The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
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Daily News

      Government stock-piles food

      Date:27-Jan, 2004

      THE World Food Programme (WFP) is believed to have urged the
Zimbabwean government to release 240 000 tonnes of maize stocked at the
Grain Marketing Board (GMB) in order to help feed more than five million
people affected by severe food shortages.

      WFP offficials in Zimbabwe had by yesterday not responded to questions
sent to them by The Daily News. But foreign news reports indicate that the
United Nations’ food agency’s Zimbabwe representative, Kevin Farrell, told
journalists in Johannesburg last week that the WFP had written to the
government to ask it to release the food into the market to alleviate

      Attempts since Sunday to secure comment from the Social Welfare
Ministry, which is tasked with overseeing Zimbabwe’s humanitarian crisis,
have been unsuccessful.

      Social Welfare Minister July Moyo is said to be on leave, while
Francis Nhema – who is acting in Moyo’s place – was not reachable at his
office or on his mobile phone.

      However, the food stocks being held in storage by the GMB are believed
to have been brought to the WFP’s attention by a December 30 2003 report in
the state-controlled Herald newspaper, which indicated that the grain
procurer had collected 240 000 tonnes of the staple maize grain from

      The GMB is legally the sole trader in maize and wheat.

      The United Nations’ agency is said to have asked the government to
release the grain because of worsening food insecurity, which has left about
5.5 million Zimbabweans in need of emergency food aid.

      Zimbabwe’s government has approached humanitarian agencies and donors
for help to avert starvation.

      The WFP, which is feeding millions of people around the country, is
reported to have secured commitments from donors for 85 percent of the 450
000 tonnes of food it asked for in April.

      However, the agency fears that more than one million people could
still go hungry this year.

      Commentators said the stockpiling of food by a government agency at a
time of famine was inexplicable and could send the wrong signals to
humanitarian agencies and donors.

      Bishop Trevor Manhanga, the president of the Evangelical Fellowship of
Zimbabwe, said if the stocks were not released, churches might lose the
assistance of international agencies and other partners helping them to
secure food.

      “The food should be realeased to all the people in need. We should be
able to help ourselves first before we seek help from anyone,” he said.

      “It is going to be very difficult to get help from anyone considering
that the WFP has already written to the government to release its stocks. It
would be difficult to persuade donors when we have food stocked elsewhere.”

      Officials with local civic groups said reports that the government was
stock-piling food would again raise fears of food being used to buy votes,
which foreign humanitarian agencies are opposed to.

      The government has in the past denied reports that food is being
distributed only to ruling ZANU PF supporters and that people in food
insecure areas who are perceived to be supporters of the opposition are
being denied maize.

      ZimRights executive member Amos Phiri said the use of food to buy
votes in next year’s general election would be “immoral”.

      He told The Daily News:“It is inhuman and immoral from a human rights
point of view to use food for such purposes.”

      Movement for Democratic Change spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi added:
“This is an act of acute desperation on the part of ZANU PF because I have
no doubt in my mind that the government will distribute it (maize) towards
the elections.

      “Here is a government that is prepared to go to great lengths to use
food aid to retain power. It is shameful on their part that while
Zimbabweans are starving, they have grain stocked at the GMB.”

      Zimbabwe is facing its worst economic crisis since indepence from
Britain in 1980, which has been worsened by severe food shortages blamed on
drought and a controversial government land reform programme.

      Reports from Matabeleland province indicate that several people died
from malnutrition last year, while others are facing starvation because of
meagre harvests.

      Staff Reporter

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Daily News


      Ruling elite arrogant and contemptous

      Date:27-Jan, 2004

      NOTHING illustrates more the arrogance of the government and the
contempt with which it treats ordinary Zimbabweans than its handling of the
food crisis facing the country, itself chiefly the result of the government’
s ill-thought-out land reforms.

      First, it was the government taking its sweet time last year to admit
that its chaotic and often violent land reforms had, as every right-thinking
person had predicted, failed to produce enough food for Zimbabwe and that
half of the country’s population could starve to death unless international
donors chipped in with food aid.

      Even as donor agencies such as the United Nations’ World Food
Programme (WFP) warned that a delay in making the appeal for assistance
would also mean a delay in the food aid eventually getting to Zimbabweans,
meaning more but otherwise avoidable suffering for hungry Zimbabweans, still
the government appeared unmoved.

      But more mind-boggling are the revelations reported elsewhere in this
issue that the government, for reasons best known to itself, is holding onto
240 000 tonnes of maize harvested last year!

      Given that the government, through its inept and corruption-riddled
Grain Marketing Board, has a monopoly on buying maize from farmers, the
maize it has in its custody could be all that the country harvested, apart
from the stocks farmers may have retained for their own use.

      WFP director for Zimbabwe Kevin Farrel told journalists in
Johannesburg last week that his organisation had written to the government
urging it to release the stockpiled maize to augment supplies brought in by
donor organisations.

      The WFP has assurance from international donors that they will provide
85 percent of the 450 000 tonnes of food aid the agency had appealed for
last April.

      But according to relief organisation officials, this would still leave
more than one million hungry Zimbabweans without help.

      That it should take foreign aid agency bureaucrats to remind President
Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party of such a basic thing that they
cannot hoard maize while people are starving is a testimony of who and how
they are.

      Whatever the reason for the government delaying to release the maize,
it is simply indefensible that innocent children, widows and HIV/AIDS
patients continue to go hungry while government fat cats sit on so much

      Others have suggested a much more sinister motive for the government
wanting to hold onto the maize – that the government wants to release the
maize at a more politically opportune time, such as during campaigning for
the 2005 parliamentary election, which is expected to start in the last half
of this year.

      Even with ZANU PF’s well-known readiness to sell even their own mother
to secure a few more days in power, we would want to believe they cannot
stoop so low as to play on people’s hunger in such a callous manner in order
to buy cheap support.

      But that a government whose chaotic land policies are chiefly to blame
for causing food shortages could be dilly-dallying with food while the
electorate is starving probably says more against Zimbabweans themselves
than it does against their government.

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Daily News

      Africa needs a new generation of leaders

      Date:27-Jan, 2004

      HE presides over a government that has no respect for human rights. He
harasses opposition leaders and will not tolerate any divergent views or

      He sneers at and does not accept court decisions passed by a judiciary
that he hand-picked himself. Corruption surrounds him.

      Haiti’s President, Jean Bertrand Aristide, is not nicknamed “the
Robert Mugabe of the Caribbean” for nothing. He was booted out of office
once, but when he came back into power, he knew what to do. For inspiration,
he had looked to Africa, a continent that is overflowing with hardcore,
merciless brutalisers.

      Conversely, here in Zimbabwe we have “a Jean Bertrand Aristide of
Africa.” Two sides of the same coin. While I am not a connoisseur of irony,
it is ironic that Mugabe is a Catholic and Aristide is a former Catholic

      And yet no churchgoer, Catholic or otherwise, can stomach the heinous
and malevolent activities taking place in either country presided over by
these men.

      Aristide was christened “the Robert Mugabe of the Caribbean” at a time
when Africa’s notorious supporter of ruthless dictators, South African
President Thabo Mbeki, was visiting Haiti in a sad, imprudent attempt to
promote and legitimise dictators from far afield.

