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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Remarks of Sen. Lamar Alexander on Zimbabwe

United States Congress (Washington, DC)

June 13, 2003
Posted to the web June 16, 2003

Lamar Alexander
Washington, DC

Following are remarks on the Senate floor by Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who
chairs the Subcommittee on Africa.

I rise today to bring to the attention of the Senate the oppression of
democracy and freedom that is now underway in Zimbabwe. As I mentioned a
moment ago, a number of senators, including the senators from Kentucky and
Arizona have led this body in discussions about oppression in Burma, and I
share those concerns, but as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee
on African Affairs, I would be remiss if I did not discuss the struggle in
Zimbabwe because that bears at least some similarity to the events in Burma.

As in Burma, the leader of the democratic opposition in Zimbabwe has been
imprisoned by an illegitimate government in a cruel attempt to maintain
power. The so-called president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has engaged in a
systematic campaign of intimidation, torture and terror to oppress
opposition to his rule over Zimbabwe.

Since the election of 2000, when Mugabe’s ruling party rigged the election
in its favor and terrorized voters for the opposition, Zimbabwe has been
thrown into a downward spiral.

Youth brigades, not unlike the Hitler Youth or Chinese Red Guard roam the
streets and invoke terror on those who resist Mugabe’s rule. The country’s
infrastructure which was fairly good prior to this time has deteriorated

In the last week, the situation has grown worse. A little over one week ago,
for the second time this year, the people of Zimbabwe stood up and said
enough is enough. Strikes and work stoppages occurred throughout the country
as many citizens engaged in a massive protest of Mugabe’s illegitimate

Many rightly blame Mugabe, not only for political turmoil but also economic
decay led by food and fuel shortages. The government’s response was swift
and brutal. Armed troops descended upon neighborhoods where opposition
members lived. They violently beat those suspected of opposing Mugabe. More
than 800 individuals were arrested. Many of them were tortured. According to
the most recent reports I’ve seen, about 150 individuals have now been
released, but only after paying an “admission of guilt” penalty of $3,000 to
$5,000, a new sort of get out of jail card – admit your guilt, pay a huge
fine, and out you go.

Here is Mugabe’s justification. He is quoted as saying, “The actions are
blatantly illegal in that they are aimed at an unconstitutional removal of
the country’s head of state.”

He’s essentially saying that by protesting his rule, protestors are
committing a crime. And he’s arresting and torturing them as a result. The
only crime being committed here is the continued rule of Robert Mugabe.

Just prior to the first crackdown in March, which followed a similar protest
and work stoppage, Mugabe said, and I’m quoting here, “I am still the Hitler
of the time.” Let me say that again. He said, “I am still the Hitler of the
time.” He purposely chose to compare himself to Adolf Hitler, perhaps the
most evil leader of the 20th century. After that announcement in March,
military forces loyal to Mugabe burst into homes in pre-dawn raids, raping
and beating many of those suspected of supporting the Movement for
Democratic Change, Zimbabwe’s opposition party. Torture tactics included
rape, electrocution, forced consumption of chemicals and urine, cigarette
burning, whipping with steel cable and barbed wire, and sustained beatings.

What makes these events especially tragic is that prior to Mugabe’s actions,
Zimbabwe was not a dilapidated country ready to collapse. On the contrary,
it was a leading African nation with a strong economy and infrastructure.
Zimbabwe’s roads were among the best in Africa, and its agricultural sector
was a major exporter. As an example of the rapid decline Zimbabwe faces, its
GDP has shrunk from $9.3 billion in 2001 to only $5.4 billion today – it has
been cut nearly in half in only two years.

The latest news from Zimbabwe shows that Mugabe is now actively imprisoning
and torturing leaders of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic
Change or MDC. Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC, is in prison and
charged with treason as are hundreds of party activists. Tsvangirai lost
last year’s rigged presidential elections and has begun legal proceedings
against Mugabe because the elections were not conducted properly. I can only
hope that and the MDC survive Mugabe’s violent rampage against them.

Mr. President, the White House and the State Department have responded to
this crisis, and I hope will continue to work to achieve a change of
leadership in Zimbabwe. President Bush recently imposed sanctions on the
Mugabe government. The sanctions, which began on March 7, prohibit any U.S.
corporation from making business deals with Zimbabwe and also freeze any
assets top Zimbabwean officials in the Mugabe government may have in U.S.
banking institutions. The State Department has condemned Mugabe’s actions,
and taken other appropriate diplomatic action.

Mr. President, the people of Zimbabwe deserve better. They deserve better
than a regime that commits violence on its own people. They deserve better
than to see their economic infrastructure destroyed by a
dictator-on-the-rampage. And they’ve been standing up for themselves by
actively demonstrating against this terrible regime. I hope other countries
in the region will join with the United States and others in opposing this
brutal regime in the hope of bringing new, democratic leadership to power in
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JAG Security Update June 16, 2003

Dear All,

Jean Baldwin's house has been invaded at Just Right Estate by four
terrorists who are armed. They fire their weapons over/at the workers'
houses almost every night. The police have been instructed to ignore Jean's
calls for assistance. Jean and, daughter, Ruth are very frightened at this

These two brave women need assistance and support. They also want the whole
world to know how they are being harassed and intimidated.

Jean has won all her court cases against the forced land acquisitions. Just
Right has five separate villages mushrooming on land with marginal
rainfall, and therefore a fragile eco-system not suitable for dry land
cropping. There is no irrigation available. The damage being done to the
forests is an environmental disaster, due to the primitive slash and burn
method of land clearing.

Jean and Ruth refuse to move to the safety of town because, as Ruth says
"what these people are doing is wrong!"

