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

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Independent (UK)

Mugabe's allies revolt over press freedom law
By Basildon Peta in Harare
23 January 2002
The Zimbabwean President faced a rebellion by some of his closest allies
yesterday when they refused to endorse a media law that seeks to stifle
criticism of Robert Mugabe and shut down the free press.

The unexpected revolt in the ruling party's caucus, which could be a turning
point for Mr Mugabe, forced the government to postpone the adoption of the
Bill for the second time in less than a week.

The delay came after many MPs in the Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), the ruling party, broke ranks by saying
they were opposed to Mr Mugabe's Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Bill, whose restrictive clauses have sparked worldwide protests.

The Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, had promised that the Bill would be
approved, but yesterday he suddenly adjourned parliament without indicating
when the measures would be considered next.

There was immediate speculation that Mr Mugabe might bow to international
pressure, and that the Bill might be permanently shelved. But analysts
cautioned that the recalcitrant MPs might yet be brought into line by Mr
Mugabe and forced to push through the Bill or face serious consequences.

Even among the President's cronies, the Bill is viewed as the worst of the
repressive legislation passed by Zimbabwe's parliament before the
presidential election this March.

A Zanu-PF legislator who attended the caucus meeting said: "We are sick and
tired of being used to pass repressive laws aimed at entrenching Mugabe's
hold on power while the masses are suffering. We would rather spend time
campaigning for Mugabe in our constituencies so that he wins a free and fair
election, instead of being used to rubber-stamp laws that violate
constitutional rights."

The proposed law would impose stiff jail sentences on Zimbabwean journalists
criticising President Mugabe, and require them to apply for annual licences.
It would also ban foreign journalists from working in the country or
publishing stories that cause "fear, alarm and despondency".

The parliamentary committee responsible for scrutinising Bills and making
recommendations to parliament rejected the media law as unconstitutional
last week, forcing the Justice Minister to postpone consideration while
amendments were drafted.

Yesterday the MPs said that despite some 36 amendmentsthe Bill was still too
restrictive, and differed little from the one they had rejected.

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Continuing Human Rights Abuse in Harare

Accra Mail (Accra)

January 22, 2002
Posted to the web January 21, 2002
The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative has already expressed its concern
about events in Zimbabwe, and urged the immediate suspension of the Mugabe
regime from the Commonwealth. Political intimidation, and the continuing
decline of living standards for most Zimbabweans, show no sign of
diminishing in the run-up to the presidential election on 9 and 10 March,
2002. The Initiative would now like to see:

1. A stay of imposition of discriminatory legislation recently passed by the
Zimbabwe parliament, which threatens press freedom and the fair conduct of
the election.

2. The honouring of President Mugabe's promise to invite international
election observers, and the arrival as soon as possible of long-term

3. An announcement by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, at its
meeting on 30 January, that an election result which is deemed not to
represent the wishes of the Zimbabwean people will not be recognised, and
will lead to Commonwealth sanctions against those associated with a
fraudulent victory.

4. Humanitarian relief for Zimbabweans, particularly in rural areas and
high-density suburbs, who are now suffering from hunger and the collapse of
medical services.

5. An allocation of funding by the British Government, in a Commonwealth
escrow account, to be held pending a just and equitable land reform in

6. A plan by Commonwealth leaders to meet the different scenarios which may
follow the March presidential election.

As the premier non-governmental coalition in the Commonwealth concerned to
uphold and promote human rights, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
stands ready to assist the people of Zimbabwe and other international
partners in the task of rebuilding Zimbabwe.

From: Margaret Reynolds, Chair, Advisory Commission - Canberra; Richard
Bourne, Chair, Trustee Committee - London, Maja Daruwala, Director - New

Supported by: Commonwealth Journalists Association, Commonwealth Trade Union
Council, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Commonwealth Legal Education
Association, Commonwealth Medical Association, Commonwealth Parliamentary
Association, Commonwealth Press Union.

Daily News

Police subject new teachers to rigorous vetting

1/22/02 9:05:08 AM (GMT +2)
Staff Reporter

NEWLY recruited school teachers in Manicaland were last week being subjected
to a rigorous vetting exercise by police and other security agencies before
being assigned teaching stations.

This screening activity, which is understood to also be under way in other
parts of the country, is being interpreted by some observers as a concerted
exercise to scrutinise teachers who are suspected to be members or
sympathisers of opposition political parties.

But both police and senior education officials in Mutare immediately
dismissed these assertions.

They said in separate interviews that the procedure was designed to "weed
out" criminal elements from the public service.

Prospective teachers seeking employment, both qualified and untrained, were
last week being vetted by officers from the police's Criminal Investigation
Department (CID) before they could be approved for recruitment and

In Mutare, about 200 qualified and temporary teachers were posted to various
stations in the district after they were checked out.

Some of the qualified and untrained teachers complained that the
unprecedented move was largely aimed at identifying those who have actively
participated in either political violence or public demonstrations against
the government.

"They (the police) are just checking whether one has not been involved in
political disturbances or not," said one qualified teacher. "If you are
found to have participated in disturbances then tough luck."

The applicants paid $300 each to the CID before being vetted.

But Francis Mubvuta, the police provincial spokesperson, said the vetting of
prospective full-time and temporary teachers was a Public Service Commission
(PSC) requirement designed to ensure that they do not employ criminals.

His suggestions were backed by some senior education officials.

The officials however, admitted that the exercise was being carried out for
the first time on teachers, although previously it was confined to
individuals seeking to be promoted to headmastership or to other higher

"In the past only those seeking to be promoted to headmasters were affected,
but now they have extended it to everyone wishing to be recruited," said one
education official.

Winnie Chirimamhunga, the Ministry of Education and Culture regional
director, was not immediately available for comment.

But senior officials in her ministry confirmed that aspiring teachers were
being vetted by the CID and their names forwarded to the CID headquarters in
Harare for final clearance.

The officials could, however, not explain why the process was only being
enforced now when the country is faced with a crucial presidential poll.

The post of President will be at stake on 9 - 10 March.

President Mugabe is facing his stiffest challenge in 21 years of absolute
power when he squares up against Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the
country's main opposition party, the MDC.

Wilson Kumbula, the leader of Zanu and Shakespeare Maya, of the National
Alliance for Good Governance are also eyeing the presidency.

The screening of prospective teachers also comes at a time when Zanu PF
politicians are accusing teachers of being the main supporters of the MDC.

Several teachers have been assaulted and others "fired" and transferred from
their workplaces for allegedly backing the MDC.

Didymus Mutasa, a top Zanu PF official, has been on record threatening
teachers for their alleged support of the MDC.

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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Monday 22 January 2002

This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas.  Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens.  Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.
·      Renroc Farm, Karoi, had two groups of 50 youths from the “Border Gezi”Training Centre, enter the farm village from two separate directions, armed with sticks and catapults, who started an orgy of assaults.  The groups damaged a fence and forced entry into the barn area threatening to kill the foreman and guard.  The police arrived (in a vehicle provided by a local farmer) and managed to defuse the situation. In total, 23 people were assaulted.
·      On Remainder Kuruman, Beatrice, a single 74-year old woman was accused by the local “war vet” Wezhira of embarrassing him in public and he demanded she be evicted.  The sheds are to be used as a school – the Ministry of Education and Health have already visited for inspection.
·      Spes Bona, Macheke/Virginia, had a work stoppage, and the labour forced to attend a meeting in the farm village for five hours, 67 of them were then forced to attend a "re-education camp” overnight on a nearby farm.
·        Felixburg Farm, Gutu/Chatwsworth, had  six labourers taken away for re-education on 16.01.02.  Accused of being opposition supporters, one was severely beaten.   The beatings lasted for approximately one hour by about 30 people. One was kicked and beaten with electric cables and fence standards and suffered severe internal wounds.  Reports were made to the ZRP, with the response they have no transport available. To refute this, at 5 am on 15.01.02, a police Defender (vehicle) was seen on the road presumably shooting at kudu. The morning of 16.01.02 a police pickup truck was again observed on the road, firing shots presumably at kudu.
·      300 m of electric fencing was stolen from Belgrave Farm, Kwekwe and recovered by the settlers who now want a reward.
·     Both Kwesfontein A and Dorasdale, Featherstone, received Section 8 Orders. Both these farms have been offered to government through ZJRI.

