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

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Portal of Truth - 14th update posted
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Assaulted by Zanu (pf) militia


The bravery of a solitary lady 


“Better to pass danger once than live in fear forever”




This morning at 10,30 I went to the local farm butchery at Igava to buy some
meat. A Proton Bakery van was outside the Butchery, the occupants
deliverying zanu posters.  There were a number of scruffy youth hanging
around - their militia camp is based about 100 m from the butchery.  When I
walked outside I saw that a zanu poster had been taped onto the bonnet of my
truck. I removed it carefully and placed it on the step of the butchery.
With that I was threatened by one of the youth militia with a large rock in
his hand.  I was told to replace the poster on my truck or else.  I told him
that if he wanted to tape posters on my truck he should ask first and that I
would not replace it.  While saying this I was walking towards him
(concerned that the brick would be sent through the windscreen) and he was
backing off, still holding rock.  I then turned to go back to the truck when
he hurled the rock, hitting me on the upper leg.  The next available rock
(smaller this time) missed my head. The third rock hit me in the same place
on the leg. While the rock throwing was taking place he continued to swear
at me in Shona and tell me I would not leave unless i replaced the poster.
I did leave, without the poster, and none the worse for wear other than a
bruised leg and the urge to give someone a damned good hiding!

This is FREE AND FAIR campaigning?.  The MILITIA are there to beat and abuse
all those who don't toe the zanu party line.

Kerry Kay,
HIV/AIDS Project Manager and Human Rights Activist.

Daily News

Rally leaves trail of destruction

2/18/02 8:51:54 AM (GMT +2)

From Zerubabel Mudzingwa in Gweru

PRESIDENT Mugabe’s presidential campaign rally at Crossroads business centre
in Lower Gweru last Thursday left a trail of destruction as Zanu PF youths
went on a spree of violence attacking homes and shops belonging to suspected
MDC supporters after the rally.

Several shops at Mankunzani, Maboleni, Dimbaiwa, Chiparo and Lower Gweru
Mission had their windows smashed and thousands of dollars worth of goods
looted by rowdy Zanu PF youths coming from the rally.

Riot police were later called in and arrested 24 Zanu PF youths and two MDC
supporters in connection with the violence.

Mugabe, who is contesting the 9 and 10 March presidential election, faces
the stiffest challenge of his 21-year rule from Morgan Tsvangirai of the

The youths, believed to have been bussed from Gweru, Zvishavane, Shurugwi
and Chirumhanzu, were travelling on two hired Zupco buses.

Conrad Ncube, an MDC activist, lost goods estimated at more than $1,5
million after his shop in Vungu small-scale commercial farming area was
burnt down by Zanu PF youths a day before the rally.

The youths were allegedly led to the shop by a war veteran, Happyson
Maphosa, who later fired shots into the air forcing MDC youths at the shop
to flee.

“The Zanu PF youths then ransacked the shop looting all my groceries before
setting it on fire,” Ncube said.

He said the incident occurred in the presence of a Zanu PF councillor,
Masotsha Dhlamini, and the Zanu PF district chairman.

Diladi Sibanda had all the windows to his shop smashed as Zanu PF youths
descended on Lower Gweru Mission Centre on Thursday night.

Another MDC activist, Christine Gambiza, had her homestead destroyed by the
Zanu PF youths the same night.

“The youths came to my house chanting MDC slogans and started pelting the
window panes with stones.

“They even threw a petrol bomb into the house, but it failed to explode.
They then made a hasty retreat into the night,” Gambiza said.

Officials at Gweru Rural Police Station said the rowdy youths randomly
stoned several other houses along the main road.

MDC Member of Parliament for Gweru Rural, Renson Gasela, described the
attacks as barbaric and called on his party supporters not to fight back but
allow the law to take its course.

“Zanu PF has come to a realisation that it has failed to penetrate Lower
Gweru, hence these attacks are just an act of frustration,” he said.

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Zimbabwe govt supporters attack opposition offices

HARARE, Feb. 18 — Hundreds of government supporters hurled stones at the headquarters of Zimbabwe's opposition party in Harare on Monday, smashing windows and forcing pedestrians to flee, witnesses said.
Riot police arrested dozens of demonstrators outside the main office of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The street was strewn with rocks and shops bolted their doors, the witnesses said.
       The attack on the MDC headquarters came after thousands of supporters of President Robert Mugabe had marched on the British embassy in Harare, accusing the country's former colonial ruler of meddling in presidential elections due on March 9-10.
       Tensions are rising in Zimbabwe ahead of the poll in which Mugabe's supporters have been criticised for cracking down on his strongest opposition challenge in 22 years of power.

Monday, 18 February, 2002, 18:55 GMT
Opposition HQ attacked in Harare
Pro Mugabe demonstrators in Harare
Zanu-PF accuses Britain of interference
Thousands of President Robert Mugabe's supporters in Zimbabwe have attacked the headquarters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the capital, Harare.

More than 200 members of the ruling Zanu-PF party broke away from a march through the streets of Harare, hurling stones and smashing windows of the MDC headquarters.

Zimbabwe will never be a British colony again

Zanu-PF supporters

Shops in the area were forced to close and police patrolled streets strewn with rocks.

Correspondents say that some passers-by who were caught up in the violence were physically assaulted if they did not chant Zanu-PF slogans.

Police 'blind eye'

Eyewitnesses said an old man who had a copy of the independent paper Daily News was beaten up by six Zanu-PF supporters in front of the police, who turned a blind eye.

Newspaper vendors who were selling privately owned papers were also attacked, as were people who were wearing clothes with colours resembling the MDC emblem.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe faces his toughest challenge since 1980

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is the biggest challenger to President Mugabe's hold on power since he led the nation to independence from British colonial rule in 1980.

A BBC reporter in Harare says anti-riot police arrived at the MDC office once the demonstrators had left, and accused opposition supporters who had come to assess the damage of causing the trouble.

Police escorting the marchers say the demonstration was authorised under the new security laws that require clearance for public gatherings.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Police detain MDC supporters
Police blamed the opposition for starting the violence

The march was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration by the Zanu-PF women's league, protesting against Britain and what they perceive as UK meddling in the run-up to next month's presidential elections.

The pro-Mugabe demonstrators - some wearing T-shirts with President Mugabe's portrait - carried placards saying: "Zimbabwe will never be a British colony again" and "Stop your racist politics in our country".

UK 'puppet'

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
MDC headquarters attacked

The demonstrators marched to the British High Commission office with banners, chanting anti-British slogans saying the UK could not impose its "puppet" in Zimbabwe.

Correspondents say two government ministers joined the demonstration at the British embassy and later handed a protest note to diplomats.

The crowd staged a traditional ceremony near President Mugabe's State House residence in honour of Zimbabwe's liberation war heroes.

They sang revolutionary songs and chanted slogans threatening to go back to war to defend the country's independence.

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Will It Play in Harare?