      Mbeki is still being ridiculed and criticised for his farcical,
cowardly and impotent hands-off attitude towards the aged tyrant of
Zimbabwe. Once again, he is getting the same negative reviews over his
ill-advised overtures towards the violent Caribbean dictator. Mbeki was the
only head of state to accept an invitation to Aristide’s meaningless,
self-congratulatory ceremony.

      Just how does Mbeki choose his friends? Some outraged Haitians even
shot at one of Mbeki’s planes. Violence is standard routine in
dictatorships, so Mbeki must have been glad that his despots know their

      I am now quite convinced that Mbeki has no idea of how much influence
South Africa as a country has on both the continental and world stages.

      Like Mugabe, he seems to have come into power at a very wrong time
indeed. The era of despots such as Kamuzu Banda, Milton Obote, Mobutu Sese
Seko and others is passé. The era of personalising a presidency is gone.

      Africans no longer have any use for dictators. People challenge
authority now. And Mbeki appears to be living out his stillborn dictatorial
fantasies by supporting autocrats in Zimbabwe and Haiti.

      Southern Africa has historically looked to South Africa for regional
leadership, but to outsiders like us, South Africa’s current political
leadership is a total disgrace and betrayal when viewed against the backdrop
of events in the region, especially in Zimbabwe.

      Economically, this is a very vibrant region with a large population
and South Africa, with its well-entrenched industrial base, should have
appreciated and taken a keen, positive interest.

      But Mbeki’s failure to see his and South Africa’s potential in the
region is a sad indicator of failure, a fluent testimony to inability.

      It is political docility, which is what Mbeki has displayed in his
dealings with Mugabe.

      But then, did Mbeki have a constituency that brought him into office?
Here in Zimbabwe, we have a number of noisy, absolute morons in Parliament
and in government, who have no constituency other than the President and the
party. (And when we say “the party”, it is a euphemism for Mugabe.)

      So, did Mbeki attain his presidency by using someone else’s
constituency? Apart from African National Congress structures, which will
always vote for the party’s candidate, does Mbeki have a constituency of his
own, a base from which he derives political power?

      To us Zimbabweans, Mbeki’s careless blundering on AIDS, on Zimbabwe
and other issues is quite familiar because it reminds us of our own
situation, in which political incompetents have been assembled and, knowing
that they are not answerable to any constituency, are wreaking havoc on

      They, and their leader who put them there, are just cynical profiteers
in a conspiracy to destroy the nation. And they are doing it with such
cheerful sadism.

      We have no property rights and where there are no property rights,
there are no human rights. Our economy has all but collapsed. I would
consider our health delivery network to be a big joke if people were not
dying every day because of this government’s negligence and failure.

      Zimbabweans have become so disarmed and disenfranchised that the world
now marvels at our unfathomable docility.

      And all this rot goes on while Mbeki is watching, as if the economic
upheaval in Zimbabwe does not affect South Africa. Actually, Mbeki’s support
for Mugabe has made it impossible for Zimbabweans to straighten the mess in
their country.

      Will historians one day write accolades to Mbeki, praising not only
his presidency but also illuminating and appreciating his outstanding
leadership in the region?

      Maybe Zimbabwe is geographically too far for Mbeki to worry about.
Then, what about Swaziland, which South Africa just about encircles? Is
Mbeki aware that problems in “neighbouring” countries like Swaziland and
Lesotho will always affect South Africa?

      Zimbabwe’s unemployment stands at 70 percent. Swaziland’s is put at 40
percent, while its economy is in steady decline. Swaziland, like Zimbabwe,
Botswana and South Africa itself, is battling rising HIV/AIDS infection
rates, with 38 percent of the Swazi population suffering from the disease.

      There is obviously a lot of cross-border spreading of AIDS. We are
neighbours after all. And yet Mbeki watches as an insatiable Casanova called
King Mswati raids schools and grabs schoolgirls every year, turning them
into unblossomed wives.

      Number of wives at last count? Twelve! Mswati claims tradition. He is

      And Mbeki watches as this king with such terrible bedroom manners
nicks US$14.5 million to build palaces across the country for his harem.

      He does this at a time when AIDS is spreading in the region, the
citizens are starving, the economy is in decline and severe draught is

      Does Mbeki stop to think where the unemployed citizens from Swaziland,
Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique will go to seek employment? They
will, of course, trek to the country whose economy is relatively stronger
than their own.

      Maybe like our own Mugabe, Mbeki just wants to be called Mr President
in a country, again like Zimbabwe, where he presides over a government that
has a curious amalgam of political sterility, incompetence, corruption and

      The heart of the matter is that Africa now deserves a new generation
of leaders. These old men must go. They have failed Africa and Africa
deserves better than the Mbekis, Mugabes and Obasanjos. Go now, old men of

      By Tanonoka Joseph Whande. Whande is a Zvishavane-based writer

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The Star

      Making it work across the border
      January 27, 2004

      By Beauregard Tromp

      Zimbabwean farmers, who are moving into neighbouring Mozambique in
bigger numbers, are being greeted with a mixture of gratitude for the jobs
they bring and wariness that they will try to form a second Rhodesia.

      The town of Chimoio, 80km east of the Mozambique-Zimbabwe border, in
the Manica province, has never been of any overwhelming significance.

      The biggest thing here is the Coca-Cola bottling plant which sticks
out like a sore thumb against the rural backdrop of a town which, like the
rest of Mozambique, is still trying to rebuild itself after the ravages of
the civil war.

      The potholes have been filled and the town is expanding. The most
apparent reason for these developments is the arrival of the white farmers.

      Brendon Evans, his wife Jenny and their two children, 11-year-old
Chelsea and 7-year-old Gareth, were among the first Zimbabwean farmers to
arrive in Chimoio almost four years ago.

      In their final days in Zimbabwe the Evans family endured harrowing
experiences. Their house was petrol bombed. Their cattle were slaughtered.
They were shot at and eventually forced off their land.

      But the final straw was the controversial victory of President Robert
Mugabe when he retained the presidency.

      Foreign investment in Manica started less than four years ago; South
African farmers were the first to show interest.

      The wave of Zimbabwean farmers only started two years ago.
      “Some of the guys were expelled. I don’t know how many but some are
too old to have moved to just try something new,” said deputy-chief of the
department of agriculture for Manica, Cremildo Rungo.

      There are 60 white farmers in Manica but only a few have a licence to
use and exploit the land. Farmers waiting for licences are, in the interim,
using land belonging to state-owned companies.

      “We look at them all as investors,” said Rungo.
      One of the ways the government ensures harmony between the community
and the farmers is by consulting extensively with the affected communities
before a farmer is allowed to farm the land.

      No person is allowed to own land in Mozambique and the farmers lease
land for 50 or 100 years from the government. They have to present a
detailed plan of their proposed activities. Before the lease can be granted,
they are put on a two-year probation.

      “In the beginning they wanted to get land close to each other but the
government strongly refused, so as to avoid the creation of small colonial
communities and also to allow development in other areas,” said Rungo.

      Some farmers tried to bring their workers with them but the Mozambican
government expelled those workers, and some farmers were now under threat of
expulsion themselves, said Rungo.

