terms of numbers, Romanian media can be seen as a “success story”. While
other countries in the region strive to promote private media, Romania has
plenty. There are thousands of publications, hundreds of radio and TV
stations all over the country, all of them in Romanian private hands. The
only “state media” are the TV, the radio and the news agency Rompres. So, if
one agrees to equate “free” with “private”, then well, Romanian media are

But if one agrees to take a step further, the landscape changes all of a

It is stating the obvious to say that there is no real editorial
independence without a healthy economic situation.

Unfortunately, most of the Romanian media are still not profitable,
receiving constant funding from the owners’ “other businesses”.

According to journalists’ reports, in many cases they are “encouraged” to
protect these “other interests”, avoiding investigations, providing friendly
treatment to business partners and practicing self-censorship.

“What kind of journalists are you if you don’t know, when starting an
investigation, which are the interests of your own publisher?”, said a
reporter from Constanta (East Romania), when self-censorship was addressed
in a professional meeting of local journalists.

The fight for survival in a poor and rather unstructured market perverts
most of the mechanisms in the media industry.

The executives of local newspapers complain about the dysfunction of the
state-owned distribution system constantly on the brink of bankruptcy.

Attempts at privatising it have failed and soon, nobody will want it

Private distribution networks have appeared here and there, but they are
mostly local. In most of the cases, the head of the distribution network is
also the publisher of a couple of papers, which makes fair competition
nothing more than wishful thinking.

Advertising, the main source of revenue for Western publications, is more of
a headache for the Romanian publishers. Only up to 30 percent of the revenue
of an average local paper comes from advertising, which makes money from
direct sales vital for its day-to-day existence.

All major advertising companies are present on the Romanian market, but the
bulk of ad revenue - over 71 percent, is channelled to television.

With its US$13 (Z$715) per capita rate, the Romanian advertising market is
one of the poorest in Central and Eastern Europe.

As a result, the fight for any advertising revenue is fierce and corruption
is one of the rules of the game.

Advertising is used as a tool for bargain or even blackmail. For instance,
the newspaper with the highest circulation Adevarul, ranks only fifth in the
hierarchy of advertising revenue, while the paper dominating the top of
advertising money, Ziua, has only a quarter of Adevarul’s circulation. Huge
advertisements for railroad equipment and other services provided by various
state-owned agencies are not rare in some papers - a “token of gratitude”
for friendly coverage.

Romanian politics and business are very close. If you are not involved in
politics yourself, a relative, a friend, a friend of a friend certainly is,
and “favours” are traded both ways. Thus, even if there is no direct control
by the government over the editorial content of the media, the ruling party
is very influential.

In Bacau (East Romania), the mayor controls three out of the five local
media outlets.

In a situation similar to the Zimbabwean scenario, the director of this
paper is also a board member of the only State-owned paper mill in the
country. Government owns a controlling stack in the country’s major paper
milling company, Mutare Board and Paper.

According to local journalists, people closely connected to the ruling party
control the major businesses in the region, including advertising companies.

The mayor uses his powers to limit the access to information to the
“non-aligned” media and prevents them from being properly distributed.

While avoiding direct interference in the editorial content, the authorities
are not too shy to “seduce” journalists.

According to media reports, at the end of 2001, several ministries offered
the “most deserving” journalists money gifts or holidays in the mountains.

But the authorities have other things for anybody who might spoil their
efforts to save face. Lawsuits against journalists and media outlets are
quite frequent.

Libel and calumny, offence against State authorities, defamation of the
nation, the spreading of false information are still criminal offences,
punishable by terms in jail and huge fines.

The EU report on Romania for 2000 shows that “extensive use of legal
proceedings against journalists has given rise to concern over the freedom
of the Press”.

The Romanian media landscape shows that honesty does not always pay and that
poverty is a very bad advisor when it comes to editorial independence.

Happy to see the media outlets number growing into thousands in the early
‘90s as a guarantee for pluralism and democracy, the Romanian society is now
more concerned with self-sustainability and the economic health of the media

Romania’s lesson - if there is one - is “pay attention to figures”.

In pursuit of “measurable indicators”, we tend to spread thin, to neglect
the regulating power of the market.

We tend to overlook the core issues: credibility, independence,
professionalism, both editorial and business-wise. All these take money to
achieve. Freedom is a costly issue.

Ioana Avadani is the executive director of the Centre for Independent
Journalism in Bucharest. The CIJ is a non-governmental, non-profit
organisation, offering courses and specialised training for journalists and
media organisations. CIJ is a project of the Independent Journalism
Foundation, New York, which operates similar centres in Bratislava and
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Mugabe's party warns crisis talks could collapse: report
HARARE, April 29 AFP|Published: Monday April 29, 7:27 PM

Crisis talks between Zimbabwe's governing party and the main opposition could collapse if the opposition peddles "falsehoods" about post-electoral political violence, a ruling party spokesman said.

Jonathan Moyo, spokesman for the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and information minister, told the state-run daily The Herald that the talks were also threatened by an opposition legal challenge to the outcome of last month's recent presidential elections.

The paper reported today that Moyo said the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was perpetuating "criminal falsehood" by declaring that political violence was ongoing in the wake of the poll won by President Robert Mugabe in March.

Moyo cited the example of a claim by the MDC last week that one of its sympathisers was decapitated last weekend in front of her two daughters by ZANU-PF militias.

The claim was false, according to the police and state and private media.

"They (MDC) should not expect us to talk to them under the clouds of these falsehoods," Moyo was quoted as saying in The Herald.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai last week said the talks were threatened by violence.

"In light of the state-sponsored violence and campaign of retribution being waged and sustained by ZANU-PF, we now find it difficult to resume talks under a climate of banditry, lawlessness, and terror which is being left to flourish," Tsvangirai told the independent weekly Financial Gazette.

The opposition has also launched a legal suit challenging the March 9-11 election results. The MDC wants a new poll on the grounds that the last one was characterised by fraud and violence, an opinion shared by Commonwealth and some other observers.

