Breaking News Update
(On behalf of Commercial Farmers’
Here is an update on the story filed
Firstly an update on events at De Rus Farm, owned by
Bertie Cremer. Police
arrived on Bertie's farm successfully diffused the
situation before it could
develop. Staff numbering 30 were however told to
attend a “re-education
rally” on Ogden-Brown’s farm but opted to decline as
according to the
workers spokesperson, “ They could face a beating weather
they attended or
not and would rather face a beating under the view of their
colleagues.” By 1 pm the situation remained calm although the
farm was not
At another farm owned by Mr Charles
Howarth of Teith and Leny Farms was
visited by a group who are conducting a
“re-education rally” with farm
labour from these and two other farms in the
environs. Leny Farm has been
conceded to Government under the Zimbabwe Joint
Resettlement Initiative. 4
Bags (200 kgs) of maize were
Update - Ogden- Browns farm.... He visited the farm mid
morning to assess
the situation. Evidence that looting had began is clear as
have been moved, apparently Police were able to stop this.
Police have maintained a presence they seem unable to evict the
remain in situe. Attempt to get back the keys to Ogden-Browns
house have failed. As lunchtime drew near, the War Vets are said
appropriated maize. Foodstuffs, including meat in the Deepfreeze have
taken. Most of the group were intoxicated when they arrived this morning
have consumed all the alcohol in the bar.
The leaders of
the group arrived in two vehicles, a green and red 504 sedan,
numbers are available. One of these vehicles was seen driving
to the District
Administrators offices but after a 15 minute period retuned
to the farm.
Supporters apparently from ZANU PF are being transported in an
old 3 tonne
Upon their arrival they had broken the 2000 litres Diesel
tank - the tank is
now empty. They had also forced Ogden-Brown to open his
safe, and contents
were noted, including Zd $ 120 000.00 in cash. Comrade
Moyo had refused to
allow the safe to be locked up and had guaranteed the
safety of contents.
A local tyre company has confirmed that a
tyre brought in for repair had
30,06 shot gun holes. Damage caused by Mr
Ogden-Brown’s Rifle fired on
neighbours by the War Veterans earlier that
Just 100 kilometers northeast of Chegutu,
Chivu/Featherstone area, 12
farmers were forced off their farms last 2 week.
The scenario there was the
forced payment of retrenchment packages to farm
workers under threat of
CFU Chairman of Mashonaland
West South, Ed Gundy confirmed the incidents but
said that although Police
had been helpful no arrests had been made by 3
Previous info ………
and Cheryl Ogden-Brown and their 2 children were evicted off
farm early this morning by a mob of 20 to 30 people led by a
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
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
A shaken Mr Ogden-Brown said, “We awoke to the sounds of
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
After telling me I had 30 minutes to leave, they started
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
the to the others outside – there were 6 weapons,
including a 9mm pistol.
One of the rifles was immediately
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
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
“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
Reports coming in a 8 am indicate that the same group
now numbering 40,
comprising War veterans and ZANU PF party supporters have
Cremer’s De Rus Farm.
For more information, please contact Jenni
263-11 213 885 or 263-91 300 456 or 263-91 362 668
Daily News - Leader Page
Zanu PF thinks we are all but complete
2/23/02 8:21:45 AM (GMT +2)
BASELESS nationalist hate propaganda may be harmful to both the
the recipient if not handled carefully.
It may bring
short-term gains, but produce long-term problems in the
psychology of the
It can result in unnecessary psychological ailments such as fear,
and xenophobia. It is against this background that propaganda should
treated with caution.
In Zimbabwe, today, hate propaganda has
become the order of the day. A
hapless Zanu PF government is heavily engaged
in a mission of mass delusion
through its media mouthpieces.
is being manipulated and presented to the people with distortions
protect the ruling party’s political aspirations.
But the truth is: Zanu
PF’s perceptions of the past are not necessarily the
only and correct
Failure to appreciate the many realities that confront the
nation today can
only lead to disaster.
State-owned newspapers and
broadcasting services are awash with images of
white people that are
tantamount to incitement.
Worse still, black people who think outside the
Zanu PF framework are being
presented as idiots. Zanu PF is brainwashing
people to hate themselves for
thinking other than the Zanu PF
Hate propaganda is being used to stir the people against the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and white people in
According to the propaganda, white people are only human if they
the Zanu PF camp. Otherwise, why is white-burdened Joseph Sacco of
infamous land song so extolled by the ruling party?
the ruling Zanu PF is absolved of any responsibility for the
While, certainly, great nations have been built on some
propaganda, the missing link in the State propaganda is that it is
on wholesome truth. In fact, it does not appear that the State is
propaganda for nation-building.
Clearly, there is a desire to
get quick returns on the part of the ruling
Zanu PF government.
now, the propaganda is turning on its head. People are killing
The earth has turned blood-soaked red.
architects of both the hate propaganda and the nation’s demise
pretty cool in the depressions of imported sofas while the
country and the
streets burn red with unfounded hate.
Nation-building is not based in
hate propaganda. Neither can the people’s
freedoms be achieved through
endless propaganda. Instead, social ills such
as poverty and HIV/Aids can
only be solved through the implementation of
It appears Zanu PF has forgotten the people. Or, to Zanu PF,
the people are
fodder that can be used and dispensed with ease.
utter nonsense for Zanu PF to suggest that the white man is
all our despair, and then at the same time, with a hidden
hand, go and beg
for food and money from the same white man.
It is utter nonsense for
President Mugabe to shout out loud about the sexual
make-up of Tony Blair’s
government, while the people are dying of hunger and
people do not want to hear who is who in the British government.
people want are concrete answers to the real problems that they
confronting on a daily basis.
The State hate propaganda
deliberately misses the point. Rather, it is
filled with distorted realities
to mislead the people. To Zanu PF, the
people come last. To Zanu PF, the
people are empty vessels that need to be
filled with nothing, but
However, the process of self-discovery in nation-building is not
possible by screening, printing and shouting taunts.
of self-discovery is not made possible by continuously
or real obstacles.
Neither is it made possible by rehashing demeaning and
distorted images of
oneself from the past. After all, the past is there to
stay. No amount of
Zanu PF rhetoric will erase the past.
Zanu PF is
trying to win the hearts of the people through merciless and
propaganda. But, even that much-talked-about blackness and black
only a matter of the heart. It does not consist of belittling
people. That is only a sign of weakness. Zanu PF is weak. But,
important, people do not live on blackness alone. The affirmation of
humanness is not merely a matter of anti-white propaganda.
Rather, it can
only be achieved through a well-considered and non-chaotic
improvement of our
It can only be achieved through a tactful challenge of the old
prepares the nation for tomorrow’s wild ride.
Zanu PF government lacks both.
It is behaving like a possessed spirit. Devoid
of ideas, it is seeking cover
under cheap hate propaganda.
Zanu PF is
not prepared to face the future with concrete ideas that do not
violence for their expression.
The Information Minister with a popcorn
tongue is at it again with his
propaganda making people insane.
not unjust to remind Zanu PF that the best form of propaganda is
within, but based on truthful external reality. Today’s propaganda
discrepant. It cannot withstand any test of confidence. It does not add
It was never designed to add in the first place and space, because,
we know, Zanu PF thinks we are all but fools.
