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

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I have just returned from a meeting in Borrowdale where the guest speaker
was the white 17 year old MDC activist Tommy Spicer.  His usually happy face
was pale and sombre and although he spoke without anger,
his tale had the full attention of the audience.
At the beginning of last week Tommy was abducted by so-called "war vets"
and, in front of about 300 people, he was beaten up and kicked around.  A
knife was held at his throat and he was ordered to chant "ZANU PF IS A
PEACEFUL PARTY".  He could not bring himself to say something so ridiculous
and instead, he fell to his knees laughing.  Tommy, himself,  was
subsequently arrested by the Marondera Police and charged with kidnapping
and assault. He spent 6 days inside and was, yesterday, released on bail.
Two of Tommy's friends have recently been murdered by "peaceful" zanu pf
militia - one beheaded, the other stabbed in his face and body, and his leg
partly removed with an axe.  He had just that day read the medical report of
a man whose face had been hacked off. The new law and order in Zimbabwe
means that should you be be kidnapped and assaulted, you yourself will then
be charged with that offence and jailed. Although lucky to be alive, one can
not help but admire a teenager whose commitment to his country supersedes
his safety and his home comforts. Tommy's closing words were aimed at those
who have so far not managed to make some contribution towards change in
Zimbabwe.  He appealed for funds, old clothes for victims, medical supplies
and food.
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Everyone in Zimbabwe must have stories like these......
"My nephew and his fiance were attacked last weekend at a war vets road block along the Shamva road. They were badly beaten up...because they did not have a party card.." friends up the road were invaded by war vets. but the Colonel of the Zipra crowd went and threw them off....he arrived with the police, they just parked themselves there and took over one of the cottages which is occupied by a young white couple."
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'Mugabe's men gave us marijuana, then ordered us to beat up people like
(Filed: 27/01/2002)

'TREVOR' is one of the thugs now terrorising Zimbabwe. He tells Philip
Sherwell what he has done, how he is paid - and why he'll not vote for

Trevor is awaiting his next assignment in terror. His commanders are
delighted with the role he played in a successful and very bloody attack on
supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition in Bulawayo last weekend - which means,
he fears, that he will be expected to do the same again soon.

The quietly spoken young man is a foot soldier in President Robert Mugabe's
new national youth brigade - the army of trained thugs that has been
unleashed on the country in a brutal effort to force through the Zimbabwean
leader's re-election in March.

In a remarkably frank interview, Trevor disclosed how recruits were drilled
in military tactics and political indoctrination at the notorious Border
Gezi training camp at Bindura, 50 miles north of Harare.

His startling revelations - the first by a Border Gezi graduate - contradict
the ruling Zanu-PF party's assertion that there is no military instruction
at the site.

Trevor described how, fuelled on "rations" of marijuana and beer, youth
brigades were sent on "community service" - a euphemism for vicious attacks
on supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and
their presidential candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Across the country, marauding Zanu gangs are led by Border Gezi youths in a
carefully co-ordinated campaign of political violence.

Throughout our meeting at a secret location in Matabeleland, Trevor - not
his real name - glanced around nervously and often dropped his voice to a
whisper. He had no doubt that his comrades would kill him if they knew that
he had disclosed their secrets.

Trevor admitted that he had beaten his victims senseless with clubs. He said
that others had killed MDC activists with axes and knives and, on one
occasion, by burning down a house with its occupants inside.

What is all the more shocking is that Trevor is no mindless thug, and does
not even support Mr Mugabe or his Zanu-PF party. Articulate and intelligent,
but unemployed for four years since leaving school, he made no apologies
that his motivation was purely financial.

The youths have been paid according to results. For what Trevor calls "a job
well done" - usually a weekend rampage, stopping people and ordering them to
show Zanu membership cards, and attacking suspected MDC followers - each has
received the equivalent of about £15. (A teacher, by contrast, is paid £45 a

He said: "I know I'm not doing the right thing. But when you're hungry,
you'll do anything for money."

His biggest payday - £30 - came last weekend when he played a key role in
the youth militia's most dramatic operation: they succeeded in preventing Mr
Tsvangirai from addressing an MDC rally at a sports stadium in Bulawayo.

Trevor and his comrades were taken there by lorry from Harare and deployed
in the stadium on Saturday. When MDC youths began arriving that evening to
make preparations for Sunday's rally, the Zanu militia pretended they were
fellow opposition activists - then beat them savagely.

Seven or eight were taken away unconscious by the security authorities.
Trevor is convinced that they either died from their injuries or were killed
later. The rally was abandoned the next day after MDC supporters were driven
away by the Zanu militia and police firing tear gas.

The subordination of the police and army to Mr Mugabe's desperate fight for
political survival is illustrated by the manner of Trevor's enrolment. Two
months ago, he went to Harare to apply to join the police, but at the
recruitment office, he was told that, under new procedures, he would first
have to undergo national service.

He was driven by military vehicle to the Border Gezi camp (named after a
former cabinet minister and close friend of Robert Mugabe who is now dead).
There, he and fellow recruits were given fitness training, drilled in
gun-handling and military strategy and taught to follow orders
unquestioningly by army officers.

They were also lectured in pro-Zanu thinking and anti-MDC and anti-white

The camp is the brainchild of Elliot Manyika, the local MP and Gezi's
successor as youth affairs minister. "We saw him when he visited to check on
our progress," said Trevor.

"He told us that it was our patriotic duty to remove anyone who hindered the
progress of the government. It was coded language, but we knew he meant the

Mr Manyika, who accompanied Trevor and his comrades when they travelled to
Bulawayo before last weekend's ambush, also ordered the campaign to force
villagers and farm labourers to buy Zanu cards. The operation has netted the
party an estimated £1 million in recent weeks.

Trevor believes that the camp at Bindura and a new one at Ntabazinduna, near
Bulawayo, have turned out thousands of recruits. They have stopped wearing
the olive green uniforms that identified them as Border Gezi youth, and have
been deployed in small units across the country with orders to recruit local
thugs to help on their rampages.

While Mr Mugabe's regime used self-styled veterans of the independence war
to conduct his land-grab offensive against white farmers, their lack of
discipline prompted him to draft politically indoctrinated youth to provide
the muscle for his re-election battle.

Trevor has been told that he will finish his "community service" in early
March - just as Zimbabweans go to the polls. He expects to be given the
orders for his next mission in the coming days.

Despite the campaign of intimidation and terror, however, his own background
explains why Mr Mugabe's biggest hope of clinging on to power is the massive
vote-rigging exercise that he and his senior lieutenants are planning.

"I used to dream of being a pilot," said Trevor, "But in this country you no
longer select a career - you take anything you can. I was desperate and I
took this.

"We are allowing ourselves to be used for money, and we know that Zanu-PF
will drop us if Mugabe wins in March."

Asked how he will vote in the presidential poll, he sat back and smiled for
the only time in the interview. "It's obvious, isn't it? I'm an MDC
supporter. I'll be voting for Morgan Tsvangirai. This country has been
ruined by Mugabe."

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Chicago Tribune

Mugabe's iron fist

  Published January 26, 2002

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe doesn't waste much time in breaking his
promises. He assured the world that his country's presidential elections in
early March would be free and fair, even as his government was trying its
best to put in the fix.

Mugabe reassured regional leaders meeting in Malawi in mid-January that
speech rights, press coverage and international observers would be
unfettered. He could have saved his breath. Back home, his ruling ZANU-PF
party was trying to pass an oppressive media-control law that he backed. It
would essentially outlaw any practice of journalism without state approval.
Violators could spend up to two years in jail.

That Draconian proposal turned out to be intolerable even for Mugabe's usual
rubber-stamp parliamentary coalition. A pragmatic wing of ZANU-PF, fed up
with Zimbabwe's increasing isolation from the civilized world, managed to
load the bill up with amendments and forced the withdrawal of the bill after
it lost two floor votes.

It could return, though. And whether it does or not, other restrictions on
speech and freedom that Parliament enacted earlier in the month will remain
in place. They prohibit statements that are "likely to engender hatred or
hostility," particularly toward Mugabe. They give police sweeping new powers
of arrest and seizure, while tightly restricting the movements of
independent election monitors.

Worse, Zimbabwe's military chiefs have announced they will only support a
president who fought in Zimbabwe's war of independence. That would rule in
the 77-year-old Mugabe and rule out the leading opposition candidate, Morgan
Tsvangirai, a popular labor leader.

Mugabe's story is sadder than other tales of third-world dictators gone
wrong because he and his country showed so much promise. For most of his 21
years in office, Zimbabwe's constitutional government provided a model of
free press, free speech, free education and an independent judiciary in a
developing country.

But, faced for the first time with an opposition strong enough to unseat
him, he has rallied support by making scapegoats of the white farmers who
own most of the country's arable land. Zimbabwe needs land reform. Great
Britain and the United States have tried to help bring it. But Mugabe has
been less interested in real land reform than in exploiting the issue.
Instead of calling for calm, he has egged on the sometimes-fatal raids by
war veterans on white-owned farms.

Zimbabwe's dream does not have to end in disaster. Democracy is putting up a
good fight in the former British colony. That fight needs outside help to
survive its isolated president.

President Bush signed a bill just before Christmas that offers a generous
package of incentives, including an immediate $25 million for land reform
and election oversight, if Zimbabwe restores the rule of law, allows
international observers of its elections and initiates equitable land
reform. The bill calls for sanctions to be imposed if Mugabe continues his
reckless course.

Aid from other sources such as Britain, the International Monetary Fund and
the World Bank also hangs in the balance. The choice is up to Mugabe. He can
live up to his long-held status as Zimbabwe's father of independence or he
can be the father of its new oppression.Zimbabwe's dream does not have to
end in disaster. Democracy is putting up a good fight.

Copyright © 2002, Chicago Tribune
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UK cracks down on Mugabe

Kamal Ahmed and Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Sunday January 27, 2002
The Observer

Britain's relations with Robert Mugabe plunged to their lowest level since
independence last night when the Government called for Zimbabwe to be thrown
out of the Commonwealth and millions of pounds of funds to be seized as a
wave of political murders sweeps the impoverished country.

Fearing further anarchy ahead of elections in its former colony in March,
Britain will this week call for Zimbabwe's expulsion and throw its weight
behind international moves to seize Mugabe's multi-million-pound assets and
ban him from travelling anywhere in Europe.

