Monday, 12 August, 2002, 16:08
GMT 17:08 UK
White farmers warn of food crisis
Mr Mugabe says no Zimbabwean will die of
White farmers in Zimbabwe are warning that millions of
people will starve under President Robert Mugabe's programme of land reform.
The newly-formed farmers' group, Justice for Agriculture (Jag), was
responding to Mr Mugabe's warning that his government would stick to its policy
of removing white farmers from their land.
In his first keynote speech since an eviction order for thousands of white
farmers came into effect late last week, the president insisted the August
deadline for land redistribution still stood.
We shall feed all. Even the stooges and puppets will have
President Robert Mugabe
But spokeswoman Jenni Williams told the BBC's Focus on Africa that farmers
were not being defiant by staying on their land.
"There has been no consultative process," she said.
"We have to have a discussion on the way forward or we face a humanitarian
"If we continue to divide land in this manner under the guise of land reform
compromising production millions more will starve."
Nearly 3,000 farmers have been told to leave their properties, but so far
only about 500 have left despite threats of fines or jail for ignoring the
Mr Mugabe said the August deadline would allow new owners of the land enough
time to prepare and plant for the new crop season in October.
Zimbabwe faces mass
have already predicted that up to 13 million people in six southern African
countries, about half of them in Zimbabwe, face starvation by February as a
result of drought and political mismanagement.
Mrs Williams said Zimbabwe's white farmers accepted that land must be
redistributed, but not at the expense of production "or you will have starving
But the government had offered nothing that would help avert the threatened
famine, she said.
Mr Mugabe rejected allegations that international food aid has been diverted
away from opposition supporters into the mouths of his own followers.
"We shall feed all," he said.
"No Zimbabwean should die of hunger."
speech was to mark Heroes' Day - which celebrates victory over the old white
||Zimbabwe's land reform
2000: 4,000 whites own 70% of prime land
1890-1980: Black peasants were moved to less fertile areas during the
March 2000: "War veterans" occupy white-owned farms
2000-2002: Several white farmers and black workers killed during
9 August 2002: 3,000 white farmers must leave their homes
He also took the opportunity in his address to attack former colonial power
Britain and Prime Minister Tony Blair, whom he said was a "gangster" who had
The farmers have been anxiously awaiting a response from the president since
they defied the order for them to leave by last Thursday.
Commercial Farmers' Union spokesman Ben Zietsman said that despite some
remaining uncertainty Mr Mugabe had toned down his remarks.
"There is some relief that it seems there won't be a mass avalanche of
evictions," he said.
The president said that farmers who co-operated with the government would be
able to continue farming.
"All genuine and well-meaning white farmers who wish to pursue a farming
career as loyal citizens of this country have land to do so," he said, adding
that "no farmer need go without land".
Mr Mugabe has promised to allow each farmer to keep one farm, but some have
said all their land has been earmarked for acquisition.
Mugabe: Farm Evictions Will Continue
White farmers defying an eviction order in Zimbabwe have been told that the
programme to seize their land without compensation will continue.
President Robert Mugabe said he stood by his deadline for their
"We set ourselves a deadline for the redistribution of land and that deadline
stands," he said in a televised address.
Mr Mugabe's government had ordered 2,900 of the remaining 4,500 white
commercial farmers to surrender their land to black settlers by midnight last
Farming sources estimated that about 40% had obeyed the instruction.
But others had been holding on in the hope of a reprieve from the country's
courts or from Mr Mugabe himself.
The President said the deadline would allow the new owners of the land enough
time to prepare and plant for the new crop season in October.
He claimed his land seizures programme would "right the wrongs of British
ZIMBABWE: Mugabe says white farmers must go
JOHANNESBURG, 12 August
(IRIN) - Zimbabwe's white farmers were on Monday issued with a stern warning
from President Robert Mugabe to abide by last week's deadline to leave their
land or face the consequences.
In a speech honouring those who fought in
the 1970s liberation war against the white-minority government, Mugabe said the
government would not grant the farmers a reprieve.
"That deadline stands,
as it is our wish that everyone interested in farming should be on the land by
the time the rains come," Mugabe said. Zimbabwe's rainy season usually starts in
November or December.
Most white farmers targeted under the
controversial Section 8 Land Acquisition Act had until last Thursday to leave
their properties or face a fine of US $375 or two years in jail, or
But the majority of farmers remained on their properties, waiting
to see if the government would enforce the order.
"We had hoped that the
president's speech would provide farmers with some kind of reprieve, but it has
become quite clear that there is no room for compromise.
apparently no consideration for the human rights of farmers and workers on those
farms," Jenni Williams, spokeswoman for lobby group Justice for Agriculture
(JAG), told IRIN on Monday.
JAG is encouraging farmers to seek legal
advice on the evictions.
Williams added that while the situation
remained tense on farms throughout the country, the organisation was encouraged
as there had been no reports of violence nor police action against farmers since
the deadline had passed.
"Perhaps the government's inaction up until now
is an olive branch to farmers. If this is the case, it is heartening, but it is
still too soon to tell. For now, however, we remain on tenterhooks," she
The evictions come as close to six million Zimbabweans face a
severe food crisis.
The government's fast track land redistribution
programme and a severe drought have been blamed for the poor agricultural output
that led to the current food shortages.
Mugabe's government maintains
that land reform is meant to redress colonial era imbalances in land
Mugabe tells Britain 'The game is up'
by Jan Raath
vitriol for overseas opponents instead of white farmers, reports our
correspondent in Harare
New deadline: President Mugabe and his wife, Grace, at the "heroes' day"
ceremony. He said expelled farmers must be gone by the end of the month
A TACTICAL retreat was staged yesterday by President Mugabe
in his battle to evict 2,900 white farmers from their land. His long-awaited
“heroes’ day” speech to about 5,000 supporters was full of hardline rhetoric
about the need to redistribute white-owned land and fight white imperialism.
But he failed to address directly the glaring issue of what to do about the
many hundreds of farmers who have defied last Thursday’s deadline for leaving
The farmers had feared that Mr Mugabe would use yesterday’s platform to
signal a sweeping crackdown by the police or his lawless militias on those still
in their homesteads.
He did insist that the redistribution process be completed by the month’s
end, before the rains come. “On this issue we will take no chances, brook no
impediment and suffer no avoidable delay,” he said.
He served warning “to those who want to own this country for Britain . . .
the game is up and it is time for them to go where they belong. There is no
place for rapacious supremacists here.”
He also promised retaliation against the punitive sanctions imposed on
prominent members of his regime by the European Union and other Western
“Let Europe’s sanctions list grow by another 50, another 100, another
million to include all but the puppets and stooges they sponsor,” he proclaimed.
“We the true owners of this land shall not budge or be deterred on this one
vital issue — the land . . . We will announce in due course our own response to
their sanctions on us. They forget they have interests here.”
But his only direct reference to white defiance of last Thursday’s deadline
was to say that “many farmers have relocated in compliance” with government
In similiar vein, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported that “a
handful of farmers . . . might have ignored the government deadline, although no
such cases have been identified yet.”
Wayne Bvudzijena, a police spokesman, said: “We have not received any
reports of resistance from commercial farmers who have been served with eviction
orders to vacate their properties so far. We can safely say the process is going
By contrast, farm union officials say that about 60 per cent of the farmers
ordered to leave their land have stayed.
“It’s bizarre,” a senior farm union official who asked not to be named,
said. “The Government is perfectly aware that there are about 2,000 people who
haven’t moved off. I can only think they are doing this because they are finally
embarrassed at the prospect of arresting farmers while the country starves.”