The human mind
can only take so much. Zanu PF’s Armageddon will break -soon.
The new sun
will rise again tomorrow.
In a word, Zimbabwe will know freedom again,
and learn to love with
tenderness and care.
2/23/02 8:00:19 AM (GMT
By Luke Tamborinyoka
AS Ari Ben-Menashe arrived in Harare
yesterday, it emerged that among his
many shady international business deals,
he was involved in several
multi-million dollar contracts with the Zambian
government of Frederick
Chiluba in 1997 and 1998.
Sources allege that
the controversial businessman, who was described by Time
magazine as a
“veteran spinner of stunning if-but yarns”, was involved in
worth about US$33 million (Z$18,15 billion).
Efforts to contact
government officials in Lusaka were fruitless yesterday.
But it is
alleged Ben-Menashe, representing a Canadian firm called
Company, was introduced to Chiluba by Rajan Mahtani, a
linked to the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy.
The Zambian government
allegedly paid US$7,8 million for the procurement of
maize, which was never
delivered. The issue was swept under the carpet
because of Ben-Menashe’s
close friends in the government.
An earlier maize contract worth US$24
million failed to materialise after
Carlington Sales Company withdrew a
six-month line of credit to the Zambian
government following reports of the
foiled army coup in 1997. In the deal,
Ben-Menashe was allegedly working with
Alexander Legault, an American who
was allegedly present at the meeting with
Tsvangirai in Montreal in
Legault has an outstanding warrant
of arrest on fraud charges related to an
investment scheme in Florida. He has
been indicted in three states in the
United States for fraud committed 18
years ago involving a US$13 million
scam which deprived over 300 pensioners
of their life savings.
Carlington Sales Company was also contracted
during the privatisation of
copper mines in Zambia. It was appointed to
head-hunt for potential buyers,
but clashed with the Zambian government when
the contract was allegedly
handled by Anglo American Corporation.
Zambian government also contracted Ben-Menashe and his colleagues to
down allegations of gun-running by the Angolan government in 1998.
accused several senior Zambian politicians of sponsoring arms to
Chiluba’s government allegedly paid US$1 million to Ben-Menashe to
contacts in the US Central Intelligence Agency and the United
downplay the allegations and spruce up Zambia’s image.
A Zambian Ministry
of Finance official issued a statement after the failed
Part of the statement, issued in July 1998, reads: “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.”
Ben-Menashe, 51, who
was born of Iraqi Jew parents in Tehran, has written a
book on political
dirty tricks called Profits of War.
The book contained allegations
against Ronald Reagan, the former US
president, later described by a
Congressional investigation as “a total
From CBC (Canada), 14 February
The following is a transcript of the "As
it happens" programme on CBC Radio
Ari Ben-Menashe on Zimbabwean
BILL CAMERON: Hello. I'm Bill Cameron.
BUDD: And I'm Barbara Budd. Welcome back to As It Happens, part two.
story of international intrigue, presidential assassination plots,
apparently all captured on videotape. As Zimbabwe's presidential
campaign winds down, an incredible allegation against the man many
the best chance to unseat Robert Mugabe. The head of a
consulting firm says he was asked by Morgan Tsvangirai to
Ari Ben-Menashe also says he has the tape to prove it.
Ari Ben-Menashe is in
CAMERON: Mr. Ben-Menashe, tell me about this meeting in London.
How did it
ARI BEN-MENASHE: We were contacted by the MDC,
and the meeting was
arranged... arranged in London.
CAMERON: For what
BEN-MENASHE: When we got to the meeting Mr. Tsvangirai told us
of the meeting. He wanted us to... to help arrange the
assassination of the
president and do a coup d'état for him.
He's the leader of the main opposition party and he was
commissioning you to
BEN-MENASHE: He was trying to commission us to do that,
CAMERON: And you recorded this?
BEN-MENASHE: Well, the first
meeting was not recorded. We don't generally
record our meetings. But once
that issue was brought up, all kinds of alarm
bells and question marks went
up in my head. We asked for a second meeting.
It took place in London. It was
audiotaped. And the third meeting, which was
for the explicit purpose of
collecting the evidence, was video- and
audiotaped. It took place in
CAMERON: At each of these meetings Mr. Tsvangirai asked you to
BEN-MENASHE: That's right.
was this to be done?
BEN-MENASHE: I don't want to get into details.
There's a tape that talks
about this. It's all... it's available to the
CAMERON: But generally, how...
BEN-MENASHE: I don't want
to get into it, please. It's a long... long thing.
And we were supposed to
be... carry out a plot to assassinate the president
and carry out the coup
d'état with the help of the army.
CAMERON: It's been suggested that
perhaps someone was saying theoretically
Mr. Tsvangirai, if Mr. Mugabe was
assassinated by parties unknown, what
would you do, how would you handle
BEN-MENASHE: That's right. That's right. That's correct. But
he was asked
CAMERON: That's... that's different, isn't
it, than Mr. Tsvangirai saying I
want him dead.
BEN-MENASHE: No, no.
What has been said was OK... OK, the president is
eliminated, there's a coup
d'état. Then... then what would you do? How would
you handle the situation?
That was said. After he asked for the coup d'état,
and after he asked for the
assassination, the question then arose what...
how would you handle the
CAMERON: I've been looking through the transcript of the
broadcast, and I can't find a record of Mr. Tsvangirai asking you
BEN-MENASHE: Well, I believe... I believe there...
words used, elimination
and things. I have not seen the Australian SBS
program, but I have seen the
tape that was made. It's five or six hours long.
They have it. It's clear.
It's available to whomever wants to see it and hear
it. It's clear that
that's what he's asking for.
CAMERON: You've been
acquainted with Mr. Mugabe for quite a few years.
CAMERON: He's a friend of yours?
BEN-MENASHE: I hope he
calls himself a friend.
CAMERON: You've worked for
BEN-MENASHE: From time to time, yes.
CAMERON: What kinds of
things have you done for Mr. Mugabe?
BEN-MENASHE: Political consultancy.
Political advice, foreign affairs
advice, lobbying in various places in the
CAMERON: What kind of lobbying?
institutions, that type of stuff. Foreign affairs,
different countries and so
CAMERON: Has this been a secret?
BEN-MENASHE: It hasn't been a
secret. We just don't advertize it.
CAMERON: Mr. Tsvangirai knows Mr.
Mugabe pretty well, I suppose, has pretty
good information about his
associates. Do you think Mr. Tsvangirai would
know that you had worked for
BEN-MENASHE: I don't believe that he knew that at that time
there was a
relationship between us. He knew that in the past there was a
CAMERON: Why would he come to you with
BEN-MENASHE: Because he... I suppose... I'm... I suppose a few
his mind. I know Africa pretty well, and maybe they thought
about my past. I
was working for Israeli intelligence and I wrote a book
about the subject
and so on and so forth. Maybe that's what attracted their
CAMERON: What is there in your record that would lead Mr.
believe that you'd be open to an invitation to commit an
BEN-MENASHE: I don't know. I suppose working for Israeli
that to him.
CAMERON: Does it?
CAMERON: This meeting happened... this... the latest meeting happened
BEN-MENASHE: On the fourth of December in
Montreal, in our offices.
CAMERON: And did you tell Mr. Mugabe about
BEN-MENASHE: Of course.
CAMERON: But we're only getting the
BEN-MENASHE: That's right.
