In October 2002
my brother and his family were evicted from the 7,000 acre farm in Zimbabwe
which my father had first hacked out of virgin bush in 1923. It was a
productive and profitable operation to the end despite twenty years of black
rule: about 300 acres of top of the line export tobacco, a thousand head of
beef cattle and about ten acres of greenhouse roses which were flown weekly
to Europe. My brother had also set up in 1990 a three thousand acre game farm
along with his neighbours as a wild animal preservation, a cause dear to his
heart. This included seven giraffe and herds of impala, wildebeest, gazelles
and zebras. Periodically, hunter-tourists from the US would fly in to cull
the herds. About 200 blacks were employed on the farm along with their
families who were paid a government-set wage and given free housing,
electricity and running water. My brother, like many others, has over the
years paid huge taxes to the government.
Most of the farmers living in
the district suffered the same fate. My niece, married to a local farmer, had
to leave her home of five years with her young family and move to
Nearly two years later, all of these wonderfully run farms have
gone to hell.
Ninety percent of the country's white farmers, numbering
about 3,000, have been forced off their farms without compensation. Most of
the farm employees have also been evicted by government-backed "war vets". My
brother was obligated to pay compensation to these ex workers.
the evictions, many of the farmers were barricaded into their homes as hordes
of Mugabe's squatters threatened to kill them. Some whites were murdered; one
of them was a neighbor and close friend of my brother.
Another held a
posse of blacks at bay for two hours before he was slaughtered.
main, the farmers and their families abandoned their property peaceably and
left their life's work behind because there was no other option. They did not
seek violence. They were first-rate farmers who loved the land where they
were born but they were outnumbered and unsupported.
Last week, Robert
Mugabe, Zimbabwe's elderly dictator, announced that he wants the remaining
30,000 whites living in the towns out of the country by the end of 2005. I am
sure he means what he says.
There hasn't been a word about any of this in
the US media.
A little background:
Cecil John Rhodes set up the
British South Africa Company in 1896 and sent a column of pioneers into the
area bordering the Transvaal north of the Limpopo River. Rhodes had amassed a
huge gold and diamond fortune backed by the British Rothschilds. His plan was
to establish British influence from Cape Town to Cairo and "Rhodesia" became
the foundation stone in his imperial dream.
In this vast area south of
the Zambezi River, there were two tribal groups, the Mashona and the
Matabele, an offshoot of the Zulus. Within five years both had been quelled.
My grandparents decided to try their hand in Rhodesia and they moved in 1898
from Johannesburg to the pioneer town of Bulawayo. They were doing what
countless white American pioneers had been doing for a century across the
hinterland of America.
Within twenty years the country was flourishing
with an infrastructure of roads, ailways, agriculture and a mining industry
which provided gold and chrome. Self-government was granted by England in
1923. The black population, about 250,000 when the whites arrived, had
reached nine million by the 1980's. My grandmother, like many others, handed
out quinine and penicillin at the back door and probably saved thousands of
lives. Unlike the American Indians who were almost wiped out, the blacks in
Rhodesia not only survived but were provided with primary education and low
The Mashona, traditionally subject to raids from the more
war-like Matabele were secure for the first time in their history.
father was born in 1899 and grew up in Rhodesia, later attending a
public school in England. It was 1917 and soon he had joined the Royal Flying
Corps as a trainee pilot, flying early planes across the
After the war, he returned to Rhodesia and bought a piece of
land with the help of a government loan. It was a lonely life. At first, he
ravelled around his property on a horse but he persevered and by the fifties
was running a prosperous tobacco growing operation.
The same year he
started the farm, 1923, a black child was born on a Jesuit mission at Kutama,
about twenty miles from our farm as the crow flies. This child's name was
My father married my mother on a visit to England in the
1930's. She exchanged a life of familiar English suburban comfort for an
unknown future in a strange land surrounded by blacks. They lived in a
thatched brick house at first, and she soon adapted and raised us three
One of our neighbors was the Taylor family whose daughter
became the novelist Doris Lessing. Her father, like mine, was a veteran of
the First World War but he didn't prosper whether due to bad luck, bad
weather or lack of capital. I never knew Doris Taylor who was born 25 years
before I was though my mother did. She resented her lowly status as the
daughter of a "poorer white" and identified with the blacks, throwing her lot
in with their plight and became a communist. I remember listening to the
grown ups on the verandah in the early 50's who were scandalized that she had
betrayed her white background with her first novel "The Grass is Singing"
which came out in Britain. She had touched on the forbidden subject of black
white sexual relationships. In those days there was a law against interracial
sex and although there were white men who had "gone black" by taking a
black mistress, white woman were sacrosanct.
I did my military service
in 1964 in Ian Smith's army and left the country for good in 1968. The
writing was always on the wall for me from the time I was a small boy. We
whites were outnumbered and it was obvious that Britain would undermine white
rule at every turn, which they did. My brother was the farmer in the family.
He loved the life which he had grown up with.
The war years after Ian
Smith declared independence were difficult and many whites and blacks died.
It was also a time of extraordinary ingenuity with the government fighting
sanctions. By the time Mugabe took over, the Rhodesian dollar was still worth
more than the US dollar, despite 16 years of sanctions. Under Mugabe the
Zimbabwe dollar is about .0005 of a US dollar and inflation is off the
Conditions under white rule may not have been ideal. There were
many injustices but there were jobs, plentiful food and opportunity.
