Court Reporter Forty law
firms have been forbidden to practise after they failed to renew their
licences or were denied registration because their applications
All lawyers or law firms in private practice must be
registered and the annual registration normally involves submission of an
audit certificate on funds held in trust for clients.
In a statement,
the newly-elected president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe Mr Joseph James
said the law firms should be closed with immediate effect.
Mr James said
that of the 40 firms some had not submitted applications to renew their
Some, he said, had their applications rejected
because the applications were irregular and did not meet the laid down
"The said firms and or individuals are therefore not
licensed to practise in 2004 and must close their firms immediately until
they regularise their position to the satisfaction of the council," said Mr
Mr James was elected the new president of the LSZ while Mr James
Mutizwa of Chihambakwe Mutizwa and Partners was elected
The two were elected at a council meeting held on Monday
last week and will be in office for the next two years.
Mr James took
over from former president Mr Sternford Moyo, a senior partner at Scanlen and
Mr Wilbert Mapombere who was the secretary-general of LSZ
resigned in July last year and is understood to have gone
Names of law firms struck off register
1. Muchandibaya and Associates Harare
2. Mahamba Legal
Practitioners Victoria Falls
3. Chadyiwa and Associates Harare
Chivaura and Associates Harare
5. Desai and Associates Harare
Dodo and Associates Harare
7. F. Kaneunyenye and Company Harare
Chigadza and Associates Rusape
9.Gwati and Partners Harare
Warara and Associates Harare
11. Makanza and Company Harare
H. Franco and Company Harare
13.Paul Connolly Victoria Falls
J. Davy Harare
15. Muskwe and Associates Harare
17. Machuwaire Legal Practice Harare
and Partners Gokwe
19. Kwenda and Partners Harare
21. Kosamu Zingoni Legal Practitioners
22. Ziweni and Company Harare
23. Marimba and Partners
24. Mutsemi and Associates Harare
25. Tevengerwei and
26. Charles Selemani: Herbert Chitepo Law Chambers
27. C. Chinyama and Partners Chitungwiza
28. Chiwanza and
29. Shenje and Company Bulawayo
Atherstone and Cook Harare
31. Masendeke and Partners Harare
Mabulala and Motsi Harare
33. Mkuhlani Chiperesa Harare
and Partners Harare
35. Baera and Company Harare
36. Samp Mlaudzi
and Partners Bulawayo
37. Majoko and Majoko Bulawayo
Chakanetsa and Associates Kwekwe
39. Christopher Mutsahuni
40. Mandizvidza, Terera and Company Chivhu & Chitungwiza
Herald Reporter THE
Registrar-General’s Office is continuing to raise passport fees towards full
cost recovery although there is still a heavy subsidy from the taxpayers on
ordinary passports which can take months to process.
The following table
shows the new fees advertised yesterday compared with the old fees set in
September last year.
working days (under 12 years) $150 000 $30 000
Urgent 7 working days
(adult) $225 000 $60 000
Urgent 14 working days (adult) $110 000 $40
Urgent 14 working days (under 12 years) $55 000 $10
Emergency travel document $50 000 $2 000
All those applying
for passports now have to pay a fee of $5 000 to get the form.
countries have passed laws that legally prevent the taxpayer from subsidising
the cost of a passport, arguing that this is a voluntary document, not a
requirement. Fees, converted at the auction rate, charged for these full cost
recovery passports of other countries are roughly in the range of the 24
hours to seven days passports Zimbabwe’s Registrar-General’s Office is now
The RG’s Office has come under criticism for the congestion and
its inability to deal with the backlog that is preventing many ordinary
citizens from getting the travel document. The office has blamed the current
backlog on its inability to raise sufficient funds to meet the
ever-increasing costs of producing passports.
Speaking after the last
increases, the Minister of Home Affairs Cde Kembo Mohadi, said Zimbawbe was
moving to the position where people have to pay the full cost of producing a
passport, with no subsidy from the taxpayer. The minister said charging the
full recovery cost should eliminate queues as additional revenue would help
in recruiting more workers and to import the material needed for the
production of the travel documents.