BEN-MENASHE: They obviously have been investigating the
CAMERON: But we're now in the closing weeks of an election
BEN-MENASHE: You know, that was brought up.
It's... what is a good time to
make this public? A year from the election, a
year after the election? What
is a good time to do this? And also, what was
brought up on the tape that
was very interesting was another assassination
attempt by the MDC that was
foiled by the government in April 2001, where the
government did not have
evidence to prove that... the link with the MDC.
Except one problem now Mr.
Tsvangirai has. He mentioned that plot on the tape
as well, and he linked it
BEN-MENASHE: Yeah. We were talking here. He felt, you know...
oh yes. Oh,
yes. The tape is about six hours long. Sorry, five or six hours,
sure. It's a very long tape. And it wasn't all broadcast by SBS but
have the complete tape. We have no control of what was broadcast or what
not broadcast. I suppose they cut it down. I...
CAMERON: But you
have a copy of the tape.
BEN-MENASHE: Yes, we do.
seen the SBS transcript, and that's on the Internet. You can
have a look at
it any time.
CAMERON: And it does not make the
point that you're making, that Mr.
Tsvangirai invited you to kill Mr.
BEN-MENASHE: I believe it does, and from what I understand it
please look at the whole program. It does. If it isn't there it's
tape. Anybody who wishes is invited to look at the tape. It's
CAMERON: OK. Let me take you up on that then. I
BEN-MENASHE: I will not give out copies of the tape, if you are...
are asking for that. We are... we do not give out copies of the tape.
will be... you can go to the Zimbabwe government, which has a copy, or
And I believe they are there. I will not give out copies of the
CAMERON: Yet you gave one to the Australian
BEN-MENASHE: I did not say I gave it to
CAMERON: You sold it to them.
BEN-MENASHE: We did not sell
anything, we did not... we did not make any
money on this
CAMERON: How'd they get it?
BEN-MENASHE: I have no comment
CAMERON: Is there any connection in your mind between this
plot and the
BEN-MENASHE: Well, if you look at the
tape carefully, Mr. Tsvangirai
basically alludes... not even alludes, says...
who is funding him. Mr.
Tsvangirai says that he's being funded by some
British elements, some
extradition elements. He talks about white farmers
giving him money. He
talks about all that, yes. And again, payments for him
are made out of a
CAMERON: By the British
BEN-MENASHE: No, I did not say the British government,
CAMERON: Mr. Mugabe has been complaining for some time that he is
of British neo-colonialism, actions by the British government
BEN-MENASHE: But... but it's... it's true. And this
is why the British are
very upset about this tape. They can't refute it.
They're attacking me
personally, they're saying the tape is a forgery or a
thing. I say hold on a
second. Personally, OK, you want to attack me, that's
fine. The tape, you're
saying it's a forgery. Look at it. Test
CAMERON: Have you given... have you given it to
BEN-MENASHE: I haven't given it to them, but the Zimbabwe
willing... has put it up for... I think SBS has said whoever
wants to take a
look at it please come and look at it. I haven't,
CAMERON: You've just given the Zimbabwe government evidence that its
opponent is plotting the assassination of the leader of the country.
you expect to happen?
BEN-MENASHE: Personally, I believe that
the election is going to go forward.
CAMERON: Who's going to
BEN-MENASHE: I don't speculate.
BEN-MENASHE: I hope the better man wins, the man that is
on the correct side
of history wins. I hope that. But I don't know who's
going to win.
CAMERON: And that would be?
Mugabe. He has... he has liberated the country from a
very nasty apartheid
regime, and now he has done land reform.
CAMERON: Is he a good fellow to
BEN-MENASHE: He's a very smart, intellectual person. Meeting
him is always a
great pleasure because... because he's a very educated
CAMERON: Do you have any idea how much money his government has
firm over the years?
BEN-MENASHE: I really don't want to
comment about that.
CAMERON: Mr. Ben-Menashe, thank you very
BUDD: Ari Ben-Menashe is the head of a
Montreal-based consulting firm.
Ben-Menashe arrives to testify in alleged plot to assassinate
2/23/02 7:18:44 AM (GMT +2)
ARI Ben-Menashe, the controversial man at the centre of the
alleged plot to
assassinate President Mugabe, arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday
and the police
immediately whisked him away under under tight
Ben-Menashe is a key witness of President Mugabe’s government
controversial allegation of a bungled plot by MDC leader, Morgan
to eliminate Mugabe ahead of the presidential election next
Yesterday, Menashe arrived at the Harare International Airport
British Airways flight from Johannesburg.
He briefly spoke to
journalists before he was taken away by seven officers
of the Central
Intelligence Organisation and the Law and Order Section of
“I am happy to be here and yes, I will meet the police,” is all
before he was led away.
Among the officers providing tight
security for Ben-Menashe was Boysen
Mathema, the officer-in-charge of the Law
and Order section at Harare
Central Police Station.
against Tsvangirai stem from a controversial documentary shown
television, in which it is alleged that the MDC leader plotted
Mugabe at a meeting held in December 2001.
It has since emerged that when
the MDC hired Dickens and Madson to undertake
public relations work for them
in North America, the consultancy firm, in
which Ben Menashe is a director,
was already working for the government of
Independent yesterday reported that Dickens and Madson was
acting as a
conduit in a deal in which senior Zanu PF politicians and
members of the
Defence Forces were transferring funds in shady diamond deals in
war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Tsvangirai says the MDC
cancelled all dealings with the company when they
discovered it was working
under the direct instruction of Nicholas Goche,
the Minister of State
Security and George Charamba, the Permanent Secretary
in the Ministry of
Information and Publicity.
Charamba has since denied the
Daily News - Leader Page
No-go campaign areas: we thought they all
2/23/02 8:21:09 AM (GMT +2)
LAST Wednesday, the head
of the South African election observer team in
Zimbabwe, Sam Motsuenyane,
spoke with some most welcome passion of the Zanu
PF-inspired violence in the
He seemed surprised and disturbed that there were
no-go areas, demarcated by
Zanu PF, against opposition parties, particularly
Whether his belated awareness of this stark reality will be too
too late to end the violence remains to be seen.
will rub off on to members of observer teams from the
Organisation of African Union and others, is a matter
The least we can hope for is that it will shake them
all into the
realisation that the violence that the independent Press has
on meticulously since the 2000 election campaign is not
They ought to disabuse themselves of the false notion -
obviously planted by
Zanu PF and the government - that we are all in the pay
of London, Berlin,
Stockholm, or Washington and that Zanu PF is so lily-white
it couldn’t hurt
It is to be hoped that Motsuenyane will
challenge both Zanu PF and the
government’s propaganda mandarins on the
disgraceful events of Monday in the
centre of Harare.
Hundreds of Zanu
PF supporters, some of them probably unaware of what “enemy
of the people”
they were attacking, marched through the city leaving a trail
When people speak of the government condoning lawlessness,
this is what they
refer to: people inflicting terror on the population with
the police not raising a finger against them.
free and fair election can be possible in such circumstances is
imagine. This was in the city centre of the capital. Out in the
where, at the best of times, the police are sighted on very
it is not difficult to imagine what could happen.
It is even less
difficult to imagine what would happen during an election,
with the so-called
war veterans virtually unchallenged.
