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

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Zim Independent - Muckraker

Who said he was ever Mr Nice Guy?

SINCE when has President Mugabe been considered soft? Speaking in Zvimba
last weekend he warned the opposition that he would no longer be Mr Nice

"They think we will continue to be soft. That's gone. It's finished," he
said promising to take a firm line with those challenging his rule.

Perhaps we should disabuse him. Nobody has ever considered him to be soft.
We recall his boast about his degrees in violence. We have seen what his
supporters are capable of. Nobody doubts for one moment that he was
reelected because his followers were allowed free rein to bludgeon voters.
And the whole country, plus the wider world, is aware that he changed the
electoral rules to suit his candidacy.

That abuse of power, the introduction of an illegal supplementary roll, the
exclusion of tens of thousands of urban voters and the complicity of public
officials and supine judges explain his "victory", not his "unwavering
stance" on the land issue which the gullible folk of Zvimba were led to
believe. His claim that "the people have spoken" is a monumental lie. His
people may have spoken in Zvimba. But the rest of the country wasn't given a
chance to. Potential voters were either deprived of their right to register
or prevented from casting their ballots, particularly in Harare.

Significantly Mugabe did nothing to hide his contempt for urban voters in
his Zvimba address, calling them inhabitants of "closed islands".

"Once you move out of Harare, where do you go?" he asked, proudly
advertising his iron grip on his rural fiefdom. There was a need to teach
the young about the heritage and culture of their country, he said.

He should be disabused of that notion as well. The young people of this
country have seen the nation's wealth disappear into the pockets of his
cronies. They have seen a once-prosperous nation transformed into a desert,
no longer able to feed its people or earn the foreign exchange needed for
vital imports.

They have seen how, when his threadbare ideology failed to make any purchase
on their minds, he unleashed the police and army against them, crushing
their right to freedom of speech and assembly.

They know all about his version of heritage and culture. And they aren't
buying it.

One point Mugabe didn't raise. Given his complete control over the army, the
police, the judiciary and the broadcasting media, not to mention the lies he
told about the opposition being controlled by Tony Blair and foreign
imperialists, how come he only managed to secure 56% of the poll? Is that
the unambiguous mandate he sought? And what does he think the figure would
have been had the opposition been allowed to campaign freely with access to
the public media and a self-respecting judiciary upholding people's rights?

Ben Hlatshwayo, according to the Sunday Mail, provided a good example of
what the opposition is up against last week when he described Zanu PF's
brutal and murderous campaign in Mberengwa during the 2000 general election
as "detailed and systematic". He was referring approvingly to the campaign
strategy of the ruling party's candidate!

Biggie Chitoro, the local butcher, was described as a credible witness while
the testimony of his victims was rubbished.

"He testified to the satisfaction of the court on his alleged role in the
death of Fainos (Zhou), a crime for which he now stands accused," the Sunday
Mail smugly reported. Carrying knives was part of his tradition, Chitoro
claimed, no doubt also "to the satisfaction of the court".

Hlatshwayo's judgement commended the police, who allowed Mugabe's armed
gangs to conduct a campaign of unbridled terror in the district for weeks on
end, for their "swift response to reports of violence and criminal

Advocate Beatrice Mtetwa was admonished for "building up the cases of
clients" who claimed they were raped while "paying scant or no regard to the
rights and welfare of witnesses".

And what can we say of judges who in the pre-presidential election period
paid scant regard to the pleas of citizens challenging the right of the
executive to change electoral rules at will in collaboration with suborned
public officials, thus allowing the election to proceed on the basis of
patently flawed rules and rolls?

One more thought on Mugabe's Zvimba address. If he loathes the people of the
cities so much, why doesn't he stay away from them? Nobody wants him here.
Why should one delusional old man and his parasitic family occupy all that
prime space on Chancellor Ave? It's time the people of the capital reclaimed
State House and made it a refuge for the thousands fleeing his militia thugs
in Mashonaland West and elsewhere. And the absence of his wasteful motorcade
with its abusive outriders and vexatious sirens would afford the inhabitants
of the capital a welcome break from the symbols of tyranny.

And by the way, it's the people of this country who will decide whether
there is to be a fresh poll, not him. Judging by Zanu PF's increasingly
feverish responses, that item seems to be moving steadily up the local and
international agenda. Mugabe must be contemplating this rich irony as
Presidents Obasanjo and Mbeki keep pressing their
government-of-national-unity initiative: In his moment of triumph his
closest political "friends" have unwittingly spread the germ of doubt about
his legitimacy. Why, if he was the "victor" and the MDC the "vanquished",
should he be forced into a partnership with them?

The answer to that is very simple: Because there is no other way out of the
mess he spawned in order to win the election. He has painted himself into
this particular corner and, apart of course from the bluster, it will be
interesting to see how he finds his way out. But whatever strategy he
adopts, he is now hostage to the enemies he thought he had defeated!

Nothing could better expose Zanu PF's corrupt political agenda than
Ignatious Chombo's directive to the new mayor of Harare not to dismiss 300
party supporters hired by the Chanakira Commission and still on probation.
All resolutions relating to labour and financial issues will need his
approval, Chombo told Mayor Elias Mudzuri.

What more evidence could there be of Zanu PF's determination to maintain its
cosy system of patronage and feather-nesting at Town House? The ratepayers
of Harare will be lumbered with the cost of employing unproductive and
unnecessary municipal employees simply because they are Zanu PF supporters
hired just before the election in a jobs-for-the- boys move.

The municipal workers union is already a centre of sheltered employment for
the party faithful. And the mayor, who was elected with a specific mandate
to clean out the Augean stable at Town House, has now been told not to act
in the interests of ratepayers by a minister abusing his powers.

This is misgovernance at its worst. Chombo is an enemy of the people of
Harare. And they should tell him they want nothing more to do with his
corrupt and plundering party when it comes to municipal affairs. It has
already done enough damage to Harare.

How could Jonathan Moyo describe US sanctions against Zimbabwean banking and
business leaders as "racist" when those measures also target white cronies
of the regime? We are pleased to see some illicit diamond dealers have been
included. Some people are squealing that it is unfair to put them on the
list. Others, like Phillip Chiyangwa, say they don't give a damn. Meanwhile,
President Mugabe's media apologists claim that he only made brief stopovers
in Britain anyway and would not be inconvenienced by the ban.

This is dishonest nonsense. President Mugabe and his wife loved their London
trips which provided a chance to strut upon the world stage and do some
shopping on the side. If Mugabe hated going there why were ZTV always
present to record the occasion? And when London became uncomfortable, the
first couple transfer- red their loyalties not to some developing country
but to Paris. Now we are told EU sanctions won't hurt them either. Who is
fooling who?

And what about Zanu PF bigwigs no longer able to educate their kids in the
US and Europe? Is it seriously suggested that was not a major blow to their
pretensions; that they did not value the chance to secure an education for
their children better than that offered at home?

The regime's spokesmen may be putting a brave face on sanctions in public,
but you can bet they are privately hurting. What is the point in being part
of an elite if there are no perks, no chance to mix with other elites and to
enjoy the good life that the West had to offer?

Meanwhile, letters are winging their way to the affected individuals and
there will be a lot more squealing to come. We firmly believe that senior
electoral officials who helped Mugabe rig the poll and judges who
collaborated with him in depriving Zimbabweans of their rights and freedoms
should be considered for inclusion.

We were intrigued to learn that Peta Thornycroft, the Daily Telegraph
correspondent arrested recently for "pretending to be a journalist" while
investigating reports of Zanu PF retribution in Chimanimani, used to provide
cover to Information minister Moyo when he was pretending to be a

Thornycroft, then an editor at Parade magazine, used to give Moyo false
bylines for his stories to protect him from Zanu PF retribution, the Sunday
Independent reports.

He doesn't seem particularly grateful. When it became clear that charges
against Thornycroft under POSA wouldn't stand up, the President's Office
hastily resorted to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act - until they discovered that its provisions were not yet operative. A
High Court judge spared them any further need to invent reasons to detain
her. But we liked the bit about giving the police a lift in her car only to
be charged with an incorrect vehicle registration number.

Meanwhile, Moyo's career as an undercover journalist who lacked the courage
of his convictions needs to be investigated by the Media Commission as soon
as it is formed. His media colleagues at the time who thought he was an
exclusive contributor to their columns will have been pained by this latest
revelation that he was moonlighting at Parade under a nom de plume.

The Wall Street Journal reminds us that General Alfredo Stroessner, longtime
dictator of Paraguay, simply loved to be elected. In 1978 he announced he
had won 89% of the vote; in 1983 he claimed 90%; five years later he awarded
himself 88,5%.

"It is perhaps a mark of progress," the paper says, "that Zimbabwe's Robert
Mugabe, a contemporary dictator, won only 56% in the (recently-concluded)
election. But that fraud is basically the same. A thug who crushes popular
opposition to his rule is claiming popular legitimacy."

Indeed he is. But nobody is for one minute accepting it. That is the price
you pay for beating your way to State House. Stroessner knew about that too.
And where is he now?

We note Stan Mudenge offered his condolences to the British authorities on
the death of the Queen Mother. This is as it should be in terms of protocol,
but Stan evidently has a soft spot for royalty. At the Coolum Chogm in
Australia last month he lined up to shake the royal paw. While Jonathan Moyo
was entertaining the press to a vitriolic denunciation of the former
imperial power, his colleague was bowing in due deference to its ultimate
symbol. We didn't hear whether the Queen was amused or not.

Muckraker liked the Herald's hoax story about Fifa president Sepp Blatter
coming here to lobby for retention of his place on the world soccer body.
Less impressive was the way the international wire services took the story
seriously and retailed it around the world.

Hands up guys. Who was had? But at least the next day the Herald admitted
that Blatter was "not likely to be coming to this part of the world in the
near future".

Is anybody?

Finally, congratulations to ZBC for repeating on all its News bulletins on
Monday without anybody in authority noticing that the victim of a car
accident had his leg "decapitated". Another "Sport-on" first!
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Zim Independent

War veterans cause havoc in conservancies
Godfrey Marawanyika

ENVIRONMENT and Tourism minister Francis Nhema is headed for a showdown with
safari operators after giving assurances to Safari Club International (SCI)
members that they could conduct hunts in conservancies in the country
without disruption from war veterans and villagers settled on the private

At the SCI international convention in Las Vegas last month, Nhema assured
the trade that Zimbabwe was a safe hunting destination. His assurances come
in the wake of disturbing incidents of widespread poaching and further
designation of game areas for resettlement by the government.

This week the Zimbabwe Independent heard that more than 40 villagers and war
veterans on the Bubi Dollar Block ranch in Matabeleland North have caused
the cancellation of hunts resulting in multi-million dollar losses.

Conservancies in Matabeleland North and South, the main safari areas, have
been designated under the government's fast-track land resettlement

This week there has been an increase in the level of poaching and extortion
by resettled farmers living adjacent to conservancies, the Independent has
been told.

The uncontrolled movement of people has resulted in the killing of seven
elephant bulls in Charara national park in the Zambezi valley. Two black
rhinos were poisoned in one of the country's Intensive Protection Zones in
Tashinga near Kariba.

Industry players said the situation on the ground - which flies in the face
of Nhema's assurances in Las Vegas - will com- promise Zimbabwe's standing
with other regional members at the up-coming Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species to be held in Chile later this year.

National Parks acting deputy director (Research), Vitalis Chadenga,
confirmed the latest incidents.

"It's true that some elephants were killed during the weekend and I also
confirm that some rhinos were poisoned," he said.

National Parks has expressed concern at the high level of extortion which
conservancy managers have been subjected to by ruling party mobs.

Sources said that invaders forced their way onto Gulans Ranch in
Matabeleland North, which has 30 black rhinos. Owners are being required to
pay them not to kill animals. Zanu PF supporters are claiming to be
custodians of the Campfire programme and making demands for money that would
normally be paid by safari operators to district councils for hunts.

In Raffingora war veterans have demanded they be paid $400 a month for every
crocodile kept at Silater Farm. The farm currently has 4 000 crocodiles.

Chadenga said the department had received reports of extortion in some
conservancies. Nhema said he would only comment next week once he had
clarification of the problems.
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Farm Invasions And Security Report

Friday 5 April 2002


This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas.  Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens.  Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.