      Farmers are only allowed to bring foreign labour into the country if
they can prove there is no qualified local person able to fulfil the same

      For the last six months there have been no incidents of illegal
aliens. Spot checks by the labour and agricultural ministry ensures

      Evans speaks highly of Chimoio’s governor and since the influx of
farmers the town has grown substantially and the road network improved.

      “The guys are not going to develop as much are they did in Zimbabwe,”
Evans observed.

      “There’ll be no big houses and double sheds but things are pretty
stable and it gives you some confidence when you see big companies like
Sasol investing here.”

      On average, each farm employs about 150 workers. But tobacco and
paprika farms are more labour-intensive and require double the number of

      Fernando, who did not want to give his surname, had not held a job for
nine years and provided for his family of six by subsistence farming. Now he
has a job with Evans.

      “At least I have a job but it only pays 650 000 meticais (about R190)
a month and it costs a lot to make that money last until the end of the
month.” The price of 50kg of rice, eg, enough to feed a family of six for a
month, is 375 000 meticais (about R110).

      “They shout at us and treat us worse than dogs. But we have to take it
because we need the job,” said Fernando.

      Evans admited to shouting at his workers often but explained that this
was necessary as many were lazy because they had not worked for more than 20

      The most common farming activities are maize farming, tobacco, soya,
potatoes (once imported from Zimbabwe), sunflowers for oil, flowers and

      Dairy farming in the area has meant that for the first time many
Mozambicans are able to enjoy fresh milk which is sold on the local markets.

      In turn, the Mozambican government’s interests, other than investment,
are job creation and capacity building of local farmers.

      “There is no obligation under the law but the government strongly
recommends that farmers help with job creation and empowering local
 farmers,” said Rungo.

      “That is why they are sent to the rural places and isolated areas,
close to local communities so they can help those
      communities develop.”

      Among the achievements he lists is the production of tobacco by small
farmers who in turn sell it to the big farmers for export.

      At present there are about 10 Mozambican farmers producing tobacco in

      “The provision of capacity to local farmers is very important but the
next challenge is to teach them to save and invest their dollars,” said

      Their biggest export market is China where most of the tobacco is
sent. Roses, a second major export, are transported by train to Harare or
Johannesburg from where they are sent to Europe, with the Netherlands the
biggest buyer.

      There are plans to start using Chimoio airport to export production
directly but for now this is not financially viable.

      Evans said he found it hard to believe people could still put up with
what was happening in Zimbabwe.

      “Unfortunately it’s all gone. Mugabe, really! He’s probably pissed off
that people are coming across here,” Evans said with a chuckle.

      “When we came here there was no one. My wife and I would sit alone.
But now we had a Christmas party of more than 200 people.

      “And we’re already talking about building tennis courts and other

      The Evans are now the only fresh milk producers in Mozambique and
since last month effectively control a monopoly.

      “There is no dairy board. We are our own dairy board, our own

      There were sacrifices though. The Evans had to leave 1 000 head of
cattle behind and valuable farming equipment.
      Most farmers cannot get their money or equipment out of Zimbabwe but
three large tobacco companies bankroll most of the farmers for their
start-up costs.

      Evans said that a buyer from Zimbabwe came to classify the tobacco. It
was then sent to Zimbabwe for processing. Lately, however, farmers were also
shipping their produce to Malawi.
      He said small-scale farmers and Aid organisations had destroyed the
market for maize as their activities ensured it was cheaply and even freely
available to most people.

      “This year we’ll be sending seed to Zimbabwe, which is certainly a
first,” said Evans.

      The farmers cite the difference in language, corruption and malaria as
their biggest problems in their adoptive home with access to land also not
always that easy. Many farmers opt for Zambia or Malawi because most people
in those countries understand English.

      “You can overcome language as a barrier in two to three years, but
Zambia will always be landlocked,” said Evans.

      He speaks to his workers in Shona, a language common to Zimbabweans
and some Mozambicans close to their western neighbour.

      “The opportunities are here. Everything is new. The guys are putting
in abattoirs and you have the port (Beira) nearby.
      And the Mozambican authorities have put in lots of fiscal benefits for
investors,” he said.

      For the local Mozambicans the influx of ZImbabwean farmers was a shock

      “At first the local communities were a bit afraid but the provincial
directorate of agriculture met with them.

      “The people were happy about the farming activities but were scared
they were coming to colonise,” said Rungo.

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Cape Times

      Mugabes 'inspect plush properties in Pretoria'
      January 27, 2004

      By Basildon Peta

      Johannesburg: President Robert Mugabe and his young wife, Grace, are
said to be looking at buying real estate in South Africa.

      Sources close to the Mugabes say such investments are one of the main
reasons the couple visited South Africa on Saturday. The other was for a
medical check-up for Mugabe.

      The sources claimed that although Mugabe's health was fragile, reports
that he was seriously ill - leading to his being airlifted to South Africa -
had been "exaggerated".

      Mugabe had come for a check-up, but was not necessarily "seriously
ill" , the sources said, disputing a statement by Mugabe's spokesman that
his visit to South Africa was purely "private" and had nothing to do with a

      Mugabe's wife, Grace, arrived in South Africa on Thursday and her
husband joined her on Saturday.

      It is believed Mrs Mugabe looked at properties in Pretoria, including
a block of plush townhouses that her husband inspected later. They were also
said to have toured a house that they wanted for residential purposes should
the need arise.

      Efforts to identify the properties the Mugabes were considering buying
and the estate agents they used have been fruitless.

      Sources close to the Mugabes say it would be almost impossible to
identify them as front company names are used.

      It has also been alleged that Mrs Mugabe is looking at investing in a
retail business in South Africa.

      She owns several retail outlets in Zimbabwe and these are run by her

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The Guardian

Zimbabwe in tour appeal to counties

Paul Weaver
Tuesday January 27, 2004

The Zimbawe Cricket Union has dramatically upped the stakes in the row over
England's threatened tour of the country in October by writing directly to
the 18 counties outlining why the tour should go ahead.
Peter Chingoka, the chairman of the ZCU, accuses the England and Wales
Cricket Board of deceit and outlines the potential damages and compensation
English cricket might have to pay if the tour is cancelled.

Chingoka's dramatic and outspoken letter is a dramatic response by Zimbabwe
to what seems an almost certain cancellation of the tour because of the
human rights record of the Robert Mugabe regime.

Chingoka argues that the ECB chairman David Morgan gave an undertaking last
March during a trip to Harare that political and moral judgments of the
Mugabe regime would not be used to decide whether the tour should take
place. Security and the safety of the tour party were to be the only
deciding factors.

"Having given a guarantee to tour, the ZCU finds it deeply offensive that
the ECB is now considering reneging on this agreement, without the courtesy
of being given notice or consulted in any way whatsoever," Chingoka said.

The commitment by the ECB was made, the letter said, "as part of the
reciprocal arrangements for Zimbabwe to tour England in the summer of 2003".
The visit by Zimbawe took place last summer "enabling the ECB to maximise
its TV rights and other commercial contracts".

