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

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ZIMBABWE: Concern over recurring fuel shortages

JOHANNESBURG, 17 December (IRIN) - Zimbabweans were becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of the country's recurring fuel shortages on their daily lives.

"The major mediums of transport have been grounded and very few passenger services are operating. Workers in industrial areas are walking to work and have to leave home at 4am to arrive at work on time," President of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Lovemore Matombo, told IRIN.

"It will affect workers' productivity because they will be very tired. Considering their low income, some people don't even have anything to eat, so the fuel crisis will create unprecedented levels of mental and physical strain," he added.

Matombo said fares for the few modes of public transport operating had increased due to demand. Workers with money were paying for the journey into work, then walking home for two to three hours.

However, essential services like ambulances and fire engines in the capital, Harare, still had supplies, according to the council's public relations officer Cuthbert Rwazemba.

The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) said many farmers had bulk fuel storage facilities and could survive short-term shortages.

"We'll survive in the short term, but in a couple of weeks, the fuel shortages will create major shortages on farms," CFU president Colin Cloete said.

Farmers were currently in their crop growth period and so required less fuel but farmers who needed to reap would not be able to get fuel for their operations.

Harare-based bus company Kukura Kurerwa said it only had two days of diesel supplies left.

"We still have some diesel available but we foresee a worse situation over the next few days. However, we have been promised a delivery," General Manager Batsirai Nyakuvambwa told IRIN.

Country director for the NGO Care International, Phil Christensen, said: "Obviously it is difficult for some transportation but we are managing to cope. NGOs and embassies are able to import their own fuel. We are accustomed to purchasing fuel like everyone else but we use these supplies [imported fuel] when there is a shortage."

Christensen added that because of the shortages, Care had to curtail some of its activities as workers in the field were battling to source petrol for their motorcycles.

The state-run Herald newspaper on Tuesday reported that, "No fresh supplies were purchased by the sole oil procurer resulting in the fuel situation remaining desperate."

It said the US $16 million given to the parastatal National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) by the government had instead been used to pay debtors who refused to send further supplies until arrears were paid.

There was also uncertainty over whether a supply deal with Libya's Tamoil would continue.

Scarce foreign currency supplies has also made fuel procurement more difficult.

At the ruling party's conference over the weekend President Robert Mugabe suggested the possibility of nationalising the facilities of the five multinational oil companies operating in Zimbabwe and allowing only the state to distribute fuel.

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This communiqué contains a question-and-answer explanation of the process
of the JAG loss claim document (the original document for those hoping to
pursue compensation). It is vital that all farmers, whether on or off their
farms, complete a loss claim document as soon as possible, in order to
protect themselves from loss in a legal manner.

Q1.  When was the JAG loss claim document put together?

A1.  With the threat of mass evictions and imprisonments, as a result of
the new Section 8 legislation maturing on the 8th August 2002, JAG put
together the loss claim document in July 2002.  Advice of a London QC,
Richard Benson, was to document.

Q2.  How did the loss claim document assist when the August Section 8
eviction deadline took place?

A2.  Where farmers followed JAG's advice and got their Section 8's
nullified, but police still came to arrest them, loss documents where they
were completed, were presented to the police and those policemen were told
that they would be held personally responsible for unlawfully evicting that
particular farmer.  The full loss document, in many cases, proved to be a
deterrent and allowed those farmers to remain on their farms.

Q3.  What is the main role of the loss claim document?

A3.  The loss document is essential for future restitution and
compensation claims.  The majority of farmers have now had to leave their
properties and unless a properly documented database is put together, it
will be extremely difficult to claim restitution and compensation in the

Q4.  How does the JAG loss document fit in with the valuation consortium?

