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Zimbabwe's land reform could destroy nation

Having survived the stiffest opposition challenge to his 20-year rule, President Robert Mugabe is accelerating his wreckage of Zimbabwe's agricultural economy.

It threatens famine and crises in banking and foreign exchange.

The violent farm seizures that preceded parliamentary elections in June, only narrowly won by Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, have evolved into a government confiscation program targeting 3,000 of Zimbabwe's 4,500 white-owned farms.

Farmers are being given 90 days to leave, without compensation, and their land is being resettled by blacks with no farming experience at all.

Mugabe claims, with some justification, that he is correcting a historical injustice, one that afflicts many former African colonies. Whites, who form 2 percent of the population, own a third of the arable land. It is up to Britain to compensate the descendants of its former settlers, he says, since his government doesn't have the money.

However, white-owned farms produce half of Zimbabwe's staple food, corn; most other crops such as soy and wheat, and the biggest foreign exchange earner, tobacco. They also provide jobs, schools and medical care for 700,000 black farm workers and their families, who are being thrown off the land along with their white bosses.

Thus Mugabe is adding to 60 percent unemployment.

So-called "war veterans" - many of them too young to have fought in the Rhodesian War that preceded Zimbabwe's 1980 independence - have already caused havoc by occupying 1,600 farms. The General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union says 5,000 black farm workers have been driven from their homes since February and another 10,000 are "in immediate jeopardy."

Wheat and tobacco harvests are down 25 percent and farmers cannot prepare for planting ahead of November rains because banks have cut off their loans.

The banks want guarantees that farmers will continue to own their land and harvest crops unhindered. And the Commercial Farmers Union concedes that farmers whose land is confiscated are unlikely to repay the loans they already owe, threatening the entire banking sector.

With foreign exchange only worth one day of imports, Zimbabwe had to devalue its dollar by 24 percent two weeks ago - from 38 to 50 per U.S. dollar. The devaluation is designed to boost exports, but South African analysts say it is too little too late to rescue an economy burdened with interest rates of around 70 percent.

A national strike Aug. 2 was observed by 80 percent of Zimbabwe's workers, showing how unpopular Mugabe really is in urban as well as rural areas. But he won the backing of his neighbors at a summit of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community.

African leaders lauded Mugabe's efforts "to address land hunger" in his country, condemned "biased reporting" of his land grab by the Western media and a U.S. Senate bill that would suspend aid to Zimbabwe unless he halts the land seizures.

They had good reason for doing so. For Mugabe's land seizures have touched a sensitive nerve in other former colonies still struggling with land reform.

In South Africa, where whites are a 15 percent minority, 85 percent of the land still is in white or government hands. President Thabo Mbeki acknowledged the disparity in June, saying: "Our people have a responsibility to recognise the fact that the land question constitutes an important part of the national agenda. If we do not address it, we will experience an enormous and angry explosion by those remaining disadvantaged."

In Namibia, independent since 1990, about 44 percent of large commercial farms are owned by the descendants of German colonials. The government has vowed not to copy Zimbabwe's land seizures, but wants Germany to contribute to a land acquisition fund as compensation for land stolen during the Herero Wars of the early 1900s.

In Kenya, veterans of the Mau Mau rebellion are demanding $90 billion in damages from the British government for land "stolen" by settlers and "atrocities" committed in the war that preceded independence.

Yet Kenya's colonial legacy is one of rich tea and coffee plantations and game parks that draw tourists from around the world. If nearly half its people live below the poverty line, whose fault is that?

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The Independent - Challenging Government's Moral Right to Rule

ZANU's Mandate? Or is there one?!

Tony Reeler

NOW that the government has been formed and parliament has begun, we can
see what needs to be done. First and foremost is a clear understanding of
the election process, for it is this understanding that will determine the
moral platform for the government: this will establish whether this
government has both the moral and legal mandate to rule. So let us look at
the election.

All reputable observers have made the comment that the election was
seriously flawed by the pre-election violence, and most have placed the
blame for this violence on Zanu PF -- both the party and its mercenaries,
the war veterans. Murder, torture, rape, mass psychological terror, forced
attendance at political meetings, forced renouncing of political
affiliations, destruction of property and belongings, and internal
displacement are all documented.

These are not assertions, but based upon the testimony of the victims, and
independently verified by the free press. Making low-intensity war upon
your political opponents is no longer considered good democratic practice,
and all observers are in no doubt that this is what ZanuPF did. The blatant
propaganda of the state media that the Commonwealth Observer Group approved
the election are at complete variance with the actual report that condemned
the pre-election violence and placed the blame fairly upon Zanu PF.

The electoral process proved no less unsatisfactory. The polling days were
largely free of violence, but the combined efforts of the registrar-general
and the attorney-general made it near impossible to achieve the standard of
regulation that was required by the Electoral Supervisory Commission. There
were many serious irregularities that flawed the electoral process: the
near-impossibility of obtaining copies of the electoral roll, the arbitrary
changes of regulations that undermined the whole process of monitoring, the
denial of open-air time for political parties on TV and radio, and the
blatant use of state resources by the ruling party all need to be evaluated
for their contribution to the overall result. All were noted by the various

When all these facts are put together, there can be little doubt that the
moral underpinning for this new government is missing. The election was won
by mostly foul means, and this cannot now be overcome by creating a new
cabinet of "technocrats": good governance cannot come from a flawed
election, which is the basis for the United States Senate and Congress
considering passing the Zimbabwe Democracy Act.

A government created through a process of wiping out the opposition and
interfering with all the basic freedoms necessary for free and fair
election cannot be considered to have a moral mandate to rule. It should
not therefore be rewarded by uncritically giving it a place amongst the
other civilised nations of the earth.

The Zimbabwe Democracy Act is simply a sticks- and-carrots response to bad
governance, and little different to the responses of most democratic
nations to our nasty little election. Many nations are revising their
relationships with Zimbabwe, and the terms of their revisions seem little
different to that proposed by the United States.

However, whatever the international community decides should be done with
Zimbabwe, there remains the issue of what we Zimbabweans should do
ourselves. How shall we as Zimbabweans regain the moral dignity that has
been thrown into the gutter by Zanu PF?

The first steps are already in process with the challenges to the results.
This takes the problem back to the courts and is an attempt to reassert,
through the rule of law, the grounds under which elections should actually
take place. It is also implicitly an attempt to reassert the power of the
courts, so sullied by pre-election events as well as the ugly clashes over
the rule of law last year. It is finally adherence to the rule of law that
determines the moral standing of a government.

We can have no doubt that many results will be overturned, and, during this
process, we shall see how independent analysis deals with the claims of
Zanu PF that this was a free and fair election. We may even see the MDC
move from opposition to government-in-waiting!

However, challenges in the courts to electoral irregularities will not be
enough, for, although we may see the government lose those seats that it
did not deserve, it will not wholly restore the situation created by the
violence. Much more is needed. We need a proper accounting for the violence
and an end to the practical impunity that so characterises Zanu PF rule.

The current allegations have been far too serious for the mere criminal
investigations suggested by Commissioner Chihuri: the serious allegations
of the state's involvement in the violence cannot be addressed by
investigation of individual cases alone. Moreover, the partisan position
adopted by the ZRP during the whole period of both the farm invasions and
the elections provides no basis for confidence in the usual criminal
process. We need an independent -- and not appointed by the president --
judicial commission.

Perhaps parliament should appoint this commission. It is clear to all that
we are not dealing with isolated instances of violence, but with a
sustained low-intensity war based around militia groups with at the least
the approval of the president and the government.

However, we can have no confidence that this government will do anything
like a proper accounting, so we will have to take action ourselves. This is
a fair assertion based on the evidence of Gukurahundi, the food riots, the
pardoning of convicted criminals, and even the failure to prosecute the
torturers of Mark Chavunduka and Ray Choto.

The calls for a judicial commission of inquiry have been made by all
reputable observer groups, but these calls have always fallen upon deaf
ears in the past and there is no reason to believe that it will be
different this time. Perhaps it will be even more difficult this time, for
the stakes are much higher and the possibilities of identifying the
perpetrators much better than in the past.

In order to counteract the usual impunity practised by Zanu PF, three
immediate courses of action suggest themselves: class legal actions against
the war veterans and Zanu PF on behalf of farmers, farm workers, and all
the other victims of organised violence and torture. Again to use the
courts and the rule of law to provide remedies for the wrongs inflicted in
the name of Zanu PF, and to re-establish the rule of law.

This will not be as satisfactory as a criminal tribunal, but will once
again test the moral worth of this government. A fair bet is that it will
be found wanting! Allied to these actions, both the electoral challenges
and the human rights challenges, civil society must come to some decision
about how the government is dealt with on the day-to-day level.

How you deal with a morally bankrupt government is not a new problem, and
we can learn from our cousins in South Africa from their struggle against
apartheid. It is not enough to rely upon court actions alone when
pragmatically the same immoral government will operate daily: to accept
this is surely to accept some basis for accepting its legitimacy, and this
seems contradictory in the face of the legal actions.

Civil society thus needs a strategy to provide support for the legal
actions. The first step is to begin a policy of non-cooperation in order to
make plain our moral condemnation of the election and its results. We deal
only with parliament and not the government, since parliament has at least
some members who were properly elected. The rationale is that the members
of the government, the ministers, are the visible manifestations of the
immoral process, and we should not condone the immorality by giving them
any credence.

It was thus highly appropriate for the members of the MDC to appear at the
opening of parliament with black arm bands and to maintain the moral
pressure. Civil society can continue this by stopping talking with
government qua government: we do not talk with ministers, except in
multilateral meetings of all stakeholders, and only then about the basis
upon which the government will restore the country to the rule of law and

How else do we deal with the lack of a moral basis for the government? If
we deal with Zanu PF in any serious fashion, do we not in some way validate
the election? In South Africa, civil society found new ways of confronting
the immorality by forming progressive organisations and only dealing with
government when those organisations gave a mandate to such dealings.

In practical terms, we stop inviting the government to our meetings, to our
workshops, and to our conferences. A very good method for dealing with
moral impropriety is shun the moral offender, and we should shun the
government. Actually, we should do internally what the international
community may do externally!

We then only deal with government through the civil service. All
substantive issues governing public life and policy we take to the relevant
ministry, and require the civil servants to do their job. We require the
civil service to become the neutral organisation that it should be,
concerned only with the technical implementation of policy according to the
law and regulations.

We use the law to ensure that civil servants do their jobs properly, and we
seek disciplinary action through the courts when they do not. For example,
Commissioner Chihuri should currently be in gaol for refusing to comply
with a court order in respect of the farm invasions. The ZRP have generally
shown a partisan attitude, either by action or by inaction, and we should
force them to obey their constitutional duty under the law and the penalty
of the law. Further- more, we take our political concerns to parliament or
to individual MPs on a constituency basis: we by-pass a morally-compromised

We then begin to deal with the policies of a morally-bankrupt government
step by step. We must ask our compatriots in industry, commerce and finance
to assess with us these policies. We accept only those policies that are
consensually agreed to be for the good of the country, and refuse all those
that can be seen to benefit the government alone.

For example, it becomes a serious issue, as it did in South Africa, how
industry, commerce and finance act in respect of an immoral government. Is
it acceptable to underwrite government debt as the banks have done for
Noczim and Zesa? It will become very important for the private sector to
decide whether any policy is truly in the interests of the country, or
whether it is mostly in the interests of getting the government out of the
moral pit it has dug for itself.

