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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Zim Independent

Mudenge gives Zimbabwe a bad name in Brussels
By Paul Themba Nyathi

ZIMBABWEANS who read Minister Stan Mudenge's submission to the European
Union in Brussels will now understand why our country has such a poor image
in most capitals of the world. It was an amazing display of ignorance on
Mudenge's part as to how the rest of the world operates and what it takes
for a country to win and influence friends.

Mudenge's presentation was obviously aimed at the dwindling band of Zanu PF
sycophants who have "discovered" a new brand of nationalism that would make
Josef Stalin green with envy. The only problem with their brand of
nationalism is that it is so antiquated that no-one who is part of a
modernising world would have any truck with it.

Mudenge told his audience - which must have wondered what he was talking
about most of the time - that his team accepted "dialogue not a monologue or

He than proceeded over the next couple of minutes to subject the audience to
the most monologue-like diatribe imaginable. Despite the occasional show of
bravado, the man attempted to charm the Spanish chairman by seeming to draw
satisfaction in the fact that Zimbabwe was "briefly a Spanish colony". For
someone who defined partnership as being "not about grovelling, begging, and
kow-towing" his apparent pleasure at Zimbabwe having been colonised by Spain
betrayed the confusion that underlines Zimbabwe's foreign policy.

These are people who would like to be liked, but behave so obnoxiously that
it is impossible for anyone to do so. It would take a serious betrayal of
any nation's moral sensitivities to go to bed with a regime that tells a lie
as bare-faced as Mudenge's assertion that "police evidence indicates that
there have been no fresh farm occupations since Abuja, and Sadc ministers
and representatives of other observers (whoever those are!) have
acknowledged and welcomed the steps taken by government to facilitate the
implementation of the Abuja conclusions and the land reform programme in

I hope the Sadc ministers, who thought by issuing a mild and
solidarity-driven communiqué, they would prevent Mugabe from going over the
precipice, now understand how their politeness is being abused and
manipulated by Zimbabwe as a licence to mislead the world.

Who does Mudenge think he is fooling? In this day and age of information
technology, does he not know that events happening hundreds of thousands of
kilometres away are only an Internet connection away? Within minutes of
David Mpala, MDC member of parliament for Lupane, being abducted and
assaulted by Zanu PF thugs, people in Norway knew about it. A phone call to
any of our neighbouring countries within minutes of this dastardly act
occurring meant that these countries' representatives went to the Sadc
summit in Blantyre in the full knowledge that in Zimbabwe even elected
representatives of the people are not safe from state-sponsored terror.

Telling lies does not clean Zimbabwe's self-inflicted bad image. The answer
lies in Zimbabwe desisting from actions that render it a pariah state.
Pre-election violence is abhorrent and results in a country being perceived
as unstable.

Mudenge attempts to drive a wedge between EU countries that are white and
ACP countries that are predominately black. One gets the impression that he
hopes that because the ACP countries are not white they subscribe to
devalued values. We all know that within both the EU and ACP, there are
nations whose records of governance stink to high heaven. However, the
Cotonou agreement means that they all at least avoid behaving like Zimbabwe.
So for Mudenge to try and invite the ACP countries to participate in
Zimbabwe's disregard for the rule of law is misplaced. In Sindebele we say:
"Zosele wedwa isikhova sakho." Freely translated it means if you indulge in
evil, do not invite others to partake in such evil with you.

Zimbabwe's lack of foreign policy savvy is also demonstrated by Mudenge's
attempt to drive a wedge between Britain and its other 14 EU partners.
Whilst it is agreed that Britain bears a sizeable chunk of the blame for
some of the problems besetting the current land redistribution program- me,
it would be stretching the imagination to unrealistic levels to believe that
Zimbabwe's current problems are about land. They are not. It is only people
like Ali Halimeh, Coltrane Chimurenga and Reverend Kunonga who deliberately
seek to convince themselves that this is all about land. Even they cannot
explain how the attack on the home of MDC Harare South MP, Gabriel Chaibva,
has anything to do with land redistribution.

The more than 100 people who have been murdered since the June election had
nothing to do with land redistribution. None of these people was killed in a
struggle for equitable land redistribution. They were killed because Zanu PF
is refusing to relinquish power after 21 years of self-indulgence.
Mudenge knows that the Abuja agreement was a dead letter the day it was
signed. Apart from its many flaws, it did not provide Zanu PF with an
alternative campaign strategy to violence.

To expect a party that has had nothing to show for its 21 years of
stewardship of the country to compete for power, let alone defend its record
as democratic decency would require, is to act in ignorance of Zanu PF's
panicked state. A system of patronage that feeds on corruption creates a
sense of insecurity when the possibility of loss of power becomes imminent.
The EU and ACP countries know this.

Mudenge would need to do better than blame Zimbabwe's problems on the EU's
alleged "active involvement in the politics of Zimbabwe, sponsoring and
campaigning in favour of opposition movements...". Since the June 2000
parliamentary election the MDC has obtained 27 rural and urban council
seats, and has in its bag three mayoral victories. In none of these contests
have I come across a single EU person campaigning for the MDC.

Mudenge and his colleagues might think nothing of the internal displacement
of thousands of people as a result of state-sponsored terror. They might
consider the death of more than 100 people in politically-motivated violence
as minor. And when over 500 000 people lose their livelihoods through
violent farm seizures, to Mudenge this might be "the occurrence of a series
of incidents blown out of proportion by a sponsored media". However, to more
decent countries these incidents would be cause for revulsion.

It would be interesting to know how much Mudenge's delegation spent of
Zimbabwe's scarce foreign currency on this useless trip. It is unfathomable
that responsible ministers can go all the way to Brussels to shamelessly lie
to their EU counterparts and state that Zimbabwe's abrogation of the rule of
law was occasioned by "efforts to effectively address the pressing question
of historical injustices in the distribution of land among the people of

These are provincial leaders with tunnel vision. Zimbabwe does not deserve

l Paul Themba Nyathi is MDC MP for Gwanda North and director of elections.

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Zim Independent

Zanu PF faces campaign boycott

Forward Maisokwadzo
 THREE key ruling Zanu PF provinces have threatened a potentially damaging
rebellion by refusing to campaign for the party's embattled candidate,
President Robert Mugabe ahead of the forthcoming March election. High-level
party sources said Zimbabwe's most populous province, Masvingo, together
with Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South, have warned that they would
boycott campaigns for Mugabe if the recently formed command centre to
spearhead electioneering remained unrepresentative.

