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

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      Zimbabwean government to repossess all unoccupied farms under scheme

      Xinhuanet 2003-01-17 05:15:50

        HARARE, Jan. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- The Zimbabwean government will soon
repossess all unoccupied land under the Model A2 scheme for the purposes of
national food security, Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement, Joseph Made said here on Thursday.

      As a remedy to future food security, Made said the country's
governors have been tasked to identify suitable land in their provinces that
could be put under irrigation on a large scale similar to the winter maize
crop project initiated in Masvingo Province.

      He said some provinces have already identified suitable areas for
the projects and that mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that
production kick off.

      "We cannot fail to emulate the example in Masvingo, which has now
prompted larger commercial entities like Hippo Valley and Triangle to grow
their own maize crop," he said.

      He said Mashonaland West Province had already identified the
Chirundu former sugar estate and Charara Estate as areas that could be put
under large-scale maize irrigation crop.

      Addressing villagers during an interactive meeting at Kutama Day
Secondary School in Chikambi Village, Zvimba, Made said inherent weaknesses
had been identified in the Model A2 scheme, prompting the government to take
a direct interventionist approachto salvage the situation.

      "The land is going to temporarily reside under the authority ofthe
state because it cannot remain idle in the face of the impending drought,"
said Made.

      Besides the failure by prospective farmers in taking up their
allocated land, other problems identified included the allocation of the
same piece of land to several farmers.

      These problems prompted the government to tighten its monitoring
system including the allocation of land, Made said.

      He said communal people would continue being allocated additional
land. The minister also told the villagers that the government would
continue importing maize for food relief and instructed some Grain Marketing
Board officials who were present to ensure that they increase their food
relief allocation in the area.

      The interactive meeting had been called by President Robert Mugabe
to review the progress in the construction and refurbishment of Kutama Day
Secondary School.
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Independent (UK)

Admit we're in crisis, says Zimbabwe's army chief
By Basildon Peta Southern Africa Correspondent
17 January 2003

The commander of Zimbabwe's armed forces has publicly admitted for the first
time that the country is deep in crisis and has recommended a national task
force should resolve the country's emergency.

The powerful head of the Zimbabwe National Army and the Air Force of
Zimbabwe spoke out while most senior politicians, including President Robert
Mugabe, refuse to publicly acknowledge the country is in turmoil. Some blame
the drought for the problems.

Although General Vitalis Zvinavashe reiterated his loyalty to Mr Mugabe,
observers in Zimbabwe saw his statement as a direct confirmation that senior
aides to Mr Mugabe were greatly worried by the country's slide into
perdition and many of them would be relieved if their leader quit.

This week, the general denied hatching a plan to send President Mugabe into
retirement in return for immunity from prosecution. Morgan Tsvangirai, the
opposition leader, said he was approached with the plan by a mediator who
said he was representing General Zvinavashe and Emmerson Mnangagwa, the
Parliamentary speaker.

General Zvinavashe said Zimbabweans had to be told frankly that the country
was in a crisis. "First we must admit there is a crisis," General Zvinavashe
told Business Tribune, a newspaper owned by Mutumwa Mawere, a prominent
businessman with strong links to President Mugabe and the ruling Zanu-PF.
"Everyone can see that. So we must do something about it. It is important
for the nation to be told that we are facing an economic crisis. In my view,
it is not right to keep quiet and let nature take its course."

He called for a national task force involving all branches of government,
"and not necessarily cabinet ministers", to be set up urgently to deal with
what he called an emergency situation in Zimbabwe.

General Zvinavashe did not say whether the task force should include the
opposition but said it must have powers to make substantive decisions that
would not be overturned by civil servants or cabinet ministers. He said the
task force should be supervised by the 79-year-old President.

Lovemore Madhuku, a University of Zimbabwe law professor, said: "It does say
a lot when senior soldiers, the greatest beneficiaries of Mugabe's corrupt
patronage, start admitting things are bad. It also confirms the denied
reports about initiatives to oust Mugabe are not completely unfounded."

General Zvinavashe, who rarely gives press interviews, has attributed those
reports to British propaganda.

In another blow to President Mugabe, the Zimbabwe High Court yesterday
nullified the results of two constituencies won by his party in the bitterly
contested June 2000 parliamentary elections, and accused the ruling party of
having used violence to win the seats.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) narrowly lost to Mr
Mugabe's Zanu-PF and went to court to challenge results in 37
constituencies. Seven Zanu-PF victories have been overturned and three
ruling party election wins upheld.

Judge Rita Makarau said yesterday there was evidence of widespread
intimidation of MDC supporters before the polls. "Properties were destroyed
and burnt as part of the intimidation. The evidence before me can only lead
to the conclusion that free franchise was affected in the constituency and
therefore corrupt practices were committed in the election of the

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Independent (UK)

England face protests from civil groups in Zimbabwe

By Harry Cunningham
17 January 2003

Civil rights groups in Zimbabwe will hold a series of demonstrations to
coincide with the staging of World Cup matches in the country next month.

Opposition groups are unhappy that Zimbabwe is being allowed to host the
matches because of the human rights record of Robert Mugabe's Government.
Zimbabwe is due to host six matches during the World Cup but is affected by
political unrest and is threatened by famine.

Lovemore Madhuku from the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) said the
protest marches were not aimed at cricket. He said: "The focus is to expose
to the international community the excesses of the Zimbabwean regime. You
cannot treat Zimbabwe as a venue for international gatherings because
Zimbabwe cannot be classified as part of the civilised international

The NCA has organised several protests against government policy in recent
years. Earlier this week, the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed that
England would travel to Zimbabwe despite pressure from the British
government to boycott the fixture.

The World Cup director Ali Bacher said he will visit Zimbabwe to make sure
it is safe. Bacher said that he had met the South African police to discuss
the matter.

"We can expect a safe and secure Cricket World Cup in Zimbabwe during that
period in February," he said. "I'm going up there within the next 10 days,
just to get a feel of what the situation is."

Despite the uncertainty in Zimbabwe, Bacher said it would have no effect on
the World Cup. "What's happened in Zimbabwe will not, in our view, undermine
what we believe will be a wonderful event for South Africa, Africa and
international cricket," he said.

The Australian government said yesterday that it had virtually given up
trying to persuade the Australian team to boycott their match in Zimbabwe.
Elsewhere, Kenya is battling to convince the International Cricket Council
(ICC) that it is capable of handling security at its two World Cup matches.
Security fears grew in November when 16 people were killed in a suicide
bombing at an Israeli-owned hotel on the Kenyan coast.