The RGs Office last month indicated
that it had managed to clear the backlog after it extended working days to
six, including Saturdays, while an average of 700 people were reported to be
collecting their passports daily.
As an added measure the office had also
suspended the issuing of urgent passports from mid-December to mid last month
to allow for the clearing of the backlog.
Penalties charged on people
who lose their passports have been increased from $5 000 to $50 000 while
those with defaced documents will now have to pay $50 000 from $10
Those who would want to have their children’s names added to their
passports will now pay $5 000 from $2 500, while people who would want to
extend the period for the use of their passports and endorsement will pay $5
000. A penalty of $100 000 is now being charged for failure to declare a lost
or previous passport.
Last week in Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai testified in court to
save his life. The leader of Zimbabwe's democratic opposition, Mr. Tsvangirai
is on trial for treason, a capital crime. His real crime is that he is a
political opponent to President Robert Mugabe. He won 42 percent of the vote
when he ran against him in 2002, in an election marked by fraud
and government-sponsored violence.
Mr. Mugabe is using the courts to
disable Mr. Tsvangirai and his party, the Movement for Democratic Change. Mr.
Tsvangirai is accused of plotting to "eliminate" Mr. Mugabe, the evidence
being a grainy, obviously doctored videotape of a 2001 meeting between Mr.
Tsvangirai and Ari Ben-Menashe, a Montreal political operative the movement
had hired as a lobbyist. The tape shows Mr. Ben-Menashe saying repeatedly
that he could "eliminate" Mr. Mugabe. Mr. Tsvangirai then uses the word, but
he has said in court that he meant eliminate Mr. Mugabe from the 2002
Mr. Ben-Menashe admitted in court that before
the meeting he received a $700,000 payment from Mr. Mugabe's government.
Officials have also admitted they paid Mr. Ben-Menashe to videotape the
session. In other words, the case looks like a setup. But Zimbabwe's courts
are subservient enough that Mr. Tsvangirai could be convicted.
is not, Mr. Tsvangirai has another indictment pending for treason, based on
his leadership of a national strike last year. Of the 57 members
of parliament who are in the Movement for Democratic Change, about 50 have
been charged with crimes. Mr. Mugabe knows he can keep his hold on power
only through intimidation and abuse. Zimbabweans are suffering record
inflation and unemployment, and many are going hungry. International aid
donors charge that the government withholds grain from areas that support the
In 1964, at the decapitation of South Africa's African
National Congress leadership known as the Rivonia trial, Nelson Mandela was
charged with sabotage. He was sentenced to life in prison and served 27
years, released only when the apartheid government needed a negotiating
partner. His lawyer, George Bizos, today is lead counsel for Mr. Tsvangirai.
The charges against him, like those against Mr. Mandela, are an indictment
not of the prisoner but of the government that arrested him.
"The Mozambican visa is probably one
of the most sought visas in Zimbabwe"
Outside a sculptural building housing the Mozambican embassy, a small man
with a telegenic smile and a pencil moustache uneasily watches the snaking
lineup of Zimbabweans in search of travel visas. The embassy won't open at
least until 8 a.m., but Themba Makosi joined the queue six hours earlier.
