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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Monday 18 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.
On Manovi Farm, Horseshoe, a large banana crop is rotting in the fields.  The Zanu (PF) youth will not allow the farmer access to the plantation and have forced the closure of the farm store.
Spes Bona in Macheke/Virginia, reported a message sent to the labour demanded they each pay ZWD 28-00 to a fund so the "war vets" can buy food!  The owner told the labour the demand is extortionate and unlawful.  No one has paid the demand to date.
In spite of the presence of international observers in the country, Marondera has been swamped with further reports of ongoing political violence and intimidation.  Specific farms targeted include Nyagambe Farm, Oxford Store and Igava Farm.  Labour are taken away to be severely beaten up at a Zanu (PF) camp set up on Nyagambe.
At Mt Arthur Farm, Wedza, settler Nyamandi knocked a hole in one of the tobacco barn walls, put in flues and is now curing his tobacco.  
Settler Gilbert Moyo demanded all irrigation should be stopped on the maize at Tiverton, Chegutu, as it was now "his maize".  The DA came out to explain it did not belong to him.  Gilbert Moyo then assaulted the irrigation foreman the next day, telling him to turn it off.
For appearing 10 minutes late for a court appearance as witnesses, two farm guards from Valley Ranch, Mwenezi, were arrested and detained overnight. The Public Prosecutor demanded ZWD 10 000-00 from the employer, as the two men were in contempt of court. No subpoenas had been issued. The Public Prosecutor then proposed that ZWD 4 000-00 would suffice to release the guards, but would not give a receipt for the money paid.   
Ongoing problems at Sandown North Farm, Marula, has seen new shelters built for evicted labour torn down by Zanu (PF) youths, led by Japhet Maboko Ncube. This group, fortified by “war vets” on the farm, have told security guards at the Safari Camp of Spatalala Lodge that if furniture in the buildings was not removed by a certain date, the camp would be burnt down.  They further threatened that any person found trying to protect the property would be killed and that if any more fishing clients were seen at the dam, they would torch the vehicles of the fishermen and chase them off the property. The police deferred all calls to the DA who gave an assurance he would talk to the war veteran leadership in Plumtree.
Old Mutare – although there is intimidation ongoing no one has been assaulted of late.
Rusape – plenty of meetings were held with constant demands for transport to be provided by farm owners, with threats for refusal to comply.
General - all is quiet.
General - The area has been very quiet with very few reports received.
Horseshoe - On Amajuba Farm the "war vets" broke into a storage shed and stole flues in order to cure their tobacco on Mapetu Farm. On Red Lichen a youth arrested a "war vet" for fishing illegally in the farm dam and took him to ZRP Guruve. On Penrose Farm the youth apprehended "war vets" who were in possession of a stolen bicycle. On Rungudzi Farm the "war vets" have commandeered the barns (within the farm security fence) in order to cure their tobacco, ostensibly with permission from the DA in Guruve. On Siyalima Farm the "war vets" have begun to inspect the barns with a view to using them to cure their tobacco. On Manovi Farm a large banana crop is rotting in the fields as the youth will not allow the farmer access to the plantation, and they have forced him to shut down the farm store.
Political harassment continues in most areas but fewer reports of violence have come in.
Macheke/Virginia - the owner of Highway Service Station (an elderly widow) was confronted by a mob on 13.02.02, demanding to know why their Zanu (PF) voting poster had been removed in the night.   They lined up all the workers on the forecourt, and threatened to send in the Zanu (PF) Youth Brigade.   The owner asked "war vet" Matatsi for help and managed to control the situation by stating any further posters could be pasted inside the windows so passers-by would not remove them. A work stoppage on Murrayfield  has not been resolved.  The owner plans to see "war vet" Mutatsi.  Police response poor.  B & K Estates  received a request for transport, which was refused.  A woman labourer was summoned by the Youth as an intimidatory tactic, but she returned unharmed.  The owner of Royal Visit refused a request for transport, and consequently had a work stoppage in the home barns.  The police referred him to the DA, who in turn refers him to the police.  "War vet" Matatsi refers him to the DA.  ZRP Macheke second in command attended and the barns were operational by the evening. Both Morning Star and B & K Estates had Agritex officials carrying out surveys on the farm.  Welcome Home A Farm has a work stoppage.  Police were advised on 13.02.02 and the OIC said he would attend. The owner reports six calves are missing, but has not made a police report.  Spes Bona reported “war vets” sent a message to the labour demanding they each pay ZWD 28-00 so the "war vets" can buy food!  The owner told the labour the demand is extortionate and unlawful.  No one has paid the demand to date.  Welcome Home Farm reports five calves are missing. A family gathering was held at Exeter Farm for two of the owner’s grandchildren's christening, visiting from South Africa.  The local "war vet" demanded to know the identity of the people gathered and their purpose.  He and his followers state they must be informed as to movements on "their farm" at all times, which is now to be called "Nyameta Village". There are nightly road blocks set up, using trees or rocks as barriers.  Glen Sommerset reported labour was forced to pay ZWD 10-00 each towards "war vets" bus fares to Murewa.  This is the second incident of this nature on the farm, the first time labour had to pay ZWD 5-00 each.  No police reports have been made. Two labourers were beaten up on 15.02.02 and the gardener had his passport taken from him by the Zanu (PF) youth on the farm.   The female domestic workers were threatened with removal to Craiglea Farm.  The Zanu (PF) youth state they will beat them up and remove their ID cards. On reporting to the OIC Macheke, Insp Govera, he became abusive, stating the owner’s wife was a troublemaker, and the complainants must report direct to the Macheke Police Station, 56 km away. The following day the Zanu (PF) youths forcibly removed the ID cards of all domestic and workshop labour, who did not arrive at work for fear of assault.  The police have requested the return of the ID cards to their rightful owners.   Medlar Farm reported about 40 youths had set up a base camp on Whispering Hope Farm, but all is quiet.  The owner of Malda Farm again tried, with the help of another farmer, to remove property from his farm.  Although met by a drunk and threatening person, he managed to remove some property.  Highlands Farm reported the local "war vets" became irate and accused the owner of interfering with "their farm" when he went to put out a fire on the farm.  Alcatraz were investigating a stock theft on the farm.  The owner was confronted by the "war vets" who were unhappy about the security firm being on the farm.  The dairy operation was stopped 16.02.02, and although response was slow, the police eventually arrived and resolved the situation.  River Valley Farm reported that youths had formed a “gang” on the Virginia Road between Marylands and Faroe Farm.   They attempted to stop the owner on the road. Reported to Police
Marondera - In spite of the presence of international observers in the country, this area has been swamped with further reports of ongoing political violence and intimidation.  At Soswe on 8.02.02, a young political activist, Munyaradzi, although supportive of both parties in the past, recently aligned himself with the opposition and has been beaten up so badly by ruling party supporters that he is not expected to survive.  Nyagambe Farm reports that a torture camp has been set up by ruling party supporters.  During the last two weeks they have carried out numerous attacks on the surrounding population. A married couple who work at the farm were detained for several days and then evicted from their home.  Five labourers were forced to attend the camp and the senior security guard taken to Oxford Store and publicly beaten on the feet and buttocks with poles 2-3" in diameter, and kicked in the face.  A young man, resident in the adjacent communal area was abducted from Middlesex Farm beer hall, and severely assaulted. Another Nyagambe labourer was assaulted while fishing at the farm dam by local "war vet" leader Mapfumo. A security guard from Marondera was detained at the camp for 36 hours and assaulted. The farm foreman and his wife were forced to attend the camp, and he was severely beaten on his feet and buttocks, for possessing opposition party t-shirts in the past. In general, Nyagambe Farm labour is forced to attend meetings at the base, which result in at least one assault.  Refusal to attend has violent consequences.  Young people on the farm are forced to attend 'pungwes' on a nightly basis.  At Oxford Store, a farm labourer, also an opposition activist was severely beaten up and detained 12.02.02 by Zanu (PF) youth. The community ambulance was driven in to rescue him, with a police escort. On arrival they found three very badly beaten men and around 100 hostile youths who refused to allow the ambulance crew access to the victims.  