With Robert Mugabe fighting for his political life, Zimbabwe’s drama doesn’t end at the footlights

By Tom Masland
Feb. 25 issue — Dare—”the trial” in Zimbabwe’s Shona language—is anything but subtle. “How I love my land of milk and honey, the breadbasket of southern Africa!” exclaims one character at the play’s climax. “Breadbasket?” cries another. “How can that be, with what you are doing there on the farms that produce the food?” She is immediately shouted down: “Shut up, you negative woman, you sellout! Listen to the success stories of black people in this country!”
THE SHOW MAY never be ready for Broadway, but all over Zimbabwe it’s packing them in. Some 370,000 people have flocked to open-air performances at bus stops, train stations and shopping centers in the past couple of months. A morality play about free speech and the right to vote, “Dare” has provoked not only cheers but stones and threats. More than once, outbursts of violence have forced a cast to flee midplay, leaving set and costumes behind.
        Drama doesn’t end at the footlights these days in Zimbabwe. The presidential election is set for March 9 and 10, and President Robert Mugabe is battling for his political life. He’s counting on grass-roots support from a campaign to break up the nation’s big white-owned farms. But that effort is a disaster: farm production has plunged so badly that Zimbabwe is getting U.N. emergency food aid for the first time ever. Voters are expected to turn out in huge numbers for the opposition. If they do, and Mugabe keeps power through force or fraud, violence seems likely. The military has already cracked down on peaceful protests in the townships, and recently one top general hinted that the Army might not accept an opposition victory.
        The arts have become a bastion of dissent. The opposition and independent press have been targets for bombings, beatings and arbitrary arrests for the past two years, ever since a fledgling reformist political party nearly won control of Parliament. Three weeks ago a new law banned any criticism of the president. Last week the head of the country’s independent press association fled the country, in fear of his life. But some musicians, writers and actors are fighting back. “We can be persecuted, but we will not stop,” says “Dare” codirector Walter Muparutsa, 61. “Those who attack us are like people who smash mirrors because they don’t like the face they see.”
        It takes courage to keep performing. Zimbabwe’s acclaimed Amakhosi Theater Group caused a stir last year with “Two Cheers for a Patriot,” a tale of political harassment and police brutality. The show was allowed to open in Harare, but only after the Zimbabwe Republic Police questioned the producer three times and confiscated the actors’ police costumes, ordering them replaced with uniforms that didn’t look quite so authentic.
      Intimidation is a thing many Zimbabwean artists are used to. Some have credentials that go all the way back to the liberation struggle of the 1970s. Muparutsa was jailed and his plays were banned under the white-minority regime of Ian Smith. Another old hand is pop singer Oliver Mtukudzi. His first hit, “Zimbabwe,” became the liberation movement’s anthem after its release in 1980, the year Mugabe took power, but Mtukudzi is still breaking new ground. Security officials questioned him closely after his 41st album, “Bvuma Tolerance” (“Accept Tolerance”) came out in 2000. One cut drew particular attention, a song provocatively called “Wasakara” (“You’re Finished”). Mtukudzi is releasing a new album this week, titled “Bvunze Moto” (“Burning Ember”). The cover shows the singer’s portrait set against a map of Zimbabwe in flames.
        Many entertainers are showing the strain—even professional comedians. Lately the country’s troubles seem to defy the power of humor. One of the most visible casualties is Harare’s Over the Edge Theater Company. The group used to be famous for its biting satire, but in the past year or so its shows have been more subdued. “Some things are not funny,” says Wiina Msamati, an Over the Edge member. “Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of Africa. For things to be this bad is terrible.” Nevertheless, Muparutsa says persecution only encourages him. “If today we continue to be harassed by the present government,” he says, “we must be doing something right.” The show will go on.
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ZANU PF Supporters Hand Petition to British Representative
A large crowd of Zanu PF supporters today marched on the British High
Commission in Harare to present a petition requesting that country to stay
out of Zimbabwe's internal affairs. Approximately 2000 people carrying
posters and wearing Zanu PF apparel danced and sang their way to the British
High Commission on Samora Machel Avenue, in Harare's central business
district. A small group of the demonstrators, led by the deputy Minister of
Youth Development Gender and Employment Creation were allowed into the High
Commission to hand over the petition.

While the representatives were inside the High Commission, thousands of
placard waving Zanu Pf supporters sang anti-Morgan Tsvangirai songs and
pro-Mugabe songs urging him to carry on with the struggle for Zimbabwe's
economic liberation.

Although the vast majority of the crowd were peaceful, isolated reports of
violence around Town House were received by The News Room.

In a related event, a group of Zanu PF Youths caused some damage to the MDC
Headquarters during a demonstration outside Harvest House. During the
demonstration, Newton Spicer, who was filming the event, was arrested by
police. He is yet to be charged.

David Coltart Arrested and Charged
MDC shadow Minister of Justice, David Coltart was today charged with
discharging a firearm in a public place. The alleged incident apparently
took place in front of a group of National Service youth militia in
Burnside, Bulawayo on Saturday afternoon. Coltart was charged under Section
27 of the Firearms Act which carries a maximum penalty of Z$1000.00 and was
released on Z$2000.00 bail. As part of his defence, Coltart stated that he
does not own a firearm. The case has been remanded to March 25th 2002.

NCA Prisoners Released on Bail
Eleven members of the National Constitutional Assembly appeared in court
this morning, charged with contravening the Public Order and Security Act.
They were all granted $5000.00 bail and the court adjourned tomorrow to
allow state counsel time to respond to presentations from defence lawyers.

Defence lawyer, Alec Muchadema asked the court to drop all charges against
his clients because he termed their arrest illegal and that police
mishandled the arrests. He told the court that the police subjected his
clients to inhuman treatment. They were detained in filthy, overcrowded
cells and the police physically assaulted four of them. Munyaradzi Gwizai,
an MDC Member of Parliament arrested during the march, is among those that
were assaulted by the police.

The eleven were arrested Friday, following a march to present a draft
constitution to the Minister of Justice, they have been in police custody
since then. The NCA is a civic group that is pushing for a new constitution
in Zimbabwe.

Bulawayo Clergy Released on Bail
Reverend Noel Scott and ten other people arrested in Bulawayo Saturday,
appeared in court this morning charged with contravening the Public Order
and Security Act. All eleven were granted bail and remanded out of custody.

 Police arrested Anglican priest, Noel Scott for ignoring a prohibition
order by the police on the march. Reverend Scot's church and three other
denominations staged an interdenominational march and prayer peace. The
police deemed he mach unlawful.

The police denied Reverend Graham Shaw of the Methodist church and nine
others access to Rev Scott. They then gathered outside the police station
were Scoot was being held, and prayed for his release. Police ordered them
to disperse and when they did not comply they were arrested and charged
under the Public Order and Security Act.

The next court hearing will be on the 3rd of March.


The Newsroom
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ZIMBABWE: Too late for free and fair elections - rights group

JOHANNESBURG, 18 February (IRIN) - It's too late for free and fair presidential elections in Zimbabwe, but the deployment of international observers in remote areas could help stop politically motivated violence and torture, the human rights group Amani Trust told IRIN on Monday.

President Robert Mugabe faces the biggest challenge to his two decades of rule when Zimbabweans go to the polls on the 9-10 March. However, the hotly contested election has been marred by political violence and intimidation by ruling ZANU-PF militants against supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

Frustrated by Harare's refusal to let its observers freely monitor the election, the European Union on Monday announced the withdrawal of its team and the imposition of "targeted sanctions" against the government.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels said the "EU remains seriously concerned at political violence, serious violations of human rights and restrictions on the media ... which call into question the prospects for a free and fair election."

The Amani Trust's Shari Epple, a clinical psychologist by profession, told IRIN that "free and fair went out the window two years ago" but that it was still critical that international observers be deployed in Zimbabwe's hotbeds of political intolerance, the rural areas.

"They need to get out of Harare," Epple said of the few international observers who have been accredited so far by the Zimbabwe government. The Commonwealth and Southern African Development Community are among the organisation expected to send observers.

Epple, co-author of a new hard-hitting report by Physicians for Human Rights on political violence and torture in Zimbabwe, warned: "The observers are not where they should be, which is in the remote rural areas where people are being tortured. As somebody who follows torture I would say we want observers, in the rural areas and NOW!

"This election will still not be free and fair but observers could be a deterrent and stop the torture. There has been escalating violence (un-observed) but observers could document that, if they could get out of Harare! It could be a deterrent, people will not want to whip others with two metre long barbed wire if they thought the person could report what happened to an international observer."

Epple and Dr Hans Draminsky Petersen, founder of Physicians for Human Rights in Denmark, examined victims of torture, serious ill-treatment, murder attempts, and harassment in Zimbabwe. All the documented violence was allegedly committed by ZANU-PF supporters.

Among the more serious accusations contained in their recent report is that of identity document (ID) theft. Said Epple: "To steal an ID is to steal the vote and it's pretty prevalent. It's deliberate and conscious political theft."

Zimbabweans have to register to vote in the upcoming election. Without proof of their identity - an ID card - they will not be allowed to vote.