Sources said the threats, which are likely to fuel the already deep
divisions in the party, are contained in the command centre's maiden report
presented to the politburo on Tuesday by its chairman, Zanu PF political
commissar Elliot Manyika.

Manyika is said to have shocked the politburo, the supreme decision-making
body, when he reported that there were no party structures in certain
provinces from cell to branches, with only seven weeks left before the
watershed election.

Manyika was tasked by the politburo to audit the party's structures from
cell up to national level and set up provincial and inter-district command
centres in preparation for the presidential poll.

Party sources said although the politburo expressed satisfaction with the
progress made by the command centre since its formation three weeks ago,
Manyika raised concerns that its operations faced logistical problems.

The centre reported that with the nomination court sitting next Thursday,
the party should move swiftly to iron out divisions which have rocked the
party and focus on the forthcoming presidential poll.

Rampant political bickering and back-biting within both the provincial and
national leadership was detrimental to the party's centralised campaign
strategy, Manyika was said to have reported to the politburo.

He reported that factionalism was still rampant in Masvingo and warned that
forcing people to buy party cards was detrimental to the implementation of
the party's new campaign strategy.

Sources said divisions also emerged within the party over co-opting youth
brigades into the command centre. The brigades are causing mayhem and
sparking resentment in both rural and urban constituencies

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Commonwealth Group to Discuss Zimbabwe
VOA News
25 Jan 2002 02:37 UTC

A Commonwealth ministerial group is set to discuss next week a proposal for
Zimbabwe's suspension from the 54-member organization.

Officials say the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group will meet on
Wednesday in London to study the issue.

Britain, Australia and New Zealand called for suspension after Zimbabwe's
parliament passed two bills last week aimed at suppressing the political
opposition and the media ahead of presidential elections in March.

This week, British Prime Minister Tony Blair called the actions of
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe a "disgrace" to the whole of Southern
Africa. Also this week, a group of Southern African church leaders called
for Mr. Mugabe's resignation saying his departure would benefit Africa.

Zimbabwe is expected to be high on the agenda during the four-day summit of
Commonwealth leaders in Australia in March. They will meet a few days before
Zimbabwe's presidential election on March 9 and 10.

On Thursday, Zimbabwe's parliament delayed debate on another media bill
designed to tighten restrictions on journalists. It would require all
journalists to have a government license to work or face up to two years in

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's government says it is searching for South African and
British journalists said to be in the country illegally by posing as
tourists. The journalists are accused of reporting on Zimbabwe without
obtaining the government accreditation required by law.

Mr. Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since it gained independence in 1980. He faces
his greatest challenge yet in the March election from the leading opposition
candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, of the Movement for Democratic Change.

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Business Day

Critics say revised bill is no less repressive

HARARE Amendments to Zimbabwe's proposed media bill did little to moderate
the "highly repressive" legislation seeking to muzzle the press ahead of
presidential elections, independent media groups said yesterday.
The 39 amendments to the Access to Information Bill could still make it
illegal for anyone to work as a journalist in Zimbabwe without state

Foreign correspondents would be able to work in the country only after being
accredited in advance by the information minister and only to cover specific
news events.

Violations of the revised bill would remain punishable by up to two years in
jail. "There are no substantial changes," said Reyhana Masters-Smith of the
Media Institute of Southern Africa.

"It is still highly repressive and we oppose it. There has merely been an
attempt to make some of the provisions more vague."

Parliament went into a surprise recess within minutes of convening on
Tuesday amid reports that even ruling party stalwarts were critical of it.

According to the revised bill, foreign media organisations would be able to
have offices in Zimbabwe only with the permission of Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo.

Employees could be only Zimbabwean citizens or immigrants with permanent
residence status. The bill also outlined a range of restrictions on
reporting. One minor concession in the amendments removed penalties for
criticising President Robert Mugabe.

But the Public Order and Security Act passed earlier this month outlawed
statements likely to engender hatred or hostility towards Mugabe.

It also gave police sweeping powers of search and arrest.

The increasingly unpopular Mugabe is seen to be using new legislation to
suppress opposition and extend his 22-year rule in March presidential

The country's journalists' union said its members in the independent press
planned to risk arrest and ignore media licensing requirements and other
restrictions if they become law.

More than a dozen independent reporters have been arrested in recent months
and others have been assaulted by ruling party militants.

The government said on Friday it would allow European Union observers to
monitor the March election, with the exception of observers from Britain,
the former colonial power, and the Netherlands, which it accuses of bias.

EU foreign ministers are to debate the situation in Zimbabwe at a meeting on
Monday in Brussels. Sapa-AP.
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Z$ 40 million worth of assets go under the hammer of injustice

News release
(On behalf of the Commercial Farmers Union CFU)

A drought of reason continues to prevail on Zimbabwean farms as assets worth
Z$ 40 million went under the hammer of injustice. The illegal auctions are
being conducted under the guise of supplying gratuity packages to staff of
farmers illegally evicted from their farms.

Mashonaland East has been an area hard hit by violence over the last year.
In December 2001, owner of Alamein farm Guy Watson – Smith, Commercial
Farmers’ Union regional chairman, was forced off his farm. He obtained a
court order to allow the removal of Z$ 120 million assets. Efforts to secure
the assets have met with resistance from District War Veteran leader,
Comrade Zhou who was alleged to have threatened the Deputy Sheriff when he
went to the farm some weeks back.

A further attempt to visit the farm and secure assets was scheduled for
today 24th January but the Deputy Sheriff Mr. Gwekwerere declined to allow
attendance by members of the press until he had obtained clearance from his
Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

As of the 16th January 2002 only a few implements remain on the farm.
General Solomon Mujuru, who seized the farm and prevented a ‘civilized
withdrawal’, is alleged to have advised the staff to sell farm equipment. At
least three public auctions have since been carried out under cover of
supplying ‘gratuity packages’ for the staff of 300 workers, who were
previously employed by Watson Smith.

Indications are that Mujuru now employs the labour force and that he is
paying the salaries, which amount to a million Zimbabwe dollars monthly.

Events on the Watson-Smith farm have spread to other areas of Beatrice over
the last few weeks. Most of the incidents involve ‘Comrade Zhou’. He is
himself a beneficiary of a plot on Dunedin farm but controls the allocation
of plots and generally oversees all operations by war veterans and settlers
in this province.

