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

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White farmers meet in wake of Zimbabwe seizures

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, Aug. 5 — Zimbabwe's embattled white farmers meet on Wednesday to
reorganise their lives a year after hundreds lost their farms to President
Robert Mugabe's land seizures.
       The Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), which three years ago
represented 4,500 white farmers, will hold its annual meeting with only
about a quarter of its members still actively farming.
       Zimbabwe is struggling with its worst economic crisis in decades,
which critics say has been worsened by a 50 percent fall in production in
the key farming sector since Mugabe's supporters began land seizures in
       Zimbabwe, once a regional breadbasket, has become a net importer of
       Farming officials say 600-800 farmers remain on their farms, while a
majority left their land when the government seized vast tracts for a black
resettlement programme.
       Between 200 and 500 others are estimated to be farming by ''remote
control'' from the safety of urban areas where they took refuge during the
sometimes violent invasions, often led by veterans of the country's 1970s
war against white rule.
       CFU president Colin Cloete said Wednesday's meeting would review the
state of commercial farming in the country and tackle the difficult task of
planning for the next season, with a special eye on the November-April
cropping period.
       ''The congress is going to focus on climatic changes, and how we can
try to ensure that commercial agriculture survives in this country in the
face of all the challenges,'' he said.
       A ''courtesy invitation'' has been to cabinet ministers to the CFU
meeting but none have been asked to speak.
       Mugabe has ordered top officials who grabbed more than one farm
during the seizures of white-owned land to reduce their holdings to one
       Dozens of senior ZANU-PF leaders, including government ministers,
have taken more than one farm since Mugabe launched his land reforms three
years ago.
       Critics say this shows that only a cynical elite has benefited from a
programme ostensibly being carried out to deliver land to poor, rural
       The government also published a list of 418 farmers whose land was
seized, inviting them to contact the Ministry of Agriculture to discuss
compensation. Farming officials say very few farmers have received full
       The government has insisted it will pay only for developments on the
farms, but not for the land itself, arguing that whites originally stole it
from indigenous blacks.
       Mugabe, Zimbabwe's ruler since the former Rhodesia gained
independence from Britain in 1980, says his land seizures are meant to
correct colonial imbalances which left 70 percent of the country's best
farmland in the hands of minority whites.
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ZIMBABWE: MDC continues to challenge Mugabe legitimacy
      IRINnews Africa, Tue 5 Aug 2003
      JOHANNESBURG, - Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) has told IRIN that it has not given up its challenge to the legitimacy
of President Robert Mugabe's election, and will continue with its court
action to have it reversed.

      This follows speculation in the media on Monday that an MDC document
setting out issues for proposed talks between the opposition and the ruling
ZANU-PF, submitted to church intermediaries at the weekend, omitted the
issue of Mugabe's legitimacy.

      The document, signed by MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube, states
that "it is the MDC view that the current crisis in the country is
multifaceted and has political, economic, social and humanitarian aspects to

      It notes, however, that "at the core of the crisis are issues of
governance and the people's freedoms and liberties to determine their
destiny through free, fair and open elections".

      Ncube told IRIN that it was a simplistic and shallow reading of the
document that had led to the assumption that the MDC had withdrawn its
challenge of Mugabe's legitimacy.

      "For obvious strategic reasons, instead of putting on the agenda a
heading 'legitimacy of Mugabe government', we put in all the issues that led
to that illegitimacy - the absence of the rule of law, the absence of
political liberties, the flawed electoral framework etc. - in other words,
the sum total is all the issues that went wrong resulting in an illegitimate
election," Ncube explained.

      "If we drop that issue we have nothing to talk to ZANU-PF about, it's
a simple issue that they stole an election," he added.

      As to the status of the proposed talks, Ncube said the ball was in the
ruling party's court.

      "We were made to believe, by the churches here, that Mugabe agreed
that his party would hand over to the churches a document containing the
issues they want to be included in dialogue [between the parties]. We were
then requested, on that assumption, that we should also hand in our list of
issues and we did that on Friday. That's where we are, I don't know if
ZANU-PF intends to hand in their list. We will wait for the church leaders,
and the various emissaries shuttling between us and ZANU-PF, to come to back
to us," Ncube told IRIN.

      He added that "hopefully, sooner rather than later" the two parties
would be able to conduct formal negotiations.

      However, the official Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday that
ZANU-PF secretary for information and publicity, Nathan Shamuyarira, would
not comment on the list of issues the MDC has put forward for discussion.

      "I cannot speculate on the talks. I have nothing to say because the
groups have not started the talks and the negotiating teams have not
started," he was quoted as saying.

      The 2002 presidential poll was condemned by some election monitors,
including the Commonwealth and European Union, as neither free or fair. An
MDC legal challenge to the poll results is to be heard in November.

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Assistance for drought-hit Matabeleland livestock farmers
      IRINnews Africa, Tue 5 Aug 2003

      The loss of draught animals has hurt agricultural production

      JOHANNESBURG, - Moves are underway to assist vulnerable families with
livestock development in the drought-hit Matabeleland South province of

      Siboniso Moyo, director of the Department of Livestock Production and
Development, told IRIN on Tuesday that the government's drought mitigation
efforts were concentrated in Matabeleland as it was the hardest hit by the
recent drought. The department also has plans to begin cattle restocking, as
drought had claimed about 100,000 head of cattle in the province, the
official Herald newspaper reported on Monday.

      "Our drought relief and mitigation programme which started in February
2003 is on-going, following the declaration of Matabeleland South as a
disaster area," Moyo told IRIN.

      World Vision had warned in April this year that urgent interventions
were needed to address the decimation of livestock and the consequent
erosion of household security in the province.

      "The loss of cattle has depleted the draught power capacity of most
communities. Smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe rely heavily upon livestock for
ploughing. Livestock losses, and the declining health of remaining stock,
seriously impacts agricultural productivity," a World Vision statement said
at the time.

      Zimbabwe's livestock industry has also had to contend with outbreaks
of foot-and-mouth disease, forcing the Department of Veterinary Services to
suspend all movement of livestock in June.

      In response to the crisis in Matabeleland South, Moyo said her
department had "moved into the area and has started a number of

      "Firstly, we have encouraged the movement of animals to areas with
better grazing within Matabeleland. We could not take them outside the
province because of foot-and-mouth disease. Secondly, we have encouraged
people to sell some of their animals so they could hold that money [for the
upkeep] of draught animals... it could also be used for restocking [later],"
she said.

      Moyo said the Gwanda and Beitbridge districts have been the worst
affected by drought in the first quarter of this year.

