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

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Independent (UK)

The music of dissent strikes a chord in Zimbabwe
By a Special Correspondent in Harare
23 February 2002

It is 8pm and the trendy Book Café, haunt of Harare's creative set, is
buzzing. The beer is flowing and the talk around rickety tables ever more
animated as people shrug off the cares of a country in crisis.

Not for long, though. The reality of Zimbabwe, now only two weeks away from
presidential elections, returns with a thud when the singer's words turn
from the tribulations of love to those of a country speeding ever further
along the road to repression, and scared of what that brings. The protest
music we are hearing has been banned by the state-owned media that decide
what most people hear on radio and see on TV.

Artists who criticise a leader and government that have been in power too
long are as skittish as the opposition activists and journalists who are
being harassed and arrested under laws designed to quell social discontent
ahead of elections that the President, Robert Mugabe, is determined to win
at all costs. Thomas Mapfumo's new album Chimurenga Rebel has been banned by
the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, although he says it is "a true
reflection of what is happening". One of the country's most popular
musicians, he now lives in North America.

Other works of music and drama are also being shunned by public broadcasters
which, according to Maxwell Sibanda, the entertainment editor of the
independent Daily News, seem to have "shut out protest music and drama
altogether". While this clearly reduces their exposure, it is not shutting
them up – protest plays still run in theatres and protest albums are still
on shelves. In fact, Mr Sibanda says, it is often the case that being banned
can make artists more popular. "People actively seek them out, and their
music is played live and in bars and beer halls."

At a roadside bar north of Harare, people singing rowdily to the songs of
Oliver Mtukudzi drown out sleep into the early hours of the weekends.
Mtukudzi, a hugely popular 41-album artist who has his own "Tuku" style of
music, takes care to distance himself from politics. But his work, too, is
increasingly political. His last album was called Bvuma – Tolerance and his
new one, due out this week, is titled Uhunze Moto – Burning Ember and shows
his face against a map of a country engulfed in flames.

"What will be the end of all this?" he asks in "Magumo", a song about people
who abuse power and riches at the expense of the weak and poor. In "Moto
Moto", which in Shona means "fire is fire", Tuku warns people never to turn
their backs on flames – even embers can turn into "fire that consume us".

At the Zimbabwe College of Music in Harare, Clayton Ndlovu, a choreographer,
also steers clear of straight politics, saying his role is to teach students
to play instruments. But he is happy to talk about the growing local music

"After many years of outside music selling far better than local songs, the
industry is doing really well," he says. "One reason is legislation passed
last year stipulating 75 per cent local content on the airwaves, which means
that local music is much more exposed. The other is changing attitudes in
the media, which used to wrongly believe that foreign was automatically

Aside from "Tuku" music, other top-selling styles are sungura, which
originated in the Congo and has a rumba flavour with a Zimbabwean beat, and
chimurenga (which means liberation struggle), a mix of traditional music
played with electric instruments.

For many years after independence from Britain in 1980, musicians did not
have much to moan about, although the Zimbabwean government has long been
intolerant of criticism. But growing political discontent, the swelling
ranks of opposition and the creation of independent media in the 1990s
opened up space for dissent.

This, along with a narrow victory in general elections in June 2000,
panicked Mr Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party into ever more desperate
clamps on free expression.

Many Zimbabweans want musicians to take a stronger political stand but the
debate on how far to go is raging. On one side of the fence are critics like
Mr Sibanda, who believe that more artists should speak out.

"There is an element of fear in people's reluctance to do so, although
musicians here are used to speaking in riddles, their words carrying hidden
meanings that people understand but which aren't explicitly critical," he
said. "Some artists take a strong official line – why shouldn't everybody
feel free to have a view? If our musicians sing about society, then surely
there is no way they can avoid political matters."

Others in the industry see the musician's role as being to unite people and
point them in "right" directions. A music industry organiser, who did not
want to be named, said: "It is not good for artists to sing songs that
divide people. And what is the benefit in being banned? We don't tell
artists what to sing about or how, but there are different ways of getting
messages across."

A man at my table tells how he was tortured by police after being arrested
at a protest. "Now my mother is being harassed by the police. I feel
terrible, but really don't see that we have a choice when it comes to
fighting for our rights. There are many of us who will always do that, now
or under any future government, and we want musicians among us."

Zimbabwe's draconian press reporting restrictions make it a crime for
unregistered foreign correspondents to report from there. As a result, our
correspondent cannot be named.
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Police shoot at Zimbabwean opposition presidential candidate, opposition


HARARE, Zimbabwe, Feb. 22 — Police fired shots and tear gas Friday at top
opposition officials, including presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai,
after authorities broke up a campaign meeting, opposition officials said. No
one was injured in the shooting.
       Police did not give any immediate comment.

       The incident began when police fired tear gas at opposition
supporters gathering Friday morning at a railhead south of Masvingo, a
ruling party stronghold 150 miles south of Harare, after declaring the
meeting illegal, said Percy Makombe, an opposition spokesman.
       Tsvangirai and other Movement for Democratic Change leaders got into
their vehicles and drove away, and police followed them. When the motorcade
stopped and opposition leaders left their cars to stretch their legs, police
fired several bullets and tear gas at them, Makombe said.
       The leaders jumped back into their cars and drove off. Tsvangirai's
motorcade was attacked at least twice in recent months, and he now routinely
travels in an armor-protected vehicle.
       Tsvangirai's candidacy presents the strongest challenge ever to
President Robert Mugabe's 22-year authoritarian rule. Human rights groups
and the opposition have said months of violence and intimidation and
restrictive new laws make the prospect of a free and fair election
impossible. The vote is scheduled for March 9-10.
       Also Friday, ruling party militants attacked two South Africa
election observers at the MDC offices in Kwekwe 120 miles southwest of
Harare and lit their car on fire, Makombe said. About 200 militants attacked
the building during the observers' visit, Makombe said.
       The South African government confirmed the incident, and said neither
observer was hurt. Police arrested two people in connection with the attack,
the South African government said.
       (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Zimbabwe opposition says police fire at convoy

HARARE, Feb. 22 — Zimbabwean police shot at the convoy of main opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday after dispersing what they called an
illegal gathering of his supporters, an opposition party official said.
       ''Police today shot twice at Morgan Tsvangirai's convoy in Maringire
village which is about 70 km (43 miles) from Masvingo. No one was injured.
Mr Tsvangirai is continuing with his planned rally in the city,'' the
official told Reuters.
       He said prior to the incident police dispersed a group of villagers
who had gathered around the convoy vehicles during a brief stopover on the
way to the southern city of Masvingo.
       The police fired at the convoy several minutes later during another
stop at a rest camp, the official said.
       Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), poses
the stiffest challenge to President Robert Mugabe's 22-year grip on power in
elections set for March 9-10.
       Police chief spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said he was unaware of the
incident but would make checks. A police spokesman in Masvingo also said he
had heard of no incident.
       The MDC says over 100 of its supporters have been killed in political
violence since February 2000 when militants loyal to Mugabe began invading
white-owned farms. The government has denied responsibility for the violence
and accused the opposition of fuelling civil unrest.
       The opposition have criticised Zimbabwe's police for standing by
while pre-election violence unfolds.
       The leader of a team of Southern African election observers said on
Friday authorities had assured them police and other security forces would
act professionally.
       Duke Lefoko, speaking in Harare ahead of the arrival this weekend of
the Southern African Development Community's 50-strong team, said recent
political violence threatened chances for a free and fair election.
       ''We trust that the pledge made by the Zimbabwe
ensure a conducive electoral atmosphere, including a commitment to
investigate fully and impartially all cases of alleged political violence,
shall be undertaken ahead of the elections,'' Lefoko said.

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Britain sees Commonwealth holding back on Zimbabwe

LONDON, Feb. 22 — Britain said on Friday it did not expect to persuade the
Commonwealth to suspend Zimbabwe at a summit next month despite reports of a
violent pre-election crackdown by President Robert Mugabe's government.

       But officials said they hoped the 54-nation organisation would put
the veteran leader, who has ruled his country since independence from
Britain in 1980, on notice that it would act if Zimbabwe's March 9-10
elections were rigged.
       Pressure is growing for punitive action against Mugabe and his
ministers after a wave of political violence against his opponents and a
media clampdown. The European Union imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe and
his top officials on Monday after the expulsion of the chief EU election
       But junior Foreign Office Minister Baroness Amos said a meeting of
foreign ministers on the eve of the March 2-5 Commonwealth summit was not
expected to act so soon before the elections were held.
       ''We have been entirely realistic that whilst (suspension) remains
part of our strategy there are differences among Commonwealth members in
terms of how they look at the evolving situation in Zimbabwe,'' Amos told
       She was speaking the same day the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change said Zimbabwe police shot at the convoy of opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai and two South African election observers were wounded in a
separate attack by pro-government militants.
       Britain and summit hosts Australia have led calls within the
Commonwealth, a grouping of mainly former British colonies, for action
against Mugabe. But they failed to win a consensus at a meeting three weeks
ago of the organisation's democracy watchdog, the Commonwealth Ministerial
Action Group (CMAG).
       Suspension would be a largely symbolic action but diplomats say it
would send Zimbabwe a strong message about the need to respect the rule of

       At the CMAG meeting in January, ministers decided to send a 40-strong
team to observe the elections. Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon
defended the absence of punitive steps, saying engagement was better than
       ''It is entirely possible that the members of CMAG might argue that
given that the elections are so close, given that there are Commonwealth
observers on the ground, that they would want to put in place some kind of
mechanism that would allow them to monitor and then to make a decision after
the election,'' Amos said.
       The crisis in Zimbabwe is expected to take centre stage at the
biennial Commonwealth summit, overshadowing efforts to tackle terrorism,
support sustainable development and chart out a future role for the
       ''I think there will be a spotlight on the way the Commonwealth
tackles this issue, but it is important we realise the Commonwealth is about
more than just Zimbabwe,'' Amos said.
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Friday February 22, 01:16 PM

Zimbabwe militants evict farmer

By Cris Chinaka

Click to enlarge photo

HARARE (Reuters) - Southern African election observers say a wave of political violence in Zimbabwe threatens chances for a free and fair presidential election next month.

The run-up to the March 9-10 poll, in which President Robert Mugabe faces his strongest challenge in 22 years of power, has been marred by opposition allegations of state-sponsored violence and intimidation.

In the latest incident, a white farmer and his family fled their farm southwest of Harare early on Friday after invading militants demanded they leave and fired shots at neighbouring farmers who had rushed to their aid.

In protest at Harare's refusal to accredit the head of proposed EU election observer team, the European Union pulled its team out of Zimbabwe this week, leaving mainly African observers to do the job.

Earlier this week, hundreds of Mugabe supporters stoned the Harare headquarters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), smashing windows and forcing bystanders to flee.

"Political-related violence of the type witnessed in the past week, in and around Harare, continues to rear its head," said Duke Lefoko, leader of an advance team for the 50-strong Southern African Development Community (SADC) parliamentary observer mission due to arrive this weekend.

"Intimidation, murder, destruction of properties and all other forms of violent conduct are likely to impact negatively on the electorate's capacity to freely express their will in the forthcoming presidential elections," Lefoko told reporters.

"It is vital that the political situation changes in a manner that will remove fear to enable the people to freely exercise their electoral rights," he added.

The MDC says over 100 of its supporters have been killed in political violence since February 2000 when militants loyal to Mugabe began invading white-owned farms.

The government has denied responsibility for the violence and accused the opposition of fuelling civil unrest.


In the early hours of Friday, about 30 militants smashed through the security gate at James Ogden-Brown's farm near Chegutu, southwest of Harare, and ordered him off the land, a spokesman for the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) said.

