Mugabe's allies revolt over press freedom law
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
The delay came after many MPs in the Zimbabwe African
Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), the ruling party, broke ranks by
they were opposed to Mr Mugabe's Access to Information and Protection
Privacy Bill, whose restrictive clauses have sparked worldwide
The Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, had promised that the
Bill would be
approved, but yesterday he suddenly adjourned parliament
when the measures would be considered next.
was immediate speculation that Mr Mugabe might bow to international
and that the Bill might be permanently shelved. But analysts
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
legislation passed by Zimbabwe's parliament before the
A Zanu-PF legislator who attended the caucus meeting said:
"We are sick and
tired of being used to pass repressive laws aimed at
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
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.
MPs said that despite some 36 amendmentsthe Bill was still too
and differed little from the one they had rejected.
Continuing Human Rights Abuse in Harare
Accra Mail (Accra)
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
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
relief for Zimbabweans, particularly in rural areas and
who are now suffering from hunger and the collapse of
5. An allocation of funding by the British Government, in a
escrow account, to be held pending a just and equitable land
6. A plan by Commonwealth leaders to meet the
different scenarios which may
follow the March presidential
As the premier non-governmental coalition in the Commonwealth
uphold and promote human rights, the Commonwealth Human Rights
stands ready to assist the people of Zimbabwe and other
partners in the task of rebuilding Zimbabwe.
Margaret Reynolds, Chair, Advisory Commission - Canberra; Richard
Chair, Trustee Committee - London, Maja Daruwala, Director -
Supported by: Commonwealth Journalists Association,
Commonwealth Trade Union
Council, Commonwealth Lawyers Association,
Commonwealth Legal Education
Association, Commonwealth Medical Association,
Association, Commonwealth Press Union.
Police subject new teachers to rigorous vetting
9:05:08 AM (GMT +2)
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
This screening activity, which is understood to also be under
way in other
parts of the country, is being interpreted by some observers as
exercise to scrutinise teachers who are suspected to be members
sympathisers of opposition political parties.
But both police and
senior education officials in Mutare immediately
They said in separate interviews that the procedure was
designed to "weed
out" criminal elements from the public
Prospective teachers seeking employment, both qualified and
last week being vetted by officers from the police's Criminal
Department (CID) before they could be approved for recruitment
In Mutare, about 200 qualified and temporary teachers
were posted to various
stations in the district after they were checked
Some of the qualified and untrained teachers complained that
unprecedented move was largely aimed at identifying those who have
participated in either political violence or public demonstrations
"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
But Francis Mubvuta, the police provincial spokesperson, said the
prospective full-time and temporary teachers was a Public Service
(PSC) requirement designed to ensure that they do not employ
His suggestions were backed by some senior education
The officials however, admitted that the exercise was being
carried out for
the first time on teachers, although previously it was
individuals seeking to be promoted to headmastership or to other
"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
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.
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,
Wilson Kumbula, the leader of Zanu and Shakespeare Maya, of the
Alliance for Good Governance are also eyeing the
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
their workplaces for allegedly backing the
Didymus Mutasa, a top Zanu PF official, has been on record
teachers for their alleged support of the MDC.
COMMERCIAL FARMERS' UNION
Farm Invasions And Security
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.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
no report received.
MASHONALAND WEST (NORTH)
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
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!!!
MASHONALAND WEST (SOUTH)
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
said The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) toes the
independent radio is effectively banned and the independent
print media faces
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
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.
London-based station, which buys line time from
broadcasters, has angered President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU-PF government which
has accused the British government -- the
former colonial power -- of
It is a charge station manager Gerry Jackson, who arrived
with her multi-ethnic team in mid-November, rejects.
''We are not aligned to any political party. All we want is to see
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
Zimbabwe time (1600 and 1900 GMT) on December 19, has no reporters
ground. Jackson says it would be too dangerous.
Instead it relies on
e-mails and phone calls from contacts in the
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
being stripped of everything. A few people are getting very rich
on the black
market. Everybody else is sinking under debts,'' she added.
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
fundamental aim is to make Zimbabwe come right again. If
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
''Like most people we don't care who runs the country just so long
it comes right,'' she added.