This may all sound very conflictual, but it merely recognises that we are
well into a conflict already, a war inflicted upon us by Zanu PF. We are
merely trying to end this war by peaceful means, by democratic means. We
restore the moral balance by taking responsible civil action against the
harm that this government does.

We also counteract the propaganda of the state-controlled press and media
by boycotting them. We give no news, interviews or statements to these
organs of untruth since it becomes increasingly difficult to accept the
systematic inculcation of ignorance by the state press and media.

We must use our own civil society constituencies to give the truth to the
populace until such time as the airways are free and the press print no
propaganda. We have been forced to do this already, and we should take
heart that this has been effective. Democracy requires a free press and
media, and we have this only in part: we need the TV and radio to be free
to complete the process.

We cannot now, after all that has happened, merely go on pragmatically. We
cannot simply say after the election that Zanu PF won and life goes on.
This will be to validate the most gross impropriety and give a moral basis
for this government to rule. When Ian Smith declared UDI, the choices were
moral choices for this nation: to support UDI or not was a moral choice,
and thus war became a moral choice. We do not have to reduce ourselves to
such a terrible choice, for we can deal with the current problem both
peacefully and democratically.

The choice before us is not what America or the EU does in the wake of this
foul election, but what we do ourselves. Democracy is what we make it: it
does not come as a prescription from on high. We must force accountability
and adherence to law upon the lawless. We must use the tools of democracy
to make a democracy, or else we continue to live with autocracy and outlaws.

Civil society has already shown the way, and it now remains for the wider
Zimbabwean society to take up the challenge and restore the moral balance.
Peace requires justice; justice requires the rule of law; and the rule of
law requires political action.

The political action we take can be both moral and peaceful, and we can
show this government how to return to the paths of justice.

Tony Reeler is clinical director of Amani Trust.
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A meeting of Farmers' Association Chairmen and representatives was held at
CFU headquarters today. 65 people were present, of whom 42 were Farmers'
Association Chairmen.
The meeting fully discussed the issues facing commercial farmers over land
invasions and acquisition notices, and the CFU's decision to withdraw
litigation in order to create an atmosphere for meaningful dialogue and
solutions. The CFU leadership was given unanimous support for its decision
to withdraw litigation so that it could continue to negotiate with the
relevant authorities.  The CFU was given a mandate to re-implement
litigation if believed  necessary.

A further 229 properties have been published in the press as to be acquired,
and this will likely be confirmed in a Government Gazette in due course. At
this stage there is no other list available or for observation at the


Centenary - The work stoppage on Mutua Estate has been resolved. Labour on
Ria Dora Farm evicted war vets from the farm village, and as a result farmer
was threatened, but the situation was resolved after negotiations with the
Horseshoe - Police have resolved the work stoppage on Nyamfuta Farm.
Mvurwi - Dandejena Farm was officially handed over yesterday by His
Honourable Border Gezi and Nobbie Zhinzhi with ZRP in attendance.
Mutepatepa - A man claiming to be a Zanu PF candidate for Mashonaland
Central visited Piedmont Farm on Tuesday evening. He would only speak to the
foreman and told him to tell the owner that he wanted to have a meeting on
Saturday at 12 p.m. with the labour of Piedmont, Tarlington, Chenenga, Munzi
and Felton to inform farm labour of which farms are going to be taken.  The
owner of Piedmont was requested to let the other farm owners know.
Harare West/Nyabira - The owner of Somerby Farm was visited last night by
approximately 12 to 15 semi aggressive men, who forced the owner to sign the
right of land over to them.  Weapons were seen in one of the vehicles by the
owner. The same men visited Lone Pine Farm and wanted to meet with the
owner, who managed put them off by saying they could meet him in his Harare
office in the morning. He has not seen them so far.  Police were informed of
both incidences and while Police were there, automatic gun fire was heard.
Police investigated but reluctantly.   A domestic worker on Border Estates
was assaulted and evicted by war vets.  He has been siding with the war vets
since they arrived and they are now taking out their frustration on him and
blaming him for their being told to cease building operations.

Marondera - The war vets ordered that all irrigation stop on Elmswood or the
owner will be killed. The labour then tried to move the irrigation pipes and
again they were told to stop or the war vets would kill.  The Police visited
Monte Cristo but could not find the man who has made himself a hut.
Marondera North - On Dormavale and Chapunga the work stoppages continue
despite the presence of Support Unit.
Beatrice - On Welcome Home three invaders on foot and another five in a
Nissan went to the farm and intimidated the labour. The Police did react.
The owner reports the continued cutting down of trees and building. The
invaders then went on to Denby.
Harare South - :8-10 occupiers led by Machoko arrived on Kiledonan and
Musumbwirathe. On Scotbank two more huts have been built and the occupiers
called a meeting with the owner.
Featherstone - The area has been quiet for two days and it is believed that
it is to do with the launching of the fast track list that is due to take
place in Chivhu today sometime.
Wedza - On Rapako people from the Zana resettlement area stopped the ridging
operations yesterday and told the farmer that he was not to ridge because
the farm belonged to them. The Police were contacted . They had to be
collected from the station and came to the farm with no effect. The owner
then had to go back to collect the MIC, who again had no effect. The
occupiers then threatened the farmer with his life in front of the Police.
Support Unit arrived at 6:30pm. Nothing was achieved. The occupiers have
since then broken down a number of the ridges that had already been made.
The Police have still not reacted.
8 men approached one of the Wedza Farm Security guards on Shaka and demanded
that he stop patrolling around the farm as the farm belongs to them. On Dean
occupiers with dogs have broken into, and are resident in an unoccupied
manager's house.  An attempted stocktheft on Bitta was thwarted and the
cattle returned to the farm. Laural, Leap Year and Mbima have been occupied
and there are huts being built on the farm.  On Hull there is an increase in
activity. There are now 16 huts, and brickmaking and tree cutting are taking
place.  Last night an Angus bull was slaughtered on Poltimore and very
little remained of it other than its head.
Enterprise - There were work stoppages on Devonia and Nesilla Park which the
Police attended to.
Bromley/Ruwa - Four seedbeds on Xanadu have been slashed and the covers
broken. Police are attending to the matter.
On Drycott the police are attending to the illegal township building scheme.
Macheke/Virginia - Occupiers have issued threats on the guards on Metheven
who found them netting in the next door dam. The guards have run away. On
Murrayfiled occupiers are now removing the door and widow frames out of the
house that was burnt down a while ago. There are huts being erected in the
irrigated lands on Glen Somerset. The Police did attend to this but it has
flared up again.  The war vets are calling a complete work stoppage on
Chilinda and Twist. The owner of Castledene Pines was told to contact the DA
Murehwa which he did. He is allowed to grade and irrigate seed beds but
there is to be no land preparation. Occupiers on Virginia have stopped
ridging on the farm and have threatened to burn the tractor.
A direct death threat was issued to one of the farmers. Police will be

Nothing to report.

Chakari - One farmer removed some sticks of cut wood after the Police had
informed war vets on Monday that no more wood cutting is to take place.  The
war vets demanded the wood back from the owner, and a potentially
threatening situation was resolved when the Police arrived.  The Police
informed the farmer that he should give the war vets the wood back, as their
directive was now unclear and they would have to seek clarification.
Chegutu - Just Right has had the 5th brigade from Battlefields pegging, and
their fences repeatedly cut.  There is an influx of people onto Tiverton.

Masvingo East and Central - Shallock Farm was reoccupied this morning by 100
aggressive people. The owner's son and workers were burning firebreaks and
were told to stop. They did and moved to another section to begin burning
firebreaks again. One crowd followed them, were threatening towards the
labour and tried to pull the owner's son off the tractor. They threatened to
burn all the tractors and houses. Masvingo and Bikita Police have been
notified but have not yet reacted.
Mwenezi - The situation remains the same.
Save Conservancy - A big fire was reported on Mkwasine yesterday afternoon.
Gutu/Chatsworth - The situation remains the same.

Vumba - Merridowns Farm has been occupied. The war vets are intimidating the
labour and causing a work stoppage.

Nothing to report.

About a hundred people moved onto Worchestershire Farm. On 16 August they
moved off after intervention by the Provincial Governor. On 17 August the
farmer received a phone call informing him that he is to vacate his farn
Shurugwi - The owner of Beacon Kop Farm has been told to vacate the farm
within 24 hours.

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Dear Grower
May I ask you to pass this message on to all members of the Zimbabwe Tobacco
Association in your District.
I am well aware of the distress commercial farmers are experiencing with
farm invasions, intimidation and disruption to farming operations.  Added to
this untenable situation is the uncertainty over compulsory acquisition.

2000/2001 tobacco crop
Parallel with CFU we are communicating on a daily basis, through
Commissioner Chihuri and Deputy Commissioner Matanga, reports of persistent
work stoppages of preparations for next season¹s tobacco crop.  These faxes
are also copied to Home Affairs (responsible for the Police), Local
Government, Vice President Msika's office and the Ministry of Lands and
Agriculture to ensure that the police receive the necessary political
support in our endeavours to grow our core business crop of 160 to 180
million kgs. (see attached procedure to keep for reference).

We are also urgently seeking clarification on exactly which farms are to be
resettled before the rains in November 2000 so that all other farms, listed
or not, occupied or not, can proceed to grow the next crop, with backing
from their banks with normal seasonal finance, (ie presuming satisfactory

Government's Task Force on Land chaired by Minister Chambo, with Ministers
Mujuru and Made, informed the banks that they should support farmers for the
coming season unless they had received Section 8 Orders, even if they are on
any of the lists being compiled, including the 804 properties gazetted
recently for compulsory acquisition.

Subject to viability, ZTA members having difficulty securing seasonal loans
should approach ZTA via Chris van der Merwe of the Help Line (or Dave
Bradshaw in Chris's absence).
Growers issued with Section 8 Orders and/or Notices of Acquisition should
continue dealing with their lawyers and consulting CFU for advice.

Keep farming
For all of you who are able to do so, we urge you to grow your crops.  A
farmer with bare lands will have nothing to offer.  Our only chance is to
prove once again, as so many of us did in 1980, that we are dedicated to the
wellbeing of our country and to proving that we are indispensable to the
Your Councillors gave me their full mandate to ask all of you to unite in
solidarity and go out, as a man, to ridge on 15 August and to plant,
throughout the Districts, on 1 September. We hope you will communicate this
message to your workers and we hope you will inspire them to take part in
this positive national  demonstration of the intention of producers to
secure the survival of the country's tobacco industry.

Farmers have planted extra seedlings to assist those who have been unable to
plant their own, or who have had seed beds trashed by farm occupiers. Please
contact ZTA and we will do all possible to ensure that you have seedlings to
plant.  We are securing the full support of the Minister of Agriculture and
other relevant politicians to prevent disruption and we hope that this
positive message will be widely publicised and may help producers of other
commodities.  A farm not being worked gives the excuse to take it. We
believe that few Zimbabweans will destroy a crop in the ground.  We are
hoping to achieve the same respect for land preparation.  Cynics may say
that this may be our last stand, but I have confidence that we will succeed.
I also believe it is our only hope.  Confrontation has proved to be a dismal
failure and has served only to exacerbate the situation.  We have to change
the perception that farmers are sparring in the political arena, thinking
they can change the situation through threats.  Nobody has more to lose than
we do.

