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

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Can Zimbabwe polls be free and fair?
MDC supporters
The MDC is often refused permission to hold rallies
As Zimbabwe prepares for parliamentary elections expected in March, it has been fingered as one of the world's six "outposts of tyranny" by Condoleezza Rice, US President George W Bush's nominee as secretary of state.

The government has promised to abide by a new regional code of conduct for ensuring elections are free and fair but the opposition says they have seen little change on the ground.

Members of the Southern African Development Community have agreed that all elections in the region should feature:

  • Political tolerance
  • Freedom of association
  • Equal access to state media
  • Independence of the judiciary and electoral institutions.
But there is no sign yet of political tolerance, or any of the other conditions, according to the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change.

The police continue to stop the MDC from holding political rallies, while party activists remain at risk of being abducted, beaten and tortured by ruling party militias and members of the security forces, MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube told the BBC News website.

'Violence falling'

But despite threatening a boycott, analysts say the MDC looks set to take part in parliamentary elections expected in March.

Last week, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai seemed to be paving the way by saying there had been a fall in political violence.

MDC activist James Munetsi shows his injuries
Zanu-PF is holding primaries at the moment and so they are fighting each other but afterwards, they will turn on us
Welshman Ncube, MDC

"Although pockets of rogue elements still exist here and there, by and large we have witnessed a decrease in cases of open violence against political opponents," he said.

President Robert Mugabe, accused of using fraud and violence to win two elections since 2000, has signed electoral reforms into law, including the creation of an independent electoral commission.

The commissioners, led by High Court judge George Chiweshe, were appointed after preparations for the poll, such as the publication of the electoral roll, had already begun.

The MDC says manipulation of the voters roll was one of the ways in which previous elections were rigged.

The existing body in charge of drawing up constituency boundaries has reduced the number of MPs elected in the MDC strongholds of the capital, Harare, and the second city, Bulawayo, saying the number of registered voters has fallen, while giving extra MPs to Mr Mugabe's rural strongholds in the north-east.

"This is a deliberate ploy to get everything ready and rig the election even before the commission is appointed," Mr Ncube said.

Young, urban voters, who tend to sympathise with the opposition, are also upset that they have to provide letters from their employers or landlords in order to vote, seeing this as a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise them.

Permission to speak

The MDC further says that the state radio monopoly refuses to run its adverts, in direct contravention of the SADC protocols.

A senior official in the ruling Zanu-PF party said that the MDC would be allowed to advertise on state media but did not see why they wanted to.

President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe denies rigging previous elections
"They are advertising in their own media and denigrating the ZBC, so why should they want to use any other media?" asked Zanu-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa.

While the only privately-owned daily newspaper has been closed down, at least three weekly papers are still being published.

Mr Ncube says that the police often refuse the MDC permission to hold political meetings - required under tough new security laws.

And he says that even when permission is granted, the police now insist that only those named in advance are allowed to speak - so members of the public who attend the meetings cannot make their own views known.

Furthermore, and in apparent contradiction to what Mr Tsvangirai said last week, Mr Ncube said that little had changed in terms of violence.

"At the moment, the violence against MDC activists is sporadic but when the election date is fixed, we expect it to become systematic - as it always does during the election period," he said.

"Zanu-PF is holding primaries at the moment and so they are fighting each other but afterwards, they will turn on us."

The MDC wants more time before the elections are held, so that reforms can be passed and says that legally, they can be held as late as September.


In addition to the SADC code of conduct, the MDC wants the security and tough media laws to be scrapped.

They are dammed if they do take part and dammed if they don't
Brian Kagoro
Human rights activist
But Mr Mugabe has said the polls will be held in March and Mr Mutasa refuses to countenance any delay.

"The requirements of SADC will be fulfilled and the election commissioners will be sworn in soon," he said.

While international attention is focussed on the SADC rules, human rights activist Brian Kagoro says they will not make any difference.

"Even in heaven, the reforms could not be introduced within two months. That's a joke," he said.

High stakes

Last year, the MDC said it was boycotting elections because all the odds were stacked against them.

Votes being counted
Elections can be rigged long before votes are counted
But the stakes are higher in these polls.

If they boycott, Zanu-PF will have enough MPs to be able to change the constitution - which could be crucial in preparing for life after Mr Mugabe.

At present, elections must be held if the president dies or resigns but some ruling party officials would like Mr Mugabe to appoint a successor, who would then have a few years in power before facing the people with all the advantages of incumbency.

But even if the MDC does take part, it may not gain the 50 seats needed to prevent Zanu-PF have the two-thirds majority in parliament required to change the constitution.

"They are dammed if they do take part and dammed if they don't," said Mr Kagoro.