"It's more or less a daily report now, people are asked for ID cards and ZANU-PF party membership cards, if you do not have the ZANU card they steal your ID," she said.

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EU team in Zimbabwe confirms pullout - spokesman

HARARE, Feb. 18 — The European Union election observer team in Zimbabwe
confirmed on Monday that it planned to withdraw from the southern African
country, its spokesman said.
       ''Yes, we are. It's a Brussels decision,'' Stefan Amer told Reuters
after EU foreign ministers agreed to impose targeted sanctions against
President Robert Mugabe.

       An EU diplomat earlier told Reuters in Brussels: ''It's agreed --
sanctions. And everybody will recall their observers.''
       The 15 EU foreign ministers had heard a report on the situation in
Zimbabwe from Pierre Schori, the Swedish head of the wealthy bloc's team
sent to observe the presidential election. Zimbabwe expelled Schori on
Saturday, accusing him of ''political arrogance.''
       The EU had for weeks threatened to impose so-called ''smart
sanctions'' against Mugabe and 19 other senior officials, including a visa
ban and a freeze on their overseas assets, if Zimbabwe hampered the work of
its election observer mission


EU imposes sanctions against Zimbabwe
(Filed: 18/02/2002)

THE EU is to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe and
pull its election observers out of the country, foreign ministers decided

The sanctions, against Mugabe and 19 members of his administration, include
a ban on travel to the European Union and a freeze on assets they might have
in the 15-nation bloc.

The decision follows Saturday's expulsion from Harare of the Swedish chief
of the EU election mission to Zimbabwe, Pierre Schori.

Presidential elections in the southern African country, where Mugabe has
been in power for nearly 22 years, are scheduled for March 9-10.

"These sanctions are aimed solely at those whom the EU judges to be
responsible for the violence (in the run-up to the elections), for the
violations of human rights and for preventing the holding of free and fair
elections in Zimbabwe," a statement from the foreign ministers said.

"The sanctions are designed not to harm ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe or her
neighbors, nor should they prevent dialogue between the EU and Zimbabwe to
address its economic and other problems."

Others on the sanctions list include foreign minister Stan Mudenge,
information minister Jonathan Moyo, justice minister Patrick Chinamasa,
defense minister Sidney Sekeramayi and agriculture minister Joseph Made.

The statement alleged that all 20 on the list were responsible for "serious
violations of human rights and of the freedom of opinion, of association and
of peaceful assembly in Zimbabwe".

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who had pushed for a common EU
position on Zimbabwe, said Mugabe's promise of free and fair elections had
proven "entirely bogus".

"We have made many, many accommodations with the government of Zimbabwe, but
today is the end of the road," said Mr Straw.

"It's clear (from a report that Schori presented to the foreign ministers)
that it's not possible for the observers to do their job, and that's why we
agreed unanimously ... that sanctions should be applied."

Mr Straw also said that the decision "sends out a strong message about the
credibility" of EU election observer missions, wherever they might be

Daily News - Leader Page

Expulsion of EU observer team head smacks of overreaction

2/18/02 8:36:44 AM (GMT +2)

THE decision by the government to expel the head of the European Union (EU)
observer team, Sweden’s Pierre Schori, can only worsen relations between
Zimbabwe and Europe.

The government appears to be aware of the implications of its actions and it
could be partly for this reason that it met with President Bakili Muluzi of
Malawi, the current chair of the Southern African Development Community
(Sadc), and President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, who chairs Sadc’s
Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.

What the meeting could have sought to do would be to form a common stand
against a possible backlash from the EU, whose foreign ministers are due to
meet today and will no doubt discuss Zimbabwe.

Last week the EU foreign ministers held off any recommendation for smart
sanctions against President Mugabe and his top government ministers and Zanu
PF officials because they wanted to assess Zimbabwe’s reaction to the EU
election observer mission headed by Schori.

Today they might just decide they have had enough of Zimbabwe’s paranoia and

It is possible they will now recommend that sanctions be applied against
Mugabe and his cronies, effectively putting a freeze on their assets and
kicking their children out of universities and colleges in Europe.

Their children would then be able to endure the hardships being authored by
their parents.

But right from the outset, Zimbabwe was never comfortable with the idea of
foreign observers, especially those from Europe.

In expelling Schori, the government probably was well aware of the likely
outcome: to intimidate the remaining foreign observers into believing they
could suffer the same fate as Schori. To this end they will begin to see no
evil, hear no evil and speak no evil of the government’s deeds against its

Alternatively, the government reasoned that the expulsion of Schori would
result in the rest of the EU observers, and possibly others, withdrawing in
protest, leaving the government to carry on with its campaign of terror,
free from the prying eyes of the rest of the world.

The performance of Sadc missions so far has been similar to that of lapdogs
of Harare. They can’t tell a crisis even if they came across one.

Their notion of “solidarity” is a gross insult to the intelligence of the
terrorised people of Zimbabwe.

The government is very afraid of something, that is why it is resorting to
all manner of subterfuge.

Publicly the government has said it will not tolerate violence by anyone. It
has said the police will act upon reports of any acts of violence against
anyone. It has also said people should not be bussed into areas during
campaign rallies.

But this has all been done for the consumption of the international
community and the gullible Sadc.

The truth, however, is that this is a huge hoax.

The government will not brook anything in its attempts to ensure the
re-election of Mugabe.

This includes promising to build bridges even where there are no rivers, and
blaming everyone but itself for the current crisis the country finds itself

The truth is that the government knows how it has messed up the country.

It also knows that given a free and fair election, it has no hope in hell of
winning. In its bid to woo voters, it is promising traditional leaders
heaven on earth in the form of tarred roads, vehicles, telephones, offices
and officials to work under them - if only they can ensure their subjects
help in the re-election of Mugabe.

But these chiefs have very short or no memories at all.

Similar promises have been made in the past, but until recently they were
being told that it is the district councils that had more say in running the
affairs in the communal areas.

The government’s conduct suggests desperate actions by an administration
aware its days are numbered.

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Monday, 18 February, 2002, 18:46 GMT
Zimbabwe: Was the EU right to act?
The European Union has decided to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe and will pull its election observers out of the country.

The decision was taken by EU foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels following the expulsion from Zimbabwe of the head of the EU observer team, Pierre Schori.

The EU had threatened to impose targeted sanctions against President Robert Mugabe if the Zimbabwe government hampered the work of the EU's election observer mission.

The agreed measures include a travel ban and a freeze on assets.

Was the EU right to act against Zimbabwe? Will sanctions prove effective?


Tougher sanctions should have been imposed months ago. Furthermore, these sanctions should also include foreign aid from the EU and any educational aid. The likes of Mugabe, as history would demonstrate, will only be removed by a deadly cancer or political revolt. Such revolt only comes after decades of poverty and ignorance, and it breeds long term and destructive civil wars. Too many countries in Africa are suffering such a fate. There is absolutely no reason to make his reign comfortable.

Those who bemoan sanctions as prolonging the suffering of the poor should realize that under the rule of a man such as Mugabe, there will only be suffering for Zimbabwe and its citizens. The man has lost all touch with reality and hanging on to power is the only thing he understands, and he will hang on even if Zimbabwe has only a handful of people remaining. He and his regime should not be supported under any circumstances, maybe then his people would have the strength to topple him.
Noura Adams, Canada

The EU have imposed the sanctions far too late and have done so at the cost of being able to monitor the elections.