We have employed a second consultant to assist Chris van der Merwe on the
'Help Line'.  The banks are obviously very concerned at their high exposure.
However, more loans have been made over the last week or two and every
farmer's case is being considered.  Please contact ZTA and we will help with
cash flows, projections and negotiations with your bank manager. Keep in
touch with your bank.  All financial institutions are briefed on a regular
basis by ZTA's chief executive, Chris Molam, and we assure you that they are
sympathetic to your situation.  They have a vested interest in your
viability and success!

Despite all the intimidation, we farmers are still on our farms because we
have faith in our country.  This is not the time to lose heart.  Our
strength lies in being dedicated farmers.  Have the courage of your own
convictions and take a stand against negativity and talk of 'passive
resistance', 'strike action' and other ideas which only serve to irritate.
"If you shake the tree hard enough, you may not like what falls out of it."
Commercial farmers must unite at this time and help one another.  We are
working with the Commercial Farmers' Union and we ask you to give us time
and space to do our best.  We are not able to tell you every detail of our
negotiations and efforts, but we assure you that there is room for optimism.
If we do not come out of this positively, who will?  The country and its
people still depend on you for food and foreign currency earnings.    Most
sectors of the economy depend on the formal agricultural sector and if we go
down, so will many suppliers, manufacturers and service organisations, their
employees and their families.

A personal message
The politics of Africa are not the same as Whitehall or Washington and I
must repeat that confrontation will achieve nothing. When I step down from
office, I want to know that not one life has been lost through my actions
and that I have managed to make things a bit better for all of you.  There
is nothing I will not do to save lives, because, at the end of the day, your
farm is worth nothing if you lose the breadwinner.  There are no magic pills
and there weren't in 1980, but we have had 20 good years, and that is worth
fighting for.
I ask for your support and I ask you to hang in there.  We will ridge on 15
August and we will plant on 1 September.  We will make a positive stand as
the professional farmers we are.


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Financial Gazette 17 August 2000

DRC belligerents to appoint new facilitator
Suspended PTC boss snubs panel
Farmers stop work as govt keeps lid on new land seizures
Cabinet Files -- No job is permanent, Cdes
The Briefing -- DRC seen heading for long conflict, partition



Thursday 17 August, 2000

National Report

DRC belligerents to appoint new facilitator
David Masunda, Deputy Editor-in-Chief

SIX African countries involved in the civil war of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) have agreed to appoint a new facilitator for
the DRC's internal political dialogue, contrary to an official
communiqué which restated the leaders' support for Botswana's former
president Ketumile Masire, it was established this week.

Congo President Laurent Kabila has been scathing of Masire, appointed by
the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) as facilitator of the DRC's
internal political settlement, because he accuses him of bias and acting
"like a colonial governor".

Insiders to this week's marathon summit of southern and eastern African
leaders in Lusaka said a breakthrough on who should lead the Congo's
internal political dialogue emerged only after President Robert Mugabe,
unhappy with the slow progress of the meeting, asked for private talks
among the belligerent countries in the DRC.

All other heads of state, including President Frederick Chiluba, the
host chairman, and South Africa's Thabo Mbeki, were asked to leave the
room. The only leader not involved in the DRC conflict allowed to remain
was Mozambique's Joaquim Chissano, who assumed chairmanship of the
private meeting.

The various rebel groups fighting to topple Kabila were for the first
time allowed to participate fully in the talks. Three of the rebel
leaders - Ernest Wamba dia Wamba, Jean-Pierre Bemba and Emile Illunga -
attended the meeting.

It was after the departure of the other African leaders and
representatives of the European Union, the OAU and the United Nations
(UN) that Namibian President Sam Nujoma broke the impasse over Masire by
suggesting that another eminent African politician be sought to help
Masire over the internal party dialogue issue.

The six countries involved in the DRC war - Rwanda, Uganda, Angola,
Namibia, Zimbabwe and the DRC - agreed to seek a deputy for Masire and
the search is now on for the best candidate, diplomatic sources told the
Financial Gazette.

"There was a sharp split over the issue of Masire," one source said.
"The Kabila government came out strongly against him because they said
he (Masire) behaves like a colonial governor and has shown no respect
for the government in Kinshasa."

The sources said despite what was later reported in the communiqué read
by Chiluba, the private meeting made much more progress than was

They said some leaders had earlier hinted that Chiluba, who told a news
conference that he could not rule out sanctions against Kinshasa if
Kabila continued to sideline Masire, was partly to blame for the slow
progress of earlier talks that he had chaired. Another major
breakthrough made when the belligerents were left alone in Lusaka and
not reported in the official communiqué was the firm undertaking by
Kabila that he would immediately stop the bombardment by his soldiers
and allies of rebel-held territory in the Equatorial region, the sources

The private meeting of the DRC belligerents also agreed that all forces
retreat 15 km from the point of contact with each other, thereby
effectively creating a 30- km buffer zone that would prove crucial for
the ceasefire to be effective.

Rwanda went further and said it would move its forces 200 km away from
the battleground and gradually retreat towards Kigali, the insiders

Another achievement of the Lusaka meeting was agreement that a joint
military commission, established as part of the Lusaka ceasefire pact
last year, be the sole body to identify and neutralise rebels accused of
attacking Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda from the DRC.

"That was very critical progress made on the issue of the Interahamwe,"
said one source, referring to the rebel Hutu militia accused by Rwanda
and Burundi of launching attacks on them from the DRC.

By agreeing that the commission is the sole body responsible for the
neutralisation of the rebels, Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda effectively
removed any need for their presence in the DRC, Africa's third largest
country, the insiders said.

The sources said what was encouraging from the private meeting was that
for the first time Kabila and the rebels had talked directly to each
other and that there were signs there could be more "intercourse between
the rebels and the government".

Meanwhile, the United States has urged Kabila to give his full support
to the Lusaka peace process, telling him to desist from hindering the
work of Masire.

Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, the alternate US representative for special
political affairs at the UN, said the DRC government must also provide
requisite security guarantees to enable the UN to deploy peacekeepers.

African countries such as Nigeria and South Africa have already
indicated their readiness to deploy the peacekeepers if the ceasefire

Kabila has insisted on controlling the movements of the peacekeepers and
has barred them from deploying in government-controlled areas.

In a related development, Zimbabwe denied this week that Mugabe had read
the riot act to Kabila for deliberately delaying the peace process in
his country during the private Lusaka meeting.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba said Mugabe's statement in Lusaka
that he wanted "a fast-track" option for peace was not directed at
Kabila only but to all the belligerents, including his own government.

Zimbabwe has 11 000 troops in the DRC fighting for Kabila but there is
mounting pressure at home that they be withdrawn because of the huge
cost of their upkeep.

Although Harare has said Kabila pays for most of the upkeep of the
Zimbabweans, Zimbabwe says it still spends at least US$3 million a month
on the soldiers.


Suspended PTC boss snubs panel
Staff Reporter

THE crisis at the troubled Posts and Telecommunications Corporation
(PTC) deepened this week when the suspended chief executive, Brian
Mutandiro, refused to appear before a board-approved panel probing
charges that precipitated his suspension a month ago.

Sources said Mutandiro refused to appear before the committee because he
felt it was an illegitimate body made up of people "baying for his

"By appearing before the committee, he felt he would be legitimising the
process that is currently underway

to dismiss him from the corporation," a senior PTC official said.

"He also is very confident that the current board will be dismissed any
time from now and he is not afraid to snub it."

Mutandiro is understood to have appealed to influential politicians
against his sacking and also lobbied for the firing of the board,
chaired by businessman Moses Mashumba.

Mashumba this week referred all questions on Mutandiro to businessman
Nhlanhla Masuku, who is chairing the committee investigating the
suspended PTC boss. Masuku did not return messages left at his office by
this newspaper.

Senior PTC sources said it was inappropriate for Mutandiro to snub the
board. "Even if there is no love lost between him and the board, he
should still have presented his case before the committee," one said.

"He has now given the board an opportunity to proceed to fire him unless
the board itself gets fired now."

Speculation was rife this week that Transport and Communications
Minister Swithun Mombeshora had already identified a new board for the
PTC and would fire Mashumba's team soon.

But Mombeshora dismissed this, saying he had neither identified a new
board nor was he contemplating dismissing the one headed by Mashumba.

"I think there are people spreading these rumours either because they
are anticipating that something will happen and want to stop it from
happening or simply because they want to encou-rage certain things to
happen. I have not appointed any board," he said.

Mutandiro was due to be questioned on his role in the awarding of three
controversial PTC tenders and the granting of hefty pay increases to the
corporation's workers, which lifted the PTC's annual wage bill by 112
percent to over $4 billion.


Farmers stop work as govt keeps lid on new land seizures
Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE'S commercial farmers say growing uncertainty is gripping the
sector because of the government's failure to release a new list of
farms it is targeting for resettlement, a development which has forced
farmers to stall production.

The government announced three weeks ago it was acquiring an extra 2 237
farms on top of more than 800 others it had already earmarked for
seizure earlier this year, but the list of the farms

to be acquired and the criteria to be used have not been made public.

The government intends to use the extra farms to rapidly resettle
thousands of peasants ahead of the coming

rainy season, which starts around October/November.

Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) spokesman Steve Crawford said this week
the government's refusal to name the farms it intends to acquire had
created a confidence crisis which had forced some CFU members to
temporarily halt farming.

"Farmers are waiting for direction as of now, which means they cannot
plan nor work. Most of

the farmers are uncertain about their properties because the list of
extra farms to be acquired is still to be made public," he told the
Financial Gazette.

"Even banks say they are in a difficult situation to provide finance for
this season's cropping because there is concern over security of tenure
on most farms," he added.

Land preparation for planting major cash crops, which is underway, had
already been severely disrupted by independence war veterans who have
seized more than 1 600 farms since February.

Most individual farmers are expected to challenge the latest acquisition
of their farms, a development that is likely to lead to long-running
legal battles.

Massive disinvestment in the sector, Zimbabwe's economic mainstay, is
likely to occur as the government moves to issue notices of acquisition
of the farms.

Under the amended Land Acquisition Act of 2000, the government can
forcibly acquire land without paying compensation except for
improvements made on farms and if money is available.

Crawford said despite earlier statements by the government, the veterans
still remained on farms, and described the situation there as generally
quiet. But there had been reports of skirmishes between farmers and
veterans in Macheke district in Mashonaland East.

In a dramatic about-turn last week, the CFU withdrew court cases it had
lodged against President Robert Mugabe, Police Commissioner Augustine
Chihuri and the Zimbabwe War Veterans' Association and its leader
Chenjerai Hunzvi on the roles they have played in the farm invasions.

The CFU said the decision to drop the cases was aimed at creating an
atmosphere conducive to dialogue among the major players involved in the
land reform exercise.

The wave of invasions has resulted in the deaths of five white farmers,
a policeman and a farm foreman. Scores of farm workers have been
harassed and assaulted. Some claim to have been gang-raped by the
marauding mobs.

Farming industry sources say the CFU, by dropping its court cases,
expects the government to move all veterans off the farms, a development
most analysts say is unlikely because Mugabe says he will not do so
until his supporters are given the land.

Analysts say the move by the CFU was ill-conceived and will not yield
the desired results, pointing out that previous talks involving Mugabe,
the farmers and the veterans had failed to end lawlessness on the farms.

Mugabe accuses white commercial farmers and their workers of supporting
and bankrolling the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which
narrowly lost the June 24-25 parliamentary election to the governing
ZANU PF party.