"They told him: 'Mr have 30 minutes to leave. We are taking your farm'," the CFU spokesman said.

The group then entered the farmhouse and seized six firearms. As the 35-year-old Ogden-Brown, his wife Cheryl and their two children packed their belongings, a group of farmers arrived on the scene after being alerted by radio.

Some of the militants rushed to the farm gate and opened fire at the farmers, who fled. There were no injuries, but one car was hit by shotgun pellets, the CFU spokesman said.


U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has added his voice to growing international pressure on Zimbabwe's leaders to ensure the elections are free and fair.

"For the sake of the people of Zimbabwe, of its neighbours and the entire continent of Africa, I appeal to the government to let the people make their choice, and to live by it," Annan said in a statement issued late on Thursday.

Annan made no reference to European Union sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle after the government refused to accredit the head of the EU observer team.

The U.S. is considering similar targeted sanctions.

The EU withdrawal has left monitoring of next month's elections to mainly African and Commonwealth countries. The 14-member SADC and South Africa, which are sending the largest number of observers, have been criticised for being too soft on Mugabe.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who was shown leading Mugabe in one poll released this week, has accused SADC of endorsing Mugabe and ignoring a flawed electoral system.

Earlier this year, the government pushed through parliament a controversial package of electoral and media laws which critics say is aimed at ensuring a Mugabe victory.

"We call upon the SADC observer team and all the other international monitors in the country to persuade ZANU-PF even at this late hour to abandon its violent agenda," the MDC said.

Zimbabwe's police have been criticised for standing by while the violence unfolds. But Lefoko said the SADC advance team had been assured by authorities that the police and other security forces would act professionally.

"We trust that the pledge made by the Zimbabwe ensure a conducive electoral atmosphere, including a commitment to investigate fully and impartially all cases of alleged political violence, shall be undertaken ahead of the elections," Lefoko said.

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Friday, 22 February, 2002, 16:38 GMT
Observers hurt in Zimbabwe attack
Mugabe supporters march in Harare on Monday
The president faces a stiff challenge in March elections
Members of the South African election observer mission in Zimbabwe have been attacked by militants of the ruling ZANU-PF party.

The incident occurred when two observers were visiting offices of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the central town of Kekwe.

It comes only days after observers from the European Union left Zimbabwe, complaining that they were not being allowed to do their job properly by the authorities.

The EU has imposed sanctions on the Zimbabwean leadership in the run-up to the critical presidential election in two weeks' time.

'Despicable incident'

About 200 pro-government supporters armed with stones and iron bars are reported to have attacked MDC offices in Kekwe.

The MDC said two South African observers were injured, along with five of the party's supporters. The extent of the injuries was not immediately clear.

The party said the attack was unprovoked.

The spokesman for the South African election mission, Mbulelo Muzi, said it was a despicable act which he strongly condemned.

Poster for presidential challenger Morgan Tsvangirai
Violence has escalated in the run-up to the election
Violence has also been reported at an opposition rally south of the capital Harare.

According to opposition spokesmen, police broke up a rally with tear-gas saying there had been no authorisation for the gathering.

President Robert Mugabe faces a stiff challenge to his 22-year grip on power from MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the 9-10 March election.

South Africa and the 14-member Southern African Development Community have the largest number of foreign observers in Zimbabwe since the EU pulled out earlier this week.

Mr Mugabe said on Thursday he can resist the EU sanctions imposed on him and his close associates, and that he does not need Europe.

He enjoys the backing of many African leaders who regard EU sanctions as an attempt by Europe to undermine Africa's democracy.

The Times

Zimbabwe election observers beaten up
From Jan Raath and Michael Hartnack in Harare

TWO South African election observers were beaten up yesterday and Zimbabwe’s
opposition leader was subjected to a teargas attack in another round of
apparently politically motivated violence.
Morgan Tsvangirai, presidential candidate for the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), escaped unhurt when shots and teargas were fired by police at
his motorcade on the main Harare- Johannesburg highway.

The beating of the two accredited election observers happened at Kweke, in
the Zimbabwe midlands, when a mob of 200 Mugabe supporters attacked the MDC
offices there. South African diplomats said that they were investigating the

The two incidents followed violence in Harare this week. Duke Lefhoko, the
Botswana leader of the mission from the Southern African Development
Community, said that members of his delegation had seen “the destruction of
the MDC offices and the attack on their security personnel” by a mob of
people supporting the ruling Zanu (PF) party. “Political violence continues
to rear its head,” Mr Lefhoko said.

The Commercial Farmers’ Union, which represents 5,000 white landowners,
appealed for observers to be sent to the Chegutu area, 100 miles west of
Harare, in the hope that they would deter political violence against them
and their workers.

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During his tour of Masvingo province today, the convoy in which MDC
President Morgan Tsvangirai was travelling was attacked by police while
stopped at a lay-bye near Mavingire Shopping Centre. The members of the
convoy were out of their vehicles when a police detail pulled up and accused
them of holding an illegal political gathering. The police then fired shots
into the air at which point the MDC members jumped back into their vehicles
and fled the scene.  They were chased by the police vehicles until the
convoy reached Mashava.

Earlier police had fired teargas at two shopping centres (Sese and
Mavingire) where the convoy had stopped and crowds had gathered. No one was
reported hurt in these incidents.

Two South African observers were caught up in an attack on the MDC offices
in Kwekwe this afternoon. The observers were attending a meeting with the
MDC MP for the area. Forty-five minutes after their arrival, about 200
"unidentified youth" began to stone the building and the car used by the
observers was also damaged. However, the driver did manage to escape and
alert the police. Neither of the observers was hurt but four people in the
building at the time were treated in hospital for injuries sustained during
the attack. At a press conference at the Meikles Hotel this evening, the
head of the South African mission, Ambassador Dr. S Motusenyane stated that
they will not pull out of that area and in fact their resolve is now
stronger than ever to undertake the task they have been charged with. He
condemned the attack and said such behaviour would impede the holding of
free and fair elections.


The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum, in
the country to observe the upcoming presidential elections began work on
their mandate yesterday. The group held consultative meetings with several
stakeholders, who included the ruling ZANU PF party and the opposition MDC,
to assess the pre-election environment.

 The head of the mission, Hon. Duke Lefhoko of the Botswana parliamentary,
part of an advance team to Harare, told the press that members of his
mission had observed with great concern the incidents of violence that took
place in Harare during the week. He cited the stoning of Harvest House, home
to the MDC, following a ZANU PF march through the city, which later turned
violent on Monday. Lefhoko appealed to all parties involved in the election
to ensure that the election process is violence free.

The Forum will deploy a total of 37 observers in all the ten provinces of
the country by next Tuesday. The observer's team is expected in the country
on Sunday and will sort out their accreditation on Monday before they
commence their duties. Asked why the Forum had taken so long to come to
Zimbabwe, arriving after the departure of the European Union Mission, which
left on Wednesday after the EU imposed sanctions on President Mugabe and
some top government officials, Lefhoko said that his organisation received
the formal invitation to observe the election late.

 The Forum draws its membership from 12 parliaments in the SADC region and
has to date observed elections in Zimbabwe (2000 legislative elections),
Mozambique, Namibia, Mauritius and most recently Zambia's controversial
presidential elections.
The mission will consult with other observer teams that are in the country
and will present their findings to SADC Parliamentary Forum Executive, the
Plenary Assembly of the Forum, the Government of Zimbabwe, electoral
authorities ff Zimbabwe, contesting political parties as well as members of
the public.

Ms Nora Chase, head the mission on its tour of duty during Zimbabwe's
parliamentary elections, told the press briefing that the Government had not
implemented most the recommendations the forum made after the 2000
elections. One of the Forum's major recommendations was that the government
set up an Independent Electoral Commission. She added that it was the duty
of local Members of Parliament to ensure that their governments adopted
recommendations the Forum.

 Chegutu Farm Evictions - from the CFU
JAMES  (35) and Cheryl Ogden-Brown and their 2 children were evicted off
their Chegutu farm early this morning by a mob of 20 to 30 people led by a
"Comrade Moyo".

The group smashed locks to gain entry into the homestead at 4:30 am this
morning. They told the Ogden-Browns to leave saying, "Mr Brown of Lot 1A,
The Grove, you have 30 minutes to leave, we are taking your farm."

The farm is 413 hectares in extent and is only under a Section 5 preliminary
notice and although pegged, there are no settlers present. The farm is
export orientated, and exports flowers and paprika.

A shaken Mr Ogden-Brown said, "We awoke to the sounds of hooting and
chanting followed by the smashing of locks on both security gates. The group
came into the yard and I spoke to them through my kitchen security door.
After telling me I had 30 minutes to leave, they started smashing windows
and poking me with sticks through the gate to force me to let them in. I let
the leader who only identified himself as 'Comrade Moyo' and another in.
They followed me to the bedroom and proceeded to supervise my packing. At my
request to take my weapons with me, they took these and immediately handed
the to the others outside  - there were 6 weapons, including a 9mm pistol.
One of the rifles was immediately loaded."

Mr Ogden-Brown had managed to pack up one truck and convinced 'Comrade Moyo'
to let him pack a T35 Truck with office records and a computer. He was
forced to hand over keys to the other vehicles immediately.

Mr Ogden-Brown had managed to alert neighbours before talking to the group
and as he loaded his vehicle they began to hoot at the gate to announce
their presence.

"The group which had been taunting me, became very excited and a few of them
rushed off in the direction of the gates. We heard at least two shots fired-
but heard later that as they approached, the farmers had driven away, two of
the vehicles had minor damage from the shots fired."

"At this time the man with my rifle began to threaten to kill me,
fortunately he was restrained. I was able to send my wife and kids off and
made to leave in the other truck. The Police arrived as I left. A tree has
been felled to block entrance onto the farm and I fear my house and
possessions are being trashed and stolen. There was no prior incident, no
warning, they just arrived this morning."

Two armed men and a woman driving a white Nissan Sunny Registration number
483-954Y went to a Grinding Mill in Dzivaresekwa this morning and threatened
to kill the employees working there.  Mr. Karimakwenda, the owner of the
grinding believes it is political since he is one of the MDC candidates for
council elections in that area. Report filed with the police in DZ.


The Newsroom

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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Thursday 21 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.
Chegutu farming family evicted in the early hours 22.02.02 – the owner of The Grove, his wife and two children aged 3 and 5, were evicted from their Chegutu farm just before dawn this morning.  About 20 "war vets" and Zanu (PF) supporters, led by well known "war vet" Gilbert Moyo, arrived in vehicles and broke through two locked security gates at about 04:00 hrs.  The family managed to send a radio distress call before two of the men gained entry to the house.  The men demanded all farm weapons locked up in the safe and instructed them to vacate the house immediately.   The family are now off the farm and safe.  Further reports state that at 08:00 hrs about 40 "war vets" and Zanu (PF) supporters, suspected to include the same people involved in The Grove incident, surrounded the homestead at de Rus Farm.  Teith Farm was visited this morning by a different group, making aggressive demands.  police have reacted favourably in each instance to stabilise the situations.
Two farmers in Marondera North were held in a kangaroo court by Zanu (PF) youths for three hours. Villagers had asked the farmers to remove a water pump in case of theft. The youth accused the farmers of stealing government property. The pump was replaced and the court dissolved.
On Faun Farm, Chegutu, Zanu (PF) youth disturbed the tobacco reaping, and beat up ten of the labour, stating they were MDC supporters.  Six workers have been abducted and are believed to be at the ZANU (PF) youth training camp on Solitude Farm (resettlement).
Hunters Road - The farm villages of 6 farms in the area were robbed. Police have been repeatedly informed, but there has been no response at all.
After further threats, the matter on Sandown Farm, Marula has been resolved, with the “gang of eight” berated in front of the labour by the "war vet" and Zanu (PF) leadership.  The owners were asked to forgive the transgressors.

