The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Mugabe slams Bush's 'cowboy tactics'

August 23 2002 at 12:40PM

Harare - Zimbabwe on Friday heated up its war of words with the United States, saying Washington's announcement that it was working to "foster the development of democratic processes and institutions in Zimbabwe" was a threat to regional peace.

"The claims constitute a clear and present threat to regional peace, stability, solidarity and good neighbourliness," said a spokesperson for President Robert Mugabe's government, Jonathan Moyo.

Moyo, who as the government's information minister has orchestrated a clampdown on the private and foreign press, said the party was "outraged by the cowboy tactics that (US President George W Bush's men are trying to introduce into our country and our region."

Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), which has ruled the country since independence in 1980, urged the government to demand an explanation for the US remarks because of their "grave implications".

'outraged by the cowboy tactics that (US President George W Bush's men'
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on Thursday denounced US and other western criticism of his government as a racist campaign to undermine his nation's independence.

But the US State Department quickly reaffirmed that it was working with other nations to encourage democratic change in Zimbabwe.

"The United States continues to consult with countries in the region and throughout the world on how we can work together to foster development of democratic processes and institutions in Zimbabwe and encourage free and fair elections there," said State Department deputy spokesperson Philip Reeker.

Mugabe's regime has become increasingly isolated since the March presidential elections, which independent and foreign observers condemned as severely flawed, citing widespread claims of vote fraud and violence against opposition supporters.
- Sapa-AFP

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Mugabe dissolves Zimbabwe Cabinet, lashes out at West over farmer evictions


HARARE, Zimbabwe, Aug. 23 President Robert Mugabe finally complied with Zimbabwean law Friday by dissolving his Cabinet, state radio reported, although major changes are not expected when replacements are named Monday. 
       Mugabe should have appointed a new Cabinet within 30 days after his victory in the March 9-11 election, which was condemned by international and local observers as deeply flawed. Opposition officials have sharply criticized the increasingly authoritarian Mugabe for ignoring that and other laws.
       Local analysts speculate that Mugabe was annoyed with several ministers and might seek to replace them. State radio said Mugabe would spend the weekend completing the new Cabinet appointments.
       Also Friday, Mugabe accused Western nations of hypocrisy for criticizing his plans to seize white-owned farmland and give it to blacks, saying those nations have their own histories of racism, state radio reported.
       Since March 2000, the government has targeted 95 percent of white-owned land for confiscation and redistribution to blacks. Critics say many prime farms have gone to politicians, military and police officers and government cronies, including Mugabe relatives.
       Mugabe said countries with a record of ''genocide when they exterminated whole communities'' had double standards concerning human rights, the radio said.
       The United States, Australia and New Zealand have called for further international action against Mugabe's regime.
       Walter Kansteiner, U.S. assistant secretary of state for Africa, said this week American officials were working with countries near Zimbabwe on how to encourage Zimbabweans to force free and fair elections.
       ''The question is what are the tactics that we can use to work with those inside Zimbabwe, as well as their neighbors, to encourage a more democratic outcome,'' Kansteiner said.
       Mugabe's ruling party asked the government to demand that U.S. officials explain Kansteiner's remarks.
       ''We are outraged by the cowboy tactics that (President) Bush's men are trying to introduce into our country,'' said a Thursday statement by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, the party's deputy publicity secretary.
       ''Each time America preaches about democracy and human rights Africans are reminded of the racist brutality that people of color have endured not only during slavery days but particularly under the Bush government following the tragic events of Sept. 11 now being used as a cover to assault and dehumanize Africans and others.''
       The government's campaign to take over white-owned farms has added to more than two years of political unrest, during which about 186 people mostly opposition supporters have been killed. The dead include 11 white farmers.
       About 2,900 farmers employing about 230,000 workers were ordered off their land by Aug. 8, but 60 percent refused.
       Nearly 200 farmers were arrested in the past week. The farmers, many contesting the legality of the eviction orders, face up to two years in jail and a fine.
       The farm seizures and a drought have been blamed for widespread food shortages that relief groups say threaten half of the 12.5 million people in this southern African country.
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Ruling party activist murdered in Zimbabwe

Xinhuanet 2002-08-24 02:56:12 
HARARE, Aug. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- A Zimbabwean ruling party's activist was shot dead in Harare, which could be politically motivated, the police said here on Friday. 

     The police said that Ali Khen Manjengwa, a former Harare provincial central committee member of the ruling Zimbabwe AfricanNational Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), was killed in cold bloodby two assailants on Thursday evening. 

     Manjengwa, 40, was killed at B6 Block 12 of Nenyere Flats in the Magaba Section of Mbare where he had gone to hold a meeting with the ZANU-PF youth members, the police said. 

      "He was shot below the left eye and he died on the spot," said the police, adding that "members of the public tried to give chaseto the two suspects who were seen running away from the scene." 

      "A member of the public was assaulted by one of the suspects with an iron bar before the pair got into a get-away car," the police added. 

