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The death of a dream: One Zimbabwean farmer's story

For more than four decades, Larry Norton and his family farmed the same stretch of land in northern Zimbabwe until last week. Here, he tells the devastating story of the pressures that forced him to leave

15 August 2002

I sit in a storage shed in Harare, surrounded by the chaotic elements of our life and home and our piles of possessions, and try to reflect on the past few days. Last Thursday, 8 August 2002, we evacuated our farm Dahwye in the Mvurwi region of Mashonaland in north-east Zimbabwe, about 100km from Harare, abandoning the home in which three generations of our family had lived for almost half a century.

After two years of mayhem, we could not go on. The government-sponsored land invasions had begun in March 2000, shortly before our 14-month-old son Oscar died from cancer. We were unable to spend his last days on the farm because of the trouble. He died in an apartment in Harare surrounded by refugee farmers from Macheke, 75km to the east of the capital, where in April that year David Stevens, a supporter of the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was the first white farmer to be killed.

Since that time we have lived through the unparalleled destruction of a country and economy, under the corrupt and dictatorial rule of President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party. Our farm has been a microcosm of the battlefield.

My mother and father came north from South Africa in the 1950s. They worked as managers on various farms and borrowed money to purchase Dahwye in 1957. They nearly went broke, and for a time my father lived in a tent made from fertiliser bags while he opened up a tobacco farm in virgin bush. It was in an area described on the map as "Terra Incognita", but he made enough money there to pay off the loan. We returned to Dahwye in the mid-1960s. I was born in 1963.

Over the next 40 years, my parents developed Dahwye and later an adjoining property, Braidjule Farm, into fully irrigable units farming tobacco, maize, wheat and cattle. A game-farming operation on the marginal parts of the farm resulted in massive herds of wildebeest, zebra, impala, eland and tsessebe. Excess animals were sold to expand the wildlife business countrywide. My father conducted more than three decades of pasture research work and perfected legume/grass pastures in the harsh wetlands, increasing carrying capacities twentyfold. For him, the farm was not his own, it was a heritage for us, and our children. Every cent was reinvested in dams, irrigation and development.

In 1999, Sara and I decided to build our home in the rocks of the Dahwye Game Park, not far from where we were married. The old farm cottage we had lived in was falling apart and we decided to try to develop the wildlife and tourism potential of this piece of the farm by building a guest lodge and launching a safari operation. It was not to be. Soon after our magnificent home was complete, Oscar's long illness disrupted our plans. The land invasions put an end to them.

Our last day on the farm was a nightmare of chaos. We still had tons of household goods and machinery to move. Early in the day a mob of Zanu-PF youth and settlers illegally broke through the homestead fence to erect a flag near the lorry we were packing up. The police were called in and the mob was dispersed as far as the gates of the security fence, where the police officer advised that they should watch us in case we tried to steal anything. (Once a farmer has received a Section 8 a final notice to quit farming he may not remove certain assets from the farm.) There they lit fires and hacked the word "Zimbabwe" into an old msasa tree standing at the gate. The waiting press people were made unwelcome by the police.

During our last drive around Dahwye, my father said it looked as empty of wildlife as when he had first seen it. As we stopped to open a gate, I collected a bag of soil to take to Cape Town when we leave. As my father watched me, tears rolled down his face.

Finally, we paid off the staff and at my father's request bowed our heads in a prayer of thanks for the long years we had lived and worked together. We had left the workers some cattle and hardware to assist in their new lives. My mother sobbed and tears burned in my eyes as we said goodbye to these people we had worked with for so long, and left them to their fate. Mum locked the house for the last time. At last, our final convoy of four vehicles left the rubbish-strewn thatched house that had been a family home for 46 years. We drove towards the gate. The mob locked the gate as we approached. Sensing a bad situation my father, in the lead vehicle, did not hesitate; he revved the engine and smashed through the gate.

And so we left Dahwye, without looking back, our beloved farm empty now of cattle, game and equipment, in parts burned out and already derelict. Alive only with the sound of axes and dogs. Irrigable land liesfallow, the dams stand full of water and soon the spectre of hunger will stalk the empty fields, as settlers dig for mice beneath the weeds. The night we left the main pump for the housing area was stolen, and the mob broke into my studio and office and my parents' home, which I hear is to become a beer hall. The Dahwye we have known and loved is dead.

Many impressions come to mind as I try to recall the events of the past two-and-a-half years. First, I recall my son Oscar's memorial service, held at the same rock altar in the game park where Sara and I were married and where our children were christened. It is a naturally sacred place. As the service began two fish eagles appeared overhead, circling and ululating their haunting cry, witnessed by the 250 people gathered below.

By April this year, resettlement pressure on Dahwye was growing. Zanu-PF youth who could not be paid for their work during the presidential election were allocated our farm instead. The youth base commander began to build his hut at the rock altar. Our workers were appalled at an act so sacrilegious to traditional culture that they appealed to him to stop.

But this was clearly a psychological strategy designed to cause us maximum pain. For the next three months Sara and the children would have to go, daily, past this obscenity on their way to school. Huts multiplied across the game park.

We watched our game in despair, wandering amid the chaotic resettlements, surrounded by dogs, people, huts and fires. Pillars of light rose into the night sky from the fires started by the settlers. Entire segments of the country were consumed in an orgy of burning.

By a small miracle we obtained a game capture permit from the authorities. In a dramatic operation, over five weeks, we captured, saved and sold about 180 tsessebe, 75 zebra, 60 wildebeest, three eland, 85 impala and 12 ostriches. We had already lost animals to poaching and I am convinced that many of the settlers in our game park came with meat in mind.

Our children attended Barwick Primary School, not far from our farm. Teachers there have described the deep trauma that they have observed in farmers' children who, over the past two years, have been silent victims of the baying mobs and the daily humiliations their families have endured on the farms. The ever-present anxiety they observe in their parents is silently taken on board. I have often seen our own children trying to work out ways to protect us from the daily dramas. During the weekends and holidays, security briefings on the farm radios do not allay their fears. When things have been bad children have expressed fear at returning to boarding school as they have to leave their parents alone on the farms.

There have been times during this ordeal that have been worse than others. When farms were being burned and looted in the nearby districts of Chinhoyi, Mhangura, Doma and Hwedza, we waited, expecting the worst. Some members of our family were trapped in their home, unable to escape as their neighbours were being ransacked. Packed suitcases and food rations stood in the hallway at all times, in preparation for a hurried exit. The house was emptied long ago of sentimental objects and photographs. As a community we tried to plan for worst-case scenarios for example, if violence had erupted after the presidential election. Community plans for the evacuation of schools were, and still are, realities that those in farming areas face on their own.

From the ashes of this situation we have managed to save one thing. Before Oscar died, we planted a little Christmas tree that we had bought for him in Cape Town during his hospitalisation. The day before we left the farm, we dug up the tree and replanted it beside the children's ward of St Anne's Hospital, Harare, where the nuns (who remember Oscar from his stay there) have decided that it will be decorated each Christmas, and that from now on it will be called Oscar's Tree.

It is hard to describe the courage I have witnessed in my own family. My dad and mum, 73 and 64 respectively, humorous even amid the destruction of all they have loved and worked for, battling to finish the job of packing up their home and farm. Sara, my wife, determined even under these adverse circumstances to raise money for the Red Cross Children's Hospital, which looked after Oscar. She trained for the London Marathon on farm roads throughout the mayhem, ran the marathon and raised 7,000 for the hospital. My daughter Megan, who is 11 years old, a rock for all of us, always smiling and unfazed. My five-year-old son Ben, who cried often for the loss of his beloved farm, decided that we should make crosses and scatter them around the farm and throughout our house to protect it in our absence. Madeleine, who is six months old, is one of the few people in Zimbabwe, oblivious to its woes, who has smiled through it all.

The unreported daily acts of courage and integrity by farmers in this impossible time must be mentioned. Their lonely vigils against the forces of intimidation have been humbling to observe. One day, I hope it will be recognised and saluted.

Even now, impossible labour laws and propaganda have in some situations turned the labourers against them. Farmers are barricaded into their homes by labourers demanding pay and gratuities few can afford. In the past two years, I have seen young men take on the visage of battle-weary soldiers, with lined faces and grey hair, as they strive to protect family, friends and farm workers who were defenceless but for their initiative. I have seen their desperation as the authorities and so-called new landlords have prevented them from moving their own equipment, livestock and household goods from their farms, which have been seized. I was told, categorically, by a war veteran leader in front of a mob of 200 people, that we would not move one thing off our farm. Fortunately, he failed.

Now that we are in Harare, and off the farm, there is time to try to analyse what we have been through. We are sharing a house with another displaced family, the Mitchells from Beitbridge in the far south of the country. Billy's father collapsed and died from a heart attack soon after they received government papers of acquisition earlier this year.

One thing I have learnt, as we try to make sense of these terrible events, is that it is impossible to judge any farmer or farming community by the course of action they have followed. Each farm and farmer has faced a unique circumstance. All have fought lonely battles against overwhelming odds, outgunned by the full force of state machinery.

We don't want sympathy. Many farm workers, rural black people and opposition supporters have faced worse. Some of us can move from here. I, at least, have another trade, as a wildlife painter. Many farmers have no other options.