Chipinge – on 20.02.02 there was extensive pegging the tea and coffee plantations on Valkoppies Farm, which is not gazetted.
Chimanimani - DDF tractors started ploughing on Charleswood 21.02.02. 
Rusape - Workers on Harrisonville were assaulted during last weekend, and a foreman was assaulted 20.02.02.  On Manda farm, workers were rounded up at night and taken to meetings on neighbouring farms.
Burma Valley - On going political rallies.
Bindura - The area is very quiet.
Glendale - the house sitter at Avonduur Farm was visited by a man called Richard who refused to give his surname.  He claimed to be representing Mr Muzarira and questioned the house sitter.  When the latter replied he was not aware of any eviction notice, as he was a guest on the farm, the visitor became verbally abusive, insisting he knew the owner had removed property, being two motorcycles and warned he would return. The owner has applied for an extension to complete his cropping programme and to continue with his livestock but received no reply.  He was appraised of the current situation.  The following day “Richard” returned, aggressively demanding the owner’s answer on the eviction. He threatened to return on 03.03.02 to physically “throw you off!”
Centenary – settlers slashed plants damaging the tobacco crop on Aurelia Farm.
Mvurwi - On Forrester Farm five cattle were chopped with pangas; one was killed and taken to the communal lands. People in the area have inspected the voters’ roll to find many of the names on the roll previously have since been removed. 
Beatrice - at Adlams Rest, the security company guards looking after the maize crop were chased away and the company accused of being MDC.  A pungwe comprising 50 labour and "war vets" was held outside the home fence, lasting till late at night when it was defused.   After being held hostage at the weekend, the owner of Alicedale and his wife reached a resolution on 18.02.02 with the "war vets" and farm labour involved in the barricading.  All is now quiet.  In general, youths are putting up roadblocks and demanding to see party cards. Police no longer react, as they have no transport.  Youths from Watchoka business centre have been going farm-to-farm demanding food and wood to be sent to the business centre.  They have been turned down by the farmers visited. 
Enterprise/Bromley/Ruwa – an incident at Thorntree Lodge saw forced entry by six men, who held six young students hostage, four girls and two boys.  The students locked themselves in a room for protection.  The six perpetrators tried to beat down the door and smashed windows and threatened to beat up the students if they did not open the door.  One intruder was armed with a revolver and another with a knife.  They made the students lie down on the floor and kicked the two boys repeatedly.  They demanded all their jewellery and money.  They then marched the students to the gate and again made them lie on the ground.  One young girl asked for clemency.  The intruders demanded US Dollars, and she was taken to  the owner’s house.  The owner refused to unlock his security gate and denied he had any forex.  A woman employee arrived at the lodge, and the intruders forced her out of her Isuzu truck, stole her jewellery and then escaped in their vehicle and the Isuzu.  It later transpired the three security guards at the gate were overpowered; two were tied up and placed in the boot of the intruders’ car and the third ran away.  This was a politically motivated crime as the intruders continually spewed political rhetoric.
Featherstone - Pressure to force farmers to pay off labour and vacate farms continues.  On Wildebeeslaagte labour was forced to leave the farm.  The owners of Beach Farm and Jakkalsdraai were instructed to pay off labour.  The Perseverance owner vacated after being forced to pay off three labourers.   O’Neill's Meat Processors was forced to pay off most of the farm and abattoir workers. “War vets”/settlers are maintaining roadblocks near the homestead.  Two dairies, Dunkirk and Kuruman A, face closure as a result of pressure from "war vets"/settlers.
Harare South - 10 youths on a DDF tractor went down the Charter North road stopping at farms and instructing people to attend a meeting at Beatrice.  The meeting did not happen.  The owner of Walmer was subjected to an all night pungwe on his farm 20.02.02.
Macheke/Virginia - Salama Farm  reported that a George Phiri (ID 32 054781C32) from Agritex arrived on the farm for an assessment of Model A2 Resettlement Scheme.   He was in a light green Nissan pickup with a white canopy Reg. No: 414947D. The Elim Park (sub section flowers)  reported the "war vet" from Warren Farm held a meeting on 17.02.02 with their labour, demanding each pay ZWD 20-00 for the Chief.   This was not reported to the police on request of the labour.  Glen Sommerset Farm reported all the ID's and passports taken away from labour have been returned.  Agritex from Marondera were pegging Springs Farm which is not listed.  At Nyagadzi Farm the cook and his wife were assaulted, the wife so seriously she needed hospitalisation.  Reported to Police OB 759/2002.  They were attacked in their home in the farm village by someone wearing an MDC shirt, which is thought to be a disguise. The owner of Medlar Farm  was told by the "war vet" resident on the farm next door, that there was to be no work on Medlar Farm, as it was now exclusively for their cattle grazing. (RRB17/2002).  Marylands Farm had one cow slaughtered by settlers, which was reported to police - CRN 759/2002.  No reaction from police.  Elikas Vous reports Agritex were surveying the farm for A2 resettlement.
Marondera Urban - Urban violence and intimidation in Marondera is increasing. On 17.02.02, Zanu (PF) youths, who heard that an opposition rally was to take place at the local show grounds, occupied the area, accosting and assaulting passers by from the adjacent high-density suburb. They also caused damage to a building in the grounds, which is used as a church.  Intimidation and violence is a regular occurrence against black residents. In a confirmed incident on the night of 17.02.02, a man employed as a domestic worker was taken away for re-education, where he was stabbed and the letters of the opposition party’s name slashed with a knife across his back.
During the night of 19.02.02, the opposition party constituency leader’s house burned down after being petrol-bombed. There were no casualties.
Marondera North - Essexdale had fives tonnes of maize delivered as payment in food for work done on the farm.  At Nyagambe the roadblock on the house gate was dismantled by the police.  Two farmers were held in a kangaroo court by Zanu (PF) youths for three hours. Villagers had asked the farmers to remove a water pump in case of theft. The youth accused the farmers of stealing government property. The pump was replaced and the court dissolved.  A farm lorry collecting labour was commandeered by Zanu (PF) youth as transport to Murewa and later returned
Marondera South – on Makarara Farm a work stoppage occurred when a Zanu (PF) campaign poster was taken down in the farmyard.  A labourer reported this to the "war vets".  The crowd were not rowdy or violent, although the main "war vet" threatened and tried to beat up the owner but the other "war vets" prevented him.  Threats were made "war vets" would come in and take over all the tobacco and paprika etc. Police were called in to attend two reports: the work stoppage and a housebreaking during the night.  Police were collected by neighbour, as there was transport for housebreaking but not for work stoppage.  They said they would assess the situation and see what they could do.  After seven hours it was agreed the owner should apologise.  The police left, stating they wanted a meeting with the owner and foreman at Igava Headquarters today.  No forces were sent to deal with the work stoppage.
Wedza – the Igudu workshops broken into.  At Chakadenga the MCB and starter were stolen from an irrigation point on the occupied part of the farm. The settlers are blaming the farmer.  On Mbima gunshots were heard at night close to the homestead.  An illegal roadblock was set up on the Watershed Road on 21.02.02.  The owner of Torre Farm was stopped on the Liliefontein Road at a Zanu (PF) youth roadblock, then abducted and taken to their base camp. Although police attended the scene, they did not resolve the matter.  He was finally released after four hours.  Details are due to be released later.
Chinhoyi – labour from the area had to attend a rally at Murombedzi on 16.02.02.  Councillor Wini from Chitomborwizi visited the Nyakaranga manager's homestead, aggressively demanding meat and mealie meal for Zanu (PF) youth he was deploying in the area.  The manager declined, stating the farmers had a fund from which Zanu (PF) needs were to be provided, through Mr Makumbe of the co-ordinating team and Clr Wini was told to refer to Mr Makumbe.  The manager allowed the party to repair a puncture before they proceeded to Chitomborwizi to deploy the youth.  Poachers collected a poached kudu by scotch cart in Nyakaranga Farm paddock, then returned to Hunnington settler village, from where the meat is sold.  The anti poaching unit claim that a security guard called Phillip, employed on Clent Farm is also involved.  Investigation continues.  The Glenside Farm owner was informed by settlers they have moved people into vacant houses belonging to labour.  On 16.02.02, labour at Highbury Estates went on strike.  They demanded the crop manager be dismissed with immediate effect, as he is too  hard on the labour.  Labour was informed the strike was illegal and the dismissal would not happen.  Labour insisted the dismissal take effect or they would continue with the strike.  There were no threats of violence made by labour.  Some labour expressed unhappiness about being on strike.   A Zanu (PF) Youth Brigade was formed in the farm village, and during the night those labour who wanted to return to work were assaulted.  This was reported to the NEC who said they would not attend unless there was police protection for them.
Police Chinhoyi were informed.  17.02.02 saw a continuation of the strike.    Management advised there was a seed maize crop to be tasselled mid day at the latest, and that if this was not done the crop would be condemned by the seed inspectors.  This had no effect.  Police Support Unit arrived and arrested 41 labour and took them away.  The seed crop was condemned and is now commercial maize.  On Kaukua Farm, snaring and poaching continues. A total of 35 snares were found in one day and a Bushbuck killed.  On 14.02.02, cattle were rounded up and brought to the dip.  These cattle were left in the dip kraal and labour went to look for animals that were missing.  On return to the dip kraal, it was found all four strands of wire on the gate had been cut and the cattle were missing.  They had to be rounded up again but none were missing.     Settlers demanded the owner of Long Valley Farm dip their cattle.  He agreed and a fee was agreed.  Two animals were dipped and paid for.  In the owner’s absence, settlers dipped all their cattle and refused to pay.  The entrance to the dip has now been blocked off and locked.  On 17.02.02, again in the owner’s absence, a vehicle from the Ministry of Agriculture arrived and the occupants spoke to the domestic staff, stating the owner must dip all the settlers’ cattle free of charge or else he will be assaulted.  Nothing further has developed.  A Mr Dzvengwe, of Agritex Seven Heroes Building, has been asking questions about suitability of Long Valley Farm for resettlement, querying number of rooms in the houses, number of boreholes, etc.  On Highway/Geluk Farm, fish poaching continues.  An Agritex official arrived at Mtunzi Farm querying the amount of irrigation equipment, the area under irrigation and how much wheat settlers could grow.  Settlers killed two kudu and sold the meat.  At Temperley Farm there was a meeting with settlers on 11.02.02.  The settlers asked about trucks on the farm and were told these were being looked after while Mr York is on leave.   The settlers wanted the seedbed site to grow vegetables, and were told another site would be found in time.  The settlers have formed a new committee and asked to leave a list of committee members with name and title of member with the manager.  On 13.02.02, while driving around to find a suitable vegetable bed site, the manager was stopped by police, his vehicle searched and a knobkerrie confiscated.  This resulted in a visit from the CID, who left a message for the manager to call a Mr Kambamura, to explain why he had been in possession of a knobkerrie.  On 14.02.02, the settlers demanded to know why the manager had been driving around pegged lands.  They also demanded the trucks mentioned previously be off the farm by the end of the day, with threats to push all livestock into the security fence area.  The committee rescinded their decision to provide list of names and titles of committee members.  On 15.02.02, the manager spoke to Mr Kambamura of CID Law and Order Chinhoyi, who questioned him about weapons stolen in the looting in August 2001.  The manager stated only a single barrel shot gun was still missing and the CID had it in their possession as an exhibit.  On 17.02.02, a group of about 20 youths came to the security gate, led by a Mr Korie and a second person called Spencer.  Mr. Korie stated the manager had 48 hours to remove the vehicles belonging to Mr. York.  He became aggressive when the manager said police permission had been obtained to keep the vehicles on the property, and said as he was a "war vet" he did not have to listen to the police. On suggestion he speak to the DA, he again reacted violently, shouting he did not take instructions from the D.A.  The manager refused to resolve the issue if Mr. Korie continued shouting and left the meeting.  The group left, threatening to come back.  More political intimidation and violence occurred this time at Wytchwood Farm Labour ordered to attend the Murombedzi rally were afraid, and some refused to go, with one woman stating she felt they might be bombed.  On 17.02.02, it was discovered a campaign poster of the President in the workshop had been written on. The owner informed the Tredar guard and the boilerman on duty and all the settlers came to inspect the poster.  The following day, the owner was told to find those responsible, as he was also a suspect, which he refused.  The Zanu (PF) youth brigade based on Nyamgomba Farm were summoned by the settlers.  When they arrived, they stated if the culprit was not found, the whole workforce would have to report to the Youth base for re-education and interrogation. As no one confessed, the tractor and trailer were commandeered to take away the labour.  The mechanic and tobacco foreman were beaten up with sticks. A third person confessed to writing on the poster implicating another labourer. The two guilty men were severely assaulted and are still being held at the base camp. The rest of the workforce eventually arrived back at about 8.30 pm, afraid and tired.