     Investigations were underway for the assassination.
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UK's African policy row

The Tories were today accused of seeking to punish the whole of Africa for the ''sins'' of Zimbabwe's leader Robert Mugabe.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said a call by the Tories for Britain to block financial development aid to the continent until the African nations took action against Zimbabwe was ``cruel`` and ``inappropriate``.

The row broke after Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to use the forthcoming Earth Summit in Johannesburg to demand the African nations take ``effective action`` against Zimbabwe.

His proposals were angrily dismissed by the Foreign Secretary.

``We have yet to hear one sensible or constructive proposal from the Conservative Party which would help assist those who have suffered in Zimbabwe - and today`s suggestion from Mr Duncan Smith that the aid and investment programme for the whole of Africa (Nepad) be put on hold as a result of the Mugabe regime is particularly ill-considered,`` Mr Straw said.

``Not only would it hinder attempts to isolate Mugabe, but its cruel effect would be to punish the whole of Africa for the sins of one man. In doing so it would push back the prospects for a continent which has suffered for too long from hunger, mismanagement and disease.

``There has never been any question of the current regime in Zimbabwe benefiting from Nepad, so I would hope that after careful thought the Conservative Party and Mr Duncan Smith will reconsider this inappropriate proposal.``

Earlier, Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett said the Government would not allow the Earth Summit to be ``hijacked`` by the issue of Zimbabwe after Mr Duncan Smith called on Tony Blair to boycott Mr Mugabe`s address.

In his letter to Mr Blair, Mr Duncan Smith said the Nepad (New Economic Partnership for African Development) programme agreed at the recent G8 summit in Canada was specifically linked to ``good governance`` in Africa.

He said the Prime Minister should use the Earth Summit on sustainable development to ``exert leverage`` on the African states - particularly the southern African states - to in turn put pressure on Mugabe.

``You should start by making it clear that our financial participation in Nepad must, as part of that partnership, be reflected in the encouragement of good governance - and that this must logically and morally include effective action against Mugabe,`` he wrote.

Mugabe`s policy of forcing white farmers off their land was ``wreaking havoc`` in a country which was once the bread basket of southern Africa and the summit would become a ``farce`` if it failed to address the issue, he said.

``The issue of sustainable development cannot be tackled whilst one of its delegates is systematically starving his own people, driving efficient farmers off highly productive land and forcing farm workers to live in squatter camps by the side of the road,`` he said.

Mr Duncan Smith said that Mr Blair, whose summit address on September 2 is scheduled for just an hour before Mr Mugabe`s, should boycott the Zimbabwean president`s speech.

However, Mrs Beckett, who will lead the main British delegation, said the Government had already made known its views about the situation in Zimbabwe and would not be deflected from the main purpose of the summit.

``I have no idea what the logistics are of when Mr Blair will speak but what we are certainly determined to make sure is that the issue of the summit and its potential to do good isn`t hijacked by issues, by concerns, such as those about Zimbabwe,`` he told BBC Radio 4`s Today programme.

``The Zimbabwean government is under no illusion about the British Government`s attitude to the policies that they have been pursuing.

``Indeed some of the rudest things that have ever been said about Tony Blair have been said by Robert Mugabe because of the British Government`s opposition so there can be no question at all of anybody honouring Mr Mugabe.``

Shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram retorted that her comments suggested that she was not fit to attend.

``If she doesn`t understand the relevance of Robert Mugabe`s deliberate starvation policies in Zimbabwe to the Earth Summit then she should not be going,`` he said
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Financial Times
Zimbabwe to fine-tune farm eviction plan
(Reuters) - August 23 2002 13:56

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government says it will make changes to its programme of seizures of thousands of white-owned farms after a flurry of court appeals filed by farmers against their evictions.

President Robert Mugabe, shrugging off domestic and international criticism, 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 August 8 deadline to leave their farms, and police have arrested more than 200 farmers in a crackdown launched last week.

More than 2,700 farmers are challenging the evictions on the basis of a High Court ruling earlier this month which said the state could not confiscate land owned by one particular farmer because it had not told the bank, which had a mortgage on the property.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said in a report in the state-owned Herald newspaper on Friday that only about 100 of the 2,737 court challenges could be valid and the government would issue new eviction notices.

Chinamasa also said he would recommend to cabinet an amendment to reduce the eviction period to five days from 90 days from the time the eviction papers are served.

"Therefore no farmer should take comfort from failure or oversight by government officials to comply with all procedures," Chinamasa was quoted as saying.

The disruption to agriculture in Zimbabwe, once the bread-basket of southern Africa, comes as millions in the region face food shortages.

Mugabe, 78, who has been in power since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980, says his land drive is aimed at correcting a colonial injustice which left 70 percent of the best farmland in the hands of white farmers.

White farmers say they support land redistribution but are opposed to the government's methods.


Many Western nations have condemned the eviction campaign, with the United States warning that the land drive was exacerbating the southern African country's food crisis.

