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Zvakwana Newsletter #35 - Mixed signals
June 26, 2003

Borrowdale Road, Harare

Mixed signals
Zimbabweans are caught between direct action and roll over and die responses to the illegitimate regime. Where are YOU at?

Zvakwana is set to launch campaign directed at corrupt and thug police stations
One Zvakwana activist witnessed a terrible beating being given to a man in a Harare police station recently. This is just one report that is indicating that police stations are becoming places to be afraid of rather than where we can got to for protection or justice. It is another sad deterioration of our moral and institutional infrastructure in Zimbabwe. We reject and say very loudly Zvakwana! to police brutality in any form along with any kind of kangaroo justice system. The police are riding above their powers and abusing their positions. Zvakwana has been verifying the information presented and is committed to targeting these officers in charge of brutal police stations. If you have witnessed any corruption or abuse of power by policemen/women in your area send us the details. Enough is Enough.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) criticises the postponement of urban council elections
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network is wholly against the idea, which came from the Urban Councils' Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) to postpone the urban council elections. As ZESN, we feel that this idea defeats the purpose of democracy in our country. The urban council elections were due to be held in August this year and according to the terms of the Urban Councils' Act the local elections are supposed to be held after every four years. ZESN also calls all involved stakeholders in elections to advocate for one electoral independent body that oversees all elections and do away with the idea of councils in this instance funding for their own elections. Every election in Zimbabwe is equally important and funds should be made available for each and every election without failure. We feel that postponing these elections might give bad precedence taking into consideration that the most urban councillors were elected four years ago and belong to the ruling ZANU PF. Whilst in terms of section 103(k) of the Urban Councils' Act, the minister has powers top postpone the elections for one year in order to enable proper administration of the process as ZESN we recommend that the minister should not postpone these elections as this will be perceived as if it is a political gimmick by the ruling party to extend the terms of office for their councillors. Reflecting back to the year 2000 parliamentary elections and the subsequent by-lections, the MDC won most of the urban elections and it is most likely that the same might happen in the urban council elections. We re-emphasise again our call for an independent electoral body in Zimbabwe.
Received from ZESN

It's our money, and yet we can't get it
Zvakwana activists have been moving around witnessing the shocking queues outside all the banks and building societies. It has become apparent that these institutions that have a lot of power are yet again taking advantage of the poor person in the street. Our money is in the bank or building society and yet we cannot get to it to feed our families and pay our ever increasing bills. And sometimes when we can get our hands on some notes they are these small ones so that we need plastic bags to carry bundles from here to there. Instead of working on behalf of the people that keep them in business the money houses are sitting back and smiling fatly while our money is used by them to earn interest thereby keeping their management in golf afternoons and expensive lunches. Zvakwana! Sokwanele! Enough is Enough! It is time for these money banks to lobby the government in negotiation to fix this situation. Or they can be more forthright and close their doors completely in a unified action to bring pressure on the mugabe regime to rectify failed monetary policies. As it is we cannot get any service out of the banks and societies anyway so if they go on strike to obtain an objective then people will be understanding.

10 million dollars bail, should Tsvangirai have stayed in jail?

This is an interesting submission recently received from a Zvakwana subscriber in Mutare:

It is clear that Morgan was imprisoned under unjust laws and circumstances. Sooner or later he would have had to be tried for the ridiculous charges made against him by zanu pf. It might have had a resounding effect if Morgan had not applied for bail citing these reasons and thereby showing personally that he would not be party to an unjust legal process. Whilst it is true to say that incarceration is a difficult event to endure, the continued unjust imprisonment of Morgan could have been used to great effect by the MDC and regional and international sympathisers.


Postage stamps theme proposals

Zimpost is inviting members of the public (you!) to submit proposals for the Year 2004 postage stamp programme. As they say in their advert a postage stamp is a special instrument of communication for a country's image abroad. They say that FIVE themes will be selected for 2004 and that they want themes that will promote Zimbabwe's identity. So Zvakwana asks you to email your suggestions to before they decide again to pretend that everything is rosy and going on fine under the mugabe regime. These five themes may include (to be relevant to our current situation) torture, hunger, corruption, poverty and dictators.


The hammer comes down - Zvakwana sends their apologies
9TH June 2003

Before you jump to conclusions it's a pity that you didn't check the facts. TWA has fully supported ALL proposed stay a ways. During this last week our advertising programe had been prearranged.

My wife and I were in South Africa where we endeavored to change our advertisement by the telephone. This was not successful. On Tues the 3rd June 2003 I requested our office staff to telephone all businesses associated with our sales as will as known buyers that our sale advertised to take place on the Thursday the 5th June 2003 would be postponed to Thursday the 12th June 2003. Our Auction Sale direction signs were put in place on Wed 4th to notify the public that this sale had been postponed. Our offices remained SHUT for the whole week, although some office staff came in to do personal correspondence. No doubt your comments were with good intentions. We now suggest that you direct your comments to all companies that advertise in the Government Herald and Sunday News. We cancelled our account with them two years ago. In view of your hurtful and incorrect assumptions as to where our loyalties are I request your immediate apology to us and to be relayed to any others that you have misinformed about TWA.

You are the weakest link: GOODBYE

This graphic shows only 2 people putting their hands up and shouting OBJECTION! In order to restore the rule of law and justice in Zimbabwe, we all have to collectively refuse to engage in any way with the illegitimate mugabe regime.

If you don't speak out or participate, you are part of the problem. Become part of the solution.

If not you, who?
If not now, when?

Armchair politicians put yourself in the hot seat
Youth supporting either MDC or zanu pf require payment for engaging in any activism campaigns. Is buying support a bad thing? Is volunteerism dead in Zimbabwe? Is volunteering only a luxury that is possible in a stable functioning country? Is working for a better Zimbabwe payment in itself? How does a political party deal with giving financial rewards to people for their involvement in the struggle for democracy. If the MDC fails to pay them do they then just work for the highest bidder. We are living in a harsh economic climate where people are just scratching a living and getting by on very little.

Solution: Over to you, email your views

Think of this as an online "newspaper out of the box" where everyone can contribute. If you are interested in writing with us, sharing your talent and voice, contact us

   Counter at left: number of times that mugabe has dyed his hair.