The police detail called for backup, which, when it arrived, sent the ambulance back to base without treatment of the victims and took the unfortunate trio to the Marondera Police Station.  Nothing further has been reported.  The owner of Igava Farm had a nasty confrontation with the settlers on 13.02.02, who claim his cattle damaged their maize on the neighbouring Igudu Farm. It is felt the group deliberately drove the cattle through the crop, as they have been successful in extorting over 20 t of maize from the owner of Igudu farm with the same method.  The latter has removed all his cattle from Igudu. The Igava Farm owner agreed Agritex and police assess the damage and to negotiate compensation. He was threatened by a man armed with a hunting knife and escaped unhurt.  Zanu (PF) campaign posters have been pasted on the door of his house and all the tractors, with the drivers threatened with violent consequences if the posters are removed. A farm clerk at Igava Farm was beaten up by settlers for refusing to give them mealie meal, and other items in his care. The new propaganda by the ruling party activists is the number on the ballot paper corresponds to the voter's ID card number, so authorities can trace individual votes.  Mjanje Farm reports the Zanu (PF) Youth brigade still harass labour.  Requests for transport are refused, in spite of the youths threatening to assault the drivers.  As Wedza police had no transport, the owner collected them.  The owner of Uitkyk Farm was visited by a Sgt. Major Chitora (Army), "war vet" Chris and two others providing fictitious names.  They claim the sergeant major now owns the farm and made demands including the sale of mealie meal stocks, access to the store, the beer hall to be open daily and dismissal of the private security staff.  Labour refused to attend a meeting held by the sergeant major.
Wedza - Following the disturbances last week, labour on Idube were allowed to return to work.  Settlers’ cattle remain on farm, but are now herded.  At Journey's End two weeks ago, farm guards encountered armed poachers, who had come from Hillingdon Farm. Several shots have been heard at night and on 15.02.02 a weaner was found slashed.  On Mt Arthur settler Nyamandi, knocked a hole in one of the tobacco barn walls, put in flues and is now curing his tobacco.  Settlers on Rapako reaped tobacco in the seedbeds and reportedly converted one of the farm village houses into a barn to cure it. At Ashlyns shots were heard at night on 12.02.02, at the boundary of Ashlyns and Fels. Hull reports theft of hydrants, taps and end plugs.
No report received.
Norton - On Maine Farm the security guard was assaulted by settlers.  Police fined the settlers ZWD 500-00, which they subsequently tried to extort from the security guard.
Selous - On Hillview settlers destroyed the cattleman’s house and took away the corrugated iron.  They demand the 300 head of cattle leave the property.  On Carsky settlers started a veld fire.
Chegutu - On Tiverton settler Gilbert Moyo demanded all irrigation should be stopped on the maize, as it was now "his maize".  The DA came out to explain it did not belong to him.  Subsequently, Gilbert Moyo assaulted the irrigation foreman the next day, telling him to turn it off.
Chakari - On Newbiggin all the labour was forced to attend a Presidential rally in Sanyati.  The night before they were made to march to Chakari after being woken up at midnight, and then made to march back again. 
Kadoma - On Hellaby the police and CID recovered several lorry loads of personal effects from when settlers trashed the house.  Ten settlers from Alabama were arrested, the charge being they stole over ZWD 2 million worth of household effects from this farm, after forcing the owner out of the house.  The owner is still unable to live in his house.  Inniskilling had another break in, with a motorbike, diesel, a floodlight and various items stolen.  This happened the night after the owner was refused entry to the farm at an illegal roadblock.  War Veteran leadership went out to the farm and recovered stolen items from this break in and previous break ins.  The domestic workers were allowed to work for the first time in nearly two months. 
General - Ploughing with DDF tractors and planting still continues on occupied farms!  Forced attendance of labour at the two Presidential rallies in Sanyati and Mhondoro took place, with farmers forced to supply vehicles in some cases. The deputy speaker of the House and the DA Chegutu visited various farms, attempting to coerce farmers to provide “mombes” for the rallies.  Agritex officials in Kadoma are asking farmers how much wheat they could produce this winter if allowed to plant a crop.
General - It is clear settlers are chasing farmers’ cattle into maize fields to demand compensation from the owner, as they realise they will not produce a crop under current drought restrictions. Masvingo East and Central – the continuous theft of potatoes on Dromore Farm has meant the owner was forced to remove the remaining crop. He is also facing compensation demands as settlers claim his cattle have eaten their crops.  Although his cattle are kraaled and locked up every night, the settlers claim the cattle have “jumped out of the kraals”.  Leddard Farm reports compensation demands for settlers’ maize damaged by the owner’s cattle that have broken through fences.  On Riverdene Farm, the settlers approached the owner and his wife on their farm, enquiring as to their departure. A Section 8 Order and Section 7 Notice have been received.
Chiredzi – the owner on Speargrass Ranch was given an ultimatum his 55 head of cattle would not be released until compensation was paid for crops eaten by these cattle. Although the owner, accompanied by the base commander, walked an area of approximately 14 km, no cattle tracks could be found. Only calf tracks were seen and the owner has no calves.  He has refused to pay compensation and allowed to collect 15 cattle, but the others remain with the settlers.  At Faversham Ranch, settlers have reaped what crops they could from two fields, which belong to the owner. Two DDF tractors are currently ploughing the two fields.  Wasarasara Ranch reported eight cattle stolen by three individuals, but with police assistance, seven have been recovered. There is a youth camp on Eaglemont Ranch with approximately 20 youths present. 120 more youths have been registered from Zaka to join.  There have been plenty of meetings held in this area, with leaflets and posters distributed and “voter education” taking place.
Save Conservancy - Poaching and snaring continue in this area.
Gutu/Chatsworth  - Nyororo Farm reports Zanu (PF) youths and two men dismissed from employ several months ago, arrived demanding fair terminal benefits. Wragley Farm reports nine cows stolen. On 14.02.02, another heifer was stolen, killed and the meat taken away to be sold. Chatsworth Estate received a Section 7 Notice.
Mwenezi - The usual cutting, building, snaring is ongoing.  La Pache Ranch reports a cow was caught round the neck by a snare.  It appears the snare was deliberately set, the cow driven into it and killed with axe blows to the head. The two hindquarters were taken. The site was close to another identical case, which occurred recently.  No arrests have been made despite the assertion by the investigating police details they suspected the two settlers resident nearest to the crime scene.  For appearing 10 minutes late for a court appearance as witnesses, two farm guards from Valley Ranch were arrested and detained overnight. The Public Prosecutor demanded ZWD 10 000-00 from the employer, as the two men were said to have been in contempt of court. No subpoenas had been issued. The Public Prosecutor then proposed that ZWD 4 000-00 would suffice to release the guards, but would not give a receipt for the money paid.   On Rinette Ranch fires were started in three different places, burning about 1 500 ha of grazing. Obvious kindling sticks were found at the source of one fire. The suspicion is this was in retaliation for the owner reporting to the police that the local MP's son's cattle, illegally present on a neighbouring farm now without water, were watered at a trough on the property.  At Quagga Pan A/Alko Ranch the water pipeline from the Mwenezi River has suffered three breaks in two days. A settler seen filling his containers from the leaking water was unconcerned at being caught in the act.  Information indicates there is the gathering of a further group of cattle to be moved from the vaccinated communal area on to Swanscoe Ranch. Situation is being monitored.    The situation on Quagga Pan Ranch concerning a labourer locked up by settlers was resolved with the help of the police.
No report received.
Marula - continued harassment of labour and the owner on Sandown North Farm has seen threats made to burn down new shelters built for evicted labour become reality on 16.02.02.  This was carried out by Zanu (PF) youths led by Japhet Maboko Ncube. This group, fortified by “war vets” on the farm then entered the Safari Camp of Spatalala Lodge on the evening of 17.02.02, telling the security guards present that if furniture in the buildings was not removed on 18.02.02, they would return the following day to burn down the camp.  They further threatened that any person found trying to protect the property would be killed. They stated that if any more fishing clients were seen at the dam, they would torch the vehicles of the fishermen and chase them off the property. The police deferred all calls to the DA who gave an assurance he would talk to the war veteran leadership in Plumtree.

