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The Daily News 16 August 2000

MDC wins case
Chihuri on the warpath
Fired Zimpapers board defiant
Governor parcels out land at invaded farm
Councillors turn down Obert Mpofu's proposal
Party enquires on State funding
Car burnt as miners' strike turns violent
Besieged farmer cuts wages
Terror returns to commercial farms in Matabeleland North
Families displaced by dam want compensation revised


MDC wins case

8/16/00 9:49:44 AM (GMT +2)

Court Reporter

THE SUPREME Court yesterday nullified 6 000 postal votes cast in the
June parliamentary election, opening the way for possible fresh
challenges from the opposition, especially in constituencies where such
ballots were a decisive factor.

The ballots in question were cast by Zimbabwean soldiers in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
It is understood the constituencies affected by the ruling include
Buhera North, Marondera East and West, Chinhoyi, Bindura and Makoni East
and West.
Justice Nicholas McNally, in a judgment delivered yesterday, blamed
Tobaiwa Mudede, the registrar-general, for messing up the postal
balloting system by failing to comply with the requirements of the
Electoral Act.
The judgment follows an appeal to an application by the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) against a High Court ruling allowing the use of
postal ballots in the election.
The verdict arose from a hearing on 7 August in which the full bench of
five Supreme Court judges, sitting as an appeal court, reserved judgment
McNally said the original application should have sailed through because
there was sufficient evidence that electoral procedures were abandoned
in the issuance of the postal ballot papers.
He, therefore, declared the postal votes invalid and void, with costs
against Mudede.
McNally: "It is hereby declared that the postal ballot papers in the
parliamentary election held on 24 and 25 June 2000, which were issued to
military personnel serving in the DRC, were invalidly issued. In
consequence it is further declared that all votes cast on such postal
ballot papers are void and invalid."
McNally said he had considered the relevant electoral legislation, what
actually happened, whether Mudede substantially complied with the
legislation in doing what he did and whether there was any prejudice as
a result of noncompliance.
When the case was heard in the High Court, Mudede conceded that he had
"dispatched postal ballot papers without the applications being properly
The ballots were handed to a Lieutenant Colonel Maguvisi when no
application forms had been received.
Army officers had advised Mudede that there would be logistical
difficulties in sending application forms to the DRC for completion. The
forms were supposed to be returned to Mudede's office before the ballots
were issued.
About 6 000 soldiers were registered voters, half the number on the
original list in the DRC.
"Apart from the names of the applicants being recorded and the official
stamp on the forms, they were otherwise incomplete," Mudede said.
The MDC secretary for legal affairs, David Coltart said the decision was
"It might have a material difference in about two or three
constituencies but it will also add weight to our argument that the
election process was a shambles," said Coltart.
.Sydney Sekeramayi of Zanu PF polled 10 692 votes against Didymus
Munhenzva's 10 629, a difference of 63. After a recount was held at the
request of the High Court, Sekeramayi's votes swelled by another nine
votes, according to Mudede.
The MDC is, however, still contesting the result in the courts.
In Bindura, Border Gezi polled 13 328 votes against Elliot Pfebve's 11
In the Makoni East constituency, Shadreck Chipanga of Zanu PF polled 7
509 against Nicholas Mudzengerere of the MDC's 7 391.
Phillip Chiyangwa won 8 176 votes in the Chinhoyi constituency, beating
the MDC candidate Silas Matamisa by 574 votes a result being challenged
in the High Court.


Chihuri on the warpath

8/16/00 9:51:09 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

AUGUSTINE Chihuri, the Commissioner of Police, is suing The Daily News
for alleged defamation resulting from the publication in the paper on
Monday of his picture as he slept while President Mugabe spoke at the
National Heroes' Acre last Friday.

Chihuri, a former freedom fighter, whose term of office has just been
extended for the second time, demanded a retraction and an
"appropriately worded apology", of equal prominence to the picture and
A letter addressed by Chihuri's lawyers, Kantor and Immerman, to the
newspaper's Editor-in-Chief, Geoff Nyarota, and chief executive,
Muchadeyi Masunda, yesterday, reads: "We refer to the photograph
published on page 2 of the Monday edition of your newspaper headed,
'Taking a snooze', depicting our client.
"We address you at the instance of our client. Our instructions are that
the clear and expressed objective of the publication of this photograph
was to convey the false impression that our client took a nap during
the Heroes' Day commemoration proceedings.
"Our client denies that he was snoozing and further, close scrutiny of
your own photograph will reveal that our client was not asleep."
The picture, according to the lawyers, therefore, gave a false,
scandalous and defamatory impression in that it suggests that Chihuri,
who is a senior officer of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, was in breach
of a statutory duty, in that he took a nap while on duty.
The lawyers say the article further demeaned Chihuri in the eyes of the
rank and file of the police force, the readers and the public in
They state: "The impression created by the publication in the eyes of
the public in general and in particular of the serving police officers
and of Chihuri's principals, is that he has no respect for the nation,
national events nor his seniors to the extent that he will sleep whilst
on duty."
The letter states that as a result of the publication of the picture,
Chihuri had been inundated with calls by a number of people asking for
an explanation and had to endure the unnecessary inconvenience and
embarrassment of explaining the correct state of affairs concerning the
But The Daily News photographer, Tsvangirai Mukwazhi, who took the
allegedly defamatory photograph and another as the police chief started
to doze off, says his photograph is a factual portrayal of an event that
happened at the Heroes' Acre last Friday.
He says he kept the police chief under observation for some time after
he noticed that he was dozing off intermittently.
He stole two shots of the commissioner, once as he started to doze off
at one point and again after he succumbed to the soporific effect of the
presidential address.
"The commissioner dozed off for about 30 to 60 seconds at a time," said
Mukwazhi yesterday. "This went on for about 20 minutes during President
Mugabe's speech."
Mukwazhi said he had positioned himself appropriately to take the
pictures after he noticed this unlikely behaviour on the part of the
Commissioner of Police.
Nyarota said yesterday that Chihuri would make legal history in Zimbabwe
if he sued and won the case.
"The Daily News reserves the right to sue any member of the public who
suggests that its photographs are false impressions," he said.


