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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Monday 5th February 2001
Every attempt is made to provide a comprehensive report of ongoing activities in relation to farm invasions, but many incidents are unreported due to communications constraints, fear of reprisals and a general weariness on the part of farmers. 
The manager of Eastdale Ranch had to vacate his homestead for safety reasons. While moving out, a crowd gathered at his home and became belligerent.  A Lance Corporal of a security firm was beaten with fists and clubs, but managed to escape serious injury.  In the fracas a .22 revolver the guard was carrying was confiscated by invaders and has not been recovered. A farm motorbike and two motorised pumps were "commandeered" but were later recovered.  Invaders have now taken occupation of the homestead.
A group claiming to be from the Marondera Country Club group arrived on Lekkerwater in Marondera North and informed the owner that they were there to "take out " the foreman.
Cattle got into the maize that illegal invaders had planted on Nyadgori Farm in Norton. The owner was harassed and manhandled in order to extort money out of him.
In Battlefields, invaders chased the labour force out of the paprika lands on Twintops and slashed some paprika.  They also tried to damage the control unit on the centre pivot.  Police and local farmers reacted and the situation was brought under control.  
War vet Chimbondi has laid claim to the maize crop planted by the owner of Dunaverty Farm in Mutepatepa.
The owner of Dromore Farm in Masvingo has decided to remove all fencing due to the unsustainable level of fence theft. 
Reports were not received from Manicaland, Midlands or Matabeleland regions.
Mashonaland Central
Centenary - A hostile group of invaders moved onto Venture Farm last week and demanded land.  The situation is still tense and negotiations are ongoing.
Horseshoe - Makombi Farm was fast-tracked with 20 people on Friday 2nd Feb.
Mvurwi - A new invasion took place on Kamusha Farm and invaders told the farm owner that he should not do any land prep for the next season.
Mutepatepa - War vet Chimbondi has laid claim to the maize crop planted by the owner of Dunaverty Farm.
Mashonaland East
Marondera - A gang of five in a Toyota Twin Cab, with at least two weapons, was apprehended and handed over to police Marondera when they were found in possession of an Eland cow that they had shot on Mari Farm on Saturday night at about 7pm.
Marondera North - A group claiming to be from the Marondera Country Club group arrived on Lekkerwater and informed the owner that they were there to "take out " the foreman.
Macheke/Virginia -  There was a new invasion by approximately 25 on Lyndon Farm.
Wedza - 3km of five-strand fencing and five cattle were stolen from a farm in Wedza.  There was a successful follow up to a house break-in and theft - two arrests were made and all of the property was recovered.
Mashonaland West (North) - nothing to report
Mashonaland West (South)
Norton - Cattle got into the maize that illegal invaders had planted on Nyadgori Farm. The owner was harassed and manhandled in order to extort money out of him.
Chegutu - Some illegal cattle movement has been continuing.  On Exwick Farm two cattle were snared and building sand was stolen.  
Battlefields -  Invaders chased the labour force out of the paprika lands on Twintops where they slashed some Paprika and slashed open some fertilizer bags.  They also tried to damage the control unit on the centre pivot.  Police and local farmers reacted and the situation was brought under control. 
Masvingo East and Central - Illegal occupiers on Mayo Ranch continue to threaten to push the cattle onto the main road.  Six head of cattle are missing from a farm in Masvingo and illegal occupiers are using the owners dip facilities and chemicals to dip their cattle.  The owner of Dromore Farm has decided to remove all fencing due to the unsustainable level of fence theft.  There was a re-invasion of Acton Farm yesterday.
Mwenezi - There were invasions of Edenvale/Jabula Ranches and Minaarshof Ranch orchestrated by MP Baloyi. Threats have also been made to invade the surrounding ranches. Approximately 500 communal cattle have been brought onto Edenvale/Jabula Ranches, so the owner faces serious grazing problems. 
Save Conservancy - The situation remains unchanged.
Gutu / Chatsworth - The manager of Eastdale Ranch had to vacate his homestead for safety reasons. While in transit, a crowd gathered at his home and became belligerent.  A Lance Corporal of a security firm was beaten with fists and clubs, but managed to escape serious injury.  In the fracas a .22 revolver he was carrying was confiscated from him and has not been recovered. A farm motorbike and two motorised pumps were "commandeered" but were later recovered.  Invaders have now taken occupation of the homestead.
Malcolm Vowles, Deputy Director (Admin & Projects) 04 309800-18
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From The Zimbabwe Standard, 4 February

