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

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Zimbabwe judge broke into white homestead
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 17/06/2003)

A High Court judge broke into a white farmer's homestead in Zimbabwe after
snatching the kitchen keys from a bewildered maid, it emerged yesterday.

Mr Justice Ben Hlatshwayo took over Vernon Nicolle's home at Gwina farm near
Banket, 55 miles north-west of Harare, in breach of an order issued by his
own court.

Mr Nicolle, 59, is on holiday and will return to find that he has lost his
homestead on a farm owned by his family for more than 50 years.

"The judge wouldn't have broken into the house if my father had been in the
country," said Mr Nicolle's son, Chris, 32. "He waited until he was gone."

President Robert Mugabe's seizure of about 90 per cent of white-owned land
has started a chaotic scramble for the spoils among the black elite. Judges
and police have joined the rush for loot.

Mr Justice Hlatshwayo is among 12 judges who have either been allocated
farms or simply seized them. Two weeks ago, he ruled that the opposition's
general strike was illegal.

The following week, he drove on to Gwina farm in his official Mercedes. Mr
Nicolle said he grabbed the kitchen keys from a maid and entered the

But a locked internal door prevented the judge from reaching the bedrooms
and the living area. So he persuaded a farm worker to break down this door
before moving into the house.

Mr Justice Hlatshwayo had earlier seized a slice of Gwina farm and tried to
grow a maize crop. The wilting results of his farming efforts are described
as "miserable". He also tried to grow a winter wheat crop, but the seed
arrived too late for planting.

In January, the Nicolle family secured a High Court order banning Mr Justice
Hlatshwayo from the farm. They accuse the judge of ignoring the rulings of
his own court and are preparing to leave.

"We are moving out simply because it is impossible to get court orders
obeyed here," said Chris Nicolle, who lives on neighbouring Koodoo farm.

It was targeted for occupation by Wayne Bvudzijena, police assistant
commissioner and official police spokesman. He arrived on the farm and
announced that he would move into the large, thatched homestead with or
without Mr Nicolle's approval.

Under this pressure, the farmer let Mr Bvudzijena enter. The police officer
declined to respond yesterday.

Mr Justice Hlatshwayo, a veteran of the war against white rule, was promoted
from legal obscurity when Mr Mugabe sought to pack the High Court bench in

He denies that the court order issued against him is still valid and was not
available for comment yesterday.

A former law lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, Mr Justice Hlatshwayo
served on the official commission charged with drawing up a new constitution
in 1999.

Critics said this body, handpicked by Mr Mugabe, was packed with supporters
of the ruling Zanu-PF party. The commission's proposed constitution was
resoundingly defeated in a referendum.

During his two years on the bench, Harvard-educated Mr Justice Hlatshwayo
has infuriated the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

When the party petitioned the courts to overturn the election result in a
parliamentary seat where Zanu-PF gangs had tortured one MDC supporter to
death, the judge dismissed its application.

Instead, he praised the "thorough and systematic" campaign of the Zanu-PF
candidate in Mberengwa East.

Several members of the Nicolle family have already left Zimbabwe and the
remainder are preparing to.
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Mugabe Panel Hears Complaints Over Farm Seizures
Peta Thornycroft
16 Jun 2003, 20:28 UTC

In Zimbabwe, a land audit committee appointed by President Robert Mugabe is
hearing evidence from people affected by the country's land reform program.

The latest high-profile personality to take possession of a farm is High
Court Judge Ben Hlatshawayo. He has been accused by the former owner, Vernon
Nicolle, of breaking and entering into his home last Thursday.

Judge Hlatshwayo was appointed to the bench following the purge of the
judiciary more than two years ago.

According to Mr. Nicolle's family and his lawyer, Judge Hlatshwayo
instructed a worker to break down the door into Mr. Nicolle's locked home.

The public face of Zimbabwe's police force is Assistant Commissioner Wayne
Bvudzijena, who is in charge of press liaison. He is also accused of
illegally taking over a farm homestead last Thursday. The takeover took
place even though the owner of the farm has a High Court ruling allowing him
to remain on his farm and grow crops.

Mr. Bvudzijena and Judge Hlatshwayo were accompanied on their missions last
Thursday by senior policemen.

Neither of the two public officials were available for comment.

On Sunday a group of youths who claimed to be from the ruling party invaded
a farm near Harare that has been leased by an opposition member of
parliament, Roy Bennett.

The raid came about two days after President Mugabe said Mr. Bennett was not
welcome in Zimbabwe and his possessions should be taken.

According to Mr. Bennett, about 500 people, his workers and their families,
have fled the farm in terror.

Mr. Bennett says the invaders have begun killing his cattle and stealing
food belonging to the workers.

Mr. Bennett has been arrested several times since he was elected to
parliament two years ago. He was tortured in police cells earlier this year,
and has filed charges against government security forces.

In several other areas of the country, leading ruling party officials,
including at least one cabinet minister, are moving armed youth onto several
white owned farms, to force the owners off.

Since farm invasions began three years ago, 90 percent of white commercial
farmers have been forcibly evicted from their properties.
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The Herald

New national youth training centre established

Herald Reporter
THE Government has established Eagle Youth Training Centre in Manicaland
exclusively for girls to be trained under the National Youth Service

The centre opened this month with an enrolment of 500 students.