Mr Steve Terblans (47 yrs) is another Beatrice farmer, who has left the
country under the threat of death. Both farms belonging to the Terblans
family were acquired. Gwalia farm was home to Mr and Mrs Terblans Senior
before the death in May 2001 of Mr Terblans. Mr and Mrs Terblans worked
Gemini farm, with 20 staff. The family have been resident in Beatrice since

“We have lost in a week what has been built up over 3 generations.”

Mr Terblans issued a statement before leaving the country.

He said, “On 4th January 2002 whilst returning from Johannesburg I received
a phone call that my family were surrounded by war veterans who were seeking
to evict us. We were given 30 minutes to evacuate the farm under threat of

War veteran, known as Marewa who reports to Beatrice War Veteran leader
Comrade Zhou.

“He told me that he was armed and that if we failed to comply, it would mean
death. He further stated that I could phone the police if I liked, but that
I would find that they would not react. They did not react and we eventually
left the farm with three suitcases and meagre belongings.”

The family would stay with friends in Harare whilst attempting to negotiate
their return to the farm.

“The Inspector of Beatrice police agreed to arrange a meeting with both the
labour and the War Veterans. He explained to them that I was entitled to
return to the farm until the acquisition process had been completed. The
workers expressed concern about their terminal benefits as the Veterans
misrepresented my forced departure as if I had  “run away”. Despite my
assurances that they would receive all their dues, they remained concerned.
A further meeting was set up for Saturday 12th January 2002. It must be
noted that terminal gratuities are agreed through the collective bargaining
process between the NEC and Agriculture Labour Bureau (ALB) according to
labour regulations. Such packages are payable upon termination. I had not
given my staff notice, so any payment of terminal benefits was premature.”

At the Saturday meeting it became apparent that the 90-day eviction notice
period would not be respected.

“The War Veterans stated that they would not allow my return to the farm.
Instead, I was instructed to pay the workers their dues. The War veterans
refused to recognise my right to remove my movable assets, claiming that
these were being acquired. I was hopeful though that sanity would prevail
and returned on Tuesday 15th January 2002 with the proposed payment
schedule. The Police Inspector undertook to discuss the proposal with the
War Veterans and workers and revert to me  - he did not get back to me.”

The proposal was five times the amount required in the labour regulations.

“On Thursday 17th January morning I phoned the Inspector to confirm the
position. He stated that he had not yet discussed the issue but that I
should pay out the workers on Saturday anyway. I agreed. However, an hour
later he phoned me to say that he had a group of workers in his office
together with their attorney. They apparently had a court order authorising
the sale of my property to recover the alleged amount due to staff. I was
astonished. We had agreed on the manner this would be addressed - I had kept
my end of the bargain to the letter. I stated that it was not possible that
the workers could have a court order, as no papers had been served on me.”

At the insistence of the Inspector, Mr Terblans went to Beatrice police
station with his lawyer. “To date I have still never seen my copy of the
court application.”

“On arrival we found that the workers and their lawyer had left. We examined
the document - it was NOT a court order but an application by the Gwalia
workers. I was given until 12th February to respond and efforts by my lawyer
to explain this to the Inspector were fruitless. He was extremely reluctant
to recognise the facts, and continued to represent the affidavit as a court

The lack of speedy application of law and order resulted in the workers
together with the war veterans auctioning 230 head of cattle on Thursday
afternoon - 17th January. Further appeals to the police to intervene failed.

“The cattle were moved off the farm, many in commercial transport without
any action from police to stop the theft. Further appeals to Police Chivu
also failed.”

“I made desperate attempts to stabilize the situation but when I went back
to the farm matters had further declined as cattle from my Gemini farm had
been forcibly removed by armed war veterans and the Gwalia workers for
auction on Monday.”

Mr Terblans spent the weekend trying to find someone to restore law and
order to his situation. A trip to his farm revealed that there were several
armed men with a very hostile attitude. “One of the armed men shot at me
with a shotgun, at which time I decided to leave.”

“I discovered that the cattle were bound for abattoirs, and I contacted all
abattoirs and cattle transport companies to inform them that the cattle were
stolen, and were not to be slaughtered. The cattle are branded with the
letter “H” on their left flank, and have a triangle cut on their left ear.”

“I received assurance on Sunday evening that a senior officer had been
assigned to stop the sale on Monday until the situation could be properly
investigated, a development confirmed by the Beatrice Inspector,
nevertheless the auction proceeded on Monday. I am informed that half way
through the auction the proceedings were stopped, and the War Veterans then
moved all the cattle to Joyce mine, which serves as a base. They have not
been seen since, but I am informed that they have been sold to various

“The bottom line here is that the workers, together with the War Veterans
have stolen and illegally sold over Z$ 40 million of property, under the
guise of an unsubstantiated Z$ 650 000 claim. The group have also impounded
the movable plant and machinery, and the household contents, effectively
leaving me destitute.”

Mr Terblans was of the view that the district is controlled by a war vet
named Zhou, who clearly does not take his instructions from the politicians,
the forces of law and order, or his own leadership, leading to such anarchy.
“ He has threatened farmers with death if they talk to the media.”

In November, Government gazetted statutory instrument 338, effectively
restricting farmers under compulsory acquisition notices (Section 8) to
their homesteads. This signalled a new trend in acquiring land and placed
farmers at the mercy of occupiers. The Section 8 order also serves as a
90day eviction notice. It is of little comfort under prevailing
circumstances that a final eviction order can only be issued through a
competent court. Approximately 2000 farmers face eviction at this time.


24th January 2002

For more information, please contact Jenni Williams

Cell +263-11 213 885 or 91 300 456

Email: or

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Business Day

Leon called for tough action against Zimbabwe


DEMOCRATIC Alliance (DA) leader Tony Leon did not call for international
mediation in the Zimbabwe election as a Business Day headline states (Leon
wants international mediation, January 22). He called for tough steps to be
taken by the Commonwealth ahead of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action
Group's meeting later this month.

Leon wrote to the members of the group, urging them to consider the
following steps:

Conditional suspension of the Zimbabwe government from the Commonwealth on
the grounds that it has continued to violate the principles of the Harare
Declaration and the Abuja agreement, and until such time as democracy, human
rights and the rule of law are restored to the satisfaction of the committee
of Commonwealth ministers on Zimbabwe.

Commonwealth election monitors to be deployed to Zimbabwe as soon as

A range of diplomatic and targeted sanctions against President Robert
Mugabe's cabinet including bans on foreign travel and freezing of foreign
bank accounts to be implemented in all Commonwealth countries if the
election is not procedurally and substantially free and fair.

Mugabe has abused all attempts at international mediation simply to buy
himself time. It is now time for action.

