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

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Mugabe report delayed
By Tim Butcher
(Filed: 18/01/2002)

A DIPLOMATICALLY sensitive United Nations report assessing whether President Robert Mugabe is acting lawfully in Zimbabwe was delayed from publication yesterday after the intervention of the UN Secretary-General.
The Telegraph has learned that senior staff in Kofi Annan's office said they needed to give final approval to the report, prepared by a special team from the UN Development Programme. "This report is diplomatic dynamite and needs to be handled very carefully," one diplomat said.
It is understood to be the first time the Secretary-General's office has demanded final approval for a report arising out of a UNDP field trip.
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European Union Must Ensure Mugabe Toes the Line

European Union (Brussels)
January 17, 2002
On Friday - 18/01 - the Spanish Presidency of the EU is due to receive a letter from the Government of Zimbabwe, detailing the actions it will take in fulfilment of commitments made to senior EU representatives in Brussels a week ago by Foreign Minister Mudenge.
Commenting from Strasbourg, where he raised this matter in the European Parliament this morning (Thurs - 17/1), British Conservative Human Rights spokesman Geoffrey Van Orden MEP said:
"The EU must be absolutely clear that it will not put up with any more stalling and false promises from Mugabe. The Zimbabwean Government must provide detailed, unequivocal and verifiable evidence that it is fulfilling the pledges made to the EU.
"There must be an immediate end to political violence and intimidation, the media must be allowed to report freely, foreign journalists must be allowed in, international observers (including from the EU) must be given free rein to monitor the elections, and intimidation and harassment of the opposition must cease.
"If these commitments are not forthcoming, or if there is continuing evidence of abuse, the EU must take the decision at its Foreign Ministers' meeting on 28 January to impose smart sanctions, in co-operation with the US and others, on Mugabe and his cronies. The preparatory work for this action must be carried out now, ready for immediate implementation with effect from 1 February.
"As we know from the speed of action taken in relation to international terrorism, the international community can act swiftly and decisively if the political determination is there. Here is a chance to take robust action before a problem gets completely out of hand."
Mr Van Orden has led the way in introducing emergency resolutions on Zimbabwe in the European Parliament and bolstering EU political resolve.
His actions have secured cross-party and trans-national support. He added:
"The international community must make it clear that it will not recognise a Zimbabwean Dictator - only a President elected freely and fairly who is responsive to international concerns. Such a benign outcome will attract substantial financial and practical assistance for Zimbabwe from the EU, the US and others." ENDS
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Mail and Guardian
And Bob is an Honourable Man ...

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)
January 18, 2002

The Southern African Development Community declined to get tough with Zimbabwe, report Wisani wa ka Ngobeni and Drew Forrest.
President Robert Mugabe should be given "the benefit of the doubt" on his pledge to hold free and fair presidential elections, and the region could not use sanctions or threats to hold him to his word, a top foreign affairs official maintained this week.
Department of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director General for Africa Welile Nhlapo was part of the South African delegation to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) heads of government summit in Blantyre, Malawi, this week, where Mugabe again assured leaders of his honourable intentions. Nhlapo told the Mail & Guardian that the international community had no "genuine reason to believe the Zimbabwean government would renege on its commitments".
At the summit, Mugabe undertook to hold free and fair elections, allow independent observers and journalists and investigate all political violence impartially.
Nhlapo's comments follow expressions of deep scepticism by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) about Mugabe's assurances, and scotched suggestions that South Africa and the region had toughened their stance in Blantyre.
Botswana's President Festus Mogae also confirmed the region's weak summit stance. "There is not much we can do If Mugabe reneges we'll tell him we're not happy. But he may tell us to go to hell," said Mogae, who described Mugabe as "an honourable man".
Cosatu said the latest promises meant as little as those Mugabe made at the commonwealth summit in Abuja last September and two subsequent SADC meetings. It expressed "disappointment" that regional leaders had taken them at face value.
Cosatu also reacted cautiously to news that a Bill banning trade union dissent had been delayed this week after the Zimbabwean parliament's legal committee ruled it might be unconstitutional. "We have to be convinced there's a real change on the ground," said Cosatu's Patrick Craven.
Nhlapo hit back at the federation, saying the organisation was not present at the SADC meeting and could not "assume things".
He complained that certain media and analysts had turned the summit into "a bilateral meeting between South Africa and Zimbabwe People want to assign us a particular role, while we are part of regional mechanisms. We need to respect institutions we have created. The SADC is a serious institution."
Nhlapo said: "Putting undue pressure on South Africa, as if we are the police in the region, is incorrect."
The summit, Nhlapo said, was not called to discuss Zimbabwe. The Democratic Republic of Congo had asked the SADC for a meeting on its problems and Zimbabwe asked for a platform to brief regional leaders on its election.
Nhlapo attacked international organisations calling for regional sanctions if Zimbabwe failed to hold free and fair elections and continued to crack down on the media and judiciary. The SADC did not believe in threatening member states.
"What threats can you make to Zimbabwe? We can't build a community with threats." He said "colonisers" had complicated the land issue. "Now colonisers are being let off the hook and SADC is blamed."
"We are interacting with the Zimbabwe government and President Thabo Mbeki communicates directly with Mugabe. If issues in Zimbabwe affect us, we discuss them with the Zimbabwean government, but some issues are the SADC's responsibility."