At times Mr Mugabe adopted an almost conciliatory tone. “All genuine and
well-meaning white farmers who wish to pursue a farming career have land to do
so,” he said. “No farmer need go without land. What we will not accept is that
they should have more than one farm . . . We shall always welcome loyal citizens
and residents who cooperate with Government and respect our policies.”
Jenni Williams, of Justice for Agriculture, said that farmers would take
heart from the speech, although great uncertainty remained. “The majority of
people will feel it was not the normal vitriolic attack and that, perhaps,
sanity is beginning to prevail,” she told the BBC.
Mr Mugabe has come under intense international pressure to reverse his
catastrophic land seizures because the policy is a significant cause of the
famine facing about seven million Zimbabweans.
The despair of ordinary Zimbabweans after three years of state-driven
economic collapse also makes it likely that a mass eviction of a community
respected for their role as food producers would backfire politically, observers
Observers said that Mr Mugabe’s curious assertions over the eviction orders
bore all the characteristics of his manner of dealing with uncomfortable
situations. “He contrived this grand, resolute blow against the whites, and then
found it difficult to carry out,” a Western diplomat said. “So he created a
fiction that it had been done.”
Mr Mugabe appeared to be stunningly oblivious of the effects of his
“revolutionary” land nationalisation.
“We have been generous,” he said. “No farmer, to our knowledge, has been
rendered completely homeless on this principle. Only the greedy ones are
The Commercial Farmers’ Union says that at least 60,000 displaced farmhands
were driven off the farms they worked on. Execution of the 2,900 evictions would
force off another 1.2 million off the land. Farmers also rejected Mr Mugabe’s
assertion that only those with more than one farm faced eviction. The Government
had formally listed 1,024 singly owned farms for “compulsory acquisition,” Mrs
Mr Mugabe also denied widespread charges that Opposition supporters had
been excluded from food aid. “We shall feed all,” he said. “Even the stooges and
puppets will have enough. We do not discriminate when it comes to food.”
Robert Mugabe: We will not kowtow on the land issue
From the Heroes' Day speech given by the Zimbabwean president in Harare
13 August 2002
This is about the survival of our land and we will suffer no delays. We do
not kowtow to Western imperialists. We set ourselves an August deadline for the
redistribution of land – and that deadline stands. We, the principled people of
Zimbabwe, we, the true owners of this land, shall not budge. We shall not be
deterred on this one vital issue – the land. The land is ours. We shall feed
all. Even the stooges and puppets will have enough. No Zimbabwean should die of
All genuine and well-meaning white farmers who wish to pursue a farming
career as loyal citizens of this country will have land to do so. But we will
not allow whites to remain on large properties or own more than one farm while
maintaining ties with the former colonial power, Britain. To those who want to
own this country for Britain, the game is up and it is time for them to go where
they belong. There is no room for rapacious supremacists.
Britain, Europe and the US can impose their sanctions in their devilish ways
... We shall not budge on this vital issue. The land is ours. We are not an
extension of Britain. Let Europe's sanctions list grow by another 50, another
100, another thousand, another million. We will in due course announce our own
comprehensive response to those countries that have declared sanctions on us.
They should recognise that we reserve the right to respond as best we know how.
They appear to have forgotten that they also have interests here.
No gold, no silver is precious enough to buy our sovereignty. We are not for
sale. We are not for sale, and Zimbabwe is not for sale. Zimbabwe is for
Zimbabweans. We are not for the highest bidder in Europe or elsewhere. Let Blair
hear it. We are not for the British bidder either.
Highlights from Mugabe Heroes' Day speech
HARARE, Aug. 12 — The
following are the highlights of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's speech at the
burial of a former cabinet minister on Monday, which coincided with
commemoration of Zimbabwe's national Heroes' Day.
government's August deadline for the handover of white farms for resettlement of
blacks remains in force.
Mugabe reiterated the government would not be
deterred from its controversial land reforms: ''We, the principled people of
Zimbabwe. We, the true owners of this land, shall not budge. We shall not be
deterred on this one vital issue, the land.''
Warned white farmers against a
forming a resistance movement in the style of former Prime Minister Ian Smith's
Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in 1965:
''We keep a
watchful eye on what is happening on the farms. Those who think Ian Smith can
rally the white folks as he did in the UDI days for another war should think
again while there is still time to do so,'' Mugabe said.
In an apparent
reference to court challenges and possibly to defiant white farmers: ''We brook
no impediment and we will certainly suffer no avoidable delays:
reiterated that Zimbabwe would guard its sovereignty:
''We are not
for sale and Zimbabwe is not for sale. Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans.... Let
(British Prime Minister) Mr Blair hear it. We are not for the British bidder
Assured white farmers that they would be allowed to continue
working in Zimbabwe, provided the accepted the government's programme and lived
within its guidelines:
''All genuine and well-meaning white farmers
who wish to pursue a farming career as loyal citizens of this country have land
to do so.''
In reference to European Union and other Western sanctions
on Mugabe and his ruling elite:
''We will in due course announce our
own...comprehensive response to those countries that have declared sanctions on
us. They should recognise that we reserve the right respond as best we know how.
They appear to have forgotten that they also have interests here.''
Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication
or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior
written consent of Reuters.
Sent: Sunday, August 11, 2002 7:13 AM
Subject: Amnesty NZ- Fletcher Dulini
Fletcher Dulini is the Treasurer of the Movement for
Democratic Change in
Zimbabwe. He is one of its most senior leaders. A
quiet, reserved man, he
a devout and active Christian and any who
know him personally, know that
is simply laughable that he can be
suspected of the crime for which he is
being prosecuted. The senior High
Court Judge who heard his case two weeks
ago said in his Judgement that
the state had no case on which to indight
Fletcher. The Judge has been
transferred to Harare and another Judge - a
Zanu PF sympathizer has been
assigned the case by the Judge President.
The case against
Fletcher is a complete fabrication and is simply designed
the opposition leadership. Virtually every senior MDC leader
has a case
pending against them - the majority of a petty or contrived
"treason" charges against Morgan Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube
Rensen Gasela are other examples.
What makes this case so
serious is that when Fletcher was detained in the
first instance - he
was held in Jail and denied proper medical treatment
family offered the latter and the offer was rejected. He is
severe health problems and as a direct result of the
recieved during his first period in prison, he has lost an eye and part
of his hearing - typical diabetes damage. He has had the eye surgically
removed and his present condition is concidered life
Amnesty International have picked up his case and I
set out their appeal
below. Could I ask you to write to the people
listed as well as the
Embassy in your area. Please also
write to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
in Pretoria as they are the
only people with any clout here. Thank you for
praying with us for
Fletcher and his family - your messages of support and
getting to him and encourage him anourmously. Lets make this a
Bulawayo, 11th August
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL - URGENT ACTION
AI Index: AFR 46/038/2002
Further information on UA 246/02(AFR 46/037/2002, 5 August
2002) - Health
Dulini-Ncube (m), aged 62 (not 61, as previously
On 8 August, Fletcher
Dulini-Ncube was indicted for trial in relation to
murders of Cain Nkala and Limukani Luphahla, supporters of
Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF)
Shortly after the High Court decision was announced, prison
went to the hospital where Fletcher Dulini-Ncube is under police
removed his hospital clothes and replaced them with a
prison uniform and
The use of leg irons is
in contravention of article 33 of the Standard
Minimum Rules for the
Treatment of Prisoners, which states that irons
not be used as
Fletcher Dulini-Ncube suffers from severe
hypertension and diabetes, and
recovering from the surgical
removal of one eye. He has complied with all
his previous bail
conditions. It therefore appears that any form of
on Fletcher Dulini-Ncube is unnecessary.
is concerned that the treatment of Fletcher
Dulini-Ncube is also
incompatible with Zimbabwe's international
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the
Charter on Human and People's Rights. Even though Fletcher
is facing criminal charges, he still retains all human rights
fundamental freedoms, including the right to be presumed innocent by a
competent court or tribunal, and the right to humane treatment.