The sanctions - which include seizing Mugabe's assets held in European banks
and banning travel for the President and members of his Zanu-PF government -
will be agreed at a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels tomorrow.
Mugabe is reputed to have plundered more than £400 million as his people
face starvation.

'We have the full backing of Downing Street, there is a consensus growing
for action,' said one Whitehall source. 'We want to take action that is
effective and shows the President that he cannot act with impunity.'

On Wednesday, Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, will also push the case for
suspending Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth. He will say that
Mugabe-sanctioned actions against opposition forces, the beating up of
journalists and draconian security laws have placed the country outside the
norms of international values.

Mugabe will be told that 'smart sanctions' will be imposed unless he allows
international observers to oversee the elections, enforces a decrease in
violence and abandons plans to gag the media.

Whitehall sources said it was 'highly unlikely' Mugabe would agree to the
terms and that sanctions would be imposed 'in the near future'.

Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, will take the same message to the meeting of
Commonwealth heads of state in Brisbane on 2 March. The delicate meeting -
it is unlikely that African members of the Commonwealth will agree to the
suspension - will be attended by the Queen. Senior government figures said
it was possible Mugabe would boycott the event, one of the most important in
the Commonwealth's calendar.

The Government's move comes after increasing pressure by those campaigning
for a tougher stance against Zimbabwe.

'It is now abundantly clear that the Zimbabwean government has no intention
of meeting the criteria necessary to ensure that the presidential election
can be fairly contested,' Glenys Kinnock, Member of the European Parliament,
said in a letter to the European Voice this weekend.

'They have failed to understand that state-sponsored violence and
intimidation must end, that an acceptable timetable for the entry of
election observers must be set out and that the freedom of the media must be

'The time for dialogue is over; it has been clear for months that President
Mugabe and his henchmen are simply not listening.'

Kinnock is pressing Blair to make the move before his trip to African states
next week. She has been invited to Downing Street to discuss her concerns.

Two weeks ago, the EU invoked Article 96 against Zimbabwe, paving the way
for sanctions. Officials said that the regime had failed to give a
'satisfactory response'.

A detailed report on Zimbabwe by the Brussels-based International Crisis
Group also urges countries to take action against the Mugabe government.
'There is too much bark and too little bite in dealing with Zimbabwe,' said
the report. 'If meaningful action is not taken now, the leadership in Harare
will continue to believe it can act with total impunity.'

Last night there were fresh reports of political violence as Zanu-PF forces
clashed with opposition MDC factions. Figures from the Human Rights Forum
show that well over 80 per cent of the violence has been perpetrated by
Mugabe's party, by police or by the army. The Zimbabwe Electoral Support
Network states that conditions for free and fair elections do not exist.

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Zim Standard

UK urged to send troops to Zimbabwe

By our own Staff
BRITAIN’s opposition Conservative Party has said Prime Minister Tony Blair
should not rule out the possibility of sending troops to Zimbabwe if chaos
erupted immediately after the presidential election scheduled for March 9
and 10.

Reports from London quoted opposition foreign affairs spokesman Michael
Ancram as saying on Wednesday that the Labour government should continue
pressuring Mugabe to restore the rule of law in Zimbabwe. His comments come
in the wake of the threat by Zimbabwe security chiefs that the uniformed
forces would not recognise a win by a candidate without liberation war

But while the Conservative party urged more robust action by Britain, the
government’s parliamentary under secretary of state in the foreign office,
Ben Bradshaw, simply repeated the official line that “action will be taken’’
, if things became worse. He refused to elaborate.

Ancram was speaking during a debate on Zimbabwe to which nine members of
parliament contributed—six of them Conservatives.

In the latest debate, everyone agreed that the situation had continued to
deteriorate and that they had received constant reminders, some from their
constituents, of the terror campaign and atrocities being perpetrated under

It was widely acknowledged that the March 9-10 elections would not be free
and fair, but Bradshaw would not speculate on Britain’s reaction if Mugabe
either lost and tried to cling to power, or if he won a fraudulent election.

Ancram and Maude said that instead of hiding behind guilt about Britain’s
colonial past, the government should spend some of the international capital
accrued by Blair during the last few months, to take a lead in the Zimbabwe
crisis and to go beyond the efforts of the European Union.

Zimbabwe government spokesman, Jonathan Moyo was unavailable for comment.

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Zim Standard

The Standard ‘banned’ as terror campaign spreads

By our own Staff
ZANU PF hooligans have intensified the ban on the sale of The Standard in a
number of areas around the country, as the terror campaign to boost
President Mugabe’s waning image ahead of the presidential poll in March

According to the latest reports, ruling party supporters have spread the ban
on The Standard to Kwekwe, Chinhoyi, Mvuma, Bindura, Rusape and Ruwa.

An official with Munn Distributions, the distributors of The Standard, said
they had stopped delivering the paper in a number of areas around the
country because of the hooligans.

Vendors selling the newspaper in Chitungwiza and in the Harare suburbs of
Sunningdale, Kambuzuma and Mbare have also been harassed by hooligans.

“Rusape is now a no-go area. We have not delivered the paper there for the
past two weeks. We have set up a network of vendors in Rusape who will
inform us of the situation on the ground so that we decide whether to
deliver the paper or not,” said the official.

“In Chinhoyi they are intimidating retailers and shop managers not to sell
the paper and we have not supplied Mvuma with The Standard for a month now.”

A vendor who was selling the newspaper in Sunningdale last week, was
attacked by hooligans while another in Kambuzuma had 60 copies of the paper
torn, said the official.

“What is worrying is that the situation seems to be spreading to other areas
around the country. Because of the situation, we are advising our vendors to
be out of the city centre by 5pm,” he said.

Ruling party hooligans and war veterans have in past months been on the
rampage, beating up people seen reading the independent press. The situation
has been rife in rural areas, especially in Mashonaland West and Central
which Zanu PF considers its stronghold.

Despite the clampdown, the official said demand for the paper continued to
soar, with many areas calling for an increase in copies availed to their

The Standard’s print run averages between 35 000 and 40 000 copies a week,
with most assues getting sold out.

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Zim Standard

Mugabe minder in envoy’s sex scandal

By Chengetai Zvauya
THE sex scandal involving the Libyan ambassador who allegedly sexually
abused a female staffer at the embassy has deepened with revelations that
President Mugabe’s personal bodyguard tried to cover up the scandal when
tasked to investigate the case.

Senior Assistant Commissioner Winston Changara, who is also head of the
Police Protection Unit (PPU) reportedly took the victim, Janet Mutasa, on a
joy trip to stop her from spilling the beans.

The ambassador allegedly cajoled Mutasa into giving in to his demands for
oral sex for a period of about two years.

Mutasa told The Standard last week that Changara had tried to cover up the
case by taking her on a tour of the resort town of Victoria Falls and Binga
during which he told her to drop the charges against ambassador, Mahmound
Yousef Azzabi.

“Changara told me to forget about the story and promised to find employment
for me in return. He also told me that I should not report the story to

“I have decided to come out in the open about what the ambassador did to me
and how he took advantage of his position. What is most disappointing is
that Changara, as head of a police unit, did not take any action against
this man. He must explain his inaction. I challenge him to deny that I
reported the matter to him.”

When the story broke two weeks ago, Changara denied ever having met Mutasa
and any knowledge of her sexual abuse at the hands of Azzabi.

“He must be ashamed of himself for denying that he does not know me when he
used to call me muzukuru (niece), I know his office like the back of my
hands and all my family members know that Changara had said he would help me
with my case,” said Mutasa.

She told The Standard that her family was now living in fear following the
publication of her sex ordeal at the hands of the the ambassador, between
1999 and last year.

“Police officers are frantically looking for me and threatening members of
my family who are refusing to tell them where I am living,” said Mutasa.
“The officers who said they had been sent by Changara visited my parents’
home last Sunday and asked about my whereabouts. They instructed my parents
that I was to report Changara’s office at Tomlinson Depot and explain how
the press had got wind of my story,” she said.

Mutasa narrated how she had first met Changara at his Tomlinson Depot office
and how they had quickly established a relationship with him calling her
muzukuru and promising to investigate her allegations against the

Said Mutasa: “I was referred to Changara by some officers who told me that
my case was so serious that it could only be handled by their boss,
Changara. This happened in August 2001 and was the beginning of a long
working relationship with him which saw him take me out for a weekend at the
Victoria Falls and Binga in the company of eight officers from his unit.”

She said at the Victoria Falls they spent five days enjoying themselves and
in Binga, they stayed at lodges.

She added: “Changara sent his driver with $2 500 for bus fare for me to
board a bus to Victoria Falls where he was already. He told me that he
needed a break from the ordeal and that he would secure a job for me in
Victoria Falls.

“Changara used to regularly send his driver called Chagonda to pick me up
and take me to his office for further questioning and information, but
eventually he said the best he could do was help me find a new job and start
all over again.”

Mutasa says her relationship with Changara soured after the Victoria Falls
escapade. “Changara become hostile and told me he was no longer interested
in helping me. He sent Chagonda to get me from Dzivarasekwa and drive me to
State House where he was on duty and we went to the Royal Golf Club where we
had a meeting.

“He said I was a dirty person who did not appreciate what he was doing for
me. He even said he had been forced to lie to President Mugabe that I was
his niece whom he was helping to secure a job.”

Mutasa said Chan-gara’s change of attitude towards her came about after the
policeman had learnt that she had reported the matter to the deputy minister
of youth development, gender and employment creation, Shuvai Mahofa, who had
asked her to write a report and forward it to the minister of foreign

“When Changara learnt about my meeting with minister Mahofa, he became mad
for reasons I don’t understand. This happened in September last year and it
was the last time I spoke to him until he started sending people to my
parents’ home looking for me.”

Mutasa was dismissed from her employment on allegations that she had stolen
five plates, but she maintains that she had been set up for threatening to
expose the ambassador for sexually abusing her.

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Zim Standard

Chihuri orders cops to vote Mugabe

By our own Staff
POLICE Commissioner Augustine Chihuri has embarked on a campaign tour for
Zanu PF and is ordering his subordinates to vote for President Robert Mugabe
in the forthcoming presidential election, The Standard has learnt.

According to police sources, Chihuri’s whirlwind tour has taken him to the
country’s provinces.