      "We have provided stock feed - which people only got in June but which
was planned for in March - directly to the people in Beitbridge and Gwanda
districts," Moyo said.

      "But stock feed is expensive, per 50 kilogram bag it costs Zim $18,500
[about US $23], it's a lot really. So the vulnerable households cannot make
it without assistance and Matabeleland is a livestock dependent part of the
country," Moyo said. She explained that the country experienced a "critical
shortage of stock feed" in February and March this year.

      "Parallel to that we are saying we should start restocking [cattle].
Restocking is going on in other parts of the country, with initial support
of up to five animals per household. [But] in Matabeleland South the
immediate need is for drought relief and mitigation but we will not lose
sight of the fact that we will need to engage in restocking [in the
future]," Moyo added.

      She added that her department's development programmes would also
focus on encouraging increased farming of small stock such as chickens,
sheep and goats.

      It was important for long-term sustainability and development that a
balance was found between animal grazing requirements and management of
pasturelands to prevent over-grazing.

      "It's a long-term development programme. Any intervention measures we
undertake today may only be felt three years down the line," Moyo concluded.
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Zimbabwean business criticised for failing to exploit DRC

6 August 2003
Zimbabwean businessmen have been criticised for failing to mobilise
initiatives of business ventures identified in the Democratic Republic of

The Zimbabwean embassy defence attache in the DRC, Colonel Gregory
Nhamoinesu, told a visiting businesswomen delegation from Zimbabwe that
Zimbabweans have taken a back seat in implementing projects with a huge
potential of creating foreign currency for Zimbabwe in the DRC.

Colonel Nhamoinesu told the delegation which comprised of senior
representatives from the Women Round Table and Zanu PF Women’s League that
business people in Zimbabwe should exploit the vast business opportunities
in the vast central African country.

He said that it is saddening to note that Zimbabwe, one of the leading
countries in setting the tone for the business environment in the DRC, is
still lagging behind whilst South African products are dominating the
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Hope for Zimbabwe Political Dialogue Fades
Peta Thornycroft
05 Aug 2003, 17:34 UTC

Hopes of dialogue between Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition faded
Tuesday when both sides got into an argument over candidates for local

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change said Tuesday it had lost all
trust in the ruling Zanu-PF party when it broke a gentlemen's agreement not
to obstruct a court petition over local elections.

The dispute arose over an agreement that Zanu-PF would investigate why all
opposition candidates in local elections in Chegutu, a small town in central
Zimbabwe, were unable to register with nomination courts last month.

Several opposition candidates were attacked by what the MDC says were
Zanu-PF militants while on the way to the nomination courts to register for
the elections. Several candidates ended up in the hospital.

Last week the MDC applied for the nomination courts to be reopened and said
it was led to believe Zanu-PF would not oppose such a move.

But instead, Zanu-PF's candidates, who were already declared winners because
they were unopposed at the nomination court in Chegutu, filed papers Tuesday
to challenge the MDC application.

Lawyers acting for the 11 MDC candidates said they hoped the dispute would
go to court Wednesday.

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            Zimbabwe tobacco sales hanging in the balance
            August 05, 2003, 18:15

            Zimbabwe's tobacco selling season is in danger of ending
unceremoniously this year after auction floors closed twice this week as
farmers demanded a better exchange rate before delivering to the market.

            Tobacco sales in Zimbabwe are denominated in US dollars but
farmers are paid in the local currency equivalent. A disparity in the
official exchange rate of Z$847 to $1 and that of the black-market where one
US dollar is almost Z$4 000 has the tobacco farmers up in arms.

            At the largest auction floor, selling activity grounded to a
halt as farmers openly expressed dissatisfaction to the payment they are
getting for their crop. Claiming production costs have gone up 600% they
want government to agree to a new exchange rate of one US dollar to $2 500
Zimbabwe dollars. Until that is done, they will hold on to their crop.

            The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board, worried at the
consequences of a marketing boycott, has now engaged the Ministry of Finance
for a compromise. Tobacco is Zimbabwe's largest foreign currency earner.
There are fears that if government does not review the exchange rate, not
many farmers will have good reason to grow the crop this year.

            Government officials say negotiations with the marketing board
are going on amicably and they are hopeful the matter will be resolved soon.
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$500 Notes Start Trickling Back

The Herald (Harare)

August 5, 2003
Posted to the web August 5, 2003

Masimba Karikoga

THOUSANDS of $500 notes have vanished from the streets of Lusaka and at
Chirundu border post as money changers desperately try to offload the notes
ahead of a deadline set by the Government to phase out the bills and replace
them with new ones by October.

The Zimbabwean currency, which was fetching at least ZK3 (Zambia Kwacha) on
the parallel market in recent weeks slid to around ZK2,1 and ZK2,3 in the
Zambian border town of Chirundu over the weekend.

In Lusaka, the Zimbabwe dollar was fetching around ZK2,4 and ZK2,5 down from
about ZK3,5 before last week's announcement by the Minister of Finance and
Economic Development Dr Herbert Murerwa to withdraw the $500 notes.

One Zambian kwacha is equivalent to one Zimbabwean cent as per the official
exchange rate.

Money changers in Chirundu were flagging down motorists who were passing
through the border town as they tried desperately get rid of the Zimbabwean

One money changer said he had disposed of about $300 000 in the past week

"I have sold most of the Zimbabwe dollars that I had in the past week. I am
only left with less than $100 000," said Mr Fast Lula as he waved a wad of
$50 000 in $500 bills to passing motorists in the Zambian border town of

Another money changer, Mr Jacob Gondwe who is popularly known as the
"Professor" because of his smart negotiating skills, said it was imperative
to get rid of the Zimbabwean dollar before it became valueless.

"Those who prefer to cling on to the Zimbabwean dollars stand to lose
millions of kwachas once the $500 notes are phased out. It is, therefore,
prudent to sell the money to those passing through Zimbabwe where they can
deposit it in a bank," he said.

Women traders at the border town also confirmed that there was a significant
movement of the $500 notes from Zambia to Zimbabwe.

It was not immediately clear whether the money was being offloaded into the
formal system.

"People are afraid to move large amounts into the country because they fear
that they may be discovered by officials at the border and their money may
be confiscated.

"As a result people are taking in small amounts of the Zimbabwean dollar
into the country," said a informal trader from Zimbabwe, who declined to be

Zimbabweans are allowed to export at least $50 000 in local currency per
person. The facility will, however, be abolished this Friday.

