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Norway Urges Zimbabwe to End Farm Invasions

HARARE (April 3) XINHUA - Norway on Monday urged Zimbabwe to put an end to the illegal invasions of white-owned farms by war veterans and ensure that the land reform process is followed properly, the Zimbabwe News Agency reported.

The Norwegian Embassy in Zimbabwe said in a statement that the Zimbabwean government should uphold a High Court ruling passed on March 23 by Judge Paddington Garwe ordering ex-combatants to vacate farms they had invaded within 24 hours.

"We urge the government of Zimbabwe to put an end to the illegal farm invasions as declared by the High Court of Zimbabwe," the embassy said.

"The government of Norway supports the implementation of land reform in Zimbabwe. Such a process is important to resolve the issue of an equitable land distribution in the country and should aim at poverty alleviation through the resettlement of thousands of poor people from overcrowded communal lands," it said.

The embassy urged the Zimbabwean government to follow the land reform process as a basis for future cooperation with donors.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe recently denied allegations that the government had ordered the countrywide invasions of white-owned farms by former freedom fighters and land hungry villagers.

Mugabe said he would not intervene as long as the invasions, which he regarded as mere demonstrations, remained peaceful.

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We just received this message from Sara's sister Debbie. Please pray for peace, calm and deliverance.
Thank you,

Gaborone, BOTSWANA

Sent: 03 April 2000 20:04

Subject: Not good news this end

Dearest all,
Just thought I would get this latest news out to you all. Chidikamwedzi had its visitors arrive at about 6.00pm this evening. Marge and J were about to have a poker evening which is held every Monday at different houses. A few people had already arrived when the"others" arrived. There are in their garden and actually took J's golf clubs and have threatened Marge with killing her. The other poker members have been trying to get in to the house but are being refused entry, and the people who have tried to leave their tyres have been let down. The police have been notified and are on their way. Hilts is very concerned for his mum and has been running around Mvurwi talking to all our friends and trying to get into radio contact with the farm. "They" have started to chop down trees in Marges beautiful garden. This is all the news that I have for you all at the mo and I'm sure that in your prayers tonight you will send a special plea for all of this to stop. I will keep you all updated as soon as I hear more. I think now that one of our families have been attacked it hits home harder. This is very worrying for all of us especially my husband who is very concerned for his parents at this stage. Hilts has just come home and taken the vidio camera and camera as there has been fighting at the compound and many have been hurt. He has gone with Gary Patterden. I had better go and see what I can do and not tie up the phone too much.
Love you all lots Hilts, Debs, Bruce and Amy.

Please send all your replies to :
Dear All,

Please spare a few moments to read this message and we hope that you too will be inspired by this message of conscience and courage.


My name is Bill Searle, a Zimbabwean and ask you to take a minute to consider what I have to say. Some five weeks ago I decided to get off the fence and actively campaign for the return of democracy to our country. Patriotism was my motive for doing this and I circulated a letter headed "A Clear Choice", setting out my convictions, and I was overwhelmed and humbled by the positive response to this letter. I have joined the Movement for Democratic Change and am now working for them in their Election Campaign on a voluntary basis along with many other black and white Zimbabweans who have freely given their time.

In the last few weeks our country has been thrust deeper into turmoil. Illegal farm invasions continue, the courts have been rendered ineffective, there has been political violence, an MDC supporter has died, many more injured and warnings have been issued to opponents of the government in general, and whites in particular. More than ever, many of us live in daily fear, and none more so than our farmers who continue to bear the brunt of threats to their lives. When will all this madness end?

Well, I believe the end is being expedited by the conscience searching and resultant courage that is increasingly demonstrated by fellow Zimbabweans. Since my involvement with the MDC I have been in contact and working with Zimbabweans of all races and stations in life and had the privilege of witnessing great personal courage. The MDC is a young party with massive support but with little formal structure in many areas in the country. In order to effectively fight the elections the party needs assistance to put these structures in place. To do this means that people have to become open and public organisers and supporters, often exposing their families, homes, businesses and their friends to possible danger. In spite of the risks, people are stepping forward. This is happening on a scale I would not have believed possible only two weeks ago.

People are showing real courage. I personally have witnessed the organiser of a public meeting in a rural town actually shaking with fear as a result of threats before the meeting, but proceeding with it anyway. I have spoken with a person who had his business premises burnt down and a farmer who had to leave his homestead due to threats and they are both even more determined to continue with their overt activities and support. At a recent meeting a Masvingo MDC Support Coordinator, Dr Eric Layard, inspired us by his courage and commitment by describing his personal circumstances. He has a fourteen year old daughter, Beverley, who is paralysed from the neck down as a result of an accident, and who is totally dependent on him. He described how he had discussed with his daughter his involvement with the MDC and the resultant possibility of him being detained or injured for doing so. They discussed consequence of his detention on her daily life and state of mind, constructed a contingency plan for such an event and agreed that he continue to actively work for change. What inspiration!

We all have to examine our consciences and decide what we have to do. How are we going to answer our children's questions about what we did about the system which allowed fear and intimidation to prevail? Are we going to hand down to our children a legacy of fear and intimidation? No! We cannot, and have to create the precedent now, for their sake. We have the opportunity, and we have to seize it now, to rid our country of this scourge!

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke.

The message is clear and simple.

Chinja Maitiro - Guqula Izenzo - Lets Change the Way

Feel free to circulate this letter by email or other means
Cheers for now, Bill Searle

Keep up the support!


MDC Support Centre
Chinja Maitiro / Maitiro Chinja
8th Floor, Gold Bridge

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