"The Zimbabwe Situation" news page

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Mutepatepa - The main war vet has returned and started pegging on Dundry Farm.  There has been a reoccupation on Tarlington Farm, and the situation was defused after negotiations with the farmer.
Mazowe - War vets have reoccupied Trianda Farm, have accused the owner of been uncooperative, and have threatened to place the property on the acquisition list. War vets led by George were aggressive towards the owner of Somerset Farm because he has started land preparation. Summersdale Farm and Musasa Farm have been reoccupied by war vets.  Police have been informed of a robbery that has taken place on Pentlands Farm.
Harare West/Nyabira - Some farms in the area have been re-visited by war vets, and there has been an improved response from the police.
Mvurwi - Only five farms reported the presence of occupiers on their properties over the weekend, which was generally quiet.
Marondera - The war vets on Elmswood have chased away the foreman and have now moved into some of the houses on the farm. On Monora the war vets intimidated the farmer's wife whilst she was feeding the cattle. They then refused for the fence that they had cut to be fixed. Eventually they relented and the fence was repaired but they continue to leave the gate open. There are new houses going up; some are already at roof level. The Police told the war vets not to interfere with farming operations, with little effect.
Marondera North - The area is quiet. The Worswicks are back at work but have been told that if the land issue is not finalised by Tuesday they will stop all work on Argosy, Dormavale and Chapunga.
Beatrice - On Central and New Retreat a fire burnt down about $160 000 worth of gum trees. The owner knows who is responsible but he denies all knowledge of the fire. The labour were threatened with death if they helped to extinguish the fire. The Police did react but the labour are too frightened to speak. Another fire was started on Goldylands this morning. After being extinguished it was restarted and put out again. On Kerry there are a number of permanent huts on the farm now.  The FA is still trying to obtain a directive from the Propol to help the farmers.
Featherstone - There was much movement on the weekend of private vehicles moving out the occupiers. On Kuruman the occupiers continue to cut trees.
Wedza - On Rapako yesterday morning the squatters stopped the farmer ridging again. At midday the police finally got the invaders off the land and ridging continues. The owner was told by the Police that he was then to take down the structures in his lands and relocate them for the invaders and then he would have no more problems. The owner of Igudu pulled some huts down and this upset the war vets. The farmer was instructed to return all their poles so that they could rebuild their huts. They then accused him of keeping 100 poles (which he did not) and instructed him to make them another 100 to replace those he had taken. He refused.  Shots were fired on Devon, but nothing was found.
Enterprise - After the meeting on Atlanta yesterday with all the base commanders, there was a demonstration by the occupiers this morning. They set up road blocks and caused work stoppages on a number of farms (20). The Police were informed and attended to the road blocks, whilst more manpower was sent out from Marondera to deal with the work stoppages.  Numerous arrests have been made and charges laid for contravening the Road Act.
Bromley/Ruwa - Nothing to report.
Macheke/Virginia - There was a work stoppage on Morning Star this morning. On Paradise building of huts and pegging was reported this morning. The Police are attending.
Karoi - There are eight work stoppages today in the Karoi district.  The labour on Peveril was continually assaulted during last week, but they retaliated. War vets, in turn retaliated on Saturday by burning down one of the labour's houses. About 60 war vets approached the farmer seeking revenge and he had to lock himself in the barn area with his labour. Another farmer arrived on the scene, had his vehicle stoned and war vets tried to force the doors open to remove the farmer from the car. A warning shot was fired from a side arm by the owner of Peveril and the war vets dispersed with the Peveril labour in pursuit. Police have made no arrests.
Soon after the above incident a road block was set up by the same war vets, and 40 farmers cleared it in the presence of the Police, and demanded that law and order be reinstalled. No arrests were made. A farmer's car was attacked with a pick handle, smashing the window and mirror. Police did not respond.
On Sunday 20th the owner of Gremlin/Furzon was called to sort out a fire by his foreman. War vets accused him of burning down the property and set up a road block. Amongst them were the accused that assaulted the farmer previously.  About 60 local farmers reacted and called for ZRP. About 15 arrests were made, but later Mabunda released all the men, claiming that the farmer was burning illegally and their release was justified as they had every right to set up a road block on a main road.
Tengwe - Once again tractor land preparation has been stopped on Dendanyani Farm. Peter and group of 20 intimidated the foreman, interfered with irrigation, and the resident war vet, Mackechum, then informed the farmer that he was not interested in negotiations or dialogue. He also said that the occupiers have their own agenda, will not listen to politicians, Zanu PF, Vice-President Msika, Police or farmers.  Occupiers have again stopped cattle grazing on Glencraig.  Two Police details were unable to resolve.  Ian Penny has been grazed flat and the owner is in desperate need to graze on Glencraig.
On Wednesday and Thursday last week, Tengwe Police conveyed the message from Compol and Propol that the occupiers must stop all farm disruptions and work stoppages.  On Friday some of the previously disrupted farms commenced working again. On Friday afternoon the Member in Charge Tengwe had still not received the above signal from Dispol in Karoi. Information received was that Dispol verbally informed them that it was acceptable for the occupiers to continue disrupting work on farms that were already occupied, but no new occupations were to take place - if they did then the occupiers would be arrested.
Kadoma/Battlefields - On Kanyemba there was a reoccupation of 90 people.  Police did not react.  Occupiers eventually moved off and moved onto Tungstan. Abendrui, Umsweswi River Blocks 5, 6, and 7 and Overlaw have been reoccupied.  On Milverton there are approximatey 2000 people currently carting wood and maize away in scotch carts, and cutting down trees.  On Alabama 300 big trees have been cut recently and 30 permanent structures built.  On Pamene an impala was snared.  On Normandi North a heifer was stabbed to death whilst calving. 
Chegutu - On Ijapo there has been a reoccupation. Police will not react unless there is confrontation.  Hut building is ongoing.  On San Fernando all work has been stopped including pumps, Dispol is reacting.  On Tiverton many houses are being built and there are donkey carts moving about, tree cutting etc.  On Makuti there is increased hut building.  On Stewartonia there were two cows slaughtered on Friday night - this was reported by war veterans.  On Farnham Farm war vets were seen with a sporting rifle.  On Cambustreni tractors were impounded by war vets.  The Police defused the situation.  On Just Right there is much pegging.  On Leny farm more army personnel have been seen and it appears that they are looking for the best plots.  On Riverside there are now approximately 40 houses that have been built with a new invasion from the Coburn squatter camp.  On Eureka war vets are selling plots at between $200 and $600.  There was electricity cable stolen and it appears that a Police seargent is involved.
Chakari - On Newbiggin Farm there is still no response from Police regarding the harassment of guards, nearly a week later.  On Rondor Farm war vets have said that they will not take orders from Police and are continuing to build huts in the lands. On Deweras increased tree cutting is taking place.  On Milanwood Farm war vets are becoming threatening outside the security fence.  On Montana war vets have given the owners eviction orders and have started ploughing with tractors.  
Norton - On Idaho Farm on Saturday war vets stopped work and Police arrested four of them.  Subsequent death threats were received and a reoccupation of 50-60 people .  Today tractors were stopped again with demands that the arrested war veterans be released.  A deal has been struck whereby if there are no further work stoppages or threats charges will be dropped.  On Merton Park Mrs. Rusike's war vets are demanding a house.  On Saffron Walden a wooden house has been erected.
Selous - On Wicklow Farm there was a threatening situation yesterday which appears to be defused for now. 
Masvingo East and Central - Springspruit Farm was reoccupied over the weekend, and occupants have told the owner that this property has been designated. Fencing was stolen from Chidza Farm. Police have still not reacted to Friday's incident. There were 127 people on Fomax Farm over the weekend. One was holding an SKS rifle, and plots were being issued.
The rest of the province remains the same.
Nothing to report. 
No report.
Mvuma - Occupiers moved off Wyldegrove Farm after being given instructions to go home and get food and return today ready for resettlement this week. There are houses going up everywhere and a similar situation on Union and England.
Gweru East/Lalapanzi -
A permanent structure has been erected in the maize lands on Safago Farm.
East/Lalapanzi - A permanent structure has been erected in the maize lands on Safago Farm.
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Farm Workers Losing Their Jobs