Headlands - On Kukoa Flowers Farm, the “war vets” are interfering with the security and threatening the labour.  On Wakefield Estates, the labour were driven off and beaten up this morning and the “war vet” leader has gone to talk to the people.
Horseshoe – there was an armed robbery at Horseshoe Club on 19.01.02.  Although ZRP responded, the burglars were not found.  On 14.01.02 at Marirambada, one female worker was assaulted by ZANU (PF) youth while she was tending her maize plot because she did not attend a rally.  On Rungudzi Farm a labourer was murdered and another beaten up on two separate occasions (in the Zambezi valley).  The domestic and few remaining farm labourers were threatened and told to vacate the farm by 16.01.02.  Cattle are still impounded within the security fence with threats and demands to have them removed ongoing.  Reports have been made to local DA who had previously given assurances the cattle would be left alone, but the situation remains unresolved despite further discussions with DA.  Penrose has ongoing labour disputes with labour now demanding gratuities, in spite of receiving final retrenchment packages in November 2001.  A roadblock mounted by ZANU (PF) youth near Mvurwi on the Guruve road with the intention of diverting commercial loads of fertilizer being delivered to Guruve to Mvurwi GMB instead, was dismantled by Mvurwi police. The owner of Rungudzi, an MDC parliamentary candidate and the Farmers’ Association Chairman of the area had arranged to meet with the Guruve DA to resolve the ongoing conflict at Rungudzi.  As the DA was late for the scheduled appointment, the owner and Chairman went to call him on a cell phone and were apprehended by five men who kicked and beat up the owner in an attempt to abduct him.  When a mace gun was used the aggressors fled.  The aggressor's vehicle is a green Mazda 323 registration 609552D.  Guruve police response has been poor.  Under Cragg Farm received a Section 8 Order, and has had a total work stoppage August 2001 although the owner and farm workers continue to live there. 
Victory Block - On Monday 14.01.02 information was received that four farms had been targeted for looting: Mutendamambo (unoccupied), Msitwe River Ranch (owner now farming in Raffingora), Zororo and Under Cragg. The owner of Msitwe River Ranch had gone back on Monday with a ZRP constable to meet with settlers who attempted to overpower them and enter the farmhouse. The constable was able to defuse the situation.  Reports of a meeting at Mudindo (Guruve South Communal land) stated there were calls for people to loot commercial farms. A mob gathered at the Vivelkia ZRP base to demonstrate against ZRP personnel who were perceived to be MDC supporters. Most of the ZRP personnel there have recently been transferred to other posts in Guruve North.  The prevailing situation resulted in the owner of Under Cragg moving household belongings to a secure location last week.  After he left, a mob of 70 people broke through the security fence and into the locked homestead to loot the property.  Although the chairman of the settlers tried to stop the looting, he was ignored. The owner returned during the looting and managed to chase some looters away with the help of farm labour. While reporting the incident farm office radio, another mob of 30 men led by Peter Chitima, armed with sticks, cane knives, whips and axes, returned to the homestead and the owner locked himself in the office. A tractor commandeered from Zororo Farm arrived to ferry goods. The mob was attempting to break into the office when two ZRP details arrived with a neighbouring farmer. Shots were fired into the air by one of the ZRP members and the looting was stopped. A large quantity of stolen goods was recovered immediately and in a follow up operation. Police reported they were able to arrest 32 men and women on the spot and were given information identifying another 40. DISPOL Guruve ruled this is a criminal case and Support Unit vehicles transported 20 men to Guruve ZRP and 21 women to Mvurwi ZRP. The ringleaders are at Bindura ZRP, held on remand. These include Peter Chitima and the ZANU PF councillor for ward 30 of the Guruve Rural District Council, Mr Machengo.  The Neighbourhood Watch is assisting police and has given information leading to arrests and the recovery of goods looted in the Raffingora area. Police have requested assistance from Tredar Security based at Raffingora.

Beatrice – On the strength of a provincial court order and without the owner able to defend his property 230 head of cattle were auctioned off at Gemini A further 300 are due to be auctioned on Monday. Police are not helping at all.
Enterprise - Several on-farm meetings but area is quiet.
Featherstone – on Calais the “war vet” leader, Nyaruwata, visited and told settlers the labour must return to the farm village and the owner must stay in the homestead. Dairy cattle are still off the farm.  Further negotiations take place this week.  On Lot 2 Kuruman the owner was told to be out of the house by 25.01.02 as it is to be used as a clinic. The Featherstone OIC Mutize complained to owner that the report made to DISPOL and OIC had been remanded by Harare. The settlers have complained about the owner reporting them to DA Chivhu for chasing workers out of their houses and denied the charge by saying it was the owner who chased the workers into his shed.  On Remainder Kuruman a single 74-yr old woman was accused by the local “war vet” Wezhira of embarrassing him in public.  He demanded she be evicted.  The sheds are to be used as a school – the Ministry of Education and Health have already visited for inspection.  The owner of Ngesi has moved out of the area. The house security gates have been completely barricaded and two coffins placed at gates for the owners if they return. The daughter and son-in law face daily harassment and are in the process of moving their belongings. The “war vet” Mutema Chani is threatening everyone including the police and DA should they interfere with 'his farm'. The farm received a Section 8 last week. DISPOL and PA do not seem concerned with the potential publicity this scene will invoke.  Both Kwesfontein A and Dorasdale received Section 8 Orders. Both these farms have been offered in terms of ZJRI.
Harare South – on Withamest poachers fled in a blue Hilux when the owner went to investigate.  Later .303 and .762 empty cartridges cases were found.  Nyambiri was visited by a group who accused the son of poisoning a borehole.  On threats they would return, the owner left the farm for the weekend.  A guard was beaten and farm work stopped on Swollowfield Two farm foremen were beaten up for “being hard” on the labour at Rusimbiro At Auks Nest “war vet” Chidagwa told the owner all labour had to be paid off, out the farm village and in the homestead area by this afternoon.
Macheke/Virginia - A number of fast-tracked farms in the area had settlers asking for access to buildings, which are to be used as schools.  On Fault Farm eight youths demanded maize for a three day “education course” to be held at Homepark Farm.  The owner gave them two bags.  On Warren Farm settlers met with the labour and informed all foremen their houses would be required for schoolteachers.  On Camdale and Glensomerset the same scenario was reported to the police.  On Morning Star RRB 899/745 refers to one cow slaughtered and another badly slashed.  Police attended but no arrests were made.  The owner was later stopped and harassed at an illegal roadblock by Zanu PF youth.  The police later dispersed the group.  The Hazeldene owner reported he was asked by Zanu PF youths for his party card in the farm store.  Spes Bona reported a work stoppage, and his labour forced to attend a meeting in the farm village for five hours, 67 of them were forced to attend a "re-education camp” overnight on a nearby farm.  Faroe Farmreports a similar incident, with the labour forced to go to Craiglea Farm overnight.  One labourer was abducted by Zanu (PF) youth on Nyadema  He has not been found, the police refuse to take the report or acknowledge the abduction.
Marondera – 17 year old Thomas Spicer and seven friends were canvassing to see if they could hold an MDC rally.  Their vehicle broke down.  They were approached and it was decided the friends would leave Mr Spicer would take his chances. The vehicle tires were slashed and he was paraded around a Zanu (PF) rally at Musami by the “war vets”. He has been charged with kidnapping & assault.  The family is very grateful for all the help and support they have been given.  A Zanu (PF) rally was held at a school over the weekend and there was considerable violence and intimidation before the rally. The main message at the rally was: “there must be no more violence”.
Marondera North - Chinwiri Farm has been pegged for the fourth time.  On Argosy a guard’s hut was burnt and the “war vets” the suspected arsonists.
Marondera South – On Wenimbi occupants of a red Nissan pick up with white canopy, registration 719 - 629F, loaded flue pipes from the barns, spoke to the resident settlers and then departed.  On Makarara Farm children on the way to school were threatened by youths and ran away.  The owner of Dindingwe was told by the main “war vet” from the area that he had to sell the settlers’ maize or he would be given a bad name. The owner refused.
Wedza – no report received.
Karoi – at Renroc Farm (Ian Cochrane) two groups of “Border Gezi” youths, 50 in each, entered the farm village from two separate directions, armed with sticks and catapults.  They assaulted the guard and tried to confiscate his weapon, but he managed to escape with the weapon and handed it in to the owner’s wife at the homestead. The youths forced the labour to attend an impromptu political meeting in the farm village.  Realizing some of the labour was “missing”, they damaged a fence and forced entry into the barn area threatening to kill the foreman and guard.  The owner arrived and ran at the rock-throwing youths with an electric, self defense weapon, which retreated beyond the damaged fence.  They threw more rocks and bricks at him and he took cover in one of the barns.  The police arrived (in a vehicle provided by a local farmer) and managed to defuse the situation and the youths left.  Some of the labour were severely beaten at the “meeting” and were then brought to the barn area to inform the police.  The owner organised they be taken to hospital immediately. In total, 23 people were assaulted.  Further reports of mass beatings in the rural areas have been made.
Banket - On Wynhill Farm at 02h00 on 18.01.02 the farmer was forced to attend a pungwe in the farm village. He was rescued the next morning but his foremen were very badly beaten with sticks and irrigation sprinklers, kicked and made to roll in the mud.  The farm is now shut down and a vehicle waiting to collect cattle was turned away.
Trelawney/Darwendale - on Colenso Farm the owner was visited by 12 Zanu (PF) Youths.  They beat up some of the labour in the farm village, verbally abused the farmer and his manager for approximately three hours, and demanded meat, mealie meal, money and diesel. The farmer told them there was nothing available and they threatened to close down the farm. The farmer told them to “go ahead”.  The youths left, after helping themselves to the woodpile outside the front gate, threatening to return at a later stage to take the matter further. On Riverside Farm (Richard Claxton), a farm invaded by settlers in September 2001, a work stoppage occurred and a tractor commandeered to take six youths to a political meeting held across the Manyame River, in Murombedzi.  Notably, this is out of the farmer’s and labour’s constituency, and only 10 km by foot, but 35 km by tractor!!!
No report received.