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ACT Appeal: Famine Relief, Zimbabwe, REVISION 1
21 Jan 2005 08:19:00 GMT

Source: NGO latest
Elisabeth Gouel

Action by Churches Together (ACT) - Switzerland


Famine Relief AFZW41 (Revision 1)

Appeal Target: US$ 1,602,520

Balance Requested from ACT Alliance: US$ 1,217,361

Geneva, 20 January 2005

The situation in Zimbabwe continues to be of major concern. The humanitarian
situation is worrying due to a combination of factors, including the
continued economic decline, major policy constraints (e.g. land reform
process), insufficient expenditure for social services and the devastating
effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. It is difficult to predict the evolution
of the crisis ahead of the Presidential elections scheduled for March 2005
and of the security situation, which may impact on this ACT Appeal,
especially in the politically sensitive rural areas. ACT member Christian
Care (CC) Zimbabwe, through this appeal which runs until May 2005, will
contribute towards the community coping mechanisms - improvement of health
and nutrition for the most vulnerable members of the communities by
provision of food and support services in the districts of Lupane and Nkayi
in Matebeleland North province.

For the sake of brevity this revision of AFZW41 includes the Christian Care
proposal only. This proposal complements the activities initiated by ACT
member Lutheran Development Service (see original appeal issued on 19
October 2004).

Project Completion Date:

LDS - 31 March 2005

CCare - 30 May 2005


YOU. __________________________________________________

Please kindly send your contributions to the following ACT bank account:

Account Number - 240-432629.60A (USD)

Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together


8, rue du Rhône

P.O. Box 2600

1211 Geneva 4 / SWITZERLAND

Swift address: UBSW CHZH12A

Please also inform the Finance Officer Jessie Kgoroeadira (direct tel.
+4122/791.60.38, e-mail address of all
pledges/contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the
implementers, now that the Pledge Form is no longer attached to the Appeal.

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for
EU, USAID and/or other back donor funding and the subsequent results. We
thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.


ACT is a global alliance of churches and related agencies working to save
lives and supports communities in emergencies worldwide. The ACT
Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.

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Zim Online

Fri 21 January 2005
  HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has summoned his information minister and
propaganda chief, Jonathan Moyo, to clear the air on his continued loyalty
to the ruling ZANU PF party following his bitter and public clashes with
other senior party leaders.

      Sources said they expected Mugabe to meet Moyo by early next week
after appeals from other senior ZANU PF leaders to him to rein in the
acerbic information minister.

      "The President has indicated that he wants to meet the Professor
(Moyo) as soon as he is through with hosting the Iranian President (Mohammad
Khatami)," said one ZANU PF official, who did not want to be named.

      He added: "Moyo has to explain his statements which seem to suggest
that he will stand as an independent (in March's general election) as well
as his tirade against senior members of the party."

      Khatami, who was in Zimbabwe on a three-day state visit, left the
country on Wednesday.

      Moyo could not be reached for comment on the matter while Mugabe's
spokesman George Charamba was said to be out of his office and unreachable.

      ZANU PF political commissar Elliot Manyika would not deny or confirm
that Mugabe had summoned Moyo. But he said: "The President (Mugabe) is the
head of the party and can summon any member of the party on any matter at
any time. That won't be unusual."

      Moyo, who fell out with ZANU PF after unsuccessfully attempting to
block plans by Mugabe to appoint Joyce Mujuru as vice-president, publicly
castigated and ridiculed party chairman John Nkomo and another senior leader
Dumiso Dabengwa.

      His statement that there are "many churches all with tickets" to
heaven fuelled speculation that he might quit ZANU PF to contest the March
election as an independent.

      ZANU PF has barred Moyo from the election and he will be automatically
expelled from the party and government if he stands as an independent.  -
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Zim Online

Pro-government judge to head new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
Fri 21 January 2005
  HARARE - Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday announced a new
five-member Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) headed by pro-government
High Court Judge George Chiweshe.

      Former secretary at the Ministry of Information, Sarah Kachingwe will
deputise Chiweshe in the commission that will oversee elections in Zimbabwe.

      Other commissioners are academic and long-time friend of President
Robert Mugabe, George Kahari, Anglican church cleric, Jonathan Siyachitema
and Vivian Ncube.

      Chinamasa said the commissioners were appointed by Mugabe with the
help of the Judicial Service Commission from a list compiled by Parliament's
Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.

      The parliamentary committee includes legislators of the three
political parties represented in the House but is dominated by the ruling
ZANU PF party which is the majority party.

      Chinamasa said the commission will be independent and will have the
objective authority to run elections in the country. But the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has criticised the commission saying it
lacks independence because it is appointed by Mugabe.

      Before yesterday's appointment, Chiweshe, who is a former officer in
the army, chaired the Delimitation Commission that drew up the country's
voting constituencies.

      Meanwhile, Chinamasa also announced the appointment of Theophilus
Gambe as the chairman of the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC).

      The Justice Minister said the ESC, which under Zimbabwe's Constitution
must oversee fairness and transparency during elections, will remain in
existence to monitor the ZEC. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

NGOs vow to shun government-appointed council
Fri 21 January 2005
  HARARE - Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Zimbabwe yesterday
resolved not to nominate representatives to a council to be appointed by the
state to monitor civic bodies and ban those perceived as not toeing the

      The 16-member council will be appointed once a new NGO law passed by
Parliament last year becomes effective after President Robert Mugabe signs

      The controversial law, which imposes severe restrictions on civic
society in the country, bars NGOs from carrying out voter education and
prohibits those focusing on human rights or governance-related issues from
receiving foreign funds.