The labour was ordered to return to the camp at 11.00 am 19.02.02. The mechanic and tobacco foreman who were beaten up have pleaded to not report this to the police, fearing retribution.  The owner of Banket Farmers' Centre  was abducted on 20.02.02, and made to walk through bush in his bare feet for 5 kilometres, being constantly prodded to “hurry up”.  When ZRP arrived, he was taken to Raffingora Police Station and charged with holding a public meeting without police clearance.    At the time he was with one other person.  The police forced him to open his car boot and confiscated his copy of the Daily News.
Chinhoyi Urban -  rocks were thrown at passing cars on 20.02.02.  Apparently election agents are being trained and the one party threw rocks at the other.  On 21.02.02, about 150 Zanu (PF) youth brigade were parading on the main road in the vicinity of Hunyani Farm just south of Chinhoyi.  
Trelawney/Darwendale - Section 3 Notices for specialist education services were issued to Mpinga Grading Shed and Munda wa Bwino Farm A Zanu (PF) youth base camp was set up on Machiroli Farm with 150 youths, coming from Zvimba and the farming area. They went through ‘training’ and were deployed into the area in preparation for a rally to be held at the farm on 24.02.02. The farm labour was forced to attend the 'training' meeting, and the owner constantly approached with demands.  At Marussino Farm a visit was made by 20 youth led by Mr Lionde from TTC. They demanded a cottage be vacated, the costs of milling maize be reduced from $50/bucket to $30/bucket, transport to the rally on 24.02.02 and a tap be provided outside the fence for settlers’ access to water.  The owner was berated for not co-existing and told to 'go back to Britain' as he did not provide a tractor and trailer to go to Murombedzi for the rally, but instead gave a lift to Banket and transport money to the six labourers who wished to attend the meeting.
Chegutu - On Faun Farm Zanu (PF) youth disturbed the tobacco reaping, using the matepes to beat up ten of the labour, stating they were MDC supporters.  Six workers have been abducted and are believed to be at the ZANU (PF) youth training camp on Solitude Farm (resettlement).  The Deputy Minister of Justice, Mr Mangwana MP, recently visited Faun Farm twice, wanting to move into the owner’s house.  At Pickstone Mine, three illegal roadblocks were set up by Zanu (PF) youth over the last weekend.
Chegutu farming family evicted in the early hours 22.02.02 – the owner of The Grove his wife and two children aged 3 and 5, were evicted from their Chegutu farm just before dawn this morning.  About 20 "war vets" and Zanu (PF) supporters, led by well known "war vet" Gilbert Moyo, arrived in vehicles and broke through two locked security gates at about 04:00 hrs.  The family managed to send a radio distress call before two of the men gained entry to the house.  The men demanded all farm weapons locked up in the safe and instructed them to vacate the house immediately.  The community reacted to the distress call and sealed off all exits.  When they made themselves known by hooting, at least five shots were fired in their direction, hitting a tyre on one vehicle and a tailgate of another.  The family were physically unharmed and are now off the farm and safe.   Police reacted to stabilise the situation. Further reports state that at 08:00 hrs about 40 "war vets" and Zanu (PF) supporters, suspected to include the same people involved in The Grove incident, surrounded the homestead at de Rus farm. Police responded and stabilised the situation.  Teith Farm was visited this morning by a different group, making aggressive demands.  Again, police have reacted favourably and the situation is stabilised with outcome unknown.
Selous - The owner of Mount Carmel Farm, after refusing to give donations to Zanu (PF), broke down at Gadzema in his vehicle and whilst walking along the main road, was verbally abused and spat upon by a group with the Zanu (PF) Chairman for the area.  In addition, a veld fire was started on Mount Carmel and there was a fabricated report in the state media regarding a farm manager who had supposedly been arrested. 
Kadoma - On Champagne the game guards are not allowed to use weapons.  Police stated that although poachers with spears and dogs are killing, on average, one large game animal a day, the guards still cannot protect the game.  The owner of Maidavale Farm has been hospitalised.  This is due to complications resulting from an incident earlier in February 2002, where he was knocked unconscious by settlers coming from Alabama Farm and surrounding properties.  He has had trouble in standing and x-rays reveal there is still swelling in the brain.  He has been in hospital for the last few days.  His labour continue to be taken off for “re-education” for about three days a week. 
General - ZANU (PF) youth base and training camps appear to have sprung up in a number of places including Shingwiri (Norton), Rock (Norton), Selous Town, Pickstone (Chegutu), Katawa (Chegutu) and Alpha/Mopani/Solitude (Chegutu), as well as various places within Kadoma.
Masvingo East and Central - All seems to be quiet in this area.
Chiredzi - Wasarasara Ranch has two cattle still reported missing.  At Oscro Ranch three cattle, including one bull, have been slaughtered and the meat taken. Meat has been seen on the Sebananai boundary with settlers who claim it is Eland meat. Police are presently investigating.   Poles were being uplifted on the Bangala Ranch boundary, when settlers (approximately 25 women and 5 men) abducted the tractor, driver and the trailer. They hid the tractor and trailer and demanded all the poles be returned to Bangala Ranch. A rally followed with debate concerning the issue. The owner was threatened with death should he leave his home and is presently not allowed anywhere on his property. The tractor and trailer were used by the settlers and then finally returned to Samba Ranch unharmed. Although reported to the police, the situation is also being looked into by the settlers’ committee to reach a resolution.
Save Conservancy - Poaching and snaring continue.
Mwenezi – at Quagga Pan B 15 new stands have been pegged by Agritex officials. One cow reported slaughtered and meat taken.
Gutu / Chatsworth - Continued harassment with demands and threats for cattle to be moved off properties and farm labour threatened with eviction.  Appin Farm received a Section 7 Notice.
In most areas the situation is unchanged, with general lawlessness prevailing but no incidents of an outstanding nature have been reported.
Gweru – the Zanu (PF) Youth Brigade are stepping up their meetings on Game Park. Approximately 45 head of cattle have gone missing from Loudon Farm. A mobile Unit is going around the area finding out who needs birth certificates and IDs and promising to sort these out for those who don’t have them. On Arizona Farm, wild zebra breached a fence round a plot holder’s crop and cattle followed them in. The plot holder impounded the cattle, which are being held at Game Park, and is demanding compensation of two tonnes of maize. As the maize appears to have failed, the owner has been advised to get Agritex to come and evaluate the crop loss.
Hunters Road - The farm villages of 6 farms in the area were robbed. Police have been repeatedly informed, but there has been no response at all.
Kwekwe - On Delvillewood Estates meetings were held with the D.A. and the Land Committee Chairman regarding supply of water to settlers on Bonsted, as their maize was drying up. Metering and pumping of water has been discussed. The lock was removed from the tap and the canal to Bonsted was flooded.  The irrigation had to be turned off, as the dam was too low. A few days later the owner set the taps to allow water to flow to Bonsted and was then approached for the use of a tractor to disc the sides of the lands. This was refused and it was suggested the settlers approach DDF. Later the lock was again broken on the taps and water released to Bonsted. There has been continual theft of maize. One of six women thieves was caught with 8 x 50 kg bags of mealies but was released because she was nursing a child. On being caught again, the following night, she was taken to the police where she gave the names of the other culprits. The husbands of the thieves came to the owner to demand the release of their wives. Ten labourers were guarding the lands when forty people, led by women, arrived, beat up one of the guards and started stealing maize. Police reacted and sent in the dog section and the outcome is awaited. The fence around a house on the property was cut and various valuable items were stolen from the grounds.  On Belgrave Farm four men and a woman entered the workshop, demanding the keys from the guard, who did not have them. They proceeded to the tobacco stoker, who hid, so they advanced on the manager’s house, beat up the guard and broke windows. Police were notified and reacted within 45 minutes. Further response is awaited.  A cow was slaughtered on Caberfeigh.  Some visitors arrived at the back gate of Tridale Farm and told the labour they were being underpaid.  Settlers are busy ploughing land on Mooi Rivier Estate to plant sugar beans. Maize is stolen every night with ten to fifteen people involved. They are very aggressive and chase security guards away with rocks. Demands have been made the owner provide transport for rallies and food for Zanu (PF) Youth Brigade. GMB inspectors have also visited the farm. Poaching is out of control with dogs roaming the property day and night.  On Machakwi Estates, labour was told they must join H/GAPWUZ.
Nyamandlovu – there was general talk in the district all farmers should be off their farms by 16.02.02.  In the Redbank area about 80 of the Zanu (PF) Youth Brigade based in the area are intimidating labour and one rape case has been reported.  Tandanani Farm had a complete work stoppage on 17.02.02.  The following day about 60% of labour returned to work.  On 18.02.02, the owners were harassed by youths armed with traditional weapons, but they later dispersed without incident.
Marula – the ongoing problems at Sandown North Farm saw the owner removing furniture from the safari camp.  Within half an hour, the gang of eight resident youths responsible for most of the problems in the past week, appeared carrying axes and observed proceedings. They left a while later to destroy more buildings in the new farm village.  This had been built in the past week to accommodate labour who had been evicted from their homes.  They also destroyed a corrugated iron shed and stole tools stored in the shed.  They then went to look for the senior cattleman. They told him the cattle scale must be returned to the cattle pen, or they would cause a work stoppage on 19.02.02. After they left him, they passed labour spraying the paprika crop, and said they would soon force the labour to drink the poison. Figtree police were regularly contacted through the day to report the threats.  The police were evasive and even stated that threatening someone is not a crime. They said they would come once someone had been killed, as that would then be their business. The current situation is classified as "the land issue", and is not a police matter, and thus not a crime.  The Member of Parliament for the area was contacted, who put pressure on the provincial police HQ, and the DA was called who said  he would arrange War Veterans leadership and Zanu (PF) officials to come out.  At about 5.30 pm, the OIC Figtree arrived, followed ten minutes later by two policeman from Somnene base camp. The "gang of eight" was waiting outside the workshop area for the farm foreman, armed with knobkerries, and a sharpened metal rod with barbs on it.  The police interviewed them, confiscated the weapons, and were arresting them when another vehicle arrived, containing officials from the War Veterans Association and Zanu (PF).  The youths were taken before the labour and severely berated by their leadership. The owners were assured the trouble will not be repeated, and were asked to "forgive" the transgressors, who were then released. The situation is now calm. The farm lies in the green Veterinary buffer zone. This week red-zone cattle were brought into the farm by the settlers, and a report to the Veterinary Dept. Plumtree (Mrs V. Moyo) met with a very arrogant reply. Since foot and mouth has broken out in the district, all cattle are to be vaccinated, and the zoning of areas has fallen away. She said that she had settlers at her office as we spoke, and she was issuing them with permits.                                Visit the CFU Website