Owing to email problems, the report this week will appear once, incorporating all incidents for the past weekend and week.



·        Leopard’s Vlei Farm, Glendale, has had immense pressure, with senior "war vet" Big Foot, accompanied by 12 others, forcing a work stoppage and leaving a letter of demand the farmer vacate.  The following day, the well-known self declared owner of Thrums Farm, Mr. Matangire, announced the previous days visitors were not genuine "war vets" but plain opportunists out to steal maize and terrorise people. On 01.04.02, 24 aggressive men broke the heavily chained and securely locked gates to the homestead and workshop complex and forced their way into the homestead and one of the vehicles. Damage to property and theft of equipment amounted to more than ZW$ 600 000,00.  The return of the housesitter left him open to verbal abuse.  On the same day, four unidentified people arrived claiming they represented the new owners and had come to re-educate the labour. On 03.04.02 the labourers came to express their fears and concerns over the previous night’s re-education, but by 1000 hrs normal farming operation commenced. Leopards Vlei Farm has a Section 5 notice.

·        The situation on Danbury Park, Mazowe/Concession, is the same, with the owner and his family still barricaded in their home. The police will not react as they say the owner is fabricating the whole story.

·        Tsatsi - The owner of Barwick K was given an article, which has been written by the "war vets" concerning the demise of the commercial farmers.

·        Mbima Farm, Wedza has had continued problems with aggressive settlers demanding compensation and telling the owner he had to be off the property by the end of the weekend and all movable property on the farm belonged to them and had to remain. Although police intervened, the owner has been locked out his homestead with padlocks put on by settlers, who held an all night pungwe.  The owner managed to gain entry through another gate, but the next morning the owner’s wife was approached by five people who demanded the lock and key, which they snatched from her and she was told they would now guard the yard and open and shut the gates.  Police intervention has defused the situation.

·        Farm owners and workers in Featherstone still face massive pressure to vacate, with continuous threats, harassment of livestock and interruptions to daily farm work.

·        Chipesa Farm, Marondera South, still remains a no go area and wholesale looting is rampant i.e. cattle, tobacco, paprika, household effects and property in the yard.  Police will not escort the farmer back to Chipesa for reasons unknown.  They also declined providing a police presence on the property, citing staff shortages.

·        Settlers burnt out Craig Farm, Gutu/Chatsworth, before Easter.

·        Eduan Estates, Kwekwe, can no longer supply food for workers.




Rusape – ongoing problems on Chimbe Farm and Arbeid Farm, but police hope to have resolved the situations this week. At Arbeid, the labourers are told by the "war vets" to move off the cattle asked by the "war vets" why they still live on the farm.

Chipinge - A farmer was told to get off his farm on 02.04.02: to vacate the homestead, remove his cattle, and replace the electrical pump he took out.  The "war vets" said the gum tree plantation and the sand pit areas are theirs.  The farmer was told to remove the guard from the homestead area and is accused of transporting MDC supporters and polling agents.

Odzi - The owners of Riverside Farm, Amberwell and Mapor Estate were all told this week to be off the farm by 6.04.02 and to move all their goods.

General – the youth seem to be active in Chipinge and Odzi areas.  The rest of Manicaland appears to be quiet.



Mvurwi - The owner of Mondyne Farm continues to be harassed by youths who were campaigning during the election, and now state they were to be paid for their efforts. The owner has refused to give them any payments.  On Mandinde Farm, Agritex and GMB officials have asked to hire the owner’s irrigation equipment after assessing the farm for a winter crop. The owner has refused saying that he should rather be given the opportunity to grow the crop as he has large debts to pay. The officials say they will not allow this, as they would be growing the crop. The owner of Lucknow farm left on 6.04.02 to go on holiday. The next day a truck arrived, loaded up scrap metal and left. The truck was stopped and the goods returned to the farm. The settlers on Blanko Farm have been trying to get the owner to plough in the maize stover so they can plant their new crops. He has refused to do so.

Bindura - youths resident on Bodele Farm came to Bourtondale Farm and severely beat up a security guard who had prevented women from walking past the maize lands, in their search for guavas. He was accused of saying the women were trying to steal the maize.

Glendale - On 25.03.02, twelve middle aged male settlers, along with the senior "war vet" called "Big Foot", forced their way into the workshop area on Leopard’s Vlei Farm.  They caused havoc by instructing all the workers to leave immediately, as they now owned the farm. They left a note with the farm security guard addressed to the resident manager, instructing him to leave within two minutes and signed "the war vets". They went on to stone two occupied residences and left. A report was made to the Police who promised to investigate the incident. On 26.03.02, the well-known self declared owner of Thrums Farm, Mr. Matangire appeared at Leopards Vlei Farm and announced the previous days visitors were not genuine "war vets" but were plain opportunists out to steal maize and terrorise people. He vowed to "sort them out". Mr. Matangire professes to be in overall command of all the "war vets" and invaders throughout the whole area. All was reasonably quiet until 1400 hrs on Easter Monday, 1.04.02, when 24 very aggressive and determined men broke the heavily chained and securely locked gates to the homestead and workshop complex and forced their way into the homestead and one of the vehicles. Damage to property and theft of equipment amounted to more than ZW$ 600 000:00 mainly consisting of irrigation equipment, specialised workshop tools, videos and tape recorders, foodstuffs, cameras, sporting equipment, DSTV decoders, car radios, tyres and farm keys. The house sitters' car tyres were deflated. When he returned at 16:45 hrs, realising that looting had taken place during his absence, he immediately locked himself and his wife in the house. Within 10 minutes the looters returned and started shouting and accusing the house sitter of being a "British Pig". The abuse continued and he was called a "Mubunhu" and ordered to leave the property within the next three days. While looking through the curtains he spotted an AK-47 assault rifle, which was cocked and ready to be fired. They departed at around 1800 hrs and a shot was heard which, it later transpired, was fired over the heads of the labour to dissuade them from any action. At 1900 hrs the house sitter decided to leave the farm at which time the manager’s family left too. The reaction team from the Police only arrived at 1500 hrs on 02.04.02.  No arrests were made and no property recovered. At approximately 1800 hrs on the same day, four unidentified people arrived at the main gate in a late model vehicle and claimed they represented the new owners and they had come to re-educate the labour and to severely reprimand them for failing to support the settlers by joining in with the looting and other events of the previous day. These persons summoned all labour to a meeting where they scolded them and exhorted them to support the settlers, should similar incidents recur in the future. On 03.04.02 the labourers came to express their fears and concerns over the previous night’s re-education, but by 1000 hrs normal farming operation commenced. Leopards Vlei Farm has a Section 5 notice. At present, there are seven farms in this area facing similar problems.

Shamva - The retired couple living on Bamboo Creek Farm were evicted by the settlers on 02.04.02. On the neighbouring farm, Burnleigh, the owner was evicted before Easter.

Mazowe/Concession - On 29.03.02, the settlers attempted to evict the owner of Pearson Farm. The Police responded. An all night "pungwe" was held on 03.02.02 during which the door to the homestead was broken down. The situation is not good and Police have refused to respond this time. The situation on Danbury Park is the same, with the owner and his family still barricaded in their home and the owner’s parents, who live next door, have had continuous harassment for the past two weeks. The Police will not react as they say the owner is fabricating the whole story. The owner of Warmingham Farm discovered the switchgear has once again been stolen bringing the total to five and he has decided to "go on leave".

Tsatsi - The whole of Howick Vale Farm has been pegged including the extensive rose project. Increased activity concerning the A2 scheme has been reported. The owner of Barwick K was given an article, which has been written by the "war vets" concerning the demise of the commercial farmers. The ZBC were there to record the event. Threatened evictions continue at this time.     



Beatrice – on 28.03.02, a 10 hp motor was stolen from Dunrobin Farm. A Mr Chirumba and three others, in the company of an A2 settler wanting to take occupation of his farm, visited Tavistock Estate. They were in a cream Isuzu truck, reg no 556-631 H, and left after a short while.  On 30.03.02, the New Retreat owner reported he was instructed to remove his belongings from the house, as someone would be occupying it this week. Plumstead Farm reported the youth had visited and demanded land. Police visited Nebo Farm on 29.03.02 to investigate a theft and said they would return the next day to continue enquires. On 01.04.02, the Manderley Farm owner was visited by Chitsinde asking for maize and agreed to give some. Cahrleston was also visited by Chitsinde asking for maize but has not agreed to anything yet.   On New Retreat the owner was visited by Chiramba and Zhou on 02.04.02. A heated meeting took place about irrigation pipes and hydrant covers, demanding the keys for all the houses. They were taken to the Police Station, but nothing was resolved. DDF tractors have started ploughing.

Wedzaon Bita four cattle were recovered that were stolen in December.  The original brand had been branded over with an ‘R’.  Skoonveld reported three heifers that had been stolen, returned to the farm with blue ropes tied to their legs.  On Devon three pivot motors and the fertigation unit were stolen.  A neighbour growing paprika on the property is continually having his irrigation turned off.  The Lifton owner was told to vacate his property.  At Markwe the electricity was turned off and the front gate barricaded on the night of 29.03.02, apparently by settlers.  The owner turned on the power again and called the police, who removed the barricade.  On 30.03.02 the same group barricaded the back gate, rattled the front gate and sang, mostly women.  The police again responded.  Mbima reported that on 29.03.02 the settlers demanded compensation of 7 bags of maize in return for maize they claimed the two 30-year old horses had eaten, these being the only livestock belonging to the owner remaining on the farm and kept in the security fence.  The settlers told the farmer he had to be off the property by the end of the weekend and all movable property on the farm belonged to them and had to remain.  The police arrived about five hours later and apparently resolved the matter.  Later that afternoon the owner and his wife went out and on their return found the gates locked with padlocks put on by the settlers.  They gained entry to the homestead fence by another gate, and informed the police, who said they would attend in the morning.  At about 2100 hrs, the settlers, who had been inside the barn complex all the time, started a pungwe, rattling the gate, shouting and singing.  The guards fled.  The police were again called and eventually arrived at about 0130 hrs.  The situation quietened down although the settlers remained inside the fence.  Later that morning the owner’s wife went out and on returning was approached by 5 people who demanded the lock and key, which they snatched from her and she was told they would now guard the yard and open and shut the gates.  About 5 hours later the police came again and ordered all the settlers including the one who had been living in the cottage for some months, to get out the fence and return to the farm village.  They also told the owner to get some guards back and to call the police again if there was more trouble.  All is quiet.  Bickleigh reported settlers wanted to beat up the labour. The police arrived and defused the situation.  The farmer returned to the farm and the settlers tried to barricade him inside the security fence, but he managed to get out via another gate.  Dean had a borehole motor stolen, value ZW$ 800 000.00. At Igudu Farm on 11.03.02, the owner was threatened and had to vacate the property. On 02.04.02, the owner returned with a police escort, to discover the property had been looted. The main house and two managers’ houses were broken into, and any furniture not already been removed from the property by the owner was stolen, which included electrical fittings, fitted carpets, kitchen sink, toilet cisterns, hand basins etc. The workshop and barn area were also looted with a 75 hp electric motor, a Landini tractor, trailer and many other items missing. The Chemical shed had a hole knocked in the wall and all the chemicals stolen. So far, the value of property known to have been removed is ZW$ 20 000 000.00

Featherstone – on Gelukwerwacht, the 2 remaining managers were evicted at short notice on 28.03.02, from the house of the owner’s mother.  The manager removed personal belongings, but not all the furniture.  The youth claim the owner has not paid Council Rates.  At Sable Flats, the owner’s cattle, which are kraaled at night, are being chased into the settlers’ maize by the youth.  One weaner has been speared and 9 have been stolen.  25 were recovered after following spoor towards Mhondoro.  Featherstone Police reacted but did not resolve anything.  The Dunkirk owner has conceded a section of this dairy farm.  Dairy cattle are kraaled at night but settlers are now planting in the dairy kraals and say the owner must vacate.  They have instructed the owner it is of no use to complain to the DA, as the DA no longer has a say in this farm.  Previously the DA assured the owner he could remain on his section of the farm.  The owner is at present away for a few days.  The Beach Farm workers remaining have vacated to the surrounding bush, where they are now living and are still subjected to all-night pungwes and beatings.  The Schwongezicht owner has been allowed to graze cattle in one paddock, provided he ploughs for the settlers.  24 head of cattle from this farm have been kraaled on Wallasey next door, until the owner of the cattle pays compensation. Police have been informed but it is not known what action has been taken.  The Calais owner has been told that he must be off by the farm by 08.04.02.  The PA has said he is washing his hands of the DA and the Lands Committee.

