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

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Daily News

      Choice of Mohadi queried

      8/28/02 8:18:18 AM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      THE family of the murdered Strover Mutonhori, the alleged lover of
Kembo Mohadi's wife, have said they fear Mohadi's appointment as Minister of
Home Affairs will thwart investigations into the killing.

      Mohadi was one of the suspects in the 1999 murder of Mutonhori,
alleged to have been having an extra-marital affair with Mohadi's wife.

      Mutonhori disappeared in mysterious circumstances from Omadu Hotel in
Maphisa, Kezi, that year.

      His remains were later found at a remote spot in Mzingwane District,
outside Bulawayo.
      Mohadi was interviewed by the police in connection with the murder.

      A spokesman for the Mutonhori family yesterday said the police last
contacted them in connection with the investigations into the murder in
April this year.

      They told the family they had interviewed Mohadi.

      "Now that he is the Minister of Home Affairs Minister, the case will
just disappear," said the family spokesperson, who declined to be named for
fear of victimisation.

      The spokesperson claimed some members of the family were harassed by
unidentified people shortly after Mutonhori's murder.

      The matter was transferred from Matabeleland South to the Special
Investigating Branch at the Police Headquarters in Harare last year.

      The officer investigating the case, Chief Superintendent C R Gora,
yesterday switched off his cellphone when contacted for comment on the
progress of investigations into the case.

      As Minister of Home Affairs, Mohadi will be in charge of the police

      Mohadi said yesterday: "I did not appoint myself minister. The
Mutonhori family is free to contact me or my lawyers, instead of
communicating with me through the Press."

      He said investigations into the murder case and his installation had
nothing to do with him as he had not appointed himself to the ministry.

      Mohadi was elevated from Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public
Works and National Housing to the post previously held by the ruling Zanu PF
party national chairman, John Nkomo, when President Mugabe announced his
"war cabinet" last Saturday.

      Max Mkandla, a spokesman for former Zimbabwe African People's
Revolutionary Army (Zipra) fighters, said they hoped that Mohadi would not
tamper with evidence in the Mutonhori case.

      "We feel that Mohadi is not the right person to take the post of
Minister of Home Affairs because the Mutonhori case is still pending," he

      Mohadi is also a former member of Zipra, the armed wing of PF Zapu
during the war, led by Joshua Nkomo, the late former Vice-President.
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Daily News
Priest flees terror in Nyanga

8/28/02 8:33:06 AM (GMT +2)

From Brian Mangwende in Mutare

SUSPECTED war veterans and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officers in Nyanga last week forced Father Patrick Joseph Kelly to leave the area, accusing him of preaching opposition politics.

Kelly, 60, of St Gabriel Catholic Church, said on 16 August he was approached by seven so-called war veterans who gave him an ultimatum to leave Nyanga by 22 August, or face unspecified action. In a letter to Bishop Alexio Muchabaiwa, the church’s provincial leader, and copied to the Papal Nuncio, the Pope’s representative in Harare, Kelly said: “I was visited by seven war veterans. “They told me to gather my rubbish and be gone from Nyanga by 22 August. Are you aware that Bishop Mutume came to St Gabriel on 18 August and acquiesced to this demand? “Consequently, I am leaving the parish of St Gabriel, Nyanga, without any protest or significant witness of any kind having been made by the authorities of the Diocese of Mutare to either the CIO, war veterans, the provincial or national political leadership.”

Bishop Mutume, the auxiliary bishop of Mutare could not be reached for comment as he was said to be at Nyangombe, Nyanga, on church business. The Pope’s representative in Zimbabwe, Reverend Peter Paul Prabhu, refused to shed light on Kelly’s eviction. He said: “I am only authorised to speak to the government, so I cannot say anything to you.” He referred all questions to Bishop Alexio Muchabaiwa, leader of the Catholic Church, Mutare Diocese. Muchabaiwa confirmed he received reports concerning Kelly’s abrupt eviction from Nyanga and said he was investigating the matter. He said: “I am aware of the issue and we are investigating what really happened, it’s too early at this stage to make a comprehensive comment.” Asked whether the case had been reported to the police, Muchabaiwa repeated it was too early to comment.

Stanislous Chikukwa, the deputy secretary for security in the national war veterans’ association, said he would investigate the matter. Chikukwa, who is based in Manicaland said: “I am not aware of that case but I will investigate. Some war veterans are doing things without our knowledge. “Maybe what happened was that a decision was made on the spot to eject him from there, but I am yet to speak to the executive in Nyanga and establish what really transpired.” Prior to the ultimatum, Kelly said he was interrogated by the CIO twice and on each occasion interviewed by three agents for about two hours.
“The main accusation being made was that I am a promoter of opposition politics,” Kelly said. “A great deal was made of the fact that I distributed literature made available by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace diocese of Mutare, dealing with human rights and freedoms.

“I have also been informed that during my recent absence from the parish, Peter Masamba, a senior church official, was dealt with very severely on the same issue by members of the CIO.” He dismissed as false accusations by some war veterans that he was against the land reform programme. He said: “I am not against the programme. In fact, I am for it. The land must be given to the people, but in an orderly, transparent manner.”

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Daily News
White woman joins eviction mob

8/28/02 8:33:42 AM (GMT +2)

By Peta Thornycroft

In A bizarre twist to the forced removals of Zimbabwe’s farmers, a white woman, believed to be British, took part in the eviction of a farm couple this week. The woman, Anne Matonga, in her early 30s, screamed at Monica Schultz: “We are taking back the land you stole from us!” Matonga is married to Bright Matonga, 35, a Zimbabwean propagandist. He worked as a sports reporter in London for the BBC but was recently recalled to Zimbabwe at the behest of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo to work for the State-controlled Herald newspaper, then the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, before being put in charge of the national bus company, Zupco.

Vincent Schultz, Monica’s husband, had been wrongfully arrested as the seizure of his farm had been ruled invalid on a legal technicality. Nevertheless, he was still in prison, pending a bail application, and his wife was alone on the farm on Sunday when the Matongas arrived and began hurling abuse at her. “She (Anne Matonga) was rude, saying we had stolen her land. I thought it strange as she was white, and looked and sounded British,” Monica Schultz said of the incident.

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Daily News
Bread price shoots to $100 on black market

8/28/02 8:34:31 AM (GMT +2)

From Brian Mangwende in Mutare

Bread is now being sold on the black market in Mutare for up to $100 a loaf as the effects of the chaotic land reform measures begin to bite. The controlled price of bread is $60,44 a loaf. Vendors in Mutare have capitalised on the shortage of wheat as bakers fail to meet demand.