      National Association of NGOs (NANGO) co-ordinator Jacob Mafume, said:
"We have resolved not to nominate representatives on the NGO council as
doing so is tantamount to legitimising the entire process of the Bill which
NGOs have rejected. We will continue with our earlier position which is that
the Bill in its current form is unacceptable."

      NANGO took the decision in Harare yesterday in response to a request
by Social Welfare Minister, Paul Mangwana, for NGOs to submit 16 names from
which he could pick six people to represent civic society on the council.

      Mangwana had given the NGOs up to January 30 to submit names. He told
ZimOnline yesterday that he will now ignore NGOs and simply handpick the
entire council himself.

      He said: "The law allows me to appoint to the council whomever I think
represents NGOs. They (NGOs) will be missing an opportunity to represent
their members on the council (by refusing to nominate representatives)."

      Human rights and pro-democracy activists have said the new NGO law
will further whittle down democratic space in the country while at least 10
000 jobs are set to be lost as NGOs close down because of the new
regulations. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Tobacco production continues to tumble
Fri 21 January 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's cash-cow tobacco industry continues tumbling with
production this season expected to be the lowest ever in decades at between
40 and 50 million kilogrammes, industry experts said.

      Last year, the country produced 64 million kilogrammes of tobacco,
which was way below the 220 million kilogrammes produced in 1999 before
President Robert Mugabe began seizing land in 2000 from white farmers who
account for the bulk of tobacco output.

      Industry experts blame the dramatic fall in production on a shortage
of fertilizer, curing chemicals and other inputs affecting new black farmers
now occupying most of the former white farms. Lack of facilities such as
tobacco curing bans and the newly resettled farmers' inexperience were other
factors also drawing back output.

      "We expect the total production to be between 40 and 50 million
kilogrammes due to a number of factors. First, farmers failed to access
inputs and fertilizer on time and in areas where the crop was planted
timeously, curing problems arose," said a senior executive with a Harare
tobacco processing firm.

      President of the largely white-member Commercial Farmers Union, Doug
Taylor-Freeme, concurred: "This year's tobacco crop will be less than last
year. It depends on the availability of curing facilities, if farmers access
facilities, we may realise about last year's production levels."

      Taylor-Freeme said the slump in production was also because of fresh
disruptions at the few farms still owned by whites. "Of the few (white)
farmers remaining on land, we have received reports that about 20 have been
disrupted from operations since Christmas last year."

      Tobacco, which last year earned a paltry US$120 million has for
generations been Zimbabwe's biggest single foreign currency earner
accounting for about 40 percent of hard cash inflows.

      Zimbabwe has grappled an acute foreign currency crisis since the
International Monetary Fund cut financial aid in 1999 and tobacco earnings
began plummeting a year later. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Three closed banks to briefly re-open
Fri 21 January 2005
  HARARE - Three commercial banks closed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ) last year will from Monday re-open for five days to make payments to
depositors who have amounts of Z$5 million or less.

      Balances exceeding $5 million will be converted into equity in the new
Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) created out of the collapsed banks. The
central bank is yet to announce when the ZABG will officially open for

      The three banks that will re-open are Royal Bank, Trust Bank and
Barbican Bank. They were placed under management of RBZ-appointed curators
last year after the central bank uncovered gross mismanagement and abuse of
depositors' funds at the institutions.

      "Customers of these financial institutions will be able to access
their funds up to $5 million during this period," reads a statement
attributed to the ZAGB.

      Three other banks, Time Bank, CFX and Intermarket, which are also
under RBZ curators, will not be re-opening.

      Time bank is embroiled in a bitter legal wrangle with the RBZ and
Intermarket is expected to conclude merger talks with Finhold while the
curator at CFX is yet to complete investigations. - ZimOnline
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Nkomo scoffs at Moyo