Harare South – at Nhuku, from a previous sitrep singing and dancing by labour was defused by the police but a foreman so badly beaten up he could not walk.  The Sadaguru owner’s cook was beaten up and the "war vets" shot the bull using the security guard’s weapon, which was returned after the shooting.  The meat was loaded on to the owner’s pickup and taken to Marirangwe reserve.  The vehicle is often commandeered by the "war vets".  At Mashonda, about 20 "war vets" and youth arrived in aforementioned pick-up and beat up the owner using plastic whips, sticks and a timing chain.  He had 10 welts across his back, one across his face and a lump on the back of his head. The owner’s son was also beaten up along with three workers.  Two huts and the beer hall were burnt.  The district responded: three police officers from the satellite base were collected and taken to the farm; a farmer phoned ZRP Beatrice for support who said they would come when they had transport.  Farmers from around the district arrived and the gang drove away.  When the three police details arrived the gang of youth and "war vets" had already gone. Subsequently a pick-up arrived and the occupants stated they had come to sort out the problems but on the pick-up were two of the people who had beaten up the farm owner. Beatrice police did not attend. The two suspects were released and the three details returned to the satellite base.  DISPOL was eventually contacted, who said he knew the two suspects and they would be re-arrested.  At Eyam, "war vet" Shumba went into the farm village and assaulted two elderly workers.  ZRP Beatrice was informed but no RRB No was given as all the RRB books were finished.  The Auks Nest owner was stopped from completing a Carguard shed, made to move out all his equipment and a bar is being built inside. At Denby 12 very drunken youth demanded a tractor to plough. They camped in the workshop area not allowing anyone in or out. The police were informed but had no transport. The owner went to pick them up but was told "It was too controversial!" The OIC said he might come when he had transport. The youth spent more time making ridiculous demands and finally left on 03.04.02.

Marondera North – there is a work stoppage on Essexdale and the owner has been told if he is not out by 30.03.02 there would be violence.  He could move off certain items but no irrigation equipment.  The settlers said they would have their own guards checking that only certain items were removed. When the owner tried to move the tractor, he was threatened and told they would burn the tractor.  The chairman of Detainees, Mr Honde, wanted to move into the Oxford farmhouse.  He was prevented from doing so by the settlers.

Marondera South – the Uitkyk Farm owner had numerous threats to move off the farm, including labour and cattle.  Police refused to react to these threats on several occasions and even hung up the phone on him.  When the Lands Committee, in the presence of Inspector Mafu (in plain clothes), visited the farm on 29.03.02, the owner was asked in front of the settlers why the settlers had not “got rid of the farmer” since he had a Section 5.  The farmer was now to go before the lands committee on 2.04.02 and they would decide how long to give him to vacate the property.  On 31.03.02 at Marriangwe Farm, eight settlers harassed three domestic workers to move out of their houses.  When the police arrived, Inspector Mafu told the staff to move into the barns and not their houses. Tranquillity Farm reports on 31.03.02, labour was forced out of houses by settler Masimbi.  When the Police arrived they were all on the main road with their belongings.  The Police accused them of demonstrating and to get back to their houses.  Masimbi, obviously infuriated by these orders, told the workers in front of the Police, that in three days time they would be evicted again.  The K'Sera labour was evicted for the second time on 31.03.02, in the farmer's absence.  It is not known if police responded. On Munemo Farm, Monora Farm, and Eirene Farm, there are daily threats to evict labour and in one case on Eirene the labour were evicted but told hours later to return to their houses by Masimbi. On 29.03.02 a threatening group of settlers arrived at Mushangwe Farm and told the workers to stop loading tobacco into the barns and move out of the farm village as they were going to burn down the owner’s house.  The group included the Lands Committee, Marimo and Zininga in the presence of police Inspector Mafu.  They were given until the 14.04.02 to wind up affairs.  However, on 30/03/02 a visit by two officials from the Presidents Office had them express concern about loss of production and ordered work to resume.  On 31/03/02 the threats and work interference started again.  Cattle grazing areas, which were very limited, were burnt.  Gresham Farm reported that on 28.03.02, labour, already evicted from the village to the yard, were ordered to leave the farm.  The owner was away.  There has been a total shutdown on the farm and Isaac Kadzikwa and four of his "men" are looking after the place.  Keys to all buildings and homesteads were demanded but refused.  Wholesale reaping of paprika is now taking place and one dairy cow is missing.  It is unknown if any looting is going on or if the police have been there as the owner’s brother who went to the farm was told to leave or he would be next. Chipesa Farm still remains a no go area and wholesale looting is rampant i.e. cattle, tobacco, paprika, household effects and property in the yard.  Police will not escort the farmer back to Chipesa for reasons unknown.  They also declined providing a police presence on the property, citing staff shortages.  The Igava Farm managers, have been evicted from their houses, as well as a tenant.  These properties are now occupied by settlers.  Settlers are demanding the use of irrigation equipment to grow wheat in the lands that still have maize and soyas growing.  An army officer, Lazarus, wants to discuss with the owner’s wife about moving into her house.  The settlers are demanding the owner leave the farm.  Police reactions have had little effect and the situation remains very tense. At Gresham Farm, government representatives, Support Unit, "war vets", labour and the owner held a meeting, during which the Support Unit went into the paprika lands, arrested 15 people and took away two scotch carts and bicycles. The labour was told to move back into the farm village but as of 3.04.02 they were still not allowed to move back.  Work was supposed to start again on 4.04.02.  One house was broken into via the roof but only food was stolen.  The paprika lands (30 ha) have been totally stripped of any red pods, which amounts to approximately 20 tonnes stolen. 

Macheke Virginia – on 24.03.02, Second Chapter reported maize theft and Murrayfield received a Section 8.  On 25.03.02, Two Streams reported three cattle stolen, but two were recovered amongst settlers’ cattle with their ear tags missing.  Subsequently, they reported two cattle shot, with the meat taken from one. On 26.03.02, Elikas Vous Farm was visited by Mr Charles Mavgewe of the Zimbabwe Army accompanied by Mark Anthony Mapano of Agritex.  Mr. Mavgewe was being shown his land.  On 27.03.02 Second Chapter reported a Mr Mangwende from Murewa coming to inspect his plot. Again, the owner had to report maize theft on 02.04.02.  Glensomerset reported theft of asbestos roof from a pumphouse but the roofing sheets were recovered in the bush.  Mount Bogota reported a pump had been stolen from the dip and a cow slaughtered. Murrayfield labour had been prevented from putting cattle in a paddock. The owner spoke to Mr Mutsatse and the DA who promised to "sort it out"  - still awaiting the outcome.  On 29.03.02, Salama Farm reported maize theft.  They caught the thief and called the Police.   The OIC Macheke came out personally.  On Mignon Farm, guests staying with the owner were harassed by "war vets".  The "war vets" told his three workers on duty to leave work, as it was a holiday.  Athlone reported wire theft to Cst. Chanakira.  At Drylawhill, "war vets" demanded the ID numbers of all labour, how long each had worked on the farm as well as the name of each individual’s headman and from what village they came. The "war vets" want the owner to collect this information, which he has refused to do in case it is a reprisal tool against the labour. The "war vets" called a meeting on 03.04.02 to intimidate the labour, asking them why he had not supplied the information. The owner is away and will see Police about this on his return. Virginia country club had a pump and tables stolen. 



Chinhoyi – on 26.03.02, at Highlands Farm, which is leased, a Nigel Chirava and Messrs Dhombo and Zuze arrived and told the lessee he had to leave the farm
immediately and if he did not do so they would assist him in moving.  Dhombo and Zuze then proceeded to the barn complex and stopped all work.  Highlands Farm to date is unlisted.  These men also threatened to evict the farmer off Manengas Farm. At Highlands, the men instructed the drivers to bring a tractor and trailer up to the house to assist with removing household belongings.  Nigel Chirava claimed the farm had been given to him and he had thirty days to
occupy it.  Chief Inspector Madziwapasi of Chinhoyi Rural and Ass Com Pritchard of PROPOL MINOR were informed, the latter said this was unacceptable, however he still needed to go through the correct channels ie starting at Rural and then working up. Chirava and company
tried to break open the gate using a hammer.  Chirava chased away a vehicle whose occupants had been monitoring the situation from a distance, using his pickup.  He then continued into Chinhoyi.  He returned to the farm with an extra two people, forced the lock on the security
gate and drove into the yard.  They threatened the occupants of the homestead complex and told them to leave the farm.  Three of the five culprits were armed at this stage, one with a knife and two with sticks.  They surrounded the owner and were very threatening.  A negotiating team from the farming area tried to defuse the situation, with no luck.  At 1340 hrs, Chirava and company tried to break into the house through the back door.  After 7,5 hrs from the time of the report, the police finally arrived at 1350 hrs.  Until 1445 hrs, the situation remained tense with no police
involvement and plenty of threats from Chirava and company. The owner was allowed to phone the PA, Mukwaira, who was to call back in thirty minutes with his decision as to whether the lessee could stay in the homestead and his decision would be final.  At 1500 hrs, Chief Insp Madziwapasi was spoken to again who reported that the "Land Committee" would be meeting the following day and decisions would be made then.  After a further standoff, the owner was finally allowed to move off the farm to meet with CI Madziwapasi at his office to discuss the situation.  Mr. Chirava informed the owner he had four days to get his affairs in order and to get off the farm.  Agritex arrived on 28.03.02 to begin pegging Highlands farm and Kanami Farm.  On Manengas Farm a blue Mazda with four occupants including G Chikwaze, A Kademaunga and E Shire arrived at the homestead.  The owner was told to get his crops off immediately and then move off the farm.   The settlers said they wanted to plant wheat.  Natalia Farm had a house break-in on 01.04.02.  Thieves stole ZW$ 450 000-00 worth of household goods.  On 3.04.02, thieves stole 5 brass tapes on Sligo Farm. This farm has retrenched 35 men and 35 women with about five still to go.

Darwendale - Muchroli Farm received a Section 5 dated 18.05.02 on 2.04.02.  Dulwich Est. had a further Section 5 served on Chilsanga, which is a section of Stroud Tobacco P/L, itself a subsidiary of Dulwich Estates (Pvt) Ltd.  A meeting held by Dr Chombo and Minister Made at T.T.C. Trelawney had them stating the "war vets" were to continue where they are, to grow wheat this winter, using all the white farmer's equipment and inputs, and then to follow that with irrigated tobacco.

Ayrshire – on 3.04.02 at Kaduna Farm, a settler visitor made lists of irrigation pipes moved from the farm by the farmer



Norton - Governor Hungwe has given the owner of Bryn one week to vacate the farm despite the owner having offered another property to Government for resettlement purposes, leaving the owner with only one property.

Chegutu - There was another pig stolen at Farnham making this the sixth in two weeks.

General - Rampant theft of tyres, irrigation equipment, livestock, paprika and maize remains rife throughout the region.



Masvingo East and Central - Justice Farm had irrigation equipment stolen. At Lamotte Farm over the Easter weekend, people presumed to originate from the Mucheke Township adjacent to the farm, came on to the property at night and stole all the ripe pods from the paprika crop. Estimated damage is ZW$ 600 000. The owner was due to start picking this week. He has subsequently shut off his water and let the cattle into the field.  Chidza Farm reports that on 02.04.02, the owner received a delegation comprising a pick-up loaded with people, who began demonstrating.  They demanded he pay for the property. Contrary to reports in the Daily News of 29.03.02, settlers have not been moved off the property. There has been a marked increase of people moving on to the farm and communal cattle are pushed on to the farm on a daily basis.  On 03.04.02, the District Land Committee visited the DA to try and sort out the continued problems. On the morning of 04.04.02 all the owner’s cattle were removed from the paddocks and pushed across the Chidza River. The Chidza River Bridge has also been barricaded. A "war vet" known as Lovemore Zimuto is alleged to be behind this harassment and is claiming three quarters of the owner’s property as his own with some for other settlers.