The government has, by its own definition, attempted to conduct an ethnic cleansing of the farmland. White farmers, by nature of their race, have been targeted for displacement, en masse, at a time of fast-approaching and unparalleled starvation. Why? Why, 20 years into Zimbabwe's nationhood, this sudden assault? The answer lies, of course, in two bloody and farcical elections, the results of which have failed to impress the world.

No one disputes the need for viable, transparent land reform, although it's significant to note that about 60 per cent of white-owned farms were purchased after independence, under Zimbabwean law.

The parallels between watching Oscar die from cancer and our beloved Dahwye's slow destruction are profound. The grief process of watching that which you love slowly destroyed is the same. My soul will always be in Dahwye. It holds my earliest memories and those of my children and no one, by decree or destruction, can ever take that away.

Newspaper cutting :
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The Scotsman

Zimbabwe's white farmers watch and wait

Jane Fields in Mutare

DAVE Meikle did not leave his farm in Zimbabwe last weekend when a
government deadline for about 3,000 white farmers to get out of their homes

"My plan is to try to hang in for now, mainly because there's nowhere else
to go," he said, sitting on the veranda of his home in Mutare, in eastern
Zimbabwe, yesterday.

But on Sunday morning a neighbouring farmer who also decided to stay on was
ordered to leave. The man is now living at a hotel in the Bvumba district,
once a tourist magnet but now almost deserted.

A week after the deadline for farmers to vacate their houses - the last push
in Robert Mugabe's two-and-a-half year campaign to wrest land from white
landowners - farmers in eastern Manicaland province are reassessing their

Along with Mr Meikle's neighbour, four farmers from the Middle Save district
were chased out of their homes over the weekend. War veterans broke in to a
farmhouse in Burma Valley during a wedding party on Saturday, beating up a
security guard. In the Headlands area, farmer Henalie Muller lost her house
to an arson attack on Saturday night.

Men thought to be government officials told the black manager of a farm in
Old Mutare that 62 farm labourers would have to vacate their houses. "We don
't want to get you out by force but you've got to move," they were reported
to have said.

White farmers and their dependants are no more secure here in Mutare than
they are in the rest of Zimbabwe. The fields bordering the Bvumba mountains
should be green with wheat this winter. Now they are mostly brown and bare.

Whole swathes of land have been gazetted for compulsory acquisition by the
government; 450 farms out of a total of 955 in the province are to go to new
black farmers, according to official figures released yesterday.

White commercial farms still on their land here have had neither the cash
nor the confidence to plant food or tobacco.

"What I would like to see and what we would all like to see is for us all to
be producing food," Mr Meikle said.

However, he has only a verbal assurance that the government will not take
his farm.

Most years he would have planted 80 hectares of wheat. This year, there are
only ten hectares planted - and that includes the crop planted by the war
veterans who have built their shacks in his fields.

"The thing you really need to talk about is how we're going to get the
food," another farmer told me, referring to Zimbabwe's ballooning food
crisis expected to see at least six million people - half the total
population - requiring emergency food aid this year.
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Docility is our greatest weakness

Taungana Ndoro
8/15/02 7:10:20 PM (GMT +2)

NEVER before has a revolution seemingly failed at the last minute such
as the one in this country. Zimbabweans are really a painfully miserable lot
who are wretchedly afraid of redemption simply because they are pathetically
Such intolerable cowardice will forever see them wallow in dire
poverty without any anticipation of deliverance for as long as they refuse
to be practical about their predicament.

Nobody needs to be gifted with foretelling to perceive that the future
of this country is bleak and bleary. Such a future is already being
incarnated by the chilling reality today.

Zimbabweans deserve Mugabe because they are full of theory, and theory
and rhetoric are what Mugabe knows best. What is worse, Mugabe is an expert
at injecting his theory by any violent practice inventible.

Charles Mangongera asked, in his rather lengthy piece, if Zimbabweans
deserve the bondage they are presently subjected to. That was one of the
easiest of questions.

Zimbabweans are simply lily-livered. If a people with genuine
grievances and misery are fed up, they become dangerous and whoever is
leading and responsible for their suffering at that time, is sure to be

Now with the entire hullabaloo about being fed up with Mugabe, nobody
can take a stand against the cornered cock. It follows that nobody is hungry
yet. Indeed, nobody is craving to have chicken for dinner. That is why the
cock will crow and even ululate everyday it wakes up still a live and in

Zimbabweans must know that there are mechanisms that can be put in
place to force Mugabe to either devalue the dollar, resign or both.

Economists will tell you that too large a budget deficit and too
little international funding will eventually force the government to

However, in the case of Zimbabwe, these two reasons alone are flimsy
for they have not created meaningful panic to coerce the government to
devalue the already valueless dollar.

Mugabe's political power is overvalued and therefore needs to be
devalued - a possibility that he has pronounced dead. By refusing to devalue
the dollar Mugabe has subtly rejected the political implications that go
with that maneuver.

By pronouncing that something as immortal as devaluation is dead,
Mugabe is making a desperate refusal to economically redeem the country
confirming the fears of Tony Hawkins a professor at the UZ that 'whenever
economics gets in the way of politics, politics wins every time'.

Mugabe is simply denying that the standard of living in the country
has devalued to a ridiculously low ebb. So low has the standard of living
devalued that the masses, frail from hunger, seem too weak to make any
meaningful protest.

Perhaps, only economic devastation of the worst kind will shove
Zimbabweans to the streets where they will be forced to clash head on with
the ruthless Public Order and Security Act (POSA) in a revolt likely to
involve unsightly bloodshed.

When that rebellion comes to pass, if it ever does, the people of
Zimbabwe will have learnt that brainwork alone can never redeem them without
practical involvement.

It never ceases to amaze me that a country with the highest literacy
rate in the continent has failed to retain power from a despot and yet its
people fully understand that he is the sole reason for their demise. Such
timidity is agonizing.

In essence, Zimbabweans lack the intelligence to be practical. The
only action they have taken in response to the government's
maladministration is pushing and shoving in long queues for maize meal,
sugar, bread, cooking oil and salt, of all things!

Zimbabweans are intolerably tolerant, simply put.

As long as the stubborn old man stays in that hot seat a moment
longer, Zimbabweans will perish as the wretched of the earth; in fact as the
wretched of the land he wants them to eat.

The world is looking with satisfaction at the way Zimbabweans are
intelligently criticising a leader they do not want any day longer but the
dissatisfaction of our lack of action against a tyrant who cares less what
the world thinks of him is the most lamentable crisis at present.

This unenviable calamity, together with the severe leadership crisis
of unprecedented grave proportions within the opposition, has tarnished any
hopes of breaking free from servitude.

The world is laughing at us. Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are also
laughing at those who have remained to endure futile misgovernace.

The brain box of Africa has become a sordid place to inhabit and hence
the exodus in search of places where one can find peace of mind, a virtue
almost extinct among citizens in this southern African country.

However, migrating should be revealed for what it really is -
cowardice, of the most traitorous manner. Timidity can be forgiven because
when a people have suffered enough they will vent all their cumulative rage
on those responsible for their lengthy bondage.

Cowardice is a tragedy.

It is a deplorable practice by those who want to eat the national cake
but refuse to bake and replace what they ate. They want those back home to
bake the national cake for them so that they can come back and eat what they
ran away from building.

MDC and its leaders need to be bold; bold enough to face what is on
the ground, bold enough to face more agonising reality such as the prolonged
ZANU PF reign than an unchaste woman.

When the law courts become a practical waste of time, when rulers
cling to power way after their time, when the cost of existing becomes
unreasonably exorbitant, it does not mean that the people should resign to a
cruel fate but it instead should be a catalyst for them to confront their
masters about altering the masses' impending miserable destiny.

Perhaps the morale-boosting words of Danton, an outstanding French
revolution leader can best kill the disturbing docility among the
poverty-loving people of this country: "Boldness, and again boldness and
always, boldness!"

a.. Taungana Ndoro can be contacted at or
chairman36 or at yoursfaithfully

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Fuel crisis set to worsen as BP blocks supplies to Zim

Staff Reporter
8/15/02 6:59:03 PM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE'S fuel crisis could worsen in the coming weeks as Mozambique'
s British Petroleum (BP) refuses to allow a ship laden with fuel for Harare
to offload its cargo because it is owed more than US$3 million by the
state-run National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM), it was learnt this

Oil industry sources said a ship with fuel from Libya had been docked
at Beira port in Mozambique for the past week after BP refused to allow it
to offload its contents into its tanks until NOCZIM settles more than US$3
million outstanding for previous usage of storage facilities.

The fuel is offloaded from the ship into tanks before it is
transferred into a pipeline that connects Beira and NOCZIM's depot in Msasa,

The pipeline is jointly owned by NOCZIM and Lonrho.

"There is a ship that is currently docked at Beira right now but it
can't release the fuel until NOCZIM settles money owed to BP for storage
facilities," one source told the Financial Gazette.

No comment was available from NOCZIM this week, but Energy Minister
Edward Chindori-Chininga last week assured the nation that there were
adequate supplies of fuel.

He blamed the current intermittent shortages to transport glitches as
well as poor distribution strategies by oil companies.

