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

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Reporters sans frontiers
ZimbabweRobert Mugabe

image 129 x 156 - 4.8 ko In power for more than 20 years, he is now strongly challenged inside the country. As part of his bloody struggle with white farmers, he is targeting independent journalists and foreign reporters. In 2001, Zimbabwe became the African country with the worst press freedom situation. Twenty local journalists were arrested and three foreign correspondents deported. Mugabe and his government make constant sensational statements against the press, which they regularly accuse of "spying" or "terrorism." Yet the former schoolteacher, who has six university degrees, was hailed as a liberator when he won the 1980 presidential elections which ended white minority rule. Today he charges that the privately-owned local press only tells "lies" and that foreign media are out to "destabilise" the country.

They order violations of press freedom and have others do the deed. They might be president, cabinet minister, army chief, Guide of the Revolution or leader of an armed group. All have the power to jail, kidnap, torture and even kill journalists. Because they have faces, we should learn to recognise these predators the better to denounce them.

Eduardo dos Santos
Islamic militants
Altaf Hossain Chowdhury
Alexandre Lukashenka
François Compaoré
Burkina Faso
Than Shwe
The kidnapping mafia
Jiang Zemin
Carlos Castaño
Manuel Marulanda
Nicolás Rodríguez Bautista
Fidel Castro
Joseph Kabila
D.R. Congo
Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Equatorial Guinea
Issaias Afeworki
Meles Zenawi
Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Ali Khamenei
Saddam Hussein
Ariel Sharon
Kirsan Iloumjinov
Kalmykia Republic
Khamtai Siphandon
Moammar Gaddafi
Mahathir Mohammad
Kim Jong-il
North Korea
Palestinian Security Forces
Palestinian Authority
Vladimir Putin
Paul Kagame
Abdallah al-Saud
Saudi Arabia
Security Forces
Southern Philippines
Mswati III
Bashar el-Assad
Gnassingbé Eyadéma
Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali
Hilmi Ozkok
Saparmurat Niyazov
Leonid Kuchma
Islam Karimov
Nong Duc Manh
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  Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 17:28 GMT
No commitment over Mugabe summit
Robert Mugabe
Mr Mugabe has governed since independence
Downing Street has refused to give a commitment that the UK would try to block a visit to France by Robert Mugabe.

The Zimbabwean president is currently the subject of EU sanctions including a travel ban but that is due to expire in mid-February.

To be personally invited by the president of France is outrageous

Michael Ancram
Shadow foreign secretary
Next Monday the issue will come up for discussion at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

Speaking during Prime Minister's Questions, Tony Blair said the government stood behind travel restrictions on the Zimbabwe president.

The prime minister's spokesman said another set of sanctions would have to be agreed unanimously and the French had yet to submit a proposal over their planned Paris summit.

"This is a live issue. It will obviously be discussed on Monday. There's been no formal proposal yet from the French government and I'm not going to pre-empt our government's position," said the spokesman.


Yves Charpentier, head of press at the French Embassy in London, confirmed that France was considering inviting President Mugabe to the summit, but stressed: "Nothing has been decided yet.

"We will be discussing this among the EU members at next week's meeting."

But the Tories demanded to know whether the UK had approved a visit to France by Mr Mugabe at the invitation of Jacques Chirac.

Mr Blair said: "We've made it clear that we support the sanctions in place against Zimbabwe."


The Foreign Office earlier said it had had no request to waive an EU imposed travel ban on Mr Mugabe.

The summit was a matter for the French authorities, Downing Street said.

To allow Mr Mugabe to strut his stuff in Paris would be absolutely unacceptable

Menzies Campbell
Lib Dem foreign affairs
International Development Secretary Clare Short has already told MPs she believed it would be "disgraceful" if Mr Chirac invited Mr Mugabe to a Franco-African summit on 19 February.

Conservative foreign affairs spokesman Michael Ancram said it was "hypocrisy of the highest order" for Mr Chirac to invite Mugabe when EU sanctions were supposed to ban travel within the union by Zimbabwe's rulers.

"President Chirac is well aware not only of the dire situation in Zimbabwe but that there are travel restrictions in force," said Mr Ancram.


He stressed: "No Franco-African summit can be exempt from the EU sanctions.

"It is bad enough that Mugabe and his thugs can attend UN-sponsored meetings in Europe, but to be personally invited by the president of France is outrageous.

"While it may not be intentional, this can only be interpreted as condoning genocide by starvation, ethnic cleansing, murder, rape and the destruction of the rule of law."

Menzies Campbell MP, Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, said Mr Mugabe should not be welcomed anywhere in the EU.

"To allow Mr Mugabe to strut his stuff in Paris would be absolutely unacceptable," said Mr Campbell.

"At a time when his country is in freefall, when millions are facing starvation, and when human rights are systematically flouted, there should be no welcome for Mr Mugabe anywhere in the European Union."

Conservatives sources say that any exemption to the EU travel ban requires unanimity among nation states, implying Britain must have agreed, if the visit is approved.

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      Wednesday January 22, 07:03 PM

      Blair braced for French row over Mugabe

      LONDON (Reuters) - The government is set for a stand-off with France
over plans to ask Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to attend a summit of
African leaders in Paris next month, officials say.

      French diplomats in London say no decision has yet been taken to
invite Mugabe but that it is under consideration. A presidential palace
spokesman in Paris said officials able to comment on the matter were not

      The European Union slapped travel bans on the much-criticised African
leader and his cohorts last year but the restrictions will expire in the
middle of next month and are up for discussion at a meeting of EU foreign
ministers on Monday.

      "We've made it clear that we support the sanctions that are in place
against Zimbabwe," Prime Minister Tony Blair told parliament on Wednesday.
"The meeting, I understand, is to take place on Monday and no agreement has
been reached."

      International Development Secretary Clare Short was characteristically
more blunt.

      "It would be disgraceful if President Chirac invites Mugabe to Paris
and it is rumoured he intends to do so," she said in parliament.

      The problem, UK officials said, is that the EU travel ban may not
cover the period when Mugabe may be in Paris unless all 15 foreign ministers
agree on Monday to extend it.

      An invitation would sit badly with Blair, who has heavily criticised
the Mugabe regime for his policy of seizing white-owned farms to distribute
to landless blacks -- a programme which critics say has exacerbated food
shortages now faced by more than half the country's 14 million people.

      "It is a live issue," Blair's official spokesman said. "But we have
had no formal proposal from the French government yet."

      Blair has already asked the England cricket team not to play in
Zimbabwe during next month's World Cup, but the England team has resisted
his request and says it plans to play.

      His Conservative Party opponents, already convinced Blair has
soft-pedalled over Mugabe, have launched into the fray.

      "It is time for this Government to cast off its post-colonial guilt
syndrome and stand up for the people of Zimbabwe," the party's foreign
affairs spokesman Michael Ancram told reporters.
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 Zim workers shun anti-Mugabe strike call

January 22 2003 at 12:53PM

Harare - Zimbabwean workers ignored a national strike called for Wednesday
by civic groups to protest at the policies of President Robert Mugabe.

Factories and businesses opened and commuters streamed in to work in Harare.
Riot police, some armed with teargas, batons and guns, patrolled the
capital's Mabvuku and Tafara townships on foot and in armoured cars,
witnesses said.

Police and helicopters also patrolled Chitungwiza, a poor dormitory town
near Harare that is prone to political violence.

There were no immediate reports of violence from across the country, which
is grappling with its worst economic crisis since Mugabe came to power on
independence from Britain in 1980.

The National Constitutional Assembly - a coalition of church and student
groups, rights organisations and political parties - called the strike to
press for a new constitution.

Previous NCA protests have mostly flopped. Critics say it has organised them
poorly and has coordinated badly with its ally, the main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC).

Zimbabwe is struggling with record unemployment and major food shortages
amid a drought and following Mugabe's policy of seizing white-owned farms
for redistribution to landless blacks.

Political tensions are also high after Mugabe's re-election in March amid
accusations of electoral fraud.

The NCA said the job stay-away was simply a call for democracy and not aimed
at disrupting Zimbabwe's plans to host several cricket World Cup matches
next month. International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed was
in Harare on Wednesday to assess security arrangements for the matches.

The NCA is against Zimbabwe hosting the matches but says Wednesday's strike
and a series of demonstrations planned for during and after the World Cup
were coincidental.
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Mail and Guardian

Young turks take on Zimbabwe war vets


      22 January 2003 12:19

The mention of the words war veterans conjures up images of large groups of
men marching through the city streets in demand of war pensions, or stick
wielding groups of people trying to accelerate the country's land reform
programme by camping outside white-owned farms up for compulsory

Led by the late Chenjerai Hunzvi, a controversial Polish-trained medical
doctor, the war veterans had become such a powerful force that President
Robert Mugabe took them on board.

However, 12 years after its formation and almost two years after the death
of Hunzvi, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association
(ZNLWA)is in a state of disintegration and in danger of being replaced by
the newly trained youth militia.

"The war veterans movement will never be the same without Hunzvi. It is only
a question of time before the former freedom fighters become a spent force,"
said John Makumbe, a political science lecturer at the University of

The cracks began to emerge earlier this year among a group of Bulawayo-based
ex-combatants. Former fighters from the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army
(Zipra), which was the military wing of the Zimbabwe African People's Union
(Zapu) that merged with the ruling Zanu-PF in 1987, called on their
colleagues to pull out of the ruling party.

This followed clashes between the Bulawayo provincial chairman of the war
veterans association, Jabulani Sibanda, and senior Zanu-PF officials. The
Bulawayo branch accused party officials and senior staff at the
government-controlled Grain Marketing Board, which has a monopoly on maize
distribution, of corruption in the distribution of maize, and backed a
volatile demonstration by the city's residents outside one of the depots.

Max Mkandla, the former Zipra representative was quoted in a privately owned
daily newspaper as saying that Zanu-PF was using the war veterans for
selfish gains and alleged that the ruling party had sidelined the people of
Matabeleland during the land redistribution exercise.

"Former Zipra fighters should stop preaching Zanu-PF politics because it
does not benefit them at the end of the day," Mkandla said.

However, in a sign of splits within the organisation, ZNLWVA acting
chairman, Patrick Nyaruwata, dismissed Mkandla's call for a breakaway
saying: "Who is Mkandla anyway? Is he not just one of those misplaced
elements being used to promote the interests of the enemy? While different
views are permitted within our movement, we shall not hesitate to deal with
divisive people masquerading as war veterans."

Andy Mhlanga, ZNLWVA secretary, said war veterans had not been allocated the
20 of the total land taken by the state during the land reform exercise as
had been promised by government.

He said that some former combatants who had occupied white-owned farms from
2000, when the land reform programme began, were evicted from the farms and
now had nowhere else to go. He also claimed that top government officials
had allocated multiple farms for themselves at the expense of the intended

The election planned in February to choose a new leadership for ZNLWVA might
also rock the organisation, analysts say. Since Hunzvi's death from
suspected cerebral malaria in May 2001, elections have been postponed on
several occasions due to the threat of divisions.

Mugabe, who is the association's patron, is reported to have directed that
the elections be delayed until after his presidential election, fearing a
split in the vote.

This generated a war of words between Andrew Ndlovu, who was projects
secretary, firebrand Joseph Chinotimba and Nyaruwata.