But University of the Witwatersrand foreign affairs specialist John Stremlau questioned whether South Africa and the region were powerless to act.
Stremlau said the election was "a forcing moment". While South Africa's softly-softly approach had past benefits in keeping the region on board, the costs of delay - for example, in regard to the falling rand - were mounting.
"Logic dictated" that regional leaders warn Mugabe they would not recognise an unfair election. A refusal to endorse the poll would make it impossible for Zimbabwe to raise the international donor finance essential for post- election economic restructuring.
Inflation in Zimbabwe is running at 103% and unemployment at 80%. Stremlau said 500 Zimbabweans were already thought to be crossing into South Africa daily.
A carrot-and-stick approach was needed to shake Zanu-PF leaders out of their siege mentality and overwhelming focus on keeping power. South Africa should mediate between Zimbabwe and the West, conveying the latter's detailed offers of financial aid if the election was properly conducted.
Institute for Security Studies director Richard Cornwell insisted there was no chance the region would denounce an unfair poll, as its leaders feared the precedent could rebound on them. "Zambia's election results are already before the courts."
Economic sanctions would merely "accelerate the train smash", and there was no provision for the expulsion of SADC members.
Complicating the issue were critical food shortages in Zimbabwe, threatening "a humanitarian crisis on a massive scale", and the need for Mugabe's co-operation in settling the Congo and Angolan crises, where there was "light at the end of the tunnel".
South Africa needed Zimbabwe to accept food aid from international agencies it was attacking for their alleged sympathies with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
"Smart sanctions" targeting the private wealth of Zanu-PF top dogs should have been launched earlier. However such measures - and even threats to expose assets held abroad, in stark contrast with "revolutionary austerity" - could still have some effect.
Stremlau and Cornwell agree that there are signs of Mugabe's increasing isolation in Zanu-PF and internal dissidence over the concentration of power in his hands.
"Mugabe is consolidating power over all party positions, from the central committee and polititburo to the provinces, and the party barons don't like this," Cornwell said. "Any future president could abuse them."
He pointed out that the powerful Zanu-PF figure Eddison Zvogbo chaired the three-person parliamentary committee that had rejected the trade union Bill.
Cornwell suggested Mugabe's apparently worsening health might serve as a trigger for a party rebellion. "It should be remembered the National Party only dared move against PW Botha when the Great Crocodile was wounded."
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International News Agencies Could Relocate to SA, Zambia

Financial Gazette (Harare)
January 17, 2001
Staff Reporter

INTERNATIONAL news organisations based in Zimbabwe said this week they have contingency plans to relocate to South Africa and Zambia if the government approves its draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill and if planned legal challenges of the new law fail.
Angus Shaw, the Harare bureau chief of America's Associated Press (AP) and spokesman of the Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA), said most international news organisations represented by the FCA in Harare would relocate to either of the two countries because the journalists were opposed to being licenced by the government.
"We have discussed this problem in the FCA and we are agreed that it will be better for us to relocate to South Africa or to Zambia if it becomes illegal for us to work as journalists in Zimbabwe," he told the Financial Gazette.
"If they (the government) demand that we register to work here, we will not do that. Rather than go to jail, we would rather go to cover Zimbabwe from South Africa or Zambia because we have an obligation to provide news about Zimbabwe to our international audiences."
The FCA represents news agencies such as AP, Reuters, Agence French Press (AFP), the South African Press Association and newspapers like Britain's Guardian and the Times.
"With the exception of the French (AFP), whose position I don't know, I am aware that the rest of our members will have no alternative but to relocate from Zimbabwe and fulfil their obligation to provide news from elsewhere," Shaw said.
Cris Chinaka, Reuters chief correspondent in Zimbabwe, said he had no comment on the issue while AFP's Harare bureau chief Stephane Barbier had not returned from Malawi from a southern African conference at the time of going to print.
Shaw emphasised that the decision to relocate would only be a last resort for the FCA members after all the planned legal challenges against the new law had failed.
"Right now our focus is on challenging the illegal law once it is passed by Parliament and signed by the President. We have engaged lawyers and we are in the process of doing all the necessary groundwork. Once we fail in the legal challenges, that's when the relocating decision will be effected," he said.
He gave as an example the British Broadcasting Corporation and several other news organisations whose reporters have been barred from Zimbabwe by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo but have relocated to South Africa to cover Zimbabwe.
Moyo's proposed media law bans foreigners, whose objective reporting of state-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe has irked the minister and his government, from working as journalists in Zimbabwe.
In fact Moyo, in a story published late last year, said the days of Times' correspondent in Harare Jaan Raath and other foreign correspondents were numbered.
This was in reference to the proposed law that will empower him to deny operating licences to individual journalists he does not like. Moyo later went on to label six local journalists who work part-time for the foreign media as terrorists.
The proposed media law has provoked an outcry in the media sector in Zimbabwe and internationally.
Journalists have vowed to defy it if passed into law. A planned overnight vigil at Parliament on Monday was disrupted by police who ordered about 40 journalists present to disperse.
The police gave Zimbabwe Union of Journalists secretary-general Basildon Peta and Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe president Abel Mutsakani an ultimatum to disperse the crowd or risk having the journalists beaten up.