Some fuel pump stations in Harare have run out of fuel in the past
fortnight, resulting in motorists queueing for limited fuel supplies in some

This has raised fears of a repeat of the 2000 fuel crisis when
Zimbabwe completely ran out of oil as the government struggled to raise
foreign currency to purchase the commodity.

The fuel shortage was worsened by the cancellation of lines of credit
by foreign suppliers.

The sources warned that the fuel crisis was set to worsen in the
coming weeks unless an immediate solution was found to the impasse with BP.

About 70 percent of Zimbabwe's oil needs are imported from Tamoil in
Libya and come through Mozambique.

The other 30 percent is supplied by the Independent Petroleum Group of
Kuwait and overland from South Africa.

The sources said President Robert Mugabe managed to renegotiate a
US$360 million fuel deal with Tripoli in May under which the Libyan Arab
Foreign Bank and the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) have acted as
financial advisers to Tamoil and NOCZIM respectively.

Under the deal brokered between Mugabe and Libyan leader Muammar
Gaddafi, Tamoil has supplied fuel to Zimbabwe in quarterly tranches of US$90
million since August 2001.

Mugabe has offered the Libyans investments in state-run firms and
bilateral trade in exchange for the fuel.

Libya now has significant stakes in the CBZ as well as in hotel and
leisure firm Rainbow Tourism Group and is believed to be interested in
investing in fuel facilities in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe's critics say Zimbabwe stands threatened by a new colonialism
because of Gaddafi's increasing hold on the Zimbabwean leader, a charge the
government rejects.
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Let's not go it alone, Your Excellency

Masipula Sithole
8/15/02 6:59:12 PM (GMT +2)

I SPENT the weekend at Freedom Farm in Chipinge where my brother
Ndabaningi Sithole is resting in peace.

I had to rush back to Harare to pay my respects to the late Dr Bernard
Chidzero for, indeed, he was "that intellectual, soft-spoken, industrious,
imaginative and adventitious writer, planner, administrator,
internationalist, minister and politician", plus more.

Chidzero was a fine citizen of world stature.

Although I don't agree that the authority to declare one a national
hero should lie in the ZANU PF Politburo, I do celebrate that Chidzero was
declared a national hero, not some of the dubious characters that are buried
in that national shrine. I was glad that they were not mentioned by name in
the orations.

Seriously, our government ought to revisit the issue of heroes -
national, provincial or district. Let's face it, Zimbabwe is no longer a
one-party state, neither de facto nor de jure. That the ZANU PF Politburo
continues to arrogate itself the authority to declare national heroes does
not augur well with the realities of our changed times.

Communist one-party dictatorship collapsed everywhere not because of
the socialist idea but because of failure to adapt to changing times and
circumstances. The Politburo idea has become obsolete.

Indeed I liked the orations about Chidzero, all of them except the
inference that he was in favour of farm invasions by war veterans. I may be
wrong but Chidzero was too mild, too "soft-spoken" and to humane for that
approach, albeit to redress the imbalances of the past. That would not be
his method of achieving equity.

Also I didn't like the inference that Chidzero was in favour of
abandoning the West for east Asian markets. That perception is neither
necessary nor obligatory.

Chidzero was a "Western" man through and through as many of us are. In
fact that is, in large part, why he was offered the job he held in our
government. We wanted to capitalise on his stature in the West and with
Western institutions, particularly his respectability and credibility within
the Bretton Woods institutions. Not that there were no Marxists or Marxist
economists at independence and after.

Yet another fallacy that must be dispelled is that he was a
conventional ZANU PF cadre or Politburo member. He was not. I am not saying
he didn't say it but I never heard Chidzero say pasi (down) with any person.

He even found it embarrassing or awkward to shout a party slogan. We
saw him when he ran in the Harare Central constituency in 1990.

A compatriot at the Heroes Acre remarked to me: "Bernard is a hero who
belonged to a class of his own."

That is why he is unique. This is why the "Order of the Zimbabwe
Star", the "honour" that the government has decided should be conferred on
eminent men and women of stature for remarkable contributions to the
stability, development and prosperity of Zimbabwe and humanity in general"
should be more of interest to us.

On this, we go back to the earlier issue we raised: why is the nation
kept in the dark about the "Order of the Zimbabwe Star"? Where and when was
it discussed?

Whose input was sought? Was this discussed in the Zimbabwe Parliament?
Or, again only the Politburo knows about it? We can't continue "villagising"
national issues like this and hope to prosper.

However, what I found extremely disappointing in the President's
otherwise very articulate speech (in fact, the most articulate he has ever
delivered in my view - it appears the "young old man" gets better in
articulation with age!) is the combative, confrontational and insouciant
direction he is taking the country.

I honestly expected the President to begin reconciling with the local
and international community or at least that portion of it we are estranged

What is worse he warned America and the European Union of smart
sanctions of his own. "We refuse to be hopeless victims. That is never the
response of revolutionaries. We will in due course announce our own phased
but comprehensive response to those countries that have declared sanctions
on us. They appear to have forgotten that they also have interests here."

I am not saying the West has no "interests here" - of course they do.
But we should have a sense of proportion in the threats we make. Let's not
be foolhardy and more revolutionary than the revolutionary situation.

Moreover, are we so sure we have everybody in the country, in the
region and in Africa as we make these threats and move East? Have we
consulted our strategic neighbours in the region? South Africa and
Mozambique, for instance?

If we haven't, don't you think we should? If South Africa and
Mozambique don't cooperate with us, how will we trade with our new friends
in the Far East? Airlift? Do we have the capacity? Maybe we can do it alone
because we are a "sovereign" nation.

But I think we are hitting ourselves on the foot. Patriotism is seeing
the fatherland taking a dangerous turn and advising against it. Let us
consult our neighbours, Your Excellency.

a.. Professor Masipula Sithole is a political science lecturer at
the University of Zimbabwe and director of the Harare-based Mass Public
Opinion Institute
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Power struggle moves to CIO

By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
8/15/02 7:41:01 PM (GMT +2)

THE Titanic battle to succeed President Robert Mugabe, the ageing ZANU
PF leader expected to resign before the end of his new six-year term, has
shifted to the powerful spy Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) where
incumbent director-general Elisha Muzonzini has been abruptly transferred to
Zimbabwe's mission in Kenya.
ZANU PF and government sources this week said Muzonzini, the retired
army brigadier at the helm of the shadowy spy organisation for four years,
has now been demoted to become Zimbabwe's High Commissioner in Nairobi
because competing camps are now keen to install their own person at the CIO.

Although Mugabe appoints the CIO head, it is believed former army
chief and ZANU PF kingmaker Solomon Mujuru masterminded his appointment and
that of his deputy, another military officer known as Happyton Bonyongwe, to
the spy agency in 1998.

The two military officers were appointed after Mugabe had sacked the
then directors Shadreck Chipanga and Lovemore Mukandi in the same year
because of the poor working relationship between the two.

Chipanga is now ZANU PF's legislator for Makoni East.

The sources said the poor relations between the two former CIO bosses
stemmed from the fact that they were aligned to different factions within

Chipanga was aligned to Parliamentary Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa's
camp while Mukandi was said to be sympathetic to Defence Minister Sydney
Sekeramayi - a strong ally of Mujuru - who headed the security portfolio at
the time.

Authoritative sources in the ruling party say Muzonzini is a victim of
the power game that has intensified in the party ahead of Mugabe's expected
departure as different power brokers position themselves to control the
strategic arms of government.

They say while Muzonzini's re-deployement to become the senior envoy
in Nairobi might look as promotion at face value, it was a demotion in terms
of influence because the spymaster no longer controls confidential state
security and intelligence information.

"In monetary terms, one may say he was rewarded but in terms of
influence regarding state affairs in intelligence among ZANU PF politicians
and the Presidency, he no longer has any influence," one ZANU PF source told
the Financial Gazette.

Insiders also pointed out that Muzonzini's deployment in Kenya, not
one of the most critical or glamorous postings for Zimbabwe in Africa, was a
clear sign that he had been relegated.

The sources say as a result of Muzonzini's exit, a reshuffle within
the top ranks of the CIO is imminent and that the rival camps in ZANU PF
will battle it out to try to get their own man at the top.

Mernard Muzariri, the director of CIO's internal operations and one of
the most shrewd and experienced spies in Zimbabwe, and current deputy
director-general retired Brigadier Bonyongwe, emerged this week as
favourites to land Muzonzini's hot seat.

Muzariri hails from Mashonaland Central, the home province of Security
Minister Nicholas Goche, who could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mnangagwa, who is supposed to be head of one of the camps, was
Zimbabwe's longest serving security minister in post-independent Zimbabwe
until Sekeramayi replaced him.

Mnangagwa, a favourite of Mugabe who continuously denies he harbours
presidential ambitions, is understood to be working very hard to solidify
his political platform for an eventual takeover from his master.

The ZANU PF sources say the re-assignment of Muzonzini is a strategy
to weaken Mujuru's influence in key areas and a prop up Mnangagwa's
ascendancy to the throne as the succession race hots up.

The CIO is viewed as a very sensitive and critical organ where
individuals with presidential ambitions have to have great influence.

Mujuru, the former commander of ZANU PF's guerrilla army, is also
considered to have strong influence on who is going to be the next leader of
the party after Mugabe.

