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Business Day

No protection for Zimbabwe's beleaguered farmers


Official permits to plant count for nothing when a land-acquisition
committee arrives with its heavily armed escort

Harare Correspondent

THE story reads like a script from a docudrama or a Hollywood gangster
movie, but the events unfolding north of the Limpopo are real.

A group of about 20 people, consisting of official land-acquisition
committee members among others, visits four farms on a scorching Saturday
afternoon in the middle of the remote Sabi farming district, about 475km
south east of Harare.

With the group are soldiers brandishing AK-47 assault rifles and armed
police wielding rusty G-3 rifles.

The leader of the group, a stocky, fierce-looking woman, who refuses to
identity herself, tells the farmers that they have to leave by the following

Two of the farmers, whose properties the group has invaded, tell the group
that they are not under compulsory acquisition notices. They have received
only preliminary orders under section 5 of the Land Acquisition Act.

But this makes no difference, and the group gets aggressive. They assure the
farmers their acquisition orders will be changed soon into eviction notices.

As tempers flare, one of the farmers is threatened with arrest for
maintaining his story about the preliminary notice. In the ensuing argument
efforts are made to seize him, but he resists, saying he is a police

The agitated soldiers and police demand his police identity credentials and
immediately confiscate them, telling him he has been summarily "discharged"
from the police force on their authority. But he is not arrested.

In this wheat-producing area, at least nine farmers are under compulsory
acquisition. Despite the threat of eviction, the farmers have been granted
permission by the district administrator to grow food crops. The permission
to plant is in writing, and has an official government stamp.

This year farmers as usual have used the document to secure funding from
local banks for the planting season. They received the funds and have
planted 1025ha of wheat, 160ha of barley, 20ha of tomatoes, 10ha of litchi
trees and 40ha of citrus. The market value of this produce is more than

But after the land officials visit, farmers are nervous and uncertain. Most
decide to relocate their families. Besides, they have been through numerous
similar incidents before, including drunk youths driving to their farms and
intimidating their families. The farmers decide to avoid confrontation at
all costs.

But the following weekend the group of 20 returns. An ad hoc land committee
has overruled the documents granting permission to farm the land, citing a
superior "national directive".

No explanation or evidence is produced, and it is clear they have no higher
authority than their own say.

The farmers have to wait for the weekend to pass before they can consult a

Meanwhile, police have started a countrywide sweep of farmers in breach of
their eviction orders, leaving the Sabi farmers' fate on the edge of a
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From the Govt mouthpiece - The Herald

No to confrontation

Herald Reporter
NO farmers' lobby, including the Justice for Agriculture, will be
entertained in any bid to stop the ongoing land reform while defiant farmers
will continue to be arrested, the Government has said.

By mid afternoon yesterday, the number of farmers arrested for defying
eviction orders had risen to 147.

Most eviction notices expired on August 10.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Cde John Nkomo, yesterday warned that lobbies
such as the JAG would not be allowed to derail the Government's efforts in
redistributing land.

JAG, a splinter group of the Commercial Farmers' Union, has been urging its
members to defy the Government and contest the evictions in court.

"I prefer to call it the Injustice for Agriculture. It is unjust for a few
people to hold onto land at the expense of the majority. We won't deal with
these associations."

He said the Government had in the past negotiated with the CFU and the
Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative because there was a demonstration
that the farmers wanted to be "reasonable".

Cde Nkomo advised the evicted farmers to desist from adopting a
confrontational approach but to continue farming on the land they were left

"However, if they want to attract international attention, then it's their
democratic right to do what they want.

"They need reminding, though, that during the colonial rule we were not
allowed to criticise them lest we were thrown in places like Wha Wha."

He reiterated that - as said recently by President Mugabe and Vice-President
Msika - no white farmer was being left without land under the land reform

The minister said the redistribution was meant to ensure that all
Zimbabweans had access to their country's most important resource, the land.

"Uneven land ownership will undermine efforts to bring about a stable
climate in Zimbabwe.

"Reforms will enable appreciation by Zimbabwe-ans that they have access to
their entitlement, land."

He defended the arrests of defiant farmers saying they were committing
crimes and should therefore, be brought to book.

Section 8 (eviction notice), he said, clearly stated when a farmer should
have vacated the acquired premises and therefore would be in clear violation
of the law if he continued occupancy.

"The eviction and arrests are legal and constitutional. The Supreme Court
confirmed that the land reform exercise was constitutional so we are

Police spokesman, Inspector Andrew Phiri, said arrests of defiant farmers
were ongoing countrywide.

"So far we have not recorded skirmishes as we continue making arrests.

"We are also encouraged by the bail conditions being imposed by some
magistrates," said Insp Phiri.

Eight farmers, who appeared before a magistrate in Selous on Saturday, were
given $5 000 bail and ordered not to be at or near their farms.

JAG has been advising farmers who have been arrested to attend court with a

If they fail to secure a lawyer on time, said JAG, the farmers must make no
plea and no admission but request the remand of the case to get legal

"If the court refuses to respect your request, you can refuse to take part
and remain silent. You must, however, still proceed and draw the Court's
attention to the George Quinnell case and the provisional ruling thereof."

The provisional ruling is simply a show-cause order seeking the response of
the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Cde Joseph Made,
among others to allegations that he is not a lawfully-appointed minister of
the Government.

The lobby group also suggests that farmers bring up the constitutional ban
on racial discrimination.

Meanwhile, the CFU said more than $3,72 billion worth of ongoing crop and
livestock production was at risk with former farm owners being evicted and
assets worth $5,6 billion had been left on the untended farms.

The Government has said farm owners should have planned the curtailment of
operations once they knew when they would have to leave their farms.
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Monday, 19 August, 2002, 07:25 GMT 08:25 UK
Zimbabwe farmers due in court
Robert Mugabe
Mugabe says land reform is "irreversible"
Dozens of Zimbabwean white farmers are due to appear in court on Monday after defying a government order to vacate their land.

White farmer
Zimbabwe's land reform

  • 1890-1980: Black peasants are moved to less fertile areas during the colonial era
  • 2000: 4,000 whites own 70% of prime land
  • March 2000: "War veterans" occupy white-owned farms
  • 2000-2002: Several white farmers and black workers are killed during violence
  • 9 August 2002: 3,000 white farmers must leave their homes

  • Over 140 farmers have been arrested after refusing to leave, in protest at President Robert Mugabe's controversial land reforms. Many of them spent the weekend in custody.