This was said by the Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment
Creation, Cde Elliot Manyika, when he addressed a leadership conference on
HIV-Aids and gender issues in Harare last week.

He said the establishment of the centre was an affirmative move aimed at
encouraging the girl child to undergo national service and be empowered with
relevant skills needed for self-sustenance.

"We realised that a lot of girls were reluctant to enrol at the same
institutions with their male counterparts. We then decided to set up an
institution which will cater for girls only," said Cde Manyika.

The announcement by Cde Manyika comes in the wake of plans to establish a
Women's University in Africa in Marondera.

The minister said that although the Government had undertaken deliberate
efforts to empower women since independence, women's rights continued to be
infringed upon, often without recourse to the law or other avenues of
redress because of the unequal power relations in the private domain.

There was need for people to desist from using culture as a vehicle to
continue oppressing women and deny them a meaningful role in the processes
and programmes of national development.

"Although women constitute over 50 percent of the population, women hold 14
percent of positions in politics and decision-making," Cde Manyika said.

Despite the Government's indigenisation drive and other economic empowerment
endeavours, there was still need to intensify efforts to economically
empower women, the minister said.

He said it was sad to note that women were the most vulnerable group when it
comes to contracting HIV.

Cde Manyika said the Government was concerned by the increasing cases of
domestic violence, sexual abuse of young girls and divorces.

Zimbabwe is signatory to various declarations, conventions and protocols
aimed at creating an enabling environment for the attainment of equality
between women and men.

These include the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women, International Convention on Civil and
Political Rights and the Beijing Declaration.
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The Herald

‘Involve House in selection of judges’

Herald Reporter
A parliamentary committee has recommended that Parliament must be involved
in the selection of High Court and Supreme Court judges.

The portfolio committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs said in
a report presented to Parliament last week that the House should have the
final vote on judges.

"The committee recommends that Parliament, upon receiving the names of
persons due to be appointed as judges, approve of such names with a simple
majority of members present and voting in the House," said the committee
chairman, Cde Shadreck Chipanga (Zanu-PF, Makoni East), who presented the

"Two thirds of the membership of the House should be required to disapprove
of any appointment."

The committee recommended that two thirds of the House should be required
for the removal of any judge from the bench provided a tribunal set up by
the President or the Chief Justice under the Constitution recommends that
such a judge be removed.

Presently the Judicial Service Commission recommends names of possible
candidates to the President for appointment to the bench.

A High Court or Supreme Court judge may be removed from office only for
inability to discharge the functions of his office, whether arising from
infirmity of body or mind or any other cause or for misbehaviour, according
to the Constitution.

The Constitution empowers the President to appoint a tribunal to inquire
into the conduct of the Chief Justice and make recommendations on action to
be taken.

In the case of any other judge of the Supreme or High Court, the Chief
Justice advises the President that the question of removal from office of
the judge concerned ought to be investigated and the President shall appoint
a tribunal to investigate the matter.

"The committee, however, notes that most of the recommendations as set forth
on this report will require constitutional amendments and that it is within
the mandate of the House to amend the same to give effect to the
recommendations," said Cde Chipanga.

He said the committee found that the judges in Zimbabwe were the lowest paid
in southern Africa and their salaries were not related to their status and

The committee recommended that the judiciary be in control of its own budget
to ensure its independence.
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The Cape Times

      Hangings a bid to sow fear, MDC claims
      June 17, 2003

      Harare: Four convicted murderers have been hanged and the opposition
fears the executions were intended to intimidate its jailed leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai, who is facing treason charges.

      The government has said the opposition is trying to exploit the
executions at the Harare Central Prison for propaganda purposes.

      Tsvangirai is accused of plotting to assassinate President Robert
Mugabe last year and is on trial for treason, a charge that carries the
death penalty. On June 6, he was arrested on charges of trying to overthrow
Mugabe through street protests.

      Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change has condemned the

      "It is reasonable to assume this was a deliberate show of brute force
designed to intimidate Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC," said MDC legal
secretary David Coltart.

      A lower court has ordered that Tsvangirai be held until July 10 unless
he is granted bail by the High Court. Tsvangirai, who has emerged as the
biggest challenge to Mugabe's 23-year-old hold on power, says he is a victim
of political harassment.

      Justice ministry officials said two of the four convicts executed had
been sentenced to death six years ago. More than 70 people have been
executed since Mugabe came to power in 1980.

      Zimbabwe has kept the death penalty for murder and treason, although
the government said in the mid-1990s that it was ready to review the law. -
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Business Day

Mbeki fuels new hope of early exit for Mugabe

Amid world pressure, Zimbabwean leader is thought to want a way out
PRESIDENT Thabo Mbeki's bold prediction that a political settlement would be
reached in Zimbabwe within a year has revived suggestions that President
Robert Mugabe plans to leave office before the end of his current term and
that a transitional government is in the offing in Zimbabwe.

Mbeki told the final session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa summit
in Durban : "We will have an agreement in Zimbabwe between government and
the opposition about all the challenges that face Zimbabwe."

Mbeki's prediction follows last week's rebuke of Harare by US Secretary of
State Colin Powell and United Nations SecretaryGeneral Kofi Annan, who
jointly condemned the "situation where opposition leaders trying to express
their dissent to the government are being detained" an apparent reference to
the continued incarceration of Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai on fresh treason charges and Mugabe's brutal suppression of
recent peaceful protests.