Chinotimba, who is the chief inspector in the Harare Municipal police
section and vice president of the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions, and
Ndlovu, wanted the elections to go ahead. But Nyaruwata, a moderate seen by
many as Mugabe's close supporter, fought for the elections to be postponed.

The ZNLWVA suffered a setback when some of its members broke away two years
ago to form the Zimbabwe Liberation Platform (ZLP). The breakaway was
reportedly caused by growing disillusionment among by some members who were
worried by the violence and alleged killings perpetrated by the ZNLWVA. The
ZLP have since managed to win the support of civil society, Makumbe

Lobbying ahead of next month's election both Chinotimbe and Nyaruwata claim
to be the popular choice.

However, analysts say their support base may be eroded by the training of
militias at state-run youth service centres countrywide, as a ploy by Mugabe
to replace the war veterans and ensure Zanu-PF's continued grip on power.

In 2000 the Ministry of Youth, Gender and Employment Creation started a
national youth training programme that has churned out militant graduates
who are allegedly being used to terrorise opposition party supporters.

Shakespeare Maya, leader of the National Alliance for Good Governance
(Nagg), an emerging political party, said the creation of "Green Bombers"
was a deliberate move to cancel the influence of the war veterans and
eventually replace them.

He said the militias were already proving to be an asset to Zanu-PF because
of their youth, energy and zeal and appeared to able to be present wherever
the ruling party needed them.

This was particularly worrying in the light of recent reports that the
militia had been seen supervising maize sales amid allegations that
supporters of Zanu-PF have been getting preferential treatment of the grain
which is in short supply.

Over seven million Zimbabweans now need food aid due to economic problems,
droughts and a disruption in farming due to the land reform programme. -
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Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 14:54 GMT
Harare 'safer than Cape Town'

If the International Cricket Council (ICC) ventures out of Harare's five-star hotels into the poverty-stricken townships, they will see the Zimbabwe security apparatus in full effect.

Civil society groups have called a national strike on Wednesday to demand a new constitution.

The strike call has largely been ignored by those people fortunate enough to still be gainfully employed but the authorities are taking no chances.

Riot police armed with tear gas, truncheons and guns are patrolling the townships of Tafara and Mabvuku, the scenes of anti-government protests in recent years.

Overhead, helicopters can be seen, ready to disgorge yet more riot police and tear gas at the first sign of any trouble.

President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe lives next to the Harare Sports Club

On Monday night, the local offices of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party were attacked with petrol bombs which killed one person and injured seven more.

Protesters know that they will get a beating and possibly far worse if they are caught.

The army has swiftly been deployed on the few occasions when the riot police have been unable to quell anti-government demonstrations.

And the lay-out of Harare makes life easier for the authorities.

Areas of extreme poverty and discontent are up to 25 km from the city centre, where the luxury hotels are.

The Harare Sports Club, venue for the cricket matches, is just over the road from the most tightly-controlled building in the country, Mr Mugabe's official residence.

Militias called off

If the ICC is only concerned with the safety of the visiting cricketers and officials, they could argue the sight of the riot police is a reassuring one.

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) which called Wednesday's strike has warned of more protests during the Cricket World Cup but these are likely to fizzle out, too.

A poor Zimbabwean woman
Life is tough for thousands of Zimbabweans

But most of the political violence of the last three years has been the work of the militias supporting Mr Mugabe.

These will certainly be called off, in the main towns and cricket venues of Harare and Bulawayo at any rate.

In any case, most of their work has been done in rural areas or in the townships.


But the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the cricket matches will provide a further excuse for the oppression of their activists.

Two MDC MPs say they have been tortured after being arrested in the past fortnight.


Job Sikhala says electrodes were attached to his genitals and he was beaten by police officers.

These incidents, along with Monday's petrol bomb attack could provide the ICC with an excuse to use security fears in order to justify switching the games to South Africa.

But the reality is that cricketers, fans and officials who stay in the centres of Harare and Bulawayo will be safer than if they were in Cape Town or Johannesburg.

Violent crime is a far greater problem south of the Limpopo.

And if the ICC is looking for a pretext to stop Zimbabwe hosting the Cricket World Cup, it would be far more honest to say so publicly.

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'Farmers support reform'
22/01/2003 15:43  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe's white farmers have said they will support President
Robert Mugabe's controversial land-reform programme by supplying new black
farmers with equipment and teaching them skills, said the state-run Herald
newspaper on Wednesday.

Many white farmers here, who numbered about 4 500 three years ago, have been
evicted from their farms under a government programme aimed at resettling
the land with previously landless black farmers.

But, the resettlement programme has been hit by shortages of equipment, fuel
and inputs such as seeds and fertiliser, and there has been poor uptake of
the land by some of the new black farmers, who lack the capital for
commercial agriculture.

Top officials from the white-run Commercial Farmers Union met agriculture
minister Joseph Made on Tuesday to discuss their support for land reform by
making available "farming equipment worth Z$30bn (about R4.9bn)", the paper

The equipment includes tractors, ploughs, combine harvesters, irrigation
pipes and spraying equipment. The farmers would also impart skills to new
farmers, said the Herald.

"We are still Zimbabweans, we want to be part of the nation and to be useful
in any way," CFU president Colin Cloete is reported to have said.

Union has opted for dialogue

Relations between the farmers' union and the government have been strained
because of legal challenges the CFU mounted against the land acquisitions.

The CFU has since decided to drop its "confrontational" stance for one of

However, a splinter group, Justice for Agriculture, has continued to urge
white farmers to challenge the acquisition of their land.

"We have tried to take politics out of the CFU," Cloete was quoted as

The Herald said the pledge showed the farmers' union "has come round to
embrace the changes that have taken place under the land reforms and have
found a positive role in the country".

It was unclear on what terms the farmers would be providing their farm
equipment and skills.

The offer comes two weeks after the agriculture minister appealed in the
official media for white farmers to make irrigation equipment available as
it was "strategic".

Zimbabwe has experienced poor rains for the past two years, threatening
crops and putting the lives of an estimated eight million people at risk of

The Zimbabwe opposition and international aid agencies have partly blamed
food shortages on the land-reform programme. The government denies this, and
blames the shortages entirely on drought.

Cloete could not be reached for comment on the issue. - Sapa-AFP
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to:
Open Letter Forum <>


Letter 1: J.L.Robinson

All Council Members,
Commercial Farmers Union,
Agriculture House,

Dear Council Members,

As you approach the first Council meeting of the year, and Zimbabwe finds
itself facing ever- increasing starvation, I believe that every farmer in
this country has some form of responsibility. As the leadership of
Commercial Agriculture you have an even greater responsibility, because
you are accountable for your action in the past, and for those decisions
and actions that occur in the future. With reports of only about six
hundred farmers farming properly, and a membership of less than thirteen
hundred, it would not be unreasonable to say that we have a problem in the

If as a Council you can accept that we have a problem, I assume that as
the responsible members, you will attempt to look into why we are in this
predicament. After deciding the reason or reasons for our predicament, I
trust that you will come up with some solutions to resolve the problem.
The first step here will possibly be look back at the words of Rene
Descartes (1596-1650) - "I think therefore I am." Whilst this may be a
very simple quote, I can assure you that it is very important that you do
think. Once you have thought, then indeed "you will be."

This quote was on a bill board as we left Cape Town, which caused me to
check on Descartes, and find that he had some more words for you Our
Council - "Common sense is the most widely shaped commodity, for every man
is convinced that he is well supplied with it." I am reliably informed
that Our Council members are not an exception to this quote, and all I
humbly ask Our Council is that they use it this month.

I wish to draw the Council's attention to a responsibility it must face up
to, which occurred last year. Mr. Freeth was dismissed "for failing to
enunciate Council policy." I wish to draw Council's attention to a few
facts here. Mr. Freeth stood up for his farmers, he stood up for what was
right in terms of Law, and overall, he stood up for what was right in
God's eyes. For standing up for these principles, which were not shared by
you the Council, he was dismissed. I have recently read about the Italian
Prince who has just returned to Rome having lived in exile for fifty six
years, as a result of the family having collaborated with Mussolini. The
first and only place the family went in Rome was for an audience with the
Pope, and then went back to Switzerland, on the same day. Failure "to
think" about Mr. Freeth in contrast to the Italian Prince will mean that
"therefore you are not" in Descartes' opinion, and many of the farmers he
stood up for, and in God's opinion, `I think.'

I wish you all the best, because the results of your deliberations will be
far reaching for us all, but above all I ask you to remember "to think" and
"use your common sense."

Yours faithfully,
J. L. Robinson

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not necessarily represent the official viewpoint
of Justice for Agriculture.

REMINDER: We are still carrying out the Accountability exercise, and are
looking for the names of all human rights violators and those who have been
officially allocated farms through the A1 and A2 scheme.  If you have these
details, particularly where the people in question are politically linked,
please send them to us at