Jean and Ruth are at present living in the second homestead on the estate.



After narrowly escaping rape and death at the hands of politically
motivated (instructed and drugged) villagers on their farm Kleinbegin, at
the end of last month, the tables have been turned and the elderly couple
are being charged in court on Monday, in Beitbridge.

Despite continual pleas and promises from people at various high levels,
including Ministerial, no charges have been laid against either those
involved or the perpetrators of their life-threatening siege. The police
have carried out no investigation despite numerous visits since then.

This elderly couple who have spent their lives developing one of the best
Brahman herds in the country have, like most of the commercial farming
sector in Zimbabwe, been confined to their homes for most of the last three
years. This type of existence is degrading and demoralising, especially for
farmers who have always been so active. Farmers through necessity plan for
the future because farming is a life's work. They can no longer work and
they can no longer plan for the future. What future?

All their life's work, infrastructure and capital has been destroyed around
them by a government who is suppressing the truth and at the same time
pleading with the outside world to provide food for its own people which it
is systematically starving and manipulating. Donor agencies are flocking in
and falling over each other to feed a nation which otherwise is fed on
politics, hatred and rhetoric. The people (and government) have become
totally reliant on food aid and are doing nothing to improve the situation.
Instead should they not consider supplying the fishing rod and not the

There are reports that Zambia has been for the first time exporting maize.
What an achievement after years of government mismanagement. Unfortunately
(for Zimbabwe) it is our deported commercial farmers (refugees) who are
producing this bumper harvest there - rather than here at their home farms
where they have been unceremoniously evicted from.

Sam and Janet Cawood are both in their 70s and why should they move to a
foreign country at their age. They are luckier than many people of their
age in that they have a roof over their heads, although their income from
their only farm has been all but removed. At their home there is a constant
battle trying to keep the house water supply tank full, and to supply a
rationed amount of water for a very limited amount of surviving wildlife.
There were 14 fully equipped boreholes on their ranch, which were
interlinked by a network of pipelines, but now only one works, as the
"settlers" have sabotaged the others. This one supplies Sam's home, but the
settlers expect him to pump water free of charge for some 1000 of their
cattle. Impossible - the borehole does not have the capacity (nor can Sam
afford it).

One evening about a month ago settlers were "pinching" water from Sam's
game trough at his home and when Sam went out to speak to them they became
aggressive, so as Sam retreated back home he squirted a pepper spray into
the air as a "warning shot". For this the same police who have not pressed
charges against those who held Sam under siege are laying false charges.
The same police who had to be "herded" there after 30 hours. The same
police who are strongly suspected of orchestrating the farm attacks. The
same police who previously arrested Sam and locked him up on another false

How can an old man retire gracefully and peacefully with his wife in their
home of nearly 40 years? Do settlers, police and government at a time when
he should be sitting back and reminiscing over his achievements in life and
enjoying his grandchildren doom him to continual harassment?

They should be sitting back and chronicling all their valuable experience
for the use of future generations in their quest to produce food in one of
the harshest agricultural areas of Zimbabwe.


Gary Van Zyl

Today, Sunday 15 June 2003, the Manager of Bulembe Estates, Mr Piet Van der
Riet, was arrested and taken into custody by the Police at Fort Rixon,
approximately 37 km East of Bulawayo, because he defied an order by a bunch
of thugs and "Green Bombers" to vacate his home so that a mugabe lackey may
steal it for his own use. Green Bombers is a colloquial name for youths who
have been indoctrinated by mugabe's regime into beating up anyone
considered to be remotely opposed to the total mayhem that is going on in
Zimbabwe at the present time. They will beat up or even murder their own
parents or grandparents should mugabe's cronies decide that it is necessary
for their own survival. They are somewhat similar to the Hitler Youth of
the Nazi era.

Mr Jimmy Goddard, the owner of Buleme Estates, was busy trying to salvage
as much of Mr Van der Riet's possessions as he could before these thugs
moved their beds into and settled themselves into Mr Van der Riet's home.

Mr Van der Riet's mother in law is totally blind. The only home she knows
is the one she lived in with her daughter and son in law. She has had to be
moved to totally unknown surroundings. This is Fathers Day, which should
have been a happy day for Mr Van der Riet, and his poor family and mother
in law have been totally distraught by the days happenings.

Eye witnesses have stated that the thieves of the property were seen to be
driving a cream Land Cruiser, registration number, 597 703 B.

This incident, amongst many others, comes months after mugabe assured the
World that the land grabbing is over, and that no more will take place!
Many influential people were taken by these lies including the President of
South Africa, Thabo Mbeki.



JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
    (011) 205 374
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1:

Dear Sir,

I wish to submit the following letter for publication.

"May I firstly commend you on your recent editorial, June 5, in which you
clearly illustrate precisely why this dictator must go. Comment, coming
from as far afield as Jamaica, brings hope and encouragement to the
beleaguered population of Zimbabwe.

However, I wish to correct the perception of most of the world's media,
regarding the so-called land Issue, with the exception of those with an
intimate knowledge of Zimbabwe. For example you make reference to " ..the
legitimate issue of landlessness among the country's black majority
population.....a handful of white farmers controls over 90 per cent of the
country's best land.."

May I point out the following:

1.  Over 80% of farms have been purchased by the present legal owners since
Independence in 1980 with a Certificate of No Present Interest from
government and transfer taxes paid to government, not "the spoils of
colonial conquest". Commercial farming controls only 22% of the landmass.
(18.5% white owned) as at 2000 before the "fast track" so called land
reform programme.  Interesting to note that commercial agriculture as at
1980 controlled 41% of the land mass (almost) all white owned; not the 70%
as so often quoted.

