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Zimbabwe factions fight over farms

Andrew Meldrum in Pretoria
Tuesday June 15, 2004
The Guardian

Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe's information minister, denied yesterday that Robert
Mugabe intended to nationalise all farmland, saying the policy only applied
to plots seized from whites.
His statement contradicted that of John Nkomo, the land reform and
resettlement minister, who last week said the state would nationalise all
agricultural land.

Mr Nkomo said Mr Mugabe's government would issue 99-year leases for farmland
and 25-year leases for wildlife and conservation areas.

Yesterday Mr Moyo said nationalisation "only applies to land acquired by the
state under land reforms and does not in any way invalidate or supersede
other lawful forms of tenure".

His statement suggests factions within Mr Mugabe's government are vying with
each other over land policy.

In addition to publicly correcting Mr Nkomo, Mr Moyo recently lost a very
public battle with another leading official.

Confusion has often surrounded Mr Mugabe's land seizures, with the
government saying one thing but doing another.

Only 10% of farmland is in private hands but it includes large plantations
growing tea, timber and sugar. Although Mr Mugabe declared last year that
land seizures had ended, the government has taken over more than 900
properties this year.

At Easter it took over Kondozi farm, a large business owned by a prominent
black businessman, which grows and exports vegetables and fruits to British
retailers including Tesco in contracts worth millions of pounds.

State agents invaded the farm, throwing 4,500 workers out of their homes.

The owner announced last week that he would move his business to Mozambique
and Zambia.
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The Herald

'No policy change on land tenure, ownership'

Herald Reporter
THE Government has not changed the policy or law on land tenure and
ownership, the Department of Information and Publicity in the Office of the
President and Cabinet said yesterday

The statement followed local and international media reports that the
Government planned a wholesale nationalisation of all land in the country.

"Following wide-ranging local and international media reports claiming the
Government of Zimbabwe has decided on wholesale nationalisation of land, the
Department of Information and Publicity in the Office of the President and
Cabinet informs all concerned that there has not been any change of
Government policy or law in respect of land tenure and ownership," the
department said.

"Apart from existing forms of land tenure which remain in force and legally
valid, land acquired under the fast-track and current phase of land reforms
automatically reverts to the State, with beneficiaries accessing it under
99-year lease agreements with the State for general agricultural use, and
25-year lease agreements for conservancies.

"It is emphasised that this position only applies to land acquired by the
State under land reforms, and does not in any way invalidate or supersede
other lawful forms of tenure which, in any case, are recognised and
protected by the laws of the land." The department said currently the
Government's preoccupation was to secure the ground so far covered on land
reforms by ensuring that the gains of the Third Chimurenga were made legally
and politically irreversible, were consolidated and extended to cover any
unmet demand for land.

The Minister of Special Affairs Responsible for Lands, Land Reform and
Resettlement, Cde John Nkomo, last week said Government had stepped up
efforts to acquire more land with the sole objective of nationalising all
productive farmland, from crop fields to conservancies.

He said the State wanted to abolish title deed holdings and replace them
with 99-year leases while land leased out for wildlife and conservancies
would be limited to 25-year leases.
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The Scotsman

Zimbabwe's churches split in response to Mugabe's threats and rule of fear

JANE FIELDS IN HARARE

IT IS Sunday morning and Mitsubishis and BMWs cram the landscaped, baby palm
tree-dotted car park of Harare's flashiest church, the 3,000-seat
Celebration Centre in the plush Borrowdale suburb. Fashionably dressed
children eat candy floss around the outdoor water features. Inside the main
auditorium, the band warms up for the second service of the day.

On the prominently displayed list of those who made "outstanding" financial
contributions or were part of the "half-a-million brick pledge" are some of
Zimbabwe's biggest names - businessmen, bankers and a mobile phone company
owner. The rebel cricketer Henry Olonga is said to have been a member.

But the Celebration Centre - the flagship of Pastor Tom Deuschle's Hear the
Word Ministries - has been mired in controversy since it donated a Z$30
million (£3,000) "gift" to Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, earlier this
year.