Mbeki, together with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Malawian
President Bakili Muluzi visited Zimbabwe last month to urge Mugabe to start
talks with the opposition a mission believed to have since been followed up
with more lowkey diplomacy.

It is apparently from these latter discussions that Mugabe has indicated
more firmly his desire to leave office soon and to resolve his country's
biting political and economic crisis through talks.

Asked for comment, Paul Themba-Nyathi, spokesman for the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), said yesterday that Mbeki's Durban statement
was not "wide off the mark", adding: "I hope he (Mbeki) is very careful
about the assurances he is given by Mr Mugabe."

Sources in Harare said Mugabe was "tired of trying to keep at bay the local
and international forces opposing him" and wanted to leave once the MDC
recognised his presidency. It was also envisaged that there would be a
transitional arrangement before a fresh presidential election.

"Depending on how the MDC behaves in the next few weeks and whether they
drop their court challenge to his leadership, we could see renewed talking
at the highest levels, ultimately leading to a rerun of the presidential
election to re-establish executive legitimacy. That much (the need for a new
election) is beginning to be pretty well understood here," the source said.

There were tentative signs from Zimbabwean officials at the WEF summit that
talks were indeed taking place at low levels, despite Tsvangirai's arrest
and continuing emotive rhetoric on both sides of the country's political
divide. With Jethro Goko
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Daily News

      Mugabe backs Mnangagwa

      6/17/2003 8:30:08 AM (GMT +2)

      Sydney Masamvu

      PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is believed to have told his South African
counterpart Thabo Mbeki that he is considering stepping down in the next 12
months and that he wants Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to take
over from him, it was learnt yesterday.

      According to well-placed sources, Mugabe indicated in a telephone
conversation with Mbeki last Thursday that he was working out a transitional
mechanism that would allow a new leadership in Zimbabwe in the next 12

      The 79-year old leader also indicated that he wanted his protege
Mnangagwa to take over as the leader of ZANU PF, which would strongly
position him to take over as President of Zimbabwe, the sources said.

      The two leaders are also said to have discussed the arrest and
detention by the government of opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

      “President Robert Mugabe had a conversation with President Thabo
Mbeki, to whom he indicated that he would would work out a transitional
arrangement which will come into being in the next 12 months,” a source
privy to details of the discussions between the two presidents said

      The source added: “He (Mugabe) also however indicated that he wanted
Emmerson Mnangagwa to take over.”

      Mbeki’s spokesperson, Bheki Khumalo, could not be reached yesterday
for comment on the matter.

      South African Foreign Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa refused to
speak on the issue, saying discussions between Mbeki and Mugabe were

      “Discussions between Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Mugabe are a
confidential matter and we do not divulge anything, that is the position,”
Mamoepa said by phone from Pretoria.

      Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and his permanent secretary George
Charamba could not be reached for comment. They were not reachable on their
mobile phones.

      The sources said Mugabe had during his discussion with Mbeki also said
that he was ready to resume dialogue with the MDC, but he had indicated his
strong displeasure at the opposition party’s decision to challenge in court
his controversial re-election last year and its call two weeks ago for
anti-government protests.

      Mugabe had however indicated he was prepared to accept a rerun of the
presidential ballot if Mnangagwa took over the leadership of the ruling ZANU
PF party, the sources said.

      They said the Zimbabwean leader had also told Mbeki that he hoped
Tsvangirai’s detention would influence the MDC to resume dialogue with ZANU

      Tsvangirai is on remand in prison after he was arrested two weeks ago,
on the last day of mass anti-Mugabe protests that shut down Zimbabwe for
five days.

      Tsvangirai and his MDC party say the protests were intended to push
Mugabe to step down or to agree to negotiations to end Zimbabwe’s political

      The government says the demonstrations were an attempt to stage a coup
against it. Tsvangirai is already standing trial for treason over earlier
allegations that he plotted to murder Mugabe ahead of last year’s
presidential election. He denies the charge.

      The sources said Mbeki’s conversation with Mugabe had spurred the
South African president to boldly predict at the World Economic Forum Africa
that a political settlement would be found in Zimbabwe within a year.

      Mbeki told the final session of the summit in Durban, where African
politicians and businessmen reiterated their support for the New Partnership
for Africa’s Development, that “a resolution to the Zimbabwean crisis
through dialogue” would be found in the coming year.

      MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube yesterday said his party was
ready to resume unconditional dialogue to resolve the issue of legitimacy.

      “What the MDC seeks is an unconditional dialogue to address the issue
of legitimacy, which is subject to negotiation,” said Ncube.

      A long-time confidante of Mugabe, Mnangagwa last week told the
state-owned Herald newspaper that he had no ambition to succeed his mentor.

      The tough ZANU PF politician, whose name has been mentioned several
times in connection with Mugabe’s successor, has made statements in the past
distancing himself from the country’s highest office.

      But ZANU PF officials say Vice-President Simon Muzenda has also thrown
his weight behind Mnangagwa, reportedly indicating to a meeting of the party
’s senior leaders that he preferred Zimbabwe’s Speaker of Parliament to take
over from Mugabe.