Officials from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority could not disclose the amount
of Zimbabwean currency that has been confiscated at the border arguing that
they needed clearance from head office.

Currency dealers in Lusaka's Katondo Street, InterCity Bus Station, Comesa
Flea Market and officials from the country's commercial banks said they had
run out of the Zimbabwean currency.

Mr Innocent Mulala, a money changer from Lusaka's notorious Katondo Street
said the Zimbabwe dollar had literally vanished from the market after the
announcement by the Zimbabwean authorities to phase out the $500 bills.

"We have been disposing of the Zimbabwean notes following last week's
announcement. In recent months, there has been an influx of the Zimbabwean
dollar into Zambia to an extent that it was found at every point that
bordered Zambia with Zimbabwe.

"Traders have been coming with their currency, sell it to us for US dollars
then go back to their country with US dollars or goods leaving behind large
sums of Zimbabwean dollars behind.

"However, we are no longer accepting the Zimbabwe dollar in view of the
recent developments," said Mr Mulala.

He added that Zambia had been "flooded with Zimbabwean dollars" in recent
months and most traders travelled to Chirundu, Livingstone or Kariba to
fetch the currency which they supplied to other dealers in the same

Another money changer, Mr Danny Hamaila, who had stock of Zimbabwean dollars
said he was desperately trying to offload the money.

"I will dispose of the money as soon as possible otherwise I stand to lose.
We are waiting anxiously for the reintroduction of high denominations as
announced by the Government of Zimbabwe," he said.

Mr Hamaila complained that the phasing out of the $500 denomination would
make it even hard for him to continue trading in the Zimbabwean dollar.

At Lusaka's biggest bus station, Inter-City Bus Terminus, none of the money
changers disclosed whether or not they had the Zimbabwean dollars in stock.

The Inter-City based money changers became suspicious of the interviewer and
temporarily halted conducting their business.

None of the five bureaux de change that were visited had the Zimbabwean
currency in stock, but others had indicated the exchange rate on their
currency charts.

Unifinance Bureau de Change stated on its currency chart that Z$1 was
fetching for K3.5 Zambian Kwacha.

Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered, Stanbic and the Zambia National
Commercial Bank (ZANACO) all had no stock of the Zimbabwean currency.

Officials said that although the currency was still in demand, most
commercial banks were getting rid of the currency, particularly the $500

Bank of Zambia (BOZ) head of public relations and press, Mr Kabinga Pande
said it was not surprising that the Zimbabwean currency was disappearing
from the streets in view of the recent developments in Zimbabwe.

Mr Pande, however, reiterated the Zambian government pronouncements that it
was illegal to deal in foreign currency without a licence or authority from
the central bank.

On several occasions the Zambian police, immigration department and city
council have rounded up a number of street money changers, mainly from
Katondo Street which is perceived to be a hive of shady deals and unlawful
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Cape Argus

      MDC denies dropping Mugabe court challenge
      August 5, 2003

      Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change has dismissed
widespread speculation that it is ready to withdraw its court challenge to
President Robert Mugabe's flawed re-election poll.

      Media reports said the MDC was ready to drop the legal challenge in
order to kickstart negotiations with Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party.

      Dropping the court case would be tantamount to recognising the
legitimacy of Mugabe's presidency, something he has demanded as a
precondition for talking to the MDC.

      The speculation that the MDC was dropping the challenge arose after
the MDC issued an agenda for church-brokered talks with Zanu-PF that made no
explicit mention of the issue of Mugabe's legitimacy.

      But MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube - its chief negotiator -
denied yesterday that the MDC was ready to drop the challenge

      "We don't have to have 'legitimacy' as a heading on our agenda,
because all our political points are about the legitimacy thing. What we've
done is to say that the things that led to the lack of legitimacy have to be
dealt with."

      In a weekend letter to church leaders brokering talks, Ncube said the
MDC listed the "restoration of political liberties, a cessation of all
political prosecutions, the restoration of economic stability, an end to
torture, the de-politicisation of food aid and state services, the
establishment of a fair electoral framework and the restoration of the rule
of law" as items on its agenda. - Foreign Service
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The Scotsman

Zimbabwe Ruins


Zimbabwe Ruins ***
C Central

ONE OF the most important political events in Zimbabwe in the recent past
was the implementation of Robert Mugabe’s land redistribution campaign in
2000, an act which saw the country’s white farmers being forced to give up
their land, forcing them out of business, out of the country, and eventually
holing the country’s economy below the waterline.

Often, the images of Africa we see in the Western media concentrate our
attention on the plight of the starving black peoples of the continent, but
this show - performed by Zimbabwean rock five-piece Mann Friday - neatly
flips that preconception on its head, giving us a brief history lesson of
the area’s turmoil from the perspective of these farmers’ children. And the
message is loud and clear - black or white, everyone’s life is being made
worse by the people at the top of Zimbabwe’s food chain.

The show works on three levels. First it is a straightforward rock gig, as
Mann Friday work their way through their catalogue. Then it is a stand-up
narrative, as Harare born-and-bred Rob Burrell recounts his life story in
between the songs. And it is also a visual experience, with projected slides
of various Zimbabwean scenes informing proceedings throughout. In fact, if
the subject wasn’t a matter of such concern, it would be all to easy to
flippantly say that Mann Friday are following the Who’s lead with their very
own "rock opera".

But there is a very real story which needs to be told here, and it’s one
which the band inject no small amount of passion into. At first Burrell
offers something approaching misty-eyed nostalgia about his homeland, and
recounts a split with his girlfriend when he went to university in South
Africa, which does smack a little of self-indulgence.

But it’s all scene-setting for his tales of 2000 - when he couldn’t discuss
the government on the phone with his parents, such is the level of
Mugabe-inspired paranoia - and the subsequent demoralisation as the 2002
elections were rigged.

So, although Mann Friday’s music may be more than a little daytime-radio
twee, it is characterised by strong choruses and Burrell’s impressively
rough, bluesy voice. Besides, the sometimes harrowing images are testament
to the fact that the show is about so much more than just the songs, and
their hopeful slant does suit Burrell’s poignant story.

Ultimately, then, it is so much more than white man’s blues - more a tale to
empower people of every race, colour and creed. Which is the very least
Zimbabwe can hope for, under the circumstances.
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Comment from ZWNEWS, 5 August

The opposition position

Press reports across the political spectrum over the last two weeks have
announced, sometimes in triumphant terms, that the MDC has dropped its court
challenge to Mugabe's legitimacy and the outcome of last year's presidential
election. In two statements within the last few days, however, which should
be read together, the opposition party has set out its position regarding
negotiations with the government. The statements set out a proposed agenda
for talks, and also make clear the party's position with regards to the
ongoing court action contesting the outcome of the 2002 poll.