Major millers in Harare, including National Foods (NatFoods) and Victoria Foods, said yesterday the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) had reduced their wheat allocation to about 2 000 metric tonnes a week. An official at NatFoods said their allocation had been limited to 2 640 metric tonnes weekly which would not last for a week. Another official at Victoria Foods said they had stopped production altogether. The NatFoods official, who refused to be identified, said: “We are left with no choice but to reduce the quantities of flour to the provinces so that at least people everywhere get some. “We have three mills working, but by the end of the week only two will still be running as there will be no wheat.” The official at Victoria Foods said the company had no flour in stock. “Production has stopped and even staff members are having to go without bread.” A GMB source yesterday said he was aware that stocks of wheat grain were dwindling, but declined to elaborate on the extent of the problem.

Yesterday, there were long queues at bread outlets in Mutare, some stretching as long as 300 metres. Vendors crowded around bakeries as soon as word got out that bread was available. Consumers were limited to two loaves each. The vendors spent hours queuing and rejoining queues before making off for different destinations in and around the city to sell a loaf at the inflated price of between $70 and $100.

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Daily News

      MDC to import maize

      8/28/02 8:36:27 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, said yesterday with or without a
government permit, his party would go ahead and import grain to feed about
six million people facing starvation. Tsvangirai said the country was facing
a crisis and it would be up to the government to impound the grain if it did
not agree with the MDC plans.

      Joseph Made, the Minister of Land, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement,
yesterday declined to comment on whether the MDC would be allowed to import
food, or whether the government would give them a permit to do so. Made,
widely believed to be responsible for the current hunger when he insisted
last year that Zimbabwe had enough food stocks, switched off his cellphone
when he was asked whether the government would allow the MDC to go ahead
with its project. Tsvangirai, who controversially lost the presidential
election to President Mugabe in March, said his party would go ahead with
its proposal because no reasonable government would thwart genuine efforts
to feed the nation.

      "They may impound the grain but we are going ahead," said Tsvangirai.
"What is clear is that the government has no capacity to respond to a food
crisis of this magnitude. We have no permit but all avenues must be explored
because this is a crisis." Tsvangirai said the government could only obtain
about 400 000 tonnes of grain but 1,9 million tonnes were needed "if we are
to survive until next year".

      "The Grain Marketing Board must not monopolise grain imports in such
times of crisis when a whole government has failed to feed the people," he
said. Tsvangirai said MDC supporters and sympathisers had pledged over $50
million when the High Court demanded a $2 million security deposit in his
legal challenge to Mugabe's disputed victory.

      He said the party had decided that the remainder be used to import
food. "The MDC leadership met over the weekend and decided to channel any
excess amounts as the party's contribution to imports of maize grain for the
starving masses of Zimbabwe," Tsvangirai said. "Although we are not in
government as yet, we realise that as the party that won the election and
therefore represents the real wishes of the people, we cannot sit back as
the nation starves while the current regime is pre-occupied only with how to
disenfranchise citizens." The government has in the past accused
non-governmental organisations of using food relief to campaign for the

      In the rural areas, especially in the MDC stronghold of Matabeleland,
the government has been accused of distributing grain to Zanu PF supporters
only upon production of their party membership cards.

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Daily News

      Police ransack MDC offices in search of murder weapons

      8/28/02 8:37:00 AM (GMT +2)

      By Rhodah Mashavave

      HEAVILY armed police searched the MDC offices for three hours
yesterday, reportedly on the hunt for four murder suspects and firearms
following the death of Ali Khan Manjengwa, a Zanu PF activist in Mbare.

      Armed anti-riot police spent Monday night at the Harvest House head
office of the party, monitoring the movement of people in and out of the
building. Simbarashe Muzenda of Muzenda and Magunga, legal practitioners,
the legal adviser for MDC said: "The police were looking for the suspected
murderers of Manjengwa in Mbare last Thursday. "They had a search warrant
with the names of Itayi Mudzingwa alias Kitsiyatota, George Mhuriro, Action,
Mambo Rusere, and firearms." Muzenda said: "The police even wanted to bring
in sniffer dogs . . . after they had failed to find the murder suspects."

      He said it was irrational for the police to imagine that the MDC would
harbour weapons and murder suspects. About 15 policemen, led by Detective
Inspector Dowa, conducted the search. "The police searched everywhere and
even in the litter bins," Muzenda said.

      Meanwhile, five other murder suspects were arrested for allegedly
scheming to kill Manjengwa. They will appear in court tomorrow. They are the
MDC district chairman, Boniface Manyonganise, Eric Murayi, Fungai Mlambo,
Sokisi and Lainos Mushonga. Manjengwa was shot dead on Thursday last week in
unclear circumstances. He was a well-known Zanu PF activist who campaigned
for President Mugabe , using terror tactics. Manjengwa stood as the Zanu PF
candidate in Mbare in the March council election, but lost to the MDC.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Harare Show coincides with land crisis climax

      8/28/02 8:23:36 AM (GMT +2)

      This year's Harare Agricultural Show coincides with the climax of the
two-year conflict over the control of land, a finite resource that requires
sensitivity lest the nation is plunged into permanent disability.

      Organisers felt the event must go ahead in spite of the convulsions in
the industry. Many white farmers cannot display their achievements. They are
either on remand for contesting Section 8 eviction orders or have lost
everything they built up for decades.

      The show was founded in 1895 to promote agriculture, before it was
expanded to include commerce and industry.

      Agriculture normally provides 50 percent of the jobs and 17 percent of
the country's gross domestic product.

      It realises about 40 percent of all foreign currency earnings.

      With space for about 600 stands, 420 were taken up.

      Significantly, the dairy and tobacco sections have fewer exhibitors
than in previous years, while ranchers and animal breeders decided to stay

      Foreign currency shortages, triple-digit inflation, high interest
rates and a decline in international goodwill have pushed up production
costs and prices.

      While the government blames the West, especially Britain, Zimbabweans
know who to blame - Robert Mugabe, who wants to remain in office, forever,
it would seem.

      His stubborn determination to hang on has the potential to destroy the
people's basic ingenuity to survive, their intrinsic initiative and
enterprise to overcome the current economic difficulties.

      Compounded by the HIV/Aids pandemic, food insecurity and political
instability remain our greatest challenges. The ceaseless chaos on the farms
could further complicate our predicament.

      Previously seen as the regional one-stop shop for agriculture,
commerce and industry, the Harare Show failed to attract any international
exhibitors for the obvious reason that no country wants to be seen to be
condoning a government with a "war cabinet" but no war.
      Zimbabwe's circle of friends is dwindling fast because of a violent
land reform programme which seeks to punish whites for the sins of their

      The farmers are in a dilemma after the arrest of 277 of them and the
continued harassment of hundreds of others.