Under Mugabe, there are none of these. Mugabe, a Shona, has reverted to the
tribal tyrant which he always was. Like Idi Amin in Uganda, he views the
country as his personal fiefdom and is extremely skilled at manipulating and
buying off his supporters who form a privileged elite. He also has the
support of international corporate backers.
One of the first actions
Mugabe took when he came to power in 1980 was to slaughter 30,000 of the
minority Matabele tribe. I believe that there will be renewed ethnic
cleansing of the Matabele in the near future.
Barricaded behind high
security fences in their houses in Harare, my family may well be forced to
move again, this time from the country they grew up in. It makes me very sad
- and angry that the US government and media are seemingly indifferent.
AI Index: AFR 46/019/2004
(Public) News Service No: 160 23 June 2004
President Mbeki should be more publicly active in resolving the Zimbabwean
crisis President Thabo Mbeki must intensify efforts to put pressure on
the Government of Zimbabwe to end the continued violation of human
rights, according to an open letter from human rights and civil
society organizations delivered today to President Mbeki.
signed by Amnesty International (AI) South Africa, AI Zimbabwe and other
human rights and civil society organizations from South Africa and Zimbabwe
underlines the ongoing and unrelenting nature of the crisis in Zimbabwe. The
signatories highlight the disparity between the ideals and principles
enshrined both in the New Partnership for Africa's Development and the Vision
and Mission of the African Union, and the reality of the situation in
Zimbabwe as experienced by millions of Zimbabweans.
"In elaborating the
Vision of the African Union and Mission of the African Union Commission,
African leaders prioritized the realization of social, economic, civil,
cultural and political rights, and made a commitment to assist member states
to realize these rights. We are therefore urging African states to take a
more public stand in resolving the crisis in Zimbabwe," the signatories
The organizations that signed the open letter - many of whom are
involved in monitoring the human rights situation in Zimbabwe - outlined
concrete steps which are needed to tackle human rights abuses. These steps
include: the repeal or amendment of all legislation which violates
internationally recognized rights; an immediate commitment to restore systems
for state accountability; the impartial investigation of all allegations of
human rights violations, leading to those responsible being brought to
justice; a public commitment to ensuring the right of all Zimbabweans to
food, including transparent and impartial distribution of all
state-controlled foo d supplies.
Background The letter will be
published as a full page advert in the South African Mail and Guardian
newspaper on Friday 25 June.
Its signatories include: The Amani Trust,,
AI Zimbabwe, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (Zimbabwe), Centre for
the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, CIVICUS, Coalition for Peace in
Africa, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, Human Rights Institute of South
Africa, Human Rights Trust of Southern Africa, Legal Resources Foundation,
Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe, Non-violent Action and Strategies for
Social Change, Transparency International (Zimbabwe), University of Zimbabwe
Legal Aid and Advice Scheme, Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and
Rehabilitation of the Offender, Zimbabwe Association for Doctors for Human
Rights, Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association,
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Zimbabwe Peace Project, Zimbabwe Watch,
Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association
For further information please call
the press officer of Amnesty International South Africa on +27 83 261
How many millions will go hungry in Zim? June 23 2004 at
Harare - More than two million Zimbabweans will suffer from
food shortages this year, according to a new report obtained by AFP on
Wednesday that cast further doubt on government forecasts of a bumper
The report by a committee of United Nations agencies,
non-governmental organisations as well as Zimbabwean government departments
recommends that food aid be sought "for the most vulnerable people who are
food insecure up until March 2005."
"A total of 2.3 million
people will not be able to meet their minimum cereal needs during the
2004-2005 season," said the summary of the report by the Zimbabwe
Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC).
The report draws its
conclusions from a survey done in April, and since then the government has
said it is expecting a bumper harvest and will not be appealing for
international food aid.
President Robert Mugabe's government has
forecast a bumper harvest of 2.4 million tons of maize, enough to cover
Mugabe insisted in a television interview last
month that Zimbabweans were not hungry.
"Why foist this food
upon us? We don't want to be choked," he said.
The new figure of
just over two million hungry people is a significant drop from the five
million or so people that aid agencies had predicted would require food aid
According to the assessment committee's survey,
Zimbabwe's two eastern provinces - Mashonaland East and the densely populated
Manicaland province - will have the biggest grain deficit. -
Zimbabwe Proposes Further Tightening Stringent Media Laws
HARARE (AP)--Journalists from three banned newspapers wouldn't be able to
find work under a government proposal to tighten a section of
Zimbabwe's sweeping media laws, an alliance of pro-democracy groups warned
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said such a move would
be another blow to press freedom in the troubled southern African country,
and appealed to the government to "desist from making laws that confirm local
and international perceptions that Zimbabwe has become a
A government notice published Friday
proposes that journalists who continue to work while suspended by the
state-appointed media commission be fined and jailed for up to two years, the
coalition said in a statement.
More than 100 journalists
effectively had their government accreditation suspended when the state Media
and Information Commission shut down their newspapers earlier this year as
part of a media crackdown.
Government officials didn't immediately
respond to the statement. Parliament, which is overwhelmingly dominated by
the ruling ZANU-PF party, is expected to approve the amendment in coming
The same penalties already apply to journalists working
without having applied for a license or whose applications have been
President Robert Mugabe's government, faced with a
spiraling political and economic crisis, shut down the country's only
independent daily newspaper, The Daily News, and its Sunday edition in
February after a long legal battle.