Fired Zimpapers board defiant

8/16/00 10:49:41 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Newspapers board of directors led by Nelson Samkange, fired
on Monday, insisted yesterday they were still board members until the
correct procedures laid down in the Articles of Association of Zimbabwe
Newspapers (1980) Limited are followed.

In a letter to Honour Mkushi, the chairman of Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust
(ZMMT), Samkange said the eight board members were not happy with the
manner in which the decision to fire them was handled.
Said Samkange: "We also personally object to the heavy-handed and abrupt
manner in which the decision was communicated to us . . . The manner in
which the matter was handled gives the impression to many members of the
public that the board has done something wrong, which is not the case."
Earlier this week, the government, through the ZMMT, asked the entire
board to resign with immediate effect to make way for a new board.
The new board is chaired by the former Editor of The Herald, Tommy


Governor parcels out land at invaded farm

8/16/00 10:51:26 AM (GMT +2)

Daily News Correspondent, Karoi

THE governor for Mashonaland West, Peter Chanetsa, accompanied by police
and war veterans, on Tuesday last week turned up at Chikuti farm without
warning, ignored the farmer Arthur Purkiss, and spent two hours
redistributing land on the farm. The farm is among the 804 the
government intends to seize for redistribution.

"No government official has come here to talk to us," said Purkiss,
"except Chanetsa who only arrived today to launch this programme here
without warning. We have a big workforce which I do not know what to do
"Our crime is that we contested the acquisition when it was started and
won our case in the High Court. If this is part of our unity as
Zimbabweans, then let it be."
Chanetsa said the farm was one of several farms seized by the government
for resettlement in his province.
"We chose this farm for our official launching ceremony as it is on the
boundary of two districts, Makonde and Hurungwe and it's going to see 97
people getting plots. Twenty percent is reserved for the war veterans,"
he said.
Similar ceremonies have been held in the past few days on uncontested
farms in northern Mashonaland Central, south-eastern Masvingo and
south-western Matabeleland North.
Chikuti Estate was already occupied by a group of war veterans and Zanu
PF supporters who had staked out their plots, said Purkiss.
Earlier in the day, a businessman in the area said that an invasion of
Chikuti Estate was planned, and that the visitors were bent on
"demonstrating, taking the land and ordering Purkiss and his workers off
the farm."
Purkiss said he had been tipped off by a local government official who
attended a meeting chaired by Chanetsa at which the decision to visit
the farm was taken.
Viewfield Farm, near Centenary, was the first to be parcelled out to 43
families, having been handed over voluntarily by its owner, Anna Davies,
whose husband died three months ago.
Malcolm Vowles, the regional representative of the Commercial Farmers
Union, said Viewfield had not been occupied by war veterans. "It's not a
contentious farm in any way."


Councillors turn down Obert Mpofu's proposal

8/16/00 10:53:33 AM (GMT +2)

Daily News Correspondent, Bulawayo

PROPOSALS by the governor for Matabeleland North, Obert Mpofu to sell
the Mhlahlandhlela government complex in Bulawayo, to raise funds to
build offices at Lupane, the provincial capital, were yesterday shot
down by Bulawayo city councillors at a meeting to map out development
strategies for the city.

Mpofu proposed on Monday that the Mhlahlandhlela complex be sold for the
government to raise money to build offices at Lupane, the provincial
capital of Matabeleland North, which has not been upgraded to its
status. Efforts to get comment from Mpofu failed after this reporter was
threatened by war veterans at the governor's office.
The Zanu PF-dominated council has been having lively debates after three
independent councillors, Charles Mpofu, Mike Parira-Mpofu and Matson
Hlalo joined the Movement for Democratic Change.
The councillor for Ward 21, Charles Mpofu, is said to have led the
dissent against the governor's proposals. He was unavailable for comment
"We told the governor that we would not accept the sale of the
 building," said Hlalo after the meeting.


Party enquires on State funding

8/16/00 10:48:45 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has written to the government
to ask when the party is likely to receive its share of the money due to
it under the Political Parties (Finance) Act.

The MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube, yesterday said they had
written to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,
Patrick Chinamasa.
"It is now 51 days since the last day of the parliamentary election and
the Act gives the Minister 60 days to publish a notice announcing how
much each of the contesting parties will receive," Ncube said.
The MDC won 57 of the 120 contested seats in the June parliamentary
election to become the major opposition party in Parliament.
According to the Political Parties (Finance) Act, parties must win the
support of at least 5 percent of the voters in a general election to
qualify for State funding.
The act used to stipulate that a party must win at least 15 of the 120
seats until the United Parties won a High Court order compelling the
government to amend the law last year.
Ncube said the MDC had won about 48 percent of the total votes cast
while Zanu PF won close to 52 percent of the votes and the two parties
would get almost similar amounts of money.
In this year's budget, Zanu PF received $65 million after winning 117
seats in the 1995 election.
"All we want to know is how much we will receive and when we will
receive it because the stipulated 60 days for publication of the public
notice are running out," Ncube said.