ZLP condemns violence

THE Zimbabwe Liberators Platform (ZLP), a splinter group of the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association, has said it sympathises with the MDC members who are being victimised by Zanu PF and the war veterans. ZLP president, Dzinashe Machingura, told The Standard on Friday that his organisation had no political agenda and its members were free to join any organisation. He said no group of people had the right to stop others from associating with political parties of their choice. "I fought for this country so that people could enjoy their democratic rights and be free to associate with any party without being victimised," said Machingura. His statement comes in the wake of allegations by government officials that several non-governmental organisations and civic groups were working hand in hand with the MDC to undermine both Zanu PF and the government. A number of ZLP members have been seen in the company of members of the MDC's national executive, leading to suspicions that they may become a military wing of the MDC in order to counter the force of the other war veterans who are spearheading Zanu PF campaigns.

From The Star (SA), 4 February

Zim 'should buy into Mbeki's Africa plan'

It was in Zimbabwe's interest to buy into the economic recovery plan recently articulated by President Thabo Mbeki and other African leaders, Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin said on Sunday. Speaking on SABC's Newsmaker programme he said: "I'm sure President Mugabe and Zimbabwe will come into this plan. It is fundamentally in their interests." Erwin was referring to the Millennium African Renewal Programme (MARP) which was unveiled by Mbeki at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week. Mbeki said at the time that the programme was a declaration of "a firm commitment by African leaders to take ownership and responsibility for the sustainable economic development of the continent".

Asked how Zimbabwe could be brought on board, especially in the light of clashes with the IMF and World Bank, Erwin said South Africa had offered and had helped to try and "bring a reconciliation" between Zimbabwe and the two institutions - both of whom played an important role. "What we are saying with this process though, is that those institutions respond to the priorities and problems as identified by Africa." Erwin said the major stumbling block for the successful implementation of MARP was "external constraints. "We have to begin making reforms in the international financial system. We have to have debt relief for Africa and we have to have a new negotiation of the world trade system. "With those obstacles changed and removed then the challenge is for us in Africa to take full advantage of that opportunity by carrying out the reforms and by bringing about peace and stability in the continent," he said.

From The Zimbabwe Standard, 4 February

Signs of our times

President Robert Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, is now the subject of embarrassing insults from members of the public who feel the septuagenarian has outgrown his usefulness. In the early years of independence, Mugabe was viewed with such reverence that it was taboo for anyone to criticise him publicly. Instant justice was meted out to anyone who dared. But now the president is facing a dramatic change in fortunes. It is now commonplace to hear him being subjected to all kinds of ridicule.

The few who still regard the man highly are careful to air their opinions behind closed doors, for fear of being branded boot lickers or ignorant persons. In fact, it can be argued those who still admire the man do so in the hope of being thrown a scrap from his overflowing table, or because they have already been rewarded handsomely for their loyalty. Such is the politics of patronage pervading Zimbabwe today.

While Mugabe is arguably the most unpopular man in Zimbabwe today - followed closely by the likes of Hitler Hunzvi and Joseph Chinotimba - a few individuals have gone out of their way to publicly demonstrate their negative feelings towards the man. Obviously, such dramatic acts have not been taken lightly by the state which has been quick to prosecute, using the vast array of draconian and often flimsy laws at its disposal. The most notorious of these is the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act (Loma) which many believe should be relegated to the dustbin of history on account of its violations of fundamental human rights such as freedom of expression and association.

