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

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For immediate release - August 30 2002



The "Save Zimbabwe" campaign said that the ZANU-PF Government of Robert
Mugabe, had deliberately implemented policies that made it a worst case
example of sustainable development.

Chief spokesman for the campaign, Ephraim Tapa said "Through the actions of
his illegitimate government, President Mugabe has managed to put sustainable
development in Zimbabwe back by decades. What ever way you look at it
whether jobs or the environment are a priority, Mugabe has failed
Zimbabweans on sustainable development.

Mugabe's policies had driven hundreds of thousands of workers into
unemployment and homelessness.   Agriculture is a shambles and Zimbabwe is
on the brink of a nation-wide famine.  With hunger spreading  and the
terrible implications that hunger will have for the estimated 2.3 million
HIV positive Zimbabweans  Mugabe's policies are a death sentence.  Delivery
of health and education has collapsed as professional flee the country.
Women and children continue to face the wrath of these destructive policies"

With plunging economic growth (-3%), displacement of up to 1.5 million
Zimbabweans struggling to survive and many industries closing their doors
there is no opportunity for Zimbabweans to think about the future.  Zimbabwe
has an illegitimate government, implementing discriminatory, racist and
violent policies on its own citizens.  State-sanctioned violation of the
democratic and human rights of the majority of its citizens continues
unabated.  Those trying to protect human rights are under attack.  The
justice system is all but gone.  What sort of legacy is this for future

Mr Tapa continued "If you look at it from a conservation perspective, the
destruction of Zimbabwean wildlife is accelerating as other sources of food
and income disappear.  Before the fast track land reform policy began, 64
percent of kudu, 63 percent of giraffes, 56 percent of cheetahs, and 53
percent of sable antelope and impalas were on private ranch properties.

With massive internal displacement, squatters have burned more than 60
percent of the woodland on the country's three largest wildlife
conservancies.  One such project reported that 20,000 trees have been
felled, 22 buildings razed, staff assaulted, and perhaps 50 percent of the
wildlife killed. Another reported more than 200 cases of poaching since
August 2001 and the discovery of 5,677 snares.  On yet another, 40 rare
sable antelope and 200 large eland have been killed.  In total, the value of
animals lost is estimated at US$1.5 million. This value does not reflect the
jobsfor whites and blacks alikethat will be lost as a result of the decline
in wildlife populations.

"Save Zimbabwe" Campaign calls on the international community and especially
African nations to find the right policy mix to stop Mugabe's continued
human rights violations of its citizens, instigate new free and fair
elections, and return Zimbabwe to the rule of law.

The "Save Zimbabwe" campaign is a non-partisan international initiative,
with broadbased support drawn from both political parties and community
groups. It was launched during the African Union meeting in Durban and is
designed to ensure the restoration of democracy, human rights and legitimate
government to Zimbabwe. The holding of early, free and fair elections, under
full and proper international supervision, is a key objective of the


For more information, please contact:

Mark Pursey on +44 20 7939 7934 or +44 7796 954 105, or
Helen Campbell on +44 20 7939 7939 or +44 7768 283 145

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Rape camps: Doctor released
Harare - Dr Frances Lovemore, the charity worker arrested after claiming President Robert Mugabe's troops were mounting a mass rape campaign in Zimbabwe, was released on Friday with no charges laid against her.
Lovemore, a researcher for the Amani Trust, a charity that has treated hundreds of people tortured by security forces, was arrested on Thursday when detectives raided the trust's offices.
This comes after Amani has reported that Mugabe's militias were carrying out a rape campaign on women suspected of supporting opposition groups.
The reports said ten women had been raped in the last three months, but there was "a high probability that there is far more rape associated with political violence than has been reported".
Won't tell lawyers where she was held
Police on Thursday night secretly moved Lovemore from Harare central police station and refused to tell her lawyers where she was being held.
Irene Petras, one of her lawyers, was threatened with arrest when she demanded to know where her client was. Lovemore was eventually found at a township police station.
Police had not entered her name in the station record book in an apparent attempt to conceal her presence.
The state-controlled daily the Herald said on Friday Lovemore would be charged with "publishing falsehoods" under repressive new legislation and for "spearheading a hate campaign".
However, the prosecutor heading the case said there was no evidence of wrongdoing against her and she was released.
The newspaper also quoted police as saying that they were looking for Amani director Tony Reeler, who is out of the country.
Government: Did radio station store explosives?
Also on Friday, the government broke its silence on the Thursday's bombing of the independent radio studio Voice of the People in Harare. Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi said police were investigating whether VOP had been storing explosives in the building.
The Herald claimed that "there are strong suspicions that the bomb blast could have been facilitated by elements seeking to invite condemnation of the government" while President Mugabe was at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg.
Military experts said the effectiveness of the blast at the VOP offices indicated it was a "professional incendiary demolition". The bomb attack suggested the attackers had experience with military munitions and access to specialised explosives.
The two explosions incinerated the entire contents and roof of the house in the affluent suburb of Milton Park. VOP officials said all their recording equipment, computers and files had been destroyed.
The organisation produced educational and current affairs programmes which were despatched to the Netherlands and broadcast daily from there.
Other governments have increasingly attacked the 78-year-old, now in his 23rd year of rule, over intimidation of opponents, displacement of thousands of white farmers and policies that have driven the country into economic disaster and famine. - Sapa-DP

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The Times

Mugabe in new push to blitz critics
By Jan Raath in Harare
THE Zimbabwe Government clamped down further on domestic dissent yesterday
when an independent radio production company's offices were destroyed in a
firebombing and police raided a charity for torture victims and arrested its

In a separate development, soldiers arrested about 20 displaced farmworkers
building a camp outside Harare to accommodate hundreds of other farm
labourers forced from their homes by President Mugabe's seizures of
white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

Elphas Mukonoweshuro, professor of politics at the University of Zimbabwe,
said the worsening repression signalled Mr Mugabe would be "casting his net
wider" against his critics.