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Daily News

Mugabe on way out

2/20/02 8:24:44 AM (GMT +2)

By Pedzisai Ruhanya

Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, will beat President Mugabe in next month’
s presidential election, says a survey conducted by the Mass Public Opinion
Institute led by a University of Zimbabwe political scientist, Professor
Masipula Sithole.

The survey reveals Tsvangirai would be a better President than Mugabe if
elected into office.

The revelations are contained in an opinion survey of 1 693 people from nine
provinces, excluding Mashonaland Central, Zanu PF’s stronghold.

The survey is based on 29 questions on different election issues.
“Based on Zimbabwe’s voting population of 5,6 million (2000 estimates), it
was decided that a sample size of 1 800 questionnaires was adequate for the
poll. However, we ended up with a sample of 1 693 because all the 138
questionnaires supposed to have been administered in Mashonaland Central
province were confiscated by war veterans in Rushinga and Mount Darwin.

“An additional 85 questionnaires were seized in the presence of the police
by a person who claimed to be from the President’s Office at Hauna growth
point in Manicaland.”

The report was released yesterday and contains interviews carried out last
month before the nomination of the presidential candidates.

The survey includes the province, age, residential area, gender and level of
education of the respondents.

The respondents in the survey include rural and urban dwellers.

Out of the 1 693 people sampled, the respondents said that if the
presidential election were to be held today, 19,8 percent would vote for
Tsvangirai, while 11,3 percent said they would vote for Mugabe.

An overwhelming 59,7 percent of the total said their vote was secret, while
7,8 percent said they did not know who to vote for.

In Harare, the survey revealed that 10,1 percent would vote for Mugabe and
28,8 percent for Tsvangirai. In Bulawayo, 5,1 percent said they would vote
for Mugabe and 19,5 percent for Tsvangirai.

The survey revealed that 53,2 percent and 64,6 percent of the respondents in
Harare and Bulawayo, respectively, indicated that their vote was secret.

In Mashonaland West, Mugabe’s home province, 9 percent said they would vote
for him while 20 percent preferred Tsvangirai. An overwhelming 67,7 percent
said their vote was secret.

Faith in the secrecy of the vote is expressed across all provinces in the

This shows that the voters are educated enough to realise that they cannot
be intimidated into voting for a particular candidate because of threats
that their ballot would be detected by computers and hidden cameras.

The survey further reveals that, contrary to the widely-held view that
Mugabe still commands an absolute majority in the rural areas, the situation
has changed drastically as Tsvangirai now commands substantial supporters

Of the people interviewed in the rural areas, 53,4 percent said they would
vote for Mugabe and 29,3 percent for Tsvangirai but 41,8 percent said their
vote was secret, a clear contradiction of the view that rural people are not
sophisticated and do not know and believe in the secrecy of their vote.

In the urban areas 46,6 percent said they will vote for Mugabe and
70,7 percent preferred Tsvangirai, while 58,2 percent and 61,1 percent said
their vote was a secret and they do not know, respectively.

Of the total sample, most women said they would prefer Mugabe, while the men
said they would vote for Tsvangirai, with 47,6 percent of the women saying
they would vote for Mugabe while 40,4 percent would vote forTsvangirai.
About 60 percent of the men would vote for Tsvangirai against 40,4 percent
for Mugabe.

The MDC leader has the greatest support among the 25-30 age group where 22,2
percent prefer to vote for him, while Mugabe has support from people over 51
years of age where 18,6 percent prefer to vote for him.
On whether people believe that Tsvangirai would make a better President than
Mugabe, a greater number were of the opinion that he would be better than

Out of the nine provinces, 31,3 percent of the respondents said Tsvangirai
would make a better President than Mugabe, while 15 percent said he would
make a worse President.

The survey showed that 21,2 percent of the respondents said Tsvangirai would
perform more or less the same as Mugabe, while 32,5 percent said they did
not know.

But about 70 percent of the urban respondents said Tsvangirai would make a
better President than Mugabe, while 31,7 percent of the rural respondents

Of the men interviewed, 58,9 percent said Tsvangirai would make a better
President than Mugabe, while 41,1 percent of the women agreed.

Tsvangirai was rated highly by the youths where 40,1 percent of the 18-20
age-group said he would be a better leader, followed by the 25-30 age group
where 35,4 percent agreed. More than 45 percent of those over 51 years said
they did not know whether Tsvangirai would be better than Mugabe.

The report said using statistics from the Central Statistical Office, the
number of questionnaires per province was based on the respective population
sizes of the provinces. The same procedure was followed for the districts
and wards.

“Villages were drawn from a hat. In the urban areas, questionnaires were
divided between low and high density areas, again based on population sizes.
Starting points for the administration of the questionnaires were determined
using street maps with the questionnaires being limited to five per starting
the report said.

It said while it was the intention of the organisation to duplicate the
pattern in the population in terms of gender ratio, it proved difficult due
to the high rejection rate among females.

“So, 838 females, which was 49,5 percent, and 855 males, which was 50,5
percent, were interviewed. Similarly, with respect to the rural and urban
divide, the actual sample was 684 rural and 1 009 urban. This means that the
urban area was over-sampled.”

“The 220-odd questionnaires seized in Mashonaland Central and Hauna growth
point were all destined for the rural setting,” said the report.
It said the survey provides facts and figures on the questions raised.

It said it does not attempt to offer comprehensive interpretation or give
meaning to these facts, preferring to leave this to the discerning reader or
decision-maker and political strategist.

“We see our task as an Institute (at least at this stage) as being to ask
questions on issues of concern to the public and bring to the boardrooms of
political strategists and decision-makers the facts and figures that might
be useful to them as they strategise and make decisions in the public

“In doing so, we risk being accused of being risk averse. Moreover, the
actual sample is urban-biased, a function largely of a hostile rural
environment. We take this criticism, but we take delight in having taken the
risk to ask the questions we have asked and for having published the results
in a sensitive political environment in which some of our researchers have
been victimised for asking precisely these questions,” the report concludes.

It said the two candidates have been holding rallies nationwide and this
could have had some impact on public opinion since then.

Moreover, there has been some presence and activity by both domestic and
international observers and the much publicised allegations of Tsvangirai’s
“plot to kill Mugabe might have had some impact on public opinion, probably
necessitating another poll”, the report said.

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From ZWNEWS, 20 February

US lawsuit takes another step forward

The civil law suit brought against President Mugabe and other senior Zanu PF officials took another step forward this week when Judge Victor Marrero of the New York Southern District Court declined to reconsider his judgement, and rejected arguments that the group enjoyed diplomatic immunity. The civil suit against Mugabe, foreign minister Stan Mudenge, information minister Jonathan Moyo, other officials of Zanu PF and the ruling party itself, was brought by Adella Tachiona, Efridah Pfebve, Elliot Pfebve, Evelyn Masaiti and Maria Stevens on behalf both of themselves and close relatives who had been the victims of Zanu PF sponsored violence in the runup to the 2000 parliamentary elections. The suit was brought under the Alien Tort Claims Act - a 211 year-old US law which permits foreigners to bring claims against other foreigners in the US courts. The Complaint document was served on the defendants while they were attending a Zanu PF fund-raising event in New York. The defendants did not enter a defence to the suit until well into the case when a request was made by the Zimbabwe government to the US State Department to enter a "suggestion of immunity" to the court. "Suggestions of immunity" have in the past been recognised by the US courts as giving definitive diplomatic immunity to heads-of-state sued in the US.

However, in October 2001, Judge Marrero handed down a ground-breaking 130 page judgement in which he found that while Mugabe and the others did enjoy diplomatic immunity as government officials, that immunity did not extend to their positions as members of a political party. He accordingly ruled that they had been properly served with the Complaint when they attended the Zanu PF fund-raising event, because they were on party - rather than government - business, and that they, and Zanu PF itself, were liable under US law for damages. The US State Department then entered a submission to the court asking Judge Marrero to reconsider his judgement. The State Department argument made clear that it in no way condoned the conduct of the defendants, but that Judge Marrero’s judgement was not correct in law, and had profound implications for the conduct of international diplomacy which is governed by the Vienna Convention.

In this latest ruling, Judge Marrero confirmed his original judgement, in which he said "…the boundaries of head-of-state immunity are "uncertain" and "there was no evidence that the international community, such as it is today, would converge around a consensus defining inviolability as effectively extending sovereign immunity to the acts of private parties acting in concert with government officials to commit gross violations of international human rights." Judge Marrero added that he was troubled by one aspect of the U.S. government's position: that the government's own interpretation of international treaties and the weight to be afforded the Executive branch's interpretation of the law by the Judiciary "equates deference to submission and would conflate 'great weight' with surrendered judicial independence." He did, however, recognise that the US government "may have a broader interest . . . in fashioning a rule of law that does not jeopardize international comity or foreign relations with other visiting heads of state," and so granted the State Department leave to appeal.

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From ZWNEWS, 20 February

Delaying tactics? - a speculation

As President Robert Mugabe makes increasingly strenuous attempts to hang on to power, from effectively blocking European Union observers to ever more brutal violence, the question of who will "win" the election becomes ever more deceptive. Here is one possible scenario: Mugabe using his mastery of delaying tactics if not to win, at least not to lose – and stay in power. In reality there are two different questions about the outcome of Zimbabwe’s presidential election: Who will win the vote? Who will win the count? Or, put another way, who will be declared the winner?