Mwenezi – Merrivale Ranch and Wentzelhof Ranch both received a Section 7 Notice, both signed on 29.12.01 and delivered on 18.01.02!!  The owner of Lot 21A of Nuanetsi was visited by government officials from Beitbridge enquiring of the labour if they had seen any helicopters or other aircraft landing on this property!!
Masvingo East and Central – in the ongoing saga of Fomax Dairy 20 metres of security fence was stolen over the weekend and reported to the police.  The owner of Shallock Park Farm reports settlers returned led by “war vet” Mahenya, to begin ploughing up the farm village with DDF tractors. On reporting this to all authorities, the owner was told by the DA the activity was “not allowed”.  The owner of Balinahone Farm reported fighting between the two opposing political parties within his farm village.  About ZWD 165 000-00 worth (75 metres) of galvanized piping has been stolen on Southwill Estates 28 calves and cows are not accounted for, possibly removed from the farm. The owner’s cattle are confined to small paddocks while elsewhere on the farm there is plenty of grazing.  The settlers are pressurising him sell the cattle.  Another 20 head of cattle were stolen from Lochinvar Farm In December, 30 cattle were reported stolen, making a total of 120 head. Total in this area show 400 cattle have either been stolen, slaughtered or are missing.
Chiredzi – on Dawlish Estate 19.01.02, about 50 youths armed with catapults and pangas, stopped the foreman herding the horses, shouted threats at the farm manager, and then beat up the labour in the farm village. Two labourers were abducted. The police said they would send the Support Unit, who arrived 17 hours later as they had got lost.  ZRP Triangle arrived before them and took statements. This incident re-occurred 20.01.02, but the labour managed to flee and hide. The owner awaits Support unit again.  Youths visited the farm village on Bangala Ranch demanding ZANU (PF) cards.  Labour on Samba Ranch were instructed to attend C.A. Gibbs School and briefed on retrenchment packages.  In general in this area, there are numerous reports of fights breaking out in the resettlement/communal areas between the opposing political parties.  The trade union has told labour on privately-owned cane estates they will receive a new minimum wage increase of $7902.00, as the industry claims the labour are agro-industry and not just agro- based labour.  On BJB Ranch eight cows and calves were crushed to death after the cattle were forced into a kraal by settlers.
Gutu/Chatsworth – on Felixburg Farm six labourers were taken away for re-education on 16.01.02.  Accused of being opposition supporters, one was severely beaten.   The beatings lasted for approximately one hour by about 30 people. One was kicked and beaten with electric cables and fence standards. Severe internal wounds have occurred and the labourer has been admitted to the clinic. Reports made to the ZRP, with the response they have no transport available. To refute this, at 5 am on 15.01.02, a police Defender (vehicle) was seen on the road presumably shooting at kudu. The morning of 16.01.02 a police pickup truck was observed on the road, again firing shots, presumably at kudu.  Since Bath Farm was invaded, to the present, the owner has lost 450 head of cattle worth ZWD 18 million, due to stock theft and slaughter. The settlers request the remaining 275 cattle be removed at the end of January and forced the owner to sign an agreement on this matter.   A government delegation visited and told the owner to empty the storerooms, outer buildings and the cottage flat.  They need the buildings to open up a school and the cottage / flat will be the teacher’s residence. A person reported to be one of the settlers, arrived 21.01.02 dressed up as a teacher and children resident on the farms arrived to attend school.  The owner’s wife is subjected on a daily basis to verbal abuse, and the owner’s dogs are subjected to a barrage of stones.  On Mazongororo Farm 35 cattle were reported lost or stolen.  Approximately 60 settlers arrived 21.01.02 on Blyth Farm  instructing the owner to vacate the old barns and sheds for the creation of a school.  The labour have been threatened and told to vacate their homes.   On Lauder/Wragley Farm the owner received a delegation telling him to remove all his cattle from the property.  Condor A Farm was visited by government officials, demanding the owner empty the tobacco shed as they wished to start a school.
Save Conservancy - Continued poaching and snaring.
Chivhu – Incident - A farmer was approached by ± 20 settlers from the next door farm, demanding he vacate his home immediately as it was needed for a school and compensation for dogs shot whilst killing a warthog some weeks ago.  After prolonged negotiations the settlers left, returning the next day to collect an outrageous compensation, and gave him one week to leave the farm. The farm has not been listed. Relevant authorities contacted knew nothing about the school and stated the farmer should not be told to move off. Negotiations continue.
Incident - Two farmers were approached, one by officials from Chivhu and the other by Ministry of Education officials. One was told to move off-farm immediately as a school was opening in his house the next day. The other met Ministry of Education personnel who were amazed to find him in the house, as they were to open a school there the next day and the Minister was to attend the function.  In both cases, nothing happened on the next day!!
Incident - Two farmers, approached by a group of youths, were told to evict labour from their homes. The youths returned and destroyed pole and dagga huts, evicting the labour. Although reticent about the source, they claim they operate under instructions. Another farmer had labour evicted on 20.01.02. Both farmers to see the Land Committee 21.01.02.
Incident – a farm owner had a note delivered to his home in his absence, telling him to vacate and move all labour within 24 hours. He hopes to resolve the issue with the Land Committee 21.01.02.
Somabhula - The owner of Ghoko Block was forced to move all cattle off the property. The cattle were herded by “war vets”/settlers on to a neighbour's farm, with ± 26 missing after the move. The homestead on Sonambula was broken into and all internal fencing, and two kilometres of boundary fencing between Sonambula and neighbouring The Ridge, was stolen.
Kwekwe - A Zanu (PF) rally was held on 20.01.02 at Indarama Mine (Sherwood Block). Irrigation and vital farm work was interrupted.  Prior to this there has been harassment and assaults inflicted on the various farm labour and their families by the Youth Brigade.  There was a case where labourer’s wives were pulled out of the showers and beaten naked. 300 m of electric fencing was stolen from Belgrave Farm.  It was recovered by the settlers who now want a reward. The thief was handed over to ZRP and conviction expected 25.01.02. Subsequently, more fencing was stolen from the farm. The settlers and labour requested transport to attend the rally at Indarama Mine and a tractor and trailer was provided. On Eduan Estates, “war vets” and settlers caused a work stoppage on Thursday, saying no one must work on Thursdays.  A tobacco boiler was stolen from Bonwei Estate. On Machakwi Estate, Zanu (PF) youths from the nearby rally entered the farm village and beat up the labour. Labour on Mooirivier Estate is beaten up daily by “war vets”, with no police response at all. On Sherwood Park Estate 20.01.02, Zanu (PF) youths beat up labour including women who were showering and a sick man and his wife.  Another rally was held east of Kwekwe but no reports of violence or intimidation received. The Mvuma Road farming area reported stock thefts. A settler, who is a Zanu (PF) party official, approached a farmer in this area, asking when he could move his own cattle on farm.  The farmer in question has received only a Section 5 to date.  Still in this area, youths threw stones at a farmer’s vehicle driven by his son on the night of 18.01.02.
No report received.                                               Visit the CFU Website

The opinions in this message do not necessarily reflect those of the Commercial Farmers' Union which does not accept any legal responsibility for them.
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London-based Zimbabwe radio station bids for change

LONDON, Jan. 22 — A handful of Zimbabwean reporters have escaped what they
say is the muzzle of censorship at home and begun to foment a quiet
revolution there from a radio studio in north London.
       Every evening SW Radio Africa beams three hours of news and views to
a growing army of listeners with shortwave receivers in the former Rhodesia.

       ''To see your country being annihilated and not having the details is
enormously frustrating,'' station manager Gerry Jackson told Reuters in an
interview on Tuesday.
       He said The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) toes the
government line, independent radio is effectively banned and the independent
print media faces daily harrassment.
       After 22 years of independence from Britain, Zimbabwe is imploding
with inflation officially at 112 percent, unemployment over 60 percent, the
currency collapsing, food and fuel scarce and the black market thriving.
       Farming, the country's economic backbone, is disintegrating with more
than 1,700 of the country's 4,500 white-owned farms occupied by former
veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation war.
       The London-based station, which buys line time from
legally-registered shortwave broadcasters, has angered President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU-PF government which has accused the British government -- the
former colonial power -- of involvement.
       It is a charge station manager Gerry Jackson, who arrived in Britain
with her multi-ethnic team in mid-November, rejects.
       ''We are not aligned to any political party. All we want is to see
some sense returning to Zimbabwe. We will broadcast any point of view as
long as it is not a rant,'' Jackson, a former freelance reporter for ZBC,
       The station, which began broadcasting on 6145 KiloHertz between 1800
and 2100 Zimbabwe time (1600 and 1900 GMT) on December 19, has no reporters
on the ground. Jackson says it would be too dangerous.
       Instead it relies on e-mails and phone calls from contacts in the
       Jackson gave no details of the number of people who hear the
broadcast in Zimbabwe except to say that a growing number of people were
contacting the station showing the audience was growing.
       More than 100 people -- all but a handful black -- have been killed
in two years of political violence as Mugabe heads into March election.
       ''There has been an enormous amount of psychological damage done to
the population. Children -- black and white -- have watched their parents
being beaten up in front of them and their pets slaughtered,'' Jackson said.
``They will carry the emotional scars for years,'' she added. REIGN OF
       Mugabe has vowed to take back two-thirds of the 12 million hectares
of land in white hands in a belated righting of the wrongs of colonial
history, and the tempo of farm invasions has risen despite promises in
September to rein in the anarchy.
       ''The speed of disintegration has been dumbfounding,'' Jackson said.
       ''It is anarchy. The whole mood is 'everyone for yourself'. The
country is being stripped of everything. A few people are getting very rich
on the black market. Everybody else is sinking under debts,'' she added.
       Jackson said she and her seven colleagues at the station are being
funded by NGOs not, as the Zimbabwean government has claimed, by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change or the British Government.
       She refused to name her backers for fear of repraisals by the
Zimbabwe government.
       ''Our fundamental aim is to make Zimbabwe come right again. If
ZANU-PF starts caring for the people not stealing from them and lifts the
ban on independent broadcasters then we can go home. If they continue as
they are then so will we.
       ''Like most people we don't care who runs the country just so long as
it comes right,'' she added.

Daily News

Nigeria's Obasanjo meets Tsvangirai

1/22/02 8:40:22 AM (GMT +2)

By Conrad Nyamutata Chief Reporter

MORGAN Tsvangirai, the MDC president, this week met four West African
leaders, including Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, a peace broker in
Zimbabwe's political crisis.

Tsvangirai met Obasanjo on Sunday night soon after the Nigerian leader's
talks with President Mugabe.