"The international community must take note this is no ordinary African
dictatorship," he said.

"It's a very dangerous regime with revolutionary rhetoric and uses armed
military units against unarmed civilians. We are at the beginning of what is
likely to be a very disastrous period for this country."

The developments came after Mr Mugabe swore in what he called "a political
and economic war cabinet" on Monday.

A security guard at the offices of Voice of the People radio company, which
records educational and current affairs programs and news bulletins, said he
was held at gunpoint by one man while two others smashed windows and threw
two explosive devices inside the offices.

No one was hurt, but experts said it had been a professional incendiary
demolition which left only the walls of the 10-room building standing.

"Everything is destroyed," said Sarah Chiumbu, treasurer of the Voice of the
People Communication Trust. "Our computers, all our recording equipment,
files, tapes."

Since the company started broadcasting a little more than two years ago, it
has sidestepped a government ban on independent radio stations by having its
programs recorded locally, sending computer sound files to The Netherlands
and having them beamed back on shortwave.

The offices were raided by police two months ago and have been under
surveillance in recent weeks, residents said. No arrests were made, but the
use of what appear to be specialised explosives and the efficiency of the
blasts indicated the involvement of military munitions experts, a former
senior army officer said.

Detectives with a search warrant for subversive material later entered the
offices of the Amani Trust to search for its volumes of evidence from
victims of torture and political violence.

Frances Lovemore, a researcher and doctor who has examined thousands of
victims, was taken to a Harare police station on unspecified charges.

Amani officials said the raid appeared to be related to British newspaper
reports of widespread rape carried out by Mr Mugabe's militias.

Soldiers also went to a farm north of Harare and arrested labourers who were
digging latrines.
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Friday, 30 August, 2002, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Evicted farmer starts Zimbabwe appeal
Crisis in Zimbabwe
Millions of farmers are being forced from their homes
A farmer who fled Zimbabwe after being shot at and driven from his land has launched a campaign to help his fellow countrymen.

Mark Young, now lives in Raglan, Monmouthshire, after he was evicted from his farm in the African country under the controversial Land Redistribution Programme.

Mark Young
Mark Young wants to help people start again

Under Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, white farmers are being violently forced from their land to give to black farmers.

Mr Young launched the Zimbabwe Farmers Trust on Friday with the support of his local Assembly Member David Davies.

The scheme aims to help families affected by the regime to buy new farms or fight court cases.

Mr Young, who was beaten and shot at while helping a neighbour in his homeland, believes it is vital to keep reminding the world about what President Mugabe is doing in the country.

"He is kicking two million people out of their homes and jobs to make room for maybe a couple of thousand of his friends and family," said Mr Young.

President Robert Mugabe
President Robert Mugabe wants to evict white farmers

Since Mr Young left Zimbabwe he has restarted his life as a builder but thousands more white farmers have been given notice to leave their land.

Monmouthshire MP, David Davies said it is not just white people who are suffering.

"Many black people from different ethnic groups or who don't support Robert Mugabe are being treated in a most appalling fashion.

"They are facing rape and genocide and ultimately will face starvation," he added.

Political criticism

Zimbabwe's white farmers own much of the country's best agricultural land.

The situation was created in colonial times when blacks were forced off their ancestral lands.

The land redistribution programme has been widely criticised by political leaders.

Britain recently warned Zimbabwe faces a mounting humanitarian crisis which it blames directly on Mr Mugabe.

Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw called for and end to the "madness and badness" of Mr Mugabe from impacting on ordinary people.

He said the crisis affected both white farmers and their black employees who were also being thrown off their land.

"What we have to do... is to support the forces of democracy in Zimbabwe meanwhile, to sustain the people against starvation and, increasingly, to isolate the Mugabe regime," the British minister said.

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'Agents' drugged me, says Zim journo

Annie Olivier

Johannesburg - The journalist who was drugged in Johannesburg earlier this
week by two unknown women, believes it was the work of "Zimbabwean agents".

David Masunda, deputy editor of the Financial Gazette, is also a director of
independent radio station Voice of the People (VOP), whose Harare studios
were destroyed in a bomb attack on Thursday morning.

He claims Sunday night's drugging had been "a planned attempt on my life".

"I find it ironic that an attack was launched against the radio station of
which I'm a director only a few days later."

Masunda added that he regularly criticised the Zimbabwean government in his
column in the Gazette and that he was the driving force behind VOP news

He thinks the attack on the radio station presumably was launched by
Zimbabwean government sympathisers. He says the "barbaric action" is an
attack on media freedom and democracy in Zimbabwe.

"Everything is gone, only a shell of the building remains. The estimated
damage to the site and broadcasting equipment is more than ZIM$70m (about

Sapa reports that three men overwhelmed a security guard and broke windows
so that they could throw bombs into the building.

The Media Institute of South Africa (Misa) says this is the fourth bomb
attack on media institutions in Zimbabwe in the past three years.

An art gallery above the offices of the independent Daily News was bombed in
2000, the paper's printing works were bombed in 2001 and earlier this year a
petrol bomb attack was launched against its Bulawayo office.

AFP reports that VOP relays its programmes to a radio station in Britain
which, in turn, relays them back on short wave to the Zimbabwean country
areas. Masunda denied any ties to the British radio station.

He told Beeld on Thursday that he had been drugged with Rohypnol, the
so-called date-rape drug. "Doctors at Milpark Hospital said patients who had
ingested as much of the drug as I had, normally did not survive."