Justice for Agriculture mailing list
To subscribe/unsubscribe: Please write to
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We apologise for not sending out the classifieds yesterday, this was due to a power cut.
CLASSIFIEDS - TUESDAY 21st January 2003
Please note that the classifieds will go out every Tuesday.  Payment is required upfront and all adverts to be in by 0900 hrs every Tuesday.  This ensures efficient distribution of the Classifieds.
TIRED OF LIVING IN TOWN?  3 bedroomed house in Christon Bank to lease.  Beautiful views framed by Msasa trees, peace & quiet.  Phone: 091 272 343.
* * * * * *
Cottage to let on a farm in Helensvale: 1 bedroom. Furnished $30,000.00, unfurnished $25,000.00, 50 metres from the main house, fully burglar-barred and security fenced.  Phone: 860441 or 861380.  Mobile: 091 383 024.
* * * * * *
Wanted to lease: Smallholding on part of a farm + or – 50km from Harare.  Must have a big house.  700m2 of sheds, chicken houses, barns etc. Plus 1000 gal / hour of water availability.  Phone Gordon or Joanne Craig on 064 6966 or 011 430 373.
* * * * * *
Kariba: house for occasional letting. Consists of 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms.  Fully furnished and equipped, swimming pool and double lock-up garage, walled and serviced.  House is located in Baobab Ridge.  Tel Ben Kaschula on Harare 498121 or at CFU 309800.
* * * * * *
Bromley: 2 x 200 acres of sandveld, suitable for horticulture, quiet, unlisted and fenced. 1 borehole on each farm, includes cottage and furnished flat. $100 000.00 each, negotiable.
Telephone: 073 3399 or 023 830 751. P.O. Box 41 Bromley.
* * * * * *
For Sale: Borrowdale. Double-story Spanish style house. Swimming pool, electric gate, lots of Msasa trees. Near to St. Johns School and shops.
Phone: 882327 or 091 383 114.
* * * * * *
Upmarket fully furnished garden flat to rent Mandara, Harare.
Available immediately
Please contact Carrie Wilson on 747935.
* * * * * *
House to share in highlands. Fully furnished. Suit single lady or gentleman, available immediately.
Phone: Ben on 309800 (Bus) or 498121 (Home).
* * * * * *
Chinhoyi – walled, 4 bedroom, main bathroom en suite, lounge, dining room, study, and kitchen with walk in pantry. Double lock up carport and boat shed. Laundry room, servants’ quarters and storeroom.
Fenced swimming pool with new outside entertainment area, containing bar area, lounge, kitchenette and toilet and Jacuzzi on veranda. Electric gates and newly paved driveway. House is fully alarmed and will come with satellite dish.
$ 40 000 000.00 o.n.c.o
For further queries please contact 011 207 907
* * * * * *
Bromley: House sitter wanted from mid February for approximately one month. Lovely home, garden and pool. Quiet area. Phone 073 3399 or 023 830 751
* * * * * *
Farm sitter wanted for March/April. Please phone 025 24405 or 011 430 895
* * * * * *
2 bedroomed garden flat in Avondale to let for 9 months. Responsible displaced farming couple preferred. Flat is beautiful and fully furnished. Available from 24th February 03. Applicants please phone Mrs. M Renan on 335506 or call at No 10 Ridge Friars, Belvedere Road, Avondale for viewing. Rental conditions to be negotiated.
* * * * * *
Neat cottage to let in Belvedere – 2 bedrooms, lounge, dining room, kitchen, pantry and bathroom. Available from 15/02/03. Contact 741660 or 091 237 496
* * * * * *
Fully furnished 4 bedroomed house on Lake Sebakwe, east of Kwekwe. Suitable for elderly couple, rent free. For more details contact: 22092 or 24072 or P.O. Box 93 Kwekwe.
* * * * * *
We offer a personal and efficient service for all your computer requirements, including: -
* upgrades
* hardware and software sales
* maintenance contracts
* trouble shooting
* repairs
Please call Gus McTiernan at RD Computers on 091 347 961 or email for further details.
* * * * * *
Ø       FOR SALE
Ericsson mobile phone GA628 for sale.  Includes wall charger, 2 car chargers, 2 batteries, coloured panels and rings, spare aerial, cover and belt clip.  Asking price $ 30,000.00.  Phone: 309800-19, ext. 284.
* * * * * *
Excellent high-powered Pioneer sound system for a vehicle for sale, 12 CD changer, radio tape deck, 2 sets of speakers, and an amplifier, in immaculate condition.  Phone Tracey on 011 218 289 for further info and viewing.
* * * * * *
Toshiba Laptop for sale: Toshiba 1.333Mhz
20G HD
DVD rom
248Mb ram
1.44 drive
Win XP 2002
Contact: Elmie on 091 235 510
* * * * * *
Tobacco & Paprika chemicals:
Tabamex Plus
Dual Magnum
Bull Doc
Methyl Bromide
PVC Piping:
160mm Class 4,6 and 10
110mm Class 6
90mm Class 6
Assorted Steel:
Double Vee
Angle Iron
Round Bar
All very reasonably priced. For further information please phone Mike on 073 2913, 011 212 527 or email:
* * * * * *
For Sale: Solar panel 44 x 96cm. Offers? Phone 011 210 028
* * * * * *
Aluminium Irrigation pipes:
50 x 90m x 4” Plain
16 x 9m x 4” With Hydrants
83 x 6m x 3” Plain
72 x 6m x 3” Sprayline
Complete with rubbers, 50% of new price.
Will accept cattle (all cattle) as payment.
Please contact 011 205 677 or 301118
* * * * * *
6 cylinder John Deer Motor with Dore & Pitt irrigation pump attached. Very nice, has done 3050hrs.
Phone William Bain & Co, Mvurwi on 077 2345/6 and speak to Dave Scallan or Nicky Pilgrim.
* * * * * *
For Sale: American Pigskin saddle, excellent order. Made by SAGORIN Bros. Johannesburg. Offers? Phone 011 210 028
* * * * * *
RHODES GRASS SEED FOR SALE – approx. 5mt. Good, clean, pure sieved, low percentage germination. Offers? Contact Craig Coleman –
* * * * * *
Highway trailer (hilux body) c/w canopy and spare wheel $1 000 000.00
Contact Pete Knill on 091 356 921
* * * * * *
-          Mac Cat 839 petrol chain saw $750 000.00
-          7 ½ horse power electric borehole motor on stand $750 000.00
-          18-foot canoe. Has a hole $100 000.00
-          Fisher Price baby car chair $35 000.00
Please phone 073 3399 or 023 830 751
* * * * * *
Irrigation equipment for sale:
-          Centre Pivot – Agrico towable 48ha 6span unit, 6 years old, presently dismantled in Harare. New price $60m, asking $20m.
-          Dripline – supertyphoon 125, emitter spacing 50cm, 42 000 metres, ranging from 1 to 5 years old. $4,2m.
-          Renault 85/34 4W 6 years old, + or – 5000HRS, in good condition. Injector pump & injectors just serviced.  Offers around $7 million.
Please phone 011 412 912 or 495474
* * * * * *
Price shown is price paid
Size                              Make                                        Price
12 R22,5                       Good Year                                 $346 000.00
11,00-20                        Good Year 16ply                        $298 000.00
10-00-20                        Firestone 16ply                          $265 000.00
10-00-20                        Dunlop Local                             $196 000.00
7,50 R16                       Good Year 992 8ply                   $120 000.00
7,50-16                         Dunlop Local                             $96 000.00
8,50 R17                       General                                     $148 000.00
205 R14                        Good Year 946                          $89 000.00
195 R14                        Good Year 922                          $78 000.00
185 R14                        Good Year 922                          $74 000.00
195 R14                        Continental Van 00                     $75 000.00
215 R15                        Continental Contitrae                  $97 500.00
245/75 R15                    Continental Contitrae                  $127 500.00
265/70 R16                    Good Year Wrangler                   $195 000.00
275/70 R16                    Firestone Wilderness                 $188 000.00
285/75 R16                    Firestone Wilderness                 $208 500.00
155 R13                        Good Year Grandprix                  $42 000.00
165 R13                        Good Year Grandprix                  $48 500.00
175/70 R13                    Good Year Grandprix                  $56 000.00
Plus many other sizes. Phone 011 411 501/2
* * * * * *
Ø       WANTED
Genuine cell phone charger for a Nokia 5110 wanted, reasonable price.  Phone: 309849 or 091 338 047.
* * * * * *
Anyone have any spare Temex lying around?  Approximately 20 boxes needed in total.  Please contact: Craig Coleman on 011 219 434.
* * * * * *
1.        Old solid wood furniture e.g. Oak or Teak items.
2.        Portable carport, preferably 2 car size with shade cloth cover.
3.        Old Belgian or Persian carpets.
4.        Old silver plate tableware e.g. candelabra and old brassware.
Phone Ben Kaschula on 309800 (Bus) or 498121 (Home) or Sheila Mumford on 495699.
* * * * * *
Second Hand Asbestos Roofing Sheets, Wheat straw delivered to Harare (a couple of truck loads). Please Phone Nick on 011 213 188 / 304310
* * * * * *
Thatching grass, 20 000 bundles.  Phone 310355 or 011 608625
* * * * * *
Any quantity of Baled Hay.  Sellers please contact Mrs. Chinogaramombe on Tel Bulawayo 242352 or cell 011 608373, who has own transport to collect anywhere in Mashonaland region.
* * * * * *
4 or 6 birth caravan in good condition. Please phone Leonie on 309800-19.
* * * * * *
Any old camping equipment e.g. paraffin pressure lamps, folding chairs etc. Phone Ben on 309800 (Bus) or 498121 (Home).
* * * * * *
Dip irrigation scheme for 10 to 20ha (Paprika) 5000l plastic tank or 2000l standard fuel tanks. Phone 091 261 692 or 091 210 265
* * * * * *
Canoes – any type or condition, as well as oars/paddles. Phone John Tayler on 031 2653 or email
* * * * * *
Motorised mist blower (Jacto). Please phone John on 303404 or email
* * * * * *
-          8 x hand held radios
-          Overhead diesel tanks
Contact Tim Jackson – or phone 091 218 822 / 062 2344
* * * * * *
Vinyard with tractor-mounted sprayer, brush cutters (weed eaters) in good condition. Contact Colleen Taylor at Leopard Rock, Phone 020 60115/60198/60741 or Fax 202 61165
* * * * * *
Three bedroom luxury thatched house, bathrooms on suite open plan kitchen upstairs bar with magnificent view, comes with a domestic, lock up garage, sleeps maximum 8.  Bookings can be made direct with Eve at Lomagundi Lake side on 061-3037/39 bookings confirmed on payment.
* * * * * *
                                                         DIPLOMA IN AGRICULTURE
The Blackfordby Agricultural Institute invites applications ONLY from suitably qualified young persons for enrolment in a course leading to the award of a Diploma in Agriculture.
The course extends over a two-year period and provides instruction in general agriculture applicable to Zimbabwe commercial farming activities.  Crop farming, livestock management and horticulture are included together with other necessary subjects such as agricultural science, engineering, financial and farm management and computer science.  The instruction is both academic and practical.   The Diploma is considered for acceptance by universities in the United Kingdom as qualification for entry to post diploma graduate courses.
Applicants who qualify will appear before a selection panel in May 2003 who will use the following criteria, amongst others, in choosing the successful candidates:
Minimum of five GCE 'O' Level passes or equivalent with credits in English Language, Mathematics and a Science subject.
Preference is given to applicants from a farming background and those with commercial farming experience.
Successful candidates will be notified before the end of May 2003.
The course will begin on Tuesday, 29 July 2003 and end in June 2005.
Due to the current economic situation, boarding and tuition fees for the next intake cannot be determined until June 2003.  However, last year fees were $500 000 (paid in the month preceding the start of the Course) and intending applicants must consider the effect of inflation on this.  Students are also expected to meet their own personal and incidental expenses.
The Institute is sited on Klein Kopjes Farm, some 70 kilometres from Harare Post Office, off either the Lomagundi or Mvurwi Roads.
Intending students must enclose a $500,00 administration fee when applying in writing for an application form, which must be returned before 7 April 2003.
Letters should be addressed to:  THE DIRECTOR
P O BOX EH 197
* * * * * *
Person required with mechanical and electrical/electronic experience to run department within a Marlborough based company – specialists in installations, gates, garage doors, alarm systems and electric fencing. Email or write to P.O. Box WGT61 Westgate, Harare.
* * * * * *
General manager SPCA
We are trying to find a suitable person to fill the post of General Manager which has been vacant for some time and to date have not been able to find the right person. This is permanent position and is very challenging but also most rewarding. It is not for the faint hearted and is not an 8 to 5, 5 day a week job.
This is a busy position, the core of which is the promotion of Animal Welfare in the Harare/Chitungwiza area for a radius of 50kms.
The job principally involves:
1.        Responding to reports about animal neglect, abuse and cruelty.
2.        Supervising Animal Welfare Inspectors, Veterinary Surgeons and kennel-hands caring for the animals in SPCA custody.
3.        Controlling the society’s finances and assets.
4.        Promoting the work of the SPCA to the public, both local and international.
5.        Co-ordinating the contributions of the stakeholders, many of whom are subscribing members of the Harare Society.
These are very broad parameters.
The Person:
1.        Likes animals, abhors cruelty
2.        Has a basic grasp of legal issues pertaining to animal welfare (advantage)
3.        Well versed in managing labour
4.        Is tactful and level headed. These are times when you will be dealing with very emotional people and disturbing situations.
If you feel you have what it takes then please: email me, Rick Summers on or phone 04 487637 mobile 091 232 223 for further information. If you need more information re the position please do not hesitate to contact me.
* * * * * *
                                                         DIPLOMA IN AGRICULTURE
Blackfordby Agricultural Institute invites applications for a course leading to the award of a Diploma in Agriculture.
The course extends over a two-year period and provides academic and practical instruction in general agriculture applicable to Zimbabwe commercial farming activities.  The Diploma is considered for acceptance by several universities in the United Kingdom as qualification for entry to post diploma graduate courses.
The minimum qualification required is five GCE 'O' Level passes or equivalent with credits in English Language, Mathematics and a Science subject.
The course will begin on Tuesday, 30 July 2002 and end in June 2004.
Applicants must enclose a $500,00 administration fee when applying for an application form, which must be returned before 8 April 2002.
Letters should be addressed to:  THE DIRECTOR
P O BOX EH 197
* * * * * *
Reliable housemaid wanted – to live on premises. Please phone Cindy on 481080 or Marilynn on 303995.
* * * * * *
Responsible self-motivated manager required to run comprehensive administration of general store and filling station. Attractive package, inclusive of farmhouse. Please reply with C.V. to Box 400 Guruve or email to
* * * * * *
Energetic person with a minimum of 5 years experience in borehole pump installation, both mono and submersible. Electrical experience an asset. Clean drivers’ licence. Salary negotiable. Email or write to P.O. Box WGT 61, Westgate, Harare.
* * * * * *
Migrating To Australia??
We Can Assist You With
Migration Applications
Business Investment Opportunities
Relocation Services
Contact Personal Touches The People Who Care......
Harare 263-91-264612 Perth 61-408-656300
Email: Personaltouches@Bigpond.Com or Mfe@Mweb.Co.Zw
* * * * * *
PHONE NO: 3614 or 3942, CHEGUTU
We are urgently looking for the following:
1. mf 390 ‘s, mf 375 ‘, two wheel drives up to 3000 hrs.
2. citrus trailers
3. hawk citrus sprayers + other citrus equipment
4. fiat / newholland 66 series tractors
5. ceasar and imco / rhome harrows
6. ploughs
7. fuel tanks over head
8. air planters
9. dam scoops
10. workshop equipment
11. farm bakkies
12. motorbikes
13. boats and motors
14. 8 ton lorries and tractors
Please note that there is transport available to collect and deliver if needed.
* * * * * *
Pam Mullins is offering her services as a stress management consultant. Please call her on 741498
* * * * * *
There is increasing concern amongst a number of farmers at the lack of feed back from a person or persons who have received money in order to proceed with claims for land required.
It is proposed to call upon these people to provide documents, which will reassure that progress is being made. In short accountability is required. If you are in a position to provide evidence of accountability or otherwise please email of fax our legal representative Kevin Arnott on 756268
* * * * * *
Jewellery - range of gold and silver.  Good value!  Jewellery made up to your own design.  Engraving.  Pearls restrung.  Valuations by Sharon Caithness, a qualified Gemmologist.  Shop FC1, Westgate.  Phone 332272
* * * * * *
AGENCY REQUIRED should anyone or any company need use of proficient Harare based marketing set up situated in Bluff Hill Park Harare, we are actively updating our product/agency range this year.
Contact Kevin Hamilton-Woods on 011 601 230 or email
* * * * * *
TE MICKLEM & SONS has transport for hire.
2 ton to 30 ton open and closed trucks, also JCB and tractor drawn tippers.
Phone: 011 219 003
* * * * * *