MORE than 240 000 farm workers will lose their jobs after the Government concludes the acquisition of over 3 000 commercial farms for resettlement to, the Farm Workers' Action Group has said.
Between 350 000 and 400 000 people are employed on the country's commercial farms and the acquisition of farms for resettlement under the fast-tract approach will leave them without jobs as the new settlers will not need workers, opting to use their families as labour.
FWAG is a network of organisations and individuals working with the country's commercial farm communities.
The chairman of the group, Mr Godfrey Magaramombe, said the situation was being made tough by the fact that farm workers resident on the acquired farms were not being considered for resettlement when the land is parcelled out.
"For example, on a farm with about 40 workers, only three might be resettled on that property and the rest are being asked to vacate their homes."
Mr Magaramombe, who is also the director of the Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe, said about 70 percent of the 350 000 farm workers would lose their jobs if the Government went ahead with the acquisition of the more than 3 000 commercial farms.
"We appreciate and acknowledge the historical injustice and the need for equitable redistribution of land in the country but we are concerned with the number of farm workers who will be displaced," said Mr Magaramombe.
The Government has already made known its intention to acquire more than 3 000 farms for resettlement.  The fast-track programme has been launched in almost all the country's provinces.
Another member of the group, Mr Lovemore Kadenge, called for the consideration of farm workers in the accelerated resettlement programme. 
Over 350 000 farm workers and their families make up about 10 percent of the country's total population.  Put together with their families, they give a total of nearly two million people.
The Government, has, however, tried to accommodate farm workers in the accelerated resettlement programme, although the numbers have been small.
The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Dr Ignatius Chombo, told the Sunday Mail yesterday that farm workers would be resettled.
He said some farm workers were refusing to be resettled, preferring to find employment elsewhere or follow their former employers.
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My heart goes out to these poor scared people who face an uncertain future, fearful of losing not only their jobs but also their homes, access to medical care, schooling for their children.
And the frustration and terror of knowing that if their wives are raped, or their husbands grievously assaulted, the police will do nothing about it.
If they are beaten with sticks, or barbed wire whips, or iron bars, and hurt badly they know the police will do nothing about it.
How many times have they thought of revenge against those oppressing them and stayed their hands knowing that it would only provoke further attacks and beatings in return?
And if they defend themselves they know they will be accused of spreading violence and they know the police will have no hesitation in charging them.
Injustice like this leaves me cold.  The shame of it.  The disgrace that every by-standing on-looking policeman does to the uniform he wears.
I wonder if any self respecting Zimbabwean will ever again have respect for that uniform or the men who wear it now?

Zimbabwe farm workers said to attack war veterans

Reuters - Aug 21 2000 3:31PM ET

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - A crowd of 200 black farm workers attacked 60 war veterans occupying white-owned agricultural land in northern Zimbabwe Tuesday night and beat them with sticks, a farmers' spokesman said.

``The situation is very volatile as we speak,'' Kelvin Weare, a farming community security spokesman, told Reuters by telephone from Karoi, a farming town about 120 miles northwest of the capital Harare.

``They beat them with sticks. A number of war veterans were quite badly hurt,'' Weare said. ``They were trying to chase them (the war veterans) off the farm.''

He said police were investigating the attack but had made no arrests so far.

``They (the farm workers) were apparently fed up with all the intimidation that has been going on the past few months,'' he said, adding that the farmer they worked for now feared for his life.

Zimbabwe's countryside has been tense since February, when self-styled veterans of the country's 1970s liberation war invaded hundreds of white-owned farms demanding that whites return land they say was stolen at gunpoint during British rule.

President Robert Mugabe says he plans to acquire nearly half the 30 million acres owned by 4,500 white farmers to resettle landless blacks.

A group of veterans Tuesday blocked a highway to protest against the slow pace of land redistribution.

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From the BBC
Friday, 18 August, 2000, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Zimbabwe wildlife 'face disaster'


Black rhinos roam commercial farm and ranchland
By environment correspondent Alex Kirby

Zimbabwe's policy of redistributing land owned by white commercial farmers threatens "ecological disaster", according to an eminent conservationist.

Professor Johan du Toit, of Pretoria University, South Africa, says it is "inevitable that wildlife populations will be overhunted" if the farms are handed over immediately to black Zimbabweans.

He warns that the country's black rhinos, one of the species that attracts high-spending foreign tourists and hunters, will be at great risk.

But he believes international help could avert the disaster.

Wildlife danger

Professor du Toit, director of the Mammal Research Unit at Pretoria University, says commercial white-owned farms in Zimbabwe are home to many rare large mammals, including cheetah, black rhino and sable - a type of antelope.

He told BBC News Online: "White-owned commercial farmland and ranchland in Zimbabwe supports a very significant proportion of that country's biodiversity.

"It will be severely impacted if this land is thrown over to subsistence agriculture."

The Zimbabwe Government insists that only about 30% of white-owned land is actually used for farming.

But the professor dismisses this, saying most of the arable land is cultivated already, while the rest supports indigenous woodland that is used for grazing cattle, or for wildlife, or both.

"The issue is that dumping impoverished peasants on geometrically-plotted patches of virgin non-arable land, without any infrastructure, tillage equipment, venture capital, housing, water supplies, or training will result quite simply in an ecological disaster," says Professor du Toit.

"Wildlife populations will be overhunted and snared, habitat loss will be rapid, and the whole crisis will just get exponentially worse."

Uncertain future

Professor du Toit acknowledges that Zimbabwe itself cannot afford to provide that sort of infrastructure. But he believes the international community would assist if the land redistribution was drawn up transparently and if the government completely revised its policy.

He believes Zimbabwe can still find a solution. But if it fails to do so, he thinks the future is bleak.

"We're going to lose some large populations and some important gene pools in the near future," says Professor du Toit. "The issue isn't that white people should own land. It's that the land should feed the people."

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Mandela calls on Zimbabweans to resist Mugabe with weapons
By Gus Constantine