"It appears," Chingoka says, "that the ECB is not prepared to allow the ZCU
the same important commercial privilege. "Our faith, respect and trust in
David Morgan as chairman and Tim Lamb as chief executive of the ECB has been
severely undermined by this situation."

Chingoka then warns that the counties could have to pay dearly if the tour
is cancelled by the governing body.

"As beneficiaries of substatial ECB grants you and your colleagues must
judge whether the risk of further major financial penalties is an acceptable

Whatever the impact of Chingoka's letter on the counties it is abound to
rasise the stakes in an already damaging and divisive dispute in world

The England players meanwhile, have called upon the ECB to make an early
decision on the tour., before they set off on their visit to the West
Indies, which starts next month.

The Surrey batsman Mark Butcher said yesterday: "When Zimbabwe were over
here last year I remember thinking that we were going there in 2004 and
would things have changed by then or would this issue be coming up again.

"With a bit of luck we can go off and concentrate on playing a series in the
West Indies and it will be taken care of back here."
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New Zimbabwe

Zim editor condemns attack on journalist

By Staff Reporter
THE editor of the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, Iden Wetherell has
condemned Friday's attack on the paper's chief reporter Dumisani Muleya who
had to receive stitches after suffering a deep gush above his right eye as a
result of the attack.

"We have yet to establish the motives for the attack. But I regard any
attack on any of our journalists as a very serious matter," Wetherell told "The Zimbabwe Independent is currently under siege by
forces hostile to a free press. We are therefore particularly concerned
about the personal safety of our journalists."

Muleya was attacked by three unidebtified men outside a Harare hotel. The
attackers also made off with his mobile phone and cash amounting to $100

The attack came just under a week after Muleya was released on bail from
police custody where he was detained for two days on charges of criminal
defamation arising from a story which said President Robert Mugabe had
commandeered a plane for his private visit to the Far East.

Narrating his ordeal, Muleya said: "I was coming from the Quill Club at the
New Ambassador Hotel towards Cresta Oasis along Kwame Nkrumah Avenue when,
as I passed Fourth Street, a red 405 Peugeot parked just in front of me.
Three guys alighted from the vehicle and started attacking me."

Muleya and Wetherell, both denounced as “terrorists” by Mugabe’s garrulous
chief spokesman Jonathan Moyo were arrested last week over a story that
stated that President Mugabe had commandeered a plane to come and pick him
up while on a foreign trip in the Far East.

Minister Moyo dismissed the report as “blasphemy”, prompting the police to
arrest Muleya, Wetherell and two other colleagues.

"Those behind this deliberate falsehood calculated to bring the Office of
the President into disrepute must be held accountable," Moyo ranted. "This
means the editor and the two writers will be held to account for their
lawless and fictitious claims."

Writing in the Sunday Times following his incarceration, a defiant Muleya
said: “Amid all this hot air and political steam, Moyo failed to deny the
essence of the story, which was that Mugabe had taken an Air Zimbabwe
aircraft to the Far East.

”In a bid to build a case, the police claimed that the word "commandeer" -
used in our story - meant "to hijack". This was laughable and ridiculous. We
were arrested for semantics - the meaning and interpretation of the slight
nuances of a single word.”

Muleya, Wetherell and the paper’s news editor Vincent Kahiya were granted
bail of Z$20 000 after appearing at the Harare Magistrates' Court on charges
of "criminal defamation" against President Mugabe. They will appear in court
again on January 29.

Attacks on journalists from the independent media have escalated since the
passing of what media watchers say is a repugnant piece of legislation, the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act last year.

Reacting to the journalists’ arrest and threats by Moyo, the
secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders Robert Menard last week said
the year had started on a bad note.

"The year 2004 opened in the worst possible way for press freedom in
Zimbabwe," Menard said.

"Three journalists have already been arrested and authorities are still
trying to prevent the Daily News from publishing despite High Court rulings
in its favour," he said.

"We are extremely concerned about the working conditions for Zimbabwe
journalists and call on the authorities to pull back. The people have the
right to diverse and independent news and information," he added.
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The Herald

Accreditation of election observers on tomorrow

Herald Reporter
THE Electoral Supervisory Commi-ssion (ESC) yesterday said the accreditation
of local observers for the Gutu parliamentary by-election wo-uld start

In a statement, the ESC said the accreditation would end on Thurs-day.

The Gutu parliamentary by-election is scheduled to take place on February 2
to 3.

Zanu-PF’s retired Air Marshal Cde Josiah Tungamirai is expected to fight it
out with MDC’s Crispa Musoni.

The ESC said the accreditation will take place at the commission’s offices
at Hardwicke House along Samora Machel Avenue.

"Applicants are required to bring their invitation letters from the Ministry
of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, their national registration
identity card or valid Zimbabwean passport and an accreditation fee of $10
000 (ten thousand Zimbabwe dollars)," read the ESC statement.

Foreign diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe are allowed to use their diplomatic
identity cards to enter and observe voting inside polling stations.

However, diplomats with no diplomatic cards would be barred from observing
the elections.

The accreditation exercise will start at 10.00 am tomorrow and closes at
4.00 pm while on Thursday it starts at 9.00 am and closes at 4.00 pm.

"Observers are reminded that a maximum of three persons per observer group
are allowed into a polling station or within the 100-metre radius of a
polling station. One person per observer group will be allowed during the
verification of the statements of the presiding officers, while one person
per observer group will be allowed at a counting centre," said the ESC.

Meanwhile, ESC said it has deployed monitors to conduct civic and voter
education and to supervise the inspection of voters’ rolls in Zengeza
constituency and other three urban and 11 rural wards.
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The Herald

Daily News case: Hearing on today

Herald Reporter
The case in which the Media and Information Commission is seeking an order
barring the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe from publishing pending the
finalisation of appeals before the Supreme Court has been set for hearing in
the Superior Court this afternoon.

According to a notice of hearing from the Supreme Court yesterday, the
matter will be heard in chambers before Chief Justice Chidyausiku.

The MIC last week filed an urgent chamber application at the Supreme Court
seeking an order barring the ANZ from publishing pending the finalisation of
appeals before the superior court.

This was after the ANZ published The Daily News despite the fact that the
publishing group and its journalists are operating illegally as they have
not yet been registered by the MIC as is required by law.

In his urgent application, MIC lawyer Mr Johannes Tomana of Muzangaza,
Mandaza and Tomana said a crisis in the administration of the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act had been created by a number of
judgments from the Administrative Court and High Court. The matters had been
referred to the Supreme Court.

He said an apparent delay in finalising matters between the ANZ and the MIC
had led to an unacceptable confusion in the administration of the Act and in
the operations of the applicant as a media commission.

"In fact, even the law-enforcement agents do not know the best way of
enforcing the media law in question.

"There is therefore an urgent need for the Supreme Court to make a
definitive ruling which will re-usher order and clarity of the true legal
position by ordering a speedy preparation of the records by the registrar of
the Administrative Court as well as order a set down of the matters as one,"
he said.
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The Herald

Zim to get agric equipment from Malaysia

Herald Reporter
THE Government expects to receive tractors, seed drills and combine
harvesters worth at least US$3,5 million from Malaysia within the next few

The equipment — which includes 25 high-powered tractors, 50 seed drills and
15 combine harvesters — is part of a US$10 million facility extended to the
country by the Asian nation.