Astoundingly, he wasn't the first in line. "Some people have slept here," he
says. "The Mozambican visa is probably one of the most sought visas in
Zimbabwe." The ambition flickering in Makosi's eyes speaks volumes about his
resolve to leave the country. He is not alone. Emmanuel Mangwiro is a devout
Presbyterian who has never needed divine intervention more than he does today
as he takes his place in the queue. Determined to meet his date with destiny,
he is set to lodge his third visa application in two months, following the
rejection of previous submissions. "They told me I needed an invitation
letter from someone in Mozambique," he says. "I don't have any relatives or
friends living in Mozambique and that makes my case a bit more
Mangwiro, 39, is hoping a reference letter written by ex-boss
Brendan Easton, a white farmer who taught him to grow and maintain
orange plantations eight years ago, will do the talking for him. Ultimately,
a little luck could well be on his side, since Easton is believed to be
among hundreds of Zimbabwean white farmers who have purchased land in
Mozambique's productive Manica province. "Someone told me he bought a farm in
Manica and I hope to locate him once I am there," says Mangwiro, who hails
from Lomagundi, 160 kilometres west of the capital. "We had a very good
working relationship and I am sure he will be willing to re-engage my
services." He and Makosi have precious little in common apart from their
discontent. In a country where unemployment is now hovering around 80 per
cent, both men hope a ticket to Mozambique will deliver them from a bleak
future. Unlike Makosi, the chain-smoking Mangwiro intends to leave his family
behind. He has been staying with his in-laws ever since self-styled "war
veterans" - encouraged by President Robert Mugabe to take over white-owned
farms - invaded Easton's land two years ago. "It's quite downgrading for me,
because I have lived off my wife's parents for the last two years," Mangwiro
explains. "I haven't had any kind of job since then and that's why I am quite
happy to be leaving."
Zimbabwean white farmers have been flocking to
Mozambique ever since the fast-track land-resettlement program was initiated
by Mugabe's government in 2000. There have been widespread reports that the
farmers are arranging work permits for their ex-employees, whose experience
they dearly need. And says Cremildo Rundo, deputy head of agriculture and
rural development in Manica province: "We see the Zimbabwean farmers as
investors, not as refugees." Nearly half of Zimbabwe's estimated 400,000 farm
workers have been deprived of their jobs and statistics released by the
government show that only about 10 per cent of former farm workers are
beneficiaries of the land-reform program. Recent research by the Southern
African Development Community-affiliated Famine Early Warning Network noted
that "even if the rainfall situation turns out to be good, the critical
shortage of inputs would seriously affect Zimbabwe's 2003-04 agricultural
season." The mounting foreign currency shortages continue to limit the
availability of critical supplies of fuel, fertilizers and spare parts for
the repair and maintenance of agricultural equipment. An official with the
Washington-based Refugees International monitoring organization says a recent
fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe found that "many former farm workers have
been expelled from communities in which they have attempted to resettle.
Those who have been lucky to be employed on resettled farms are paid less
than $10 a month."
Neither has the road to recognition been uncomplicated
for the beneficiaries of the reform exercise. George Seremwe is not a veteran
of the bloody 1970s war of liberation, but through his government
connections, he has managed to acquire more than 300 hectares of land that
once belonged to a white farmer. Relishing the opportunity to concentrate on
his new-found farming career, he quit his job with a Netherlands-based U.S.
consultancy company. But now he's a worried man. "Last year," he says, "we
brought some flowers to Amsterdam and we were told the doors were closed for
Zimbabwean products. The reason behind the boycott is, of course, the
land-reform exercise, which has angered many market owners in Europe and
North America. The boycott is bad news to most of us because, in my case, I
have parted ways with my bosses so that I can fully participate in the
development of agriculture in this country. But how can you be a farmer
without a market?"
Andrew Meldrum in
Pretoria Monday February 2, 2004 The Guardian
The number of
Zimbabweans needing food aid has increased to 7.5m, nearly two-thirds of its
population, according to a joint assessment by UN experts and Zimbabwean
officials published yesterday. It said there had been a remarkable increase
in the number of people going hungry since September, when 5m were then
considered in need of help. International donors say they are scrambling to
provide adequate supplies and accuse President Robert Mugabe's government of
refusing to admit that the policy of widespread land seizures has reduced
Mr Mugabe's government is withholding food from
opposition supporters, according to human rights groups - an observation
confirmed by interviews with hungry rural people. There are 5m in rural
Zimbabwe who are dependent upon international food aid.
But the new
study also shows that hunger is now widespread in the cities as well. It
estimates that 2.5m urban dwellers cannot get enough food.