A4.  There is a great deal of confusion amongst farmers regarding this.
JAG brokered and initiated the "valuation consortium" with leading members
of the valuation community in July 2002.  The consortium is there to put an
authenticated value on your land and fixed improvements.  The value of your
farm (land and fixed improvements) however is only a proportion of the full
loss claim when we talk about compensation and restitution.  The other
aspects that we have included are;
a) All your moveable assets, many of which you will have had to sell at
discount prices to be able to continue to survive with no other income.
These would then constitute consequential losses.
b) Your relocation costs as a result of having had to move and find
alternative accommodation etc.
c) Your loss of profit as a result of not having been able to grow crops
and continue other operations on your farm.
d) Your consequential losses comprising legal fees, medical expenses, sale
of assets at discounted prices.
e) The losses of your workers income as a result of your workers having had
to be laid off.
f) The amounts that you have had to pay out for S.I.6 etc. as a result of
having been closed down need to be documented.
g) The trauma factor that has resulted from the intimidation and physical
and mental abuse related to your illegal eviction and that of your workers.

The valuation consortium is therefore very important, but is only part of
the process in completing the full loss claim document.  It is important
that you do not do a "half job" and put in a "half claim".  All losses need
to be verified and proven (mitigated) with a full diary of events and
documents which show how you have protected yourself within the law.  There
is every indication that compensation and or restitution will be by
negotiation rather than litigation and for this reason a very comprehensive
documentation of losses is essential.

Q5.  Why is it important in third world Zimbabwe to look at a first world
compensation/restitution claim?

A5.  When the restitution/compensation comes it will come through the
western donor agencies.  They cannot, in the international global context,
have one system for the first world and a different system for the third
world.  If we do not do the work to ensure a comprehensive loss claim
document we will not stand a chance of getting anywhere near a full claim
payout.  If we only do half the work our chances for restitution/
compensation will be halved.  We believe in doing the very best
job in order to secure the very best future for you, your family and

Q6.  What precedents are there for restitution/compensation?

A6.  When Idi Amin gave all the Asians 90 days to leave Uganda in August
1972, the Asians organised themselves and did what they could to secure
their title deeds and whatever property they were able to secure.  When the
international community finally came in to assist an economically collapsed
Uganda, the first financial tranches put forward had to go towards
restitution/compensation.  In Mozambique today, those people that hung on
to their title deeds are able to claim their land back now.  In Eastern
Europe exactly the same thing is happening. Where individuals and
Governments have amassed huge wealth in an illegal manner, these assets
have been successfully attached and re-distributed to the countries and
people from which and whom they have been taken. This was particularly so
after the Second World War. Do not compromise your title by signing any of
it away, or making any deals because your claims in the future will be a
lot more difficult to put together and succeed on.

Q7.  What is the time period that JAG is looking at for

A7.  We cannot sit down at the negotiating table until we have a critical
mass of loss documents on the database.  Every farmer needs to get his loss
claim document compiled as soon as possible.  Even if you are one of the
few to still be farming you must complete your loss claim document as soon
as possible because you do not know how long you will continue farming.
The other critical factor relating to the time period in which
compensation/restitution will be forthcoming revolves around the internal
political situation within Zimbabwe.

Q8.  What do I have to pay to submit the loss claim document in?

A8.  JAG has a membership fee of $25 000.00.  It will then cost a further
$10 000.00 to do the inputting of your loss claim document onto the
database (some loss documents that have come out are over 100 pages long).
If you are finding it difficult to pay these amounts, other farmers who are
able to pay these amounts have put sponsorship money forward.  It is
through no fault of your own that you are in the position that you are in.
JAG work is being done on a voluntary basis with a cost recovery for
expenses.  JAG is a non-profit organisation and is run by farmers for
farmers and their workers in order to secure justice and a future for all.
Where professional help is needed we use it, bringing in the valuators, the
best lawyers and advocates, Q.C.'s and others to ensure that we achieve the
very best for you.

Q9.  What about farmers who have already left the country?

A9.  We are starting to get our first loss claim documents in from
Australia.  We would encourage anyone who has contact with fellow
Zimbabweans outside the country to send this on, and get them to complete
what they can.  It is important that they also get onto the JAG mailing
list so that they can be kept informed and updated on developments as they
take place.

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JAG Sitrep December 17, 2002

Roy Michael Durham, the JAG representative in the Middle Save area, is
being unfairly forced to leave the country by immigration officials.
Mr Durham is the Vice-Chairman of Middle Sabi Farmers Association and
has been active in keeping farmers on the land. He has been farming in
the country since September 1991, and had his application for permanent
residency approved in January this year. However, the Chief Immigration
Officer in Mutare, Mr Shamido has refused to issue the permit on a
number of occasions, instead opting to give him an extension on his work
permit.  Mr Durham was recently given seven days to leave the country,
despite the success of his application for residency. He has challenged
this on the grounds that it is insufficient time in which to wrap up
operations (he is expecting to harvest $60 million worth of mangoes, and
has invested a considerable amount in the improvement of farm 35 in
Middle Sabi, which he has been leasing).