Malaysia is also expected to deliver at least 500 tonnes of fertiliser and
other agricultural chemicals at the same time.

The equipment would come in two batches, with the first consignment expected
to be delivered from Malaysian companies in South Africa.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Dr Joseph Made,
said everything was ready for the equipment to arrive.

He was speaking after meeting the Malaysian ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr
Shaharuddin Som at his offices to discuss the latest regarding the equipment
and other issues.

Dr Made also met five other ambassadors from Indonesia, Egypt, Namibia,
Tanzania and South Africa to discuss issues related to agriculture.

"I am happy to announce that in the review we have made all paperwork is
ready for the first batch of the equipment and machinery to arrive," he

"We are importing the machinery and equipment as the leaders of the two
countries have undertaken to do in several meetings."

Mr Som said his country would always support the land reform programme in

"We are prepared to render any assistance for our brothers in Zimbabwe in
the spirit of South-South co-operation," he said.

Zimbabwe is also expected to receive 400 tractors from Iran under a US$15
million credit facility.

The fully assembled tractors are ready for shipment.

Dr Made said they discussed the production of cotton, tobacco and ostrich
with the Indonesian ambassador, Mr Dadang Sukunda.

A delegation from Indonesia would soon visit to look at ways of increasing
exports of agricultural products from Zimbabwe to the country.

His meeting with the Egyptian ambassador, Mr Ebrahim Mohammid, centred on
projects relating to irrigation.

Dr Made said they also discussed possible areas to exchange expertise,
especially in seed production.

"We look forward to a team that will be going to Egypt to concretise our
areas of co-operation, particularly on grain and livestock development," he

Dr Made said Zimbabwe would be sending another delegation to Namibia
specialising in land surveying.

He said after meeting the country’s ambassador, Mr Ndali Kamiti, they agreed
to expand areas of co-operation to beyond land issues.

Dr Made said Tanzania was interested in looking at Zimbabwe’s tobacco and
livestock production system.

He said in his meeting with the country’s ambassador, Mr Hashim Mbita, it
emerged the two countries could co-operate in different areas in the
agricultural sector.

"On our side we are aware that their livestock is 90 percent indigenous and
this is very important in terms of the local environment," said Dr Made.

Dr Made also met South African ambassador Mr Jeremiah Ndou and discussed the
crop forecast in the region.

He said figures would be released soon for the crop forecasts.

"We thanked them for the support they have given us in land reform and
seed," said Dr Made.

He said the meetings with the ambassadors were meant to update them on
progress made in the land reform.

Dr Made said it was now time for the country to look and develop markets for
agricultural products.
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Zimbabwean Troops Accused of Attacking Mozambicans

Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)

January 26, 2004
Posted to the web January 26, 2004


The Mozambican authorities in the western province of Tete have accused
Zimbabwean troops of crossing the border and committing "criminal" acts
against local people.

The administrator of Changara district, Inacio Muchanga, told AIM that
Zimbabwean troops enter Mozambican territory where "they kill and mistreat
people, and steal their property".

He claimed that a Mozambican citizen from the neighbouring province of
Manica was killed by Zimbabwean troops in December, in the locality of
Dzunga, in Changara district.

"In recent months the situation has been deplorable, mainly in the Ntemangau
and Dzunga localities", said Muchanga. He said that near the Mazoe river, on
the Mozambican side of the border, a group of Zimbabwean soldiers appeared
and beat up a group of Mozambicans panning for gold. "The Zimbabwean troops
stole all their goods, and then went back into Zimbabwe", said the

This incident, which took place on 20 November last year, was reported to
the Zimbabwean authorities during the regular monthly meetings between the
Mozambican and Zimbabwean police.

"The Zimbabwean side promised to work to identify the soldiers responsible,
but unfortunately the result of this work has not been satisfactory", said

On 17 December, he added, a Mozambican citizen, whom he did not name, was
shot dead on Mozambican soil by Zimbabwean soldiers, in the border region of
Cuchamano. "This situation is extremely bad for relations between Mozambique
and Zimbabwe", he pointed out.

The victim's family, in the town of Guro, in Manica province, were notified.
They asked that the body be returned to them "in minimally acceptable
conditions", said Muchanga. "But on 25 December, the Zimbabwean police
brought the body in an open plastic box, and it was already in a state of
decomposition." On this occasion the Zimbabwean soldier was detained, and a
series of meetings took place between the relevant Mozambican and Zimbabwean
authorities. At the latest meeting, held at Cuchamano, the Zimbabweans
guaranteed that the matter was in the hands of the courts. "But we decided
to channel the matter up to Foreign Ministry level, to ensure that this is
verified", said Muchanga.

The administrator feared that, unless the behaviour of the Zimbabwean troops
stationed along the border improves, angry Mozambicans will take reprisals
against the many Zimbabwean civilians who regularly cross the border.

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USA Today

S. Africa's role in Zimbabwe bodes well for region, U.S.
DeWayne Wickham

When The Daily News, Zimbabwe's only independent and largest-circulation
daily newspaper, resumed publication last week, its resurrection was seen as
a hopeful sign in that troubled country.
The paper, which often had been at odds with President Robert Mugabe, was
shut down in September. A court ruled that it was operating illegally
because it had failed to register with a government-controlled,
media-monitoring commission.

Mugabe's government ignored multiple subsequent court orders to permit the
paper to reopen, but it finally withdrew police from the newspaper's office
in Harare after yet another decree.

South African President Thabo Mbeki is being credited for breaking the
impasse. Mbeki has been working for months to end the political strife that
threatens to plunge Zimbabwe into a civil war.

"I think (Mbeki) has convinced Mugabe that he needs some periodic show of
progress," said Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action, a
Washington-based lobby group. "Mbeki wants to show that South Africa has
emerged not just as a regional power, but as a dominant diplomatic force in

Diplomatic prowess

He has a lot of evidence. Last year, Mbeki brokered a peace agreement that
ended a civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo that threatened to
become a regional conflict.

When the 53-member African Union was formed in 2002, Mbeki was named
chairman, which was a nod to the major role South Africa is playing in the
political and economic life of the continent.

"There is no question in Africa that South Africa is the linchpin for the
continent's development," said Charles Stith, a former U.S. ambassador to

More than good news for many of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, which
can benefit greatly from South Africa's economic strength, it also is a
geopolitical boon for the U.S., which badly needs a reliable friend in

Not only is South Africa "committed to democracy and a market economy,"
Stith said, "it helps us significantly in the fight against terrorism" by
working to bring economic and political stability to African countries that
long have been plagued by financial problems and political unrest.

Nations that are poor and politically shaky are the breeding grounds for
terrorists, something that Stith knows well. He took over in Tanzania
shortly after terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies there and in Kenya killed
224 people in 1998. South Africa's ability to extend its influence
throughout the region "is directly related to our national security," Stith

Difficult challenge

Zimbabwe may prove to be South Africa's most difficult diplomatic test.
Mugabe is a former freedom fighter who has led Zimbabwe since the country
emerged from white-minority rule in 1980.

In recent years, he has clung to power as the country's economy spiraled
downward and political opposition to his government has grown.