      For the first time, the nation's biggest and busiest farmers face
different forms of displacement. Those who replaced them are neither at the
Show nor on the farms. They are at their usual jobs in government and
elsewhere. They have been to the Show as
      visitors, not exhibitors, and will probably never be.

      Traditionally, the Show offers a window through which the private
sector, the people and the government meet to evaluate the agricultural

      Commercial farmers found in the Show a superb opportunity to learn
from each other and to assess what commerce and industry prepared for the
next agriculture season. New machinery, animal breeds and seed varieties
were on offer.

      The Show blended business, agriculture and the family and offered a
unique platform for serious entrepreneurial exchanges and fun. Given today's
economic hardships and plunging disposable incomes, it's hardly surprising
that attendance this year is likely to be lower than in the past.

      Families are out searching for food, despite a generally wet,
much-talked-about drought. Pastures are reportedly good and dams are full,
making the food crisis more a direct result of confused government policies
than a natural phenomenon.

      Farmers believe the government lost an opportunity to mitigate the
food shortages when it allowed its supporters to remain on productive farms,
disrupting operations and forcing farmers to leave.

      There is anarchy and lawlessness in the farms today. Farmers spend a
great deal of energy resisting the chaos, while the police are either
reluctant to act or are overwhelmed by the looters.

      Thieves and hungry villagers vandalise property, ripping out electric
motors, stealing bales of tobacco, equipment and machinery. Instead of being
at the Show, white farmers are either holed up in their farmhouses or busy
searching for safe storage space for their equipment.

      In lurches, the government has resorted to all forms of brutality
against the farmers. They are being targeted as part of a huge smokescreen
that land redistribution is the most urgent concern of ordinary Zimbabweans,
when it is clearly not.
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Daily News - Letters

      Let's all wear green ribbons

      8/28/02 8:32:13 AM (GMT +2)

      Cathy Buckle's article "Women's silence in all this mayhem baffling"
(The Daily News, 21 August 2002) refers.

      May I say all females from 16 upwards wear a green ribbon on them in
protest at the hunger and land mayhem that is prevailing in this country?

      I am 25 years old and support together with my elder sister 10
dependants. This is from families that have been chased from our rural home.

      The man in power is here for himself only. Let's start our "Green
Ribbon" war now.

      C Phiri
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Business Day
Mugabe misses chance to change colours

Refusal to get policy shift, consider enlightened methods will accelerate Zimbabwe's demise

Harare Correspondent

AS ZIMBABWEANS continue to ponder President Robert Mugabe's uninspiring cabinet reshuffle, analysts say the Zimbabwean ruler has once again squandered an opportunity to give his rudderless country direction.

Commentators say Mugabe's stick-in-the-mud team is certainly in no position to deliver the politically fractured and fragmented country out of the current economic quagmire.

University of Zimbabwe professor of business studies Tony Hawkins said Mugabe wasted a glorious chance to reassure the world he was not totally beyond redemption. He observed that Mugabe's refusal to adopt a fundamental policy shift and consider enlightened leadership methods would accelerate the country's demise.

"It was a really pathetic failure by Mugabe to set the country on a new path to economic recovery," he said. "There is no way this economy will recover under the sort of policies this hardline cabinet will pursue."

Hawkins said it was shocking that Mugabe had fired Finance Minister Simba Makoni, although the president claims he resigned by himself, and replaced him with his predecessor, Herbert Murerwa, who actually presided over the current economic implosion.

"It's unbelievable because Murerwa was in charge when the Zimbabwe dollar crashed in 1997, when war veterans were paid billions of unbudgeted funds, when the currency was pegged in 1999 and when these problems actually escalated."

Political analyst Brian Raftopoulos said Mugabe destroyed a chance to sort out his party's convoluted succession issue by making progressive appointments in the reshuffle.

"If he had replaced his two vice-presidents, that would have created a new shift in the government and maybe the ruling party hierarchy and helped to unravel the Zanu (PF)'s complex succession issue," he said.

Instead of introducing new faces in the government, Mugabe clung to his party's old guard, clearly showing his unwillingness to relinquish power yet. His decision to retain reactionary and combative ministers also revealed his rigid determination to persist on a confrontational path with the world.

Mugabe's cabinet changes appear designed to revive and consolidate failed economic policies such as a fixed exchange rate, price controls, foreign exchange controls and nationalisation. Currently the government has no coherent and cohesive economic policies. It is just plodding in the midst of an unprecedented policy failure.

At times ministers come up with sound economic reform and recovery policies only for Mugabe to dump them at funerals and rallies.

Hawkins said Zimbabwe's future was ominous given that the country's gross domestic product was expected to contract by at least 11% this year.

Money supply growth, with all its inflationary pressures, is spinning out of control and Zimbabwe's inflation of massive proportions is expected to surge from 123,5% to at least 130% by the end of the year. Problems such as unemployment, poverty, HIV/AIDS and the concomitant instability can only worsen.

The food crisis, analysts predict, will deepen as a consequence of Mugabe's "scorched earth" land reform policy begin to really show.

Independent economic consultant John Robertson painted a gloomy picture of the economic situation in the next few months. "It's going to be a disaster," he warned. "Already there is strong evidence the land reform programme is going to be a calamity. This coupled with economic woes can only lead to a catastrophe."

To make matters worse, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change is also in a state of paralysis after the disputed March presidential election. This means that economically and politically Zimbabwe is stagnant. But it is increasingly becoming clear that Zimbabwe is no longer just declining, but it is undergoing a revolution, both on the land and economy, in reverse.

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Zimbabwean opposition: EU must look at doing more

Ahead of this week's informal meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Elsinore, Denmark, the Zimbabwean shadow foreign affairs spokesman, Tendai Biti, has urged the EU to look at doing more.

In an interview with the EUobserver, Mr Biti welcomed current targeted sanctions but stated, the EU "may have to consider comprehensive sanctions; increasing the number of persons to include those who are in bed with Zanu-PF and its leaders, including members of the business community."

Speaking from Zimbabwe, the spokesperson described the current situation as "a nightmare" and warned that "the longer we procrastinate the greater the deterioration...we are looking at a Cambodian Pol Pot situation."

According to a spokesperson for the Danish EU Presidency, Zimbabwe is not expected to be on the agenda at this weeks meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers in Elsinore, but he added that there was "room for the member states to bring up any other items."

At a meeting of the General Affairs Committee in July, the European Council agreed to use "all available possibilities to discuss and express its concern about the situation in Zimbabwe."

Disappointment at South Africa's response
Mr Biti also expressed his disappointment at South Africa's response to the crisis and urged the EU to exert pressure on Mr Mbeki's government. So far the South African government has stated only that it would "continue to encourage dialogue in Zimbabwe."