Takunda Maodza
issue date :2005-Jan-21

. last kicks of a dying horse

ZANU PF national chairman and Minister of Special Affairs in the Office of
the President John Nkomo, yesterday scoffed at the $2 billion court action
taken by information minister Jonathan Moyo, equating it to "the last kicks
of a dying horse".
Nkomo told The Daily Mirror yesterday: "How do you expect a dying horse to
kick straight? He is on his way out and you cannot expect him to think
straight, to try to reason anything with him is futile," Nkomo said.
He added: " He thinks I am an animal that can be harassed but we went
through all this during the liberation struggle. He did his high school in
America and is used to their tendencies such that he can just wake up and
say I am going to sue you."
Asked whether he was going to take Moyo's legal action seriously, Nkomo
replied: "We respect the courts. I will go to court because ndinenge
ndirimusungwa (I will be an accused)."
Nkomo wondered why Moyo had taken political matters to court.  He said the
information minister was "wounded and suffering from self-inflicted
Commenting on measures the party had taken in disciplining Moyo over the
Tsholotsho issue, Nkomo said the process was going on and the results were
going to be released soon.
Moyo was reported in the local media yesterday as having sued Nkomo and
former cabinet minister Dumiso Dabengwa for defamation.
The embattled Moyo, catapulted into Zanu PF's central committee, the
politburo and cabinet by President Mugabe in 2000, filed his legal suit with
the Bulawayo High Court. In the court action, Moyo alleged that Nkomo and
Dabengwa's utterances that he had planned a coup plot against President
Robert Mugabe and some members of the presidium at a meeting convened in
Tsholotsho last November amounted to defamation.
"On the 12th of January 2005, both the defendants addressed a public meeting
in Tsholotsho where both defendants said of and concerning plaintiff words
to the following effect: That the plaintiff had instigated, funded and led
the hatching of a coup plot against President Robert Mugabe and others in
the top leadership of Zanu PF party, with the view of removing the national
leadership of the Government.
"The statements by defendants of and concerning the plaintiff were false,
wrongful, unlawful and highly defamatory of the plaintiff," read part of
Moyo's legal papers.
He is also reported to have said the wide coverage of the alleged defamatory
statements by the media tarnished his name and reputation, hence the
staggering $2 billion lawsuit.
In an interview with The Daily Mirror last week, Nkomo said his recent
meeting in Tsholotsho had nothing to do with barring anyone from contesting,
saying it was a follow-up to the Tsholotsho meeting, that resulted in the
suspension of the ruling party's six chairpersons and war veterans' leader
Jabulani Sibanda.
On Tuesday, the ruling party's national commissar and chairman of the
national election directorate Elliot Manyika threw out an appeal by Moyo
imploring Zanu PF to rescind its decision to reserve Tsholotsho for women
and accommodate him and other hopefuls to contest.
Manyika said the decision could not be reversed "come hell, come thunder".
However, Moyo reportedly donated more funds to the constituency this week,
amid speculation that he intends to stand as an independent candidate in the
March parliamentary polls.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

MDC defers poll decision

From Nkululeko Sibanda in Bulawayo
issue date :2005-Jan-21

THE opposition MDC has once again deferred its announcing whether it will
contest the March parliamentary polls, arguing that the government is yet to
put in place structures that will enable the holding of a free and fair
In its previous announcements last year, the opposition party said that it
was likely to make its decision known by the middle of January.
The party's secretary-general, Professor Welshman Ncube, said the national
council would make the MDC's position public after careful consideration of
the ground covered by the government in implementing the Sadc protocol on
"Our decision as a party has not changed since we made the announcement that
we have suspended taking part in any kind of election in Zimbabwe until and
unless the government puts in place the approved Sadc protocols.
"Part of the protocols require that government enacts a proper electoral
commission with adequate staff, resources putting together a voter's roll
that mirrors the situation on the ground and also levels the playing ground
among other issues."
He added that at the moment, they as a party were not in a rush to make
academic decisions that would at the end of the day cost them the
much-needed victory.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Govt requires 50 000 tractors

Givemore Nyanhi
issue date :2005-Jan-21

THE Zimbabwe government, which has an ageing national tractor fleet of
slightly over 700 , requires 50 000 more tractors to ensure that the country
can adequately cater for its farming requirements and boost food security in
the country.
This was revealed by Joseph Made, the Minister of Agriculture, this week.
"Zimbabwe requires 50 000 tractors of mainly small and medium size horse
power, to make sure that small holder farmers and newly resettled farmers
can carry out the production of their crops," Made said in interview.
He, however, mentioned that the 733 tractors, which are administered mainly
by the District Development Fund (DDF), did not include those tractors owned
by the private sector.
These tractors also included those not accounted for on several plantations
countrywide, which would see the actual number of tractors the nation has at
its disposal increase.
"If you talk to the Tractors Association of Zimbabwe, you will discover that
the tractors are much more than 733, though we require more. One of the
reasons why we need to have more tractors is that most of our tractors at
the moment have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years."
He added that the country needed to substantially increase the number of
tractors the country has in order to enhance the productivity of small scale
and resettled farmers.
Latest statistics provided by government ministries indicate that to date
126,843 new farmers have been resettled under the A1 scheme, while 12,888
new farmers have been resettled under the A2 model.
A1 farmers are those that are involved in small-scale and subsistence
farming, with their pieces of land not covering more than 5 hectares of
land, while A2 farmers are those involved in large scale and commercial
The country's agriculture revolution, centred around the reclamation of land
formerly occupied by a minority of about 4500 white commercial farmers,
resulted in the birth of the newly resettled farmers.
Government maintains that the land reform exercise will result in the land
under cropping and overall national production shooting up.
But late last month, the Cabinet Taskforce on Inputs Supply and Distribution
revealed that of the desired 4 million hectares of land that should already
be under tillage, less than a million hectares had been prepared.
According to the Cabinet Taskforce only 328 248hectares had been put under
The revelation, that less than a quarter of the desired target deemed
healthy for the nation's food security, had been prepared, and less than
half of that prepared quarter had actually been under crop, has been fueling
growing fears that 2005 will be another difficult year characterised by food
The revelation also drove fierce critics and detractors of government to go
a gear up in predicting that 2005 will be another miserable year for the
country's agriculture sector, which constitutes about 30 percent of the
country's gross domestic product (GDP).
The shortage of draught power and tractors and the inability to meet the 4
million-hectarage target of land that should already be under preparation
are hard facts that clearly indicate that Zimbabwe is heading for another
poor harvest.
Made gave a coy response regarding the ability of the government to meet the
4 million hectare target saying that the Cabinet Taskforce report had not
considered other significant factors.
"We are still compiling reports on the area of land that has already been
prepared and we are in the process of winding them up. Some remote and
isolated areas that were under preparation at that time were not included in
that report but I can tell you that the area of land under crops is 65
percent more compared to the same period last year."
Without elaborating further on the hectarage that is now under cropping, he
however said that other early maturing crops such as sorghum and sugar beans
were also being planted.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Occupants challenge eviction from farm