Mugabe won re-election in 2002 amid widespread charges of election fraud.
Since then, his government has become increasingly oppressive — enacting a
law that brought about the creation of the media-monitoring commission at
the center of the legal fight over The Daily News' right to publish.

The power struggle in Zimbabwe also has a nasty racial component. Mugabe
forced many white farmers, who controlled a disproportionately large share
of the country's most productive farmland, to give up property. He is
redistributing that land to poor blacks, many of whom are his staunchest

Convincing Mugabe to find a solution that doesn't plunge the country into a
deeper financial hole won't be easy. But if Mbeki is successful, he'll
rescue Zimbabwe from an economic crisis that otherwise could send thousands
of its people scurrying into neighboring countries in search for work, which
could destabilize those nations.

In April, South Africa will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its transition
from an apartheid state to a multiracial democracy. If successful, Mbeki's
efforts to end the political turmoil in Zimbabwe will give the people of
South Africa — and many other African nations — even more reason to

DeWayne Wickham writes weekly for USA TODAY.
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JAG Trustees and members deeply regret the untimely death of ANTHONY BROOKS
of Honey and Blanckenberg who passed away suddenly this last weekend.
Anthony was a staunch supporter and friend of the farming community and
deeply involved in our legal battle for justice.  Our sincere condolences
to his wife and family.

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JAG trustees made a two-part presentation in Parliament to the
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee.

John Worsley Worswick spoke of the fundamental criteria in any successful
production system being land, labour (and skills) and capital.  He stated
that the bill would completely destroy the capital base (being title) which
would lead to further migration of labour (and skills) leaving the land in
the hands of the state (which is fast becoming defunct).  He said that
there had been a steady erosion of titled land from approximately 37% of
Zimbabwe in 1980.  By the start of the 3rd Chimurenga less that 18.5% was
held as white owned land.  Most of the rest was in the hands of the state
as untitled resettlement land being mostly idle.  He said title should be
expanded if the country was to progress and the effects of the land
programme being starvation, unemployment, homelessness and a dramatic
increase in poverty levels was to be addressed.

Ben Freeth read out from Deuteronomy 27 and 28 quoting one of the 12 curses
the Levites were told to pronounce in a loud voice after the large stones
had been inscribed with the Law.  "Cursed is the man who moves his
neighbours boundary stone".  " will be cursed in the city and cursed
in the country.  Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.  The
fruit of your womb will be cursed and the crops of your land, and the
calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.  You will be cursed when
you come in and cursed when you go out."

He said that title was a fundamental Biblical principle and that this bill
would be the final act of the destruction if it went through as it would in
effect move all boundary stones on titled agricultural land in Zimbabwe.

More specifically it:

a. attempted to legitimise the illegitimate by retrospectively backdating a
relaxed notice procedure to the land owner to 23rd May 2000 (see b.)
b. attempted to reduce the states responsibility to inform its citizens
living on titled land as to what was happening to them (simple notices in
the government gazette for Section 5's and Section 8's are apparently
sufficient in the new Bill).
c. Gave the state the right to increase penalties for non-compliance with a
situation that the property owner may have no knowledge of regarding an
intended acquisition.
d. Gave the state carte blanche to further attack title on any piece of
land irrespective of whether it was a plantation, agro-industrial, EPZ, a
conservancy or the owners only piece of land (this making a lie of the
Presidents oft quoted one man, one farm policy.
e. Constituted an attack on Zimbabwe citizens security of investment with
every piece of titled commercially agricultural land being categorically
targeted by the clause stating that "the state intends to acquire not less
than 11 million hectares".  This bill in essence was an attack on citizens
rights to own private property at all and would lead to an exacerbation of
starvation and poverty with a regressive feudal system of fear and
patronage being the resultant order of the day.

There was a strong call by the public for an impact assessment to be
carried out regarding the effects that the act would have on agriculture,
industry and the nation as a whole.

Since the Public hearing an adverse report was produced by the
parliamentary legal affairs committee declaring it to be in conflict with
the constitution.  Unfortunately it does not appear that the ZANU PF
parliamentarians are interested in listening to the public or the legal
affairs committee or are interested in what the impact is going to be on
Zimbabwe's teetering economy, food supply, employment rates, homelessness
and poverty.  The ZANU PF Parliamentarians rejected the adverse legal
report yesterday and are pursuing the second reading of the bill as though
Zimbabwe's constitution is irrelevant and Deuteronomy 27 and 28 are also
irrelevant.  Let it be on their heads if they push it through.  Each MP has
his own choice to make and he will be accountable for that choice.
2.  Wednesday January 21st
Today in Parliament was one of the most lively ever.  After Question Time,
which is always lively, we moved straight to the Land Acquisition Amendment
Bill, which seeks to amend the last Amendment Bill which is what gave the
"fast track war vets" their right to invade the farms, squat in farmers'
houses, take their property, etc, etc...
The Parliamentary Legal Committee (whose role is to check whether any Bill
contravenes the Constitution, and to report to the House accordingly) had
produced an Adverse Report - ie the Bill contravenes the Constitution - so
before the Bill was debated we had to debate the Adverse Report and decide
whether we accepted or rejected it.

First Prof Welshman Ncube presented the Adverse Report, then Chinamasa
stood up to counter it.  Immediately Dave Coltart stood up on a point of
order - According to Clause ..of the Parliamentary Privileges and Powers
Act, any Member having any pecuniary interest in a particular Bill must
recuse him/herself and not even take part in the debate.  DC tabled a list
of MPs and the farms they own, and pointed out that Chinamasa is listed as
owning 3 farms.Chinamasa fumed and shouted, Jorum Gumbo grabbed the list
and started remonstrating with it among other members on his side,
Chinamasa then calls Coltart "a racist liar" - Tendai Biti and Gabriel
Chaibva both thrown out for arguing with the Chairman...Everyone our side
shouting that Chinamasa must withdraw...and calling for ruling on issue of
his recusal.  Chairman (Dokora) tries to play the tough chair, but is
constantly shouted down and his voice drowned...Chinamasa finally gets the
floor and declares he will not withdraw his statement - chaos breaks out
again!  Eventually Chairman insists he withdraw, and he does...

He then however proceeds to debate the PLC report as though he should not
be recusing himself...much heckling and shouting, again.  Then Dave Coltart
argues against the Bill, presenting all the logical "obvious" arguments:
that reasonable notice must be given to any landowner who must have
recourse to the courts, that you cannot backdate a law nearly 4 years, that
contracts entered into are still legally binding, etc, ending with "you
will regret making this decision and destroying what remains of the
economy"...Paul Mangwana argues inanely for the other side in favour of the
Bill, trying to make it a personal issue and attacking Welsh for "not
reading the relevant clauses" etc...

Eventually we vote - " All those in favour of the report say Aye" ZanuPF
then all shout "Aye" - and we are somewhat confused because in fact it is
MDC that is in favour of the report - the Adverse Report!  Confusion again,
Dokora calling for a second vote, us shouting that it was too late, they
had already voted in favour of the report and there was no provision to
reverse that vote..Dokora insists on second vote, this time ZPF votes
against the report..then back to House debate where Chinamasa brings a
resolution to ignore the adverse report, which is adopted after division of
the House : vote is 58 to ZanuPF to ignore the adverse report against 32
MDC in favour of the report.