Two parallel efforts are currently being pursued in an effort to bring the
two sides of Zimbabwe's political divide together. One is the initiative of
Zimbabwean church leaders, who have recently met both Tsvangirai and Mugabe,
and have been shuttling back and forth between the MDC and Zanu PF. This
initiative has been conducted almost in public, with statements from the
bishops and the government fuelling the pages of the press in recent weeks.
Both parties were asked by the church group to submit proposals for an
agenda for talks by last Friday. The second process has been more informal
and has taken place behind closed doors. Meetings between Zanu PF and MDC
senior leaders have taken place, with Patrick Chinamasa leading the
government's side. Chinamasa last week rubbished the church leader's
efforts, labelling the bishops as "MDC activists wearing dog collars". His
denunciation was accompanied by similar attacks in the state-controlled
Herald last week, in the government-supporting Sunday Mirror on the weekend,
and again in today's Herald.

In its submission to the church leaders, the MDC said "the core of the
crisis are issues of governance and the people's freedoms and liberties to
determine their destiny through free, fair and open elections. We need to
return to a situation where we can hold elections whose results are not
contested and are palpably a reflection of the will of the people." In order
to restore such a situation, the submission sets out ten points which need
to be addressed in any negotiations. They are: the restoration of political
liberties; the cessation of all political prosecutions; the restoration of
economic stability; stopping torture; the depoliticisation of food relief
and general provision of state services; the establishment of a fair, just
and equitable electoral framework; the restoration of law and order;
restoring Zimbabwe into the comity of nations; constitutional reform; and
food security. It is not yet apparent whether Zanu PF has submitted its
proposals to the church group. Judging by the response of Chinamasa and the
government press to the church initiative, it seems unlikely that they have

At the same time as he was undermining the church leader's efforts,
Chinamasa said "the MDC would be doing the president no favours by
withdrawing the (election) petition". The MDC submission to the church
leaders makes no direct indication as to the withdrawal of the election
petition. However, a separate statement released late last week sets out the
MDC position in bald terms. The relevant section is worth quoting in full.
"If talks get underway, and if they are properly structured with a formal
agenda, and if Zanu PF demonstrates good faith and a commitment to resolving
the crisis Zimbabwe is facing, the MDC will consider suspending or holding
in abeyance the electoral challenge pending final resolution of the talks.
In this regard it is pointed out that the case is only scheduled to commence
on the 3rd November 2003 in any event and accordingly there is quite a large
window of opportunity for talks to begin," the statement states. "During
this time the case should not present any obstacle to the smooth
continuation of talks. Indeed the crisis in Zimbabwe is so grave that one
would hope that a final agreement would be reached long before the
commencement of the case. If the talks result in a final agreement which is
irreversible, endorsed by the international community and guaranteed by
appropriate constitutional/legal amendments, then the MDC will obviously
withdraw the petition. Indeed the petition will, in those circumstances,
become irrelevant. However under no other circumstances will the MDC
consider withdrawing the petition."
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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 31 July

From pride to pauper

Andrew Meldrum

Once hailed as the pride of Africa, Zimbabwe’s education system has been
engulfed from top to bottom by the country’s deepening political and
economic crisis. The University of Zimbabwe, once the pinnacle of the system
bequeathed by colonial rule, is finding it almost impossible to keep
functioning. Meanwhile, in schools across the country, teachers are
operating hand to mouth, worrying less about lessons than about what their
pupils have to eat. At the university, in Harare’s Mount Pleasant suburb,
clouds of tear gas frequently smother the campus and dormitories. In the
past few years police have sealed off the campus so often that it is almost
routine. Once last year riot police dragged students from their dormitory
rooms and beat them. One student died from his injuries and has become a
cause célèbre. The pay of lecturers and professors is so low that almost all
have had to find other jobs to get by. So many university posts remain
vacant after resignations that departments are decimated and academics say
the university is at the point of collapse. Classes have been suspended and
students sent home several times in the past three years, making it
difficult for students to finish their degrees in a reasonable period of

"I used to enjoy teaching at the university, but now the conditions have
become untenable," said a retiring professor. "There is political
interference from political appointees, corruption, the continual battles of
police on campus ... the university has become an encapsulation of Zimbabwe’
s problems." Other tertiary institutions across the country have faced
similar troubles, while in schools teachers have been beaten, forced to
attend "re-education camps" and killed, according to union officials.
Students of all ages are sent home if they cannot pay fees or don’t have
proper uniforms. Education budgets have been dropping for more than 10
years. Teachers’ meagre salaries have lagged far behind the country’s 269%
inflation rate. This is a far cry from the 1980s when President Robert
Mugabe’s government made education its priority. Zimbabwe’s teachers were
respected and relatively well remunerated. Primary education was nearly free
and secondary education was within the reach of almost everyone in urban and
rural areas. The country achieved impressive literacy rates, first of 80%
and then above 90%, making Zimbabwe’s education system one of the best in
the developing world. But the education system, from primary school up
through university, has suffered 10 years of decline, and since 2000 has
been one of the main victims of the country’s economic chaos and political
repression. "I worked hard to qualify as a teacher and I was honoured in my
community," said Tendai M, a veteran of Mugabe’s liberation forces who
became a teacher after independence. "I got a good education but I am not
satisfied with the schooling my children are receiving." A mathematics
teacher, who does not want to be named for fear of retribution, was
appointed head teacher of his government boarding school two years ago. "I
thought things would get better, but being a headmaster has been a
nightmare," he said. "With food shortages and inflation we do not have
enough money to get our children and teachers enough to eat ... We try to
keep our classes going, but it is very difficult."

Zimbabwe’s education system has been one of the many casualties of the
country’s multiplying troubles, according to Brian Raftopoulos, chairperson
of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, who spoke at the Canon Collins Memorial
Lecture at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies recently. "After
2000, in the context of the more general political crisis, a whole series of
highly politicised problems emerged in the educational sphere," said
Raftopoulos. "These problems have centred on the ‘disciplining’ of teachers
for their support of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change [MDC];
the militarisation of youth centres; the struggle by teachers for better
conditions of service in a rapidly declining economy; and struggles over the
curriculum, in particular the teaching of history." In his lecture
Raftopoulos, who is an associate professor at the Institute for Development
Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, chronicled the stunning successes of
education in the early days of Zimbabwe’s independence. Primary enrolment
increased from 820 000 in 1979 to 1,2-million in 1980, rising to 2,2-million
by 1989, according to government statistics. In the 1990s enrolment reached
a peak of nearly 2,5-million in 1996 before falling to 2,4-million in 2000.
At the secondary level the expansion was even more impressive. Enrolment
increased from 66 000 in 1979 to 150 000 in 1981, reaching 670 000 in 1989.
Secondary enrolment rose to a peak of 844 000 by 2000.