Rohypnol is a sedative and causes memory loss. Masunda claimed he met the
two women, who were suspected of drugging him in his Milpark hotel room, in
a restaurant. One of them had worn an Earth Summit accreditation token.

Masunda was robbed of R2 500, ZIM$30 000 (about R5 800) and personal items
after he appears to have been drugged by "Precious" and "Tswanelo".

He writes in an article that one thing kept puzzling him: "Why two very
sophisticated women such as Tswanelo and Precious had so passionately
supported internationally denounced President Robert Mugabe?"

Masunda says he will stay in South Africa and report on the Earth Summit as
soon as he is well again.
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30/08/2002 10:13  - (SA)

      Zim cabinet 'on warpath'

      Deon Lamprecht, Media24 Africa office

      Johannesburg - President Robert Mugabe's new "war cabinet" has
apparently started with a fierce onslaught on the independent media,
civil-rights groups and the political opposition in Zimbabwe.

      Zimbabwe's police raided the offices of human-rights organisation
Amani Trust in Harare on Thursday afternoon, and arrested Dr Frances

      Lovemore had said in a report at the weekend that Zanu-PF militants
were raping hundreds of women and children as part of a retribution campaign
against the opposition.

      It is claimed, too, that a bomb attack on the office of independent
radio station Voice of the People Communications (VOP) on Thursday was the
work of government agents. The VOP is another thorn in Mugabe's side.

      David Masunda, deputy editor of independent Zimbabwean newspaper The
Financial Gazette, alleged on Thursday that government agents were involved
in him being drugged by two women in a Johannesburg hotel.

      Masunda is also a director of the VOP.

      Professor Masipula Sithole, a political analyst at the University of
Zimbabwe, said on Thursday the composition of Mugabe's "war cabinet", sworn
in on Monday, indicated that he wanted to consolidate his power by
surrounding himself with loyalists.

      The appointment of Kembo Mohadi as home affairs minister, in
particular, in place of John Nkomo showed that Mugabe wanted to crush all
opposition for good.

      "The unyielding elements inside Zanu-PF have been campaigning to have
Nkomo moved for a long time. They want a hawk (Mohadi), who will clamp down
on the political opposition, in control of home affairs."

      Tendai Bitte, the Movement for Democratic Change's spokesperson on
home affairs, has warned in reaction to the composition of Mugabe's cabinet
that violence and retribution will increase against the opposition in

      The state-controlled Herald, a Zanu-PF mouthpiece, attacked the MDC in
its lead article on Thursday because the party allegedly wants to undermine
the Zimbabwean economy by asking foreign investors at the Earth Summit in
Sandton to withdraw from Zimbabwe.

      The Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) said on Thursday evening
in a statement that the bomb attack on the VOP office in Harare was part of
Zanu-PF's campaign to silence critical voices.
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Sunday Times (SA)

DA to march against Mugabe

By Donwald Pressly

The official opposition Democratic Alliance has signalled its intention to
march to the earth summit in protest against the anti-democratic behaviour
of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe - on the day he is scheduled to
address the assembly.

In a statement DA national chairperson Joe Seremane said the march on
Monday - to "welcome" Mugabe - would be led by chief whip Douglas Gibson who
would be demonstrating solidarity with the oppressed people of Zimbabwe.

The march starts at midday while Mugabe is scheduled to address the World
Summit on Sustainable Development on Monday afternoon.

The DA will hand over a memorandum calling for a tougher stance on Zimbabwe.

Seremane said the DA believed that poor governance and anti-democratic
behaviour by rogue regimes such as President Mugabe's "are Africa's biggest
obstacles to sustainable development".

Seremane invited ruling African National Congress ministers and MPs as well
as "anyone else who would like to join us ... to take a stand for freedom
and human rights in Zimbabwe and for the protection and advancement of the
embryonic Nepad (New Plan for Africa's Development) by joining our march".

Meanwhile Seremane condemned the bombing of the premises of Zimbabwe's Voice
of the People shortwave radio station in Harare.

"This is the second independent media voice to be attacked in such a violent

The party - which has been monitoring the expulsion of white commercial
farmers and black farm workers from farms in recent weeks - noted that the
printing press of the Daily News was bombed in a similar fashion in January
last year after the government called the paper a threat to national

"It is clearly part of the pattern of oppression by the ruling regime in
Zimbabwe," said Seremane.

Seremane said this latest attack "once again highlights the questionable
foreign policy priorities of the ANC government. I am amazed that ANC
ministers and senior MPs spend so much time and energy on the Middle-East
crisis - some 8,000km away - while doing so little about the crisis in our
northern neighbour of Zimbabwe."
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Not all black and white

29 8 2002

Despite Zimbabwe's polarization, some Europeans and Africans are showing
that they can still work the land together, says anthropologist BLAIR

Zimbabweans and the international community are scrambling to respond to the
Mugabe government's latest set of contradictory statements and actions on
the occupation and redistribution of white commercial farms. As the deadline
for the government eviction of 2,900 white farmers has passed, white farmers
are told to remain farming and, simultaneously, told to obey the edict of

Most of the 6,000-plus Zimbabwean commercial farms, which range in size from
400 hectares to over 10,000 hectares, have been white-owned -- a legacy of
settler colonial rule which reserved much of the best agricultural lands for
a few thousand Europeans and forcibly displaced the majority Africans onto
the typically poor lands of native reserves. The commercial farms have
relied on the underpaid labour of black workers, most of whom live on them.
Most farms have been very productive, becoming the engine of the national
economy, linked to various industries.

The challenges facing these farms over the last two years have been immense:
All the farmers, workers, and their families have faced a series of
legislative actions restricting, if not ending, their occupancy. They have
faced intimidation and violence from occupiers with the approval or willing
blindness of state authorities, and an extremely adverse economic context of
high inflation, low prices for many agricultural commodities, and severe
shortages of foreign exchange and credit.