Although police spokesman, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, said
Chihuri’s tour was not for campaign purposes, but for appraising officers on
the political situation in the country, those who attended the meetings
insist the commissioner was campaigning for Mugabe.

They said Chihuri’s trump card in his current campaign is the recent 155%
pay hike for officers, and the on-going land redistribution exercise which
has seen members of the uniformed forces receiving preferential treatment in
the allocation of plots.
Chihuri, who violated the Police Act in 2000 when he publicly declared his
loyalty to Zanu PF, has already toured Manicaland, Mashonaland West and
Mashonaland Central. Last week, he addressed police officers at Morris Depot
and Harare Central.

He is to cover the remaining provinces before the presidential poll
scheduled for 9 and 10 March.

Said one police officer from Manicaland: “Chihuri reminded us of the recent
pay increases and said we should thank the government for addressing our
plight. He then castigated the MDC, saying it was sponsored by whites and we
should never vote for it.”

According to another source, the commissioner, “who spoke like a true
politician”, chronicled the events of the liberation struggle giving reasons
why he thought government was right to grab land from the whites. He also
allegedly threatened to deal with those officers aligned to the MDC.

“Basically, the message was mari takakupai ende nyika haisi kuzotorwa (we
have given you money and the ruling party will retain power),” said the

Dismissing the allegations, Bvudzijena said the tour had started before
government announced the pay increases for police officers.

“That is a gross misrepresentation. We are trying to realign police officers
to the objectives of the organisation. We want police officers to understand
the political climate in the country and how they should deal with political
violence which is an area of concern to us and we need our officers to
emphatically deal with it.

“We were not only looking at crime but administrative issues as well,
including finances. But some people have misconstrued our actions as
campaigning,” said Bvudzijena.

Said one officer in response to Bvudzijena’s denials: “They could never buy
us with money, nor with Chihuri’s cheap politics. Like everyone else, we are
suffering because of the current corrupt government and we definitely won’t
be bought by Mugabe’s 30 pieces of silver.”

A constable within the force described as “peanuts” the 155% salary
increment. “It is worthless. I was earning $13 500 before the increase and
now this has jumped to $30 000, but it is nothing when one looks at today’s
cost of living,” he said.

Chihuri’s campaign trail follows a statement released by the commander of
the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Vitalis Zvinavashe on behalf of the
Joint Operations Command, that uniformed forces would not respect the
results of the presidential poll if Mugabe lost the election.

Members of the Joint Operations Command include Chihuri himself, Air Marshal
Perrence Shiri, Zimbabwe National Army commander, Lt Gen Constantine
Chiwenga and the heads of the intelligence and prison services.

Just before the 2000 parliamentary elections, Chiwenga undertook a similar
tour, ordering soldiers to vote for the Zanu PF candidates in the the
general election which was narrowly won by Zanu PF.

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Zim Standard

Zanu PF fails to stop Tsvangirai, Obasanjo meeting

By Chengetai Zvauya
EFFORTS by a high-powered Zanu PF delegation to stop a meeting between
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai at
State House, in the early hours of Monday morning were scuttled when the
Nigerian leader insisted on the meeting taking place.

The ministers—among them foreign affairs’ minister, Stan Mudenge; lands,
agriculture and rural resettlement minister Joseph Made; home affairs
minister, John Nkomo; Nicholas Goche of state security and Jonathan Moyo of
information and publicity—were clearly embarrassed when Obasanjo insisted on
seeing Tsvangirai in private.

According to sources, after the meeting with Mugabe, the ministers wanted to
shepherd Obasanjo straight to the airport but he refused to budge until
after he had met with Tsvangirai in private at State House.

“They all looked bemused as Obasanjo went ahead with his meeting with
Tsvangirai at State House. They expected him to ignore Tsvangirai, but he
proceeded to greet Tsvangirai, give him a warm hug and call him ‘Mr
President’,” said the source.

Equally surprised were state security details manning the State House who
could not believe their eyes when Tsvangirai arrived in a Mercedes Benz
around 1am. They simply saluted the MDC leader as a sign of respect.

The Standard is also informed that in the interior of the presidential home,
Tsvangirai was warmly received and cordially served with tea, after turning
down the offer of a more solid meal. This happened while he was waiting for
the Nigerian leader at the guest house he was staying in.

Yesterday, Tsvangirai himself confirmed his warm reception by security
details and staff at State House.

Said Tsvangirai: “Yes, I can confirm the meting took place at State House.
The staff there were very good and gave me a warm reception.”

Obasanjo then met with Tsvangirai, who was in the company of his shadow
foreign affairs minister, Tendai Biti. Also present on the Nigerian side
were, foreign affairs minister Sule Lamido; information minister, Professor
Jerry Gana; co-operation and integration in Africa minister, Chief Bimbo
Ogunkelu and Obasanjo advisor, Enerst Shoneka.
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Relief supplies arrive in Zim

Harare - An initial consignment of 5 200 tons of maize imported by the World
Food Programme (WFP) under an emergency relief plan has arrived in the
western city of Bulawayo, a senior Zimbabwean official confirmed on

But as the consignment was delivered by truck, fears were growing that
Zimbabwe's transport facilities do not have the capacity to distribute
enough maize to meet demand.

Maize is already scarce on the nation's supermarket shelves. An estimated
558 000 people are thought to need food urgently.

It is estimated that Zimbabwe's railways cannot handle more than 10 000 tons
a month and the roads only a fraction of the balance, needed to meet the
monthly national consumption of 150 000 tons.

Grain producers last week said the country's meal stocks were down to less
than 40 000 tons.

But the Grain Marketing Board - a semi-state organisation - said imports
would not be needed if it could seize stocks being illegally concealed and
hoarded by white growers it accuses of being bent on economic sabotage.

Last week the government moved to seize 36 000 tons of maize it claimed
white farmers were illegally holding back. The claim was denied by the

Analysts say that a massive drop in commercial planting of maize has
contributed to the food crisis.

Morgan Tsvangirai, presidential candidate for the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), says 13 million Zimbabweans face the prospect of
hunger and starvation. - Sapa-DP

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Zim Standard

News Focus—Moyo’s rude awakening

By Farai Mutsaka
WHEN information and publicity minister, Jonathan Moyo first introduced the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill in December, he was a
very proud man.

Five weeks down the line, Professor Moyo is not proud but wounded. Not only
has the Bill seriously dented his image, but it has left his popularity in
the party in question and has badly battered his ego.

The party disagreed with him on major clauses which would have given him the
power to hire and fire journalists operating in Zimbabwe.

Used to having his own way in a party he thought he controlled, Moyo
received a rude awakening from Zanu PF MPs when they refused to endorse the
Information Bill in its original form.

Ruling party MPs were united in caucus that Moyo’s Bill was too draconian to
be passed without amendment. Moyo had spent five weeks trying to convince
his colleagues to the contrary.

MPs flatly told him that he could not fight his personal wars through
And like a truly wounded man, he has been forced to make concessions which
have seriously eroded the power he expected to give himself through the
Thirty-six amendments have so far been made to the Bill but the MPs want
more changes.

Now that he is completely out of ideas, Moyo has resorted to tongue lashing
senior party officials he suspects are behind his failure.

On Friday morning, he attacked respected politician and astute lawyer,
Eddison Zvobgo, accusing him of suffering from memory lapses.

Zvobgo’s crime: He has refused to be pushed into making a hurried report on
the Bill. Zvobgo is the chairman of the Parliamentary Legal Committee
responsible for scrutinising bills and exposing their constitutional flaws.

Zvobgo, a former justice minister, has accused Moyo and his ally, justice,
legal and parliamentary affairs minister, Patrick Chinamasa, of failing to
put the Bill together properly and of thus causing the current chaos.

Said Zvobgo: “The chaos has not been caused by the legal committee. The
chaos has been caused by the government and the minister in particular, who
has failed to put this Bill together properly. The chaos is totally
unassociated with my committee. The minister has held this house to ransom
by his failure and inability to put his things a bit more neatly,” said

Moyo was stung by these comments.

Said a ruling party MP: “What we did was reduce him to size. He disregarded
advice from elder party members when he was crafting the Bill. He was very
proud of it and saw it as his personal project but we don’t want to be used.
Moyo should know that he is still politically immature and has a lot to
learn. We could not be forced to pass a law that would in effect ban all
journalists from practising. Moyo does not have a constituency to report to,
but back in our constituencies, we will be asked why we are enacting such
bad laws.”

Party insiders believe Moyo’s recent setback to be the beginning of worse
things to come for the former donor-funded professor, it could be the
beginning of his fall from grace.

“He was beginning to see himself as the all powerful man in the party and
had to be stopped at some point. This is someone who joined the party only
last year, from the Constitutional Commission and yet he wants to act so
big. We will not allow it. The mood now is that Moyo is a big liability and
is discrediting the party by making too many enemies. He has to be stopped,”
said a party insider.

As he waits for a second reading of the Bill on Tuesday, Moyo must surely be
contemplating a possible future in the political wilderness.
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Zim Standard

Zanu PF concerned about violent campaign

By Farai Mutsaka
THERE is heavy lobbying within Zanu PF for the party to desist from the
violent campaign which has seriously dented the party’s image, The Standard
has learnt.

According to sources within the party, a number of senior members felt the
violence had to be stopped if the ruling party was to attract meaningful

Manicaland governor, Oppah Muchinguri, is spearheading the anti-violence
campaign, the sources said.

Muchinguri is said to have made presentations to President Mugabe for an end
to the terror campaign being employed by the party.

The governor is understood to have made her plea at a recent meeting between
President Mugabe and the provincial governors. Much-inguri could not be
reached for comment at the time of going to press.

“There are people in the party who have now realised that the violence has
to stop. The campaign is backfiring and it is not doing us any good. The
party is now being viewed as a violent party and this will not win us any
votes. We have to adopt other strategies. While such a campaign could have
worked in 1980, times have changed and people are cleverer. They can no
longer be intimidated,” said the source.

The anti-violence lobbyists are said to have accused Zanu PF political
commissar, Elliot Manyika of fanning violence through his notorious youth
brigades recently trained at the Border Gezi Training Camp in Mt Darwin.