‘While this quantitative growth of education has been impressive," said
Raftopoulos, "there are several problems which confront the future of
educational development in Zimbabwe. These include the absence of a
comprehensive policy framework; access and gender equity; relevance of the
curriculum; school dropouts; and finance." He said the education system was
struggling with tensions because of the government’s desire to use schooling
"as an ideological arm of the state". Raftopoulos said that about 15% of
Zimbabwean children remained out of school in 2000, a disproportionately
high number of whom were girls. The country’s spiralling economic crisis in
the past three years has caused many more children to stop going to school
because their parents cannot afford the rising cost of fees, uniforms and
books. "In a poverty assessment study survey carried out by the United
Nations Development Programme, it was found that 61% of Zimbabweans were
classified as poor in 1997, rising to 73% in 2003," said Raftopoulos.

The cost of maintaining Zimbabwe’s education system is high. Relative to
comparable countries in the Southern African region, Zimbabwe spends an
unusually large share of national income on education. "For example, in the
mid-1980s Zimbabwe’s budget allocation to the sector was more than twice the
median of that spent by other low-income Anglophone countries and exceeded
the median for medium-income countries by about 22%," said Raftopoulos.
Nevertheless in the 1990s real per capita expenditure on education fell
significantly, with the total education budget declining from 6% of the
gross domestic product (GDP) in 1986/87 to 4% in 1993/94. By 2000 real
expenditure on primary education had declined to 2% of GDP. "It is apparent
that, while there has been a remarkable expansion of educational enrolment
over the last 20 years, this expansion has intensified inequalities in
Zimbabwe because of the different forms of educational provision and the
problems of reduced financial expenditure that have placed an increasing
burden on poorer families," said Raftopoulos.

Ironically, Mugabe’s success in educating large numbers of citizens has
added to his troubles in recent years. The vast majority of young
Zimbabweans are educated, but they cannot find jobs. This has created a huge
well of discontent among the articulate youth. Zimbabwe’s drastic economic
decline in the past three years has caused the GDP to lose more than 30% of
its value. Inflation is expected to be well over 300% for 2003. The
government responded by carrying out "an authoritarian restructuring of the
state, in order to consolidate its beleaguered position," said Raftopoulos.
This affected the education system in several ways. "Teachers have been
targeted on a regular basis for their alleged support for the opposition
party, the MDC, and because they were considered key informants and
community leaders in the rural areas."

The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe has documented the intimidation,
harassment, detention, arrests, torture and the unprecedented unleashing of
state security agents on the schools. As a result of the assaults by state
agencies, the union reported that between 2000 and 2002 five teachers were
killed, 119 raped and "many more were maimed, kidnapped, tortured and
displaced". In addition, many teachers and students have been forced to
attend "re-education camps" where lessons centre on a narrow, party-oriented
history of Zimbabwe, including the formation of the ruling party, Zanu PF,
and its military struggle against white-minority Rhodesia. "Certainly, state
violence against teachers and the narrow nationalist approach to the
teaching of ‘patriotic history’ are a long way from the tone of tolerance
urged by the Education Commission before the political crisis began in
2000," said Raftopoulos. The difficulties that have confronted Zimbabwe’s
education system in recent years illustrate the depth of the ongoing
political and economic crisis. Yet Raftopoulos and other education
specialists believe that the country’s schools can rebound if Zimbabwe pulls
out of the crisis through a peaceful, negotiated process of transition that
will lead to free and fair elections. "The damage to education is severe,
but it does not have to be permanent," concluded Raftopoulos. "The
restoration of democracy will see Zimbabwe enter a period of reconciliation
in which education can once again return to a place of priority. Teachers
can once again have the respect of the government and the community.
Students will once again have the opportunity to learn."
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Article by Jenni Williams - human and women's rights activist and a founder
of Women of Zimbabwe Arise, (WOZA). WOZA is a Zulu word meaning 'come

WOZA Queens arrested in the City of Kings

At a meeting in Harare on July 5, 2003, 175 leaders of civil society
organisations, representing women, labour, students, youth, churches,
farmers, academics, minority groups, media, legal and medical practitioners
met for a historic conference on Dialogue and Transition. One of the
resolutions was to demand the repeal of unjust laws, such as Public Order
Security Act (POSA), in order to facilitate an enabling environment for
greater participation by citizens in the process of transition. Women of
Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were represented at that meeting and at subsequent
WOZA report back meetings those resolutions were adopted for action.

At further meetings with Bulawayo based civic activists, it was agreed to
conduct a peaceful protest calling for the repealing of POSA. Thursday 24th
July was the day activities would peak. Women were willing to take the lead
in the protest. Harare based activists were to convene prayer meetings and a
public meeting to be addressed by Honourable Members of parliament and
nationalists, Edson Zvobgo, Edgar Tekere, Paul Themba Nyathi and Dr John
Makumbe. No one was arrested at the Harare meeting.

The theme of the protest was to call for the repealing of POSA, which
undermines basic freedoms and the spirit of the Zimbabwean constitution.
Inspiration as to how to conduct the protest also came from the history
books. In July 1960, popular demonstrations rocked Rhodesia.  Police killed
11 people in Bulawayo, and the Whitehead regime enacted the Law and Order
(Maintenance) Act (LOMA) thereafter. In 2002, the Government of Zimbabwe
repealed LOMA, and replaced it with the Public Order and Security Act

A letter was prepared for delivery to the Senior Prosecutor Bulawayo. The
letter quoted Ecclesiastes 3:1-7 and closed with this paragraph. "We,
concerned citizens say time is up for POSA. Time is up for silence and the
time has come for us to be allowed to meet freely. There is even talk of
party dialogue, how will politicians speak whilst the nation is forced into
silence? Repeal POSA and other repressive legislation and allow the nation
to heal."