Aid agencies say nearly six million Zimbabweans -- half the national population -- need food aid this year, part of a wider food crisis threatening nearly 13 million people in six southern African countries.

Washington on Thursday appeared to back away from forceful remarks by a senior U.S. official who said on Tuesday that the United States was working with Zimbabwe's neighbours to "isolate" Mugabe's government.

Faced with denials from South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique, Washington changed its line to say it was consulting governments in southern Africa on how to promote democracy in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe, who was re-elected in March polls condemned by the opposition and some Western nations as fraudulent, lashed out on Thursday at the U.S. attempts to isolate him.

"We are not made as the government in Washington, let Mr Bush know that. We are made as the government by our people here, let foolish (Prime Minister Tony) Blair also know that," he told a rally in southwestern Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has been in crisis since pro-government militants led by veterans of the 1970s liberation war began invading white-owned farms in early 2000 in support of Mugabe's land reform programme.

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WHO to hold ministerial meeting in Zimbabwe on southern Africa crisis

The World Health Organisation has called a three-day ministerial meeting in Zimbabwe, scheduled for next week and to be attended by 10 African countries, to discuss the humanitarian crisis in southern Africa, a WHO spokeswoman said.

Health ministers from 10 countries are due to take part in the meeting in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, from Monday to Wednesday, Fadela Chaib told reporters.

"They are going to talk about how to respond in health terms to this humanitarian crisis that is hitting southern Africa," she said.

WHO director-general Gro Harlem Brundtland is also due to attend.

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Date : Monday 26 August 2002
Time : March starts at 10h00

Assembly Point : Cnr Marie and Boundary Roads
(This is where George Lea Park Sports Club is - so should be plenty
of parking!)

March Route : Up Sandton Drive and left into Grayston then right into

Free transport from Hillbrow to Sandton -
meet at 08h00 at Quartz and Caroline Streets

Enquiries : 084 727 2325 / 011 339 6669 / 082 215 6992


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Zim Independent
Grace grabs $100m villa
Staff Writers.

THE First Lady, Grace Mugabe, yesterday collected the keys to a $100 million, 27-room mansion at Iron Mask Farm which has been acquired by government for resettlement.

Grace, who in 1996 built a 30-roomed villa in the upmarket suburb of Quinnington, popularly referred to as Gracelands, is set to take over Iron Mask Farm, in the Mazowe Valley, from the current owners, John and Eva Matthews, both in their 70s. The couple has been ordered off the farm to pave way for the First Lady.

At around 15.45hrs yesterday, a man in a black suit and a lady in a black outfit who did not introduce themselves, visited the Matthews and said "they were here for the keys," which were duly handed over.

Gracelands was last year reportedly sold to the Libyans. Grace's husband, President Robert Mugabe, is building another mansion in Borrowdale Brooke.

The Matthews yesterday confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent Grace's interest in their property. The Independent visited the couple at their new home in Harare, a duplex flat in Strathaven. They said the First Lady came to view the property on Thursday last week but did not get inside.

Eva Matthews said an entourage of three cars parked at the gate of the farmhouse and two police officers came in to check whether the couple had vacated the farm. Grace remained in the car. The two policemen instructed them to leave the property by the weekend.

Eva said she received a call yesterday morning from State House that officers from the President's Office would collect keys to the house later in the day since the First Lady wanted to view the property.

The 1 100-hectare farm has 240 hectares of prime arable land and produces peas, potatoes and other vegetables supplied to supermarkets. Apart from 40ha under citrus, the farm has not been producing any crops for the past 18 months after war veterans invaded it.

The most-outstanding feature on the farm is the massive 27-roomed, two-storey house built on a hill. The brown, brick-under-tile villa (pictured above) overlooks a well-manicured garden covering almost two hectares. There are swimming pools and changing rooms.

"This is our lifetime's work gone," Eva said mournfully.

"The house was built with the highest quality material and can be valued at not less than $100 million. We are sending (realtors) Redfern and Mullet to do the valuation of the house and other improvements on the farm," she said.

The Matthews said it was not hard to see why Grace was interested in their house.

Tucked in a valley between two dramatic hills, the Iron Mask homestead, with oak-panelled interiors, sloping roofs, pretty cottages, two swimming pools, and a commanding view of the valley, is the most beautiful structure in the area.

The takeover came as police continued their hunt for white farmers allegedly refusing to move off their land after the August 8 deadline set by Mugabe's regime.

Matthews said the farm was served with the Section 8 notice on May 19 when they were away.

"The whole process is not being carried out fairly because a Section 8 order was served while we were on holiday," she said. "Worse still, it was not given to us as the owners of the property. We had less than two months to leave the farm."

Presidential spokesman George Charamba yesterday only said "goodbye" and switched off his cellphone when he was contacted for comment on the issue. -

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Zim Independent
Fuel reserves perilous
Vincent Kahiya/Dumisani Muleya

THERE are fears that Zimbabwe could soon face an acute fuel crisis as strategic reserves have dwindled to precarious levels due to lack of foreign currency. Government is unable to replenish reserves because it cannot pay suppliers on time.