     Former South African President Nelson Mandela has brought a quiet feud with Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe into the open, urging Zimbabwe's people to take up arms against the "tyrants" who rule.
     Ordinary people, Mr. Mandela said, should depose leaders who enrich themselves at the expense of their countrymen by "picking up rifles and fighting for liberation."
     Speaking in Johannesburg at the inception of a new UNICEF initiative for impoverished children on Saturday, Mr. Mandela departed from his prepared text to level the unusual broadside.
     In the process, he has placed himself at odds with his successor, President Thabo Mbeki, who has publicly embraced Mr. Mugabe in an effort to end a wave of violence in advance of elections for Zimbabwe's parliament.
     Mr. Mandela said South Africa was committed to diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis, in which supporters of Mr. Mugabe have beaten and killed opposition-party supporters and seized all or part of more than 1,000 white-owned farms.
     But he also said ordinary people were not bound by the diplomacy of South Africa and other nations.
     "That is the lesson of history. The tyrants of today can be destroyed by you, and I am confident that you have the capacity to do so," Mr. Mandela said.
     Asked whether the remarks were directed at Mr. Mugabe, he replied: "Everybody knows who I am talking about."
     About 4,000 white farmers have held one-third of Zimbabwe's most fertile lands since before British colonial rule ended in 1965.
     In the so-called Lancaster House accords of 1980, Britain and the nation's black independence leaders agreed that after 20 years, the farms could be redistributed to landless blacks, with the consent of whites and adequate compensation to be paid by London.
     The redistribution has long been under way but, instead of going to landless blacks, much of it wound up in the hands of well-to-do, well-connected blacks.
     So Britain balked on paying compensation.
     Mr. Mandela and Mr. Mbeki also differ on Britain's response to Mr. Mugabe's land grab, namely to suspend all new export licenses for arms and military equipment to Zimbabwe and to halt the supply of 450 Land Rovers to Mr. Mugabe.
     The British say Mr. Mandela supports their policy. Mr. Mbeki is critical, but the British believe his public remarks mask his real feelings.
     Mr. Mandela's call for Mr. Mugabe's ouster was rejected by Mr. Mbeki, who has urged a softer approach to the crisis and solidarity among Zimbabwe's neighbors in southern Africa.
     Immediately after Mr. Mandela's remarks, Parks Mankhahlana, Mr. Mbeki's spokesman, said: "That is Mr. Mandela's view. Mr. Mbeki has explained his position."
     Herman Nickel, a former U.S. ambassador to South Africa, said in a telephone interview: "Mr. Mandela's call for the overthrow of tyrants is clearly in contrast with the pronouncements and show of friendship toward the Zimbabwean leader by Mr. Mbeki.
     "When Mr. Mandela went to London, [Prime Minister Tony] Blair issued a statement noting that the former South African president supported the British position on Zimbabwe."
     Britain has pledged to contribute to compensation to the white farmers provided the illegal farm occupations stop.
     Asked how he viewed Mr. Mandela's remarks, Mr. Nickel said, "Mr. Mandela has always been his own man and at times a bit of a loose cannon."
     Reports of a feud between Mr. Mandela and Mr. Mugabe -two of the continent's best-known leaders of liberation movements against white domination -have long been whispered. However, Mr. Mandela's latest remarks are believed to be the first time either has so openly criticized the other.
     For Mr. Mandela, Mr. Mugabe represents a type of African independence leader who fought successfully for independence, then drifted toward tyranny by clinging to power, said Joseph Sala, a former State Department official who served in the region.
     Mr. Mandela did the opposite, assuming the leadership of his nation and then stepping down after one term in office.
     "There are leaders in Africa . . . who have made enormous wealth, leaders who once commanded liberation armies. But rubbing shoulders with the rich, the powerful, the wealthy has made some leaders despise the very people who put them in power, and they think it is their privilege to be there for eternity," Mr. Mandela said in Saturday's speech.
     Mr. Mbeki, meanwhile, is preparing for a two-day summit next week in London with Mr. Blair.
     Mr. Mankhahlana, the South African president's spokesman, said it was critical for the British to hear the voices of the southern African leaders.
     After the recent meeting between Mr. Blair and Mr. Mandela, a senior British official suggested that Mr. Mandela was speaking with Mr. Mbeki's blessing.
     "He is free to say what everybody feels. Do not underestimate how tough Mbeki is in private talks with Mugabe," the official told a British newspaper.
     Mr. Mbeki is also reported to have offered Mr. Mugabe a deal: Public backing by southern African leaders for a land-resettlement deal in exchange for the calling off the confrontation.

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Mbeki says Africans must rise up against tyrants
Reuters - May 26 2000 4:57PM ET
ATLANTA (Reuters) - South African President Thabo Mbeki, who spent decades fighting apartheid, Friday said that Africa should rid itself of tyrants if it wished to enjoy prosperity in the 21st century.
``It is up to us to rebel against tyrants, rebel against corrupt people who use force of arms against us,'' Mbeki told a predominantly black group of politicians and business leaders during a speech in Atlanta.
Mbeki, who traveled to the southern city at the end of a six-day state visit to the United States, said a majority of Africans were tired of the civil wars, famines and corruption that had stained the continent in recent years.
``We do not want to be shown on TV killing one another. ... We've had enough of this,'' Mbeki told the audience.
Elected president last year in South Africa's second all-race elections, Mbeki has advised other nations on the continent to adopt peace and democracy as the cornerstones of a so-called ``African Renaissance.''
War, however, continues to stalk Africa, with bloody conflicts currently raging in Angola, the Congo, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. The continent also faces a growing AIDS crisis and the burden of excessive debt loads.
Although South Africa is considered the economic powerhouse in Africa, Mbeki conceded that much needed to be done to erase the racial inequalities that led to the creation of ``two nations'' in the country.
In an address earlier in the day from the pulpit of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where slain U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. once preached, Mbeki vowed to wipe out what he dubbed the ``color problem'' in South Africa.
``In South Africa, this problem is reflected in the existence of two nations; one white and rich, the other black and poor,'' Mbeki told the crowd, which included South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
``We are resolved to the task of solving the color problem,'' said Mbeki, who added that he was humbled to be speaking in the spiritual home of Martin Luther King Jr., one of the first Western leaders to call for a boycott of South Africa's apartheid regime.
King was assassinated in 1968. King's widow, Coretta Scott King, lauded Mbeki as a great freedom fighter who was linked to her husband's legacy. Mbeki later placed a wreath at King's crypt, adjacent to the church.
Mbeki was scheduled to leave for Nigeria late Friday.
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Mad Bob creating the Marxist land of his dreams

Comment from The Sunday Times (SA), 11 June 2000
Stephen Mulholland - Another Voice

It is ironic that events in another country have caused so much fear and
anxiety among those South Africans who worry about their futures and those
of their families. These people are not all white and are not all
property-owners, although many are. People of colour wouldn't want what is
happening in Zimbabwe to happen here. Only those who would benefit, through
the abuse of power, would wish to be run by an egomaniacal dictator whose
response to political reverse is to terrorise, torture and kill not only his
opposition but anyone he perceives to be even a potential threat.

And some are victimised merely to discourage others. Thus Indian merchants
and property-owners have been pushed around in much the same manner that the
crazed Idi Amin treated these law-abiding citizens whose only sin seems to
be achieving success through hard work. Mugabe's murderous thugs have
targeted black teachers and health workers simply
because, being educated, they can discern what is going on. This reminds one
of Pol Pot's mass murder of his own people, and the Russian and Chinese
habit of sending intellectuals for re-education, as collectivist
brainwashing was known. Simple people are warned that the vote is not secret
and that voting for the opposition is a certain death sentence. Good luck to
the international monitors who will try to convince them otherwise.

No one can accuse London's left-wing Guardian newspaper of sympathising with
colonialism or propertied whites and Indians. Last week, its reporter wrote:
"In the run-up to the elections on June 24-25, Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has
unleashed a widespread campaign of violence against the opposition which has
taken at least 30 lives. Thousands more opposition supporters have been
beaten, raped and tortured." Zimbabwean police were apparently helpless to
act against Mugabe's anarchic mobs of so-called war veterans as they ignored
court orders, wantonly destroyed property, terrorised and killed farmers,
their families and their workers and illegally occupied farms.

But the police quickly discovered teargas and their courage when riots broke
out this week at petrol stations as the fuel crisis intensified. Mad Bob
blamed the Brits for not delivering oil for which Zimbabwe cannot pay
because it is spending what is left of its foreign exchange on its forces in
the Congo, there to protect the diamond interests of Mugabe and his criminal

It was former President Nelson Mandela who remarked that tyrants are often
loathe to give up power because it means that their successors may well go
after them for the crimes they committed while in office. And it was
Archbishop Desmond Tutu who charged Mugabe with being a caricature of the
likes of Idi Amin, Milton Obote, Mobutu Sese Seko and other dictators who
have damaged the image of African leadership.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwean businesses, forced by economic and political turmoil
to either shut down or cut back, have been identified by Mugabe's hit men to
be dealt with after the election. In Mugabe's tortured imagination, a
tourist operator who shuts down because there are no tourists is a traitor
and, even worse, someone who wants to put Zanu-PF in a bad light because of
losses of jobs and foreign exchange earnings.

As election fever rises, Mad Bob took to the hustings this week to proclaim
that his government would seize all white-owned land and that any whites
with land in Zimbabwe would be the beneficiaries of our charity. After the
choice bits have been dished out to his cronies, the landless will be given
commercial farms to squat which, of course, will ruin the country's
agronomy. Mad Bob will then have what he has always pined for, a Marxist
enclave in which his word is law and God help anyone who steps out of line.