Car burnt as miners' strike turns violent

8/16/00 10:50:41 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE mine workers' strike turned violent yesterday when workers at
Ashanti Goldfields in Bindura burnt a car, with strikers allegedly
intimidating those reporting for duty as the work stoppage became

The country has about 15 000 mine workers who went on strike following
the breakdown of collective bargaining exercise.
The Associated Mine workers' Union immediately called for a work
stoppage after talks between the union and the employers failed.
Bindura police confirmed the incident at Ashanti and said investigations
were continuing.
Inspector Alois Mudukuti, the officer in charge at Bindura police
station said: "The miners on strike burnt down one car when management
locked them out. They reacted violently and some of them are now helping
police with investigations."
He could not say how many people had been arrested.
Doug Verden, a spokesman for the Chamber of Mines, said the work
stoppage, which started on Monday, had become widespread.
"The strike has spread to other mines such as Muriel and Jena, but what
has become worrying is the violence and intimidation of those who have
decided to work," said Verden.
There were fears that some of the mines would fail to recover from the
work stoppage.
He said strikers locked out their management at Shamva gold mine while
incidents of stone-throwing and intimidation were reported at several
mines throughout the country.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) said in a statement it
supported the miners for striking for a " worthy cause".
ZCTU secretary-general Isdore Zindoga said the chamber should "see
 sense" and settle the dispute with the mine workers' union.
In Mazowe, workers said a group of war veterans had joined the strike
and wanted the mine closed "forever" because the workers had voted for
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
"We are not playing politics," said a miner who did not want to be
identified by name.
"We do not want the mine closed because our demonstration is purely a
labour issue."
The Associated Mine Workers' Union president, Jeffrey Mutandare, said
yesterday he had received reports of violence on some of the mines.
"But we do not know who started that violence. I do not believe that one
can just burn a car without any provocation but I would still need to
get the facts," he said.
On Monday Mutandare said the strike would continue until the chamber
agreed to negotiate this year's salaries on the dollar value principle.
Workers at 17 of the 40 major mines, including Renco, the Lonrho group
and Shangani had joined the strike. Also affected were Ripple Creek,
Limestone near Redcliff and Buchwa in Mberengwa, suppliers of iron ore
to the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco). The three provide 100
000 tonnes of ore to Zisco monthly.
The strike started on Monday after salary review negotiations between
the union and the chamber failed.
Chamber of Mines officials said that since the strike started two days
ago, the country has been losing about $20 million daily, most of it in
foreign currency.
The chamber insisted on awarding increments based on the minimum wage
while the union wanted salary increments based on the dollar value
The stoppage comes at a time when the industry, one of the largest
earners of foreign currency in Zimbabwe, is under severe stress as some
of the biggest mines have closed down.
Verden said yesterday the Chamber of Mines was expecting labour
officials to issue a disposal order and declare the strike illegal.
The chamber officials are saying the work stoppage is illegal because
the workers resorted to strike action when the dispute had already been
referred for compulsory arbitration.


Besieged farmer cuts wages

8/16/00 10:52:24 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

IAIN Kay, the owner of Chipesa Farm in Marondera, has told his 82
workers he can only pay them half their wages because of the disruption
caused by the invasion of his farm by war veterans.

He said he could not afford to pay them while they were not engaged in
productive work.
Farming operations on the 2 000 ha farm have been disrupted by war
veterans who invaded the property in April and attacked Kay, the son of
Jock Kay, a former deputy Minister of Agriculture.
"He came with his wife and three sons on Saturday and told us that from
this month half the workers would work for the first two weeks and the
remainder would work for the last fortnight," said one of the workers,
who refused be named.
This means that a worker would receive $575 where he was supposed to get
$1 150 per month.
Efforts to contact Kay for comment failed yesterday.
The worker said normally at this time of the year about 150 people
including the workers' wives would be working on the farm, but only the
82 workers were working.
Normally workers would be tending the tobacco nursery and grading last
year's tobacco crop for auction, said another worker.
But last year's tobacco was moved to Harare at the end of May, where it
was being graded, he said.
Kay, said the worker, had moved the remainder of his 593 herd of cattle
to Bindura earlier that month after losing 43 of them, reportedly to war
Kay left his farm after people suspected to be ex-combatants brutally
assaulted him, burnt his motorcycle and stole his communications radio
and mobile phone in early April.
Kay is said to have angered the ex-fighters when he failed to meet a
deadline to reconstruct shacks belonging to the farm invaders that he
had earlier destroyed.
A day after the attack on Kay, war veterans killed a police officer.
The worker said that war veterans, led by a dreadlocked man known only
Marimo, had started allocating stands to people on the farm and on
surrounding properties. At least 50 people had occupied the plots on
Chipesa farm by yesterday.


Terror returns to commercial farms in Matabeleland North

8/16/00 10:54:13 AM (GMT +2)

Daily News Correspondent, Bulawayo

THE violence that haunted Matabeleland North farms before the
parliamentary election in June has resurfaced, says the Commercial
Farmers' Union (CFU) provincial chairman, Mac Crawford.

Referring to the alleged abduction of two farm workers by war veterans
and Zanu PF supporters from Alex Goosen's Goodwood Farm in Bubi District
last weekend, Crawford said the CFU provincial wing was highly concerned
about the latest developments in the region.
Violence gripped Zimbabwe soon after the massive rejection of the
government-sponsored draft constitution in the February referendum.
War veterans and Zanu PF supporters started invading commercial farms
because the draft constitution had been amended to include a clause on
compulsory acquisition of land for resettlement without paying any
compensation for land, except for improvements on the land.
President Mugabe has been tacitly supporting the land invasions stating
categorically that the country's former colonial masters had not paid
for any land when they colonised the country in 1890. The ensuing
violence has left five commercial farmers dead.
"It looks as if Matabeleland North is being targeted once again. It is
disturbing to see people, farm workers in particular, being pushed
around and forced to belong to such and such a party," Crawford said.
"As it is, farm workers are now scared even to go to work because they
are afraid they may be harassed.
"Everyone has the right to belong to a political party of their choice.
Morale is at its lowest ebb within the farming community. We are just
praying that things change for the better," he said.
In March, farm workers in Bubi vowed to fight off any war veterans who
dared occupy their places of work.
The threat came after a group of war veterans was attacked by farm
workers for trying to occupy Gourlays Farm.
After the skirmish, two men employed by Goosen, Isaac Ezekiel Kamoyo,
and James Ndlovu, were picked up by the Central Intelligence
Four days later, about 25 ex-combatants camped outside Dudley Nicholas'
farm, about 25km west of Gourlays.
A number of farms, including Gourlays and Goodwood, had been earmarked
for invasion by the war veterans at the time, sources said.