Help us grow Zvakwana's circulation. Forward this newsletter on to your colleagues and friends.

Join Zvakwana via our website at or write to us at with "Subscribe" as the subject line.

Zvakwana, Sokwanele, Enough is Enough!

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Huh, what? Which Queen - the one in Through the looking glass.  thats what its like here now.
Last time I wrote about how great Harare is.  Well, that was from the cushioned view of Borrowdale.  This week I was in the main stream. 
Most of Harare had no electricity yesterday morning.  There were people milling about all over the place. I saw for myself what is happening with the money.  I saw the wads of $10 notes - no, not a typing error - ten dollars, to do the shopping.  or 50s.  Even 100s.  There is a new problem with this - cashiers tills just arent that big, you can't fit the money in.  We asked the cashier what she was going to do at Christmas - she just shook her head and said she would run away.
We spent $26 000 on  a meal for two, calamari, chips and one drink.  The overalls which cost 275 000 at Christmas are now 445 000.  The man said it wouldnt be such a shock if I shopped there more often.  Clive bought loads of bears, and the packer called him "skokiaan".  I think it was a term of endearment. 
There really is a fuel shortage - on Wednesday morning the streets looked like Sunday.  Even the big 4x4s are off the streets.  You see a few BMers.....still going fast.  And just to bring the madness to heart, they have banned the carrying of fuel in containers.  I mean, you are allowed to bring in 500 litres duty free from SA, but you can't carry containers.  You are not allowed to hold money, but you cant get money for wages from the bank.  If you cash a cheque with your friendly supermarket, they charge you 8% - this week.
The queen would say "off with his head"
The reality is when a middle aged couple have no fuel, he is a vet and he doesnt have customers.  She sells advertising, and telephone book entries for a govt organisation - she cant do her job because they cant give her fuel, and they cant give her a price list for 6 months hence.  So she's not earning, neither is he.  What are people supposed to do?
And through it all the farmers continue to get evicted - we heard a man at lunch phoning about moving his irrigation equipment.  We went to see a businessman who does seeds - his farm is evicted for Her Ladyship - he has these huge pumps sitting in his warehouse.  I keep seeing them every time I close my eyes.   In another warehouse, piping for 350 acres, in a country with no wheat for flour, and very little planted for this season. He is quite fired up, he and 5 others planted 10500 acres to wheat in Oz in 5 weeks - themselves.  Dont let them think the white farmers sit and do nothing.  His farm here will not grow seed this year, maybe not ever again.  And you hear about more farmers being kicked off all the time.  Its best fun when they've ploughed for this season, but at least its before the seed beds are planted this year - not so many free seedlings this time around.
I hear the Hon Pre's is off to Libya again, hope he doesnt promise beef this year, the country is closed down to foot and mouth.  And the South African dairyman came up here to tell us to "Get big or get out".. ooh I am glad I don't go to the Dairy meetings, there is only so much I can keep quiet on, in spite of all my best resolutions.
I passed another tipped fuel lorry as well, thats three in two weeks, well thats not going to help the situation.
And of all things, its raining again.  Freezing cold, and raining - is this training for NZ, or what?
Cheers, A
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JAG Security Update June 26, 2003

72 year old Farm Manager and family beaten by Mugabe's Youth Brigade.

On Monday afternoon 23rd June, 2003 on Chitsanza Farm, Harare South, 72
year old Farm Manager Ronnie Saul (displaced from his own farm in January
2002) was asked by three youths to open his security gate in order discuss
"important business".  He did so and was immediately ambushed by six others
who were in hiding nearby.  That was the beginning of five hours of
torture.  Mr. Saul's hands and feet were tied up and he was slapped and
kicked by the group of militia, which had grown in number to 38.  His hair
was tied with rubber in tight knots all over his head and he was doused
with water and a hosepipe placed under his shirt with the water running.
His shoulders and arms are badly bruised.

His wife Norma (70) was in the kitchen and prevented from leaving by other
militia who were emptying her deep freeze and pantry.  Norma managed to
make a phone call to her son JAMIE (39) when the phone was snatched from
her by a militia who instructed JAMIE to send an ambulance urgently as
"your Mother is very ill".  JAMIE called the MARS ambulance (which on
arrival at the farm was turned away) and then raced out to the farm to his
parents. On his arrival there JAMIE was subjected to even worse treatment.
His hands and feet were tied with bark rope and wire.  The rope was so
tight his hands turned blue. He was made to kneel on the ground while he
was beaten with chains, sticks and whips made from fan belts. His left knee
was beaten with a burning log from a fire.  A youth delivered a karate chop
to his neck and smashed him in the face.  He sustained a broken nose,
lacerations above the eyes, severe bruising to his torso and chest and
burns on his leg.  While JAMIE was being beaten his Dad RONNIE tried to
rugby tackle one of the youths and his Mother NORMA threw herself over her
son in an attempt to protect him.  As a result NORMA sustained a cracked
thumb and severe bruising to both her arms.  Their ordeal ended at about
9.30pm when they were "allowed" to leave and seek a place of safety and
medical attention.

The courage of RONNIE, NORMA and JAMIE in trying to defend their lives
against a mob of unruly violent militia is yet again another example of the
awesome spirit of the Zimbabweans.  Is this about Land, one may ask?  No,
it is the ongoing retribution and campaign of violence being meted out
against the ordinary men, women and children of Zimbabwe.  This madness
will end and the instigators and perpetrators will be held accountable for
their crimes against humanity.

(Photographs of the victims are available on request).




JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
    (011) 205 374
       (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
       (091) 317 264
    (011) 207 860 we're here to help!
(011) 431 068
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Mr Albert Kamulaga, President of International Tobacco Growers'
Association, Hon. Ministers, Members of Parliament, Members of the
Diplomatic Corps, Councillors, Delegates, Ladies & Gentlemen;

Welcome to the 43rd Congress of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association, and it is
an honour to present to you my annual report.

The outgoing President of Zimbabwe Tobacco Association last year spoke of
how the single biggest constraint to producing another crop large enough to
attract world players must be the land re-distribution program. Regrettably
Zimbabwe will only produce a Flue-Cured crop of around 85 million kilograms
or a similar size to what the country produced in 1981 and 1982.  The fact
that it is as much as 85 million kilogrammes is nothing short of a miracle
and I would like to thank all those Zimbabweans who helped produce this

When the country produced 168 million kilogrammes last year the
Association's members accounted for 87% of the crop.  Looking at this
year's crop of 85 million kilogrammes, the Association's members will still
account for 72%.