Cabinet Files

No job is permanent, Cdes

DEAR Cabinet & Politburo Members

You will forgive me for not being communicative in the past two weeks or
so, but then the pressures of forming and running a government of
newcomers and my own ever present state duties have kept me busier than

After listening to many but muffled complaints from most of you on my
Cabinet appointments, I felt I should take the unusual step of
explaining why I did that, which is clearly not understood by those who
have not had occasion to occupy my high and yet unenviable post.

Cde Welshman, that good and old friend of mine and former schoolmate in
Matabeleland, has come out with his guns blazing after I dropped him
from the Cabinet.

He says I am treating him like a thief and a pariah because he refused
to support our strategies, including the decision to deploy independence
war veterans on farms and in rural areas to campaign for our party,
during the June parliamentary election.

Then you have Cde Eddison who speaks of being relieved at not being in
the Cabinet and says I have turned an otherwise democratic national
constitution into a nefarious instrument of oppression.

Yet still you have Cde Dumiso who will forgive but not forget his lost
youth while in detention. Then there are others such as Manicaland's
ex-governor Cde Kenneth who say I betrayed them after they voluntarily
resigned their lower posts in the hope that they would move up after the

Such has been the welter of criticism that I couldn't and cannot remain
silent because, in politics, some people may begin to believe these
untruths and half-truths if they are repeated over and over again.

First things first. While I generally sympathise with most colleagues
who now find themselves without regular income because they lost their
jobs, it must be pointed out that it is my prerogative to appoint
Cabinet members.

Pure and simple.

In the aftermath of the near-defeat of our party in the election - I
have no doubt this was caused by too many failed promises and sheer
incompetence among some of us - I had to shake up the ranks in line with
the nation's changing mood, not least because my own job is on the line
in a short two years' time.

Mind you, most of you had already been branded deadwood by our own
people and I simply had to act to breathe new life into a system where
some comrades had begun to look upon ministerial positions as permanent

I am afraid there is no permanent job anywhere in the world, let alone
in the fluid world of politics.

Second, I find it strange that any senior party member and one who is in
charge of a province would find it difficult to support the party's
collective decisions.

As I have indicated in the past, any member is free to come and go
anytime if he or she feels that our policies have become untenable, and
I expected nothing less after the election, hence my action against some
of you.

But most importantly, I had a most difficult task in deciding who should
be rescued from political oblivion after too many of you were swept away
by the tide of the people's anger during the poll.

Notwithstanding this fact, I still helped out a few of our comrades
within the limits of my constitutional powers. Thus in came stalwarts
who had been destined for the wilderness such

as Cdes John, Emmerson, Oppah, David and Timothy, to mention but a few.

Cde John especially should be somewhat relieved that he gauged the
people's mood correctly and did not stand in the election because,
judging by the MDC's land-slide victory in Matabeleland, he would have
been history.

I will, of course, try to find diplomatic postings for a few more
colleagues, but there is clearly a limit to what even I can do, moreso
when we are under increasing public pressure to cut our unsustainable

I hope and trust that this letter lays to rest all the unfounded
accusations and half-truths needlessly levelled against me and that,
from now on, we will all start pulling together as a more cohesive and
coherent team.

We have such a mammoth task ahead of us in 2002 we cannot afford
divisions that only play into the hands of our political rivals.

Kindest regards.




The Briefing _

DRC seen heading for long conflict, partition
Buchizya Mseteka

JOHANNESBURG - Congolese President Laurent Kabila's refusal to revive a
peace pact could doom his country to prolonged conflict or even
partition, analysts said this week.

Worse still, they said, the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo would stunt economic development and deter badly needed foreign
investment in Africa, the world's poorest and most war-ridden continent.

Talks called to revive the peace accord ended in failure earlier this
week after Kabila refused to yield on two key issues: deployment of
United Nations troops in the country and acceptance of ex-Botswana
leader Ketumile Masire as organiser of all-party internal talks on the
future of the former Zaire.

"We can now prepare ourselves for an escalation of hostilities in the
Congo," Herman Hannekom, a political analyst and former South African
ambassador to the Congo, said.

"I am not at all surprised that the talks failed. Partition is now
becoming more and more of a reality even though this would be
internationally unacceptable."

A cocktail of rebel groups supported by troops from Burundi, Rwanda and
Uganda control the east and large parts of the north of Congo in a
stand-off with government troops, backed by Angola, Namibia and
Zimbabwe, who control the capital Kinshasa as well as the centre, west
and copper-rich Katanga province.

Rwanda's Tutsi-dominated army spearheaded a seven-month bush war that
toppled veteran dictator Mobutu Sese Seko and propelled Kabila to power
in May 1997.

The same forces pivotal to the success of Kabila's bid to overthrow
Mobutu's long-entrenched regime are now ranged against him in an ironic
reversal of fortunes.

With the failure of the Lusaka talks, diplomats warned that the nations
tilted against Kabila are now more likely to stick to their most
pressing need - the security of their borders.

This would mean, a senior African diplomat suggested, an effective
partition of the east and parts of the north of the country where
Interahamwe Hutu militia and other rebel groups fighting Rwanda, Burundi
and Uganda are still active.

"Kabila, through his defiance, is in fact playing into the long-term
plans of his enemies," the diplomat said.


Another scenario mooted is that full-scale fighting breaks out across
front lines in the former Belgian colony.

This would put Kabila's only hope of survival more than ever
precariously in the hands of his southern African allies whom he has
rewarded with a share in Congo's massive copper, diamond and other
mineral wealth, according to industry sources.

"Money and personal relationships (within the alliance) are keeping
Kabila going and keeping the alliance together," said Richard Cornwell
of the South Africa Institute for Security Studies.

Hannekom added: "Commerce is playing a huge role in the Congo alliance.
It has ensured links within the alliance last."

Although Zimbabwe and Namibia have heavily reinforced forward positions,
many military analysts doubt how effectively they can wage war further
from their rear supply bases.

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is also facing mounting domestic
opposition to his Congo intervention at a time when his country's
economy is crumbling amid growing internal tension.

Zimbabwean troops helped Kabila foil a rebel takeover of the capital
Kinshasa in August 1998. But new fighting would require additional
reinforcements, supplies and logistics from home - a move that would
further weaken Mugabe domestically.

The economic crisis facing Zimbabwe is the worst since independence from
Britain in 1980. Inflation, interest rates and unemployment all top 50
percent. Food and fuel shortages loom.

Diplomats and analysts say Angola's involvement on Kabila's side in
Congo's western corridor will always be guaranteed given the continuous
threat to the ruling MPLA from UNITA rebel foes.

Regional chaos

All in all, the news from the Congo is bad news for Africa.

Analysts and diplomats say the chaos will retard economic development
and deter foreign investment across Africa.

"Investor confidence will suffer tremendously. This chaos in the Congo
is going to have a negative spin on the whole region," Hannekom said.

The Congo and another long-lasting conflict in Angola and political
turbulence in Zimbabwe are bound to scare off foreign investors needed
to spur growth in a region rich in potential and resources but racked by
seemingly intractable conflicts.

The World Bank says the 14 members of the Southern Africa Development
Community, excluding Swaziland and Seychelles, lured only US$852 million
in direct foreign investment in 1995 - 0,46 percent of

the region's gross domestic product.

That figure rose to US$2,6 billion in 1997 or 1.5 percent of gross
domestic product, excluding the Congo, Seychelles and Swaziland - still
a small fraction of that seen in most emerging economies.

- Reuter
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August 18, 2000

Dear Ms. Goss:

Thank you for your E-mail of August 2, 2000, concerning the situation in
Zimbabwe.  The Prime Minister has also forwarded to me a copy of your letter
on this issue.

Canada is very concerned about the events in Zimbabwe and would like to see
a resolution to this conflict, which has already involved the loss of life.

Canada looks upon Zimbabwe as a country with a tradition of strong legal and
democratic institutions, and so is dismayed at the land invasions by war
veterans and the risk of escalating and widespread violence.  Although
Canada recognizes the need for land reform and redistribution in Zimbabwe,
we strongly believe that this should be undertaken in an orderly,
transparent and accountable way, which is clearly not now the case.

A principal concern of Canada is with the Government's inactivity in
enforcing the law as well as with the passivity of the police when facing
threatening political situations.  Canada has expressed its dismay at the
rash of land invasions and escalating violence, and called upon the
Government of Zimbabwe to respect the rule of law and to ensure that the
rights of all Zimbabwean citizens are fully protected.

As you are aware, the key recent event in Zimbabwe has been the June
parliamentary elections.  Canada supplied election observers- both through
the Commonwealth Observer Group and separately- because we felt that
observers did help lessen the tendency towards violence and encourage
Zimbabweans to vote.  I am including below a statement from the Commonwealth
Observer Group and a report from the Canadian/New Zealand Observer Team for
your information.

While Canada remains concerned about the intimidation and violence during
the electoral campaign, we were pleased that the Zimbabwean people were not
deterred and, in fact, turned out in impressive numbers to vote for the new
parliament.  We will continue to watch events closely, as a lack of regard
for the rule of law has been evident in Zimbabwe over the past several
months.  This continues Canada's promotion of human rights and good

I appreciate your concern with this issue and thank you again for writing.


Lloyd Axworthy

Interim Statement by the Chairperson General Abdulsalami Abubakar

I said when I arrived in Zimbabwe:

Our presence here is an act of solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe.  In
the case of the Commonwealth such solidarity has been strong - through the
liberation struggle and into independence the Commonwealth has stood by the
people of Zimbabwe.

It is in that spirit of solidarity that the Commonwealth Observer Group
approached its observation of these elections.  It is in that spirit that I
am today presenting this Interim Statement.

The Commonwealth set up an office in Zimbabwe for the 24-25 June 2000
Parliamentary elections on 15 May.  An Advance Group of Commonwealth
Observers arrived on 28 May and were deployed on 30 May.  The main group of
Observers arrived on 9 June and deployed on 14 June: from this point until
the close of the counting we have had twenty-two teams of two observers
covering each of Zimbabwe's ten provinces, including its major cities.  Our
teams have travelled widely throughout the country meeting with electoral
and party officials, representatives of civil society and the people of
Zimbabwe.  I myself have visited seven of the provinces plus Harare and
Bulawayo and have spoken with Zimbabweans from all walks of life.

The mandate of the Observer Group was "to consider the various factors
impinging on the credibility of the electoral process as a whole and to
determine in its own judgement whether the conditions exist for a free
expression of will by the electors, and if the elections reflect the wishes
of the people".  This has meant that we have had to examine not only how the
elections were conducted on the polling and counting days, but also the
pre-election period and the climate in which the elections have been staged.

We found there were shortcomings in the election preparations and
arrangements.  We would draw attention, in particular, to the inability of a
substantial number of electors to cast their ballots, inconsistencies in
polling day procedures, last-minute changes to the electoral laws, and the
late accreditation of the domestic election observers.  These matters will
be detailed in our final report.

Taking the process as a whole, we note with concern the failure of the
media, and notably the state-controlled broadcast media, to provide balanced
pre-election coverage.

However, our major concern during the time we have been in Zimbabwe has been
the nature, duration and scale of politically-motivated violence and
intimidation.  This violence and intimidation was most serious in some rural
areas, where we have observed a climate of fear and uncertainty amongst the
people.  In some districts intimidation prevented open campaigning, notably
by opposition parties and candidates.