Political violence has since January 1 claimed 55 lives, mostly those of opposition supporters, according to the Human Rights Forum grouping several Zimbabwean and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

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Daily News

Zanu PF youths demand payment

4/29/02 8:40:55 AM (GMT +2)

From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

Zanu PF militias who have been harassing suspected supporters of the
opposition MDC have turned their anger against the ruling party and hijacked
a government truck demanding payment of outstanding allowances promised by
the government.

The militias, some of whom have reportedly deserted their bases after going
for days without food are on the loose in Bulawayo where they have been
linked to the thefts of foodstuffs from shops in the city.

Last week, the youths hijacked a government truck in Inyathi, about 60 km
from Bulawayo and vowed they would only release the vehicle upon payment of
their allowances.

The police were on Friday maintaining a hawk’s eye on the angry militias who
are based at various camps in Bulawayo and Matabeleland after they
threatened unspecified actions against the ruling party.

Armed men in civilian clothes believed to be war veterans and policemen are
now guarding the youths at most of the camps in Bulawayo.

The youths, who spearheaded President Mugabe’s re-election campaign have not
been given food or money since the announcement of the results of the
presidential election last month.

On Friday, the youths broke their silence and narrated the conditions under
which they were living.

Jacob Mudenda, a top Zanu PF official involved in the recruitment of the
militia in Matabeleland North, refused to answer questions posed by The
Daily News.

He said: “Are you on a mission to find out their problems? If those youths
have a problem they know the channel to use.”

One of the youths from Bulawayo said they were continuing with the
pre-election violence, which they were notorious for in order to survive.

At Sizinda community hall, one of the notorious militia bases in Bulawayo,
the youths have been accused of breaking into shops and stealing foodstuffs.

One of the youths said they were surviving on bread only and their blankets
were now infested with lice because their clothes have not been washed as
they do not have money to buy washing soap.

“Food supplies to the camps were discontinued soon after the election
results were announced more than a month ago.

“Since then we have been surviving on begging which is increasingly becoming
difficult,” said one youth who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He said they had initially been told that they would be released after the
elections and would be recalled later, but this had not still happened.

Youths based at camps outside Bulawayo were reportedly only paid $1 300
since joining the militia in December last year. Their colleagues in
Bulawayo have so far been paid $3 700 out of the $18 000 promised to each
one of them.

“We are bitter,” said one of the youths. “We have suffered enough and now we
are spoiling for a fight. We will fight them, after all, they are old men.”

He said their leaders had made sure the the youths from the various camps
had no means of communication so as to control them easily.

However, he said efforts were underway to bring the militia groups together
including those who had deserted the camp to map out strategies on how to
deal with their predicament.

At the Ntabazinduna camp, about 30 kilometres South of Bulawayo some of the
youths, who abandoned camp, were forced to walk back home to Nyamandlovu a
distance of nearly 50 kilometres.

When The Daily News visited the camp on Friday, some of the barefooted
youths said their shoes had worn out due to the daily drills.

Their frustration and anger reached breaking point about two weeks ago when
their bosses broke their pre-election promise of giving them jobs in the
uniformed service.

Travellers from various parts of Bulilimamangwe District and along the
Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road, reported seeing some of the youths walking
back to their homes in solemn groups. A number of the female members of the
militia are now pregnant while two of them from Bulawayo camp were recently
admitted to Mpilo hospital after they tried to terminate their pregnancies.
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Daily News

More MDC supporters flee Makoni North

4/29/02 8:40:14 AM (GMT +2)

From Our Correspondent in Mutare

ABOUT 25 MDC supporters in Makoni North fled the constituency to safe houses
in Mutare on Thursday after receiving death threats from Zanu PF youths and
war veterans.

Some of the victims are part of the group whose houses and tobacco barns
worth thousands of dollars were set on fire two weeks ago for supporting
Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, in last month’s presidential election.

Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC’s spokesman in Manicaland, said on Friday: “The
situation is getting worse. After word got around that The Daily News had
published the story, Zanu PF youths went back and threatened to kill those
they suspected to have leaked the information.”

In particular, he said, they were looking for Chipo Manyere, the MDC’s
district youth chairperson.

Manyere fled the area with her two children both of whom are under three

Two weeks ago, 12 families in Makoni North and East, were rendered homeless
when a group of about 30 war veterans and Zanu PF youths set on fire six
dwellings and 12 tobacco barns belonging to suspected members of the
opposition MDC.
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Daily News

Zanu PF-linked millers get maize ahead of registered operators

4/29/02 8:39:41 AM (GMT +2)

From Our Correspondent in Gweru

Two unregistered small-scale maize milling companies, with close links to
some senior Zanu PF officials in Kwekwe and Gokwe, are being allocated maize
grain from the GMB ahead of registered large-scale millers.

Documents shown to The Daily News, indicate that Global Milling Company and
Zvavakuru Millers, both unregistered with the Grain Millers’ Association of
Zimbabwe, are getting the lion’s share of the maize grain allocated to the
GMB’s Kwekwe and Gokwe depots, respectively.

Global Milling Company is reportedly being supplied with about 150 tonnes of
maize a week, 30 tonnes more than that allocated to large-scale millers like
National Foods.

The two companies are also buying the grain at a wholesale price of $9 600
per tonne, a privilege enjoyed by registered millers.

The GMB normally charges about $16 000 per tonne to unregistered millers and

Tinayeshe Chigiga, the Kwekwe District Administrator and chairman of the
maize allocation committee, confirmed that Global Milling Company and
Zvavakuru Millers, were not registered but ruled out any favouritism.

His committee comprises war veterans, Zanu PF officials, the police and
representatives of large and small - scale hammer millers.

Said Chigiga: “In a drought situation like this we do not look at whether a
company is registered or not for it to be allocated maize for milling.

“For your own information Global Milling company has a much higher capacity
than National Foods”, he said without giving details.