Some cherish hopes that the vote for Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be so overwhelming as to make rigging impossible; that if great piles of ballots for Tsvangirai are seen by what few observers there are, it will be difficult to juggle with a few thousand spoiled papers here, "find" some here, lose a few more there, declare others invalid, etc. However, it is almost unthinkable that even the observers Mugabe has thought safe enough to admit would ever be allowed to witness such piles of ballots being sorted, ready for counting. It is also improbable that if the March 9-10 election is a close call, Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede will stand up to announce a conclusive outcome.

A more likely (though by no means certain) scenario is that Mudede will announce that there are "problem" regions – for example, votes in this or that constituency have to be "re-verified" or that counting has been suspended in some areas due to previous violence or other alleged irregularities. Urban voters, believed to be overwhelmingly pro-MDC, may have to wait 10 hours to vote, then there’ll be police tear-gassing or baton-charging of "unruly" queues. Judging from the ruling Zanu PF’s past tactical record, there could be an announcement on March 12, 13 or 14 of "interim figures" giving Mugabe a lead. But it would be stressed both for the benefit of observers and voters that Zimbabweans only have to wait another day or two while someone - say, a panel of High Court judges - investigates the problems and comes up with the final figures.

Everyone would be urged to be calm. Mugabe’s officials might promise fresh balloting in "problem" constituencies as soon as the necessary papers can be printed and the proper conditions created, with the Mugabe-acceptable observers returning to ensure absolute fair play. And then: a few days' delay could become a few weeks. The court hearing scheduled for the week after next would - unavoidably, of course - have to be re-scheduled due to some administrative snag. Weeks would become months, all the time with talk of a new count, new constituency ballots, even an entire new election. Just be patient. Christmas could come and go before the international community grasped that the "interim result" declared back in March 2002 was, well, the result. It has happened only too recently. After the 2000 parliamentary elections, the MDC believed their petitions against 30 - 35 disputed Zanu PF constituency victories would be heard and upheld within a few months at the outside, allowing them to whittle away Mugabe's 62-58 majority of the elected seats and even offset the 30 more he was able to nominate. However, the process was dragged out, and cases are still being heard.

But, apart from Mugabe's health, the one factor that could upset all predictions is the growing crisis over food supplies. Mugabe declared on February 9 "no one will starve" and the Grain Marketing Board said that "in one week alone" a train had arrived bringing 1 200 tonnes of maize while trucks were delivering 1 000 tonnes a day to Beitbridge. This totals 35 000 - 40 000 tonnes monthly imports to meet national consumption needs of 150 000 tonnes. A fortnight ago the GMB was saying if all maize allegedly being hoarded by whites was confiscated "we may not need to import at all". Only a few thousand tonnes have been seized, some from church food relief operations. Will rural voters, in particular, react as they did during the 1992-93 drought, by rallying behind Zanu PF for the sake of food supplies? Or will the existence of a credible opposition party make the difference? The MDC predict an explosion of anger that Mugabe's "war veterans" and youth militia will be unable to contain by intimidation. Zanu PF say "loyal, disciplined" people will vote for a party they trust.

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ZIMBABWE: EU pull-out a green light for abuse - Amnesty

JOHANNESBURG, 20 February (IRIN) - Amnesty International has expressed concern that the pull-out of European Union (EU) observers will result in an escalation of human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

"The decision to withdraw EU observers will give the green light for further serious human rights violations in Zimbabwe," the rights organisation said.

President Robert Mugabe's government kicked-out Pierre Schori, the Swedish ambassador to the United Nations and the head of the EU's observer mission, on 16 February. This triggered the pull-out of the 30-member observer team, and EU sanctions that include a travel ban on Mugabe and his close political associates, as well as a freeze on their overseas assets.

Mugabe is up against Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai in next month's presidential election.

"It is alarming that the largest contingent of international observers will not be on the ground during these crucial days leading up to the election. By their very presence they acted as a check to state-sponsored violence and intimidation occurring on a daily basis," Amnesty International said in a statement.

The rights group believes the "lack of impartial international observers will facilitate further suppression of the rights to freedom of expression".

Amnesty International appealed to the other remaining observer teams from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum, the Commonwealth and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to send a larger number of observers to make up for the absence of the EU, which was expected to field 150 monitors.

In the run-up to the 9-10 March elections, professional policing standards have been undermined by political instructions, the organisation alleged. "During the past two weeks, Amnesty International has documented ... grave violations of the right to public assembly and association, which the organisation believes were facilitated by the lack of international observers."

Among the cases documented by Amnesty International was an attack on Monday (18 February) on MDC offices in Harare by ZANU-PF supporters, in the presence of police.

Another was the arrest of 11 church leaders on 16 February for an inter-denominational event in Bulawayo. Police officials claimed that the march by Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches would endanger public order or breach the peace.

Police arrested Anglican Reverend Noel Scott at his pulpit on charges that he violated the recently passed Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

"Other leading clergy and worshippers followed police, who had detained Rev. Scott, to the central police station of
Bulawayo, where they prayed outside the police station. Another 10 people, including Catholic priest Father Kevin O'Doherty, were also arrested and charged under the POSA, and were later released on remand on 18 February."

Amensty said police also arrested "some 15 members of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) on 15 February for taking part in a peaceful demonstration that had been banned by police under the POSA. Several of those arrested alleged that they had been assaulted by police while in custody."

"On 10 February, Zimbabwean police cancelled a rally in Gokwe by ... Tsvangirai, stating that the rally would be likely to degenerate into violence and was therefore banned under the POSA. Yet police did not intervene when ZANU-PF attacked the rally organizers on 9 February and burned their vehicle," Amnesty International said.

The organisation believes that "inaction or use of excessive force by police violates international standards for policing. Despite the POSA stating that only force that is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances can be used, other provisions of the law endanger the right to freedom of expression".

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Daily News - Leader Page

Made timely warned by the very farmers he now blames for the dire maize

2/20/02 8:53:54 AM (GMT +2)

By Craig Stewart

ON a daily basis we are given an update on the state of the maize situation
in this country.

At present everyone is to blame for the “non-existent” maize shortage except
the government and its representatives.

The following are facts: the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement, Dr Joseph Made, repeatedly stated that there would be no need
to import maize this year.

A number of organisations, including the Commercial Farmers’ Union, the
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation early warning unit and the
minister’s own Department of Agricultural Technical and Extension Services
(Agritex) stated over six months ago that there would be a shortage and that
the government should start importing maize.

One of the core functions of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) is the
management of the Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) whose existence is to ensure
that this country does not run short of maize completely.

Made assumed full control of all maize through legislation over eight months

This means that he and the GMB are fully accountable for maize supplies.

The monthly consumption of maize in Zimbabwe is 150 000 tonnes.
Given that two million people reside on commercial farms and that cattle are
fed on maize, it can be assumed that commercial farm requirements are about
30 000 tonnes a month.

Based on these facts, let us examine the current reports on the maize

The commercial farmers are being accused by the government and the GMB,
through its operations manager, Justin Mutasa, of hoarding maize, thereby
sabotaging the country and causing starvation.

This is a very serious accusation to make, given the tense political
environment and sensitivity of food.

If food does become short some may wish to do physical harm to commercial

The strength of this allegation needs some exploring.

The minister and the GMB have stated that farmers are “hoarding” 50 000
tonnes of maize and, therefore, sabotaging the economy.

However, when we look at the facts this volume only equates to about 10 days
’ national maize consumption and can, therefore, hardly be termed “sabotage”

In fact, given that farmers consume 30 000 tonnes a month themselves it
would seem barely adequate to see them and their workforce through to the
next harvest.

Also, of this 50 000 tonnes, how much has been declared to the GMB by the
farmers and, therefore, cannot be described as hoarding?

If the minister and the GMB are running the SGR so that a 10-day hiccup
brings the country to the edge of starvation, then this is a deplorable
dereliction of duty as the importation of substantial volumes of maize
requires substantial planning and a long lead time.

As maize stock-outs persist, evidenced by the frantic seizing of maize and
chronic shortages in the shops but with excess maize milling capacity in the
country, it is clear that the minister and the GMB have failed to manage the
SGR and are blaming the commercial farmers in some kind of dangerous game.

They were warned eight months ago to import maize by the very same farmers!

Hardly the act of a saboteur.

Now we see the blame being shifted to the transporters.
Mutasa stated in The Herald of 11 February that the GMB had done its job and
now the road and rail transporters had to do theirs.