South Africa can still make a
difference to the future conduct of the
Thabo Mbeki spoke with statesmanlike candour a few months ago when
of a civil war if the election were not held in a genuinely free
But somewhere along the line, with the apologists of the
hauling out the British recolonisation bogey, he seemed to
Motsuenyane must inform his president that the greatest danger to
survival as a democracy is not the British government’s alleged
recolonise the country, but Zanu PF’s desire to return the country
one-party terror of the 1980s.
How any of the observer teams
could not have detected the violent nature of
the Zanu PF election campaign
is mind-boggling. Pierre Schori, the Swedish
diplomat who headed the European
Union team, was here during the campaign
for the 2000 election. He had a
first-hand encounter with Zanu PF’s campaign
thuggery. Apart from the
violence, the opposition is denied all access to
Instead, the opposition is vilified at every turn. This time
the incredibly amateurish connivance of a dubious PR outfit,
there is the
“assassination” TV footage being screened ad nauseam.
Morgan Tsvangirai had plotted this dastardly act, wouldn’t the
have worked patiently and with some subtlety to build up a
against him, instead of convicting him on TV?
none of the observers have been taken in by all this crude
propaganda. Motsuenyane has displayed a willingness to be
open-minded and to
speak with the honesty of a genuinely neutral observer.
frankness contrasts sharply with the dubious neutrality of
one former South
African observer, the hapless Tony Yengeni, who was here
for the 2000
Zanu PF mob attacks SA observers
2/23/02 8:00:51 AM
By Collin Chiwanza
TWO members of the South African
election observer mission, deployed in the
Midlands province, were attacked
by Zanu PF supporters in Kwekwe yesterday.
The observers, identified as
Elizah Maahlo and Bethel Sithai, immediately
reported the matter to the
police in Kwekwe. Four MDC supporters were
injured and are now in hospital.
Two Zanu PF youths were arrested in
connection with the attack.
police in Kwekwe confirmed the incident. Investigations were said to
underway. The two observers were travelling in a Mazda B2500
vehicle, registration number 692-766F. Its windscreen and two rear
In a statement yesterday, the head of the South
African observers, Dr Sam
Motsuenyane, said: “We strongly condemn this act.
This is totally
unacceptable. The observers in general and those of South
Africa should be
allowed a free environment in which to continue with the
noble work which is
in the best interests of the Zimbabwean people and the
region as a whole.”
Motsuenyane did not identify the attackers, saying
they were an unidentified
group, “who have a grudge against the
He said the observers would not pull out of the Midlands. “On the
it will make us even more determined to intensify our observation
election. It also confirms our belief that there is a need for the
international observers to the election to be increased,” he
Two other vehicles belonging to the MP for Silobela, Abednigo
the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority were also stoned. Malinga said
were holding a meeting at their party offices in Kwekwe when
The observers asked for a meeting with the
MDC officials to inquire about
the political situation in the Midlands
While the meeting was going on, a mob of nearly 200 youths,
chanting Zanu PF
slogans and denouncing the MDC, arrived and started throwing
other missiles at the MDC offices, trapping the observers and the
officials inside the building.
When the observers realised they
were under attack, they telephoned the
police who took a long time to come.
By the time they arrived, the youths
had already caused extensive damaged to
the vehicles parked in front of the
A total of 13
observers were deployed to areas considered no-go areas for
parties. The areas include Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central,
Soldiers assault MDC activist for putting up
2/23/02 7:20:18 AM (GMT +2)
SOLDIERS of the Presidential Guard unit in Dzivaresekwa on
assaulted an MDC activist for putting up posters of the
candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai.
The soldiers said
they could not tolerate the posters because Tsvangirai was
to kill President Mugabe.
Obert Ranjisi, 34, sustained severe injuries on
the buttocks and other parts
of the body.
The incident was reported to
Dzivaresekwa Police Station, where Ranjisi was
given a medical request form
and referred to Parirenyatwa Hospital for
The case number
But Ranjisi could not go to the hospital as there was no
an assurance by the police that they would arrange
Edwin Mushoriwa, the MP for Dzivaresekwa (MDC), came to Ranjisi’s
bought him painkillers and took him to a private doctor in the
Ranjisi said he was with 12 other MDC supporters
putting up Tsvangirai’s
posters near Sanganayi Inn, about two kilometres from
the army camp, when
six soldiers driving a green Mazda B1600 truck arrived
and started chasing
Ranjisi was caught but his colleagues
managed to escape and the soldiers
proceeded to assault him severely. This
week the police warned people not to
remove any posters of the presidential
election candidates as this
constituted a criminal offence.
Foreign journalist arrested for entering Zimbabwe
2/23/02 7:17:30 AM (GMT +2)
From Brian Mangwende in
MOSES Oguti, the editor-in-chief of a Botswana magazine,
still languishing in Mutare prison a week after his arrest
sneaking into the country through the Forbes border
Stanley Shamido, the head of Immigration in Manicaland, said
are still holding him because we have not yet ascertained
where he resides.
Oguti was very vague when we asked where he stays. We are
going to lay
charges of entry by evasion against him. He will appear in court
as soon as
we have finished our investigation.
“We don’t know what
type of person he is. This is a straightforward case. We
’ll just prosecute
and later deport him.”
Oguti, 51, is said to have tried to enter Zimbabwe
through Forbes border
post from Mozambique, but immigration officials denied
An official at the border who spoke on condition of anonymity
said: “He just
looked suspicious. We asked him why he was coming to Zimbabwe
and he was
very evasive. We then told him to go back. Besides, his papers
were not in
The official said on the following day, a
Mozambican driving the same car
that Oguti had used entered the
“Suspecting something was wrong, we alerted the police to be on
for that car, although we had let in the Mozambican because his
were in order,” said the official.
Francis Mubvuta, the
Manicaland police spokesman, confirmed the incident and
said while his car
was being driven into the country, Oguti entered Zimbabwe
through an illegal
entry point in the mountains, used mainly by unauthorised
He said the two then met and Oguti allegedly paid off the
Mozambican who in
turn handed over the car.
Unfortunately for Oguti,
the police were trailing the car. Mubvuta said: “We
traced the car and
arrested him at a food outlet in the city centre. We are
yet to establish his
reason for being in the country. Meanwhile, he is being
held at Mutare
|Bush imposes travel sanctions on
George W Bush has imposed limited travel sanctions on Zimbabwe.
He cites a "continued failure" by President Robert Mugabe to maintain
democratic rule in the African country.
Bush has signed a proclamation suspending US entry privileges for Mugabe, his
family or senior members of Mugabe's government.
He also denied entry to those who received "significant financial benefit"
from dealings with Zimbabwean officials who carried out Mugabe's policies.
The suspension is effective immediately, Mr Bush said, and would be
terminated at the discretion of Secretary of State Colin Powell.
The US President says he took the action "in light of the political and
humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe, and the continued failure of President Robert
Mugabe, Zimbabwean government officials and others to support the rule of
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Mr Bush acted mainly because Mugabe
expelled EU election observer Pierre Schori of Sweden earlier this week, and
banned foreign journalists from covering presidential elections.
Just before imposing the media ban, Mugabe decried independent media as
"liars, downright liars" who are overly critical of his government. "They
fabricate news, exaggerate news, they manufacture news," Mugabe said. "Why don't
we arrest them?"