Both Chigiga and the GMB branch manager for Kwekwe, who only identified
himself as Kamambo, denied allegations that unregistered millers were
getting preferential treatment at the expense of registered millers.

However, some registered small-scale millers last week wrote to Joseph Made,
the Minister of Lands and Agriculture, complaining of unfair distribution of
the maize grain.

Part of the letter reads: “Ninety percent of it is allocated to mainly one
miller (unregistered) located in Redcliff industrial area, secondly to one
miller in Zhombe who in turn draws another allocation from the Gokwe depot.

“I would in the instance request the respective authority honourable
Minister of Agriculture or top GMB management to correct the situation,”
reads part of the letter signed by Paul Frederick Masaire and James Manyongo
on behalf of the association.

Masaire is the owner of Rimaugute Milling company while Manyongo owns Taguta
Milling and Packaging (Pvt) Ltd, which are both registered with the
Small-Scale Millers Association.

“My company has a capacity to mill about 25 tonnes per day but I am being
allocated only five tonnes a week while Global Milling Company is getting
about 200 tonnes each week and yet they hardly process that much”, said

“A visitor to the milling company’s premises in Redcliff could easily
confuse it for a GMB depot because of the huge stockpiles of maize kept
there. This raises suspicion that the maize allocated to Global Milling
Company could end up being sold on the black market,” he said.

Senior Zanu PF officials and war veterans from the Midlands are always seen
at the milling company’s premises, Masaire alleged.
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Daily News

Judge bars police from raiding NCA offices

4/29/02 8:38:22 AM (GMT +2)

Court Reporter

A HIGH Court judge, Justice Anne Marie Gowora, on Friday barred the police
from conducting raids on the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)’s Harare

The police raided the NCA’s premises on Thursday, a day after a Harare
magistrate ordered the release of Dr Lovemore Madhuku, 35, the civic body’s
chairman, from remand prison.

The police were looking for information on the NCA’s finances and

They only stopped the raids when the NCA’s lawyers filed an application for
an order in the High Court barring further searches, but the police had
already captured some information on to disks.

The NCA also wanted an order directing the return of the disks.

Gowora granted the order with the consent of the State.

She ordered that the search warrant issued by one Superintendent Bhanai on
22 April be declared invalid and of no effect.

The search conducted at the NCA’s offices at number 348 Herbert Chitepo
Avenue on Thursday by Chrispen Makedenge, the acting Officer-in-Charge at
Harare Central police station’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) law
and order maintenance section, should be declared illegal, the judge said.

Gowora said Makedenge, Bhanai and Augustine Chihuri, the Police
Commissioner, and anyone acting through them were barred from conducting
further searches at the NCA’s offices.

She directed Makedenge or any person acting on his behalf to return the
items seized to the organisation.

The NCA was represented by Andrew Makoni and Alec Muchadehama, while Stephen
Musona of the Attorney-General’s Office, appeared for the State.

Detective Inspector Dowa of the CID’s law and order section, led six
officers in the search of the offices after producing a warrant issued by

The warrant purportedly empowered them to obtain details of the NCA’s bank
accounts and cheque books, details of membership and payments made.

The warrant relied on section 54 (1) (a) of the Criminal Procedure and
Evidence Act chapter 59, but the correct section is 50 and the chapter 9:07.

Madhuku had been freed from remand prison on Wednesday after magistrate
Joyce Negonde absolved him and his colleagues, Maxwell Saungweme, 25, the
NCA information officer, and Ednah Zinyemba, 46, an NCA coordinator, of
allegations of conspiring to commit public violence.

They were alleged to have paid 500 youths $200 each to engage in violence
and looting during the NCA-organised peaceful protests on Tuesday with the
ultimate aim of overthrowing President Mugabe within 14 days.

The three activists were arrested by detectives who barged into an NCA
meeting on Monday, ahead of the protests.

The NCA is campaigning for the adoption of a new constitution.
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Daily News - Leader Page

Magistrate strikes blow in defence of Press freedom

4/29/02 8:59:36 AM (GMT +2)

A SMALL-town magistrate struck a blow for Press freedom when he sentenced a
Zanu PF supporter to 22 months’ imprisonment for seizing and then burning
copies of newspapers from the private sector, merely because they are not
slavishly pro-government.

Chegutu magistrate, Tinashe Dokera, described the burning of copies of The
Daily News, The Financial Gazette, The Sunday Times and the Zimbabwe
Independent by Oswald Majoyi, a supporter of the ruling party, as a threat
to freedom of expression.

The magistrate said by burning copies of the privately-owned newspapers,
Majoyi took the law into his own hands. If the newspapers were not lawful,
then lawful means should be used to deal with them.

“The law will not condone those who go into supermarkets, confiscate
newspapers and burn them . . . ,” he said.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right
includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and seek, receive and
impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

However, for the past two years, Zanu PF supporters and so-called war
veterans have targeted The Daily News and other newspapers from the private
Press for allowing an alternative voice to the government’s propaganda, to
be heard.

First, they declared the newspapers “banned” from certain areas of the
country, claiming these were influencing voters’ consciousness a euphemism
for awakening them to the government’s record of failed and unfulfilled
promises, as well as outright duplicity in some cases.

When that proved ineffective, they drove off known vendors from towns or
areas they operated. Still when that did not give them the desired results,
they resorted to searching travellers’ baggage and vehicles for anyone
carrying privately-owned newspapers.

Those found in possession of these newspapers were assaulted first, before
the newspapers were set alight.

It was a blatant attempt by the authorities to boost the flagging fortunes
of their propaganda sheets and the lies they peddle under the guise of news.

In these circumstances, the government-controlled newspapers could also
misrepresent themselves to the advertising industry by claiming that they
reached other areas where other newspapers cannot, in the hope of shoring up
their declining fortunes.

The independent Press have reported to the police the seizures and the
assault of their vendors or delivery staff, but the pattern during the past
two years has been fewer prosecutions of those carrying out these dastardly

These attacks have been spearheaded by supporters of the ruling party and
the so-called war veterans on the one hand and the government on the other.