While welcoming EU aid, Mr Biti also said that it "may be sustaining and encouraging the current status quo by delaying total breakdown." The EU has donated more than 42 million euro worth of food aid to Zimbabwe since April.

In addition to drastic food shortages, the AIDS pandemic sweeping the country, hyper inflation, human rights abuses, shortages of basic items, and the collapse of public services, the political situation in Zimbabwe also continues to deteriorate.

Late on Monday night, the Harare offices of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change - of which Mr Biti is a member - were raided by government forces.

Sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe
EU foreign ministers in February unanimously decided to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe, following President Robert Mugabe's refusal to co-operate with EU electoral observers. The sanctions include a ban on the sale, supply or transfer of arms and technical advice, assistance or training related to military activities and an embargo on the sale or supply of equipment which could be used for internal repression in Zimbabwe. A travel ban and freezing of assets has also been imposed on some 20 government ministers and officials, including President Mugabe himself. The EU traval ban does not cover meetings of international bodies.

Opponents of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government earlier this week called for Zimbabwean police commissioner, Augustine Chihuri to be arrested when attending a meeting of the international police organisation Interpol in France, of which he is vice-president.

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Philadelphia Inquirer
Land seizures benefit Zimbabwe's powerful

Los Angeles Times

Grace Mugabe came here last week, but her visit had nothing to do with promoting literacy, health care, or any other official duties that come with being Zimbabwe's first lady.

Instead, Mugabe came to personally evict white farmers John and Eva Matthews, a septuagenarian couple who own the sprawling 2,500-acre Iron Mask Estate.

Witnesses said Mugabe - who was accompanied by senior army officers, government officials, and young toughs from her husband's ruling party - told the Matthewses that they had 48 hours to vacate their farm or be arrested.

"I'm taking over this farm," witnesses quoted her as saying.

Mugabe's husband, President Robert Mugabe, has promised that his planned confiscation of white farms would benefit thousands of landless black Zimbabweans, but so far senior cabinet ministers, top army officials, and the president's relatives and friends appear to be among the big beneficiaries.

During the last two weeks, Mugabe's security forces have arrested about 200 of about 2,900 white commercial farmers who have defied the government's Aug. 8 deadline to leave their land without compensation.

With southern Africa already struggling with man-made and natural challenges including bad weather, disease and corruption, analysts say Mugabe's land grabs are endangering about six million Zimbabweans - nearly half the country's population. Millions of poor Zimbabweans now need international food aid to survive.

As the United States and other donors send shipments of maize to feed starving Zimbabweans, top U.S. and British officials say they want to work with the international community - particularly Zimbabwe's African neighbors - to isolate Mugabe, who they say rigged polls this year to win reelection. Western governments oppose the land seizures, which are often violent and chaotic.

Mugabe says he is trying to address colonial-era injustices, when blacks were driven off the most fertile land to make way for white farmers. He is expected to square off with Western officials later this week at a U.N. summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mugabe's opponents are also waiting for him in Johannesburg. On Monday, about 100 supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which is usually barred in Zimbabwe from holding such protests, chanted anti-Mugabe slogans in front of a convention center where the summit is being held. Some protesters waved placards declaring "Mugabe is an election thief" and "Mugabe is starving his own people."

"Mugabe argues 'land for the poor,' but it's a lie," said an MDC spokesman, Moses Mzila-Ndlovu. "It's about power."

The Matthewses raised cattle and planted tobacco, maize and soybeans on the land until two years ago. Members of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party who are also veterans of the war for black majority rule in the former Rhodesia, which ended with the establishment of Zimbabwe in 1980, invaded the property and stopped all farming.

The Matthews' heavily wooded estate, with its 29-room house, two swimming pools and fertile land, remained one of the most coveted farms in the lush Mazowe area, a 30-minute drive west of Harare, the Zimbabwean capital.

When Grace Mugabe visited the farm last week, she saw sweeping vistas of trees displaying spring leaves ranging from pale pink to burgundy to bronze, on rolling woodlands that met the big African sky in the distance.

Eva Matthews bought the farm with her first husband 35 years ago and raised her three children there.

Last week, the army officers who came with Grace Mugabe told the Matthewses to find alternative accommodations because the first lady would be moving in shortly.

Grace Mugabe, the president's former secretary, has a reputation among many people as a profligate shopper. Before the European Union imposed travel bans on dozens of the Zimbabwean president's friends, relatives and cronies, numerous news reports said she frequently used state-owned Air Zimbabwe to go to London and Paris on shopping jaunts.

A list prepared by Justice for Agriculture, a new lobbying group for white farmers, says that about 200 army officers, influential businessmen and senior ZANU-PF members are the new owners of formerly white-owned farms.

Government officials say the eviction of 2,900 of the approximately 3,500 white farmers will be almost completed by the end of this month.

At this time of the year, the roads leading north and west of Harare usually are lined with maturing wheat fields. But this year, travelers drive through fields overgrown with weeds and thousands of felled indigenous trees.

Environmentalists say new settlers have resorted to cutting down trees and selling wood to buy food, leading to serious deforestation. Some estimates suggest that 50 percent of wildlife on private land have also been slaughtered for food.

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

1. The Council reiterated its deep concerns regarding the situation in Zimbabwe, particularly the social and political polarisation, the impasse in the inter-party dialogue between the ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change, the violations of human rights and the restrictions on the media as well as the deteriorating economic situation caused largely by the policies of the Zimbabwean authorities which impacts negatively on the living conditions of the Zimbabwean people.

2. Against this background, the Council decided to expand the list of persons affected by targeted sanctions as referred to in the Council Common Position of 18 February 2002 concerning restrictive measures against Zimbabwe to include all remaining Cabinet Ministers, Politburo Secretaries, Deputy Ministers, Assistant Secretaries of the Politburo and the spouse of President Mugabe, Ms. Grace Mugabe.

3. The Council furthermore reviewed its decision of 18 February 2002 to take 'appropriate measures' with reference to Article 96 in the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement. The Council concluded that current conditions in Zimbabwe do not ensure respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law. Therefore the Council decided to continue these measures unchanged. The Council reiterated that contributions to operations of a humanitarian nature and projects in direct support of the population, in particular those in the social sectors, are not affected.

4. The Council stressed that emergency food aid should under no circumstances be used as a political tool. The Council therefore requests the Commission in consultation with Member States, other donors, NGOs and the UN to draw up concrete guidelines for food distribution in Zimbabwe to ensure a strictly depoliticised distribution.