It was the second time in a week that Tsvangirai met Obasanjo.
In an interview yesterday, Tsvangirai said he first met Obasanjo in Nigeria
last week to inform him of the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai later met presidents John Kufour of Ghana, Blaise Campaore of
Burkina Faso and Mathieu Kerekou of Benin in their countries during the

He said he also held talks with Alassane Quattara, the leader of the biggest
opposition party in Cote d'Ivoire.

In what has been described as a diplomatic coup, Tsvangirai said he was
well-received by all the leaders, including Obasanjo.

The meetings were held in light of what Tsvangirai described as the
deliberate misrepresentation of the situation in Zimbabwe by

On Sunday night, Obasanjo met Mugabe as a follow-up to the Abuja agreement.

He later met Tsvangirai, before flying back home in the early hours of

Tsvangirai said while the MDC had written to Obasanjo some time ago, Sunday
night's meeting was called by the Nigerian leader.

"The crucial issue is that he didn't think that my position was inimical to
the interests of Zimbabwe," said Tsvangirai, who faces Mugabe in the
presidential election on 9 and 10 March. He said Obasanjo told him Mugabe
had given him an assurance for a free and fair poll.

However, Tsvangirai said he informed him Mugabe was not adhering to his
commitments. He cited the violent disruption of an MDC rally in Bulawayo on
Sunday, a few hours before Obasanjo arrived.

"I told him that it was an example of the wanton lawlessness in this
country," he said. Tsvangirai said he pointed out to Obasanjo of the
repressive laws which Zanu PF was passing. Obasanjo said Mugabe assured him
he would abide by the rule of law.

"Obasanjo wanted to know what would happen if Mugabe lost the election. He
said Mugabe would need space and needed to be treated with dignity as a
former President. I told him I had no problems with that."

It was unclear whether it was Obasanjo or Mugabe who raised concern about
his fate under an MDC President.

Tsvangirai said Obasanjo told him he had failed to get a definite answer
from Mugabe on a meeting the Nigerian president had proposed between the MDC
leader and Mugabe.

In West Africa, Tsvangirai said he received the three leaders' assurances
that they would speak to Mugabe on the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe.

"I pointed out to our African brothers that the situation in Zimbabwe was
deteriorating, and giving them an update of the political, social and
economic situation here," said Tsvangirai. "I told them that democracy was
at stake, and that obstacles were being put in the path to

"I disclosed to them the conditions were hostile, and it was a grand plan by
Mugabe to subvert the wishes of the people. I told them of the consequences
of an unfair election."

Tsvangirai said the leaders promised they would do everything possible to
speak to Mugabe on those concerns.

He said he had undertaken the trip because Mugabe, who he says is insincere
on the land issue, had hoodwinked the world on events in Zimbabwe because he
was only concerned about his political survival.

Tsvangirai said he was dismayed that Zanu PF had established a militia under
the guise of national service. He suggested that if Mugabe is truly keen on
a free and fair election, he should allow international observers, monitors
and international media representatives into the country unconditionally.

Tsvangirai challenged Mugabe to a television debate. "This election is not
about Tsvangirai or Mugabe," he said. "Zimbabweans have to choose between
true freedom and hypocrisy. It is about the future survival of this

On his alleged call for sanctions on Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai said his remarks
had been misinterpreted. "It was all blown out of proportion," he said. "Our
position has not changed. I said that if the election was subverted either
by Mugabe or the army, the South African government should implement
measures. I have no regrets about that. In certain circumstances, sanctions
are an incentive for good behaviour."

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Four killed in Zimbabwe political violence

HARARE, Jan. 22 — Zimbabwe police said on Tuesday they were investigating
the deaths of four people in political violence over the past week as
President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party and the main opposition party
traded accusations on the murder of their supporters.
State television reported that police had arrested 29 people in the past two
days over the violence which has flared up between the two main political
parties in the run up to presidential elections set for March 9-10.
       The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said on
Tuesday four of its supporters were murdered by ruling ZANU-PF militants in
the past week -- three of them in the southern Masvingo province.
       But the ruling party rejected the charge, claiming the three dead men
found in Masvingo were ZANU-PF supporters murdered by MDC activists.
       ''I don't know about our people being involved in any murder. What I
know is that the MDC killed three of our people last week,'' said ZANU-PF
Masvingo province chairman Samuel Mumbengegwi.
       A police spokesman said they were investigating the deaths.
       ''We are looking at these cases, and until we complete our
investigations we are not apportioning any blame to any party,'' the
spokesman said.
       MDC Information Secretary Learnmore Jongwe said in a statement the
three men -- named as Richard Chatunga, Amos Mapingure and Isaac Munikwa --
were murdered by ''ZANU-PF thugs.''
       Jongwe said another man, Moffat Soko Chiwaura, 59, was allegedly
abducted by ZANU-PF youths in December and was found dead on a farm in
northeastern Zimbabwe last week.
       The MDC has accused ZANU-PF of training a private militia under the
guise of a national youth service to lead a violent campaign against the
opposition in the run-up to the elections, in which President Robert Mugabe
faces a tough challenge from MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
       ''We call upon Mugabe's regime to disband the ZANU-PF militia,''
Jongwe said.
       The accusations come after at least 20 people were hurt in street
battles between ZANU-PF and MDC supporters in Zimbabwe's second city of
Bulawayo on Sunday.
       The MDC says nearly 100 of its supporters have been killed in
political violence since February 2000 when militants led by veterans of the
1970s war against white rule began often violent seizures of white-owned
farms with government backing.

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U N I T E D  N A T I O N S
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN)

ZIMBABWE: Signs of progress - ZimRights

JOHANNESBURG, 22 January (IRIN) - There are signs that the Zimbabwean government is trying to honour commitments it made to its neighbours at the recent Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Malawi, a leading human rights activist told IRIN on Tuesday.

"We are seeing signs of the government respecting commitments it made to SADC (because) at the last meeting SADC really came down heavily," ZimRights director Bidi Munyaradzi said. He added that in spite of violence reported at an opposition rally in Bulawayo at the weekend, it seemed as though the government was moving to clamp down on violence and keep some of its promises.

The first sign of possible compliance, he said, was that the government was now willing to allow international observers into the country for the 9-10 March presidential election. Another was that a dreaded media bill drafted by minister of state for information, Jonathan Moyo, was not debated by parliament as planned on Tuesday. Munyaradzi said ZimRights had heard that the bill had been shelved indefinitely.

In addition, he said, Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo, considered by ZimRights to be "level-headed and principled", had publicly instructed the security forces to ensure law and order across the country. "The last time such instructions were issued by him to the police, there were large numbers of veterans arrested and fined. As ZimRights we respect him. We have approached him and written to him on a number of issues before," Munyaradzi said.

He said that as a result of the order, a heavy police presence was visible in Harare's high-density suburbs at the weekend. The urban areas are seen as the stronghold of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

"We are confident that if the police continue with what we saw this weekend, the violence is going to die down and stop. We are all a bit optimistic that the elections are going to be held in a free environment and in a non-violent manner," he said. In the past police have been accused of being partisan and their presence has served to further intimidate residents.

However, Munyaradzi warned: "Much of the violence, as you know, is recorded before the elections. We surely should not forget that there was a high level of violence leading up to (parliamentary) elections the last time around."

He also said there was great concern about the fact that non-governmental and human rights organisations in the country were being labelled as opposition party supporters.

The international secretariat of Amnesty International said in a statement on Monday that baseless allegations against a human rights organisation printed in Zimbabwe's state-controlled daily, The Herald, signalled "the newest phase in the government's campaign to undermine civil society".

It said that the newspaper reported on 17 and 18 January that the Amani Trust had been funding covert operations against President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF, was financially linked to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and that its assistance to victims of political violence was actually a means of carrying out torture.

"This is a contemptible twisting of facts - to describe an organisation assisting victims of torture as perpetrating torture," the statement said. "We unreservedly condemn the campaign of slander that attempts to portray Amani Trust or other human rights organisations as politically motivated and involved in political violence. We are concerned that this gives a green light to state-sponsored militia to perpetrate violence against human rights defenders."

Munyaradzi said he believed that such reports were calculated to "create a culture of fear and intimidation" within civil society.

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ZIMBABWE: Food aid working

JOHANNESBURG, 22 January (IRIN) - Food aid interventions by development agencies in Zimbabwe's hungriest regions have had a positive impact on local communities, aid workers told IRIN on Tuesday.

Robert Heywood of Christian Aid said anecdotal evidence indicated that school feeding programmes had resulted in higher attendance, alert pupils, and less fainting in class by hungry children.

Christian Aid, through its local implementing partners, provides supplementary feeding to 167 schools in Matabeleland and Masvingo. In three districts of Manicaland in the east of the country, the agency is providing under-fives with fortified porridge. The programmes have been under way since September to stave off the effects of drought and flooding that ruined last year's harvest in much of the country.

Heywood, who arrived in Harare from Matabeleland on Tuesday, told IRIN: "The children are thankful for this food. Even some from the better off households, of which there are not many, are tucking into it."

Save the Children Fund (SCF) is feeding 60,000 vulnerable people in the traditionally food-deficit Zambezi valley. A mid-December SCF nutrition assessment found that acute malnutrition in the northwestern town of Binga was "unseasonably low" as a result of the agency's food intervention, programme director Chris McIvor said.

Whereas last year a survey found that poor households were being forced to sell their assets as a desperate measure in the face of food insecurity, new evidence pointed to the stabilisation of livestock prices and larger plantings, he told IRIN.

The food aid programmes in rural Zimbabwe, funded by the British government's development arm DFID and implemented with the assistance of the local authorities, are due to end in March to coincide with the new harvest. However, there are indications that there may again be problems with this season's crop in parts of the country due to low rainfall.