While Zanu PF’s and government supporters have used violence and force, to
deny the majority of Zimbabweans access to an alternative voice, the
government has used intimidation, harassment and the arrest of journalists
and editors from the private Press.

The latest attempt to silence journalists from the independent media was the
arrest, two weeks ago, of reporter Dumisani Muleya from The Independent,
Geoff Nyarota, the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily News, and Iden Wetherell,
the Editor of The Independent.

The ultimate objective is to control and condition the minds of Zimbabweans,
so that they cease to maintain a critical voice against the government’s
actions and those of the political leadership in this country.

This Friday, journalists will take stock of the achievements accomplished
since the 1991 Windhoek Declaration on Press Freedom. Many in Zimbabwe in
particular and the region in general, will reflect with alarm that during
the past two years there have been more intolerant responses from their

In Zimbabwe, the government passed the Access to Information and Protection
of Privacy Act.

In reality, it is a law that makes information inaccessible, while
protecting government officials and politicians from public scrutiny.

Media freedom is under threat, but it is precisely for this that the ruling
by the Chegutu magistrate is significant.
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Daily News

Muzzling the Press in Zimbabwe

4/29/02 8:42:22 AM (GMT +2)

ON FRIDAY 3 MAY the international community marks World Press Freedom Day.

The following are reflections on the state of the Press in the world by
Geoffrey Nyarota, the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily News - the only
independent daily in Zimbabwe- in an interview with the World Association of
Newspapers (WAN). Nyarota was arrested and jailed several times in the past
year. He has been awarded the 2002 Golden Pen of Freedom, the annual Press
freedom prize of the WAN. At press time, the situation in Zimbabwe was
deteriorating in the run-up to the presidential election and heavy laws
imposed against Press freedom.

WAN: To what extent is the situation in Zimbabwe comparable to other African
Nyarota: The adverse conditions and hostile atmosphere in which the private
Press operates in Zimbabwe is comparable to the situation of the Press in
other countries ruled over the past three decades or so by oppressive and/or
corrupt regimes - Angola, Malawi, Zambia, Swaziland, to name a few in
southern Africa.

Zambia is a particularly fine example. By the time the government of former
President Dr Kenneth Kaunda lost to Frederick Chiluba’s Movement for
Multi-party Democracy in 1991 it had become extremely hostile to the
independent Press.

Journalists were harassed and arrested mostly on spurious grounds. The Post
newspaper bore most of the brunt of victimisation by successive governments,
just like The Daily News in Zimbabwe does. Daily News journalists are
routinely harassed, on numerous occasions they are arrested and otherwise
generally subjected to violence by government and ruling party agents.

In June 2001, I was arrested by the police at the ungodly hour of 12.30am.
Two months later there was a vast improvement in the timing of another
arrest. They came for me at 6.00am.

WAN: In many African countries, there are often clampdowns on the Press in
the run-up to elections. What would you say this indicates?

Nyarota: Generally, African leaders will not tolerate criticism. Critical
articles published in the independent Press have the potential to undermine
their power and authority. A leader whose government is guilty of
mismanagement and corruption will fight tooth and nail to prevent the Press
from focusing on such shortcomings. Corrupt leaders are sensitive to
criticism for a simple reason: they have no particular wish to be dislodged
from power.

When governments clamp down on the Press during the run-up to general
elections, the intention is to strengthen their hand and increase their
chances of winning the election. Back in Zimbabwe, the operations of the
government-controlled media - two daily and four weekly newspapers, a host
of regional newspapers, the national news agency, and the television and
radio networks - are crucial to the survival of the government. They
routinely support the government and lavish praise on it.

On the other hand, the independent Press in Zimbabwe comprises only The
Daily News and three weekly newspapers, The Independent, The Sunday Standard
and The Financial Gazette. It is only these four newspapers which
disseminate any information favourable to the interests of the opposition
parties. Any clampdown on the independent newspapers, therefore, effectively
deprives political parties other than the ruling party of any medium for the
dissemination of favourable information about themselves, and is indicative
of a deep-seated fear of the influence wielded by the Press.

WAN: Do you believe that in spite of regular attacks and harassment, the
existence of independent newspapers such as the one you run can influence
public opinion and open the way to democracy?

Nyarota: The Daily News has grown in stature and influence in Zimbabwe over
the past two years despite a consistent campaign of harassment by the
government. Any campaign mounted by an increasingly unpopular government to
undermine a popular newspaper has the tendency to strengthen the position of
that newspaper in the minds of the public.

This has been the case with The Daily News, both in terms of readership and
advertising support. It can even become a resistance force in so far as the
general public associates the newspaper with their hopes, their political
ideals, their ambitions and their aspirations.

If a newspaper becomes the mouthpiece or the platform from which the views
and concerns of its reading public are disseminated and articulated, then
the paper can become a very powerful institution and open the way to

WAN: It is often said that attacks on Press freedom in Africa are sometimes
contagious and that some countries adopt the media restrictions imposed by
others. Is it a phenomenon you have already observed?

Nyarota: In the Southern African Development Community region, Zimbabwe,
Zambia and Malawi are a fine example of how repression in the domain of the
media can be contagious. There is no doubt that the dictatorial excesses of
Kamuzu Banda in Malawi influenced the course of media repression in the
other two Central African countries.

The arrest of journalists and the enactment of hostile media legislation in
Zimbabwe is a phenomenon which, to a great extent, has been influenced by
similar developments in Zambia and, prior to that, in Malawi.

WAN: You have been awarded the WAN Golden Pen of Freedom 2002. Would you say
that this award, which is first and foremost a personal distinction, is also
a recognition of African journalism in difficult countries like the one you
live in?

Nyarota: I believe it serves as recognition of the collective achievement of
journalists on The Daily News and, indeed, of journalists on the African
continent in the face of the hardships, repression, hostility and violence
to which they are daily subjected.