Zimbabwe, which imports about 70% of its fuel requirements from Libya's Tamoil, is understood to owe up to US$90 million to the North African company that has of late been turning its taps on and off.

The Monaco-based Libyan firm, 55% owned by Europoil Netherlands BV, a private consortium, and 45% by Libya's state-owned National Oil Corporation, is in the process of cutting or reviewing its credit facilities to Harare. Reports say the company faces bankruptcy due to unviable arrangements like the US$360 million deal entered with Zimbabwe last year. Under the deal, Tamoil supplies Zimbabwe with 100 000 tonnes of oil products per month.

Industry sources said fuel storage tanks at Msasa, Mabvuku and Feruka in Mutare held third-party stocks owned by suppliers - Tamoil and Independent Petroleum Group (IPG) of Kuwait, and not by government.

The sources said suppliers were abandoning credit arrangements and reverting to cash transactions in their dealings with the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim).

"Suppliers are now asking for cash upfront before supplies are released," a source said. "The country normally consumes about four million litres of fuel per day but cessation of the credit facility has seen daily volumes of as little as 500 000 litres being released."

Signs of shortages have been evident on the market. Service stations in Harare and other cities have gone for days without supplies. Over the Heroes Day holiday the resort town of Kariba had insufficient fuel supplies.

Sources said there were no long-term plans in place to avert looming shortages.

"The best that we can hope for is for the government to beg for extended lines of credit from the Libyans before the situation gets out of hand," the source said. "Suppliers have continued to pump fuel from Beira but the product is going into storage and is only released upon payment by Noczim."

Petroleum Marketers Association of Zimbabwe spokesman, Simba Kambarami, said the looming fuel shortages were a result of logistical constraints.

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Zim Independent
Zim/SA on collision course over farmers' arrest
Loughty Dube

ZIMBABWE is headed for a diplomatic showdown with South Africa over the arrest of three South African white commercial farmers last week, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

The arrest of the three farmers sparked debate in the South African parliament on Tuesday with opposition members ofparliament urging Presi-dent Thabo Mbeki to in-tervene on behalf of citizens arrested in Zimbabwe.

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday called for a special debate on Zimbabwe at the National Assembly. The arrested include Crawford von Abo, a Mr Veldman and another yet to be named South African. Von Abo, who is a former chairman of the South Africa Maize Board and also a member of the Wheat Board, owns Fauna Ranch - 100km north of Beitbridge in Matabeleland South. Von Abo appeared in a Mwenezi court this week and was remanded on $10 000 bail to September 18 to answer charges of defying a Section 8 order.

Reports from South Af-rica say the South African Foreign Affairs department has approa-ched the Zimbabwe For- eign ministry and made representations over six farms owned by South Africans in the country. South African Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa, said from South Africa this week they were doing everything possible to protect the interests of their citizens in Zimbabwe through their High Commission in Harare.

"The High Commission is assisting the South African citizens in terms of consular services provided to all South Africans abroad," Mamoepa said. "The High Commission has also approached the Zimbabwean Foreign ministry regarding the listing for resettlement of six farms owned by South Africans."

Efforts to contact the South African High Commissioner in Harare proved fruitless by the time of going to press. Opposition political parties in South Africa on Tuesday moved several motions in the National Assembly urging Mbeki to act on Zimbabwe.

The DA spokesman onrural safety, Andries Bo-tha, urged the government to take a strong stand onthe unfolding Zimbabwe-an crisis. "The DA regards it as extremely important that the SA government ensures the safety of its citizens in the midst of the lawlessness in Zimbabwe," said Botha.

"South Africa should make it abundantly clear that it will not hesitate to use all diplomatic means at its disposal to protect its citizens and President Thabo Mbeki must break his chronic silence on the issue."

The South African Foreign Affairs department says it is still looking into the matter and might issue a statement later.

Adriaan van Jaarsveld of the New National Party said the take-over of the farms violated an agreement between Zimbabwe and South Africa which guaranteed protection ofSouth African-owned pro-perty in Zimbabwe.

Agri-SA president Japie Grobler was quoted as saying developments in Zimbabwe placed a serious question mark on the seriousness of the Commonwealth and the African Union. "The high expectations which friends of Africa and potential investors have regarding the praiseworthy Nepad initiative will surely be detrimentally affected," said Grobler.

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Zim Independent
Zim deports five Britons
Loughty Dube

THE government has this month deported five British nationals from Harare International Airport in what commentators see as Zimbabwe's retaliation for the European Union's (EU) and Britain's "smart sanctions" against President Robert Mugabe and 72 of his close aides.

The five British nationals were denied entry into the country in as yet unexplained circumstances. Zimbabwe has a large number of British nationals working with aid agencies. Department of Immigration sources said some of the deportees had links to the British government and the army.

"Two of the people we deported had links with the British government; one was a policemen while the other is in the military," said the source. "They were deported because the authorities felt they posed a serious threat to national security."