Chiredzi - Bangala Ranch reported a fire burning over 1000 ha.  The Palm River Ranch owner has been subjected once again to an eight hour meeting with approximately 60 people. Claims were made for 100 head of cattle dating back to 1939 when the owner was born. ZRP did attend the meeting.  The Wasarasara Ranch owner was instructed by "war vet" Mutemachani to leave his cattle within the paddocks as they are eating settlers’ grass.  Police at Triangle were informed and the matter resolved. However the next day the farm fence was cut every 10 metres.  At Buffalo Range, a large fire was reported on this property over Easter, as well as at Eaglemont Ranch a large fire was reported, again over Easter.

Gutu / Chatsworth – the whole of Craig Farm was burnt out by settlers before Easter.  Police have arrested 22 people in connection with the continued harassment over grazing and cattle on Irvine A. Five cattle have been lost due to the situation.

Save Conservancy - Poaching and snaring continue in this area.

Mwenezi – at Battlefields Ranch, approximately 100 communal cattle can be found at any time on the property and are seen at the dam drinking water. The main dam’s water supply is drying up very quickly. Another smaller dam has already dried up. More communal cattle are also being pushed into the paddocks for grazing purposes. There has been a definite upsurge in cattle being pushed onto the property since the elections. It is clear communal people have taken advantage of the lawlessness. There is no grazing available or water available in the communal area.  Communal cattle are also driven at night over the boundary into the owners spring fountain to access the water. The very sensitive eco-system is severely disturbed and trampled by the hundreds of head of communal cattle. Poaching and theft of wire continues. Small portions of paddocks are burnt down, a result of poachers leaving fires unattended.  The Swanscoe Ranch/Bubi Village owner was in the butchery on 16.03.02 when Sgt. Ngulube from ZRP Beitbridge, an occupier of Swanscoe, entered the butchery. He arrived in a police Land Rover and was wearing a Zanu (PF) T-shirt. He was in the company of CID details and others from Beitbridge. He accosted the owner, accused him of being an MDC polling agent, and struck him several times in the presence of his children.  He was shouting obscenities and told the owner to go back to Britain, and “Zimbabwe is for blacks and whites are not welcome here". The owner left.  On 17.03.02, ZRP arrived at Bubi Village and asked to see the rifle range where they alleged MDC were being trained. As no such thing exists it could not be found.  On 18.03.02 Sgt. Ngulube arrived with an escort, armed with AKs and bayonets fixed. Without either a search warrant or an Inspector they proceeded to search Bubi Village where they found maize belonging to workers in a storeroom. The owner demanded a search warrant. DISPOL Beitbridge arrived and at about 2200 hrs the maize was loaded on to a truck and sent to Beitbridge.  The following day, the GMB receipts for the confiscated maize were produced and the owner was told he could recover his workers' maize from Beitbridge - this will cost the workers an additional ZW$ 15 000.  The farce does not end here as on 20.03.02, a Notice of Seizure was issued by GMB. GMB stated this was done on orders from the DA who is the ultimate authority in the district and because he alleges the Bubi Village owner is an MDC activist. Explaining again the maize belongs to workers who were merely assisted in arranging collective transport made no difference, even when it was pointed out that the owner himself does not eat maize. The owner was threatened that reporting these incidents would result in Bubi Village being burnt down. Sgt. Ngulube has now been promoted to the rank of Inspector! At La Pache Ranch a night crop guard who had killed a porcupine damaging paprika was allowed to take the meat. Squatters apprehended him at the farm village and took him to the police station where he was charged under Sect. 59 of the Parks and Wildlife Act, "Hunt any animal on any property". A summons was issued against the worker, but phone calls and a note to the police resolved the problem, which was an obvious case of harassment.  The settlers demanded a meeting with all the workers at the owner’s homestead area. This lasted for about an hour and a half and consisted of nothing more than raw intimidation, political indoctrination and misinformation spiced up with racist slogans such as "Pasi ne murungu". Another was scheduled for the following week. The workers were accused of being supporters of the opposition and all their names recorded. The workers were informed:

    1. The irrigation lands will be pegged - this has now happened,

    2. The cattle will be removed from the property and put on Nuanetsi Ranch!

    3. Existing fences to be removed and replaced on a cane haulage road to safeguard their cattle

    4. Water for the use of "settlers" will be taken from irrigation storage ponds

    5. Workers seen in the lands will be beaten up and the tractor is not to move around.

A letter detailing all the above has been given to the DA with copies to OIC Mwenezi ZRP and DISPOL Chiredzi.  Quagga Pan B reported 25 cattle are missing in the past month, seven in the last two days. Dried beef has been found in the possession of a woman who claims to have bought it and was on her way to sell it in South Africa. Police are making use of so-called Neighbourhood Watch recruited from amongst the settlers. Some of the meat recovered is apparently swapped for mealie meal from a local miller in Rutenga on behalf of the individuals involved in the "Neighbourhood Watch". The hunting camp has suffered further vandalism.  Quagga Pan A reports 19 cattle missing. The pipeline is still regularly broken.  At Alko Ranch a number of cattle are missing, with a great deal of meat found in settlers’ huts. The police and farm guards responsible have been asked by the local MP how they can do this to the people.  On Rinette Ranch/Edenvale Ranch there have been fires set by settlers.  Kleinbegin Ranch (Sam Cawood) states more and more communal cattle are pushed on to property, with now at least 500 head. These come from an area where there is strong evidence of FMD. Limburgia Ranch reports cattle are pushed on to the tar road, and three hit by vehicles in the past few days alone.  At Oerwoud Ranch, cattle are released from pens at night, driven away and then one or two are stolen while the balance is left to wander home.



General - Maize theft is now wide spread and becoming a serious problem throughout the Region. Gold panners are becoming lawless and aggressive. Police have reacted to some incidents fairly promptly.

Kwekwe - One third of Gomoro Estate was burnt out by settlers. The matter was reported to the police but there has been no response. With assistance from the DA the maize milling operation has been closed on Groenike and Mooirivier, although attempted maize theft continues at night. Eduan Estates can no longer supply food for workers. On Machakwe Estates the cattle are caught in snares in the only cattle camp on the property. The farmer was told to move his cattle and the permanent settlers told to stay. Pitscottie, Circle G, Moreena, Pavlova, Borrowdale, Mvurachena, Dunlop and Chinyika are all experiencing major problems with snaring, poaching using dogs and theft of fencing. On most of these properties some species of game have been completely wiped out and if poaching continues on this scale, there will be no game next year. Four arrests have been made within the conservancy. Poaching continues on Game Park where some settlers have removed window and door frames from structures. On Glen Arroch, the farmer has had to dig up his entire un-matured potato crop as gold panners were stealing from it. On Delvillewood Estates there has been a theft of boat trailer tyres and fishing rods. A suspect dropped his National ID. At the scene and Police are investigating. An estimated three-quarters of the 15 hectare maize crop (71 tonnes) has been stolen off the land. Soya bean theft has started with stalks and beans taken by scotch cart to villages to be threshed by hand. An occupier damaged a hydrant whilst ploughing and asked the owner to please assist in fixing it. On Belgrave, occupiers have approached the owner to share responsibility for the new wheat crop.

Somabhula - A constable at Gweru Rural refused to give an RRB number, or his force number when a theft on Sonambula was reported and ended the conversation by hanging up on the farmer.


No report received.                                               Visit the CFU Website

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Zim Independent

Mugabe faces mounting crisis of legitimacy
Dumisani Muleya

AS the democratic tide refuses to ebb in the aftermath of a fevered
presidential election, President Robert Mugabe finds himself in a serious
fix despite claiming to have secured a fresh mandate to rule for another six

Political analysts say Mugabe - who stormed back to office through a clumsy
break-and-enter approach - is hoist by his own petard. He is now having to
struggle with a debilitating lack of political legitimacy.

Commentator Brian Raftopoulos said Mugabe badly needs popular consent -
acceptance of the ruler's authority by the governed - to confront the
growing political headwinds.

"Mugabe may have 'won' the election under such conditions (a skewed playing
field) but he faces the prospect of a very serious deficit where it matters
most - namely the loss of legitimacy among millions of Zimbabwean citizens,"
Raftopoulos said.

"He will have to rule without the active consent of many who no longer
consider him a legitimate president."

Analysts say the cushion of legitimacy for Mugabe is but thin ice on which
he is skating at his own peril. Over 1,2 million Zimbabweans voted against
him while hundreds of thousands more were denied the right to express their
will through a democratic vote.

Despite systematic violence and intimidation as well as electoral rigging,
Mugabe only managed to coerce 1,6 million people to vote for him.

Legitimacy is a sine qua non to political survival in democratic
dispensations, observers note. This is so because government's command
structure is fundamentally a matter of fashioning relationships that will
allow the rulers to exercise their power in the hope they will be obeyed. A
political regime needs legitimate support in order to maintain itself and
survive tribulations.

French writer Maurice Godelier said the main guarantee for power is not
political coercion and terror but legitimacy and consent - the acceptance of
the rulers' authority by the governed.

"The strongest and most effective force in guaranteeing the long-term
maintenance of power," he says, "is not violence in all the forms deployed
by the dominant to control the dominated, but consent in all forms in which
the dominated acquiesce in their own domination."

Critics say Mugabe is currently battling to revive his totalitarian project
which is under threat from democratic forces. He also wants to rescue
himself from the political dungeon where misrule has landed him.

But as US author Barbara Ehrenreich wrote: "If patriotism is too often the
refuge of scoundrels, dissent, criticism, and all-round hell- raising remain
the true duty of patriots."

Mugabe seems to be feeling the squeeze. He is ironically in a similar
situation to Ian Smith during the '60s and '70s. Smith could not emerge from
international isolation without conjuring up a political settlement which
meant yielding to popular demands. He was similarly under pressure from his
South African neighbours.

The current bid by the ruling Zanu PF to talk to the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) is the direct product of South African and Nigerian
efforts to get Mugabe to coexist with the country's leading opposition
party. That in turn is a precondition for economic rehabilitation.

This has exposed Mugabe's legitimacy as precariously shallow. It continues
to shrink as agricultural production withers and starvation looms.

To extricate himself from the deepening political crisis, Mugabe is now
contemplating the unthinkable. The blustery veteran leader faces the
prospect of accommodating the MDC in a political co-operation deal brokered
by continental superpowers South Africa and Nigeria.

South African Institute of International Affairs analyst Elizabeth
Sidiropoulos says "if the MDC accepts the deal, that would give Mugabe
legitimacy. But at the same time it could also be construed as an admission
that he was not properly elected and thus needs to be legitimised".

Critics say without a political solution it would be difficult, if not
impossible, for Mugabe to start picking up the pieces from the economic
rubble which have been gathering over 22 years due to misrule and
mismanagement, and rebuild the shattered economy.

Mugabe seems to understand this although he appears unwilling to pay the
political price. He has been dragged to the negotiating table and forced to
accept the ongoing government of national unity project initiated by South
African President Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian counterpart, Olusegun

The talks were kicked off by Mbeki and Obasanjo on March 18 when they met
Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in Hara-re, but they have now
assumed greater urgency.

Last weekend Mbeki dispatched ANC secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe as his
chief negotiator to Harare to lay the ground for further overtures. Obasanjo
also appointed a respected academic and former diplomat, Adebayo Adedeji, as
his emissary.

The talks got off to a slow start on Wednesday at Leopards Rock Hotel in the
Vumba. The negotiating teams comprise five members each, in addition to the

Mbeki and Obasanjo, who of late have been fighting Mugabe's battles on
international platforms as the noose tightens around him, have made it
impressively clear to the intransigent leader that Zimbabwe will not emerge
from its economic crisis without a political settlement.

In his inauguration speech Mugabe referred to the need for prioritising
economic recovery.

Analysts say Mbeki's economic rescue package which includes loans from South
Africa's state-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa, and resuscitating
support from the Bretton Woods institutions, would not work without a
political solution.