Mr Shamido is one of the government officials who are beneficiaries of
the "land redistribution" in the Middle Sabi area, and it seems likely
that Mr Durham is been targeted because he has been an active figure in
the local community.

Bauhinia farm (see Press release 9th December)
Despite the fact that it is now two weeks since Vice President Msika spoke
to Minister Made and DA Manyika, no task force has been sent to Bauhinia
farm to evict the invaders. Since no watering of the roses has been allowed
by the settlers, they are now dead (a $400 million crop). Furthermore, the
invaders have stated that they do not care about the court order delivered
to them instructing them to vacate the farm. The workers have been told
that they will receive $3000 per month from the main settler, Machimedze,
and that if they do not like it, they should leave. This represents a
decrease in salary by a third, at a time when inflation is soaring! So far
no serious action has been taken to evict the settlers.


JAG is mobilizing our accountability project, and we have set up databases
to collate information on human rights abuses and farm invasions. Please
send us any details you can provide regarding VIP settlers on farms, so
that we can complete this comprehensive database of the distribution of the
resettled land. This includes both those people who have been illegally
evicted and those with current section 8 orders

We would appreciate confirmed reports of all A2 settlers, along with as
much detail as possible:

Name of settler:
Settlers Position/Job:
Farm Name:
Farm Size:
Farmer's Name:
Farming Company:
Farming Association:
Any other details: (human rights abuses, events on farm, police response,
contact details for settler/farmer, etc)


You can either reply directly to this email address
(, or post us the details to:
Justice for Agriculture
17 Phillips Avenue
Fax: (04) 799410


JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
    (011) 205 374
       (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
       (091) 317 264
    (011) 207 860 we're here to help!
(011) 431 068

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Comment from ZWNEWS, 17 December

I don’t understand…

"I don’t understand why there are fuel problems in the country," Mugabe said when closing his party conference in Chinhoyi. "Why offend the Libyans by buying fuel from other suppliers?," he added, blaming his own fuel procurement agency, and finishing with a threat to nationalise the country’s filling stations. How is it that he doesn’t know why, when the whole world – including everyone in Zimbabwe – knows why?

The reason why there is no fuel is that fuel costs hard currency - and Zimbabwe isn’t earning any. The Libyans may have originally agreed to accept local currency, and expropriated farms and businesses, in payment, but that was when the Z$ and the farms and companies were worth multiples of what they are worth now, and many more multiples of what they will be worth next year. The reason why fuel was sought from other suppliers is also very simple. You run up an account with the Libyans of more than US$360 million, and they stop supplying. You then scratch together a bit of hard currency, and you have two choices – give it to the Libyans, who will then expunge a bit of that outstanding debt, or use it to buy a little fuel – cash on the nail – from someone else. Less debt, or petrol. The choice is, as they say, a no-brainer.

The whole world knows that the Libyans have strategic interests elsewhere in the world. It is no secret that the EU has been using these interests to put pressure on Libya to stop propping up Zanu PF. It is also no secret that Libya (or anyone else) does not like to be made a fool of. And that is just what has happened. Libya, and its state oil company Tamoil, have come to realise that they have joined the long list of countries and companies that have fallen for a well-practised Zanu PF sales-pitch. Eskom, Sasol, the Port of Beira, the government of Botswana, the lessors of Air Zimbabwe’s aircraft, the entire populations of Zimbabwe and the DRC; the list goes on. All have ended up with Zanu PF on their bad debtors' list. Why offend the Libyans? They were already offended. Why threaten the nation’s filling stations? A last offer to the recently-departed Libyan delegation to persuade them to part with a few more barrels, perhaps? Why blame NOCZIM and the banks? The whole world knows that NOCZIM and the Zanu PF banks are corrupt and inept, and have been for years. That is nothing new.