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DRC-ZIMBABWE: Timber resources fuelling conflict

JOHANNESBURG, 22 February (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's involvement in the conflict in war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is allowing it to exploit that country's resources and keep Robert Mugabe's government afloat, alleges a British based non-governmental organisation (NGO) Global Witness.

Global Witness focuses on the links between exploitation of natural resources in conflict areas and environmental and human rights abuses.

In the past seven years Global Witness has highlighted the use of resources, including timber, oil and diamonds, to fund conflicts and corrupt regimes across the world, including Angola, Cambodia, Liberia and Zimbabwe.

The NGO said in a press release: "Following its military intervention in the DRC Zimbabwe has been crippled by its expensive involvement".

It quoted Global Witness director Patrick Alley as saying that "Zimbabwe entered DRC to exploit what resources it could get - modern day carpet-baggers. But what started out as opportunism has become necessity as the war has financially broken Zimbabwe, and DRC's resources are probably the only thing keeping the government afloat."

A Kinshasa based logging company, the Société Congolaise d'exploitation du bois (SOCEBO), had been established to allow the Zimbabwean military to log in DRC's rich forests. "This company is a joint venture between a Congolese company with close links to the presidency, Comiex Congo, and OSLEG - the commercial arm of the Zimbabwean army," the rights group said.

It alleged that the timber company is part of a "complex corporate web created over the past few years" by ZANU-PF, Mugabe's ruling party.

Global Witness said OSLEG (Operation Sovereign Legitimacy) had among its directors the commander of the Zimbabwean army Vitalis Zvinavashe, who was among military chiefs who issued a statement intimating they would only support a ZANU-PF victory in Zimbabwe's upcoming elections. "One can only speculate on who is buying this loyalty," said Alley.

Global Witness alleged the timber was being marketed by a United Kingdom based company, African Hardwood Marketing Ltd, which "is currently logging in DRC's Katanga Province with the Zimbabwean army".

"Given the UK government's attempts to bring an end to African conflicts, the fact that 'conflict' timber is being marketed by a UK based company must be very embarrassing to the (British) government. However, it does give the government the opportunity to prove it really does want to make concrete efforts to help end African conflicts, and to demonstrate this by closing this company down," Alley was quoted as saying.

The report can be viewed at:
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From The Zimbabwe Independent, 22 February

Zim diamond deals exposed

Senior Zanu PF politicians and members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces have with the help of Canadian lobbyists Dickens & Madson turned Zimbabwe into a hub for trade in "blood" diamonds illegally brought into the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), it emerged this week. The Zimbabwe Independent has been told how gemstones from the DRC have been laundered to line the pockets of Zanu PF big-wigs. American international diamond buyer, John Marsischky, managing director of gemstones company Flashes of Color, revealed in an interview this week that Dickens & Madson, the company which last week claimed it was hired by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai to assassinate President Mugabe, has been working as a conduit for the transfer of funds between Zimbabwean officials and buyers. Dickens & Madson, Marsischky said, were employed to do security checks on international diamond buyers.

Marsischky said he met representatives of the lobbyists last year when they did a security check on Flashes of Color before he met businessman Bob Codrington who said he represented ZDF commanders in the diamond trade. Codrington yesterday confirmed meeting Marsischky but denied having any links with the diamond trade. He said Marsischky came to Zimbabwe wanting to buy a parcel of diamonds from Zimbabwean officials. He said because of his business, he frequently visited the DRC to sell plant equipment but he had "never handled a single carat from the DRC". Marsischky said he and his team came to Zimbabwe on January 16 last year at the invitation of a ZDF diamond buying operation, Mineral Business Company (MBC), fronted by Major General Dauramanzi and Brigadier General Moyo who wanted him to buy diamonds which, it transpired, did not have proper documentation. Diamonds coming from war-torn countries like the DRC, Sierra Leone and Angola should have letters of certification from those governments. Diamond traders must also have permits from governments where gemstones originate.

Marsischky said MBC wanted to fly him to the DRC on a military aircraft to view gemstones. "We refused to fly by military transport or helicopter without the required entry visa to DRC," said Marsischky. "It was explained to us that as Zimbabwe was in control of security in Kinshasa and in particular Kinshasa airport, if we were in the company of Brigadier General Moyo then no travel documents would be required," he said. He said he decided to stay after being convinced the diamonds could be brought from the DRC for him to view and that there were other sources of diamonds in Harare. Subsequent meetings with government officials revealed their involvement in the illegal diamond trade with uncut stones being flown to South Africa where they were cut and fake documentation obtained to facilitate export to Europe. "One of these individuals named Major Bright arranged two conversations with (a named senior airforce officer) who told us personally that he had a parcel of more than 2 000 carats of rough diamonds.

"In addition to asking an exorbitant price, he told us that no export documents or certificates of origination for the stones could be made available," said Marsischky. He said contacts identified as Mandy Majoni and Herbert Janje put him in touch with Codrington who claimed to have a diamond-cutting machine, which he used to cut stones belonging to the senior ZDF commanders and a leading politician. "Codrington explained that the financial transaction would take place with the aid of the security consulting firm Dickens & Madson," said Marsischky. "He said they would designate accounts that we would transfer money to and when receipt by electronic transfer or letter of credit was confirmed, the diamonds would be released to us in the designated country such as South Africa. "We again made our point that we must have proper export documents and certificates of origination. Codrington explained that in South Africa, his associates would be able to supply us with the proper South African export documents. We said the certificates of origin had to come from the DRC since these are Congolese diamonds. Codrington said 'No one cares about that'," Marsischky said. Codrington yesterday denied owning a diamond-cutting machine. Marsischky said he returned to the US empty-handed as he refused to buy the illegal diamonds.

From ZWNEWS, 22 February

Who is Ari Ben-Menashe?

Ari Ben-Menashe, the Iranian-born political lobbyist responsible for allegations that the Zimbabwean opposition leader plotted to assassinate President Robert Mugabe, is a notorious international conman, intelligence sources report. His shady African adventures include maize deals in Zambia and continuing contacts with ex-President Frederick Chiluba. Ben-Menashe’s company, Dickens and Madson, based in Montreal, Canada, has in fact been working for Mugabe’s regime, intelligence reports show. Ben-Menashe was introduced to Mugabe in 2000 by Zimbabwean air force chief, Perence Shiri. For an international fixer-for-big-fees and arranger of kickbacks, Ben-Menashe came with impressive credentials: a phoney claim to have been a former officer in the Israeli secret service, Mossad; a 1990 acquittal in the United States on charges of illegally selling Israeli-owned C-130 Hercules aircraft to Iran; dubbed by Time magazine as a "veteran spinner of stunning-if-true-but yarns"; and attacked in Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal.

And Ben-Menashe produced results: on Feb. 13, just weeks before Zimbabwe’s presidential elections, an Australian TV network SBS broadcast a grainy video purporting to show Ben-Menashe and other company officials meeting opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai in Montreal in December and discussing how to remove Mugabe from power. Tsvangirai, Mugabe’s challenger in the March 9-10 poll, issued a detailed rebuttal. He described how Ben-Menashe last year approached the MDC, pressing his company’s services as a lobbyist. Tsvangirai said there were four meetings – and at the last one Ben-Menashe ``from nowhere introduced discussion around the issue of elimination and kept asking strange questions.’’ Suspicious, Tsvangirai stormed out of the meeting and subsequent MDC investigations revealed that Ben-Menashe, author of a book on political dirty tricks, had been hired by the Zanu PF government to set up the MDC. All contact was immediately broken off.

Ben-Menashe, 51, was born in Tehran to comfortably off parents of Iraqi origin who emigrated to Israel when he was 15. He did compulsory military service in 1978 – was never a member of Mossad - and afterward operated as a minor arms dealer, according to intelligence sources. Records in Israel show he left the country in March 1988 and never returned. His involvement with Chiluba, then Zambian president, began with a US $24 million deal for a Canadian company represented by Ben-Menashe, Carlington Sales, to supply 100,000 tonnes of white maize, intelligence sources report. Chibula was introduced to Ben-Menashe by Rajan Mahtani, a supporter, former business associate and owner of the Finance Bank and Professional Group of companies in Zambia. Carlington also had contacts with Zambian former Finance Minister Edith Nawakwi and Chiluba’s economic adviser, Donald Chanda. Carlington staff include Alexandre Legault, a vice-president who with Ben-Menashe and a Canadian, Charles Tritt, are directors of a London-based company, Assorted Metals and Gems Ltd., whose activities are listed as "mining and quarrying." Legault is also a principal with Ben-Menashe in Dickens and Madson, and is a fugitive from the law. He has been indicted in three US states for fraud committed 18 years ago, involving a US$13 million scam which defrauded over 300 old-age pensioners of their life savings. Most of the victims were over 75 years old.

The first Carlington maize deal in Zambia involved a sizeable commission for Chiluba and Mahtani, intelligence sources report. The government would put down 10% in a trust account supervised by a Canadian lawyer, Marie Larin, and have six months credit for the balance. Relations between the government and Mahtani soured when the government accused him of taking $240,000 from the trust account. He denied this. The deal collapsed after an October 1997 coup attempt, and Carlington tried to withdraw the six-month line of credit. Since the fallout, Mahtani has been subjected to harassment, was temporarily jailed in Zambia and his now suing Ben-Menashe in Montreal for defamation of character. Carlington later signed a new maize deal for which the Zambian government paid $7.8 million. In another deal reported by intelligence sources, Chiluba, learning of Ben-Menashe’s arms trading background, gave him a $1 million contract to use his contacts in the CIA and United Nations to play down Angolan charges that the UNITA rebel movement was involved in gun-running.

According to well-placed sources in Zambia’s business community, Chiluba continues to use Ben-Menashe. Dealings include, according to the sources, a plan to split the proceeds of a lawsuit that Carlington filed against the Zambian government. The suit stemmed from a contract with Carlington to hunt for potential buyers for copper mines. When Anglo-American signed a memorandum of understanding with the government to buy Nkana and Nchanga mines, Carlington asked for its fee. The government refused, saying Carlington had not been involved. Carlington is now suing for $10 million, represented by a London solicitor, Robin Lloyds of the firm Saunders and Co. According to a source close to Ben-Menashe, he expects the case to be settled out of court and to receive the first payments soon. In July 1998, the Zambian government acknowledged that Chiluba had used Ben-Menashe to try to corrupt Human Rights Watch. A statement from a Ministry of Finance official read: "We should learn a lesson from President Chiluba’s experiences with these characters (middle men). The President’s use of Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli Mossad officer, to import maize failed. And his use to try to corrupt Human Rights Watch at the last Consultative Group meeting to do a deal with the Zambian government and stop pressing the donors on good governance issues also failed. He was also used in the sales of mines, but nothing positive came out of it."

From News24 (SA), 21 February

Smart sanctions spare some vets

Harare - The European Union's personal sanctions against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle target some of his closest political allies, but also spare several veteran lieutenants. Mugabe apart, the senior figure on the EU list is Emmerson Mnangagwa, the speaker of parliament who is seen by many in Zanu PF as the president's preferred successor. Analysts say Mnangagwa is probably Mugabe's closest political ally, who has been trusted with his security and sensitive programmes, including supervising Zimbabwe's military intervention in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mnangagwa served as Mugabe's personal assistant in the 1970s when he led a guerrilla war for independence, became security minister at independence in 1980 and later justice minister. Human rights watchdogs accuse both Mugabe and Mnangagwa of allowing a crack army unit to kill thousands of innocent civilians in the 1980s while trying to suppress an opposition rebellion in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland and Midlands provinces. The two leaders deny the accusation.