Yet, as I learned from a recent visit there, life on Zimbabwean commercial
farms differs dramatically from one farm to the next, with the emerging
arrangements on some farms suggesting that it is possible to find paths out
of this crisis.

Many white-owned commercial farms have stopped production as ordered by the
government in preparation for their resettlement by black farmers. Nearly
150 farmers were arrested over the past weekend, some with a winter wheat
crop unharvested. Terror directed toward farmers and workers by occupiers
led by war veterans (of the guerrilla armies that fought for Zimbabwe's
independence in the 1970s), compounded by the adverse economic conditions,
have forced some farmers off their land. When this happens, workers have
either been chased away to fend for themselves somewhere else or are staying

They are frequently denied land on the newly defined resettlement farms
because they are seen as "foreigners" (prior generations of many current
farmworkers came from neighbouring countries as part of the colonial labour
migration strategy). Or they are seen as "friends of the whites" (and, by
extension, the MDC, Zimbabwe's main opposition party). Some find
piece-workjobs from the new black farmers, but their remuneration and
conditions of service are worse than the generally poor working conditions
they had on white farms.

In other cases, as white farmers have left, farms lie derelict. Or they have
had crops and livestock placed on them by those settled on the farm. Some of
the new occupiers are what Zimbabweans call chefs -- leaders of the
government, the ZANU (PF) party, the judiciary and army -- who have taken
over the entire farm. A few chefs have taken more than one farm.

Most, however, are ordinary Zimbabweans who come from typically overcrowded
smallholding farming regions or urban areas. They have been given 15 or so
hectares as they look for a source of livelihood, prosperity, and/or
security. Many of them are waiting, perhaps in vain, for government packages
of seed and fertilizer; their own savings are depleted due to the
ever-increasing costs of goods and services, including scarcer staples such
as maize meal, cooking oil, and salt. As jobs disappear due to the economic
crisis, more and more households lose sources of income.

The international media has told the above story, but it's not the entire
picture: It seems that at least half of the 4,500 or so white commercial
farmers have continued production, including many of those ordered to leave.
Their level of production varies due to the economic conditions and the type
of intimidation they have faced.

Some have negotiated workable arrangements with settlers, war veteran
leaders, government officials and senior politicians in order to continue
their farming. Some have given over portions of their land to
government-selected settlers. In the Karoi area of northwest Zimbabwe, I
visited farmers who were assisting the new settlers in ploughing their
fields and acquiring inputs such as fertilizer, to be paid back after

Elsewhere I heard war veterans, dropping by the office of one white farmer,
agreeing to negotiate on his behalf with settlers so that he could continue
working a portion of his farm.

Such arrangements are tenuous, and may be seen as coping mechanisms rather
than solutions: They're subject to changes in configurations of power on the
farm or beyond. There is no blueprint to show why this works on some farms
and not others. But the fact that it is occurring suggests that there may be
other paths forward than simple confrontation.

Many within Zimbabwe and the international community believe that it is
futile to negotiate with the ZANU (PF) government. They point to a series of
previous unimplemented agreements over land redistribution and to the
continued official sanctioning of violence directed toward (suspected)
members of the MDC.

This has even led some international commentators to draw parallels to Iraq,
and float the idea of invading Zimbabwe.

Skepticism about negotiation is well warranted, but such extremism feeds
into the paranoia and determination of the ZANU (PF) leadership and does not
offer the possibilities of a solution.

It is important to seriously confront the fact that working arrangements
have emerged in some areas which have enabled white farmers and workers to
continue to work alongside new settlers, who in turn benefit from the
expertise and infrastructure found on the still-operating commercial farm.
These arrangements are often made under duress and may be a tenuous

But reaching some agreement soon is desperately important, given the immense
challenges Zimbabwe faces. International agencies estimate that half of the
population will soon starve, because a drought and the chaos resulting from
land distribution has meant that food production last year was minimal.

Meanwhile, an HIV/AIDS pandemic is devastating the region. The national
economy and government services are collapsing, and many Zimbabweans live
with fear of (state-supported) violence.

Add to these problems the need to arrange feasible and timely compensation
for farmers and workers who were driven off farms; and the need to find a
way to address the brutal legacy of Zimbabwe's history -- from the past two
years, to the army-led murder of 20,000 people in the western and southern
parts of the country in the 1980s, and back to the days of the colonial era.

In reaching a lasting solution, it's crucial to have a government that will
restore and respect the rule of law. But it's also important to build
dialogue among those who want to end Zimbabwe's growing isolation and move

Despite an increasingly intransigent government and an increasingly
desperate situation, black and white Zimbabwean farmers in a few locales are
showing that it is possible to work out mutually amenable arrangements.

This article first appeared in the Globe and Mail, Canada, Tuesday, August
20, 2002

Blair Rutherford teaches in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at
Carleton University in Ottawa. He is the author of Working on the Margins:
Black Workers, White Farmers in Postcolonial Zimbabwe.

For further information on the land crisis in Zimbabwe, please contact Dr
Steve Kibble, CIIR Advocacy Officer, Africa and Middle East Region
Tel:020 7288 8629
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UK troops 'not here for Zimbabwe'

      August 29 2002 at 08:09PM

London - Britain says it is to send 250 paratroopers to South Africa for
military exercises, but has denied they might be used to evacuate white
farmers from Zimbabwe.

Members of the parachute regiment's first battalion would be deployed around
Cape Town and Kimberley "trying out kit and doing parachute exercises", said
a defence ministry spokesperson on Thursday.

The long-planned exercises would take place between October and December and
some stages would be conducted jointly with South African forces, he said.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said there was "definitely no connection"
between the exercises and events in Zimbabwe.