Mr Fleischer said Mugabe could undo the travel suspensions if he allows the
elections to proceed legitimately.
Story filed: 01:54 Saturday 23rd February 2002
Sanctions 'Help Mugabe'
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe claim US sanctions will help
opposition in the coming election campaign.
President George W
Bush has banned Mugabe, senior ministers and their
families from entering the
Also excluded are people who through their business dealings
the Zimbabwe government's
Didymus Mutasa, external secretary for the
ruling ZANU-PF party said he was
"The aim is to put us
under pressure and to give an advantage to the
"But the sanctions will not work and they will not soften our
defend Zimbabwe's national sovereignty."
The European Union had earlier imposed a visa ban and frozen the
20 top Zimbabwean officials.
It also withdrew its election
observer mission from the country, saying they
would not be able to do their
Southern African election observers in the country have warned that
of political violence threatens chances of a free and fair
Last Updated: 12:12 UK, Saturday February 23, 2002
Savimbi 'killed' by Angolan army
Jonas Savimbi: Fighting against the Luanda government
The Angolan army says it has killed Unita rebel leader Jonas
Mr Savimbi has led the rebel group's fight for power in Angola for more than
State radio and the official news agency said Mr Savimbi had died during
fighting with Angolan government forces.
There was no independent confirmation of the death.
The Angola government said Mr Savimbi had been killed in the eastern
Angolan province of Moxico where the army has been waging war against Unita
since October last year.
Unita has been fighting against the Luanda government since 1975.
Elections were held during a ceasefire in 1992, but Unita did not accept the
results and fighting resumed.
A second attempt to find peace in 1994 finally broke down in 1999.
Dear Family and Friends,
Shortly after dawn this morning I sat out on my
front step and watched another day beginning. These occasions of peace and
tranquillity have become moments to treasure as all our days are filled with
anxiety, fear and uncertainity. Everything is unknown now, nothing is guaranteed
and these last weeks before the elections are perhaps the worst of the past two
years. Everywhere you go and everyone you meet is talking about the same thing -
what is going to happen, how is anyone ever going to return our land to law and
order. Who will deal with all these youngsters running riot, setting up road
blocks? How will we grow enough food to feed our population? When will farmers
be allowed to grow our food again? When will be able to walk into the
supermarket and buy the most basic of commodities like milk, sugar, margerine
and maize meal again? When will we again feel safe in our own homes and towns
and farms? Will the violence ever stop? The uncertainity has gripped us all, not
knowing has almost paralysed the country. Telephone cables are broken and stolen
in many rural areas, to be repaired "after the elections"; many areas of Harare
have had restricted water, pumps will be fixed "after elections"; companies are
not hiring until "after the elections"; decisions about the most basic of things
are not being made until "after the elections". We are a nation in limbo and all
counting down these last 13 days, not knowing if we will come through them
On a clear and star filled evening this week all
semblance of peace and normalcy was shattered in a quiet residential Marondera
neighbourhood. The first hint of something being amiss came from dogs barking in
all directions. It was angry, excited barking and nothing could quieten the dogs
- they could hear the sound of approaching terror. Some neighbours reported
hearing windows being broken, others heard whistling. No one went outside their
gates to see what was going on, no one does anymore as it simply is not safe to
do so. A house belonging to a senior member of the political opposition had been
targeted and was being looted of television and radio, videos and clothing, a
bicycle and computer. There were people in the house at the time including a
young child who hid under a bed and managed to escape the notice of the looters.
Shortly before 9.00pm there were a series of explosions and I watched in
absolute horror as a house within sight of my own burnt uncontrollably, spitting
sparks into the darkness, lighting up the night with a huge orange blaze. The
noise for the next two hours was terrifying as windows exploded, roof timbers
collapsed, asbestos cracked and shattered. Later came the sound of two or three
blasts from a hooter and whistling from all directions. I cannot tell you what
else happened because the Public Order and Security Act prohibits me from
publishing or passing on a statement which may: "undermine confidence in the
Police Force, the Defence Forces or...." Suffice to say a neighourhood was
powerless to help or act as a home was looted and burned. This horror is just
another statistic and finding the words to tell people how awfully sorry you are
for their loss and suffering is agonising. It is with deep regret that this week
I have again had to update the roll of honour on my website. 113 people have now
died in political violence. Names, dates and a few details can be found at http://africantears.netfirms.com.
Until next week, with love, cathy.
In this update
- Police shoot at Morgan Tsvangirai
- 2 South African
Observers and at least 5 MDC supporters injured in Zanu PF
PF militia kill MDC member, attack headmistress' home
- MDC members
- MDC Chinhoyi Provincial Office Attacked & MDC MP's farm
Friday, 20-22 February 2002
All press statements from Learnmore
Jongwe, MDC Secretary for Information
Police shoot at Morgan Tsvangirai
Police today shot twice at
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) president
Morgan Tsvangirai's motorcade
in Maringire village, 70 kilometres from
started this morning when President Tsvangirai, who was
scheduled to address
a rally at Ngundu growth point in Masvingo, stopped
briefly at Sese village.
A group of about 20 MDC supporters gathered and
started to sing and cheer for
The group started to swell as more supporters recognised his
presence in the
area. Tsvangirai's security personnel started to disperse the
crowd and as
they were doing so, a defender vehicle with 10 police men
shouted from a
distance that the group constituted an illegal gathering and
threw tear gas
at the already dispersing crowd.
proceeded on his journey back to Masvingo. He stopped at a
Maringire village for refreshments, when the same police men
caught up with
him, threw tear gas and shot at his motorcade twice. No one
Tsvangirai and his entourage jumped into their vehicles and sped
the police in hot pursuit for almost 40 kilometres.
the disturbance, Tsvangirai will continue with his programme
2 South African Observers and at least 5 MDC
supporters injured in Zanu PF
At about 1:30pm on Friday, 22
February 2002, at least 200 Zanu PF supporters
armed with stones, iron bars
and knobkerries attacked the Kwekwe provincial
place when the MDC leadership was briefing a South African
The attack, which was unprovoked, resulted in the injury
of two South
Africans, Elizah Maahlo and Dr Bethel Sithai. At least 5 MDC
also injured. Some of the injured were rushed to Kwekwe
hospital. The total
number of injured people is yet to be established.
A vehicle belonging to
the South African observer mission, a B25000 series,
692-766S was also damaged in the attack. All this has
been reported to the
This is not the first attack on the MDC offices. Only last
month the offices
and a vehicle belonging to the party were burnt.
president, Morgan Tsvangirai is scheduled to address a rally in Kwekwe
Sunday afternoon, 24 February 2002.
Zanu PF militia kill MDC member,
attack headmistress' home
On Tuesday this week in Rushinga, Zanu PF
militia assaulted Takesure Nhitsa,
an MDC activist. Nhitsa who worked as a
pump attendant in Rushinga died at
Chimhanda Hospital on Wednesday. Nhitsa
was approached by a group of Zanu PF
war veterans who accused him of cutting
off water supplies unnecessarily.
The group severely assaulted him and he had
to be taken to Chimhanda
Hospital where he died the following day as a result
of the injuries
sustained during the assault.