Earlier this month, the
independent weekly Tribune newspaper was suspended from publishing for a year
for allegedly operating without a valid registration
The coalition said the proposed amendment was "meant
to stop journalists from these media houses from practicing."
"It is disheartening to note that after the closure of these newspapers, the
government continues on its war path against freedom of expression by
criminalizing the journalism profession," it said.
papers had been a platform for dissent against Mugabe's increasingly
Senior officials called independent journalists
"traitors" for reporting on the country's political and economic woes. They
have also accused former colonial ruler Britain of bankrolling independent
newspapers and opposition leaders.
Since the media laws were
enforced in March 2002, 31 independent journalists have been arrested and
charged for alleged violations. But no journalists from the five main
state-run newspapers, or the national radio and television stations, have
been arrested, despite abuses by some reporters, according to the
The latest newspaper closure has brought international
The European Union, in a statement issued Tuesday in
Brussels, called the Tribune's suspension "a further attack on freedom of
expression and democratic space" in Zimbabwe.
"This is of
particular importance in the context of approaching elections, a free press
being a necessary prerequisite of a democratic society," it said.
Dow Jones Newswires 06-23-041357ETCopyright (C) 2004 Dow Jones &
Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Seventy suspected mercenaries detained in Zimbabwe on charges
of plotting to topple the government of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea will go on
trial on July 19, state prosecutors said today. The men, all South African
citizens, were arrested in March after their plane landed in Harare en route
to what Zimbabwe officials said was a mission to oust the small West African
state's leader, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
have denied the charges, saying they were heading to the Democratic Republic
of Congo to guard mining operations.
At a routine appearance at a
maximum-security prison today, senior prosecutor Lawrence Phiri said the
state would start the men's trial next month - opening the door to a case
which analysts say could be embarrassing for Harare as well. "The accused
should be remanded in custody to July 19, and that will be the trial date,"
Phiri said. "If we are ready to start earlier than that date we will inform
the defence and the court," he said.
As Phiri announced the trial date,
most of the 70 suspects sat motionless, staring blankly in a large hall
converted to a court. A few others shuffled their feet and looked at each
other and at the audience, which included some of their friends and
Security boosted at the Chikurubi Maximum Prison
Complex Zimbabwe has boosted security at the Chikurubi Maximum Prison Complex
where the men are held, adding guards and sending helicopter gun ships on
patrol overhead amid fear that supporters of the detained men might try to
rescue them. State prosecutors also said today that 12 prison officers
accused of assaulting some of the men would go on trial on July
Two weeks ago Jonathan Samkangehe, the detainees' Zimbabwean lawyer,
said the state was reluctant to start the men's trial because it could
not support charges against them, which include violating security,
firearms, aviation and immigration laws. Defence analysts said Zimbabwe may
have also moved slowly on the case out of concern that a trial might reveal
details of the men's bid to illegally buy weapons from Zimbabwe's state arms
company, which has powerful political connections.
Samkange said the defence was ready. "Our position remains the same. There is
no case and we are ready for the trial because it will prove our contention
that the state has no strong case, especially those charges that they were on
a mercenary mission," he said.
Defence lawyers say the men's detention is
prejudicial since they face only fines if convicted. They say they have
unsuccessfully sought to have the trial moved to South Africa, saying their
clients might be extradited to Equatorial Guinea where they could face the
death sentence. A further 15 men are already being held in Equatorial Guinea
charged with involvement in the coup plot.
In April, Obiang said he
was in talks with Zimbabwe on possible extradition of the men to Equatorial
Guinea, but President Robert Mugabe's government has not made any
State lawyers have said the Zimbabwe charges could carry
life imprisonment, but the defence says the maximum penalty would be a fine
of 200 000 Zimbabwean dollars (about R232) each. - Reuters
There has been an
outbreak of rabies in Marirangwe small-scale farming area adjacent to
Mhondoro, the Department of Veterinary Services has said.
five cases of the disease which resulted in the death of three cattle, two
goats and a dog.
The disease was first detected in the area two weeks ago
and the department quickly moved in to put the outbreak under
According to the Mashonaland East provincial veterinary officer
Dr George Gwaze, a stray dog that was later tested for rabies and found
positive, bit the cattle and goats.
"We took the heads of the dead
animals that exhibited signs of the disease, tested them and they were found
to be positive," he said.
"Since the discovery of the disease, the
department has embarked on a vaccination campaign that has seen the
department vaccinating more than 20 000 animals.
"I would like to
confirm that there hasn't been any new cases reported of late," he
"The Department of Veterinary Services would like to urge all the
people who come into contact with such animals, whether dead or alive, to
seek early medical attention from health centres in their
"People should report all suspicious cases to the department and
seek medication against the disease as it can also affect human beings," he
The veterinary department appealed to dog owners to take their pets
The land reform programme has seen a lot of animals
being moved from one area to another.
The department also urged newly
resettled farmers to vaccinate their animals against such diseases and not to
consume meat from animals suspected to have died from illness.
Gwaze said the department had secured enough drugs for all emergencies and
would react quickly to all cases if notified.
In March, New Ziana
reported that the department had been hit by a shortage of drugs, resulting
in only about 200 000 dogs out of an estimated 400 000 countrywide being
inoculated against rabies last year.