Clemence Manyukwe
issue date :2005-Jan-21

OCCUPANTS of Little England Farm in Mashonaland West have filed opposing
papers in the Chinhoyi Magistrates Court urging the court to throw out an
application seeking their displacement in favour of State House employees.
The 430 families are arguing that the matter has already been heard by the
High Court and a final judgment passed in their favour.
Their court action follows an application made to the court, in which the
Minister of Special Affairs responsible for Lands, Land Reform and
Resettlement, John Nkomo, sought their eviction and replacement with the
State House employees.
The minister said the employees and a number of other people had already
been issued with offer letters.
In his particulars of claim, Nkomo further alleged that the families had
occupied the property in September 2002 and were, therefore, not protected
by the Land Acquisition Act, which accommodates only those who moved onto
farms before March 2001.
However, in the defendant's plea in bar, the families argued: "The High
Court of Zimbabwe has already made a determination on this issue and issued
a final order in case number HC 11215/04 that the defendant's occupation of
the land is lawful and granted the defendant and 429 others the right to
continue staying at Little England."
They added that if the Magistrate's Court upheld the plaintiff claims, it
would effectively overrule the higher court's judgment, a development
tantamount to the court "exceeding its jurisdiction".
In the High Court case, the occupiers argued that their eviction was
illegal, citing the Rural Land Occupiers (Protection from Eviction) Act,
which protects legal settlers.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Did MDC shoot itself in the foot?

Takunda Maodza
issue date :2005-Jan-21

FOUR years ago, Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the MDC took the Registrar
General Tobaiwa Mudede and Kembo Mohadi, the Minister of Home Affairs, to
the High Court over the issue of voter registration.

The MDC successfully implored Justice Gowora to make it mandatory for all
those seeking to vote to produce documents proving that they originated from
a certain constituency.
The documents included written statement from the landlord, parent or friend
confirming the claimant's address accompanied by house cards, electricity
bills, rates bills or any other similar document in the name of the
landlord, parent or friend staying with the claimant.
Gowora then handed down an order in favour of the MDC on December 3 2001.
Read part of the order: "That in addition to the documents prescribed by the
first respondent (RG) as constituting proof of residence in any particular
constituency, the first respondent is directed to register any person who
produces the following information and or in support of his claim of
residence:- Written statement from landlord, parent or friend confirming the
claimant's address accompanied by house cards, electricity bills water bills
or any similar documents in the name of the landlord, parent or friend
staying with the claimant."
 The order also included requirements such as hospital bills, envelopes with
post markings reflecting claimant's name and any other information and or
document sufficient enough to enable the Registrar General to ascertain
claimant's residence.
On Tuesday this week, the MDC's shadow minister for Foreign Affairs,
Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga, said the same requirements were in favour
of rural dwellers and a burden to urbanites seeking to register.
"There are stringent registration requirements for the urban electorate to
vote in March parliamentary elections as opposed to the rural electorate.
They make it difficult for urban voters to exercise the right to vote while
the requirements make it easy for rural voters," said Misihairambwi.
Political Analyst Eldred Masunungure said that the MDC had encaged itself
when it demanded the enforcement of the requirements.
"It was unreasonable on the part of the MDC to demand such stringent
requirements. It means they essentially imprisoned themselves.  It is like
demanding that a prison be built when one cannot determine who will be
incarcerated first.  They made the demands and are now falling into their
own trap."
Masunungure said probably the demands made more sense then.
"I do not think we need all those documents to prove that one is a bona fide
resident of a certain constituency. We should not seek or do things that
make it a burden for people to register to vote. We voted since 1980 without
all such requirements," argued Masunungure.
In making the demands the MDC should have known the limits, he said.
Constitutional lawyer Lovemore Madhuku said that the MDC was supposed to
focus on more essential aspects such as the insertion of ghost voters on the
voter's roll, instead of "impotent" issues such as the requirements for
"The MDC should focus on identifying irregularities in persons registered to
vote when in fact they do not exist. These are the only problems they should
be able to identify and other problems that arise when a person fails to
qualify to register in any of the 120 constituencies.
"The problem is not about qualification for registration."
Madhuku doubted whether Misihairabwi-Mushonga's statements were the
opposition party's standpoint.
"The problem with the MDC is that anyone can wake up and speak on behalf of
the party."
In terms of the Electoral Act, which sailed through Parliament last year,
the "Chief Elections Officer, Registrar General of Voters, any constituency
registrar or any officer of the commission may demand from any claimant
proof of identification or proof of residence in that constituency or both
of the foregoing".
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Please send any adverts for publication in the JAG Job Opportunities
newsletter to: with subject line "Job Opportunities".