British deputy High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, Diane Corner, confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent that five Britons were deported upon arrival at Harare Airport. He refused to give details on why they were deported.

"The Zimbabwean authorities are responsible for regulating entry into country of all non-Zimbabwean nationals, including British citizens," said Corner.

"The High Commission is aware of five British nationals who have been refused entry in August but we do not disclose personal information in such cases and Zimbabwean immigration decisions are a matter for the Zimbabwean authorities."

The British government has responded by amending the entry requirement section of its travel advice for Zimbabwe, warning its citizens to verify their acceptability with the Zimbabwe High Commission before travelling to the country. The travel advice states: "Since the recent extension of limited sanctions, there has been an increase in the number of visitors being denied entry to Zimbabwe, including some British.

"Those affected have mainly been connected with non-government and aid organisations but have also included normal tourists with connections to the government such as armed forces personnel and police officers. We therefore recommend that all those considering visiting Zimbabwe should first check current entry requirements with the Zimbabwe High Commission."

Efforts to get comment from chief immigration officer, Elasto Mugwadi, were fruitless but an official speaking on condition of anonymity said there was nothing unusual in the deportations.

"We have criteria we follow when we deport people. Why don't you people complain when the British deport Zimbabweans?" asked the official.

The British Foreign Office has asked the Zimbabwean government to explain its reasons. On whether the British High Commission viewed the deportations as part of government's retaliatory sanctions, Corner said: "It is for the Zimbabwean authorities to explain the basis for their immigration decisions, it would not be right for us to speculate."

EU members have already denied at least six senior Zanu PF officials entry into their countries. First to be barred was Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge followed by Zanu PF central committee member, Joshua Malinga.

The other four were Zanu PF parliamentarians who wanted to attend a women's conference in Sweden: Edna Madzongwe, Shuvai Mahofa, Olivia Muchena and Flora Bhuka.

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Zim Independent
Libyan company approves Mandaza's publishing deal deal
Mthulisi Mathuthu

LIBYA'S Arab African Investment Company has approved the feasibility study of Ibbo Mandaza's printing and publishing project as part of Libya's empire building in Zimbabwe.

Despite Mandaza's denial of his Arab connections, the board of directors of the Arab African Investment Company recently approved the project, whose feasibility study was done by a Stockholm-based company.

The Arab African Investment Company is an engineering firm with interests in Lesotho and Swaziland where its chairman and general manager, Mustafa Tayeb Khattabi, struck deals with parastatals just before Muammar Gaddafi's road-show across the continent after attending the inauguration of the African Union in Durban.

"The deal has gone through following a lot of correspondence between Mandaza and Engineer Mustafa since July," said a source close to the developments at Mandaza's company. "Soon you will hear details of how much has been released."

The Libyans asked Mandaza on July 21 to send "through DHL the feasibility study produced by Graphium Consult AB, Stockholm, mentioned in the project document". This followed his request for an injection of funds into his troubled Southern African Printing and Publishing House (Sappho) during his visit to Tripoli on Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) business.

Mandaza is the chairman of the RTG.

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Zim Independent
Chaos, confusion mark farm evictions
Dumisani Muleya/Augustine Mukaro

CONFUSION reigns on commercial farms where government is engaged in a wholesale purge of white landowners. Chaos spread last week as government stepped up land seizures by hounding, arresting and prosecuting farmers resisting eviction orders.

Farmers say court rulings against evictions have further compounded the situation and diminished chances of a quick resolution of the long-running crisis.

Section 8 orders served on about 3 000 farmers to leave their properties under the Land Acquisition Act first took effect on August 8. Many farmers have vowed to defy the summary evictions, either because they do not have anywhere else to go or because the orders are illegal and being challenged in the courts.

This has created an ominous stand-off with the government accusing farmers of "defiance" while the farmers in turn accuse the government of violating their constitutional rights. Government has since embarked on a purge of "defiant farmers" by deployed the police, war veterans and its party militia to evict them.

Police have so far arrested about 215 farmers accused of defying eviction orders. The farmers were given different bail conditions ranging from $5 000 to $10 000.

Magistrates have fuelled the confusion by giving different rulings. Some have told farmers to remain on their properties pending the outcome of a Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of their eviction, while others have advised them to leave before the ruling.

The High Court recently issued provisional orders to some farmers, saying they should remain on their properties until the Supreme Court determination on their cases. However, government has proceeded to evict such farmers. Jean Simon of Erewhon Farm and George Quinnell of Nyalugwe Farm are some of the victims.

The anarchy has been further deepened by government's admission that some Section 8 orders served on farmers were invalid. This emerged during High Court hearings on Wednesday on 51 applications by mostly Hurungwe farmers challenging eviction.

In some cases farmers served with preliminary notices were also being evicted. Last week in the Middle Save farming area, government supporters, backed by troops brandishing AK-47 rifles and the police tried to push out farmers who had not been served with Section 8 orders. The farmers had letters from the district administrator granting them permission to grow and harvest their crops.