Adam Tucker, UK
Unfortunately, Mugabe has totally outwitted the EU. His ideal outcome of the war of words of the past few months has come to pass. The EU have imposed the sanctions far too late and have done so at the cost of being able to monitor the elections. Mugabe expertly engineered the dispute over the Swedish member of the monitoring team, and he has had ample time to ensure he has no assets susceptible to the EU sanctions. The EU have traded the symbolic value of their targeted sanctions for the right to monitor the election. Only Mugabe has gained in any way from this development. The people of Zimbabwe (the number one concern?) quite clearly haven't. Is there any real hope that the election can now pass with any freedom at all? For the sake of dithering, the EU has ensured that the fairness of the election will mainly be policed by Zimbabwean civil servants, who are the people in the worst position to do so in a neutral fashion.
Adam Tucker, UK

Africa as a whole has had a long line of dictators and Mugabe is becoming one. He has been so used to power that he knows that he would lose if a fair election was held, hence the various bills passed to protect himself and his party. The EU should have put sanctions on him and his cronies 2 months back as it would start hurting them the closer it got to the elections. The African nations should also put limited sanction if they are a democratic county, as they know the struggle they have had to go to be a democratic country.
Savio, UK

The EU seems to be eternally doubting itself in its decisions. Does Mugabe ever doubt his decisions - the answer is no! Many of us couldn't say it enough times - Mugabe has strung the EU along all the way. With 2.5 weeks to go, how are Smart Sanctions honestly going to help? The megalomaniac Mugabe has Libya and DRC diamond mines to help him when his funds run low. The damage has been done, Mugabe is smirking at his own arrogance. Smart sanctions should have been applied months ago!! When will the EU start getting tough?
Angus, UK - Zimbabwean

When you are invited into someone's house, you should respect that persons wishes. Schori was not invited to participate, but he tried to impose himself against the country's wishes. I think sanctions are a bad idea, and I think it shall have an adverse effect on the current situation.
Elizabeth Mupfumira, Zimbabwe/US

For any readers unaware of the fact, the "when you invite someone into your house" argument, used by Elizabeth Mupfumira, is the same argument which the government press in Zim used to justify the expulsion of Mr. Schori. The argument was even used in The Herald alongside the assertion that election need not be free and fair, as long as it is "representative of the will of the people" however that is to be judged. It was not Mugabe's house which the EU election team sought to enter, it was the house of the people of Zimbabwe. Schori was not there to do anything but monitor a free and fair election, and the electorate would welcome that. The only evil Schori was in a position to visit on his hosts was the possibility of a free and fair election. If that is what Mugabe objects to, how can it be seriously argued that Schori's presence would not have been a benefit to the people of Zimbabwe?
Adam Tucker, UK

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Daily News

LEADER PAGE  Monday   18  , February

Blair needs to deliver on his rhetoric of African tour

2/18/02 8:37:20 AM (GMT +2)

By Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem

THE British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, ended his African safari last
weekend, but the controversies about the import, or lack of it, of his trip
is still being debated, not least in Britain itself.

His critics on the right accuse him of yet another sanctimonious Rambo-style
moral crusade, to yet another far-flung (in the island mentality of little
Englanders, every place, including Europe, outside of mainland Britain is
far except when it concerns the United States of America!)

If the position of the right-wing critics is predictable, that of his
critics on the left within his party and outside is at best confusing.

There are those who criticise him for using grand foreign policy
interventions to divert attention from his domestic battles and failures.

Yet others see his foreign trips as a fulfilment of the internationalist
heritage of the “people’s party”, the Labour Party.

And there are those who are genuine internationalists, but who are
suspicious of Blair’s ideological somersaults internally and see him as
exporting New Labour’s spin of supremacy of presentation over substance.

The other aspect of these critics’ grouse is that they are uncomfortable
about Blair’s “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Bush and anything American.

What all these critics have in common is scepticism.

Blair’s trip is seen as yet another grand gesture that will amount to
nothing concretely.

He said all the right things, made the right noises, but that is all they
are: empty barrels making the loudest noise.

The sceptics are not limited to Britain.

Many in Africa were also sceptical. They saw Bill Clinton waltz across the
continent without much in the wake.

The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act that is supposed to lay the “new”
basis of Afro-American relations, has been shown not to be worth the
eloquent noises after all.

The assumption is that Africa will now trade more fairly with the US and the
US will reduce or eliminate its prohibitive tariffs against trade with

This has not and is not likely to happen. Even if it does, how naïve can we
be to think that American clients are queuing up to buy our bananas, coffee,
tea, cotton, beans, millet, maize, groundnuts and other primary products?

Most of these commodities have faced collapsing prices internationally.
Therefore, if we produce and export more of the same it will only create a
bigger buyers’ market as opposed to a sellers’ market.

All the noise about Highly Indebted Countries’ (HIPC) debt relief has so far
benefited only four African countries with another 20 on the waiting list.

Even the privileged beneficiaries are busy using their new debtor status to
acquire more dubious debts. So why should Blair’s trip be different? He
talked about globalisation, fair trade, debt relief, conflict resolution,
terrorism, democratisation and a new partnership with Africa.

However, nagging questions remain: How can Africa be a partner in
globalisation when we produce what we do not consume and consume what we do
not produce and the West and its multinational corporations determine the
prices of both?

How can debt relief promote growth and development across the board when it
is still limited to a very small number of countries, is not total and is
not universal?

Of what long-term benefit is partially writing off the debts of Uganda when
the rest of its neighbours are in debt chains?

Who is writing off what when Tanzania has some of its debt written off while
at the same time getting new unnecessary debts guaranteed by Blair’s own
government to purchase essentially military radar for its civilian airport?

How can Africa take Blair seriously about co-operating on conflict
resolution when Britain’s military and defence industries, with blatant
encouragement from his government, are competing with other European and
American companies to sell arms to African governments and a myriad of armed
groups across the continent?

His rhetoric on democratisation in Nigeria must have fallen on the deaf ears
of many African farmers, peasants and the army of urban unemployed, who are
yet to see the dividends of democracy. Many of them were too busy trying to
eke out a living that they may have missed his whistle-stop shuttle across
four countries in four days!

Last but not least, his linking of terrorism to poverty may be plausible,
but the poverty of our people predates Osama bin Laden and 11 September

If he had ventured out of the official receptions he would have discovered
that Bin Laden may not be a direct threat to many of us in the same way that
the International Monetary Fund/World Bank, structural adjustment programmes
or the multinational corporations, are.

If his official hosts were honest with him, they would have told him that
Bin Laden has acquired a kind of heroic status among a significant portion
of their populace.

This is not because the people did not have feelings for the innocent people
killed in the attacks but because they think Bin Laden is giving the West,
especially the US, their come-uppance.

Many of them also supported Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, not because
of his brutalities against his own people but because “he stood up” against
the US forgetting that his rise and stay in power was until then aided and
abetted by the same Western powers.

Somehow, I do not think Blair got this message during his trip. Therefore,
we need the cynics to continue to challenge him to deliver on his rhetoric.

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Daily News

Elimination story Mugabe’s final card, says Tsvangirai

2/18/02 8:52:30 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

The MDC yesterday said it has negotiated with donors to provide Zimbabwe
with maize until March next year, the party’s leader and presidential
candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, told Chitungwiza residents at Chibuku Stadium.

“We have worked out measures which will immediately see the importation of
large quantities of maize which will ensure that nobody starves,” he told a
gathering which had swelled to more than 20 000 at the end of his address.

Tsvangirai said his party, through its shadow minister for Lands and
Agriculture, Renson Gasela, the former general manager of the Grain
Marketing Board, warned the government in April last year that the nation
was facing food shortages and needed to urgently import maize.

Tsvangirai said Dr Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement, “ignored us and said Zimbabwe had adequate food and the result
is that some people have died”.

He bemoaned the fact that Zimbabwe, a country which until recently was
feeding its neighbours, had no maize-meal, sugar or wheat.

The MDC president said the government could not feed the nation because it
had no foreign currency with which to import food.

He said instead of providing immediate relief, the government was setting up
committees to assess the extent of hunger.

“Instead of feeding people, we are being told every day that nobody will
starve when the people are starving.”

Tsvangirai said on election day, Zimbabweans would be choosing between hope
and despair.

He challenged the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) to live up to
its responsibility to protect the people of Zimbabwe and not its leadership.

Sadc has been condemned for ignoring Zanu PF and State-sponsored violence in
the run-up to the election.