The High Court Judge presiding over the case decided to indict Fletcher
Dulini-Ncube despite an appeal pending to the Supreme Court in relation
the indictment. The trial is scheduled for 11 November.
Dulini-Ncube has been granted permission to remain in hospital
doctors determine that he is fit to leave. His lawyers filed
papers at the
High Court on 8 August seeking bail.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals in English or in your
- expressing concern that Fletcher
Dulini-Ncube has been forced to wear
irons while in
- reminding officials that this contravenes Article 33
of the Standard
Minimum Rules for the Treatment of
- reminding officials that under the International
Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, and the African Charter on Human
and People's Rights,
everyone, including Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, has the
right to be treated
humanely and presumed innocent until and unless
convicted according to the
- urging officials to
respect his right to health, life and liberty,
including his right to
- calling for Fletcher Dulini-Ncube to receive any access
to medical care
may need in the future, in accordance with the
Standard Minimum Rules for
the Treatment of Prisoners.
The Hon Andrew Chigovera
Office of the Attorney-General
PO Box 7714
Telegram: Attorney-General, Harare,
Fax: + 263 4 790
Salutation: Dear Sir
Hon Patrick Chinamasa
Minister of Justice, Legal and
Ministry of Justice, Legal and
5th Floor Corner House
Private Bag 7751
Telegram: Minister of Justice, Harare,
Fax: + 263 4 790901 /
Salutation: Dear Minister
PO Box 8807
Telegram: Police Commissioner, Harare, Zimbabwe
Fax: + 263 4 253 212 / 728 768 / 772 033
Salutation: Dear Commissioner
The Hon John Nkomo
Minister of Home
Ministry of Home Affairs
Private Bag 7703
Telegram: Minister of Home Affairs, Harare, Zimbabwe
Fax: + 263 4 726 716
AND TO DIPLOMATIC
REPRESENTATIVES OF ZIMBABWE ACCREDITED TO NEW ZEALAND:
Mrs.Florence Lubalendlu Chitauro
High Commission for the Republic of
11 Culgoa Circuit
Canberra ACT 2606
Salutation: Your Excellency
PLEASE SEND APPEALS
IMMEDIATELY. Check with the Urgent Action Network
Lineham (email@example.com), if
appeals after 19 September 2002.
Sent: Sunday, August 11, 2002 7:54 PM
Subject: Fletcher Dulini - Update
I saw Fletcher tonight - he has aged 10 years but was
in good spirits even
though he has two armed Policemen in his room and a
Prison guard and must
wear a prison uniform. He was getting a proper
diet courtesy of the
Nuns who run the Mater Dei Hospital in
which he is being treated. Cannot
read as this puts too much pressure on
his remaining eye.
We thought he was out of leg irons - but
could not be sure as we could
hardly ask Fletcher and his guards. He is
not being allowed visitors - we
simply "gate crashed" and asked if they
minded if we talked with Fletcher
and then prayed with him - they were a
bit flustered but let us stay for a
few minutes. I gave Fletcher copies
of the e mails form you all - hope
someone will read them to him. One
was from a French Monastery where 26
Georgian Monks sang a Gregorian
Chant for Fletcher at their service in the
Fletcher did not know he is now the subject of the Amnesty
world wide effort on behalf of prisoners of conscience.
He was encouraged
that news and said he was due to have his case
for bail heard again on
Wednesday in the Bulawayo High
What we need now is real pressure and expressions of
concern - please do
what you can in your own corner of the world. Picket
the Zimbabwe Embassy
your capital - write to your media, contact
your local Members of
Something we did
not know until today is that Fletchers wife is in the UK
where she was
attending the graduation of their son. She is trying to get
cannot get a seat an a plane!! I would have thought that was an
problem for the UK authorities. The Dulini's are a very close knit
family and Fletcher has been handling this crisis on his own.
Thank you for all the messages of support. One day Zimbabwe will be free
again, a democracy with the rule of law and respect for human rights.
Fletcher is putting his own life on the line for these principles - we
do no better than throw our weight behind his efforts and those of
(On behalf of Justice for Agriculture)
Please visit the
Justice for Agriculture - Website -
wrongs do not make a right
JUSTICE for Agriculture (JAG) recognise that
over 60% of farmers under
notice of acquisition have remained on their farms
and in their homes along
with their staff and families - making up over one
and a half million
Farmers are not defying Government but rather
the orders, which they believe
to be illegal, and therefore intend to
continue to fight the acquisition of
their farms and title through the
Courts. This is not confrontational. It is
regrettable that the opportunity
to restore the rule of law and establish
proper planning and sustainability
to the inevitable process of land reform,
has not yet been addressed and this
is endangering the lives and livelihood
millions of Zimbabweans.
official agrarian reform programme has been altered in terms of
implementation of the legal process and in terms of the awarding of
Limitless power has been put in the hands of local government
decide what land will be acquired and allocate it without due
legal instruments or production.
The 10-year programme was to
leave single fully utilised farms and an
economic core of 6 million hectares.
Instead almost all independently owned
land has been listed, and most of it
compulsorily acquired, without
assessing or budgeting for any
Many Zimbabweans will die from starvation, the AIDS pandemic
and the rest
will be impoverished by unsound economic programmes. The time
has come for
them to put 'principle and production' above 'political
patronage'. If we
are to share the land we must do so lawfully and without
Another aspect is that of Title. It is as
important for new settlers to have
clear title and adequate resources as it
is for the existing farmers to be
treated fairly, humanely and in accordance
with the law. This was not
A plethora of legal cases have
already been brought before Zimbabweans
Courts, and some judgments have
already been made nullifying compulsory
notices of acquisition. Examples of
cases already won are the Simon and
Kockott cases. In some instances the
Attorney General has advised that the
Ministry of Lands and Agriculture have
conceded that Section 8 notices have
been irregularly issued and have
President Robert Mugabe today reconfirmed that the
deadline for farmer's
eviction would go ahead; the formation of JAG is
therefore timeous in terms
of leading legal challenges. The President also
acknowledged that the
government would abide by acquisition processes and we
would like to take
him at his word and request the immediate delisting of
1024 single owned
We take heart that the President acknowledges the
existence of loyal
farmers, amongst these are the 70% who bought their land
in 1980 and have invested heavily in their farming
operations. These are the
people who along with their loyal workforce have
nowhere to go and vow to
The JAG leadership are also
advising farmers to complete comprehensive
affidavits and an inventory of
assets and once this paperwork is complete,
legal counsel will be briefed to
sue for losses using every redress the law
allows. The respondents in this
action can only be determined once all the
paperwork is in place but it is
expected that the settlers, war veterans and
politicians will be key
respondents as in most cases they have orchestrated
the trashing, looting and
theft of assets on the ground under the guise of
land reform. Legal advice is
that we first take this matter to a Zimbabwean
Court and if we do not get a
fair judgement, we take it up internationally.
JAG is a group of
concerned Zimbabweans with a mission to secure justice,
peace and freedom for
and in the agricultural sector. Its contribution to
the Zimbabwean economy is
presently under attack, which has led to the
displacement of expertise,
causing poverty and starvation.