Anthony HazellDA Media Liaison

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Straw retreats on Mugabe sanctions

Ewen MacAskill and Ian Black in Brussels
Friday January 25, 2002
The Guardian

In a surprise move, the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, is to soften his line
next week on the introduction of targeted sanctions against the Zimbabwean
president, Robert Mugabe.
Mr Straw said before Christmas that Mr Mugabe should restore the rule of law
or face "very tough measures" from the European Union.

Britain had been ready to argue at an EU meeting in Brussels on Monday in
favour of the immediate introduction of "smart" sanctions - visa bans and a
freeze on bank accounts and other assets of Mr Mugabe and his colleagues.

The Foreign Office was expected to follow this up by pushing hard for the
suspen sion of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth at a meeting of Commonwealth
ministers in London two days later. But an FO source said Mr Straw now fears
that such measures could turn out to be counter-productive.

Mr Straw sees the priority as getting international election observers into
Zimbabwe and is worried that punitive action will provide Mr Mugabe with an
excuse to block their entry.

The source said the mood on the ground in Zimbabwe was that "we should have
one more serious effort at getting election observers in".

Mr Straw's change of tack came as the Zimbabwe administration announced
through the government-run Herald newspaper that it was hunting for British
journalists that it says entered the country on tourist visas and were
working illegally. It said that the Guardian's Chris McGreal was among those
being sought.

The Herald reported that McGreal and others were "staying in hotels in
Harare and the so-called MDC 'safe houses'."

The Zimbabwe secretary for information and publicity, George Charamba, said:
"Our net is closing in on them and we should be able to account for all of
them before the close of the day."

The key to the change of mood in the FO is believed to be the leader of the
opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai. The
FO has been told in the past week that Mr Tsvangirai, having previously
favoured smart sanctions, is now opposed to them. He claims he can win
despite the expected intimidation by Mr Mugabe's supporters and that it is
important to get international observers in as soon as possible.

Mr Straw's plan is to press his European colleagues on Monday to agree in
principle to smart sanctions. But he will argue that their introduction
should be delayed to allow Mr Mugabe every opportunity to let in
international observers.

Details of the outcome of an EU appeal to the Harare government, made by the
Spanish presidency on Tuesday, over the terms of observer mission and media
access will help determine Monday's outcome.

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Zim Independent

Security Act sets dangerous precedent US Congressman


 UNITED States Congressman Ed Royce, who was recently on a southern Africa
visit, has described the Public Order and Security Act as the most dangerous
precedent set to date by President Robert Mugabe's government. "(The law)
carries with it life imprisonment or potentially the death penalty for
criticism of the government,"said Royce.

Royce, who was denied entry into Zimbabwe to observe the last parliamentary
election, said: "We've seen mass beatings, we've seen systematic torture,
we've seen every type of brutality ... but I think what is most
disconcerting at the moment is the fact that there is an effort to keep the
press out."

The lawmaker singled out the media for special attention, saying: "I think
the unsung heroes in Zimbabwe have been members of the press.

"What has kept alive the hope for democracy in Zimbabwe has been the press
freedoms that President Mugabe is seeking to curtail,"he said.

He also commented on the political and economic turmoil in Zimbabwe caused
by Mugabe's increasingly arbitrary use of his office to seize private
property, physically attack the political opposition and stifle the national

During the stop in South Africa, Royce touched on the Africa Growth and
Opportunities Act (Agoa), telling journalists: "We have seen an increase of
about 62% in terms of goods coming from South Africa into the United States"
since the trade law was passed by Congress in May 2000.

Asked if Zimbabwe was among the 35 sub-Saharan African nations deemed
eligible for Agoa's trade benefits, Royce said Zimbabwe did not qualify
because "the rule of law is breaking down there"and there is "a concern over
the lack of fair and free elections".

Royce said he had sponsored legislation that would freeze the bank accounts
of Zimbabwean officials in the United States, after learning from European
sources that "assets are being transferred out of Zimbabwe by close allies
and military officers close to President Mugabe.

"And as a consequence of that we need to take steps to make sure that we are
not a part of looting a national treasury,"he said.

The lawmaker emphasised that the recently-passed Zimbabwe Democracy and
Economic Recovery Act was driven in part by the desire to work with the
international community to encourage fair and free elections in Zimbabwe.
Washington File.
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Zim Independent

Banks to probe Mugabe funds

Dumisani Muleya
 THE Jersey Financial Services Commission, in conjunction with the Joint
Financial Crimes Unit, has told banks on the Channel island to be on the
lookout for funds deposited by President Mugabe and his associates. The
commission listed Mugabe, his wife Grace, and 23 ministers and advisers as
"politically exposed persons" who require scrutiny by banks to ensure there
was no "reputational risk" to the institutions. "Politically exposed
persons" are identified with what the commission calls "potentate risk" a
term given to the risk associated with providing financial and business
services to officials of countries tainted by "corruption, bribery, scandals
and scams".

The commission, which regulates Jersey's 250 trust companies, 150 investment
firms, 70 banks and 30 fund administrators, said financial institutions
should "review files" to determine whether any links existed with the listed
individuals. Jersey is a self-governing British dependency, which has grown
prosperous as an "offshore" banking centre.

"President Mugabe clearly fits the definition of a 'politically exposed
person' as defined in the commission's guidance issued in the Anti-Money
Laundering Guidance Update," the commission said.

The move comes within a week of the announcement that United States and
European Union officials were beginning to trawl financial institutions for
any possible holdings by political and military leaders of the Zimbabwean

In a tactful notice, the commission said: "We have no reason to suppose
Jersey is being used for this (money laundering)" by Mugabe and associates.

But it added: "Nevertheless, regulated institutions should review their
files to determine whether or not they have any connection with any of the
named individuals. They will then wish to satisfy themselves that they know
the customers concerned (including proper knowledge of the source of funds)
and have taken any appropriate action to address any reputational risks that
may arise."

It said any financial institution holding or receiving suspicious deposits
should report to the island's Financial Crimes Unit.

The commission's director-general, Richard Pratt, was quoted this week in
the British press as saying African officials and tycoons kept monies at the
reputable financial park.

"We do receive a fair amount of business from Africa and we make no
allegations about President Mugabe or his associates," he said. "But given
the action of the US and the UK in identifying their assets, this is a live
issue which we think our regulated institutions and authorised
intermediaries should be aware of."