Kenya's government is due to issue a formal statement reassuring Test
nations that their country can take care of security for the matches against
New Zealand and Sri Lanka on 21 and 24 February

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Peri-Urban Agriculture a Success Story

The Herald (Harare)

January 17, 2003
Posted to the web January 17, 2003

Tandayi Motsi

In the mushrooming cities of the developing world, farming is a growing
business. Figures from the United Nations Development Programme peg the
number of urban farmers at about 800 million worldwide. Most of them are
poor or middle class. They raise livestock and grow produce to feed their
families and, where possible, to generate income.

In the process, they recycle wastes, reuse water, and put idle land to
productive use. Many governments now recognise the contribution urban
farmers make to cleaner, healthier cities. Most, however, lack policies to
integrate urban agriculture into sustainable urban management practices.

The International Development Research Centre has initiated a Cities Feeding
People (CFP) Programme to try to bridge that gap by supporting research and
development activities that increase the food security and incomes of the
poor while maintaining public health and a clean urban environment.

Through CFP projects, the Programme Initiative is seeking to create a better
understanding of the constraints faced by urban farmers who are often
hampered by unfavourable local policies and limited access to resources.
Women producers, in particular, face many obstacles. CFP also supports
research that examines the political economy of urban agriculture, including
access to credit and investment schemes, the role of urban agriculture in
the recycling chain, and links with rural agriculture.

The concept of urban agriculture in Zimbabwe took off the ground during the
years of the liberation struggle as most families left their rural homes due
to the war to settle in the cities where they had to supplement their
incomes by tilling small pieces of land.

Despite the end of the war, urban agriculture has continued to prosper as a
food and income supplement.

According to a study by the University of Zimbabwe Department of Geography
and Environmental studies conducted last year, the number of open areas in
Harare under cultivation rose from 4 822 in 1980 to 9 288 hectares in 1994.

At least more than 70 percent of urban dwellers were said to be living in
poverty and it was hoped urban farming would greatly improve their

In the past, urban agriculture in Zimbabwe was viewed as having a negative
impact on the environment and planning settlements to the extent that urban
councils had made it illegal.

However, owing to the importance of urban farming in poverty reduction,
councils last year resolved to support it.

This resulted in the allocation of about 40 000 hectares for urban farming
in Harare.

The land was mainly made up of farms around the city that were acquired by
the Government.

The Harare City Council also resolved not to slash any maize this year in
view of the severity of the drought.

Council public relations officer, Mr Cuthbert Rwazemba said no maize crops
would be slashed this year because of the serious food shortages.

"Council will not slash any maize crop this year because of the increasing
high levels of food shortage and poverty among the people," he said.

The city council has in the past destroyed maize crops because it was either
planted too close to rivers or national roads.

Many residents defy council bans on stream-bank cultivation and do not
observe the stipulated 30-metre distance from a river or stream, which
causes siltation of rivers.

Siltation may affect water supply in the metropolitan area.

Experience from other countries, especially western nations, has shown that
if co-ordinated successfully, urban agriculture has the potential of
boosting food provision in urban areas.

A case in point is the United Kingdom where local authorities in England and
Wales provide allotments (plots) for urban farming.

The UK government recognises the importance of allotment gardening for food
provision, recreation and the sustainable regeneration of the towns and

A UZ lecturer in the Department of Rural and Urban Planning, Mr Takawira
Mubvami, said the major challenge facing urban agriculture was lack of
proper policy planning.

Mr Mubvami is also the co-ordinator of a project on urban agriculture with
the Municipal Development Programme Partnership of Eastern and Southern

"If properly planned, urban agriculture has the potential of being a major
source of food for urban dwellers," he said.

Mr Mubvami said the shortage of basic foodstuffs such as maize-meal had also
seen rich people venturing into urban farming.

He said however, efforts to sustain urban agriculture were being hampered by
several factors that included access to land and how to use the land in a
sustainable manner.

Mr Mubvami applauded the move by members of the Musikavanhu project in
Budiriro suburb who rehabilitated a piece of land, damaged by sand poachers,
before applying to the council for permission to engage in agricultural

He said there was a need for co-ordination among stakeholders in order to
make urban agriculture a success.

A pilot project is currently running in Harare's Crowborough North suburb
called Zimwonde project, which is the brainchild of the Zimbabwe Farmers
Union. The project has a thriving 15-hectare inter-cropped maize and bean

The maize has reached tassel stage while the bean crop is almost ready for

As a way of recognising efforts by the urban farmers, the ZFU recently held
a field day, the first of its kind, in Crowborough North. The union's
president and vice-president, Mr Silas Hungwe and Mr Wilfanos Mashingaidze
respectively, attended the field day.

Initiated in 1998, the Zimwonde project consists of about 100 members,
mostly women.

What is unique about this project is that some of the proceeds from the
field are used to feed at least 65 orphans whose parents died of HIV/Aids
related illnesses.

Last year about 20 tonnes of maize were harvested from the field and this
was distributed equally among the members.

Zimwonde project secretary Mrs Deliwe Chikuni said harsh economic conditions
had forced the group to venture into the programme.

"We have no choice but to engage in agriculture as a way of boosting food
security within our families," she said. Mrs Chikuni said this year's yields
were likely to decrease since part of the land they tilled had been
allocated for residential stands.

"Although we were given a go ahead by the city council to till this land,
there is no security of tenure hence the allocation of part of the land for
residential stands," she said.

Thieves who occasionally stole some of the crop, Mrs Chikuni said, had
compounded the problem.

She said cattle from a nearby-farm owned by the city council sometimes
invaded the fields.

"We are appealing to the city council to do its best to assist us in this
regard," Mrs Chikuni said.

Apart from being engaged in the farming activities, she said, members were
also involved in other projects such as soap making and tie and dye.

Mr Hungwe said most people looked at farming as the preserve of commercial
and resettled farmers, disregarding the urban farmer who is also capable of
doing wonders.

"This shows total commitment to the Government's call for using the land for
national prosperity," he said.

"We do not hesitate to recommend the Government to give such people land as
they have proved that they are capable."

Mr Hungwe commended the project members for embarking on a programme to feed
orphans in view of the drought ravaging the nation.

He called upon local authorities to allocate more land to urban farmers for
agricultural activities.