Apart from requiring journalists to register with the government and be given one-year operating licences, the new law prescribes two-year jail terms and hefty fines for scribes who write news which the government does not like such as criticising President Robert Mugabe.
Meanwhile Dingilizwe Ntuli, a Zimbabwean journalist working for South Africa's Sunday Times from Harare, said he had fled Zimbabwe to seek refuge in South Africa because of threats against him.
Ntuli said he felt his life was in danger after publishing a story on the government's deployment of army troops in Matabeleland late last year.
"Rather than be the first victim of fear, alarm and despondency in the new millennium, I felt it would be better for me to tell Zimbabwe's story from here," said Ntuli, who is now based in South Africa.
Lawyers reluctant to file NCA constitution case
LAWYERS representing the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) in the case in which the constitution-making body is seeking to force the government to accept its draft constitution are reluctant to file papers with the High Court, saying the case has no merit.
NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku said yesterday his organisation had been surprised when its lawyers, Atherstone and Cook, said they could not file the case papers with the court because it had no merit.
"They said after senior partners in the law firm had looked at the case, they decided that it had no merit and therefore they cannot file the papers with the court," he said.
"We do not see what the problem is because what they should do is simply to file the papers and not to tell us about the merits of the case. Maybe they are just afraid."
The NCA wants to take the government to court because of the latter's refusal to accept the assembly's constitutional draft which was finalised last December.
The government has vowed not to accept the NCA's draft and the organisation, which argues that the document broadly reflects the wishes of Zimbabweans, has decided to use the courts to force the government to accept it.
Rose Zigomo, the lawyer handling the case, yesterday said through her secretary that she could not discuss the matter with the Financial Gazette.
Madhuku said the lawyers had been given until the end of this week to decide whether or not they are willing to work on the case or another law firm would be engaged.
This week the case's papers were sent to Advocate Pearson Nherere, who was looking at them to decide whether the issue could be successfully argued in the High Court.
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Villagers Flee Violence to the Cities
Financial Gazette (Harare)
January 17, 2001
Maria Nyanyiwa, Staff Reporter

AT a crowded "safe house" provided by a good Samaritan in one of Harare's high- density suburbs, Rodney Chikura, an elderly man of 52, despairs.
"We have been condemned to a life of poverty," he says, throwing his arms into the air in desperation.
Like his 40 other colleagues with whom he and his family now share this four-roomed house, Chikura has had to watch helplessly the life he had built for himself and his family in the Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe (UMP) communal lands come down crashing under the violent wave of political violence engulfing Zimbabwe.
The unemployed father, who tilled the tired UMP soils to earn a living for his five children, says when ZANU PF mobs burnt his homestead last month because of his support for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), it was the second time that the ruling party's militants had done so in the past two years.
But this time round, said Chikura, he feared he might not be able to recover from the second attack and destruction of his homestead and his fields.
"The terror and torture methods that we thought had gone with Ian Smith have terribly become a reality in independent Zimbabwe again," Chikura lamented.
Smith, premier of the country then known as Rhodesia, was accused of presiding over the deaths of thousands of Zimbabwean blacks in his 15-year fight to maintain white supremacy, which ended with independence from Britain in 1980.
Two months ahead of a potentially history-drawing presidential election, militias loyal to President Robert Mugabe have unleashed unprecedented terror and violence across Zimbabwe, re-igniting in the minds of villagers such as Chikura memories of the terrible 1970s independence war.
Mugabe faces his deadliest political challenge in the critical ballot from MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai who many political analysts tip to make short work of Mugabe if the plebiscite is free and fair.
But for Chikura or for 60-year-old Amos Makwe, who fled his two wives and 10 children to come and join the growing list of internal refugees who are being looked after by the Zimbabwe Human Rights (ZimRights) organisation, the road to the important election is proving a terrible test of endurance.
"Both my wives were forced to divorce me and one of them, who is seven months pregnant, was severely beaten up and is now being kept under surveillance," a tearful Makwe said.
The latest spasm of violence is a re-enactment of similar chaos which marred the run-up to the country's parliamentary elections in 2000, narrowly won by ZANU PF.
At least 40 MDC supporters were murdered before and during that ballot.
Makwe, who also is from UMP, one of the areas worst hit by the latest violence, claimed that the war veterans and ZANU PF militias had set up torture bases in his area where villagers suspected of supporting the MDC were routinely tortured.
Echoing the dejection and hopelessness of many of the refugees at the house, Makwe said he had lost hope of ever returning to his rural home or seeing his family for as long as Mugabe and ZANU PF were in power.
ZimRights national director Munyaradzi Bidi said the number of internal refugees was swelling and his agency, working with another local aid body Amani Trust, was now finding it difficult to keep the families well fed and sheltered.
"We are working with Amani Trust as we do not have the capacity to cater for the large numbers that are coming to us," he said.
According to an Amani Trust official, the agency which has continued to receive refugees since the parliamentary polls is now caring for nearly 1 000 displaced people nationwide.
Scores of other aid agencies are doing the same to hundreds of other displaced Zimbabweans.
Even as Mugabe was assuring the European Union and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) this week that his government would ensure a peaceful, free and fair election, more people were fleeing violence by his militias to seek refugee in Harare and other urban centres.