5. The Council again stressed the importance of close cooperation and a continued dialogue on all levels with SADC partners and other international partners on the crisis in Zimbabwe. The EU will use all available possibilities to discuss and express its concern about the situation in Zimbabwe. The Council stressed the importance of the upcoming EU-SADC Ministerial Conference in Copenhagen on 7 and 8 November 2002 as part of the ongoing dialogue with these countries on the issues affecting Southern Africa. The Council asked the Presidency to continue the preparations of the conference.

6. Whilst recognising the need to reduce poverty by redressing the historical imbalance in land distribution in Zimbabwe, the Council condemns the ongoing fast track land reform policy as a major cause of the present humanitarian crisis. The Council urges the Zimbabwean government to implement the process agreed at Abuja in September 2001 and to review its fast track land reform as proposed by UNDP in early 2002. It also urges the Zimbabwean government to take all appropriate measures to respond to the humanitarian emergency by mobilising its own resources and to ensure that food is distributed impartially to all in need.

7. The EU will continue to expand its humanitarian assistance to the people of Zimbabwe and to respond to the United Nations' consolidated humanitarian appeal. It reiterates that civil society, NGOs and other stakeholders should be included in the implementation and monitoring of the relief effort.
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Department of foreign affairs, South Africa

Updated: 22 August 2002 12:01:06
Statement by the South African Government on the Situation in Zimbabwe

The South Africa Government has been informed by its High Commission in Harare of the latest developments in Zimbabwe, which led to the arrest of 199 farmers, including at least two South African citizens, for breaching the provisions of the Lands Acquisition Amendment Act. The High Commission is assisting the South African citizens concerned in terms of the consular services that are provided to all South Africans arrested abroad. The High Commission has also approached the Zimbabwean Foreign Ministry regarding the listing of six farms for resettlement owned by South African citizens. The High Commission will remain in constant contact with the Zimbabwean authorities in an effort to resolve the situation.
South Africa will continue to act as part of the international collective to encourage dialogue among all the political and other role-players in Zimbabwe in an effort to create an environment conducive to reconciliation and the reconstruction and development of Zimbabwe.
In that context, the Commonwealth Chairperson’s Committee, consisting of South Africa, Nigeria and Australia, remains committed to execute the mandate received from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in March 2002, namely to facilitate dialogue between the two main parties.
South Africa is of the view that the land question remains at the heart of Zimbabwe’s economic and political problems but that the redistribution should take place within the rule of law, respect for the Zimbabwean Constitution and due process.
The people of Zimbabwe have a common responsibility to ensure that theirs is a peaceful and democratic country, in which all Zimbabweans enjoy human rights and protection under the rule of law. A lasting solution to the problems in that country can only be achieved when the people of Zimbabwe themselves agree to it.
South Africa will also continue to work with United Nations agencies and SADC structures in addressing the current food shortages affecting the region in general and Zimbabwe in particular.
For further information contact Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853
Issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
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Land pressure mounting in Namibia
Namibian child
Poverty reduction and land reform are priorities
Namibia's new prime minister says he will put greater pressure on white farmers to sell their land.

Theo-Ben Gurirab said that land reform was a major priority for the government, together with poverty eradication.

In an interview with the BBC's Network Africa, he said he was disappointed that white farmers were not as "forthcoming as we'd like them to be" when it came to selling land for resettlement.

Germany owes us reparations, or otherwise the only road left for us as Africans will be the Zimbabwe way.

Paramount Chief Riruako of the Herero

The Paramount Chief of the Herero people of Namibia warned on Sunday that if his people were not paid reparations for crimes committed against them during the colonial era they would forcefully repossess farms, according to the Namibian news agency.

About 4,000, mostly white commercial farmers own just under half the arable land in Namibia.

Namibia's government is committed to the principle of "willing-buyer willing-seller" - which means no-one is forced to sell up, but if they do the state gets first refusal.

So far Namibia has avoided the violent scenes witnessed in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

The BBC's Southern Africa correspondent Alastair Leithead says that the land reform programme in Zimbabwe has raised the expectations of landless black farmers across southern Africa and generated fear of repossession among white farmers.

People died for land

The new prime minister, appointed in a cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday and sworn in on Wednesday, told the BBC that Namibia's land reform programme had been successful since its launch in June 1991.

Over 20 million Namibian dollars were being spent every year to buy farms for redistribution, he said.

Theo-Ben Gurirab
The new prime minister says land reforms is a priority

But white farmers while not resisting the land reform policy were not offering enough land for sale, according to Mr Gurirab.

Land reform was a priority and Namibians who risked their lives during the fight for independence did so "for freedom and land", the prime minister said.

His comments followed those of Namibia's President, Sam Nujoma, at the congress of the ruling South-West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) at the weekend that "arrogant" white farmers must embrace the government's land reform programme.

He told party members that 192 farms that were not being utilised or were owned by "foreign absentee landlords" would be earmarked for repossession.

Compensation would be paid for those farms which were taken for redistribution, the president said.

Mr Gurirab's predecessor as Prime Minister, Hage Geingob, said on Tuesday that he was resigning from the government.

He declined the post of Regional and Local Government Minister, offered to him by President Nujoma following his removal as Prime Minister in the cabinet reshuffle, Namibian television reported.

Mass extermination

Land reform and the issue of reparations for suffering during the colonial period are major issues for the Herero people of Namibia.

They make up about seven per cent of Namibia's 1.8 million inhabitants.

Namibian farm
Nearly half the farming land is owned by whites
During German colonial rule, which ended with Germany's defeat at the end of the First World War in 1918, the Herero were nearly wiped out by German colonial forces.

Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako of the Herero is leading the community's legal attempts to be paid reparations for the extermination campaign by the German government and German companies which operated in Namibia.

"We have been wronged. A decree was issued regarding our extermination and our properties were expropriated. In order to bring about equilibrium, bring reparations now," Chief Riruako demanded.

"Germany owes us reparations, or otherwise the only road left for us as Africans will be the Zimbabwe way."

Whites make up six per cent of the Namibian population and about one third of them are descended from German settlers.