For Your Information....

CFU Classifieds via email - plain text format every Tuesday

Costs: -

Up to 30 words             $750/wk

31 - 50 words                $1000/wk

51 - 75 words                $1500/wk

76 - 100 words              $2000/wk

300 words MAX            $6000/wk

Please send advert to by Tuesday 9:00 am and send PROMPT payment with a copy of your advert to CFU, Agricultural Information Services Department, Box WGT 390, Westgate, Harare.

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

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World cricket chief surveys Zimbabwe security

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, Jan. 22 - World cricket chief Malcolm Speed launched a new security
survey for next month's World Cup matches in Zimbabwe on Wednesday, pledging
to put player safety first in a country grappling with its worst crisis in
       The England and Australia cricket teams have resisted calls from
their governments to boycott matches in Zimbabwe, where President Robert
Mugabe faces international criticism of his policies which opponents say
have caused deteriorating economic conditions and civil unrest.
       Speed, executive director of the International Cricket Council (ICC),
said his two-day visit to Harare with World Cup chief organiser Ali Bacher
would focus on Zimbabwe's preparations to guarantee player safety when
matches begin on February 9.
       ''At the end of those meetings we will prepare a report for the ICC
board. In fact, that will be an update on the situation in relationship to
safety and security of the players. We will move from there next week,''
Speed said.
       Speed declined to be drawn on speculation that the ICC might move
matches out of Zimbabwe should security be found wanting. Most of the World
Cup matches are being held in South Africa, the event's main host.
       ''I don't want to comment at all about what might happen there,''
Speed said. ''I don't think there are any promises at this stage. It's a
very simple visit. We are just here to get an update from our security
specialists on what is in place.''

       The Zimbabwe government announced on Wednesday that it had
established a special security committee headed by senior police officers to
ensure peace during the cricket tournament.
       ''This is a measure of how keen we are that there is peace for
everyone, players and visitors,'' Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri said
on Zimbabwe television.
       Speed arrived as Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), said police had arrested an eighth MDC legislator
in what appeared to be a government effort to snuff out protest ahead of the
World Cup.
       ''It is surprising that the ICC has decided to proceed with hosting
the World Cup matches in Zimbabwe in the light of these sad developments,
despite a wave of protests around the world,'' the MDC said in a statement.
       Police, who have charged the MDC with planning a campaign of civil
unrest around the World Cup matches, were not immediately available to
comment on the reported arrests. At least one opposition legislator has
charged that he was tortured while in police custody.
       Police were out in force on Wednesday in response to a nationwide
strike called to protest Mugabe's policies, but few workers appeared to heed
the stay-away call.
       Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe to independence in 1980, has faced
international condemnation of his policy of seizing white-owned farms to
distribute to landless blacks -- a programme which critics say has
exacerbated food shortages now faced by more than half the country's 14
million people.
       U.S. Ambassador Joseph Sullivan said on Wednesday his government had
committed $20 million to a consortium to assist more than 650,000 needy
Zimbabweans, saying Washington was ''extremely concerned'' about the
country's humanitarian crisis.
       Political tensions are also high after Mugabe's re-election in March
following accusations of electoral fraud, with both MDC and other opposition
groups alleging a campaign of intimidation aimed at crushing political

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      CIO probes Mugabe 'exit plan'

      By Sydney Masamvu Assistant Editor
      1/23/03 3:30:06 AM (GMT +2)

      THE counter-intelligence unit of Zimbabwe's premier spy agency, the
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), has launched a probe into an
alleged plan to ease President Robert Mugabe from office, involving the
international community as well as senior ruling and opposition party
officials, the Financial Gazette has established.

      Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa and army chief Vitalis
Zvinavashe, who are alleged to be part of the so-called "exit plan", have
denied knowledge of it, as have the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and
Britain and South Africa, which were said to support it.

      However, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai admitted last week that retired
army colonel Lionel Dyck had approached him in December, on behalf of ZANU
PF officials, to sound him out on a strategy that would entail the creation
of a transitional government prior to new presidential and legislative

      Dyck however says he met Tsvangirai in his personal capacity and not
on behalf of any ZANU PF officials.

      Security sources told the Financial Gazette that despite government
and opposition denials of the plan, the counter-intelligence unit of the CIO
had embarked on a comprehensive inquiry.

      They said the investigation, which began last week, would probe the
origins of the alleged plan and the "involvement of foreign forces".

      State Security Minister Nicholas Goche yesterday declined to comment
on the inquiry.

      He told the Financial Gazette: "I don't discuss the operations of my
ministry with newspapers."

      But sources within the CIO said the inquiry was a "routine exercise"
and would be spearheaded by five senior operatives who would lead the
counter-intelligence unit.

      A high-ranking security official said: "We don't dismiss critical
issues at face value. Our job is to protect the security interests of the
country, its government and its leadership, and we are going to get to the
bottom of the matter.

      "This is a routine exercise, the kind of check that we do with any
issue of this nature. We are empowered as a state security organ to verify
any such allegations that might be raised. If we hear, for instance,
allegations that ministers are involved in taking over many farms, we
undertake our separate checks. This (inquiry) is on the same lines."

      He said the probe would be complete by the end of this week, after
which a report would be submitted to Goche.

      Meanwhile, a member of the ZANU PF politburo this week said he and
five other members of the ruling party's supreme decision-making body had
met over the weekend and resolved to seek clarification on the alleged exit

      He said reports of an alleged deal involving the MDC had renewed the
presidential succession debate within the party along factional and tribal

      He said he and his colleagues had decided to seek further information
at the politburo's monthly meeting, scheduled for today.

      "We discussed informally and decided to raise the issue at our
politburo meeting, where we would be in a position to get an explanation
from the party's security department on what exactly is going on," a
politburo member from Mashonaland East province told the Financial Gazette.

      Although Mugabe, who was controversially re-elected last March, has
said stepping down before the expiry of his five-year term would be
subverting the will of the Zimbabwean people, analysts say only a government
supported by the international community has a chance of averting economic
collapse in Zimbabwe.

      Western countries have refused to recognise the Zimbabwean government,
saying the March presidential election was not free and fair, and have
imposed smart sanctions against the ZANU PF top hierarchy.

      Although the sanctions are not targeted against the country as a
whole, Zimbabwe's isolation from the rest of the world has nevertheless
contributed to the country's worst economic crisis in 22 years.
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      UN envoy to meet Mugabe, Tsvangirai

      Staff Reporter
      1/23/03 3:30:47 AM (GMT +2)

      UNITED Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy James
Morris will this week separately meet President Robert Mugabe and opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai over Zimbabwe's fast-deteriorating humanitarian
crisis, UN officials said this week.

      Morris, who is executive director of the World Food Progra-mme (WFP)
and Annan's special envoy on the humanitarian crisis in southern Africa,
arrives in Harare today and will also meet representatives of
non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

      UN resident coordinator in Zimbabwe Victor Angelo would not disclose
the agenda of Morris' planned talks with Mugabe and other government
officials, only saying the discussions would focus on the deepening
humanitarian crisis.

      He said: "The mission will review with the government the present
situation, the challenges ahead and how the government is preparing itself
to respond to those challenges and how they want the international community
to come in."

      Diplomatic sources however told the Financial Gazette that Annan,
alarmed by the worsening hunger in southern Africa but especially in
Zimbabwe, was sending Morris to impress on Mugabe to reverse policies that
had hampered the flow of food aid into the country.

      The WFP says in its latest hunger assessment on Zimbabwe that the
number of people facing starvation in the country has increased by
half-a-million, bringing the provisional total to 7.2 million people.

      The government's own estimates however put the number of Zimbabweans
in need of emergency food aid at around eight million.

      Diplomats said top on the list for Morris, who will be accompanied by
Annan's special envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis, is a demand that
Mugabe scraps the state-run Grain Marketing Board (GMB)'s trade monopoly on
maize and wheat.

      Only the GMB is allowed by law to buy and sale these staple grains.

      Morris will also press Mugabe to provide humanitarian assistance for
more than 300 000 ex-farm workers made jobless and homeless when the
government seized farms from their former white employers.