In the last year unfortunately decisions affecting the Industry have been
partisan, nepotistic and corrupt which has led to a further decline of
Tobacco as those farmers who could grow diversify into other commodities.
People making decisions on the Industry, are more content with their own
individual agendas, rather than Tobacco on the National Agenda.  The
Tobacco Growers Trust, where David Sandeman represents the ZTA whose
members produce 72% of the crop, but is out voted by 1 to 6 as individual
agendas and allocation rule supreme.

The National Burley crop is less than 5 million kilograms and yet they have
50% of the board members.

I do not wish to dwell on the issue because it will be discussed in
Resolutions later, but when my members can not be allocated inputs and have
to join other Associations to access the inputs is iniquitous to say the
least.  The original idea to allow growers to access currency to source
inputs was far-sighted and commendable, but unfortunately the plot has been
lost in greed and corruption.  Attempting to regain growers' confidence
will only be achieved when the grower is given individual recognition of
his allocation and allowed to order through a supplier of his choice.  I
sincerely hope that the Industry does not have to decline further for the
authorities to take steps to intervene.


The Tobacco rate for Tobacco sold across the auction Floors is interlinked
with inputs for grower viability.  In announcing the 800:1 Tobacco rate the
RBZ assured the Industry that it will be reviewed quarterly and this should
have been last month.  Whilst the farmer has the asset of cured tobacco,
like any other businessman he will be reluctant to exchange it for one
third of its true value and end up financially ruined.  The Tobacco rate
must be competitive because Tobacco cannot sustain the subsidy to the
nation as production dwindles.

The fact that the RBZ has to take adverts in the local press informing
growers of the illegality of the sale of Tobacco to the informal sector
proves that the rate is incorrect.  Growers are sourcing fuel, fertilizer,
chemicals and spares at $2 500 : 1 and are expected to sell their product
at 800 : 1.

The simple maths is that Tobacco on the informal market at US$1,20/kg is
the equivalent of Z$3000/kg, while US$2,20 at the floors is Z$1 760/kg.

It is imperative that the rate is reviewed regularly and realistically to
stop the informal sale of Tobacco and generate the confidence that the
grower requires to re-invest in another crop.


Up until the 16th June, approximately 48,685 kilogrammes of seed has been
sold compared 82,3 kilogrammes last year.  Of this 48,685 kilogrammes 323
farmers purchased seed of which only 258 are growing this year.  It is
highly likely that the 65 farmers who are not growing this year have bought
seed to be resold in the region which means only approximately 39
kilogrammes has been purchased for planting in Zimbabwe.  The irrigated
crop is now irretrievably lost or down by 40-50%.  The Industry has
approximately 6 weeks left in order to ensure adequate dryland beds. Ladies
& gentlemen we are only talking seedbeds which does not automatically
translate into transplanting in the lands, and further measures of
confidence building will have to be realized to ensure that the national
crop is stabilized or rising after this year's small crop. Tobacco is an
18-month crop and the 2004 crop will be decided in the next 6 weeks and not
in November when the first rains arrive.  I would like to make an appeal to
growers who are able to grow, to grow the same or bigger seedbed area in
order to help those who have not been able to do seedbeds.


The current term of the Board of the TIMB expired in October.  Although the
Board still sits and deliberates I believe it is heavily divided on
Contract growing.  From informal reports growers are told there will be
Contract growing next year, but until some definitive proposals are put on
the table no-one will be prepared to finance a crop if they do not have
direct access to it.

While on marketing, David Sandeman recently attended a Regional ITGA
meeting in Kenya, where direct marketing was discussed.  With your
permission I intend to allow him to brief delegates on this meeting later
today, but it is essential that the Industry is fully aware of the impact
of new marketing arrangements.  With this in mind I intend to send a
delegation to both Zambia and South Africa to study the various marketing
arrangements.  Price negotiations will become a crucial factor for members
if changes are made to the current legislation.

In world terms it is highly disconcerting that the growers in Brazil and
Argentina are probably in the most viable Tobacco years of their lives,
whereas in Africa the growers are faced with viability problems.
Traditionally supply and demand curves never stopped at Continental
Boundaries, and I wonder if this is caused by manufacturers in trying to
push farmers towards other marketing methods.


My predecessor Kobus Joubert spoke on the formation of the TIAC last year
in that "it must be welcomed and if the council can in any way ensure
continuity of tobacco production it would do a great service to Zimbabwe.
The council must focus on smoothing out tobacco matters, not create
stumbling blocks in an already over-regulated Industry."

Unfortunately the Council rarely has a quorum at meetings and has not been
as effective as the Industry would have anticipated.


The Board and staff have done an excellent job under very trying
conditions.  While acknowledging that the escalating costs of research can
not be sustained by a smaller tobacco crop and that it must be more
Commercial, the 500% rise in the cost of Tobacco seed is horrific.  Tobacco
growers have funded the development of the TRB to probably the finest
Tobacco Research Institute in the world and are treated with arbitrary
distain and no consultation on seed price increases which they have funded
the development of!  I hope growers are consulted on any further increases.


Sadly BAI will not have an intake this year due to insufficient numbers of
qualified applicants.  The withdrawal of the CFU has left the Association
holding a very heavy bucket of commitments to BAI.  While we all recognize
the value of BAI especially in the future, some form of rationalization
must take place to tide us through these difficult times.  I would like to
pay tribute to Peter MacSporran who chaired BAI for the last 8 years.
Peter bullied Commodities, charmed donors and gave his all to BAI.  His
infectious sense of humour inspired many around him and hopefully he will
return to Zimbabwe, but on behalf of everyone in agriculture I sincerely
thank him for a magnificent job at BAI.  Peter Richards, an equally
impressive replacement, has taken over as Chairman of BAI.