At 10 am on 24 August, women in all shapes and sizes, some with babies and
youth began to arrive and collect outside Tredgold Building. The delegation
went in to deliver the letter whilst those outside sang the African national
anthem, 'God Bless Africa'. As courage increased more and more banners
opened up. Handwritten banners explained: LOMA and POSA are both colonial
tools; Time up for POSA; and Repeal POSA, clarified the purpose of the

When the delegation that had delivered the letter to the prosecutor
returned, the peaceful protesters had grown to about 600 with passersby
joining in. The leaders then gathered to march and began to sing religious
songs. Marching up to Herbert Chitepo Street and turning towards the High
Court, some policemen were in evidence but they ignored the protesters and
walked on. By the time the mob reached 9th Avenue a good time was being
enjoyed by all. Someone commented that this was why we wanted POSA to be
repealed so we could have the feeling of peaceful expression without
intimidation. We turned towards St Marys Cathedral still in charge of the
streets of Bulawayo and singing religions songs. Many of us were now hopeful
that the non-attendance of riot police would prevail.  Most of us had not
seen a protest begin and end without disturbance since the WOZA protest in
November 2002 during Domestic violence fortnight.

When we reached the Catholic Cathedral, the leaders began to discuss the
dispersing of the group and it was resolved that we would proceed to the
Commuter Omnibus Terminus and there the activists would catch their
transport home. As we approached the terminus, a police vehicle carrying law
and order offices drove past us. We began to disperse. Riot police arrived,
jumping quickly from their vehicles, batons at the ready to strike. Some
activists had begun to disperse and others started to run away. I was with
some of the leaders and we were within the terminus when someone tapped me
on the shoulder asking me to come with them. I asked who he was and he
explained that he was a police officer and 'we are arresting only YOU'. I
insisted he show me his ID and then followed him. The other leaders closeby
heard him say that he was arresting me alone and began to follow. As we
walked, I told my companions that I was under arrest and the intention was
to arrest me alone. Many women protested insisting that they had been part
of the protest. By the time I got to the Defender, nine women piled in with
me.  I called a lawyer while watching the second Defender quickly fill up.
And as we filed into the detention room at Central Police Station in Fife
Street, more and more women forced their way in until there were 48 women
and 4 babies, aged 2 months to 2 years. I saw another seven being chased out
of the courtyard by riot police. Some women kept a daily vigil outside the
police station until our release Saturday.

It was midday Thursday when the paperwork regarding our detention began.  We
were handed over to law and order and we went through the same procedure of
recording details twice more. By the time we went home, Saturday, 7
different police officers had recorded our details longhand. Many police
officers that walked by commented upon the aged ladies in our midst, we had
about 15 over 60 yrs with at least two nearing 70 yrs and Gogo Jane who
insisted she was the elder but did not know her age or date of birth.

Once under law and order, we were squeezed into an office. Some of us had to
sit under desks, a good hiding place for those requiring precious 'moments'
alone. Whilst in that room, one officer after another took turns to come in
and intimidate and vilify us, in the end we decided to ignore them as they
obviously had no 'real criminals' to hunt down! I was the first to be taken
for 'interrogation'. Jenni Williams, mother of three versus six men. I was
only questioned for some 25 minutes and during that time there were long
silences of frustration experienced by the sextet. Sometimes a single
question was asked; sometimes more than one was fired at me simultaneously.
The session ended after I quoted the Zimbabwean constitution section
allowing for freedom of association, assembly and expression. One of the
officers said, "You are very determined" and ended the session. They had
accused me of being the 'organiser' to which I had replied that WOZA
believed women were all equal in their fight for their rights so we were all
'organisers'. As I left the room, I was warned that someone would implicate
me as the organiser and an elderly 'gogo' called Sophia was taken for
questioning next. She returned saying she had told them she was the

One young lady returned in tears and there was almost a riot with the women
demanding to know why she was crying. She later told us that she had been
told to cover her face with a bandanna and then hit her on the head with an
object whilst she was blindfolded. One more women came in crying at the
harrassment. Upon noticing that their 5 pm knock off time had come and gone,
they decided to interrogate four at a time. Some officers where called to
begin the charging process by taking warned and cautioned statements, these
are typed out on antiquated typewriters and we noticed that the ribbons were
too faint so an additional copy of paper and carbon paper was used to allow
for a readable copy. At about 9:15pm when nine of us remained awaiting
statement processing, we were told there was no more paper. We were
separated from the rest and taken to Entumbane police station for the night.

The verbal abuse continued incessantly. One police officer insisted I show
him what I had in the pockets of my jacket - I had some leaflets calling for
the repealing of POSA. The leaflets were exactly as seen in the Crisis
Coalition adverts in the press. The officer then declared 'that nothing in
Zimbabwe will be ok until we deport Jenni Williams'. I suggested that he
could deport me to my rural home, Gwanda in Matabeleland South!

We were aware that well wishers bringing food had been turned back 3 times
despite police officers assurances that we would have access to food. During
the next few days very little food found its way to us as some officers
insisted only lawyers could bring us food whilst others said only relatives
could. Women consoled themselves by acknowledging that even in their homes
there was hardly any food so we were no worse off. Another women said that
she was happy that her children had fresh milk to drink and that would fill
their stomachs during her absence. During the 48 hours in detention, from
Thursday to Saturday morning, all we were given to eat by the State was two
spoonfuls of yellow maize porridge and two spoonfuls of beans between 39.
Some of us were fortunate to get two pieces of bread and a bun with a drink
from well-wishers.

As to the sleeping arrangements, 39 and 4 babies shared a small cell number
3 at central with about 8 blankets sufficient only to cover the hard
concrete floor. The women are only allowed one article of clothing on top
and bottom. The toilet, a hole in the floor blocked off with a wall, was
flushable.  The women were squashed and uncomfortable, and fortunately we
managed to secure the release of the mothers with babies by demanding that
they at least be given some respect. They were allowed home Friday night in
their lawyers custody and were to report back to go to Court on Saturday.

Nine of us who went to Entumbane Police Station seemed to be better off. Our
driver loaded us into the open civilian truck and informed us that he did
not intend us to 'arrive alive' and proceeded to live up to his threat by
driving at neck breaking speed through town enroute to Entumbane, a
high-density suburb. By God's grace, we did arrive alive. This disrespectful
law enforcer insisted that we jump over the tailgate, as he did not want to
waste his time opening it. We asserted our rights and demanded without words
that he treat us with dignity. We stayed put until he opened the tailgate.
The two grandmothers in our group were relieved. Zimbabwean culture demands
that elderly women are treated well and by our actions we reminded him that
despite being a policeman in uniform he still bound by the cultural manners.