Zimbabweans are also struggling to cope with an unemployment rate of 70%.
Many people are finding it difficult to feed their families because of food
shortages and a 600% inflation rate.
"My pay is not enough to feed my
children," a factory worker said. "Prices go up every week yet my pay stays
the same. We can barely afford one meal a day. We haven't tasted meat for a
The price of Zimbabwe's staple, maize meal, has
Last year the state grain monopoly sold a 50kg (nearly 9st) bag
of maize for Z$580 (40p). Now maize is generally available only from illegal
traders who sell a 50kg bag for as much as Z$40,000 (£28).
Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is struggling to provide enough food.
According to Zimbabweans and human rights groups the government routinely
withholds supplies to rural people in southern Matabeleland and many other
areas which voted for the opposition in Mr Mugabe's disputed presidential
election in 2002.
But the WFP has been criticised by Human Rights Watch
for not taking a strong line against the political manipulation of food aid.
WFP officials say they have corrected any problems.
deny that the government interferes with our food distribution," its
spokesman Richard Lee said.
"We determine who should get our assistance
by collaborating with the entire community and we never rely solely on a
beneficiary list given to us by the government."
representative, Kevin Farrell, has been widely criticised for failing to say
that the land seizures are the primary cause of the growing food
"What we need are UN representatives who, without losing their
diplomacy, are prepared to tell it like it is," Iden Wetherell, editor of the
Zimbabwe Independent, wrote in a recent column.
"Dancing around the
problems in some misdirected concern for the sensitivity of their hosts is
simply going to compound official complacency and discourage
Even when nearly two-thirds of Zimbabwe's people are either
hungry or dependent upon international aid, the government has forced
through parliament a law to speed up land seizures and to take big sugar
plantations and more farms.
It has already taken more than 90% of the
country's privately owned, mostly white-owned, farmland.
Now it is
preparing to seize the rest, according to agricultural experts.
February 1, 2004 Posted to the web February 2,
Our Own Staff BULAWAYO
Training opportunities for
environmentalists, doctors, scientists and journalists have been lost to
Zimbabwe because of the government's ill-considered decision to pull the
country out of the Commonwealth, The Standard has
Commonwealth Press Union officer Jane Rangeley, said it was
no longer possible for any Zimbabweans to seek scholarships or financial
assistance from the Commonwealth following Zimbabwe's withdrawal from the
"At the moment, with Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth, the
opportunities for training are not as great as they were for Zimbabweans
including journalists," said Rangeley.
"Much of our funding comes from
Commonwealth sources. Let's hope that Zimbabwe rejoins very shortly so that
everyone can benefit again," she said.
Rangeley said it was unfortunate
for the country's political leadership to pullout of the grouping at the
expense of the majority who have been benefiting from the
President Robert Mugabe pulled Zimbabwe out of the
54-nation group in December after hearing that Zimbabwe's suspension had been
extended at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in Abuja,
By Morris Mkwate THE University of Zimbabwe intends
to hire lecturers from some universities in the Southern African region in
order to help alleviate a critical shortage that has seen Zimbabwe’s largest
institute of higher learning operating with only 580 lecturers out of a
normal complement of 1 200.
In a bid to bring the high standards
back, Government has also given the UZ$12,3 billion to refurbish buildings
and equipment that is breaking down.
The acting Vice-Chancellor,
Professor Ostin Chivinge, told The Sunday Mail in an interview last week that
the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Levi Nyangura, is already negotiating with
universities in South Africa for some of their lecturers to come and work at
the university for a given space of time.
He said some
organisations approached by the university for assistance had agreed to cover
all expenses involved in engaging such lecturers. The university would,
however, be expected to pay professionals’ salaries.
employing part time lecturers’ assistants and we have gone out of Zimbabwe to
recruit people to come and teach for certain periods.
vice-chancellor is currently negotiating with some universities in South
Africa in order to get lecturers to come to our university.