In the Zambezi valley, some farmers who planted early in October/November saw their initial crop whither in the field. "Unless we get rains very quickly, they are going to lose the rest", McIvor said. "People don't have the financial resources to replant." He predicted that SCF could well be involved in an extended feeding programme in 2002.

People across Zimbabwe are already faced with shortages of the staple mealie meal. "The shelves are bare. Some intermittent supplies are coming, in but they are not sufficient and when they arrive they are almost immediately bought up," McIvor said.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has purchased about 5,200 mt of maize meal from suppliers in South Africa for distribution in February. WFP launched an appeal in December for US $60 million for food aid to feed 558,000 rural Zimbabweans considered to be at risk of hunger and starvation due to bad weather, and the economic downturn.

Development organisations are also concerned with the plight of the vulnerable urban poor, who are not yet covered by WFP's distribution plans. Latest figures put inflation at 112 percent, "but inflation on food is much higher than that. Prices are zooming up," Heywood explained.

The government has responded by promising new price controls, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday. The Minister of Industry and International Trade, Herbert Murerwa said at the weekend that his Price Monitoring and Surveillance Unit was "analysing production costs for baby foods, stock-feed inputs, fencing material, sanitary ware, tyres, haulage tariffs, drugs and packaging with a view to coming up with statutory instruments for gazetting".

Goods which are already under price controls are bread, maize meal, wheat flour, beef, pork, chicken, cooking oil, sugar, margarine, soap, salt, seeds, fertiliser, cement, stock-feed, agro-chemical prices and bricks. Since the introduction of price controls last October, a black market has blossomed, the Herald acknowledged. Manufacturers and economists have been critical of the government's measures.
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Witness statement, 21 January
What happened in Bulawayo
The MDC had informed the police that they were having a rally and on Saturday had organised a highly successful and colourful showboat (a vehicle procession with loudspeakers and music) inviting people to the meeting due to be addressed by MDC vice president Gibson Sibanda. That evening however, news filtered through to the MDC offices that Zanu PF had deployed 200 militia inside White City stadium. MDC youth who had gone to guard the venue overnight, as is normally the case, walked into the ambush and were savagely assaulted with chains, iron bars and batons. One of the youth was driven out to Solusi on the Plumtree Road and tortured, while being asked who had killed Cain Nkala. He was later brought back to the stadium where more beatings followed before he was released. The MDC has video and photographic images of the brutalized youth. In the meantime the local MDC leadership were imploring the police to do something about the invasion of the stadium. These discussions with the police went on till well after midnight.

Not everyone has a cell phone. On Sunday morning, more MDC youth made their way to the stadium from their homes to help pitch the tents and set up sound equipment. Little did they know what was in store for them. There were a few policemen at the stadium at the time and they literally escorted the MDC youth into the stadium fully aware that Mugabe’s militia were camped and waiting in the stadium. Within an hour the MDC office began to receive reports of badly injured youth stumbling out of the stadium. Vehicles were mobilised and the youth were sent for medical attention. Gibson Sibanda, along with other senior MDC officials, rushed to White City, only to find that the police had cordoned off the stadium.

By the time the Bulawayo public had begun to arrive at the venue for the 9 a.m. rally, the news had got out about the militia, and the beatings they had inflicted. The police were clearly protecting the militia and were not going to allow the rally to take place, despite the best efforts of Sibanda in his negotiations with the police. The public broke into song telling the police "Into yenza yo asi thandi" and toyi toying up and down the road facing the stadium. Predictably the police responded by sending in the heavily armed riot squad, who fired tear gas canisters at a peaceful crowd airing their grievances in song. The crowd immediately scattered, but the police went into hot pursuit mode and followed the public into the residential areas. More tear gas followed. Elderly women eking out a living selling vegetables and tomatoes were forced to flee the burning gas and could not carry their tables on their heads and flee. The scene was reminiscent of Soweto in the apartheid years, and yet SADC trusts Mugabe. In the end, thousands were teargassed, scores of MDC youth badly beaten by the militia and the rally was called off while Mugabe wined and dined with Obasanjo.

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From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 22 January

Veteran MP to rule on future of Zimbabwe press

Harare - The future of Zimbabwe's media and its chances of covering the election rests in the hands of Dr Eddison Zvobgo, 66, a veteran politician and the only man President Robert Mugabe fears. As chairman of the parliamentary legal committee through which every piece of legislation must pass, he is scheduled today to present a report on whether the press bill, which will make journalists outlaws, is constitutional. Every barrister and legal academic in Zimbabwe says key clauses in the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill are unconstitutional but it is only Zvobgo's voice which will be heard by Mugabe's inner circle. In his office, a double-storey colonial house, Dr Zvobgo looks frail and says he is under "terrible stress". He will not discuss the recent statement by the armed forces that they would not recognise the result of the election if they were won by Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader. "What I can say is that this is going to be a watershed election," he said. "The process is in place. There may be imperfections, nobody runs away from that, but let us resist the temptation of judging the election six weeks in advance."

His committee of three, two from the ruling Zanu PF and one from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, has won some notable successes in recent weeks. Two weeks ago, it managed to force amendments to the Public Order and Security Bill, which liberalised the roughest parts of the legislation. Then Dr Zvobgo, a Harvard-educated solicitor, told his colleagues on the ruling party benches that much of a draft labour bill was ultra vires, beyond its authority. The bill would have outlawed strikes and de-registered trade unions which took part in boycotts. Dr Zvobgo was dropped from Mr Mugabe's cabinet after the general election last year but remains one of the most popular MPs and was re-elected with a huge majority. He was a founder of Zanu-PF in 1963, its spokesman at Lancaster House negotiations in 1979, and a long-serving cabinet member but he will not campaign for Mr Mugabe in March's presidential elections. Mr Zvobgo may have been party to many of the worst pieces of legislation on the statute books and repeated states of emergencies in the 1980s but he has long been critical of the Zanu PF leadership.

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From The Guardian (UK), 22 January

Zimbabwe's cycle of starvation

Harare - The weary Zimbabwean farmer had been accused of a lot of things in the past couple of years, but this one was new. After armed government men burst through his gates and hauled off the last of the maize he used to feed his livestock, one of them accused him of trying to starve the country's black population. "I told them that the grain is for my stock and the men who work here and their families," said the farmer, who asked to be anonymous because he feared reprisals. "I told them that now I'll have to slaughter my pigs because I've got nothing to feed them, but they took it just the same. And why not? If you don't have enough food to feed people, then it's better to take it from the animals." With just seven weeks until the presidential election on March 9 and 10, President Robert Mugabe is all too aware that people will not vote for him on an empty stomach. The wholesale confiscation of the most productive farms has created a potentially catastrophic food shortage, and in desperation the government is seizing animal feed and any other grain it can find. This year's harvest will be the second disastrous crop in a row. And the impact of that catastrophe will fall at precisely the moment when Zimbabwe goes to the polls. By then much of the country's livestock will already have been slaughtered.

Many rural areas - notably parts of Matabeleland, Masvingo and Mashonaland - are already facing serious food shortages. In the cities, shops are bare of the cheaper basic maize, and supplies of the more expensive, refined variety are limited. Cooking oil has not been seen in many areas for weeks. The few stores that have milk, ration it. The government blames white farmers for the crisis, saying they are hoarding food to bring down Mr Mugabe. The president's critics say the situation is entirely of his making because the farm seizures by "war veterans" have left huge tracts of land fallow. The thousands of small-scale farmers Mr Mugabe said were desperate to start planting have yet to materialise. The north of the country is not untypical. Mile after mile, the land stands barren. The farmers have fled, had their supplies looted or been ordered not to plant by the armed gangs on the land. There is little incentive anyway. The "war veterans" often claim any crop as their own.

The World Food Programme and regional organisations warn that 500,000 Zimbabweans already face serious food shortages which could lead to starvation within weeks, and that grain supplies are sufficient to feed millions more only for another two months. The government says it needs 150,000 tonnes of maize immediately and a further 200,000 tonnes by April. And it will need many hundreds of thousands of tonnes more if the land remains idle. Zimbabwe's neighbours are as concerned about the consequences of a food crisis as they are about the political violence. South Africa is preparing a military base near its northern border as a refugee camp in case tens of thousands - possibly hundreds of thousands - flee what Pretoria describes as "meltdown". That is taken to mean a number of potential disasters, from starvation to civil war. The present food shortage was caused by the sharp fall in the maize harvest last year, initially because of poor rains but compounded by the farm occupations under Mr Mugabe's fast-track land redistribution plan. The 2001 harvest fell 40% short of the more than 2m tonnes of maize Zimbabwe consumes each year. This year promises to be even more serious, with the annual harvest in March and April expected to produce less than half the country's needs, according to the government's own statistics. The mostly white Commercial Farmers' Union goes further and says that large-scale farms will produce only 200,000 tonnes of maize this year - enough to feed the country for just six weeks.

On December 28, the government imposed new regulations which gave farmers, millers, packing companies and distributors a fortnight to deliver all maize and wheat to the state grain marketing board. After that, it began raiding farms to seize stocks. The GMB's manager, Justine Mutasa, has astonished much of the country by claiming that there is no shortage. "There is so much maize in the country and we may not even need to import if we manage to impound all the maize from commercial farmers," he said. The CFU's vice-president for commodities, Doug Taylor Freemen, said the accusation against the farmers was nonsense. By seizing animal feed to give to people, he said, the regime was forcing farmers to slaughter their stock. The numbers of cattle, pigs and chickens had fallen sharply. While their slaughter provides a temporary boost to the meat supply, the numbers of breeding animals has been drastically cut. And the seizures are taking food not only from animals but farm workers and their families. "The disruption of this new legislation is that it will have a domino effect on food security, namely the production of milk, eggs, chicken, pork and beef," he said.