After a new round of harrassment from 3 young police officers at Entumbane,
who took their time over everything, we were put in a cell and had 12
blankets between us. They seemed to have come out of storage, as they were
extremely dusty, they had been stored before being washed and smelt
terrible. Putting the blankets over my head for extra warmth, I soon found I
was in the company of lice. None of us complained as dirty as the blankets
were, they took the edge off the winter cold and concrete floor. The next
morning, we were served porridge, as I ate two spoonfuls, a strange spirit
of celebration prevailed. I had survived my first night in state
accommodations. Feeling disturbed by all that had occurred, shock was
replaced by the harsh reality of life in Zimbabwe. It left a bitter taste in
my mouth and I could not stomach any more porridge. A verse in the bible
states, 'they that sow in tears shall reap in joy'. I prayed for that day to
come soon.

There were foreign currency traders 'Osiphataleni', (apostolic faith women
who are routinely arrested enmasse) in a cell kicking up a storm and when
they were let out for food they caused a stampede resulting in a police
officer hitting one woman rendering her unconscious. She was just left lying
in the cells corridor on the cold concrete floor unattended.

The law and order officers come to collect us about 11:30 am and we went up
to their offices. Our lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights were
present awaiting our arrival. I was however whisked away before I could talk
to them. I was taken back to the truck and moments later one of the lawyers
followed and asked me if I knew where I was being taken. When I replied
negatively, she told me that I was being taken to have my house searched.
She asked for the search warrant and the officers said it was still being
processed but they insisted they had 'reasonable cause' to search my house
for proof that I was the organiser of the protest. We decided to allow them
to proceed but I resolved not to assist them in their assignment. When they
asked the way, I told them to find a map and when we arrived at my home, my
employee also had to be persuaded to let them in.

There were four of them and they proceeded to look though papers in my
lounge. I am by profession a PR consultant and at present spend my time
doing 'Protest PR'.  I own a PR consultancy company, although it is now,
because of my activities, dormant. A file on a recent Crisis Coalition
workshop and research on the July 1960 protests was found and received
attention. They insisted on taking documents, which they said were
'subversive'. Examples of documents they took include a recent speech I made
on a gender based media study; some old notebooks; write ups on publicity
and public opinion which they said was proof I was involved in intelligence
training; a copy of the Zimbabwean constitution (I hope they read it); some
receipts and notes on food distribution in urban areas; Peace and dialogue
workshop materials, including a speech by Bishop Trevor Manhanga made at a
public meeting.

They kept asking me where my children where, saying they wanted to see them,
thankfully my children have been removed to safety having completed their
schooling. I have always known that they would attempt to get to me via my
children. Even my husband was put on the list for arrest but he was

With the search over, we returned to central and they proceeded to record a
statement charging us under the very act citizens want repealed. This first
charge was for participating in a public gathering, which is deemed under
POSA  'an illegal gathering'. I was also charged under Section 24 (1) of the
Public Order Security Act. This calls on the 'organiser' to notify
regulating authority of intention to hold public gathering.

I denied the charges drawing attention to the exceptions allowing meeting of
clubs and such non-political organisations, which is where Women of Zimbabwe
Arise fits in. we are a civic and women's rights organisation providing
women with a communication and action platform against violence and for
bread and butter issues. This involved intense discussion, as the officer
was unable to understand or refused to comprehend that calling for the
repealing of POSA was a civic right and not a political activity. This
certainly drove home the point that we do not live in a democracy - laws are
viewed as ZANU PF laws and opposing them means you are viewed as an
opposition supporter. The lawyer and I painstaking reminded the officer that
parliament enacted laws and by calling for the repealing of POSA we were
speaking to parliament, disempowered though it be, not to politicians. The
arresting and the arrested were both relieved to get the second statement
and bail hearing paperwork completed ahead of provincial court.

We were reunited with the other ladies for Friday night. As the cell was
opened we tried to enter but found we could not take a step without tramping
on someone. There are no working light bulbs; pitch dark is the night in a
Zimbabwean prison. Light is a scarce commodity, even a sign of affluence in
modern day Zimbabwe. The Police officer said he had a bigger cell, cell 1,
but warned that the toilet was blocked and the cell had not been used for
sometime. Seeing that we would not fit in cell 3, he decided to open up cell
1 and put us in it. All the women followed, they craved the comfort of
togetherness and we were soon squashed in.  By the next morning some 50
women were crammed in and we had to take turns sitting, standing and lying
flat to get some shut-eye. We could not call it sleep, as that luxury was
impossibility. The toilet did not flush and every time someone went to
relieve themselves the acidic smell would choke us much like we were in a
'urine sauna'.  Talk about chemicals of mass destruction! We were relieved
to go out for head counts and fresh air but many of us now have upper
respiratory chest infections.

It was a long night, 3 women fell ill, one asthmatic had an attack and had
to be revived and thankfully they took her to the detention room for the
rest of the night. We heard men screaming in agony and newcomers into our
cell told us what they had witnessed. One told of a young man who was beaten
by policemen in the detention room. One of the officers had then looked at
the face of his victim, only to realise that it was his neighbour's son. He
had quickly apologised and sent him home. I heard a sound I will not forget
for a long time to come, the sound of a grown man screaming in pain,
obviously being beaten. It was painful to hear a fellow Zimbabwean suffer
and I believe that we will not be free as a nation until we can say with one
loud voice, 'Hurt one Zimbabwean and you hurt us all'. 'Starve one
Zimbabwean and you starve us all'.

We were distracted from our discomforts by a lady-of-the-night who had been
arrested after fighting over a man in a nightclub. Still in a state of
inebriation, she entertained us with details of how she had fought with her
rival. She admitted to us that she had grown weary of the taunting by people
for 'always being in bars' and said she felt she should look for her own
man, settle down and end this hard way of life. I was very proud to find the
WOZA women immediately took up the challenge to preach to this lady. We
immediately began to pray for her and a 'special song' inspired by the holy
spirit was sung to help her on the journey towards becoming the 'perfect'
women we all knew her to be deep down inside. This shows the character of
the women of WOZA - on the streets fighting vocally, yet peacefully for god
given rights. Praying for an end to the suffering of our families whilst at
the same time being god fearing in outlook; firmly, softly and gently
expressing love for the nation and all Zimbabweans.

On Saturday morning, we successfully made free bail, myself on both charges
and the other 47 ladies on their single charge of participating in the
protest. We will appear to answer charges on 13 August 2003, the day after
our famous Heroes holiday ends. As we left the dock, so did the entire
courtroom of women, sons and daughters, who had come to provide support. As
we arrived outside there was great jubilation and much hugging and shouts of
'Go Warriors', 'Go Warriors'! (Warriors are the name of the Zimbabwean
national soccer team). It would be said that Woza Warriors are those who
have been imprisoned while purposefully walking this thorny road towards
democracy. We appropriated the name whilst in state accommodations to serve
as a moral boost.