JAG is concerned with the interests of
commercial farm owners, farm workers,
as well as the agricultural ancillary
industries and their employees, and
all those having any interest in the
land. Its mission at present is to
safeguard and support people directly
affected, in whatever way possible,
and to document and expose the injustices
and human rights abuses being
perpetrated against them. These rights are
enshrined within the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights as adopted by
Zimbabwe, a member of the United
Made up of committed
Zimbabweans, JAG remains determined to find a lasting
and just solution to
the crisis currently facing the agricultural sector, in
accordance with the
freely expressed wishes of the people. We therefore call
on all affected
Zimbabweans in a bid to represent as wide a spectrum of
The next few weeks will be a crucial time for Zimbabwean
Until that time JAG has resolved to explore every legal
avenue to expose the
iniquities of the accelerated "fast track" programme.
Justice for Agriculture overview:
JAG believes in justice for
agriculture in Zimbabwe and the unbiased
non-racist application of just and
constitutional laws in accordance with
locally and internationally recognised
JAG will expose and make accountable all persons actively
essential agricultural under the guise of land reform. To achieve
will encourage the taking up of legal proceedings that argue
violations of the Zimbabwean constitution and laws.
that a rational, orderly and legal process of agrarian reform
is needed for
food sufficiency and long-term prosperity, not only in
Zimbabwe but also in
Africa as a whole.
JAG will work to keep agricultural skills on the land
and in the country,
and to find innovative ways to increase production whilst
recovery of the sector.
JAG believes it is essential that
good farming practice be widely taught and
that successful farmers share
their knowledge and expertise with others who
wish to become productive
JAG believes land is a precious and finite national resource and
that it is
essential that it be used productively.
constitution expressly forbids discrimination on grounds of
affiliation or gender. JAG believes the laws and decrees
discriminatory are unconstitutional and should be challenged.
JAG supports a
duly elected and democratic government whilst refuses to be
JAG recognises the resolutions of the International
Donors' conference on
Land Reform and Resettlement held in Harare on 9th
September 1998 and also
the Abuja Accord signed on 6th September 2001.
one has disputed the need for land reforms. No government accountable
Zimbabwe's people will be ever able to avoid dealing with it. But there
no legitimate excuse for the violent lawlessness and injustices now, and
legitimate reason for reckless haste or a lack of
Farming versus starvation
Whilst this ban on planting,
producing and marketing of food occurs, Mr
Mugabe, his cabinet ministers and
aid organizations are lobbying the
international community for food aid to
feed over six million Zimbabweans
who are already starving.
commercial crop planting projections were:
24 692 hectares are
already in the ground and will be harvested Sept/Oct.
Its value in terms of
dollars and cents is Z$6 billion. But its value as a
scarce food commodity is
priceless in the current stock out position. Cereal
production at 670,000
tonnes has dropped 57 per cent compared to last year
and 67 per cent compared
to 1999-2000. Cereal import needs, including maize,
is up to 1.8 billion
Over 170 million kgs of tobacco is produced and
waiting grading on the
farms. US$35,5 million worth of tobacco has already
been sold and the
Section 8 Orders have cast doubt over the fate of the
US$330 million crop
still in grading sheds on the farms. Government has made
it clear that it
has funds only for some inputs for this coming season's food
nothing for tobacco and other essential export crops which provide
foreign currency needed for fuel, chemicals, medicines etc. It has not
able to secure any significant funding for these.
41 067 hectares will translate to 226 000 tonnes: three months
the staple diet of Zimbabwe. The value of the crop is Z$9,4
season 50% of the maize crop was stolen with no police action
the perpetrators. This severely eroded confidence for the
and compromised viability. Maize production at 480,000
tonnes is estimated
to be 67 per cent less than last year and 77 per cent
less than 1999-2000.
Unless significant delisting is done and the law
altered to something more
practical, it is impossible at this time to confirm
how these estimates will
translate into yields as some of the farmers who
expressed intentions may
yet come under Section 8 notification and will have
to leave before the
planting/harvesting. All listed farms can be acquired
without a hearing and
the crop seized after only 45 days. The few farms,
which have not been
listed, have only 75 days protection ensuring that the
framework is inimical to any land preparations or crop
planting. It is
difficult for any farmer to plan ahead until the past
promises to de-list
farms are honoured and it is clear that allocations have
ZIMBABWE LAND DISTRIBUTION BY SECTOR AS AT
Large Scale Commercial Sector (6 000 farms) on 11 020 000 hectares
28.2 percent. Zimbabwe is 39 079 000 hectares in extend.
Large Scale Commercial Sector, totaling 11 020 000 hectares,
Farmers' Union Members owned 8 595 000 hectares.
LAND is 27 604 000 hectares, 70.6 percent; PRIVATE LAND is 11 275
hectares, 28.9 percent and URBAN LAND is 200 000 hectares, 0.5 percent.
The Government of Zimbabwe Land Reform programme has resulted in changes
the above picture. Land has been acquired through notices of acquisition
in some instances, invaders have first arrived on farms, under the
track' programme and then steps have been taken to acquire the farms
legal means available.
Some farms were deemed unsuitable and
were then delisted from acquisition,
however in November 2001, the Government
of Zimbabwe announced its intention
to implement Maximum Farm Size
regulations and this resulted in the
relisting of farms. The results below
indicate this shift in policy.
Lising refers to the naming of the farm
in Government Gazette notices - it
is a preliminary notice, Section 5. The
following are compulsory acquisition
statistics; they represent the changing
picture of occupation of land in
Large scale commercial
farms comprising 11 020 000 hectares (28.2% of
Zimbabwean land) under threat
As at 19 July 2002, there were 6148 farms measuring
10780963 hectares of
land listed for acquisition.
On this date there were
465 farms measuring 864 579 hectares delisted from
acquisition. There were
339 farms, 770 759 hectares that had previously been
delisted, relisted for
acquisition. This brought the nett figure to 6 022
farms on 106 8714 hectares
of land. To translates to 97 percent of the land
12th August 2002
For more information contact Jenni Williams
For Agriculture Publicity Team
Mobile (263) 91 300 456 0r 00 213 885
us at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com or
The Sunday Times - World
Mugabe's lost whites find jungle
THEY are living in a
leaky tent 30 minutes' drive down a dirt
road in the Mozambique bush -
and loving it. Dave and Carol O'Neill-Williams
have no electricity, no
running water, no telephone, no television and their
toilet is a hole in
the ground. Snakes and malarial mosquitoes abound and when they
the nearby Nhadzunya River they keep an eye open for
Yet as she brewed tea over a camp fire last week
blowing out the candles and turning in for the night, Carol
"This is home sweet home." Her husband nodded in
The couple, both 40, are part of an
intrepid new generation of
pioneering white settlers fleeing the
devastation of President Robert
Mugabe's disastrous land seizure
programme in Zimbabwe to build a new life in
Much like their British ancestors who
trekked into Zimbabwe
just over 100 years ago, the O'Neill-Williamses
are determined to transform
virgin African bush into prosperous
farmland. Behind them they have left a nation
in chaos and despair,
beset by a collapsing economy, rising unemployment and
Nobody knows what the future holds when a
45-day deadline set
by Mugabe for almost 3,000 white farmers to abandon
their land expires this
Many are expected to defy eviction
orders and risk the wrath of the war
veterans and youth militia who are
thought to be preparing for trouble.