    Late on Sunday, a lobby group for the farmers, Justice for Agriculture (Jag), said 35 farmers had already appeared in court and been granted bail, and 96 were still technically under arrest and awaiting court appearances.

    BBC correspondent Barnaby Phillips says a usual condition for bail is that the farmers do not return to their land.

    In Monday's edition of the state-controlled Herald newspaper, the government has again said it is aiming at a fairer distribution of Zimbabwe's land, and that the current uneven ownership is undermining Zimbabwe's stability.

    Mr Mugabe, who has been in power since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980, says his land reform policy aims to correct colonial injustice which left most of the best farmland in the hands of white farmers.

    Mass arrests

    On Sunday, Zimbabwean police said they had arrested at least 147 farmers. "We have made arrests in almost every province and we will continue with the exercise until everybody has been accounted for," a police spokesman said.

    About 2,900 of the country's remaining 4,500 white farmers were ordered to vacate their homes by 8 August, or face up to two years in prison and a fine.

    People queuing for food in Zimbabwe
    Zimbabwe faces mass starvation, according to international aid agencies
    But a spokeswoman for Jag defended those remaining on their land, saying: "Farmers are not defying the government, but rather orders they believe to be illegal."

    The group says that most of the farmers who have been arrested have only one farm and no other means of making a living.

    The Commercial Farmers Union estimates that $75m worth of crops and livestock are at risk as a result of the arrests, as fields and herds of animals are left uncared for.

    Foreign donors also say the land reform programme has contributed to Zimbabwe's food crisis. Up to half the population - six million people - needs food aid this year, aid agencies warn.

    But a spokesman for the Zimbabwe Farmers' Union (ZFU), which represents a mixture of mainly black commercial and small holder farmers, told the BBC that the Zimbabwean people were positive about the reforms.

    He said the ZFU viewed the evictions as a fait accompli and were now looking to the future with optimism.

    Much of the maize and cotton produced in Zimbabwe is already grown by small holder farms, he said. "The limiting factor has been the size of the land available."

    'Farmer assaulted'

    Since March 2000, many white-owned farms have been occupied by government supporters.

    Eleven white farmers have been killed, along with an unknown number of their black workers.

    Click here to read the diary

    The disruption to farming has dramatically cut production of the staple food, maize, and Zimbabwe's major export - tobacco.

    The Jag group says police and war veterans assaulted a white farmer during his arrest on Saturday, a month after he had left his farm in compliance with a government eviction notice.

    The same day also saw the 11 Pacific members of the Commonwealth call for stronger action against Zimbabwe, but stop short of threatening to expel the country.

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    Zimbabwe: 150 farmers held
    Several hundred white commercial farmers are thought to be resisting the evictions
    Zimbabwe: 150 farmers held

    8.04AM BST, 19 Aug 2002

    Police in Zimbabwe have arrested more than 150 white farmers.

    The Government has ordered almost 3000 to leave their land as part of President Mugabe's plan to redistribute the farms to black Zimbabweans.

    But several hundred white commercial farmers are thought to be resisting the evictions.

    Five have appeared before a magistrate in the southwestern town of Gwanda, charged with defying orders to leave their farms in Matabeleland.

    Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, who chairs the Government's land acquisition audit committee, told the official Herald newspaper the Government would take action against farmers defying the evictions in the next few days.

    Reporting restrictions apply in Zimbabwe, and independent information is hard to establish.

    But farmers' supporters have claimed police and war veterans assaulted a white farmer, Tony Smith, during his arrest, a month after he left his farm in compliance with a government eviction notice.

    The pressure group Justice for Agriculture (JAG) claimed: "Tony Smith, who left his farm a month ago, was severely beaten up early this morning allegedly by police and war veterans at his Chisipite home in Harare."

    Mr Smith's brother-in-law, Brian Bawden said: "Well, I looked this morning, I spoke to the workers that work for Tony at his other house, and they said, 'ya, he was handcuffed'.

    "As soon as he got out of the house he was handcuffed, and then he was thrown to the ground and he was beaten there, and he was dragged away down the driveway by the handcuffs.

    "That's why I think he got the bruises round his wrists. Then he was taken away, and I was speaking to him now and apparently he was beaten at the police station as well."

    Meanwhile, white landowners who had been evicted from farms in Zimbabwe have been told they are welcome to farm in neighboring Mozambique, according to the country's government.

    "We have a law on investment," Mozambican Foreign Minister Leonardo Simao said.

    "If someone wants to come here and invest, and respects our investment laws, he is welcome. Be he or she white, black, yellow, green - if it is possible - he is welcome."

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    Agent hired to 'poison' Mugabe foe
    By The Sunday Times
    August 19, 2002
    ZIMBABWE'S Opposition Leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has claimed that a former
    Libyan intelligence officer deported last week had been hired to poison him
    in a plot hatched by President Robert Mugabe's intelligence service.

    Zimbabwean authorities accused Yousef Murgham, 43, a former intelligence
    officer at the Libyan embassy, of compromising national security by working
    for British intelligence.

    But in a bizarre twist, Mr Tsvangirai claimed the Libyan had been assigned
    by the Central Intelligence Organisation to assassinate him when it realised
    Mr Mugabe would lose the presidential election in March if it was free and

    Mr Mugabe won, but the poll was widely regarded as rigged.

    "We have intelligence information to that effect and the party does not
    doubt the authenticity of that information," Mr Tsvangirai said.

    Details of the "plot" emerged as police admitted they had arrested at least
    133 white farmers and charged some in court for defying government orders to
    vacate land set aside for redistribution to landless blacks.

    One farmer, named as Tony Smith, suffered head injuries and a suspected
    broken leg after he was beaten up by police and war veterans, some farmers
    claimed. The Government has ordered 2900 of the country's remaining 4500
    white commercial farmers to quit their land without compensation but
    two-thirds are refusing to go after ignoring an August 8 deadline.

    Mr Murgham was arrested on Tuesday and deported amid unruly scenes at Harare
    airport. Witnesses said the former Libyan spy turned businessman, who has
    lived in Zimbabwe since he came to the Libyan embassy in 1987, was dragged
    aboard a flight to Nairobi accompanied by CIO agents under orders to hand
    him over to Colonel Muammar Gadaffi's security police in Tripoli. His
    expulsion is legally questionable because he is married to a Zimbabwean and
    entitled to permanent residence.

    His wife Jean, 39, daughter Samia, 12, and son Mohammed, 8, are still
    waiting to hear from him.

    The government line is that Mr Murgham was expelled for "engaging in
    activities that posed a threat to the security and national interests of
    Zimbabwe". It accuses him of compromising national security by working for
    British intelligence and meeting officials from Mr Tsvangirai's opposition
    Movement for Democratic Change.