"The scriptures say that we should honour our leaders," Mr Deuschle was
quoted as saying. Critics said his church was attempting to buy Mr Mugabe's
favour ahead of a promised crackdown on churches that are believed to be
sympathetic to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The controversy has highlighted how Mr Mugabe's draconian regime has divided
the church in Zimbabwe.

About 73 per cent of the population are Christian, according to figures
published recently in state media.

Mr Mugabe is a Roman Catholic. He married his young secretary Grace in a
lavish church ceremony in 1996, and was filmed last weekend taking mass with
her at a memorial service for the late vice-president's wife.

Uncomfortably for the 80-year-old leader, a local Roman Catholic priest has
been one of his biggest critics. The Most Rev Pius Ncube, an archbishop from
the city of Bulawayo, has called Mr Mugabe a "dictator". On a visit to South
Africa in March, Archbishop Ncube called on Zimbabwe's southern neighbour to
impose sanctions.

Mr Mugabe was not pleased. At Saturday's memorial service, he warned
Archbishop Ncube to "leave politics to the politicians". He has had harsh
words for another archbishop, South Africa's Desmond Tutu, who echoed Ncube'
s criticism. Mr Mugabe told Sky News last month that the Nobel prizewinner
was an "angry, evil and embittered little bishop".

Mr Mugabe has groomed official praise singers. Rows of white-robed members
of the Johane Masowe Apostolic Faith sect are a familiar sight at ruling
Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) rallies.

At least once a week, news bulletins on state radio feature an item from the
previously unheard-of "Destiny of Africa Christian Broadcasters' Network".

Typically the "founder and chairman" of the network, the Rev Sam Malunga,
uses the airwaves to condemn white farmers or to urge Zimbabweans "to avoid
electing legislators whose colonial mentality has remained unchanged".

Some believers have not been a problem. Last month, three Roman Catholic
nuns joined the land grab, according to the Zimbabwe Independent. Aided by
ZANU-PF youths, the sisters, all members of the Little Children of the
Blessed Lady order, gave Arthur and Ansy Swales 24 hours to leave the farm
they were leasing in the northern Darwendale district.

Threats and fear are used to control churches. Last week, the state-owned
Herald reported that a United Methodist Church in Bulawayo was being
investigated for alleged breaches of exchange control regulations. Salvation
Army officials have also been accused.

As the ruling party intensifies preparations for general elections next
March, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) is believed to have
infiltrated congregations. Ministers watch their words. Prayers for
"change" - the MDC's slogan - are heard less frequently.

Meanwhile, Mr Mugabe's standing is stronger than ever. His party has
snatched back five seats from the opposition in recent by-elections, edging
closer to a constitutional majority in parliament.

However, recent reports in state media hint at battles between new
politicians and the older ZANU-PF guard over who should succeed Mr Mugabe,
who has said this term in office is likely to be his last.

But the prospects for the MDC look grim. Its main voice, the Daily News, has
been silenced and last week the state's media licensing body banned the
weekly Tribune, another paper that had hit out at alleged human rights
abuses by the regime.

The government has sacked the MDC mayor of Harare, Elias Mudzuri, while the
party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is still waiting for a verdict on his
treason trial. Last week, a judge threw out part of the MDC's challenge to
the 2002 presidential election, dealing a further blow to hopes of a poll
re-run.

"Of course we are disappointed," the MDC secretary general, Welshman Ncube,
said. "It's obvious that the situation is extremely difficult."

Analysts say Mr Tsvangirai is not the figurehead he was four years ago, when
the MDC won nearly half of all contested seats in parliamentary elections.

As MDC leaders mull over a boycott of next year's poll, frustration levels
are rising.

"I worry about Zimbabweans who seem to think that the MDC is some kind of
Messiah," the social commentator Everjoice Win said. "People don't quite
understand the amount of struggle that is needed."
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VOA

US Condemns Zimbabwe Officials for Shuttering Newspaper
David Gollust
State Department
14 Jun 2004, 23:01 UTC

The United States Monday condemned Zimbabwe's government for its decision to
shut down one of the country's few remaining independent newspapers. The
State Department said the government of President Robert Mugabe appears
intent on using media laws to silence its critics.
The United States is renewing its criticism of the Mugabe government
following the closure of the weekly Harare newspaper the Tribune, one of a
small handful of publications that has continued critical reporting of the
administration in Harare despite a restrictive media law adopted two years
ago.