Families displaced by dam want compensation revised

8/16/00 10:55:05 AM (GMT +2)

Daily News Correspondent, Mutare

ABOUT 600 families displaced by the Osborne Dam in Mutasa near Mutare
have yet to be compensated by the government.

The families now want the government to revaluate their properties
immediately together with independent valuators because the initial
amounts offered are "peanuts", they said this week.
Vice-President Joseph Msika, who chairs the land acquisition committee
responsible for the resettlement programme, pleaded with the disgruntled
families last year to be patient while the government continued to
source compensation funds.
But, Charles Chasakara, chairman of the Osborne Dam Displaced People's
Committee, said yesterday: "We have waited for far too long and we want
the matter resolved, now that the election is over."
A number of affected families claim their names do not appear on the
list of people to be compensated at all. The list was drawn up last
The government has ordered the families to vacate the vast area
surrounding the Osborne Dam so it could be turned into a sanctuary for
the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management, the Osborne
Game Park.
But, Chasakara said the government had not even indicated to the
families where they would be resettled.
"We don't want to go into the bush," he said.
"We don't want land for cultivation. We want to be relocated where
infrastructure such as clinics, schools and roads already exist."
Chasakara said it was agreed at a meeting held with government officials
in March that the revaluation exercise would be pursued vigorously after
the election in June.
But 50 families not directly represented by the committee have been
resettled at Koodoosburg Farm, where the majority are still living in
makeshift shelters. The farm was designated for resettlement in 1998.
"We are sick and tired of waiting for government compensation," said
headman George Sadziwa of Murowe Village.
"But, what makes me particularly angry is that some names don't even
appear on the list of people to be compensated."
Sadziwa said a number of visits to the offices of the Mutasa district
administrator, Tapera Kazembe, had not yielded results.
A number of residents of Toronga Village said they had demanded to see
if their names were on the list.
Willard Marutawana showed The Daily News "handwritten proof" from the DA
's office that he had been registered and would be paid a total of $22
But, he was not happy with the figure: "What good will this amount do?
The cost of building materials has since gone up."
The provincial administrator, David Munyoro, said: "I can't say much
off-hand, but we have the money for compensation."


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From The Times (London) 16.8.00
August 16 2000

Former President Mandela with Dame Maeve Fort

UK envoy accuses Mugabe


Votes nullified

THE British High Commissioner in South Africa has accused President Mugabe of manufacturing Zimbabwe's land crisis and of taking revenge on his own people for daring to challenge the Zanu (PF) grip on power.

In an outspoken valedictory interview, Dame Maeve Fort, who retires this week, said that Britain had always been prepared to support land reform in Zimbabwe, but Mr Mugabe had chosen to spurn London's offer of financial help.

"The possibility of funds for land reform has always been there, but it was only when he lost a referendum and nearly lost an election that he embarked on this course," she said. "It almost seems like revenge on his people for rejection."

Mr Mugabe's threat to expropriate 800 white-owned farms without compensation gathered momentum after he lost a referendum in February that sought to entrench his executive presidency. The number of expropriations was increased to more than 3,000 after he only narrowly defeated the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the June election.

Dame Maeve said that she welcomed the recent decision by the Southern African Development Community to ask President Mbeki of South Africa to lobby Britain to secure funds for the land reform programme. She said, however, that Britain could not act unconstitutionally by using funds earmarked for development.

"In the UK, funds for development can only be spent on development and not to reward cronies and so-called war veterans for outbreaks of lawlessness," she said.

The land crisis had tested diplomatic relations between Britain and South Africa, she added, but there was still a good relationship between London and Pretoria.

However, she said she found it disturbing that the development community leaders at last week's summit meeting in Namibia failed to take a more robust stand against the violence in the run-up to the Zimbabwe election. In a veiled criticism of South Africa's failure to publicly condemn Mr Mugabe's violation of the rule of law, she said that Pretoria could limit the impact of Zimbabwe's turmoil on the region only by stating clearly and unambiguously that it had a stable political environment that welcomed foreign investment.

Dame Maeve, whose 34-year career in the diplomatic service includes serving as Ambassador to Chad, Maputo and Beirut and High Commissioner in Mozambique, will be succeeded by Ann Grant, the Foreign Office's Director for Africa, in October.

Harare: Zimbabwe's Supreme Court nullified all postal votes in the June elections as the only people allowed to use them were 11,000 troops in the Congo. The opposition said the move would boost its challenge to some seats won by Zanu (PF). (Reuters)