"Already there are some Zimbabwean lecturers in the region who have offered
to come and teach, but only for a short while," said Prof Chivinge.
Prof Chivinge conceded that the shortage of lecturers was adversely affecting
programmes at the university. He attributed the situation to
poor remuneration and working conditions.
He said this was
forcing the lecturers to seek employment out of the country where the
conditions and salaries were better.
According to Prof Chivinge,
there are only 580 lecturers left out of a total of 1 200 required to run the
He said the Department of Medicine was the
worst affected. The university currently has an enrolment of 12 000
In another interview, UZ Students Executive Council
Information and Publicity Secretary Hilary Kundishora said among a host of
other problems facing the students was the lack of modern books in the
He said those in their final year were the worst
"If there is a shortage of lecturers in a particular
department then operations are definitely affected. I do not think this
situation is affecting UZ only, but probably other universities as
"It is, however, hoped that more lecturers would be retained
and others will return to the university as the economy improves,"
Meanwhile, the Government has allocated $12,3
billion to the university for the refurbishment of its dilapidated
Prof Chivinge said the rehabilitation programme,
which is already under way, is expected to be complete at the end of this
He said work in the halls of residence is expected to be
complete in time for the new semester, which begins next month.
"We have sourced funds from the Government for the renovation of
all infrastructure at the university. Work on the halls of residence
and sanitary facilities has already started.
"We expect to have
completed work in the halls by the time the students come back while the
entire exercise is expected to be through by the end of the year," Prof
Chief Reporter Emilia Zindi A CRITICAL shortage of
labour, compounded by former farm workers who are no longer interested in
working on the farms, is one of the biggest problems facing new
A survey carried out by The Sunday Mail last week revealed
that one of the major setbacks on new farms was shortage of
As a result, crops on most of these farms were growing
under weed. Farmers currently harvesting irrigated crops such as tobacco and
maize are also hard hit.
To counter the problem, some farmers
were being forced to travel to rural areas in search of contract workers,
thereby incurring new costs.
The former farm workers who still live
on compounds on the farms but are not keen to work for the new farmers are
surviving on either gold panning or food aid from non-governmental
At Botha Farm in Mhondoro, a new owner said he was
getting his labour from as far as Mvurwi.
He said although there
were more than 200 former workers still living in the compound, they had
refused to work for him.
He said the former workers use electricity
and water whose bills he met. The workers had told him that they had no
reason to work since they got paid for doing nothing.
other hand the NGOs distributing food gave the former workers enough monthly
"They have challenged me as to why they should work when
they got everything. Most of them are into gold panning, forcing me to incur
extra costs by travelling as far as Mvurwi to get labour."
said the NGOs' food aid programmes should be revisited as they had created a
dependence syndrome among the former workers.
The move could be
perceived as a deliberate ploy to influence the workers to shun jobs in the
new farms. The director of one of the NGOs, Farm Community of Zimbabwe, Mr
Godfrey Magaramombe, said his organisation distributed food to the needy on
He said prior to Government's land reform
programme, the organisation was involved mainly in the rural
Currently the NGO was distributing food in Mashonaland West,
East and Central provinces and Manicaland.
Areas covered in
Mashonaland West include Makonde, Chegutu, Kadoma and Zvimba.
Mashonaland Central the areas include Bindura and Mazowe while in Manicaland
the NGO was covering Mutasa. Mashonaland East had areas like Goromonzi, parts
of Murewa, Seke and Marondera benefiting. Mr Magaramombe said the food aid
programme was in two parts: the general ration and child supplementary
The general ration programme involved the distribution of
10 kg of maize meal per member of a family, two kg of beans, one bottle of
cooking oil, salt and sugar, among other basics.
Under the child
supplementary feeding programme, children under the age of five were given
porridge from one feeding point.