The government-appointed Media and Information Commission ordered the
Tribune shut down for a year late last week on a seeming technicality, that
it had failed to properly notify authorities of a change in its ownership
last March.

Launched two years ago, the Tribune, which has a circulation of 15,000, had
been aggressively reporting on alleged government corruption, even though
its new owner Kindness Paradza is a member of parliament from Mr. Mugabe's
own ZANU-PF party.

At a news briefing, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher condemned the
newspaper's closure as the only the latest in a series of actions aimed at
silencing independent journalists. "The action is the latest in a series of
assaults on press freedom and on access to independent information in
Zimbabwe. It follows the government's attempts to tighten controls on
internet use, last year's forced closure of the independent Daily News and
the ongoing intimidation, harassment and prosecution of independent
journalists. In this regard as well, we note with dismay that the
government, last week, began its prosecution of the directors of the Daily
News' parent company under repressive media control laws," he said.

Mr. Boucher said the Media and Information Commission seems clearly intent
on using that he termed the country's "draconian" media law as a political
tool, to silence voices raising legitimate concerns about government
corruption, human rights violations, economic mismanagement and abuse of
democratic institutions and the rule of law.

The Tribune owner, Mr. Paradza, told reporters his paper was just reporting
"news as news," and taking Mr. Mugabe up on his expressed wishes that
official corruption in the country be "nipped in the bud."

Zimbabwe's opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, says the
closure of the Tribune will make it harder for Zimbabweans to get objective
views in the run-up to parliamentary elections scheduled for next March.

In another development, the State Department criticized the Mugabe
government's announcement last week that it will nationalize all farmland
and wildlife reserves that it had not already confiscated under a program of
land seizures begun four years ago.

A spokeswoman here called the plan "the latest in a continuum of economic
missteps" that have devastated Zimbabwe's economy and damaged the quality of
life of virtually all the country's people.

She said if carried out, the abolition of private land ownership would
threaten further economic harm not only to Zimbabwean agriculture, but also
to its financial, tourism, investment and other sectors.

The United States has been a consistent critic of the Mugabe government's
land-reform program, which has led to the seizure of thousands of
white-owned commercial farms and their nominal hand over to landless blacks.
U.S. officials say many prime parcels have would up in the hands of Mugabe
family members and associates.
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Xinhua

††††† Africa's paradise Zimbabwe opens door for Chinese tourists

††††† www.chinaview.cn 2004-06-14 23:46:32

††††† °°BEIJING, June 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe received China's Approved
Destination Status Monday morning with the signing of an MOU Agreement by
Zimbabwe's Minister of Environment and Tourism Francis Nhema and Sun Gang,
deputy director of the China National Tourism Administration.

††††††††† "The signing of the Approved Destination Status MOU Agreement
marks a new beginning of tourism exchanges between Zimbabwe and China," said
Nhema at a tourism promotion conference held by the Zimbabwe embassy to
China in Beijing on Monday afternoon.

††††††††† Called "Africa's Paradise", Zimbabwe shares a border with
SouthAfrica, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia. The country hasmany
attractions including Victoria Falls, which is well-known as one of the
world's seven natural wonders and rich historical relics. Zimbabwe is also
the home to five wild African animals -- the elephant, lion, buffalo,
leopard, and zebra.

††††††††† Nhema, who is leading a large tourism delegation to China,
saidtourism is a key industry in Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe attaches great
importance to the tourism market in China.

††††††††† Nhema said a special tourism office was set up in the Zimbabwe
embassy to China last August and Zimbabwe is also planning to opena direct
air route to China. He added that more steps like launching Chinese language
and cooking training programs will be followed, which will help promote
tourism cooperation between Zimbabwe and China.