According to sources, he has close allies in Airforce chief Perence
Shiri, army commander Constantine Chiwenga and prison services' head
Paradzai Zimondi, all army generals.

The sources say Mujuru might be lobbying for Finance Minister Simba
Makoni or Sekeramayi to take over from Mugabe.
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Swiss freeze ZANU PF leader's US$10 000

Staff Reporter
8/15/02 7:45:40 PM (GMT +2)

SWISS banks have frozen US$10 000 (about $6 million on the parallel
market) that belongs to one of the original 20 ZANU PF leaders who were
slapped with international sanctions, government officials said this week.
The Alpine country officials said they expected to uncover more hidden
loot now that the sanctions list had been expanded to include 52 more
leaders and backers of Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU PF party.

Roland Vock, a Swiss government official, told the Financial Gazette
from Berne yesterday he could not name the owner of the frozen account
because of the banking laws in Switzerland.

Among the original 20 slapped with international sanctions because of
the current violence and the Zimbabwean government's conduct during the
March presidential poll are President Robert Mugabe, Foreign Affairs
Minister Stan Mudenge, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and four army

Vock said the Swiss had again followed the European Union (EU) and
last week extended the asset freeze and travel sanctions on 52 other ZANU PF
leaders, including vice presidents Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika, Mugabe's
wife Grace, and the entire Politburo of the governing party.

"We have added 52 new persons to the list and it is possible we will
get some notifications from the Swiss banks," Vock said.

Besides the EU and Switzerland, the United States has also banned
senior ZANU PF leaders and their supporters in government and in religious
organisations from travelling to that country as well as freezing any of
their assets that might be located there.

Some countries such as New Zealand are now agitating for more
sanctions against Mugabe and his ruling elite that might include the
expulsion of Zimbabwe from international organisations such as the
Commonwealth and possibly the United Nations.

The Commonwealth, a group of former British colonies, has banned
Zimbabwe from participating in its council business for a year to protest a
breakdown of law and order in the southern African country
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Zim farmers look to SADC

Staff Reporter
8/15/02 7:51:05 PM (GMT +2)

AT LEAST 750 commercial farmers have left Zimbabwe to farm in other
Southern Africa Development (SADC) countries because of the government's
seizure of white-owned land, a farmers' spokeswoman said this week.
Jenni Williams, spokeswoman for Zimbabwe Justice for Agriculture, said
most of the farmers had left in the past few months because of the
occupation of their land by ruling ZANU PF supporters or the targeting of
their farms for seizure by the government.

She said it was not possible however to determine the number of
farmers who had left Zimbabwe in the past few weeks because of a government
order requiring white land owners to vacate their properties and make way
for black peasants by August 10.

The government, in the process of redistributing white-owned land to
landless blacks, ordered more than 2 900 of Zimbabwe's 4 500 commercial
farmers to quit their farms.

"At least 750 people have left in the last few months," Williams told
the Financial Gazette. "But these are not up to date figures.

"They (the farmers) are going mostly to the SADC region. They are
staying close by so that they can come back if things improve."

Farming industry sources said many commercial farmers had headed for
Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia.

According to the Commercial Farmers' Union newsletter Countdown, at
least 12 Zimbabwean farming families have settled near Chimoio in Mozambique
in the last 18 months. A former Zimbabwean has helped develop the area's
farming association.

Late last week, 17 representatives of Zimbabwean commercial farmers
held discussions with government officials in Botswana about relocating

Botswana's deputy permanent secretary for agriculture, Masego Mphathi,
told South Africa's Business Day: "They wanted large chunks of land in which
they could continue with their farming activities on this side of the

"But the problem with us is that our land is already occupied, even if
the owners might not be operating on it. There are a lot of people who have
land in this country, but are not using it.

"The problem is that farming is a land-intensive thing and they are
talking of serious farming. You get to a situation where one person was
farming an area the size of 4 000 hectares and you cannot give him a smaller
piece of land. It's a pity that we do not have land. However, we have asked
them to get into smart partnerships with local farmers."

Analysts this week said the departure of established commercial
farmers for neighbouring countries would deprive Zimbabwe of technical and
commercial expertise in agriculture that would take years to rebuild.

"It's very ironic that these countries are tacitly encouraging what
the government is doing while at the same time they are busy offering land
to our farmers to develop their own agriculture," a commercial bank
agro-economist said.
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Armed ZANU PF supporters harry defiant farmers

By David Masunda Deputy Editor-in-Chief
8/15/02 7:44:49 PM (GMT +2)

MILITANT ruling ZANU PF supporters this week began to forcibly remove
white commercial farmers challenging last week's government deadline to
vacate their properties and make way for the fast-track land reforms.
The Justice for Agriculture (JAG), a new farmers' organisation,
yesterday reported that a group of 17 people, including soldiers armed with
AK47 assault rifles, harassed farmers in the Middle Sabi area, about 475 km
from Harare, during the just-ended Heroes' Day holidays.

The group, which JAG said included armed police officers and was led
by a female war veteran, visited four farms in Middle Sabi on Saturday and
told the farmers to leave by the following day.

Two of the farmers told the group that they were not under the
government's compulsory acquisition notices but had only received
preliminary notices, but this did not deter the group who told them their
acquisition notices would be upgraded after their departure.

Another farmer, a police reservist, was threatened with arrest after
arguing that his farm had also not been served with the compulsory
acquisition notice. His police identity card was confiscated.

In Bindura, the Hinde family which owns Condweleni Farm, was this week
ordered out of the property by militant ZANU supporters, although the farm
is not listed for compulsory acquisition because it is bonded to a financial

The family, which says it has lived in harmony with about 50 settlers
who invaded the property about two-and-a-half years ago, was yesterday
making frantic efforts to quit "for safety reasons" after having been pushed
into one half of the house, with the other being occupied by the militants.

The Hinde family said it had been given assurances that it could grow
winter wheat but its 60 employees were forced to stop working by the
settlers on Saturday.

About 70 percent of the 2 900 white farmers ordered by the government
out of their properties last week have vowed to stay put until they are
compensated or their cases have been heard in court.

JAG, set up in the past few weeks, is supporting the cause of these

Most of the farmers are challenging the evictions because the
government failed to notify banks and financial institutions that hold bonds
or mortgages over their properties.

A High Court judge ruled last week that in such instances, the
government could not evict the farmer concerned.

President Robert Mugabe made clear on Monday that the deadline for the
farmers to quit the land still stood, and government ministers have
threatened to take legal action against those who refuse to comply.

lA Zimbabwean journalist working for the independent Daily News and
another reporter for Britain's Daily Telegraph were also trapped in the

"We've just been on the phone with him (the Daily News reporter) and
he says the militants have broken three windows and are threatening to get
into the rest of the farmhouse," an editor from the paper told Reuters.

A Reuters journalist and freelance television crew were chased away
when they arrived at the scene, some 90 km (55 miles) north of the capital

The militants hit two of the journalists several times, accusing them
of being supporters of Mugabe's political opposition, and tried to overturn
their vehicle as they drove away.

A spokeswoman for a farm pressure group, Justice for Agriculture
(JAG), said earlier the Hinde family had called for a removal company after
the militants began tossing furniture onto the lawn.

"The family are having to leave for safety reasons...," said JAG
spokeswoman Jenni Williams.

- Reuter
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Farmers set to abandon $33 billion crops

By Nqobile Nyathi Assistant Editor
8/15/02 7:42:27 PM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE'S white commercial farmers might be forced to abandon more
than 65 000 hectares of crops valued at over $33.4 billion after President
Robert Mugabe this week scuttled hopes that he may give the farmers a
reprieve from the mass land evictions ordered by his government under its
controversial land reforms.
Under the programme, which could cost Zimbabwe's economy $62 billion
or 12.7 percent of gross domestic product, the government is set to take
over more than 90 percent or over 2 900 of the country's 4 500 commercial

Mugabe on Monday indicated that the government would forge ahead with
its plans to evict white farm owners, who have been served with Section 8
notices requiring them to cease farming and start leaving their farms from
August 10 or face arrest.

"Whilst this ban on planting, producing and marketing of food occurs,
Mr Mugabe, his Cabinet ministers and aid organisations are lobbying the
international community for food aid to feed over six million Zimbabweans
who are already starving," said Jenni Williams, spokeswoman for the militant
Zimbabwe Justice for Agriculture (JAG).

JAG represents the interests of commercial farmers, farm workers and
industries dependent on agriculture and wants to fight the evictions in

According to figures from the commercial farming sector, the ban on
agricultural work will affect more than 65 758 hectares of land that is
presently under crop, 24 692 hectares of it comprising wheat that is
supposed to be harvested in September to October.

Zimbabwe is facing a serious wheat crisis that has already triggered
bread shortages in urban areas at a time the country has been forced to
import maize, used to manufacture the nation's staple mealie meal.

"(The planted wheat crop's value) in terms of dollars and cents is $6
billion but its value as a scarce food commodity is priceless in the current
stock out position," Williams said.

Commercial farmers also have about 41 067 hectares of maize in the
ground, which translates into 226 000 tonnes or three months' supply of the
national staple grain and is worth $9.4 billion.

Tobacco farmers, who have also received Section 8 notices, could lose
a crop valued at US$330 million ($18.2 billion), which is awaiting grading.