Let us examine this a little more closely.

Why did it take the government over four months (after initial warnings) to
issue a maize tender and another four months to award it?

There is now 200 000 tonnes for us, but this is in South Africa.

The logistics of a monthly delivery of 150 000 tonnes (5 000 rigs) of maize
to the right places in the country are enormous and may not be achieved.

Why has the GMB not ensured that there was more time available to import the

This could still prove to be a catastrophic failing on their part.
So to Made, the GMB chairman and their operations manager, I say:

You are responsible for managing the SGR and, through your legislation, all
maize in the country.

You were very late in securing maize supplies from South Africa
You know the 50 000 tonnes being held barely meets the national consumption
requirements until the next harvest and is insignificant in the whole scheme
of things.

It is only 10 percent of what should be in the SGR.

You maybe endangering the farmers’ safety through these intentionally
misleading accusations.

These three people need to take their responsibilities seriously.
They are accountable and their attempts to shed blame are simply not
supported by the facts.
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Daily News - Leader Page

Zanu PF’s concerted effort to steal election

2/20/02 8:53:11 AM (GMT +2)

ONE government spokesman, reacting to the European Union (EU)’s decision to
slap “smart sanctions” on President Mugabe and his inner circle of arrogant
colleagues, called it “disgraceful”.

Most Zimbabweans, who welcomed the sanctions wholeheartedly, would describe
the history of Zanu PF’s reign as the greatest disgrace to Zimbabwe.

Zanu PF has been accused, with some justification, of trying to steal the

It has used violence against the people.

It has used their own elected Parliament against them.

It has even used their own grandmothers from the rural areas to instill fear
in the hearts of urban voters, who showed in 2000 that they would not be
cowed by its threats or violence against them.

Last Monday, in the heart of the city, we saw a demonstration of women, some
of them so old it was painful to watch them almost crawl along the streets
on the orders of their so-called leaders.

Zanu PF has transformed this country - in two short years -from a nation
brimming with hope for the future, to a pariah state.

And all this because the party wants to hang on to power.

Its disgraceful treatment of the EU observer delegation was ostensibly
motivated by the need to make a bold statement on the country’s sovereignty.

Zimbabwe would not be dictated to by foreign countries, especially its
former colonial master, Britain.

In language too inflammatory and too undignified for any head of state to
use publicly, Mugabe called Tony Blair names.

There can be little chance for reconciliation with Britain or the EU in the
future unless someone decides to eat humble pie.

It could come to that, whatever the outcome of the election.

The exit of the EU observers from the election drama is to be regretted by
all Zimbabweans who had hoped that their presence would inhibit the
government from unleashing its thugs against the people.

The observers considered to be politically correct by the government can do
little to ensure a free and fair election.

Most of them, but particularly the Southern African Development Community
(Sadc) team, are in danger of being cast as co-conspirators with Zanu PF in
its theft of the 9-10 March presidential election. They seem more concerned
with Mugabe’s political survival than with the future of the 13 million
citizens of Zimbabwe.

How any of them can believe Mugabe’s propaganda that he is on an African
crusade against the recolonisation of Zimbabwe by the British is

What all this means to Zimbabweans who believe their country has been
plundered enough by Zanu PF and must be saved before it degenerates into a
total basket is that they can make a difference next month.

Solidarity with the international community is essential in any struggle
against tyranny.

Zimbabweans may not be facing George W Bush’s “axis of evil”, but they are
on the verge of transforming the destiny of their country.

They are going to have to display exceptional feats of courage to triumph
this time around.

Sadc countries may be comfortable with the assurance by Mugabe that his
government has successfully held elections since independence and doesn’t
need foreign monitors and observers to guarantee they are free and fair.

But Zimbabweans cannot be comfortable with that categorical statement.
They would protest that a party as committed to violence as Zanu PF has been
could never be trusted to hold such an election.

In the run-up to the 2000 parliamentary election, there was such massive
violence against the opposition parties the EU and other observers concluded
they would not endorse the poll as free and fair.

What the people may need to do is wrest the initiative from Zanu PF.

For too long this party has taken them for granted.

Perhaps it is time for them to show that those days are gone, never to
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Daily News - Feature

Mother of all plots: Kill the truth, live happily

2/20/02 8:43:24 AM (GMT +2)

Bill Saidi On Wednesday

TWO weeks ago, I offered my theories on how I thought the politically
challenged women of Zimbabwe could improve their status.

I mentioned a number of women I believed had lived their lives regardless of
the straight-laced, sexist convention that women belong in the kitchen and
are to speak only when spoken to.

Someone reminded me of Dorothy Masuka and Miriam Makeba. Why had I not
included them? Both women married celebrities - Dorothy married Freddie
“Dusty King” Gotora, the legendary one-armed soccer player who made Civil
Service FC one of the finest teams in the then Salisbury soccer league.

Miriam married Stokely Carmichael. I did a feature story about the
Masuka-Gotora marriage, having spent a day with them in their home in the
Beatrice Cottages.

But others could ask why I had not included the late Princess Margaret, the
British monarch’s sister who died this month. I first saw her in 1947 at the
old Belvedere airport when she and her parents and the future Queen visited

Or Mai Chaza of Guta raJehovah in Zimbabwe, and Alice Lenshina of the Lumpa
Church in Zambia. They were both prophetesses with large followings. I
daresay they changed many people’s lives - one way or the other.

Or Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies of the Profumo sex and politics
scandal in the UK.

I never met them but knew of them as a journalist. They all made their mark
on their countries, in an unconventional and definitely rivetting manner.

My general thesis was that by opting for change, the women of Zimbabwe could
finally disprove the accusation that they were the weak link in a nationwide
campaign to remove a corrupt, arrogant and sexist regime.

All they had to do was to know who not to vote for. Zanu PF’s record is the
most visible of the parties in the contest.

It’s not easy to study that record without experiencing a phenomenal
nine-point-something on the Richter scale in your bowel system.

If the voters choose Shakespeare Maya of NAGG or Paul Siwela, the
independent candidate but formerly of Zapu, or the MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai,
that would be their choice.

Frankly, I have my doubts about Shakespeare and Paul’s bona fides. Maya’s
namesake will be remembered for Mark Anthony’s unforgettable eulogy to
Julius Ceasar: “The evil that men do lives after them
. . .” Maya was once a great apologist of Zanu PF, appearing as a fundi on
the party in many television interviews.

I sometimes mistook his passion for the party with that of Tafataona Mahoso.

Now Maya leads this obscure party whose acronym could translate into a pain
in the neck or a rather small horse.

Paul Siwela can probably claim he had a reawakening of Damascus proportions
as he drove from Magwegwe to Mpopoma: a cockerel said something to him.

His seems to be really Big with Zanu PF, with ZBC-TV giving his totally
unconvincing First Street walk-about so much coverage.

I received this message on the e-mail:
I liked your point that women can change the fortunes of Zanu PF.

However, your article could end up offending some women because you did not
deal with the age differentials. For example, what ages do you see at the
airport or rallies? These are generally the old school who have been
socialised to obey and follow men.

Most women in the 30s and below do not do that sort of thing and their
numbers are more than those of men, if the 1982 census is to be believed.

This group, which is educated and conversant with politics and rights, will
not be cowed by Zanu PF.”

If that is true, then we could all be in for a great surprise, but
especially Zanu PF, whose aggressive, violent and murderous election
campaign aims to frighten everybody into voting for their candidate or
fleeing into the hills leaving the field to you-know-who.

But where does the truth lie these days? In politics, little value is placed
on the unadulterated truth.

For instance, did Tsvangirai really plot to kill Mugabe or did Mugabe’s
people plot for Tsvangirai to plot to kill Mugabe?

The first casualty in any war is the truth. This is the truth, as
Zimbabweans have recently discovered.

In the run-up to the presidential election, the truth has been abused and
soiled, especially if you rely for your information on the government media.

Many journalists now believe the government’s attitude to the truth is
similar to the Vampire’s reaction to daylight and the sight of the cross.

This blood-sucking monster will perish in daylight or in the proximity of
the cross.

Zanu PF has a similar aversion to the truth, as amply demonstrated in its
obnoxious attempt to silence the independent Press with the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Bill, allegedly authored with selected
journalists as the targets.

Until Eddison Zvobgo punched kingsize holes in it, that Bill read as if it
had been prepared by a great admirer of the Nazi propaganda chief, Joseph
Goebbels. Their life-long desire? To outdo him.