      "Morris will tackle Mugabe on all those issues, the question of why
the government will not allow private sector players to import maize and
also the issue of the displaced farm workers," a senior Harare-based foreign
diplomat said yesterday.

      Previous attempts by Morris and other UN officials to persuade Mugabe
to agree to the creation of a US$85-million fund supported by donors and
from which private sector companies could borrow money to import more than
400 000 tones of grain have so far been unsuccessful.

      The government has also barred Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) from distributing nearly 200 tonnes of maize it procured from
international well-wishers.

      Diplomats said Morris' talks with Tsvangirai and NGO representatives
were meant to rope in all Zimbabwean stakeholders to support a coordinated
response to the food crisis.

      Morris and Lewis will also meet the ministries of Finance, Health,
Labour and Social Welfare and other government departments involved in the
distribution of humanitarian aid.

      Several countries in southern Africa are facing famine because of
severe drought that affected the region and is expected to worsen in 2003 if
a developing El Nino affects rainfall.

      The impact of drought has been compounded in Zimbabwe by agrarian
reforms that cut food production by at least 60 percent last year.
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      Amani Trust closure leaves 45 000 in the cold

      Staff Reporter
      1/23/03 3:33:53 AM (GMT +2)

      AT least 45 000 victims of political violence have been left stranded
by the closure of Amani Trust, a human rights non-governmental organisation
involved in the rehabilitation of people affected by political violence, it
was learnt this week.

      The organisation, which closed its doors to the public at the end of
last year after several run-ins with the government, provided medical
attention, counselling and shelter for Zimbabweans subjected to and
displaced by politically motivated violence.

      The government has however accused Amani Trust of harbouring and
promoting anti-government activists, a charge the NGO denies.

      Although no longer open to the public, the Financial Gazette was this
week told that the organisation was still taking on critical cases. However,
it was not possible this week to talk to Amani Trust directors, whose mobile
phones were unreachable.

      But opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) welfare officer
Brighton Matimba said: "Our supporters, who have suffered from ZANU PF
brutality, have been mainly affected by Amani's closure.

      "We estimate the number of people who have been affected by Amani's
closure ranges between 45 000 to 50 000. This number includes grandmothers
caring for young orphans, medical and psychological patients and those
people who have been displaced from their rural homes."

      According to NGO surveys, MDC supporters have been hardest hit by the
political violence that has plagued Zimbabwe in the past three years.

      Matimba said about 160 000 MDC supporters had been assisted by Amani
Trust since 2000, the year of Zimbabwe's landmark parliamentary elections,
during which political violence escalated.

      Surveys show that Zimbabweans with no political affiliation have
however also been affected by the violence. Victims interviewed by NGOs say
they have either been assaulted, intimidated or had their homes or property
destroyed because they are perceived to be supporters of the MDC.

      The resulting fears for personal security have also forced non-MDC
supporters from their homes, especially in the rural areas.

      One such victim of violence, Noriah Mabuke, who was displaced from
Chikomba after ZANU PF-aligned war veterans burnt down her homestead last
year, this week told the Financial Gazette the closure of Amani Trust had
again left her homeless.

      She said the two grandchildren she brought with her when she fled to
Harare were now suffering from kwashiorkor because of food shortages, which
have compounded the crisis faced by internally displaced victims of
political violence.

      "Amani took care of us when we came to Harare last year," Mabuke said.
"They provided us with shelter, paid my medical bills and also bought food
for my grandchildren.

      "Since they closed, I have been left with nowhere to go and I am
hoping the party will be able to help me," added the 58-year-old
grandmother, who was waiting outside the MDC headquarters in Harare.

      The opposition party is however overwhelmed by the large number of
people who have descended on its offices since the closure of Amani Trust
and is fighting a losing battle because of meagre resources to assist people
appealing for help.

      Matimba said in the past, the MDC referred victims to Amani Trust,
which would carry out a thorough vetting exercise before providing
assistance, a task now left to the opposition party's welfare office.

      He said: "People needing assistance have been coming to our offices on
a daily basis and we are battling to help all of them because of limited

      "Some have managed to go back to their homes but the majority cannot
do so because of their political history. Most of these people are now just
loitering around as they have nowhere to go."

      He said several children whose school fees were being paid by Amani
Trust were unable to return to school when the new term began last week.

      "A number of kids whose school fees were being paid by Amani have been
left stranded as well," he said. "Their families have no source of income
and they solely relied on Amani. The situation is not good at all."
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      War vets arrested for heckling VP

      1/23/03 3:33:02 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - Three war veterans have been arrested after allegedly
heckling Vice President Joseph Msika and other high-ranking ZANU PF
officials as they emerged from a closed-door meeting held here at the
weekend, it was learnt this week.

      Ruling party insiders said the trio was among about 500 ZANU PF
supporters gathered on Sunday outside the party's Bulawayo provincial
office, where Msika met with officials including former home affairs
minister Dumiso Dabengwa, ZANU PF secretary for the commissariat Elliot
Manyika and his deputy Sikhanyiso Ndlovu.

      The sources said the meeting was called to discuss internal squabbles
in the party's Bulawayo provincial executive.

      Sikhumbuzo Ndiweni, ZANU PF's secretary for information and publicity
in Bulawayo, would not discuss the Sunday arrests.

      "Ask the police, they know everything. There is nothing I can tell
you," he said before switching off his mobile phone.

      Bulawayo police spokesman Smile Dube confirmed that the three war
veterans were arrested, saying they were subsequently charged with
contravening sections of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

      He told the Financial Gazette: "I can confirm that three people were
arrested and have since appeared in court. They are charged under POSA. I
don't have their names off hand, but it is true that they were arrested."

      Dube was however unable to indicate which sections of the
controversial legislation the three had contravened.

      Officials at the Bulawayo ZANU PF office said the war veterans were
granted bail on Tuesday after appearing briefly before a magistrate.

      ZANU PF insiders said Sunday's incident followed a meeting held to
discuss internal squabbles and the alleged involvement of provincial
politicians in the illegal distribution of grain and in the sale to
retailers of mealie meal, Zimbabwe's staple foodstuff.

      The state-controlled Grain Marketing Board is Zimbabwe's sole trader
in maize and wheat, which are in short supply because of drought and a
government land reform programme that has slashed food production by over 60

      Ruling party insiders said war veterans picketed the ZANU PF Bulawayo
office last Sunday in support of the party's Bulawayo chairman Jabulani
Sibanda, who they said some officials wanted to oust from his position.

      Sibanda, who was not available for comment yesterday, is said to have
unearthed underhand deals involving unnamed ZANU PF officials in the
distribution of grain and mealie meal.

      A ruling party official said: "Some of these people were carrying
placards denouncing the Vice President (Msika), Dumiso Dabengwa and other
senior officials for allegedly trying to stifle Jabulani Sibanda.

      He said some of the placards read: "Down with Msika and Down with
Dabengwa, Long Live Sibanda."

      Sibanda, who is also chairman of the war veterans in Bulawayo, is
accused of masterminding a violent demonstration outside the GMB's depot in
the city in the first week of this month.

      The war veteran, a former personal bodyguard of the late vice
president Joshua Nkomo, denies the charges.

      ZANU PF officials said the party was expected to hold another meeting
tomorrow to discuss problems in the provincial executive.

      - Staff Reporter

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      Mat South loses cattle worth $2 billion

      1/23/03 3:34:53 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO- Matabeleland South has lost up to $2 billion worth of cattle
in the past six months because of severe stock feed and pasture shortages
that threaten the region's entire communal and commercial herd, it was
learnt this week.

      Cattle producers said about 20 000 head of cattle worth between $1.5
billion and $2 billion had been lost over half a year in the province
because of drought and a stock feed crisis.

      Livestock Producers' Association chairman Paul d'Htoman told the
Financial Gazette: "The situation is critical in Matabeleland South, Gwanda
area to Beitbridge. We estimate that between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in
cattle has been lost there."

      "It might not be the actual figure, but these are the indications," he

      Cattle producers said it was only a matter of time before other
Zimbabwean areas, especially the Lowveld and Midlands, began to record large
numbers of deaths in their herds because of dry conditions, which have
reduced available pasture.

      They said the shortage of stock feed, blamed on the decline in
agricultural output caused by drought and the government's chaotic land
reform programme, had affected not only cattle but farmers rearing pigs,
poultry, dairy cows and ostriches.

      Farmers said some livestock was going for days without food.

      An official with the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) said producers
had begun slaughtering dairy cows and beef cattle in large numbers, in a bid
to reduce the losses they would incur because of drought.

      Veterinary Services Department director Stuart Hargreaves said: "At
the moment, our reports show that about 20 000 cattle have succumbed to the
drought in Matabeleland South alone in the past six months.

      "The figure is likely to increase as the dry spells continues in
southern Zimbabwe. Cattle deaths are very severe in Beitbridge and most
parts of Gwanda. It is a major problem and has been compounded by the
shortage of stock feed. It is impacting on the diary, pig and poultry
industries as well and on ostriches."

      He added: "It is not possible for farmers to offer supplementary
feeding and cattle fattening because there is no food. Because of this,
cattle in most parts of the country are in a poor state. This, in the long
run, will affect conception rates. We are likely to have less calves
produced next season."

      Cattle producers said a decline in calf production would further slash
the commercial herd in Matabeleland South, which had fallen to about 150 000
from close to two million two years ago.

      In a report issued last week, CFU president Colin Cloete said the
situation in Matabeleland would be compounded by lack of assistance from
areas like Mashonaland, which in the past have supported the province in
times of drought.

      Cattle producers in Mashonaland have also been hard hit by drought and
the land reform programme, which has forced many of them to cut back on
production or to cease farming and vacate their properties.

      "The grazing for cattle and game in the south of the country and
Matabeleland remains extremely serious, without the hope of relief from
Mashonaland hay or stova later in the year," Cloete said.

      Hargreaves added: "The shortage of stock feed is a national problem.
It might increase the number of deaths as the year goes on. There will be
disaster if the situation does not improve. As for southern Zimbabwe, the
situation gets grimmer everyday.

      "Pigs don't eat grass. You can't let them wonder for pasture. They
need special feed and this is not possible to obtain. These might also start
dying in large numbers."
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      Officials accused of international cattle rustling

      1/23/03 3:35:17 AM (GMT +2)

      POLOKWANE, South Africa - South Africa's R600 million per year beef
industry has been exposed to the dangerous foot and mouth epidemic in
Zimbabwe by a syndicate of corrupt senior veterinary officials.

      The officials, all responsible for safeguarding South Africa's borders
against recent disease outbreaks in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique,
allegedly smuggled stolen cattle into South Africa across Limpopo's 'wild
west' border at Masisi.

      Three of the alleged ringleaders, three agriculture department
managers Nthambeleni Tshikororo, Pandelani Neluvhalani and Tuwani Mugwedi,
have been suspended and arrested on international cattle rustling charges.

      An accomplice, 62-year-old villager Andries Tshukuvani, has also been
arrested for actually stealing the cattle during raids into Zimbabwe.

      "This is a disease hot spot, called a red line area, and these guys
were supposed to be protecting South Africa against any infection that would
damage our beef industry. But, instead, they appear to have abused their
positions and used their knowledge to smuggle stolen cattle into the country
without any regard for the possible consequences," said Far North stock
theft unit commander Captain Alfred Chiloane.