Nigeria's Obasanjo meets Tsvangirai
1/22/02 8:40:22 AM
By Conrad Nyamutata Chief Reporter
the MDC president, this week met four West African
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, a peace broker in
Tsvangirai met Obasanjo on Sunday night soon after the Nigerian
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
In what has been described as a diplomatic coup, Tsvangirai
said he was
well-received by all the leaders, including Obasanjo.
meetings were held in light of what Tsvangirai described as the
misrepresentation of the situation in Zimbabwe by
night, Obasanjo met Mugabe as a follow-up to the Abuja agreement.
later met Tsvangirai, before flying back home in the early hours
Tsvangirai said while the MDC had written to Obasanjo
some time ago, Sunday
night's meeting was called by the Nigerian
"The crucial issue is that he didn't think that my position was
the interests of Zimbabwe," said Tsvangirai, who faces Mugabe in
presidential election on 9 and 10 March. He said Obasanjo told him
had given him an assurance for a free and fair poll.
Tsvangirai said he informed him Mugabe was not adhering to his
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.
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
Tsvangirai said Obasanjo told him he had failed to get a
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
Tsvangirai said the leaders promised they would do everything
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
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.
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
alleged call for sanctions on Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai said his remarks
misinterpreted. "It was all blown out of proportion," he said. "Our
has not changed. I said that if the election was subverted either
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."
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
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
Tuesday four of its supporters were murdered by ruling ZANU-PF
the past week -- three of them in the southern Masvingo
But the ruling party rejected the charge, claiming the three
found in Masvingo were ZANU-PF supporters murdered by MDC
''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,''
Masvingo province chairman Samuel Mumbengegwi.
police spokesman said they were investigating the deaths.
looking at these cases, and until we complete our
investigations we are not
apportioning any blame to any party,'' the
Information Secretary Learnmore Jongwe said in a statement the
three men --
named as Richard Chatunga, Amos Mapingure and Isaac Munikwa --
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,''
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.
says nearly 100 of its supporters have been killed in
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
U N I T E D N A T I O N S
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Integrated Regional Information Network
ZIMBABWE: Signs of progress - ZimRights
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
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
"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
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
"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
Munyaradzi said he believed that such reports were
calculated to "create a culture of fear and intimidation" within civil
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
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.
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
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."
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Witness statement, 21
What happened in
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.
From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 22
Veteran MP to rule on future of
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.
From The Guardian (UK), 22
Zimbabwe's cycle of
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?
Delay sparks speculation over Zanu-PF split
Tuesday January 22, 2002
government has postponed a parliamentary debate on President
controversial media bill, prompting speculation that his own party
over whether the legislation should be forced through.
Debate on the
bill, which would bar foreign correspondents, including the
Meldrum, from the country and impose new penalties for
reporting that would
cause "alarm and despondency", was due to begin today.
minister, Patrick Chinamasa, adjourned parliament until
tomorrow and did not
say when the media bill would be brought back before
proposed access to information and protection of privacy bill has
furious criticism from media groups both in Zimbabwe and abroad.
the government's supporters also feel that forcing the bill through
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
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.
would be wise not to rely too heavily on the army to keep him in
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
"We will . . . not accept, let alone support or salute,
anyone with a
different agenda," he said, flanked by the commanders of the
Force, Prisons and the much-feared Central Intelligence
all former comrades-in-arms of Mugabe.
statement was significant because Mugabe's main challenger in
presidential election is Morgan Tsvangirai, a trade union leader with
political support, especially among urban Zimbabweans, but a man who
his free time when younger to further his studies rather than join
But while the military top brass are Mugabe
loyalists, he cannot necessarily
count on the support of the
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)
Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army
Discontent has always simmered among former members of Zipra and
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
In the early 1980s, they became notorious for their cruelty
when they were
deployed in the largely western areas of the country, to put
suspected Ndebele and Zipra insurrection against Mugabe.
two years these "political warriors" had laid bare an area
one-third of the country with a scorched-earth policy, where
killed, crops destroyed and homesteads burned. More recently,
standards have plummeted, urban areas have erupted into occasional
The army has been used on several occasions to
stamp out the unrest and has
been accused of using excessive force.
1998, the army was sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in
of Mugabe's close ally, the then President Laurent Kabila.