    Sources in Harare attributed Mr Murgham's expulsion to a rift with Grace, Mr
    Mugabe's avaricious wife, over a confiscated white commercial farm they both

    But Mr Tsvangirai is in no doubt the Libyan was expelled because the CIO
    realised the MDC had information about the assassination plot.

    "(Mr) Murgham became a liability to both the Libyan and the Zimbabwean
    governments," he said.
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    Spirit 'spook' men into jail

    Harare - Two men in Zimbabwe have been charged with murder after confessing
    to a local witch doctor that their victim's vengeful spirit was haunting

    A police spokesman said the two men approached a witch doctor last week
    seeking medicine to protect themselves from the spirit or 'ngozi' of British
    university lecturer Jerzy Slanislaw Toloczko whom they murdered days

    But instead of a protecting them, the local healer alerted the authorities.

    Police had not been aware of Toloczko's disappearance, but a search of his
    house Saturday revealed traces of blood. Toloczko's body was buried in a
    shallow grave nearby.

    The two men were found in possession of clothing, a cell phone, a wrist
    watch and US$90 cash taken from Toloczko's house in the western city of

    Harare police said Toloczko, a lecturer at the Zimbabwe National University
    of Science and Technology, was just two months short of completing his
    three-year tenure at the Bulawayo campus. - Sapa-DPA

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    Zimbabwe farmers flee new wave of arrests

    Jane Fields in Harare

    TRUCKS piled with furniture and household goods were seen on the main road
    between Harare and the rural east of Zimbabwe yesterday as white farmers
    made plans to leave in a hurry amid an escalating wave of arrests.

    Police have arrested close to 150 white farmers for refusing to vacate their
    homes under President Robert Mugabe's land redistribution programme, state
    television said last night. Several farmers' wives have also been arrested,
    including one, Louise Cochrane, from Karoi in the west of the country, whose
    two children have been left alone as police have been unable to find her

    Hundreds more farmers could be picked up in the next few days as police step
    up arrests. The state-run Sunday Mail newspaper said that the government
    "was losing patience with defiant farmers".

    The arrests began on Thursday, a week after the expiry of a government
    deadline for nearly 3,000 white farmers to leave their homes to make way for
    black settlers.

    An estimated 1,900 farmers defied the deadline, insisting that the eviction
    orders were unlawful. Others say that until the government pays for their
    homes, which it had promised to do, they have nowhere to go.

    Nearly 100 farmers spent the weekend in jail, according to the farming
    pressure group Justice for Agriculture (JAG). At least 147 were arrested.

    One farmer, Tony Smith, was severely beaten up at his home in Harare on
    Saturday, allegedly by police and so-called war veterans who have led the
    invasion of white-owned farms. He vacated his farm last month, but left a
    few possessions on his farm, which is enough to warrant arrest, according to

    A farmer from Glenara, near Harare, said that he had been asked if he wanted
    to live "in peace or in pieces". Another farmer was assaulted in the back of
    a police van, according to the JAG.

    Dave Meikle, a farmer who spoke to The Scotsman last week, was among those
    held. At least £100 million worth of crops and livestock could be lost if
    arrests continue, it is estimated.

    In the face of mounting international criticism, the government denied that
    there had been a breakdown in law and order. "There's no lawlessness," said
    John Nkomo, the home affairs minister. However, tensions are clearly rising.

    Arrested farmers, who face up to two years in jail if convicted of failing
    to vacate their homes, are trying to keep their spirits high.

    Twelve are held in police cells in Nyamandhlovu, southern Zimbabwe,
    traditionally a political flashpoint. Their wives are keeping vigil in the
    car-park. "They [the farmers] have named themselves the Big Brother
    household [after the television series] because there are 12 of them," a
    relative of one of the men told The Scotsman. "When they come out to
    exercise they do a striptease for their wives, who wolf-whistle," she said.

    Among those held are Robin Greaves, a 65-year old who is partly blind, and
    Charles Stirling, who is 79.

    The men are "sore from sleeping on the floor", the relative said, but were
    managing to remain cheerful.

    A political analyst, Masipula Sithole, told The Scotsman that the scale of
    the arrests was not surprising, but the timing was "regrettable and

    "The country is half-starving, there's a drought and the food production is
    scarce," he said. "The whole thing is wrong in my view ... This is a
    confused and ill-advised political move."

    President Robert Mugabe launched his controversial land reform programme
    more than two years ago, when white farmers owned nearly 30 per cent of the
    best agricultural land. At least eleven white farmers have since been

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    Zimbabwe steps up its land campaign
             The Associated Press The Associated Press  Monday, August 19, 2002

    HARARE, Zimbabwe Ignoring court orders and Western condemnation, Zimbabwe's
    government stepped up its efforts to seize white-owned land Sunday and
    rounded up more farmers defying eviction notices.
    A total of 133 farmers who failed to heed an Aug. 9 deadline to leave their
    farms have been arrested since Friday, said a police spokesman, Andrew
    There would be "no favor or compromise" for those who broke the government's
    land redistribution laws, he said.
    The increasingly unpopular government of President Robert Mugabe plans to
    seize nearly 5,000 white owned farms, claiming they are to be distributed to
    landless blacks.
    About 60 percent of the 2,900 farmers ordered off their land failed to
    comply, said Jenni Williams, a spokeswoman for a farmers' pressure group,
    Justice for Agriculture.
    The farmers have no intention of confronting the police but would fight for
    their farms and their title deeds through the courts, she said. "Farmers are
    not defying the government," he said, "but rather orders they believe to be
    Phiri reported that there had been no violence since Friday, but Justice for
    Agriculture said one farmer had been beaten at his Harare home Saturday by
    the police and militant supporters of Mugabe's party despite having vacated
    his farm.
    Williams said 30 to 40 of the farmers who were arrested had since been freed
    on bail. The others were in police cells and were hoping to appear in court
    Monday, she said.
    The farmers' lawyers say the eviction orders violate constitutionally
    entrenched rights of freedom from racial discrimination and contain
    technical errors, rendering them invalid.
    However, the assistant police commissioner, Wayne Bvudzijena, said the
    police would continue arresting farmers until they received other
    instructions from the attorney general. This policy would also apply to
    farmers who had won court orders staying their eviction, he said.
    Among those who have obtained an court order to delay the planned seizure of
    farmland is the former Rhodesian prime minister, Ian Smith, 83.
    Smith, the last white leader of Rhodesia before its independence and
    renaming in 1980, said he intended to carry on producing food regardless of
    the threat of a two year jail sentence. The police have not yet visited his
    property outside the central city of Gweru.
    The government claims the farm seizures are an extension of its efforts to
    liberate the country from colonial rule, which has left most of the best
    farmland under the control of whites.
    Previously, 4,500 white commercial farmers owned a third of the country's
    farmland while 7 million black farmers shared the rest. About 95 percent of
    white-owned farms have been targeted for redistribution.
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            'Zim farmworkers killed as cops watch'

                August 18 2002 at 04:27PM

          The African Christian Democratic Party on Sunday claimed that five
    black farmworkers were murdered by Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF government
    militants in full view of police who showed reluctance to stop the attacks
    on Saturday.