      "There is also evidence indicating that these people might be part of
a larger syndicate."

      Limpopo agriculture spokesman Phuti Seloba condemned the apparent
rustling network, warning that it could devastate the region's beef

      "We take the allegations very seriously and, if proven true, we'll
regard this as treachery," said Seloba.

      Tshukuvani appeared in the Masisi magistrate's court last week in
connection with stock theft and was released on R2 000 bail.

      Tshikororo, who was found with two branded cows and calves from
Zimbabwe, was refused bail and will appear in the same court on February 11.

      Neluvhalani and Mugwedi were released on free bail and their case
postponed to January 28.

      Police suspect that other members of the alleged syndicate are
Zimbabwean nationals who have relatives in Sigonde and Gumbu villages near
the Limpopo River.

      "The fence on the border has been down for quite a long time because
of floods and thieves are driving the cattle through the gaps," Chiloane

      The charges are not Tshikororo's first brush with notoriety.

      He was briefly suspended in October last year after small-scale
farmers complained that he was lazy and drinking on duty.

      Farmers alleged that Tshikororo arrived drunk or late to dip or
vaccinate livestock, and failed to inspect animals before they were

      Tshikororo's suspension was applauded by South Africa's meat industry,
which claimed that he had put the R600 million per year industry at risk by
undermining safeguards demanded by major export markets such as the European

      Tshikororo's suspension was lifted in November, however, after farmers
refused to testify against him for fear of victimisation. The defiant
official was then transferred to work in the agriculture department's
Tshiombo office.

      Mugwedi was, ironically, appointed to replace Tshikororo and tighten
safety procedures.

      The provincial department of agriculture's acting head, Hendrik
Masikwa, said the department is considering internal disciplinary charges
against all three officials. -African Eye News Service
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FinGaz - Comment

      Police must serve and protect

      1/23/03 1:44:11 AM (GMT +2)

      ALL right-thinking Zimbabweans must be dismayed by the Zimbabwe
Republic Police (ZRP)'s deafening silence about what, if anything, it is
doing about allegations of systematic poisoning and torture of opposition
party members in police custody.

      The ZRP was this week quick to rubbish claims by the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) that while in the hands of the police, several of
its officials and supporters have been forced to drink liquid that could be

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena dismissed as "not worth commenting
on" allegations that as far back as last year, at least two MDC supporters
have died after imbibing the suspected poison.

      In line with the Police Service Charter, about which most Zimbabweans
are already sceptical, the ZRP clearly has a duty to not only
comprehensively address these very serious allegations but to also take
decisive steps to get to the bottom of these charges.

      In its charter, the ZRP has pledged to maintain transparency and
accountability in its operations and it is only these self-imposed
principles that Zimbabweans require the police to live up to.

      In line with its own pledge, the ZRP must investigate and explain the
concoction allegedly forced on opposition party members and believed to be
responsible for subsequent illnesses and deaths.

      It must investigate and explain the medically documented injuries
sustained by MDC legislator Job Sikhala as well as Human Rights NGO Forum
lawyer Gabriel Shumba after their arrest last week.

      These are only a few of the cases the police have been inexplicably
silent about.

      Another is the arrest in Kuwadzana last Tuesday of officials of the
Combined Harare Residents' Association after they were abducted and brutally
assaulted by suspected members of the ruling ZANU PF youth militia.

      It is baffling that the police would choose to detain overnight the
victims and not the perpetrators of such a crime and, as if that were not
bad enough, make no effort to procure medical attention for them.

      If rogue elements within the police force are responsible for such
unprofessional acts, then it is in the best interests of the ZRP to
decisively and vigorously ferret them out through an independent and
objective investigation.

      It is also in the interests of thousands of voiceless Zimbabweans who
might in future fall victim to these brutal elements and have no recourse
against them.

      However, such a probe must not go the way of similar exercises
undertaken in the past.

      Four years after a High Court judge ordered the police to investigate
the alleged torture in custody of two journalists, no report has been issued
and no arrests have been made.

      Such a casual attitude to these very serious human rights issues
serves neither the police nor the country as a whole.

      Zimbabwe continues to be denied crucial foreign investment and donor
support partly because of its image as a nation where the rule of law has
been severely eroded.

      The police's failure to protect the rights of Zimbabweans who pass
through their hands, be they opposition party members or ordinary people,
can only further entrench Zimbabwe's status as a pariah state to be avoided
at all costs.

      Indeed, unless the ZRP commits itself to serving and protecting the
public without bias, it risks a serious backlash from a population whose
patience has already been worn thin by hunger and worsening poverty.
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      Diplomatic staff go for months without pay

      Staff Reporter
      1/23/03 3:37:41 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Zimbabwean government has not paid most of its diplomatic staff
for the past four months and is slashing staffing levels at its embassies
around the world to reduce its foreign wage bill, the Financial Gazette has

      Diplomats this week said the payment of salaries at diplomatic
missions had been erratic since last September because of Zimbabwe's severe
foreign currency shortages, which have forced the government to spend most
of it meagre hard cash inflows on crucial imports of food, electricity and

      The diplomats said most of their colleagues were finding it difficult
to meet personal expenses and some of their spouses had been forced to take
on paid part-time work, violating diplomatic regulations.

      Spouses of diplomats posted overseas are not allowed to work in paid
employment because their living expenses are covered by a monthly stipend
provided by the state.

      "We have not been paid since September and we are actually receiving
part of the salaries and allowances for last year now in January," a
Zimbabwean diplomat based in a European Union (EU) member country told the
Financial Gazette.

      The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Willard
Chiwewe, confirmed that the government was facing difficulty in paying
diplomats and had accrued salary arrears.

      He said: "We have had hiccups and difficulties like everyone else
nationally in finding foreign currency to pay our diplomats abroad, and as
such, we have been late in paying them.

      "I am glad however to say we have been able to reduce the period of
arrears," Chiwewe added, without disclosing how long the government had been
in arrears.

      Official sources said in a bid to reduce its foreign wage bill, the
government was recalling some diplomatic officers from its 38 missions

      They said some of the officers would be re-deployed within the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Harare.

      The diplomatic staff members affected do not have specific duties
assigned to them and some have opted to retire from active service, the
sources said.

      They said new foreign postings had been frozen while staff at
non-critical missions was being re-deployed to countries deemed to be of
high priority.

      Government officials said the review of operations and staffing levels
at foreign missions had partly been prompted by the smart sanctions imposed
against President Robert Mugabe and his top officials last year.

      Several countries, including Australia, Canada, EU member states, New
Zealand and the United States of America, slapped a travel ban and financial
sanctions against Zimbabwean government officials in protest against what
they say was a flawed presidential election in March 2002.

      Government sources said the sanctions had left Zimbabwe's ambassadors
in foreign missions isolated.

      The government's failure to pay diplomats on time is only one of the
manifestations of the country's hard cash squeeze, which has hampered
imports of food, electricity and liquid fuel.

      Local companies have also been hard hit by the forex crisis, which has
left them unable to import the raw materials, spare parts and machinery
necessary for them to remain viable.

      Among those hardest hit are manufacturers, most of whose equipment is
imported, and transport operators, many of whom have been forced to ground
their vehicles because of the unavailability of spare parts.

      This has combined with shortages of fuel to create a severe public
transport crisis that is affecting workers and their employers.

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      What option is Mugabe likely to choose?

      1/23/03 1:45:03 AM (GMT +2)

      TWO weeks ago we proffered five options for unblocking the blocked
transition to democracy in Zimbabwe. We argued that maintaining the status
quo was leading nowhere but to further deterioration, ultimately leading to
civil unrest and chaos, and therefore to common ruin.

      We argued against a military option since other democratic options
existed, namely a re-run of the controversial March 2002 presidential
election and bringing forward the next presidential election scheduled for
2008 to occur concurrently with parliamentary elections scheduled for 2005,
three years away.

      Another democratic option of unblocking Zimba-bwe's blocked transition
to democracy was "removing the stumbling block" to a peaceful transition.

      We inferred that our 79-year-old President Robert Mugabe, who has been
in office for 23 years, was blocking the smooth transition; that he had
intractably dug in his heels to the extent that ZANU PF would only be
flexible with a new leader; that this option was still open for ZANU PF.

      We had passionately argued in favour of option (3), bringing forward
the presidential election to occur concurrently with parliamentary elections
in 2005, two years away, for basically two reasons:

        a.. First, six years from March 2002 to 2008 was too long a time for
the status quo to continue. By then the country would have bled to death in
every sense of the word.

        a.. The second reason was a practical and logistical one. An
immediate election re-run would be too hurried for a country so badly
traumatised by intimidation and electoral violence, particularly for the
past three years, especially so in the rural communities where about 60
percent of Zimbabwe's people still live.
      Three years would be the optimal time required to level up the
electoral playing field by doing the following:

        a.. Dismantle paramilitary structures, especially the war vets and
youth militia (green bombers);
        b.. De-politicise formal structures of state coercion, especially
the army, the police and the Central Intelligence Organisation;
        c.. De-politicise state institutions of good governance, especially
the judiciary, the civil service and the public media;
        d.. Repeal draconian legislation, especially the Public Order and
Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
that are an affront on civil liberties and human rights of the citizen; and,
above all
        e.. Coming up with a new democratic constitution that provides for
an electoral law that enshrines an independent election commission to run
all elections - local, parliamentary, presidential and by-elections thereof.
      Once beaten, twice shy. We should be suspicious of anything with an
element of "fast-track" in it. The democratic process should not be
"fast-tracked" to the extent of arriving at the Second Republic without a
democratic constitution hoping that the incumbents would legislate it.

      I strongly believe the right or propitious moment to come up with a
democratic and wise constitution is now, before the next parliamentary and
presidential elections. We have a balanced parliamentary representation to
come up with a balanced constitution. Moreover, the three years of
transition to democracy is therapeutic for our parliamentarians on both
sides of the aisle. They learn or begin to learn to legislate on behalf of
the people, not on behalf of a party.

      Accordingly, civil society has a "job of work" to do. We have to
convince the political society that levelling the electoral playing field
and a new constitution take precedence in unblocking Zimbabwe's transition
to democracy. The Second Republic should implement a new constitution, and
not make it.

      We discussed the critical question whether the country can afford to
bleed even for another three more months. We argued that the bleeding could
stop almost immediately after the re-demo-cratisation process outlined above

      Frankly, it is as simple as that. If yesterday the core of the
Zimbabwe crisis lay in the land question, today governance is at the core of
the crisis.

      We continue to offend our people and the international community by
the way we govern, which is out of step with international norms of human
rights and civil liberties. And we cheat ourselves to believe we can win
against the world on this one.

      Most reactions on the five or six options I proffered two weeks ago
preferred a synthesis of option (3) and (4), arguing that for option (3) -
bringing forward the presidential elections - to succeed, Mugabe must step
down or retire immediately so that somebody in his party committed to
unblocking the blocked transition to democracy in Zimbabwe would lead the

      "The very persuasive argument you gave, Professor, why option (3) is
the best, fails because you trust Mugabe to be in charge of the unblocking
process. This cannot be," said one caller who didn't mind being quoted by
name, if need be.

      "Mugabe is not repentant. He is not like these 'born-again'
Christians. He is Catholic, and a Jesuit Catholic for that matter," he went
on to say, talking from his knowledge of both the man and the Bible.