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This human, economic and political tragedy continues to evolve and develop
­ we stand in the wings as spectators and players and are almost paralyzed
as we watch an African country with such potential, simply implode. The old
diehards stand back and say "we told you so", our friends all over the
world and here inside the country wring their hands and are now gradually
turning away in dismay. International observers shake their heads,
suddenly, this is part of "hopeless Africa".

And yet it is totally a product of our own actions. This tragedy is not of
someone else's making ­ its home grown. It need not be happening and it was
always avoidable and one man is responsible ­ Robert Mugabe. Obviously
others have some responsibility but they do not have the power to change
the situation. Mugabe and his clique have made this the reality by a series
of constitutional amendments over the past 20 years that give the president
almost total power.

What is so distressing is that the good people in Zanu PF are so silent and
seem to go along with the tragedy as it is played out in front of them. The
past few days have seen the collapse of any hope that regional leaders
would say enough is enough and call a halt to Mugabe's mad dash for
destruction. They met in Namibia and then endorsed Mugabe's "land policy"
and said that the world community had a colonial responsibility to pay for
the madness. They even agreed to travel abroad to try and sell this
impossible demand in major capitals.

Then Mugabe said that they were now going for 3000 farms ­ he announced
that they were revising this to 3200 and would not stop there if they
needed more land. Individual leaders inside Zanu went even further to say
they were going for all white owned farms. They were going to force all
whites off the land and replace them with landless people drawn from Zanu's
remaining constituency. We were inundated with pictures of provincial
governors handing out small parcels of land to hapless peasants rounded up
with promises of free land.

To round it off we had the failed summit of regional leaders on the Congo
conflict. They were all there ­ and meant business. Kabila turned up and
walked out at midnight on the second day rejecting the position of the
regional leaders and the international community. Mugabe, who has risked
his political life and spent in excess of US$750 million in defence of
Kabila and his thugs, was left looking powerless and ineffective. Kabila
shrugged off his attempt to influence his stance and thereby enhance
Mugabe's position regionally and instead went back to Kinshasa and told
everyone they could get lost.

Finally the most persistent of the supporters of the Mugabe regime, the
United Nations, finally decided that enough was enough and they declared
they were abandoning their efforts in support of the land reform program in
Zimbabwe. A consistent supporter of land reform and Zimbabwe, the country
representative of the UNDP, Carlos Lopez leaves Zimbabwe after a number of
years of effort to get the country working on a sustainable basis which
would improve the lives of millions of ordinary Zimbabweans. "We have
achieved very little" Carlos said as he left the country which he had tied
so hard to save from itself.

At home we ran out of fuel and traffic almost came to a standstill ­ some
wag said it was a Mugabe "stay away". We are expecting the IMF here this
weekend ­ they plan to spend a couple of weeks in Zimbabwe talking to
government officials and others and trying to make sense of our economy. We
meet them on the 1st of September and our team has started to prepare our
presentation. We discussed the economy this week and agreed on the broad
parameters; GDP down by 5 to 7 per cent or more. Inflation rising to 70 per
cent by the year end, foreign earnings down by as much as 50 per cent;
domestic debt rising to as much as 152 billion Zimbabwe dollars by the year
end. Interest on the debt to absorb 50 per cent of total revenues this year
and 65 per cent next year ­ whatever they do in the interim. Life
expectancy falling 15 years in a decade ­ the biggest decline in history;
incomes down by nearly 50 per cent over the same period. And now the
prospect of food shortages and the final collapse of the economy as all our
basic industries fall to the axe of Zanu PF mismanagement and corruption.

When we have run through these frightening figures ­ surely the worst such
scenario that these hardened men of international finance have ever seen,
then we have to say what we think is needed to put things right. We
wrestled with that one for some time and eventually decided that before we
even talk about the technical and financial side of a recovery program, we
had to state quite clearly that the only hope of any rescue package
working, was a radical shift in political policies and management. If these
are not put in place they, and we are wasting our time.

Fortunately for us, the world community knows this and they will not come
to our rescue until we start behaving as citizens of planet earth, circa
2000. This means more suffering for those of us who live here and its
terrible to watch the plight of the millions who have lost their sources of
income and who face a daily struggle to survive. But the end justifies the
means in this circumstance and anything that might prolong the rule of this
rapacious regime must not be accepted. We are trying to do what we can to
alleviate the suffering which is likely to be our common experience in the
next two years while we seek to correct the political environment which
governs our lives.

The legal battle is now fully joined ­ we are contesting 39 Zanu PF seats
and won the first major legal case this past week when the entire bench of
the Supreme Court ruled that the postal ballot in the recent election had
not been handled properly. They ruled that the postal votes had to be taken
out of the result of the past election. We now wait to see which seats will
be affected. We do not expect to pick up any new seats but the decision
sets the tone for the more serious legal processes that will follow. We are
certain that a number of the disputed seats will eventually go to the MDC,
but not without a fight.

The latest report from Amani Trust who monitor political violence is
disturbing. They reported 8 deaths and 238 serious physical attacks in the
weeks since the election. They said the violence was escalating. This is a
clear sign that the election campaign of Zanu PF is still being waged. If
Mugabe decides to run in 2002 we are in for a torrid time and have no doubt
that the campaign will be characterised by widespread violence. Land and
the clenched fist are the only instruments left in the government's hands.

The one element they have not factored into this situation and which is the
only guarantee that we will come out of this nightmare and be able to
recover and go on, is our determination to stay the course. We are not
going to quit and leave the field to the thugs. Bullies inevitably back
down when faced with determination and courage. We have right and principle
on our side and in all of history this has always prevailed when pursued
with energy and intelligence.

Eddie Cross
18th August 2000

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OBJECT: For the defence of the Faith and to monitor the spiritual, economic
and social development of Zimbabwe and befriend, advise and assist where
possible former Rhodesian citizens.

Hon. President Rev. Fr. Arthur R. Lewis, M.A. Oxon
Director W. Denis Walker
P.O. Box 5307
Bishop's Stortford, Herts.,
CM23 3DZ


by Father Arthur Lewis

It was early in the 'sixties' that I risked a coracle across the
crocodile-infested Pungwe River to reach Katiyo. The village lay on the
extreme eastern border of Rhodesia (as it then was) and was perhaps the
remotest part of the country. The children had never seen a white man and
just ran.

The coracle was too dangerous, so next time I went the long way round.
Leaving the Land Rover beyond the Pungwe bridge, I walked to our school at
Chikomba. Here Teacher Kenneth Ndhlovu, himself a keen Christian, led me to
Katiyo through the forest and across a "bridge" - two fallen trees - over a
rushing stream. it was not long before we had a school and a church and the
beginnings of a Christian community. The Land Development Officer and I
planted the first tea, to raise funds for school fees.


In a few years a road had been built, an African Tea Estate had grown up
and a flourishing quarry had been opened -all these bringing employment to
the poverty-stricken peasants. Within a couple of decades Katiyo moved from
primitive Africa into the 20th century. Education, civilisation and
Christianity transformed the whole area.

In April of this year Robert Mugabe's drunken thugs quickly put paid to
that. The people of Katiyo disillusioned by 20 years of corrupt rule,
turned to Mr Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
The vengeance of Mr Mugabe's invading mobs was terrible. They unleashed an
orgy of kidnappings, rape and beatings. They burned the quarry owner's
house, and shrieked with laughter as they barbecued his chickens and
watched the fire. Police turned up and watched as the invaders carried off
their loot. To this day the local people are stunned with terror: they are
unlikely to dare to vote against Mugabe in the election of June 24th-25th.

We hear that the notorious Fifth Army is now in the Hone Valley in Eastern
Zimbabwe, within reach of both Katiyo and the central mission of St Peter,

Attacks like that at Katiyo are taking place the length and breadth of

At Nehanda, another village in Eastern Zimbabwe, Peter Kariza was buried on
April 30th. He was a supporter of the Movement for Democratic Change. He
was just one of the dozens of people on the farms reported murdered by
followers of the ruling ZANU (PF)after Mr Mugabe lost the constitutional
referendum in February. His house was burned and not even a priest was
allowed to attend the funeral. "No one must mourn a member of the MDC," the
invaders are alleged to have said. "If they do they will be killed."