In July 2000, Brian Lamb of Bortana Farm in Nyanga stormed into Monteclair hotel and set the president's portrait alight. He was subsequently charged under Loma for expressing his dislike of Mugabe in this manner. In Harare, Petros Maruza of Kuwadzana, perhaps spurred on by the drinks he had consumed, allegedly walked up to a uniformed police officer and called him a "presidential thief". "You are Mugabe's thief and Mugabe himself is also a thief," Maruza reportedly said. Like Lamb, Maruza was charged for contravening the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act. Mugabe's motorcade has also been the subject of much acrimony. During a visit to this country by Zambia's President Frederick Chiluba, a man was arrested for hurling a brick at the motorcade escorting Chiluba and Mugabe to a function. Several motorists have found themselves at the wrong end of the law for refusing to give way to Mugabe's noisy and armada-like motorcade.

The practice of ridiculing the president has been extended to his family. In one case, Mabvuku's Tendai Tadya allegedly phoned the KG IV army barracks claiming to be Grace Mugabe's husband. "Do you know that I am Grace Mugabe's husband?" Tadya allegedly inquired of one Corporal Albert Chikaka. Although he later denied making such a statement, he was charged for contravening section 55 of the Post and Telecommunications Act chapter 12:02. In yet another case, a Chiredzi man found himself being charged under Loma for striking the president's portrait with a dart.

Still fresh in many people's minds is the case of Stephen Schadendorf, the engineer on duty on the evening of the Oliver Mtukudzi/Ringo show at the Harare International Conference Centre on New Year's Eve. Schadendorf is alleged to have beamed spotlights on two portraits of Mugabe hanging on the walls of the show's venue while Mtukudzi belted out his song, Bvuma, which ridicules old men who refuse to accept that age has caught up with them. As has become the norm at most shows, people waved red cards and open palms - the campaign symbols of the opposition MDC. Schadendorf was subsequently accused of inciting people to insult the person of the president. The state has, however, dropped the charges and has said it will proceed by way of summons, if need be.

MDC MP for Bulilima-Mangwe South, Moses Mzila Ndlovu, is facing criminal defamation charges for allegedly saying that Mugabe killed former Zanu national chairman, Herbert Chitepo, as well as vice chairman Leopold Takawira. Ndlovu allegedly uttered the statement at a rally in the Tshangwa area of Plumtree. Originally, police had wanted him charged under Loma, but the prosecutors pushed for a defamation charge. He was remanded out of custody to 23 February of this year.

Other insults go unpunished and, needless to say, Zanu PF officials, and perhaps the president himself, seethe with anger whenever no grounds are found for prosecution. During last year's parliamentary elections in Chitungwiza, voters protested at Mugabe's portrait being hung up at a voting post, saying the portrait was not only offensive, but a form of indirect campaigning and intimidation by Zanu PF. The will of the people prevailed for the polling officers removed the offending portrait. Mugabe has also earned himself the nickname "Vasco da Gama", after the famous Portuguese explorer, for his never-ending excursions around the globe. It can be argued that the man is the most travelled leader in the world, and has spent about two years away from home during his 20 year reign.

The esteem and respect that Mugabe enjoyed soon after independence was further eroded when he married his then secretary, Grace Marufu, with whom he already had two children. The children were fathered at the time that the late Sally Mugabe was battling kidney problems, thus portraying the president as a selfish, heartless and uncaring person. Many other insults have gone unreported, but a visit to any social gathering will reveal the extent to which the man's reputation has sunk.

From The Star (SA), 4 February

Kabila a barrier to peace, say DRC rebels

Kigali - New president Joseph Kabila of the DRC remains the "major obstacle" to the peace process there and in the entire Great Lakes region, an official of the country's main rebel movement said on Saturday. Jean-Pierre Lola Kisanga, deputy spokesperson of the Rwanda-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), said Kabila "is continuing to take the same positions as his late father concerning the Lusaka peace process". He was reacting to a tour by the new president following the assassination of his father, which has taken Joseph Kabila to France, the United States and Belgium. The other major Congolese rebel movement, the Uganda-backed FLC, came up with a similar analysis on Friday.