Mugabe knows perfectly well why there is no fuel. The whole world knows why there is no fuel. He knows the whole world knows. The whole world knows he knows. But there is one big reason (apart from the Libyans) to feign innocence. You can bet the presidential petrol tank that yesterday in Cape Town Mugabe was trying to persuade President Mbeki to give him credit for fuel. One more prospective punter - one more prospective confidence trick.

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Business Day

      Zimbabwean inflation rate may hit 522%'

      HARARE The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that
Zimbabwean inflation could reach 522,2% next year, according to its World
Economic Outlook. Inflation is now running at just more than 144%.
      The economy is also expected to shrink 10,6% this year and by 2,8%
next year following declines of 5,1% in 2000 and 8,5% last year.

      The figures contrast sharply with those of many of Zimbabwe's
neighbours. Zambian gross domestic product is expected to rise 3,7% this
year and 4% next year, while inflation could drop to 9,8% from this year's

      Mozambique should reach growth of 9% this year and 5,6% next year, the
forecast says. Inflation is expected to fall to 6,8% from 16,7%.

      The economy of diamondrich, tourist magnet Botswana should grow 3,7%
next year after growing 2,6% this year, while inflation may drop to 4,7%
from 5,5% in the current year.

      According to the IMF report, SA's economy will expand 3% next year
after growing 2,5% this year.

      Further north, inflation in Malawi is forecast to drop to 5% next year
from 9,4% this year, and growth is expected to rise to 4,5% next year from
1,8% this year.

      Tanzania should see its economy expand 6% from 5,8% this year.
Inflation is likely to ease to 3,9% from 4,4%.

      The economy of Namibia which has been echoing Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe's land-reform calls should grow 3,8% next year, and inflation
should ease slightly to 7% from 10,2% in the current year. Business Day

      Dec 17 2002 07:42:44:000AM  Business Day 1st Edition

      17 December 2002
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Zim: Benefits outweigh concerns

Stellenbosch - The long-term benefits of Zimbabwe's land reform programme
exceeded any other concerns by far, that country's speaker of parliament,
Emmerson Mnangagwa, said in Stellenbosch on Tuesday.

"...It is a programme of agrarian revolution whose long-term benefits far
outweigh any other considerations," he told the African National Congress'
51st conference.

Mnangagwa, who is also administrative secretary of the ruling Zimbabwe
African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), is leading that party's
delegation to the conference.

He said his party and its leader, President Robert Mugabe, were unjustly
criticised for "the reclaim and reposess our heritage, land and
resources, and to unflinchingly uphold our sovereignty.

"The white imperalistic press and those allied to it take every opportunity
to demonise Zanu-PF and President Mugabe." The party's policy was not to
drive away white commercial farmers, but to empower people and to share
valuable land equittably," Mnangagwa said.

"We must correct the historic wrong...and return the land to its rightful
owners - ourselves.

"Those whites who want to farm in Zimbabwe and who identify themselves with
Zimbabwe in word and in deed have secured their places in Zimbabwe."

About half the ANC delegates gave Mngwagwa a standing ovation.

'Zimbabwe land reform will yield benefits'
                  December 17, 2002, 16:15

                  The long-term benefits of Zimbabwe's land reform programme
exceeded any other concerns by far, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe's speaker
of parliament, said in Stellenbosch today.

                  "The programme is an agrarian revolution whose long-term
benefits far outweigh any other considerations," he told the ANC's 51st
conference. "The programme has been undertaken successfully and within the
laws of Zimbabwe."

                  Mnangagwa, who is also administrative secretary of the
ruling Zanu-PF, is leading that party's delegation to the conference. "The
crime committed by comrade Mugabe and Zanu-PF is to reclaim and repossess
our heritage, land and resources, and to unflinchingly uphold our
sovereignty," he said in a message of support to the conference.

                  "As a result of the land reform programme that we have
undertaken and accomplished, the Western imperialist press and those allied
to it have taken every opportunity to demonise President Mugabe and the
leadership of Zanu-PF."

                  He described this as an attempt to undermine Zimbabwe's
struggle to assert its sovereignty and empower its people. "We wish to
reaffirm our belief in the economic and political empowerment of our

                  "Those whites who want to farm and identify themselves
with Zimbabwe, in word and deed, have a secure place in Zimbabwe. But we
cannot allow colour to be the basis for privilege and wealth."