      'The plans (for Zimbabwe) do not involve military intervention'
Britain had contingency plans for an evacuation from Zimbabwe of an
estimated 20 000 British citizens, many of them white farmers, he said.

There were similar plans for other global hotspots.

"But the plans (for Zimbabwe) do not involve military intervention," said
the spokesperson.

In a front-page report on Thursday, Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper said
elite British commandos had reconnoitred the Zimbabwean-South African border
in preparation for a possible evacuation.

Members of the Special Air Services had identified points inside Zimbabwe
where Britons could be brought together to join a mass convoy to take them
across the border, it said.

Plans had also been drawn up for an aerial evacuation by the Royal Air Force
from Zimbabwe's capital Harare, it said.

"If war veterans start to evict farmers and there is mass slaughter of
British nationals, we will be forced to intervene," the Daily Telegraph
quoted an unnamed official as saying.

President Robert Mugabe is pursuing controversial land reforms that entail
evicting some white farmers and turning their farms over to landless blacks.

Opponents in Zimbabwe and abroad allege that the best farms are being given
to Mugabe's friends and allies, including his wife Grace, and not to
landless people. - Sapa-AFP
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Daily News

      Radio station bombed

      8/30/02 9:37:01 AM (GMT +2)

      By Luke Tamborinyoka

      UNIDENTIFIED attackers early yesterday morning bombed the Milton Park
offices of Voice of the People (VOP), a private radio station.

      There was no one in the building at the time of the bombing.

      Army and police forensic officers later combed the remains of the
shattered building, where equipment worth millions of dollars was destroyed.

      The forensic experts had not indicated the nature of their findings at
the time of going to press last night.

      In a similar incident 21 months ago, unidentified assailants, believed
to be linked to the State, blew up The Daily News' $100 million printing
press in Southerton, Harare.

      Forensic experts, who were on the scene a few hours after the blast,
suggested powerful limpet mines had been used to blow up the refurbished
printing press.

      No arrests have been made up to now and the police have refused to
shed any light on their investigations.

      A person who lives nearby in Milton Park, who declined to be named for
fear of victimisation, said three men scaled the wall at the independent
radio station's offices around 1am.

      As two of them held the security guard hostage at gunpoint, said the
neighbour, the third one threw an unidentified object at the building. They
then fled.

      "At least that is what the security guard told us. We woke up after we
heard one loud bang and found the building on fire. We called out for the
guard, but there was no response because he had gone to report to the
police," she said.

      "He only arrived with the police after the whole roof had collapsed."
      Police at the scene refused to comment and ordered all journalists to
go away.

      Faith Ndebele, the chairperson of the VOP Board of Trustees, said
office furniture, files and computers were destroyed in the attack.

      "We have yet to do an inventory, but we have lost property worth
millions of dollars," she said.

      "Everything has been gutted and I have not yet come to terms with this

      Ndebele said they were hoping that the assailants would be brought to

      Information and Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo and the Permanent
Secretary, George Charamba, who are in South Africa for the World Summit for
Sustainable Development, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

      The Zimbabwe Chapter of the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA)
yesterday condemned the bombing as a brutal assault to silence the media and

      "Although the police have begun investigations, which we believe might
lead to the arrest of the culprits, past examples of investigations of
attacks on media establishments are not encouraging at all," said MISA.

      "This is so with particular reference to the bombing of The Daily News
offices and printing Press of 2001.

      "The latest bombing of VOP is the fourth such direct bombing of a
media organisation, taking place in less than three years and this excludes
incidents of physical attacks, arrests and intimidation. These developments
are unprecedented in the history of Zimbabwe."

      The Media Monitoring Project described the bombing as a desperate
attempt to silence independent voices in Zimbabwe.

      "The bombing is a blow to Zimbabweans' constitutionally guaranteed
right to freedom of expression and to receive and disseminate information
unhindered," the organisation said in a statement.

      Abel Mutsakani, the president of the Independent Journalists
Association of Zimbabwe said the bombing serves to confirm that freedom of
the press is seriously under threat.

      "The press is under siege and we have yet to hear from the government
the results of investigations into the bombing of The Daily News, which was
blown to smithereens almost two years ago," he said.

      In July, the police raided the VOP offices and confiscated tapes and
files on the grounds that they were searching for a transmitter and any
other broadcasting equipment, which they did not find.
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Daily News

      Shut down Ziana now, there is no future for it

      8/30/02 9:11:52 AM (GMT +2)

      The future of Ziana, the government news agency, hangs in the balance.
The agency, set up in 1981, evolved from the privately owned Inter-Africa
News Agency.

      The intention was to create a clearing house for all international
news and feed local newspapers, radio and television. The move was aimed at
maintaining government control over information coming into Zimbabwe, as
well as cutting the costs of international copy to the local media. That
worked for a short period. Major news newspapers, and even radio and
television, soon realised the folly of relying on a controlled central
source of news. They decided to get their material direct from the
international wire services. The reason was simple. Ziana has never been
adequately funded by the government. Politically seen as a priority, the
company was never a national economic asset.

      It relied on insufficient grants and foreign donors. Moreover,
Treasury was unable to quantify a direct benefit to the nation from the
service. This pushed its ranking, in terms of the cost-benefit analysis, to
the lower end of the State's priorities.

      To minimise the effect of this attitude, the government forced the
managers at Ziana to enter into exchange agreements with other national news
      The experience of the Pan African News Agency (Pana) in dealing with
national agencies has been a nasty one.

      Ziana too realised later that exchanging copy with Prensa Latina of
Cuba, WAFA of Palestine, Tanjug of Yugoslavia and even ZANA in Zambia was a
total waste of time and money.

      Their copy, often government-controlled, was unusable and remains so
to this day. Government agencies cover stories on the activities of
government ministers and official statements. Today, Pana has almost
collapsed, as a result.