The picture is not uniform, but we can only conclude that incidents of
violence and threats have impaired the freedom of choice of the electorate.
We naturally deplore all such intimidation and violence, and we look to
those in authority in Zimbabwe to ensure that the rule of law is observed.

We hope that through our presence we, in the Commonwealth Observer Group,
have been able to make a positive impact on the lessening of political
violence in the final weeks prior to the elections.

We are acutely aware that this election and the response of the Zimbabwean
people mark a significant point in the development o f democracy in
Zimbabwe.  We recognise that these and other sound elements can be built on
for the future.

Our Group was greatly encouraged by the turnout of voters on the two polling
days, especially in the urban areas; and the fact that the voting was
generally calm, orderly and peaceful.  We commend the electoral and security
officials involved for their efficiency and effectiveness, and applaud the
spirit of co-operation amongst most party agents and officials at polling
stations and constituency centres.  The counting process was, we found,
commendably transparent.

Our final Report, which we will complete in Harare before the Group departs,
will provide greater detail.  On completion it will be submitted to the
Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will forward copies to the Government of
Zimbabwe, to the main political parties and to all Commonwealth Governments.

It remains only for me to say that I wish all the people of this great
country well.  I count it a privilege to have been present at this crucial
time in Zimbabwe's history.  We, in the Commonwealth Observer Group, hope
that the coming weeks will see a process of national reconciliation take
hold, and I am confident that the whole Commonwealth will wish to go forward
from this point with you, the people of Zimbabwe, in the spirit of
solidarity which has characterised and enriched our relationship over the
years.  It is on the efforts of the people of Zimbabwe that the health of
your democracy relies, but we will continue to do what we can to help.

Zimbabwe Elections, 24-25 June 2000

The Canadian/New Zealand Observer Team consisted of four Canadian government
appointed observers (Monte McMurchy; Cecil Pereira; Brenda St.Clair and Gary
Thaler) and one New Zealand government appointed observer (Trevor Richards).

The team arrived in Zimbabwe on 17 June.  There was an intensive three-day
briefing in Harare, which included meetings with a number of political
parties (including ZANU-PF and MDC), War Veterans, the Commercial Farmers
Union, the Registrar General of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwean NGO's and local media

Team members were deployed on 21 June to Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland
East and Matabeleland South, where each team spent three days becoming
familiar with current local political and geographical conditions.  On the
two voting days, team members collectively visited 74 polling stations
distributed through seven constituencies to observe the electoral process.

The mandate of the Canadian/New Zealand observer group was to observe and
consider the factors impinging on the credibility of the electoral process
as a whole, to determine whether the conditions existed for a free
expression of will by the electors and whether the elections reflected the
wishes of the people.

Observations and Findings
Members of the team found that:
* abthe voting process was transparent;
* abpolling booth officials followed procedure; and
* abvoting day electoral logistics were effective and efficient.

Members of the team also found that:
* aba substantial number of citizens were unable to vote.  In the two
constituencies sampled, 13%-15% of qualified, document-carrying citizens who
arrived to vote were not on the voters roll;
* abthe governing party had access to monetary, physical and media
resources unavailable to other party candidates;
* abthere were shortcomings in the election preparations and
arrangements.  Election authorities lacked independence and in certain
cases, adequate resources (eg. The Electoral Supervisory Commission);
* abthere were last minute arbitrary changes to electoral practices
(eg. The introduction on 7 June of an electoral amendment requiring foreign
observers and monitors to pay registration fee in $US);
* abthere was an ongoing ambiguity surrounding the accreditation of
the domestic election monitors.

These were all matters for concern.

Of specific concern was the nature, duration and scale of politically
motivated violence and intimidation.  Over the time that members of the team
were in Zimbabwe, they observed and were advised of a wide range of examples
of such violence and intimidation.  The picture is not uniform, but it can
only be concluded that incidents of violence and threats have impaired the
freedom of choice of the electorate.

We consider that both the vote and the counting process were smooth, clean
and transparent.  Our group was greatly encouraged by the turnout of voters
on the two polling days, especially in the urban area; and the fact that the
voting was generally calm, orderly and peaceful.  We commend the electoral
and security officials involved for their efficiency and effectiveness, and
applaud the spirit of cooperation amongst most party agents and officials at
polling stations and constituency centres.  The counting process was, we
found, commendably transparent.

However, we also believe that the conditions did not exist for 'a free
expression of will by the electors', principally because of the nature,
duration and scale of politically motivated violence and intimidation
referred to earlier.

As to whether 'the elections reflect the wishes of the people', this
question is more subjectively nuanced, and therefore is able to be answered
with less precision.  We admired the impressive manner in which the people
of Zimbabwe have shown their determination to influence their destiny.
Without their courage, the elections would have been much less a refection
of the will of the people than was the case.

30 June 2000

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The Fast Track Land Reform Program

Released 17 August, 2000

Land Reform in Zimbabwe remains critical in view of the manner in which the
Zanu (PF) Government is abusing the same by using it as a propaganda tool
its attempts to further reproduce its unpopular and chaotic rule.  The
recently announced and much touted Fast Track Land Reform Program can only
be a recipe for disaster.  It is the intentions of the Government within
next three months to acquire 3 041 farms, representing well over 8 million
hectares of land.  The irony of this ambitious program is that it ignores
Zanu PF's fundamental failure.  In the past 20 years it has only managed to
acquire 3.5 million hectares of land and resettled 50 000 families.  This
was in any event during the period when the economy was reaching an average
growth rate of 3%, unlike the situation prevailing now when the Government
is absolutely broke and a negative growth rate of up to minus 3% will be

The Fast Track Land Reform Program will not work and it is a program
designed to hoodwink the public into thinking that the Government is now
once going to do something about land.  In the first place, it is
to acquire any farm let alone 3 041 farms in under two (2) months, if the
provisions of the Land Acquisition Act Chapter 20:10 are to be fully
complied with.  This the government ought to know, since of 1 471 farms it
designated on the 26 November 1997, none was ever legally compulsorily
acquired.  Thus the Government cannot lawfully acquire these farms within
the time available implying that it intends to use unlawful extra legal
means hence plunging this country into further anarchy.  Moreover there has
been no study and technical reports with regards to the implications of
acquiring 3 041 farms as opposed to the original 5 million hectares of land
which was to be acquired over a phased period of 5 years from 1998 to 2004.
What is clear then is that our people will be dumped on un-surveyed pieces
of land, in the middle of the bush, under circumstances where there are no
access roads, no social infrastructure, no support services and no capital
support.  This is not land reform, this is satanised Stalinisation of the
Land Reform Program.

More significantly, the Fast Track Land Reform Program will create havoc
with regards to the 500 000 or so farm workers that will be displaced and
who are already being displaced.  These people have a right to benefit from
the land reform program like every Zimbabwean.  They cannot be victims of a
puerile, facist program aimed at propping up a sinking regime.  In addition
the Government has failed to study and to take note of the implications on
GDP as a resultant reduced output arising out of the Fast Track Land Reform

In real terms commercial agriculture's contribution directly and indirectly
to the GDP is 40%, represented by at least 45 billion dollars.  In our
estimation, assuming constant prices, output should fall to 25.4 billion
dollars.  This weak economy ravaged by structural budgetary defects cannot
afford this.

In addition, no study has been done with regards to the indebtedness of the
targeted farms to financial institutions.  We estimate that of the 848
that were designated on 2 June 2000 and of the farms to be acquired, the
financial sector will be exposed to the extent of 19 billion dollars.
Surely it is foreseeable that domestic finance capital will collapse and
Zimbabwean regime seems oblivious of this.

Moreover the selection criteria of the new settles is highly subjective and
dubious.  It is myopic and self-serving to relegate the function of the
distribution of land to Provincial Governors, as opposed to expert
structures and committees given the illiteracy and partiality of these Zanu
PF governors.  The end product is likely to be as skewed as it is
unpalatable.  In short the Fast Track Land Reform Program is a fast track
disaster and economic suicide.  But then again, the Zimbabwean economy is
already dead.


Critical in the MDC Land Program is the restoration of the rule of law and
due process of the law.  The starting point of any land program must surely
be to define in concise and unmistakable terms the legal framework in which
land is acquired and distributed.  We believe that any future distribution
of land must be done in terms of a Constitutionally and defined Land
Commission so as to totally de-politicise the land question.  The
distribution of land must not be subject to the whims and discretion of an
Executive driven by political concerns.  The task of redistribution and
acquisition must be entrusted to a Land Commission duly set up in terms of
the Constitution and whose members must be Land experts of integrity with a
guaranteed security of tenure as is bestowed on members of the judiciary.
The Land Commission must be able to carry out the function of acquisition
and distribution based on the principle of need and ability as opposed to
one of greed and accumulation which is the hallmark of the Zanu PF land

Any Constitution must recognise the state's power to acquire land
compulsorily subject to compensation.  Surely, any serious Government must
set aside public sector funds to be channeled towards land reform.  However
domestic resources alone are not sufficient and indeed the international
community has a role to play.  It is worthwhile to note that the
international community and in particular the United Kingdom made certain
undertaking at the Lancaster Constitution Conference and at the Land
Conference in September 1998.

Apart from restoring the rule of law and establishing a clear scientific
legal framework the MDC Land Reform Program must be aimed at democratising
and liberalising the skewed racial imbalances and ownership patterns.  The
situation in which 13 million hectares of land is owned by 4 600 white
farmers is unacceptable.  Thus the ownership patterns must be democratised
by acquiring at least in the mid term 5 million hectares of land to be
redistributed to new and emergent black farmers to be resettled in Model A2

The third and major objective of the MDC Land Reform Program is to address
purely and simply the question of land hunger and land pressure.  Thus part
of the above 5 million hectares of land as well as the substantial pieces
commercial land already owned by the state must be channeled towards the
Model A1 and the Three Tier settlements.

Finally and perhaps most importantly the object of any MDC Land Reform
Program must be aimed at totally destroying the dual economy that exists in
this country.  At least 19 million hectares representing at least 48% of
land in this country is communal lands that is being used in sub standard
and sub scientific levels.  Since land is not an infinite resource the
challenge of any land reform program must be to transform those 19 million
hectares of land and capture them into the formal economy through a serious
program of public sector investment.  The non-existent urbanisation pace
must simply be accelerated to perhaps 200 000 persons per year.

This is not a pipe dream.


The above process is a scientific program that requires dedication,
commitment and the political honesty that cannot be found in Zanu PF.

Only a new Government, an MDC Government, will have the capacity, ability
and mobility of solving the land question once and for all.


MDC Support Centre
8th Floor, Gold Bridge

Guqula Izenzo/Maitiro Chinja

"We call upon the government to restore law and order in the country and
immediately stop the violence being inflicted on MDC supporters and
people" (Gibson Sibanda)

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Zvobgo and Mudenge are deliberately misleading the world into believing
that the Zimbabwe Democracy Act calls for sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Nowhere in the Act is the dreaded word SANCTIONS mentioned. For those in
Zimbabwe who have not read the Act, please do so! It was printed in
Thursday's "Daily News", and should therefore be available on-line from
them (e-mail editorial@dailynews.co.zw).

The ZDA begins by noting with concern the lack of democracy existing at
present, and lists its findings : the breakdown of the rule of law, the
pre-electoral violence, the excessive power of the president, the cost of
the DRC involvement, etc.