Bidi said ZimRights, which in some instances has had to seek court orders to force the police to attend to some of the incidents of violence, was stepping up its campaign to the international community to pressure Mugabe to end the violence and human rights abuses.
As a result of the lobbying by ZimRights and other organisations, the International Federation for Human Rights had written to Mugabe urging him to uphold the rule of law and human rights.
The World Organisation Against Torture had also contacted Mugabe to tell him to stop his militant supporters from harassing human rights campaigners and that he also ensures that the perpetrators of the violence are brought to book.
MDC spokesman Learnmore Jongwe said his party was also trying to assist some displaced people, most of whom are its supporters, but said the MDC was hamstrung by lack funds.
"We are trying to help where we can but the party does not have the capacity to assist large numbers with basic necessities and accommodation because of financial constraints. The majority of the victims have now become destitute," he said.
The MDC would also step up efforts to lobby both the SADC and the rest of the international community to take tougher measures to force the government to observe human rights and democracy, Jongwe said.
But whether the hesitant international community eventually moves Mugabe, its intervention will come too late and be too little for Zimbabweans such as Chikura, who says being a refugee in his own country will leave him with permanent scars.
"Can you imagine we have to sleep in the same room with our children against all the cultural taboos? This is an insult to your dignity you can never forget," he said.
"What is worse, I have children who I now cannot send to school because my whole livelihood has been destroyed. This constantly hits at my ego and renders me as a failure as a father."
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Mugabe Treading in Idi Amin's Footsteps

New Vision (Kampala)
January 17, 2002
Amin and Mugabe cheered for wrong reasons
MY entire Secondary School years and first year as a university undergraduate coincided with the rise, rise and the thumping fall of Field Marshal Idi Amin as the Life President, Conqueror of the British Empire, life former chairman of the OAU and now temporal refugee in Saudi Arabia.
Thanks to DRUM a South African published magazine in those pre-Internet and pre-email days that kept us abreast of the life and amusing times of the buffoon known as "Big Daddy of Twenty Children", Idi Amin ould Dada'! Even as kids in a school in a remote place like Funtua in north central Nigeria, we got the news. When Idi Amin expelled the Asians, we were joyous believing he was "returning Africa to Africans". All his antics against European residents of Uganda at that time were to us demonstration of his Pan- Africanist commitments, "the strong African leader" ready to "teach the Europeans a lesson" that Africa and Africans should not be taken for granted anymore. The icing on the cake was when Idi Amin got Europeans to carry him in a hammock and forced the then British Foreign Secretary and later Prime Minister, James Callaghan, to kneel down for him by a clever ploy of receiving him in a hut constructed for the occasion! These were powerful Pan-Africanist symbolism. Black people and Africans are so used to the indignities of White people lording it over them whether through slavery or colonialism that it became a welcome reversal of roles to see "one of us" humiliating them. Every contrary report about Idi Amin was treated as imperialist, anti African Bazungu propaganda.
Arriving at the university in 1978 and getting into contact with a number of Ugandan victims of Idi Amin like Prof. Barongo, Prof. Arthur Gakwandi and Okello Oculi did little to change our views of Idi Amin as a leader "dealing with white people". All evidence of Idi Amin's atrocities against fellow Black Africans was dismissed as propaganda or exaggeration. When films, documentaries or media reports about Amin's regime came out, many Africans found them incredible and chose not to believe them. Even more than two decades after Amin's exit, some people still do not believe that he did most of the things reported at the time. Films may have been produced for dramatic effect but the substance of many of the events were true and there are many Ugandans who can testify to them today. The situation in Zimbabwe today bears similarities, in the defensive approach of many Africans to it, to the Idi Amin experience. Mugabe's deliberate choice of land reform as an emotive issue to prolong his rule and obliterate his political opponents has put many Africans in a great dilemma. To oppose him is to oppose African nationalism and the popular Pan- Africanist demand of "Africa for the Africans" or the socialist "Land to the tillers". A Zimbabwean comrade of mine who is not sympathetic to Mugabe in any way expressed this
dilemma to me when he wrote stating "I do not care how Mugabe goes about it but we want our land back." Many Zimbabweans and Africans and even more of our people in the Diaspora share this view.
We should care about the means as much as the goals. It is a very wrong view and extremely dangerous. It means the end justifies the means. Revolutionary it may sound but it is a blank cheque for dictatorship and wholesale endorsement of Mugabe. The current targets may be white Zimbabweans but who are the majority of the people who have died in the past two years?
There are so many Africans in the Diaspora who are so fundamentalist about the land issue even though most of them will never return to Africa after we reclaim these lands. They enjoy their European and American citizenship while demanding that Africa must be kept pure of all other races. Even when they travel to the "homeland" they come with their non- African passports, sometimes as guests of governments that are oppressing fellow Africans. I do understand their reaction based upon their experience of racism and exclusion in Europe and America but I do not accept their collaboration with leaders and governments that are inflicting pain and destruction on their peoples. It cannot be true that everybody who is opposing Mugabe today is a traitor, agent of settlers, a front for British neo-colonialism or enemy of African liberation. Mugabe and ZANU have held absolute power in that country since independence in 1980 therefore cannot continue to blame history for their failures and misgovernment. And if they do that, history must include the last 22 years that they have been in power.