- Opportunities OFFERED
- Opportunities SOUGHT


1.1 AVAILABLE: PAPRIKA MANAGER, received 18 January 2005

The Requirement is for an ex-Farmer to manage a Paprika Handling Operation;
Receive paprika in a warehouse and make sure quality of grading is adequate
for export.  Basic computer knowledge/skills required. The paprika received
will be from Commercial Farmers and Small Scale Farmers.

The position will be seasonal. Own transport required within Harare. A
small labour force will have to be managed in the event that paprika will
have to be re-graded.

Contact: 011-608569


2.1 LOOKING FOR EMPLOYMENT, received 17 January 2005

Age: 30
Experience in: Sales Rep
                              Switchboard operation
                              Computer literate
Am willing to learn anything.

CV available on request.

Contact : Fern
Cell: 011-732084


2.2 DRIVERS - WITH RECOMMENDATION, received 6 January 2005

I can recommend two drivers who are both currently looking for work.

Bonzo BEUADI - a strong, mature man, who worked for many years for
David and Norma Kitson.

Call directly:
Cell: 091-320 892

Christopher PIANO - Class 4 certificate - has worked for seven years in the
Concession area. The company for which he worked has now closed. He has
excellent references.

I have known Christopher for many years.

Contact him through me:
Irene Staunton 04-308330.


2.3 OFFER: WOODCUTTER, received 6 January 2005

I can recommend a wood cutter Alexio KAMBANJE, who is
reliable and honest and a nice person to have working for you.

Contact direct: 023-313 016
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to: with subject line "For: Open Letter Forum".

Thought of the Day:

"Whatever you do, do with all your might."

 (Marcus Tullius Cicero)


- Re: on Joyce, CFU Midlands - Peter Cray
- Re: chicken shaw's demands for donations - Ben Norton
- Togetherness during Rugby days - John Kleynhans
- Survival - Supping with the Devil? - Colleen Taylor
- Our Once Proud Police Force - Gerry Whitehead
- No Registration at Makombe - Hugh Burton
- Seeking Dave & Suzie Mead - Mike Stewart


Letter 1: RE: ON JOYCE, CFU MIDLANDS, received 18 January 2005

by Peter Cray

Dear JAG

There is much truth in Mr Rodrigues's remark (JAG letters - 12 January) to
the effect that there was some consolation for the pusillanimity explicit
in the infamous Trevor Shaw letter in the 'number of people who are openly
outraged.' I note as well that as far as I can see (the correspondence has
been heavy) no one has yet mentioned one of the most vile aspects of the
affair, namely that Joyce Mujuru ( 'Joyce' to the CFU), was one of the
three ZANU MPs who drove through the prison sentence for Roy Bennett. So,
just to spell that one out, Midlands CFU was eager that commercial farmers
should pay large sums for a reception to welcome the woman who, more than
anyone else, has illegally dispatched a courageous and honourable farmer to
a filthy prison cell. Nice one, Trevor.

And yet I cannot agree wholly with Mr Frizell - (JAG letters 13 January) -
when he dissects our collective inaction, although his letter makes some
excellent points. Had the farmers stuck together, and struck together, in
2000 things might indeed have been different. But the same decent and
worthy instincts manifest in the reaction to the Shaw letter have been
present throughout the Zim crisis in the hearts of farmers - just fewer
farmers than one might have expected. Many many farmers had no truck with
deals or compromises and would have found the idea of ploughing a neighbour
's stolen land nauseating beyond belief. Many clung to their farms until
the arrests of 2002. Some have even sought to evict squatters and have
found themselves beaten or prosecuted for so doing. Most farmers have taken
up legal cudgels to prepare to reclaim their stolen property. JAG continues
to keep the flag flying.

But I do agree with Mr Frizell when he says that we have not fought the
wider fights that we could have fought and should still be fighting:

Firstly: stolen property (as mentioned by Wynard Breytenbach - 12 January).
Squatters have grown, and are growing tobacco on stolen land and have sold
that tobacco to international companies with share-holders in Godalming and
Amsterdam and Wisconsin. That in itself is a disgrace. I have challenged
three tobacco companies to come clean on their dealings with Zimbabwe and
have received bland and meaningless assurances from two of them (one has
never even bothered to answer) . When I accused them of receiving stolen
goods they suggested that I prove my allegations and sue.

To track a portion of illegal tobacco through the chaos of Mugabe's
Zimbabwe is a challenging business.  But possibly a useful as well as an
honourable one as one interpretation of the Interplead Action is that crops
grown on a farmer's land, even if he is off that land, belong to him.
Stinging a tobacco company or processor for the price of a few bales of
lousy squatter tobacco will do no great financial damage. But the attendant
negative press might discourage tobacco companies from endorsing Mugabe's
land grab. I would be most interested to know if anyone has gone further
down this road and, if so, what success they have met. .

Ditto horticulture. I have much enjoyed the correspondence with a palpably
uneasy Tesco about their operations in Zimbabwe and look forward to some
definitive answers. Companies such as Tesco, enormous though they may be,
bitterly dislike bad PR and in this regard, if we have the energy and the
contacts, we have the wrongdoers over a barrel.