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There will be a brief for FA Chairmen at 8.30am on Friday 18th August, 2000, in the CFU Dining Room, Marlborough.  Please ensure that all FA Chairmen are advised. 
We wish to retract the incorrect reports for Ruia Farm, Mvurwi, made yesterday, which were untrue and sincerely apologise to the farm owner for the incorrect information put out.
Centenary - Two intoxicated war vets were arrested yesterday afternoon for attempting to steal tobacco out of the grading shed on Mutwa Estate.  Ploughing and general outside work has been prevented in what appears to be retaliation for the above incident.  The owner has been advised to go and see the senior war vet to resolve this issue and police have been informed.
Horseshoe - War vets refused accommodation offered in response to their demand as they wanted the foreman's house at Blue Grass Farm.  Police were informed and the situation is ongoing.  ZTA initiated a Police response on Manovi Farm when they expressed their concern of the situation to Propol.  Guruve Farm has been reoccupied by an aggressive group.
Victory Block - ZRP Mvurwi were notified on Monday of malicious damage to borehole equipment on Brookfield Farm. There has been extensive wood cutting by people from the resettlement area on Msitwe River Ranch.  There have been reports of poaching on Disi Farm.
Mvurwi - The owner of Luwali Farm was asked for transport, which was refused, and told to allow his labour to attend the "official" hand over of Dandajena Farm.  Two men, one claiming to be political officer, advised the owner of Forrester Estate that they had a mandate from Chitengwende to take sections L and B of the estate.
Tsatsi - Approximately six war vets assaulted a farm labourer suspected of being a MDC supporter on Dorking Farm. War vets set fire to a paddock on Nyachura Farm as they thought they saw a snake.
Mutepatepa - There has been a build up of war vet numbers on Felton Farm and Insingisi Farm.
Mazowe/Concession - War vets have formed a camp on Estes Park.  A group of war vets from Glenara visited Makalanga and threatened the manager with death, giving him 24 hours to leave the farm.  This group moved on to Marodzi River Farm and joined a group of striking mine workers there.  They threatened to take over the farm and began chopping trees outside the fence, but later in the afternoon the group dispersed and left.
Harare West/Nyabira - War vets have given the owner of Rydale Farm a 24 hour eviction notice. At Selby Farm, the war vets demanded the owner's son vacate his house so that they could move in.
Christon Bank - Border Estates has a weekend presence of peggers. Occupiers peg a plot then disappear to town leaving someone to start building for them. They are paying one of the domestic workers to start digging the soak-away for the house they are to build.
Marondera - On Munemo 8 invaders were arrested from Irenie base camp and have been jailed in connection with the problems on the farm. There are now 18 huts on Tranquility. Occupiers informed the owner that they are not moving until they have been allocated other land. On Monte Cristo an elderly man is building a hut in the middle of the centre pivot ground, cutting trees and ploughing up a bit of land that he has burnt. Occupiers have now moved on in large numbers and their dogs are hunting daily on the farm.
Marondera North - Police have reacted positively and are following up reports made by Chapunga and Dormavale. They went to Chapunga and collected the head war vet and taken him away.
Beatrice/Harare South - On Innisfree occupiers are ploughing with a Chinese tractor. A police detail is investigating. On Evergreen there is another tractor ploughing. Old Blackfordby was reoccupied over the weekend, and huts have been  built in the ploughed lands. 3
Featherstone - On Monday 14 there was wide scale pegging on Christiana, Lot 2 of Kuruman and Callais. On Tuesday 15 on Kuruman a 5 tonne truck arrived with about 30 people who had decided that they were moving onto the small holdings. The farm has a S/D permit and the land is clearly demarcated by the owner but is not gazetted. This is a new occupation. On Lot 2 Kuruman two war vets arrived in a white mazda and harassed the owner and his son. Later about 4 war vets visited in a white Nissan and then in a blue Peugeot. The war vets have told the owner that he has to share the farm with 5 war vets. All of the visitors have been from Harare/Beatrice. Yesterday they arrived from Chikomba resettlement. The Head of CIO is also the chairman of the war vets in the Featherstone area. Information has been received that he has been instructed to increase the pace of the fast track resettlement from yesterday. The occupiers on Dunkirk were moving cattle as they cut fences, and mixing them up. The Featherstone Police should be reacting.
As of 7:30 this morning the MIC had received no signal to help the farmers with the invader problems.
There will be a launching of the fast track resettlement at Antelope (Chivhu) on Thursday. Hoekies and Highlands are having problems with fence cuttings etc.
Wedza - Another beast was shot on Poltimore last night and another slashed. It may not survive.
Enterprise/Bromley/Ruwa - A new hut has been built on Bromley Park. The owner of Oribi was by occupiers told to dismiss a labourer seen wearing an MDC hat.
Macheke/Virginia - After Police collected the main trouble causers in the area yesterday, they were in a meeting with Dispol Minor. They were aggressive after the meeting and told the farmers that they were told they were allowed to build huts in the irrigated lands. Dispol claims that this is not a directive from him, and that this message is to be disseminated to the war vets on the ground. There were work stoppages on Fault, Camdale, Castledean and Lamjung. On Castledean the owner became a bit aggressive and as a results the war vets have allowed him to start working again.  The Police reaction is very slow and they do not want farmers to react.
Tengwe - Still only grading  is allowed on Kapena Farm.  No land preparation is permitted no Parendale Farm and Alpha. Cattle have been driven off.  Grading and seedbeds continuing on Medbury.  The owner of Alpha is unable to return to his home.  Dendanyani has 8-10 occupiers resident.  Irrigated lands have been ploughed but pre-irrigation stopped on 10 August.On Jambo Cattle have been driven off.  Land prep and pre-irrigation has been stopped, and grading and seedbeds continue.  The owner of Dendanyani, Jambo and Kilinidini is only permitted to use just over a quarter of his land. The shortage of grazing will seriously affect the viability of his pedigree herd. 
Ploughing on Silver Lining started on Thursday 3 August and the occupiers claim that the ploughed lands are theirs and no tobacco will be planted.  The domestic worker's house was taken over by occupiers over the weekend.  No cattle are permitted on this farm. The owner of Camper Down has been instructed to move cattle off.  The owner of Mpata has completed land prep, but the war vets now claim that all this land is theirs and therefore no tobacco can be planted.   Farmer threatened again today, 15th August, that cattle to be moved off the farm.
50ha of land prep has been stopped on Inanda Farm. Tobacco regrowth has not been chopped out yet on Driftwood Farm.  Six  resident occupiers at Tulbach sent a written demand for the labour to move out of their homes on Tulbach by Tuesday 15th.  ZRP has been informed and the farmer is ignoring them.  Occupiers continue to make demands. Nevern Place has no presence left.