Zvobgo’s eloquence in debunking the Bill was memorable. Here is an excerpt:

“(V) Clause 77): This clause is both unconstitutional and entertaining. It
says (1) ‘Subject to this Act, no person shall carry on or operate a news
agency without a valid certificate issued in terms of this Part . . .

“77 (3) ‘A person who contravenes this subsection shall be guilty of an
offence and liable, upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $1 000 000 (one
million dollars) or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or
both such fine and imprisonment.”

Zvobgo’s question to the MPs should have been asked of President Mugabe:

“Where in democratic societies is a person fined one million dollars for
mere failure to register in order to exercise his freedom of expression? Why
is failure to register, which can result from several innocent causes,
considered such a heinous offence?”

Zvobgo and all of us know why this is considered a heinous crime in the
fevered, megalomania-filled mind of the Bill’s authors: it is because the
evil plot is to kill the truth, the prime purpose of this filthy, silly

All journalists worth their salt would vote against Zanu PF solely on the
basis of their revulsion at this repugnant Bill. A party with such evil
intentions towards journalists cannot deserve their vote.

It plots to kill the truth and hope the authors live happily ever after,
with no one daring to expose their perfidy.

This is the mother of all plots, and upon its success or failure could
depend our future.

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Daily News

Tafara man beaten up for allegedly waving open palm

2/20/02 9:32:06 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

WILLIAM Mapfumo, 24, of Old Tafara in Harare was on Monday assaulted by
supporters of Zanu PF after they accused him of waving his open palm, the
MDC symbol, at them.

The rowdy supporters were travelling on a bus along Samora Machel Avenue on
Monday morning when the incident occurred.

Mapfumo, who was on his way to Rusape where he was going to pay lobola on
behalf of his brother, denied ever waving his open palm.

He alleged it was someone else on the commuter omnibus in which he was
travelling who waved his open palm.

The Zanu PF supporters stopped the commuter omnibus at a robot-controlled
intersection and demanded that the person who had waved his open palm to
them be handed over to them.

Unfortunately, they picked the wrong man and started beating him up.

He was dragged into their bus where they continued to assault him.

They later released him but not before they had stolen his money, amounting
to $7 900.

Mapfumo reported the matter to the police and identified the suspect. But
when the police tried to arrest the suspect, other Zanu PF supporters mobbed
them to stop the arrest.

The suspect was left to go scot-free but Mapfumo proceeded to file a formal
charge at the Harare Central Police where the matter is being handled by a
Sergeant Mapiye.

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Date: Monday, February 18, 2002 6:17 PM

Set Up by the State.

If any of you had any idea of what it is like to be an opposition
politician in Zimbabwe today, you should have spent the weekend in Dave
Coltart's shoes! Dave came home after an overseas trip on Saturday.
Exhausted he has a short sleep and then went to a nearby suburb to collect
his daughter, Jessica, from a party. He was at the party venue with about
20 others and then left to go home at about 17.00 hrs.

On arriving at the road that leads to his home, Dave spotted a large group
of 30 or so individuals in Zanu PF T shirts marching down the road. He took
a detour through another route home and when he got to a junction close to
home again ran into another group of Zanu PF supporters (National Service)
on the road near his home. He then reversed and went to a friends home from
where he made a call to the local police station saying that his home was
threatened by a mob and would they send a detail to attend to the matter.
When Dave got the all clear from the house, the family returned and at
21.00 hrs they were visited by three police vehicles with plain clothed
police accompanied by one uniformed officer - the Member in Charge of
Hillside Police Station.

The group had no warrant of arrest or search and Dave refused to leave his
home, instead he agreed that he would present himself at Hillside Police
Station at 09.00 hrs on Monday. Dave then left home and slept at friends
the following two nights for safety. On Monday morning the plain clothed
police came back to the house searching for Dave - left when they were told
he was not at home.

At 09.00 David presented himself at the Police Station and after an hour he
was taken to the central police station where he made a statement on his
movements on Saturday and was then taken home for a search of the house.
Nothing was found and at 13.00 hrs he was taken back to the Police Station
and formally charged and finger printed. Incidentally, he was taken in both
directions in an open pick up truck with two police details sitting on
either side of him through the center of town. One of our most senior
lawyers, a MP and a shadow Minister - I remonstrated with the Police over
this treatment and was told that "these are our instructions". My wife
photographed the incident and was promptly arrested and hauled off to the
Station with David and charged with disturbing the peace!

At 15.00 hrs David was taken to Court and there a Magistrate heard the
charge and set Dave free on Z$2 000 bail - that's about US$5.00. He is
remanded to the 26th of March and I am sure that by then he will be the new
Minister of Justice and the Police will have even bigger problems. The bail
set is a clear reflection of the weight the Magistrate applied to the

The charge was that Dave fired a shot at the National Service group,
threatening their lives. This incident was alleged to have taken place just
after 16.00 hrs and that Dave was driving a white twin cab. This story has
several problems - Dave does not own a weapon, he was driving a blue Nissan
twin cab and at the time he was at a party with his family and has 20
people to vouch for him. The other problem with the police case is that we
saw a vehicle on Saturday - registration number 450 260 M - a yellow/brown
Toyota pick up which was clearly co-ordinating the activities of the
National Service thugs. This vehicle was seen at several locations all
afternoon. It was driven by two men - one wearing a shirt with "Delta Force
- DRC" printed on it. We now have an eyewitness who says that it was the
man from Delta Force who fired the shot at 16.00 hrs.

So that is what it looks like at this stage - The state intelligence agents
knew Dave had come home - they thought he was at home and they tried to set
him up. In the meantime we have clearly established that the National
Service youngsters who were part of the set up crew - did not have police
clearance for their activities. Despite this the Police did nothing - and
they had a presence in the area all afternoon.

As they say in the TV classics - it's great when a plan comes together!

Eddie Cross


18th February 2002.

In addition to what happened below at the weekend three young men were abducted by these same militia and severely beaten. This happened in suburbs 8 to 14 kilometres from the town. The police response is generally it is political and they can take no action or missing persons can only be reported after 48 hours - even when neighbours witnessed the young men being taken away. ----------
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Daily News

MDC says State plans to arrest Tsvangirai

2/20/02 9:23:21 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

The MDC said yesterday the government planned to arrest Morgan Tsvangirai,
before next month’s presidential election on trumped-up charges of plotting
to kill President Mugabe.

Learnmore Jongwe, the MDC spokesman, said the plot, of which he said they
were aware, was designed to cause confusion among their supporters.

“We know they want to arrest him and other top leaders of the party soon,
probably ban the party, declare a state of emergency before the election and
churn out propaganda that he is no longer running and that the MDC no longer
has a candidate.

“But in or outside the mighty walls of prison, Tsvangirai will win this
election and neither detention nor any arrest will deter the people’s quest
for change,” said Jongwe.

John Nkomo, the Minister of Home Affairs, has said the government would
leave “no stone unturned” in investigating Tsvangirai’s alleged plot to
assassinate Mugabe.

Nkomo could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The allegations stem from a documentary film shown on Australian television
last week in which a man, purported to be Tsvangirai, is heard to be
plotting Mugabe’s elimination.

But it has emerged that the Canadian consultancy company behind the
documentary was already working for the Mugabe government when they were
engaged by the MDC for public relations work in North America.

The plot was allegedly masterminded by Ari Ben-Menashe, a director of the
consultancy firm Dickens and Madson.

Ben-Menashe is a former agent of Mossad, Israel’s feared secret service.

Ben-Menashe previously worked for Mugabe’s government and was on contract
when he offered to help the MDC’s international campaign in North America.

Yesterday, Jongwe said: “Constitutionally, if a person is arrested, he is
still eligible to contest an election. Zimbabweans are not stupid and they
know that all the plans to arrest Tsvangirai are an admission of defeat by t
his government, even though the arrest will not serve any purpose.”

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ZIMBABWE: Torture centres operating, say human rights NGOs

JOHANNESBURG, 20 February (IRIN) - Opponents of the Zimbabwean government are being abducted to "torture centres" across the country that serve as bases for ruling party militia, Zimbabwean human rights groups allege.

"Violence on an organised basis has continued without decline throughout the country," the latest Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum report on political violence said. "In most cases victims are abducted to bases where they are tortured and then released. These bases are springboards for militia operating in the area and also serve as torture centres."

The report, released on Tuesday, said 26 people - 15 named as opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters - were killed in political violence between 1 January and 16 February. It identified 24 "militia bases" across the country allegedly run by war veterans or ruling ZANU-PF party members where torture has taken place.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum, an umbrella body of nine human rights NGOs said: "It is of particular concern to the Forum that the use of sexual torture ... has resurfaced. This has included forced rape by men, witnessed by both the perpetrators and others."