Chris Msipa Police in Zimbabwe say they have launched a manhunt for the
lawyer of the directors of ENG Capital Asset Management, who early this year
allegedly defrauded clients of ZW$61-billion (About R70 million). Oliver
Mandipaka, the police spokesperson, says Oscar Ziweni, the legal
practitioner, has failed to turn up for questioning over ZW$138 million
(about R1.6 million) stolen from the ENG firm.
He says Ziweni is
suspected to have converted the money to his own use after he collected it
from companies and individuals indebted to the organisation, for which he was
a debt collector. Mandipaka also says the lawyer was supposed to have handed
over the funds to Reggie Saruchera, who was appointed liquidator of ENG after
the company collapsed, but failed.
Ziweni is now suspected to have fled
the country like Gilbert Muponda, one of the two ENG directors, who is
reported to be hiding in the United Kingdom where hundreds of Zimbabweans are
living in exile. The authorities have warned members of the public against
buying any assets from Ziweni to avoid losing their money. This comes after
the suspect allegedly moved some computers from his offices in the capital,
A number of Zimbabwean business executives and state workers,
including police officers, have fled since early this year after the
administration of president Robert Mugabe embarked on an anti-corruption
At least one cabinet minister, Chris Kuruneri, and James Makamba,
a member of the ruling Zanu(PF) Central Committee, are in prison facing
charges of externalising millions of dollars at a time when the country had
serious foreign currency shortages. High-level crime is said to be one of the
major causes of the economic crisis that has gripped Zimbabwe for the past
Millions of people in Zimbabwe are struggling
to feed themselves due to poor harvests in the past three seasons. The
government of Robert Mugabe maintains the country has enough stocks to last
until more yields next year from irrigations and resettlements on farms
seized over the past four years.
However, the claims have not gone
down well with politicians of both the ruling ZANU(PF) and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), who described the statements as
irresponsible. Titus Chauke, a member of the ZANU(PF) central committee, is
quoted as saying the official declarations on the situation lack logic
because they chase off possible donors ready to help the needy. He says
hundreds-of-thousands of people in the south-eastern and south-western
districts, which comprise dry lands of the country, are still buying food
after very poor yields last year.
City council records in the
commercial city of Bulawayo also reveal about 40 people, some of them
children and the elderly, died because of hunger in the municipality, where
65 others starved to death last year. The government early this year barred
the World Food Programme from assessing the state of food supply in Zimbabwe,
where at least five-million needed emergency supplies the previous
Reports say the global aid agency is back in the country,
carrying out surveys in drought-prone areas like Matabeleland, the Midlands
and Masvingo regions. Mugabe and his ministers are on record saying their
controversial agrarian reforms, which displaced thousands of white commercial
farmers, has born fruits. The authorities say Zimbabwe does not need aid, as
it can now feed itself and remain with surpluses. But critics describe the
statements as politicking aimed to win legislative votes next year and
support of other African governments.
At issue: The southern African nation is taking
control of all private land. We say: It's another in a long line of
There are few nations more "failed" and few governments more
deserved of "regime change" than Zimbabwe, the once prosperous African
showcase reduced to penury and bankruptcy under its fanatical ruler, Robert
Mugabe, age 80.
The latest abuse visited on his people by Mugabe is the
abolition of private farmland. This follows on murder, stolen elections, the
jailing of political opponents, the closing of independent newspapers and the
wrecking of the economy. It is a wretched record for an African state blessed
with the natural resources to be successful.
In a statement that might
be lifted from one of Stalin's decrees or Orwell's Animal Farm, Mugabe's
government announced this month that: "All land shall be state land, and
there will be no such thing called private land."
With the country's
farms already in a state of collapse from Mugabe's thuggish transfer of land
from white and black farmers to his political supporters, the land takeover
is likely to lead to a further loss of food production and even
There are few abuses that Mugabe has not visited on the nation in
his ruthless efforts to hang on to power, which he has done now for a
quarter century, or since independence. As foreign nations have increased
pressure on him to step down, he has tightened control, determined to
demonstrate that if he goes down, he will take the country with
It begins to look like the country will go down first. The outside
world looks on in exasperation, having exhausted most political and
The United States and European Union have cut most
ties and all assistance. The British Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe, which
then quit the organization. The International Monetary Fund has frozen aid
and begun procedures to suspend Zimbabwe over debt arrears of $284
International reaction to this month's farmland nationalization
was despairing. In Harare, economic analyst John Robertson predicted the
new measures would have "a devastating effect" on the country's farm
Last month, the United Nations estimated that Zimbabwe would
produce only about half its 2 million-ton grain requirement this year. Having
been a net grain exporter, Zimbabwe now imports grain and receives emergency
food relief through U.N. agencies. With unemployment at 70 percent, poor
people are starving.
"In the long run," said Secretary of State Colin
Powell last year, "Mugabe and his minions will lose, dragging their soiled
record behind them into obscurity. But how long will it take?"