Illegal brickmaking is taking place on the following farms (not war vets by their own admission): Gwiwa, Inanda, Driftwood, Kukura, Glendene, Ian Penny, Pollux, Dendayani, Tulbach, Nevern Place, Jaybury, Mudiki Estates, Datenda, Chitonga.
There is no change on Ian Penny Farm.  On Mudiki Estates 250 ha of the 750 ha of grazing land has been claimed by the occupiers. Grazing is critical and this must be resolved. There are 10 occupiers on Chitonga Farm being a nuisance. Ledon and Shargazan were reoccupied on Monday 14 August, with structures being erected on both.  Dana has been occupied.
Chinhoyi - On Amagora Farm a veld fire was started by war vets.
Mhangura - There are more war vets moving on Highbury Estates and building houses.  It has been reported to the Police. 
Lions Den - There are reports of war vets constructing on Zebra Vlei Farm. The leader refuses to give his name but is responsible for allocating land to a possible bigger crowd. The matter has been reported to Murereka Police. On Upper Romsey war vets are walking through the farm destroying hay bales.  They are also interfering with the movement of irrigation pipes. These people are reported to be sleeping in the labour housing at Athens Farm.
Chinhoyi - On Ilanga Farm a cow was slaughtered.  A Police investigation is in progress. On East Range Farm two men claiming to be ex-army majors arrived late yesterday afternoon and told the foreman that the farm had been taken and the staff are to start pegging and register their claims in Chinhoyi.
Chegutu - On Kutawa a war veteran was arrested for maize theft.  On Concession Hill there was a reoccupation which broke up in confusion and the war vets left.
Chakari - On Newbiggin Farm guards were chased by war veterans; Police have not reacted yet.  Police visited Blackmorvale and told war veterans to take down their huts that were in the middle of lands. 
Norton - On Sherwood Farm war vets threatened the driver of a Mobil fuel truck.  There was a reoccupation on Serui Source. Shots have been heard at Lake Chivero Recreational Park.  It is believed that war veterans are poaching.  One farm has lost over $1 million as a result of maize theft. There has been theft of internal fencing standards on Merton Park.
Kadoma/Battlefields - On Damvuri and Madodo hunting is difficult because of the war veterans presence.  Four reports have been made by the owner of Queensdale to Eiffel Flats Police since Thursday regarding a reoccupation of 60 to 100 people, but no one has investigated.
Selous - Numbers on Meadowlands increased this morning, with hut building continuing.
Masvingo East and Central - Vredenburg Farm was reoccupied by 75-100 war vets and all their belongings. They claim that this farm has now been designated, and it is believed that the war veteran Kid Muzenda is running this invasion. Oxen have been pushed onto the property and were seen carting timber out.  It is also believed that Muzenda is responsible for the reinvasion of Yettom and Marah Farms.
There are still communal cattle on Dromore Farm, and trees are being cut down and firewood being carted out in wheelbarrows. Poachers with packs of dogs were seen yesterday and timber cutting continues extensively. Another theft of wire has occurred and this has been reported to the Police. This is the second occurrence of wire theft that has occurred on this property - the last amount amounted to $166 000. Tree cutting continues on Good Hope Farm.
Mwenezi - There is continued tree cutting and clearing of land on Reinette, Moria, Lumbergia, La Pache Ranches. On Moria Ranch small quantities of sugar cane have been stolen.  Two heifers were snared last week Thursday on Kleinbegin Ranch. A report was made to the Beit Bridge Police who declined to give any CR Number. A follow up was made yesterday morning by the FA Chairman and the owner and nothing further has been done by the Police. On Klipdrift Ranch as previously reported there still remains an estimated 80 head of cattle missing.  On Quagga Pan Ranch poaching continues, many trees are being cut, a whole village is being erected and timber and grass are being cut and carted out and sold in the communal area. All the occupiers are from Village 4 of the neighbouring resettlement area.
ChiredziOn Buffalo Range threats of fires have been received for the last two weeks and there have been ongoing fires here and there. In all events arson has been suspected. A person in possession of a 303 rifle was found trying to shoot an eland for the Heroes Day celebrations. There is continued chopping of trees, which has become a big business. Big mopanie trees are being chopped down at an alarming rate and sold in the townships. Reports received are that certain prominent members within the townships are selling off properties and timber for a minimum fee of $5.00
On one ranch a hunting camp has been constructed. Occupiers barricaded the road last week, entered the camp demanding vegetables, and demanded that the owner move all his cattle off the property immediately. The rhino population is at threat, and reports made to Police were followed up by the owner and the FA Chairman and nothing has yet been done.
On another ranch the occupiers are poaching, being nuisance to international clients, interfering with game scouts, cutting trees and building houses.
On Ruware and Ngwane Ranches as from Thursday last week, a team apparently sent by the DA Zaka has been there marking plots with a theodolite and moving masses of people onto the properties. Reports indicate that all properties from there to the Chiredzi tar road will be covered, designated or not.
Save Conservancy - The owner of Sango Ranch reports a wild dog caught in a snare on Mapari Ranch. It managed to break free and ended up on Sango Ranch with all of its intestines hanging out - it later died. "A Reserve" was called in to help resolve this situation of poaching / invasions and they were assaulted. The Support Unit was then also called in and they too were assaulted. Extra forces were then called in and some arrests have been made. The situation is out of control. 150 snares are being taken off the property daily.
Chatsworth/Gutu - The situation remains the same - continued chopping of trees, pegging of plots.
Nyazura - On Welkompas Farm, which has received a Section 8 Order, the farmer is trying to organise a capture team and the relevant paper work in order to relocate some wildlife to a safer area. War vets are being held back by Police and Agritex is busy marking out plots. The capture team refuse to start work until their safety is guaranteed.  They are hoping to have this operation completed in the next few weeks.
Chipinge - Yesterday the District Attorney approached the owner of Smithfield and demanded a portion of the land saying that he would start pegging there on Friday. This farm has NOT had a Section 8 Order.
Headlands - The situation on Wakefield Farm has been resolved but on Gwaai Farm it is still ongoing.  On Wakefield Farm the reaction from the police and senior war vets was very good.
Nyamandhlovu - On Spring Grange Farm a white commuter omnibus arrived at the gate, the occupants assaulted the farm guard and penetrated the security fence but did not enter the homestead. The farm owner was verbally abused and told to leave the farm. The visitors were apparently angered at the destruction of three half built huts. The community reacted rapidly, followed by the Police. The situation is now calm. 
Shurugwi - Edwards and Outwardbound Farms have been overrun for 2 to 3 weeks now. Occupiers are building huts, cutting trees and  clearing land. Cattle and labour have been chased off Outwardbound and are not permitted back on. Cattle are feeding off stova which is nearly finished and will then have no grazing.