“Manyika should stop abusing those youngsters. They have been mounting
roadblocks and beating up people in the rural areas. Manyika can use them in
his own province, but we will not allow them to cause suffering among people
in our provinces. That is not the way to win votes,” said a ruling party

In an abrupt u-turn, the usually combative Manyika has of late been
preaching anti-violence messages and warning ruling party militias not to
construct roadblocks in rural areas. At a recent rally in Mashonaland
Central, Manyika told his militias to stop harassing villagers and demanding
party cards from them.

The province, in which Manyika was once governor, has been the worst
affected by political violence.

Virtually all rural areas in the country have become ‘no go’ areas because
of roadblocks mounted by Zanu PF militias who assault anyone they find
without a ruling party card.

The violence has so far claimed the lives of over 90 MDC supporters. The
opposition have been barred from campaigning in rural areas which Zanu PF
claims it totally controls.

The excessive violence in rural areas has seen a number of MDC supporters
being displaced from their homes.

The war veterans have set up bases around the country which are being used
as torture camps.

“The real challenge is for us to filter the message to the war veterans and
party supporters on the ground. What we are now trying to do is tell war
veterans leaders to pass on the message to their members not to use
excessive violence anymore,” said a senior Zanu PF official.

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Zim Standard

ZCC deplores terror campaign

By Trevor Muhonde
THE Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) has castigated the government for
unleashing a reign of terror on innocent citizens.

This comes in the wake of attacks by government-sponsored militias on
churches affiliated to the council.

In an interview with The Standard, the general-secretary of ZCC, Denison
Mafinyane, said while the government was preaching peace, its supporters had
gone “demonic” by besieging churches.

“What the ZCC is saying is we do not want violence. We do not believe in the
killing of our people. All political parties should urge their supporters
not to violate other people’s rights,” said Mafinyane.

His comments come in the wake of the heavily criticised national day of
prayer meeting which was transformed into a Zanu PF rally as overzealous
church leaders fell over each other in praise of President Mugabe.

Notable among those at the meeting was Anglican Harare Bishop Nolbert
Kun-onga who has caused chaos in the diocese, Madzibaba Nzira of the Johane
Masowe Wechi-shanu, and a plethora of leaders of obscure churches.

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Mugabe in hunt for 'four hidden correspondents'

By David Blair and Peta Thornycroft in Harare
The Daily Telegraph, 25 January 2002

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's regime launched a hunt for foreign journalists
inside Zimbabwe yesterday, accusing four correspondents of entering the
country illegally and having "intelligence cover from a hostile state".

The Daily Telegraph was accused, along with three other newspapers, of
sending journalists to Zimbabwe "under the guise of being tourists" in
defiance of a virtual ban on correspondents visiting.

The latest threat to the international press came as Mr Mugabe's attempt to
push through a draconian media law descended into chaos.

For a fourth time, his aides failed to bring the bill before the House,
triggering an unprecedented public row between a senior cabinet minister
and Eddison Zvobgo, a veteran figure in the ruling Zanu-PF party.

The Herald, the official daily newspaper, said yesterday it had found
journalists from The Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Economist and the Sunday
Times of South Africa staying in hotels or "safe houses" owned by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

It quoted George Charamba, permanent secretary of the Information
Department, as saying: "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 journalists were accused of breaking regulations compelling foreign
journalists to seek permission one month before visiting Zimbabwe.
Clearance is almost always refused.

Three correspondents were expelled last year and the BBC was banned. Since
then some journalists have entered Zimbabwe as tourists and filed reports
under their own names. The Daily Telegraph has a permanent correspondent in
Harare, but no journalist on special assignment.

The Herald yesterday quoted Mr Charamba as saying: "What makes the whole
development quite sinister is the fact that these journalists have got
intelligence cover from a hostile state."

The government has previously branded journalists "terrorists" and Zanu-PF
supporters have assaulted at least 12 in the past six months.

Observers believe that the action against journalists is intended to
obscure a violent campaign by Zanu-PF to secure victory for Mr Mugabe in
the presidential election due on March 9 and 10.

Mr Mugabe has taken this campaign a stage further by proposing the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill that would make it illegal
for journalists to work without state approval and ban foreign
correspondents from living in Zimbabwe.

But a crucial stumbling block has been the parliamentary legal committee.
Chaired by Mr Zvobgo, who was sacked from Mr Mugabe's cabinet in 2000, it
is believed to have told the government that its bill is unconstitutional.

Yesterday Patrick Chinamasa, the justice minister, announced to a packed
parliament yet another delay in the appearance of the media bill before the
house, to gasps of surprise from MPs. He then attacked the legal committee
and accused it of "holding this house to ransom".

Mr Zvobgo rose and rebuked Mr Chinamasa. "Members are quite aware of the
chaos that was caused by government, by the minister, in putting this bill
together," he said. It was Mr Chinamasa, he said, who was holding the house
to ransom.

The sight of two Zanu-PF heavyweights attacking one another on the floor of
parliament was an unprecedented sign of the discontent within the ruling
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The Hon A. J. Downer
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament House
Canberra  ACT  2600
Dear Minister
There is growing public concern over the crisis in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean Australians, especially those who still have filial links with Zimbabwe, are concerned for their loved one’s futures and for the country…its people, the economy and its environment.
Zimbabwe is at a critical juncture: the outcome of the presidential election, scheduled for 9th -10th March, will decide whether the country returns to the rule of law and establishes a plural democratic system or descends into the depths of political and economic chaos. The latter scenario will have a disastrous effect on the broader southern Africa region where fragile economies are already suffering the effects of the government created crisis in Zimbabwe. A refugee situation is developing in Zimbabwe and will add to the global refugee crisis.
As a result of  recent draconian Zimbabwean legislation:
·         tens of thousands of innocent voters have been disenfranchised
·         the opposition has had its campaigning efforts curtailed
·         security forces powers have been expanded  to such a degree that civil liberties are all but destroyed.
The erosion of democracy and human rights surpasses that which occurred under the Smith government when it became world pariahs. The world shows less revulsion of the Mugabe government’s excesses. Australian media coverage of the situation in Zimbabwe is to be condemned for its paucity. Loud condemnation from activists is conspicuous  by the silence.
We thank you and the government for your efforts in putting pressure on the Mugabe government through the Commonwealth, and other means. Your insistence on the restoration of  the rule of law and due democratic process is much appreciated.
You are urged to continue to speak out on the demise of democracy in Zimbabwe and to make urgent representations to Mr Thabo Mbeki, other SADC leaders and Mr Kofi Annan requesting continual pressure on the ZANU PF government of Zimbabwe.
Unfortunately, expulsion from the Commonwealth will now have little or no impact on President Mugabe or the elections.   Decisions have been delayed too long and too many excuses have been made for what is actually happening.   If there is going to be any real attempt to help the country, it will have to be a concerted and direct international effort. Why?  Because President Mugabe and his government are no longer dependent upon the west as a result of financial backing from Libya. They are therefore able to thumb their noses at democratic processes.

The Libyan support of President Mugabe comes with its own agendas, price tags and demands.    The Libyans will bleed Zimbabwe dry and create a convenient and strategic staging post within southern Africa for their future plans.   They have a very vested interest in ensuring that President Mugabe stays in power.   The silent victims are the naïve, but exceptional Zimbabwean people. Only a very small percentage of mainly city based people have any idea of what is going on due to the complete repression of the media. broadcasts live each day from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Zimbabwe time. It is an attempt to get an independent radio voice into the rural areas of Zimbabwe where there is no access to the independent press.   Needless to say, it does not broadcast from within Zimbabwe.
The current situation in Zimbabwe provides alarming evidence to support the view that Zimbabwe is indeed disintegrating towards a total political, economic and social meltdown, resulting in intolerable suffering on the people of Zimbabwe. Enclosed, as addendum, please find a precis of  articles  which have been compiled from news and information received since mid 2001. This is done in order to stress the speed at which events are moving.     These are divided into the following headings:
·         The Gaddafi factor
·         Tampering with the voters rolls

·         Fate of the black farm workers
·         Fear of opposition
·         Redeployment of troops
·         Military training of school children
·         Military About-Turn
·         Refusal to abide by judicial or parliamentary decisions
·         Election date
·         Growing links to terror groups and Bin Laden
Also attached in full are two excellent articles by Basildon Peta, a fearless journalist of great integrity who works with the Zimbabwe Financial Gazette.
The penultimate attachment is an e-mail from a white farmer. His anger and despair at the situation is an example of the anger  building up across the nation.
The last attachment is from Cathy Buckle, the author of African Tears. She has been bravely speaking out against the government (through e-mails), having earlier been a supporter of Mr Mugabe in his government’s earlier years. Her e-mail is attached as an illustration of the hopelessness of the situation.
 Zimbabwe can be saved from the abyss if sufficient diplomatic pressure is exerted from the international community. You are urged to continue applying diplomatic pressure on the international community, and SADC countries in particular, to call for the following:
·         An end to all acts of political violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe
·         The implementation of SADC norms and standards for a free and fair election
·         The unequivocal withdrawal of recently implemented draconian legislation 
·         The Zimbabwe Government to condemn political statements by the army
·         The immediate invitation and accreditation of international observers
·         Guarantees that international and local journalists will be able to work without fear of arrest or political intimidation
If the conditions are not met by the end of January the international community is urged to take decisive action and impose targeted sanctions on President Mugabe, his family and other leading Zanu PF figures (and their families) guilty of committing gross human rights abuses.

Yours faithfully
Angus Falconer
Copies to: The Hon KM Rudd MHR; Senator Vicki Bourne; Senator Alan Ferguson; Senator Andrew Murray; Premier Geoff Gallop, The Australian, Melbourne Age, The West Australian



The Gaddafi factor
In September, the Guardian (UK) wrote:

Gadaffi, who has despaired of his efforts to play a leadership role in the Arab word, has begun to use his financial muscle to make interventions right across black Africa.   He has made Zimbabwe a special case, first advancing Mugabe a loan of $100 million and then making a special trip to the OAU summit in Lusaka, the first such summit he had attended since 1977, to give all-out support to Mugabe's land-grabbing and anti-white policies.