Its intention is undeniably to promote democracy in Zimbabwe: "STATEMENT OF
POLICY- It is therefore the policy of the United States to support the
people of Zimbabwe in their struggles to effect peaceful, democratic
change, achieve broad-based and equitable economic growth, and restore the
rule of law."

It does not seek to "overthrow the legitimate government", and it
specifically mentions that all US funding for basic human needs (e.g.,
social, housing and health programmes) will CONTINUE. What will stop is any
further funding direct to the ZanuPF government for the simple reason that
government is not promoting democracy or protecting human and civil rights
- what US funding will be targeted at in future. Funding for government
would only resume when government proves that it has restored the rule of
law and permits opposition forces their democratic rights. The fact that
ZanuPF is ranting and railing against this Act is an admission on their
part that they do not promote democracy, that they do not intend to restore
the rule of law or allow citizens their democratic rights. On the issue of
"interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state", I would like
to quote Carlos Lopes of UNDP (Resident Representative here until 10 days
ago) in his farewell speech, who reminded us of the difference between
being neutral and being apolitical or non-partisan. He pointed out that no
decent human being can justify remaining neutral when s/he sees gross
violation of human rights or gross injustice. There comes a time when one
is duty-bound to intervene, but other nations have a duty to remain
apolitical in their intervention.

This is the stance of the American promoters of this Act, and I believe
that they should be praised for their stand and their support for the
forces of good in this country.

Please let them hear your support, and please pass this message on to
everyone you know inside and outside Zimbabwe, URGENTLY. We must act
quickly to counteract the forces of evil.

Trudy Stevenson Secretary for Research and Policy, MDC
13 August 2000
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18 August 2000

One of the many wry comments we receive - this one from a fuel starved reader
"There is another well organised stay-away to start in Harare tomorrow.  This one is going to cost $1 billion to the whole country. It has been organised by the mismangement of the Zanu Pf goverment and Mugabe is going to blame it on the MDC.  Do you know what is it called? Diesel - stay away until it is available."
In today's issue :

From Reuters, 17 August

Zimbabwe Opposition Says Illegal Land Reform Risky

HARARE - Zimbabwe's opposition warned on Thursday that President Robert Mugabe's government would plunge the country into further chaos if it took illegal steps in resettling black peasants on seized white farms. ``The government cannot lawfully acquire these farms within the time available, implying that it intends to use...extra-legal means, hence plunging this country into further anarchy,'' Tendai Biti, land secretary of the opposition MDC, told a news conference. Mugabe has announced plans to take over nearly half the 12 million hectares (30 million acres) owned by about 4,500 white farmers. Last week the government began settling black families on 200 farms whose acquisition the farmers have not contested. On Wednesday the government said that before the start of the rainy season in three months' time it would have resettled landless peasants on about 100 farms in each of the country's eight provinces.

Biti also warned that the ``fast track'' resettlement approach would not allow the cash-strapped government to equip peasants with the means to farm the land, further undermining the key agricultural sector which contributes 20 percent to gross domestic product. ``Our people will be dumped on unsurveyed pieces of land, in the middle of the bush, under circumstances where there are no access roads, no social infrastructure, no support services and no capital support,'' Biti said, adding that Mugabe's land program made no mention of title deeds for resettled people. ``What the government is doing is sentencing people to perpetual subsistence,'' Biti said. ``If people don't have titles to land, how are they going to borrow from banks?''

The program would also displace about 500,000 farm workers and their families and threaten the viability of financial institutions exposed to targeted farms, Biti said. ``We estimate that the 804 farms that have been targeted for acquisition were indebted to about Z$5 billion (US$100 million) to financial institutions. Surely it is foreseeable that domestic finance capital will collapse,'' he warned. CFU President Tim Henwood said last week that the group of mostly white farmers was dropping a court application challenging the constitutionality of government plans to forcibly acquire white-owned farms to resettle blacks. He said the union was committed to working with the government on land reforms.

From The Daily News, 17 August

More than 800 affected by renewed reign of terror

AMANI Trust, a human rights organisation, says 898 people have been affected by political violence, perpetrated mainly by Zanu PF youths and war veterans since 26 June. In its report covering the period 26 June to 3 August released on Tuesday, the human rights watchdog said five people died from beatings and 232 were assaulted with weapons, burnt, shot and strangled. Eight people were raped, 125 displaced, 155 threatened with assaults, 18 abducted while 37 were threatened with death. The report said: "Accounts of assaults, property damage, death and assault threats have all increased in the last week."

Amani Trust said the displaced people are mainly MDC supporters who fled their homes when war veterans and Zanu PF supporters unleashed a reign of terror in their areas. It said among the displaced are 800 farm workers who were forced to leave their jobs after being threatened by war veterans. The trust said two deaths have been confirmed, one in Harare and the other in Bulawayo. Both were MDC supporters. The report said there had been little change in the political affiliations of victims and perpetrators. Zanu PF is alleged to be responsible for 75 percent of the cases involving violence and the ruling party's victims are only 2,41 percent of the cases. MDC supporters and officials are said to be responsible for 0,8 percent of the human rights violations recorded. The percentage of victims from MDC has decreased from 26,26 percent to 24,19 percent. There has been an increase in victims whose political affiliations are not known, which now stands at 74,19 percent from 70,7 percent.

From The Zimbabwe Independent, 18 August

Spouse anxious about fate of kidnapped husband

THE wife of Patrick Nabanyana, a member of the MDC kidnapped by war veterans before the general election, is anxious about delays in unearthing the truth about the fate of her husband. "I am worried," Patricia Nabanyana, told the Zimbabwe Independent. "This issue has taken too long. Will they find him alive? My children are also worried," she said. Patrick Nabanyana (53), the polling agent for the MDC Bulawayo South MP, David Coltart, has been missing since the afternoon of June 19. War veterans allegedly abducted him from his Nketa home. He was taken away after a brief struggle as the war veterans, some of whom had threatened him with death, told family members that they wanted him to answer questions.

His wife, who is self-employed, has suspended the cross-border trading business she has been engaged in since the disappearance of her husband almost two months ago. The Nabanyana's have six children aged from 18 years to nine months. Three of them are still at school while two school-leavers are unemployed. Patricia Nabanyana said despite receiving moral and material support from relatives and well-wishers, the emotional anguish was mounting as little information was filtering through on the fate of Nabanyana, an employee at one of Ingwebu Brewery's Taverns. "I wish to know what exactly happened to him," she said. "It has taken too long."

Police, acting on a tip-off, have in the past two weeks nabbed six war veterans linked to Nabanyana's disappearance. As despair began to set in on the chances of ever finding Nabanyana alive, the war veterans who appeared at the Western Commonage magistrate's court in Bulawayo last month have not been asked to plead. Among them is the Bulawayo chairman of the war veterans association, Cain Nkala, who has denied knowing the whereabouts of Nabanyana. Four of his associates, Ngoni Dube, Fackson Ndhlovu, Aleck Moyo and a Simon, were arrested on July 22 while Nkala was picked up two days earlier. The war veterans are all out of custody on remand after a court appearance at the end of last month.  "The information trail has dried up and we are relying on what the police say," said Coltart, the MDC's shadow minister for Justice who worked with Nabanyana during the run-up to the elections last month. Patricia commended the efforts made by the new group of police officers working on the case but was unhappy that the earlier group had not acted when Nabanyana's disappearance was first reported to them.

From The Star (SA), 17 August

Zimbabwe's fuel lies on Beira's docks

Harare - Millions of litres of fuel destined for Zimbabwe are stranded at Mozambique's port of Beira, oil industry sources said here, as a general upsurge in farm invasions continued with the abduction of another white farmer and his foreman. Officials from the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) confirmed on Wednesday that fuel had been offloaded from ships into storage tanks at Beira this week but could not be pumped into the pipeline to Zimbabwe because the government had no money to pay for it. The Noczim officials spoke as the parastatal's boss, Webster Murititirwa, told state radio that the country's fuel supplies had almost run dry.

Meanwhile, the CFU reported the abduction of white commercial farmer Koos Smit and his foreman, and a general upsurge in farm invasions and violence. Smit, owner of De Rust Farm in Nyazura, and his unnamed foreman were waylaid by 40 people on their way to another farm to start grading tobacco early on Wednesday. The CFU said police had managed to defuse the situation and the two had been released late on Wednesday. Zimbabwe's black rhino population and other endangered species could be at serious risk because of an increase in poaching in the wake of political unrest, the Worldwide Fund for Nature said in Switzerland, yesterday. It said poaching had increased in the six months since squatters began invading white-owned farms.

From News24 (SA), 17 August

World support for Zim 'unlikely'

Harare - International support for the beleagured Zimbabwe economy is unlikely without economic stability and recovery from a "perceived" negative international image, a top government official said Wednesday. "International support is unlikely to come back until certain fundamental issues are addressed," the Industry and International Trade Minister, Nkosana Moyo, said during the opening of a national export conference. Zimbabwe's economy and reputation have suffered in the wake of countrywide farm invasions by landless blacks pressing authorities to resettle them, he said.

Moyo urged government and the private sector to fill the "broad gaps" in society. Moyo said other issues included the southern African nation's status as a "net importer," which he said was responsible for the debilitating shortage of foreign currency here as imports continue to exceed exports. "We, all of us, are in this mess together," Moyo said during an upbeat address to business leaders and industrialists attending Wednesday's conference, which is expected to last two days. Government and the private sector have become increasingly polarised as economic conditions worsen in the country, and Moyo said the gaps were widening as each side tried to blame the other. He said his ministry has an "open door" policy, adding that a programme for economic recovery required input from the rest of Zimbabwe. "It's not a government programme, it's a national one," he said.

From The Zimbabwe Independent, 18 August

Mugabe loses control of Kabila

PRESIDENT Mugabe and his Sadc colleagues have lost control over the Congolese leader Laurent Kabila whom they now see as a stumbling block to peace in the war-ravaged country, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt. Government sources said Kabila has managed to free himself from Mugabe's grip which has caused a political fallout between the two erstwhile allies. Frosty relations between Harare and Kinshasa have threatened Zimbabwe's business deals in the DRC, the Independent has been told. It is understood Kabila and his advisors are now opposed to the exploitation of the DRC's mineral resources by foreigners. While no immediate details are available on which companies stand to lose, it is understood several important deals involving leading Zimbabwean businessmen are now on hold.

Sources who attended the abortive Lusaka summit this week confirmed that Mugabe has lost control of Kabila. Sadc leaders - including Mugabe who in the past has been seen as holding the whip hand - failed to convince him to change his position on the deployment of UN peace-keepers and accept Sir Ketumile Masire as internal dialogue facilitator. Kabila left the summit in a huff claiming it was his colleagues who had failed to grasp the meaning of UN resolutions. But he has now reportedly agreed to accept UN peacekeepers in exchange for the dumping of Masire.

Last week Kabila failed to attend the Windhoek summit citing "security reasons". But the real reason was to avoid confronting the issues that had been tabled for discussion, sources said. "The failure by Sadc leaders, especially President Mugabe, to convince him to change his hard-line stance was a slap in the face. It shows that Kabila is no longer prepared to be controlled by anybody," one diplomat told the Independent. DRC ambassador to Zimbabwe Dr Kikaya Bin Karubi however said Kabila was not under anybody's control. He rejected suggestions that he had ever been under Harare's direction. "President Kabila has never been under anybody's control. He is only answerable to the Congolese people. I reject that idea completely," Karubi said. "Sadc leaders came to our rescue following principles governing the organisation," he said. Asked whether Kabila would not be ousted if Zimbabwe withdrew its troops before the war ended, Karubi said: "I don't know. But even without our allies, we will still fight our own war. The Congolese will prosecute the war."