It is a
question South Africa, the big dog on Africa's block, should help answer. But
having bought into Mugabe's pathetic racist rhetoric, Pretoria stands
Only when Africans unite to condemn tyranny and corruption,
whether black or white, can Africa reach its full potential.
opinion of The Beacon News editorial board was first reported in The San
PRESS RELEASE June 23, 2004 Posted to the web June 23,
The government plans to amend sections of the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act 2002.The amendments to the Act
appeared in a government gazette released on June 18, 2004.
of the principal Act to be amended include Section 40 which initially
compelled members of the board of the commission to be appointed from
nominees of an association of journalists and an association of
The proposed amendment reads,
("Appointment and composition of Media and Information Commission') of the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act [Chapter 10:27] (Act No.
5 of 2002) (is amended in subsection (2) by the deletion of "and an
association of media houses" and the substitution of "or an association of
media houses or both".
The amendment in effect now means that the
nominations will be received from either or both such types of
Section 83, which prohibits unaccredited or suspended
journalists from practicing, has been amended so as to provide a penalty
provision, which is presently absent.
The amendment reads:
person who contravenes this subsection (1) or (2) shall be guilty of
an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to
imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or both such fine and
The Bill also seeks to amend paragraph 4 of the
Fourth Schedule of the Act that deals with the dismissal or suspension of
members of the MIC, so as to provide for the appointment of an Independent
Disciplinary Committee to determine whether any member of the commission
suspended by the Minister for misconduct should be dismissed.
Harare - Zimbabwe state lawyer, Lawrence Phiri, called 12 prison
guards to the front of the court at the trial of 70 suspected mercenaries
arrested in Zimbabwe, saying they were accused of assaulting some of the
"These gentlemen are charged with assault of
some of the mercenaries" said Phiri.
Zimbabwe's Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa ordered a probe into the incident in April in which
eighteen of the suspected mercenaries were allegedly beaten and doused with
water by the guards.
The 12 were ordered to appear for trial on July
The trial of 70 suspected mercenaries arrested in Zimbabwe for
allegedly plotting a coup in Equatorial Guinea will begin on July 19, the
judge said on Wednesday.
The 70 men were arrested on March 7 when
their plane was making a stopover in Harare to pick up weapons, allegedly en
route to Equatorial Guinea to topple long-time President Teodoro Obiang
"You come back to court on the 19th of July at nine in the
morning for trial," Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe told the
The men, who are being held and tried at a maximum security
prison outside Harare, deny plotting a coup and maintain they were on their
way to the Democratic Republic of Congo to guard a diamond mine.
of the men are from South Africa, Namibia and Angola, although they were all
travelling on South African passports.
Lawyers representing the families
of the alleged soldiers of fortune failed earlier this month to force the
South African government to seek their extradition from Zimbabwe and put them
on trial at home.
The families are seeking to appeal that decision before
the constitutional court.
A handful of family members were present at
Wednesday's hearing, and the wife of one of the detained men said a trial
date had not done much to relieve her anxiety.
"I'm still frightened.
I don't know what to expect. There are so many rumours flying around" she
If convicted, the men could be fined Z$200 000 (US$37) for
attempting to obtain weapons or sentenced to five years in jail.
The opposition MDC accused the judicary of sidelining electoral
JOHANNESBURG, - Zimbabwe's main opposition party on Wednesday
accused the country's judiciary of "deliberately sidelining" electoral
In a recent report the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
noted that 14 of the 39 electoral challenges filed by the party since the
2000 parliamentary poll had not been heard by the High Court.
been four years since the last poll, but to date there remain several
disputed seats still unresolved. The delay is no coincidence, but a clear
indication that the work of the judiciary continues to be
politically influenced," MDC information officer, Nkanyiso Maqueda, told
The MDC is challenging parliamentary election results in
constituencies where it lost to the ruling ZANU PF party on grounds of
irregularities that include pre-election violence.
authorities have attributed the delays to a heavy backlog of both civil and
criminal cases. The High Court is currently operating at half-strength
because a number of judges have resigned in recent years.
backlog is mainly due to the shortage of judicial officers in both the
magistrate's courts and the High Court. But, regarding electoral disputes, it
is a concern when a matter of significant public interest appears to be
taking long to be finalised. It doesn't augur well for the administration of
justice," Joseph James, president of the Zimbabwe Law Society
There could be various reasons for the delays. "Some of the
cases may be awaiting judgement, while others may be waiting for evidence to
be heard. There is also a possibility that one of the parties involved may
not be ready - each case must be assessed individually," James
Following its recent success in the Lupane constituency
by-election, the ruling party is within two seats of a two-thirds majority in
the 150-seat parliament, and the right to amend the constitution, should it
wish to do so.
The MDC won 57 of parliament's 120 elected seats in the
2000 vote, but five of them have been lost to ZANU-PF in recent parliamentary
The 150 seats include 30 that are appointed directly or
indirectly by Mugabe - eight provincial governors, 12 non-constituency MPs
and ten chiefs chosen by their peers and given final approval by the
THREE members of a suspected notorious armed gang that
caused terror in some Harare suburbs and stole property worth more than $200
million were on Monday brought to the Harare Magistrates' Courts on initial
Elton Manyimo (34), Martin Geti (37) and Wilfred Chikololere (29)
appeared before magistrate Ms Memory Chigwaza who remanded them in
On the first charge, which was allegedly committed on April 19
this year, prosecutor Mr Bright Mugomeza said the trio and their accomplices
Gerald Chiro and Major Samanje alias Shepherd Mhizha, who are still at large,
drove to their victims' house in a Peugeot 405.