Yesterday, the government trumpeted the seizure of 36,000 tonnes of maize from farms. But its critics say that it is merely trying to stave off the inevitable until after the presidential election. After months of denying that there was a crisis in the making, the government conceded the reality last November. It is now looking to foreign governments, through the World Food Programme, to bail it out. But donors are reluctant to give food if it is used by the ruling Zanu PF party to buy votes. "There is no way we are going to help Mugabe hang on to power by giving him the power to decide who eats and who doesn't," said a European diplomat. "He is the one who has dragged his country to the brink of starvation, and if he wants to stop it going over the edge, it has to be on our terms." After weeks of wrangling, the agreed terms include handing the distribution of food over to two foreign agencies, Care and World Vision, and a Zimbabwean Christian organisation. But the government insists that local officials are consulted during the food distribution, and it is highly likely that in rural areas they will be on hand to claim credit for the deliveries in languages that the foreign aid workers do not understand. An initial shipment of 8,500 tonnes of maize donated by the US is on its way from Tanzania and more has been pledged. Whether the supply is maintained will depend in part on whether the Zimbabwe government honours its pledge to allow food to be distributed without manipulating it for political purposes

Even after the immediate crisis passes, whoever governs the country after the presidential election faces a long haul to rebuild agriculture. Some white farmers who have seen their cattle herds slowly poached have decided to cut their losses and slaughter the lot in the hope of reaping at least some reward. As a result, according to the government's own central statistics office, the number of breeding cows fell from 508,000 three years ago to 378,000 last year. This year it is expected to fall to just 282,000. But statistics in Zimbabwe seem meaningless these days. What does it matter how many cows a farmer has, if they are competing with humans for food?

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Delay sparks speculation over Zanu-PF split

Owen Gibson
Tuesday January 22, 2002

Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe's government has postponed a parliamentary debate on President
Mugabe's controversial media bill, prompting speculation that his own party
is divided over whether the legislation should be forced through.

Debate on the bill, which would bar foreign correspondents, including the
Guardian's Andrew Meldrum, from the country and impose new penalties for
reporting that would cause "alarm and despondency", was due to begin today.

Zimbabwean justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, adjourned parliament until
tomorrow and did not say when the media bill would be brought back before
the house.

The proposed access to information and protection of privacy bill has
provoked furious criticism from media groups both in Zimbabwe and abroad.

Some of the government's supporters also feel that forcing the bill through
would reduce Mugabe's chances of victory in the upcoming election.

Daily News - Leader Page

Why the rank-and-file soldiers will defy orders to oust an elected political

1/22/02 8:16:29 AM (GMT +2)

By Michael Quintana

President Mugabe came to power following a long and bitter guerrilla war,
and 22 years later he is relying on the military to keep the keys to State
House and power.

Mugabe would be wise not to rely too heavily on the army to keep him in
power if Zimbabwe's voters want him to go.

The Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Vitalis Zvinavashe,
said recently that the military will only obey a political leader who
participated in the 1970s war of independence.

"We will . . . not accept, let alone support or salute, anyone with a
different agenda," he said, flanked by the commanders of the Army, Air
Force, Prisons and the much-feared Central Intelligence Organisation chief,
all former comrades-in-arms of Mugabe.

The statement was significant because Mugabe's main challenger in March's
presidential election is Morgan Tsvangirai, a trade union leader with broad
political support, especially among urban Zimbabweans, but a man who used
his free time when younger to further his studies rather than join the
liberation movements.

But while the military top brass are Mugabe loyalists, he cannot necessarily
count on the support of the rank-and-file.

The Zimbabwe National Army was formed at independence in 1980 by fusing the
army of white-ruled Rhodesia with the two liberation movements – Joshua
Nkomo's Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (Zipra) and
Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (Zanla).

Discontent has always simmered among former members of Zipra and the former
Rhodesian army because of Mugabe's policy of awarding the best jobs in the
new army to favoured Zanla personnel.

Before a proper integration process had even begun, Nkomo's troops rebelled
and marched on Bulawayo, in an attempted coup.

Luckily, a few hundred black and white former Rhodesian soldiers stood in
their way and, together with the air force, they managed to defeat the 5
000-strong rebellion and prevent the new state from plunging into open civil

Unsure of his grip on power, Mugabe privately commissioned the creation of
the North Korean-trained 5 Brigade, under the command of Perence Shiri, who
is now the Commander of the Air Force.

In the early 1980s, they became notorious for their cruelty when they were
deployed in the largely western areas of the country, to put down a
suspected Ndebele and Zipra insurrection against Mugabe.

Within two years these "political warriors" had laid bare an area
representing one-third of the country with a scorched-earth policy, where
thousands were killed, crops destroyed and homesteads burned. More recently,
as living standards have plummeted, urban areas have erupted into occasional
bouts of anti-government violence.

The army has been used on several occasions to stamp out the unrest and has
been accused of using excessive force.

In 1998, the army was sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in
support of Mugabe's close ally, the then President Laurent Kabila.

In the DRC, the graft, corruption, mismanagement and ill-discipline among
Zimbabwean soldiers was exposed by their involvement in diamond deals and
lucrative joint ventures.

There have also been many reported discipline problems among the soldiers,
with secret court-martials for those unhappy at being sent to the Congo

Since 1993, pay and living arrangements have deteriorated, with up to 40
percent of personnel having to live outside barracks because of a lack of
proper accommodation and funds to feed them.

Pay of all security forces was doubled from the start of this year, though
some soldiers may see through this attempt to buy their loyalty ahead of the
presidential election.

If the military commanders did order their troops to move against a
political leader who they did not approve of, many of those soldiers without
decent accommodation, or who still bear a grudge from the divisions of the
war of independence, would be reluctant to obey.

Equally, if Mugabe tried to rig the election results, this would quite
likely lead to widespread unrest in the urban areas, where support for his
opponent, Tsvangirai, is overwhelming.

Mugabe would be wise not to rely too heavily on the army to keep him in
power if Zimbabwe's voters want him to go.

*Michael Quintana is the editor of the Africa Defence Journal

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Mugabe response on EU sanctions "inadequate" says Glenys Kinnock

Welsh Labour MEP Glenys Kinnock today described the four page formal
response from President Mugabe to the first round of EU-Zimbabwe
consultations on sanctions as "totally inadequate."

"This four page letter is further evidence of the fact that the Government
of Zimbabwe has no intention of meeting the two most important criteria.
They have failed to understand that violence and intimidation must end and
that a timescale for the entry of election observers should have been
clearly given," she said.

"It is clear that they think a 'snap shot' on the day will suffice when in
fact lengthy preparations are needed and as well as supervision on March
9/10th there needs to be a strong international presence at the count."

"As expected, the Government of President Mugabe has responded to the
deadline set at the first round of the Zimbabwe-EU consultations on 11th
January with the usual mantras about not being culpable on any of the issues
raises by the EU."

She continued: "It is clear that they simply do not understand the
international values and principles which the EU is seeking to apply in the
interests of stopping the violence and repression in Zimbabwe, and working
to ensure that the Presidential election in March can be fairly contested."

"The letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Harare denies that there
is any problem with the rule of law. Yet this very weekend a peaceful
opposition rally was broken up with tear gas, and it is claimed that
hundreds of Zanu-PF youth militias were instrumental in the attack. All of
this happened just hours before an official visit by Nigeria's President,
who is urging the EU to "give peace a chance."

"Claims that the UK is providing funds for the opposition party, the
Movement for Democratic Change, are a complete fantasy, and has been
thoroughly rebutted in Harare by the British High Commission."

"President Mugabe is clearly rattled by the existence of independent
short-wave radio stations which continue to broadcast news and views which
clearly do not meet with the approval of Zanu-PF. The Government is clearly
trying to impose a complete broadcasting ban. He simply does not understand
what freedom of expression means, and therefore believes that the UK in
particular should, "desist from provocative and hostile activity".

"These radio stations do not contravene British law and muster their own
resources and receive nothing from UK Authorities or the BBC."

"Two meetings take place in Brussels this week to prepare for the General
Affairs Council of EU Foreign Ministers on 28th January 2002. It is now
clearer than ever that there is no alternative to the immediate imposition
of smart sanctions, and serious consideration of the implications of this
response from Harare on the EU's partnership with the Government under the
Cotonou Agreement."

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Zanu-PF Cadres Pounce On Zambians in Victoria Falls
The Post (Lusaka)

January 22, 2002
Posted to the web January 22, 2002

Mduduzi Mathuthu

ZANU-PF cadres last Tuesday stopped Zambian cross-border traders in Victoria
Falls and confiscated their goods, accusing them of contributing to food
shortages and escalating prices of basic commodities in the resort town.

Police later raided a warehouse believed to belong to the National Railways
of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and seized goods, including maize-meal and sugar, on
suspicion that the supplies were stolen.

Victoria Falls was last week reported to have run out of maize-meal and a
wide range of basic commodities, including sugar. The shortage reportedly
incensed Zanu PF supporters, who marched to a warehouse where the Zambians
store their goods overnight before clearance at the border.

"They looted goods worth thousands of dollars," said David Mulenga, a
Zambian cross-border trader. "They did not beat us up but they kept
threatening and accusing us of trying to sabotage Zanu PF."

A Matabeleland North province police spokesman Inspector Alfred Zvenyika
said investigations were under way. He said, acting on information, the
police raided the NRZ facility and recovered beer cans, maize-meal bags and
large amounts of sugar.

"We acted on a tip-off from the public," said Inspector Zvenyika. "Some of
these people you say had their goods looted are smugglers and what they are
doing is unlawful."

According to Zimbabwean law, the export of basic foodstuffs is banned. But
smugglers have sprouted along the borders, particularly along the
Mutare-Mozambican border and the Victoria Falls-Zambian border.