"The crunch has
come and it is better that we are out of
Zimbabwe, primitive though our
life in the bush is," said Dave O'Neill-Williams. "At
least we have made
our decision rather than hanging on in the hope that things
better, as many other farmers have been doing.
"Mozambique is a fantastic opportunity and we are glad we
when we did. In Zimbabwe white farmers are being discriminated against
here we are being made welcome."
drive across Zimbabwe to Mozambique last week,
passed farm after farm that had been occupied by
green fields were largely abandoned. Many of the whites had
moved out of Chinoyi, a sizeable town north of the capital, Harare, some
emigrating as far afield as New Zealand. At Marondera, several
connected with agriculture had closed
The couple are among a score of white farming
Zimbabwe who have resettled in the central Mozambican
province of Manica.
For the Mozambique government, eager to revive an
agriculture industry ruined
by years of fighting (first for independence
from Portugal, then in a savage
16-year civil war), the influx is a
The paradox is that on independence in 1975
out the entire Portuguese population. The late
President Samora Machel, who
saw the country reduced to poverty as a
consequence, told Mugabe on Zimbabwe's
independence in 1980: "Whatever
you do, don't lose the whites." Mugabe has
not heeded his advice and the
exodus of whites is accelerating. Mozambique is
considering dozens of
applications to settle from white Zimbabweans who
have been driven off
The O'Neill-Williamses own a milling
company at Banket,
northwest of Harare. Since the violent land invasions
began in early 2000 they have
seen their farming friends beaten up,
humiliated and sometimes jailed. Hardly a
farm is now operating in their
With the collapse of agriculture, production
at their mill
dropped by two-thirds this year but they struggled on,
hoping for change. Mugabe's
controversial presidential election victory
last March, guaranteeing him
six more years in power, was the final
Two months ago Dave O'Neill-Williams
travelled to Mozambique
to explore the possibilities. He was drawn
immediately to Manica by the
cheapness of the land and its tax-free
status. The authorities offered him various
sites but he opted for 2,000
hectares (nearly 5,000 acres) of uncleared bush
south of Catandica on an
annual $2,000 lease. He liked the soil, the proximity of
irrigation and the low number of villagers in the
Within a month the provincial authorities had
approval with the proviso that the local villagers had the
final say on whether
they wanted a white-run farm nearby. Shadrek, the
tribal chief, summoned
everyone to a meeting. A few older villagers
objected, perhaps because of their
memories of exploitative Portuguese
colonial rule and the role Rhodesia and South
Africa played in their
long civil war. They suggested that the O'Neill-Williamses
land in a dense and inaccessible forest on the other side of
The vote went in the couple's
favour, however, when the
younger generation of villagers opposed the
elders, saying the presence of whites
was good news because it would
provide them with work. O'Neill-Williams
undertook to relocate at his
own expense any villagers who wished to move. Few have taken up the
The deal was sealed with a gift to Shadrek of
two pairs of
brown and white shoes. Last week the O'Neill-Williamses
paid a courtesy call on
Shadrek and his family of 10 children in his
mud-hut village. The old
chief was so delighted with his new footwear
that he was wearing a brown shoe on his right foot especially for the
occasion. Small children jumped up and down in
excitement at their first
sight of white people.
Several young men ran up to
the couple asking for work. It was
the sort of friendliness they had
been used to in Zimbabwe before Mugabe
presented the land reform issue
in racial terms and encouraged squatters to seize
millions of acres of
Clearing of the bush has
already started. Where the
O'Neill-Williamses plan to have their
farmhouse and workshops, villagers
with shovels were labouring in the
noonday sun last week. A septic tank was
being dug and thousands of
newly prepared bricks were lying out to dry. Even a
villager who was
hobbling on a withered foot, the result of a puff adder bite, was
working away, glad of a job after years without
O'Neill-Williams's intention is to
cultivate maize on a quarter of
his new land and to rear beef cattle on
the remainder. With a mill and an
abattoir they believe that their farm,
which they have named Catandica
Ranch, will turn in a handsome profit in
a year or two. They also plan to
introduce game to the farm and to run
Meanwhile, they are content to be in the
bush, where the only sounds are of birds and insects.
"The good thing is that
there is no way Mozambicans want to get rid of
the whites again," said
"They say they have been
through that and are delighted that white farmers
Zimbabwe for their much poorer country." The only people who
convincing are their two teenage sons, who still do not want to
Zanu PF exploits Chidzero
8/10/02 Story by By Walter Marwizi
BERNARD Chidzero, the former
finance minister who died on Thursday, is yet another high profile Zimbabwean
who has been callously forgotten in life and glowingly remembered in death by an
increasingly insensitive ruling Zanu PF party, it has emerged.
Like many Zimbabwean heroes who
selflessly dedicated their lives for the independence and development of the
country, Chidzero, who retired from public service in 1995 due to failing
health, was forgotten by the Zanu PF regime as he battled with a nagging illness
for over a decade.
He remained on the political periphery where he was contented with,
according to President Mugabe, regularly submitting thoughtful papers that
proposed scenarios for resolving the economic challenges that faced the nation.
It was only after his death that President Mugabe claimed that government
had plans to honour Chidzero, who opted to leave a well paying United Nations
job in order to serve his country at independence.
Said Mugabe on Friday: “We were going to have quite a big do. The do
would have seen us give him the honour that we felt he deserved and he would
have been the first person to receive the honour. But alas, this was not to be.
God has decided to take him away just a few days before we could honour him. But
However, members of the public yesterday expressed outrage at the way
Zanu PF had ignored Chidzero in his “greatest hour of need”, only to talk about
honouring him when he was dead.
“Zanu PF is at it again. They are bemoaning Chidzero's death who died a
few days before they could honour him although they had failed to do so since
1995 when he left government. We know that the motive is to simply get political
mileage. They have perfected the art of manipulating the deaths of popular
figures for their own selfish ends. This is very bad,” said Sydney Maware of
MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, said Chidzero’s death had robbed
Zimbabwe of a true hero.
“He was never a pasi nanhingi (down with) politician. Chidzero was a
truly selfless son of this nation who played a big part in our independence. He
never in his illustrious career ever uttered a single word that sought to
alienate any section of Zimbabwe’s population in a bid to gain political
advantage,” said Tsvangirai in a statement.
This is not the first time that heroes have been neglected by Zanu PF
whilst they are alive and only to receive glowing praise posthumously.
Joshua Nkomo, the late vice president, was hounded into exile by
government agents who sought to kill him in 1983 for thwarting Zanu PF attempts
to create a one party state. Zanu PF only welcomed him into government when it
was convenient for the party to do so in 1987, when the Unity Accord was signed
“It’s surprising that I only got to know that Nkomo was Father Zimbabwe
when he had died. All along we associated him with the dissidents that rocked
the Matabeleland and Midlands regions. He was considered a rogue who had to go
into exile dressed as a woman,” said Grace Marowa of Glen View.
Another hero, Clement Muchachi, who died last year had a harsher fate
than most gallant sons of Zimbabwe who were shunned by Zanu PF when they were
still alive. The former minister died a pauper in the Midlands where he eked a
miserable life. When he was critically ill, caring neighbours ferried him in an
ox-drawn cart to a clinic, but when he died, Zanu PF heaped praises on him,
extolling his virtues.
Chidzero’s catalogue of feats is impressive. He narrowly lost the United
Nations secretary-general’s post to Boutros Boutros Ghali of Egypt in 1991.
Commenting on his failed bid for the position, Jonathan Moyo, who was a
fiery critic of Mugabe at the time, said had Chidzero succeeded it would have
been a “nightmare” for the international community.