Mugabe should not be judged only on his stance against whites even if that one too is purely opportunistic but on his record as an absolute ruler for more than two decades. Whites are not his only victims. Indeed, he did worse against the people of Matabeleland in the 1980s until he forced ZAPU into a one-party state. It is so sad that a leader who started so promisingly and was so loved has now become the problem to his own people and not part of the solution anymore. At 77 who is he fooling about another liberation war? He may look fit physically, is he mentally and emotionally so? Africans must be consistent in calling a spade a spade no matter who the joke is on.
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News release
(On behalf of the Commercial Farmers’ Union)
In an ongoing campaign of violence and looting in commercial farms, at least Z$ 50 million dollars of property has been stolen or lost to marauding bands operating in Mashonaland West and Central. The areas affected are Raffingora, Karoi, Victory Block and Guruve. Of the 6 Raffingora Farms affected, two farms are not listed for compulsory acquisition.
On Cornrise Farm (Raffingora), owner Mike Sandys-Thomas (40) was evicted from his home on Friday 11 January at a moments notice. A police detail, accompanied by farmers in the area, was only able to visit the farm on Tuesday 15th January. They found that all household, workshop and office contents had been looted, a loss of approximately Z$ 6 million. At the time of writing this release the owner was being escorted to the farm by Police Support Unit to assess his loss. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has been asked to come in to secure the safe release of domestic animals.
 Another farmer, Bruce Brown from Undercragg Farm in the Victory Block area said, “A group, armed with sticks and cane knives, arrived on my farm today (Wednesday 16 January), gaining entry through a security fence. They were mostly settlers from surrounding villages but were led by a man identified by police officers as the ZANU PF Youth Chairman. They looted household property valued at over Z$ 2 million dollars. Some of the items taken were: 4 motor bikes, linen, curtains, radios, kitchen items, food, tools, a TV decoder, VCR, furniture and all our clothing.”
 Brown was told to leave. He said, “The leader, (name provided but withheld for fear of reprisal) said I should “get out”. They also told me that the property no longer belongs to me. I had heard from sympathetic people that a ZANU PF rally was held over the weekend in the communal land and that supporters were urged to loot property as this was said to be their ‘last chance to get rich’! I had been tipped off that 4 farms in my area had been targeted and I was to be the first. I am fortunate that Police responded swiftly and arrived in time to stop further theft. They confirmed the identity of the leader and assured me that they would arrest him as he is a known criminal.”
The farm was operational up to August last year with tobacco and paprika, both of which are export crops. It is home to 30 permanent members of staff, who along with their families are being supported despite the inability to work, under threats from invaders. Brown has pledged to help his staff keep body and soul together for as long as possible, despite his inability to farm and earn a living. Brown is a former Rural District Councilor, where he served on the finance committee.
53 year old Patrick Ashton, owner of unlisted, Landfall Farm in Mtorashanga, was ambushed by 8 youths, who attacked him with sticks in the presence of his teenage children. He was able to remain in his car and consequently escaped with wounds to his arm and throat. His truck was badly damaged in the attack, as he had to drive away from the ambush as high speed.
 Ashton, who has confirmed that his farm is unlisted, has had illegal invaders for the last 2 years. He has 157 plots on the 1718-hectare farm, of which only 600 hectares is arable. He grows 40 hectares of tobacco, some maize for on-farm-use and has a 30-hectare export crop of mangoes. This is his only farm, which he farms with one of his four sons.
He too received a call from a friend to say that a group of approximately 20 people, led by a ZANU PF Councilor, were heading for the farm.
 “I immediately radioed my son to return to the homestead and then alerted staff to remain in the farm village. I then drove towards my homestead to be with the children. Before I could arrive there, my son radioed me back to say that about 20 people had surrounded the house. This was at approximately 8:30 am. I approached the security gate but noticed that my son’s car was blocking my entry. I was then set upon by about 6 people carrying sticks and poles. They were in a frenzy and attacked me without saying anything coherent. I feared for my life and that of the children but knew that if I tried to penetrate the crowd, they would kill me. I had to reverse at high speed and drove to a neighbour’s house. We called the Police who went to the farm and remained there until the children were released unharmed at 7:30 pm or so, some eleven hours later.”
Two of Ashton’s sons and a girlfriend had to endure singing and sloganeering, assault on the family pets and the looting of their home. Two members of staff were also assaulted, one with an iron bar.
“Two of my cattle were shot for lunch, beer was stolen and consumed. All household bedding was taken along with most of the family clothing, electric goods, video and photographic equipment, all valued at over Z$ 3 million. In addition, repairs to my car will cost about Z$ 1.5 million.”
Ashton went to the farm with a police escort the next morning hoping to return, but within 30 minutes, a message was sent warning of further violence. He had no option but to leave.  Police posted a detail to guard the house pending Ashton’s safe return.
 CFU President, Colin Cloete condemned this criminal activity and urged police to immediately clamp down on criminal elements to prevent further escalation of violence and looting.
 He said, “These disruptive activities on commercial farms, in mid-agricultural season, further jeopardise national production at a time where the Nation faces acute food and foreign exchange shortages.”  