          Quoting a relative of one of the "murdered" workers, ACDP spokesperson
    Jo-Ann Downs said the five were killed in an apparent campaign to intimidate
    them in the ongoing forced removals of white farmers from their properties.

          According to Downs, the owner of the farm watched from his hiding
    place in horror as the men were murdered while Zimbabwean police did little
    to stop the murders.

          "It is clear that the action of the Zimbabwe police in swooping on its
    citizens before they can get the word out is being quite successful.

                'The children are now alone on the farm'
          "The Zimbabwean police have been applying an uncharacteristic
    diligence towards covering their tracks when arresting and brutalising
    people who have little to do with farm ownership," she said.

          Sapa could, however, not verify the claims as the people Downs had
    cited as her sources were not available when contacted for comment.

          In a separate incident, the ACDP claimed a farmer's wife was detained
    by Zimbabwean police after they could not find her husband on Sunday.

          The party said the woman, Louis Cochrane, was bundled into a police
    vehicle and was not allowed to attend to her two children aged eight and

          "Despite protestations she was not allowed to take them with her. The
    children are now alone on the farm and have been contacting relatives
    outside the country by telephone," Downs said. - Sapa
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    The Times

                            August 19, 2002

                            'Pol Pot' tactics leave half of Zimbabweans to
                            From Sue Lloyd-Roberts in Bulawayo

                            "IT'S quite simple. Those who have Zanu (PF) cards
    get food; those who don't starve."
                            The man explaining the politics of food in Zimbabwe
    today is speaking in a hotel room in Bulawayo. It is too dangerous to talk
    in his home.

                            The name of the 34-year-old railway worker must be
    concealed, along with the name of the hotel whose manager allowed 20 hungry
    black Zimbabweans to talk to me, and the name of the church mission who
    brought them. Any criticism of the Government is considered a slur on
    President Mugabe and his party and can result in charges of conspiracy and
    subversion. In the absence of food, fear is the staple diet in Zimbabwe.

                            "The food trucks arrive in the villages once a
     week," the man explains. "Everyone has to stand up and shout 'Long Live
    Robert Mugabe!', 'Down with the whites!' and 'Down with Morgan Tsvangirai!'
    ," (the opposition leader). "Only those who can prove they are members of
    the Zanu (PF) can queue. They say to the others 'go and get your food from
    Tony Blair in No 10 Downing Street in London!' But we don't know where
    London is." As everyone in the hotel room nods in agreement, a woman, a
    former shop assistant whose husband died of Aids, begins to cry.

                            "My seven children are starving. I heard that food
    was being delivered in a village 40 kilometres away," she says. "When I
    arrived, they said I could not have any because I supported the whites and
    the opposition party during the election. I dare not go home and face my
    children. I wish I could die."

                            Drought is causing famine across southern Africa. In
    Zimbabwe the catastrophe is aggravated by the collapse of commercial
    farming, and manipulation of food supplies.

                            "There is only food available for half the country
    of 13 million people," an economist in Harare said. "Robert Mugabe is
    employing the tactics of Pol Pot. He plans to get rid of the dissenting half
    of the population by starving them to death."

                            A village close to Nkayi, in the Midlands region of
    Zimbabwe, made the mistake of voting for the opposition in last February's
    elections. Now its people are being punished. No food trucks arrive here and
    there are only 44lb of maize left for 200 people until the next harvest in

                            Sithembiso Sekai sits in a forlorn heap outside her
    house, watching her painfully thin eldest daughter crack muphura, a
    foul-tasting wild nut, to feed to the other four children. The baby at her
    breast lies asleep, exhausted by the effort of sucking to no avail.

                            At the neighbouring house 15-year-old Musa prepares
    a supper of cow's intestines and one tomato for her family of 16. They have
    two cows left. Her father, Sima, worked on a white-owned commercial farm
    before he was laid off when the farm was invaded by black squatters. He says
    that once the cows have gone, they will have nothing and the family will

                            While Mr Mugabe appeals to the outside world for
    food, the 2,500 or so white farmers who are left have been forbidden from
    planting crops. They have watched helplessly as the war veterans and their
    hangers-on have invaded their farms, slaughtered their cattle and poached
    the wildlife.

                            "It's the paradox in Zimabwe today," says Peter
    Rosenfels, under siege at his farm near Bulawayo. "While the Government
    carries a begging bowl we, the producers of food, are being criminalised.
    Zimbabwe once fed the region. Now we can't feed ourselves."
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    The Times

                Appeal to Blair as 150 whites arrested
                From Michael Hartnack in Harare and Michael Dynes in

                ALMOST 150 white Zimbabwean farmers have been arrested by police
    for allegedly defying President Mugabe's order to vacate their properties.
    They are expected to appear in court today.
                The arrests came after a Zimbabwean white farmer appealed
    personally to Tony Blair for help. Archie Stander, who lost both legs during
    the Rhodesian civil war, has written to Mr Blair about his family's plight.
    Mr Stander, who owns a farm near Beitbridge, on the South African border,
    said: "If my farm is seized, my future looks bleak.

                "I am still farming, but expect the militia to force me off. The
    settlers (squatters) are stealing my cattle and snaring giraffe, eland and

                Mr Stander's wife, Annamie, who spoke to The Times by phone
    after the family was forced to flee their property on Saturday, said: "Our
    next-door neighbour was taken into custody. We left immediately, knowing
    that being taken into custody on a Saturday would mean that Archie would
    spend the rest of the weekend in jail.

                "Archie and I will be returning today. Archie will never leave
    his cattle and game unattended to. Everything we own is on the farm."

                At Wedza, southeast of Harare, Florence McKay, 77, was arrested
    when the police failed to find her son, who is in Mozambique. She was
    released but ordered to report daily until her son returned.
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    Our Heritage

    Don’t want to go, don’t want to leave…..