With the general decline of the crop, the ZTA building has not gone
unscathed.  The building has had several resignations and retirements, none
of whom have been replaced.  The staff compliment has been reduced to
almost half.  Chris Molam who was CEO for the last 11 years retired in
March.  Chris worked tirelessly for all Tobacco growers and was
instrumental with Ray Mawerera in putting Zimbabwe's case forward to the
FCTC in Geneva.  Chris' dedication and professionalism to the Industry and
especially to farmers and their problems was always unwavering.

On the 18th February the Association held an Extraordinary General Meeting
to effect changes to the constitution due to the fact that some traditional
districts are no longer producing.  Council was to be made up of Regional
Councillors with 4 from Mashonaland West, 2 Mashonaland East, 2 Mashonaland
Central and 2 from Manicaland representing large scale growers.

Changes also included the election of all 8 small-scale councillors, who
were previously appointed, and they will elect 4 of their number to the
main council.

I was delighted with the support that the Association received from members
to effect the changes and this new council will take effect from after
congress today.

A special world of thanks to Oliver Gawe and Munasa Musasa who organized
and officiated at all the elections throughout the Tobacco growing

Corner Properties sold 50% of its stake in TSL to Closefin Investments,
which is a Consortium of local business leaders.  A shareholders agreement
incorporating pre-emptive rights and other mutually beneficial provisions
is in place to protect the interests of both parties.

The Consortium believe they have the ability to influence events in some
areas which will lead to an increase in production of Tobacco.  As
shareholders of TSL, this is the area in which they believe they have the
biggest role to play.

Closefin wanted ZTA as a partner to help revitalize the Industry and they
believe ZTA's experience in the Industry and its relationship with growers
is vital to the success of a growing scheme.

Having sold the shares our investment income is obviously reduced forcing
further reviews of ZTA expenditure, but changes at ZTA will be a small
price to pay for an enhanced national crop, and I welcome our new partners
to the Industry.

The Association's seedbed pack scheme and tillage program were the largest
and most successful yet accomplished for the Small Scale grower.
Unfortunately due to the fuel shortage no tillage program has taken place
this year.  High yielding tobacco is dependant on early land preparation
and I don't think the damage will be only to this sector.

The Association has for the last 3 years run the biggest reafforestation
programme in the country.  Rural schools are contracted to produce
seedlings which are available to all tobacco growers in December/January.
It is essential that this programme is improved and expanded and made a
priority for anyone thinking of starting Tobacco.

The sourcing of all inputs has been problematic and none more so than coal
and diesel.  In June 2002 coal could be purchased at $14 500/ton at Mt.
Hampden.  By March due to the demise of the NRZ the price had rocketed to
$85 000/ton or a 500% increase.

The proliferation of registered coal merchants has also affected growers.
Coal is never at a set price, but basically what the user is prepared to
pay for it.  Rail transported coal is often sold as road hauled and
unfortunately the farmer is always the loser.  While a product is short
the supplier can take advantage of the customer, and competition is vital
in this sector to improve the service to all coal users.

For the 2003/2004 crop, growers at best will have to road haul from
Bulawayo or unfortunately from Wankie.  Hopefully Sengwa Mine will be
re-opened in the national interest, but this still equates to a road trip
to Bulawayo.

Traditionally all chemicals used on Tobacco have been thoroughly tested by
the TRB for residues and effectiveness before being registered.  It
concerns me that some chemicals are being sold to growers on the pretext of
prior registrations through various back doors, and I urge all growers to
deal with reputable companies because a cheap chemical might in the long
run cost you your crop.

The frustration of growers phoning in desperate for inputs, when none are
supposedly available, will undoubtedly lead to changes in the Production
department.  The Presidential Group feel strongly that some form of
commercialisation must take place to try and help members.

In the next month with deliberation in Council, we intend to re-shape this
department to meet the needs of growers to the future.

The ALB has worked tirelessly in trying to sort out the Agricultural wages
and yet the Ministry has not gazetted the new wage structure.  The
political problems between various Unions and government cannot be an
excuse for not giving workers the comfort they require and hopefully this
situation will be rectified in the near future.


What of the future.

Tobacco, I feel will be grown primarily by farmers who have grown it
before.  The new farmers this year have not produced a significant Tobacco
crop due to:-

1) Tobacco being an 18-month crop and they have concentrated on traditional
crops where they get a return in 6 months.

2) The high cost of production and poor viability is certainly not
attractive to first time entrants.

Current growers not only have the difficulty of input shortages, but are
being crippled by the destruction of the Tobacco infrastructure.  In
Council reports between March and May +-$135 million worth of electrical
switchgear has been stolen.  This does not include barn roofs and doors
which are continually being destroyed.  While these national assets are
being stripped with no intervention by the authorities then any increase in
crop size will be impossible.

While on crop size, if Tobacco destruction dates are not going to be kept
then the viral threat of Bushy Top to next year's crop will be huge.  I
would like to urge all growers to police their neighbour to try and
eliminate this threat.

It is vital that the Zimbabwe crop size is stabilized and allowed to
increase from that stable platform, whatever that figure may be.
International manufacturers of cigarettes need confidence in Zimbabwe in
order for Zimbabwean Tobacco to remain in their blends.  Once removed from
the blend it will be extremely difficult to be re-incorporated.  Zimbabwe
has the infrastructure to produce the International manufacturers'
requirements and it is regrettable that some of this production is being
redistributed throughout the region.  It is essential that we regain the
manufacturers' confidence and stop this regional expansion.

The cost of production for next year is on average 500% up on last year.
By October when the majority of the crop is planted this figure could well
be up to between 900-1000%.

Financing the 2004 crop will stretch lending authorities to the maximum and
this is why it is vital that decisions on Contract growing are made

The government has always allowed the productive sector to be sheltered
from the high rates of interest, but in the last year the transparency and
access to these facilities has been cloudy at best, and have not been
available to growers as financial institutions prefer to lend their own
money at market rates.

Financing the 2004 crop must be made a priority for everyone involved in
the Industry, and must be finalized in the next 2 months to generate grower
confidence to ensure the national crop size does not shrink further.


In conclusion, Ladies & Gentlemen, I could not do this job without the
magnificent support structure that is in place.  To the numerous
businessmen who make the time to help and advise us, even when we don't
want to listen, I sincerely thank you.

The staff in ZTA must be acknowledged for their wonderful support and
service in very trying circumstances.  Unfortunately we cannot manufacture
diesel or coal in 24 hours and take the blunt end of farmers' patience.