The harsh economic conditions in Zimbabwe have resulted in large numbers of
urban dwellers turning into farming in order to contain poverty.
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            Foot-and-mouth disease out of control in Zimbabwe
            January 17, 2003, 05:30

            The South African Meat Industry Company (Samic), says
foot-and-mouth disease in Zimbabwe is raging out of control.

            Samic has asked government to do more to prevent the spread of
the disease to South Africa. Samic says recent outbreaks in Mozambique and
Botswana originated in Zimbabwe.

            Manie Booysen, Samic chief executive, says local beef farmers
are opening up new export markets. Booysen, says it will be devastating for
them if South Africa again experienced an outbreak of foot-and-mouth as at
the end of 2000 in KwaZulu-Natal.

            Booysen says the meat industry has approached the government to
pay for the vaccination of cattle in Zimbabwe, which that country cannot

            Botswana has meanwhile lifted a countrywide ban on the slaughter
of cloven-hoofed livestock, saying the present outbreak of foot-and-mouth
disease is confined to one area. On Wednesday, South Africa banned the
import of all cloven-hoofed animals from Botswana.
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The Times

            January 17, 2003

            Catholics censure their bishops for appeasing Mugabe
            From Jan Raath in Harare

            SENIOR members of one of Zimbabwe's biggest Catholic dioceses
delivered a scathing attack against the church hierarchy yesterday for
appeasing President Mugabe, and demanded that it confront his "evil regime".
            The move came as a judge stripped two MPs from the ruling Zanu
(PF) party of their seats, ruling that their victories in 2000 had been won
through "intimidation and violence". Six Zanu (PF) victories have been
nullified out of 41 being challenged by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change.

            The 260 priests, deacons, sisters and brothers of the
archdiocese of Bulawayo said: "There is no place for neutrality in the face
of the evil which is destroying our nation. Time has run out for compromise
with an evil regime. Attempts to use personal influence and persuasion have
only allowed a corrupt system to consolidate its power."

            The Western Matabeleland provinces have probably suffered far
more brutality at Mr Mugabe's hands than any other part of the country.
Dissent among the Ndebele-speaking people could provoke an even greater
threat of schism in the country.

            The clergy demanded that the Catholic Bishops' Conference, the
church's executive body, "come out publicly with a clear and honest voice,
on behalf of the voiceless, as their predecessors did during the liberation
struggle (against the former white minority Rhodesian Government)".

            This is the first time that the general clergy of Zimbabwe's
most powerful church have spoken out against the silence of their bishops
over the past three years of repression and lawlessness under Mr Mugabe.

            Observers say that Mr Mugabe has successfully courted the
leadership of most churches in Zimbabwe and counts the heads of both the
Catholic and Anglican churches as his personal allies. The exception has
been Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, who has constantly condemned Mr
Mugabe and helped to focus international attention on Zanu (PF)'s strategy
of denying food aid to starving opposition supporters.

            He is kept under permanent state surveillance and said to be on
a secret police hitlist. "We condemn those who harass, who attack, who plan
evil against the Archbishop," the clergy said. "We condemn those who attempt
to silence his voice."

            .. Nqobile Nyathi, the Editor of the independent Financial
Gazette, said yesterday that she had been detained by police for allegedly
publishing false information about Mr Mugabe. The charges referred to
advertisements in the newspaper last year for a mock trial of Mr Mugabe in
which he was blamed for murder and rape by his militias.
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The Star

      New winds of change
      January 17, 2003

      It seems that - thanks to the successful democratic elections in
Kenya - the winds of change are beginning to sweep the African continent.

      With opposition alliances assuming their rightful place in determining
the future of their countries, the state of democracy now looks brighter and
more promising than ever before.

      This serves as good riddance to one-party states that dominated Africa
throughout the post-liberation era.

      Now Zambia wants to follow suit. The opposition parties in that
country want to unite under one roof.

      These interesting events show that the African people are sick and
tired of empty promises, corruption, nepotism and poverty which have always
given our continent a bad name.

      The people want a better life. Gone are the days of glorifying
leaders, many of whom pursued selfish aims under the pretext of serving the
interests of the poor.

      Leaders from countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi are good
examples of that.

      More than two-thirds of Zimbabweans are at risk of starvation while
President Robert Mugabe and his cronies have food to put on their table.
Moreover, the beneficiaries of the controversial land redistribution
exercise are members of the ruling elite, generals in the army and
card-carrying members of Zanu-PF.

      While he himself has food aplenty to feed his stomach, President Levy
Mwanawasa of Zambia denies his own people the same because he argues that
the genetically modified foods are toxic.

      In Malawi, President Bakili Muluzi is trying to change the
constitution to remain in office to loot more resources while the economy of
his country founders.

      The new era of politics, as has been proven in Kenya, augurs well for
Africa as a positive continent with a brighter future.

      These latest developments should also strengthen the will of those who
are advocating the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad).

      Stephen Majara
      Pimville, Soweto
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The Times of Zambia

UK answers Mugabe on land reform
By Times Reporter
THE British government says sensible land reform in Zimbabwe has been put in
jeopardy by policies of that country's President Robert Mugabe.
In response to a Press query, Ian Mason, second secretary (political, Press
and public affairs) at the British high commission said since the land
conference, the Zimbabwean government had failed to honour its commitments.
During the ceremony at which former Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda
was conferred with the honour of the Grand Commander of the Eagle of Zambia,
visiting Zimbabwean President Mugabe lashed out at the British government
for frustrating land reforms.
But Mr Mason said Britain was supportive of sustainable land reform and had
even contributed over 40 million pounds towards the exercise.
He said Mr Mugabe's government had, however, chosen to encourage or ignore
invasions of commercial farms by "so-called" war veterans and abandoned
sensible economic policy.
"It has stood by while farmers and their farm workers have been subjected to
violence and intimidation. Evidence shows that it has seized properties in a
chaotic fashion and handed them to people in its own ranks, unskilled and
without necessary input to make land viable.
"In its anti-colonial rhetoric it has ignored the fact that many commercial
farmers in Zimbabwe bought their land since independence with government's
formal agreement," Mr Mason explained.
He said under the circumstances it was clear that sensible land reform had
been placed in jeopardy by Mr Mugabe's policies and as such the British
government was unable to provide assistance to that regime.
Mr Mason denied his government's involvement in any discussions concerning
Zimbabwe's crisis. He said any post Mugabe administration was a matter for
the Zimbabwean people who should be allowed to select the government of
their choice.
"The UK government will work with a future administration that upholds the
rule of law, respects democratic principles and promotes sound economic
policies," he said.
Mr Mason said the land reform issue was initiated in 1996 when the
Zimbabwean government was asked to submit proposals for the three million
pound United Kingdom land resettlement grant.
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The Star

      England shouldn't shake the hand, they should be shaking the world
      January 17, 2003

      As political statements go, England's "non-handshake policy" must have
Robert Mugabe quivering. How he must be throwing his Harrod's toys around
the presidential mansion, wringing his hands in anguish and crying so hard
that the Grecian 2000 dye in his mini-Hitler moustache streams down his chin
in a river of black.