2.  The most productive (best) land is, in actual fact, made up of the
poorest classified soils (tobacco) and not suitable for food crops.

3.  Farms in Zimbabwe are large commercial enterprises run as businesses
and are the largest single employer, contributor to GDP and foreign
currency earnings. Over 2 million people living on farms now face

4.  Commercial farms are largely owned and run by Zimbabweans. It is the
media, political opportunists and those with a colonial hang-up who
describe the owners as "white", a racial categorization which is
unconstitutional in a supposedly non racial Zimbabwe and therefore deemed
unlawful before the courts.

5.  The only truly indigenous people are the SAN or bushmen who were
slaughtered to extinction by the Bantu when they arrived in this country.
Some of the tribal groups arrived here at the same time as those of
European origin.

6.  The majority of the population is not landless but jobless, futureless
and hopeless. Independent surveys show that 93% off rural high school
graduates have no intention of owning land and farming and only 3% of them
will ever gain employment.

Please do not do any justice to the madness of ethnic cleansing being
perpetrated by those who administer what is fast becoming known as one of
the world's most ruthless dictatorships."

Yours faithfully,

Simon Spooner


Letter 2: Kevin Grant

After the total devastation of Commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe it would
now be fitting to finally have some solidarity in sympathy with citizens
who have been denied their human and constitutional rights. With about 10%
of commercial farmers left it is time the CFU, ZTA etc to join forces with
JAG TO CAMPAIGN AND FIGHT FOR JUSTICE.  Soon they will be so involved with
helping the thugs farm that they will forget about the injustices that have
been made to their real members Make this the year to show some backbone
before there are none of us left Even the ZTA may soon ,if not already, be
controlled by the thugs The government and the world people think we are a
weak bunch of arseholes showing no resistance at all . To support the
solidarity campaign Iwould suggest no Oscars no support for Agricultural
shows and not vigorously supporting the thugs on the farms. It 's ludicrous
to be supporting this evil when so may people black and white have lost
their basic human rights.  We should keep lobbing and pressurizing human
rights organizations world wide especially the U.N. (old Mr. Koff) has not
even raised the issue or hardly of human rights abuses in Zim.  Even lobby
Mr. Mbeki who is campaigning so vigorously for NEPAD while on his doorstep
chaos reigns Let the ZTA change their role, rather than setting up
development trusts etc for the "new settlers" set up some positive action
for the old settlers.

Sadly I have lost both my farms so was no longer able to make a living in
Zimbabwe but I am prepared to assist when ever I can in supporting a
vigorous campaign for human rights.  However, the leadership of our
associations must set the pace to give the whole thing some credibility. As
the world sees it at the moment it looks we are working with the regime as
if nothing is wrong.  Surely time to forget the apolitical stance of the
past as things are far from normal in Zim and only political change can
bring about any hope for the revival of a once great country and economy It
has gone beyond negotiation because there is nothing left to negotiate
for-- that will surely come after regime change!


Letter 3: Ann Hein

Re: The Oscar Debate.

If we are to continue with the what-ho-aren't-we-awfully-good-chaps
attitude (which is one of the reasons we are in the situation we are in)
and persist in giving out Oscars, may I propose Mr. John Bredenkamp for the
Oscar?  It seems appropriate to me, in light of his contributions to
Agriculture in Zimbabwe.

And I trust that only paid up members of the Commercial Farmers Union will
attend the Cocktail Party.  As one of the payees, I object strongly to any
"freeloaders" (not my term,) being invited.


Letter 4: Mr Henry

Dear Peoples,


Propose that a Farmer with courage and wisdom be put forward for this
nomination. (And since none exist, and this conclusion is derived from the
many letter sent to this Forum.) there is no one suitable for this OSCAR.

In my view this situation we are in will continue as long as there are
farmers supporting the Government by means of production.

To date I have not seen any letter that shows an understanding as to the
real reason for the land issue. Until the real issue is understood all of
you will continue fighting in the DARK, so speak.


Letter 5: Neil Lucas

Dear Sir/Madam

I'm hoping you are able to help. I went to boarding with a friend between
1969 and 1974. My friend Arthur Purkiss and his parents are farmers in the
Lions Den area. On many occasions during my high school years I stayed with
Arthur and his family. The last time I saw Arthur was when I visited
Zimbabwe in May 1997. I went to their farm, which I think is called Kudu or
Kiku Farm (I just can't quite remember the name). The farm is off the main
Chinhoyi to Karoi road.

For many obvious reason I would love to know of their well being. In my
quest to try and find and contact the Purkiss family I would really
appreciate any help.

Here hoping


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

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        Zimbabwe's last white judge 'retires'

            June 16 2003 at 01:30PM

      Harare - The last white judge in Zimbabwe's High Court retires this
week, and state officials said he was leaving due to his age and not because
of clashes with President Robert Mugabe.

      Judge George Smith, appointed to the bench in 1984 after serving
Mugabe and former Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith as cabinet secretary,
reached the statutory retirement age of 70 in April, officials said. Smith
was unavailable for comment.

      "I confirm that Justice Smith is retiring this week and we shall be
appointing new judges in the near future," Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa told the official Herald newspaper.

      More than half a dozen black and white High and Supreme Court judges
have quit or been forced to leave the bench in the last two years, including
the country's former white chief judge Anthony Gubbay, over disagreements
with Mugabe's government.

            'We shall be appointing new judges in the near future'
      Mugabe's government clashed with Gubbay after the Supreme Court ruled
against its controversial seizures of white-owned farms for blacks.