We have all read in the press about the five white farmers who have been
murdered, and seen their stories on the TV. We will not attempt to tell
their experiences again. It is impossible to exaggerate the plight of their
widows and families, though the Commercial Farmers' Union is doing what it
can to help. Less attention has been given to the fearsome sufferings of
the more numerous African victims of Mr Mugabe's reign of terror.

One of the white farmers was Mr David Stevens. At his funeral (from which
Africans were kept away by gunmen) mourners were asked to remember his
foreman, Julius Andoche, a father of five who was killed for trying to save
his employer's life. Mr Stevens' widow, herself in grave danger of her
life, pleaded that some good might yet come out of her husband's killing.
Her plea was spurned by the country's Vice-President, Simon Muzna, who said
there was nothing to regret about his death or that of his fellow white
farmer Mr Martin Olds.

The story of Mr Olds' three-hour single-handed defence of his ranch is the
stuff of legends, a story of heroic courage incomprehensible to the Mugabes
of this world. Mrs Olds, a paraplegic, is now in the United Kingdom, and it
need not be said that our Group will do what it can for her.

The restraint of the thousand or more white farmers whose homes and lands
have been pillaged by Mugabe's hordes, often drunk and high on drugs, has
been no less courageous. The farmers have suffered hug provocation. The
invasions of their properties have nothing at all to do with the land
problem, which they have long been striving to sort out rationally. It is a
question of power for Mugabe, who has wheeled this "problem" out at every
election since he took over the country twenty years ago. The main
sufferers are the hundreds of farm employees, beaten and tortured (and
sometimes murdered) in order to make it unthinkable that the Movement for
Democratic Change should inherit power.

The London "Times" pointed out on June 3rd that a US-sponspored team which
had been in the country for some months had concluded that there is no
likelihood of a free and fair contest.


Joint leaders of the hideous persecution in Zimbabwe are Mugabe himself and
his ally Chenjerai Hitler Hunzvi of the mis-named "War Veterans
Association." (This new Hitler is reported to have looted funds set aside
for genuine veterans of the guerrilla war, for which crime he has been
indicted and is currently on bail.) Hunzvi is scarcely less powerful than
the president himself. Together they control the army and the police, who
in turn organise the systematic terrorising of the rural areas by the
thugs, most of them too young to be "war veterans." Typical of their
victims is "Learnmore Chagonda": though this is not his real name, which
must be withheld to protect his surviving family.

Three youths of the ruling party beat his wife, and then beat Learnmore
himself all night with iron bars and a rhino whip wrapped in barbed wire.
They dumped him at the roadside as dead. A villager recognised him and,
defying the ruling ZANU(PF), had him carried in an ox-wagon to a nearby
Roman Catholic mission. There the nuns bandaged his wounds and released him
the following day. He was smuggled to hospital in Harare, arriving at 10
a.m. and being seen by a doctor at 8 p.m. His wounds turned septic, and an
amputation was planned. He died before this could take place. We understand
that the villagers were told that if the ruling party does not win the
election, they will all be killed and the war will start again.


Mr Mugabe has at last begun to pull his troops out of the ludicrously named
"Democratic Republic of Congo", where some two thirds of his army have been
guarding the diamond fields of the DRC and fighting for the survival of his
friend President Lauren Kabila. Presumably he needs the army for the
election it is diamonds, of course, which are financing the Central African
war as well as producing vast personal wealth for Mr Mugabe, his army
chiefs and his cronies. It is diamonds, in fact, which are keeping the two
governments in power. To make doubly sure of the election result, the farm
invaders were ordered to stay put on the farms both during and after the

What is not generally understood is that both Mugabe and Kabila are in fact
pawns in a much bigger game. An expose of this by Peter Sawwyer appears in
an unlikely quarter, namely the last issue of "Punch Magazine" in May.

"The irony," he writes, "is that the real power in this operation lies in
the hands of a group of powerful, shadowy, extremely wealthy white men.
Without the backing of these secretive international players, Mugabe's
government would crumble to dust. Some of these key players....live in the
quiet, leafy surroundings of the Home Counties. Last month one such player
was exposed in the House of Lords. John Bredenkamp of Sunningdale,
Berkshire, was named as being involved in brokering substantial shipments
of arms from countries such as Bulgaria to Zimbabwe...... According to
South African intelligence sources, John Bredenkamp.... is Zimbabwe's main
arms procurer.......His personal fortune, owned through offshore trusts, is
estimated as well over UKP440 million."

Of course, we can guarantee the factual accuracy of none of this. Nor can
we link these allegations with the secretive Bilderberg Group.

The final comments of Peter Sawyer are worth noting. "Reputedly, every week
two chartered jets fly from Kinshasa in the DRC to an airport in Belgium.
The 'planes bring with them packets of diamonds, which are then sold on the
Antwerp diamond market. The proceeds go towards the cost of the war.....The
European Union could probably stop the war at a stroke, simply by
impounding the 'planes. Yet the truth is that some very powerful Europeans
have an interest in the continuation of this particular war."


All this may be considered "politics", and nothing to do with Christians.
Yet the increasing control of world affairs by a handful of hidden
super-rich tycoons is the direct cause of the misery of millions. It is
also responsible for the widespread retreat of Christianity in the West. It
is more than time Christians woke up, fought back and tore down the veil of
secrecy which hides these men. They are safe from the power of the media,
which they largely own: but not from the power of God, of prayer and of
determined Christians who are prepared to show their heads over the parapet.

It is time that we recognised that colonialism was not the bad thing it is
alleged. Indeed for Africa over-rapid decolonisation under American
pressure has proved ruinous. Tropical Africa never experienced a Copper or
a Bronze Age because Europeans brought Black Africans by the tens of
millions out of the Stone Age into the modern world. When European
explorers first penetrated the continent, tribal Africa had not yet
developed the wheel. Aida Parker writes bluntly: "Everything in the
development of Africa is thanks to the Whites: its cities, farmlands,
roads, railways, its hospitals, its power grids, its cars, aircraft and
computers. It was the white man who paved the way for education, for health
services, for social development of every kind." She might have added that
the pioneers of all this development - and of common languages which made
communication possible outside the tribal group - were the Christian
missionaries who, at incalculable cost to themselves, brought the Gospel to
Africa. Christianity was the driving force behind it all. Christianity can
and must fight back today.

It may be unpopular to say it, but history has shown that Rhodesia was
right and Mr Wilson's Britain wholly wrong. We cannot turn the clock back,
but there is some hope of turning it forward if we have the courage to swim
against the tide, unmask the few who are doing so much damage and scrap the
lie that Christianity is a spent force. What about the 10,000 Anglicans who
filled the London Stadium on the Eve of Pentecost? What about the millions
of Christians world-wide who took part in the March for Jesus? The media
may disregard us all. But we have the power to make a difference.

Christianity is the hope for the future. Our immediate job in the UK is to
do what we can for those forced out of Zimbabwe and who land up on these
shores. The prayers which support us and the funds which you send us may
not revolutionise the situation in Zimbabwe overnight: they can and will
revolutionise the lives of a few.

At the risk of wearisome repetition, we say once more "Our work is but a
drop in the ocean of need. But it is still better to light a small candle
than to curse the dark."

And Our Lord did say: "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel..."

The Rhodesia Christian Group is funded entirely by voluntary contributions.

For further copies please write to:

P.O. Box 5307,
Bishop's Stortford,
United Kingdom

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Police watch as worker kills boss - Daily News: 8/21/00 2:06:18 PM (GMT +2)
20 war vets further remanded - Daily News: 8/21/00 2:03:26 PM (GMT +2)

Police watch as worker kills boss

Daily News: 8/21/00 2:06:18 PM (GMT +2) - Margaret Chinowaita

A prominent Harare businessman, Muchineripi Chigwedere, 50, was savagely murdered at his factory in Msasa on Saturday night in full view of his wife and uniformed police officers following a dispute with an employee.