Woza women, the mothers of the Nation, will achieve their objectives and
POSA will be repealed. The very word 'POSA' in Ndebele means to 'throw away
or curse'. This nation needs to heal and POSA must be thrown away and cursed
forevermore by all Zimbabweans.  Please pray for the WOZA Warriors of 24
July 2003, today, tomorrow and especially on 13th August as we appear in
Bulawayo Provincial magistrate's court. Bulawayo supporters can join us for
a prayer service at Byo Presbyterian Church in Jason Moyo Street at 8:30 am
9th August.

Jenni Williams - email:
4th August 2003

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1: Congress

Delegates and Guests,
CFU Congress.

As a retired farmer I would like to share a piece from "Out of the Earth"
with the delegates and guests attending CFU Congress. It was set in America
about fifty years ago.

"One of the silliest and most superficial and cynical assertions ever made
in the history of this country was the now happily dated assertion that
"anybody can farm." Never, certainly, has there been a saying so completely
devoid of truth in this country or elsewhere throughout the world. A good
farmer has to know more about more things than any man in any profession
now practiced. The belief that 'anybody could farm' has cost us billions of
dollars in taxes.

One of the greatest satisfactions of the farmer's life is his ruggedness
and his independence. When that is lost and he takes orders from the
bureaucrat, ('war vet?') the very core of his pride and satisfaction has
rotted away and we shall arrive at an agriculture as poor as that of the
collective farms of Soviet Russia where the farmer is no better than a
slave who lives at a slave's level of food and shelter, and where the state
perpetually threatens the farmer with imprisonment, exile or worse.(?)

There are no short cuts, economic or medical or scientific, where the laws
of the Universe are involved. One works with Nature, whether in terms of
soil or of human character, or one is destroyed. That, I think, is a law
which it would be well for all of us - economists, politicians, farmers,
Marxists, businessmen and all others - to keep perpetually in mind. It
would be well for man to contemplate daily the principal fact of his brief
existence - the fact of his colossal physical insignificance."

If at all possible, could all "economists, politicians, farmers, Marxists,
business men and all others," (at Congress) please give a little thought to
this passage. The little bit about "work with Nature in terms of human
character, or one is destroyed" is possibly the most exciting component,
right now. I wish you all a successful Congress with much healthy debate.

Yours insignificantly,
Retired Farmer.


Letter 2: Performance Testing for a New Bull

C.F.U. Council.
The e-mail referring to the election of President and Vice President

 "It was felt that the Councillors could see and assess the performance of
their peers over a number of years and were better placed to elect a
President and Vice President."

Could you perhaps enlighten membership as to the performance-appraisal
system currently employed by Council? Naturally, a transparent
performance-testing scheme like that used in the dairy industry could well
be considered. Generally the larger the sample the more accurate the
results - technically, a sample of about twenty (Councillors) out of four
hundred farmers could be more INACCURATE than a sample of about one hundred
and forty degates (at Congress) from four hundred. Surely, the bigger the
sample size the more representative the sample?

Moving on to the parameters - there are a number of characteristics
available to select for performance to select a good bull, which is always
referred to as "half the Herd."

1.  Agricultural Production (over the last two years.)
2. Union growth.
3. Numbers of functional or effective farmers.
4. Political Correctness.
5. Commitment to lead a tightly cohesive Union, based on consensus of

I believe that Council could have some good variations of the above and Dr.
Grant could be called in to give a resume of the whole exercise, from a
scientific point of view.

Retired Farmer.


All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.
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AGRIZIM. The way forward.

Justice for Agriculture stood up for farmers' rights in June 2002 when it
submitted the Quinnell case, contesting some parts of the Land Acquisition

Justice for Agriculture and AGRIZIM maintain the same stand that was made
by the submission of the Quinnell case over a year ago - when JAG was
described as "a bunch of Bible punching radicals."

The Zimbabwe Independent dated August 1, 2003 would appear to offer some
degree of vindication for JAG's stand - if some of the headlines are
extracted and collated.

*$885b needed to revive agriculture.

*Chinese firm abandons Naunetsi project.

*Govt.'s proposals on cash crisis flawed - analysts.

*GMB forecast to incur $302b loss. Land reforms, populist policies blamed...

*Bread shortage set to worsen. Winter crop at around 8%.....

*CSC beef export deal thrown into doubt. Foot & mouth on farms close to

*Cash crisis: Murerwa's kindergarten joke - abolish $500 note in 60 days....

*Back to barter. Inflation has reached untenable levels.....

*Major shake-up looms at RBZ. Currently facing nightmares over cash

*500 000 Zimbabwe farm workers internally-displaced. Since the start of the
Government's "fast track" land reform programme....

That is 'only' ten headlines in one weekly paper!
Was it a surprise that JAG became concerned 14 months ago?

Are you a proud member or supporter of the fast track land reform programme?

In a CRISIS situation people have the option to STAND UP for what is RIGHT,
or, GET DOWN and get RICH - where do you think we should be?

The fast track land reform programme affects many more than those 500 000
farm workers because of the millions of Zimbabweans facing starvation.
Thank goodness for the World Food Programme.

*AGRIZIM accepts fully and unconditionally the FREEDOM CHARTER as put out
by the CRISIS COALITION. It endorses the CHARTER as the only method of
Zimbabwean people regaining their RIGHTS, SELF RESPECT & LIBERTY.

Please share your ideas with us at AGRIZIM at or - we need them all, and your support.

P. Goosen.  Facilitator. AGRIZIM.
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"The grass is rich and matted. It holds the rain and the mist and they seep
into the ground feeding the streams.

...It is well tended, and not too many cattle feed upon it; not too many
fires burn it, laying bare the soil. Stand unshod upon it, for the ground
is holy, being as it came from the Creator. Keep it, guard it, care for it,
for it keeps men, guards men, cares for men.
Destroy it and man is destroyed...."

- Alan Paton - Cry, the Beloved Country.

"The State is like a tree. The roots are agriculture, the trunk is the
population, the branches are industry, the leaves are commerce and the
arts; it is from the roots that the tree draws the nourishing sap.....and
it is to the roots that a remedy must be applied if the tree is not to

- Victor, Marquis de Mirabeau - written at the beginning of the eighteenth

AGRIZIM endorses the words of both Mirabeau and Paton about agriculture and
land stewardship - which have stood the test of time and are as applicable
today as they were three hundred years ago.


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