    Don’t want to hurt or bleed or grieve!

    I want my home to be my place -

    As familiar as the reflection of my face.

    Yet in the mirror – I see pain –

    Weary fear.   Memories remain

    Of brutality – of sanity lost…..

    Far too enormous to count the cost!

    Atrocities committed – but no one heard….

    No one printed the written word.

    Instead our home becomes our cell

    And our heritage becomes our hell!

    Pam Crowther
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    ZIMBABWE: Farming uncertainty continues

    JOHANNESBURG, 19 August (IRIN) - The future of commercial farming in Zimbabwe faced further uncertainty on Monday as about 100 estate owners went to court to fight for the right to remain on their land instead of leaving to make way for a wave of new farmers to be settled.

    On 9 August 2,800 farmers were meant to leave their land under the terms of controversial land reform laws which aim to transfer land ownership from white farmers to underprivileged black settlers. It also became a crime for commercial farmers to continue tending their crops or feeding their cattle.

    Jenni Williams, spokeswoman for pressure group Justice for Agriculture (JAG) told IRIN that about 100 farmers appeared in courts around the country on Monday to challenge the order that they stop farming. The outcome ranged from farmers being fined and allowed to return to farming, to farmers being told they must leave.

    The farmers are using a range of technicalities including that farms still being paid off may not come under the acquisition programme without informing the bond-holding bank - a condition that has not always been met.

    Zimbabwe's land reform programme is being pursued against the backdrop of a food crisis affecting six million Zimbabweans - half the population.

    According to JAG's website, cereal production had dropped 57 percent compared to last year - with doubt cast over the fate of the US $330 million crop still in grading sheds - and maize production had fallen by 67 percent.

    Economist John Robertson told IRIN that current uncertainly surrounding the future of farming placed the country's billion dollar tea, coffee, sugar, flower and vegetable export markets at risk.

    He said that almost 95 percent of the country's commercial farmland was affected by the land reform programme and added that even the remaining five percent may eventually come under the spotlight.

    Robertson said the full extent of the impact on farming and the economy would only be known in a few months' time as it became clearer which farmers would be leaving their land. With the land reform law forcing "Section 8" farmers to down tools, crops like tea and tobacco which need ongoing post-harvest processing, could be ruined, losing farmers millions in income.

    Banks also faced an uncertain future with the risk of farmers not making bond repayments and this would adversely affect the country's international credit rating. He said the government had so far not provided promised agricultural inputs for the incoming farmers, and they could be too great a credit risk for the already wary banks to lend them the cash they need to get started.

    "The banks are currently badly exposed to debt from the commercial farmers and the new owners (the government) won't pay. The banks will have to write this off as bad debt which is dangerous for their long term survival."

    "The economy is very involved and intricate and it will all fall in a heap if anything goes wrong," he said.

    IRIN was unable to get official comment on the land reform process.
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    Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
    MDC Statement :
    Mugabe regime guilty of violating Convention against Torture
    The Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nation on the 10th December 1984. 
    Not surprisingly Zimbabwe, under the Mugabe regime, as never become a "State Party", that is a nation that has ratified the Convention.  During the last 18 years the Mugabe regime has systematically violated the Convention.  During the period December 1984 to December 1987 numerous members of Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU party were subjected to Torture at the hands of the regime.  Whilst the incidence of Torture lessened greatly during the period 1988 to 2000 there were nevertheless sporadic cases of Torture.
    Since February 2000 the numbers of Torture cases have escalated dramatically.  However in most case of Torture the regime has been able to hide behind the fact that the Torture has been committed by so called "war veterans" and ZANU (PF) militia, not State functionaries.  However in the last few weeks a number of clear cut cases involving State officials have occurred.
    The first case involves MDC Treasurer General and Member of Parliament, Fletcher Dulini-Ncube.  Dulini-Ncube was arrested by the police 2 weeks ago, on the instructions of the Attorney General, Andrew Chigovera, and was detained until his release yesterday after the High Court ordered his release.  Dulini-Ncube is diabetic and aged 63.  Following the denial adequate medical treatment when he was detained in solitary confinement in November last year his eyesight deteriorated in his right eye necessitating the surgical removal of eye on the 9th August.  The following day Dulini-Ncube was arrested and hauled out of his sick bed.  Since then he has been detained in a hospital and has been, for the entire duration of his incarceration, in leg irons.  On the 16th August a High Court Judge dismissed the Attorney General's objections to him being granted bail, stating that there was no basis to the denial of bail.  Indeed the Attorney General's action in opposing bail in the circumstances was simply vindictive as was the use of leg irons.
    The second case involves the detention of commercial farmer Robin Greaves by Nyamandlovu Police on the 16th August, 2002.  Mr Greaves was detained on allegations that he remained in his home more than 90 days after being given notice to vacate it by the regime.  Mr Greaves is aged 64.  On the
    17th August 2002 Mr Greaves' family doctor Dr.  J.G.M.  Ferguson wrote a medical report which reads as follows:
    " This patient is chronically unwell with multiple problems.  He has had carcinoma of the prostrate and renal cancer which led to him having a nephrechtomy.  He was badly shot up in a dissident ambush which left him with neurological damage and his eye had to be removed.  His vision is extremely poor and there is chronic sepsis of the eye socket.
    Mr Greaves suffers from chronic bronchitis and requires frequent courses of steroids.  There is polycystic liver disease which may be due to secondary cancer deposits.  Mr Greaves requires constant medical supervision and it is inadvisable for him to be detained.  I must advise that he should be urgently released."
    The above mentioned medical report was brought to the attention of the following people: Minister Sithembiso Nyoni, Senior Assistant Commissioner Zengeni (a staff officer in Police Headquarters in Harare), Superintendent Moyo (District Officer Commanding Bulawayo Rural - it is thought), Officer Commanding Police Matabeleland North (name unknown), Officer in Charge police Nyamandlovu and Obert Mpofu, and Governor Matabeleland North Province.  Doctor Ferguson himself travelled to Nyamandlovu with Mr Greaves' lawyer and made representations to.  Despite their efforts the authorities refused to release Mr Greaves and tonight he remains in a police cell and will probably only appear in court on Monday the 19th August.  It goes without saying that the conditions he is being held under are shocking and extremely unhygenic.
    It is pertinent to note that numerous other farmers arrested on identical charges have been released by the police in their areas having been simply cautioned or granted free bail.  In other words this is clearly a case where the police and other authorities could have exercised mercy and released Mr Greaves.  The decision to hold him is accordingly gratuitous and vindictive, as was Mr Dulini-Ncube's treatment.
    Article 1 of the Convention against Torture states:
    'Torture' means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as ...  intimidating him or coercing him, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.
    Article 5(2) of the Convention against Torture states:
    Each State Party ( i.e.  Nations which have ratified the Convention)
    shall likewise take measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over such offences in cases where the alleged offender is present in any territory under its jurisdiction.
    The actions of the Attorney General, the Police and the regime's officials in the above mentioned cases are clear cut violations of Article 1.
    Nations which have ratified the Convention, which include South Africa, Algeria, Canada.  Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Togo, and most European countries, are obliged to take measures to ensure that those people who commit torture anywhere in the world can be prosecuted if they happen to come on to their territory.
    The MDC condemns these ongoing acts of Torture perpetrated by the regime.
    It should be stressed that these two cases are simply the tip of the iceberg and most poor black Zimbabweans who have been subjected to Torture at the hands of the regime do not have the luxury of legal counsel, as these two men had, and as a result their cases are largely unreported.
    The MDC calls upon the international community to take vigorous action against all those guilty of Torture in Zimbabwe.
    David Coltart Secretary for Legal Affairs MDC
    17th August, 2002
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    Hi there,