Kabila told the UN Security Council on Friday that he would examine ways of giving a fresh impetus to the July-August 1999 Lusaka accords, while insisting on a withdrawal of Rwandan and Ugandan forces who support the DRC rebels and occupy the northern and eastern half of the country. The Lusaka accords called for a ceasefire which has never been applied to end a conflict between the DRC government, supported by Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe, and rebels backed in the east of the country by Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

From The Independent (UK), 5 February

Beer and carols with soldiers in their Y-fronts

The Ukrainian mercenaries - all beards, moustaches and pearly-white bellies - were lounging at the poolside. Tinny Christmas carols floated over the hotel music system, even though it was a sweltering January morning. The hired guns clinked their beer bottles and chortled. For work they had to wear the army fatigues of another country. But now, on their day off, they could strut around wearing nothing but the Y-fronts of their native Ukraine. The underwear parade initially outraged upper crust Congolese guests, one regular sighed. "The management asked them to start wearing togs instead. But I don't think everyone got the message." International business hotels build their reputations on being staid, clinically efficient places of rest. It's not a charge that can be laid against the Kinshasa Inter-Continental. Having played centre stage to some of Congo's great dramas of recent years the "Inter", as it is popularly known, has become a five-star national institution. Expensive, yes, but boring, most definitely not.

Soldiers and generals from four different countries tramp through its marble corridors, Kalashnikovs swinging casually from their shoulders. Government snoops wearing Laurent Kabila shirts jostle with prostitutes for seats at the bar, hoping to eavesdrop on foreign journalists. The Foreign Affairs Minister runs an ad hoc office from the coffee dock, juggling calls on his two mobile phones. Meanwhile the head of the UN mission is on the 21st floor, his suite of faux-antique pink furniture overlooking the magnificent sweep of the river Congo.

In its heyday this was the most profitable InterContinental hotel in the world. Foreign businessmen would crowd into its overpriced rooms to make lucrative deals with the rapacious dictator Mobutu Sese Seko and his acolytes. But now Mobutu is gone, Congo is at war and the clientele are as likely to be carrying bullets as briefcases - not a good thing for the reputation of a swanky international hotel. Most of the permanent guests are soldiers, either from Congo's military allies Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola, or mercenaries from the former USSR, mainly the Ukraine. With the hotel being part-owned by the government, their bills are unlikely to be regularly settled.

A few years ago the breakfast buffet was thrown into consternation when a grenade clattered across the floor. Terrified diplomats and businessmen dropped their croissants and looked on slack-jawed as a rebel soldier nonchalantly strolled across the room, before scooping up the explosive that could have blown them away. Now management feeds the soldiers on the ninth floor, in a mess hall de luxe. More recently the word "Inter-Continental" has been dropped from the hotel's name. It is now simply called the "Grand". Perhaps the clumsily hidden spy cameras in rooms assigned to journalists embarrassed the international chain. Or maybe it was told about the time an antelope was found wandering around the corridors, liberally defecating on the carpet. (It turned out to be a war souvenir picked up by a Zimbabwean soldier, who apparently intended to fly the beast all the way back to Harare.)

Some characters have been preserved in literature. Fans of Michaela Wrong's recent book, In The Footsteps of Mr Kurtz, will be pleased to note that the Belgian woman who even sunbathes during a revolution remains faithful to her calling to this day. Apparently, though, she is unaware of her cult status. The hotel has also reserved its place in Congo's history books. It was from Suite 1153 that Mobutu's family nervously watched the 1997 rebel advance in Kinshasa, swigging from bottles of hard liquor. On the eve of their flight, Mobutu's hated son, Kongolo - popularly known as "Saddam" - stomped into the hotel at three in the morning, thirsting for revenge. A quick-thinking manager prevented a bloodbath by cutting off the lifts and within hours the Mobutus had fled, with other cronies of the regime and their families. In the rush, Saddam and his siblings left the pathetic detritus of dishonest living behind them: their Zairean passports, drawers stuffed with designer clothes and - perhaps fittingly - a bill for a million dollars.