      Mugabe, 79, Zimbabwe's ruler since the former Rhodesia gained
independence from Britain in 1980, is battling deepening political and
economic crises that many blame on his policies.

      Critics say Mugabe has targeted the judiciary, private media and human
rights campaigners in a drive against growing opposition to his government.

      Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai was arrested on June 6 after a five-day national protest that
shut a majority of Zimbabwe's business and commercial services. He was
charged with treason for allegedly trying to overthrow Mugabe through street
protests and remanded in custody until July 10.

      Tsvangirai has applied to the High Court for bail and a ruling on his
application is expected this week.

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The Times

            June 16, 2003

            Mugabe hangs four to 'intimidate Tsvangirai'
            From Michael Hartnack in Harare

            Four men have been hanged at the prison complex where Morgan
Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwe opposition leader, is awaiting trial on treason
charges, prompting allegations that President Robert Mugabe was seeking to
intimidate his political rival.

            Mr Tsvangarai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) described
the hangings as a brutal show of force.

            Campaigners in Zimbabwe for abolition of the death penalty
slated the sudden execution of the four, which took place without any prior
warning to their families. The crime for which two of the men were hanged
took place six years ago, in highly controversial circumstances.

            Mr Tsvangirai, detained on June 6 on fresh charges of high
treason, is awaiting a High Court ruling on his application to be released
on bail, which is expected later this week.

            The new charges arise from the MDC's campaign of public
protests, which took place from June 2 to June 6, to demand an end to Mr
Mugabe's 23-year rule.

            Mr Tsvangirai and two other MDC leaders had been free on bail
during their ongoing trial on previous allegations of committing treason by
plotting the assassination of Mr Mugabe, who is 79.

            David Coltart, the Shadow Justice Minister, linked the timing of
the executions to Mr Mugabe's statement to a rally on Friday that he was
"glad Tsvangirai is in state house prison now".

            "The hangings are typical, entirely consistent with Mugabe's
vindictive nature," said Mr Coltart.

            "They are appalling, given the deterioration of our justice
system -- there is deep concern innocent people might go to the gallows."

            The last executions were in June 2002. Since 1980 Mr Mugabe's
Government has sent 73 men to the gallows despite a prolonged campaign led
by Catholic churchmen. In 1988, 13 hangings were kept secret during a state
visit by Pope John Paul.

            David Mangoma, permanent secretary to the Ministry of Justice,
confirmed the latest executions to the state-controlled daily, The Herald,
but no formal notification was given either to the public or the men's
families, say lawyers.

            Two of those executed, Stephen Chidhumo and Elias Chauke, were
among a group of four who made a daring escape from Chikurubi Maximum
Security Prison, on the outskirts of Harare, six years ago, while serving
sentences for robbery. One of them, shot dead before recapture, snatched a
rifle and killed a warder.

            The fourth escapee broke his leg and after recapture was
controversially left in a prison cell to die from his unattended injuries.

            In a ruling reminiscent of Britain's notorious Bentley and Craig
case, Judge (now Chief Justice) Godfrey Chidyausiku sentenced Chidhumo and
Chauke to death, saying "it did not matter who fired the fatal shot".

            A recent constitutional amendment prevented their obtaining
clemency because of their long sojourn on death row.

            No details were released of the crimes for which William
Mukurugunye and John Nyamazana were also hanged on Friday. Both were alleged
to be murders without extenuating circumstances.

            Abolitionist campaigners say the low standard of legal
representation given many poor rural persons makes the death penalty
inherently unfair.  Mr Mugabe has rejected calls for it to be removed, as in
neighbouring South Africa.

            Human rights groups allege that at least 200 opposition
supporters and 13 white farmers have been murdered with impunity by
pro-government activists since Mr Mugabe lost a constitutional referendum in
February 2000 and launched his "fast track" seizure of 5000 white-owned

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Even Zimbabwe's dead need fuel
By Themba Nkosi
BBC, Bulawayo

The dead have become the latest victims of Zimbabwe's endless fuel shortages.

Petrol queue in Zimbabwe
Petrol queues have become part of everyday life
Some dead people have had to endure humiliation by fuel attendants and garage owners, who demand to see the corpses before they can sell fuel to hearse drivers enroute to cemeteries.

When the fuel shortages became serious, undertakers were given priority at petrol stations.

But then conmen started masquerading as undertakers and hearse drivers and bought large quantities of fuel from garages and sold it at exorbitant prices on the black market.

In some cases, the conmen managed to produce what looked like genuine burial certificates at petrol stations and were given fuel by unsuspecting attendants.


The government and civic groups have condemned the practice with church leaders describing it as "satanic".

But garage owners have defended the practice saying it is the only way to avoid selling the scarce liquid to conmen masquerading as undertakers.

Coffins on display
The final trip can be a hard one

"We have been getting a lot of people claiming to be from funeral parlours, some of them carrying fake burial certificates," said one garage owner.

"In the end we discovered that conmen had exploited the privileges given to undertakers from genuine funeral parlours."

Funeral parlours fall under the Essential Services Act.

In Harare, undertakers were forced to take four bodies to a service station after the garage owners demanded proof that the driver of the hearse was genuine.

In some cases, the funeral parlours tell bereaved families to source their own fuel before bodies can be transported to cemeteries for burial.

The undertakers have lodged their complaints with the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Amos Midzi.

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ZIMBABWE: UK denies backing opposition
      IRINnews Africa, Mon 16 Jun 2003
      JOHANNESBURG, - The British government has denied any involvement in
the week-long stayaway by Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) earlier this month.

      The statement was issued after the official The Herald newspaper last
week reported President Robert Mugabe as saying that the MDC had received
funding from Britain and help from the British High Commissioner to
Zimbabwe, Brian Donnelly, to stage the anti-government protests.