The government's introduction of price controls on basic commodities late
last year has triggered serious shortages because manufacturers have no
capacity to continue producing goods at a loss or for thin profit margins.

Maize stocks have seriously dwindled and there are severe food shortages in
the south-western parts of the country. The government is planning to import
maize to avert starvation.

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Leon Wants International Mediation

Business Day (Johannesburg)

January 22, 2002
Posted to the web January 22, 2002

Simphiwe Xako

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Tony Leon has dismissed the African National
Congress's (ANC's) quiet diplomacy on Zimbabwe as "business as usual and the
politics of the powder puff".

Leon who has asked the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to
conditionally suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth because of human rights
violations said yesterday that the disruption of a Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) rally by the Zimbabwean police was reason enough for
international mediation in the country's upcoming elections.

He urged the Commonwealth to send poll monitors to Zimbabwe quickly and
impose sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and his cabinet including
banning foreign travel and freezing foreign bank accounts.

Leon said: "On the best available evidence, it appears that the actions,
statements and laws passed by the Zimbabwe government in the past four
months have violated almost all of the internationally recognised criteria
for a free and fair election."

Leon was confident that Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth would
put pressure on Mugabe's government to accept the national election result,
which might mean a new president and new government.

The Commonwealth had suspended only military regimes, but proposed it should
be able to act earlier on major violations of democratic values like serious
political intimidation and poll rigging.

Leon said: "Now threats by the Zimbabwe military that it will not accept an
opposition victory in this election should be grounds enough to justify
Commonwealth action in order to pre-empt the possibility of a military

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Pretoria Seen as Linking West And Third World

Business Day (Johannesburg)

January 22, 2002
Posted to the web January 22, 2002

Jonathan Katzenellenbogen

GERMANY is increasingly courting SA on the diplomatic front, but also
delivering a strong message about Zimbabwe.

This week's three-day state visit by German President Johannes Rau will be
followed shortly by another one of a high-level political delegation.

The position of president in Germany is a nonexecutive one, but the visit is
a demonstration that Germany has its mind on foreign policy matters beyond
the global coalition against terrorism and European matters.

German diplomats are stressing the psychological importance of the visit as
a means to demonstrate its commitment to its relationship with SA. The
importance of the relationship for Germany lies in the trade relationship,
but also in what one German diplomat calls "SA's stabilising role in

Germany accounts for a little more than 12% of SA trade, which places it in
the third slot after the UK and the US.

In the nine months to October last year, German imports by SA were above
that of any other country, and it ranked fourth as an export market for SA.

In terms of bricks-and-mortar investment in new plant and equipment, Germany
has ranked first or second in most years, largely because of the substantial
presence of its car manufacturers.

BMW recently said that it was about to invest R2,5bn in an expansion to its
Rosslyn facility near Pretoria to meet an export order for its 3-Series

Another reason Germany might be keen to woo SA is because it will be
supplying the corvettes and submarines as part of the new arms package.

To underscore the close commercial relationship Rau will be attending the
50th anniversary celebration banquet of the Southern African-German Chamber
of Commerce.

Also included in his full schedule are visits to various German aid projects
a builders' training centre in Soweto, an HIV/AIDS counselling project in
Mpumalanga, and the Southern Africa Wildlife College near the Kruger Park.

For SA the visit at one level means an assurance to German companies in SA
which could help stimulate further interest in investment.

It is also a means for SA to push the New Partnership for Africa's
Development, which the G-8 (group of eight advanced industrial nations) is
expected to support at the G-8 summit meeting to be held in Canada in June.

Much as the visit may be symbolic rather than one for delivering pointed
diplomatic messages, Rau did deliver one of concern about Zimbabwe after his
meeting with President Thabo Mbeki in Pretoria yesterday. Coming as it did
from Rau, an honorary member of the African National Congress, it might well
have received a special hearing in Pretoria.

After his meeting with Mbeki, Rau said that developments in Zimbabwe posed
"a threat to the African continent as a whole". He declined to elaborate on
the sanctions against Zimbabwe being considered by the European Union.

Rau's visit comes at a time when Germany is taking on more of a global role,
throwing off its post-war reticence at global commitments of military power.

German troops are serving a peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and recently have
been involved in Afghanistan, while German naval vessels are performing
picket duty in the Indian Ocean to capture fleeing Al-Qaeda operatives.

Its relationship with SA with its widely viewed role as a link between the
west and the third world cannot but be important for Germany in its new and
emerging global role.

Mbeki to do all he can for fair Zimbabwe poll


German, Nigerian presidents express concern

AS ZIMBABWE's parliament prepared yesterday to pass another piece of
repressive legislation ahead of March presidential elections, President
Thabo Mbeki and the African National Congress (ANC) expressed their
increasing concern over the situation in Zimbabwe, but also their
willingness to do anything in their power to ensure a free and fair poll.

After a meeting with visiting German President Johannes Rau, at which
Zimbabwe was high on the agenda, Mbeki said: "The instability has gone on
far too long. The levels of poverty and conflict are increasing, and if you
add to that a fraudulent election, it has to be avoided."

Southern African leaders should do all they could to help Zimbabweans ensure
their presidential election in March was free and fair. "The critical
challenge is to do whatever needs to be done to make sure you have free and
fair elections. We, this region, must do everything to assist the people of
Zimbabwe." He did not elaborate, but called for peace ahead of the March
9-10 election.

Rau, on a four-day visit to SA, said Zimbabwe had topped his talks with
Mbeki, and expressed his concern about the lack of regard in Zimbabwe for
individual rights and the rule of law. "They are very much threatened, and I
think that in itself poses a threat to the African continent as a whole," he

Reporting back after a weekend meeting of the ANC's national executive
committee, ANC secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe suggested a unity
government might be needed in Zimbabwe as there was likely to be a small
difference between the number of votes received by each candidate.

President Robert Mugabe's 22-year rule is being challenged by Morgan
Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

"Of course we are aware that what separates Zanu (PF) and the MDC, in terms
of electoral support, is marginal and tensions are bound to arise unless the
two engage with one another. They are separated by a very marginal
percentage of 7%," Motlanthe said.

The fact that whichever party won the election would do so by a very narrow
margin should make them realise the importance of working together.

"They have made those commitments, that they work with one another, but of
course in practical terms they have not yet arrived at that point."

The ANC would continue to persuade them to interact "as a matter of urgency"
as a way of reducing tension. "To date they have been engaging through third
parties, which is not helpful."

Mbeki's and Motlanthe's comments came as Nigerian President Olusegun
Obasanjo warned during a visit to Zimbabwe that a deal he brokered in Abuja,
Nigeria last year to stop violent land grabs risked collapse. "Parties to
the Abuja Agreement should work towards ensuring the agreement does not
become a dead letter and make it work," state-run radio reported Obasanjo as

Farmers and critics say Mugabe has largely ignored the deal under which
Harare agreed to end the invasions in return for financial help from former
colonial power Britain for a fair and orderly land reform programme.

Nigerian officials said talks with Mugabe also included Zimbabwe's
controversial media bill, due to be debated in parliament today, which bans
foreigners from working as journalists in Zimbabwe.

More reports: Pages 2, 4Comment: Page 7

Jan 22 2002 12:00:00:000AM Pule Molebeledi and Reuters Business Day 1st

22 January 2002

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Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 11:38 GMT
Grain shortages bite in Zimbabwe
Sign warning intruders off a farm claimed by so-called 'war veterans'
Off limits: Farm takeovers have slashed grain output
Zimbabwe's grain shortages are approaching critical levels despite government attempts to import from neighbouring countries, the state broadcaster has reported.

Mealie meal - the maize-derived staple in southern Africa - has been hard to come by for as much as two weeks, sources in Zimbabwe say.

The government have pretty much mismanaged the tendering process

Harare-based economist
The wholesale land seizures of white-owned farms over the past few years has slashed commercial maize production, while the shifting of black workers off those farms has left families going hungry.

State media are reporting that the first 2,000 tonnes of a 150,000 tonne maize tender are due to arrive from South Africa on Wednesday, to replenish reserves which the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said were at "critical" levels.

But the rest of the tender has yet to be made public.

Nowhere to turn

According to local experts, the only country in southern Africa with a grain surplus - and a narrow one at that - is South Africa.

"The [Zimbabwean] government have pretty much mismanaged the tendering process," one Harare-based economist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told BBC News Online.

For months they denied there was a need to import, and by the time the government changed its tune most of it was allocated

Harare-based economist

"There's very little on the way. For months they denied there was a need to import, and by the time the government changed its tune most of it was allocated.

"There's not much more than a week or two's supply left."

Even if the government can source more supplies, there is little foreign currency to buy it and too little transport and fuel to distribute it to the areas it is most needed, he said.

Making up the shortfall

The government now says it needs about 600,000 tonnes to make up for domestic output which fell to 1.48 million tonnes in 2000-01, from 2.04 million tonnes the previous season.

The UN's World Food Programme is appealing for $60m to help feed nearly 600,000 people in the countryside officially at risk of starvation.

And, with unemployment at 60%, inflation at 112% and three in four Zimbabweans living in poverty, the situation is thought unlikely to improve in the near future.

According to the state-owned Daily Herald newspaper, the government has seized 36,000 tonnes of maize from commercial farms who were refusing to hand it over to the Grain Marketing Board.

The GMB is now Zimbabwe's monopoly supplier.

More than 6,000 tonnes was seized from a German-owned farm, the paper said, despite efforts from German embassy staff to stop the process.

But sources in Zimbabwe said the maize being impounded was yellow maize mostly destined for animal feed, and rarely used for human consumption.