Observers are under no illusions that the talks will be easy. To begin with
Mugabe seems uninterested in the deal although he needs it for survival.
Other problems that would make negotiations difficult are the competing
interests of Zanu PF and the MDC. The two parties are currently worlds
apart. Mugabe will want to co-opt MDC officials to help him out but the MDC
wants a totally different agreement altogether. The opposition have said
they are only prepared to accept a provisional arrangement which will lead
to internationally supervised elections within a specified period of time.

While a combination of factors may thwart the deal, it is Mugabe's
Fuehrerstaat - leader-state - that looks certain to be the major stumbling
block. The MDC will find it difficult to operate in an absolutist system in
which Zanu PF controls government at all levels and subordinates all other
organs, including the army, police and judiciary to its will, so Mugabe acts
both in the name of government and the party on state issues.

The MDC on the other hand is the instrument of an unrelenting democratic
movement that is wider than the party itself. It is also in tune with
international sentiment. It is against this rock that Mugabe plans to hurl
himself as he attempts to survive his electoral "victory".

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Zim Independent

Zanu PF militias loot farms
Augustine Mukaro/Abeauty Mangezi

ZANU PF-sponsored militias have intensified the violent displacement of
farmers and the looting of commercial farming equipment in Mashonaland
West's Magunje and Karoi areas barely a month after the flawed presidential

One of the affected farmers told the Zimbabwe Independent equipment worth
over $17 million had been looted last week and at the beginning of this week
as invaders ran- sacked eight farms demanding pumps, compressors, electrical
motors and tractors.

"The worst affected farms include Toekoms which lost $8 million worth of
equipment, Yawanda Farm $6 million, Mukuyu about $3 million and at Lanroy
Farm $100 000 worth of equipment has been confirmed stolen," the farmer

"The invaders proceeded to break into the farm workshop where the damage has
not yet been quantified."

The farmers were forced to stop all activities with occupiers declaring that
the land belonged to them.

The farmers said reports to the police had not been responded to.

Police in Karoi confirmed receiving the reports but referred all enquiries
to the Police Headquarters in Harare.

Last week at Gutu Mupandawana growth point, militias beat up customers seen
buying from Crispen Musoni's fast food outlet.

Musoni was an MDC candidate for Gutu North in the 2000 parliamentary
election and owns a take-away at the growth point.

The take-away is currently operating without window panes after several
post-election attacks by ruling party youths and militia.

Musoni has appealed to the police and army to normalise the situation. The
army is understood to have agreed to come and deal with the youths but was
still to do at the time of going to press.

MDC officials said that the issue of post-election violence had reached
critical levels as cases of abductions, harassment and intimidation were on
the increase.

In Gutu South constituency, several militia bases set up towards the
presidential poll were still in existence.

In Mashayamombe village, Mhondoro, people were living in constant fear as
ruling party militias have launched a massive witch-hunt for opposition

"Zanu PF supporters are beating up people they suspect to be MDC supporters
in the area. They are also demanding that opposition members who benefited
from government's agricultural input credit scheme make repayments insisting
the scheme was exclusively meant for Zanu PF supporters," the source said.

Civic NGO Crisis in Zimbabwe said yesterday approximately 50 000 people had
been displaced in ongoing political violence.
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Zim Independent

Winter maize project to cost farmers $16b
Augustine Mukaro

WHEAT farmers are set to lose more than $16 billion worth of crop if
government implements its ambitious irrigated winter maize project, it
emerged this week.

An official with the Cereal Producers Association said this week more than
400 000 tonnes of winter wheat would be sacrificed if government takes up
Agriculture minister Dr Joseph Made's proposal to irrigate 100 000 hectares
to produce 400 000 tonnes of maize.

Government desperately needs the staple maize to rescue over a million
already starving rural people. It needs 1,5 million tonnes of maize until
the next harvest to avert mass starvation.

To date the government has managed to import about 100 000 tonnes from South
Africa and has gone to tender for the import of a further 200 000 tonnes.

The Grain Marketing Board is expected to make an announcement on the tenders
today. There are fears in the industry that the government does not have the
money to pay for the 200 000 tonnes. The funds available recouped from
cancelled lines of credit should purchase about 100 000 tonnes.

The government believes it can cut on imports if the country grows a winter
maize crop to be harvested by August. Agricultural experts however said
Zimbabwe no longer had the capacity to irrigate 100 000 hectares because of
the land invasions and the controversial fast-track resettlement scheme
which forced many farmers to dismantle their irrigation equipment. If any-
thing, only 70 000 hectares are irrigable.

The government last week said it was in discussion with plantation owners in
the south-eastern Lowveld who would make land available for winter maize.

However, sources at Hippo Valley Estate said there was no room for the
winter maize since all the fields were under sugarcane.

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Zim Independent

Govt violates undertakings to investors
Vincent Kahiya

GOVERNMENT has reneged on deals it cut with investors to safeguard their
interests and has proceeded to acquire properties which owners were made to
believe were exempt from compulsory acquisition.

The Zimbabwe Independent this week established that vast swathes of
productive land, which government had initially said it would not touch,
were now victims of the fast-track land resettlement programme.

In Matabeleland North, land belonging to a joint-venture project between
Indonesian and local investors which form the PT Royal Ostrindo and the
Dollar Bubi Group was listed for acquisition despite promises by the
political leadership that the US$11 million ostrich investment would not be
affected by the land reform exercise.

War veterans and villagers in the Bubi area have occupied part of the 10
500-hectare Bubi Dollar Ranch disrupting operations and stalling production.
A project to build the world's largest ostrich egg incubation facility at a
cost of $71 million has been put on hold.

The government last month also listed for compulsory acquisition 43 000
hectares of land belonging to the Oppenheimer family in Bubi despite
assurances last year that the land would not be listed.

In July Matabeleland North governor Obert Mpofu was quoted in the press
asking occupiers to leave the farm which fell under a bilateral trade
agreement which the government had pledged to honour.

"These properties are under a government-to-government agreement and the
matter is being looked at," Mpofu said at the time. "We are going to abide
by the terms of the agreement. We will do everything in our power to see the
ostrich project sustained."

The government on March 22 gazetted the farm and has refused to deal with
squatters on the property. The project came about as part of the
Zimbabwe/Indonesia Trade Agreement. The Indonesian investor, Cahyadi Kumala,
has threatened to invoke a clause in the agreement which provides for
investment protection or compensation. The enterprise falls under the Export
Processing Zone Authority and holds approved certificates from the Zimbabwe
Investment Centre. Over 1 000 Zimbabweans are employed by the group.

The project includes the Dollar Bubi Group (Pvt) Ltd, Matabeleland's leading
producer of live ostrich skins and meat for export. Operations are carried
out on two farms, Mimosa Park and Dollar Bubi Block.

Management has written to the Indonesian Embassy advising them of the
development and providing an update of the security situation on the farms.

The Indonesian Ambassador visited the farm yesterday for an on-site
inspection and will advise the investor, Kumala in Jakarta, on the way
forward. Kumala owns an 88% shareholding in Dollar Bubi and a 50%
shareholding in PT Royal Ostrindo Zimbabwe.

Head of the trade section at the Indonesian Embassy Banua Maniks said the
Indonesian investor was worried by the move to list the farm for designation
and the disturbances being caused by the squatters.

"The Indonesian investor has asked us to check if his investment is still
secure," said Manias.

"If the investment is no longer secure, he has said that he can relocate to
another country.

"As trade counselor I have a moral obligation to see that agreements between
Zimbabwe and Indonesia continue to function. It would be sad if the capital
from Indonesia moves to another country," he said.

The exporting company, PT Royal Ostrindo, realised a turnover of $424
million in 2000, and $903 million

in 2001.

On Dollar Block, National Parks is unlikely to approve the hunting quota for
the 2002 season, which will result in a loss of revenue of over $15 million.
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Zim Independent

Govt seizes 95% large-scale CFU farms
Blessing Zulu

THE arbitrary land grab exercise initiated by the government has so far seen
the seizure of 95% of large-scale commercial farmland, the Zimbabwe
Independent has established.

Jenni Williams the spokesperson for the Commercial Farmers Union said
large-scale commercial farmers owned 28% of the total arable land before
September last year when the invasions began. This is contrary to statements
by the government that commercial farmers still own 70% of the land.

"In September 2001, CFU members owned 8 595 000 hectares of the 11 020 000
hectares of large- scale commercial land, she said.

"This represents 28,2% of the 39 079 000 (total) hectares of Zimbabwean

Ninety-five percent of CFU members' land had been listed for acquisition,
she said.

The large-scale commercial sector includes in addition to the CFU,
approximately 700 000 hectares belonging to members of the Indigenous
Commercial Farmers Union and land owned by non-members of the CFU who occupy
approximately 600 000 hectares.

The government though controls some land, which has remained largely

"The government's Development Trust of Zimbabwe owns 332 000 hectares,
Indigenous/Tenant Schemes/leases 470 000 hectares, the Cold Storage Company
211 000 hectares and the Forestry Commission 112 000 hectares," said

The government has continued to list more farms for compulsory acquisition.

"The net listed farms were 4 526 farms which is about 8 847 270 hectares as
of the beginning of this month," said Williams.

The Zanu PF militia has now been unleashed on the remaining commercial
farmers and very little farming activity is taking place on the farms.

MDC agriculture spokesman Renson Gasela said the situation was now out of

"The situation on the farms is now very bad and one would have thought that
after Zanu PF has stolen the election they should be magnanimous.

"One would expect them to ask their militia to lay off. Looking back at
history it has always been victory violence. There has been a lot of
retribution and witch-hunting. Farmers sympathetic to the MDC are targeted
while those who support the ruling party are spared," said Gasela.

The food shortages currently bedevilling the country are likely to continue,
Gasela said.

"This food shortages are to continue because farmers need a lot of time to
prepare for their winter crops. The violence on the farms will have an
adverse effect on our agricultural production," said Gasela.

The CFU has said militiamen are now stealing guns.

"Various types of revolvers, shotguns, rifles and pistols have been looted
from commercial farms," said Williams.

"Most recently, on Torre Farm in Marondera, the following guns were stolen:
a FN 9 mm pistol, Rigby 7mm rifle, Walther .22 hornet rifle, and Slettne
12-bore shotgun. A Ward and Sons .410 shotgun, a Winchester .22, and a .303
rifle were however recovered. On Windsor, Wilbered, Umzururu and Royden
Farms in the Norton area, four shotguns, a .22 rifle, three revolvers and a
lot of ammunition was looted.

"One hundred and fifty million Zimbabwean dollars worth of property has been
looted or damaged in an ongoing spate of lawlessness in the Wedza/Marondera
farming area," said Williams

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Zim Independent

Zanu PF militia still occupy homes of MDC supporters
Blessing Zulu

ZANU PF militiamen in Bindura who invaded houses belonging to Movement for
Democratic Change supporters in the run-up to the presidential election have
stayed put largely due to police inaction.

A house belonging to the father of Try more Midi, and others belonging to
Amos Mauna, Tran swell Kati and Abidance Chikuvanyanga in Chiwaridzo
township have been appropriated by the Zanu PF supporters. Midzi was an MDC
vice-chairman who was murdered by suspected Zanu PF supporters. His uncle
was abducted and murdered while attending Midzi's funeral. The family
subsequently escaped to Harare for safety, resulting in Zanu PF youths
occupying their house.

The house owners said they had sought police assistance to no avail. Police
spokesperson Inspector Tarwireyi Tirivavi said the police could not
intervene "because it is a civil case".

"We don't handle those cases. They are ownership wrangles," said Tirivavi.

"They must go to their lawyers. We can only intervene when we are invited by
the messengers of court."

MDC spokesperson Learnmore Jongwe dismissed Tirivavi's claim as lacking

"Tirivavi should be serious," Jongwe said. "He knows very well the
circumstances under which those houses were invaded by Zanu PF hooligans. It
is wrong for him to abuse the privilege of speaking on behalf of the force
to protect Zanu PF hooligans who are clearly behaving as if they are above
the law."

He urged the police to evict the occupiers.

"That is not a dispute over ownership as the police would like us to
believe. It's clearly political hooliganism which is being tolerated by the
police which should not be acceptable," said Jongwe.