But, secondly, a far more insidious enemy stalks here and there on the far
side of the battlefield. To catch glimpses of it you need only to read the
IRIN UN article (JAG - 10 January) or the Zimbabwe Independent of 14
January: 'resettled farmers need assistance' or 'the UNDP has also received
proposals from the Agriculture Ministry to assist newly resettled farmers.'
Here lies our greatest danger. One day, soon we hope, Mugabe and his lousy
regime will creak and crumble and collapse. And whilst that will be a fine
thing in the wider sense it will not specifically help past and present
farmers much unless those who rebuild Zimbabwean Agriculture, and in that
the UNDP will play a significant role, respect the right of title. And to
provide assistance of any kind to squatters is to blatantly disregard

Is it conceivable that they will not respect title? However much we might
complain, justifiably, about the world's seeming indifference to Zimbabwe's
plight it remains hard to believe that the British and Americans would or
could disregard title, indeed I believe that assurances have been made in
the House of Commons to that effect. Equally the UNDP has some sensible and
responsible senior officers. But that does not change the fact that many
individuals in international organisations would gain a large degree of
gratification from assisting peasant farmers, wherever and whoever they
might be, particularly - and this is the key point- at the expense of
"white farmers" and their associates. Also, so labyrinthine and obscure are
the operations of many NGOs, large and small, that monitoring exactly what
they are doing is almost impossible. I have heard many anecdotes of NGO
assistance to squatters but have seen no clear proof. Is it out there?

If we were not unified before can we not at least fight these enemies
together? Together, that is, without the CFU apparatchiks. I suspect that
we are better off, and far more together, without them.

Peter Cray


Letter 2: RE: CHICKEN SHAW'S DEMANDS FOR DONATIONS, received 18 January

by Ben Norton

Dear Jag

I have been following with interest all the letters regarding Mr Chicken
Shaw's request, or should I say "demand" for donations from his members for
what he feels is a very important occasion.  Perhaps we should not be too
harsh on poor Mr chicken Shaw because he is probably just looking for
support for what he feels is a good idea, from his fellow collaborators. If
the farmers are not fellow collaborators, then why have we had no public
letters condemning Mr. Shaw's very well thought out" he thinks", scheme of
self preservation, and why nothing from Mr Shaw himself. I would have
thought that he would have been up in arms defending his actions, but
perhaps he feels, with some justification, that none of the writers count
for much any more as they are no longer members of the C.F.U even though
they still do hold title to their land .

In many cases these ex farmers are now in the same position they were in at
the beginning of their careers, and that is penniless.

Perhaps we should spare a thought for the new owners of these farms with
their swimming pools ,tennis courts , orchards , cow byres, dams, centre
pivots. cleared land and much else. and the new owners not knowing the
first thing about the use of all these assets, which cost the ex farmer
millions and the new owner not a penny.

I am a little confused to try and categorise who are collaborators and who
are just ordinary farmers trying gallantly and desperately to hold onto
their piece of land which they have hacked out of the bush, built a home
and spent all, and sometimes more than their hard earned cash on
development, and now have absolutely nothing to live on and nobody to turn
to for help, some of us are perhaps lucky in that we stopped developing and
managed to put a little aside which now enables us to buy our bread.

BUT I think!!! I do know that there are many wealthy and foreign land
owners who have, one way or another managed to get around the land grab,
and they are the ones who are still growing tobacco, and in many cases much
more, and in so doing are assisting this government in their illegal
activities and helping put forex in their coffers, and at the same time
putting a pretty penny away in their own pockets. I wonder if one day they
will spare a thought for the number of ex farmers still living in Zimbabwe
on a bit of hard earned capital, which by the way I am told is running out
very fast. or the thousands of loyal staff who used to help till their
lands and put breakfast on the table.for less than half the remuneration
received by their counterparts in South Africa. Perhaps the guile of Robert
Mugabe is that he knows that 90% of these loyal staff are recruits from
neighbouring countries, for the simple reason that the locals did not feel
the need to offer their services to the European farmers, and it is common
knowledge that there would not have been a tobacco industry in Zimbabwe if
it had not been for the often starving individuals from neighbouring
countries, It must not be forgotten that Tobacco did for Zimbabwe what Gold
and sugar did for South Africa in attracting migrant labour.

I shudder to think what the future of Africa will be if the roomer I hear
about encouraging Indian and Chinese peasants to come out here to help grow
food. Don't the powers that be realise that it is not cheap labour they
need but that it is the expertise at the top and that takes time and money
to teach the locals.

Perhaps it is time to ask someone to tell the story about the assistance
the white farmers afforded their black friendly neighbours to grow more
profitable crops and and better livestock management and what the final
outcome of these experiences have been.
  Perhaps it is time that the C.F.U published a list of all their present
members and the size of their farms and perhaps we should ask Z.T.A. to do
the same. If these two organizations are reluctant then I suggest we ask
Jag to present a list and to categorise them.

I also feel that we should face the fact that commercial Agriculture as we
knew it is something of the past and will never be the same again and asses
what we, the ex white farmers have and are willing to offer to help a new
government rebuild Zimbabwe. Even with its new style PEASANT farmer. but
certainly not the chef from Harare .

Perhaps the more important list. for Mr. Blair's perusal, is the one of all
the Zimbabweans who volunteered and in many cases died in the defence of
GREAT Britain, during world war one and two plus Malaya and the Bore war.