In particular John Anagnostopoulos, Roland Keth, Oliver Gawe and Rodney
Ambrose as Heads of Department have been magnificent.  Councillors and the
members of Corner Properties have been unwavering and tireless in their
efforts to help serve the growers.

To Stuart Reid, the Hon Treasurer, who retires today owing to the fact he
is no longer growing, I thank you.  Your practical advice and concern was
always the first sounding board for the PG.

To David Sandeman, my sincere thanks for your steadiness, loyalty and good

To Wayne Parham, my thanks for your energy, enthusiasm and practicality.  I
am indeed very fortunate to have the caliber of Vice Presidents that I do
have, particularly during the Closefin negotiations.  To Nicola and Liz my
thanks to you for the wonderful support you and all Councillor wives give
their husbands.

Finally, my wife Pookie & family, their unwavering support and loyalty are
truly amazing.  Their understanding of my schedule certainly makes my life
easier although for them it is never easy.  Their support and loyalty is
pivotal in being able to do this job at all.

Ladies & Gentlemen, I thank-you.

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1 Refers to Open Letters Forum No. 103 dated 20 June 2003:

This letter shows a pretty good assessment as to where things are right now
in Zimbabwe. However the suggestions as what practical actions to take now
are somewhat vague and fluffy, and therefore unfortunately of reduced

We know what The Game is and what they are up to. So a definite,
intelligent, calm well thought out practical plan of action (agreed by all)
is urgently required.

But who is prepared to stand up to co-ordinate and direct it?

Poor leadership. Short sighted, self-serving and non-visionary. That has
always been the problem in Zimbabwe (on all sides).

Lets face it - the Party has been a lot more effective than the remaining
98% of the population who have switched off their brains in "helpless
victim" mode for the last 23 years. The results are everywhere.


Letter 2: Ben Norton

Time 2/45 a.m. Here I am sitting in front of my computer with a nice cup of
tea, having just read Koko's letter again. Letter no 1 in Justice letter
forum 102 18/06/2003.

This is almost a nightly ritual for me now. Can't sleep, get up, make tea,
think about my old farm, my game, my cattle, my pastures, my old staff who
are starving, and the wonderfully happy life I had in Zimbabwe, "the
blemished pearl of Africa."

Sometimes I just sit and think, and sometimes I sit and through this
wonderful machine that does all the spelling for me and talk to my old
friends. Some who are still in Zim, and the rest all over the world, and
sometimes I tell them a joke in the hope that it will help them smile a

When I read Koko's letter I want to cry because I agree with him, as I am
sure many others do. It is just something that we have not been able to
face up to, or been able to come to grips with yet, but I am afraid that
time has run out and there are some things we have to think about very
seriously before next planting season.

To those of the farming family who are still on the land, as I have said
before, and say again, it is time to come clean. It is time to put our
cards in front of our leaders and fellow family members. To those still
farming the land I would expect your leaders to be the CFU, and to the ex
farmers like me JAG are doing a good job.

There are many reasons why there are still some of us on the land, and I
think we should have a close look at those reasons

There are some still on the land who have not been listed, and have no
knowledge as to why they have not been listed, although I expect there are
some who know very well why they have not been listed, God forgive them.

The majority of those still active on the land have been listed but have no
squatters, and there are some who have squatters but have come to some
agreement with them and are pressing on. There are some who have no
agreement but may have handed a bit of lolly to a big noise and are hoping
the axe will not fall, and there are some who are actively helping the
squatters with land prep, grazing, water etc, or in other words sharing
their farm with the squatters and hoping for a miracle which will give them
back their whole farm, and they feel that they are fully justified in doing
this, and it is to them that I make an urgent appeal to please think of the
future and before planting put your case before your leaders, come clean
and get it on record, and heed the advice of those leaders, otherwise you
may have problems later on.

Let us show Koko that this is no circus, and that we all have the welfare
of Zimbabwe as our goal, and that with the right leadership will act
accordingly. Time is not on our side. We must get our act together and
confound our critics.

A few words about those who sometimes have been termed freeloaders.  Let us
face facts -there is nobody who has left his farm voluntarily. There are
some who may have accepted much less than they should have realised, but
that is a business deal. The majority who are no longer on the land have
been forced off. Some have suffered considerable hardships in trying to
remain on their farms. Some, God bless them, and may their sacrifice not
have been in vain, have died in defying the enemy.

Some who stayed on their farms, without farming, which they had hacked out
of virgin bush, and which they could not bear to abandon to the wanton
destruction of government thugs called Green bombers, were forcefully
removed and spent a time behind bars, for defying government orders.

I defy anybody who watched me being evicted call me a free loader.

A few words about those who have left their farms. Those who are young
enough have moved to another country to try and earn a living for their
family.  There are those who are too old to be gainfully employed as I have
been told by friends who have through necessity tried to find employment as
house sitters, that as soon as it is known that they are in their seventies
they have just been turned away. There are those who are living in Harare,
not having a very easy life, and there are those who have followed their
children to the four corners of the earth, but the letters I get back are
heart rending, but in all of them you feel that there is still a bit of
hope, and that one day they may return to their old homes, but to them I
can only say that commercial farming as we knew it is something of the
past. It is history. We can only hope that something evolves that will keep
Zim afloat, but without a lot of help from the outside world Zimbabwe will
become one of the poorest nations in the world. The people are there the
spirit is not yet broken, but will somebody please help undo what Britain
has done, and help us return to responsible government.

May God Bless us all and show us the way forward.


Letter 3:


I would like to thank, Lynda Hart, Kevin Ricquebourg, Ingrid Landman,
Debbie Jeans, Beatrice Mwerudzai, Wikus Botha and Kerry Kay, for the
wonderful "Farmers Wives Ladies Day", it was inspirational and gave so many
of us the motivation we were looking for.

Thanks again,
With love Vonda Jelliman


Letter 4: Alex Hangartner

Tobacco Growers Disbursement Scheme

Dear Sir,

A tobacco grower's re-imbursement scheme has been established by the TSL,
TSF and ZTA. Paid-up members of ZTA for the period 1992 - 2002 are eligible
to apply by filling out a written application form obtainable from the
contact below. Details of the amount a grower is eligible for, the products
the amount can be redeemed in (Diesel, Fertilizer, Chemicals, other
products) are available by sending an email.