      But then England don't have a lot of other options open to them after
their board declared this week that they would play their World Cup match in
Harare in February.

      They will be in and out of Zimbabwe like thieves in the night,
hopefully burgling themselves some useful World Cup points along the way.
They are hoping that it will be over before they even notice it has begun.

      Indeed, there has been a quite awful silence from the English players
and their Zimbabwean coach on the decision made by the England and Wales
Cricket Board. When they were informed as they sat down to breakfast at the
Stamford Plaza Hotel in Adelaide a few days ago, the only comment to be
squeezed out of one player was: "So we're going, then?"
      Indeed you are, me old son. And that was that. There was no debate, no
sustained nor hysterical chatter about the dangers and moral dilemma of
playing in country run by a senile old man and his megalomanic sidekick.
Team England just went about the business of trying desperately not to lose
another match. The decision had been taken for them in a two-hour meeting
back in England. They were thankful that it was out of their hands.

      At least one man from England will not be going to Zimbabwe this
summer. Pat Murphy, the respected voice of cricket on the BBC's Radio 5 and
a lauded biographer, will boycott the Harare match in protest at the
policies and actions of Mugabe.

      "This is not an issue of safety for me, it is a matter of personal
morality," said Murphy. "I think it reflects well upon the maturity of the
BBC that they allow me to exercise such freedom of conscience. It is a
personal decision and I don't view any of my own colleagues, or the England
players, who choose to travel to Zimbabwe censoriously."

      Murphy has fought racism on many fronts for many years. He supported
the Stop the Tour movement, which caused South Africa's 1970 tour of England
to be cancelled. He supported Basil D'Oliveira through the "D'Oliveira
Affair" (and is the author of D'Oliveira's autobiography).

      His boycott of Zimbabwe, though, looks as though it could be a lonely
vigil,with few of his countrymen and even fewer others from other lands,
looking as though they will join him.

      England were forced to play in Zimbabwe by the duplicity of Tony
Blair's government, who sought to use Nasser Hussain and a few mates to deal
with the threat of Mugabe while they sent troops and rockets to deal with
Saddam Hussein. But now that England are going to play in Harare, Hussain
should take the opportunity to open a few eyes to the mess that the country
has become.

      Take a few television crews out on a walk of the capital, talk to the
locals, say something about Zimbabwe in press conferences and the post-match
presentation, donate match fees to the starving - above all make sure that
the massive satellite audience is aware of the context in which a World Cup
match is taking place.

      By all means refuse to shake hands with Mugabe, but don't be too
surprised if he doesn't turn up on the day to give you the chance to ignore
his hand.

      Every Zimbabwean I know living in South Africa has told me how much a
boycott would mean to them as a sign that the rest of the world is taking
notice of the plight in their homeland. You cannot help but agree with them.
Boycotts work. Ask PW Botha.

      But a boycott is a long-term solution to Zimbabwe. What the World Cup
can do for Zimbabwe in the short-term is to further highlight how far down
the road to ruin the country is.

      Percy Sonn said this week that: "England has given Zimbabwe a
privilege. Without them (England), cricket in Zimbabwe would be dead."

      Without some brave words and actions from privileged cricketers next
month, all life in Zimbabwe could be dead sooner than we think.
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CFU Report 16 January 2002
Farms with full valuations and the Valuation Consortium.
Members who have full valuations of their farms, and have paid the full rate for this service, are enquiring as to why they should have to agree to allow the Valuation Consortium to collect a further 3.15% commission for representing them in this regard.
Their concern is justified, and in fact this cannot happen because a scale of charges which is applicable to all the professional valuators fixes the maximum fees they can charge their clients for their various services, and that is approved by Government. The 3.15% commission has been calculated so as to recover an amount which is in keeping with the relevant tariff.
Clearly if an amount has previously been paid to one of the participating partners, it cannot be repeated, and the Consortium recognise this very clearly. What they will do in such cases is to credit the account of the farmer who registers his property details with them with the amount he has already paid. This credit will be reconciled when a final compensation pay-out is achieved. The 3.15% commission may be more or less than the original payment, depending on exactly which mode of valuation and a number of other variables which will be agreed upon with the fund managers at the time. At this time, who may manage the fund we seek to establish is unknown. In this way no double payment will occur and the agents will recover no more than their proper dues.
Gerry Davison,
Executive Officer, Compensation Committee.
For a number of days I have been trying to meet with the Minister of Labour to try to persuade him to register the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Finally, yesterday afternoon I, together with a representative from GAPWUZ and the Executive Officer of the NEC were granted an audience with the Permanent Secretary and Registrar of that Ministry.  We were categorically told that we had to renegotiate our agreement but as to what the objections were to it, the two officials were extremely evasive.  On this basis we have convened a meeting with GAPWUZ next Thursday, 23 January 2003, to reopen negotiations. 
The ALB wanted the meeting to be held earlier but GAPWUZ officials said that they  needed more time to consult with their members. For our part, I have convened a board meeting of the ALB Board Members on Wednesday 22 January 2003 because a mandate is needed in order for negotiations to resume. Assuming that we reach some sort of agreement with GAPWUZ the Ministry of Labour will still have to ratify any agreement and this is likely to take a couple of weeks at least.
We are aware of the urgency of the matter and will proceed as quickly as possible but we are likely to be constrained by bureaucracy at the end of the day.  In the meanwhile from a legal of view there is no obligation what so ever on farmers to institute the January increase because the Ministry of Labour refused to register the agreement.
As soon as there are any new developments I shall send out a further e-mail.  This will in all likelihood be next Friday 24 January 2003.
Nigel Juul 


The South African maize crop is delayed, after a hot, dry November, when only 50% of the intended 3 million-hectare crop was planted, and by 10th December 2002 only 70% of the intended 3 million hectares was planted. By January maize farmers were smiling again with good rains. Now there’s a heat wave and yesterdays South African market report, however, forecasted damages to the crop if hot and dry conditions prevailed for longer than a week. Total maize production forecasted is 8.5 million tonnes (5.1 million tonnes white and 3.4 million tonnes yellow). Well in excess of their domestic requirements of 7.6 million tonnes, add to this is a large carry-over of 1.2 million tone, and potentially South Africa will have a surplus of over 2 million tonnes (if the weather changes!).