Since then, the association between the two has resulted in:
         Gaddafi’s promise to Mugabe of $586 million in fuel supplies
        A $900,000 election contribution to the funds of Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party.
        Gaddafi calling on Zimbabwe’s Muslims to wage a jihad against the whites
¨       After his visit, Gaddafi leaving behind two bodyguards for Mugabe and four specialist coordinators,   experienced in the training and a handling of death squads
¨       Mugabe recruiting Libyan bodyguards and highly trained intelligence officers to beef up his personal security
¨       Gaddafi buying/being given 20 houses in Zimbabwe likely to be used as safe-houses for death squads. The houses are strategically scattered; four in Harare and one in every regional town or centre of any size.
¨       The establishment of a Libyan Embassy in one of the homes of Mugabe’s wife, Grace
¨       The instigation of a joint plan calling for the targeted assassination of MDC politicians, troublesome journalists and the like.
¨       The allocation of at least a dozen (now thought to be nearer 25) large-scale farms to Libyans as part of an ‘economic cooperation package’  but thought also to be involved in the training of young militia
¨       LIBYA acquiring a substantial stake in the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim)
¨       HUNDREDS of Libyan troops, part of Col. Gaddafi’s elite forces who are known for their terror tactics being sent to Zimbabwe and housed in secret locations scattered across the country
with, it is believed, assassination squads moving into Harare.
¨       Zimbabwe's passport office ordered to produce 10,000 passports, which will be issued to Libyan nationals, according to officials in the registrar general's office.  Unofficial estimates now say that about 15 000 Libyans have had their Zimbabwean passports processed.

Tampering with the voters rolls
¨       A deadline of January 6 imposed for residents of foreign descent to obtain proof they have renounced any claim to foreign citizenship. The stringent legislation - which will strip the newly stateless of their votes - was rushed through Parliament and signed into law last July
¨       In the last three months, an estimated 100,000 foreigners have been brought in to Zimbabwe to take up citizenship, holding up and ahead of, resident Zimbabweans wishing to register in order to be able to vote
¨       once the ‘aliens’ have acquired local passports, they will be allowed to register to vote in 2002’s presidential election, boosting the ruling party
¨       a crack-down and refusal to register anyone who has a parent born outside the country even if they are themselves Zimbabwe born
¨       people spending nights at the Registrar-General's Office, with most saying every excuse is found so that they fail to get passports, births, deaths certificates or national identity cards.
¨       Only known Zanu-PF voters being told exactly how and where to register
¨       An estimated 2.8 million dispossessed black farm workers unable to vote because they now do not live in a specific area and cannot produce the utilities bills etc., as proof of residence
¨       On December 4
th, a high court judgement ordered the government to relax the stringent proof or residency rule likely to disenfranchise further millions of people
¨       Government over-ruling this judgement
¨       The likelihood that tens of thousands will arrive at polling booths only to be told they are not registered
¨       postal ballots accepted only from staff at diplomatic missions and soldiers posted abroad.
¨       The new rules bar Zimbabweans living in other countries from returning home to cast ballots.
¨       Zimbabweans of Indian descent, hundreds of thousands with links to Malawi and Mozambique, people with Greek ancestry, are among millions facing statelessness
Fate of the black farm workers
¨       Most of the dispossessed farm labourers have nowhere to go and can be seen by the side of dusty roads seeking shelter from the bitter winter nights.
¨       lawyers for farm workers increasingly worried over the fate of tens of thousands of workers and their families, who have effectively disappeared and no one knows where they have gone.
¨       Pro-government militants, blocking off country towns and huge swaths of the countryside, making it difficult for workers' advocates and aid agencies to count how many people have been displaced by the violence.

Fear of opposition
¨       On January 4
th, despite orders from Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court that Harare’s mayoral and council elections must go ahead, Mugabe hinted at postponing these elections indefinitely
¨       On January 6th, Government announced it will amend the Urban Councils Act in order to abolish the posts of executive mayor.   The amendment will see the introduction of chief executives appointed by a board with members chosen by the minister of local government, public works and national housing.
¨       There will be no further mayoral elections anywhere

Redeployment of troops
¨       July: despite UN requests, Zimbabwe refuses to withdraw troops from the Congo (DRC)
¨       November 21
st, Mugabe recalls thousands of soldiers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to help him fight a crucial presidential.  All Zimbabwean soldiers barred from taking leave until after the conclusion of the presidential election.
¨       November 29th, Mugabe deploys troops in the opposition’s stronghold in north-western Zimbabwe.
¨       December 9th -hundreds of starving villagers who are not members of the ruling party in Lupane have been denied food aid by the war veterans and vigilante groups. The worst affected are the children and the elderly. The war veterans, most of them former Zipra guerrillas who were themselves victims of the same party and government in the 80s, have made sure that only members of Zanu PF obtain food relief. About 100 000 people are in urgent need of drought relief food in Lupane and Nkayi districts but food is not reaching them
¨       December 16th, in a move described as a crackdown on "terrorism", the Zimbabwean government has moved army units into Matabeleland province bringing fears of a repeat of the “gukurahunde” staged in the 1980’s when at least 20,000 are estimated to have been killed by  Zanla armed forces (North Korean trained Fifth Brigade).
¨       state-sponsored terror squads, responsible for the violence in Mashonaland during the parliamentary bye-elections, transfer their activities to the rural areas of Matabeleland North - specifically the Lupane and Nkayi districts. Vigilante groups comprising war veterans and Zanu PF supporters roam villages looking for members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). They have vowed to turn Lupane and Nkayi into "no go" areas for the MDC whose meetings have already been banned in Lupane. Indoctrination camps for MDC abductees have been set up in these areas

Military training of school children
¨       December 27
th: The opposition leader said the government was operating an unofficial militia. "They are operating under the guise of national service, and about 1,000 of them have been let loose to terrorise MDC supporters in the towns and rural areas."
¨       December 28th: 1 000 national service officers were recruited by the government after one of Mugabe's militant cabinet ministers, Border Gezi died in a car crash in April. A training camp was established in his memory and the first 1 000 graduates went into service 6 weeks ago
¨       December 29th: Zimbabwe's national service officers have been accused by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change of political violence and terror over Christmas. Sekai Holland, an senior MDC official, brought three severely injured supporters to hospital in Harare on Wednesday after, she claimed, a rural government clinic refused to treat them. Some had their hamstrings and tendons cut, others have been chopped all over their bodies.
¨       December 29th: the first man attacked by national service officers, MDC activist Laban Chiweta, died in hospital from injuries sustained on December 6. Three other opposition activists were killed a few days before Christmas, allegedly by war veterans and national servicemen, bringing the number of MDC supporters killed since the June 2000 election to 90.
¨       January 1st:  Graduates from the Border Gezi Training Camp, being trained ostensibly under a national youth service training program, descended on Kuwadzana township. They randomly beat up and harassed the residents - then proceeded to Mabvuku where they did the same thing. This group of about 100 youths beat up people accusing them of being MDC
¨       January 4th: The ruling Zanu PF party, through the deployment of war veterans, has turned several schools in remote rural areas into makeshift military barracks to train youths to campaign against the opposition in the run-up to the March presidential election. The veterans are using sticks as guns in the military drills. The recruits, some allegedly forced to join the militias, undergo 10-day training sessions. On Monday, recent graduates from training centres terrorised western townships of Harare, smashing windows, looking for food and taking clothing from washlines in the name of Zanu PF. Residents complained that police stood idly by while youths damaged their property for about two-and-a-half hours. Armed with sticks, stones and other weapons, they looted grocery shops, flea markets and vegetable stalls. More than 70 houses were destroyed in the chaos.

Military About-Turn
¨       September 6th: middle and junior-ranking officers of the spy Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)  recommended that President Robert Mugabe should retire before next year's presidential election to enhance Zanu PF's chances of winning the ballot
¨       November 15th: The Zimbabwe National Army has offered farms and land to all serving soldiers in exchange for support and loyalty to President Mugabe in next year's election.
¨       November 24th: Zimbabwe’s commissioner of police has ordered a white farmer to leave his land and home, because he is moving in.  Augustine Chihuri and his wife arrived at Woodlands Farm, Shamva, one of the richest agricultural areas in the country, and introduced himself to Mike Butler, the farm owner. Mr Chihuri told Mr Butler that he and his wife would be arriving soon to take up residence in the homestead
¨       December 20th: Zimbabwean army generals urged President Mugabe to quit and anoint a successor on the eve of the governing party’s Victoria Falls conference, to enhance Zanu PF’s chances in next year’s presidential election. Authoritative sources said the top generals, under the umbrella of the Joint Operation Command (JOC), met Mugabe in one of their regular briefings. The JOC comprises General Vitalis Zvinavashe, Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Constantine Chiwenga, Zimbabwe National Army, Air Marshall Perence Shiri of the Airforce, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and Elisha Muzonzini, Director-General : Central Intelligence Organisation.
¨       December 23rd: Contrary to expectations that the Zimbabwe government's land resettlement exercise would benefit landless peasants, Joseph Made, the agriculture minister, has allocated prime farms to top army, government and Zanu PF officials.  
¨       January 6th: Mugabe, has doubled the pay of the country’s security forces as part of a campaign for victory in March elections, which he hopes will keep him in power for five more years. All police, soldiers and war veterans received the increases on New Year’s Day, putting their salaries and allowances well ahead of those of other public-sector workers in a crumbling economy, which is effectively bankrolled by Colonel Muammar Gadaffi of Libya, who has given Mugabe a £250m credit for oil imports
¨       January 10th: An hour before election dates were announced Zimbabwe's military leaders  declared they would only support a leader who fought minority white rule in the 1970s. This is seen as a warning that they would not support a government led by Morgan Tsvangirai. Flanked by all of Zimbabwe's security chiefs, General Vitalis Zvinavashe said: "Any change designed to reverse the gains of this revolution will not be supported."
¨       Until now, the military has strenuously denied accusations that it supports Zanu-PF, maintaining that it will loyally serve the government of the day - whoever wins elections.

Refusal to abide by judicial or parliamentary decisions
¨       January 8
th: Zimbabwe's ruling party suffered a shock defeat in parliament on Tuesday when it introduced a controversial electoral amendment bill that critics allege is designed to boost President Robert Mugabe's re-election bid in March. With a number of Zanu PF deputies absent from parliament after a three-week break, the governing party lost the vote 22 to 36 but vowed to reintroduce the bill on Wednesday.
¨       Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said that under parliamentary regulations a defeated bill can only be reintroduced in the next session of parliament later in the year.
¨       January 10
th:  Zimbabwe's parliament has approved two of the three controversial measures which President Robert Mugabe wants to use in his re-election campaign.  