Zimbabwe court overrules some farm seizures

HARARE, Aug. 28 - The Zimbabwe High Court cancelled eviction orders on
Wednesday against 54 white farmers, but a government official said the
ruling would have no major impact on President Robert Mugabe's land seizure
       The ruling was the latest in a series of court setbacks to Mugabe's
programme to seize at least 2,900 of Zimbabwe's 4,500 white-owned commercial
farms without compensation and give them to landless blacks, including
relatives and senior officials.
       Jeremy Callow, a lawyer for the 54 farmers, said Judge Benjamin
Paradza had ruled that a farm that was mortgaged or bonded could not be
acquired for resettlement unless the state had properly informed all
interested parties, including financial insitutions owed money by the
       ''The court's decision sets aside the eviction orders, which were
served on the farmers to vacate their properties by August 8,'' he told
       Callow said he did not know how many farmers were still on their
farms and how many had been forced to leave by police or by pro-government
militants enforcing the land programme.
       About 300 farmers have been arrested for defying the deadline to
surrender their homes and lands to settlers designated by the government.
       ''The expectation would be that the government should allow the
matter to rest and allow the farmers to retain their properties, but under
the law they have an option to start the process again and serve the papers
properly,'' Callow said.
       One senior government official told Reuters the High Court ruling
would only delay by a couple of weeks the acquisition of the targeted farms.
       ''The ruling does not have a material effect on the land resettlement
programme we are pursuing. It will delay the acquisition of these farms
while the paper work is being corrected, but the programme will continue,''
said the official, who declined to be named.
       A spokeswoman for a new farmers' lobby group coordinating legal
challenges against the land seizures described the ruling as a landmark in
the farmers' battle and urged the government to let the matter rest in
favour of the farmers.
       ''Our message to the government is to please honour these laws that
your judges and your magistrates are handing down and respect the law of
Zimbabwe,'' said Jenni Williams of Justice for Agriculture (JAG).
       Previous court decisions against the government have been ignored or
negated by amendments to the law.
       The United States and the European Union have imposed personal
sanctions against Mugabe in protest against the farm seizures and the
management of a presidential election they say he stole earlier this year.
       Mugabe says he is taking the farms to correct the colonial legacy
that has left most of the best farmlands in white hands

U.N.: Uganda, Zimbabwe start withdrawing troops from Congo's 4-year-old war


KINSHASA, Congo, Aug. 28 — Uganda and Zimbabwe have begun their pledged troop withdrawals from Congo, the United Nations confirmed Wednesday — a rare concrete step toward ending central Africa's four-year, six-nation war. 
       Both nations — enemies on opposing sides of the Congo war — have pulled out hundreds of troops in recent days, U.N. mission spokesman Hamadoun Toure said in the divided country's capital, Kinshasa.
       ''We hope all the parties will do the same. We very much hope in the days to come the foreign military presence will become no more than a memory,'' Toure said.
       On Tuesday, Uganda withdrew 242 of its estimated 2,000 troops in this country from the town of Beni in rebel-held northeast Congo, Toure said.
       Toure said more Ugandan troops have left the northern town of Gbadolite. That number wasn't known.
       In government-allied west Congo, meanwhile, Zimbabwe likewise has brought home hundreds of its troops, Toure said. Zimbabwe was believed to have 12,000 troops in Congo, a resource-rich nation the size of Western Europe.
       U.N. authorities will try to determine the precise numbers of troops being withdrawn, the U.N. spokesman said.
       Congo's war has split the country into government-held and rebel- and foreign-occupied zones. What some call Africa's first world war has killed 2.5 million people by aid groups' estimate. Most victims succumbed to disease or famine brought on or worsened by the conflict.
       The war erupted in August 1998 when Uganda and Rwanda backed Congo rebels in a bid to overthrow then-President Laurent Kabila. Uganda and Rwanda accused Kabila of harboring rebels who threatened their own security.
       The foreign-backed rebels seized much of the north and east of Congo. Kabila's government held onto the rest only with the help of armies from Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
       Peace efforts have moved forward under Congo's current leader, Joseph Kabila, who came to power after his father's own bodyguards assassinated him in January 2001.
       Namibia pulled out its relatively few troops last year. Angola, once a major force on the government side of the war, now has only a ''symbolic'' troop presence in Congo, the U.N. Congo mission says.
       Only Rwanda — with an estimated 30,000 troops in east Congo — has yet to move toward compliance with promises to pull out.
       Rwanda's and Congo's presidents signed a pact July 30 to end hostilities. Congo pledged to disarm and send home Rwandan rebels based on Congo soil, in return for Rwanda's pledge to pull out its troops.
       With time running out on the Congo-Rwanda pact's ambitious 90-day timetable, neither Rwanda nor Congo has made any major new move to carry it out. Each accuses the other of inaction.
       Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe cited that deal Aug. 13 as reason for his own country's full withdrawal, however. Mugabe gave no timetable.
       Uganda and Congo struck their own, still unofficial accord two weeks ago.
       Uganda is believed to be keen to bring its troops home to fight rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army, who have stepped up attacks in northern Uganda in recent months after the army launched an offensive against their bases in southern Sudan.
       Officials stressed that Uganda's withdrawal hinges on the Congolese government's sticking to its undertaking to ensure border security.
       Ugandan Deputy Defense Minister Ruth Nankabirwa said some of Ugandan troops being withdrawn will be deployed along the foothills of Ruwenzori mountains bordering the two countries.
       ''In a week's time, the withdrawal will probably be complete,'' said Maj. Shaban Bantariza, Uganda's army spokesman.
       He spoke from Kampala, Uganda's capital.
       However, Uganda will keep troops in the troubled northeastern town of Bunia until the U.N. mission in Congo puts in place security arrangements to prevent tribal clashes, Bantariza said.
       Toure said the U.N. mission would now reinforce its presence in Bunia.
       In July 2001, Uganda said it had withdrawn six of 10 battalions it had deployed in Congo. Uganda later sent others back in to quell tribal fighting in northeastern Congo, where Ugandan businessmen have mining and timber interests.

Mugabe gives white farmers silent treatment

August 28 2002 at 02:41PM

By Jan Raath

Harare - President Robert Mugabe has ruled out any possibility of talks with the country's white farmers, and told them their rights to own property were second to blacks, state radio reported on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, a Harare High Court judge ruled that eviction orders issued by the Zimbabwe government to 54 farmers were illegal and that the owners could return to their properties.

Jenni Williams, spokesperson for Justice for Agriculture, a lobby group for farmers fighting the Zimbabwe government in court, said that "justice has been served" by Judge Benjamin Paradza's decision.

'There is no room for talks, there is no room for negotiations'
"These properties have been removed from the acquisition list, and should return to full production, making food and earning foreign currency for Zimbabwe," she said.

However, Mugabe gave no room for hope for the country's dwindling number of white farmers when he spoke on Tuesday in the south eastern town of Chiredzi.

"There is no room for talks, there is no room for negotiations because the real owners of this land are asserting their rights and reclaiming their land," he told a crowd that included a sprinkling of whites.

"If you want to live with us, to farm alongside us, we, the rightful owners of our ancestral land, will carve out some land for you. But you cannot decide what you will have in our country," he said.

His remarks came days before the deadline set by him for the conclusion of his so-called "revolutionary land reform programme" and the distribution of thousands of white-owned farms among allegedly "landless" Zimbabweans.