May I wish you all, including my ex staff, a very happy and prosperous

Ben Norton

Letter 3: TOGETHERNESS DURING RUGBY DAYS, received 20 January 2005

by John Kleynhans

Dear Jag

Having received a considerable number of emails via a great ex-farmer
friend and reading the current letters, I find myself lost for logic. Where
has the spirit that once held us together to all go and watch a Rhodesian
rugby match against the Springboks? United in thought and word and deed was
once our motto, now we appear to be weak, devided and grabbing at straws.
The farmers that have intimated their willingness to get into bed with the
''boys'', should be have their heads de-manured, the resultant extract will
grow a fine crop. They obviously feel, if you can't beat them join them,
which in real terms, is a individualistic escape route. Running to the
problem or running from the problem ? Which are you ?

The comments coming from ex-zimbos abroad, if supportive, are
welcome....but remember you have to be in the game to be part of the
result, shouting from the side lines does not qualify for team membership,
now or in the future.  To those who remain out of choice or necessity, let
us experience the togetherness that prevailed during those great rugby

John Kleynhans

 Letter 4: RE: SURVIVAL - SUPPING WITH THE DEVIL?, received 18 January 2005

by Colleen Taylor

I have been reading all the furore caused by Shaw's request for donations
to Munangagwa's party for the new VP.  I generally agree with most of what
has been said, but one point really riles me - that those who lost their
farms early on accuse those of us who managed to hang on a bit longer of
supping with the devil etc.

I had to eventually vacate my farm in the Vumba in September, having
battled for three years on my own to hold onto it.  I never came to any
"arrangements" with the settlers and fought them through the courts on
several occasions.  Their reply to court orders was "That's the law, this
is politics"!

One of the reasons we in this area managed to survive longer was that we
have never made vast amounts of money out of our farms and they were not
nearly as attractive as those in the wealthy farming areas, but we all
ended up in the same sorry position.  So please don't tar us all with the
same brush - we have suffered longer and battled just as hard and lost all
we owned too.

Colleen Taylor


Letter 5: OUR ONCE PROUD POLICE FORCE, received 19 Janaury 2005

by Gerry Whitehead

Dear Zimbabweans

What has happened to our police force that we were once so proud off?

On the morning of the 21st July several farmers responded to an urgent call
from Joan Harrison on the local radio network. She sounded frightened and
desperate, "Eric has been abducted and I am alone in the house" In the past
5 years we have all heard and read similar stories that have ended very
badly. Now what kind of men would not respond to a call like that, knowing
full well that the Mkwasine police would not respond in a positive manner,
as had been demonstrated by them in the past month. Anyway a group of
Lowvelders did respond and rescued Joan, Eric was found at the police
station getting charged for trying to protect himself from the thugs who
were intent on beating him up.

During the rescue we were attacked by a group of thugs and three of the
guys received severe head wounds, but still managed to chase off the
cowardly attackers.

This is how the Mkwasine police responded, this was instead of thanking us.
Four of the rescuers have since been charged under the" Miscellaneous
Offences Act." and have had to go to court on two occasions now only to
find that whilst the case had been registered there was no docket and
prosecutor to be found. Now we have been told to wait for a new subpoena.
In Zimbabwe you cannot even rescue a person who is at serious risk, it is
just plain harassment by the police who have got corrupted and lost their


Gerry Whitehead


Letter 6: NO REGISTRATION AT MAKOMBE, received 18 January 2005

by Hugh Burton

Dear JAG Team,

Please be advised that contrary to Trudy Stevenson's advice (14th January,
2005, OLF No. 325) it has NOT been possible to register for the voters roll
at Makombe Building.

Citizens or Permanent Residents have to register at one of the Voters Roll
Inspection Centres (in our particular case Highlands Primary School) where
the voters roll can be checked before attempting to register.

Makombe Building do not have copies of the voters rolls and are therefore
unable to be of assistance.


Hugh Burton.


Letter 7: SEEKING DAVE and SUZIE MEAD, received 18 January 2005

by Mike Stewart

Dear JAG

I wonder if you could help me. I left Zimbabwe in 1988 and was horrified to
see all the farm invasions. I watched a good friend of mine being evicted
on the news here in Australia and am trying to locate him. I heard a rumour
that he had come to Australia.

His name is Dave MEAD and his wife`s name is Susie. They farmed in the
Mhangura area If you know his whereabouts please could you email me.

kind regards

Mike Stewart


JAG Hotlines:
(091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need advice,
(011) 205 374
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here to help!
263 4 799 410 Office Lines
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Pretoria News

      Zim berates Cosatu
      January 21, 2005

      Cosatu, South Africa's main labour federation, whose envoys were
unceremoniously deported from Zimbabwe three months ago, should confine
itself to domestic issues and not seek to return, Zimbabwe's labour minister
said in remarks published yesterday.

      Paul Mangwana said Cosatu was overstepping its brief in wanting to
stage a second fact-finding mission: "We are not a province of South Africa,
and as such Cosatu should confine its labour politics in that country.

      "Cosatu should stay in South Africa. We have our own labour unions and
I don't think we need foreign labour unions to solve our problems," he

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