Zanu PF militants were also expelling farmers whose eviction orders had been withdrawn. In Banket, Vincent Schultz of Mpandaguta Farm was yesterday under pressure to quit despite having his expulsion notice cancelled. Schultz said Zupco chief executive, Bright Matonga, arrived at his property yesterday claiming he was the new owner.

By contrast, Peter Rosenfels of Sandown Estates and Kirby Block Farm in Figtree in Matabeleland South, was initially booted out only to be ordered back on the instructions of Plumtree district administrator, Mzingaye Sithole.

A Commercial Farmers Union official, Ben Freeth, said state agents deployed to evict farmers were fuelling the disorder.

"At Impalavale Farm in Kado-ma district, present were the police officer-in-charge at Battlefields, CIO, police support unit, army officers and members of the government's land committees, who are all prospective set-tlers, evicting farmers," he said.

"Farmers were forced to load all their furniture and equipment while they looked on. One of the farmers, Mervyn Jelliman, has 300 hectares of winter cereals all under irrigation and had to abandon it."

Freeth said Jelliman grew his crop after receiving assurances from Mashonaland West provincial governor, Peter Chanetsa, on May 20 that he would be allowed to harvest.

Freeth said the farm evictions amounted to "ethnic cleansing".

"It is a desperately sad situation," he said. "People are loading up their assets to move out. Many have nowhere to go and are looking for places to stay. Ethnic cleansing is exactly what it is. There's no other term for it."

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Zim Independent
Mugabe's land grab leaves farmers landless
Augustine Mukaro

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is misleading the world into believing that his chaotic agrarian reform will not leave farmers landless.

Mugabe told the Langkawi dialogue in Malaysia recently that no one would be rendered landless because the land reform programme was based on a one-farmer-one-farm policy.

He repeated the claim to an African-American fact-finding delegation in Zimbabwe this week saying "the land reform programme will not leave farmers landless". But the situation on the ground is completely different.

Figures from the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) and the splinter group, Justice for Agriculture, indicate that of the 2 900 commercial farmers served with Section 8 notices, 1 024 are single-farm owners.

There are 1 400 farmers throughout the country who own a single farm each.

CFU president Colin Cloete said government's departure from set-down criteria was meant to punish undesirable elements.

"The most frustrating element to the ensuing confusion is the apparent reticence by the authorities to deal in accordance with laid-down criteria of the land reform programme," Cloete said.

CFU chief executive Gerry Davison said Mugabe had been strangely consistent on the one- farm-one-farmer policy but that his subordinates had deviated. "That is why the CFU has been calling for a one-on-one meeting with the president," said Davison.

"There has never been a concrete statement for us to present to our members other than the president's announcements at the international fora.

"If that had been made government's position all farmers were prepared to even retain farms which conform to the stipulated sizes," he said.

Davison said of the 1 400 single-farm owners, only 100 farms were likely to fall within the stipulated sizes. All the other farmers have indicated their willingness to have their properties conform to government requirements on size.

But even farmers who have more than one farm are having everything taken away.

A total of 97% large-scale commercial farmers were served with either Section 5, 7 or 8 notices, indicating government's intention to acquire all the farms under the land reform programme.

According to the CFU's latest update on farm listings, this year alone government has listed a total of 5 849 farms out of 6 000 owned by large-scale commercial farmers. The farms translate to 10 452 519 hectares. Prior to the farm invasions, the commercial farming sector owned 11 020 000ha.

"Of the 6 000 large-scale commercial farms comprising 11 020 000ha, which is 28,2% of the total land area of Zimbabwe under threat of acquisition, there remain 151 farms on 567 481ha of land not affected by the Section 8 notice," the update said.

"To this could be added the delisted land, 449 farms of 853 900ha which still remains in the hands of the original commercial farming sector."

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Zim Independent
Manyika to table controversial Bill in Parly
Blessing Zulu

ELLIOT Manyika, the Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation, is set to introduce in parliament the controversial National Youth Service Bill, which seeks to make national service compulsory, the Zimbabwe Independent has established.

Manyika, who is also Zanu PF party national political commissar, is expected to table the bill before cabinet next week.

"The Bill will provide for the recruitment, registration, training and deployment of youths who undergo national youth ser-vice training," said the source.

The legislation will also seek to establish a body that will administer the programme which will become a prerequisite for employment in government service, parastatals, local authorities and enrolment at public training institutions.

Training should be completed in six months and encompasses community service and attachments to organisations.

In addition to Border Gezi Training Centre in Mt Darwin, other centres will be opened at Dadaya in the Midlands and at Kamativi in Matabeleland North. Government plans to open a centre in all the country's 10 provinces.

National Constitutional Asse-mbly chairman and constitutional law expert, Dr Lovemore Madhuku, said the proposed Bill infringed on Zimbabweans' constitutional rights.

"This Bill infringes on the constitutional rights of people even though Zanu PF is likely to use loopholes in the constitution to ensure that it sails through," said Madhuku.