This is part of the 170 million kilogrammes of tobacco, the country's
main hard currency earner, that is supposed to be marketed this year to
bring in foreign exchange to alleviate massive hard cash shortages.

Farmers would also have to abandon the country's remaining 800 000
commercial head of cattle. Figures from the Commercial Farmers' Union show
that the commercial head has already fallen by 400 000 from 1.2 million.

Destocking has mainly been a result of poaching by ruling ZANU PF
supporters occupying white-owned farms and drought.

"Unlike crops where production can be doubled or even trebled in one
year, it takes years to rebuild cattle numbers," according to Tim Reynolds,
the chairman of the Cattle Producers' Association.

"The saddest fact is that the cattle being destocked come from the
sector that produces 90 percent of the cattle for the export market," he
said this week.

It was not possible to ascertain this week the value of movable and
immovable assets which commercial farmers will be forced to leave behind
when they vacate their properties, although an estimated $14.5 billion worth
of moveable assets has already been seized by invaders since farm invasions
began in February 2000.

Williams said farmers were carrying out inventories to determine the
value of their assets.

"We have a major campaign that we are putting together on behalf of
farmers. We're asking them to do an inventory of their assets and of their
workers' assets. All these assets have to be quantified and we are using
that information for a class action," she told the Financial Gazette.

"Obviously this is a major undertaking and we have to give it another
week. The next step will be to brief legal counsel so that they can give us

She said her organisation was advising farmers to continue pursuing
legal action against the seizure of their farms by the government, despite
Mugabe's insistence this week that the farms have to be turned over to black

She said over 60 percent of farmers issued with eviction orders
remained on their farms after August 10 deadline and were defying not the
government, but the acquisition orders, which they believe to be illegal.

"Farmers are not defying government but rather the orders, which they
believe to be illegal and therefore continue to fight the acquisition of
their farms and titles through the courts," Williams said.

"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 of millions of Zimbabweans."

The land reforms, partially blamed for Zimbabwe's food shortages, are
expected to displace close to two million people and force the closure of at
least 3 000 companies directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture.

According to analysts, if 90 percent of commercial farms cease to
function, the economy will lose $62 billion or 12.7 percent of gross
domestic product and $689 million of the $765 million that agriculture
contributes towards export earnings.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change shadow minister for
agriculture Renson Gasela said: "Agricultural production will decline
drastically and the country's economy, which is highly dependent on this
sector, will take the last step towards total collapse, thus worsening the
hunger and famine that is affecting the people of Zimbabwe."
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Zimbabwe joins list of Africa's basket cases

By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
8/15/02 7:53:15 PM (GMT +2)

A DEFIANT President Robert Mugabe this week threatened to hit back at
the United States and the European Union (EU) for isolating him over his
controversial policies, vowing to brook no obstacles in what he termed as
Zimbabwe's "second transitional march to development and sustainable growth"

But analysts warned Mugabe, one of Africa's remaining old school
rulers, that he was rapidly recreating out of Zimbabwe another Zaire under
dictator Mobutu Sese Seko or Idi Amin's Uganda, a caricature of Africa's
basket cases.Ross Herbert, a senior researcher on Africa at the South Africa
Institute of International Affairs, warned that Mugabe's controversial land
reforms risked degenerating into a "wholesale peasantisation" of Africa's
best agricultural sector if inadequate resources or skills are not given to
newly resettled black peasant farmers.

Speaking during the burial of his former finance minister Bernard
Chidzero at the weekend, Mugabe ordered the country's white commercial
farmers to surrender their land without delay to landless black peasants.

About 3 000 white farmers face jail or a fine or both if they do not
obey the eviction orders, which took effect last week.

Vowing "no battle too hard to fight for this land", Mugabe threatened
retaliation against the EU, the US, Switzerland, New Zea-land and Canada for
imposing sanctions on him and his officials for their land policies and a
March poll which most of the world says Mugabe won fraudulently.

Herbert said: "There is a risk of peasant farming spreading across the
country, leading to food shortages. China learnt this lesson some time ago
that land reform must lead to a more modern and productive system of

Zimbabwe is already in the midst of its worst food crisis, which is
blamed on Mugabe's disruptive land policies. Without Western food handouts,
six million people or half the country's population could starve to death.

Mugabe says his seizure of white farmland is a moral obligation to
right unfair land distribution caused by British colonialism under which
less than 5 000 whites owned 70 percent of the best agricultural land while
more than five million blacks were cramped on poor and arid soils.

Drawing parallels with the late dictator Mobutu, Herbert said all the
other ingredients of another Zaire were already in place for Zimbabwe - once
a beacon of hope for Africa - to become yet another basket case.

Zimbabwe is experiencing hyperinflation. The government's domestic
debt of more than Z$300 billion and foreign debt of nearly US$5 billion
continue to mount. Inflation is pegged at 114.5 percent, while poverty and
unemployment are at more than 60 percent.

The economy is crumbling. Every basic food commodity including bread,
sugar, salt and the staple maize is in short supply.

Herbert said while Mugabe continued with his "defiant rhetoric against
the international community", Zimbabwe would increasingly look like Mobutu's
Zaire because there was no solution to Harare's rapidly deteriorating
economic and political crisis.

"(We are looking at a situation similar to Zaire) with no fiscal
prudence or discipline, shortages of nearly everything and with everyone
becoming a predator, requiring to be paid a bribe first before they do their
job or duty," the analyst said.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist Masipula Sithole described
as irresponsible Mugabe's threats to retaliate against the West, whose
economic aid Zimbabwe sorely needs to revive its economy.

"Here we have a landlocked Zimbabwe, divided along racial and
political lines and with half its population starving, threatening to
conquer and punish the US and the EU. This defies all rationality," Sithole

Mugabe, who rejects charges by Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) and Western nations that he stole the March ballot,
says sanctions against him and his top officials are attempts to usurp power
for the MDC.

He says his government is working on a comprehensive list of
retaliatory measures against the 15-nation EU, Washington and their allies,
possibly targeting their interests in the African country.

Mugabe did not specify the measures that are likely to be taken by his
government, which has also been suspended from its membership of the
Commonwealth, a club of Britain and its mainly former colonies, for the
flawed ballot and violence against foes.

Said Sithole: "Mugabe's defiance recalls one character in east Africa
in the 1970s. He was called Idi Amin.

"He was so defiant in his castigation of the British and other
perceived international enemies that I do not know if he thinks he
succeeded, but he is now living in exile in Saudi Arabia. What Amin did
succeed to do was to leave behind a wasteland."
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Thousands of workers lose jobs as farmers quit

Staff Reporter
8/15/02 7:52:18 PM (GMT +2)

NEARLY a third of Zimbabwe's estimated 300 000 farm workers were
deprived of their jobs this week when close to 40 percent of large-scale
commercial farmers quit farming operations in compliance with the
government's eviction orders under its land reforms.
Thousands more are expected to lose their only source of livelihood as
more commercial farmers, under pressure from the government to vacate their
properties, move off the land later this week clearing the way for blacks to
take over the farms.

Justice for Agriculture (JAG), a grouping of farmers seeking to
challenge the evictions in court, this week said although it did not have
the exact figures of farmers who had backed down to quit their properties,
about 60 percent were still on the farms.

"JAG recognises that over 60 percent of farmers under notice of
acquisition have remained on their farms and in their homes along with their
staff and families," JAG spokeswoman Jenni Williams said.

"The farmers are not defying the 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," she said.

Williams said about 30 percent of the farmers had quit the farms in
the "past six weeks or so" while a few more moved off at about deadline time
last week.

This means that nearly 40 percent of the 2 900 targeted farmers are no
longer on the land, leaving their workers who JAG this week said stood at
about 232 000, plus their families and dependants of around 1.5 million,
with an uncertain future.

Thousands of workers have lost their jobs in the past two years as
farmers downsized operations in the face of continued harassment, which
accompanied the farm seizures.

Many more have been thrown out of jobs in past three months since May
when the government, through its Section 8 orders, ordered farmers to wind
up their operations in preparation for the August 10 deadline to completely
vacate the farms.

About 2 900 commercial farmers-making up 84.5 percent of all
commercial farmers-were required to leave their farms at the weekend in
terms of the Section 8 orders.

Williams said about 75 farmers were forced by members of the
government-aligned Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions to retrench all their
workers, but most farmers had just left the workers on the farms.

She said some of the farmers were still paying the workers in the hope
that the situation will normalise and they will resume their operations.

President Robert Mugabe this week ruled out the possibility of giving
the farmers a reprieve, saying the weekend deadline still stood and the
farmers must go.

Commercial Farmers' Union head Collin Cloete said the union was not
sure how many of its members had abandoned their farms in compliance with
the government's orders
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The Times

Halting Mugabe's gravy train
Should Britain and the UN intervene in Zimbabwe to prevent mass

THE failure of Britain, the UN, the EU and the Commonwealth to
intervene in Zimbabwe is utterly shameful and is a blatant disregard of
fundamental human rights.
One of the basic principles of the recent report of the
International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty is that
"where a population is suffering serious harm, as a result of internal war,
insurgency, repression or state failure, and the state in question is
unwilling or unable to halt or avert it, the principle of non-intervention
yields to the international responsibility to protect".