On arrival at a house
in Avondale, the gang, armed with a pistol, allegedly pounced on the elderly
couple Mr Dennis and Mrs Leslie Stambolic aged 62 and 61.
The gang, it
is alleged, tied the couple's hands and legs with electrical cables before
they ransacked their house and looted property worth $50 million.
gang then ordered Mrs Stambolic upstairs to her bedroom where one of
the suspected robbers allegedly raped her.
Using the same method, the
gang is alleged to have stolen property worth more than $150 million at a
house in Highlands.
The gang complained to the court that the police who
arrested them assaulted them.
One of the suspects Chikololere, who was
represented by Advocate Charles Selemani submitted that he was severely
assaulted by police from Harare Central Homicide Section.
said his client was arrested on Tuesday last week and since then police
officers made it impossible for him to have access to his client.
was denied the opportunity to see him (Chikololere) . . . they moved him from
one station to another," Adv Selemani said.
He said the action and
conduct of the police officers was a clear violation of the law and breach of
"In terms of section 415 of the constitution, accused
ought to be protected from inhuman treatment. Such method of policing is not
required by the law. It is outside the constitution," he said.
Selemani submitted that the method was not even sanctioned by police standing
"Accused persons need to be protected from inhuman treatment and
torture. Accused persons have a right of protection from the law," he
He said the conduct of the police officers should be
"The police cannot be the public prosecutor, the jury
neither can they be judges or magistrates in matters they are
Although there has been genocide
in Sudan, terrorist attacks around the world and wars across Africa, the lack
of a simple meal makes Southern Africa the site of the worst humanitarian
crisis in the world today. The UN special envoy for humanitarian needs in
Southern Africa, James Morris, recently returned from a visit to the Darfur
region in Sudan where an estimated 1,2-million people have been displaced in
what has been described as ethnic cleansing by government-backed militias.
But he still believes that the huge HIV/Aids rate and massive food shortages
have left Southern Africa worse off. "What is happening in Southern Africa
represents the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today," said Morris.
HIV/Aids continues to be the forerunner in exacerbating the problem,
depriving countries of their human capital. Most countries are losing more
teachers and workers in the agricultural sector than they are able to
replace. Statistics gathered by the various UN organisations indicate that
more than 4-million children have been orphaned due to Aids and that women
constitute in excess of 60% of those infected with the
Morris, who has just returned from a four-country visit, spoke
yesterday of his deep disappointment at not being able to visit Zimbabwe,
which was suffering under one of the top five HIV/Aids pandemics in the
world. The HIV prevalence rate today stands at 34%. This is the main reason
for the halving of life expectancy in Zimbabwe to 33 years. The
unavailability of key government officials prevented a visit. In the past two
years Morris had visited President Robert Mugabe on six occasions and had
worked "fairly well" with him, he said. He refused to be drawn out on the
Zimbabwe crisis, apart from saying: "To go from production of 980 000 metric
tons to 2,8-million metric tons is a remarkable turnaround, unprecedented
anywhere in the world." He was referring to Zimbabwe's projections of the
maize harvest this year. Morris also rejected Zimbabwean media speculation
that the World Food Programme (WFP) was using food aid as a political tool
as "rubbish". "I wish I could use stronger language. This sudden
hullabaloo suggesting we have any different focus or drive in our work is
nonsense," he said.
He described the turnaround in agricultural
production in Zambia as a real success story but refused to be drawn on
whether this was due to former Zimbabwean farmers who had settled there after
being kicked off their land in Mugabe's schemes. Last year the WFP was able
to buy 100 000 tons from Zambia and a further 60 000 this year, he revealed.
He attributed the success to the hard work by the Zambian government to
supply agricultural inputs and the improved meteorological conditions. Morris
said one of the biggest challenges was to make the additional resources
available through the Global Fund and other sponsors. In Malawi more than 90%
of posts for physicians and 60% of nursing posts remained vacant because of
lack of resources.
Mnangagwa, long considered the successor to Robert Mugabe may have been
voted out of the running in the secret top level meeting. The issue of a
successor for Robert Mugabe allegedly took centre stage last Wednesday when
Speaker of Parliament Mnangagwa received a vote of no confidence at a high
level Zanu PF meeting in the Midlands. We received unconfirmed reports that a
team of top level Zanu PF officials gathered at Tshulu Tshanabe Lodge outside
Gweru to discuss the land issue. They were apparently surprised to be woken
up at midnight by local government minister Ignatius Chombo and called to a
meeting. Among them were John Nkomo, Didymus Mutasa, Rugare Gumbo, Josiah
Hungwe, Francis Nhema and July Moyo. The meeting allegedly had the blessing
of Mugabe himself. Our sources report that the minister of Information and
Publicity Jonathan Moyo was barred from attending as he was too junior to be
part of the succession discussion. Mnangagwa arrived halfway through the
proceedings, only to find out he had already been voted out of contention for
the number one spot in Zanu PF after Mugabe leaves. Although no name was
thrown into the ring as a possible successor, analysts believe Ignatius
Chombo, who has been flexing his muscles and running the affairs of town
councils, might be the new contender.
second-largest bank by assets, disclosed yesterday that its purchase of
Zimbabwe's Trust Bank was off. With problems in Zimbabwe's banking sector,
analysts saw the deal as a cheap entry into that market ahead of an expected
recovery. But they cautioned that Nedcor would be unwise to take on more than
it could handle due to the problems it faced at home. Although no official
statement has been released by Nedcor, spokesman Don Bowden said it was
"unlikely to go ahead". Nedcor divisional director for Africa Mfundo Nkuhlu
said yesterday Nedbank, a Nedcor subsidiary, would not pursue Trust Bank.