Zanu PF intensified
their terror campaign in the rural areas where they
continue to assault
opposition party supporters and burn down houses
belonging to MDC
The incident was reported to Rushinga Police Station. War
Matambo and Taurai Chimutanda, a Zanu PF supporter were
connection with the fatal assault. However, Taurai has since been
In Goromonzi District, Wiseman Mutero, the District MDC
Treasurer and the
District Youth Chairman, Parirenyatwa Chari who live in the
Sow Grounds area
were attacked by Zanu PF supporters led by Godwin Nyarira
Chimanika on Tuesday.
The two sought refuge in the police
station but were arrested after being
accused of having caused the attack by
blowing whistles. While in police
custody they were informed that Mutero's
house had been set on fire. The
Zanu PF supporters have not been
Mrs Emilia Mandaza, the deputy head at Molife Primary School in
had her house stoned by a group of about 200 Zanu PF supporters who
at her home in a truck at 3am on 22nd February. After attacking the
the group beat up James Chidatiko, a security guard who was guarding
school. The matter has been reported to the police.
MDC members abducted
Two MDC activists in Mashonaland
West: Tobias Chimuka and Lovemore Moyo were
abducted by suspected Zanu (PF)
operatives at around 19.00hrs on Wednesday
20 February 2002 at Chengaose
Shopping Centre and Chikonohono Township
respectively. Two Nissan Hardboard
vehicles suspected of belonging to Zanu
PF were seen at the places of
abduction. A report has been made to the
In a similar
incident in Midlands, another MDC activist, Hlupo Donga Nkomo
was abducted on
the same day at Sandawana Mine at about 17.00 hrs. A crowd
of about 100
suspected Zanu (PF) supporters descended on his house after a
Zanu PF meeting
which took place in the area. A report was made to the
after the incident.
MDC Members Brutally Assaulted
politically motivated incidents, two MDC activists were assaulted
(PF) militia in Mashonaland West province. Tonderai Tendaupenyu and
Kadziya were assaulted by Zanu (PF) supporters suspected to be members
Phillip Chiyangwa_s Special Group called The Top Six which has been
various other brutal activities in the province at around 19.00
Wednesday 20 February 2002. The two casualties were taken to
At Lions_ Den, also in Mashonaland West Province, Onias Marenga
assaulted by Zanu (PF) militia yesterday. He was taken to Chinhoyi
Hospital. Both cases have been reported to Chinhoyi
The MDC unreservedly condemns all these acts of thuggery on
citizens of Zimbabwe. 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.
One of the rallying
points of the liberation struggle was the call for
peaceful, free and fair
elections. It is unfortunate that at this late hour
the outgoing Zanu PF
government is still seeking to subvert a people_s will
by wantonly clobbering
those who have different opinions from them.
We are determined that
Mugabe should go through the ballot box. We ask all
Zimbabweans over the age
of 18 to exercise their right to vote even if it
means we have to limp to the
Feb 20, 2002
MDC Chinhoyi Provincial Office
Zanu PF supporters and militia today attacked the offices of the
for Democratic Change (MDC) in Chinhoyi. The Chinhoyi provincial
attacked by members of the Zanu PF militia, who disrupted a
training programme that was being conducted there at that
The MDC has been training at least 40 polling agents at that office
past two days, although the programme has now been disrupted. The
who came in two bus-loads, assaulted passers-by and stoned the
damaging windows, furniture and cars in the area. The magnitude of
damage is yet to be assessed.
As if this was not enough, the
militia then took MDC's vehicle, a green
Mazda B2000 truck, registration
number 597 495A. Police then arrested 33 MDC
supporters although they have
not been formally charged.
MDC MP's farm raided
Earlier on, at
about mid-day today, Delport farm, which belongs to MDC
Member of Parliament
(MP) for Chimanimani, Roy Bennet, was besieged by
members of the army and the
notorious Zanu PF youth militia.
Truck loads of militia and army vehicles
descended on the farm under the
guise of searching for "military weapons,"
needless to say they did not find
any! They then arrested the farm manager
and two guards.
As a party, we are puzzled that on the one hand, Zanu PF
claims to be
advocating for peaceful elections while on the other hand, it is
for these unprovoked violent attacks against innocent
On its part, the MDC will continue to campaign peacefuly and
issues, despite these obvious attempts by Zanu PF to derail the
Vicious War to Win Hearts And Minds of Citizens
February 22, 2002
Posted to the web February
A combative advertising campaign
rages between Mugabe and Tsvangirai
AS ELECTIONEERING in the run-up to
Zimbabwe's presidential election shifts
into overdrive in the midst of
low-intensity civil strife, there is a fierce
negative advertising war raging
between the two leading candidates.
President Robert Mugabe's campaign
team and that of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) leader,
Morgan Tsvangirai, are locked in a
vicious advertising war to win the hearts,
minds and votes of Zimbabweans.
The combative campaign teams for both
candidates, who are the clear
frontrunners in the critical poll, have
virtually abandoned conventional
electioneering strategies for searing
vitriol and character assassination in
the ferocious electoral
Throughout history, politicians have used various methods, such
whistle-stop tours, media advertising and political rallies, to win
However, Mugabe and Tsvangirai use crude and negative
blandishments to grab
The media is awash with negative ads that
are not only designed to besmirch
the rival's image, but also haul
competitors over the coals to cause public
humiliation. Mugabe mainly uses
the state media and Tsvangirai the
use of negative adverts has been accentuated by intense
Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
Mugabe is focusing on what he sees as Tsvangirai's
Achilles heel his close
association with western powers. Instead of
fulfilling the grand promises he
made during the 2000 parliamentary election,
Mugabe has resorted to a
sustained smear campaign.
In one of his ads,
Mugabe portrays Tsvangirai as a puppet held on strings by
foreign and local
interests: "(UK Prime Minister) Tony Blair, the US,
(Democratic Alliance leader) Tony Leon, the World Bank,
Monetary Fund, CFU (Commercial Farmers' Union) and racist
others. It says: "If Tsvangirai wins, God forbid, who'll
really be running
In another ad, Zanu (PF) says: "Tsvangirai wants to ruin
Zimbabwe, not run
it." He is depicted as prescribing a "bitter pill for
apparently without any sense of irony associated with
industrial collapse, massive job losses, international
Zimbabwe, goods shortages, price hikes, and
In another ad, Mugabe juxtaposes two versions of
plan. The first one includes peace, food, jobs, land,
education, and health
and AIDS care. Then the second one has all the points
except land. And
Mugabe says: "Why have they removed land from their
six-point plan? Because
Tsvangison (Tsvangirai's derogatory nickname given to
him by Mugabe who also
calls him tea boy) has already sold the land to the
British and racists
Rhodesians. Don't let them short-change you,
Mugabe's affinity for vituperation does not end there. He also
Tsvangirai as a beggar in one of his ads using CNN pictures where
chief was caught by cameras receiving money from white
Above the pictures, which show Tsvangirai and a cheque book, the
"Don't sell your country, quit MDC and return to the people." Below
pictures the ad notes: "This is how Judas Iscariot the traitor of
sold out. Some white people, the British government and all traitors
the MDC had not been formed, the land would have not been returned to
people.' What they are saying is similar to what Judas Iscariot, the
of traitors said: If I had not betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver
would not have died for you!'"