The scheme has a stated deadline for receipt of all handwritten application
forms at the TSL of 30 SEPTEMBER 2003.

Contact details for Reimbursement Scheme:

Geraldine McLaughlan
Tobacco Sales Limited
PO Box 66043
tel 04-754 666
fax 04-754 766

It is in the interest of everyone to notify all interested parties as soon
as possible for applications to be made before the September deadline set
by the scheme's originators.

The question remains, why were the years prior to 1992 for all monies paid
by ZTA members and tobacco growers not included in this re-imbursement

Yours faithfully

Alex Hangartner


All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.
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ZIMBABWE: GM maize by-products dumped
      IRINnews Africa, Thu 26 Jun 2003

      ©  Save the Children

      Cattle farmers say screenings could be used as stock feed

      JOHANNESBURG, - The World Food Programme (WFP) in Zimbabwe on Thursday
confirmed it had destroyed tonnes of milled genetically modified (GM) maize
screenings in compliance with government regulations.

      Screenings are a by-product of maize, generated during the milling

      WFP's spokesman, Luis Clemens, told IRIN: "In accordance with a
request from the government, the screenings were transported and disposed of
in disused mine shafts."

      But according to the Zimbabwean Financial Gazette, local cattle
farmers were disappointed at the government order, arguing that the GM
residue could well serve as stockfeed.

      The newspaper noted that the refusal by the government to allow
farmers to use the screenings came at a time when the price of stock feed
had gone up by 40 percent.

      "Although it is still unclear why the authorities would prevent the
screenings to be used to feed livestock, there has been concern that cattle
fed on GM leftovers may not be as attractive for export," an official at
National Food Limited (NFL) told IRIN.

      Last year NFL was contracted to mill 13,000 mt of GM maize to feed
some 7 million Zimbabweans.
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Mail and Guardian

Zimbabwe musician tells of torture


      26 June 2003 14:57

A Zimbabwean musician who claims to have been tortured by police in his
country broke down in tears at a demonstration in Pretoria on Thursday as he
recounted his ordeal.

Charles Matorera told a protest organised by Amnesty International SA
against state cruelty how he was kidnapped in Harare on March 14 by police
and armed men in black suits.

He claimed he was targeted for recording music denouncing the political
situation in his country. "As we were driving, they asked me why I was
singing about Zimbabwean President Robert) Mugabe. They described him as a

Matorera said he was driven at gunpoint to an undisclosed place and locked
in a dark room, where he was repeatedly kicked and hit. His assailants
wanted information about a mass stayaway planned by the opposition for a few
days later.

After the beatings, he was ordered to remove his clothing.

"What they did to me then was not as painful as what they said to me."

He said he was made fun of and called a "white puppet". He said his
torturers were smoking dagga.

"What really scared me was what I saw. It was clear I wasn't the first
person to be held there. There was blood on the floor and the walls."

Matorera said he was woken up several times during the night by men pouring
cold water over him. In the morning, he was beaten again.

After losing consciousness, he awoke in a moving car. He feigned an
epileptic fit, and ran away when the vehicle stopped. Matorera said he
walked for about a day before he encountered passers-by who gave him money
for transport to South Africa. He is now staying in a Johannesburg

The musician started sobbing uncontrollably after pulling up his shirt to
show his scars. A candle was lit and a moment of silence observed for
victims of torture around the world.

Jabulani Mkwanazi, chairman of the South African branches of the Zimbabwean
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, told the meeting that 48 people
died at the hands of his country's government in 2001.

He said there were also 329 kidnappings or disappearances, 992 cases of
unlawful arrest or detention, and 2 245 people who claimed to have been

He urged the South African government to publicly condemn such human rights

The protest called on the United Nations to put pressure on all countries
where torture was still taking place.

A memorandum to this effect was presented to a representative of the UN's
South African office in Pretoria by about 100 protesters carrying posters
reading: "Stop torture", and "Down with Mugabe".

Other speakers at the event urged South Africa to pass laws enabling it to
arrest and prosecute foreign visitors suspected of committing torture.

They also called on the African Union to ensure that perpetrators of human
rights abuses were brought to book. - Sapa
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Zimbabwe brands America's Powell a sellout

      June 26 2003 at 01:39PM

By Cris Chinaka

Harare - Zimbabwe's information minister has denounced United States
Secretary of State Colin Powell as a sellout for urging southern Africa to
increase pressure on President Robert Mugabe to hand over power to a
transitional government.

In an opinion piece in Tuesday's New York Times less than two weeks ahead of
President George Bush's first trip to Africa, Powell - an African-American -
called for more pressure on Mugabe from Zimbabwe's neighbours.

"Nobody in ZANU-PF (the ruling party) will ever join Powell and his kind in
selling out. The use of lies and deception by Powell and Bush has not worked
in Iraq where he wanted to mix it with oil," Thursday's official Herald
newspaper quoted minister Jonathan Moyo as saying.

The paper branded Powell a "crude international outlaw".

"ZANU-PF yesterday said it was unfortunate that Powell, who should be
balanced as a diplomat and soldier, was willing and ready to utter blatant
falsehoods that reduce him to an ordinary liar proffering ludicrous
scenarios which make him a crude international outlaw," the paper said.

Zimbabwe is facing a severe economic crisis that critics blame on government
mismanagement, Mugabe's seizures of white-owned farms for black resettlement
and his alleged rigging of his re-election last year.

Neighbouring states led by South Africa favour diplomacy to resolve
Zimbabwe's woes, but Washington and London have openly criticised Mugabe and
called for a transition unity government with the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change.

The US has taken a hard line against Mugabe since the presidential
elections, trying to isolate his government internationally. Bush, who will
visit Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda and Nigeria from July 7-12,
has said Mugabe is not a legitimate leader.

The Harare government says Bush's stance is unjustified, driven by racism
and by Washington's natural support for Zimbabwe's former colonial power
Britain in fighting Mugabe over his seizures of white farms.