White maize prices have fallen since November last year by R300 per tonne driven by the good rains, the large carry-over stock, weaker international prices, and of course a strengthening Rand. Yellow maize prices have fallen R200 a tonne in the same period, and this may well have been as a result of Zambia purchasing Chinese origin yellow maize, when South Africa expected Zambia to buy SA GMO free maize.


Source : JSE SAFEX 13/01/2003


Jan 2003

Mar 2003

May 2003

Jul 2003

Sep 2003

White Maize






Yellow Maize
























Such is the market that as of yesterday this could all change, "weather worries" driven by the heatwave and news of the Rand losing ground against major currencies on Tuesday afternoon.  

Vanessa Mckay
Marketing Executive 
The fatalistic outlook which we as farmers can have upon ourselves is a lack of confidence in our own ability to influence or control events. This low self help perception, translates into a high dependence upon outsiders to shape our destiny. If we continue to have the view that conditions to the farming environment will only improve if the outside helps we are quickly condemning ourselves to extinction. If we use our GOD given abilities to innovate and take calculated risks, we can turn the current lemons we are receiving into the most sought after drink lemonade.
The fact that we are still living, mean we can still influence and shape events
Kuda Ndoro
Agricultural Economist
Unless specifically stated that this is a Commercial Farmers' Union communiqué, or that it is being issued or forwarded to you by the sender in an official CFU capacity, the opinions contained therein are private.  Private messages also include those sent on behalf of any organisation not directly affiliated to the Union.  The CFU does not accept any legal responsibility for private messages and opinions held by the sender and transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network users and/or to external addressees.
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Business Day

Talks in Zimbabwe depend on pressure'

International Affairs Editor

A SENIOR official from the Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) says the chances of talks between itself and the ruling Zanu
(PF) party depend heavily on the pressure that SA and other Southern African
Development Community (SADC) members can exert on President Robert Mugabe.

However, while on a visit to SA, MDC spokesman Paul Themba-Nyathi said that
as Pretoria was thought to have given Mugabe increasing support in recent
months the chances of the SA government playing the role of an honest broker
were slight.

He said SA had abandoned its quiet diplomacy in favour of "outspoken
support" for Mugabe, judging by statements made by SA Foreign Affairs
Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana
during their recent visits to Zimbabwe.

Themba-Nyathi said food and fuel shortages, as well as the spread of food
riots, could place increasing pressure on Mugabe to open talks with the

Both the Zimbabwean government and the opposition say there have been no
talks about a deal involving amnesty for Mugabe in exchange for his
resignation, and there is no sign of an emerging common ground on which
negotiations can begin.

"There is no doubt the whole (Zimbabwe crisis) will be resolved by
negotiation," Themba-Nyathi said.

President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo failed to
meet their pledge to involve themselves personally in an effort to achieve
dialogue, he said.

"Talks can resume anytime if Zanu (PF) does not insist on preconditions,"
Themba-Nyathi said. Zanu (PF) have said they are only prepared to begin
talks if the MDC withdraws its application to have election results set

"Talk of a government of national unity, is just not on," he said. A
government of national unity is one of SA's proposals to resolve the crisis.
"SA thinks it can simply co-opt the MDC" into a government of national

"We are not going that route. What is on is a transitional arrangement with
a limited lifespan, that would lead to free and fair elections, " he said.

Themba-Nyathi said that the matter of whether Mugabe should be granted an
amnesty would possibly be discussed. "If you have negotiations, everything
is up for negotiation."

He said pressure on the government was intensifying with the shortages,
making it difficult for Mugabe to distribute patronage to his supporters.
"You cannot escape scarcity. Even a Zanu (PF) card does not allow people to
obtain food."

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Business Day

MDC pressure on Mugabe as power struggle begins

Harare Correspondent

AS ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe's succession debate rages, with ruling
Zanu (PF) functionaries scrambling to contain manoeuvres against their
leader, the political ambitions of Mugabe's close lieutenants now seem to
have been exposed.

The intensification of machinations by Mugabe loyalists Emmerson Mnangagwa
and Vitalis Zvinavashe also appears to have placed the president in a
difficult and vulnerable position in the power struggle.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai is
making the situation even more difficult for Mugabe by refusing to ease
political pressure on him.

In a bid to counter a flurry of official denials over Mugabe's retirement
plans, Tsvangirai yesterday stepped up attacks against the Zimbabwean ruler
for his refusal to retire.

He said that Mugabe's "public posturing", claiming that the MDC would "never
ever rule this country, was evidence of his growing paranoia and

"Mugabe can continue posturing and grandstanding, saying he will not talk to
the MDC, but it's clear his rule is collapsing," he said.

"It's foolhardy for him to continue pretending the MDC does not exist. The
fact is the MDC is a key player in the political scene and cannot be wished

Tsvangirai said Mugabe's adherents had "all virtually abandoned him, and
maintain an appearance of loyalty out of fear".

Zimbabwe was "dangerously grinding to a halt due to extended periods of
misrule", Tsvangirai warned.

"There is no food, fuel, foreign currency and basic commodities," he said.
"Mugabe does not know where the next litre of diesel or petrol is coming

The growing list of shortages in Zimbabwe now includes bank notes, blood at
hospitals and even tampons for women's health.
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The Star

      Zim is in crisis - general
      January 17, 2003

      By Basildon Peta

      Top Robert Mugabe allies appear anxious about the country's slide into
ruin, after the commander of Zimbabwe's armed forces called for immediate
steps to halt the nation's decline.

      General Vitalis Zvinavashe admitted yesterday that Zimbabwe was in
crisis and recommended the setting up of a task force to resolve the
country's "emergency".

      But the powerful head of both the Zimbabwe National Army and the Air
Force of Zimbabwe has denied hatching a plan to send Mugabe into exile, and
has instead called for the president to supervise the task force.