In their most recent report the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said Zanu PF
youths based at these houses used the properties as springboards for terror

"A lot of opposition polling agents and security personnel were assaulted
and chased away by Zanu PF youths based at Midzi's house," said their

Zimbabwe has been listed alongside six other nations which are "cause for
international concern" by Amnesty International.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has been meeting for six weeks
from March 18 to April 26.

Amnesty International (AI) urged the Commission this year to act on six
countries: Colombia, Indonesia, Israel and the occupied territories, Russian
Federation/Chechnya, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe - all of which "have a pat-
tern of grave and systematic violations of human rights", the international
human rights watchdog said.

It noted that there was a "sharp escalation in the number of state-condoned
or facilitated arbitrary arrests, torture and intimidation" in Zimbabwe.

The lack of professionalism in the ZRP was also noted in the AI report.

"Recent investigations by AI reveal that the professionalism and
impartiality of the ZRP, the country's security forces and the judicial
system have been deliberately eroded by the government in order to ensure
impunity for perpetrators of state-sanctioned human rights violations," it

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Zim Independent

Zanu PF supporters rewarded for violence
Abeauty Mangezi/Blessing Zulu

GOVERNMENT'S announcement that it will distribute an unbudgeted $2 billion a
week in its food-for-work programme has been dismissed as a political
gimmick to reward Zanu PF supporters busy terrorising opposition Movement
for Democratic Change members throughout the country.

Shuvai Mahofa, the deputy minister of Youth Development, Gender and
Employment Creation, said last week the government would pay the two million
individuals taking part in the programme $1 000 each per week.

Mahofa did not disclose the source of the funds, as they have not been
budgeted for. The same ministry last week said it would build more militia
camps using funds from the $2 billion revolving fund set aside for

Renson Gasela, the MDC's agriculture spokesman, said the money would most
likely be used to rewarded Zanu PF sympathisers instead of poverty

"If the government wants to give food aid to the people it must just do so,"
Gasela said.

"We are aware that this idea of giving out money for doing nothing is a ploy
to reward Zanu PF militias who are terrorising MDC supporters."

Gasela questioned the source of such a huge amount of money.

"Parliament has not been consulted on the need to fund the food-for-work
programme. We are very concerned that important decisions are taken by
individuals without consulting MPs," Gasela said.

In Buhera North, Masvingo and Gokwe, thousands of people who worked in the
food-for-work programme have up to the present not received payment.

Unganai Taruvinga, a headman in Munyikwa, Gutu South, last week said not
even a single bag of maize had been delivered to his area and that people
were on the verge of starvation.

"During the campaign period, we were promised milk and honey but nothing has
materialised a month after the election," said Taruvinga.
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Zim Independent

Malaysians fail to turn up for Mat water project
Loughty Dube

THE non-arrival of a team of Malaysian engineers and technicians expected to
start work on the delayed Gwayi-Shangani dam has cast doubts over the future
of the project.

The construction of the dam is the first stage in the implementation of the
$30 billion Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, an ambitious project first
mooted in 1912 to pipe water from the mighty Zambezi River to arid
Matabeleland, 478km away.

Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust (MZWT) chairman Dumiso Dabengwa last week
confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent that the Malaysian team would be in
the city early this week but refused to shed light on their planned

However, the Malaysians didn't arrive.

Dabengwa this week shrugged off questions from the Independent and said he
would only comment through written statements.

"Who said the Malaysians were coming this week?" he asked.

"You people distort things, you will see the Malaysians when they come into
the country and at

the present moment there is no need to talk to you," said Dabengwa before
switching off his mobile phone.

An opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) councillor, Charles
Mpofu, however dismissed the proposed start of the project as mere politics.

"The MZWT and the government are playing around with people's emotions
because both have no commitment to the success of the project. There is
confusion and lack of transparency in their dealings. The organisation
(MZWT) is full of liars," said Mpofu.

The government and the MZWT have over the past five years assured
Matabeleland that the project would be implemented as a matter of urgency.
Last September just before the mayoral elections in Bulawayo, the government
announced funding for the project was now available and work would start in
November 2001.

Five Malaysian engineers who had come to kick-start the project left the
country in a cloud of secrecy and have not returned since.

Italian and Malaysian companies have in recent years with- drawn off from
the project in unclear circumstances.

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Zim Independent

Soldiers victimised for alleged sympathies with MDC
Loughty Dube

THE army has embarked on a punishment drive against personnel alleged to
have campaigned for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in
the disputed presidential election held last month, the Zimbabwe Independent
has established.

Military sources said dozens of soldiers are detained at Llewellin and Brady
Barracks in Bulawayo, two main camps on the outskirts of the city, awaiting
disciplinary action for allegedly campaigning for the opposition.

The sources said officers and NCOs whose ranks include ex-combatants, former
Gukurahundi soldiers and Six Brigade troops, were blowing the whistle on the
soldiers, most of whom joined the force on the strength of their educational

"Juniors in the army are viewed as liberals and are believed to be
supporters of the MDC," a military source said. "Senior officers are out to
punish them on false accusations and most of those detained are innocent
victims of a smear campaign," said the source.

The source said the exercise was nationwide and many more would be caught in
the net after army intelligence officers provided names of those accused of
breaching "military ethics" by campaigning for the MDC.

The source said divisions in the army were widening with the ex-combatants,
former Gukurahundi soldiers and former Six Brigade soldiers pitted against
the more recent recruits, most of whom joined the army on academic merit.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces spokesman, Mbonisi Gatsheni, told the Independent he
had not received information on the detentions but said army rules were
clear on involvement in active politics.

"The army is apolitical but soldiers are allowed to exercise their political
right and that is why we allow them to vote but they should not be involved
in active politics," Gatsheni said.

However, he said, there had been cases of members who had breached ethics
and those accused were usually afforded a chance to defend themselves.

"We have cases of officers alleged to have taken part in active politics and
they have been tried. Some have been found innocent," Gatsheni said.

Sources said the army planned to discharge the soldiers without benefits.

"Junior soldiers have been a thorn in the flesh in the past because they do
not readily take the propaganda their seniors are preaching," another
military source said. "Most of them are from urban areas and they sympathise
with the MDC," said the source.

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Zim Independent

Greater Harare airspace now no-fly zone
Vincent Kahiya

THE government has since the first week of March closed all airstrips in and
around Harare thereby limiting the use of small private aircraft on the
pretext the planes pose a security risk to the capital.

This is not the first time that government has placed restrictions on
flying. In December Victoria Falls was declared a no-fly zone during Zanu
PF's national conference.

The restrictions in Harare were enforced, sources said, after it was
rumoured that opposition Movement for Democratic Change president Morgan
Tsvangirai was planning to leave the country using a light aircraft.

Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe general manager Karikoga Kaseke this
week confirmed the closure of the airstrips and the flying restrictions
saying this was for security reasons.

"I can confirm that this has been going on since the election as a security
measure but I do not have any other details," said Kaseke.

A week prior to the election CAAZ and the Airforce of Zimbabwe issued a
Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) instructing the closure of all airstrips within a
25 nautical miles (46km) radius of Harare International Airport with the
exception of Charles Prince Airport in Mt Hampden north-west of Harare. The
NOTAM was supposed to be in force until a week after the election but
security organs have ordered a renewal of the restriction, with the latest
coming last Friday.

Aviation sources said the authorities wanted to prevent all flying activity
from any airstrip. Planes cannot even be flown into Charles Prince to
operate from there in future, the sources said.

The ban will affect farmers and business people.

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Zim Independent

344 NCA activists arrested
Blessing Zulu

IN what is seen as a bid to thwart the National Constitutional Assembly's
demonstration tomorrow the police yesterday arrested 344 women from the
organisation under the Public Order and Security Act.

The women were conducting a workshop at the Young Women's Christian
Association in West-wood, Kambuzuma, to map the way forward on gender

The women were bundled into police vehicles and taken to different police
stations. Five hundred were in attendance but many escaped arrest.

"When we got to the YWCA, women who had been arrested were being bundled
into police vehicles and we understand they were being taken to various
police stations," said Maxwell Saungweme-me, the NCA's information officer.

The ZRP has vowed to ban the demonstration saying the political situation in
the country was not conducive to mass protests. Zimbabweans are now required
to seek police clearance before embarking on any protest under the new Act.

The Act is being used to harass civil society. Those who breach POSA face
penalties ranging from imprisonment for up to a year to huge fines.

Even Book Café at the Fife Ave shops has been told it may no longer hold
political discussions.

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Zim Independent

Black market traders make a killing
Blessing Zulu

WIDESPREAD shortages of basic commodities have seen the flourishing of a
black market in major cities as food items such as mealie-meal and cooking
oil have disappeared from shop shelves.

The shortages have rendered government's price controls ineffectual as
informal traders are selling the commodities with hefty mark-ups. The black
market has been left to flourish by the police who have not done anything to
deal with the unscrupulous traders.

Most of the foodstuffs in short supply in the major supermarkets and large
retail outlets are in abundance on the streets and at tuckshops in the
high-density areas.

The government last December gazetted the prices of most basic commodities
including soap, cooking oil, bread, and mealie-meal, purportedly to
safeguard consumers from arbitrary price increases by producers.

The introduction of price controls saw the retail price of a 5kg maize meal
bag being pegged at $125,84. A 15kg bag was gazetted at $377,52 and a 50kg
bag at $1 166,48.

Informal traders are now selling a 5kg bag for $380 and a 15kg bag for $700.
The black market price for a 50kg bag of maize is $2 100 which translates to
$42 000 per tonne instead of the government-controlled price of $15 000.

Maize is being sold on the black market in broad daylight.

The Zimbabwe Independent visited Mbare this week and saw flourishing trade
along Seke Street at the main vegetable market.

Apart from maize, other basket goods have found their way onto the black
market where traders are making huge profits.

The gazetted price of a 2kg packet of fine salt is $81,93 but on the black
market it is going for $100.

The price of a 2kg packet of sugar on the black market is $160 while the
controlled price is $76,47.

Consumers are attracted to the black market by the flexibility of the street

"Packets of sugar and salt are being opened and sold to customers in smaller
quantities, which are affordable to them," said Godfrey Magaya, a resident
of Mutare.

"Sugar is also sold in small yoghurt containers (the size of a tea-cup) for
$20," he said.

The repackaging of commodities has also been extended to cooking oil which
is a scarce commodity.

The gazetted price of a 750ml plastic bottle of Panol cooking oil is $136,78
but in the streets where it is readily available, it costs as much as $280.

The cooking oil is also sold on the black market in 80ml empty bottles for
$30 each and a 200ml bottle costs $100.

Some of the cooking oil being sold could have been used by food outlets in
chip fryers.

Police spokesperson, Inspector Tarwireyi Tirivavi, said plans were now in
place to deal with the black market.

"We were concentrating on the election but now the operation is in full
swing to arrest those involved. The black market is on top of our agenda and
we will deploy more forces," said Tirivavi.

Asked to comment on the claim that the police were also buying from the
black market, he said: "We are also going to deal with those involved."

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Zim Independent

Mugabe holds up unity talks
Dumisani Muleya

TALKS between the ruling Zanu PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) got off to a slow start yesterday as South African and Nigerian
facilitators conducted exploratory discussions with the two parties.

Expectations are low because the two sides are worlds apart on issues of
democracy and the rule of law. But both are under the whip of South African
President Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian counterpart Olusegun Obasanjo who
want an agreement to promote their Nepad African recovery project.

The MDC said yesterday it will settle for nothing less than a return to

Zanu PF, whose delegation yesterday included Information minister Jonathan
Moyo, Frederick Shava and Witness Mangwende, is thought to be waiting for
instructions from President Mugabe who will convene a central committee
meeting today. Mugabe is known to be hostile to an accommodation with the
MDC who he has branded British puppets but would probably not be opposed to
a process that might absorb and neutralise the party.

Mbeki's chief negotiator is the ruling ANC secretary-general Kgalema
Motlanthe while Obasanjo's emissary is ex-diplomat, Professor Adebayo

The two political umpires are expected to guide Zimbabwe's own version of
the Codesa talks which led to South Africa's democratic dispensation. The
talks were initiated by Mbeki and Obasanjo when they visited Harare on March

The final Zanu PF team, yet to be approved by the politburo, is likely to be
led by party chairman John Nkomo while the MDC group is headed by
secretary-general Welshman Ncube. Zanu PF said yesterday Justice minister
Patrick Chinamasa would join their team as soon as he returned from Geneva.