. . .

Observers said Kabila's behaviour was causing deep anxiety for Mugabe and Zimbabwe's military high command who had thrown everything into their gamble to ward off the rebel onslaught. Mugabe could ill-afford staying there any longer because of the deep unpopularity of the war at home. His recent public pronouncements are very different from the fist-waving of only six months ago and betray a keenness to get out as soon as possible. East African diplomats said they were not surprised by Kabila's latest approach. "Once he is out of danger Kabila will desert Mugabe. He has done it in the past. He is currently strengthening his army with the help of military instructors from other countries to stand alone," said a source close to the Lusaka talks.

From The Daily news, 17 August

Nkomo to move war vets off farms

The Minister of Home Affairs, John Nkomo, yesterday indicated that government would now start moving war veterans off commercial farms they have invaded since February. Nkomo told the CFU at a meeting in Harare yesterday police would soon start evicting war veterans from the farms as government moved in to restore law and order in the agricultural sector. The minister would, however, not say when the evictions would start. Tim Henwood, the CFU president, speaking after a meeting between the CFU and Nkomo, said the minister did not make concrete assurances. Nkomo, however, made an undertaking that he would bring back law and order as the minister responsible for the upkeep of the rule of law, said Henwood.

Yesterday's meeting was the second between the CFU and Nkomo within a week. Last Friday Nkomo, at another meeting, assured the CFU that law and order would be restored on the commercial farms and there would be no new invasions. Despite these assurances, invasions have continued with 48 farms being invaded since last Friday. "Nkomo assured us that the war veterans will do whatever the police will tell them but he did not specify when the war veterans would be moved out," Henwood said yesterday. Nkomo could not be contacted for comment last night, but this would be the first time he has promised to remove war veterans from the more than 1 500 farms they have invaded since February. Police and war veterans' leaders were not available for comment.

The Minister of Industry and International Trade, Dr Nkosana Moyo, attended yesterday's meeting. Henwood said the CFU briefed Moyo about the problems the war veterans were causing to the commercial farmers and apprised him on the inability of the agricultural sector to earn foreign currency this season and the next because of the invasions. The agricultural sector is a major foreign currency earner for the country. Between March 1999 and March this year tobacco earned about $21,4 billion, cotton lint $4,1 billion, horticultural exports $2,2 billion, sugar exports $1,4 billion and beef $1,4 billion. In a recent address to Parliament outlining measures to resuscitate the economy, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Simba Makoni, said the success of any moves to restore macroeconomic stability hinged on the restoration of law and order, especially in the agricultural sector.

Before his meeting with the commercial farmers, Moyo told the delegates at the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries exporters' conference that the controversy surrounding the land issue and lawlessness continued to plague Zimbabwe and was contributing immensely to the country's bad image internationally. "Moyo said: "The controversy which continues to plague the land resettlement exercise and the perception of lawlessness which, sadly, has become associated therewith, have not helped, and have contributed enormously to the undermining of Zimbabwe's good name and respected status within the international community. "We are all in this mess together. And that rather than concentrate on recriminations and finger-pointing about who is to blame for what, we must, all of us, concentrate on pulling together to pull ourselves out, and to place the economy and our country back on the path to recovery."

Moyo stunned the audience when he said international support was unlikely to come back to Zimbabwe until certain fundamentals had been addressed. War veterans and Zanu PF supporters intensified their invasion of farms soon after the parliamentary election in June, creating further uncertainty over the stability of agriculture at a time when farmers were preparing for the next season. "Government is fully aware of this and is working towards addressing those issues," Moyo said. "But things take time and, in the interim, we, Zimbabweans, have to do our utmost to keep going." Economic consultant Dr Peter Robinson, however, in his presentation said the minister was treating the lawlessness issue with kid gloves, saying he had heard the same sentiments expressed by other ministers before. Robinson said what was needed was concrete action.

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MEDIA UPDATE # 2000/30
Monday 7th August to 13th August 2000

·   Government's fast track land reform programme received unstinting event-coverage in      the public media with scarce and superficial analysis examining the consequences      and logistics of the exercise. Abundant and critical analysis dominated the private      press.

·   ZBC ignored the lively debate that dominated the new Parliament. The Daily News      coverage of the sessions favoured the MDC contributions, while The Herald and The      Chronicle reports appeared more balanced.

·   None of the media linked the breakdown of the DDF fleet to the land resettlement      programme, including The Herald and The Chronicle, which broke the story.

·   ZTV featured a denial by Matabeleland North Governor Obert Mpofu over a Press      story it never covered claiming that he said MDC supporters would not benefit from      land resettlement. Radio also wheeled out Vice-President Joseph Msika to defend      the governor. But Mpofu's remarks attracted the censure of the private press.      Zimpapers only mentioned it in passing.

·   The Daily News abandoned following up its lead story it carried about the kidnapping      and indecent assault of children at a commercial farm by a gang led by a war vet to      The Herald which also carried the story. ZTV weighed in with a biased denial from      the war vets and failed to correct the impression it gave that MDC "plants" were to      blame for the incident.

·   The strikes by PTC workers and security guards received some print media      attention. But in the electronic media, only radio consistently broadcast updates of      the industrial action. None of the media told the public what had happened to their      mail, or what sort of backlog had developed. And to make matters worse, when The      Herald quoted a PTC union leader as saying the strike was over, The Daily News      quoted him on the same day as vowing to continue the strike.

·   Apart from ZTV's slavishly loyal land propaganda campaign, The Standard exposed      itself to attack with its lead story, headlined "Chihuri must go" that relied entirely on      "highly placed sources".

The "fast track" land resettlement programme remained in the media spotlight in the week under review. All the dailies provided event reports of the process. Examples include:
     Msipa launches land programme (The Herald, August 8)   
   600 families to be resettled on 200 farms (The Chronicle August 10)
     Resettlement gets into top gear (The Daily News, August 7)
     33 families resettled in Lower Gweru (The Daily News, August 10)
Like ZBC's coverage, the publicly owned press reported the land resettlement programme as an overwhelming success without examining the consequences and problems arising out of its implementation, such as the impact on the economy, lack of basic amenities, and the displacement of farm workers, among other issues. Nor did the public press question the feasibility and logistical problems likely to be faced as a result of the speed of implementation.
The privately owned press carried a variety of stories quantifying the damage that the farm invasions had caused and questioning the essence and effectiveness of the fast track programme.
The Manica Post comment (August 10) "Resettlement programme commendable", summed up the ZIMPAPERS stance on the issue. It also noted that ". the fast track resettlement programme should run in tandem with a fast track transparent and well thought-out financial and skills support programme for the plot holders".
The most disturbing story of the week with regard to land resettlement was the report in the Zimpapers' dailies (August 10) that the entire DDF fleet had been grounded due to corrupt misuse. Commendable though the story was, Zimpapers failed to link the paralysis of such a key parastatal to how it would affect the land reform process.
Although television carried 30 stories on the land issue, only three attempted any analysis and none of them followed up the crisis at DDF.
On Radio 2/4 there were 25 stories on land in which government voices accounted for 56% of those heard. CFU and foreign voices accounted for seven percent each, the police had four percent, while alternative and professional voices accounted for 15 percent and 11 percent respectively. Electronic media reports concentrated mainly on government's successes in handing out plots to land-hungry war vets and peasants. For example, television reported on 7/8 8pm that the fast track land reform programme had "caught up with" the people of Makoni District and that 12 households had been allocated 25 hectares each. Governor Muchinguri was quoted as discouraging further farm invasions. On 8/8 1pm on Radios 2/4 ZBC reported that resettlement was going well with 36 families resettled in Guruve. In the same bulletin there was another story in which 18 farms were said to have been identified for resettlement in Masvingo. This story appeared on television the following day in the 6pm and 8pm bulletins.
On television 8/8 6 pm news and 8 pm ZFU's Silas Hungwe urged government to train those being resettled. This was followed by a report that 33 families had been resettled in Lower Gweru, a story carried by The Daily News two days later.
In all the reports there was no attempt to question the government about the criteria used for selecting these families or whether any infrastructure would be provided to help them settle. The Zimbabwe Independent described the accelerated resettlement as a "cocktail for disaster" quoting analysts who said there had not been any scientific analysis of the programme's effectiveness.
Analysts quoted said the programme would at best achieve social justice but not productivity, since there was no infrastructure and government was unlikely to be able to afford providing them with inputs and starting capital.
The Daily News (9/8) quoted the agricultural workers' union as saying that 500,000 farm workers would lose their jobs if government went ahead with its plan to acquire 3,000 commercial farms. And in a related story, The Zimbabwe Mirror (August 11) reported that farm workers had cried foul at being sidelined in the resettlement programme. The newspaper quoted people who were puzzled at the programme      ".as it is being implemented almost at the spur of the moment basis      with neither evidence of preparation nor clear criteria for selecting      beneficiaries. It is also unclear what the role of the army has in this      accelerated programme."
.a topic none of the media have attempted to clarify beyond the initial announcement. The Financial Gazette quoted the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) president saying that banks were reluctant to commit themselves to financing commercial farmers for the coming season as a result of the profound uncertainty over their future in the agricultural sector. The paper concluded that this was likely to affect next season's production and damage government's economic recovery plans.
On the same day (Aug 10), The Daily News also quoted a CFU economist stating that banks had suspended new loans to commercial farmers until the government sorted out the chaos on the farms. And the next day, The Daily News (11/8) reported that Zimbabwe risked having its beef export contract with the European Union cut because of the farm invasions. Zimpapers made side reference to the feasibility of the programme in its parliamentary sessions coverage in which MDC's Tendai Biti was quoted criticizing the "fast track" programme.

Zimpapers' Sunday News (August 6) published a story whose repercussions rumbled through the week, eliciting one of ZBC's four denial stories in the period under review. The paper quoted Matabeleland North governor Obert Mpofu as saying MDC supporters would not be considered for resettlement under the accelerated land redistribution programme.
The Daily News (August 8) referred to The Sunday News article in a story headlined "No land for MDC supporters, says Mpofu." The story served as a follow-up to the paper's report the previous day, which noted that ruling party "militias" had unleashed a new wave of terror, and war vets who forced farm workers to attend the launch of a resettlement programme at a farm in Bubi by Mpofu.
"I do not want to see any person from the MDC on the list of people who will be resettled," Mpofu was quoted as saying. Two days later, Land Reform Committee chairman Joseph Msika, emerged on ZBC's 6am and 7am bulletins attempting to limit the damage of such a harmful statement by a government official. He was reported as saying that every Zimbabwean had a right to land despite different political affiliations. Mpofu himself appeared on ZTV's 8pm main news that day (repeated 11/8 7am) responding to a question that viewers were never privy to. Battling to deny his original statement and perpetuate it at the same time, the governor said his words had been taken out of context. In his TV denial, Mpofu also appeared to try to counter the original Daily News story by referring to "armed militia" sponsored by white farmers disrupting the function: "I consider the whole exercise as an exercise meant to benefit the entirety of our people who are landless. But those that have been frustrating the exercise should not expect the exercise to benefit them... The statement was actually made in that context that before we actually launched our first programme of resettlement at a farm in Nyathi some white commercial farmers brought about 13 armed militia youth who were chasing people away from the function because they did not agree with the land resettlement programme. And it was in that context that I told the gathering that the programme was meant for those in need of land and not those who were not interested in land. I must assure all the people in the province that need land that land will be provided for."
True to form, ZTV failed to challenge him about his quoted remarks, or to ask him to clarify his reference to "armed militia". The Daily News (10/8) and The Dispatch reported that youths in Bulawayo had demonstrated against Mpofu.
The Dispatch quoted Mpofu as saying:
     The truth is that I was taken out of context; I never talked about the MDC. The Zimbabwe Independent article "Mpofu's remarks provoke storm" quoted an MDC official criticizing Mpofu's comments. The story, like all other private papers that reported the issue, took the stance that the Governor was wrong to be partisan because as governor he represents the government and not ZANU PF.