He said if the former workers were
using the food aid programme as a shield from working for new farmers, there
was need for the new farmers to identify which people living on the compound
were not working with a view to have them relocated.
director of Christian Care, Rev Forbes Matonga, said his organisation did not
single out any group of people when distributing food.
organisation catered for, among other needy people, the elderly, terminally
ill, the disabled and those who did not have a good harvest in the previous
He said former farm workers were catered for on the
understanding that they had been left with no jobs after the land
But as it now emerged that they were
turning down jobs on the new farms, the organisation would revisit its
programmes in the new farming areas.
MP'S OFFICE & CLINIC SCHEDULE My Constituency office, ie Harare North
Parliamentary Constituency Information Centre (PCIC), is now becoming fully
operational at Mount Pleasant Hall. The telephone number (due to be
installed this week) is 304289. My assistant, Beauty Mark, is normally
available there 8-5 Monday - Friday, except her lunch hour - but sometimes
she has errands to run, so forgive us if we are not always there when you
As from this Thursday 5 February, I will normally be
available at the office for private consultation as follows: Monday 5.00 -
7.00 pm Tuesday 9.00 - 9.45 am Thursday 11.00am - 1.30 pm If you want
to make sure you don't waste your journey, telephone first
Please pass this information on to others in Harare North -
print out and put in a shop window, pop it through a neighbour's letter box,
ask your church to make an announcement/put on notice board, etc. I am not
able to pay for the extensive publicity this requires,
MARLBOROUGH REPORT-BACK I will make a report-back at
MANDEL Training Centre (Mahacha Rm) Tuesday 10 February 5.30 - 7.00
pm ZRP informed
Once again, I request your assistance in spreading
this information. Best wishes
1: Loss Docs! This has become a phrase that sends shivers up most people's
spines. The thought of sitting down to screeds of paper work is enough to
drive any one crazy. But the reality of it all is, this will be one of the
most important documents you will ever have made. Once done, it will change
your whole outlook to what is happening around you. You will be able to make
decisions more positively knowing that you have an insurance policy backing
you up, ensuring your life's work has not been in vain.
The easiest thing
in the world is to find an excuse not to do something. "Who the hell is going
to pay compensation"? - "You're wasting your time, no-one gives a damn about
4000 white farmers"! And so it goes on, so many people wallowing in a bath of
self pity. I don't know all the answers, but there are people doing
everything to help us, who do. Contact John Worsley Worswick of JAG (011
612595), phone him or better still, go and see him. Contact Allan Higgins
(011 201050) or Graham Mullet of the Valuation Consortium, the two
organizations work in tandem, something most people do not understand. JAG
concentrate on the Consequential Losses, whilst Valuation Consortium do the
Fixed Assets. Confusing isn't it!
The hardest part of going for a long
run, is putting your tackies on, and that is exactly what the Loss Docs are
about. Making up your mind you're going to do it, and then thinking of where
the hell to start. For a start, you have to convince yourself that there is
going to be compensation paid and all the work ahead is not in vain, and that
you get from the people I have already mentioned. You then have to get the
program from JAG, setting out the format which every farmer will have to
adhere to, thus making this whole exercise computer manageable. Remember,
circumstances are changing in our lives daily and the details of further
losses will have to be recorded on the individual farmer's data
We have our own facilitators here in the Lowveld who have done the
Loss Doc course. In case you are not aware they are:- Steve Schwarrer, Lucy
Shaw, and Cathy Souchon. They will be able to advise how to get going, for a
fee of course, but you will have to do the leg work, so what's wrong with
that, cuttings finished!
Come on Lowveld, let's get out of this rut.
Let's show that still have the guts to fight on. Stop whingeing about
everything from the economy, the politics, lack of this and that, hoping for
miracles, that simply does not happen, we have to make our own miracles. Just
count ourselves lucky that we still have lawyers, activists, reporters and
the majority of citizens of this country on our side. So let's get on with
Eric Harrison Letter 2 ----- Original Message ----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Jag ; Ben
Freeth ; Chris Shepherd ; Madoda Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 9:21
PM Subject: Happy Lobbying
Dear Mr. Taylor Freeme and Mr.