The 15-nation EU decided on Monday to freeze assets held in their countries by Zimbabwe's ruling elite. The penalty, imposed after the head of the EU election observer mission was expelled from Zimbabwe on Saturday, also impose a ban on travel to EU countries by Mugabe's inner circle. Government officials say Mugabe and Mnangagwa, whom he promoted to the powerful position of administration secretary of the ruling Zanu PF party in December 2000, operate on the same political wavelength. Other sanctions' targets are: home affairs minister John Nkomo, defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi and security minister Nicholas Goche, who preside over government departments that have been accused of allowing a wave of lawlessness in Zimbabwe in the past two years; information minister Jonathan Moyo, who has led Mugabe's propaganda campaign in the last two years and piloted what his critics see as an unrelenting drive against the independent media. Government critics say agriculture minister Joseph Made has implemented Mugabe's controversial land-seizure drive with enthusiasm, while justice minister Patrick Chinamasa has spearheaded the executive's attacks on the judiciary and in forcing out of office a number of judges.

The list also includes cabinet secretary Charles Utete, foreign ministry permanent secretary Willard Chiwewe and information secretary George Charamba, who also doubles as Mugabe's spokesman. Harare-based Western diplomats say the three were probably included on the EU list because they were regarded as the leaders of Mugabe's backroom advisers. Foreign minister Stan Mudenge has carried Mugabe's fierce attacks abroad, defending his policies and attacking his opponents, including the EU, for alleged racism in response to the Zimbabwe crisis. Youth affairs minister Elliot Manyika, who turns out at ruling party rallies in military dress, is responsible for training a national youth brigade, which the opposition says is spearheading a violent campaign against its members. General Vitalis Zvinavashe, who is also on the EU sanctions list with other top army officers, came under the international spotlight last month when he vowed that Zimbabwe's security forces would not allow anyone who did not take part in the liberation struggle to take over power. The statement was seen as a clear warning that the army would not endorse main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who poses the greatest challenge to Mugabe in the March elections.

The EU list of 19 Mugabe associates notably omits his two vice-presidents, Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika, several long-serving cabinet ministers and some top military officers. Muzenda, 79, has been Mugabe's deputy since he came to power in 1980 when the former white-ruled Rhodesia gained independence from Britain. Many analysts regard Muzenda as one of Mugabe's most loyal deputies, a key adviser and a hardworking political foot soldier whose contribution is often under-estimated. Muzenda has served as Mugabe's senior deputy in the ruling Zanu PF party since the mid-1970s, officially carrying the title Deputy President and Deputy First Secretary. Msika, a veteran politician, was named state vice-president after the death in 1999 of Joshua Nkomo - the grand nationalist of Zimbabwe's black liberation struggle. The 80-year-old Msika is chairman of the government cabinet task force on Mugabe's controversial land reform, and officials say he is as committed to the programme as his political boss.

Political analyst Solomon Nkiwane said the EU had probably omitted Muzenda and Msika from its sanctions list because it believed they were not playing a prominent role in Mugabe's drive against the opposition. "I know that the government line is that their omission is part of a programme by the EU to create suspicions and cause divisions in its ranks," said Nkiwane, a political science professor at the University of Zimbabwe. "But I believe there is a strong opinion among foreign diplomats (in Harare) that both Muzenda and Msika are no longer playing a big role in terms of strategy and so on, and that they are taking a back seat in preparation for possible retirement. They are no longer seen as key players anymore," he added.

From IRIN (UN), 21 February

Voters ready to resist violence

Zimbabweans are not likely to be cowed into changing their vote on polling day, despite reports of widespread politically motivated violence and intimidation, a regional analyst told IRIN. Richard Cornwell, a senior researcher at the South African-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS), believes that the violence will not change the way people vote in Zimbabwe's presidential election on 9 and 10 March. "Although the situation is extremely violent and people are frightened there is a growing suspicion that whatever [happens] ... the poll will be fairly open," he said. President Robert Mugabe faces the toughest challenge to his two decade rule in Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Cornwell also rejected an alarming report by a US-based organisation, Genocide Watch. The rights group said the situation in Zimbabwe had reached a point where genocide was a possibility, contending that Mugabe's regime was pitting the majority Shona ethnic group (representing 80 percent of the population), against the Ndebele, who are perceived as backing the MDC. Genocide Watch said the current situation raised the spectre of mass killings on the scale of the Matabeleland massacres in 1982-1983, when government troops brutally suppressed a dissident campaign in the south of the country, the Ndbele heartland.

But Cornwell rejected the assertion. "We know there's political killing going on [but] I don't agree [with Genocide Watch] ... quite frankly it's a far different situation to what we've seen in Rwanda, Burundi and even West Africa, [where] there was the targeting of ethnic groups," he said. "In Zimbabwe Ndebele tend to be targeted because they are known to be opposed to Mugabe's rule but a large number of Shona are also known to be targeted [by Zanu PF], this [Genocide Watch] sort of analysis does nobody any favours." "The greatest threat to human life is not the political situation. It is the outgrowth of the political situation, in the form of economic collapse and the dearth of staple foodstuffs and/or the means to acquire them," he added.

Cornwell forecasted that a Mugabe win in the presidential elections was far from certain. "There's a groundswell, although this is anecdotal and impressionistic, there [in Zimbabwe]. There are certain signs that Mugabe could be in a lot more trouble than he imagines, whether this will dawn on him and prompt him to take more drastic measures, such as the banning of Tsvangirai's candidacy, remains to be seen," he said. Like many analysts Cornwell believes that the withdrawal of European Union election observers this week "certainly makes it easier to commit [human rights] abuses" for the purpose of political intimidation. Cornwell's view on the poll outcome has some support, judging from a recent report in Zimbabwe's only independent daily newspaper. The Daily News published the results of a poll in which nearly 20 percent of the 1,693 people surveyed in rural and urban areas said they would vote for Tsvangirai. This was against 11 percent who said they would vote for Mugabe. Tellingly, or not, in a climate in which it's dangerous to openly declare support for Tsvangirai, nearly 60 percent refused to say how they would vote. The poll was conducted by a university-based organisation called the Mass Public Opinion Institute.

From SAPA, 21 February

Independent newspapers not allowed into Harare

Johannesburg - Zimbabwe would not allow journalists working for the Independent Newspapers group to cover the presidential election in that country, a Zimbabwean government official said on Thursday. "We would not include such a paper," said Eddie Mamutse, an official in the Information Ministry where applications for accreditation to cover the polls are processed. He said the reason was that Independent employed prominent Zimbabwean-born journalist Basildon Peta. Peta, 30, is a Zimbabwe correspondent for the British Independent daily newspaper and the Independent Newspapers group in South Africa. The award-winning journalist previously worked for the independent Financial Gazette in Zimbabwe. Mamutse was quoted on Tuesday, saying a very large newspaper or organisation "whose reporting on us may not have been favourable" would likely be rejected.

His comment followed an announcement by the Zimbabwean government that it had lifted a ban it imposed on SA journalists covering the elections. On Monday, Harare told the Sunday Times, the Independent Newspapers group and Beeld that their applications to cover the presidential polls were turned down. However, Mamutse said on Thursday applications for Rapport, Beeld, the SABC and were now approved. He said the Sunday Times and many others who have applied would have to wait to learn their fate. "We can only act from a letter indicating that (those organisations) are interested to cover the elections," Mamutse said. "We have a difficulty with the former Zimbabwean journalist. This is to say his employers would not be able to cover the elections." When asked for more details, Mamutse said he was speaking off the record and therefore could not be quoted. He had already been told he was speaking to a Sapa journalist.

Alan Dunn, an editor at the Independent News Network (INN), said he did not know whether his organisation would be allowed to cover the election on March 9 and 10. "We don't know yet. We were told that we would receive a letter from Harare in the next few days. We don't know what is in that letter," he said on Thursday. He said that Mamutse might have referred to the Independent Newspaper in London. However, he added that they were related. The Independent Newspapers group owns 14 titles in South Africa, including The Star and The Argus, the Independent in London, and has newspapers in New Zealand too -- for which Peta wrote articles. Deon Lamprecht, who spoke on behalf of Beeld and Rapport, said he was delighted that their application had succeeded and hoped other journalists would be able to go as well. "We are obviously relieved, we expected the difficulties but we are grateful to Sanef (SA National Editors Forum) and the (South African) government," he said. The Sunday Times could not be reached for comment.

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Zimbabwe sanctions 'could seriously hit neighbouring states'

The secretary general of the Organisation of African Unity has criticised
the EU for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwean leaders.

Amara Essy warns the move could harm the political and economic situation
within Zimbabwe.

He says it could also have "serious negative implications" in the
neighbouring states of Africa.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says the elections on March 9-10
will be "a critical test of democracy not only in the country, but in all of

He said: "The people of Zimbabwe must be allowed to cast their votes free
from violence, intimidation, and hindrance of any kind in the presence of as
wide a range of international observers as possible.

"For the sake of the people of Zimbabwe, of its neighbours and the entire
continent of Africa, I appeal to the government to let the people make their
choice, and to live by it," Mr Annan added.

Story filed: 09:08 Friday 22nd February 2002

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95 People Accredited for Presidential Election in Zimbabwe

Xinhuanet 2002-02-22 16:26:30

HARARE, February 22 (Xinhuanet) -- About 84 international observers and
11 foreign journalists have so far been accredited for the March 9 and 10
presidential election in Zimbabwe, according to newspaper Herald on Friday.

Of the observers, 30 are from Europe, the Electoral
SupervisoryCommission (ESC) was quoted as saying.

A total of 153 scribes, both local and foreign, have been accredited
since the exercise began two weeks ago.

The accredited observers are from the Commonwealth and the governments
of South Africa, Botswana, France, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, Italy and

The ESC said contrary to reports that all observers from the European
countries had withdrawn, it has surfaced that some of them who were invited
to observe the election in their individual capacities are still in the

The government invited observers from France, Italy, Spain, Greece,
Luxembourg, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Austria and Portugalin their
individual capacities.

The ESC chief elections officer Douglas Nyikayaramba on Thursday
confirmed that the observers from these countries had been accredited and
were in Zimbabwe.

Analysts have said the fact that some European countries will still
observe the election showed lack of unanimity in the European Union (EU)
over Zimbabwe as some countries had open mindsabout the situation in the
country unlike Britain and five other EU members.

Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Germany have been
sponsoring the opposition Movement for Democratic Changeand allowing
anti-Zimbabwe radio broadcasts from their territories.For that reason, the
six have been barred from observing the poll,said the report.

Pierre Schori, the so-called head of the EU electoral observer mission
to Zimbabwe, was ordered to leave the country last Saturday. Schori, the
Swedish ambassador to the United Nations, arrived in Zimbabwe on February
10. Enditem

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Daily News

MDC says attack on offices was an assassination attempt

2/22/02 1:25:27 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE MDC says the attack on its headquarters by unruly Zanu PF supporters on
Monday was meant to assassinate its leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Business temporarily came to a standstill, as more than 5 000 Zanu PF
supporters went on a rampage in the streets of Harare, leaving a trail of
destruction and at least four people injured.

“That barbaric attack was well calculated to create chaos and paint a
situation as if Zanu PF supporters attacked our president Tsvangirai in an
unruly moment,” said Learnmore Jongwe, the MDC spokesman. “That was a
well-calculated assassination attempt.”

Jongwe said the drama must send strong signals to the international world
and the region about Zanu PF”s arrogance and hypocrisy.

“The National Constitutional Assembly members were arrested last week when
they held a peaceful march,” he said.