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Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 15:49 GMT
Zimbabwe media law again delayed
Zimbabwe parliament
The text is one of four controversial bills
Zimbabwe's parliament adjourns until Wednesday without holding a long-awaited debate on a controversial media bill, which critics say is part of President Mugabe's drive to silence opposition to his bid for re-election in March.

Under the controversial proposals, foreign journalists would not be allowed to be based in Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe promised free and fair elections
All local media organisations would have to apply for annual government licences or face two years in prison. Reports deemed to cause alarm and despondency would be forbidden.

The bill is one of several pieces of legislation which analysts say are key to Mr Mugabe's campaign to win the 9-10 March presidential elections, when he is likely to face a strong challenge from the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change.

The proposed legislation has been criticised by foreign governments and media organisations. Zimbabwean journalists have vowed to carry out protests.

Watered down

Parliament was expected to pass the bill last week, but Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa delayed its introduction, saying the government was considering several amendments.

However, our correspondent says the changes made are insignificant.

A senior government official told the Reuters news agency that the bill would be pushed through because it was "crucial to restoring law and order in a media industry thriving on hate journalism, and abuse of journalistic privileges".

Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party summoned its 93 members of parliament to a pre-debate meeting, apparently to secure their majority in the 150-seat chamber, Reuters reported.

Last week, parliament passed laws giving the police powers to break up demonstrations and banning non-government election monitors.

The delays in parliament last week came amid international condemnation of the new laws and threats of sanctions from Britain, the European Union and the United States.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he was "acutely concerned" about moves to curb press freedom and political parties in Zimbabwe and urged the government to respect the rule of law.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson also expressed concern. "There is a real human rights crisis in Zimbabwe and action must be taken now," she said.


Zimbabwean parliament looks at tough media bill
January 21, 2002 Posted: 9:15 PM EST (0215 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- Zimbabwe's parliament on Tuesday considers a
media bill which critics say is part of President Robert Mugabe's drive to
silence opposition in his bid for re-election in March.

Zimbabwean media groups petitioned the government and parliament on Monday
to throw out the bill, which bans foreign nationals from working in the
country as foreign correspondents and threatens jail and heavy fines for
journalists who break tough new regulations.

A senior government official said at the weekend the Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Bill was going to be pushed through because it was
"crucial to restoring law and order in a media industry thriving on hate
journalism, and abuse of journalistic privileges."

The government temporarily withdrew the bill from parliament last Wednesday
to accommodate "some reasonable" amendments, but one senior official
dismissed speculation that there would be major changes after an outcry from
Zimbabwean journalists and from Western countries and international

"I think anyone who thinks the spirit and general thrust of the bill is
going to be abandoned to serve foreign interests is engaged in an exercise
of grand self-deception," he said.

"This bill is alarming in the manner in which it heavily restricts
individuals and journalists accessing information and the unfettered
discretion it confers on the minister in charge of the Act," they said in
their petition.

The petition was sponsored by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, the
Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe, the Federation of African
Media Women in Zimbabwe, the National Association of Freelance Journalists,
the Foreign Correspondents Association of Zimbabwe, the Media Monitoring
Project of Zimbabwe and the Media Institute of Southern Africa.

Under the bill, journalists may only work in Zimbabwe under a one-year
renewable accreditation from a government-appointed media commission, which
also has powers to license and de-register media houses.

It stipulates two-year jail terms for journalists who break the rules, which
range from forbidding the publication of stories that cause "alarm and
despondency under the guise of authentic reports" to banning the publication
of recommendations of a public body or an official made to the president.

By outlawing cartoons and satirical columns against the president,
journalists say it effectively bans criticism of Mugabe and undermines press

"The provisions in the media bill are anathema to the democratic process and
invest absolute and autocratic authority in the person of the minister (of
information)," the media groups added.

They said Mugabe's government should instead revert to its old system of
procedurally accrediting all journalists, use existing defamation and state
security laws to protect the public and critical government information and
use current company registration laws to govern media investments.

The media groups said the attempt to ban foreign nationals from working in
Zimbabwe as foreign correspondents contravened international conventions.

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Daily News

Soldiers impose curfew in Zaka

1/22/02 9:02:48 AM (GMT +2)

From Energy Bara in Masvingo

Heavily armed soldiers have been deployed in the Zaka and Bikita districts
of Masvingo and a 12-hour curfew imposed in Zaka to quell political violence
that has so far claimed five lives.

Gatherings of more than 12 people have been banned.

Zaka villagers said yesterday they had been ordered by the soldiers, based
at Jerera growth point, to remain in-doors from 6pm to 6am.

Clever Mudzimu, a villager, said yesterday: "We have been advised we risk
being shot by the soldiers if we move around after 6pm. The measures seem to
be working because since the arrival of the army over the weekend, no
violent clashes have been reported."

Inspector Simon Mbedzi, the Masvingo police spokesman, said divulging the
strategy put in place to curb violence would compromise their operations.

The MDC yesterday claimed seven of its supporters had been killed and scores
had disappeared in Zaka during the last three weeks.

Among those killed are Atnos Mapingure, 60, and Isaac Munikwa, 54, whose
bodies were found near Jerera and Chivamba business centres, respectively.

"Mapingure was killed and buried in a shallow grave without the knowledge of
his relatives," said an MDC official. "The bodies of three other victims are
at Ndanga and St Anthony's hospital mortuaries, but their relatives are too
scared to go and claim them."

Meanwhile, about 31 MDC supporters detained by the police in connection with
the murder of Gibson Masarira, a Zanu PF activist, were released yesterday
without being charged.

An MDC official said the party would sue the Minister of Home Affairs, John
Nkomo, and the Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, for illegal arrest.

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Jersey warns banks about Mugabe funds
By Andrew Cave, Associate City Editor  (Filed: 22/01/2002)

JERSEY yesterday became the first offshore centre to warn banks and
financial services businesses to be on the alert for funds deposited by
members of Robert Mugabe's government in Zimbabwe.

The Jersey Financial Services Commission issued a notice stating the names
of Mr Mugabe, his wife Grace and 23 ministers and associates of his regime.

Its action came a week after it emerged that the US and Britain have begun
investigating the overseas assets of Mr Mugabe and his associates in
readiness for possible sanctions against Zimbabwe.

The commission, which regulates Jersey's 70 banks, 30 fund administrators,
250 trust company businesses and 150 investment firms, said it had "no
reason to suppose" that Jersey was being used by the Mugabe government.

But it added: "Nevertheless, regulated institutions should review their
files to determine whether or not they have any connection with any of the
named individuals.

"They will then wish to satisfy themselves that they know the customers
concerned (including proper knowledge of the source of funds) and have taken
any appropriate action to address any reputational risks that may arise."

It said any financial institution that suspects the legitimacy of funds held
by the people listed should "review its relationship with that customer" and
make a suspicious transaction report to the island's Financial Crimes Unit.

Richard Pratt, director-general of the commission, said: "We do receive a
fair amount of business from Africa and we make no allegations about
President Mugabe or his associates.

"Given the action of the US and the UK in identifying assets, this is a live
issue which we think our regulated institutions and authorised
intermediaries should be aware of."

The Jersey regulator, whose role is similar to Britain's Financial Services
Authority, oversees a financial offshore centre with Ł350 billion of
deposited assets.

It is proud of its regulatory regime, which is ranked alongside that of
Switzerland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Guernsey and the Isle of Man by the
Financial Stability Forum of the Group of Seven industrialised nations.

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Daily News

Building societies awash with mortgage cash

1/22/02 8:50:30 AM (GMT +2)

By Ngoni Chanakira Business Editor

SOME building societies are awash with mortgage cash and continue to
maintain their rates, while others have hiked them in a bid to control
excessive borrowings.

This comes at a time when customers are failing to repay outstanding loans
which continue to increase with interest.

Property market analysts yesterday said the decision to increase rates could
become prevalent throughout the industry soon.

The Central African Building Society (Cabs) said it would increase mortgage
rates for its customers as from 1 February.

The country's largest building society said the move was in accordance with
condition "29 or 30 of the schedule to mortgage bonds".

The schedule deals with various amounts paid by customers depending on the
type of mortgage category applied for.

Cabs said for commercial and industrial loans it would increase the rate
from 32,75 percent to 35 percent; for non-trading companies, non-owner
occupied residential properties, charitable organisations and schools, the
society was increasing its rates from 26,35 percent to 30 percent.

Customers in the low-density owner-occupied residential properties where the
loan amounts exceed $100 000 had gone up from 19,85 to 23,75 percent.

This category also includes high-density owner-occupied residential
properties where the loan amounts exceed $100 000.

Cabs said the high-density owner occupied residential properties where the
loan amount does not exceed $100 000 would now go up from 14,25 percent to
16,75 percent.

The First National Building Society (FNB) yesterday said its rates would
remain at 37,5 percent.

An official said: "At the moment we are not giving out any loans. We,
however, hope to begin doing so in March."

The Intermarket Building Society, formerly known as Founders, is charging 21
percent for its loans.

An official said: "Indeed we are still giving out loans to customers".
Beverley Building Society (Beverley) said for its owner-occupied properties
it was charging 21 percent, while for its rented properties it was charging
26 percent.

An official said: "We do have a lot of money at the moment."

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has admitted that because of high
inflation individuals could not save enough for major projects including
building activities.

The RBZ said the country's macro-economic imbalances had been manifested in
high inflation, which had eroded incomes and the value of savings.

It said in a high-inflation environment more resources were being channeled
towards non-productive and speculative activities.

John Spicer, a leading estate agent, said the property market was quite
inactive because investors were now viewing, taking a back seat.

Spicer said while there was still the belief that investors living abroad
continued to dominate the market because of their access to foreign
currency, they were now "borrowing to buy instead".

Building societies have in the past stopped mortgage loans for individuals,
citing the country's poor macro-economic and political environment.

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