"The due-diligence study was completed, and on the basis of that we felt
advised not to go through with the transaction as initially envisaged. That
was the commitment we had," he said. "We have advised the (Zimbabwean)
central bank and Trust Bank management that we are not pursuing
Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said that
negotiations had collapsed, saying Trust Bank was technically insolvent. At
the time Nedcor said it had yet to finalise its due-diligence investigation,
a normal procedure in any merger or acquisition process. The plan was to
merge Trust Bank with Merchant Bank of Central Africa (MBCA) , which is
controlled by Nedbank and parent Old Mutual. The two were seen as compatible
as both competed in corporate and commercial banking and had similar client
bases. Nedbank holds almost 39% of MBCA, while Old Mutual Zimbabwe owns just
under 23%. Trust Bank was one of five banks baled out by the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe's troubled banks fund, but was one of the country's top-rated
local banks before last year's banking crisis. It received an initial Z230bn
from the fund to save its collapsing operations. The loan had ballooned to
Z645bn by the beginning of this month. Coupled with hundreds of billions of
almost unrecoverable loans owed to it, this left Trust Bank practically
There could be other suitors for Trust Bank, however. Old
Mutual rival First Mutual owns 25% of Trust Bank's holding company, and put
its resources up as security for the liquidity support provided to Trust
Bank. This is the second collapse this week of a local bank's foray into
Africa. Last week, the Zambian government said negotiations for Absa to buy a
49% stake in state-owned Zambia National Commercial Bank had broken off.
Although Absa had not received official notification of this, it said it
would not pursue the bank until an amicable resolution had been found with
respect to the finance it put up for Trans Sahara Trading to provide oil to
Zambia. The contract with the government was later cancelled, leaving Absa
significantly out of pocket. Despite walking away from Trust Bank, Nedcor
remains intent on growing its African operations. Nkuhlu said the group was
looking at "one or two options" in countries where it currently did not have
a footprint. He said it would again conduct duediligence investigations in
the banking environments in those countries.
Press Group Criticizes Cyber Censorship Isabelle
Boucq Paris 23 Jun 2004, 18:13 UTC
The Paris-based organization
Reporters Without Borders says 72 people are in prison around the world for
expressing their views on the Internet. The statistic is part of the group's
third report on freedom of expression on the Internet. Authoritarian
governments like China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia rank high on the group's list
of 50 countries that censor websites and routinely arrest what are now called
"cyber dissidents." But the report also criticizes democracies like the
United States and France for passing laws that curtail freedom of expression
on the Internet in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
author, Julien Pain, said it is important to draw attention to such issues
because as important as the Internet has become in world communications, its
problems do not get the attention they deserve.
"We want to attract
people's attention [to] the importance of this media, of the Internet, and
the importance of fighting for its freedom. This is not the case at the
moment because everybody will fight for press freedom, but nobody really
cares about Internet freedom," he said.
The report details the situation
of 50 countries around the world and gives examples of censorship. In Cuba,
for example, the report says last year at least five journalists were
convicted of writing what the government calls counter-revolutionary articles
for a U.S.-based website. The report says they were sentenced to prison terms
of up to 27 years.
The report also cites the cases of Iranian journalists
repeatedly arrested because of their online articles, of seven Vietnamese
cyber dissidents currently in prison and of 14 people arrested last November
in Zimbabwe for sending out an e-mail criticizing President Robert
"In dictatorships we all know that the dictators have the right
to curtail the freedom of expression, so of course it started with the press,
the regular media. But now they are trying to control the Internet
very tightly," said Mr. Pain. "That's why we have noticed in the past four
years this control on the Internet has been more efficient because dictators
put more and more money on the table and invest more in equipment to spy and
to track down cyber dissidents."
But Mr. Pain's report also criticizes
democracies. "In democracies the problem is that since September 11,
democracies have had to fight against terrorism, which is a goal we perfectly
understand. [But] we think that it should be restricted by judges because
only judges can say what can be censored, what can't be censored, what can be
spied [on], [and] what person can be spied [on] and what person can't be
spied [on]," he said.
The report is particularly critical of the United
States, saying it has unclear procedures for determining when the government
can eavesdrop on Internet use, and that this sets a bad example to the rest
of the world.
Launching its report this week, Reporters Without Borders
also awarded its second Internet Freedom Prize to Chinese dissident Huang Qi,
who has been in jail for four years for criticizing the Chinese government
and writing about the Tiananmen Square massacre on his website.
author Julien Pain said the organization hopes the prize will help Huang Qi
gain his freedom. "Last year the Tunisian who was awarded was released five
months after he was awarded. This prize I think is efficient because it
attracts people's attention and then the governments, they feel like they
have to do something about this person," he said.
But Mr. Pain also said
Reporters Without Borders does not limit its attention to the plight of
imprisoned Internet journalists. He says because the Internet allows
everybody with online access to express themselves in public, a cyber
dissident could be anybody who decides to share his or her views, and
attracts the wrath of their government in the process.