Unlike many of their counterparts in Europe and North America, whose role
and function is accepted, appreciated and generally taken for granted,
journalists in many African countries work under totally different
conditions, where, as they seek to inform the public on matters of interest
and relevance to them, they are required to rely, not only upon their skills
and experience, but also on their own enterprise, initiative and courage.
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Daily News

Price controls were a campaign gimmick, says Japajapa

4/29/02 8:37:36 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

PADDINGTON Japajapa, the president of the Zimbabwe Indigenous Economic
Empowerment Organisation, says last week’s price increases in bread and
cooking oil shows Zanu PF’s call for price controls was a campaign gimmick.

“Zimbabweans should realise that they were taken for a ride, only three
weeks after the presidential and council elections and a few months of
flirtation with the government’s promised price controls. These were
election campaign gimmicks,” Japajapa said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Now we have to face the consequences of some false promises and those who
voted for Zanu PF will concur that they were dining with masters of deceit,”
he said.

The retail price of bread went up from $48,50 to $60 while a 750 millilitre
bottle of cooking oil went up from $141,50 to $198,54.

Before President Mugabe’s disputed victory in March, Zanu PF was flighting
advertisements urging people to vote for them because a Zanu PF government
would control the prices of basic commodities, which were out of the reach
for the poor.

“Those who voted massively for Zanu PF in the rural areas will be the most
affected in that the sugar, salt and bread they eat comes from their
relatives in the urban centres. Next time they must know where to place
their vote.” Japajapa said.

Japajapa also took a swipe at Dr Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing, for meddling in the runnings
of the new Harare City Council.

“What is the reason for having council elections if elected councillors and
mayors work on directives from the minister responsible?” he asked.

Three weeks ago, Chombo issued three directives to the MDC-dominated Harare
City Council, instructing executive mayor Elias Mudzuri to refer all
financial and human resources matters to him for approval.

In another directive, he stopped the council from suspending 1 235 mainly Za
nu PF supporters who were clandestinely given jobs before the Commission
vacated office in March.

“Executive mayors have got real executive powers to run their cities as they
wish, in the interest of ratepayers of those cities. ‘Executive’ means
sweeping and uninterrupted full-time powers to run an organisation.

“Residents of Harare will realise that they have a heavy price to pay for
voting for a mayor and councillors from a party which is not in government,”
he said.
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Daily News

Chamisa tells supporters to brace for mass action

4/29/02 8:36:54 AM (GMT +2)

From Zerubabel Mudzingwa in Gweru

THE MDC national youth chairman, Nelson Chamisa, yesterday urged his party
supporters to brace for possible mass action if the inter-party talks
between Zanu PF and the MDC fail to lead to a rerun to the disputed
presidential election.

Addressing more than 15 000 MDC supporters who attended the party’s rally at
Mkoba Stadium in Gweru yesterday, Chamisa said President Mugabe’s rule could
only be removed by mass action.

Heavily armed policemen yesterday cordoned off all roads leading to the
venue of the rally, but thousands evaded the roadblocks and packed the

“If these so-called talks fail to lead to a rerun of the presidential
election, we will be left with no choice but to defend our country through
mass action,” Chamisa told the gathering.

“We will be arrested, killed and maimed, but we will have to sacrifice our
limbs to fight the evil system to its bitter end.”

The inter-party talks attended by senior Zanu PF and MDC officials are
expected to resume on 13 May after an adjournment early this month.

The talks were initiated by Nigerian and South African leaders, Olusegun
Obasanjo and Thabo Mbeki respectively, to try and end the stalemate over the
outcome of Zimbabwe’s presidential election held on 9-11 March.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC president, and several MDC MPs and senior party
officials were at the rally.

Tsvangirai said: “The struggle for freedom cannot be designed by Mugabe
because he is a spent force. So the people of Zimbabwe through whatever
means must design means to regain their stolen freedom.

“Africa as a whole will not run free of this quagmire (of civil unrest)
until we learn to hold free and fair elections.

“Zanu PF has peddled all sorts of lies accusing us of selling out to the
Western world, but if they themselves are not selling out, why do we now
have a plethora of Libyan nationals on our farms? Zanu PF has plunged us
into another type of colonialism through their courtship with the Libyans.”

He said besides the inter-party talks, his party still remained committed to
challenging the outcome of the election through the courts and was also
lobbying for Mugabe’s international isolation.

“The inter-party talks should achieve nothing less than setting conditions
for a rerun of the disputed election,” he said.

Lucia Matibenga, the party’s national women’s wing chairperson, urged her
party to be resilient and resist any forms of intimidation by ruling party
militias, especially in urban centres where Tsvangirai convincingly won
against Mugabe.
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Daily News

New wave of price increases

4/29/02 8:34:34 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE government on Friday increased the retail, producer and wholesale price
of milk, washing and bar soap, margarine and cement.

During the recent presidential election campaign, which the ruling Zanu PF’s
candidate, President Mugabe, claimed a heavily disputed victory over the
Movement for Democratic Change’s Morgan Tsvangirai, the government
campaigned on a platform of holding done the price of basic commodities. The
price increases, which became effective on Friday, come barely 40 days after
the presidential election.

The price of a 500ml packet of fresh milk went up by a whopping 72,53
percent and now costs $39,82, up from $23,08.

The Ministry of Industry and International Trade announced these price
increases in four Extraordinary Gazettes released late on Friday evening.

The retail prices for all brands of margarine were all increased. For
example, the price of a 500g of Stork Refrigerated block is now $161,36, up
from $124,14, while the price of a 1kg block of Buttercup Table margarine
was raised from $255,01 to $297,06.

The 250g Geisha bath soap now costs $95,45, compared to the old price of

The 750g Key bar soap, which is more readily available in supermarkets in
the country than other soaps, has had its price increased from $99,65 to
$145,23, a rise of about 52,1 percent. The 750g Brilliant bar soap now costs

Brilliant, like other brands such as Big Ben, Dolphin and Perfection, has,
however, been scarce in supermarkets since the government imposed controls
on basic commodities last October.