Rowan Bosworth, a consultant at the London-based Control Risks, said "tried
and tested methods" would be used in shipping out riches and similar means
should be used to track them.
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Zim Independent

 First food imports arrive from SA


 THE first shipment of food aid for 330 000 Zimbabweans has crossed the
border from neighbouring South Africa, but large international contributions
are urgently needed, a World Food Programme official said yesterday. The
opposition Movement for Democratic Change said on Wednesday aid was required
because the national staple of maize had run out, and it was questionable
whether the government had the foreign exchange to buy more to avert a
looming crisis.

The WFP spent US$1,8 million to buy 6 160 tonnes of maize, beans, groundnuts
and oil from South Africa to be trucked into southern Zimbabwe to feed 330
000 people over the next month, said Brenda Barton, WFP's regional

"The trucks rolled over the border yesterday (Wednesday) on their way to
Bulawayo and trucks will continue to arrive over the next couple of weeks.
It is the first WFP shipment of food to arrive in Zimbabwe,"Barton told
Reuters by telephone from Nairobi.

Drought, floods and economic problems have reduced agricultural output this
year and a controversial, often violent land reform programme has made it
very difficult for hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans to access food.

Industry officials say Zimbabwe may need to import up to 600 000 tonnes of
maize to supplement domestic out-put, which fell sharply to 1,476 million
tonnes in the 2000/01 season from 2,04 million tonnes previously.

The Zimbabwe government has bought 150 000 tonnes of maize from South Africa
and the first consignment of 2 000 tonnes was expected this week.

The government has also seized 36 000 tonnes of maize from commercial
farmers accused of hoarding the staple grain.

The WFP, a United Nations agency, has appealed for US$60 million to feed
some 558 000 Zimbabweans for a year, but said so far it had not had any
confirmed contributions. Reuter.
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Independent (UK)

Mugabe party recruits youths for brutal militia
By a Special Correspondent
25 January 2002
Zimbabwe's draconian press reporting restrictions make it a crime for
unregistered foreign correspondents to report from the country. As a result,
our correspondent cannot be named.

The military came to villages in the spectacular mountains of east Zimbabwe
this week and rounded up hundreds of young men and women. If they could run
six miles in 45 minutes, they were told, they would be sent for training,
and after six months would be paid Zim$47,000 (£600) and given the
opportunity to join the army.

Most jumped at the chance.

"I would have gone, but I've got asthma," said Robert Vumba, a friendly
19-year-old whose name has been changed to protect him. "I can't afford to
do A-levels and I wouldn't mind being a soldier – I was a scout at school.
What other prospects are there for me here?"

More than 100 young people from the area aged between 18 and 22 who managed
to complete the six-mile (10km) run were taken to a camp in the north to
begin military and ideological training.

Similar scenes have been enacted all over Zimbabwe as Robert Mugabe's ruling
party, Zanu-PF, boosts the ranks of the national Youth Brigade, a brutal
militia made up mainly of unemployed youngsters.

Brigade members have been implicated in assaults and intimidation of
supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the past
month, in a steadily mounting campaign of violence and oppression in advance
of elections six weeks away.

Farmers in east Zimbabwe yesterday related cases of army personnel arriving
on farms and asking black foremen to identify fit youths from local villages
to go for training.

"They've been rounding up 40 or more young people at a time," a prominent
farmer said. "Zimbabwe is becoming like the Congo and Somalia, where bandits
rule. It's terrifying."

Zanu-PF says youths are joining civilian courses such as agriculture,
carpentry and bricklaying. But yesterday Harare's Financial Gazette, which
is not controlled by the state, published interviews with five Youth Brigade
"graduates" who confirmed that military tactics and political indoctrination
were central to their training at the Border Gezi Centre at Mount Darwin,
where the programme is based.

The youths were reported to have said that during training they were divided
into groups of about 50 to create psychological bonds that would enable them
to act as a group once deployed in the field. Much of the time was spent on
fitness exer-cises, followed by gun-handling and shooting lessons.

There were also political lessons on patriotism and history, the newspaper
reported, with stress on how Zanu-PF helped to liberate Zimbabwe. The
recruits were promised jobs in the army and police as a reward for
spearheading Mr Mugabe's campaign for a fifth term.

The MDC's information manager, Nkanyiso Maqeda, told The Independent that
Zanu-PF's aim was to recruit some 2,000 youths in each of 120
constituencies – nearly a quarter of a million young people.

"They have been recruiting core groups from every province, about 10 per
district, to go for military training. When they are through, they go home
and start new training programmes. The multiplier effect will be enormous,
if it works."

Yesterday the MDC's leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, urged President Mugabe to
disband all sections of Zanu-PF militia, particularly the Youth Brigade. He
said there was no legal basis for the constitution of militia, who had been
going from home to home and erecting illegal roadblocks, intimidating people
and forcing them to buy Zanu-PF cards. "It is said that the Zanu-PF
government has come up with an unlawful programme producing unlawful
products whose intention is to perpetuate violence sanctioned by the state.
Youths from the Border Gezi training camp have embarked on an orgy of

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US: Don't visit Zimbabwe now

Washington - The United States on Wednesday said US citizens should consider
delaying planned trips to Zimbabwe until at least the end of next month
after March 9 and 10 elections.

The State Department said in a statement that the security situation in the
country ahead of the polls was deteriorating as President Robert Mugabe
moves to fight off the biggest challenge yet to his 22-year term in office
from opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

"US citizens residing in or travelling to Zimbabwe should be aware of
continuing conditions that could adversely affect their personal security in
the period preceding, during and possibly immediately after, the
presidential election," it said.

It urged Americans now in Zimbabwe to exercise caution when travelling
within the country, avoid demonstrations and "refrain from taking pictures
or videos of political rallies."

"American citizens should consider postponement of non-essential travel
until at least March 31, 2002," it added.

The statement noted that Mugabe, whom the State Department has harshly
criticised in recent months, had pushed through a tough new security law
that makes it illegal to undermine the president's authority or engender
hostility towards him, including speaking negatively about him in public.

The law also makes it a crime to speak negatively of the police.

Earlier on Wednesday, Zimbabwe's parliament delayed debate on a bill that
would impose heavy curbs on local press and ban foreign journalists from
working permanently in the country. - Sapa-AFP

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Thursday, 24 January, 2002, 17:39 GMT
Zimbabwe political violence increases
President Mugabe at a Zanu-PF conference
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party is criticised
Two new reports from human rights groups say there has been a sharp increase in political violence in Zimbabwe.

The reports, one by a coalition of non-governmental organisations called the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum and the other by a group of Danish doctors, say the government is overwhelmingly responsible.