      Mugabe reportedly said: "If he continues doing it we will kick him
[Donnelly] out of this country."

      In a brief statement the British High Commission said: "The British
government supports the fundamental rights of Zimbabweans to freedom of
expression and freedom of association. How Zimbabweans choose to exercise
those rights is entirely a matter for them. The British government and the
British High Commission had no role in funding or organising, in any way
whatsoever, last week's stayaway or protests."

      The exchange comes amid already poor relations between Zimbabwe and
Britain, the former colonial power, sparked mainly by a dispute over
compensation for white farmers whose properties have been listed for
acquisition in the country's controversial land reform programme.

      Meanwhile, news reports said the office of South Africa's President
Thabo Mbeki was handed a petition by a group of Zimbabweans living in South
Africa, calling on Mbeki to exert pressure on Mugabe to release opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

      Last week the group staged a hunger strike outside the Union Buildings
in Pretoria, which houses the South African administration.

      Tsvangirai has spent over a week in jail waiting for bail on a treason
charge related to the stayaway, which was declared illegal by the police.

      The material contained in this article is from IRIN, a UN humanitarian
information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United
Nations or its agencies. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post any item
on this site, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or
extracts should include attribution to the original sources. All graphics
and Images on this site may not be re-produced without the express
permission of the original owner.
      All materials copyright © UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs 2003
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Plans to Withdraw $500 Note Welcome

The Herald (Harare)

June 16, 2003
Posted to the web June 16, 2003


Zimbabwe, after several years of high inflation and the laundering of vast
sums through cash transactions, needs currency reform urgently.

We gather the authorities have come to the same conclusion with reports that
the $500 note will be phased out as the $1 000 note is introduced.

High denomination notes are needed, but they should be introduced for the
benefit of people who have to make cash payments in ordinary day-to-day
shopping, not for those who wish to launder the proceeds of a black-market

So it makes excellent sense to have a $1 000 note, since at the present
price of fuel a full tank can use up to 20 of these. It could also make
sense to have a $5 000 note, and even the $10 000 note, although precautions
would have to be taken to avoid the mattress banking and illegal cash deals
now becoming so common.

Many other countries have had to do this. The United States, for example,
used to have many very high denomination notes. The largest US bank note is
now the US$100 and the higher value notes are withdrawn as they come into
the banking system. The reason for the change was clear; the high-value
notes were too useful for laundering, dubious and criminal deals and were
not all that useful when buying groceries.

Withdrawing the $500 note in Zimbabwe would follow a policy used
successfully in many other countries when it has become obvious that a
particular bank note is being used to finance too many illegal deals. The
ordinary person can easily change the notes they keep in their wallet or in
a safe place at home for emergencies.

The person with a few million dollars in Zimbabwean bank notes outside the
country, or a trunk at home as part of his efforts to evade taxes, has
problems. How does he explain the huge sums he is keeping?

The Zimbabwean authorities, when introducing the new notes, also have to
think about the rules regarding cash transactions and cash withdrawals. Many
countries impose quite low limits on what can be withdrawn in currency notes
and coins from a bank account in a single day or even a longer period.

Those needing large sums of cash are encouraged to use bankers' cheques,
electronic transfers and debit or credit cards in swipe machines. Large
transactions using the anonymity of bank notes are positively discouraged
since such anonymity is too often used to hide tax evasion or criminal

So as part of their efforts to clean up the currency in Zimbabwe, the
authorities need to encourage banks to provide at reasonable cost, and
certainly no more than the cost of cashing a personal cheque, fast and
accurate alternatives for larger deals.

The number of swipe machines in stores is growing, but fuel stations and
small shops lag behind, and far too many machines are linked to a single
bank rather than all banks.

Banks tend to charge high sums for their own cheques, even though building
societies manage to issue these for free, and electronic transfers are still
in their infancy.

So even honest people have to swop, at times, suitcases of bank notes when,
for example, buying or selling a car. The obvious way of moving a few
million dollars in such a deal would be a direct transfer from one account
to another with confirmation of the move in seconds.

The problems faced by ordinary people in recent months in having to queue
for smallish sums needed for shopping, and having to carry bundles of
low-denomination bank notes to pay for a tank of fuel or buy a week's
groceries, need to be fixed.

We believe they can be fixed in a way that retains bank notes for smaller
transactions and more modern methods for larger cash transactions, so long
as the banks can be made to co-operate.

The authorities are on the right track in cleaning up the mess of $500 note
hoarding by withdrawing that note and introducing higher value notes for
shopping convenience, but they need to go further if they do not wish a
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16 June 2003
Move to Ban Strikes in Public Sector Is A Clear Sign Of Weakness
Moves by the illegitimate Mugabe regime to ban huge swathes of public sector workers from engaging in strike action underlines once again the success of the recent 2-6 June stayaway, which marked a significant step forward in the peaceful struggle to restore democratic legitimacy to Zimbabwe. The scale of the Mugabe regime's violent and repressive response to the stayway is a testament to the impact that the stayway has had. The regime has clearly been weakened by its realisation that it has no popular support.
The arrest and detention of MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai on another spurious treason charge, and the arrest of over 800 MDC supporters for engaging in peaceful acts of protest, offers a clear insight into the increasing level of nervousness that is now permeating a regime conscious that its time is running out. Banning core public sector workers from engaging in strike action is yet another example of this nervousness. This desperate, and flagrantly undemocratic move, is doomed to failure.
If the regime believes that banning people from exercising their basic democratic rights will deter future stay always it should think again. Such moves simply serve to highlight the size of the chasm between the regime and the people. Violence and repression do not weaken people's desire for democratic change. Violence and repression do not address an individual's social and economic grievances.
The hundreds of thousands of workers, both private and public sector, who heeded the call to stay away from work between 2-6 June did so because the regime has failed them. Job security is a luxury, food is either scarce or unaffordable, whilst the acute petrol shortage means that travelling to work is either impossible or exceptionally arduous. For those in the public sector, working conditions have, in many places, reached unacceptable levels due to the policy failures of the Mugabe regime.
Against such a background of discontent no amount of violence or repression is going to be sufficient to cow people into submission. Instead it will strengthen the people's desire to intensify peaceful acts of civil disobedience aimed at securing democratic change.
Paul Themba Nyathi
MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity
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WEF report on economic situation in Zimbabwe dismissed