'They have no choice if they wish to lawfully acquire the farms in issue'
The Commercial Farmers' Union, which represents the estimated 3 000 white farmers still left in Zimbabwe, has been pleading for discussions with the government to establish farmers' rights in the midst of the government's seizure of white land.

Mugabe rebuffed an appeal from them two weeks ago for direct talks with him.

Lawyer Jeremy Callow, who represented the 54 white farmers told the court on Wednesday morning, said that an anonymous telephone caller phoned him in the early hours of Monday and told him if he was seen again in the northern district of Karoi - where most of his farmer clients are -he "would be killed".

"I was very horrified to receive such a threat," he told reporters outside the court.

"There seem to be accumulating instances of unlawful conduct against officers of the court. One would hope this will all come to an end immediately."

About 200 white farmers have been arrested by police since August 9 when the deadline expired of eviction orders to 2 900 farmers to abandon their farms, while simultaneously scores of other farmers have been illegally driven off by senior ruling-party officials claiming prime farming operations, worth millions of rands, for themselves.

Callow said the eviction orders were cancelled for a variety of reasons; in most cases the government had failed to carry out the legal procedures for evictions, while in others the description of the farms on the eviction orders "were so inadequate that the properties described do not exist".

If the government was determined to force the farmers off their land, they would have to restart the 90-day eviction process, he said.

"They have no choice if they wish to lawfully acquire the farms in issue. They must follow their own legislation as passed by our parliament."

Mugabe claims that the government has resettled 300 000 peasant farmers on seized white land, and that by the end of this month, another 54 000 "indigenous (black) emergent commercial farmers" will have been resettled as well, officially marking the end of the land reform programme.

However, aid agencies and farm union officials say that chaos reigns on most of the country's once hugely productive commercial farms.

Farm labour unions point out that the occupation of the white-owned farms means that 350 000 farm workers will be made homeless, driven from their homes and jobs.

Many of the farms have been abandoned by the original peasant squatters who began moving on in February 2000 at the start of the notorious farm invasions led by so-called war veterans.

Those still there are doing subsistence "slash and burn" agriculture, without any of the inputs of seed, fertiliser and tools promised by Mugabe. Many are faced with starvation, according to interviews with squatters published in the independent media.

Earlier this month, acting lands minister Ignatius Chombo admitted that of the 54 000 "emergent commercial farmers" allocated land, only half had taken up the offer.

Farm union officials say the figure is much lower. Heading the list of ruling-party elite illegally laying claim to white land is Mugabe's 38-year-old wife, Grace, who last week took over a 27-room property, allegedly in the name of a "children's rehabilitation trust" of which she is the patron. - Sapa

Mugabe gets 7 mins at summit

Media24 Africa office

Johannesburg - It seems inevitable that the tension between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his critics in the international community will come to a head at the Earth Summit in Sandton.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development's official programme shows that Mugabe has a speaking turn of seven minutes on Monday.

Zimbabwe's state-controlled newspaper, The Herald, reports that Mugabe will use the summit as platform to rally African leaders behind his controversial land-reform plan.

The United Nations and Commonwealth countries, Britain and Australia, in particular, are determined Mugabe will not hijack the summit to justify his actions.

They will expect South Africa and Nigeria, in particular, to take a strong stance, in or outside conference halls.

In Harare, the political opposition appealed to African leaders on Tuesday to use the summit to increase the pressure on Mugabe and to bring about positive changes in Zimbabwe.

The Movement for Democratic Change asked in a statement that African leaders in Sandton "use every possible opportunity" to express their aversion and opposition to tyrants such as Mugabe, and to increase diplomatic pressure on such regimes, said MDC deputy president Gibson Sibanda.

"Without a doubt, Mugabe will tell world leaders that his land-reform programme is an excellent example of sustainable development in practice. "In reality, Mugabe's approach to land reform has doomed millions of people to poverty and exposed them to famine, while its result on the environment is catastrophic."

In Angola, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appealed to Mugabe to implement a land-reform programme that is subject to the rule of law and to bring to an end the economic and food crises in Zimbabwe, according to Reuters.

Annan is visiting several countries in southern Africa before taking part in the Earth Summit.

C'wealth for democracy: McKinnon
BSS, Dhaka

Visiting Commonwealth Secretary General Donald C. McKinnon yesterday said Commonwealth will remain engaged in strengthening democracy in the countries of the forum.

McKinnon, who is on a three-day visit to Bangladesh, expressed the determination during his courtesy call on Prime Minister Khaleda Zia at her office.

Khaleda and the secretary general agreed that "democracy and development go together and one strengthens the other".

  During the meeting, he profusely praised the holding of free and fair polls in Bangladesh in October last year, describing it as "exemplary". McKinnon said, "Commonwealth is closely watching the political development in Pakistan and polls observers from the Commonwealth countries, including Bangladesh, will be sent for Pakistan elections."

Speaking about the next Commonwealth Summit, scheduled to be held in Nigeria in December 2003, he said the theme of the Summit would be economic development in the Common-wealth, especially poverty alleviation and trade issues.

Welcoming the thrust the Commonwealth was putting on economic questions Khaleda spoke about her experiences in the SAARC in poverty alleviation in South Asia.

Foreign Minister Morshed Khan, PM's Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Siddique and Foreign Secretary Shamsher M Chowdhury were present. The secretary-general was accompanied by an official of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Khaleda also inquired of McKinnon about the situation in Zimbabwe and said Bangladesh is concerned about the welfare of its people. The secretary general said, "Unfortunately, there is no progress because of the attitude of President Mugabe."

McKinnon said Bangladesh has always played a useful role in the Commonwealth, saying he took note of the prime minister's insistence that more Bangladeshis should be employed in the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Khaleda made a strong plea for increasing the number of Commonwealth scholarships for Bangladeshi students for higher studies in Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

The Commonwealth chief executive recalled that the main emphasis of the Coolum Summit was on economic progress and poverty alleviation, and said the prime minister's contribution in this respect was recognised by all Commonwealth countries.

McKinnon, who is from New Zealand, is visiting Dhaka for the first time since the present government assumed power.

Comment from ZWNEWS, 28 August

Waiting for a miracle

By Michael Hartnack

Zimbabwe's new cabinet should have been announced in March in terms of the constitution. The delay by Robert Mugabe was intended to keep tempting patronage plums dangling for as long as possible, and to delude the South African and Nigerian governments about the possibility of a "cabinet of national unity.'' In the event, Mugabe has failed singularly to deliver anything like the national unity government envisaged by the South Africans and Nigerians. Such a cabinet would have included personalities such as retired University of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor Gordon Chavunduka, and Professor Masipula Sithole, widely regarded as being on the fringes of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Instead, Mugabe dropped the cabinet's only surviving realist, finance minister Simba Makoni, and left untouched his ruling Zanu PF hardliners, including the Nazi-style Gauleiter of the youth militias, Elliott Manyika. Reflecting Zimbabwe's growing isolation, Mugabe called this line-up a "fully fledged war council."