There must be no further delay in the international community
accepting that responsibility and acting accordingly. Mugabe is an evil
tyrant who should be removed to The Hague and charged with crimes against

David Keeling,
Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire

British and US responsibility

THE plight of the white farmers is catching the headlines, but
we should not forget that those who are suffering most are the Africans in
the population who had the courage to stand up to Mugabe and his thugs in
the recent rigged elections because they believed in the messages of
democracy and justice which they received from Britain and America.

If Messrs Bush and Blair think they will end international
terrorism by combating it only where their vital interests are concerned,
while turning their backs on blatant cases of injustice in Zimbabwe, they
are wrong. It is clearly their responsibility to clear up the mess that was
brought about in large part by the policies of their respective countries at
the time of, and since, independence.

Andrew Marks,
Amplepuis, France

Putting pressure on Annan

THERE are still many things which can be done before military
intervention should be considered. Kofi Annan has been conspicuously silent
and inactive as this crisis has accumulated. Why is this? I believe that all
member states of the United Nations should be putting the utmost pressure on
him to act immediately to end the political situation which is about to
cause mass starvation in Zimbabwe. He should visit Zimbabwe and place the
views of the civilised world before Mr Mugabe, backed by the threat of
international military intervention if his mission does not succeed.

Much more pressure should also be put on other African nations.
Why should the Western world continue to dole out aid to nations which
support this kind of political thuggery? Mugabe can only continue his
present course with their tacit support. If they were to denounce him and
take action against him, his regime would crumble without military

J. Thornhill,

Supporting the MDC

OF COURSE the UN should intervene. No one seems willing to do
so, even though we have been much quicker to react to ethnic cleansing in
other parts of the world.

Shame on Britain, the Commonwealth, Europe and the West for
doing too little too late. The present call by the MDC for UN troops to
oversee the fair distribution of food aid seems the most logical thing in
the world. And the UK should support it.

Sue Shaw,

Preserving injustices

HOW farcical to propose a British invasion to save Zimbabwe from
its problems. Look what happened last time: Britain set up a racist settler
dictatorship, took the best land, and is still fighting to preserve this

Brendan Tuohy,
New Zealand
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The Times

White farmer quits as mob rule returns to Zimbabwe
From Michael Hartnack in Harare

PELTED with stones and missiles, Terry Hinde and his family
barricaded themselves inside their home as an armed gang tried yesterday
forcibly to evict the first white Zimbabwean farmers since the deadline set
by President Mugabe.
The 60-strong mob that had been besieging Condwelani Farm for
two days told the Hinde family to collect what they could of their
belongings and flee by nightfall or they would be killed. Family friends
said later that the Hindes had taken refuge in a safe location.

Windows were smashed and much of their furniture was thrown on
to the front lawn as the mob, armed with clubs, axes and machetes, charged
into their house to menace Mr Hinde, his wife and son.

The farmer radioed the police and his neighbours for help, but
armed groups had sealed off all approach roads at Bindura, 55 miles north of
the capital, Harare. Many farmers' leaders suspected that this armed
takeover signalled the start of a new campaign of intimidation of those who
refused to leave their land by last week's deadline.

Some who did try to reach Condwelani Farm yesterday were
ambushed. As two local journalists were being beaten, a couple of elderly
men emerged from the bush telling their young followers to spare their
hostages' lives, saying: "We have not had orders to beat them yet." Two
other reporters were trapped inside the Hindes's farmhouse for six hours.
Farmers' leaders said that it was impossible to know if yesterday's attack
was sanctioned by officials in Harare or the work of a local vigilante

Locked inside a secure room, Mr Hinde sat in tears of rage and
frustration as his son, Chris, tried unsuccessfully to reason with the mob,
who were also demanding that the 60 workers and their families leave or face
violent reprisals.

Many of those now menacing them had been squatting on the farm
for two years since they first invaded in 2000. The Hindes had helped some
of these settlers to plant their own fields of wheat, but yesterday the mob'
s leaders took over half of their house and began looting.

While the family made an urgent legal appeal, Chris Hinde, 30,
said: "We have no other choice right now to get out while we can, though I
don't know where."

Police said that they could not reach the Hindes's home, where
the family had lived for the past 27 years. This year's needed crop of wheat
is nearing harvest and the Hinde family had been told that they could stay
until it had been collected.

Terry Hinde's plight yesterday made a mockery of Mr Mugabe's
pledge earlier this week that farmers with only one property were safe to
continue. Nevertheless, Mr Hinde hopes to challenge the eviction after a
precedent set last week, when the High Court said that farms still under
mortgage could not be resettled until the bank had been notified.

Jenni Williams, spokeswoman for Justice for Agriculture, said:
"This shows what farmers are facing. Our country is starving and they are
evicting wheat producers."

Nearly 3,000 white farmers had orders to quit by last Friday,
but at least 60 per cent stayed on, uncertain of the legality of the orders
and verbal promises of security to reap food crops in the face of nationwide
shortages. A further 2,000 farmers expect to receive eviction orders
imminently. Mr Mugabe said on Monday that he wanted 350,000 new black
farmers to be settled on all former white farms by the end of this month, to
prepare for the rainy season due in November.

Reports from the Middle Sabi farming area, 300 miles from
Harare, told how a number of properties were visited by self-styled militias
demanding the occupants leave, even though some are not on the eviction

One farmer who explained that he was a police reservist was told
to hand over his identity card, which was ripped up in front of him by the
gang leader, who said that the man should also consider himself dismissed
from his police post.

In another incident, in the eastern district of Marondera, Hazel
Thornhill returned to her farm yesterday to find it occupied by militants
after she had left at the weekend for her own safety.

Joseph Made, the Lands and Agriculture Minister, claimed later
on state television that white farmers were bringing in impostors to evict
them from their farms to attract attention and paint a bleak picture of the
situation in the country.
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ABC Australia
Howard to discuss Zimbabwe's status with C'wealth leaders
The Prime Minister, John Howard, has refused to offer an opinion on whether
Zimbabwe should be expelled from the Commonwealth.

Mr Howard heads a committee of three leaders, who suspended Zimbabwe's
membership of the Commonwealth after its discredited elections in March.

He will use this week's Pacific Islands Forum to discuss Zimbabwe with the
secretary-general of the Commonwealth and New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen
Clark, who wants the African nation expelled.

Mr Howard has told Channel Nine he is very unhappy with Zimbabwe's failure
to respond to Commonwealth concerns.

"What is happening in Zimbabwe is out of step with the principles of the
Commonwealth, there's no doubt about that," Mr Howard said.

"To date no serious attempt has been made even to receive the
secretary-general of the Commonwealth to convey concerns.

"You can well understand other Commonwealth countries becoming concerned but
at this stage it's premature for me to talk about expulsion."
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Independent (UK)

Government denies ignoring plight of Zimbabwe Britons
By Nigel Morris Political Correspondent
15 August 2002
Zimbabwean opposition politicians and human rights campaigners accused
Britain yesterday of ignoring the plight of UK nationals fleeing President
Robert Mugabe's regime.

As black militants stepped up evictions of white farmers, a delegation
travelled to London to protest that too little help was being given to
British passport-holders trying to resettle in this country.

Their attack coincided with Tory claims that the British high commission in
Harare was placing "unnecessary obstacles" in the way of people wanting to

John Huruva, a spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change, said: "The
Government has failed to understand the misery faced by Britons forced to
return from Zimbabwe and is not doing enough to help their own citizens
rebuild their lives.

"It beggars belief that the British Government have been so reticent to help
British citizens returning from Zimbabwe. Perhaps they fear that by offering
proper assistance they will send a message that all UK citizens in Zimbabwe
should come back to the UK."

Albert Weidemann, a Zimbabwean human rights activist, said farmers forced
off their land were allowed to take only 500 with them out of the country,
adding: "Despite their citizenship ... Almost all are refused benefits and
some have even been forced into going back to Zimbabwe."

A deadline set by the Mugabe government for 2,900 farmers to vacate their
land passed last Thursday, with about 2,000 of them remaining in their
homes. Some are holding on, hoping for a reprieve from the country's courts.

In London, government sources rebutted the charge of ignoring the problems
of families fleeing Zimbabwe, but said they would not be given any special

"The situation is that British citizens returning to this country will of
course be entitled to take up whatever benefits and assistance they qualify
for. The Government does not discriminate between people returning as a
result of different international crises."

Michael Ancram, the shadow Foreign Secretary, wrote to Tony Blair alleging
that people forced by the Zimbabwean authorities to renounce their British
citizenship were finding it harder to get it back and that the Harare high
commission was using higher, black market rates of exchange when charging
for a passport.

A Foreign Office spokesman said it applied rules on citizenship equally to
all people and that it was acting legally in charging the "parallel exchange
rate" for passports.


UK to help nationals facing Zimbabwe farm evictions

Staff Reporter
8/15/02 7:47:21 PM (GMT +2)

BRITAIN says it will assist its nationals facing eviction from farms
they own in Zimbabwe but insists it will continue to strictly vet the
growing army of Zimbabweans seeking refuge in London due to the
deteriorating economic and political climate at home.
In separate interviews this week, Minister of State for the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office Peter Hain said London was ready to assist British
passport holders resident in Zimbabwe who have been ordered to vacate their
farms to make way for black farmers allocated plots under President Robert
Mugabe's accelerated land reforms.