Immediately Chinamasa proceeds to present the Bill at Second Reading stage
- all the time sounding so reasonable and presenting seemingly logical
facts and this point I had to leave the House as a friend
had been arrested filming at the banned Residents Association meeting -
found at Harare Central waiting for receipt for his two expensive cameras
taken by the police.  Lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa was on her way down, the last
I heard..back to Parliament which had meanwhile adjourned...

3.  22 January 2004

MDC MPs walk out of parliament in protest of partiality.

This afternoon in parliament MDC MPs walked out of the chamber en masse in
protest against the patently partisan manner in which parliamentary
business is being conducted. Parliament is increasingly being run in an
openly oppressive manner, which is in by all definitions inimical to
democratic principles.

This afternoon, for example when the leader of opposition Gibson Sibanda
stood up on a point of order in relation to a decision that the Speaker had
taken, the speaker angrily dismissed his point of order.

Then the leader of House Patrick Chinamasa crudely referred to those MPs
who had spoken against the Land Acquisition Bill as 'enemies'. A point of
order was raised in objection to this unparliamentary language. The speaker
ruled that he had not interpreted that remark as implying that those who
had spoken against the land Bill were enemies.

It must be realised that all those who spoke against the Land Bill were MDC
MPs. In an environment where members of the opposition have been beaten up,
tortured and harassed by Zanu PF supporters, Chinamasa's remarks may be
read as an invitation to meet out violent retribution against MDC MPs.

While MDC supports the principle of Land Acquisition it spoke strongly
against the subversion of the constitution that some sections sought to

In protest at the repeated partiality in the way parliamentary business is
conducted MDC MPS walked out.

Paul Themba Nyathi
Secretary for Information and Publicity

4.  Who voted to ignore the Constitution in the Land Acquisition
Amendment Debate.

On Wednesday 21 January 2004, the following Members of Parliament voted in
favour of Minister Chinamasa's motion to reject the Parliamentary Legal
Committee report highlighting clauses which, if enacted, would contravene
the Constitution of Zimbabwe:

Ayes - 58
Chief Bidi, Buka, Bushu, Chapfika, Charumbira, Chikiyi, Chimutengwende,
Chinamasa, Chindanya, Chimombe, Chipanga, Chief Chirau, Chitongo, Chombo,
Dokora, Dzinzi, Gumbo R, Gumbo J, Paradza, Chief Hama, Hungwe, Karimanzira,
Kasukuwere, Kaukonde, Kuruneri, Mackenzie, Made, Madzongwe, Mahofa,
Majange, Makokove, Mangwana, Mangwende J, Manwende W, Matiza, Mazikana,
Mbalekwa, Midzi, Mkandla, Msipa, Muchena, Mudenge, Mugaba S, Chief Mukota,
Mupukuta, Murerwa, Mushohwe, Mutasa D, Mutema, Langa, Mutiwekuziva, Ncube
D, Nhema, Nyauchi, Rusere, Shumba, Chief Sikalenge, Masawi

The following voted against the motion to reject the PLC report:

Noes - 32
Bhebhe, Chamisa, Chebundo, Coltart, Gabbuza, Gasela, Gwetu, Khumalo B,
Madzore, Makuvaza, Makwembere, Malinga, Mdlongwa, Mungofa,
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Moyo L, Mpariwa, Mukwecheni, Munyanyi, Mushoriwa,
Mutsekwa, Ncube W, Nyathi, Nyoni, Sansole, Shoko, Sibanda GM, Sibanda M,
Stevenson, Gonese, Khupe, Zwizwayi

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Prelude text


Letter 1:

It is one thing to hear stories from Zimbabwe farmers who have been
dispossesed, it is another to go through their personal agony as they leave
homes that have been loved and built up - often from pole and dagger huts
in which their parents or grand parents started up. They also leave behind
workers who, in most cases have worked for the families for all their
lives. The relationship with these workers - although paternalistic in most
cases, is often very deep. Then there is the wrentch of leaving behind all
they have worked for all their lives except what they can carry. Farmers
are unusual - they have in most cases plowed their earnings straight back
into the farms. The average return on agriculture as a percentage on the
value of the assets used is about 6 per cent - well below what they could
get in industry. I saw Econets results yesterday - profit levels of nearly
50 per cent on turnover. Farmers could never hope to get this sort of
return over time.

This is the story of one family - fought to stay on their land for the past
four years of intimidation, threats, theft, no legal or police protection,
vilified in the press, trying to hang on - now given up and leaving for the
UK where they will try to make a living. Please note that their son who has
already gone to school there - did not have the bus fare to his school. For
those of you who do not know the local language - a Mombe is a adult bovine
(steer or cow) worth today about Z$1,5 million. Last week I drove past a
farm in the Kadoma district - an irrigation farm which has produced top
class crops for many years. It lay idle and empty. A few grass huts on the
irrigation fields, the irrigation equipment still in place but vandalized.
The homestead on the nearby hillside, burnt to the ground. On Monday a 70
year old farmer was beaten to death on his farm outside Kwe Kwe.

Now I do not know what this does to you - but it fills me with dispair,
that intelligent, well educated men and women, can do this deliberately
just to hold onto power for their own narrow needs and greed. We have 6
million people trying to live on 12 ounces of food a day right now - worse
to come this winter. This is the 4th year of food shortages and growing
poverty. We are going to stop this nonsense and turn things around. There
is no future for any African if we do not. You can be sure of one thing -
we are staying to fight this thing through to the end. We will be here to
welcome home those who have been forced into exile by this regime and who
want to come home and help us rebuild this fine country.

14th Jan '04
Dear Friends, - Sorry this has been delayed in the Drafts folder, but you
will get an up-date at the end!

We are in the middle of moving off, selling everything, and heading for
England. Three lorries should be here by 7:30 in the morning. We will try
and get as much off as we can before the Babylonians start their nonsense
and put up road blocks or something? We should be allowed to get our
possessions off the farm before the 28th. but you cannot trust 'them'.

When a tiny brass tap was stolen down at the cattle dip on Wednesday night,
and they left the pipe open so that all the stored water was emptied out of
the farm reservoir, it was the straw that broke the camel's back. What is
the point of trying to hold on if something as basic as a tap is stolen for
the value of the brass? Three of the A2 settlers have cattle dipped for
free in my dip. Now I am going and attempting to take everything with me,
so that "Our Land will not be our Prosperity; but our Poverty!" We will
head off as soon as we have closed the books, paid our taxes and bought

Within days of making the decision, we have been offered a cottage in
Dorset. Our family came here in the late '20s and encouraged others to come
and build this colony. They never took anything out of the land and
ploughed their whole lives into the community. Creating jobs, building up
and not pulling down. We trust that God has still got "MacIlwaine"
stencilled across this bit of land and will restore it to the family one
day. He's done it to Israel several times. I really believe that until
enough people 'humble themselves, pray and seek God's face, and turn from
their wicked ways,' there is no hope for this land. It will happen sooner
or later I'm sure.

In haste, because I've got to sort out all the stuff in my farm office.
With love from Roy and Louise.