Please send any classified adverts
for publication in this newsletter to: JAG Job Opportunities <email@example.com>
Advert Received 2nd June 2004
Please can you advertise the following in
your classifieds. 1 change over switch for generator. $3 mill. phone
Advert Received 3rd June 2004
Looking to buy wrought iron garden
If anyone is leaving and has any for sale please phone Cathy
Banks - 073 2498 or 011
Advert Received 3rd June 2004
Boat Wanted. Wanted either a Falcon with
150 HP motor or Piranha for the River with 85HP
motor, Contact 011 862 857 or email firstname.lastname@example.org --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4.
Advert Received 4th June 2004
GREENCROFT BUTCHERY - NOW MANAGED BY FARMER
& CATTLEMAN BRIAN BEATTIE.
THE GOOD NEWS - since the last price list
emailed in February, generally Greencroft Butchery beef / pork prices have
been constant & chicken prices reduced! (however the cost of lamb has
continued to rise).
REMEMBER - orders can be made simply by email; &
delivered! --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.
Advert Received 6th June 2004
We are looking for good homes for our
pets. 1Boerboel Male, 2 Ridgeback Females, 1 small Daxie and 2 Cats. We
would like them to go to good homes. The dogs are very good watch dogs and
are very good with kids. if we can we would like the Daxie & 2 cats to
go together and the 3 Big dogs together.
Also, could a gent called
Mark Evans call us back asap.
PLEASE COULD YOU CONTACT US Ursula 011
231 403 Angus 011 862 338 ( this line until end of June.) Home
883116. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6.
Advert Received 6th June 2004
BUSINESS FOR SALE
lucrative fast food business for sale. Suit dynamic couple not scared of work
in an interesting town Apply fax: +267 6597293 or email: email@example.com
Advert Received 7th June 2004
Do you have a desire to change your waist
line, get rid of food cravings, feel energized and have the ability to cope
with the stresses and strains of life. Phone Liz 091 913
----------------------------------------------------- 8. FOR SALE
- White Mercedes 190E, automatic, 1994 model, one lady owner, serviced by
Merc dealer, 90,000 km mileage. A bargain!
Phone C Peech
494374 ------------------------------------------------------- 9. FOR
SALE JOHN DEERE KOHLER GENERATORS 150KVA 1538 hrs with 2200 litre fuel
tank Z$ 85 000 000.00 60KVA 2400 hrs with 2200 litre fuel tank Z$ 35 000
ONE X MASSEY FERGUSON 240 TRACTOR z$ 20 000 000.00
four wheel farm trailer Z4 5 000 000.00
One X two wheel all steel farm
trailer with sides Z$ 3 500 000.00
One X two wheel trailer low bed Z$ 1
Steel cattle sides for Nissan CPB 12 lorry and trailer - very
good condition Z$ 8 000 000.00
Single and double fluorescent lights
single Z$ 150
000.00 double Z$
Water pumps various large and small, irrigation pipes,
Tel 04-335681 or cell
011-410118 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 10.
Advert received 7 June 2004
Chemicals : Agrithin: 1 x 5l @ $100
000 Alachlor: 5 x 20l @ $400 000 each
2. Building materials : 2 x
E1H window-frames @ $100 000 each 11 x C2H window-frames @ $180 000 each 1
x Compound door @ $350 000 11 x Steel-press doors & frames (4.5'') @ $550
Advert received 8 June 2004 If anyone has a rudd scale that they are wanting
to sell please contact me at the following numbers:
Debi 091236317 - Wendy 09- 230452 or
09-230453 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 12.
Advert received 8 June 2004 Looking for aerial for Agric radio base set plus
cradle, speaker and power lead for set in vehicle. If you are looking to
sell any of the above at a reasonable price please contact Linda 0732777 or
367. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 13.
Frizzle Bantams for Sale, as well as a few cross breeds. They are beautiful
and make excellent pets. $20,000.00 each.
1 Monarch 4 Plate Gas Stove,
eye level grill + gas bottle $2million
Wanted Six layers, any
Please contact: Lindsay on 495430 or
011604536 --------------------------------------------------------------------- 14.
Advert received 14 June 2004
2 RED AND WHITE STAFFIES LOOKING FOR A GOOD
Rita - 3 years spayed female (Mum) Sabi - 8 months un-spayed
female (cross English Bull terrrie)- (daughter)
Both are fantastic with
kids As they are mother and daughter they must go together. We are very
fussy about who they go to!!! i.e Caviar and Smoked Salmon for dinner
Please phone Gareth or Kim on
741561 ------------------------------------------------------------- 15.
Advert received 15 June 2004
WANTED urgently is a working/non-working
colour TV and/or VCR. Kindly phone Joel on 04-751202 or 023 288454 email firstname.lastname@example.org ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 16.
Advert received 16 June 2004
Looking for a laptop computer. Please
e-mail me with details to the following address email@example.com -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 17.
Advert received 15 June 2004 PLEASE if anyone out there has DRIFTWOOD that I
could buy or have I would be grateful and collect. Telepone Linda
091321640 or evenings
251377 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 18.
Advert received 17 June 2004 DO YOU WANT TO SELL: Antique furniture or nice
looking bits unsuitable for auction houses. OR home industry articles that
look unique. Our shop will do it for you in Avondale. Contact Nabelle on
091321640 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- THE
JAG Hotlines: (011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need
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