“But Zanu PF bussed hooligans from Mashonaland Central and East to beef-up
its dwindling support in Harare, and with police escort, they looted
property and injured innocent souls.
“This shows that it is only Zanu PF that still enjoys freedom of association
and assembly. It is abusing that privilege to try to assassinate Tsvangirai.

That is unacceptable and it must be condemned.” But Jongwe”s counterpart in
Zanu PF, Dr Nathan Shamuyarira said the demonstration was peaceful.

“That women”s demonstration was peaceful,” said Shamuyarira. “Why is it that
everything that Zanu PF does ends up being bad in your eyes and anything
that the MDC does is good? That is bad for the profession,” he remarked.
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Daily News

Anglican parishioners call for resignation of clergyman

2/22/02 1:24:48 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Parishioners at St Luke”s Anglican Church in Greendale, Harare, want
Archford Musodza, their rector, to resign for allegedly failing to provide
leadership and direction at a “very critical time in the life of both the
church and the nation”.

In a letter to Musodza dated 5 February, signed by two church wardens,
Bothwell Mbuwayesango and Shireen Selyer, the parishioners reminded Musodza
that an emergency church council meeting on 26 January had agreed that he
should resign.

This came after a vestry meeting earlier that month, at which church members
expressed concern over what they said was “the lack of leadership and sense
of direction from the clergy”.
The church wardens listed five reasons why Musodza should resign.

They alleged that he had failed to provide spiritual and moral leadership to
the congregation, had not spoken out against evil in the church and the
nation, had refused to stand up for the Word of God and the truth, had
passively and actively condoned evil in the church and the nation, and
“inability to share the same fundamental beliefs, aspirations, goals and
vision as the generality of the St Luke”s family”.

But George Wauchope, the chairman of the Anglican Church”s Justice, Peace
and Reconciliation Committee and spokesman for the church, said the
parishioners had no power to fire Musodza.
He said: “First, since Fr Musodza is employed by the Diocese of Harare and
licenced by the bishop, the church wardens have no right to demand that he

Secondly, any decision on a matter of such gravity should have come from a
special session of the vestry and not the church wardens.” He said St Luke”
s, whose former rector was Tim Neill, had never been happy with the election
of Bishop Nolbert Kunonga.

“They also consider Father Musodza as a tool of the bishop,” Wauchope said.
Neill, who contested the election for the Bishop of Harare against Kunonga
and two others, left the church in July last year after failing in his
challenge against Kunonga”s election on the grounds that the election
process was flawed.

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Daily News

Mugabe’s birthday comes and goes with no fanfare

2/22/02 5:13:03 AM (GMT +2)

By Sandra Nyaira Political Editor

PRESIDENT Mugabe turned 78 yesterday and the day passed off without the
usual pomp and fanfare during which he is normally showered with sycophantic

His relative, the 76-year-old veteran nationalist James Chikerema, said this
was Mugabe’s worst birthday.

Chikerema said: “I think they are ashamed to celebrate his birthday this
time because they know that he won’t be in power after the 9-10 March
presidential election, if the poll is free and fair.”

Mugabe received an early and unwelcome birthday present from the European
Union (EU): they finally slapped him, his family and inner circle with
personal sanctions.

Both Chikerema and another old ally of Mugabe, Edgar Tekere, 64, did not
think the sanctions would budge Mugabe.

“Ane musoro wakaoma (He is obstinate). He won’t change at all,” said Tekere
of his erstwhile associate.

The sanctions, which ban arms sales, bar travel to the EU, freeze overseas
assets and the eject targeted officials’ offspring from EU colleges and
universities, do not include ordinary Zimbabweans.

“These sanctions are only going to be an inconvenience to Mugabe,” said
Chikerema. “I don’t believe he has money outside the country. If he had any
money it cannot be in his name. He is too smart for that. Besides, the
threats had been talked about for a long time, giving them enough time to

Tekere, who accompanied Mugabe on that famous long walk into Mozambique in
1975, said of the sanctions: “This funeral is not for the people of
Zimbabwe. It is Mugabe and his family’s funeral and we are not going to
sympathise with them. They are being punished for their misrule of this

Tekere asked why the ruling elite sent their children to study abroad, and
not at the “Chenjerai Hunzvi” schools they have created.

The former Zanu PF secretary-general lambasted South African President Thabo
Mbeki’s government for condoning Mugabe, and not siding with the people of
Zimbabwe, by his disinclination to take a tough stance against Mugabe.

Chikerema described Mbeki as a “terrible coward” for failing to stand up to

Analysts agreed with Chikerema that this is probably Mugabe’s worst
birthday, with his political grip loosened by a robust and much younger
Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC, whose campaign has depicted Mugabe as an aged

An official in Mugabe’s office said: “Today he will only make do with a
birthday cake from the office and probably a small celebration with his

Chikerema predicted Tsvangirai would win by a landslide. Of his personal
relationship with Mugabe, the former right-hand man of Joshua Nkomo said: “I
don’t talk to him anymore. I only see him on television, and his behaviour
is of a very frightened man.”

Chikerema said Mugabe was frightened of losing the election to Tsvangirai,
who came into politics formally only two years ago.

Tsvangirai will celebrate his 50th birthday on 10 March, the last day of the

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Daily News

Milk shortage increases following price controls

2/22/02 1:23:18 AM (GMT +2)

Farming Editor

CONTROLS on milk marketing have created viability problems in the dairy
sector, resulting in the current milk shortages, officials in the industry
have said.

Shortages of milk have been prevalent since the introduction of price
controls on milk last year.

The government last year introduced controls on various basic commodities
including milk as a measure to cushion consumers against further price
increases which had become rampant.

Manufacturers argued that increases in prices of basic commodities on a
regular basis were a result of the high cost of production, caused by huge
expenses incurred in procuring foreign currency.

In an interview during the Dairy Farmer of the Year awards presentation on
Tuesday, Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited (DZL) chief executive officer, Anthony
Mandiwanza, said: “Controls on milk marketing have negatively impacted on
milk production. Farmers are now producing in an environment of high
inflation, where the cost of production is very high.”

Jane Barry of Mutare won the Dairy Farmer of The Year Award for 2001. She
received an air ticket to Europe.

“Because of the controls, we have not been able to review the milk producer
price and we should have done this in January.” Mandiwanza said DZL is
negotiating with the government to allow it to introduce a new producer
price to improve viability in the industry.

The current milk producer price is $29 a litre, with an additional three
percent for quality premium.

If the milk producer price is increased, DZL, the main supplier of milk in
the country will increase the consumer prices.

Mandiwanza said the commercial farming sector had reduced milk supply by
three percent because
it is facing viability problems caused by the high cost of production,
shortages of stockfeeds and the current mid-season drought in Zimbabwe.

National Association of Dairy Farmers chairman, Stoff Hawgood, said: “The
price controls have created further difficulties for dairyfarmers.

“We urgently need uninterrupted access to our grazing and cropping land and
an enabling environment allowing us to maximise production.” Many farmers in
the livestock industry have been facing stockfeed shortages because Dr
Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, is
spearheading a campaign to seize maize in commercial farming areas.

The government is also confiscating maize for livestock to improve maize
supply. Mandiwanza said there were also shortages in milk because a quota of
milk imported by Zimbabwe from South Africa was no longer coming into the

He said sterilised milk exports by cross-border traders who took advantage
of the distorted exchange rate in Zimbabwe also caused the shortages in the

Mandiwanza said while there were shortages of milk in Zimbabwe, the company
had sold more milk this period than it had during the corresponding period
last year.

He said DZL sold 6,6 million litres of milk from November 2001 to January
2002, compared to 5,3 million litres marketed during the same period last
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Daily News

Abducted Mutoko couple still missing

2/22/02 1:23:55 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Ephraim Tapa, the national president of the Civil Service Employees”
Association (CSEA), and Faith Mukwakwa, his wife, have been missing since
they were abducted for interrogation at a “base” at Masvitsa School in the
Hoyuyu resettlement area in Mutoko on Saturday night.

Their captors were reportedly Zanu PF supporters who demanded that they
produce Zanu PF membership cards. When they couldn”t, they were forcibly
taken to a “base” for interrogation.
Raymond, Ephraim”s brother, yesterday said Tapa”s Mazda B1600 truck,
registration number 630-195A, was found at the school, where Mukwakwa
teaches on Tuesday, but the fate of the couple was unknown.

Raymond and a cousin, Morgan, who were with Tapa and Mukwakwa when they were
kidnapped, escaped shortly after arriving at the school.

A spokesman for the CSEA, who declined to be named, said the association had
engaged a lawyer to establish the whereabouts of the couple through the
Mutoko police.

Inspector Mbanga, the officer-in-charge of Mutoko police, yesterday
afternoon said he had not heard about the discovery of Tapa”s car.

He said: “I have just arrived from Murehwa and I will check.” Raymond said
they stopped at
Corner Store in Hoyuyu to buy food on their way to Masvitsa School, when
they were suddenly surrounded by about 30 Zanu PF youths who demanded Zanu
PF membership cards.

“They ordered Morgan and me onto their truck while Tapa and his wife were
told to drive to the school. At the school there was a lot of confusion as
Zanu PF supporters poured out of classroom blocks. Morgan and I managed to
escape in the confusion.”

Morgan, who had a wound on his left arm, allegedly from a bullet, said: “We
fled in different directions. I headed for the main road some kilometers
away and later flagged down a vehicle which turned out to be full of Zanu PF
supporters from the school. They recognised me and I fled into the bush, but
one of them shot me in the arm.”

The two met up in Murehwa on Sunday and headed for Harare, where Morgan was
taken to hospital for treatment.

Last week on Wednesday two headmen were seized from a bus at the same Corner
Store allegedly by Zanu PF supporters, while three other people were
kidnapped from their homes the following day.
Inspector Mbanga declined to comment on the investigations into the
abductions, saying the case had been taken over “by others”.

He refused to elaborate.

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Daily News - Leader Page

The fallacy of changing colonial names

2/22/02 4:38:48 AM (GMT +2)

By Shylock Makonese

WHEN a man marries a mvana a Shona term for a single mother he adopts her
children into the new family, without changing their names.

This is traditional African custom. The Shona aptly coined an idiomatic
phrase which literally translates as taking a tree branch and its leaves. In
other words, you cannot separate the leaves from the branch.

The history of Zimbabwe is incomplete without reference to colonialism. The
flower of independence would not have blossomed without the roots and stems
of colonialism as its foundation.

It is a historical fact that Zimbabwe was a colony of Britain since 1890.
There is nothing we can do about that. It is a fallacy to believe otherwise.

During the period of colonialism, the whites developed the country’s economy
up to 1980.
They constructed several schools, some of which were named after white

This was in line with their social values. A benefactor who puts up a grand
project would, naturally, want it named in honour of someone of note.

In our society, children are named by their parents because a Shona name is
an icon which always conveys a message on one’s birth.

It is not customary to give somebody’s child a name, unless, as a close
relative of the family, you have been requested to give a hand.

By the same token, when a man marries a single mother, he cannot change the
names of the wife’s offspring. Nor can he ostracise her children. She joins
the new family with her children.

The government has decided to change school names which have a colonial
tinge. They abhor the relics of colonialism in government schools. The
schools are to be renamed some of them have already been after the country’s
national heroes.

Does the government realise any tangible gains if schools with colonial
names are renamed after our national heroes? Is it not just a lack of
appreciation for the sterling contribution the colonial government made to
our educational resources? Despite the names they were given, these schools
were vehicles for the education of many of the country’s leaders today.

Although they were a preserve for white pupils, black children have since
independence been by far the majority of the pupils.

Black pupils benefited in that access to schools with abundant facilities
were at their disposal for the first time.