It comes as the government again fails to to push through a controversial media bill, after ruling party MPs in parliament were critical of the bill's shortcomings.

Zimbabwe parliament
Zanu-PF has a majority in parliament

The bill, which critics say is part of President Mugabe's drive to silence opposition to his bid for re-election in March, is now tabled to be discussed in parliament next Tuesday.

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

All local media organisations would have to apply for annual government licences or face two years in prison.

And reports deemed to cause alarm and despondency would be forbidden.

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


The forum says there was a sharp rise in violence in the first half of January.

Farm workers whose homes were burned
Violence is affecting all levels of society

It reports four deaths, 68 cases of torture and 22 kidnappings during that period.

It says much of the violence was carried out by youths from the ruling Zanu-PF party, who have put up roadblocks across the country, demanding that people buy party memberships cards.

The Danish Physicians for Human Rights says politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe is widespread and increasing on a daily basis.

It says the government was responsible for all the cases it studied and the violence was carried out in a way that clearly indicated planning and strategy.

Supporter murdered

Both reports link the violence to the March presidential elections.

Zimbabwe's state-controlled media acknowledges the increase in violence, but says the opposition MDC is also responsible.

It says a Zanu-PF supporter was murdered on Sunday in Masvingo province, south of Harare.

And it accuses the opposition of setting up a number of safe-houses in the capital, from which it conducts raids on Zanu supporters.

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Zimbabwe Seeks Reporters, Delays Media Bill Again

By Cris Chinaka
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's parliament delayed debate of a controversial
media bill again on Thursday amid a government search for banned foreign
correspondents and rising international criticism of President Robert

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said debate on the bill, which critics
say will muzzle the media ahead of presidential elections on March 9-10, was
postponed until Tuesday after he clashed with another senior member of the
ruling ZANU-PF party.

The proposed bill has been sharply criticized by Western states and media
groups for seeking to undermine press freedom in the country, which is
undergoing its biggest political and economic crisis since independence from
Britain in 1980.

In the latest move state-owned Herald daily newspaper reported Mugabe's
government is scouring the country for several foreign journalists who
entered Zimbabwe as tourists in defiance of a current de facto ban on
visiting correspondents.

The Herald said it had established that reporters from Britain's Guardian
and Telegraph newspapers, South Africa's Sunday Times and a few other
journalists were staying in hotels or at "safe houses" owned by the main
opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

"Our net is closing in on them and we should be able to account for all of
them by the end of the day," a government official said.

The government's initial media bill sought to bar foreigners from working as
correspondents in Zimbabwe. But the revised version will now allow those
with permanent residence to work in Zimbabwe. Journalists who are not
citizens or permanent residents will be restricted.

The new draft of the bill also allows foreign media to operate a
representative office in Zimbabwe without a certificate of registration, but
only with the approval of the information minister.


Apart from the media bill Mugabe's government is under intense international
scrutiny for its handling of Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis and
its human rights record.

The international community has been alarmed by government crackdowns on
political opponents and state-sanctioned seizures of white-owned farms by
so-called war veterans over the last couple of years, which have led to
violence, deaths and the rapid deterioration of the economy.

Britain said on Wednesday it would press for Zimbabwe's expulsion from the
Commonwealth over Mugabe's "flagrant attacks on democratic principles and
appalling atrocities" against the MDC as well as the campaign against the

British Prime Minister Tony Blair called Mugabe "a disgrace to his own
country" and said his behavior had badly affected the reputation of the
whole of southern Africa.

Zimbabwe said Britain had scant support for its attempts to suspend Zimbabwe
from the Commonwealth and accused London of seeking to engineer an
opposition victory in the elections.

Chinamasa was blasted over the bill by Eddison Zvobgoa, a senior ZANU-PF
member of parliament's Legal Committee set up to review the
constitutionality of the proposed media bill.

Zvobgoa said his committee had not been given time to properly review the
bill, fueling speculation that a rift in the ruling party could appear over
the legislation.

The government temporarily withdrew the media bill last week to make
amendments after parliament's legal committee called it unconstitutional. A
copy of the amended bill made available to journalists on Tuesday showed
only minor changes.

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Zim Independent

From the Editor's  Memo

There has been the usual official vitriol of late over transmissions by SW
Radio Africa which is a licensed broadcaster based in London. The Department
of Information has attempt- ed to represent the station as a
British-sponsored propaganda tool when in fact it is a voice of calm and
accuracy which provides a welcome antidote to the vicious lies propagated by

The new station has very quickly built up a large audience in Zimbabwe where
people crave accurate news.

SABC Africa produced a nice little feature on the station last weekend. It
interviewed the station's founder Gerry Jackson who pointed out that despite
a court order allowing them to broadcast in Zimbabwe, they had been thwarted
by the government. At least they can now transmit in relative freedom
without being invaded by armed police.

The Johannesburg Sunday Times also produced a full-page feature by Justice
Malala on SW Radio Africa headed "A voice of independence - A group of
Zimbabwean journalists have rattled their government by broadcasting from
Malala quoted Jonathan Moyo's remarks about its transmissions having "all
the trappings of genocide broadcasts in Rwanda", but then pointed out that
Zanu PF heavyweights like Eddison Zvobgo and Patrick Chinamasa had agreed to
be interviewed.

Malala set the scene: "After a lengthy and robust interview with Zvobgo,
presenters Violet Gondo and Tererai Karimakwenda move on to an interview
with former Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu and then to an assessment of
the Zimbabwean economy. The interviews are long and in depth, the questions

Zimbabweans have been visiting the station's live webcasts in droves. So far
170 000 hits have been registered.

"The emergence of a station like SW Radio Africa," said Malala, "reflects
the spirit of Zimbabweans in London and elsewhere, that their courage will
not flag and that they will continue to fight for the small things in life -
like the right to choose what station they listen to."

That spirit, he said, was reflected by a comment written next to Moyo's name
on a list of Zimbabwean cabinet ministers on the wall at the SW offices.
"Ha!" it says.

"And every day, when they start broadcasting, that is exactly what the
station seems to say to the architect of Zimbabwe's draconian media laws and
other government ministers."

Malala's tribute is shared by all those who care about professional
broadcasting. SW Radio Africa should be broadcasting here. Its right to do
so was upheld by the Supreme Court. Instead, ministers running scared of
pluralism blocked it by abuse of the Presidential Powers Act. The subsequent
Broadcasting Services Act which effectively overturned the court ruling is a
measure aimed at stifling media diversity.