A distraught Rosewinter Chigwedere described yesterday how her husband was stabbed more than 10 times while she, two policemen, three security guards and other workers watched helplessly.
"It was horror at its worst,"she said. " used to think that horror was only for the films. Last night I watched as my husband was repeatedly stabbed."
One of the police officers fired twice into the air as the stabbing continued but ran out of ammunition. Rhodesville Police Station, whose officers witnessed the brutal murder, last night refused to comment.
Chigwedere bled to death after he was stabbed by William Masale, a machine operator, following a protracted argument over a wage rise at Gelatine Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd. Witnesses said Masale initially urged fellow employees reporting for the 11pm shift not to work until they were awarded their increment. Masale is resident in Epworth.
Masale is alleged to have switched off machinery. Other workers are said to have failed to restrain him. All workers were ordered out of the premises by the factory supervisor, who immediately contacted Chigwedere and Rhodesville Police Station. Rhodesville immediately dispatched two officers to the plant.
Chigwedere and his wife arrived at the factory around 11pm. They found Masale standing by a security guard. Other workers had left by then. Masale immediately confronted Chigwedere and a fight ensued. Masale was overpowered and left.
He then reappeared and attacked Chigwedere from behind while the police officers and security guards watched helplessly from a distance.
"The police were useless,"said Angela Chidavanyika, Chigwedere's sister.
"We hear they watched as my brother was being stabbed. They failed to save him."
The incident exposed a major inadequacy on the part of police preparedness.
Witnesses said the police officers arrived with only two bullets, which they used up in firing into the air to scare off Masale. Undeterred and with the police reduced to mere spectators, Masale continued to stab Chigwedere with a double-edged knife. It is alleged that he reported for work armed with the knife, an axe and an umbrella rod.
Chigwedere, a chemical engineer, was a self-starter who at the launch of Zimbabwe's structural adjustment programme in 1991 resigned from National Breweries in Bulawayo to venture into the manufacture of pet foods and a wide range of dried soya bean-based foods in his plant in Harare. Business thrived and at the time of his death he was employing 52 workers.
Construction of a multi-million dollar new factory was recently completed in Ruwa. The company was due to move to its new home next month.
Chigwedere is survived by Rosewinter and three children. Mourners are gathered at 17 Bargate Road, Northwood.
His pet food range, brand-named Hwau Hwau, took the market by storm to challenge long-established products.
Chigwedere directed that 10 percent of proceeds from the sale of Hwau Hwau products be donated to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
On Saturday night he died a cruel death.

20 war vets further remanded

Daily News: 8/21/00 2:03:26 PM (GMT +2)
Staff Reporter

TWENTY of the 25 war veterans and Zanu PF supporters charged with freeing a colleague suspected of murdering a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporter in pre-poll violence from police custody, appeared for the second time on Thursday last week at the Murehwa magistrates' courts.

Ariel Kamupira, the presiding magistrate, further remanded them in custody to 31 August.
The 20, one a 17-year-old girl, first appeared before the same magistrate two weeks ago charged with public violence or alternatively contravening section 44 (2) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. They face a maximum jail sentence of seven years each if convicted.
They are Ella Tigere, 17, her brother Marvellous, Tendai Chikerema, Washington Makoni, Charles Munyawiri and Betty Mudyamhuru, all aged 18.
Daniel Zingunde, 19, Zivanai Shonhai, 20, Emilia Chitsungo, 24, Nicholas Moyo, 27, Christopher Ncube, 29, Paradzai Nyarambi, 30, Edward Maponga, 36, Elvis Dube, 38, Onias Katiyo and Peter Chari, both 43, and John Makuvatsine, 44. The 19 are all from Murehwa. The 20th person is Wellington Mxotshwa, 20, of Bulawayo.
They are accused of freeing Obey Magaya from the custody of two uniformed policemen, Constables Garai and Mukuvisi. The policemen were escorting Magaya to Murehwa police station. Magaya is still on the run.
He is alleged to have murdered Nhamo Gwase at a war veterans' "base"in Musami, by mutilating his private parts. Gwase died on admission to Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare.
Public prosecutor, Alex Chikozho, said the 20 were part of a mob of about 30 Zanu PF supporters that intercepted the policemen and Magaya, and frog-marched Garai and Mukuvisi into the Zexcom offices at the growth point on 2 August.


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Army chief accused of unlawful detention
Rashweat Mukundu

ALLEGATIONS of unlawful detention have been levelled against the commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Vitalis Zvinavashe.

Zvinavashe is alleged to have detained Winston Paulos Kamanga to force him to honour a $70 000 debt owed to his company, Zvinavashe Investments, the Zimbabwe Independent established this week.

According to court papers made available to the Independent, Zvinavashe had sued Kamanga to induce payment of the debt but Kamanga has denied owing Zvinavashe Investments any money. He alleged in his answering papers that Zvinavashe detained him for five hours at his Tynwald office on April 15 1997 and forced him to sign a cheque.

“I had gone to see the general to explain to him my position concerning the money owed allegedly by our company but he could not listen to my explanation,” said Kamanga when contacted by the Independent.

In his affidavit he alleges that two representatives of Zvinavashe Investments paid him a visit and demanded that he sign a cheque which had been prepared by his business partner, Odala Phiri, who has since fled Zimbabwe and now resides in Malawi. The two ran Cargo Guide Pullers.

Kamanga further alleges that the two advised him that the proprietor of the applicant’s company was Zvinavashe and that if he did not sign the cheque the general would send his people to deal with him.

This meeting took place at Dolphin House in Leopold Takawira Street. An appointment was set for Kamanga to meet Zvinavashe the following Satur- day at 9.00am at Zvinavashe’s Tynwald office.

Kamanga alleged in the papers that he was detained at the office from 9.00am to 2.30pm.

“The general did not listen to my explanations that I was not aware of his arrangements with my business partner and that I had not signed any documents of doing business with them as the managing director of the company,” Kamanga told the Independent.

Kamanga alleged that Zvinavashe’s bodyguards were subsequently instructed to make sure that Kamanga did not leave the office until he had signed the cheque. He said he signed the cheque to secure his release. The cheque was however dishonoured by his bank

After his release Kamanga said he made a report to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Ahmed House.

An officer in the CID identified as Sergeant Magaya, who Kamanga said was handling the case, said the only case he recalled was one between Kamanga and his business partner Phiri in which Kamanga reported that Phiri had defrauded him.

Kamanga however insisted that he reported his involuntary detention to the police and in his affidavit he says that statements were recorded from him. Magaya was assigned to investigate the matter but no charges were levelled against Zvinavashe.

In his reply to Kamanga’s allegations against Zvinavashe, Ashton Mta-kwa, the transport manager at Zvinavashe Investments, said the allegations were not true.

“It appears that the deponent has deliberately sought to tarnish the general’s good name,” Mtakwa said.

Zvinavashe had not responded to written questions sent to his Tynwald office this week. Mtakwa, who received the fax, referred the paper to Zvinavashe’s lawyers, Mugabe & Partners.

The general’s lawyer, Shingai Mutumbwa, declined to comment saying that he needed to talk to his client first.

The story of the alleged detention emerged in a High Court application made by Zvinavashe Investments seeking to have Kamanga and Phiri pay about $70 000 in transport services provided from 1996 to 1997. In his founding affidavit Mtakwa alleges that they provided the respondent with trucks to carry certain goods between Harare and Blantyre and charged them $79 166 for the service.

Kamanga however alleges that Zvinavashe Investments dealt with his business partner Odala without his knowledge or approval as the managing director.

He therefore stated that he could not be held accountable as he was not party to the deal. The case is now before the High Court and no trial date has been fixed.

Kuwaiti company paid US$8m as Fuel supplies trickle in
Vincent Kahiya

NOCZIM this week paid the Kuwaiti supplier, Independent Petroleum Group, US$8 million ($400 million) to release fuel which has been held up at Beira. The fuel is now flowing through the Beira to Mutare pipeline, the Zimbabwe Independent has established.