Psychologically, this improved their performance fifty-fold, as they tried
by all means to fit themselves into the tradition of their new-old schools.

While the government understandably rushed to change the names of towns such
as Salisbury, Hartley and Essexvale to Harare, Chegutu and Esigodini and
also Africanised the spelling of Umtali, Gwelo and Wankie to Mutare, Gweru
and Hwange, our school names remained with colonial names up to now.

Our children still prefer these colonially-named schools to those in
high-density suburbs.
They offer better quality education so goes a widely held belief among

If their names are changed, their traditions would sink into oblivion. The
school muses would go under. The enthusiasm that inspired our pupils to
perform their best, would probably wane.
If colonial names are bad for our government schools, I do not see how we
should accept them as our Christian or first names.

Why should we change school names if we are not changing foreign personal
names? Pupils do not go to school to learn about its name. The purpose for
all our schools is to educate those who want to learn.

The Tonga people of the Zambezi Valley led Dr David Livingstone to see one
of the wonders of the modern world, which he erroneously named Victoria
Falls, after the Queen of England.

That was in 1855. Over a hundred years now since then, the Tonga people
still reverently call the Falls Mosi-Oya-Tunya the smoke that thunders.

It is an affront to their culture to change that name. Why did government
not adopt the Falls’ original name? Queen Victoria reigned in England during
the period 1837 to 1901. She was
not one of our national heroes. In Roman legend, Victoria was a goddess of

Surely the name is a thorn in our national flesh. The government against the
expectations of, not only the Tonga people, but the nation as a whole,
decided to retain the name Victoria Falls in order to market the grandeur of
the national asset with a colonial label.

Tourists would not know where to find Mosi-Oya-Tunya, the nation was told.

Changing names of old government schools because they are colonial is like
pouring new wine into old bottles. A heritage of confusion ensues, let alone
the costly exercise which is almost always financed from the overburdened

Most people will continue using old names, like a son who identifies himself
with his father’s name long after his death.

Why should we denigrate our new heroes by naming old government schools
after their names? There are many areas where heroes’ names could be
conveniently used without changing colonial ones.

Is government trying to destroy the country’s history just to make a virtue
of necessity?
In Harare about 25 schools in the high-density suburbs are named in
numerical series.

In Mufakose suburb, the secondary schools there all carry the same name
Mufakose Secondary School, followed numerically by 1 to 4. Glen Norah, Glen
View, Kambuzuma and Kuwadzana suburbs are riddled with the same numbering.

In Gweru a prestigious government building is simply called Government
Building. A hero’s name could conveniently be used on such buildings.

Do we have to arouse or disturb the names of the predecessors the person
after whom the schools were first named by renaming them after our own
heroes? Are we not setting them to a tug-of-war for the same honour? If the
colonial names have to be changed, maybe the government should seriously
consider changing the colonial education acquired from these schools too.

Our qualifications, academic or professional, are measured by colonial
Colonialism exploited Africa, but spawned literacy and numeracy in return.

Most of our people still look to Western countries to get a good quality
Is English a colonial language not Zimbabwe’s lingua franca?

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Daily News

Demand for 40% forex seen curtailing exports

2/22/02 4:26:11 AM (GMT +2)

Business Reporter

EXPORTERS say the demand by the government that 40 percent of their export
earnings should be handed over to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to be
used for buying fuel and energy imports is curtailing exports and destroying
their businesses.

Exporters told a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) seminar on the
impact of the government’s 40 percent rule that their ability to undertake
business was being hampered by the government measure which was introduced
last July.

The ZNCC national co-ordinator, Luckmore Zinyama, said: “We have had a lot
of complaints from our members concerning the 40 percent foreign currency
that must be surrendered. Most of our members are actually having difficulty
with that.”

One exporter, a manufacturer of tubes, who buys his raw materials abroad,
said he was turning down export orders because the government’s demand for a
chunk of his earnings is pushing up his costs.

He said: “The 40 percent rule is frustrating our export growth. When the
government takes 40 percent of our earnings it makes continuity impossible.
We wish they would leave all our earnings so that we can acquire more raw
materials. We can no longer afford to buy in bulk because we are not left
with enough money.

We now have to pay premium prices for buying imports in small quantities.”
Another exporter, who imports raw materials for manufacturing glass, said:
“The 40 percent rule is actually killing us. When it was introduced we
stopped exporting some of our products. For as long as the government keeps
withholding 40 percent of our earnings a lot of companies are going to

Current policy is killing the golden goose that’s generating the money to
buy fuel.”
The exporters said, while they are paid for their 40 percent at the official
rate of exchange, they then have to resort to the parallel market to raise
more foreign currency.
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Daily News - Letter

Enrolling at "gay gangster" varsities

2/22/02 4:48:06 AM (GMT +2)

History really repeats itself.

So the ministers are sending their children to “gay gangster” countries so
that, like them who assumed better positions ahead of many freedom fighters
who died like paupers (Mayor Urimbo), their children will rule supreme over
the “green bombers” of the Gezi training institute in the near future.

Why can’t people see through this hypocrisy?

Hatidi So

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Daily News

Mnangagwa case takes new twist

2/22/02 5:00:19 AM (GMT +2)

By Pedzisai Ruhanya

LEONARD Zuze, a former prison inmate and friend of George Tanyanyiwa
Chikanga, the hard-core armed robber ordered released in March 2000 by the
now Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa, before his full jail term,
claims Chikanga told him he is Mnangagwa’s son.

Mnangagwa denied the allegation through his lawyers. Zuze says Chikanga told
him this when they became friends at Harare Central Prison and Chikurubi
Maximum Security Prison.

Zuze was serving 12 years for fraud. He was sentenced in 1988 and released
in 1995 after serving eight years.

In October 2001 in the High Court, Justice David Bartlett ruled that
Chikanga was improperly released and ordered Andrew Chigovera, the Attorney
General, to investigate Mnangagwa's conduct in the matter as he was then
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

Mnangagwa is Zanu PF's secretary for administration. Bartlett ordered
Chigovera to investigate all the files related to the release of prisoners
when Mnangagwa was Justice Minister, to establish if the releases were
handled properly.

Chigovera and his deputy, Bharat Patel, have repeatedly refused to say
whether they are investigating Mnangagwa, as ordered.

During Chikanga's trial, Mnangagwa admitted, in an affidavit, the prisoner's
release was an error.

But he blamed his then permanent secretary, Augustine Chikumira, now
deceased, and his personal assistant, a Mr Nyathi, also deceased, for the
error. Chikumira died in January last year.
In his ruling, Bartlett said he regarded Chikumira highly and, from the
evidence, was satisfied he was not, in any way, linked to the improper
release of Chikanga.

Zuze takes up the story: "Febby Chikanga, George's mother, used to visit her
son at Harare Central and Chikurubi prisons. She repeatedly assured him that
Mnangagwa, his father, was trying his best to have him released."

She allegedly told her son that his release would be complicated because,
normally, armed robbery was not a pardonable offence, Zuze said.

Zuze alleges Febby Chikanga openly told her son and other prisoners in Class
D that George would not remain in prison for long because his father was an
influential Cabinet minister.
Zuze says he was told by Chikanga that his mother allegedly met Mnangagwa in
Zambia during the liberation struggle. After independence she returned to

Zuze says at some point during Mnangagwa's tenure of office as Minister of
Justice, he visited inmates at Harare Central Prison. Before he met the rest
of the prisoners, he allegedly held a private meeting with George during
which George claimed he was assured by Mnangagwa that he would be released

"After reading about Mnangagwa's involvement in Chikanga's release in your
paper," Zuze said, "I decided to come out and reveal this. I was pained
because Mnangagwa refused to grant amnesty to me, but released his son who
had committed a greater offence." Last year Mnangagwa denied the

"In 1973 I was in prison," he said on the phone on 18 October. "That is
stupid. You can go ahead and do what you want."

On 16 November Mnangagwa switched off his cellphone when another call was
put through to him in connection with the matter.

On 31 January this year written questions were sent to him at Parliament.
"We have on more than one previous occasion attempted to put the following
questions to you on the telephone
without success," the letter says.

"During the course of our investigation into the early release from prison
of armed robber, George Tanyanyiwa Chikanga, it was revealed to us by
certain sources, one of them closely linked to you, that the convicted man
is, in fact, your own son.

"Our sources are adamant that Chikanga's release was a result of this close
relationship with you.

"While you have spurned opportunities extended to you to furnish The Daily
News with your own side of the story, we believe we should give you another
opportunity to respond before we go to print on the basis of the information
at our disposal."

Mnangagwa swiftly responded but through his lawyer. "Our client
categorically denies being related or personally known to George Chikanga
and his mother," Edwin Manikai of Dube, Manikai and Hwacha said in a letter
to The Daily News on 31 January.

"With regard to the release of the said George Chikanga, our client refers
yourselves to official documents pertaining to the same.

"The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is the relevant
arm of government which deals with these matters and you should channel all
communications relating to such matters to the ministry.

"Should you proceed to publish such malicious falsehoods our client will sue
you for damages for defamation. We are further directed that in the event of
litigation arising, this letter shall be produced to the court which will be
asked to award substantial damages as your refusal to heed this warning will
prove that any allegations you may publish were published deliberately and

This is not the first time that Manikai has made such spurious threats to
sue The Daily News on behalf of Mnangagwa.

He has in the past made similar threats even when his client had quite
clearly not been defamed.

Approached by The Daily News, Febby Chikanga denied that Mnangagwa was her
son's father.
She said George's father, Tichaona Chikanga, died in 1984.

She said she and George had returned from Zambia in 1980. An attempt by The
Daily News to verify the birth and death of Tichaona Chikanga at the
Registrar General's Office was barred by officials there.

They said only close relatives were allowed to do so. "Why are the courts
troubling Mnangagwa?" she said. "He did nothing wrong.

This is now a political issue and I pray for Mnangagwa. George was born in
1971 and is the second child."

In court Febby Chikanga told Bartlett that her son was born in 1973. When
asked to clarify this contradiction, she said: "I do not want to talk to you
about that. Please go to the registrar of births for that information."

Before passing sentence last July, Bartlett established that Chikanga was
previously convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison on various counts
of armed robbery, but only served nine years.

The court was told that Chikanga was prematurely released from prison
because he suffered from hypertension. Bartlett then ordered that Chikanga
be examined by a medical doctor to establish his health condition and the
circumstances leading to his release in March 2000.

When the case resumed last October, a medical report presented before
Bartlett stated that at the time of his release Chikanga did not suffer from
hypertension. Chikanga was then asked to tell the court how he managed to
come out of jail.

While Manikai now says that Mnangagwa is not personally known to Febby
Chikanga, George Chikanga's lawyer, Ticharwa Garabga, told the court that
Febby Chikanga personally petitioned Mnangagwa to secure her son's early

Febby Chikanga was then asked to explain the circumstances leading to the
release of her son.
She said that after her son was convicted and sentenced she wrote six
petitions to the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to
have him released because he was only 17 years old when he committed the
offence and he was the sole breadwinner of the family.

While Manikai now says Mnangagwa "categorically denies being related or
personally known to George Chikanga and his mother", Febby Chikanga told the
court that she did meet Mnangagwa and after the meeting and subsequent to
her last petition in February last year, Chikumira then wrote a letter to
the prison officials directing them to release her son.

This was done in March. She said if the court wished it could call Mnangagwa
to give evidence on the matter.

During Chikanga's trial, the court heard that a search by the police at
Chikanga's house in Hillside recovered $732 000 in cash and some foreign

Prosecutor Stephen Musona told Bartlett that the $732 000 found in
Chikanga's possession when he was arrested was being held in Febby
Chikanga's account at Kingdom Bank and was not surrendered to court as an
exhibit, as is normally the case.
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