††††††††† According to the minister, about 41,000 Asian tourists visited
Zimbabwe last year, including 10,000 Chinese. Nhema said with the fast
expansion of Asian tourism, the number of Asian tourists to Zimbabwe this
year will be increased to 80,000, and those from China will reach 25,000.
Enditem

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Repeat a lie often enough ...

Martin Williamson

June 14, 2004

††††††††††† Peter Chingoka: the acceptable face of the ZCU? © Getty Images

The Zimbabwe Cricket Union's policy towards the media appears to be a simple
one: "If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes accepted as the truth."

In Harare today, Peter Chingoka faced the media to talk about the ZCU's
recent meeting with the ICC in Dubai. Chingoka is often characterised as the
acceptable face of a highly politicised board, although he is not quite as
affable on the safety of his home turf as he sometimes appears abroad.

He opened by dismissing any suggestions that Zimbabwe's Test status had been
revoked, painting the decision to suspend the four Tests they were due to
play as a virtual ZCU initiative. It wasn't. Pakistan, who they were
scheduled to meet twice, had already signalled that they were getting cold
feet, and England's visit, even if took place, would have been a political
hot potato. The ICC feared humiliations, and the erosion of Test cricket's
"integrity", and so the compromise was struck.

A fortnight ago Chingoka insisted that "no-one is going to tell us how we
should run our cricket", and now he chose to present a climbdown as
something quite different. But the alternative would have been a vote at the
full ICC executive board meeting later this month which would probably have
formally suspended Zimbabwe.

On the subject of racism, Chingoka insisted that the accusations were
"mischievously levelled against the board". As so many times before, he
seeks to portray the board as the innocent victims in the whole affair.

The reality is that almost all the accusations against the board have been
that they are politically, not racially, motivated. To the ZCU, the colour
of a man's skin is not as important as what goes on in his head. There are
far more instances of people being singled out for their views than for
their colour, Henry Olonga being the most public case. It so happens that
the majority of whites oppose the government - so, in fact, does the
majority of the population of Zimbabwe. But in the eyes of the Mugabe
government, which now effectively runs the ZCU, the whites are an easy and
clearly identifiable enemy.

But it was when he was questioned as to why he wouldn't let the ICC mediate
in the dispute that Chingoka opted for the board/government's second tactic:
turn nasty when your argument is weak.

Asked why, if as the ZCU claims it is so sure that it is properly
constituted and above suspicion, it would not allow the ICC to get involved,
Chingoka asked the questioner exactly what was so serious about it.

"Surely the fact that half the Test side had walked out is serious," came
the reply from the floor. Chingoka snapped that only four players had been
lost (presumably the four named in the A side which played Sri Lanka), and
then again defended the board's position. So, it seems the ZCU believes that
the many talented players who have left the country in disgust or dismay in
the last few years are not an issue ... let's pretend they and the 15 recent
rebels went for reasons other than the way the game was being run.

And then Chingoka repeated that the board, the staff, and the academy were
fully integrated. The numbers have been quoted before. The board might
contain whites, blacks and Asians, but few doubt that all the power is held
by two or three extremely political, government-appointed puppets. And the
academy situation is interesting. In May's Wisden Cricketer Chingoka proudly
wrote that "the intake of 16 for our academy programme this year includes
seven white cricketers". My investigations have only thrown up one name. I
have asked the board for the names of the other six.

The ZCU might, as Chingoka also claimed, be doing a fantastic job in
promoting cricket among the population as a whole. We only have his word for
that, as repeated offers by Wisden Cricinfo to the board for it to publicise
all the good it is doing inside Zimbabwe have met with silence. The only
things to consider are that the young players coming through are on the
whole not good enough, and that almost none of the black population turns up
to watch, even when Australia, the world champions, are the opposition. If
the ZCU has fired up enthusiasm in the indigenous community, it's a
well-disguised secret.

It seems that the ZCU will continue to peddle the same old half-truths and
political rhetoric. Chingoka concluded by saying that the rebels would be
welcomed back, safe in the knowledge that the make-up of the board and the
politicised selection procedure means that even those who haven't fled for
good almost certainly will not come back to play.