      Observers also pointed out that last week’s Herald article, which
chronicled Mnangagwa’s political history, could mark the beginning of an
attempt to market him for the Presidency.

      Considered one of ZANU PF’s tough men, Mnangagwa is seen by his
critics as too hard and uncompromising to become head of the nation.
Mnangagwa denies the charges, calling himself a principled man but one who
is also “as soft as wool”.

      Mnangagwa has also been cited by a United Nations committee that
investigated the looting of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of
the Congo during armed conflict in that country.

      The Zimbabwe government has dismissed the UN report.
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Daily News

      Farm leased by Roy Bennet invaded

      6/17/2003 8:22:27 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      RULING ZANU PF supporters have invaded a Ruwa farm leased by
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislator for Chimanimani
Roy Bennet, it was learnt this week.

      An official at the farm told the Daily News that the property was
invaded on Sunday afternoon by about 200 war veterans and ruling party
supporters believed to be from Epworth near Harare.

      Robert Tambo, a clerk at the property, which is known as Bigtull Farm,
said: “They are still camped here. They came here at around 1 pm and they
broke into the guard room and confiscated a gun from the guard who was
manning the farm.

      “They indicated to him that they wanted to kill one beast and took
away 50 kilogrammes of maize from the guard room.”

      He said the group wanted to confiscate the storeroom keys so that they
could take more bags of maize, but the guard managed to escape with the

      Tambo said the war veterans spent the whole of Sunday singing
revolutionary songs and dancing inside the farm manager’s yard, but did not
assault any of the farm workers.

      “We do not know what these people are up to. They initially came on
Saturday and demanded to see Brown, the assistant farm manager, whom they
advised that they would take over the farm after the harvesting of crops,”
Tambo said.

      “We are really surprised because they announced their intention to
take over the farm later and not now. Farm workers are now living in fear
and are no longer sure of their fate,” he said.

      About 150 farm workers fled the farm and are living in the bush
because of the invasion of the Ruwa property, Tambo told the Daily News.

      The Bigtull Farm clerk said the war veterans were alleging that
Bennet, who has been barred from visiting his Charleswood Estate in
Chimanimani by ruling party supporters who are occupying it, had many
properties in Zimbabwe and these must be seized because the opposition
member of Parliament opposed the government’s policies.

      Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association
secretary-general Endy Mhlanga yesterday said he was unaware of the invasion
of Bigtull Farm, saying there had been no new farm seizures by war veterans.

      “I am not aware of this and as far as I know, there are no new
invasions at all. In fact, if there is any new wave of land seizures, this
is lawful. In the meantime, I will do my own investigations,” Mhlanga said.

      The invasion of Bigtull Farm came only three days after President
Robert Mugabe warned of the seizure of land belonging to farmers not loyal
to his government.

      Mugabe told a rally at Nyakomba Irrigation Scheme in Nyanga last
Thursday that white farmers such as Bennet risked losing their farms because
they supported the MDC, Zimbabwe’s main opposition party.

      “I do not want to hear that Bennet and De Klerk have land because they
want to force you to have a government that you do not want that is led by
Morgan Tsvangirai ( MDC leader),” Mugabe told ZANU PF supporters.

      MDC shadow minister for lands and agriculture Renson Gasela last week
warned that fresh farm invasions would further devastate the agricultural

      He said grain output would be significantly reduced this year by the
government’s controversial land reform programme, under which the state has
seized most white-owned land to resettle black peasants and aspiring
commercial farmers.

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Daily News

      ZANU PF activists bar workers from premises

      6/17/2003 8:23:04 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      ABOUT 200 workers and managers of Atlanta Bricks in Harare’s
high-density suburb of Dzivaresekwa have been barred from the company’s
premises for the past two weeks by suspected ruling ZANU PF supporters who
accuse them of having participated in mass action called by the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

      Sources within the company told the Daily News that more than 20
people claiming to be ruling party supporters and war veterans were camped
at the Atlanta Bricks factory and were preventing workers and management
from entering the premises.

      The group, led by a woman known as Pazvakarambwa who claims to be the
war veterans’ commander for the area, have been threatening to take over the
company, the sources said.

      The sources added that Atlanta Bricks was one of the companies that
remained closed during the five-day MDC mass action at the beginning of the
month, although the closure was the result of failure to secure fuel and

      Both fuel and cement are in short supply.

      “By coincidence, the MDC called the stayaway that week and this
resulted in the company being accused of heeding the MDC mass action,” a
senior official at the company said.

      “We need at least 700 litres of diesel to fully operate on a day and
due to the shortage of the commodity on the market, we at times go for days
without any supplies,” the official added.

      Atlanta Bricks produces at least 100 000 bricks on a normal day.

      The company official said the group of ZANU PF supporters are
preventing anyone from entering the company premises.
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Daily News

      MPs sue government for $9 million over detention

      6/17/2003 8:23:34 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      TWO Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) members of Parliament and 10
Harare party supporters are suing the state for nearly $9 million over their
detention in February on allegations that they held an illegal meeting in
the suburb of Mabvuku.

      The 12 filed their claims in the High Court at the end of last week
and are asking for $725 000 each as compensation for “unlawful arrest and
detention and degrading and inhumane treatment”.

      Those involved in the suit are opposition legislators Tendai Biti, the
MP for Harare East, Paul Madzore, the MDC legislator for Glen View, and 10
MDC activists from various suburbs in Harare.