At the bottom the full-page ad
concludes: "Don't be a traitor, return to the
presented as the exact opposite to Tsvangirai. He is portrayed as
people's champion and a bulwark against re-colonisation.
has not been outdone. He portrays Mugabe as an angry and old
associated with "violence, senility, hunger, economic ruin and
of Tsvangirai's ads reads: "How much hungrier do we have to
get for a change
of government? Stop Zanu (PF) from destroying this country.
The only thing
which is as high as our inflation is Mugabe's age!"
Another one says:
"Run away from Zanu (PF), run away from unemployment."
marketing experts say because political advertising, unlike
advertising, must get results in a short period of time,
practitioners use several kinds of political advertising: image,
Image and issue advertising have been
employed at the start of a campaign to
establish a positive picture of a
candidate and negative ads are then
introduced at the end of the campaign to
attack the opponent. This is what
is happening in Zimbabwe at the
Thanks, in the main, to the "life and death" importance of the
real issues are obscured in the campaign.
What would be
nice, though, would be a television debate on the national
between candidates Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
Pity! This will not happen as
Harare will not let the MDC anywhere near its
apparatus, let alone the
Reverend Jesse Jackson Appeals for Peace and Tolerance as Zimbabwe
to Head to the Polls
Rainbow/Push Coalition (Washington,
February 22, 2002
Posted to the web February 22,
Reverend Jesse L. Jackson issued the
following statement regarding the
violence in Zimbabwe as the Presidential
election draws near.
As the Zimbabwe Presidential elections draws near, I
called upon all the
political leadership to strongly urge their supporters to
constitutional right of every Zimbabwean to participate in a free,
peaceful election. In a democracy, the consent of the governed must
granted. The moral premise of democracy is that each person matters and
every vote counts. It is therefore the responsibility of law
with cooperation from party leaders to ensure the safety of all
to freely express their views without threats as they prepare to
The issue regarding accreditation of observers
and members of the press is
very vital and should be resolved harmoniously
with the Zimbabwean
authorities. Observers should be seen as impartial,
open-minded. The government of Zimbabwe reserves the right to
whomever it pleases to observe and report on the election. On the
hand, it is the responsibility and obligation of every democratic
to demonstrate transparency, credibility and legitimacy. This
achieve without adequate independent observers and free
When the World Food Program is reporting that half a million
going hungry everyday, imposing sanctions that resulted in
cutting off $110
million in development aid is very troubling. The people of
already suffering and we must hot add to their hardship. The
community should not punish Zimbabweans because of policy
This presidential election is very
important because it redefines Zimbabwe's
role and status in the
international community. The peace loving people of
Zimbabwe deserve more
respect than what is being read on newspapers and
viewed on television about
their beloved country. Freedom, peace, and
justice are the principles of
democracy. Not to honor this treasured
democratic ideal threatens the
foundation of fairness and democracy, upon
which unity and prosperity is
I call upon all religious leaders in Zimbabwe to pray for peace
between now and election day. For it is through prayers and our
God, that we are delivered from evil and lead not into
KEEP HOPE ALIVE!
Mugabe on Campaign Trail Under New U.S. Sanctions
23, 2002 04:53 AM ET
By Stella Mapenzauswa
(Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe returns to the
campaign trail Saturday, under new U.S. sanctions for alleged use
political violence and intimidation.
Mugabe will address a rally in
drought-stricken Matabeleland North province
Saturday afternoon ahead of a
March 9-10 poll, in which he faces the biggest
challenge of his 22-year rule
from Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement
for Democratic Change
The opposition party said Zimbabwean police shot at Tsvangirai's
Friday. Two South African election observers were caught up in a
attack by militant supporters of Mugabe's
President Bush Friday ordered a ban on the entry into the
United States of
Mugabe and senior members of his government and their
families, and people
who through their business dealings benefited from his
"We are not surprised at the sanctions. The aim
is to put us under pressure
and to give an advantage to the opposition," said
Didymus Mutasa, external
secretary for ZANU-PF.
"But the sanctions
will not work and they will not soften our resolve to
national sovereignty," Mutasa told Reuters.
The European Union Monday
imposed a visa ban and asset freeze on 20 top
Zimbabwean officials and
withdrew its election observer mission from the
British colony is also facing a severe food crisis because of an
downturn and the often violent seizure of white-owned farms,
U.N. officials supplying emergency food aid.
Southern African election observers in the country have warned
that a wave
of political violence threatens chances of a free and fair
Tsvangirai's supporters said he had stopped to greet supporters
Friday in a
village about 70 km (43 miles) from Masvingo when the shooting
There were no injuries and police spokesmen said they were unaware
Tsvangirai continued on to a political rally
in Masvingo, where the MDC has
a strong following. Mugabe's supporters hold
sway in the countryside.
In the first incident involving foreign election
observers, the two South
Africans escaped unharmed when 200 pro-government
militants armed with
stones and iron bars attacked an MDC office in the
central town of Kwekwe
Friday. The MDC said five of its supporters were
injured in the attack.
An observer mission from South Africa and the
14-member Southern African
Development Community (SADC) remains in Zimbabwe
after the European Union
"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,"
said Duke Lefoko, leader of the
advance team of 50 parliamentary observers
in Harare ahead of the expected weekend arrival of the rest
of the SADC team,
said the observers would be deployed across Zimbabwe next
MDC says more than 100 of its supporters have been killed in
violence since February 2000, when militants loyal to Mugabe began
The government has denied responsibility
for the violence and accuses the
opposition of fueling civil
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has added his voice to
international pressure on Zimbabwe's leaders to ensure the elections
free and fair.
-- Additional reporting by Cris
Saturday, 23 February, 2002, 11:29 GMT
Zimbabwe attacks US sanctions
Violence has flared between rival political
Supporters of President Robert Mugabe have dismissed
sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States as a "Western ploy".
The ban on Mr Mugabe and his ruling elite travelling to the US would fail in
its attempt to hurt the government, a Zanu-PF party leader said.
The aim is to put us under pressure and to give an advantage
to the opposition
Didymus Mutasa, Zanu-PF official
The US said that chances for a free and fair election in Zimbabwe next month
were falling but Didymus Mutasa, external secretary for the ruling party, said
the West wanted to destabilise the government.
The US sanctions also apply to officials' families and those who run
businesses that benefit from dealing with the government. They follow similar
measures taken by the European Union.
"We are not surprised at the sanctions. The aim is to put us under pressure
and to give an advantage to the opposition," Mr Mutasa said.
"But the sanctions will not work and they will not soften our resolve to
defend Zimbabwe's national sovereignty," he told the Reuters news agency.
US President George W Bush ordered the travel ban on Friday as tension and
outbreaks of violence continued.
On Monday, the European Union on Monday imposed a visa
ban and asset freeze on 20 top Zimbabwean officials and withdrew its election
observer mission from the country, saying they would not be able to do their
Mr Mugabe is campaigning around the
Southern African election observers in the country have warned that a wave of
political violence threatens chances of a free and fair poll.
Mr Mugabe was to address a rally in drought-stricken Matabeleland North
province on Saturday afternoon.
In the 9-10 March election he and his Zanu-PF party will be challenged by
Morgan Tsvangirai and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The MDC said Zimbabwean police shot at Mr Tsvangirai's convoy on Friday and
two South African election observers were caught up in a separate attack by
militant government supporters.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the sanctions were being imposed
because "conditions for a transparent election process in Zimbabwe have eroded".