      The general, who rarely gives interviews, spoke out at a time when
most senior politicians, including Mugabe, refuse to publicly acknowledge
the crisis. When some do, they blame it on the drought.

      In what was a bad day for Mugabe, the Zimbabwe High Court nullified
the results of two constituencies won by his Zanu-PF party in the June 2000
parliamentary elections, finding that the ruling party had used violence to
win the seats.

      Zvinavashe said Zimbabweans had to be told frankly that the country
was in a crisis.

      "First we must admit there is a crisis. Everyone can see that ... so
we must do something about it. In my view it is not right to keep quiet and
let nature take its course," he said.

      The top man in Mugabe's army said a national task force involving all
arms of the government - and not necessarily cabinet ministers - should be
set up urgently to deal with what he described as an emergency situation.

      Zvinavashe did not say whether the task force should include the
opposition, but said it must have powers to make substantive decisions that
would not be overturned.

      Although the general reiterated his loyalty to Mugabe, observers in
Zimbabwe saw his statement as confirmation that top Mugabe cronies are
greatly worried by the country's slide into perdition, and many of them
would be relieved if their leader quit power.

      University of Zimbabwe law professor Lovemore Madhuku said: "It does
say a lot when top soldiers, who are the greatest beneficiaries of Mugabe's
corrupt patronage, start admitting that things are indeed bad. It also
confirms that denied reports about initiatives within Zanu-PF to oust Mugabe
are not completely unfounded."

      But two top Zanu-PF insiders insisted that reports of initiatives to
retire Mugabe in exile in exchange for immunity from prosecution were
completely baseless.

      Last night Zimbabwe state radio reported Mugabe's Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo as saying the rumours about exile for Mugabe were "the
sinister work of coup plotters".
      It was unclear whether he was referring to the armed forces.

      Zvinavashe denied involvement in a plan to remove Mugabe.

      He attributed the reports to British propaganda. The reports said
Zvinavashe and parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa had sent retired
Zimbabwe National Army Colonel Lionel Dyke to discuss the plan with main
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

      Dyke also spoke for the first time on the controversy yesterday,
saying he had approached Tsvangirai "to sound him out on a peaceful change
of government" but denied he had done so on behalf of Zanu-PF.

      "I am a Zimbabwean and it is in this capacity that I approached the
MDC leader to sound him on the peaceful change of government. I was not
sent," Dyke said.

      Reports about plans for Mugabe's exit from power had been met with
relief by many beleaguered Zimbabweans, enduring a hopeless life without
basic commodities. - Independent Foreign Service
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The Star

      Tide of dissatisfaction rising against Mugabe
      January 17, 2003

        By Peter Fabricius

      Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's world is shrinking. Time was when
he strutted the African stage and beyond like a liberation hero.

      Now he is under European and US travel sanctions and skulks about with
fellow-pariahs. The rising tide of democratisation in Africa is gradually
depriving him of kindred spirits such as fellow-autocrat Daniel arap Moi,
ex-president of Kenya.

      Mugabe won a victory of sorts this week when England decided its
cricketers would go ahead and play in Zimbabwe during the World Cup of
cricket. But that will look, in retrospect, like a brief respite in a long
retreat for Mugabe. Maybe the match won't even happen because of security

      Mugabe is believed to be concerned that hosting the World Cup will
pose dangers to him as assassins could infiltrate Zimbabwe among the crowds
of visiting foreigners.

      That may be paranoiac but Mugabe may not be too far off the mark in
fearing the tournament. As he bankrupts the country, public discontent is
growing and food riots are looking imminent. The opposition MDC has so far
held back from unleashing people's power against Mugabe through massive
popular demonstrations, for fear that Mugabe would simply mow down his

      But if the MDC were to mobilise such demonstrations while the world's
attention was on the country during the World Cup, it might not be so easy
for Mugabe to crack down.

      Now the rising tide of disaffection seems to be have reached Mugabe's
inner circle. Two of his closest lieutenants, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vitalis
Zvinavashe, are reported to have sent an intermediary to MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai to discuss a safe and dignified exit for Mugabe.

      These reports prompted a flurry of denials, both from the government,
and even from MDC officials.

      It remains very murky. But it does seem clear that something is moving
in Zimbabwe's centre of power. Either Mugabe himself is feeling the coming
chill and is starting to make contingency plans or those around him are. Or
perhaps Mugabe is deliberately trying to create that impression, hoping to
disarm Commonwealth leaders when they meet in March to decide whether to
extend or terminate sanctions against him. Or maybe the MDC is just trying
to divide Zanu-PF.

      Hopefully, though, the intrigue is a sign that Zimbabwe has entered a
phase similar to that of SA in the late 1980s when the National Party
entered secret negotiations with Nelson Mandela. He went out on a limb at
that time, as one does during genuine negotiations, making compromises and
concessions which left most of the ANC behind.

      Remember the complete disbelief on the faces of some internal ANC
officials when told on February 2 1990, that FW de Klerk had unbanned their
party and announced the imminent release of Mandela?

      Perhaps Tsvangirai is engaged in something similar, though it is hard
to imagine Mugabe in the role of De Klerk.

      Maybe he is more like a PW Botha, negotiating but also resisting real
change. Perhaps Mnangagwa is the real De Klerk?

      The problem with this theory is why then would these necessarily
"secret" negotiations have become public?

      Perhaps the answer is that hardliners in either Zanu-PF or the MDC
exposed them, to sabotage the compromise deal they were supposedly
discussing - a power-sharing transitional government leading to new, free
and fair elections.

      Zanu-PF zealots would obviously not have liked the idea of handing
some - and perhaps eventually all - power to the MDC.

      MDC zealots would not have liked the notion of allowing Mugabe a
dignified exit from office, immune from prosecution for his crimes against
them and the country.

      If this is so, the deal will surely come up again. Mugabe's imminent
demise has been wrongly forecast many times before. It would be unwise to
put money on it now.

      However, one senses this time that a changing world is closing in on
the anachronism that is Mugabe and numbering his remaining days in office.
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Alan Stockil, Chairman of the CFU Compensation Committee will be meeting
with farmers to up date them on compensation issues on the following dates:


Tue 21 Jan Midlands CFU Boardroom, Gweru 9 am
Tue 21 Jan South West Mash Chegutu Golfclub 3 pm
Wed 22 Jan Mash East ART Farm 9.30 am

All farmers welcome.