"The Bill is only meant to legalise a Zanu PF programme which has been going on for sometime."

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Zim Independent
Mugabe debate threatens to split Earth Summit
Dumisani Muleya

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is expected to hog the limelight in South Africa during the World Summit on Sustainable Development which opens in Johannesburg on Sunday, analysts say. Mugabe, who is scheduled to address the summit on September 2, is currently on the global spotlight over the ongoing farm evictions and political repression in Zimbabwe.

Government is cracking down on about 3 000 white commercial farmers resisting expulsion. The situation seems to be getting worse ahead of the Earth Summit, which runs from August 26 to September 4.

Analysts say the conference risks being hijacked and derailed by the Zimbabwe crisis. Western leaders' determination to deal with Mugabe could also turn the summit into a theatre for diplomatic mudslinging.

South Africa's Institute of Security Studies researcher, Chris Maroleng, said there was already diplomatic positioning by countries interested in the Zimbabwean issue and that this could create conflict.

"It's possible we could see diplomatic efforts to hijack the summit to put the Zimbabwe issue at the centre of the agenda," he said. "The United States has been making statements on Zimbabwe and that may be an indication they would want to raise the issue at the conference. There is a lot of diplomatic positioning around the Zimbabwe crisis."

Besides the United States and Britain, Australia and New Zealand have also condemned lawlessness and land seizures in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe has been at the centre of attention at recent international conferences for all the wrong reasons. In April he attracted global attention when he attended a United Nations Children's Conference in New York despite travel restrictions imposed by Washington.

In June, Mugabe caused a stir when he attended the World Food Summit in Rome, Italy, amid stiff resistance from the West. His critics said it was an insult for him to posture and pontificate on hunger when he was the author of massive starvation back home.

Britain's Foreign Office minister Peter Hain has already drawn the battle lines by announcing that Prime Minister Tony Blair would mobilise his allies on the sidelines of the summit to confront Mugabe on land seizures and dictatorship.

Mugabe has also been stoking fires by incessantly attacking the British for allegedly trying to re-colonise Zimbabwe. Hain said Mugabe was like Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and former Serbian ruler Slobodan Milosevic and should be treated the same.

However, analysts said South African President Thabo Mbeki and his African counterparts could resist the topic on Mugabe and Zimbabwe.

University of Zimbabwe's Institute of Development Studies professor, Brian Raftopoulos, said African leaders were unlikely to entertain the Zimbabwe issue.

"They will try as much as possible to push it aside claiming they want to move on and tackle real issues," he said. "Obviously there will be efforts to raise the Zimbabwe crisis but it is doubtful African leaders will be amenable to that."

South African professor of politics, Tom Lodge, said he also doubted African leaders would want to deal with Mugabe and Zimbabwe. "I don't think they would be amenable to that sort of pressure," he said.

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Zim Independent
Zim fails to pay Botswana fuel debt
Mthulisi Mathuthu

A STORM is brewing in the Botswana parliament over a 20-million-litre fuel credit line which Botswana extended to President Mugabe's troubled government in March 2000.

The Zimbabwe Independent heard this week that the government's failure to service the debt had sowed seeds of discord amongst Botswana MPs who accuse their leader, Festus Mogae, of using public funds without consultation.

According to a government official recently in Botswana, the opposition and radical MPs from the ruling party were already ganging up to rap the government ahead of the opening of parliament on November 4. So serious is the issue that it could strain relations between Gaborone and Harare.

The Botswana parliamentary finance committee, led by Duke Lefokgo, is expected to present an adverse report on Mogae's government after the opening of parliament.

A member of the parliamentary finance committee who spoke to the Independent from Gaborone confirmed they were preparing a report on the government's financial situation and that the Zimbabwean debt was "certainly top of the agenda".

"Yes, there is something like that but I wouldn't want to say anything now," the MP said. "Just ask your government officials. I am not allowed to comment on such things because my job ends in parliament."

Other MPs said to be pushing for Zimbabwe's chastisement are Tshelamg Mafifi, Lesego Motsumi, Sapar Dada and Kenneth Goma.

Botswana's Minister of Works, Transport and Communications, Pelenomi Venson, has approached the Zimbabwean government through the High Commissioner to Botswana, Zenzo Nsimbi, about the issue. The MP said "a high amount of correspondence" on the issue had yielded nothing, hence the latest developments.

"Ask your high commissioner. He knows about it because they (government officials) have been saying it to him of late and I tell you it's coming in parliament," the official said.

Contacted for comment this week, the Minister of Mines and Energy, Edward Chindori-Chininga, referred all questions to National Oil Company of Zimbabwe managing director, Webster Muriritirwi, who said he was "strictly forbidden" to comment.

Mogae's government was obliged to extend the facility in what was largely seen as a solidarity gesture after it lost some of its fuel to Zimbabweans who were regularly sneaking into the country to buy the commodity in large quantities.