Hawgood, Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to write
to Matabele farmers specifically. There are a number of points brought up
in your letter that really need clarification, which Matabele farmers need
specific answers to rather than vague generalities.
*"Much of the
criticism is not based on facts." - Please could you define the criticism
that you refer to. -Please could you define the non facts that you are
*"decisions are being made on rumours, hearsay and
misinformation." - Please could you substantiate this statement with names,
and incidents giving times and dates.
*"For too long now, Matabeleland
farmers have not been told the true role of the CFU." - Can one safely
assume that this is a direct attack on the integrity and open manner of Mac
Crawford, Gavin Conolly and Ben Zietsman? - Based on your policy to "work
with government on the land reform programme" (Cloete 2002) is it perhaps
reasonable for farmers to accept that CFU's role has been to mislead them
into believing that they do have representation, when in fact Your Council
has watched in excess of 85% of its membership get liquidated on the ground?
CFU's role appears to have been to implement Govt. policy and for its
leadership to get high praise from Mr. Chinotimba and Mr. Mpofu for their
*"We believe that we can offer good representation for all
farmers, whether farming or not." -Please could you give details of
exactly how, and what you are going to do. -Based on this "belief" could you
give a detailed account of what you have achieved over the past forty seven
months, when you have both been members of Council.
*"We wish to meet
with small groups of farmers in Matabeleland where better interactions can
occur and the true facts be expressed." -This the opposite of Alan Burl -
where he drew all the farmers to the Conference Centre to discuss the
problems and he had nothing to hide from anybody. Why not tell the world of
these lovely new found words of yours "TRUE FACTS." - the truth shall set you
If the facts are the facts - in a similar sense to the Ten
Commandments - why not publish them. e.g. you shall not steal (the homes
& livelihoods of 300 000 agricultural workers and their families?), you
shall not kill (Martin Olds, Terry Ford, David Stevens?), you shalt not give
false testimony against your neighbour ( - Mr.M. Crawford, Mr.B. Zietsman
and Mr.G. Conolly?).
*"If our legal team advises that the Union should
defend its members under the CFU banner, it will do so." -Who is "our
legal team?" -Do you instruct them? -Have you sought their
*"Our role is to LOBBY..." - This is catchy new term like spin
for the CFU; how much success is Council having in the lobbying game? -Can
Council measure lobby successes? -How correct is Winston Churchill's
description of the CFU? "LOBBYISTS ARE THE TOUTS OF PROTECTED
INDUSTRIES." Current data indicates that Council's LOBBYING is trying to
protect a very small industry now. It failed to protect a huge majority. But
teach a parrot to say "LOBBY!" and bingo you have a leader.
"suggested that some of these members get together and choose
a representative to come to Council?" -Are you supporting a minority group
because the democratically elected leader (G.Conolly Esq.) is not prepared to
be a lackey of Council Leadership?
An answer to these queries could
make a start on some true facts for Matabele farmers.
Letter 3 Dear Family and
Friends, Every day I travel 4 kilometres to take my son to school. Sometimes
by car and other times by bicycle we go along the road which has become a
muddy swamp with more potholes than flat surface as the rainy season
progresses. Richard's junior school is on the outskirts of the town and just
beyond it are smallholdings and plots which range in size from 4 to 22
acres. According to our Ministry of Agriculture these are known as peri
urban plots and for the last couple of months there has much been much talk
about the government of Zimbabwe acquiring peri urban plots to make yet more
land available. The little smallholdings beyond my son's school are
already largely owned by black Zimbabweans and from these little pieces of
land come fruit, vegetables, chickens, eggs and an array of bagged and
bottled home produce. Every day I see these plots and smallholdings and
wonder how much longer they will be there as the government just goes on and
on with its seizure of land.
This week our parliament pushed through
amendments to the land acquisition act. A legal parliamentary committee had
clearly stated that the amendments were unconstitutional and urged against
their adoption. The rights of Zimbabweans were apparently of no consequence
because Zanu PF ignored the recommendations and adopted the amendments
anyway. With President Mugabe's signature, the amendments will become law.