      Government agencies, including Ziana, have failed to compete with
international wire services and often transmit their near-useless stories
late. Ziana ran up astronomical telephone and telex bills to a point where
the then Posts and Telecommunications Corporation kept on switching the
agency off-line.
      This action disrupted the work of Ziana's clients, depriving them of a
vital source of foreign news.

      Efforts to privatise the agency date back to 1991, when the then
editor, Henry Muradzikwa, commissioned a study to wean off Ziana from the
      Muradzikwa's idea required the State to give Ziana seed capital to
re-launch itself and attract serious business people. What happened to that
initiative remains unclear.

      But what is certain is that money continued to be poured into Ziana,
with no returns, and the company sank deeper into debt. Today, the agency
cannot pay its staff and creditors, as the government debates its
usefulness. Also in trouble is the Community Newspapers Group, a sister
company formed with donor money to bring newspapers to scattered rural
communities. The group bought viable enterprises like The Gweru Times, with
disastrous results due
      to poor content and managerial ineptitude. It surprised many when
Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity announced
the government wanted to rebuild Ziana, saying it was an important national

      Moyo renamed it New Ziana, retrenched Muradzikwa and other senior
staff. But the significance of the company to the nation still remained
unclear, especially to Treasury officials and the media in general. Ziana is
a complete waste of public funds and must go. Anyone dreaming of making
money by selling information must realise such a venture needs new
investment and cannot rely only on news as its sole source of revenue.

      Big agencies like Reuters use speed, technology and good journalism to
attract a range of information users, especially business people. They make
most of their money that way. Smaller agencies exist as well. But the
formula rests with their ownership which is in the hands of newspapers,
radio and televisions. The South African Press Association is one such
example. Newspapers can, on their own, set up their agency to share costs,
not of international news, but of local stories. Controlled information
through government news agencies will never sell.
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Daily News

      State splashes $65 million on visiting Americans

      8/30/02 9:30:24 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE government is likely to splash over US$100 000 (Z$65 million on
the parallel market) on a junket for an undisclosed number of New York City
councillors on a "fact-finding" mission similar to one by members of the
obscure Patrice Lumumba Coalition, who visited Zimbabwe two weeks ago.

      The New York City councilmen, to be hosted by the Department of
Information and Publicity, are due to arrive soon.

      The Patrice Lumumba Coalition members were guests of the department
but it was not immediately clear how much the government spent on them.
      Investigations have revealed the 15-member group was booked at the
Harare Sheraton Hotel and Towers, during their "fact-finding" mission.

      They were booked into the hotel by the department and were taken
around by officials from Jonathan Moyo's office. Bruce Wharton of the United
States Embassy confirmed the councilmen's impending visit.

      "We are aware of the visit, but we do not have details of who is
coming, what are they coming to do and who they are going to meet," said
      He said the visit was still in the planning stages.
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Daily News

      Tatchell urges France to arrest Chihuri

      8/30/02 9:31:56 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      British human and gay rights activist, Peter Tatchell, on Monday
demanded the arrest in France of Augustine Chihuri, the Commissioner of
Police, on charges of torturing Zimbabweans opposed to the government.

      Chihuri was attending an International Criminal Police Organisation
(Interpol) meeting in Lyons, France.

      Tatchell said there were hundreds of well-documented cases of torture
by Zimbabwean police officers. He said: "Chihuri is implicated in grave
human rights abuses, including beatings, torture and murder."

      Chihuri and other senior government and ruling Zanu PF party officials
were slapped with a travel ban by the European Union (EU) but he was allowed
into France for this week's meeting.

      He was re-elected to the Interpol executive committee as the
vice-president for Africa last June.

      Tatchell said the French, under a 1987 anti-torture law, have a legal
obligation to arrest and try anyone who authorises, commits, condones or
acquiesces in acts of torture anywhere in the world.

      He said: "Interpol has a vice-president (Chihuri) who colludes with
gross human rights violations, including unlawful arrests, detention without
trial, beatings, torture and murder.

      "Under this legislation, anyone who authorises, commits or condones
torture anywhere in the world can be arrested and tried in France. "Torture
is an instrument of police policy in Zimbabwe. Its use is routine and
      Tatchell said Chihuri had made no attempt to curb the practice. He
said: "Instead of feting Chihuri, Interpol should arrest him.
      "What is the point of having EU sanctions if they are waived every
time a Zimbabwe human rights abuser wants to attend an international
      Tatchell, a former fund-raiser for Zanu PF, who fell out with the
party because of Mugabe's anti-gay stance, has twice before tried to arrest
Mugabe, in London in October 1999 and in Brussels last year.
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Daily News - letters

      Be warned of this brutal Hatfield police officer

      8/30/02 8:56:05 AM (GMT +2)

      I WANT to warn people who might end up at Hatfield Police Station for
whatever reasons that they risk losing their lives as I discovered on 17
August, 2002.
      I almost died at the hands of a sergeant who was in charge that
fateful evening at about 18:15 hrs. I was among two groups of 15 people
brought to the station for drinking beer in public.

      We were beaten up for "not appreciating the officers' work and
burdening them with unnecessary work". I was severely assaulted by another
sergeant for asking too many questions. He poked my eyes World Wrestling
Federation style till I could not see.

      He punched me with fists till I was bleeding. Every abusive word was
hurled at me. He showed us his bulging muscles, saying he could take us all
by himself. Other officers just gazed while some pleaded with us to be quiet
or risk
      further assaults.