 17 January 2002
For more information Jenni Williams
Email: /
Mobile: 011 213 885 / 091 300 456
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Daily News

Uproar in Parliament 
1/17/02 8:57:20 AM (GMT +2)
Political Editor
FOR the second time since the June 2000 parliamentary election, MDC and Zanu PF Members of Parliament last week broke into song, mocking each other over the handling of controversial Bills.
Shuvai Mahofa, Zanu PF's celebrated cheerleader, led her colleagues in singing Zimbabwe ndeyeropa, which literally means Zimbabwe was borne of blood, as the opposition MDC hit back with Zanu yaora (Zanu PF is corrupt and rotten).
Mahofa was celebrating a Zanu PF victory after the House had been divided in their favour to suspend the Standing Rules and Orders to allow the passage of Bills deemed critical for Zanu PF's survival.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Speaker of Parliament, cautioned Mahofa and the MDC, telling them to compose songs and sing as loud as they can - but in their respective constituencies and not in Parliament.
As the political temperature rises ahead of the crunch March presidential election, tension in Parliament is bound to mount.
This time, the House sat for 14 hours as Zanu PF was determined to ensure it achieved its goal of pushing through legislation to ease President Mugabe's re-election bid.
In another unprecedented move, MDC MPs fell to their knees to pray and seek divine intervention after Zanu PF had won another vote on the General Laws Amendment Bill that altered the Electoral Act.
The two parties are fighting for survival and the issues that brought heated debate in Parliament this week were the controversial and draconian Public Order and Security, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy and the General Laws Amendment Bills.
The slanging matches in the House prompted Ray Kaukonde (Zanu PF Mudzi) to make a passionate plea to all MPs to avoid cheap politics and work towards uplifting the living conditions of the ordinary person.
He said politicians should remember that Zimbabwe as a country will be there even after the crucial presidential election on 9 and 10 March.
"We must not be bigger than the people, the country must come first. We must be serious because we are drawing salaries from the taxpayers, although I know some people here may not have constituencies to report back to," said Kaukonde.
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC Glen Norah) criticised Zanu PF for being arrogant and headstrong in passing legislation that was not in the interests of the country but was meant to protect "a few power-crazy individuals".
The Leader of the House, Patrick Chinamasa, attacked visitors in the Speaker's Gallery, calling them the MDC's puppet masters who had come to see whether their money was being put to good use or not.
He attacked officials from the British High Commission and the German Embassy, saying they had been invited by their puppets to see them performing in Parliament.
Chinamasa, who confirmed in Parliament he wanted the three Bills to pass in time for the presidential election, was told the officials had no right of reply, thus, he should not attack them, but he said he didn't care at all.
Job Sikhala (MDC St Mary's) asked Vice-President Simon Muzenda to tell Parliament the presidiums' stance on escalating violence in the country ahead of the poll.
Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo protected Muzenda from being quizzed by the MPs saying the Presidency did not take questions in Parliament according to
the House's Standing Rules and Orders.
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Daily News
Sadc leaders' misguided solidarity recipe for ruin 
1/17/02 10:56:38 AM (GMT +2)

THE arrest and deportation from Malawi of four members of the Zimbabwe Crisis Group on Monday, at the behest of Zimbabwean authorities, no doubt, is most regrettable.
It typifies the sort of misguided solidarity among Southern African Development Community (Sadc) heads of state which, apart from unwittingly rendering them mutually destructive politically, could lay waste the entire region economically, unless that policy is abandoned forthwith.
In September last year, as world leaders met in the South African port city of Durban for the historic world conference on racism, a noisy crowd descended on the conference venue to protest over something the meeting was completely powerless to do anything about - land redistribution in Zimbabwe.
The unlikely protesters, nondescript African-Americans calling themselves the National Black United Front, wore T-shirts emblazoned with the portrait of an air-punching President Mugabe and the legend: "Mugabe is Right, Free the Land!".
Although they were obviously a rented crowd who had never been to Zimbabwe and probably had only a vague idea of where it is, they were allowed to freely picket delegates over a matter which wasn't even on that conference's agenda.
In fact, they were demonstrating in support of an aberration for which Mugabe was - and still is - being condemned the world over.
However, in the true spirit of tolerance of divergent views, they were allowed to stage that demonstration without let or hindrance.
Against that background, therefore, it is extremely dismaying that authorities in Malawi, the host country, apparently saw nothing wrong in preventing a small delegation of only four Zimbabweans from sensitising delegates to the one-day Sadc heads of state summit on the true situation in their country regarding their government's horrifying treatment of its citizens.
The actions by Malawian authorities become even more reprehensible when we take into consideration the fact that, although initially the meeting had
been convened ostensibly to review the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, latest events in this country have so alarmed the region that Zimbabwe automatically became the main item on the leaders' agenda.
Long-standing international concern over the government's naked sponsorship of violence against whites and supporters of the opposition MDC, its open refusal to enforce the rule of law, harassment of the judiciary and the independent Press and its refusal to level the political playing field to facilitate the holding of a free and fair election had been heightened by the recent irresponsible utterances by the military and the enactment of
three fast-tracked anti-democracy laws.
The presence at the summit venue of the four ought to have been viewed as a God-sent opportunity for the leaders to hear first hand, by those directly affected by the government's human rights excesses, what the true situation in Zimbabwe is.