-       The security bill stipulates ‘engendering hostility towards the president is an offence;  police have new powers to disperse public gatherings; carrying identity cards is compulsory.   The first clause would effectively prevent the opposition from campaigning. 

-       The election bill stipulates ‘voters must prove 12-month residency;  ex-patriate workers are denied the right to vote; foreign and independent local monitors barred;  election posters or pamphlets require prior permission. The opposition had defeated the amendments to the electoral law on Tuesday.    Bills rejected by MPs are not normally allowed to be resubmitted to the same parliamentary session.

¨       The security bill was passed by acclamation and not by formal vote, and the election bill was passed by 62 votes to 49.
¨       A third bill introducing tight controls on the media has not been passed by parliament. January 18th. (This has more than likely been the result of international pressure, thus proving that international pressure is beginning to have an effect)

Election date
¨       January 10
th:  Elections will be held on March 9th and 10th 2002.   BBC correspondents say Mr Mugabe's election chances are unlikely to be affected by any decision to expel the country from the Commonwealth, as CHOGM does not meet until the beginning of March.

Growing links to terror groups and Osama Bin Laden
There have been many articles reflecting these links … too many to list.   However this one  paints a picture of where ZANU PF is heading.

October 2001:  Those who have been following Zimbabwe's 18-month crisis will be familiar with the aborted listing in June 2000 of a diamond mining company on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Oryx Diamonds had been due to float its shares on the AIM, in a deal with linked it with Petra Diamonds, a South African-based mining exploration company, in a bid to raise finance for the exploitation of a Congo diamond mining concession granted - in dubious circumstances - by the then President of the DRC, Laurent Kabila.

Oryx Diamonds has very strong links with members of the Zimbabwean military, and senior members of Zanu PF.

The listing never went ahead owing to strong protests from groups fighting against the use of "blood-diamonds" to finance Africa's wars, and, it was reported at the time, because of direct intervention by the British government. BBC TV's Ten O'clock News on 31 October (?) carried a special report on the ongoing international investigations being conducted into the financing of Osama Bin Laden's global network. The report suggested that one of the men involved in this aborted Oryx Diamonds share flotation was a known front-man for Osama Bin Laden's past financial operations.

Recent months have seen the sudden warming in relations with another state frequently linked with terrorism, Sudan. Zimbabwe has confirmed that it is negotiating to obtain oil from Sudan. 

From The Independent (UK), 28 December
We'll ignore the death threats to fight this despot

Basildon Peta

President Robert Mugabe has never had much of an ear for views divergent from his own. In 2001, the Zimbabwean leader's intolerance of the media reached its most extreme level since he took the helm of this impoverished country at the end of white rule in 1980. The year opened with a resounding warning to the media: the bombing of a printing press owned by Zimbabwe's only independent daily newspaper, The Daily News, on 28 January. The year closed with the introduction of a despicable media law, intended to lead to the closure of all independent publications in Zimbabwe.

The new Access to Information Bill, due to be passed by Parliament on 8 January, bans foreign journalists from working in Zimbabwe and obliges local journalists to apply for licences every year. The Bill vests sweeping powers in Mr Mugabe's chief propagandist, the information minister Jonathan Moyo, who will personally select who works in the Zimbabwean media. Mr Moyo's hatred of every basic tenet of democracy is now on public record and his vituperative outbursts against proponents of freedom have become depressingly predictable. Last week, he described Tony Blair as a "boyish leader" and an "ignoramus" who should at "best be in charge of a kindergarten school".

Anyone who thought the destruction of The Daily News’s printing press was as bad as it was going to get, was naive. Five days before the bombing, the 77-year-old president's Government had vowed to implement all measures necessary to silence the media, saying it had become "a threat to the security of the nation". It soon passed a Bill that banned private radio and television stations and entrenched the state's monopoly control over the audio visual media. The Civic Society activist Mike Auret Jr, who had dared to set up a private radio station, immediately went into hiding and has not been heard from since. His broadcasting equipment was seized by the police and the army, and the makeshift studios of Capital Radio completely destroyed.

During the year, at least 24 journalists working for the private media were brutally assaulted by Mr Mugabe's supporters when they tried to report on farm occupations by the ruling party's militants. Commercial farms have now effectively become no-go areas for independent journalists as word has spread that we are enemies of the regime. In one of the assaults, Collin Chiwanza of The Daily News only escaped death by hiding in the bush for two days. Prominent professionals, such as The Daily News's editor, Geoffrey Nyarota, virtually ran their newspapers from prison cells as the Zimbabwe police regularly arrested newsroom chiefs from the non-Government media. At least Mr Nyarota was recognised abroad; he won four international journalism awards in 2001.

There were other arrests. Mark Chavunduka, editor of The Standard, was detained over an accurate report carried in his paper that Mr Mugabe had been sued in a New York court by families of 36 opposition supporters murdered by the Government in the run-up to the June 2000 parliamentary elections. A New York District Judge later ruled against Mr Mugabe, saying he was liable for the deaths. Three foreign correspondents, including David Blair of The Daily Telegraph and Joseph Winter of the BBC, were, with varying degrees of force, shown the door, never to return. An expose by The Daily News that the police had aided the looting of white farms caused the arrests of six of its journalists in June. In virtually all of the 30-plus arrests of reporters and newspaper managers, the police could not produce formal evidence to pursue the charges in court.    It all confirmed that the detentions and intimidation were purely intended to break our morale.

In August, The Standard revealed the existence of a hit list of journalists to be harmed or killed by the Government. Topping that hit list was myself, The Independent's correspondent in Zimbabwe, and the only black journalist writing for the British media. Prior to its publication, I had received numerous death threats. Packets of bullets were left on my doorstep on three occasions, with notes stating that I would be dead before the 2002 presidential election in March. In November, Mr Mugabe's Government formally labelled me and five other journalists working for the foreign media as "terrorists". It went on to approve the Public Order and Security Bill (POSB), which imposes death and life sentences on anyone accused of assisting terrorism.

Both the POSB and Access to Information Bill forced a December Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group meeting to put Zimbabwe on its agenda - the first step towards suspending the country from the 54-nation grouping. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's economy virtually collapsed with foreign currency reserves drying up and multilateral donor agencies withdrawing from the country. Inflation, which was below 50 per cent at the start of the year, soared to 103 per cent in December. The unemployment rate rose to 60 per cent; key manufacturing firms folded. The Chief Justice, Anthony Gubbay, was fired and Mr Mugabe appointed a loyalist to take charge of the Supreme Court. About 110 opposition supporters were killed in 2001 and many more casualties are expected as Zimbabwe approaches the March presidential election.

But for many of us in the media, despite all the enormous risks we now face, it's "Aluta Continua'' against Mr Mugabe's tyrannical and despotic rule. How could it not be? He is wrong.


Party cards run out as Mugabe enforces loyalty

By Basildon Peta in Harare

20 January 2002

Funerals are important in African society, so when Elizabeth Mujaji heard last week that her brother-in-law had died in the Chikombe area of rural Zimbabwe, she made plans to travel from Harare to attend the ceremony.

First, however, she needed to buy a membership card from Zanu-PF, Zimbabwe's ruling political party. President Robert Mugabe's "war veterans" and youth militias have set up illegal roadblocks between most of Zimbabwe's towns, where they assault anyone failing to produce a Zanu-PF card and send them back to where they came from to get one.

But the main party headquarters in Harare had run out of cards. Mrs Mujaji (not her real name) then sent her three sons into Harare's townships to try to buy one for her, but all returned empty-handed, forcing her to give up her plan to get to yesterday's funeral.

On Friday, an elderly, white, farm manager whose area has been closed off by militia checkpoints explained why he had acquired a party card. Without one, he said, "you are humiliated. We were made to kneel in the road, beg to be let through and sing slogans." He asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals.

Without the vital card, rural Zimbabweans are finding it impossible not only to travel but to get medical treatment, seeds and other agricultural aid for peasants, or school places for their children. People hoping to be assigned property confiscated from white farmers under Mr Mugabe's controversial land policies have no hope of succeeding unless they produce proof of Zanu-PF membership.

In some of the areas worst affected by political violence, such as Gutu and Zaka, traditional headmen and chiefs are asking shopkeepers to sell goods only to those who can show Zanu-PF cards. Those who sell to "opposition renegades" risk having their premises burnt down.

Last week Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said Zimbabwe was already engaged in a "low-intensity civil war".

Such forms of intimidation, affecting almost every aspect of daily life, are commonplace in the more remote parts of Zimbabwe, where most of the country's 12.5 million people live. As the March presidential election approaches they are spreading to the towns, creating far more public concern than the controversial bills now going through parliament which will muzzle the press and make criticism of Mr Mugabe a crime.

"At this rate Zanu-PF cards are now an equivalent of the water that we drink and the air that we breathe," said a business executive who was humiliated at an illegal roadblock when he failed to produce a card while driving his children to a boarding school.

Apart from acquiring a Zanu-PF card, Zimbabweans are also finding it prudent to learn party slogans and liberation war songs from the 1970s. Many who have been unable to chant these on demand have been beaten up.

The rush to acquire cards has cut supplies to vanishing point. Officials at Zanu-PF headquarters said that while they were doing their best to print more to meet demand, they could not cope. A "parallel market" has sprung up in which cards are changing hands for up to nine times the official price: while the party is supposed to charge Z$34 (about 45p), unscrupulous Zanu-PF officials are charging up to Z$300 (about £3.70).

Although many Zimbabweans are buying the cards purely for convenience and are unlikely to vote for Mr Mugabe at the 9 and 10 March presidential election, their money will boost the coffers of a ruling party that also enjoys the use of state funds.




I am sending this to the press as a last resort as it patently clear to me from my dealings with numerous authorities within Zimbabwe over the last 10 days that the rule of law and order is long dead in our beloved country. I would like it publicised as widely as possible nationally, regionally and internationally. It is a very short summary of what has been a long, agonising and protracted and unsuccessful battle to get the forces of law and order within the country to even recognise their responsibility, let alone to act.

I am a farmer living in Beatrice, who owns 2 farms, Gemini Farm and Gwalia farm. Contrary to Governments often espoused policy BOTH farms have been designated. Gwalia farm (twice) has received a Section 8, and Gemini the Section 7. My father and mother were resident on Gwalia, but my father died in May 2001. For security reasons my mother moved to Gemini to stay with me. Gwalia has 13 workers, and Gemini 20 workers. There are however some 100 dependants. Whilst after my fathers death the Gwalia workers were clearly surplus to requirement I kept them on given the harsh economic times we were experiencing, in the hope that following elections some degree of normality would return; a fundamental mistake on my part as they are primarily responsible for my predicament. My family have been resident in Beatrice since 1930, and I have been resident there all my life (47 years). We have throughout the years experienced a very good working relationship with the locals and our workers.