“This reflects their bias in a desire to be in solidarity with the
leadership and not the people of Zimbabwe,” said Tsvangirai.

He said legislation such as the Public Order and Security Act and amendments
to the Electoral Act made the playing field uneven.

While the opposition had to apply for permission to hold rallies, the same
was not required of the ruling Zanu PF party.

Election observers from South Africa were at the rally.

Commenting on allegations that he was plotting to assassinate President
Mugabe, who turns 78 on Thursday this week, the 50-year-old opposition
leader said: “Mugabe will not be killed by Tsvangirai, but by the electorate
’s vote.”

He said the plot was cooked up by Zanu PF in a desperate bid to remain in

“But Zimbabweans are not fools. Don’t be frightened because it was Zanu PF’s
last card and the plan is to eliminate me. Even if I am in jail or in the
grave, Mugabe is going.

“Other desperate measures like blaming alleged anthrax attacks, army worm
invasion and South African armed robberies have been met with scorn by
Zimbabweans. Now they want to blame the MDC for a bad rainfall season.”

He said the election would not be free and fair because violent
organisations like the war veterans’ association and the youth brigade were
torturing and raping Zimbabweans.

He challenged Mugabe to disband the “Green Bombers” if the election result
was to be legitimate.

Tsvangirai said the mere fact that soldiers led by Brigadier Douglas
Nyikayaramba would be running the election meant they would not be free and

He said the immediate task of an MDC government would be to improve social
services like the provision of anti-retroviral drugs to prevent
mother-to-child HIV transmission.
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Daily News

Inflation hits new high of 116%

2/18/02 8:26:29 AM (GMT +2)

By Raymond Mgadzah Senior Business Reporter

Zimbabwe’s inflation rate continues to increase and reached 116,7 percent
during the month of January, up 4,6 percent on the December figure of 112,1

This is well above the 100 barrier breached last year which economists had

The Central Statistical Office (CSO) said the latest increase in inflation
meant that prices as measured by the all-item Consumer Price Index (CPI) had
increased by an average of 116,7 percent between January 2001 and January

Of the 116,7 percent year-on-year inflation rate in January this year,
increases in food prices accounted for 38,3 percentage points, while
non-food items in the CPI accounted for 78,4 percentage points.

Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited group economist, Witness Chinyama, said:
“The increase in inflation is in line with expectations, given the increase
in money supply growth, the weakening of the Zimbabwe dollar on the parallel
market and the wage-price spiral in the economy.

“Workers are basing their wage demands on inflation instead of increases in
productivity. Producers are responding by increasing prices.

“We now have a wage-price spiral that needs to be broken because
inflationary expectations are now fixed in the economy.

“Unless these issues are addressed the inflation situation will continue to

“Inflationary pressures remain high but due to technical reasons, we might
see the rate of inflation falling.”

The CSO said food inflation, prone to transitory shocks stood at 111,6
percent, gaining 3,6 percentage points on the December rate of 108 percent.

Non-food inflation stood at 119,3 percent gaining 5,1 percentage points on
the December rate of 114,2 percent.

The month-on-month inflation rate in January was 6,6 percent, a 1 percentage
point increase on the December rate of 5,6 percent.

The CSO said the increase in month-on-month inflation in January 2002 was
due to increases in the price of meat, rent and rates, beverages, fruits and
vegetables, and vehicle running costs.

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Daily News

Prospects of winter wheat crop blighted

2/18/02 8:12:53 AM (GMT +2)

Farming Editor

THE Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) says it is concerned about prospects of a
winter wheat crop in the coming dry season because most commercial farms
have been designated.

Wheat is the country’s second staple after maize.

Most of the wheat is grown by commercial farmers and mainly through
irrigation during winter.

If there are no good rains this year, it would be difficult to grow the
winter wheat crop.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing a dry spell since last December and
cumulative rains so far are below normal in most areas.

CFU deputy director responsible for commodities, Dr Jerry Grant, told The
Farmer Magazine recently that land preparations and other plans must be made
in the next few weeks if the crop is going to get into the ground in time.

There are reports that many farmers did not make preparations because of
uncertainties caused by the designation of most farms that produce wheat,
while there are concerns over water to irrigate the crop.

Grant said 60 percent of wheat growers were recipients of Section 8 Orders,
which specifically prevent them from any further farming activity.

Grant said: “Furthermore, we have been told by the Ministry of Lands,
Agriculture and Rural Resettlement that all commercial farmers (at least
belonging to the union) who have received Section 5 Orders, under the Land
Acquisition Act, will shortly receive Section 8 Orders.”

The government issues a preliminary notice of intention to acquire land by
publishing a list of farms in newspapers in accordance with Section 5 of the
Land Acquisition Act.

Section 8 Orders are issued as a notice to acquire the farms.

Last year, farmers produced a total wheat crop of about 314 000 tonnes,
which is less than the national requirement of between 380 000 and 400 000

“The country simply does not have the resources to import this amount of
wheat and the CFU is currently urging the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and
Rural Resettlement to give clear signals on whether or not they require a
winter wheat crop.”

Dr Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement,
last week said the government would continue acquiring more farms.

He said about 7 000 commercial farms measuring about 13 million hectares had
been compulsorily acquired by the government so far.

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Daily News

66 foreign observers, 62 local journalists accredited

2/18/02 8:00:42 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

The Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) has so far accredited 66
international observers and 62 local journalists.

A statement issued by the Information Department last week said about 5 000
international, regional and domestic observers and journalists are expected
to have been accredited when the exercise ends.

On Friday, 16 international observers and 30 local journalists were
accredited. One of the observers was from South Africa, nine from France,
four from Ireland and three from Norway.

The ESC had not yet accredited observers from the African, Caribbean and
Pacific states/European Union. Those from Europe have been accredited
representing their individual countries, according to the statement.

“International observers who have been accredited are free to travel around
the county observing the electoral process.

“The ESC requests political parties to assist and not hinder international
observers to acknowledge their presence at rallies and to ensure that party
supporters do not harass them,” the ESC said.

In a related development, Zanu PF, the MDC and Nagg held more discussions at
the ESC offices on the Code of Conduct for Political Parties. The meeting
was chaired by Sobusa Gula- Ndebele, the ESC chairman.

The parties were represented by Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Gift Chimanikire and Learnmore Jongwe, and
one D Chihambakwe, respectively.

The major clauses of the code seek to prohibit political parties and their
supporters from committing or fanning political violence.

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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Thursday 14 February 2002
This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas.  Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens.  Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.

·                   A woman was beaten up at Hungwe, Marondera South, for refusing to attend a Zanu  (PF) meeting. 
·                   The foreman at Mtemwa, Marondera South, was beaten up by 15 youths, after he disciplined a labourer for sloppy work.
·                   At Rapid, Marondera South, the foreman was beaten up by militia and evicted from his home after he disciplined three labourers.  He is now in hiding.
·                   A Quagga Pan Ranch labourer in Mwenezi had his mealie meal stolen by settlers. On trying to recover it the settlers caught him and locked him up in one of their huts. This  was reported to the police, who say they have no transport available to attend. He                 remains locked up. 
·                   On Sherwood, Norton, the GMB manager and “war vets” were involved in an assault  on farm labour.  ZANU (PF) rallies are held during work hours and all labour has to  attend.
Mutare - The youth wing are active, stopping people and demanding party cards.  If they cannot produce party cards, they are either beaten up or children are stopped from going to school.  A labourer at Premier Estate was apprehended by “war vets” Mapfundi and Mandigo on 11.02.02, and he refused to hand over a key for an irrigation pump house. Eventually a compromise was reached and he made the handover at Old Mutare Police Base.  That night, he was abducted from his house and labour say it was ZANU (PF) Youth members. The owner travelled to the Youth Base at Laverstock Farm but was stopped at a boom across the road. The boom attendants denied the labourer was in their custody. A single ZRP constable on foot as ZRP Penhalonga has no vehicle available. The Youth Base is 6 kilometres from the ZRP depot.
Chipinge - Section 8' Orders were handed out in the last week.
General - All other areas are very quiet.
No report received.