Mugabe Backers Defiant After New U.S.
By Stella Mapenzauswa
Zimbabwe (Reuters) - Supporters of President Robert Mugabe dismissed
sanctions on Saturday as a Western maneuver to boost his rivals in
fiercely contested election campaign.
Mugabe, at an election rally, also
lambasted former colonial power Britain,
which spearheaded the imposition of
similar European Union sanctions against
him and close aides.
that we are in is between us and the British. Their intention is to
their descendants on our land," the 78-year old Mugabe told supporters
Gwanda, 50 miles southeast of Zimbabwe's second city Bulawayo.
accused Britain of backtracking on a promise to fund land reform
former colony, where he says the white minority still owns 70 percent
"The British, with the aid of the Americans, lied to us that
they would give
us aid, but all they've given is just 40 million pounds
Mugabe said. "It has been cheating and cheating the whole
way through by the
On Friday, President Bush barred Mugabe and
senior members of his government
and their families from entering the United
States. The ban also affected
those who through business dealings benefited
from Mugabe's policies.
The U.S. sanctions came five days after the EU
imposed a visa ban and asset
freeze on 20 top Zimbabwean officials and
withdrew its election observer
mission from the country, saying they would
not be able to do their jobs.
Didymus Mutasa, external secretary for
Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party,
shrugged off the U.S. move. "We are not
surprised at (these) sanctions. The
aim is to put us under pressure and to
give an advantage to the opposition,"
he told Reuters.
"But the sanctions
will not work and they will not soften our resolve to
Mugabe made no reference to the U.S.
Southern African election observers have warned that a wave of
violence could prevent a free and fair vote on March
'PAWN' OF THE BRITISH
The head of the Commonwealth election observer
mission, former Nigerian
President General Abdulsalami Abubakar, arrived in
Harare on Saturday to
join a team of 32 observers from the group made up of
mainly former British
Commonwealth observer mission spokesman
Mwambu Wanendeya said Abubakar went
straight into a series of meetings with
his colleagues and Zimbabwean
electoral authorities, and was due to address a
news conference on Sunday.
Mugabe, who faces the biggest challenge of his
22-year rule from the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader,
said his rival was a tool of the British.
Tsvangirai be a candidate? Are we short of more suitable candidates? He
just a piece of wood that refuses to burn," Mugabe told a rally of
10,000 people, including schoolchildren and villagers bussed in from
"They want to use some of us as opposition to the people,
but the tool, we
have now proved, is a blunt one."
The MDC said Zimbabwean
police shot at Tsvangirai's convoy on Friday and two
South African election
observers were caught up in a separate attack by
militant supporters of
The MDC says more than 100 of its supporters have been
killed in political
violence since February 2000, when militants loyal to
Mugabe began invading
Thousands of Zimbabweans are
braving border river crocodiles, barbed wire
and armed patrols to flee the
growing crisis to neighboring South Africa,
which said on Saturday it was
tightening security in anticipation of more
illegal immigrants in coming
The Zimbabwean government has denied responsibility for the violence
accuses the opposition of stoking civil unrest.
The southern African
country is also facing a severe food crisis because of
an economic downturn
and the land invasions, according to U.N. officials
supplying emergency food
Commonwealth seen holding back on Zimbabwe
February, 2002 05:14 GMT
By Dominic Evans
LONDON (Reuters) - The
government says it does not expect to persuade the
Commonwealth to suspend
Zimbabwe at a summit next month despite reports of a
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
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
Foreign Office Minister Baroness Amos said a meeting of foreign
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 reporters.
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
Britain and summit hosts Australia have led calls within the
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
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 law.
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
The crisis in Zimbabwe is expected to take centre stage at the
Commonwealth summit, overshadowing efforts to tackle terrorism,
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.
Zimbabweans brave crocodiles as flee to S.Africa
MESSINA, South Africa, Feb. 23 — Zimbabweans are braving crocodiles, barbed wire fences and armed patrols in a desperate bid to flee their country for South Africa ahead of presidential elections in two weeks.
Refugees said they were escaping escalating violence, intimidation and severe
food shortages ahead of the March 9-10 poll, in which President Robert Mugabe
hopes to extend his 22-year rule.
''We are suffering there. We fought
for Mugabe for independence. He says he wants to help the poor guys but he never
did,'' Benjamin Dube, 29, a border jumper captured on Friday by the South
African army told Reuters.
At least 100 supporters of the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, whose leader Morgan Tsvangirai
represents the biggest challenge to Mugabe's rule, have been killed in nearly
two years of political violence.
The European Union and United States
have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe. The EU has also withdrawn its election
observers saying they would be unable to do their job.
week, a woman illegally crossed the border into South Africa after being
assaulted by a group of militias from Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party, an army
''About 15 young boys armed with guns set up a
check-point, 10 kilometres from the border on the Zimbabwean side. They were
checking for ZANU-PF membership cards,'' he said.
The woman was later
South Africa has tightened security along its border with
Zimbabwe in anticipation of trouble ahead of the elections.
check-point manned by at least a dozen South African National Defence Force
troops has been set up two kilometres from the Beit Bridge border point in
Limpopo Province as part of special security operations.
not normal operations. We don't have check-points on our other borders run by
the army. The situation in Zimbabwe is special,'' the army official on duty told
''WE'LL BE BACK''
South Africa says many
Zimbabweans never declare themselves as political refugees or ask for asylum,
and so are automatically deported.
The Home Affairs Department said
it deported between 3,000 and 4,000 illegal immigrants a month. According to
official estimates one million more live illegally, working on tourist visas.
Most cross the crocodile-filled Limpopo River, which separates
Zimbabwe from South Africa, looking for jobs as farm hands, or hoping to eke a
living selling hand-carved souvenirs in the northern frontier town of Messina.
The army official said they arrested up to 50 such ''border jumpers''
But this does not appear to deter the fleeing Zimbabweans.
On Saturday a hooded bakkie (pick-up truck) passed the border point
deporting Zimbabweans back to their country. ''We'll be back,'' they shouted
from the vehicle with a thumbs-up sign.
''It doesn't look good at
all...Whether Mugabe wins or loses, there is going to be trouble in Zimbabwe,''
said the army official, who declined to be named.
South Africa has
set aside sites that were former army camps in at least three provinces,
including one in Messina, that could host a total of 10,000 refugees in the
event of a ''meltdown'' in Zimbabwe, home affairs officials said.
check-point was set up 11 days ago and will stay until after the elections.
''We cannot escape the fact that Zimbabwe is our neighbour. We have
increased patrols along our border lines. But one hopes the situation does not
deteriorate further,'' said Billy Masetlha, director general at the Department
of Home Affairs.
He said South Africa did not want to harbour illegal
immigrants. ''If we don't send them back, we will be blamed for tilting the
elections results,'' Masetlha added.
SW Radio Africa : From
Monday 25 February until Friday 22 March, SW Radio Africa will be broadcasting
an extra hour of coverage between 1pm and 2pm Zimbabwe time. The lunchtime
broadcast will be on a different frequency - 11 670 KHz in the 25 metre band.
The evening broadcasts, between 6pm and 9pm Zimbabwe time, will remain at 6145
KHz in the 49m band. As before, outside the broadcast area, you can listen to SW
Radio Africa over the internet at www.swradioafrica.com .