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Sunday Times (SA)

State closes case in Zimbabwe treason trial

Thursday June 26, 2003 16:04 - (SA)

HARARE - State lawyers today closed their case in the marathon treason trial
of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and two senior party officials, while
defence lawyers said they would apply to have the charges dismissed.

The close of the state's case, which claims Tsvangirai and his two
co-accused in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party plotted to kill
President Robert Mugabe, comes four months after the trial began.

One of the lawyers defending the MDC trio, Chris Andersen, told the court
that the defence team would be applying to have the three discharged,
because he said the state had not proved its case against them.

"It is our intention to make an application to have the three accused
persons discharged," Andersen said before Judge Paddington Garwe.

Garwe postponed the matter to July 7, when he said the court would deal with
the application for discharge.

Earlier the court heard the last of the state's 11 witnesses testify. Edward
Chinhoyi, a technician with the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
(ZBC), had been called to give his views on the video tape that is said to
incriminate Tsvangirai in a plot to "eliminate" Mugabe.

The tape was made on December 4, 2001, three months ahead of a disputed
presidential election that pitted Tsvangirai against Mugabe, and which
Mugabe won.

It was made using hidden surveillance cameras in the offices of Canada-based
political consultant Ari Ben Menashe, whom the MDC say they approached to do
promotional work for them in North America.

On the tape, which Ben Menashe gave to the Zimbabwe authorities, Tsvangirai
is alleged to have requested for the consultant's help in "eliminating"
Mugabe and organising a coup to topple his government.

MDC Secretary General Welshman Ncube and senior party official Renson Gasela
were also said to be part of the plot. If convicted all three could face the
death penalty.

Chinhoyi, an expert in video recording and editing, testified that the
picture on the tape was "hazy", making it difficult to tell who was

But he said in his view it had not been tampered with after its initial

Defence lawyer Andersen argued that the poor picture was "intended", and
that the tape may have been expertly edited as part of what the defence
claims was "a trapping exercise" by the government to sideline Tsvangirai
ahead of the 2002 poll.

"A poor picture could not be made by mistake," he said.

The three MDC officials deny the charges against them, and say they were the
victims of a government set-up.


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Zimbabwe opposition pins hopes on Bush Africa visit

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, June 26 — Zimbabwe's main opposition leader said on Thursday he
hoped a visit by George W. Bush to Africa would add more pressure on
President Robert Mugabe to agree to talks to resolve the country's political
       ''For the Zimbabwean agenda it is very important to welcome President
Bush's presence in the region. Zimbabwe is again part of the international
radar because of his presence,'' Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader
Morgan Tsvangirai told Reuters in an interview.
       ''We expect, of course, political and diplomatic pressure to apply
and...we will do everything in our power to make sure that a clear road map
to peace in Zimbabwe is presented to the American government during the
visit,'' he said.
       The U.S. president is due to visit Senegal, South Africa, Botswana,
Uganda and Nigeria in his first trip to Africa from July 7-12 and Zimbabwe
is sure to figure in his talks.
       Tsvangirai, whose MDC poses the most potent challenge to Mugabe's
23-year grip on power, has launched a legal challenge to his victory in
presidential elections last year.
       Tsvangirai himself is facing two trials on separate counts of
       The United States and several Western countries, including former
colonial power, Britain, condemned Mugabe's election victory as flawed.

       In an opinion piece in Tuesday's New York Times, U.S. Secretary of
State Colin Powell, an African-American, urged Zimbabwe's neighbours to
pressure Mugabe to hand over power to a transitional government.
       Neighbouring states, led by South Africa, however, favour diplomacy
as the way to resolve Zimbabwe's woes.
       Powell's remarks drew a rebuke from one of Mugabe's government
ministers, who denounced Powell for what he said was ''selling out.''
       ''Nobody in ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe's ruling party) will ever join Powell
and his kind in selling out. The use of lies and deception by Powell and
Bush has not worked in Iraq where he wanted to mix it with oil,'' Thursday's
official Herald newspaper quoted Information Minister Jonathan Moyo as
       In a fresh difference of opinion between Washington and Paris, French
Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin on Thursday spoke out against
interference in Zimbabwe after meeting South African President Thabo Mbeki
in Cape Town.
       Villepin said the international community should support diplomatic
efforts such as the meeting of heads of state of South Africa, Malawi and
Nigeria over the Zimbabwe crisis.
       France and the United States were most recently at odds over the war
in Iraq.
       Villepin also hit out at sanctions in an apparent swipe at the
European Union's visa ban, arms embargo, and assets freeze targeted at
Mugabe and his senior officials.
       The MDC accuses Mugabe of mismanaging the economy as the country
suffers from chronic food and fuel shortages, and inflation at 300 percent,
one of the highest rates in the world.
       Mugabe insists he won last year's election fairly and denies
mismanaging the country. He says the economy has been sabotaged by local and
international opponents in retaliation for his much-criticised seizure of
white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.
       (Additional reporting by Gershwin Wanneburg in Cape Town and Cris
Chinaka in Harare)

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The White House

Statement by the President

June 26, 2003


United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Today, on the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of
Torture, the United States declares its strong solidarity with torture
victims across the world. Torture anywhere is an affront to human dignity
everywhere. We are committed to building a world where human rights are
respected and protected by the rule of law.

Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right. The Convention Against
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, ratified by the
United States and more than 130 other countries since 1984, forbids
governments from deliberately inflicting severe physical or mental pain or
suffering on those within their custody or control. Yet torture continues to
be practiced around the world by rogue regimes whose cruel methods match
their determination to crush the human spirit. Beating, burning, rape, and
electric shock are some of the grisly tools such regimes use to terrorize
their own citizens. These despicable crimes cannot be tolerated by a world
committed to justice.

Notorious human rights abusers, including, among others, Burma, Cuba, North
Korea, Iran, and Zimbabwe, have long sought to shield their abuses from the
eyes of the world by staging elaborate deceptions and denying access to
international human rights monitors. Until recently, Saddam Hussein used
similar means to hide the crimes of his regime. With Iraq's liberation, the
world is only now learning the enormity of the dictator's three decades of
victimization of the Iraqi people. Across the country, evidence of Baathist
atrocities is mounting, including scores of mass graves containing the
remains of thousands of men, women, and children and torture chambers hidden
inside palaces and ministries. The most compelling evidence of all lies in
the stories told by torture survivors, who are recounting a vast array of
sadistic acts perpetrated against the innocent. Their testimony reminds us
of their great courage in outlasting one of history's most brutal regimes,
and it reminds us that similar cruelties are taking place behind the closed
doors of other prison states.