However, the good news ends there. Fuel is not likely to last as there are no reserves in the country at the moment.

“As soon as the product lands in Mutare, it is quickly whisked away and considering the demand at the moment the fuel will not last,” a Noczim source said.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba yesterday said the government had decided to resuscitate the taskforce on fuel which was last month disbanded when Sydney Sekeramayi was appointed Minister of Mines and Energy.

Charamba said the desperate situation on fuel had necessitated the move.

The taskforce led by Vice President Simon Muzenda yesterday met with representatives of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe to negotiate another financial package for Noczim in order for it to resume talks with its key suppliers. The bankers and the taskforce were expected to reach an understanding late yesterday or today.

On the $8 million payment to IPG, Charamba said he did not have actual details but would not be surprised by that since “the situation was quite desperate”.

Meanwhile, Petrozim, the company which owns the Mutare to Harare pipeline, is facing a financial crisis due to the fall in revenue as Noczim has stopped using the line to bring fuel into the country.

Sources said the critical fuel shortage that the country is facing has resulted in Noczim opting to use road tankers to transport fuel from Feruka at Mutare to Harare and other parts of the country. As a result Petrozim has for the past six months been experiencing serious cashflow problems.

Moving fuel by road takes approximately six hours while it takes two days to move fuel through the pipeline. Fuel can be locked in the pipeline if there is no product being pumped from the other end.

There are no supplies coming in through the pipeline as Noczim also owes suppliers Sasol and Zimalzam tens of millions of dollars. As the foreign currency situation continues to bite Petrozim has become a victim of Noczim’s indebtedness.

Noczim and Lonrho Mining (Lonmin) jointly own the pipeline through Petrozim.

A senior official at Petrozim who refused to be named this week said the involvement of Noczim as a shareholder in the pipeline company had aggravated the cashflow problems. He said the fuel company had not only failed to provide enough product to keep the company viable but was also not keen to revise the tariff structure that Petrozim charges.

The source said Petrozim was currently charging a paltry $175 to pump a cubic metre (1 000 litres) of fuel from Feruka to Msasa, which he said was not sustainable. That coupled with the drop in the volume of the product being pumped through the pipeline has now made the situation desperate. He said Noczim was paying between $400 and $500 to road transporters per cubic metre of fuel transported.

“At the moment I cannot give you the figures on the size of our losses and debts but what I can tell you is that to break even we should be pumping 85 000 cubic metres per month of product at $500 a cubic metre,” he said.

“Just to give you an indication of how desperate the situation has been, last month we pumped 23 000 cubic metres at a tariff of $175 and you do not need to be an expert to see that we are making losses,” he said.

To keep Petrozim afloat, sources said Noczim had resorted to paying the company a non-voting equity almost on a monthly basis and this had been going on for five years.

The sources said Lonmin had made moves to dispose of its shareholding in Petrozim if the current scenario persisted.

“The current state of things does not work. Noczim as a client wants tariffs to be as low as possible and as a shareholder it has to play a part in ensuring that Petrozim does not fold,” the source said.

“The product of this is that Noczim is cross-subsidising Petrozim and at the same time putting a subsidy on the product because if we were charging market rates then fuel would be much more expensive than it is now.”
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A tale of two governments- The Farmer - 14/8/00

ZIMBABWEANS must be wondering who their government is – and if they aren’t then they should be. Is it the newly elected multi-party parliament with a largely sensible cabinet appointed by President Robert Mugabe? Or is it Mugabe, Hitler Hunzvi and the so-called war veterans? There are strong arguments for the latter, which means, in essence, that there’s already been a coup.

Few parts of the country can lay claim to peace. Most of Zimbabwe has been devastated by lawlessness and State sponsored anarchy. And if that’s an unfair statement, it’s only because the situation is so confusing, so fuddled, it defies analysis. What was State sponsored violence before the elections is now what? It’s certainly condoned and encouraged from the president’s office, but it cannot strictly speaking be sponsored by the State if parliament is divided on the issue. After all, parliament is the top law making body in the country, even if it is ignored by the executive.

And there lies the problem. Parliament has an opposition and the opposition needs to do its job. So far that hasn’t really happened. So far the MDC has relied on other organisations, including farming organisations, to challenge government and Mugabe in the courts. But while that remains their strategy, Mr Mugabe and his wily cohorts will continue to ignore parliament and govern by default and decree.

Political academics and historians will have a field day with this period of Zimbabwe’s history. The truth is that there are two governments battling it out for supremacy, with the president doing one thing and cabinet promising the other. To confuse matters still further, external pressures are being brought to bear and these are isolating the presidential camp still further.

No one should believe that Mr Mugabe has strong regional support. He has two staunch followers in SADC, presidents Nujoma and Kabila. As for the rest, including Mr Thabo Mbeki, they are desperately worried about the course Mr Mugabe has chosen for Zimbabwe – and their main concerns centre on so-called war veterans and land reform. All this talk of strong backing is pure drivel, diplo-speak doggerel. Nujoma and Kabila might make sympathetic noises, but they’re of little consequence.

But while Mugabe’s camp is busy obsessing (to use an Americanism) about maintaining its cruel grip on the country, Zimbabwe is busy fighting for its economic survival. Dr Simba Makoni, the country’s finance minister, promised hard hitting reforms in parliament, reforms that must, we assume, have been approved at cabinet level – and reforms that will please Zimbabwe’s powerful southern neighbour. One of those reforms has already been implemented in the form of a long overdue devaluation. More, the country is promised, will follow.

Yet these reforms are in direct contradiction to everything Mr Mugabe promised prior to the elections.

If he is allowed to carry them through, despite their unpopularity, it will be an indication that Mr Mugabe has appointed a cabinet more powerful than himself. But it’s an enormous “if”.

There are many fights underway in Zimbabwe, but the dichotomy between the executive and cabinet is certainly the most interesting – and perhaps the most important. Unpopular as they are, Dr Makoni’s reforms are essential. What cabinet has so far neglected to address, though, is the equally important issues of law and order and land reform.

This is not just unfortunate, it is very dangerous. All the economic reform in the world will not restore confidence in Zimbabwe if farmers and their workers continue to be harassed and intimidated, if farmers are prevented from doing business because the president of the country deems it expedient to encourage anarchy.

There is money out there for land reform – lots of it.

Zimbabwe’s government is faced with two options: it can continue with its fast track approach, which is no more than a fast track to perpetual impoverishment; or it can restore law and order and exploit the immense potential of donor capital for realistic and properly financed land reform.

Now, anyone would assume the choice is a simple one, and it is, so it seems absurd that it’s not being made. Dr Makoni, at the very least, must realise that all his efforts to rescue Zimbabwe’s battered economy will come to nothing unless farmers are allowed to get back to business. He knows that agriculture is the country’s biggest and most important economic sector – and he knows that without a viable agricultural sector, Zimbabwe is nothing.

Other people realise it, too. Not just within Zimbabwe, but outside as well. So stand by for more pressure, because it seems inevitable that South Africa will step up the ante and fuel and power will become even scarcer until common sense is restored to Zimbabwe’s government.

And within Zimbabwe, commerce and industry need to realise that their livelihoods are as threatened by lawlessness on farms as farmers livelihoods are. This issue is not about land, it is not about inequitable situations and it is not about who lives where. All those can be solved in the fullness of time and solved to everyone’s satisfaction. The issue at stake now is somewhat more fundamental: it is Zimbabwe’s survival.

But none of this will happen until parliament begins to perform in the way the electorate demands it perform, nor until the issue of who is governing the country is resolved. While cabinet says one thing and the executive the other, all Zimbabwe is doing is taking anarchy to a new and higher level. That’s an extraordinarily dangerous game to play and not the sort of thing any of the players can be particularly proud of.

Zimbabwe faces power cuts as Zesa debt mounts
Contrary to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority's claims that it is steadily eating away at the debt of at least 123 million rand that it owes South African electricity utility, Eskom, the debt is still growing and Zimbabwe could now face random power cuts from South Africa.