"The government will do its best to give practical advice and support
to any British nationals who face eviction in the coming weeks," Hain said
in an article carried by the Times of London newspaper earlier this week.

He however did not mention the assistance his government was willing
to provide to Zimbabwean white farmers, the majority of whom are of British

More than 2 900 white farmers were given up to August 10 to leave
their properties but so far about 60 percent have defied the government
order and said they will challenge the decree in the courts.

The evictions are expected to leave about 100 000 farm hands without
jobs, worsening an already serious humanitarian crisis caused by the
shortage of food.

"At the same time, we will continue to provide as much emergency
assistance as we can for Zimbabwe's long-suffering poor," the British junior
minister said.

In another interview to be flighted on the British Broadcasting
Corporation (BBC)'s Radio Four today, Hain says Zimbabweans seeking asylum
in Britain will continue to be vetted in the normal way and insists the
solution to the refuge crisis lies in resolving Zimbabwe's economic and
political crisis.

"I don't think that we should turn what is a failure of leadership and
government in Zimbabwe into some kind of criticism over reception facilities
here," he said.

Analysts estimate that more than 200 000 Zimbabweans left Zimbabwe in
the past three years to seek asylum in Britain and the United States.

Thousands more now live in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Botswana
and South Africa.

Hain also noted in the BBC interview that Zimbabwe was now the world's
fastest shrinking economy, which declined at the rate of 10 percent in 2001
and is expected to shrink by a further 11 percent this year.

Zimbabwe whites in UK passports rip-off
by DAVID HUGHES, Daily Mail
15th August 2002

White farmers trying to flee Zimbabwe are being charged inflated exchange rates for UK passports, the Foreign Office admitted last night.

They are paying more than ten times the official rate for the privilege of resuming their British nationality.

The official exchange rate is 85 Zimbabwe dollars to the pound, but the black market rate is nearly 1,000 Zimbabwe dollars a pound.

Far from denying the allegations, the Foreign Office confirmed it was using the unofficial rate so as to 'maximise income' from its Zimbabwe consular office.

Many white Zimbabweans renounced their British citizenship after Mugabe came to power - under pressure from his regime.

But as the brutality against them intensifies, many now hope to return to Britain.

Instead of helping, the Foreign Office is placing fresh obstacles in their way.

A spokesman defended the move, saying the Government was obliged to recover all its costs worldwide. Last year consular and visa operations in Harare cost the taxpayer 400,000.

'In view of our obligations to Parliament, the Government therefore decided to move to full cost recovery with effect from June 24. This involves using the parallel exchange rate,' he said.

'The High Commission's legal advisers have confirmed that it is legal to do so.'

The admission will reinforce suspicions that the Government is making little attempt to ease the passage of white farmers who have been forced off their land.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Michael Ancram denounced the move as 'totally unacceptable'. In a letter to Tony Blair he protested that the policy would 'play into Robert Mugabe's hands'.

Mr Ancram said that, under the British Nationality Act 1981, the Home Secretary had the power to reregister former nationals as British citizens.

He said many Zimbabweans were 'trying desperately to stay on the right side of law, to avoid the unwanted attention of Mugabe and his policemen'.

'To force people to use black market pricing would play into Robert Mugabe's hands.'

Mr Ancram also urged the Government to use the Earth Summit in Johannesburg later this month to assemble an international coalition to put pressure on Mugabe to hold fresh elections under international supervision.

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Zimbabwean reporter escapes mob after farm siege

Eviction turns ugly as Mugabe activists riot and police fail to intervene

Chris McGreal
Thursday August 15, 2002
The Guardian

A family of Zimbabwean white farmers on the brink of eviction from the
property were forced to protect a black opposition journalist from a lynch
mob of militant supporters of President Robert Mugabe yesterday.
Precious Shumba, a reporter with the Daily News, arrived at Terry and Susan
Hinde's farm in Bindura, where more than 100 "war veterans" and supporters
of the ruling Zanu-PF party were waiting for the Hindes to leave, following
Mr Mugabe's warning to thousands of white farmers on Monday not to continue
to defy last week's deadline to quit their properties. Mr Shumba found
removal men loading furniture as the Hindes looked on glumly.

"When I got to the house I saw 100 to 200 people gathered within the yard,"
he said. "They didn't look threatening. They thought I was from a high
office from the government and greeted me like I was a Zanu-PF member. They
didn't know who I was. Susan Hinde asked if I was coming from the Daily
News. They let me in and locked the door."

But when the young Zanu-PF supporters heard that Mr Shumba was a reporter
from the opposition press they grew increasingly angry.

"The youths were threatening to kill me because they said that area was a
no-go area for anyone from the Daily News. They repeatedly demanded that I
be released or they were going to burn the house. They got some bricks and
smashed some windows," he said.

"They demanded I be released to their 'central committee' of war veterans
and Zanu youth. The Hindes protected me. I hid under the bed in the main
bedroom, which is protected by burglar bars, while the Hindes refused to
hand me over."

The militants vented their anger by tossing the family's furniture into the
yard and smashing some of it.

Also inside the house with the Hindes and their adult son, Christopher, was
a Daily Telegraph reporter, Peta Thornycroft, who Mr Shumba says had her
camera stolen when she tried to photograph the confrontation.

"The Hindes called the police and spoke to an Inspector Sande, the officer
in charge. He made several excuses, among them that they had no transport.
Some neighbours got news of our plight and went to the police with a vehicle
to bring them to the farm, but they never came," Mr Shumba said.

Mr Shumba changed into clothes belonging to one of the removal men, in the
hope of escaping in their lorry. But a few minutes later Ms Thornycroft's
driver appeared at the window.

"The driver was beaten by the Zanu youth but he came with three war
veterans' leaders, who said they wanted me released without harm. We
negotiated and they said they would protect me," Mr Shumba said. "I thank
those three war veterans who escorted me to Peta's vehicle. The Zanu youths
were saying the Daily News was writing negative stories about President
Mugabe; that we were critical of the land reform programme."

The Hindes left the farm they had lived on for 27 years several hours later.

The first "war veterans" moved on to the farm more than two years ago and
demanded that the family leave. The two sides came to coexist, with the
Hindes continuing to grow tobacco while the new settlers grew food crops.
But the pressure on the family grew last Saturday when dozens more Zanu-PF
militants arrived, two days after a government deadline for almost all of
Zimbabwe's remaining white farmers to leave their land and homes.

More than 1,500 white farmers have refused to move after gaining the high
court ruled that the government's deadline was illegal because it had failed
to meet all the requirements for the confiscation of the land.

But on Monday Mr Mugabe effectively dismissed the court ruling by warning
farmers who defied his deadline that they would pay the price. He said that
white people who "wanted another war, should think again while there is
still time for them to do so".

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International pressure mounts against ZANU PF government

Staff Reporter
8/15/02 7:46:33 PM (GMT +2)

INTERNATIONAL pressure mounted against the government this week, with
calls for tougher economic sanctions against Harare and its expulsion from
the Commonwealth after President Robert Mugabe vowed to enforce an order
evicting hundreds of white commercial farmers from their land in order to
settle blacks.
Diplomatic sources yesterday said Australian Prime Minister John
Howard was already in consultation with South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki
and Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo over what action to take on the
deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe.

The three leaders form a special Commonwealth committee on Zimbabwe
which earlier this year suspended the country from the meetings of the
organisation's councils for a year. But Zimbabwe can still participate in
all other Commonwealth business and affairs.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark, an influential Commonwealth
leader, earlier this week openly called for tougher economic sanctions
against Zimbabwe and the full expulsion of the southern African nation from
the Commonwealth.

Expressing shock at Mugabe's decision to evict white farmers from
their properties, Clark said: "Zimbabwe has a government which cannot
function properly and is frowned on by much of the rest of the world.

"They should have been suspended quite some time ago and I would be
very happy to see them suspended now."

Clark said she would take up the issue of Zimbabwe with Howard and
Commonwealth secretary-general Don McKinnon when she meets the two at the
South Pacific Forum meeting next weekend.

In Britain, Minister of State for Europe Peter Hain said Prime
Minister Tony Blair would also raise the issue of Mugabe's controversial
land reforms during discussions with key African countries at the Earth
Summit in South Africa later this month.

"Of course the prime minister and other ministers when they are
meeting their African counterparts and others will be discussing the
(Zimbabwe) situation," Hain said in response to a British Broadcasting
Corporation question on whether London would focus on the Zimbabwe crisis
during the summit.

A spokesman for the Commonwealth told the Financial Gazette from
London that the organisation had not taken any action against Mugabe and his
administration over their latest move to seize white-owned farmland.

He said Zimbabwe's situation was set for review at the end of its
one-year suspension in March 2003 under conditions laid out by the troika
when it suspended the country.

The United States and the European Union this week also condemned the
government's ultimatum to the 3 000 white farmers to quit their properties
by last week or face jail.

Washington and Brussels have not yet indicated whether they will be
toughening sanctions which they have already imposed on Mugabe and 72 of his
top officials over their land policies.

Some of the white farmers ordered to vacate their properties have done
so while pro-government militants were yesterday said to have started
forcibly evicting those still on their farms.