    Thought I would bring you up to date with our weekend and what is happening in Zim. Let me say before I even start that everyone is okay. This is a general newsletter so that I can get it out to everyone so bear with me if you do or don't know the people mentioned.

    On Thursday we heard over our 'over-over' radio that there was a group of officials, including the District Administrator visiting some of the farms that have section 8 notices and asking why the farmer was still on the farm. None of the farmers were taken away, they were only questioned. We were obviously concerned about this new development, but glad that this was all that was happening. Most people in this area are still on their farms and there have been very few problems - lots of niggles and irritations and work stoppages, etc., but no violence like in some other area's, and we had made it through last weekend which was the section 8 deadline without incident so were fairly confident that the dreaded date might just slip by.

    On Friday evening, a group of police from Darwendale and including CIO visited Mike Barry and asked him if he wouldn't mind going down to the station to show his papers and apologised for any inconvenience caused. He said that he would do that with pleasure but when he arrived there, he was immediately locked up without any explanation. The group then continued on their rounds and went to Jody Cowley, Jim Brown and Nick Winskill - who did not open his gate as by now it was very late. Jody Cowley was aked to visit the police station 8am the next morning and Jim Brown was taken to the police station and also locked up that night. Jim and Mike were put into seperate cells at Darwendale police station. They were not allowed any warm clothing, shoes and socks or blankets or food. Our 'over-over' radio went on until 11pm that night, reporting the whereabouts of the dreaded vehicle.

    6am the police were back at Nick Winskill's and told him to get into the vehicle - no questions asked and not interested in any documentation or discussion. Nick, not having been all that well recently refused to get into the vehicle and drove himself there in his own car. The police then went on and picked up Warwick Evans and then Bob Cary (65), stopping in at other farms along the way but obviously unable to find who they were looking for. There were now 6 farmers at Darwendale and they were all taken through to Chinhoyi to attend court and hopefully be let out on bail. However, the magistrate was nowhere to be found and so the farmers were returned to the cells in Darwendale.

    The lands committee arrived at the police station in the afternoon and they started going through all the documentation for each case. Jody Cowley was allowed to go and so was Nick Winskill due to his ill health. The others were refused release, despite the fact Mike Barry only has one farm and is not even farming it apart from grading last season's tobacco, Bob Cary does not live on the farm that has a section 8 and it is not being farmed, and Warwick Evans has even ceded his farm - signed documentation was made available, as they are leaving the country at the end of the year, he also has verbal permission to live on the farm until he has finished grading his tobacco although the person from the lands committee who gave this permission later denied it.

    Saturday afternoon I went up to Darwendale police station as I knew that Diane Evans had been there all day and probably needed a bit of support. I met up with Strath Brown and Rich Moores who were doing whatever they could to make sense of  it all. Di was told that they could bring food which they did later that afternoon as well as blankets which the police said they could have - we discovered the next day that a lot of the blankets provided were later taken away and they were only allowed one very thin blanket each in this FREEZING cell. However, it was better than nothing. They were all in the same cell along with two other criminals. We were allowed to see the guys and they were 'fine', bearing up under the circumstances.

    I arrived back home late afternoon to discover that my Father-in-law Dave Pentland-Smith had also had a visit and had been asked to take his papers up to the police station in Banket. He did not think there would be anything sinister as he has co-operated all along and has had no problems on the farm although there is now a large group of settlers on the farm. Tim Henwood had also been asked to go down to the station earlier that day and only had to sign a warned and cautioned statement. Dave has also been told on a number of occassions and by numerous officials that the farm is 'delisted' but this too was later denied. As per Darwendale police, when he and Jenny arrived at the station, Dave was immediately locked up. Soon after that Dave Van Wyk was also brought in - our neighbour who leases the farm he is on, he himself does not own any land. Bridget and Jenny, their wives, were not allowed to give them any food or extra clothing or blankets but fortunately they were put into the same cell.

    Today has been a quieter day and only one other farmer has been added to the Banket list - Vince Schultz despite the fact that he has already been to court and won his case. No more farmers picked up in Darwendale - they have obviously (and hopefully) filled their quota. They were busy in Chinhoyi today though and picked up at least three farmers that I know of and then in Karoi, Louise Cochrane was locked up and forced to leave her two little children unattended until someone arrived to take care of them. Apparantly her husband was not there at the time but they have agreed that she will sit it out because otherwise they will start to take 'prisoners' as 'bait' for anyone they can't find. She is a very strong and very brave girl and our prayers go out to her and her family.

    The wives have been allowed to visit three times a day and take them food and they have also managed to get them the odd 'luxury' such as a Bible, clean shirt - amazing how your priorities change!

    This afternoon the Darwendale 'prisoners' were told that they were being set free but that they had to be handcuffed to go down to the charge office. They were obviously very suspicious and were right - they had been lied to, they were not being set free, but were paraded before the ZBC camera's and told not to smile! They found the whole incident very amusing and were rewarded with a shower for their 'good behavior'. When the wives arrived at 4pm, they were clean and spruced up and in good spirits.

    Tomorrow (Monday) we are hoping and praying that they will go before a magistrate and have bail set and be released. We are bracing ourselves for a let down though because there is a very good chance that they will be messed around for a while and kept in as long as possible.