To Be Held At The ART Agricentre

OnWednesday 13 September 2000 at 8.30am

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16 August 2000

In today's issue :
  • Postal votes invalid
  • Mugabe upset with Kabila
  • Congo to cost Z$1.5b a month
  • Farmers still under siege
  • UK envoy accuses Mugabe 
  • Byo torture vets arrested
  • "SADC needs a defence industry"

From The Star (SA), 15 August

'Invalid vote' ruling gives MDC new hope

Harare - Zimbabwe's Supreme Court on Tuesday nullified thousands of postal ballots cast in the June parliamentary elections. In his ruling, Justice Nicholas McNally said thousands of ballot papers - all from troops serving in the war in the DRC - were "invalidly issued". "All votes cast on such ballot papers are void and invalid," he added. The main opposition party, the MDC, has claimed the June elections were marred by irregularities and vote-rigging and had asked the courts to disallow thousands of applications for postal votes by Zimbabwean troops in the DRC.

McNally said he reached the judgment following agreement with a full bench of the country's five Supreme Court judges. The MDC challenged the postal ballots after its polling agents observed shortly before the election that application forms for the postal votes were not signed by the applicants, as is legally required. The MDC's laywer, Antony Brooks, described the ruling as "gratifying" and said it would affect the number of opposition electoral petitions currently before the courts. The MDC is challenging the results in 36 constituencies won by the ruling Zanu-PF of President Robert Mugabe. "The Supreme Court has demonstrated again its determination to uphold the rule of law," Brooks said.

In constituencies where the invalidated postal ballots were cast, Brooks said either a by-election would be held or the ballots would be recounted without the postal votes. "It will have an effect on those constituencies which won with narrow margins," he said, but declined further comment because the challenged returns were still before the court. Zimbabwe has between 11 000 and 12 000 troops in the DRC, but it was not immediately known how many of them had voted by post. In the June election, MDC took 57 of the 120 contested parliamentary seats to Zanu-PF's 62, but the opposition party says electoral fraud, violence and intimidation of voters compromised the returns.

From The Star (SA), 15 August

Mugabe turns on Kabila as Congo talks flop

Lusaka - Critical talks aimed at getting the faltering peace process in the DRC back on track failed early on Tuesday as DRC President Laurent Kabila refused to accept former Botswana president Ketumile Masire as the facilitator for the talks. Kabila's chief ally, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, expressed frustration with him: "Kabila has refused to listen or discuss the matter." Mugabe said it was time that Kabila started listening if peace was to come to the war-torn Congo. "It is important that he sees the views of other leaders in the conflict if the problem is to be solved," Mugabe said today after the talks closed and before dashing back to Harare. This is the first time that Mugabe has expressed strong criticism of Kabila, who depends very largely upon the 12 000 Zimbabwean troops for his continued ability to fend off the rebels trying to oust him. Earlier Bizima Karaha, rebel leader of the Kisangani Rally for Congolese Democracy, had said: "Kabila is nothing without Mugabe."

Kabila also refused to budge on his previous insistence that UN peacekeepers could not be deployed in government-held territory in the war zone, where his troops are fighting rebel movements backed by Rwanda and Uganda. In a communique issued at the end of the summit, other leaders of SADC, besides Mugabe, appealed to Kabila to reconsider his decision and issued a veiled threat of sanctions if he did not do so. South African and other diplomats said they believed that Kabila's objection to Masire, whom he has blocked from doing his job, was just a ploy to avoid engaging in constitutional negotiations with all Congolese parties - including the armed rebels. On Tuesday Zambian President Frederick Chiluba, the convener of the DRC negotiations appointed by SADC, said a start had been made but it looked as though peace would take much longer to achieve than the region had hoped or expected.

Earlier, OAU secretary-general Salim Ahmed Salim had raised hopes by saying that the talks had kicked off on a sound note. "There have been very serious and constructive discussions in the meeting," Salim said. "Everyone is determined to iron out the obstacles and move forward." But Karaha, a major rebel player in the conflict, said: "It's not going well. If it was going well, we would have been out of here by now."

From The Daily News, 15 August

Mugabe now spends Z$1,5b a month to prop up Kabila

THE presence of Zimbabwe's 11 000 soldiers in the DRC is now estimated to be costing $1,5 billion a month. Economists Eric Bloch and John Robertson, in separate interviews, said the government was spending $50 million a day in the DRC. The government, facing hard currency and fuel shortages, had been spending up to $114 million a month to keep the soldiers in the DRC before the devaluation of the dollar last month. Bloch said the soldiers should be pulled out of the DRC at the earliest possible opportunity as the cost of their continued presence would rise to $18 billion a year.