Makoni, 52, was ditched after 25 months of fruitless pleading for sensible exchange rates, an end to self-inflicted destruction of the economy, and a reopening of relations with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The only marvel is that Makoni has lasted so long. His exit must finally awaken South Africa's ANC from the dream that a "new Zanu" will show that moribund liberation movements can regain respectability. Mugabe was aiming at Makoni when he said last year: "If some of you are getting weak-kneed, tell us, and we will continue with the struggle. I want those I can call amadoda sibili (real men), people with a spine. And if you do not have a spine please tell us and we will say goodbye in a friendly way." Herbert Murerwa returns to the Treasury, having proved helpless in 1998 when Mugabe embarked on the road to bankruptcy with his Congo adventure and his ruinous grants to ex-guerrillas. Mugabe's cousin Witness Mangwende comes back as transport minister. He has since 1980 left a trail of ruin at foreign affairs, information and at agriculture. Untouched are agriculture minister Joseph Made (who insisted there would be no need to import grain), justice minister Patrick Chinamasa (who had dragged Zimbabwe's reputation for the rule of law through the mire), and information minister Jonathan Moyo. Mugabe has with their help demonstrated his ability to mobilise the dregs of society under the guise of "war veterans", to impose his will on Zimbabweans. It is a technique which may become the common currency of Zimbabwean political life.

This week's distortion by Moyo's propaganda machine of remarks from US assistant secretary of state Walter Kansteiner poses a direct threat to all those still struggling for the legal decencies. Kansteiner said the Bush Administration does not recognise the legitimacy of Mugabe's presidency and is working to support civil society, in the hope fresh elections may take place in a more democratic atmosphere. State-run media lied that Kansteiner had said Bush was working through critics of Mugabe's regime, including independent journalists, to overthrow Mugabe. There is clear menace in this lie.

The Commercial Farmers' Union still urges compromise. It is conventional wisdom that bullies must be stood up to. On the other hand, homicidal maniacs may have to be kept talking, to try to prevent their killing people indiscriminately. How to classify those who invade food-producing farms during a famine, their eyes bloodshot with dagga, saying they don't care whether courts have set aside "Section 8" seizure and eviction notices or not? Bullies or maniacs? Can CFU president Colin Cloete be blamed for continuing to seek dialogue despite being arrested by police and dragged before the magistrates? Cloete's insane case is typical of those facing many of his 4 000 members. He himself owns only one (319 hectare) farm, which is not subject to a Section 8 order. He was arrested for continuing to work his 82-year-old father's neighbouring 435 hectares on which the Section 8 order has been temporarily set aside by the Administrative Court. His Zimbabwe $5 000 bail bans him from return to his father's farm (where Cloete himself has his homestead), but his 22-year-old son Rodney is allowed to keep the irrigation going on 70 hectares of wheat and barley there. What is he to do?

Farmers, independent journalists, supporters of civil society, hang on like besieged but amazingly disciplined pockets of resistance in a chaotic battle zone, trying to keep their nerves in the face of mob hysteria. We may seem to be praying for a miracle, but what we are really doing is watching for signs that the forces of barbarism may be about to inflict on themselves, through their own conceited stupidity, the sort of reverses they have already inflicted on the country at large. The signs are already there. Without waiting to study Mugabe's largely meaningless cabinet reshuffle, or the results of UN secretary general Kofi Annan's visit to the region, we know these forces have lost any sense of reality and all leadership.

This weekend...

For those in London:

Saturday 31 August – the second Zimfest will be held at the Barn Elms Sports Centre, Queen Elizabeth Walk, Barnes from 12 noon onwards. Nearest Undergrounds Hammersmith, Putney Bridge. Nearest train stations Barnes, Putney. Funds raised will benefit a number of Zimbabwean charities. Details at .

For those in the Johannesburg area:

Sunday 1 September – there will be a march to protest the human and environmental abuses in Zimbabwe at the World Summit for Sustainable Development. Assemble at 9:30 am at the junction of Mary Rd, Boundary Rd, and Sandton Dr in Sandton. March will last from 10:00 am to 12 noon.

From The Washington Post, 28 August

Out of Africa - and into a residency at Boston U.


Attention, African leaders: Don't wait to be forced from office in a messy coup - Boston University wants to show you the art of giving up your job gracefully. The private university announced yesterday that it has created a residency program to foster democracy in Africa by demonstrating to the continent's leaders that there is life after office. The first head of state to take part in the Lloyd G. Balfour African Presidents in Residence Program will be Kenneth Kaunda, who led Zambia to independence in 1964, then ruled the southern African state for 27 years. During the coming year, the school will furnish Kaunda with a house in Boston's posh Back Bay district, round-the-clock security and a stipend of an undisclosed amount. In exchange, Kaunda will give lectures and take part in policy discussions on campus and across the country. His papers will also be compiled by the university's African Presidential Archives and Research Program.

Charles Stith, a former U.S. ambassador to Tanzania who now runs the African presidential archives at Boston University, said Kaunda is the first of what he hopes will be a long line of African leaders to take part in the unique residency program. "What we're doing represents an example of the potential opportunities after the presidency. If that can serve as the impetus for some folks to move on [and leave office], then we're happy," he told Reuters. Stith said landing Kaunda was a "real coup" for the university. He will take up his one-year post next month. Democracy in Zambia had a bumpy ride under Kaunda, who declared the country a one-party state in 1972. Nearly two decades later, he called multiparty elections and stepped down gracefully when he lost to trade union leader Frederick Chiluba. "He's really a man for all seasons," Stith said of Kaunda. "He is a living embodiment of Africa's past struggle against colonization, and his commitment to democracy and free-market reform makes him a symbol of Africa's present and future challenge to live with globalization."

Stith said he had his eye on at least a dozen current or former African leaders to succeed Kaunda, including former South African presidents Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk, who helped negotiate the country's transition from apartheid. Others on his short list include current Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, former Botswanan president Ketumile Masire and former Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings. "There are a significant number of folks who are in their last terms and folks who are presently out [of power] who represent a pretty deep reservoir to tap," Stith said. Even Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, the former freedom fighter who led his country to independence in 1980 but who is now widely seen as a tyrant, has not been ruled out. Stith said the program is open to those leaders who abided by the democratic process even if - like Kaunda - they strayed from the path during their term in office. "Anybody who falls under those criteria, we're certainly willing and interested in considering," he said. "Depending on what President Mugabe decides to do, if for instance he stepped aside at a duly scheduled and legitimate election, we'd certainly look at it