Where did all the maize seed go to?

Maize seed available for the 2002/03 season was reported to be 47,000
tonnes, of which 46,000 tonnes has been sold (53% Government, 6% NGO's, 26%
farmers, 15% private sector companies holding contracts with farmers). This
would be, under other conditions, sufficient for plantings in excess of 1.5
million hectares of maize.

A large carry-over stock from the previous season boosted the seed stock
levels. Zimbabwe's annual requirement for maize seed is around 33,000
tonnes. With increased demand resulting from the land reform programme this
will increase to 46,000 tonnes. There is an approximate 30,000 tonnes of
seed maize currently under production for next season, but given the season,
and that approximately 95% of seed under production are by first time seed
growers, seed production is likely to fall below budget. In addition, the
seed crop is under the increasing threat of theft off the field, and could
reduce the seed crop by a further 30%. Zimbabwe will have to import between
20,000 tonnes - 25,000 tonnes of seed.

Current seed availability in the region is critical, the South African
National Seed Organisation indicate a current surplus of maize seed in the
region of 2,000 tonnes. The large increases in maize plantings, up to 19%
increase, and seed trade with regional countries have depleted stocks in
South Africa. In the Herald (27/12/02) the Minister of Agriculture announced
Governments intentions of importing 15,000 tonnes of maize seed from South
Africa for delivery in Zimbabwe in early January 2003. Zimbabwe will have to
look further afield to meet these requirements.

An estimated 46,000 tonnes of seed was sold, however, it is increasingly
evident that the area planted to maize will not likely exceed levels of 1.1
million - 1.2 million hectares, for the following reasons:

  1.. Below average rains coupled with the hot dry conditions of late 2002
has reduced intended plantings;
  2.. Late distribution of seed through the Government Input Scheme, of the
25,000 tonnes acquired by Government only 17,000 tonnes was distributed by
early December 2002;
  3.. Less than 50% of estimated Z$80 billion required to finance the
agricultural season has been raised through Government, private sector
companies and Agribills;
  d.. It is widely reported that seed has been consumed as grain, while it
is impossible to quantify, 30% of seed purchases in 2002 were undertaken
earlier than usual, and speculation would suggest much of this may have been
washed and consumed. Vanessa McKay, Marketing COPA/ZCPA/ZGPA 17/01/03
If you require any further information on any of the above issues please
contact CFU Tel 04 -309800 ext. 279 or e-mail and we will
endeavour to supply prompt answers.

Unless specifically stated that this is a Commercial Farmers' Union
communiqué, or that it is being issued or forwarded to you by the sender in
an official CFU capacity, the opinions contained therein are private.
Private messages also include those sent on behalf of any organisation not
directly affiliated to the Union.  The CFU does not accept any legal
responsibility for private messages and opinions held by the sender and
transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network users and/or to
external addressees.
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Daily News

      Weeping Sikhala tells of torture

      1/17/2003 10:34:28 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga

      JOB Sikhala, the St Mary's MP, yesterday shed tears in court as he
narrated his ordeal at the hands of the police following his arrest for
allegedly masterminding the torching of a Zimbabwe United Passenger Company
(Zupco) in Willowvale on Monday.

      Sikhala told magistrate Caroline-Ann Chigumira that he "witnessed the
most horrifying incident of inhumanity which even the laws of the jungle
would not tolerate" as he was being tortured by the police after his arrest.

      The MP was arrested together with Gabriel Shumba, Taurai Magaya,
Innocent Kanjedzana and Farai Gudo after being accused of burning a bus on
      He said after he was arrested in St Mary's he was transferred to
Matapi and later Harare Central Police Station.

      Sikhala said he was taken to an unknown destination by two police
officers while blind-folded and could not breathe properly.

      "When I got there, they started beating me under my feet," said
Sikhala. "They said I had to tell the truth about the bus incident. They
beat me until I gave in and told them what they considered the truth.

      "I told them everything I know under the sun, including the names of
my mother.
      "They even asked me to sign a document implicating my colleagues in
the party as regards what they called MDC's uprisings and their strategies.
They even asked for the security of the party's president Morgan Tsvangirai
and the home address of Nelson Chamisa.

      "All this was happening while live electric wires were tied to a toe
on each of my legs and on my genitals. I cried and asked why God had
forsaken me." In a quivering voice, tears trickling down his chubby cheeks,
he said the beatings were conducted while his hands and legs were tied

      "At one time I passed out and when I regained consciousness one of the
officers urinated on me and I also urinated," said Sikhala in a low voice.

      "Then I was ordered to roll on the urine until it dried up. I was
later told to drink some liquid which they claimed was the urine. "But the
liquid was choking and did not smell like human urine. I am sure it was some
poisoned stuff. No wonder I had a severe cough and running stomach this

      Shumba, Magaya, Kanjedzana and Gudo, will testify today on their
      The five were yesterday taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital for medical
examination, following a request by defence counsel led by Advocate Charles
      Thabani Mpofu for the State, did not oppose the application. The court
examined their injuries after the magistrate ordered people in the public
gallery to leave the courtroom.

      The case continues today when Selemani will oppose the State's request
for the remand of Sikhala, Shumba, Magaya, Kanjedzana and Gudo.
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Daily News

      Court official says police officer lied to nation over Mudzuri's release

      1/17/2003 10:35:23 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      JACOB Manzunzu, the Registrar of the High Court in Harare, yesterday
said Senior Assistant Commissioner Faustino Mazango misrepresented to the
nation that Justice Benjamin Paradza ordered the release of Elias Mudzuri,
the Executive Mayor, in the absence of police officials.

      The government-controlled Herald, in a story headlined: Default
judgment in Mudzuri case baffles police, quoted the top cop as saying
Paradza granted a default judgment on Sunday night for the release of
Mudzuri and 21 other people from custody in the absence of the police.

      Manzunzu said: "It is totally incorrect to suggest that Justice
Paradza released Mudzuri and his group in the absence of police officials on
Sunday because no such order was granted on Sunday."

      The order was only granted on Monday morning after the police and
their legal representatives were notified.

      Sources in the High Court said the judge himself was not amused when
he read the report in The Herald on Wednesday morning.

      Paradza said he would raise the issue with Augustine Chihuri, the
Police Commissioner, according to the sources.