"The withdrawal of the soldiers could benefit us in the form of foreign currency needed badly to buy fuel and other import needs and to speed up the reduction of inflation," said Bloch, an economic analyst and director of companies based in Bulawayo. "The government's withdrawal of the soldiers will improve our relationship with the international community in general and would be a major step forward towards the restoration of support by the IMF, World Bank and other donor agencies," he said. The country's economic recovery programme would improve, he said. "Having made the initial mistake of going into the DRC, we must now minimize the costs by withdrawing without further delay," said Bloch.

Robertson, who runs a consultancy in Harare, described the continued stay of the soldiers in the DRC as nonsense. "It is ridiculous. That's way beyond our means as a country." He said the high rate of inflation had to be brought down with a lot of work needed to restore confidence in the economy. "We are now looking at the consequences of the inflation, of the depreciation of the dollar, high interest rates, rising unemployment and the government's failure to meet its international obligations by failing to pay its debts, that's a very serious issue," said Robertson.

From Reuters, 15 August

Zimbabwe Farm Union Says Members Still Under Siege

HARARE - Zimbabwe's land invaders are wreaking havoc and disrupting vital agricultural production on farms despite government orders to police to clamp down on lawlessness, a farmers' union spokesman said Tuesday. The CFU reported enforced work stoppages, threats of violence, poaching and orders to vacate farms from war veterans who have invaded almost 1,000 farms since February. ``The war vets (veterans) are now demanding their share of the land. The police are refusing to act,'' the CFU said in a statement.

The CFU said the war veterans were ignoring Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri's promises to union president Tim Henwood that there would be no more invasions, threats or lawlessness. Yet the owner of a farm where school children were abducted and allegedly sexually molested by war veterans last week had been forced to leave his property, the CFU said. In the Macheke area, several farms had been forced to stop work while the owner of Airlie farm had been issued with a four-day eviction notice. The independent Daily News reported Tuesday that about 125 tons of sugar cane had been stolen last week and several rhinos had been poached by war veterans who had invaded a ranch in southeastern Zimbabwe.

From The Times (UK), 16 August

UK envoy accuses Mugabe

JOHANNESBURG - The British High Commissioner in South Africa has accused President Mugabe of manufacturing Zimbabwe's land crisis and of taking revenge on his own people for daring to challenge the Zanu (PF) grip on power. In an outspoken valedictory interview, Dame Maeve Fort, who retires this week, said that Britain had always been prepared to support land reform in Zimbabwe, but Mr Mugabe had chosen to spurn London's offer of financial help. "The possibility of funds for land reform has always been there, but it was only when he lost a referendum and nearly lost an election that he embarked on this course," she said. "It almost seems like revenge on his people for rejection." Dame Maeve said that she welcomed the recent decision by SADC to ask President Mbeki of South Africa to lobby Britain to secure funds for the land reform programme. She said, however, that Britain could not act unconstitutionally by using funds earmarked for development. "In the UK, funds for development can only be spent on development and not to reward cronies and so-called war veterans for outbreaks of lawlessness," she said.

The land crisis had tested diplomatic relations between Britain and South Africa, she added, but there was still a good relationship between London and Pretoria. However, she said she found it disturbing that the development community leaders at last week's summit meeting in Namibia failed to take a more robust stand against the violence in the run-up to the Zimbabwe election. In a veiled criticism of South Africa's failure to publicly condemn Mr Mugabe's violation of the rule of law, she said that Pretoria could limit the impact of Zimbabwe's turmoil on the region only by stating clearly and unambiguously that it had a stable political environment that welcomed foreign investment. Dame Maeve, whose 34-year career in the diplomatic service includes serving as Ambassador to Chad, Maputo and Beirut and High Commissioner in Mozambique, will be succeeded by Ann Grant, the Foreign Office's Director for Africa, in October.

From The Daily News, 15 August

War vets arrested for alleged torture of victims at stadium

Bulawayo - The police last week arrested two war veterans in connection with the torture of civilians in a small room at Bulawayo's White City Stadium, used as a torture chamber during President Mugabe's rally in the run-up to the June parliamentary election. John Ncube and John Hungwe Simbarashe, both of Nkulumane, were part of a gang which assaulted civilians suspected to be supporters of the MDC at the stadium. The ex-combatants are also accused of stealing their victims' property, including cellphones and their identity cards in an apparent attempt to prevent them from voting in the elections. One victim, Themba Dube, yesterday said he had recovered his cellphone although he was yet to get his identity card, jacket and a notebook. He was beaten up inside the stadium when he was found with a diagram of the stadium and was accused of planning to kill the President. Police in Nkulumane said they were looking for the other members of the gang.

From The Star (SA), 15 August

Consolidate defence industries , SADC urged

SADC needed an industry to manufacture arms in the region and for the region, former Zimbabwean army-general Tshinga Dube said on Monday. Speaking at the Africa Defence 2000 summit in Midrand in Gauteng, he said such an industry would produce arms appropriate to local conditions, keep money in the region and create jobs. Dube, who is now chief executive of Zimbabwean Defence Industries, said the United Nations would benefit from this as it did not have an army of its own but drew peacekeepers from member states. "The UN will find it more appropriate and cost-effective to draw up a peacekeeping force from the region."

He called on SADC states to come together and consolidate their defence industries. "A mechanism can be put in place whereby industries are set up in countries according to the resources available to them. "An industry to manufacture brass cartridges of different calibre maybe set up in Zambia where there are large reserves of copper. "Likewise Zimbabwe with plenty of iron and still coupled with its sophisticated foundries can produce cast products like mortars and artillery shells," he said. Dube said it was wasteful for the region to spend billions of United States dollars purchasing military hardware from Western and Eastern European countries. He also said Africa was "becoming the most lucrative market for weaponry and other defence equipment, the bulk of which was imported from outside of Africa".

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