In the DRC,
the graft, corruption, mismanagement and ill-discipline among
soldiers was exposed by their involvement in diamond deals and
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
Pay of all security forces was doubled from the start of this year,
some soldiers may see through this attempt to buy their loyalty ahead
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
Equally, if Mugabe tried to rig the election results, this would
likely lead to widespread unrest in the urban areas, where support for
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
Mugabe response on EU sanctions "inadequate" says Glenys
Welsh Labour MEP Glenys Kinnock today described the
four page formal
response from President Mugabe to the first round of
consultations on sanctions as "totally inadequate."
four page letter is further evidence of the fact that the Government
Zimbabwe has no intention of meeting the two most important criteria.
have failed to understand that violence and intimidation must end and
timescale for the entry of election observers should have been
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
"Claims that the UK is providing funds for the opposition party,
Movement for Democratic Change, are a complete fantasy, and has
thoroughly rebutted in Harare by the British High
"President Mugabe is clearly rattled by the existence of
short-wave radio stations which continue to broadcast news and
clearly do not meet with the approval of Zanu-PF. The Government
trying to impose a complete broadcasting ban. He simply does not
what freedom of expression means, and therefore believes that the
particular should, "desist from provocative and hostile
"These radio stations do not contravene British law and muster
resources and receive nothing from UK Authorities or the
"Two meetings take place in Brussels this week to prepare for the
Affairs Council of EU Foreign Ministers on 28th January 2002. It is
clearer than ever that there is no alternative to the immediate
of smart sanctions, and serious consideration of the implications
response from Harare on the EU's partnership with the Government
Zanu-PF Cadres Pounce On Zambians in Victoria Falls
January 22, 2002
Posted to the web January 22,
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
Victoria Falls was last week reported to have run out of
maize-meal and a
wide range of basic commodities, including sugar. The
incensed Zanu PF supporters, who marched to a warehouse
where the Zambians
store their goods overnight before clearance at the
"They looted goods worth thousands of dollars," said David
Zambian cross-border trader. "They did not beat us up but they
threatening and accusing us of trying to sabotage Zanu PF."
Matabeleland North province police spokesman Inspector Alfred Zvenyika
investigations were under way. He said, acting on information, the
raided the NRZ facility and recovered beer cans, maize-meal bags and
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
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.
Leon Wants International Mediation
January 22, 2002
Posted to the web January 22,
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
Leon who has asked the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group
conditionally suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth because of human
violations said yesterday that the disruption of a Movement for
Change (MDC) rally by the Zimbabwean police was reason enough
international mediation in the country's upcoming elections.
urged the Commonwealth to send poll monitors to Zimbabwe quickly and
sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and his cabinet including
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
Leon was confident that Zimbabwe's suspension from the
put pressure on Mugabe's government to accept the national
which might mean a new president and new
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.
said: "Now threats by the Zimbabwe military that it will not accept
opposition victory in this election should be grounds enough to
Commonwealth action in order to pre-empt the possibility of a
Pretoria Seen as Linking West And Third World
January 22, 2002
Posted to the web January 22,
GERMANY is increasingly
courting SA on the diplomatic front, but also
delivering a strong message
This week's three-day state visit by German President
Johannes Rau will be
followed shortly by another one of a high-level
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
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
In the nine months to October last year, German imports by SA were
that of any other country, and it ranked fourth as an export market for
In terms of bricks-and-mortar investment in new plant and equipment,
has ranked first or second in most years, largely because of the
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
reason Germany might be keen to woo SA is because it will be
corvettes and submarines as part of the new arms package.
the close commercial relationship Rau will be attending the
celebration banquet of the Southern African-German Chamber
Also included in his full schedule are visits to various German
a builders' training centre in Soweto, an HIV/AIDS counselling
Mpumalanga, and the Southern Africa Wildlife College near the
For SA the visit at one level means an assurance to German
companies in SA
which could help stimulate further interest in
It is also a means for SA to push the New Partnership for
Development, which the G-8 (group of eight advanced industrial
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
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
After his meeting with Mbeki, Rau said that developments in
"a threat to the African continent as a whole". He declined to
the sanctions against Zimbabwe being considered by the European
Rau's visit comes at a time when Germany is taking on more of a
throwing off its post-war reticence at global commitments of
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
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
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
Southern African leaders should do all they could to help
their presidential election in March was free and fair.