Zimbabwe's Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa, Danson Mudekunye, denied the allegations.

"Foreign ministers of SADC [Southern African Development Community] were recently in Zimbabwe and they give a different picture to what this report is giving," he told IRIN. "They say there is a decrease in politically motivated violence. Most of these foreign ministers have missions in Zimbabwe. How could they get it so wrong?"

According to the report: "Victim statements have increasingly indicated that the youth militia involved in organised violence [have] received formal training in it. Internationally recognised torture techniques are being implemented as in the case of a ZANU-PF base at Mahusekwa Growth Point [in Marondera, 50 km southeast of Harare]."

A member of the human rights group told IRIN that the report was compiled based on newspaper accounts, feedback from monitors in the field, and testimonies from victims. She said that a catch-all description of the assailants as "youth militia" was used, because it was difficult to clearly identify whether the culprits belonged to the government's national youth service, ZANU-PF, or the war veterans.

"People being tortured are people identified in the community as MDC supporters," she added. "They are taken from their homes and tortured. Some escape, some are taken to police stations where they go through an interrogation process and then they are released."

Forum reports are available at:
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Daily News - Feature

Joshua Nkomo sidelined even in death

2/20/02 8:29:00 AM (GMT +2)

By Foster Dongozi Features Writer

“I was hidden away like something to be scared of. My wife could scarcely
restrain her tears at this symbolic humiliation.”

Those were the words of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, in reaction to
his being sidelined by the Zanu PF leadership on the eve of Zimbabwe’s
independence at Rufaro Stadium on 17 April 1980.

Nkomo, a pioneer of the liberation struggle had, alongside Ndabaningi
Sithole and later Robert Mugabe, led their organisations in the struggle to
liberate Zimbabwe.

But on the eve of independence, at the VIP table, Nkomo and his wife were
given seats right at the back, where the large gathering would not see them.

Exactly 21 years later, it was deja vu when Nkomo’s memory was again hidden,
like “something to be scared of.”

Zimbabweans were left stunned when the government announced with a straight
face that Bulawayo Airport, which only entertains one regional flight from
South African Airways would be renamed Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International

Nkomo, possibly the most deserving national hero laid to rest at the Heroes’
Acre in Harare, had been virtually reduced overnight to a city hero from
Father Zimbabwe to Father Bulawayo.

When the intention to rename the Bulawayo Airport after Nkomo was announced,
two groups of people opposed the idea for different reasons.

Players in the aviation and tourism sector opposed the renaming of the
airport after Nkomo on the grounds that effecting the changes would be very

Others opposed the idea on the grounds that as a nationalist, Nkomo deserved
to be named after a national institution like the Harare International
Airport, the National Sports Stadium or even State House.

Paul Siwela, the leader of a breakaway faction of Zapu, said his party
condemned attempts by the government to regionalise Nkomo’s stature.

“We noticed a lot of irregularities concerning the Unity Day festivities and
the naming of the airport after Nkomo.

“If the honour was restricted to airports, then the Harare International
Airport, which is in the limelight, should have been renamed Joshua Nkomo

“Vice president Joseph Msika, Nkomo’s former deputy in Zapu was the most
senior government official who attended the ceremony to rename the Bulawayo
airport. Where were Simon Muzenda and Robert Mugabe?”

Five government ministers attended the ceremony.

“We also find it suspicious that government officials only preach unity when
they are in Matabeleland and never in other parts of the country. Does it
mean only the people of Matabeleland should observe unity?” asked Siwela.

Also raising questions about the manner in which Nkomo was honoured, was
former President, Canaan Banana, who helped broker the Unity Accord of 1987.

“Any honour extended to Joshua Nkomo should be national. Restricting that
honour to Bulawayo will send the wrong signals. It would be insulting to do
that to the integrity of a man who refused to bow down to regionalism,”
Banana said.

“Nobody can assasinate Nkomo historically.”

Banana said as “the first nationalist leader of any consequence” Nkomo
deserved to have institutions with a national character named after him.

He said the late nationalist had indicated that unity was not the paper
which he signed with President Mugabe.

“Nkomo said the spirit of unity and what would follow would indicate how
united Zimbabweans were. Unfortunately, the Zanu PF government lost out on a
beckoning opportunity to win the hearts and minds of the people of
Matabeleland by not moving fast enough to fund and support the Zambezi Water

“Until material benefits are addressed in Matabeleland and other parts of
the country which have remained marginalised, total unity will remain a pipe

Banana was retired after the signing of the Accord to clear the decks for
Mugabe who assumed the post of Executive President.

Welshman Mabhena, the former Matabeleland North Governor and Zanu PF
politburo member described the renaming of the airport in Bulawayo as an
insult to Nkomo’s legacy.

“Nkomo died in 1999 and was only honoured at the end of 2001. At the same
time, Border Gezi who died in 2001 was honoured a few months after his death
when a training centre was named after him.

“The whole thing stinks of hypocrisy and government officials have sidelined
Nkomo even after his death,” Mabhena said.

In the Bulawayo mayoral elections held in September last year, Zanu PF tried
to evoke the spirit of Nkomo during its campaigns.
Campaign posters posed the question:
“If Joshua Nkomo was alive, who would he vote for?”

“Cde George Mlilo,” the posters declared.

Mlilo, the Zanu PF candidate was soundly trounced by the MDC’s Japhet
Ndabeni-Ncube after residents complained that the posters were in bad taste.

Interestingly, Robert Mugabe Way in Bulawayo leads to the recently renamed
Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport.

While Zanu PF has been quick to use cheap methods to attract votes by
abusing Nkomo’s legacy, the same party is not comfortable with according him
his status as the giant of Zimbabwean nationalism.
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Daily News

Police bar MDC from holding rally at White City Stadium

2/20/02 9:25:55 AM (GMT +2)

From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

THE MDC has filed an urgent application at the Bulawayo High Court seeking
an interim relief for the use of White City Stadium for a rally to be
addressed by the party president, Morgan Tsvangirai.

This follows the refusal by the police to allow the party to hold a rally on
2 March.

According to a letter written to the MDC by Chief Superintendent C K
Sibanda, the party’s application to use the stadium was not approved because
President Mugabe was scheduled to address a rally at the same stadium on the
same day.

But the MDC has authority in writing from the Bulawayo City Council,
granting the party permission to use the stadium on 2 March.
White City Stadium was, last month, occupied by Zanu PF supporters despite
it having been booked by the MDC, leading to violent clashes between the
police and the MDC supporters who wanted to get inside.

Zanu PF has reportedly booked all rally venues in the city until after the
presidential election.

Gibson Sibanda, the MDC vice-president, said the ploy appeared to be
designed to ensure his party did not campaign for the election due on 9-10

Zanu PF youth brigade members have occupied council community halls,
effectively barring the MDC from holding any rallies there.

Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general, said the party booked White City
Stadium in advance and their application was accepted after it was noted
that the stadium would be free on 2 March.

“We are aware that Zanu PF went to the city council and tried to force them
not to allow us to use the stadium,” said Ncube. “We cannot stand this
nonsense anymore.”

Nicholas Mathonsi of Webb, Low and Barry legal practitioners, submitted an
affidavit seeking the interim order on behalf of the MDC.

Ncube said: “The police are working in cahoots with Zanu PF. The duty of the
police, according to the law, is to provide security and not to decide which
party must hold rallies or not. It is for this reason that we believe the
election will not be free and fair.”

He said they were compiling a report of Zanu PF’s efforts to undermine a
free and fair election which they would hand over to election monitors and
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Zanu PF youths invade community halls

2/20/02 9:32:40 AM (GMT +2)

From Rodrick Mukumbira in Bulawayo

JAPHET Ndabeni-Ncube, the Executive Mayor of Bulawayo says his council is
powerless to stop the invasion of community halls by gangs of Zanu PF

In an interview, Ncube said the council had handed over the administration
of community halls to local communities.

Scores of Zanu PF youths have over the past two weeks taken up residence in
community halls in Bulawayo’s Nketa 8 and Nkulumane residential suburbs,
where they have stepped up a terror campaign against residents ahead of next
month’s presidential election, after reportedly being bussed in from
Ntabazinduna Training Camp.

Community halls are designed for the residents’ recreation and ideally,
should be accessible to all, regardless of political affiliation.

Ncube said he had received reports of beatings and intimidation being
committed from the halls but the council had ceased to have direct authority
over the halls last year.