The sources said while there were no immediate plans for the
Commonwealth troika to meet over Zimbabwe, Howard had already spoken to
Mbeki and Obasanjo by telephone on the issue.

"Prime Minister Howard is very concerned about recent developments in
Zimbabwe and is already in touch with Presidents Mbeki and Obasanjo," one
Harare-based Western diplomat said.

He did not say what action the three leaders had agreed to take
against Zimbabwe.

Australian High Commissioner to Harare Jonathan Brown said he was not
aware of any plans by Howard to convene a meeting of the troika.

"I am not aware of any plans to call a meeting of the troika. But of
course Prime Minister Howard has been in touch with his two colleagues
(Mbeki and Obasanjo) even before the latest developments in Zimbabwe," he

Mbeki's spokesman Bheki Khumalo denied knowledge of the South African
leader deciding with his two Commonwealth colleagues any further action
against Zimbabwe.

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Waiting in vain for govt's action

8/15/02 7:55:25 PM (GMT +2)

COMMERCIAL farmer Colin Shand, a third generation Zimbabwean, is one
of thousands of farmers affected by the government's fast track land reforms
who has vowed to defy last week's deadline to leave his property.

Shand, who farms in the rich Concession area, says he cannot vacate
his farm because he has no other place to stay, does not own a house in
Harare and is virtually broke after disruptions to farming caused by ruling
ZANU PF militia in the past two years.

The Financial Gazette's Deputy Editor-in-Chief DAVID MASUNDA at the
weekend visited Shand, who last week escaped death or serious injury by a
whisker after a violent encounter with settlers on his farm. The tension in
the region is so high that the interview with him had to be conducted about
40 kms away from his farm.

THE Zimbabwe flag, the new symbol of war veterans and the landless
when they stake a claim over a targeted commercial farm, flies in the wind
on the small farm store a kilometre or so from Colin Shand's Glendevon Farm
in Concession, about 70 km from Harare.

This is Sunday and Zimbabweans are celebrating the Heroes' Days
national holidays, days dedicated to the memory of thousands of former
freedom fighters and villagers who died in the country's bitter 1970s war
against white minority rule.

At the small farm store, "comrades" in dark-green fatigues that
nowadays easily distinguish the ruling party's youthful militant enforcers
from ordinary ZANU PF supporters are enjoying a braai.

A few more youths are milling by while groups of others can be seen
trekking in from all directions.

We are in two minds: should we stop for a chat or should we just drive

Shand had warned us that tension was very high in the region and that
the presence of any journalists, especially those from Zimbabwe's
independent media that is hated by ZANU PF youths, was likely to ignite the
already volatile situation.

He had refused to allow us into his farm, despite an earlier
invitation, because he felt our presence that day would cause tempers to
flare and create more problems.

We were to meet at a safer location: the petrol station at Mazowe,
about 40 kms from the farm.

Without Shand's knowledge, we had nonetheless driven to his farm and
to many others around Lomagundi, Mazowe and Concession where war veterans
and government supporters are trying to violently evict white commercial
farmers from one of the most fertile regions of Zimbabwe.

What we discovered was that although the tobacco-growing season
officially starts on September 1 and the rains are just two months away,
farming has ground to a halt in this area once considered Zimbabwe's bread

Back again and past the farm store once more, we decided it was too
dangerous to stop at the braai because we had no credible false alibi to
sell to the youths to explain why we were in the area and the war veterans
were already drinking.

Past experience has shown that it is difficult to reason with the
young government supporters, especially when they have had a drink. In any
case, the time for our appointment with Shand in Mazowe was up.

Shand arrived a few minutes after us at the service station on the
main Mazowe Road that goes all the way to Bindura and beyond.

He pulled up in a ragged red bakkie, the type of car favoured by many
Zimbabwean commercial farmers.

"Are you Douglas from Financial Gazette?"

"No I am David from the Financial Gazette," I said.

"So what happened yesterday? Anyway you guys are lucky you did not
turn up yesterday because there was going to be some serious problems," says
Shand, a 58-year-old farmer with a permanent tan, testimony to the 38 years
he has been farming in Zimbabwe.

Saturday had been the day we had earlier planned to visit Shand's

As it later transpired, things were quite hectic on the farm on that
day and, according to him, it was better we had not turned up.

Shand said he had been working in his office at around noon on
Saturday when he was summoned to a ZANU PF rally on the farm that was being
addressed by some party bigwigs who had driven into Glendevon in the latest
4 x 4 trucks.

At the rally, one of the senior ZANU PF officials he could not
identify asked him why he was still at Glendevon when he knew he should have
left the property by now.

Shand said he explained to the ZANU PF leaders that he had nowhere to
go: Glendevon was his only farm and he did not own any other property, not
even a house in Harare.

He did not have money either: all his workers had deserted him and
there had been no farming at all at his A2-designated farm since settlers
invaded it about two years ago.

Moreover, he said, peasants who were supposed to benefit from the A1
scale of resettlement had invaded the 600-hectare farm that was meant for A2
commercial agriculture. The farm was also mortgaged to a financial

After he had been ordered out of the meeting, he said his cook - who
had remained behind - later told him that the ZANU PF leaders, speaking in
Shona, ordered the settlers to leave Shand alone and not to disturb anything
at the farm.

Only a few days before, the same axe-wielding settlers had waylaid the
Concession farmer as he drove into the property at night. He was lucky to
escape alive as he sped off after an axe broke through the rear window, just
missing his head.

The farmer, expecting trouble, was alone at the farm because his wife
had gone to visit their daughter in Britain.

"I have got no problem with land reform but it seems it is the fat
cats and not the ordinary people who are benefiting," Shand told the
Financial Gazette.

"Mr Mugabe has said one farmer, one farm, and I only have one farm and
only 200 hectares of this farm is arable," he added.

On average, Glendoven produced US$330 000 (about $18 million at the
official exchange rate) of dry land tobacco annually as well as 700 tonnes
of maize and a special type of grass - Katombora Rhodes grass - for resale.

Shand said while it was going to be extremely expensive but still
possible to resuscitate the farm before the rains, he could only sit and
wait in the meantime.

It may be a dangerous wait.
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A defiant Mugabe goes down fighting

8/15/02 6:54:26 PM (GMT +2)

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe gave the clearest signal yet this week that
international sanctions against him and his top officials are hurting, but
made clear he will go down fighting in the mould of a true revolutionary
which he has carved out for himself.

Speaking at a ceremony in Harare to honour Zimbabwe's independence war
heroes, he took a hard line against the West for slapping him and his
lieutenants with travel bans and asset freeze, threatening to hit back hard
in the best way "we know how".

In a speech laden with emotion and which signposted the new
"gloves-off" approach which Mugabe has adopted in his fight to hang on to
power, he challenged the West to impose additional sanctions and add more
names to his blacklisted officials.

"But we shall not budge, we shall not be deterred on this one
question - the land is ours," the President declared, referring to his
seizure of commercial farms to settle mostly his supporters which he has
paraded as a black-white fight to right colonial wrongs.

So there is the line which Mugabe has literally drawn on the sand: he
will go down fighting to the death ostensibly in defence of the interests of
his people against a racist and unjust world order which wants to remove him
from power to protect its kith and kin.

This is the line which Mugabe, clearly concerned he would lose the
March presidential election, adopted at the time with some measure of
success and has continued to sing to camouflage lawlessness and violence
perpetrated by his supporters against political foes.

It is a line which southern African leaders have curiously come to
believe and a line that is certain to endear the President among poor Third
World states still struggling against vestiges of colonial injustice - land
ownership being one of the still unresolved issues.

It is crucial that Zimbabwe's democratic voices, plus the supporting
international community, do realise the weapon which Mugabe is using to
weaken their fight against his undemocratic rule by clearly separating the
unquestionable need for land reform from the callous violence, murder and
rape which have accompanied it.

But more importantly, all voices seeking a new democratic dispensation
in Zimbabwe must realise, if they have not done so already, that Mugabe
really means what he says and will indeed fight to the bitter end,
regardless of what that end might be.

Therefore any measures against him to try to enforce democracy which
ignore the harsh reality of his steely determination to soldier on, no
matter the odds stacked against him, will fail and most likely trigger
untold consequences for Zimbabwe and its neighbours.

Mugabe knows that for all intents and purposes, he is at the end of
his political career. And because of many threats against him over what
happened in Matabeleland in the 1980s and other alleged sins of omission and
commission, he is literally daring the world to act by taking his fight to
the wire.

In many ways, he knows that he has nothing more to lose. Or put
differently, he believes that things can't get any worse - and he is right.

For him, the path ahead is simply a do or die battle. Predictably he
has chosen to be the martyr who will go down in history as the last man who
held high the flag of black emancipation and bravely stood up solo against
an evil capitalist world sworn to oppressing the dispossessed.

In Mugabe's own words at the weekend, which again highlight his new
stance of presenting his fight to stay in power as a black-white struggle
for justice: "Our heroes would scorn us if it (Zimbabwe) turned out to be a
mere banana republic which waxes and wanes as pleases the powerful.

"They (the fallen heroes) expect us to be ... rigid and enduring when
it comes to (defending) our sovereignty."

The message to all who yearn for real freedom could not have been
clearer, if this was no so already: the struggle for a democratic and just
Zimbabwe is only just beginning.
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