A 50kg bag of cement now costs between $450 and $588,23, up from the old
price range of between $245 and $341. The price of cement was reduced from
between $500 and $750 for a 50kg bag to between $245 and $341 when the
government introduced price controls last year.

As a result of Friday’s increases, a tonne of cement now costs between $9
016 and $11 764. These increases are the second round of price reviews
effected by the government since the introduction of price controls on basic

The price of beer also went up by 11 percent, according to National
Breweries, the major producers of beer.

The price increase for beer comes less than a month after a previous rise.

On Monday last week, the government increased the wholesale, producer and
retail prices of bread and cooking oil despite promises made before last
month’s presidential election by Mugabe that his government would not
increase prices.

The price of a loaf of bread was increased from $48,50 to $60,44.
Zanu PF promised voters during its campaign for the presidential election
that it would not raise the prices of basic commodities if its candidate,
Mugabe, was re-elected.

Harare consumers last week blasted the bread and cooking oil price
increases, saying they would make life unbearable for Zimbabweans already
struggling to make ends meet in a country whose economy had virtually

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, which represents the industrial
manufacturers nationally, welcomed the price increases for bread and cooking
oil saying it would see producers of basic commodities improving their

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Peoples Daily (China)

Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Monday, April 29, 2002
Land Reform Program Boosts Demand for Steel Products in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISC) said on Sunday that demand for
its products has been increasing from the time the government embarked on
the land reform exercise which has created thousands of new farmers.
The Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISC) said on Sunday that demand for
its products has been increasing from the time the government embarked on
the land reform exercise which has created thousands of new farmers.

"The land reform exercise has opened up business for our company and demand
for products by farmers has increased considerably," a spokesman of the
company said in a statement.

The company spokesman said at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF)
in Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe.

"Demand for products such as steel, which is used in the manufacture of
farming implements continues to rise," said the spokesman.

He said the products in high demand included ploughs, hoes, fencing and
building materials.

The company was trying to source funds so that it could operate at full

The ZISC was operating at 20 percent below capacity and required about 10
billion Zimbabwean dollars (about 182 million U. S. dollars) to be fully

The spokesman said the trade fair had helped the company to market its
products to local and international clients.

The government has resettled more than 220,000 families under its fast track
land reform exercise, which started in 2000 after land hungry Zimbabweans
invaded white-owned farms.

The ZITF, which ends on Sunday, was opened on Friday by Zambian President
Levy Mwanawasa.

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From The Zimbabwe Standard, 28 April

Workers forced to join ZFTU

The vice-president of the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU), Joseph Brown Chinotimba, has intensified raids on firms suspected of having links with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, The Standard has learnt. Sources within ZFTU told The Standard last week that the trade union, believed to be an affiliate of Zanu PF, was forcing workers to obtain stop order forms so they could pay subscriptions to the union ahead of the May Day celebrations. Said the sources: "The ZFTU is targeting companies affiliated to the Zimbabwe Chemicals and Plastics and Allied Workers Union. The ZFTU has so far stormed more than five companies, which include Barco Chemicals in Mutare, Plastic Industries, Marine Center, Surgimed Trading and Omni Fertilizers. They harassed anyone not complying with their demand to sign stop order forms for affiliation with the ZFTU," said one worker from Marine Centre who refused to be named. Workers from other affected companies also confirmed that they had been harassed by officials of the ZFTU.

Contacted for comment on Friday, Chinotimba confirmed that his union was forcing the signing of stop orders by those workers who were "failing to understand that the ZFTU is now the only trade union capable of representing them". Added Chinotimba: "We were given the mandate to do so by government. I want to tell you, we are the current government. We have to talk to the workers but if they stand in our way we will be forced to make them dance to our tune. If they want to remain with the ZCTU then they should go to other countries and not stay in Zimbabwe. They should wake up and realise that we are the only recognised trade union in this country." The MDC was borne out of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, whose secretary-general was MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai. Sources close to the union told The Standard last week that the ZFTU, widely believed to be an off-shoot of Zanu PF, had been attacking mostly privately-owned companies. An executive with the Zimbabwe Chemicals and Papers Allied Workers Union also confirmed recent visits by ZFTU. "I can confirm that we have been receiving complaints from our workers. They are going around with stop order forms and threatening to beat anyone not wanting to sign," said the official who declined to be named for fear of victimisation.

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From The Zimbabwe Standard, 28 April

Tuku Sends London Fans Wild

It can be described as the London - Great Zimbabwe get together. They converged at Stratford, London, last Saturday from almost every city - Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham - just to watch Oliver Mtukudzi perform. They started gathering as early as ten in the morning and by 2pm, there were hundreds of revellers eager to see the superstar who was on his way to the United States, where he was to perform at the Let Freedom Sing! benefit concert whose objective, among others, is to help set up a fund for the families of Zimbabwean musicians who died of Aids. By six, the numbers had swelled such that the venue could not accommodate any more people. Those who, including me, could not get inside were not very disappointed because we could hear the music, and we danced the night away.

Oliver came on stage around nine. And for four hours, he churned out his golden oldies which are still liked by most people here. His Wasakara is still a gem which is capable of sending people wild. However, his new album,Vhunze/Moto, did not quite impress the people who were hearing it for the first time. Mtukudzi's shows in London are always well attended with people coming from all over the United Kingdom. Most of the time he stages one show, something which Zimbabweans here say is not enough, and that more shows should be staged in other cities. A sister from Manchester said that she had travelled all the way only to hear him from a distance. "I wanted to be in there, man," she said, adding that Tuku's organisers should make every effort to cater for every Zimbabwean in the United Kingdom. Another Zimbabwean from Leeds, who said that he had not seen Oliver performing before, was impressed by the way Oliver danced and sang. "He is a real entertainer," he said. Mtukudzi is scheduled to stage 23 shows in New York and various other cities from April 24 to 27 May.