      Cited as respondents in the case are Home Affairs Minister Kembo
Mohadi, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and a detective assistant
inspector Mapuranga of the police Law and Order Section in Harare.

      The 12 opposition party members want the respondents to pay interest
from the date of the summons to the date of the payment and to pay the costs
of the lawsuit.

      The 12 were accused of violating the controversial and draconian
Public Order and Security Act (POSA) by holding a meeting at Kamunhu
Shopping centre in the Harare suburb of Mabvuku on 8 February, without
police permission.

      Under POSA, groups wishing to hold public meetings must first notify
the police.

      The MDC activists were arrested as they drove away from the venue of
the meeting.

      Their lawyer, Lewis Uriri of Honey and Blankenberg, said his clients
were arrested “without reasonable suspicion and just cause” and were
detained at Mabvuku Police Station.

      Biti and Madzore were later transferred and detained at Matapi Police
Station in Mbare. The legislators were moved to Harare Central Police
Station, where they were detained until they were taken to the Harare
magistrates’ court on their initial remand.

      A prosecutor at the remand hearing admitted that the state had no
valid grounds to place the 12 men and women on remand.

      Uriri said when he indicated to a senior public prosecution at the
magistrates’ court that he intended to challenge the state’s prerogative to
place the two MPs and opposition activists on remand, the prosecutor
conceded that she would “not allow my prosecutors to argue inarguable cases”

      “The detention of our clients Biti and Madzore at Matapi Police
Station in Mbare for offences allegedly committed in Mabvuku goes a long way
to illustrate the callousness and vindictiveness of the members of the
Zimbabwe Republic Police involved,” Uriri said in a notice of intention to
sue dated 13 February 2003.

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Daily News

      Winter maize project still to take off ground

      6/17/2003 8:24:47 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      MASVINGO – A Chinese company contracted to clear 150 000 hectares of
land in Masvingo’s Nuanetsi Ranch in preparation for a winter maize crop is
yet to begin work, four months after the project should have commenced, it
was learnt this week.

      The programme is supposed to ease Zimbabwe’s severe food shortages,
the result of drought and a controversial government land reform programme
that has slashed food production by more than 50 percent in the past year.

      Masvingo provincial administrator Alphonse Chikurira yesterday said
the government’s giant winter maize project was yet to take off because the
contractor had not yet moved onto the site.

      Chinese Water and Electrical Company won the tender to clear the land
and grow crops on behalf of the Zimbabwean government.

      The Agriculture Ministry believes the project will restore the country
’s status as the continent’s breadbasket, lost because of a decline in
agricultural output since the government began land seizures in 2000.

      Chikurira told The Daily News: “The Chinese are still setting up a
camp. They have not yet started clearing the land. Some of the machinery and
equipment is still to arrive and no workers have been recruited for the

      The Chinese company was supposed to have moved onto the site by 1
March this year.

      Chikurira however said a winter maize crop had been planted on 260
hectares of land cleared by the Agricultural Rural Development Authority
(ARDA) and the District Development Fund.

      Sources within ARDA said the contract between the Zimbabwean and
Chinese governments had not been finalised and this had delayed the
implementation of the project.

      Meanwhile, experts in the agricultural industry say the Masvingo
province’s winter crop production has dropped by over 70 percent due to the
chaotic land reform programme.

      According to officials from the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU), the
production of winter crops, especially wheat, has been drastically reduced
because farmers resettled in the province under the land reform programme
have been unable to plant the crop due to lack of skills and resources.

      “A serious shortage of wheat and other winter crops is looming as new
farmers have failed to plant them,” said a CFU official.

      “Instead of increasing production, the land reform programme has
reduced production,” the official added.

      In the Masvingo East commercial farming area, once the main producer
of wheat in the province, resettled farmers have not planted any crops.
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Daily News

      Exodus hits Harare court

      6/17/2003 8:26:24 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      BUSINESS at the Harare Magistrates’ Court almost ground to a halt
yesterday, with court officials locked in meetings with Justice Ministry
permanent secretary David Mangota over the resignation of five of Harare’s
seven regional magistrates.

      Sources at the courts told The Daily News that five Harare regional
magistrates last week handed in their resignations because of poor
conditions of service.

      The sources said Mangota spent most of yesterday attempting to
convince the magistrates to rescind their resignations.

      The magistrates are said to be insisting on the immediate review of
their salaries and working conditions.

      There was little business at the courts yesterday because of Mangota’s
meeting with the magistrates, with only one magistrate, Garikai Churu,
presiding over initial remand cases.

      A court official who spoke on condition he was not named yesterday
said Mangota had failed to persuade the magistrates to rescind their

      “Mangota met senior magistrates, trying to talk them into not
resigning,” the official said. “He failed to change their minds.”

      A magistrate who is among those who have handed in their resignations
told The Daily News: “We are demanding better salaries and improved
conditions of service. How can a police inspector with an “O” level
certificate drive a car when a magistrate is using public transport?”

      The magistrate said the Ministry of Justice had been told at yesterday
’s meeting that magistrates should also be given cars as part of their
fringe benefits. But the magistrate said Mangota was non-committal on the

      Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who last week promised to
investigate the critical staffing levels in his ministry, referred all
questions relating to the exodus of magistrates to Mangota.