Ncube yesterday confirmed that his team had met the South African and
Nigerian intermediaries.

"We met them this morning," Ncube said. "They said they are here to talk to
both the MDC and Zanu PF and they will get back to us."

Motlanthe yesterday told the Zimbabwe Independent: "We have agreed that we
will not speak to the media until there is something to report, that is a
communiqué signed by both parties."

The two parties are expected to appoint teams of five members each.
Yesterday's first round of talks were designed to establish an agenda and
venue for substantive negotiations.

Despite the talks, state broadcaster ZBC continued yesterday to accuse the
MDC of giving the country bad publicity. It repeated Mugabe's declaration
that there will be no re-run of the presidential poll.

Sources said the facilitators from the continent's powerhouses would be in
the country until Sunday. They were expected to continue convening meetings
after yesterday's initial contacts.

Asked what the MDC's demands in the talks were, Ncube said: "For us the only
thing we want is a legitimate government. I can't negotiate through the
press but the principal issue is how do we get a legitimate government. We
are taking part in the hope that there will be a way forward."


Slow start to MDC, ZANU PF talks

4/4/02 1:58:16 AM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE’S opposition said yesterday it had begun talks with President
Robert Mugabe’s party after last month’s disputed presidential election, but
the gulf between them was wide and there was still no agenda.

A senior official of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said talks
with ZANU PF, chaired by representatives from Nigeria and South Africa, got
off to a slow start in Vumba, about 280 km (175 miles) northeast of Harare.

"The talks have started ... I don’t think you will hear anything for some
days. They are discussing what to talk about," MDC economic affairs
secretary Eddie Cross said.

"The gulf between the two parties is so wide that it will take some days to
agree on what they are going to talk about. Unless (South African President
Thabo) Mbeki and (Nigerian leader Olusegun) Obasanjo bring pressure to bear,
there will not be much progress."

Cross said MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube was leading the opposition
team, with parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa heading the ruling party

Earlier there was confusion over the status of the talks, with some MDC and
ZANU PF officials saying they knew nothing about the talks, initiated by
South Africa and Nigeria to stabilise the political situation in the former
British colony.

The two countries have led efforts to launch dialogue between Zimbabwe’s
bitterly divided parties and are pushing for a unity government.

Mugabe was declared the winner of last month’s presidential election but MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai said the polls were "daylight robbery" and that his
only topic of conversation with Mugabe would be about the date for a fresh

Some political analysts said they did not expect tangible results from the

"In my view the MDC is going into this without much of an interest. They don
’t want to be seen as obstructive . . . their heart is not into it," said
John Makumbe, a political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe.

"If the MDC agrees to anything short of a re-run they will lose credibility.
As long as they are playing games and drinking tea with Mnangagwa, that’s
fine. People are not interested in anything short of a re-election," he

Tsvangirai, free on bail on charges of plotting to kill Mugabe, has
repeatedly said he would not discuss anything but fresh elections. ZANU PF
says the March 9-11 poll was fair and there is no need for a national unity
government with the MDC.

In a preliminary report on the poll last week, the MDC charged that Mugabe
had only beaten Tsvangirai after inflating voter turnout in rural areas,
stuffing ballot boxes and locking out voters in the opposition’s urban

Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for a year on March 19 after
the group’s election observers accused Mugabe of electoral fraud.

The Zimbabwean government dismisses the fraud accusations, saying they are
being pushed by Western powers who want to see Mugabe ousted because he is
seizing white-owned farms for landless blacks. — Reuter


Obasanjo initiated ZANU PF, MDC talks

Staff Reporter
4/4/02 1:56:28 AM (GMT +2)

NIGERIA’S President Olusegun Obasanjo pressured President Robert Mugabe into
talking with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to resolve
Zimbabwe’s crisis which threatens to engulf southern Africa, it was learnt

Diplomatic sources said it was Obasanjo who told Mugabe in January, well
before the staging of the discredited March 9-11 presidential vote, that the
outcome of that poll was not important but that Mugabe had to engage the MDC
to ensure that Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis is resolved.

Obasanjo presented the proposal for negotiations to both Mugabe and MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai at separate meetings held in Harare towards the end
of January.

Previously Mugabe had vowed he would never talk to Tsvangirai who he says is
a puppet of the West.

"These talks are an Obasanjo initiative. South Africa’s President Thabo
Mbeki is in it really to play a supportive role because Mugabe appeared like
he was never prepared to listen to Mbeki," one source close to the
negotiations told the Financial Gazette.

Obasanjo’s office in Abuja and Nigeria’s high commissioner in Harare could
not be reached to confirm the Nigerian leader’s role in bringing together
Zimbabwe’s bitterly divided parties.

Mbeki’s spokesman Bheki Khumalo could also not be reached for comment.

When Obasanjo was returning to Harare in March to push for negotiations
between ZANU PF and the MDC, he telephoned Mbeki to inform him about this.

At that point, according to the sources, Mbeki ¾ who all along had pushed
through his much criticized quiet diplomacy for a government of national
unity in Zimbabwe — then asked if he could be involved in the talks about
talks between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

Obasanjo then contacted both the MDC and ZANU PF who expressed no objection
to Mbeki being part of the initiative to break Zimbabwe’s political impasse.

According to the sources Obasanjo, now accompanied by Mbeki, told Mugabe in
Harare on March 18 that continued African protection could only be
guaranteed if he genuinely engaged the opposition.

The meeting was held as international pressure mounted against Mugabe’s
re-election in what most of the world has condemned as a fraudulent ballot.

The two African leaders also met Tsvangirai separately on the same day to
urge him to agree to talks with the government.

The sources said although Mbeki wields undoubted influence over Zimbabwe
because of Pretoria’s economic clout, he was unable to push his agenda
because of his obsession with a government of national unity, which both the
MDC and ZANU PF have rejected.

Mugabe also appeared unwilling to be told what to do by the younger Mbeki,
they said.

The MDC has made clear it is only interested in talks if they will lead to a
transitional government whose mandate is to hold a fresh presidential
election under the watchful eye of the United Nations or the Commonwealth


Talks on as violence reports continue

Staff Reporter
4/4/02 1:58:52 AM (GMT +2)

VIOLENCE by ZANU PF militias continued across Zimbabwe as the ruling party
and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) scheduled talks to
try to end a political crisis gripping Zimbabwe following last month’s
disputed re-election of President Robert Mugabe.

In Masvingo province, 15 polling agents of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in
the March 9-11 vote were earlier this week forced to flee for their lives
after alleged ZANU PF supporters burnt down their homes.

MDC chairman for Masvingo province Edmore Marima told the Financial Gazette
the 15 had now sought refuge at his house.

In Mugabe’s home province of Mashonaland West, three MDC members were on
Monday this week abducted from their homes in Chinhoyi by suspected war

MDC’s provincial chairman Silas Matamisa said the three were tortured before
being released.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena yesterday denied there was a rising
campaign of retribution against MDC supporters, saying police had not
received "many reports" of politically motivated violence.

Besides, said Bvudzijena, ZANU PF supporters had also fallen victim to the
ongoing violence.

But villagers from Chimanimani district in Manicaland province, ironically
where the MDC and ZANU PF were due to meet late yesterday, told this
newspaper that ruling party supporters and agents of the spy Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) had allegedly unleashed terror on them as
punishment for their backing of the MDC.

"I fear for my life now because the CIO in Chimanimani are constantly going
to my place looking for me," said school teacher Hamilton Sigauke, who fled
the area for Mutare this week.

In Bindura town in the ZANU PF stronghold of Mashonaland Central, ruling
party youths forcibly evicted five families from their homes as punishment
for their backing of the MDC, the opposition party reported.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said despite the fact that the ruling
party had won the flawed presidential poll, a massive retribution campaign
had been launched against people suspected of supporting the MDC.

"The post-election period has seen a determined attack on those who served
as MDC polling agents in the just-ended presidential elections," the Forum
said in its latest report on political violence dated March 27 2002.

The forum said so far 48 people had been murdered since the beginning of the
year. It listed the late Ernest Gatsi, a polling agent for the MDC in Guruve
district who was murdered on March 18, as the latest person to be killed in
political violence.

Tsvangirai, who was pressured by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and
South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki into the talks with Mugabe, has previously said
dialogue will achieve nothing, especially when his supporters are being
hunted down and killed.

ZANU PF denies its supporters are engaged in retribution against the

Independent (UK)

Opposition in 'peace talks' with Zanu-PF
By Angus Shaw in Harare
04 April 2002
Internal links

Mugabe anti-gay policy brings down trusted ally
Zimbabwe's opposition party said yesterday that it had begun talks with
President Robert Mugabe's party over last month's disputed presidential
election but the divisions run so deep that progress would be difficult.

Eddie Cross, the economic affairs secretary for the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), said the talks with Zanu-PF – chaired by the South African
President, Thabo Mbeki, and the Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo – had
got off to a slow start in Vumba, about 175 miles north-east of Harare.

Mr Cross said: "I don't think you will hear anything for some days. The gulf
between the two parties is so wide that it will take some days to agree on
what they are going to talk about." Mr Cross said that there was unlikely to
be progress unless Mr Mbeki and Mr Obasanjo brought pressure to bear on both

Mr Cross said the MDC secretary general, Welshman Ncube, was leading the
opposition team, with the parliamentary speaker, Emmerson Mnangagwa, heading
the representatives from Zanu-PF.

Earlier, there had been confusion over the status of the talks, with some
MDC and Zanu-PF officials saying they knew nothing about them. The
negotiations were initiated by South Africa and Nigeria to stabilise the
political situation in Zimbabwe. The two countries, which are pushing for a
shared government, have led the efforts to launch a dialogue between
Zimbabwe's bitterly divided parties
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Militias get security jobs

By MacDonald Dzirutwe Staff Reporter
4/4/02 1:57:28 AM (GMT +2)

THE government has co-opted into the police and armed forces the Border Gezi
National Service Training Centre (BGNSTC) militias, accused of terrorising
civilians before and after the discredited March presidential vote, official
sources said this week.

Many of the youths were deployed in Harare and other urban centres soon
after President Robert Mugabe’s re-election to crack down on any protest
against the flawed poll, sources in the Ministry of Youth Development,
Gender and Employment Creation said.

But the government’s national youth service deputy director David Hurungudo
denied yesterday that the BGNSTC graduates were being offloaded into the
state security institutions.

"We do not seek employment for the youths because our job is to teach them
about our history and where we are going and where our problems are coming
from," he said.

But government sources said besides the army and police forces, the youths —
who together with self-styled war veterans are accused of unleashing murder
and mayhem during and after the presidential ballot — had also been
recruited into the prison service.

"Most of the youngsters have been co-opted into the police, others into the
army and the Prison (Service)," one official told the Financial Gazette.

The official added: "What I am not sure of is whether some of the youths
have been absorbed into the CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation)."

The government official, speaking on condition of not being named, said more
youths would be trained this year at various camps across the country before
being co-opted into the security forces and other government departments.

Launched last year ostensibly as a programme to train and inculcate national
values into Zimbabwean youngsters, the government’s national youth service
has been condemned as turning innocent youths into murderous militias.

Political analysts say the youths were instrumental in bludgeoning
Zimbabweans, especially in rural areas, into backing Mugabe during the
widely condemned March 9-11 ballot.

ZANU PF, which has virtually lost the entire youth support base to the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, has used the youth
service training and promises of jobs in the public service to try to buy
back their support.

The MDC, which says 100 of its members have been killed by pro-government
mobs in the past two years, wants the youth brigades disbanded.

Hurungudo said 1 000 youths had so far graduated from BGNTSC but said more
would be trained shortly.

"We are going to have more (training) camps and that is in line with what
the minister (Elliot Manyika) said. If we increase the number of training
camps, it follows that we will train more people and increase the intake,"
he said.

The Youth Development Ministry’s budget allocation was increased threefold
from $418 million in 2001 to $1.6 billion this year to cater for the
expected additional training.