17 June 2003
The Department of Information and Publicity in the office of the President
and Cabinet says reports on the economic situation in the country based on
the so-called countries survey released recently by the self-styled World
Economic Forum-WEF are part of the western propaganda assault on Zimbabwe.

In a statement, the department said the reports, which have been published
by the usual british media mouthpieces are meant to tarnish the image of the
Zimbabwean government for embarking on far-reaching land reforms designed to
empower its citizens.

The statement also noted that the empowerment programme which challenges
British and Western interests cannot be expected to attract praise from
surrogate organisations like the WEF, whose purpose is to defend and promote
Western economic interests.

The department also said this transformation of the Zimbabwean economy is
taking place in an environment in which there is open hostility and
unjustifiable, illegal and unilateral sanctions.

The statement added that it is cynical and unacceptable for the Western
countries to use their surrogate organisations and media mouthpieces to
judge the performance of the same economy they are working hard to stifle.

It noted that despite these setbacks Zimbabwe’s trade with its major
partners continues to grow, with the country’s trade with South Africa
having grown by 16 percent over the past few years.

The department pointed out that such a growth demonstrates the resilience of
the country’s institutional capacity and economic perfomance under the most
adverse conditions that do not obtain in countries that have been lumped
together with Zimbabwe in the survey.

It emphasised that Zimbabwe will continue with its broad-based national
programmes, undeterred and undistracted by such false surveys and
sensational media reports fully confident that the empowerment programmes
will be the basis of sustainable economic growth and development.

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JAG PR Communique

Due to changes that have been forced upon farmers and their families, there
has been a shift in the role and responsibilities of the ladies "farmers
wives". In order to help identify and address these issues we invite you
all to attend the following meeting to be held at Art farm.



Wednesday 18th June 9.00a.m.


Kevin Ricquebourg

Ingrid Landman

Debbie Jeans.


Beatrice Bwerudzai.

Wikus Botha

Kerry Kay.


I HAVE received the following inspiring message from a friend in Poland,
which I would like to share with other Zimbabweans at this defining moment
in our history:

"We read with horror on the developments in Zimbabwe nowadays. We know how
you must be just feeling, as we have gone through all of these - shortages
of everything, skyrocketing inflation and political oppression - in the
not-so-distant past in Poland.  You feel so humiliated, helpless and
vulnerable then, but it is only appearances. True, the rulers are able to
harass or even to kill you, but they are totally unable to conquer your
minds. And this is decisive to their failure in the long run.

Our experiences show that it is actually the resistance of these "helpless"
people which is going to win. Sometimes it takes years, but it is they who
finally do it. So it is very important to stay put, not to be "persuaded"
by harassment to leave the country.  Zimbabwe will need all its people and
resources for reconstruction. Anyway, we keep our fingers crossed, hoping
for a quick improvement of your situation, and we wish you all success."

Wanda Poland In Other News: ZANU PF scoring another own goal <9385.html> US
treating Mugabe with kid gloves <9386.html> Article unfairly critical of
service stations <9387.html> Enjoy lion's share but remember us <9388.html>
Employers will act in solidarity <9389.html> Sue them <9390.html> Remain
one <9391.html> Your minds are invincible <9392.html> We can't let ZINASU
go down the drain <9393.html>

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Business Link course
By Richard Winkfield

Scores of skilled men and women who managed complex agricultural businesses
euphemistically known as farms have been forced to turn to alternative
sources of income. Many were well prepared for the unexpected change and
not all their earnings went back into the basket from whence they came. But
just as many were not and today are still in a state of shock, unable to
grasp the awful finality of their predicament.

It is only when they are jolted out of their inertia, by the realization
that there is life after farming, that they will become motivated. We
constantly hear how skilled our farmers were in the management of people,
natural resources, engineering, agronomy, animal husbandry, civil and
mechanical construction, repairs and maintenance, and the myriad peripheral
skills they had to acquire. Then add to this the development of their
characters through working with communities, associations, public
utilities, corporations and co-operatives.

There are hundreds who have remained in Zimbabwe but who are occupied by
menial tasks and chores and even uncreative employment that is leading
nowhere. These hugely valuable people will probably never go farming again
but are nonetheless worthy of a lot of recognition. They need to be
informed of what is available, to help them to regain their confidence and
put their skills to use.

I recently attended an introduction to a course designed to help people to
do just this. Loss of confidence has been the most common effect of the
trauma they have all experienced. The course is quite a long-term
investment in time, dedication and money, but in my view an offer that
cannot be ignored.

The initial commitment is for twelve months, during which it is virtually
guaranteed to pick the participants up, dust them down and put them back on
their feet, but not necessarily where they started.