Zimbabweans have been deprived of the right to choose what station they
listen to. They have been deprived of the right to hear a diversity of
views. They have been prevented by President Mugabe's minions from
exercising the freedoms accorded to them by the constitution.

The government has drawn some comfort from the recent Sadc communiqué which
called on Western governments to "desist" from authorising broadcasts from
their territories which incite "propaganda against the government of the
Republic of Zimbabwe".

What about the propaganda and incitement Zimbabweans have to put up with
every day from their government broadcaster? I couldn't help but feel Sadc
leaders fear they could be next. But so long as they adhere to good
governance they have nothing to fear - a message we sent to the ministerial
team that visited Harare last month. A diversity of voices is fundamental to
democracy and a number of countries in Africa have no problem with that.

Commenting on the Sadc communiqué, Moyo denounced what he called "gratuitous
personal insults" aimed at Zimbabwe's leadership by South African media
commentators. But in the same breath he called them "Uncle Toms" and "House

That sounds pretty much like "personal insults" to me. The minister's
remarks betray the fiction about the "apartheid press" the Department of
Information has been assiduously cultivating. It is difficult now to find a
black columnist in South Africa who is prepared to say anything good about
Mugabe or his regime. The editorial piece on Sadc by the Sunday Times'
Mondli Makhanya last weekend shows just how disillusioned many senior South
African journalists have become.

Tracing their dismal performance since the Victoria Falls mini-summit of
April 2000, Makhanya said: "It is clear that most southern African leaders
have absolutely no interest in entrenching democracy in their countries and
the region." And he provided a good remedy.

Rather than rely on Sadc to provide leadership the region's people should
build cross-border civil society coalitions to push for the democratisation
of Southern Africa and entrenchment of a culture of good governance, he

"That is the clamour Mugabe and other despots will listen to, not the polite
coaxing of their peers."

I know Mondli. And he is no Uncle Tom. Moyo should avoid making enemies of
every single journalist in South Africa. He has enough enemies at home to
cope with!

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Zim Independent

 Zanu PF supporters turn on each other

Augustine Mukaro/Jacob Mutambara
 ZANU PF supporters in Bindura have turned against each other following the
recent brutal murder of Movement for Democratic Change member Trymore Midzi.
Midzi was killed last month by suspected Zanu PF thugs.

In an orgy of violence soon after the death, Zanu PF youths attacked the
premises of fellow supporters including three senior party officials who
they suspected of sympathising with the MDC.

A shop belonging to Bindura's deputy mayor Batsirai Kanosvamhira, and the
homes of prominent Zanu PF councillors, Mrs Zarira and a Mr Kanos, were
extensively damaged after they went to pay their condolences to the Midzi

Zanu PF youths descended on the mourners and in the ensuing melee, the
bereaved left behind a book where all contributors to the funeral were

The three Zanu PF officials were among the listed mourners who had assisted
the family financially, prompting the current purge.

Bindura residents who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent said the wave of
violence had shifted from MDC supporters to ruling party members believed to
be opposition sympathisers.

Zarira, a long-time Bindura resident, was forced to relocate to Harare after
her house was attacked.

Kanos recently appeared on national television blaming MDC youths for
attacking his house when in fact it was his own party members.

According to a senior Bindura magistrates' court official, the police had
turned a blind eye to ruling party hooligans but were quick to arrest
suspected opposition offenders.

In a number of cases, he said, the courts have had to withdraw charges
against MDC supporters after the police failed to bring any evidence against

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Daily News

MDC members in court over public violence

1/25/02 10:27:27 AM (GMT +2)

Court Reporter

TWO MDC supporters in Harare appeared in court on Tuesday on public violence
and assault charges. Sam Mujiri, who was said to be on the run since 6
January, appeared before Harare magistrate, Shelton Jura on a public
violence charge.

The court remanded him in custody to 5 February and advised him to apply for
bail at the High Court. Prosecutor Alvis Chimwaradze said Mujiri, 30, of
Block 5 at Mbare Hostels, was among a mob of MDC supporters who went around
Mbare randomly stoning and hurling petrol bombs at the homes of Zanu PF

In the pandemonium, the mob allegedly destroyed other property, including
furniture and window panes at 13 houses. The group proceeded to Stodart Hall
and stoned Zanu PF offices at the hall.

Matthew Hwengu, 18, of Dzivaresekwa Extension, Harare, appeared before the
same court, charged with kidnapping or assault with intent to cause grievous
bodily harm.
He was remanded to 5 February on $3 000 bail.

The State’s case is that Hwengu and five other youths who were not
identified in the court records, allegedly beat up a Zanu PF supporter who
was sitting with friends outside the Employment Exchange in Mbuya Nehanda
Street, Harare, on Monday.

They allegedly demanded to know why the man was wearing a T-shirt bearing
the portrait of Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

When the frightened man failed to give a “satisfactory” explanation, Hwengu
and his colleagues allegedly dragged him to the MDC provincial office where
they allegedly punched and kicked him.

The man managed to escape and went to report the incident to the police.
His abductors allegedly drove away in a Nissan truck.

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Zim Independent

Political expediency clouds RBZ policy

Godfrey Marawanyika
 THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is caught between political allegiance
and economic rationale in its up-coming monetary policy for this year with
most analysts saying that prospects are dim. This week central bank governor
Leonard Tsumba failed to give indications on the country's monetary policy
for 2002.

It appears all economic instruments have been over- taken by both political
and military instruments. Politicians have visited the length and breadth of
the county distributing unbudgeted money to people, with serious
implications for money supply growth.

Tsumba is apparently in a quandary whether to have a two-pronged monetary
policy: prior to and after the presidential election.

Doubts over this year's policy have been further worsened by the
deterioration of government's image resulting in failure to attract the
much-needed offshore investment to improve forex inflows.

The failure to come up with a monetary policy for 2002 has been further
worsened by lack of autonomy at the Tsumba-led bank. The governor is caught
between his allegiance to the ruling party, which he has served so well in
the past, and the need for sound fiscal policy. The bespectacled economist
failed to give clear answers to the Zimbabwe Independent when quizzed about
the country's monetary policy.

When asked if the bank was going to have two monetary policies pre- and
post-election Tsumba lectured the Independent on the bank's objectives on
monetary policy without dealing with the issues.

On what the bank had done to control rampant inflation, he said this was due
to public sector expenditures without explaining what the bank had done to
control it.