                  Mnangagwa said Zanu-PF valued and appreciated the
principled support it had received from the ANC at different forums,
including the South African Parliament. - Sapa
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ANC is Ready to Engage All Parties On Zimbabwe

Business Day (Johannesburg)

December 17, 2002
Posted to the web December 17, 2002

Pule Molebeledi, Political Editor

Controversial issues afflicting Zimbabwe needed to be brought to an end,
President Thabo Mbeki said yesterday.

"We are convinced that it is necessary to bring to a close the controversial
issues relating to our important neighbour, Zimbabwe," Mbeki said.

The African National Congress (ANC) was ready to engage both its ally and
fellow liberation movement, President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF), and
"all others" to help resolve the various issues in a constructive manner.

His comments were seen as a signal that the ANC would move to secure the
resumption of collapsed negotiations between Zanu (PF) and Zimbabwe's main
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Talks between the parties disintegrated in May after Mugabe's party withdrew
from the negotiations because of the MDC's decision to press ahead with a
court challenge to the legality of the outcome of presidential elections,
which were condemned internationally after Mugabe won by a narrow margin.

The MDC has said it would return to the talks only if a fresh election were
held in Zimbabwe. The ANC has been advocating a government of national unity
for Zimbabwe. The country has since been faced with major economic
challenges as a result of Mugabe's land redistribution programme.
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Education of Zimbabwe's Youth Hampered by High Fees, AIDS
Tendai Maphosa
17 Dec 2002, 15:12 UTC

Zimbabwe's education system was once considered among the best in Africa.
But according to a report that will soon be released by UNICEF, the U.N.
children's agency, fewer children are able to enroll in school and many of
those who do enroll are forced to drop out.

The UNICEF report is going to be released early next year. According to a
draft of the study, almost 40 percent of children of primary school age who
dropped out of school reported rising fees as the main reason for quitting.
Zimbabwe introduced state school fees in the early 1990s, but as the economy
has declined in recent years, schools have had to raise their fees and
parents have been unable to keep up with rising costs.

The draft report also states that many children, especially girls, are
dropping out of school to care for parents afflicted by HIV or to look after
their siblings when their parents die. The report says poverty and HIV/AIDS
caused completion rates in primary education to fall to 70 per cent in 1999.

Another reason for the decline in school attendance is Zimbabwe's land
reform program, under which more than 320,000 of Zimbabwe's 350,000
commercial farm workers have lost their jobs. As a result, these unemployed
workers cannot afford to send their children to school. UNICEF says this
means more than 120,000 children in primary and secondary school no longer
have access to education.

What makes Zimbabwe's educational decline so alarming is that the country's
education system was once a source of great pride. The Zimbabwean government
engaged in a massive school-building exercise after independence in 1980.
This resulted in the attainment of gender parity and universal literacy for
the population under 25, an achievement which ensured that Zimbabweans
enjoyed a literacy rate of nearly 90 percent, the highest in Africa.

But educational experts warn that these achievements are now under severe
threat, even though the government still ranks education highly and
apportions education the largest slice in the national budget.

A substantial amount of the budget allocation goes toward payment of fees
for those who cannot afford to do so. But because so many students need
assistance the government cannot afford to pay fees for most of those in
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From 10 Downing Street.

Tuesday 17 December afternoon government press briefing


Asked why Mike O'Brien had refused to 'issue orders' to the International
Cricket Council (ICC) and the England and Wales Cricket Board this morning
concerning plans to travel to Zimbabwe to participate in the World Cup next
year, the PMOS said that it was up to the ICC to decide. That said, we had
pointed the relevant bodies to the travel advice we had put out on Zimbabwe
which warned tourists and visitors of the political difficulties that
existed there. We were not making people's minds up for them, but they
should be aware of the travel guidance. Put to him that the 1980 Olympic
Games acted as a precedent for a boycott, the PMOS said that people acted
according to circumstances at the time. We were pointing the cricketing
authorities towards our travel advice on Zimbabwe.