Stan Parsons, known to many of us as an internationally recognised business
management consultant, started what he now calls 'The Business Link' in
1968 in Zimbabwe. A hands-on course on strategic management specifically
designed for small and family owned businesses. This is the course that I
am talking about. Today, over 6000 people from the United States, Australia
and Zimbabwe, can testify to the extraordinary change it has made to their

The last of a series of free introductory sessions is on Wednesday 25th
June in Harare. The first of four modules of this course starts on July
10th. As one who has despaired for forty years at the lack of attention
that many farmers have paid to training themselves and their employees, I
think this personal investment is long overdue. The reward could be
incalculable. A lot of our friends who were forced off their farms took up
the International Computer Drivers Licence course. Others brokering,
book-keeping, trucking and one farmer we know has bought a restaurant.
Whatever the circumstances, the Business Link course is applicable.

The Farm Families Trust, together with our partners in the UK, will be
subsidising a limited number of applicants. Obviously we will interview all
those whose names are given to us by Stan and his team. There is also a
limited amount of money and only those who genuinely cannot afford the full
fees and who in our opinion would very greatly benefit will be considered.

By the time you read this in The Zimbabwe Farmer, it will be too late for
the last of the free introductory sessions that were held in Harare and
Bulawayo. Nonetheless, contact Lorna Pearson on,
or (04) 498 915 for further details and to see if you might be fitted in.
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With the current offensive and so called final push on farms to try and
dislodge the few remaining farmers, many of whom have not challenged their
Section 8 orders, for whatever reason, in some cases because they are faced
with perfect process and no procedural grounds to challenge, there is merit
in these farmers; especially those with grounds to request urgency in the
application, bringing a small constitutional challenge case much along the
lines of the Quinnell Case citing one or two of the constitutional issues
in the Quinnell Case that are applicable.  JAG has recommended this as the
way forward for some time now and a number of farmers have brought
individual cases and have achieved protection under, either the interim
relief ruling granted in the Quinnell Case, or the Matabeleland CFU Propol
Matabeleland North and South Case.  With the current onslaught and
cognisant of the fact that JAG is legally constituted to do so; there is a
great deal of merit in (at this point in time) bringing a representative
action under the JAG banner that would protect all farmers if successful
until the issue is clarified either by the Quinnell Case and/or the
Administrative Court hearing ones individual case.

If at this time we can get together half a dozen or so farmers with grounds
of urgency we at JAG will be in a position to bring this case as a
representative action on behalf of all farmers.  This could also have a
positive affect on displaced farmers who have been prevented from accessing
moveable assets left behind on farms.  Certainly from a costs perspective
and blanket effect basis this appears to be the way to go, in the light of
recent events on farms, and in the courts with judgements granted so far.

Please could any farmer in a position of being threatened with forced
illegal eviction and with grounds for an urgent application get in touch
with JAG urgently to discuss this initiative as an option.  Individual
actions along the above lines have been costing in the region of
Z$200,000.00 each.  A representative action would not cost much more,
however, the interim relief granted would pertain to all JAG members at
least, if not all farmers.

011 612 595

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The Herald

State Will Crush Any Moves to Usurp Power, Says President

The Herald (Harare)

June 14, 2003
Posted to the web June 16, 2003


President Mugabe yesterday warned that the MDC would never again be allowed
to hold a mass action aimed at toppling the legitimately-elected Government
of Zimbabwe as the State would crush any moves to usurp power through
unconstitutional means.

Addressing thousands of people at a rally at Esidhakeni Farm in Umguza
district, Cde Mugabe warned people against supporting the MDC in its bid to
oust the Government violently.

He said MDC leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai would never achieve his dream of
marching to State House.

"They said by Friday, MDC would be in power and Tsvangirai would be at State
House. I am glad he is in State House now (prison). That's the State House
he wanted," said Cde Mugabe.

Government would never watch while the MDC seized power through a mass
action. "We will never allow the MDC to hold another mass action. That will
never happen again. So take care, know where you belong and go where you
belong. You are Africans not British," he said.

Cde Mugabe said whites in Zimbabwe had never accepted a black government
even though the ruling party had extended a hand of reconciliation at

Government's gesture of reconciliation was meant to foster a spirit of unity
among blacks and whites. But whites "just wanted to take and refused to

"They never accepted our rule. They never accepted that Zimbabwe was an
independent country . . . they continued living in Rhodesia in their
imagination. Up to now, they are still Rhodies but this is Zimbabwe. They
should go to Rhodesia.

"They owe no allegiance to us. They owe no loyalty. They despise our
Government and more than that they want to destroy it. We refuse to be
destroyed. Instead we will destroy them," said President Mugabe.

He said whites did not deserve a share of the country's land because they
continued to undermine the Government, especially after it embarked on land

"Only yesterday, they were organising mass action with the British. You saw
what they did. They closed their industries, even schools were closed for a
week. So by Friday, MDC would be in power.

"To fold our hands as they arrive at State House. Befika besithi Mugabe suka
esihlalweni. Can that ever happen? Do they know who we are? Where we came
from? They shouldn't play with fire," said Cde Mugabe.

He said MDC was agitating for change to reverse the land reform programme.

"They say we will continue to stay away to change things. Zvinonzi chinja
maitiro. Isu maitiro edu ndeye independence. Giving back land to the people.
We cannot change because change is to give back to the whites.

"We are moving on the revolutionary path of satisfying our people with all
possible needs, the first being land.

"Who comes first on the list, uKhumalo or Pilosoff. Mina owami nguKhumalo.
uPilosoff angimazi. UPilosoff ngoka Tsvangirai," Cde Mugabe said.

He said young people in Zimbabwe should safeguard and cherish their
revolutionary heritage so that they can pass it on to future generations.

The young should guard against being used by foreign-sponsored organisations
for financial benefit.