To millions of Zimbabweans, Mtukudzi's lyrics are nothing less than the teachings of a Shona prophet, and the inferences they draw are clear: Zimbabwe is burning and Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF party will soon have to suffer the backlash. For Mtukudzi, though, there are no such simple interpretations. "I'm not a politician, I don't understand politics," he says. "My songs are about what I see around me, the happiness and sadness in my country. I don't believe in singing for a particular time. My songs should mean something yesterday, today and tomorrow." Mtukudzi never openly refers to politics in his work, nor does he openly criticise Zimbabwe's leadership. Instead, he uses Shona imagery and African parables to tell stories that his listeners can interpret for themselves.

On Yave Mbodza (What Kind of Rearing is That?) Mtukudzi asks why the ancient Shona practice of a parent chewing traditional root medicine and passing it on to a baby is no longer followed. On the surface, it is a simple morality tale. Look deeper, say his fans, and Tuku, as they like to call him, is singing about the corruption of the ageing generation of Zanu PF rulers who are keeping all the goodness of the country for themselves. "Oliver is an iron fist in a velvet glove," says John Matinde, a DJ on SW Radio Africa, a station set up in London last year to broadcast to Zimbabwe the music and independent news that state-owned radio no longer airs. "It is an open secret that he is referring to the political situation in Zimbabwe, but Oliver speaks in tongues. People can interpret him any way they wish."

The minstrel observing from the sidelines - it is a tactic that has served him well. Unlike his friend Thomas Mapfumo - Zimbabwe's only other bona fide international superstar - Mtukudzi has never allied himself with a political party, even in Zanu PF's heyday soon after independence. He is also the ultimate performer. He sings, plays guitar and dances throughout his shows often for four hours straight - although, at 49, he has stopped playing Pungwes, (traditional 12-hour concerts that would end at 6am). His nine-piece Black Spirits band (with three rousing backing singers) have been with him since the Eighties, and they contribute to his big-voice, gospel-blues sound, which merges Zimbabwean jiti and South African mbaqanga, while retaining a style of its own. In Zimbabwe, they even call the genre "Tuku music". What, though, of his fans in London? So many Zimbabweans now live in exile in the UK, that on the streets back home they refer to London as Harare North.

From The New York Times, 29 April

A rhythmic call for dignity

Oliver Mtukudzi, one of Zimbabwe's leading songwriters, was a fatherly figure when he performed last Monday and Tuesday nights at Joe's Pub. Tall and relaxed, with a low husky voice, he called for dignity, responsibility and respect among tribes and cultures. His songs judiciously blended styles from across southern Africa and beyond without submerging local traits. Playing an acoustic set on Monday night or leading his nine-member band, the Black Spirits, on Tuesday, Mr. Mtukudzi made the messages dance. His songs use the syncopated, hop-scotching modal patterns of traditional Zimbabwean music - originally plucked on mbira (thumb piano), now transferred to guitar and keyboard - along with soul-flavored urban South African styles like mbaqanga.

His voice took on a traditionalist quaver or a preacherly fullness, setting up a gospel-like call-and-response with three backup singers while he led them in strutting dance steps. Richard Matimba's keyboards could give the music an international pop gloss or mimic the mbira or the pennywhistle of South African kwela music. From the three-chord solidity of mbaqanga songs like "Hear Me Lord" (which Bonnie Raitt sings on her new album) to the dizzying nine-beat Zimbabwean rhythm in "Tsika Dedzu," the band made slower songs lilt and faster ones fly. Mr. Mtukudzi's own guitar parts support the songs the way a tightrope carries an aerialist. With the Black Spirits, his acoustic guitar was tucked into the polyphony of lead guitar and keyboards, yet on Monday night he didn't try to fill in for missing band members. He often plucked just sparse arpeggios, yet they were enough. As he meshed syncopations with Kenny Neshamba on congas and traded vocal lines with two female singers, Mary Bell and Mwendi Chibindi, he generated rhythmic bliss out of thin air.

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Zimbabwe human rights groups say violence worsens

HARARE, April 29 — Political violence in Zimbabwe has worsened since
President Robert Mugabe's election victory last month, compounding the
plight of people grappling with food shortages, a rights group said on

       ''It is almost two months since the elections took place in Zimbabwe
and there is a worsening situation of intimidation, forced displacement,
violence and systematic torture,'' the Amani Trust said in a statement.
       ''The political rivalry and the resulting recriminations have become
a way of life for many people, who also are trying to deal with the problems
of food shortages, a serious drought and an approaching winter,'' the rights
group said.
       Aid agencies say thousands of Zimbabweans face starvation after crops
were slashed last season by drought and the state's seizure of white-owned
farms, which disrupted farm operations.
       They say opposition supporters are also being denied access to staple
maize at state Grain Marketing Board depots in the aftermath of the disputed
March 9-11 presidential election.
       Zimbabwe police accused white farmers on Monday of worsening the food
shortages by illegally moving farm equipment out of the country -- a charge
denied by the main white farmers' group.

       The Amani Trust, which gives aid to victims of political violence,
said the number of internally displaced Zimbabweans as a result of political
strife was rising daily and was ''at crisis level,'' but gave no figures.
       Rights groups have said up to 50,000 people have been displaced in
political violence before and after the election, and have appealed for
international aid.
       ''The safety and security of these refugees is of the utmost concern,
and urgent assistance is required to tend to their need for accommodation,
food and water, medical treatment, psychological counselling and legal
aid,'' the Amani Trust said.
       Earlier this month a coalition of rights groups -- including the
Amani Trust -- said 54 people had been killed in political violence since
the beginning of the year. Most of the deaths occurred in the runup to the
presidential election.
       Police accused the rights groups of lying, saying political violence
had eased since the election, which the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai -- who challenged Mugabe -- condemned
as ''daylight robbery.''
       The MDC says more than 100 of its supporters have been killed since
the runup to June 2000 parliamentary elections in which it came close to
defeating Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party.
       Ten white farmers have died since February 2000 when militants
invaded hundreds of farms in support of a state drive to forcibly acquire
land for redistribution to landless blacks.
       Zimbabwe police said on Monday they had impounded a large amount of
farm equipment which they said was being illegally shipped out of the
       But the farmers said the equipment -- which includes tractors,
trailers, harvesters, water pumps and irrigation pipes -- was lawfully
removed from properties occupied by militants.
       ''The Land Acquisition Act which the government is using for taking
over the farms does not bar farmers who lose their land from moving their
property,'' Jenni Williams, a spokeswoman for the Commercial Farmers Union
       After his re-election, Mugabe vowed to press ahead with the
government's seizure of at least 8.3 million hectares (20.5 million acres)
of the 12 million hectares (29.6 million acres) of white-owned farmland for
(Additional reporting by Cris Chinaka)