    These are good people who want to quietly get on with what they know best - farming. I understand that there are over 100 farmers who have been picked up country wide and have heard some horror stories - one who has been very badly beaten up and now has a broken leg, and a lady who has been indecently assaulted but this is heresay. Some of the farmers signed warned and cautioned statements and have been released, but some of those are not allowed to return to the farm, they have been given 24 hours to pack up and leave. For these farmers, this is their only home, their only form of income, their pension and every cent they have ever made has been ploughed back into their farm. They have nowhere to go and no future without the farm. They are not going to be compensated for their farm or equipment and with our inflation running at over 100 percent, if they are not able to carry on farming, the little money they may have will dry up within a very short space of time and they will be destitute. This is so scary for so many of them.

    Please keep these people in your prayers, we still hope for a miracle in Zimbabwe.

    Take care and God bless, 


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    Daily Telegraph

    Pressure grows over Mugabe evictions
    (Filed: 19/08/2002)

    Britain and the West were today facing fresh calls to put more pressure on
    the Zimbabwean regime of President Robert Mugabe.

    Roy Bennet, a white farmer and MP for the opposition Movement for Democratic
    Change, said the international community needed to exert the kind of
    pressure which led to the ending of apartheid in South Africa. At a news
    conference in London, he said the expulsion of white farmers from their land
    was hurting the black community in the country every bit as much as the

    "What is happening in Zimbabwe is not a white and black issue. It is an
    orchestrated attempt by the President of Zimbabwe to eliminate the
    opposition," he said. "There is nobody in their right mind who would oppose
    agrarian land reform for the betterment of the people. What is being done is
    not land reform, it is the suppression of another view."

    He described how his estate in the Chimanimani district was occupied over
    the weekend by the police and army who rounded up his workers and
    indiscriminately beat them. Ephraim Tapa, a former leader of the Zimbabwean
    civil servants trade union now living in exile in Britain, said South Africa
    in particular had to be urged to do more.

    He said that the South African government effectively controlled Zimbabwe's
    electricity supply and its access to the sea, giving it real "leverage" over
    the regime in Harare. "South Africa could actually play quite a major role
    if enough pressure is applied on it. The same applies to Nigeria and Libya,"
    he said. "These are the main players when it comes to exerting pressure on
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    Nujoma backs Mugabe's land grab policy

          August 19 2002 at 11:24AM

    As at least 141 defiant farmers were arrested in swoops across Zimbabwe,
    President Sam Nujoma urged Namibians to back the Zimbabwe government and
    defeat "the forces of imperialism".

    Nujoma's weekend remarks were followed by a warning from New Zealand Prime
    Minister Helen Clark that Zimbabwe was close to collapse - blaming the
    "club" of struggle leaders for the international failure to act.

    And opposition leader Tony Leon called on Sunday for a snap debate on the
    crisis and urged President Thabo Mbeki to "end his chronic silence" on the
    land seizures.

    But Nujoma told a Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu) congress at
    Swakopmund at the weekend: "We cannot allow imperialism to take over our
    continent again. We must defend ourselves.

          'We must unite and support Zimbabwe'
    "Today it is Zimbabwe, tomorrow it is Namibia or any other country.

    "We must unite and support Zimbabwe," he said.

    Clark spoke in Wellington today after returning from a meeting of the
    Pacific Island Forum in Fiji, which issued a statement "recommending further
    action by the Commonwealth should there be no rapid change of approach by
    the Zimbabwe government".

    "The situation in Zimbabwe is lowering confidence across southern Africa and
    deterring badly needed foreign investment in the region," Clark said.

    Zimbabwe was "heading for absolute collapse", and the failure of the
    Commonwealth to suspend its membership was "deeply embarrassing".

          Mbeki's failure to speak out or to act was because the victims were
    The troika of leaders set up this year to consider further action has done
    little because two members, South Africa and Nigeria, are reluctant to act
    against an African government.

    Clark said: "The old club of those who were involved in the freedom movement
    for southern Africa hasn't been prepared to pull the plug.

    "They (Zimbabwe) have two months supply of maize, and it's eight months to
    the next harvest - and the next harvest won't be anything much because they
    have basically prevented commercial farming being effective."

    The Democratic Alliance is to request an emergency debate on the
    deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe, where at least 141 white farmers have
    been arrested for defying orders to vacate their farms under President
    Robert Mugabe's land reform programme.

    Leon said in a statement that the arrests demanded a response from South

    "It is time President Mbeki ended his chronic silence on the reign of terror
    and cruel discrimination being practised by Robert Mugabe," he said.

    On the eve of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, it would be
    unfortunate if the perception arose that Mbeki's failure to speak out or to
    act was merely because the victims in this case were white, Leon said.

    In a separate incident, the African Christian Democratic Party claimed a
    farmer's wife, Louise Cochrane, had been detained by Zimbabwean police,
    leaving her small children alone on their farm yesterday.

    An ACDP spokesperson in Durban alleged Cochrane was bundled into a police
    vehicle. The children, aged eight and three, were left alone on the farm and
    had been phoning relatives outside the country, she said. - Foreign Service,
    Reuters, Sapa-DPA
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    From The Sunday Times (SA), 18 August

    Anything that is alive, we'll eat

    As drought and famine grip Zimbabwe, starving villagers are driven to desperation

    "It is God," Charles Simampale concludes simply. "I don't know what happened but they both just went blind. First him," he says gesturing over his shoulder to his younger brother sitting on a rock nearby, "and then his wife." When you have to contend with the wrath of the elements, a starving family, crying children and two adults who are unable to help to sustain a 12-person household, it must be comforting to think that this is the plan of a higher being. Simampale, 32, and his brother Myros, 28, built their little settlement in a valley that would have been pretty had the grass not turned pale gold and the trees not lost their leaves. A small stream dried up months ago. The Simampales last received mealie meal from the Zimbabwean government in March. Five months later, they think their village, between Kamativi and Binga, about 250km east of Victoria Falls, has been forgotten.

    With no rain, no food and no income, many families and small communities like theirs have upped and left. The area is among the worst affected by the drought, which has turned large parts of the country into wasteland. What was once a busy tourist route is now almost deserted. Abandoned villages serve as an eerie reminder of the life that once was. Kilometres of devastated landscape are punctuated by dry riverbeds. Some of the riverbeds have become playgrounds for children; in others, adults burrow for water. The elder Simampale says he has never had stable work and made a living by catching and selling fish. Now, to fish, he has to make a 60km journey to the Zambezi River. His wife, Nancy, walked off that morning in search of something - anything - to feed the little ones. She came back empty-handed. About 30km down the road, Philemon Msaga has arranged carved ornaments and animals on the side of the road. He is one of few artists who live in hope that the tourists will soon come back and buy their crafts. Others abandoned their stalls long ago to go in search of food. "It is hard at the moment. We have to hunt in the field for food . . . Anything that is alive we eat . . . We dig wells in the river to get a little bit of water," he says.