"Money supply growth remained high for much of last year against the
background of significant economic contraction. The surge in money supply
has been reflected in increases in both the narrow and quasi-money
components," said Tsumba.

"On a sectoral basis, annual growth in the money supply can be explained by
domestic credit expansion, largely driven by public sector expenditures,
which continue to be financed from inflationary bank sources."

He said the RBZ's monetary policy stance was designed to curtail excessive
credit creation and thus control money supply growth and inflation.

On the exchange rate policy he said the current exchange rate policy
announced by Finance minister Simba Makoni in August required that the
exchange rate be adjusted in line with inflation differentials between
Zimbabwe and other major trading partners.

The policy decision flies in the face of the country's high inflation which
is currently 112,1% with the average for the country's major trading
partners below 5%.

He said the bank would continue to pursue prudent policy measures designed
to counter inflationary surges in the economy. Complementary to this, the
surge in inflation also called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders in
order to break the spiral. Every policy decision at the central bank has got
Ministry of Finance blessing but the RBZ has failed to dissuade the
government from resorting to domestic borrowing which is mainly financed by
the central bank.

On interest rates policy, he said the bank would continue to be consistent
with the objectives of its monetary policy stance, which most analysts
believe will not change.

"The RBZ is simply waiting for a complete knockdown; if Zanu PF wins their
policies cannot survive, change is necessary," said one analyst.

"If MDC wins it will turn to the world and apply for aid from multilateral
donors whilst Zanu PF cannot."
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Pan Africanist Congress Stands By Mugabe

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

January 25, 2002
Posted to the web January 24, 2002

Thebe Mabanga

The general secretary of the Pan Africanist Congress, Thamika Plaatjie, has
reiterated his party's support for Robert Mugabe, and attacked the media and
"right-wing liberals" for exaggerating the Zimbabwean president's woes.

The PAC's support for Zimbabwe's ruling party has been unwavering since
early last year when Ka Plaatjie told news agency Reuters that if land in
South Africa was not distributed as speedily as necessary, it would spark a
revolt "that will make what is happening in Zimbabwe look like a Sunday
picnic". The rand plunged.

Ka Plaatjie said this week: "We think there is a lot of hypocrisy,
especially in the media, which has a deliberate desire to distort,
misrepresent and misinform the public about the situation in Zimbabwe.

"The liberal media fails to understand that Britain's refusal to provide
funds for land reform is the cause of this problem".

Ka Plaatjie acknowledges that Mugabe has invariably invited criticism from
the media, but the criticism is "from right-wing liberals, like [Democratic
Alliance leader] Tony Leon, who are protecting Anglo American interests and
colonial gains in Zimbabwe."

Mugabe and Ka Plaatjie this week found themselves another ally in African
National Congress national executive member and KwaZulu-Natal firebrand
Dumisani Makhaye. In the Herald, a Zimbabwe government-controlled propaganda
sheet, he wrote: "The West wants to impose a president on the people of
Zimbabwe. It is in this context that the reluctance of Zanu-PF to accept
monitors from Western powers must be located and assessed.

"The West has a policy of building strong opposition parties to counteract
governments of former national liberation movements in Southern Africa. In
the last elections in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Namibia, some Western
monitors were openly campaigning for opposition parties of Afonso Dhlakama,
Morgan Tsvangirai and Ben Ulenga respectively.

"The negative report of the recent fact-finding team from the European Union
to Zimbabwe, which differed fundamentally from the report of the team of the
[Southern African Development Community], is a reflection of this problem.

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Immediate sanctions unlikely as EU weighs Zimbabwe options
by Robert MacPherson

BRUSSELS, Jan 25 (AFP) - Four options on Zimbabwe will be on the table when
EU foreign ministers gather in Brussels on Monday, but the toughest of
them -- immediate sanctions -- is unlikely to be adopted, or at least not

Though the European Union wants to keep pressure on President Robert Mugabe,
diplomats say it does not want to "play into his hands" in the run-up to the
March 9-10 presidential elections.

"What ministers will have in mind is what's going to happen on the ground"
in the six weeks still to go before voting day, said a European diplomat on
condition of anonymity.

The EU is especially keen to promptly get election observers into Zimbabwe,
and for foreign and Zimbabwean jouralists to be able to cover the election
campaign without interference.

Diplomats say four options will be studied Monday behind closed doors at the
EU Council of Ministers:

-- Immediate sanctions, including "smart sanctions" such as a European
travel ban and freeze on assets that would specifically target Mugabe, his
family and associates.

-- A declaration of sanctions in principle, but with implementation set back
to a later date.

-- A formal threat of sanctions.

-- The resumption of consultations with Mugabe's government that began
January 11 in Brussels, when Foreign Minister Stan Mugende met with the
Spanish EU presidency.

During that meeting, the EU insisted on "invitation and accreditation of
international observers, including from the EU, at least six weeks before
the elections," and on "full access to national and international media."

Barring a sharp turn for the worse this weekend, officials doubt that the
foreign ministers will embrace the strong option of immediate sanctions --
at least not yet.

"Many take the view that an immediate application of sanctions will play
into Mugabe's hands, leading to more (pre-election) intimidation and more
arrests of the opposition," the diplomat said.

Holding short of immediate sanctions would also buy time for the EU to watch
developments, since its foreign ministers have another formal meeting on
February 18 -- less than three weeks before voting starts.

"Sanctions will always be a possibility, but we want to work out the
options," another European diplomat said.

There is also a foreign ministers' retreat on February 8-9 in Caceres,
western Spain, but only to discuss broad policy questions, with no concrete
decisions to be taken.

Britain has pushed hard for its EU partners to strike a common position on
Zimbabwe, in parallel with its efforts to have Harare suspended from the
Commonwealth over Mugabe's political style.

Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday branded the actions of Zimbabwe's
head of state a "disgrace," adding that Britain was working to ensure its
former colony holds democratic elections.

But within the EU, France is understood to be cautious -- not out of any
sympathy for Mugabe, but because of the broader question in principle of
whether sanctions really make an effective foreign policy tool.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is Mugabe's chief rival in the
polls, has told British diplomats that he is confident he can win, and that
he is not in favor of early sanctions, the Financial Times reported.

The unspoken wish in Brussels is that Zimbabweans will vote Mugabe out of
office, just as Yugoslavs rejected their president Slobodan Milosevic during
elections in September 2000.

But the Serbian strongman, his family and entourage were already targets of
EU sanctions at the time. He now is behind bars in The Hague, awaiting trial
for war crimes before the UN war crimes tribunal.

EUbusiness, 25 January 2002

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