Zimbabwe on sticky Cup wicket

      December 17 2002 at 05:40AM

London - Political opposition to England's participation in World Cup
cricket matches in Zimbabwe is hardening, according to a survey reported by
the BBC here on Monday.

It polled 100 MPs from Britain's governing Labour party and found that 66
percent of those surveyed said England should refuse to play in Zimbabwe,
which is co-hosting February's tournament with South Africa and Kenya.

Only 18 MPs said England should go ahead with its matches in Zimbabwe, the
rest abstaining.

Last week, Britain's foreign office expressed its concern about what it said
was the growing humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe caused by the policies of
president Robert Mugabe.

And Michael Ancram, foreign affairs spokesperson for Britain's opposition
Conservative party, urged world cricket's governing body, the International
Cricket Council (ICC), to strip Zimbabwe of its host status. However,
Britain's sports minister, Richard Caborn, has always maintained that the
ICC, not politicians, should make the final decision on Zimbabwe.

The ICC sent a delegation to Zimbabwe in November to inspect security

The delegation's report was circulated to the ICC's 15-strong executive
board on Friday and its decision on Zimbabwe is expected to be made public
later this week. - Sapa-AFP

  a.. This article was originally published on page 3 of The Mercury on 17
December 2002

Subject: Join the protest: stop world cup cricket in Zimbabwe

The World Cup is nearly upon us. Matches are scheduled for February. Please help us to have them moved to South Africa. Sports and cultural boycotts help to apply pressure on unjust regimes.

It's not a game anymore.

Please forward this email to 5 friends in England. Ask them to forward it to newspapers/magazines and television stations.

Get involved if you want it solved!

Organised Resistance

- Robert Mugabe President of Zimbabwe is the Patron of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
- there has been graffiti scrawled on the walls of the proposed world cup venue where England is intending to play in February that says: "jihad on whites, we want our land back"
- presidential election posters of Mugabe with raised fist have adorned the walls of the world cup venue in Harare (Harare Sports Club) for many months now - the cricketing officials are too scared to remove them - why . . .
- just adjacent to the world cup venue is State House where Mugabe resides. Machine gun toting army guards patrol this area 24 hours a day; they regularly intimidate pedestrians and passers-by
- the road just near the world cup venue is closed between 6pm and 6am everyday day because of Mugabe is fearful of being attacked
- during the recent Pakistan/Zimbabwe cricket matches, spectators who held up human rights banners were arrested, detained for several days and tortured by the Police who are on Mugabe's payroll
- it is highly likely that Mugabe, the man that has called Blair a "gay gangster" and who regularly trashes the British Prime Minister will open the first cricket match that England plays in Zimbabwe
- imagine the England cricket teams shaking hands with the man who has propelled a nation into violence and starvation
- please read this recent news item at the bottom of this email for further Blair bashing by Mugabe

We need your help in lobbying the British public to put pressure on the England team not to come to Zimbabwe for the world cup. English cricketers will not lose out. They will simply play in South Africa.

Help Us To Have Any World Cup Cricket Matches Moved to South Africa.

** For your information, here are some basic facts about Zimbabwe **

Population: 13 million
Number of people facing starvation: 6.7 million
Unemployment: 75%
Population living in poverty: 80%
Inflation: 149% (to become 522% by the end of 2003)
Displaced people through farm invasions: 1,500,000
Amount of "reclaimed" land actually being used: 24%

Over 11 000 people have been tortured because of their political affiliation - both in and out of Police custody - in the past 6 months

Famous Quotations

"We have degrees in violence."
- Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe and Patron of Zimbabwe Cricket, on his party's campaign strategy

"We would be better off with only six million people, with our own people who support the liberation struggle. We don't want all these extra people."
- Didymus Mutasa, ZANU (PF) Organising Secretary, August 2002, on the plight of starving Zimbabweans who don't support the ruling party

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Daily Oklahoman

Can there be more "economic freedom" at a time when part of the world is at
war and the global economy is struggling? Yes, it is happening, and that
obviously means good news for the United States and other countries that
make it their business to export freedoms to the corners of the world that
need it most.

For nine years the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal have used
an index that measures 50 different variables, grouped into 10 categories.
Countries are rated one to five -- one being the best, five being the worst.

The ratings for 2003 underscore what's happened in each of the previous
eight surveys: Economic freedom has increased every year.