For, although the State-controlled media mischievously labelled them "opposition activists", the truth remains that they represented a coalition of 200 non-partisan civic groups whose sole worry is the ever-worsening quality of governance.
However, instead of giving them a warm welcome, the host country elected to dance to the Zimbabwean government's tune by arresting and subsequently deporting them on the spurious allegation that they were "a security risk".
It was action totally at variance with Malawian President Bakili Muluzi's tough, no-nonsense stance of a few months ago when, in Harare, he literally told the Mugabe government to start behaving itself "or else!".
But then that obvious about-face is not wholly inconsistent with the general prevarication among the region's leaders - born out of that misguided sense of solidarity - when dealing with our delinquent government.
It has become a pattern: one step forward, then two or more backwards. Early last month, President Thabo Mbeki took a tough stance against Mugabe only to see it neutralised on Zimbabwean soil by one of his ministers barely a week later.
The region's leaders had better be warned: By giving succour to an errant colleague who is busy destroying his country, they are laying the foundation for the eventual destruction of theirs.
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Daily News
Violence hits Rusape 
1/17/02 8:31:50 AM (GMT +2)
From Our Correspondent
ZANU PF supporters have since Monday been assaulting passengers on buses passing through Rusape who fail to produce ruling party membership cards, several victims complained yesterday.
The marauders, allegedly led by senior Zanu PF politician, Didymus Mutasa, last Friday declared Rusape a no-go area for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and its supporters.
The Zanu PF mobs, mostly women and youths barely in their 20s, were reportedly also targeting for assault anyone seen in the town or on the bus with a copy of The Daily News, some of the victims said.
"There were about 100 of them at the main bus terminus at Rusape when the bus I was in arrived," one victim who had travelled from Harare, who asked not to be identified, told The Daily News in Mutare yesterday.
"They were boarding buses in groups of about 20 and assaulted anyone who failed to produce a Zanu PF membership card or chant that party's slogan.
"Some passengers had their personal belongings and money snatched from them.
All this time, police in uniform were standing by idly at the bus terminus".
The harassment of passengers came in the wake of an orgy of violence in Rusape at the weekend, in which militant Zanu PF activists assaulted scores of MDC supporters and sympathisers and destroyed and looted property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to Pishayi Muchauraya, the MDC spokesman in Manicaland, five members of his party were abducted in the town on Sunday and their whereabouts were unknown as of yesterday.
Those injured in the Sunday attacks, which took place in the town's Vengere and Mabvazuwa high density suburbs, were admitted to Rusape General Hospital for treatment.
Nation Gwete, the MDC provincial youth organising secretary, singled out Mutasa, a member of the ruling party politburo, as having spearheaded the violence that erupted on Sunday, a charge the veteran politician flatly denied.
"That's not true; ask the police where I was on Sunday", Mutasa said when contacted from Mutare.
"All I did on that day was address a Zanu PF women's meeting at the Makoni Rural District Council offices and went home after that.
I wasn't involved in any violence, unless the MDC supporters who claim to have been beaten were in my house," Mutasa said.
But last Friday, Mutasa, who also represents Makoni North in Parliament, told a crowd of about 40 Zanu PF supporters during a demonstration held in Rusape, that the town was now a "no-go area" for the MDC.
He also told supporters he had "banned" the sale of The Daily News and other independent newspapers in Rusape, accusing them of sowing seeds of discontent ahead of the presidential election in March
"Yes, our party has agreed we don't want to see papers like The Daily News and The Financial Gazette in Rusape," Mutasa said.
On Sunday, a group of Zanu PF supporters moved in to disrupt a rally that was being organised by MDC youths at Vengere shopping centre in Rusape.
The MDC youths fought back, sending the ruling party supporters scurrying for cover.
But the Zanu PF supporters later regrouped, this time with reinforcements trucked in from nearby rural communities.
The supporters immediately went on a rampage, breaking windows and looting goods from several shops at the centre.
They also carted off loads of produce from fruit and vegetable vendors, mostly elderly women, and assaulted them in the process.
That night, they went on a door-to-door campaign in Vengere and Mabvazuwa demanding residents to produce Zanu PF membership cards.
Those who did not comply were severely beaten up by the marauding gangs, their property looted or destroyed.
Also on Friday, Mutasa led a small group of Zanu PF youths and members of the women's league through Rusape's business district, protesting alleged bias in the courts against ruling party members.
Trinos Utawashe, the provincial magistrate in Rusape, was the apparent target after he denied bail to Zanu PF members in connection with robbery, kidnapping and assault charges on MDC supporters.
Mutasa accused the magistrate of using "political affiliation", not merit, in denying the Zanu PF suspects bail in the case.
"You court officials here are not trying the cases as they are but are trying the ruling party,"
Mutasa told the court personnel in the presence of the small group of Zanu PF supporters that had gathered at the courthouse.
"You are forgetting that you got employed by the same government that is made by the ruling party.
You will lose your jobs if you continue with your attitude against us," he said.
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Daily News
Elder statesman Kaunda laments gallant freedom fighter Mugabe's decline 
1/17/02 11:23:43 AM (GMT +2)
By Sandra Nyaira
HE was voted out of power by the opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) in 1991 and even conceded defeat before all the votes had been counted - unusual for a man who had spent 27 years at the helm.