“This is because Zanu PF would have mistaken the selection as a
vindication of its highly ideological and divisive foreign policy which has left
the Zimbabwean government frozen in the cold following the end of the Cold War,”
said Moyo, who is now junior minister of information and arguably Mugabe's
(Zim) Daily news
|Shunned Mugabe turns to Asia, Middle East
8/9/02 10:55:57 AM (GMT
By Sandra Nyaira
PRESIDENT Mugabe’s Zanu
PF government, its senior members barred from Europe and the United States of
America, has turned to Asia and the Middle East for business as the economy
heads for a meltdown.
New embassies are soon to
be opened in the regions, with the earliest being in Iran next month. The
Ministers of Foreign Affairs; Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement; and
Information and Publicity are this week in Tehran, Iran, seeking business ties.
According to the Iranian embassy in Harare, Stan Mudenge, the Minister of
Foreign Affairs, leads the Zimbabwean delegation. On Wednesday the Zimbabweans
held talks with their Iranian counterparts and called for stronger Harare-Tehran
co-operation. Mudenge said Zimbabwe would open an embassy in Iran next month
with a new ambassador starting work at the same time. He did not name the
ambassador who has already been appointed.
The government is seeking new
allies, especially after reports that Libya has threatened to cut off fuel
supplies over non-payment, a government source said on Wednesday. Mugabe himself
is now in Singapore drumming up business. In Tehran, Mudenge’s counterpart,
Kamal Kharrazi, lauded “the recent measures taken by the Zimbabwean government
in improving the country’s infrastructure and attracting foreign investment”. He
spoke after his meeting with Mudenge and it was not immediately clear which
measures or development he was referring to. Mudenge and his delegation attended
the opening session of the Iran-Zimbabwe joint economic commission where he made
a commitment to expand relations between the two countries. Mudenge said
Zimbabwe considered relations with Iran as “especially important”. Professor
Jonathan Moyo, the junior minister responsible for Information and Publicity,
and Dr Joseph Made of Lands and Agriculture, are in the delegation which
includes high-ranking economic, finance, trade and tourism ministry officials.
denied UK visa
Posted on 8/10/02 Story by By Chengetai Zvauya
DR Timothy Stamps, the ailing minister of health and child
welfare, has been denied permission to go to the United Kingdom to seek medical
treatment, as the European Union tightens biting travel sanctions imposed on
President Mugabe and his associates a few months ago.
Standard is informed that Stamps, the Welsh born minister who has served in
Mugabe’s cabinet for over a decade, had applied for a visa to enter UK for
specialist medical treatment but his application was turned down two weeks ago
by the British High Commission in Harare.
Stamps’ name appears on the list of specified persons who have been
blacklisted by the EU and the US for being associated with President Mugabe’s
regime, accused of gross abuse of human rights and “stealing” a presidential
Stamps suffered a stroke last year and has failed to resume his
ministerial duties, leaving his deputy David Parirenyatwa running the ministry.
A well placed source told The Standard that Stamps had applied for a visa
to enter the UK for specialist treatment but was not successful.
“There are a number of people who are blacklisted who are trying to find
out if the sanctions are for real and are being turned away at the various
embassies. So it is not surprising that Stamps was barred entry into the UK,’’
said the source.
Contacted for comment, British deputy high commissioner, Diane Corner,
refused to comment on the issue and referred this paper to the embassy’s
spokesperson, Sophie Honey, who was not available at the time of going to the
“I am aware of the list of the specified people but I refer you to our
press officer, ’’ said Corner.
Stamps’ wife, Cindy, refused to speak to The Standard when approached for
Two weeks ago, Zanu PF deputy secretary for the disabled, Joshua Malinga,
was sent back home while in transit to New York.
Foreign affairs minister, Stan Mudenge, was also barred from attending
his daughter’s wedding in Germany two months ago.
Four Zanu PF women legislators, including deputy speaker of parliament,
Edna Madzongwe, were also denied visas to attend a parliamentary workshop in
mooted in 1979 — document
Posted on 8/10/02 Story by By Grey Moyo
BULAWAYO—The Gukurahundi operation that left an estimated 20 000
civilians killed in Matabeleland in the early 80s was a planned move based on a
secret 1979 Grand Plan by the ruling Zanu PF to annihilate Ndebele speaking
people who were mainly supporters of PF Zapu, claims a controversial document
currently circulating in Matabeleland.
14-page document, entitled Progress Review on the 1979 Grand Plan, highlights
that Zanu PF created the dissident problem in Matabeleland in order to get a
pretext to wipe out PF Zapu, which stood in the way of Zanu PF’s cherished one
party state ideology.
The document, which is widely circulating in the region, carries an alert
message: “For the eyes of the Shona Elite only, please pass to most trusted
person” and purports to have been authored by “The Core” of Robert Mugabe’s
ruling Zanu PF party.
It claims, among many other controversial issues, that the Gukurahundi
operation was in fact a deliberate plan by Zanu PF to destroy Ndebeles who
formed the bulwark of the support base of Joshua Nkomo’s PF Zapu.
“At independence Zapu posed the most difficult challenge to Zanu PF over
the leadership of the country. The threat was not so much in terms of grassroots
support as it was in terms of military firepower which Zapu built over the years
with Russian and Cuban support...Zipra was strong but inexperienced since they
knew no battles of note.
Nevertheless, Zipra remained an impediment in our aim to deal
conclusively with the issue of Ndebeles and their ugly past and the need to
pacify Zapu was never greater than in 1980,” part of the document reads.
The document, which has been dismissed by junior minister for
information, Jonathan Moyo, as the work of British intelligence bent on
destabilising the country, says that RG (Mugabe) did his homework quietly and
brought into the country super military training experts from North Korea.
“Within eight months a feared and uncompromising crack force, known as
Gukurahundi, had been trained. This is the force which was to strike terror in
the hearts of the Ndebeles while RG consistently dangled the juicy carrot of a
government of national unity and the integration of forces into the national
army,” noted the document, in apparent reference to the short lived Zapu-Zanu PF
government of national unity which ended with the arrest of senior PF Zapu
officials in February 1982.
The document also claims that it was Mugabe who created a small rebel
force comprising recruits from Zipra, who were then deployed to start
disturbances in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
“Soon the self styled dissidents were joined by other genuinely aggrieved
Zipras who could not stand the heat generated exclusively for them in the
Zimbabwe National Army. However, the army deserters and a few notorious Zipra
who hated RG had a cue that the dissident element was not a PF Zapu initiative,”
says the document.
It adds that the strategy kept the genuine dissidents confused and
uncoordinated, “finally resorting to nomadic movement within the region.”
Apart from the Gukurahundi issue, the document also refers to a 4th
Chimurenga which will see Shonas asserting their influence over Ndebeles in
nearly all the facets of life.
In this struggle, even religious “stones” who are said to be pretending
to be self appointed champions of a lost Ndebele cause will “roll”.
Already, notes the document, several farms in Matabeleland have fallen
into the hands of new Shona farmers in a move that will begin to “break the
spine of the enemy.”
Investigations by The Standard over the past few weeks have established
neither the author nor the authenticity of the document.
However, the document strikes a cord with the findings of the Catholic
Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) contained in the report titled Breaking
The Silence—Building True Peace.
Daily News (zim)
Mugabe’s stance shocks human rights lawyers
8/9/02 11:05:11 AM (GMT +2)
By Sandra Nyaira Political Editor
THE Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on Wednesday said they were dismayed
that President Mugabe said he found it acceptable to ignore or defy a court
judgement the government did not consider to be objective or was a result of
bias by judicial officers towards any member of society.