Macheke/Virginia – on 11.2.02 at Springs Farm reported 11 people inspected the maize land, and then told the owner they would return to peg it.  They left, after helping themselves to some of the crop.  At Malda Farm it was reported the owner was to attempt taking a load of property off the farm.  After two hours, he said he had not been able to recover anything and would try again after speaking to the police.  Second Chapter reported the “war vets” had taken 13 head of cattle that strayed on to Bimi farm as compensation as the “war vets’ maize had been damaged. It was found that about 10 km of barbed wire had been removed from the game fence separating the two farms (approx ZWD 700 000-00 worth) and only about 20 very drought stricken maize plants had been eaten.  This has been resolved with all but two cattle returned.  Murrayfield Farm reported that "war vets" had stopped labourers from felling burnt pine trees and from doing any other work in the lands.   At Journeys End  DDF officials arrived to peg, stating they had been sent by the Governor’s office.
Beatrice – police told members of an illegal roadblock on Tata road to remove the gum pole across the grid.  This was replaced as soon as the police left.  GMB inspectors in the area want maize to be delivered, and are making arrangements to transport maize if necessary.  At Enondo, MDC leaflets were distributed during the night.  Two children were picked up for questioning by the youth.  The owner intervened as the labourers were going to retrieve the children themselves.  The youths appeared relieved at the owner’s action and wrote a letter of apology.  An illegal roadblock continually in place at Tata and Charlston roads was ordered to be dismantled by occupants of a passing Zanu PF vehicle.  At Adam’s Rest youths demanded wood and food for their base camp at Nyamafofo.  The request was denied.
Enterprise/Bromley/Ruwa – more Section 7 Notices were served.  GMB inspectors are trying to seize maize without documentation.  Settlers are making demands for food.
Featherstone – pressure from a member of the Land District Committee in the area has resulted in work stoppages and threats of forced evictions.
Harare South – At Albion "war vet" Zhou held a meeting where he told labour to take possession of movable assets on the farm as the owner is leaving.  The owner is not leaving the farm.
Marondera – Zanu (PF) youths are causing problems within the area and the town.  Commuter omnibus drivers display Zanu (PF) flags and carry party cards for fear of their vehicles being trashed.  Some people have had their ID cards seized.
Marondera South – a woman was beaten up at Hungwe for refusing to attend a Zanu (PF) meeting.  At Igava militia demanded the local security guards vacate their base to allow them to take it over as a base for the election campaign, with a threat to take over a private house or Ruzawi club as an alternative.  This particular security firm has been effective in crime control in the area.  Uitkyk was visited by a mob from Marondera, including a Sgt Chitorwa of the army, demanding a meeting with the owner.  Initially, the owner refused to meet with an armed mob, but after threats of violence against labour, he conceded.  Demands were made for food, access to the farm store and bar, removal of the owner’s cattle from the farm, closure of the private security base on the farm and confinement of the owner to his home.  Labour was accused of supporting the opposition MDC and the mob threatened to torch their homes as well as the farm buildings.  The foreman at Mtemwa was beaten up by 15 youths, after he disciplined a labourer for sloppy work.
Marondera North – at Nyagambe a militia centre has been set up.  Labour has been assaulted by the militia and forced to attend meetings.  Harassment is continuous, with nightly singing and slogan shouting at the owner’s homestead, and an illegal roadblock on the access road where the youths/militia demand party cards.  As soon as a police vehicle is spotted, the roadblock is removed and the police now will not believe reports of this nature.  The owner’s wife runs the pharmacy at Borradaile Hospital and it has remained closed some days, as she cannot leave the farm when the roadblock is in place.  At Oxford three labourers were beaten up.  The youths responsible prevented the ambulance from collecting the victims.  At Rapid, the foreman was beaten up by militia and evicted from his home after he disciplined three labourers.  He is now in hiding.
Wedza – four guards and a driver left on Mtokwe Farm were taken away to the re-education camp in Zana II resettlement.  This farm has been given to the ZJRI and the settlers on farm have full use of ZESA and the borehole.  The owner will attempt to remove the rest of his furniture on farm.
Trelawney/Darwendale - An employee from Sable Valley was assaulted with sticks by five youths in Trelawney on 10.2.02, accused of being an MDC supporter and taking money from his employer for the MDC office in Harare. His brother had just died in Harare hence his reason for travelling to Harare. Two other employees from Sable Valley managed to stop the beating.  At Gwarati Farm the 'youth settlers' held a meeting with approximately 150-200 people.  This meeting (which the farm labour refused to attend) was to instruct people how and where to vote on the ballot paper! The following day, at 3.30 am, unknown arsonists set fire to the owner’s son-in-law's grass fence.  It was put out in good time.  The arsonists then set fire to a grass fence around a seedbed site, and then set fire to a house in the farm village.  Although property belong to the employee was damaged, fortunately the house was empty.  The tractor driver on Shirley Farm   found a young girl (about 5 years old) abandoned by settler William and his wife. She had been without food for two days.  Darwendale Police attended and returned the child to her parents.   . A week later, the same child was discovered, bound hand and foot on Rocklands Farm, severely punished by her parents, resulting in multiple wounds on her back made with barbed wire.  Again, this has been reported to the OIC Darwendale.  A rally was organised to be held on Zeibari Enterprises   on 10.02.02. In spite of a directive from Minister Chombo to cancel all rallies, the organiser, a Mr. Tshoko, refused to comply.  He demanded the owner mow the football field for the rally, which the owner refused to do, stating the rally was now illegal.  The rally went ahead with 200 people attending.  Mr. Tshoko called a work stoppage the following day, demanding 3 tonnes of maize as compensation for their loss when the owner’s cattle went into their land.  Although the police were called in, they offered no assistance.  The situation is still to be resolved.
Norton - On Glenside, Don Carlos continues to try evict the farm manager.  On Sherwood the GMB manager and “war vets” were involved in an assault on farm labour.  ZANU (PF) rallies are held during work hours and all labour has to attend.
Selous - Compensation claims for cattle eating failed maize crops continues, as settlers drive cattle into their maize in an attempt to extort money. 
Chakari - Labour is forced to attend ZANU (PF) rallies during work hours.
Kadoma - The owner of Lone Kop was forcibly evicted from her house.
General - The region is stable in spite of ongoing political harassment and poaching. 

Masvingo East and Central - At Chidza farm, two pedigree cattle were caught in snares, but survived.
Chiredzi – a Triangle farmer phoned to report his labour wants him to pay out all pension and other monies due them. Rumours are spread there will be an armed rebellion if the present Government does not get back into power. The labour on his farm that come from Zaka communal areas report groups of uniformed youths in squads are intimidating rural people.  They are led by uniformed men suspected to be the “war vet” leaders of the farm invaders, who have recently deserted their posts on the farms.  The farmer later reported harassment by a group of 30 old men, demanding payment of loans and pensions, which they say was owed by his deceased father. His father died (murdered) at the end of the liberation war. He instructed them to go to the police. The group was reported to have gone to the Zaka Land Committee, to back their extortion claims.  On another property five people arrived in a white Land rover, registration number 611258K, led by Mr. Gumbo, the local “war vet”.  He told the owner they were there on the authority of the DA, Chiredzi, to take the farm and “a certain piece” would be left to the owner. He indicated he would return with a letter of authorisation.
Mwenezi - Another 100 communal cattle were forced on to Joko/Kleinbegin whereas at Kayansee Ranch, communal cattle are being moved on to other properties.  At Battlefields Ranch a vehicle dropped off seven people, who began maliciously cutting fences. The owner had them repaired, only to have them return and cut the fences again.  Quagga Pan Ranch reports a labourer had his mealie meal stolen by settlers, which he had collected from the communal lands.  On trying to recover it the settlers caught him and locked him up in one of their huts. This was reported to the police, who say they have no transport available to attend. He remains locked up.  In general, continued theft, harassment, shortage of water, demands for compensation, poaching and snaring in this area.
Save Conservancy - Poaching and snaring continue.
Gutu/Chatsworth – the owner of Bath Farm was stopped on his farm road by a ZANU PF vehicle with 6 youths and 3 officials within the vehicle. The officials castigated the owner, asking why he had not supplied the “proposed” school on his property with stationery and equipment. They referred to the Commonwealth meeting held on his property last year and told him they held him responsible for the outcome of it. He was accused of not being an honest man and for going back on his word. Present in the vehicle was Chief Gutu as well as the Provincial Leader for the War Veterans. The local ZANU PF "war vet" leader ‘Kingsize’ was also present. Chief Gutu got out of the vehicle and began crushing his heel in the sand reminding the owner this was where they had him and planned to “grind him” in the future.  After further harassment, they instructed him to attend a ZANU PF rally at Serima.
No report received.