"If you embrace their ideas for the sake of money, you will get hurt and
what for?" said Cde Mugabe.

The Government would assist people in times of need. Resettled farmers would
get tillage, fertiliser and seed while dams and irrigation schemes would be
established to assist new farmers.

Salaries of civil servants had been increased while allowances for chiefs
and other traditional leaders would also be looked into.

Cde Mugabe urged teachers to desist from engaging in strikes, as they were
detrimental to the education of children.

"Teachers, mastrikes please no. When you strike really, in your mind do you
think you are doing justice to your profession? Do you ever think of the
harm you are inflicting to the little children?

"I was a teacher myself and so it's a profession I value above my current
one (politics)," he said.

Cde Mugabe said Zimbabweans should cherish the legacy of the late
Vice-President Joshua Nkomo and remain united in the face of an onslaught on
the country by the British.

"Let us be one in the party. Remember the words of Umdala wethu esithi yena,
remain united and let the land question be resolved in the interests of our
people," the President said.

Cde Mugabe visited Umguza district as part of his national tour to assess
various developmental projects, recovery from last season's drought, the
state of Zanu-PF and explain the task of the land review committee.

Cde Mugabe, who was accompanied by Zanu-PF national commissar, Cde Elliot
Manyika, and the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Joseph Made, was met by the
Governor of Matabeleland North, Cde Obert Mpofu and other senior Government
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Comment from The Mercury (SA), 16 June

Tsvangirai creates a poser for his party

Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change is in a dilemma about how to react
to the continued detention of its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. MDC leaders had
considered embarking on another strike to demand Tsvangirai's release, but
opted to heed the advise of his lawyers - led by George Bizos - to refrain
from threatening any form of protest until the high court rules on
Tsvangirai's bail application. He is being held on a second charge of
treason. But militant members of the party are insisting that the MDC should
call for a national strike, similar to the one that shut down Zimbabwe for a
week, unless Tsvangirai is released. "It is a very tricky situation. If we
embark on some sort of action, there is the danger that we might aggravate
the situation against Tsvangirai and our party. If we do not do anything, we
are disappointing many of our supporters and sending a signal of
capitulation to Mugabe," said a top MDC official. After a series of meetings
this week, the MDC national executive committee decided to wait for the
outcome of tomorrow's proceedings in court before deciding on their next
move. "If they don't give him bail, then it means the hawks in the party may
carry the day after all. The hawks want immediate action now, either in the
form of another job stayaway or some other action," said another official.

MDC deputy president Gibson Sibanda, who had earlier threatened mass action
unless Tsvangirai was released, issued a guarded statement at the end of the
national executive meeting on Thursday urging Zimbabweans to remain calm in
the face of provocation. "We maintain that our president and members of MDC
arrested by the state agents are innocent. The arrests are nothing more than
harassment and intimidation of the MDC," the statement said. "We urge all
Zimbabweans to remain calm in the face of repeated attempts to provoke them
so as to get a pretext to crush their resolve through violence. We should
remain focused on our objectives and calculated in our actions." Tsvangirai
is spending his second weekend in jail after a high court judge said she
needed time to consider his bail application. Judge Susan Mavangira
adjourned the case to today after hearing arguments by Tsvangirai's lawyers
asking the court to release him on bail. The state has opposed bail and
wants Tsvangirai to be kept in custody for a month before it proceeds with
the new treason trial. Tsvangirai was arrested 10 days ago and charged with
treason for calling a hugely successful national strike which shut down
Zimbabwe for five days. The state charged him with treason for allegedly
calling for the overthrow of President Mugabe during the strike, dubbed "the
final push".

The opposition leader faced humiliation this week, being brought to court
dressed in khaki prison garb and wearing handcuffs and leg irons. Many legal
analysts have described Tsvangirai's arrest as unreasonable. When he was
arrested over the first treason charge against him, in which he was accused
of plotting to kill Mugabe, he did not spend a night in custody. The police
recorded a warning and caution statement and released him later the same day
despite the seriousness of the allegation. Analysts said his continued
imprisonment over a demonstration, which was within his rights to call, was
vindictive. Mavangira, the judge hearing the matter, has shown no urgency in
dealing with the case. She was promoted from the attorney-general's office
to the bench last year at the height of Mugabe's campaign of weeding
independent judges out of the judiciary and replacing them with cronies.
Legal analysts said they saw no reasonable justification why Mavangira
needed a whole weekend to decide on a mere bail application. "She is not
dealing with the substantive aspect of the case and I see no reason why she
cannot make a decision on bail on such a straight- forward matter," said a
lawyer who preferred anonymity because he appears before high court judges.
Another lawyer said that Tsvangirai's release on bail was by no means
guaranteed. "It will not be surprising if the judge agrees with the decision
of the lower court that Tsvangirai be jailed for a month until the next
hearing," he said. "It will also not be surprising if the judge does not
even decide on the matter, saying she still needs more time to make a

Mugabe has been making repeated statements about the case during his current
tour of rural areas in Zimbabwe. He has vowed repeatedly to "teach
Tsvangirai a lesson". Mugabe said his government would crack down harder
against the MDC if the party continued to defy his government. "We hope they
have learnt their lesson. If they haven't they will learn it the hard way
... the harder way," he was quoted as saying in Friday's state-run Herald
newspaper. Tsvangirai and two other senior MDC officials are currently
standing trial on a separate charge of treason arising from the alleged plot
to kill Mugabe. Tsvangirai has now made history by becoming the first
Zimbabwean to be slapped with double treason charges. Even during the
struggle against white minority rule, successive governments of Rhodesia
never charged a single nationalist leader with multiple treason charges.
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