Zimbabwe received 10 million litres of diesel fuel, five million litres of petrol and five million litres of aviation fuel from Botswana to address an acute three-month fuel shortage which had hindered activities across a whole swathe of the country's embattled economy.

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Zim Independent
National Parks enlists services of army, police
Blessing Zulu

THE Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management has engaged members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to augment its manpower to curb poaching of endangered species ahead of the 12th Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) scheduled for Chile in November.

The African elephant is listed under Appendix 1 of Cites in all countries except Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The three Sadc countries are on Appendix 2 which allows for limited trade in raw ivory and will be defending their position at the Cites convention in early November.

National Parks provincial officer for Mashonaland West, Kenneth Ngwarai, last week told a group of Zimbabwean journalists who toured national parks that the presence of army and police details was meant to curb the sudden upsurge in elephant poaching.

"The Department of National Parks pays $500 000 to the Zimbabwe National Army, mostly for fuel, every month," Ngwarai said.

The department has also enlisted the services of troops from One Commando and the Air Force of Zimbabwe. The Air Force has seconded a helicopter to augment the fixed-wing plane owned by the parks department.

Members of the ZRP Support Unit are also in the operation trying to curb poaching of endangered species.

"Plans are also afoot to have parks personnel trained by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces," said Ngwarai.

"The ZRP's Support Unit is footing its own bills as part of Operation Safeguard Heritage, a joint venture between our department and the uniformed forces to protect wildlife," he said. "This is a national programme and each unit is supposed to contribute."

The last time the National Parks sold ivory was to Japan in 1998.

"No further commercial exports of raw ivory were undertaken after the once-off sale of 19,9 tonnes to Japan in 1998," said Ngwarai.

The department is also a player in the tourism industry where it offers walks, hunts, boat rides and lodge accommodation to visiting tourists. All its activities have, however, suffered a huge downturn over the past two years.

"Tourism here at Tashinga is down to 7% as compared to 49% during the same period in 1999 and we are still hoping that things will improve," said parks warden, Francis Buyeye.

Several lodges in the area have closed down and some are operating below capacity. Bumi Hills Hotel has closed, and so have lodges such as Ume, Landela and Katete. Kipling and Fothergill still have few tourists booking in. Spurwing alone is operating at full throttle because its clientele is largely local.

Mana Pools had the highest number of tourists in the province over the Heroes Day holiday with a 95% booking.

"The unfortunate thing is, however, that 85% of the tourists are locals, with only 6% from South Africa and 4% from overseas, which does not result in much foreign currency generation," said an official at Mana Pools.

Hunting has become the mainstay of the department with Hurungwe Safari area making in excess of $139 million last year alone.

The country has established a national export quota of 400 trophy animals per annum. This has been made possible by the fact that those who do sport hunting are few but bring in a lot of foreign currency.

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Zim Independent
Millers propose 30% price hike
Stanley James

ZIMBABWE'S milling industry has proposed a 30% hike in the price of mealie-meal, sources in the Ministry of Industry and International Trade said this week.

The proposals, which are supposed to be effected by next month if approved, are being considered by the ministry before submission to cabinet for ratification.

The milling industry is reeling under production constraints characterised by a shortage of inputs, primarily grain, and price controls on finished products.

Industry players this week held a meeting at which they expressed concern over the difficult operating environment, and called for a 30% to 35% review of the price of mealie-meal and other goods they manufacture.

They said the three major players in the sector - National Foods, Blue Ribbon Foods and Victoria Milling - had since the beginning of this year streamlined production to ensure viability.

Most companies in the sector have been hard hit by the shortage of grain, with most hammer millers being forced out of business.

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Zim Independent
Govt unable to stem spiralling inflation
Stanley James

GOVERNMENT is off-course to reduce inflation to single digit levels by the end of the year following a 123,5% rise in the July inflation rate, economic commentators said this aweek.

The Ministry of Finance last year forecast that inflation would be reduced to a single digit by December 2002.

The Central Statistical Office (CSO) said the nine percentage points rise in the July inflation rate - from 114,5 % in June to 123,5%- was due to persistent increases in the prices of various commodities.

"The increase in month-on-month inflation in July 2002 was accounted for by increases in the average price of clothing, beverages, condiments, confectionery and meat," said the CSO. Food inflation stood at 106,9% up from the June figure of 102%.

"This means that prices as measured by the all items consumer price index increased by an average of 8,8% from June to July."

Merchant Bank of Central Africa/Alliance MD Leonard Chitongo said inflation was going to remain in three-digit territory for the foreseeable future.

"I anticipate inflation to peak in the fourth quarter of 2002 when critical shortages in basic food items are expected to be critical," Chitongo said.

"This means we ain't seen nothing yet as more records are still to be broken. If one looks at the price elasticity of demand, it would seem to indicate that demand continues to be sustained despite the increase in prices.

"This is all driven by speculative income coming from all corners of the economy. But the bubble will burst at some point," he said. "With core inflation (non-food inflation) at 131,9% - up 11 percentage points from 120,9% in June - this is normally a harbinger of worse things to come."

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