No report received.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                               Visit the CFU Website
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Daily News

Nkomo statue sparks protest

2/18/02 8:42:07 AM (GMT +2)

By Foster Dongozi

A FRESH row is looming over a proposed statue to honour the late
Vice-President Dr Joshua Nkomo.

Welshman Mabhena, the former Matabeleland North Governor and ex-Zanu PF
politburo member, has criticised plans by the government to award a North
Korean company, the contract to erect a statue of Nkomo, saying it was a
“heartless and insensitive move”.

In 1981, the North Korean government seconded 100 “instructors” to train the
infamous 5 Brigade, which killed thousands of villagers in the Midlands and
Matabeleland provinces during an anti-dissident campaign.

Products of the North Korean instructors hounded Nkomo into exile in 1983 as
repeated efforts to assassinate him failed.

Mabhena said: “We don’t want to see the North Koreans having anything to do
with Nkomo’s memory because they are the same people whose government wanted
him and his people removed from this earth.

“Why should they want to immortalise his memory when they wanted him killed
in the first place?

“This is a slap in the face by the government. They are provoking us, it is
like they are itching to kill us again.”

He said awarding the contract to the North Korean Mansuadae Overseas Group
of Companies would be the final humiliation of Nkomo’s legacy.

“Former Zapu officials were not consulted about this, but let the government
know that we can accept anybody, but the North Koreans.”

Three weeks ago, the State-controlled Sunday News reported that the North
Korean company “would most likely undertake the project”.

Thandi Nkomo, Dr Nkomo’s daughter, said the family favoured the North

Pak Hyo Song, a trade attache at the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
mission in Zimbabwe, told The Sunday News: “Not that we want to brag about
it, we have produced quality works of art the world over and many of these
works are in Africa.”

But Mabhena, a former PF Zapu secretary-general, said: “We can build that
statue ourselves because Zanu PF is only interested in embarrassing Nkomo
even in death.”

The government announced in November last year that the Cabinet had agreed
to have a large statue of Nkomo erected in Bulawayo and Harare.

Dr Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing, made the announcement during the renaming of Airport Road
in Harare and the airport in Bulawayo after Dr Nkomo.

The North Korean company was reported to be favoured by the government. It
built the statues at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Heroes’ Acre in

The company has also put up statues of Laurent Kabila and Colonel Mengistu
Haile Mariam of Ethiopia.

Mengistu is wanted in his country for mass murder.

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Fleeing Zimbabweans boost fortunes of national airline

2/18/02 8:04:32 AM (GMT +2)

From Sandra Mujokoro in Bulawayo

AIR Zimbabwe is fully booked up to 20 March on its London-bound flights as
hundreds of Zimbabweans continue to flee the country daily.

Moses Mapanda, the airline’s acting public relations manager, said over 100
people travel out of the country on the airline daily.

More travel on other airlines.
The deteriorating economic situation, with inflation at more than 116
percent, has forced most professionals to leave, mainly for the United

Some are seeking political asylum in foreign countries.
The increase in Air Zimbabwe’s business has also boosted the airline’s
financial situation, in the doldrums for the past few years because of its
high fares.

But because of the deteriorating socio-economic and political situation,
there is a sudden influx of airline passengers despite the high airfares.

Air Zimbabwe had been tottering on the brink of collapse after most people
opted for other less expensive airlines.

But as the only airline still quoting its fares in Zimbabwean dollars, and
due to the forex shortages, the fortunes of the airline have changed.

Mapanda said: “The impact of the forex requirement by other airlines has
greatly assisted us and beginning mid-last year, we have been registering

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Mugabe could lose if Zimbabwe poll is fair -report

LONDON, Feb. 17 — President Robert Mugabe could lose elections in Zimbabwe
next month if the poll is conducted fairly, senior U.S. government officials
were quoted as saying on Monday.

       Britain's Financial Times newspaper said unofficial polls conducted
by Zimbabwean organisations and seen by U.S. officials showed Mugabe would
get only 25-30 percent of the vote if the election was fair.
       The officials said this was despite intimidation of the opposition
and political violence over the past 18 months.
       However, they feared Mugabe could ''win'' an extra 20 percent by
further manipulation of the vote and extend his 22-year rule.
       ''He may have already awarded himself 10 per cent through the
electoral roll,'' an official was quoted as saying.
       The newspaper said the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
claimed voters had been kept off the rolls in areas where they enjoyed
strong support.
       The United States is confident that, provided the elections are not
massively rigged, the MDC could form a government.
       The Financial Times said Walter Kansteiner, U.S. assistant secretary
of state for Africa, took part in talks in Cape Town last week over the New
Partnership for African Development, intended to promote economic recovery
and good government.
       The head of an EU election observer mission who was expelled from
Zimbabwe amid a tense standoff over his team said on Sunday that prospects
for a free and fair poll did not look bright.
       Swedish diplomat Pierre Schori was forced to leave Zimbabwe on
Saturday when his visa was cancelled.
       Asked by Britain's Channel 4 television news whether there was any
chance of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe on March 9-10, Schori said:
''Of course it doesn't look bright.
       EU foreign ministers are due to discuss Zimbabwe at a meeting in
Brussels on Monday.
       The EU has threatened to impose sanctions on Mugabe -- including
possible travel bans on the president and his closest associates and a
freeze on their foreign-held assets -- if its observer mission is hampered.

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RCMP probes alleged plot to kill Mugabe

MONTREAL (CP) — The RCMP said Sunday it's investigating an alleged plot to
kill Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe — a plot that a Montreal consulting
firm says it caught on videotape last year.

Dickens & Madson, which has worked on and off for the Zimbabwean government
for several years, said last week it secretly videotaped a meeting with the
African country's main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, when he visited
the company's headquarters last December.

Company president Ari Ben-Menashe said he planted a hidden camera in his
office and taped Tsvangirai asking the firm on Dec. 4 to ``organize"
Mugabe's assassination and a coup d'etat "as soon as possible."

RCMP Const. Guy Amyot confirmed the Mounties were looking into the alleged
plot, but he wouldn't say what form the investigation would take.

"(The investigation has) been confirmed by Ottawa," Amyot said in an
interview from Quebec City, "although we cannot comment on it because it's
an ongoing investigation."

Carl Schwenger, a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs, said
Sunday that officials in his department's Africa bureau brought the matter
to the attention of the Mounties.

"These types of allegations are criminal in nature," he said from Ottawa.

"When you've got people conspiring to kill somebody, they're ultimately
something that should be brought to the attention of the police."

Schwenger said he didn't know whether the videotape of the Montreal meeting
had been handed over to Mounties. The bizarre tale came to light last
Wednesday in a news report on Australian television.

"We're really observers here as much as anyone else," said Schwenger.

"I'm not sure about the tape. We brought it to the attention of the RCMP
given the serious nature of the allegations, a conspiracy, or alleged
conspiracy to assassinate somebody."

Tsvangirai has denied he planned to kill Mugabe, saying it was Dickens &
Madson, not him, who first hatched the assassination plot. Tsvangirai has
also said he broke off contact with the Montreal firm after it made the

Tsvangirai is seen as the main challenger to Mugabe's 22-year reign in the
runup to next month's presidential election, scheduled for March 9-10.