P.S. It is now the evening of the 23rd, and we are off the farm for the
first night. We got most of the stuff off, but had some aggro from the
settlers and war vets who were complaining that we were taking irrigation
equipment, which according to the war vets is supposed to remain on farm?
Well to keep the peace we left a suction pipe from the dam and a couple of
pipes with huge gate valves out on the lawn in full view while we quietly
moved other more useful items, when 'they' weren't around!
You wont believe it, but these guys actually accused 'me' of stealing the
brass tap!!!  And listening to them argue with Henry this morning about
what we could or could not take of our own belongings, amazed me!
a) They claimed that they were only doing their duty.
b) They were under the firm impression that we had been paid compensation?
The propaganda machine has really worked well for them.... but the proof
will be in the pudding a couple of years down the line when the soils will
fail to yield, simply because they wont have fed it any nutrients!

It has been a nightmare. I suppose we have had 10 lorry loads of goods
removed, plus numerous trips in the twin-cab and light trailer. The farm
staff were wonderfully helpful, putting in long hours, and having to put up
with frequent mind-changes as the days went by. They were threatened with a
beating, by 20+ settlers / party officials, for helping us to move our
furniture and farm equipment, and most will move off as soon as they can.
Their future must be more bleak than ours, but they remained cheerful to
the end. I gave them each a mombe, and hired transport to move their
belongings, but I've still got to pay them so it is not yet over. We are so
grateful to so many sympathetic friends, for kind words and deeds,
throughout the last 10 days or so.

There was no emotion as we drove away for the last time, thankful that it
was nearly over. The dogs are still there,(sadly Zippo, Gotcha who is a
wonderful 'ratter', & Bizzkit will have to be put down, but young Miss
Pumba will be going to Henry's good friend Andre) and the staff are still
on duty. I still have to get 33 lovely beef heifers off, hopefully on
Monday ?

And that will be it!

Doors are flinging open in the UK, and Richard is already in a college in
Dudley, Birmingham. It was lovely to get a text msg from him to say that a
friend bought him breakfast at Gatwick and he found a coach to Dudley which
the friend paid for and the weather wasn't too cold.

Lou and Henry will probably be in England before Feb. I have no idea when I
will be able to leave? Maybe a couple of months? Friends have offered us a
cottage near Sherborne which sounds fantastic.
I am too shattered to write any more.
With love, Roy.

Letter 2

Dear Sophia,
Who are you and what is your background?

1) I have the Vuku since publication in the 1940`s to the Rhodesian Farmer
up to the 1980`s on the high sea`s because I considered that it would be
useful for the next generation to read before making the same
blunders.Where do you suggest we leave it RAC Cirencester or the Empire
Museum in Bristol?
2) The seed maize is very easy to replace for Mexico of Peru. Also the
genetic stuff is way ahead and can be suited to the rainfall and soil
3) The so called expert, with years of hard won experience will be over
looked and the wheel will have to be reinvented. The example is the palm
oil industry which has gone to the East by default of the gross bad
management of Africa- Like wise Rubber with Liberia having the best and
largest rubber Estate in the world at one time which is now in ruin.
4) Keep you head up and let me know the next as I live in an odd world of
bunny lovers who are now sending missionaries back to India!

Letter 3
Below is the result of the feedback form.  It was submitted on Saturday,
January 24, 2004 at 03:08:34

message: We are terribly concerned that private property has been seized
without compensation destroying agriculture.

You are to be encouraged in your valuable work.There will be no solution
until all private property is returned to its legal and rightful
owners.This is what a democracy believes in.Until this is done Zimbabwe
will not go forward.

   Thomas Wardle(Barrister-at-law)

    Nassau Bahamas

Letter 4
Ref OPEN LETTER FORUM NUMBER 1 - January 20th 2004

Sophia has done it again !! You go, girl !!! Here is a woman who
can see it all so clearly. Can someone out there please see that she's put
somewhere where her insight/intuition will at last serve some purpose.
Whew, it makes me proud to be of 'the weaker sex' !! With women like this
around around, who needs anyone else!!!

Letter 5
Letter to JAG

With reference to the letter from " Possessor or Title holder?"
wherein he posed the question "what is more important? Possession or
title?", the simple answer in Zimbabwe right now is:

1. 'Possession' if one is a squatter (fat cat or peasant)
2. 'Title' if you need a loan from a (stable) commercial bank, but;
3. If you are 'fat cat' then 'possession' this entitles you to a
"Concessionary Government loan" at a nominal 15% interest, payable
'whenever'. These loans have proved an extremely useful tool for increasing
one's personal wealth, by round tripping forex and similar schemes. Even if
one does actually decide to pay back this 'flexible' loan, then, as the
currency depreciates rapidly, repayments simply come out of one's pocket

Very affirmative enrichment, and very selective.

Lets be clear: the 'Fast Buck and reform program' is fast track
wholesale nationalization of land. Title deeds become irrelevant. Under the
current laws (several hurriedly passed retroactively to cover some rather
large posteriors), private farmland simply disappeared and reverted to
Land, which now represents about 98% of the land area of our country.

In 'control-freak' politics and ideology, control of land is essential. 
As the State giveth, so the State taketh away. In our case: where the
ownership of the 'State' (lock, stock and barrel) has been. For 'State'
read: 'Bob' or ('Big Chief Talking Bull', whichever you prefer) and for
'nationalized read: 'personalized by an individual'.

Simply put: its all woefully feudal. The place we all have been dragged
down into in the first few years of the Brave New Millennium - by some
backward people with similarly crude feudal instincts.

So, as title deeds (on farmland only - for the time being) are apparently
irrelevant, so 'long leases' (25 years, 99 years etc) become all-important.
It would be extremely interesting to read and publicize the terms and
conditions of any leases currently being issued by the Government. If
issued in an individual's name, what happens if the person dies, for
example. (Does his family then get kicked off the land, or what?)

Perhaps our President's buddy 'international businessman' Mr. Nicholas Van
Hoogstraten may be able to lend us a copy. If you don't know who he is, I
suggest you do some research - it makes interesting reading indeed.


All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.
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Last night at approximately 11.00pm the security fence at the farm house on
Groenfontein Farm at Beatrice, the home of Paul and Hettie Theron was cut,
burglar bars to the pantry were then cut and entry gained to the house.
Interleading doors which were locked were broken down and the bedroom door
was also broken down where the owners were asleep.  Beating then took place
while owners still in bed.  Both are in their seventies.  Four people were
seen who then demanded money.  As their lives were obviously at risk they
parted with approximately 4 million Z$ and ten thousand Rand (they were
going on holiday to South Africa in the next couple of days).  They were
then locked into another bedroom and the house was ransacked.  They then
came back and demanded keys for a vehicle.  They were handed keys for a
pick-up Nissan 3.0l 1997 Mirage Blue colour, registration 672-324 L.
Household property was loaded, decoder, video, cell-phone etc.  The
injuries to the couple are not too bad.  Mars came out and collected Mr
Theron who suffers from emphysema and was taken to the Avenues Clinic. 
Two shots were fired from the vehicle at workers that were coming to help,
they had been alerted by the guard. Police reaction from Beatrice was quite
good.  Head of CID and 2IC of Station attended.

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