      Mangota refused to discuss the issue, saying he could not talk about
the resignations over the telephone.

      “Fax your questions and I will deal with them,’’ he said.

      The resignation of the Harare regional magistrates comes amid reports
that five of Harare’s 12 provincial magistrates have also indicated that
they plan to leave the courts because of low salaries and poor conditions of

      One magistrate said: “We lodge at accused persons’ houses, ride with
them on public transport and this breeds corruption in the justice delivery

      Chief magistrate Samuel Kudya, who has not responded to questions
faxed to him two months ago about staffing levels in his department, in
April said a backlog was accumulating at a faster rate at the courts because
about 57 magisterial posts were vacant.

      The resignation of regional magistrates is expected to further
increase the backlog of cases, which legal experts said would severely knock
the country’s justice delivery system.
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      Correct mistakes now

      6/17/2003 8:21:19 AM (GMT +2)

      THE government seems to be finally waking up from its delusional
slumber to realise the destruction and chaos inflicted by its ruinous
policies on Zimbabwe’s food security.

      Addressing villagers last Friday at Umguza, about 40 kilometres
north-west of Bulawayo, President Robert Mugabe virtually admitted what most
Zimbabweans, with the possible exception of the mandarins at Munhumutapa
Building, have known all along.

      And that is that the government’s fast-track land reform programme was
a haphazard exercise, under which no one sat down to plan how resettled
farmers would secure financial and other resources to ensure that they put
the land they were allocated to good use.

      Mugabe told the Umguza villagers that more than $7 billion raised by
the government through agribonds to finance resettled farmers ended up
lining the pockets of a few rich firms.

      The reason?

      The government somehow neglected to provide guidelines to ensure that
the money, itself not nearly enough to fund those allocated land under the
resettlement programme, reached the intended beneficiaries.

      The President told villagers: “The commercial banks were not given
guidelines, so we had a situation where companies like FSI Agricom applied
for the money raised through the sale of bonds and were given over $4
billion out of the $7.2 billion raised . . . yet the money was intended for
resettled farmers.”

      It is hoped that now that none other than Mugabe is admitting some of
the mistakes made in the course of the land reform programme, the government
will take a long hard look at this exercise, which has proved to be so
costly to the entire nation.

      The handling of the agribonds is a clear example of all that is wrong
with the plunder and chaos dubbed land reform by the government.

      There was no attempt to plan, neither was there an appreciation of the
potential consequences of decisions made, as indeed is the case with many of
the government’s ventures.

      Secondly, it should also be clear to Zimbabwe’s leaders that whatever
little resources were available were not used to support the resettled
farmers they were intended for, but were instead gobbled up by a few
well-connected individuals and groups in the government and the private

      It has already become apparent that the best farms seized under the
land reform programme were grabbed by senior government officials, their
wives, relatives and friends in the private sector. Most of them have in
fact seized more than one property, in clear violation of the government’s
stated policy of “one person one farm”.

      Clearly, what the government achieved through its land reforms was
dispossession of white farmers but not the empowerment of the black
villagers haphazardly allocated land.

      Merely dumping villagers on virgin land with little or no resources
cannot be called empowerment.

      Mugabe should not just admit that the government made some mistakes
during the land reforms. He should muster the courage to admit that the
whole fast-track land reform exercise was a moment of madness that should
never have been allowed in the first place.

      He should move with haste to reverse the costly error by implementing
just and transparent land reforms that can be supported by all Zimbabweans
and the international community. This Mugabe must do if only for the sake of
his and our children.

      Admitting to having made only one small mistake when the whole land
reform exercise was faulty and based on misconceptions, will not put food
back on the tables of long-suffering Zimbabweans.

      And likewise, trying to force banks to abandon prudent lending
procedures by demanding that they dish out money to villagers who do not
have title deeds, or anything else to offer as collateral, will just not
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      Zimbabwe is now a political orphanage

      6/17/2003 8:24:07 AM (GMT +2)

      Tanonoka J Whande

      ZIMBABWE Republic Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena has surely
disavowed the application of laws in Zimbabwe. Hampered by filial loyalty to
President Robert Mugabe he, like Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, has
completely discarded any pretence to his professional obligations.

      He is just one of the numerous Mugabe parodists who, along with their
benefactor, preoccupy themselves with the intimidation of the citizenry,
ignore the continuing political violence and actually believe that they and
their leader are still of some use to this country.

      Meanwhile, the Executive, the police, the army and others continue to
gobble up our scarce resources, under the guise of salaries yet none of them
is serving the interests of the people. Instead, they insult us at burial
ceremonies by constantly muttering something about law and order, which they
collectively destroyed for their convenience.

      Zimbabweans continue to work within the confines of the law but our
President tells the world we are law-breakers. Yet Mugabe himself does not
even respect the decisions reached and passed by his own judges.

      Recently, both he and Bvudzijena were buzzing like bees around a
threatened hive as they sought to misinform not only Zimbabweans, but the
international community, that both the stayaway and the demonstrations were
illegal since they were aimed at removing a legitimately elected government.
My, oh, my! First, Mugabe and his government are being challenged in court
as the people seek judicial confirmation of the last presidential election.