Another Sunday News story (Aug 6) provided the basis for more debate in the Press but ignored by ZTV. This time it embroiled the MDC, following comments apparently supporting government's resettlement plan by one of its MPs, Munyaradzi Gwisai, reported in The Sunday News under the headline "MDC MP embraces Mugabe land stance".
The Daily News (7/8) followed up the issue quoting MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai who threatened Gwisai with disciplinary action.
Spotting an opportunity to exploit a potential weakness in the opposition, The Herald article "MDC leadership divided over land resettlement programme" (9/8) regurgitated The Sunday News article and added quotes of its own from unnamed "sources" and "analysts". The paper reported the row over resettlement as "a rift (which) is slowly tearing apart the leadership of the Movement for Democratic Change" and that "the matter is said to have already divided the MDC rank and file membership" without providing any evidence for this. More to the point however, were the observations in the story of ZANU PF's Secretary for Information and Publicity, who said MDC was facing ideological conflicts because it represented a coalition of diverse social groups at variance with each other's interests. Although MDC's Tendai Biti was quoted denying this, further examination of such an opinion might have formed the basis for an intelligent political analysis of the opposition. But in its news context, The Herald story failed to substantiate its claims, or even to seek comment from Tsvangirai and Gwisai. Radios 2/4 8pm bulletins on the 8/8, merely reported that there were divisions within the MDC on land redistribution. The report did not contain a response from the MDC.

Zimpapers' dailies and The Daily News (Aug 8) reported that war veterans had abducted school children and farm workers at Stone Ridge Farm near Chitungwiza.
Both stories were critical of the war veterans. The Zimpapers report was unlike its general stance where war vets are regarded in heroic terms. The Daily News did not provide any follow-up except its comments 'Justify persecution of children in farms' (August 9) and 'Rogue war vets have betrayed true heroes' (August 11). TV responded to The Herald and The Daily News stories by carrying a white copy report (8/8 8pm) simply quoting a strenuous denial by war veterans' director of operations, Andrew Ndhlovu that members of his organization were involved.
He reportedly accused the papers of not bothering to check their facts with the war veterans themselves, saying the reports were based on statements by an MDC activist and a named white farmer. ZBC conveniently forgot to tell viewers the farmer happened to be the owner of the farm on which the kidnapping took place. Nor did it bother to verify Ndhlovu's claim with either of the newspapers themselves. Had it done so, it would have seen that The Herald did quote a war veteran's leader for the area, who identified a war vet as the leader of a gang of people "causing havoc in the area". Worse still, ZTV failed to provide any police comment. It compounded this bias by allowing its newsreader to continue quoting Ndhlovu saying investigations by the war veterans indicated that the kidnap had been carried out by "planted individuals" intent on tarnishing the image of the war veterans. And by linking this statement to a warning to his members to be vigilant against infiltrations from the opposition "who were against" the land resettlement programme, ZBC allowed Ndhlovu to get away with accusing the MDC of the socially squalid crime of molesting minors without challenging his claim. And that was the last of the story from ZBC.

Radio 2/4 didn't even carry it in any of the bulletins monitored. But The Herald followed it up the next day with a report under a headline boldly stating that "fake war vets" had been arrested in connection with the kidnapping. No evidence beyond Ndhlovu's ZTV claims was used to establish this "fact", along with his claim that the incident "was the work of the MDC". In its report (9/8), The Herald also stated that the war vet identified as being involved in its initial story "was absolved by the girls" who had been molested. To its credit, The Herald recovered from its slavish report of Ndhlovu's ZTV denial by reporting the following day (10/8) that Mabhunu Muchapera, the "absolved" war vet, had in fact been arrested on charges of kidnapping, indecent assault and extortion. It also reported that farm workers, who had also been abducted, had identified him as the mastermind behind the incident. It also quoted the police and provided additional background, including statements from civic organizations condemning the incident. In its Friday edition The Herald also reported Muchapera's court appearance, along with seven others. Ironically, The Daily News joined ZTV in failing to report any of these subsequent events. Instead, it followed up the court cases of 'Black Jesus' and 'Biggie Chitoro', as did The Herald. But the state-owned dailies didn't report a disturbing Daily News story (Aug 10) that 25 war veterans and ZANU PF supporters had appeared in court after springing a man from police custody in Murehwa suspected of murdering an MDC supporter in pre-election violence.
The Zimbabwe Independent (Aug 11) reported that the UN Secretary-General's Office had abandoned plans to raise money from the international donor community for Zimbabwe's land reform because of President Mugabe's insistence on an arbitrary land acquisition policy. The paper quoted Annan's information officer Ferhan Haq as saying:
     "He (Annan) is still monitoring the situation. It remains to be seen what      will happen after the land impasse.But he is not raising money for      Zimbabwe at the moment."
Once again, ZBC was called upon to broadcast a denial of a story it never carried. This time it was from the UN's outgoing Zimbabwe representative, Carlos Lopez, who denied The Independent's report. Lopez said the UN was committed to helping Zimbabwe.
The Sunday News also carried the denial, "UN denies report on land reform" quoting the same information officer quoted by The Zimbabwe Independent but this time denying his own comments: "It's not true that the UN boss had suspended plans to raise money for Zimbabwe because President Mugabe is insisting on an arbitrary land acquisition policy." This denial coming from the same person is certain to cause confusion among the readers of both papers; MMPZ awaits an explanation.

Debates in Zimbabwe's fifth Parliament have, so far, received substantial print media coverage. The Daily News covered the MDC's contributions favourably while it tended to minimize ZANU PF's contributions except where their MPs' statements were deemed to be critical of government. Zimpapers' coverage of the sessions however, tended to give space to both ZANU PF and MDC parliamentarians, for example:      Nyathi urges Parliament to petition President to resign (The Herald & The      Chronicle Aug 9)
     Machaya accuses MDC, judiciary of conspiracy (The Herald August 9)
     Bring soldiers home - Chitongo (The Herald August 9)
     Parliament urged to investigate on Chitepo (The Herald August 11)
Of the six Daily News stories on MPs' contributions in Parliament, five quoted MDC MPs. The one quoting a ZANU PF MP, was notably in line with the MDC' s stance that Zimbabwean troops should be withdrawn from the DRC.
Of the seven stories carried by Zimpapers, seven ZANU PF voices and five MDC voices were quoted.
By contrast, there was no coverage of parliamentary debates in the electronic media bulletins monitored in the week under review on Radio 2/4 and television.

INDUSTRIAL ACTION The PTC strike received some coverage in the daily newspapers, but nobody told readers what had happened to mail deliveries or what sort of delays to expect once services resumed. Zimpapers' dailies reported the arrest of PTC union members in Bulawayo and their subsequent appearance in court. On Tuesday (Aug8) The Herald and The Daily News carried conflicting reports about efforts to end the strike with The Herald quoting union leader Gift Chimanikire as saying the strike was over, while The Daily News reported him as saying it would continue. In its follow-up, The Herald reported "PTC workers resume duties after agreement" (August 10). The Daily News article, PTC back on line (August 11) announced an end to the strike after the PTC management and the workers union had agreed to seek advice from the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.
The security guards strike received minimal print media coverage. The Herald (August 9) and The Daily News (9/8) reported that it had turned violent. Both papers reported that the guards were demanding a 150 % pay rise instead of the 45% they had been awarded. The Manica Post article "Guards strike" reported that security guards, chanting MDC slogans, had ".marched through town against ill treatment, by their employers, mostly whites, and to demand a salary increment". On radio 2/4 there were 20 reports about the strikes by PTC workers and security guards with voices quoted fairly evenly spread between those involved. On television however, there were only nine stories on the two strikes, eight of which appeared on the 6pm news bulletins but not in the main 8pm bulletin. On 9/8 8pm on radio 2/4 and television, Minister Mombeshora was reported as saying the PTC would not be able to operate efficiently if its workers were highly paid. He said the new salaries awarded to workers in February were unsustainable and urged the workers to return to work. The report said a PTC sweeper was being paid $9 000, and a postman $12 000.

Once again a newspaper report (in The Zimbabwe Independent) spurred state- controlled ZBC to respond with official government denials that shed some light on current government thinking. The Independent claimed that the Ministry of Transport and Communications was considering liberalizing the airwaves and that government had invited bids from regional investors. It claimed Minister Mombeshora had confirmed the development. However, he was only quoted as saying:
     "I will be coming back to you as soon as there is progress.I am still new      and there are several issues to take into consideration."
The story was denied by Mombeshora on ZBC (11/08 Radio 2/4 1pm and television 6pm and 8pm) who said he had never spoken to the weekly paper's reporter.
He also explained that the broadcasting portfolio did not fall within his ministry. MMPZ contacted the journalist, who said he stood by his story and that he had spoken to Minister Mombeshora. Minister of state for information, Jonathan Moyo, was also quoted by ZBC saying the question about the airwaves was not about liberalizing them, but about democratizing them. He denied government was planning to lease ZBC channels to outside broadcasters, adding that ZBC was an asset that belonged to the country.

The public media reported widely on Heroes' Day, an occasion that is fast becoming a non-event. Radio 2/4 broadcast 35 reports of the occasion, but by comparison, television only broadcast nine stories. On radio 59 percent of the voices were those of the ruling party. Although radio and television produced reports which highlighted the fact that fewer people were patronizing Heroes' Day (Midlands governor expressed concern about the numbers who attended the celebration on Radio 2/4's 11/8 1pm and 8pm bulletins, and President Mugabe highlighted this himself in his address at Heroes Acre) ZBC did not investigate why this was so. The private press noted this point in reporting the President's speech.

All media reported SADC support for Zimbabwe's land reforms and that a SADC delegation would visit Washington in an effort to persuade the American House of Representatives to drop the Zimbabwe Democracy Bill which aims to cut off American financial assistance to the country until the rule of law is restored and property rights are respected. Television's 10/08 6pm and 8pm announced that South African President Thabo Mbeki and Malawi's Muluzi would go to the UK to speak to the British about the land issue and that delegates would also visit America to lobby against the Zimbabwe Democracy Bill. Only The Daily News (Aug 9) reported that human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, had released a statement at the summit in Namibia calling on the group's heads of state to address the human rights situation in Zimbabwe and especially to investigate the kidnapping and disappearance of an MDC activist who is still missing.

For more information about the Project, previous issues of the MMPZ reports and alerts, please visit our website at http://www.icon.co.zw/mmpz or contact the Project Coordinator, MMPZ, 221 Fife Avenue, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 733486, 734207,

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