“We gave the direct administration of the community halls to communities as
a way of empowering them when I was elected Executive Mayor,” he said.

He said the council could only act after receiving written reports from the
community groups that the halls were now being used for political purposes.

“That is when the council will approach the relevant political party and it
will be within our power to evict the party,” he said.

The invasion of community halls was raised at a council executive meeting
last week.

Ncube said councillors, including those of Zanu PF who dominate the council,
were concerned at the activities in the halls and the deteriorating security
situation in high-density areas following the arrival of the youths.

Outspoken MDC councillor, Charles Mpofu, has accused Zanu PF of hijacking
civic property for its own benefit.

Five busloads of Zanu PF youths were reportedly brought in and deployed in
every suburb. Incidents of violence were immediately reported.

Several people have been abducted and tortured or raped by the youths camped
at Nketa 8 hall.

Last week the youths gang-raped a 40-year-old woman from Bellevue suburb,
after forcibly gaining entry into her home.

Residents from Nketa and Nkulumane suburbs told The Daily News it was no
longer safe to move about at night and they had imposed curfews on
themselves because of the marauding youths.

The youths kidnapped two men who were frog-marched to the hall, where they
were assaulted and tortured.

Police at Donnington Police Station confirmed the two incidents and promised
to investigate.

Besides occupying the community halls in Nketa and Nkulumane, Executive
Mayor Ncube said the youths had set up bases at a disused council beerhall,
Isalukazi in Njube and on a farm belonging to the Jairos Jiri Association
for the Disabled, which is next to the city’s Burnside suburb. Officials
from Jairos Jiri refused to comment.

Ncube confirmed that Zanu PF had paid rent up to 11 March for the youths who
have set up another base at the council’s Venture Camp Site.

The election is scheduled for 9 and 10 March.

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Daily News

ZCTU warns of mass action

2/20/02 9:26:31 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Twenty-two civic organisations and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) last Saturday warned there would be a mass job stayaway and public
demonstrations for peace and justice if the government did not end political
violence and establish a level playing field for the 9-10 March presidential

The organisations included the National Constitutional Assembly, the
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, the National Association of
Non-Governmental Associations, the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union,
Transparency International Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association, the
Amani Trust, the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network, and the Media
Institute of Southern Africa.

Lovemore Matombo, the ZCTU president, on Monday said 200 delegates from
throughout Zimbabwe attended the conference in Harare.

He said: “The organisations resolved that there was need for peace and
identified that the violence we are facing is government-sponsored. Youths
trained by the government are causing a lot of the violence. The police, who
are supposed to be the peacekeepers, are also involved in the violence.”

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Daily News

Zanu faction disowns Kumbula

2/20/02 9:25:19 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

A FACTION of Zanu has written to the police, asking them to stop Wilson
Kumbula, a former senior official, from using the party’s name and symbol in
his presidential campaign.

Kumbula, the party’s only Member of Parliament, fell out with his colleagues
when he made unilateral decisions on party issues and decided on his own to
contest the presidential election.

Kumbula could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Daniel Tuso, the secretary-general, said Kumbula must comply with a High
Court judgment of 31 January 2002, which agreed with his faction that he
(Kumbula) was not their candidate.

Tuso accused Kumbula of continuing to use the Zanu symbol, its manifesto and
structures in his presidential campaign.

“We therefore advise that if Mr Kumbula as much as holds himself as the
official candidate, he must be stopped and not be allowed to continue acting
unlawfully,” Tuso said in his letter to the police.

Tuso said two weeks ago, at the memorial service for Reverend Ndabaningi
Sithole, the founding president of the party, Kumbula distributed pamphlets
urging people to vote “paNdongapo.”

Tuso said ndonga remained a Zanu symbol and Kumbula was not supposed to use
it in his election bid.
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Daily News

Radio Dialogue says police stopped road show

2/20/02 9:23:59 AM (GMT +2)

From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

Zanu PF supporters and youths suspected to be working with the police
recently stopped promotional road shows that had been planned for Plumtree
and Esigodini by Radio Dialogue, a Bulawayo community radio initiative last

Qhubani Moyo, Radio Dialogue’s marketing director, said the police detained
for five hours Radio Dialogue’s Lovemore Ncube, who had gone to Plumtree to
put up posters inviting residents to witness what the initiative had on

The road show was scheduled to be held at an open space next to Plumtree’s
bus terminus.

“When we went to Plumtree to facilitate Lovemore’s release, the police
warned us against going ahead with the road show. They referred to it (the
road show) as a meeting, saying it hadn’t been sanctioned under the Public
Order and Security Act (POSA),” said Moyo.

POSA bars people from holding meetings without police authority.
“We tried to tell the police that ours wasn’t a meeting but a promotional
event for our product. They said they knew that Radio Dialogue was a
political organisation. They said they had been instructed by their
superiors to bar us from holding any promotional shows and that they would
deal with us like any other political organisation,” Moyo said.

He said Radio Dialogue decided to defy the police warning and went ahead
with the road show. When they were about to set up their stage Zanu PF
supporters and youths in party T-shirts stormed the gallery and threatened
to assault them, at which point the road show was aborted.

On Sunday, Radio Dialogue was supposed to hold another promotional show at
Habane shopping centre at Esigodini. Moyo said when they arrived at the
venue they found it sealed off by police in riot gear.

“We decided not to attempt to do anything at all. Such is the behaviour of
our government that says it is opening up the airwaves when, at the same
time, it is trying to stop such initiatives,” Moyo said.

It was clear in the Plumtree incident, he said, that Zanu PF supporters were
working hand in hand with the police.

Plumtree police confirmed the incident but their Esigodini counterparts
refused to comment.

Radio Dialogue seeks to establish a community radio station, the first of
its kind to cover Matabeleland.

Currently, it is holding promotional shows all over the region.
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Daily News

Survey shows Zimbabweans want good governance ahead of land

2/20/02 9:24:37 AM (GMT +2)

By Pedzisai Ruhanya

CONTRARY to Zanu PF’s main campaign strategy of distributing land to the
people under its much-criticised and chaotic fast-track programme, a survey
by the Mass Public Opinion Institute reveals that Zimbabwean voters in next
month’s presidential election will consider good governance as the most
important issue.

This has been revealed in a survey carried out by the organisation in
January on a sample of 1 693 people in nine provinces except Mashonaland
Central, where the study was disrupted by war veterans.

The report revealed President Mugabe has dismally failed to run the economy
properly and did not largely bring about peace and unity among the country’s

The respondents were asked to state the most important issue for the
election among land, employment, democracy and good governance.

Out of the nine provinces, about 41 percent said they valued good governance
as the most important issue, while about 33 percent said the land issue was
the most important matter.

The survey result seems to augur well for the MDC’s main campaign message,
which calls for the restoration of law and and order as well as the security
of all Zimbabweans, irrespective of their political affiliation.

Out of this sample, about 62 percent of the urban respondents said they
regarded good governance as the most important issue. Thirty-eight percent
of the rural respondents agreed with this view.

But about 53 percent of the urban respondents said land was also important
while 47 percent of the rural respondents agreed.

Out of this sample about 52 percent of the women valued good governance more
than the land issue while about 48 percent agreed.

But 43 percent of the people above 51 years said good governance was the
most important election issue but at the same time about 42 percent of the
same age group said land was also crucial.

The opinion survey revealed that about 48 percent of the respondents, out of
the nine provinces, said Mugabe was most successful in the land
redistribution programme. Six and 27 percent of the respondents said Mugabe
was successful on issues of the economy and peace and unity respectively.

About 50 percent of both women and men respondents agreed that Mugabe’s
domestic land policy was the most successful. About 38 percent of the rural
respondents agreed with that position.

Zimbabwe is now left with 19 days before the presidential election on
9-10 March where Mugabe faces his biggest challenge from Morgan Tsvangirai
of the MDC.
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Daily News

Cholera outbreak hits Masvingo

2/20/02 9:22:06 AM (GMT +2)

From Energy Bara in Masvingo

AT least four people have died and 104 others have been infected following
an outbreak of cholera in the Bikita district of Masvingo last week.

The epidemic has hit Chirorwe and Dewure villages and there are fears it
might spread to other parts of the province. Masvingo health officials were
yesterday locked in a marathon meeting to plan how to halt the further
spread of the disease. Masvingo provincial medical director, Tapuwa Magure,
said two inspection centres have been set up at Dewure and Chirorwe.

Magure said: “About 110 cases have so far been reported. We believe the
disease originated from Manicaland.”

In Manicaland, 13 have died from the disease and several cases have been
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