On 4th January 2002 whilst returning from Johannesburg I received a phone call that my family were surrounded by war vets who were seeking to evict us. I responded immediately. We were given 30 minutes to evacuate the farm under threat of death. The head vet, a rabid man known as Marewa, reporting to the Head honcho for the Beatrice area, Zhou, stated clearly that he knew I had arms, but that he was also armed, and failure to comply 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. The police had in fact already been alerted by radio, and sure enough they would not react, claiming lack of transport. When  provided with  transport by the local community,  they still refused to react. We eventually left the farm with three suitcases and meagre belongings.  

We stayed in Harare for 2 days with friends. On the 3rd day I arranged a meeting with the Inspector of Beatrice police to attempt to negotiate a strategy to get back onto the farm. He stated that I should return the following day and he would arrange a meeting with both the labour and the WV. The following day we went to Gemini and Gwalia and held the meetings. He explained to them that I was entitled to return to the farm until the acquisition process had been completed. The workers were concerned about their terminal benefits in the event of acquisition, as the WV were representing my forced departure as me having run away .Despite my assurances that they would receive all their dues,  they remained concerned. We agreed to meet on Saturday 12th January 2002 with the WV to reach an agreement. It must be noted that terminal gratuities are agreed through the collective bargaining process between the NEC and ALB, and are clearly laid out in the labour regulations. They also only become payable on termination. At this time no notice had been given, so any payment of terminal benefits was premature.

On Saturday we met on Gemini with the WV and the police. The WV stated that there was no possibility of me returning to the farm. The police, in a complete about turn, agreed. I was instructed to pay the workers their dues, and given the undertaking that once this had been done I could remove all my livestock and household contents. The WV however refused to recognise my right to remove my movable assets, claiming that these were being acquired. I agreed to return on Tuesday 15th January 2002 with the proposed payment schedule, which I did. The proposal I tabled exceeded the amount that the workers were actually due by 5 times, and in my view was generous in the extreme. The Inspector undertook to discuss the proposal with the WV and workers and revert, which he never did.

On Thursday 17th January 2002 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, a Mr Herbert Kawadza, with a court order authorising the sale of my property to recover the alleged amount owing. I was astonished. We had agreed on the process, and I had held up my end of the bargain to the letter. I stated that it was not possible that the workers could have a court order, as nothing had been served on me. The Inspector remained adamant. I agreed to immediately proceed to Beatrice police station to discuss the issue, which I did with my 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, and as expected it was NOT a court order. It was an application to the court by the Gwalia workers, in which I was given until 12th February to respond. (CFU has copy) My lawyer went to great pains to explain this to the Inspector. However he was extremely reluctant to recognise the truth, and continued to represent the affidavit as a court order. His attitude in this regard was fundamental to the whole organised theft of over Z$ 40 million of property, as he had lent an air of legitimacy to the issue. This resulted in the workers together with the war vets auctioning 230 head of my cattle on Thursday afternoon. We appealed to the police without any success. Z$ 12 million worth of cattle were sold for some Z$ 4 million. The cattle were moved off the farm, many in commercial transport. We again appealed to the police, again with no success. The matter was taken to the district police in Chivu, who also refused to act. The workers and war vets pocketed the sale proceeds which amounted to many multiples of what they were claiming was due to them.

Now desperate, I went to see the Zanu PF Chairman for Mashonaland East, Mr Kaukonde. He concurred that this was theft, and was amazed that the police would not react. He arranged for me to meet the Provincial Administrator, Mr Chingosho,  in Marondera. I drove to Marondera and met with the PA. He initially was reluctant to get involved, but eventually stated that there was a task force currently in Featherstone, consisting of the DA, the National Chairman for the War Vets, Mr Nyaruwata, and senior police officers from Chivu, who could be diverted to attend to the matter. I drove to Featherstone, and eventually found them. I briefed the task force, but they were unable to assist on the same day.

On the way back I went to the farm. My workers on Gemini stated that the cattle on Gemini had been forcibly removed by armed war vets and the Gwalia workers, and taken to Gwalia. They were intending to auction them on Monday. Over the weekend  the CFU contacted the Assistant Commissioner, Mutanga, and the WV leadership. I was in constant contact with Mr Cloete, I also phoned the police hot line without success.

On Saturday I went to Gwalia to assess the situation on the ground which was highly volatile. There were several armed men with a very hostile attitude. 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 a H on their left flank, and have a triangle cut on their left ear. One of the armed men shot at me with a shotgun, at which time I decided to leave.

I received assurance on Sunday evening that a senior officer had been allocated to stop the sale on Monday until the situation could be properly evaluated. On Monday I received confirmation from the Inspector in Beatrice that the sale had been stopped. However, despite these blatant lies, the auction proceeded on Monday. I am informed that half way through the auction the proceedings were stopped, and the WV moved all the cattle to Joyce mine, which serves as the WV base. They have not been seen since, but I am informed that they have been sold from Joyce to various buyers.

On Tuesday 22nd January I requested the SPCA to go into Gwalia to recover my domestic animals. Mrs Harrison kindly complied but was met with very hostile workers and WV, and failed to remove anything. She states that this is the first time she has been unsuccessful, and that the police escort she was given was of no use at all.

The bottom line here is that the workers, together with the WV have stolen and illegally sold over Z$ 40 million of property. They have done this with the full co-operation of the police, who were fully aware that no court order existed. They are preventing me from moving 1000 pigs which are now in a sorry state. They have impounded the movable plant and machinery, and the household contents, effectively leaving me destitue.

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, but reports direct to the top. There exists complete anarchy. Farmers have been threatened with death if they talk to the media.

Fundamental to the whole scene is the complete impotence, ignorance, arrogance and sheer cowardice of the police in general, but the Officer in Charge of Beatrice in particular, who is without doubt an accomplice before, during and after the fact to the whole sorry mess, and is not fit to wear the uniform.

I intend to proceed legally against the workers, the police, the state, the lawyer who is responsible for lending an air of legality to the situation, and all buyers who knowingly purchased stolen cattle, in the hope that in the unlikely event that law and order ever returns to Zimbabwe some compensation may be forthcoming. We have lost in a week what has been built up over 3 generations. If there is a God, may those responsible fry in hell.


Subject: Nothing is sacred anymore

Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002

Dear Family and Friends,
Standing in line at the supermarket this week I was intrigued by the woman in front of me who was buying 36 bottles of spring/mineral water. I smiled at her and asked if she was travelling far. No, she replied, it is for the government meeting in the hotel over the road. Her bill for Z$1860.00 was to ensure pure water for our leaders while their subjects have nothing to eat. A few months ago I wrote a letter called 'You may not grow food' explaining how war veterans were preventing farmers from planting any crops saying that the land was now theirs. The fruits of their labours are now clear for us all to see. There is almost no maize meal in Zimbabwe now. I phoned our local distributor and visited all the supermarkets and wholesalers in Marondera this week to be told there is no maize meal and they did not know when they would next get a delivery. This is a desperate situation which the government is attempting to resolve by seizing all maize stocks still being held by farmers. These stocks were being held back by farmers to feed their employees and their livestock. Thousands more lives have now been put at risk and the implications for the livestock producers and consumers in the coming months is diabolical - eggs, milk, cheese, chicken, beef, pork, lamb etc etc. To make matters worse it has not rained for over 3 weeks in most parts of the country so the few crops in the ground are in a dire condition. Last night even the state run ZBC carried reports on the condition of our crops. Trying to explain why there was so little maize growing and why crops planted by the newly resettled farmers was in such a bad way they said: "Tillage power was inadequate.... water conservation practices were not adhered to ... army worm is rife because the settlers cannot afford is a disturbing situation..." Speaking to agronomists the ZBC reported that crops in parts of Mashonaland East and Central and Manicaland would recover if rains came in the next week but would have greatly reduced yields. In the Midlands and Matabeleland though, the agronomists said that many crops had "passed the permanent wilting stage." ZBC call this a 'disturbing situation', I would say it is gross political negligence. Aid agencies have received the first deliveries of food aid but the World Food Programme are already warning they may have to leave if the violence is not controlled. The Financial Gazette reports that relief workers with Christian Care were this week subjected to violent attacks by a gang of ruling party youths after not being able to produce Zanu pf membership cards. It is now unsafe to travel without a ruling party membership card and in an area near here this week a funeral procession was stopped at an unofficial road block. All the mourners were made to disembark and militants ordered that the coffin be opened saying they were looking for hidden weapons. It seems that nothing is sacred in Zimbabwe anymore.
The Access to Information Bill has still not been heard in the house, having been postponed three days in a row when the parliamentary legal committee continued to say they were not ready to present it. This has again given us another week of newspapers - when you can get them. The Daily News is completely unobtainable in at least a dozen towns now and in some places it is dangerous to be seen with it. Copies are secretly guarded and produced from under skirts and inside trouser legs in many areas making us wonder why we even need an access to information bill. Our independent journalists all deserve world recognition for their work and incredible bravery because when you do find a paper the news is absolutely damning. So too is the nightly 3 hour broadcast from radio Africa on short wave 6145 which has become almost our last life line. Hardly a night goes by now when I don't sit with tears in my eyes listening to the horrors being related by people all over Zimbabwe.
There are only 41 days now until our elections and with no sign of a single election observer yet I wonder if it won't be peace keepers we will end up asking for. I am going to close with a quote from a friend's piece in this week's Financial Gazette in the hope that it may prick a few consciences: " You have children too and if you love your children the way I love mine you would be in the forefront of fighting for a just and democratic society." I apologise for so few letters answered this week and thank you all for your messages of support. Please do have a look at for other reports and information. With love, cathy

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UK slams Mugabe, urges sanctions
January 27, 2002 Posted: 3:38 PM EST (2038 GMT)

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.

LONDON (Reuters) -- Britain said on Sunday it was now time to ratchet up
pressure on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, whose crackdown on free
speech and refusal to allow in international election observers were

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will push this week for fellow European Union
leaders to impose targeted sanctions on Mugabe and for fellow Commonwealth
leaders to suspend Zimbabwe from the 54-nation group alliance, a government
spokesman said.