Dickens & Madson — unbeknown to Tsvangirai — has had a long-standing working
relationship with Mugabe and his government, Ben-Menashe said last week.

The company advises the government — condemned worldwide for its oppressive
measures against the opposition and dissenters — on various issues relating
to foreign affairs.

But Tsvangirai said Thursday his party recently learned the firm was hired
by the head of Zimbabwe's secret intelligence organization and a senior
government information official to discredit the opposition.

Ben-Menashe, who has denied the charges, didn't immediately return phone
calls Sunday.

Australian television station SBS broadcast grainy excerpts of the December
meeting in Montreal on the program Dateline.

During the taped discussion, Ben-Menashe talks about Tsvangirai and his
party, Movement for Democratic Change, committing to "the coup d'etat or the
elimination of the president."

The man identified as Tsvangirai expressed concern the military might take
over if Mugabe was "eliminated."

Ben-Menashe, who has claimed to be a former Israeli intelligence agent, was
acquitted by a U.S. federal jury in 1990 of charges he illegally arranged a
deal to sell U.S.-made military cargo planes to Iran in exchange for the
release of four American hostages in the Middle East.

The Zimbabwean government has yet to comment on the allegations against

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International Freedom of Expression Exchange

ALERT: Southern African media organisation to challenge Zimbabwean security
and media laws
Originator: Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
Date: 2002-02-18

(MISA/IFEX) - The Southern African Journalists' Association (SAJA) plans to
take legal action to challenge security and media laws that hamper the
press's work in Zimbabwe. According to a report that appeared in the 14
Febuary 2002 edition of "The Financial Gazette", at a meeting held in
Johannesburg on the weekend of 9 and 10 February, SAJA's executive committee
received what it termed a "comprehensive report on Zimbabwe's laws, which
impinge on press freedom."

SAJA Co-coordinator Tuwani Gumani said plans were at hand to talk to the
International Federation of Journalists and other organisations to see how
the motion could be put into action."The laws have to be challenged in
Zimbabwe first and foremost. We believe Zimbabwe has democratic institutions
and the laws have to be challenged within these democratic institutions,"
said Gumani.

President Mugabe approved the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) in
January 2002 and is expected to sign the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act, both of which seriously hamper the work of

POSA and the Information Bill contain clauses allowing jail terms for
journalists who publish information deemed to be undermining public
confidence in Zimbabwe's security forces and inciting hostility against the

Analysts believe these pieces of legislation are a setback for democracy and
the development of the media, especially as the March 2002 presidential
elections get closer. SAJA believes that the laws will kill investigative
and independent journalism in Zimbabwe.

"Our firm belief is that the elections are going to come and go, but what is
going to be more important for Zimbabwe and the rest of the media fraternity
are the laws that have been passed. Our job is to cover these elections, but
the legislation that impacts on journalists is what we are interested in,"
said Gumani.

SAJA resolved to assist Zimbabwean journalists to engage the government on
specific proposals for self-regulation of the media and urged scribes not to
be used as pawns by political parties. They also denounced the petrol
bombing of the "The Daily News"'s Bulawayo office (see IFEX alerts of 12 and
11 February 2002).

More Information
For further information, contact Zoe Titus or Kaitira Kandjii, Regional
Information Coordinator, MISA, Street Address: 21 Johann Albrecht Street,
Mailing Address; Private Bag 13386 Windhoek, Namibia, tel: +264 61 232975,
fax: +264 61 248016, e-mail: or,

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SA to abide by majority view on Zimbabwe
Business Day SA: 18 February 2002
Pahad gives pledge as Harare expels observer

Parliamentary Editor

CAPE TOWN If the majority view of all election observer missions in Zimbabwe does not find the March 9 presidential poll free and fair, then SA will not be able to recognise the election result, says Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad.

Pahad's words, at Friday's news briefing on the situation in Zimbabwe, came the day before Zimbabwe's government deported the European Union's (EU's) observer mission leader Pierre Schori.

The action also followed the declaration of Britain's Baroness Valerie Amos as part of a G8 team in SA to discuss the New Partnership for African Development that the turmoil in Zimbabwe was a cloud over the initiative but not a litmus test for President Thabo Mbeki's plan for African renewal.

Pahad said government had no intention of "whitewashing" the election process, and pointed to the multisectoral composition of the observer mission as evidence of its overall credibility.

It also emerged on Friday that Bobby Godsell and André Lamprecht would join the last deployment of the SA observers on March 3. The two were the only volunteers from Mbeki's big business working group, which was asked to supply volunteer monitors.

Those who did not take up the invitation included Nail's Saki Macozoma, Murray & Roberts' David Brink, Anglo American's Julian Ogilvie-Thompson and Michael Spicer, FirstRand's Laurie Dippenaar, Paul Kruger of Sasol, and Standard Bank's Derek Cooper.

The second part of the SA observer mission, which includes Percy Sonn from the directorate of public prosecutions and head of the Public Service Commission Stan Sangweni, will leave on Wednesday. Others leaving this week are representatives from AgriSA, the National African Farmers Union, the Congress of SA Trade Unions and black business.

Pahad said there would be seven or eight observer missions in Zimbabwe, including one from Parliament, the Southern African Development Community and the multisectoral one.

He said he hoped when the poll was over, all missions would be able to express a unanimous opinion on whether it was free and fair. If there were differences of opinion, SA would abide by the majority view, he said. If "things go badly in Zimbabwe", then it spelt serious problems for SA and the rest of the region.

Meanwhile, Sapa reports that Schori, who arrived in London yesterday, accused the Zimbabwean government of "unacceptable" behaviour in abruptly expelling him. He dismissed as "fabrications" allegations of prejudice.

EU foreign ministers will meet today to consider imposing economic and diplomatic sanctions against Zimbabwe. The EU put its threat of sanctions on hold after the Zimbabwean government agreed to allow in a team of 150 EU observers to cover presidential elections.

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Tsvangirai sure of success
News24: 18/02/2002 09:57  - (SA)  

ZB du Toit

Johannesburg - He is confident he will be Zimbabwe's new president in less than a month's time, says Morgan Tsvangirai.

The former union and Movement for Democratic Change leader and president Robert Mugabe's main challenger in the upcoming presidential election of March 9-10 believes he can win the race, despite the odds stacked against him.

Tsvangirai was briefly detained at Harare Airport in the past week when he ostensibly tried to travel with a false passport. Shortly after that, he was accused of conspiring to murder Mugabe. However, he maintains he is used to "this kind of harassment"; he takes no notice of it.

Shortly before the incident, he had addressed a huge rally at Gweru in the Midlands, generally accepted as a key area. Political analysts in Zimbabwe see this as significant. More than 10 000 people attended the rally.

Tsvangirai, however, has no illusions: "I have no doubt that President Mugabe will do his utmost to fix the outcome of the election ahead and that he will try and cheat," he said in Harare.

'We'll win, despite stumbling blocks'

"Conditions are hostile towards the opposition. We don't have sufficient access to the media; our rallies are disrupted and our offices attacked. Yet, I'm very confident that we will win, despite stumbling blocks, and that millions of voters will arrive at the polls to exercise their choice."

The MDC leader said that, if he was elected, as he expected to be, he would immediately launch a period of "national healing". He would try and restore confidence in the economy immediately in order to create jobs. In addition, immediate attention would be given to the critical food situation. "We will have to give the people food."

University of Harare political scientist Dr John Makumbe agrees that the situation is unfavourable for Tsvangirai. The ruling Zanu-PF party will try any form of intimidation and harassment to tip the scales in Mugabe's favour.

"However, the odds are not stacked all that much against Tsvangirai. Even a rigged election can be won, but then Tsvangirai's support would have to be enormous."

And that is exactly what is expected to happen, he predicts. "Indications are that most people are determined to get rid of Mugabe. The latest opinion polls suggest that Tsvangirai is ahead by 60% compared to Mugabe's 40%.

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