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
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
President Robert Mugabe's 22-year rule is being
challenged by Morgan
Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic
"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
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
Mbeki's and Motlanthe's comments came as Nigerian President
Obasanjo warned during a visit to Zimbabwe that a deal he brokered
Nigeria last year to stop violent land grabs risked collapse.
the Abuja Agreement should work towards ensuring the agreement
become a dead letter and make it work," state-run radio reported
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
Nigerian officials said talks with Mugabe also included
controversial media bill, due to be debated in parliament today,
foreigners from working as journalists in Zimbabwe.
reports: Pages 2, 4Comment: Page 7
Jan 22 2002 12:00:00:000AM Pule
Molebeledi and Reuters Business Day 1st
Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 11:38 GMT
Grain shortages bite in Zimbabwe
Off limits: Farm takeovers have slashed grain
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 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.
The government have pretty much mismanaged the tendering
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"
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
"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
"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.
Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 15:49 GMT
Zimbabwe media law again delayed
The text is one of four controversial
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.
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.
Mugabe promised free and fair
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.
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,
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
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.
government official said at the weekend the Access to Information
Protection of Privacy Bill was going to be pushed through because it
"crucial to restoring law and order in a media industry thriving on
journalism, and abuse of journalistic privileges."
temporarily withdrew the bill from parliament last Wednesday
"some reasonable" amendments, but one senior official
that there would be major changes after an outcry from
and from Western countries and international
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
self-deception," he said.
"This bill is alarming in the manner in which
it heavily restricts
individuals and journalists accessing information and
discretion it confers on the minister in charge of the Act,"
they said in
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
also has powers to license and de-register media
It stipulates two-year jail terms for journalists who break the
range from forbidding the publication of stories that cause
despondency under the guise of authentic reports" to banning the
of recommendations of a public body or an official made to the
By outlawing cartoons and satirical columns against the
journalists say it effectively bans criticism of Mugabe and
"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
They said Mugabe's government should instead revert to its old
procedurally accrediting all journalists, use existing defamation
security laws to protect the public and critical government
use current company registration laws to govern media
The media groups said the attempt to ban foreign nationals
from working in
Zimbabwe as foreign correspondents contravened international
Soldiers impose curfew in Zaka
1/22/02 9:02:48 AM (GMT
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
Gatherings of more than 12 people have been
Zaka villagers said yesterday they had been ordered by the
at Jerera growth point, to remain in-doors from 6pm to
Clever Mudzimu, a villager, said yesterday: "We have been advised we
being shot by the soldiers if we move around after 6pm. The measures
be working because since the arrival of the army over the weekend,
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
Meanwhile, about 31 MDC supporters detained by the police in
the murder of Gibson Masarira, a Zanu PF activist, were
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.
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
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
The commission, which regulates Jersey's 70 banks, 30 fund
250 trust company businesses and 150 investment firms, said
it had "no
reason to suppose" that Jersey was being used by the Mugabe
But it added: "Nevertheless, regulated institutions should
files to determine whether or not they have any connection with
any of the
"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.
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
"Given the action of the US and the UK in identifying assets,
this is a live
issue which we think our regulated institutions and
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
proud of its regulatory regime, which is ranked alongside that
Switzerland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Guernsey and the Isle of Man by
Financial Stability Forum of the Group of Seven industrialised
Building societies awash with mortgage cash
8:50:30 AM (GMT +2)
By Ngoni Chanakira Business Editor
building societies are awash with mortgage cash and continue to
their rates, while others have hiked them in a bid to control
This comes at a time when customers are failing to repay
which continue to increase with interest.
market analysts yesterday said the decision to increase rates could
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
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
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
The First National Building
Society (FNB) yesterday said its rates would
remain at 37,5
An official said: "At the moment we are not giving out any
however, hope to begin doing so in March."
Building Society, formerly known as Founders, is charging 21
percent for its
An official said: "Indeed we are still giving out loans to
Beverley Building Society (Beverley) said for its owner-occupied
it was charging 21 percent, while for its rented properties it was
An official said: "We do have a lot of money at
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has admitted that because
inflation individuals could not save enough for major projects
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
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
continued to dominate the market because of their access to
currency, they were now "borrowing to buy instead".
societies have in the past stopped mortgage loans for individuals,
country's poor macro-economic and political environment.