The United States is committed to the world-wide elimination of torture and
we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with
the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting,
investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture and in undertaking to
prevent other cruel and unusual punishment. I call on all nations to speak
out against torture in all its forms and to make ending torture an essential
part of their diplomacy. I further urge governments to join America and
others in supporting torture victims' treatment centers, contributing to the
UN Fund for the Victims of Torture, and supporting the efforts of
non-governmental organizations to end torture and assist its victims.

No people, no matter where they reside, should have to live in fear of their
own government. Nowhere should the midnight knock foreshadow a nightmare of
state-commissioned crime. The suffering of torture victims must end, and the
United States calls on all governments to assume this great mission.

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The Nation, Malawi

      Report shows Sadc abusing human rights
      by Aubrey Mchulu, 26 June 2003 - 18:25:07
      Worldwide human rights watchdog Amnesty International (AI) 2003 report
has revealed serious politically-based human rights abuses in Southern
Africa Development Community (Sadc) countries, including Malawi, as well as
developed democracies of the United Kingdom and United States of America.
      In its 311-page report covering 151 countries, AI observes that in
general terms draconian measures by both democratic and autocratic
governments to intrude into people’s lives, to detain suspects without trial
and to deport people with no regard to their fate, weakened respect for
international law.
      AI secretary general Irene Khan said in her message under the theme
‘Security for whom?: A human rights response’ that real security will remain
illusory, especially for the poor, so long as police, courts and state
institutions in many countries remain corrupt.
      Khan also notes that new resources are being directed to security
police and “counter-terrorism” agencies while the United Nations’ human
rights machinery has been “grossly underfunded” for years.
      “A more secure world demands a paradigm shift in the concept of
security, a shift that recognises that insecurity and violence are best
tackled by effective, accountable states which uphold, not violate, human
rights,” she said.
      In its assessment of Malawi, AI says political tensions increased
ahead of the 2004 general elections and that police failed to investigate
several instances of political violence perpetrated by the ruling UDF
supporters against the opposition.
      AI also reported state repression of freedom of expression and
assembly escalated in Malawi.
      “In response to continuing public protest, President Bakili Muluzi
issued a directive in May [2002] which banned all public demonstrations for
or against a third term of office,” observed AI, adding that the directive
was later reversed by the High Court as unconstitutional and an infringement
on freedom of assembly and association.
      In Malawi’s neighbour, Mozambique, AI said human rights violations by
the police include torture, ill-treatment of at least two civilians and
extrajudicial executions were reported and recorded.
      AI also observed that efforts to improve the Mozambican police’s
professionalism were undermined by continued failure of authorities to bring
perpetrators of human rights violations to justice.
      On Namibia, another Sadc member state, AI said human rights violations
in the past year included arbitrary arrest and torture by police officers
while security forces were also responsible for extrajudicial executions in
the Caprivi Region of civilians suspected to have been collaborating with
the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita).
      Deaths in custody in suspicious circumstances, torture and excessive
use of force by police; resurgence of political violence which led to deaths
and injuries and levels of reported rape of women and girls remained high in
South Africa but, according to AI, “only few of those responsible were
brought to justice”.
      In Tanzania, AI reported that prison conditions were harsh such that
in one incident, 17 inmates died in custody while 100 death sentences were
commuted although the courts continue to pass death sentences.
      Tanzanian authorities also blocked two demonstration in 2002 with
police shooting at, beating and arresting demonstrators. Five were also
charged with sedition “for expressing their opinions”.
      Zambia experienced increasing “widespread human rights violations” by
the police and persistent state harassment and intimidation of those
perceived to be critical of the government, including independent
journalists, according to AI.
      Zimbabwe’s rights violations included at least 58 political killings
and widespread torture and ill-treatment throughout the country.
      Mature democracies of the UK and USA were not spared either.
      According to the AI report, serious human rights violations took place
in the context of the United Kingdom’s authorities’ response to the
September 11, 2001 attacks in the USA and that detention conditions in some
facilities were inhuman and degrading.
      “Many of those detained under ‘anti-terrorism’ legislation or on the
basis of extradition warrants were held in inhuman or degrading conditions
in high security prisons,” observes the report.
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      26 Jun 2003 14:48:14 GMT
      Zimbabwe opposition lawyers seek treason discharge


By Stella Mapenzauswa

HARARE, June 26 (Reuters) - Defence lawyers in the treason trial of Zimbabwe
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on Thursday they would ask the
court for a discharge, saying the state had not presented enough evidence to
make a case.

Tsvangirai and two senior members of his Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) could face the death sentence if convicted of the charges, which stem
from an alleged plot to assassinate President Robert Mugabe last year. All
have pleaded not guilty.

Defence lawyer Chris Anderson told the court he did not believe a prima
facie case against the three men had been made. The High Court judge said he
would hear arguments on the discharge motion from both sides on July 7.

Tsvangirai faces an additional treason charge in connection with mass
anti-Mugabe protests which his followers mounted earlier this month and
which the government said constituted an attempted coup d'etat. He is
currently free on bail.

In the assassination trial, the state's case against the three rests mainly
on a grainy, partly inaudible videotape of a meeting in Montreal between
Tsvangirai and Canadian-based political consultant Ari Ben-Menashe during
which the prosecution alleges Mugabe's "elimination" was discussed.

On Wednesday, state witness Edward Chinhoyi, technical and communications
manager at state broadcaster ZBC, said he had found no evidence of picture
interference when police called him in to view the video.

But under cross-examination on Thursday, Chinhoyi conceded that experts in
the field could digitally substitute the sound component of a video tape
with different audio material.

"Technology has made it possible that this can be done," Chinhoyi said.

Ben-Menashe has admitted he taped the meeting using surveillance cameras
solely to get evidence for the government -- with which he consequently
signed a political lobbying contract. But he denies entrapping Tsvangirai.

The MDC leader has mounted a court challenge to Mugabe's victory in a 2002
presidential election which the opposition and Western governments condemned
as fraudulent.
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