The lawyers were reacting to Mugabe’s recent statement calling on all
judges to be objective, impartial and shun personal vendettas against any member
This was apparently a reference to the case in which Justice Fergus Blackie
of the High Court convicted and sentenced a Cabinet minister, Patrick Chinamasa,
to three months in jail for contempt of court. Commenting on Mugabe’s remarks,
the lawyers said the call for judges to be impartial was in line with the oath
of office they took upon appointment and it formed the foundation of the
independence of the Judiciary. Mugabe made the remarks at a reception he hosted
to mark the opening of the new Parliamentary session.
“We sincerely hope that judges do not need this reminder to perform their
judicial functions objectively and within the constraints of the law,” the
“We are, however, dismayed by the President’s position that it is
acceptable to ignore or defy a judgment of any court in Zimbabwe where the
affected party considers the outcome to have been the result of bias by the
judicial officer.” Mugabe’s public comments were made after Blackie convicted
Chinamasa of contempt of court for failing to attend a court hearing and another
one for utterances attacking a court ruling on three Americans found guilty of
possessing illegal firearms.
Everyone knows this is a man-made tragedy - one man's
AS HUNDREDS of white commercial owners and tens of
thousands of black workers face being forced off their farms in Zimbabwe by
government decree, they can be forgiven for nostalgia over their country.
The jewel in Africa’s crown. Stable. Peaceful. Democratic. Prosperous. And
the breadbasket of the region, too.
Yet Zimbabweans are now racked with starvation, the country torn apart by
stateorganised violence, with the world’s fastest-shrinking economy, declining
at the rate of 10 per cent last year and another 11 per cent this year. Despite
Harare’s claims that this is purely a result of drought, everyone knows it is a
man-made tragedy: one man’s.
Instead of increasing food supplies, the regime has increased the
suffering. Instead of encouraging commercial farmers to meet the food gap, it
wants to evict them, leaving victims everywhere: farmers losing their land,
farmworkers losing their livelihoods and the people losing their food.
And, as the Zimbabwean Deputy Foreign Minister recently admitted, the
regime is using food as a political weapon: denying it to areas which support
The regime claims that farmers will be allowed to keep one farm. But this
is not how the chaotic land seizures have been implemented. It ignores the fact
that millions from donors like Britain have been available for some time to help
with land reform, so long as the beneficiaries were the rural poor, not the
ruling party’s cronies. The British Government has long warned that this was a
policy of economic suicide.
A huge amount of food aid is now needed. The British Government is
providing £32 million of assistance this year, but we are insisting that all aid
is distributed outside Zimbabwean state channels and is properly monitored to
ensure that the most needy are helped irrespective of their political views.
Some say that Britain should compensate farmers for their losses. But that would
merely justify retrospectively what the regime has done and encourage similar
violent and illegal expropriations elsewhere.
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), put together by
progressive African leaders, offers a vision for the future. It recognises that
the donor community is right to focus aid on those who respect human rights and
democracy. Regimes such as Zimbabwe’s will not be backed by the developed world.
Britain, the Commonwealth and the European Union have done all we can to
persuade the regime to change course. But a regime that cares so little for its
own people obviously cares nothing for international opinion. That is why a
number of countries, the European Union and the United States, have taken
measures including targeted sanctions on 72 of Zanu (PF)’s leaders.
The Government will do its best to give practical advice and support to any
British nationals who face eviction in the coming weeks. At the same time, we
will continue to provide as much emergency assistance as we can for Zimbabwe’s
It is a tragedy that there was not an African solution to this African
problem, especially since the Zimbabwe crisis has hit international investor
confidence in the whole region. The message to Zimbabwe’s neighbours is that
good government matters and, like charity, begins at home.
Zimbabwean champions of decency and basic rights, the starving, the
farmers, are all victims of Mugabe’s misrule: black and white, rich and poor.
But frustrating though it has been for Zimbabwe’s friends to watch its sad
collapse, change can only come from within Zimbabwe. In the meantime, we will
maintain our solidarity while continuing to work for a change of direction and
maintaining sanctions on the elite.
Peter Hain is Minister of State at the Foreign Office
Diary of a
© Copyright of Telegraph Group
JF in Matabeleland received this diary from one of
government-sponsored thugs enforcing this week's deadline for the
withdrawal of white farmers from their land. While he cannot be named,
wanted it published as a personal gesture of defiance against the vortex
violence that has become his life.
Wednesday, August 7
I am woken by
a phone call from the boss and told to report to the Zanu-PF
"The day has finally come my friend," my governor shouts down the line,
are going to show these British settlers that they have outstayed
For the past two years, I have organised invasions,
beatings, abductions and
even murder on behalf of Mugabe's government. I used
to think of it as my
own guerrilla war - I was too young to have fought for
It did not take that long for me to realise that there is
nothing heroic or
brave about terrorising people just because they are white
or vote for
another party. I don't even get paid for doing his dirty work any
is a life sentence. If I leave, I will be hunted down and shot like
The meeting is at the government complex in Bulawayo. More than
300 of us -
war veterans and youth militia - are packed into the hall.
a nephew of Mugabe's and head of the land reform programme,
He can probably tell we have lost our thirst for blood.
He shouts and shakes
his fist. He accuses the white farmers of being
arrogant, selfish and
superior. "They don't want to share their treasures
with you because you are
just worthless blacks."
The youths whistle and
shout and dance on the spot, calling for blood. I
command a battalion of
about 200 youths and we are to be given police riot
uniforms, though none of
us are police officers. Chombo says we must be seen
to be working with the
"might of the law" on our side.
I return home with dread in my stomach. I
have brought no money home for
months and rely on wife's salary, but some
months she doesn't get paid
either. I am an embarrassment to her and my
children and I wish I could
change the past.
Three years ago, I was made
redundant from my job as a trainee manager at a
factory. I began hawking on
the streets and had a few guys working for me. I
was hoping to open a shop
Then I was spotted by a Zanu-PF official who recruited me into the
as a commander. I knew in my heart that it would end badly, but was
land, a car, money and power. I signed up.
The eviction deadline for white farmers is tonight. I am told to gather
youths and send them on to the land and show the whites we mean business.
have a list of 60 farms in the areas to be cleared as a priority. They
owned by MDC supporters or allocated to ministers or friends of
I am allocated police riot uniforms for my teams. Once night begins
I drive groups to farms surrounding Bulawayo with orders to "hassle
unsettle" the farmers and their workers. We have been told to
everything from the property "except clothes".
After dropping off my
last group of youths, I stop off at the homestead of a
white farmer who has
become a friend. Over a cup of sweet tea, I tell this
man, who should be my
enemy, where the roadblocks will be the following day
so he can avoid
He has built a clinic and a school on his land. There is no way they
stay open if he quits. We agree that the situation is a mess. But at
can try to make sure this white is spared the worst of any
I rejoin one of my groups who are sitting at the gate of a tobacco
try to relax over a game of cards. Someone accuses someone else of
Punches and insults are thrown. At the end of the day, we are just
of kids dressed up as policemen.
Friday, August 9
are up at daybreak and anxious to see some action. One has a box
and says he is going to start burning. The farm workers come and
go as though
we are not there and this angers the militia.
The governor calls and orders
me back into town for another meeting. I tell
the youths they must not act
without my orders. I give one of them a punch
in the head to show they have
to listen to what I say.
I hear shouting as I walk into the Zanu-PF offices.