Eskom said that while Zesa had agreed to set up a trust account to start paying off the debt, after an earlier threat by Eskom to shut off the 150 megawatts it regularly supplies to Zimbabwe, that account has remained empty because of Zimbabwe's foreign currency crisis.
Now Zesa will be the lowest priority of Eskom's clients and will be cut off should demand from its other customers exceed supply. Shortly before Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections in late June Eskom also cancelled an option whereby Zesa could requisition up to 450 megawatts of supply should it need it.

Latest information is that Zesa owes Eskom R123 million, HCB of Mozambique US$35,5, Zambia Electricity Supply Company (Zesco) US$1,2 million, Snel of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) US152,000.
Zesa has not paid Eskom since February and was due to pay Mozambique in April but defaulted.

However, Zesa says it has arranged a US$95 million facility with the Standard Chartered Bank which will enable it to settle its debts and end regular power cuts by the end of September. In a related development, Zesa says it plans to increase its electricity imports from the DRC from the current 150 megawatts to 250 megawatts one the relevant infrastructure has been put in place. The latest threat by Eskom is more likely to be a move on the part of Eskom to speed up talks that its hopes it will result in it taking a direct stake in Zesa. The South African company is keen to accelerate its expansion into Africa north of the Limpopo to maintain revenue after South Africa's government goes ahead with an expected plan to force Eskom to sell some of its South African power stations to boost competition. Given its current political and economic situation Zimbabwe's plan to accelerate privatisation, as announced by new finance minister Simba Makoni, is unlikely to attract many other takers. A UK company, National Power, will in October establish an office in Johannesburg as a first step towards building a southern African power business.
As recently as 1998 National Power, together with Rio Tinto and , was contemplating spending US$1.5 billion to build a coal mine and coal fired power station near Lake Kariba's southern shore, known as Gokwe North.
That project has now been put on ice.

Farm workers challenge war vets

Fast track resettlement: farm workers left in coldZIMBABWE's largely indigent farm workers seem destined for destitution in the wake of the government's so called 'fast track' resettlement programme which has made no provision for them despite repeated assurances that they too would benefit from the land reform process.

Workers at Myembi Farm in Marondera were last week involved in a heated argument with the invading 'war veterans' soon after the launch of the fast track resettlement programme at the farm. The workers were irked by the decision to resettle people from nearby communal area. No farm worker at the farm was considered.

One of the farm workers, Mr Silas Simon said dejectedly: 'We won't be working anymore. We don't know where we will be going and we don't know what we will survive on.'

He said the farmer would be leaving as soon as he finishes his tobacco grading and winding up all his operations. Mr Simon said he had been working at the farm for the past 13 years and the farm had become his home. 'I have been a tractor driver here for 13 years. I 've no idea how I am going to feed my children or send them to school,' lamented Mr Simon.

He has six children in primary and secondary school. Mr Simon is among over 30 workers and their families who are likely to be stranded when the farmer moves off the farm before the start of the next season. Some of the workers are now trying to find jobs elsewhere but this will be difficult with the current economic situation in the country which has been exacerbated by farm invasions by war veterans and Zanu PF supporters.

Unemployment is rising as more and more people are loosing their jobs not only on farms but in other sectors of the economy as well.

According to Mr Simon, the Mashonaland West governor, Mr David Karimanzira came to the farm to launch the resettlement programme and people from other areas are said to have been allocated land. The trouble, he said, started soon after the governor left.

'We said what about us, we don't have anything. They (war vets) said we can't get anything because we are MDC but this is not about politics but it is about our livelihood and survival,' he said.

The workers said they had been to the district administrator's office with their problem but the DA told them to stay where they are until somewhere suitable is found for them. At the moment these workers are staying in well-built brick houses with clean water and proper sanitation.

'We also want land but there is no land for us. How can they start resettling people who already have somewhere to live in their communal areas leaving us with nothing,' said Simon.

The supposed resettlement seems to lack clear planning. Although there were some communal people already at the farm who said they were selected for resettlement there was no sign of any planning. The Farmer was informed that even Agritex officers never demarcated the land.

The newly resettled occupants of the farm refused to talk to The Farmer saying the 'war vets' had instructed them not to talk to the press. They claimed the 'war vets' had told them that journalists distorted information.

It is understood that when the governor arrived to launch the programme, he had no idea how many hectares the farm was. The governor decided that 19 families would be resettled but backtracked on this after being told by the farmer that the farm was smaller than he thought. It was suddenly decided that 10 families would be resettled.

According to Mrs Bolas whose husband was leasing Myembi Farm, the governor arrived with 150 people saying he had come to resettle them. She said the governor told the 'war vets' that they could go to the rest of the farm but warned them against coming anywhere near the farmer's house.

She said, 'Like everybody, we agree on the need to land reform but it has to be done in the right way. Its not about just being given land, its about being productive; its about the economy. We hoped everything will turn around and the country would prosper but it's going to take some time and the most basic thing would be the return to the rule of law.'

At Myembi Farm no evaluation of farm developments has been made although the farmer has already started packing his belongings.

SA fruity furore


South Africa's citrus fruit growers have asked for a public investigation into Capespan International, the fruit exporter, alleging that the company is favouring its members for the use of assets that were established with levies collected from the industry before it was deregulated in 1998.

The assets, harbours and shipping facilities in South Africa and Europe, were, according to Business Report newspaper, developed by a government appointed export agent, Outspan, with funds collected through the levies. Citrus producers were legally obliged to export through Outspan. Following deregulation Outspan merged with Unifruco, a deciduous fruit exporter, to form Capespan. This, the paper says, gave the merged company control of assets that had been controlled by the Citrus Board and the Deciduous Fruit Board, on behalf of growers.

While Capespan was supposed to make the assets available to all growers there are now complaints that members of Capespan are favoured and other producers are compelled to use more costly independent fruit export agents.

A report compiled on the growers behalf by lawyers and auditors has been given to South Africa's Heath Commission, a specialist government investigation agency that focuses on financial matters, and may form the base of a Heath Commission investigation.

Zambian farmers shun cattle disease fund


ZAMBIAN farmers are said to have shunned an animal disease control fund launched by the government.

The farmers, mainly small scale, have failed to utilise the US$1 million (Z$50 million) fund because, some have said, they were not aware of its availability.

The facility, called Cattle Fund, was set up by the Zambian President Frederick Chiluba two years ago through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries to provide financing to small scale farmers whose cattle were dying of the contagious bovine Pleuropneumonia. Over 5,000 herds of cattle have so far been lost especially in the southern and western provinces.

Southern Province agriculture coordinator, Godfrey Bbalo, says only 75 farmers' groups throughout the province, which is badly hit by the disease, have been able to access the fund.

'This number represents only a small fraction of the farming population. They say you can take the horse to the river but you cannot force it to drink water. It would be grossly unfair to accuse government of neglecting the farmers,' he said. Underutilisation of the fund by peasant farmers is being attributed to the lack of awareness and information about the availability of the facility.

Veterinary departments have been urged to intensify awareness campaigns and disseminate relevant information to the farmers.

Analysts have also called for the review of the 'harsh conditions' attached to borrowing from the fund if lending terms are to benefit the intended farming community.

The government, however, says farmers should realise that the fund is not a charity but a mechanism from which they could borrow and pay back to sustain its coffers. Mweemba Lutanga, a peasant farmer and co-operative society leader in one of the rural communities said: 'We seem not to be pro-active as farmers. We are so used to sitting back and complaining at every turn, waiting for handouts to be delivered to our-door-steps'.

Lutanga said the small-scale farmers could easily win the battle against cattle diseases only if they joined forces under the auspices of co-operative societies.

Meanwhile, the Zambian government has received a multi-million dollar grant from the Royal Netherlands embassy towards the Agriculture sector Investment Programme (ASIP).

Part of the funds is for tendering contracts to carry out Prophylactic Vaccination of Cattle against Foot-and-mouth disease and bovine pleuropneumonia.
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