And so the ZCU meanders on, taking Zimbabwe cricket further towards the
precipice, and meanwhile it suits the ICC to do almost nothing and dismiss
the whole situation as a little local difficulty. It's hard to see anyone
coming out of this sorry affair with any dignity intact.

© Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
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News24

Surprise at Zim fighter deal
14/06/2004 21:38† - (SA)

Johannesburg - Defence analysts in Pretoria and London were scratching their
heads at a reported decision by Zimbabwe to buy 12 Chinese FC1 fighter jets,
an aircraft still under development.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change MP Giles Mutsekwa said at the
weekend that the Zimbabwe Defence Force (ZDF) had secretly ordered 12 of the
fighters and about 100 military vehicles at a cost estimated at US$200m.

The acquisition apparently bypassed the state procurement board.

It was not clear from the reports, since denied by the ruling Zanu-PF, where
the funding for the planes and vehicles would come from, as the ZDF's budget
allocation was only about Z$815bn(about US$136m or R870m), of which 69% is
for remuneration and the rest for operations.

The Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said, if true, the
reports made one wonder about the sustainability and affordability of the
aircraft.

"Looking at the present state of their economy and the value of their
monetary unit, one questions whether it is affordable or how they will pay
for it, if it is true," ISS defence analyst Len le Roux said.

He also questioned the requirement for the aircraft, saying parties to the
Southern African Development Community's Mutual Defence Pact had an
obligation to move towards buying similar or at least compatible equipment.

On the face of it, this was a purchase motivated by national rather than
regional needs - and the exact national need was also not clear.

"One also has to question the sustainability of the purchase. It is one
thing to buy an aircraft, it is another to operate and maintain it," Le Roux
said.

Andrew Brookes, aerospace analyst at the London-based International
Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said the FC1, called the "Fierce
Dragon" (Xiaolong) by the Chinese, would only be operational by 2006,
belaying reports that the first six of the dozen aircraft ordered would
arrive in Zimbabwe last week.

"It is a potent, modern fighter. But we are not talking cutting-edge
technology here, rather last generation (Generation Three)
reverse-engineered technology. It's still very good, however.

"The question again is whether they could fly and maintain them. They
already have some good aircraft and could probably make the transition,"
Brookes added.

"Quite a few African countries are currently buying modern aircraft. Most,
however, have to bring in expatriate Ukrainians to fly and maintain them."

Brookes added that the Chinese and Pakistanis - who were developing the
aircraft - would also want nothing but hard currency for the deal.

The FC1, called the Joint Fighter 17 (JF-17) "Thunder" by Pakistan, is a
joint venture between the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation and the
Pakistani Aeronautical Complex (PAC).

It is scheduled to enter initial production in 2006 when 16 are to be built.

Russia's Mikoyan Aero-Science Production Group (MASPG) are providing
assistance in some design work as well as its RD-93 turbofan engine to power
the aircraft.
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Sunday Times (SA)

'Anti-Zimbabwe radio' under spotlight

Tuesday June 15, 2004 07:08 - (SA)

HARARE - Botswana's Communications Minister Boyse Sebetela promised Harare
that he would investigate a US-sponsored radio station allegedly
broadcasting anti-Zimbabwe bulletins from his country.

Sebetela told reporters he only found out about the broadcasts by Voice of
America Studio 7 after a meeting with Zimbabwean Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo on Sunday.

"So we will be going back to Botswana to investigate this issue deeper, so
that we get a better understanding of the legal arrangements ... and also to
look at the issue of content because that is the greatest concern to
Zimbabwe," Sebetela said.

"Within a week or two we will dig out all the facts around this very
sensitive issue because everything else is secondary. If we can resolve it a
lot of things will fall into place."

Moyo said he was concerned about the radio station airing anti-Zimbabwe
stories on a medium wave frequency allocated to Botswana.

"It is a station with a subversive content against ... Zimbabwe, coming to
us on a frequency that we believe should not be used for that purpose," Moyo
said at a media conference.

Sebetela said his country would investigate whether it was legal for VOA
Studio 7 to broadcast on the medium wave 909 channel.

"We are too small a country to be used as a base for anything," he said.

AFP
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