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Zimbabwean Minister Condemns Opposition Leader for Violating Law
2001.02.05 15:59:13

   HARARE, February 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean Minister of  Information and
Publicity Jonathan Moyo has condemned the  opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) for acting against the rule of law, the official
Herald newspaper reported Monday.
   "I think it is quite desperate for fading politicians staring  at
oblivion to dream that they can incite a couple of hundred  people against
13 million patriotic and peace-loving Zimbabweans," Moyo said.
   The minister made the remarks after MDC Vice President Gibson  Sibanda
Sunday urged his party's supporters to beat up members of  the ruling
Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front in the  run-up to next
year's presidential election.
   Addressing a rally attended by about 900 supporters in Bulawayo, the
country's second largest city, Sibanda said, "The MDC members  living in the
same street should form committees so that you  identify Zanu-pf members and
beat them up."
   Sibanda's call for violence was endorsed by members of the MDC  youth
wing who vowed that they would "take the war" to Zanu-pf  members.
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From The Herald

National News
Confusion, anxiety grips tax and customs departments

Business Reporter

CONFUSION and anxiety has gripped the departments of Taxes and Customs and
Excise which have been merged into the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority with the
departments' top brass being told they would have to reapply for positions
while the future of the 3 000 workers is uncertain.

Anxiety levels are reported to be so high that revenue collection is being

"Such anxiety needs to be shortened to avoid damaging the collection of
revenue, which is the Government’s mainstay," said a source in the Ministry
of Finance and Economic Development.

Top officials in both departments would have to re-apply, together with
other interested candidates, for new positions in the ZRA. Those who fail to
make the grade would either be relocated in lesser capacities or join the
ranks of the unemployed.

Director of Customs and Excise, Mr Ranga Munyaradzi, and the Commissioner of
Taxes, Mr Gershem Pasi, would have to fight for the top job of
commissioner-general of the new agency. The former secretary for finance, Mr
Charles Kuwaza, is said to be ahead in the race to get the top job.

A thorough screening would also be done to get rid of civil servants that
were either suspended or disciplined for various acts of misconduct.

A new board for the new authority headed by Dr Gibson Mandishona has been
appointed to oversee the merger of the two revenue collecting departments.
The chairman of ZRA, Dr Mandishona, said the authority would work with the
Public Service Commission to ensure a smooth transition.

"The spirit is to absorb all staff, but we will also give them options," he
said without elaborating.

He said the future of the rest of the workers will only be determined once
management is in place.

Workers are anxious to know the state of their pension contributions and
retrenchment packages, among other issues. The transition requires that
their pension contributions be transferred from the Public Service
Commission to the revenue authority.

Dr Mandishona said a local consulting firm had been hired to advise on the
way forward on the employment of the civil servants.

"The conditions of service and the incentives would be competitive because
we want to retain qualified and experienced staff."

Dr Mandishona said the ZRA would invite candidates to apply for the top post
of commissioner-general within the next two months. Thereafter, the ZRA
would advertise for other top positions.

The chairman said the ZRA would borrow experiences from regional countries
that have successfully set up similar operations.

The Department of Customs employs about 1 200 people, while that of Taxes
has a staff complement of about 1 500 people.