      "But James, the man who put Christianity on the map to be the religion
that it is now, was Saul of Tarsus (St Paul) who used to persecute
Christians for the Roman empire for political ends," I observed, not wanting
to appear unknowledgeable about both the man and the "good book".

      "But there are no 'born-again' Christians in Catholicism and Mugabe is
a Catholic," insisted James.

      "And so was Martin Luther the father of Protestantism? He was a
Catholic before he converted to Protestantism," I said from my wealth of
knowledge about the history of Christianity.

      But James, who knew the same Christian history I was telling him
about, insisted that it took years for Martin Luther to differ with the
Catholic interpretation of scriptures before his arguments were finally
consolidated into the "10 theses" which he pinned on the walls of the
Catholic church.

      That, Mugabe has not even begun considering re-democratisation. That
is the least on his mind.

      "In fact," said James, "Mugabe does not even think that Zimbabwe's
transition to democracy was blocked last March. He is thinking about how to
maintain power until 2008 and yonder. The man cannot be a 'born-again'; he
will remain with his ideas up to the grave."

      Then I read that the President had scoffed at speculation of an exit
plan, probably exile to Malaysia, with the imperialist Press quoting him as
saying: "I will never ever go into exile. I fought for Zimbabwe . . . Just
yesterday, the people elected me to serve for six years. I can't betray them
and resign when my term has just only begun."

      While this might add credence to James' non-repentant thesis, to me
kutaura kwavakuru, it's the way elders talk.

      Moreover, and more importantly, the matter might no longer depend
simply on Mugabe's perception of himself and his contribution to the
liberation of this country.

      Economic, social and political decay were the fundamental causes of
the French Revolution, and revolutions in general. But the immediate cause
of the French Revolution was simply the fact that le citoyens (the citizens)
started talking about it.

      I believe civil unrest can be avoided by our leaders acting
responsibly in the days that lie ahead and the greatest responsibility lies
on the shoulders of Mugabe because he is the President.

      And to fellow Zimbabweans, we have an even larger responsibility in
this whole issue. Assume James' thesis is proven wrong. What do we do?

      Do we encourage the President to seek asylum elsewhere or do we
encourage him to stay home? For, we did love him once. What cause have we
now to delight in the fact we can't keep our own, right or wrong?

      The way discussed in option (3) is going to determine whether we have
come of age for the experiences of the past.

      I heard something that James probably didn't hear when the President
said: "I fought for this country, why should I go into exile?" Kutaura
kwavakuru. It's the way elders talk. Indeed, why should he go into exile?

        a.. Professor Masipula Sithole is a lecturer of political science at
the University of Zimbabwe and director of the Harare-based Mass Public
Opinion Institute.
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      The tragedy of a stubborn dictator

      1/23/03 1:32:57 AM (GMT +2)

      THE tragedy of being victims of a dictatorship is that sometimes
desperation dictates one's thinking. This is the tragedy that Zimbabweans
find themselves in today.

      Because we are ruled through dictatorship, we have lost hope to an
extent where we have become restless and our thinking and imagination
sometimes are defying logic.

      The manifestation of this loss of hope has seen some in the democratic
struggle losing focus and serious thinking as far as the crisis is concerned
by blaming the opposition for not doing anything. I argue that President
Robert Mugabe's chief nemesis will be hunger and his stubbornness.

      Those who are expecting Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan
Tsvangirai to walk the streets of Harare shouting instructions for people to
stand up and fight for their rights are expecting too much from an
opposition leader. The crisis that we are facing, in my opinion, goes beyond
Tsvangirai and the MDC and it will only take the people of Zimbabwe standing
up to reclaim their freedom.

      My argument is not that the opposition should not lose sleep over the
crisis. It should organise and coalesce with civic society to find a lasting
solution to the crisis.

      The opposition must do so but do this in a way that is not going to
give Mugabe and his coercive apparatus a reason to settle scores with the
people of Zimbabwe, particularly those who are in urban areas.

      It is quite evident that Mugabe is angry with his own people for the
simple reason that they do not want him in power anymore.

      I have listened with a bleeding heart to many desperate voices calling
for a violent overthrow of the Mugabe regime and I shudder to think what the
consequences of such an attempt will be. Those of us who have tried to give
wise counsel on the dangers of letting desperation and emotion dictate our
actions have been dismissed as cowards.

      Yes we are in an economic and governance crisis, but does that call
for suspension of reason and putting the lives of millions of Zimbabweans at
the mercy of a raging dictator whose arms of force are clearly itching for a
moment to pounce?

      As hunger and starvation stalk Zimbabweans, there is no doubt that
Mugabe and his ZANU PF henchmen are realising that land reform is different
from parceling out land to party supporters and sympathisers.

      There are unprecedented food shortages and each day Zimbabweans are
becoming increasingly restless. But Mugabe is too stubborn to admit failure.

      History tells us that he has never admitted failure anyway. He has
told us that he has "stomach pains over the fuel crisis" but never admitted
that he is at the core of the crisis.

      Even for the Matebeleland madness which resulted in the murder of
thousands, Mugabe has only offered a thinly veiled admission of guilt by
saying "...that was regrettable." He never said he was sorry about it.

      Those that have the expertise to predict weather have already warned
that another drought looms in the 2002/2003 agricultural season. But Mugabe
and his ruling regime keep shouting "Chave chimurenga" as if they have no
eyes to see that the only "chimurenga" Zimbabweans are fighting is hunger
and starvation.

      ZANU PF wants the world to believe that why there is no food in the
country is because of a drought. The truth is that we are hungry because of
their chaotic land grab exercise and the voodoo macro-economic policies that
they are pursuing.

      We have gone through worse droughts before but we have never witnessed
this level of starvation. It is because then we had a very vibrant
commercial farming sector.

      It is saddening to note that around the whole country there is nothing
that is seriously going on in the farms that Mugabe gave to his supporters
and friends. Even if we were to have a normal rain season there would still
be food shortages in this country.

      I have seen a farm in the Mount Hampden area that was once a marvel to
look at because the commercial farmer who was running it was very
productive. Only in a space of a couple of months the farm has been
transformed into a bush of weeds, thanks to the "new farmer". And still
Mugabe and his henchmen cannot swallow the pride and admit that the process
has been a failure.

      What has become clear is that starvation is going to be the last nail
on Mugabe's coffin. Zimbabweans have asked Mugabe to respect their will and
just step down but he has dismissed them as malcontents.

      The international community has made concerted efforts to make Mugabe
realise that he is a stumbling block to the country's transition to
democratic governance and economic development but he has not listened to

      Even Mugabe's friends in the region like South Africa's Thabo Mbeki
and Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo have tried to make Mugabe seriously
recognise the legitimacy of the opposition and to sit down with them and
talk about the country's crisis but his love for power has made him rebuff
such efforts.

      Mugabe will soon realise that he can run but he cannot hide because
the tide of a hungry and restive nation is sure to sweep him out of power.

      The sooner he realises that starvation knows no dictatorship the
better. With a hungry and angry nation there will not be any Tony Blair to
blame for the crisis. A starving people will not listen to any of the "we
went to war" bunch of baloney.

      What the people will simply demand is for those that are responsible
for the mess to go. With a hungry and angry nation there will not be any
POSA or AIPPA to subvert the will of the people. Even those professors that
are gifted with the art of lying and deceit will not have anyone to lie to.

      There will not be any ZBC to churn out propaganda because no one will
be watching television or listening to the nauseating "chave chimurenga"
adverts on the radio. That will be the height of the tragedy of a stubborn
dictator and a hungry and angry nation.

      Charles Mangongera is a researcher with the Mass Public Opinion
Institute, a Harare-based research organisation. He can be reached on
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      The eclipse, the 'exit plot' and the 'crown prince'

      1/23/03 1:36:41 AM (GMT +2)

      AN air of uncertainty hung ominously over Zimbabwe as the curtain fell
on the year 2002.

      The year was characterised by an unprecedented political crisis that
was accentuated by a seriously flawed presidential election, a rapidly
shrinking economy and a looming famine. The same dark clouds, spiced with
high political drama and intrigue, ominously ushered in the new year.

      Zimbabwe experienced two solar eclipses within a space of 18 months,
one in the northeast of the country and one in the southwest. This rare
occurrence is pregnant with meaning. Pessimists are already reaching for
their Bibles and declaring that Armageddon beckons.

      Traditionally, national leaders are likened to the sun. Indeed, in the
traditions of old Egypt, the pharaoh was regarded as the divine
manifestation of the sun god Ra.

      Even the King James version of the Bible refers to the king as "the
appearance of Your Majesty, as the Sun in his strength". Darkening of the
sun was thus regarded as a bad omen.

      But why two eclipses in Zimbabwe?

      It could mean that two eras are about to come to an end. The first
total eclipse in June 2001 was a sign of the waning influence of those that
held sway during the Rhodesian period.

      The illegal and often violent commercial farm invasions spelt the end
of the white commercial farming sector that had largely been the backbone of
the illegal Rhodesian regime.

      Some seers have interpreted the second eclipse of December 2002 to
mean that the post-independence era headed by President Robert Mugabe is
also about to come to a close.

      This interpretation was given wider currency by the unprecedented
dismissal of former football boss, Leo Mugabe, after an inordinately long
period in office. This developed into a frenzy last week with the news of
the alleged "exit plan" for Mugabe.

      Let us examine the current storm surrounding the President's alleged
exit plan.

      Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai burst onto the front page of the
Daily News on December 19 2002, soon after the eclipse, claiming that an
unholy trilogy of South Africa, Britain and the ruling party had agreed on
Zimbabwe's future behind our backs. We were not given details of these

      It appears that they may have been some exploratory discussions in
South Africa where a number of scenarios on Zimbabwe's future were

      The host could have been a private think-tank that we may refer to as
the "Southern African Institute for International Affairs". We are made to
assume that ambassadors of the British government may have been present,
along with representatives of the South African government.

      In addition, it would be logical for interested local businessmen or
their representatives, to attend such a meeting.

      In this theoretical scenario, we may refer to these businessmen as
"Wekwamaphosa" of South Africa and the "Remiehneppo" family that has
extensive mining and agricultural interests in Zimbabwe, in particular in
the fictitious "Guruuswa" and central provinces of Zimbabwe.

      We are not given a clue as to the identity of the ZANU PF
representative and/or government official at the meeting. However, we are
led by Tsvangirai's statement to believe that retired Lt Col Lionel Dyke was
privy to such a meeting.

      It was further alleged that Dyke had been sent by a politico-military
group in ZANU PF to seek the MDC's endorsement of a plan to ease the
President out of office.

      Surprisingly, discussion surrounding this earth-shattering revelation
only entered the public domain in January 2003, when the state President was
on leave in the Far East. Thereafter, local and international media added
more spin to the story until it sounded as if a palace coup was in the

      Many are still baffled by the blistering public criticism of South
Africa and Britain by the MDC leader and the throwing into the public domain
Dyke's embryonic mission.

      Was this to divert attention from the impending treason trial as some
suggested, or was this an attempt to cause serious divisions in ZANU
PF/government ranks?

      Either way, this could backfire. The MDC's image was also damaged by
the different messages given by three of its senior officials.

      More alarming was the ruling party and government propagandist's
reference to Rhodesian soldiers, "coup plotters" and "electoral cowards" who
would soon be exposed.