One of the amendments says that the government no longer has to serve the
land owner with a notice of acquisition, now it just has to state its
intention to take the land in the government gazette. The first that the land
owner or smallholder will know about the loss of their home, livelihood and
land will be when the men arrive at the gate.
This latest amendment to
Zimbabwe's land seizures makes the business of both large and small scale
food production absolutely pointless to title deed holders. It now makes no
difference if you have planted a hundred acre field with tobacco or a ten
acre smallholding with fruit trees. Either way there is no guarantee that you
will be there in four months or four years time to harvest your crop, so why
bother. A few months ago many traditional communal farmers sat idly under
trees because they could not afford to plough their land and plant a crop.
Those small farmers said it didn't matter anyway because when they were
hungry the international aid agencies would come and feed them. Those same
international aid organisations are now saying that the numbers of people
needing food in Zimbabwe has risen from five to seven and a half million -
this in a country which only has a population of 11.5 million.
every season comes to an end and still we are starving, there is
always someone else to blame. First it was the whites, then the west, then
the banks and now, according to ZBC TV, the fault is with the
meteorological department. This week ZBC reported that new farmers were
accusing the Met Dept of giving inaccurate weather forecasts which had
resulted in farmers growing the wrong varieties of crops. The only blame lies
with our government. Those same laws that they created to stop white
Zimbabweans from growing food, they can use against black farmers and plot
holders who do not support them. Until title deeds are again respected under
law there will be hunger and hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. It is easy to
apportion blame and even easier to obey your own constitution Until next
week, with love, cathy. Copyright cathy buckle, 31st January 2004. Please
note that I am currently unable to access mails sent to my Mango address and
have temporarily reverted to email@example.com My website address is :
and my books on the Zimbabwean crisis, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are
now available outside Africa from: firstname.lastname@example.org
; www.africabookcentre.com ; www.amazon.co.uk ; in Australia and
New Zealand: email@example.com
; Africa: www.kalahari.net www.exclusivebooks.com
Unconfirmed reports indicate that the highly respected CFU
Trustee, John Meikle, is intending to meet with the 'Matabele leadership' -
bringing two highly respected old men of agriculture with him.
is so, it would appear that Zimbabwe is possibly about to witness its own
equivalent of the Hutton report on finding out exactly what actually happened
with the BBC. John Meikle's good reputation goes well ahead of him. Gavin
Conolly's good reputation also goes well ahead of him. And now, John Meikle's
very repuation is to be attached to his findings on the goings on in the
organisation of which he is a Trustee. I respect him. I can only assume that
the deliberations of these three wise men will be taken against the
background of the lives of respected men such as Henry Elsworth, Alan Dunne,
Terry Ford, Charles Anderson, Martin Olds, David Stevens and more recently
Mr. Laing from Aberfoyle, and Peter Siversten of Kwe Kwe.
facts in place it must also be noted that David Conolly is now back with his
children, having left Kay in hospital in South Africa, and she is getting
stronger every day.
The interesting facet to that whole incident is that
David has even more faith and sense of purpose, and there is a vigour and
determination in his voice.
If we are to be driven by greed and fear
we have no chance. In fact, fear is the corruption of faith because it means
that we have now decided that what we fear is far greater than our faith.
In a similar fashion to the Hutton report, hopefully the farmers,
and indeed all Zimbabweans, can be fully briefed by what we might call
the "Second Meikle Commssion" - telling us all what has actually happened
at the CFU. At the First Meikle Commission I did state my case to Meikle
and Hilton Barber and 'the boys' - "farmers regard the CFU as spare wheel -
it is somewhat foolish to be without one" - I said. What the three wise
men will have to decide is if the spare wheel was actually there when we
needed it, or was it flat or stolen, or was it it knowingly given to the
devil? Their findings will mean that their reputation and their faith are on
the line, and we must respect them accordingly.
Faithful. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- All
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