      He is so fearful that even one of the junior officers addressed him as
      As if it was not enough, he refused to take my fine and led me to the
cells instead. He even ignored an injured lady who had come to report a road
accident. But what surprised me most was that all those who had paid their
fines had their names noted on a piece of paper. Is this normal?
      Seven hours later, I was moved from the cells and asked to pay a fine
of $500. The police officers appeared drunk all this time. An officer in
such a senior position must not stoop so low as to beat up peaceful beer

      I hope his superiors will catch him red-handed, beating up people and
stealing State money.

      Mutoko Victim
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Support Against Genetically Modified Food Mounting (Johannesburg)

August 30, 2002
Posted to the web August 30, 2002

Lobbyists against genetically modified food (GMF) say there is growing
support for their cause in Africa. Zambian farmers and scientists today
reaffirmed their government's stance to turn away tonnes of maize they
received from the US. The southern African continent is facing its worst
food crisis in years. Ninety percent of Zambians are dependent on its
agriculture. Drought ravaged its previous season's crops, leaving 2,4
million people facing starvation. The country is at the centre of
controversy after it refused to accept and distribute genetically modified
maize from the US this month. Genetically modified crops are widespread in
the US and provide half of all food aid to southern Africa.

Mwanyanda Lewanika, a Zambian scientist, says his country still has time to
find non-genetically modified food. He says: "The acute problem will come
next year January or March. There is still time to look for food that is not
genetically modified." Lovemore Simwanda, a horticulturist from Lusaka,
opposed to GM food, blames government policy for the farmers' plight. "The
problem is that for the last 12 years plus, the agricultural sector has not
been supported by government. In 1991 they only subsidised fertilisers." The
EU, which also resists the import of GM food, supports the Africans. This is
why Zambian farmers have supported their government. They stood to lose
nearly R1 billion in agricultural exports to Europe. The UN has come under
fire for supporting the distribution of GM foods. It is, however, sticking
to its guns. Jacques Diouf, of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation,
says allegations that the food is unhealthy are unfounded. "Scientific
evidence shows it is not harmful to health," he says. The US has warned that
continued resistance could slow down aid to Africa. At the same time
anti-lobbyists argue there has been no adequate testing of its safety and
charge that Africa has become a dumping ground. Red tape hindering food
distribution While some countries reject genetically-modified food
hand-outs, others wrangle over who should distribute the donor food. More
that 17 000 tones of a US maize drop have been lying in silos at the Durban
dockside for the past month. The shipment was destined for Zimbabwe's
hungry. However, the Zimbabwean government is said to be reluctant to permit
donor organisations to distribute the food. All this red tape while another
US-Aid chartered ship with over 40 000 tones of corn is steaming towards
these shores for another humanitarian drop. Nevertheless, Richard Lee, a
spokesperson for the donor organisation, the World Food Programme, has said
he is optimistic of resolving the problem. Meanwhile, a shipment of lorries
donated by the Norwegian government for distribution by the International
Red Cross and Red Crescent were loaded onto railway trucks at the harbour
today for delivery to their various destinations. The vehicles were to be
used for the distribution of food and other aid to the impoverished people
in Zimbabwe and other southern African countries. For the time being,
however, some of the most needy will not be getting any of the grain. Not as
long as there is red tape and it gets to other hungry mouths.
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Miami Herald

      Posted on Fri, Aug. 30, 2002

      Mozambique's Chissano Urges Mugabetalk to Farmers

      HARARE - Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano on Friday urged
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to talk to white farmers about his
controversial land reforms, which have left him largely isolated outside of

      Opening Zimbabwe's annual agricultural show in Harare, Chissano said
it should still be possible to reach an agreement that included Zimbabweans
of all races and origins.

      "We call upon all Zimbabweans to work together and work hard toward
confidence-building and harmony among this great Zimbabwe family.

      "Dialogue is the most important tool to achieve this," Chissano told a
large crowd at the opening of the show, which is both a shop window for
farmers and a popular social event.

      Mugabe has ordered about 2,900 of the country's 4,500 white commercial
farmers to surrender their lands without compensation to landless blacks and
to friends and family of senior government ministers.

      About 300 farmers have been charged with refusing to respond to the
orders, but 54 farmers on Thursday won a court order declaring the evictions
illegal on technical grounds.

      Accusing British Prime Minister Tony Blair of fomenting international
opposition to his land programme, Mugabe has repeatedly urged whites unhappy
about losing their lands to return to their ancestral home, which he says is

      On Tuesday, Mugabe again ruled out negotiations with the white
farmers, who account for the majority of Zimbabwe's food production and
export earnings.

      "There is no room for talks, there is no room for any negotiations
because the real owners of the land are asserting their rights and
reclaiming their land," he said at a rally.

      About half the 13 million people in six southern African countries who
are facing dire food shortages over the next six months are in Zimbabwe,
traditionally a net food exporter.

      Chissano held talks in Maputo on Thursday with visiting U.N. Secretary
General Kofi Annan, who was visiting Mozambique on his way to the World
Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

      Several countries including Canada are keen to put Mugabe's land
seizures and his defiance of the advice of neighbors in Africa on the agenda
at the summit, which ends on Wednesday.

      Many governments including Canada support the principle of land reform
to correct the colonial imbalance that left most good land in white hands,
but condemn the way it is being done.

      "The ongoing land reforms, which are aimed at a balanced distribution
of land among all Zimbabwean people respond to one of the main objectives of
the efforts that led to the (1980) independence of Zimbabwe," Chissano said.
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Independent (UK)

Tensions rise as talks get deadlocked over targets
By Basildon Peta in Johannesburg and Ben Russell

31 August 2002

Talks on alleviating poverty and protecting resources were said to be
"approaching meltdown" at the United Nations Earth Summit yesterday as
negotiators remained deadlocked on contentious issues.
As Tony Blair and other world leaders prepared to fly to Johannesburg,
efforts to break the deadlock before government heads sit down to
rubber-stamp a plan of action were running out of time. The Prime Minister,
who arrives from Mozambique on Monday and leaves the same day, is under huge
pressure from green groups to provide moral leadership in the absence of
President George Bush.