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"Growing" donors concern over Tanzania's links with Zimbabwe -Kenyan paper

April 29, 2002 9:55am


Western countries are reported to be increasingly alarmed at the close links
between the Tanzanian government and the beleaguered regime of Robert Mugabe
in Zimbabwe.

The first indication of a serious donor concern came over the Tanzanian
government's controversial purchase of a 40m dollars air traffic control
system late last year. Critics, who included Britain's secretary of sate for
International Development Clare Short said the purchase was unnecessary,
unsuitable and too expensive for the government's needs.

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With the row unsettled, Britain suspended 14.3m dollars of its planned 93m
dollars in budgetary support aid for this year last month, ostensibly over
concerns with Dar's spending plans. Denmark has also suspended aid and the
government in the Netherlands is also critical, as are the World Bank and

But what is particularly causing concern in the West are the apparently
growing links between Dar and Harare following Robert Mugabe's controversial
presidential win.

President Benjamin Mkapa was one of the few African leaders to offer
unqualified support to president Mugabe on the win sending him "our warmest
congratulations," on the "deserved presidential mandate" with the Tanzanian
poll monitors declaring the election free and fair.

Now there are reports of growing business and military links between the two
countries. The latest edition of the London-based newsletter African
Confidential says; there are "growing business ties between Tanzania's and
Zimbabwe's elite, particularly over the supply of arms and military
logistics to armed factions in Burundi and Rwanda.

"Tanzania is an important ally of Zimbabwe in the [DR]Congo war. It can
supply FNL [presumably Burundi rebels' National Liberation Front], Alir
[Army for the Liberation of Rwanda] and Mayi Mayi [pro- Kinshasa tribal
militia] groups which are critical to Harare and Kinshasa's battle against
the Rwandan and Ugandan armies and local rebel forces in eastern Congo."

This issue is "worrying some neighbours and officials in Washington and
London," the newsletter adds. "Zimbabwe-Tanzania trade links are growing
fast produced by high level backing in Harare and Dar.

The government faces a crisis of confidence amid mounting allegations of
corruption, gem smuggling and covert operations.

Tanzanian officials are being accused of smuggling Congolese diamonds and
other precious stones in deals with Zimbabwean officials and Dar es salaam
is said to be a key port for trade with both rebels and the Kinshasa

Donors are also concerned about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the
country and believe that corruption is running out of control. While
Tanzanian police have received training from US specialists in
counter-terrorist training following the 1998 bomb attacks in Nairobi and
Dar, there have been several accusations that Islamic fundamentalists are
using trade in tanzanite gem for money laundering activities. The
accusations have led the price of the tanzanite to drop by half in the
United States, the biggest market...

Source: The EastAfrican, Nairobi, in English 29 Apr 02 p 1

ZIMBABWE: Nothing to celebrate on workers' day

JOHANNESBURG, 29 April (IRIN) - With workers' standards of living continuing to slide, the opposition-linked Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is to "commemorate" rather than celebrate 1 May, senior labour officials told IRIN.

"We are not in a mood to celebrate," ZCTU secretary-general Wellington Chibebe said on Monday. "Our theme is 'workers under siege, organise, unite and fight on'."

Even the ZCTU's attempts to hold gatherings on 1 May have been "frustrated" by the government. Ruling party-run local councils have preferred to give venues to the pro-government Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU), whose vice president is war veterans' leader Joseph Chinotimba. The police have also delayed issuing clearance for the ZCTU's meetings, Chibebe said.

In Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo, the ZCTU and ZFTU are both booked into the city's main stadium, "just to scare off [our] workers", added Chibebe.

The ZFTU was formed last year during business invasions by so-called veterans. They accuse the ZCTU of not promoting the interests of the workers, but rather the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Although a stayaway called by the ZCTU to protest attacks on workers in the wake of Zimbabwe's controversial presidential election in March generally flopped, Chibebe said that his movement was still a "force to reckon with".

He told IRIN that spiralling food prices and police restrictions on public meetings deemed political meant that Zimbabwe was "simmering". Chibebe said: "People are cowed, but it is just a matter of time. The way things are, I don't think people will let this go on indefinitely."

Meanwhile, the Daily News reported on Monday that more than 25 MDC supporters fled the constituency of Makoni north to "safe houses" in the eastern town of Mutare last week.

The newspaper said they had received death threats from ZANU-PF youths and war veterans. Among the displaced were people whose homes and tobacco barns had earlier been torched by militants because they had allegedly voted MDC in the presidential election.
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Zimbabwe's opposition leader to face treason charges

Zimbabwe's opposition leader is expected to appear in a court in Harare later today to face the treason charges levelled against him during last year's disputed presidential election.

Morgan Tsvangirai has been accused of plotting to kill President Robert Mugabe.

The leader of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has been ordered to appear in the Harare Magistrate's Court.

Mr Tsvangirai was formally charged with treason last month.

If found guilty, he could face the death penalty.

MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube and Shadow Agriculture Minister Renson Gasela have also been charged over their alleged involvement in a conspiracy to eliminate President Mugabe.

All three men say they are innocent, but the government says the charges are extremely serious and must be properly investigated.

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