      People began to conclude that there was "no smoke without fire".

      Speculation was rife that Dyke was also in contact with the British.
The Independent even hinted that British foreign secretary's conciliatory
remarks on Zimbabwe towards the end of last year were a signal to elements
in Zimbabwe that Britain would welcome a local solution.

      Our foreign affairs permanent secretary also came up with a response
in the stage-managed Herald interview that the problems between Zimbabwe and
Britain were essentially a personality clash that could easily be overcome
for the good of the two sister countries that shared strong historical,
cultural, linguistic and economic ties.

      Extreme hypocrisy surrounds the official denunciation of any potential
military coup. Have many of us not warned before of the dangers of
militarising state institutions?

      Military figures are prominent in the intelligence service, prison
service, national parks, fuel and food procurement and distribution and even
in the management of elections!

      Further, exactly a year ago, after the military's January 9 2002
"presidential straight jacket" statement, the state media was awash with
voluminous defence of that sad development.

      Because this was perceived to mean that the military was opposed to
the MDC presidential candidate, there was open celebration from many
pro-status quo quarters.

      Were they not aware that the military could also one day be used in
the mother of all battles for succession within the ruling party? Indeed,
when rumours of the alleged "exit plan" surfaced, many people wanted to
celebrate! The chickens have come home to roost.

      The million-dollar question remained, was the state president aware of
the alleged "exit plan"? If he was not, then we should expect fireworks!

      What if he was aware? The assumption is that the plan's road map
included a number of steps lasting even a full year. The first would have
been to sell the plan at the ZANU PF December conference.

      This would have then resulted in the possible retirement of one or
both of that party's second secretaries to make way for the allegedly
preferred "crown prince". This would then be followed by a Cabinet reshuffle
that would see the elevation of the "crown prince" to the post of state vice

      Thereafter, with good progress on the talks with the opposition, a
constitutional amendment to allow the vice president to act as president for
more than 90 days. This transitional arrangement would end with a new
constitution and new joint parliamentary and presidential elections in 2005.

      If the President is not in favour of the alleged "crown prince", why
then did he facilitate his appointment to speaker of Parliament, which makes
him fourth in state protocol, and de facto secretary-general of the ruling

      We are therefore left to surmise that another factor could be at
play - the proposed "rainbow alliance" in ZANU PF alluded to by your
Assistant Editor Sydney Masamvu in his installment last week.

      This may explain ruling party Politburo member and information chief's
pre-emptive statement categorically declaring that there would be no
leadership changes at the December conference and that posts would only be
up for grabs at the 2005 congress.

      Further, because of the alleged military backing of the "exit plan"
camp, Masamvu alludes to the possible drafting of former military supremo,
retired General Solomon Mujuru, into the "rainbow" camp.

      Understandably, there are also those in the government from the
southwest in particular who fear that any accommodation involving the
opposition would result in them being discarded into the political dust bin.
This happened when the late Joshua Nkomo's PF ZAPU merged with ZANU PF.

      So the "rainbow" camp could be behind the repackaging of the "exit
plan" in the Sunday Mirror as a trial balloon that was destined to be shot
down decisively.

      Further, the President was then challenged in public: "How can you
leave us your loyalists after we just voted you into office for six years?"
This is accompanied by subtle threats of leaving the "Uhuru project" to form
a formidable Kenya-style "rainbow alliance" with the opposition.

      The President dutifully responds that he will "never ever" go! Bravo!
In a sense too, by shooting down the alleged "exit plan", the "rainbow" camp
was sending a message to the British, South Africans, the MDC and others
that "you are dealing with the wrong camp. If you want a deal, come to us!"

      So what will the President do to the alleged "crown prince" after this
debacle? My guess is nothing really, for now.

      However, there may be an attempt to purge alleged pro-"crown prince"
officials in the government, including in the critical diplomatic postings
of London and Washington.

      What will happen to the military man? I guess also nothing really, for
now. It would be too destabilising to do otherwise.

      What will happen to future talks with the MDC? These are likely to be
shelved for now.

      Divisive attempts are likely to be made to bypass the MDC leader in
future negotiations.

      The official government line will be what the military man said -
Mugabe will serve his full term.

      However, we wait to see whether the suggestion to appoint a crisis
committee will be taken. Probably not. In effect, Zimbabwe will continue its
relentless path to decay.

      The Zimbabwean crisis is largely one of governance. To a large extent,
this country has been governed through Machiavellian principles.

      In his treatise, the prince, Italian political philosopher Machiavelli
(1469-1527), suggests: ".in the actions of all men, and most of all of
princes, where there is no tribunal to which to appeal, we look to results..
if a prince succeeds.the means will always be judged honourable and be
approved by everyone." Does this explain Zimbabwe's land policy?

      However, it is not widely known that Machiavelli wrote several other
treatises. In Discourses, he argues that democratic republics are far better
than benevolent princedoms.

      He argues that ". . . people are more prudent and stable, and have
better judgment than a prince . . . The voice of the people is the voice of
God . . . cities where the people are masters make the greatest progress in
the least possible time . . ."

      However, he argues that a republic is only possible where there is a
critical mass of citizens with virtue. It is evident from the way the
Zimbabwe crisis is being handled by many local and foreign actors that
Zimbabwe is regarded as a fiefdom that requires a strong but benevolent
prince. This is wrong.

      When the rule of law breaks down, Machiavelli warns in Discourses that
". . . a prince who knows no other control but his own will is like a madman
. . ." Zimbabwe's destiny cannot be left to the whims and caprices of a few

      Back to the eclipse. It's not all gloom and doom. The second southern
eclipse could mean that Zimbabwe's new leader would emerge from the south.

      The two eclipses were 18 months apart. This could mean that profound
positive changes would take place in Zimbabwe within 18 months, around June
2004. It will be a long struggle.

      The major political parties must continue to engage each other.
However, better emissaries need to be identified.

      Our foreign friends must also be brought on board; there is no need
for either the MDC or the government propagandist to spew venom at them.

      Finally and more importantly, since we have pretensions to become a
truly democratic republic, the people must be fully engaged in any
transition process. This is therefore a poignant reminder to the entire
broad spectrum of civil society in Zimbabwe to assert our sovereignty.

      lReginald Matchaba-Hove is a political commentator, a legal
practicioner and a women's rights activist
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      A farm for each English cricket team member

      1/23/03 1:23:29 AM (GMT +2)

      DEAR Cabinet and Politburo Members
      What a terrific start to the new year this has been, comrades. I just
love every minute of it.

      The way things have been going in the last couple of weeks, I am more
than convinced that God himself is an ardent fan of our great party and our
revolutionary land reform programme.

      How else can you explain the pleasant scenario we find ourselves in?

      That little man Tony Blair is literally in tears pleading with England
and Wales Cricket Board chairman David Morgan to withdraw the English team
from its Cricket World Cup fixtures in Harare.

      Morgan remains transfixed as if unable to make up his mind, then all
of a sudden, he tells Blair straight to his face that the English cricket
team will be playing in Harare on February 13.

      Good gracious, what a marvellous way to shame Tony Blair, defeating
the little man's evil scheme to demonise our great country in the sporting
world - and this with the help of his own kith and kin!

      Comrades, how I wish South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe could host the
Cricket World Cup every month.

      I am also informed that Blair could soon be in even more embarrassing
trouble, trying to restrain his wife Cherrie from flying over to see our
irresistible Victoria Falls.

      Remember David Livingstone's statement of submission to the alluring
magic of the falls: "Scenes so lovely could only have been gazed upon by
angels in their flight."

      But on a more serious note, I am instructing Comrade Made at Lands and
Agriculture to ensure every English cricket team player who visits Zimbabwe
is given a farm.

      Those who bring along their families can get the farm together with
the farmhouse and household property, including pots and pans, as well as
farm machinery, livestock and any other valuables seized from the previous
white owner.

      Morgan and England captain Nasser Hussain should be given two farms

      I am, as you all know, a great cricket fan. I'm sure Comrade Mohadi
will take all steps necessary to ensure that I watch my game in peace. I
appointed him to my war Cabinet because I knew him to be a no-nonsense man.
So I have absolutely no doubt that the cricket games will be as tranquil as
I wish them to be.

      I'm sure I don't need to remind Comrade Mohadi or any member of the
war Cabinet that the crackdown against all those threatening violence during
the games, many of who turn out to be MDC supporters, needs to be stepped

      I would suggest we round up troublemakers like National Constitutional
Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku and anybody else who wants to join him in
those demonstrations he says he wants to stage during the cricket games.

      These scoundrels should be thrown into Chikurubi maximum prison or
worse. Do we still have crocodile farms at Kariba Dam, Kembo? I'm sure I don
't need to say more.



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      FAO pledges 350 000 doses of foot-and-mouth vaccines

      Staff Reporter
      1/23/03 1:49:22 AM (GMT +2)

      THE United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation has pledged 350
000 doses of foot-and-mouth vaccines for Zimbabwe's Department of Veterinary
Services, following pleas for assistance to fight the disease to the
Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the South African

      Veterinary Services principal director Stuart Hargreaves said Zimbabwe
had approached the SADC secretariat last year for help in fighting foot and
mouth, an outbreak of which resulted in the suspension of regional and
international beef exports in 2002.

      Hargreaves said Zimbabwe, hampered by severe foreign currency
shortages from importing foot-and-mouth medication, had requested 2.3
million of doses of vaccines from the SADC secretariat.

      Meanwhile, the South African Meat Industry Company (Samic), worried
about the spread of the disease beyond Zimbabwe's borders, has also appealed
to its government to assist the cash-strapped Zimbabwean authorities by
paying for vaccines.

      Hargreaves told the Financial Gazette: "We are still waiting for a
response. But on Friday I was informed verbally that the Food and
Agriculture Organisation will be giving us 350 000 doses of vaccines for
fighting the foot-and-mouth disease."

      He said although foot-and-mouth was a "major regional problem",
southern African countries needed international assistance to deal with the
disease, which could be spread easily through the illegal trade in animals
and their products.

      The movement of cattle from Zimbabwe, for instance, is believed to
have contributed to the outbreak last week of foot-and-mouth in Botswana,
which has led to the suspension of meat, dairy and hide imports to South
Africa and the European Union (EU).

      Indiscriminate movement of animals within Zimbabwe itself is believed
to have resulted in the outbreak of foot-and-mouth in Matabeleland last
year, which also forced the EU and South Africa to suspend Zimbabwean meat

      The illegal movement of animals in Zimbabwe has been facilitated by
the government's controversial land reform programme, which has led to
wildlife and cattle being moved around the country indiscriminately.

      Samic chief executive Manie Booysen said the only way to protect South
Africa's meat industry from the devastating impact of foot-and-mouth was for
that country's government to foot the bill for Zimbabwe's vaccines.

      He said that his organisation had urged the South African government
to provide vaccines, at an estimated cost of between R14 million and R25
million, since Zimbabwe did not have adequate foreign currency to import

      "The appeal was done on behalf of veterinary services in the region
because we are seriously concerned about what is happening down there,"
Booysen told the Financial Gazette.

      "From our side, we had a meeting where we realised that there was a
need to fight the disease from the source, which is that side," he added.

      Booysen said because of foot-and-mouth, South Africa had stopped
buying meat and hides from Zimbabwe. However, he said the products were
still finding their way to South African because of rampant smuggling.
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