With just six weeks to go before Mugabe seeks to extend his 22-year hold on
power in Zimbabwe's presidential elections, the spokesman said time was
running out for the international community to take steps to ensure the poll
is free and fair.

"The time has come to put Mugabe on the spot," he said.

EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels on Monday to discuss possible measures
against Mugabe if they agree he has not done enough to ensure fair elections
on March 9-10.

EU to tackle world's hotspots

At a glance: Zimbabwe

Provided by

Two days later Commonwealth foreign ministers gather in London for talks on
Zimbabwe's suspension from the group of mainly former British colonies.

Diplomats in Brussels had said the EU foreign ministers will probably stop
short of imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe, for fear of giving Mugabe an excuse
to bar independent election observers.

"He (Straw) will be pressing for a decision to impose targeted sanctions on
Zimbabwe unless the government there meets EU demands on election observers
and demands on international media by a short fixed deadline," the spokesman
said. He declined to elaborate on when that deadline would run out.

At Wednesday's meeting Straw will argue that Zimbabwe should be suspended
from the group at a Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) due in
Australia in March, he said.

"We believe it is time to focus President Mugabe's mind more sharply on the
consequences of his repression. What has been happening is Zimbabwe is
totally unacceptable."

'A disgrace to the country'
The upcoming meetings follow a stinging public attack on Mugabe, who has
ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, by Prime Minister
Tony Blair.

Blair told parliament last Wednesday Mugabe's pre-election crackdown on
political opposition, capping a two-year campaign to occupy hundreds of
white-owned farms, was a "disgrace to his country" which would harm the
whole of southern Africa.

Asked whether Straw was confident of support from his EU counterparts for
sanctions against the southern African nation, the government spokesman
said: "There is a shared abhorrence at some of things that have been
happening there (in Zimbabwe).

He rejected suggestions that in offering Mugabe more time to meet demands
the international community was talking tough on Zimbabwe but soft pedaling
when it came to action.

"We have made clear from the beginning of the year our concerns and the
likely consequences of a continued deterioration in the situation. We
believe the time has now come to ratchet up the pressure."

Diplomats say any EU sanctions on Zimbabwe would most likely include travel
restrictions and a freeze on overseas assets held by Mugabe and his inner

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The Independent (UK)

'Smart' sanctions may not be enough to free Zimbabwe from tyranny
28 January 2002

The call for "smart" sanctions against Zimbabwe's government has become the
rallying cry of the moment. When European Union foreign ministers meet today
to agree modest measures designed to express disapproval of Robert Mugabe's
reign of terror they will try to present them as cleverer than the
traditional trade embargo.

The shadow foreign secretary, Michael Ancram, is enjoying a relatively easy
ride along the moral high ground, urging the Government to impose smart
sanctions, safe in the knowledge that no interviewer is going to suggest
that he ought to be in favour of the stupid kind instead.

Yet no one should imagine that such targeted – for which read limited –
measures provide a painless or quick way of relieving the frightening
oppression of the Zimbabwean people. The point about smart sanctions is not
that they are different from stupid ones but that they are less than the
real thing. While a ban on Mr Mugabe travelling to Europe is a good thing,
and any attempt to identify and freeze his assets is welcome, these and
other measures expected to be agreed by the EU today do not go far enough.

Even if the Commonwealth's "ministerial action group", which meets on
Wednesday, inches a little further towards suspending Zimbabwe from
membership, that important symbolic gesture would probably also fall short
of the decisive pressure needed to force Mr Mugabe back from the brink of
murderous tyranny.

The situation in Zimbabwe is certainly grave enough to justify the most
stringent international response short of military intervention. No
objective observer can expect the elections in March to be free and fair,
especially when the army has declared in advance that it will not accept any
outcome other than Mr Mugabe's re-election as president. The curbs on press
freedom and the continued intimidation of the regime's political opponents
are unacceptable.

If full economic sanctions were likely to be effective, and if they had the
support of the Zimbabwean people, they would be the next logical step.
However, for several honourable reasons it would be wrong for the British
Government to advocate such an escalation. One is tactical: that it would
play too easily to Mr Mugabe's threadbare but still viable propaganda
machine, which seeks to present any British intervention as an attempt to
restore white colonial rule. That is why it makes sense for Britain to act
primarily through international groupings such as the EU and the

The second reason is the reluctance of Zimbabwe's neighbours, particularly
South Africa, to take effective action against Mr Mugabe. One of the main
obstacles to Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth has been that its
other African members, which ought to take the initiative, have held back.
Sanctions will not work – as they did not work against Mr Mugabe's
predecessor, Ian Smith – if they are not enforced by neighbouring African

The third and most important reason, though, is that – unlike the South
African majority under apartheid – most Zimbabweans themselves do not yet
support full sanctions against their country. The Movement for Democratic
Change, the main political opposition to the Mugabe regime, supports
measures directed against Mr Mugabe and his henchmen but not against the
country as a whole.

So, while it is too early to call for full economic sanctions against
Zimbabwe, British ministers should make it clear that they stand ready to
support whatever measures are called for by representatives of democratic
forces in Zimbabwe. And, whatever Britain's responsibilities as a former
colonial power, it should be repeated that the right country to take a lead
in condemning Mr Mugabe and trying to deter him from destroying his nation
is South Africa.

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The Age, Melbourne

Britain ready to take Mugabe to task with possible sanctions
LONDON, Jan 27 AFP|Published: Monday January 28, 5:55 AM

London will recommend to EU foreign ministers that they put Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe "on the spot" and threaten him with tough sanctions,
a spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair said today.

"We believe it is time to focus President Mugabe's mind more sharply on the
consequences of his repression and essentially say he has a choice," the
spokesman said.

European Union foreign ministers are due to meet in Brussels tomorrow to
discuss possible sanctions against the southern African nation, ahead of
crucial presidential elections set for March.

The ministers will have four options: immediate sanctions; a declaration of
sanctions in principle with implementation at a later date; a formal threat
of sanctions; and, the resumption of consultations with the government in

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw "now believes that the time has come to
put Mugabe on the spot", said the Downing Street spokesman.

But officials in Brussels said immediate sanctions -- in the form of banning
visas for Mugabe or his close aides, or freezing their assets held in
foreign accounts -- were unlikely.

Straw may also call on members of the Commonwealth to take a harder stance
against Mugabe on Wednesday, when its Ministerial Action Group meets to
discuss developments in Zimbabwe, said Blair's spokesman.

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.

"Clearly what has been happening in Zimbabwe is totally unacceptable and I
think the word the prime minister used last Wednesday was that Mugabe's
actions were a disgrace to his own country and also badly affected the
reputation of the whole of southern Africa," he added.

On January 11, the EU gave Harare one week to respond in writing to a
request to allow international observers and foreign journalists into the
country to follow the electoral campaign and the elections on March 9 and

Zimbabwe agreed, but EU officials say Mugabe has not done enough to ensure
that such conditions will be met.

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From Regional CFU to Provincial Land Committee...........


I refer to letters, which I have previously written to the Provincial Land Committee, and lately, on the 24th, to the Officer Commanding Masvingo Province (which I attach).

There are two area which are still of extreme concern at the moment:

(a)     Continual interference with commercial livestock on commercial farms which has been accompanied by vicious threats by organised Zanu PF youth to force cattle off, or to restrict, their rightful grazing land.

(b)    The eviction ultimatums being given by organised Zanu PF youth being given to legitimate farm owners to evacuate either their homesteads, or sheds, or outbuildings by a certain date. This is normally commenced by the beating of commercial farm workers, who are being banned from working for commercial farmers, as to do so “identifies them with the opposition MDC.”

On (a) there are also continual reports coming in of cattle also being hacked with either choppers or pangas, and the latest was carried out by a 12 year old boy on Quaggapan Ranch, in Mwenezi. The animal’s spinal cord was severed which paralysed the animal, which subsequently had to be put down. On this ranch alone 8 other similar cases have recently occurred.

There are a number of properties where grazing has been severely restricted and in many cases cattle forcibly kept out of paddocks because a settler has a small unfenced plot of maize in there. Many malicious compensation claims have been lodged when a “farmer’s cattle” have been accused of destroying a crop, which in reality would not have come to anything any way. I am sure you are well aware that as a result of the present dry spell, as things stand at the moment, no crops are going to be successfully reaped in this province this year. In the northern part of the province too much rain destroyed most of the crops early in the season.

We view this merely as just another form of political harassment, but which is seriously affecting the grazing capacities of our farms by their legitimate owners, and the health of their livestock.

I respectfully urge you to properly inform all parties involved that the farmer and his livestock still have every right, under the Constitution and Laws of Zimbabwe, to live on and to graze his cattle on his farm. This is until the lawful process of land acquisition has been completed.

There is obviously a lot of confusion being created by some irresponsible political rhetoric and I believe that in the interests of a democratic Zimbabwe that it is your duty as a committee to rectify the confused situation immediately.

From my observations, this particularly applies to both the Police and District Administration in the Gutu/Chatsworth areas, where there appears to be a series of private vendettas being continued against certain individuals. Or is it simply that they have not been properly informed?

With respect I did not know that “education” was so important that whole farm premises and farming operations are being ordered to be closed down in order for farm homesteads to be immediately used as schools and teacher’s housing. With this comes the threat to confine or remove cattle as well!

Finally I respectfully request you to inform all those concerned that the process of land reform as agreed by the Abuja Accord and the ZJRI, is now the only recognised government policy on land reform, and that it should be strictly adhered to.

After all, all I and my farmers wish is to be able to farm and produce food for the nation, in peace, and that our livestock may be able to graze freely and be treated humanely.


Firearms seizure ......... Annual checking of licences and weapons
I refer to my email dated 20 January 2002, on the subject for firearms seizures by the police from "designated" farmers.
A few days after this order from PoliceGHQ was sent, it was withdrawn and replaced by another which ordered merely that annual checking of licences and weapons be carried out.
Obviously our lobbying and eventual discussions with police hierarchy paid off.
However for those who wish to renew their firearms permits applications now have to be signed by the Officer Commanding, Province, (Propol) and not just any police officer over the rank of Inspector, as was the case before. Just another bit of petty bureaucracy to niggle people.
I thank you for your concern.
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