Under the youth training programme, the youths are taught military tactics,
political lessons on patriotism and the history of Zimbabwe, with emphasis
on how ZANU PF led the 1970s independence war.

The instructors are drawn mainly from serving and retired senior army and
police personnel, as well as from the ranks of the war veterans

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Hunger threatens Mugabe’s hold on power

By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
4/4/02 1:27:35 AM (GMT +2)

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe dug in his heels this week by refusing to re-run the
flawed March presidential vote and threatening to crush any uprising against
his rule, but analysts saw hunger stalking Zimbabwe and not any rebellion as
spelling trouble for the 78-year-old leader.

The analysts said if Zimbabweans were to rise up or rebel against Mugabe, it
would be only because survival for the majority of the people under his 22
years has become an unbearable nightmare.

In order to save his political skin, they said Mugabe — who founded Zimbabwe
out of the ashes of the British colony of Rhodesia in 1980 — only needed to
focus his energies on the mass starvation that is unfolding in the country
and not on plots, real or imagined, he claims British premier Tony Blair and
his local puppets are orchestrating against him.

"The hunger and economic hardships provide the raw material out of which
protest or even an uprising could result," Professor Brian Raftopoulos of
the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Institute of Development Studies warned.

An unprecedented humanitarian and food crisis is slowly emerging in Zimbabwe
as government officials, non-governmental aid agencies and villagers
continue to send an SOS on the total failure of food crops across much of
the country.

Admitting the immensity of the problem, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made
said three weeks ago that the government needed to import 1.5 million tonnes
of the staple maize grain to avert starvation.

But he was mum about where the hard cash needed to pay for the imports from
Kenya, Argentina and Brazil would come from.

"Yes, it is good to say we want to import more than a million tonnes of
maize to feed Zimbabweans, but the big question is where is the money going
to come from?" wondered UZ business studies professor Tony Hawkins.

Treasury’s hard cash coffers are completely dry as a severe foreign currency
crisis gripping the southern African nation enters its third straight year.

Hard-pressed to find money to buy food, Finance Minister Simba Makoni last
week said he was contemplating revising the national budget in order to
re-allocate more resources for food imports.

But economists and business analysts say tinkering with the budget without
taking the hard and painful steps to win back international support will not

The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) is already helping feed
starving villagers in the southern regions of the country worst hit by the
food shortages.

But a plea for US$60 million worth of food aid made by the WFP on behalf of
Harare to feed more than 2.5 million starving people across the country has
met with at best lukewarm support as donors, angered by what they say is the
government’s appalling human rights and democracy record, take a back seat.

Since the calls for food aid were made last year, only the United States and
Britain, ironically the two states Mugabe accuses of plotting to topple him,
have contributed the bulk of the US$20 million given so far.

Both the US and Britain, as well as all the world’s biggest aid givers such
as Denmark, Canada, Germany and Japan, have all indicated that they will
only help the government provided it re-runs the controversial presidential
election and ensures that Zimbabweans are to freely choose whomever they
wish to be their leader.

Harare must also uphold human rights and the rule of law before full
cooperation could be restored with donor countries, many of which have
already imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe, his top lieutenants, allies
and their families.

Without outside help, Zimbabwe could never lift itself out of the economic
quagmire nor would it be able to pay for emergency food imports to stall
starvation that is choking the nation, Hawkins noted.

But the respected business and economic analyst noted that even before the
food shortages were a reality, life had already become too hard for most

Inflation hit a record 116.3 percent in February, putting Zimbabwe on the
same level with strife and war-torn countries such as Angola and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Joblessness, already above 60 percent, continues to surge as more companies
close due an economic crisis anchored in governance issues.

A burgeoning HIV/AIDS pandemic is killing 2 000 Zimbabweans every week just
as the public health sector is crumbling due to under-funding.

Hawkins said: "Things are very difficult for every other segment of society
unless if one belongs to the privileged group of those well connected to the
establishment. The unfortunate reality is that at this rate things can only
get worse."

And, according to Raftopoulos, if the humanitarian situation were to
deteriorate further, this could mark the beginning of the political downfall
of Mugabe.

Raftopoulos said: "Hunger and the economic hardships remain Mugabe’s biggest

"If things get worse, there could even be spontaneous mass revolt. But more
importantly, it creates a situation from which a more irreversible tide of
resistance could be successfully organised."

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Tribal, talent concerns dog search for new Cabinet

By David Masunda Deputy Editor-in-Chief
4/4/02 1:26:02 AM (GMT +2)

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, whose administration’s legitimacy is being
questioned after he was controversially re-elected last month, is finding it
difficult to assemble a new team to steer the country out of its economic
and political crisis, it was learnt this week.

Mugabe, sworn in amid vote-rigging charges three weeks ago, has kept the
southern African nation guessing on when he will appoint a new Cabinet to
steer the country’s tottering economy out of collapse and restore Harare’s
tattered international image.

Analysts say Mugabe, who has before boasted that he needs "men of steel" in
his Cabinet, could be finding it extremely difficult to attract competent
young technocrats critically needed to inject new life into his policies.

The experts said many capable young executives in the private banking,
finance and industrial sectors sympathetic to the governing ZANU PF party
preferred to stand on the sidelines than risk getting tainted by Mugabe’s
bad reputation, especially when the veteran Zimbabwean leader is perceived
to be on his way out.

Others are worried that the high level of corruption and mismanagement
rooted in his past governments was so deep that no amount of new blood or
fresh ideas could easily redeem the situation.

Another new worry scaring highly qualified technocrats from joining the new
Cabinet is the threat of international sanctions that hovers over anybody
considered by the West to be too close to the embattled ZANU PF leader.

A leading Zimbabwean executive with an international financial institution
said the delay in the naming of the new Cabinet was caused by the need to
replace the two ageing vice presidents and the lack of capable young party
cadres for leadership roles.

"The issue is not that there are no takers for Cabinet jobs. There are
plenty of people out there who would wish to join his administration, but
the issue is: are they capable?" the banker, who preferred anonymity,

Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika, Zimbabwe’s two vice presidents, are both
older than the 78-year-old Mugabe and are earmarked for retirement,
according to official sources.

ZANU PF sources say the ailing Muzenda, who is from the restive Masvingo
province, has already indicated that he wants to retire while many party
Young Turks believe it is time Msika made way for someone younger.

Msika, a long serving deputy in ZAPU of the late Zimbabwean vice president
Joshua Nkomo, is from Mashonaland Central but was appointed to the
influential post in 1999 on Nkomo’s death to please ZAPU supporters after
the two dominant parties had merged in 1987.

The analysts said Mugabe had to tread softly through political turf littered
with tribal landmines in Matabeleland, the Midlands and Masvingo, the four
provinces his two new deputies are likely to emerge from, before he can
identify suitable replacements.

Mugabe, an astute politician and master schemer, has to engage in
time-consuming diplomatic horse-trading with powerful elements in the
concerned provinces to identify successors that make up the right tribal

Elphas Mukonowe-shuro, a University of Zimbabwe political analyst, said
Mugabe’s dilemma was that whatever Cabinet changes he might make, there
would be no solution to Zimbabwe’s problems.

"No sober Zimbabwean worth his salt would like to come into a Cabinet which
he knows does not have the capacity to govern," said Mukonoweshuro, accused
by the governing party of being too close to the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change

Zim Independent

Zanu PF/MDC talks delay new cabinet
Dumisani Muleya

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has put on hold plans to appoint a new cabinet after
his recent controversial election win pending the outcome of talks between
Zanu PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

High-level sources said yesterday Mugabe was awaiting the result of the
negotiations - brokered by South African President Thabo Mbeki and his
Nigerian counterpart Olusegun Obasanjo - which started soon after Mugabe
claimed victory in the March 9/11 poll.

Representatives of the ruling Zanu PF, MDC and the South African and
Nigerian facilitators yesterday met for a general exchange of views.

As reported in the Zimbabwe Independent on March 22, Mugabe was expected to
appoint a "crisis cabinet" packed with hardliners to deal with growing local
and international pressure.

Combative ministers such as Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Chinamasa, Nicholas
Goche, Sydney Sekeramayi and Elliot Manyika were expected to form the core
of the new team. Reformers such as Finance minister Simba Makoni and
Industry and International Trade minister Herbert Murerwa were seen as
likely candidates for eviction. Emmerson Mnangagwa and John Nkomo were being
lined up for vice-presidential posts before the current talks put everything
on hold.

Mugabe, keen for a veneer of democratic legitimacy, was waiting to see the
direction of political events before naming his new team, the sources said.

The embattled president last year said he wanted "amadoda sibili" (real men)
in his cabinet and not "cowards". He was commenting on Murerwa's
predecessor, Nkosana Moyo's controversial exit in exasperation over company
raids and sabotage of his economic recovery plans by the Zanu PF politburo

The outcome of the overtures - whose purpose is to find ways of resolving
the current political crisis and pave way for economic reconstruction - has
a bearing on the composition of the new cabinet.

If the talks collapse, as initial indications suggest, Mugabe will forge
ahead with his plans to appoint a "fire-breathing cabinet" and dig in his
heels to fight mounting global pressure. But if in the unlikely event that
they succeed, Mugabe could accommodate senior MDC officials in his team.

Mugabe is widely expected to retire his two ageing vice-presidents and
appoint party chair Nkomo and parliamentary Speaker Mnangagwa to replace
them, depending on events. MDC Morgan Tsvangirai may be considered for one
of the posts if a coalition deal - a proposal so dear to the South
Africans - is struck.

Mugabe would need to replace a current nominated MP to get Tsvangirai into
his cabinet. But Gibson Sibanda and other MDC leaders are already elected

Sources said the MDC leader's top lieutenants who may get cabinet posts if
Mbeki's plan succeeds include Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti, Paul Themba
Nyathi and Renson Gasela.

Apart from Mbeki and Obasanjo, other African leaders pushing for teamwork
between Mugabe and Tsvangirai are President Bakili Muluzi of Malawi and
Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique.

Muluzi and Chissano met Tsvangirai after Mugabe's inauguration on March 17.
On March 18, Mbeki and

Obasanjo met Mugabe and Tsvangirai. The ongoing talks are a direct result of
the initial contacts by these leaders.

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--> FinGaz

ZANU PF councillors frustrate MDC mayor’s efforts in Byo

Staff Reporter
4/4/02 1:24:18 AM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO — Ruling ZANU PF councillors who have a majority in the Bulawayo
City Council are hampering opposition mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube from
executing his duties fully, it was learnt this week.

Council sources said the ZANU PF councillors were vehemently opposed to the
cash-strapped municipality’s attempts to press the government to settle a
debt of more than $102 million and were slowing down the implementation of
some key projects.

The ZANU PF officials have a slim majority in the Bulawayo City Council,
holding 15 of its 28 seats, while the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) has nine seats and independents hold four.

Ndabeni-Ncube confirmed that attempts had been made by some
"not-so-progressive people in ZANU PF in council" to frustrate his work. He
however vowed that he would not allow the politicisation of civic issues.

"In regard to the recovery of the government debt, we will leave no stone
unturned to try to get this money," he told the Financial Gazette. "Some
people don’t want us to trouble the government over that issue but this is
council money and ratepayers want it recovered.

"As the mayor of the city, I will try and get it. I will not allow myself to
be bullied by anyone during council deliberations and this goes for all ZANU
PF and MDC councillors."

In the run-up to last month’s presidential election, controversially won by
President Robert Mugabe, the government paid the Bulawayo City Council $512
million, a move seen by many analysts a vote-buying gimmick.

Ncube said: "They (government) paid us $512 million on the eve of the
presidential elections. They seem to do this all the time when there are
elections. The government now owes us $102 million. This is the money that
the council needs to implement some of its projects.

"I will keep pestering the relevant authorities to settle this debt. It is
not for ZANU PF or the MDC, it is for the people of Bulawayo and all
councillors should understand this."

But insiders said despite the mayor’s display of toughness in public, the
majority of seats enjoyed by ZANU PF enabled its councillors to dominate in
council chambers, with some of them openly flouting municipal by-laws by,
for instance, hawking maize from their suburban homes.

Ncube said: " I want to create a situation whereby there is no room to allow
one party to dominate another in the council meetings. We are all working
for the development of this city and nothing else."

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