Mr Bush has been heavily criticised for snubbing the summit and refusing to
allow his negotiators to sign up to new targets on trade, energy and
sanitation. The US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, may agree to a
sanitation target as a concession next week. But many other differences
remain. The US wants a weak agreement to avoid spending commitments or
restraints on business.

Russia fuelled the sense of crisis among environmentalists, warning at the
summit that it may not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, a move that would kill the
pact against global warming, which has already been rejected by the United
States. But European Union officials in Johannesburg played down the risk,
saying Russia was using familiar bargaining tactics.

While many delegates look to heads of government to resolve outstanding
issues, tensions among the leaders might prove even more problematic.

Mr Blair, who has spoken of eliminating poverty in Africa as an aim of
foreign policy, has been heavily criticised for only briefly visiting the
summit. British officials said it was not Mr Blair's presence that mattered
but the UK's role in addressing issues. The Prime Minister may be distracted
by meeting President Robert Mugabe, who has often called him a "gay
gangster" in the dispute over land reform in Zimbabwe.

A measure of how difficult the Earth Summit negotiations are came yesterday
when the European Union briefly withdrew from talks in protest at American
intransigence. The EU wants 14 contentious topics be go to ministers for
resolution; other countries insist the issues should be resolved by
officials. They include energy, trade, globalisation, sanitation, good
governance, establishing a fund to help poor countries, trade and finance,
climate change, and farm subsidies.

One delegate said: "The summit is moving backwards."

The EU remains insistent on the need for a target to reduce the number of
people without access to adequate sanitation by 2015. It is now at 2.4
billion. A target has been set for halving the number - some 1.1 billion -
of people without access to clean water. But environmentalists say a clean
water target is meaningless without a parallel one on sanitation.

On trade and agriculture, poor countries want the EU to set a timetable to
eliminate agricultural subsidies that have created unfair trade practices.
The EU wants the matter referred to the next ministerial round of the World
Trade Organisation.

On energy, the US strongly opposes targets for introducing renewable energy
sources such as wind and solar power. The EU wants a target and Mr Blair
will raise this issue in a speech. TheAmerican negotiator, however, said:
"It wouldn't be appropriate to have a target for all countries."
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Earth Summit stalls on fine print
August 30, 2002 Posted: 1855 GMT

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Earth Summit negotiators in Johannesburg worked to confound the sceptics and settle disputes on Friday over trade, energy and sanitation before world leaders arrive next week.

But there was criticism of failure to reach deals between rich and poor nations on a range of issues, which host South Africa wants to help end what it calls "global apartheid."

"Negotiations have fallen dramatically short of the kinds of commitments that would ensure a sustainable future for our planet and the people who live on it," Claude Martin, director general of pressure group WWF International, told Reuters.

"The economic interests of the rich are being put before poor people and the environment."

A big protest march on Saturday from the slum shanty township of Alexandra to the nearby summit venue in the rich suburb of Sandton looked likely to grab the weekend headlines.

Delegates said the remaining disputes may well continue through the weekend, risking the displeasure of heads of state who expect subordinates to forge the necessary compromises and may not relish wading through the fine print of how to protect the world's environment.

The European Union pressed on Friday to accelerate moves on contentious issues like sanitation goals and anti-corruption measures -- taking them out of the hands of negotiators and sending them to top ministers to decide.

Officials pressed the U.S. on Friday after Paula Dobriansky, leader of the U.S. delegation, told the conference: "No nation has made a greater contribution and a more concrete commitment to sustainable development." (Full story)

"This just isn't good enough," Danish Environment Minister Hans Christian Schmidt told reporters. "Either more issues are solved faster at the technical level or we must move them to the political level."

"Important issues such as sanitation, renewable energy and human rights have not yet been agreed upon," the EU said in a statement, outlining 14 issues that remained unresolved. A sense of urgency is required."

The bulk of the U.N. text had been agreed by Friday evening but unresolved issues included green energy, trade, globalisation, sanitation and good governance.

"It is the next two or three days that are vital," British Environment Minister Michael Meacher told Reuters.

Delegates are trying to reconcile U.S. and European Union demands for aid to be tied more clearly to efforts to improve human rights and democracy, and insistence by developing nations that the rich states must do more to cut subsidies to their own farmers that help keep Third World imports out of their markets.

Negotiators are also trying to find a formula to describe "globalisation." Developing countries are keen for wording saying its benefits need to be more equally shared.

Delegates are also deadlocked on how to provide sanitation to billions of the world's poor.

Greens fumed over the lack of progress, directing ire at Washington for its refusal to contemplate binding targets for introducing renewable energy technologies like wind and solar power that do not pollute the planet.

It may take the arrival of leaders like Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to focus attention on the wrangling -- with it up to leaders to find the compromises eluding their subordinates.

Despite being a political outcast because of hardline policies including against white farmers, Mugabe is a hero to many by saying the "globalisation" of corporate power is merely Western colonialism in a new guise.

Former colonial power Britain has been a particular target of his wrath. Prime Minister Tony Blair, who heads for the region on Saturday, could come face to face with Mugabe, who has called him a "little man" acting like a "gangster."

About 100 world leaders from the nearly 200 countries represented at the United Nations are due to sign up to a broad but non-binding plan calling for actions ranging from cleaning up water supplies to saving trees and fighting AIDS.

Some of the most vigorous personal criticism has been reserved for the most notable absentee, U.S. President George W. Bush, who has become a boogeyman for masses of green lobbyists in Johannesburg as well as for poor countries incensed by American reluctance to increase aid or let in more of their exports.
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