      Efforts to reach Paradza for comment failed. "There are a lot of
inaccuracies in the article," Manzunzu said." It is regrettable that
Mazango, if the paper quoted him correctly, rushed to the Press without
verifying facts with his office."

      The police were served with Mudzuri's court application and the notice
of the hearing but none of them attended, Manzunzu said. He said Paradza
ordered the police to justify the basis of the arrests and detention within
one hour of service of the directive, failing which the mayor and his group
were to be released from custody.

      It was not an order for the release of Mudzuri but rather one for the
police to justify his continued incarceration, Manzunzu said.

      He said Paradza only made the order for Mudzuri's release the
following day after hearing submissions from both parties' lawyers and
having satisfied himself that there was no justification to continue
detaining them.

      Mudzuri along with his deputy, Sekesai Makwavarara, and others were
arrested in Mabvuku on Saturday for allegedly holding an illegal political
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Daily News

      Annan blames Zimbabwe crisis on mismanagement

      1/17/2003 10:36:09 AM (GMT +2)

      By Luke Tamborinyoka Political Editor

      United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Tuesday said while
nature could be blamed for the famine and political crisis in Zimbabwe,
mismanagement by the government was also to blame.

      In a speech delivered at the UN headquarters in New York, Annan said
the crisis in Zimbabwe was top-most in his heart.

      On the threat of famine and other problems facing Africa, the UN chief
expressed concern with Zimbabwe, now wracked by hunger and HIV/Aids.

      "This tragic situation is caused partly by the forces of nature, and
partly by mismanagement. We could debate endlessly which of them made the
greater contribution," he said. "But the challenge now is for all
Zimbabweans to work together and with each other, and with the international
community, to find solutions before it is too late."

      Annan has in the past lamented the violence and deteriorating
situation in Zimbabwe. Two years ago, he appealed to both the government and
the opposition to respect democracy and settle their differences

      The UN's World Food Programme has been helping in supplying food to
over half the country's population facing starvation, mainly due to the
government's chaotic land reform programme and the drought. The political
crisis has deteriorated, with Zanu PF and the MDC engaged in spins and
denials over President Mugabe's talked-about exit plan, which reportedly had
the backing of South Africa and Britain.

      Annan said the year was beginning with a lot of anxiety over the
prospect of war in Iraq, over nuclear proliferation in the Korean peninsula,
and over what seems like violence without end in the Middle East.

      "Even Côte d'Ivoire, which used to be one of the most stable and
prosperous countries in Africa, is now caught in the downward spiral of

      "The threat of global terror hangs over all of us. We don't know where
or when it will strike next. "And these are only the crises in the
headlines!" Annan said.

      He said the Aids epidemic will claim many more lives this year than
even a war in Iraq would.

      "In southern Africa and the Horn of Africa, as many as 30 million
people face the threat of starvation this year. And poverty everywhere is
condemning mothers and infants to premature deaths, sending them to bed
hungry, denying them clean drinking water, keeping them away from school."
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Daily News

      ZCTU attacks salary, wage freeze circular

      1/17/2003 10:38:25 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is urging its affiliates
to ignore a circular on the wage and salary freeze being pushed for this
year by the government.

      Wellington Chibhebhe, the ZCTU secretary-general said in a statement
on Wednesday that the circular was "the work of one member of the tripartite
negotiating forum".

      The Chronicle last Thursday ran a story quoting Lance Museka, the
permanent secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare, as saying the government had frozen all wage and salary increases.

      Said Chibhebhe: "Not until a joint agreement is reached at the
tripartite negotiating forum should trade unions stop to negotiate for the
2003 salaries."

      He said the high cost of basic commodities which the government is
struggling to rein in by imposing wage and salary freezes, was due to the
spiralling rate of inflation resulting from the government's skewed economic

      The labour leader decried the government's obsession with
micro-economic problems such as wage freezes and price controls without
addressing the causes of the current economic stagnation such as the chaotic
land-reforms and politically-motivated violence.

      The ZCTU condemned the government's onslaught against dissenting
voices including last Saturday's arrest and subsequent detention of Harare
Executive Mayor, Elias Mudzuri.

      "Civic groups, politicians and any Zimbabwean citizen, should be left
to practice their democratic rights in Zimbabwe and not be susceptible to
arbitrary arrests and imprisonment as if we are back to the pre-independence
days," Chibhebhe said.

      "The government, through the Zimbabwe Republic Police, is making the
situation seem as if these citizens of Zimbabwe who are being arrested every
day are a problem to peace and security in the country yet these people are
only bringing out the faults in the system and governance of the country"

      Chibhebhe said Mudzuri's arrest at a consultative meeting with
residents of Mabvuku was a ploy to divert attention from more profound
problems facing the country.
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Daily News

      Police arrest CHRA officials

      1/17/2003 10:39:48 AM (GMT +2)

      Municipal Reporter

      HARARE police on Tuesday arrested four Combined Harare Residents
Association (CHRA) officials for allegedly engaging in conduct likely to
provoke a breach of peace.

      The four were urging residents to vote peacefully in the forthcoming
Kuwadzana parliamentary by-election.

      The police arrested Barnabas Mangodza, CHRA's chief executive officer,
his advocacy and information officer, Jameson Gadzira, Joseph Rose,
chairperson of CHRA's membership committee, and an unnamed Kuwadzana

      The arrests took place after the four were allegedly assaulted by
suspected Zanu PF youths in Kuwadzana for about two hours.

      They were released on Wednesday after paying a $5 000 fine each for
contravening the Miscellaneous Offices Act.

      Mangodza said: "The Zanu PF youths took us into a disused building,
which they have turned into their base. They held us suspended by our feet
and hands while more than five people assaulted each one of us all over the

      "We were later taken to Kuwadzana Police Station and detained
overnight." The arrests came shortly after police were ordered by the High
Court to release Elias Mudzuri, the Executive Mayor of Harare and other

      The group was arrested for contravening the notorious Public Order
Security Act (POSA) by allegedly holding a political meeting in Mabvuku on

      Mangodza, Gadzira, Rose, and the Kuwadzana resident, who were
initially charged under POSA, were released at about 6pm the following day
after paying the fines.
      CHRA's lawyer Silas Chekera, said police moved the four men from
Kuwadzana to Warren Park Police Station on Wednesday morning before
transferring them to the Harare Central Police Station's law and order
section in the afternoon. They were later returned to Kuwadzana Police
Station where they paid the fines.

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