As the survey's editors note, the findings are straightforward: "The
countries with the most economic freedom enjoy higher rates of long-term
economic growth and prosper more than those with less economic freedom."

The United States tied for sixth overall; Hong Kong, Singapore and
Luxembourg are the top three. The least free? No surprises here: North
Korea, Cuba and Zimbabwe.

In the new survey, 74 of the 156 countries graded became more economically
free and 49 became less free. Still, most of the world's economies remain
relatively "unfree." The bulk of the repressed economies are in Asia, while
North America and Europe are home to the freest.

"Countries willing to unleash their economies invariably raise their
standard of living," the editors note. Hard to argue, as the world reshapes
itself economically from the Soviet era and in the early years of
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The Herald

Diesel supplies dry up

Herald Reporter
DIESEL, which has been readily available is now in short supply, deepening
the fuel crisis that has gripped the country for the past two weeks.

A survey by The Herald in Harare yesterday showed that most filling stations
did not have both diesel and petrol.

Many vehicles were parked at service stations in the city, which were not
selling any fuel.

Motorists in the queues said they were hoping that deliveries would be made
to the service stations.

The volume of traffic was low on the city's roads as some motorists left
their cars at home and have started using public transport owing to the fuel

Petrol attendants at service stations said they did not know when they they
would get their next deliveries.

"We are just coming to work to idle away and do not know when we will
receive the next supplies of petrol and diesel," said one petrol attendant.

The crisis has hit public transporters resulting in workers reporting late
for work.

Some of the worst affected include Mbare, Mufakose, Highfield, Tafara and
Kambuzuma where a few vehicles are still on the road.

The Ministry of Energy and Power Development maintained a blackout of what
was going on while the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe managing director
Engineer Webster Muriritirwa referred all questions to the ministry.

Many people are cancelling travel plans for Christmas.

"After careful thinking I have realised that it would be much better to stay
at home this holiday unless the situation improves," said Mr Maxwell Masamba
of Glen Norah.

Paraffin is also now in short supply and queues for the fuel have started to

Like petrol it is also now being sold on the black market at $250 for a
750ml bottle.

The country has been reeling from a serious fuel shortage for the past two
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From The Wall Street Journal, 16 December

US envoy denounces world leaders who deny people food

Rome (AP)- World leaders who deny their people food should stand trial, the U.S. envoy to U.N. food agencies said Monday, in a briefing on looming famines in Africa. Ambassador Tony Hall, speaking after a trip to southern Africa, didn't identify any government allegedly denying its people food. He is the U.S. envoy to the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program. He said two countries - Zimbabwe and Zambia - were the "main problem" facing U.N. food relief efforts in southern Africa, where millions could face famine. In Zimbabwe, aid agencies have partly blamed a hunger crisis on the government's program to seize thousands of white-owned farms for redistribution to black settlers. The country's opposition has accused President Robert Mugabe of denying food to regions opposed to his government. Zambia controversially rejected U.S. food donations because they may have been genetically modified.

"Anybody who uses food as a weapon or denies food to people who then die of hunger should be tried," Hall said. Asked if he was referring to Zimbabwe or Zambia, he said the remark was only a "general principle." Hall also said the European Union - which has banned genetically modified crops for its member nations, but has urged southern African states to accept them as aid - should do more, given the gravity of the crisis. "It's now a moral problem not an intellectual debate" about genetically modified food, Hall said. "If Europe still has some doubts on genetically modified foods, then they shouldn't talk about it but get their own food and money down there," he said. Hall, a former Ohio congressman, travelled in October to southern Africa where droughts and floods have left millions of people facing starvation.

In Zambia, an estimated 2.9 million people - nearly 30% of the population - are in danger of starvation. In October, the government rejected a large U.S. corn donation. The World Food Program is in the process of replacing it with corn that hasn't been genetically modified. The replacement could arrive too late, Hall said. In Zimbabwe, tens of thousands of U.S. crop donations sit undistributed in depots or have not been allowed into the country because of government red tape, Hall said. Also Monday, the World Food Program officially launched a previously announced aid campaign against famines in Africa, saying 38 million people are endangered there. The agency, which has relied mainly on government donations, was appealing for the first time to non-government groups.