Chiefs in Harare say
there are details still to be worked out before we can
move our men onto the
land, but that the notices will be enforced. There is
no extension to the
deadline: they insist "stubborn and selfish" whites will
learn their lesson.
Our boss is frustrated. "We have waited too long
already," he yells at me. I
listen to the radio which reports that farmers
are leaving their land in
huge numbers. But that is not what I have seen with
my own eyes.
Saturday, August 10
Another meeting. Bernard Chidzero,
Zimbabwe's first black finance minister,
who died last week, has been
declared a national hero. The President says he
will be buried on Monday -
Heroes' Day - at Heroes Acre in Harare.
We are not to let the farmers steal
any attention from him, the bosses say.
I hear "grace period" being mentioned
and am told to be ready for the "day
of reckoning" on Tuesday.
I go back
to the rural areas to let the youth know what is going on. On the
way, I stop
off to see my white farmer friend to tell him to relax for the
rest of the
Do they have to be part of this?
8/9/02 10:36:39 AM (GMT +2)
I would like to expose the Zanu PF violence in Buhera. As a war veteran, I
am contemplating crossing over to the Zimbabwe Liberators’ Platform due to
terror and violence inflicted on people by Zanu PF thugs, the riot police and
the youths (Green Bombers) from the Border Gezi Training Centre.
Teachers were forced to leave their stations before and after the
presidential election for supporting the opposition party. Working hand-in-hand
with the war veterans, Ministry of Education representatives here, some holding
positions in the Manicaland Zanu PF executive, forced teachers to transfer to
new stations with the aim of fixing them.
The war veterans petrol-bombed the district education officer’s house on 12
July 2002, so that they could lay the blame on teachers. From there on, all
teachers who were chased before and after the election were rounded up by the
riot police and beaten up.
Why then did we vote if we have a one-party state? It is the teachers’
right to support a political party of their choice.
Please stop this violence because it could lead us to a civil war. This is
food for thought for Buhera war veterans.
Zim Std Congratulations
Posted on 8/10/02
|Story by PNR Silversides|
CONGRATULATIONS Jenni Williams, you escaped the utterly negative
atmosphere of the CFU which “sought to comfort itself in the arms of the
government” (The Standard, 4 August 2002). Now you’re spokesperson for Justice
for Agriculture (JAG), an organisation currently taking legal action on behalf
of farmers—whose properties have been looted by war veterans, Zanu PF supporters
and government chefs—and of their farm workers and families. This action could
cost Zanu PF multi billions in damages.
cheer that someone has had the guts to face up to this bunch of lawless looting
thugs and the Zanu PF monstrosity, and wish JAG and all the farmers involved,
all the good luck in the world in their quest and, for the respondents—as the
Bible suggests—a great deal of “weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth”.
A delightful thought: Since our temporary acting ‘president’ is the Zanu
PF leader, he will presumably be the first respondent in this magnificent
Just don’t give up your title deeds, chaps!
|Madiba’s degrees in peace
8/9/02 10:45:13 AM (GMT
AI was fascinated by the
article headed “Nelson Mandela still leads a busy life at 84”. I would like to
congratulate Madiba for turning 84.
As a defenceless
Zimbabwean, I wish our haughty and insensitive leadership could learn a lesson
or two from Madiba. He is an archetype of democracy and a paragon of racial
amity. That is why Mandela has won universal acclaim. Last month he received the
Presidential Medal of Freedom. The grim contrast is that our own leaders have
won only degrees in violence and Presidential Medals of Freedom. Pardon the pun!
E K Chivandikwa
Daily News - letter
|Gullible CFU now paying for its ostrich mentality
8/9/02 10:40:26 AM (GMT
PRESIDENT Mugabe has at
last achieved his objective and has castrated the commercial farmers in
The next act in the tragedy
will be that the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) reach an “agreement” with the
government and Mafikizolo Jonathan Moyo’s mouth goes into top gear assuring the
international community that at long last the white racist farmers have seen the
error of their ways and will co-operate fully with the “lawfully elected
With great fanfare and coverage by the international Press,
some farmers will be “allowed” to carry on farming on their farms “in the
interest of the
The international community, and in
particular South Africa and Nigeria, will heave a sigh of relief, thankful that
the master of deception has pulled it off again, and once more the outside and
gullible world will have been “Abuja’d”. Mugabe will protest that he had been
misunderstood by the wicked West, who will go along with this fiction because
they are all desperate to be rid of a problem that might have required a strong
moral stand, or even action.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch the few
remaining farms belonging to “unco-operative” farmers will be seized and handed
out to the faithful rich. The co-operative farmers will be allowed to plant and
tend their crops until harvest time or just before, when their farms will also
be seized “in the national interest” because it will have been discovered that
they were merely looking after their own interests and trying to make money from
the starving people.
As this, of course, is months away, the world will
have long forgotten the issues and will only remember that the “land issue” in
Zimbabwe was “amicably solved”.
It may be a different subject entirely,
but the following is what I believe should have been done. These are my thoughts
as a non-farmer, but as a rural district councillor in a farming area my
business also took me all over the country and deep into the rural areas where I
spoke to a great many people of all stations in life.
The first great
error of the CFU lies in their oft-repeated statement: “We’re farmers, not
politicians.” That statement is plain stupid, because political considerations
run through all types of endeavour – commercial, industrial and mining. All of
these are and were “politically aware”.
This ostrich-like attitude is
well demonstrated by the CFU remaining a largely white organisation 20 years
I have heard that Zanu PF encouraged or instigated
this. If so, it should have been strongly resisted way back then. One does not
have to be a rocket scientist to know that this was a recipe for disaster, a
time bomb ready to be activated when required. This mistake was deep and
fundamental, and the entire country now suffers the consequences.
next huge error was the reaction when farms began to be invaded “spontaneously
by landless peasants” shortly after the constitutional referendum in 2000. It
very quickly became apparent that these invasions were directly orchestrated by
the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). And who has absolute control of the
CIO? None other than the President, of course!
Yet amazingly the CFU
went along with the “spontaneous occupation” lie and actually sought an audience
with the President to stop the invasions. What should have been done then?
In my opinion, first the CFU should vociferously have drawn local and
international attention to the fact that Mugabe himself ordered these
“spontaneous” invasions, using Chenjerai Hunzvi and the CIO.
believe that had the CFU shouted long and loud and very publicly at that time
and put the truth to the international community, then Zanu PF would not have
had the courage to pursue their land theft and self-enrichment programme.
However, meeting no resistance they pushed one ridiculous claim after
I believe they were very surprised themselves that they “got away
with the lie” and kept pushing to see how far they could go. In Africa, as
elsewhere, weakness is not admired or respected.
One may not like a
person, and some farmers particularly got up one’s nostrils quite severely, but
not liking someone does not make it OK to dispossess him or her. Also, not
liking some farmers does not make it OK to deliberately plunge the country into
I see from CFU president Colin Cloete’s statement that
he and his executive believe “this confusion is in total contradiction of our
State President’s policy on Land Reform”. I disagree totally.
that the State President’s policy on land reform has not only gone exactly
according to plan, but has succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, due to the
complete lack of meaningful opposition.
History is an ever-changing and
moving river of events. There is a time when a principled stand can change the
course of that flow, but if neglected, then it takes a far greater effort to
change at a later date.
When one assumes public office a measure of
moral courage and integrity is demanded by those who elected you as their
representative. You are expected, perhaps unjustly, to have a little more
foresight, a broader perspective and more moral courage than the majority of
those you represent.