The formation of the revenue authority is expected to improve efficiency and
professionalism in the collection of revenue.
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Zimbabwe to Host International Flower Exhibition
2001.02.05 01:24:12

   HARARE, February 4 (Xinhuanet) -- The Export Flower Growers  Association
of Zimbabwe will hold an International Flower  Exhibition next month which
seeks to promote floriculture in the  country which has been hit by lack of
export incentives and farm  disturbances.
   Chief Executive of the association Mary Dunphy Sunday said the
exhibition which would bring together exhibitors from various  international
countries was scheduled for March 7 to 10 at the  Harare International
Conference Center.
   He said the exhibition was aimed at reassuring the  international market
of members of the association that they were  still viable and reliable
suppliers of flowers.
   The exhibition called Agriflor Zimbabwe 2001 would be the  fourth show in
the country. Exhibitors who had already confirmed  their participation would
be coming from South Africa, France,  Germany, Spain, Italy, the
Netherlands, Kenya and Zambia.
   The horticulture sector, which was the second largest earner of foreign
currency in agriculture after tobacco, had registered  phenomenal growth in
the last decade.
   The country's horticultural exports have grown at an average  rate of
about 20 percent in the last 10 years to 122 million U.S.  dollars in 1999.
Last year, the sector lost about 72 million U.S.  dollars in revenue due to
the invasion of commercial farms by some war veterans and the government's
fast track resettlement exercise.
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Zimbabwe's judges are not planning to resign


HARARE Although judges in Zimbabwe's high and supreme courts are angry about
the forced resignation of Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay at the weekend, none
of them is contemplating resigning, either in disgust or in sympathy with

War veterans and senior members of President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu
(PF) party have welcomed Gubbay's resignation and want other judges to
follow suit.

Zanu (PF) MP Philip Chiyangwa, who has led the pack calling for Gubbay's
dismissal, said yesterday that "the struggle will only be over when the
entire supreme court bench goes".

"My mandate is not complete without (their) removal. They are Wilson
Sandura, Simba Muchechetere, Ibrahim and Nicholas McNally. I will soon
present a motion in parliament with respect to these four and a few others
in the high court," he said.

Reacting to Chiyangwa's comments and the government's announcement on Friday
that Gubbay would be going on four months' leave from March 1 and retire
from the bench on June 30, one of the supreme court judges said the other
judges were unanimous they would not resign as this would give the
impression they were capitulating to pressure from government and supporters
of the ruling party.

"(Resigning) is out of the question. Somebody will have to sack us for us to
go," the judge said.

Gubbay's resignation did not come as a surprise as he had been subjected to
criticism and threats from government supporters, including some cabinet

The war veterans recently stormed the supreme court to protest against
alleged bias by the judiciary in its handling of disputes over the
government's fast-track land reform programme.

Gubbay met VicePresident Simon Muzenda two weeks ago to express his concern
about the deteriorating state of law and order in the country, citing the
untenable situation where war veterans were now invading courtrooms and
disrupting proceedings.

However, Muzenda took the opportunity to launch a blistering attack on the

"The chief justice was unprepared for that vicious attack and in anger he
said he would resign.

" Surprisingly, Muzenda refused to accept Gubbay's resignation at that
meeting. However, it was quite clear that the chief justice had had it and
was not going to stand the abuse any longer," the judge said.

The government is expected to appoint an acting chief justice soon to lead
the bench pending Gubbay's retirement.
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"The Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) have acquired a house next door
to the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) Head Office in Marlborough with the
sinister objective of monitoring all CFU communications including telephone
calls, e-mail and fax transmissions. Such practise is similar in many
respects to the activities of the Russian KGB, and in the light of Mugabe's
comment that white farmers are enemies of the State, the plight of the white
farmers in this case could be akin to the treatment of the Asian community
by Idi Amin in Uganda.
"Unfortunately, the CFU leadership is caught between the devil and the deep
blue sea in such circumstances, and there is conflict among farmers as to
whether to adopt a conciliatory or confrontational approach. In fact, Tim
Henwood, the current President of the CFU has been nicknamed Chameleon in
some farmers' associations for his perceived policy of appeasement towards
Government concerning the land issue."

(Source unknown)
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