From The Daily News, 16 December

Top Zanu PF officials in maize scam

From Energy Bara in Masvingo

A maize scam in which known top Zanu PF officials are allegedly purchasing the scarce staple grain in large quantities for resale at exorbitant prices on the black market has hit Gutu district. Three Grain Marketing Board (GMB) officers at Gutu Mupandawana growth point who were allegedly acting in concert with the politicians are under probe following the revelations that they were part of the scam. Villagers have since called on the government to institute thorough investigations into the matter as hunger continues to tighten its grip on rural communities. Some Zanu PF heavyweights, including politburo members, are allegedly taking advantage of the maize shortage to hoard large stocks of the staple food from the GMB using their influence. They later resell the grain at exorbitant prices to hungry villagers on the open market. An official at the GMB depot at Gutu who refused to be named for fear of victimisation yesterday said: "Currently three of our officers are under investigation because of the maize scandal. The three employees were working hand-in-hand with well-known politicians to deprive people of food. After having used their influence to purchase maize at the depot, the politicians would establish illegal selling points on the open market where a 50-kilogram pack of maize would be sold for $6 500."

The GMB retail price of a 50kg pack is less than $1 000. The police in Masvingo yesterday said they were investigating a number of cases in which the distribution and purchase of maize from the GMB depot in the province was not done properly. The Masvingo police spokesman, Learn Ncube, said: "Of late the distribution of maize has been going on well, save for a few cases where the exercise was not properly done. We will continue to investigate those cases and we have so far arrested a Central Mechanical Equipment Department driver and a GMB salesman who were found dealing in maize." Meanwhile, villagers in Gutu district have called on President Mugabe to intervene and discipline members of his party who are involved in the maize scandal. A spokesman for the villagers, Norbert Manyango, said they were shocked to learn that senior members of the party were using their influence to deprive people of food. Manyango said: "We can name the people who are involved in the maize scandal. It’s shocking that senior members of our party, Zanu PF, want hungry villagers to starve to death. We are calling on Mugabe to intervene otherwise people will die of hunger." Starvation has reached critical levels in Masvingo province where the entire population is in desperate need of food aid.

From the Daily Telegraph (UK), 17 December

Mugabe's men drown cattle as thousands go hungry

Harare - Zimbabwe's commercial farmers have fallen victim to a renewed campaign of mindless violence with the killing of hundreds of cattle by workers egged on by supporters of President Robert Mugabe. On one farm several hundred head of cattle were recently driven into a dam to drown while others were penned into paddocks, in searing heat, to starve to death. Cattle were sent to their excruciating end by a group of about hysterical 20 farm workers, encouraged by government supporters, at Forrester Estates, in the Mvurwi district about 60 miles north-east of Harare. "It was terrible," said Fanie Ferreira, 43, who recently quit as a sub-manager on the estate. "The noise they made was…you can't describe it. It was frightening. It took about an hour for the last one to die. Some just drowned, some slipped on the mud and then couldn't get up. The next day we pulled the corpses out of the dam and burned them." Days earlier cattle were locked into pens and the crazed gang refused to allow management to feed or water the animals at a time of extreme heat in a dry spell late last month.

Forrester Estates is owned by Heinrich von Pezold, a German, and has had a measure of protection from a trade agreement between the Zimbabwe and German governments following the seizure of more than 90 per cent of white-owned farmland since early 2000. Despite court orders setting aside all seizure notices, two sections of the 20,000-acre estate were closed down by Mugabe supporters. Police were unable to say if anyone was arrested in connection with the cattle deaths at a time when a beef shortage is imminent and almost half the population is on the brink of starvation. A spokesman for the Commercial Farmers' Union said farmers were still being prevented from growing crops, or were being chased off their properties. Fewer than 600 commercial farmers are either living on their farms, or trying to grow crops from about 4,500 before Mr Mugabe launched his violent seizures of white-owned farms. The World Food Programme, which is now feeding more than two million Zimbabweans, said last week the worst is still to come and that, in mid to late January, Zimbabwe could be staring famine in the face for the first time in its history. Drought last year caused some of the food deficit but the WFP largely blames the disruption of commercial agriculture.

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