      Secondly, there is nothing illegal about a political party, civic
group, citizens or any individual seeking the removal of Mugabe or any
leader from the Presidency, as long as it is done within the law. I was
dismayed when the President flashed on his charm like high beams and spoke
to his favourite audience, the South Africans, through the SABC. With his id
and ego up front as usual, he used “we” in reference to himself and said:
“We want our people to be free, express their views and feel that the
country belongs to them, that they have a stake.”

      Millions of people in this beautiful country have been reduced to
being spectators to the shenanigans and antics of this government and its
uncaring leader. Even our enterprising local thieves have been reduced to
stealing stressed-out cabbages and onions at Mbare and Renkini bus termini.

      There is nothing left to steal in Zimbabwe any more. Shamefully, even
the national airline can no longer afford to fly people to tourist centres
within the country. Further to that, the people of Zimbabwe expressed the
view that they no longer want the incumbent President, but he is still

      It is because of him that we are not free, that we cannot express our
view through the ballot box. Instead, we are captives in our own country. He
denies us a stake in this nation. The heart of the matter is that because of
this leadership, our beautiful Zimbabwe is now a miserable, inadequate
political orphanage. It is now a massive refugee camp for locals running
away from themselves.

      We have a selfish leader, no caring government, no police to serve and
protect us and our army brutalises us. Yet nothing can be more dangerous
      a people who have nothing to lose. And today Zimbabweans have nothing
to lose.

      What stake do we have when Mugabe lets his goons kidnap corpses and
beat up mourners because the deceased belonged to an opposition party? What
freedom do we have when we are denied free elections and are, up to today,
forced to accept a defeated candidate as a President?

      The people of this country realise that there is a lot of work to be
done to reclaim our political imperatives and they are willing to clean up
the mess caused by Mugabe. But he and his ZANU PF stand in the way, as
people continue to suffer when they could actually be prospering.

      Masola waDabudabu (Daily News 31 May, 2003) raised an interesting
spectre when he told Mugabe that Soweto beckons. Boris Yeltsin of Russia
said the same thing to the Americans when then Soviet president Mikhail
Gorbachev was receiving monumental accolades abroad and none at home.

      Yeltsin told the Americans to give Gorbachev a job in the United
States and leave the Russians to straighten out their country. The Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation told us that the South Africans temporarily stopped
weeping around Walter Sisulu’s coffin to give an appreciative, noisy cheer
of admiration for Mugabe.

      I do not believe there are any deranged Africans who can ignore the
corpse of a loved one during a funeral just to pause so as to berate and
insult people, like what happens here.

      However, the President told the South Africans that he wanted our
people to be free 23 years on.

      If he really feels more appreciated in South Africa he may want to
approach President Thabo Mbeki or just invade and set up a small Bantustan
where he can go and live with his Green Bombers, Patrick Nyaruwata’s version
of war veterans, the Chipangano brigade, Shuvai Mahofa and her dancing women
’s league and with his erstwhile Pan-Africanist Congress comrades.

      From what I have noticed, it is quite safe to assume that Zimbabweans
really have no further use for their President. It does not seem there is
any more respectful affection for him since he has become an obligation upon
the country. Yet he drones on and on about freedom and independence – two of
the things he is denying the citizens of Zimbabwe.

      If perceptions are shaped by one’s history, as I believe they are, I
do not believe that our South African brothers and sisters, so soon after
snapping off their chains of bondage, can ever support an African whose
full-time occupation is to subjugate and oppress other Africans on this

      South Africans are just not like that but they can have our President
if they have some use for him. As for us, it is quite clear now that
independence and sovereignty brought us all this misery; we therefore
eagerly await the day this independence and sovereignty will end in Zimbabwe
so we can start to enjoy our freedom.

      Tanonoka Joseph Whande is a Zvishavane-based writer.
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      No improvement in cash supply despite promises

      6/17/2003 8:17:42 AM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporter

      LOCAL banks yesterday said there had been no improvement in the supply
of bank notes, despite promises by the central bank to inject $24 billion in
cash into the market from the middle of this month.

      Officials in the banking sector said some financial institutions were
waiting as late as 9 pm every day to collect cash directly from Fidelity
Printers, a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

      Outgoing central bank Governor Leonard Tsumba has said Fidelity
Printers would run “three shifts” to meet the huge demand for cash.

      He said billions of dollars of $500 bills would be released into the
market in the middle of this month, but banking executives this week said
the money was only expected towards the end of this month.

      “Money is only expected on the 22nd (of June),” one executive said.
“Cash is only expected to trickle in just about then.”

      Central bank secretary Prince Machaya was not immediately available
for comment yesterday. He was said to be in meetings.

      But a central bank official said the “money would be churned on a
phased basis”.

      Zimbabwean banks have been battling severe shortages of bank notes
since late April and have been unable to meet consumer demands for cash.

      The shortages have led to the development of a black market for local
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      Chronicle article on Pius Ncube fabricated

      6/17/2003 8:14:24 AM (GMT +2)

      The article by The Chronicle on 22 May 2003 has misrepresented me and
told lies.

      Seeing United States Secretary of State Colin Powell was not the
reason for my going to the United States. I went there on a human rights

      The meeting with Powell lasted 25 minutes, not two hours, as The
Chronicle reported.