Kenneth David Kaunda, regarded by many as the founding father of most states in the southern African region, is now an ordinary citizen of Zambia.
The Daily News talked to him recently at his retirement home in the leafy Kabulonga suburb and found Zambia's founding father still a warm personality.
He was dressed in black designer denim jeans, black shoes, socks and black T-shirt.
Kaunda said he was not happy with the way the former trade unionist, Frederick Chiluba, and his MMD party, had run down the Zambian economy.
He said there were now only two classes in the country - the richest and the poorest.
Clutching his trademark white handkerchief between his fingers, Kaunda said he was proud to have laid a solid foundation for the development of Zambia.
Posters and ornaments stuck on the wall depict a house dedicated to God. One template is emblazoned with Jesus while another is marked "Don't Quit", which he says gives him strength to persevere when things go wrong.
Kaunda lives in a former government guest house after the government failed to buy him a retirement home as stipulated in the Constitution.
He has been shifted from one house to another by the Chiluba government. Kaunda thinks this is shabby treatment for a former president.
Parked outside his four-bedroomed house was the latest Mercedes Benz series which had been delivered four days before by the government.
The government, he said, had on the same day told him they would soon be buying him a house of his own as well as pay for his gardener, cook and other domestic staff.
During the interview, Kaunda would take time to answer calls on his mobile phone while some chicks and their mother-hen pecked away around the huge
yard and the swimming pool.
When he decided to campaign for three opposition candidates in the recent tripartite elections in Zambia, he was mobbed by Zambians wherever he went.
He campaigned for his son, Tilyenji, who represented the United National Independence Party, through which Kaunda ruled in his 27 years in power, Pastor Nevers Mumba of the National Citizens Coalition and the United Party for National Development's Anderson Mazoka.
The MMD loathed him, as did some of the opposition parties. The State media attacked him relentlessly.
His wise advice to the opposition to go into the election as a coalition was ignored, enabling the MMD's Levy Mwanawasa to carry the day with Mazoka a close second.
Kaunda is now a respected elder statesman, basically because during the crucial and most trying period of "the hour has come" campaign that ushered in the Chiluba government, he did not spearhead or fan any political violence.
Kaunda lamented the situation in Zimbabwe, especially Zanu PF's controversial land programme, saying Zimbabwe was one of the region's major powerhouses and it was sad to see it crumbling daily.
He gazes into the clouds and thinks aloud: "That Robert Mugabe was a fine and gallant freedom fighter is a fact - you cannot take that away from him, but I really don't know how things went wrong in Zimbabwe."
The Commonwealth Summit that signalled the beginning of Zimbabwe's freedom from Britain was held in Lusaka in 1979.
Kaunda said the Zimbabwean and British governments, on the one hand, and the white farmers on the other, had until 1990 to tackle the land issue in Zimbabwe.
"Some of us who were party to this deal were surprised when 1990 came and there was nothing happening on the ground," he said.
"The Zimbabwean government, as far as I know, didn't make a move, the British government didn't make a move and some of us thought the issue was over.
"The question we are all asking ourselves is why it took an extra 10 years after 1990 to address the issue - I'm short of words, really.
I can't understand it all. The Zimbabwean and British governments and the farmers are all to blame.
That whole triangle is to blame," he said. Pressed further, Kaunda said: "Of course, Zimbabwe should have made the first move, but they were all part to the deal at Lancaster House."
Visibly disillusioned over the unfolding crisis in Zimbabwe, Kaunda said: "My daughter, nothing I say will help the situation, so it is not a subject
I would like to discuss.
I can only say how sorry I feel - it's a lost opportunity for the region for Zimbabwe to be in such a mess. All the three have to work together to address this tragedy amicably."
Kaunda, who lost power three years before South Africa was freed from the apartheid regime, said his country played a crucial role in the liberation struggles of countries in the region.
Asked about the death of Herbert Chitepo, widely believed to have been killed by his colleagues in Zanu PF at the height of the liberation struggle, Kaunda said: "The reason I commissioned investigations resulting in the subsequent writing of the report was to get to the bottom of the
matter - to find the truth about the terrible tragedy."
"The report is a public document. It's not for me to add anything to it, but what I know is that we still stand by that report."
The government in Harare has steadfastly dismissed the report of the commission of inquiry instituted by Kaunda which says Chitepo was killed by his colleagues when a bomb exploded under his car in the Lusaka high-density suburb of Chilenje in 1975.
The government insists Chitepo was killed by agents of the Ian Smith regime. Kaunda seemed uncomfortable discussing the Zimbabwean crisis as he provided material and space from which both Zanla and Zipra cadres launched their attacks on the Smith regime.
His daughter and part of the family now live in Zimbabwe. Asked about the secret behind his white hankie, he said: "State secret, young lady! When I wave it I'll be saying God Bless You or Peace Be With You and I thought about this when I was in prison during the colonial era in the then Southern Rhodesia."
The long-time vegetarian, who turns 78 in April, now has over 44 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Actually, he says he has lost count of the grandchildren, "but it feels great to be so old and be able to play around with them from time to time".
Whatever he did for the Zambians during his 27 years in power, the old man has returned to being the darling of the suffering, restive Zambians, most of whom can hardly afford a decent living.
In the meantime, Kaunda walks the streets of Lusaka a free man.
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