    It's 4pm and several hundred people are queuing outside the Saba Trading Store , where a man is standing on stacks of mealie bags, shouting out names from a long list. He is a representative of the local government department that has provided 197 bags of mealies to be sold at Z510 a 50kg bag (R98 at the official rate) to the locals. But many people who have been waiting since dawn cannot afford to buy food. From the crowd emerge several aggressive young men, some in Zanu PF T-shirts. It is clear that they are in authority at the distribution point. The agencies distributing food in Zimbabwe have become a new force in the country. Political wrangling seemingly takes precedence over people's hunger. Catholic Bishop Robert Ndlovu says a consignment of maize to Binga was stalled for about six weeks by the government because of the involvement of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, which has earned the government's wrath for investigating human-rights abuses. "In order not to jeopardise the project, we now use the Catholic Development Agency to distribute the food," said Ndlovu. "Everyone is affected and the situation is desperate."

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    U.S. appalled at eviction campaign in Zimbabwe

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 - The United States said on Monday it was appalled by
    what it called the senseless campaign by the Zimbabwean government to evict
    white farmers.
           It called on the government to stop the campaign, which it said was
    contributing to food shortages and damaging the international reputation of
    the southern African country.
           President Robert Mugabe's government has ordered 2,900 of the
    country's remaining 4,500 white commercial farmers to quit their land
    without compensation, but nearly two-thirds have defied an Aug. 8 deadline.
           Police have arrested nearly 200 farmers since Friday and vowed on
    Monday to pick up more farmers resisting the government's fast-track land
    resettlement scheme.
           U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said, ''We're certainly
    appalled ... that at a time when 6 to 8 million Zimbabweans are facing the
    real possibility of famine that the Mugabe government continues its
    senseless campaign to evict commercial farmers and farm workers.
           ''The United States once again calls upon Zimbabwe to halt its
    pursuit of unchallenged power, restore the rule of law and cease abusing the
    human rights of its citizenry.''
           Reeker called the arrests ''reckless and reprehensible actions ...
    (that are) causing further damage to Zimbabwe's international standing.''
           The spokesman said the United States recognized that land
    distribution in Zimbabwe was inequitable for historical reasons and that it
    favored rational land reform.
           ''That is not what's happening there,'' he said. ''Many of the farms
    seized thus far appear to have been distributed to ruling party officials
    and to regime insiders and not to the landless peasants whose interest Mr.
    Mugabe pretends to represent.''
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    Dear  C,

    All your efforts did effect some major exposure yesterday on our(US) most prestigious and longest running  investigative TV show-60 Minutes. This CBS  staple has been running on the air for at least 30 years and viewing it every Sunday afternoon has become a ritual for millions of thinking Americans.

    Yesterday about the first 15 minutes of show was on the killings and beatings of white farmers. It showed at lot of black and blue on white skin. Beaten blacks also shown. And point clearly made that many more blacks than whites have been killed.

    This was an updated version ( to raise specter of starvation ) of a Jan 02 show. The intrepid reporter was Steve Kroft. While the  nexus was established that food shortages were linked to farm closures the issue of Mugabe's thugs withholding food to non-party members was not addressed

    But that single show hit many many more Americans than all the BBC World reports we get here on public television. CBS is one of the three major networks( ABC, & NBC the others.) So CBS slice of the audience pie makes public TV's look like a sliver.

    I sent in an e-mail praising the piece and have enclosed that.

    As you will see I am trying to nudge 60 MINUTES to investigate the Yank link in installing Mugabe. If that link can be made public it just might dawn on someone we Yanks have a responsibility to help disinstall him.

    e-mail sent yesterday to  CBS:


    High Praise for Steve Kroft's courageous piece on Zimbabwe. He captured it all the first time and this update may save lives.      There is little doubt in my mind that Steve's life was hanging in the balance when he confronted the leader of the "War Veterans" on one farm.  I applaud his raw courage for keeping the cameras rolling.
       Because of its tremendous viewership and prestige 60 Minutes has given maximum exposure of the Zimbabwe nightmare to the American audience.
    Kroft also made it perfectly clear that MOST of the victims are black.
       This pillorying of  the white farmer is a classic case of scapegoating to hide 22 years of  failure and corruption by President Robert Mugabe.
      If these white farmers all happened to be Jews Mugabe would already be gone! The WORLD wouldn't stand by like they are now.

      There is another angle to this story. Robert Mugabe is OUR guy. Selected and groomed by then UN Ambassador Andrew Young under the Carter Administration.   Brit. For. Sec. Dr. David Owens deferred to Young's judgment in the matter-because Young is black.
    A huge US intelligence mission was there in Salisbury, Rhodesia("77-'80).
    And so was I. Author Robin Moore in his 1991 book "The White Tribe" accurately describes the US effort which created the present nightmare in Zimbs. To those of us who were there all the "fictional" characters in his book are clearly identifiable. It's worth a dig. WE(USA) bear a goodly portion of the blame for the present mess. Mugabe's megalomania was no secret to anyone then.

    Columbus Smith
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    ABC Australia

    Zimbabwe farmer fears detention if he seeks political asylum
    A white Zimbabwean farmer says he would settle in Australia "in a flash" if
    Australia's immigration laws allowed him to.

    Marshall Roper, who is in Australia on a visitor's visa, has not applied for
    political asylum because he is afraid he and his family could be placed in
    immigration detention.

    "I have considered applying for political asylum, I have a wife and three
    small children," Mr Roper said.

    "I'm trying to apply through the proper channels - I wouldn't want to be
    thrown into a refugee camp and that's what concerns me at the moment," he

    Almost 3,000 white farmers in Zimbabwe were ordered to leave their land by
    August 8 or face up to two years in prison and a fine.

    More than 190 farmers have been arrested for refusing to comply with the
    Government's deadline.

    Mr Roper says the Australian Government should give special consideration to
    white farmers who have lost land in Zimbabwe as a result of President Robert
    Mugabe's regime.

    "I don't see any future for white farmers in Zimbabwe," Mr Roper said.

    "Of course, there will be a few that are allowed to remain that are
    politically correct, they will be allowed to remain and continue farming.

    "But the whole economy is totally trashed at the moment. I don't know how
    it's functioning," he said.
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