      It was a courtesy call, arranged for me by some of my friends who are
concerned about human rights and peace processes globally, and the peace
process in Zimbabwe in particular.

      There was no discussion about effecting a change of government in
Zimbabwe, but there was concern about the humanitarian crisis of starvation.
I affirmed that feeding programmes by the World Food Programme, in both
rural and urban areas, were still necessary in Zimbabwe.

      I also urged them to feed the hungry in towns, who amount to about
three million.

      I received no reward at all from Powell as is implied. It is also not
true that I preach politics from the pulpit.

      I preach that all of us are made in the image of God and our
government has a duty to respect us.

      The Chronicle also invented lies alleging in April that I was about to
begin a new political party. I am not a politician but a church man and a
defender of human rights.

      The Busybody column of 24 May 2003 implied discussions concerning
toppling President Mugabe.

      God knows this is untrue because that topic never came up. The idea of
“clandestine meetings with the MDC members known to hate Tsvangison” is mere
fabrication, in which The Chronicle specialises.

      All in all, I am a patriot and I love my country. I don’t see myself
inviting a foreign country to intervene in our Zimbabwean affairs.

      Pius A Ncube
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      Why the ‘final push’ was not a failure

      6/17/2003 8:12:43 AM (GMT +2)

      Kennedy Samanyanga

      The epilogue of the week-long Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
demonstrations against President Robert Mugabe’s government’s failure to
haul the economy from its downturn ignited fabulously crafted propaganda by
The Herald.

      The paper described the demonstrations as a catastrophic failure
because heavily armed police and soldiers forcibly forestalled the category
of action, which was supposed to have taken place. This description of the
situation that prevailed is directly opposed to the intellectual diction of
failure. Robert Schuller, the author of possibility thinking, described
failure as success on its own.

      He argued that for someone to moot an idea, develop, commit his or her
time and energy and pool resources towards a project, is on its own a

      He further said the fact that he/she does not clutch the intended goal
in their palms does not make them a failure because the amount of effort
exerted in the first place is by far greater than that needed when this
person tries again.

      Pronouncing the demonstrations a failure or a flop is rather absurd
and devoid of substance, for so-called failure did not come about by virtue
of poor planning or lack of vision by the MDC leadership.

      Rather, it was because of misdirected collective efforts by the police
and the army, who were under instructions to usurp by all possible means the
people’s peaceful expressions of their indignation against a heartless

      The outcome of the demonstrations saw Morgan Tsvangirai giving a clear
testimony of what leadership really entails, by mobilising and guiding the
people’s intentions and efforts towards a curve that magnified their
resentment of Mugabe’s government.

      The fact that what had been planned was partially executed only to be
thwarted by Zanu PF’s forces makes Tsvangirai a victor, who has proved
beyond reasonable doubt the clear distinction between who is calling the
shots in this country and who is not.

      Whatever he tells the people to do they jubilantly espouse without
hesitation, but if Mugabe gives the same instructions, he reinforces them
with the police and the army, which shows how much he realised the futility
of his power and the command of that power.

      This analysis makes Tsvangirai a very significant persona in the eyes
of Zimbabweans, as an epitome of the change they clamour for.

      If Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and his lieutenant Munyaradzi
Huni’s indiscreet post-mortem of the demonstrations tell them they were a
flop, by comparison I would like to challenge the duo to make another
post-mortem based on the success they have scored as a party and government,
during the course of the demonstrations.

      In this assignment they should include:

      The success by industry and commerce;

      Success by small and medium-scale enterprise;

      Profits posted by the banking sector;

      National economic growth margins;

      Success in the human rights record;

      How many hearts they have won;

      How much they have improved their international image.

      I would also guide the two lads by telling them that the only success
that ZANU PF scored was the favour of bringing thugs from rural areas for
the first time to get a first-hand acquaintance with the enigmatic First
Street with its beautiful women and the fragrant ozone, and possibly their
first and last chance to touch masalad (trendy city girls).

      They shoved the beautiful lasses around for having copies of The Daily
News, whose contents depict their wretched plight of unemployment, hunger,
abuse and marginalisation, which they are already experiencing since their
unpaid assignment is now over.

      Another result they achieved is alertness, due to constant fear of the
unknown which might strike them again, after they observed people’s evident
allegiance to the MDC and its leader, Tsvangirai.

      They have indeed admitted in their confines the certitude of “Sangria’
s” power, hence their haphazard arrest of him, because they are afraid of
the rate at which he is amassing flesh to his political muscle.

      The point they are overlooking here is that by constantly arresting
him they are not weakening him in any way. Instead, the more they confine
him in the cubicle of terror, the more he gets hardened and the more the
discontentment of the masses ferments.

      The only mistake made by the MDC was the definition they gave to the
demonstrations, which they termed “the final push,” for if the push does not
yield the goals associated with a final action, it creates an optional
vacuum as to what is to be done next or whether what is to be done next is
adequately convincing to the general populace.

      To some degree, this definition freckled the facial features of the

      I would have called it the ultimate revolution, which is a process
where if one aspect of the actions in the process of that revolution hits a
snag, another option is thrown into the fray, without impacting negatively
against the party.

      This is not a big deal because mistakes give people fresh courage to
keep trying out positive actions.

      Success is only achieved by the amount of risk to which one exposes

      Kennedy Samanyanga is a poet and a political commentator.
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